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Chime’s wife stirs fresh controversy

Seven killed as Army, Boko Haram clash in Kano

Says: I’m a Demands retraction of NHRC victim of crime statement on her health –Page 4

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Nigeria’s widest circulating newspaper

Vol.08, No. 2663



NOVEMBER 10, 2013


N255mcarscandal:Oduah’s 12 sins by Reps panel Exclusive details of House committee report

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From Left: Nigerian Ambassador to the Gambia, Amb. Esther Audu; Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Dr Nurudeen Muhammad; Principal Secretary to the President, Amb. Hassan Tukur; FCT Minister, Sen. Bala Mohammed; President Goodluck Jonathan and President Yahya Jammeh of the Gambia, during the visit of President Jonathan to Banjul on Friday night. Photo: NAN

Clark wants PDP crackdown on G-7 govs, others –Page 76

Gombe gov, Dankwambo, probes predecessor over N29 billion –Page 4

ADAMS OSHIOMHOLE How I dealt with ethnic champions in Edo –Page 40-41





Couple breaks World Record with whopping 126 Bridesmaids in Sri Lankan wedding

Growing wings From left: Senate President David Mark; Senate Leader, Victor Ndoma-Egba and the Director-General, National Sports Commission, Mr Gbenga Elegbeleye, looked set to fly away while celebrating the Golden Eaglets' victory at the Senate President's residence in Abuja on Friday. Photo: NAN

1200 feared dead in Philippines

•Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi receiving the Africa Reserve (Central) Bank Governor of the Year Award 2013 from former President Kenneth Kaunda in Pretoria, South Africa at the weekend.



On Sovereignty



nooping around With

Tatalo Alamu



ODERN sovereignty derives its power and authority from the withdrawal and substitution of the “divine” and absolute right of kings and monarchs to preside over the affairs of humankind for the legal right of the people to choose who will rule them. In effect, although sovereignty belongs to the people, they are deemed not “sovereign” enough to preside over their own affairs. As it has been famously noted, if men were angels, there would be no need for government. Nowhere in the modern history of mankind have the people actually come to power. Power is often held in permanent trusteeship for them: either


HE issue of Confab is not new to Nigeria or Nigerians. Over time, we have been inundated with echoes, agitations and clarion calls for the convocation of a national discourse. Such an envisioned discourse has been tagged various names or given different nomenclatures – depending on the side of the aisle you position or find yourself. With the growing clamour, it has dawned on men and women of thought that the agitations have been on the pedestal of selfishness, parochial interest or ethnic egocentrism. Thus, it is becoming increasingly obvious that some people believe the Confab could provide an opportunity to settle some latent scores especially for some sections of the country or those Nigerians who have always felt cheated and therefore aggrieved in the leadership debacle and general distribution of the largesse that has accrued to the country especially, since the advent of the first oil-production at OLOBIRI, decades ago. This is however, without prejudice or discredit to the gains of competitiveness, self-help or independence, growth and regional development, of old. All told, the Confab euphoria is not about nationalism or development per se, rather, it is a rivalry or tussle on who “rules” next or whose turn should it be thereafter – based on some political intricacy or ethnic calculus. By extension, the objective of such a Confab is the evolution of a brand new Constitution that would potentially accommodate most of the yearnings of the people since the current 1999 Constitution as amended, is supposedly, a relic of military interventions in the polity. Paradoxically, a good number of the drafters then, have now joined hands in condemning the Constitution and currently in search of a brand new one. Rather than blame the operators of the rule book or barometer for governance, every Confab apologist seems to exploit the omissions or “commissions” in the Constitution, as if there is a perfect Constitution anywhere in the world. I am told, Sovereignty has a dual hue or composition – Popular and Legal. The popular one resides in the people, who however, go to the polls

delegated by them or collected on their behalf by those with the will to power. This contradiction between the legal power of the people to determine the sovereignty of their rulers and its political limitations in the face of rulers ready to assert their sovereignty and authority often leads to a democratic conundrum: the pious myth of liberal democracy as peoples’ power in motion, or as government of the people by the people and for the people collides with the harsh reality that this is nothing but a gigantic swindle. It is the government of the organized few by the organized few and for the organized few in most cases. The battle for the soul of Nigeria

has shifted in focus in the past month since the advent of President Jonathan’s advisory committee for the convocation of a National Conference. Sovereignty itself has become a site of fierce intellectual struggle. There are those who insist that in order to pass muster, and since it is a gathering the Nigerian people, the sovereignty of the proposed confab is non-negotiable and should be guaranteed ab initio by Jonathan. There are also those who insist that since sovereignty has already been ceded by the Nigerian people, there can be no two sovereign authorities co-existing in the same polity except as an anarchic anomaly. For Jonathan to surrender his authority without a formal seizure of

such in organized elections amounts to sovereign suicide. If everybody sticks to their guns on this sticky matter, particularly organised labour and the influential South West, it can be assumed that the conference is dead on arrival. The widespread clamour for the sovereignty of the conference is a direct indictment of past efforts and a reflection of grave concerns about the viability of Nigeria in its current incarnation. If Nigeria were to be running well, there would have been no need for such a historic dialogue. In fact never in the history of Nigeria has there been so much contempt among the educated classes for both the sovereign and the notion of sovereignty itself within the backdrop of a politically and economically traumatized citizenry. When then and where then lies the sovereignty of a state that has virtually unraveled? It must not be forgotten that no ruler in post-colonial Africa has willingly surrendered his sovereignty. Not even with imminent death and the dissolution of empire. African rulers can be a hardy and recalcitrant lot. In 1996, and in a cruel twist of ironic fate, snooper watched Mobutu, his body already ravaged by cancer, being helped to his feet by a frail Nelson Mandela on a frigate moored off the coast of Angola. Kabila’s forces were already closing in

Confab versus Leadership By Hakeem Kunle Bello

to express themselves by electing their leaders or representatives who there from is given the Legal Sovereignty in trust. Meanwhile, the Constitution expressly states and insists that any act of irreverence by the holders of the Legal Sovereignty in the course of its exercise, is tractable and therefore the Legal Sovereignty is redeemable by the power of recall by the people lest, they have to wait for the next general elections for appropriate redress through the sanctity of the ballot. It is little wonder why there is a yawning divide amongst people regarding a Confab report - those who want the Confab document to be subjected to the whims and caprices of the National Assembly, in contradistinction to those who want a referendum to decide the way forward based on the same Confab document. To all intents and purposes, the National Assembly, being a beneficiary of the extant polity, would hardly succumb to the dictates of a Confab document since the legislators are after all, deemed to have been given the Legal Sovereignty by the people, at the instance of the most recent polls. The proponents of referendum, who are apparently averse to the status quo ante, are not pragmatic enough to observe that the two sovereigns are to a large extent mutually exclusive of each other, since they cannot operate concurrently in real time. However, they are collectively exhaustive in the end. Thus, any extant political administration has the constitutional power to initiate, arrange, convoke a Confab and examine the attendant document from which a referendum could be called for, if adjudged expedient or desirous. Whilst the National Assembly cannot make or write a Constitution, she could alter or amend a subsisting one to a large extent beyond which she is empowered to call for a referendum that could lead to the making of a new Constitution – presumably agreeable to a good majority of the popu-

lace. However, our antecedent regarding Confab issues as in many other development areas is “res ipsa loquitur” – the matter speaks for itself. Our various governments understandably, have been flagrantly insincere to the bidding of a Confab - including other existential areas and this lacuna has elicited an epoch of incredulity - leaving a cumulus of suspicion, distrust, skepticism, unreliability and deception at the doorsteps of Aso Rock. And since government is a continuum, the current administration is therefore not exempted from the morass of insensitivity and impunity, over time. Indeed, the current administration, through all manner of unrepentant raisons d’état, has had and still having her fair share of the revolving and unremitting irreverence to the sensibilities of those who willingly obliged or surrendered Legal Sovereignty in trust. A glimpse or cursory look at existing records - regarding committee approach to national issues, indicates flagrant disrespect to the honorable and revered committee appointees whose erstwhile reports and honest recommendations have been resigned to the heap of dysfunctional statistics. Swept under the “impregnable carpet” at ASO Rock are reports of UWAIS, DANJUMA, RIBADU and ORASANYE - depicting a tiny few in the pile. Thus, those crying foul of deception or distraction in respect of this current attempt at resuming the Confab recurrent decimal, are not without their justification. Truly, it is virtually sacrosanct save a revolution, to do away with or underrate the powers of an existing National Assembly or government based on a convoked Confab or its attendant document. Meanwhile, evidence abound that the casualty of any revolution (presumably bloody) goes beyond the instant immeasurable carnage and egregious destruction or deprivation of the very resources the revolution was meant to protect, in the first place. Each revolution invariably mortgages the life and times of a nation

including those of unborn generations, as a revolution culminates in utter confusion and instability, whilst growth and sustainable development become a mirage, if the country survives. Any in-depth search for the main cause of a clamour for a Confab or new Constitution or the most authentic resource and catalyst for ethnic disturbances or even religious upheavals, would throw up “FAILURE of LEADERSHIP” as the root, trunk and branch for such agitations. Whilst it is true that human beings are invariably forward looking with the view to expanding their horizon and bringing about selfprogress using all forms of methods, it is equally incontrovertible that they also relish the opportunity of easy paths or reassuring roadmaps to fortune, comfort and freedom. Thus, the Nigerian citizenry would prefer the path of least resistance towards achieving their goals as opposed to confrontational or revolutionary means or ways that could be tortuous, devious, antisocial, irreverent and sometimes illegal. Incidentally, the popular and well-acknowledged sanctuary that is most available to provide such paths of least resistance is the government of the people by the people for the people – the government of the day. Political pundits relish and extol democracy as the best form of government currently known to man, the world over - regardless of the concomitant gerrymandering or filibustering, it obliges. It is therefore no gainsaying the fact that good governance as epitomized by benevolent, visionary, insightful and purposeful leadership is the sine qua non of growth and sustainable development in a developing nation as Nigeria. After all, the 1999 Constitution as amended, unambiguously states and insists that the primary purpose of government is to provide security and welfare for her teeming population – enshrined in Chapter 2, Section 14, subsection 2(b): Fundamentals Objectives and Directive Principles of State Policy. Thus, if government provides and also seen or adjudged as providing the enabling envi-

on the capital. But Mobutu was too far gone in his delusions to have any truck with reality. A few days later, Mobutu was chased away from his country to die in ignominious exile. Even as he fled, his official griot was singing on the radio that the president reigns but does not rule. It must be conceded that that was a situation of war and anarchy. But it was war and anarchy arising from a political stalemate engineered by Mobutu and arising from a deliberately deadlocked National Conference in which a dithering France paid with the life of its ambassador to Zaire. Jonathan still has some residual good luck. The widespread loss of authority and legitimacy as we are witnessing in Nigeria does not equate to a loss of the power of coercion and forcible compliance. Based on that alone, the Nigerian state still has substantial sovereignty. Whether that balance of force can be maintained or sustained in the coming months particularly if anarchy spreads and anomie deepens will determine how much sovereignty is left for the Jonathan administration. This morning, in continuation of our policy of letting a thousand flowers bloom, we publish an article that offers a fresh and interesting perspective on the issue of confab and leadership. ronment through the provisioning and enhancement of infrastructure (power, water, transportation), health and education, it would be easier for the citizenry to benefit wholesomely and irretrievably from learning, commerce, business and general welfare. The sprawling effects of such a sincere and committed disposition of government to her nationals would improve the general wellbeing, stimulate wealth creation, sensitize economic emancipation and enhance growth and sustainable development. As the workforce would continually and numerically soar based on general growth - while keeping all major economic indices in check, idleness, truancy, crime and criminology would be at controllable low ebbs - with the cooperation of a disciplined and savvy judiciary. Thus, poverty, misemployment, underemployment and unemployment – adjudged as the raison d’etre for breaches of law and order, civil disobedience and all manner of unremitting but avoidable agitations would subside, as more people would be happy, gainfully employed, committed, and focused on self-development at the very least. At that point, issues of ethnic demagoguery or religious bigotry would be reduced, as a growing number of people would be genuinely engaged in creating wealth for themselves and summarily for the country. A resounding byproduct of such a commitment by the government is a gradual increase in patriotism with obeisance to rule of law by the people - invariably guided by the much or less each individual or group derives or benefits from government’s benevolence. So, the case for the convocation of any Confab albeit, not irrelevant, is definitely not a front-burner issue that would quickly transform or launch Nigeria into limelight or levitate to her rightful place in the comity of nations. Rather, the quest for diligent, forthright, dogged, committed, knowledgeable and visionary leadership is primus-inter-pares and it is crucial to our survival now and forever. And the leadership odyssey is NOW as time is running out. Dr Bello, a former MD of NITEL, lives in Abuja.




•The new couple, Mr. & Mrs. Eyituoyo Amuka-Pemu (middle) flanked (L-R)by bride’s father, Mr. Adedapo Adesina, groom’s mother, Mrs. Jumoke Funmi-Adesina at the wedding of the son of the of Vanguard Newspaper Publisher, Sam Amuka-Pemu at Yaba Baptist Church Lagos... yesterday Photo: Isaac Jimoh Ayodele.

Two soldiers, five militants die in army/ Boko Haram clash From: Kolade Adeyemi, Kano


fresh clash erupted yesterday in Kano between a combined team of the Kano Joint Task Force (JTF) and Directorate of State Security (DSS) with the Islamist sect, Boko Haram. When the dust settled, two soldiers and five of the fundamentalists had died. The shootout occurred at Hotoro Dan’Marke Quarters and Brigade quarters at about 3am and lasted about three hours. Residents said the security agents had stormed two houses in the affected areas apparently following a tip off about the presence of terrorists there. A gun duel between the two sides soon ensued but the law enforcements agents gained the upper hand. They recovered two AK47 rifles, 458 rounds of 7.62 special and 6 AK47 rifle magazines from the hideouts. Security sources said the suspected terrorists were finalising plans to carry out simultaneous suicide attacks in Abuja and Kano when the soldiers struck. Spokesman for the JTF, Capt. Ikedichi Iweha, said the JTF operation had “denied the terrorists freedom of action in Kano and from using the state as a spring board to launch attacks on other parts of the country. “This is due to the cooperation the JTF is receiving from members of the general public.” The JTF spokesman noted that the recent rise in activities of members of the terrorist sect might not be unconnected with “the increase in pressure being mounted on them by troops in the North Eastern axis and their desperation to make loud statements of their presence.” He, however, expressed worries over “the ease with which terrorists secure accommodation easily in Panshekara, Ja’en, Mariri, Farawa, Hotoro, Sherada, Brigade and other outskirt areas in the state despite appeals by the JTF to property owners to desist from renting their properties to persons with questionable identities. The JTF in Kano would not allow the state to be used as haven for terrorists.” The JTF, he vowed, would not only “continue to destroy any such properties found to accommodate terrorists but will also arrest the owners of such properties, treating them as accomplices even if they do not reside in the said property.”


•Pix, 03, L-R: Delta State Governor State, Emmanuel Uduaghan; his wife, Roli; Edo State Governor, Adams Oshiomhole and Former Lagos State Governor, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, at the wedding Photo: Isaac Jimoh Ayodele.

Chime’s wife stirs fresh controversy

HE wife of the Enugu State governor, Mrs. C l a r a Chime, yesterday joined issue with the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) on its handling of her petition about her ordeal in Government House, Enugu. She faulted the Commission for denying that she was “illegally confined” and ”subjected to some form of ill-treatments” by the governor. The NHRC’s pronouncement on her state of health did not also sit well with her and she accused it of misleading the public on her true state of health. But the commission defended itself in a statement by its Chairman, Professor Chidi Odinkalu. He said at no time did the Commission make any pronouncement on Mrs. Chime’s health condition since its investigation team to Enugu did not include medical experts. Media reports had quoted the team leader as saying Mrs. Chime suffers from depression and hallucination. In two letters written to the NHRC Chairman yesterday through her lawyer, Mr. Femi Falana (SAN), Mrs. Chime expressed disappointment to “read what has been narrated by the Human Rights Commission.” “Apart from the fact that the information was largely false, it showed lack of sensitivity in publishing sensitive medical detail,” she said. This, according to her, “has the effect of tarnishing and damaging my reputation. It is as though the Commission set out to ridicule me. “I made it clear to them that I had a nervous breakdown and found it inexplicable as to how hallucinations featured as part of my symptoms. “It is important to make this clear so that the public should be made aware of this and that the Commission should recognise part of her ethos in protecting human dignity.

•Says I’m victim of a crime •Demands retraction of NHRC’s health statement •Commission’s chairman clarifies position By Adebisi Onanuga and Dare Odufowokan

“It has been suggested by some quarters that the Commission appears biased already because of the profile of the person whose reputation is at stake. ”I want to believe that the Commission would approach my case with open mind and in particular recognise me as a victim of crime. “I hope that common sense would prevail and that the Commission should now retract the damaging publication and stop stigmatising me,” she said. The NHRC Chairman said: “As a practice, cases and complaints received by the Commission are processed in accordance with the National

Human Rights Commission Act (as amended) and with the Standing Orders and Rules of Procedure of the Commission. “Having carefully reviewed the work so far undertaken by the staff of the Commission, I find no basis in them for the claims or speculation widely circulated in the media that the Commission has pronounced on the state of health, physical or mental, of the complainant or indeed of any other party in this case. “The Commission takes seriously its responsibility to fully respect the confidentiality of parties before it and to reach its decisions only on the basis of law and evidence. “I should clarify that the team that the Commission sent to Enugu did not include

any medical personnel. It had neither a mandate nor the expertise to pronounce on such matters and has clearly not done so. This is evident on the face of the statement by the Executive Secretary.” He said allegations that the Commission “may have been compromised in the conduct of the case are both factually inaccurate and manifestly unfounded.” Governor Chime had on Tuesday told reporters in Enugu that his wife had health challenges that warranted giving her round- the- clock monitoring and close attention. Mrs. Chime was present at the occasion as were her mother, and brother. She admitted that she was medically challenged.

Dankwambo investigates Goje over N29b


HE immediate past governor of Gombe State, Senator Danjuma Goje, is to face inquisition for allegedly misappropriating N29.8b while in office, it emerged yesterday. G o v e r n o r Ibrahim Dankwambo, however, said the probe is dependent on the report of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission’s (EFCC). Receiving the report of the committee that authenticated pension and gratuity liabilities for the state and local government retirees, the governor said a thorough investigation would be carried out on the alleged misappropriated funds. He said the situation has left the state in a bad financial position, explaining Gombe finds it difficult to execute meaningful projects. The governor stated: “We cannot trace the records of government.These monies have gone into various accounts and have gone

From: Vincent Ohonbamu, Gombe

into third party accounts and diverted from the account of Government.” He cited a reimbursement of N5.7billion from the Federal Government to the state but said the money cannot not be traced. “As Accountant-General of the Federation then, I have records myself that I have reimbursed Gombe State Government in excess of N10billion but N5.7billion has been diverted from the accounts of Government. “We will probe them. EFCC started probing some of them and we are still awaiting the report because the probe has to continue,” Dankwambo stated. He went on: “Immediately EFCC reports to the Government of Gombe State, the reconciliation of the monies that were lodged in respect of refunds that were received from the Federal Government into Gombe State account to the tune of N5.7 billion will con-

tinue. While this is going on, we will continue to reconcile because everyday is a brand new story. “I just heard today of the liability of about N23billion that was left for me. Another N4.5 billion was added. So, the liability of N29.8b is outstanding in respect of the Government of Gombe State that was left for the good and innocent people of Gombe State. “We can’t continue like this because of the ineptitude of certain past leaders who ruled us. We don’t want a situation where we may end up not being able to service Government or end up under another state after striving for the creation of our own state.” He promised to retrieve what rightfully belongs to the people. The chairman of the Committee, Mr. Mikah Kamat, said the committee recommended the immediate adoption of a contributory scheme and the establishment of a Gombe State Pension Commission.


Rampaging herdsmen kill 15 in Benue From: Uja Emmanuel, Makurdi


HE death toll in the ongoing onslaught by suspected Fulani herdsmen on Agatu communities in Benue State has gone up to 15, according to the legislator representing the area in the House of Assembly, Mr. Sule Audu. Audu told The Nation that the marauders now move from one village to the other killing, maiming and burning houses at will. Seven villages have been so attacked, he said. Ten thousand people, including children and women are believed to have been displaced. The Benue State Commissioner for Works and Transport, Mr. John Ngbede, said the Ikpele and Okpopolo communities were attacked again on Tuesday by the herdsmen when most of the people had gone to their farms. “They stormed the communities in a guerrilla fashion, burnt down houses and economic trees and while on their way out they killed two persons and injured two others who are now in critical conditions in the hospital,” the commissioner said. He added: “As I talk to you, there are rumours that the mercenaries are marching towards Iwarri village for further attacks. “Our findings revealed that they stormed our communities from Loco in Nasarawa State from where they boarded speed boats to Omola Local Government Area of Kogi State and from that point they launched attacks on our communities. “It is saddening that these incessant attacks have forced over 6,000 inhabitants of the affected communities and Agatu West to flee their homes for fear of being killed, most of them are now taking refuge in neighbouring Apa Local Government Area and at Obagaji. The Benue State Police command Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Deputy Superintendent Daniel Ezeala, said: “The suspected Fulanis invaded the communities on Tuesday, burning down houses and also killed one person while two others were seriously injured but security has been beefed up in the affected communities.”


Fuel scarcity hits Calabar as NUPENG strikes over bad road From Nicholas Kalu, Calabar


ILLING stations in Calabar, the Cross River State capital, were closed yester-

day. This was sequel to the strike aby the Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) in the state. An official of the union, who did not want his name in print, said the strike was in protest of the terrible state of the Odukpani axis of the Calabar-Itu Highway, which is the main road tankers’ driver ply in and out of the city. “We are going on strike to call attention of the government to fix that road. And we will continue until something is done about that road. “Just yesterday, a truck fell down along that road causing serious traffic jam. And that is what happens to tankers on that road on a daily basis. I’m not even talking about accidents that claim lives and spoil people’s vehicles all the time,” the unionist said. It was observed that only major marketers were selling petrol in the city yesterday. However, some stations that opened yesterday night were selling petrol for N130 to N150 per litre. Black market operators were also selling within the same price range.


N255million car scandal: Oduah’s 12 sins by Reps panel A fresh insight into the report of the House of Representatives Committee on Aviation on the probe of the controversial two armoured cars shows that 12 infractions are standing against the name of embattled Aviation Minister Stella Oduah. The vehicles were bought at a total cost of N255 million by the National Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) allegedly for the minister in violation of due process. Both the minister and the agency have denied any breach of the rules and said the vehicles were for operational use only. However, the committee in its 20-page report, which was laid before the plenary of the House of Representatives on Thursday, said it traced massive violations of the rules by the minister in the transaction for 54 cars, including the BMW armoured cars, by the NCAA. The committee said it discovered that on April 25,

FROM: Yusuf Alli, Managing Editor, Northern Operation

2013, the minister approved NCAA’s request to procure 55 operational vehicles valued at N564, 665,000.00. The agency then went ahead to secure a loan of N643, 088,250 for 54 vehicles. But it could not explain what it wanted to do or did with the balance of N78, 423,250. The panel also said it could not trace one of the disputed BMW cars based on the chassis numbers on the receipt issued by Coscharis Motors Limited. The House has not fixed a date for the consideration of the report. The report reads in part: “The 2013 Appropriation Act provides for the purchase of 25 vehicles at the of N240,000,000 namely (i) Toyota Pickup Hilux(5); (ii) Toyota Corolla(10); (iii) Toyota Land Cruiser(5); (iv) Toyota Hiace(3); and (v) Security Inspection Vehicles for

Safety/Security(2). “That there was no appropriation for the purchase of two (2) bulletproof (armoured cars) in 2013 Appropriation Act. “NCAA proposal for the purchase of the two BMW armoured cars worth N140million was earlier rejected by the Committee. What was provided for in the budget were two security vehicles for inspection of perimeter fence. “That Hon. Minister of Aviation claimed that the purchase of two (2) bulletproof BMW armoured cars were provided for in the 2013 Budget of the NCAA. This submission by the Hon. Minister is incorrect. “The 2013 Appropriation provides for two operational/ security vehicles for the inspection of perimeter fences and not two (2) BMW bulletproof cars as purported by the Minister and NCAA. “On April 15, 2013, the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) applied to the Hon.

Minister of Aviation via a memo NCAA/DG/04/1/13 for approval to acquire a total of 51 operational vehicles at a total cost of N564, 665,000.00. “NCAA’s application was approved by the Hon. Minister via a memo FMA/ NCAA/ T44555/5.6/T2/136 dated April 25, 2013. This approval contradicts the following: • The 25 operational vehicles approved in NCAA 2013 Budget • The approval value is above the limit of Ministerial Tenders Board. Whereas the approved revised thresholds for service wide application pursuant to Section 16(2) Public Procurement Act 2009(as amended) a minister’s limit is N100million, in approving N564, 665,000 as evidence Ref. No. /FMA/ T44555/S.6/T2/136. She was in breach of the law. • No evidence of Due Process was shown by NCAA/Ministry of Aviation “The Hon. Minister of

Amosun preaches unity, oneness By Sunday Oguntola


GUN State governor, Ibikunle Amosun, has challenged Nigerians to work towards a peaceful coexistence. He said Nigerians should continue to see themselves as one regardless of their religious, racial and cultural differences. Amosun spoke yesterday at the dedication of the Rhema Christian Church and Towers’ 10,000- seater cathedral in Sango Ota, Ogun State. He said: “We must see ourselves either in the state or the country as a whole, first as Nigerians, binding together in unity and jointly seek the progress of the nation.” The governor said Nigerians should always endeavour to replicate the spirit of oneness, which comes to the fore anytime Nigeria is involved in an international football match. Amosun, who charged the Presiding Bishop of the church, Bishop Taiwo Akinola, to continue preaching on unity and holiness, maintained that where the spirit of unity exists, ethnicity and religious crisis would be completely eliminated. He harped on the needs for spiritual rejuvenation in the country since the present generation gives little thought to their spiritual growth. Amosun said this informed the decision to re-introduce religious studies as a mandatory subject in Ogun State from primary to secondary schools. According to him: “If we are developing the state, we must make sure we develop ourselves spiritually as well. We must also continue to support our churches so that we can move forward spiritually.”

•Supervising Minister of Education, Nyesom Wike and Director General of United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) during a strategic partnership meeting at the UNESCO Headquarters in Paris... at the weekend

National Dialogue: North-East kicks against ethnic representation


ROMINENT groups and persons from the North East led by Bauchi State governor, Isa Yuguda, yesterday kicked against the use of ethnic nationalities to pick delegates to the proposed National Dialogue. They made their views known at the NorthEast Public Hearing on the conference organised by the Presidential Advisory Committee on National Dialogue. They said such representation would defeat the purpose for which the c o n f e r e n c e i s being convened. Yuguda said the use of ethnic nationalities was not feasible, arguing that his state alone has over 50 ethnic groups while Taraba has over 100.

“Therefore, it is not possible to have every tribe represented, as this can create room for chaos,’’ he said. Yuguda, who said the views were his personal opinion, explained that the idea behind the conference was laudable. The governor said those condemning it on the ground that it could disunite the country are mistaken. In their paper to the committee, the people of NorthEast suggested a change of the name of the conference from “National Dialogue’’ to “Good Governance Dialogue’’. Speaking on behalf of the zone’s people, the Secretary of North-East Zone Forum for Unity and Development, Mr. Sani Abdul, attributed Nigeria’s problem to the attitude of the elite.

Abdul said those suggesting that representation should be based on ethnic groups were calling for anarchy and chaos. The Gombe State Government, in its paper presented by one Mr. Musa Mohammed, suggested that three representatives at the conference should come from the Local Government Areas (LGAs). It also suggested a timeframe of three months for the conference to be concluded. The Acting Governor of Taraba, Garba Umar, suggested that the conference should be attended by 15 delegates from each state. He said the conference should also be concluded before the 2015 elections. In its paper presented by Alhaji Mohammed

Maishanu, the Bauchi State Government suggested that the composition of delegates should be on state by state basis. ‘Each state should present 100 delegates, made up of 50 elected and 50 selected and the conference should last for between three and six months from January 2014,’’ it said. On the legal framework of the conference, the Bauchi state government suggested that a bill be sent to the National Assembly to give its outcome a legal backing. Chairman of the Presidential Advisory Committee on National Dialogue, Sen. Femi Okurounmu, urged those participating to make suggestions on the structure, composition and legal framework of the proposed conference. He said fears that the proposed conference could lead to the break-up of the country was not justifiable.


Aviation also claimed that the lease financing arrangement would ensure that NCAA pays N100million by the end of 2013 fiscal year while the balance of N16million will be paid in the following years. “This amount according to the Minister fell below what is required for the Federal Executive Council (FEC) approval.” The panel said that while documents from NCAA indicated that on April 25, 2013 the minister approved the agency’s request to procure 55 operational vehicles valued at N564, 665,000.00, “there is no evidence to show that the Hon. Minister presented NCAA’s request to FEC for its approval. “Furthermore, the attempt to procure now and pay later is against the Extant Laws of the Federation.” On the armoured car which it claimed it could not trace during investigation, the panel said: “The stored receipt of NCAA in respect of the two (2) BMW vehicles bears chassis No. DW68044 and DW68032. “Upon physical inspection of the vehicles in the custody of NCAA by the Aviation Committee, two BMW vehicles were cited and inspected DW68011 and DW68044. “The BMW vehicle with chassis number DW68032 was not seen. Messrs Coscharis explanation on this issue is not supported by available documents.” The panel made seven recommendations to the House of Representatives as follows: • Given the fact that the two BMW armoured vehicles procured in the process were not provided for in the 2013 Appropriation Law nor was due process followed in their procurement, the Ministry of Aviation and NCAA should terminate with immediate effect all transactions and loan agreement it entered into with First Bank Nigeria Plc and all contracts awarded thereto; • That all monies so far spent on the entire transaction should be recovered and returned back to the Federation Account; • The President, Federal Republic of Nigeria should review the continued engagement of the Hon. Minister of Aviation, Princess Stella Oduah, having contravened the Appropriation Act and Approved Revised Thresholds by exceeding her approval limit of N100m with the purchase of 54 vehicles value at N643m • That EFCC and other relevant anti-corruption agencies should: (a) Further investigate the discrepancies in the chassis Number DW68032 of the vehicles on the one reported to be delivered and the one inspected by the committee; and (b) Further investigate and if found wanting, prosecute all persons/ institutions involved in the transaction • The former Acting DG, Mr. Nkemakola Joyce, and Director of Finance, Mr. S. Ozigi, should be sanctioned in accordance with the Civil Service Rules for deliberately breaching the 2013 Appropriation Act/ Extant Laws of the Federation • That Coscharis Motors Nigeria Limited should be investigated on the issue of waiver, source and exact cost of the two BMW vehicles supplied to NCAA; • Coscharis should be made to pay the value of the waiver into treasury account.




Community leader lauds FG over immunisation

Abuja-Lokoja road to be completed by March 2014, says Minister



HE Minister of State for Works, Amb. Bashir Yuguda, yesterday said the AbujaLokoja highway would be completed in the first quarter of 2014. Yuguda said this while inspecting ongoing work on the Abuja-Lokoja and Obajana-Okene-Auchi roads. He said the four sections of the Abuja-Lokoja road consist of 200 kilometres but that work on 150 kilometres has been completed. ``By the end of the first quarter of 2014, this particular road's dualisation will be completed. ``We have certainly attained 80 per cent of work on the road and, having achieved this, I am sure the ministry will surely deliver as assured,'' Yuguda said. The minister explained that part of the funds from the Subsidy Re'-investment and Empowerment Programme (SURE-P) were being used to fund the project. ``The programme is benefiting from SURE-P. With that, I am certain that money constraints will not be a problem,'' he said. While expressing satisfaction with the quality of work done so far on the road, Yuguda called for a speedy completion of work on major routes. He said this would enhance a free flow of traffic during the upcoming yuletide period.

Engineers frown at search for investors abroad From Odogwu Emeka Odogwu, Nnewi


HE Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE) yesterday condemned what it called the neglect of local investors and called on the federal government to protect local industries and investors. Its National President, Mustafa Shehu, told newsmen in Onitsha that it was condemnable how government officials travel abroad in search of investors when local investors are relegated to the background. Shehu spoke during the 9th International Conference and Exhibition on Power and Telecommunication at the Institution of Electrical and Electronics Engineers. He tasked government to consciously and deliberately create a policy that will protect local industries. The Minister of Communication and Technology, Mrs. Omobola Johnson, who was represented, by John Ayodele, Director, Postal and Telecommunication, said that ICT will help to commercialise traditional agricultural opportunities in Nigeria as well as create new job opportunities in the sector. The National Chairman of Institution of Electrical and Electronics Engineering, Adekunle Makinde, lamented that the telecom and power sectors have remained in the hands of foreign engineers in Nigeria.

•L-R: Mother of Consul General, American Embassy, Mrs. Susan Waster; Ekiti State Governor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi; US Consul General, Mr. Jittery Hawkins and Special Adviser to the Governor on Public Private Partnership (PPP), Mr. Segun Ologunleko, during Hawkins’ courtesy call on the governor in Ado Ekiti... on Wednesday.

Jonathan in fresh consultation over S/West ministerial nominees P

RESIDENT Goodluck Jonathan is to hold a fresh round of consultations with Southwest Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) leaders and stakeholders to guide him on the ministerial nominees' list from the zone. Reliable party's sources told The Nation that following weeks of unending uproar within the party in the zone over some names allegedly listed by the president for ministerial appointments, Jonathan may have resolved to consult wider on the issue. It was learnt that the president is staying action on nomination from the Southwest until his planned consultation. A source said one of the meetings may take place as early as Tuesday. The names of Minister of Transport in the Abacha government, Chief Ebenezer Babatope and PDP chieftain in Osun State, Alhaji Fatai Akinbade, are reported to be on the list. It was even reported that the duo may have appeared before some security agencies

By Dare Odufowokan, Assistant Editor

for screening as part of the process leading to their confirmation as members of the federal cabinet. But some prominent leaders and members of the party in the zone are uncomfortable with the possible appointment of the duo. The Nation learnt that a group of PDP stalwarts from Osun State led by a former deputy national chairman of the party, are opposed to the choice of Akinbade as replacement for Erelu Olusola Obada. The group feels Akinbade, a governorship aspirant of the party, who has led a faction of the party for years, is too sectional to be made a minister representing the state in the federal cabinet. A source said: "Akinbade is a good material for ministerial appointment, no doubt. But when you consider his place in Osun politics in the last four years, you will understand why some of us feel he cannot be minister at this

point in time. "The minister we need now is a non-aligned person who can and will be able to carry all sections and groups within the party along without being cast in the toga of a factional leader." The Nation learnt that opposition to Babatope's nomination is largely from outside Osun State. The ex-Minister of Transport is said to have been nominated to fill the zonal ministerial slot vacated by Olugbenga Ashiru from Ogun state. Another party chief familiar with the development said: "We are saying it is not logical to have two vacancies and you fill the two vacancies from one place out of the six places available. "We have six states in the Southwest. The slot vacated by Ashiru is not for Osun State. It is for the whole zone. "Given the fact that election is fast approaching, it is advisable to give the slot to a state like Lagos where the president can garner huge votes.

"One minister is enough to galvanise Osun for the PDP. We need more than one person to make impact in Lagos." Buoyed up by the President's instruction to the national leadership of the PDP that would-be ministerial nominees must be widely accepted within their political blocs, some party leaders had drawn his attention to the widespread opposition plaguing the choices he has allegedly made, especially in the Southwest. The Nation learnt that prominent PDP leaders in Osun State are rooting for the replacement of Akinbade's name with that of Engineer Ezekiel Adeniji, Chairman, Federal Roads Maintenance Agency (FERMA) while there is a strong move from Lagos and Ondo states to have one of their own replace Babatope. Sola Oke, Remi AdiukwuBakare, Deji Doherty and Ade Dosunmu are still featuring prominently on the lips of those seeking the removal of Babatope's names from the ministerial nominees' list.

Rivers renames Assembly after ex-deputy speaker R IVERS State governor, Rotimi Amaechi, yesterday renamed the State House of Assembly complex, Port Harcourt after a one- time Speaker, Mr. Tonye Harry. Amaechi, at the funeral service for Harry at St. Alban's Anglican Church, Obuama in Degema Local Government Area of the state, said the complex would henceforth be called "Rt. Hon. Tonye Willie Harry House of Assembly" to immortalise the deceased. In a tribute, the governor hailed Harry for his selflessness. He said: "Tonye was older. I insisted he should be my deputy. He was somebody you could depend on. Tonye was a good man. During my second term as

From Bisi Olaniyi, Port Harcourt

speaker, I left the House of Assembly for him and he did well. "Tonye was very friendly. He did not depend on medical doctors but relied on God. He said if he went to France and came back, he would serve God. "Obuama was not like this before Tonye became speaker. Tonye was a powerful speaker and lived with the persons he helped. "Whatever function you gave to Tonye, he would discharge it very well. He was a good accountant, even in the Rivers House of Assembly. "When I was speaker, I was always running to Tonye's house to eat and I

would sleep off. Why do bad things happen to good people? God is allowing those of us who are bad to repent in order not to go to hell." Also at the service were Rivers Deputy Governor, Tele Ikuru, an engineer, and his wife, Dr. Mina; the representative of Rivers Southeast Senatorial District, Magnus Abe; a member of the House of Representatives, Dakuku Peterside, representing Andoni-Opobo/Nkoro constituency of Rivers state; Amachree; and the Deputy Speaker of Rivers Assembly, Leyii Kwanee, among other eminent personalities. But the Supervising Minister of Education, Nyesom Wike and other anti-Amaechi forces in the state were

conscipiously missing at the funeral. Harry, until his death from heart attack on October 4, was the Chairman of the House Committee on Works and one of the 27 legislators loyal to Governor Amaechi. He was deputy speaker of the Assembly between 1999 and 2007 when Amaechi served as speaker. He emerged as speaker in 2007 and continued to lead the House until 2011. He was re-elected a member of the Assembly in 2011 but Otelemaba Dan Amachree was elected speaker. The deceased represented Degema constituency. The officiating minister, the Rt. Rev. Ralph Ebirien, said the deceased "identified with the people of Obuama. He also did well in Degema LG and Rivers State.”

HE Esu of Bwari in the FCT, Ibrahim Yaro, has expressed hope in the ongoing immunisation against polio and meningitis, saying it would help in improving health conditions of Nigerians. Yaro said this yesterday in Bwari while addressing participants at the inauguration of the FCT Immunisation Against Meningitis at the Esu Palace. ``This exercise which starts from today and will end on Monday, Nov. 18 is being carried out in the various communities in Bwari for people who are between the ages of 1 and 29 years. ``The disease is an inflammation caused by infection with viruses, bacteria or other micro-organisms. ``Ìt thrives more during the dry season, which is why this immunisation is important to protect Bwari residents from the scourge,'' Yaro, who was represented by Mr. Lukta Zamishi, the Secretary of Bwari Area Council, said. He said the exercise was a right step towards the early protection of people from disease infections, such as meningitis and polio, and an improvement on their health. Yaro, however, said he was happy with the kick-off of the immunisation in his area because it would help to protect the residents from the outbreak of the disease. ``I believe that this exercise will also help to improve the health of not only the residents, but it will also boost their immunity and ensure a better future for them," he said.

Tinubu, Aregbesola, Ajimobi, others for 200 years of Yorubas in Ghana


GRAND reception in honour of former Lagos State governor, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, holds on November 23 at Accra, during the celebration of 200 years of the Yoruba race in Ghana. The event organised by the patrons, executive council and all Yoruba in Ghana will also witness the conferment of Yoruba heritage awards on prominent Yoruba indigenes. Recipients of the award include the Oyo State governor, Abiola Ajimobi; his Osun State counterpart, Rauf Aregbesola and Chairman Energy Bank, Ghana, Barrister Jimoh Ibrahim. Others include First Lady of Ekiti State, Erelu Bisi Fayemi; Aare Musulumi of Yoruba land, Alhaji Arisekola Alao; veteran actor and writer, Adebayo Faleti, and former Nigerian High Commissioner to Ghana, Musiliu Obanikoro, among others. There will also be presentation of Exploits of a migrants' community: Chronicles of Yoruba in Ghana, dedicated to Tinubu. The book is written by Joshua Bolatito Olalere, Managing Editor at Delight Communications West Africa Limited, a publishing and media consultancy firm. The celebration holds at Aviation Social Centre, Accra.



Identity Management: Sambo enrols, commends NIMC

Nigeria loses N455 billion yearly to poor sanitation From: Frank Ikpefan, Abuja

IGERIA loses about N455 billion annually to poor sanitation and hygiene, the Director Water Quality Control and Sanitation, Ministry of Water Resources, Samuel Ome, has stated. He also stated that over 100 million Nigerians lack access to improved sanitation and hygiene. According to him, a clean environment is important for a healthy nation. Ome stated these in Abuja at the launch of Rural Sanitation and Hygiene Promotion in Nigeria (RUSHPIN). He said: “Nigeria loses about N455 billion annually due to poor sanitation. The benefits of good sanitation far outweigh the costs, including health care costs and lost productivity. “Over 100 million people have no access to improved sanitation and a large portion of the population practice open defecation. “The implication of the low level access to sanitation is the high diarrhea prevalence rates of 10% and under 5 mortality, 157 live births as well as other sanitation and hygiene related diseases such as scabies, typhoid fever, malaria, trachoma and ringworm. “The Millennium Development Goals MDGs for sanitation is to reduce by half in 2015, the proportion of the world’s population without sustainable access to basic sanitation.” He added: “Inadequate sanitation coupled with population increase and rapid urbanisation rates have created serious deficiency in the quality of life of an average Nigerian with dire consequences on hygiene, food, security, health, and standard of living. “Hygiene promotion is crucial if people are to use facilities properly and avoid water and sanitation related diseases. By adopting basic hygiene practices such as hand washing at critical times, diarrheal diseases in children can be drastically reduced.”



CAC Baba Abiye’s convention kicks off


HE theme of the annual convention of Christ Apostolic Church (CAC) Ori-Oke Baba Abiye Ede Osun State is Dry bones shall live. The convention holds from November 13-15. A statement by the host, Prophet Funsho Akande, said Bishop Wale Oke, Pastor Segun Olatunde, Rev. Ade Ajala and Evangelist Bola Are are some of the invited ministers. He assured that expectant mothers and participants seeking salvation, healing and deliverance will return with fullness of joy. The event holds at CAC Ori Oke Baba Abiye (IbadanIwo-Osogbo Highway, Iwoye junction Ede, Osun State).


•Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola SAN (2nd left) condoling the widow and children of the late Chief Akin Leigh, Mrs. Rotimi Akin Leigh (left), Toyin Akin Leigh (2nd right) and Tosin Akin Leigh during a condolence visit to the family at their Lekki Phase 1 residence in the weekend.

NOSDRA blames polluted foods for low life expectancy T

HE Director General, National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA), Sir Peter Idabor, has attributed decreasing life expectancy in the nation to consumption of polluted foods. The DG explained that low life expectancy in the nation is largely connected to the increase in oil spillage, which contaminates foods. Idabor spoke during at a briefing over the weekend in Abuja. He lamented that youths believe vandalising pipeline is a quick means of making money without considering the adverse effects. Idabor said: “Our life expectancy is coming down. Young men and women are dying in their prime today because of what they eat: polluted substances we collect through the food chains through our vegetables we eat, snails, fishes and all others. “I heard they bring snails from Port Harcourt. What

From: Olugbenga Adanikin, Abuja

those snails eat is a mixture of oil and mud.” He explained that oil spill is a fuelled by a crop of operators with little conscience. The Board Chairman, Maj. Lancelot Ayanya (rtd), said through the current amendment of the Act establishing the agency by the National Assembly, NOSDRA will be

able to put in place most stringent penalties for oil spillers. He said to create disincentive for oil spillers, the present amendment act in the National Assembly will cater for fines and penalties. According to Ayanya, such fines are not to fund the agency but serve as a strong message of deterrent to those who spill. He said: “If you are in business of making money and

African groups write Obama


O fewer than 75 African groups have written to American President, Barack Obama, to “reject any further extraction of and exploitation of fossil fuels, including natural gas, oil, coal and unconventional fossil fuels”. This, they said, will weaken the greenhouse gas cap of the US development finance institution, the Overseas Private Investment Corporation. The letter was part of ac-

•Seek better environment

tivities to commemorate the killing of the environmentalist, Ken Saro-Wiwa and eight other Ogoni leaders executed on November 1995 by the military junta of the late General Sani Abacha. The groups urged support for “small-scale, decentralised, community-owned renewable energy initiatives throughout the African countryside and cities.”

NAPTIN graduates 243 electric engineers


HE National Power training Institute of Nigeria (NAPTIN) has graduated 243 electrical engineering trainees through its Graduate Skills Development Programme (NGSDP). The Minister of Power, Prof Chinedu Nebo, who presented certificates to the graduates at Abuja, noted thier passing out was very timely since the privatization of the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) has boosted the demand for skilled electrical engineers. He expressed optimistism that the graduates would turn around the power sector. Nebo, who noted that capacity building is key to development of the power sector, recalled that federal government recently commissioned two power plants. He said that the federal government will soon commission the remaining eight National Integrated Power Project (NIPP), stressing that all the plants would be

there are regulations of how you can make this money, the only way of discouraging you from behaving anyhow is to touch your bottomline. I think part of the content of the amendment act is to give more teeth to NOSDRA. “Part of the amendment is to punish more stringently the offenders and to ensure that with the right sanctions in place, there is no incentive for you if you spill oil.”

From: John Ofikhenua, Abuja

manned by skilled engineers. The Director General of NAPTIN, Engineer Reuben Okeke, said that NGSDP programme was conceived as a pro-reform initiative to build the professional level technical manpower required to match up with the infrastructural expansion in the power sector. He said: “NAPTIN realised that the quick delivery of projects in the sector can only be completed by the availability of professional manpower in the sector if the re-

form process is to have the desired impact.” Following the launch of the programme in 2012, Nebo stated that over 1,530 applications were received nationwide with a total of about 243 graduate trainees eventually admitted and enrolled. He stated that nine states including Anambra, Bornu, Ebonyi, Kano, Katsina, Plateau, Rivers, Sokoto and Yobe, sponsored their indigenes for the programmes. 243 engineers were trained including 92 for generation, 72 for distribution and 79 for transmission.

The executive director of Friends of the Earth Nigeria, one of the groups that wrote the letter, Godwin Ojo, said: “18 years after the extra judicial murder of Ken Saro-Wiwa for resisting corporate rule instigated by Shell, the aggressive extraction of fossil fuels and other forms of dirty energy continue unabated, instigating injustices, oppression and ecological genocide in the Niger Delta and many other parts of Africa and the world. “That is why we are launching this letter today to President Obama to reject support for dirty energy as part of his Power Africa initiative.” The coordinator, Friend of the Earth Africa, Siziwe Khanyile, said: “We’re facing catastrophic climate change and grabbing of territories of communities for dirty energy and false solutions.” KwamiKpondzo of Friends of the Earth Togo said: “Small scale solutions can provide us with sustainable lives and livelihoods without sinking our health along with that of the continent and the planet.”

LASACO Assurance losestained Chairman MBA in 1974. HE Chairman of


LASACO Assurance Plc,Mr. Edward Akin Leigh, is dead. He was aged 65. The well-known administrator, oil/gas and business management consultant passed on last Monday. Leigh was educated at

the Methodist Boys’ High School and King’s College, Lagos from 1961 to the 1967 and graduated from University of Ibadan, Oyo State in 1971. He also attended Graduate School of Business Administration, University of Wisconsin, Madison, Wisconsin, U.S.A. where he ob-

He worked in Mobil Nigeria before voluntarily resigning in 1994 to set up his own firm. He held the traditional titles of “Baaloro of Itoku” and “Asiwaju Gbadeniyi of Egba Land”. He is survived by his wife,Adenike and children.

ICE President Nnamadi S a m b o h a s commended the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) for its transparent and diligent implementation of the scheme. He said it was important to produce a national database for economic planning, healthcare delivery, and educational development and security. Sambo spoke when he was enrolled by NIMC and issued the all-important National Identification Number (NIN) last week at the Council Chamber of the Conference room in the Presidential Villa, Abuja. Also enrolled were the Chief of Staff to the President, Chief Mike Ogiadomhe and the Special Adviser to the Vice President on Political Matters, Alhaji Abba Dabo. Ogiadomhe called on the private and public sectors to harmonise their activities involving biometric data capture, storage and retrieval instead of duplicating their functions. The Director General of NIMC, Mr. Chris Onyemenam, said that the enrolment process has been tested and rolled out. He called on Nigerians to enroll for their identity numbers, saying “It is designed and created to minimise human intervention.”

Group seeks accelerated hearing for Uba's suit


N advocacy group, Anambra Justice Network, has appealed to the Chief Justice of the Federation, Justice Aloma Muktar, to ensure the accelerated hearing of the case filed by Senator Andy Uba seeking to be declared as the PDP cndidate for next weekend Anambra governorship election. Uba had failed in his bid to be joined in the suit filed by Nicholas Ukachukwu challenging the declaration of Tony Nwoye as the party’s candidate. A statement by the group’s coordinator, Kingsley Nwachukwu, said: “We hereby appeal to the Chief Justice of the Federation to use her good office to ensure the accelerated hearing of Senator Andy Uba’s case seeking to be declared as the PDP candidate in he forthcoming Anambra governorship election. “It would amount to gross injustice if the case is not heard before the election. We believe that the Chief Justice would not shut out someone who is seeking justice from the temple of justice since the judiciary remains the last hope of all law- abiding citizens.” The group expressed surprise that the case earlier slated to be heard last Tuesday did not come up. It said: “The case is crucial not only to Uba but to the state as a whole as denying him hearing will be unfair and unjust. to the electorate whose choice will now be restricted.”




Ikuforiji assures foreign investors on sea transportation By Oziegbe Okoeki


HE Speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly, Hon. Adeyemi Ikuforiji, has promised foreign investors willing to invest in the state's sea transportation sector of a conducive and enabling environment. Ikuforiji gave this assurance while receiving a team of foreign investors from the United States of America and Spain in his office. The investors, who were led by the Chairmen, House Committee on Transportation and Agriculture, Bisi Yusuf Ibrahim Layode respectively indicated their willingness to invest in sea transportation along the coastal routes of Lagos. One of the investors, Mr. Arthur Polk, said the team had visited Badagry and Epe to see existing infrastructures for agricultural purposes.

Two feared killed in Osun clash over ownership of MKO Airport A

T least two persons were feared killed and about 15 others critically injured in a bloody clash on Saturday between Ede and Ido-Osun communities in Egbedore Local Government Area of Osun State. It was gathered that trouble started in the early hours of yesterday when the people of Ido-Osun community woke up to discover the erection of a signpost allegedly

From Adesoji Adeniyi, Osogbo

by some Ede indigenes which reads "this land belong to Ede" in the area where the ongoing construction of the multi-billion naira MKO Abiola International Airport at Ido-Osun is sited. The people of Ido-Osun were said to have mobilised some youths to the site and removed the signpost which eventually led to a violent

clash between the two communities. The people of Ido-Osun were said to have been caught unawares by the youths of Ede, who allegedly macheted many people before the intervention of the police. The two warring communities, it was gathered, are claiming ownership of the site of the new airport which is being financed by the state government.

The Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) in Osun State, Mrs. Folasade Odoro, said a number of arrests have been made but however failed to mention the exact figure. She disclosed that a detachment of anti-riot police have been stationed in the area on the orders of the state Commissioner of Police, Mrs. Dorothy Gimba, to restore peace, law and order.

Lagos economy rakes in N1billion from 2012 end-ofyear countdown By Miriam Ekene-Okoro


HE Lagos State Government generated N1billion during the 2012 end-of-year countdown into year 2013. The Managing Director, Lagos State Signage and Advertisement Agency (LASAA), Mr. George Noah, who disclosed this while rolling out plans for this year's countdown to 2014, said this was generated from the series of economic activities during the celebration. According to him, "about 1,000 people were employed including caterers, retailers, entertainers and security personnel. In addition, the Bar Beach stretch attracted over 200,000 people in 10days. What LASAA is doing on behalf of the state government is leveraging the proposition of Lagos as a premium destination for business and leisure." He explained that the world-class event was conceived by the state Governor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, in order to put Lagos on the global map in the league of cities such as New York, Dubai, London, Sydney, and other major destinations that commemorate the crossover into the New Year. "Just like last year, this year's Countdown Festival will hold at the Bar Beach stretch, Victoria Island and will commence on December 7, 2013 and culminate on the 1st of January 2014. Noah stressed that the Lagos countdown is about instituting an enduring crossover tradition, commerce, employment generation, leisure, entertainment and tourism. He said activities will commence from December 7, and climax on January 1, 2014 at the Bar Beach with spectacular display of fireworks.

•Picture shows the first Vice District 404 A1 Gov, Lion International, Engr. Laitan Onalaja (First right) with the past Chairman Council of District Governors, Lions International, Lion Prof. Ayoade Adesokan (Fourth right) with others at the 2013 Integrated Measles Campaign at the Adeniji Adele Primary Health Centre Lagos.

Lagos Assembly condemns PDP’s criticism of residents' registration


HE Chairman, Committee on Information, Strategy, Security and Publicity in the Lagos State House of Assembly, Segun Olulade, has slammed the stance of the Lagos State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) condemning the ongoing residents' registration

By Oziegbe Okoeki

exercise in the state. In a statement issued by the lawmaker yesterday, he described those he accused of mixing politics with development as lacking basic and required knowledge about planning and coordination. He reminded the PDP leadership in Lagos State

that registration of residents is a global practice, without which the government cannot plan its policies and programmes. The lawmaker noted that the activities of Lagos State Residents Registration Agency (LASRRA) which is saddled with carrying out the exercise is backed by law of the State House of Assem-

bly stressing that any attempt to link the Agency's work to politics is condemnable. He urged Lagosians to continue with the registration exercise, while assuring that the exercise it is not intended for election purposes or tax witch hunting as being claimed in certain quarters.

Alakija laid to rest amid encomiums


MID encomiums, the remains of the first female Head of Service in the country, Mrs. Tejumade Alakija, was on Friday laid to rest in her hometown, Ile-Ife, Osun State. In attendance at the funeral service held at the Saint Peter's Anglican Church, Iremo in Ile-Ife were several dignitaries including the Ekiti State governor, Dr.

From Adesoji Adeniyi, Osogbo

Kayode Fayemi and his Oyo State counterpart, Senator Abiola Ajimobi. Others were the representatives of the Ooni of Ife, Oba Okunade Sijuade, Gen. Alani Akinriade (Retd.) and former Governor of the defunct Western Region, Gen. Adeyinka Adebayo, the Osun State Head of Service, Mr. Sunday Olayinka Owoeye, to

mention but a few. The Osun State Governor, Rauf Aregbesola, who was represented by his deputy, Mrs. Grace Titi Laoye-Tomori, described the late renowned civil servant as a rare gem. Ajimobi praised the late Head of Service, stating that the country has lost another great person who contributed significantly to the growth of civil service in the

country. The Ekiti State governor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, said Princess Alakija's legacy would remain indelible in the history of Nigera's civil service. Fayemi recalled that the late Alakija was appointed the Head of Service based on merit and not due to the influence of her father, whom he described as a respected and foremost politician and traditional ruler.

NURTW crisis: Ondo govt sues for peace


HE Ondo State government has urged members of the state chapter of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) to be law-abiding and maintain peace in the discharge of their duties. The Special Assistant to the state governor, Dr. Olusegun Mimiko on Labour

From Ojo Damisi

Matters, Mr. Dayo Fadahunsi, stated this while addressing some leaders of the union on the recent protest over the issue of leadership. He called on the protesting NURTW members to adhere to the directives from the national headquarters of

the union, asking the former chairman of the union, Chief Obayoriade Oladutele, to step aside pending the outcome of the investigations on alleged improprieties leveled against him. Fadahunsi added that an acting chairman of the state NURTW has been appointed in the person of Mr.

Omobomi Ajisafe, while assuring that there is no plan to dissolve the state executive council, branches and units of the union in the state. He, therefore, appealed to the union members to allow peace to reign, noting that government will not hesitate to deal with any person or group that engages in breach of public peace.

'2014 budget'll enhance development of Lagos' By Oziegbe Okoeki


HE Deputy Whip of the Lagos State House of Assembly, Rotimi Abiru, has expressed hope that the 2014 budget, which was presented by the state Governor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, last Wednesday, will bring more development to the state. Abiru, however, maintained that the House of Assembly will ensure that a thorough job is done on the budget before its passage. The lawmaker added, "As legislators, we will focus on how the budget can maximally benefit the generality of our people and address the issues of poverty and deprivation. Therefore, we will do everything within our legislative powers to give this budget proposal the detailed attention it deserves for the benefit, prosperity, growth and development of Lagos State and Lagosians." He emphasised that the House will ensure that the 2014 budget spreads opportunity to every street in Lagos. "We will work to ensure that the current school funding system will not fail our future generations; we will also ensure that our children are equipped to take up the high-wage, high-skill job the future promises or, better still, have a special focus on entrepreneurship so that our youths will create jobs rather than look for jobs. "We will ensure that the budget addresses the issue of gender empowerment; public debt management; the physically challenged in our society; investment in high quality infrastructure; fairer and stronger tax system; increase in pension allowances in line with inflation; capacity building; affordable housing; all encompassing quality health care system and advanced medical science."

Yoruba group in North America supports National Conference By Joe Agbro


HE National Association of Yoruba Descendants in North America (Egbe Omo Yoruba) has thrown its weight behind the proposed National Conference. The decision was reached after its 4th quarter National Executive Council (NEC) meeting which held on recently in Missouri, the United States. In a communiqué issued after the meeting, the group said, "It's imperative to restructure Nigeria to ensure the enthronement of federalism." The group reiterated "the Yoruba's right to self-determination as guaranteed by the United Nations charter on people's rights." It also urged that the conference resolutions should be affirmed through a referendum by the people. It also urged the Dr. Femi Okunronmu-led Advisory Committee for the National Dialogue to extend its consultation with the Yoruba in the Diaspora for its perspectives on the conference.



• Suntai


ARUNA Tsokwa ,47,had the state House of Assembly effectively under his control.With 15 of the 24 members on his side, and by extension, on the side of Acting Governor Garba Umar, he had the ability to tilt the scale in whatever direction he chose in the struggle for power between recuperating Governor Danbaba Suntai and the acting governor. However,last Monday,he slumped and died of a “heartrelated ailment”. Some people attribute his death to the crisis.Maybe. The deceased had led 15 of the 24-member Assembly to stop Governor Danbaba Suntai from resuming duty on his return from medical treatment abroad. The governor had been critically injured on October 25, last year when a plane he flew crashed in Yola, Adamawa State. The state lapsed into confusion upon his return in August after the late Speaker pronounced him unfit to author a letter in which he sought the permission of the legislature to resume work. Instead,Tsokwa with the support of the majority members of the assembly,mandated Umar to continue to act as governor and insisted that Suntai should return to the United States of America for further treatment.The governor replied that he was well and fit to function.His supporters would not hear of any move to stop him from returning to office immediately.Courtesy calls on him followed in quick succession to debunk claims that he could neither recognise

• Tsokwa

• Umar

Will Speaker’s death end Taraba impasse? A key factor in resolving the political conundrum in Taraba State,Haruna Tsokwa ,unexpectedly died last week, upsetting calculations about the conflict.He was Speaker of the State Assembly and a strong ally of Acting Governor Garba Umar. Senior Correspondent FANEN IHYONGO writes that Tsokwa’s death could turn out to be an opportunity for the other players in the stalemate to reach a truce. people and nor speak coherently. The PDP, of which all the players in the crisis are members, dispatched a fact-finding team led by Senator Hope Uzodinma as part of the efforts to find a solution to the logjam. The team recommended that power be ceded to Umar in an acting capacity but said he must take instructions from Suntai on “major decisions.” The pro-Umar state legislators rejected the decision and accused the Uzodinma committee of taking sides and acting a script prepared by the PDP National Chairman, Bamanga Tukur. The pro-Suntai legislators led by the House Majority Leader, Joseph Albasu called for “strict compliance with the provisions of the constitution.” Suntai sued the late Speaker

and some of the lawmakers. He urged the court to interpret Section 190(2) of the Constitution which deals with transmission of letter and resumption of work by a governor after prolonged absence. Justice Ali Ibrahim Andeyangtso, who is handling the matter referred it to the Appeal Court, on the grounds that the interpretation of Section 190(2) has never attracted any judicial pronouncement. This followed the inability of the parties to settle out of court. Before the court’s ruling on the application by the defendants for referral, lead counsel to the governor, Alex Izinyon, SAN, had applied that the ruling be adjourned for three weeks, because the parties in the suit were exploring “possible and amicable ways of resolving the dispute out

of court”. But no deal was struck. It was gathered that truce was not reached because the acting governor refused to comply with the conditions given him by Suntai loyalists. Although,technically the legal battle is between Suntai and the late Speaker, it is in reality a confrontation between Suntai and Umar, who is accused of scheming to consolidate his hold on power and possible edge out his boss. After all, victory in the suit for the late Speaker would mean victory for Umar to continue to run the affairs of Taraba as acting governor. One of the conditions opposed by Umar is that he should drop the title of acting governor and answer only deputy governor. Another is that he should re-

move Ahmed Yusuf as Chief of Staff, an appointment he made before the governor returned from abroad. In defiance, the acting governor sent a list of commissionernominees to the Assembly for a new State Executive Council (Exco).Only the court stopped the deceased Speaker from proceeding to take action on ratifying the list. The court also rejected an affidavit sworn to by Governor Suntai’s wife,Hauwa ,and his younger brother,Babangida Suntai,in which they sought to withdraw ,on behalf of the Suntai larger family, the suit between the governor and the state assembly. With Tsokwa’s death coming as a shock to both factions in the political crisis,all seems quiet for now in the two camps.And the situation is likely to remain so until the burial of the Speaker slated for November 28. But there are suggestions in the state that the various actors are reflecting on the crisis and may soon reach out for each other without a view to striking a deal in the interest of the state and its people. Tsokwa’s successor as Speaker ,in particular,will have a huge role to play in bringing the two camps together because the only victims of the current power play have been the ordinary people of Taraba. Perhaps,he needs to reflect on the admonition of the acting governor on the situation in the state that in politics there is no permanent ally or foe, what is permanent is interest, and that in life what is more permanent is death.




Clara Chime: Travails of a troubled First Lady


T has become obvious that all is not well within the Enugu State Government House. At first, the story was just about an imminent break up in the marriage of the first family over some very private family matters. But the last few days have seen the story growing into something more serious; something as serious as the Governor allegedly holding his wife Clara hostage against her will; something as grave as the First Lady suffering depression. Already, the state, as well as the nation, is agog with tales of how two families, the Governor’s and his wife’s have been at loggerheads over the state of the union between their son, the Governor and their daughter, the First Lady, respectively. According to sources, for months, the Igwe family has been spending sleepless nights following the sudden twist in the fortune of their daughter, Clara Chime nee Igwe. Clara, according to reports and recent confirmations by her family members, including the Governor, is suffering from what may be acute depression. Before now, Clara, who, married Chime about five years ago, was the family’s greatest source of joy, having brought fame and fortune their ways with his alliance with the Governor. But when news started filtering into their ears that she may be battling some very serious medical challenges, the Igwes were thrown into confusion as they struggled to come to terms with the unfortunate development. But if they thought they would have to worry about just the deteriorating health of their daughter, the family was mistaken as they were soon to find out that politics would play a key role in the unfolding drama. As it appears now, not only has the Igwes been battling with a strange ailment that suddenly came upon their hitherto hale and hearty daughter, the First Lady’s relatives, especially her mother, The Nation gathered, had been up in arms against the Governor, who allegedly was bent on keeping the sickness of his wife a secret at all cost. Many will recollect that Chime, who was single when he became governor in 2007, having divorced his first wife few years earlier while he was serving as the State’s Commissioner for Health, got married to Clara in 2008. Sources close to the family claimed that trouble started for the First Lady immediately after the birth of her son about four years ago. “Not long after the birth of her son about a year into her marriage, Clara suffered a bout of depression. Doctors felt these were occasioned by childbirth and treated her accordingly. After a while, she came out of it and continued with her life,” a source who sought anonymity, told The Nation. It appears Clara had months of respite from her illness as her activities as First Lady after the period she allegedly got treated for post-natal depression suggested. “If you go back and check her activities as First Lady, it will not be difficult for you to know the time she first came down with the ailment, the period she enjoyed sound health and the time she relapsed again. “Her current situation, if I can recollect vividly, started shortly before the Governor left the country to undergo treatment for nose cancer

quite suicidal.” Saying she has been subjected “to the most horrific and intolerable of conditions to cause my demise,” she enumerated the major issues to include: lack of sexual relationship with her husband for four years; being deprived of responsibilities as a wife; being prevented from bonding with her four-year-old son; and being barred me from receiving visitors, whether family or friends. She noted that three weeks ago, a lady friend who visited her was stopped from seeing her and the result is now complete incarceration from the outside world. “In effect, I am locked up in my bedroom, without access to anybody,” she pleaded. According to the letter, “I am only allowed food but no access to fresh air; I have been locked up because I demanded to leave, even without my son. Governor Chime recently revoked my land allocation; the governor is doing everything possible to break my will.” She told the commission that her desire is simply to be allowed to leave. “If I have committed any crime, I request that due process should be followed. I was also recently attacked by my husband before the visitor mentioned above who is a living witness and will be prepared to testify.” She also accused Governor Chime of paying a doctor to inject her with all sorts of drugs, and that she is sometimes restrained and forced to take the drugs. “I would also wish the Nigerian Medical Council be informed of the activity of this doctor who is only interested in my husband’s wishes and does not care about my suffering. Medical confidentiality is not part of this doctor’s tool,” she wrote.

•Clara Chime

By Dare Odufowokan, Assistant Editor abroad. It was around the time the Governor’s cancer problem first became known to the family that her current travail started. Perhaps the pressure of seeing her husband battling something as serious as cancer caused her to relapse. “You will recall that the Chimes came under a lot of criticism and political opposition at that time due to the uncertainties that trailed the Governor’s sudden disappearance from public glare. “What I know is that by the time the Governor left the country for treatment, Clara too was being managed by medics for depression. Although she was with him in the United Kingdom while he was undergoing treatment for nose cancer, it was a trying period for her as she also had to go through regular treatment for her own medical problem,” Our source, a former woman leader of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the State said. The Nation learnt that the couple

returned to the country on February 8, 2013 after spending 140 abroad. But while the Governor’s health continued to improve on a daily basis, the wife’s condition deteriorated at the same pace forcing her out of limelight and nothing was heard of her in the state or outside. That was when the Igwes got a full understanding of the things to come as all efforts to get the Governor to allow Clara seek medical help either within or outside the country were allegedly rebuffed by the Governor. A relative of the First Lady told our correspondent in Enugu on condition of anonymity.“At first we thought it was in the interest of our sister as he claimed to have arranged for the best doctors to attend to her at home. But when doctors started advising us to ensure she is flown abroad for adequate attention, we became worried. Particularly, Clara’s mother has been fighting for her to be taken abroad for treatment. The family is even ready to bear the cost. But it has not been easy getting that to

happen. Some people say it is because of politics but we don’t understand what politics has to do with our sister’s health,” This was the situation when the bubble burst as Clara reportedly advanced her quest for freedom from what she termed illegal house arrest, by petitioning the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) through Lagos lawyer and human rights activist Femi Falana. Although the First Lady has turned around to deny contacting the Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Falana insists he was fully and duly briefed by the troubled Governor’s wife to act on her behalf. In Falana’s petition to the NHRC, Mrs. Chime describes an abusive relationship which has led her into depression. While they have been married for five years, she says the relationship has broken down irretrievably in the past couple of years. “We do not have a relationship anymore and the situation inevitably led to my nervous breakdown. I have been diagnosed with severe depression and at some point was

Stressing that she has no intention of taking her own life, she warned that should she die, it must be clear that it must have been brought about her husband. “The possibility of the doctor injecting me with a lethal substance must never be underestimated,” she wrote. “I have a friend who is a good friend of the family and would collaborate a lot in the event of any mishap to me and wish not to mention the name but he would contact you ultimately.” The petitioned elicited widespread condemnation and calls for the immediate “release” of the First Lady from house arrest. The Igwes must have been overjoyed by what appears an imminent end to their agony. But all that soon changed as Clara appeared, flanked by her husband and a sibling, to put a lie to Falana’s petition. But while denying sending Falana on any ‘Save-My-Soul’ appeal, Mrs. Chime and her husband confirmed the fact that she has serious medical challenges as well as the gory tales of how she has been confined indoor for months. The troubled woman didn’t also fail to tell the world that it is not her wish to be so held. The absence of her mother at the briefing also suggests that the old woman is still determined to see her daughter out there in search of good health. For now, Governor Chime has promised to take a decision that will be in the interest of all concerned, especially Clara Chime. “I’m forever grateful to her doctors who have done a great job. Both families will are billed to meet very soon and after that, I’ll take a decision which will be in the interest of both parties,” the Governor said. Until then, the travails of the First Lady continues.





Ropo Sekoni


Page 14

Femi Orebe Page 16



But for President Goodluck Jonathan's antecedents, one could easily have accepted his statement to the effect that he is not bothered about criticisms as a Freudian slip. Speaking at the funeral of his mother-in-law, Late Mrs. Charity Oba, in Okrika Local Government Area of Rivers State, on November 1, the President said, "To me as a political leader and most of my friends here who are politicians, politics or holding political offices is almost like death. While you are there, you are on the stage. The day you leave, what would people remember you for? That has always been my guiding principle". He added: "No matter the comments; whether the comments are to the left or the comments are to the right or at the centre, what challenges me everyday is what the present and future generations of Nigerians will remember me for the day I step out of the State House". Ordinarily, one would have taken this to mean that all President Jonathan was saying is that he would not be deterred by negative comments people make about him, but would rather forge ahead with whatever he considers the good works he is doing. Even on this score, the President cannot be entirely right. To juxtapose this against his antecedents makes matters worse; it gives, straightaway, the impression that the President does not "give a damn", to use his own words when justifying why he is not declaring his asset publicly. The President's handling of the Rivers State crisis too does not portray him as one who is bothered. President Jonathan needs to take tutorials from former President Shehu Shagari of our Second Republic. During the Shagari era, Chief Obafemi Awolowo was leader of the opposition Unity Party of Nigeria (UPN). His newspaper, Nigerian Tribune, was therefore more or less the opposition's voice. I remember Alhaji Shagari saying his day was never complete until he had read Tribune, a far more credible paper then than it is today. The essence of my reference to the Tribune and Alhaji Shagari's 'love' for it is to make the point that sometimes, it is from the criticisms that leadership is able to learn one or two things. Before you ask what happened to that government in spite of the fact that Shagari said he read Tribune daily, let me answer that the issue is not in knowing what the criticisms are alone but to what use they are put. After all, what is criticism? According to Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, "it is the practice of judging the merits and faults of something or someone in an intelligible (or articulate) way". Unless President Jonathan is saying he is God, then, he cannot be right not to be bothered by criticisms because no man can ever be perfect. Only God is infallible. Even then, people criticise God, sometimes consciously, sometimes unconsciously. King Sunny Ade sang some years ago that when a poor man gets to the house of the rich, he would be cursing God even as he becomes so disrespectful to Him; indeed, he won't even know when he would start asking God rhetorical questions. He

Mr. President, be bothered

Not to be bothered today is to be when it is too late to make amends


would ask how come some people are stinking rich and others are strikingly poor; how come some are pigmies and others are giants, etc. Sunny Ade's friend and contemporary, Chief Commander Ebenezer Obey gave an equivalent expression in Ketekete. In it, he said no matter how hard you try; no matter what you do, you can never please the world. Therefore, what I would have expected the President to say was that he would take constructive criticisms in good faith and even thank critics who see nothing good in what he is doing, because people must say one thing or the other about other people, especially those in leadership positions. People complain even about mad men. Sir Shina Peters prayed against what would make people stop talking about him. No matter what, there must be some message in some of the criticisms coming from even some of your worst enemies. This is why the President should not ignore criticisms; this is why he should be bothered about them now that it matters because a time would come when even if he is bothered, he won't be in a position to do anything about them. President Jonathan should ask his predecessors; he should read the biographies and autobiographies of great men. General Ibrahim Babangida might have ignored some criticisms to his eternal peril. Maybe it was in an attempt to right some of the wrongs he did while in power that he so desperately wanted to return to the seat of power to make amends; but there is no such second chance for him. This is however not to say that leadership must always be led by criticisms. No, because there are some decisions leaders take

“No matter what, there must be some message in some of the criticisms coming from even some of your worst enemies. This is why the President should not ignore criticisms; this is why he should be bothered about them now that it matters because a time would come when even if he is bothered, he won't be in a position to do anything about them.�

today that would seem to be poor judgement but which in future will be far more appreciated. There are numerous examples of such all over the world. But this is not an excuse for the leadership to be deaf to criticism because shutting one's ears to criticisms is like someone who says he would close his eyes because he does not want to see a bad person; such a person will not know when a good person would pass by. If criticisms are not useful, the two dominant types of democratic government that we have in the world today would not make room for the opposition. Opposition parties are there to keep the ruling parties on their toes by criticising them. It would seem to me that only the President and those benefiting from his government believe, like the President does, that he would live worthy legacies by the time he is leaving office at the rate he is going. Nigerians see the President and the ruling party that he belongs to as incapable of making a dent on our national challenges. And they have a point; the party has been in government at the centre for over 14 years, yet, it has not been able to tackle any of our challenges appreciably. We live more on promises than the party delivering solutions to our problems. 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; it is even not enough that he is concerned about what the present and future generations of Nigerians would remember him for. What is paramount is what sense he makes of some of the senseless criticisms of today because what he does with them is part of the ingredients that would shape people's perception of him and his government, not only today, but tomorrow. Criticisms allow for cross-fertilisation of ideas, a concept President Jonathan must have been familiar with, at least as an academic. There cannot be cross-fertilisation of ideas when all the President listens to are sycophants milling around him looking for something or even someone to devour. From my mailbox Dear Tunji, I just read your article on Page 13 of The Nation for Nov. 3, 2013 and all I can say is God bless you. I have never done this before because I always feel all you guys are doing is your job. But this article was not just that of a man doing his job, it came from a soul crying out loud for how the youths of this country have sold their conscience right from birth. Yet, some noble personalities in this country will condemn you just at the mention of an idea that the country may divide, all I can say is that they are blind and they need to pray for your kind of perspective. These days, youths only show displeasure to things that are not working in favour of their tribe or religion. I will stop now because I don't want to give you another article in appreciation of another. Please you have a medium due to the nature of your job, kindly make Nigerian youth a priority.


Waiting for ASUU

WOULD have been surprised if leaders of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) at the end of last Monday's meeting in Aso Rock with federal government officials had announced an immediate call off of their over four-month old strike. Considering the previous reactions of the government, the indications were that notwithstanding the desperation to end the embarrassing strike, not all the requests of the union would be granted. My fear was that the negotiations that dragged into the early hours of Tuesday could be deadlocked and the hope of a quick resolution of the crisis would be dashed again. Thankfully the leaders did not emerge from the meeting angry and as expected they have agreed to consult their members on the government's offer which even if they were comfortable with still need the approval of members of the union. With the strike having lasted for this long, it is understandable why many are eager to have it called off if possible immediately after the meeting. However not been the first time government is giving the union it's words and failing to honour it as it is the case in the non implementation of the controversial 2009 agreement the union have to take its time to digest whatever the government is promising this time and get a firm commitment. It's rather unfortunate that the crisis had to degenerate to this level and one can only hope that the government is really committed to not only in meeting ASUU's demands but taking necessary steps to enhance the standard of education in the country at all levels. Apart from the Universities, other education institutions have also suffered years of neglect and unfulfilled promises. There are still many unresolved disputes with teachers in Polytechnics, Colleges of Education and others that should not be given less attention as it has been done with the ASUU strike. Whatever offer the federal government made last Monday could have been made before now and it didn't need to have given the impression that it has to be fought to a standstill before doing the right thing. I would not be surprised if some other workers in future insist on presidential intervention to resolve labour issues. As ASUU members meet to deliberate over the government's offer, I join other Nigerians in pleading for the call off of the strike. Once again, they have to give the government the benefit of the doubt if not for any other reason but for the sake of the students who are the ones bearing the brunt of this crisis. We are all witnesses to this new agreement and this time around the government cannot deny making a commitment to pay what is due to university lecturers. For lecturers to be at their best, they have to be well remunerated and be given all allowances due to them. A Professor in a text response to my last column said in his 25 years of being a researcher he has not got N1 as research grant. This is how bad the bad the situation is and the time to redress it is now or never. The lecturers have indeed fought a good fight for quality education in the country for which posterity will remember them.




Federalism and taxation 2 Payment of tax by citizens has over the centuries cemented the social contract between government and the citizenry.

There are options for the reform of the tax system which could both finance increases in benefits and leave the tax system itself more progressive and more logical in structure. Furthermore, the transition to such a system could be one from which the overwhelming majority of the population would gain-John Halls in Changing Tax: how the system works and how to change it.


UST as we observed last week, the idea of the federal minister of finance on reforming the system of multiple taxation in the country is still more atmospheric than specific. But as we move closer to a position paper from her, it is necessary for the states to prepare themselves philosophically and strategically to address the issue of taxation in a federation, more so that taxation all over the world is a central political issue for citizens and their governments. Among political conservatives who believe that the government should have little or no role in solving the problems of individual citizens, taxation is looked at with disdain. Similarly, in polities like Nigeria that thrive on the mentality of manna from nature as the source of public finance, tax may be considered a burden that the government should not be saddled with while it spends its energy to allocate funds from non-renewable resources that appear infinite to myopic individuals in charge of government. Correspondingly, many citizens in such societies with access to funds from non-renewable resource are generally opposed to tax, more so to progressive tax that they consider to diminish their savings. But among social democrats who think that the role of government is to facilitate the transformation of the government into a caring agency with concern for the welfare of citizens, taxation is crucial to the creation of a welfare state. If there is any human creation that has helped to fuel development of democratic

states in the last three centuries, it is the fact that citizens pay tax to fund government projects that improve the life of citizens: road, education, healthcare, and even social security for the needy. Payment of tax by citizens has over the centuries cemented the social contract between government and the citizenry. More than vote, tax makes it possible for citizens to own their governments, assist them to create socially beneficial benefits, and even provide funds to fight enemies, if and when they exist. Given the claim that Nigeria is a federal republic and the recent announcement by President Jonathan that there is a need to have a national conference at which citizens dialogue on how to improve their federal system, it is important for those leading the debate on reforming the country's system of multiple taxation to recognize that multiple tax systems is a sine qua non of federalism, be it territorial as in the case of the United States and the United Arab Emirates, or ethnic as in the case of Belgium and Ethiopia. The first area to mark down for reform is Nigeria's Indirect tax system. This area includes all forms of consumption tax: Sales Tax, Value Added Tax, Rates, Excise Duties, Car Tax, Stamp Duties, Driver's License Tax, etc. At present, the federal government collects most of these taxes. The result of federalization of what should be a subnational tax is that states and local governments in which citizens consume such services and in the process add to the responsibility of the government of such states is that such states induce and collect consumption tax for other states to benefit from. For example, when I was growing up in colonial Nigeria and even up to pre-military era, it was the subnational government that collected tax on car registration, issuance of driver's license, and all rates. Even up till the time of General Sani Abacha, collection of sales tax in Lagos was a state responsibility. Replacing sales tax with VAT, the proceeds of which states send to the federal government for allocation to states in the fashion of revenue from

petroleum should be the first area to reform in favour of states and local governments. There is no federal system in the world in which sales tax is collected by central governments, the way federal agencies now collect funds for driver's license and vehicle registration. It is fiscal federalist thinking that encourages true federations around the world to leave indirect taxes to subnational governments. It is subnational governments that provide infrastructure, education, and healthcare to most citizens in federal systems of government. Such governments need funds to provide such services to citizens making such contributions to governance. By paying tax, such citizens are also empowered, thus strengthening their voice in the way they are governed. At present, there are a few states that provide some form of social security for senior citizens while most of the country's states do not consider such a policy important for their citizens. For example, Osun and Ekiti States provide monthly social security allowances for citizens over 65 years of age. Such states have services they need to fund from indirect taxes. If Lagos State had been allowed to exercise its rights in a federal system to collect Port charges, there would have been no basis for the state to be looking longingly for a special status for the state from the federal government. By having a tax system that requires states to send revenue collected from indirect tax to the central government, the federal government carries to a ridiculous extent the weird philosophy of government imposed on the country by military autocracies in the name of national unity and even development. In order to mask the exploitation of petroleum producing states under military rule after changing the principle of derivation from 50% of revenue to zero and later to 13%, military dictators created the policy and decrees to centralize all forms of revenue, which they also created agencies to mobilize and allocate or distribute to states. With respect to Direct Taxes, there is nothing in the books that prevents a system

in which states collect all forms of direct taxes and send to the federal government whatever percentage is agreed upon for funding projects of central governments. Just as John Halls once said: "The argument that a local income tax would be 'administratively impossible' is hard to sustain when Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, Norway, Sweden and the United States of America already have one," the central government will not lose anything but its unnecessary power to subordinate states that should have been coordinate with it, should all forms of income tax be collected by states with the option of sending some percentage of collected revenue to fund central government's programmes. Taking this option will remove what the minister of finance refers to as multiple taxation. Until a few years ago, I worked at Lincoln University in Pennsylvania and lived in the State of Maryland. I paid federal income tax, income tax to Oxford, the city that houses Lincoln University, and to the State of Maryland where I lived. This is a good illustration of diversity in a federal system. If this is what is called multiple taxation, it is the only way for different states to offer different levels of social services to its citizens in a federal system. The issue that matters most to citizens is not the number of states to which a citizen pays taxes but the use to which such tax revenue is put by those in power, for as long as such tax is progressive. If Lagos State, for example, had not been able to tax individuals and citizens within the state in the last sixteen years, the state would have been uninhabitable by now, given the meagre funds allocated to it by the central government and the exodus of citizens that move to Lagos State from other parts of the country on a daily basis. What must not be missed in the debate about reform of our tax system is the need to insist on progressive taxation, to ensure equity and fair distribution of income. What must be avoided is any reform that takes the power to tax away from states that provide services to their citizens. Concluded




Anambra’s fatal stampede T

Governor Obi should blame himself for turning a religious event into a potential rally

HE Holy Ghost Adoration Ground at Uke in Idemili North Local Government Area of Anambra State has become famous as one of the major worship centres that attract thousands of adherents from within and outside the state to its weekly night vigil. Last Saturday, November 2, was no different as a large crowd converged at the venue to participate in the prayers and worship that characterise the spiritual retreat. The attendance, estimated at about 100,000, was reportedly higher than usual because that day was observed by the Catholic Church as the Feast of All Saints. It is indeed a sad irony that an event organised to enable believers pray for healing, deliverance from diverse problems and protection among other supplications ended in tragedy in the early hours of the morning when at least 28 worshippers lost their lives and scores of others were wounded during a stampede. Even as relatives mourn their lost ones and the wounded are still being tended, the tragedy has been unfortunately politicised. Allegations and counter-allegations have been made with politicians striving to reap electoral capital by pinning the blame on their opponents. True, the political atmosphere in Anambra State is tense, with the much anticipated and keenly contested governorship election slated for next Saturday. But then, this is no excuse for the behaviour of the political elite, which shows little respect for the memory of the dead or sensitivity to the feelings of the living. In their initial reactions to the tragedy, the various political actors demonstrated the requisite sense of decorum and sobriety appropriate on such a solemn occasion. The governor, Mr Peter Obi, as the Chief Security Officer of the state promptly visited the venue as well as the victims in various hospitals while also declaring three days of mourning. Equally commendable was the response of the various


watched, like every American, and the rest of the world, the unnecessary spectacle that led to the US Government shutdown for 16 days. While Americans are breathing some sigh of relief that their Government has finally re-opened, after losing so much, including a loss of “at least $200 million a day,” Senator Ted Cruz, in the most bizarre, absurd manner, tried to show his harboured animus toward Nigeria and Nigerians by exploiting some correctable computer “glitches” that customarily affect big companies that are first working with a very large volume of data. What Ted Cruz said with such reckless abandon was to condemn Nigeria, Nigerian government, and Nigerians all over the world. To him, Nigerians are scammers, unprofessional, and “of no good.” Now, let us first explore what Ted Cruz’s statement means, and finally answer the ultimate question, “why did he say that?” Let us assume, for the moment, that all the Engineers hired by the US Government to run the Affordable Healthcare website are all Nigerians. Now, what does that really say of Nigerians in the US? It clearly and

governorship candidates who issued condolence messages, visited the victims and even suspended their campaigns as a mark of honour to the dead and the bereaved. How then did things degenerate to the level of recriminations and mud-slinging? It is our view that Governor Obi cannot extricate himself from blame for this situation. Mr Obi demonstrated a poor sense of judgement when, in a broadcast to the state, he categorically blamed the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Dr Chris Ngige, as being responsible for the incident. The governor claimed that as he was addressing the congregation, supporters of Dr. Ngige interrupted him by chanting their candidate’s name as well as waving their party symbol and posters of the APC candidate. This was thus the basis for his conclusion as regards Ngige’s alleged culpability. Since Mr Obi had directed security agencies to ensure that the culprits were brought to book as well as announcing his decision to set up a panel of inquiry to unearth the immediate and remote causes of the tragedy, he should not have arrived at a pre-emptive conclusion on the issue. At best, he should have made his representations to those who have the professional competence and detachment to carry out an objective investigation. As it is TRUTH IN DEFENCE OF FREEDOM

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now, any panel set up by the governor may face a credibility challenge as it may find it difficult to arrive at a decision different from that already expressed by its creator, Mr Obi. Even then, the account rendered by Mr Obi in his broadcast raises several pertinent issues. The governor never said that Dr. Ngige was at the venue. How then can the APC candidate be held liable for the alleged actions of his purported supporters? In fact, it is the presence and role of Mr Obi at the Holy Ghost Adoration Ground that night that should invite further inquiry. For instance, the governor attended a purely religious occasion in company with his party chairman, Chief Victor Umeh and the governorship candidate, Chief Willie Obiano. Furthermore, he was reportedly dressed in his party’s campaign outfit for a night vigil. Was he there to campaign or to pray? Again, when he was given the opportunity to address the congregation the governor promised to sponsor 20 indigent people from among the faithful on pilgrimage as well as provide access road to the premises. Now, how are these remarks by the governor different from that of a politician campaigning for votes? Could that not irritate and provoke members of the congregation who are of a different political persuasion? It has become customary for occupants of public office to be given the opportunity to make remarks at purely religious events. While this is a mark of respect to their offices, the Anambra State tragedy shows that this gesture could easily be abused with counterproductive consequences. Public officers who attend religious occasions should do so in their private capacity and should not be given any special privileges. While we join the government and people of Anambra in mourning the dead, we urge that everything be done to prevent a recurrence of such a tragedy.


Ted Cruz's absurd comment about Nigerians

unequivocally says that some Nigerians have actually attained such lofty professional heights in the US and the world, writ large. Put differently, there is no way Americans, especially American government officials, will hire any African or foreigner, at the job level we are talking about, with less than first-class, superior resume or curriculum vitae. One must also notice that in every society, including the United States of America, there are natural, native born “scammers.” No society is immune to fraudulent people of some sort. Consider this: Grace Commission was appointed by President Ronald Reagan to look into how Pentagon (the US Defense Headquarter) spends money appropriated by the US Congress. This Commission was created, following some whistleblower report. Here is one of the mind-boggling, startling findings by Grace Commission (1984): Pentagon was spending $91 on a 3-cent screw. It does not take Solomon’s

wisdom for one to figure out that there are some American contractors - red-white-blue American contractors scamming the US Government. Hence, Pentagon was paying $91 on a screw one can simply buy 3 cents from ordinary hardware store. Now, does this finding by Grace Commission make all Americans scammers, unprofessional, and “of no good”? Common sense says NO! So, instead of Ted Cruz allowing the engineers to do what engineers do in such normal circumstances of “glitches” - i.e., take a breather, clear some cobwebs, take a second look, and try to find the source(s) of the glitches - he found it compelling to juxtapose such glitches with what he considers “Nigerian scammers”. This is absurd, to say the least. To publicly malign Nigeria, Nigerian Government, and Nigerian people in this manner is totally uncalled for, mean-spirited, and highly disrespectful of his office as a Senator. It must be stated, rather

boldly and poignantly, that there are good, law-abiding Nigerians in the continent of Africa, in the US, and all over the world obeying the laws of the land, discharging their professional duties with honesty, decency, and professional decorum. Further, there are so many Nigerians fulfilling their civic responsibilities in the US, and participating in the US electoral process – some of them, I am sure, voted for Ted Cruz in Texas. Therefore, to use the usual glitch, which engineers encounter all the time in say Microsoft, Apple, AT&T, General Motors, Toyota, Mercedes Benz, and other big companies that handle huge volume of data, to condemn Nigeria and Nigerians is totally out of line. Now, one must ask the ULTIMATE question: Why did Senator Ted Cruz make such absurd and disparaging comments about Nigerians? Seriously, the answer is not buried in rocket science; the answer is rather very simple. Ted Cruz and his likes know, for instance, that they will

NEVER leave American banks to bank in Nigerian banks – NEVER! They know they will never leave their schools to collapse only to send their children to Nigerian schools to study. They know they will never leave their own hospitals to collapse only to fly themselves and their family members to Nigeria for medical checkup and treatment. They know that no matter what they do or say about Nigeria, so many Nigerian leaders will always do what they do best, namely, abandon Nigerian banks to bank abroad; abandon Nigerian schools to send their children to study abroad; abandon Nigerian hospitals to fly abroad for medical checkup and treatment; abandon Nigerian people only to feed Swiss people and their cohorts with Nigerian oil money. In other words, they know that there will be no meaningful, substantive response(s) from Nigerian Government – NONE! ZERO!! Indeed, Ted Cruz and his likes understand that lots of Nigerian leaders have yet to understand the

meaning of true patriotism – i.e., the love of a country. If they did, the N10 Billion (Ten Billion Naira) squandered on Independence Day dance celebration this month in Nigeria, for instance, could have been invested in Nigerian roads, schools, science, research, hospitals, and other infrastructures to command respect for Nigeria around the world. So, Nigerian leaders must wakeup and bear this in mind at all time: leadership is action and not a position, and that leadership is parenthood. Just as parents take care of their own people, leaders must take care of their own people. If leaders abandon their own people, their people will become a laughing stock of the whole world. It is as simple as that. Nigerian leaders must learn a big lesson from such ugly, disrespectful statements by Senator Ted Cruz and his likes, and do everything in their power to build up Nigeria (with Nigerian oil money while oil still remains a source of huge revenue in the world today) so that the likes of Ted Cruz and the world will start respecting Nigeria and her people. Bedford Nwabueze Umez, Ph.D, Lee College, Baytown, Texas, USA





A poem and Awo’s words on marble U

NDER the lead of the inimitable Dr Segun Osoba, I first came across the book, WHAT IS HISTORY, which literally became my bible for the Philosophy of History class at the University of Ife during my final year in '71. Originating from a series of G.M Trevelyan lectures given by the English historian, E.H Carr, it is a deep study in historiography; discussing facts, science, morality, individuals and society but, most importantly, moral judgments in history. It is a book I would like to recommend to all, especially, aspiring politicians who, unfortunately, find themselves vacillating between honour, integrity and crass opportunism. But rather than wade through pages I last read 42 years ago, it will suffice to teach the same lessons I intend to impart by this recall, simply by quoting a very apt poem from the ekitipanupo web portal and gloriously cap it with the immortal words of the Avatar, Chief Obafemi Awolowo, in circumstances not totally dissimilar from what we have in Ekiti today. Contributing to this same subject on the web portal, Tunji Orisalade, on Thursday, 7 November, 2013, wrote : How low can Mortals fall When it's time for real test A test to detect their real personality Hitherto boxed under borrowed clothing Deliberately designed to deceive all But that can only be ephemeral It can never stand the test of time A smoke must show up announcing fire And so it is now with MOB All that dining and wining with Progressives

A smoke must show up announcing fire And so it is now with MOB

Are all, but mere smokescreen? Bibire must necessarily involve Omoluabi An Omoluabi knows when right to dance Not dancing without music Or dancing in the Market Place EKITI is too much for that Hope Somebody regains consciousness And retraces several, several steps Before the political lights are out A word should be enough for the Wise. Interestingly, however, 30 years ago in 1983, when Opeyemi was but a child, Awo had, perspicaciously, mirrored today's events when, in the heat of the Ondo State political crises of that year, in which this writer was more than a mere onlooker, declared poignantly as follows: 'People who always want to have their ways at all cost and never provide better arguments but rather want to force their petty ideas on others are anarchists and pocket despots who will ULTIMATELY FAIL'. Awo did not stop there. Hon Opeyemi Bamidele must be to Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the equivalent of what highly regarded Chief Akin Omoboriowo, of blessed memory, was to Awo. He loved Awo just as Papa loved him, even writing a book, Awoism: Select themes on the Complex Ideology of Chief Obafemi Awolowo, which we all trooped from Akure to Lagos to launch at an impressive ceremony at the Hotel Le Meridien, Victoria Island. How history repeats itself as tragedy simply because human beings refuse to learn from its lessons. Chief Omoboriowo's decision to join the opposition NPN, led Awo to

reflect as follows, as I suspect Tinubu must be doing under his breath about Bamidele at this moment: 'My affection for Akin is undiminished. That is why I am anxious that he should be helped to redeem himself before he makes the final plunge. My concern for Akin is that he has worked himself up into an illusion (some prefer delusion) of grandeur: he now suffers from a kind of psychosis. He thinks and claims that he has majority following in Ondo State. He has nothing of the sort. It pains me much that Akin could be involved in this kind of mess'. Substitute Tinubu for Awo and Ekiti for Ondo in the above quote and you would be talking of Bamidele. What surprises really is exactly on what basis he reckons that he has a following at all, in Ekiti at this point in time. We do not only have a performing governor in Dr Kayode Fayemi, Opeyemi contested a senatorial primary election which, as a member of the Election Screening Committee in the state for the 2011 elections, appointed by the National Headquarters of the party, I knew only too well he did not win as he continues to claim. The first election was cancelled mid-way through a public announcement by the A C N State Chairman, Chief Jide Awe, on both the Ekiti Radio and Television stations when series of reports of fracas came from all over the state. The rerun, for which governor Adams Oshiomhole sent us five senior party men in Edo state to assist us, never saw the light of day as all we did the whole day was to join former state governors Dele Olumilua and

Otunba Niyi Adebayo, Dr Fayemi and some state party elders to resolve the issues which arose from that first day in a marathon meeting that lasted for over three hours. Bamidele approached the matter like he would vaporize if he was not named the candidate. He would subsequently be gifted the House of Representatives ticket which somebody else had contested and won; a wholly undeserved 'bending over backwards' by the party, which I believe is the cause of all we are seeing today as it got him completely swollen headed. It is a part of that giddiness, that soul-less pride, that he believes, apparently without any reflection, that his town of birth could produce three governors in a state where a whole senatorial district has not produced one in decades and why his 'popularity' must be erected on a skirmish, any skirmish, each time he visits the state or anything is being done by his Bibire fraternity. Actually, unlike other would-be Labour Party governorship candidates in the Southwest, Opeyemi Bamidele is probably the only one who had to seek out governor Mimiko who nobody can blame for wanting a larger share of influence for his party in the geo-political zone except that he chose to do so working , unmistakably, for the PDP as a member of that party recentlyconfirmed. Ope had permitted himself to labour under the impression that the man who carried him on his shoulders throughout his senate odyssey, former governor Niyi Adebayo, was going to contest the senate seat in the Ekiti Central senatorial district.

Fearful he might lose out completely since he comes from the same town as the former governor, and rather than seek Otunba Adebayo's confidences, he had gone shopping for succour from wherever one can be found. From what we now know, PDP, even PDP, could very well have been his platform to become governor. Today, he does not even as much as greet Adebayo, all because he just must occupy an elective post, conveniently forgetting whatever relationship ever existed between them. That precisely is the nature of a vaulting ambition which, surprisingly, a columnist of The Nation's Olakunle Abimbola's prodigiousness , most probably for the sake of good old times as Asiwaju's aides, sees as nothing more than an adjective. For him too, if a man cannot actualise his dreams in a union, he must be at liberty to rupture and cripple that union but , for me, what is bad is bad, and had Bamidele reflected deeply on his young life, especially his political trajectory, he should effortlessly have come to the conclusion that a shot at the Ekiti gubernatorial seat, in an election he can never win, whatever scientific rigging/ force PDP and Labour may be planning, was not worth his alienating Asiwaju Ahmed Tinubu who took him from nowhere politically, and ensured he was in top posts for 12 straight years in Lagos state which, by the way, happens not to be his state of origin. Such bewildering ingratitude! Fundamental human/constitutional rights must be exhibited within limits of decency.

Let us have a good heave down, rather! This dialogue is a day late and a dollar short.


ATIONAL discourses are always very interesting to listen to. First, you are dumbstruck when you realise that, indeed, there are very many intelligent brains idling around the nation with little or nothing to do. Then you begin to ask yourself, why are these brains not in government changing things? Secondly, you are surprised at the vehemence with which people oppose each other, both sides presenting infallible proof that convinces you that the subject of discourse must either have come from the very bottom of Druid Socrates' pot of wisdom or Satan's brewing pot of infernal matters. Then you ask yourself, how can something be both wrong and right? Thirdly, you are struck dumb by the many ways people use public matters to serve their own varied interests. It just makes you want to go, how is it possible for so many colours to hide themselves in black and white? Take the matter of the current national discourse as an instance. When the calls began a long time ago, people asked pointedly for a Sovereign National Conference and the presidency ignored them, even completely turning its back on the vociferous ones bent on destabilising the state. Then suddenly, the presidency slept, woke up and declared it had had a rethink. Rather than grant a sovereign national conference though, it would remove the words 'sovereign' and 'conference', and grant a 'national dialogue'. I'm quite sure it did not re-

move the word 'national' too for reasons of exigency. And I ask, what, pray, are we to do with that? It is a day late and a dollar short - too little too late. Calls for a sovereign national conference have been strident for as long as I can remember, and this elephant has a long memory, but this is no time to start boring into it. There are too many things I really want to forget. Let it suffice to say that past heads of state, including Obj., shied away from it. Indeed, Obj. went as far as watering it down and conducting his own conference where he and the members all mumbled together. I sort of guess that they all thought that somehow, with sufficient mumbling, the problems would go away. I think the major problem has been that these past heads had been reluctant to press on with a full-fledged conference for fear of what might have come from it, such as the breakup of the country. None of them had wanted the country to heave down for a cleaning under their watch: supposing the boat heaves down and cannot heave right up again? In response to such guarded responses, the problems have multiplied. Not only have the problems multiplied, they have developed many heads. Where there was one problem before, there are now two or three. When these calls began to be made, there was no boko haram insurgency; there was no Al-Qaeda terrorism; there was no real problem with religion; there was no

uncontained militancy; and kidnapping was restricted to playful youths who were not allowed to marry the beauties their hearts throbbed after. Now, in addition to state-instituted problems of ethnic, political and linguistic bigotry, terrorism, insurgency, militancy, kidnapping, etc., have joined the fray to muddle the already nervous water flowing beneath Nigeria. The result of course has been more nervousness, hence the louder shrieks for a sovereign national conference. Yet again, the nation's rulers have responded with more nervousness of their own. Still afraid the delicately balanced nation may break altogether under their watch, they have looked intently at that three-word call, spotted the real trouble makers among them, and have sent those ones to jail. In short, the two most important words 'sovereign' and 'national' are now in jail. The presidency is now calling for a national dialogue and I call it 'not fair'! This amounts to sweeping the problems under the carpet yet again. Egad! Me thinks I can hear the president intoning, baso-profondo, that the results of his dialogue will surprise many. Indeed, I am willing to be surprised. Don't call me a pessimist though if the reports, all one hundred tomes of them, do disappear into thin air as they are meant to. Oh yes, I can see that far into the future. Just a minute; let me clean my crystal ball properly again. Let's see now. Oh dear, this is bad! I foresee that the presidency will swear that it sent them to the Assembly. And the Assembly will do a nice dissembling: poker-faced, it

will swear it never received them! People, we need to be on guard, no, not en guarde! You see, thin air can be powerful; it eats up stuff that concerns the people, so we need to watch out, not draw swords! Phew, that was harder than I thought! Right, now where were we? Ok. This watered down version of a national conference is nothing but a mockery of what this country really needs. All the voices that have spoken on this thing agree that things are bad, very bad. People agree that the very structure of the country is a problem in itself: too few people feel any sense of patriotism, of belonging to the country, rather than to a section; and only direct confrontation can help us. Yep, I agree, confrontation can be on two levels: problems and people. The problems need to be confronted and the people need to confront each other. For example, there's a great deal of anger in the land that needs to be managed, not petted. It's a little like a disease that must be tackled to restore health; no one in his/ her right senses will placate malaria by giving sugar to the sufferer instead of the required quinine. When a disease strikes, pain is the only way to good health. If the sympathy is too much, even the sufferer will be quick to declare: no thanks, I like my pain. Fear of giving the country pain has led many past heads of state to run away from declaring the conference a sovereign one. I have pored over, ruminated, reflected on, looked at and thought long and hard about the matter and have failed to understand why on earth we are having a dialogue and why the national assem-

bly will have to vet what will be purported to be the people's will. Truth is, people are not exactly besotted with today's national assembly, what with the excessive emoluments of those assembly members which are not in tune with the realities of the people's situations; and the fact that the assembly has really not impacted the people's lives to any appreciable level. Now, the people that the people do not trust are the very people to decide on what the people have decided. Get my drift? Anyway, this conference thing is a simple matter. It should really be an opportunity to address and change so many things we are doing wrong as a nation, not cover them with concrete. It should address things like inequality, religious divides, adoption of wrong ideologies, the why, how and what of our co-existence, low interest in nation building even among leaders, etc. Seriously though, I think the first thing that should be addressed is why 18,000 Naira cannot be paid as minimum wage in some states and a leader in senate is purportedly earning 100,000,000 Naira a month. If we were to have a real conference that is the first question I would ask. But then, that is why we are not having one, and I am not taking part. Anyway, let the presidency think again. We need a sovereign (where the people have the rule) national (where everyone is carried along) conference (where we all speak frankly and seriously to each other). That is the only way to ensure that perfidious manipulations of the people's will no longer rules, ok.




(38) S

TATISTICS should be used the way a drunk uses a lamppost, not for illumination but for support. Anonymous, credited to British humorists When a dead fish starts to rot, the process begins at the head from which it spreads to the rest of the body. A Greek adage With some embarrassment, perhaps with even a little bit of shame, let me admit it: a few days ago when I went to check where our country’s stand in the Human Development Report (HDR) of 2013, I was greatly relieved, indeed almost joyous, to discover that at 153 out of 187 countries, Nigeria was not at rock bottom level among the countries of the world. The HDR is an annual report issued by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) that gives details of each country’s Human Development Index (HDI) for the preceding year. The HDI itself is a term that was devised to give a far more expansive and accurate measurement than the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the total well-being of the populations of the countries of the world. Being ranked at HDI 153 out of 187 is of course a pretty bad, perhaps even scandalously poor ranking for an oil-rich country, but when your country is nearly always at the bottom of the global totem pole of meritocracy, you may be excused for feeling gratified when your country shows up 34 places above the lowest of the low. For those who read the piece on the Nigerian Premier League and professional soccer in our country that was published in this column last week, it will come as no surprise why this week I went searching for Nigeria’s location in the HDR of 2013. For in the light of that piece, our NPL has the great but dubious distinction of being the world’s worst national soccer league, not in terms of the quality of the players but with regard to the absurdity of data and statistics displayed in the league table for the 2012-2013 season. Individually and collectively, we have some of the best players on the African continent; and we export players to virtually all the other regions of the world where they generally tend to give good accounts of themselves as gifted, talented players. By contrast, the league table reflects a completely different profile; it reflects matches regularly won and lost due to factors that have barely anything to do with merit, talent, skill and effort; it reflects a moral universe in which referees, fans and players themselves seem totally resigned to winning and losing through corruption, violence, intimidation and fear. This gap between, on the one hand, what might well be the real quality of players in the Nigerian soccer league and, on the other hand, the data and figures displayed in the league table for the whole world to see and mock provides the point of departure for the series that begins in this column with this essay. Can we generalise from this case of the NPL and its absurd league table? As a people are we defined, are we constituted

•Candidates writing JAMB examinations

Abysmal statistics, facts and realities that define and yet do not define us (1)

by the myriad of other statistics and realities that indicate that for the great majority of its citizens Nigeria is one of the worst countries in the world in which to live? Or as with the players of the NPL, are Nigerians not really defined or constituted by these super-negative statistics and figures? As we shall see, these are not easy questions or issues to resolve; all the same, they are urgent and pressing matters that require our undivided and unceasing attention. Now, besides the organisation of professional soccer, there are of course other major areas of our collective national existence like politics, economy, society and education in which Nigeria is a low achiever, a two-bit player in the theatre of the most meritocratic societies of the planet. As a matter of fact, some of the statistics and figures in these particular aspects of Nigeria’s identity at home and abroad are nothing short of the continent’s or the world’s very worst. At one time or another, some of these have been discussed in this column. In the interest of a cogent and focused discourse, I will cite only a few that I consider the most salient and portentous. In one year (2009), only 1.8% of students taking the NECO high school leaving examination passed; in the last decade, the passing rate in this particular examination has never risen above 35%. Similarly, our universities and other tertiary institutions are very poorly ranked in Africa; in the world, the ranking dips so far below the ground level that it is enveloped by invisibility. This pattern also applies to what I personally regard as unquestionably the most unconscionable of these relentless statis-

tics and data of gloom and doom: an absolute poverty rate which stands at seven out of 10 or 70%, again one of the worst in Africa and the world. Closely related to this are the staggering figures, data and anecdotes on corruption in Nigeria that are bandied around the world. Almost a decade ago, Paul Wolfowitz, former President of the World Bank, estimated that since crude oil began to be exported from Nigeria, about $300 billion dollars had been looted by the country’s military and civilian rulers and their cronies. This brazen official brigandage continues to this day, just as it continues to be one of the worst and the most talked about in the world. For instance, as I have observed again and again in this column, in the oil subsidy megascam of the year 2011, the sum of N2.58 trillion naira that is the equivalent of $16 billion U.S. dollars was looted from our nation’s savings account, the Excess Crude Account (ECA), more or less in broad daylight. Most of these data, figures and realities are well known and much talked about, in Nigeria itself and in many other parts of the world. I think it is safe, if also extremely disturbing, to say that most Nigerians think that we are defined by these data and figures, that we are what the figures and data say we are. On the surface, most Nigerians feel or think that the politicians, the rulers bear full responsibility for this troubled and troubling convergence between what these statistics say and what we are as a people. But I think that deep down; most Nigerians also think that the people themselves, in their scores of millions and in virtually every part of the country, bear some responsibility

for the corruption, the rot, the abysmal state of things. Now, this is bad enough when we are thinking of things like corruption and dishonesty, but what of the abysmally low figures for education? What of the infinitely low ranking of our universities and other tertiary institutions? Are Nigerians some of the world’s dumbest people as the statistics seem to imply? In case any reader of this piece is inclined to think that these are mere abstract or speculative questions, please think of the following realities. For close to two decades now, employers of labour in our country have been complaining that the majority of students graduating from our universities, often with excellent results, are so bad, so inferior in quality that they are “unemployable”. Think also of the fact that our newspapers are often filled with badly written, sometimes blatantly ungrammatical writing, the likes of which you could never have seen two or three decades ago. Think also of the fact that whether it is corruption or the failure rates of students at the public school leaving examination, Nigerians seem remarkably resigned, seem unperturbed and carry on as if, well, that is how things are and what can one do about? Indeed, this particular factor of resignation, complacency or perhaps even widespread opportunistic collusion in the rot that seems to define us as a people requires careful consideration. When I first came across the 1.8% passing rate in the NECO exams of November-December 2009, as shocked as I was about that statistic, I was even more shocked that the Minister of Education showed little or no outrage. In any country in the world that is not benighted

with rot and mediocrity in high places, that Minister of Education would have lost his or her job on the basis of that distressing result alone. It was therefore doubly astounding that our Minister of Education did not on that occasion get fired and did not even get queried when he showed no outrage, no concern at all. And in the course of the last one decade when the passing rate has not exceeded 35%, if any Federal Minister of Education has shown any alarm at this calamitous state of things, I have not seen it as I have been on a year after year lookout for it. What this means, what this can only mean, is that as far as the powers that be are concerned, Nigeria is a low achiever in education, period. If this seems a thoughtless or gratuitous remark to make, please think of the notorious “4% annunciation” of the Minster of Finance, Dr. Ngozi OkonjoIweala, when she infamously declared that because the scope of corruption, waste and squandermania in Nigeria was so vast and so endemic, she could only hope to have reduced the scale by not more than 4% by the time she leaves office in 2015. But what of teachers, parents, guardians, and local communities themselves? What outrage have they shown about 35% as the highest passing rate that their children and wards can reach, as revealed in published NECO results year after year? Again, in many countries in the world, with 35% as the upper passing rate, parents and guardians would be up in arms against teachers, against educators, against the government. But this has not happened in our country. Indeed, if widespread anecdotes are to be believed, instead of outrage, something that is almost exactly its opposite has been observed in many communities across the length and breadth of the country. In one anecdote that was narrated recently by a former member of the National Assembly at a public lecture at Harvard University, his offer in his home constituency to pay for extra hours of lessons and more dedicated teaching for secondary school students so that their NECO results could be improved was rebuffed by the chosen leaders of the community. No, they told the shocked Ex-Honourable Member, our children do not need extra hours of teaching, they do not need better paid and more dedicated teachers, what they need is failsafe access to examination papers since, as they have been told by neighbouring communities that that is the only real passport to good NECO results! This, of course, is not the end of the story. As a people, we are not defined, we are not constituted only by these sorts of anecdotes, together with the range of statistics and data of negation that I have discussed in this essay. We must use statistics and data carefully, astutely. And when everything is said and done, it all boils down to how the lives of the people are organised by the political leadership. As the second epigraph to this essay puts it, “when a dead fish starts to rot, the process begins from the head”. This will be our starting point in next week’s continuation of the series.



THE NATION ON SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 10, 2013 sms only: 08116759748


Nigeria Police: Pulling down an institution

T is now obvious that the most important ‘crime-fighting’ assignment confronting the Nigerian Police is frustrating everything associated with the so-called ‘New Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).’ Running a close second is hounding opponents of President Goodluck Jonathan and his administration. The force has devoted itself to these tasks with uncommon efficiency. They have perfect intelligence about where heady G-7 governors would pop up next, and would storm the venue in Armoured Personnel Carriers ready to crush those ‘heating up the polity.’ When they are not chasing rebellious PDP governors through the states our fearless police tear-gas elements of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), to prevent them from taking to the streets. Being true defenders of the people’s right to express themselves, the police gladly look the other way when a rival group of protesters denouncing ASUU walks down the same street. In the latest display of their commitment to enforce orderliness, the Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Abubakar, has banned all gatherings, receptions and carnivals at airports nationwide. This, of course, is the force’s response to the dramatic four-kilometer march to Port Harcourt airport by Governor Rotimi Amaechi and his supporters. The facility had earlier been shut to prevent them from gathering to receive the national leadership of the All Peoples Congress (APC) during the week. Frankly, if the police could deploy their newfound zeal for cracking down on government’s political foes to tackling armed robbers and kidnappers the crime rate would crash to near zero. Recently, the opposition Progressive Governors Forum (PGF) described them as “the armed wing of the PDP.” You may dismiss this as the vituperations of partisans, but it also succinctly describes what the force is turning into. Over the years different administrations have abused the police – using them as tools for pushing their petty agendas. But the manipulation of this national institution by the current administration is lowering the force to a despicable new low. Mouthing clichés about “global best practices” in the use of airports doesn’t hide the fact that the police have chosen to insert themselves deeper

•The Chimes What a difference a few months make! When Enugu State Governor Sullivan Chime had health challenges, there was a massive effort to build a mystery around his illness. The upshot was unending speculation. After a sensational petition purportedly written by his wife, Clara, claiming she was being held in captivity emerged, the governor moved with lightening speed to clear the air. The lawyer, into the mud-fight between the political elite – hiding under law enforcement. The remit announced by Abubakar is broad enough for any mischief-maker to abuse. Will a group of associates coming together to receive a VIP qualify for the mandatory volley of tear gas? You would have expected the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) to take the lead in giving this sort of directive. But no the overzealous police have to lunge in with all the elegance of an elephant.

Femi Falana, who had supposedly received the brief, was dismissed as a busy body. But if Chime thought his hurriedly called press conference was the end of the matter, he was mistaken. Falana insists he was briefed by the First Lady. Illness is nothing to be ashamed of. The governor will need to allow independent assessors access to the lady. That is the only way this story will blow away. It was not too long ago that dance troops and flag-waving supporters were swarming all over Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja to welcome First Lady, Patience Jonathan, from her overseas medical trip. On numerous occasions tumultuous crowds have received our victorious football teams at airports. Those raucous receptions were not hazardous to national security back then. But in today’s Nigeria any gathering of the “wrong set of persons” – whether at airports or in the recesses of governors’ lodges – becomes a

conspiracy. Those in command positions who have made themselves agents for shrinking our freedoms should remember that come the day of accounting the argument that they were merely obeying orders wouldn’t hold water. Their unconstitutional actions will be their legacy as they have nothing significant to report on the crime-fighting front. In their desperation to please the current occupants of Aso Villa, they forget that their real loyalty should be to the constitution – not to individuals who can vacate those powerful positions tomorrow. Being pliant tools in the hands of those controlling the levers of state might seem like the way things are done around here, but people should note that what they are actually doing is destroying an institution that should serve all – whether you are in power and or opposition. This deliberate act of attrition by those who ought to build up the organisation is a crime. It is one of the reasons the growth of our democracy will remain stunted. With the force reeking of the sordid smell of partisanship, it is difficult to see how political parties other than the one in power will accept the police as impartial arbiters as we draw closer to the 2015 electoral battles. But more than anything, the sorry state of our police speaks to the pedestrian quality of our political leadership. It comes down to whether you are a civilian with despotic traits or a visionary statesman. Those who are not small-minded understand that the police should be used to uphold freedoms and the constitution. The parochial would see the force as another tool for entrenching themselves in power and brutalising those who disagree with their ambitions. That is what separates the likes of Nelson Mandela, Thabo Mbeki, John Kuffour from the Robert Mugabes and Paul Biyas of this content. A country’s police force cannot be more elevated than those who control it. The way we’re abusing ours shows the leadership column into which our current masters fall. Lastly, the never-ending misuse of the force by successive rulers is the best argument for its reform. The only way to salvage anything from this ruin of an institution is to decentralise it and bury the Frankenstein monster that the national police have become.

Nigeria’s Katsina-Alu’s loud silence famous exports T N HAT former President of the Salami, has maintained a pregnant Court of Appeal, Justice silence about the circumstances Ayo Isa Salami, had a surrounding his ouster. spectacular falling out Perhaps this was down to the with erstwhile Chief issue becoming the subject Justice of Nigeria, of litigation. But once the Aloysius Katsina-Alu, judge made up his mind to leading to his removal as throw in the towel and one of the nation’s retire, it was only a matter leading judicial officers of time before he opened up. has already been Although he was sufficiently ventilated in expected to speak at some the media. The role point, his brutally-frank played in the matter by distillation of the events the National Judicial that forced him from Council (NJC) and the office – made at the executive branch recent launch of his remains the memoirs – object of astounded intense many. In debate. many ways Ever judges are since his l i k e forced diplomats •Katsina-Alu e x i t

always choosing their words carefully, and steering their steps away from controversy – where they can. Salami was anything but diplomatic. He pointedly accused Katsina-Alu of lying and his erstwhile colleagues of betrayal. It was strong stuff and many expected an equally robust response from the man at the receiving end. Instead, not a peep has been heard from the former CJN. Perhaps he’s gathering his thoughts to unload a verbal bazooka of sorts on the longsuffering Salami; or he’s secretly penning a tome which will reveal all. In the interim, enter the meddlesome interloper to play advocate. Since Katsina-Alu would not speak up, National Publicity Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Olisah Metuh decided to help out by hurling invectives at Salami. If ever there was a case of one mourning more than the bereaved this is it.

IGERIA is famous for her many exports: the ‘sweet’ Bonny Light crude oil, our exciting football teams and Nollywood movies with their wafer-thin plots. But not all our exports are so welcome. For the hundreds of thousands, may be millions, around the globe who have had to open another scam email, the name ‘Nigeria’ is wreathed in infamy. A couple of weeks ago, controversial United States Senator Ted Cruz in the heat of the American government shutdown made disparaging remarks about how Nigerian email scammers had taken over the malfunctioning Obamacare website. Even when copycat scammers send their infernal mail dubious credit always lands in our account. But who can complain? We largely own this invention! What I find infuriating, however, is the refusal of the scam email clowns to lift their game. If they won’t go away, at least they should learn to write English and come up with new stories – instead of the same tired, old lines from 1992. The way things stand they deserve to be awarded the “IGNOBLE PRIZE FOR THE DUMB”. Their numbskull victims should cart away the “IGNOBLE PRIZE FOR THE DUMBER.”



Fall of the North

Anambra 2013: Who wears the crown? Page 20-21

Ajimobi’s grand plot against PDP, Accord Page 25

Page 22

Labour Party: Mimiko, Nwanyanwu on war path? There are rumbles over alleged plans of the National Chairman of the Labour Party, Chief Dan Nwanyanwu, to perpetuate himself in office, reports Assistant Editor Dare Odufowokan •Nwanyanwu



HE Labour Party (LP) which prides itself as the party to watch in the forthcoming 2015 general election, especially in the South-West geo-political zone, has been very much in the news lately due to what could best be described as a brewing internal crisis. The LP that has in recent times seen a number of aggrieved leaders of other political parties moving into its camp ahead of the 2015 general election, is currently afflicted by internal dissension over an alleged plan by its National Chairman, Chief Dan Nwanyanwu, to seek a third term in office. According to reports, majority of the members of the National Executive Committee of the party

are opposed to Nwanyanwu's alleged bid to remain in office beyond December 19, 2013, when his second term in office will expire. And while the embattled party boss is busy struggling to woo his fellow executive committee members to his side, party sources claim Governor Olusegun Mimiko of Ondo State, his leading ally within the party, may have decided against a third term for Nwanyanwu. Mimiko is the only governor elected on the platform of the Labour Party and Ondo State is the only state where the party boasts of national assembly members as well as a majority in the state's House of Assembly. Analysts say a decision by the governor to oppose the LP

chairman's bid for a third term will end the political romance that has existed between the duo since 2007 when Mimiko dumped the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to fly the banner of the LP in the Ondo State governorship election. But sources say the governor may have simply chosen to support what appears to be a popular decision within the party. According to a political associate of the governor and LP chieftain in Ondo South Senatorial District, it is not just a personal decision of the governor, but a popular opinion among party leaders and members nationwide. The LP chieftain, who sought anonymity while speaking to The

Nation during the week in Akure, said a third term for Nwanyanwu will portray the party in bad light before the electorate. "The governor still sees the chairman as a friend and dependable political ally. But it has become very important for him as a leader of the party, not only in Ondo State but nationally, to listen to the wishes of party members across the states and ensure that their desires are met. It is obvious that our members are not in support of a third term for Chief Nwanyanwu. While we readily admit that he had led the party well, we are conscious of what our opponents will say should we allow him to sit tight at the helms of affairs. "It is not the leaders or

members of LP here in Ondo State that are saying this. It is the popular opinion within our party. That perhaps will explain why the governor may also be opposed to his continuing in office beyond December 19, 2013. "Even members of the national executive committee are opposed to his bid for a third term. It is not because he has failed to perform but because LP is not a party without capable leaders. It is our view that he should step aside for us to showcase another person's capability to lead the party," he said. The Nation gathered that though the Ondo State governor is yet to publicly declare his opposition to Nwanyanwu's bid, •Continued on Page 26




Anambra 2013: Who

As the campaign for this month’s governorship race in Anambra State ends this week, ahead Saturday’s election, Associate Editor, Sam Egburonu, reports on the major campaign issues that are likely to swing the votes, plus the candidates’ strong and weak points




HE campaigns for this Saturday’s governorship election in Anambra State may be described as one of the shortest and most intriguing since the return of civil rule in 1999. Most of the major candidates had barely a month to campaign, partly because of intrigues that trailed their emergence as the candidates and other fundamental factors. As is usual with the politics of the state, the lists of aspirants in virtually all the major political parties were very long. As a result, the primaries not only witnessed some unhealthy rivalries and unconventional competitive strategies, but were, in the process, over prolonged. So, by the time the candidates finally emerged, so much bad blood had been created within their political families, thus, not only creating heavy baggages for the candidates but also further weakening the concerned political parties. The most prolonged of the intrigues was that of the People’s Democratic Party ( PDP), which only got its candidate on Monday, November 4, precisely 12 days to the date of the election. The short period of campaign notwithstanding, it turned out to be a well knit series of action-packed drama, full of intrigues, conflicts, verbal arsenals, tragic occurrences, and political carnivals ironically flavoured with colourful dances amidst betrayals and outright blackmails. Great expectations It is therefore in the light of these movielike intrigues, plus the pomp and pageantry, which defined the campaigns, that most observers today anticipate a keenly contested election this Saturday, November 16, 2013. The Nation investigation shows that as the parties and their candidates wind up their campaigns, the tension generated by the campaign has not died as the electorates are now left with the task of coming to

terms with the right candidate and party to give their votes to. “That is the present challenge we all have today. The parties and their candidates have made endless promises, presented in very humble ways, so we are confused. They are all our children, and a a result, it is not easy to make a choice,” said Mazi Ukachukwu Udoka, a community leader in Anambra State. To resolve this riddle, most of the electorates are wondering which of the political parties holds the answer to the many problems of the people of state? They are asking which of the candidates in the race has the ‘magic wand’ with which to take the state to the promised land? They are asking so many questions whose answers will ultimately determine the candidate they will cast their votes for. Given the quality of campaigns, especially the promises made, the expectation is high. Aware of these great expectations, the Independent National Electoral Commission ( INEC) and other concerned stakeholders, we learnt, are not taking chances at all. For example, by late October, we gathered that the Transition Monitoring Group (TMG), a coalition of over 400 civil society groups, had concluded plans to deploy about 600 election observers to all the 21 local government areas. This precaution, and others are born out of the belief that the outcome of the Anambra State governorship election will, to a very large extent, serve as a sign post to what will likely happen in the 2015 general elections. Issues that may swing the votes Our investigation reveals that Anambra State is currently undergoing a crucial state of political rebirth. The state, known to be the den of political godfathers, appears determined to give more attention to issues of concrete and enduring development. This revolution, spearheaded by a few members of the intellectual elite in the state, has helped to create a kind of division in

the overall value system of the electorates. This means that instead of the usual situation, where the factor of money and mafialike use of raw primitive power would have topped the list of the issues that may swing the votes in this election, it may take a back seat. The man that can do the job: So, the most likely factor that may swing the votes in the forth coming Anambra State election is the man that can do the job. The top question on the lips of electorates is, amongst the candidates of the leading political parties, Senator Chris Ngige of All Progressives Congress ( APC); Chief Willie Obiano of the ruling All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA); Mr. Ifeanyi Ubah of Labour Party (LP) and Mr. Tony Nwoye of People’s Democratic Party (PDP), who has what it takes to lead Anambra State at a time like this? Who, amongst them have the requisite experience, exposure and charisma to deliver the needed dividends? Our investigation confirms that most electorates in Anambra State today, including the commoners in the rural areas, have been secretly indoctrinated by the elites to place this factor above other factors, including party loyalty and zoning, which have been previously harped on the media. This explains why multitude of people trooped out to attend campaign rallies of all the candidates, without discrimination. The point is that the people wanted to see, hear and personally assess the candidates before making their choice. If this works out fine, the political party that is fielding the most experienced and popular candidate, in this case the APC, which is fielding Senator Ngige, a former governor, will likely win the election in a free and fair contest. Politics of issues Closely linked to the factor of the right candidate is the agenda that is placed on the table. Our investigation shows that as at today, some electorates are somehow

confused because virtually all the leading candidates have mouth watering promises. As Mrs Comfort Chukwudi, a retired matron, puts it, “For now, we are somehow confused because so much have been laid on the table. So much promises have been made. Ngige has, for example, promised free education and to lift the embargo on employment. Ubah has promised to create 40,000 jobs before his first hundred days in office. Obiano has promised to set up free health care policy for children under 10 years, less privileged pregnant women and the elderly above 60, amongst others. So, in terms of promises or ideas, so much have been presented to us and we are interested in them. All we are doing now is to look critically at the candidates and their political parties in order to distinguish between empty promises and genuine resolve to serve Ndi Anambra.” The political parties Another factor of appreciable importance is acceptability of the political party and the current state of the said party. If the issue of traditional party loyalty remains potent, Chief Willie Obiano’s ruling party (APGA) and Mr Tony Nwoye’s PDP, which once held sway in the state, will be favoured in that order. But the problem that may affect the potency of this factor in this election may be the current state of the favoured political parties. APGA and PDP in the state have been affected lately by internal rifts directly and remotely linked to party leadership and choice of governorship candidate. While APGA first resolved its leadership crisis and made amends, PDP took more time, until the Supreme Court on Monday, November 4, resolved the matter. This development, according to insiders, gave Ngige’s APC and Ifeanyi Ubah’s Labour Party an opportunity to make appreciable inroads. Sources said the two parties now enjoy wide acceptability in the

Who the cap fits... THE NATION ON SUNDAY NOVEMBER 10, 2013


wears the crown?


•Ubah •Continued from Page 20 state. So, until the election is held and the results are declared, it may be difficult to say which of the parties will finally take advantage of this once number one factor. The zoning factor The outgoing state governor, Mr Peter Obi’s open declaration that it is the turn of Anambra North Senatorial District to produce the next governor of the state has formally made zoning a factor in the forth coming election. His party, APGA, in response to this, brought its candidate, Willie Obiano, from the district. While some reports say many people share the sentiment that the zone deserve to also produce a state governor, this zoning factor appears particularly interesting because out of the four leading participating political parties, two (APGA and PDP) produced their candidates from Anambra North zone, while APC and Labour Party produced their from Anambra Central and Anambra South respectively. So, except there is a general consensus, the votes in Anambra North District will most likely be split, thus reducing whatever advantage each of the candidates may get. The role of the church: The church, especially the Catholic Church may play a crucial role in deciding who would occupy Anambra State Government House after Obi. It is clear that all the candidates are aware of this fact and have been falling


on each other to please the bishops and their congregations. We hear of mouth watering donations, multi- million Naira church renovations and buildings and the endorsement prayers that follow. While almost all the candidates are caught in this game, it is not certain if the religious leaders will publicly condemn any of the candidates. This means also that the electoral value of this fact may remain largely intangible until after the elction. Traditional rulers Traditional rulers, as the royal fathers, have tremendous influence in their various communities. But like the bishops, the traditional rulers in Anambra State, aware of their role as fathers of all, have been diplomatic enough to bless all that come to them for traditional blessing. This strategy has made it difficult for anyone to quantify what their direct influence would be for or against any of the candidates during the election. The godfathers are still on ground Although the effect of ‘godfatherism’ in Anambra State has waned tremendously, we learnt they cannot be totally waved aside. They are still on ground and are being consulted secretly by some of the candidates. Sources said however that most of them are only being appeased to avoid a situation where they will decide to constitute themselves as obstacles. How far they can influence votes still remains to be seen on Saturday.

How the four leading candidates rate

Dr. Chris Ngige The All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate, Dr. Chris Nwabueze Ngige, a former civilian governor of the state and a serving senator, is unarguably the most experienced and popular of all the candidates in the race. Informed observers said one thing the medical doctor would be remembered and respected for is that in spite of all the intrigues and the odds he was made to contain with, he restrained his campaigns to what has been defined as “politics of ideas” as he anchored his campaign on a clearly defined 12 point agenda. What he would be taking to the polls would include his personal popularity, which ranks far above others, his charisma, and the novelty of his political party, All Progressive Congress ( APC) now acknowledged as the true change that has brought light wherever it has been allowed to dwell in. Coming from Anambra Central, which has the largest population, he may also be favoured by this factor. With these and the fact that many agree with his argument that he should be allowed to return to the Government House to complete the projects he could not finish when his first tenure was suddenly terminated, many informed observers expect the APC candidate to win the election. The burden Ngige will however carry to the polls will include the fact that many find it difficult to adapt easily to change. Chief Willie Obiano The All Progressives Grand Al-

liance candidate, Chief Willie Obiano, is a frontline contender, who also stands a good chance of winning. As the candidate of the ruling party, believed to be Obi’s choice, Obiano will enjoy the benefits of incumbency factor, a factor that counts highly in Nigerian politics. Although an accomplished accountant and banker, Obiano’s critics however said he is little known and that his decision to allow the outgoing governor to do much of the campaigning has further put him behind limelight. This strategy is however viewed by some analysts as “smart,” and a sign of his humility. Another advantage he enjoys is the zoning issue, since he comes from Anambra North. Dismissed however by critics from the district as Obi’s imposition, it remains to be seen what he would gain from zoning, especially with the reality that the zone’s votes would be split between him and his “brother” Nwoye of PDP and others. Mr Ifeanyi Ubah The Labour Party’s candidate, Mr. Ifeanyi Ubah, came into the race as a first timer. Though inexperience in politics, Ubah has shown so much passion and determination to win the election. What the multi- billionaire founder of Capital Oil would be taking to the polls include his reported appeal to the commoners through some philanthropic services, although his critics try desperately to cast doubts on the state of health of his businesses. Barely a month in the game,

Ubah has made a name in the politics of Anambra State. It remains however to see the depth of the reported impact when the votes are counted. Mr. Tony Nwoye The People’s Democratic Party’s candidate, Mr. Tony Nwoye, has the least period to campaign. His ambition to fly the PDP flag was troubled by intrigues and multiple legal battles. Although the PDP leadership publicly declared that he would fly the party’s flag in October, it was not until Monday 4, 2013 when the Supreme Court finally affirmed his candidature that it became certain he is the party’s candidate. This is the major challenge that Nwoye would have to face. Ordinarily, PDP has a lot of supporters in the state, but it remains to be seen if those supporters are still one, given the disagreement at the state chapter of PDP. Of course, one of Nwoye’s greatest advantage is the awesome support of the national leadership of PDP. Who wears the crown? The die is cast! On Saturday, November 16, 2013, Anambra State electorates will file out to elect Mr Peter Obi’s successor. Many political parties are participating in the election, but judging from their campaigns so far, it seems the four front runners include, APC, APGA, Labour Party and PDP, which are fielding Senator Chris Ngige, Chief Willie Obiano, Mr. Ifeanyi Ubah, and Mr Tony Nwoye respectively. The big question today is, out of the candidates, who will wear the crown?





he caliphate and the emirates have declined. Their spiritual fountain is drained. Their political influence has withered. Their command structure is stunted. The foundation of "One North,One People" has crumbled. The Abubakar Saddiq III legacy has been imperiled. All his 50-year efforts to have one formidable north are going down the drains. The House of Sardauna has cracked. The winds are torturing the troubled souls of the mullahs. The people of the North are in disarray. The elite have scattered. The politicians are fighting. The peasants are grieving. The almajiris are grumbling. The haramists are in the trenches running helter skelter. The picture is real and the message is clear: the North has fallen. Its ancestors are crest-fallen wondering if a region whose present is in jeopardy can boast of a future that is politically worthy. The power of the North has gone awry and the Arewa has lost its aura. Sir Ahmadu Bello and Sir Abubakar Saddiq III were great visionary leaders of the North whose pertinacious astuteness and political ingenuity were aimed at the consolidation of the Northern hegemony and unity within the complex polity of the Nigerian state. Leveraging on the Uthman Dan Fodio's enigmatic persona, both men inspired in their followership the imperativeness of protecting and sustaining the vision of dominance. Some people always confuse dominance with domination. Dominance is about relevance and influence while domination is about subjugation and conquest. The intention of these two great leaders, as evident in their populist sentiments and philosophy, was not for the North to dominate other components of the Nigerian state, but to carve a solid political influence for themselves to be able to protect the interests of the North. More fundamentally, these two great leaders were mindful of the incursion of Christianity into their territory. They wanted a North that will remain compact as to guarantee the immutability of their religious character and cultural identity. This Northern dominance agenda was sometime encapsulated in the terms of reference of the Constitution Consultative Committee set up by the Northern Elders in February 15, 1986 immediately after the Babangida administration inaugurated the Political Bureau . One of the objectives of the committee among others "was to get the North to generally and in a concerted manner, articulate the form of constitution that would provide stability and project the interest of the North as well as Nigeria. It also identified "the need for the North, as far as possible, to speak with one voice" moreso "in view of the "disadvantageous" position the North has been pushed into". I do not understand what the Northern Elders meant by "…the disadvantageous" position the North has been pushed into" but I can assert that there was some insincerity in this statement because the only one that should complain of being pushed into a "disadvantageous" position during the military era was the South. However, I admit that in the present dispensation, the North appears to be in a "disadvantageous" position politically. But whose fault is it? The North became a victim of its own scheme. One of the members of the military (elite) corps that it trained to protect the hegemony of the north was the one that planted the seed of decline in all that is glorious about the North. The moment Sanni Abacha demystified the mystique of the Sultanate, the entire North became stripped of the myth of inviolability surrounding it. It was clear that the violation of the Caliphate, which for the North was a symbol of spiritual and political authorities, rubbished the

• Sir Ahmadu Bello

•Sultan of Sokoto, His Eminence, Dr. Muhammed Sa’ad Abubakar

Fall of the North By Dapo Thomas personality-cult of the Caliphate and the emirates. The cracks presaging the fall of the North were there all along but regrettably, nobody considered them ominous. First was the query issued by Alhaji Abubakar Rimi, the then governor of Kano State, to the Emir of Kano, His eminence, Alhaji Ado Bayero, on July 9, 1981. Next was the dissolution of the Muri emirate, headed by Alhaji Umaru Abba Tukur, by the then governor of Gongola State, Col. Yohanna Madaki in July, 1986 and the climax of these institutional desecrations was the dethronement of the Sultan of Sokoto, His Eminence, Alhaji Ibrahim Dasuki by Sanni Abacha on April 20, 1996 after reigning for 8 years. All these were portentous actions signposting the decline of the oneness of the North. But they were discountenanced because circumstances took care of them. The Kano riots, which followed the Rimi's disrespectful query, the unceremonial removal and retirement of Yohanna Madaki by the Babangida administration and the celebrated death of Sanni Abacha. Until the Abacha-Dasuki debacle in 1996, the military overwhelmingly defended and fortified the political interest of the North. It showed massive respect to its institutions and its spiritual leadership and also provided the resources for the training and capacity-building of its civil personnel in a bid to consolidate its grip on political power in all facets. This relationship was not strange. Instead, it reinforces the belief that the leadership of the North, anticipating the future role of the military in Nigerian politics, enlisted their sons into the Armed Forces during the colonial era to ensure that the elite corps of the Army was not only dominated by the North but well positioned to play a crucial role in the political future of the North in particular and Nigeria in general. Unfortunately, while this was going on in the North,

the leadership of the South was more interested in the dignity of university education for their own sons whom they were preparing for post-independence political administration. Both regions seemed to have achieved the objectives of their strategic planning. Between 1966 and 1999 when the military finally returned to the barracks, the North dominated more than 90 percent of the military tenures, leaving the South with just a 3 year interventionist leadership after Olusegun Obasanjo succeeded Murtala Mohammed in 1976. This was even at the instance of General Theophilus Danjuma, who declined to take over as the Head of State on personal grounds. Otherwise, all the military regimes would have been headed by officers from the North. During its many years in power, the military, substantially led by the Northerners as earlier noted, made sure that most of the administrative and civil structures, including the civil service, federal parastatals and agencies were firmly controlled by Northerners, some of whom are still there today or had replaced themselves with those they mentored. Conversely, the south too seems to be dominating the new democratic dispensation since 1999 with the North credited with only 3 years out of the 14 years of the democratic project. And very likely, going by GEJ's ruthless adventurism and desperation for a second term, the North may have to wait till 2019. Even this contemplation is still in the realm of speculation. Anything can happen to prevent the return of the North to the Centre after Jonathan's tenure, for instance, the personality crisis brewing among the political class. Most states in the North are controlled by the PDP, yet there is intense antagonism and deep-seated animosity among them-a situation that has paralysed the operations of the Northern Governors' Forum (NGF). The sudden emergence of the New PDP, comprising mostly northern governors and prominent northern politicians, is another sign

that all is not well with the North. The Northern Elders Forum (NEF) inspired by people like Alhaji Mahmoud Atta to act as a mechanism for political control and continuity is now a symbol of political cacophony. The Forum is gradually sinking into depravities. Disturbed and rattled by the Forum's present degeneracy, prominent and influential Northerners, who did not want to be part of this mess, have stopped attending its meetings. Some are engaged in shaddy and dirty deals that the government is aware of but keeps as secret for as long as such unscrupulous elders keep undermining the interest of the North to Jonathan's advantage. Some so-called northern elders have also compromised their principles by flirting with the Jonathan administration at the expense of the collective interest of the entire North. The Northern Elders Forum may never regain the sanctity of its past in view of the action of some of its "elders" who have openly sold out their region and its people to the man in power. A rough count of elders from the North belonging to Goodluck Support Group Elders Advisory Council, a new chop-chop outfit put together by Jonathan's sycophants, showed 30 out of 58 members that make up the Council. What is more, the Goodluck's Council is headed by a prominent Northerner, Senator Ibrahim Mantu CFR. Lord have mercy!! Like the Ohaneze Ndigbo and Afenifere, the Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) has recently been embroiled in credibility deficit, especially when its positions and views on national issues are trailed by inconsistencies and palliative commercialism - a development which can slide it into institutional paralysis. The once credible and unbending forum seems to have been infiltrated by men with "Ghana-mustgo" known as political negotiators. For instance, ACF's earlier stance on Jonathan's talk show (national conference) was that the North would not participate. The forum had

consistently said that since it was not party to those who called for the national conference/national dialogue, it had no suggestion to give the committee headed by Senator Femi Okurounmu. In a dramatic twist, or after some dramatic negotiations, the forum had now urged northerners to participate in the national conference in the interest of "national solidarity". I hear you. It is no secret that there is no lovelost between the political class and the military elite of the North. The political class is evidently not in favour of overlapping functionality and opportunistic professional migration. The politicians are unwilling to admit into their group the military boys whom they believe, and rightly so, had had their own opportunity. This is the problem Ibrahim Babangida and Muhammed Buhari are facing. Though, the masses in the north admire Buhari and have nothing against him, the political elite who determine who gets what do not believe in the choice of the talakawas whom they regard as political nitwits lacking the feudal orientation to determine quality leadership. The Boko Haram had exposed the obvious decline in the spiritual authority of the Caliphate and the emirates. The helplessness, inability and failure of the Northern traditional rulers to end the siege of horror by the Boko Haram is an indication of the collapse and ignominy the northern traditional institutions had suffered lately. It is unimaginable that a time would come that the Sultan and the Emirs who had a god-like image in not-too-distant past would be reduced to their present siddon look figures. The Sultan, the emirs and their durbars were impeccable delight for local and international tourists who came from far and wide to watch the sovereigns of the North display the beauty of their power and culture. Aside from the emirs, the Sultan until the fall of Dasuki, was a ruler of adorable imperial grandeur. Such was the majestic aura of the Sultanate that Alhaji Ibrahim Dasuki, who ostensibly was the candidate of the North for the presidency after Ibrahim Babangida, had to sacrifice his presidential ambition to become the Sultan of Sokoto in 1988. I sympathise with the present Sultan of Sokoto, His Eminence, Dr. Muhammed Sa'ad Abubakar who is occupying the position at a difficult time like this. He needs to be pragmatic. His response is not to wallow in self-pity but to rise to the challenge of restoring the declining grandeur of the Sultanate. It was a strategic blunder and miscalculation on the part of whoever imbued the caliphate with both spiritual and political authorities obvious of the fact that a time like this will come when the dynamics of politics will attenuate the influence of the Sultanate in national politics. The myth of power around the Sultanate has been debunked. The political creed of "One North, One People" has been rubbished. Those who thought this political idealism would endure till eternity are living witnesses to its calamitous brevity. The fall of the North has nothing to do with their losing power at the centre. It is about political opportunism, mistrust, greed, betrayal and conspiracy of its elite that have been unfaithful to the founding fathers' creed which binds them together. I am not surprised, these days, the legacy and vision of the dead is immaterial for as long as the living have their own vision especially one with strong commercial viability and potential. It does not matter if such vision is capable of causing the political mutism of the whole North. The North needs an inspirational and credible leader with imposing and intimidating profiles in politics and business. A leader who is philosophically and emotionally committed to the Northern cause and will do everything within his capability to revivify the dying vision of their founding fathers. I am in no position to suggest who. Period.



Akwa Ibom 2015: The many odds against Umana

Former Akwa Ibom Finance Commissioner and Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Umana Umana, has been in the eyes of the storm lately over his governorship ambition. Sunday Oguntola analyses why his chances of clinching the governorship slot have become slimmer

•Umana Umana


NTIL last August, it was taken for granted he was coasting home to the Government House. Nearly all indigenes of Akwa Ibom saw the former Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Umana Umana, as the next governor. His governorship ambition was open secret. It was not a misplaced prospect. Umana was not only highly connected but also influential. He was the only man Governor Godswill Akpabio was said to fear in the state’s political space. Umana, who joined the civil service as a Principal Budget Officer in October 1998 rose to become the State Director of Budget same year. Two years later, he was appointed Permanent Secretary in charge of the Budget office and retired in 2003. He joined the Victor Attah’s administration as Finance Commissioner and served for eight years. In 2007, he supported Akpabio and allegedly bankrolled his campaign to emerge victorious. When the administration kicked off, Umana was expectedly appointed the SSG, a position he held until August. His closeness to Akpabio made him feared and respected. Many aides deferred to him and consulted the astute administrator to curry his favour. His words were laws and his pronouncements unchallenged. He could access just about anything and anybody throughout the state. He survived all the cabinet reshuffles and was even said to have determined those to go and stay, a further testimony to the implicit confidence Akpabio reposed in him. Many of the government’s nominees, it was reported, either came from him or received his blessings. This aura made the Ibibio politician, born in Ndiya, Nsit Ubium Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State, the state’s most powerful go-to person. It was said that even Akpabio feared hurting or injuring his interests. But nothing lasts forever. The once untouchable politician was forced to resign in most controversial circumstances. First, he was locked out by security operatives from his office. Then, he was forced to tender his resignation 48 hours after the humiliating episode. The zoning hurdle Since he left office, Umana’s influence has continued to wane. Those who could not as little as walk beside him started throwing jibes at him. They derided his governorship’s

ambition, saying it was dead on arrival. Investigations revealed that the major hindrance against the governorship ambition of the former SSG is the zoning arrangement within the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). Umana, who is from Uyo Senatorial District, is considered unqualified for now because the governorship slot has been reportedly ceded to the Eket District. Since the creation of Akwa Ibom State in 1987, nobody from Eket has mounted the saddle. The first civilian governor of the state, the late Obong Akpan Isemin, won the race under the platform of the defunct National Republican Convention (NRC) in 1991. He was from the Uyo Senatorial District. But he did not last as the military took over power in 1993. At the return of the nation to democratic rule, Obong Victor Attah, also from the Uyo Senatorial District, mounted the saddle. He served for two terms and handed over to the incumbent, Godswill Akpabio, who happens to be the first from Ikot Ekpene Senatorial District to rule the state. It was learnt that Attah conceived a rotation arrangement among the three senatorial districts months before his handover. The districts, it was gathered, were to take turn to produce the governor. The arrangement was to protect Eket from domination. Uyo district has the most votes but Eket produces more oil wells than others. Zoning advocates said there is no way Eket will be able to produce a governor on their own without such rotation policy. This zoning arrangement is the biggest hurdle against Umana’s ambition. Investigations revealed that the political barometer in Akwa Ibom is more disposed to having an Eket indigene become the governor. This, it is learnt, is to ensure fairness and equity. Had Umana been from Eket, he would have driven to the Government House almost unchallenged, observers believe. It is reported that this arrangement is why Akpabio moved to cut him to size and dismantle his political structures. Rumbles from ‘enemies’ camp Many of his critics also fear the soft-spoken politician is too rich for their comfort. His wealth, they contend, will put him at a complete advantage over other political interests if he were to become governor. This, it was gathered, is why many conspired and rose against him. They say a powerful man blessed with means and resources will be

too hot to toy around with for a state like Akwa Ibom where political patronage is high. They are also uncomfortable with his strong political structures across the state, a development they allegedly pointed out to Akpabio. Akpabio, it was learnt, was told installing Umana as his successor would haunt him for the rest of his life. A source in the anti-Umana camp said: “It was a pretty thing to do. All we needed to do was to point out how Umana is already rich and will be too strong to handle for Akpabio, who will still want to pull strings while out of government.” The governor reportedly started seeing the wisdom in what his aides were pointing out to him. He considered Umana as a serious threat that must be out-muscled to prevent future heartbreaks. They also succeeded in convincing him of Umana’s independent streak, a trait they said will make the ex-SSG quite uncontrollable. This plot, it was learnt, was hatched by close aides of the governor, who were becoming uncomfortable with the vast influence Umana was wielding in the state. Another source said: “Every governor is keenly interested in who succeeds him. We just showed His Excellency how having an Umana will make him become a loser. Umana is independent minded and loves to run shows on his own. There is no way he will become governor and he won’t move against Akpabio. The signals are just there for us to see.” Investigations revealed that the fear of having an influential, rich and independent successor without regards for his legacies and achievements was what finally convinced Akpabio to move against Umana. Akpabio’s indisposition to supporting Umana might prove to be the greatest undoing of the former’s governorship ambition. But Umana, a relentless personality, is not giving up without fighting back. Sources close to him say he won’t drop his aspiration for anything in the world. This explained why he turned down the offer to serve as the state’s representative in the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC). He is also said to be prepared to pursue the ambition under another platform should the PDP becomes too unbearable for him. How far he can go will surely spice the contest in the state.


Let the governors be


T is dumbfounding how seven state governors are being hounded around as security men do everything to restrict access to them. Every citizen has an inalienable right to receive whoever pleases him within the precincts of his home or office. He also has the right to move freely except on the order of a court of law or by law enforcement agencies acting in the interest of the state and under the law. However, state governors of seven states have recently had their rights abridged by the police apparently on superior orders motivated by cheap politics. The governors of Sokoto, Jigawa, Kano, Niger, Rivers, Kwara and Adamawa States who have indicated their dissatisfaction with the leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party led by Alhaji Bamanga Tukur have been prevented from either meeting or playing host to people of their choice within the premises of their states’ liaison offices in Abuja. Uninvited, the police usually storm venues of their meeting with a view to chasing away visitors or disrupting the meetings. One is tempted to ask-on whose orders? Why is the state jittery over the impending exit of seven out of twenty-three governors? At the moment, there are only thirteen non-PDP governors. If seven should team up with them, the opposition would be going into the 2015 election with twenty governors to PDP’s sixteen. Wouldn’t the election be a test of strength? Is there any law that says an opposition party would win the contest just because the governor has defected to another political party? The PDP is afraid of its own shadows. When a political party becomes as jittery as the PDP is showing it is, it becomes open to recording avoidable mistakes. It could either become desperate and thus takes steps that alienate it, or it begins to lose confidence in itself ahead of the poll and that is the beginning of failure. The All Progressives Congress (APC), as the main opposition party has gone after the disaffected governors. Leaders of the party have openly solicited defection of the seven and assured them that their future would be better in the new amalgam. This is probably not the time, forum or juncture to ask how the contradictions arising from movements from the PDP to the new party would be resolved. The main concern here is the use to which the PDPcontrolled federal government is putting the Police Force in pursuit of partisan interests. It portends danger to the health of the country. What point is President Goodluck Jonathan making in preventing members of the PDP splinter group from meeting? Is the President so narrow-minded to believe that a state governor could be whipped into line simply because the security forces have been unleashed on him? Does the President think that Kawu Baraje, a former secretary, and later acting chairman of the party could be made to dump his chosen path simply by harassment by agents of the state? These are the wrong strategies. It is the wrong direction to travel. It is the wrong decision to take. It will not help the government or the party. The PDP leaders ought to conduct a serious soul search. Where did it get it wrong? Was it in deciding to push Jonathan forward in 2011? What could be done now? In any case, it is the business of the party what it makes of its journey to 2015. It is trite in political science that power is for the ruling party and incumbent to lose. An athlete who carelessly drops his baton knows that the race is over. The PDP and President Jonathan could afford to drop the baton, what they have no right to do is take panic measures that could provoke reactions that may threaten the health of the nation. Nigeria does not belong to the President and the crowd around me. It does not belong more to Jonathan than it does Omonijo. We are all stakeholders and are interested in ensuring that all enemies of the growth of democracy are kept out of the fold. The seven governors still have the right of association and a right of freedom of movement. Anyone trying to stop them is an enemy of Nigeria and all Nigerians and should be fiercely resisted. The political space is wide enough to accommodate all. In Ghana, when it pleased the people, the National Democratic Congress was made to quit the Government House, and, after a while, the NPP government, too, was served the quit notice. That is democracy at work. If governments can change without much rancour in Ghana, Senegal, Sierra-Leone and Benin Republic, why not Nigeria. All that we should be concerned about as we race to 2015 is that the will of the people must be done. For now, it must be sounded loud and clear: Let the governors go, if they so wish.




snippets It’s senate or Tor Sankera, Shuluwa tells Suswam



HE Vice Chairman, Benue State Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Elders Forum, Chief Abu King Shuluwa, has advised Governor Gabriel Suswam to choose between running for the Zone ‘A’ Senate and allowing his brother, Chief Terkura Suswam, to go for the Tor Sankera stool. It is widely held that Governor Suswam is nursing a senate ambition to replace the incumbent, Senator B. A. I. Gemade, while his immediate elder brother, Dr Terkura Suswam, is already the acclaimed Tor Sankera. Speaking at a thanksgiving mass recently organised for him at St. Mary’s Catholic Rectory, Uma, Ijoo Mbatyough, Ikyurav Tiev II in Katsina Ala Local Government Area (LGA) Chief Abu King Shuluwa said the two positions cannot go to one family even as he has advised that the issue of first class chiefs should be handled with care. In his position, one of the current second class chiefs from Sankera should be elevated to first class status owing to their wealth of experience and age. Their Royal Highnesses, Chiefs Fezanga Wombo and Jimmy Meeme, are the current occupants of Ter Katsina-Ala, Ter Logo respectively. Reacting to demand by his Ikyurav Tiev kinsmen that the Sankera Federal Constituency seat be returned to them, Chief Abu King Shuluwa noted that Loko people had loaned to their neighbouring Ukum people, urging all to remain patient till 2015 when the issue will be easily sorted out. He wondered why the arrangement took place between the Ikyurav Tiev and the Ukum people and now the Shitile people are desperately trying to settle a matter they are not involved in and know nothing about. The Sema Wan U Tiv wondered why the Ikyurav Tiev loaned the Ukum

From Uja Emmanuel, Makurdi people their turn in 2011 with trust and a Shitile man would act as a middleman at the end. He said that if left alone, the matter between the two major areas in Sankera wouldn’t be compounding, stressing that the intervention of people who were not party to the agreement is rather bringing confusion in the matter. He however urged the Loko people to be calm and patient saying, the time to sort the matter out is even at the corner. The Executive Chairman of the local government, Hon. Martins Iorungwa Agir, had earlier expressed willingness and preparedness of the people of Ikyurav Tiev to reclaim the Katsina-Ala Ukum and Logo Federal House of Representatives seat in 2015. The chairman said as the leader of the ruling PDP in the local government, as well as the general overseer of the area, he has been under enormous pressure from individuals, groups and well wishers from Ikyurav Tiev to make the position of the people known to the state government and the general public as regards the House of Representative seat for Sankera come 2015. Hon. Agir said his people want to reclaim the seat in 2015 when the loan they (Ikyurav Tiev) gave to Ukum people would have expired. “I am not speaking my mind but that of my people. My people are larger than me”, Hon. Agir told newsmen in a separate chat.. Speaking further, Agir warned those who, without provocation, are attacking the Sema Wan U Tiv in Ikyurav Tiev and Katsina-Ala in general to desist from the act or face the anger of the teeming supporters of the Sankera political leader. “No past administration in the local government was ever peaceful like mine because I am adhering strictly to the advice of Chief Shuluwa that I should tolerate all kinds of political behaviours so that peace and unity shall continue to reign and pave way for development to come in the area. This has rather made Suluwa an enemy in the eyes of those who don’t mean well for us. I have watched with enough patience, tolerance and endurance the attacks on him and has now decided that whosoever points his or her fingers on his face again shall not be allowed to go free; the position of the law will determine what happens to him or her”, Agir warned. On his part, the Ter Katsina-Ala, Chief Fezanga Wombo described Chief Shuluwa as a courageous politician who stands for the truth. Chief Wombo, who confessed of almost giving Shuluwa a wrong identity in the past, said he later realised that he is a real man and advised the people of Sankera to rally around him for their political knowledge or perish in ignorance, adding that the moment Sankera tries to leave Shuluwa behind, that will be the beginning of their downfal.


Group lauds Amosun’s performance in Ogun

HE Remo Group (TRG), a sociocultural organisation, has commended Senator Ibikunle Amosun, Governor of Ogun State, over what it called his laudable infrastructural development of the state within his two years and a half in office. The group, which praised the current administration’s choice of projects, said it is satisfied with the effort of the government so far in areas such as road construction, education, agriculture and urban renewal. In a communiqué issued after its third leadership congress, held in Ilishan-Remo, read out to reporters by its Director of Organisation, Otunba Lanre Oshin, the group also commended the state government for providing armoured tanks and other vehicles for the police and other security outfits in the state. “TRG also gives kudos to the government for providing vigilance groups across the state and equipping the groups adequately. The effort of the vigilance groups at complementing the police in combating crimes in the state today is noteworthy. “The provision of armoured tanks and other security vehicles for the police and other security agencies in the state is also commendable. We also thank the government for the numerous road projects it has embarked on across the state. “Of special interest and joy to us are the roads constructed and under construction in Sagamu and other towns in Remo-land. With these road projects, the governor is helping a great deal to further open up our ancestral home to much needed development and growth. “We equally praise the administration for retaining and adequately funding the State Polytechnic at Saapade. We urge the government to continue in its stride towards making the institution more befitting of its status,” the communiqué

• Amosun read. It added, “TRG is, however, using this medium to tell the governor that there is still more work to be done. We urge Governor Ibikunle Amosun and his government to hurry up in the repairs and reconstruction of all dilapidated roads within Remo-land as well as hasten up the provision of amenities for rural communities in the area,” the group said.

Ubah harps on food security in Anambra


HREE chieftains of Labour Party in Anambra State have emphasised the issue of food security and the challenges of boosting the agricultural potential of the state, describing them as vital and basic issues in determining who should be voted in as the next governor of the state in this week’s election. According to them, the Labour Party’s governorship candidate, Mr Ifeanyi Ubah, has demonstrated so much passion and commitment to focus in these areas if voted in as governor. “Ifeanyi Ubah’s vision in this very context, is wrapped up in his burning desire to revitalise agriculture and equally pursue a vigorous and robust policy of sustainable food production and environmental preservation,” said Mazi Chimere Akaneje. “The twin pillars of Ubah’s vision,” according to him, “are underscored by the “integrated programmes, which, principally, are a pursuit of aggressive turn-around of the agricultural sector in all spheres; a provision of multi-lateral funding facilities for stakeholders in agriculture, and the declaration of a state of emergency against any prospects of food shortage and starvation in the state.” Akaneje, who advised electorates to study Ubah’s manifesto, observed that “his other policy programmes include designing irrigation support systems and the development and implementation of a master plan for flood and erosions control in Anambra State,” he said, adding, “he believes that in addressing the challenges of food scarcity, the root causes which lie, fundamentally, in the abject neglect of this sector by past and present administrations in Anambra State, must be tackled robustly.” Mr. Anyidi Anagekwe, another respondent, noted that “Ubah seems determined to reverse the past and present trends and situations by injecting new blood and a generous dose of energies, in terms of capacity-building programmes and capital base adequacy for other related agroallied projects.”

Specific strategic policies and programmes articulated by Ubah for addressing the issues, include easy and affordable access to agric-specific funding sources at the state and federal levels as well as financial institutions. Ifeanyi Ubah, quite persuasively means well and – given his experience and impressive wide links in the ever so capital-intensive nature of his forte – petroleum business – should be taken seriously when he pledges to keep his word. Other measures include the provision of ancillary incentives to boost the morale of farmers and stakeholders in the agric sector; resuscitation of abandoned farm settlements and the provision of logistics support, which include the construction of produce-processing mills and facilities, and availability of long-term strategic storage facilities for the preservation of excess products. Ubah strongly believes that Anambra State has the potentials to be the food basket of the South-East geo-political zone. A major threat to the agricultural policies of Anambra State, as well as security of life and property and sustainable environmental protection, is the unsettling issue of erosion menace. Several communities in Anambra State have been ravaged by erosion and local population displaced. In fact, lives have been lost and valuable property lost to the menace of erosion in the state. Ubah maintains that introducing and effectively implementing policies and programmes to provide adequate and proactive responses to the issues of erosion and flooding in the state, proper use of ecological funds from the federal government, as well as those from international development agencies, will adequately address the matter. It would be recalled that Ubah has, during the campaigns, assured the electorate that his mission is to serve diligently, and make the much desired difference in the lives of the people of Anambra State, where the past and present governments – civilian and military have failed.


OVERNOR Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo State and his political party, the All Progressive Congress (APC) is not leaving anything to chance in their resolve to ensure the routing of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the Accord Party (AP) in the 2015 governorship election in the state. PDP and the AP, the two leading opposition parties in the state, have been unrelenting in their bid to oust Ajimobi and the APC from the Agodi Government House come 2015. At every forum, leaders of the two parties like former Governors Rasheed Ladoja and Adebayo Alao-Akala, are wont to tell their supporters of how they are plotting to stop Ajimobi from securing a second term in office the same way they were both stopped from earning reelection. Recently, Ladoja and Alao-Akala entered into an agreement that will see the two of them collaborating ahead of the 2015 governorship election all in a bid to ensure the failure of the re-election bid of Ajimobi. But watchers of the politics of the state say the governor and his party may have moved ahead of the opposition in strategising how to remain in office beyond May 2015. Duro Adesanya of the Coalition for Democracy and Rule of Law (CDRL) said with the new cabinet for the state, the ruling APC has shown that it is desirous of remaining in office beyond 2015. According to the public commentator, the cabinet is a mix of people who can help the governor continue his quest to serve the people of the state better as well as people who can help him get the votes of the people come 2015. “With the recent dissolution and reconstitution of the state’s executive council, Ajimobi may have put paid to the hope of the opposition to stop his reelection bid. The new cabinet is a political masterstroke by all ramifications. The APC must have had winning the 2015 election in mind when they drew up the list of the new team. It shows the party is serious with shutting up Ladoja and Akala forever,” he said. Gov. Ajimobi of Oyo State had, in what came to many as a surprise move, on September 23, dissolved the State Executive Council (SEC). Party sources, however, said the plan to dissolve the cabinet was conceived long before then. A statement issued by the Director, Cabinet, Mr Dotun Omokemi, said the dissolution was informed by the need to inject fresh blood into the administration in the quest to serve the state better. And on Monday, Ajimobi forwarded a list of commissioner-nominees to the Oyo State House of Assembly. The House started the screening of the 12 commissioner-nominees the next day. A cursory look at the names on the list, analysts say, revealed how far the APC has gone to ensure that opposition parties will find it difficult wooing the people of the state to vote for them in 2015. Duro Adesanya observed: “This is politics. You don’t need a soothsayer to tell you that what the APC has done is to appoint people with electoral value into positions. With this list, the party has successfully married competence with electoral weight in chosing the new cabinet members. “I see one of the sons of the Olubadan, Prince Gbade Lana, on the list. His position as a prince is a plus for APC during election. And he is a capable hand too. As the chairman of the Oyo State Library Board, he made his mark. “Take a good look at the five former commissioners who made the new list – Dr. Muyiwa Gbadegesin, Mr. Adebayo Ojo, Mr. Dapo Lam Adesina, Princess Adetutu Adeyemi-Akhigbe and Mr. Zaccheus Adelabu , these are political heavyweights in their various constituencies. “Dapo Adesina is the son of the late former governor of the state, Lam Adesina. Adeyemi-Akhigbe is the daughter of the Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi. Gbadegesin, Adelabu and Ojo are respected chieftains of the party. “Mr. Faruk Arisekola-Alao, is the son of frontline businessman, Alhaji Azeez



Ajimobi’s grand plot against PDP, Accord

The choice of the members of the new Executive Council in Oyo State is Governor Abiola Ajimobi’s grand plot to rout opposition parties in 2015 elections, reports Assistant Editor, Dare Odufowokan


So, a fractionalised party cannot confront us, we don’t have any opposition. Already, we are taking maximum advantage of their crisis. Our camp is growing in leaps and bounds every day. By the time they wake up to mend fences among themselves, they won’t see their supporters again,” he said.


Arisekola- Alao. No one can ignore the importance of the Arisekola-Alao family to the politics of the state. “No doubt, this is a brilliant way to show the opposition that the people of the state, across social strata, are still very much pleased with the government of the ruling party,” Speaking on the 2015 election, Honourable Kamil Akinlabi, representing Oyo in the House of Representatives, said it will be practically impossible for the opposition, especially the PDP to defeat APC in the next governorship election in the state. “There is no other party in Oyo State.”he said, “We have no opposition. Where is the opposition against APC? We don’t have any opposition against us. Which PDP? Is it the PDP of Teslim Folarin, PDP of Alao-Akala or the PDP of Jumoke Akinjide, which of the PDP? “So, a fractionalised party cannot confront us, we don’t have any opposition. Already, we are taking maximum advantage of their crisis. Our camp is growing in leaps and bounds every day. By the time they wake up to mend fences among themselves, they won’t see their supporters again,.” The lawmaker said with the level of performance of the Ajimobi-led APC government in the state, the people of the state will surely prefer the party to any other one in 2015. In his wards, “When somebody plans a lasting legacy, it is something worthwhile. Other governors before him have contributed their quotas by their various achievements. After all, they were not sleeping while there. But what he has added is rooted in his approach, how are they doing it, let me do my own differently. Of course, other administrations constructed roads, but in his own wisdom, he said let me dualise those road”. “So, when you talk of all those roads dualised, it will be recorded for Ajimobi’s administration. He has constructed an overhead bridge at Mokola. Even, if you don’t agree with him, it will outlive him as governor. No one can take that credit away from him. We are not condemning those before him, but he has done things differently in a way that will make life meaningful for the general citizens of Oyo State,” Akinlabi said. The State Acting Chairman of the APC, Chief Akin Oke, shares Akinlabi’s opinion. “On which platform is PDP going to defeat Ajimobi in 2015? Is it the old or new PDP? Is it on the platform of Senator Lekan Balogun, Elder Wole Oyelese, or that of the Minister of State for the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Ms Jumoke Akinjide,” Oke asked ? Oke said while the APC is busy restrategising and winning more people into its fold ahead of the 2015 election, the opposition, especially the PDP is busy fighting within itself. According to the party boss, the crisis in Oyo PDP is worse than that of any other state across the country. He stated“With the kind of problem in Oyo PDP, it will be a pipe dream for the PDP to win 20 per cent votes in the state in 2015. “When they boasted that the PDP will win Oyo in 2015, did they forget that the PDP governed the state for eight years with nothing to show for it, other than bloodshed, violence and retrogression. “Ajimobi’s two years in office is far better than the PDP’s eight years’ reign of terror. Let Folarin tell the world which PDP he is boasting of. Is it the new or old PDP that will defeat Ajimobi in 2015?” “In spite of all these, as serious politicians, we are not resting on our oars. We are daily reaching out to the people and asking them to come and join us. The people of the state are daily praising the party for bringing to them a government that really cares,” he added.





Anambra candidates seek Arthur Eze’s blessing


Chime under pressure over wife’s confinement


nugu State Governor, Sullivan Chime, has been explaining why his wife, Mrs. Clara Chime, has been confined indoors for a while now. His explanation followed allegations that he subjected the First Lady to house arrest for several months. Explaining, the governor said, “As my wife, I will continue to protect her integrity. Well, my wife has some medical challenges and it would be very unkind for me to talk about her condition on the pages of newspapers. I have done everything to protect her integrity and I’m not now going to expose her to ridicule because some people want to exploit her situation to drag me into a needless war of words. There was a time she was confined indoors and that was strictly on her doctors’ advice. She’s here and she can confirm or deny it. Also, the doctors then advised against allowing her access to telephones and laptop,”a critic said. Well, the governor is entitled to his right of reply, even denials and refutals if need be. But the question many people are still waiting for an answer to is if by his actions, Governor Chime was wrong or right. This question was further fuelled when the “victim” herself, Her Excellency Clara Chime, during the course of the same briefing where her husband explained what

•Continued from Page 19 he has allegedly told party functionaries on a number of occasions of his position on the issue. "Recently, the governor, while urging leaders of the party to prevent any crisis from weakening the party, said it is not compulsory that one person should continue to lead the party. He asked all those concerned to go and seek an amicable solution to the problem. The governor is also of the opinion that it is wrong for the party not to call a national convention four years after the last one. He has suggested that the leadership of the party should put machineries in motion for one before the end of the year," another party source revealed. Earlier, LP's Deputy National Secretary, Babatunde Ayelabola, has publicly warned Nwanyanwu against throwing the party into confusion by seeking to extend his stay as its National Chairman. In a letter dated October 9, 2013 and made available to journalists, Ayelabola said by December 19, it would be four years since Nwanyanwu was returned for a second term at the party's second convention, having been elected in February 2004 at LP's first convention Ayelabola expressed concern that two months to the expiration of Nwanyanwu's tenure, there was no sign that the LP would call a third convention. This, according to him, is suggestive of a bid by the Chairman to perpetrate


OLITICAL godfather in Anambra State, Chief Arthur Eze’s country home has been turned into a political Mecca of some sort. The Nation gathered that most of the candidates, including candidates of other political parties, not his People’s Democratic Party, have been holding consultations in his sprawling country home mansion and soliciting for his blessings. An eye witness said: “All night, we see convoy after convoy coming and going in Chief Eze’s compound. Since the election campaigns peaked, it seems the man has not been allowed by visitors to step out of that house.” It would be recalled that the PDP candidate, Mr. Tony Nwoye, was reported to be Eze’s candidate. If tis is true, many are wondering why the same godfather is blessing other candidates and the likely agreements the multi- billionaire godfather would be making with the candidates.

Shema’s dilemma over successor



transpired between them, said she was once confined to a room without access to her telephone and laptop, saying, ”That was when I had a serious crisis.” Her grouse, however, was that she had not been allowed to leave the premises. “Though I attended mass last Sunday,” she said. The explanations, notwithstanding, Chime has been under pressure over the way he handled the wife’s health challenges.

s the date for the 2015 gover norship election in Katsina State draws nearer, Governor Ibrahim Shema of the state finds himself sinking deeper into a serious dilemma over how to handle the mammoth of interests being signified in the race by a host of close aides, political allies and mutual friends. According to close aides of the governor, he is finding it uneasy seeing his allies fight themselves dirty over who succeeds him. Prominent among the governor’s allies who are currently seeking his support ahead of the 2015 guber race is Umar Abdullahi Tsauri, popularly known in Katsina politics as Tata.

The Dutsin-ma-born politician is all over the place canvassing for the support of party leaders and members in order to be given the governorship ticket of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). Tata is well known as a friend of the governor in Katsina. There are also talks that the current Speaker of the State House of Assembly and a long-time political ally of the governor, Yau Umar Gwajo-Gwajo, is also getting set to throw his hat into the ring. If he does, the pressure on Shema will be doubled. Another of Shema’s men in the race currently is Musa Sada, Commissioner of Agriculture in the state. A close ally of the governor, he is said to be banking on Shema’s support in his bid to govern the state. With so many of his men queuing


up to succeed him, the job of anointing a successor for the 2015 poll, pundits say, is definitely not a laughing matter for Governor Shema.

LP crisis: Mimiko, Nwanyanwu on war path?


himself in office. "You should leave when the ovation is loudest and with your track record intact. There will always be sycophants who will egg you on at the detriment of your good name. They are like the sirens to Odysseus and are best kept at bay," Ayelabola said. The Nation also learnt that aside from the opposition to the

continuation in office by the current chairman, another issue brewing crisis in the party is the call for the zoning of the chairmanship to a particular section of the country. According to party sources, there is a growing agitation that the position of national chairman of the party should move to another zone when the second term in office by Nwanyanwu,

from the south-east, ends in December. "Like you find when the issue is an elective office anywhere in the country, there is already an agitation by a particular section of the country that they be allowed to produce the next national chairman of our great party. The party is, however, yet to even consider the agitation or zone the position to any section. What we are concerned about now is how to ensure that this succession issue does not precipitate a serious crisis within our ranks. This is the build up to a general election and the LP want to surprise our opponents ahead 2015. So, we want to avoid all forms of distractions," another party source said. This is just as reliable sources said the embattled Na ti o n a l C h a i rm a n is unrelenting in his bid to secure another term in office. According to party sources, Nwanyanwu has embarked on a move to douse opposition to his bid. "He is not giving up on his bid in spite of the now public opposition by notable party leaders and members. Rather, he has come all out to counter the move to stop him. Recently, he met with members of the national executive committee and sought their understanding on the matter. "In fairness to our chairman, he has very good reasons for wanting to remain in office at least till the next general election in 2015. One of his reasons is the need to build on

the gains of the last couple of years by winning in some m o re sta te s a t th e n e x t election. He is the one known to many of the people defecting to o u r pa rty a c ro ss th e country. He is the one assuring them that they will be well treated within the LP. He is the one talking to those who are yet to publicly decamp but already cooperating with us. So, it is an opinion that he should be allowed to finish what he is doing by 2015 before the party thinks of changing guards. A change before 2015 may affect us badly as a party. That is why some of us were convinced on the need to l i ste n to h i s pl e a s, " a member of the executive committee from Abia State said. But Ayelabola disagrees completely with the above position. According to him, there are numerous other ways the party can continue to benefit from the activities and experience of the chairman even when he is no longer in office. "There are ways the party could continue to tap from your experience and goodwill. It is in this light that I proposed that a Board of Trustees (BoT) could be constituted where you could continue as a leader - if you so c h o o se - a n d i f i t i s democratically assented to by the party," he suggested.



By Judith Omotineh Adomagbo


HE hair style called braid was popular between the 60s and the 80s and it has been around for a while. Interestingly, instead of fading out, it continues to appeal to many and you have so much braiding hair styles that you just cannot resist. Different cultures all over the world have always embraced the braid considering it a highly symbolic part of their identity and y o u h a v e i t popularised with names related to this countries like the French, Dutch and the Swiss braids. The hair style also seems to be evergreen and the hippie 60s saw many a double braid while fishtail braids were big in the 80s. B r a i d s started long ago in history when women had to manage their hair carefully in old times. Women had to braid their hair so that it would be out of the way while they worked. The hair style called braid was well rocked b y m o s t celebrities who had their hair braided in different styles.




Braids are a great way for girls to have fun with their hair and try something new. The hair style does not really involve much ceremonies as it is often done in other hair styles you could weave your hair by yourself in braids and you could also weave your weav-ons too in braids depending on the kind of weav-on you are carrying at that point in time. Also, braiding with our natural hair looks just perfect, simple and outstanding because it brings out the beauty in the wearer and also makes you unique.





Nollywood actress and producer, Liz Anjorin, reveals her top ten favourites to Kehinde Falode


Favourite shoes designer Italian shoes 2

Favourite bag designer Gucci & Christian Louboutin 3

Favourite perfume Hugo & Gucci Rush 4

Favourite hairdo Ghana weave-on 5

Favourite artiste Salawa Abeni, Yinka Ayefele, Tope Alabi & J-won 6

Favourite wrist watch Piaget, Rolex, Gucci & Prada


p o t



Favourite pet Puppy


Favourite fashion designer Princess Aishat of Eternally Zoe 9

Favourite food Swallow with efo riro, snails, ogunfe and egunsi 10

Favourite drink Fresh juice




ADETUTU AUDU (E-mail:, Tel: 08023849036)

Wonuola Odunsi welcomes baby

Cecilia Ibru enjoys village life


T is no longer news that Cecilia Ibru, the former managing director of the defunct Ocean Bank Plc, relocated to her village in Agbahor Otoh, Delta State. The gist is that the former bank chief is acclimatising to the village life. She is actively involved in the village church and taking care of her ageing hubby as well as running the Michael and Cecilia Foundation. Cecilia Ibru had been many things in her life. An extremely resourceful woman and a corporate powerhouse, she went from being a Project Director with the Ibru Foundation, to being Financial Controller, then finally to being MD/CEO at Oceanic Bank before the Sanusi Lamido banking reforms that edged her out of the banking industry.


HE is young, smart and beautiful. Wonu Odunsi never ceases to impress. Her attention to detail and smart business strategies have kept her in the forefront of the Nigerian fashion industry, via the famous Le Petit Marche and the new L'Espace Store. But that is not the gist now. The gist is that beautiful Wonu has added a bouncing baby boy to the Okoye family. Wonu married popular Lagos 'big boy' and business man, Felix Okoye, one of the brothers behind SHAQ 24/7 last year September.

Laolu Saraki, wife Karen welcome twins Koshoni


EFORE his marriage to Spanish beauty, Carolina Merry Del Val, Laolu Saraki, the youngest son of the late Olusola Saraki, godfather of Kwara State politics, was one of the hottest bachelors in town. He was high in demand among the ladies who would give an arm and a leg to date him. After a long wait, which was characterised by speculations, he finally made his choice in 2011 and quit clubbing. Two years after, the once man-about-town, has welcomed twins in far-away Spain. Laolu, the youngest of the Saraki siblings, is not into active politics like others, but he was one of the directors of the defunct Societe Generale Bank and sources say he has other business interests. But his wife, Carolina, has a successful business in Nigeria as an interior designer. She owns a company called Cameva Interiors based in Abuja, Nigeria.

finds solace in sister


OT many will forget so soon the unsavoury marriage break-up of popular Lagos big girl, Karen Koshoni, and her estranged husband, Patrick Koshoni (Jnr.). The popular Lagos-based interior designer and the older sister of fashion designer, Lisa Folawiyo of Jewel By Lisa, sources said, now finds pleasure in the company of her sister. Though the whirlwind that threatened to sweep her away from the social space has finally calmed down, Karen, in her 40s, no longer seems to be sulking over






Wacky world of Golden Eaglets Emenike




SUNDAY MAGAZINE 39 Abia State Adamawa State Anambra State Akwa Ibom State Bauchi State Bayelsa State Benue State Borno State Cross River State Delta State Ebonyi State Edo State Ekiti State Enugu State Gombe State Imo State Jigawa State Kaduna State Kano State Kastina State Kebbi State Kogi State Kwara State Lagos State Nasarawa State Niger State Ogun State Ondo State Osun State Oyo State

1 58 3 20 60 10 14 28 50 11 5 17 1 1 21 1 4 57 4 2 16 8 7 2 29 38 1 10 1 1







‘The weapon against ethnic champions is performance’ •Continued from Page 41 tors/consultants to handle (I think it is a South Africa based company) and they did a job that has now enabled us to understand the problem of the city and based on what we now know, we started the huge challenge of constructing drainage and all that such that the last rainy season, the problem of flooding was not in Benin, it was some villages around the back of River Niger because of even though the project is not yet completed, but what has already been accomplished is such that even if it's raining now, somebody can now stay there while it rains and it flows. We have replaced what we call 5 junction where you have all kinds of five streets and it wasn't properly organized and so they called it five junctions, it was actually 5 confusion. On a good day, normal traffic doesn't flow. Once the people use to call yellow fever, traffic managers are off there, you have a problem but even worse if it rains for five minutes, you can't pass the place. We have dealt with it on the basis of those studies, reclaim the moat, reconstruct the moat so that traffic can flow and we designed a round- about to reorder the traffic and the place is now a beauty to behold. We have had to remove all those illegal structures and on reflection now if you play back some TV coverage of those events, many people where like 'ha this man has come, am a widow, the small shop where I am selling cigarrete, he is removing it'. Some people claim that at least we should be exempted given our status, you can't go and remove our property, there should be respect for our status'. And am like, the only thing we are obliged to respect is the law. Again, one lesson to learn from this is that when you make laws without fear or favour, people can see through. We are working on Akpakpava road; you have illegal structures there both by the poor and also by the rich and you remove some, you spare some, automatically people realize that it's about status, not about law. But when you remove the property of the rich as well as those of the poor, then there is no story. I think the most interesting day we had was the day we pulled down a perimeter wall fence of the Central Bank, which also encroached on the right of way and people where like but you know this is a Central Bank and I am like the Central Bank is itself a creation of the law and it must respect the law and someone was like no but you need

to talk to the governor of the Central Bank before and I am like no! The governor of the Central Bank doesn't talk to me before he implements his monetary policies so everybody should respect the law, that's it. The higher you are, the more the reason why you should not be exempted from the law. We sent our bulldozers there and removed the wall fence. Talk about security, no bank is secured by wall fence. The cash is not by the window so there are no cashiers anyway but the day we removed that CBN wall fence, it was in the news all over the place. The •Oshiomhole point I am making is powerful even as you are hated by that when people see that there is the man on the street. How do you no impunity, there is no exempderive those powers? But you tion, everybody is under the law derive that merely from the fact and they can see some big men that you cannot mystify yourself, whose property has been pulled people believe that if you touch down, they will cooperate. him something will happen, so all But what you have shown here I needed to do was to say no, these is that the most important thing guys are not invincible, any man in Nigeria in governance is adher- born of a woman has his own limience to the rule of law, how has tation but I also believe that when that in itself helped with dealing with the issue of the so- called god you are in the right path, God in fathers in the state and how have his infinite powers has a way of you been able to manage the fact shielding you from the negative that we don't hear so much rum- plans of the enemy. So this was a major campaign that look, the peoble these days? ple not the god fathers should I will say that the fight is rather determine their direction and I over, really. The first is that a lot of have this slogan 'let the people these god fathers underestimated lead'. We have big boys all over the capacity of the people to the place and the people tried and engage them. All I need to do, they saw and even the fact that which is the most important lesyou can talk to these people son I learnt from my trade union because in the past you can't even background is that you can chaltalk to them, the fact that you can lenge anyone who is wrong and talk to them, call them by their victims of a system can cause a proper name and to their face reverse the day they make up their reveal what they have been doing mind, and that someone needs to wrong, and show that things can provide leadership for such a prowork differently. I mean you find cess. There will be some who will schools that were not as attractive have doubts, some will nurse fear as pig house and we are sending but they need a leader to give children there and everybody is them confidence and courage, to convinced that there is nothing we question what is unjust and to be can do about it. As you build a ready to make minimum sacrifices new school that is more beautiful to deal with those forces. There than all the private school in the were many who said this labour state, people are like so really! man, he thinks that politics is like And now they can see what they labour, we will teach him a lesson see what they can gain if they but today it is clear who is the lecshow a little more courage by identurer and who is the pupil because tifying with you and so what we really, particularly in a demochave done is basically to mobilize racy, the only source of power is the people to question and even to the people. So it was an irony that engage. When the people were you can be described as politically now ready to engage, the thing

just collapsed like a pack of cards. There is limit to what you can achieve with propaganda, the money you can make or the politics. You can be fluent in your rhetoric; you can have the gift of oratory- that can take you only to some points, there after people will see through and begin to ask you some questions, now therefore what has changed? Just like I learnt in the union work, the first day you are abusing the manager, you get all the applause, you abuse his father, you reveal how he is exploiting the working people, you get all the applause. So come and lead us, you have courage. First month, second month, one year, you are perfecting your rhetoric, somebody will tell you after all these, 'Oga our salary has not increased. Our working hour is still as along as before, we are still being hired and fired without due process, what has changed? They begin to ask question, that rhetoric is no longer of much appeal. I think that the average human being is rational. He may not be particularly knowledgeable in terms of how to articulate his feelings but you can't doubt that he knows he can distinguish what is good from what is not. During our campaigns when we built schools, we allow one building that depict the state of the school before we built it so that people can remember that this was the way things were under these god fathers and look at the way they are now and on election day I just said, don't even look at my face, vote for these schools that we have built or vote against it. If you vote against it you will return to that one because that is the one they wished for your children, not just wish, that is where they dumped them but we know that your children deserve a better deal because if you have been detained by poverty, your children can bail you out of poverty and the basis for upward mobility is skill acquisition and education is at the heart of that. We don't need to campaign for a child to go to a school that is clean, so if children are wandering about at 9 am when they should be in school, it is because the school did not offer any appeal. In any part of Edo State across the 18 local government areas, the most beautiful edifice is the government

school. So why will a child not look forward to going there? Going late to school, our children not being in school is because the school itself is like dumping children in a cell. Nobody in full freedom walks into a police cell. The report from schools now suggest that people get to class before time and they don't want to leave even after closing hours. You don't find them wandering about during school hours, of course we have little problems with teachers and all but even that was a consequence as one teacher told me. At a time they were not paying them salaries for 3 or 4 months, the men left, the women for family reasons stayed behind so the result is that we have in some cases as much as 80 percent of our teachers, particularly primary schools are women because the men left and they also then devise a strategy; you go on Monday and Tuesday and I will go Wednesday and Thursday, the other one will come Friday and the next Monday, such that at any point in time, only one tenth of the teachers were at work because there were rational reasons for that; if you have not paid me salary, how do I find money to transport myself to school? I need to devise other means, maybe sell some garri, sell something in a kiosk to keep body and soul together and to be able to do that I need to absent myself from regular work to do this this part time work. Unfortunately over a period this became the standard and the teacher confess that although since I came, we have never defaulted the payment of salaries, I actually give instruction that the pay day is sacrosanct that is to say that the workman and woman is entitle to his/her salary before the end of the last working day of a month. So having returned to regular payment, the old habit refused to go but we have dealt with that through some supervisory mechanism and identified few ones in surprise visits and all of that has changed. I think basically, the god fathers just discovered that their strength was actually the result of the fact that people assumed they were invincible, all I needed to do was to demystify them and it is now history as far as we are concerned.

•To be continued Next Week


Sport Style THE NATION


The exheavyweight champ, who's back (again) with a memoir and a Spike Leedirected HBO special, 'Mike Tyson: Undisputed Truth,' airing Nov. 18, sat down for an indepth interview with Marlow Stern.

Mike Tyson is fast asleep. The former undisputed heavyweight-boxing champion of the worldturned-entertainer is in New York to promote his autobiography, Mike Tyson: Undisputed Truth, as well as his HBO special of the same name, a Spike Lee-directed taping of his acclaimed oneman show on Broadway. I ask him how he's doing these days. 'I'm doing good…I'm OK, just trippin' out sometimes…I'm tryin' to do better…' Before I know it, his eyes are closed. He's snoring, seated upright, in his chair. We decide it's best to postpone our interview until the following morning, when he's more lucid. When Tyson comes to, he motions toward his wife, Lakiha Spicer. “Let's go to the strip club,” he says wheezily. “Yeah, if you want to die,” she quips. The next morning, I'm waiting in the lounge on the 35th floor of the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in Midtown Manhattan. Tyson is running about 40 minutes late. When he arrives, the ex-pugilist is in decidedly better spirits. It's 11:45 a.m., and the not-sogentle giant is clenching the biggest tub of Pinkberry I've ever seen. “It's cookies and cream,” he says, smiling from ear to ear. “I just love Pinkberry.” Tyson's one-man show, for the record, is highly entertaining. Over an hour an a half, the 47-year-old opens up about his upbringing in the Brownsville section of Brooklyn, how he got into boxing, his days in the ring, and his troubles outside it, including his marriage to Robin Givens and his conviction for the rape of Desiree Washington. It's just Tyson, dressed in a white suit, a microphone, and a stage, along with the occasional image or video projected behind him. After a Las Vegas debut, he teamed with director Spike Lee to bring the one-man show to Broadway for a sold-out six-night Broadway run before taking it on the road, performing it in 36 cities over three months. It was Tyson's idea to do the show, but Spicer, his third wife, wrote it. Our waitress approaches and asks for our order. She's quite attractive, and her name tag reads “HoneyLynn.” “HoneyLynn! Ho-ly mo-ly,” says Tyson, erupting with laughter. But he's all set with his bucket of Pinkberry. For now. Speaking to Tyson is a roller-coaster ride. One moment he's giggling like a kid on Christmas morning, and the next he's giving you a silent death stare as if sizing up his prey. Back in August, Tyson seemed to be in a very bad place. In an interview with Today's Matt Lauer, the ex-boxer said he'd fallen hard off the wagon after four months of sobriety and was “on the verge of death.” “I just drank too much for that day and a half, but I've been sober now for two and a half months,” he says aggressively. Then he pauses, lowering his voice. “When I said 'on the verge of death,' everyone thought I was actually dying, but people didn't care if I was dying, they just wanted to know when I was going to die.” I assure him that people cared, but he isn't convinced. Tyson's crazy life story begins in Brooklyn. The Tyson familyhis mother, Lorna, brother and sistermoved from a nice apartment in Bed-Stuy to the tougher Ocean Hill neighbourhood in Brownsville when he was “about 8 years old.” “It got real bad, and then everybody moved out of the apartment building but us, so we were the only ones left in the building,” says Tyson. “We still had water and heat, but eventually people came in and stole the pipes, so we didn't have any heat or water.” He was a pudgy young boy and eventually fell in with a bad crowd. One of the scariest times from his childhood, which he detailed in a recent New York magazine piece, came when he was 10 and his burglary crew, dubbed the Cats, went after a rival gang called the Puma Boys. “That was me shooting at people,” says Tyson. “My friends were having problems with them, so I said we should go down there to the park and show those guys a lesson. I had one gun, an M-1 from World War I, but it was sawed down a little bit. We got the guns from a robbery.” His brother, Rodney, who's five years his senior, came to the rescue. Another close call came when Tyson was 11. By that point, he'd become very



I'm loving life in Spain Pg 45


My past doesn’t control my life involved in collecting and flying pigeons, which was a popular hobby in his neighbourhood. “It gives you a lot of self-esteem if you have beautiful birds, and people talk about your birds,” he says. “These guys wanted to throw me off the roof for stealing their birds,” he says. “They dragged me towards the roof, hitting on me, and a utility man heard me screaming and said, 'What's going on up there?' And the guys let me go.” Around this time, Tyson would smoke weed with his friends and watch them shadowbox. “I knew I could do it just from watching them,” he says. He eventually fell under the tutelage of boxing trainer Cus D'Amato and, after his mother died when he was 16, she left him in his care. Tyson was a dominant fighter known for his devastating blows. He won his first 19 professional bouts by knockout, 12 of them in the first round and, at 20 became the youngest boxer ever to win the WBC, WBA, and IBF heavyweight titles. Tyson soon gained notoriety for his exploits outside the ring. He hazily describes an incident in Los Angeles in 1987 where he almost lost his life. “Someone shot at me over some girl,” he says. “She liked me and I was dancing with her, and all of a sudden I heard someone yell, 'Fuck Mike!' and shots were fired, and they shot the girl I was with.” At this point in the interview, Tyson calls over his assistant. He's finished the giant tub of cookies and cream Pinkberry and is jonesing for another. His assistant obliges and moments later hands over another Pinkberry bucket. Tyson is ecstatic. The following year, he married the actress Robin Givens, who famously threw Tyson under the bus during a 20/20 interview that September with Barbara Walters, describing their union as “torture, pure hell, worse than anything I could possibly imagine.” “That was really evil stuff,” he says. “Robin was never pregnant, but she told me

she was, and that's why we got married. That was a lie and she should have owned up to that. I had never been in that kind of relationship with a woman and thought I had a nice girl. It wasn't like I was the best husband. I was cheating on her, too, and we had fights, but that was between us.” One of the more interesting tidbits from his one-man show involves a chance encounter with Brad Pitt, who dated Givens after she split from Tyson. “I was waiting at the house for a while and heading back to my car to drive away, and a car pulled up with [Robin and Brad] in it,” he says. “I wasn't interested in beating him up; I was interested in beating my ex-wife. If he had said something, that would have been different, and I probably would have attacked him. And if he was afraid, it was the first sign of him being a great method actor, because I didn't see any signs of him being afraid.” He pauses for a moment. “With Robin, I was young. I was a dick. I've never been good at relationships. My mother's never been good at relationships, and my father's never been good at relationships. All my friends always had another woman in their life. I call it my 'baseline bottom'a lot of drugs, liquor, violence, and sex, where I'm not trying to improve myself as a person. I have intimacy problems. I cannot believe that I have a decent relationship now with my wife. I can't believe it. It's just something that I want to do. I'm very clear now, and this is what I want to do. With me being loyal and faithful to my wife, my demons are saying, 'What are you gonna do, Mike? You gonna fuck this one girl for the rest of your life?' That's what my demons tell me, but I'm very familiar with my demons, and I know where my demons take me.” I ask him about the worst place his demons have taken him. “I've never hit my rock bottom yet,” he says. “I've got a few more highs and lows, really bad stuff in me. I don't want to hit my rock bottom. My rock bottom is AIDS and all that nasty stuff. That's my rock bottom. I don't want to hit my rock bottom. It appears I have, but I haven't. If I didn't have my family and my support system, I would do some really bad things to people. Some really bad things. If my family structure goes down, I'm going to be a really interesting person that you couldn't even fathom. You wouldn't be having this interview with me in that situation.” In July 1991, Tyson was arrested in Indianapolis for the rape of 18-year-old Desiree Washington, who'd been crowned Miss Black Rhode Island. Washington testified that she received a call at 1:36 a.m. from Tyson inviting her to a party, and the two eventually ended up in Tyson's hotel room. There she said he pinned her down and raped her, ignoring her pleas for him to stop. Tyson maintained that the two had consensual sex. He was convicted of rape on February 10, 1992, and sentenced to six years in prison. Alan Dershowitz later filed an appeal on Tyson's behalf, claiming that Washington had, on at least one other occasion, made a false accusation of rape and that the trial judge had blocked the testimony of several witnesses who could refute Washington's claims. Tyson lost the appeal.

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EOPLE who hate Chris Brown and there are many might sum him up as the bad boy of R&B, chiefly famous for beating up Rihanna. They would probably describe the singer as a former teen sensation who tried to cheat his way out of his community service sentence for the assault, two-timed Rihanna when she briefly took him back, and smashed up a TV studio dressing room just because the presenter asked about their relationship. He's the thug with a short fuse who picked fights with A-list rappers Frank Ocean and Drake. Obviously, that would not be how Brown sees himself. An opportunity to present his version of events has been elusive, however, because all summer he kept having to postpone our meeting due to a hectic schedule of court appearances, as well as a seizure, which his doctor put down to "nonstop negativity". When we finally meet, at the recording studio in Los Angeles where he made his forthcoming album, I'm not even sure it's him. He's bang on time, for a start, so I assume it can't be, and the trademark bleached hair and neck tattoos are swaddled in a grey beanie, while most of his face is concealed by large, gold-rimmed sunglasses. But the entourage loping along in his wake is straight out of central casting, and once they have cleared off we settle on a sofa. Brown keeps his shades on, makes no eye contact and addresses his words to the mixing desk in front of us, though less due to rudeness, I think, than the elaborate protocol of cool. So much has been written about Brown, and so much of it ugly, that I think, well, who could blame him for being wary? Before long, I begin to suspect he's actually just bored. He's talking about his album, but making no sense, so I suggest we pretend I've just landed from Mars and know nothing about him. Here is a clean slate: his chance to define himself, to explain from scratch who he is and what he does. What would he say? As if registering my presence for the first time, he pauses, almost glances across, smiles "That's a good question" and considers it carefully in silence. "Well, I would say I'm an inspirational guidelines book. You can take my life story or scenarios or songs and relate to them, and apply them to your everyday life. You know, whether it be personal or musical, I just think I'm a walking art piece, just a ball of creativity." Were it not for what he refers to as "the incident with Rihanna", he would now be "bigger than life. Yeah." He can't think of anything he's bad at, apart from "just being able to relax and sleep". What follows for the next hour could not exactly be called a conversation. It's not that he is fiercely private in fact, after I ask when he lost his virginity, he seems to warm to me but rather just indisposed to examine anything too closely. When I ask what his 14-year-old self would have thought, had he been shown a snapshot of his life today and seen all that would happen in the coming decade, Brown says, "Honestly, I probably would have laughed at my clothing. Because back then our T-shirts would be down by the knees, baggy jeans, maybe some Timberlands on. I don't wear baggy any more." A lot of the time, his answers bear little, if any, relation to my questions. Or perhaps he's decided on two central points he wants to make, and figures everything else is irrelevant. The first point he makes several times is that his new album will appeal to everyone; the second is that he is a changed man who's grown up and calmed down. Unfortunately he's at his least coherent when discussing the former, and at his most contradictory on the latter. By the time I leave, all I can say with certainty is that Brown is a stranger to the concepts of modesty and consistency. Brown was born in 1989 in a small Virginia town called Tappahannock, with a population of just 2,000. His mother worked in a daycare facility, his father as a corrections officer in a local prison, and they had one other child, his older sister. When Brown was two, he began copying Michael Jackson's dance moves, and was soon singing in his church choir and competing in local talent shows. His parents divorced when he was seven, and before long he and his sister and mother were living with her new husband in a trailer park, where in the past he has described lying in bed listening to his stepfather beat his mother.

He was a teen superstar, the unassailable crown prince of R&B until he assaulted his girlfriend Rihanna. Chris Brown talks about 'that incident', his year in anger management and why he's got a lot more music (and money) to make. By Decca Aitkenhead.



‘Rihanna incident my biggest wake-up call’ I ask him to tell me a bit about his childhood. What's his earliest memory? "I remember my kindergarten teacher made me count pennies and see how much did it add up to, and then I just remember her telling my mom, 'He's a smart kid.' When I was three, I remember being at a daycare centre and having to stay in a room with a bunch of little kids my age, but I just felt like, OK, I know what I'm doing, I know how to unlock the gate, I know how to get out. My mom told me as a youngster I was always intellectual, like as far as being able to adapt fast and quick. But I had a fun childhood, went to regular school.” By 12, he knew he wanted to be a singer. "I drew a lot of inspiration from the Ginuwines, the Ushers, the Michael Jacksons, the James Browns, Sam Cooke. I was never afraid to take those steps or cross those boundaries of trying to be equal to those guys. I never doubted myself, and I thought if I'm going to do it, I've just got to work hard." And he did work hard, phenomenally so. Discovered by a record producer at 13, he was signed to Jive Records by 15 and a year later released his eponymous debut album, a smooth slice of commercial R&B that went double platinum and produced four top 10 singles. Brown spent the best part of the following two years on a tour bus conducting a relentless "meet and greet" campaign of promotional appearances in schools and shopping malls across the country. He launched his acting career, and two years later his second album, Exclusive, went double platinum, too. Brown has a perfectly competent voice, easy on the ear and agile enough to straddle R&B, dance and pop. He writes or co-writes a lot of his songs, can claim a string of acting credits and has a prodigious work ethic. But it's the way he dances that marks him out, justifying any comparison to Michael Jackson: he is an effortlessly fluid and inventive performer. By February 2009, still just 19, Brown was the crown prince of American R&B, with a pop princess girlfriend, Rihanna, on his arm. When both failed to show at the Grammy awards ceremony, rumours spread that the couple had rowed, but the news that he'd attacked her and been arrested sent the country into a degree of shock that's hard to fathom without understanding the full cultural significance of both stars to many Americans. Brown was issued with a restraining order and sentenced to six months of community labour and five years on probation. Former child stars often famously selfdestruct in adulthood, so I ask if he thinks of

himself in this category. "I guess people could say that. But the only thing that's probably changed for me is just the facial hair a little bit. When I first came out, it was more of a young, warm, clean look. Very clean, very Disney." Does he ever wish, I try again, he'd had a chance to grow up in private? Does he regret fame coming so early? "Honestly, where I'm from, probably not. I think me being able to travel from the small town I was from, me already having a good IQ, and you know being intelligent, and regular stuff, I just had to learn more and more of the street life, you know, how to manoeuvre around a room full of wolves." Wolves? He offers a slightly sour, dismissive shrug. "You know, whether it be naysayers, people that won't say, 'Hey, I like that.' But as far as me being young, like, I don't regret it, I love it, being able to accomplish my dreams at an early age. That's just showing the kids that's coming up in sixth or seventh grade, I can do this. If I really stick to it, I can do it. 'Chris was my age when he did it.'" The advice he'd give his 14-year-old self now is "pay attention to details, details, details. I'm 24 now, so I'm making sure I'm on top of it, but back then I was just, like, whatever we're doing, I'm just glad to be here, you know?" A sense of powerlessness can be a dangerous thing, so I wonder if he means he didn't feel in control of his career? "No, I think control, I definitely had that under wraps. I would pick the songs, write the treatments for the videos and co-direct them, but people didn't know it because I would always give the director his credit and say I don't need a co-directing credit. But actually I started getting behind the camera more, every video, the concepts, how the video's coming together, what it's about. I've always had that creative side." He has since released three more albums, and won a Grammy, but was incensed when in August a judge ordered a further 1,000 hours of community service. Prosecutors accused him of having claimed to clock up hours when he was actually abroad, or on camera performing on the other side of the country, and demanded jail. But Brown denied it and the additional 1,000 hours was the judge's compromise ruling. "But that's not a compromise! Community service, that shit is a bitch. I'll be honest and you can quote me on that that is a motherfucker there. For me, I think it's more of a power trip for the DA. I can speak freely now,

because I don't really care what they say about it, but as far as, like, the 1,000 extra hours they gave me, that's totally fricking bananas." Did it seem vindictive to him? "Oh, absolutely. They want me to be the example. Young black kids don't have the fairer chances. You can see Lindsay Lohan in and out of court every day, you see Charlie Sheen, whoever else, do what they want to do. There hasn't been any incident that I started since I got on probation, even with the Frank Ocean fight, the Drake situation, all those were defence modes. People think I just walk around as the aggressor, this mad black guy, this angry, young, troubled kid, but I'm not. I'm more and more laid-back. It's just that people know if they push a button, it'll make more news than their music. Attaching themselves to me, good or bad, will benefit them." He says his court-ordered 52-week programme of anger management helped him learn to keep his temper. But then he adds, "I think the actual class I went to was a little bit sexist." What does he mean? "It was beneficial because it made me cater more to a woman's thoughts and a woman's needs, and how to handle situations. But the class itself, no disrespect to the class, but the class itself only tells you you're wrong, you're wrong, you're wrong." I ask him to elaborate, but he seems to check himself. "Well, I don't want to get too far into that." He describes "the Rihanna incident" as "probably the biggest wake-up call for me. I had to stop acting like a little teenager, a crazy, wild young guy." But when I ask if that's how he thinks of himself when he looks back at that time, he snaps back, "No, not at all" as if the description had been mine and not his. "Cos you can talk with all my girls that I did mess with before, and it's never been a violent history." Then he switches again: "But at the same time, I learned from it, and it was almost like… I wouldn't say it happened for a reason, but it was something to trigger my mind to be more of a mature adult. To handle myself in situations, don't throw tantrums, don't be a baby about it." Brown has two ambitions now. One is to be wealthy. "I don't want to be rich, I want to be wealthy. There's a difference, you know? I'm rich, but I'm not in the $200m mark." The other is "to sell ground-breaking numbers on an album. Just to be able to have that moment to say, I did it. So as like, I have a stamp. I would really like to mean something to the world, instead of me just being this fungus." Hang on a minute: fungus? "Yeah, like the decay of society. I don't want to be the decay of society, I'd like to be the uplifting part.” Courtesy:



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Worries over Nigeria’s diminishing oil earnings Page 58, 59

‘I started my business with less than N5,000’

My staff is No. 1 priority - Kola Balogun •Balogun

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• Kuteyi

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importance World Bank seeks financial Sanusiof stresses cashless policy inclusion for 2.5b populace T


HE World Bank has reemphasised the need for policy makers world over to fasttrack efforts towards expanding financial services to the growing unbanked 2.5billion adult population. This appeal is contained in a new World Bank report titled 'The 2014 Global Financial Development Report: Financial Inclusion', the most comprehensive report yet on the topic, in

By Ibrahim Apekhade Yusuf with agency report

which the Bank observed that mobile banking and other technological innovations fuel the expansion of financial services in many developing countries and advised policy makers to focus on products that benefit the poor, women and other vulnerable groups the most. It comes as policy makers

are pushing to reach the world's unbanked - 2.5 billion people who make up about half of the world's adult population. More than 50 countries recently set targets to improve financial inclusion. "When well designed, efforts to foster financial inclusion can be an effective way to empower people," said World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim.

"Whether you are a public sector financial regulator or a private sector bank, it is in your interest to get everyone access to financial services. This is good for the world and will help us end poverty." Last month, Kim announced a new initiative to provide universal financial access to all working-age adults by 2020 - with the help of technological innovations such as e-money accounts and e-mobile wallets.

HE governor of Central Bank of Nigeria, Mallam Lamido Sanusi has restated the apex bank's commitment to the cashless policy, saying it is best for an emerging economy like Nigeria. The CBN boss spoke at a public forum in Lagos, organised by, an online business organisation, where he delivered the keynote address under the sub-theme: 'Importance of A Cashless Society to Economic Growth and Development in Nigeria.' According to him, the cashless policy initiative of the CBN is a catalyst to the promotion of electronic payments in the country as all the drivers and the electronic channels in the cashless projects play important role in ensuring a safe and efficient payment system. Sanusi, who was represented by the Deputy Governor, Mr. Olusuyi Adaramewa reiterated that the "cashless policy aims at curbing or

eliminating some of the negative consequences associated with the high usage of physical cash in the economy." The Deputy Governor appealed to small and medium scale enterprises to utilise the opportunities in the online banking system which would help enhance financial inclusion, availability, reliability and cost effectiveness of payments services even as he assured that the CBN is working hard to ensure that customers are protected from needless stress. Earlier in his opening address, the convener of the event, Mr. Emeka Okafor, noted that the goal of the event is to engender economic through small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs). "The great economies in the world are developed largely through the efforts of small businesses -the ones that employ two, three or even twenty to sixty employees."


'Banks biggest beneficiaries of secure environment'

B •From left: Managing Director/Chief Executive, Heritage Bank, Ifie Sekibo, Chief Executive Officer, Nigeria Stock Exchange (NSE), Oscar Onyema, Executive Directors, Heritage Bank, Mary Akpobome and Niyi Adeseun, during a recent courtesy PHOTO: ISAAC AYODELE JIMOH visit by Heritage Bank Management to NSE.


RESIDENT of the Fisheries Society of Nigeria (FISON), Dr. Abba Abdullah has said that fish export accounts for 5% of the country's Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Abdullah stated this at a press briefing announcing the 28th annual conference of FISON scheduled to hold in Abuja from November 25 to 29, which over 300 delegates are expected to attend. Tagged: 'ABUJA 2013' with the theme 'The Impact of Climate Change on Fisheries and Aquaculture Productivity' it will attract among others industrial/ trawler operators, table fish and fish fingerlings farmers, fish exporters, importers of fish feed, produc-

'Fish export accounts for 5% GDP' By Oziegbe Okoeki

ers/distributors, fisheries equipment and accessories distributors, strategic federal ministries, departments and agencies as well as stakeholders from abroad. The FISON boss noted that fisheries have substantial social, economic, nutritional and food security importance and that the contribution of fisheries to the nation's socio-economic wealth are enormous when considered against the background of employment creation, income generation, provision of valuable animal protein, rural development and foreign exchange inflow through export of

shrimps and other fisheries products. Reiterating the policy thrust of the Federal Government which ensures sustainable development of the Nigerian fisheries for national food security, for selfsufficiency in fish production, optimum resource utilisation and conservation, Abdullah noted that the policy also focuses on employment generation, wealth creation, poverty alleviation and reduction in rural-urban migration, among others. On the challenges of the fisheries sector, Abdullah noted that one of the most dramatic events of our time is the reality of global climate

change. "With particular reference to fisheries, we ponder on some real and potential problems associated with the phenomenon. El-ninolike phenomena relate to increased temperature and are bound to result in mortality as temperatures exceed tolerance thresholds and that intrinsic temperature tolerance attributes may consequently affect community structure and functions while aggravating imposed changes in fish zoogeography," he said. The conference, he said, would provide participants the opportunity to fruitfully engage in the fisheries subsector and chart a future for the sector.

ANKS and financial institutions have been identified as the biggest beneficiaries of a secure environment. As such a campaign for the dissemination of information on how to make the environment very secure has been launched between the police and United Bank for Africa (UBA). Speaking at the unveiling of the police anti-crime media campaign in Abuja, the Group Managing Director of the United Bank for Africa (UBA), Mr. Phillips Oduoza, said a pointer to fact that secure environments are essential for financial institutions can be seen from the fact that UBA has presence in 19 African countries because of the secure environment presented by the countries. Philips Oduoza noted that the reforms intiated by the present Inspector General of Police M D Abubakar has benefited banks and financial institutions which explains why the bank decided to collaborate with the police to create awareness on how to make the environment secure. According to Oduoza, UBA "believes that informa-

From Nduka Chiejina (Assistant Editor), Abuja tion is very key we are in an era of information technology in may forms and there must be collaboration between the police and the general public." The bank he said also believes that "the general public should be able to pass relevant information to the police and the police has the responsibility to use that information in such a manner to reduce the wave of crime." The bank he added "believes that awareness is key in the fight against crime" and he urged "other financial institutions to join hands with the police to fight crime as UBA will continue to support police in this regards." Also speaking at the unveiling, the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Abubakar called on other private and corporate bodies to "as a matter of corporate social responsibility, partner with the police in their stride to provide a safe and secure environment for economic development and other life's pursuits."




ORLORN hope. This best describes the outlook for the New Year which is less than two months away as the managers of the country's oil wealth look forward to the coming year not with optimism and blessed assurance but with great fear and pessimism. The reason for this is not far to seek: crude oil, which accounts for over 80 percent of our revenue, is not only fast depleting, but Nigeria's reputation as a reliable exporter is being jeopardised, no thanks to the impressive run of new energy alternatives from across the world, including the US shale gas. This development, analysts have argued, may put the nation's domestic economic stability and revenue under severe pressure in the years ahead. Ominous signs Early signs of the shape of things to come manifested in the first quarter of this year when the nation's crude projections were not met leading to huge revenue shortfalls for government even as a projected $15billion revenue shortfall is most likely early next year if the permutations of those in the corridors of power is anything to go by. Besides, the discovery of shale oil in the United States (U.S.) and China as well as discovery of oil in commercial quantities in countries such as Ghana, South Sudan and Mozambique, among other countries, may further exacerbate Nigeria's already precarious situation. Perturbed by these obviously ominous signs, President Goodluck Jonathan reportedly jetted out to China with his economic team recently, in search of more benevolent development partners to help him cushion the likely impact of the low oil revenue to government. As would be expected, the President aptly highlighted his administration's concern over the development in the international oil market during his state visit to Beijing, admitting that; "Nigeria must urgently diversify its economy to survive in a world less dependent on fossil fuel. "Nigeria and other OPEC states which depend on crude oil sales to the US and other nations to run her affairs are concerned about increasing utilisation of alternative sources of energy such as shale gas," Jonathan exclaimed. Clear and present danger Inevitably, the United States shale oil revolution is set to take a huge toll on Nigeria's economy as the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), predicted that the world would need less of its crude in 2014 owing to competing supply sources. When this eventually crystallizes, analysts warn that Nigeria which depends on crude petroleum sales to finance her activities may not be able to funds development projects and run her recurrent budget in the absence

of a viable non-oil revenue stream. Deconstructing shale oil Shale gas is natural gas found trapped within shale formations and has become an increasingly important source of natural gas to the United States and the rest of the world. Presently it provides over 20 percent of U.S. natural gas need and that figure is set to rise to 46 percent by 2035, according to the U.S. government's Energy Information Administration. So far, this worrisome trend has led to Nigeria's crude oil production dropping in volume sold to around1.3 million barrels per day, as against the budget benchmark of 2.48 million barrels per day with price heading below $100 per barrel after hitting over $114 or more thus resulting in huge loss of revenue, a figure far lower than that seen during the height of the protracted militancy in the Niger Delta. It would be recalled that the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), had in April 18 reported a drop in crude oil production in the first quarter of 2013, January to March, resulting in a loss of crude oil revenue of $1.23 billion (N190 billion). Group General Manager Public Affairs Division of NNPC, Tumini Green, reported that daily crude oil production during the first quarter oscillated between 2.1 and 2.3 million barrels per day (mbpd) compared with the projected estimate of 2.48mbpd. "Expectedly, this fall between actual production and forecast in first quarter 2013 has resulted in a drop in crude oil revenue of about $1.23 billion (N$191 billion) that should have accrued to the Federation Account," she explained at the time. Echoing similar sentiments, Mr. Emeka Okwuosa, Energy and Maritime Consultant and Managing Partner, The Chancery Associates, said the recent evolution of shale oil in the United States has led to steady decline in the country's crude oil exports to the US. In a report by his chamber on the sector, Okwuosa was quoted as saying that the evolution of shale had caused Nigerian oil export to the US to diminish from about one million barrels per day in December 2009 to less than 352,000 barrels per day as at February 2013. "This amounts to about 70 per cent loss of the US market from a region that was the largest importer of Nigeria's crude oil," he explained. He said shale oil development will lead to a net fall in Nigeria's crude oil exports to the US with the attendant reduction in government revenue which will have a negative multiplier-effect on the economy. The Minister for Petroleum Resources Mrs. Diezani Allison-Madueke, in her presentation at the recently concluded Nigerian Oil and Gas Conference 2013, had said, "I must say that the world is now becoming more competitive, the U.S shale oil is already affecting our oil export to the US bearing in mind that the US is one of our major trade partners in this sector." The Nation learnt that the country's oil production is


Worries over Nigeria's diminishing oil earnings The future of Nigeria's oil wealth starting from next year appears bleak as the USA and other major buyers of the nation's crude in the global market have found better alternatives. In this report, Ibrahim Apekhade Yusuf examines all the issues gradually falling below the two million mark where the country was shortly before the introduction of the amnesty programme. Just in February this year, the U.S. imports from Nigeria dropped to 194,000 barrels per day, an 18-year low, forcing Nigeria to find new buyers. Possible threat to Nigeria's revenue Angola poses a challenge to the nation's continued dominance as the continent's leading oil producer, though Nigeria's 37.2 billion barrels of provable oil reserves are more than thrice that of Angola. However, the dream of propelling Nigeria's oil production to hit the four million mark has not been marched with action as government has done very little in making the dream become a reality. This is manifested in the divesting of some International Oil Companies (IOCs) like Shell and Chevron, which have sold their assets to indigenous oil firms to concentrate more on deepwater blocks. Razia Khan, head of Africa research at Standard Chartered Bank, was quoted by Financial Standard of London as saying that the falling oil revenues should be a worry for the Nigerian government, especially with a presidential election scheduled for early 2015. Khan added: "Nigeria still has a comfortable current account surplus, but it is declining, as is the Excess Crude Account. Unless we see a turnaround in oil revenues, investors are going to start to get concerned." Bitter truth "Shale oil and the in-

crease in their gas production is already affecting our exports to the United States," Minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani Alison Madueke said. Exports of Nigerian oil to the U.S. almost halved between 2011 and 2012, according to EIA data. In the late 2000s, Nigeria regularly shipped around one million barrels a day of crude to the U.S., but last year that number was just 405,000 barrels a day. Other members of OPEC have also been affected. Exports from both Angola and Algeria fell more than 30 per cent last year, with the impact being most severe in Nigeria, which has historically sent the bulk of its oil exports to the U.S., and the country has been forced to react. "Nigeria is repositioning its exports in the light of this emergent threat," and has so far been able to find alternative markets for its crude, said Andrew Yakubu, Group Managing Director of Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation. Weak demand forced Nigeria to sell some cargoes of its oil below the official selling price in January, said a report from analysts at Ecobank. For instance, cargoes of Qua Iboe crude, one of Nigeria's benchmark grades, sold for almost 40 cents a barrel below the official price, the bank said. This is just a fraction of the total selling price, but would still see the country lose $380,000 on a typical cargo, according to calculations by The Wall Street Journal. Many Nigerian oil cargoes are being redirected to the Mediterranean or the North Sea, said one trader



active in the West African crude market, who didn't wish to be named for reasons of commercial confidentiality. But it was not clear whether Europe, where oil demand is falling, could be a long-term market for Nigerian crude, the trader said. But the effects, analysts warn, could spread further, because a rising production in the U.S. "is a major challenge for Nigeria and the rest of OPEC," said Bright Okogwu, Director-General, Budget Office. OPEC's own projections now show that demand for the nation's oil will be fairly stagnant over the next four years, even as global consumption rises. "We can't stand still and think the world will wait for us," Okogwu added. Concern over diminishing oil revenue A landmark report by the International Energy Agency published in October forecast that the U.S.

could produce more oil than Saudi Arabia by 2020, a development that would force OPEC members to adapt to rapidly changing trade patterns and even result in them competing with U.S. exports for market share. OPEC has largely dismissed the threat that shale oil poses to its historic dominance, highlighting the stumbling blocks that could still hamper the growth of this kind of production. "A high level of risk is associated with non-OPEC supply forecasts on political, price, economic, weather, environmental and geological factors," the group of major oil producers said in its most recent monthly oil market report. In addition, rivals on the continent - both East and West - are fast catching up, and hungry for returns to boost their smaller economies they are tempting foreign oil and gas companies with better terms and fewer bottlenecks than Nigeria.





"Nigeria has multiple problems in its oil game - it has failed to meet reserve growth and production targets for many years while competition grows worldwide," said Duncan Clarke, Head of African oil experts Global Pacific & Partners. "High crude prices have shielded Nigeria of late - but this may not last forever, and its reputation as the proverbial Land-of-No-Tomorrow continues." "A big issue is that the growing East African oil and gas industry will prove to be a serious competitor, especially given its proximity to key Asian markets compared to Nigeria." Other threats to Nigeria's oil revenue The discovery of around 70 oil wells in sub-Saharan Africa in the last five years with the majority coming from East African countries like Tanzania, Uganda and Mozambique, poses a major challenge Nigeria's oil economy.

Around 250 trillion cubic feet of natural gas may lie off those three countries alone, the US Geological Survey estimates. Shell has sold onshore oil blocks in Nigeria but is seeking to expand elsewhere in Africa including Kenya, Cameroun, Chad and some others have also found oil. "There is a finite amount of money to be invested by oil and gas majors in the short to medium term, and Nigeria needs a slice of that cake," said Mutiu Sunmonu, Managing Director, Shell Nigeria, at an investor conference recently. However, Energy consultants Wood Mackenzie forecast Nigeria's oil production could drop by 20 percent by 2020 because years of delay to a PIB have blocked tens of billions of dollars in exploration investment. Implication Fear that Nigeria may increasingly find it difficult

to finance key capital projects including the machinery of state bureaucracy heightened further as her crude took a worst hit in the global oil market against the impressive run of new energy alternatives from across the world, including the US Shale gas may put the nation's economy under severe pressure over the next two years. Most states across the federation have not been able to meet their financial obligations in terms of paying wages and salaries in recent times even as many serving and retired civil servants are yet to be paid their dues. "I survive on my meagre pension. But this has not come in the last three months. Tell me, how does one survive in this kind of situation," lamented Waheed Oduwole, a retired military officer. More stolen oil being taken away It is estimated that more than 150,000 barrels of oil are reportedly stolen every day, with some feeding illegal refineries in the Niger Delta and the bulk shipped to destinations as far away as Asia. Apart from oil theft, the proliferation of illegal refineries in the Niger Delta has also been identified as a portent tool that is sending negative signals to the multinationals on why they cannot risk future investment in the oil and gas sector in Nigeria. Holistic approach to stem crude oil theft Apparently worried by the rising level of oil revenue loss, Mrs. Diezani AlisonMadueke has described the process of oil theft and the perceived support globally as a form of terrorism, hence the need for global concern to tackle the menace.

Allison-Madueke told a packed audience in London recently while delivering her keynote address at the power list 2014, where she was also listed as one of the 25 Africans who were transforming the continent, said oil theft was not just a threat not only on Nigeria's oil and gas sector but also the security of the Gulf of Guinea in particular and the global economic order in general, "Theft of this magnitude is not only highly technical, but it is also an international crime. It is aided and abetted by syndicates outside of Africa who are the patrons and merchant-partners of the oil thieves. "This crime against Nigeria must be resisted as we simultaneously deploy incountry resources to fight this menace. It perpetuates criminality, defrauds economies and discourages investment," she said. Some stakeholders in the oil and gas industry have lamented the high rate of crude oil theft and pipeline vandalism, advising Nigerians to stand up to fight the scourge because of its damaging effect on the nation's economy. This is even as the National Economic Council (NEC), constituted ad hoc committee of NEC on Crude Oil Prevention and Control with all governors from Niger Delta region as members, approved the disbursement of N15 billion to security agencies to protect oil installations in the region. The Deputy Governor of Bayelsa, Mr John Jonah, disclosed that the fund would be sourced through a tripartite arrangement involving, federal and state govern-

ments and international oil companies. Jonah said: "What we are trying to do is to ensure that we buy the necessary equipment for them to perform their duty in the areas that we have identified gaps. We also want to make sure that more personnel are available. The terrain is a very difficult one, swampy terrain is a very difficult one." Meanwhile, the Federal Government, which expressed the need for all hands to be on deck to curtail sharp practices in the sector, admitted that the country was faced with the current challenge of leakage within the production process that included oil theft. The Chairman of the House Committee on Petroleum Resources Upstream, Mr. Muraina Ajibola, who led members of the committee on statutory oversight visit to the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) recently informed that before now, the leadership of the House of Representatives had set up a committee to look into the issue of crude theft, stating that the committee came up with recommendations which the NNPC had expressed willingness to incorporate in the fight against crude theft. In a related development, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Senator Anyim Pius Anyim have said the country is headed for doom if it fails to diversity its economy from relying largely on oil. Anyim spoke at the opening session of the Ninth All Nigerian Editors Conference in Asaba, Delta State, warning that if concrete steps are not taken in the next five years to steer the country's economy away from dependence on oil, the country may not survive. Nigeria, according to him, also loses about $7 billion to vandalisation annually. The country lost about $11bn between 2009 and 2011 to oil theft. He said with the discovery of oil in several African countries and parts of Europe and the United States, it has become obvious that the law of demand and supply will take its course and ultimately lead to a fall in the price of oil. He said the pronouncement by President Barack Obama of the United States of America that his country would no longer look in the direction of Africa for its energy needs has further driven home the point that Nigeria must quickly diversify its economy to survive. "And much more contentious is the fact that America, our largest customer, has discovered shale oil and so may not need to patronise us again. "I tell you doomsday is by the corner, except we become proactive and stave off the evil." A word of caution The dwindling oil fortunes of the nation, analysts believe, doesn't bode well for the economy. "In a situation where we can't sell as much as we used to sell of our crude oil, there would be job cuts, loss of revenue, and the social service sector, especially infrastructure, schools, healthcare would bear the consequence


more," lamented Dr. John Isemede, Director-General, Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA). Pressed further, he said: "We almost 11months into the New Year and oil has performed very well, at about $105/ 110 per barrel throughout 2013, which means that if we have budgetary provision of $79, we ought to have a surplus of about 30 per cent, which should be in the crude oil account but rather than having this surplus, we are witnessing a situation where Federal allocations no longer come as at when due, states can't pay salaries. The prospect looks doom for us. "Any country that has allowed itself to thrive on the strength of the US economy, of course, would collapse much more dangerously than the US itself. Nobody impressed on the US to shutdown their economy. As a country, you got to." In his view, Mr. Effiong Bassey, an economic analyst, while attempting a prognosis of the nation's peculiar oil mess, said: "Very soon, developed countries are thinking far away from oil as a base for their own internal supply and demand. So, it is not a surprise to some of us. So, for a country to be credible, it is to harness resources, you have to identify credible resources that will keep the country." Also speaking on the issue, Dr. Chris Onalo, Registrar/Chief Executive, Institute of Credit Administration (ICA), said rather than sulk over the loss of revenue, the country's managers should gird up its loins and act fast. He said: "It is true that President has warned about the loss of oil revenue, but then we need to diversify our economy for development to take place by simplifying our processes, by encouraging people with innovative ideas, by recognizing them… The same Mr. President that has said such a beautiful thing should put up a bold step to encourage people and dish out incentives for people that would go into agriculture." Nigeria leaders, he stressed, "Must be inward looking. We must look at the terrain with clear mind and feeling. You don't expect that developed countries will year in year out will depend on you. You see, if you have one single thing you depend solely on, you're at a very high risk, if you consider what the developed countries are doing, particularly our major crude oil buyers, the US. The next critical sector that needs to be developed to compete favourably with oil is agriculture and then solar energy development because one day the oil will go away. Even if it doesn't go away, one day, we will be looking at our oil and our oil will be looking at us because a lot of people will be cynical about buying from Nigeria because they have a lot of alternatives. So, we should read the handwriting on the wall."




‘Vision 20:2020, MDGs Stakeholders seek independent unrealistic without ICT’ regulator for postal services T


HE need for an independent regulatory agency to monitor and streamline the activities of the courier operators in Nigeria was the focus of the 3rd Nigeria Courier Summit organised by the Nigeria Postal Service recently in Lagos. Tagged: 'Emergent Issues in Nigeria Courier Industry', the summit brought together hundreds of courier operators, government agencies, lawmakers, representatives from the Federal Road Safety Corps, shareholders' association and a host of others. Speaking at the event, the Minister for Communications Technology, Mrs. Omobola Johnson said the Federal Government is determined to create a level playing ground as well as sensitising the courier industry with enforcement of appropriate legislation to drive the sector forward through an independent regulator. While emphasising the fact that courier plays an important role in socio-economic development of any country, especially in the facilitation of domestic and international trade, employment generation for the teeming youths, she however lamented that the industry is faced with numerous

By Adeola Ogunlade

challenges chief among which is infiltration by quacks whose activities rub off on the genuine operators in the sector. In his presentation titled: 'Legislation and courier entrepreneurship in Nigeria, Chairman/CEO, Silverbird Group, Ben Bruce called for the privatisation of the Nigeria Postal

Service so that it can be better positioned for business in a globalised economy. "Nigeria Postal Service was once a bank which helped create a culture of savings among the youths. But today, NIPOST is not strong enough to meet its expenditure because of the limited funds available." He said it is urgent that government hands off NIPOST and give out 60% to private

sector and 40% to the stock market as NIPOST cannot meet its current expenditure without grants from the Federal Government. Echoing similar sentiments, the chairman of the Independent Shareholders Association of Nigeria, Sir Sunny Nwosu called on NIPOST to make frantic efforts in rebuilding trust and confidence among Nigerians.

•From left: Guest presenter, Mrs. Uzoma Okoronkwo, Registrar/CEO, Chartered Institute of Personnel Management of Nigeria, Mr. Sunday Adeyemi, and President/Chairman of Council, Mr. Victor Famuyibo, during the 15th induction ceremony of the Institute in Lagos…recently. PHOTO: MUYIWA HASSAN

Mega petrol station owners battle NNPC over losses


HE Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) branded affiliate petrol stations owners have cried out that they have been operating at a loss following their partnership with the corporation. They also lamented that despite their several requests that the NNPC Retail Limited, the unit in charge of the transaction for an upward increase of their profit margins to at

From John Ofikhenua, Abuja

least N4.50, the management of the Corporation a long time before consideration is yet to acede to the request. Speaking in Abuja at the official inauguration of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) chapter of the association, the National President, Chief Andrew Achiga regretted that it had been so difficult to get the NNPC Retail

management to discuss for final approval of the margin increase over time, stating that "we have been operating at a loss since the partnership started." Speaking after been sworn in, the FCT chairman of the association, Elder Ubolo Itodo Okpanachi stated that they are in the partnership with the NNPC Retail Limited with the objective of serving the Nige-

rian people most effectively. "We appeal to the national officers to always dialogue with the NNPC in a way that our primary motive of been in the business is preserved at all times.” He however, sought for cooperation from the NNPC Retail to ensure that petroleum products are brought to the door steps of the people at no extra cost.

Firm canvasses benefits of digital marketing


NE way businesses can guarantee better performance as well as ensure optimum customer participation in products and services is by exploring digital marketing the Chief Executive Officer, WSI-Axon West Africa, Edirin Abamwa, has said. Abamwa who spoke at the company's national seminar tagged: 'Propel your Brand! Harnessing Digital Media Marketing Technologies: From Prospects to Profits' organised to sensitise business drivers and pacesetters, observed that businesses were gradually taking up digital marketing initiatives because

Stories by Adejoke Famudele

of the huge benefits inherent in it. According to him, having ubiquitous ICT infrastructure would further fuel marketing growth in the long run. "We want companies to optimise their web presence on the World Wide Web, thereby providing marketing opportunities for them and revenues to manage their reputation online. We own the Nigerian-West African franchise of WSI, which is the world leading digital marketing company," he said. He noted that when WSI-

Axon started in Nigeria, "We realised very quickly that the level of awareness for digital marketing was pretty low; people had vague idea of what it is all about, also, sometimes outrightly wrong ideas." "We then thought to stage a major event where people will get to learn what digital marketing is all about. That is why we are staging this particular event. It is something we expect to do annually to help promote awareness of this new age technology in Nigeria and West Africa as a whole," he said. Echoing similar sentiments, Co-founder & CEO gShift Labs, Krista LaRiviere,

noted that the entire search engines, social media sites are really just channels for your content in order to control your brand online. "You really need to interact with all of them because people who want to find you will end up finding you, using those channels." CEO, Unibit Solutions, Francois Muscat who spoke on online reputation said: "Negative reputation management can affect you if not well managed. A user will click on your page to know who you are instead of the products and services you offer. You should therefore assess your online reputation."

rience with the array of talents paraded tonight and we believe it is going to be the beginning of a new dawn in terms of satisfaction for our consumers," Adetu said. Expatiating, the Guinness boss said: "Guinness Foreign Extra Stout appearance has been changed as part of our value of continuous improvement to depict more style and more substance. Despite the change in our label, you can be rest assured of the same world class quality and content inside the bottle.” Commenting on the new

label, Mr. Austin Ufomba, Marketing and Innovation Director, Guinness Nigeria Plc, relished the prospect of the new label endearing the brand to more consumers. "The new design reveals a new level of connection and resonance with the brand for both new and existing consumers. The dark bottle reflects the quality of its contents made from the finest of ingredients. The beautiful metallic gold foil crowning the bottle simply makes it a drink for every golden moment" Ufomba said.

Guinness rebrands label in style


UINNESS Nigeria Plc has re-launched its iconic brand Guinness Foreign Extra Stout in a new label as part of its commitment to innovation across new and existing brands. The reveal, which took place at Eko Hotel and Suites, came on the platforms of the biggest concert of the year with artistes like Flavour, Kcee and Psquare amongst others. At the launch, Mr. Seni Adetu, Managing Director and Chief Executive, Guinness Nigeria Plc, said redesigning a new label for Guin-

ness Foreign Extra Stout is in line with the company's tradition to continuously deliver quality to its consumers. "At Guinness Nigeria, we are widely known for our consistency in delivering great brands with groundbreaking innovations and unique experiences to our consumers. Guinness Foreign Extra Stout is definitely a brand that has redefined the experience in our market from time past with dynamic innovations leading to this moment. The concert has been a wonderful expe-

HE Nigeria Computer Society (NCS) has warned that the pursuit of the Federal Government's Vision 20:2020 objectives and the Millennium Development Goals (MGDs) as set by the United Nations Organisation (UNO) may be a mirage if government refuses to develop an attitudinal change to the information communication technology (ICT) sector. The NCS President, Prof David Adewumi, made this remark while speaking with ICT journalists in Lagos, expressing concern over what he described as 'the marginalisation' of the ICT sector by government agencies, and warned that the development portends serious danger to the attainment of the goals set down by the government. He explained that the sector is concerned about the marginalisation of ICT today in the country, which is the driving force and contributor to the digital economy, adding that it would be tragic if Africa lost out on the ongoing digital revolution, having already lost out in the industrial


By Adejoke Famudele revolution. "Nigeria is not fully harnessing the growth opportunity of the IT sector. The academia, manufacturing sector, government and other stakeholders must take advantage of the enormous opportunities available in IT to drive growth and development. "Local content needs to be enforced practically and those working and providing services in ICT in Nigeria should be encouraged and supported in providing the much-needed innovative solutions for job creation, security, governance, health and other challenges besetting the nation," Adewumi said. He assured of the commitment of the NCS to embark on research and development (R&D), ICT-enabled employment generation, and promotion of excellence and professionalism in the industry and urged the Presidential Advisory Committee on National Dialogue to incorporate and prioritise the role of the ICT sector if Nigeria is to be a key player among the comity of nations.

Chivita boosts juice production

N its quest to deliver optimum satisfaction to existing and prospective customers, Chi Limited, makers of Chivita premium fruit juice, has adopted the best technology available in the production of Chivita premium fruit juice. The result is a 100% pure fruit juice which contains no added sugar, no preservative and no added colours. The decision to attempt the paradigm shift, The Nation, learnt, was based on well articulated feedback received from consumers who are growing health conscious every day. Thus, Chi Limited invested in latest production techniques for fruit juices that contain no added sugar in order to give the consumer a sense of exclusivity and pride. Besides improving on the product offering, Chi Limited has also improved on the packaging as well. Sharing her experience, Madam Cecilia Kufeji, a housewife, disdains many fruit juices. She opts instead for Chivita Premium 100% Fruit Juice only, which is Nigeria's leading fruit juice. The brightly coloured Tetra Pak is affordable and emblazoned with pictures of a smiling Nigerian family - all radiating good health. "I like it for the taste because it has a full bodied, uniquely savoury flavour typical of natural fruits," she says, wheeling two baskets down aisle 11 of the 13 that make up Shoprite, a South

African chain that, like many foreign hopeful, is moving into the country to take advantage of the spending power of Nigeria's growing middle class. Madam Kufeji is among the fortunate ones because by regularly taking Chivita Premium orange flavour, for instance, she will maintain healthy mucus membranes and skin and enjoy good vision. This is because oranges contain very good levels of vitamin A and other flavonoid antioxidants such as alpha and beta-carotenes, betacryptoxanthin, zea-xanthin and lutein which are known to have antioxidant properties. It has also been established that oranges are a good source of B-complex vitamins such as thiamin, pyridoxine, and folates. These vitamins are essential in the sense that the body requires them from external sources to replenish. Justifying the need for Chivita's value-addition, the Managing Director of Chi Limited Mr. Roy Deepanjan said: "Nutrition is a key enabler to meet almost every development goal, and we cannot over-emphasise the important role that natural foods without artificial preservatives and refined sugars can play in achieving this. We are committed to ensuring the maximum standard in the production of our wide range of products and are impressed with the feedbacks we are receiving." nominated in 2013 Marketing World Awards


ONGA.COM, one of the frontline online marts was nominated for different awards categories alongside major brands like Etisalat, Guinness, Samsung, Techno, Toyota, etc that have powered marketing innovations in Nigeria in this year's edition of the Marketing World Awards

which held over the weekend at the Intercontinental Hotel, Victoria Island, Lagos. Konga was nominated in four awards categories namely: Online Retailer of the year, Best Use of Social Media, Best Company in Customer Care and Emerging Brand of the Year (Fastest growing brand).



‘Nigerians should embrace alternative building methods’

Otunba Dele Ajayi Smith is Chairman/Chief Executive, Hammersmith Projects Solutions Limited. Smith, who is a member, Membership Committee of the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry, believes that accommodation should be the least of the problems of Nigerians. In this interview with Ibrahim Apekhade Yusuf, he talks about alternative building methods and how to avert building hazards in Nigeria


T is very difficult for an average Nigerian to build a house because of the continuous rise in the price of building materials, especially cement, in fact government has asked Nigerians to look for alternative ways of building houses. What is the way out? I think Nigerians should deemphasise the use of cement. I would suggest what is called monolithic dome housing. For centuries, Nigerians know one simple housing system, the one made of cement, sand and stones; the nearest alternative are the burnt bricks used in the same conventional four square style. Monolithic dome housing is unique in several senses; dome is a house that has several features, a house that can survive most natural and manmade disasters: tornadoes, hurricanes, earthquakes, floods, fires bullets, rot, mold and termites. Of course you will likely argue that we do not have most of those natural disasters in our country, that we do not have hurricanes, that we do not have incidences of earthquakes, of course we do have powerful flooding, violent storms and winds and, we do constantly have incidences of those manmade disasters, we do have great insecurity which could lead to severe stray bullets and so many other related negative occurrences. This new technology stands against all these natural and manmade disasters, it is a unique housing system; it is the safest house in the world. Monolithic Dome is so beautiful; it can be decorated from both inside and outside. It is really fantastic, so when I saw this building personally and slept inside it for days, I was very excited, I appreciated it because I have been involved in the industrial insulation technology for many years, for over three decades, so when I saw the Dome House, it was very attractive because it is a combination of industrial insulation and also the features of conventional building technology I am used to. So putting these two technologies together, we were sure it is going to be something absolutely NEW! For our climate also and, the fact of the growing climate change and its consequences, especially, it is more serious with us in Africa because we do not have solid safety-net against disasters. The beauty of a Dome House is that when you build the usual conventional house here. You are only thinking about this house lasting some decades, in the case of Monolithic Dome, you must be thinking of several centuries. Take for instance that the Rome’s Pantheon

•Otunba Dele Ajayi Smith

INTERVIEW Dome built in 126 A. D. is still there in use and remains strong. So many Dome houses that I personally visited in the US are all looking good as new even though some are 30 years old, you won’t see any sign of stress on any of the Dome houses, but most houses that are conventional, the maintenance costs are even so high to keep them strong or else dilapidation sets in. The cost of a Dome House is about the same cost with that of our known conventional buildings and for our Ecoshell Dome, it could be 10 to 25 percent cheaper than the cost of conventional building and by the time you put all other things into consideration; the period of construction which is faster with the Dome House and, then with the fact that maintenance cost is almost 50 per cent cheaper after the construction, especially when you consider energy savings. When you talk about dome, what readily comes to mind is something ancient, how relevant is it for the modern day? No, the kind of dome we are talking about comes in different shapes and forms of designs, they are beautiful than the old mud dome you use to see in the northern part of Nigeria. I am talking about modern day Domes; they are classical and beautiful, more than any conventional buildings both internally and externally. They are really beautiful and, when you consider some of the areas our people sink their hard-earned hundreds of millions of naira in constructing their homes

like all the Lekki axis, the best form of building structures that will not make them lose their investment or their sleeps are the Dome houses and, Dome house can go up to 25 storeys or levels so that there is nothing you need you don’t get from a Dome building. We have all forms of designs you can build a beautiful bungalow, single or two storey building, you can build multiple storey building, up to 25- storey building, it is a building for all seasons. Take a look at those conventional buildings along Ahmadu Bello Way on Victoria Island in Lagos directly facing the Atlantic ocean, almost all the tenants have run away several years back, they can’t live there any longer and those are huge investments, if they were Dome structures, they will have no problems, they will remain there, they will remain good neigbbours to the Atlantic ocean, nothing to drive them away from that neighbourhood. When you now look at those structures you have along Lekki Phase I, Phase II, and all those other estates directly behind the Atlantic Ocean, their best built are the Dome houses because they will have no problems at all times. When you think places like Abuja, of course, they are on solid ground, but the growing climate change doesn’t promise anyone anywhere of a sure safety or good tidings, anything could happen at any time. If you know the psyche of Nigerians, anytime they want to do something, they think about the cost implication, how affordable is this to an average Nigerian? It is very affordable. It is

cheaper for the low incomeearner to maintain than maintaining the old conventional house. That is why you see many of our houses; they get easily deteriorated because of what it must cost to maintain them. The only disadvantage that the Monolithic Dome will have on the low income-earners is that of raising their sense of beauty, consciousness and good standard of living. If you look at most of our universities, most of them are not residential, how useful can this monolithic houses help in accommodating the students? You’re very right, take for instance, Olabisi Onabanjo University, (OOU) is a 30-yearold institution and they don’t have hostel for their students, they have population of over 14,000 students new students of about 6,000 enter into the university every year and they have to scramble for local accommodation all around those cities within the proximity of the institution, some of these students have to live several miles away from their campuses, yet they don’t have comfortable places to live, coupled with incompatible culture with the local people which often leads to chaos. We have just introduced Echoshell Dome to the university. Dome will prevent man-made disaster that often occurs where a multitude lives. We have introduced the alternative building technology to the university and, the institution is very excited and wishes to be the first university to adopt the alternative building technology. If you recall, early this year, the federal government beginning to advocate for alternative building technology, the president specifically mentioned it, some of the state governors also talked about huge cost of building a house. Cement is expensive, but the truth is that cement accounts for less than 15 per cent of all the building materials. Cement is not really the major cost in a building process, you are going to talk about planks to do so many things in a structure. When you see various designs of Dome houses, you will see that they are better than conventional homes, they are more easily decorated, when you see many of these designs you will be so happy, you can tailor your decoration so well that you do it at a very lowest cost. Apart from housing sector, the Domes are best for banking hall, especially these days with security challenges, Domes are so appropriate for banking hall all over the country especially when you consider the bullet proof feature, the safety of numbers of customers usually within the banking hall, etc.


Beyond Talent

By Adetayo Okusanya

Caricature Leadership


HIS year, I have had the privilege and opportunity to discuss leadership with over 300 professionals at different points in time. I use the word “privilege” because I have benefitted immensely from over 200 hours of research and discussion with others on what leadership is truly about. In these discussions, I have also been opportune to help others see leadership in a brand new way. James Hillman said, “You can’t see the Angel, unless you have a notion of it”. The same, I believe, applies to leadership. You cannot see leadership unless you have a notion of it. Growing up, my idea of who a leader is was shaped by the people I saw in positions of authority and influence. These were mainly political leaders, business leaders, community leaders, tribal leaders, military leaders and religious leaders. Consequently, I “saw” leadership as something distant. It was about becoming the “Oga or Madam at the Top”. I have since dropped out of the “Oga at the Top” school of leadership and enrolled in the “Transformational Leadership” school. The definition of leadership that resonates with me the most was put forward by Peter Drucker. He described leadership as a MEANS, with PERFORMANCE as its essence. For Peter Drucker, the critical question is “Leadership to what end?”You call yourself a leader, SO WHAT? What is the hallmark of your leadership? What difference has your leadership made in the lives of those you lead? Now, my notion of leadership is that it is about moving the collective forward in achieving a future state that is commonly desired. A leader’s primary role, therefore, is to bring positive change to the people he or she is leading. There are many people who, unfortunately,are in leadership positions but have no notion of what leadership is. Some of them, I dare say may not even be able to spell the word leadership or find it in the dictionary. Their perspective is that leadership is an end in itself. To them leadership is a destination to be arrived at, and its reward is the opportunity to use access, power and influence to further their personal agenda. They lack the notion that leadership is about the trusted relationship between the leader and the led, that the leader will endeavor to carry ALL, not just himself or a few hypocrites and sycophants, to the Promised Land. Many of them believe that the fact that they occupy leadership “POSITIONS” naturally confers upon them the right to call themselves leaders, but they are not. They are simply “CARICATURES”. The “Oga at the Top” school of leadership, in my opinion, is detrimental to both the leader and the led. To the leader, this view of leadership makes them feel invincible, untouchable and infallible. They start to think that they have a monopoly on leadership and everyone else is inferior to them. They surround themselves with mediocre people who will acquiesce to their every command. In essence, they become the King who wore no clothes to the parade and nobody had the guts to tell them how utterly stupid and foolish they look. To those that are led, this view of leadership gives them every excuse not to stand for something. They cede all power to their leader and become comfortable blaming others when things go wrong.They fall into a state of mental inertia and stop thinking critically about the issues that affect them because the leader is supposed to do ALL the thinking for them. They think that leadership is someone else’s responsibility and do not see themselves as powerful enough to make a difference in the world that they live in. They do not hold themselves individually and mutually accountable to achieving an end that is beneficial to all, and by so doing they cannot hold their leaders accountable too. Nigeria will never reach its potential if we keep waiting for the “right leader”. It is unrealistic to expect one person to shoulder all that is right and wrong with Nigeria. Instead, we must become a country of leaders. Everyone must play a leadership role in their own area of influence, be it at home, school, work, play, church or mosque. Can you look in the mirror and call yourself a leader… an agent of positive transformative change, first in your own life and then in the life of others? Do you see the greatness of Nigeria and fellow Nigerians as connected to your greatness? If the answer is “NO” and if leadership is not something you demand of yourself everyday, then you do not have a right to demand it of others. Leadership is not something far from you or something to aspire to. The opportunity for leadership is your daily companion. It sleeps with you, wakes with you, eats with you and goes to work with you. You don’t have to wait until you become the “Oga at the Top” to be a leader. You can be a leader every day, wherever you are, by simply choosing to helpthose around you see leadership as a means to collective, not just individual, progress. • Okusanya is CEO of ReadinessEdge




NOVEMBER 10, 2013

My staff is No.1 priority 窶適ola Balogun A


someone who manages men and resources, what's your guiding philosophy? My philosophy is to serve humanity and that actually allows me to favour my staff far more than my family. And I ensure that I personally act on it and I try to lure them into the vision. The vision is selfless because when you want to create jobs for people, when you want somebody to grow intellectually he would appreciate it. The next thing that he would be thinking is where he comes and where he comes from might be so dirty. Dirty in the sense that may be their families are not well-to-do. You need to recognise that because it is possible their parents are expecting a lot from them so there could be a lot of pressure on them. So if you don't actually try to take their minds out of unnecessary distraction, you won't get the best from them. For a job that requires high level skills, they need to have 100 per cent concentration - it means that they have forgotten about the pressure at home. In my company, I try everything humanly possible to make my staff comfortable to a reasonable extent. Here, they have a decent place to eat. There are also bedrooms here to relax if they so choose. We also have a hospital within the premises. There are places they can do exercise. They are well enumerated. So what else are they looking for? It does appear your company is worker-friendly. How else do you motivate your staff? When you talk of motivation, you need to understand that first of all, in motivating any staff, it is the commitment on the part of the person who is leading them, in terms of discipline, in terms of knowledge, in terms of being a role model to them and all that. If you are able to do this, your staff is bound to see you as a backbone and as such would be willing to go the extra mile for you. They would almost start committing themselves to you in all modesty; this is what I try to do for my staff. Among my staff, there are those who have resigned from the banking job because they knew there is a future for them here. As far as I'm concerned, your human resources are the best form of resources you can have. So, if you have intelligent guys, it is only necessary that you give them all the push in order to achieve the ultimate goal which is to move the organisation forward. In every 12 disciples, there is a Judas. How do you treat bad eggs in your company? Honestly, you have a point there. I must accept that there are some workers to whom bad behaviour is like inheritance. But we keep managing them. What we do most time is to redeploy them to another section. We try to re-orientate them, reeducate them, counsel and generally advise them. But there are some who are unchangeable. As a CEO, you must be used to taking decisions. When you take decisions, are you tempted to rescind the decisions, especially when such decisions go awry? Most of the decisions I have taken in the past are always through divine guidance. But there are some decisions I have take that call for sober reflection and deep reasoning. When you have taken such decisions you might deem it fit to actually review those decisions you have taken. So, it is only normal that when some decisions turn negative, you go back to the drawing board. When does your typical day start? By nature, I'm a very restless person. Even my family is already used to my restless nature by now. Most times, I work late into the night and sleep when my body can no longer carry me. But my typical day starts by 7am when I'm in town and could be much early when I'm out of town. As somebody bustling with a lot of energy, it is only normal that you also spare a time for yourself outside the field

Mr. Kola Balogun, an engineer, cut his professional teeth at Chams Plc, where he left to set up Momas Systems in 1995, a computer maintenance, training and engineering company which later metamorphosed into a technology incubation company specialising in metering and information technology. In this interview with Ibrahim Apekhade Yusuf, he speaks on his management style.

of work Sure, I do. Most times, when I feel that I'm working too hard, I go out precisely to play tennis and jog. Do you have any choice holiday resort? (Laughs) My brother, since I was born I have travelled on holiday except on assignments, workshop or for conferences. Nigeria is currently occupying the fourth position in metre-manufacturing, but if this unfavourable importation of metres continues, we would be misplaced in the global market. I want to appeal to the federal government through the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment to ensure that whoever has invested in Nigeria must not have any cause to regret. We have good products that we can showcase to the rest of Africa. As a technology expert, how in your view is it possible to easily transfer technology from an advanced economy to a developing country like Nigeria? When I was young like 10 or when I was 15 years old, Taiwan, Japan were said to be making inferior products. But today, they are making one of the best products. To drive technology for any nation, it's like a war. It is like declaring yourself that yes, we must go, whatever it takes, it must go, it's either you steal it , it's either you learn it, and use whatever means to acquire it. A government must take position that we must develop technologically and for us to develop or to grow you must pay great things for it to grow. I recall that at some point, Japan was sending their people to the United States to do labour work, to copy whatever machine and send to them. Before you start, your government must take a stand, you have to encourage the universities and make sure that whatever is the output of that will be commercialised. Federal Ministry of Science and Technology gave us a grant of one million naira. Today, we need more than one million naira as a grant for us to do more for the country. If you want to grow technologically you acquire it by any means. I won't say steal it, but whatever ways you are going to do it. No nation wants to give their inheritance out; they know what they have passed through, why will they give it to you on a platter of gold? They won't. It is now left to you to device a means, give or take, go and keep developing yourself. But how will you want to grow technologically when our textile industries are dead, when our plastic industries are not moving the way they ought to move. The estate that was made in the past administration, are you saying we don't have ministries, that all we need to do is channel our ministries to give priorities to local content whenever they want to make any purchase? Everything that every ministry wants to buy they should add local content to it. The World Bank will come to Nigeria and ask a company to supply us what is not suitable to us, why don't they ask us to come and set up a factory? They won't say they don't have the capacity. As a company, what form of social responsibility do you undertake? We have done a few things in the past. But currently, there is a scheme we are trying to introduce to Lagos. We're trying to create an artisan skill centre where those who install metre will be trained on how to do metre installation. If we have two million metres to be installed across the whole country, and we assume that the maximum capacity for a single person to install a metre the highest he can install in a day is five metres and maybe that installer will be paid N1, 000 per five metres, it means everyday he can earn N5, 000 and if a young man earns that in a day, it's better than what a graduate will earn in a bank in one month. It means even if you are a graduate and you are trained as an installer you will eventually earn more money than going to an office to work. That is one aspect of job creation and if we want to install two million metres and one person is to install five metres you know what that will result to. So, you are saying that there is huge job potential in the electricity metering sector? That is the point I 'm making. Electricity generation can create big business for the country's entire economic sector. It's one of the back bones that drive the nation, so it is supposed to be the largest employer of labour. What is required is the right amount of investment to cap it up.




Brands and Visual Artists


O much happens with change. Though it is constant, sometimes change come with some damaging effect such that leaves more for negativity than add value. Part of the negative impact of change we talked about in our appreciation of technological development with special focus on social media vehicle. In that circumstance, we pointed out the fact that the appreciation and application of social media as a brand management tool does more harm than good in the face of IT development in our local market. Yes, we did establish the truth in the need to be rational in our application of technology because the efficiency of our thinking cannot be divorced from the readiness of the local environment for such applications. Take for instance the new cashless transaction planned to take place from January 1st, 2012; how else can one describe mistake: in a society where trust is the most priced currency for payment, how can you force the use of card money? How do you want to facilitate big volume cash-based trade transaction on PROMISORY cards when we know that the average trader in Nigeria do not trust even the bank draft? Such is the negative impact of change, yet we must observe change. However, growth dynamics requires some measure of careful consideration in the acceptance and application of change - in the face of established norms. As it most often turn out, careless acceptance of change can be dangerous. So we ask: of what use is change when it does not add up to growth, development or progress? How can we justify change when it ebbs away on quantifiable gains and established core values, no matter how minute? We question hypothesis on the basis of rationalization in the face of change. So, we question CHANGE some times.One of such questions we have had to raise concerning change is the impact it has had on brands management from the angle of creative arts! I have just come to the conclusion that in most cases, the OLD SCHOOL is better than the product of change around the world today - even in religion. But here we are looking at the incidence of CHANGE in special relation with the efficiency of creative arts in the process of brands management. The structure of today's advertising agency is so suspect; traditionalists like me are at a loss as to how to refer to them. But they have also turned out smart in the image perception they have made of themselves. It's been so apt one from the old school some times doubt some of these old thinking's. Today we hear of brand architects, brands managers, brands management consultants, and so much more. In form and substance these are all different new reference to what we originally know as ADVERTISING AGENCY. Also annoying is the knowing that these so-called professionals do not really practice the profession in its true form. Consequently, we now see consumers exposed to campaigns or tactical advert materials lacking in message content or functional creativity. Some time last week I was privileged to see Coca-cola's seasonal TV Commercial conceptualized as a Christmas salutary ad on CNN. It was awesome; a masterpiece of a creative work. It refreshed my appreciation of creative ingenuity. The TVC came across as a piece from the masters, with excellent use of lighting, appropriate music and sound effect and deep-thinking casting (use of models was exact); reminds me of the work I and the team I worked with did for Procter & Gamble's euro Pampers when they were preparing to enter Nigerian market. It all came properly put together by a team committed to agreed creative work plan. I believe and practice by the Old School tradition because I know it is more effective. It


may not be very competitive in terms of very fast response-timing, convenience and style, but it has proven to be more beneficial. As my contemporaries and I know it, the creative artist or visualize(r) is first and primarily someone naturally gifted and trained in the expression of creative art. They are trained and prepared for creative thinking and expression in their natural medium sending messages and expressing emotion. For advertising, as we knew it then, we primarily dealt with the visual artist we called VISUALIZER. The visualizer, by reason of his/her natural creative abilities is charged with the responsibility of expressing the agency's strategic thinking in pictures. The criterion for engaging visual artist was largely based on the extent of creativity and ability to apply same for advertising. So we had men and women proven to be naturally expressive in visual arts. Another beautiful thing about them is the tools of trade way back; the creative process was thoroughly investigative. Starting from understanding the overall creative direction agreed for a given brief, the Visualizer primarily puts his/her thought down in form of 'pencil scamps' - a format that allows for consideration and scrutiny. At that stage, the entire creative team inclusive of the strategic planning unit, the client service person and even the creative services person, come up to critically evaluate the pencil scamps which are essentially visual expression of the artist's understanding and

interpretation of the assignment on hand. At this preliminary stage, nothing is agreed until it is agreed. It is only when the scamps are passed for appropriateness of thought and expression the creative team go on to finishing, in preparation for creative review, preparatory to agency presentation to the client. The process of progressing from scamps to finishing involves the use of the computer with all the software in aiding beauty and exactitude. Then we had the airbrush machine, the pantone color markers, pencils, cardboard papers, water color sets and erasers as basic work tools for the visual artist (in addition to other quite strange materials they some time require then, depending on the assignment and objective). Those were days that really tasked creative thinking and visual arts. I remember how my colleagues in the creative department manually produced storyboard for television commercial by use of hand. Then we had wild strokes strong and expressive of great thinking. There was no short cut in the creative process. We dare say brands gained more from that OLD SCHOOL than what obtains today. In the first place, change crept in but unfortunately met with laziness and desire for short cut, undermining natural talent. All kinds of things happen today in the average advertising agency that amounts to die-service to brands and the creative process as we started out with. In fact, it is so bad today, that some people who are not artists by nature and by

training, bow function as creative artist because all sorts of software is now available for work. Consequently hustlers quickly get computer use skills with a bent for application of tools for visual arts and there we go, as creative artists. It is exactly same reason all sorts of thing now pass for music: laziness and fast means to success. The entire system and process gets corrupted because nobody wants to go through the hard road. Most of the creative materials in advert materials today are lacking in deep thinking, awkward in expression and constitutes noise in the use of words and picture in the communication for brands. Just as anything sells for music in this market today, anything sells for advertising, leaving the brands compromised, the target audience confused and throwing negativity in the brand building process. In 2012, we shall step up this critical analysis to include analyzing campaign materials with special attention on concept and finishing. We know there are a few advertising Agencies out there who appreciates the true process and can rekindle the 'old school' pattern if the rules are strengthened for guidance. Unfortunately the clients are also not too strong in appreciation of creative products. But as mentioned above, next year, we shall concern ourselves with playing up the rules with a view to cleaning up the stains. Change is good and constant, but its implication is only as good as it is expressed.




U.S. jobs market dodges blow from government shutdown


.S. job growth unexpectedly accelerated in October as employers shrugged off a government shutdown, suggesting the budget standoff had a more limited impact on the economy than initially feared. Employers added 204,000 new jobs to their payrolls last month, the Labor Department said on Friday. The unemployment rate, however, rose to 7.3 percent from September's nearly five-year low of 7.2 percent. The department said there had been no "discernible" impact on payrolls from the 16day federal government shutdown, adding that it had received an above average response rate from employers to its survey. "Clearly what transpired was businesses viewed the shutdown as a temporary phenomenon and that the economy was still growing and would continue to grow going forward," said Russell Price, senior economist at Ameriprise Financial Services in Troy, Michigan. The report also showed 60,000 more jobs created in September and August than previously reported, suggesting that the economy had upward momentum heading into the shutdown last month. Economists polled by Reuters had forecast payrolls rising 125,000 in October and the unemployment rate ticking up a tenth of a percentage point to 7.3 percent. The better-than-expected


•A job seeker fills out forms at a table while attending a career fair with prospective employers in New York. By Lucia Mutikani increase in payrolls could raise expectations that the Federal Reserve will curtail its bond-buying program earlier than most economists were anticipating. Indeed, U.S. stock index futures turned sharply lower on the report and prices for U.S. Treasury debt fell. The dollar rallied against the euro and the yen. "We will see what happens behind the doors at the Fed but certainly there will be some reassessment of at least the possibility of a December or January tapering," said Cameron Hinds, regional CIO at Wells Fargo Private Bank in Omaha, Nebraska. October's job gains pushed them above the 190,000 monthly average for

the past 12 months, a sign of strength in the labor market. But there was some bad news as more people dropped out the labor force, pushing the participation rate to 62.8 percent, the lowest level since March 1978. The department said the drop in the participation rate was not related to the government shutdown as furloughed government workers remained in the labor force. The private sector accounted for all the job gains last month, with a reversal in local government weighing on overall government employment. Government payrolls fell 8,000 last month. Local governments had seen hefty job gains between August and September, the bulk of them in education -

increases economists said were due to difficulties adjusting the data for seasonal fluctuations at the start of the new school year. The leisure and hospitality industry added 53,000 new jobs, the most since April, while professional and business services added 44,000 new positions. Payrolls in the retail sector increased 44,400 last month. Manufacturing employment rose 19,000, the most since February. There were also gains in construction, where payrolls rose 11,000. The average work week held steady at 34.4 hours. Hourly earnings gained two cents and have risen 2.2 percent over the past 12 months. Culled from Reuters

Nigerians dominate Africa Person of the Year Shortlist


HREE Nigerians, a South African and a Zimbabwean are on Forbes' shortlist for Africa Person of the Year 2013, BizTechAfrica reports. The awards celebrate "the individual who, for better or worse, has had the most influence on events of the year gone by," the report said. Forbes Africa announced recently that it has narrowed down a shortlist, dominated by Nigerians. The awards are scheduled in Nairobi, Kenya in December. "We want to honor the big hitters of the continent who are making a difference in people's lives and we hope that in doing so, it will inspire others," said

By Ibrahim Apekhade Yusuf with agency report

Chris Bishop, managing editor of Forbes Africa magazine, in the report. The nominees include: South African mining magnate, Patrice Motsepe, who has said he plans on giving away more than half his fortune over the next five years. The Nigerian nominees include: Akinwunmi Adesina, Nigeria's Minister of Agriculture: his vision is to make Nigeria a self-sustaining, food-producing nation and register 20 million farmers by 2015. Others are Aliko Dangote and Jim Ovia. Dangote is Africa's richest billionaire. His net worth has significantly

increased on the back of his continued business success, allowing him to better the lives of millions, the report said. Dangote's personal fortune is said to be more than $19 billion, according to Most of it lies in shares of publicly traded Dangote Cement. In May, Dangote raised $4.5 billion from a consortium of Nigerian banks to invest in Nigeria's first private oil refinery. The $9 billion refinery and petrochemical complex is expected to decrease Nigeria's dependence on oil imports and boost Dangote's fortune significantly. Ovia established Zenith Bank Group in 1990 -

now West Africa's second largest financial services provider. His focus has turned to helping grow Africa's budding "techpreneurs." Zimbabwean Strive Masiyiwa is the founder of global telecoms group, Econet Wireless. Through Capernaum Trust he educates tens of thousands of Zimbabwean orphans. An entrepreneur known for fighting corruption, he said he has been solicited for bribes by government officials, the private sector and even presidents as he built his businesses in Africa. On a social network posting that went viral last week, Strive Masiyiwa said his weapon against corruption was the word "no."

Oil hangs above $94 on US jobs report, Iran talks


HE price of oil remained near $94 a barrel Friday as markets digested a possible loosening of sanctions against Iran and encouraging data on U.S. employment. By early afternoon in Europe, benchmark crude for December delivery was up 6 cents at $94.26 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract fell 60 cents on Thursday. Negotiations in Geneva between major world powers and Iran on the Islamic Republic's nuclear program

Treasuries, gold fall as dollar rises

By Pablo Gorondi

were seen heading toward a deal. U.S.-led sanctions have crippled Iran's oil exports and their resumption would come at a time of already abundant supplies. "An Iran nuclear breakthrough could represent a wave of oil ready to hit the market," according to the Kilduff Report, research edited by Michael Fitzpatrick. "Some of the recent price decline has been attributable to this rally." Meanwhile, the Labor

Department said U.S. employers added 204,000 jobs in October, a surprisingly high figure considering the federal government was partially shut for 16 days last month. At the same time, the unemployment rate rose to 7.3 percent from 7.2 percent in September, likely because furloughed federal workers were counted as unemployed. A possible sign that demand for oil could increase came from China, where October trade data showed growth in overall imports

accelerating. But overall, the backdrop of ample supplies and muted demand, which has driven a month-long slide in the oil price, is expected to keep a lid on markets. "More losses appear likely," the Kilduff Report noted. Brent crude, the international benchmark for oil, was up 14 cents at $103.60 a barrel on the ICE Futures exchange in London. Culled from Associated Press

•S&P 500 rebounds REASURIES sank the most since July and

gold slid as a bigger-thanforecast increase in American payrolls fueled speculation the Federal Reserve may trim stimulus earlier than expected. The dollar strengthened against all 16 major peers while U.S. stocks advanced. The yield on 10-year Treasuries jumped 14 basis points to 2.74 percent at 11:32 a.m. in New York and climbed as much as 16 basis points. Gold futures dropped 1.8 percent to $1,285.00 an ounce. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index (SPX) rebounded 0.7 percent after tumbling 1.3 percent yesterday. French bonds fell after S&P downgraded the country's debt. The dollar climbed 0.5 percent against the euro. AT&T Inc. and BNP Paribas SA led 21 billion euros ($28 billion) of bond sales in Europe this week, the busiest in two months. Employers in the U.S. added 204,000 workers last month, the Labor Department said, following a revised 163,000 gain in September that was larger than initially estimated. The median forecast of 91 economists surveyed by Bloomberg called for a 120,000 increased. Data yesterday showed fasterthan-estimated economic growth. France's rating was lowered to AA from AA+ at S&P. "For markets it shows that the labor market continues to tighten and should bring forward people's estimates of when the Federal Reserve will have to reduce bond purchases," said David Kelly, the chief global strategist at JPMorgan Funds in New York, which oversees about $400 billion in long-term assets. "Ultimately this is good news for the economy. I think in the long run it's good news for the stock market." Treasury Yields Thirty-year U.S. bond rates jumped 12 basis points to 3.83 percent and two-year note yields increased three basis points to 0.31 percent. Yields have risen since the Federal Open Market Committee said Oct. 30 that the economy showed signs of "underlying strength" even as policy makers agreed to continue the $85 billion of monthly bond purchases, known as quantitative easing. They next meeting is Dec. 17-18. The Bloomberg U.S. Dollar Index, a gauge of the currency against 10 major peers, climbed 0.6 percent to reach an almost two-month high of 1,022.7. The currencies of Norway, Brazil and Sweden led losses against the dollar, weakening at least 0.9 percent. The S&P 500 dropped 1.3 percent yesterday, its worst loss since August, and is down 0.1 percent this week. The gauge is up about 23 percent for the year, rivaling 2009 for its biggest gain in a decade, and is trading near its most-

By Stephen Kirkland and Nick Taborek

expensive price-to-earnings valuation in more than three years. Market leaders Financial, consumerdiscretionary, industrial and health-care stocks led the rebound today as seven of the 10 main S&P 500 industry groups advanced. JPMorgan Chase & Co., Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Walt Disney Co. climbed the most in the Dow Jones Industrial Average, gaining more than 2 percent. Twitter Inc. (TWTR) fell 4.4 percent after jumping 73 percent in its trading debut last Thursday. Three shares dropped for every two that rose in the Stoxx Europe 600 Index, leaving the gauge down 0.3 percent today and trimming its weekly gain to 0.3 percent. Finmeccanica SpA sank 5.5 percent, the most since April on a closing basis, after the Italian arms company predicted a cash outflow for this year amid suspended helicopters payments and a sluggish rail business. Rheinmetall AG retreated 6 percent as the German maker of armored vehicles reported declining profit. Numericable SAS (NUM), France's largest cable operator, rallied 15 percent in its trading debut after raising about 652.2 million euros ($875 million) in the country's biggest initial public offering in four years. European Movers I n t e r n a t i o n a l Consolidated Airlines Group SA advanced 8 percent after the parent of British Airways said third-quarter earnings more than doubled and lifted its full-year outlook. Rolls-Royce Holdings Plc (RR/), the world's second-largest maker of commercial jet engines, gained 3.2 percent after raising the earnings target for its defense aerospace unit. The MSCI Emerging Markets Index fell for a seventh day, the longest losing streak since March, sliding 1.4 percent. The Shanghai Composite Index dropped 1.1 percent before the start of a Communist Party meeting tomorrow. Benchmark indexes in Russia, South Africa, Turkey, Thailand, the Czech Republic and the Philippines dropped more than 1 percent. Ten-year French government debt yields increased seven basis points to 2.22 percent. Since S&P's first downgrade on Jan. 13, 2012, French government bonds returned more than 10 percent, according to Bloomberg France Sovereign Bond Index. France's government debt is the second biggest in the euro area, trailing only Italy, and the fourth largest among global sovereign-debt market, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Culled from Bloomberg


Chamber links SMEs to national development Page 66 THE NATION ON SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 11, 2013

‘I started my business with less than N5,000’

Managing Director of Spectra Industries Limited, Duro Kuteyi, a food nutritionist from the old University of Ife, Ile-Ife, worked with the Federal Ministry of Health for four years before he started his own business. He spoke to Bukola Afolabi about challenges he encountered setting up business and he has fared thus far.


OW was starting business like? I started shortly after leaving the service. I started with plantain chips in 1992. Plantain chips were selling that time, we even had a big plantain farm. We subsequently put an end to the farm and experimented with soya beans alongside cocoa between 1994 and 1998. So, that was how we started the business of cocoa Suco drink. How much capital did you start with? It was very small. We started with less than five thousand naira. Some of the equipment were fabricated by calling a welder and telling him what to do. We brought some gas cooker from Kingsway, they were cracked and used for something else. That was how we were able to do well in the area of making the best plantain chips in those days. How many employers did you have? As an SME, we had the skilled and unskilled labour. And out of the skilled we had the permanent and the temporary staff the skilled labour were about 15 why the unskilled were about twenty-five. Was it easy raising capital? We had to produce from what we had; producing something of quality was not hard to market. We did very well that we attracted agric loans for the farm and accepting agric loans then was a little easier than politics now. Can you say the banks are supportive of your business? The banks are doing their own business in order to meet up with shareholders fund, but as far as SMEs are concerned they have not been very supportive. Their own is just to ensure that an SME remains an SME in the way they do their calculations of interest, and the one that is friendly is the Bank of Industry in terms of their interest rate and payment terms. What are the three most important things you would tell a person who wants to start a business? What does he know in terms of area of specialisation, I mean the skill; the skill must be there, the passion must be there, and again the ability to market must be there. What are the mistakes they should avoid? They must avoid not having salary, not paying salary to himself, the owner of the business. He must pay himself salary so that the business can run, and also it is when you are settled that you can run a business. Because, number one, if your wife is not working, and she is not doing very well in terms of income, then it means the husband has to perform his roles.

•Spectra staff at work

•Spectra staff at work

What challenges are you currently facing? Capital to expand. You know, like you want to produce for export. Export is a serious business in the field which we are. There are standards we must meet before we enter the European market, American market, and again when we are to produce for export we will need to stock for the raw materials, calculate what we need for a year, and, provide a storage to store grains, to store cocoa. Without them you will not be able to produce at uniformed prices. Not that you will start production, you will order some grains today with N50,000 and one month after the price has jumped to N90,000 another one month it’s already 150,000, then you now make a generic matter. Again, we need reliable equipment; we need equipment that are solid and durable. This should be equipment coming from Europe or America that have been tested over time and manufactured by experienced manufacturers, because when we go to Thailand they produce rice and they export it. The machines used for export are imported from Germany, not made in Thailand. Those used in India for export are imported from Europe and America. These are the types of machines this people copy and send to Nigeria, because we in Nigeria believe that Thailand is a great nation in the exportation of rice. We now believe that the machine they make in Thailand will be good for us, and then we buy. How long will they last? What are the prospects for SMEs in Nigeria considering government polices? Government needs to critically look at the SMEs and then assist them before it’s too late. SME needs more than they think, more than the government thinks they need. For example, if we are to organise in a way to produce for export, definitely we need enough money to purchase the type of equipment that will do that operation, and none of the SMEs has the collateral to support the facility that will be needed to export. With the sale of PHCN, should we say better days are coming for SMEs in Nigeria? There will be a lot of micro businesses that cannot afford generators, to do their businesses, like welders, hairdressers, barbers and all these artisans. So there will be more money in their pockets to buy the products of SMEs. And again you now see the SMEs also with their reduced cost of production in terms of not operating generator that is using electricity from the company supply, that you only pay for what you use not that you pay for this or that and at the same time maintain generator at high cost. So this will drastically reduce the cost of production, if the rate is friendly.


Japan to train Nigerian engineers on road rehabilitation


HE Japanese government through its Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) is to support the Federal Government in training Nigerian engineers on road rehabilitation. The Advisor of Operation for Supporting Japanese Small and Medium Enterprises Division, JICA, Mr Eiji Kubo, said this in Abuja last Monday when a delegation from the agency visited the Minister of Works, Mr. Mike Onolememen. He said JICA was ready to involve more than 20 Nigerian engineers in a pioneer training, which expected to commence in the second quarter of 2014. “The training will give the engineers more knowledge about the use of modern technologies, such as the introduction of nondestructive testing method for road construction.

“Our main goal is to establish basic database on the condition of incidental concrete structures on roads in Abuja, using data obtained by concrete tester so that the recipient government can conduct systematic management for civil engineering structure in the future,’’ Kubo said. He also pledged the agency’s support in other sectors of the Nigerian economy if given the opportunity. In his remark, the minister, represented by the Permanent Secretary in the ministry, Alhaji Abubakar Mohammed, restated the government’s continued support for organisations willing to enhance programmes in road development. “As part of government’s transformation agenda for the road sector, we are willing to key into more reform programmes both locally and internationally,’’ he said.



Ogun partners BoI on N1bn SME endowment fund


HE Ogun State Government said that it had recently entered a partnership with the Bank of Industry to provide N1bn for the Small and Medium Enterprises sector of the state. Governor Ibikunle Amosun stated this during the celebration of the Ogun State Day at the ongoing Lagos International Trade Fair. Amosun, who was represented by his deputy, Mr. Segun Adesegun, said the loan window was aimed at providing funds to address internal issues in trade promotion within the state. “We are using this as a forum to stabilise the trade of our people, especially those in small businesses, who may not have easy access to bank loans. What we do is to serve as the bridge between them and the financial institutions so that they can have access to funds,” he said. The governor said the task of promoting trade in the state was the responsibility of the government and the organised private sector. He added that based on the understanding of the economic importance of trade, the state was also working on providing tax incentives to investors, depending on their business and location

By Bukola Afolabi in the state. According to him, the state is also working on increasing agricultural production as a key sector for economic development. The state Commissioner for Commerce and Industry, Mr. Bimbola Ashiru, said the state, in collaboration with the private sector, was building a profitable value chain in important sectors of the economy, especially agriculture. “Agriculture remains the most viable option to get out of the economic rot that petrodollar has brought upon this nation; it is the only area where we wield the greatest comparative advantage,” he said. Ashiru said investment in agriculture and agro-allied products was often despised by investors, but it remained a rewarding venture that was capable of fetching good foreign exchange in the international market. The commissioner said the state government was working on mobilising available resources towards creating the enabling environment that would stimulate growth and development in the area of infrastructure, security, health care delivery and urban renewal.

Southeast govts urged to encourage SME development


OVERNMENTS of the Southeast geopolitical zone of the country have been urged to provide enabling environment for micro, small and medium enterprises to grow. Victor Ugwu, south-east zonal coordinator of the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN) who gave this advice at the opening ceremony of the 2013 Abia State Small and Medium Investment forum, held in Aba, the commercial hub of the state, observed that governments of the region are paying lip service to SME development. He affirmed that the states can increase their Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) if they support entrepreneurship growth in their areas. He identified multiple taxation and lack of infrastructure as some of the factors stifling business activities in the geo-political zone and advised the state governments to harmonise taxes paid in the area as well as invest more in road, water and electricity infrastructure,. According to him, a situation whereby an entrepreneur

provides his own factory, electricity, water and at the same time pay huge taxes to government does not encourage people to start or stay in business. He did not also absolve business operators in the area, whom he accused of engaging in mundane practices, and urged them to register their business as well as partner with others to grow their businesses. “We in SMEDAN believe that it is only through an efficient SME sub sector supported by government and led by the organised private sector and encouraged by other stakeholders that Nigeria can realise her true economic potentials.” Records show that there are over 17 million registered small businesses in the country; however the sector contributes a paltry three percent to the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Sam Kalu, chairman, Nigerian Association of Small Scale Industrialists (NASSI) Abia branch, organisers of the forum, affirmed that it was organised to showcase Aba-made products to the outside world as well as debunk the insinuation that made-in-Aba goods are inferior.

Delta empowers over 3,000 farmers with N600m loan


ELTA State Government has empowered 3,921 farmers across the state with N600 million loan through its Farmers’ Support Programme in the last four years.‘ Gov.Emmanuel Uduaghan made this known in Asaba at a four-day workshop on Bankable Proposals for Loan Facility Requirement and Repayment for Enterprise Development’ in Delta. Uduaghan, who was represented by Mr Valentine Okwuchi, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Commerce

and Industry, said the workshop was aimed at assisting farmers expand their farms. He said that soft loans were given to farmers as well as farm inputs to improve their yields. The governor also said that 950 youths across the state benefitted from the youth empowerment through Agriculture and Farmers’Support Programme. He said that the empowerment programme had created jobs for youths in poultry production, fishery, piggery and snailery.

Uduaghan said the government was committed to harnessing the abundance and energies of youths in the state. While commending the Delta Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (DACCIMA) for organising the workshop, the governor urged investors to take advantage of the abundance of natural resources in the state. He said besides the various windows designed by the private sector to grow businesses, the government, through various investment-

friendly policies and programmes, was poised to make the state an “industrial and commercial haven of the nation.’’ In his speech at the occasion, the President of DACCIMA, Chief Uju Udeme, said that the workshop would equip owners of projects with the techniques of presenting project proposals to potential sources of finance by proving the viability of such projects. He said the workshop would also equip the participants with management skills that would enhance their capacity and prevent default.

Chamber links SMEs to national development


HE importance of small and medium scale enterprises to socio-economic development cannot be overemphasised as the sector plays a key role in harnessing human and natural resources, Mr. Emeka Unachukwu, President, Port Harcourt Chamber of Commerce, has said. He gave this submission at a public forum in Port Harcourt, Rivers State capital, recently. The Small Business Initiative Summit 2013, which was facilitated by Total Exploration and Production Nigeria Limited in conjunction with Small and

Medium Scale Enterprise Development Network (SMEDN), attracted over 500 entrepreneurs drawn from different parts of the state. In his paper entitled: 'Harnessing the Roles of SMEs Regional Economic Development', Unachukwu said: "The only way you can develop a place is to develop SMEs and one way to develop the country is what the people of Egi have started from the grassroots," adding that every other part of the country should come to Egi and learn. "What you are doing in Egi, if it works, will contribute to the progress of the country. What you are doing today is

in the plan of the government but government does not know how to start it," he emphasised. "In Nigeria, 31 million people are engaged in SMEs and this sector holds 80 per cent of the total enterprises but regrettably it contributes as little as one percent to the total GDP," he noted. While commending Total and other corporate bodies for their commitment to SMEs, he, however, said there is nothing to cheer about as the country still needs to do a lot as far as SMEs development is concerned. SMEs in Asian countries, he observed, "Contribute 40

per cent of GDP while in Europe and the United States contribute 50 percent to GDP." Justifying the need for the summit, Head of Sustainable Development, Total E&P, Mr. Chika Chinwah said: "Total Exploration and Production Nigeria encourages partnerships amongst local actors to make sure the local population shares in the benefit of economic growth resulting from the company's activities." Speaking earlier, Chairman of the SME-DN Board of directors, Mr. Cyprian Ojum, lauded Total for making significant economic impact towards SMEs.

Enterprise centre celebrates 10th anniversary


T was a whole week of festivity for the E n t e r p r i s e Development Centre (EDC) and the Global SME toolkit as they both celebrated their 10th anniversary. Delegates comprising SME Toolkit partners, content providers, specialists from 25 countries converged for the SME Toolkit Global Partner Conference in Lagos, Nigeria. With the theme 'Enabling SME Success: Becoming The Go-To Portal for Business Growth' participants spanned across various business related sector which ranged from banking to business development institutions, telecoms to ICT,

universities to NGOs. At the opening session, the IFC Country Manager in Nigeria, Solomon AdegbieQuaynor, welcomed all the delegates to Nigeria and shared the strategic target of the corporation in supporting SMEs most especially to enhance job creation in developing countries which is aimed at reducing poverty level. He mentioned that organising the toolkit conference will help to strengthen the SME Toolkit in becoming the 'go to' resource for small businesses in increasing their productivity and growth. Taiwo Otiti, the Country General Manager for IBM

West Africa, talked about IBM's partnership with IFC and support on the SME Toolkit since 2006. He went further to explain how the relationship has helped in providing innovative business related opportunities for SMEs through the toolkit platform. The keynote speaker, Alex Otti, Managing Directror of Diamond Bank, highlighted the importance of banks in positioning themselves in the MSME space by sharing the Diamond Bank experience. The learning points from the deliberation and discussion sessions centred on the future of the toolkit

enhancing and enriching the features/ contents, increasing users' engagement through eLearning methods. To spice up the conference, a day was set aside where over 200 toolkit users across Nigeria joined the Global SME Toolkit team at the Lagos Business School for insightful and consultative sessions with the toolkit experts. The conference was drawn to an end with the partners' award of certificates and an entertaining Gala evening. The SME Toolkit Nigeria received an award on the best Innovative use of Social Media.

New SMEDAN board to enhance SMEs growth


ETIRED Lt.-Col. Shehu Ibrahim, Chairman, Board of Governing Council, Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN), says the board will ensure rapid growth of SMEs in the country .The Chairman gave the assurance when he visited the Director-General of SMEDAN, Alhaji Bature Masari, in Abuja shortly after the board’s inauguration by the Minister of State Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment, Dr. Sam Ortom . Col Ibrahim commended

the Director-General for his readiness to work with the board for the realisation of the overall objective of the agency. Earlier in his welcome remark, the Director-General and Chief Executive Officer of SMEDAN, Alhaji Bature Umar Masari had promised to cooperate with the board to liftthe agency to greater heights. Alhaji Masari said that membership of the board was carefully chosen, based on wealth of experience, and expressed the hope that it would bring such vast experience to bear in the delivery of SMEDAN mandate

•Vice President North Central and West Africa, Western Union, Mrs Aida Diara, former American Ambassador to Nigeria, Ambassador Robin Sander, and Vice President, Global Affairs, Western Union, Mrs Barbbra Span at the 2nd edition of SME Live Interactive Forum organised by Bank of Industry in partnership with Western Union and USAID at Civic Centre, Lagos. PHOTO: OLUSEGUN RAPHEAL



‘We're bringing back Village Headmaster’

POETRY THE NEW SLAVERY When many years ago I was born On a Friday morning A boy, little and innocent I was a reminder Of the mustard seed tale A new gun was brought From the community foundry And the smith's face beamed Caressed by a smile Or grimace, maybe With a forlorn fire In his deep-set eyes

Olujimi Olusola is first son of late Segun Olusola, foremost culture and art practitioner who passed on a year ago. Last week, the Centre for Black and African Arts and Civilization (CBAAC) organised a memorial lecture in his honour and Olujimi was on hand to talk about the repertoire of art materials left behind by his father. He also spoke to Edozie Udeze on plans to reintroduce the Village Headmaster, a TV soap pioneered by his father, and lots more.


ROM the lecture today, one could understand that your father left a lot of cultural and art materials for posterity... Ha, one of the legacies my father left behind is, of course, me. (Laughs). It is a big issue really. From the documentary done by the Centre for Black and African Arts and Civilisation (CBAAC) which we've just watched, you could see a number of things he did to promote art and culture not only in Nigeria but worldwide. For him culture was everything. My father believed that you can only be true to yourself by internalising your own culture. He lived to uphold that and showed all the tenets of art in everything he did and said about culture. He understood the total essence and beauty of the art. And that was why he took art and culture as a vehicle for national and international development. He used art for national development in such a way that he put all he had into it. Well, it is not out of place when you look at the kind of person he was, what he did and how he did them. He liked culture to the fullest. His trust and discipline on culture was what he did not compromise. He believed that culture has always been a people's way of life and culture will live forever, so long as there are people on the surface of the earth. Apart from what CBAAC is doing to immortalise and preserve some of his works, what are you doing at the family level to ensure that what he stood for does not fizzle out? We have a gallery at home - the Ajibolu Moniya Gallery, Surulere, Lagos which was founded by him and the family itself. That was as far back as 1985. With his deep interest in the art, he had to found that gallery through which he preserved all he had acquired in the art. We also have a foundation which is still ongoing. There's also the refugee management and so on. All his works however, are being put together. The African Refugee Foundation for the sake of posterity cannot be left to fizzle out. Things are still going on. We still want to go into broadcasting and the media which was his first forte to see how we can preserve more of his works in broadcasting and so on. He did so much for broadcasting. His involvement in the Village Headmaster is not what we can foget in a hurry. Presently, there are plans to restore the Village

Headmaster where he played a frontline role to create and entertain Nigerian through those series of TV drama. Most of his broadcasting works will be shown subsequently in order to encourage the younger ones to be more prolific and professionally sound in what they do. So, Baba's legacies are being preserved in all spheres. While growing up how did you feel about being his son? Ordinary. It is not different from what you see here today where people have gathered to honour him. I have always seen him just as my father, someone who decided to give his best to his society. His love for what he loved; for what he believed in was always what we saw him display mostly in all his engagements in life. The depth of what he stood for then and what you've seen here today all come together to depict what he stood for me and my other siblings. It is just the total life of an artiste. He used art and culture to reach out to the world. Do you think he did that to the best of his ability? He did well. All you need do is try to do the best you can in whatever you believe in. There's no way you can do all to satisfy the world or everybody. Largely, he did his work to the best of his ability and so you can't discuss culture or art in this society today without mentioning his name. To us, that's the greatest legacy ever. Having been so well remembered by the people he touched their lives through his works, that means he must have done his work to the best of his ability. It shows he must have done something good; he must have made a lot of impact in their lives. And so, you can't divorce art and

The birds scurried Off the treetops in fright Whispered gossips in their flight As the thunderous sounds Broke the morning Jarring the neighbourhood To an instant waking mood Piercing the virgin innocence Of the stirring infant day But mother earth continued In her merry dance Around her Mr. Charm, sun

•Jimi Olusola culture from the life he lived. The larger issue there is that we must use art and culture as a pivot or takeoff point to influence people; touch the society and proffer a way forward. Our culture must be a way of life and we need to continue to discuss it. You go around discussing politics, disusing about finance and so this is time for Nigerian to go about discussing culture. So, we must harness the art and culture which, to me, is the basis of our development. The coming of the second Village Headmaster sounds a noble idea. But what do you think it will be like now without him? It will even be better without him. You don't have to create a drama around one person. This is a

•Some of Olusola’s antiquities kept in custody by CBAAC

series that involves a lot of people; professionals who know exactly what to do and how to do it. He had laid the foundation and other people who have to take over are professional enough to continue to give it the best quality it deserves. Those who have the idea too, should improve on it. It doesn't have to be one person. No. Certainly, it will be better. It'll be bigger and more professionally done. You will see on board more elements of entertainment. Those who started it with him, some of them are still alive. It will therefore be broader. You'll see plenty of the things happening now embedded in it. In what ways did his life as an artiste influence your own life? Oh, certainly, you can't come from the family of artistes without being influenced yourself. It will only help you shape your own destiny, shape your own future and hopefully you either become an artiste or something close to it. Are you an artiste yourself? Well, I am simply the old man's deputy. I am born into the art. But I am mainly into international relations and diplomacy, art management, publishing, refugee management, broadcasting and so on. All he taught me, I am trying to put them together to be who I am today. That alone keeps me busy all the time and I am trying to ensure that everything is done to make for continuity; to preserve what he laboured to put together.

I grew up a man In and out of loin clothes Relevant to all calls War, peace, virility Living among megastars Driving the amazons And big-time feminists To their frenzied limits Watching years start and end Celebrations come and go But suddenly, wham! The years are gone The rhythm is different Asking for new dance steps How youth sneaks away Valour gone, virility lost I am no more the man That I used to be When men were men Today I woke up To a gray invasion of my hair In the head, in pubes, everywhere And what do I find hanging On my already sagging shoulders Mountains of debts left behind By fast-departing progenitors The grand inheritance they promised The new slavery By Uchechukwu Nwosu



I first met Uche Nwosu some 20 years ago in the mid 1990s. He was then a young man who had just graduated from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, full of ideals and very fond of approaching his work from a philosophical perspective in tandem with the Nsukka Art School tradition. This tradition, whereby visual and literary art seemed to have been conceived and interwoven into the fabric of their curriculum reflected in his works, which was part of his early art training, to more introspective and conceptual offerings. His finger prints clearly define him as a commentator of the very essence of life, whereby in some cases, he simply observes without judgment. He lays bare unrefined depictions of a variety of subject matter highlighting subjective themes rendered in brilliant colours that give a pastel-like finish to his works. His choices of themes as well as his rendering unwittingly raise the question of this intents and purposes. When queried he simply retorts "I paint!" as if to say what does it matter? After all I am just an artist and so I paint, this is what I do. In 2006, Uche suffered a stroke of which we are thankful that he was able to survive. We are also thankful that it has not prevented him from doing what he knows to do best. Even in his present condition, whereby his speech is slightly impaired, it has strengthened the content of his works. His paintings are now his way of expressing his views. He however does so without imposing these views on others. The significance of this is that he lays no claim to being a moralist, neither is he on a crusade to try and


Inspiration from the heart Inspirations from the Heart, an exhibition of old and new paintings by Uche Nwosu which has just ended in Lagos was the cynosure of all eyes, writes Ekpo U. Udoma.

change the world or anything like that. He leaves it entirely up to the viewer to decide on how best to respond to his works. It was Chinua Achebe who once said that it is not the place of the creative writer to prooffer solutions to the nation's problems. This perhaps informs the artist's position. Taking a cursory look at the over 40 works on view, one can see that thematically, his works speak of life in a regenerative sense. At the same time he is enthralled by man's search for truth. We see works like Budded (2012) a painting illustrating a night space

scene characterised by a full moon superimposed on a dark blue sky. In the foreground, can be seen two flowery plants. The plant on the left side is bent over almost as if it were dead, while the plant on the right is seen in full bloom, perhaps suggesting that as a plant dies another germinates and the cycle just goes on. Set on a whitish backdrop interspersed with grayish tones, helps to give the composition some measure of depth. Sacrifice (2011) is a painting depicting a stylized image of a man with outstretched arms in the foreground. In this painting,

the artist seems to be attempting to interpret the crucifixion story. Here the image of Jesus Christ bleeding on the cross of Calvary is depicted. In Uche's version, however, there is no cross and the hands and feet on which Jesus was nailed are not illustrated. The only reference to blood in this picture is the crown of thorns around the head. In Seeker (2011), the artist typifies man's search for truth, but like Pontius Pilate who asked Jesus in the book of John in the Bible "What is Truth?" Uche Nwosu seems to be asking some critical questions here, the answers


to which are yet hidden. As the lone figure in this picture is seen embarking on a journey into a labyrinth, the end to which no one knows, we can see the depiction of an equal-armed cross inscribed in a circle akin to that used by adherents of the Grail message on the right of the picture and its reflection is seen on the left side. Colonisation (1997) one of his older pieces talks about the domination of world affairs by the Western nations. Here you see a Caucasian man dressed in a robe with the symbol of peace emblazoned on his chest. In his right hand is a cell phone as well as a switch for the nuclear bomb war head. At the extreme left side of the picture plane is a list of espionage agencies from around the world. On the right are flags and symbols of some western governments like the Nazi symbol (swastika), Israel (the Star of David), Britain (Union Jack) and USA (Star spangled banner). Everything points towards Western imperialism and its effects on international politics. This work was obviously influenced by the fall outs of the cold war era. It would, however, be unfair to say that Nwosu's works are just about social commentary, politics and religion. There are other works that are purely aesthetic or personal in nature. Works in this category include Horizon Beach (2013), Couple (1996), and Obsession (1991). On the whole Uche Nwosu's paintings can be said to be inflections of a personal nature which invariably leads one to conclude that there is indeed something to be said for Art for its own sake.


Making dreams come true Title: Dreams, The Divine Riddles - A comprehensive guide to interpreting your own dreams. Author:

Joseph Eloma

Publishers: Christ Temple, Lagos. No. of pages: 194 Reviewer:


Edozie Udeze

OW many Christians who dream every night know the depth or meaning of their dreams? Indeed, do Christians really know that dreams and visions have been made a way of life by God? Every man shall dream dreams and have visions. This is often to show the unique language of God. As it is, it is the universal sign language by which God communicates with his own people. In this book, entitled Dreams, The Divine Riddles - a comprehensive guide to interpreting your own dreams, the author, Joseph

Eloma, a Pastor and the General Overseer of Christ Temple International Ministry, Lagos, goes deeper into the inner workings of people once they go to sleep at night. It is at night while we put our heads in our beds to sleep that God comes to us in dreams or visions. He says that like most languages, dreams have consistent structure that can be studied and acquired. This is why he gives about 800 scriptural references in order to avoid doubts whether what he is saying is real or not. By giving many quotations, the author takes readers through the many biblical references where God himself appeared to prophets and his own chosen ones through dreams. Using symbols and signs of various types and shapes, God instructed them on what to do. The essence of all this is for man to be close to God and try to learn how to utilize God's words in his dreams to effect the desired change in his life. Communication and dreams go hand-in-hand to effect God's words on His people. The author makes it

explicit in this form: "Dream is a sequence of mental images that occur in the mind of someone in a state of sleep. It consists of real or imaginary characters, places, things or events. In it, God often makes use of dreams to communicate his will to man. In other words, in most cultures, dreams are regarded as prophetic and oracular. This is primarily the reason why most often interpreters are sought to reveal or explains the potency of such dreams so as to avoid disaster or otherwise". Essentially, prophets like Daniel, Jeremiah and others were used by God to give meaning to so many powerful dreams either to warn their leaders or to save the kingdom from some catastrophic doom. Special people of God like Joseph, Peter and Paul were given to dreams that had everlasting impact on the people around them. God's revelations via dreams are by far his greatest means of reaching out to those he prefers to do so with. In order to make the book much clearer, the author divided it into sixteen

chapters. Each chapter is entitled in a way to explain the topic it is handling. For instance, in chapter 4 entitled sources of dreams, he warns about satanic devises used as symbols of genuine dreams. "Satanic agents seeing that the world is turning to Christ, seek relevance, pretending to be prophets and prophetesses. Some Christians have fallen victims of witchcraft powers. They walk on snares, driven into deeper waters of doom. As much as God shows His people things in dreams, Satan and its agents influence and inspire dream also." In so far as man does not take time to comprehend and distinguish between the false and true dreams, he is most likely going to run into mud waters. This is the reason the author warns that once one encounters such strange objects or symbols in a dream, he has to offer appropriate prayers to erase the effect. By handling different forms of dreams and what they entail, by giving definitions of some dreams and what they portend and by ensuring that he prescribes the prayers to say

when such confrontations come, the author has clearly shown the way forward. The book is only good when one picks it to read to get the true pictures of the many sides, faces and impacts of dreams in the lives of the people.

This is a book necessary in the face of too many demons, evils and setbacks confronting Christians and children of God today. It is one book that is not just expository but revealing as well as instructive and it is recommended for all.



'Marital bliss is possible with knowledge' The Senior Pastor of Everwinning Faith Ministries International Lagos, Rev. Solomon Ojigiri, spoke with Sunday Oguntola on marital issues ahead of the forthcoming seminar in the church. Excerpts:



OW do you react to the recent signing of the Lagos Domestic law? I think it's a good development because there is so much abuse in this part of the world. You know the people abroad are enlightened. A lot of married people are cautious about the way they treat their spouse, especially the women folk, because they know that the law is in their favour. But in Nigeria, we have had a lot of cases on assault. I mean people being wounded. In fact, recently there was a woman who said a lot of women are being killed and nobody is doing anything about it. I think it's a good development if such laws can be enforced because sometimes the people just make laws on paper. It will also help men to be conscious. You know people do things because they think they can do away with it but when you are aware of the presence of a law against what you want to do then you are more careful. People say that will encourage lots of women without good intention to make troubles… Anything that has advantages also has disadvantages. Of course, certainly, they have disadvantages but I think we should look at the intention of the law to protect women from abuse. That should be the main concentration. Of course, we also see

some people that will want to take advantage of such but then we can't say because of that we will pull out the fact that there is a need for such law. Is marital bliss possible? Trust me, it is possible. It is not just realism but a possibility. But, of course, it comes with lots of sacrifices and efforts. Now the most important thing when it comes to the issues of marriage is knowledge. Most of the time people don't know what to do. That's what is causing problems in marriages. I usually classify ignorance into five areas. Firstly, I talk about ignorance of God's word. People don't even know what the word of God says on marriage. Many people married and run their marriages on what is said on TV shows and what psychologists say. God is the author of marriage and I believe He has the final say on marriage. Secondly, there is ignorance of God's purpose for marriage. Many people get married for wrong reasons. For instance, when you see somebody getting married to just have children, he will probably marry another wife if the first one does not have kids in the first three years. Sometimes I tell some people 'you don't need a wife. You need a cook' if the only reason you got married is because you need someone that will

cook for you. So, ignorance of God's purpose for marriage leads people to marry for the wrong reasons. Then, there is ignorance of our responsibilities in marriage because we have responsibility. The fourth is ignorance of gender differences. The women differ from men and a lot of time the men want the women to do things the way they will and the same for women. So, the more you understand the nature and differences between the women and the men, the better. When I got married, I went out one day for a kind of appointment and my wife said 'how was it?' I just said 'fine. I'm hungry let me have food.' My wife was not pleased and I later got to know that women ask you questions, they want you to go into details because that's part of their nature. So the ignorance of gender difference is also a reason and we need to develop in that area. Last one is ignorance of satanic devices. Many people don't know that Satan is seriously after marriages. That is because marriage is the foundation for everything. It is the foundation for the family, the foundation for the society and the foundation for the nation. If a nation will become good, it will start from the family. That is why Satan, in his strategic plans, wants to destroy marriages and when two elephants fight, it is the grass that suffers. You find out when there is a problem in the marriage, it is the offspring that suffer. The children become dysfunctional because the devil has reprogrammed their lives. So many women struggle with submission. They wonder to what extent should they submit to irresponsible, unbelieving husbands. I tell people that the word of God doesn't say that ‘submit to your husband when your husband is responsible.’ There was a time we were discussing that and some women said that if my husband is caring and loving enough,

then I will be submissive to him. And some men said 'if my wife is submissive enough then I should take care of her.' That's what I call responsibilities in marriage and the greatest thing a man wants is respect. That's why God said to the woman to submit to the man. God said to the man to love the woman because the greatest need of the woman is love and if you don't pay attention to those responsibilities there will be troubles. But some men believe that submission means you should harass the woman. I saw a book sometime ago titled "Battered to submission". God is not expecting us to batter the woman to submission. There have been cases where the man is a drunk and the man is an irresponsible person. If he wants a wife to do something against God, then, of course, you decline. But if it’s something else, the woman must submit. That is why every woman must be very careful to marry someone they can truly submit to. Another issue that people struggle with is how far can a man afford to be transparent, considering that women's needs are endless? This reminds me of the story of a family. There was a quarrel over money and the man beat the woman until she fainted. They called me to intervene and I understood the problem was the man said he had no money. The wife discovered where he hid the money, took it and used it to cook for the family. The man came back and all hell was let loose. When I spoke with the man, he said he told her he had no money because she would overwhelm him with needs. I seriously believe that as a man, we have to be open to our spouses. This is what I do through the grace of God. I have been open to my wife. I tell her what my income is and disclose any money I make. But what I do is I let her

know what I intend to do with the money. If I have N100, 000, I tell her I'm sowing N20, 000 while N30 000 is for us. The N20,000 is for the children and we are keeping N20,000 for the family. She can't come and now make request beyond what we have. The request will be within what we have. So, it's just a matter of planning and that's why I believe families should have budgets. You want to sit down with your wife and plan based on your income and your expenditures. Look at some of the things you make money for. I believe it’s more harmful when you don't disclose to her. She makes endless requests because she does not know how much you have. What is your take on joint account? I believe you can do a joint account. Before we got married, I asked my wife what to do. We have ac-

counts that are joint and the ones that are not joint. We have accounts that we run together and we can withdraw from. But what we do is that even if it's her account or my account, we have to know what is there. And we have to know why we are spending it. We don't just spend unilaterally without notice. So I believe it's not a bad thing. What is Night of Marital Bliss all about? It is an informative, educative and interactive programme. The last edition was in September and we had a talk show. One of the questions is what will you do if you are about entering your apartment or your house and find your wife slapping your mother? So we discussed a lot of practical things. It is meant for widows, widowers, divorcees. You know many divorcees are being ostracised but we are giving them opportunity to learn. So it's for everyone that wants to know about relationship and how they can experience bliss in their marriage.


READ T S U M 50 AN NIGERI AN I CHRIST R S AUTHO Are you a Christian author? Are you bothered about poor exposure at bookshops and limited patronage? The Nation is offering you an unbeatable opportunity to showcase your books and talk about your passion. The 2-in-1 project involves an advert supplement backed with a profile story on each participant. Kindly contact Sunday Oguntola on 08034309265 or for advert details and participation. You will be glad you did!





Mercy and grace cease at death


ELOVED, the Almighty God has appointed unto men a time, both for coming into the physical world, and going out of it. No one lives here forever. No matter the number of years we stayed in the world, it is appointed unto man to die. And according to the order of time as arranged by the Creator, after death comes the judgment of God when all will give account of his/ her actions. The judgment of God is for every individual after which follows the final, eternal, and unalterable condition of man, which will be either in a state of misery, or felicity. At that time every knee shall bow at the court of Jesus Christ who will judge the whole world. It does not matter whether you are a king, President or governor, neither does it matter how strong you are physically, intellectually, or the language you speak or understand, or whether you are fabulously rich or wretchedly bankrupt, one thing is very certain, you must be judged by Christ. Heb. 9:27 says, "And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment." Man is to die and be judged once. And once any person misses his or her opportunity to be saved by the mercy and grace of God through our Lord Jesus Christ while alive, such person will be condemned during judgment. If there is anything that is to be done once in an eternity of existence, it is preparation for the world beyond. If preparation is to be made for

Pastor Lazarus Muoka

HEAVEN AT LAST it, we should make all which we expect ever to make. A man who is to leave his home and never to return, should make the right preparation, because he cannot come back to take anything, which he has forgotten, or arrange that which he has neglected, or give counsel which he has failed to give while at home, or ask forgiveness for offences for which he has neglected to seek pardon. And so it is of death, a man who dies- dies but once. He cannot come back again to make preparation, or repair the evils which he has done or to implore pardon for sins for which he had failed to ask for forgiveness. Whatever is to be done by him with reference to death, is to be done once and for all, before he dies. There is nothing like one to obtain mercy after death or receive grace to live a holy life after death. After death the door of mercy will be closed and there is nothing like praying for somebody to receive grace or mercy. If the person died without

repentance, without obtaining the mercy of God while alive, the person will have the door of mercy shut forever against him. There is no repentance after death in the grave, what awaits you after death is judgment of which if you are a sinner, you will receive the pronouncement - 'depart from me, ye that worketh iniquity, I never knew you' and that marches you to hell fire. Your argument that you were a pastor, bishop, overseer or a governor, president and minister will not be acceptable, and there is nothing like pleading for mercy as those things would have been done and obtained when you are still alive. But if the person has taken advantage of grace and the mercy and repent and live the rest of his life in righteousness by the grace of God that person will hear 'welcome to the mansion prepared for you'. Beloved, if one refuses to accept Jesus Christ while alive, that person is already condemned. And if he dies in such condition that person can never enter into the kingdom of God. No amount of pleading for mercy that will change the person's salvation because the door of mercy and grace would have been closed and shut for the person from eternity to eternity. Beloved, I implore you with all humility to give your life to Jesus Christ now so that grace and mercy shall be granted to you, because tomorrow may be too late and the grace and mercy of God may be ceased. Comments and enquiries to 08023763363;

Contribute to nation building, cleric urges Nigerians


IGERIANS have been asked to contribute their quota to take the nation to greater heights. The General Secretary, Bible Society of Nigeria (BSN), Dare Ajiboye, gave the advice at a briefing in Lagos. Ajiboye said the problem with Nigeria is attributable to the absence of good and dedicated leaders. Leaders, he added, should have the fear of God and love for mankind. According to him: "Our

By Joseph Eshanokpe leaders are selfish. They amass wealth that they keep in and outside the country." He also asked the citizens to do what is right. "We have no other place to call our home; therefore, we all need to make Nigeria better," he said. On the strike by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASSU), Ajiboye appealed to both the union and the federal government to continue

to dialogue and shift grounds where necessary in the interest of the students. He said it was not good for the government to ask ASUU to reason with it when it was not raising the stakes. He criticised the committee set up by the government on the national conference, saying it is a delay tactic. The BSN helmsman advised the government to implement its recommendations to restore the people's confidence.

Living Faith By Dr. David Oyedepo

Engaging Divine secrets for supernatural breakthroughs! (2)


AST week, I showed you what it takes to access divine secrets and how divine secrets apply to favour. This week, I will be showing you channels through which favour flows and benefits of favour. Channels through which favour flows: Every other favour aside salvation, places a demand on us (Titus 2:11). • Godliness: It will always engender greatness. All uniquely favoured men in scriptures such as Joseph, Job, and Daniel were lifted through godliness. For thou, LORD, wilt bless the righteous; with favour wilt thou compass him as with a shield (Psalm 5:12). •The anointing (Psalm 45: 6-12): The anointing of the Holy Ghost attracts the flow of favour. So, the more anointed you are, the greater your access to the flow of divine favour. Because of the savour of thy good ointments thy name is as ointment poured forth, therefore do the virgins love thee (Songs of Solomon 1:3). • Prayer and Fasting: Nehemiah prayed for God's favour and the king favoured him beyond imagination (Nehemiah 1:412). Esther and Jabez were also beneficiaries of divine favour through the platform of prayer and fasting. • Addiction to Kingdom promotion: When you take pleasure in the advancement and promotion of the Kingdom, by favouring God's agenda in the church, He rewards you with unlimited access to fa-


Oritsejafor, Omobude, Otabil, others for of operations in their enHE 24th edition of TREM's KLWC deavours through the expe-


Kingdom Life World Conference of The Redeemed Evangelical Mission (TREM) is billed to hold from November 17-24. The theme of the conference, which is expected to attract participants worldwide, is Open Heaven. Ministers expected at the event include the National President of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor; National President of the Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria, Dr Felix Omobude; Dr. Jerry

Wilcson, Bishop Tudor Bismark, Dr. Mensa Otabil, Bishop Simeon Okah and Pastor Taiwo Odukoya. A statement by the Chairman of the Planning Committee, Reverend Obisesan Sunkanmi, stated that there shall be a business cum career forum during the event. Dubbed big league summit, the forum, which holds on Tuesday, November 19, is designed to inform and empower entrepreneurs "to move to a higher, more profitable and productive level

riences of renowned successful business men and women." Speakers at the forum are Bishop Tudor Bismark, Dr. Mensa Otabil, Wole Oshin, Ayo Megbope, Funke Amobi and Ibukun Awosika. He said there will also be a music festival on Friday, November 22 with MK, Proverbs, Xplicit, Dancers, Princess Anne Inyang, Minister Vitus Eze, TREM Mass Choir, zonal TREM Choirs, Evangel voices and other gospel artists performing.

Church celebrates anniversary


CTIVITIES marking the 8th anniversary and thanksgiving of Christ Redeemed Missionary Church (CRMC) begin on November 13-15 with a fasting programme. The grand finale of the celebration with the theme Rehoboth is billed for November 17 by 10am at the church's auditorium 9, Ladokun Oyeyinka Street, off Association Lagos. The host, Pastor (Mrs.) Bridget Abhulimen, assured participants will not leave untouched by God.

vour (Psalm 102:13-16). • Spiritual understanding: Good understanding giveth favour... (Proverbs 13:15). Grace, which equals favour and peace, multiplies by knowledge. So, good understanding entitles you to favour. • Giving: Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again (Luke 6:38). • Keeping Company with the favoured: The company you keep determines what accompanies you. Where you sit, whom you walk with and where you stand determine the outcome of your life (Psalm 1:13). He that walketh with wise men shall be wise: but a companion of fools shall be destroyed (Proverbs 13:20). When you come in contact with the virtues you desire, stay with those that have it. Lot was blessed because he accompanied Abraham the blessed (Genesis 13:5). You cannot be connected to the company of heroes and remain a zero. • High Praises: It is a master qualifier for the flow of favour. When you engage in high praises, it touches the heart of God because that is one thing He cannot do for Himself. So, He places extreme value on it (Psalm 67: 5-7). Benefits of Favour: • It brings promotion (Genesis 39: 5, 21). • It triggers break-


ORMER US Secretary of State, General Collin Powell, will lead other eminent speakers to the Global Leadership Summit at Shepherd's Flock International Church, Ikeja, Lagos. Other speakers expected are founder of Willow Creek Association, Bill Hybel; the presiding Bishop of TREM, Dr. Mike Okonkwo; Dr. Brene Brown, Research Professor, University of Houston and Liz Wiseman, CEO, Wiseman Group, USA, among others. The senior pastor of the Shepherd's Flock International Church, Rev. Tony Akinyemi, stated that the conference, which will be beamed via a live telecast, has a goal to strengthen leadership skills and development across busi-

throughs: None can fly higher than the favour he enjoys (Psalm 44:1-3). • It facilitates miracle marriages (Proverbs 18:22). • It engenders miracle children (Luke 1:30; Genesis 29:31). • It makes great (1 Corinthians 15:10). • It also saves. In this last quarter of the year, God has vowed to favour you because He always reserves the best for the last. He has vowed to make known His raw power to you, by pulling down every perpetual mountain on your behalf. You may not have seen anything yet, but by the favour of God this month, you are changing levels supernaturally! So, crave earnestly for divine secrets because they are your sure guarantee, for supernatural greatness forever! Friend, the power to benefit from the virtues of love is available, if you are born again. You get born again by confessing your sins and accepting Jesus as your Saviour and Lord. If you are set for this new birth experience, please say this prayer: Lord Jesus, I come to You today. I am a sinner. Forgive me of my sins. Today, I accept You as my Lord and Saviour. Thank You Jesus! Now I know I am born again! I will be concluding this message next week. Our Ministry is getting set for SHILOH 2013 captioned, which will hold at Faith Tabernacle Canaan Land, Idiroko Road, Ota from December 10-14. Among the highlights of the event are specialized healing services. Come for a destiny turnaround! I invite you to come and fellowship with us at the Faith Tabernacle, Canaan Land, Ota, the covenant home of Winners. We have four services on Sundays, holding at 6:00 a.m., 7:35 a.m., 9:10 a.m. and 10.45 a.m. respectively. I know this teaching has blessed you. Write and share your testimony with me through: Faith Tabernacle, Canaan Land, Ota, P.M.B. 21688, Ikeja, Lagos, Nigeria; or call 7747546-8; or E-mail:

Collin Powell in Lagos for leadership summit nesses, governments, schools, religions, families and other spheres of influence. He said the summit will bring about visionary and purposeful leadership. The National Director, Vision International Christian Ministry, Rev. Francis Olubambi, stressed that the need for leadership development in our nation cannot be over-emphasised given the numerous challenges confronting Nigeria due to poor leadership. He said the summit is a platform to help leaders unleash their leadership skills.



CONTROVERSY Must pastors' wives be automatic ministers?


HE deadlock was terrifying. On one side was majority of the church's executive council rooting for the proposed reorganisation. The exercise would relieve many confirmed dead woods in the church of pastoral duties. As far as they are concerned, that move will position the church for greater impacts and explosions. On the other side was a tiny contingent backed by the assistant general overseer, who is also the church founder's wife. She and her supporters would have nothing of the proposal. It will not only expose "Mama", as the assistant general overseer is fondly called, to public ridicule but also reduce her influence. The general overseer was lost for speech. He watched helplessly as both parties exchanged hot words. Though he knew the proposal would move the church forward, he wondered how his wife would take it. She will accuse him of disloyalty and siding with outsiders. Completely perplexed, he stormed out of the meeting with the issue unresolved. This was the scene in a first generation Pentecostal church years ago. According to insiders, the unresolved issue was because the general overseer's wife was made a pastor despite lacking the capacity to function as one. This brings to the fore the controversy of whether or not every pastor's wife must automatically be a pastoral minister. Those in support say that serving as ministers enables pastors' wives to enhance their

• Akin-John

• Inyang


husbands' ministries. "There are areas and issues a pastor cannot address that his wife will effortlessly sort out. So, being in the ministry will help them complement their husbands," the general overseer of House Favour Church Egbeda Lagos, Rev. Bayode Olubo, explained. He went on: "When I started the church, my wife was not on the altar for the first three years because she told me that she needed to be sure God was calling her and wanted to be prepared. It was a church member that dragged her to the altar one day. "Since she joined me, things have taken a turn for the best. Yes, there were times she said things on the pulpits that affected me and made people God but I have instructed she must never make any pronouncement again without my consent. "I was having challenges with women and fighting her before but since she joined, God

has handled all those issues. God told me every other church member can leave but my wife is ever to stay forever. She is my number one church member and will be involved as much as possible." The senior pastor of Sure Word Assembly Okota Lagos, Dr Dennis Inyang, disagrees. He agrees every Christian is called to be a minister but stated that "not every pastor's wife is called to be a pastor." Pastor's wives, he explained, can function as ministers in different capacities but not as pastors, except they are called. According to him: "I believe they share in the pastoral responsibilities of their husbands. To an extent, they can care for women fellowship and function leading them but making them pastors will put them under some pressure that they may not be able to handle." The President of International Church Growth Ministries, Dr Francis Akin-John,

said pastors' wives must not be automatically ministers. According to him: "The husband of the man is not the calling of the wife though they are one body but not of the same spirit. "God calls individuals, not couples. The wife that God does not call will become a dictator and empress, destroying the works of God and the church." He added that making pastors' wives automatic ministers has destroyed homes, marriages and the church. "Pastors who make the mistake of calling their wives ministers when they don't have the capacity, spirituality and skill to function as one will eventually destroy them and the church. Calling is by God, not through marriage". Akin-John, however, advised that wives of pastors can function as children ministers, prayer warriors and administrators or even worship leaders, admitting that it is essential for women to support their husbands in ministry.



HURCH premises and facilities must never be used to garner political support or mobilise for votes, the senior pastor of Shepherd hill Baptist Church Lagos, Rev Israel Kristilere, has warned. He said churches are not arenas where politicians fish for votes or canvass for elections but sanctuaries of God where government officials must be told the truth at all times. Kristilere was reacting to the stampede at the Holy Ghost Adoration Ground Uke in Idemili North local area of Anambra where 28 persons died with over another 200 injured. The incident was reportedly preceded by tussles among political parties to turn the all-night prayer session to a campaign ground ahead of the Anambra governorship election, which holds on Saturday. Kristilere spoke last Tuesday at a parley ahead of the Just Worship session slated for Friday, November 22. He said: "It is one of the craziest things we see in this country. You see politicians currying the favour of church leaders and using their platforms to seek for elections. "I think it's high time men of God stopped playing God and allow God to cleanse His church. The church must not be used for campaigns. "It's a misuse of the pulpit and church's facilities. It is a shame many men of God encourage this. It must be stopped to avert incurring the

Political campaigns must stop in churches, says Kristilere


Seven lessons, hymns, choirs for special carol service


EVEN choir groups from seven different churches will participate in a special Christmas carol billed for December 15 organised by the Kingdom Business partners, an interdominational group committed to spreading the gospel. Tagged The King is Born, the carol service will also feature seven lessons to be read by seven prominent Nigerians. The selected lesson readers include First Lady of Lagos state, Dame Abimbola Fashola; Director of Chaplaincy - Protestant, Nigerian Army, Colonel Dawuk Danfulani; The General Secretary/CEO of Bible Society of Nigeria (BSN), Rev. Dare Ajiboye; Chaplain of Christ The Light Alausa Ikeja, Rev. D. K. Veralls; Chairman Evangelical Church Winning All(ECWA), Mushin District Church Council, Rev. E. K. Oguntosin; Former Acting Director General of The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), Mrs. Doris Amlai and former Director of The

By Sunday Oguntola

Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NIMET), Mrs. Murna Sakaba. Addressing newsmen last week in Lagos, a director of the group, Pastor Femi Ikusagba, said there will also be seven hymns on Christmas at the event. According to him: "The choirs are from seven churches and the idea is to have a different carol service where people can come and enjoy the joy of the season." The service holds from 4pm-7:30pm at Chapel of Christ the Light, Alausa Lagos with Wazobia presenter, YAW, as compere. No fewer than 1,500 worshippers are expected at the carol. On what the group represents, Ikusagba said so many missionary tours and outreaches have been carried out to reach out to the rural communities with the love of God. He said the group also sponsors over 50 students on scholarships and offer succor to the less privileged.

•Some members of the group at the parley... last week

Fight for your birthrights, cleric tells Christians


HE President of Endtime Global Network, Rev. Tola Olukilede, has enjoined Christians to be prepared to recognise and fight for their inheritance. He spoke at the 17th annual convention of the Bulk of Pillar Apostolic Evangelical Ministries, Sango-Ota, Ogun state last Sunday. Olukilede explained that though the Bible does not say Christians will not have challenges, most of the failures facing them are orchestrated by the devil. He lamented that most

By Daniel Adeleye

Christians have been deprived of their birthrights owing to ignorance. Olukilede said that many Christians fail because they think that God is a failure. "If you are created in an image of God, then you are God. Things that cannot happen to God should not happen to you," Olukilede stressed. He urged Christians to flee from sins and disobedience to God if they want their inheritance to be fully released to them.

High school runner refuses to race wearing No “666”

L •L-R: Music Pastor, Shepherdill Baptist Church Obanikoro Lagos, Pastor Gbenga Akande; Associate Pastor, Rev. Akintunde Akinlowo; Lead Worshipper/Visioner, Rev. Israel Kristilere and Associate Pastor, Rev. Kunle Oyelekan at the parley By Sunday Oguntola

wrath of God." On the proposed national conference, Kristilere said there was nothing absolutely wrong in dialogue. He, however, expressed fears that the dialogue might turn out to be a monologue. The cleric also said the exercise will only be profitable if there are no no-go-areas and the recommendations of the conference are not subjected to approval by the National Assembly. He called for a change of tactics to tackling the challenges in the nation, saying criticisms, prayers, convocations and pontifications have failed to yield any meaning-

ful results. Worship, according to Kristilere, is a tool of weapon that Nigerians have not utilised. He recalled how God fought for the Israelites at different times when they simply praised, urging Nigerians to turn over their challenges to God through pure worship. Pure worship, he said, "transforms lives and changes men," saying "it's time to stop nagging and start worshipping. It's time to stop whining and start winning through pure worship". On the 7-hour all-night session, he said: "there won't be declarations, binding and loosing; we shall dispose our problems and do nothing but

pure worship". He added that the event is neither a musical concert nor a show but simply a "spiritual exercise to invoke God and become soaked in the Shekina Glory". The theme of the session expected to draw no fewer than 7,000 worshippers at the new ultra-modern auditorium of the Shepherdhill Baptist Church, Obanikoro Lagos, is "glorious God". Ministers expected include Lara George, Dupe Olulana, Erujeje, Phil and Lola Adika, The Proclaimers, Sax Angel, Funmi Sax, The Indian Christian Congregation, Yabatech Baptist Student Fellowship, Shepherd's Voice International and others.

AST weekend, Whitley County High School runner Codie Thacker was excited to run a regional cross-country meet she had trained a long time for. That is, until organisers gave her the assigned “bib” to wear bearing the number 666. A devout Christian, who believes that the number represents the Biblical mark of the beast, Thacker refused to wear it and thus was not allowed to run the race. Even Thacker’s coach, Gina Croley, said that when she saw the number assigned to the 16year-old she thought, “Whoa, she will not like that.” Croley, who supported Thacker’s decision not to run, said several attempts were made to change the number (there were extra numbers available as one of the runners had been injured and couldn’t run that day), but officials refused to comply. “I’ve never heard of this happening before,” said

Croley. “I’ve never seen anybody have that number. Codie just had them take her name off the list. She stood for what she believed in. She handled this the respectful way.” Said Thacker, “I just don’t believe that 666 should be a number that’s anywhere on your body. It makes me sick just thinking my name is associated with that number. If I can be an inspiration to one person at all—then sitting out of the regionals was worth it. I was standing up for my beliefs and standing up for God.” Culled from




Flood: Communities receive free malaria treatment in Edo


•Gov. Godswill Akpabio presenting a condolence letter to the Deputy Gov, Lady Valerie Ebe, during the funeral of her mother, late Madam Patricia Paul Bassey in Uyo

LG election: Go to court if you are aggrieved, council boss tells PDP F

OLLOWING the rejection of the results by the Edo State Chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, as released by the Edo State Independent Electoral Commission, EDISEC, in the just concluded council election in Esan North-East Local Government Area of Edo State, the newly sworn -in Chairman, Hon Sam Oboh, yesterday alleged that the results the PDP is brandishing were wrongly obtained and challenged them to seek redress in court rather than seek public sympathy with the fake results. Oboh, who is barely three weeks in office, spoke at the

From: Osemwengie Ben Ogbemudia, Benin

council secretariat in Uromi , the administrative headquarters, and expressed shock that the opposition PDP could be crying foul after having institutionalised rigging in Edo State before the coming of Comrade Adams Oshiomhole where votes now count. Besides, the council boss noted that it is only the umpire of an election that can announce results and present a certificate of returns to the winner of an election and called on the PDP in the state to explain to the Nigerian public where it obtained the

result it is laying claims to that they won the local government election conducted in Esan North East. According to Oboh, " It is not unexpected that the PDP would want to go court because that is what is in vogue in Nigerian politics. “If you don't win, you cry foul play and when you win you say kudos to the umpire. I am quite happy that the PDP in the local government election are crying and that shows that the rich also cry , that they can be talking about marginalisation and rigging is something quite interesting to me. "We all know that the issues of election rigging and electoral

malpractices are endemic with the PDP, but in the APC, we are democrats, we are not politicians in the PDP context. We have laboured toward the sustenance of democracy and we cannot be part of truncating it. We are living witnesses to what is happening in other states and again, we cannot say every system is perfect. "Last year, an election was conducted by the PDPcontrolled federal government in the governorship election and they lost in Esan North East local government, they cried foul. So, you begin to wonder what has changed between last year and now as to what will make them win the election.”

Oshiomhole offers physically challenged student scholarship G

OVERNOR Adams Oshiomhole of Edo State has offered to bear the financial cost of undergraduate studies of Miss Queen Onwunaje, a physically challenged student of theUniversity of Benin (UNIBEN). Oshiomhole made the promise when Miss Onwunaje paid him a thankyou visit at the Government House in Benin-City recently. Queen was accompanied on the visit to the governor by her mother and sister, Mrs Helen Onwunaje and Miss Chizoba, as well as Mrs Dorothy Igbinovia, who was Queen's principal at Idia College, Benin-City, where she had her post-primary education between 2004 and 2010. However, Oshiomhole commended the courage of the girl in seeking to obtain the highest levels of education possible instead of surrendering to the dictates of

Osemwengie Ben Ogbemudia, Benin

her natural, physical challenges. He noted that he was particularly moved by the determination of the young lady not just to acquire a university degree but also to be a lawyer in future so that, as she said, "to be in a good position to help others, including the challenged or impaired persons." The governor, who could not betray his elation during the brief ceremony, said he was happy that the medical treatment in UK has enhanced the ability of the girl to pursue her education despite being born physically challenged. "I'm happy that the medical trip to the UK last year has been of good use to you," Oshiomhole said, adding, "I'm particularly

excited that you are a true comrade and a determined fighter who has refused to be held down by your unfavorable natural circumstance. I want to assure you that I will do all within my powers to assist you through the university, even after I would have left here as governor." Oshiomhole had, in 2012, given Queen a lifeline by sponsoring her for artificial limbs in the United Kingdom (UK) with a donation of N3.5 million to enable her obtain artificial limbs implant, which total cost then was about N5.5 million. She returned to Nigeria in December, 2013 and subsequently gained admission to study a course in the faculty of education of UNIBEN though she had applied to study law.

Nonetheless, she told the governor that she was still intent on studying law, saying she was already working hard at securing admission to satisfy her ambition whether in UNIBEN or in another university. Also speaking,Queen's former teacher and principal, who our reporter learnt personally gave the challenged student a wheelchair some years ago, joined the Onwunaje family in expressing profuse appreciation to Oshiomhole for his saintly gesture towards the girl by promising to help her through her educational pursuit. Queen Onwunaje was born without a hand and a leg. The highpoint of the courtesy visit to Oshiomhole was the presentation of a special commendation card to him by Miss Onwunaje, who also personally read the words of the appreciation souvenir.

Shell begins health insurance scheme for He said that the general HELL Petroleum Bayelsa community hospital had undergone a major Development


Company (SPDC) has commenced a comprehensive health insurance scheme to make health care accessible for the people of Nembe community, Bayelsa State. The initiative was inaugurated on Friday in collaboration with the Nembe Community Development Foundation (NCDF). Prior to the scheme, the company spent over N170m to upgrade the Nembe General Hospital.

From Mike Odiegwu, Yenagoa Managing Director, Shell, Mr. Mutiu Sumonu, who was represented by the SPDC's Regional Community Health Manager, Mr. Babatunde Fakunle, said it was a health financing model that provided quality, accessible and affordable health care to communities. He said: "The Community Health Insurance Scheme

eliminates the high out-of-pocket medical expenses which is a primary deterrent to seeking health care. "The inauguration of the Nembe CHIS today is a result of the successful pilot community health insurance scheme that was initiated in March 2010 at Obio Cottage Hospital, Port-Harcourt. This scheme is driven through the Global Memorandum of Understanding."

facelift while the SPDC had also undertaken the training of hospital personnel in readiness for the insurance scheme. "We are proud to celebrate with the great people of Nembe on the inauguration of the NCHIS and the renovation of the general hospital. “I believe these investments will bring affordable health care services to the participating communities and improve the standard of living," Sumonu said.

OMMUNITIES affected by flood in Agenebode, Etsako East Local Government Council of Edo State, received free malaria treatment and mosquito-treated nets yesterday. The drugs and mosquito treated nets were donated to the communities by the Agbami Partners which comprised Chevron Nig. Ltd, Star Deep Water Petroluem Limited, Famfa Oil Limited, NNPC,Statoil and Petroleo Brasileiro Nigerai Ltd. It would be recalled that over 20 communities in Edo State were affected by the flood disaster which occurred last year. Speaking at the occasion, the Director, Star Deepwater Petroleum, Mr Jeffrey Ewing, said they are implementing the Roll Back Malaria in the affected communities in order to add value to the lives of the people and contribute positively to the socio-economic development of Nigeria. According to him, "today's event is another indication of the partner's determined efforts to improve primary health care delivery in Nigeria. " Malaria is a major killer

From: Osemwengie Ben Ogbemudia, Benin disease severely affecting mostly children under five years of age and pregnant women. " But besides malaria, the Agbani partners have also implemented awareness programme on HIV and AIDS, diabetes and other diseases in several communities across the six geo political zones in the country". Chairman of Etsako East Local Government Council, Prince Suleiman Afegbua, who declared the programme open, expressed joy over the gesture and urged the beneficiaries to make good use of the mosquito-treated nets. The Okumagbe of Weppawano, who was represented by Chief Oshomah Akenabor, commended the Agbami partners for coming to the aid of the flood affected communities, assuring that "our people make good use of the mosquito treated nets and also adhere strictly to the prescription of the malaria drugs distributed to us."

Oshiomhole commissions four roads in Benin City


OVERNOR Adams Oshiomhole of Edo State has launched four roads completed by this government in the first year of his second term. This is part of activities to celebrate his fifth anniversary as governor of the state. Speaking at the different launching points, which included the Ogba Market Road, Ogiesoba Road, Osuan Road (Vegetable Market Road), Golf Course Road, now renamed Tom Ikimi Lane, Oshiomhole said government will continue to do more even in the face of dwindling resources. The Governor said "during my campaign, I said we would deal with the flooding problem on a holistic basis. We would carry out studies on the basis of fact and studies; we will construct and build roads. "I am happy that today, we are celebrating and this was done within the first year of my second term. I need to emphasise this that this was done in the first year of my second term because for us, there was never a break. Around this time last year, our engineers

From, Osemwengie Ben Ogbemudia, Benin

were working and doing some excavation and now these roads have been completed. "These roads are part of 16 other roads which we loosely refer to as Airport roads but it includes several roads and several drainages. So for those who do not know, we have built a number of roads in our second term. “In his remark, the Esogban of Benin Kingdom, Chief David Edebiri, said “that today is a special day in Benin and for many people who reside in the communities.” He said no other party will take the government of Edo State, adding that, what the government has done will speak for him. In a welcome address, the Commissioner for Environment and Public Utilities, Prince Clem Agba, said, "These roads are part of the Water Storm Project of Edo State government aimed at controlling the erosion situation in the area around the Airport and Ogba road axis.

PUBLIC NOTICE ORGANIZATION OF OGONI MOVIE PRACTIONALS OF RIVERS STATE (OMP) Notice is hereby given that the above named Organization has applied to the Corporate Affairs Commission for registration under Part C of the Companies and Allied Matters Act L.F.N (Cap 20), 2004. THE TRUSTEES ARE: 1. MR. AUGUSTINE G. BONNE - CHAIRMAN 2. MR. ROLAND ADOO - VICE CHAIRMAN 3. MR. JACOB BARIBEFI (JB) - SECRETARY 4. MR. CONFIDENCE YOROMA - TREASURER 5. MR. RUEBEN VICTOR - DOS/WELFARE THE OBJECTIVES ARE: 1. To collaborate and prepares movie lovers who will promote movie production industry in Ogoni. Any objection to the registration should be forwarded to the Registrar-General of the Corporate Affairs Commission, Abuja within 28 days of this publication. SIGNED: MR. AUGUSTINE G. BONNE CHAIRMAN


Maryam's daughter, Aisha, revives Better Life • Donates boreholes to rural women From Jide Orintunsin, Minna


ETTER Life for Rural Women, an initiative of the late First Lady, Maryam Babangida, was reenacted yesterday when her daughter, Aisha, launched a pilot scheme for the project. She donated a solar powered water borehole to ease the plight of the people of Zauna Beji village in Niger state. The sinking of the water borehole was a pilot scheme to kick start the Better Life Programme for the African Rural Woman (BLPARW), which has gone under since the demise of its founder about three years ago. Speaking at the commissioning, Aisha said she is identifying the needs of various communities with the aim of assisting them. She stressed that the initiative will focus on adult literacy, skills acquisition and empowerment. She debunked claims that the project was politically motivated, saying: "It is from my heart and does not have any political attachment to it. "I'm doing it because it is my passion and what I've always wanted to do." Eulogising the memory of her late mother, Aisha said that she misses everything about her late mother. According to her: "My mother was life to the family. We miss everything about her. She was life for us, she was everything to us, everything, evolved around her but we thank God for everything especially the fact that we have an amazing father."


Nigeria, Gambia push for democratisation of UN Security Council P

RESIDENT Goodluck Jonathan and his Gambian counterpart, President Yahya Jammeh, yesterday restated Africa's demand for the urgent reformation of the United Nations Organisation. The two leaders, according to a statement by the Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, to President Jonathan Dr. Reuben Abati, made the call when they met in Banjul during Jonathan's state visit. A communique at the end of their meeting reads: "The two presidents reiterated the need for the reformation of the Security Council and the United Nations System in its entirety so as to reflect current realities."

From: Augustine Ehikioya, Abuja

"They expressed their conviction that the African continent should be equitably represented in world governance through a better presence on the Security Council and in agencies of the United Nations." Jonathan had earlier thanked President Jammeh and Gambia for conceding WestAfrica's non-permanent seat in the United Nations' Security Council for 2014-2015 to Nigeria. He assured the Gambian leader that Nigeria will effectively represent and promote the interests of West Africa and Africa during its tenure on the Security Council.

They also agreed on the need for African leaders to take more concerted action to accelerate the pace of regional and continental economic integration. Both leaders called for faster action towards the removal of obstacles and impediments to greater intra-regional and intra-continental trade and economic activities in Africa. They also called for the urgent re-invigoration, rationalisation and harmonisation of Regional Economic Communities in Africa as a necessary step towards full continental economic integration. At the bilateral level, they resolved to strengthen and reenergise the Nigeria-Gambia Joint Commission with a view

to diversifying and strengthening cooperation between the two countries in all the sectors. They also analysed other prevailing regional, continental and international problems such as the state of affairs in Guinea-Bissau, Syria and the Middle-East. The two presidents reiterated the call for a speedy return to constitutional order in Guinea-Bissau in accordance with the pertinent decisions adopted by ECOWAS, the African Union and the United Nations. During the visit, President Jonathan commissioned the new Chancery building of the Nigerian High Commission in Banjul and also met with members of the Nigerian community in The Gambia.

•L-R: The Pastor-in-Charge, Lagos Province 17 Redeemed Christian Church of God(RCCG), Pastor David Omunagbe; Pastor-In-Charge Region 2, Pastor Joseph Obayemi and Pastor-in-Charge Zone 22, Pastor Emmanuel Owoyemi at the RCCG Throne of Grace Zonal Headquarters dedication at New Oko Oba area of Lagos... yesterday PHOTO: Dayo Adewunmi

Niger unveils book scheme Anambra 2013: It must be one man, one vote, says VP Sambo By Evelyn Osagie


IGER State is set to unveil a mobile book distribution outlet tagged: the MBA Book Hawker Scheme. The scheme, which is part of moves by the government to reinvigorate the reading culture, will be commissioned during the annual literary festival tagged: Mu'azu Babangida Aliyu (MBA) Literary Colloquium. It holds next Tuesday in Minna, the state's capital. The Director, Niger State Book Development Agency, Mohammed Dzukogi, said the scheme would provide easy access to books and improve political awareness among residents. He added that the scheme will feature a modern bookshop and library where books would be conveyed to various destinations in the state by branded tricycles bearing the name of the scheme MBA Book Hawker Scheme. Both projects will be commissioned during the literary feast, which will be attended by literary scholars and writers from within and


ICE PRESIDENT Namadi Sambo yesterday promised that the November 16 governorship election in Anambra State will be free and fair. He said the principle of one man, one vote will operate during and after the exercise. Sambo spoke at the Dr Alex Ekwueme Square in Awka during the governorship rally of the Peoples' Democratic Party (PDP) for its candidate, Comrade Tony Nwoye. The VP expressed hope that Nwoye will emerge victorious during the election. The high light of the rally was the defection of the Deputy

•PDP holds rally for Nwoye •Receives APGA, Accord, LP, PPA members From Nwanosike Onu, Awka

Minority Leader in the House of Assembly, Hon Emeka Idu(Onitsha North) to the PDP. The former Accord Party(AP) member led members of the Progressives People Alliance (PPA), All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) and Labour Party (LP) numbering over 3,000 to join PDP Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu; National Chairman of PDP, Alhaji

Bamanga Tukur; Former National Chairman, Chief Okwesilieze Nwodo and Deputy Speaker, House of Representatives Emeka Ihedioha, pronounced the end of the reign of APGA in the state. Ekweremadu said: "We shall recover all the things the locusts have taken in this state. We want to recover Anambra to end kidnapping and provide job opportunities to our youths." Ihedioha said the only way to make former President, Dr

Nnamdi Azikiwe, happy for his post- humus 109 years will be for Anambrians to vote for PDP. Former National Chairman of the party, Dr Ahmadu Ali, who spoke in his Igala language to some of his Anambra North kinsmen, begged them to close ranks to make the dream a reality. At the rally were Gombe State governor, Ibrahim Dankwambo; Deputy Governor of Abia State, Sir Emeka Ananaba; National Organising Secretary of PDP, Victor Kwom; Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu, Senator Wali Jibrin.

NUC boss: Our varsities among the best


IGERIAN universities and their products are already among the best and do not need ranking to prove themselves, the Executive Secretary of the National Universities Commission (NUC), Professor Julius Okogie, has declared. He lamented that though people have given Nigerian universities a bad name to kill them, products of the institutions always distinguish themselves abroad whenever they are given opportunities.

From: Grace Obike, Abuja

Okogie spoke at the weekend during the inaugural meeting of the reconstituted Board of Trustees and the Governing Council of Bingham University, Abuja. He said: "They say that Nigerian universities are not ranked high amongst the first 2,000 ranking profile in the world and I ask, there are about 6,600 universities in the United States and only 3,000 of them are accredited.

"So even if you work that hard, with all the facilities, it doesn't mean that you will be amongst the 2,000. So my concern has always been how relevant is your university and the programme they run to the environment and the system it supervises." Okogie emphasised that graduates who cannot read or write were never students but individuals who simply buy results from and end up making it look like the Nigerian university system is poor.

According to him: "Universities should bring development to the environment which they live. If you look at the developed countries, universities are the towns themselves, but here towns depend on the university for economic growth. "In developed worlds, facilities in most universities are donated by people for universities to grow but here people want the universities to sustain them."


Return schools to owners, Atilade appeals to Aregbesola By Sunday Oguntola


HAIRMAN of the Christian Association of Nigeria(CAN) South West region, Archbishop Magnus Atilade, has proposed the return of schools to their original private and missionary owners in Osun State. He said this will reduce tension generated by the ongoing educational reforms in the state. Atilade, in a chat last week in his office, stated that returning schools to their original owners will serve the state best and achieve the intended reforms without creating bad blood. According to him: "The church has been educating over 75% of the critical masses for years in Osun State. You can't just wish or take away that legacy. You can't reverse all that. "I believe the way out really is that schools should be returned to their original owners in Osun State. We have done it in Lagos and we see what differences are being made. There is no how the government can be involved in running all schools." He called on Governor Rauf Aregbesola to borrow a leaf from Lagos State and others that have successfully returned schools to their owners. Atilade added: "Government cannot be involved in running all schools. That will be asking for too much. It is important the private sector is encouraged to take over schools that belong to them. "Studies have revealed that schools do better under private owners. They will run the schools well and offer alternatives for those not impressed by the public institutions." He described the controversies generated by the merger of schools in the state as needless, saying such bad blood will be gone if the schools are returned to the original founders.

Nwariaku goes home


NGINEER Macdonald Nwariakwu is dead. The indigene of Umudinkwa in Umuahia South Local Government in Abia State was 85. He died during a brief illness. During his lifetime, he saw to the construction of many roads in the United States of America, Sweden, Switzerland and Yugoslavia. In Nigeria, he was involved in similar projects in Asaba, Damaturu, Calabar and Potiskum. Nwariaku, a fellow of the Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE), was conferred with a distinguished merit award in 2008 by the professional body for his vast contribution to the growth and development of engineering in Nigeria. His remains will be buried on 30th November at Ubakala, Abia State after a funeral service at Saint Thomas Anglican Church, Aronipupe, Ubakala, Umuahia, South Local Government, Abia State.






By Olubanwo Fagbemi

POLITICKLE 08060343214 (SMS only)

Committee Country •Or Reptilia et cetera



THE GReggs

.Continued from last week RICH or poor, an abiding love for elitism describes the typical Naijalander, said Kubra the snake to the visiting Tortiz. The same attitude divides his country along religious and ethnic lines, and grates on foreign nerves from South Africa to Malaysia and Europe or wherever the Naijalander visits, Kubra added. Naijalanders could really mix it at lower levels of existence. Enacting ‘beastly behaviour’, they lynch the accused in a process called ‘jungle justice’. A combination of matches and tires – used for moving contraptions called ‘vehicles’ – often ignites the swift expression of hate as recently witnessed in a southern town called Aluu. Not satisfied with leaving the dead in the open for days, Naijalanders also dismember cadavers and carve up the living for money-making rituals. Money, money, and more money. It seems all they ever think of; the beginning and end of every activity from governance to recreation and personal relationships. Yet, given the confusion in their world, money rarely solves problems. Naijalanders create little, preferring to import than craft toothpicks while lower animals effortlessly observe post-feeding protocol with twigs and wood splinters adopted by human ancestors called Neanderthals. The touted advancement called ‘development’ is terribly skewed even in the relatively developed Ekko, for, compared to developed societies, Jankee (which ‘predicted’ a 2015 Naijaland breakup), Deutchland, Nipon, and Queensland, Naijaland attracts the ‘underdeveloped’ or ‘third world’ tag often met with domestic disdain. Tortiz thought the preferred term, ‘developing’ hardly mattered. He had heard that visiting Europeans likened Ekko, for all its touted ‘sophistication’, to European cities of the 60s. That’s half a century’s gap in progress. What happened? Celebrated at first, noted Kubra, the discovery of petroleum south of the land ruined work ethic and punctured the bubble of nationhood floated by Naijaland’s founding fathers. Kubra stopped to catch his breath and laud his listener’s sustained interest. Flattered, Tortiz craved more knowledge, as was his way. He wanted to know why humans devoted more time to carousal and less to intellectual pursuits. Animals loved to drink too, but always took care to separate the vital functions of life, he submitted. There is a time to hunt; to eat; to drink; to play; and to procreate. Woe betide the creature that upsets the ecosystem. But the humans couldn’t care less. Oblivious to the threat of global warming and ozone layer depletion, they destroy the forests and mock Mother Nature. Why do Naijalanders blame their misfortune on politicians, by the way? Kubra laughed. “Where do the politicians come from? Society begets its leaders, you know. And the humans love to say that ‘what a man can do, a woman can do even better’. They couldn’t be more right.” As it is in Naijungle, said Kubra, the male species dominate, but the females are just as powerful. The men occupy top positions, but the womenfolk apparently wield more power. For example, while expired air ships called ‘aeroplanes’ drop from the skies to perish their human cargo, notable and obscure, the madam heading the relevant ministry credits pestilence to the Almighty God and proceeds to order ‘bulletproof’ cars, probably to keep her ‘enemies’ at bay before embarking on pilgrimage to the Holy Land. If that’s not power, Tortiz didn’t know what it was. Worse, after a period of discomfiting silence, the country’s dawdling, powerloving top cat, Nathan Rueluck, prescribed usual solution for usual predicament: yet another committee, when resolutions from hundreds of committees, panels and probes on healthcare, security and infrastructure crises await implementation. At the last count: committees on police reform, constitution amendment, pension refund reform, food fund and amnesty for Boko Haram. Likely to come: industrial strike reform and amnesty for kidnappers. Tortiz pitied the Naijalander who must struggle with a mixed feeling of disappointment and déjà vu; a salt-in-wound realisation that the disoriented official and flighty pilgrim approached soft landing. Expected to take word of human inventiveness back to Naijungle shortly, Tortiz shook his bald head and wondered if the prognosis were worthwhile. His ‘people’ would be disappointed, the elders even more so, for they trusted his cunning to unravel the knottiest challenge. Little did they know that the destructive humans fairly approached oblivion. The gourd of humanity, nay, ‘animality’ bulged to bursting point, with no juncture more vulnerable than 2015 Naijaland. . Concluded

Jokes Humour Virtual Perspective A NINE-YEAR-OLD son was heard on the phone with a friend discussing a computer simulation game. The game involved creating a family, a house for them to live in, and so on. The boy, an old hand at the game, gave this warning to the friend: “Whatever you do, don’t get kids. They don’t bring in any money, and all they do is eat.” Lawn Mower RICHARD was nervous as the small plane approached a landing strip in a bushy area. The pilot descended, then gunned both engines, climbed and circled back. While Richard’s heart pounded, the passenger next to him seemed calm. “I wonder why the pilot didn’t land,” Richard said. “I’m sure he was checking to see if the area around the landing strip was mowed,” the man said. As the pilot made a second approach,

Richard glanced out the window. “It looks mowed to me,” he said. “No,” said his neighbour. “It hasn’t been cleared for some time.” “How can you tell?” Richard asked. “Because,” the man said, “I’m the guy who operates the lawn mower.” Sedated AN ORAL surgeon was once scheduled to extract four wisdom teeth from Jimmi, a secondary school pupil, who had opted to be sedated for the procedure. As the intravenous anesthesia was being administered, the doctor asked Jimmi how he was feeling. “Wow,” he said, struggling to keep his eyes open, “I feel like I’m in Mathematics class.”


A man’s country is not a certain area of land, of mountains, rivers, and woods, but it is a principle; and patriotism is loyalty to that principle. —George William Curtis •Adapted from the Internet


Writer ’s Fountain

VERCOMING writing disappointment: Accept rejection as a free lesson. A failed story is a great story if it teaches you something about your craft. If your writing hasn’t succeeded yet, it’s because you haven’t failed enough. What’s more, early success is dangerous. If subsequent novels fail, your confidence could collapse. If you manage to live with failure for years, you can’t help but become Inventor marks: •Gustave Eiffel, the builder of the Eiffel Tower, also built a dam in Russia, a church in the Philippines, locks for the first attempt at the Panama Canal, and designed the right arm and full steel structure supporting the U.S.’s Statue of Liberty. •Gottfried Daimler of Stuttgart, Germany, is generally regarded as the father of the automobile because he was the first to come up with a workable petrol engine. •Humphrey O’Sullivan invented the rubber heel because he was tired of pounding the pavements of Boston looking for a job. •Hungarian brothers George and Laszlo Biro invented the ball point pen in 1938.

stronger. Know the odds and keep writing. Can pessimism be a positive emotion? Yes, if it encourages you to persist against the odds. And the odds of a new writer being accepted by a reputable agent are, at the very least, one in a thousand. Accept the odds and keep at it. Start small. Don’t set out to write a novel from the start. You might not finish it. As many of the world’s greatest writers did, hone your skills with short stories. And enter your works in short fiction contests while trying out different techniques. You’ll thus discover the kind of stories that sell. Enjoy every little success. When you eventually write your novel, agents will be genuinely impressed if you’ve won awards. Your first paragraph might actually get read. By the way, if a story fails to impress a contest judge, improve and submit it elsewhere. Read the latest best sellers for motivation. With some notable exceptions, popular novels do not necessarily prove literary talent – only the persistence of their authors. The successful authors succeeded because they learned early that failure is not necessarily bad. But persistence is better.













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I formerly known and addressed as Miss. VICTORIA EWEKECHINYERE AMAEFULE now wish to be known as Mrs. VICTORIA OBINNA WECHE. All former documents remain valid. General public please take note.

I, formerly known and addressed as Miss Okolie Christaina Kelechi, now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs Ogbu Kelechi C. All former documents remain valid. NIAL and general public take note.



I, formerly known and addressed as Miss Israel Ndidi Josephine, now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs. Josephine Blessed Bright Ndukwu. All former documents remain valid. General public take note.


I formerly known and addressed as AGBAGWA SUNDAY OROMA. now wish to be known as Mrs. VERONICA OROMA BARINE MKPEE. All former documents remain valid, general public please take note.

I, formerly known and addressed as Miss Rosemond Nene Nja, now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs Rosemond Nene Dada-Dennis. All former documents remain valid. General public take note.


OLAYODE I formerly known and addressed as Miss Olayode Bosede Christianah now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs Akisola Bosede Christianah. All former documents remain valid. EKSU Staff and general public should take note.

I formerly known and addressed as Miss. DORATHY OKAH. Now wish to be known as Mrs. DORATHY DIDIA all former documents remain valid general public please take note.


I formerly known and addressed as Miss. BEAUTY AHIAKWO, now wish to be known as Mrs. ACHOR BEAUTY CHIKA. All former documents remain valid general public please take note. CONFIRMATION OF NAME TEGWOR CHRISTIAN and LAWSON CHRISTIAN LAWSON refers to one and the same person. Now wish to be known as LAWSON CHRISTIAN LAWSON. All former documents remain valid. General public please take note. CONFIRMATION OF NAME I, Taiwo Sodiq refers to one and the same person as Taiwo Sodiq Ajibola. All former documents bearing the names remain valid. General public please take note. CONFIRMATION OF NAME TIJANI RASHEED OLADELE and OLANREWAJU DANIEL OLADELE. Refers to one and the same person. Now wish to be known as OLANREWAJU DANIEL OLADELE. All former documents remain valid. General public please take note.

OKOYE: I, formerly known and addressed as MISS OKOYE NWANNEKA AMARA now wish to be known and addressed as MRS SAM-IKE NWANNEKA AMARA. All former documents remain valid. General public take note.


I, formerly known and addressed as Miss Peace Obophonu Woome now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs. Derikoma Peace Maclean. All former documents remain valid. General public take note.

ADEGBOLA I formerly known and addressed as Miss Adegbola Bunmi Solape now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs Ige Bunmi Solape. All former documents remain valid. Ekiti State Local Government Service Commission. Ikere Local Government Area and general public should take note. ALUKO I formerly known and addressed as Miss Aluko Hellen Oluwatosin now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs Faturoti Hellen Oluwatosin. All former documents remain valid. Ekiti State Local Government Service Commission, Ikere Local Government Area and general public should take note.

OMOGBEHIN I, formerly known and addressed as MR OMOGBEHIN OLUGBENGA, now wish to be known and addressed as MR OMOGBEHINMI OLUGBENGA. All former documents remain valid. The general public should please take note.


I, formerly known and addressed as MISS AGBO JULIET OGOCHUKWU now wish to be known and addressed as MRS CHUKWUMA JULIET OGOCHUKWU. All former documents remain valid. General public take note.


I, formerly known and addressed as Miss Bakare Tawakalitu Abidemi now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs Quadri Tawakalitu Abidemi. All former documents remain valid. General public take note.




WORDSWORTH 08055001948

What’s ‘night vigil’? N

National Mirror headline blunder of November 7 welcomes us this week: “INEC to synchronise voters’ card into national identity scheme” You synchronise something with (not into) something. From National Mirror Views Page first sentence of the above edition come this treble: “The crisis of unemployment (why not just Unemployment…?) especially among the youths (among the youth or among youths) has become a global phenomenal (phenomenon).” “Sickle cell anaemia: A governor’s wife (wife’s) intervention” DAILY Sun Front Page Headline of November 6 goofed: “Osun shrine operator arraigned in court” Where else would he have been arraigned? THE GUARDIAN of November 5 was also in the infamy hall: “Kenya charges four over (with) Westgate mall attack” Next is ‘The Flagship’ Editorial: “It is an affront on (to) the government and people of Nigeria.” “The fire was finally contained at abbout (sic) 11.00am….” Precision in timing is non-negotiable: at 11 a.m. If uncertain, about 11 a.m. ‘At about’ cannot co-function in the same environment. “…in this interview with The Guardian alerted on (to)….” Still on THE GUARDIAN: “He, however, proffered solutions on (to)….” Vanguard OPINION column of November 5 written by one fictitious Simeon Nwabundu of no verifiable identity committed juvenile errors in an unprofessional, kindergarten and dubious response to my dispassionate article entitled Charlatanism of Igbo political elite published in my column in Wednesday Daily Sun a fortnight ago: “It beats my imagination when journalists whom people are look up to (what’s the meaning of this?)….” “This was even when it is (was) clear to all Nigerians that….” “How can an indigene (sic) of the zone and renowned (a renowned) journalist canvassed (sic!)….” “This was something Wabara’s principal and publisher of the newspaper that has continued to be used to attack Orji’s government never wish (wished) him and the people of the state before now.” Let the imbecilic writer of this extracted feedback know that I do not work for Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu or indeed any

person. I run my own perceptive company and two shopping malls, among other economic engagements. I am my own paymaster. Lastly from Vanguard OPINION: “They talk when there is need for such, dialogue when necessary without paying lips service (lip-service).” The next invaluable contribution is from Mr. Kola Danisa (07068074257): ‘Our media will soon start to write about pilgrims missing their ‘luggages’. For the avoidance of doubt, rhetorics, luggages, baggages, clothings, attires, children’s wears or men’s wears, foot-wears, counsels (lawyers), aircrafts, beddings, equipments, machineries, remunerations, contrabands and legislations do not take an ‘s’ even if they are in the plural form.’ More profound contributions needed. THE NATION ON SUNDAY of November 3 comes next with its own gaffes: “Black Saturday: 28 feared dead at Anambra night vigil” ‘Vigils’ are held mostly during the night. In our sociolinguistic environment here, we are not used to afternoon vigils. Once you mention ‘vigil’, everyone knows it is usually a night affair. So, ‘night vigil’, within that headline context, is verbose. Particularly, too, daylight processions/prayers/watch-outs for solemn/spiritual sessions or danger are not common occurrences in our country. Do you disagree? “Dangote to invest 36m euros on (in) food processing (food-processing facility” “FG’s ‘non-challant attitude’ will worsen ASUU strike—Don” Spell-check: nonchalant (no hyphen) “The recent setbacks…has (have)….” Now the last entry by THE NATION ON SUNDAY: “…nobody is making any fresh demand of (on) government.” THISDAY of November 2 dimmed the structural light right from its front page: “…with the hand over (handover) of operations of the privatized generation and distribution companies to their new owners.” “Mimiko to commission (inaugurate) emergency medical centre” “The owner of life demanded for it….” The Saturday Newspaper: yank off ‘for’! DAILY SUN of October 30 takes over the baton

with errors right from its front page: “…shortly after the commissioning (inauguration/launch…) ceremony of the newly constructed (newly-constructed) Sokoto State University, yesterday.” “ASUU strike: Sambo, minister, VCs in closed door (closed-door) meeting” “FG urged to provide N35bn take off (take-off) grant for NIPOST” “Benue govt plans cattle ranches in 8 LGs” For headline purposes and even structural precision, yank off ‘cattle’. “Falomo (Falomo’s) perverted logic on Abacha” (Opinion Page) “One very outrageous and dehumanizing claim of Ore Falomo is that Gen. Abacha was a puppet who only did the biddings of Gen. Diya.” Just like ‘potential’, ‘bidding’, a noun, is non-count. “NFF is 80 today…but does (do) the officials know?” Still on DAILY SUN under review: “”Journalistturned pastor (what of the second hyphen?) launches book” “Lagos govt teams up with firm on tree planting campaign” Battle against climate change: tree-planting campaign “The people of Ngwo also received the deputy senate president same day.” CITYSUN: the same day “2 Nigerians bagged (bag) German-Africa award” “EFCC to prosecute alleged fake custom (customs) agent” (THE GUARDIAN Headline, October 29) “…birds of the same feather flocking together?” (THE NATION ON SUNDAY Comment & Analysis Page, August 18) My comment: birds of a (not ‘the same’) feather…. “With its entrant (entrance), prices of telephone services plummeted making the services available and affordable to move Nigerians.” (Nigeria Political Economist, August 2013) “He…restored public confidence in (to) an industry which was fast losing its public appeal and goodwill.” “All Nigerian Editors Conference” (Source: NGE Asaba 2013) A rewrite: AllNigeria Editors’ Conference. Even thou esteemed editors! National Mirror of August 22 failed a simple grammatical test: “…architects say govt postponing evil days” This way: the evil hour/day…

PDP crisis: Clark wants crackdown on G-7


HE Ijaw leader, Chief Edwin Clark, has told the National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party(PDP), Bamanga Tukur, to wield the big stick on the dissenting seven governors. Governors Sule Lamido (Jigawa),Aliyu W a m a k k o (Sokoto),Babangida Aliyu ( N i g e r ) , R a b i u K w a n k w a s o (Kano),Murtala Nyako (Adamawa)Abdulfatah Ahmed (Kwara) and Rotimi Amaechi (Rivers)are rooting for the removal of Tukur as party Chairman and other reforms in the PDP. They are part of the nPDP along with Alhaji Kawu Baraje, who is the chairman and Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola, who recently won his case at the Court of Appeal to be reinstated as national secretary of the party. But Clark, an elder of the PDP says the court’s judgment may have been rendered impotent by recent events in the party. He said in an open letter to the party that the court’s decision cannot be implemented in view of Oyinlola’s role in the nPDP. Clark said that even if Oyinlola must return to his position, he has to

•Tells Oyinlola to show remorse first From Vincent Ikuomola, Abuja

show remorse above any other thing and be ready to abide by the rules. In the letter entitled “PDP INACTION OR FAILURE TO DISCIPLINE OR RECONCILE THE RECALCITRANT AND UNPATRIOTIC GANG OF 7 AND ITS COHORT, IS A THREAT TO THE SECURITY AND POLITICAL STABILITY OF NIGERIA,” he said the recalcitrant governors should be made to face disciplinary action for their anti-party activities as a way of restoring party discipline. He said:” Enough is enough. If this ugly situation which is affecting the security of the nation and the stability of the party must be addressed immediately either you reconcile with them, if they show any remorse, and then refer their case to the Reconciliation Committee of Governor Seriake Dickson, Governor of Bayelsa state, and if this is not possible, refer them to the Disciplinary Committee of Alhaji Umaru Dikko because it is not in the interest of the party and Nigerians if

this ugly, bewitched and macabre dance of these Gang of 7 and their cohort is allowed to continue endlessly. “I repeat, the party under your leadership is greater than any individual member of the party and you were properly elected at the Convention of the Party and these Gang of 7 were part of the convention where you were elected. “Act now while I remain your loyal, committed and devoted Elder member of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). “You have a duty therefore, to prevent the distraction, the insolence and the tension being created by these governors, who have no regard for you and the National Working Committee [NWC]. You must do something immediately to save the image of this great party. “The party is greater than any other party leader including yourself.” He accused the governors of acting as if they are above the law. “Nobody controls them. Everyone of them makes speeches. There must be discipline.”

•From Left: Secretary, Presidential Advisory Committee on National Dialogue, Dr Akilu Indabawa; Chairman, Sen. Femi Okurounmu and Gov. Isa Yuguda of Bauchi State, during the visit of The Committee to Bauchi on Saturday PHOTO: NAN

Mama Indian goes home T

HE mother of The Nation girl, Indian, is dead. She died last Friday after a brief illness and has since buried in hometown in Nasarawa State. For four years, Esther Amonja Koja, who had been mentally ill, had been a constant face on the public space. She and her daughter, Indian, have a unique love story, it was said. Their story stole the hearts of many Nigerians across the world in 2008 when it was first published in The Nation. It earned the girl a scholarship and her mother, treatment and care. Although the cause of death is not yet ascertained as at press time, a medical source

By Evelyn Osagie

confided she might have died of complication arising from diarrhea or cholera, which was not given the adequate medical attention. She was said to have been vomiting excessively, a condition which later led to chest pain and backache before her death. According to family sources, the vomiting started in the evening after she returned from strolling around the village, which was her regular pastime. Although her family said they got her medical help, it was learnt it came too late. They could not revive her as she died some minutes before midnight on Friday. She was buried yesterday according to customs.

Before her death, she was said to be in good medical condition. The medical personnel at the Health centre, where she is been receiving medical care, said they had checked her earlier in the day when she came in for the daily routine checkup and care. “She was okay; nothing was wrong with her. You can imagine the shock we got to hear of her death when has already been responding to treatment without any side effects,” the personnel said. Members of the Board of Trustee Indian Ayuba Trust led by former External Affairs Minister, Prof Bolaji Akinyemi, have expressed their condolence, saying all hope is not yet lost.



With Hannah Ojo

Hello kids, welcome to another exciting edition. Here are great stuffs to learn from and I hope you enjoy them. Remember, it pays to be good and generous, let these thoughts fill your heart always. Pleasant wishes. • English Mathematician and Physicist. • Born: December 25, 1642. • Died: March 20, 1727. • Place of Birth: Woolsthorpe, England • Known for inventing, in part, the branch of Mathematics now known as Calculus and formulating the three laws of motion which describe classical mechanics. He also proposed the theory of universal gravitation, which explains that all bodies are affected by the force called gravity. • Entered Trinity College, University of Cambridge in 1661. • Served as Lucasian Professor of Mathematics at the University of Cambridge from 16691701. • Acted as president of the Royal Society, an organisation that promotes the natural sciences from 1703-1727. • Did you know Newton was reluctant to share his research with other scientists for fear they would take credit for his discoveries?

Quick facts on Sir Isaac Newton


Wise sayings Defer not till to-morrow to be wise, To-morrow’s sun to thee may never rise. •William Congreve (1670 1729), English playwright and poet If one is too lazy to think, too vain to do a thing badly, too cowardly to admit it, one will never attain wisdom. •Cyril Connolly (1903 - 1974), British writer and journalist. In youth and beauty, wisdom is but rare! •Alexander Pope (1688 - 1744), English poet. It is never wise to try to appear to be more clever than you are. It is sometimes wise to appear slightly less so. •William Whitelaw (1918 1999), British politician. Not by years, but by disposition is wisdom acquired. Plautus (254? - 184 BC), Roman comic playwright.

POEM THE BEST NEVER REST Knowledge comes first Read before going to bed, Wake up strong, carrying a Focused head. Dad says peace should be My friend, Love thy books, Mama will cook delicious Food. I promise good grades in School, So I can fly to touch the moon. The best must help and continue To do good, The best is always in you. Written by Habib Akewusola, Islamic Studies, University of Ilorin.




Oshiomhole, NUPENG boss congratulate Eaglets From: Osemwengie Ben Ogbemudia, Benin

Iheanacho: How Kanu inspired us to victory

Manu dedicates trophy to Goodluck, wife


Nigeria's Ambassador fetes Eaglets in boat ride

Fayemi greets victorious Eaglets


U-17 World Cup: How Calabar contributed to Eaglets’ success From Nicholas Kalu, Calabar




SPORT EXTRA Suarez scores again as Liverpool hit Fulham 4-0

Chelsea escapes with late draw

•Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates his 2nd goal against Sociedad yesterday.

Ronaldo’s hat-trick fires Real to victory Bralex Football Manager set for debut In Nigeria

‘Arsenal can snatch a win at Old Trafford’ •Aiyegbeni

Aiyegbeni: Don't compare Emenike with Yekini Ogun lawmaker alleges age cheat at NYG zonal elimination



“ASUU’s leadership is determined that the PDP government must be brought down and the easiest way to do it is ensuring that every family is affected .. they have no basis rather than playing politics with the strike and then holding the nation hostage and destroying the future of this country...they can’t deny that they are sympathising with opposition parties...” —Benue State Governor, Gabriel Suswam, accusing the leadership of the Academic Staff Union of Universities, (ASUU) for politicising the strike embarked upon by its members.


AST Sunday, the Divisional Police Officer (DPO) of Asokoro Police Station, Abuja, CSP Nnanna Amah, disrupted a meeting of the G-7 governors holding at the Kano State Governor’s Lodge in Abuja. He claimed to be acting under instruction. The incensed governors, one of whom was so enraged he could have tackled the impudent police officer had he not been gently restrained by a fellow governor, resisted the attempt and dared the invading policemen to arrest them. The policemen backed down. The embarrassed governors described the police invasion as impunity. I do not think so; we passed the stage of impunity months ago when the public and the National Assembly failed to take firm and clear action to leash the insubordinate and rampaging policemen of Rivers State led by the obstreperous Mbu Joseph Mbu. Though the House of Representatives will be inviting the Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Mohammed Abubakar, to explain who instructed Mr Amah to disrupt the governors’ meeting, I doubt whether any serious effort will be made to arrest Nigeria’s slow but sure drift towards fascism. However, it will be interesting to find out who sent Mr Amah and why. Until the IGP explains himself, it is at least evident that the DPO invaded the meeting of the G-7 governors last Sunday, behaved most unpleasantly and irresponsibly, tarried at the venue for much longer than propriety demanded, and gave the impression, as Mr Mbu still does in Rivers State, that Nigeria is not under constitutional rule but is a police state. The Abuja invasion is a logical progression from the anomy being engendered in Rivers State by the police. If the Amah-led invasion is not made the last of its type, it will continue and even become worse. For all his insolence, Mr Mbu has either deliberately or inadvertently avoided direct contact with the Rivers State governor, Rotimi Amaechi, not to talk of giving him unlawful orders, as Mr Amah tried to give the five governors in Abuja when he ordered them to disperse. Whether the National Assembly has enough understanding and courage to put effective restraints on the police, and by implication the presidency, is hard to say. But if they don’t, the blame for whatever happens to Nigerian democracy will fall squarely at their feet. The executive couldn’t be blamed, for Nigerians are accustomed to their malfeasances and constitutional infractions, not to talk of their limited perspectives on democracy, rule of law and very poor vision of what kind of coun-

G-7 governors, the police and Jonathan presidency

• Abubakar

• Tukur

try Nigeria should be. The judiciary could also not be blamed, for in their limited way, and notwithstanding their sometimes curious judgements on political disagreements, sober and courageous judges now and again rise up to the challenge of dispensing justice without fear or favour. On the other hand, the legislature has indescribably tremendous powers, both at the state and national levels, that it is unimaginable they have failed to use them. Instead, and perhaps for business or other reasons, legislators at all levels prefer to ingratiate themselves with the executive. If the police have not apologised for their open indiscretion in Rivers, it is unlikely they will apologise in the case of the Abuja invasion. But, if against all expectations they do, it will be insincere and offer no guarantees that future violations of the constitution would not occur. The reasons are twofold. First is that, increasingly, the police are displaying less and less character than their predecessors who enforced the law in the early decades after independence, and the bond and trust that existed between the people and their police have all but been denuded by years of enthusiastic subversion

of both the dignity of the people they are paid to protect and the constitution they swore to defend. Mr Mbu, for instance, could not claim to misunderstand the provisions of the constitution or the demands and application of common sense. His problem is more likely to be a damning want of character than anything else. Were he inclined to disobey unlawful orders, for which at any rate he holds no private or public affection, he knew exactly what the punishment would be. It is of course impossible that the want of character, which did not tempt him to stand up against unlawful orders, could by some miracle become strength of character enabling him to withstand the vagaries of unemployment to which he was certain to be sentenced by his superiors whose orders he had questioned. However, what compounds Mr Mbu’s eager insubordination and want of mental and moral fortitude is not simply the humiliation of executing unlawful orders, at least for someone who claims to be a graduate of political science from a prestigious university. His dilemma, if indeed it can be so described, is the men by whom the distasteful orders come to him. For it is abun-

Why I endorse Ngige for Anambra governorship


F all the politicians in the Southeast, including the very interesting and amusing but often hyperbolic Rochas Okorocha of Imo State, Chris Ngige seems to me to be the most colourful. On Saturday, he hopes to defeat 29 other candidates in the Anambra State governorship election. Analysts think the election will be a four-way race between Dr Ngige of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Willie Obiano of the All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA), Tony Nwoye of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), and Ifeanyi Ubah of the Labour Party (LP). I had hoped the race would be a titanic two-way race between Dr Ngige and former Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) governor, Charles Soludo. With the manipulation of Professor Soludo out of the race in APGA and the official sanction of Mr Obiano as candidate by the state governor, the only credible, independent person of substance remaining in the race is Dr Ngige, irrespective of what his chances are. Mr Obiano is clearly Governor Peter Obi’s favourite, and the governor has undisguisedly tried to advance his candidature. But if the APGA candidate has any fine attributes, and it is likely he has many, not least his banking background and his District Officer looks, they are, however, buried beneath the controversies that accompanied his enthronement as the ruling party’s candidate. He speaks well, and has a fair understanding of financial issues. But he is a dour and incomparably unexciting politician, and he lacks the charisma, rigour, excitement and indepen-

dence that make both Dr Ngige and Professor Soludo tower head and shoulders above virtually all politicians in the Southeast. Mr Obi himself is not a colourful politician, nor is he anything more than merely pragmatic and somewhat businesslike. He probably sees much of Mr Obiano in himself, much more than the fact that the candidate who comes from Anambra North satisfies the party’s zoning ambition. Comrade Nwoye is a latecomer to the race, having only last week secured the Supreme Court nod to be fielded as the PDP candidate. He has a union background and is a dyed-in-the-wool PDP politician. But in a race as tight as Anambra’s, and with a surfeit of eminently qualified candidates, anchoring a divided house on him and entering the race barely 10 days to the election are hardly the kind of credentials that dispose to victory. And like Obiano, he will rely on his party to create an artificial whirlwind to procure victory for him. Should he win, he will bring no experience and no special talent to the office. Mr Ubah is a businessman who is willing to put his enormous money where his mouth is. But beyond that, and his zestful face and longing eyes, the state will be as undeserving of him as it is undeserving of both Mr Nwoye and Mr Obiano. That leaves the irrepressible Dr Ngige. I have been a longstanding fan of this witty, colourful and politically passionate senator form Anambra Central. He was governor between 2003 and 2006, after the scheming Chris Uba, an unscrupulous businessman, procured a misbegotten governorship victory for him. But two months after being

sworn in, Dr Ngige simply dismantled his godfather, denigrated him openly, and created such a din as no governor had ever done before him, nor is ever likely to do after him. The manner of his fight with Mr Uba, not to say the panache with which he secured victory in that deathly struggle, was as entertaining as the manner his enemies, led by the avaricious Mr Uba, tried in 2003 to unhorse him using a maudlin policeman, Assistant Inspector General of Police (AIG) Raphael Ige. I of course do not crave entertainment from an Ngige governorship. The plain fact, however, is that though there is no dull moment with Dr Ngige, he is always careful not to subordinate brilliant governance to entertainment. While Dr Ngige can be foresighted and diligent, as indeed he seems configured to be all his life, his years in office showed he is also a very practical politician, where practicality can sometimes be defined as not being averse to heroics that borders on outright mendacity. (Imagine if he had not led Uba on before the 2003 poll, and then undid him so spectacularly and dramatically to the relief of all Anambrarians and the mirth of every Nigerian!). I have no trouble whatsoever in endorsing Dr Ngige as governor of Anambra, notwithstanding his anonymity in the Senate where he sat in lugubrious and painless solemnity. He will come to the office of governor with plenty of useful experience and exuberance, uncommon vision, a great deal of joie de vivre far surpassing those of his three main rivals, and certain to put the state in salutary spotlight. Should Dr Ngige lose…no, no, perish the thought.

dantly clear that even though his superiors in the police force also suffer a despairing lack of character, and could not stand up to the machinations of presidency forces, Mr Mbu appears compelled to carry out orders emanating from lesser men hovering around the corridors of power anxious to please President Goodluck Jonathan. Neither the top hierarchy of the police nor minions like Mr Mbu and Mr Amah would attempt to question what direction the unlawful orders were coming from nor for what purpose they were meant. The second reason is the president himself, a man who has proved infinitely less circumspect about the law or the constitution than his predecessors, whether the boisterously ineffective but still somewhat sensible Olusegun Obasanjo, or the sedate but obviously more sensible and sober Umaru Yar’Adua. Dr Jonathan is a man given to much pontification on the rule of law, democracy, constitutionalism and peaceful coexistence. But no one is as adept as he is at knocking tribal heads against one another, subverting the rule of law, and propounding constitutional rule only when it glorifies and glamorises presidential office. To a more circumspect president, the defiance of Mr Mbu in Rivers will be viewed with the considerable alarm any sensible democrat and convinced federalist would feel at so open and shocking a display of disobedience never before seen in these parts, not under the military, and not even under the iconoclast, Chief Obasanjo, who loved to humiliate his opponents. A reflective president would be worried that instigating Mr Mbu against a governor, or Mr Amah against five governors at a time, could lead to a bitter exchange between those saddled with protecting the governors and the invading policemen. Does the president not foresee this danger? And in future, could security aides of governors not be fooled by assassins dressed in police or military uniforms purporting to carry out orders from above, as indeed is already happening at checkpoints and highways? My suspicion is that Dr Jonathan has pretended not to appreciate the dangers involved in these matters because of two reasons. One, the wholesale subversion of his enemies favours him, and he might have been advised to use strong-arm tactics if he hoped to retain his seat in 2015; and two, simply because he sadly has no role model either in the Nigerian presidency or elsewhere in the world to look up to. Had the Nigerian presidency been occupied at one time or the other by great statesmen like say, No 10 Downing Street and the American White House were, the photographs of such illustrious predecessors adorning the walls of the exalted office would peer down on an offending president with the withering censoriousness their great acts in times of trouble would tantamount to. What great and noble deeds, it may be asked, was Chief Obasanjo noted for, or any of his predecessors? What inspiring vision of country or even leadership could be attributed to any of the gentlemen who ruled Nigeria? And as a country, against what standard do we judge our rulers? Is it against Gowon’s dishonoured promise to hand over the reins of power; or against Babangida’s interminable political and economic experimentations; or against Abacha’s larcenous and hedonistic rule; or against Ironsi’s indefensible naivety, among others? Dr Jonathan has no role model and no example to look up to. Unwilling to create a legacy worthy of emulation, he has both enacted and permitted series of subversive activities against democracy and the Nigerian constitution he swore to protect and defend. He has created a police state in which no one is sure who is governor anymore. And he has surreptitiously begun laying the foundations for fascism from which it would be difficult to extricate the country if a halt is not put to it now, if the stupefied National Assembly would not eschew sentiments to build a solid rampart in defence of our hardwon freedoms.

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ISSN: 115-5302 E-mail: Editor: FESTUS ERIYE

The Nation Nov 10, 2013  
The Nation Nov 10, 2013