Page 1

$5billion missing from Excess Crude Account –NGF

ROTIMI AMAECHI Level of corruption now is baffling

Forum demands transparency in NNPC Okonjo-Iweala accused of blocking $200m ADB loan to Rivers –Page 4



Nigeria’s widest circulating newspaper

Vol.08, No. 2670



NOVEMBER 17, 2013



Irregularities, logistics chaos mar Anambra poll –Pages 5, 6 & 7

INEC reschedules elections in 65 polling units for today


Page 44

Ngige alleges deliberate Nwoye, father’s disenfranchisement names missing of supporters from register



Britain rules CAPTURED on striking Nigerian asylum seeker


BRIEFING Army kills 29 Boko Haram members in two battles

WRONG PLACE, WRONG TIME This polling unit set up right under a huge billboard of Mr. Willie Obiano, the candidate of APGA in yesterday’s Anambra gubernatorial election in violation of INEC guidelines triggered protests from several parties, holding up accreditation ahead of voting. Was this a case of ignorance of the rules or someone giving voters brazen hints? You be the judge.

Cholera kills 12 in Benue •80 others hospitalised By Uja Emmanuel Makurdi



Olodumare, these Children of Oduduwa again!!! T HE Yoruba boast of being the most politically sophisticated people in Black Africa, nay Af-

rica. The bragging and braggadocio are not without some solid merits. Urbanised for over a thousand years, with a cleverly nuanced traditional kingship system which abhors tyranny and despotism and which sets store by civility and courtesy, they have also produced some ancient world class philosophers that would have made the Hellenic civilisation cringe with envy. The sad obverse of the coin is that every social and political advancement often comes with and at a stiff price. Urbanity produces its own social pathologies. In folk mythology the city is often demonised as the nearest thing to hell itself while city-dwellers are generally regarded as unreliable, wicked and devious in the extreme. To the urban sophisticates, the rural denizens are regarded as uncouth, ill-bred and dull-witted. This abiding polarization between the city people and the rural folks often plays out with great consequences in Yoruba politics Yet it is also very likely that when urbanisation is not accompanied by a corresponding technological development and an increase in the store of scientific knowledge, the human imagination is driven back to mysticism and intellectual sorcery. As Karl Marx famously observed, all mythologies try to dominate nature in and around the imagination. It is the advance of science that dispels such rural idiocies. There is no extant record to show that the Yoruba developed great demotic schools and democratic learning institutions to correspond with their great urbanising drive. Or to put things more cautiously, if ever there was such a thing, the colonial conquest killed it off in embryonic formation. Consequently and despite the political sophistication, forests of a thousand demons abound. As everybody knows, mastering the Ifa corpus is not for the mentally deficient. It is a steeplechase of mental endurance and spiritual stamina. The privatization of knowledge often leads to the privatization of power which they had tried to avoid in the first


ORTY seven years after the assassination of Chief Samuel Ladoke Akintola and twenty six

years after the death of Chief Obafemi Awolowo, the relics of the bitter war are still taking up positions behind their departed principals. It was an epic duel which defined and crystallised the Yoruba political identity and which has determined the subsequent position they will occupy in Nigeria’s political evolution. Like the ancient and mythical duel between Shango and Gbonka, it is not as if the victor and vanquished of that royal battle between two of the most illustrious Yoruba sons ever are unknown. But the politics of memory can be as harsh and even more vicious than the original engagement. As Walter Benjamin famously puts it: “if the enemy wins, not even the dead are safe” To choose between Awo and SLA is not to choose between a villain and a hero, but to choose between a fallen icon and a resounding and resonating avatar. Both of them represent two paradigms that are present in a people, a society and nations at every critical juncture of history. These are the paradigms of heroism and pragmatism. Akintola might have entered contemporary mainstream Yoruba consciousness as a symbol of political perfidy and betrayal but the truth is more nuanced in all its minute and discriminated particularities. As a person, Akintola was not incapable of heroism and personal valour. His heroic last stand against Captain Nwobosi and his men attests to his unusual personal bravery. He went out with a bang, and with his sub-machine gun smoking, like Salvador Allende of Chile would do later. Heroism has its limits, just as prag-



nooping around With

Tatalo Alamu dissension and dispute arise. Every time there is some progress, the progress is cancelled out by forces within playing hosts to forces without. Every time a successful mobilization of the Yoruba people around a cause occurs, swift demobilization recurs. As the hazy outlines of the next civil war in Yoruba land appear in some relief, we must pause and shudder at the implications. In at least three states, loyal dissidents are poised and primed to challenge their political chi to a wrestling match. It is bound to end in tragedy. Is there then some ancestral curse working itself out.? Does it mean that this land will not know any peace until the kingdom comes? Or is there some banal sociological explanation at play that continues to elude us? Could there be some sub-ethnic tension still at play which leads to a permanent polarization of elite formations? All over Yoruba land despite the stunning advances of the last half a decade, political warlords are preparing for battle. As usual, the loudest noise is coming from the fissures within the new dominant group. As it was the case in the distant and immediate past, progressives are up in arms against progressives and as it has been famously noted by the authors of The Gods that Failed, the final battle is not between socialists and reactionaries but between progressives and former progressives. This is what has been happening in Yoruba land in the past fifty years or more with former heroes and sturdy progressives suddenly finding themselves as internally displaced persons, or worse still, as itinerant political hookers and electoral miracle workers.. Snooper once had cause to publicly warn the late Chief Bola Ige against allowing himself to be so internally displaced to the margins of political reaction and irrelevance. It is usually the land of the unreturnable, apologies to Amos Tutuola. In an attempt to get even things often get more uneven.

How one wishes that the surviving Afenifere grandees could learn from this maxim and the terrible fate that has befallen the internally displaced. Snooper appreciates that these grand old men are fighting for their political life. But there is a fate worse than quiet political death. It is living obloquy and disgrace. When these old heroes begin to plot with a much reviled central government against the dominant political tendency they themselves have spawned it doesn’t get more tragically ironic. In fifteen years after the D’Rovan Affair, Afenifere itself seems to have come full circle. The hunter has become the hunted. The brand has lost much steam and stock value. From a post-military global dominance of the Yoruba political horizon, it is now confined to an obscure corner. It has also spawned a younger breakaway faction which is more militant and uncompromisingly regionalist in focus and orientation. The fate it reserved for its old erring members now seem to beckon the surviving titans. Could this be the final working out of the D’Rovan imbroglio? As the emergent gladiators in the South West prepare to battle themselves onto death, let them remember the fate of similar gladiators of yore who gravely misread the political signals or miscued the tempestuous dynamics of Yoruba post-colonial politics. Many of these men and women started out as heroes in their own right but ended up as villains. Painfully enough, this is not a matter that can be resolved by ordinary morality. You can be morally right and politically wrong. Every political opportunist will eventually get his comeuppance. But there are moments when a political opportunist can be properly aligned and in turn with the aspiration of his people. We leave our readers this morning with a portrait of the two major avatars of our political curfew.

Awo and SLA: Two Exemplary Paradigms

association with the north. In fact throughout his life, the late politician was dogged by the rumour that his mother was from the Bachama ethnic stock. Were this rumour to be true, Akintola would have shared the same maternal lineage with the Sardauna as well as his kinsman Benjamin Adekunle, the tempestuous military hero. Coming from solid Ijebu stock which looked toward the coast for cultural association and economic sustenance, Awolowo could not have been more culturally different and differentiated from Akintola. For him, the supremely calm and dignified Fulani aristocrats with their unfurling turbans would have been an object of unending intellectual curiosity and probable discomfiture. In the event, it was at first a dingdong affair. Akintola was unable to sell his vision while Awolowo was unable to extend his dominion to the Yoruba heartland. But what was perceived as his unfair persecution, unjust imprisonment and the hostile encirclement of Yorubaland dramatically altered the equation. Still bristling with the memory and ancestral resentment of repeated Fulani incursions and by now reaping the bounteous benefits of Awo’s visionary leadership, the Yoruba rallied wholesale to the Awolowo banner. The rest is history. There are important lessons to be learnt from this historic face off. Let those who are attempting to rewrite Yoruba history as a result of recent internal colonisation deviously disguised as visionary emancipation beware. As the Yoruba enter another critical and crucial stage in the political evolution of modern Nigeria, the leaders they need are not those who show bravery after the event but those with proven records of heroism and gallantry in the service of the people.

•Oba Adesoji Aderemi, former Ooni of Ife

instance. For if knowledge is also power, the restriction of access to this power breeds a spiritual and intellectual aristocracy which looms large It is the land of a thousand deities and there are more gods to appease than human beings. The result is a “natural” ruling class comprising of savants, spiritualists, royalists and other enforcers of the writ of the realm and a permanent sense of siege and unending civil war which assumes several guises and dimension. Colonial conquest merely destroyed the political and economic basis of this anti-royalist royalism but not its ideological basis. Hence, the new Yoruba aristocrat still comes with a strong sense of personal entitlement. Had the Yoruba been an organic nation in their own right, it would not have mattered. The nation-state project is a permanent process of either working out, sublating or supplanting national contradictions. But when a people with highly developed social characteristics and idiosyncrasies are thrown into the same roiling crucible with other people, the principle and process of homogenisation makes them very vulnerable indeed. Enemies without find

matism has its limitations. The heroic may be nothing more than a quixotic quest, a march of criminal folly in the face of overwhelming odds and a recourse to wanton personal or collective suicide. But there are also moments when pragmatism defiles and dishonours a people, when it may be better to die on your feet than to live on your knees. Those who accuse the Israeli of a Masada complex, of wanting to fight to the last man know what they mean. Masada was the mythical battle site where the ancient soldiers of Israel perished to the last man rather than surrender. It has defined the Israeli nation till date. It will take a harsh historical analogy to imagine the plight of the Yoruba nation in Nigeria after the imposition of the state of emergency in 1962 and the subsequent pincer-movement occupation of the west. Vichy France comes to mind. After the German Panzer divisions had blitzed their way through France in a stunning military manoeuvre that changed the concept of war, a group of respected Frenchmen came together and opted for an appeasement of Germany in order to save France from further devastation and punishment. This was the birth of Vichy France. On the face of it, the argument was rational and respectable. It was the pragmatic thing to do. Marshal Pétain, the leader of the group, was not a spring chicken or a lily-livered coward. He was France’s most celebrated and decorated soldier. The hero of Verdun was arguably at that point the greatest Frenchman of the century. He was the most influential French statesman. But unknown to Marshal Pétain and his collaborators at that point in time,

common cause with bitter enemies within. This is not a closet theory of cultural superiority or historical persecution. Every human society or culture has its own way of apprehending reality or dealing with historical exigency. But there are cultures within the Nigerian nation-space that have tried to grapple with the problems of modernity by evolving into empires in their own right. When the imperializing and centralizing motif of all empire builders take hold of their ascendant avatars, they are bound to come into direct collision with other empire builders and hegemonic wannabes cohabiting in the same territory.. This is the crux of the unresolved Nigerian National Question. It is like boxing the Germans, the French and the British into the same colonial cage and asking them to get on with the job. The human toll is going to be prohibitive. There are some sharply individuated cultures that cannot be easily ground into colonial homogeneity and conformity. So is it then that every time the Yoruba seem to be on the verge of arriving at a consensus about their fate in a multi-national nation, vicious internal

the other paradigm, the paradigm of heroism, was stirring in the heart and bosom of many French people. Many were simply fed up with German military arrogance and the constant humiliation of their people. This spirit of heroic resistance was to find expression in a lowly obscure Brigadier. Charles de Gaulle escaped abroad to make his historic broadcast bristling with fury and defiance. He was denounced as a traitor and promptly sentenced to death by the Vichy government. But at the end of the tunnel it was the spirit of heroism that triumphed. De Gaulle ended as the greatest Frenchman of the twentieth century while Marshal Pétain and his Vichy collaborators ended in the scrap yard of infamy. While it lasted, the AwolowoAkintola political marriage appeared to have been made in heaven: the one was a political genius while the other was a politician of genius. In terms of personality, they were also a perfect foil for each other. While Awolowo was retreating, reticent, remote and enveloped by a superb aura of mystical grandeur, Akintola was witty, down to earth and brilliantly alert. Affecting a jocose flippancy, nothing actually escapes his keen and agile and politically fertile mind. He was the grandmaster of political brinkmanship. It is unfortunate that Akintola has not escaped a certain demonisation as an ogre. Nothing can be farther from the truth. He was in fact an unfailingly polite, warm and generous person, solicitous to a fault and an omoluwabi where it mattered most. It is possible that as he became more embattled, as his authoritarian scams exploded in his face and as

the entire west rose in fury and resentment, the less flattering aspects of his personality came to the fore and he became a demonic nuisance, but like Marshal Pétain, he was not without his redeeming virtues. The argument that finally separated him from his beloved boss was a classic instance of pragmatism versus heroism. Confronted by the overwhelming federal might and the awesome machinery of feudal compliance that the northern power masters brought to play, believing that politics is principally the allocation of resources, a function of who gets what and at which point in time, Akintola thought the west should be in alliance with the north. It was, all things and the balance of force considered, a rational and prudent choice. There was no point in knocking your head against a brick wall. But to Chief Awolowo, this was nothing but a shabby compromise with evil, a shameless capitulation to the forces of servitude and feudalism. Documenting his aversion with the scholarly thoroughness and inflexible rigour that have come to be associated with him, Awolowo came to the rigid conclusion that Nigeria would never move forward until the feudal forces have been eliminated. It was a harsh and bitter division but one that frames and maps the fault lines on which the modern Yoruba nation itself is founded. There are markers of cultural differences in the Awolowo-Akintola split which escapes most commentators. Although speaking one language, the Yoruba are not a culturally homogeneous group. Coming from the northernmost fringes of the nationality, Akintola’s people had a long history of continuous interaction and




•L-R: Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Mohammed Saad Abubakar, (middle), members, Nigeria Governors Forum, Niger State Deputy Governor, Ahmed Ibeto,(left) Rauf Aregbesola of Osun, Babatunde Fashola of Lagos, Chairman of the Forum, Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers, Aliyu Wamakko of Sokoto, Deputy Chairman and Zamfara Governor, Abdul Azeez Yari, Murtala Nyako of Adamawa and Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti during a visit to Sultan before the retreat in Sokoto yesterday. PHOTO: ABAYOMI FAYESE


HO and what could have made $5billion disappear from the nation's Excess Crude Account (ECA)? This was the challenge the Chairman, Nigeria Governors' Forum (NGF), Rotimi Amaechi, threw at the antigraft agencies yesterday in Sokoto. He spoke while declaring the second annual retreat of the state chief executives open. The River State governor said the Excess Crude Account stood at $9billion last January only to shrink to only $4billion today. "That account belongs to Federal, States and Local Governments. Today it is $4billion. We don't know who took $5billion," he said. President Goodluck Jonathan, who was billed to deliver the key note address at the retreat, was absent. He did not send any representative. Also absent were members of the Jang -led faction of the forum, which enjoys the backing of the Presidency. Amaechi said it was convenient for the anti-graft agencies to look the other way now on the matter because of the apparent involvement of the Federal Government whereas the same agencies, according to him, would have waded in if any of the state or local governments were involved in a similar financial irregularity. He said the agencies are being used for political vendetta against opponents of the federal authorities. His words: "Today the EFCC is either in Jigawa or in Kano because they disagree with the President. What about NNPC? What about the Ministry of Niger Delta and the Ministry of Works? "The whole governors put together we receive 26 per cent from the revenue of the Federation. The Federal Govern-

•L- R: Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, former EFCC chairman, Malam Nuhu Ribadu, Ekiti Governor Kayode Fayemi and Deputy Governor of Jigawa State, Ahmad Mahmud at the Nigeria Governors Forum retreat in Sokoto yesterday. Photo: Speaker's Media Office

Amaechi raises the alarm over 'missing $5billion Excess Crude fund' • Governors Forum demands transparency in NNPC finances •Jonathan shuns meeting with state chief executives • Okonjo-Iweala accused of stopping $200m ADB loan for Rivers From Sanni Onogu/Adamu Suleiman, Sokoto

ment gets 52 per cent. And with that 52 per cent, nobody goes after the Federal Government to say 'how did you spend it'? "And then you go after those who got 26 per cent. Even if you recover all the 26 per cent, what have you benefitted from it as against those who have stolen 52 per cent?" He asked the followership to begin to demand accountability from the leadership otherwise entrenching democracy in the country would remain a mirage. Lamenting the lack of effective leadership in the country, he said: ""The only thing that fascinates me is the definition of legacy projects. Because if I were to be the President, I would want to leave a legacy of free and fair elections. "But nobody in government or outside government sees that as a legacy. Those are the intangibles that can make for good governance. Nobody believes that governance is not the structures that have broken down. "Nobody knows that Nigeria is as chaotic as it is because there are no organizations; we have no rules. What

I mean is not laws by the National Assembly - the standard by which you measure the expectation of the people you govern. "There is a friend of mine who went to see the Inspector General of Police and then he got there and saw a DIG and then the DIG said 'you are also here, are you not Governor Amaechi's friend who is against our government?' "This means from day one, the police is on the other side. And the police is the Nigeria police. It is not PDP police." He also spoke on his ordeals in the hands of the Federal Government arising from his disagreement with the Presidency. He accused the Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister for the Economy, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo Iweala of refusing to approve a $200million loan meant to provide water for the people of Rivers State because of his disagreement with the President. He said that other agents/ agencies of the Federal Government have stalled development in his state for the same reason. The governor said: "The African Development Bank (ADB) met with the Rivers State Government. We agreed on the loan and they signed off every document. All the requirements have been met to

give us $200million as loan for water in River State. "We travelled and concluded every arrangement but the Minister of Finance, who by international standard is recognised in the world, has refused to sign off for us to provide water for Rivers people. "Meanwhile, I ,the Governor, I drink bottled water paid for by Rivers people and then she has refused to sign off for the money to be released so that we can give our people water because Governor Amaechi is against the President. "So it is like two women quarrelling and keeping malice with you. So they are keeping malice with me now and my people should die because I disagreed with the President." Amaechi said Nigeria is facing lot of challenges, which can only be addressed if the leaders make conscious efforts to do the right thing. The Catholic Archbishop of Sokoto, Dr Matthew Kukah, in his presentation entitled: "Good governance and the imperative for managing and leaving a sustainable legacy" charged the governors to leave legacies for which they will be remembered by the people. He decried a situation where governors receive awards from everywhere without concrete development in

their states. On the role of education in good governance, the clergyman said the nation cannot move forward without ensuring that every child is given quality education. Kuka said: "It is impossible for us to move in any direction at all without seriously, honestly and sincerely committing ourselves to the fact that we have a commitment that no single child in Nigeria be left behind in terms of education. "I'm hearing from the Ministry of Education, all kinds of agencies, the Universal Basic Education that there are hundreds of billions of Naira locked up. "States cannot access the money simply because they have not been able to come up with counterpart funding. "The truth is that we have not made up our mind about education because I don't know whether we are not running contrary by having a school where the children attending the Almajiri schools are already stigmatised. "How many really serious members of the Nigerian elite will send their children to these schools? And am I going to graduate one day with a PhD from Almajiri school and I want to be a professor in this country? Speaker of the House of Representatives, Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, who spoke on the "Role of states in deepening democracy and good governance in Nigeria" lamented that the military terminated the country's parliamentary system of government that was suitable

for Nigeria and replaced it with the presidential system which in essence is a unitary system of government. Tambuwal faulted the unwieldy powers vested on the Federal Government by the Constitution which "has also made it possible for the Federal Government to control the police making it almost impossible for states to have a significant role to play in crime prevention and law enforcement. "When you see the way things are going in Nigeria, you come to the conclusion that it is not possible for us to practise presidential system of government the way it is done in the United States from where we copied our federation. "Another manifestation of the unitary system is the concentration of resource allocation on the federal government leaving states as if they were beggars." He added that the State Assemblies have failed the people by not being able to exercise due oversight on the state executives. In a communiqué at the end of the retreat, the NGF insisted on transparency in the operations of the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and urged Nigerians to stop being docile in the face of monumental impunity in the country. The governors stressed the need for "intangible aspects of good governance anchored on a framework of ethics, values and political morality to drive development and leave a durable legacy of democratic governance."

Blast in Kabul ahead of assembly on future of U.S. troops Oshiomhole’s aide's mother for burial SUICIDE bomber rammed spokesman. He said the casualties occurred.


his car into an Afghan army vehicle providing security for a compound where Afghanistan's political and tribal elites are due to gather next week to debate a security pact with the United States. Saturday's attack took place just hours after President Hamid Karzai called on the Taliban to take part in the Loya Jirga assembly that convenes on Thursday to decide whether to allow some U.S. troops to stay in Afghanistan after 2014. At least six people were killed and 22 wounded in the blast, said Sediq Sediqqi, an Interior Ministry

were a mix of soldiers and civilians. The blast occurred shortly after 3 p.m., fewer than 100 meters (yards) from a huge tent where more than 2,000 prominent Afghans are due to gather, a Reuters witness said. No one immediately claimed responsibility for the attack. One man fleeing the bombing, Mohammad Amin, looked dazed as he described to Reuters seeing a white Totoya Corolla vehicle speed towards a police checkpoint and then explode. Covered in blood and dust, he said he was standing across the street behind his parked car when the blast

"Thank God my car protected me because it was so close. My ears are still ringing," Amin said. A Reuters reporter saw at least six wounded people, as well as a large unchecked fire and numerous smashed cars. A Kabul police spokesman, Hashmat Stanekzai, said earlier there were at least 15 dead and wounded as a result of the attack, but could not immediately provide more detail. A loya jirga is a traditional Afghan meeting convened to debate matters of national importance and includes thousands of tribal elders, politicians and other elites.


HE remains of Chief (Mrs.) Scholastica Musa, who died on September 3 will be interred on Friday November 29 at Iraokho, Etsakor Central Council, Edo State. Thanks giving service takes place on Sunday, December 1 at St Anthony of Padua Catholic Church, Iraokho at 8:300am. Entertainment follows immediately at the family compound. Musa, who passed on at the age of 80 during a protracted illness, is survived by many children and grand children, among whom is Mr. Ebomhiana Musa, Senior Special Assistant (Media) to Governor Adam Oshiomole of Edo State.

•Late Musa




ANAMBRA DECIDES APC demands fresh elections in 4 councils, rejects fresh elections in only 65 polling units


HE All Progressives Congress (APC) is demanding fresh elections in four local government areas of Anambra State where it says election either did not hold or massive malpractices were recorded in yesterday’s governorship poll. In a statement in Lagos by the Interim National Publicity Secretary of the party, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the APC also rejected INEC’s decision to organise fresh elections in only 65 polling units today. It said that will not address the massive disenfranchisement of its supporters. The party listed the affected four local government areas as Idemili North, Idemili South, Awka South and Ihiala. ‘’In Idemili North, which has the highest number of registered voters at 173,832, voting materials did not arrive as at 2 pm when voters ought to have cast their votes. “In Idemili South, with registered 85,731 voters, several qualified voters were disenfranchised as their names did not appear on the voters’ register. In Awka South, with 118,312 registered voters, the names of APC supporters were expunged from the voters’ register and in Ihiala, massive fraudulent practices were recorded at Uli Ward 1 polling unit and Umuchima polling unit 14 ‘’Aside from Ihiala Local Government Area, the three local councils above comprise 377, 875 of the total 1, 784, 536 registered voters,’’ APC said, adding that the affected areas were home to its support base. The party said nothing short of fresh elections in the three LGs and the cancellation of the results in the listed polling units in Ihiala would be acceptable to it The party also strongly advised INEC not to declare any results relating to the governorship election until repeat elections are held in these areas where these irregularities occurred, more so as most of the party’s supporters have been disenfranchised in these areas.


•Voters being accredited for the election in Enugu Ukwu…yesterday

Photo: NAN

Irregularities, logistics chaos mar Anambra poll T

HE Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) wasted another opportunity to showcase its readiness for free and fair elections in the country. The Anambra State governorship poll was marred by disenfranchisement, logistic problems and violence. These rubbished the electoral body’s promise to test run its strategies for reliable elections, come 2015. A major admission that all was not well with the polls came from the commission itself last night when it rescheduled election in 65 units in Obosi ,Idemili Local Government Area of the State. The re-schedule was necessitated by the late arrival of voting materials in the affected wards. Some of the major candidates loudly complained over irregularities in the conduct of the election. The candidate of All Progressives Congress (APC), Dr Chris Ngige, alleged deliberate attempts by INEC to disenfranchise his supporters. He said voting materials arrived as late as 2pm in polling units in his strongholds. Ngige, who cast his vote at about 1.45pm at Unit 009, Nkwo Ide Public Square II, Alor Ward I, Idemili South Local Government Area, said he had no confidence in the Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) in Anambra. Faulting the conduct of the election, Ngige said: “From reports reaching us, there is a deliberate attempt to disenfranchise voters in Idemili North, Idemili South, Awka South, portions of Dunukofia – all aimed at my voting strength areas. “Idemili North alone has 180,000 registered voters. In the last Senatorial election, it was a place I scored the highest num-

From Augustine Avwode, Nwanosike Onu, Chris Oji, Odogwu Emeka Odogwu and Joseph Jibueze in Awka

ber of votes, more than any other senatorial candidate. “Idemili South is also my home base. Parts of Aniocha like Ichida, Adazi-Enu – they have been voting for me. And in all these places, there was a shortage of electoral materials. “The worse is Idemili North where as I speak to you now (about 3pm yesterday), a lot of the centres have not gotten materials. “Some of the centres that have materials got theirs, say, by 1pm. And a majority of them don’t have result sheets among the materials given to them. “Therefore, you can roughly say that there is a deliberate attempt to suppress the wishes of the Anambra Central people to participate in making a governor.” His party threatened to reject the result of the elections except the irregularities were corrected immediately. It drew attention to the location of a polling station right under a giant billboard of the APGA candidate, Chief Willie Obiano, at Aguleri in violation of the Electoral Act. The PDP candidate, ComradeTony Nwoye; the Labour Party flag bearer, Mr. Ifeanyi Ubah and candidate of Progressive People’s Party (PPA), Chief Godwin Ezeemo, also kicked over INEC’s handling of the election. In the case of Nwoye, he and his parents could not vote as their names were missing from the voters register. The APGA candidate, Chief Willie Obiano, however, expressed satisfaction with the arrangement. In Alor, the immediate ward of the All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate, Senator Chris

Ngige, only 72 names were found in the register of 600 voters. In the case of Nwoye, his name was not found at all and so could not vote at his polling booth in his hometown, Nsugbe. Also, his parents, who had accompanied him, were also not able to vote just as was the case with many others. Their names were conspicuously missing in the voters register at their polling booth. Nwoye’s mentor and chief financier, Chief Arthur Eze, also could not vote. His name was also missing. INEC officials could not give reasons for the omission of their names. They were all carrying valid voters’ card. Nwoye said the rigging of the election was pre-planned. Late accreditation and other sundry logistics also contributed in no small way in denting the electoral exercise. For instance, the exercise, which ought to have begun by 8am, was yet to start in most places visited as at 10am. At Ogbankwa, in Awka South Local Government Area, with 20 wards, voters patiently waited for materials to arrive. At Unit 26 in Ward 3, Ezinano, Agulu LGA, accreditation began at about 9.30am. About nine persons had been accredited when The Nation visited. There was confusion over a voting centre in Nziko in Oyi Local Government Area as two major polling units had to be urgently relocated for security reasons. Voters were said to have come out for accreditation but did not meet any voting officer there. It led to panic calls to INEC headquaters but it was later learnt that National Commissioner in charge of Oyi LGA Ambassador Ahmed Wali intervened to resolve the problem. The centre, said to be lo-

cated inside a thick forest, is referred to as a notorious rigging centre in Anambra. Political parties, such as the APC had to cry out to INEC for the centre to be relocated. It was learnt that the centre was eventually moved near a school. However, in Anambra East and West, accreditation went on smoothly. Obiano was accredited at about 10.30am at his Ward in Aguleri, Anambra East. Presiding Officers were forced to extend the time allotted for accreditation of voters. Most voting units visited in Aguata Local Government complained of similar challenges. In a voting centre at the Civic Centre in Umuchu Ward 1, accreditation was said to have started a few minutes to 11am. Ezeemo said the presiding officer in Civic Centre Unit 001 asked him to return by 2.30pm when voting would start. “INEC officials told me voting will start by 2.30pm because materials arrived late. “The Presiding Officer said there were delays. But it’s still early in the process for me to suspect any foul play. “Reports I have received from other places also show that materials arrived late in various centres. In my unit, accreditation started by 10.58am,” Ezeemo said. Electoral officers in Ihiala Local Government Area encountered logistics problems caused by the postings of some ad-hoc staff. Some National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) members who were posted as polling unit officers were said to have been reposted. There were also reports that they were protesting over non-payment of allowances. Those of them who learnt

of the reposting after arriving at their units had to wait for the new officers to come and take over. This is said to have occasioned further delays in the accreditation exercise in most polling centres. Publicity Secretary of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Mr Afam Obi, who worked as an observer in the poll, confirmed that accreditation started late in some centres due to the reposting. “There were logistic problems in some units I visited, though in others centres accreditation started on time. “There have been no reports of any crisis from this end so far, except the lapses recorded due to the reposting of ad-hoc staff,” Obi said. Asked about the legal implication of voting not stating by 12noon as scheduled, the lawyer said there is always room for contingencies. “You always have to accommodate unexpected developments,” Obi added. Two people were reportedly shot in Amaenyi, Awka South Local Government Area while allegedly attempting to snatch ballot boxes. However, Obiano praised the electoral umpire for a job well done. He spoke soon after casting his vote at his Eri Primary School, Ward 1, Aguleri, Anambra East Local Government Area. The APGA national chairman, Chief Victor Umeh, who voted at Aguluzigbo Ward 1, Unit 18 at the town hall, said the reports he got across the state showed that INEC had demonstrated enough goodwill in the conduct of the election. He said he did not agree there was low turnout of voters, adding that security was very adequate.




ANAMBRA DECIDES Nwoye, Obiano express mixed reactions over arrival of election materials

SSS detains El Rufai at Awka •He has no business in Anambra, says Obi

By Augustine Awvode NTERIM Deputy National Secretary of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Malam Nasir el-Rufai, was yesterday in Awka prevented from moving out of his hotel room to monitor the Anambra governorship election. el-Rufai told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) at the ‘Finotel Hotel’ where he lodged that some armed men of the State Security Service (SSS) restrained him from moving out of the hotel to monitor the election. He said:“I arrived in Awka by 7 p.m. on Friday and had a brief session with the APC candidate, Sen. Chris Ngige. When I came out to have my dinner, I saw three heavily armed SSS officers at the hotel. “I asked them why they were following me; they told me that they were protecting me because Awka is not safe. “I told them that I came with my own security. This morning, as I was about to have breakfast, they blocked the corridor and tried to restrain me from going out but I pushed by and went to the restaurant to eat. “After my breakfast, I will be going to the APC Situation Room in town to monitor the election. I am being unlawfully detained here,’’ he said. NAN reports that at this point, one of the SSS men entered the restaurant and confiscated the reporter’s tape recorder and deleted the recorded interview before returning it to her. When contacted on telephone, the Director of SSS in the state, Mr. A.U. Okeiyi, confirmed the report, saying that el-Rufai was being protected. “el-Rufai is not an ordinary person. If anything happens to him, they will blame the security,’’ he said. Heavily armed security men were seen guarding the premises of the hotel. Anambra State Governor, Peter Obi, reacted angrily to the development. He said the former minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) had no business in Anambra State on the day of election. The governor said genuinely accredited observers are not hindered by anybody. “Accredited observers are moving around freely. But I am not sure el-Rufai was accredited by INEC as an observer. “Like I said before, he has no business or any reason to be in Anambra at this time. All he is doing is dragging the name of Anambra in the mud. “I can’t go to Katsina and monitor a governorship election. This is a federation. Even if he belongs to a particular party, the party has chieftains in this state and people of the southeast extraction. “People should know that we have one country and we must build it for our children. el- Rufai has no reason to be in Anambra State. “Quote me anywhere. I can’t go to Katsina State or Kano or where ever he may come from and go and monitor elections there. He should stay there”.



•Anambra State Governor, Peter Obi arriving the polling centre with his wife, Margaret... yesterday

Ngige faults process T

HE candidate of the A l l Progressives Congress (APC), Chris Ngige, yesterday formally lodged a complaint with INEC over the sloppy conduct of the election especially in Idemili North,Idemili South,Awka South and parts of Dunukofia,all his strongholds. He said: “This is deliberate because I’m the senator representing there. And they know that my catchment area is there. “However, I believe that I will make inroad and come out with some successful results in other senatorial zones. “But you know that this election is won based on

From Joseph Jibueze, Awka majority of votes cast, who scored the highest number – where a candidate must attain 25 per cent in two-thirds of all the 14 Local Governments Areas of Anambra State. “We have filed in our complaints to INEC, I have spoken to the National Commissioner in charge of Southeast and the administrative secretary, and we’re waiting to see what they can do.” Ngige said he has no confidence in the Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Prof. Chukwuemeka Onukogu. According to him: “I don’t have confidence in the Resident Electoral Commissioner.

At the last interactive session, I asked a question and I told INEC chairman: ‘You have an electoral commissioner who conducted the 2011 election and he worked against my party and myself. We petitioned you. I have an official status as candidate; my party has an official status as a political party. We never heard anything about the petition.’ “I said further that some of the election results we talked about were upturned by the courts – such as the Court of Appeal, vindicating our petition. “They cancelled those places outright, like the votes in Anaocha, where there were no result sheets, and results came in and were accepted. I told him that spe-

cifically. “In my constituency – Idemili South, the results were declared inconclusive. There were no by-elections, only for him, after three days, to go and do certificate of return and announce a new result. “So we went to court, and the court upturned all those results. And in those places we won when a eutral persons was brought here to conduct the rerun. “So I’m flabbergasted, I’m surprised, I’m dumbfounded that Prof Onukogu was left here to conduct this election. “We made verbal representations and we were told that RECs don’t stay in their places of domicile to conduct election; that it is neutral RECs that come.”

Nwoye, parents’ names not on voters’ list


HE flag bearer of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the, Comrade Tony Nwoye, could not vote in yesterday in his Nsugbe home town after his name could not be found in the register. His parents were also unable to vote as were many other HE All Progressives Congress (APC) yesterday warned that it would not accept the results of the governorship election if ”voting does not take place in all local governments, especially in the party’s strongholds of Idemili North and South as well as Akwa South.” The Interim National Publicity Secretary of the party, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, in a statement, also condemned INEC for “its apparently-contrived logistic nightmare that has left thousands of voters unable to exercise their franchise.” It demanded the ‘immediate removal’ of the Resident Electoral Commissioner for Anambra, Prof. Chukwuemeka Onukogu, for allegedly aiding and abetting irregularities in the


From Chris Oji, Enugu

residents for a similar reason. Also missing in the voters register was the name of Nwoye’s political godfather, Chief Arthur Eze. INEC officials could not explain the omission of their names despite the affected per-

sons brandishing their voter’s cards. Nwoye alleged that the disappearance of his names and others’ was pre-mediated and designed to rig him out. The PDP candidate said he and his parents had voted at the same polling booth in the last

election and wondered how almost 70 per cent of the names in the register could disappear between then and now. He said he could not reach INEC boss Attahiru Jega on phone to formally complain to him. Nwoye said he could only resign to fate for now.

APC: Results unacceptable without voting in all local govts election. The APC said it was “totally astonished to learn that INEC has confirmed that materials meant for Idemili North Local Government, which has 180,000 voters, have been hijacked, without saying who hijacked the ballot papers and why and without explaining why the materials meant for APGA and PDP strongholds were not hijacked.” The party said equally astonishing was ”the fact that the voter’s registers for Idemili South, the direct Local Government of the APC candidate, Dr. Chris Ngige, did not contain the names of voters in the local government, despite the assurances by INEC Chairman Attahiru Jega.

It said: ‘’Before the election, political parties were given voter’s registers that largely contained the names of most voters. However, about four days to the election, Prof Jega said at an interactive stakeholders’ forum that there were problems with the registers, which would be rectified before the election. ‘’However, when the supposedly-corrected registers were brought back, most of the authentic names in them have disappeared, without explanation.’’ Recalling the REC’s performance in the 2011 election, the APC said:’ ‘In 2011, when Prof. Onukogu conducted the general elections in the state, he was very partial.

“During the Onitsha South 2 House of Assembly constituency and Idemili South House of Assembly polls, he declared the results of both inconclusive, only for him to announce the results at 12 midnight. After we challenged the results in court and a rerun was ordered, we won both constituencies. ‘’We subsequently petitioned INEC and the Commission assured us that the same person will not be allowed to conduct subsequent election. “Alas, he was left in place to do another damage to INEC as an institution through his glaring incompetence and partiality, which have seriously affected the credibility of this governorship election.’’

R. ANTHONY Nwoye, the PDP candidate in the Anambra governorship election, decried the late arrival of election materials to some areas considered to be his stronghold. However, the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) candidate, Chief Willie Obiano, was all praise for INEC for a job well done. The APGA and PDP candidates are from Aguleri and Nsugbe communities respectively in Anambra East Local Council Area of the state,according to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN). Both communities are about 20 minutes drive away from each other. Election materials arrived Nwoye’s polling unit located at Ilo-Abito square, Nsugbe Ward one, at about 9.40 am while it arrived at Obiano’s polling unit at Eri Primary School Ward one at about 10 02 am. However, Nwoye in an interview, alleged that the delay was a ploy by his opponents to disenfranchise voters in his area. “My finding is that it is a desperate move by my opponents to win the election. “I gathered that materials arrived other polling booths as early as 6.30 a.m. but as you can see, no material has arrived my polling booth for inexplicable reasons. “I have called the federal commissioner in charge of the South East to make my complaints known to him and he expressed shock. “For materials that moved since last night to local government areas not to have reached polling booths by this time, is an attempt to provoke the youths and disenfranchise them,” he said. The PDP candidate however, expressed confidence that he would be elected governor at the end of the poll. In his remarks, Obiano, after his accreditation at about 10.30 a.m., simply said: “So far, INEC is doing well.” Meanwhile, accreditation in most of the polling units visited in the area have been peaceful and orderly while also witnessing a large turn-out of voters in the various units visited.





•APC’s Ngige being accrediated before voting... yesterday

•APGA National Chairman, Chief Victor Umeh, arriving the voting centre... yesterday

•Governor Peter Obi at the polling centre... yesterday

•Former Information Minister, Prof Dora Akunyuli, speaking with newsmen at the voting centre... yesterday

•Labour Party candidate, Mr. Ifeanyi Ubah, undergoing accreditation... yesterday

•Electoral officials with materials at one of the centres... yesterday

•APC candidate, Chris Ngige, voting... yesterday

•APGA’s Obiano casting his vote... yesterday

•PPA governorship candidate Godwin Ezeemo addressing reporters

•Ngige addressing electoral observers

•Voters displaying their cards




Jonathan, Gowon: Danjuma is ‘Field Marshal’ of Africa F

ORMER Chief of Army Staff and Defence Minister, Retired General Theophilus Danjuma, is now the ‘Field Marshal’ of Africa, President Goodluck Jonathan and former Head of States, General Yakubu Gowon (Rtd.) said yesterday. Jonathan and Gowon spoke in Donga, Taraba State, where Danjuma was conferred with the traditional title of ‘Gam Gbaro’ Donga. A Gam Gbaro in Chamba language means a War Field Marshal. Jonathan and Gowon said Danjuma is not only a Field Marshal of Donga but also of Africa. “The civil war is now over, but TY Danjuma is a Field Marshal to deal with the war against poverty, social ills and health problems,” Gowon said. Gowon jocularly said that with the Field Marshal title, Danjuma has become his senior in rank. President Jonathan, who was represented by the Minister of State for the Niger Delta Affairs, Darius Dickson Ishaku, said Danjuma’s “valuable advice”, which has most times helped in steering the affairs of the country, makes him the Gam Gbaro of Africa. He said: “General TY Danjuma is a forthright and frank person, sometimes uncomfortably frank. “I admire him because his philanthropy is quite amazing. He has retired but he is not tired. “He has made more achievements during his retirement era than when he was in the army. He is Gam Gbaro of Africa.” Danjuma, in his early military career, served in Congo as Company Commander with the United Nations Forces in 1961 and 1962. He also served as Company Commander with the Nigerian Army contingent to Tanzania I964. Upon return from Staff College, he was posted to Nsukka front of the Nigerian civil war where he commanded the brigade that overran the Biafra capital, Enugu in October 1967. Danjuma was appointed General Officer Commanding (GOC) 3RD Infantry Division in 1971 and Chief of Army Staff and Chairman Joint Chiefs in 1975 to 1979. Gowon said Danjuma was one of his young brave soldiers whose courage helped the government of Nigeria during the civil war. According to him: “Danjuma’s spectacular victory in Nsukka-Enugu front with his Textbook Operation and leap flogging from one village to another in Enugu in October 1967 gave the government the courage and filips.” The Gara Donga, His Royal Highness Dr. Danjuma Banyonga, who

•Gam Gbaro of Africa, Theophilus Yakubu Danjuma after coronation ....yesterday From: Fanen Ihyongo, Jalingo

decorated Danjuma in Chamba cultural regalia and conferred on him the chieftaincy title, described him as a “well disciplined and gallant soldier”. “Despite all his achievements and several positions of authority, he never oppressed his subordinates,” the monarch said. Gara Donga said they honoured Danjuma because of his achievements in the Army during his retirement as Minister of Defence and his philanthropy to the poor. “Despite his successful businesses, he remains humble and selflessly committed to health as socioeconomic development of the nation, assisting the lessprivileged irrespective of tribe and religion. “He is a frank and uncompromising person in all his dealings,” Banyonga

said. Other dignitaries at the occasion included former head of states, General Muhammadu Buhari; former Information Minister, Professor Jerry Gana; Senator Emmanuel Bwacha(Taraba South) Real Admiral Akin Aduwo; former Taraba State Governor, Rev. Jolly Nyame; former Minister of Commerce, Idris Waziri and former Minister of Water Resources, Mr. Obadiah Ando. Danjuma, in his response, said the occasion was unique because the traditional title conferred on him was an international title as the Chamba people are unique and found in Togo, Ghana and Cameroon. “I was able to achieve as a commander in the army because I had an excellent Commander- In- Chief in person of Gen. Yakubu Gowon who kept the Armed Forces and Nigeria together,” he stated.



xxxnot We're against AregbesolaOsun Women CAN

Alaafin advocates for re-orientation of moral values From Bode Durojaiye, Oyo


HE Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Olayiwola Adeyemi, has said the future of the country is imperiled if the young generation are not inculcated with the right moral values. Fielding questions from journalists in his palace, the first class monarch also called for a change in the attitude of Nigerians to public service. He said, "Society, through leadership in public service, must begin to de-emphasise rewards for corruption and illgotten wealth, but rather put emphasis on hard work, innovation and productivity." Lamenting on the pervasive corruption in the society, Oba Adeyemi submitted, "The country must have a change in orientation and social values from materialism and acquisition of stupendous wealth for the purpose of oppressing the less-privileged, to a more humane social order where every human life is valued as sacred and inviolable." While calling on the government to accord education utmost priority, Oba Adeyemi continued, "We must realise that the formulation and implementation of policies which will serve to benefit only the children of the wealthy can only stifle intellectual curiosity in academic institutions, frustrate teaching professionals and parents and make our best brain find greater comfort in overseas schools or local cult groups. "Government must consciously bring education to the reach of all its citizens through increased subsidised funding of indigent groups and viable public-private partnerships in research and development ventures." The traditional ruler also called for the encouragement of private enterprises to make endowments to particular fields in colleges and universities especially in agriculture, finance and petroleum fields.

Media award holds in Abeokuta


HE 9th edition of Bright Media Merit Award (BRIMMA) also known as Sparklight Award will hold today in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital by 4pm at the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) headquarters. A statement by the organiser, Tosin Adesile, said the topic of the annual media lecture is "Radio as a potent force to supporting a true national conference." The lecture will be delivered by the CEO, Rock City FM based in Abeokuta, Niran Malaolu, and a Public Relations Officer at the University of Ibadan, Mr. Deji Oladosu. Ten distinguished persons will also bag awards at the event. They include the General Manager of Ogun State Television (OGTV), Alhaji Ayinde Soaga, Ogun State Punch Correspondent, Segun Olatunji, Mrs. Toyin Makinde, Golden Grace School, Onikolobo and Secretary of Ogun State NUJ, Soji Amosu.



•Governor Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo State (left) discussing with the General Overseer of The Living Spring Church, Ibadan, Pastor Femi Emmanuel (right) who was on a courtesy visit to him at the Governor's Office, Ibadan at the weekend.

Ex-VC calls for national summit on education F ORMER Vice Chancellor of Olabisi Onabanjo University (OOU), Prof. Tunji Oyeneye, has called for a national summit to address the falling standard of education in the country. He attributed the rot in the education sector in the country to all stakeholders, whom the don described as hypocrite. Oyeneye, who is also the former Pro-Chancellor of Tai Solarin University of Education (TASUED), made the call yesterday at the 4th

From Tayo Johnson, Ibadan

international conference of the Centre for Development and Policy Issues in Africa (CEDPIA) held at the Conference Centre, University of Ibadan (UI), Ibadan, the Oyo State capital. "Nigeria is not a pariah state; we live in the comity of nations and as their educational practices influence us, ours must also influence

them. We must have a national conference on education where all educational stakeholders will be present and discuss these following issues: What can be regarded as the best practices on education? What are the yardsticks for measuring best practices in education? "What future do we want to build with the type of education we are giving to our

children? "These are questions that we should ask and it is not about the issue of allocating trillions of naira to the sector. We should focus on a type of education that will benefit our country," Oyeneye posited. On the way out of the crisis, the university don said the government has to decide if it has the resources to fund education, adding, "If the government cannot fund education alone, they should tell the whole world and let all the stakeholders contribute."

Sultan of Sokoto lauds Aregbesola on achievements


HE Sultan of Sokoto, His Eminence Muhammad Sa'ad Abubakar III, has commended the administration of the Governor of Osun State, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, for what he described as its "sterling performance." The Sultan gave the commendation when members of the Nigerian Governors' Forum (NGF) under the chairmanship of Rivers State Governor, Rotimi Amaechi, paid him a courtesy visit in his palace. The governors were in Sokoto State for the second NGF two-day retreat.

The monarch stated that Aregbesola has been performing commendably in the past three years. The Sultan, who said he has visited Osun four times and was elated with what he saw on ground, expressed willingness to visit the state again. He said, "My brother, Rauf Aregbesola is here with all of you. I was in Osogbo, his state capital sometimes this year. I think I have visited his state four times and I am still willing to visit again. There is no doubt that he is doing wonderfully well." The monarch, who presented the NGF chairman a

book written by the late Sultan Muhammad Bello, said the books are good resource materials for both Muslims and Christians, who wish to know what Islam said on fundamental issues such as war and peace. He affirmed that Islam is totally opposed to shedding innocent blood of fellow human beings, saying in Islam, killing of one innocent soul is tantamount to killing a whole generation. "Sokoto is the centre of Islam even though I know that Islam had reached some other places between 500 to 600 years ago. Today, I am surprised the way some people are

behaving. Islam is the opposite of violence. I don't know where those who kill and shed blood of innocent people got their own ideology because Islam is averse to killing fellow human beings. In fact, in Islam, it amounts to killing a whole nation if one kills just one person." Also in attendance during the visit were the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Aminu Tambuwal, Nobel Laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka, former presidential candidate of the defunct Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), Nuhu Ribadu amongst several other dignitaries.

Teenager kills 56 year father in Osun


TEENAGER simply identified as Olalekan has been arrested in Ilesa in Osun State for allegedly killing his 56 year old father, Ayodele Adetoyinbo. The 18 year old suspect, who lived with his deceased father, allegedly confessed committing the crime to the

From Adesoji Adeniyi, Osogbo

police detectives attached to 'B' Division in Ijamo, Ilesa. According to a police source, the suspect committed the offence on the 13th November, 2013. The source, who preferred not to be mentioned because he was not authorised to speak

on the issue, said that the suspect at 7pm on the fateful day after returning from school was allegedly accused by his father for stealing his six empty 25 litre jerry cans. In a fit of anger during an argument that ensued between father and son, the suspect was said to have hit the deceased's head with a concrete cement block, which

consequently led to his death. The deceased's corpse has since been deposited at the Wesley Guild Hospital, Ilesa for autopsy. The state police spokesperson, Mrs. Folasade Odoro, said the suspect would be charged to court for prosecution after the conclusion of police investigation.

NURTW crisis: Ondo drivers' wives protest over detention of husbands


HE crisis rocking the Ondo State chapter of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) deepened on Saturday following a protest by wives of some branch chairmen of the Union over the continued detention of their husbands at the State Anti-robbery Squad (SARS) in Akure, the state capital. It was learnt that the union leaders have been arrested since Monday, with

From Leke Akeredolu, Akure

the police allegedly demanding a whooping sum of N20million for their bail. The Nation gathered that the suspects were apprehended by security agents from Lagos State following a petition allegedly written by one Kehinde Sunday a.k.a Confidence. In the petition, Sunday was said to have accused the chairmen of planning to cause

mayhem in the state due to the ongoing crisis in the Union. But the wives of the drivers have defended their husbands, while alleging that they were being intimidated by the acting state chairman of the union, Apostle Omobomi Ajisafe. A family member of one of the detainees, Mr. Akinwumi Funsho, further alleged that some members of the state executive of the union are allegedly the brains

behind the arrest. He said, "We were shocked when some officers who claimed to be from the Anti-robbery Squad invaded the chairmen's residences over a fictitious petition that was not shown to the family members or the detainees. "We are not sure where the officers came from. Though we have attempted to see the Commissioner of Police on this issue, but all has proved abortive.�

HE Women Wing of the Christian Association of Nigeria (WOWICAN), Osun State chapter has declared that it has nothing against the administration of Governor Rauf Aregbesola. Its Chairperson, Deaconess Adeniyi Olusola, stated this at the St Peter's Anglican Church, Ibokun on Friday at the rotation quarterly meeting of the association. She spoke just as the government said it would continue to support women and children in the provision of education and empowerment, while reiterating its resolve to be fair to all religions. Olusola said, "We have nothing against the government of Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola and as a result, we will continue to pray for the success of this government. We are standing on our feet to ask for our rights, but that does not mean that we are enemies of the government of the day. We are supporting this government and we are praying that it succeeds." In her welcome address, the chairperson of Obokun Local Government women wing of CAN, Olori Mofomosola Fagbemigun, charged women to continue their good work in nation building. In his address, the state Assistant Director, Bureau of Communication and Strategy, Olatunbosun Oyintiloye, described women as the pillars of the society, saying that the role of women in the church, home and the society cannot be over emphasised.

Ogun adjudged fastest growing state economy


GUN State has been adjudged as the fastest growing economy and first choice of industrialists and entrepreneurs among the 36 states in the country. According to a statement by the state Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Alhaji Yusuph Olaniyonu, the verdict was passed by the management and Board of Editors of the nation's leading business newspaper, Business Day at its States' Competitiveness and Good Governance Awards ceremony which held in Lagos on Wednesday. At the ceremony attended by state Governors, members of State Executive Councils from across the nation, members of the business community and the media, Editor of Business Day, Mr. Phil Isakpa, said Ogun State won the award of the fastest growing economy, because it has the highest number of businesses established in its domain due to the conducive business environment provided by the state government. He added that Ogun State got the award because from the research conducted by the newspaper's team, the state has the highest positive number of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in the last one year, while the number of bank branches has increased more than any other state in the last three years. The newspaper said its conclusions were made based on "extensive research and tour of states across the country and submission of entries by states".



Zuma commends UN resolution on Africa Union Mission in Somalia


HE Chairperson of African Union Commission (AUC), Dr Dlamini Zuma, has said that United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolution to strengthen AMISOM would boost security in Somalia. Zuma said this in a statement issued by the commission’s Directorate of Information and Communication made available to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) yesterday in Addis Ababa. According to her, the resolution will strengthen the AU Mission in Somalia to enable it to tackle the security challenges in the country. “The current strength of the AMISOM which is 17,731, will rise to 22,126 uniformed personnel and will boost the effort of the Somali National Army (SNA) through an appropriate UN Trust Fund.’’ Zuma said that the strengthening of AMISOM and support to the SNA would make it possible for them to resume and intensify military campaign against the Al-Shabaab terrorist group. “The decision will also help to expand the authority of the Federal Government of Somalia and facilitate the political process. “This will culminate in the finalisation and adoption of a federal constitution and the holding of elections.’’ The chairperson said that the decision was an illustration of the partnership that the AU and the UN were trying to build for peace and stability in that country. She commended members of the UNSC for their support and commitment to the achievement of lasting peace, security, stability and reconciliation in Somalia. The UNSC on Tuesday authorised a temporary boost for the African Union peacekeeping force in Somalia by over 4,000 troops with an expanded logistical package. According to the UNSC, the gesture is to maintain basic security and respond to the evolving threat from AlShabaab insurgents. The UNSC had unanimously adopted the resolution and also extended the deployment of AMISOM which was constituted in 2007 to Oct. 31, 2014. It also requested the AU to increase AMISOM’s force from 17,731 to 22,126 uniformed personnel and resolved to expand the logistical support package provided to the force by the UN.


SURE P receives N180 billion yearly, says Kolade T

HE Subsidy Re-Investment and Emp o w e r m e n t Programme (SURE-P) receives N180 billion yearly for project execution, its chairman, Dr Christopher Kolade, stated yesterday. He said it is doing everything possible to secure the confidence of Nigerians in service delivery, as-

From: Precious Dikewoha, Port Harcourt

suring that the operation and utilisation of funds by the scheme is prudent and efficient. Kolade, who was represented by Prof. Kunle Wahab, at the road show organised by SURE-P at Nonwa in Tai local government of Rivers State,

said the deplorable condition of the East-West road will soon be over. According to him: “Even though Nigerians have lost confidence in the ability of leaders to keep promises, SURE-P is about keeping the promises made to them despite the distrust. “We have received N180billion from the

N15billion that comes into our account every month. “Should we fail at this point in winning back the confidence of Nigerians, our country will be on the brink. It is clear that the citizens are tired. This informed President Jonathan to step forward to take definite steps to keep the promises he made.”

•Palestinian militants of the Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades, Hamas’s armed wing, stage an anti-Israel parade as part of the celebrations marking the first anniversary of an Israeli army operation in the Gaza Strip... at the weekend AFP PHOTO

NASS proposes increased funding of water sector


HE National Assembly has proposed an increment of the budgetary allocation for the water sector to N92billion. Senate President David Mark, said the proposed increment was imperative to achieve sustainable growth and development. He also stated that the increment will help to strengthen the operations of the Niger Basin Authority (NBA), which Nigeria is part of. He spoke in Abuja at the Conference of parliamentar-

…budgets 92bn From: Frank Ikpefan, Abuja

ians, focal ministers and ministers of finance of the Niger Basin Authority at the weekend. He stated that there had been a feasible increase in budget allocations for the sector to carry out projects over the years. Mark, who was represented by Vice Chairman, Senate Committee on Water Resources, Sen Abdullahi Sankara, said the National

Assembly will continue to call for improved funding of the sector. He also explained that the renovation of Kainji dam when completed will complement government’s efforts to increase energy production. The Minister of Water Resources, Sarah Ochekpe, said the federal government will meet its financial obligation to the Niger Basin Authority by committing N150m to the body. She also called on member countries to remit their contributions to reduce its fi-

nancial constraint. According to her: “The Niger Basin will be adequately managed and allocated in a way that everybody benefits from it. “The Niger Basin catchment areas are richly endowed with the waters of the River Niger, which we can use for agricultural purposes, water supply, and hydro power generation. “If we make the best use of these resources, definitely we will be able to tackle the issue of poverty in the region head on.”

‘Kaduna DISCO not yet handed over to new owners’


HE Kaduna Electricity Distribution Company (Kaduna DISCO) has not yet been handed over to the new owners in line with the current privatisation of the power sector by the federal government, the company said yesterday. It warned that customers in the four states covered by

From Tony Akowe, Kaduna

the company should stop preventing staff of the organisation from carrying out their legitimate duty. The company, in a statement by the Acting Assistant General Manager, Public Affairs of Kaduna DISCO, Uche Oranye, said it remains un-

der the Power Holding Company of Nigeria(PHCN) and urged customers in Kaduna, Zamfara, Kebbi and Sokoto states to continue to pay their bills at the nearest business unit. The statement warned individuals constructing or carrying out businesses under its 11, 132 and 330 KV

lines to desist, pointing out that such action could lead to a loss of property or death. The company commended customers in Sokoto and Kebbi States for their patience, maturity and support during the repair work on the collapsed 330 KV tower in Maiyama local government.

Laboratory scientists urge FG to implement court ruling


HE Association of Medical Laboratory Scientists of Nigeria (AMLSN) has called on President Goodluck Jonathan to order the Federal Ministry of Health and all agencies to implement the judgement of the National Industrial Court (NICN). AMLSN had approached the NICN for judicial interpretation of the laws and statutory documents for efficient and effective medical laboratory services delivery in Nigeria. The court granted all the reliefs of the association, not-

From Vincent Ikuomola, Abuja

ing that medical laboratory scientists are distinct professionals and consequently entitled to be accorded due recognition. The court also granted that AMLSN is legal and entitled to operate and work under a separate department. AMLSN National President, Dr. Godswill Okara, lamented that the rulings have not been implemented, a development he said is affecting effective medical laboratory and healthcare services in the nation. He said: “We call on Presi-

dent Goodluck Jonathan whose government has an avowed commitment to the rule of law to order the Federal Ministry of Health and all agencies of government to enforce and fully implement the judgement.’’ Okara said all relevant agencies of government will be served with the court judgement to avoid denying knowing about the rulings. Speaking on the e-learning programme for members of the association, Okara said: “Since professional practice is a knowledge- based occupa-

tion, it is imperative that practitioners imbibe the culture of continuous education to be at the cutting edge of knowledge for efficient service to patients and society.” H also revealed that AMLSN with the support of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) developed online training opportunities for members. 3,421 medical laboratory scientists, he said, have so far registered with the e-learning website with 3,057 successful course completions.

NAFDAC, ICPC wage war on corruption in public service From: Nike Adebowale, Abuja.


HE National Agency for Foods and Drugs Administrative Control (NAFDAC) in partnership with the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission (ICPC) has inaugurated a five-man anticorruption committee to fight corruption in public service. The Anti Corruption and Transparency Unit (AC TU) is expected to assist the agency in the eradication of corrupt practices among staff. Speaking during the inauguration, NAFDAC’s Director General, Dr. Paul Orhii, said: “the unit is to assist the agency in the eradication of corrupt practices among staff, clients and other relevant stakeholders.” He assured the unit of continuous support. Orhii, who was represented by the Acting Director, Special Duties, NAFDAC, Mr. Abubakar Jimoh, said no efforts will be spared to rid the agency of corrupt practices. The chairman of ICPC, Ekpo Nta, also assured the committee of full cooperation. Nta, who was represented, by Mr. Gaji Barnabas, said: “We are more than ready to partner with you to make Nigeria Public Service the pride of our nation.”

Gowon tasks veterinary doctors on ethics From: Olugbenga Adanikin and Frank Ikpefan, Abuja


ORMER Head of State, General Yakubu Gowon (Rtd.), has challenged members of the Nigerian Veterinary Medical Association (NVMA) to maintain professionalism and ethical practices in the industry. He spoke at the 60th celebration of the association and 50th celebration of the Veterinary Council of Nigeria (VCN) in Abuja. Gowon, who signed decree 37 that established the association in 1969, expressed satisfaction that the veterinary profession has taken its place at a time the services were needed most in the nation. According to him, the number of Veterinary Colleges in Nigeria was an indication that the government envisages a lot of economic benefits from the profession. Gowon, who was conferred with the Honorary Fellowship of the College of Veterinary Surgeons of Nigeria, explained that with the breakthrough in science and technology, the profession will witness great improvement for the benefit of Nigerians and animals. He said: “It is my hope that the profession and its practitioners would build on what has been handed down to ensure that the role of veterinarians in the Nigerian economy is properly enhanced and recognised. “The fact that you have over 6000 veterinary doctors on your register is an indication that you are doing every possible thing to discourage quackery in your profession.”







T a carnival, the performers using numbers to predict human behavior or fate are known as fortune tellers. In the corridors of government and higher education, they are called economists. Laymen give them wide berth because their elucidations are so arcane and contorted that few of the uninitiated have the courage or dexterity to offer challenge. Over the decades, the pontifications of the economists have been elevated to the status of secular canon; governments slavishly tie themselves to their utterances without due assessment of the utility of what is proposed. Standard economics reduces the world of complex, ambivalent humans to sterile mathematic formula. While the constructs of brilliant minds, these equations have but a tenuous relationship to the way the world turns or to how the cavalcade known as the human race proceeds. The very smart can be as wrong as the very slow; however, we have been cowed into believing complex thought begets correctness. Sometimes complexity begets nothing other than a sophisticated mess. Believing a field of knowledge that explains a world which does not exist is as grave an error as trying to plow a cloud or winnow the wind. In searching for prosperity and a better life on this precious ellipsoid of limited resources known as earth, man cannot long afford dreams of flirting with mermaids or dining with unicorns. The construct of our political economy should be based on something more solid than highly intelligent fancy. It should be built on humanitarian vision and theories based on empirical fact and tempered by mental rigor. Instead, the policy boundaries of the global political economy have been delineated by an ideology based on theories largely discredited by practical experience. Yet, this ideology persists in pushing itself on us, unfairly holding center stage like an inebriated extravert at the reunion of an otherwise shy family. This column periodically turns to the theme of a national government's ministration of the political economy. We conduct this refrain because the quality and type of economic governance pursued will determine whether a nation develops or diminishes. We make this occasional revisit so that you will not accept the bromides of economic orthodoxy and thus shackle yourself to an artfully constructed edifice of lies. If an untrue tongue is about, we cannot prevent ourselves from hearing its falsehoods. However, we can insulate ourselves from adopting the lies as our truth. We have been told the current system is the only way to structure a society that it might prosper. We are told this so that our minds and heart might seize with foreboding at the slightest hint of significant reform, freezing us from seeking redress when redress is the only humane, noble reply to the injustice faced. Instead we are encouraged to soldier on, through mud and thicket, into the quicksand if we must; if there is fault in our economic position, we caused it. By the reasoning of classical economics, we are both victim and perpetrator of our weakening economic condition. This is a lie built upon falsehood cloaked in deception. The current economy order is no more insuperable than the feudalism and enforced servitude of past epochs. The political economy is not rendered to us by divine appointment. It is both mankind's tool and manacle. The operation of the political economy is how the benefits and costs of human activity are produced then distributed among the people. Order society one way, a certain constituency or class benefits and others suffer relatively to the input they make. Order society in a materially different manner, the identities of its beneficiaries and of the disgruntled also will change in a material way. In today's world, those who control the large financial houses earn more than they contribute to actual production of wealth. Meanwhile, the average worker gains much less than he contributes. The overall net result is that society prospers. When that net gain is critically examined, a voracious elite gulps most of the addition. The majority of the people are left as they were. To remain in place as time conducts its inexorable march is to digress. In other words, the political economy is designed that most people work hard to fall behind. Their lone reward is the pitiable assurance that their sweat and labor have served to enrich those who are already flush. Average people are allowed to vicariously enjoy the life of the wealthy from afar or in the cheap comfort of their humble parlors via television reality shows. The poor and modest are coaxed into aspiring to be rich and, more importantly, to be like the rich. Once you aspire to be as someone, you worship them. The rich become protected from the people they exploit by the exploited people themselves. This is a smug composition for those it profits for it is a smart, smooth sleight-of-hand played on the unwitting majority. To me, it is an unjust arrangement. Should one summon the curiosity to peer through this miasma, it shall not be clarity he finds. All he will discover is denser smoke and fog. Here, I register no pretense to be a neutral or objective observer for I never knowingly embark on the impossible. No person can be completely neutral or objective in adjudging how best to order the political economy. Assessing the political economy is not comparable to measuring the world of physical objects where operation of forces such as gravity, electricity and magnetism do no favors, evoke no

The fiscal imperative of economic development (Part One) Economics is the elite's attempt to masquerade greed as rational science.

•IMF boss, Christine Lagarde

biases and are inviolate. Such is the world of inanimate things. But the things of man are different for his world is populated by the uncertainties caused by the imperfection and frailty of his conduct. Not everything man says is a lie but nothing he says is the full truth. His ideas may work but never perfectly. What he builds may be beautiful but it is never complete. Thus, he continually strives. To be alive is to trek towards endless journey. This is our plight and greatest triumph. For every human victory, there is also a vanquishing. Within the combination of the two, the architecture of our political economy is devised. Unlike an electron which is nigh indistinguishable from its fellow, a man is distinct from his fellow. More to the point of this writing, some of us are rich. Many are poor. Most are neither. The story of our political economy is the story of why the distribution of wealth is as it is. Nothing is cast in stone save the stone itself. The workings of man and his society are mostly matters of conscious choice. Yet, man's conscience is often smothered by a thick batter of ignorant belief congealed with fortuitous chance. We tend to do what we think but do not always think cleverly about what we do. Now, we come to the proverbial fork in the fated road. We can persist in the current direction or go a different route. Justice recommends we seek a more equitable world where poverty retreats and prosperity is more broadly shared so that society's humble, modest and broken receive more than now they do for their efforts. Let the currency of wealth be recalibrated so that more worth is attached to a person's actual labor than to the machinations brought about by the masked yet real dictatorship of financial paper over our economic lives. If we seek such a new world, we must adhere to the new path. Hewing the better path requires the defeat of several economic misperceptions. First, we must understand the nature of modern money. What we have been taught about the function of money are outdated notions based on the idea that the value of a nation's currency is tied to the amount of that nation's holdings in gold, i.e., the gold standard. The gold standard has been obsolete over forty years. Yet, so enamored by their intricate theories, mainstream economists hold to them though the nature of money has radically changed. This is like teaching a person to drive a car by asking them to walk about with a steering wheel in their hand. No longer is a currency's value based on gold. Value now is determined by a nation's importance and function

•U.S Treasury Secretary, Jack Lew

in the global economy. Because currency is divorced from gold, the amount of currency a nation can produce is no longer limited by the country's gold holdings. No longer fettered by these gold standard strictures, a nation can issue an unlimited supply of its currency. To the extent a nation's monetary obligations are denominated in its currency, the nation cannot fall insolvent. This observation does not lend free rein to issuing currency mindlessly. Currency issuance that outpaces the increase in the actual productive capacity of the nation is almost as wrongheaded as causing economic contraction due to lack of money in circulation. In other words, to issue currency without connecting it to productive endeavor will debase the currency and hurtle the nation toward the tilted lance of inflation. We come now to another cardinal falsehood. The economic mainstream postulates that a national government must behave and balance its books like an individual or a private business. It must save money by seeking budgetary surplus. At the very least, it must balance the budget. This theorem is more hog than wash and it has caused undue harm in many nations for too many years. This position, which most people accept as an article of faith, is nothing less than a compound fallacy. First, every person and entity cannot have net savings at the same time. It is outside the realm of possibility and of legitimate accounting principles. For someone to run a surplus, another has to incur a deficit. This is an inescapable reality but the lords of economics will not allow you this fundamental truth because it points in a direction they loathe. A governmental surplus requires a proportionate private sector deficit. In other words, for government to enjoy a surplus requires the private sector to tender to government more than it receives from government. This deflates the private sector. Where the private sector has become febrile and inflation has mounted its stalking horse, such a tactic makes sense to keep the economy from hyperventilating. But where a society suffers from significant idle capacity and unemployment such a tactic amounts to national masochism in its purest form. It destines an already asthenic economy and its people to a worsened fate. For growth to exist, a surplus must exist. We are left to determine whether it is better that government or the private sector enjoys the surplus and the other runs the deficit. If the private sector experiences the deficit, the private sector must deflate of necessity. Unemployment will mount as economic activity shrinks. Firms will lose

and eventually go out of business. Bankruptcy courts will see brisk activity and things will indeed appear dismal for most people. The private sector cannot cure this deficit position by and for itself. The financial industry cannot come to the rescue. In most nations, private banks do issue new money when they make loans. However, a loan, by definition, is a debt or deficit for the loan recipient. Thus, the new money created is effectively cancelled out by the new debt the new money gestates. This means that privatesector creation of money is a neutral transaction that cannot serve to reduce a net private-sector deficit. Why then are the advocates of free market capitalism so enamored by government fiscal restraint if it produces such dire results? The blunt truth is that the mainstream financial elite benefits from the misery of others. The funds that come into the private sector in the above deficit scenario first go to the financial houses. There are net gainers within the sector even in a situation where the private sector as a whole suffers a deficit. Big Money will gain and always cover itself. Once it takes its unfair share, there will be even less to go around for the average and poor. The deflationary influence of a private-sector deficit means that the smaller amount of money will be worth more. In that this lesser amount is first gripped by the well moneyed, the elite profits handsomely from economic contraction. They can buy property and firms at distress prices and hire people at suppressed wages that steadily reduce the average person to the modern equivalent of a debt-ridden sharecropper. While the financial elite benefits, the rest of the private sector suffers a dual deficit -- the one between the private sector and government, then another imposed on them by the private sector's own financial elite. This reveals an obvious but overlooked fact: the sector that experiences surplus will grow. Given this reality, it makes greater sense for the private sector to enjoy the surplus since the private sector, by itself, cannot cure the deflationary effect of an internal deficit. Because of its currency issuance power, government will not crumple should it run a deficit. Government's ability to issue currency means it can always keep insolvency at bay provided its debts are written in its own currency. Deficits do not bankrupt government as they do private sector entities. Thus, the default position of government should not be a balanced or surplus budget as either would stagnate or collapse the non-financial side of the private sector in the long term. If government wants to promote private sector expansion, it must engage in long-term deficit spending. Only when inflation kicks should government tame that beast by pulling in more money sector than it gives to the private sector. As such, balanced or surplus budgets are not objectives in themselves; they are merely tactics and tools to be deployed toward a greater purpose - the prosperity of a broad spectrum of the people. Here, Money Power and its hired minstrels will scream "dangerous inflation" and decry government "printing of money." Ignoring historic fact, they claim government deficit spending is inutile and always inflationary. They are wrong. They are also hypocritical. If made aghast by government deficit spending, they should be paralyzed by fear at the track record of private-sector money creation. Private-sector money creation and the debt inherent to it caused the global 2008 recession and mostly all financial crises since the very advent of money. If government deficit spending is inept, then privatebank money creation is both hircine and minatory. By creating an interest-bearing debt obligation, private-bank money creation can be riskier than government money creation. Because it carries an interest bearing debt requiring a payoff larger than the principal lent, money created by a private bank is worth incrementally less than the same nominal amount of government-issued money because that publicly- issued money is not attached to an interestbearing debt. In simpler terms, government deficit money is intrinsically no more inflationary than private bank money. If government deficit funds are used to generate productive activities at par with the value of the deficit incurred, then inflation will be held in check. If government spending is on frivolous activity or enterprises, then inflation will loom. Yet, this is no different than if money created by private banks is profligately deployed as the recent 2008 financial bubble and bust can attest. At bottom, the dispositive element is not the existence of deficit spending. Government deficit spending is necessary to long-term private sector expansion. What determines whether a government deficit will be beneficial is the productive quality of the endeavor for which the deficit funds are used. Government deficit spending shall be consonant with economic growth and development as long as the funds are prudently deployed. This article has been a bit thick on economic concepts and principle. Hopefully it has been digestible by those intrepid enough to wade through it. This theoretic underpinning is important because it forms the basis for the second part of this exercise. In that piece, we shall explore the vast differences between the fiscal activism I propose and the fiscal conservatism of mainstream economics. One way leads to a more equitable distribution of economic benefits that will improve the lives of the stooped, the struggling and the poor. The other leads to greater disparity where society creates more wealth for too few and more penury for too many. I know the road I prefer. Until next week‌ 08060340825 (sms only)

Ropo Sekoni


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Femi Orebe Page 16


Bad news from Ghana I

T would appear the Ghanaian president, John Mahama, took anti-corruption war to a ridiculous level when he hammered the country's deputy minister of communications, Victoria Hammah, not for committing any crime, but for merely contemplating one. I am sure our own President Goodluck Jonathan and many other African leaders must be wondering what is going on in Ghana because that is something novel in this part of the world. A public official being dismissed for allegedly making a statement suggesting she could be corrupt? And what is the source of the information? A taped conversation that the minister had with someone which quoted her as saying she would not quit politics until she had made $1million, that leaked on November 7, and the next day, the minister got the boot. Just like that! Even baby lawyers know that intention is not a crime. Shouldn't President Mahama have waited for his minister to commit the crime before moving against her? The most disgusting thing is that some people have been commending him for this inhuman action. This runs against the grain of what obtains in this part of the world; which is that even when it is crystal clear that crimes have been committed and the public till tampered with, we still need to set up committees to look into the issue. In Nigeria, for instance, our president is so fastidious he would not want someone punished for sins they haven't committed. Look at the recent case of the aviation minister, Ms Stella Oduah, the matter is still being looked into by several committees. The House of Representatives had looked into it and said the poor woman had a case to answer. But thank God for our President who understands that such a beautiful woman doesn't come easy; so he is not one to be goaded to act by such conclusion from a House that seems to have a phobia for beautiful women. We shouldn't forget this same House passed a similar 'vote of no confidence' on Ms Arunma Oteh, the Securities and Exchange Commission boss, and asked President Jonathan to starve her of oxygen (money). If the President had answered their prayer, the woman, a paragon of beauty that God created her, would have been 'recreated'in the image of the House of Representatives. We should wonder what kind of unsustainable template the Ghanaian president is trying to set for Africa? How can you render a minister jobless for merely dreaming of setting a goal for herself while in public service? Don't ministers have performance bonds or targets? If the government demands that of them, why would a minister not set his or her personal target of how fat his or her bank account should be by the time he or she is quitting the public service? What is the big deal in that? Obviously President Mahama's action has given him away as a nincompoop in matters of corruption. When the issue is corruption, we are champions; and this is acknowledged worldwide. How many awards has Ghana won on corruption? If thus we have such comparative advan-

President Mahama's hammer on Minister Hammah for merely contemplating corruption is bad judgement.


tage over Ghana in the matter, it follows that Ghana must turn to us for solutions to corruption-related matters. As far as Ghana is concerned, the cankerworm fled their shores when Jerry Rawlings killed three former heads of state, among others, as sacrificial lambs. Corruption, it seemed, then relocated its castle to Nigeria. Imagine also the ridiculous amount for which a honourable minister was fired! A mere $1million that she had not even made! Imagine, this is one other thing that annoyed me in this matter. If the minister had wanted to eat a toad, shouldn't she have gone for a fat and juicy one? That a minister was contemplating quitting government after hitting the $1million mark shows that Ghana's public officials don't have taste. What would a Nigerian public official do with such peanuts that could only buy one bullet-proof car? That apart, didn't the honourable minister grease some palms to get the job? President Mahama should have asked his Nigerian counterpart who would have lectured him that the poor woman needed to recoup money she spent greasing those palms before being approved minister. In Nigeria, such things have become a part and parcel of us. A lawmaker once told us why people must steal after winning elections. He said they must recoup their investments. Yes, here politics is investment, and, like all investments, the investors must make profit. We might not have clapped for him then, but we hailed him for saying the truth. Was Minister Hammah not entitled to such return on investment? Honestly, it is the Ghanaians that I blame for giving their president this kind of sweeping powers. Are there no traditional rulers from the minister's place who can protest on her behalf? Has she not got some ardent youth supporters? Where are they? By now,

“Ghanaian ministers who might want to resign in protest and solidarity with their sacked colleague should hop into the next plane to Nigeria. They have my assurance: none of them will in no wise be cast out. But they must be prepared to up the ante. In Nigeria, one million dollars will only get them a bullet-proof car or spent on official furniture!”

they should have protested that the minister's sack was the handiwork of her political detractors who are unhappy with the good works she is doing? Or, don't they have political detractors in Ghana? And the senior advocates? Where are they? Should they not educate their 'unlearned' president that you don't punish people for merely contemplating to empty government treasury into private pockets? What I am saying is that the Ghanaian president should have caused his government to set up a committee to find out whether the voice in the alleged tape was that of the minister. Even as that is busy doing its work, he should pretend to be angry with the minister by setting up his own committee tagged presidential fact-finding task-force on the matter. At the end of the day, committee reports will jam committee reports such that he will have no option than to set up another committee to harmonise the reports of all the committees. Then, another committee of eminent bureaucrats would be set up to prepare what we know as Government White Paper (that is if the matter is so serious as to ever get to that stage). Before the White Paper is ready, the people would have become weary and put the matter behind them, until another scandal breaks. That is what Fela called 'government magic'. Why then would President Mahama want to demystify government the way he has done? The Ghanaian President should not infest us with his kind of anti-corruption war. We don't fight corruption that way. I wonder what African presidents review at their so-called peer review sessions, when Ghana's president would take decisions on a matter that he is least competent to act on when he simply should have referred the matter to his Nigerian counterpart. He is lucky Chief Olusegun Obasanjo is no longer our president; otherwise, he would have taken offence at such insult. Nigeria is not only big, we are also rich. Our ruling party, the Peoples Democratic Party is the 'largest in Africa'; so, what the hell is wrong with President Mahama? Not to forget that the woman in question reportedly contributed significantly to President Mahama's electoral success. How can such a neighbour in need become a bloody nuisance for merely dreaming to make $1million off the government? Obviously, President Mahama has not heard of such things as Neighbour to Neighbour. We need to tell him, in fact, educate him on how to handle such sensitive matters. Obviously too, the Ghanaian leader has not heard of 'soft landing'. These Ghanaians actually need to be tutored about a lot of things. Apparently what they do not know is by far more than what they know, or think that they know. If a president can single-handedly dismiss a minister, then, who says our own president is about the most powerful in the world? Haven't we a lot to teach the Ghanaians about zero tolerance for corruption? Ghanaian ministers who might want to resign in protest and solidarity with their sacked colleague should hop into the next plane to Nigeria. They have my assurance: none of them will in no wise be cast out. But they must be prepared to up the ante. In Nigeria, one million dollars will only get them a bullet-proof car or spent on official furniture!

A nation and its convoy of deaths By Sola Ogunmosunle


T has really become pitiable how our dear nation has been turned into a theatre of tragedies. It is more worrisome that the people whose statutory duties should include an aversion for tragedies have become the harbingers of calamities and death. The rate at which the convoys of public office holders and other such ‘powerful’ men get involved in car accidents, in recent times, has become a cause of worry. Innocent lives have been wasted while other road users have been endangered by the recklessness of many of our governors. It is very unfortunate and unbelievable that one of the finest and very courageous university dons in Nigeria, Professor Festus Iyayi, a former president of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) , could be killed in a car crash involving the convoy of Kogi State’s governor, Captain (retd.) Idris Wada. It is of great concern that in less than a year, this is the second time Governor Wada’s convoy will be involved in ghastly crashes. In December 2012, while he was lucky to escape the crash along the Lokoja – Ajaokuta road with a fracture, his Aidede-Camp, an Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP), was not. He died on the spot. It is not as if accidents do not happen in Nigeria. As a matter of fact, Nigeria is ranked 191 out of 192 countries in the world with unsafe roads with 162 deaths per 100,000 from road traffic accidents. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO) estimates, over 1.3 million people are killed annually in road accidents while over 50 million people sustain different degrees of injuries from such crashes. After malaria, car accident is the number two killer in Nigeria. The vexatious issue on the killing of Professor Iyayi by Governor Wada’s convoy is the grotesque display of might by motorcades of top government officials that claim scores of lives. A recent research indicates that accidents involving convoys of public office holders and other VIPs had claimed over 26 lives in the past three years. The auto crashes, which occurred in different parts of the country, also maimed and injured many and destroyed property and vehicles. Convoy drivers drive recklessly at neck-breaking speed without caution or, perhaps, with encouragement from their principals. This culture is a direct legacy of the oppressive long-spell military regime that terrorised Nigerians for over two decades. The use of convoys by the political elite, particularly government officials, is not new in Nigeria though it became rampant during the military era. However, it has grown out of proportion under the current democratic dispensation. It is rather sad that the political elites in Nigeria have imbibed this oppressive tendency that does not have any regards for the citizenry. It is laughable that the only way some of our leaders could show that they have ‘arrived’ is to intimidate fellow citizens, ironically those who voted them into power, with the ridiculous blare of siren. How else would you differentiate the common man from the ‘big man’, and this is the reason they would buy just two cars for almost half a billion naira in a country where just ten thousand naira could restore the hope of many. That is the reason many of them arrogantly loot the public treasury to continue to intimidate and oppress the citizenry. They are completely detached from the people they govern, the same people they are to be role models to. This is not right. Ogunmosunle is of the Features Unit, Ministry of Information and Strategy, Alausa, Ikeja.




Matters confusing Just about every aspect of the country’s way of life engenders confusion


T should not be hard to write about matters capable of confusing normal and intelligent people in our country. Just about every aspect of the country’s way of life engenders confusion: infrastructure, traffic management, political governance, political party culture, etc. But today’s column is not about any of these ubiquitous problems. It is about a few things said or halfsaid about serious issues by those who should know better. The first confusing issue is about the ‘explanation’ given recently about how Prof. Festus Iyayi died two days ago. The Chief Medical Director of a Specialist Hospital to which Prof. Iyayi was taken after an accident nearLokoja said: “The late ex-president of ASUU had a penetrating injury to his heart, which might have killed him instantly.” The same expert said later that “the same penetrating injury may not have reached his heart,” adding that “beside his seat was a pair of Novas, an anti-hypertensive drug which suggests that he might have been hypertensive.” What is this medical talk designed to achieve, a science-driven identification of etiology of death? Did Dr. Amodu’s observations derive from the result of post mortem examination? Or, is he a forensic pathologist who can predict from just looking at the body of Iyayi to determine the cause of his death? What has having hypertension to do with dying at the scene of an accident? I am not a medical scientist but I happen to know as a former member of the Postgraduate School Board at Ife about the four sub-specialties under pathology: morbid anatomy, chemical pathology, microbiology, andhaematology. If Dr. Amodu is not a mor-

bid anatomist, should he not have waited for the findings of an expert in this field before giving conflicting or confusing information to the public about a tragic death of this proportion? All the postulations made by Dr. Amodu should have been delayed to grow out of a thorough post mortem examination. Any attempt to speculate about whether Iyayi died from hypertension or some penetration to his heart should have waited for a post mortem. The statement by the hospital’s sole administrator: “I believe that what will be will be. Iyayi was just destined to die this way because nobody was unconscious in the vehicle” not only contradicted what Dr. Amodu, a chemical pathologist, said but also blurred, avoidably, the line between scientific thinking and fatalistic resignation. What is expected from members of a medical scientific community is to inform the public about what a thorough post mortem on Prof. Iyayi indicates, not speculations or sermons from medical scientists. After all, the country is not short of morbid anatomists to help conduct a post mortem. I can still remember such names as Professors Odesanmi, Obafunwa, Akang, Anjorin, and Elesa, to name a few. As far as the regular public is concerned, Prof. Iyayi must have died because of the accident. To bring in the issue of his being seen carrying with him anti-hypertensive medications is to give the impression that the authorities in Kogi want to diminish the role of the accident in Iyayi’s premature and sudden death. A similar distraction is manifested in the testimony attributed to Dr. Francis Idoko, a medical attache to the Kogi State Governor’s convoy. Dr. Idoko is said to have reported that the convoy’s rear vehicle rammed into the bus which was trying to avoid a pothole, adding that the convoy ‘brushed’ the

side on which Iyayi was sitting. The question that comes to the average newspaper reader is where exactly was Dr. Idoko when the accident happened? Was he in the last car in the convoy and at what point in time did he determine that the vehicle conveying Iyayi was trying to avoid a pothole? Is Dr. Idoko able to tell the public if the last vehicle in the convoy that rammed into Iyayi’s vehicle was moving at a speed reasonable for a road with potholes? What is needed at this point of national mourning of a man who had made so much sacrifice for the good of this country is not to rush to any conclusion and give the impression that people in high authorities in Kogi are interested in watering down the impact of the accident that killed Iyayi. Another confusing matter is a recent statement by Senate Deputy President, Ike Ekweremadu:”There is no way the national dialogue would affect or necessitate the suspension of the amendment process….We cannot wait for the national dialogue because we do not know when it will start or when it will end.” It is not clear what the National Assembly plans to achieve by rushing to conclude an exercise that has been on for almost three years, on account of the inability of lawmakers to find out from the president when the national conference will start or end. Is it possible that the national assembly may know what the rest of the country does not know in respect of the national conference announced by President Jonathan? Many politicians have said that the President is not in a position to be serious enough to hold a meaningful national conference while many others have decided to give the president a chance and count their losses when he fails to deliver on his promise. For the body that has been trying for years to amend the constitution that a national con-

ference is billed to remake or replace to say that it cannot afford to wait for citizens to indicate their preferences on the constitution they want may imply that the lawmakers and the president are not exactly on the same page on the importance of the constitution and on the role of citizens in the making of a constitution that affects them. If, despite the millions of naira spent so far on efforts to amend the 1999 Constitution, the president came to the conclusion that a national conference was direly needed to have an inclusive approach to amending the constitution, then somebody needs to tell the nation exactly why we should continue to spend money on ongoing or what seems to be interminable amendment of the constitution and also embark at the same time on spending millions on a national conference towards creation of a people’s constitution. It is too soon to give the impression that the national conference is part of the business as usual governance style that has bedeviled the country over the years. Common sense would indicate that two parallel exercises to amend or remake the 1999 Constitution should not be allowed. If the President believes that the ongoing amendments are adequate to keep the country sustainably united, he should quickly disband the presidential Advisory Committee on National Conference. If he seriously believes that a national dialogue is needed to achieve amendments that citizens can own, he should find ways to persuade the national assembly to give him a chance to do the national conference. What is not clear in the new rivalry between Ekweremadu’s position and that of President Jonathan with respect to the way to keep and grow Nigeria as a Union of Affection among the federating units is where both the president and the federal lawmakers locate the country’s sovereignty.




Lessons from Ghana Minister sacked for dreaming of making $1m off govt must have wished she served in Nigeria

HE sacked Ghanaian deputy Minister of Communications, Victoria Hammah, must be wishing that she was a minister in Nigeria, working for President Goodluck Jonathan. If she had been, she would still be sitting comfortably on her desk. In our country, it is highly inconceivable that a minister in the present government could be sacked, for a mere taped conversation, that, she would not leave politics until she has made a million dollars. As if mocking the Stella Oduah’s corruption scandal, the sacked deputy minister, like Ms Oduah, also worked to elect John Mahama as president, and as such was considered a confidant of the president. Yet, in the interest of Ghana, and to send a clear message that his presidency would not condone corrupt tendencies, President Mahama, despite affiliations, sacked the deputy minister, for her mere inclination to corruption. Conversely in Nigeria, President Jonathan, despite overwhelming indictment of his Minister of Aviation, Ms Oduah, over the purchase of unbudgeted two bullet-proof cars for a staggering N255 million, still considers the minister indispensible to his government, and has retained her services, in spite of a national outcry for her removal. Instructively, therefore, while in Ghana a minister is sacked for contemplating corruption, in Nigeria, another is retained despite a clear indictment over corruption practices. This is a clear message that while Ghana takes the fight against corruption seriously, in Nigeria, under President Jonathan, corruption is allowed to fester. And the circumstances of the sacked minister and Oduah are so intriguingly similar. Like Hammah of Ghana, Oduah worked hard to elect her country’s president. Indeed, it is common knowledge that Oduah’s campaign machinery, known as ‘Neighbour to Neighbour’ was very helpful towards the election of President Jonathan



S widely reported in various newspapers, the Edo State government has recently approved the death penalty for kidnapping. Fine, I am not opposed to the death penalty for kidnapping; indeed I support it. My support for the death penalty for kidnapping notwithstanding, I have a moral question I wish to pose to the conscience of Nigeria: Why the death penalty for kidnapping and not also for corruption? Which of kidnapping or corruption poses the greater threat to the existential continuity of Nigeria? I am firmly convinced it is corruption. As heinous as kid-

in 2011; and she consequently became one of the closest persons to the president. For that reason, many had even before the current scandal, considered her an untouchable. Thus, when the current scandal broke, many had predicted that she was likely going to get a mere slap on the wrist, current events seem to be confirming those fears. As we have noted on this page many times, the Jonathan presidency has shown serious accommodation to corruption, and this could spell great tragedy for our country. Early last year, following a nationwide protest over increase in the prices of petroleum products, Nigerians were regaled with unprecedented cases of fleecing of the nation’s treasury under the guise of petroleum subsidy claims. As the investigation by the National Assembly subsequently revealed, the subsidy claims were a mere criminal connivance between some government officials and private companies to apply and get paid humongous amounts as subsidy refunds, when in reality most of them never imported any product. As we write, nobody has been punished for stealing the billions of naira from our national treasury, in the name of the phantom oil subsidy. Again, as in the aviation sector, the Minister of Petroleum, Diezani Alison-Madueke, is considered another untouchable in the Jonathan presidency. To confirm that, the president has TRUTH IN DEFENCE OF FREEDOM

•Editor Festus Eriye •Deputy Editor Olayinka Oyegbile •Associate Editors Taiwo Ogundipe Sam Egburonu

•Managing Director/ Editor-in-Chief Victor Ifijeh •Chairman, Editorial Board Sam Omatseye •General Editor Adekunle Ade-Adeleye

successfully ignored Nigerians, despite the demand that the supervising minister under whose watch the petroleum subsidy scam happened should be sacked. In fact, as events subsequently showed, most of those indicted for the subsidy scam are the children and associates of the major big-wigs in the ruling party, and the half-hearted criminal trials have been turned to a circus. Similar tales of corruption have been established in the pension management, which operates under the presidency. As between the National Assembly and a presidential task force on pension, led by one Alhaji Abdulrasheed Maina, what has been established is that billions of naira has been stolen, but there is dispute as to the guilty party. There again, there is no concrete effort, by relevant authorities, to recover our stolen wealth, under the nose of the presidency. As in other cases, the nation is again taken for a ride, as the chief culprit was at a time alleged to be shielded by the presidency with police protection, while the senate was issuing orders that the Inspector-General of police should arrest and bring him to the senate chambers. At the end of the hullaballoo, the task force chairman was neither apprehended nor the allegedly stolen money recovered. In our view, President Jonathan must learn necessary lessons from the way his Ghanaian counterpart handled the fate of the sacked deputy minister, Hammah. To do otherwise is to clearly make Ghana, the preferred destination for direct foreign investment in the region. Indeed, few Nigerians will still remember that President Jonathan anchored his presidency on transparency and transformation. For many, it is like his administration is more at home with institutionalising corruption than fighting it. To prove cynics wrong, President Jonathan should borrow a leaf from his colleague in Ghana.


Nigeria: The quintessence of double standard napping is, it usually affects one, two or a few individuals. In contradistinction to kidnapping, corruption, in the form of looting of public treasury, embezzlement of funds, constitutes what I may term “arsenal of national destruction”. Hundreds of thousands and indeed millions of Nigeria’s denizens are sent to their untimely graves as a result of unconscionable and insensate looting of public treasury without

the gravity of punishment commensurate with such a crime. The lawyers who defend such unpatriotic treasury looters always laugh their way to the banks after having collected their share of the loot by way of the socalled professional legal fees, which are unregulated. The lawyers are always up in arms whenever the issue of the death penalty is raised for corruption because they are

beneficiaries of the proceeds of treasury looting through their thieving clients. Why have the lawyers not risen in opposition to the death penalty for kidnapping? The axiomatic reason for their silence is this: kidnapping is usually carried out by the less-privileged against the rich elites whilst corruption is carried out by the rich but corrupt elites (the clients of lawyers) against the poor.

Apart from willful murder for which even the Lord God Almighty approves the death penalty, if we must approve the death penalty for any other crimes, they should not just be for crimes committed by the poor and down-trodden of the society against the corrupt and thieving elites, it should also reciprocally be for crimes usually committed by rich, corrupt and thieving elites against the poor.

If the death penalty were not operational in China to deal with corruption (as is the case in Nigeria), would she have become the second biggest economy in the world today? Or would China have been in the position to lend Nigeria a billion dollars recently? In conclusion, I am an avowed believer in the fact that unless corruption is tackled with the severest retributive judgment it deserves, the existential continuity of Nigeria beyond the foreseeable future will remain in the realm of probabilistic conjecture. •Curtis Ugbebor

Please, construct the Obajana-Kabba road early


HE federal government recently awarded a contract for the construction of Obajana- OshokoshoKabba roads in Kogi State. The roads, which have been in deplorable condition for the past twentyfive years, have

made it difficult for travellers going to Kabba from either Lokoja or Abuja to access the road to Ilorin and Lagos, thus one needs to travel through Okene, making the journey of a half hour to last for two hours. The tireless efforts of Senator Smart Adeyemi,

who represent the area in the national assembly, must be commended for ensuring that the construction of the roads becomes a reality. The importance of these roads to the socioeconomy of not only Kogi State but the whole country can’t be over-

emphasised, taking into consideration the Obajana Cement Factory situated in the area. We call on the federal government to ensure the early construction of the roads to bring relief to the entire people of not only Kogi State, but commuters who ply the roads from Abuja to the southern

part of this country. Also with commitment of President Jonathan’s administration in reviving the steel industry at Ajaoukuta Steel Industry, the movement of the steel product to areas like Lagos, Enugu and other parts of the country would bring much economic activities to the de-

velopment of the entire country. We are of the view that the early commencement of the construction of the road should be a source of pride to the people in Kogi State, and ameliorating the Bala Nayashi Lokoja





Erelu Bisi Fayemi: Senior Advocate of the women fold Mrs Fayemi has done a lot to change the life of women and children in Ekiti State


N my article: BUY ONE, GET ONE FREE, of 19 June 2011, I wrote: ‘I make bold to say that with respect to passion for Ekiti’s socio-economic development, the only difference between Dr Kayode Fayemi and his wife, the Ekiti First Lady, Erelu Bisi Fayemi, is that the latter was not elected by the popular votes of the good people of Ekiti.’ Her most recent initiative resulted in the passing into law by the Ekiti State House of Assembly of the Equal Opportunities Bill to protect the economic and social rights of the physically-challenged, as well as those with learning disabilities in the state concerning which, V.A Adewusi, a Diasporan member of Ekiti Panupo not only gave her kudos, but added that the bill cold also technically be regarded as a bill sponsored by the executive branch, because, in his words, omi eko, eko ni (they ‘re both the same) giving the example of when in 1996, U.S President, William Jefferson Clinton, had Hillary Rodham Clinton lead his attempted Healthcare Reform. Today, I yield the column to AdoEkiti-based Akeem Bello, who has observed Erelu’s multi-faceted peregrinations on behalf of the needy in Ekiti for quite some time. Happy reading. Wife: “Help me ooo! Help me ooo!!” Husband: “I will kill you today, you this useless woman.” Wife: “Please Baba Kehinde, don’t kill me.” Husband: “I will kill you, ‘sebi’ you said you will not hear.” Wife: “My eyes! My head!!”

That was the violent interaction between Baba and Mama Kehinde in the early 80s in Bauchi. Mr and Mrs Afolabi Akinwumi, (aka) Baba and Mama Kehinde were members of a happy family. I was about twelve years old then. Our families came in contact in 1982 when we both rented apartments in the same compound along the Kofar Gombe, Unguwar Dawaki area of the town. Theirs was a family of six. Kehinde was the first child and there were Taiye, Tunrayo, followed by Tunde and Sunkanmi who was the last child. Kehinde and I were in the same class. Suddenly, the happiness in this family turned sour as a result of regular beatings of the wife by Mr Akinwumi. Initially, neighbours intervened to stop these incessant beatings but, after some time, it became so constant that no one cared again. That was the story till my own family moved to somewhere on Wunti Road in 1983 though Kehinde and I remained in the same school. Kehinde would tell me a year later that his father had sent his mother packing for no obvious reasons, forcing her to leave the young children behind In 1985, my family left Bauchi for Ado-Ekiti in Ekiti State and I did not go back to Bauchi until in 2008 when, Sani, a mutual friend of Kehinde and I was my host. And, quite naturally, I asked Sani about our friend and his siblings. His response was heartbreaking. Sani told me Kehinde was shot dead by the police while robbing a bank; Tunrayo, his sister, he said, died of some mysterious ailment, Tunde became a drug

addict and he knew practically nothing of their youngest sibling. Baba and Mama Kehinde’s whereabouts, too, were unknown. This is the sad story of a promising Akinwumi family and the extent to which domestic violence could destroy a family and ruin the lives of innocent children. Today, I am a graduate teacher; my younger brother, who was very close to the late Tunrayo, is a Correction Officer in the USA state of Texas. My other siblings are graduates from reputable universities. We were all friends to the Akinwumi’s except my youngest brother who was not part of our Bauchi history. The most painful thing, for me personally, is remembering that Kehinde was such a brilliant student. Without a doubt, had there been an Erelu Fayemi type there in Bauchi at that point in time, not only would the Akinwumi family be intact today, the children would have fulfilled their God -ordained destinies. Erelu Bisi Fayemi, like Betty Ford, 1918- 2011, wife of the 38th President of the United States of America, Gerald R. Ford, had a passion for womens’ rights and that became her calling. She never hid her feelings about this even if it was against the spirit of the Republican Party, her party. Erelu Bisi Fayemi is not by any means a sterile women’s rights advocate. She pursues her exertions to the very end, seeing them become law. For instance, the bill she inspired on prohibition of violence against women was passed into law by the Ekiti State House of Assembly on 25 November, 2011 just as the one on Equal Opportunities, that is, against discrimination of any kind,

was passed this November. Hers too, is not a one -sided advocacy. Therefore, as an educated woman versed in our culture, Erelu, where ever she goes, advises women to respect their husbands. She tells them that the laws are made to protect them, but that they too, must not abuse the laws. Erelu Bisi Fayemi has given philanthropy a new perspective in Ekiti State. At the launch of her Ekiti Development Foundation, all the Dangotes, the Elemelu’s, well known names in philanthropy in the country, were present to lend their support to a worthy cause. Since then, there had been no looking back for her. She has in place, a provision of N200,000 for any family that gives birth to twins or other multiple births just as she recently facilitated the construction of Adunni Olayinka Wellness and Cancer Diagnostic Centre at the Ekiti State University Teaching Hospital, Ado-Ekiti, to facilitate early detection of breast cancer. There is also her Feeding Project for the elderly and the hungry who are given both cooked meals or raw ration. A few weeks ago, she visited all the markets in the state to assist market women in their various trades. The programme was called ‘Erelu be oja woErelu Visiting the Markets -’ during which women traders were given buses and millions of naira to upgrade their trade;a completely unprecedented happening in the history of the state. Erelu’s efforts are not borne out of gender sentiment or political exhibitionism. Rather, they are deeply held passions borne out of the words of God. For instance, in the Quran chapter 65 V 6, Allah says;

“Lodge them where you dwell, according to your means, and do not treat them in such a harmful way that they be obliged to leave. And if they are pregnant, then spend on them till they deliver. Then if they suck to the children for you, give them their due payment, and let each of you accept the advice of the other in a just way.....” This is similar in the Bible to Ephesians 5 vs 28 which says: “So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loveth his wife loveth himself” Some ‘Ifa’ verses in Yoruba cosmogony also attest to this. These verses are why Erelu will insist on respect for women dignity by their husbands. Women are the navel of any home. Erelu, just like Hillary Rodham Clinton, is a formidable pillar behind her husband. She is giving Dr. Kayode Fayemi the necessary support he needs to continue to move Ekiti forward. Her school of politics is with a difference; carrying out her activities, as she does, with civility and an unrivalled panache. Mrs Fayemi has done a lot to change the life of women and children in Ekiti that all we can do is commend, and thank her, for the many ways in which she has, and continues to touch lives, especially of our women, children, the hungry, the sick and the needy, in general. I therefore urge the entire Ekiti citizenry to support her husband, our dear governor, Dr John Kayode Fayemi, who has, in three years, taken Ekiti to socio-economic heights never seen in the entire history of the state. Akeem Bello writes from Ado Ekiti.

As good as gone...or? Professor Iyayi died in the hands of Nigeria


HAVE always believed that what makes an individual poor is not so much his/her lack of material resources as his/her lack of the requisite imagination to deal with that lack of resources in an integrative way. At any point in time, poverty cannot lead to the destruction of any man or woman. What destroys is this frightening vacuity of mind. When a man reaches that stage of flailing his arms around the air wildly hitting out at anyone rationally or irrationally, you know he is as good as gone. I know this because I see it a lot in my dog. Whenever I see him uselessly flailing his paws and looking wistfully at passing birds flying high up, I know he has lost it, at least for that day. For, I never can tell whether he is thinking of dinner or of flying. By the same token, a country is not poor because it lacks enough resources to cater for its citizens or even develop itself. A country is not poor because it cannot pass muster in international or cross-border competitions. No matter how rich or ennobled at starting point, a country is soon rendered poor and stricken when it has leaders who are not leading it or enriching it. When the major preoccupations of a country's leaders are the deadly combination of self-gratification and self-justification, then you have a problem. Indeed, that country is poor because of the vacuity of mind of its leading

statesmen. This vacuity will sooner or later destroy the country and its citizens. Any interested researcher or even disinterested observer can come quickly to the conclusion that Nigeria as a country is already destroyed, thanks to, yep, its vacuous leaders. Now, that leadership has started to destroy its own citizens. There is no sane individual who plies Nigerian roads that is not shoved aside DAILY by one governmental convoy (ferrying frolickers!) or police convoy or bank convoy! This column, along with many others, has repeatedly stressed that no sane society should allow any group of people tear furiously through traffic the way Nigerian governmental functionaries, police and bank vans do. Now, look what this country has gone and done to Prof. Festus Iyayi, one of the most distinguished and respected academics in this country through the convoy of Gov. Wada of Kogi State. When I heard the news that the Kogi governor's convoy had killed the professor, I was sad for many reasons. First, that death represented for me a sealing of the fate of Nigeria. Prof. Iyayi was one of those who believed in the Nigeria project because his faith in the ability of ASUU to make Nigerians and its leaders understand the reason for applying reason in national affairs was unshaken. I never met him yet I met his commitment to being unwavering in his

belief. He believed where many of us had lost faith. If he did not, he would not, at his age, have committed himself to travelling the length and breadth of this country to attend meetings. The tendency is there to believe that ASUU fights battles for its own ends and thus Iyayi died in an ASUU struggle. That view was expressed by someone who reacted to the online version of the news but it was heartening to note that practically every other respondent dressed the fellow down for failing to see beyond his nose. Clearly, anyone can see that when ASUU goes on strike to press for something, the nation is often the better for it as universities are raised to higher platforms of performance, and the staff and students are the ultimate beneficiaries. Iyayi did not die in an ASUU struggle; Professor Iyayi died in the hands of Nigeria. That is my second reason for being sad. Nigerian leaders created and are maintaining the present social disorder for personal aggrandisements. Listen as I tell you. Now, every single government official uses not just sirens but convoys the executive, legislative, army, state functionaries; police, local government, palm-wine tapper functionaries... And where are they all tearing through the traffic to get to? Just name them: in Nigeria, we use convoys to convey oga-on-top to the offices or hospitals or girlfriends' apartments, the wives to the markets, the girlfriends to their friends' apartments, etc. Now, traffic in any Nigerian city is chaos on the throne as people need to become wild behind the wheels in order to get home. There is no law, there is no order. Everyone flails uselessly and wildly at the others'

throats, along with the commensurate verbal insults and deprecating abuses, just to get that advantageous edge to get home first as if trying to breast a tape. Sadder still is that the drivers of these vehicles are all drawn from the society. They do not come from Mars. They are therefore, our neighbours, friends, husbands, relatives, sons; we who walk or drive along these roads. When governmental vehicles drive in a tearing hurry against every sense of traffic reason and safety, they therefore have to shove us their own neighbours, friends, wives, relatives, sons, daughters out of the way, sometimes damaging their neighbour's, friend's, wife's, relative's, mother's or father's vehicle or legs in the process. Yes, the very many people who have died in these unruly road behaviours simply increased by one last week. They have been relatives of these drivers and commuters. Imagine a driver getting home and being told that the accident he caused had claimed his nearest and dearest. Just imagine that deep, deep irony. That is what literature, and the courts, feed on. Wait, there's more to be sad about. We all know what power is like: it assiduously takes over an individual. S/He finds that s/he can do anything and get away with it until s/he begins to act like a monkey. Power in the hands of an educated man or woman is safer because the voice of his/her education would tell him/her again and again that with great privilege comes great responsibility. Not so the not so educated. Power in such hands is at best a very risky business and at worst a destructive gale. To them, 'Just drive' means 'you own the entire road'; 'let

no one come near the vehicle' means 'gun down all ants, cockroaches and rats pretending to be people that cross this vehicle'; and 'escort this money' means 'suspect and kill everyone you meet along the road whether or not they come near the vehicle'. Thus it was that once, while travelling along a Nigerian highway, the vehicle I was in was unfortunate enough to accost the convoy of then Vicepresident Atiku. Only the savvy driving of my companion saved us that day as the convoy took the entire twolane road and it had everyone else jumping into the bush over culverts. The alternative was to wait and be hit head-on by these semi-illiterate relatives of ours holding in their hands the illusion of power and understanding very little or nothing of it. For goodness' sakes, no life in this country is less or more important than any other. It cannot be said indeed that any government functionary becomes indispensable once he/she gets there and has to be protected at all costs. That's a capital NO for that, unless of course you want to count their parasitic existences. So, why should they be so interested in protecting themselves at the expense of the people they are supposed to watch over? Worse yet, and this is the last, every government official caught out has always found ways of displaying inhumaneness by blaming the victims. This is exactly what Kogi State press officials did by peddling falsehood over the Iyayi matter. That is just classless. Such utterances show more than anything else that the country is as good as gone. Only serious social engineering can bring us back from the brink now.




(39) Meritocracy: noun, 1. an elite group of people whose progress is based on ability and talent rather than on birth, class privilege or wealth. 2. the persons constituting such a group. 3. a social system formed on such a basis.


N many occasions in this column, I have reported how shocked and bewildered I was the very first time I came across the 98.2% failure rate in the NECO November-December 2009 examinations. Let me now report that soon after I had absorbed the bewilderment of that discovery, I felt some relief! As a matter of fact, on July 13 this year when I delivered a lecture at the Nigerian Institute of International Affairs (NIIA) and mentioned this fact of a great relief that followed my initial shock, the Deputy British High Commissioner, Mr. Peter Carter, who was on the high table, rather spontaneously abandoned all diplomatic niceties and composure and blurted out rather loudly, “You were relieved! Why?” Yes, I had felt relieved, I replied; I had felt relieved because after I had thought deeply about the matter, I recognised that no group of children on the planet could be so dumb, so congenitally retarded as to score that abysmal failure rate of 98.2%. Obviously, I added, the essential problem was not with our children, it was with our system of education. That system of education is failing our children, robbing them of their right to relevant and quality education. The same logic could be applied to employers of labour in our country who, as I have reported on many occasions in this column, have for a long time now been complaining that the graduates produced by our universities and other tertiary educational institutions are in general so poor in quality that they are “unemployable”. Well, let me now add to that observation an assertion that as far as anyone can tell, employers of labour in our country, those among the demographically small circle of the very wealthy in Nigeria who pride themselves on having worked for their wealth, have never done much to improve the quality of education in our secondary schools and universities. They have, it seems, just assumed that somehow, quality education, quality graduates just emerge from tertiary institutions the way fruits naturally grow from trees. In all the struggles that teachers in our secondary schools and lecturers and professors in our universities have been waging to have funding that is adequate to the task of educating millions of our youths, these employers of labour have generally watched as bystanders, as neutral observers with no stakes in the outcomes of the struggles. This observation can, and indeed should, be couched in terms of macroinstitutional policies and the ruling political order itself. As ASUU has been informing the country and the world for decades now, the Nigerian state consistently scores very low on UNESCO guidelines for capital investment in educational infrastructure for the developing countries of the world. There are many things terribly wrong with education in Nigeria; perhaps the single most important factor is consistent under-investment in education over the decades. And this period hap-

•Bayero University, Kano

Abysmal statistics, facts and realities that define and yet do not define us (2)

pens to be the very period in which the country’s political and economic elites grew immensely rich while the vast majority of our peoples became more and more impoverished. With very few exceptions, the employers of labour that endlessly complain about the quality of graduates produced by our universities have been at the heart of this process of obscene self-enrichment at the expense of the vast majority of Nigerians, at the expense of the development of educational and other infrastructures in our country, at the expense indeed of the quality of life and prospects of the future for our youths. We must not lose sight of this factor and its significance in the calamitous decline of meritocratic values and practices in virtually all aspects of life in Nigeria in the last three to four decades. Indeed, we must place this factor at the heart of all our conversations concerning the abysmal statistics and data that indicate that corruption, mediocrity and rot have eaten deep into the fabric of the social order in our country. I should perhaps state very clearly

here that I am not a warrior, not an ideologue for pure and unadulterated meritocracy in Nigeria or indeed in any part of the world in which we live. For no pure meritocracy has ever existed and will ever exist in human society. Indeed, relatively speaking, meritocratic values and practices first came into prominence in the modern era largely on the heels of the bourgeois world revolution. As status based on noble birth, inherited wealth and social pedigree was powerfully challenged by ability and talent as the commanding criteria for the creation of the industrial and financial capitalism that changed the world forever, meritocracy achieved a prominence that was unknown in any previous stage of human development. However, in nearly all the countries of the world, “old money” based on meritocratic values and practices constantly gives way to “new money” that largely derives from the subversion of meritocracy as an important organising principle in the social order, especially by large-scale and endemic corruption.

For Nigerians over the age of fifty, these observations will perhaps induce some sentimental nostalgia for late colonial and newly independent Nigeria when merit, talent and ability, mostly obtained through education but also expressed through a dogged spirit of industriousness, mattered a lot, when “old money” derived from trade and commerce reigned as the benchmark for the creation of wealth in our country. School children used to make educational trips to the industrial and commercial enterprises of magnates; I think here of the Odutola Tyre Manufacturing Factory in Ijebu-Ode. Transport magnates like Sir Odumegwu Ojukwu, the father of Chukwuemeka OdumegwuOjukwu, were fabled embodiments of “old money” in that period of our country’s economic and social history. And when the so-called “industrial estates or corridors”, as the first mark of state capitalism in Nigeria, were created in the three regions of the country, they were for the most part run efficiently, at least for some time and especially in the Western

Violence (For Festus Iyayi) You knew much about violence With unmatched insight you reflected deeply on it You peered deep into its core with uncommon calm You knew all about violence

You gave a mighty cry of No! to violence And your cry rang throughout our continent Giving strength to the weak and succor to the forgotten You knew all about violence

You saw the marks of its ravages in war and peace With anger and compassion you saw its savage rule In the lives of the poor and the hearts of the powerful You knew much about violence

The violence that took you away lurks there for all of us Now that you are gone, what can we do, what can we do Other than keep faith and abide with your spirit, Festus, You who knew so much about violence

Region. I personally feel no nostalgia, no sentimental wistfulness for the particular order of meritocratic values and practices of that period in the economic affairs of our country. In the present discussion, I cannot get into a full discussion of the reasons for feeling this way. Perhaps at some future date in the column, I shall do so. For now, it suffices for me to state that what I feel, what I urge is this: meritocracy has its place in all modern societies, not as the reigning or supervening element, but as a sort of salve that gives assurance that democratic governance and peace, progress and justice will not be subverted, will not be wiped out by corruption run amuck. Pure meritocracy always inevitably leads to alienated rule by technocrats and bureaucrats; on the other hand, a significant absence of meritocracy leads to the sort of rampaging and destructive rule of kleptocrats and unregenerate oligarchs that has Nigeria and Nigerians under its heels at the present time. Ability and talent are not morally neutral qualities; in the hands of opportunists and cynics, they can be the weapons of thieving, unjust rulers; conversely, when allied to the forces of justice, equality and dignity for all women and men, they can be used to break down the walls of oppression and misrule. As a people we are not unchangingly defined and constituted by those abysmal statistics, data and figures that are regularly trotted out by both concerned patriots and bemused, unbelieving traducers of the Nigeria in which mediocrity, corruption and rot have become like second nature to the rulers and the ruled, the powerful and the disenfranchised. Any number of refutations can be given to illustrate this contention. Here’s one of them: the children of Nigerian immigrants in the U.S. regularly outperform the children of many of the other national immigrant communities of that country. So, there is nothing naturally “wrong” with our children here in the country; it is the system, the prevailing order that is failing our children at home. Here’s another point to keep in mind: even with the disastrous fall in standards in education in general and writing in particular, the intellectual life of the Nigerian nation is generally far more vibrant than what obtains in many other countries in Africa and other parts of the developing world. And here’s another point that is hardly known, even in Nigeria itself: even with the poor ranking of our universities in the African continent and in the world, against all the odds, many home-based Nigerian academics are producing works of world class standard and are very, very dedicated to their students; moreover, when given the chance in the international arena of global academia, they give very good accounts of themselves. How can these positive or hopeful portents be used as transformative tools? How can we make Nigerians of all social groups and ethnic communities begin to believe that our children can perform as well at home as they do abroad, that our rulers will not always be unconscionable looters and wastrels, that honesty, compassion and decency might one day actually form the composite ethos of our society? There are no easy answers to these questions, but neither are they beyond the pale of what is possible, given the right kind of environment. This will be the starting point in next week’s concluding piece in the series.




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My convoy is longer than yours


CONVOY is a power accessory - a symbol of your status. Wherever you find people exercising power you would find a trail of expensive vehicles in tow. The longer your motorcade the more eminent you are. Nigerians didn’t invent the phenomenon. We’ve only done with it what we do with all things – gone to the very extreme and occasionally tipped overboard. This is the only country where everyone feels entitled to a 20-car motorcade: from the president to the private citizen convinced of his own importance. Convoys of the high and mighty are in the news again courtesy of the exploits of the crash-happy drivers of Kogi State Governor, Idris Wada’s motorcade. Last year they were involved in a well-reported pile-up from which Wada emerged with a broken leg. His aide-de-camp died on the spot. But in the world of convoy drivers one year is a long time to retain the memory of a tragedy. So just this last week the same bunch of kamikaze artists snuffed out the life of a one-time president of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), Professor Festus Iyayi, who was on his way to Kano for a meeting. Last Wednesday morning around the U-Turn axis of the Lagos-Abeokuta Expressway, another unidentified government convoy made up of seven vehicles careened into the expressway from a side road. A lorry hurtling down the road, in a bid to avoid the convoy, smashed into pedestrians – hitting 11 persons and leaving two dead. The heartless convoy drivers stopped a good distance from the carnage they had caused. But that was all they did. Gun-totting policemen simply peered at the horrified crowd and sped off after a few minutes. In the course of my job I have had a chance to understand the psychology of convoy drivers and guards. Their arrogance is breathtaking! As someone once said a big man’s maiguard is himself a big man! In the course of ferrying their principal about these drivers and policemen view other road users as lesser beings to be run off the road. Ostensibly they act in this manner to check any security threat to the VIPs they are carrying. In reality what they exhibit is simply the antidemocratic temper reigning in the land. It is the mindset the causes us to elevate public office holders to deities to be worshipped. It is the reason a security agent would think nothing of brutalising a TV cameraman for getting too close to the dignitary he’s covering. I have heard some of the drivers brag about how fast they can go and the risky maneuvers they have tried. I have seen them almost crash very expensive automobiles in a dispute over which car

The heir to the British throne, Prince Charles, turned 65 this past Thursday. As he and wife, Camilla, celebrated the landmark, the watching world could not help but observe that the way things are going the prince may never get to be king. He is blessed with a mother with uncommon

should be next to the vehicle carrying their principal. The outrageous behavior of these drivers has been going on for ages. Although the Iyayi killing appears like the tipping point, things may not really change unless concrete action is taken to reform the way government officials travel. The first step is asking hard questions. Are convoy drivers no longer subject to Nigerian traffic laws just because they are ferrying VIPs? In 2005, a chauffeur and two police officers driving then New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark to watch a match involving the country’s rugby team, the All Blacks, were prosecuted for dangerous driving and fined. Clark’s three-vehicle convoy had been travelling as fast as 170 kmh, but the prime minister who was a backseat passenger in one of the cars said she was too engrossed reading some paperwork she had no idea how fast they had been travelling. It would be interesting to know how many Nigerian killer convoy drivers have faced prosecution in the last decade. Actually, those who drive in vehicles with government number plates, or those who wear uniforms, feel the laws don’t apply to them.

longevity. Even at 87 she shows no sign of handing over the baton. Not for her the example of the Dutch Queen Beatrix who recently abdicated in favour of her son. Loyal Charles will just have to grin and bear it and see who outlasts the other – mother or son.

In instances where there are fatalities the lunatic driver would no doubt be liable being the one operating the vehicle at that point. But there’s a sense in which his boss who has winked at his speeding bears some moral responsibility. Over and again people have asked whether convoys have to travel at such dangerous speed. One rationalisation is the need to get bosses to different engagements quickly. An appropriate riposte is that with planning even the busiest individual can leave in good time to keep appointments. The late British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher once said that she got to her engagements a good 15 minutes before time. If she came too early she would drive round the block to while away time. But come the hour she’ll be knocking on your door. If our big men can learn to keep time there will be no need for convoys to turn our roads to race tracks. The other excuse I have heard is security. The standard line is that it is hard to aim at a moving target. The sense that any convoy – no matter how fleet – is a guarantee of safety is overstretched. Innumerable leaders and political figures have met their end in moving motorcades. One-time United States President John F. Kennedy was shot as he drove

Boko Haram: Abuja’s shameful u-turn


HE United States government’s designation of Boko Haram as a Foreign Terrorist Organisation (FTO) made headlines. My attitude is: ‘tell us something we don’t already know.’ A sect that has slaughtered thousands – including defenceless students sleeping in their beds, women and children –deserve to be called worse names. Amazingly, the Federal Government welcomed the announcement with alacrity. AttorneyGeneral of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mohammed Bello Adoke, hailed the Americans “for partnering with the Federal Government to rout terrorism.” Last year the same Nigerian government – with our Ambassador to the US, Professor Ade Adefuye, at the forefront was furiously lobbying Washington not to label Boko Haram a terror group! This was at a time when even the UN Human Rights Commission was saying the group was committing crimes against humanity. But the ambassador and company would have none of it. They sold the lie that FTO designation would subject Nigerians to travel difficulties and increased scrutiny at foreign airports. They equally said such labeling would complicate local efforts at a peaceful resolution of the insurgency. Adefuye argued that the designation “will give

the impression that Nigeria is not able to contain the sect when it has successfully contained NigerDelta militants who were more focused, better organised and deadlier. “An FTO in any country is subject to America’s search and destroy operation, which includes the sending of drones and other unmanned weapon of mass destruction as it currently happens in Pakistan, Somalia and Yemen. “Such activities bring untold suffering to citizens of such countries. We do not want that in Nigeria,” he said. Hundreds have been killed since those lame arguments were made. Names like Benisheik and Bama have been added to the long list of dark spots in the northern killing fields. What made the American stance so farcical back then was that the same Barack Obama administration had declared Abubakar Shekau, Abubakar Adam Kambar and Khalid al-Barnawi ‘Specially Designated Global Terrorists.’ If they were so labeled what did that make their organisation? A philanthropic body? My hope is that the FTO designation helps. Some believe it would because it could cut off the cashflow that sustains the insurgents. For all our anger at America’s dithering we can only say the action is better late than never.

through the street in an open car. Even if movement is meant to thwart the hidden sniper, I suggest that any governor or minister who allows his convoy drivers to move about at breakneck speed has actually handed the steering wheel to an assassin. Kogi Governor Wada escaped with a broken leg last year; he could have suffered the same fate as his ADC. Someone said most VIPs are too busy with more important matters than worrying about the management of motorcades. This is supposedly the forte of security and protocol staff. I once heard a governor blithely declare that he was at the mercy of these officials who determine his goings and comings. Conversely I know of another governor who takes an interest in such things so much so that he instructed his motorcade not to travel faster than a certain speed within city limits. After one crazy stunt by one of the drivers, he directed his aide-de-camp to send the whole bunch to driving school. Any official who surrenders these things to some convoy commander without setting out broad guidelines is playing Russian roulette with his life. I also believe that you can get a glimpse of a man’s character by the way his motorcade conducts itself. Wild driving and lack of consideration for other citizens as road users points to a principal who lacks discipline, is inconsiderate and detached from the real world. If he doesn’t approve he would find such over-the-top conduct grating and take action. Coming to costs, the size of most government convoys shows how wasteful we are. People are quick to point to the size of the convoy of the US president. America’s resources can pay for the flights of fancy of their highest office holder. Can we fund ours? Even in the US there are regular stories about the size of Barack Obama’s motorcades – meaning the magnitude and expense remain issues of debate in a country used to such gargantuan motorcades. But the US shouldn’t be the only example. Why are people not asking how many cars are in the convoy of the British, Canadian or Swedish Prime Ministers? David Cameron’s car as PM moves about escorted by a lone outrider even in an age when the UK has become a major target for terrorists. In reality these motorcades have little or nothing to do with the quality of governance. Is Britain less efficiently run because the Prime Minister’s entire vehicular train is just two cars and a motorcycle? According to the Wikipedia entry the Nigerian President’s entourage consists of “30 cars and ten escort motorcycles, along with police cars and six Mercedes S-550 of SSS surrounding the president’s car.” In spite of this imperial cavalcade the country is such a mess. Let’s get real! It’s time people took another look at these monstrosities giving office holders a bad name.

Orders from above


O law, no edict is as feared, or more speedily implemented, in these parts as the so-called “order from above.” Who is located ‘above’? You can draw up a list as long as your arm and still not find the person. Still the orders are obeyed because they are passed down the chain of command. The much-dreaded ‘order from above’ was utilised last Tuesday to frustrate the colloquim on the Freedom of Information Act organised in Abuja by D i n o Melaye’s Anti-Corruption Network. •Abubakar Before the event could start 50 policemen led by an Assistant

Commisioner sealed the building. Among those shut out were former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, Senate President, David Mark, Speaker, House of Representatives, Aminu Tambuwal, and resource persons from the United Kingdom, United States and South Africa. For 50 policemen to have been despatched to the venue of the seminar, an earthshaking national security threat was afoot. The National Assembly should invite the Inspector-General of Police to brief it on matter. At a time when President Goodluck Jonathan is promoting a national conference where – supposedly – nothing is off-limits, how can the disruption of a seminar on the Freedom of Information Act be justifiable? What sort of picture of Nigeria is being transmitted to the outside world? The National Assembly owes Nigerians a duty to ascertain who is issuing all these “orders from above.” They need to be reminded that the country is now governed by a constitution and not decrees from on high.



Kaduna and the quest for peace

New PDP regroups in Bayelsa

Rivers PDP without Amaechi

PAGES 22-23





T was a golden opportunity for the leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to put its lingering crisis to bed once and for all or at best in abeyance. For most members of the ruling party, the recent ruling of a Court of Appeal, Abuja Judicial Division which nullified the January 11, 2013 judgment of a Federal High Court, Abuja removing the former Governor of Osun State, Olagunsoye Oyinlola as the party's scribe, if properly handled, could have been exploited to create a division among the seemingly united G7 governors who are the major promoters of the nPDP. The Nation gathered that despite the overtures by leaders of the major opposition party, All Progressives Congress (APC) to the G7 group and their supporters, not a few leaders of

Oyinlola puzzle haunts PDP, Presidency The suspension of former Osun State Governor, Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola, by the leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) just on the heels of his reinstatement as the party's National Secretary via a court ruling appears not to have gone down well with certain forces in the Presidency and the party's hierarchy, reports Remi Adelowo the nPDP had refused to foreclose reconciliation with the party's mainstream and the Presidency. But members of the group

were jolted when the party leadership, rather than extend an olive branch by recalling Oyinlola, decided to suspend the latter and four other leaders of the

nPDP namely Alhaji Kawu Baraje, Ibrahim Kazaure and Dr. Sam Sam Jaja for allegedly engaging in anti-party activities. In quick succession, the party

swiftly issued a statement, which was signed by the National Chairman, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur, claiming that it has informed the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) of its decision. In another statement issued by its National Publicity Secretary, Olisa Metuh, to justify the suspension reads, "The decision of the National Working Committee (NWC) was in exercise of its powers under Section 57 (3) of the PDP constitution, 2012 (as amended) and in the overall interest of the Party and its members." Adamawa State Governor, Murtala Nyako and Senator Bukola Saraki, who are prominent members of the nPDP in their reactions, viewed the •Continued on Page 20




Presidency divided over Oyinlola


•Continued from Page 19

latest development as a setback for the party in its quest for peace. For Nyako, the suspension of Oyinlola is a further confirmation that the peace process in the party has finally reached a dead end. "We always knew that there was no peace process," Nyako declared and added, "The court had given them (PDP leadership) a soft landing but instead of obeying the court order, look at the step they have taken." On his part, Saraki said, "It (suspension) is a means of circumventing the ruling of the court. These are some of the issues that some of us are angry about. By doing this now, how are we going to help the reconciliation? It will surely not help reconciliation. Some of us had thought it was a golden opportunity for the party to begin to reconcile with aggrieved members." Sources told The Nation that a few members of President Goodluck Jonathan's kitchen cabinet are angry that the party leadership failed to make use of the court ruling to make peace with some aggrieved members of the nPDP and bring them back on board. This strategy, the President's close aides reckon, would have polarised the nPDP with the likelihood of some of its members abandoning the group. It was also gathered that the latest development has created a sharp division among the PDP hierarchy and close advisers of the President. While some are rooting for reconciliation with the nPDP no matter what it takes, the hawks, it was learnt, are calling for a total showdown with the 'rebel' group. The pro-reconciliation group, The


“In the case of Kwara State, three names are being bandied as ministerial nominees with the most surprising being that of Ms. Gbemi Saraki, the younger sister of Senator Bukola Saraki. The other two people being considered are Professor Abdulrahman Oba, the former Vice Chancellor of the University of Ilorin and currently the Chairman of the Federal Character Commission (FCC) and former Minister of Transport, Ibrahim Isa Biu.” Nation gathered, contend that since the G7 group had already written a letter indicating its readiness to meet the President in continuation of the peace process, the PDP leadership should have obeyed the court ruling which reinstated Oyinlola just like it did when the man was removed from the exalted seat through a court ruling early this year. With Oyinlola back on seat, the President could have used this as a bargaining tool in his negotiation with the G7 and in the process extract some concessions from the aggrieved group. But the hawks, which appear to be in the majority, are alleged to have convinced the President to shun further talks with the G7 over what they termed "the G7's undisguised romance with the opposition." An indication that the Presidency has foreclosed any rapprochement with the G7 was given further fillip following

unconfirmed reports that new appointees to fill vacant ministerial positions are presently undergoing screening with relevant security agencies. Once the nominees' names are made public and subsequently cleared by the Senate, their major brief, according to sources, is to seize the PDP structures in states whose governors are considered hostile to the Presidency and smoothen the ground for the President's much speculated re-election bid in 2015. In Kano State, former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Ghali Na'Abba, is being tipped to fill the state's slot formerly occupied by the former Minister of National Planning, Dr. Shamsideen Usman. The alleged nominee for Sokoto State is Senator Abubakar Gada, a known political foe of the state governor, Aliyu Magatakarda Wammako. He is to replace Inuwa Abdulkadir, the former Minister for Youth Development.

In the case of Kwara State, three names are being bandied as ministerial nominees with the most surprising being that of Ms. Gbemi Saraki, the younger sister of Senator Bukola Saraki. The other two people being considered are Professor Abdulrahman Oba, the former Vice Chancellor of the University of Ilorin and currently the Chairman of the Federal Character Commission (FCC) and former Minister of Transport, Ibrahim Isa Biu. Former Governor of Niger State, Abdulkadir Kure, who is alleged not to be in good terms with his successor, Dr. Babangida Aliyu, is alleged to be the anointed ministerial nominee for the North Central state. In the estimation of hawks in the PDP, these individuals can be relied upon to give the 'rebel' governors a run for their money, an optimism that is allegedly shared by the President. The Presidency, The Nation gathered, is also buoyed by security reports that majority of the G7 governors are having serious challenges in convincing their supporters, particularly a large number of their states and the National Assembly to dump the PDP for another party. This reason, more than any other factor, is allegedly responsible for why a few of the G7 governors including Niger's Babangida Aliyu and Jigawa's Sule Lamido have refused to give up in finding a lasting peace in the PDP. With the seemingly intractable crisis in the ruling party still raging like wild fire, Senator Bukola Saraki's comment a few days ago that, "activities within the PDP in the next one week or two will determine the direction of the party" cannot be more apt.



HERE were no pretences about it. The Governor Dickson Seriake- led Government of Bayelsa State was not ready to allow the nurturing of New Peoples Democratic Party in the home state of President Goodluck Jonathan. So, in a military fashion, the government promptly deployed the police and other security agencies against known leaders of the new political association, forcing them to go into hiding. But barely a month after the development, our investigation confirms that the group, made up mainly of loyalists and associates of the former governor of the state, Timipre Sylva, are already regrouping as they have sworn never to be intimidated by anybody but to take back power in the oil-rich state in 2015. Comrade Wilfred Frank Ogbotobo, a former member of CPC’s National Renewal Committee, and now All Progressive Congress (APC) chieftain, who is alleged to be currently involved in alliance negotiations amongst opposition elements in the state and other South-South states, told The Nation in an interview why Sylva's group is still active and why it could not be crushed so easily by the state government and the police. According to him, "Sylva's rivals did not make any attempt to neutralize his political structure. They were blinded by desperation to just deny him the party ticket and their modus operandi was detested by even ordinary Bayelsans. Rather it whitewashed Timipre Sylva and endeared him to the people. His political clout has grown stronger and his structure impregnable, despite his travails." The battle for the soul of Bayelsa The struggle for the soul of Bayelsa State, since the removal of Sylva, preceded the birth of the New PDP. But, according to insider sources, "the leadership of PDP at the centre and the state government became more apprehensive of the activities of the opposition, especially that of the loyalists of former governor Sylva, when it became obvious that they heartily embraced the New PDP." The source said the presidency, aware of the challenge such an opposition at the home state of Mr President could pose, ordered strict measures against it. So, stern measures by Bayelsa State Government to stamp out the 'rebel' group in the state have been taken openly with the aid of the police and other security operatives and in recent times, such actions were taken at intervals that confirmed the seriousness of the operation. When other states were still studying the development in order to determine the best way of responding to the emergence of the splinter group, Bayelsa State took the bull by the horn. The state's resolve came to public knowledge on September 13, 2013, when the State Commissioner of Police, Mr. Hilary Opara, issued a formal statement, warning people against associating with the splinter political party. Describing the new association as illegal, Opara said "no such group or any other organisation not legally registered would be allowed to disrupt the existing peace and tranquility in the state." According to the statement,


New PDP regroups in Bayelsa

Barely a month after Bayelsa State Government clamped down on members of New Peoples Democratic Party, using the police and other security agencies, they are already regrouping in a determined resolve to take back power in 2015, reports Associate Editor, Sam Egburonu "the Police and other security agencies in the state have been put on notice and urge members of the public to promptly report the existence or the activities of such illegal groups in any part of the state to the nearest police station or security outfit for necessary action." Confirming the determination of PDP and the state government to work with the police and other security agencies for the execution of that project, the state Deputy Chairman of PDP, Chief Nyananyo Tubo-Miela, told journalists then at the party secretariat in Yenagoa that the party "has set in motion its disciplinary machinery to deal with genuine members who are associated with the claim of a New PDP in the state." He added that "law

enforcement agents have also been alerted to handle any ''mischief maker that would

want to foment trouble in the state chapter of the PDP.'' By October, it was time for action. First, the state government formally announced that it has put former Special Adviser on Security Matters to Timipre Sylva and the Interim Chairman of the New PDP in the state, Chief Richard Kpodoh, under security watch. Barely 12 hours after this announcement, the police formally declared him a wanted man. Before then, there were reports that the New PDP men in the state had gone into hiding as a result of alleged police manhunt. We gathered that the heat became too hot for them to bear late September and early October, when police dragnet, aimed at fishing out all Sylva's loyalists in the state was


formally extended to their homes and known business premises. It peaked with the police declaration that the politicians were wanted men. New moves A source close to Sylva confirmed during the week that Sylva's political associates and their sympathizers have been meeting in the last two weeks outside Bayelsa State. Although he refused to name the location of such meetings, he said: "Top on the agenda of our meetings is how to remain relevant in the politics of Bayelsa State. Unknown to the state government and their Oga in Abuja, we are becoming bigger and better organised. We are now in close contact with people of like minds outside the PDP both within the state and other parts of Nigeria. "Today, we have come to see the divine hand in our harassment as it has attracted attention to us. We now have strong friends outside Bayelsa and outside PDP. The talks are ongoing within and outside the South-South states. All I can tell you now is that there would be alliances and cooperations that will ultimately dislodge our oppressors in 2015," he said.

'Sylva's political structure still intact, potent' Y OU have been an ardent proponent of a national dialogue to fashion a new Nigeria. Do you therefore support the national conference proposed by President Goodluck Jonathan? Yes, I am of the conviction that we need to dialogue to refashion Nigeria. We need a rebirth to a new Nigeria. Life is about decision, fashioning new ways. Dialogue is urgently necessary for the component nationalities of this country to decide whether, or, how we can live together and where necessary work out rules to guard the final outcome. I believe that a genuine conference will definitely chart a way forward for our great country. Having said that, I must also add that I personally do not think the Jonathan presidency can organise and supervise any meaningful conference in Nigeria, certainly not the type that we need in order to fashion a new Nigeria of the 21st century. I do not want to go too deep because my leader, the Crown Eagle of Nigerian politics, Bola Tinubu, has spoken all. The Jonathan presidency is a monumental failure and disappointment to Nigeria. Surely, we cannot afford to entrust such a sensitive and fundamental task, arguably the last card on the threshold of our survival or failure as a nation, to the hands of a presidency so confused and psychologically battered as to recognize 16 as greater than 19 and, welcome 5 as majority to 27 in an assembly of 32. My humble opinion is that such a dialogue should be preceded by a dialogue of ethnic nationalities, for instance, the Itsekiris, Urhobos and Ijaws need separate dialogues with each other; the Nembe and Kalabari need a dialogue; the Okrika, Ikwere, and Ogoni need dialogue, same goes for the Ilajes and Arogbo Ijaws before proceeding to the national dialogue. Considering the romance between your party, the APC and the New PDP at the national level, are you also having a good rapport at the state level and can you give us an insight into the strength of the New PDP in Bayelsa State? Presently, the former governor, Timipre Sylva's political structure is the most intact and potent political force that could overrun Bayelsa's politics at the least prompting and mobilisation. In terms of loyalty, conviction, perseverance and strength, Sylva's force towers head and shoulder above the combined pockets of other

In this interview, Comrade Wilfred Frank Ogbotobo, a grassroots APC chieftain and one of the mobilising forces of opposition elements in Bayelsa State and some other South-South states, spoke on Sylva’s political structure and its survivalist strategies. Sam Egburonu reports

political power centres scattered in the state. Remember that something akin to a state of emergency was declared in the state just to prevent Sylva from the PDP primaries. Sylva is a very smart and intelligent politician. Aside the president who is pulling his federal might around, Alamieyeseigha, politically, is a ghost. More so, when juxtaposed with the current sad experiences of civil servants whose salaries are deducted haphazardly to pay for the blossoms of the former sins of people like Alams. Secondly, Alaibe's perennial, clownish political antics have become public knowledge. No serious-minded person takes him seriously anymore. Of course, Seriake is only the restoration of the hand of Esau which could not freely penetrate Bayelsa during the Sylva tenure. Their problem is that Sylva's rivals did not make any attempt to neutralize his political structure. They were blinded by desperation to just deny him the party ticket and their modus operandi was detested by even ordinary Bayelsans. This endeared

Timipre Sylva to the people. His political clout has grown stronger and his structure impregnable despite his travails. The lead promoter of the new PDP, Chief Perekeme Kpodoh, one of the finest Bayelsan I have noticed, is a nonapologetic Sylva loyalist and a formidable grassroots politician who knows the terrain. Remember, also, that majority of the present state and national assembly members are Sylva's products. Majority of the former LGA chairmen still have active, loyal structures. So, if the hand of Esau is panicky, it is no exaggeration. It surely feels the latent energy from the Sylva force. So, presently activities are largely focused at the federal level but the state chapters of the legacy parties will be happy to welcome a fusion at the state level at the earliest. Meetings are ongoing here in Bayelsa and outside. Soon, the results will manifest. That is certain. Do you think the protracted feud between Governor Rotimi Amaechi and the presidency is for the common

interest of the South-South? It is healthy, very healthy. It would be healthier if Amaechi could declare to vie for the presidency in 2015. In 1999, we had two Yorubas from the same South-West emerging as the foremost contenders for the presidency and heavens did not fall. Amaechi is not fighting the person of President Goodluck Jonathan as some self acclaimed Ijaw 'elders' and 'leaders' would want people to believe. One, Amaechi is against impunity and lawlessness. Two, another purported area of collision is the issue of revenue sharing between the states and the federal government about which Amaechi, as Chairman of Governors' Forum, is demanding for an increased or larger share for the states. I believe, even on this score, rather than crucify him, we should laud him. On the contentious issue of relocation of oil wells from Rivers (Kalabari) to Bayelsa (Nembe), the question to ask is how was the issue managed by the two states when Sylva was governor of Bayelsa, more so, as he, Sylva should have been a more interested party, being a Nembe man himself? I ask because, as much as I could recollect, this issue did not come up to assume such a proportion or dimension. On the purported vice presidential ambition of Amaechi, I am totally in support. In fact, he should aim at the presidency proper. All the issues Amaechi stands for are in the interest of the South-South, especially the Ijaws. Amaechi is our leader, anytime, anywhere. He deserves it. He has worked hard to earn it. He is the face of the downtrodden of Bayelsa and Rivers states. You are a Bayelsian. Why are you not giving President Jonathan a chance? Or put more directly, would you not, at least, support Jonathan's second term? No way. Just take a boat ride into the creeks of Bayelsa and you will definitely shed tears. Poverty is everywhere, in the air, in the waters and on the land. The Ijaw political elite is one of the most wicked, vicious and satanic. We have failed. I cannot support the second term ambition of someone that seems to be happily presiding over the very corruption which is the single most virulent factor behind the lethargy in the development of my environment.




•Gov. Yero on the background at another syndicate session, making his own contribution


Dialogue remains the most potent tranquiliser that heals human heart from anger and hate. When two conflicting groups agree to sit on a round table, the anger on their mind becomes absolutely solemn and gradually fizzles out with every round of meetings". With the above statement, Governor Mukthar Ramalan Yero sets the agenda for the 4th conference of the Forum of Cities in Transition. The idea of hosting the conference in Kaduna was to afford the state and indeed Nigerians the opportunity of sharing experiences with other countries and cities that have undergone conflict. For several years, Kaduna metropolis and indeed the entire Kaduna State has had to grapple with ethnic and religious conflict that threatened to ground the state to a halt. These conflicts have no doubt divided Kaduna metropolis into two with the Muslims dominating the northern part of the metropolis while Christians dominate the southern part. Even though there are still areas within the metropolis where you have a mixture of the two religions, there is no doubt that the people of such communities are living in what could be regarded as peace of the grave yard. The state governor, Mukthar Ramalan Yero, has on several occasions voiced out his frustration at such development, saying that it does not augur well for development of the state for the metropolis to be allowed to be so divided. The governor harped on this at one of the syndicate sessions which he personally attended to press home the efforts of the state government to ensure that the people live in peace and put behind them, those things that create such conflicts. The Director of the Forum of Cities in Transition, Prof. Padraig

Kaduna and the quest for peace The 4th Conference of the Forum of Cities in Transition holds recently in Kaduna, with the aim of finding solution to the conflicts that have threatened the state and the country at large, reports Tony Akowe in Kaduna

O'Malley, said the Forum was formed to bring together cities across the world that has gone through series of conflict which has negatively affected their development. He said that 92 international delegates from other continents and 12 African countries are expected to attend the conference which will take place at the Musa Yar'adua Indoor Sport hall, in Kaduna. Former Head of State, Gen. Abdulsalami Abubakar, who was the guest speaker at the opening ceremony of the conference, was not happy that despite government efforts, ethno-religious and sectarian crisis has continued to polarise Kaduna and other major cities across the country thereby undermining socioeconomic and political development of the nation. The former Nigerian leader argued that the social strand which binds the diverse people of the country together has been put under severe stress by series of ethno-religious and sectarian crisis, but was

convinced that the overwhelming attendance at the conference was not only a testimony of government initiative for a durable peace, but an affirmation of our collective resolve to install unity in diversity for which we are known. In his words, "It is my fervent hope that this conference will ensure comprehensive sharing of ideas and experiences such that those cities in transition will find their way to a better future where reconciliation will further be enrooted for succeeding generations. Kaduna is no doubt one of the most complex and diverse places in the country with different ethnic and linguistic groups, sharing a broad spectrum of religious affiliations and tendencies. The management of these complexities and their diversities has for the greater part of history provided a dynamic framework for the peaceful coexistence of all Nigerians. In the last few years, the social strand which bind the diverse people together has been

put under severe stress by series of ethno-religious and sectarian crisis. These crises has polarised Kaduna city as well as other cities in the country and has undermined economic development in the country. I have no doubt that this conference will mark a turning point in the efforts of government to ensure that these cities are united from its polarity along sectional, cultural, ethnic and religious lines". He noted that "it is therefore heart-warming to realise that the Kaduna conference is aimed at establishing Kaduna as the hub for peace and reconciliation not only for Kaduna and northern cities in conflict, but for the nation at large. In order to actualise this noble objective, I want to impress on the organisers of the conference to set up a follow-up committee at the end of the conference to ensure sustainability of the commitment to be made by participants geared towards sustainable reconciliation where people of vast ethnic and religious affiliations in this country

can live together in harmony. This, will among other benefits inculcate us with the international community with investment opportunities. We must get back to those times when out tribe and religion were instrument of unity and peaceful coexistence. Therefore, this conference should be seen as a clarion call for us to rise up and shoulder the task of ensuring the much desired peace in Kaduna and the country in general. I therefore appeal to our communities to continue to live in peace with one another as there can be no meaningful development without peace" Governor Yero, on his part, said the state government was determined to address causative factors responsible for conflicts in the state, pledging his personal commitment to fairness, equity in the administration of the state, adding that his government was committed to fairness and equity and regards all residents of the state as partners in the Kaduna project. He said "as you are already aware, Kaduna State is a potpourri of Nigeria's huge diverse ethnic, religious and cultural groups. The state is a mini Nigeria with representation from virtually all the over 250 ethnic groups and the two main faiths in the country. Due to its strategic location at the central part of the country, Kaduna has become home to citizens with diverse backgrounds. For decades, the various groups- Muslims, Christians and millions of people speaking various dialects, lived side by side peacefully and in harmony. That was the sweet memory of Kaduna city, until recent struggle for both political and economic space compounded by mundane ethnic jingoism, lead to series of wanton destruction of lives and property. Aggression during crises in the city was based •Continued on Page 23




Excellencies or heads of killer squads



•Continued from Page 22

on dangerous ethno-religious profiling trends, where minority groups are targeted for attacks simply by reason of their faiths or mother tongue. This unfortunate situation has visibly divided the city as citizens now reside in selected locations according to the deity they worship or the language they speak. This is an unacceptable descend to an abyss of human retrogression, which our administration is committed to reverse. I believe that while plurality of ethnic and religious groups could lead to conflict, such misunderstandings must be managed through sustained dialogue and acceptable civil mechanism. Diversity and pluralism are known to be the basis of cosmopolitan and complex societies such as ours. It is only where ethnicity and religion are made means of narrowing people's participation in politics, economic, and social spheres that crisis of monumental proportions become manifest". A worried Yero, who said that the government was determined to ensure that everyone in the state live in peace with one another, added, "to address the numerous causative factors of conflict in multi-ethnic, multi-religious society such as ours, this administration has remained firm in ensuring that the people of Kaduna State are availed with equal opportunities in all spheres of human endeavors. I am personally committed to leading the diverse people of the state with absolute fairness and equity. To us, all sections of the state are equal partners and none shall be given more or less of its fair share. This administration has prudently managed the resources accruable to the state. We have strived to cut down on wastage and to seal all loopholes that may lead to corrupt diversion of public funds. This has since gained us a positive rating from the notable Fitch Rating Agency, which rated the economic outlook of Kaduna State as B+ with bright prospects. Already, we have started benefitting from the impact of this rating, with influx of foreign investors into the state, expressing their

"It is therefore heart-warming to realise that the Kaduna conference is aimed at establishing Kaduna as the hub for peace and reconciliation not only for Kaduna and northern cities in conflict, but for the nation at large.” willingness to invest in various sectors of our economy. We have remained focused in implementing deliberate policies aimed at reducing poverty and high rate of unemployment among youths and women in the entire state. To curb youth restiveness in our communities, the state government has commenced training in various skills for over 6000 youths selected from all the 23 Local Government Areas. " Furthermore, in our bid to reunite the people of the state, this administration has already provided platforms for the diverse people to regularly engage in dialogue. We have initiated Peace and Security forums where people from diverse backgrounds meet to ventilate all shades of opinion on matters affecting the state and in the end their resolutions are collated and documented for government use. Presently, the peace and security meetings are being held in virtually all communities in Kaduna State. Some communities have held successful

sessions that culminate in signing of peace agreements, where people of diverse backgrounds that are living together, agreed to unite against future breakdown of law and order in their area. These are heartwarming developments and we are working hard to ensure that we reintegrate our people, so as to reenact the past, when we all lived together as one, irrespective of tribe or creed". Interestingly, the conference drew participants from 16 countries across the globe which include four African countries and some cities in Nigeria. Although there was no official communuique at the end of the conference, The Nation can reveal that the delegates made specific commitment to ensuring the maintenance of peace in the countries and cities while a Nigeria Forum for Cities in Transition was formed. Yahaya Aminu, the governor's Chief of Staff who was chairman of the Local Organising Committee said that in the recent past, there had been disagreement and conflict which often degenerate violence, which has left some scars and negative impact on Kaduna State, pointing out that this scar has left the communities in the state divided, especially within Kaduna metropolis with certain areas being inhabited by followers of particular religion and tribes." Aminu said that what is needed in the state at this point in time is reintegration, trust, confidence and harmony of the various communities for the state to develop. He said further that Kaduna "is not the only city in the world that has this kind of experience. There are other cities that have similar experience, probably worse". He said however that the state decided to host the conference because it was in line with the fundamental objective of the present administration. Aminu also said that the essence of the conference however is to make commitment by the participating cities and identify important values and activities that are of benefit to the people that ensure peace and to carry out activities that will promote peace in the cities.

O, Professor Festus Iyayi is dead. It is painful enough that such a man committed to the struggle for a better society had to bid the world bye at 66. Some of us had expected that he would be around for much longer to tend the flowers he had planted in the more than 30 years he had worked in the academia. By reputation, I had known him since the early 80s when young comrades in University of Nigeria saw the young radical lecturers at the University of Benin as models. Iyayi’s name was everywhere. He worked; he lectured, he taught about what to do to rid the society of parasites. Till he died in the cause of the struggle, the Professor of Business Administration and celebrated writer remained focused. At the time he was killed, he was on his way to Kano to join others in finding a lasting solution to the crisis in the education sector. If I knew Iyayi, he was not just concerned about this phase of the struggle. He could not have seen the fight for earned allowances as an end in itself. He was one of those who saw the bigger question in the devalued and denatured system of education in the country. He must have seen the ASUU strike as a weapon to beat the government to line- to appreciate that the Nigerian students deserve much more than they were being offered. And then, the man did not just die. He was killed. The murderous leaders are happy driving the people off the road and ramming into them. True, all the truth may not yet be in the public domain. We need to know all about the circumstances that snuffed life out of Iyayi. We need to have the autopsy report. The report of eye witnesses could be crucial. The court would probably have a role to play in resolving the matter for or against the Kogi State government. But, the much that we know and the general experience in the country is enough to call for decisive action against those men brought to power but would rather use the teeth we gave them to bite and inflict pain on us. What sort of people are these leaders? How do they lead? Each time I am on the road and the arrival of a governor is announced by siren blaring outriders and vehicles, I feel bitter. I know it is not the experience even in neighbouring countries. So, from where did we pick up the tradition? The Kogi State governor’s convoy is reputed for crashing into objects and men. The other time, the governor himself nearly lost his life. It was a reminder that he is human, too. It was a lesson he was expected to pick up that recklessness kills. He failed to imbibe the lesson. But, this time, his me killed Iyayi. All lovers of democracy must rise up to demand that the driver of the vehicle that knocked off Iyayi must be prosecuted for at least manslaughter. Anyone who engaged speed as an agent of death should be brought to book. The Federal Road Safety Commission, too, must pick up part of the blame. Agreed, the President, Vice President, Governors and Deputy Governors enjoy immunity from prosecution, but do they also enjoy immunity from investigation? Shouldn’t the FRSC periodically come up with reports on how the executive office holders are faring on the road? What sort of mindset drive governors who aside dishing out poor governance, fail to adhere to common traffic rules? We also owe it to ourselves to start campaigns against governors who have transformed their convoys to killer squads. Why do they need convoys of ten vehicles and more? What are they afraid of? Why blare the siren to drive others off the road? The other day, when Ikedi Ohakim was still governor of Imo State, he was in Lagos and left his convoy to harass a poor woman and her little children for having the effrontery to keep driving when His Excellency was passing through the same Ikoyi roads. As the poor woman was dragged out of her car, the small kids ran out of the car and across the road. They could have been crushed. When Her Excellency the Dame came to Lagos, it did not occur to her that the city is at the heart of the nation’s economy. She got the former capital city shut down. No one must move when a Dame has business to transact through the roads. For the hours it took her to move from the airport to the city centre and back, her security details kept everyone else off. For her husband, whenever he had to move, the airport is shut down; no aircraft could take or land. Those already airborne must stay in the air until His Excellency is done with his own transaction. Anyone who dare disobey is flogged and kicked about. He is brutalized and dumped somewhere until the agents of the emperor are satisfied he has learnt his lesson. It is impunity; oppression and repression. Working through the lawmakers, we need to call attention to these murderous actors and call them to order. The murder of Iyayi should be the last. Nothing we do can bring the Professor back, but we can, and must, ensure that no one else is sacrificed to the gods of gubernatorial power. Sleep on, dear Brother Festus; a genuine comrade.





Nigeria Dialogue berths


• Okurounmu

Confab: Activists want FG to test PRONACO's draft constitution


HIEFTAINS of the Pro-National Conference Organisations (PRONACO) have called on the federal government to see a draft constitution put together by the organisation after several consultations as a tool that can help in the search for a peoples' constitution. Executive Chairman of Amuwo Odofin Local Government, Comrade Ayodele Adewale, and a chieftain of PRONACO, said Nigerians need to sit down, discuss and proffer a workable way forward. According to him, "this has been Baba Omojola's wish before he died." He added that the National Dialogue cannot see the light of the day because of the structure and composition. The Jonathan-led government cannot be taken seriously, "or how can one explain a situation where the resolution of the National Dialogue would be taken to the National Assembly

By Dare Odufowokan, Assistant Editor for ratification, this is not sovereignty, he asserted". Adewale also challenged the federal government to test the acceptance of the draft PRONACO's Constitution by allowing it go through a referendum, and see if Nigerians will accept it. He also paid growing tributes to Comrade Baba Omojola, noting that he stood for true federalism. Comrade Fred Agbeyegbe, stated that the Sovereign National Conference will discuss the myriads of problems confronting Nigeria, with a view to addressing them. In his words " the conference would discuss what type of revenue allocation system, what type of system of government we want, and what legislative powers shall the federating unit exercise et al.''

HEAD of the proposed national conference by President Goodluck Jonathan, a similar forum called Nigeria Dialogue has been floated by a Nigerian youth. Speaking on the mission of the forum, the initiator, Mr. Bankole Eniola, said:" the Nigeria Dialogue is a hub for progressive intellectuals who intend to challenge systemic and institutional realities in Nigeria. "The coming of the forum is in sync with my passion to empower Nigerian youths to become effective leaders. Our vision is to build a community of 40 million people who will usher in a civil and developed Nigeria. We plan to achieve this by having conversations within and outside Nigeria that will shape the future of our nation; we hope to bring change to Nigeria - one person at a time." Eniola said the Nigeria Dialogue will serve as the conduit to aid the effective transformation of Nigeria into a civil and developed nation with enviable human and capital development. He disclosed that the major goal of setting up Nigeria Dialogue is to use it as a platform to serve as the conduit to aid the effective transformation of Nigeria into a civil and developed nation. "National Dialogue is a platform where forward thinking Nigerians proffer inputs into sustainable economic infrastructural and social development through meaningful dialogues and measurable actions. "This is a forum where we are not scared to tackle the difficulties facing us as a nation. We encourage conversations about our future. The Nigeria Dialogue platform is an avenue where Nigerians both at home and in the Diaspora can get involved in the engineering of a thinking framework that translates into the building of strong institutions, virile systems and the

By Kunle Akinrinade

sustenance of their continuous existence. "What we do in Nigeria Dialogue is that we have town hall meetings where we invite prominent people in Nigeria to come and talk to Nigerians in Diaspora and show them opportunities at home so that they can develop Nigeria. He disclosed that the organisation will soon embark on several events, which includes; Road Tour, Fundraising Ball for Youth Development in Nigeria and town hall meetings. While admonishing youths to eschew violence, he said: "The youths should not allow politicians to use them as political thugs, especially during elections. There is need for Nigerian youths to be relevant in decision making in Nigeria, hence, they should be hardworking and dedicated toward building their talent and skills."


Theodore Orji at 62: Delivering good governance with humility


HIEF [Sir] Theodore Ahamefule Orji, the governor of Abia State is by all standards a man born with silver spoon in his mouth. His late father, Chief Tom Orji Ikoro, a man of value, was a Warrant Chief, an equivalent of modern day first class traditional ruler. Chief Theodore Orji is therefore of royal blood. Born on November 11, 1950, into the Tom Ikoro Orji royal family, however, Theodore never allowed the royalty to enter his head. Rather, he trudged on along with his peers from less privileged family to struggle for success in life. Governor T.A. Orji can conveniently be described as a leader, family man, humanitarian, courageous, peaceful, accommodating and above all, God fearing. These attributes he has perfected exhibited in the course of his governance of Abia state in the past six years plus. As an accommodating leader, Chief Orji has effectively mobilized and carried along all Abians with their varied sheds of opinions and beliefs and harnessed them into instruments for the positive development of the state and this, from available records has greatly paid off and impacting positively on the people and the state's development. Governor Theodore Orji's leadership quality best manifested when on

TRIBUTE By Ugochukwu Emezue

assumption of officer as the governor of Abia state undertook to reconcile the political leaders in the state who until then were at war with each other, deep-rooted acrimony which greatly affected the development of the state negatively. He deployed his wisdom and humility, stooped to the lowest level and reached out to all aggrieved


politicians in the state and brought them together. Today, that singular action is working wonders for the state and his administration as virtually all the major political stakeholders in the state are working on the same page. This leadership attribute of Chief Orji worked wonder for him, when in 2010; he confronted head-on the ugly security problem in the state. Before then, the state, particularly Aba the commercial capital of the state was virtually in the hands of criminals, especially kidnappers who besieged and almost took over the city. In conjunction with the Federal Government, he courageously combated the criminals and chased them out of the state. Today, Abia is one of the safest states in Nigeria. The safety has created good environment for development with the result that legacy projects such as state-of-the-art workers secretariat, 5000 capacity international conference centre, new judiciary blocks in Umuahia and Aba, new Government House, modern Dialysis Centre and Specialist Hospital, several kilometers of roads across the state have sprung up and are springing up in all parts of the state, a pointer that a solid foundation has been laid for sustainable development of Abia state. As a family man, Governor Orji, in spite

of his daily tight schedule, still makes out time for his family of his wife of over three decades, Lady Mercy Odochi Orji and four children of four men and a woman. Interestingly, at any little spare time, Chief Orji gathers his grand children and play with them, making sure that his official job never denies the kids of the grand fatherly love. Besides his immediate family, he gets fully involved all the activities of the larger Ikoro Orji extended family, ensuring that peace and harmony reign in the family. The governor summed up his family life in a book on him entitled, "On the Wings of Fate". "Just like every other family's life, ours has been challenging and quite wonderful and interesting; and I add that the promising nature of my family is rooted in their love, tolerance and encouragement so much so that I can very strongly say that my nucleus family was created for me". And for all his staff, Chief Orji sees them as his family members, extending the same affection to them with all the positive encouragement and advice. For all these attributes, one can only but pray God to grant Chief T.A. Orji more years of good health to continue his good deeds to mankind. Happy birth day, Your Excellency!




Rivers PDP without Amaechi I

T was a party of political associates and age-long allies. As far back as 1999, most of them have been together under the same umbrella; the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). But today, that fraternity is no more as the Rivers State chapter of the PDP is fractured and dying while stakeholders seem not to know what to do to correct or stop the now imminent collapse of the big family umbrella that has provided political shelter for the now warring members for over a dozen years. As we speak, the party is most likely to see the exit of its most illustrious member in the state, Governor Rotimi Amaechi, from its fold. Already, the governor has been formally approached by the fast moving All Progressive Congress (APC) to dump the PDP and come aboard its train. Aside that, the "New PDP", the faction of the party to which the governor belongs, has come under heavy bashing from the mainstream PDP in recent times. During the week, leaders of the Kawu Baraje-led faction were suspended from the party in spite of a court order that Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola should be re-instated by the party as its National Secretary. Reprieve came for the former Osun State governor last Wednesday as the Court of Appeal, Abuja Division, set aside the verdict of the Federal High Court, Abuja Division that ousted him from office as the National Secretary of the People's Democratic Party (PDP). In a unanimous decision, a three-man panel of the Court of Appeal dismissed the case filed at the High Court and upon which the trial judge, Justice Abdul Kafarati, removed Oyinlola from office. Delivering the lead judgment, Justice T. J. Tur held that Oyinlola's right to fair hearing as guaranteed by Section 36 of the 1999 Constitution was breached by Justice Kafarati. The appellate court also held that three separate cases, seeking the same reliefs, were filed against Oyinlola and such multiplicity of action amounted to an abuse of court process. The appellate court said all the prevailing circumstances of the case at the High Court were enough reason for the case to have been dismissed ab initio. It invoked its power under Section 16 of the Court of Appeal Act and heard the case as if it were the trial court. But five days after he was reinstated, the national leadership of PDP suspended him from the party. He was suspended alongside three others - the National Chairman of the splinter PDP, Kawu Baraje, his deputy, Sam Sam Jaja and a former senator from Jigawa State, Ibrahim Kazaure. In a related development, not too long ago, a bid by members of the governor's group to reclaim control of the crisisridden River State chapter of the PDP was truncated. This was as the sacked chairman of the state chapter and a loyalist of Amaechi's, Chief Godspower Ake, lost an appeal to reclaim his office. An Abuja High Court, had on April 15, 2013 declared Chief Obuah Amechi Felix and Walter Ibibia Opuene supported by Minister of State for Education, Nyesom Wike, as validly nominated and elected chairman and secretary respectively and sacked the Ake-led committee from office. Ake approached the appellate court seeking to stay the execution of the judgment which sacked him and other members of his committee from office. But the court declined to grant Ake's prayers. Political observers say Ake's loss and the recent suspension of Oyinlola and others, which is believed to be a move to stop the former governor from resuming as National Secretary as

As it becomes increasingly certain that warring factions of Peoples Democratic Party in Rivers State can no longer be reconciled, Assistant Editor, Dare Odufowokan, reports on the party's bleak fate when Governor Rotimi Amaechi finally dumps it


ordered by the Court of Appeal, has put paid to all reconciliation moves within the PDP and as such, left the door open for Ameachi and others to dump the party. Should Amaechi eventually leave the party and team up with another political organisation, the effect of his exit, analysts say, will leave the ruling party without most of its leading figures in the state. It is now a certainty that should he move out of the PDP, Amaechi will be leaving the party with his entire team in the executive arm of government. His deputy, Tele Ikuru, in spite of juicy overtures from the opposing camp, had refused to be swayed against his boss. George Feyii, Secretary to the State Government, Tony Okocha, Chief of Staff to the governor and all the commissioners, according to insiders' report, are set to move along with the governor whenever he decides he has had enough of the bullying in his current party. "It is something everybody agrees to. It is something we are all willing to be part of. For us, Amaechi is the party. If he remains in PDP, we will remain here with him. If he moves out, we are all going with him," a member of the State Executive Council (SEC) told The Nation during the week. Already some of his cabinet members like Ibim Semenitari (Information), Wogu Boms (Attorney-General and

Commissioner for Justice), Emmanuel Chinda, Okey Amadi Samuel Eyibe, Patricia Simon-Hart, Ezemonye Amadi and Charles Okoye, have all publicly declared their intention to follow Amaechi anywhere he goes. Leading PDP chieftains, including Sam Sam Jaja, immediate past National Vice Chairman of the PDP and Aleruchi Cookey-Gam, Administrator of the new Greater Port Harcourt City Authority (GPHCA), are among numerous party leaders rearing to follow the governor out of the party. Majority of the members of the state's delegation to the National Assembly, led by Senators Magnus Abe, (Rivers SouthEast) and Wilson Ake (Rivers West) are also said to be with the governor in the plot to dump the ruling party. Hon. Asita O. Asita, leader of the Rivers State caucus in the lower House, Hon. Sokonte Davies, representing Bonny/Degema Federal Constituency; Hon Betty Apiafi representing Abua/ Ahoada-East Federal Constituency; Chief Andrew Uchendu, representing Ikwerre/Emohua Federal Constituency, and Hon. Dakuku Peterside, representing Andoni/Opobo-Nkoro Federal Constituency are all sure bets to follow Amaechi on his way out of the PDP. Others were Hon. Ogbonna Nwuke, representing Etche/Omuma Federal Constituency; Hon. Pronem Morris, representing Khana/Gokana Federal Constituency; Hon. Blessing Nsiegbe,

representing Port Harcourt City Federal Constituency II; Hon. Ken Chikere, representing Port Harcourt City Federal Constituency I; Hon. Gogo Bright, representing Okrika/Ogu-Bolo Federal Constituency; Hon. Dawari George, representing Akuku-Toru/Asari-Toru Federal Constituency and Hon Barry Mpigi, representing Eleme/Tai/Oyigbo Federal Constituency. It will be recalled that majority of the above federal lawmakers were commissioners in the administration of Amaechi, particularly in his first tenure. They got to their political height through the influence of the governor. This therefore presupposes that their show of solidarity on Monday was to demonstrate their loyalty. The PDP in Rivers State will also lose its leadership of the House of Assembly as twenty seven, out of the thirty two lawmakers in the state legislature are with the governor. Only five of the lawmakers are likely to resist the journey out of the ruling party should Amaechi decide to leave. Chairmen of all 23 local governments in the state and all the party's former chairmen in the local government areas, instituted by the deposed Wilson Akeled state executive of the party, are also likely to follow Amaechi and his men out of the party. Others, who have expressed their willingness to remain with their embattled leader all the way, include Gogo Charles, Nabbs Imegwu, Austin Wokocha and Fred Igwe. George Ukwuoma-Nwogba, a former publicity secretary of the party. "It will indeed be an exodus of nearly the entire leadership of our party in the state. The people who are today the faces of the party by virtue of the positions they occupy will be seen leaving the party in droves," a chieftain of the party lamented. But that is not to say there will be no known name staying back in the PDP should Amaechi leave. For one, the Minister of State for Education, Ezebunwo Nyesom Wike will remain in the party to emerge the new leader of PDP in the state unchallenged. Wike, who was council chairman of Obio/Akpor Local Government Area for two tenures from 1999 to 2007, is now leading the opposition against his erstwhile political ally, Amaechi. He was also Chief of Staff to Governor Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi. After the emergence of President Goodluck Jonathan, Wike was appointed Minister of State in the Federal Ministry of Education. Senator George Thompson Sekibo, representing Rivers East is another person who will not follow Amaechi out of PDP. The former Organising Secretary of the Democratic Party of Nigeria (DPN) is not an ally of the governor, politically. There are also PDP chieftains like the self-acclaimed bulldozer of Rivers State politics, Chief Sergeant Awuse, and former Ikwerre council chairman, Boniface Emerengwa, who are expected to stay put in the party irrespective of the choice made by the governor. Also, the group of five House of Assembly members opposed to Governor Amaechi, namely Hon. Micheal Amaewhule, representing Obio/Akpo Constituency 1, Hon. Michael Chinda, representing Obio/Akpo Constituency 11, Hon. Evans Bipi of Ogu/Bolo Constituency, Hon. Kelechi Wogu of Omuma Constituency and Hon. Victor Ihunwo of Port Harcourt Constituency 111, will not leave the PDP. If the governor finally dumps PDP with the known and yet- to- be revealed loyalists, it remains to be seen how the ruling party will fare in the state.





Why Amosun shelved sack of LG chairmen

Ochei unfazed over assassination plot I

T's no longer news that the Speaker of Delta State House of Assembly, Hon. Victor Ochei, escaped an alleged assassination attempt in his constituency about two weeks ago. The youthful speaker, who is acknowledged as one of the three most formidable 2015 governorship hopefuls in the state, is however said to be unfazed about the attempt on his life, according to a source close to him. There are insinuations in certain quarters that some politicians in the state are allegedly uncomfortable with Ochei's profile and are hell bent to stop him in his tracks. But the speaker, insist sources, is not thinking of beating a retreat as far as his alleged governorship ambition is concerned.


Anyanwu resists pressure to dump APGA



(APGA) along with the governor. The journalist-turned-politician, it was further gathered, has also resisted pressure so far to return to the PDP, which she dumped in 2011 after she was denied a second term ticket to the National Assembly.

From Tinubu, a commendable gesture




UT for the intervention of some leaders of his party, the All Progressives Congress (APC) and close aides, Ogun State Governor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun, would have relieved a few chairmen of local governments in the state of their

Imo 2015: Ihedioha emerges frontrunner


HE alleged personality war between the Imo State Governor, Owelle Rochas Okorocha, and Senator Chris Anyanwu is yet to abate, sources have revealed. The development, sources say, may be responsible for Anyanwu's refusal to join the All Progressives Congress (APC) from the All Progressives Grand Alliance

ATIONAL leader of the All Progressives Congress, Bola Tinubu, has once again shown why he is regarded by many as a politician with a difference. In case you've not heard, the former governor of Lagos State has offered to complete an uncompleted 1,000 capacity hostel of the Lagos Campus of the Nigerian Law School. According to the Deputy Director-General of the Lagos

• Amosun

jobs a few days ago. Sources disclosed that in the last few months, the governor had been inundated with reports of alleged official misdemeanor of the LG bosses, in addition to their dictatorial tendencies and failure to carry along party leaders and members in their domains. Ripples learnt that some days ago, Amosun resolved to sack the LG bosses and had given instruction to that effect. However, his Special Adviser on Politics, Tunji Egbetokun, reportedly pleaded with the governor to exercise restraint on the issue in order to allow for broad consultations with party stakeholders. Egbetokun, who was the former Speaker of the State House of Assembly in the last dispensation, also convinced the governor on the need to give the concerned LG chairmen a second chance.

Campus of the Nigerian Law School, Mrs Toun Adebiyi, the edifice has been left unattended to for 24 years. The Nation learnt the gesture was made after the school's management approached Asiwaju to help it in its struggle to solve the lingering housing problem of the institution. And in his usual philanthropic manner, the Jagaban wasted no time in giving his words to them that he will come to their aid. When completed, the project would go a long way in resolving the accommodation problems on the campus. Like many others before now, this is indeed a gesture from the APC leader that is worthy of commendation.

• Saraki


HOUGH yet to declare his interest in the 2015 Imo State governorship contest, for the Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Emeka Ihedioha, we learnt that the decision to vie for the governorship seat is already a fait accompli. The federal lawmaker, has in the last few weeks, inaugurated a few projects, which include skill acquisition centres in selected council areas as part of his strategies to enhance his electoral value in the state. As things stand in Imo PDP today, Ihedioha is believed to be a frontrunner for the 2015 governorship ticket ahead of other touted aspirants, including another federal lawmaker, Bethel Amadi.

• Ihedioha

Between Saraki and Bio

HEY used to be political allies but not anymore. One was Speaker of the State's House of Assembly at the time the other served as the governor of the state. Their relationship was good and cordial till the very end or so it seemed. Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) chieftain and former Transport Minister, Hon. Isa Bio is still very angry with Senator Bukola Saraki, former governor of Kwara State, and he is not hiding the reason for his anger. The former minister, who has parted ways with his former political ally since the 2011 governorship election in the state, says Saraki promised to

• Bio

refund his campaign expenses after aborting his 2011 governorship dream but failed to fulfill the promise. Bio, who was a loyalist of Bukola's father till the old Saraki breathed his last, according to sources, is not in terms with the former governor even as crises continue to rock the state chapter of the party. Other stakeholders in the state are worried. "These two friends are the pillars of the party in the state. This rift between them is not good for the PDP," a party chieftain said. But will Bio let the sleeping dogs lie until Saraki fulfills his promise? That is left to be imagined.





IN VOGUE By Kehinde Oluleye

Tel: 08023689894 (sms) E-mail:




scarf in a





Nigerian Branama queen of soul music, Kefee, talks about her favourite things in this interview with Kehinde Oluleye.


Favourite shoes & bag designers Gucci 2

Favourite colour Yellow and brown 3

Favourite holiday spot Bahamas 4

Favourite Nigerian fashion designer Branama Afrique & Ms Makor Couture 5

Favourite earrings Chandelier 6

Favourite sunglasses Gucci 7

Favourite food Unripe plantain and vegetable


p o t



Favourite TV channel Zone Reality 9

Favourite wrist watch Piaget & Tag Heuer 10

Favourite makeup Smoky eyes











OLUSEGUN RAPHEAL (08033572821)





Eaglets' whizkid, KELECHI IHEANACHO

My parents

FLOGGED me because of football






Eaglets' whizkid, Kelechi Iheanacho

I still find time to sew my dress

My parents

flogged me because of football H

E is undoubtedly the hottest teenage footballer in the world today after being voted as the Adidas Golden Ball Award winner at the 2013 FIFA Under-17 World Cup, but Kelechi Iheanacho has sensationally revealed how his parents nearly stopped him from fulfilling his dream. In his frankest and longest interview ever, Iheanacho told the The Nation Sport & Style his rag-to-riches stuff, adding that it was his faith that has carried him thus far. "I think it was God that gave me the mind to be strong enough to continue playing football because my parents nearly discouraged me at a time," revealed Iheanacho." I was very good with my education right from my nursery and primary school but at a point my attention shifted to football." But his parents, who were not having any of that and only wanted the youngster to concentrate on his education, nearly broke his spirit by flogging him just to keep him on the straight path. He continued: "At a point, my parents did not want me to play football but I remember that it was one coach Ebere that is called Danish football in Nekede in Imo State that came to our house and told my parents to stop flogging me for playing football. "My parents did not actually listen to the coach initially, but later they started giving me some space after I entered Taiye Football Academy in Owerri. My parents were not convinced that I would make a breakthrough in life through football. "But they started believing in me after we went to a competition in Abuja and I helped Imo State win the tournament, and it was after this that they now gave me the blessing to start playing football," explained Iheanacho, whose favourite hit track is Freedom as sung by Akon - the Senegalese-American R&B and hip-hop artist. Iheanacho in the meantime is still revelling in the joy of being crowned as the most valuable player at the justconcluded Under-17 FIFA World Cup UAE 2013 after winning the Adidas Golden Ball as well as the Silver Shoe for emerging second best top scorer, even as he gave a glimpse of what he has passed through before arriving on the podium on October 8 in Abu Dhabi. He speaks with MORAKINYO ABODUNRIN. Excerpts: What were your objectives going to FIFA World Cup in the UAE? Our objective right from the start of this campaign was to become world champions; every day we were told that we could become champions and we really thank God that we were able to do it. Though we knew we had a very good team, we had to fight for victory because we lost several good players before coming to the World Cup. The credit has to go to the coaches and other officials who believed in us. Did you think you would be this successful when you first joined the team to the extent that you would be the best player in the world at this level? Sincerely, I thought the coaches were not going to pick me when I first joined the camp because we had so many good players in the team. It was not as if I didn't believe in myself but I was small physically, compared with others. I had the same fear when I first joined the Under-13 national team because I was so small. In fact, I

thought it was a joke when they were telling us that we would play for the Under-17 team then but as fate would have it for us, we are here and I really thank God. I know you love scoring goals but you came second behind Success Isaac at the CAN Championship in Morocco, how did that affect you? It did not really affect me because we play as a team in the Golden Eaglets and we were always told to pass to the person who is in the best position to score. Being the highest goal scorer or the best player in a competition is not important if your team did not win the trophy. I actually had an injury during the Nations Cup in Morocco but I had to keep on working because I knew what I was looking for and I thank God I was able to score five goals. I have strong faith in God and I know that whatever it is for me, no matter how long, I'm going to get it. Earlier, you said you knew what you were looking for a n d that was why you endured the pains in Morocco, what were those things? Right from when I joined the Golden Eaglets' camp, the coaches were always telling us that we wanted to qualify and win both the African Under-17 and FIFA U17 World Cup because Nigeria have not done so since 2007. So we were all dreaming of how to achieve such glory and they really encouraged us to be able to carry it in our minds. So, we were all driven in the same direction and we thank God that we have been able to achieve it. How did you feel when you scored four goals in the first match against Mexico? I wasn't surprised that I scored four goals against Mexico in our first match at the World Cup and I have to thank my team-mates for providing with the assists. Having said that, I think when you ask something from God, you must have the faith that he is going to do it. I was so happy after I scored the first goal because I actually prayed to God to give me two goals against Mexico, not knowing he was going to help me score two more goals. I was surprised and shocked too that I


scored four goals in a single match and at the world cup for that matter. You talk about faith, what is faith and how strong is your faith in God? Faith is having the belief that you will get whatever you ask from God. I have a very strong faith in God and he is a living God because when you ask for something with faith, you are going to get it. My faith in a living God is very strong. Generally, how do you feel emerging as the best player of the tournament? I feel very great. I can't describe the feeling and it is only God that can see and know how I feel. I didn't believe that I would come to this championship and play to the extent that I would be picked as the best player as well as the second top scorer. What I know is that it was God that made it possible. What were you saying when you knelt down after receiving your awards from FIFA President Sepp Blatter? Christians would know that I was actually dedicating the award to God because he made it possible. I was just thanking God because anybody with God is a majority. It is God that gives us life as well as the talent and ability to play. Why do you like playing football and how did you develop a strong interest? When I started schooling, right from my nursery and primary school, I loved playing football and I was very good in my study too because I was always coming between first and third. But at some point, my focus was only on football and my mother (of blessed memory) was always telling me that I had to focus more on my education. But I realised that the only thing I wanted to do was just to play football and I was not bothered even when they started flogging me for paying too much attention to football. I didn't stop playing football because my parents were flogging me. I think this was mapped out for me by God because if not so, I would have listened to them and stopped playing football a very long time ago.

At a point, my parents did not want me to play football but I remember that it was one coach Ebere that is called Danish football in Nekede in Imo State that came to our house and told my parents to stop flogging me for playing football.

HEN Serena Williams walks into the Imperial Suite at The St. Regis on Fifth Avenue, it's impossible to notice anyone else. In total, there are nine of us - publicists, hotel staff, two photographers, a trainer- but her presence is so powerful, everyone fades into the background. Her chiselled legs are prominently displayed in a lace mini-dress, and with the help of four-inch black suede stilettos, she stands at about 6-foot-1. Her mane is a wild-but-notunruly labyrinth of tiny uniform curls. She's profoundly intimidating. But Williams introduces herself with a whisper: "Nice to meet you," she says, with a handshake. Her gentle demeanour is somewhat at odds with the sometimes explosive, unstoppable force we see on the tennis court. It is needless to say that Serena is literally the best female tennis player in the universe. Williams took some time to chat candidly about privacy, body image, her clothing lines for HSN and Nike and her thoughts on retirement. What's your routine like on the day of a big match? If I'm playing at night, I go to the gym in the morning and then just relax. I try not to think about the match, but of course, it's all I can think about. Is there a specific meal you always eat before you play? I'm not really a superstitious person, so I always try to mix it up. I've been trying to eat a lot healthier- lots of veggies, green juice and fish. Is it impossible for you to go out in public without getting recognised? I could never go to places like [Starbucks]-I have to send someone out for me. I really don't like to say no to pictures, so I always end up saying yes. But if you say yes to one, then there's 20 people asking, and then there's 30. It's crazy, so I'm in my room a lot. During a tournament I hardly ever leave the hotel, ever. You have an apartment in Paris - is it less crazy there? Paris used to be my safe haven. It was always a big sigh of relief for me there. I didn't have to worry. But ever since I won Roland Garros [the French Open], I don't really go out there. Or I go to the country. Do you ever wish you could live normally? I don't complain about it - it's just something you have to get used to. It's such a humbling feeling that anyone would even watch me play. I feel so honoured, honestly, by anyone who's a fan of mine and who appreciates me. So when you're holed up in your apartment or a hotel, do you get cabin fever? No. I do work and watch a lot of TV. I'm a big fan of Netflix. I just saw Orange Is the New Black, but it was too violent for me. I also spend a lot of time designing. I have two collections. Have you always been interested in fashion? When I was younger, I made clothes for my dolls. My mum taught me how to sew when I was 2 or 3, so I've been sewing for as long as I can remember. And you still sew? Yes. I had a photo shoot the other day after I won a tournament, and when I put the dress on, it ripped. So I asked someone for the sewing kit and I just sewed it up right there. Everyone couldn't believe it. You could never tell it was broken. You've become such a strong, confident role model for women. How does that feel? Well, I wasn't always confident. I just started feeling comfortable with myself about six or seven years ago. That's why I tell people that even at 25 or 26, it's OK if you're feeling uncomfortable with yourself. I was too. It's normal. I love who I am, and I encourage other people to love and embrace who they are. But it definitely wasn't easy - it took me a while. Why was it difficult? I grew up with a lot of sisters - I was the youngest, and I was really thick. My sister Venus was so tall and slim, and just being in a society where a lot of people are really thin, it was hard. Especially as an athlete. No athlete has boobs like me. But I had to learn how to embrace myself and embrace my curves. And that's something a lot of people can relate to. You've been working and training unbelievably hard for more than half your life. Are there ever mornings you wake up and think, I don't feel like doing this anymore? Not yet. But if I do, that'll be the day I realise that time's up. Right now I'm having so much fun...and I'm still pretty good at what I do [laughs]. So it's like, why not keep going? You only get this opportunity once in your life.

Culled from DUJOUR.COM



•Continued on Page 38


•Continued from Page 37




•Continued on Page 42






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KAYODE I formerly known and addressed as Miss Kayode, Oluwatoyin Mercy, now wish to be known as Mrs. Ogundahunsi, Oluwatoyin Mercy. All former documents remain valid. Ekiti State University, Ado-Ekiti and general public please take note.


I formerly known and addressed as Ayobamidele Ibironke Oludemi, now wish to be known as Ayobamidele Ibironke Erinfolami. All former documents remain valid. UI, NYSC, CIP, NIM and general public please take note.


I formerly known and addressed as Chikwe David Ogadi, now wish to be known as Wafor David Ogadi. All former documents remain valid. FUTO and general public please take note. RASAQ I formerly known and addressed as Miss Rasaq, Aminat Temitope, now wish to be known as Mrs. Jinadu, Aminat Temitope. All former documents remain valid. General public please take note. HUSSEIN I formerly known and addressed as Miss Hussien, Zuliat Titilayo, now wish to be known as Mrs. Abdulazeez Zuliat Hussien Titilayo. All former documents remain valid. The Polytechnic Ibadan, NYSC and general public please take note. NOAH I formerly known and addressed as Noah Akeem, now wish to be known as Bakare Abayomi Hakeem. All former documents remain valid. Lagos SUBEB and general public please take note. QUADRI I formerly known and addressed as Quadri Mulkat Kemi, now wish to be known as Moshood Mulkat Kemi. All former documents remain valid. General public please take note. OMOSEBI I formerly known and addressed as Miss Oyindamola Oluwafunmilayo Omosebi, now wish to be known as Mrs. Oyindamola Oluwafunmilayo Sulle. All former documents remain valid. General public please take note. ASORONA I formerly known and addressed as Dr. (Miss) Asorona, Oluwabukola Afusat, now wish to be known as Dr. (Mrs.) Quadri, Oluwabukola Hafsat. All former documents remain valid. FNPH Yaba, WACP, NPMCN, MDCN and general public please take note. ABONUYO I formerly known and addressed as Miss Abonuyo Laura Chinyere, now wish to be known as Mrs. CollinsNwaneriaku Laura Chinyere. All former documents remain valid. General public please take note. AMADI I formerly known and addressed as Mr. Amadi, Collins Okwudiri, now wish to be known as Mr. Nwaneriaku Collins Okwudiri. All former documents remain valid. General public please take note. NNODIM I formerly known and addressed as Miss Juliet Chinwendu Nnodim, now wish to be known as Mrs. Juliet Chinwendu Onyeisi-Harbor. All former documents remain valid. General public please take note. AINA I formerly known and addressed as Aina Oluwakemi Modupe, now wish to be known as Oyelese Oluwakemi Modupe. All former documents remain valid. General public please take note.


I, formerly known and addressed as MISS IHEGWORO FELICITA CHINWE, now wish to be known and addressed as MRS EZE FELICITA CHINWENDU. All former documents remain valid. The general public should please take note.


I formerly known and addressed as Ojo Tajudeen Olanrewaju now wish to be known and addressed as Ojo Ayodele Olanrewaju. All former documents remain valid. Lagos State government and general public take note.

POPOOLA I formerly known and addressed as Miss Funmilayo Popoola, now wish to be known as Mrs. Funmilayo Ajibola Olayiwolu Samuel Animashaun. All former documents remain valid. General public please take note.


I formerly known and addressed as Miss. TAMUNODIEPRIYE CHICHI KALIO now wish to be known as Mrs. TAMUNODIEPRIYE CHICHI CAPTAIN KALIO. All former documents remain valid general public please take note. CONFIRMATION OF NAME I,MRS. MANUELA MIKE IGWE and MRS. MAUREEN MIKE IGWE refers to one and the same person, now wish to be known and addressed as MRS. MANUELA MIKE IGWE. All former documents remain valid. General public please take note. CONFIRMATION OF NAME I, ALEXANDER-MUSA JOHN IGEN and MUSA PAUL IGEN refers to one and the same person, now wish to be known and addressed as ALEXANDER-MUSA JOHN IGEN. All former documents remain valid. General public please take note.

OJINNAKA I formerly known and addressed as Miss Ojinnaka Chinwe Caroline now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs Chinwe Caroline Ugbogu. All former documents remains valid, general public should please take note.


I,formerly known and addressed as Miss Chidinma Wogu now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs Chidinma Princewill. All former documents remains valid, Umuahia Capital Development Authority, general public should please take note.

AMAEFULE Iformerly known and addressed as Miss Amaefule Chika Geraldine now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs Okezie Chika Geraldine. All former documents remains valid,Fidelity bank, general public should please take note.


I,formerly known and addressed as Miss Emetole Goodness Ulunma now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs Okonkwo Goodness Ulunma. All former documents remains valid, general public should please take note.

UTAH I,formerly known and addressed as Miss Utah Onyiyechi now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs Onyiyechi Chika Ogbonna. All former documents remains valid, general public should please take note.


I, formerly known and addressed as MISS AJENIFUJA NAFISAT OLAPEJU, now wish to be known and addressed as MRS ABDULLATEEF NAFISAT OLAPEJU. All former documents remain valid. The general public should please take note. OGUNMODEDE Formerly known and addressed as Miss Ogunmodede Mutiyat Omowumi now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs. Okeyemi Mutiyat Omowumi all former documents remain valid general public take note. AKINWUNMI Formerly known and addressed as Miss Akinwunmi Oluwabunmi Titilope Monininuolaoluwa now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs. Folorunso Oluwabunmi Titilope Monininuolaoluwa all former documents remain valid general public take note. CONFIRMATION OF NAME I, Olanrewaju Atinuke is thesame person as Olanrewaju Atinuke Elizabeth all former documents remain valid general public take note.


l formerly known and addressed Mr. Aladetoyinbo Kayode Tolulope now wish to be known and addressed as Mr. Samuel Tolulope. All former documents remain valid. General public take note.

NWAOKAKA I formerly known and addressed as Mrs Nafisa .L. Nwaokaka now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs. Neti lrene Ojobor. All former documents remain valid. General public take note. CONFIRMATION OF NAME I,EZENWOYE IZUCHUKWU ADOLPHUS and NWOFOROBELE IZUCHUKWU ADOLPHUS refers to one and the same person, now wish to be known and addressed as EZENWOYE IZUCHUKWU ADOLPHUS. All former documents remain valid. General public please take note.

I formerly known and addressed as Miss Adeyemi Rebecca Sayo now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs. Oyeleke Rebecca Oluwasayo. All former documents remain valid. General public take note.


I formerly known and addressed as Adedara Joke Olubunmi now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs. Faluyi Joke Oluwabunmi. All former documents remain valid. Federal Polytechnic Ado-Ekiti and general public take note.


I formerly known and addressed as Miss Obisami Toluwalope Esther now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs Owodunni Toluwalope Esther. All former documents remain valid. General public take note.

AREMU I formerly known and addressed as Miss Aremu Olufayoke Victoria now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs. Mide-Atolani Olufayoke Victoria. All former documents remain Valid. Nursing and Midwifery Council. General public take note.


I formerly known and addressed as Tosin Sunday now wish to be known and addressed as Ayanmuyiwa Tosin. All former documents remain Valid. General public take note.


I formerly known and addressed as Miss Joseph Christiana now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs Agbiofo Christiana. All former documents remain Valid. General public take note.


I, formerly known and addressed as MISS. CHINENYE VIVIAN NDUKA now wish to be known and addressed as PHARM (MRS) CHINENYE VIVIAN KENECHUKWU-ONWUGHALU. All former documents remain valid. General public should please take note.


I, formerly known and addressed as MISS. CHINAKA MARTHA ONYEKACHI, now wish to be known and addressed as MRS. FAVOUR ONYEKACHI BENJAMIN KANU. All former documents remain valid. Plantgeria Company Ltd and general public should please take note.


I,formerly known and addressed as MISS. NNOROM PATIENCE CHINYERE, now wish to be known and addressed as MRS. ESIOBU PATIENCE CHINYERE. All former documents remain valid. General public should please take note.

DIKE I, formerly known and addressed as MISS. CHIGOZIE DIKE, now wish to be known and addressed as MRS. CHIGOZIE NSEMEKE UDOUDO. All former documents remain valid. Abia State Polytechnic, Aba, Abia State and general public should please take note.


I, formerly known and addressed as MISS. CHUKWUDORUO UDOKA ADAMEZIE PEACE, now wish to be known and addressed as MRS. PEACE ADAMEZIE OGU. All former documents remain valid. Rivers State College of Arts and Science, Rivers State, IOI and general public should please take note.


I,formerly known and addressed as MISS. ONOKPASA FELICIA EMUOBO, now wish to be known and addressed as MRS. ASIBE UNIQUE EMUOBO. All former documents remain valid. General public should please take note. CONFIRMATION OF NAME I, AMBROSE DESMOND OSITA and EZEJIBURU DESMOND OSITA refers to one and the same person, now wish to be known and addressed as AMBROSE DESMOND OSITA. All former documents remain valid. General public please take note. CONFIRMATION OF NAME I, Sadare Damola is thesame person as Shadare Damola Iyanuoluwa all former documents remain valid general public take note.


I, formerly known and addressed as MISS ONWUEGBUNA CHIOMA CHIBUZOR INNOCENTIA now wish to be known and addressed as MRS NNAMCHI CHIOMA CHIBUZOR. All former documents remain valid. UNN Enugu, NYSC and the general public take note.

OBIONWU I, formerly known and addressed as MISS OBIONWU IFEOMA JOY now wish to be known and addressed as MRS ANI IFEOMA JOY. All former documents remain valid. NYSC and the general public take note. .


I, formerly known and addressed as MISS ONYEJIEKWE CHIOMA QUEEN now wish to be known and addressed as MRS ANYADIEGWU CHIOMA QUEEN. All former documents remain valid. NYSC and the general public take note.

ONYENMA I formerly known and addressed as Miss CHIOMA NINA ONYENMA, now wish to be known as Mrs. CHIOMA NINA ANI. All former documents remain valid. General public please take note.

JIMMY I formerly known and addressed as JIMMY VICTORY MARY, now wish to be known as ABRAHAM LOVE COVENANT. All former documents remain valid. General public please take note.

IFEDOLAPO I formerly known and addressed as Miss Oluwasola, Mosunmola Ifedolapo, now wish to be known as Mrs. Agbaje, Mosunmola Ifedolapo. All former documents remain valid. General public please take note.


I formerly known and addressed as Onwuanumkpe lke Gideon, now wish to be known as Udeze lke Gideon. All former documents remain valid. General public please take note.

ADEPOJU I formerly known and addressed as Miss ADEPOJU OLAWUNMI BANKE , now wish to be known as AJAYI OLAWUNMI BANKE. All former documents remain valid. General public please take note.


I formerly known and addressed as MISS MARY NWABUEZE ANYAMELE, now wish to be known as MRS MARY NWABUEZE. All former documents remain valid. General public please take note.

EZUOKE I formerly known and addressed as MISS GRACE CHIGOZIRIM EZUOKE., now wish to be known as MRS GRACE CHIGOZIRIM ANI. All former documents remain valid. General public please take note.


I formerly known and addressed as MISS ADELEYE ELIZABETH OLUWATOYIN, now wish to be known as MRS KOLAPO ELIZBETH OLUWATOYIN. All former documents remain valid. YABA TECH,ZENITH,FIRST BANK AND IBTC PENSION and general public please take note. CONFIRMATION OF NAME I, Motunrayo Babatunde and Babatunde Motunraya Toyin is thesame person as Babatunde Motunrayo Oluwatoyin all former documents remain general public take note. CONFIRMATION OF NAME I, Oluwagbemigun Abiola Damilare is thesame person as Philips Abiola Damilare all former documents remain valid general public take note.


I formerly known and addressed as MISS AMOSUN MOJISOLA TEMITOPE, now wish to be known and addressed as MRS MOHAMMED MOJISOLA TEMITOPE. All former documents remain valid. Lagos State Local Government Service Commission and general public please take note.









By Olubanwo Fagbemi

POLITICKLE 08060343214 (SMS only)

Reason without season •Or ‘Why, oh why’?


THE GReggs

WHY do bad decisions make good stories? Why is it easier to obtain pardon than permission? Why do you throw junk away weeks before you need it? Why do you sometimes walk around the house to get things done yet achieve nothing? And why do you find yourself walking to another room or spot only to discover there that you had forgotten your mission? Why do you constantly return to the refrigerator with hopes that something new to eat would have materialised? Indeed, why is it so hard to trace the fine line between boredom and hunger? Why is it that whenever you attempt to catch something that’s falling off the table you always manage to knock something else over? Why is that you would rather attempt to carry 10 plastic shopping bags in each hand than take two trips to bring the items in? Why is it that no plastic bag will open from the end on your first try? Or when you are in the supermarket and someone rams your ankle with a shopping cart and then apologises for doing so, why do you say, “It’s all right?” when you long to say, “That really hurt. Why don’t you watch where you’re going?” Why can you not laugh alone or talk to yourself as you walk along without the world thinking you are idiotic or mad? And why is it that when walking down the street and you find that you are going in a different direction than intended, instead of turning and walking back in the direction from which you came you prefer to check your watch or phone, or make an arm gesture and mutter to yourself to ensure that no one in the surrounding area thinks you’re crazy in randomly switching directions? Why is it that broadness of the mind and narrowness of the waist exchange places in middle age? Why do opportunities always look bigger going than coming? Why is it that you never recognise the significance of a mistake until you make it again? Why is it that you hardly hear fatherin-law jokes? And why is that by the time you find greener pastures, you cannot climb the fence to get in anymore? Why is that, more often than not, when someone is telling you a story, all you can think about is that he finishes quickly so that you can tell your own story that is not only better, but also more directly involves you? And why do you get that sinking feeling at the moment you realise you are wrong during an argument? Why is it that sometimes you will watch a movie that you watched while younger and suddenly see that you had no idea what it was about the first time you saw it? Why do you press harder on a remote control when you know the batteries are almost dead? And why is that the one holding the remote control device in a room full of people watching TV feels so much pressure from the others? Why do you say “what?” a number of times before nodding and smiling because you still didn’t hear what someone said? Why is it that most of the people in the “people you may know” feature on internet chat sites are people you do know, but deliberately choose not to be friends with? And why are the misdeeds of the rich and great mistaken for error while those of the poor and lowly are for crimes?


Readers’ Response Significant nature

Dear Olubanwo, very significant nature indeed. Since this is meant to be a guide, then one can add the following: “Driving – Nigeria officially drives on the left hand but drivers ‘are free’ to drive on any chosen way on the motorways. Drivers ‘are free’ to overtake on both sides of the road on any highway. Please note that truck drivers in Nigeria ‘are licensed’ to ‘KILL’. Note too that the motorways are ‘decorated’ with potholes as big and deep as ‘konga’. Also note that bike riders are on a ‘suicide mission’. They seem to be in a hurry to ‘get to heaven’”. Regards, Fola Aiyegbusi. +2348029578***

Committee Country

Well, Mr Banwo, your take on national issues in this article, Committee Country, is very thoughtful; very deep. Thanks to Tortiz and Kubra, animals know better. +2348185346***

Jokes Humour The Other Woman DOCTORS are used to getting calls at any hour. One night a man phoned, waking Doctor Weku up. “I’m sorry to bother you so late,” the man said, “but I think my wife has appendicitis.” Still half asleep, Dr Weku reminded the caller that he had taken his wife’s inflamed appendix out a couple of years before. “Whoever heard of a second appendix?” the doctor asked. “You may not have heard of a second appendix,” said the man, “but surely you’ve heard of a second wife.” One Wish A GUARDIAN spirit appears at the local university’s faculty meeting and tells the dean, “In return for your unselfish and exemplary behaviour, you will be rewarded with your choice of infinite wealth, wisdom, or beauty.” “Give me infinite wisdom!” declares the dean, without hesitation. Done!” says the spirit before disappearing in a cloud of smoke.

All heads now turn to the dean, who sits surrounded by a faint halo of light. “Well,” says a colleague, “say something brilliant.” The dean stands and, with the poise of a Socrates, says, “I should have taken the money.” Mistaken Identity A MAN walking out of a pub late at night has had a few too many to drink. He walks down the street with one foot on the sidewalk and one foot on the road. It looks awfully awkward and he seems to have a hard time doing it. A little later a policeman walks up to him and asks, “Well, sir, had one too many to drink, eh?” The man replies, “I have? Yes, I have! Oh thank God, I thought I was crippled!”

QUOTE Nothing is funnier than unhappiness, I grant you that. … Yes, yes, it’s the most comical thing in the world. — Samuel Beckett •Adapted from the Internet


OWARDS Writer ’s Fountain great reading: What makes great reading To start with, do nothing for a day or two. – genius, good connections in the publish- Set your work aside for a period of time. ing world or just old-fashioned, thorough You’ll come to the work afresh if you leave it alone for a while. Only then will you see editing? Great stories do not spring from the the sense in your story. Allow at least a day for essays. Short writer’s desk ready to be read and digested by the reader without much difficulty. Nor stories may need longer for you to rephrase do you need any publishing connections expressions, rework the angle or adjust the setting. Many novelists advise putting your or prior experience in novel writing. Whatever kind of writing you do, it’s novel aside for at least a month before startimportant to revise and edit your work. ing the revision process. You succeed by editing the first draft However long you took on the first draft, you’ll always find a few errors to rectify. massively through the following steps: Look out for typos and misspellings. Hyper sense: Once you’ve sorted out the big picture, •Hippopotomonstrosesquippedaliophobia you can start fixing any individual senis the fear of long words. tences and words. You could print out the •Honorificabilitudinitatibus is the longest document and do this on paper to find erword consisting entirely of alternating rors missed on screen, especially typos vowels and consonants. which are valid words such as ‘they’re’ for •Hydroponics is the technique by which ‘their’. plants are grown in water without soil. You could read backwards going much •Hydroxyzine (a prescription drug) is the more slowly, and focusing on every indilongest containing “x-y-z” in exact order. vidual word. Avoid clumsy sentences and Next in line line is xyzzors, a scientific name confusing or misleading phrasing by readfor a nematode worm in biology. ing your work aloud.





•Continued on Page 73


42 SUNDAY MAGAZINE •Continued from Page 39

•Obama’s motorcade

•Sierra Leone president, Koroma’s convoy



By Yetunde Oladeinde




•Continued on Page 79




Sport Style THE NATION


‘I still find time to sew my dress’



My hubby is my role model

PHOTO BY: OLUSEGUN RAPHAEL About her husband He is an amazing husband, very hardworking. He pushes me more than l can imagine. He is a goal getter and l would say l look up to him as a role model. He is an amazing father to his children and they look up to him too. In whatever l am doing he supports me all the way. For example, for this project that l am embarking on, he supports me a 110 percent. And he pushes me more than l push myself and that is a bonus for him. We have come a long way. I met him while he was a young footballer and ever since we have been together. He is full of ideas and that kind of rubs off on me and for whatever l am doing l want to put a 110 percent into it. l have learnt well. Children and soccer At first l did not like soccer, like football is called in the U.S, but from watching my children play the game, l kind of developed great interest in it. It is very interesting. My children, like their father, play it very well and they are doing well at school and at club level in their own different ways. Sheriff is fast taking after him as a potential great footballer. He recently got a scholarship in the U.S just like his father did while he was in Yaba College of Education. (In 1987, Akanni got a scholarship to study at Howard University in the United States, where he earned bachelors and masters degrees in Engineering). Aside Sheriff, Babatunde, and Samid, who is the baby of the house, is also doing fine

IBUKUN Waidi-Akanni has been graciously described by her husband of over 20 years, ex-international and former Lagos State Football Association Chairman, Waidi Akanni, as the friend and lover that stood by him through thick and thin. In the words of the ex-Flying Eagles star, “My wife, Ibukun Akanni, has been there for me from the beginning. I met her as a player in Lagos and together we have weathered the storm. She was there for me while trying to find my footing in football and business and she is still there for me, taking care of our children while l am away from our home in the U.S.” Mrs Akanni, a leading U.S-based artists manager, was in Nigeria recently to put finishing touches to one of her programmes, and took time to talk with The Nation Sport and Style's TAIWO ALIMI. In this revealing interview, she discloses her passion for her job as a publicist and how her hubby has influenced her greatly, sometimes 'pushing me beyond my imagination'. Excerpts: with soccer. They all have a passion for the game. We are also blessed with two girls and they are into athletics in their own way too. However, for us, education is paramount and we have told them that they can do whatever they want as far as they take their education first. In life, whether in sport or entertainment, l always preach the gospel of mixing education with football. As a publicist in the U.S.

I have been in P.R. for five years and I have been doing the Sylvia P.R. Event, which is a pre-Grammy event thing for the past four years. I also have a pet project; Sylvia P.R. Awards, which in its first year we gave an award to Quincy Jones and this last one in February of this year we gave awards to former President Olusegun Obasanjo and Richard Mofe Damijo (RMD). I represent top artists in the U.S. like

Miguel, Ciarra, TI and Vashawn Mitchell and in Nigeria l represent RMD and Yinka Davies. Assessing the entertainment industry in Nigeria? The Nigerian entertainment industry is good, growing but they need the right set up. A lot of them don't have publicists. The job of a publicist is to manage their image and ensure that they have good publicity. A lot of them don't have stylists, they just go on the rack and wear what they see. A lot of them look ridiculous at award shows. They need a stylist. To call yourself a celebrity you have to spend money on your image because that is what people see. On the music level, they are good but we don't get to hear them abroad. They don't play it on radio in the US. The only song I heard on radio in Dubai was Oliver Twist by D'banj and neither do we see the videos on BET. That is part of what I'm also trying to do. You have to expand, you have to go international. You don't just sit in your own small world here. The whole idea is to expand and for the artist to be recognised internationally, not just by Nigerians abroad. People have to know you no matter where you are. When I mentioned Miguel, you knew who he was instantly, yet he has never been to Nigeria. They only do the Nigerian thing. D'banj ought to be invited to the U.S to perform for the foreign audience like Chris Brown and Akon are brought to Nigeria to play and get millions of naira.


?relationship issues Solutions to real life




Page 58, 59


HE Federal, State, and Local Governments, which are the shareholders of the National Integrated Power Projects (NIPP), have asked the Niger Delta Power Holding Company (NDPHC) to reinvest the proceeds from the sales of the 10 power plants in the power sector. Speaking at Abuja during the induction of 308 trainees for the NAPTIN Graduate Skills Development Programme (NGSDP), the Managing Director, NDPHC), Mr. James Olutu, said: "We are already on the verge of privatizsing the power generation plants that we are building, which require manpower to man those positions that are going to be opened. What we will be able to get from this privatisation, our shareholders- the three tiers of government have approved that money be reinvested on power." According to him, NDPHC is developing about 10 power plants in hydro that require the cooperation with the Ministry of Power, Ministry of Water Resources and other relevant agencies to ensure that there is over 6000 Mega Watts

Thrills, frills of living in 1004 Estate

- Sina Awelewa •Awelewa

Page 62

• An aerial view of the parking list

Page 63

Shareholders approve reinvestment of NIPP proceeds in power sector ...$1.8b earmarked for NIPP transmission From John Ofikhenua, Abuja

from hydro. He also revealed that the company would earmark $1.8billion for electricity transmission in view of the 16,000 mega watts projection. He, however, noted that "but no matter the investment you put in infrastructure, if you don't develop the human capacity, to run or manage these machines of infrastructure, we are in danger. And that is why I said that NDPHC will continue to partner with you. We will do far more for NAPTIN than we have ever done." The Director General, National Power Training Institute of Nigeria (NAPTIN), Engr. Reuben Okeke, revealed that 17,000 technical staff are required to support the production of 40,000mw in the power sector. He added that of the

308 trainees, 219 are males while 17 are females. He said that the Min-

ister of Power, Prof. Chinedu Nebo, has asked NAPTIN to increase the representation of female in

HE World Bank Nigeria Country Director, Marie Francoise Marie-Nelly, has warned beneficiaries of the bank's financial interventions that there would be zero-tolerance for poor use of the resources. Speaking in Enugu at the Country Performance Portfolio Review (CPPR) meeting for South-south and South-east states, she also said the country needed to attain faster growth rate in order to curb extreme poverty. It also emerged that the total monthly internally-generated revenue (IGR) of Enugu State now stands at about N14 billion. The state government said through a representation from the state planning commission that it intended to realise 50 per cent of its total revenue from IGR while working towards managing public debt in a way that does not create problem for the state. In a presentation to participants, the Cross River State Planning representative said its commitment to implementing various capital projects that could be of immense benefit to its people had further been hampered by a CBN directive to banks to refrain from extending credit to the state.

the programme. Okeke explained that 72 of the inductees are to specialise in mechanical engineering while 236 would specialise in elec-

•From left: Former Petroleum Minister, Chief Phillip Asiodu; President, Chartered Institute of Taxation, Mike Dike and Managing Partner Peek Professional Services, Andrew Uviase during the taxation and martime workshop in Lagos .... recently.

World Bank tasks Nigeria on resource management


-- Page 53

I try not to satisfy everybody

Oil spillage in Niger Delta: Who’s to blame?

It added that the situation had dealt "a big blow and killer punch" on the capacity of the state to undertake crucial empowerment initiatives. Notwithstanding, it said the development had encouraged the state to step up efforts to boost its IGR and strengthen public-private partnerships (PPP). Meanwhile, the World Bank Country Director also called for enhanced management of resources by the Nigerian government in order to further improve the living condition of its people.

She noted that the Breton Woods institution's contribution to Nigeria was only two per cent of annual federal government budget, implying that if resources were well-managed, much could still be achieved even without the bank's aid. Marie-Nelly said although more states were currently seeking partnership with the bank, there is the need to emphasise good practices in project implementation and install mechanisms to ensure that projects are embedded in state strategies, implementation and monitoring arrangements.

•From left: Roberts U. Orya, Managing Director/Chief Executive, NEXIM Bank and Mr. Babacar N'diaye, former President of the African Development Bank at a meeting recently where N'diaye endorsed his support for the NEXIM sponsored Regional Sealink project.

trical engineering. Meanwhile, the Director General, Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) Benjamin Dikki, said that the distribution companies are contractually obligated to reduce the aggregate technical and commercial losses. He also noted that the generation companies have signed an agreement with the BPE to, in the next five years, increase generation capacity by 5,000mw. The BPE boss said that "The power generation alone, if we are to raise additional 10,000 mega watts these private sector investors will require to raise $7.5billion." Government, according to him,xxx " is going to monitor these obligations, and sanctions will be meted out to anyone who deviates from the contractual agreement to do so. Government reserves the right to take back these companies if they are not fulfilling their contractual obligation."

Banks lose N159bn to fraud


HE Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has set machinery in motion to help the banks tide over the increasing loss of funds as a result of poor electronic payment system. Available statistics show that Nigerian banks have lost a whooping N159 billion to electronic fraud between 2000 and first quarter (Q1) of 2013. To address this malaise, the CBN has disclosed plans to reposition Payments System Policy and Oversight Office in order to be more responsive to challenges and realities of today. The apex bank is also looking to evolve appropriate policies and regulation to proactively tackle electronic fraud in

•CBN steps up efforts to stem fraud By Ibrahim Apekhade Yusuf

the country. Speaking at the 4th Annual Payment System and Fraud Conference organised by the Electronic Payment Providers Association of Nigeria (E-PPAN) in Lagos, recently, Tunde Lemo, deputy governor, operations, CBN, said the cashless economy scheme has continued to make appreciable progress within the context of the peculiarity of Nigerian business environment. According to Lemo electronic fraud has become a significant snag of the success of the cashless initiative, further adding that the apex bank is constantly devising innovative ways of curbing the menace. C h r i s t a b e l

Onyejekwe, executive director, business development, Nigerian Inter-Bank Settlements Systems, (NIBSS) plc, said the huge losses to e-fraud is a deterrent to improving the consumer confidence and adoption of Nigeria's cashless strategies. Onyejekwe quoted recent research data on e-fraud in Nigeria by the Financial Institutions Training Centre (FITC). Analysing the annual e-fraud trend in the banking industry since 2000 till date, Onyejekwe, in an interview, said that the figure stood at N1.65 billion in 2000; N3.12 billion in 2001; N8.20 billion in 2002, but declined to N5.13 billion in 2003 while in 2004, the figure moved up to N89.43 billion.




IL spillage is a recurring decimal in the oil-rich Niger Delta, where exploration activities in the downstream petroleum sub sector has often led to degradation of the environment in many ways than one, especially in the creeks and its environs. Buck passing However, past attempts to unravel the real culprits responsible for the despoliation of the environment, including the destruction of flora and fauna, has remained one jigsaw puzzle, as most of the multinationals operating in the region have always found it rather convenient to pass the buck elsewhere. Road to discovery It would be recalled that Amnesty International in late 2011 had slammed Shell for its failure to clean up two of spills in Bodo and Ogoniland in 2008, which the group said caused huge suffering and had wrecked the livelihoods of 69, 000 people. The human rights group said local fisheries and farmland were poisoned, and that Shell and its partners should be held liable to pay $1billion needed to clean up the region. "The prolonged failure of Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria to clean up the oil that was spilled continues to have catastrophic consequences," read the report. A spokesman for Shell at the time said the company and its partners had acknowledged the spills and already started cleaning up the area, but that cleanup effort has been hampered by oil theft, which he said was responsible for most spills in the Delta. But Amnesty said the community's UK lawyers suggested the spill had leaked 4, 000 barrels a day for 10 weeks, which would make it bigger than the 1989 Exxon Valdez spill in Alaska. Weight of fresh evidence But all that is about to change as fresh evidence by Amnesty shows that oil super major, Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria, falsified and manipulated oil spill investigations and documents in Nigeria. The rights group accused the oil company of wrongly reporting the cause and volume of pollution devastating the Niger Delta and made false claims about cleanup measures, according to a report by the Associated Press. The future of farmers and fishermen, whose livelihoods are destroyed by such spills, depends on reports that can be "very subjective, misleading and downright false," according to an independent United States industry expert hired by Amnesty International to review documents newly obtained under Nigeria's Freedom of Information Act. The report offers detailed analysis to back longstanding charges that oil companies blame sabotage for spills sometimes caused by corrosion and other faults in aging pipelines. Sabotage or oil theft means a community is not eligible for compensation. Shell Nigeria said it "firmly rejects (the) unsubstantiated assertions" and

•Diezani Alison-Madueke, Petroleum Minister



Oil spillage in Niger Delta: Who’s to blame?

Although the recent report by the Amnesty International, a human rights group, that Shell Petroleum is liable for the series of oil spillage in the oil-rich Niger Delta is being hotly contested by the oil major, analysts have argued that the report itself is a sad commentary on how oil exploration activities of most of the multinational oil companies have led to wholesale destruction of lives and properties in oil-producing communities across the country. In this report, Ibrahim Apekhade Yusuf examines the issue

'Why oil companies shy away from comp en


•Mitee seeks "greater transparency and independent oversight" in reporting oil spills. "Solutions to the terrible tragedy of oil pollution in the Niger Delta need to be found," said a statement provided in response to the report, according to the Associated Press. Shell was the first company to start producing oil in the Delta, in 1958. Shell repeated assertions that most spills were caused by growing theft that experts estimate at between 100,000 and 200,000 barrels of oil a day. One questionable report claiming sabotage was accepted by a Netherlands court that ruled against compensation for a Niger Delta community, Amnesty noted. The report, prepared in collaboration with the Centre for Environment, Human Rights and Development, sheds new light on one of the worst environmental disasters in Nigeria, a 2008 spill that affected about 30,000 people in the Delta's Bodo creek area, and is the subject of a lawsuit in Britain. Some experts say the spill caused the largest loss of mangrove habitat ever caused by an oil spill. Shell documents say the leak started on October 5, 2008 and 1,640 barrels of oil were spilled. Government and community documents say the leak started on August 28. United

HAT does the constitution says about the willful destruction of any place by an individual or organisation? The 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended) provides for the environment under Chapter II; section 20 states: "The State shall protect and improve the environment and safeguard the water, air, land, forest and wildlife of Nigeria". Section 17(2) (d) of the Constitution complements the aforestated provision by stating that: "Exploitation of human or natural resources in any form whatsoever for reasons other than the good of the community shall be prevented." Though section 20 falls under the non-justiciable rights, the courts seemed to have made even the non-justiciable rights justiciable by relying on the domestication of the African Charter, a regional instrument on Human Rights.(section 12 of the constitution). All persons shall have the right to freedom from pollution, environmental degradation and activities that adversely affect the environment, threatening life, health, livelihood, well-being or sustainable development within, across or outside national boundaries. What form of compensation should be paid to the vic-

tims of such destruction? The payment of compensation is one of the intractable problems facing the oil industry in Nigeria. The internecine crisis between the oil firms, the host communities and the federal government could be traceable to the issue of neglect which is synonymous with the low compensation paid to the victims of negative externalities from the oil industry. These externalities are in form of oil pollution, gas flaring and other forms of environmental modification. Bearing in mind that it is difficult to engage in oil business without one form of environmental pollution, the framers of the 1969 Petroleum Act insisted that in an event of untoward modification of the environment, fair and adequate compensation should be paid to the victims. It is therefore a statutory obligation for oil firms to engage in best oil field practice to avoid polluting the environment. However, evidence on ground would seem to suggest that the issue of compensation is a thorny one. Opinions are divided on the adequacy or otherwise of the compensation

States-based Accufacts, the industry expert hired by Amnesty, reviewed a video of the leak and estimated that up to 4,320 barrels of oil was flooding Bodo each day for at least 72 days. When Amnesty challenged Shell with its evidence, the company for the first time said it had turned off supply to the affected pipe, and, therefore,

the volume of the spill could not be that high. Yet, the video showed oil spurting out months later, on November 7. Shell says it cleaned up the Bodo spill between October 30, 2008 and December 2009. But it also says it did not have access to the area to stop a second major spill that began on December 7, 2008. Nigerian regulators have

Miss Yetunde Ogunremi, a Barrister at Law and Partner, O.J Bamgbose & Co, Oyo, Ibadan, in this interview with Tolulope Ogidan speaks on the position of the law in proven cases of willful destruction of property and remedies available, for oil-related pollution


paid by the oil firms to the victims of oil spillage. On the one hand, oil firms claim that they are paying adequate compensation. Indeed, it is asserted that they pay rates higher than the official ones. On the other hand, host communities insist that the rates paid by oil firms are not just enough and that the oil firms violate existing regulations in the payment of compensation. There are extant acts and statutory provisions that enjoin oil firms to pay one form of compensation or the other to victims of oil pollution. not certified the site as clean, as mandated by law. Martyn Day of Leigh Day, the British law firm representing about 15,000 people from Bodo, said the Amnesty's report "makes it now clear that Shell has a totally deficient system …that has led to a massive underestimate of how much oil has leaked out into that area."

These includes: The Petroleum Act, 1969, Oil Pipeline Act, 1958, Petroleum (Drilling & Production) Regulations, 1969, Public Lands Acquisition Miscellaneous Provision Decree (1977) and later Land Use Act, 1978. In all, there are three strands under which victims of oil pollution may seek payment of compensation from the oil industry. But being a highly technical industry, it may be difficult to prove cases like this beyond reasonable doubt by the poor, "illiterate" and obligate fishermen. In other words, in most cases, compensations are not just paid by oil firms even when there is overwhelming evidence. They reluctantly pay after protracted negotiations and expensive law suits. But critical reviews of these laws reveal that there is no comprehensive statutory provision for compensation in respect of oil pollution in the petroleum industry in Nigeria. As a result of this there are lots of items that dispossessed claimants cannot be compensated. This leads to dissatisfaction among victims of oil pollution which, sometimes, results in crises and conflicts within the Emasculated laws In Nigeria, the legal basis of oil pollution compensation can be found in the Nigerian Constitution and a few other enactments which are the Oil Pipelines Act Cap 338, LFN 1990, the Petroleum Act 1969 now Cap 350 LFN 1990, Mining Act No 24, 1999, the oil in Navigational water Act, Cap 337 LFN 1990, the Land Use Act



mp ensation' oil producing communities. What form of redress can they pursue if the company fails to comply? Oil pollution in Nigeria has been a consequence of the oil prospecting activities. The Niger Delta region of the country has witnessed the bulk of the degrading effects of oil pollution. Under Nigerian legal system, victims of oil pollution can seek judicial redress either under the statutes governing such pollution or under the common law torts. The Nigerian Constitution, which is the grundnorm, lacks an elaborate provision on environmental protection. Majority of the laws on environmental protection were enacted under the long duration of military rule in the country. Upon the adoption of the 1999 constitution, they were inherited as "existing laws" by virtue of section 315(1) of the Constitution. Although these laws exist, yet they have failed to adequately protect the environment and the victims from the deleterious consequences of oil pollution. Some of their shortcomings include the outdated penalty sections, the incapacitation of the enforcement officials, the attitude of prosecution lawyers with respect to environment pollution cases, the attitude of the courts, etc. Cap 202 1990, and others. However, according to Ms Yetunde Ogunremi, a partner at O. J. Bamgbose Chambers, Ibadan, "Critical reviews of these statutes reveal that there is no comprehensive statutory provision for compensation in respect of oil pollution in the petroleum industry in Nigeria. As a result of this, there are lots of items that dispos-

sessed claimants cannot be compensated. This leads to dissatisfaction among victims of oil pollution which, sometimes, results in crises and conflicts within the oil-producing communities." The Nigerian Constitution, she emphasised, "lacks an elaborate provision on environmental protection. Although these laws exist, they have failed to adequately protect the environment and the victims from the deleterious consequences of oil pollution. Some of their shortcomings include the out-dated penalty sections, the incapacitation of the enforcement officials, the attitude of prosecution lawyers with respect to environment pollution cases, the attitude of the courts, etc." In the contention of analysts, since the inception of the petroleum industry, people have not benefitted from any form of compensation because most communities don't have money to hire lawyers. Echoing similar sentiments, Director General, National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA), Sir Peter Idabor, who spoke in a monitored television magazine programme last week, while acknowledging the fact that there has been a rising wave of oil spillage in the country, especially in the Niger Delta region, however, observed that it is attributable to human error, third party interference, among others. Clear and present dangers Curiously, experts have stressed that oil spill comes with a lot of baggage, especially health consequences. The nation's decreasing life expectancy has been attributed to the consumption of polluted foods due to increasing rate of oil spillage. To the outsider, the ownership of a place near water with all the aquatic flora and fauna, out of sight of neigh-

bours and far from the hustle and bustle of city life, is probably more pleasing than anything else in this world, but this is not so for the inhabitants of this fetid slum, who have suffered a lot of privations than they are willing to admit themselves. In a telephone chat with The Nation, Madam Elohor Oritsejolomi, a resident of Warri South, in Delta, lamented what she described as the pitiable condition many indigenes are subjected to as a result of ravages of oil spill. "We have lost count of number of deaths, especially our women and children, recorded in this place. If you look around, you will discover that our children are afflicted with one ailments or the other. Our women, children, male folks come down with polio, malaria, cholera because we eat and drink contaminated water," she said. In one often-quoted episode, the whole community was ravaged with epidemic leading to loss of lives. "Most of our young men and women are dying in their primes today because of what they eat - polluted substances we collect through the food chains, through our vegetables we eat, snails, fishes and all others, are a mixture of oil and mud." Guilty as charged Chief Frank Ovie Kokori, former Secretary General, NUPENG, while giving an insight into the activities of the oil major, lamented that the sheer scale of devastation wrought on the land by the oil major is unquantifiable. Kokori said: "I think the fault lies with the oil companies and the government agencies that are expected to monitor the activities of these companies. In many parts of the world where oil exploration activities take place, monitoring is the primary role of government. But in Nigeria, it is an irony that the people the community relies upon to protect their interest at all times look the other way and that is why the oil majors can get away with the evil they are perpetuating in a place like the Niger Delta." Expatiating, he said: "Ordinarily, if the government reacts by putting punitive measures in place, most of the oil majors like Shell, Chevron, Mobil, won't dare. But because the government is weak, these oil companies see themselves as government with the power to do and undo. They get away with crimes they cannot commit in the western hemisphere. "They say people of Ogoni are asking for $1billion. It is only possible because the Movement for the Survival of Ogoni (MOSOP) led by the late Saro Wiwa and later Ledum Mitee. But even at that it is even a far cry. If you go into the creeks of Bayelsa and other parts of the Delta, the damage and devastation there you cannot quantify because it goes down to many generations yet unborn. There are many communities in the Niger Delta creeks that cannot farm on their soil, neither drink their water. What form of clean up will you do to reclaim such land? You cannot really quantify that." If the ill-feelings generated by the Amnesty report are anything to go by, it may be correct to say that the last has not been heard on this vexed issue of oil spillage as affected communities afflicted by the plague continue to count their losses.


•From left: British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Dr. Andrew Pocock, CBN Deputy Governor Corporate Services, Alhaji Suleiman Barau, CBN Deputy Governor, Dr. Sarah Alade, Managing Director, British Standard Institute, Mr. Mark Bashan

Why CBN got ISO 20071 certification

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has been issued the ISO 20071 certification, meaning that Nigeria's apex bank has developed near-fool proof mechanism to protect valuable information and documents for itself and its clients and assets involved that need protection, report Nduka Chiejina (Assistant Editor) and Bridget Adah Agiounim.


Y 2015, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) aims to become the model central bank by delivering price stability conductive to economic growth. In addition, the bank hopes to achieve safe, stable, and sound financial system by encouraging credible, reliable and efficient payment system. To achieve all these, the CBN has recently been certified ISO20071 by the British Standards Institution (BSI) to ensure that the apex bank's confidential information and documents are secured. The 20071 certification of the CBN has also been extended to all commercial banks with a directive to Deposit Money Banks (DMBs) to get their Information Security Management System (ISM) certification by the end of 2015. To ensure compliance, the CBN said it will set up a review committee within the Bankers Committee "and consultants would go around the banks and check for compliance with that standard on a periodic basis." The benefits of ISMS include: to demonstrate leadership in compliance with information security standards; provide systematic safeguards for CBN's information assets; improve security and ensure a reduction in risk through better understanding and enhance the CBN's reputation not just at the national level but at the international level. According to Dr (Mrs.) Sarah Alade, Deputy Governor, Economic Policy of the CBN, "the aim of this programme was to significantly enhance operational efficiency and cost effectiveness of banks in Nigeria through shared services. The Central Bank of Nigeria, she said, "had in conjunction with the Bankers Committee committed the implementation of the selected standards as an integral part of the financial services industry infrastructure transformation programme (IITP)." This, she pointed out, "led to the selection of the highest

standard for information security management of the CBN. The ISO 27001 - 2005 for information security framework as part of the IITP." Why adopt ISO 27001? The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) is charged with the responsibility of governing the banks and other financial institutions under Banks and Other Financial Institutions (BOFI) Act (1991) as amended, with the sole aim of ensuring high standards of banking practice and financial stability through its surveillance activities, as well as the promotion of an efficient payment system. The motivation to implement the ISO27001 Standard the CBN said emerged from the need for it to take the lead in compliance with information security best practices in line with its status as the regulator of the financial services industry in Nigeria by complying with an appropriate and systematic management framework to adequately protect the Bank's information assets, and to leverage on the opportunity for continuous operational excellence that will yield positive result on investment. The ISO27001 standard was identified as one of the IT standards within the financial services IITP. The process was initiated by engaging a consultant, Global Infoswift Limited (GIS), to carry out an Information Security Gap Analysis, give a roadmap where the Bank needed to move in terms of its Information Security Management System (ISMS). According to Afolabi Oke, Project Director, Global Infoswift Limited (GIS), his company was engaged based on their pedigree and experience, having led the First Bank of Nigeria to achieving the certification. Prior to commencing implementation of the ISO27001 ISMS within CBN, an information security gap analysis was conducted by Global Infoswift LTD and the results used as a baseline for determining the ISMS project ap-

proach. The CBN governor, Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, noted that the certification "is a clear affirmation that the Central Bank has adopted the highest framework in the world for information security management and CBN being a regulatory authority decided to take the lead in practices that are consistent with its status." John Ayoh, Director, information Technology Department of the CBN, explained that "for this phase of the information security programme, we will definitely say that we have achieved our immediate objective of establishing the information security management system. Implementing ISO27001 has helped the CBN establish a leadership position as financial regulators not just at the national level but at the international level. It also gives CBN's stakeholders a level of assurance in knowing that controls have been implemented in ensuring the safety and security of their information assets. Folakemi Fatogbe, Director of Risk Management Department of the CBN said they "took a pro-active approach to risk assessment and management through the use of risk management tools, leading to a more structured Risk Treatment Plan. The British High Commissioner expressed delight that the CBN "is the first regulatory agency in Nigeria to achieve ISO certification. That is a major achievement in itself, it is rather more important than that. It is not just a benchmark that is difficult to attain, it is a confidencebuilding method. The Central Bank is a verified international company by the IMF and the World Bank."




to co-host 'Africa How product counterfeiters ruin AfDB Day' in Washington export market F T

OR local manufacturers, business has been anything but good, no thanks to the nefarious activities of product fakers, who in recent times have proliferated the export market, thereby ruining the chances of genuine manufacturers as well as loss of billions of naira, in terms of revenue earnings, to the country. Making this disclosure recently in Lagos was the Chairman, Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) Export Promotion Group, Mr. Tunde Oyelola. The event was at the interactive session between the management of MAN and the Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC).

By Ibrahim Apekhade Yusuf

According to Oyelola, although made-in-Nigeria products have competitive advantage in the export market, fake products being exported from the country remains the greatest source of nightmare to genuine manufacturers, who have been at the receiving of this bludgeoning trade in fake products. Speaking further, he said the major challenge faced by exporters in Africa was the high cost of logistics in the region.

He, however, called on all concerned stakeholders to come together to ensure that they remain focused and unrelenting in order to achieve the export trademark which is transnational; while also delivering quality services across all the sectors in order to achieve socio- economic development in the country. Echoing similar sentiments, the Director-General, MAN, Mr. Rasheed Adegbenro, observed that internal markets are shrinking every day, urging the stakeholders to endeavour in

bringing new challenges to the business environment. He said although Nigeria is not alien to the export environment, a lot still needs to be done in terms of value addition, adding that lack of proper implementation of the right policy was the bane of export market. The influx of substandard products, he stressed, "has contaminated the system because of corrupt practices." In his remarks, Mr. Aliu Mohammed Lawal, Acting Executive Director, NEPC, while acknowledging the challenges being faced by exporters, however, assured that his agency was desirous of encouraging stakeholders in the non-oil export market.

HE African Development Bank Group (AfDB) in collaboration with the World Bank Group will host the first ever 'Africa Day' during the Law, Justice and Development (LJD) Week 2013, this Wednesday at the World Bank Group Headquarters in Washington DC. Every year, the LJD Week is organised to provide a forum for legal and development practitioners, scholars, governments and civil society to discuss the critical role the law and judicial mechanisms can play in furthering development outcomes. The aim of "Africa Day" is to bolster knowledge on key and emerging legal issues on the African continent. Participants of Africa Day will explore how law and justice can help translate voice, social contract, and accountability into development impacts in Africa. For decades, a number of African countries have grappled with developing and implementing effective legal regimes so as to promote sustainable economic development.

The results have been mixed. Because law is an essential tool for promoting economic growth and development, the Bank's legal experts will be joining a panel of fellow specialists, judicial officers, and senior government officials in key relevant ministries, local and international institutions, to offer a global perspective on Africa and the key development and legal challenges it faces. This year's "Africa Day" would be opened with an address by the AfDB President, Dr. Donald Kaberuka, setting the tone for an in-depth focus on critical legal issues in Africa's development process. The themes for the day are in three main areas namely: Economic opportunities in extractive industries (mainly in the oil and gas sectors) and meaningful engagement with BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) and South/South cooperation; Emerging issues with a focus on the Africa 50 Fund which seeks to unlock private financing sources and to accelerate the speed of infrastructure delivery in Africa.

Experts want citizens participation in budget monitoring

T •From left: Mr. Adebayo Jimoh, Group Managing Director/Chief Executive, Odu'a Investment Company Ltd, Chief Tokunbo Omisore, Managing Director, Top Services Ltd. (Developers of Cocoa Mall), Prince Ade Adefioye, Executive Director, Wema Bank, a special guest and Segun Oloketuyi, Managing Director, Wema Bank at the commissioning of Cocoa Mall, Ibadan financed by Wema Bank Plc recently.

Oteh, Ndanusa others task MDAs on service delivery


IVIL SERVANTS have been urged to improve on their efficiency and productivity at the workplace. This new mandate, which involves a peer review mechanism, as part of the reform process in the civil service, according to the Office of Head of the Civil Service of the Federation (OHCSF), was instituted to ensure selfevaluation and continuous improvements in the operation and delivery of the ministries, departments and agencies. According to the Head of the Office, Alhaji Bukar Goni Aji, "the process ensures that Permanent Secretaries and Heads of Department are scheduled at intervals and peer-reviewed by their colleagues under the leadership

By Biodun-Thomas Davids of the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation." While delivering a speech at a recently concluded twoday 37th Annual Conference of the Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators of Nigeria (ICSAN), tagged: 'The Interplay of Risk Management and Compliance Issues in Corporate Governance� in Lagos, Goni, who was represented by the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Defence, Alhaji Ismaila Aliyu, further revealed that OHCSF "is currently undergoing reforms in collaboration with some of our development partners- the Department for International Development, U.K., accordingly."

He in the meantime emphasised that ICSAN had a role to play in ensuring that its chartered secretaries and administrators in the Civil Service now, and in the future, possess the highest standards of conduct and performance to contribute to the goal of nation-building. In her presentation, the Director-General, Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Ms. Arunma Oteh, who delivered the key note address at the conference, charged stakeholders to collectively see themselves as gate keepers in enshrining good corporate governance in the country, adding that it is vital to attracting foreign direct investment into the country. In her statement, "Good

corporate governance can enhance investors' trust. Ultimately, good corporate governance contributes to sustainable economic development by enhancing the performance of companies and increasing their access to global capital. "Poor corporate governance on the other hand weakens the companies' protection and may lead to financial difficulties, fraud and even extinction." In his welcome address, the President and Chairman of Council of ICSAN, Dr. Abdu Suleyman Ndanusa, mentioned that "the institute in collaboration with SEC had initiated a scheme to evolve a Corporate Governance Index (CGI). According to Ndanusa, "this initiative is expected to benchmark and evaluate key performance indicators against corporate governance principles."

Honeywell completes N10b new mills


ONEYWELL Flour Mills Plc has successfully completed its expansion projects with addition of two mills to its existing plant in its Apapa, Lagos factory. The state-of-the-art facilities designed, produced and installed by BUHLER, the best milling equipment supplier in the world, are estimated at over N10billion. Speaking at the certificate award ceremony of the Regular course 23 of the Honeywell Flour Mills Plc Baking School held at the company's premises in Apapa, Lagos, the Executive Vice Chairman, Mr. Babatunde Folaranmi Odunayo, said with the expansion, the company

has increased its production capacity by about 62% to be able to meet the increasing demand for its products. Odunayo, represented by Production Director, Dr Nino Ozara, said this will lead to business growth and more profits for customers as the expansion project also included the completion of a-first-of-its-kind automated warehouse in Nigeria. Odunayo noted that the Baking School, which has trained and graduated over 300 Master Bakers from different parts of the country in 22 Regular Courses and 1 Executive Course, is a highly subsidised programme aimed at empowering bakers with modern bak-

ing skills and flour handling procedures that they can use to maximise yield from flour and run their bakery operations more professionally and profitably. Chairman, Association of Master Bakers & Caterers of Nigeria (AMBCN), Lagos State chapter, Prince Jacob Adejorin, who led members of his executives to grace the ceremony lauded Honeywell for instituting such a programme, saying his members have benefited immensely as they have utilised knowledge acquired to transform their respective businesses. Describing Honeywell's gesture as wonderful, he urged

bakers who have benefitted from the programme to spread the news, while also urging other corporate organisations to emulate the company's impressive corporate social responsibility initiative. Speaking for the Alumni of the school, Mr John Johnson, who graduated from Regular Course 22, urged the graduands, comprising nine men and three women, to put knowledge acquired into practice, saying every detail in production counts. Relieving his experience, he said Honeywell Superfine Flour has remained his choice product because it gives him maximum satisfaction.

HE need to ensure government at all levels, particularly the grassroots are held accountable for activities within their jurisdiction necessitated the recent two-day capacity building seminar organised by the Human Development Initiatives (HDI) in Lagos. The seminar, which is the second in the series, focused on budgeting at the local government level which is the first step of planning needed for any feasible change. Participants comprising coordinators of watch group, local government budget officers and head of departments, National Orientation Agency (NOA) and media practitioners, were trained on how to get involved fully in order to ensure transparency and accountability in governance. The opening day had Professor Bolaji Owosanoye, Executive Director, HDI, explain the reason behind the project to participants. In his remarks, he emphasised the prominent position of local government in ensuring social services are delivered to the people at the grassroots even as he stressed active participation of citizens in the budgeting process. Taking participants on the

By Justice Ilevbare

tools and laws for citizens' participation in the budget process was Mr. Victor Abel of the Centre of Social Justice. Abel stated "that the exclusion of the people from the budgetary process of the county will not only lead to a shortterm apathy, but a near long run revolution that will cripple the entire economy." In her presentation entitled: 'Using the Freedom of Information Act for budget tracking and reporting' Deputy Director, Media Rights Agenda, Jennifer Onyejekwe, observed that "The Freedom of Information (FOI) Act 2011 gives any person the right to ask any public institution for any record, data or information that is held in the institutions, custody. It is a proactive disclosure as a means to promote transparency in governance." Proffering solution on how to monitor and track budgets and its implementation, Mr. Femi Adesina, Deputy Managing Director, The Sun Publishing Company, publishers of The Sun Newspaper titles, called on media houses to involve figure-oriented persons in their rank to ensure proper scrutiny and tracking.

Institute hosts Nigerian credit industry award


NSTITUTE of Credit Administration (ICA) is set to host the third edition of its annual Nigerian Credit Industry Awards on Saturday, December 14th 2013, at Protea Hotel, Ikoyi, Lagos, by According to the organisers, the awards, which is part of activities to mark ICA's quarterly Credit Professionals Networking Luncheon, is to recognise the great performances of the nation's credit business industry from top chief executive officers and their executive directors who have measured up in professionalism and in their area of core competence, especially credit management opera-

tional processes domiciled in the various departments of their organisations. Besides, this year's awards which are classified into 10 categories namely: Credit Management Supported Chief Executive Officer of The Year, Executive Director Credit Management of The Year, Credit Employer of The Year, Credit Professional of The Year, Credit Grantor of The Year, Successful Credit Risk Management of The Year, Best Use of Credit to Sell More of The Year, Internal Credit Administration Process Compliance of The Year, Sound Credit Industry Supporter of The Year and Outstanding Credit Process Supervision of The Year respectively.




‘How Vir2o ‘ll redefine social media’

CEO of East Coast Diversified Corporation, Kayode Aladesuyi, a US-based Nigerian, and founder of Vir2o, a new website giving a different meaning to the social media experience, loves challenges. Joe Agbro Jr., met him during the official launch of Vir2o in Lagos recently and he shares his story


HE hall was one of expectancy as the event promised the launch of a new social media network. Hovering from one corner to the other, he quietly ensured everything was going smoothly for the press conference about to begin. He had reason to. He is Kayode Aladesuyi, the chairman of East Coast Diversified Corporation (ECDC) and founder of, the product the audience waited for. Call him a busy body and you won’t be wrong. In the span of his life, he had managed a restaurant, worked at construction sites, worked as an accountant, founded a telephone company, a recording studio, and three technology companies. But as he walked to the dais, spotting a branded fez cap with the vir2o logo, Aladesuyi was full of infectious energy, telling the press that Vir2o, his brand new baby, has come to bring ‘humanity to socialisation.’ “Unlike when we were growing up when you would find a girlfriend in school or at sport or social event,” he said, “today, it all happens online. Everybody is meeting everybody online. For most women, it is a dangerous experience. You don’t know who is on the other line. You don’t know what he likes and what he doesn’t like. Vir2o solves that problem.” Vir2o also creates a platform to connect on a business level, allowing users and businesses to have live interaction with regards to products and services offered. At the launch in Lagos about three weeks Aladesuyi said he feels honoured to come back to the country after 32 years. Speaking on the motivation for vir2o, Aladesuyi said, “Facebook is great but it doesn’t take care of connectivity that you have in an extended family situation. It doesn’t actually add socialisation to social media. In the US, it is referred to as a poster board where people go online to post information.” So three years ago, he sounded his then 16-year old daughter on what she thought of Facebook. Her verdict according to him was that “Facebook is boring.” “The moment she told me that,” he said, “the light bells went off in my head.” Recognising an opportunity, Aladesuyi said, “I got my engineers and my creative team together and we started to study social media to understand what exactly is there about social media that is exciting to people.” And, a website that puts chat, photos, music, games, videos, and a marketplace, together on one platform, was birthed. While vir2o has some common features with facebook and google+, it distinguishes itself with nVite, a session sharing technology patented by Aladesuyi, which allows users to share media contents such as videos and photos with their friends or family in real-time. This enabled friends and family to for instance, watch a movie or go shopping together, despite differences in lo-

cations. Also on the website is facility for live chat, Vmovies, and VBroadcast, which enables streaming of live events, such as concerts and religious services. Speaking further, he said, “today, what I’ve been able to do is for someone on vir2o to be able to tell a friend and say join me, let’s watch a movie together, regardless of where that person is – whether you are in China or in Mexico.” And, the sharing experience which is due to nVite, a session sharing technology patented by Aladesuyi also enables connected people on the platform to shop together. “About 68% of relationships today are formed online,” Aladesuyi said, as he hopes that with vir2o, the word virtual become realer. Aladesuyi is also interested in getting “black people to code (computer programming)” and says Nigerian software developers now have a platform on which they can develop locallyrelevant applications. “Even in the US, we are lacking when it comes to technical education,” he said. “You won’t find a single app developed by an African on facebook. It’s not because we can’t do it. It’s because we don’t have the platform.” But in a market swelling with a plethora of social media sites, what convinces him that Vir2o can fly, I ask. “Inspiration and business,” he swiftly replies. Being an African-American, a Nigerian in the field of technology by its very nature is challenging. I love to be challenged. So far, vir2o has about 20,000 users globally but it is poised for growth. To push this, Aladesuyi has set about one million dollars. And following its launch, users have an opportunity to win $5,000 by uploading a creative video on the website. Born on May 21, 1960 in Lagos, to Mr. and Mrs. Adedeji and Kikelomo Aladesuyi (nee Benson), Aladesuyi grew up on the Island and Mainland of Lagos at various times. In 1982, he went to the American University in Watford, England but transferred in 1983 to the US, bagging a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting from the University of Alabama in 1986. Immediately upon graduation from college Mr. Aladesuyi’s interest to practice as an accountant was immediately dashed when a head hunter advised him to change his name if he wanted to secure interviews.” Aladesuyi didn’t adopt an English name and decided to be entrepreneurial. He paid a professor to teach him digital accounting. And with the knowledge of several accounting packages, the young Nigerian started Associated Management and Financial Services Group, his first business in the US, in March 1986. It was a bookkeeping and tax services for small businesses. He provided financial and accounting services to many businesses and individuals, representing companies such as Metropolitan Life, Prudential and

Check your alignment



INTERVIEW New York Life insurance companies. Though, with an academic background and early career steeped in accounting and administration, Aladesuyi as CEO of ECDC runs three technology companies. How did it happen? “My transition (to technology),” he said, “began when accounting started to move from paper accounting to digital accounting.” And by the early 90’s when Atlanta was becoming a major music market, Aladesuyi created Loud Entertainment Group, a production studio, and Vision Records, an artist development company. And when the United States decided to break up AT&T’ and the Baby Bells’ monopoly in providing local phone services across the country, Aladesuyi took advantage of the opportunity and started Planet Link, the first African American telephone company in America in 1996. “I was like a child in candy store basically. So, to compete with the Baby Bell, I partnered with Dish network, which was major cable service provider in North America. I was able to compete by combining cable service and my own telephone service. I ran that business up until 2002. In 2002, the company was taken public.” Black Enterprise Magazine ran a story on him as one of few African Americans to run a publicly traded entity. In September of 2003, Mr. Aladesuyi resigned from PlanetLink Communication to start EarthSearch Communications. Doing business with Dish and researching on satellite, Aladesuyi found out that President Bill Clinton had signed a declaration allowing commercialisation of GPS technology. Studying GPS technology fascinated him. “To me, it was a technology that broke down all boundaries. ” In 2004, he set up Earthsearch Communications in Brazil where in conjunction with engi-

neers to build his first technology product, AutoSearch GPS, a GPS tracking device. When FBI reports showed that more than $40 billion worth of goods were stolen each year while vehicles were on the highway in the US and even more in Europe and globally, Aladesuyi took it as a challenge, one which he solved by creating the first wireless communication protocol between GPS and RFID. This technology, which he owns the patent for has been transferred into many industries including security. And a local beneficiary is Halogen Security. In 2008, after 25 years of living abroad, he returned to Nigeria for the first time. He brought along with him a GPS navigation product called Roadnut. The concept of a navigation device was novel in Nigeria then. “We used a local company to get us the street map of Nigeria,” he said. But we quickly found out that it was not going to work. The roads were not properly numbered, there was not enough detail. But, just the idea was exciting.” But, there are still big plans in the offing as Aladesuyi said “he intends using vir2o to demonstrate to the world that Nigeria is a virile market. That Nigeria can be a catalyst to investors who want to invest in Nigeria. If vir2o can take on facebook, I can say vir2o took on facebook because Nigerians support vir2o. It is a powerful statement to make in the business circle in US. We are ceding Nigeria to the Chinese. It is something that concerns me.” Aladesuyi is married to Andrea Sousa, his second wife, who he met in Brazil in the course of expanding his business. He had earlier married Valerie Wells a native of Alabama that he met in college. Though, his works take him to India, China, Brazil, and other parts of the world, away from his wife and five children, whenever he can, he said he loves spending time with his family. “I also love to play golf too.”

NE value that I have learned and imbibed from my business partner in the past two years is “ALIGNMENT”. Alignment is defined as “an arrangement in a straight line” or “a state of agreement or cooperation among persons, groups, etc., with a common cause or viewpoint”. In our business alignment has become a combination of both definitions. It is a state in which members of our team have a clear understanding of and commitment to our meaningful group objectives i.e. a straight line connecting them to our goals) and are cooperating with one another to complete tasks that drive the accomplishments of those objectives. Where two or more people are expected to work together and achieve synergy i.e. the whole being greater than the sum of the parts, ALIGNMENT becomes mission critical. Even the good book, the Bible, speaks of this in the verse that says “Two cannot walk together unless they agree”. For two or more people starting out on a journey together to get to the same destination, at the same time, they must individually and collectively know where they are going, as well as the best way to get there together within a desired timeline. This is ALIGNMENT and without it collective energy becomes defocused and dissipated. I have come to see, understand, respect and appreciate the POWER OF ALIGNMENT. I have also discovered that the root cause of many issues in the workplace, especially between managers, team leaders, supervisors and their direct reports can be traced to MISALIGNMENT. Worrisomely, a significant percentage of professionals who attend our development programs say that they are not aligned with their managers with regards to their key performance indicators. Yet when we ask how many of them have one-on-one meetings with their managers, the numbers are telling.They seem to rarely spend regular uninterrupted time having “intimate” conversations with their managers about(i) their overall performance relative to agreed key performance indicators, (ii) their strengths and accomplishments, and (iii) areas of development in order to keep growing and climbing the career ladder. Inevitably, when outcomes and results are being evaluated and performance ratings are being determinedat the end of the year, managers and their direct reports find themselves on different channel frequencies. One is tuned to Nollywood and the other Bollywood. How can you increase the level of alignment between you and a key stakeholder such as your manager, direct report, key vendor, customer or even spouse? Communication! Communication!! OverCommunication!!!There is a lot of talking (the movement of the lips that produces sound) that goes on in the workplace and less of communicating (the exchange of meaningful and valuable information).Someone said people would talk less if they knew just how often they are misunderstood. I have a hypothesis that companies would see huge returns investing resources in improving the quality of their communication and driving horizontal and vertical alignment within their organizations. This is a low hanging fruit that most managers overlook which often times turns out to be a major, though not necessarily sole, cause of their managerial woes. When I worked in the corporate world, one-on-one meetings had significant impact on my productivity and professional brand. I scheduled monthly one-on-one meetings with my manager to ensure that we were both on the same page. I asked questions about his priorities, his view of my performance and his recommendations on my development areas and shared my perspective on how he could help me overcome performance challenges. This was my way of ensuring that we were tuned to the same channel all year. I also scheduled quarterly one-on-one meetings with his peers who were my internal customers. I asked them to share their team objectives, priorities, activities, pain points and suggestions on how I could be more supportive of their success. This not only ensured that I was always working in alignment with the things that were important to my stakeholders, it also gave me regular face time with senior managersand directors, creating goodwill and enhancing their perception of my competence. A one-on-one meeting is a preventive control that seeks to evaluate the health of your collaborative relationship with another individual with a view to sustaining or improving the output of that relationship. The overarching objective of a one-on-one meeting is to improve collective performance, therefore both parties must communicate, actively listen to each other and be willing to achieve results that are mutually beneficial. It should be scheduled in advance on each party’s calendar, accompanied by an agreed agenda. The meeting can last for 60 to 90 minutes and can be held monthly or quarterly. In conclusion, if you are not in the habit of having regular oneon-one meetings with your manager or other stakeholders, then consider the possibility that you may be shortchanging yourself. Do not underestimate the power of regular one-to-one meetings in creating alignment that drives collective performance. It is a must do if you are interdependent on others and seek to achieve success through collaboration. • Okusanya is CEO of ReadinessEdge




Thrills, frills of living in 1004 Estate


HEN Chaitanya Jayaraman, an Indian businessman, arrived Lagos for the first time in 2011 to execute a long-term multi-million project, his major headache was how to get his family a suitable accommodation in Victoria Island. Mounting hotel bills and traffic congestion drove him to a state of despair. He was about resigning to fate when a friend mentioned giving 1004 Estate a try. “When I got here, I was speechless,” he recalled. “I was shocked that such a high-rise luxurious estate could exist and function efficiently in Nigeria.” But his amazement was a bit too early. More surprises awaited him. “I saw the exterior and was touched, but the interior was simply fantastic. My three bedroom maisonette compared much to the best hotel suites I have stayed across the world.” What really enthralls Jayaraman is what he described as the excellent services offered in the estate. He loves to qualify it as simply world-class. “I never knew I could stay in such an estate in Nigeria where there won’t be power cuts. I have been here for over two years and cannot remember the last time there was no power. That, for me, is mind-blowing,” he stated. When our correspondent visited the remodelled estate during the play @ 1004 musical show organised during the last Eid-Fitri celebration to fete residents, the exquisite atmosphere was as inviting as alluring. Residents basked in the euphoria of constant electricity supply, jogging across the well-laid lawn in the early hours of the day. The locust years Conceived as an upscale abode for senators and members of the House of Representatives, the Estate opened in 1979. Then, it was not just a status symbol but also a delight to live in 1004. When the federal capital was moved to Abuja, it was subsequently occupied by senior federal civil servants. Then, the rot began. Amenities became hard to come by. Residents groaned under acute water cuts. Things became so bad at a point that residents resorted to fetching water with buckets to as high as the 14 th floor. The Estate became a laughing stock with passers-by nauseated by clothes spread across the once beauty-to-behold place. Mushroom buildings and makeshift kiosks littered the 11-hectare facility. Human and environmental stenches sickened residents and passers-by. Elevators ran-down and recreational facilities became dysfunctional. The dilapidated state of the Estate convinced government to move out as quickly as possible. A bidding process led to the acquisition of the Estate by the new owners, 1004 Estate Limited. The deal worth N7billion was Nigeria’s single largest property transaction in 2007. The facelift With the new private owners came the much-needed facelift. The core investors began refurbishment in 2008 with stripping and replacement of all internal mechanical/electrical fittings. The entire external services equipments for power, water and sewage were extensively redesigned and constructed to meet the changing needs of the housing market. The exterior facade remodelled to a modern finish with the apartment sizes accorded increased footprints. Three years after the new residents moved in, most of them said they couldn’t have made a better choice. A resident, who simply identified himself as Dipo, said living in the Estate is the best thing to happen to him in recent years. “Staying here has been satisfactory. The strongest points for me have been the location, security and services. The location is good. Services in terms

Residents of luxurious 1004 Estate in Victoria Island Lagos share how living in the estate is like with Sunday Oguntola at a recent party

•An aerial view of the parking lot



•The power and sewage treatment plant

of water and power are also okay. I have no complaints at all,” he stated. Living in 1004 The expatriate ratio of residents is quite high, it was observed, with an official putting it as close to 70%. This, for some of the expatriates, is down to many reasons. To Gernitdu Triot, a

South African, security is a major attraction. “I have been here for close to two years now and I can sleep with my two eyes wide open. I have no fears at all. My things are safe and I have never lost anything,” he explained. For many others like him, having a se-

cured environment without any risk of armed robberies or pilfering is hard to imagine, considering the bad impression they had before coming over. “I never thought I could live in a protected estate like this in Nigeria,” Triot confided. It was observed that the Estate has been deliberately partitioned to enhance security. Each of the clusters, as segments of the Estate are called, has securely-protected gates manned by security operatives. Vehicles and visitors are subjected to routine checks for entries and exits. The sense of security encourages residents to move in and out without hindrance, even at nights. Many of the expatriates were seen taking leisure walks across the many lawns and recreational centres in the estate. The availability of street and corridor lights makes residents move round the Estate at all times without fear of molestation. To a Briton, who simply identified himself as Eric, the serene environment is quite helpful. “I work in an industry that requires a high sense of critical thinking and reasoning. So I need an environment like this to sharpen my sanity and produce the best of my creativity,” he shared. Eric is impressed that the Estate is conceptualised in such a way that residents mind their businesses and do not bother others. “I tell you what I have been doing for over a year and I have never seen my immediate neighbour. We go each other’s ways without troubles.” Residents enjoy a private network switch provided by telecommunication giants, MTN, that enables them to call free of charge within the Estate. That way they stay in touch without incurring costs. Only calls to outside lines are charged. The network has a dedicated switch for internet connection at a fee to the service provider. The facility is served by a water treatment plant that produces 1.5m litres per day. The plant stationed just across the Estate ensures water consumed in there is of the highest standard. There is also a private power plant with an installed capacity of 10MVA. It is the secret of the constant power supply in the estate powered by litres of diesel every day. The sewage treatment plant is one of the largest in Lagos, considering the high rate of waste generated in the Estate. Investigations revealed that residents on the upper floors dispose their waste by simply dropping into a tunnel that leads to a refuse chute strategically placed at the ground of the high-rise. Those on the upper floors enjoy the use of elevators, 12 of which are in different parts of the Estate. For recreational pleasure, it has four swimming pools and two tennis courts. The gym centre is awaiting equipment for take-off. Each of the apartments has complementary fitted air conditioners and washing machines for the use of residents. The Human Resources/Administrator Manager of 1004 Estate Limited, Kenneth Nwankwo, said no efforts will be spared to improve on facilities within the Estate. According to him: “We want the best of residency for our people with comfort and convenience. Our intention is to be the best residential estate in Nigeria.” But for all the thrills, it was observed that the painting of the Estate is fading. The exterior sure needs refurbishment to maintain the high standards in it. Also, over 3,000 cars belonging to residents and visitors access the Estate daily, putting the parking lots under serious strain. Measures must be taken to provide more lots, especially for visitors during closing hours of the neighbouring American International School. The traffic congestion at the period, though lasting for about 30 minutes, can be frustrating for visitors and residents.



Modern Nation-States As Brands


NOTHER constant submission is the classic definition of a BRAND: a promise with a name (you are free to re-arrange the words. In other words, you can say ‘a name with a promise’. This definition is only one of the various others given of BRAND over time by scholars and practitioners of global influence. But in spite of the number of definitions, they all say the same it is simply stated in the definition above. However the consideration of BRAND is diverse. To a large extent, the struggle to stretch the definition of a BRAND along the lines of characteristics inherent, tend to skew the definition. But as we say, because it is a fact, the classic definition has endured over the years. In practical terms, a brand is only a brand if it is IDENTIFIABLE (its name), and if it makes a PROMISE (value proposition/ offer). Between these characteristics, all other ingredients rest: emotional, responsive, truthful/credible, and responsible - can sue and can be sued...and all such other elements that supports its personality profile. We can go on and on in breaking into beats the personality, character (duties, obligations and rights of a BRAND), but it will amount to distraction. We at MC&A DIGEST have ceased to refer to the prevalent world economic order as an ‘emerging trend’, for reason of timing. An Order, a concert or practice in existence for longer than 10 to 15 years cannot be said to be new. In one of our articles on the position and role of NEXIM Bank as a DFI (Development Fund Institution), in juxtaposition with similar institutions in other economies, we high-lighted the new elements of POWER among nations. In it we did mention that the new world order run on economic power, in replacement of military might. Nations now gauge or measure their strength along the line of economic prosperity. Global competitiveness is now wholly economic, not military. Therefore, political leadership or governance is now about business management. Some others will like to put it as profitable resource allocation and investment. On Sunday, November 3, 2013, I listened carefully to CNN/Fareed’s GPS (Global Public Square), where modern perspective of governance was discussed. The program left me sad, for reasons of the revelations made there-in; looking at what obtains in Nigeria, the conclusion leads to fear. In that program, as narrated, Michael Bloomberg, in a forum under Clinton Global Initiative (CGI), spoke of wealth of City-States as being product of careful strategic and economic engagements - by political leaders. In detailed account, Bloombergbroke down the ingredients essential for wealth creation today, even at the level of a City (within a country). In developed economies, the drive is even more among Mayors, not even state governors. For instance, it was revealed in that program, that China’s prosperity is based on a single character trait: RESPONSIVENESS. As a responsive nation (business entity), China is focused on a big economic agenda that can support its equally big size. Therefore, pays attention to the smallest detail of those elements that will drive private sector

•Truth is constant

investment, and attract rich people to invest in the country. In line with this strategic focus, China invests in a clean(er), green(er), and a more liveable society/nation, versus competition (other countries). The calculation is that the more attractive the nation/country is to investors - individuals and corporate bodies - the higher the potentials for investment, tax earning, industrialization and over-all economic development. As a statement for competitiveness, China’s strategic plan understands money and investment is an opportunity that is, like chance, opens to all nations. The volume of investment attracted by any country in today’s global village is a direct consequence of that nation’s competitive advantage (as among brands). According to Michael Bloomberg, Cities (in America) now concern themselves with economic investment influencers, in their efforts towards economic growth and development. For instance, these cities now channel own resource investment towards developing incentives that will attract the rich (corporate and individual) and the productive masses, for purposes of investment and tax income. And the interesting thing is that this gesture is not punitive and discriminatory (like we have with Lagos State - which is a poor replication of development models in operation in developed societies. In those markets, such measures are designed to attract ALL, based on equal opportunities and not equal results. The focus among those developmentdriven political leaders in developed

economies are (1) better building codes (2) technology (3) building capacities and social resilience (4) better education (5) building strong social fabrics and (5) checking heat waves. These are clearly expressive of purposeful planning, objective-driven leadership, business minded strategic planning and show of focus and responsiveness. When we talk of branding Nigeria, centenary celebration and all those mouthed emptiness, one thing comes clear to a discerning mind: there is a gross lack of awareness of the prevalent world economic order, among our political leaders. Inherent in that deficiency is the inappropriate allocation of the already very scarce resources available to us as a nation (BRAND); resources that should have been properly valued in line with global needs, for our competitive advantage(s) – are all wasted on frivolities. How else would one explain the centenary celebration going on, if not wastage? Nations, being brands, are today focused on value proposition, wealth creation, resource appreciation and profitable investment for quantifiable gains. Let us put it to us all, that the days when GDP is a mere statement of ceremonial expression is gone. GDP figures are now truly indicative of strength of nations at the global public square. Nations are now rated on economic power, based on pure accounting calculations that tells the ’interesting’ story. Diplomatic relations and global alignment are now based on economic strength of individual nations. The question for our leaders is: WHAT IS NIGERIA, AS A NATION, SELLING

OR OFFERING TO THE WORLD for which we expect earning? As we finance our centenary celebration, we must invest in education/ knowledge acquisition, starting from among our political leadership. Nations live the life of a BRAND in the new world order. For a brand to succeed, it must make an attractive offer, parade a good measure of competitive advantage versus competition, she must exhibit good character traits with potentials to attract target market interest and engagement, and she must be innovative and focused on target market/consumer satisfaction. We do not want to support clichés by talking about our oil and the revenue accruing there-from. Our political leaders must begin to think and act like business executives focused on set-objectives. The task ahead is enormous. Experts have predicted the future terror of the world to be economic crises. It is therefore imperative for nations and political leaders to take deliberate steps towards preparing for the future. The extractive economic activities we depend on are already dwindling in earning prospect because oil is still the only foreign currency earner. NEXIM Bank talked about non-oil mineral extraction, but one fears for the level of success expected from a lone voice in the midst of loud noise and corporate confusion. We all need to be clear on one thing: individual wealth will not save the individual from the collapse of our economy. Our collective economic failure will be of collective consequence. Therefore, we all need to work together to build BRAND NIGERIA.

65 ‘Export market remains a goldmine for SMEs’ Page 66



NTERNATIONAL development agencies such as the International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, Department for International Development (DFID), African Development Banks, to mention just a few are favourably disposed towards the development of small and medium scale enterprises, especially in emerging economies like Nigeria. But whether SME operators in the country are aware of their existence, analysts, contend, is a different ballgame. However, what is also true is that SME operators have identified the lack of access to finance as a key constraint for the growth of their businesses. Investigation by The Nation however revealed that IFC has been partnering with Nigerian commercial banks to boost the provision of funding to SMEs in the country. The IFC has been exploiting its strong network of relationships with African banks through its Africa Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprise (AMSME) Finance Programme to help SMEs across the African continent. Currently, the AMSME programme operates in 16 countries across Africa, with 21 banks that have provided over $1 billion in outstanding loans to SME clients. The corporation also works with the DFID to expand the programme to Nigerian banks that have incorporated non-financial services to SMEs.To acquaint the banks with its plan for the SMEs, the corporation held a half-day workshop recently where it brought the banks together to share experiences in providing non-financial services to SMEs. According to the IFC’s Country Manager for Nigeria, Solomon Adegbie-Quaynor, “Non-financial services such as management and advisory support help SMEs acquire the skills they need to grow.” He further added that IFC recognises that local banks could be key conduits to SMEs’ growth in developing countries but however lamented that the bank-SME connection was not as widespread as it could be.” There about 445 million micro, small, medium enterprises in the developing world of which 70% do not use the services of financial institutions, according to the Central Bank. Curiously, the CBN observed with dismay that the sector creates 70% of employment, but contribute only 1% to GDP in the country, unlike in high-income countries, where SMEs contribute 49% on average to GDP. For the Minister of Trade and Investment, Mr. Olusegun Aganga, the activities of international development partners in the Nigerian economy should be demand-driven and tailored to the nation’s specific needs. Aganga said Nigeria and its development partners must agree on the country’s priority areas for productive channelling of resources. “We have realised that there has been a sort of communication gap between us and the international development partners. It doesn’t seem to me as if they fully understand what our plans, strategies and areas of priorities are. For me, it is critical that if they are here to assist, it should be demand-driven. It should not be driven by what they want to do in the country but what we need in the country.” “The second thing that I have noticed is that international development agencies are in the same area doing different pilot programmes across the country. That is not good enough for a country as big as Nigeria, with a population of 167 million people. If we channel our efforts and resources together, and support SMEs, for instance, they will be the drivers of economic growth; job creation and poverty alleviation.” A lot of the developed countries base their economic development, growth and job creation strategy on SMEs and it is pertinent for Nigeria to make use of this strategy. “That is the big area we want to focus on, in collaboration with the international development agencies. We have finalised plans to

•From left: Director-General, Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) Mr. Rasheed Adegbenro, Chairman, MAN Export Promotion Group, Mr. Tunde Oyelola and Ag. Executive Director of Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC), Mr. Aliyu Lawal, during the interactive session between NEPC and MAN in Lagos…recently PHOTO: MUYIWA HASSAN

Are donor agencies doing enough to develop SMEs? Bukola Afolabi in this report takes a critical look at the role of international development agencies in the development of small and medium scale enterprises set up a special task force to fast track the growth and development of Small and Medium Enterprises across the country, noting that given the strategic role of SMEs in the ministry’s industrial revolution plan in terms of job creation and wealth generation, there was a need to harmonise the efforts and activities of all stakeholders in the SME sector, including the IDAs, to achieve optimal results.” He added that “Globally, Small and Medium Enterprises are the drivers of economic growth and job creation. For us in the Ministry of Trade and Investment, this is where we have the opportunity to make the biggest change considering the current unemployment situation in our country. We have just completed our database for SMEs, which showed that there are 17.6million SMEs in the country employing about 33 million people and contributing about 45 per cent to the country’s Gross Domestic Product.” However, most of the SMEs, about 65 per cent of them, are in the rural areas. “Therefore, to reach the rural areas, we need to have a robust strategy to make sure that they are included in our financial inclusion strategy and that we work with them so that they can start new businesses. Where they already have existing businesses, we want to work with them so that they can create more jobs by employing more people. We strongly believe that this is one of the areas we can positively impact on the lives of our people in line with President Goodluck Jonathan’s Transformation Agenda,” he said, explaining that in order to achieve this, the ministry was working on an SME strategy, including specific programmes within the strategy that would make a very big difference. “As part of this, we want to set up a task force

that will involve SME specialists from development partners such as the DFID, USAID, UNIDO, German Development Cooperation and others. Our target is that within the next six months or one year, we want to see some measurable goals and achievements in terms of how far we have gone in affecting the lives of Nigerians using the SME platform,” he said. The Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN) and IFC have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to develop a seamless intervention between the provision/acquisition of entrepreneurial training and access to finance. The move is the duo’s commitment to further facilitate the access of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs), to all resources required for their development in the country. The Director-General of SMEDAN, Alhaji Muhammed Nadada Umar, said at the signing of the MoU in Abuja, that the whole idea of the Agency’s partnerships with their relevant bodies was to soften the environment for MSMEs to grow. “The whole idea is to service MSMEs to help them surmount the challenges that confront them from embarking on, or pose as challenges during the course of their businesses,” he said. Also speaking at the second yearly SME live banking panel organised by the Bank of Industry and its partners in Lagos, Managing Director, Bank of Industry, Evelyn Oputu explained that the need to assess ideas from entrepreneurs was key in order to enhance their sustainability in the business environment. According to her, at least, 70 SMEs got their projects financed through the forum last year, even as the bank looks forward to multiplying the number this year through funding from its partners.

She added that the exercise, which sought to develop new approaches and tools that generate sustainable financial empowerment for small businesses through coordination and alignment across all sectors, would assess the profitability of business ideas with a view to funding them. Oputu said, “BoI remains committed to helping the SME sector grow, but other financial institutions in the country also have to get involved in SME development. She noted that being at the forefront of activities to fund SMEs, BoI was well acquainted with some of the reasons why most SMEs don’t get easy access to funds explaining that most times it is not because the banks were not willing to fund them but rather because some SMEs do not have good business ideas that could be funded. She disclosed that BoI desires to see the growth of SMEs in the country, which is why the institution has continued to invest in the development of the sector including organising trainings for SMEs owners on how to develop good business plans which investors would be willing to fund. “We are doing this again this year because we saw the impact of the maiden edition, which was held last year and we will continue to create linkages between the SME and the financial sector because we want to see them grow, become sustained and globally competitive,” she said. In her remark, Dr. Robin Renee Sanders, a former US ambassador to Nigeria, commended the efforts of BoI for implementing innovative solutions to address the financial challenges of SMEs in the country.



‘Export market remains a goldmine for SMEs’ Dr. John Isemede, Director-General, Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA), is very optimistic about the potentials of the export market as far as the development of the small and medium scale enterprises is concerned. In this interview with Adejoke Famudele, he gives useful suggestions on how SMEs can expand their businesses across other frontiers


T is widely acclaimed that the export market is one of many avenues through which SMEs can expand their businesses across other frontiers. But more often than not, exporters face stiff challenges in different quarters. Can you speak to some of these issues? Yes. But I want to shed more light. Some of us have been involved in the export business for more than 30 years now. I recall while in the university, my head of department (HOD), Professor Anaho, encouraged some of us then. I can give you 30 ways that banks are supposed to support these products, what is called pre and post, before the main export and after the export because you can get order and you don’t have the money and you will have to run to the banks to give you support. Because if the export offer comes before money is available, it could be by date of collection basis and you cannot close your factory and all that,


SMEDAN partners NIPC on investment drive


HE Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN) has solicited the assistance of the Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission (NIPC) to promote the potentials of National Enterprises Development Programme (NEDEP) to the outside world. The Director-General of SMEDAN, Alhaji Bature Umar Masari, made this request in Abuja during a courtesy visit to the Executive Secretary of NIPC, Engr. Mustapha Bello. Bature said that NEDEP, a programme initiated by the Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment to tackle unemployment, particularly among young people through technical and vocational training, is aimed at generating an estimated five million direct and indirect jobs. He said NEDEP is primarily a technical and vocational skills acquisition programme, but designed to attract resources to empower it’s trainees after graduation.

Stories by Bukola Afolabi

“The programme is executed through a combination of complementary strategies comprising formal and informal skills acquisition processes. According to him, the programme would cover all the states of the federation and Abuja with a view to conducting a survey of every product being produced in each local government. He said the Agency had commenced the implementation of this programme by conducting product identification in every local government areas with a view to ensuring that government promotes the production of such value chain line of products. The programme, he said would be funded by Bank of Industry (BOI) and National Economic Reconstruction Fund ((NERFUND). The Director-General also intimated Engr. Bello of the SMEDAN’s willingness to be part on NIPC’s One Stop Investment Centre (OSIC).

you still need support from the banks. So these are the intricacies involved. But talking of export, without having commodity boards or commodity exchange, we cannot have a successful export market. The question we must ask ourselves today is who is developing the value chain? Normally, when its maize season in Nigeria, it is so cheap and when it now becomes off season it becomes too expensive. But this is not so in other parts of the world where you have commodity exchange boards. What operates is the cobweb theory, which is supposed to help you maintain the equilibrium. How can you now run an economy without commodity boards? In other parts of the world, we have institutes of export and institutions developing the manager of tomorrow, but here we don’t have such. That is what we are saying. If you approach a bank for loan, you are producing and you don’t even know the raw materials required, you

don’t know the equipment, you don’t even know the market, you are doomed to failure. But of what importance is the export market to national growth? It is trite to say that the export is paramount to the development of the economy. Nigeria is too big as a nation to stand on one leg, which is being a mono-economy relying just on oil. We are not even refining the quantity we require, the oil is killing the economy because other values are not being developed and all that. We export crude and bring back raw materials; we are not looking at solid minerals, which alone contribute over 30 percent to South Africa’s GDP. In Nigeria, it is less than 0.04percent. This is not good enough because the export market is one big goldmine we can tap from to grow the economy. There is a rising wave of fake export agents. What is NACCIMA doing to protect its members? First of all, let me stress that

Airtel lifts SME group


N its quest to help Nigerian entrepreneurs boost their businesses, Airtel has reiterated its commitment to small and medium businesses with proven and cost-effective communications solutions. Besides, the telecom has offered to create free website and emails to over 50SMEs under the umbrella body of the Association of Small Business Owners in Nigeria ASBON. The occasion was the unveiling of ASBON last Thursday, where Airtel, unveiled some of its products designed to enhance growth and development of Small and Medium Enterprises across the country to owners of small business under the umbrella of the association. The Senior Manager,

Small and Medium Enterprises (Sales), Airtel, Unu Eke, who made a presentation at the event, noted the importance of technology to the existence of SMEs in this age, adding that owners of small businesses should adopt modern technology in their operations since most businesses can hardly operate without it in this dispensation. In her presentation titled: “Small Business Today, Market Leader Tomorrow,” she said, “Airtel, believes in SMEs and therefore supports them with solutions that can help them thrive. Every entrepreneur seeks to grow his business, lower cost and provide excellent services. “The known brands that we have today who have become acceptable in many

countries of the world started as small businesses. So, these small businesses we have here today can also grow to become international brands. With Airtel’s products and services which can be grouped into voice, data, solutions and devices, SMEs can achieve great results with the cost-effective communications solutions.” Speaking further, she pointed out there are over 17 million macro, small and medium businesses in the country today and they contribute about 46.5 percent to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), adding that about 5 million of them are incorporated with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC). The raffle draw which was conducted by Airtel at the

Fashola tasks banks on project financing


AGOS State governor, Raji Babatunde Fashola, has impressed on banks, not only on the need to get involved in financing public private partnership projects, but to follow up and be sure that such projects are well executed. Fashola spoke through his representative, the State’s Commissioner for Finance, Mr. Ayodele Gbeleyi, at Bank Directors Association of Nigeria (BDAN) stakeholders’ forum in Lagos.

“Bankers do not rise to the occasion in terms of monitoring of these projects. Monitor projects that are financed with depositors’ money. This market is evolving and we need to evolve with it. We need to see better understanding of PPP projects and better structuring of proposals. As banks, we need to manage risk optimally; we need to build capacity for long term funding. There should be continuous market infrastructure that will rise up and support PPP projects,” he stated.

NACCIMA doesn’t have the power to arrest or prosecute offenders. That is the role of the government agencies and others. Let me ask you, have you travelled outside our borders? How many uniformed men do you see on the road? But to answer your question, we are compiling the lists of importers and exporters to enable us develop a register of those in the sector. That way, we can easily sieve the grain from the chaff. But in a society where things are not put in the right perspectives, there are bound to be problems. If you talk of fake, you talk of substandard products in Nigeria, do you know them? Are they registered? Are they members of the private sector? Can you open this door today and say you are a medical doctor without requisite professional certificates? Can you call yourself an accountant? It is impossible. But fake things and others will continue if things are not put in the right place.

•Centre Manager, Technology Incubation Centre, Ogun State, Mr. John Oni, presenting a smart phone to the winner, Dr. M. Adeoye, who won the phone through a raffle draw at the unveiling of the Association of Small Business Owners of Nigeria (ASBON) last Thursday. With them is Airtel’s Senior Manager, Small and Medium Enterprises (Sales), Unu Eke.

event produced two winners of smart phones. The winners of the phones who are members of ASBON expressed their appreciation for Airtel for supporting the association and for the smart phones. Chairman of ASBON, Dr. Olufemi Egbesola, in his speech noted that the goal of the Association was to assist and protect small businesses in Nigeria, giving them the needed support in various ways. He also thanked the sponsor of the event, Airtel, for its commitment to growth and development of small businesses in the country. The Centre Manager, Technology Incubation Centre, Ogun State, Dr John Oni, who also made a presentation at the event urged private organisations to contribute to the development of SMEs in Nigeria, saying the responsibility is not for government alone. He said the small business owners in Nigeria need to have the right support and enabling environment in order to thrive. Made up of 14, 000 members, ASBON have 10 state chapters and affiliations in US and London. The association provides a networking platform for micro, small and medium business owners in Nigeria. The unveiling event, which took place at Ikeja, Lagos was attended by Ogun State Governor Ibikunle Amosun; Lagos State Governor Babatunde Fashola; Director General, Standard Organisation of Nigeria (SON), Dr. Joe Odumodu, among other personalities from government agencies and ministries as well as members of ASBON from various chapters.



How Nigerian writers are shaping the nation As Professor Toyin Falola, renowned historian and prolific author traced the developmental stages of Nigerian literature from 1914 to date during this year's convention of the Association of Nigerian Authors (ANA) which held in Akure, the Ondo State capital, he equally challenged Nigerian authors to do more to raise the tempo of intellectualism in the society. Edozie Udeze who attended the convention reports on this issue and others that preoccupied the authors for three days.


N spite of the sluggishness which usually characterises almost all the yearly conventions of the Association of Nigerian Authors (ANA), what stood out at this year's edition held in Akure, the Ondo State capital was the quality of participation by members. Three of its former presidents in the persons of Professor Femi Osofisan, Dr. Wale Okediran and Odia Ofeimun who graced the convention from the beginning to the end showed how this year's convention was topical to the Nigerian writers. With the theme as Literary Imaginations and Nation Building in Nigeria since 1914 and handled by Professor Toyin Falola, a historian and the vice-president of the International Scientific Committee of UNESCO on Slave Route Projects in Africa, Nigerian authors were taken down memory lane on the genesis and development of Literature in Nigeria. Falola, a professor of History at the University of Texas at Austin, USA, reminded authors that even though Nigeria in more ways than one was an imagination and invention of those for whom nationbuilding and development were hardly a priority, the Nigerian writer has never waivered in his audacious ability and resilience to constantly recreate the society where he has found himself. For the author, his primary calling is to write and remake the society. Even when people have been divided along religious, ethnic, political and social lines, what has been uppermost in the mind of the writer is to ensure that these indices of separateness do not debar him from looking at the issues at hand from the critical eyes of a writer. "Yes, colonialism created a bipolar world in which citizens and subjects were constituted as separate identities. In

other words, tribes became authentic identities, with so-called particularities that ignored the normativity of nationalism…Nigerians also inherited most of those assumptions regarding the divisions of people into races, places, ethnicities and states". Role of literature Even though the idea of the ethnic nations and the Nigeria nation emerged simultaneously, Falola reasoned that "Literature and performance have indeed responded to this dual identity thereby embracing and promoting fractional nationalism. But then, the nationalist project, identities and related notions and so on, have today become part of world literature and Nigeria has never been an exception. His contention was that while these poignant issues of divide along social issues predominated in Nigeria, nay Africa, some prominent writers emerged to champion and reshape the face of the society. When in 1952, Amos Tutuola published his famous the Palm-Wine Drinkard, marking a critical moment in the history of Yoruba and Nigerian literature, it became obvious that an era of literary awareness had set in. Now, conceived of as progressive and developmental, writers began in earnest to use poetry, prose and drama to dissect the many and diverse issues besetting the society. Beyond finding their voices in the face of mounting problems of poverty, colonialism, illiteracy, and more, writers formulated ideas on political, economic, social and otherrelated areas for proper commentaries. At this stage, various new poems and stories that related to the people began to capture the age. And they equally sought ways to express political position. "D. O. Fagunwa's traditional fiction and

•A cross section of authors at the convention

Amos Tutuola's six narratives then provided people with the necessary clues to the mix between politics, culture, tradition, modernity and notions of the mole of literature in shaping the society. Falola, known globally as Africa's foremost historian in the Diaspora, opined that henceforth both Fagunwa and Tutuola created platforms for social and political discourses that finally set the stage for modern Nigerian literature. "Henceforth, writers became opposed to colonial domination, equating it with an evil king, the monarch who killed without reason, who took other people's wives and who collected unjust amounts of toll and tributes. These writers equally proffered belief systems that supported equality, using the language of opportunity for all, encouraging mobility and aspirations. They were supporting agendas for solidarity and communal projects, to engineer changes and manage the institutions of modernity…" What authors should do Essentially, he challenged more writers to emerge with the same strength, voice, power, attitudes and potency displayed by the likes of Ngugi Wa Thiong'o, Chinua Achebe, Wole Soyinka, Christopher Okigbo and others to give total ideological direction to the people. To him, the responsibility of the writer is to give issues the attention they deserve and in a way to find the appropriate voice for the deprived and depraved. Writers, he said, should desist from following the footsteps of the oppressor who provided the enabling environment for ethnicity to thrive. Such writers, he noted, do not portend any good for anybody. "Texts should be used to generate progressive consciousness and progressive politics. Literary texts, most often,

•Falola have to be used as expressions of power. This was how the colonised societies emerged from the status of the marginalised to that of empowered citizens. By this, they were able to create mass movements, especially in the cities to support decolonisation and make a strong case for the necessity of democracy." With the presence of many established authors in the hall and the general acclaim given to him by the audience, Falola asked, "where then do we find ourselves today? Sure, we cannot put all the blame on politicians and the military. Intellectuals who preach one thing and do another must also take some responsibility. Words and actions do not get married and when they do, divorce should be expected, just as a socialist can turn a socialite." He went on: "However, it is difficult to put much blame on the poverty of ideas. What I have pointed out, as a historian, is how each phase in the country's history has been marked by the production of a large body of ideas, some of which found their ways to policies and many of which were discarded, ignored or shelved when they gathered dust. “And so, generally, there is no deficiency of, or limitation to, the literary imagination and the connection between that imagination and political and social realities which is deeply phenomenal. Writers have to critically connect texts and imaginations with policies and politics. Literary imaginations should continue to portray the political attitudes of the people; their feelings, their bent up emotions, quest for order and justice, the desire for social movements to produce a total revolutionary change in the society and lots more." Expectedly, Falola's lecture generated heated and intellectual reactions from writers. There was a consensus of opinion by many that time had come for authors to write and tackle issues that have direct impact on the people. "Writers have to brace up now," was how Ikeogu

Oke of Abuja ANA, put it. "And while we do so, we have to critically look at the quality of what we write so as to carry the people along." Looking ahead Apart from the second paper on the role of children's literature for the sake of continuity delivered by Camillus Ukah of Imo ANA, the overall concept of this year's convention was to give a new and meaningful face to ANA and ensure that membership was taken seriously. "Henceforth", said ANA president, Professor Remi Raji, "membership in terms of qualification to contest for elective positions have to be based on the quality of works one has produced." Raji was irked, however, that a lot of members find more time for ANA politics than writing. "If you call yourself a writer, then be serious about it; sit down and write. It is what you've been able to produce that qualifies you to be an author ," he said, noting, however, that "our writings should say who we are." Another salient issue that also came up was the status of ANA plot of land in Abuja. In a press conference, Raji made it clear that although parts of the land have been encroached upon by some people, efforts are being made to build structures there. "Part of the land was given to the police, yet, we have decided to embark on the development of the remaining portions to avoid further encroachment," he said. Raji, who, was re-elected for another term promised to take the association to an enviable level. "First, there's no division in ANA EXCO. What we do now is to build more bridges, empower the association and run a transparent tenure. We need to grow in terms of quality of content and our commitment to the act of writing. This is our goal which we have decided to pursue to its logical conclusion." The convention which began on the 7th of November and ended on the 10th and was hosted by the Ondo State government.



‘My intimate knowledge of Fashola’



HY a book on Fashola? That's a good question. Really it is to amplify in a little way that something that can be a glitter hope is happening. We are not there yet but at least something that can encourage up and coming leaders in Nigeria is happening. That's why the book is published so that people can read it all over on e-book, online,, ebay, Google books etc. At least to tell them that something new is happening. Fashola has ensured some transformation in the state. I just passed through Oshodi now for instance that I drove past in the last eight years before I travelled out of Nigeria. There is a lot of difference. If we have been having leaders who can do their little bit here and there, by now, we wouldn't be here today. We will be somewhere better. You talked about servant leadership, how does this fit in with Fashola? Actually, I did my research in servant leadership (followership) and when I talked about re-inventing servant leadership, the issue with Nigeria is that we have been recycling leaders; we have not been actually re-inventing leadership. Instead of using people who are relative of one or two people who are there in the past because they are recommended by someone, we should look for people with the desired qualities and impact positively on the lives of the people. We have not really been searching. Like in Singapore, Malaysia, they searched for their leaders, they trained them early and

Dr. John Ekundayo, an author and a pastor, in this interview with Lekan Otufodurin (Online Editor), says among other things, that writing is one passion he cannot do without and why he has written a book is on Lagos State governor, Babatunde Fashola (SAN). put them there no matter their pedigree. Fashola is showing service to people and his cliché has been the good to all the greatest number of people which means he has that heart to serve. I've interviewed him one-on-one and that's why I want to amplify to the world and to Nigerians in particular that what we need now are leaders who can step forward to serve rather than to be served. Can you tell us little about this book? Essentially, it's about service. What triggered me to write this book is about a speech that Fashola gave in March 2011, at University of Satellite, Glasgow, United Kingdom. He talked about how Lagos in the early days when he was in his secondary school and there was a bus that used to take him from his Surulere home to school and take him back, and was always coming every 30minutes. This means we had something of a flash of servant leadership working in Nigeria before. And for somebody also to think that something like that can be re-enacted this time. The focus should be that wherever you are serving, serve the people, serve the public, serve the people you are serving and serve them well. What’s your advice to other governors? I'll talk about being service oriented, displaying authenticity. By and large, Fashola which I've met three

times and have interviewed one-on-one, and having served in the Lagos State Public service for a year, I have seen sincerity to a degree that he want to do this thing and he set out to do it and he is doing it. He is not the type that will be shouting when he wants to do something for you. In most cases, he will not even promise you. He is a leader that will do something and at the same time will not make a noise about it. What type of feedback are you expecting from readers? I expect a practical critique of this book. In research, there is critique which is different from criticism. Criticism is when they say this book is not good; it's not well paginated and should be thrown away. Critique is: the cover is very nice but the content should have been fleshed up better. So, I expect a critiquing of the process of leadership in Nigeria, especially in the focus to Lagos State. Are there some things Fashola is not really doing right as he's supposed to? Are there things he's doing right that should be commended? Let the topic appraise him rather than praising him. Appraising is the opportunity for people to reaffirm and really, a followership should be engaging leader. This is an opportunity for me to say that the followership in Nigeria are not really critiquing our leaders, critiquing the leadership


Two Spaniards Two Spaniards have come Calling at our office, Calling twice in as many days, Settling in the same lowly seats On both visits, Like sediments of good cheer In the warm glasses Of our hospitality; One named Irama Vega Pueyo The other Juan Carlos Jover, They were a charming pair Like the Great Bear Beside a blue crescent moon. Bringers of good humour And better wine, Not theirs the frozen airs That stifle genuine warmth Among the races A prince of camaraderie Beside his equal half Equal in her power To strike with joy!

•Ekundayo process and appraising our leaders which we should be doing from time to time and really checkmate them to make them to focus on their vision. Who would you recommend the book to? I will recommend this book to all Nigerian students, students of politics, students of business management, up and coming leaders, those who believe there be any good thing com-

ing out from the local government, from the state and the federal level. This book is to challenge them. Let them see what also they themselves can contribute to the system. This book will give them a hope that you can have a leading life if we can have such in Fashola, then we can have in anyone who is a Nigerian. I mean somebody who has a vision and a strong political will to make a difference.

Time rose lightly On the warm currents Of their presence And soared away On spread and silent wings Till night crept in on us unnoticed; And yet the room glowed With the presence Of the two Spaniards - Ikeogu Oke

Fertilising the ground for stories Title: The Taste of the Tale is in the Telling Authors (edited): Allwell Onukaogu, Ezechi Onyerionwu, et al Publishers:

Literaseed, Aba, Abia State

Year of Publication: 2012 No of pages: Reviewer:


324 Edozie Udeze

HEN Alice Munroe, the Canadian short story expert won this year's Nobel Prize in Literature, a lot of authors heaved a sigh of relieve. In describing her as the master of contemporary storytelling, the judges considered her one of the best in that genre of literature and this immediately became a huge victory for literature, for she is the first writer of short stories to be so honoured and acclaimed. Today, the art of short story telling is indeed catching on in the world of literature. There are thousand and one writers who now find time to explore their societies, telling

their own stories in such a way that one is never in doubt that the short story genre has come to stay. A new anthology of short stories entitled The Taste of the Tale is in the Telling, put together by the Abia State chapter of the Association of Nigerian Authors (ANA) has just been released. It contains about 41 short stories written by authors from different parts of the country. The stories dwell on different aspects of life, telling the good, the bad and the not too pleasant stories of the people and letting them know what the country has been doing in the face of mounting problems in the society. The stories vary both in content and style and approach. Each writer is able to find his or her own voice, telling the story from his own perspective and leading the world into the different issues that beset the people. From the bizarre, to the absurd, to the imaginatively and unbelievable experiences of many people in the Nigerian context, they all harp on the people. Most of the stories are taction , a combination of facts and fiction. As you go through

them, you come across issues that may have, in one way or another, happened to you or to your closest person before. These stories grip you; they tear into your heart; they speak to your conscience; they appeal to your sensibility, to your inner-being. This is so because they are stories of people of this clime, told by the people themselves and for people to learn from. Indeed the Nigerian situation is fertile and pregnant for short stories. For instance, in Guilty as Charged, Ezechi Onyerionwu tells the story of a young man who raped a woman old enough to be his mother. The woman was once kidnapped by a gang of hoodlums near her house. She was promptly taken to a hide out. There she was subjected to all manner of traumatic experiences. But this young man only chose to rape her when others were not around. To him, this was to prove a point and subject the woman to further disgrace and humiliation. However, while in a bank one day to withdraw some money, the boy strolled in and the woman recognised him. A scene was then created. The woman immediately accosted

him and i n the end, it was proved that he was the one. It is a moving story that painted the sordid story of kidnapping in a way to furnish you with the necessary information in that regard. In Smiles Were not Enough, Allwell Onukaogu rehashes the different sides to some con people who go about

with tales of pity in order to get financial help from people. It is a story that can never be e x h a u s t e d because more new ideas and approaches in this regard unfold every day. Nonetheless, his own tale is full of f u n n y characterisations and therefore exposes the Nigerian society as a place where cheating has come to stay. About one of the most pathetic of the experiences the author had, he has this to say: "On seeing him, my mind went berserk. I quickly adjourned the meeting I was having and did not need any explanation before swinging into action. Then, I put a call through to our Chief Medical Officer. Sensing what I was about to do, one of the boys said that their near-vegetable of a colleague was already in a hospital, but that they had

to risk bringing him here when the doctor said if they did not raise the hefty sum of a hundered and fifty thousand naira, nothing else could be done for him in terms of treatment." In Olopa, a story told to show the other side of the police, Edozie Udeze demonstrates his ability to weave a story around even the smallest issue that takes place around him. In it, Sonnie had to be a good friend to his childhood playmate, Ike, who was attacked by a mob sent by his estranged girl-friend. Promptly, Sonnie used his closeness to the police to help Ike to see if they could nab the perpetrators of the act. Told in a first person format, it is moving and pathetic. In all, the stories centre on who we are. However, the printing quality is not only poor, but also some of the pages are not readable. It seems to be a work done in a hurry both in terms of editing and page arrangement. This, in fact, is one of the reasons why most readers often discountenance books published in Nigeria. This attitude of producing bad books should change for the sake of literature.



'Christians who avoid politics are cowards' The Senior Pastor of Great Commission Bible Church, New Oko Oba, Lagos, Rev. Olu Johnson, spoke with Sunday Oguntola on Christian participation in politics and sundry issues. Excerpts:



TARTING this church from the scratch, were you ever aware it could come this far? Well, we knew God was taking us somewhere. We knew God would make this work great but we did not have all the full information on what we are seeing now. When God calls, He does not show one everything on the way. He expects stepping out in faith before blessing the work. So, we stepped out in faith and knew God will take us far. But how far we would go was never totally known to us. If we knew everything from the beginning, we wouldn't have needed God again. Is that to say the journey was fraught with difficulties? Sure, because anything worthy will be fought by the enemies. We have never had a smooth sail but God has been faithful to us. We had ups and downs. You know, I used to be an accountant in a multi-national firm with massive interests. I was at the peak of my career when He called me. He told me to preach on the streets after resigning. I started with crusades and outreaches in remote areas before God asked me to have a church base. The church started with no chairs or anything. But God has bought us this far. 15 years down the line,

we can only say thank God. Why did it take the church as much as 15 years to get a befitting auditorium? As I explained, it is an evangelical church, so we concentrated more on outreaches and winning souls in remote areas. Whatever resources we got were channelled to rural evangelism. We were so engrossed with it that we did not even realise we had no befitting auditorium, as you call it. We were busy conducting crusades within and outside the country. But now we realise we need to build a church tower while He has promised to build us a city. Is this to say that the church will now take precedence over evangelical outreaches? I can assure we don't move without divine direc-

tion. We cannot hide away from our identity and inclination towards evangelism. We remain an evangelical church, no matter where we are. So, we can't change now. We shall continue to save souls and build the church as the Lord helps us. I believe this structure will even encourage us to do more on the fields and expand our horizon. The church will complement the evangelical outreaches and vice versa. The church stands on its own while the ministry is now independent. I have published books I have not been able to market. So, the church can function whether I am around or not. We have leaders who can see to the needs of the church. Building a structure of this magnitude certainly comes with different challenges. Can you recall some of them? You see, when God gave us the instruction to build this tower, we had nothing in the bank. But we had faith. When God gives an assignment, the devil will fight. But if you focus on the problems, moving forward becomes impossible. When I looked at the purse of the church, I ran off to the UK to do ministry. But God came back again and I returned to commence a 101-day fast and prayer. God said that it is His project and never mine. There was no strategy but only faith. As we started with what we had, God started supplying until it got to this point. What do you have to say

on the proposed national conference? Well, it is a longawaited exercise. This is what we should have done long ago. The amalgamation of Nigeria was done by force, without dialogue, consultation or consent. It is good that we are coming to talk 100 years after. I believe we can address injustices, marginalisation and inequalities. I believe the country is at a standstill and we need to discuss on how we want to move forward. You are passionate about Christian participation in politics. But do you think Christians are prepared and trained to survive the murky waters of politics in Nigeria? When we say our mandate is to dominate and occupy till Christ comes. To have dominion, we need a domain. We have the responsibility to show the Kingdom of God on earth through governance. So, I am sure we need to get involved regardless of the fear that we would be polluted. But if we are not there, they will bastardise the place worse than it is right now. On whether they are prepared, I believe it is an ongoing process. Already, the awareness is there. What we need is to start getting involved and learning through the process. Yes, we need training but we cannot wait till eternity to get started. We cannot continue to cry wolf when we are not involved. If politics is dirty, then who will clean it up? Do you clean it

“We cannot continue to cry wolf when we are not involved. If politics is dirty, then who will clean it up? Do you clean it up by staying away? In fact, I believe the dirtiness there is an opportunity for Christians to show the difference. Christians who run away from politics are cowards.”

up by staying away? In fact, I believe the dirtiness there is an opportunity for Christians to show the difference. Christians who run away from politics are cowards. Do you believe that Nigeria is under a curse like most people say? I don't think so. The problem is we have seen so much in other places that we want them here immediately. You see we should learn to move at our own pace. There is no point in trying to be like others. Take the cashless policy, for instance, it is a good innovation but it is obvious we are not ready for it. We only want to do it because that is what others are doing. We should be forwardlooking while we enjoy where we are. America is over 300 years while Nigeria is just 53 as an independent nation. So, we should not overstretch ourselves running after them. So, there is no curse

anywhere. We are only experiencing teething problems with nation-building that others have gone through. We have eroded our rich cultures in the process. Family values are being destroyed and damaged. Wives are leaving their husbands at the slightest opportunity. We import everything. Everything is now cheap but inferior. Our government should stop some of the bilateral agreements with these nations that import inferior products. Can you talk briefly about the convention? It's our 15th annual convention and God is helping us to mark it with the dedication of our auditorium. The National President of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor, will be here to minister with other notable men of God. We believe it will be a platform for God to bless and take us to the next level.


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!




The Prophetic ministry of Isaiah (10) I

T is total obedience to God's commandments and instructions that fortifies the love He has for His chosen people and tribe. In spite of the successive misbehaviour of the Israelites, God still kept the covenant made with Abraham, and the love and promise to king David, indicating the Messiah would come from that tribe. Deviating a bit from the earlier chapters that were more of anger of God towards the recalcitrant Hebrews, here was a soothing message that fortified the eternal love of God to the tribe of Jesse. It was a situation of a compassionate father, seeing the Israelites as prodigal sons that have come for forgiveness of their misconduct. A prophesy came from Prophet Isaiah of the coming of a branch from the tribe of Jesse, who will be filled with Holy Spirit, and will stand as banner to His children, with the Gentiles equally seeking Him. Isaiah 11:1-5 says: "A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse; from his roots a Branch will bear fruit. The Spirit of the Lord will rest on Him- the Spirit of Wisdom and of understanding, the Spirit of counsel and of power, the Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord. And he will delight in the fear of the Lord. He will not judge by what he sees with his eyes, or decide by what he hears with his ears; but righteousness he will judge the needy, with justice he will give decisions for the poor of the earth………..righteousness will be his belt and faithfulness the sash around his waist'' (NIV). From the bible verses, let us choose some mentioned qualities of the coming Branch: 1. Spirit of God will rest on Him. 2. Spirit of Wisdom and Understanding 3. Spirit of Counsel and Power 4. Spirit of Knowledge

Superintendent Israel Akinadewo

SANCTUARY MESSAGE and fear of the Lord 5. He will not judge by what he sees or hears, but through righteousness. Spirit of God will rest on Him: Without the Spirit of God, one is nothing, and that was the reason why Jesus Christ admonished the disciples that whenever they were brought before the authorities in synagogue, they should not be afraid for the Holy Spirit would guide them on what to say (Luke 12:11-12). For us as Christians and in any capacity we find ourselves, we should always seek the direction of the Spirit of God before taking decisions. It is the lack of consultations with the Holy Spirit that make people to regret their actions and inactions, for consultations with the Holy Spirit will only lead to only one path - Joyfulness. Spirit of Wisdom and Understanding: When biblical Solomon was asked in his dream at Gibeon what he wanted on ascension of the throne, he requested for the wisdom to be able guide his subjects aright ( 1 Kings 3:5-15; 1 Kings 4:29; 2 Chronicles 9:22). Without the Spirit of Wisdom, man will just be behaving foolishly and will not be able to command respect. Where he is expected not to talk, he will talk loudly and carelessly and vice versa (Proverbs 8:11; Proverbs 16:16 and 22; Ecclesiastes 7:12; Ecclesiastes 9:16).

Spirit of Counsel and Power: Since all powers belong to God and should be ascribed only to Him (Psalm 68:34), and nobody can get it except from that source, which is God. Therefore, everybody in position of authority requires the Spirit of Counsel and Power to be able to take informed and godly decisions. Spirit of Knowledge and the fear of God: The bible says the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom (Proverbs 1:7), therefore whosoever in need of knowledge and wisdom must have the fear of God in him. With the fear of God in us, we will be careful in destroying our fellow human, which will enable us to always take steps that will make the name of God to always be glorified. He will not judge by what he sees or hears but through righteousness: It is scripturally said that righteousness exalt a nation (Proverbs 14:34), hence wherever there is righteousness, there will be liberty, fairness, justice, equity, and greatness. All these were what made our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ to be exalted till tomorrow. Leaders should not judge on hear-says but on sound facts and wisdom (reference Solomon in 1 Kings 3:16-28). Meanwhile, God did not spare that idol-infected nation - Babylon and other known enemies of Israel like Egypt, Edom, Moab, Ammonite, and the brothers of Judah that have colluded with the enemies against his own people in the latter part of the chapter, saying there would all regret their actions, whilst the Israelites as said in Chapter 12 would rejoice and be glad in the restoration of their lost glory. Prayer point Pray that God should restore back your captivity and fortune (Psalm 126). Comments and enquiries to:; 2348060572904

Living Faith By Dr. David Oyedepo

Engaging the power of Grace for Supernatural breakthroughs


HE mysteries of the Kingdom of God are the highways to your supernatural breakthroughs in life (1 Corinthians 2:6-7). When you understand a mystery and engage in it as a lifestyle, you command supernatural breakthroughs cheaply. Understand that nothing makes great like grace. The grace of God is one of the vital mysteries for provoking supernatural breakthroughs on earth. Your breakthrough does not lie in your strength (1 Samuel 2:9), hard work (Psalm 127:1-2), or mental smartness (Ecclesiastes 9:11; John 3:27; Romans 9:16). Your breakthrough lies in the grace of God, because it is His grace that makes the difference in any life. What is Grace?: Grace is the tangible and undeniable hand of God on a man's life and in all his affairs. For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men (Titus 2:11). That means, the grace of God practically reflects in the life of the carrier. Paul said, "I am what I am by the grace of God" (1 Corinthians 15:10). God said to Abraham: I will make of thee a great nation… (Genesis 12:2). Grace is God's hand on a man's life, and that hand is what makes a man great. Characteristics of Grace: Grace is a living virtue with characteristics that you must understand, if you intend to flow in it. • Grace can be frustrated, paralyzed and crippled: Paul said: I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if the righteous-

ness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain (Galatians 2:21). • Grace can fail: Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God... (Hebrews 12:15). • Grace can grow: But grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ (2 Peter 3:18). What this simply means is that you can grow in greatness, because grace is what defines your greatness. If grace can grow, that means greatness can also increase. We are in the days of greatness. Therefore it is important for us to know how to jealously guard and grow in grace in order to grow in greatness. Anti-Grace Viruses: Some forces are out to frustrate the grace of God in our lives. We must learn how to deal with them, and keep them out of our lives. These forces are: ¯ Sin: This is an anti-grace virus that cripples and strangulates grace (Romans 6: 1-2; Romans 8:13; Ezekiel 36:27). You cannot stop the deeds of the flesh. When you engage the ministry of the Holy Spirit, you become absolutely free from the oppression of sin. Pride: It is a silent destroyer of grace. The Bible says: ...God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble (James 4:6). The grace of God cannot flow in the life of the proud (1 Peter 5:5; Proverbs 16:18). Grace is our guaranteed flight into greatness, but only the meek can get the boarding ticket. •Prayerlessness: This is the root of all spiritual weaknesses. The prayer altar is the fountain of grace. So, the more

effectual your prayer life is, the greater the flow of grace in your life (Hebrews 4:16). •Spiritual Ignorance: Grace multiplies by knowledge (2 Peter 1:2), but you will be limited in knowledge without the help of the Holy Spirit (John 16:12-13; Ephesians 1:1718; Hosea 4:6). The Holy Spirit is the "Master Revelator" (1Cor. 2:10). So, you need the help of the Holy Spirit to flow in revelation, and you need revelation to grow in grace. Lack of the Love of God: Love is one of the covenant channels for the flow of grace (1 Corinthians 2:9). The love of God provokes the flow of grace in your life, and it is the Holy Spirit that spreads His love in your heart (Romans 5:5). Without the help of the Holy Spirit, you cannot maintain the flow of grace in your life. Every channel through which God's grace flows, requires the help of the Holy Spirit (2 Timothy 1:7). There is no substitute for grace on your journey to greatness, because you can't make yourself great. You can never outgrow the grace of God on your life, because only the grace of God can make you great on earth. Your own portion will not be lost in the Name of Jesus! Friend, the power to grow in grace, is the preserve of those saved. You get saved by confessing your sins and accepting Jesus as your Saviour and Lord. If you are set, 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 for saving me! I will be teaching you the miracle power of kingdom stewardship next week. Friend, come for a lifechanging encounter at Faith Tabernacle in Canaan Land, Ota, from December 10-14, at Shiloh 2013, an annual prophetic gathering of the Winners' family worldwide. At this event, God will surely visit you and deliver you from stagnation, frustrations, failure and destitution. Be there! 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:


Be involved in politics, Munroe tells Christian leaders


EADING motivational preacher, Dr. Myles Munroe, has called on Africa Christian leaders to be actively involved in governance. This, he said, will enable them raise a new breed of Kingdom citizens to steer the affairs of the continent. Munroe spoke at the International Biennial Conference on National Transformation organised by the Institute for National Transformation (INT) recently in Lagos. The conference, with the theme Come, let us build the broken Walls of Africa: Building Human Capacity to meet African Needs, attracted over hundreds of church leaders, lawmakers, civil society

By Adeola Ogunlade

groups and ambassadors from Nigeria, Uganda, United Kingdom, Kenya, Rwanda, South Africa, United States of America, Ukraine and India. Munroe identified the needs to raise government filled with Kingdom citizens in Africa to sustain democracy and deliver good governance. He argued that if 90% of politicians know God and adhere to scriptural principles and values, the Kingdom of God will manifest on earth. The renowned speaker said it is wrong to discourage Christians from politics in the name of avoiding pollution, saying this theological misnomer was responsible for

the drawbacks on the continent. He charged: "Let us go into government and help rescue Africa from money bags, sycophants and selfcentred individuals who have taken the continent hostage." In his opening address, the Director General of Institute of INT, Professor Vincent Anigbogu, called for renewed efforts toward capacity building of godly characters for the achievement of peak development in a globalised world. Anigbogu said: "Africa must intentionally develop and deploy the human capacity in the seven spheres of society: which are education, government, business,

and media, and social, religious and celebration spheres." “Such people,” he said, "must have required character traits, should demonstrate competency in strategic leadership and quality management skills adequate to lead Africa in a globalised world with its complexities. This is no small feat." A lawmaker from Uganda, Hon Richard Lutalo, said that reaching out with the gospel has helped in the healing and reconciliation of warring tribes in the country. He recalled that over 5,000 Ugandans recently met with Jaffar, the son of the former Ugandan dictator, Idi Amin, who pleaded for the forgiveness of his father’s sins while in power.

Build functional structures, cleric charges leaders


HRISTIAN leaders had been challenged to build functional and viable structures for their churches and organisations. The Rector of Gospel Theological College and General Overseer of Powerhouse International Ministries Lagos, Bishop (Dr) Harrison Inam, made this call last weekend at the annual Ministers' Congress. Inam said churches and organisations do not grow because leaders build the structures around themselves. According to him, structures in churches must be delegated devoid of unnecessary interventions of such leaders. Inam harped on church leaders to take responsibility of developing systems that enhance healthy growth.

By Daniel Adeleye

He said: "Ministry is not just about teaching the word but learning to develop systems. "The first revelation of the Spirit in Genesis portrays God as setting a chaotic and disorganised earth in order." He warned Christian leaders against copying the structures of other churches without consideration for their peculiarities and challenges. Another speaker at the congress, Rev. Joshua Akpan of The Place of Grace Church, Ogun State, described leadership as the act of influencing others in a manner that fosters their confidence, respect and support towards common goals. He urged Christian leaders to present themselves as agents of restoration at all times.



•Continued from Page 41











WORDSWORTH 08055001948

‘Mourning the dead’? Ha! T

HIS edition starts with THE NATION ON SUNDAY of November 10: “A key factor in resolving the political conundrum in Taraba State…unexpectedly died last week, upsetting calculations about the conflict.” Apart from, perhaps, the condemned criminal who has a date with the hangman, nobody knows when their death will come. So, that aspect of ‘unexpectedly’ smacks of loose thinking. The speaker simply died last week. As the Bible states, no man knows the day or time of his exit—except, possibly, supernatural cases like money rituals! The next set of grammatical fatalities is from THE NATION ON SUNDAY COMMENT (EDITORIAL): “Last Saturday, November 2, was no different as a large crowd converged at (on) the venue to….”

Dateline: THE NATION ON SUNDAY COMMENT, November 10: “…with the much anticipated and keenly contested governorship election slated for next Saturday.” No lexical stampede as we embark on a chronological exercise: November 9 (last Saturday), November 16 (this Saturday) and November 23 (next Saturday)—counting from Sunday, November 10, the day the editorial in question was published. Therefore, the right entry should have been ‘this Saturday’—not ‘next Saturday’! Otherwise, it hallmarks cloudy and confused thinking. Lastly from the weekly comment under review: “While we join the government and people of Anambra in mourning the dead….” Do we mourn the living? Just mourning! “…Obiano’s critics said however he is (was) little unknown….” “…have been holding consultations in his sprawling country home mansion and soliciting for his blessings.” Yank off ‘for’ to avoid syntactic ripples. “…foreign exchange inflow through export of shrimps and other fisheries (fishery) products.” “2015: Nigeria won’t breakup (break up), says good governance group” Let us welcome DAILY INDEPENDENT back to this column after a long absence. Its November 14 edition goofed: “Moves to stop girl-child marriage intensifies (intensified)” I hope the currency dictates of headline casting did not confuse the

sub-editor. “Lamido flags of (sic) free eye service” No Arewa English: Lamido inaugurates/launches… “How do I recognize NUC approved universities?” A voice of your own: NUC-approved varsities NATIONAL MIRROR of November 14 contained a basketful of school-boy howlers starting from its politics page: “We are building evidences against those who are using….” ‘Evidence’ is an uncountable noun and has no plural form. Use a singular verb after it and note that it is wrong to say ‘true evidence’ instead of ‘reliable evidence’. Furthermore, you can say a piece/scrap/shred of evidence. Phrases are sweet if correctly used. From the politics page we move to the views page which circulated a-dozenand-half Basic One infelicities that question the writer’s professorship: “The poor infrastructural facilities in the sector is (why?) compounded by….” “…as unmitigated abuses in this all important (all-important) department of our national life.” “…they stock sub-standard equipments in addition to….” ‘Equipment’ is noncount. “…the agency carried out massive inspection (a massive inspection) of private health facilities in the state.” “…some were located in distressed building (a distressed building) and some others (while others) were located (cited) in filthy environments.” “Some of the hospitals he disclosed operated….” A rewrite: Some of the hospitals, he disclosed, operated…. “Quite a number of the clinics (a comma) he stated (another comma) have (had) male nurses functioning as medical doctors.” “It is an open secret there is sizeable (a sizeable) number of quack doctors practicing (practising—British English verb) in Lagos….” “It is sad that we have degenerated to (into) a level….” “But what is not known is what happen (happens) to such impostors at the end of the day.” “Asides (sic) from the dearth of medical doctors in the health sector has put immense pressure on those on ground.” Existential humanism: just begin the sentence from (or overhaul the entire wrong-headed entry): The dearth….

“…listen to their patients (patients’) complaints.” “…thousands of Nigerians that seek for health care abroad.” Delete ‘for’ to avoid raucousness! “Amidst this (Amid these) most Nigerians have opted to patronize private clinics despite its (their) obvious shortcomings.” Finally from NATIONAL MIRROR Views Page of November 14 under review: “This revelation will not surprise any Nigeria (Nigerian) who patronize (patronizes) even the public hospitals.” Remove ‘the’! I believe Barrister Jimoh Ibrahim, OFR, a Great Ife, reads his newspaper as we continue with the Editorial entitled ‘Anambra Adoration Ground tragedy’ in the subsequent paragraphs! “…considering the capacity crowd the adoration ground attracts on weekly (a weekly) basis….” “…some fellows raised alarm (the alarm) on (about) ‘fire’, which made the worshippers trooping (troop) out to scamper for safety and, in the process, fell over themselves (one another).” Lastly from the back page before we vacate Dr. Ibrahim’s publication: “The NFF…must get its acts (act) together by looking….” The only intervention this week is by Mr. Bayo O g u n t u n a s e (08029442508): ‘Please note that remuneration, like infrastructure, is both a countable and uncountable noun in stateside English. Machinery has the plural machineries.’ Avoid ‘gather together’, ‘join together’ and other such biblical expressions— use just ‘gather’ or ‘join’. Apart from elegance, they convey the message intended devoid of clumsiness. Next is the Views Page of National Mirror, November 7: “Crisis of unemployment in Nigeria” ‘Unemployment’ is a challenge/ crisis/problem anywhere. So, unemployment in Nigeria…. “…under the auspices of the OECD, alerted the nation of (to) the danger ahead unless something was done about youth unemployment.” “It is both a big risk and economic waste to be investing heavily on (in) human capital development without….”


HERE was this nominee, several years ago, to serve as a judge of the Supreme Court of the United States of America (USA). He was a black man, if my recollection still serves me right. His confirmation hearing was so bitter and divisive that it spilled over from the otherwise hallowed chambers of the US Senate to the streets of the country. It was so bad that in the effort to spike his nomination, the issues and questions to be thrown at the nominee would be ‘leaked’ to the public by sources 24 hours before hand. The idea by those behind the ‘leaks’ was ostensibly to dehumanise and demonise the nominee to the Supreme Court before the American public and in the court of the American public opinion. At the end of the brutal hearing, the nominee was confirmed and he got the job. Before that nominee assumed his position in the Court, he spoke, addressing many issues including what he considered the planned, coordinated, orchestrated and well-funded effort by some people to find him guilty even before trial. He described it as an attempt at ‘hitech lynching’. As events unfolded in the past two weeks or so on the subject of purchase of operational vehicles including two bullet proof cars (which some writers and commentators also refer to armour-plated/armoured cars) by the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority(NCAA); the alleged roles of the supervising Ministry of Aviation, and the Minister of Aviation, Princess Stella Oduah, and the diverse positions taken by individuals and groups, it has been difficult not to recall and relate what has been going on as akin to the phrase of attempt at ‘hitech lynching’ of Oduah. At the risk of naivety, I want to assume that the issues and allegations are well known to the partisans to warrant a detailed and exhaustive recall. So, we will summarise. The NCAA ordered, procured and/or leased operational vehicles. Thrown into the basket are two BMW bullet proof cars that were not appropriated for fiscal 2013. The bullet proof cars enjoyed duty waivers they should not have enjoyed. The N255 million committed to the bullet proof cars was insensitive and wasteful. The N643 million for the operational vehicles even after discounting the N240 million appropriated by the National Assembly in fiscal 2013, was beyond the Minister to approve without reverting to the Federal Executive Council (FEC). Due process was not adhered to, including allegedly ignoring the Public Procurement Act. It’s important to note that calls by individuals and groups for Oduah’s sacking commenced the very day the story broke. Indeed, the campaign to oust Oduah from the Aviation Ministry started immediately President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan assigned her the portfolio. She was derided as having no experience in the industry and of being a square peg in a round hole. Critics were somewhat shamed when she doubled down and went to work and began an amazing transformation (a cardinal principle of the Jonathan government) and remodelling of our airports. But it was obvious the critics were not pacified and this became manifest whenever there was a mishap in the sector. After the air mishaps, the orchestrated controversy over bullet proof cars procured by the NCAA has provided a fresh fodder for the enemies at the terminal.

Oduah: Pitfalls of Reps report

•Oduah By Ugo Onuoha In the quest to stampede Oduah out of office or get her sacked by the president, some anti corruption ‘activists’ have procured protesters to further the plot. Talking about protesters, the Nigeria variant, there was this true incident in Abuja during the presidency of Gen. Olusegun Obasanjo. A group was as usual procured to sit-in with placards at a particular institution with a view to getting the leadership removed. A perceptive middle ranking officer of the institution that was besieged, acting on his own, discreetly interviewed some of the protesters and was told that each person was paid N1000 to carry the placard for a few hours. Quickly, the officer went into the office, prepared a fresh set of placards in favour of the institution and its leadership, arranged money, came out, retrieved the offensive placards from the ‘protesters’, gave them the new placards with positive messages and N3000 for each ‘protesters’. By the time the original sponsors of the ‘protesters’ arrived the venue of the sit-in with their horde of hastily arranged photojournalists, they met ‘protesters’ carrying placards they did not bargain for. I leave you to imagine their disappointment and then to ruminate on the ‘protesters’ we see sometimes on national television. It has to be said that not all protests are rigged. So when the issue of Oduah moved from the cacophony of voices and the charade of ‘protesters’ to the setting up of a probe panel by the House of Representatives, I reasoned that a measure of sanity is returning to the discourse. The fear remained that there may be some panel members with mob mentality but there was also a feeling that there could just be one or more sober elements in the panel. From ‘leaked’ reports to the media, the House Panel has written its report which formed the basis of their recommendations to the whole House. If the report and recommendations ‘leaked’ to the media ahead of submission to a committee of the whole House were to be believed, it would then appear that the House of Representatives Probe Panel members on Oduah worked from the answer - Get Oduah out by all means. Let us analyse their findings and recommendations taken from newspaper reports: *President Jonathan should sack Minister Odua for bursting her approval limit. *Oduah breached the Appropriate Act 2013 by allowing an Agency under her watch to procure vehicle not captured in the budget. *Minister bypassed public procurement process. *A clean bill of health for First Bank, but that the executed lease purchase agreement should be revoked. *Other recommendations which obviously were designed to fulfill all righteousness. We will ignore them for being inconsequential. It is interesting that a mem-

ber of the House Probe Panel told a newspaper that there was nothing in their findings that suggested that Oduah derived or would derive personal benefits from the transaction and that the bullet proof cars were not bought in her name. Drawing from the findings so far, it would appear that if Minister Oduah was guilty of anything, that thing would be indiscretion. And indiscretion in this instance cannot be equated with corruption. Anticipatory approval for a contract is part of government business in our clime. The N255 million for bullet proof cars by NCAA will surely be covered by this mode of doing business. If the Minister gave approval (which of course she did not do, given the documented evidence she directed the Agency to do the “needful”), the sum which lease arrangement spans over 36 months would still be accommodated within her approval limit. The argument that by so doing, Minister Oduah would be committing succeeding Aviation Ministers is a non issue. And I will explain. The Federal Minister of Works will be stupid to limit the lifespan of contracts for road repairs and construction to terminate with the duration of his stay in the Jonathan Cabinet. In any case, how would he know how long he will serve? Nothing that says he will be in the FEC and in the same post till 2015. He, like others, serves at the pleasure of the president. In like manner, the bold statement in remodelling our airports cannot begin and end with the initiator - Oduah. In other words, future Aviation Ministers will have to continue with contracts entered into under her charge as long as such contracts are not incurably bad. More important is the fact that the travails of Oduah have little, if anything, to do with corruption. It’s more about 2015 and Jonathan. For those who choose to live in denial, they are free to do so. Princess Stella Oduah inspired an NGO-Neighbour to Neighbour-that gave hell to those who opposed Jonathan ahead of the 2011 presidential election. Neighbour-ToNeighbour was a formidable movement and a nightmare to opponents of Jonathan. If Jonathan needed NeighbourTo-Neighbour in 2011, he will need it more for the yet undeclared reelection quest in 2015. The plot of Jonathan haters is to discredit Oduah and weaken the credibility and moral standing of Neighbour-To-Neighbour when the time comes. They have started with the president’s party - the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). Nobody needs a prophet to confirm that Jonathan will seek reelection in 2015. But he should realise that his opponents in the forthcoming contest will not take prisoners. Prisoners can be a burden and a distraction. They would rather apply the Italian solution. But for as long as he is the president, Jonathan holds the aces. • Onuoha, is a public affairs commentator





Eagles were better, says Ethiopian coach

Resurgent Japan hold Netherlands


NOVEMBER 17, 2013

Imoke pledges houses for Eaglets

* Nigerian attacker Emmanuel Emenike contests for the ball with Ethiopian defender Rargtcho Salahadin during the FIFA World Cup qualifier in Calabar yesterday. AFP PHOTO

Super Eagles land in Brazil .Defeat Ethiopia 2-0

Khedira may miss World Cup after injury

Jonathan hails Super Eagles

Abdullahi, Maigari hail Imoke

From Augustine Ehikioya, Abuja



N1.9m for grabs at Extra Joss football tourney


World Cup ticket excites Ameobi



Imoke accepts nomination


Ogun lawmakers to pass bill on sports policy RIGAN 2013 GAMES

We are hosting to win, says FIIRO DG

‘Babangida’s govt knew about Dele Giwa’s death’ •Continued from Page 44




“It (National Dialogue) is not the solution to Nigeria’s problems… We in the ACF believe that the problem of this country has more to do with the collapse of national ideals, moral values, sense of social contract and sense of right and sense of wrong. The factor promoting all these is corruption, and when there is too much corruption, it tends to steal peoples’ empowerment, their opportunities and future.” —National Publicity Secretary of Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF), Mr. Anthony Sani, dismissing the proposed National Dialogue as the panacea to Nigeria’s multifarious challenges.


HE question the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Mohammed Abubakar, was asked to respond to by the House Committee on Police Affairs was simple: who ordered the Asokoro Divisional Police Officer, Nnana Amah, to invade and disrupt the G7 governors’ meeting at the Kano governor’s lodge some two weeks ago? The answer was equally simple though downright disturbing. No one sent Mr Amah, the IGP replied. The DPO was simply doing his job, he deadpanned. It will be recalled that two Sundays ago, Mr Amah had led dozens of policemen to invade the G7 governors’ meeting in Abuja. According to a source at the meeting, the DPO had asked the governors to disperse or be arrested. The governors, five of whom were present at the meeting, would not disperse, but instead dared the DPO to arrest them. The invasion led to an altercation in which a chafing governor would have taken the unprecedented step of pushing the DPO out of the meeting had he not been restrained. The invasion alarmed the country, and was widely condemned by everyone with a sense of decorum. However, like all who dare to oppose the Jonathan presidency, the chafing governor is today under siege, with two of his sons detained for alleged financial malfeasance. If Mr Amah’s effrontery alarmed the country, the response of the IGP was even more troubling, and the inability of the House Committee to pin him down with poignant and unnerving questions did in fact signpost the decline of Nigerian democracy. According to the IGP, “The DPO was not sent by anybody…As the officer-in-charge of the area, he had the right to know what was going on in his domain…He is the DPO of the area; if anything happens, he would be held responsible. He was doing his job.” He further explained that what the rest of us described as disruption of meeting was in fact nothing of the sort, and that we were all misled by media reports of the event. Alas, the IGP pretends to teach us English by redefining the word ‘disruption.’ Worse, by making light of Mr Amah’s grievous assault on civil liberties, the police boss attempts to rewrite the constitution, remould Nigerian democracy, and redefine the charter on human rights. But the IGP’s not-so-clever response shows very clearly why Nigeria is now a police state, why the police commissioner in Rivers State willfully defies the state governor without fear of retribution, why increasingly the police’s view of liberty is at variance with whatever liberty is vouchsafed to citizens by the constitution. And by handling the IGP last Thursday with kid gloves, the House Committee on Police Affairs also indicate clearly how complicit the National Assembly has become in the subversion of the constitution by a resentful and vin-


IGP on the G7 meeting invasion

• Lamido

• Abubakar

dictive Jonathan presidency. The fact is that though the IGP honoured the House invitation, he provided no explanation to show by what authority the police could disrupt the governors’ meeting or embarrass them, even if it was clear the governors met to ensure President Goodluck Jonathan did not contest in 2015, or if he did, not to win a single vote. The police, Dr Jonathan, and the faceless and shameless power mongers pulling the strings behind the thick presidency cloak of Aso Villa remind us of Germany in the 1920s and 1930s as Adolf Hitler’s Nazi party prepared the ground for fascism. The IGP is obviously no longer in full control of the police, for he seems to us a man of much grander character than the actions the police evince today. More and more, he will find himself justifying his men’s lawless actions, perhaps assured that in the process, and irrespective of what he thinks or not think, believes or not believe, he is pleasing the presidency and defending his increasingly untenable position. More humbling, and faced with a fascist presidency, we have on our trembling hands a considerably weakened National Assembly without a full understanding of the role of a legislature in combating autocracy. For whatever this weapon in our hands is worth, the Senate seems to have lost its zest for lawmaking and for checking the excesses of the executive; and the House of Representatives has sensed the futility and loneliness of rising up stoutly in defence of civil liberties. They could not question the IGP to get his understanding

of what the duties of a DPO were, and whether those duties included in any way the assault on the people’s liberties as contained in the constitution. They let the IGP off lightly by refusing to get him to quote the relevant parts of the constitution that empowered his officers to insult democracy and deny or circumscribe lawful association and assembly of the people. Last year we started with a defiant commissioner of police proving to be more powerful than a state governor; now we have one DPO looking five governors in the face and telling them to shape up or ship out. Under the military, such effrontery could never be countenanced. In a democracy, it should never be imagined. But under the nose of a president who took oath to defend and protect the constitution, we are experiencing these clear and catastrophic assaults on civil liberties. Who can tell what will happen as the 2015 general elections draw near, when a desperate president egged on by faceless fascists take on everybody and the constitution? Who can tell what other abuses the president’s men will enact, and what other institution, other than the police, they will destroy or render contemptible? Already, the campaign for state police has become almost unchallengeable, even unanimous. Whether a sovereign national conference is held or not, it is certain that the enthusiasm with which the police have lent themselves to be used to undermine the constitution has ensured that they cannot survive as

Nigeria, Boko Haram and belated US declaration

INALLY, the United States of America has declared the Nigerian Boko Haram Islamic sect a terrorist organisation. The US has its reasons. But it is instructive that for more than two years, Nigeria stoutly refused to let the sect be declared a foreign terrorist organisation. The country claimed that such a declaration would negatively affect innocent Nigerian travelers who would automatically become suspects anywhere they travelled to in Europe and America. This time, however, there has been no objection to the US declaration even though nothing has changed. The sect has remained consistently bloody and undiscriminating in its campaigns. It still treats its victims with as much contempt as it has done since 2009. And it has neither reduced nor expanded its objectives. What has changed, in fact, is that the Nigerian government has finally been overcome by self-made frustrations. While it previously and indefensibly believed it could secure some sort of deal with the sect, such hopes appear to have now evaporated. In spite of the appalling bloodletting at the Northeast epicenter of the revolt, and in spite of the killing of many of the sect’s leaders, the violence has seemed to

worsen, especially in its total lack of discrimination. To be certain, the fault for the late declaration of the sect as a terrorist organisation is not that of the US. It is strictly that of Nigeria. The country’s leaders have shown no imagination or good judgement in its war against the sect. It unwisely allowed the revolt to take root and spread before it belatedly declared war on it. While the sect controlled barely one local government in the early days of the revolt, the government was apparently unimpressed and failed to take the firm measures required to knock the problem into a cocked hat. Unimaginably, the government waited until, in its own words, the sect controlled more than 10 local governments in Borno and Yobe states before it felt it appropriate to declare what this column has described as an unnecessary state of emergency. Now, it seems as if the insurgency has become a war of attrition in which neither side appears eager to achieve victory or concede defeat. Neither the US declaration of Boko Haram as a terrorist organisation nor the declaration of state of emergency will bring the insurgency to an end. With the anomie being sponsored

and nurtured by the Jonathan presidency as he continues to undermine the constitution and impose authoritarian rule, and his demonstration of absolute mala fides in the practice of democracy, it is unlikely his efforts to restore peace in a part of the polity will be rewarded. Worse, it does appear that in tandem with its helplessness in dealing with the sectarian nightmare in the Northeast, the Nigerian government appears willing to open the country’s airspace and security (including intelligence, telephone security et al), not to say sovereignty, to US influence and drone activities. Four more years of Dr Jonathan’s unexciting and undemocratic rule will push Nigeria to the cliff. This has nothing to do with where the president comes from, his party’s zoning policy, or whether it is the North’s turn or that of the Southeast or any other zone for that matter. The problem is absolutely one of competence, which this president or the two before him have not demonstrated in part or in whole. It is frustrating that the issue of who rules Nigeria is every time obfuscated by the ethnic or religious background of those aspiring to be president.

they are constituted today. It is a question of time before the police are decentralized. When that happens, it will be good riddance to bad rubbish. For with the appalling excesses of the Jonathan government, no one is persuaded that a state government is likely to behave more unreasonably with the police than the federal government now heedlessly does. Whether the already enfeebled National Assembly, which embraces partisanship to the detriment of the sanctity of the constitution, survives the impending Jonathan onslaught remains to be seen. They failed to understand the issues involved in the Rivers affair, where a few members of the House of Assembly plotted against the majority and then somehow manipulated the National Assembly to employ disingenuous neutrality instead of principled engagement. More and more, Nigerians are beginning to understand that this certainly isn’t the kind of legislature the country needs. Whatever they earn, if they could at least be firm and principled, the country would be grateful that though they cost a pretty penny they are nonetheless useful. Today, however, they look like an appendage of the executive, frightened, cowering and shellshocked. Mr Amah is likely to get away with his audacious challenge to the country’s democratic tenets. After all, his senior counterpart in Rivers is getting away with murder. In the face of such distressing exhibition of partisan policing, the IGP hides under semantics, and the National Assembly feigns ignorance, if not sickening amusement. Maybe, in quiet resignation, we should wait for the other shoe to drop. When that happens, let us hope it will not be too late to stir ourselves, too late to reclaim the country from the hands of those intent on destroying it, and too late to feel alive once again and be proud of this corner of the earth the good Lord has placed in our clumsy hands to tend.

The death of Iyayi


HAT makes the death of Festus Iyayi deeply wounding is not simply the fact that he had an accident, as indeed anyone can have, or that he died in the almost hopeless quest of securing better university education for Nigerian students. Every death diminishes us, but none more so than the one procured in the hands of either an unimaginative person, such as an anarchist Boko Haram Islamic sect fighter, or an unimaginative state government, such as Kogi State government richly illustrated last week. Professor Iyayi, writer and former president of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) died in an auto crash on the Lokoja-Abuja highway when, according to preliminary reports, the bus in which he was travelling with other ASUU officials was struck by an escort vehicle in the convoy of Kogi State governor, Idris Wada. As if admitting guilt, and as if remorseful that Kogi State convoy drivers had needlessly avoided Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) training programmes, the governor has quickly offered to release his drivers for training. It took the death of Professor Iyayi to convince Kogi to do what is right. According to the corps marshal, Osita Chidoka, three accidents in as many months involving the Kogi government convoys were not even enough to get the governor amenable to the Road Safety training programme. Nor was another convoy accident involving the governor himself, in which he sustained a broken limb, enough to make the governor do something about his reckless convoys. The state has tried to shift the blame to the victims, but some sources allege that the governor’s convoy is to blame. If investigations prove the convoy’s culpability, the governor will not only be sued for damages, he will also doubtless be stigmatized for causing the death of the renowned professor and for failing to get his convoys to act responsibly on the highways. Indeed, if the governor cannot be trusted to responsibly restrain his drivers from embarking on what looks like joyriding, how can he be trusted to administer the affairs of his state with the responsibility, consideration, fairness and moderation his office required?

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

The Nation Nov 17, 2013  
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