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VOL. 8, NO. 2672 TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 19, 2013
TR UTH IN DEFENCE OF FREEDOM TRUTH
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We are concerned that the way INEC is going, the elections coming up next year ‘and 2015 may be doomed. The commission should not be allowed to set the country ablaze. Last Saturday’s election in Anambra was a sham...We call for immediate cancellation and the conduct of a fresh election ’ I’m authentic NGF •SEE EDITORIAL ON PAGE 15
chair, says Amaechi
IVERS State Governor Rotimi Amaechi has urged the Presidency to dissociate itself from the utterances of its officials capable of causing disaffection among governors. Amaechi said the Presidency must desist from misleading Nigerians, saying there is only one leader for the 36 governors. He added that his re-election as the chairman of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) was accepted by majority of the governors. The governor was reacting to a statement credited to Alhaji Ahmed Gulak, the Special Adviser on Political Matters to President Goodluck Jonathan, referring to governors as “Amaechi Governors Forum”. In a statement yesterday by his Chief Press Secretary, David Iyofor, the governor said Gulak’s ignorance of basic democratic tenets could damage the credibility of the Presidency and make it a body that lacks Continued on page 58
How $5b ECA cash was spent, by Okonjo-Iweala From Nduka Chiejina, Abuja
INISTER of Finance Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala explained yesterday how the Federal Government spent the $5billion excess crude cash declared “missing” by the Nigerian Governors’ Forum (NGF). In a statement, the ministry described as
•THE FUR Y OF FIRE: The scene of a multiple accident involving three vehicles at Magboro on the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway... yesterday. FURY
PHOTO: ISAAC AYODELE
INEC probes Anambra’s inconclusive election Continued on page 58
Official detained in Abuja APC, traders, activists seek cancellation
From Yusuf Alli, Abuja, Augustine Avwode, Joseph Jibueze and Nwanosike Onu, Awka
•INEC chief Prof. Jega
HE compromised Electoral Officer (EO) behind the inconclusive governorship poll in Anambra State and his accomplice were relocated yesterday to Abuja for interrogation by the police and other security agencies. Besides, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) raised an Administrative Panel of Enquiry on the flawed poll. But there were strong indications
FACTS AND FIGURES
1,763,751 431,005 16,544
•Registered voters •Valid votes
that INEC would not cancel the poll because of legal constraints. The two suspects were moved to
451,826 429,549 113,113
•Accredited voters •Total votes cast •Cancelled votes
Abuja from police custody in Enugu. A top security source said: “When the affected EO was arrested, he was
taken into custody in Enugu by the police. But INEC management was uncomfortable because Enugu State is closer to Anambra State and members of the syndicate might try to influence the investigation. “Those who are desperate to cover up can act funny beyond what the police in Enugu State could manage. “So, the police and other security agencies decided to bring the EO to Abuja. While the EO is being grilled, his ‘accomplice’ was also nabbed and ferried to Abuja. Continued on page 2
•SPORTS P23 •POLITICS P43 •ENERGY P47 •MARITIME P49 •HEALTH P45
THE NATION TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 19, 2013
•Senator Oluremi Tinubu (left) condoling with Dr Josephine Akhigbe, widow of the late Vice Admiral Mike Akhigbe during a visit to Akhigbe’s home on Victoria Island, Lagos…yesterday. With them is a former Secretary for Health, Prince Julius Adelusi-Adeluyi
Southeast traders demand cancellation of poll
OUTHEAST traders have warned that if the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) fails to cancel last Saturday’s Anambra State governorship election, it will cripple activities in the zone. Speaking with The Nation yesterday on the telephone, the Chairman of the Igbo Traders Association (ITA), Chief Anayo Nweke, described the election as a sham, saying it is not acceptable to Igbo traders. He said Igbo traders nationwide were in talks as a result of the outcome of the poll, adding that the election had exposed INEC Chairman Prof Attahiru Jega. According to him, “a situation where more than twothird, of eligible voters were disenfranchised while high profiled irregularities were witnessed should not be tolerated by the traders. “We want INEC to, as a matter of urgency, cancel the election and fix a fresh date for a free, fair and credible election in Anambra State; otherwise, we will make this state ungovernable for the people,” Nweke said, adding:
•Umeh: it’s delayed victory for APGA From Nwanosike Onu, Awka
“What happened in Anambra is a sham; it was a planned act between President Goodluck Jonathan, the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) government and INEC to favour APGA. “If this election is not cancelled, Igbo traders will not fold their arms and allow some individuals to ruin Igboland. We are not talking of Anambra alone, but the entire zone. “So, for peace to reign in Anambra State, Jega should heed the voice of reason by cancelling the entire exercise and fixing a new date. This election has exposed him, Nweke said. He added: “If anybody wants to use the Anambra election to negotiate for 2015 election, we are telling the person or persons that it will not work in Igbo land, no matter the level of security deployed. Nobody is happy about what happened in Anambra on Saturday.” To Nweke, the issue was not to cancel the election in
Idemili, Nsugbe, Ayamelum or else where; the association demands a credible election. The National Chairman of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), Chief Victor Umeh, said yesterday there was no miracle anybody could perform to upturn the victory of his party in the election. Umeh said the proposed supplementary election in the specified areas should be conducted within seven days. He said: “There is no miracle anybody can perform to upturn the lead of APGA in the election. We welcome the decision of INEC in very good spirits, but it will be an impossible task for them to cancel the votes.” “We will continue to win. It was a delayed victory, but our people, I mean the APGA supporters, should remain calm, APGA won the election convincingly in 16 local government areas and the spread in 18 local government areas. So, we are not bothered.” Umeh spoke with report-
APC: cancel election
HE All Progressives Congress (APC) has rejected the announcement by INEC that it will hold a supplementary election after declaring last Saturday’s Anambra governorship poll inconclusive. The party said that only the total cancellation of the “grossly-tainted and widely-manipulated election will be acceptable”. In a statement issued in Lagos on Monday by its Interim National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the party also called on INEC to come clean on how the election was sabotaged from within the commission itself, with a view to “establishing how entrenched the forces of evil within the commission are and also to avert a looming national disaster into which an infiltrated, incompetent and conniving INEC can plunge Nigeria.” The APC said it is now apparent that INEC is indeed not taking seriously the opinions of Anambra residents as well as local and foreign observers that most of the registered voters in the state were willfully disenfranchised on Saturday. ‘’First, the electoral commission proposed make-up election in only 65 polling units in Obosi before scaling things up to a supplementary election ‘in those areas where election was cancelled’. But we say, without equivocating, that a total cancel-
lation of the election and the organisation of a fresh poll, under the supervision of a credible Resident Electoral Commissioner, will be acceptable to our party,’’ it said. The party also challenged INEC to quickly carry out an internal investigation to determine the extent to which Saturday’s election was sabotaged and compromised to the embarrassment of the nation, saying what occurred on Saturday may actually be treasonable. ‘’It is not enough for INEC’s detached Chairman, Prof. Attahiru Jega, to tell the nation that an INEC official sabotaged the election in a certain part of the state, he must tell the nation who this fellow is, who he/she is working for, what is the extent of the damage he/she has done to this and previous elections, and whether or not he/she has access to the commission’s database of voters’ register, which was apparently tampered with for Saturday’s election. ‘’Prof. Jega must also tell Nigerians why 16 Electoral Commissioners, who migrated to Anambra days before the election, ostensibly to supervise things, could not ensure the success of an election in a single state, when even a polling unit behind the INEC office in Awka did not get voting materials till after 9 am on election day,’’ it said. Continued on page 58
PDP satisfied with conduct of Anambra election
ers after INEC announced that the election was inconclusive. The agents of the other political parties refused to endorse the results. Labour Party (LP) chairman Sam Oraegbunam, People’s Democratic Party (PDP) collation agent Onyeka Jude Kingsley and others said they were not convinced that the results were authentic. The party leaders were fuming at the INEC office in Awka. They described the Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Prof. Chukwuemeka Onukaogu, as a disappointment.
HE leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has expressed satisfaction with the conduct of Saturday’s governorship election in Anambra State. The party’s National Publicity Secretary, Chief Olisa Metuh, yesterday praised the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the security agencies for the peaceful conduct of the poll. Deploring calls by some candidates for the cancellation of the result, Metuh said those calling for the cancellation have displayed poor sportsmanship, adding that the PDP has faith in the electoral process. He accused opposition parties in the election of attempts
to blackmail the INEC with the view to discrediting the election. According to him, the opposition parties want to create hopelessness in the minds of the Anambra people. The party called on the INEC to address genuine grievances arising from the conduct of the poll, saying that the people are waiting for the electoral body to fix a date for the completion of the election in the interest of the people. Metuh said late preparation by the PDP affected the chances of the party’s candidate, saying that the situation would have been different if the party had commenced its campaign early enough.
INEC probes Anambra’s inconclusive election
Continued from page 1
“The two suspects have been undergoing questioning on how they collaborated to mess up the process last Saturday. “We hope that their responses might lead to more arrests in the next few days.” It was also learnt that the embattled EO would be queried today by the INEC panel. A National Commissioner of INEC said: “The Administrative Panel will look into how the poll became inconclusive, consider reports of EOs on late arrival of materials and omission of names on voters’ register; examine the roles of some INEC officials and make appropriate recommendations. “All EOs and other officials have been recalled to bring in their reports for consideration by the Administrative Panel, which would sit from now till Saturday or Sunday. “Hopefully by Monday or Tuesday next week, the INEC management will meet to consider the report of the panel and set the date for Supple-
‘Why Anambra election was declared inconclusive’
NAMBRA State Returning Officer in Saturday’s election Prof James Epoke explained yesterday why Saturday’s governorship election was declared inconclusive. He spoke after the results from all the local government areas had been collated. His words: “We observed that during the election, there were a lot of cancelled votes. The total registered voters where election was cancelled amounted to 113, 113. “We then looked at the highest scorer. The difference in winning for that majority to be accepted is that you must have a difference higher than the votes that were cancelled where election did mentary Election in some local governments.” Asked if INEC would conduct a fresh governorship poll in Anambra State, the source said: “We know that there is an agitation in that respect, but we are constrained by the Electoral Act. “Once the results of any election has been announced by the Returning Officer, neither the INEC chairman nor the commission itself can re-
From Joseph Jibueze, Awka
not hold. “We have difference between the two highest scorers, which are difference between APGA (174, 710) and PDP (94,826). The difference came to 79,754, which is less than the votes that were cancelled, that is, the registered voters where election was cancelled. “Because of this, we cannot return the winner in this election. “The commission will then arrange for, not a rerun, but a supplementary election in only those areas that election was cancelled so that we can now see if the difference between the highest scorer will be more than where
view or upturn it. Only a tribunal or court can overrule the Returning Officer. The source quoted Section 68 as saying: “The decision of the Returning Officer on any question arising from or relating to (a) unmarked ballot paper (b) rejected ballot paper; and (c) declaration of scores of candidates and return of a candidate, shall be made subject to review by a tribunal or
election was cancelled. “In that case, we are having this election as inconclusive because the total number of cancelled votes is more than the difference between the candidate with the highest number of votes and the runner-up.” Epoke added: “As I have stated, the commission will now arrange for supplementary election in only those area where election was cancelled. “We want to appeal to the political politics that during the supplementary election, they should allow election to go on peacefully and not disrupt the exercise as was done in places that was cancelled that led to the huge number.”
court in an election petition proceeding under this act.” The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) declared the election inconclusive. At exactly 6:10am, the Returning Officer, Prof James Epoke, who is also the ViceChancellor of the University of Calabar (UNICAL) said a supplementary election would be conducted at a date to be fixed by the electoral
umpire. The main reason for declaring the election inconclusive, according to Epoke, is that for a candidate to emerge the winner, he must have scored not only the highest number of votes cast, but should also garner 25 per cent in twothirds of the local government areas. Apparently because of the large number of cancelled votes, which stood at 113,113,
no candidate scored the required percentage. The commission examined the votes of the winner and the runner-up to see whether the difference is less than the cancelled figure, which was not so. All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) candidate Willie Obiano polled 174,710 votes to come first. The first runnerup, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate Tony Nwoye polled 94,956 votes to place second. The difference in the figures for the first two candidates, which is 79,754 less than the cancelled votes (113,113) prevented the commission from declaring anybody the winContinued on page 58
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THE NATION TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 19, 2013
THE NATION TUESDAY NOVEMBER 19, 2013
•Anambra State Governor Peter Obi (middle) cutting the tape to inaugurate the multi-billion naira Agu-Awka Power sub-station... yesterday.With him are the Managing Director of the Niger Delta Power Holding Company Limited, Mr. James Olotu (second right), Mr. Ejike Imoka( right), the contractor that did the project; Prof Nwakobi Greg (second left) and Emeka Nwankwu. PHOTO: ODOGWU EMEKA ODOGWU.
Assistant Secretary, Bureau of African Affairs, Linda Thomas-Greenfield, addressed the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittees on Africa, Global Health, Human Rights, and International Organisations and Terrorism, Nonproliferation, and Trade on the designation of Boko Haram and Ansaru as Foreign Terrorist Oragnisations.
I • Chairman, Resort Savings and Loans Plc, Francis Adefarati speaking at the company’s 7th Annual General Meeting (AGM) in Ibadan. With him are the company’s Managing Director, Abimbola Olayinka (left) and Acting Company Secretary, Mrs Sade Ogundare.
•From left: Chief Executive Officer & Managing Director, Airtel Nigeria, Segun Ogunsanya; Lagos State Commissioner for Finance, Ayo Gbeleyi and Chief Executive Officer & Managing Director, Diamond Bank, Alex Otti at a special reception in honour of Gbeleyi in Lagos...yesterday.
•Managing Director Ptv Phones, Mr Banji Adesanmi, speaking at a news conference on the rebranding of the company in Lagos...yesterday. With him are Account Manager, Etu Odi Communications, Emeka Ebeniro (left) and Logistics Manager, Ptv Phones, Mr Wunmi Raji.
NSTABILITY in Nigeria is of direct concern to the United States. Nigeria is one of our most important partners in Africa. It is home to an estimated 170 million people, making it the most populous country in Africa and the seventh most populous country in the world. Nigeria is the 22nd fastest-growing economy in the world, the 13th largest supplier of oil to the global market, and the second largest destination for U.S. private investment in Africa. Nigeria is also the second largest African contributor to UN peacekeeping operations around the world and we welcome Nigeria’s participation on the UN Security Council beginning in January. The significant mutual interests we share with Nigeria have led us to build a robust bilateral relationship, which we have deepened and broadened through the U.S.-Nigeria Binational Commission. We meet regularly with senior Nigerian officials. President Obama met with President Jonathan on the margins of the UN General Assembly in September. Under Secretary Wendy Sherman led a large interagency U.S. delegation to Abuja in midAugust to discuss civilian security with senior Nigerian civilian and military leaders, including President Jonathan and National Security Advisor Dasuki. Additionally, we have welcomed the travel of Congressional partners like Chairman Smith who visited Nigeria September 21-24 to meet with Nigerians affected by Boko Haram violence. It is through these engagements that we are able to translate our partnership into mutual action to advance opportunities and address threats. Boko Haram and associated violent extremist groups, such as the faction known as Ansaru, pose a threat to Nigeria’s stability. These groups attack the Nigerian Government, military, and ordinary citizens of all walks of life, including numerous Christians and an even greater number of Muslims. Their actions have increased tensions between ethnic communities, interrupted development, frightened investors, and alarmed Nigeria’s neighbors. Boko Haram and associated groups can strike Nigeria’s neighbors and target foreigners. Their unspeakable violence has killed too many Nigerians, as we
saw during September, when attacks in Benisheikh shot more than 160 people and in Yobe, where more than 50 innocent students lost their lives. In August 2011, a suicide bomber from Boko Haram attacked the United Nations headquarters in Nigeria’s capital Abuja. On February 19 of this year, Boko Haram kidnapped 7 French tourists in Cameroon. Although Boko Haram has directed most of its violence and rhetoric at Nigerian targets, reports of linkages between Boko Haram and Al Qa’ida in the Islamic Maghreb, or AQIM, are worrying. The ongoing violence in northern Nigeria has multiple causes. These include Boko Haram’s ideology, which opposes Western culture and education and seeks to overthrow the Nigerian state and replace it with a regime enforcing strict shari’a law. Boko Haram has exploited religious rhetoric in an attempt to justify its violence, casting the state as hopelessly corrupt and un-Islamic. Regional and socioeconomic disparities have also contributed to the group’s ability to recruit. Northern Nigeria has long lagged behind the south in education and economic development. In 2011, Nigeria’s national unemployment rate was 24 percent, but the unemployment rate in 6 of the 12 far northern states exceeded 30 percent. In 2010, Nigeria’s rate of absolute poverty was 62 percent, but in 8 of the 12 far northern states the figure exceeded 70 percent. Of Nigeria’s estimated 10.5 million children who do not attend school, 92 percent are estimated to be in the north. Boko Haram’s activities call our attention not just to violence, but also to poverty and inequality in Nigeria. Boko Haram’s violence also comes at a time of uncertainty and tension for Nigeria. Preparations for the country’s 2015 elections have already begun, and political realignments are adding to existing tensions. In the oil-producing Niger Delta region, thieves steal at least 100,000 barrels of oil per day and perhaps much more. This theft reduces government revenues, fuels corruption and international crime, and contributes to environmental degradation. In Nigeria’s ethnically and religiously diverse Middle Belt, communal violence occurs in tragic cycles, overwhelming civilian authorities and stoking regional tensions. Corruption hinders the
THE NATION TUESDAY NOVEMBER 19, 2013
Boko Haram won’t be easy, says U.S. ‘
Nigeria’s prosperity and stability matter to all of Africa. The United States is committed to several Presidential initiatives in partnership with Nigeria, including the Young African Leaders Initiative and Power Africa, as well as significant programs for health and economic growth •Thomas Greenfield
country’s efforts to enforce the rule of law, generate electricity, attract investment, and expand infrastructure. Despite its tremendous wealth and vast human resources, Nigeria struggles to reduce poverty; despite its oil exports and agricultural riches, the country imports gasoline and rice. Good governance, healthy political competition, and equitable economic growth would go a long way to address all of these challenges. The strategy for countering Boko Haram should be, in other words, holistic. The government needs to not only stop Boko Haram’s attacks, but address longstanding grievances of lawabiding northern Nigerians about government corruption and unfairness that attracts disaffected youth to Boko Haram. The United States is committed to helping the Nigerian Government and people counter the threat posed by Boko Haram and associated violent extremist groups. In recent years, we have worked to help isolate Boko Haram’s leaders. In June 2012, the State Department designated Boko Haram’s top commanders as Specially Designated Global Terrorists under section 1(b) of Executive Order 13224. In June 2013, the State Department added Abubakar Shekau, Boko Haram’s official leader, to our Rewards for Justice Program and offered up to $7 million for information leading to his location. I am pleased to inform you that the United States has recently taken additional steps to counter the
threat posed by Boko Haram and Ansaru. Earlier today, the State Department designated both as Foreign Terrorist Organizations under Section 219 of the Immigration and Nationality Act, as amended, and as Specially Designated Global Terrorists under section 1(b) of Executive Order 13224. We took this step after careful consideration. We anticipate that this designation will empower U.S. law enforcement and the Treasury Department with additional tools to pursue these violent extremist organizations. We believe this designation is an important and appropriate step, but it is only one tool in what we believe must be a comprehensive approach toward addressing the Boko Haram threat. It is also our sincere hope that the Nigerian Government and people will see this as a gesture of support in their fight against Boko Haram. We are committed to assisting Nigeria in bolstering its law enforcement capabilities and ultimately shifting to an integrated civilian security-focused strategy to counter Boko Haram and Ansaru in a manner that adheres to the rule of law and ensures accountability. The United States has also sought to enhance the capacity of Nigeria and its neighbors to detect, disrupt, respond to, investigate, and prosecute terrorist incidents. Through the Trans-Sahara Counterterrorism Partnership, we build military, law enforcement, and civilian capacity and resilience across the Sahel and Maghreb regions to counter terrorism. We continue to train and equip
Nigerian law enforcement units to strengthen leadership, improve crisis management, enhance investigations and forensics, and counter improvised explosive devices. The State Department also funds a Legal Advisor to help the Nigerian Government strengthen its antimoney laundering and counter terrorist financing regime. Military and law enforcement efforts are necessary, but they alone are insufficient to counter the threat posed by Boko Haram and associated violent extremist groups. In the long run, reducing Boko Haram’s ability to recruit is just as important as degrading its capabilities. In addition to the imperatives of improving governance and fostering equitable development, Nigeria must protect civilians, guarantee human rights, and ensure accountability in instances where government officials and security forces violate those rights. Nigeria must demonstrate that government can be the sole, trusted arbiter of justice in the country. The United States recognizes that the Nigerian Government and security forces face a difficult challenge in countering the Boko Haram insurgency. Both ordinary citizens and security forces have suffered. Still, we are concerned by reports that some Nigerian security forces enhance investigations and forensics, and counter improvised explosive devices. The State Department also funds a Legal Adviser to help the Nigerian Government strengthen its anti-money launder-
ing and counter terrorist financing regime. Military and law enforcement efforts are necessary, but they alone are insufficient to counter the threat posed by Boko Haram and associated violent extremist groups. In the long run, reducing Boko Haram’s ability to recruit is just as important as degrading its capabilities. In addition to the imperatives of improving governance and fostering equitable development, Nigeria must protect civilians, guarantee human rights, and ensure accountability in instances where government officials and security forces violate those rights. Nigeria must demonstrate that government can be the sole, trusted arbiter of justice in the country. The United States recognizes that the Nigerian Government and security forces face a difficult challenge in countering the Boko Haram insurgency. Both ordinary citizens and security forces have suffered. Still, we are concerned by reports that some Nigerian security forces have committed gross human rights violations in response to Boko Haram. We have raised this concern with the Government of Nigeria at the highest levels. While northern Nigerians, Muslims and Christians alike, largely reject Boko Haram’s vision and violence, Boko Haram has exploited local resentment of these violations and other long-standing grievances against the central government to attract recruits. The United States is committed to helping Nigeria shift to a strategy that focuses on protecting citizens.
Such a strategy would diminish Boko Haram’s appeal and legitimacy. We support civil society-led efforts in Nigeria that counter Boko Haram’s narrative and its violent extremist message. We also seek to increase outreach with youth leaders in northern Nigeria, and to promote better relations between these leaders and Nigerian Government officials. We maintain an American corner in Kano, Nigeria, although its outreach activities have been limited by the security situation. Nigeria’s prosperity and stability matter to all of Africa. The United States is committed to several Presidential initiatives in partnership with Nigeria, including the Young African Leaders Initiative and Power Africa, as well as significant programs for health and economic growth. Nigeria’s success is important to us. We must continue to help our Nigerian partners develop an effective multifaceted strategy toward Boko Haram. Overcoming the challenges posed by Boko Haram will not be easy, but we believe it is possible with leadership and creativity. We appreciate Congress’ interest in this issue and are ready to work with you in the months ahead. I look forward to your questions. The Office of Website Management, Bureau of Public Affairs, manages this site as a portal for information from the U.S. State Department. External links to other Internet sites should not be construed as an endorsement of the views or privacy policies contained therein.
‘World Bank committed to supporting Nigeria’s data system’
HE World Bank is committed to supporting and positioning Nigerian Statistical System (NSS) to enable it to contribute meaningfully to the national Transformation Agenda, an official has said. Mr Alain Gaugris, a Senior Statistician at the Bank, spoke yesterday in Abuja at the 2013 African Statistics Day celebration, which had as its theme “Quality Data to Support African Progress’’. He said the Bank was partnering the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) because of the importance of statistics to development and poverty reduction. “The World Bank is actively involved in statistical development in Nigeria, mainly through the 10 million dollars grant for Sta-
tistics for Results Facility (SRF) project. According to Gaugris, the project, which spans 2011-2014, is focused on capacity building at the federal level for NBS and National Population Commission (NPC) staff, as well as members of staff of six pilot states. The states are Anambra, Bauchi, Edo, Kaduna, Niger and Ondo. “The objective of the three-year project is to initiate the implementation of the National Strategy for the Development of Statistics (NSDS) by producing reliable statistics in participating states,’’ he said. Gaugris said the project was meant to improve the legal and institutional framework in NSS to improve vertical and horizontal
coordination. “It is also meant to develop the human resources, statistical framework and the Information Technology infrastructure in the NSS to professionalise statistical production in Nigeria,’’ he added. The President, Nigerian Statistical Association, Dr Muhammad Tumala, said the need for collaboration between producers of statistics at national and sub-national levels to avoid conflict in national data. Tumala called for sustained cooperation and collaboration of all data-gathering agencies to improve production of quality statistics in the country. The Statistician-General of the Federation, Dr Yemi Kale, said the 2013 African
Statistics Day was held to promote the importance of statistics in national planning, policy formulation, monitoring and evaluation of government projects. He said the theme was selected to draw attention to the importance of quality statistics for evidence-based decision-making in economic management, poverty reduction and all aspects of socio-economic development processes. Kale was represented by Mr George Oparaku, the Director, Real Sector and Household Surveys Department in NBS. The celebration was initiated in 1990 by the Joint African Conference of Planners, Statisticians, and Demographers, a subsidiary of the UN Economic Commission for Africa.
THE NATION TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 19, 2013
• Vice Admiral Ezeoba (cutting the tape) assisted by Rear Admiral Ibas ((fifth left); Commodore Yakubu (fourth left); Director, Naval Engineering, Rear Admiral E. Ijioma (third left) and Rear Admiral A. Olutoyin (second left), at the inauguration of First and Second Avenue roads at Navy Town, Lagos...yesterday
HE Nigerian Navy yesterday said French language has become compulsory in its secondary schools. The move, it was learnt, was part of efforts to bridge the communication gap between Nigeria and its neighbouring French-speaking countries and add value to its students. Chief of Naval Staff (CNS) Vice Admiral Dele Ezeoba spoke in Lagos during his annual inspection and inauguration of projects at Navy Town. Among the projects inaugurated were a N170 million newly built and equipped diagnostic centre, the Physics, Biology and computer laboratories at the Navy Secondary School, Ojo; a car park, the reconstructed First and Second Avenue roads, blocks of classroom, 24 blocks of two and 17 blocks of three-bedroom flats for Senior Ratings and Lieutenant Com-
NIMET alerts road users, airlines to poor visibility From Olugbenga Adanikin, Abuja
HE Nigeria Meteorological Agency (NIMET) yesterday warned airline operators and road users to prepare for poor visibility from the imminent dry season. The agency said the effect of the dry season weather would cause early morning and late evening mist. In a statement in Abuja by Mrs. Theresa Ushie, for NIMET’s Head, Press and Public Relations Unit, the agency urged North’s residents to stay in a cool and well ventilated environment because the temperature would increase by 3 degrees Celcius. The statement reads: “The moderate to major outbreaks of dust from the source region will reduce horizontal visibility significantly and these often lead to disruption of flight operations. “The relatively strong, dry and dusty wind from the desert through the North will become prevalent in the South as the dry season progresses. The effect of dust particles in the atmosphere in the South will include occurrence of early morning and late evening fog, which also reduces horizontal visibility significantly during the period. “Consequently, air, road and rail transportation are likely to be affected by this impairment of surface horizontal visibility. “The 2013 rainy season has come to an end in the extreme northern part of the country while the season is expected to come to an end in the central states and the South by midNovember and the first week in December… “Day temperatures will generally increase across the country by as much as about 3°C.” The agency warned against bush burning, dehydration and increase in human discomforts due to the temperature. Road users, especially motorists were therefore advised to exercise caution and adhere strictly to road traffic rules and regulations.
French now compulsory in Navy schools •Naval Chief inaugurates houses, others By Precious Igbonwelundu
manders, 24 one-bedroom flats at the campsite; pilot quarters, female transit accommodation as well as the rehabilitated Naval Ordinance Depot (NOD) Jetty. Ezeoba said he was pleased with the performance of the French teacher at the school. He explained that irrespective of the students’ discipline, studying French was a must in all Navy schools. “As a matter of policy, French must follow all the students to the SS3. It is their choice to make, whether to register it in the West African Exami-
nations Council (WAEC) examinations or not. “We must do things differently and add value to our students. That will make them more competitive in this 21st century,” Ezeoba said. Inaugurating the computer laboratory, the CNS directed the school authorities to document an intervention and assistance they had received from individuals and corporate bodies and make same available to him in two weeks. Ezeoba said he was motivated by the quest to leave a good legacy for posterity to judge. The Naval chief said the houses
were built for its personnel from savings, adding that they were not captured in the capital budget. The Flag Officer Commanding (FOC) Western Naval Command, Rear Admiral Ibok-Ete Ibas, said the Naval chief’s annual inspection and one year anniversary enabled him to assess the level of implementation of set goals. He described Navy Town in Ojo as a key welfare unit, because it doubled as the main barracks in Lagos and hosted the Navy Reference Hospital and several welfare schools. At the inauguration of first and
second avenue roads as well as blocks of flats for officers and senior Ratings, the Commander, NNS Wey, Ojo, Commodore E. R. Yakubu said the realisation of the projects was surprising beause of the period of their award and completion. He said the contract was awarded on March 22, last year. According to him, on assumption of office, Ezeoba ensured its completion on record time. “Majoriy of the houses in Navy Town were old and dilapidated. The worst hit areas were the senior ratings, lieutenants and lieutenantCommanders’ quarters. “This situation led to the abandonment or forfeiture of official accommodation by the residents, which created colosal housing problems,” Yakubu said.
NMA seeks probe into Iyayi’s death
HE Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) yesterday urged the Federal Government to constitute an official enquiry into the accident in which a former National President of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), Prof Festus Iyayi, died. Besides, it called on the Federal Roads Safety Commission (FRSC) to end reckless driving by convoys on the nation’s roads. The President of the association, Dr Osahon Enabulele, spoke in Benin, the Edo State capital, after he led a delegation of the members to the family of the late Iyayi. Other leaders of the association with Enabulele included the SecretaryGeneral, Dr Akpufuoma Pemu; the state Chairman, Dr Emmanuel Ighodaro and a former NMA President, Dr Dominic Osaghae. Enabulele said: “While we mourn the extremely sad and tragic death of this dogged and courageous fighter for socio-economic and political justice in Nigeria and an unrepentant crusader for the restoration of standards and excellence in university education, we are pained that his death followed another despicable act of recklessness and impunity by executive convoys. “The NMA, therefore, calls on the Federal Government to institute an urgent official enquiry into the circumstances that led to Prof. Iyayi’s
‘I’m yet to recover from Iyayi’s death’
R Karo Ogbinaka, the chairman of the University of Lagos (UNILAG) chapter of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), has said he has not recovered from the shock of Prof. Festus Iyayi’s death. Iyayi, a former president of ASUU, died on November 12 in an accident near Lokoja, the Kogi State capital, on his way to Kano to attend a National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting of the union. The meeting was expected to deliberate on the way forward for the four-month old strike of the union, after the Federal Government made a fresh offer. Speaking with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos, Ogbinaka said: “I still cannot believe that Iyayi is dead because I was at the scene of the accident where it happened. “I witnessed the gory scene with blood stains all over the place as I can still remember struggling to assist our dear From Osemwengie Ben Ogbemudia, Benin
death, while machinery is urgently put in motion by the FRSC to end the recklessness of executive convoys, whose intolerable impunity has sent many innocent and productive Nigerians to their early graves.” The union leader also urged the government to fast-track the repairs and dualisation of the Abuja-LokojaBenin highway He said: “We restate our call on governments at the Federal, state and local government levels to be more
colleagues; believe me, it was too painful to see Iyayi die the way he did. “There was confusion in Kano and at the scene of the accident. Indeed it was a terrible and shocking sight to behold; we are indeed, deep in grief.” The union leader said the NEC suspended the Kano meeting to honour Prof Iyayi. According to him, the NEC members have been meeting with the family of the deceased to give him a befitting burial. He said: “We think we should give the NEC some time to get over the entire arrangements and then have some time to put themselves together before they start considering reconvening the postponed meeting.” Ogbinaka said it was only when the ASUU national executives were fully settled that they would assemble state executives for a decision on the protracted strike.
committed to the development of the transport system, particularly in fixing and regularly maintaining the several bad roads and death traps that dot Nigeria’s highways and landscape.” The union leader said Nigeria, especially the academia, would miss Iyayi’s inspirational literary works and frank contributions “to the resolution of several questions bordering the existence of the Nigerian state”. Enabulele added: “While we hope this will be the last act of recklessness of executive convoys, we pray
for the speedy recovery and perfect healing of all those who suffered various degrees of bodily injury.” The ASUU leader urged the Iyayis to be consoled that the late activist lived a good life with many accomplishments several people would wish to achieve in their lives. Oriabure, the son of the late Iyayi, thanked the NMA for the visit. He hoped the association would continue to give a voice to the voiceless, health care to ordinary Nigerians and fight for the common interest of the masses, which his father fought and died for.
Air Nigeria: I was never arrested by FIRS, says Jimoh Ibrahim
HE Group Managing Director of Energy Group of Companies, Mr Jimoh Ibrahim, has denied reports that he was arrested and detained by the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) over N6.8 billion Air Nigeria allegedly owed it. He described the report as wicked, concocted and sheer imagination of the writer. Ibrahim, in a statement yesterday after the story went viral online, said the story, published by Sahara Report, was borne out of mischief and aimed at tarnishing his image. The businessman said he would have ignored the report but for need to put the record straight. He said: “Our company, the NICON Group, purchased 48 per
•‘NICON Group sold airline’s shares in 2012’ cent shares of Air Nigeria sometime in 2010 and the FIRS came with alleged tax liabilities for the period of 2006 to 2010. “They claimed that he who buys assets buys the liabilities of the company. That was in 2012. We requested for reconciliation of the taxes, which was not conclusive. “We closed down the airline and sold our shares to a commercial bank in Nigeria. Rather than pursue the new owner for the taxes, the FIRS instituted a civil suit against me at the Federal High Court. “Whereas the same law of ‘who buys the assets, buys the liabilities’ should apply. This is why the FIRS
should pursue the liability of Air Nigeria with the new owners.” On his encounter with officials of the FIRS, Ibrahim said: “...The FIRS’ Enforcement Unit yesterday solicited my assistance about the new buyer. I opted to give them the full details and documents. “Before I finished doing that, I read in Sahara Reporters that I had been arrested and detained for N6.8 billion fraud, which is not true.” The businessman explained that before he gave the FIRS the details of the new owners of Air Nigeria, the agency had alleged that Air Nigeria procured tax papers in 2010 for expatriates. “But I asked them how that con-
cerned a board chairman. I asked them to ask the Executive Director (Finance), John Nnorom, whose responsibility falls under that. “We are genuine business people and we need a proper environment to operate our business. If I have committed any offence in becoming a non-executive chairman of a company like Air Nigeria where I do not have personal share, charge me to court and wait for the judgment of the court. If an officer of a corporation committed an offence, such as forgery of tax papers and it is true, look for the officer and charge him to court, not the board chairman of the corporation,” Jimoh added.
THE NATION TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 19, 2013
NEWS ‘N150b needed to develop health sector’ From Kazeem Ibrahym, Uyo
HE Association of General and Private Medical Practitioners of Nigeria (AGPMPN) has said the Health sector needs N150 billion for a total turnaround. The association spoke on paucity of funds and other challenges facing the Health sector during its National Executive Council (NEC) meeting in Uyo, the Akwa Ibom State capital. AGPMPN’s National President Dr. Anthony Omolola said the Federal Government’s fiscal policy was unfavourable. To strengthen the sector, Dr Omolola called for the establishment of a Health Infrastructure Fund, which would not have legislative backing from the outset. He said: “The government should change its fiscal policy on health and ensure that funds that are made available have a moratorium of about two to three years so that the funds can be properly channelled into the building and equipping worldclass hospitals. “We are advocating for a Health Infrastructure Fund, which will not have an act of legislation for now. The Executive can use the mechanism to get out these funds and give them to the private sector at one digit rate. What we are advocating is between four to five per cent.” The union leader noted that for the Health sector to be thoroughly transformed, the government should guarantee duty-free imports for health tools.
EFCC arraigns banker for alleged N10m fraud From Eric Ikhilae, Abuja
Released Frenchman back home
FRENCH engineer held hostage for 11 months by Islamist militants in Nigeria’s troubled North arrived home after a dramatic escape described as worthy of an action thriller. A plane carrying the emaciated Francis Collomp, accompanied by France’s Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius, landed yesterday at a military airport outside Paris. The 63-year-old emerged from the plane looking extremely tired and drawn. He was met by six relatives and French Prime Minister JeanMarc Ayrault. Collomp, who lost an estimated 40 kilogrammes in weight during his captivity, was to undergo medical tests and counselling at the Val de Grace military hospital in Paris. He will also be debriefed by agents from the DGSE, France’s external intelligence agency, on his capture, detention and escape. French President Francois Hollande compared Collomp’s escape to “an adventure story”, saying he was proud of his compatriot
and his “exceptional courage”. Collomp was captured by Islamist militants on December 19, 2012, in Katsina State. The exact circumstances of his escape remained unclear but the different versions all indicate that he bravely seized an opportunity to flee his captors. Nigerian police said Collomp had escaped in the northern city of Zaria on Saturday while his captors were praying. “He watched his captors’ prayer time. They always prayed for 15 minutes. Yesterday they did not lock the door to his cell,” said Femi Adenaike Adeleye, the police commissioner in the regional capital of Kaduna. “While they were at prayer he sneaked out and began to run.” Another version suggested Collomp had taken advantage of a Nigerian military operation to sneak out of his unlocked cell. He stopped a motorcycle taxi, which took him to the nearest police station, from
where he was brought to Kaduna. Adeleye said Collomp had been held in the city of Kano after his abduction and about two months ago brought to Zaria. Collomp’s wife AnneMarie said on Monday that she “did not recognise her husband”, but added that he was “tired but happy”. As the news broke, friends and family gathered at Collomp’s home, where an impromptu party broke out and Anne-Marie Collomp danced with a picture of her husband in her hand. Didier Le Bret, the head of the French Foreign Ministry’s crisis centre, earlier told AFP Collomp was “weakened” but in a good health to travel. “He was in a good shape due to the exercises he carried out during captivity,” he said. News of Collomp’s escape came amid an emotional rollercoaster ride in France during the last three weeks over the fate of hostages held overseas. The nation rejoiced in late October when four ex-hostages flew home from Niger
after more than three years in captivity, but within less than a week it was mourning for two radio journalists abducted and killed by extremist rebels in Mali. Then last week a Roman Catholic priest, 42-year-old Georges Vandenbeusch, was kidnapped in northern Cameroon and reportedly taken by Islamist militants to Nigeria. France now has seven hostages officially being held abroad, including the priest, four journalists in Syria and two people taken in Mali. In a statement on Collomp’s release, Hollande thanked Nigerian authorities for their “decisive action” in the case. Collomp was kidnapped by about 30 armed men who attacked the residence of French firm Vergnet, the company for which he was working, in the state of Katsina on the border with Niger. The kidnapping, which left two bodyguards and a bystander dead, was claimed by Nigerian radical Islamist group Ansaru, which has links to extremist group Boko Haram.
N5b ‘fraud’: Accused begs for liberal bail term
FORMER Director of Pensions in the Office of the Head of Civil Service of the Federation (HCSF), Dr Sani Teidi Shuaibu, who is on trial for alleged fraud, yesterday begged a Federal High Court in Abuja to be liberal on the conditions attached to the bail granted him. Justice Ademola Adeniyi, on July 12, granted bail to Shuaibu and his co-accused, Udusegbe Omoefe Eric, a former manager with the defunct Oceanic Bank Plc, with
From Eric Ikhilae, Abuja
N500 million with two sureties each in like sum. The judge ordered that the sureties must own landed property within the jurisdiction of the court, with title deeds deposited with the Deputy Chief Registrar of the court. The accused were required to deposit their travel documents with the court’s registrar and seek the court’s permission to travel abroad.
They were arraigned on June 7 by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on a 22-count criminal charge of conspiracy, fraud, breach of public trust and obtaining by false pretence. They were said to have used nine companies to siphon pension funds amounting to over N5 billion. The defence lawyers - Sunday Ameh (SAN) and Adewale Adegoke - yesterday moved separate applications seeking the variation of
the conditions and terms attached to the bail granted the accused. They prayed the court to reduce the number of sureties for each of the accused from two to one. But while Ameh sought the reduction of the amount from N500 million to N100 million, Adegoke, who represented Uduesegbe, sought the reduction to his client’s bail to N10 million. Justice Adeniyi adjourned till November 28 for ruling and continuation of the trial.
N official of Access Bank Plc, Chika Tony Odigbo, was yesterday arraigned before an Abuja High Court at Apo, for allegedly defrauding the bank’s customer of about N10 million. Odigbo was arrigned before Justice D. Z. Senchi on a onecount charge of obtaining money under false pretence, brought against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). In a statement yesterday in Abuja, EFCC’s spokesman Wilson Uwujaren said the accused, a former employee of Intercontinental Homes Limited recieved N10 million from a customer, Ademola Oluwayemi, to open a fixed deposit account, which the accused allegedly told the customer was a criteria for buying a house from the bank. Ochigbo was said to have converted the money to his use. The transaction, EFCC said, took place in 2012. The charge reads: “That you Chika Tony Odigbo, on or about June 15, 2012, at Abuja in the Abuja Judicial Division of the High court of the Federal Capital Territory, being entrusted with N10 million by Mr. Ademola Oluwayemi of Shop 16, Omega Centre, Wuse 11, Abuja, to open a fixed deposit account for him with the Intercontinental Homes Limited did dishonestly convert to your own use the said sum and thereby committed an offence punishable under Section 312 of the Penal Code Act Cap 532, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria (Abuja) 2004.”
•From left: The Presiding Bishop of The Redeemed Evangelical Mission (TREM), Dr. Mike Okonkwo; his wife, Peace; Bishop Walter Mbamara and Bishop Kanayo Enuma, members of the same church, during the 24th Kingdom Life World Conference at the PHOTO: MUYIWA HASSAN TREM International Headquarters in Gbagada, Lagos...yesterday.
‘Fed Govt can’t negotiate salary without Wages Commission’ From Onyedi Ojiabor, Assistant Editor and Sanni Onogu, Abuja
HE Chairman of the Senate Committee on Establishment and Public Service Matters, Aloysius Etok, yesterday said the negotiations between the Federal Government and the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) on salary increase may not yield result without the input of the National Salaries, Income and Wages Commission. Etok spoke in Abuja when he led members of the committee on an oversight tour of the commission. He noted that it was wrong for the Federal Government to contemplate or negotiate salary or wage increase without the input of the commission. The senator also cautioned against what he called sentimental negotiation for salary increase in the civil service. Such negotiation, he said, was partly the cause of incessant industrial actions in the country. Etok said: “We have said this earlier that on no account should the Federal Government engage in negotiation for salary increase or anything that has to do with wages without the input of relevant commission. “The government should also avoid any form of sentimental increase or negotiation. We should do away with exceptions. Four months ASUU has been on strike is about a semester.” Etok said the commission would have played a prominent role during the 2009 agreement between the Federal Government and ASUU. Etok said they were in the commission to ascertain the level of implementation of the 2013 budget. “We also want to know the relevance of the commission to the Federal Government, why your impact is not felt in the salary problems across the country. Why the commission would be there when ASUU is on strike for months as well as who guided the Federal Government in the agreement it entered with ASUU in 2009. You cannot be ruled out in the scheme of things in this country,” he said. Etok criticised withholding of part of the commission’s 2013 budget, saying the commission required funds to carry out its research-based projects.
No military training for corps members, says board’s chair
HE national board of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) has ruled out a one- year military training for corps members, as being canvassed by some interest groups. Board Chairman Alhaji Tijani Adekanbi spoke yesterday in Minna, the Niger State capital, when he visited Acting Governor Ahmed Musa Ibeto at the Government House. He said the board’s decision was taken after wide consultations. Adekanbi said the scheme could not give military training to corps members because there would be nowhere in the Armed Forces to post the corps
From Jide Orintunsin, Minna
members to after the training. He said: “If we give them one year military training, we have to absorb them into any of the services. “If they are allowed to be on their own after the training, it will be dangerous for the country.” The board chairman also said the NYSC would fine-tune the Community Development (CD) service to ensure that “overambitious projects with huge financial demands are not embarked upon by corps members”. Adekanbi admitted that CD projects had assisted in the development of communities.
He said such finetuning would require that projects were scrutinised by the NYSC secretariat before supporting them. The board chairman advised employers of labour to be more vigilant and assist the scheme to check the activities of operators of fake NYSC camps and fake NYSC certificates. According to him, the scheme would ensure that its discharged certificates were not forged. Adekanbi urged employers to always crosscheck the validity of the NYSC certificates tendered by the workers before employing them. He also maintained that influential
Nigerians, who tried to make their children evade the mandatory one-year service, were subjecting them to risk in the future because such children would not be eligible for employment or to contest election without the discharge certificate. Ibeto said the NYSC scheme had assisted the state in the implementation of its education and health programmes through the provision of qualified manpower. He also said the scheme had made Nigerians to know every part of the country. The acting governor added that the scheme had made youths to know the true situation on the ground in the states.
THE NATION TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 19, 2013
•Members of the Tribunal of Inquiry into collapsed buildings in Lagos State with Governor Babatunde Fashola (fourth left) and his deputy, Mrs. Adejoke OrelopeAdefulire (fifth left), during the presentation of the panel’s report to the governor at the Lagos State House in Alausa, Ikeja, Lagos...yesterday. PHOTO: OMOSEHIN MOSES
Alaafin sacks ambassador From Bode Durojaiye, Oyo
HE Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Olayiwola Adeyemi 111, has sacked his Royal Ambassador, Dokun Ayanlakin. Oba Adeyemi told reporters in his palace yesterday that Ayanlakin had been using his position to “perpetuate fraudulent acts”. He said: “The appointment of a Royal Ambassador was meant to enhance the image of the Alaafin as an institution, as well as ensure mutual understanding and fraternal relationships within and outside the country. It is unfortunate that the occupier of the position deviated from the designated assignment to extorting money from people under false pretence and other unwholesome acts unexpected of his status.” Oba Adeyemi urged the public not to deal with Ayanlakin on matters relating to the Alaafin and his cabinet, the Oyo Mesi. Ayanlakin’s royal beads were removed by palace workers.
BSN holds quiz competition
HE Bible Society of Nigeria (BSN) will hold its yearly national secondary schools’ Bible quiz competition on Friday at The Apostolic Church in Palmgrove, La-
gos. In a statement, BSN Information Officer Benjamin Mordi said the event will feature six schools from the six geo-political zones of the country.
Amosun advocates stiff sanctions for fake journalists
GUN State Governor Ibikunle Amosun yesterday recommended stiff sanctions for fake journalists and misconduct in the profession. Amosun said quacks and unethical practices by unguided persons were bringing disrepute to the noble profession. He advocated collaboration among the leadership of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), the Police and the State Security Service (SSS) to track down fake journalists. The governor spoke in Abeokuta, the state capital, at the opening of the 2013 Press Week of the NUJ, Ogun Council, on: “Stabilising Nigeria’s democracy: The role of the media and the political class”. Represented by the Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Alhaji Yusuph Olaniyonu, Amosun said journalists have a crucial role to play to ensure national stability, good governance and promote democracy. He said journalists and the political class were vital stakeholders for the growth and sustenance of democracy, adding that the media has the greater responsibility of mobilising citizens for national development. Amosun said there was need to re-orientate journal-
From Ernest Nwokolo, Abeokuta
ists on constructive criticism and the need to proffer solutions to societal problems. Ogun NUJ Chairman Wole Shokunbi said journalists would continue to carry out their duties objectively without fear or favour, urging the government to implement the Freedom of Information (FoI) Law. Shokunbi said: “This year’s theme was chosen to pinpoint the topical issues that foster greater political consciousness and ensure that the nurtured democracy of our great nation is sustained. This sense of purpose and proactivity is especially crucial now in view of global political challenges, of which Nigeria is clearly not exempted.”
Police to quiz Ekiti centre’s managers
HE police in AdoEkiti, the Ekiti State capital, may quiz the management of a government health centre that was invaded at the weekend by suspected ritualists. They said the management was yet to report the incident to the police. Five gunmen, believed to be ritualists, invaded the government hospital at Irona in Ado-Ekiti, demanding a day-old baby. Police spokesman Victor Babayemi said the command had told some detectives to look into the incident. Babayemi said: “We expected the hospital’s man-
From Sulaiman Salawudeen, Ado-Ekiti
agement to lodge a complaint at a nearby (police) station, but uptill now, no such step has been taken. In the light of this, we want to ask the management why it failed to report the incident, considering its veracity. No official report was made by the medical officials on the incident.” Activities resumed at the health centre yesterday. The Nation learnt that the attack was the third on the hospital by hoodlums in the last one year. An official of the health
centre, who pleaded for anonymity, said: “This is not the first time this has happened. Robbers have invaded the health centre about three times, but they have always demanded money. The last time they came, they collected around N85,000 from the nurses and other medical personnel. “But Saturday’s invasion was different because the hoodlums did not ask for money. They kept shouting ‘where is the new born baby, the newborn’. “Luckily, we had discharged the only woman, who just had a baby. That was what saved us.”
There are conflicting reports about the presence of a night guard at the health centre. Some said the guard died recently; others said he left because Ado-Ekiti Local Government Council was not paying his salary regularly. The centre’s fence is low and can easily be scaled. It was learnt that cement blocks had been bought to raise the fence and work would begin today. Ado-Ekiti Local Government Chairman Tope Olanipekun directed that night duty be suspended at the centre until the work is completed.
UCH spends $350,000 on free cardiac treatment
HE University College Hospital (UCH) in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, has offered free treatment to 12 patients with cardiac-related diseases from June till date. The free treatment was carried out under the hospital’s Cardiac Programme, which will begin officially in January. UCH Chief Medical Director (CMD) Prof. Temitope Alonge told reporters yesterday while briefing them
From Bisi Oladele, Ibadan
on the hospital’s 56th anniversary that it spent $350,000 on the treatment, which included cardiac catheterisation procedure for 10 patients and open heart surgeries for two. He said all the patients survived the surgeries and procedure, “a sign that the programme started on good footing”. Alonge said UCH was the first public hospital to offer the procedure, adding that it
uses the latest technology. He said in the last one year, two new wards were inaugurated for the Paediatric Department and a body, Friends of UCH Support Initiative, registered with the government to raise funds for the hospital. Alonge said the hospital has started treating cancer with the latest machines that kill cancer cells. He said cancer patients could visit UCH for treatment, adding that the hospi-
tal has adequate facilities and qualified personnel. Alonge said cancer was responsible for most deaths at the hospital, followed by infectious diseases (such as HIV/AIDS), cardiovascular diseases and trauma-related diseases. As part of the three-day activities marking UCH’s 56th anniversary, senior citizens will walk around the hospital. The walk is tagged: “Igbalode Walk”.
You’re hypocrites, Ogun APC tells opposition
HE All Progressives Congress (APC) in Ogun State has described the opposition’s allegation that the Governor Ibikunle Amosun administration is authoritarian as “cheap hypocrisy”. It was reacting to a statement by the People’s Party of Nigeria’s (PPN’s) candidate in the 2011 governorship election, Mr. Gboyega Isiaka. Isiaka condemned a circular from the state government, which “purportedly barred its officials from expressing their views in the media”. In a statement by its Publicity Secretary, Mr. Sola Lawal, APC said the circular sought to “streamline official lines of information flow from the government”. The party said no responsible government would permit uncontrolled information dissemination on criti-
cal issues. It said: “Being democratic and open, the Amosun administration will always respect the right of the people to information, but this right, however, should not undermine the government’s duty to maintain decorum. The new measure in place makes commissioners and permanent secretaries in ministries custodians and official channels of information. “This policy is not in any way near the blatant brutality of the immediate-past Otunba Gbenga Daniel administration, in which Isiaka served, which detained 12 civil servants in December, 2006, for leaking official secrets. “It is also incomparable to the anachronistic display of wanton power embedded in the harassment of the respected paramount ruler of the Egbas, Oba Adedotun
‘It is also incomparable to the anachronistic display of wanton power embedded in the harassment of the respected paramount ruler...’ Aremu Gbadebo, by the Daniel gang for daring to express disgust about the decadent infrastructure in the state capital. “We recall the nihilistic embarrassment of Yewa people when the government of that era openly disrupted the 2005 Oronna Day (the annual cultural celebration of Yewa people) in Ilaro on the primitive ground that its organisers approved an award for the then Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mr. Dimeji Bankole, and the
late Otunba Dipo Dina, a leading opposition figure of the period. “Isiaka was part of the nightmare that the Daniel administration was, when, in 2006, the yearly Ojude Oba ceremony in Ijebu-Ode was brought to an abrupt end because Daniel disapproved of the inclusion of the late Dina in the team of his age grade, who were to pay homage to the monarch of Ijebu land, Oba Sikiru Adetona. “The prevailing vista of uncommon infrastructural rebirth, ingenious transparency and openness in government and flamboyant restoration of human dignity in a generous atmosphere of peace that the Amosun administration has heralded is a loud testimony to the governor’s commitment to ensuring a clean break from the decadence of yesterday.”
THE NATION TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 19, 2013
NEWS ANAMBRA 2013
CNPP wants Jega to resign
HE Conference of Nigerian Political Parties (CNPP) has advised the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Attahiru Jega, to resign for betraying Nigerians by conducting a sham poll. The advice was contained in a statement by the CNPP National Publicity Secretary, Comrade Osita Okechukwu. The body said it made the call based on the fact that "Prof. Jega from available records bungled the Anambra election; and this being the case, what is the guarantee that he will not bungle the 2015 general elections? "We were perplexed that till Monday morning when the irregularities were made public by the Returning Officer, Prof. James Okuoke, resulting in the declaration of the result as inconclusive and
From Chris Oji, Enugu
cancellation of 113,113 votes; Prof. Jega, behaving as a hired hand in a television interview on Sunday afternoon, defended INEC and its failed exercise. "Jega to our consternation was nervously harping on only 65 polling units in Obosi Electoral Ward, even when by his own admission, the INEC electoral officer, whom he claimed had been arrested, had messed up the electoral process in Idemili North Local Government with 306 polling units and total registered voters of about 174,000; claiming that he could not cancel the total election because of one electoral officer's malfeasance. "The first valid question to our eminent professor is, is the 113,113 cancelled votes from only Idemili North, where no election took place and where a rescheduled election was
supposedly conducted at Obosi and later extended to Abatete and Nkpor Ward 2, without official notification?" CNPP said over 506,000 votes should be cancelled, as it is an oversight on the part of Prof. Jega and "his cohorts in INEC to cancel only 113,113 votes and close their eyes to the 174,000 votes in Idemili North, where voting did not take place and over 200,000 manipulated votes spread across Anambra West and East, Awka North and South, Ihiala and other uncountable polling units, as evidenced by reports of local and international observers." CNPP also queried: "Secondly, is it with good conscience that an election was fixed on a Sunday in a predominantly Christian community? "The third valid question to the eminent professor is, can we trust the fate of Nigerians
Sagay, Fasanmi, Sani, Erubami slam INEC
in an incapable, inept and compromised hand to conduct a more sensitive and delicate 2015 general elections? "In fact, Anambra State governorship election has exposed Prof. Jega's palpable ineptitude, gross incapacity, utter negligence and near compromise in managing elections; therefore he should resign. "We call for the cancellation of the Anambra State governorship election."
•From left: Independent National Electoral Commission’s (INEC’s) Resident Electoral Commissioner in Anambra State, Prof. Emeka Onukaoga; Head of Operations, INEC, Anambra, Mr. Okon Ewa; and Returning Officer for governorship election, Prof. James Epoke, at the announcement of poll result in Awka, Anambra State ...yesterday.
CODER to INEC: learn from Anambra election
HE Coalition of Democrats for Electoral Reforms (CODER) yesterday urged the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to learn a lesson from the mistakes made in the Anambra State governorship election. The group’s Public Affairs Secretary, Mr. Olabisi Balogun, said in a statement that the commission should conduct a rerun in the areas where there were irregularities before the declaration of the results. CODER said: “We join other Nigerians to call on INEC not to declare any result relating to the election until a rerun is conducted in the local governments where many
From John Ofikhenua, Abuja
citizens were disenfranchised. “CODER also appeals to INEC and the security agencies not only to document but also to put to use the lessons learnt from this election to improve the conduct of future ones.” The statement said the election was greeted with much anticipation and hope because INEC and Nigerians see it as a litmus test for the 2015 general elections. CODER praised Anambra people for conducting themselves in a peaceful manner. It also lauded INEC for providing observers with kits and proper identification to curb impersonation and difficulty in distinguishing duly accredited observers from impostors.
Osun APC calls for poll's cancellation
HE All Progressives Congress (APC) in Osun State has urged the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to cancel last Saturday's governorship election in Anambra State "because this is the only path of honour to follow." The party's Director of Publicity, Research and Strategy, Mr. Kunle Oyatomi, said: "Any attempt to uphold the poll will be tantamount to official endorsement of rigging. Besides, it will send a wrong
signal from the electoral body to Nigerians and the world that this country is in contempt for democratic ideals and has no intention to uphold the basic tenets of free choice in the electoral process." Describing last Saturday's election as an "outrageous display of perfidy", the APC chieftain asked, if INEC could hand over its official to the police for criminal action against the electoral process, why did it go ahead to announce a flawed result for a criminally- compromised election?
The statement noted that “reports from our observers deployed in the state shows critical areas the election has fallen short of people’s expectations. Some of the irregularities observed in some local governments include ballot snatching, massive thumb-printing, lateness of materials to polling units, absence of INEC officials and materials at some polling units, inadequate logistic provision for security officers deployed from other states, hostility of polling officers to observers, complicity of the security agents in electoral fraud observed, display of campaign posters and others. “CODER observed that election materials did not arrive on time in many polling units, specifically in Idemili North, South and Ihiala local governments. In Nnokwa Ward, Idemili South Local Government, names starting with O-Z were missing from the voter register. As at 1pm, no INEC officials or materials were seen at Nkpor 4, Idemili North Local Government. Following the late arrival of voting materials, accreditation could not start in time in Idemili South, Idemili North and Ogbaru local governments. Although accreditation and voting periods were extended in some of these polling units, INEC needs to do more to enhance people’s confidence in election.
“CODER observers report that many polling officers in Awka South were hostile and seem not to possess the knowledge of the role of observers in an election. Information that would help observers fill their checklists were denied them and security officials were used to intimidate and harass accredited observers. We therefore seize this opportunity to urge INEC to train its polling officers on the complementary role observers play in an election before deploying them. “To give the Anambra State election credibility, INEC should conduct a rerun in four local governments where massive irregularities and electoral fraud were recorded as against the three wards in Idemili North comprising only 65 polling units. “The reason for this call is to address the palpable notion that there was a deliberate attempt to subvert people’s choice and ensure that a particular candidate, whose supporters and strong base are in these local governments, does not win in these areas. The second reason is that with the combined voting population of these local governments at over 300,000, it becomes imperative for INEC to show itself as an unbiased umpire by adhering to the wishes of the people to have rerun in these three local governments.”
ROMINENT Nigerians have berated the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for bungling the Anambra State governorship election. A lawyer, Prof. Itse Sagay (SAN), described the poll as a catastrophe and a disgrace to the nation. He advised the INEC Chairman, Prof. Attahiru Jega, to respect himself and protect his integrity by announcing the cancellation of Saturday's election, adding that he should fix a new date for a fresh election. "Jega should stop talking of supplementary election because what happened in Anambra on Saturday was not an election but a sham. He should cancel the poll and pick a new date for a fresh one. Anything short of that will suggest that INEC has compromised its integrity. "He should look for credible people to conduct a fresh poll if he is to repose people's confidence in INEC. Prof Jega should not allow the reputation he has built over the years to be tarnished by fraudulent politicians." Elder statesman Senator Ayo Fasanmi expressed dissatisfaction with the turn of events in the Anambra poll. "I have a lot of reservations on the ability of INEC to conduct credible election in 2015," he said. Fasanmi warned INEC against colluding with the presidency to rig election in 2015. "The progressives will not accept fraudulent election results, no matter those behind it. I know that Jonathan and his party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), have their game plan for 2015, part of which has just been played out in Anambra. They would resist change at all cost, even when people ask them to leave," he said. Fasanmi enjoined the progressives to reject the
By Leke Salaudeen, Assistant Editor
election results and ask for the cancellation of the poll so that a fresh election would be held. He urged the progressives to cooperate to rescue the nation from the grip of fraudulent politicians. Civil Rights activist Shehu Sani noted that every election in Nigeria was controversial despite the availability of manpower and resources. "Assurances of credible elections lead to controversial elections. Our dream of a genuine, free and democratic state will never be realised as long as the process leading to the emergence of leaders is fraudulent. How the ballot box is handled is how the national treasury will be handled. "The quality of our leadership is a derivative of the quality control of our elections. If Anambra fails, it will prove the pessimists of 2015 right. A credible election must reflect the will of the people. As long as we continue to find it difficult to count votes honestly, we will continue to count crisis endlessly," he said. Sani advised Jega to tidy up the mess in Anambra and restore the confidence of the voters in the system by ensuring that their votes count. The President of the Nigeria Voters Assembly, Mr. Moshod Erubami, enjoined INEC to rectify all areas of noticeable irregularities , adding that manipulation and human error should be rectified to the satisfaction of all interest groups in the Anambra election. He said that was the only way the election could be considered as fair and credible. Erubami urged the INEC leadership to move beyond accepting reports of readiness against 2015, "because Nigerians will not accept the usual excuses of late materials and officials, as this is the starting point that heat up the electoral process."
Lagos Assembly urges cancellation of poll
AGOS State House of Assembly yesterday at plenary urged the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to cancel last Saturday's governorship election in Anambra State "due to glaring irregularities." It said a new poll should be held. The issue was raised by Ipoola Omisore (Ifako-Ijaye 1) under matters of urgent public importance. According to the lawmaker, the election was conducted "under an atmosphere of chaos and a lot of irregularities with the sitting governor and INEC acting out an already prepared
By Oziegbe Okoeki
script. "It also witnessed nonaccreditation, missing names in the voter register, observers were disallowed from visiting polling stations, a national official of the All Progressives Congress (APC) is under house arrest. "One wonders what INEC will do in 2015 if they can't conduct election in one state. We should let Nigerians know that our democracy is under threat, with money playing a major role and power of incumbency grossly abused.”
Group hails police, INEC, SSS on poll
HE Police Assistance C o m m i t t e e / Association of Tradesmen and Artisans (PAC/ATA), one of the groups, which monitored the Anambra governorship election, has hailed government agencies for their roles in the poll. Members of the group comprising zonal, state and units coordinators, were deployed in local governments in Anambra State to monitor the election.
PAC/ATA lauded the organisational ability of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the civil conduct of the police. It also praised the State Security Service (SSS) in the way it managed the electoral processes during the poll. The Director-General of PAC/ATA, Dr. Martins Oni, commended the efforts of their zonal, state and unit coordinators, who monitored the election in secrecy.
THE NATION TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 19, 2013
CITYBEATS LINE: 08023247888
Lawyer held for ‘fraud’ By Jude Isiguzo
A •The widow of the late Managing Director of MIC Casket, Mr Olatunji Adedeji Okusaga (second left) and her children at the funeral ceremony at St John’s Church, Arolaya, Lagos... yesterday. PHOTO: MUYIWA HASSAN
Protest as water tanker kills pupil in Lagos
WATER tanker yesterday crushed a pupil to death, sparking a protest in Ajah on the outskirts of Lagos. The pupil and five of his mates were on their way to school when the tanker ran into them as they attempted to cross the road. Three were injured and rushed to the hospital. Angry residents barricaded the highway after the accident chanting war songs. They demanded that pedestrian bridge be built for commuter safety. It was gathered that a protesters was shot by a policeman. Police spokesperson, Ngozi Braide, a Deputy Superintendent (DSP), said: “Today, November 18, at about 0800hrs, Ajah Police Division received a distress call that there was a fatal motor ac-
By Jude Isiguzo and Adeyinka Aderibigbe
•‘Our schools safe’
cident. The Divisional Police Officer in company of the Divisional Traffic Officer raced to the scene. “On getting there, they discovered that it was an accident involving one Blue Mercedes Benz Water Tanker(truck) with registration number. XZ87JJJ and a black Toyota Prado Sport Utility Vehicle (SUV) with registration number CB690AKD. Preliminary enquiry showed that while the Prado SUV gave way to the pupils to cross the road, the water tanker ran into the kids, killing one of them, while two others were injured and are currently receiving treatment at the hospital. “Based on the foregoing, residents, youths and indigenes got infuriated and barricaded the Lekki/Ajah expressway. They attributed their grievance to in-
cessant accidents and lack of pedestrian bridge, which they had been asking for. The situation was later brought under control as the Area Commander intervened and appealed to them not to take the law into their hands which they obliged to and left the road at about 1330hrs. Meanwhile the area is calm and quiet now”. The Lagos State Government yesterday assured parents that its public schools are safe. The assurance came on the heels of concerns by parents over the fate of some pupils who fainted after inhaling noxious substances three weeks ago. The General Manager, Lagos State Environmental Protection Agency (LASEPA), Mr. Babatunde Shabi, said though all the 22 affected pupils had
been discharged from hospital, investigation is still ongoing to unravel the source of the gaseous substance. He said though nothing incriminating had been established against the photographic laboratory involved the incident, it will remain shut until
investigation is completed. Shabi said he would be meeting with the photo laboratory operators to establish the types of chemicals used to process photographs and to see if the alleged photo laboratory is hiding anything from investigators.
Agent jailed for N29.8m scam
N estate agent, Michael Kayode Olabameji, 42 years, was yesterday sentenced to 15 years imprisonment for defrauding about 100 prospective tenants of N29.8 million. Justice Adeniyi Onigbanjo of the Ikeja High found Olabameji guilty of the 99-count charge of obtaining money by false pretences preferred against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). Onigbanjo sentenced him to 15 years imprisonment on each
By Adebisi Onanuga
count. The sentence is to run concurrently beginning from February 1, 2010, when he was remanded in prison. The EFCC told the court that Olabameji defrauded the prospective tenants between January and July 2008. The EFCC prosecutor, Mrs Olubunmi Bosede, said the convict collected tenancy and agreement fees for a 16apartment at 2, Amuda St., Kirikiri, Lagos.
LAWYER and car dealer has been arrested by operatives of the Special Fraud Unit (SFU)in Lagos for allegedly defrauding his course mate in the university. It was gathered that the suspect converted to personal use the money he got from his colleague to buy a car for him. In a petition to the officer in charge of the SFU, commissioner of Police (CP) Tunde Ogunsakin, the petitioner alleged that in May in Abuja he met the suspect, who told him he was into car dealership. The complainant said he gave the suspect N1,035,000 of N1.2million for a Mercedes Benz ML 320 Sport Utility Vehicle (SUV). The petitioner said the suspect prevailed on him to sell the only car he had to complete the money. After collecting the money, he said, the suspect stopped picking his calls. The Nation learnt that following the petition, detectives arrested the suspect. On interrogation, he allegedly confessed to crime. Police said the 40-year old suspect from Edo State is licensed to import vehicles. SFU spokesperson Ngozi Isintume-Agu said the suspect admitted that he used the complainant’s money to solve his financial needs. He claimed to have deposited N180, 000 for the vehicle in a car shop in Cotonou, Benin Republic.
NEWS (SHOWBIZ) NMVA 2013: Flavour leads award chart
P-Square weds in style
•Brothers missing at ceremonies
LARGE number of entertainers, last Sunday, gathered to celebrate their own, as Peter Okoye, the one-half of the popular PSquare group got married to his baby’s mama, Lola Omotayo. Jude Okoye, the celebrator’s elder brother, who is also manager of the P-Square group, and Paul, the other twin were, however, absent at the star-studded event. Omotayo, who already has two kids for Okoye, was apparently overwhelmed as she exchanged marital vows with the singer at the Ark Event Centre, Lekki, Lagos. The superlative wedding was witnessed by family and friends of the artiste, some of who included May D, Kate Henshaw, Funke Akindele, Toke Makinwa, Emmanuel Adebayo, Gbenga Adeyinka, Klint Da Drunk, Genevieve Nnaji, DJ Jimmy Jatt, Iyanya and a host of other celebrities. For a day that could be described as her most cherished moment, the bride wore three outfits; two traditional attires and one shimmering green gown, looking fabulous in them. One celebrity, who tweeted about his inability to fly into the country to attend the party
•The couple-Peter and Lola By Mercy Michael and Dupe Ayinla
was fellow artiste, D’banj said he wished he had a private jet. “God go do am”, he prayed. Jude and Paul were said to be having a studio session with another singer, Ayodeji Balogun aka Wizkid. The wedding, which is now the talk-of-the-town, earlier in the year, came under public scrutiny after Lola gave birth to their second child outside wedlock. She had rebuffed critics, saying she was never desperate or in a hurry to get married to the renowned singer. She claimed she would be content to remain as Okoye’s baby mama than to marry him without being able to support him financially. No sooner than the interview hit the internet than fans began to call her all sorts of unprintable names. Omo-
tayo must have been demoralized by the negative comments that he beau went on Twitter to defend her, saying,” she accepted me when I had nothing. Now that I have achieved a lot, respect her for that. E no easy.” On another occasion he had said, “…Met this woman when I had nothing…she’s a blessing to me, so don’t talk like you know her because you don’t”. Perhaps to put to rest the furore being generated by having children by Omotayo outside wedlock, Okoye, in August proposed to this mother of his kids. Okoye, a music superstar, did not opt for a regular kind of proposal; he did it in superstar grand style with a brand new Range Rover Evoque, bouquet of flowers, a hand written sign and an absolutely stunning diamond ring.
HE seventh edition of Nigerian Music Video Awards (NMVA), which held weekend, at the MUSON Centre, Onikan, Lagos, experienced a massive turn-out of celebs from far and wide, even as some of them hit the green carpet to share memorable moments with fans. Themed “Our Culture, Our Pride”, this year the event was co-anchored by accomplished writer, actor, producer and presenter Ireti Doyle and astute music honcho and entrepreneur Dayo Adeneye. Sponsored by the Lagos State Government, the event witnessed interesting performances. The Governor represented by Special Adviser on Tourism, Mrs. Ranti Alebiosu who opened the event, lauded the governor for his impact and good leadership. She also praised the organisers of the occasion for their hard work and doggedness in making the event a reality. She assured the organisers of more co existence and support from the government. Kid singer, Ozzy Bosco
By Ogunsuyi Olalekan
took to the stage and thrilled the audience with a mind blowing performance after which comedian ‘Oh My God’ thrilled the crowd with rib cracking jokes. Dammy Krane also put up a stellar show as he left the crowd dancing and twisting. Despite the stunning and thrilling performances, the absence of some rave entertainers was felt. Tuface, Olamide, Wizkid and Chidinma among others, did not attend the occasion. There were other performances by Waje, May D, Sean Tizzle, Aboha, Ice Prince who performed bare footed and the man of the day, Flavour, who closed the program with his award-winning track Ada Ada. Flavour won Best Indigenous Concept, Best Use of Costumes, Best Highlife Video and Video of the Year, all coming from Ada Ada. The event which gave Life Achievement Award to legendary Highlife musician Dr. Victor Olaiya, had winners like Orezi for Best Dance Hall and Reggae
Video, and Clarence Peters who clinched the Best Video Director laurel. Other winners for the night include Amaray Oke Nbagi who won Best Gospel Video, Olamide-Best Afro Hip Hop Video among others. Founded in 2007, organisers say the NMVA is a platform that recognises, praises and rewards the efforts of Nigerian artistes/ producers who had done something remarkable to promote the branding of Nigeria and Africa with their musical talents.
New reality show seeks band enthusiasts
BOUT a year after it’s unveil in Nigeria; the Global Battle of the Bands (GBOB) was, on Saturday, November 15, officially set rolling. At the flag off ceremony held at Carat 24, FESTAC Estate, Lagos, organisers of the talent hunt project promised that the show is out to give succour
By Ovwe Medeme
to talented musicians in the country. GBOB’s regional Director for Nigeria and West Africa, Mr. Ray Charles Ogolo stated that the hunt is aimed towards rewarding musicians in Nigeria and Africa, who have imbibed the culture of playing with a band, as well
as providing a platform for them to showcase their inert skills, all wrapped around their culture. “Our task in Nigeria as the franchise for Africa is to organise a regional competition where people shall vote for the best band at the national final. The winner shall then represent Nigeria at the world finals.”
THE NATION TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 19, 2013
JAIZ Bank appoints MD from Bangladesh From Nduka Chiejina (Asst. Editor),
AIZ Bank Plc has appointed Muhammad Nurul Islam from the Islamic Bank Bangladesh Limited as its new Managing Director/CEO. He is to steer the affairs of the bank and position it to realize its vision of being the “dominant non-interest financial services provider in SubSaharan Africa.” In a statement from Abuja yesterday, the bank said Mohammed Nurul Islam, who was a Deputy Managing Director at the Islamic Bank Bangladesh Limited, is to succeed Nigeria’s Hassan Usman, who has been the acting Managing Director of the bank since April. It said Mohammed Nurul Islam “is coming with vast knowledge of Non-Interest Islamic Banking experience having worked for over three decades.” He joined the Islamic Bank Bangladesh Limited in March, 1983 as an Officer and within a decade, rose to the position of Assistant Vice President in 1993, Vice President 1996, Senior Vice President, 2000, Executive Vice President 2003, and then Deputy Managing Director, on February 10, 2010, a position he held until his appointment as MD/CEO by Jaiz Bank PLC. Prior to joining IBBL, he served at Agrani Bank Limited. from 1976 to 1983, as a Computer Professional recruited through IBM worldwide Corporation, USA. He is a member of many professional associations, including Life Member, Association of the Bankers’ Bangladesh. He has attended several professional training and seminars in many parts of the world, including “Lending Risk Analysis” Seminar at Citi Bank School of Banking, New York, USA under the Financial Sector Reforms Project of the Central Bank of Bangladesh which was funded by the World Bank and USAID. Mr. Islam was described as “an exceptional personality with vast experience in banking and Non-Interest Islamic Finance.” He is expected to add value to Jaiz Bank and thus position the Bank to realise its Vision of being the Dominant NonInterest Financial Service provider in Sub- Saharan Africa.
DATA STREAM COMMODITY PRICES Oil -$117.4/barrel Cocoa -$2,686.35/metric ton Coffee - ¢132.70/pound Cotton - ¢95.17pound Gold -$1,396.9/troy Sugar -$163/lb MARKET CAPITALISATIONS NSE -N11.4 trillion JSE -Z5.112trillion NYSE -$10.84 trillion LSE -£61.67 trillion RATES Inflation -8% Treasury Bills -10.58%(91d) Maximum lending -30% Prime lending -15.87% Savings rate -1% 91-day NTB -15% Time Deposit -5.49% MPR -12% Foreign Reserve - $45b FOREX CFA -0.2958 EUR -206.9 £ -242.1 $ -156 ¥ -1.9179 SDR -238 RIYAL -40.472
11 “Until recently, the Nigerian Banking industry had not given much attention to sustainability beyond ticking off environmental impact assessment on checklist for credit risk assessment for evaluation of loan applications, other jurisdictions have for decades been engraving sustainability ethos in their financial system,” -Central Bank of Nigeria Governor, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi
IFC, AfDB plan $2.5b Naira bonds
HE International Finance Corporation (IFC) and the African Development Bank (AfDB) have started arrangements to issue Naira-denominated bonds worth $2.5 billion, about N400 billion, in landmark bond issues that will further redefine the Nigerian domestic debt market. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) confirmed the bond issuance plans by the two multilateral financial institutions. The Debt Management Office (DMO) also confirmed plans by the Federal Government to raise funds from remittances of Nigerians in Diaspora and other investors through the issuance of Diaspora bond and Global Depository Notes (GDN) bond. Director-General, Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Ms Arunma Oteh, who spoke at a two-day workshop organised by the Capital Market Correspondents Association of Nig e r i a (CAMCAN) in Badagry, Lagos State, said both the IFC and AfDB were interested in raising medium term note (MTN) bonds. She said IFC has already approached the apex capital market regulator for a medium term note (MTN) programme for a naira-denominated bond worth about $1 billion, while the AfDB has also filed for similar instru-
• Fed Govt to float Diaspora, depository bonds By Taofik Salako
ment of about $1.5 billion. Oteh, whose address was presented by her Communication Adviser, Obi Adindu, said the new issues by the multilateral bodies will not have any lifespan of a shelf programme, indicating that they can continuously raise the funds as long as they want. She noted that allowing shelf
registration for bonds is an important step in spurring activity from issuers, pointing out that the Commission had started with an initial lifespan of two years for shelf programmes, but recently the Board of the SEC did away with the time limitation implying that shelf programme can enjoy an unlimited lifespan. “The Nigerian bond market is
certainly on the verge of a revolution buoyed and improved by a competitive and conducive environment that attracts issuers and investors alike. The yield curve of the FGN bonds which has been extended to 20 years, provides a good benchmark for issuers of all stripes to leverage the bond market to attract capital, both foreign and local. The market will continue to attract significant amounts of capital internationally, since the FGN bond attracted inclusion into the emerging markets indices of Barclays and JP Morgan,” Oteh said. She said since 2010, state governments have issued bonds worth over N421 billion, adding that the amount of corporate bonds raised from 2010 to date, is more than two and half times all the bonds issued by corporations from 1960 to 2009 in nominal terms. The DMO also yesterday confirmed the plan by the Federal Government to raise new funds from the international market through the issuance of Diaspora Bond and FGN Bonds in Global Depository Notes (GDN). It should be recalled that the Federal Government had in 2011 made its debut in the international capital market with $500 million 10-year 6.75 per cent Sovereign Eurobond. Nigeria returned to the international capital market in July 2013 and successfully raised $1.0 billion in two tranches. Director General, Debt Management Office (DMO), Dr Abraham Nwankwo, said government had sourced N544.06 billion through domestic bond issues to finance about 61 per cent of 2013’s fiscal deficit of N887 billion. Nwankwo, who was represented by Head, Policy, Strategy & Risk Management, Mr Joe Ugoala, noted the gradual decline in fiscal deficit financing from N1.36 trillion in 2010 to N852 trillion in 2011 and N744.44 trillion in 2012. He added that four banks including Guaranty Trust Bank, First Bank of Nigeria, Access Bank and Fidelity Bank have also raised $1.85 billion, about N287 billion, between January 2011 and November 2013.
Nigeria attracts N205.4b investment
IGERIA has attracted investments of about N205.4billion ($1.3billion) into the retail sector within the last two years. Also for the first time in eight years Nigeria is set to overhaul it’s national trade policy, through the review of her trade facilitation, import restrictions, tariffs, trade agreement, interagency coordination of export promotions. These disclosures were made by the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Mr. Olusegun Aganga, yesterday during the inauguration of the
From Nduka Chiejina (Asst. Editor), Abuja
Retail Council of Nigeria, orgainsed by BusinessDay Media. According to Aganga, “over the last two years alone, the Nigerian retail market has attracted over US$1.3 billion in investments into the formal retail space. The pace of developments within Nigerian retail has really been breath-taking.” The minister, who noted that the retail sector was a major driver of economic growth, job creation and wealth generation globally, stressed that Nigeria had great opportunities for existing and new
investors to take advantage of. Aganga said Nigeria has started “a journey to strengthen and deepen one of the most important segments of the Nigerian economy. The retail sector is the glue that binds economic activity together, by connecting the final consumers, to products from the producers. The impact of retail in Nigeria cannot be overemphasized because anywhere in the world, it is a major driver of the economy.” He noted that globally, retail trade accounts for 27 per cent of the world’s GDP, which translates to about $19 trillion of re-
tail sales each year. Also retail businesses employs 17 percent of the global workforce, which is about 800 million people. The Trade and Investment minister noted that “if retail is the sector to grow, then Nigeria is the market to be. There is simply no better retail market right now than the Nigerian market.” He described Nigeria as a retailer’s delight. “With a population of 167 million people (the 7th largest in the world), consumer spending well in excess of $100 billion a year, and a fast growing middle class, this is definitely the most promising market on the continent.”
THE NATION TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 19, 2013
NEWS GDP up by 6.81 % in Q3
HE Gross Domestic Product (GDP) has risen by 6.81 percent in the third quarter of this year, data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), have shown. According to NBS, the figure is higher than the 6.18 per cent recorded in the second quarter of 2013 and the 6.48 per cent recorded in the corresponding quarter of 2012. The GDP for the third quarter of 2013 was estimated at N11,166,026.39 million, up from the N10,967,272.89 million (or 1.81 per cent) estimated for the corresponding quarter of 2012 and N10,204,837.97 million (or 9.41 per cent)recorded in the second quarter of 2013. In a statement issued yesterday by the Statistician General and Chief Executive Officer of the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), Dr. Yemi Kale, the data revealed that the average daily production of crude oil in the third quarter of 2013, was recorded at 2.26 million barrels per day, representing an increase from the 2.11 million barrels per day recorded in the second quarter of the year. Crude production was however lower compared to the 2.52 million barrels per day recorded in the third quarter of 2012. The Report reads in part: “These figures with their associated gas components, resulted in a decline in the growth (year-on-year) of the value added of output in oil GDP by 0.53 per cent for the third quarter of 2013, an increase from the negative 1.15 per cent growth recorded in the second quarter of 2013, but lower from the 0.08 percent growth recorded in the corresponding period of 2012.
From Gbenga Omokhunu, Abuja
“The economy can be broadly classified into two output groups: Oil and Nonoil sectors. Supply disruptions continue to hamper output in the oil sector. Nonoil sector output increased in the third quarter of 2013 however. The non-oil sector growth was driven by growth in activities recorded in the agriculture, hotels & restaurants, building & construction and telecommunications sectors.” While supply challenges continue to hamper production, NBS said the restoration of 400,000 barrel per day production during the quarter due to the re-opening of three major pipelines– The Trans Niger, Nembe Creek and Tebidaba– brass pipelines are welcome developments for crude production going forward. Findings by the NBS showed that the Oil sector contributed approximately 12.50 percent to real GDP in the third quarter of 2013.
• From left: CEO, Casablanca Stock Exchange, Morocco; Karim Hajji, Deputy Governor, Banco Central do Brasil, Luiz Edson Feltrim, former CNN Television News Anchor; Soledad O'Brien, Deputy Governor (Financial System Stability), Central Bank of Nigeria; Dr. Kingsley Chiedu Moghalu, former Chairman, United States Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC); Sheila Bair, Executive Vice-Chairman, Future World Foundation, South Africa; Sean Cleary and CEO, SEDCO Capital, Saudi Arabia, Hasan Aljabri, speakers at a plenary session panel on "A Global View of Financial Inclusion" at the Operation Hope Financial Dignity Summit 2013, held in Atlanta, USA.
National Assembly restricts workers as Jonathan presents budget today N
ATIONAL Assembly workers got yester day a strange holiday gift from their employers. They are to stay at home today till after the presentation of the 2014 budget by President Goodluck Jonathan to a joint session of the National Assembly. Jonathan is expected to present the 2014 financial plans to the lawmakers by noon. Director, Personnel Management of the National Assembly, Dr. Ishaya Habu Sarki, in a statement on behalf of the Clerk to the Na-
From Onyedi Ojiabor, Sanni Onogu, and Victor Oluwasegun, Abuja
tional Assembly, Salisu Maikasua, directed staff on Salary Grade Levels (SGL) 1 - 14 to resume work for the day by 2pm. He warned that any worker who flouts the order would be made to face “strict disciplinary action”. The President is expected to conclude his presentation
before 2pm. Although no reason was given for the stay-at-home order, sources said it was meant to ensure a hitch-free presentation. The sources noted that the order may also not be unconnected with threats by some workers to create a scene during the presentation over welfare issues. The source added that to assuage the workers, the management constituted a 10-man welfare committee to respond to their agitations and grievances.
National Assembly, Deputy Clerk O. Adejokun, in a statement announcing the committee, said: “As a way of improving on staff welfare matters, it has become imperative to have a standing committee to address welfare issues as they arise. “Consequently, the Clerk has approved the established of Staff Welfare Committee, under the chairmanship of Mr. O.O Adelami, Director, Procurement and Supplies. “Members are Dr. Ishaya
Habu, Director of Personnel Management, Mr. Jerry Okorodudu, Deputy Director Accounts, Mrs R. Bira, PASAN Chairman, representative of Senate, Hajia Ramatu Ahmed, Deputy Director, House of Representatives, Austin Adesoro, Ifemoagba Osigwe Stanley and Tahir Sani. The terms of reference of the committee according to the statement dated 7th November, 2013, include: “To collate staff welfare issues with a view to making appropriate recommendation to management within the ambit of extant rules and approved budget.
Mark seeks ban on leather products
ENATE President, David Mark, yesterday called on the Federal Government to place a ban on imported finished leather products. Mark spoke while declaring open a ‘Made-in-Aba Trade Fair’ in Abuja. Mark, who was represented by the Chairman, Senate Committee on Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Senator Smart Adeyemi, said the move would encourage the patronage of locally made shoes. Mark specifically called on the Nigerian Armed Forces and other uniformed security organizations in the country to patronize leather
From Sanni Onogu, Abuja
boots made in Nigeria especially Aba. He decried a situation where the Bank of Industry (BoI) was not represented at the fair. Mark said: “Aba is a pride to us in Nigeria. We are both proud of its past, present and promising future of being the catalyst for industrial revolution in the country. “We don’t have reason importing boots for the members of our armed forces and the police seeing that the ones made in Aba are not only of high quality
but durable. “From what I see here today, I believe if the needed incentives are provided, we can achieve our programme of creating employment for our citizens, reducing poverty and criminality.” “I also urge the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to source some of its non-sensitive electoral materials from Aba, going by what is on display at this fair. “Let us start by using what we have to move the nation forward. I call for radical steps to be taken to encourage the industrialization of our country.
Fed Govt threatens to sanction RBD
HE Federal Govern ment has threatened to sanction the Managing Directors of the 12 River Basin Development Authorities if they fail to complete projects under their constituency. The Minister of Water Resources, Mrs. Sarah Ochekpe directed the (MDs) of the (RBDAs) to ensure effective supervision and timely completion of all constituency projects for 2013. She warned that non performing MDs would be sanctioned and disciplined
• As on project completion From Frank Ikpefan, Abuja
for failure to complete the projects on time, adding that the federal government’s commitment to bring dividends of government to the grass root must be achieved. A statement in Abuja by Deputy Director (Press), Mrs. Oyeboade Akinola, Ochekpe noted that federal government will not tolerate unnecessary delay in the imple-
mentation of constituency projects. She called on the MDs to ensure strict compliance with the directive. While responding to Ochekpe’s directives, the MDs maintained that all constituency projects under their authority had been procured. They added that implementation has started, with most projects nearing 40 - 50 per cent completion, adding that by December, all the projects would be 100 per cent completed.
THE NATION TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 19, 2013
THE NATION TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 19, 2013
Gyan: A Ghanaian on a mission
HEN Asamoah Gyan scored in the fifth minute against Egypt last month, the outpouring of emotion and adulation in Kumasi was immense. The crowd, nearly 40,000-strong, burst to life. Ghana’s fans showered praise down on their striker and captain. Gyan’s teammates, even those from the substitutes’ bench, flocked around him. “It’s a great moment to remember,” Gyan told FIFA.com about his opening goal, a perfect shot from a tight angle that sent the Black Stars on their way to a resounding 6-1 win and put a foot into the 2014 FIFA World Cup™. “You can’t really expect such a massive result against a team like Egypt. We were hoping to get a comfortable win at home, but things just went right for us on the night. We’re desperate to get back to the World Cup. “We deserved it,” added the 27-year-old, looking to line up at his third straight World Cup next summer. “The players fought their hearts out – everyone was fighting so hard. And the crowd were simply amazing.” It was a rare accord between the Ghanaian faithful and Gyan. He’s about to become Ghana’s all-time top scorer; he’s short-listed for 2013’s African footballer of the year; and he's starred in some of the world's top leagues. But the striker has often attracted the ire of his countrymen on the terraces. He was criticised, taunted and jeered by fans during the 2008 African Cup
of Nations on home soil. His missed penalty in last year’s African showpiece against eventual champions Zambia inspired more rough treatment back home. It caused Gyan to call time, temporarily, on his international career. The break didn’t last, happily for fans in Kumasi who saw Baby Jet back to his best form against Egypt. He scored twice in the rout. “We’re desperate to get back to the World Cup, but we have to make sure we do things in the right way in the second leg,” he said ahead of the return fixture on Tuesday in Cairo, calling for focus. “It’s football, so anything can happen.” There is a distinct whiff of caution in Gyan’s tone, and it is understandable. The striker, perhaps more than anyone, knows just how wrong things can go after looking so clearcut. It was his penalty-kick that dramatically thudded against the Uruguayan crossbar in the dying moments of extra-time in Soweto three years ago,
forcing a penalty shootout that Ghana went on to lose. Inches and seconds away from making the Black Stars the first African nation to reach the semi-finals of a World Cup, Gyan slumped to the ground at Soccer City. His face wore a haunted look and the yawning silence that followed the rattle of the woodwork was cosmic. His teammates took turns putting a shoulder under Gyan’s arm, propping him up and guiding him down the tunnel, where he pounded the walls in anger and frustration. “We’re in a comfortable position right now, but we need to totally focus on our job and make sure we do what we have to do to reach Brazil. We have to do things the right way in Cairo.” These are the words of a man who’s seen it all fall apart – a man who can’t take a fivegoal lead for granted.
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THE NATION TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 19, 2013
THE NATION TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 19, 2013
THE NATION TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 19, 2013
THE NATION TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 19, 2013
THE NATION TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 19, 2013
FROM OTHER LANDS
After the typhoon
Cancel the sham election •The governorship election in Anambra State has called to question the competence of INEC
T the end of last Saturday’s governorship election in Anambra State, it was clear that the Independent National Electoral Commission INEC), the security agencies and political parties had failed the nation, once again. In the build-up to the poll, there were concerns that the electoral commission could bungle the exercise as it did in Ondo, Delta and almost so in Edo State. With the pathetic conduct of the governorship poll, last Saturday was a bad day for democracy, for politics, for fairness, for the good people of Anambra State and the future of electoral politics of Nigeria. The process turned into a farce as numbers counted for nothing, long and interminable queues amounted to nothing and voter cards were shams. It underlines the INEC chief as incompetent, and a colossal failure. However, the commission’s chairman, Professor Attahiru Jega, who leveraged his activist days’ reputation was quick to dismiss the worries. He said INEC had learnt its lessons and would conduct a near-perfect election in the politically troubled state. He said 21 commissioners would be deployed to supervise the poll in the state’s 21 local government areas. He also relocated to the state with some national commissioners. Professor Jega said he was working closely with the security agencies to
credibility on the electoral system. This has not been the case. The Anambra election has shown that the huge money expended on cleaning up the electoral register was wasted. Seventy-two hours to the election, INEC was still announcing to political party leaders and candidates that it had spotted anomalies, but they had been rectified. At the time, it was no longer possible for the parties to study and verify the correction. It is also a shame that the political parties to which electronic copies
• Attahiru Jega
ensure that peace reigned during the period. To demonstrate seriousness, the police, in an unprecedented manner, declared curfew from Friday evening to the early morning of Sunday, ostensibly to deter breach of the peace in any part of the state. On polling day, however, all amounted to nought. The conduct, as reported by the mass media and observers, was flawed. Everything that could go wrong went wrong. Anyone who covered or observed the sham elections conducted in the state in 2003 and 2007 would be forgiven if he saw last Saturday’s poll as a replay of the previous ones. In the previous exercises, many prominent Anambra citizens, including the Obi of Onitsha, the Catholic Archbishop of Onitsha, and even Professor Dora Akunyili, who at the time was a minister, could not vote. Yet, results were announced by the Professor Maurice Iwu-led INEC. Professor Jega, given his background, was expected to bring integrity to the system. Many Nigerians thought he would impose his discipline and
of the register had been sent a month to the election could not raise teams to study them and report the irregularities. It speaks volume of the leaders that, despite the history of irregularities that plague elections in the country, founded mainly on the roll; they did not pay attention to the lists forwarded to them. But, this is no excuse for the shoddy work done by INEC. The litany of complaints and lamentations by voters whose names were missing from the register last Saturday indicated that very little had changed with INEC as a body. In some local government areas, all names starting with letters N, O, and U were totally omitted. It
is unacceptable that the commission was seeking to blame it all on lack of diligence by the politicians. If the politicians were not organised, it is no excuse that a body funded from the public purse, and for whom the Nigerian people fought to grant financial independence, could be so inept. It is even more shocking that the head of the commission could admit after the election that some of his staff colluded with shady characters to sabotage the system. What happened to the legion of senior officials moved to the state? How come logistics remains a nightmare? Anambra is only one of the 36 states of the federation. The election there, as was the case in others conducted after the 2011 general elections, was isolated and did not allow participation of ad hoc staff. Yet, materials arrived in most parts of the state, including units in Awka, the state capital, late. Officials had no means of arriving at their duty posts promptly. Where materials and men were available, result sheets were not sent. And, in other parts, the result sheets available were for other areas; an error that could invalidate the elections if taken before the tribunal. It is surprising that INEC went ahead to announce the result of such flawed polling. When INEC had to reschedule polls in Idemili North, it chose to fix it for Sunday. In an area where the people are known to place church attendance above secular pursuits, that was a sure way of disenfranchising the electorate in Obosi and other communities in the local council. We are concerned that the way INEC is going, the elections coming up next year and 2015 may be doomed. The commission should not be allowed to set the country ablaze. Last Saturday’s election in Anambra was a sham, failed even national test and further exposed this country to ridicule. We call for immediate cancellation and the conduct of a fresh election.
‘With the pathetic conduct of the governorship polls, last Saturday was a bad day for democracy, for politics, for fairness, for the good people of Anambra State and the future of electoral politics of Nigeria. The process turned into a farce as numbers counted for nothing, long and interminable queues amounted to nothing and voter cards were shams. It underlines the INEC chief as incompetent, and a colossal failure’
• More aid money must go on preparing for disasters
N 1999, a massive cyclone hit the Indian state of Orissa, bringing immense destruction in its wake. More than 10,000 people were killed. Last month, a cyclone of similar dimensions hit Orissa, again causing immense destruction. This time, just 15 people died. The huge difference in the death toll can be explained by one factor: in the years before the 2013 cyclone, the Indian authorities had put in place elaborate plans to protect the local population. As the world’s media reports on the devastation caused by Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines, the lesson of Orissa deserves attention. More than 4,000 people have been killed in the Philippines and the death toll may go higher The US, Britain and other nations have sent warships to the region to help relieve the suffering. But while the international rescue effort is necessary and well-intentioned, the brutal reality is that any post-disaster response can only do a limited amount to mitigate the death toll. What really makes the difference in most disasters is how much money governments and donors have invested in the years before the event on “preparedness”. This aspect of humanitarian aid gets too little attention. In the case of Orissa, the value of preparedness was clear. The state authorities trained thousands of people in how to respond to a cyclone. They built hundreds of shelters within a few kilometres of human habitations. They instructed local officials to arrest people who refused to leave their homes when a cyclone approached. In the Philippines, preparedness seems to have been far lower. Few would doubt that the climatic challenges facing the archipelago are immense. But even taking into account the unprecedented strength of Typhoon Haiyan, too little money was spent ahead of the disaster building up the resilience of local communities. The lessons should be learnt well beyond the Philippines. In general, far too little donor money is spent on mitigating the risks of future natural disasters. A report by Global Humanitarian Assistance, a think-tank, shows that disaster risk reduction last year amounted to less than 5 per cent of the world’s expenditure on development aid. This is too little. When a natural disaster strikes, the searing television coverage in western states nearly always prompts a generous response from politicians and the public. That is understandable. But we need to reflect on how donor cash can be used to protect people before natural disaster strikes – and not just after. •Financial Times TRUTH IN DEFENCE OF FREEDOM Managing Director/Editor-in-Chief Victor Ifijeh • Editor Gbenga Omotoso •Chairman, Editorial Board Sam Omatseye •General Editor Adekunle Ade-Adeleye •Editor, Online Lekan Otufodunrin •Managing Editor Northern Operation Yusuf Alli •Managing Editor Waheed Odusile
• Executive Director (Finance & Administration) Ade Odunewu
•Deputy Editor Lawal Ogienagbon
•Advert Manager Robinson Osirike
•Deputy Editor (News) Adeniyi Adesina
• Gen. Manager (Training and Development) Soji Omotunde •General Manager (Abuja Press) Kehinde Olowu •AGM (PH Press) Tunde Olasogba
•IT Manager Bolarinwa Meekness
•Deputy Editor (Nation’s Capital) •Press Manager Yomi Odunuga Udensi Chikaodi •Group Political Editor Emmanuel Oladesu •Legal Counsel John Unachukwu •Dep. Business Editor Simeon Ebulu • Manager (Admin) Folake Adeoye •Group Sports Editor Ade Ojeikere •Acting Manager (sales) •Editorial Page Editor Olaribigbe Bello Sanya Oni
THE NATION TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 19, 2013
CARTOON & LETTERS
IR: The month of October will certainly go down in the annals of history as when heaven gained at the expense of Edo State. First, it was Nigeria’s foremost Professor of Political Science; someone who combined the finest principles of politics with its volatile practices in the management of Nigeria’s public affairs. Prof. Omo Omoruyi as a scholar sympathized with late Mallam Aminu Kano’s NEPU and Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe’s NCNC in the first republic. As a politician in the second republic, he pitched his tent with Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe’s Nigerian People Party (NPP) and became its gubernatorial candidate for Bendel State in 1983. NPP was a welfarist party, which was in line with Prof. Omoruyi’s inclinations. Thereafter, Prof. Omoruyi did not fully return to partisan politics as he was appointed Director of the Centre for Democratic Studies (CDS) under the Gen. Ibrahim Babangida’s Transition Programme, in the build-up to the 1993 presidential elections. In the twilight of this national assignment, Prof. Omoruyi suffered a ghastly and near fatal attack which, on hindsight, can be said to be the remote cause of the ailment that crept into his ebullient and
EDITOR’S MAIL BAG
accomplishments of Prof. Omoruyi, the contributions of these two foremost Edo sons become legendary. SEND TYPEWRITTEN, DOUBLE SPACED AND SIGNED CONTRIBUTIONS, LETTERS AND REJOINDERS OF That is why I agree with the EngNOT MORE THAN 800 WORDS TO THE EDITOR, THE NATION, 27B, FATAI ATERE ROAD, MATORI, LAGOS. lish man, James Bailey, when he wrote in 1902 that: E-mail: email@example.com “We live in deeds, not in years; In thoughts, not in breaths; In feelings, not in figures… He most lives who thinks most, Feels the noblest and acts the best” buoyant health, which eventually when the news of the passage of him, the love for his people of Prof. Omoruyi, the great patriot Admiral Mike Okhai Akhigbe Etsako and Edo State, for whom he led to his death. and nationalist, and Admiral Even with his ill health, Prof. reached me. I have followed Mike’s was very passionate. Akhigbe, GCON, mni, our gentle Omoruyi continued to bother career both in the military where That Admiral Akhigbe believed General and leader, will in death about his Edo people and the Ni- he rose to become an Admiral and much in the rule of law, civility and continue to think, feel and act for gerians state. In his many publica- Chief of Naval Staff, as well as in democratic ethics was underscored their people, state, country and hutions, writings and interviews, he public office where he served not not just by his conduct in office but manity, through the legacies they pre-occupied himself with the only as military governor but also also by his decision to study law left behind. progress and stability of Nigeria, as number two citizen of our coun- after leaving office. His desire to I send my heartfelt condolence to and the advancement of democ- try. But perhaps we became much further exercise this belief as a citheir immediate families, to the racy. He was a consistent advocate closer after he left office and joined vilian and extend it to the larger Bini and Etsako communities, to the and two-party system as a vehicle politics. As a member and leader of society led to his aspiration to lead Government and good people of for national unity. Yet he remained the People Democratic Party, he Nigeria as a civilian President, Edo State and Nigeria, and to all an unrepentant Bini man, carrying was a trusted ally, dependable which office he vied for. It must be persons who their selfless services aloft our revered tradition and cul- friend and worthy compatriot. recalled that he was the second in touched in diverse ways. Although he was a key player in command in Gen. Abdulsalami ture together with his academic scholarship and political activism. the volatile field of politics, his Abubakar’s regime that gave birth •Dr. S.O. Ogbemudia. He will be missed by everyone Spartan military training and dis- to the current civilian government. Benin City especially his elitist club of Nige- cipline defined his thoughts and Therefore, the success of our present rian Political Science Association, patterned his actions. Thus, it was democratic dispensation will be to his populist class of Nigerian poli- not difficult for me to tell where the eternal glory of his memory. ticians, his enviable group of pro- Akhigbe’s loyalty mostly lied beAt 68, Mike died two years shy of lific writers, his respected Bini peo- tween his earlier military profes- the biblical three scores and 10. But sion and his latter political voca- his activities within those speedy ple and his beloved family. The dust raised by the death of tion. However, his loyalty to his years are worth many generations. Prof. Omoruyi had not settled profession did not subtract from When combined with the enormous
Akhigbe and Omoruyi: Two deaths too many
Help catch a thief!
It’s World Toilet Day
IR: Today is World Toilet Day, a day set aside by the World Toilet Organization in response to the struggle of billions of people face every day without access to proper, clean sanitation, and to bring to the forefront the health, emotional and psychological consequences the poor endure as result of inadequate sanitation. Of the world’s seven billion people, six billion have mobile phones; however, only 4.5 billion have access to toilets or latrines-meaning that the 2.5 billion people, mostly in rural areas, do not have access to toilet and proper sanitation. Indeed, 1.1 billion people still defecate in the open. The countries where open defecation is most widely practiced are same countries with the highest number of under-five child deaths, high level of malnutrition and pov-
erty, and large wealth disparity. World Toilet Day seeks to raise global awareness to the daily struggle for proper sanitation that a staggering 2.5 billion people face. Since its inception in 2001, it has become an important platform to demand action from government and to reach out to wider audiences by showing that toilet can be fun and attractive as well as vital to life. The United Nation General Assembly on July 24, officially approved, endorsed and designated the day to spotlight the plight of 2.5 billion people who do not have basic toilet. The assembly resolution approved by consensus urged all its 193 members to promote behavioural changes and adopt policies to increase access to sanitation and end open defecation, a key cause of diarrhoea. The state of toilet in Nigeria
leaves much to be desired. In the National Policy on Excreta and Sewage Management, 2005, it was observed that in some urban centres, some households with water carriage system, pipe the raw sewage into the public drains. Also, according to 1999 Nigeria Demographic and Health Survey [NDHS], 12% of the urban population has no toilet facilities of any kind whilst, 55% use pit latrines and 31% use flush toilets. Rural areas are even less served. These figures are especially sobering as that a large number of people urinate in open spaces, with serious health implications in densely populated urban and periurban settlements. Since human faeces contain a wider range of disease-causing organisms including viruses, bacteria, and eggs of human parasite, and that many of these organisms are transmissible to people
through houseflies, contaminated hands, food, water, eating and cooking utensils, and by direct contact with contaminated object, the importance of toilets cannot be overemphasized. It can be seen that cholera and poliomyelitis are most common infections that keeps recurring in Nigeria, which their principal source of transmission directly linked to excreta. Instead of spending so much to fight the cholera epidemic with limited impact, a better strategy should be to invest in the environment, making sure that each house has a hygienic and proper toilet, and clean and healthy environment. More awareness is needed for Nigerians to appreciate the relevance of the day, and to inculcate the importance of toilet in their lives. •Sani Garba Mohammed, Fed. University of Technology, Owerri.
IR: A few days ago I received this short message service (sms) which read “Congratulations, you have WON N1m in the on-going(sic) Xmas bonanza 2013. Activate Pin: *134* TO GET YOUR PAYMENT NO. Contact cash unit on 07053806840. Glo Unlimited”. Ordinarily, I should be rejoicing. But I am saddened. This is because I know the country I live in. This is not the first time I have received this. Those other times I ignore them. But this time around I want to challenge the system. The character behind the scam was stupid enough to send the sms with a registered sim card. It should be an open and short case. Glo should collaborate with the police and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, to apprehend these objectionable individuals who help bring our country to disrepute. This nonsense has to stop! •Chimaeze Uzoma, Lagos
THE NATION TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 19, 2013
down to ensure its strategic T is the season of football glory, relevance. For Nigeria to surwith the November 8 Golden Eavive despite its present chalglets’ fourth triumph at the FIFA Ulenges, a key demand is a fed17 World Cup at UAE 2013; and Super eralism-compliant presidency. Eagles’ fifth qualification, beating EthioA polity reconfigured on strict pia, to the FIFA World Cup in Brazil federal principles holds the ace 2014. to future development and So, a bit of football imagery is appoprosperity from the present resite. tardation and chaos. A soverRight now, there is a hat trick of coinOlakunle eign national conference could cidences: a weakened presidency, a firstname.lastname@example.org, 08054504169 (Sms only, please) Abimbola fix this nicely, if only Nigering party in disarray and a “North” in ia’s power blocs would stop political retreat, despite all playing games! grandstanding to the contrary. The PDP meltdown is a metaThese coincidences look like setbacks phor for the rotten party sys– great setbacks, almost tragedies – for tem. That is a clear and present critical segments of the Nigerian state. danger to Nigerian democracy. Parties are key drivers of dedied in office. Yet these setbacks, if well handled, could well earn Nigeria a mocracy. So, a democracy with sick parties is itself sick, by As it happens, therefore, there is a hat trick of angst, sweeprebirth from its unending season of anomie; and halt its persimple logical extension. ing through the ruling office, the ruling party and, if not chasennial crisis of nationhood. The hubris now consuming PDP must impress it on its memtened by current developments, a region by its power log in Never in history, perhaps, has the Nigerian Presidency been bers the limits of a ruling party, no matter how powerful or Nigeria, that could easily have regarded itself as the ruling so weakened; and the Nigerian president so vulnerable to invincible it once felt it was. But that message is as valid for region! political pressure. the PDP as it is for new parties hoping to kick it out of power. That is just as well! In 2011, Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, Nigeria’s first president It would be a tragedy, indeed, to kick out the PDP and replace A hitherto Leviathan presidency is feeling the blues of imfrom a minority bloc, rode to stunning pan-Nigeria presidency. it with PDP with another name. potence, particularly when the subject is influence (aka ‘soft But two years down the line, due to presidential commission The message for the North’s political elite, so gung-ho about power’), to change things; and not the near-brutal presidency or omission, grafted with stark contradictions in the polity, 2015, is clear. The North once dominated. Now, it is being that Olusegun Obasanjo bequeathed. Those who misinterpret the presidency is looking increasingly frail. dominated, at least going by its shrill complaints. So, dominaJonathan’s fascist bent for power are grandly mistaken: a dog Presidential royalists continue to kid themselves the presition is bad for everyone. Every country should be erected on barks out of fright, not out of power. dent is all-powerful. But it is clear that office is, right now, far an equal-opportunity ethos, fired by equity, fair play and jusfrom the constitutional Leviathan power romantics claim it is. A hitherto impregnable PDP is feeling real threats of coltice. Linked to that presidential meltdown is the meltdown of the lapse, simply because having rigged things against others for Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), the federal ruling party. So, while it is legitimate for northern lobbies to fancy their too long, it is now rigging things against itself and, by so In Jonathan’s emergence, and by violently abrogating its doing, rigging itself out of cohesion. The ensuing schism is chances by 2015, it is imperative to drum it loud that the pre-12 own zoning principle, PDP overreached itself, even by its own well and truly earned! June 1993 Nigeria, in which some miscreants, acting in the accustomed impunity. The ensuing bitterness, from a “North” And a hitherto all-conquering “North” – in any case, the tiny name of the “North” to cancel a valid presidential election, that felt cheated, is the basis of cascading bricks in the PDP cabal that commits political murder in its name now endures and sustain that high treason, is gone and gone forever. Any house. the bitterness of feeling dominated! attempt to dream such subversive encore could well sound the Of course, the “North”! It is central to the present distemper. Not unlike the Achebe tortoise in Things Fall Apart, that redeath knell for the country. As that Yoruba saying goes, the consummate executioner finds named itself “All of you” to corner everything, leaving its So, as political alignments are afoot, two crucial messages no mirth in someone fumbling with a sword near his neck! shocked benefactors in the lurch, this power cabal raised pomust be clear. One, the North, if it is really interested in NiA region versed in power dominance, if not outright domilitical domination to a sickly art, while leaving their impovergeria’s survival, must shun any penchant to dominate. It has nation, certainly finds it extremely reprehensible to feel domiished people with an empty illusion of might. Now that the enjoyed and endured domination; and can tell the honey and nated! So, it screams, it yells, it bawls; warning at the apocachips are down, this same cabal is screaming “northern domigall of both! lypse to come, should such a situation continue. nation”! And two, whoever are negotiating with the northern lobby That would appear the chief driver of the North’s bid for So now, what? A bitter fight to the end, even if Nigeria goes must never surrender the long-term chore of building a just, power in 2015, aside from its not illegitimate growl of being kaput? Or a reasonable retreat to reason, to rework Frederick fair and equitable Nigeria to the immediate gravy of winning cheated of its due in 2011, with the abandonment of PDP’s Lugard’s unworkable contraption, even in the run-up to the federal power. The North must not dominate. But it must not zoning formula, simply because President Umaru Yar’ Adua final month of its centenary? be dominated either. There lies the way from the hat trick of present chaos to the That template should apply to every part of the country. ‘There is a hat trick of angst, sweeping hat trick of future opportunities. Indeed, after walking in the wilderness for nearly 100 years Indeed, in a troubled federation battered by decades of mili(53 years of this under flag independence), with the Lugard through the ruling office, the ruling tary rule, and labouring under an emerging democracy, the always threatening to abort, that should be the party and a region that could easily have presidency as unquestioned and unquestionable Leviathan is contraption template on which sustainable Nigeria must be erected. as much a danger to itself as it is to the democratic republic. Any other way would be tempting fate. If the regnant power regarded itself as the ruling region’ The highest office in the land, therefore, needs a tactical parefolly continues, the tip-over point cannot be far away!
This way to Nigeria’s rebirth
“When you talk of corruption in Nigeria, it is all about perception... Perception is like when you say something is wrong 100 times, it becomes true. There was a time we assembled civil society people and asked them to compare and contrast what the major problem of Nigeria was, I think corruption came third….”
HAT was our President Goodluck Jonathan speaking at the fifth edition of the Presidential media chat late September. As if you didn’t know already, the kernel of his submission was that corruption, among the many ills afflicting the Nigerian polity, is simply exaggerated. For proof, he referred Nigerians to the operative word “perception” in the annual rating exercise by Transparency International of which Nigeria ranks pretty among the top rung of the most corrupt nations on earth. Far from accepting that the unrestrained self-help that goes on in Abuja and the 36 state capitals in the name of governance is a major problem, the President chose to locate our problems in the hype that normally attends every reported incident of heist by highly placed officials! Just when the deliberate misdiagnosis of the problem expectedly rankled to no end, the President would, days later, further expound his treatise by insisting that Nigerians – not his administration that has made an open show of harbouring tainted officials in its ranks – were the main culprits in fostering the environment of corruption. I don’t think anyone should lose sleep over the specious dissection of the national pathology by a leader under whose watch the industry of graft has grown to monstrous proportions. Situated in the context of its appalling helplessness in combating the monster, the statement provides a window into why the fight against graft under the Jonathan presidency not only went tepid but ineffectual. Of course, a lot has happened since those statements were uttered. We have had Stellagate – a scam which not only threatened to rip the innards of the Jonathan presidency open, but has since unleashed a burst of adrenalin across the land the result of which the administration is presently utterly breathless. And now, with a related event in Ghana in which a cabinet minister got the boot from her plum cabinet position merely for dreaming about cornering some future gravy, the welter of media commentaries and the not-so-subtle prodding that the President off-load his own “damaged good” has simply reached the heavens. As it is, the surest evidence of how far apart the President and Nigerians are on the subject would be the deliberate stone-walling over the Stellagate affair. This is even when the evidence in the public domain has exposed several layers of graft for serious administration to act upon. Is it a case of someone being convinced that the dust would blow away sooner than later? For this, we must grant that this President
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Reality or perception? should know a thing or two things about perception as a subject and its links with the messy business of corruption that the whole world is yet to know. To be sure, we must be clear about the President’s diagnosis of the problem particularly his rather effusive distinction between the popular perception about the cancer and the reality he sought to paint, I guess, almost entirely in his own colours. Just as the president believes that the two are miles apart, the question must arise as to whether those accusing his administration of either fuelling the cancer or is at least indifferent to it are not entirely uncharitable. Conversely too, for a menace that has not only persisted, but has earned the nation notoriety as the global capital of graft, Nigerians would also be right to wonder about the President’s line of thought which appears to suggest that negative perceptions are at least tolerable in so far as the facts are beyond establishing! The truth of course is that perceptions, no matter how exaggerated or distorted they may seem, oftentimes have more than a whiff of reality. We must also acknowledge that the business of separating facts from fantasies in a clime riddled with corrupt practices is certainly not helped by the sheer scale of impunity that borders on schizophrenia. Whether it is the latest issue infamously described as Stellagate, in which a serving minister reportedly directed a parastatal head “to do the needful” as in the purchase of two fancy cars for a whopping N255 million; or the well-reported extravaganza of another cabinet member said to have ratcheted a bill of nearly N2billion to hire private jets, the point is that the scale of impunity in these parts simply beggars belief! And the President, as the leader of the team has done pretty little to
dispel the image of his administration as one that condones impunity. Again, it goes to the fundamental point about what facts say. Beyond deniability, I think the issue is well established that corruption is not just real but has under this presidency become the driver of governance processes. Didn’t subsidy payments balloon from N300 billion under the Umaru Yar’Adua presidency to an unprecedented N2.5 trillion under this presidency? Yes, we are talking of one product line, petrol – jumping in multiples of eight under 18 months – the sheer stuff of fairy tales happening right under our very eyes! How about that for perception? Today, the subsidy figure is in the neighbourhood of N1.2 trillion. Has anyone been called to account for the deviation? Now, thanks to the Swiss non-governmental advocacy group, the Berne Declaration, the nation has just begun to find confirmation of how the triumvirate of NNPC, Vitol and Trafigura –two Switzerlandbased oil traders, and their local minions numbering seven, used their offshore ‘letterbox companies’ to defraud the country of over $6.8bn in subsidy payments between 2009 and 2011. Are the documented findings of the Swiss body also in the realm of perception? What about the jumbo loans at a time of record oil earnings? At least, to its credit, the administration of former President Olusegun Obasanjo, converted the benefits of the bumper oil earning to exit from the creditor-cartels of London and Paris Clubs. Today, not only is the nation back on the ruinous path of debt peonage even when the promise of infrastructural renewal remains undelivered. Former United States Ambassador Walter Carrington recently framed the issue rather succinctly when he quipped: “The question must now be asked, why is Africa’s most endowed country which earn $57billion a year in oil revenue not yet able to solve its persistent problems of electric power and infrastructure?” Well, the President has supplied the 10-letter answer: Perception. Surely, there must be something in the Villa that inures its occupants to the putrefaction.
‘Are the documented findings of the Swiss body also in the realm of perception? What about the jumbo loans at a time of record oil earnings?’
THE NATION TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 19, 2013
ORGET the trauma university education in Nigeria is currently going through, no thanks to the ongoing strike action by academic staff and Federal Government’s reluctance to meet the lecturers’ demands fully. Pocket your anger, if you have any, towards the Academic Staff Union of Nigerian University (ASUU) and Abuja for the near five months forced stay-at-home they have jointly imposed of the hapless students. Look instead at the contributions of ASUU over the years to Nigeria’s development and the calibre of its leaders and you’ll appreciate what a tragic loss the death of one time ASUU president Professor Festus Iyayi is to the nation. Death as the saying goes is a necessary end and will come when it will. But while no one can say exactly where and when he/she would take his/her exit from this world, it is always painful when the death is self-inflicted or avoidable/preventable so to speak. In the case of Professor Iyayi, he did not invite death on to himself but death was visited on him by a driver in the unnecessary long and reckless convoy of Kogi State Governor, Captain Idris Wada Tuesday last week along the notorious LokojaAbuja Highway. He was on a mission along with his ASUU colleagues to Kano for the union’s NEC meeting to see how the crisis bedevilling Nigeria’s university system can be resolved and bring the students back to school. One of the best known ASUU leaders of his generation, Iyayi together with the likes of current Chairman, Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC)
‘The death of Professor Iyayi in the hands of Governor Wada’s driver should finally draw Federal Government’s attention to the recklessness and lawlessness of drivers of government vehicles especially those who drive dignitaries including State governors, ministers, police and military chiefs and even local government chairmen.’
NE Hundred and Fifty years ago on November 19, 1863, a wiry US President delivered an oration to dedicate a cemetery in honor of soldiers slain at the Battle of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania during the American civil war (1861-1865). He jotted down notes for the speech on the back of an envelope while on a train ride from Washington DC to Pennsylvania the previous day. Later in the evening, the American President retired to his room to put the finishing touches on his speech. The following afternoon, President Abraham Lincoln, surrounded by coffins of fallen soldiers and wounded fighters and thousands of onlookers including relations of the dead, made the presentation of what has come to be known as The Gettysburg Address. He was meant to give “dedicatory remarks” secondary to those of the main speaker Professor Edward Everett, the national orator of formidable credentials. Indeed Everett spoke earlier, offering a two-hour speech, followed by Lincoln whose dirge-272 words (about a third or quarter of this article) – lasted nearly three minutes. The crowd appeared not to appreciate their president’s delivery, for they gave him what a historian has described as “perfunctory applause”. But a humble Professor Everett did. He told Lincoln: “My speech will soon be forgotten; yours will never be. How gladly would I exchange my hundred pages for your twenty lines”. It has turned out prophetically true. For through the ages down to our day, what started as a mere community speech has since broken the barriers of time, colour, culture and language to become a timeless and gargantuan prose better appreciated for its nobility elegance and poetry. Greater respect is compelled when we realize that Lincoln gave the address from a grieving soul to even more grieving souls. How could living words that would later
In memory of Festus Iyayi Professor Attahiru Jega perhaps best epitomised the struggle for a better university education in Nigeria that ASUU is known for. Even if not a few Nigerians would raise questions over ASUU of today, (Federal Government’s sometimes irresponsible action notwithstanding) the contributions of the likes of Iyayi and the direction he took the ASUU of his era should serve as a guide to those presently at the helm at the Academic Staff Union of Nigerian Universities. His death, though painful, should bring all concerned in the protracted negotiation between ASUU and the Federal Government to their senses and act in the best interest of the nation. No meaningful negotiation is achieved if the parties stuck to their guns; the game is called give and take. That’s why it is called negotiation. I think we have gone beyond the level of apportioning blame; both parties would definitely have something to say to justify their different positions. But if the two parties truly have the interest of the nation at heart it shouldn’t be difficult to reach an implementable agreement and remaining faithful to it. Iyayi would have died in vain if this strike should continue beyond this moment or happens again in the near future over the same issue of funding of our university system and remunerations for the academic staff. Those involved on both sides should act responsibly now. And for Professor Iyayi to sleep well, those who caused his death should be punished. But I doubt if the driver of the convoy car that recklessly overtook the rest of the vehicles in the governor’s convoy and caused the crash involving the bus in which Iyayi and other ASUU officials were travelling would be punished. He is the driver to a ‘big’ man so to speak, and
people like him are rarely punished for any offence committed while on duty. This is Nigeria where impunity like this happens. But if we are in the same country and operating under the same law, then nobody should be above that law. I hasten to bring to your notice the story of one citizen Sulaiman Awwal from Kogi State that appeared in this newspaper last week and the kind of ‘justice’ the system meted out to him to justify the call for the punishment of the government driver that killed Iyayi. Awwal, a fire prevention consultant was released from Agodi prison in Ibadan last week after 11 months awaiting trial in jail for the offence of manslaughter. How did he find himself at this notorious jail? Well, according to Awwal, he was driving from Saki in Oyo State to Ibadan the state capital on January 7, this year when an aged woman ran across the road around Moniya on the outskirt of the city and he knocked her down with his vehicle. The villagers came out and mobbed him as he tried to rescue the woman and they handed him over to the police. Death came for the woman as she was being taken to hospital. Three days later Awwal was charged to court for manslaughter and remanded at Agodi prison by the Magistrate. He was there until Monday last week when the family of the deceased applied to the court to discontinue the case and the Magistrate duly struck out the case. Don’t ask about his experience in prison, it was horrible. The concern here is what took him to prison? The vehicle he was driving had an accident and one person was killed by him in the process, the same way one of the drivers in Gover-
Gettysburg address: Lessons for Nigerian leaders By Olu Obafemi and Banji Ojewale survive the ravages of the ages come from the depth of death? There was the stark reality of sorrow inflicted by war. And in this case the battle of Gettysburg was recorded to have been one of the bloodiest of the US civil war with 7000 killed and 44000 wounded or missing. Historians claim that Gettysburg was the turning point indeed of the war. Somehow, Lincoln, a man forged out of a cauldron of serial defeats, disappointments and rejection, drew appropriate lessons from the seeming desolation around him. He recognized for instance that man can only manage calamity (or what seems so) not by pandering to it or evoking and reproducing more vision of such dreary conditions. It wasn’t a time for a long sermonizing speech. Nor was it a moment to shun talk altogether. He needed to face the locals and comfort the bereaved families of Gettysburg and turn individual and collective losses into first a national hope and secondly a universal legacy. The Gettysburg Address achieved precisely these objectives. How did Lincoln succeed? The literary technique combining with his stoical discipline performed the main magic. He avoided overtly lugubrious epithets. He never interjected the speech with any personal connections. Where he came to it the speaker adopted the use of the majestic “we”, “us” or “our”. He won the hearts of the bereaved and the nation when he cautioned that although he
and the others had gathered to honour the dead, “in a larger sense, we cannot dedicate, we can not consecrate, we cannot hallow, this ground.” Lincoln added: “The brave men living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus nobly advanced.” Great noble thoughts and vision captured in equally sublime prose! Lincoln ended the day a fulfilled leader: he had used powerful language and personal discipline to soothe the souls of bruised, disconsolate citizens. He had also proved that when a nation is passing through tormenting moments such as Nigeria is witnessing now, it can be succored by leaders who take the time to make statements that inspire the citizens and transform the situation into a vision of hope. Only leaders and statesmen of Spartan disposition unencumbered by a craving for material wealth, inordinate power and women-mongering would possess the rigour, discipline and conviction so amply displayed in the Gettysburg Address. The appropriate lesson for Nigeria and her leaders to learn from Gettysburg is that we must appreciate the fact that it is the “brave (toiling) men, and (women) living and dead, who struggled… (Who) have really sustained the polity thus far and that it is “far above (the) poor power” of the politicians to “add or detract” from their contribution.
nor Wada’s convoy drove recklessly causing the death of Professor Iyayi. Shouldn’t that Wada’s driver be charged with manslaughter? Well, if the Attorney-General and chief law officer of Kogi State would act in accordance with the demands of that office, yes the driver should be so charged. But would he? Let’s wait and see. The death of Professor Iyayi in the hands of Governor Wada’s driver should finally draw Federal Government’s attention to the recklessness and lawlessness of drivers of government vehicles especially those who drive dignitaries including State governors, ministers, police and military chiefs and even local government chairmen. When these drivers are on the road, especially when they are driving their bosses, often in a long convoy, they drive as if they are on a mission to commit suicide and any motorists unfortunate to stand in their way albeit legitimately, often have sad stories to tell. They drive without regard for traffic rules and regulations. Most times they drive above the normal speed limit and officers and men of the Federal Road Safety Corps are often helpless to act. It is about time they are told and shown that they are not above the law and making an example out of the Kogi State governor’s driver would go a long way in letting them know that the immunity from prosecution extended to their bosses (governors) by the constitution does not cover them. Beyond this however, the mentality of our public officers especially the political leaders that they are superior to the rest of us has to change. They enter the road blowing sirens to scare the rest of us out of their way; and woe betides that person that stands in their way. Many have gone the way of Professor Iyayi in the process and nothing happened to either the offending driver or his boss. This is part of the culture of impunity that we carried over into this political dispensation from the military era of the past. We have to purge ourselves of all the evils of the military era and embrace the rule of law and accept equality of all Nigerians for this nation to move forward. This is the only thing that can atone for the killing of Professor Festus Iyayi who died in the struggle to make our country especially university education in this country better. May his soul rest in perfect peace. Amen. The key that unlocked the patriotic treasure box of the people and the benevolence history is according Lincoln and his address was Lincoln’s respect for the role of the downtrodden, the deprived, in nation-building. He celebrated them in exalted poetic prose that reflected a life long commitment to the dignity of labour. Only a humble leader, dedicated to selfless service and given to purpose and vision, can bring himself (herself) to generate ideas that inspire. Where the leader lacks these gems of integrity his/her homilies and perorations will be nothing but stuff nursing mothers apply to put infants to sleep! • Obafemi and Ojewale are promoters of Leadership Search Initiative, Lagos.
‘Lincoln ended the day a fulfilled leader: he had used powerful language and personal discipline to soothe the souls of bruised, disconsolate citizens. He had also proved that when a nation is passing through tormenting moments such as Nigeria is witnessing now, it can be succoured by leaders who take the time to make statements that inspire the citizens and transform the situation into a vision of hope’
Yobo can go to World Cup, says Keshi Pg. 24
Hull may lose Aluko to Palace Pg. 41
Tuesday, November 19, 2013
AFTERMATH OF INJURY SPELL
OBASI RETURNS to training at Schalke04
IGERIA international Chinedu Obasi Ogbuke has returned to training at Schalke 04 after an injury. The German outfit received a boost at the weekend when the Beijing Olympics silver medalist resumed training with team mate Leon Goretzka.
By Innocent Amomoh The former 1899 Hoffenheim forward, who has had just 21 appearances for Nigeria, is yet to feature for his side this season, having been side-lined with a shin injury since June.
Schalke head coach Jens Keller has, however, hinted he does not expect Obasi to be available for the Royal Blues' upcoming encounter at Eintracht Frankfurt. According to him, Obasi will not be introduce immediately but he is planning to have Goretzka in the squad for the clash at
Frankfurt's Commerzbank Arena on 23 November. Chinedu came to limelight in the 2005 Under-20 World Championships in the Netherlands, and scored both in the semifinal and the final (which Nigeria lost to Argentina).
KENNETH OMERUO’S INJURY
FIFA may pay
compensation to Chelsea
TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 19, 2013
Hawkers take over Abuja streets - Page 27
Park pastors: business or calling?
National dialogue gives voice to FCT residents - Page 28
A night in the State House - Page 40
NE after another, the passengers boarded. They paid the fare, got their tickets and proceeded to choose their seats on the bus. Apart from the general park buzz, everywhere was quiet. But as soon as the last passenger boarded, a voice rang out from one of the windows. “I greet you all in the precious name of Jesus,” said a man clutching a bible. “If you are a child of God shout a big halleluyah!” That was how the passengers were treated to a dose of evangelism which ended with prayers for journey mercies. But, wait a minute, is this evangelism or plain business? In era of problems and daily challenges, one of the options available to the poor and deprived is spiritual solution. It’s an avenue to a world of dreams, beliefs and an escape from the daily troubles of life. That, perhaps, is the reason many
From Faith Yahaya
religious houses are sprouting up across the country. This phenomenon has also affected the various motor parks in the country. The Federal Capital territory is not an exception. It is common to see buses and
cars of different sizes and colours loading passengers and to see traders displaying their wares like recharge cards, petty articles of trade like edibles, alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks, cigarette, kilishi and other things in Abuja parks. They are as ubiquitous as the buses and Agbero boys who help motorists invite and load passen-
Apart from the general park buzz, everywhere was quiet. But as soon as the last passenger boarded, a voice rang out from one of the windows. “Let us pray,” said a man clutching a bible
gers for a fee. The messengers of the gospel at these venues are called motor park pastors because they basically practice their callings at the parks. Their purpose, to the knowledge of many, is to pray for commuters embarking on a trip and in the process win souls for God. It cannot be denied that most people, if not everybody, need prayers and the Holy Book commanded it in the first book of Thessalonians 5 verses 17, saying “Pray without ceasing.” These pastors have cashed in on the fact that the parks are usually populated with people who are heading for one destination or the other. In Abuja, some of the transport services are Ideal, AIT, Fairplus, Okunline, Ola Express, Abbey Line, Big Joe, Peace Mass Tran•Continued on Page 26
THE NATION TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 19, 2013
Park pastors: business or calling? •Continued from Page 25 sit; God is Good, the Young Shall Grow, among others. These transport services are found in parks like Utako, el-Rufai bus stop in Kubwa, Nyanya Bridge, Jabi Park, Zuba Park, to mention but a few. Passengers at all these parks witness the pastors, especially in the morning. The common routine at the park is that once passengers are seated, the pastor stands by the window of the bus or if the bus is still open, he stands at the door with his Holy Bible as his tool and usually begins: “I greet you all in the precious name of Jesus. If you are a child of God shout a big halleluyah!’’ Everybody shouts the halleluyah and then he smiles in triumph and continues. He leads a session of praise, sermon and then he says, “let us pray.” Most of the prayers go like this: “Father God Almighty, I thank you for the life of everyone in this bus and for keeping them alive. We ask for your mercy to prevail upon us and forgive us our sins. As they are travelling today, I bind all bloodsucking demons on the way. Nobody will die from accident in this vehicle today. “I cover the driver with the blood of Jesus. I cover the steering with the blood of Jesus. I cover the engine with the blood of Jesus. I cover the tyre with the blood of Jesus. In fact, I cover the road from here to your destinations with the blood of Jesus! “You shall not run into armed robbers. Father, nobody in this bus will have accident and I pray that everybody in this bus will make heaven at the end of the day in Jesus name.” The prayer ends but it has been observed that some of the pastors don’t end it there. They proceed by saying, “Brothers and sisters, please
SCHOOL proprietress has an answer to indiscipline among pupils: the carrot-and-stick approach. Unity High School (UHS) proprietress Mrs. Olufemi Akanni, at the 10th anniversary of the school in Abuja, said: “There is a high
support the work of God. Nothing is too small.” This is the part that some commuters have complained about claiming that a true man of God will not ask for money or offering after prayers. According to majority of the commuters who spoke with Abuja Review, when pastors ask for money, it reduces the authenticity of the prayer and it looks like they are paying for the prayers. Sandra Kawu, one of the commuters who spoke with Abuja Review in Utako Park said: “I am travelling with Plateau Riders to Jos. I always encounter them in Utako Park. I feel most of them engage in it as a form of business to make ends meet. I have had cause to donate to them or give offering. It is not like I believe in them but as a Christian, you have to support whatever since it is their own business. “Sometimes, if you don’t want to give, at the end of the prayers, they will tell you to drop something for their ministry to move forward. I am serious about this.” Mercy Ocholi had this to say: “I travel with Benue Travelers. Each time I board bus at the park under Nyanya Bridge, when the bus is filled, they will walk up to the travelers and say, ‘ok, now that the car is filled, we want to pray for journey mercies.’ Everybody closes their eyes and the pastors will pray. After that, he will say if you have anything to drop for the man of God, please drop and at that moment, you will see people who have good heart dropping money to help the man of God. Miss Ocholi further said: “I believe in what the pastors do because it really helps. It is encouraging. There is no problem in that, because even if the pastors don’t come, sometimes after a bus is filled and it’s in motion, one of the passengers willingly leads prayers in order to ask God for a safe trip.
•Abuja park Ikenna, another passenger said he suspects that the transport service and especially the drivers have a deal with the pastors because of the patience they exercise to allow these pastors finish their business. He said: “The driver is always patient enough to wait for the pastors to finish praying. I think the pastors have a deal with the transport service. Biodun Tijani said he sees motor park pastors as businessmen. His words: “With each Naira note the pastor grabs, he rewards the faithful with a ‘’bless you” and when he is sure no more is coming he wishes us a ‘safe journey’ and moves on to another bus. “I think they are a nuisance. Is there anyone of them who doesn’t ask for donations/offerings at the end of their sermon and prayer? They are little more than corporate beggars who just capitalise on peo-
ple’s fear of traffic accidents and highway robbers. They pray against these incidents just to make you feel better, and put you in a good frame of mind to give them money and then they are off to the next bus. “The ministry they represent is unclear and it makes me feel they represent the ministry of their pockets and stomach,” Tijani added. In a chat with Abuja Review, the Secretary of the pastors, Pastor Abiola he said that he belongs to an association called Mobile Ministers Evangelical Ministry of Nigeria. Pastor Abiola, while explaining that he goes beyond motor parks to minister in churches, schools and sometimes in the hospitals if he is led by the Spirit, debunked the notion that the pastors are out to make profit. “It is wrong to say that it is for
business purpose. If I want to do it for business’ sake, I will sit back in my office because I have an office opposite NYSC camp in Kubwa. We, the mobile ministers are about 15 in number and our ministry is basically to win souls for Christ. Continuing, he said: “We don’t ask and passengers are not compelled to give. Those who give do because they are led by the Spirit to give and it won’t be nice for us to reject. Debunking the notion that pastors pay the transport firms for the time taken in praying, Mr. Lekan Ojo of Okunline said that they don’t charge anything. They are just propagating the gospel and I feel it won’t be right to hinder them. Since there is no test we can carry out to ascertain whether these mobile ministers are called or not, there is need to do everything decently in order to avoid harassment and anarchy.
How to curb indiscipline, by expert From Faith Yahaya
level of indiscipline in our schools now. I urge teachers to use the carrot and stick ap-
proach because that is what teaching entails. No student is too big to be disciplined. Any child who doesn’t want to be disciplined should leave.” Mrs. Akanni explained that
•The Chairperson of the House Committee on Constituency, Hajiya Aishatu Dahiru Ahmed (second left), with Hon. Joseph Haruna Kigbu (representative of Speaker Aminu waziri Tambuwal); former Minister of State for Health, Dr Ali Pate (third right) with others at the launch of free Medical Mission by Hon. Aishatu at the Specialist Hospital in Yola.
the approach will create better youths that will build this country and take it to where it ought to be. Also speaking, the Director, Guidance and Counseling Unit of the FCT College of Education, Zuba, Dr. Elizabeth Abolarin urged the society to value teachers as she described their profession as greater to none. Mrs. Abolarin said: “No other profession is greater than teaching. Without the teachers, there will be no engineers who will plan, design and manage the construction of buildings, roads, bridges, communication facilities and other mechanical infrastructures. Similarly, doctors, scientists, politicians and others will not exist without the teacher and the teaching process. She pointed out that teachers mold a child into what he or she will be in the future; as they
teach him or her to read, write, to deal with others and to deal with himself or herself. While stating some of the challenges encountered in teaching profession, she noted that good hands in the profession are quitting because of low reward. “Though teaching has attracted quite a number of young people in recent years, today, many of the most creative and brilliant educators are leaving the profession. Also, there is increased classroom size and very high students to teacher’s ratio. “Great teachers receive far less than they are worth and the economic well-being of the teacher has been broken down by the global and national economic downturns,” she said. She, however, advised teachers to provide students with the highest quality of education possible.
No other profession is greater than teaching. Without the teachers, there will be no engineers who will plan, design and manage the construction of buildings, roads, bridges, communication facilities and other mechanical infrastructures
THE NATION TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 19, 2013
Hawkers take over Abuja streets
HERE is no food for the lazy man. No one knows this better than residents of Abuja where the cost of living is only suitable for the rich. Many of them took to hawking and have since become a ubiquious sight in the nation’s capital. In order to survive, the average residents try their hands on all sorts of businesses-tailoring, transportation, dry-cleaning, car washing, trading, among other things. While some traders have shops, some who do not have mount containers, kiosks or even make shades with umbrellas by the roadside, while some others run after a moving vehicle along with their goods. These diligent traders, unmindful of the implications of selling by the roadside, go about their businesses without the fear of being crushed by a moving vehicle. Worse still, some of them display their goods on the expressway irrespective of the heaps of dirt surrounding them. These road hawkers are never scarce in places such as Deidei Junction, Phase 3 Expressway, Second gate, Zuba, etc. What is surprising is that even young boys who should either be in school or with their parents at home are seen running after vehicles in motion just to sell their goods. They trade varieties of edibles such as gala snack, handkerchief, bottled drinks, fruits, while some others sell car wipers, picture frames, Teddy bears, etc. When our correspondent approached one of the young boys who hawks along Phase 3 Kubwa
XFAM, through its global campaign Grow, Think, Act, has urged secondary school pupils in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) to embrace farming in order to eradicate hunger and poverty. The international non-governmental organisation (NGO) also educated the students of Government Junior Secondary School Kubwa on the importance of nutrition and good feeding. Earlier, art exhibition was held by the secondary school students within the FCT. The initiative was launched in the
From Chioma Onyia
express road, he narrated he kickedoff hawking after the demise of his father 2 years ago. The 11 years old boy who schools in one of the primary schools in Kubwa said his business starts immediately after school and closes by 7pm, adding that he hawks other edibles such as fruits and satchet water. Asked if he is not scared of being hit by a vehicle, he said: “I get scared sometimes but God is my father and he knows my mummy needs this money to train me and my younger sisters in school”. With smiles on his face, he continued: “I get plenty money from this thing I sell and people dash me money. Whenever I give the money to my mother she blesses me and I am happy.” For Mrs. Zitgwai Umar who who sells fruits by Deidei expressway, death is inevitable irrespective of were we are. Her words: “Anywhere you are, if God says your time is up, it is up. So if we are selling on the main road, if God says we will die, there is no way to escape from death. You come for it you go for it”. The fruit seller who seemed fearless of when death calls, revealed that she has witnessed several accidents on Deidei expressway. “I have seen many accidents on this road but what will I do? Are my God? Whenever there is a car accident, I run for my life and still come back because this is the only way I can survive.” Also, a road commuter who plies
•Hawkers from Zuba to Wuse/Berger, Mr. Simon said that he has witnessed a lot of accidents condemn the lives of so many road hawkers. Citing instances, he said: “About three months ago, a trailer that failed break Dankogi, Zuba express road, ran into all these roadside sellers and killed so many of them while some sustained injuries. Again, a car recently hit one of them at deidei junction and from what I saw, I don’t think he would survive it”. Mr. Simon observed that road hawkers see using the pedestrial bridge as tiresome and so suggested that government should
construct wires exactly the same way they did at NICON junction to prevent these hawkers from wasting their lives in the name of making money. For Mr. Shaibu, who sells car parts at Deidei junction, he said it is disheartening for people to sell goods where there are heaps of dirts especially when such goods are edibles. He said that those that sell edibles such as suya, tuwo, masa, awara, Gurasa, Denwake and the like usually come out every evening to sell not minding the dirt surrounding them. According to shaibu Abuja Environmental Protection Board (AEPB)
chase these roadside hawkers who litter everywhere with dirt but they still come back because this is their own way of getting their daily bread. He however praised the AEPB for a job well done but urged them to do more by providing a waste bin where the refuse will be dumped as it is detrimental to the health. He also recommended that government should provide a place, very close to the bus-stop, where the roadside food sellers would sell to hungry passengers, who would rush in to eat, as some of these roadside hawkers are victims of the ongoing demolition in Kubwa.”
NGO trains pupils on food production From Nike Adebowale
country on June, 2011 to promote campaign against hunger. Speaking at the event shortly after the talk show, Gender Officer, Oxfam Nigeria, Mr. Boyowa Roberts said the talk show was meant to enlighten youths on ways to fight poverty and eradicate hunger from the country. Roberts said: “Today, we are hav-
ing what we call the grow talk show where we would be working handin-hand with three government schools. “The essence of this school talk show is to work with young people to raise school heroes. We are going to be working with our partners like association of agro producers in Nigeria to teach the children these farming practices and how to use fertilisers. “The whole essence is to encour-
age youths to take to agriculture and tell them that farming has gone beyond farming with hoes and cutlasses to mechanised farming. Apart from the oil sector, you can make a lot of money and secure your livelihood.” The Coordinating Minister for the Economy and Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala observed the quantity of food imported into the country has continued to dwindle on an annual basis. Okonjo-Iweala said efforts by local farmers were yielding meaningful results as most foods consumed in the country were locally produced. “Nigeria is trying and one way to measure that in economics is to look at the amount of food imports over the years. “The statistics we have shows that food import is going down and this means that domestically, Nigeria is trying to cover up most of the imported foods. This therefore points to the fact that we are doing more in terms of food security,” she said. The minister, who was represented by her Special Assistant, Dr. Emmanuel Nwosu said the country had intensified efforts to achieve food security. She further said it was imperative to educate school children on the
importance of food security so that when they grow, they can develop interest in food production. “This is because, in Africa and most developing world, we have malnutrition problems and one of the MDG goals is to fight hunger and provide food for the population,” she added. However, she observed the challenge in Africa had a lot to do with its growing population, adding that this often leads to food security problems. She said the programme was important as it would help inculcate the right ideas in youths to help combat problems of food security. “There is a lot of work because most people in Nigeria are running away from agriculture. They think that it is just for the old. But when agriculture is taken seriously, we will achieve better results,” she said. The Chief Executive Officer, Speakers’ Corner Trust Nigeria, Ramatu Umar restated that the show was organised to help youth acquire necessary skills to empower themselves. “We also educate them on nutrition, feeding and eating good food. We want young people to grow, think and act in agriculture process,” she added.
The talk show was meant to enlighten youths on ways to fight poverty and eradicate hunger from the country… We are going to be working with our partners like agro producers in Nigeria to teach the children these farming practices and how to use fertilisers •Pupils
THE NATION TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 19, 2013
VER 40 people with facial deformities are to benefit from free-craniofacial surgery in Kwali General Hospital. The week-long free surgery which started last week, was organised by Cleft Care Foundation (CCF), a non-governmental organisation (NGO). CCF is a body of medical practitioners of Maxillofacial surgeons. The founder of the group, Consultant Craniofacial Surgeon Dr. Bello Seidu Adebayo said the free cleft surgery service is to render humanitarian service to the lessprivileged in the society. He added that the outreach which started sometime in March, 2011 is now having in its register a total of 298 patients who have undergone various facial surgeries which include: upper palate, lips and upper cleft separation and other facial deformities. Dr. Bello recalled that among
40 for free face surgery
Stories from Gbenga Omokhunu
three stages of facial ailments, “facial tumor is more expensive to treat and it takes longer days to be operated on.” Addressing the patients who had just finished screening, the maxillofacial surgeon pointed out that it’s good to correct facial ailments between first and second year after a child is born. He said: “The reason is that if such child grows with open upper palate (rooftop of mouth) and it is corrected at such old age, the speech may not be as normal as when treated at early stage of life.” Commenting on the cause of the deformities, Dr. Adebayo said that the cause is not known, noting that the formation of such ailments occur at the early stage of pregnancy. Speaking on possibility of los-
A patient may need CT scan and MIRS. The cost of the two is N150,000, and this must be done before surgery. It is a whole lot of money. Take for instance, we need aesthetic machine for this exercise which costs over N1m. Where do I get it from?
ing contact with his patients since the outreach is not done in a place, Dr. Adebayo pointed at a one-andhalf-year-old baby whose split lip was corrected in March this year. The baby was brought for the second time for upper palate surgery. He further stated that his patients have his phone number with which he could be reached, noting that the team also visits the beneficiaries three months after the treatment. The consultant maxillofacial surgeon therefore called for support from well-meaning Nigerians which he said would go a long way in sustaining the mission. “A patient may need CT scan and MIRS. The cost of the two is N150,
000; and this must be done before surgery. It is a whole lot of money. Take for instance; we need aesthetic machine for this exercise which costs over N1million. Where do I get it from?” he said. Dr. Bello continued: “Although we thank the FCT Administration for allowing us to use their facilities, the cost of bringing or borrowing equipment is high. Philanthropists can come to our aids. Dr. Bello, however, enjoined the Federal Government to establish craniofacial centres where various facial ailments would be specially treated as it is done in India. One of the beneficiaries, William Esan expressed his grati-
Council chief seeks more polling units
HE Independent National Electoral Commission, (INEC) has been enjoined to establish new polling units or extend the existing centres to rural communities in the area councils of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT). Chairman of Gwagwalada Area Council, Alhaji Abubakar Giri gave the advice when he received the FCT Resident Electoral Commissioner, Chief Godwin Kwanga
in his office. Secretary to the Council, Alhaji Usman Yahaya who stood in for the chairman at the meeting said that millions of FCT people in the rural areas are being disenfranchised during elections due to absence of polling units in those areas. He further said that there was a need to increase polling units in Gwagwalada Area Council as regular voters who have come of age
National dialogue gives voice to FCT residents
S if they were eagerly waiting for the constitution of the national dialogue committee to be announced by President Goodluck Jonathan, residents of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) trooped out in their large numbers, struggling and falling over one another. They shoved and struggled for an opportunity to add or change a clause in the proposed National Conference when the Presidential Committee on the national dialogue had its final sitting in Abuja. The venue was filled to capacity with some stakeholders standing and others struggling with security operatives to gain access into the venue with memorandums they clutched dearly as if their lives depended on it. Original inhabitants of the FCT, civil society groups and religious organisations all had the chance to present papers on ideas they believed should be adopted to improve the political and economic fortunes of the country. The fact that the committee informed them that the President had not given them a “no go area” to discuss, enabled residents to speak freely on everything that came to mind including the amount of money that the committee had spent on their tour and a request for a minute silence for the fallen heroes. Many suggested that the terms of the conference should include the calibre of delegates or people allowed to participate and to also disqualify illiterates from the conference. A delegate from the Network of Kogi State Associations even suggested that the President, Vice-
•Deputy President of Radio Television Threatre and Art Workers Union of Nigeria (RATTAWU), Comrade Sunday Jethro; Director-General National Commission for Museums and Monuments, Mallam Yusuf Usman Abdallah and President of RATTAWU, Comrade Olu Bamgbose during a meeting with the management of PHOTO: ABAYOMI FAYESE the National Commission for Museums and Monuments in Abuja From Gbenga Omokhunu and Grace Obike
President, members of the Houses of Assembly and House of Representatives be made to contribute two months of their salaries, including contributions from all Nigerians to the conference. This, the delegate said, would curb corruption when government is allowed to support the project. The Original Inhabitants Association of Nigeria in the FCT suggested that the representation of the FCT by the Senate and House of Representatives be discouraged and the FCT be allowed its own House of Assembly and also for government to resettle and compensate the original inhabitants who had their lands taken away by the government. FCT steering committee on the national dialogue which was represented by the chairman and former Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Umar Moddibo suggested that “the serious problem is the tenure of the
tude to the NGO as he said his boy has been operated on twice and that he came for final operation. He added that the boy could not suck breast since birth owing to the upper palate deformity. Reports have it that the 9th outreach of upper cleft surgery which will end on Saturday this will, among other ailments, treat various facial deformities such as upper palate, lip and upper clefts. A total of 298 patients had so far been operated upon by the Cleft Foundation free with their ailment treated within three years of the outreach.
FCT minister. The provisions of the Constitution says that the governor of the FCT is the President himself and he shall appoint a proxy in the form of a minister. “The minister should be addressed as the administrator of the territory; he should have a fixed tenure of office. Regrettably, since the inception of the FCT, there have only been two ministers who have served for up to four years. “This is not healthy. The ministers should have a fixed tenure of four years. So, you should compel Mr. President to do his selection of ministers based on that; so that the minister will have the chance to see his projects through. It is really important because what if a state has three governors a tenure? You know it will be impossible to plan.” The chairman of the Presidential Advisory Committee on national dialogue, Senator Femi Okuronmu informed the residents that Nigerians have agreed to the conference because they believe that it will lead to a more harmonious and united country where all of us will
be happier, be given a sense of equality and cement our unity. He said: “Nigerians are to decide on what will constitute the agenda of the conference; the size, how many delegates will constitute the conference, how the delegates are to be chosen and the duration of the conference. The legal framework of the conference or platform on which the government will stand and the legal framework on which the decisions of the dialogue will be made part of the Constitution and any other issue Nigerians will want to talk about in relation to the conference. “The acceptance of the conference have been gaining momentum such that even the initial skeptics who were wondering if anything could come out of the National Conference have seen how Nigerians across the country are supporting the idea of the conference. They are beginning to have second thought and have been sending their memorandums secretly to us. “It shows that nobody can stop Nigerians from exercising their rights or to sit at the table and talk
are many in the rural areas. Responding, the Resident Electoral Commissioner said the team was in Gwagwalada on sensitisation campaign to get the co-operation of the people on the scheduled continuous voter registration expected to begin this year in all the area councils of Abuja. He explained that massive awareness would be employed to keep Abuja residents informed of the exercise.
Nigerians are to decide on what will constitute the agenda of the conference; the size, how many delegates will constitute the conference, how the delegates are to be chosen and the duration of the conference. The legal framework of the conference or platform on which the government will stand
about their problems.” Commenting on the several conferences that had been held in the past, a member of the committee, Dr. Abubbakar Sadiq said: “You keep on trying and doing your best. Some of these conferences were nominated by the government. People said their minds especially the last one. But for the fact that some people tried to play funny, the issue of the third term agenda and so forth came in. But if you look at the documents, there were some good things in them. “But in this case, we are going round and people are telling us how it should be done. We write our reports. I’m sure Nigerians will hold the conference. It is a matter of structure. If you look at the terms of reference, what should be the nature of the conference was not clearly stated and then we say Nigerians should tell us if it’s a sovereign national conference, dialogue or just a conference. People have been coming and talking.”
TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 19, 2013
People must insist it is no longer acceptable. I will be at the fore front of those calling for a law to sanitise and restrict the use of convoys. If one officer is going about in fleet of cars, it contributes to environmental degradation and depletion of the ozone layer, adding to the high cost of maintaining such luxury
See page 35
INSIDE: Creating friendly environment for investors
Is Freedom of Information Act working?
‘No longer business as usual in the judiciary’
•The accident scene. Inset: The late Iyayi
The death of renowned university teacher Prof. Festus Iyayi in an accident involving Kogi State Governor Idris Wada’s convoy has again provoked debate on the propriety or otherwise of convoys.Can’t public officers do without convoys? Shouldn’t there be a speed limit to check the drivers’perceived recklessness? Should convoys be abolished or should there be a law to regulate them? PRECIOUS IGBONWELUNDU reports.
Wanted: Laws to regulate convoys
National conference: What role for National Assembly? -Page 36
Why Fed Govt can’t legislate on hotels, restaurants -Page 37
T was not the first time the Kogi State Governor, Captain Idris Wada’s convoy would be involved in an accident. In the first one, which occurred last year, he suffered a broken leg and lost his Aide-DeCamp (ADC ), Idris Mohammed. With that, the public thought the governor’s convoy would be more careful on the road. No, it didn’t. Last week, the convoy was involved in an accident in which frontline university teacher Prof. Festus Iyayi died. The accident occurred at Banda Village on the Lokoja-Abuja Road, while the late Iyayi and others were heading to Kano for a meeting of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU). The late Iyayi was ASUU president between 1986 and 1988. Driving in a convoy is an age-long practice worldwide. It is a perquisite of public officer since many leaders because of their schedules need to attend functions with support staff, sometimes, at short notice. But, that privilege, comes with a sense of responsibility in other climes, has been consistently abused by many Nigerian leaders. Today, many convoy users have become a nuisance to their compatriots as they endanger the lives of others through over-speeding and violating traffic rules. It is always a horrific experience whenever a convoy of any high profile personality is encountered on the road, particularly in a traffic jam. The security men attached would jump down from their vehicles, intimidating other road users with horse whips to pave the way for their bosses, while the vehicles blare deafening sirens. In the last few years, convoys of government func-
tionaries have been involved in accidents, which have left observers wondering the calibre of the country’s rulers. Although some of the accidents are caused by the bad road,the overzealousness of the officials aides is a contributory factor. According to Prof. Mike Ikhariale, from the local government councils to the state governments, through to the Federal Government, the story is the same: multiple ghastly car accidents involving top government officials. Many of the crashes resulted in fatalities. Unfortunately, it is only the Lagos State Road Traffic Laws (LRTL), 2012, that provides for the prohibition of sirens and to check conducts of persons driving, propelling or in-charge of a vehicle on the highways. Section 1(1)(d) provides for the prohibition or restriction of the use of sirens, and the sounding of horns or other similar appliances either in general or during specified hours or in respect of specified area. Although the National Road Safety Law, Cap 141, 2004, made no mention of the use of convoys or sirens, it provides for the prosecution of traffic offenders who exceed the approved speed limit of 100km per hour. However, most of the public officers and their drivers have not been apprehended nor prosecuted by the Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC) for traffic offences, neither have the police arrested them for manslaughter or reckless driving under the Road Traffic Laws, 2004.
Accidents involving public officials’convoys
On April 19, Imo State Governor Rochas Okorocha was involved in an accident with a Mercedez Benz car in Orlu; the convoy of the late Kaduna State Governor, Patrick Yakowa, on Novemeber 12, last yera, while on top speed, killed a young orange seller. Similarly, on January 2, the
police escort vehicle of the Speaker of the Kogi State House of Assembly, Momoh Lawal, collided with a truck at Okene killing the Speaker’s escort, Constable Akeem Lamidi. Still in 2012, the convoy of the Edo State Governor, Adams Oshiomhole, was involved in an accident, leading to the deaths of three journalists, while that of his Nasarawa counterpart, Tanko Al-Makura claimed the lives of three of his aides with many others sustaining various degrees of injury. There was also that of Senator Danjuma Goje in December last year, which, allegedly, ran over one Haruna Maigari and injured two others, in addition to his convoy accident of 2008 while he was governor of Gombe State. Three persons died in the said accident. In early 2011, five people, including Katsina State Governor Ibrahim Shema’s ADC, Aminu Ibrahim, died in an accident involving the governor’s convoy. The Deputy Governor of Gombe State, David Albashi, died in a hospital in Germany, on November 3, 2011, following injuries he sustained in an accident in August of the same year. The convoy of Senator Ajayi Boroffice of Ondo State was, likewise, involved in an accident in which a 58-year-old woman reportedly died. There was also that of Delta State Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan, at Ibusa. In 2005, the convoy of former Governor of Ogun State Gbenga Daniel was involved in an accident in which five journalists died, while in 2007, six aides of the then Niger State Governor, • Continued on page 30
THE NATION TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 19, 2013
LAW COVER CONT’D •Continued from page 29
Abdulkadir Kure, died in another convoy accident. Nine others, including eight journalists, lost their lives in a similar accident that involved the convoy of former Plateau State Governor Joshua Dariye. The list is endless. Former Edo State Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice Chief Charles Uwensuyi-Edosomwan(SAN) observed that there have been too many needless deaths caused by reckless government VIP convoys for those concerned to sit down, take a deep breath and sensibly review their own conduct and responsibility as they relate to it. First, the whole thing has deviated from security concerns for VIPs to just costly ego trips. The longer, rougher and more reckless the convoy, the more reflective of the personage. Everyone from governors, federal and state legislators to ministers and local government councillors are guilty of this phenomenon and they go about it with raucous abandon to the detriment of other road users. “I don’t know any law that justifies the crazy speeds, the hair-raising overtaking or passing at dangerous bends, bridges and slopes. One needs to see the scary sight of a 30 vehicles-long convoy speeding without care, overtaking on pothole-ridden highways to experience a kind of fear that would churn the pit of one’s stomach. The question one often asks is: why don’t the concerned VIPs see the need for them to bring their convoy drivers to obey traffic laws? Another would be: why so many vehicles in their convoys? “It isn’t hard to see that the FRSC are too puny and helpless to take on a ravaging state governor’s convoy. So, I don’t believe the FRSC can do anything about this menace on the highways,“ he said. He pointed out that Iyayi’s death just as those of many that have died from convoy accidents was avoidable and the irreparable loss to his family, colleagues and the country ought to be an epiphany to all that power drunkenness should not be a feature on our highways.
What has been done?
Disturbed by the frequent accidents involving convoys of public officials, the FRSC had, in the last two years, organised special trainings for the drivers. According to FRSC’s boss, Osita Chidoka, about 300 of the 700 drivers who participated in the training were not licensed. The report issued after the trainings indicated that 241 drivers suffered from high blood pressure while some had various sight problems – astigmatism, myopia, hypermetropia and other eye-related issues. The commission also disclosed that most of the state governors did not allow their drivers to participate in the exercise, including Captain Wada, who has reportedly ordered the training of the state’s drivers following last week’s accident. The FRSC further claimed it has developed a category of driver’s licence for convoy drivers to ensure that every convoy driver must be trained for this special assignment, though there is no law backing such a policy.
The way out
Observers believe it is time the Federal and state governments toed the steps of Lagos by enacting viable laws that will regulate the use of convoys. Some have insisted that it was a waste of taxpayers’ fund which should be abolished. Lagos State Governor Babatunde Fashola (SAN) expressed deep concern over the arbitrary use of sirens by convoys of public officeholders. He described the practice as an abuse of office. It is wrong for public officials to constitute themselves into a nuisance with their movements. It amounts to terrorising the people who elected them, said Fashola. “Let us get rid of all these sirens. We use this thing around all the time as if we are in a perpetual state of emergency. From the day I became governor, I have not used sirens and I do not intend to use it because I detest noise. I have told my (state) commissioners that they will be sacked if they do it. People elect us as their leaders to manage public transport on their behalf and we (now) choose to escape from it with the arbitrary use of sirens. I think the practice is an abdication of duty,” said Fashola at a function last week. Chief Niyi Akintola, SAN, argued that the recklessness has persisted because Nigerians have not challenged these officials. “A leader is first and foremost a citizen and no law permits any citizen to go against traffic or drive recklessly. It is about attitudinal change and leadership. “Nigerians need to keep challenging them. If they try to intimidate people in traffic, people should resist it. Stay put and if they hurt or damage anyone’s vehicle, drag them to court.
Wanted: Laws to regulate convoy “Only police vans and ambulance are permitted to drive against traffic. So, people should fight the lawlessness out,” he said. To Mohammed Dele Belgore (SAN), convoys for governors are not a bad thing but the lengths are bad and wasteful. He said a three to four vehicle convoy should be sufficient. “Also convoys should be orderly and must only be used on the strict condition that it would obey the road traffic laws. The laws that apply to other road users - maintaining speed limits, maintaining certain distances between vehicles, overtaking, driving on the right side of the road, respecting other road users’ right of way, etc must apply to public officials’ convoys. “I have been at a traffic light with a British prime minister’s two vehicle convoy once in London. They were totally unobstrustive. Our leaders must not use convoys as a tool of oppression. “Much depends on the user of the convoy. The fact that unsavoury incidents are recurring with the convoy of the same set of people speak volumes about those people’s perception of their position and the rights of other road users,” Belgore said. Education Rights Campaign (ERC), in a statement to mourn Prof. Iyayi, called for the abolition of convoys. It said Iyayi’s death would have been avoided if roads are safe for travelling and governors and other elected officials stop their habitual recklessness and disrespect for the rights of other road users. ‘‘According to a report by the Federal Road Safety Corps, an average of 11 people were killed daily in road accident across Nigeria in 2012. The deaths occurred in 6,269 road traffic crashes. ‘‘Combined with this is the “big-man” elitist mentality of corrupt government officials like Governors, lawmakers and Ministers who once they assume the mantle of leadership immediately become uncomfortable with their old humble means of transportation and now junket about in convoys of ten cars or more, blaring sirens wildly and deliberately driving recklessly along roads thus terrorising ordinary Nigerians who supposedly voted them into office. ‘‘The Kogi State Governor’s convoy was responsible for this accident. According to records this is one accident too many by the Kogi State Governors’ convoy. We demand
appropriate disciplinary sanctions within the ambit of law for the driver in the convoy who was responsible for this accident. ‘‘However, while the driver is a small fry, the capitalist ruling elite comprising Governor Wada and all other governors and government officials who have penchant for long convoys are the main culprit. ‘‘The ERC demands abolition of convoys. It is an unconscionable waste of public funds. In a rational society where there is socio-economic justice, efficient and comfortable means of mass transportation and security of lives is guaranteed and there will be no reason for an individual to move around in convoy of several vehicles. ‘‘The only reason public office holders have to go around in convoys is to screen and protect themselves from possible backlash from the hopelessness and mass misery in the midst of abundance which their neo-liberal capitalist economic policies have created in society. Over 100 million Nigerians are poor in a population of 170 million. Logically, the one per cent who have created this unjust condition can only move about successfully with “adequate” security which long convoys provide. This to us stresses all over again the need for a revolutionary transformation of society. But Executive Director, Accident Prevention and Rescue Initiative Fidelis Nnadi said the law enforcement agencies must make regulations that will eliminate poor quality drivers from the steering. He said speed checkpoints should be established by the FRSC and its counterparts on major highways and roads to apprehend and prosecute violators. ‘‘There is urgent need that penalties for road safety violators should be reviewed to include a life ban for any driver guilty of fatal accident that involves life. The administration of motor vehicle in states should be vigorously implemented,’’ Nnadi said. Human rights lawyer Bamidele Aturu said the one too many accidents was enough reason for a clamour to put an end to convoy use. ‘‘It is a matter that can create basis for Nigerians to demand a stoppage of convoy use but I am sceptical those people at the National Assembly, may not be willing to pass such law because they are culpable. ‘‘The convoy craze is an empty pomposity and madness caused by the undue privatisation of the country by the elites. They feel they own
Nigeria and everything in it and so, let everyone else fly into the bush when they are passing. ‘‘People must insist it is no longer acceptable. I will be at the fore front of those calling for a law to sanitise and restrict the use of convoys. If one officer is going about in fleet of cars, it contributes to environmental degradation and depletion of the ozone layer, adding to the high cost of maintaining such luxury. ‘‘So, I suggest that no public official should go about in a convoy of more than three carsan ambulance, the official vehicle and a bus to convey all other personnel in his fleet. A Lagos lawyer Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa said they should be allowed additional vehicles not exceeding two when on official journeys. ‘‘A code of conduct must be established, for the running and maintenance of such convoy. They must, for instance, comply with all road traffic regulations, so that they do not constitute any threat to other road users. ‘‘Such convoy, must not engage in the molestation of other motorists, or otherwise conduct themselves, in manner that may be inconsistent with the dignity and honour, expected of the office of the governor, or other head of the convoy. ‘‘Furthermore, the FRSC should, as a matter of urgency, draw out rules and regulations to guide the movement of convoys. Being an exception to the usual traffic regime, there must be an official template, to judge thugs and such other criminal elements, who violate and abuse extant traffic regulations, in the name of convoy. It is not enough for FRSC officials to just sit in their offices and be apportioning blames. It should drive the process of sanitizing the movement and deployment of convoys by public officers. In this instant case, it is important for the governor of Kogi State, to examine himself, to purge his fleet of reckless and lawless drivers and security operatives, who accompany him. Surely, His Excellency could not be drunken with the allure of power, to be putting his life and other law abiding road users, in danger of their lives, two times in a tenure. And going by the unguarded reactions of the governor’s spokesperson, there must have been other occurrences, of fatal accidents, attending His Excellency’s very frequent trips that have not been reported. Another lawyer Tope Alabi said nothing is wrong with the use of convoy, but the problem lies with the users. ‘‘The manner should be checked. In the first place, driving convoy requires specified expertise and demonstrable competence. How expert is the driver? Is the driver not under any influence of alcohol? Is the driver well informed on the rules guiding the operation/ driving of convoy? Is the driver aware of the legal implication of reckless driving of the convoy? ‘‘All these questions and observations are to be answered and noted. The Governor of Lagos State should be emulated because he uses his convoy in a civilised manner and does not pose danger to the members of the public neither does he use/blow siren. ‘‘He always plies the road like a common man. When there is hold up, he stays and endures same like a common man. The other governors can follow his examples in the use of convoy. If this is done, then, safety is sure. Lagos lawyer Akanwa Theopilus lamented that it is most unfortunate that most of our leaders have failed to lead by example. “In fact, they have exemplified lawlessness much more than the led and I consider this highly insensitive. Use of siren and long convoy of cars by a public officer is not necessarily a matter of law, but of choice. The governor of Lagos State has limited number of cars in his convey and does not go on siren. He patiently stays in traffic like every other Nigerian. But when our president visits a place like Lagos, the route he is to ply must not be used by common citizens until he comes and goes. No body is above the law even the Kogi State governor. He does not have the licence to kill a citizen and nobody has such powers except as provided for by the 1999 constitution of the federal republic of Nigeria”, he said. He advised that the security agencies should gear up to commence a criminal charge of reckless driving and murder against him when he leaves office. This once again affirms the need to urgently abrogate section 308 of the constitution to make way for accountability and good governance. National President Arewa Youth Consultative Forum Yerima Shettima called for a law to limit the speed of public officers, especially while driving in the municipality. According to him, the trend is rather ugly and uncivilised. “A bill should be sponsored at the National Assembly to limit the number of convoy that usually accompany public officials,” he said.
THE NATION TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 19, 2013
LAW & SOCIETY Creating friendly environment for investors
OW can foreign direct investors across Africa be shielded from non-commercial risks in their dealings? It is by entering into Bilateral Investment Treaty (BIT), with the country they intend to invest, according to participants at the International Bar Association (IBA) Conference on Merger and Acquisition and Inward Investment in Africa in Lagos. Their lawyers, the conference said, could help them in that regard. IBA, it said,was a major guarantee against exploitation of foreign direct investors and would ensure the investors were given fair and equitable treatment. While noting that terrorism, war, political unrest are inversely proportional to investment opportunities, the participants advocated investment-friendly legislations and corruption-free judiciaries across the continent. The conference, which lasted three days, discussed topics such as investors’protection, transactional issues and capital markets, as well as alternate dispute resolution, Chinese investment in Africa and the oil and gas Industry law. At the conference were Lagos Governor Babatunde Fashola (SAN), who declared the event open; President, Nigerian Bar Association, NBA, Okey Wali (SAN), former Attorney-General of Lagos, Supo Sasore (SAN); co-Chair, IBA African Regional Forum, Mrs. Olufunmi Oluyede; conference coChairs, Gbenga Oyebode and Sergio Sanchez Sole, as well as former Secretary, IBA, Chief Idowu Sofola (SAN); Mrs. Funke Adekoya (SAN); Afolabi Caxton-Martins; David Glennie; Guy Harles; Richard Harney and Rebecca Major, among others. Wali in his speech said that apart from mergers and acquisitions, there are other reforms and development measures being put in place in Africa to ensure continuous inward investment and protection of investors. He noted that economic integration at the global level has pushed nations to change their laws and legal processes on merger and acquisitions, adding: “Not only is there greater pressure for efficient enforcement of laws, but there is also the need to rewrite legislations to conform to regional and international standards. “As Africa labours to become more attractive to foreign investors, it becomes clear that an inefficient judiciary may repel potential investors. One clear factor that investors consider when rating a country is whether they will have access to suitable mechanism by which to resolve disputes.”
By Precious Igbonwelundu and Joseph Jibueze
According to Wali, Africa has been undergoing tremendous transformation economically, socially and politically. Within each of the 54 countries, a renaissance is occurring, energising citizens to take the next steps into Africa’s future. “The International Monetary Fund (IMF) sees sub-Saharan Africa’s projected economic growth of 5.4 per cent in 2013 and 5.7 per cent in 2014, as evidence that the continent’s economies are thriving at sustainable growth rates. “Beyond the economy, evidence of the renaissance is showing up in access to health care, education and increase in Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) and partnerships, which have strengthened existing institutions. “African governments have begun to adopt investment-friendly policies and incentives to attract and encourage more private sector participation and in some cases leadership in our economies “In many African countries, legal frameworks in the area of capital market, oil and gas, foreign investments, arbitrations, mergers and acquisitions are being deployed, to encouraging the inflow of foreign investment, underpinning economic growth” Wali said. In her welcome address, Oluyede said Africa has become the beautiful bride, being wooed and courted globally. She noted that corporate finance, merger and acquisition events in the continent have continued to make world headlines. She said: “IBA conferences are not jamborees as is the case with this regional conference. They are meticulously planned and the topics for discussion carefully chosen with the needs of our society in mind. “Lawyers are after all social engineers too and must remain relevant to their environment if they are to remain economically buoyant. Attendance at these conferences should be taken seriously by serious-minded practitioners globally.” She described as distractive and unproductive, the debate on the impropriety of large contingents of Nigerian lawyers at IBA conferences, arguing that only the lawyers, who pay their bills to the conferences are better placed to state if they get value for their money. “The constructive debate should be on how to ensure that more members of these large delegations are involved at the very soul of the conferences. “Not only should more lawyers attend IBA conferences, but more of such conferences should be held in Nigeria... in particular, the IBA annual convention,” Oluyede said.
•Fashola and Wali
•From left: Sole, Mrs Oluyede and Harles
•From left: Sofola and Adekoya
•From left:Major and Glennie
A Lagos lawyer OLAWALE ADEBAMBO, in this piece, reviews the provisions of Section 12 (1) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) vis-à-vis the 3rd Alteration (s254 C (2))
Domesticating international treaties
•AGF Mohammed Adoke (SAN)
ECTION 12 (1) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 dealing with treaty domestication is, in this writer’s view, clear in its terms; it provides one mode by which a treaty might be made a part of Nigerian law. The specific wording of the section is: “No treaty between the Federation and other country shall have the force of law except to the extent to which any such treaty has been enacted into law by the
National Assembly”. What this means is that any treaty to which Nigeria has chosen to bind itself internationally (the powers of the President under the Treaties (Making Procedure, etc) 1993) and under which it has rights, that to attain a local enforceability status such a treaty must be subjected to a process; to wit: section 12(1)/an Act of the National Assembly. Again, in the writer’s view, this is all clear. Yet, notwithstanding that clarity, an element of uncertainty is hovering over this aspect of our jurisprudence. In a word, arguments are being advanced that whether or not a treaty might be taken advantage of in Nigeria is a matter not exclusively a matter for section 12 (1). It suffices to say that the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (Third Alteration) Act 2010, more particularly, section 254(c), and arguments along lines of indirect/implied domestication (a form of domestication by reference) are at the centre of this piece. “The Committee on Agreements is a new Committee of the House [of Representatives]; it was established by the seventh Assembly in response to the not encouraging
way and manner in which issues of treaties are being handled in the nation”, are the words of the Hon. Dayo Bush-Alebiosu, the Chairman, House Committee on Treaties and Bi-lateral Agreements made in the course of a recent interview. In adding that “…section 12 (1) says no treaties shall be binding unless it has force of law and has been domesticated by the National Assembly; which means it has to be municipalised and become a part of our law”, his concern was that the actuality (regarding the applicability of treaties) was not in consonance with the law; Section 12 (Businessday November 5, this year). In truth, concerns of the kind expressed by the Honourable Chairman are not new. However, now coming from our lawmakers themselves, suggests that the state of affairs has become critical. In other words, notwithstanding pronouncements of the Supreme Court down from the locus classicus Abacha v Fawehinmi (2001) WRN Vol 51, 29, to the more recent case of The Registered Trustees of National Association of Community Health Practitioners of Nigeria v Medical Health Workers of Nigeria (2008) 2NWLR (Pt 1072) 575, the man-
ner in which Treaties are being handled is, borrowing the Chairman’s words, not encouraging at all. In fact, from the perspective of this writer the state of urgency has moved beyond critical and we shudder to articulate what we see ahead. What informs these views? Well, as already indicated, the interpretations being placed on section 245C (2), among others. Another is the idea that seems to be gaining ground that a Treaty need not be wholly enacted to be justiciable in our courts. An example of the former played out in a ‘dispute’ mediation recently (involving A (a trade union) and B (an employer). The implied view of the third party mediator was that by virtue of the third amendment, seeing as the treaty in question had been ratified, the change in the law (s254C(2)) meant it was automatically domesticated. It suffices to say that his decision (effectively mandating the parties to reach an agreement; as required under Law, apparently) is quite alarming. •To be continued next week
THE NATION TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 19, 2013
LEGAL OPINION Despite the penalties in the Freedom of Information Act 2001, which are aimed at ensuring compliance with the law, MONDAY UBANI, chairman, Nigeria Bar Association (NBA) Ikeja Branch believes that its enforcement is difficult because it contains more denial sections than those conferring right to information access.
Is Freedom of Information Act working?
•Continued from last week PPLICATION to the Court under this Act shall be determined summarily. More over, and happily too, the burden of proof where a public institution denies an application for information lies squarely on the shoulder of that public institution. The power of judicial review of the actions of those authorised to supply information makes this Act an interesting one. No one should be a judge in his own case. We have had instances where public servants act with impunity and because there is no other authority to examine their actions, they have often got away with it. Here the court will look at the reasons advanced for refusal or why the public institution have failed to act. The court shall order any institution to disclose the information or part thereof to the applicant: (a) If the court determined that the institution is not authorised to deny the application for information. (b) Where the institution is so authorised, but the court nevertheless determines that the institution does not have reasonable grounds on which to deny the application or; (c) When the court makes a finding that the interest of the public in having the record being made available is greater and more vital than the interest being served if the application is denied in whatever circumstance. Of importance and should be mentioned is the protection against civil or criminal prosecution by the Act of public officers in disclosing any information in good faith and they shall not suffer for any consequences that flow from that disclosure, even where and when such public officer becomes a whistle blower and without bad faith discloses to any person an information which he reasonably believes to show: (a)A violation of any law, rule or regulation (b) Mismanagement, gross waste of funds, fraud, and abuse of authority or; (c) A substantial and specific danger to public health or safety notwithstanding that such information was not disclosed pursuant to the provision of this Act. Finally no civil or criminal proceedings shall lie against any person receiving the information or further disclosing it. The other remaining sections deal with reporting and submission of reports of disclosure and denials to appropriate Authorities. The AG of the Federation and the National Assembly are the Authorities empowered by this Act to ensure compliance of this wonderful Act.
Challenges and prospects
The signing into law of the freedom of information bill is a victory for transparency, accountability, democracy and good governance in Nigeria. We are welcomed to the age where many files marked ‘Top Secret’ by government offi-
cials can now be made available to ordinary Nigerians under the Freedom of Information Act. Now we can know how much is awarded for the perennial and unending repairs called ‘patchpatch’ on the Benin-Ore road. We now can know how much is spent on importation of fuel and how much is paid as subsidy by NNPC. Perhaps, we can now know how much our Governors and even the President collect as security votes monthly. We can now know finally how much our Legislators earn as annual salaries, their allowances, and other perks of office. The list is endless. We now can know. However we must watch out. The Nigerian public officer does not posses the culture of being subjected to public scrutiny – they do not tolerate it. Two recent examples by the Nigerian public officers will suffice here. Governors who declared their assets recently with the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB) declined to make it available to the public on the ground that the Code of Conduct Act did not mandate them to make their declaration public. The CCB Act seems to go contrary to the FOI Act which makes access to information mandatory. Contrary to the Freedom of Information Act, the Code of Conduct Bureau maintained that members of the public may not have access to details of assets declared by Governors or other public Office holders, on the ground that the document still contains personal information. Hear the Secretary of the Code of Conduct Bureau, Alhaji Alhassan Ibrahim: “I will need judicial interpretation to be able to decide whether to disclose the present value of assets declared by public office holders to any member of the public. The same FOI Act exempted public institutions from giving out personal information. Much of the information we have on the asset declaration form is personal and of course assets belonging to the wife or husband of the public office holder which is a third party is protected by the FOI Act from being given to the public”. He declared with finality “anyone may apply for information on asset declaration but we need our legal department’s approval to give out such information”. We are in for a big trouble with this kind of attitude. We all know instances where elected political office holders declare in advance what they set out to steal in office in their assets declaration forms. They declare homes in America, UK, France, Bahamas, etc., they are yet to acquire by future stealing. We also know they steal and use their spouses and children’s names to acquire assets and properties. Yet somebody will tell me that it is a private information for which the public is entitled not to have information. We await eagerly the interpretation of the courts on this issue soon. The second instance is the recent mockery made of an applicant from Niger State, who wanted to know how much Governor Babangida Aliyu, collects as security vote. Remember that Governor Kwankwaso of Kano has another name for security votes. He said it is pure stealing by public
officers. Alhaji Aliyu boasted that he took time to ridicule the applicant’s letter. According to him, the man had the cheek to ask that the information be sent to him within 14 days. He went further outlining a number of apparently outrageous demands with which his office could hardly have been expected to comply. Is somebody sensing danger with this new law? That has always been the attitude of Nigerian public officers. They detest openness and transparency due to their corrupt ways. Corruption of course thrives in secrecy. Those in darkness will never love light. That Nigeria is corrupt is not a matter of public debate; that the evil doers will want it to remain like that is known to every Dick Tom and Harry. Therefore, their recourse to sadism, reluctance, impunity and obnoxious attitude of frustrating the smooth implementation of this piece of legislation should never be in doubt. Remember that the Official Secret Act was not repealed by this new Act. Eneke the bird had advised that since men have learnt to shoot without missing, he the bird has learnt to fly without perching. Vigorous advocacy, stubborn demand for observance of this law and persistent and consistent perseverance by the Nigerian populace for transparency and accountability in governance is the only panacea for the full and due implementation of this wonderful first step in enthroning transparency in the government. It is clearly in the interest of the public officers that Nigerians should be carried along in governance, things that pertain to their daily lives. Governance is a social contract involving the governed and those in the government. When participation, knowledge, and involvement of the people are denied, it looses every form of contract. The consequence is that anarchy and evil is loosened upon the land, and no one can be safe in that kind of a nation. Part of what the nation is suffering today stems majorly from lack of transparency in governance and the pervasive corruption of public officials. We demand change of ways if this country must survive.
Access to information is key to democratic governance. It must be recognised that public bodies do not hold information for themselves or for the sake of holding it, rather, it is for the benefit of all members of the public. It is for the sake of good governance. People at all levels should be aware of what government is doing or not doing at any point in time in the spirit of accountability and transparency. The nation stands to gain tremendously from a law like this that guarantees the right to access public held information. Openness in governance engenders just and good government; and just and good government brings about joy, happiness, and positiveness of attitude of the people to the government in particular and to the nation in general. America and some of the European countries demonstrate clear examples of what transparency in government has
done to those societies. You can drive freely in the day and night, there is relative safety, there is exhibition of love and mutual respect as a result of government putting the people first in policies and administrations, and empowering the people to participate in policy making processes and decisions that affect their lives. Though this law has its pluses and minuses, it is still better than nothing. We recommend that this law needs to be domesticated by all the state governments in all the states to ensure its full impact in good governance. If this is done some of us will begin to know how much actually the state government releases to local governments from the compulsory joint state/local government accounts wrongly imposed by the 1999 constitution upon Nigerians, and several other malfeasance and corruption committed by state and local governments. The numerous prospects inherent in this law can only be realised if vigorous workshops, seminars, trainings, dissemination of information to the grassroots, and community based organisations are embarked upon to enlighten the entire populace of the provisions of this law. As private Nigerians are to be educated on the new law, so also it is recommended that public officers should be given pervasive trainings and teachings and re-orientation seminars on the importance of obedience and adherence to the letter and spirit of this law. Finally, an active judicial arm willing, ready, possessing the capacity and integrity to shoot down oppressive and impunitive refusals and denials of access to information is what we need to ensure full and adequate implementation with the inherent consequences of good governance, provisions of infrastructures, general well being and international respect to us as a nation. It is only when we do this and succeed in getting everyone to know and obey this new law we can go home and say it is uhuru. The point for now, fellow Nigerians - it is not yet uhuru. •Concluded
Falana threatens IG, others with contempt
CTIVIST lawyer Mr Femi Falana (SAN) has urged Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr. Mohammed Adoke (SAN) to advise the Inspector-General of Police (IG) to desist from interfering with the fundamental rights of Nigerians to hold meetings and convene rallies. Reacting to the police cancellation of a colloquium on Freedom of Information convened by the Anti-Corruption Network, Falana threatened to file contempt proceedings against the IG and other police officers, who are allegedly treating the orders of the
Federal High Court and the Court of Appeal with disrespect. The activist described the cancellation of the colloquium scheduled to hold in Abuja by the police as a breach. He accused the police of dispersing all the local and international participants, including the Speaker of the House of Representatives as well as the representatives of the Senate President, Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, the President of the National Industrial Court, the Chief Judge of the Federal Territory High Court, the Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), the chairman, National Orientation Agency and diplomats from several embassies who gathered for the event at the NICON Luxury Hotel, Abuja. He pointed out that the Police, by their action, has once again given the dangerous impression that the Federal Government has declared a war against organisations and individuals that are committed to the fight against corruption and abuse of office in Nigeria. He drew the attention of the IG to the case of All Nigeria Peoples Party versus Inspector-General of Police (2006) to butress his point. He said: “Having regard to the break-up of
By Adebisi Onanuga
meetings and disruption of peaceful rallies by the police in recent time, we are compelled to urge you to draw the attention of the Inspector-General of Police to the case of All Nigeria Peoples Party v. Inspector-General of Police (2006) CHR 181 where the Federal High Court (Per Chinyere J) granted the following orders: “1.That the requirement of the police permit or other authority for the holding of rallies or processions in Nigeria is illegal and unconstitutional as it violates section 40 of the 1999 Constitution and Article 11 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights (Ratification and Enforcement) Act (Cap 10) Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 1990. 2. That the provisions of the Public Order Act (Cap 382) Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 1990, which require police permit or any other authority for the holding of rallies or processions in any part of Nigeria is illegal and unconstitutional as they contravene Section 40 of the 1999 Constitution and Article 7 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights (Ratification and Enforcement) Act (Cap 10) Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 1990. 3.That the defendant is not competent under
the Public Order Act (Cap 382) Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 1990 or under any law whatsoever to issue or grant permit for the holding of rallies or processions in any part of Nigeria. 4.And I make an order of perpetual injunction restraining the defendant whether by himself, his agents, privies and servants from further preventing the plaintiffs and other aggrieved citizens of Nigeria from organising or convening peaceful assemblies, meetings and rallies.” “Dissatisfied with the judgment of the Federal High Court the Inspector-General of Police filed an appeal at the Court of Appeal. In affirming the said judgment the Court of Appeal said inter alia: “If as speculated by law enforcement agents that breach of the peace would occur our Criminal Code has made adequate provisions for sanctions against breakdown of law and order so that the requirement of permit as a conditionality to holding meetings and rallies can no longer be justified in a democratic society. “Finally, freedom of speech and freedom of assembly are part of democratic rights of every citizen of the Republic; our legislature must guard these rights jealously as they are part of the foundation upon which the government itself rests.”
THE NATION TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 19, 2013
FROM THE COURT The confusion in the ruling People’s Democratic Party (PDP) got compounded with the November 6 judgment by the Court of Appeal, Abuja, reversing the earlier sack of former Osun State governor, Olagunsoye Oyinlola, as the party’s National Secretary. While Oyinlola has continued to lay claim to victory, the party’s leadership has refused to reinstate him. ERIC IKHILAE chronicles the party’s journey to what now seems a stalemate.
LAW AND PUBLIC POWER
Oyinlola: PDP’s journey to a stalemate
HE internal wrangling in the rul ing People’s Democratic Party (PDP) assumed a confusing dimension with the November 6 judgment by the Court of Appeal, Abuja. The appellate court had, by the judgment, voided an earlier decision by the Federal High Court, Abuja, sacking former Osun State governor, Olagunsoye Oyinlola as the party’s National Secretary. The confusion created by the latest judgment further polarised the party in view of the inability of its leadership to devise an ingeniously way of managing the situation that resulted from the judgment. While the pro-Oyinlola camp, comprising mainly those in the new PDP are insisting that the former Osun State governor should be allowed to resume office by virtue of the appellate court’s judgment, the leadership of the core PDP argued otherwise, thereby creating what appears a stalemate. With both camps sticking to their positions, the situation may persist until the Supreme Court decides the appeal now initiated by the Ogun State PDP against the November 6 judgment. The journey to this deadlock began last year with a dispute within the Ogun chapter of the party, between a camp controlled by former President Olusegun Obasanjo and another loyal to controversial businessman, Buruji Kashamu. With the help of the court, the Buruji Kashamu camp triumphed and took control of the party’s leadership, leading to its installation of an executive council (with Adebayo Dayo as chairman and Semiu Sodipo as secretary). While the Kashamu camp was in court, and despite an order by a Federal High Court in Lagos directing parties not to take any further steps, but await the outcome of a suit challenging the process adopted by the Ogun PDP in choosing its delegates for the then impending Southwest zonal congress, the Southwest leadership of the party proceeded to hold the congress in March, last year in Osogbo, Osun State. The congress produced many Obasanjo’s loyalists as the party’s national officers, including Oyinlola as National Secretary, Bode Mustapha as National Auditor and former Ekiti State governor, Segun Oni as Deputy National Chairman, Southwest. The Kashamu camp proceeded to challenge the conduct of the congress and urged the court to void it, a prayer the Federal High Court in Lagos granted. Also in another case, the court equally held that the Southwest congress was wrongly held. Armed with two judgments, the Dayo-led exco of Ogun PDP urged the
court to proceed to sack those who became the party’s national officers by virtue of their nomination at the voided congress. Oyinlola immediately appealed the judgments before the Court of Appeal, Lagos. But surprisingly, the Bamanga Tukur-led national leadership of the party later withdrew the appeal initiated by Oyinlola in Lagos. Having found that the congress was wrongly held, the now sacked Justice Charles Achibong of the Federal High Court, Lagos proceeded to sack Mustapha and ordered his replacement by a nominee of the Dayo-led exco. In Abuja, a similar incident played out when on January 11, this year, Justice Abdulkadir Abdulkafarati of the Federal high Court, Abuja sacked Oyinlola. The plaintiffs in the suit in Abuja Dayo and Sodipo (chairman and secretary of Ogun PDP) - had prayed the court to determine “whether the candidacy of Oyinlola as a nominee of the South West Zonal Chapter of the PDP and his consequent election to the office of National Secretary at the National Convention in March 2012 were not invalid, null and void by reason of the order and judgments of the Federal High Court made respectively on April 27, 2012 in suit no FHC/L/CS/ 282/2012 and May 2, 2012 in suit no FHC/L/CS/347/2012 nullifying the South West zonal congress of March 2012 from which Oyinlola emerged or ought to have emerged?” Although Oyinlola and the PDP objected to the court hearing the case by challenging the plaintiffs’ locus standi, the court’s jurisdiction, and arguing that the issues raised were within the party’s internal affairs, Justice Abdulkafarati held in favour of the plaintiffs. Oyinlola appealed the decision at the Court of Appeal, Abuja; an appeal the appellate court decided on November 6 and voided the appellant’s earlier sack by the trial court. The Court of Appeal, Abuja held that the judgment which the Federal High Court, Lagos relied on to remove Oyinlola was not binding on him because he was not a party in the suit. It further held that the judgment of the Federal High Court, Abuja, was null and void because Oyinlola was denied fair hearing in the suit the Lagos court relied on to sack him. The appellate court also held that the judgment of the Federal High Court, Abuja, could not stand because the suit which led to the order was a multiplicity of action and therefore constituted an abuse of court process. It noted that the suit was the third one filed by the plaintiffs to enforce the judgment of the Federal High Court, Lagos, which nul-
lified the Southwest zonal congress. The court also observed that Oyinlola had already filed a motion for stay of the Lagos judgment at the Court of Appeal, Lagos, as at when the Dayo-led Ogun PDP exco filed the suit which culminated in the Justice Abdulkafarati’s judgment of January. In the appeal it filed at the Supreme Court on November 7, the Dayo-led Ogun PDP faulted the November 6 decision by the Court of Appeal, Abuja. The Ogun PDP, represented by Dayo and Sodipo, wants the apex court to sustain Oyinlola’s sack by reversing the judgment of the Court of Appeal on the ground that the appellate court erred in its decision. It has also prayed the apex court to stay execution of the Court of Appeal judgment pending the determination of its appeal. In a notice of appeal, the appellant raised four grounds of appeal. It argued that the appellate court erred in law when it overturned and set aside the January 11 judgment of the Federal High Court, Abuja, sacking Oyinlola. It argued that the Court of Apeal failed, in its judgment, to realise that it lacked the jurisdiction to invalidate/nullify the order made by Justice Abdulkadir Abdulkafarati in Suit No. FHC/L/CS/ 282/2012 “when there was no appeal against that order before it.” The party contended that, in reaching its decision, the appellate court went on a voyage of discovery because there was no appeal or valid complaint against that order before it in the appeal. It argued that the order made by Justice Abdulkafarati was made within the disciplinary jurisdiction of the court in order to restore its ability to deal with the substantive issues raised in the case. The appellant stated that the order was also meant as a punishment for breach of its interlocutory order by respondents in the case, and in that context, was a final order in respect of which Oyinlola could have appealed as an interested party (even though not a party to the action) since the order tangentially affected his interests as a nominee of the invalid South West congress that was nullified by that order. It argued that “the Court of Appeal, Abuja went beyond the remit of its powers under the Constitution and the Court of Appeal Act when it decided to sit on appeal over the order made in Suit No. FHC/L/CS/282/2012 when the appeal filed against the said order had been withdrawn and struck out by the Lagos division of the court”. The appellant further contend that the appellate court misdirected itself on the facts when it found that there were other cases filed to enforce the order made in Suit No. FHC/L/CS/ 282/2012 and then proceeded to conclude that the suit decided by Justice Abdulkafarati was an abuse of process. To the appellant, the finding of the Court of Appeal was contrary to the evidence on the record before it and could only have been a product of speculation. The party argued that the appellate court erred in law when it held that the suit was an abuse of process. It contended that there was no evidence before the court that there were other actions brought between the same parties. The appellant also argued that the Court of Appeal erred in law when it found that Oyinlola had filed an application for stay of the order (made in Suit No. FHC/L/CS/282/2013) at Court of Appeal Lagos division when the suit to enforce the said order was filed and prosecuted. The party contended that the decision of the appellate court on that issue was “a perverse finding of fact as it was based on no evidence and was in fact contrary to the evidence admitted by the 1st defendant (Oyinlola) in the record before the Court of Appeal”.
gabriel AMALU email:firstname.lastname@example.org
Liability for Iyayi’s death
HE sudden death of Prof Festus Iyayi of the University of Benin, a leading member and past president of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), in an accident, involving the convoy of the Kogi state Governor, Idris Wada, has thrown the Union and the academia into mourning. It has also brought to the fore, the criminal negligence of the convoys of government officials, who terrorise other road users, arising from a misguided sense of self-importance. Tragically also, the precarious faiths of the university students, who have been at home for about five months, become even more tenuous, after the hope-rising, following a meeting between the ASUU executives and President Goodluck Jonathan, last week. As government officials are wont to do, the negligent killing of Prof Iyayi, has been attributed to an act of God, even before a thorough investigation is conducted. It may never matter, that his death may have resulted from criminal negligence, or in the least, administrative faux pas. To show how low our so called elites have sunk, Governor Wada was reported to have pleaded with the Federal Road Safety Corps to train his drivers, to avert further accidents, without first accepting vicarious responsibility for the death of Prof Iyayi. In the said report, the FRSC boss, boasted that all other governors whose drivers have been trained by his agency do not get involved in accidents; while he taunted the governor for not sending his drivers for training, to avert accidents. The FRSC boss, according to reports, ended by absolving the convoy from responsibility for the accident, based on a report he claimed to have received from his officials in Kogi. Pray dear reader, if the perennial accidents involving Governor Wada’s convoy, as the Governor and the FRSC chief admitted, were a result of ill-trained drivers in the Kogi State’s employ, is that not an admission that their negligence caused Prof Iyayi his precious life. And if the Professor suffered a sudden heart attack as they now insinuate, arising from the suddenness of the crash, would it not be appropriate to hold the poorly trained driver of the vehicle that crashed into Prof Iyayi’s bus, responsible, for the consequences of his ill-training. Furthermore if a ‘driver’, who is poorly trained, is sent on an official assignment, to drive recklessly (as convoy of public officials drive) in breach of the duty of care to other road users, and the driver causes the death of a road user, would it be far-fetched to insinuate a conspiracy to cause grievous bodily harm, by the state officials. Now, where by a crazy tradition, the Kogi State government driver drives in a dangerous manner, and kills another legitimate road user, like Prof Iyayi; would it not be fair to hold the state government responsible for the death of the erudite university teacher, based on the doctrine of res ipsa loquitur. Indeed, if it can be established that traditionally the convoy of public officials drive in this crazy manner and that the convoy of Governor Wada, has been involved in similar accident in the past, would it not be appropriate for a court upon an action under the relevant Fatal Accidents Law, to award exemplary and aggravated damages in favour of a victim, like Prof Iyayi. Notably, the Supreme Court in Ezeani vs Ejidike, emphasised that exemplary damage should be awarded “in cases of oppressive, arbitrary or unconstitutional acts by government servants”. Again in Makwe vs Nwukor, the Supreme Court laid down the requirements of negligence, to include, “the existence of a duty of care owed to the complainant by the defendant; failure to attain that standard of care prescribed by the law; and damage suffered by the complainant, which must be connected with the breach of duty of care prescribed by law”. The unfortunate incident leading to the death of Prof Iyayi, will likely meet the principles enunciated by the Supreme Court in the two cases, and unless the Kogi State government is willing to settle handsomely out of court, there is the need to test the law in the current instance. Again, there is need to examine the criminal liability of the driver, his bosses and employers in the light of the confession by the Governor, that, his drivers are not well trained. So, I urge relevant authorities, in this instance the police under the guide of the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice to examine the possibility of hauling the ill-trained driver and his accomplices to court for criminal prosecution. They should examine the provisions of the relevant law on acts intended to cause grievous bodily harm and also the provision on conspiracy. No doubt, to send out an ill-trained driver to drive recklessly around town is a clear conspiracy to expose other road users to the possibility of grievous bodily harm. In the meantime, there is the need for Governor Wada to tell his officials to shut up. Last week, some Kogi State health officials claimed that because the late Professor of Business Administration had some hypertensive drugs by his side in the vehicle; that, he may have died from other causes. In a classical case of abuse of patient’s confidentiality, the misguided health officials even named the hypertensive drugs allegedly found beside the dead man, and further claimed that the wound to his chest from the crash may not have reached his heart, as to cause his death. What a tragedy. Instructively, the Governor of Lagos State, Babatunde Fashola (SAN); at a transportation forum, soothingly reminded his colleagues that the use of siren ‘is oppressive and abuse of tax payers’ money’. I add; the resort to crazy convoys to escape the consequences of dilapidated infrastructure is akin to criminal negligence.
THE NATION TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 19, 2013
LAW & SOCIETY Any hope for budding lawyers with the dearth of court cases? The Nigerian Bar Association(NBA) thinks there is. Hence every chapter of the association is mandated to hold a forum yearly to enlighten them on how they can become specialists in an emerging economy. ADEBISI ONANUGA reports
How young lawyers can grow
OR lawyers, the legal profession may no longer be what it used to be. Law yers of old made their mark in court. With the dearth of court cases, young lawyers do not have such chance. What is the way out? They have been advised to look for a sector where they can carve a niche for themselves and become specialists in the field. At an event organised by the Nigeria Bar Association (NBA), Ikeja Branch at the Bar Centre, GRA, Ikeja, speakers noted that times had charged in the profession, urging young lawyers not to despair as all hope was not lost. The event was chaired by Justice Atinuke Fadeke Oluyemi; Pastor Dele Adesina (SAN) was guest of honour. The speakes included the former dean, faculty of Law, University of Lagos (UNILAG), Akoka, Prof. Oyelowo Oyewo; Head of Jurispudence and International Law, Dr. Yemi Oke; while discussants included Mr. Wolemi Esan and Mr. Olumide Apata. Dr. Oke, in his paper, “Discussing the role of young Nigerian lawyers in the new power sector”, counselled young lawyers to take advantage of opportunities in the sector, with the incoming of new investors. He pointed out that lawyers could reverse the quackery prevailent in the sector by drafting and negotiating power sector agreements, taking on prosecution of electricty matters as they affect Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) or consumer protection advocacy. To be effective and efficient in the sector, he advised young lawyers to develop themselves in electricity law by re-training themselves to become specialists. Speaking on legal and constitutional issues they affect electricity, Oke said the Schedule Part II, Concurrent Legislative List, Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (CFRN) 1999, provides in Section 13: The National Assembly may make laws for the Federation or any part thereof with respect to; (a) electricity and the establishment of electric power stations; (b) the generation and transmission of electricity in or to any part of the Federation and from one state to another state; (c) the regulation of the right of any person or authority to dam up or otherwise interfere with the flow of water from sources in any part of the Federation; (d) the participation of the Federation in any arrangement with another country for the generation, transmission and distribution of electricity for any area partly within and partly outside the federation; (e) the regulation of the right of any person or authority to use, work or operate any plant, apparatus, equipment or work designed for the supply or use of electrical energy. He explained that by virtue of paragraph 14, state governments in Nigeria are at liberty to engage in licensing and regulation of electricity subject as provided by the Constitution:
Section 14 of the constitution, he said provides that a House of Assembly may make laws for the state with respect to (a) electricity and the establishment in that state of electric power stations; (b) the generation, transmission and distribution of electricity to areas not covered by a national grid system within that state; and (c) the establishment within that state of any authority for the promotion and management of electric power stations established by the state. In his paper titled: Emerging trends in contemporary legal practice: Insights from corporate practice, Wolemi Esan counselled young lawyers to take interest in the oil and gas sector, which he said presents tremendous opportunities for corporate legal works. He said the sector is the mainstay of the economy. He said that with the on-going restructuring in the power sector and the breaking of the monopoly hitherto being enjoyed by the PHCN, the sector is becoming more and more attractive for business opportunities. He remarked that one key objective of development in the power sector is to ensure power supply to all and government’s intention to step up generation to 400,000 V from 10,000 V, lawyers he said must be prepared to take advantage of the emerging opportunities in the sector. Esan said that clients are looking for strategic thinkers and stressed the need for lawyers to have a deep understanding of the sector in which they want to specialise. He also stressed the need for continuous education for lawyers to keep themselves abreast of developments around them. “If you have a good driver, you won’t want him to go. If you are a strategic thinker, your client would not want to let you go”, he said. Former chairman of the branch Mr. Dosu Ogunniyi advised young lawyers seeking practice in property management to tread carefully in the sector. He said much as the sector is capable making lawyers successful within a short time, “lawyers should be very careful in area of property management because the sector is very slippery and as lawyers we must retain our integrity at all time”. He lamented that contrary to expectations, some lawyers are impoverised. Ogunniyi said he conducted a research and was amazed to discover that some lawyers are earning as low as N30,000 per month in established chambers. “Each time I see a lawyer coming off an Okada (motor cycle), I feel very sorry for such a lawyer,”he said. The former chairman of NBA Disciplinary Committee urged the national body of the association to establish a contingency fund to help young lawyers. In a welcome address, NBA Ikeja, Young Lawyers Forum chairperson, Mrs. Nelly SilverAjalaye, stressed the need for young lawyers to embrace excellence and success in any pursuit, especially legal practice. “As young lawyers, we must always try to improve our professional skills”, adding that this was why the objective of the forum centered on promotion and advancement of continuing legal education among young lawyers.
•From left: Prof. Oyewo and Justice Oluyemi
•From left: Mr. Adesina and Secretary NBA, Ikeja Mr. Adesina Adegbite
•From left: Mr. Esan and Dr. Oke
•From left: Okoloise; Prince Issa Adedokun and Mrs Silver-Ajalaye
UN chief prosecutor urges Africa to embrace peace
HE Chief Prosecutor of United Na tions International Criminal Tri bunal for Rwanda, Justice Hassan Jallow, has urged African countries to prevent internal crisis that would lead to war. He spoke at the launching of a book in honour of former deans of the Faculty of Law, University of Lagos, titled: Among giants, memoirs: Deans of the Faculty of Law, by Great Nwakaibeya in Lagos. He said the peace building was fraught with irregularities, urging the continent to evolve laws that will safe-
By Musa Odoshimokhe
guard the dignity of man in the comity of nations. He said: “We have to learn to do it ourselves and not to wait until crisis come up to destroyed what we have collectively laboured for. We must make sure our laws are adequate to ensure peace building.” He said the mechanism should empower African states to effectively discharge their responsibilities to protect their fellow Africans. Jallow noted that the mechanism must
be able to carry out investigation, tracking and arresting of fugitive, witness protection, handling of sexual crimes and effective court administration. Citing the example of what happened in Rwanda, he said the genocide that took place in the country was done in connivance with a former prime minister and cabinet ministers to annihilate some people because of their ethnic background. He stated that until Africans learn to handle issues of this magnitude with right law that ensure the dignity of man, it might not make progress.
THE NATION TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 19, 2013
LAW PERSONALITY Mrs Nkechi Chukwueke is a member of the Federation of International Women Lawyers (FIDA) and Founder, Child Mother Welfare Development Centre, a non-governmental organisation. A chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Mrs Chukwueke, in this interview with ADEBISI ONANUGA, talks about the reforms in the judiciary, on-going national dialogue, among other issues.
‘No longer business as usual in the judiciary’
As far as we are concerned, the process is on-going, nobody can stop it. So, we should just wait and see what becomes of the dialogue at the end of the day. As the popular saying goes, ‘uneasy lies the head that wears the crown’. If the country breaks during his tenure, he takes the blame and if it is more united and prosperous as a result of the dialogue, he takes the credit.
OOKING at the reforms being carried out by the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Aloma Mukhtar, can you say it has reduced corruption in the judiciary? Yes, the changes and reforms being carried out by the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Mariam Aloma Mukhtar is having the desired effect. And I want Nigerians to rally round her irrespective of whether you are in the legal profession or not because the judiciary is the last hope of the common man. If the judiciary is in trouble, then it affects everyone. She has proven to be a serious minded person with the sole aim of leaving the judiciary far better than she met it. She is prepared to take the bull by the horn no matter whose ox is gored for the interest of justice and for the sake of the legal profession. Many judges have been sacked while some are still under probe. Many judges know that it is not business as usual and that if you are engaged in any corrupt practices, you will be summarily dealt with. She has proven that at the end of her tenure, she will leave a landmark and only pray that these reforms will be institutionalised so that subsequent Chief Justices of Nigeria will continue from where she stopped. The President has agreed to a national dialogue as a panacea to the problems confronting the nation. Do you really think that is the forward? I don’t foreclose anything. I cannot categorically say yes or no because it has not come and gone. If you ask me, I think the national dialogue is rather coming late; but notwithstanding, I think we should give it a trial and see if something good could come out of it. Don’t forget, many Nigerians have been clamouring for this conference for a very long time, with the belief that the conference is the only avenue where Nigerians can discuss the continued basis of their existence as a nation. But the fear being expressed by many is, what will be the outcome at the end of the day? Will the outcome be implemented even if it is not favourable to the government? Will the opinions of the grassroots be heard? Will it really move Nigeria forward and unite all the various ethnic groups we have or will it cause the break-up of the country? I believe the President is the one in charge of the country and he is in the best position to state why he has decided that we should have the conference. Is that really what the country needs?
Your views are different fron that of your party, the All Progressives Congress (APC) that has rejected the dialogue. Your National Leader Bola Tinubu even described it as a Greek gift. Do you also share this view? I just told you that the national dialogue at this point in time is rather coming too late because of its closeness to the 2015 election. With respect to Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, he is a highly respected politician with full grasp of knowledge about the politics of this country. He has been a former senator of the federal republic , two-time governor and now the National Leader of Nigeria’s major opposition political party. I think if that kind of man should give his opinion on an issue, we should listen and listen well. He knows what he saw before rejecting the national dialogue. But my position is that nobody can stop the dialogue at this point because it is ongoing. What I think we should do as good Nigerians is to make our contributions to the panel and see what the outcome will be. Do you really think what we need is a national dialogue or a sovereign national conference? Be it national dialogue or sovereign national conference, I think what Nigerians want is result. We want anything that will move the nation forward. We need anything that will promote the peace and stability of this country. We need what will reduce poverty in the land and ensure that nobody goes to bed hungry. Nigeria is a blessed country, but over the years, we have been plagued with bad leadership which has dragged us backward over the years. So, anything that will assist in moving the nation forward is welcome. Whether you call it dialogue, conference, round table discussion or even town hall meeting, constitution amendment, or fact-finding mission where the opinions of Nigerians will be sought, all we are asking is, how will it return our beloved country to the rightful path? The face-off between the Federal Government and ASUU has dragged on for over four months. What is your solution to this problem? The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) imbroglio can be likened to that of PHCN which many people still refer to as NEPA or even that of NNPC. We keep talking about Nigeria not having a functioning refinery. But the truth is, these refineries are not spirits, so can’t they be fixed? Look at the billions of naira that has been pumped into PHCN by successive governments, yet we are still talking about power failure. Now to the issue of education, it makes my heart bleed because of the sorry state of our educational facilities. While many people have been appealing to ASUU to call off the strike, I think the government too should be able to make promise and stick to it. You see medical doctors embarking on incessant strikes because contracts were made, but a party is reneging. When this happens, the only way for the other party is to down tools or pull out of any business you have. So, it is a two-way thing. ASUU should temper justice with mercy and pity our youths and their parents who have been at the receiving end of this strike, also the government, too, should keep to their words and pay the lecturers their dues.
Do you agree with the view in some quarters that the demands of ASUU are too side? Education should be the number one priority of any responsible government. In fact, it should have the highest vote in the budget. There is nothing as profitable as investing in human capital and you can only do that through the provision of sound and qualitative education to the citizenry. I don’t think the demands of the lecturers are too many. All they are asking for is a conducive environment and improved package to carry out their duties. When they are well taken care of, they will be more productive and motivated to carry out their responsibilities. Even the students will not be able to concentrate under an environment that is not conducive. So, the government should honour the agreement it had with the lecturers. If you promised to give them N4billion and you give them N1billion, I think that is not good enough. At least, even if you don’t have funds, give them half of that amount with a sincere promise to pay the balance. I think the government should be making plans to accommodate the remaining of that money in the new budget. If they can do that, then the society will be able to take sides with the government that they have tried and move against ASUU to call off the strike. As a strong advocate of women holding political office in the country, how would you react to the car scandal involving the Aviation minister? Let me state that there is no justification for what she has done. Inasmuch as more facts are still coming up everyday, we will still wait and see. But to me, what will she be doing with a car of N100million? Will this car fly in the air or what? Even if it is a bulletproof car, she can’t be in it all day long. She will still need to get out of the car to enter her office, to buy things at the supermarket, to attend a meeting and so on. Everything you need to survive as an individual cannot be in the bulletproof car. Security is only in the hands of God; so I don’t see reason somebody should purchase bulletproof cars for their security. Haven’t we seen people walking on the road and just slumped and died? We have seen people walk into their cars and before you know, they are dead and people dragged them out. And eventually, when you leave office as minister, what becomes of you? It may not be her fault that the cars were bought on her behalf, but if anybody tells me that she is not aware of them, that person is not being sincere. As the head of the ministry, she has to take responsibility for anything that is done by the agencies under her. Look at this one, if she is not careful, so many things will be signed in her name and she will not be aware of them. We were told the then DG of NCAA approved the purchase of the cars, but today, whose name is being mentioned all over the world? Oduah’s of course! Don’t you think the minister has created a bad image for women in government and that they cannot be trusted in office? Yes, I feel that way because women are known to be more prudent, compassionate, and as effective managers, so putting all these into consideration, it is expected that a woman who finds herself in any position should live an exemplary life which other women will be proud of. I am not happy as a woman that our name is being dragged into this mess. We are advocating 35 per cent affirmative action, which I think we have not fully actualise and we are even asking for 50 because what a man can do, a woman can even do better. But now, people will say, you are asking for 50 per cent, the ones you are given what have you done with it?
Family asks judge to disqualify self in suit against Lagos govt, others
HE Ojori Iseki Royal Family of Imeke near Badagry in Lagos State has asked Justice Wasiu Animahun, sitting in the Badagry High Court to disqualify himself from adjudicating a matter involving the family, the Lagos State Government and 10 others. Alternatively, the family is praying the judge to withdraw for another judge and for any other orders the court may
By Adebisi Onanuga
deem fit. In an application filed by its counsel Musiliu Okoosi, the family alleged that Justice Animahun is biased against it. Other grounds on which the family based its application are that the court denied it fair hearing when Justice Animahun refused to allow its counsel counter the defendant counsel’s argument in support of a motion to dismiss the
case and notice of preliminary objection The family added that it cannot get justice before the court because of hostility to its case. The family in three affidavits in support of the motion said it had lost confidence in the court It also submitted a November 12 application for transfer of case to the Chief Judge of Lagos State, asking that in the interest of justice and fair play, the matter should be transferred from Justice Animahun to another judge.
THE NATION TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 19, 2013
LAW & SOCIETY Should the National Assembly play any role in the ratification of the national conference resolutions? A lawyer, CHUKWUEMEKA EZE, examines the issues
National conference: What role for National Assembly? W •Continued from last week
HETHER the Constitution mentioned the words “Na tional Conference/Dialogue Like Adams said, there is no provision where the words “National conference/dialogue” have been expressly mentioned. However, a Constitution has its letters and its spirit. Although the words have not been expressly mentioned by the Constitution, they are contained in the spirit of the Constitution. Of course, there is no constitution anywhere in the world that contains expressly all the words, actions or activities of those it regulates. What is important is that the spirit of the Constitution should contemplate such words or activity by any means of interpolation or extrapolation. This is the reason the law has provided various rules of interpretation of statutes to include literal rule, golden rule, ejusden generis rule, mischief rule, and the various maxims. Lest we forget, the 1999 Constitution is an implied Act of the National Assembly, an existing law under section 315 of the 1999 Constitution, and forms the Schedule to Decree No. 24 of 1999. Therefore, it can be subjected to any of these rules of interpretation, where the court finds it necessary. Constitutional provisions supporting convocation of a national conference Sovereignty belongs to the People: Section 14(2)(a) of the Constitution provides: “It is hereby, accordingly, declared that(a) sovereignty belongs to the people of Nigeria from whom government through this Constitution derives all its powers and authorities.” This provision makes it explicit that sovereignty belongs to the people. It, therefore, follows that the people can decide to exercise their sovereign powers in any manner allowed by the Constitution. The Constitution seems to have placed the custody of this sovereign power on the National Assembly. Section 40 of the Constitution guarantees every person the fundamental right to assemble freely and associate with other persons throughout Nigeria. In particular, the person may form “any other association for the protection of his interests…” It is hence not unconstitutional for the President to form an “association” on National Dialogue to discuss the affairs of Nigeria. Why we cannot bypass the National Assembly in toto. The legislative powers of the Federation are vested in our bicameral National Assembly. Section 4 (1) of the Constitution, which gives fillip to this position provides that: “Nigeria is one indivisible and indissoluble sovereign state to be known by the name of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.” Section 4 (2) of our Constitution further provides: “The National Assembly shall have power to make laws for the peace, order and good government of the Federation or any part thereof with respect to any matter included in the Exclusive Legislative List set out in Part 1 of the Second Schedule to this Constitution.” Pursuant to this provision, Items 67 and 68 of Part 1, Second Schedule of the Constitution gives the National Assembly powers to legislate on: Item 67: “Any other matter with respect to which the National Assembly has power to make laws in accordance with the provisions of this Constitution.” Item 68: “Any matter incidental or supplementary to any matter mentioned elsewhere in this List.” A fortiori, the National Assembly should exercise its legislative power to pass into an Act, any decision of the Conference that touches on any matter in the Exclusive Legislative List, including matters contained in the Concurrent Legislative List. A major issue is whether the National Assembly has power to legislate on the dismemberment of Nigeria, since compromising the “unity” of Nigeria is not listed anywhere as an item capable of being legislated upon. More so, section 15(1) of the Constitution provides that “The motto of the Federal Republic of Nigeria shall be Unity and Faith, Peace and Progress.” With a greater force, Section 2 (1) of the Constitution provides that: “Nigeria is one indivisible and indissoluble sovereign state to be known by the name of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.” This may be the reason some commentators have said that the unity of Nigeria is non-negotiable. One sure way of adding or removing any provision of the Constitution, including “the unity of Nigeria”, if the Conference tinkers with it, is to rely on section 9 of the Constitution, which in subsection (1) allows the National Assembly to alter “any of the
•NHRC Chair Prof. Chidi Odinkalu
provisions of the Constitution.” For the avoidance of doubt, section 9 (1) of the Constitution provides that: “The National Assembly may, subject to the provisions of this section, alter any of the provisions of Constitution.” In line with the position of Senator Ita Enang, section 58(1) of the Constitution provides that “The power of the National Assembly to make laws shall be exercised by bills passed by both the Senate and the House of Representatives and, except as otherwise provided by subsection (5) of this section, assented to by the President.” In essence, the outcome of the Conference shall be brought before the National Assembly as a bill or as bills, as the case may be. Even the funds required to prosecute the Conference will require the input of the National Assembly as mandated by the combined provisions of section 59(1) and section 81(4) of the Constitution. Section 59 (1) of the Constitution provides: “The provisions of the section shall apply to(a) An appropriation bill or a supplementary appropriation bill including any other bill for the payment, issue or withdrawal from the Consolidated Revenue Fund or any other public fund of the Federation of any money charged thereon or any alteration in the amount of such a payment, issue or withdrawal.” On the other hand section 81(4) of the Constitution states that: “If in respect of any financial year it is found that(a) the amount appropriated by the Appropriation Act for any purpose is insufficient; and (b) a need has arisen for expenditure for a purpose for which no amount has been appropriated by the Act, a supplementary estimate showing the sums required shall be laid before each House of the National Assembly and the heads of any such expenditure shall be included in a Supplementary Appropriation Bill.” From the constitutional provisions referred to, it will be extremely difficult to ignore the National Assembly unless those canvassing such position want extra-constitutional steps to be taken, and that will be an infraction of section 1 of the Constitution, which provides as follows: “(1) This Constitution is supreme and its provisions shall have binding force on all authorities and persons throughout the Federal Republic of Nigeria. (2) The Federal Republic of Nigeria shall not be governed, nor shall any person or group of persons take control of the government of Nigeria or any part thereof, except in accordance with the provisions of this Constitution. (3) If any other law is inconsistent with the provisions of this Constitution, this Constitution shall prevail, and that other law shall to the extent of the inconsistency be void.” Why president Jonathan will take the outcome of the conference to the National Assembly The position of President Jonathan is a creation of section 5(1) of the Constitution, which provides that: “Subject to the provisions of this Constitution, the executive powers of the Federation: (a) shall be vested in the President and may , subject as aforesaid and to the provisions of any law made by the National Assembly, be exercised by him either directly or through the Vice-President and Ministers of the Government of the Federation or officers in the public service of the Federation; and (b) shall extend to the execution and maintenance of this Constitution, all laws made by the National Assembly and to all matters with respect to which the National Assembly has, for the time being, power to make laws.” Furthermore, the President took the Oath of Allegiance and the Oath of Office of President, contained in the Seventh Schedule of the Constitution. The Oath of Allegiance provides: “I, President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, do solemnly swear/ affirm that I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to the Federal Republic of Nigeria and that I will preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. So help me God.” On the other hand, the Oath of Office of President provides thus: “I, President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, do solemnly swear/ affirm that I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to the Federal Republic of Nigeria; that as President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, I will discharge my duties to the best of my ability, faithfully and in accordance with the Constitu-
•Senate President, David Mark tion of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the law, and always in the interest of the sovereignty, integrity, solidarity, well-being and prosperity of the Federal Republic of Nigeria; that I will strive to preserve the Fundamental Objectives and Directive Principles of State Policy contained in the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria;….” One thing common to both Oaths is that the President swore to be faithful and bear true allegiance to the Federal Republic of Nigeria and to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. Considering the principle of separation of powers, which is the hallmark of the presidential system of government, it will be incongruous for President Jonathan to raise a group of persons to make laws outside the purview of the National Assembly.
The way forward
The legal framework for the convocation of a National Conference should be sent as a Bill to the National Assembly for passage into an Act. The Bill will provide for a National Conference Commission to midwife the conference. Part of the contents of that Bill should be that the National Assembly would be bound to amend the Constitution to incorporate any decision on a matter approved by not less than 60 per cent of the membership of the National Conference. The National Assembly can subject resolutions of the Conference which sails through by simple majority to public hearing before passing them. The parameters of the Conference should be determined ab initio to avoid delving into a political cul de sac. The members of the National Assembly should synergise with the Presidency to give Nigerians the long-expected change. This is a golden opportunity to have an autochthonous constitution. This is time to touch the socalled “no go” areas. It is not a time for grandstanding by the National Assembly members in order to prove their ultimate relevance. This is a time for sober reflection. We have come to a time to make Nigeria great again by cutting off the umbilical cord of serial failures in constitutional making.We can make all these happen by give-and-take from the two schools of thought. And it is possible to have a refined constitution from the ashes of the 1999 Constitution. I think I have merely scratched the surface of the matter, leaving other dimensions for other writers to provide illumination. •Concluded
Rights Commission inspects police’s detention facilities
HE National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has started inspecting police stations nationwide to deter mine the state of their detention facilities. The tour, which will see a team of inspectors from the NHRC visiting about 200 detention facilities in 21 states in the six geo-political zones, began yesterday. It will end on Thursday. NHRC’s Executive Secretary Prof Bem Angwe said the tour was being undertaken under his commission’s legal mandate as provided in Section 6(1)(d) of the NHRC (amendment) Act 2011. Angwe, who spoke through a director in his office, Harry Obe, said the Act empowered the NHRC to visit and inspect prisons, police cells and other places of detention to ascer-
From Eric Ikhilae, Abuja
tain their condition and recommend appropriate actions to the relevant agencies. “The visitation is also geared towards identifying best practices used by the police and to strengthen the accountability of police to the local communities they serve. “From this visit, the commission would use the findings to develop guidelines on the improvement of detention facilities in police stations; human rights training would be developed based on areas of challenges that have been identified,” he said. States to be visited include Abia, Abuja, Anambra, Akwa Ibom, Ebonyi, Enugu, Gombe, Imo, Jigawa, Kaduna, Kano, Katsina, Lagos, Nasarawa, Niger, Ogun, Oyo, Plateau, Rivers and Zamfara.
THE NATION TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 19, 2013
Why Fed Govt can’t legislate on hotels, restaurants In the Supreme Court of Nigeria Date: July 19, 2013 SC.340/2010
ALOMA MARIAM MUKHTAR IBRAHIM TANKO MUHAMMAD JOHN AFOLABI FABIYI SULEIMAN GALADIMA NWALI SYLVESTER NGWUTA MUSA DATTIJO MUHAMMAD STANLEY SHENKO ALAGAO BETWEEN MINISTER FOR JUSTICE AND ATTORNEY-GENERAL OF FEDERATION
ATTORNEY-GENERAL LAGOS STATE •Continued from last week
OW shown to me and at tached herein and marked as EXHIBIT HAGF I is the publication of the National Life Newspaper of September 27, 2009. 9) That the public notice issued by the Defendant stated that under the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria the power of the National Assembly to regulate Tourism is limited to the establishment and regulation of 42 authorities for the Federation or any part thereof to regulate tourist traffic. 10) That the notice further stated that the legislative power of the National Assembly does not extend to making legislation and imposition of levies to tourism facilities. 11) That the public notice by the Lagos State Government stated further that the registration, grading and classification of hotels, motels, guest inns, apartments, travel agencies, tour operating outfits, resorts, cafeterias, restaurants, fast food outlets and other related tourist establishment can only be done by the Lagos State authority or empowered in that regard by the Lagos State House of Assembly. 12) That the Lagos State Government has backed up their public notice with a legislation by promulgating the Hotel Licencing (Amendment) Law contained in No.23, Volume 43, Lagos State of Nigeria Official Gazette dated July 20, 2010 which law, gives the Lagos State Government power to deal with the regulations, registration, classification and grading of Hotels, Motels, Hospitality and tourism enterprises, Travel Agencies, Tour Operators and other
tourism related establishments. Now, shown to me is a copy of enactment as Gazetted and same is attached herein and marked as Exhibit HAGF II. 131. That under the Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation Act 1992 the body empowered to register, classify and grade all hospitality, and Tourism Enterprises, travel Agencies, tour operators 43 and other establish tourist establishments is the Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation (NTDC). 14) That action of the Lagos State Government is an attempt to usurp and undermine the statutory mandate and responsibilities of the NTDC. 15) That the action of the Lagos State Government in issuing the aforesaid public notice and promulgating the aforesaid laws also has the implication of compromising the uniformity of registration, classification and grading of hotels and other tourism facilities in Nigeria with negative implication for tourist safety and national security. 16) That realising the adverse and negative effect of the action of Lagos State Government, the Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation issued a public notice advising all operators of hotels, motels guest inns, resorts, apartment, travel agencies tour companies cafeteria, restaurants and fasts food outlets in Lagos State to ignore and disregard the letter of notification and public notice issued by the Lagos State Government on the registration of hotels and other tourism facilities. 17) That in the public notice by the Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation, the Corporation made it
clear that as a responsible Federal Government Agency, it ensures that all stakeholders are carried along in the discharge of its statutory functions, hence the setting up of a Joint Tourism Board which among other things agreed on the disbursement of registration fee charged for the administrative processes of registering hotels 44 among the Federal, State and Local Government of which 60 per cent goes to the state where such facilities are located. 18) That despite the steps taken by the Corporation, the Lagos State House of Assembly and the Lagos State Government in utter disregard to the functions and duties of the Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation proceeded to enact legislation to licence and regulate hotels and other related tourist establishment in Lagos State. 19) That the Lagos State Government acting through the Lagos State Commissioner for Tourism and Inter Governmental Affairs Mr Tokunbo Afikuyomi has stated that the licensing, grading of Hotels and other related tourist establishments will fully commence in October 2010. A copy of the Vanguard Newspaper where such statement was made is now shown to me and is hereby attached and marked as EXHIBIT HAGF III. 20) That the action of the Lagos State Government in enacting the legislation to licence and regulate hotels in Lagos State would not only undermine and hinder the activities and mandate of NTDC, but will also create confusion for operators in terms of compliance as to the legitimate regulatory authority with powers to register, classify and grade hotels and other related tourism establishments. 21) That the confusion created by the Lagos State Government in enacting legislation bill to licence and regulate hotels and other tourist establishment would damage and further worsen the country 45 unenviable Nigeria tourism development Sector which the Corporation has in the last four years been striving to develop and reposition. 22) That unless the player sought for in this suit are granted the action of the Lagos State Government would disrupt the steady progressive development of the tourism sector.” The above depositions were challenged in the Defendants Counter-affidavit of 21 paragraphs, sworn to by one Adeola Ipaye, a Legal Practitioner and the Lagos State Governor’s Special Adviser on Taxation and Revenue. I set out paragraphs 4 - 21 of the said Counter Affidavit as follows: “4) On the 11th day of May, 1983, during the Second Republic, the House of Assembly of Lagos Sate, in pursuance of its powers under
•Supreme Court Justice John Inyang Okoro (left), Akwa Ibom State Governor, Chief Godswill Akpabio (2nd left); Justice James Ogebe (rtd) and Justice Mary Odili during a reception for Justice Okoro in Abuja.
the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1979, enacted the Hotel Licensing Law (now Cap. H6 Laws of Lagos State of Nigeria 2003) to provide for the licensing of hotels in the State and for purposes connected therewith (‘the Law’). 5) Following the Military intervention of 1983, Federal Military Government suspended and subsequently amended the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1979. 6) In furtherance of the depositions contained in the preceding paragraph, the Federal Military Government assumed absolute powers to make laws for the peace, order and good government of Nigeria or any part thereof with respect to any matter whatsoever. 46 7) In exercise of the said absolute powers, the then National Assembly during the regime of General Ibrahim Babangida in 1992 enacted the Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation Act (‘the Act’) whilst the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1979 remained suspended and amended in part. 8) The Act established in Nigeria Tourism development Corporation (‘the Corporation’) and empowered it to, among other things, register, classify and grade all hospitality and tourism enterprises, travel agencies and tour operators in the country in such manner as may be prescribed. 9) Furthermore, the Act established for each State in the Federation, a State Tourism Board and authorising the Governor to appoint members of the Board. 10. Contrary to the depositions contained in Paragraph 7 of the Affidavit in Support, the Law, which was enacted in 1983 and not 2003 as deposed, is to regulate the grant of licence to premises for hotel purpose only and does not contain any provision relating to the regulation of tourist traffic. 11. I know as a fact that there are far more Nigerians than foreigners using hotel facilities in Lagos State and all Nigerians have freedom of movement within the country. 12. I also know that pursuant to the provisions of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999, physical planning, traffic control, kitchen hygiene, fire prevention, general health and safety, 47 etc in hotels and other public establishments are all within the legislative competence of State Houses of Assembly. 13. In Specific response to the depositions contained in paragraphs 8 to 11 of the Affidavit in Support, the public notice caused to be published by the Defendant was in response to press advertisements published at the
instance and at the behest of the Plaintiff through the Corporation in its bid to engage consultants for the registration of Hotels, Motels, Guest Inns, Apartments, Travel Agencies, Tour Operating Outfits, Resorts, Cafeterias, amongst others in Lagos State and throughout the country. Now shown to me and marked as Exhibit LASG1 is a certified true copy of the said advertisement of the Defendant as published in The Newspaper of Friday, September 4, 2009. 14. Further to the depositions contained in the preceding paragraph, the public notice was to inform the operators of hotels and other tourism related establishments in the State of the unconstitutionality of the provisions of Section 4(2) (d) of the Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation Act in the light of the provisions of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999. 15. In addition to the foregoing, the Honourable Commissioner for Tourism and Inter-Governmental Relations in the Defendant State caused to be written a letter dated October 15, 2009 to the Honourable Minister for Tourism, Culture and 48 National Orientation wherein the attention of the Minister was drawn to the fact that:” ...after the enactment of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999, the power of the National Assembly to regulate tourism in Nigeria is now governed by item 60(d) of the Exclusive Legislative List and limited to “the establishment and regulation of authorities for the Federation or any part thereof to regulate tourist traffic.” Now shown to me and marked Exhibit LASG2 is a copy of the said letter. 16. The letter referred to in the preceding paragraph (i.e. Exhibit LASG2) further requested the kind intervention of the Honourable Minister to prevent a situation whereby tourism operations are impeded by unnecessary exposure to multiple regulate authorities, levies and charges. 17. The foregoing notwithstanding, the Defendant through the Corporation caused to be published in the Thisday Newspapers of December 31, 2009 a public notice titled: Re: Lagos State Registration of Hotels and Tourism Related Establishments and National Security wherein the Corporation ignored the clear constitutional provisions in that regard and reiterated its position that NTDC (i.e. the Corporation) was the only body with the mandate “to register, classify and grade all hospitality and tourism enterprises, travel agencies and tour operators in the country, which is without exception of any state of the Federation.” •To be continued next week
LEGAL JOKES Mr. Dewey was briefing his client, who was about to testify in his own defense. “You must swear to tell the complete truth. Do you understand?” The client replied that he did. The lawyer then asked, “Do you know what will happen if you don’t tell the truth?” The client looked back and said, “I imagine that our side will win.” One day in Contract Law class, Professor Jepson asked one of his better students, “Now if you were to give someone an orange, how would you go about it?” The student replied, “Here’s an orange.” The professor was livid. “No! No! Think like a lawyer!” The student then recited, “Okay, I’d tell him, ‘I hereby give and convey to you all and singular, my estate and interests, rights, claim, title, calim and advantages of and in, said orange, together with all its rind, juice, pulp, and seeds, and all rights and advantages with full power to bite, cut, freeze and otherwise eat, the same, or give the same away with
and without the pulp, juice, rind and seeds, anything herein before or hereinafter or in any deed, or deeds, instruments of whatever nature or kind whatsoever to the contrary in anywise notwithstanding...” The lawyer was in the summation of his case: “And, if it please the court, if I am wrong in this, I have another argument that is equally conclusive.” “Nasty looking crew you got to handle out there this morning, judge,” said the court officer. “Where did the cops find all those crooks?” The judge replied, “The crooks won’t be here for another fifteen minutes. Those are the lawyers.” Two schoolgirls were having an argument. “My dad’s better than your dad. He’s a carpenter and makes buildings.” The other girl replied, “My dad does better than that. He’s a lawyer, and makes loopholes.”
THE NATION TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 19, 2013
The Managing Director of Integrated Consultancy Management Accounting Services (ICMA) and former captain of the Ikeja Golf Club, Dr Abdul Wahab Awa Ibraheem, is 60. A reception was held for him at the club to usher him into the sexagenarian club. NNEKA NWANERI reports.
A soccer buff at 60
LTHOUGH a reception was being held to mark his 60th birthday, one thing engaged the mind of Managing Director of Integrated Consultancy Management Accountants Services (ICMA) Dr Abdul Wahab Awa Ibraheem, last Saturday. That is last Sunday’s Manchester United vs Arsenal FC match. Though one week away, he was already talking about the game. As a staunch fan of Man U (the Red Devils), Ibraheem was looking forward to his team whipping arch rival Arsenal (the Gunners). MAN U’s victory, he said, would been his best birthday gift. Among an array of gifts presented to him at the Ikeja Golf Club, Lagos, venue of the reception, the one he cherished most was the first-class ticket to the United Kingdom to watch the match at Old Trafford presented to him by two of his children, Mrs Temitope Ajanaku and Muiz Ibraheem. To them, it was difficult choosing a gift for a man who virtually has it all. “I have never been there (Old Trafford), he said, amid banters and boos from the Gunners’ supporters. Dr Ibraheem (aka AWA), clocked 60 on October 19. Though the celebration was earlier billed to hold on the exact date, he left for Mecca a week before on pilgrimage to escape the celebration. His wives and children had it all planned but he chose to spend that day praying in the holy land. “He actually did pray all day because I called his number several times on that day to wish him a happy birthday to no avail,” Mrs Ajanaku told The Nation. The walkway of the lounge of the club was lined with a red carpet. The roofing and wall were embellished with gold fabric, same as the chair overlays. Each table took 10 guests, who turned out as resplendent as they could. The guests were entertained by the Alayande ‘Wole-led Prince Dance Band, while the members chatted and made new friends until the arrival of the birthday ‘boy’. They comprised his friends and associates from four states and neighbouring Ghana. The turn-out was a testimony to the character of the man they came to celebrate. It was a simple but classy gathering. They referred to him in superlative terms: a detribalised Nigerian, a golfer, philanthropist, first-class graduate, chatered accountant, lecturer, stockbroker, manager, consultant, mentor and entrepreneur to mention but a few. The first to take the microphone was the captain of the club, Adewole Showole, who described the celebrator as an unassuming philanthropist who is dear to his heart. “At 60, which he doesn’t look, he is an epitome of success. I have known him to be a gentleman for a long time; we have not seen as much benevolence from anyone as we have seen in him. Despite being an honorary member, he takes the responsibility for 50 per cent of the members of the Ikeja Gold Club, thus, the decision to honour him.” Showole said a short prayer asking God to keep him for many more years.
•The celebrator assisted by members of his family to cut the cake
•From left: Major-General Olayinka Sule, Comrade Macaulay and Mr Ofili
• Mr Showole
• Former Commissioner for Finance Delta State Dr David Edevwie (left) presenting a gift to Mr Christopher Obinna
•From left: Mr Supo, Alhaji Abudulwahab and Alhaji Sule Akande of Onward Fisheries Limited
For the Secretary to the Delta State Government Hon Ovuozourie Macauly, the older he is, the more handsome he becomes. Macaulay recalled some conversations and meetings he had with Ibraheem. He Ibraheem believes we are all sourjourners and the legacies we leave behind count. Hence, his many services to humanity, devotion to community and kindness to mankind. He promised to host another birthday celebration for Ibraheem in Asaba soon. There was a golf tournament in honour of Ibraheem. Prizes were presented to winners; they went home with prizes, such as gas cookers, microwave ovens, freezers and refrigerators, blenders and other household electrical gadgets. The height of the presentation was the celebrator’s announcement that he would start a workshop, fully equipped with all the necessary ap-
The Offa-born celebrator recalled some of his days at the CMS Anglican Primary School, Offa, Kwara State, particularly the white and green rice they were given on October 1, 1960 when he was seven. Afterwards, he took to the dance floor with his family while friends sprayed him with crisp naira notes. AWA graduated with first class in Accounting from the University of Lagos in 1982, after which he assisted in setting up the Department of Accounting and Finance in the University of Ilorin (UNILORIN) the same year. He bagged a Ph.D in Management Science from UNILORIN in 2003. In recognition of his leadership qualities and his contributions to the society, he was awarded the Hubert Humphrey Fellowship by the government of the United States. His alma mater, UNILAG, honoured him with the Golden Ju-
pliances for one of the young winner who is an apprentice of a profession. The guests went wild in jubilation, stretching their necks to know who the lucky chap was. Members of the staff of the golf club as well as the pros (professionals) presented him with gifts in appreciation of what God has used him to do for them. Mrs Ajanaku described her father as temperamental but great, adding that he gave them all they needed to become successful in life. She said sending him to Old Trafford is for him to meet two players of the club and, hopefully, the Coach, Sir David Moyes. The celebrator thanked his friends for the party, adding that he did not contribute a dime to host the event. He also thanked his wives and children for standing by him all these years.
bilee Distinguished Award in 2012. He has served on the boards of New Africa Merchant Bank, Lagos; Arewa Hotels, Kaduna; Nigeria Hotels, Lagos; Zaranda Hotels, Bauchi; Festac 77 Hotels, Lagos; Shiroro Hotels, Minna; Kwara Hotels, Ilorin. At present, he is the Chairman, Oak Pension Funds Administrators, Oceanic Health Management Organisation, Prime Metro Properties and Express Portfolio Services, among other blue-chip organisations. At the event were: Delta State Head of Service Mr Okey Ofili; Chairman, Henry George Group of Companies, Ilorin, Sir Oladimeji Thomson and its Managing Director Nelson Supo; Director-General, Bureau of Lands, Kwara State, Alhaji Yusuf Abdul Wahab; Oseni Aliyu of the Nigerian Customs Service; the Ooye of Omu-Aran Ooye Ademola Bamidele, among others.
THE NATION TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 19, 2013
ABUJA REVIEW NEWS
•From left: Senate President, David Mark; President Goodluck Jonathan and Speaker, House of Representatives, Hon Aminu Waziri Tambuwal at the First Africa Legislative Summit in Abuja
•From left: Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar; Minister of Health, Prof Onyebuchi Chukwu; Chairman, Dangote Group of Companies, Alhaji Aliko Dangote receiving Bill Gate Trophy of Merit from the Donor Mr Bill Gate during the Presidential Task Force on Polio Eradication meeting at the Banquet Hall, State House, Abuja
•From left: Project Manager, K4Health Nigeria, Lisa Mwaikambo; National President, Association of Medical Laboratory Scientists of Nigeria, Dr Godswill Okara and second Vice President (AMLSN), Dr Joseph Okwori during the conference on Essential Element in Healthcare Practice in Abuja
•From left: President Goodluck Jonathan and Vice President Namadi Sambo decorating the ADC to the President, Lt. Col. Ojogbane Adegbe with the rank of Colonel in a ceremony at the President’s Office, Presidential villa in Abuja. PHOTOS: AKIN OLADOKUN
•Chairman, Nigeria Electricity Regulatory Commission (right); Chairman, House of Reps, Committee on Public Accounts, Solomon Adeola; his Deputy, Awal Jatau and a member Kehinde Odeneye during a hearing on the query raised against the commission at National Assembly, Abuja
•Minister of State, Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Olajumoke Akinjide (second right); Chairman, House of Representatives, Committee on Youth and Social Development, Kameel Akinlabi (second left) and members of the committee, Umar Nafada (left) and Saheed Akinade-Fijabi during an oversight visit to inspect the facilities at the FCT National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) orientation camp in Abuja
•Members, House of Representatives, Committee on Public Accounts, Ossai Ossai (left); Raphael Nnena Igbokwe and Hon Azu Arousi during the meeting of the committee at National Assembly, Abuja
•Kaduna State Deputy Governor, Nuhu Bajoga (left); Minister of Power, Prof Chinedu Nebo and Chairman, Presidential Task Force on Power Mr Dagogo Jack during the sale of shares in ten gas-fired generation companies developed under National Integrated PHOTOS: ABAYOMI FAYESE PowerProject in Abuja
THE NATION TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 19, 2013
HERE is a general impression out there that journalists covering the Presidential Villa normally cart home money in ‘Ghana-must-go’ bags as part of the largesse from the beat. But, so far, I have not seen such since I started covering the Presidential Villa. It is also believed that journalists on the beat get presidential treatment in everything they do at the Villa. One of my editors at the head office was particularly shocked with what journalists went through while waiting for the end of the 13-hour meeting between President Goodluck Jonathan and the leadership of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) last Monday at the First Lady’s Conference Room in the State House. As the meeting borders on national issue whose outcome would be of great interest to many Nigerians, he knew that it would be difficult for me or any of the journalists to leave the venue of the meeting until it ends and we get the news for Nigerians. The editor, who called intermittently to get update from the starting of the meeting around 2.40 p.m. on Monday to the end of the meeting by 3.35 a.m. the following day, could not believe what journalists waiting to get the outcome of the meeting went through. When he called around 1.30 a.m. on Tuesday to know if the meeting had ended, I told him that the meeting was still ongoing. Feeling concerned for me and other journalists, he then said that he was sure that we must have been served dinner, coffee or tea and other drinks during the long wait. I told him exactly what we were going through. First and foremost, nobody offered us any drink or food while the meeting lasted. I told him that many journalists who did not anticipate the meeting spilling over to the following day, did not see any food to buy and had to stay hungry throughout the duration of the meeting. By the time they realised that the meeting could end in the wee hours of the following day, most shops and restaurants outside the Presidential Villa were already closed. Still worried, he wanted to know if the journalists were at least stay-
A night in the State House
From the Villa By Augustine Ehikioya ing in a comfortable room at the venue. I had to explain to him that journalists have access to two befitting press centres, one located at about one-minute’s trek from the President’s office and the other within the Banquet Hall of the State House. But because the two press centres
are far away from the First Lady’s Conference Room, venue of the meeting, journalists had to hang around the venue since they knew that the key actors at the meeting might not wait for journalists to reassemble if they decide to stay in any of the press centres. So, in order to get first-hand infor-
mation on the outcome of the meeting, I told my editor that journalists made do with what was available at the meeting venue by sitting or lying down on the bare floor by the entrance to the building. A great number of my colleagues had to sleep on the bare floor; and some of them were snoring away their tired souls not minding the harsh harmattan weather gradually taking over Abuja and its environs. Some of my colleagues, who managed to keep awake in the night, kept themselves busy by taking pictures of other journalists sleeping on the bare floor and also used their midgets to record the croak-like noise from their snoring colleagues. I also told my editor about the comparison some of my colleagues were making between some of the night vigils they kept during the past meetings to resolve the fuel subsidy protest at the same venue and what they went through last Monday night and Tuesday morning.
According to them, there was a great difference between the two sets of meetings. Unlike the fuel subsidy meetings that usually started around 9:00 p.m. and ended in the early hours of the following day, last Monday’s meeting started in the afternoon and did not end till 3.35 a.m. the following day. By the time I finished telling him what we were going through, my editor kept wondering aloud when Nigerian journalists will truly be treated as members of the Fourth Estate of the Realm, as they are often referred to. Even though they criticise the government on wrong policies, when they don’t actually have constitutional or statutory powers, they should, at least, be respected for the roles they played during the military era and the current democratic dispensation as they act as important pillars in sustaining our democracy after the legislative, the executive and the judiciary arms of government.
in my name, receives me and whoever receives me, receives not me but he who sent me, has found an expression of show of love and affection.” Victorine Home for Children is an initiative of the Sisters of Jesus the Redeemer. The home, inaugurated
in 2010, has become an oasis for little children without the means of survival to find a new lease of life. The home provides shelter for children in difficulty, the marginalised and children of inmates who were delivered of their mothers in prisons.
‘Why we cater for children of the poor’
HE matron of Victorine Home for Children, a nongovernmental organisation (NGO), Sister Jovita Nzeduru has said that the desire to contribute to the well-being of humanity inspired the home to provide foster care for children of the poor and the marginalised in the society. At a fund-raising dinner organised for children of the homes in Abuja, Sister Nzeduru explained that the aim of the home is to cater for the children till they are re-united with their families. According to her, over 15 children who are re-united with their families have benefited from the care of the home on a short stay basis with 12 children currently in the home. She said: “We take care of children that are in difficulty in order to give them shelter. We believe that these children deserve the best. Circumstances of their parenthood should not stop them from having the best in life. “Our aim is to give them the best and then re-unite them with their families. But some of them who don’t have parents remain with us. “Some of these children don’t have fathers. Others are children of inmates in prison. We take care of the children of the mentally challenged
We take care of children who are in difficulty in order to give them shelter. We believe that these children deserve the best. Circumstances of their parenthood should not stop them from having the best in life
From Frank Ikpefan
who don’t have the capacity of taking care of them. “We want to save children from dying of hunger and deprivation by giving them the basic necessities of life. Some of them were a monthold when they came here. Others are a year or more old. “We try to establish contact with the families of these children to facilitate their re-union as soon as their situations improve or when they are able to fend for themselves. Because
•The kids of the temporary nature of their stay therefore, a complete adoption is not possible. “Currently, we have 12 resident children while over 15 children with their mothers have benefited from the home on a short-stay basis. “Whoever receives one such child
TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 19, 2013
KADUNA POLITICS Many groups and associations have endorsed Kaduna Governor Mukthar Yero for the 2015 election. TONY AKOWE writes on the scramble for power in the Northwest state.
2015: Can Yero weather the storm?
HE first group to endorse Kaduna State Governor Mukthar Yero for the 2015 election was the Association of Local Government of Nigeria (ALGON). At a news conference in Kaduna, the state capital, its chairman, Mr Danjuma Akuso,said that the members were impressed by the performance of the governor. Hailing Yero for endowing his office with honour and integrity, he said his leadership style is worthy of emulation. Akuro said that, since the governor succeeded the late Governor Patrick Dakowa in December last year, he has not starved the local government of funds, adding that the council allocations are not deducted. Akuso explained the significance of the endorsement. He said that, as grassroots politicians, the chairmen, councillors and administrators of the 46 Development Areas are the gateway to the nooks and crannies, adding that no indigene can become the governor without their support. Akuso also dismissed the division in the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) as a ruse, saying that there is no crack. Following the endorsement by the council chairmen, individuals, groups and associations have contributed to the gale of endorsement. Yero became governor, following the death of Yakowa in a helicopter crash. Before he passed on, he was warming up for a second term. There was a struggle between Christians and Muslims over political control in the state. Thus, for religious balancing, Muslim governors always pair with Christian deputies and vice versa. Yakowa’s sudden death was painful to the Christians. When Yero succeeded him, he appointed a Christian as his deputy, reminiscent of his appointment by the deceased as deputy, following the elevation of former Governor Namidi Sambo to the Vice Presidency. In the PDP, the main issue in Kaduna State is the governorship. It is the first battle of note that Yero will fight. His supporters have kicked off a subtle campaign for continuity. However, the question on the lips of many people is whether Yero, a strong loyalist of Vice President Mohammed Sambo, has what it takes to win the election. Alhough the governor is trying to build political structures at the moment, many believe that he cannot separate himself from his boss, the Vice President, who brought him to political lime light. The ability of Yero to manage the political camps within the PDP will, no doubt, be a litmus test for him. The greatest challenge is whether he can secure the ticket, despite his power of incumbency. Yero, according to sources, is interested in keeping his job, although he has kept sealed lip on his ambition. The power equation in the state tends to favour power shift to the Kaduna North Senatorial District. But the leadership of the Southern Kaduna Peoples’ Union believes that a politician from the area should succeed Yero because, in its view, Yakowa did not complete his term. But sources said that, at the moment, the Southern Kaduna people have not groomed anybody to take over that responsibility. This has energised Yero, who is working underground to garner support. Although there is no love lost between the Vice President, who is Yero’s mentor and political godfather, and the former governor, Senator Ahmed Makarfi, political watchers believe that Makarfi still has a great role to play in who emerges as the governor, especially on the platform
• Vice President Sambo
of the PDP. However, since assuming office, Yero has been hobnobbing with Makarfi. He has attended virtually all functions organised by the former governor or his associates. Yero was present at the senator’s country home in Makarfi town, when he gave out poverty alleviation materials to the people. He was also at his 57th birthday dinner in Kaduna. It is believed that such moves are aimed at courting the friendship of the former governor. But whether Makarfi will give him his support is yet to be seen. Makarfi and his supporters are believed to be preparing a member of the House of Representatives from Makarfi/Kudan Constituency, Hon. Isa Ashiru, for the job. The former governor has a strong followership within the PDP across the state. He is respected in the Southern Kaduna, where the party often draw majority of its votes during the general elections. The recent birthday dinner organised for the former governor by his political associates is believed to be one of the ways to announce that they are prepared to unseat Yero in 2015. If Yero fails to make it to the Government House in 2015, he may have been a victim of power play between the senator and the Vice President. Although the two men have always said that their relationship is cordial, it is an open secret that they are not the best of friends and they have always worked against one another. Some people have argued that, if Yero wants to continue in the office, he should build a solid structure. Some groups have started to campaign for the governor’s election. One of them is the Kaduna PDP Youth Solidarity Forum. Another one is
• Gov. Yero
Yero/Bajoga Advancement Vanguard. Both are led by Southern Kaduna youths. The Coordinator of Yero/Bajoga Advancement Vanguard, Mr Mordecai Ibrahim, urged the people to rally round the governor to move the state forward. He said: “We know that power actually belongs to God Almighty and He gives it to whosoever He pleases. He has given it to Alhaji Mukhtar Ramalan Yero. We should rally behind him to move our dear state forward. We wish to make the point very clear that, in all the 23 Local Government Areas of Kaduna State, there is no crisis whatsoever within the ranks of our great party, the PDP. “We are a strong, united and indivisible political party, enjoying a harmonious relationship. The Peoples’ Democratic Party remains the party to beat in Kaduna State and, come 2015, members in all the three senatorial zones will work hard to deliver in all the elections.” The Chairman of the Kaduna PDP Youth Solidarity Forum, Mr Danjuma Seriki, said the youths will support Yero because he represents a generational shift in governance. He said: “We are giving Yero total support for the 2015 election and we are calling on all the youths in the state to do same. As a young man, Yero represents a generational shift in governance in the state. He came into office at a time when so many projects were initiated by the Yakowa government and he decided that he must continue with these projects and did not abandon any of them. “He has been implementing the budget he inherited religiously; he is accessible
‘The politics of who becomes governor in Kaduna in 2015 will be very interesting. Many are looking forward to the battle to take over Kaduna by the APC. The APC is yet to make its presence felt in the state. But, if it is not resolved on time, the division in the PDP may weaken the platform, ahead of 2015 and create the opportunity for the APC to rule the state’
to the youths, humble and attends all events organised by the youths. He is focused and determined to meet the yearning of the people of Kaduna State. We will do everything possible to ensure that he emerge as the governor of the state”. There are indications that other interest groups may raise more candidates to challenge the governor. Although not much is known about those willing to contest the governorship, speculations are rife that former Secretary to Government Mr Samaila Abdullahi Yakawada is warming up for the contest. Yakawada is a grassroots operator from Giwa local government, Kaduna Central Senatorial District, where the Vice President comes from. But this cannot be immediately confirmed as he has not made any move. His closeness to the Southern Kaduna people could be a plus for him, if he eventually decides to run for the seat. Yakawada contested the seat with the Vice President in 2007, but lost at the first round of ballot. He has not been in the good books of the Kaduna State Government. As the Secretary to Government under Yakowa, he was perceived as the defacto governor, a situation that did not go down well with Yero, who was the deputy governor. He was among the first sets of people to be fired by Yero when he became the governor Many issues will shape the 2015 poll. The Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) has always been a strong opposition to the PDP in the state. The merger of the main opposition parties and the eventual emergence of the All Progressive Congress (APC)will pose serious threat to Yero’s ambition. There are fears in the political circle that those who may be denied the opportunity to contest the governorship election in the PDP may team up with the APC to unseat Yero and the PDP. The CPC, which is part of the APC, has a strong influence in the state, especially in the northern part. Political watchers are of the view that the governorship ticket may be zoned to the southern part of the state. But others argue that doing that will be counter-productive for them as the sentiments that existed during the Yakowa election does not exist any longer. A strong southern Kaduna politician said that politicians from the northern part of the state are saying that, if the APC gives a southern Kaduna man its ticket, the northern part will use the same sentiment with which Yakowa came into office to get the required one third from the area to produce the governor. Apart from the opposition and the Makarfi group, which Yero may have to contend with, there are other contending forces, whose ambition may not be too clear for now. Many believe that Suleiman Hukunyi is still a force to reckon with. His group has a strong link with the Makarfi group. There is also the Idris Mikati group, which has worked in many rural communities in the past. Although Mikati has contested the governorship on two occasions without success, it is not yet known whether he still has the ambition. Mikati had a close working relationship with the late Yakowa. There is no gainsaying the fact that the politics of who becomes governor in Kaduna in 2015 will be very interesting. Many are looking forward to the battle to take over Kaduna by the APC. The APC is yet to make its presence felt in the state. But, if it is not resolved on time, the division in the PDP may weaken the platform, ahead of 2015 and create the opportunity for the APC to rule the state.
THE NATION TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 19, 2013
POLITICS Former Aviation Minister Chief Femi Fani-Kayode writes on the transcient nature of power, the gains and pains of leadership and vanity of life.
The curse of power
HIS is a grim and depressing essay and the subject matter is painful to digest. I take no pleasure in writing it and I would suggest that those that are easily hurt, over-sensitive and unduly emotional should stop here and go no further because this is not the stuff for weak stomachs or gentle souls. Yet those that choose to go on and read it to the end can be rest assured of one thing- that there is a purpose for this interesting contribution and there is a morale to the tale. Now sit back, relax, fasten your seatbelts, prepare for take-off and come fly with me. Here it goes. When one studies the history of our country critically and takes the time to do the appropiate research one thing becomes very clear- that, in Nigeria, politics and the power game is a dangerous calling and terrible business which, more often than not, comes with a heavy price tag. That price tag includes pain, anguish, betrayal, humiliation, persecution, misfortune, hardship, loss, death, strange ailments and tragedy for those who reach the top and their loved ones. It is rather like playing Russian roulette- there is one live bullet in the six empty chambers of the pistol and one doesn’t quite know when that bullet will go off when the trigger is pulled. The gamble and risks taken are not only compulsive but they are also addictive and at the same time utterly deadly. Sadly the result is as follows- virtually every single one of our national leaders and those that have ever ruled this country has suffered immeasurably at some point or the other in their lives, whether it be before, during or after they came to power. They too have shed tears in the loneliness of their closets and have eaten portions of what the bible describes as the ‘’bread of sorrows’’. Yes, even the rich and powerful cry and even they suffer loss and tragedy. This is the case for leaders all over the world but in Nigeria it is far more pronounced and common than anywhere else. Here the angel of death, misfortune and sorrow seem to stalk those that find power and, like an ugly old crow plucks out the pink feathers and precious eyes of a beautiful flamingo, she cuts short and plucks away their lives or the lives of their loved ones. Like a light bulb attracts a moth and leads it to a sudden end, so power attracts those who seek it with equally tragic consequences. As painful as it is, let us look at the facts. In the early ‘60’s, Chief Obafemi Awolowo, the first Premier of the Western Region, lost his first son and years later his second son and second daughter were cut short in the prime of their lives. Chief S.L. Akintola, his bitter poiltical rival and the second Premier of the Western Region also lost his first daughter in the early ‘60’s and a few years later lost his third and youngest son. His second son was also cut short in his prime a number of years later. Chief Remilekun FaniKayode, the Deputy Premier of the Western Region, who was a close ally and second in command to S.L. Akintola, lost his second son. Sir Adesoji Aderemi, who was the Ooni of Ife, a close ally of Awolowo and the first ceremonial Governor of the old Western Region, lost his first son. Chief Nnamdi Azikiwe, the Premier of the old Eastern Region and Nigeria’s first and only ceremonial President, lost his first wife. President Olusegun Obasanjo, Nigeria’s second democraticallyelected President lost four wives and one son whilst Sir Ahmadu Bello, the Premier of the Northern Region, lost two sons and one daughter. Awolowo and Obasanjo went to jail for three years each whilst Ahmadu Bello went to jail for three months. S.L. Akintola was killed in the prime of his life just as were Ahmadu Bello and Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa, Nigeria’s first democratically-elected leader and Prime Minister. As a matter of fact they were all killed on the same night- the night of January 15th 1966. President Shehu Shagari, Nigeria’s second democratically-elected leader and first executive President lost four children whilst he was in power and was locked up for over two years after he was toppled. Chief MKO Abiola, the winner of the June 12th 1993 Presidential election, lost two wives, was locked up for 4 years and was eventually killed. Chief Bola Ige, the first democratically-elected Governor of Oyo state and the former Attorney-General and Minister of Justice of the Federation lost his first son and he himself was later murdered. Chief Bisi Onabanjo, the first democratically-elected Governor of Ogun state lost his first son. Alhaji Lateef Jakande, the first democratically elected Governor of Lagos state, lost his first daughter. Dr. Omololu Olunloyo, the second democratically-elected Governor of Oyo state
lost his son. Chief Festus Okotie-Eboh, the first Minister of Finance of Nigeria was killed. Chief Alfred Rewane, one of the founding members of the Action Group and a leading figure in NADECO, was killed. The list is endless and I could go on and on. Alhaji Musa Yar’Adua was Minister of Lagos Affairs in the First Republic. He was blessed with a long and peaceful life. However, two of his sons were not so lucky. His first son, General Shehu Musa Yar’Adua, who was number two to General Obasanjo when he was military Head of State and who for many decades was one of the most powerful men in the country, was murdered whilst he was in prison. His second son, President Umaru Yar’Adua, was cut short in his prime by a strange and inexplicable ailment after he had been President for only three years. He was succeeded by his number two, Vice President Goodluck Jonathan. Jonathan lost his brother and his mother-in-law one year after the other after he became President. Worse still those that he had been deputy to throughout his political life, either as Deputy Governor or Vice President, always suffered one form of misfortune or the other, whether it be death, shame, incarceration or impeachment, and he would end up stepping into their shoes and taking their place. When it comes to our military rulers the story of consistent tragedy is no different- General Aguiyi-Ironsi, our first military Head of State was killed. General Yakubu Gowon, our second military Head of State, was toppled from power, exiled and lost his brother. General Murtala Mohammed, our third military Head of State, was killed and lost both his son and son-in-law. General Olusegun Obasanjo was our fourth military Head of State and we touched on his misfortunes earlier. General Muhammadu Buhari, our fifth military Head of State, was toppled from power, locked up for a number of years, lost his mother whilst he was in detention and was not allowed to attend her burial, lost his number two (General Tunde Idiagbon) in very strange circumstances and later lost his daughter. General Ibrahim Babangida, our sixth military Head of State, was eased out of power and compelled to ‘’step aside’’ amidst massive controversy and turmoil and later lost his wife. His number two, Rear Admiral Augustus Aikhomu, lost his first son. Chief Ernest Shonekan, our first and only Interim Civilian Head of State, was badly humiliated and toppled from power. General Sani Abacha, our seventh military Head of State, lost his son, was removed from power and was killed. General Abdulsalmi Abubakar, our eigth military Head of State, as far as I am aware is the only exception and appears to have escaped any misfortune. Yet the picture is very depressing. This is indeed a catalogue of tragic events. Sorrow and pain just appears to be following sorrow and pain. It is a vicious circle of misfortune and calamity. Yet the most curious phenomenon and bizarre series of events of all is the fact that every single Head of State or President that has ruled our country from the Presidential Villa in Aso Rock, Abuja for three years or
more has either ended up dying whilst there or has lost a spouse before leaving office. Babangida did not stay in the Villa in Abuja for up to three years so he and his wife escaped what has come to be known as the ‘’Villa curse’’. It was the same for Chief Ernest Shonekan who, wisely, never stayed at the Villa at all but who chose to preside over the affairs of the nation from Aguda house next door and who remained in power for barely six months. General Abdulsalami Abubakar stayed at the Villa but he remained there for less than a year. However Abacha, Obasanjo and Yar’adua were not so luckyeach of them stayed at the Villa for three years or more and before the end of their tenure they either lost their own life or the life of their spouse whilst there. The story is that once the three year mark is passed the curse sets in and the clock begins to tick. At the end of the day only one of the two spouses comes out alive. As my friend and brother Mr. Femi Adesina of the Sun Newspaper once wrote, I say ‘’Jumping Jehoshaphat’’. This is truly frightful. Yet one wonders- is it all a mere coincidence or is there more to it than meets the eye? Are these ‘’inevitable acts of God’’ or is it the work of the devil? Is there such a thing as a curse or a jinxed existence or place? Most of us believe in blessings and blessed places yet can we believe in blessings without believing in curses? Can we believe in the power of light and God without believing in the power of darkness and the devil? Can you have one without the other? Can there be good without evil? These are indeed strange and curious events but is the whole thing nothing but superstitious humbug? Possibly so, though I doubt it very much. Yet the truth is that I am simply guided by the facts and we must each make of them what we will. In his book titled ‘’The Screwtape Letters’’ the great 20th century scholar, writer and philosopher Professor C.S. Lewis wrote- ‘’there are two schools of thoughts about demons. Firstly that they do not exist at all and secondly that they exist but that they have no power’’. He then wrote that ‘’the demons themselves are equally pleased with both schools of thought and they view the atheist with as much disdain and amusement as they do the materialist’’. He goes on to say that ‘’the greatest trick that the devil ever played on humanity was to make mankind believe that he does not exist’’. These are powerful insights, wise counsel and instructive words coming from a man that is generally regarded as being at par with the likes of Charles Dickens, William Shakespeare, Homer, J.R.R.Tolkien, Plato, Tolstoy, Voltaire, Aristotle and Paul of Tarsus and who is one of the greatest and most influential writers and philosophers that ever lived. Whatever the case and whoever we choose to believe it is my sincere prayer that the Villa curse is broken (assuming that such a curse exists) and that no-one else will suffer the same fate as those that lived there for three years or more before them. Given the fact that the bible says that the Lord ‘’reveals to redeem’’ and that the blood of Jesus is more powerful than any curse I have every confidence that eventually it will be. I am not a superstitious man but I don’t believe in coincidences either. Where there is a consistent pattern of strange and similar occurences and a series of bizarre and inexplicable events then good old-fashioned common sense and logic demands that questions must be asked and answers must be provided. When one considers all these facts and series of misfortunes that have trailed our leaders in the last 53 years of our existence as an independent nation one cannot but conclude that there has indeed been a harvest of hardship, pain and death attached to the highest, most powerful and most prominent offices in the land and to those that are close to or have occupied it. The truth is that power comes at a terrible price and those that wield it have, more often than not, experienced terrible pain and anguish in their lives. That is the price that virtually every single one of them has had to pay. What a tragedy. Yet at the end of the day I wonder whether it is all worth it. For as the bible says, it is nothing but ‘’vanity upon vanity- all is vanity’’. May the Lord continue to comfort and heal the wounds of all those that have lost their loved ones over the years, including every single family or person that is mentioned or referred to in this essay, and may the souls of the departed continue to rest in perfect peace. The morale of the tale? For all those that are either in the power game or politics themselves or that have loved ones that are involved in it my counsel is that they pray, pray and pray again and that they break every known and unknown covenant. As a matter of fact, as the bible says, they must ‘’pray without ceasing’’ for both themselves and their loved ones. I say this because this battle is real. Yet, ‘’our weapons are not carnal but are mighty through God in the pulling down of strongholds’’. May we never be at the wrong place at the wrong time and may our loved ones never be the victims of spiritual bullets that are meant for us. Such bullets, in the good old fashioned Mountain of Fire (MFM) way, shall ‘’die by fire’’ and ‘’return back to sender’’. We decree and we declare that the counsel of the ungodly shall not stand over our lives and loved ones and that ‘’no weapon fashioned against us shall prosper’’. Thankfully we have come to the end of the flight and we have landed safely. You may now unfasten your seatbelts. I hope that it wasn’t too turbulent. Cheer up, be strong and keep smiling because despite all the tragedy, sorrow, death and ugliness it is still a beautiful world and much joy can still be found in it. The Lord is faithful to His own. May God be with us all.
Group urges Fayemi, Bamidele to reconcile
HE Coalition of Oodua SelfDetermination Groups (COSEG) has urged Ekiti State Governor Kayode Fayemi and House of Representatives member Hon. Opeyemi Bamidele to reconcile in the interest of the progressive bloc in the state. The group also warned politicians not to plunge Ekiti State into chaos, ahead of the 2014 governorship election. COSEG’s warning came on the heel of the recent reports of disruption of political meetings, maiming and killings, accusations and counter-accusations between
the two camps in the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC). The group urged the supporters of the two politicians to embrace peace. COSEG warned in a statement by its Chairman, Mr. Dayo Ogunlana, and Secretary, Mr. Razaq Olokoba, that any crack in the wall may make the enemy of the progressives to plot evil. The group urged the two leaders to guide against any act that could cause irreparable damage to the polity and socio-economic life of the people of the state, in particular, and Yoruba nation in general.
COSEG wondered why should two brothers from the same party, who have paid their dues in the struggle of the Yoruba people and Nigerians for democracy, could become political foes. The association advised them to sink their personal differences and work for the good of Ekitiland. The group said that the political rivalry should not be allowed to degenerate into the ugly rift between Chiefs Adekunle Ajasin and Akin Omoboriowo, which led to killing, maiming and wanton destruction of property in the old Ondo State. COSEG added: “Ekiti is not only
a centre of knowledge well known for the industry, it is also an important epicenter of Yoruba politics. Any major crisis in Ekiti would definitely not augur well for the rest of Yoruba, particularly at this time when the grounds lost to political miscalculations about a decade ago have just been regained and are being consolidated. “It is on this note that COSEG calls on well meaning Yoruba elders, both within and outside political parties, to join hands in stemming the tide of an impending disaster because a stitch in time, it is said, saves nine”
THE NATION TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 19, 2013
‘Benign Jaw Disorder can be treated Many people with Benign Jaw Disorder live with the disease not knowing that it can be treated. For the few who know, money for the surgery is a challenge. OYEYEMI GBENGA-MUSTAPHA writes on the treatment and how a non-governmentalorganisation is funding the treatment of some patients.
OR 26 years, Miss Ijeoma Onyewuchi lived with Benign Jaw Disorder (BJD). A condition where tumours sometime cause the teeth to shoot out of the gums. It can also cause facial deformities, especially along the jaw or sinus areas. With the death of her mother when she was three and her father, a retired labourer, Ijeoma struggled through primary school, secondary and even tertiary not only with fending for herself, but with discrimination as a result of the bulge on her face. This is the result of the BJD- where the tumour, though benign, has affected the jaw, typically where the third molar would have been located. It has also affected the sinuses and tissues around the eye sockets. She weathered the storm. In 2010 she became a graduate. Getting employment was a struggle as even interviewers did not, according to her, “give a chance to be properly interviewed but just cannot stand my sight. As a Bsc holder in Animal and Environmental Biology, from the Imo State University, Owerri, I was not objectively interviewed but rather was discriminated about.” She was hopeful that a day will come when she will obtain solution to the bulge on her jaw. She browsed and found out that the Maxillofacial Department of Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH), Idi Araba can perform the operation. She was examined and told her condition can be dealt with a minimum fee of N250, 000. With a crest fallen face, but indefatigable spirit, Ijeoma thought of how to get the money. But that has ended as a non-governmental-organisation Health, Education, Work and Shelter (H.E.W.S) Foundation has raised money for her and other seven indigenous patients of the teaching hospital to undergo the surgery. Among them are Rufus Osuji, a 60 -
year-old church worker and 17-year old Anonyuo Jessica of Ikeja Senior Grammar School, Oshodi, Lagos. Others are Abitor Kelechi; George Oluwafunmilayo; Samuel Idonaba; Idris Saheed and Paul Abigail. According to the Founder, H.E.W.S foundation, Remi Adeseun, the drive behind the effort of his organisation is to pull the needy out of poverty, ignorance, disease and homelessness. “This is the ninth Mission in the series of H.E.W.S. Foundation free surgery programme in almost three years of its existence. Ondo, Ekiti and Lagos state benefitted in the first year. Oyo, Ondo, Gombe and Lagos states in the second year and Lagos in the third year with successful repair and reconstruction surgeries carried out for a total of 108 patients comprising 68 children and 40 adults. “Benign Jaw Disorders is becoming more prevalent among Nigerians owing to ignorance, superstitious beliefs about its nature and manifestation, held by those affected, their immediate and extended families. In addition, to the exceptional presentations of this disorder, as a painless ailment, though with some minor discomfort in the mouth/ jaw area, have not helped matters. That many of the sufferers are able to continue their lives, without any disruption to their daily routine activities from symptoms associated with benign jaw disorders, has not encouraged an early decision to seek for medical attention. “As a result, surgeons in the oral maxillofacial field of LUTH suggested we should help out with enlightenment campaign and that there is a growing large population of people in Nigeria struggling through life with Benign Jaw Disorders and lack of fund to undergo corrective surgery. The greatest tragedy is that at the onset of the disorders/ early stages of growths of the tumours,
Firm to launch pre-hospital care book
LYING Doctors Nigeria is launching the Pre-Hospital Care Handbook for Africa, a 200 page textbook/workbook designed to guide the new generation of pre-hospital care providers in Nigeria. The book, the firm’s Business Development Manager (BDM), Mr Oluwatosin Aremu, said in the statement would be different from others by concentrating on problems commonly seen in the pre-hospital environment in the developing world. The statement said the contributors and editors were health care professionals from all over the developing
world who had experience in prehospital care. The event, it said would take place at the Civic Centre on Ozunba Mbadiwe, Victoria Island, Lagos on November 29 at 3:00 pm. It said: “We believe that the publication of this book should usher in a new dawn in the area of Pre-Hospital Care in Africa and encourage the training of Pre-Hospital Care professionals across the continent. We envisage that the formal training of these Pre-Hospital Care Providers will save millions of lives yearly in Africa as trauma is currently responsible for more deaths globally than HIV, Malaria and TB combined.”
•Miss Onyewuchi (left) with other beneficiaries before the surgery
• Prof Osibogun (middle) with Dr Ogunlewe (left) and Adeseun
with a little amount some of these Benign Jaw Disorders/tumours can be stopped with surgery/medical treatment before the outward manifestation/sign of its existence that fuels the shame, discomfort and stigmatisation experienced by the patients and its transformation from benign to malignant state.” He said many of the adult patients have had these conditions from about 20 years, before getting medical assistance. By this time, either the left or right part of their lower jaw has been completed destroyed and in some cases their entire lower jaw. The late presentation for orthodox medical treatment is traceable to the indulgence of some of the patients in self medication, or patronage of traditional/herbal centres. “This has contributed in no small measure to the massive deterioration of their dentures, jaw muscles, nerves and bone structure among others,” he said. The Oral Maxillofacial surgeon and former Chairman, Medical Advisory
Committee (CMAC), LUTH, Dr Gbenga Ogunlewe, said there are some patients who are in need of corrective surgery but could not afford same. So, H.E.W.S Foundation in partnership with LUTH, with partial funding support from Folawiyo Energy Limited, through its Managing Director, Alhaji Tunde Folawiyo, raised a million plus to help out. This Mission is a collaborative effort of corporate and individual donours as well as public health practitioners and healthcare professionals.” While the surgery was about to commence, an Oral Maxillofacial surgeon, Dr Olutayo James, talking on how the BJD develops. He said: “Causes are essentially unknown but there are predisposing factors. Poor oral hygiene; tobacco use like smoking, snuffing and chewing; environmental factors such as irradiation, hydrocarbon; heavy alcohol with element of vitamin B deficiency are largely responsible.” He said: “Symptoms are usually asymptomatic, that is, no pains. Most cases
are discovered during routine dental or radiographic jaw examination. BJD are painless swelling; slow growingmassive jaw bone expansion. We pick cases as a result of teeth becoming loose; nasal symptoms; numbness of upper or lower lip or in an Edentulous patient- denture not fitting or denture hyperplasia. There could be late symptoms where there is pain due to infection or nerve involvement; excessive salivation; mouth odour; teeth displacement; difficulty in swallowing (deglutition) or speech.” He said treatment depends on: “Stage of presentation. It could be surgery; chemotherapy or radiotherapy. Extensive tumours surgery is in two parts. Stage one, tumour removal and maintaining jaw construction by RECON plate. Stage two, jaw reconstruction with bone graft and rehabilitation (false teeth).” Declaring the exercise open, the Chief Medical Director (CMD), Prof Akin Osibogun, commended the foundation. He said: “There is hope for Nigeria, when there are still souls that can still donate. We reduce the burden of diseases a hundred at a time by these kind gestures. “And as a tertiary hospital, we have the capacity both human and equipment to carry out the interventions. A 128-CT scan machine, the only one in the country exists here and that has aided in the proper diagnoses of the BJDs cases. And the appropriate treatments required by each case,” he said.” Adeseun appealed to Nigerians with milk of altruism to donate to the Foundation to enable it to carry out more missions. As we cleaned out our purses to stage this mission,there is no longer money in the account.” The Vice President, H.E.W.S. Foundation, Shola Soji-John assured that the NGO could continue to help out the needy.
Gates, Dangote raise fund to end polio in Nigeria
IGERIA is being positioned to eradicate polio next year ahead of, the 2018 deadline by the World Health Organisation (WHO). Computer magnate, Bill Gates and formost industralist Aliko Dangote gave this assurance in Lagos in a report of how their collaboration through Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and Dangote Foundation had helped polio eradication in the country. According to them, total number of polio cases was 112 last year but had dropped to just 51 cases as at this year. “This is through aggressive campaigns, moving from state to state and local government to local government in Nigeria; paying vaccinators to move around and reach kids. Traditional leaders have been fantastic by get-
By Oyeyemi Gbenga-Mustapha
ting people out to participate in the immunisation exercise. “We are rest assured that the battle against polio in the county will be won. Next year we will be celebrating total elimination of polio. Though rejection of the vaccine is a challenge and not the biggest challenge, we are concerned about the virus and how to exterminate same from Nigeria. We are happy to note that Type 3 is no more in Nigeria and Type 1 will be exterminated finally,” they said. Dangote said: “My Foundation will be 20 years old next year. It was registered in 1993 but commenced operation in 1994. We are planning to do a big endowment on Education; Health and national
relief. We are set to go round the country and not just a locality so many can benefit through the foundation. “The Foundation was conceived during the structural adjustment programme (SAP) when many were complaining of the economy problem my business was recording huge successes. I was touched. So I was inspired to start the Foundation so others can benefit.” Gates said he is happy that Nigeria is steadily winning the war against polio. “Many things are happening in Nigeria positively and Dangote is one of such. I and Alhaji Dangote have put together the sum of $6billion to purchase vaccines in a bid to eradicate polio from Nigeria, nay Africa. It would be a wonderful idea to eradicate polio from the whole world,” he said.
THE NATION TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 19, 2013
Diabetes on the rise, say experts M A T EDICS have warned of increase in cases of diabetes in Nigeria, and the need to ascertain one’s diabetes status. Diabetes mellitus, or simply diabetes, is a group of metabolic diseases in which a person has high blood sugar, either because the pancrease does not produce enough insulin, or because cells do not respond to the insulin that is produced. This high blood sugar produces the classical symptoms of polyuria (frequent urination), polydipsia (increased thirst) and polyphagia (increased hunger). There are three main types of diabetes mellitus (DM).Type 1 DM results from the body’s failure to produce insulin, and requires the sufferer to inject insulin or wear an insulin pump. This was previously referred to as “insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus” (IDDM) or “juvenile diabetes.” Type 2 DM results from insulin resistance, a condition in which cells fail to use insulin properly, sometimes combined with an absolute insulin deficiency. This form was previously referred to as non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (NIDDM) or “adult-onset diabetes”. The third main form, gestation diabetes, occurs when pregnant women without a previous diagnosis of diabetes develop a high blood glucose level. It may precede development of type 2 DM. Other forms of diabetes mellitus include congenital diabetes, which is due to genetic defects of insulin secretion, cystic fibrosis-related diabetes, steroid diabetes induced by high doses o glucocorricoids, and several forms of monogenic diabetes. According to an endocrinologist, Dr Kunle Adeyemi-Doro, unhealthy lifestyle and genetic risks are factors responsible for the rising cases of diabetes in Nigeria, “as a non-communicable disease (NCD), lifestyle, heredity and environment are factors responsible for the increase in diabetes but the greatest predisposing factor is its being “asymptomatic,” i.e. no apparent symptoms. Dr Adeyemi-Doro spoke at a
Importance of a visit to Screening, support centre inaugurated a dentist (2)
HREE partners- Subol hospital, Roche diabetes care and Novo nordisk pharmaceutical company, have launched a diabetes support centre to assist people measure glucose/sugar level in their blood, with a simple test known as HbA1c (hemoglobin A1c). The test, can measure a person’s average glucose levels over the past two to three months; ideally levels should be below seven The centre is located at Subol Hospital Limited, Roche Diabetic care chose the hospital to build the diabetes centre because of the hospital’s in Idimu Egbeda a Lagos suburb, of Diabates centre. At the launch of the corporate innovation project, experts said the initiative- Base of the Pyramid initiative (BoP) was created to proffer solutions that will lead to an integrated approach to diagnosis, treatment and management of diabetes for the working poor at the base of the pyramid. There is estimation that almost half a million people on low inBy Wale Adepoju
seminar organised by Sonny Kuku Foundation and Health ways Communications Limited, to mark this year’s World Diabetes Day in Lagos. The theme was: Diabetes epidemic- the epidemology and care of people living with diabetes. According to him, the disease is endemic, “Because there is no family without somebody living with the disease. More people will develop some forms of diabetes if they lived long enough. The disease occurs only when people’s body cannot produce enough insulin to keep the blood sugar at the required level. Insulin facilitates the uptake of glucose into the cells. There are many large numbers of people suffering from the disease that is undiagnosed and not receiving treatment. People, especially adults above 40 years should check their blood sugar level once a year, even if they didn’t have the disease. They also should live a healthy lifestyle.” Explaining what type 1 was, he said: “It is when children’s
By Oluoma Omeihe
come live with diabetes in Nigeria, and choosing Egbeda-Idimu area, according to the partners, where lots of low income earners reside was just a perfect idea. According to them, the idea is to put up the centre and make it available to the patients who can get Insulin that Novo nordisk produces, at an affordable rate and also bearing in mind that they are buying good quality and the quality is not been compromised. The centre is aimed at patients having access to quick treatment and get support in terms of education, information and all the necessary details they need to help them understand and manage their conditions better. These patients will also be given educational support and encouragements, they will be given video CD and booklets to take home and watch, for them to have a better knowledge of their health challenge. Every month, Roche diabetes care will provide the hospital with
stripes that will be used to test sugar level in the patients’ blood. The diabetes test will be conduct once every month and patients will buy the stripes at a very low rate. But, if the patients buy a pack of stripes they will get a free metre that is valued at N6,000. Also, they must be registered with the hospital for prompt monitored screening. They said in Nigeria where health care services and accessibility are poor diabetes exerts a high burden of disease. “Diabetes is on the rise due to increased rural to urban migration in Nigeria which has caused a change of life style in terms of unhealthy diet and decreased physical activities. Before the centre was inaugurated, doctors, nurses and pharmacists where trained so as to be empowered to give the right medication, care and counsel to diabetic patients. A free diabetes screening was conducted for participants at the event.
body can’t make insulin. They need to have insulin injected under their skin to be alive. On type 2, which is common among people of middle age and the elderly, and obese or overweight can be manage with drugs and insulin injection. This is because the pancreas has lost the ability to produce insulin, so the insulin keeps reducing year after year. Gestational diabetes begins in pregnancy typically around 28th week of carrying a pregnancy or third trimester. This is only treated with insulin.” He said because diabetes didn’t present symptoms, patients who visit hospital would have lost 50 per cent of their insulin. “The big deal is that diabetes damages the body organs. Its complications often result in a stroke, blindness and heart attack. Others are kidney failure, impotence and vascular disease, and amputation in case of leg injuries. 94 per cent of Diabetes Cases in the country is Type 2; type 2 and gestational diabetes account for 6.4. “The risk factors are being black and over 40 years, obesity and hypertension, among others. If the disease is picked early,
patients can live for 40 to 50 years but insulin will certainly be the main treatment. Patients living with the disease should not see taking insulin as a punishment but rather as a lifesaving medication. “Prevention is better than treatment because it would save the patients the agony of losing their organs or dying prematurely. 85 per cent of foot amputations are due to diabetes. Diabetic patients should see their doctors whenever they have injuries, for example, a foot injury of a diabetic patient is a medical emergency”, he said. Adeyemi-Doro urged the Federal Government to ensure it trains general practitioners on diabetes care, treatment and management because: “they are first medical doctors patients see in hospitals. “ The foundation, represented by a member of the Board of Trustees, Chief Lekan Ogunade, said the Foundation planned to establish six diabetes centres across the country, in the six geo-political zones. He said he got interested in the foundation when his niece came down with the disease.
while the Anesthetists included Dr. Prabat Dutte and Dr. Somendu. On admission in the hospital on September 29, Sumayah was diagnosed for ACHD, which means large ASD/VSD, cardiac cachexia with left ventricular failure, NSR. Between October 3 and October 15, Sumayah did eight Xrays, all labelled “pre and post operative status” and an “Echo test”. Consequent upon the result of the last(8th) x-ray result baby Sumayah was issued with a “Fit to fly Certificate” which stated: “This is to certify that Baby Sumayah Olayinka Dalli, a one year, three months old year female from Nigeria was admitted under the department of CTVs, FMRI from 29.09.2013 to 11.10.2013 and underwent ICR on 03.10.2013. Post Op she did not develop any significant complications and is now fit to fly to Nigeria. The certificate was signed by the Director of CTVs, Dr. Sanndeep Attawar of the hospital.
When The Nation visited the Dallis at the Eta-Ona, Ikorodu residence of Mr. Sulaiman Akibu, the senior brother to her father, it was a very playful Sumayah that we met crawling and giggling around on the floor of the large sitting room and sometimes standing up against the centre table. Prior to the India trip, Sumayah, according to her mother, Zainab, would curl up like a baby in the womb while on her mother’s laps, whining like a cat under the pains she was going through. “She was not able to eat, was purgig constantly, had difficulties with her breathing”, among other symptoms exhibited. “But now, she is a total opposite of her old self. She can now stay in air conditioned room, eat well and very playful and laugh a lot. I believe that she would soon start working as she can presently stand against tables”, said the elated mother who added that her baby is already changing in all parametre.
Hole in the heart baby gets new lease of life
ABY Sumayah Olayinka Dalli, the 15month-old girl with a hole in the heart, is back in the country after undergoing a successful heart surgery in India. The surgery, which cost about N2 million, was funded by some philanthropists, through the Ubani Foundation, managed by the Chairman of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) Ikeja Branch, Mr. Monday Ubani and a Lagos-based radio station, Star FM 101.5. The Ubani Foundation sourced N1, 898, 000 from sympathetic Nigerians out of the N2 million needed for the operation. According to reports by Fortis Memorial Research Institute, Sumayah “was a FTNVD-home. She cried feebly after birth and did not require any neonatal resuscitation. She was apparently well till a few days after birth after which her parents sought medical attention for poor feeding and frequent episodes of cold, cough and fever. She was simultaneously diagnosed by an ECHO done in Nigeria to have
• Baby Sumayah after the surgery By Adebisi Onanuga
ACHD. Sumayah, the third child in family of Ismail Dali, left Nigeria on September 28, this year aboard Emirate airline and arrived Delhi Airport, India the next day and from the airport, driven straight to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) of the Fortis Memorial Hospital and Research Centre, Gurgaon. She was accompanied on the trip by her mother, Zainab. Her primary consultant while in India was Dr. Sandeep Attawar
VISIT to the dentist should be interactive whereby questions regarding infection control are asked. And enquiries on essentials such as dental gloves, face masks and sterilising units for instruments are made to ensure things be in place. This is a right of the patient, it also protects against quackery. Hence the dentist’s mirrors, Dr Samuel Awosolu probes and instruments should 08108155239 (SMS Only); be sterile and aseptic.Diagnostic email- email@example.com aids such as dental x-ray machines most often are a requirement for best practices – whilst this may not necessarily be compulsory. It is essential. Questions about specific treatment will be gladly answered by your dentists. The dentists is able to explain alternative treatments should such subsists. Records of treatment are kept confidential. These are not shared with third party except in medicolegal situations or with the consent of the parents/custodians in the case of a minor. Ethics makes it essential that dentist provide maximum satisfaction and comparable standard of oral health care for their patient’s treatment needs, with the least discomfort to the patient from the period of entry into the surgery till subsequent departure from clinic, including post consultation period. The dental team is trained to be courteous. The environment should be friendly both in its decor and colour scheme. Cleanliness is paramount, educational leaflets often are available whilst in the reception area. The use of the media via websites of dental practices endears the patients to be practice. Feedback mechanisms and suggestion box (satisfaction box) have been used by some surgeries in recent times. Efforts should be made to keep tenaciously to appointments at time of the surgery to avoid delays, lost man-hours. Accessibility of dental clinics is also essential, every effort is made by dentist that members of the society do not go through stress in accessing his clinic or service. The location on the ground floor is good and provision of ramps and other easy assisitive devices be in place to ensure wheel chair accessibility of people with mobility problems or the physically challenged. The baby-mother friendly/children friendly corners in the waiting room endears the patients to a not too hospital setting. Newer practices are using children programmes -cartoons, posters, soft relaxing music to make the dental experience more pleasant. Intra oral cameras are made to depict oral situations visually. They could even be mailed or printed. Interactive services are available at some surgeries’ centres. Recommended oral products or display can be easily accessed by patients. The drawback for many may be financial, however the presence of health insurance schemes makes this less of a burden. A twice-yearly visit to the dentist or at the least once a year is recommended for all and sundry. Do not wait until you have symptoms of oral health problems before visiting the dentist.
Cleft lip/palate and other oral/ facial developmental defects
HE term cleft signifies a space (abnormal) or gap in a structure. In this case a cleft lip will be a gap/ abnormal space in the normal anatomy of the lip. Should the cleft occur in the lip – cleft lip, should it occur in the palate – cleft palate. These clefts of the oral, head and neck region are mostly embryological (developmental) defects. The initial appearance most especially at birth may seem grotesque, moreso as the visual perceptions are easily felt and they reverberate. Certain syndromes can be associated with cleft lips, palate, tongue or any tissue in the orofacial region. Parents whose babies have clefts are often in shock, sometimes culturally, ascribing it to something they have done during pregnancy. The parents however need to be informed, reassured and calmed. It is worth while that aspersions of evil nature of a ‘hapless’ baby, be stopped. The family being fed with cock and bull stories be discouraged. The society, readers at large should be informed that clefts are correctable and several centres, bodies assist in the treatment of these conditions in Nigeria. The affected children should not be kept away in a spiritual
house, stigmatised or made to feel inferior. The general dental practitioner and indeed specialists in oral and maxillofacial surgery with other subspecialties including speech, (audio) therapist, special needs, behavioural, care workers cater for the treatment and subsequent rehabilitation of affected children. They go on to lead healthy, meaningful lives in the society. It is worthy of note that therapy could be protracted, it is best that all and sundry be informed, and fully prepared. The problems encountered in rehabilitation is mainly that of appearance, speech, learning, feeding and swallowing. Appearance often is the most perceptive of these problems - this is corrected mainly by surgery. This is carried out by a team of specialists from various disciplines as elaborated above. The number of professionals involved signifies the complexity of the problems encountered in oral/facial clefts varies in different parts of the world and among races. Commonest in Asians Caucasians least common in Africa. Boys being more affected than girls. •To be continued next week
TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 19, 2013
Marketers insist on NERC moves to clip N50 for kerosene GENCOs,’ DISCOs’ wings T T O ensure that the 14 power generation and distribution companies do not derail, the National Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) will soon release the guidelines for their operations The guidelines will regulate the safety, health and environmental operations of the GENCOs and DISCOs, NERC Chairman Dr. Sam Amadi said. Amadi told The Nation that NERC’s action was to prevent the firms from siting plants indiscriminately and posing security risks to the society, under the pretext of overcoming infrastructural problems. The commission, he said, would ban any of the firms without adequate safety and health standards from operating outside their domain when the guidelines are out. He said the commission was finetuning the guidelines to ensure that the firms carried out their operational obligations without problems. NERC, he said, had subjected the draft to public scrutiny to get more input. The guidelines will encourage safety of people during the installation, maintenance or operations of equipment by the firms. Amadi said: ‘’ In anticipation of the entry of private sector participants in the electric power sector, the Nigeria Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) is in the process of perfecting guidelines that will ensure that operators do not
Stories by Akinola Ajibade
breach their licence obligations, and at the same time are able to temporarily operate out of compliance, where the urgent need arises.’’ He defined the right to allow the firms operate outside their boundaries as “derogation,’’ adding that the idea is tied to certain safety and health conditions which the companies are obliged to meet. “Operators would be made to apply to NERC seeking for time to comply with codes and standards, and then submit detailed plans and timelines for eventual compliance,” he said, adding that the commission will consider the applications, and if found not to impinge on health and safety issues, and are justifiable, derogation may be granted. “We have our expectations from the companies and we would try not to compromise the safety of the operational environment of the operators,’’ he added. Amadi attributed the development to the weak state of the industry inherited by the new operators, noting that the sector is yet to rid itself of obsolete equipment, a development, he argued, that has made it difficult for the firms to operate and comply with the standards set by NERC on generation, transmission, distribution and customer welfare. According to him, issues such as distribution networks and cus-
tomer care are vital to the industry’s growth. He noted that the companies are required to do something along that line. He said the DISCOs were obliged to take care of their customers by opening as many care centres as possible. Chief Executive Officer, Septa Energy Nigeria Limited Philip Iheancho said the industry is battling with infrastructural problems, adding that the GENCOs’ failure to access gas, among other materials, may force them to open plants outside their base without considering the implications. Environmental safety, he said, should be given priority when establishing plants in the power sector. President, Senior Staff Association of Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) Godwin Ifenacho said the planned privatisation of the National Independent Power Plant (NIPP) projects would succeed if investors were sure of getting production materials. There would be a challenge when the power plants find it difficult to access materials, Iheancho said. ‘’For instance, the distance between Omotoso and Papalanto power plants and Escravos Gas Project in Delta State is long, making it difficult for the plants to access gas for production. Based on this, the operators may be compelled to site gas plants outside their areas of operations, not minding the implications to the health of the environment,’’ he said.
•From left: Vice-Chairman, National Development Planning Commission of Ghana, Ms. Mary Chinery-Hesse; Director, Leadership and Public Policy Centre, Howard University, USA, Dr. Elsie Scott; Minister of Petroleum Resources Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke and Chairman, Senate Committee on Gas, Senator Nkechi Nwaogu at the Women in Government and Politics Conference in London.
HE Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) has urged its members to sell kerosene at N50 per litre nationwide. IPMAN President Alhaji Abdulkadri Aminu told reporters at the inauguration of the initiative to sell kerosene at N50 per litre in Lagos that the association would keep its promise of selling kerosene at it price to ensure its availability in line with the goverment’s mandate. He said selling kerosene at N50 was one of the projects of IPMAN,the Products and Pipeline Marketing Company (PPMC) and the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC). He said: “The association has been at the vanguard of ensuring that the product that is meant for the local people should be sold at approved price. This has also been the focus of the Minister of Petroleum. Today, we are grateful to God that we have seen it happening. This particular exercise, I want to assure Nigerians, is going to be sustained.” Aminu said the N50 price would
‘Don’t politicise PIB’
OME experts have blamed the oil industry’s woes on past leaders. They spoke at a workshop on the Petroleum Industry Bill(PIB), organised for members of the Lagos State Executive Council, Permanent Secretaries and other officials. According to an oil and gas expert, Dr Mohammed Ibrahim, the past leaders should be held responsible for the problems in the petroleum industry. He said the way Nigeria’s past leaders surrendered the sector to foreign domination has left the nation worse off than it was before hydrocarbon was discovered. The PIB, he said, was a step in the right direction, advising against its politicisation. He called on the National Assembly to scrutinise the bill and ensure that it does not tie down the economy to foreign partners. Ibrahim observed that 95 per cent of oil and gas players are foreigners whcih poses serious danger to the existence and stability of the nation. He added that the bill has been doctored to suit the interest of foreign players in the industry. He said Nigeria technically cannot be regarded as an oil producing nation given its operational system where 95 per-
How Nigeria can meet 40 billion barrels of oil reserve target
OW can Nigeria meet its target of 40 billion of oil reserve barrels by 2020? It is by channelling more investments into the production and exploration of crude oil, experts have said. Investments in onshore and deep offshore projects should be galvanised to encourage industry’s growth. Elijah White, the Vice President, Exxon Mobil Production Company and Prof Adeola Akinisiju said the country risked
missing its target of substantially increasing its crude oil reserves by the turn of the decade, unless the government put together more investment-friendly fiscal terms in its proposed oil reform legislation. He said: “Nigeria needs to create a stable and attractive investment climate, competitive fiscal terms to attract capital and develop clear regulatory and competitive policies that would enable her to realise the full potential of the industry.”
The country, he said, had a huge oil potential, advising the government, and private sector operators to work together for the sector’s growth. Akinisiju, a professor of Geology and President, Association of International Energy Economics (AIEA), called for a synergy of operations among stakeholders to encourage industry’s growth. The country would meet the 40 billion barrels projection, once a conducive operating environment was in place. He said oil theft,
By Olawunmi Kolade
be strictly enforced, adding that any member of IPMAN found selling above the regulated price would be sanctioned. He said a monitoring team would be inaugurated to ensure conformity in IPMAN outlets nationwide. He urged consumers to diversify from kerosene to gas, adding that the association has ventured into gas utilisation. “Most Nigerians have switched from kerosene to liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), which is the future of the world. I want to assure Nigerians that a lot has been done by the government to ensure that gas utilisation comes to stay. If you go to Benin we have Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) station selling gas as fuel to motorists, in Lagos also NIPCO has 5,000 metric tonnes of LPG. “We are trying to create awareness on the essence of gas usage, its advantages, and price benefit. We intend to close the bridge between gas availability and utilisation which we help us a lot in aforestation exercise,” Aminu said.
pipeline vandalism, among other untoward practices in the Niger Delta, has affected production drastically. According to him, right fiscal policies, improved operating environment and improved infrastructure in the oil producing states would attract more investors to the industry. Nigeria plans to raise oil reserves from 35 billion barrels to 40 billions by 2020. The target, experts believe, can be attained, if the Petroleum Industry Bill is passed.
By Adeyinka Aderibigbe
cent of operators in the upstream oil and gas sector are foreigners. The PIB is set to reform the oil and gas industry, he stated. The Commissioner for Energy and Mineral Resources, Taofiq Ajibade Tijani, an engineer, said it was important that officials are well informed about the bill and what it’s going to achieve. He said the state would soon be a major player in the oil and gas sector, and as such must educate its officials on issues and policies in the industry.
Firm on oil theft solution ANON-GOVERNMENTAL Organisation known as ‘’Stop The Theft Campaign ’’ has called for a proactive approach to oil theft and related activities. The organisation, in a statement titled: “Assessing solutions to oil theft in Nigeria’s Niger Delta: Tracking illicit financial flows,” signed by its spokesman, Dr Patrick Dele Cole, said the government, banks, anti-graft agencies, such as the International Agency, Against Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing(GIABA), Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFFC) and oil companies, among other stakeholders, needed to fashion out ways of tackling the problem. It said collaborative efforts were required to know the perpetrators, mode of operations of oil thieves, and the channels through which proceeds of oil theft are taken outside the country. It said: “Stealing industrial quantities of crude oil and selling it into the international system inevitably involves significant financial transactions.’’
THE NATION TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 19, 2013
MARITIME THE NATION
THE NATION TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 19, 2013
OES the Lagos State government require a permit to build the Lekki link bridge over the lagoon or develop municipal water transportation? No, says Governor Babatunde Fashola, who described as “ridiculous” the stand of the National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA) that the state required such permit before embarking on those measures. NIWA is the Federal Government agency responsible for water transportation and related matters. It is insisting that the state government cannot undertake such a project without its approval. Dismissing NIWA’s claim, Fashola said at the 13th National Council on Transportation in Lagos that his administration did not require such permit before bringing development to the people.
Fashola faults waterways law • ‘Lagos doesn’t need permit to build bridge’ by Emeka Ugwuanyi, Asst. Editor
“The Lekki link bridge and water transportation are projects that will benefit the people for which we don’t need to get a permit before embarking on them,” he said. Pointing out that his administration will go on with the construction of the bridge and may not wait for the Federal Government’s approval, he said: “I find it objectionable where NIWA asks me to come to it and obtain a permit to set up a jetty in my own lagoon;
Rice smuggling rises as Xmas draws near
S the yuletide approaches, rice smuggling through Seme and Idi-Iroko borders has risen. The high cost of the commodity is responsible for the smuggling, it was learnt. Investigation by The Natio n around the border areas in Lagos and Ogun states indicated that smugglers use small buses to bring the producer to the market. For instance, when The Nation visited Ajilete in Ogun State last week, over 20 buses were seen carrying the commodity to Lusada Market in Agbara. Between Owode and Lusada market, investigation revealed that there was no single Customs check point, which made smuggling easy and safe. From Atan, a town close to Luzada, there were only two patrol vehicles of the Customs from FOU ‘Zone A’ stationed on the road to Sango Otta. Some of the rice traders in the
and shippers associations across the federation would fuse to speak with one voice and influence government policies. The time, he said, had come when shippers should not be left out of decisionmaking by the government “There is the need for all shippers in various organisations and associations to come together under one umbrella of NSC. We will form a very big umbrella to protect the shippers and speak with one voice,” he said. There should be no more dissenting views and that will give us credibility with the Nigeria Customs and other government agencies,” he said. He said the Shippers Association of Lagos State would invite all the shipping related associations for one of the
biggest conferences in Lagos in the first quarter of next year to achieve the objective of speaking with one voice and clearing goods in the ports with minimal delay and cost. “We will be building up the biggest shippers association in the West African sub region,” he added. The association, he said, would extend its facilities to all other associations and use the mechanism of NSC to reach out to the government on policy issues relating to tariffs and the type of goods that should be imported. “We will be in a position to advise the government on some of the harsh policies that needed to be reviewed in order to promote huge flow of imports into the country,” he added. He said presenting the problems of individual shippers in one front would be rewarding, noting that this would usher in a new regime of cargo clearing in the sector in partnership with the Nigeria Customs as the sole government agency responsible for cargo clearance.
Stories by Oluwakemi Dauda
area attributed the increased smuggling to port charges introduced by the Federal Government. One of them, Mr. Yinka Balogun, said the increase in duty paid to the Customs created the loophole for importers to evade payment and encouraged smuggling through land borders. Apart from rice, other smuggled goods include second hand vehicles, textile materials, used clothes, bags, shoes, tyres, rice, frozen chicken, and turkey, vegetable oil, soap, furniture sweet, apples, pineapple, palm oil, sweet and cigarettes, Investigation also revealed that tough times awaited Customs officials posted to curb the nefarious activities at the Luzada area as some smugglers use motorcycles to monitor the movement of Customs officer from the market to Agbara and Sango.
Govt told to review tariff
HE Federal Government has been urged to review port tariff and make the ports attractive for business. Importers and clearing agents said the ports may witness low volume of imports next year if the government did not act fast. Importers and clearing agents who spoke with The Nation, said the review has become necessary to eliminate arbitrariness and ensure parity with other ports, particularly those of neighbouring countries. The National President, Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANALCA), Price Olayiwola Shittu, said port tariffs were not commensurate with the services rendered by terminal operators and they make the ports uncompetitive. He said the terminal operators need to emulate the Nigerian Shippers’Council that has abolished service charges, bank charge, commission on turnover and concessionaires’ service charge to reduce the cost of doing business in the ports. Also, the Managing Director, Folas Motors, Chief Fola Alakija,
we will not stand for it.” Fashola said developing water transport as an alternative to road transport would create jobs and reduce transportation crisis in Lagos. To protect their interest and influence government policies, shippers have resolved to come under one umbrella. The President of Shipping Association of Lagos State, Rev. Jonathan Nicol, said fragmented pressure groups in the shipping industry had not helped shippers. The various groups, he said, would be united under the supervision of the Nigerian Shippers Council (NSC), adding that such groups as Importers Association of Nigeria, Save Nigeria Freight Forwarders, Importers and Exporters Coalition
said the council had been implementing the Inland Container Depots (ICDs) project on Build, Own, Operate and Transfer (BOOT) basis to bring shipping to the door of importers. He said despite the claim by the government that it has reduced its agencies at the ports, some are still posing big challenges to port operations. The importer said there was the need to revive and modernise the railway as a primary mode for long distance haulage of cargo and to free the Lagos ports road. According to him, the railway will also reduce the cost of transporting cargo in and out of the ports and create employment. Alakija said there was the need to embrace a single window operation to eliminate human contact and the use of discretion, which has been identified as the biggest obstacle to quick cargo clearance from the port. He said the single window operation would not only facilitate trade, but also eliminate fraud and improve revenue generation.
• Chairman, Senate Committee on Marine Transport Senator Zaynab Abdulkadir Kure (3rd right), with from left: Registrar and Secretary, Maritime Academy of Nigeria (MAN) Mallam Sayid Adamu; Rector Mr Joshua Okpo; Member, Governing Council Mr Oliver Agbasoga; Chairman Chief Mike Adiotomre; and member Abdulmumini Yunusa during a visit to the committee in Abuja.
Ship owners lament failure of Cabotage Act
HE Indigenous Ship Owners Association of Nigeria (ISAN) has bemoaned the inability of the Federal Government to enforce the Coastal and Inland Shipping Act 2003 (Cabotage Act) to enable its members participate in crude oil lifting. Speaking in Lagos, ISAN General Secretary, Capt. Niyi Labinjo urged the government to implement the law so that indigenous companies participate in oil business. The country, he said, exports about 2.5 million barrels of oil daily, wondereing why indigenous ship owners are not empowered to lift about 1.5 million barrels. The banks, Labinjo said, are willing to give them loans if the government can give them appreciable quantity to carry. He cited Brazil where the government approved about 700 agencies, which were issuing certificate of compliance on local
content. Labinjo said about five years ago, the government trained 200 cadets under the National Seafarers Development Programme, and regretted that since there was not enough shipping companies to work with, the cadets had been rendered jobless. He advised the government to provide enough funds for the Maritime Academy of Nigeria (MAN), Oron, Akwa Ibom, to enable it produce skilful cadets. Labinjo sought proper compliance with the Nigerian Content Act and encouragement to participate fully, in the Cabotage regime. “We will continue to press the government. We’ll continue to make our views known about the need for proper compliance with cabotage; about the need for proper compliance with the Nigerian Content Act. “If we have a government that insists that this year out of the 2.5
million barrels of oil that Nigeria exports, 1.5 million barrels would be carried by Nigerians and they say, ‘ISAN take this 1.5 million barrels, go and carry it, we will gladly go to the bank; the bank will give us money and we will do it’. “So, if you now say, ‘what is our expectation? ’Then, we will now say this year, we will struggle to carry the one million the government has given to us and hopefully by next year, we will do 1.5 million barrels. That is the expectation. “That is what has happened in the case of Brazil.Their government insists that you must use local content and the government approves about 700 agencies which were issuing certificate of compliance on local content. “So, if you are producing this locally and it is being used by the oil and gas sector, someone will intend to continue to do it,” he said.
THE NATION TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 19, 2013
THE NATION TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 19, 2013
THE NATION TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 19, 2013
THE NATION TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 19, 2013
Kogi APC gets exco
HE All Progressives Congress (APC) in Kogi State yesterday inaugurated its executive, with the former state Chairman of the defunct Congress for Progressive Change, Mohammed Mabo Kazeem, emerging as interim committee chairman. The ceremony, which took place at the main hall of the Nigeria Union of Journalists Press Centre in Lokoja, the state capital, was performed by APC’s Deputy National Legal Adviser James Ocholi (SAN). Other officials are Isaac Ekpa (secretary); Patrick Daudu (treasurer); A J B. Ajibade (organising secretary) and Sadiq Abdullahi (publicity secretary). Kassim said Nigerians were tired of empty promises. “The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)
20 schools shut in Kano From Kolade Adeyemi, Kano
Youths condemn Lamido’s sons’ arrest
UNDREDS of youths yesterday marched on the streets of Dutse, the Jigawa State capital, to protest the arrest of Governor Sule Lamido’s sons. The protesters, under the aegis of the National Volunteers for Sule Lamido (NVFS), marched on the city and House of Assembly where they were received by the Speaker, Adamu Ahmed Sarawa. The group’s leader, Musa Gambo Guri, condemned the
From Ahmed Rufa’i, Dutse
arrest and detention of Lamido’s sons by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and called for their release. Guri expressed their support for the governor and hailed his socio-economic performance in the state. He said: “The Lamido-led administration is the most transparent and accountable in the country. It is only Governor Lamido, who has achieved
over 90 percent budget implementation in all his six years in office. “President Goodluck Jonathan witnessed these improvements when he visited the state to inaugurate projects and laid foundation of some others.” The group called on the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) National Chairman Bamanga Tukur to resign. It urged the Presidency to stop harassing and intimidating
the Group of Seven Governors (G7). The Speaker assured the protesters that their message would be presented to the Assembly for deliberation. Sarawa said: “As you know the Assembly is not a one-man show, so your complaint would be presented to all the members during plenary. “The PDP is one family in this state and we will remain united under the able leadership of Governor Sule Lamido.”
‘How Kebbi official ‘looted’ N1.3b’
HE Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) yesterday released details of how the Kebbi State Accountant-General, Mohammed Arzika Dakingari (Dan Atto), looted N1.3 billion. The commission said Dakingari siphoned the funds by awarding contracts to his private firm, Beal Construction Nigeria Limited. Dakingari was arrested last Friday in Kano and brought to Abuja for questioning. A statement by EFCC’s Head of Media and Publicity said the N1.3 billion was mismanaged between May last year and this September. It said: “Dakingari, who is
From Yusuf Alli, Managing Editor, Northern Operation
in EFCC detention facility in Abuja, allegedly used a company that is owned by him, Beal Construction Nigeria Limited, to award contracts to himself. “Dakingari’s stake in Beal Construction is contrary to civil service regulation, which forbids serving officers from owning businesses. Investigators from the antigraft agency stumbled on evidence that showed Dakingari runs Beal Construction with his sons and brothers. “Findings at the Corporate Affairs Commission show that his three sons, Mohammed Bashir Mohammed; An-
wal Sadat and Nasir Mohammed, with two of his brothers, Abdullahi Mohammed and Habibu Mohammed are directors of the company. “The company operates two accounts at Ecobank and Unity Bank, with Dakingari and Yusuf Musa, managing director, as signatories.” The EFCC added that the N1.3 billion was mismanaged between May last year and this September. The statement said: “Dakingari was discovered to operate with two signatures, one in his official capacity as state accountant-general and the other as owner of Beal Construction. “Analysis of the accounts showed a total credit of N1.3
billion between May last year and this September, with most of the receipts coming from the Office of the AccountantGeneral and the Kebbi State Ministry of Finance. “Some of the contracts executed for the state for which Beal Construction received payments include the supply of furniture to 66 secondary schools in Kebbi State at N987million; the connection of water and drainage system at Kebbi Central Mosque at N110 million and the building and partitioning of Mohammed Maira Secondary School for N247 million. “Sources close to the investigations said Dakingari and his accomplices would be arraigned in court soon.”
WENTY private schools have been shut in Kano State, following their refusal to abide by rules and regulations governing private schools. The Task Force on Private Schools has warned proprietors of private schools to desist from exploiting pupils by imposing arbitrary fees. Task Force Chairman Baba Usman regretted that pupils had been exploited over the years in the state, insisting that WAEC, NECO and NEPTIC examination charges should not exceed N20,000. “We feel this is in order, as long as the private operators will seek clearance from the Task Force and as far as we are concerned, anybody that charges more than N20,000 will be refused clearance. “Let me say that the era of examination malpractice is coming to an end. We urge teachers in private and public schools to teach the SSS pupils, who are scheduled to graduate soon, well, to enable them pass without cheating.’’ “Our mission is not intended to intimidate or harass any school but to ensure that we bring them to order, to restore the lost glory.”
From Muhammad Bashir, Lokoja
has nothing to show since 1999 when it has held sway in the country. “The coming election would afford Nigerians another great opportunity to put an end to the injustice, maladministration and corruption that have become the hallmark of the present administration.”
PUBLIC NOTICE CHANGE OF NAME MARIA I formerly known and addressed as Miss Maria Prominence Obhajiajeme Iribhogbe, now wish to be known as Mrs Augustus Ayemenre. All former documents remain valid Esan West LGA & general public please take note. WILLIAMS I formerly known and addressed as Miss Williams Olayinka Samuel, now wish to be known as Mrs Ayinde Olayinka Alaba. All former documents remain valid Esan West LGA & general public please take note. NWAGIMEJEH I formerly known and addressed as Nwagimejeh god’stime francis ebuh , now wish to be known as link steven. All former documents remain valid The general public please take note. COLE I formerly known and addressed as Miss Sumbo Yetunde Cole , now wish to be known as Mrs Sumbo Yetunde Oluwole. All former documents remain valid The general public please take note.
CONFIRMATION OF NAME I, ODUWARE ODIGHIBOR and ODUWA ODIGHIBOR refers to one and the same person, now wish to be known and addressed as ODUWARE ODIGHIBOR . All former documents remain valid. General public please take note.
LOSS OF DOCUMENT
This is to inform the General public that the Original Accelerated Development Programme within FCT in favour of Magnitude Ventures Limited in respect of Plot No. 476 in Cadastral Zone B05 at Utako District with file No. Misc 82382 is missing. All efforts to trace same document proved abortive. If found please return to Mr Onoja Ojonugwa or the nearest police station.
Igbomina seek realignment with kinsmen
GBOMINA ethnic stock in Kwara and Osun states are demanding realignment with their kinsmen in the Southwest. A group, Movement for the Creation of Igbomina State, has written a memorandum to the Presidential Advisory Committee on the proposed National Dialogue, demanding representation in the conference. This, the group, said would address some of the challenges being faced by ethnic minority groups. A letter to the committee by the group’s Chairman, Ayoade Oyinloye; National Coordinator Olaitan Oyin Zubair and Secretary-
From Adekunle Jimoh, Ilorin
General S. O. Awolaran said the conference should be used to resolve the conflicts surrounding the issue of ethnic minorities. They traced the historical background of the Igbomina in Osun and Kwara states, saying they shared the same fate with other groups in the country. The letter regretted that despite several historical protestations, ethnic imbalance was still evident. They said today the Igbomina are still divided between Kwara and Osun states, the Awori between Lagos and Ogun states, the Nupe between Niger and
Kwara states, the Idoma between Benue and Anambra states, the Okun between Kogi, Ekiti and Ondo states and the Ijebu between Lagos and Ogun states. It reads: “We are descendants of Oduduwa, the progenitor of the Yoruba nation. We are, therefore, Yoruba by tribe, culture and language. Our land is contiguous, distinctively linguistically and culturally homogenous. We cover five local government areas, namely: Isin, Ifelodun, Irepodun, Ifedayo and Ila as well as parts of Ilorin East and Moro, with a population of about 1.2 million. “This Movement had submitted a similar memoran-
dum to the National Assembly requesting a self determination for the Igbomina. The imbalance in our national development may be enough reason to justify the convocation of a national conference. “The proposal for a national conference, will give attention resolve the crisis of the minorities. “Restructuring of states in Nigeria becomes inevitable in the present circumstance. It is quite unhealthy and unfair to have culturally compatible sub-ethnic groups divided among states, a scheme only meant to make such groups perpetually minority groups in such states.”
PROPERTY FOR SALE 6 FLAT OF 3 BEDROOM EACH ‘UNCOMPLETED’ ON 950 SQMT FENCED WITH GATE AT 35, SANNI BALOGUN STREET, ABULE EGBA: TITLE ; APPROEVED BUILDING PLAN, RECIEPT, SURVEY, & AGREEMENT.:ASKING PRICE: 35 MILLION NAIRA CONTACT OLADAPO OLUKAYODE, 26 & 27, YK PLAZA, BESIDE FIRST BANK, LAGOS-ABEOKUTA EXP RD, ALAKUKO BUS STOP, ALAGBADO, LAGOS.
Tel: 08181489499 and 08123807975
THE NATION TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 19, 2013
EQUITIES NIGERIAN STOCK EXCHANGE DAILY SUMMARY AS AT 18-11-13
Investors stake N5.7b on equities
HE stock market opened yesterday with the voluminous demand for quoted shares, reenacting the uptrend that closed the market at the weekend. Aggregate turnover at the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) was above average with investors staking N5.71 billion on 862.67 million ordinary shares in 5,638 deals. The turnover yesterday was the highest in recent months. Notwithstanding the voluminous transactions, the market sustained modest gain with addition of N55 billion in new capital gains to the market values of quoted companies. Aggregate market value of all quoted equities rose from N12.117 trillion to N12.172 trillion. The All Share Index (ASI), the common benchmark for the Nigerian stock market, also reflected the uptrend with a closing index point of 38,053.75 points as against its opening index of 37,883.53 points. The market remained obvi-
â€˘Transcorp leads bullish start By Taofik Salako
ously obsessed with the prospects of Transnational Corporation of Nigeria (Transcorp) Plc, which has sustained mostly as the most active stock on the NSE in recent weeks. Transcorp recorded the highest turnover of 388.03 million shares valued at N1.49 billion in 1,175 deals. Investors also showed considerable interests in lowpriced stocks, especially insurance stocks trading around their nominal values. Wapic Insurance was the second most active stock with a turnover of 83.26 million shares valued at N72.12 million in 78 deals. Zenith Bank placed third with a turnover of 41.95 million shares worth N889.57 million in 258 deals. With the deals on Transcorp, the conglomerates sector emerged the most active sector with a turnover of 388.76 million shares valued
at N1.52 billion in 1,250 deals. Banking subgroup accounted for 161.37 million shares valued at N1.76 billion in 1,454 deals. The market was overtly bullish with 32 advancers to 22 decliners. Nestle Nigeria led the advancers with a gain of N49.78 to close at N1,178.78 per share. Guinness Nigeria followed with a gain of N5.01 to close at N235.01. Mobil Oil Nigeria added N3.90 to close at N118.90. Seven-Up Bottling Company gathered N3.40 to close at N71.40. MRS Oil and Gas rose by N3.39 to close at N55.90. Oando chalked up 81 kobo to close at N12.81. UACN Property Development Company gained 45 kobo to close at N18.83 while Transcorp rose by 37 kobo to close at N4 per share. On the downside, Conoil topped the losersâ€™ list with a loss of N3.80 to close at N72.20. Nigerian Breweries dropped by N1.61 to close at N166.99. Nigerian Aviation Handling Company (Nahco) and Guaranty Trust Bank lost 30 kobo each to close at N5.70 and N26.30 while International Breweries dropped by 20 kobo to close at N22 per share.
NIGERIAN STOCK EXCHANGE DAILY SUMMARY AS AT 18-11-13
THE NATION TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 19, 2013
N1.7tr bonds: AMCON’s investors decide payment plan today
NVESTORS in the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria’s (AMCON) bonds are expected to communicate their terms of payment to the Corporation by the close of work today. AMCON Chief Executive Officer, Mustafa Chike-Obi said during a media parley in Lagos that about N1.7 trillion, out of the N5.7 trillion bonds issued by the corporation will be redeemed on December 30. However, investors in the bonds have to indicate whether they want to be paid in cash, or treasury bills. Such decision, he said, would guide the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN)
•Illiquid bonds to cut banks’ earnings Stories by Collins Nweze
liquidity management plans in the coming months. The CBN holds about N3.6 trillion worth of the bonds. Meanwhile, a report by Renaissance Capital (RenCap), an Investment and Research firm, titled: Nigerian Banks: ‘Killing Me Softly,’ said most lenders that invested in the bonds would face challenging earnings in 2013. It said the investment affected the lenders’ liquidity posi-
tions. “We believe this will remain a challenging year for Access, given the nature of its balance sheet (large exposure to illiquid AMCON bonds). We think 2014 should be a year of stronger growth for Access, as most of the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) debt matures at the end of this year and will be redeemed for either cash or t-bills – giving Access the opportunity to earn better returns on its assets,” the report said about the
card. The card, which can be pre-funded in Naira or United States Dollar denominations, is ideal for students, corporate accounts (expense cards, estacode, and corporate travel) and travel cards among others. The card, the bank stated, also eliminates the burden of carrying large sums of money around just as it allows its holders to spend conveniently since both the Personal Travel Allowance (PTA) and Basic Travel Allowance (BTA) are loadable on the prepaid card. “With the product, the statement further affirmed that, “Holders of the MasterCard prepaid do not need to carry huge amounts in foreign currencies during foreign trips because
money loaded in the card is already available, secure, safe and can be used anywhere in the world. What that means is that it is convenient for everybody that will be travelling both within and outside the country during the festive period,” it said. The bank also said that the process of acquiring the card is simple because customers can collect e-Business application forms from any branch of the lender nationwide and submit completed ones with required documents. Once this is perfected, the individual will collect the card on the spot and in addition, receive a welcome letter and a user manual, which guides them through detailed and effective usage of the card.
3-Year 5-Year 5-Year
35m 35m 35m
11.039 12.23 13.19
19-05-2014 18-05-2016 19-05-2016
IRSTBANK in collaboration with Interswitch, has inaugurated FirstClub, the lender’s enterprise loyalty scheme. The product rewards customers with points for various transactions performed with the bank. The transactions covers savings/ current account deposits, bills payment, Point of Sale (POS) payments using any FirstBank Card, and in addition offers the exclusive FirstClub Platinum Mastercard as an additional reward to affluent customers for large ticket transactions in the defined campaign categories. Speaking at the product launch in Lagos, FirstBank’s Group Managing Director, Bisi Onasanya said the customers are expected to benefit from FirstExclusive card which is a debit Platinum card provided by MasterCard, a global payment company. Onasanya who was represented by the bank’s Chief Financial Of-
WHOLESALE DUTCH AUCTION SYSTEM Amount Offered ($) 350m 350m
MANAGED FUNDS Initial Quotation Price N8250.00 N1000.00
OBB Rate Call Rate
Current Market 5495.33 N552.20
Price Loss 2754.67 447.80
PRIMARY MARKET AUCTION (T-BILLS) Tenor 91-Day 182-Day 1-Year
Amount 30m 46.7m 50m
Rate % 10.96 9.62 12.34
Date 28-04-2012 “ 14-04-2012
GAINERS AS AT 18-11-13
TRANSCORP CILEASING OANDO MRS 7UP LIVESTOCK UBCAP ETERNA CUTIX STERLNBNK
3.63 0.50 12.00 52.51 68.00 3.69 1.26 2.96 1.76 2.26
4.00 0.54 12.81 55.90 71.40 3.87 1.32 3.10 1.84 2.36
%CHANGE 10.19 8.00 6.75 6.46 5.00 4.88 4.76 4.73 4.55 4.42
LOSERS AS AT 18-11-13
SYMBOL CONOIL NAHCO AGLEVENT WEMABANK JOSBREW COSTAIN UTC RTBRISCOE INTENEGINS AFRIPRUD
O/PRICE 76.00 6.00 1.64 1.24 3.17 0.86 0.66 1.18 0.53 1.95
C/PRICE 72.20 5.70 1.56 1.18 3.02 0.82 0.63 1.13 0.51 1.90
Year Start Offer
Amount Sold ($) 150m 138m
Exchange Rate (N) 155.2 155.8
Date 2-7-12 27-6-12
NGN USD NGN GBP
NGN EUR NIGERIA INTER BANK (S/N) (S/N) Bureau de Change (S/N) Parallel Market
DISCOUNT WINDOW Feb. ’11
Standing Lending Rate ,, Deposit Rate ,, Liquidity Ratio Cash Return Rate Inflation Rate
8.50% 4.50% 25.00% 1.00% 12.10%
8.50% 4.50% 25.00% 2.00% 12.10%
9.50% 5.50% 30.00% 2.00% 11.8%
NIBOR Tenor 7 Days 30 Days 60 Days 150 Days
Rate (Previous) 4 Mar, 2012 9.0417 9.6667 11.2917 12.1250
Rate (Currency) 6, Mar, 2012 10.17% 11.46% 11.96% 12.54%
CAPITAL MARKET INDEX
CUV Start %
%CHANGE -5.00 -5.00 -4.88 -4.84 -4.73 -4.65 -4.55 -4.24 -3.77 -2.56
Amount Demanded ($) 150m 138m
EXHANGE RATE 6-03-12 Currency
INTERBANK RATES 7.9-10% 10-11%
ficer, Bayo Adelabu named other partners to the project as Starwood Hotels & Resorts which provides discount offers on room rates, spa, foods and beverages, as well as complimentary Wi-Fi, use of hotel gym during lodging at all Starwood Hotels in Nigeria such as Four Point by Sheraton (Lagos), Sheraton (Lagos & Abuja), L’Meridian (Uyo & Port-Harcourt). Onasanya club members can also use points combination with cash/ card for purchase on LazyBargains.com. while airport Lounge Access (at Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Cairo, Kuwait, Riyadh, Dammam & Jeddah) are also available. Director, Switching & Processing, Interswitch, Akeem Lawal, said the company is the bank’s technical implementation partner and country representative of Welcome Realtime Singapore the platform providers of the FirstClub Loyalty Scheme.
FGN BONDS Tenor
FirstBank inaugurates loyalty scheme for customers
Enterprise Bank’s customers get improved card services
NTERPRISE Bank has said its customers will enjoy additional convenience with its dual purpose MasterCard Prepaid Card used locally and internationally. In a statement, the bank explained that the card is a multi-purpose chip and pin debit card that can be prefunded with cash. It said product can then be used to effect cashless payments (like a bank debit card) on the internet, Point of Sale (PoS) terminals and cash from Automated Teller Machines (ATMs). All these features, the bank added, make it a convenient companion for travelers this period. It said the individual would have no need to open or have a bank account in order to have the prepaid
lender’s position. It added that tougher regulation by the CBN would make it difficult for banks to deliver improved earnings. “We think it will become harder for some of the banks to deliver returns in excess of their cost of equity – especially some of the smaller banks,” the RenCap report said.
NSE CAP Index
19-09-13 11.432.09 35,891.90
23-09-13 11.494.75 36,088.64
% Change -
MEMORANDUM QUOTATIONS Name AFRINVEST W.A. EQUITY FUND ARM AGGRESSIVE GROWTH BGL NUBIAN FUND BGL SAPPHIRE FUND CANARY GROWTH FUND CONTINENTAL UNIT TRUST FBN FIXED INCOME FUND FBN MONEY MARKET FUND KAKAWA GUARANTEED NIGERIA INTERNATIONAL DEB. PARAMOUNT EQUITY FUND STANBIC IBTC GUARANTE INVE STANBIC IBTC NIG EQUITY LOTUS CAPITAL HALAL
Offer Price 161.60 9.17 1.10 1.17 0.75 1.39 1,000.00 100.00 143.11 1,865.47 14.43 141.19 11,496.45 0.80
Bid Price 160.55 9.08 1.09 1.17 0.74 1.33 1,000.00 100.00 142.62 1,857.56 13.73 140.70 11,170.99 0.78
• ARM AGGRESSIVE • KAKAWA GUARANTEED • STANBIC IBTC GUARANTE • AFRINVEST W.A. EQUITY FUNDARM AGGRESSIVE
OPEN BUY BACK
Previous 04 July, 2012
Current 07, Aug, 2012
THE NATION TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 19, 2013
THE NATION TUESDAY NOVEMBER 19, 2013
Oshiomhole reshuffles exco
•Two council chairmen, councillors suspended
DO State Governor Adams Oshiomhole yesterday redeployed the Commissioner for Transport, Iriogbe Isimeme Jesse, to Special Duties. He moved the Commissioner for Special Duties, Oil and Gas, Orobosa Omo Ojo, to Transport. Oshiomhole said the change, which takes immediate effect, was to strengthen the government. Also yesterday, two council chairmen, Chief Roland Ibierutomwen (Orhionmwon Local Government) and
From Osemwengie Ben Ogbemudia and Osagie Otabor, Benin
Roland Alari (Uhunmwode Local Government) were suspended. Their suspension was approved by the House of Assembly. Also suspended were councillors and other executives of Orhionmwon council. The House approved Ibierutomwen’s suspension following a letter from the governor. Alari was suspended after a motion
moved by Mr. Kabiru Adjoto. Oshiomhole sought the suspension of Ibierutomwen and the councilors after youths protested their prolonged absence from duty. Ibierutomwen, his deputy and the councillors travelled to Italy last week under the guise of going to learn about local government administration. Alari was removed for allegedly fighting a councillor in the legislative chambers.
Fire razes six trucks on Benin-Ore road
IX trucks were razed at the weekend on the Benin-Ore Expressway after multiple accidents. The fire was ignited by a truck conveying petroleum products. Nobody died. The fire, which occurred on Saturday night, caused traffic gridlock on the road, and vehicles had to pass
From Osagie Otabor, Benin
through Ogbemudia farms. Toll-gate Unit Commander of the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), Ameen Adewale, yesterday said the accident was caused by robbers. He said: “As I speak with you, the fire is still ranging and our men are on standby to control traffic. The robbery caused a container to
fall across the road and two other unsuspecting trucks ran into it while trying to escape from the robbers. “Unfortunately, a truck laden with 33 litres of petrol ran into the others and caught fire. No life was lost in the accident and our men are on ground to control traffic. We have completely blocked the Ore side of the road and have diverted traffic to the Benin lane.”
‘Nigeria’s retail market contributes 3% HE Nigerian retail cent of the global GDP is conto GDP’ market has become tributed by organised retail
more organised with the launch of the Retail Council of Nigeria (RCN). The retail market, according to an official of the RCN, contributes three per cent to the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Addressing reporters in Lagos, a member of the Board of Trustees (BoT) of the council, Haresh Keswani, said: “Organised retail has a direct relationship to economic growth. The United States and Brit-
By Tonia ‘Diyan
ain have over 80 per cent each of the organised retail market’s contributions to their economic growth. In Japan and India, the organised retail market contributes about 66 per cent and 10 per cent to economic growth.” The RCN official noted that Nigeria’s three per cent was from the “unorganised” retail market in the country. According to him, 27 per
market. Keswani said: “Across the globe, the retail market employs 17.1 per cent of the workable population. In the U.S., it accounts for 14 per cent. Organised retail supports the development of various sectors across the economic environs of the country and it assists to conserve foreign exchange.” He added that an organised retail market would increase the revenue base for the government.
100m Nigerians lack access to toilets, says UNICEF
•37 million people still practice open defecation
HE country’s worsening sanitary situation was yesterday brought to the fore in Abuja. United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF) said about 100 million Nigerians lacked access to sanitary toilets. Corroborating this, the Federal Government noted that as many as 2771 cases of cholera epidemics were reported this year with 124 deaths, a situation which was blamed on bad sanitary conditions. Speaking at the celebration of World Toilets Day, UNICEF Chief Sanitary, Water and Hygiene Officer, Kannan Nadar described the situation as very critical.
From Vincent Ikuomola, Abuja
He said: “Nigeria has about 100 million people without access to toilets, this is worrisome, as it is possible for everyone to own toilet, it doesn’t cost much. “Sanitation and toilets are fundamental human rights. since it is possible for everyone to own toilet, it is not justified for people to die of diseases related to open defecation.” Minister of Health Prof. Onyebuchi Chukwu, the recent occurrence of cholera epidemics could be stopped if there is a mechanism to stop open defecation. He said: “As many as an
estimated 2771 cases and 124 deaths with case fatality rate of 4.5 per cent were reported, this yearly occurrence of cholera epidemics could be stopped if there is a mechanism to stop open defecation which will prevent contamination of water sources and foods that are major causes of cholera in the country.” The minister who was represented by his Permanent Secretary, Amb. Sani Bala however, assured the gathering that government was working on a policy that will encourage communities and urban centres to embrace good sanitary and hygiene system.
Rivers judge accused of bias
RIVERS State High Court Judge, Justice I. A. Iyayi-Lamikanra, has been accused of bias by the seven members of Obio/Akpor Local Government Caretaker Committee. The committee said there would be a “miscarriage of justice” today at Justice IyayiLamikanra’s court. The Caretaker Committee Chairman, Chikordi Dike, and members: Stanley Ehoro, Ovunda Ihunwo, Ernest Ogbonda Yellowe, Owhor Kinikanwo Friday, Chima Worgu and Chikweru Ejims, spoke with reporters yesterday in Port Harcourt, the state capital. They lamented that policemen refused to vacate the council secretariat, despite an order by the Federal High Court, sitting in Port Harcourt, to do so. The committee wondered why Justice Iyayi-
From Bisi Olaniyi, Port Harcourt
Lamikanra was bent on delivering judgment today in the Obio/Akpor suit, despite a pending suit at the Court of Appeal, Port Harcourt, on the matter. Former executives of the council, led by Timothy Nsirim, were suspended on April 22 by Governor Rotimi Amaechi, following a recommendation by the House of Assembly, which looked into a petition by ObioAkpor Concerned Stakeholders on alleged “financial looting” by the council officials. Nsirim and his team went to court to challenge their sack. They are seeking an order declaring the caretaker committee illegal and reinstating them. The judge is supposed to rule on the suit today.
THE NATION TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 19, 2013
U.S. military working on Libyans
HE U.S. military is working on plans to train 5,000 to 7,000 members of the Libyan security forces and also special operations forces who can carry out counter-terrorism missions, a senior U.S. military official said. Libya's government is struggling to keep order as rival militias and hardline Islamists refuse to disarm two years after Muammar Gaddafi was ousted in a NATO-backed uprising. Tripoli has seen deadly clashes over the past several days. Admiral William McRaven, who heads the U.S. military's Special Operations Command, declined to go into details about the training plan, saying these were still being negotiated. "Suffice to say that there is going to be a kind of conventional effort, to train their conventional forces, between 5 and 7,000 conventional forces. And we have a
complementary effort on the special operations side to train a certain number of their forces to do counter-terrorism," he told a defense forum in California at the weekend. McRaven said there would be extensive vetting of Libyan personnel trained by the United States. However, he acknowledged vetting could only do so much in Libya, where militiamen and former fighters are often employed by the government to protect ministries and government offices. Those gunmen remain loyal to their commanders or tribes and often clash in rivalries over control of territory. "Right now as we go forward to try and find a good way to build up the Libyan security forces so they are not run by militias, we are going to have to assume some risks," McRaven told the forum late on Saturday.”
Court shelves case against German bishop
GERMAN court says it's shelved a case against a German bishop removed from his diocese by the Vatican over a furor caused by the cost of his new residence. The Hamburg administrative court said Monday the case against Limburg Bishop Franz-Peter Tebartz-van Elst would be closed upon his payment of a 20,000 euro ($27,000) fine. The bishop was accused of giving false statements in a
case he brought against Der Spiegel magazine over its report that he flew first-class to India on a trip to visit poor children. The dpa news agency said prosecutors only accepted the deal after Tebartz-van Elst confessed, but diocese spokesman Stephan Schnelle would not comment beyond the court press release. The church is investigating the bishop's spending of 31 million euros on his residence.
•Russian investigators combed through the charred fragments of a Boeing 737 jetliner as they tried to determine what caused its crash that killed all 50 people on board ...yesterday The plane belonging to Tatarstan Airlines crashed Sunday while trying to land at its home port in the Russian city of Kazan, the capital of the oil-rich province of Tatarstan. The son of the provincial governor and the chief of the local branch of Russia's main security agency were among the victims.
Toronto council poised to strip mayor of powers
ESET by scandal, Toronto Mayor Rob Ford faces another likely setback Monday as the City Council takes up a motion to snatch away most of his remaining powers. Ford called the effort a "coup d'etat" and challenged the council to call snap elections. Under the motion, already endorsed by a majority of council members, Ford would in effect become mayor of Canada's largest city in name only. He would be stripped of his office budget and staff. The council does not have the power to remove Ford from office, barring a criminal conviction. It is pursuing the strongest recourse available after recent revelations that Ford smoked crack cocaine and his repeated outbursts of erratic behavior. Far from being chastened, Ford has vowed to take the council to court and insists he will seek re-election next year.
"It's a coup d'etat - that's all this is," Ford said as he arrived at City Hall on Monday morning. He earlier claimed on a radio station that councilors were against his agenda to save taxpayers' money. "If they want me out, they should just call a snap election," Ford told radio station AM640. Councilor Denzil MinnanWong, a former Ford ally, said it's about his conduct. "This about embarrassing the city, his involvement with gangs, his involvement with crack cocaine this about his admission that he gets behind the wheel while drinking," Minnan-Wong said. "He's the worst spokesman for the city of Toronto right now." On Sunday, Ford embraced the spotlight, giving an interview to Fox News and showing up at a Toronto Argonauts
NEWS respect for people’s mandate. The statement reads : “It is certainly rude, uncharitable and nonsensical for Gulak, an appointed aide, to derisively refer to elected governors as ‘Amaechi Governors Forum’. Gulak and his co-travellers in the Presidency must be told in unambiguous terms that the Governors’ Forum is an internal business of governors and who becomes their chairman can only be determined by the governors
alone. “It is a known fact that in the election for chairman of NGF held on May 24, Governor Amaechi got the mandate of the majority of his colleague-governors to continue to serve as their chairman when 19 governors voted for him as against 16 that voted for Plateau State Governor Jonah Jang. We know that 19 is always greater than 16. “But for the Jonathan Presidency, according to Gulak, 16 is greater than 19. We, like most Nigerians, are further
saddened that the likes of Gulak in the Presidency are so ignorant and totally bereft of substance that they lack the capacity to comprehend the quantum of damage their comments do to the President. “This is why it is imperative for the Presidency to dissociate itself and President Jonathan from the unbefitting, perverse and delinquent comments of Gulak on who is the authentic chairman of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum.”
Continued from page 2
The APC has also accused the PDP of being “an accessory to the shameful electoral malfeasance in Anambra last Saturday, going by the statement credited to the discombobulated party that the election was free and fair. ‘’In its inordinate ambition to humiliate our party at all costs, the PDP has ended up humiliating itself and embarrassing the nation. Or how else does one
ner. In all, 1,763,751 voters were registered; 451,826 were accredited. There are 413,005 valid votes; 16,544 were rejected. Total votes cast was 429,549. Of the cancelled votes, 89,997 were from Idemili North Local Government Area; 636 came from two units in Idemili South. According to INEC figures, APGA came first with 174,710 votes. PDP scored 94,956 votes. The All Progressives Congress (APC) came third with 92,300 votes. Labour Party (LP) polled 37,446 votes. There were 23 candidates. APGA won in 16 of the 21 local government areas; APC won in two, PDP won in two and LP won one. The announcement began at about 12.40am. All the local government collation officers were professors or senior officials of UNICAL.
“The commission will arrange a supplementary election in those areas where election was cancelled,” Epoke said. He added that all the parties that participated in last Saturday’s election would participate in the supplementary election. In Aguata, APC scored 5,275 votes, APGA polled 10,180, PDP got 4,275 votes and LP polled 1,129. There were 24,883 accredited voters in Aguata; 23,452 votes were valid. In Ayamelum, APC polled 1,827; APGA scored 9,121; PDP got 5,681 and LP (624). Total valid votes was 17,449. In Anambra East, APC got 1,418; APGA (15,300), PDP (5,579) and LP (511). Total valid votes cast was 23,315. In Anambra West, APC scored 2,478; APGA (5,128), PDP (3966) and LP (321). In Anaocha, APC polled 3,174, APGA (14,563), PDP (2,948) and LP (733). A ballot box was snatched at Unit 016,
Obiamaka Primary School, it was reported. In Awka North, APC scored 1,712 votes, APGA (5,385), PDP (3,943) and LP 474. In Awka South, APC polled 6,596, APGA (9,206), PDP (5,689) and LP (1,648). The PDP scored the highest number of votes in Dunukofia, followed by APGA (3,670), APC (3,522) and LP (1,236). APGA polled the highest number of votes in Ekwusigo (6,815), followed by PDP (4,426), APC (2,958) and LP (1,692). In Idemilli North, APC scored the highest number of votes (7,135), followed by APGA (2,795), PDP (1,462) and LP (643). The APC also led in Idemili North, where it scored 9,539 votes. APGA polled 2,899; PDP scored 3,786. LP got 1,021. In Ihiala, APC scored 4,069; APGA (10,067), PDP (5,517) and LP (1,854). APGA scored 10,753 votes in Njikoka. APC polled 4,585, PDP got 5,630 and LP scored
describe a bizarre situation in which a party will describe as free and fair an election in which its own candidate and his family could not find their names in the voters’ register? The joke is indeed on the PDP! ‘’It is now clear who the PDP is working for, and that the party has no qualms about sacrificing its own candidate and disgracing the nation as long as it will achieve its aim of humiliating the APC,’’ the party said.
‘How $5b ECA cash was spent’ •Amaechi
INEC probes Anambra’s inconclusive election Continued from page 2
and pressured a female staffer to engage in oral sex. On Thursday, Ford spouted an obscenity on live television while denying the sex allegation, saying he was "happily married" and using crude language to assert that he enjoys enough oral sex at home. Last week, after admitting to excessive drinking and buying illegal drugs, Ford disclosed that he is seeking medical help. But he and his family insist he is not an addict and does not need rehab. The mayor addressed some of those issues in his interview with Fox News. "I've admitted to drinking too much. Okay. So I'm dealing with it, I'm training every day, I'm in the gym two hours every day," Ford said. "I'm seeking professional help, I'm not an alcoholic, I'm not a drug addict.
APC: cancel election
I’m authentic NGF chair, says Amaechi Continued from page 1
game even though the commissioner of the Canadian Football League had suggested that he not attend. He and his brother are set to debut a current events television show Monday night called "Ford Nation" for the Sun News Network. Toronto, a city of 2.7 million people, has been abuzz with the Ford melodrama since May, when news outlets reported that he had been caught on video smoking crack cocaine. Recently released court documents show the mayor became the subject of a police investigation after those reports surfaced. Ford, who denied there was any incriminating video, now acknowledges the reports were accurate. In interviews with police, former Ford staffers have made further accusations, saying the mayor drank heavily, sometimes drove while intoxicated
754. In Nnewi North, LP led with 18,014 votes, followed by APGA (4,846), APC (3,076) and PDP (1,942). In Nnewi South, APGA led with 8,145, followed by PDP (3,031), APC (2,676) and LP (2,214). In Ogbaru, APGA polled 11,716. Others are: APC (7,687), PDP (6,114) and LP (95). APGA scored 10,842 votes in Onitsha North. Other results are: APC (7,616), PDP (4,947) and LP (776). In Onitsha South, APGA led with 9,786 votes. Other results are: APC (7,094), PDP (3,520) and LP (716). APGA led in Orumba North, polling 9,161 votes, followed by PDP (4,567) and APC (3,343). In Orumba South, APC scored 3,147. Other results are: APGA (6,338), PDP (4,003) and LP (1,265). In Oyi, PDP led with 9,123 votes, followed by APGA (6,994), APC (3,373) and LP (206).
Continued from page 1
false, allegations by Rivers State Governor Rotimi Amaechi that $5 billion is missing from the Excess Crude Account (ECA). “Governor Amaechi cannot credibly deny knowledge of the status of the ECA. He has been closely involved and actively participated in making requests to the Presidency for the ECA to be shared for the purpose of augmenting the regular allocations from the Federation Account whenever there is a shortfall.” The statement added that the $5 billion in the ECA, which Governor Amaechi referred to, “has been shared to the three tiers of government to make up for the revenue shortfalls during the Federation Accounts Allocation Committee process.” The ministry said it “also went for SURE-P payments and the balance for subsidy payments to oil marketers”. The minister said Rivers State received N56.2 billion, the second highest share among the states, for January to September 2013 from the ECA.
This amount, the ministry added, “includes N43 billion for shortfalls plus N12 billion released for SURE-P.” Okonjo-Iweala and her team added that “earlier this month (November 2013) Rivers State along with other states, benefitted from the sharing of $1 billion from the ECA to augment the allocations.” It then described as curious, claims by Governor Amaechi denying knowledge of the whereabouts of the N56.2 billion which Rivers State has received from the ECA this year. With regards to claims that Okonjo-Iweala has refused to sign the African Development Bank (ADB) loan for a water project in Port Harcourt. Again, the ministry denied the allegation as wrong. The loan in question the ministry said “has been appraised but it is yet to be negotiated. Before the minister can sign it, it has to go through the negotiation process and be considered and cleared by both the Board of the African Development Bank and the Federal Executive Council. So the issue of the minister refusing to sign it simply does not arise.”
THE NATION TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 19, 2013
Jakande, Banire, others for summit A HUMAN Rights organisation, Egbe Alatunto (The Reformers) will tomorrow hold a summit on good governance at the Standard Hotel, Adeoyo in Mushin, Lagos. Tagged: Mushin Summit, the one-day event will feature the former governor of Lagos State, Alhaji Lateef Jakande, All Progressives Congress (APC) Interim National Legal Adviser, Dr Muiz Banire, son of the late human rights activist, Chief Gani Fawehinmi, Mohammed, Chief Kofoworola Bucknor-Akerele, Chief Remi Adikwu-Bakare, Mr Kayode Oladele and Mr Olugbenga Ladipo. Dr Banire and Fawehinmi are expected to lead discussion on the impact of good governance on the democratic and economic wellbeing of the people. Oladele will give keynote address.
Nigerian elected President of ICAO Council By Kelvin Osa Okunbor
A NIGERIAN, Dr Olumuyiwa Babatunde Aliu has been elected President of the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), the umbrella world body for Aviation safety. He is the first blackman to head the world body. He was elected yesterday at the 38th Assembly of the organisation in Montreal, Canada by an assembly consisting of 172 countries. Aliu received support from the Federal Government and Nigerians both at home and in Diaspora as the Minister of Aviation Stella Oduah led the Nigerian delegation to mobilise support for Aliu, who has built invaluable goodwill among ICAO member countries’ representatives. This massive support for Nigerian representative is an acknowledgement of the present administration’s efforts. Aliu’s election also confirms the recognition of the increasing strength of Nigerian aviation industry and the minister's campaign for his election as President of ICAO Council showed that he is also receiving support from his home country. The minister in Canada last month paid a courtesy call on the out-going President of the Council in his office as part of the strategy to secure his continuous support for Nigeria and also hosted several bilateral meetings with delegates of United States, the European Union and several others.
Evil spirit made me kill, says suspect J OSEPH Emeka Okoro, the man, who allegedly killed three persons in Ebonyi State last week, claimed that an evil spirit possessed and forced him to commit the crime. Okoro, who hails from Agbabo Isu in Onicha Local Government, was arrested by policemen from Onicha Divisional Police Station. In an interview with our reporter at the police headquarters, Abakaliki, the suspect alleged that the manipulations of the evil spirit was further worsened by the effect of drugs allegedly injected into his body by assassins hired by his former master in Lagos. Narrating his ordeal in the hands of his master, who he claimed to have served for many years, Emeka alleged that rather than settle him after his service, the master
hired assassins to kill him. He regretted killing the three victims with a machete, adding that they were his in laws. “I know those people that I ‘killed’ but I did not know why I killed them or when I did it. They are good people whom I have never had any quarrel with. I think I was possessed by an evil spirit. “Whenever this spirit comes into me, it will just be as if I am mad and this was worsened by the effect of the drugs I was injected with by people hired by my former master. I have never seen such powerful drugs in my life. I had up to 48 injections.
“I ran to a white garment church and my master came there and told them that I was mad but while I was there I asked to make a phone call which they obliged me and after the phone call, the church members started wondering how a mad man is able to know the numbers to call and discuss coherently. “They gave some people money to kill me. Those people hit me with iron and blinded my eye and I fainted. They then dumped me in a gutter thinking I was dead. “I woke up and heard a voice telling me to go back to the village. That was how I went back to the village. “I sold my phone for N5,000 to raise money to come back home. I have never killed be-
From Adekunle Jimoh, Ilorin
fore. Police spokesman Chris Anyanwu named the victims as Peter Awoke from Umuniko Isu; Sunday Nwaigwe from Umuniko Isu and Ega of Agbabo. He said the suspect would be charged to court after investigations are concluded.
ASUU queries four ESUT lecturers
OUR professors of the Enugu State University of Science and Technology (ESUT) have been queried by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) for sabotaging its nationwide strike. Chairman of ASUU-ESUT, Prof. Agu Gab Agu, spoke with reporters in Enugu yesterday. Agu said ASUU-ESUT had a successful congress yesterday, and they resolved that they stood with the ASUU
From Chris Oji, Enugu
National Executive on the strike. He said they abide by whatever NEC says and awaits its directive. On the purported resumption of academic activities at ESUT yesterday, Agu said they were informed that some lecturers met with the management and sold the idea that they were representing ASUU. “We are meeting with the
management and have refuted that because we do not know them. We did not give them the mandate. “Four professors are involved and we have queried them and when they reply, we’ll know the next action to take. We are forwarding the query to ASUU national. Nobody sent them. They don’t have the mandate of ASUU,” Agu said. He said the action of the erring professors was painful, knowing the stature of the
man who died. “Prof Festus Iyayi was a devoted activist. You need to be close to him to appreciate him. I was with him when we had residency at Oxford Roundtable last year. He was a devoted family man. “He came with his wife to Oxford. There were three Nigerians; Prof Iyayi, Prof Akin Oyebade of the University of Lagos and I. We were hosted by the Nigerian community, led by Prof. Shoduke of Leys Pharmacy.”
CHIEFTAIN of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Mohammed Dele Belgore (SAN), has commiserated with a former chairman of the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), Justice Mustapha Akanbi, on the death of his wife, Alhaja Musatu Aduke. Mrs Akanbi, who was 68, died in an Indian hospital last Friday. Her remains were interred yesterday in Ilorin, the Kwara State capital, according to Islamic rites. In a statement yesterday in Ilorin, Belgore, who was the state governorship candidate of the defunct Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) in 2011, said: “This is to commiserate with our father and former chairman of the ICPC, Justice Mustapha Akanbi, and the family on the sudden death of his dear wife and our mother Alhaja Musatu Aduke who passed away on Friday. It is one death too many, although as mortals we have no power over when we are born, which family we are born into and when we desert this transient life. “Alhaja was a great and kind personality and we deeply mourn her exit. It is our prayer that the Almighty Allah will grant her eternal rest and be with the family now and always. The fact that some of our beloved people leave us so abruptly is a reminder that we are from God and to Him is our ultimate return and a warner that what matters is what good legacy we leave behind.”
Police warn vehicle owners
GUN State Police Command Ijebu Ode command Audi car Registration No FQ 668 EKY Bedford bus Registration No XB414 JBD Nissan car registration No AE742KKY.
Ex-civil servant for burial
C •BIRTHDAY GIRL: Mrs Gbemisola Tejuoso (middle) cutting her 70th birthday cake in Lagos...yesterday with former Minister PHOTO: RAHMAN SANUSI of National Planning Rasheed Gbadamosi (second left) and others .
Lawmaker donates four transformers
From Ogochukwu Anioke, Abakaliki
Belgore commiserates with Akanbi on wife’s death
From Tayo Johnson, Ibadan
LAWMAKER, representing Ibadan North Federal Constituency, Abiodun Awoleye, has donated four 500 KVA transformers to communities in his constituency. The benefitting communities are Ibadan Poly Junction, Sobande area of Sango, Festac in Mokola, Inalende and IreAkari area of Ibadan. Awoleye, while inaugurating the transformers yesterday, implored the communities to maintain the facilities. He promised to alleviate poverty among his constituents. He said the projects were part of the promises he made to the people during his electioneering campaign. The lawmaker promised to execute more developmental projects. He urged the communities to make good use of the facilities and protect them from vandalisation. Awoleye urged stakeholders to contribute their quota to the socio-economic development of the state, saying the dividend of democracy would be enjoyed by the indigenes.
‘Northern governors have blueprint for growth’
ORMER Chief of Army Staff and chieftain of the Arewa Consultative Forum ( ACF) General Mohammed Inuwa Wushishi said the 19 northern governors should be held responsible if the region is not salvaged from its economic woes. He said the AFC had submitted a roadmap capable of reversing the region’s socioeconomic fortunes to the governors. “We have submitted the roadmap and it is now left for the northern governors to
From Jide Orintunsin, Minna
study it to implement it. It is now left for them to alleviate the suffering of the people and salvage the region from economic woods, Wushishi said. Wushishi, who spoke in Minna at the weekend, said the roadmap identified agriculture, poverty, security and education as areas the the region should address. Former state chairman of the forum Baba Abubakar said for the region to reduce
its dependence on the monthly cheques from Abuja, the governors must give priority to agriculture. He regretted that instead of giving attention to the sector, the leaders have abandoned their responsibility due to selfishness and greed. “We would have been making progress with agriculture, but our politicians due to their selfish interest have engaged in fighting, killing, and promoting religious disharmony. They have not allowed the region to unite.”
HIEF Innocent Ezeanyaku Ofor (JP) will be buried in his country home at Amihie, Umuchu in Aguata Local Government Area of Anambra State on Thursday. Born on March 21, 1929, he passed on in the early hours of August 21. A holder of a 1960 BA (Hons) degree of the University College Ibadan, Chief Ofor retired as a civil servant in his native Anambra State. A community leader of repute, he held the traditional title of Udorah Umuchu and was a 4th Degree Knight of St Mulumba and a Grand Knight Emeritus. He is survived by Gerry Ofor (Ukpaka Umuchu), seven other children and 29 grandchildren. A devout Catholic, Ofor played a pivotal role in establishing four secondary schools in his hometown of Umuchu, Aguata.
THE NATION TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 19, 2013
THE NATION TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 19, 2013
THE NATION TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 19, 2013
THE NATION SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 19, 2013
SPORT EXTRA UAE Brothers hail Eagles on World Cup qualification •Wants U-17 players in senior team
•Bright Dike of Nigeria celebrates scoring the first goal during the international friendly match between Italy and Nigeria at Craven Cottage on November 18, 2013
Italy, Nigeria share spoils in London
TALY and Nigeria played out an entertaining 2-2 draw in an international friendly at Fulham’s Craven Cottage this evening. Italy took the lead after just 14 minutes when Mario Balotelli showed good strength to hold onto the ball before sliding a pass through to Giuseppe Rossi, who delayed his finish slightly before slotting it past the keeper. Nigeria almost hit back immediately when Ogenyi Onazi let fly from range, but his powerful low strike was parried wide by Salvatore Sirigu. Balotelli almost got his own
name on the scoresheet with just under 10 minutes left of the half, but Austin Ejide made an important onehanded stop to deny the AC Milan striker from a tight angle. Nigeria then went up the other end and found the equaliser a minute later as Bright Dike planted his header into the corner from Shola Ameobi’s cross. Ameobi went one better and scored himself four minutes later, flicking the ball beyond Sirigu to complete a swift comeback. Italy responded soon after the restart, however, as Emmanuel Giaccherini
Man Utd poised to beat Chelsea, Liverpool, Barca for Musa Mohammed ANCHESTER UNITED is hoping to win the race to sign Nigerian starlet Musa Mohammed ahead of Chelsea, Liverpool and Barcelona. The defender captained Nigeria’s Under-17 team to World Cup glory in Abu Dhabi last week, producing a number of commanding and assured performances in the process. Mohammed also showed his prowess from set-pieces scoring from the penalty spot in the 5-0 group win over Iraq. Manchester United, Man United, Man Utd, United, MUFC, Liverpool, LFC, Chelsea, CFC, Blues, Reds, Musa Mohammed, Mohammed,The Kop, The Shed, David Moyes, Moyes, Barcelona, Barca, Mohammed is attracting huge interest after a superb Under-17 World Cup for Nigeria [GETTY] “Chelsea and Liverpool have been keeping tabs on the young starlet and were weighing up whether to make a January bid for FC Heart Academy star” The 17-year-old also netted in the 4-1 second round win over Iran as Nigeria went on to be crowned champions. Chelsea and Liverpool have been keeping tabs on the young starlet and were weighing up whether to make a January bid for FC Heart Academy star. However United are now ready to trump their Premier League rivals by attempting
to secure Mohammed, who has also attracted the interest of Spanish giants Barcelona. United boss David Moyes is preparing to reshuffle his squad in the new year and is willing to let a number of players leave Old Trafford. Brazil star Anderson has already been told he can leave the club once the transfer window reopens
slammed the ball home having been picked out at the far post by Andrea Candreva. The Azzurri could have regained their lead with two chances in the space of three minutes shortly after the hour mark, but Marco Parolo first put a volley from close range over the bar before hitting the
post having been played through by Alessandro Diamanti. Diamanti came within inches of getting a goal of his own in the closing stages when he sent a curling free kick crashing off the woodwork with just two minutes to play.
IGERIAN Business Men in United Arab Emirates have praised the Stephen Keshi tutored Super Eagles for picking the 2014 World Cup ticket after spanking resilient Walyas Ibex of Ethiopia 2-0 in the second leg of the African play-off decided at the U.J. Esuene Stadium on Saturday. The Chairman of the UAE Brothers Nigeria, Daniel Amobi who breezed in into the country on Sunday told NationSport that the United Arab Emirates are ready to support the Super Eagles in their bid to make Nigeria and Africa proud in Brazil next year. “As Nigerians residing in the United Arab Emirates we were proud to be Nigerians in UAE when our darling Golden Eaglets of Nigeria overcame all opposition on their way to emerge the FIFA U- 17 World Champions in November 8, this year. We also happy to hear the good news that the senior national team, the Super Eagles put an icing on the Eaglets’ victorious outing by qualifying for the 2014 World Cup finals in Brazil. “The Months of October and November have been great and fulfilling for
From Segun Ogunjimi, Abuja Nigeria as far as football is concerned and we are very happy to witness these days. The UAE Brothers are ready to assist the Nigeria Football Federation in whatever way to ensure Nigeria perform well in Brazil like we did when the Eaglets were campaigning in the U- 17 World Cup in UAE then”, Amobi declared. He also has these words of advice for the Super Eagles Chief Coach, Stephen Keshi. “I am imploring the Eagles Coach Stephen Keshi to please include some of the Golden Eaglets players in his team to understudy the senior ones in the team. Some of these players have the talent, skills and qualities to make waves in the senior team. “As we all know great players like legendary Pele of Brazil, Maradona of Argentina and also Lionel Messi played at the age of 17 for their country in the World Cup that time. So Nigeria’s case should not be an exception. Keshi should try these players in friendly matches together with their senior players and see if they could fit in”, Amobi advised.
Steer clear of ‘Super Eagles’, NFF warns unauthorised firms N IGERIA Football Federation has taken exception to the penchant of some corporate organisations to try and appropriate glory not due to them through excellent performances of Nigeria’s National Teams at international level. Following the Super Eagles’ qualification for the 2014 FIFA World Cup finals after a 2-0 dismissal of Ethiopia on Saturday, which made for a 41 aggregate win, some corporate establishments have been at their dirty game once more, claiming part of the glory. NFF’s Marketing Consultant, Mr. Mike Itemuagbor was unhappy on Monday after a soft drink firm put out an
advertisement in the newspaper: Team Nigeria for the 2014 FIFA World Cup ticket. “We are shocked at the penchant of some organisations to sneak into the picture and try to claim they are among those who have been funding the Super Eagles. The public should be aware that all the companies masquerading as supporters of Super Eagles are only doing so for their own merchantile interests. “This is unacceptable, because they know the right channel to go if they want to be part of the team. The Nigeria Football Federation is receptive to
offers for sponsorship in several categories but some of the corporate institutions only want to be part of the team when it is winning. “The Government of Nigeria and the NFF’s partners and sponsors should claim the glory for the string of successes that we have seen in our football this year. For those who are outside the frame, using the name of the Super Eagles for campaigns and identifying their brand with the team is unprofessional and unacceptable, ” Itemuagbor said. It would be recalled that on 7th February this year, the
NFF was forced to issue a similar statement after some companies who are not NFF partners or sponsors jumped onto the wagon trying to give the impression they were part of the Super Eagles’ performance that led to victory at the Africa Cup of Nations in South Africa. “The Nigeria Football Federation wishes to state without ambiguity that only its partners and sponsors have the rights and privileges to use the name of the Super Eagles for any campaigns, promotions or mentions. We will not hesitate to take legal action against any company, institution or establishment that runs foul of this caution,” Itemuagbor added.
Shooting Federation in early preparation for Commonwealth Games
HE newly elected President of the Nigeria Shooting Federation, Wole Madariola Olumide has vowed to take the game to its rightful place in Africa and world with the help of members of his Board. The Nigeria Shooting Federation was among the Federations the Honourable Sports Minister, Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi inaugurated at the Abuja National Stadium last Thursday and the board has commenced programme that may make it a popular sport in Nigeria very soon. According to the NSF boss, “we want to take our rightful place in World Shooting and we need to establish our capabilities and always make sure that in any competition we participate in, we leave an indelible mark. “We are preparing big for the Commonwealth Games taking place in Scotland next year but before then we will
•To attend Egypt’s African Tourney Feb. 2014 From Segun Ogunjimi, Abuja participate in the African Championship slated for Egypt next year February. The African tournament will serve as trial for the shooters that will go to the Commonwealth Games. We have been given an order by President Goodluck Jonathan through the National Sports Commission to make this country proud and we are duty bound to achieve that”, Madariola told NationSport in Abuja at the weekend. Madariola who is also a Security Adviser and Defence Consultant, also revealed that his Board had plans to storm Cross River state next year for the National Sports Festival to scout for talents in Shooting, while two foreign tours would be embarked on to further give exposure to the
shooters. According to him “we are mindful of the medals that could be won for Nigeria in shooting in both the Commonwealth Games and the Olympics so we want to make an impact in the game and we are ready to work very hard to achieve this. Madariola who as a member and former Vice President of the Federation has personally sponsored 20 Championships, said this time around as the President of Shooting Federation he and his Boards would redouble their efforts to take the game to the rightful place where it belongs. He said that winning medals is also paramount to the Board’s aspirations and programmes and as a result of this he has set up seven different committees that would help in meeting with
the objectives and targets of the NSF. The committees included Vetting/Screening Committee headed by Commissioner of Police (CP) Sani Muhammed, while the Technical Committee is headed by Brigadier General Longsday Adeoye (Rtd.). The Disciplinary Committee is headed by Colonel Musa
Abudullahi. The Standardization Committee has as its Chairman, Brigadier General Jonny Amakim (Rtd.), while Infrastructure Assessment Committee is headed by Brigadier General Fred Eze (Rtd.), Fund Raising Committee is also headed by Kola Saseyi while the Sports Editor of Leadership Newspaper Ishiaku Kigbu heads the Public Relations Committee.
TODAY IN THE NATION
‘There is a hat trick of angst, sweeping through the ruling office, the ruling party and a region that could easily have regarded itself as the ruling region’ TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 19, 2013 TRUTH IN DEFENCE OF FREEDOM
COMMENT & DEB ATE EBA
UST to be absolutely certain that I wasn’t missing something, I inspected President Goodluck Jonathan’s Transformation – or is it Transformative?—Agenda before writing this piece. The Agenda, I can report with the highest confidence, does not include turning Nigeria into a police state. Yet, that is what has been happening lately, sometimes brazenly and sometimes insidiously. With each passing day, Nigeria bears a closer resemblance to a state in which the activities of the people are strictly controlled with the help of a police force, in place of regular operation of administrative and judicial organs of government based on publicly known legal procedure. That is the definition of a police state. This ominous process probably has an earlier origin, but I would date it from the time relations between Dr Jonathan and Rivers State Governor Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi turned sour and Dr Jonathan sought to bring Amaechi to heel and to impose on the Nigeria Governors’ Forum a chairman who would be more complaisant than Amaechi and help clear the path to a second presidential term. To attain the first objective, he could not have found a better instrument than the Rivers State Commissioner of Police, Mbu Joseph Mbu, who owes his appointment to and takes his orders from Abuja. At every opportunity, Mbu countermanded the elected governor of the state, enforced Abuja’s will, and carried on as he was for all practical purposes the leader of the opposition. For the second objective, Dr Jonathan found a willing tool Akwa Ibom Governor Godswill Akpabio to engineer a split in the Governors’ Forum, in the hope that a majority fraction beholden to him would emerge. In the showdown election, Akpabio failed to deliver the majority he had promised. Undaunted, the minority crowned itself the new National Governors Forum, with the pathetic and utterly deluded Plateau State Governor Jonah Jang as chairman. Then came the rupture at the PDP mini convention. Seven governors elected on the party’s platform , as well as some senior party officials, broke ranks. A faction calling itself the New PDP, having no illusions about the petulance of its parent, had to confect a lie to secure a place to hold a meeting. It declared that the hall was to be used for a wedding reception. If the police had so much as suspected that the meeting was being held to elect officials of the breakaway faction of the PDP, the police would have moved swiftly to block it. That much was clear from the swiftness with which the police blockaded the headquarters building the new PDP rigged up. For good measure, the authorities of the Abuja Federal
Yes GOD and a COMMITTED GOVT, too
AT HOME ABROAD firstname.lastname@example.org
The road to a police state
Capital Territory suddenly discovered that the house had been constructed in violation of the building code and would have to be pulled down. If and when the FCT gives the order, the police will be on hand to supervise the demolition. As for the seven dissident PDP governors – the so-called G7 — rarely have they been able to hold a meeting even in private premises without the rude intrusion of the police. The most recent of such intrusions, in Abuja, drew nation-wide condemnation. The Inspector-General of the Police, Mohammed Abubakar, told a committee of the House of Representatives that it had been carried out without his instructions. If this is true – and there is no reason to believe that he had perjured himself –it raises the alarming prospect that the Nigeria Police has indeed become the armed wing of the PDP, as the opposition APC has charged. Last Tuesday the police, kitted as for battle, sealed off the conference room of the Nicon Luxury Hotel in Abuja where the Socio-
Economic Rights Accountability Project had planned to discuss Nigeria’s freedom of information law, with scheduled speakers from Europe, the United States and Nigeria. With Dino Melaye, a former federal legislator turned anti-corruption crusader among the organisers, there was no doubt that the participants would discuss the scandal that the Federal Government desperately wants suppressed: the illegal purchase of two armoured limousines worth $1.4 million by the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria for the use, and most likely at the behest of, Princess Oduah. As was the case with the intrusion on the G7 meeting, also in Abuja, senior spokespersons for the police have been quoted as saying that the authorities had “no knowledge” of the operation. This only goes to support the thesis that Nigeria is being transformed into a police state. In whatever case, the political calculations behind the intrusion point unmistakably to the self-styled “biggest party” in Africa. The PDP is even more deeply implicated in turning Nigeria into a police state than the foregoing suggests. Last week, the courts ordered the re-instatement of former Osun State Governor Olagunsoye Oyinlola as PDP national secretary, finding that his purported removal from that office was ultra vires. No sooner had Oyinlola served notice that he was set to resume work at the PDP’s Wadata Plaza national headquarters in Abuja than he was suspended afresh and the place was surrounded by battle tanks and police armed for combat. It was almost as if Boko Haram’s elusive high command had served notice that its forces had landed in the neightbourhood. There, you have fresh intimations of the making of a police state. I will not be surprised if the police authorities were to de-
T is a troubling augury for a country when her septuagenarians begin to get violently virile. Now this supposition is not taken from a Sigmund Freud thesis or any such human mind guru; it is Hardball thinking aloud and it is based on certain manifestations in the polity in recent times. There are two dimensions to this new-found superman-hood - the emotional and the political. Consider the situation in which our grand old men are acquiring a new taste for little brides only old enough to be their grand children. In this new-found senescent-pubescent armour, which is consecrated with elaborate if not lavish weddings our jobs-deprived youths must feel a sense of loss for sure. We need not name names here but discerning Nigerians remember which ‘elder-statesmen have taken new wives this year. The political aspect is the sight of old men morphing into self-appointed, swashbuckling hawks, fixers and even muscle men. In this regard, the Goodluck Jonathan administration has enjoyed the unsolicited services of Elder Edwin Kiagbodo Clark. Since Jonathan’s ascent to office in the land, Papa Clark has gradually ensconced himself unto the pedestal of the chief guardian of the president. He has self-appointed himself the commander-in-chief of the ethnic forces for Jonathan. As if in need of such native protection, the Presidency has also granted more than tacit
clare again that they had played no part in sealing off the PDP’s headquarters. To be sure, the court order was going to create all kinds of problems. Oyinlola was not merely one of the founders of the New PDP; he is its national secretary. To which faction would he answer if he resumed work at Wadata Plaza, which had vowed to treat him and other deserters as “criminals?” The brusqueness with which the PDP brushed aside the court order reinstating Oyinlola is of a piece with the impunity with which it suborns the police to do its dirty work. It is all the more disquieting that the PDP is the ruling party and its national leader is President Jonathan, who took an oath to uphold and defend the law and the Constitution. Only a few days ago, in the run-up to the incurably flawed gubernatorial election in Anambra, the police command in Imo State announced with breathless excitement the arrest of 180 “thugs” and “hoodlums” and “bandits” from Osun on their way to Anambra for the purpose — what else – of rigging the election. It claimed to have recovered from them voter ID cards and other election documents, not forgetting “other dangerous weapons”. A far more credible source insists that the 180 were accredited election monitors belonging to the Justice and Equity Organisation. If there was any merit at all to the arrest of the group from Osun, there was none whatsoever to the confinement of Nasir El-Rufai, to his hotel room in the Anambra State capital, Awka, by agents of the secret police. The APC chieftain was in town to monitor the poll. This shabby recourse to false imprisonment is yet another manifestation of the drift toward a police state. We can now understand why, against the express provisions of the Constitution, retired Inspector-General of Police and a failed senatorial candidate in the person of Mike Okiro was appointed chairman of the Police Service Commission. It was certainly not on account of his stellar performance. For, as IGP, he showed a brazen disregard for conflict of interest and, as we now know, connived in hounding Nuhu Ribadu out of the EFCC and the Police Force. By act or omission, Okiro contributed to the dysfunction in which the police force is mired today. They did not appoint him Police Service Commission chairman to lead a determined effort to chart a path out of that dysfunction. And he knows it. •For comments, send SMS to 08111813080
•Hardball is not the opinion of the columnist featured above
Edwin (Serubawon) Clark acceptance to Papa Clark as a field-marshal. Have you noticed the new, regenerated blossoming of the old man? Papa Clark has become chubbier and there is a new glistening veneer about his visage. He seems tirelessly on the shuttle these days, setting up one feeble inter-ethnic forum or the other and purportedly building bridges and winning hearts for President Jonathan in the race towards 2015. So the wise old man is making himself useful. There is no doubt that every government loves the services of unsolicited champions and defenders of its causes; fixers and filibusters, spin doctors and sorcerers. Especially so in Nigeria: President Shehu Shagari had Umaru Dikko; Ibrahim Babangida had Alex Akinyele and Halilu Akilu; Sani Abacha had Wada Nas and Hamza Mustapha. Olusegun Obasanjo had Tony Anenih. Today, we are under the rule of Papa Edwin Clark. Just as an old man enjoying what we may call viagroid virility may seem odd, same way the flexing of wrinkled muscle will naturally be discomfiting to the beholder. But tell that to the ‘enemies’ of President Jonathan as have been identified by Papa Clark. As far as he is concerned, Jonathan does no wrong and he is the greatest ruler Nigeria was ever blessed with but for de-
tractors and ‘enemies’ and yet in spite of the ‘best’ efforts of these ‘enemies’ of the nation, Jonathan has been outstanding– according to Clark. So why are we raking up this stale news all of a sudden? Recently, Edwin (Serubawon) Clark or lion heart if you choose in his position as the enforcer and hardy spirit of the government in power, roared at the opponents of the regime. Go get the new PDP rascals (not his exact words please) he seemed to have ordered the party chairman, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur. Clark’s outburst was sequel to the solidarity visit of APC chieftains to Governor Chibuike Amaechi in Port Harcourt, Rivers State. At a press conference he called at his Abuja residence, Papa Clark said: “PDP inaction to discipline or reconcile the recalcitrant and unpatriotic gang of 7 and his cohort is a threat to the security and political stability of Nigeria.” He said that they are not behaving like disciplined party members and should be made to toe the party line or get kicked out. One last word: Papa Clark hardly stays in Kiagbodo any longer; he lives in Abuja now. Again there is a worrisome augury when elders relocate to the city and our ancestral lands and totems are left to village wags.
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