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VOL. 8, NO. 2680 WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 27, 2013
TR UTH IN DEFENCE OF FREEDOM TRUTH
NEW PDP, APC MERGE
Amaechi, Wamakko, Nyako, Saraki, Oyinlola join APC •Baraje (third from right) reading the communique ...yesterday. With him are (from left) Nyako, Kwankwaso, Adamu, Tinubu, Onu, Akande and Oyinlola
Kwankwaso, Ahmed, Baraje, others sign up From Yusuf Alli and Gbade Ogunwale, Abuja
ISTORY was made yesterday in Abuja, with the New Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) merging with the All Progressives Congress (APC). Besides, five of the aggrieved seven PDP governors, popularly called G-7, joined the APC. Governors Aliyu Babangida (Niger) and Sule Lamido (Jigawa) are to follow later. Aliyu, who showed up briefly at the conclusion of the merger talks in the Kano Governor’s Lodge in Asokoro District, Abuja will determine his political future in January, next year. Lamido decided to go through the peace talks with the President, based on the advice Continued on page 6
•Map of Nigeria showing where the parties stand
•2015: Merger redefines political landscape •G5+APC= tectonic shift •What future for PDP? •Progressive revolution has started, say APC governors •PDP ‘unperturbed’ •Governors’ defection long overdue, says presidential aide •Lawmakers ‘ll decide when to defect, says Tambuwal •Jubilation in Adamawa •It’s rescue mission for our democracy, says Tinubu AND MORE ON PAGES 4-7,59,60&64
Family of seven, 38 others die as gunmen storm Plateau STORY ON PAGE 57
It’s a co-ordinated ethnic cleansing, says council chairman •SPORTS P13 •LIFE P25 •MONEY P30 •INVESTORS P32 •POLITICS P45 •Capt. Mustapha
THE NATION WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 27, 2013
THE NATION WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 27, 2013
NEWS NEW PDP, APC MERGE
Rebirth of two party system In 2015, two main political parties-the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the All Progressives Congress (APC)-will contest for federal power. Currently, the ruling PDP has 18 governors and the APC has 16. Group Political Editor EMMANUEL OLADESU examines the prospects of a two-party system, following the merger of the opposition progressive parties and the defection of five PDP governors to the APC.
•APC leader Asiwaju Bola Tinubu fielding questions from reporters at the Kano State Governor’s Logde, Abuja...yesterday
HE stage is set for an epic battle between the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the All Progressives Congress (APC). In 2015, the two parties will exclusively bid for federal power. However, in some states, the multi-party system will still be in vogue, owing to the existence of the mushroom parties, including the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) in Anambra State, the Labour Party (LP) in Ondo State and Accord Party (AP) in Oyo State. Since the progressives have broken the jinx of botched alliances, the coast had been clear for a two party system at the centre. The two platforms will test their strength next year in the Ekiti and Osun State governorship elections. However, apart from the envisaged titanic presidential contest in 2015, the PDP and APC will also compete for the governorship in 31 states. Indeed, the presidential candidates on the platform of weak parties will become spectators on the poll day. Some of them may endorse either the PDP candidate or APC flag bearer. The clash of the two dominant parties will mirror the British and American practice of two party parliamentary and presidential democracy. In both the United Kingdom and Unites States, which pride themselves as two party states, there are also smaller political parties, which fight for power and relevance at the local levels. However, only the Democratic Party and Republican Party have always won presidential elections in the US and majority seats in the Congress and Senate. Although other parties, including the Green Party and Tea party always contest, they are largely perceived as fringe parties. Also, in Britain, only the Conservative Party and Labour Party have always been wining the majority of seats in the House of Commons. The third party, the Liberal Party, is mustering efforts to be more relevant. Other smaller parties exist, but as defenders of special interests and identities in the country. Two party system portends two advantages for the polity in 2015. According to analysts, the model will narrow down political choice and offer opportunities for exploring better and credible alternative platform during the elections. Also, the opposition is expected to wax stronger in the post-election period. The result, they point out, is good governance. Many agree that this experience has eluded Nigeria since independence, although its politics and transient alliances have always predisposed the country to a two party system. It is therefore, arguable that the polity has always tended towards a two-party arrangement. Instructively, the gravitation to two-party system has never been anchored on ethnicity and religion. What is new actually is the pattern of political interaction and collaboration among the six geo-political zones. In the past, the core North has always cohabited with the Southeast and Southsouth in uneasy alliances, while the Southwest also struck an accord with the Joseph Tarkar’s Middlebelt and minorities in the Southsouth. The mark of departure now
•Gen. Muhammadu Buhari (middile), Kano State Governor Rabiu Kwankwaso (left) and Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola...yesterday
•Rivers State Governor Rotimi Amaechi (left) and Senator Bukola Saraki ...yesterday PHOTOS: AKIN OLADOKUN
is that, for the first time, the Southwest, Northwest, a section of the Middlebelt, a larger section of the Northeast and two states in the Southsouth are making bold moves on a progressive platform to dislodge the ruling conservative party, which still retains the Southeast, a substantial section of the Southsouth and parts of Northcentral and Northeast as its stronghold. Historically, two party system, which had manifested in the previous political alliances, is not new. At independence, the three major parties-the Northern Peoples Congress (NPC), the National Council of Nigerian Citizens (NCNC) and the Action Group (AG) struggled for the control of the national parliament. The NPC had 134 seats out of 312 in the House of Representatives. It was not up to the required two-third majority. Therefore, the NPC proposed an alliance to the NCNC. To the consternation of the AG led by the late Chief Obafemi Awolowo, the NCNC led by Dr. Nnamidi Azikiwe forged an alliance with Alhaji Tafawa Balewa’s NPC, instead of the AG, which was closer to its ideological leaning. Thus, NPC/NCNC formed the coalition government headed by Prime Minister Balewa. The AG leader, Awolowo, became the Leader of Opposition. The implication of that scenario was that, although the 1959 election took place under a multi-party arrangement, a semblance of two-party system emerged in 1960, when the first national government was formed. The alliance was short-lived. When it broke down in 1964, prominent NCNC ministers in the Balewa Government refused to leave the Balewa Government. But the breakdown of the alliance did not abort the prospect of a two-party system. The AG, NCNC and some smaller parties came together in an alliance for the purpose of 1964 federal elections. But there was no strong leader to wield them together. The AG leader, Awolowo, was in prison and many believed that the NCNC leader, Dr Michael Okpara, lacked the leadership capabil-
ity to move the alliance forward. The onslaught by the NPC was unbearable. However, a new alliances emerged which polarised the polity into two broad camps. The NPC capitalised on the split in the AG and struck an alliance with the rebellious camp of Premier Ladoke Akintola, who had formed the Nigerian National Democratic Party (NNDP). Thus, NPC/NNDP coalition, the Nigeria National Alliance (NNA), confronted the AG/NCNC/UMBC alliance, under the new name, the United Progressives Grand Alliance (UPGA), at the polls. Thirteen years after the first military rule in 1979, Nigeria jettisoned the parliamentary system and adopted the presidential model. Although five parties-the National Party of Nigeria (NPN), Unity Party of Nigeria (UPN), Nigerian Peoples Party (NPP), Peoples redemption Party (PRP) and Great Nigerian Peoples Party (GNPP)-contested for the Presidency, the emerging government was a product of an accord by two parties. Reminiscent of the turbulent First Republic, the Nigeria Peoples Party (NPP), which was an incarnate of the banned NCNC led by Zik, teamed up with the National Party of Nigeria (NPN), an offshoot of the NNA, in an uneasy accord, following the 12 twothird controversy. The power sharing arrangement made the NPP a junior partner. The Speakership of the House of Representatives and few ministerial positions were conceded to the junior partner. Barely two years, the accord broke down, following allegations by the NPP that the terms were not fully honoured. When the relationship broke down in 1981, two NPP ministers-Mrs. Janet Akinrinade and Mr. Paul Nnongu- left the cabinet. But the NPP Speaker, the late Chief Edwin Ume-Ezeoke, did not resign. Other NPP ministers also held on to their portfolios in the Federal Executive Council (FCE). Some even defected from the NPP to the NPN. However, in 1982, a picture of two party system was about to emerge. The
opposition parties-UPN, NPP, GNPP and a section of the PRP-formed the Progressives Parties Alliance (PPA) to wrest power from the NPN. The four progressive parties were shared the same philosophy and ideas. However, they went their separate ways in 1983, when they could not agree on a presidential candidate. While a section queued behind Awo, another insisted on Zik. Neither of them was ready to step down. The alliance collapsed. Reflecting on the collapse of the proposed alliance, which Awo thought would have dislodged the conservative government, the UPN leader predicted at the twilight of life that it was not foreclosed. At the party’s post-election congress in 1983 in Abeokuta, Ogun State, the late sage peeped into the future, predicting that the best of the conservative and progressive bloc will flock together. It was a postulation or an advocacy of two-party configuration. He spoke on “the hypothesis of the synthesis of the thesis and the anti-thesis, which may be evolutionary or revolutionary, in which, whether we like it or not, all human beings are inescapably involved”. Awo added: “ All of us in the UPN and those of them in the NPN and other parties are already in the thesis and the anti-thesis war. When the war is over, only the best of us will be accommodated in the synthesis with the best in the anti-thesis in complete dominance”. However, two party system was foisted on the country by former President Ibrahim Babangida, who established the Social Democratic Party (SDP) and National Republican Convention (NRC). The parties reflected the spectrum of political ideas-a lottle to the left and a little to the right. The Political Bureau led by Dr. Cookey, which canvassed the option of two party system to the military government drew attention to the previous patterns of alliance among the members of the political class. The military also imposed manifestos on the two parties. The result was
a two party system with ambiguity because the parties did not evolve from the people. During the aborted Third republic, there was no defection of politicians from either of the parties. There was streamlining, making it easier for the electorate to make a clear choice between the progressive and conservative platforms. The NRC had 16 governors and the SDP had 14 governors. The presidential election conducted by the electoral commission was successful. But it was annulled by Gen. Babangida. Both SDP and NRC were proscribed by another military head of State, the late Gen. Sani Abacha. In 1998, the military government actually proposed a two party system. The two parties that met the requirement for registration were the PDP and All Peoples Party (APP). However, owing to irreconcilable differences, the late Chief Bola Ige pulled his group out of the APP to form the Alliance for Democracy (AD). The Head of State, Gen. Abulsalami Abubakar objected to the birth of the third party after the closure of the deadline. But he was advised by the Chief of General Staff, the late Admiral Mike Akhigbe, who had served as the governor of Ondo and Lagos States, to avoid a situation whereby the Southwest would boycott the transition programme, thereby discrediting the process. In retrospect, the progressive leaders of the AD admitted their departure from the APP as a mistake. When reality dawned on them that they could not beat the PDP at the presidential poll, AD chieftains evolved an agreement with their counterparts in the APP to field a joint presidential candidate in 1999. Chief Olu Falae from the AD emerged as the candidate and the APP chieftain, Alhaji Umaru Shinkafi, was his running mate. Nevertheless, they lost their deposit at the poll. But, at the 1999 presidential election, only two partiesthe PDP and the APP-were in reckoning. After the election, the government that emerged cast the country in the mould of a two-party state. Until the Lagos lawyer, the late Chief Gani Fawehinmi (SAN) won the battle for the multi-party system in the Supreme Court, the pattern of cooperation among the parties revealed a tendency towards two-party system. After the 1999 elections, the APP and AD did not resolve to fuse together. Instead, the PDP and the APP formed a controversial Government of National Unity (GNU). The chairman of the APP, Senator Mahmud Waziri, later abandoned his party when he was appointed as a Special Adviser by former President Olusegun Obasanjo. At that point in time, it was a replay of the semblance of two party system as the PDP/APP former the government, leaving the AD as the opposition party. Since 2007, when the country witnessed the worst elections, opposition groups have been holding discussions on the possibility of an alliance. But the road to its realisation has been laced with thorns. Last year, ACN, CPC, ANPP and a section of APGA discovered an opportunity in 2015. The options, to them, were also plausible; mergers, accord, alliances and fusion. In 1964, 1979, 1999, 2007 and 2011, collaborations among oppositional parties failed. Proposed alliance, fusion and accord crumbled. But, what the early political leaders failed to achieve became a reality, following the decision of the defunct ACN, CPC, ANPP and a section of APGA to form the APC. With the decision of the five PDP governors-Aliyu Wamakko (Sokoto State), Rabiu Kwakwanso (Kano), Muritala Nyako (Adamawa), Ahmed Abdulfatah (Kwara) and Rotimi Amaechi (Rivers)-to defect to the APC, the geo-political calculus may have changed. Before the defection, the APC had 11 governors. Now, it has 16. The PDP has 18. APGA and LP has one each, although it is believed that the APGA and LP governors are PDP governors in disguise. In the slippery political field, the future is pregnant with possibilities. But, if the current PDP and APC structures are maintained, ahead of the 2015 polls, the battle for the Presidency will be more fierce, reminiscent of the aborted Third Republic.
THE NATION WEDNESDAY NOVEMBER 27, 2013
NEWS NEW PDP, APC MERGE
2015: Merger •The new and the old: Outgoing Chairman, of United Bank for Africa (UBA),Chief Israel Ogbue (middle); in coming: Ambassador Joe Keshi(left) and GMD/CEO, Mr. Phillips Oduoza at the meeting of the bank’s Board of Directors in Lagos.
The merger of a PDP faction with the opposition yesterday is the biggest political crossover since 1999. The merger seems to have shifted political calculations ahead of the 2015 elections. BOLADE OMONIJO analyses the new political configuration
T •From Left: Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Deputy Governor, Operations, Mr Tunde Lemo; Director, Corporate Communication, Mr Ugochukwu Okorafor and a Wazobia Broadcaster, Miss Stella Nwosu, at the sensitisation of Abuja residents on cash-less policy at Wuse Market ... yesterday
HIS appears to be the season of the unprecedented. Before the merger of three major political parties - Congress for Political Change (CPC), Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) and All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) was formalised in July following the registration of the All Progressives Congress (APC) by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC); there had been a speculation that the move would be aborted before the consummation. However, four months after, the merger seems to have come to stay. The leading lights of the political
movement have traversed the entire country, selling their position on the Nigeria Project and insisting that the time had come for a change. Soon after, the crisis within the ruling PDP became unmanageable and the party was split down the middle. In the House of Representatives, the Senate, the party secretariat and the states, the PDP became a party divided against itself. Will it fall in 2015? Yesterday’s defection from the party by a faction that had gone by the appellation of new PDP for months is the strongest indication that things will not be the same again. Those who left the PDP include the chairman of the faction, Alhaji Kawu Baraje who was a former Acting National Chairman of the party, a former national secretary, Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola, the immediate past governor of Osun State, former governors Bukola Saraki of Kwara State, Danjuma Goje of Gombe
What future for PDP?
•Representative of the Lagos State Governor and Commissioner for Finance, Mr. Ayo Gbeleyi (left); Group Managing Director/CEO, First Bank of Nigeria Ltd, Bisi Onasanya and Group Chief Executive Officer of the Chair Centre Group, Mrs. Ibukun Awosika, at the First Bank Small and Medium-scale Enterprise (SMEs) National Conference 2013 at the Oriental Hotel, Victoria Island Lagos...yesterday. PHOTO: SOLOMON ADEOLA
•The Nation man Taofik Salako after receiving the 2013 Pearl Capital Market Journalist of the Year Award from Senator Daisy Danjuma at the 2013 Pearl Award Nite and presentation of the Nigerian Stock Market Annual Book (2014 Edition) PHOTO: ADEJO David
With five out of 23 governors of the ruling People’s Democratic Party (PDP) joining the opposition All Progressives Congress ( APC), the fortunes of the party may be in jeopardy. It is now left with 18. The APC has 16. The other two governors of Ondo and Anambra states are controlled by the Labour Party ( LP) and the All Progressives Grand Alliance ( APGA) respectively. Without doubt, the strength of the party has been reduced. But the question is how will it fare in the face of this reduction in its spheres of influence and electoral fortune? At a point in the history of the party, it had absolute majority in terms of the number of governors, senators and House of Representatives members. In the legislative election held on April 12, 2003, the party won 54.5% of the popular vote and 223 out of 360 seats in the House of Representatives, and 76 out of 109 seats in the Senate. Its candidate in the presidential election of April 19, 2003, Olusegun Obasanjo, was re-elected with 61.9% of the vote. It had 29 governors to its name. The party’s overwhelming presence in almost every electoral contest raised the fear of a possible one party in the country. Indeed, one or two chieftains of the party openly declared that they would prefer Nigeria being under a one-party system. It was the beginning of the dream of the party ruling for 60 years. All that certainly has changed now.
•PDP chair Bamanga Tukur By Augustine AVWODE
There now exists what could best be described as a balance of terror. If anything else, it is a significant improvement in the fortunes and ability of the opposition to challenge the presidency. Former Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Abubakar Tsav described it as “ a major depletion” of PDP’s fortunes. He warned that except it wakes up, it will not find it funny. “What has happened is a major depletion of the fortunes of the PDP. It must now wake up otherwise it will •Continued on page 60
THE NATION WEDNESDAY NOVEMBER 27, 2013
NEWS NEW PDP, APC MERGE
r redefines political landscape
• Abdul Fatai
ANALYSIS and Abdullahi Adamu of Nasarawa State. Others, Governors Rabiu Kwankwaso of Kano, Aliyu Wamakko of Sokoto, Murtala Nyako of Adamawa, Abdulafattah Ahmed of Kwara and Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers have taken the plunge and it remains to be seen the weight to be attached to their crossing.
2011 and 2015: a comparative analysis The figures from 2011 suggest that APC may be poised to give PDP a strong fight at the 2015 general elections. In 2011, the elections in Kano showed that the leaders now in APC dictated the pace. In the presidential election, the party’s candidate, General Muhammadu Buhari, polled 1.62 million votes, followed at a distance by ANPP’s Alhaji Ibrahim Shekarau who was the governor of the state. In the
third place was President Goodluck Jonathan, the PDP’s candidate with 440,686 votes, leaving ACN’s Mallam Nuhu Ribadu in the fourth position with a paltry 42,363 votes. Now, all the four leading parties in the state are in the state structure. Thus, it has become academic to ask which the dominant party in the state is. While the dynamics swung in favour of the PDP in the hotly contested governorship poll, the leading parties merely shuffled their positions. The celebrated performance of Kwankwaso since he resumed the office he was made to vacate in 2003 has strengthened his position in the state, and Buhari remains a cult figure, especially among the masses and the youth in the entire far North. If things do not change and the APC is united going into 2015 elections, no other party stands a chance. Kwara has always presented a fascinating scenario to political analysts. For decades, the late Dr. Abubakar
Olusola Saraki ruled the waves. He literally dictated the pace of things and direction of voting. It took his disaffection with the National Party of Nigeria (NPN) in 1983 to pave the way for the Unity Party of Nigeria. He literally singlehandedly installed Alhaji Shaaba Lafiagi as governor in the Third Republic and Rear Admiral Mohammed Alabi Lawal at inception of the Fourth Republic in 1999. In 2003, he brought in his son, Bukola Saraki who repeated the feat in 2007. However, a parting of way between father and son in 2011 saw the emergence of the current governor who had received the blessing and support of the former governor, now in the Senate. So, just before the transition of the former strongman, another had emerged. The former governor has f a full hold on the PDP structure in Kwara State. He is in the Senate alongside Lafiagi who is a strong member of his political ten-
dency. If there is understanding among the political roller coasters from the legacy parties that have coalesced into the APC in Kwara, victory is certain in all elections in 2015. In the 2011 presidential election, the Bukola Saraki-led PDP was credited with 288, 243 or 64 per cent of the total votes cast while the CPC polled 83,603 and the ACN 62,432. As in Kano, all three tendencies are now in the APC. It is a formidable platform. In Sokoto, the dominant parties in all the elections in 2011 were the CPC and PDP. Governor Wamakko’s disenchantment with the party had begun to show at the PDP presidential primaries in Abuja where delegates from Sokoto clearly voted against President Jonathan. At the presidential election, CPC polled 540,769 votes to PDP’s 309,067. While the reverse was the case in the governorship election that returned Wamakko to office, all the elections showed that the PDP and CPC decided what happened in
the state. They also proved the electoral worth of the governor. When it is noted that former Governor Attahiru Bafarawa is also involved in the formation of the APC, it is obvious that the next elections are for the APC to lose in the state. The situation in Rivers State is not as straightforward. While the PDP swept the polls the last time, the defection of Governor Amaechi is an acid test of his popularity. How much of the victory in 2011 could be attributed to Amaechi’s personal charm and what proportion could be credited to the party structure? At the moment, the governor retains hold of the governance structure as well as the dominant faction of the party. However, the sentiment that a son of the region is President and the hostility of other PDP governors in the South South would test the resilience of the governor who was Speaker of the House of Representatives for eight year. The fact that he retains the control of the legislature and representatives in the National Assembly is an indication that he is a strong factor in his own right. Hitherto, Rivers has been a oneparty state and is renowned for an uncanny ability to turn up crucial votes for the winning party. Would the trend continue in 2015? A call cannot be easily made at the moment until the caliber of candidates and other factors unfold. The trend in Adamawa where Governor Murtala Nyako was one of the first to indicate that it was all over with the PDP is not much different from the Rivers State scenario. Nyako has enemies within and without. The move to register the Peoples Democratic Movement spearheaded by former Vice President Atiku •Continued on page 60
G5 + APC = tectonic shift
HILE questions are still being asked why two of the G7 governors of the new Peoples Democratic Party (nPDP) are surprisingly yet to migrate to the All Progressives Congress (APC), the movement of the other five into the main opposition party looks set to trigger a tectonic shift in Nigerian politics. The G5, comprising the governors of Kano, Adamawa, Kwara, Rivers and Sokoto States, have burnt their bridges and thrown in their lot with the 11 APC governors to form a formidable political organisation capable of taking on the increasingly weakened PDP behemoth. More governors are expected to join them, not the least the two reluctant governors of Niger and Jigawa States. If that should happen, Nigerian politics will experience the equivalent of a lockdown in which the ruling party would be paralysed and in danger of becoming the opposition party. The journey to this historic and exciting, if not revolutionary, shift was hard and long, complete with unending uncertainties. Major disagreements within the PDP, much of it consequent upon the coerced (some more sympathetic officials say coaxed) election of Bamanga Tukur as party chairman had triggered a most unsettling relationship between governors long used to enjoying unchallenged dominance in their states and Alhaji Tukur whose leadership style is meddlesome, grating, domineering and irreverent. Many PDP governors never liked Alhaji Tukur’s style, but it was only the G7 that embarked on open rebellion. And with the debacle in the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF), what appeared like a covert war of attrition began to metamorphose into a clearly definable war in which the combatants were recognisable. President Goodluck Jonathan, who at first
By Adekunle Ade-Adeleye
maintained impassive neutrality, believing he could reconcile the two camps, soon began to vacillate between studious detachment one day and open and undiluted animosity the next day. While Alhaji Tukur sustained his detestation of the rebellious governors, the president hesitated between dialogue and rebuff. But with the impasse in Rivers, in which Governor Rotimi Amaechi felt impelled to openly stand up to the president, it was all but clear that sooner rather than later, Nigerian politics would witness a major shift or realignment. The leaders of the APC themselves worked actively to encourage the dissonance within the ruling party, and hoped the disagreements would worsen until they became irreconcilable. Coupled with the festering sore in Adamawa, a sore engendered by certain PDP factions favourable to or promoted by the Alhaji Tukur/Jibril Aminu forces, the die seemed cast. As if to stoke up the powder keg, the presidency turned its hostile attention to Kwara State and began what some interpreted as a systematic subversion of the person and influence of Bukola Saraki, the state’s former governor. Worse, Governor Aliyu Wammako’s Sokoto, whether based on hegemonic principles or simple political considerations, never quite cottoned on to Dr Jonathan’s politics. Instead the state began to oppose him even before he was elected candidate of the PDP and later president. For the unexpectedly reluctant Governors Babangida Aliyu of Niger and Sule Lamido of Jigawa, it is too early to say whether the shifting quicksand of politics would not at a later date make them change their minds.
They may, on the other hand, hope to be courted by the desperate Jonathan forces, and be content to wring concessions from the presidency. What is much clearer is that the battle between Nigeria’s main political forces is about to be joined. The easiest part of course is merging of individuals and political interests. The hardest part is sustaining the merger in the face of a scathing and vengeful presidency whose style, disposition and tactics are both Neanderthal and sanguinary. Dr Jonathan has about him men and women whose unscrupulousness is fast becoming legendary. They are not clean or principled fighters. They do not mind biting the ears of an opponent, hitting him in the groin, or delivering all sorts of illegal and spiteful blows. Such tactics often work marvellously in the short run, and against an opponent without stamina, it could prove lethal. Famous for its awkwardness in negotiations and compromises, the Jonathan camp will sense danger in the coming together of the G5 plus APC camp and go for broke. Whether he will succeed in obliterating or weakening the new group will depend on how clever the enlarged opposition is and how ready it is for a protracted and bloody battle. If the enlarged opposition has not come too soon, and they prove agile in battle, holding forts and defending every inch of ground, it is almost guaranteed that their ranks would swell, with or without Niger and Jigawa. If the movement of the G5 governors is accompanied by wholesale movement of their local and national legislators, the Jonathan government, which has so far been clumsy in relating with the legislature, will find it even harder to govern. And much
more than the new APC, which will doubtless gain a lot, the country will be the bigger gainer because the realignment of forces would probably lead to more robust and better lawmaking than it would promote legislative or bureaucratic paralysis. However, with the new enlargement of the opposition, any pretence of ideological purity must be discarded by the APC. Even in the days of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), the party had had its progressivism questioned by purists. The ideological dilution became more pronounced when clearly conservative parties merged with the ACN to form the APC. Now, with the addition of five more parties, the APC has unquestionably become an amalgam of political parties whose immediate priority is to take power in 2015, and later begin the slow process of reconstructing and remaking the deformed polity. The synthesization of its ideology will follow, if necessary, and when appropriate. Welcome, the Age of Realpolitik. What is certain to make news in the coming days will be the desperate attempt by the Jonathan presidency to undermine the legality of the migration of the five governors to the APC. The PDP will not fight a clean war. More, they will take the battle to the five states and attempt to foment rebellion against the governors, and then infiltrate party ranks in each state by harassing and intimidating the weak among them. It is likely the APC has anticipated the shape of the coming war and may possess one or two jokers. If the war is fought lawfully, there is no way the country will not be better off, for Nigeria is overdue for a revolutionary makeover, whether by an opportunistic amalgam or a systematically expanded opposition. Anything but the status quo in 2015 should give the country a breather and raise hopes of a better tomorrow.
THE NATION WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 27, 2013
NEWS Jubilation in Adamawa
•Osun State Governor State Rauf Aregbesola greeting President, Customary Court of Appeal, Justice Gloria Olagoke during the annual Sapara Williams Memorial Law Week, at Kings Centre, Ilesa, State of Osun…yesterday. With them are Chairman on the occasion, Chief Felix Fagbohungbe (SAN) and National First Vice President, Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Chief Osas Erhabor.
From Gbade Ogunwale, Abuja
Olisa Metuh, the ruling party said: “We wish to state categorically that the PDP remains unperturbed as we are now rid of detractors and distractions. We urge all our members nationwide to remain focused and close ranks, now that agents of distraction have finally left our ranks. “We wish to use this opportunity to remind all PDP members that the peace process initiated by President Goodluck Jonathan is still on course and we wish to thank
him for his patience, humility and spirit of accommodation. The meeting between the President and aggrieved members shall hold on Sunday, December 01, 2013. “We recognise the rights of freedom of association for all Nigerians and declare that it is within the rights of any Nigerian citizen to associate with anybody he/she deems fit. “By this open declaration today, those individuals have unveiled their true intent, which most Nigerians suspected ab initio. They have chosen to abandon a broad
based national platform and embraced a narrow group of ethnic and religious bigots whose main intention is to unleash a state of anarchy on Nigeria.” The PDP maintained that there were no factions in the ruling party, citing a Federal High Court ruling to back its claim. It insisted that the party remained an indivisible entity under the leadership of Alhaja Bamanga Tukur as national chairman. The party, in a veiled attempt to cajole some of the aggrieved governors, said:
cution by the Federal Government and the PDP, is worthy of commendation and is indicative of their strong personal principles and commitment to the progress of Nigeria.” The forum also noted that considering the nature of achievements recorded in their respective states, the
truth is that they had no business belonging to a party with no democratic traditions, no vision for Nigeria beyond wasting public resources and further impoverishing Nigerians, in spite of unprecedented oil revenues. The PGF said: “If anything, we are only welcoming you
Continued on page 59
Progressive revolution has started, say APC governors
HE Progressive Governors Forum (PGF) said yesterday that the revolution of the progressives had begun. They issued a statement welcoming five governors into the All Progressives Congress (APC) Governors’ Forum. The PGF said it welcomed the courageous governors for
From John Ofikhenua, Abuja
taking the historic step of leaving the governing, albeit, fast crumbling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) into the progressives fold. The statement said: “Their movement to the All Progressives Congress (APC), despite all manner of intimidation, harassment and perse-
From Barnabas Manyam, Yola
“ it’s well glaring that the new re-alignment has pushed the PDP to the unfamiliar territory of being a weaker and weakened political force in the country,’’ she observed. The APC National Vice Chairman, northeastern zone, Alhaji Umar Duhu, said the two parties agreed “to work together in order to rescue the fledgling democracy of the nation.” He added: “Today I’m one of the happiest chieftains of the APC in Nigeria and in Adamawa state in particular” However the Bamanga Tukur faction in the state wants Nigerians to tarry awhile to see what the new APC merger would bring to the table. The factional secretary Mr.A.T Shehu described the defectors as “drowning men in a sinking ship.’’
Lawmakers will decide when to defect, says Tambuwal
PDP: we’re unperturbed
HE ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) said yesterday it was not perturbed by the defection of five of its governors. In what many see as a panic measure, the party said President Goodluck Jonathan had agreed to meet with the aggrieved governors on Sunday. Before yesterday, Jonathan and the leadership of the PDP were indecisive on the decision to meet with the aggrieved members to resolve the protracted crisis in the party. In a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Chief
HERE was jubilation in Adamawa State as news filtered in that Governor Murtala Nyako and four other PDP governors had defected to the All Progressives Congress (APC). Many people took to the streets in Yola, the state capital and in the 21 local government headquarters. Those jubilating were chanting the names of former Head of State Gen. Muhammadu Buhari and former Lagos State Governor Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, seen as the arrowheads of the APC. They were saying a new dawn had been heralded and chanting slogans like ‘’death to PDP.’’ One Governor Nyako supporter said: “With this development, the PDP has been buried, we are tired of impunity.’’ Also corroborating, Hajiya Larai, a woman leader in Yola said
Continued on page 59
OUSE of Representatives Speaker Aminu Tambuwal said yesterday that members would decide when to defect to the All Progressives Congress (APC). Tambuwal, who made his position known in a statement through his Special Adviser on Media, Imam Imam, said it is left to members to activate the process. The statement said: “MPs will decide collectively on when to defect. They have their internal process if they decide to cross carpet. “Let us wait and see whether they can activate the process or not.” The 1999 Constitution allows defection of lawmakers if there is division in any political par-
From Yusuf Alli, Abuja
ty. Section 68 (1) says: “ A member of the Senate or the House of Representatives shall vacate his seat in the House which he is a member if (a) he becomes a member of another legislative house; (b) any other circumstance arise that, if he were not a member of the Senate or the House of Representatives, would cause him to be disqualified for election as a member; (c) he ceases to be a citizen of Nigeria; (d) he becomes President, Vice President, Governor, Deputy Governor or a Minister of the Government of the Continued on page 59
Oshiomhole at Villa
DO State Governor Adams Oshiomhole was at the Presidential Villa, Abuja shortly after the aggrieved governors announced their defection. But it could not be confirmed if he actually met with President Goodluck
Jonathan as he did not stay up to two minutes in the President’s office building. He, however, did not respond to reporters questions who tried to interview him on his mission at the villa.
Amaechi, Wamakko, Nyako, Saraki, Oyinlola join APC Continued from page 1
of his political godfather, exPresident Olusegun Obasanjo, who he fondly calls “The Oracle”. The outcome of the peace talks would guide Lamido’s choice- either to pitch his tent with the APC or not. It was also learnt that Lamido is tarrying a while because of alleged overtures from the Presidency on the fate of his sons, who were recently arrested for money laundering. The Presidency was said to be offering a soft-landing for the governor’s children, if he renounces his alliance with the New PDP. Radiating a sense of fulfillment, APC leaders posed for historic shots at the doorstep of the lodge, amid backslapping. They were all smiles as photographers kept on pestering them for shots to mark a milestone in the political evolution of Nigeria. An excited National Chairman of the New PDP, Alhaji Abubakar Kawu Baraje, who swiveled his brown Babanriga with ecstasy, said the merger was real. He read a terse statement,
Governors’ defection long overdue, says presidential aide
MID fears that some governors defection to the All Progressives Congress (APC) may affect the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), the Special Adviser to the President on Political Affairs, Ahmed Gulak, said yesterday that the action is a welcome development. Speaking with State House correspondents at the Presidential Villa, Gulak said their movement was no threat to the PDP and the Presidency ahead of the 2015 general elections. He said the pronouncement by the aggrieved governors would spur an influx of new members to the PDP from other parties. Reacting to the defection, Gulak said: “Well, I know as of fact that five of after about three hours talks between the faction and APC leaders, with the relish of a newscaster. The statement was signed by the National Chairman of APC, Chief Bisi Akande and Baraje. The statement said: “A meeting of the leadership of APC and the New PDP met this morning at the residence of the Kano State Governor, Dr. Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso, in Abuja.
From Augustine Ehikioya, Abuja
them say that they will now join APC. But I know that two of them issued statements that they are not part of that, Governor of Niger and Governor of Jigawa State. This is the fact on ground.” “And I believe those others, for long time and I have said it before, that their hearts have not been in PDP. It is good that they have shown the world that they have taken a stand. So that PDP will not be distracted, so that PDP, as a party, will be focused to build our party because a lot of people are waiting for this moment. A lot of people even in the APC, ACN, ANPP have contacted me that they want to come back to PDP and they were just waiting for
“After exhaustive deliberations, the two parties agreed to merge in order to rescue our fledgling democracy.” The merger of New PDP with APC was preceded by final round of talks between the G-7 governors and top leaders of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Abuja. The meeting, which began at 9.30am at Kano Governor’s Lodge and ended at about 12.30pm. Those at the meeting were a
what happened today to happen. And to us, it is a good development. “The Presidency does not feel threatened, the PDP does not feel threatened. The PDP is the party to beat. We have had it before; even people who occupied higher offices left the party and came back to the party. Outside there, there is nothing, it’s empty. PDP is the only party.” The presidential aide also maintained that the PDP will be ready to welcome them back if they decide to return. “Reconciliation is an ongoing thing. If they go outside, they are like those that went there before them and test that the outside there is empty, they are always welcome back home, like we did before.” He stated
former Head of State, Gen. Muhammadu Buhari, the National Chairman of APC, Chief Bisi Akande, the National Leader of APC, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu and Governors - Rotimi Amaechi, Murtala Nyako, Abdulfatah Ahmed and Rabiu Kwankwaso. A former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Aminu Bello Masari, exGovernor Ogbonnaya Onu(the immediate National chairman of the defunct All Nigeria Peoples Party), ex-
Governor Olagunsoye Oyinlola, ex-Governor Bukola Saraki, ex-Governor Abdullahi Adamu, ex-Governor Timpreye Sylvia, Alhaji Lai Mohammedand ex-Senator Suleiman Nazif were also there. Others are: Imam Kashim, former Deputy National Chairman of New PDP, Sam Sam Jaja and the Youth Leader of the New PDP, Timi Frank. Governor Aliyu Wammako, who was away in Senegal, was said to be monitoring the talks.
Speaking briefly with reporters, Baraje said the New PDP had merged with the APC. He said: “We are merging; we are merging.” Continued on page 59
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THE NATION WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 27, 2013
NEWS NEW PDP, APC MERGE
No joiners, no founders, APC assures G7 governors
From John Ofikhenua, Abuja
ment of this morning.” The agreement, said Mohammed, has altered the political landscape of the country. He said :”What we know is that with the new agreement between the new PDP and the APC, clearly the political landscape in Nigeria has been altered and reshaped irretrievably. “As a matter of fact, what happened this morning (yesterday) would determine and redefine all political calculations in Nigeria. It is not just about APC, it is not just about a merger...”
HE All Progressives Congress (APC) yesterday assured the G7 governors, who merged with the party that they will enjoy equal privileges with other members. APC’s Interim National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, told reporters yesterday in Abuja that every member of the party would have the same right to vote and be voted for. The seven New Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governors, popularly called the G7, earlier yesterday joined the APC at the home of Kano State Gov-
ernor Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso in Abuja. Mohammed said: “The agreement is that the new PDP would join the APC and would become one party. Of course, there were assurances given to the new PDP that whatever courtesies and privileges that are given to APC governors would be given to them. “Also, there would be no joiners and founders, as everybody would be on an equal footing. Every member of the party would have the same rights to
Baraje to Jonathan: start writing your handover notes
From Victor Oluwasegun and Dele Anofi, Abuja
UT for the mourning of House of Representatives member Raphael Nomiye (Labour Party, Ondo), which led to the adjournment of plenary and other legislative activities at both chambers of the National Assembly yesterday, the news of the merger was received with jubilation and caution by the lawmakers. The ebullient but subdued atmosphere may not be unconnected with interesting times about to be witnessed at the National Assembly as power calculations are bound to change. Prior to the new development, the new PDP had 61 members in the seven states while the APC had 138. There are 360 members in the House with the PDP having 208 members. Even if members from Jigawa and Niger states defect to the APC, power calculations would still tilt towards the APC, which will have 179 members, should the 20 members from both states, which have 20 members each, decide against the fusion. A number of the lawmakers spoke with The Nation on the new development and its implications on the nation’s democracy and politicking in the House. House Minority Leader Femi Gbajabiamila said the fusion represents the change Nigerians have been craving for and that it has just started.
vote and be voted for.” According to him, the decision of the new PDP to join APC was to rescue the nation. Mohammed said the leadership and governors of the APC had toured the country to woo the governors into the party to save the nation’s nascent democracy. The party’s spokesman explained that in its mission to rescue the nation’s democracy, APC also visited notable leaders, including former military President Ibrahim Babanginda; former Head of State, Gen. Abdulsalami Abubakar and
ITH the merger of the New Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) with the All Progressives Congress (APC), the leader of the breakaway PDP, Alhaji Abubakar Kawu Baraje, has advised President Goodluck Jonathan to start writing his 2015 handover notes. The New PDP with its G7 governors yesterday joined forces with the APC for a stronger opposition to the Jonathan administration. A statement by the National Publicity Secretary of the New PDP, Chukwuemeka Eze, said the group abandoned the sinking ship of the ruling party. It described the development as historical. Eze recalled the various efforts by the Baraje group to resolve the crisis in the PDP but which the leadership of the party bungled. The statement, which did not note that two of the governors - Sule Lamido (Jigawa) and Babangida Aliyu (Niger) - did not defect yesterday, said: “With this development, the G7 governors of the New PDP, namely Babangida Aliyu (Niger), Rabiu Kwankwaso (Kano), Sule Lamido (Jigawa), Aliyu Wamakko (Sokoto), Murtala Nyako (Adamawa), Abdulfatah Ahmed (Kwara) and Rotimi Amaechi (Rivers) are now members of the APC. “The merger thus shoots up the number of APC governors to 18 while PDP’s shrinks to 16, with All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) and Labour Party (LP) having one governor each. A similar permutation exists in the National Assembly where we now have the majority with PDP and its allies in minority. “The simple meaning of this is that APC is now the majority
former governor of the defunct Bendel State, Gen. Samuel Ogbemudia. He said: ”We must give a lot of kudos to our governors, in particular, for doing a lot of leg work. Don’t forget too that the leadership of the party also took it on itself to embark on a very extensive tour of the country, where we visited many of the G7 governors. “Also, we visited leaders of this country, like Gen. Ibrahim Babangida; Gen Abdulsalami, Gen Ogbemudia and co. I believe it is a culmination of all these that led to the historic agree-
From Gbade Ogunwale, Assistant Editor, Abuja
party in the country while PDP has become a minority party. In the circumstances, President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan must now start writing his handover notes because his ambition to maouevre the party structures so as to get a third term in office in 2015 has suddenly collapsed”. Stating further the implications of the merger for the ruling PDP, the group expressed satisfaction with its decision to join the APC where the members would be better appreciated. “We are happy to belong to the APC, where our value is appreciated, where we are made to feel truly wanted, and where we can now join forces with like minds in our struggle to liberate Nigeria from PDP’s misrule, which is soon to end”, the group said. Highlighting the misfortune that may have befallen the PDP as a result of the merger, Eze stated: “What a sudden change of fortune! What a sad day for the PDP, a party which we laboured to build, which was viciously taken away from us but which, out of our great love for it, we did everything humanly possible to save but were frustrated by the unpatriotic elements that have usurped the leadership of the party. “Nigerians could recall that several meetings had been held between the APC leaders and the leaders of the New PDP. The APC had visited each of our seven New PDP governors in their states to convince them to join its fold. “But all these notwithstanding, while the PDP leadership on their own side were plotting on a daily basis how to frustrate us out of the party we suffered to nurture...”
Merger raises leadership change fears in Senate
PPREHENSION of possible leadership change enveloped the Senate yesterday following the merger of aggrieved governors of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) with the opposition All Progressives Congress (APC.) Information filtered that about nine senators defected from the PDP to the APC with the governors. With the defection of the senators, the PDP, which hitherto had 72 senators in its fold, now has 63, while the APC has 42 senators. The Labour Party (LP) has three senators while the All Pro-
From Onyedi Ojiabor, Assistant Editor and Sanni Onogu, Abuja
gressive Grand Alliance (APGA) has one senator. The leadership change, if it materialises, may not affect Chief Whip Bello Gwarzo (PDP, Kano North), who also defected to the APC. It was learnt that there might a crack among senators believed to be in the New PDP fold who defected to the APC. Senator Simeon Ajibola (Kwara South) told reporters that he should be counted out of the merger since he and some
other senators, believed to be with the G-7 governors, were not part of the merger plan. Ajibola noted that Senators Zainab Kure (PDP Niger South), Awaisu Kuta (PDP, Niger East), Bello Tukur (PDP, Adamawa Central) and others never attended any of the New PDP meetings. He said: “When they were banding the news about that 22 senators, including myself, were in the New PDP in the Senate, 10 of the 22 were not with them. There is no way we can be said to be with them in the so-called merger. “Merger or no merger, by
2015, Nigerians will know the grassroots politicians and the paper tigers.” It was also learnt that Senator Ehigie Uzamere (APC, Edo South) did not support his party’s merger plan. Uzamere declared his support for President Goodluck Jonathan, though he remained in the APC. A principal officer of the Senate, who reacted to insinuation of a possible leadership change in the Upper Chamber, noted even with the merger, the opposition might not have the required two-thirds majority to effect any leadership change.
•National Youths Service Corps (NYSC) members during the passing out ceremony of Batch ‘C’ in Mangu Local Government Area of Plateau... yesterday.
Aliyu: I remain PDP member From Jide Orintunsin, Minna
IGER State Governor Babangida Aliyu has denied the reports that he has dumped the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for the All Progressives Congress (APC) with the G7. The governor said he remained a member of the PDP. A statement yesterday in Minna, the state capital, by his Chief Press Secretary, Malam Danladi Ndayebo, said the governor was shocked at the announcement of the merger of the New PDP and APC, because a final decision had not been taken on the matter. Ndayebo said Aliyu was not present at the meeting where the merger deal was sealed between the Kawu Baraje –led New PDP and APC leaders, as reported in the media. The governor’s spokesman insisted that talks were still ongoing with President Goodluck Jonathan and that Aliyu would await the outcome of the negotiation before taking a final decision. But the state’s APC Interim Chairman, Alhaji Bako Shetima, said the party was ready to accept the governor into the party. He said: “We learnt of the development and our party will be ready to accept them into the party. The G7 governors have been talking with our leaders at the national level.
I’m not leaving PDP, says Lamido
IGAWA State Governor Sule Lamido has said he is still a members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). He said no intimidation or harassment could force him out of the party. In a statement yesterday in Dutse, the state capital, by his Chief Press Secretary, Malam Umar Kyari, the governor denounced his alleged defection to the All Progressives Congress (APC). Lamido said: “While my party (the PDP) is currently embroiled in a serious crisis, especially by the Bamanga Tukur style of leadership with impunity, that does not necessitate me to renounce my historic authority to anybody.” The statement added: “It is true that I and my family are currently under a political heat wave and campaign of missinformation and smear to the effect that my family and I are adjudged guilty in the public court by the gullible and the ill-informed. “This will not intimidate or harass me out of the party. “I will not give anybody the pleasure of engaging me by his term.” The governor explained that “for now, I wish to state that I remain the living father of the PDP; aluta continua.” Lamido stressed that he would engage his political persecutors on his term at the appropriate time. According to him, nobody speaks for him but himself. An APC chieftain and former member of the House of Representatives, Faruk Adamu Aliyu, said Lamido was jittery because of the case his son had with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
THE NATION WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 27, 2013
NEWS Jakande, ex-Airways’ workers back national carrier
First cancer machine for Nigeria By Wale Adepoju
IGERIA will soon get its first positron emission tomograhy (PET) scanner to diagnose and treat cancer, a former Lagos State Health Commissioner Leke Pitan has said. The doctor said most cancer cases were not accurately diagnosed because there were no facilities to do so in the country. Dr Pitan spoke in Lagos at a capacity-building workshop on the regulation of radiopharmaceuticals, organised by the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) and MeCure Health Care. He said an indigenous company would soon install an aglodrum to manufacture pharmaceutical products to provide materials for PET scanners to operate. Dr Pitan said one aglodrum can service 15 PET scanners, adding: “The World Health Organisation (WHO) recommends one PET scanner for one million people. By this, Lagos State will need 15 PET scanners to diagnose cancer cases.” The former commissioner urged investors to invest in health care for more PET scanners to be installed in Nigeria. He advised NAFDAC to be the regulator and facilitator to accelerate the progress of the sector. NAFDAC’s Director-General Dr Paul Orhii said radiopharmaceuticals were medicinal formulations containing radioisotopes for administration in humans for diagnosis or therapy. He said they were a special group of drugs, which contains a radioactive material, called the nuclide. Orhii said: “Due to the extreme sensitivity of the detection modality, they are applied only in trace amounts predominantly for diagnostic purposes and have shown an excellent safety profile.” The NAFDAC chief said the agency’s mandate was to ensure the regulation of the product, which has unique features, such as specialised production methods, quality control, dosing, radioactivity and waste disposal. Orhii said: “The aim of regulating radiopharmaceuticals, just as every other regulated product, is to ensure the quality, safety and efficacy of radiopharmaceutical. “Globally, regulation of radiopharmaceuticals is faced with challenges. Some of these include but not limited to the inability of a regulatory authority to make assessment of safety, efficacy and quality required for radiopharmaceuticals basically due to lack of regulatory capacity.”
By Kelvin Osa Okunbor
•Defunt Nigeria Airways’ workers during their peaceful protest on the non-payment of their outstanding entittlements at the Murtala Muhammed Airport, Ikeja, Lagos...yesterday PHOTO: ISAAC JIMOH AYODELE.
Alleged N2b subsidy scam: Police declare oil firm MD wanted
HE Commissioner of Police, Special Fraud Unit, Ikoyi in Lagos, Mr Tunde Ogunsakin, has declared wanted the Managing Director of Fargo Petroleum Limited, Seun Ogunbambo, for alleged fuel subsidy payment fraud. Ogunbambo was declared wanted following a petition by the Presidential Committee on Verification and Reconciliation of Fuel Subsidy Payments. The police said the business-
By Jude Isiguzo
man “fraudulently arranged forged documents” with which he applied and received payment of over N2 billion as subsidy claims. The petition alleged that Eurafric Oil and Coastal Services Limited was granted permit to import PMS (petrol) between 2010 and 2011. The company allegedly claimed that it imported 85,519,068 litres of petrol in six transactions. It was gathered that it ap-
plied for payment and was given N6,130,006,149.30 by the Federal Government. The police said it was discovered that Eurafric did not execute the transaction. Rather, it allegedly traded off the permit to a third party, Tubbs Marine Services Limited, for N65 million. Ogunbambo, who allegedly operated with the licence of Tubbs Marine Services, reportedly failed to import any product. The police said Ogunbambo
was on the run and that efforts were unsuccessful to contact him at his 2, Olamijuyin Avenue, Parkview Estate, Ikoyi, and 95 Awolowo Road, Ikoyi, Lagos. Ogunsakin said: “He is wanted by the Office of the Commissioner of Police in charge of the Special Fraud Unit at 13 Milverton Road, Ikoyi, Lagos. “Anybody with information should contact the SFU, 13 Milverton Road, Ikoyi, Lagos.”
Forum decries neglect by Presidency
HE forum of Chairmen Local Government Service Commission has decried neglect by the Presidency. It said Nigeria could grow, if local government personnel were trained and retrained. Forum Chairman Moshood Ojikutu spoke yesterday in Abuja at the three-day workshop organised for council chairmen, commissioners and permanent secretaries. The workshop focused on the theme: Human Resource Manage-
From Faith Yahaya, Abuja
ment: The Role of Local Government Service Commissions. The forum’s chairman noted that human management was complex although it was the factor needed for development. On how the Presidency neglected the forum, Ojikutu said: “We have taken a lot of things on ourselves. Prior to now, we used to rely on the Department of Inter-Governmental Affairs in the Presidency to organise
conferences of stakeholders. This involved international agencies and training of workers. “The department now seems less interested in our affairs. Thus, conferences of stakeholders have ceased. The department has also distanced itself from activities of the forum. Also, the forum’s spokesperson, Lady Bridget Orjiekwe, said the development in the states were not the same because some governors inter-
fered with activities of council chairmen. She said: “You cannot say development is the same in all the states. In Enugu State, for example, the governor does not interfere in the allocation of the local government chairmen. Almost all rural roads are being tarred because the governor does not interfere with their money. But it is unfortunate that some governors don’t behave the way we expect.
Ribadu urges African countries to recover stolen loot
ORMER chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mallam Nuhu Ribadu, has urged African countries to recover the stolen money stashed abroad by cor-
rupt leaders. Ribadu spoke at the plenary of the second annual High Level Dialogue on Governance and Democracy in Africa in Dakar, Senegal. He spoke on: The Imperatives of Rule of Law for Improved Public Service Delivery in Africa. The former EFCC chairman said the step was necessary to serve as deterrent to the leaders and countries, which accepted stolen wealth from Africa. He said African countries should learn from Nigeria, which recovered the stolen
wealth of its past leaders. Ribadu said when he was chairman, the agency recovered $2 billion stolen by past leaders. He said Nigeria also built a global alliance to stop countries from accepting questionable deposits. Ribadu said his EFCC secured 300 convictions and recovered $5 billion. He urged the African Union (AU) to assist member-states to build up their capacities by
tackling corruption. Mr Olawale Fapohunda, Ekiti State attorney-general and commissioner for Justice, called for reforms to strengthen the rule of law in Africa. He said the major problem facing leadership in Africa was the perception that “nothing good comes out of the government.” Fapohunda urged civil society organisations to show more interest in governance and enlighten the people.
Emergency rule: Senate, Service Chiefs meet tomorrow
HE Senate and Service chiefs will meet tomorrow for an update on the Emergency rule in Borno, Yobe and Adamawa states. The Senate invited the Service chiefs, following its resolution to receive them in plenary on the progress since the emergency rule in the
From Onyedi Ojiabor, Assistant Editor and Sanni Onogu, Abuja
northeast states. Senate Leader Victor Ndoma-Egba said the meeting earlier scheduled for yesterday had to be shifted till tomorrow, following yesterday’s suspension of plenary.
The Senate suspended plenary to enable the All Progressives Congress (APC) senators attend a board meeting of the party in Abuja. Besides, the sitting was suspended in honour of a member of the House of Representatives, Raphael Oloye Nomiye, who died at the weekend.
It was not clear yesterday whether the Senate would hold the briefing in camera or in the open. But some informed sources said it would be a closed-door session because of the sensitive nature of issues. Those expected at the meeting are: the Chief of Defence Staff, Vice Admiral
Ola Sa’ad Ibrahim; Chief of Air Staff, Air Vice Marshal Alex Badeh; Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Azubuike Ihejirika; Chief of Naval Staff, Rear Admiral Dele Ezeoba; Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Mohammed Abubakar and Director-General of the State Security Service (SSS), Ekpenyong Ita.
ORMER Lagos State Governor Lateef Jakande and former workers of the liquidated Nigeria Airways Limited yesterday supported Federal Government’s plan to establish a national carrier. The former governor said the new national carrier should be strengthened to compete with other airlines. Jakande spoke in Lagos at the public presentation of a book, titled: The Big Conspiracy: Travails of a Progressive Safety Regulator In A Not So Progressive Aviation Industry, by the ex-Rector of the Nigerian College of Aviation Technology (NCAT), Mrs Folashade Odutola. The former governor noted that Nigeria should have a carrier to fly its flag across the world, as the liquidated Nigeria Airways Limited did in its heyday. He said the government needed to put measures in place to strengthen airlines. Odutola, an aeronautical engineer, urged the government not to fund a national carrier but to designate indigenous airlines as flag carriers. She said the nation’s airlines could be strengthened to compete with foreign ones. According to her, the era of government sinking funds into a national carrier was over. Odutola said such funds should be channelled into other areas of priority in the Aviation sector.
FCT vendors partner NUJ From Franca Ochigbo and Eneh Abbah, Abuja
EWSPAPER vendors in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) are partnering the territory’s chapter of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) to enable its members achieve its target. A statement by the vendors’ Chairman, Samuel Jimoh, said a conference would be held today in Abuja to educate newspaper vendors and other stakeholders on the need to sustain capacity-building in Information and Communication Technology (ICT) for individuals and corporate organisations. Speakers at the event include: Angelo Peter Elosia, a former presenter of a Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) programme and publisher of Investment Expo. Others expected at the conference, the statement said, are: Peter Ajayi, a director at the National Productivity Centre, Abuja, who will present a paper, titled: Public Private Support As A Strategy for Reducing Unemployment; Minister of Education, Nyesom Wike, who is the special guest of honour.
THE NATION WEDNESDAY NOVEMBER 27, 2013
N5.6b pension fraud: Court denies ex-Oyo HoS, 11 others bail A FORMER Head of Service (HOS) in Oyo State, Alhaja Kudirat Adeleke, and 11 others, who are on trial for alleged N5.6 billion pension fraud, will remain in prison while the trial lasts. That was the decision of the State High Court on the suspects’ bail application. Justice Bolaji Yusuf yesterday said the accused failed to convince the court to grant them bail. The other suspects are: Muili Aderemi, Iyabo Giwa, Adesina Ayoade, Oguntayo Banji, Adebiyi Olasunmbo, Muili Adedamola, Adeduntan Johnson, Johnson Bosede, Kareem Rasheed, Olujimi Adebayo and Adewale Kehinde. The stolen money was the gratuity of retired primary school teachers.
Osun APC, lawmaker hail Aregbesola From Adesoji Adeniyi, Osogbo and Oziegbe Okoeki
From Bisi Oladele, Ibadan
Some of the accused based their bail application on health grounds, while others argued that their alleged offences were bailable. They argued that they did not jump bail earlier, when it was granted by the Police, Magistrate’s Court and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). After reviewing documents presented to the court, the judge held that the accused, who wanted bail on health grounds, did not provide convincing evidence that they are ill. She said the EFCC confirmed in its affidavit that Aderemi was hypertensive and was given proper medical attention while in its custody. Justice Yusuf said the accused’s claim that he had kidney disease was unsub-
•Suspects return to prison
stantiated. As for the former HoS, Justice Yusuf said the letter attached to the application to inform the court of a serious health issue actually did otherwise. The judge said the letter stated that the applicant was in Britain for a cosmetic operation and not “a grave health challenge” as claimed by her lawyer, Richard Ogunwole. She said apart from the fact that the EFCC proved that it provided satisfactory medical care to the accused when they were in its custody, the state government has promised to attend to their medical needs if the health facilities in the prison proved inadequate. On the accused’s position that they did not jump bail when granted such by the Police, Magistrate’s
‘The case before this court is different from the one before the Magistrate’s Court. The case was at the preliminary stage when it was with the police. The case before the Magistrate’s Court was without the pool of evidence supplied here’ Court and EFCC, the court ruled that such premise was not enough to rule in their favour.
Justice Yusuf said: “In granting bail, the court must consider the nature of the offence, the severity of punishment upon conviction and the evidence before it. “The case before this court is different from the one before the Magistrate’s Court. The case was at the preliminary stage when it was with the police. The case before the Magistrate’s Court was without the pool of evidence supplied here.” She said the severity of the offence was enough to tempt the accused to want to jump bail. Justice Yusuf said though not punishable by death, conspiracy to obtain money through false pretence and forgery are classified as felony and attract minimum of seven years and maximum of 20 years jail terms without the option of fine. She said the court would accelerate the trial and sought the cooperation of all parties. The case was adjourned to December 12 and 13.
HE All Progressives Congress (APC) in Osun State has congratulated Governor Rauf Aregbesola on his third anniversary in office. In a congratulatory message, the party’s Interim Chairman, Elder Adelowo Adebiyi, described the Aregbesola administration’s achievements as “second to none” in the state’s history. APC congratulated the people for having Aregbesola, “who is transformation personified and a trail blazer”, as their governor. It said the administration’s three years in office have been “years of total transformation”, adding that Aregbesola has restored hope to the people. APC said: “Aregbesola has brought hope to the state and restored its lost glory. He has made governance meaningful again to the people, who, for seven-and-a-half years, experienced maladministration, victimisation, underdevelopment and ill governance.” The Chairman of the Lagos State House of Assembly Committee on Information, Segun Olulade, also congratulated Aregbesola. In a statement, he said Osun, under Aregbesola’s visionary leadership, has recorded landmark achievements in the last three years. Olulade said: “Osun people are the direct beneficiaries of good governance, under the visionary leadership of Rauf Aregbesola, and I congratulate them for choosing a leader that measures up to their aspirations.” Olulade said the only way to sustain the development in Osun was to re-elect Aregbesola. He said: “Without fear or favour, I confidently say that the Aregbesola administration has surpassed the expectations of the people in terms of road construction, youth development, education, agriculture and infrastructure, among others.” Olulade said Aregbesola’s performance reflects the APC’s ideology.
Rally for Fayemi
A GROUP, the Fayemi 2014 Group, will Friday hold a rally to canvass support for Ekiti State Governor Kayode Fayemi’s re-election. The rally will begin at 10am at Mobil Filling Station Junction in Ajilosun, AdoEkiti, the state capital. The convener, Mr. Adegboyega Sunday Dahunsi (a.k.a. Omoeyeluajire), lives in Baltimore, United States. Dahunsi said Fayemi has done well in all areas of human endeavours and needs to be supported for a second term.
Amosun hails HID Awolowo OGUN State Governor Ibikunle Amosun has congratulated the matriarch of the Awolowo family, Yeye Hannah Idowu Dideolu Awolowo, who clocked 98 on Monday. In a statement, Amosun said: “Mama Awolowo remains a source of inspiration to all, as generations upon generations continue to draw from her wealth of experience. She remains the quintessence of honesty, discipline, integrity, modesty and compassion.” He said despite her age, the nonagenarian has continued to harp on an egalitarian society, a nation of equity, justice and fairness. Amosun wished her good health and many more years.
Church holds programme
•The Guest Lecturer, Ekiti State Governor Kayode Fayemi (second right); his deputy, Prof. Modupe Adelabu (second left); Chairman/ Pro-Chancellor of Joseph Ayodele Babalola University (JABU) Prof. Anthony Ihimevbore (left) and JABU’s ViceChancellor, Prof. Sola Fajana, at the institution’s Fourth Convocation Lecture in Ikeji Arakeji, Osun State…. on Monday.
Ekiti police arrest man for rape of woman, 75
45-year-old man, Lawrence Adedapo, has been arrested for allegedly raping his 75year-old neighbour, Madam Grace Asaolu, in Ekiti State. Adedapo, a plantain farmer, allegedly committed the crime on November 7 at Ogbese Camp in Ise-Ekiti, IseOrun Local Government Area. Madam Asaolu said: “Lawrence Adedapo is my neighbour. He invited me to his room to collect plantain, but instead, he pushed me on his children’s bed and forc-
From Sulaiman Salawudeen, Ado-Ekiti
ibly had carnal knowledge of me. I then reported the matter to the police.” Adedapo admitted having carnal knowledge of Madam Asaolu but said it was with her consent. Insisting that she was his mistress, he said: “We have known each other for 35 years and I have been dating her for long. She is a widow from Moba Local Government Area.
“The last time I was intimate with her was in April during Easter, before We met again on November 7. That was the second time we met this year. I did not force her. I had her consent before doing it.” “She reported me because I promised to give her N2,000 before we did it, but I gave her N1,000 after. This could be the reason she told the police I raped her. I later found out that she was bleeding after we met.” Police spokesman Victor
Olu-Babayemi said: “In the course of investigation, facts emerged that the suspect knew the victim to be of old age and in menopause. She could not have been bleeding without tampering with her organ. Medical report showed that there was a violent sexual assault on her. She was also said to be distressed, with her genital smeared with fresh blood. It shows that the suspect invited the woman with criminal intent to have intercourse with her.”
Oyo commissioners, advisers get portfolios
YO State Governor Abiola Ajimobi has announced the portfolios of newly appointed commissioners and special advisers. The four commissioners that were reappointed Adebayo Ojo (AttorneyGeneral/Commissioner for Justice), Muyiwa Gbadegesin (Health), Zacheus Adelabu (Finance) and Princess Adetutu
Adeyemi-Aigbe (Culture and Tourism) - retain their portfolios. The portfolios of others are as follows: Princess Oyefunke Oworu (Trade and Investment); Dapo LamAdesina (Industry, Applied Science and Technology); S. A. Olaniyonu (Education); Abiodun Atanda (Economic Planning and Budget); Prince Gbade Lana (Information and Orientation); Umar
Alao (Youths and Sports); Lawrence Adewale (Environment) and Deji Akande (Physical Planning and Urban Development). The portfolios of the special advisers are as follows: Festus Adedayo (Media); Abayomi Oke (Environment); Waheed Gbadamosi (Physical Planning and Urban Development); Ganiyu Fawole (Youths and Sports); Gbolagade Busari (Infor-
mation and Orientation); Toye Arulogun (Public Affairs); Mathew Oyedokun (Solid Minerals); Segun Abolarinwa (Security); Mrs. Aderonke Adedayo (Due Process); Ms. Olubunmi Amoo (Trade, Investment and Cooperatives); Tope Fajana (Millennium Development Goals); Fatai Ibikunle (Parastatals) and Ms. Olufunke O. Olunloyo (Education).
THE Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG), Testimony Chapel, Anwo, Akute, Ogun State, holds its special monthly programme today. The programme, tagged: “Wipe my tears away”, will feature prayers, song rendition, bible teaching and prophetic ministration. The programme holds every last Wednesday of the month. There will be a special anointing service on the second Sunday in December at the church.
Ondo NDDC nominee replaced From Damisi Ojo, Akure
THE Presidency yesterday withdrew Dr. Benson Enikuomehin’s name as the Ondo State nominee on the Board of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC). It was replaced with that of the former Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) Chairman, Okitipupa Zone, Mr. Amuwa Benson. Sources hinged the development on a meeting President Goodluck Jonathan held with Governor Olusegun Mimiko and Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) Anyim Pius Anyim at the Presidential Villa in Abuja on Tuesday. Enikuomehin represented Ondo State on the commission’s board between 2009 and September, 2011. Sources said the change might not be unconnected with the Presidency’s resolution not to return any former member of the board. Mimiko arrived Abuja on Monday night on a chartered flight for the meeting. He was accompanied by his chief of protocol and two top government officials. The governor said he had no grudge against Enikuomehin but declined to give reasons for the change.
THE NATION WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 27, 2013
CITYBEATS Police invite council chair over Yaba crisis •Suspected robbers, cultists held T HE Chairman of Yaba Local Council Development Area, Jide Jimoh, was invited by the police over the activities of thugs in his domain. He told reporters that he was willing to cooperate with the police to ensure that violence becomes a thing of the past in the area. Jimoh said he does not support violence, thuggery, armed robbery and will offer any assistance the police may need to fight crime. He said: “I don’t believe in thuggery. This is my 23 years of being actively involved in election from 2003, 2008, 2009 till date, there was nothing like thuggery.” He spoke following the arrest of seven suspected robbers/cultists who allegedly killed three persons during a clash in Yaba, Lagos Mainland. The suspects, Lekan Olaiya (30), Edun Adeshina (20), Kazeem Igbalaiye (30) Irelola Shokeye (23), Kamilu Oladimeji (20), Darli Adewale (27) and Bakare Azeez (25) are said to have made confessional statements. They are said to be members of the rival groups Citizen and Iwaya that clashed in Yaba in October and early this month. Iwaya group lost a member, Citizen, two in the clash.
The Nation gathered that their arrest was celebrated by residents of Makoko and environs. They urged the police not to allow the suspects return to the area. The suspects recalled how they took to crime. Olaiya said: “I am a BRT operator. I don’t have a particular bus I drive. I am the leader of the citizen group. I was employed after test in 2010. I was a political thug before becoming a cult member. Then, the politicians I worked for used to pay me N50, 000, and N100, 000 but after election, there was no money to spend and since I needed to continue the expensive life style I was used to, I took to cultisim and armed robbery to make up. When I was driving BRT my salary was N28, 000 with no
allowance but robbery gave me more money. My group clashed with Iwaya group over superiority issue. I was arrested and taken to Adekunle Police Station before I was transferred to Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), on October 14. I was not the one who killed John Ibato”. Azeez said: “We are big boys in our area. We do small fighting to get money to smoke. We are not robbers. We only fought with Citizen group over superiority issue. I am from Oyo State but I was born in Lagos. We used to gather at Niger Hotel to decide where we would go and use intimidation to extort money from people. Anytime they want to use gun, I always warn them to be careful as it may lead us into
CITYBEATS LINE: 08078425391
NDLEA arrests 420 drug suspects, convicts 69 in Lagos
trouble. I was arrested on 2 nd November, 2013. We fight on every sanitation day. We killed one Ibato in Citizen group at Okoagbo at Iwaya Road. Three people were killed on our side namely Sadiq Ligali, Ibrahim a.k.a Enibunmor and Goddey. Bakassi has five guns. Our leader Waidi gives us guns any time we want to operate”. Police command spokesperson, Ngozi Braide, a Deputy Superintendent (DSP), confirmed the arrest. She said investigation was still ongoing, adding that some suspects are at large and will soon be arrested.
By Kofoworola Belo-Osagie and Adegunle Olugbamila
The strike by the workers, under the aegis of the Association of Senior Civil Servants of Nigeria (ASCSN) disrupted the first term examinations in many of the 104 unity schools as the teachers did not show up in the class-
rooms to conduct the examination. A letter dated November 25, 2013 uploaded on the union’s website gave details of the breaches that led to the strike. The letter titled: “Notice of Four Days Warning Strike in the Federal Ministry of
Education” and signed by the Secretary General of the union, Alade Bashir Lawal, stated that the union decided to down tools after the FME failed to implement agreements both parties reached on March 11, 2013 and a follow up meeting on August 27, where the former Minis-
ter of Education, Prof Ruqayyat Ahmed Rufa’i assured the ASCSN leaders that it would be implemented September ending. The group also claimed that the money has been released by the AccountantGeneral of the Federation but not paid the workers.
Pomp as Akin Lewis marks four decades of acting
•Foster, Henshaw and Koko
Funny tips from Nigeria’s Got Talent Port Harcourt audition
By Kelvin Osa Okunbor
“Within the period under review, we have had two successful joint operations with the military. The first raid carried out in June 2013, led to the seizure of 3,166.15kg and the arrest of 47 suspects. Another raid in November led to the arrest of 15 suspects with 680.266kg of narcotic drugs mainly cannabis”. NDLEA Chairman/Chief Executive Ahmadu Giade said the Agency would continue to partner with the Army and other security organisations in the fight against drug trafficking. “The support of Army Commander in charge of 9 Brigade, Brig Gen Adeniyi Oyebade has aided the successful raid of sensitive locations like Akala, Akerele and Agege, Lagos”.
Unity Schools’ teachers begin four-day warning strike
HE teachers of the Federal Government Colleges, a.k.a Unity Schools and workers of the Federal Ministry of Education (FME) and inspectorate departments over yesterday began a four-day warning strike unpaid leave and promotion arrears of six years.
T was a heart-breaking moment for some contestants in the ongoing Nigeria’s Got Talent show auditions holding in Port Harcourt, Rivers State. Snippets from the event, which aired on television Sunday night showed some of the comic moments associated to reality shows – the most, being trial performance from aspirants, who amuse or annoy than entertain the crowd. Diminutive Emmanuel Udeh was a 22yaer-old contestant, who moved many to tears with his tears. It was obvious he didn’t impress the crowd with his act, let alone the judges, but he was so little in frame that the judges tried to be nice. They were diplomatic in telling him he’s not talented enough. He got the message and wailed uncontrollably. It was obvious he had planned to wow the judges with his dance performance. Udeh took to the floor to air his pain, reminding God that He promised to see him through his performance. He left the stage showing his frustration. However, another contestant, Heaven, was not so lucky with the judges. Not only did Kate Henshaw and Dan Foster, two
BOUT 420 persons were arrested with 8,300.277kg of drugs in the past 10 months, Lagos State Command of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) Aliyu Sule said yesterday. Sixty nine persons were convicted for drug related charges during the period. Describing drug abuse as alarming, Sule, said: “The problem of drug abuse in the state is alarming. Between January and October the command arrested 420 drug traffickers comprising 387 males and 33 females. A total of 8,300.277kg of drugs was also seized. The drugs include 8,186.320kg of cannabis, psychotropic substances, 73.450kg, methamphetamine 34.016kg, heroin 4.688kg and cocaine 1.803kg.
of the judges walk out on him, Foster said to him: “Your voice can only lead me to hell not heaven.” The slightly delirious hopeful believed his spooky voice could help him gain a spot in the Airtel-sponsored race for a N10 million prize, but the judges had a different opinion. Henshaw who couldn’t stand his rendition of Asa’s Eye Adaba, hit her buzzer dismissingly the moment Heaven opened his mouth to sing. But with encouragement from Yibo Koko, the third judge, Heaven continued his performance. But Henshaw and Foster walked out in the process. So much to behold on the show, as a Police Officer, Famous Ajieh, came on stage. Popular for his act in the Southsouth region, Ajieh, who is based in Asaba, seized opportunity provided by the show to unveil his album during the auditions. The Policeman who was kitted for the show, stated that he wasn’t there to win the grand prize, and that all he wanted was to use the Nigeria Got Talent platform as a means to reach more people with his music. He performed a track from his album, titled: We Be One O, obviously, a solidarity message song.
EFYING the downpour, and giving less thought to the long trip, friends, colleagues and notable personalities, last Saturday, gathered for legendary actor, Akintola Akin-Lewis, as he celebrated 40 years on the stage and screen. The environ of Amador Suites on the Lekki-Epe Expressway, Ajah in Lagos, showed a great merriment was in the offing, as Total Recall Media rolled out the drums for what it tagged: Akinola Akin-Lewis 40 Years As a Professional on Stage, Radio, TV & Film. The event was also used to launch the ‘Abake Lewis Foundation for the Arts’ (ALFA) and a documentary titled: Who Be Dis Akin Lewis Sef. It was a day where encomium and accolades were showered on the the screen idol. Among the guests at the event were Olugbenga Otenuga, commissioner for Urban and Physical Planning, Ogun State and Chief Sina Williams, the state’s special adviser on Culture and Tourism, who represented the Governor Ibikunle Amosun. Others were Chief Adeniran Adetoye, chairman of the occasion; Pastor and Mrs. Raphael Gbolahan; Goke Olayinka, president Rotary Club of Ikeja; Dr Gbenga Bello; Captain Akin Attah; Dr and Mrs Fasehun; Dr Sola Fosudo; Victor Olaotan and Kunle Coker of Tinsel fame, Nonso Odogwu; Victory Emueje aka Otuetue; Bukky Ogunbote; Teco Benson; Yomi Fash-Lanso; Brycee Bassey and Louisa Osu.
Anchored by Owen Gee, with support from fellow-comedian Baba Dee Baba, who both got the guests roaring with laughter each time they came on stage, the event also had Seyi Michael, exciting with Juju music while veteran Disc Jockey, Kunle Job, filled the gap with playback tunes. There was also the popular Black Image Theatre group, whose performance at the event wowed many. Apparently joyous, the celebrator said the event was a challenge for him to do better. “I am overwhelmed by the love shown to me by friends and well wishers. This will only make me strive to get better and at this stage with the launch of ALFA, I intend to have more impact, train and retrain the best of Nollywood materials, who will add value to our industry. ‘’I want to thank the team of Total Recall Media Limited for putting this together for me and my lovely wife and my children for tolerating and supporting me throughout these years. By the grace of God, as an old wine, I pray I get better and better.” Adetoye, who is also chairman of the foundation, extolled the virtues of the celebrator and promised that the purpose of ALFA would not be defeated under his leadership. Akin-Lewis is a cross-over actor, who have interpreted roles in English, Yoruba, Bulgarian and French languages fort the stage, film and television. He is noted for challenging roles as Biko’s Inquest, directed by Wole Soyinka,
Dream on Monkey Mountains, directed by Carrol Dawnes, The Night Before, directed by Bode Sowande, Wedlock of the gods by Zulu Sofola, as well as Moliere, directed by Sacho Stoyanov. Some of his blockbuster movies include Red Hot, Silver Lining, Madam Dearest, Were Alaso, Apere, Osomo and Apayan Eda, He has featured in some soaps, suh as Tinsel, Spider, The Benjamins and Two Sides of a Coin. Some of his classics are Adventures of S.K Adio the Barber, popularly known as Why Worry, Koko Close and Mind Bending.
THE NATION WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 27, 2013
NEWS Ex-Airways workers support national carrier • Push for payment of over N70.8b benefits By Kelvin OsaOkunbor
• From left: CEO Coscharis Motors Limited. Mr. Cosmas Maduka, CEO Metropolitan Motors Limted. Mr. Olutoyin Okeowo, Chairman, Toyota Nigeria Limited., Chief Ade Ojo, Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Olusegun Aganga, and others during an interactive meeting on the new Automobile policy recently approved by Federal Government at the Ministry Headquarters, Abuja... yesterday.
Ease of paying taxes: Nigeria ranks 170 out of 189 countries N IGERIA now ranks 170 out of 189 coun tries examined for their overall tax assessment, according to a survey conducted by the World Bank. In a report released yesterday by PriceWaterhouseCoopers (PwC), Nigeria slipped 34 points over the 155th position it attained last year. Addressing journalists in Abuja yesterday at the end of the report presentation, Head, Tax and Corporate Advisory Service of PwC, Taiwo Oyedele, lamented that “Nigeria is not doing well. That’s clearly not where we should be if we’re aiming to be one of the top
From Nduka Chiejina (Asst. Editor), Abuja
20 countries in 2020.” He said in the previous year’s report which covered 185 countries, “Nigeria ranked 155, so we’ve lost some places and moved down to 170, but bear in mind that last year only 185 economies were evaluated. Oyedele explained that Nigeria got this latest ranking because “the time it takes small companies to comply to pay tax is difficult in Nigeria. It takes a
small company 956 hours a year to comply with tax payment procedures, the average worldwide is 268 hours and the average for Africa is 230 hours. Nigeria is more than four times the average for Africa for the time it takes to comply,” he added. He said the time it takes for someone that has paid his taxes to comply, covers the time it takes to prepare tax returns with the information needed, fill out tax return forms, and then submit to tax authorities for
verification and payment to the FIRS and collection of tax certificate, saying that many Nigerians Know it is not easy to get tax certificate in Nigeria. Oyedele said they have seen a correlation between a good tax system compliance rate and growth in GDP, “but if you make it easier for people to make tax payments, it will boost economic growth.” He said Nigeria has been going down the ranking in the last few years, adding thar “the latest reason why
West African integration: Insurance laps behind, says Daniel
HE insurance industry has not gained as much acceptability and penetration in the West African sub-region as in the other financial services sector, the Commissioner for Insurance, National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) Fola Daniel, has said. Daniel, who spoke at the on-going educational conference of the West African Insurance Companies Association (WAICA) with theme, ‘An integrated and Harmonised Insurance Industry in West Africa,” held In Lagos, called on the body and the West African Monetary Institute (WAMI) to drive the integration and harmonisation
of the industry in the West Africa sub-region. He said the conference supports the ECOWAS Vision 2020 and is in alignment with the strategy of supporting regional integration of the financial sector in West Africa, namely linking regional markets and building capacity for effective implementation of the regional integration agenda, with particular focus on the insurance Industry. He said similar efforts to integrate both the banking and stock market sectors in the
sub-region were successful, adding that it is expected that WAICA and the WAMI, will drive this course in the insurance sector. The NAICOM boss said he wants the insurance industry in the West African sub-region to leverage and key-into this opportunity by developing the needed products and services, as well as build underwriting capacity that will accommodate big risks and halt the capital flight currently being experienced, particularly in the oil and gas business. He said this will no doubt
support, protect and assist the attainment of the goals of the West African Monetary Zone (WAMZ), adding that the integration and harmonisation achieved in the banking and capital market sectors did not however come without challenges. He listed some of the challenges facing the regional insurance market to include low level of financial literacy, lack of adequate awareness of insurance mechanism and poor perception of the industry. He called for improved regulation, supervision and enforcement, as well as market conduct, self-regulation and pricing, among others.
Nigeria ranks seventh in illicit funds transfer
ESPITE the report by the present Adminis tration that it is fighting corruption, Nigeria still rated high among nations with records of transfer of illegal funds. Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Ibrahim Lamorde made the revelation on yesterday in Abuja. According to the EFCC boss, Nigeria is rated seventh in the world in this regard. He also revealed that about N20.6 trillion was illicitly transferred out of the country in the last 10 years. Besides, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Dr. Martin Uhomoibhi also revealed that terrorists now use Non-Governmental and charity organisations for movement of illicit
• N20.6tr transferred in the last 10 years From Vincent Ikuomola and Nike Adebowale, Abuja
funds. Both spoke at the occasion of a workshop on Anti-Money Laundering and Combating the Financing of Terrorism for North and West African states. The three-day workshop was put together by the InterGovernmental Action Against Money Laundering in West Africa and Swiss Embassy. Lamorde revealed that about N20.6 trillion was illicitly transferred out of the country in the last 10 years, staing howvere that the antigaft agency has been able to recover about $13million through its partnership with the Nigeria Customs Service.
He listed the sources of these illicit funds to include corruption, tax avoidance, tax evasions, illegal mining activities, drugs and human trafficking. “Furthermore, the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit domiciled within the EFCC estimated that between 2009 and 2013, about $25.4 billion was moved out of the country through cross border physical movement of cash and financial instruments. “While these figures may not necessarily be indicative of the proceeds of crime, it does however showed how the AML/CFT vulnerabilities associated with cash movements.” Larmode also pointed out
that the country’s porous borders have not in anyway helped the situation. Stressing that the borders “are artificial and as such the kind of rigid controls that will ordinarily inhibit movement of cash across borders do not exist.”I Also, Uhomoibhi in his remark blamed weak capacity of reporting institutions in West Africa for their failure to identify suspicious transactions,security and surveillance at various borders. “There is also the issue of the inability and unwillingness of national competent authorities to effectively cooperate and collaborate especially in information sharing. These have resulted in the infiltration of terrorists and small arms and light weapons.”
we have lost some position is the imposition of the employee compensation contribution by the National Assembly.” He said a few years ago, “it used to be that the private sector and the insurance companies will agree to buy out an insurance premium, in the event that something happens to the staff, while they are doing their work and you compensate them, but the National Assembly in their wisdom decided to pull this away from the private sector and give it to a government agency called the National Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF) to manage.
ORMER workers of the liquidated Nigeria Air ways Limited yesterday declared their support for the Federal Government’s plan to float a national carrier. They however said the move should incorporate the payment of their outstanding severance package, put at over N70.8 billion. Since, 2008 when workers of the liquidated national carrier were paid five years out of the 25 years severance benefits, attempts by the workers to get the outstanding benefits have not yielded positive results. According to the Vice Chairman, Nigeria Airways Pensioners Association, Segun Feyisitan, while the Federal Government paid some former workers and pensioners of the liquidated national carrier in London, Rome, New York and Abidjan, those in Nigeria were yet to be paid, 10 years after the closure of the airline. He said the former workers convened a meeting yesterday to examine ways and means of reminding the government of the necessity to pay the outstanding severance benefits on account of the pains and frustration the ex- workers are going through to get their legitimate entitlements. The workers gathered yesterday under heavy security cover at the secretariat of the National Union of Air Transport Employees ( NUATE), at Beesam junction along the MurtalaMuhammed International Airport Road, Ikeja.
A. M. Best rates Custodian stable
.M. Best Europe Rat ing Services Limited, has affirmed the financial strength rating of B (Fair) and issuer credit rating of “BB” of Custodian and Allied Insurance Plc. The outlook assigned to both ratings is stable. The rating affirmations reflect A.M. Best’s expectation that Custodian’s risk-adjusted capitalisation will continue to remain supportive of its current rating level. Additionally, the company’s competitive profile and operating performance are expected to remain solid. Custodian’s risk-adjusted capitalisation is expected to remain at a strong level and going forward, A.M. Best expects the company’s risk-ad-
justed capitalisation to be supported by the robust earnings of the Group. Prospective operating performance is expected to remain solid. The Custodian Group announced profit before tax of N2.5billion for the unaudited third quarter ended 30 September 2013. This indicates an increase of 89.5 per cent over the N1.3 billion recorded in the corresponding period of 2012. Profit after tax increased by the same proportion from N1.14 billion to N2.1 billion, while the Group’s asset base increased from N40.9 billion to N47.2 billion, indicating 15.3 per cent growth within a nine-month period. The gross written premium was N19.8 billion from N9.4 billion.
FAAN takes over toll plaza at Lagos Airport
HE Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria ( FAAN), yesterday took over operations at the access toll gate of the Murtala Muhamed International Airport, Ikeja, Lago. The General Manager, Corporate Communications, Yakubu Dati, who confirmed the take over, said the action brings to an end the management of the toll plaza by one of its concessionaires: I - Cube West Africa Limited. The firm was engaged by FAAN a few years ago to manage the toll plaza and remit to the authority about N40 million monthly under a bank guarantee arrangement with a commercial bank. He said: ”In the period while the firm managed the
By Kelvin Osa Okunbor
toll plaza, it was unable to meet its agreed monthly obligation to the authority , in addition to failure to carry out expansion work on the toll plaza. As part of measures for the effective take over of concession, FAAN, earlier in the year embarked on massive expansion of the toll plaza to accommodate more vehicles as well as ease the flow of traffic along the ever busy airport road.” Only yesterday , personnel of the Commercial Department of the authority formally commenced management of the six lane toll plaza, which has been automated for efficiency .
THE NATION WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 27, 2013
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COMMENTARY FROM OTHER LANDS
•Oil minister’s news of sale of four refineries reflects a disingenuous government
T is difficult to understand exactly what the Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke, wants Nigerians to make of her recent disclosure that the country will commence the privatisation of its four state-owned ailing refineries in the first quarter of next year. Speaking in an interview with Bloomberg TV Africa in London, the minister said, “We would like to see major infrastructural entities such as refineries moving out of government hands into the private sector … Government does not want to be in the business of running major infrastructure entities and we haven’t done a very good job at it over all these years”. Now, does Mrs. Alison-Madueke expect Nigerians to pat her on the back and applaud her ministry on this score? If so, she utterly underestimates the disenchantment and disgust of the public at the abysmal level of corruption and sheer criminality that have crippled the oil sector, particularly under her watch. She seems to be oblivious of the fact that, even though this could be a step in the right direction, the privatisation of the refineries is only a minute part of the serious challenge of thoroughly overhauling the oil industry and transforming it into an effective vehicle for achieving national developmental objectives. Given the near total dependence of the economy on crude oil exports, the level of laxity and lack of cohesion that characterise the management of Nigeria’s petroleum sector is unbelievable. Despite the eloquent lip service paid to the development of the non-oil sector, government seems pathetically incapable of weaning the country off oil addiction. That Nigeria relies on fuel imports to meet over 70 per-
cent of her domestic needs, even though she is a leading producer of crude oil, illustrates the inexcusable absence of seriousness in the management of such a critical economic sector. The announcement by Mrs. AlisonMadueke of the impending privatisation of the refineries raises a number of fundamental and pertinent questions. For instance, why should anyone be enthusiastic about this initiative since this is a path the country had charted before without success? In the twilight of its tenure, the President Olusegun Obasanjo administration actually sold off the refineries to the private sector. However, that transaction was terminated by the Umaru Yar’Adua administration for alleged abuse of due process. What guarantee do Nigerians have that the privatisation process this time around will be above board, since the management of the petroleum sector remains as graft-ridden and lacking in transparency as ever? The paralysis of the country from the oil subsidy strikes was reversed on the promise that the proceeds will be used to restore the refineries while work would start on Greenfield Private Refineries. The Federal Government has fulfilled these only in the breach. If not, why did the petroleum minister confidently assure the nation last year that the Turn Around Maintenance (TAM) being undertaken in the four refineries, coupled with the proposed three Greenfield Private refineries planned for Lagos, Kogi and Bayelsa states would substantially boost domestic refining capacity and end fuel imports by the end of this year? If the plan all along had been to
privatise the refineries since they cannot be effectively run by government, why waste scarce resources on a barren TAM? The impression is that the Jonathan administration conned the nation. Even more seriously, the probe of the fuel subsidy management scheme last year revealed collusion by public and private sector operators in the oil industry to capitalise on fuel imports to engage in monumental graft through phantom subsidy payments. The implication is that these criminal elements benefitted over the years from the dysfunctional state of the country’s refineries. Can these same tainted officials be trusted to oversee the much desired transformation of the oil industry? In particular, does Mrs Alison-Madueke under whose watch much of the mindboggling corruption occurred have the moral authority to supervise the sanitisation of the sector, including the privatisation of refineries?
‘The announcement by Mrs. Alison-Madueke of the impending privatisation of the refineries raises a number of fundamental and pertinent questions. For instance, why should anyone be enthusiastic about this initiative since this is a path the country had charted before without success?’
Brazil, here we come!
•Nigeria qualifies in style for football’s global showpiece
HE recent qualification of the senior men’s national football team, the Super Eagles, for the forthcoming 2014 World Cup taking place in Brazil next year is a reaffirmation of Nigeria’s often-ignored national qualities of determination, endurance and optimism. The country’s journey to Brazil 2014 was by no means an easy one. Having been given a bye in the first round, the country was drawn in Group F in Round 2, where its opponents were Malawi, Kenya and Namibia. Although all are lower-ranked than Nigeria, such is the competitiveness of modern African football that none of them could be written off. In the end, Nigeria won three games and drew three to qualify at the top of the group with 12 points. The next opponents were the Walias of Ethiopia, a team that had attracted much admiration for the fluid cohesion of its play. Over two legs, the Super Eagles triumphed, recording
‘To achieve success in Brazil, the Super Eagles must emphasise its strengths and minimise its weaknesses. Prominent among the latter is the disturbing tendency to indulge in debilitating internal strife at the expense of comprehensive preparations. ... If the mistakes of the past are avoided, and the new spirit of focused cooperation continues, Brazil 2014 might well record Nigeria’s finest hour in world football’
hard-fought victories away and at home, and becoming the first African country to book its ticket to Brazil. The bitter disappointment of Nigeria’s non-qualification for Germany 2006 has taught the harsh lesson that World Cup participation is no nation’s birthright, and the seriousness with which the Nigerian Football Federation (NFF), Chief Coach Stephen Keshi and the Super Eagles prosecuted the qualification campaign is commendable. For once, the NFF ensured that the coach and players got all the logistics and other support that they needed, and made certain that the team was not distracted with unnecessary quarrels over money and other administrative lapses. Coach Keshi was a tower of strength, continually reassuring Nigerians that the team would qualify. The players were models of diligence, confidence and purposefulness. The relative ease with which the country eventually qualified, compared to other African teams, is a tribute to the success of their joint effort. Nigeria’s qualification for Brazil 2014 marks its fifth appearance at football’s most prestigious tournament. It will be the second time that the country will be showing up as African champions, the first being its memorable outing in 1994 in the United States. The forthcoming tournament will have special resonance for Nigerian football fans, given Brazil’s widely-accepted status as the spiritual home of the game, as well as the global esteem in which its brand of football is held. As is usual, there is pervasive hope that the country will do well at the tournament. As current African champions and an
acknowledged continental football power with many professional players plying their trade in some of the world’s most prestigious leagues, and a neverending production-line of exciting new talent, expectations of a sparkling performance are indeed high. However, experience has continually shown how such dreams have often crashed against a harsh reality. In 1994, Nigeria was within minutes of a famous win over the Azurri of Italy when a momentary lapse of concentration enabled the Italians to snatch victory from the jaws of imminent defeat. France ’98 was tainted by infighting and over-confidence which resulted in a scandalous 4-1 drubbing by supposed minnows Denmark. In Korea/Japan 2002, the Super Eagles scored just one goal and were thrown out in the first round. South Africa 2010 was yet another story of underachievement and disappointment. To achieve success in Brazil, the Super Eagles must emphasise its strengths and minimise its weaknesses. Prominent among the latter is the disturbing tendency to indulge in debilitating internal strife at the expense of comprehensive preparations. Instead of focusing on the tournament, administrators, the media, coaching staff, players and other critical stakeholders often engage in needless quarrels which conspire to weaken team unity and cripple strategies for success. The situation is worsened by the heavy weight of expectation from the fans who are convinced that the team is condemned to do well. If the mistakes of the past are avoided, and the new spirit of focused cooperation continues, Brazil 2014 might well record Nigeria’s finest hour in world football.
The FCC makes the right call on cellphones on planes
HE FEDERAL Communications Commission may permit airlines to experiment with allowing passengers to use cellphones in flight, officials said last week. The agency should do so, and airlines should get on with experimenting. Permission is not requirement; a change in federal rules would not necessarily mean the ruination of air travel for all time. We sympathize with anyone whose immediate reaction is to recoil at the prospect of having to listen for hours to a loudmouth with unlimited mobile minutes. Air travel is uncomfortable enough. But the FCC’s move wouldn’t guarantee such an outcome. Rather, it would leave matters to airlines and their passengers, which is as it should be. The proposal before the FCC would simply admit that there are no dangers or technical complications to transferring voice and data to and from mobile phones in the air, as long as the right technology is on board. Until now, the FCC worried that airborne mobile phone use would interfere with groundbased cell networks. Now that carriers in Europe and Asia have shown it can be done safely, the government’s telecommunications regulator has no sound reason to keep its restrictions. Its rules are outdated, and they should go. Once gone, airlines and travelers would decide what to do. Carriers would have all sorts of possibilities to suit a range of passenger preferences. They could allow a limited number of simultaneous phone conversations. They could let passengers retrieve data or send text messages but not talk. They could create quiet cabins or designate entire flights as no-phone zones, if that’s what customers want. Airline staff would have all the leverage in enforcing the rules, because they would control the equipment that would connect passengers to cellphone networks. Beyond the rules, costs would also constrain cellphone users; they would be charged roaming rates for their conversations. There’s a distinct possibility that some carriers would not allow any mobile phone use. It is already legal for air passengers to make calls over onboard WiFi connections, but airlines don’t permit it. Some travelers are waging a campaign against anything that might lead to more noise in cramped airplanes. Major airlines did not rush to celebrate the FCC’s announcement. The immediate impact of the FCC ridding the country of its unnecessary rule, then, may well be small. Yet we hope that carriers explore their options to bring air travel into the 21st century, with all its pluses and minuses. While some passengers mourn the disappearance of their last disconnected refuge, others will embrace the convenience of connection. Either way, there’s no reason for the government to play referee. Washington Post
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
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• 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 WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 27, 2013
CARTOON & LETTERS
IR: I have followed the activities of the Niger/Delta Development Commission (NDDC) for some time now. The commission, for reason best known to it and the federal government, has consigned the people of Ondo State into perpetual slavery. It beats common sense that despite the simple, clear and unambiguous conditions for the appointment of executive board members of the commision, only four states Rivers, Bayelsa, Delta and Akwa Ibom out of the nine Niger Delta states have continued to occupy the executive positions of Managing Director, Eexecutive Director, Projects and Eexecutive Director, Finance and Administration. It is disheartening that for the past 13 years, the aforementioned four
IR: ‘Those whose palm kernels have been broken for them by a benevolent spirit should not forget to be humble’ goes an Igbo adage which was the beginning of the downfall of Okonkwo, the hero of Chinua Achebe’s best seller and evergreen classic ‘Things Fall Apart.’ Sports Minister Bolaji Abdullahi’s recent utterance that Super Eagles Coach, Stephen Okechukwu Keshi should not go about embarrassing his employers by publicly complaining about the non-payment of his seven months’ salary is the apogee of insensitivity, arrogance, perfidy and wickedness. Is the Honourable Minister being owed even a month’s salary? For a man who lifted the Nations Cup as both a player and coach, this is the height of a lack of appreciation and ingratitude. It brings to the fore a fundamental problem in the country. Nigerians are used to taking nonsense from their leaders in the name of maintaining the peace. We are discouraged from fighting for our God-given rights by even people you should expect to lead the vanguard for positive change. Activists are dismissed as mere agitators and rabble rousers because they choose to stand out from the crowd of cowards and coerced pacifists. It is not in our culture to de-
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NDDC’s marginalization of Ondo State states have constituted themselves into a cabal at the expense of the other five Niger Delta states. I consider this as an abuse of the principle of federal character and the law that established NDDC. The height of injustice at NDDC however, was witnessed last week when President Goodluck Jonathan released a fresh list of appointees for the NDDC board.
True to the norm, the chairman was given to Cross Rivers State which is next logical state based on the the statutory provision of the NDDCAct. The President ceded the Managing Director to Akwa Ibom state, which has occupied the position of ED Projects twice.He also gave ED Projects to Delta State which has never missed any executive ap-
pointment since 2001 and gave ED Finance and Administration to Rivers State which had occupied ED Projects and M.D in the previous boards. It is obvious that the four states have maintained their hold on the three valuable executive positions despite that it is clearly stated that the positions shall be rotated amongst the nine member states.
Bolaji Abdullahi’s gaffe mand accountability from those we entrust with taxpayers’ money to deliver the goods on our behalf. Shouldn’t the man be entitled to his legitimate pay? Should he not cry out when there is a breach of contract? When the scandal first broke out, we didn’t hear a word from the minister’s office. In a decent clime, the legislature would have had him summoned to explain why a national hero should be allowed to
IR: According to year 2000 report by the National Bureau of Statistics, more than 15 million Nigerian children are victims of child labour. Similarly, according to the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO), Nigeria has the highest figure of out-ofschool children in comparison to other countries in Africa and Asia. Erstwhile minister of education, Professor Ruqayyatu Rufa’I also confirmed the unfortunate situation when she noted that, “In terms of the number of out-of-school children, we have 10.5 million, which is one-sixth of the world’s out-ofschool children”. Based on the above, it is appar-
starve in the name of national service. The public would have called for his head since football is the only thing apart from religion that binds the nation together. Abdullahi owes justice-loving Nigerians an apology for this statement that is capable of inducing corruption and reducing the dignity of man. Would it be good for the country’s image if Keshi is turned to a mendicant surviving on the mercies of the wealthy players?
How would discipline in the team be maintained? How would he be able to look them in the eye and still command their respect? His feat in qualifying the nation for the World Cup should be followed up by prompt payment of his salary arrears as the nation has more than enough to pay him. He is not asking for the moon!
ent that the future leadership of Nigeria lies in the gloom, except some urgent and drastic steps are taken to correct the maladies plaguing its educational system. If today’s children are truly the leaders of tomorrow, then, those out-ofschool children must be protected by legislative measures and institutions germane to their total wellbeing. It is incumbent upon the government to fulfil Section 18 (1) and Section (3) (a-c) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. Section 18 (1) of the 1999 states that: “Government shall direct its policy towards ensuring that there are equal and adequate educational opportunities at all levels. Section
18 (3) states that “Government shall strive to eradicate illiteracy; and to this end government shall as and when practicable provide (a) free, compulsory and universal primary education; (b) free secondary education; (c) free university education.” Studies have shown that poverty is one of the major causes of child labour. Therefore, job creation and the enabling environment that will foster economy growth and business activities is indispensable to the future success of Nigerian children. If the present Nigeria leadership truly desires a brighter and greater future for Nigeria, then, it behoves on them to take every school age child off the
• Sola Ademiluyi Lagos.
Menace of child labour
It is curious that the five marginalized states have maintained a criminal silence over this matter for 13 years with four sessions already observed. If the current list sent to the Senate for approval scales through, then, it would have been 17 years that Edo, Ondo, Abia, Imo and Cross-Rivers States have been deprived of their constitutional rights. It is far more suspicious as well that Senators and House of Representatives members from these disadvantaged, marginalized, cheated and caged states have continued to keep quiet over such an important issue and instead have constantly joined other senators to approve these lists in time past without raising any questions. What a shame! The time has come for the four states that have unduly enjoyed what rightfully belongs to nine states to step aside and allow the other five states enjoy these positions in the spirit of fairness, equity and justice. It is clearly and unambiguously stated that member states are to rotate these positions.In the case of chairman, this is religiously observed. Why should it be different for the other three critically important executive positions? Let there be equity, justice and fairness! • Maxwell Adeyemi Adeleye, Magodo, Lagos.
street. If Nigeria truly aspires to be the hub of economic growth in Africa by 2020, then, it is crucial that the over 10.5 million out-ofschool children be taken off the street. If the future of Nigeria would ever be great in the comity of nations, then, the social and metal well-being of children and women must be inclusively institutionalised in the process of governance. As the general saying, the future is meant for those who prepared for it in the present. Women and children are indispensable group for rapid economic growth and social stability. • Olumide Bakare, University of Lagos
THE NATION WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 27, 2013
The Death of two ‘Mikes’ –Olatawura and Akhigbe. Lagos Ibadan a disgrace to govt
VERYONE dead or retired in Nigeria is a colossus, iconoclastic, a great leader or a mega-professional or even a good politician. In spite of this Tony epidemic of icons in poliMarinho tics, medicine, education, engineering and the civil service, why are we in this mess? Perhaps ‘the guilty are not yet dead’? The press should deny them airtime unless it is for an apology and restitution. Why do we ask yesterday’s political failures about solutions to problems today created by them yesterday? Certainly we know the sterling psychiatry, medical, administrative, social and family qualities of late Professor Mike Oludare Olatawura of the Olatawura dynasty, famous in many areas including judicial and medical circles as attested to by his family, students, colleagues and various governments and me who was a medical student back in those days in UCH. He was humility and efficiency personified and must have been very bemused, if good manners denied him comments, at the level to which security buffers, officiousness and even ‘official viciousness’ have built up in areas where when he was inpost as Chief Medical Director, UCH, he operated a ‘few guards, open door-come let us chat’ policy. Of course there were fewer threats by touts, NURTW members, Okada unions and Boko Haram members on hospital staff then. His brother was a very distinguished incorruptible jurist who in his early legal life joined Samuel Oladele Ige, Bola Ige and Omotayo Onalaja and Moronfolu Olakunrin in defending Soyinka against charges of ‘robbery-stealing two tapes, with violence’ and being ‘the mysterious gunman at National Broadcasting House, Ibadan’ before Mr Justice Kayode Eso in November 1965. Though young then, they all went on to become distinguished in professional and political circles. Then there is late Vice Admiral and Vice President Mike Akhigbe under Abdusalam Abubakar when Abiola was to be considered for release, or so we naively thought. One Sunday
LECTIONS in Nigeria have always assumed the status of a war on their own. Unlike the conventional war, this war is fought with deep war chest, propaganda, blackmail, intimidation and other rough tackles. Since the advent of democracy in the country in 1999 after many years of military interregnum, the story has been the same. Politicians, at every level, have devised various ingenious means and methods to win elections. In this game, the electorate who are supposed to freely express their wish and preference through the ballot box, often finds themselves either marginalized or disenfranchised. All these came to the fore recently in Anambra State, south-eastern Nigeria. For two days, November 16 and 17, the electorate fanned out to their different polling booths to elect a new governor who will take over the running of the affairs of the state from Peter Obi, the incumbent governor, whose tenure expires in a few months time. That election featured about 23 contestants, all eyeing the exalted seat. Everything was thrown into the campaign. But try as they all did, it was clear that only one person would emerge victorious. That was a settled matter. Except for a supplementary election, scheduled for Saturday, November 30, the election is yet to produce a clear winner. Expectedly, the election has raised more questions than answers. Many of the gladiators are crying foul and blue murder. The electoral body, the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, is facing a barrage of accusations over its less-than-tidy conduct of the election. The politicians considered the election as crucial. In the first instance, Obi, the incumbent governor, saw
I was visiting Uncle Bola Ige, as usual with great men, minions like myself were happy to merely breathing the nearby air and being ‘recognised’ as acolyte material. I do not remember why I was there as I ran a pretty busy schedule. Anyway the phone rang. Uncle Bola spoke briefly and agreed to go to Lagos the following day. He hung up and said he had been talking to Akhigbe, Number 2 in the military government. He had no driver for the next day being a Sunday and it was pre-cellphone days. I immediately offered my services as Sunday was free for me also. I picked Uncle Bola up on Sunday and drove him to Lagos, discussing what the options and brainstorming on the possible outcomes. Imagine me in an endgame discussion with Uncle Bola. We were interrupted by a solitary FRSC man who flagged us down for ‘nothing in particulars’ and proceeded to check everything in the car including the resident cockroach –perhaps an illegal passenger. Tired of the game which should have been over in a minute and after the particulars had been checked, the FRSC man was asked or went voluntarily to the passenger side where his jaw dropped to see an Ex-Governor of Oyo State and a founding father of FRSC in the passenger seat of a middle-aged 504 station wagon. He leapt to attention, returned my particulars and motioned us off, but not until after Uncle Bola said ‘We did not initiate the FRSC for ‘particulars check’ but for safe driving. Were we driving unsafely?’ We drove off planning that Uncle Bola would ask for Abiola to first see his family members and then the politicians he also wished to see and the final release should be expedited and come within a day or two. Once at Flagstaff House, Queens Drive, Ikoyi, the gates were thrown open and we entered. Akhigbe came into the sitting room without escort and after I was introduced, Uncle Bola was led away by Akhigbe for private discussions. I, back in my role as designated driver, watched big screen TV till Uncle Bola came out and off we went. The Expressway still lived up to its name and we were back in Ibadan in a timely manner. Akhigbe got government to do as our discussions had recommended but things went one step further. Chief MKO Abiola who may have let his guard down in the
euphoria of impending release, was apparently assassinated by methods unknown but suspected from eyewitness and newspaper quotes to involve a teacup, lipstick or skin-absorbed poison while among other things receiving a delegation of American friends including Pickering and a Rice. So much for democracy. Since then Uncle Bola has himself been murdered. Even the expressway has deteriorated to an endurance course track. God has provided him with answers to all the murders Uncle Bola would care to enquire about including his own and my first cousin Funso Williams, governorship candidate of Lagos State. People say ‘Better alive than a dead street named after them’. But ‘Thanks’ again to Governor Fashola for the important message and gesture in ‘Funso Williams Avenue’. As we leave their graves, imagine the conversation between Uncle Bola and the two Mikes - Akhigbe and Olatawura - on the other side of life. It would make Wikileaks headlines. Meanwhile we face the tragedy called the Lagos-Ibadan road-a testament to ministry and federal PDP government 1999-2013 so far. Who will stop impatient drivers overtaking on the sides?
‘Chief MKO Abiola who may have let his guard down in the euphoria of impending release, was apparently assassinated by methods unknown but suspected from eyewitness and newspaper quotes to involve a teacup, lipstick or skin-absorbed poison while among other things receiving a delegation of American friends including Pickering and a Rice’
Anambra: A familiar storyline the election as an opportunity to make a bold statement by installing a successor on the platform of his party, All Progressive Grand Alliance, APGA. In actual fact, Anambra State is the only state under the control of this party which is largely considered the platform of the people of the South-east, the Igbo. That probably accounted for why all through his whistle-stop campaigns, Obi had to invoke the spirit of the late Chukwuemeka Odimegwu Ojukwu, ex-Biafra warlord, the Ikemba Nnewi and the founder of the party who is highly revered in Igbo land. Perhaps, this was a subtle way of reminding the electorate that they owed their progenitors a duty to keep their ancestral link and umbilical cord intact. For the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, the election was an opportunity to reclaim the state they lost to APGA eight years ago. But the entrance into the race by Tony Nwoye, its candidate, barely two weeks into the election after a protracted court case, could not have been to win. It could possibly have been a grand ploy by the PDP to divide the votes. This is because of the fear that Chris Ngige, a former governor of the state, now a serving senator and candidate of the All Progressive Congress, APC, was believed to be capable of springing a surprise at the election, thereby, upsetting the applecart. That fear may not have been misplaced. The APC considered the election a test of its avowed determination to take over the government at the centre in 2015. Therefore, the party believes winning the Anambra election would be a catalyst that will propel it in 2015. Ifeanyi Ubah, the candidate of the
‘INEC should endeavour to learn from past mistakes and extricate itself from the litany of errors that have become its moral albatross in the conduct of elections’
Labour Party, who was making his first appearance as a candidate for any elective office in the state, ran a good campaign, particularly in the media. He told whoever cared to listen that he had the magic wand to turn things around in the state. He went as far as boasting that he could deploy his personal resources into the governance of the state, if need be, and if he is eventually elected by the electorate. But he soon found out that securing votes in an election was far different from lifting oil or selling goods in the market. Anyway, the four were those considered to be serious contenders in the election which ended in a deadlock. INEC too did not come out clean. Going by the elaborate preparations it claimed to have made, the electoral umpire was not expected to have any issue as far as the voter register was concerned during the poll. But that was not to be. Many names were said to be missing in the voter register. Two cases in point are that of Nwoye, the PDP candidate, and as alleged by him, his family members. So many others’ names were also said to be missing from the voter register used for the election in his ward. The question that readily comes to mind is: Given the fact that INEC had discovered that the voter register to be used in the electoral process in Anambra State was fraught with problems, which it had enough time to put right, should any name still be missing in the register? Again, from past experience in this country, it is very certain that one of the strategies compromised electoral umpires usually employs to subvert the will of the people during election is the use of delay tactics in the deployment of election materials to areas considered as stronghold of a candidate that might create an upset in the poll. It is against this background that Ngige’s condemnation of the elec-
toral process is seen by some observers of the election as justified. Long before the election, INEC should have considered the geography and topography of the state, and correctly estimate the distance from one council area to the other. If this had been properly done, it would have enabled the commission to plan the distribution of sensitive materials based on its findings. Certainly, the agency had more than enough time to plan for the Anambra election, if nothing else, to show its readiness and competence to carry out the forthcoming 2015 nationwide election. Regrettably, the agency has consistently failed to carry out hitchfree election each time. Like Attahiru Jega, the INEC chairman, admitted: “INEC prepared for that election more than it had ever prepared for any other election in the past. There is no doubt that INEC’s operational capability could not be said to be its best but we did our best under very difficult circumstances.” That storyline seems to be familiar. But when will this umpire live up to expectations in view of the vast resources put into it? By any standard, the announcement by INEC that supplementary election will hold in 210 polling units spread across 10 local government areas of the state is an admission of failure. It is the reason the winner of the election could not be ascertained yet since there are 21 councils in the state and a winner must score two-thirds of the election in 25 per cent of the councils. As things stand now, none of the three frontrunners, namely Willy Obiano, Nwoye and Ngige, has secured the majority votes and spread required by the Electoral Law to emerge winner on the first ballot. Even though Obiano, the APGA candidate, secured the most votes of 174,710 out of the 429,549 total votes cast, his 79,754 votes more than that of the PDP candidate, Nwoye’s
Dele Agekameh 94,956 votes were less than the 113,113 votes that were cancelled by INEC in different polling units of the state. Therefore, to determine the ultimate winner, a total of 113,113 votes will be up for grabs in the supplementary election. It then follows that the winner of the Anambra election and his supporters will have to tarry awhile for the victory dance which will only come after the result of the supplementary election is announced. Curiously, the talk of supplementary election has not gone down well with some of the candidates in the election, and they have vowed to boycott next Saturday’s election if INEC did not cancel the whole exercise. That will cast a dark spot on the integrity of the whole election. And the country would again come under the trauma of endless court litigations which have been a regular feature of our politics in Nigeria. INEC should endeavour to learn from past mistakes and extricate itself from the litany of errors that have become its moral albatross in the conduct of elections. Send reactions to: 08058354382 (SMS only)
THE NATION WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 27, 2013
T is my humble opinion that a union of diverse peoples - if voluntarily negotiated in good faith, and with all fears real or imagined - and interests taken account of on the basis of realism, mutual respect and empathy, equality, justice and fair play - affords a much greater chance of securing a finer quality of life for its constituent members than a collection of independent states possibly could. In view of this broad generalization, the obvious question that arises then, is why have so many of such unions failed [as, for example, in Yugoslavia] or failed to achieve their potential, and simply limped along [as in the case of Nigeria]. My answer to this is that political unions fail when they do not fulfil the caveat attached to my broad generalization: in our case, the union of Nigeria’s diverse ethnic nationalities - the building blocks of the Nigerian state - was not based on free will, realism, mutual respect and empathy, equality, justice and fair play. The critical series of constitutional conferences in the 1950s were a pale imitation of the sort of profound negotiations that were needed. These conferences were nothing but a deal done between the Colonial Office and the political parties representing, primarily, the major ethnic nationalities (even though they had members from some of the larger minority ethnic nationalities, added for effect), in which the narrow, selfish interests of the larger groups and, in particular, the British were paramount. For evidence of this, one need not look beyond the unsatisfactory way in which the Willink Commission resolved, in 1958, the question of the fears, aspirations, and interests of the minority ethnic nationalities. The late Justice Fatai Williams, a former Chief Justice of Nigeria, recounted his experience before this Commission in his memoirs (Faces, Cases and Places, pp. 50-51) : “...The Commission was ‘to ascertain the facts about the fears of minorities in any part of Nigeria and propose means of allaying those fears whether well or ill-founded.’...Chief Rotimi Williams, T.A. Bankole Oki and I appeared for the Government of Western Nigeria during its hearings in Lagos, Ibadan, Oyo, Benin City, Ilorin, Enugu and Calabar. In accordance with our briefs, we pressed hard for the creation of more states in the country, pointing out, with supporting evidence, that the federation as it was then was too lopsided. All our pleas fell on deaf ears. At one of the sittings, I think it was in Benin City, we got fed up at being so blatantly ignored and ridiculed by the members of the Commission, that we decided, with the approval of the Premier (Chief Awolowo), to withdraw from further proceedings of the Commission. It took some time before we were persuaded to go back....Even though we returned, we had no doubt in our minds, partly because of the subtle caveat entered by the British Government in the Commission’s terms of reference, and partly because of the impatient attitude of the members of the Commission to our case, that they would make no recommendations for the creation of any more states in the federation. We were, therefore, not surprised at the Commission’s Report which came out later in the year. Although the members of the Commission did say in their report that they found the existence of genuine fears on the part of the minorities, they, nevertheless, did not think that the creation of more
N Monday November 4, I wrote a piece titled Anambra 2013: What We Expect From INEC. In that piece I reminded that Anambra State is a peculiar state with a peculiar problem, a state where businessmen want to control business as well as government house, a state where cash can be used to purchase anything including government offices, a state where people without brains try to dictate where to go and where not to go, a state where great men have gone to sleep, leaving the political landscape for babies. In that piece I reminded Prof Attahiru Jega of the experience of Governor of Benue State, Gabriel Suswan when he was asked by PDP to come and conduct a delegate congress of the party in Anambra. After the congress, Suswan threw bomb to Anambra people. Hear this: “Anambra people have no shame. I had to bring 326 people from Benue state to come and conduct the congress, nowhere else in this federation would such a thing happen except in Anambra. It is a shame. Anambra is a different issue altogether. They do not want sanity to prevail or anything genuine,
Curse of the broken vessel: Nigeria at crossroads By Akin Ajose Adeogun states in the federation the best means of allaying those fears. Instead, they recommended a series of ineffective palliatives. One wonders whether, if the Minorities Commission had recommended the creation of more states in the country, the stress which the Federation later found unbearable and resulted first in rigged elections, later in the final collapse of the First Republic, and finally the military takeover and the civil war would have appeared at all.” This tendency, on the part of the British government, create political unions from among disparate peoples, whilst underestimating or glossing over the vast differences existing between them, was a consistent theme in colonial administration throughout the British Empire. It occurred in Africa, the Middle East, the Indian sub-continent and in the Far East, and, consequently laid the ground for much future instability in these parts of the world. A former British prime minister, Harold Macmillan, admitted this in the 4th volume of his memoirs, Pointing the Way, p.125 : “Nigeria, like many parts of Africa, has suffered from the careless, some might even say criminal, methods by which the different portions of the newly discovered parts of Africa were divided during the grab for colonies by rival European powers. One has only to look at the map to see how little account was taken of natural features or tribal groupings. There was thus imposed upon a large part of the continent an artificial system for which there was no basis of national loyalty....When the troubles began involving assassination and attempted secession, one could not be surprised.” I therefore believe that the Nigerian Union has not delivered on its promise because the colonial power, the United Kingdom, handed us at independence a “broken vessel”; we have since lived with “the curse of this broken vessel” that has completely proved unfit for the use for which it was meant. In order to undo the devastation wrought by this singular omission in our historical evolution, we need to understand, and sincerely come to terms with, the reality of our situation since 1947, when the representatives of all the Nigerian peoples, for the first time, sat in the same legislative body. If we engage in this honest soul-searching, the following facts will emerge: (1) “If the Southerners want unity, let them first of all embrace the religion of the Prophet.” - Sultan of Sokoto (Hassan, 1931-38, or his predecessor, Abubakar) in the 1930s. (2) “If the British quit Nigeria now, at this stage, the Northern people would continue their uninterrupted conquest to the sea.” - Abubakar Tafawa Balewa, budget debates in the
Legislative Council on the Appropriation Bill, March, 1947. (3) “Many Nigerians deceive themselves by thinking that Nigeria is one...particularly some of the press people...This is wrong. I am sorry to say that this presence of unity is artificial and that it ends outside this chamber... and we in the North look upon them as invaders.” - Balewa [in reply to Dr Azikiwe’s motion condemning the creation of ill-will among the peoples of Nigeria and urging a united Nigerian outlook]. ( (4) “It would appear that the God of Africa has created the Igbo nation to lead the children of Africa from the bondage of ages...” - Dr Nnamdi Azikiwe, The West African Pilot of July 8, 1949. (5) “I do not know about other nationalities in Nigeria, but not less than 95% of Yoruba young men and women believe that what they should be working for is their own republic.” “The Youths are Angry, and Chiefs Mislead Gen. Abacha” by Uncle Bola [Ige], The Sunday Tribune, Feb. 15, 1998. The foregoing, at first glance, may seem depressing and quite disturbing; however, in a country of many submerged nations such as Nigeria, it is only natural that different ethnic nationalities will have different fears, values and aspirations. It is also natural that they will strive to realize those aspirations regardless of what others may think, believing - and rightly so - that they have the right to control their destinies. This eternal truism explains the numerous crises that have continually bedevilled the Nigerian Union since its inception. With the convocation of a national constitutional conference by the Jonathan administration, the country has a chance maybe the last one - to redress a 66 year old omission, and engage, in good faith, in a negotiation that takes into account the fears, interests and aspirations of all ethnic nationalities, and which is based on free will, realism, mutual respect and empathy, equality, justice and fair play. If this is done, I believe the country will finally strike the right balance, and transform into a loose federation of largely autonomous component states, which, in the opinion of many constitutional law experts, is the only form of government that can successfully and happily accomodate a diverse collection of ethnic nationalities - with equally diverse aspirations - within the same country. Such an arrangement celebrates pluralism by allowing the different ethnic nationalities within a country to realize their conflicting aspirations, while, at the same time, partaking of all the advantages that a union of diverse peoples necessarily offers. If we are to be free of the “curse of this broken vessel,” and beneficially and peacefully co-exist, we must recast our federalism along this line. • Ajose-Adeogun, a public affairs commentator writes from Lagos
Anambra 2013, shame and INEC By Joe Igbokwe the first ugly experience was that some aspirants would offer anything. One even offered to give me 1 billion Naira cash that evening. I decided and even felt angry as such desperation. I can see why nothing seems to be working out here. Once it is 7pm everyone runs to their homes like fowls. There is no place of interest, sightseeing or nightlife. It is very unfortunate” This is a very painful indictment to the people of Anambra where I come from and I swallowed the shame and brought it before Professor Jega for INEC to know where they are going. For record purposes let me reproduce here what I told Professor Jega: “Now what will INEC do to succeed in Anambra? From all indications the world knows that PDP is not prepared for the governorship elections in Anambra State. The suspicion that PDP is working with the ruling party, APGA
‘Prof. Attahiru Jega owes Nigeria a duty to courageously tell the world what happened in Anambra on November 16. Did INEC prepare very well for the elections? Did INEC officials betray INEC, Nigeria and Anambra people? Was the voters’ register doctored 48hrs before the elections? Did any staff of INEC run away with result sheets? Were voting materials diverted, and to where?’
is no longer news. We see nothing wrong in that but the truth is that the opposition parties have to be prepared to face PDP and the full weight of the Federal Government. Another factor that proved our thinking beyond reasonable doubts is the romance between Governor Obi and President Goodluck Jonathan and it is all geared towards the November 16 elections. Therefore we fear that the federal government will use the security agencies to intimidate the opposition and this is our greatest fear. We saw it in Ondo State during the guber elections, as the army, police, SSS were deployed to serve the Mimiko’s Labour Party. Many were injured, maimed and killed. This must not happen in Anambra State. Another information we are getting from reliable and competent sources is how INEC officers will deny the opposition strong hold electoral materials and push the material to the strong hold of the ruling party. For example, where there are 600 registered voters in the opposition green zones the officers will bring 250 Ballot Papers just to disenfranchise and weaken the oppostion. The balance are now thumb-printed somewhere else and imported into the ballot boxes of the ruling APGA. This must not happen in Anambra and INEC must ensure it never happens. Opposition parties want a free and fair elections and the winner
must win honourably and responsibly too. Anything short of this will be unacceptable to the people of Anambra State. INEC has only Anambra elections to contend with on November 16, and it must not fail Nigerians. Police, Army or any other security agencies can be used but they must be there to ensure that law and order is maintained and they must be neutral. I want INEC to prepare for this election because it is going to be a fore-test of what will happen in 2015. Now all the things APC predicted at the national level and what I told Jega’s INEC came to pass. Had Jega’s INEC knew the state they were going to probably we would not have been entangled in this electoral mess today. Two days to election a chieftain of PDP from Uga area in the state converted his home in Awka to a voting centre. For two nights they were thumb printing ballot papers and nobody fished them out. Before the elections, associates of some politicians and businessmen who do not like the audacity and courage of Dr Chris Ngige told us in confidence that Ngige will only get two LGAs out of 21. In the evening of Saturday November 16, they started calling us and bragged that they have done what they promised. I want Jega to probe this criminality. We need to scrutinize every single vote cast on November 16. To all intents and purposes I am stunned that critical stakeholders, leaders of thought, clerics, the academia, the professionals etc are keeping quiet in
Anambra, thinking that the fraud of November will just fizzle out. A story that must be told never forgives silence. I have heard some well-to-do people asking APC to let the sleeping dog lie but we understand this game. Now everybody is talking about peace but nobody is talking about justice. Prof. Attahiru Jega owes Nigeria a duty to courageously tell the world what happened in Anambra on November 16. Did INEC prepare very well for the elections? Did INEC officials betray INEC, Nigeria and Anambra people? Was the voters’ register doctored 48hrs before the elections? Did any staff of INEC run away with result sheets? Were voting materials diverted, and to where? Who and who did this to Ndi Anambra? Did the police do their job or did they compromise? I can go on and on but there is no need to continue. Lord Stephenson warned that “An election which is conducted in violation of the principles of an election by ballot is no real election and therefore should be declared null and void without any effect” INEC must not hide anything for the sake of Nigeria and 2015. If we cannot organize an election in one state out of 36, then something is wrong somewhere. If INEC cannot handle Anambra elections then I can confidently say that it cannot do same even in a local government in Nigeria. • Igbokwe is interim Publicity Secretary of APC, Lagos
THE NATION WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 27, 2013
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Abuja carnival: Setting tone for centenary anniversary â€“ SEE STORY ON PAGE 26
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•Rivers State contingents
Abuja carnival: Setting tone for centenary anniversary •Trinidad and Tobago award Nigeria 10 scholarship Nigeria will mark the 100th anniversary of the Northern and Southern protectorates in January 2014. Last Saturday, the ninth edition of the Abuja International Carnival kicked off at the Eagle Square, setting the tone for the centenary celebrations.Assistant Editor (Arts) OZOLUA UHAKHEME reports.
F the number of participants is a determinant of its success, this year’s Abuja International Carnival may not have achieved much. But, if content and theme are what matter, then the festival is it. Of the 15 countries that indicated interest in the carnival, only five showed up. Also, 17 of the 36 states of the federation including the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) were at the opening, thus hitting an all-time lowest turnout since 2005 when the carnival made its debut. The theme of this year’s carnival was A people for a century, a people forever, and it was aimed at creating a platform for the commemoration of Nigeria’s 100 years of existence as a nation. The First Lady, Dame Patience Goodluck, who was to declare the carnival open, and Bayelsa and Benue state governors’ wife who were expected at the event did not show up. Unlike in the past, this year’s Abuja carnival did not evoke fears in many residents and visitors to the FCT. All major roads and streets from Garki Area One to Eagle Square, a major venue of the carnival, were all manned by armed security officials supported by men of the Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC) and the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corp (NSCDC) who controlled human and vehicular traffic. For once in a long time during a national celebration, tourists walked into the square unperturbed by any fear of Boko Haram bombing. Some vehicles drove close to the square to either drop contingents or their costumes for easy reach. The 18-kilometre street carnival that kicked off from Area One at 10 am was not just a long procession of colourful motorised floats and dancers. It was a total celebration of culture on wheels propelled by contemporary music and dance steps. Each contingent was backed by a motorised float and a mobile music box spinning vibes during the trek. The contingents, con-
CARNIVAL sisting mainly of youths with lots of energy to trek the long distance while having fun, were a spectacle to behold. The long trek that lasted over six hours terminated at the Eagle Square where guests were thrilled to another round of exciting celebration of the nation’s
‘The Federal Ministry of Tourism, Culture and National Orientation remains committed to the development of the creative sector. We are paying particular attention to this area as we believe that it has a great role to play in the organisation of carnivals and other cultural events. To this end, the new Cultural Policy of Nigeria has designated carnivals as an important cultural and economic activity and has made adequate provision for its enhancement. The Federal Government also partners with States where Carnivals are gaining grounds as an important cultural and economic activity. This is with a view to developing carnivals across the country and turn them into unique brands and enterprise’
diverse cultural heritage. In fact, the atmosphere was convivial for the celebration that recorded not too impressive turn-out of both participants and viewers. There was little or no apprehension about seeming threat from the notorious Boko Haram sect that has killed thousands of Nigerians in the northern part of the country. No doubt, this year’s outing is an improvement of last year in the area of costumes design, float concept and content. In totality, the Abuja International Carnival has been able to shed off its traditional elements for contemporary infusions to reflect modern carnival. Minister for Tourism, Culture and National Orientation, Chief Edem Duke said national unity and cohesion are winners at the carnival, adding that culture has in the country’s 100 years continued to grow from strength to strength. He identified culture as one of the enduring elements of nation-building and national cohesion, which ‘continue to strengthen intra and inter-communal relations, help to build bridges, forge sustainable partnerships and provide the foundation for our distinct identity as a people with a proud heritage and a future that is laden with hope and confidence.’ He said that the carnival provides a platform for the projection of Nigeria’s rich cultural heritage. “It is always a delight to see our people from various States of the federation resplendent in their carnival costumes display Nigeria’s diverse cultural forms in a kaleidoscope of colours. The beauty of these cultural forms is firmly rooted in their diversity which has been the source of our strength as a nation in the past 100 years,” he added. The minister stressed that beyond the celebrations •Continued on page 27
THE NATION WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 27, 2013
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• Kano State float
PHOTOS: OZOLUA UHAKHEME
Abuja carnival: Setting tone for centenary anniversary •Continued from page 26
and display of cultural forms, carnivals have become mega businesses around the world describing it as the catalyst and backbone of a multifaceted economy. And in order to grow the carnival, he said that federal government is building partnerships with countries where carnivals have truly become a big enterprise. “The Federal Ministry of Tourism, Culture and National Orientation remains committed to the development of the creative sector. We are paying particular attention to this area as we believe that it has a great role to play in the organisation of carnivals and other cultural events. To this end, the new Cultural Policy of Nigeria has designated carnivals as an important cultural and economic activity and has made adequate provision for its enhancement. The Federal Government also partners with States where Carnivals are gaining grounds as an important cultural and economic activity. This is with a view to developing carnivals across the country and turn them into unique brands and enterprise,” he said. His Trinidad and Tobago counterpart, Dr. Lincoln Douglas, whose country is one of the five foreign countries that participated in the carnival disclosed that his country has granted 10 scholarship awards to qualified Nigerians wishing to study carnival art, management of festival, and other related areas at two of Trinidad and Tobago’s universities. Dr. Douglas who said details of the scholarship would be worked out soon added that the University of Trinidad and Tobago and University of West Indies would be the two universities where the scholarship would be offered. He said his country has resolved to offer scholarship in the area of capacity building as ‘our contribution to the commitment of the President of Nigeria, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan who has also visited Trinidad and Tobago and shown tremendous interest and support.
CARNIVAL The visiting minister said there has been an increasing interest in the carnival in Nigeria, which he said, has great opportunity too. “Both countries – Nigeria and Trinidad and Tobago share the same economy culture, we are oil producing countries, oil and natural gas, petrochemicals. And we understand that those are finite resources. But our peoples, and the way of life as well as our culture are the infinite resources. As long as our peoples are here, we have something that we can leverage upon. I am excited with what I have seen this evening. And with continued support and participation, the carnival will grow.” Continuing, he said: “In Trinidad and Tobago, we have been doing the carnival for the last 70 years or so, and we have developed an art form, an industry, and science of music, band, theatre, mask … everything working together to create wealth for our people. It has become a big industry providing employment for young people as they get involved in something that is meaningful and valuable. “Through the carnival, we have succeeded in taking our youths off the streets or getting involved in negative things. Abuja Carnival portends great opportunities for Nigeria and we have resolved to offer scholarship in the area
of capacity building as our contribution to the commitment of the President of Nigeria, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan who has also visited Trinidad and Tobago and shown tremendous interest and support. So, we are reciprocating that level of collaboration and participation.” He said he feels more at home in Nigeria than US where he spent over 15 years. Despite the low turnout, some of the participating states had good presentations during the street carnival session and the carnival floats/performances at the opening ceremony. For instance, apart from featuring about the largest contingents at the
‘Through the carnival, we have succeeded in taking our youths off the streets or getting involved in negative things. Abuja Carnival portends great opportunities for Nigeria and we have resolved to offer scholarship in the area of capacity building as our contribution to the commitment of President Goodluck Jonathan who has also visited Trinidad and Tobago and shown tremendous interest and support’
carnival, Niger State and Akwa-Ibom State were creative in the presentation and interpretation of the festival’s theme. Akwa-Ibom State presentation at the ceremony was a total story of the Nigeria nation reflecting in visual every major political stage the country went through from pre-independence through military era till date. It also showcased the diverse culture of Nigeria as demonstrated by some members of the state’s contingents who wore different traditional dresses known to some ethnic groups in the country. In fact, there was a deliberate effort to send strong messages of peace, cohesion and love for one another by every state contingent at the carnival. Also, the bigger picture of centenary celebration was never lost as Bayelsa State reminded all with an inscription on its float, saying: It’s our centenary, roll out the drums. Other special contingents included representatives of Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps, Eagles Nest (Naija Cultural Heritage Reality Show), United Foods, makers of Indomie, Maltina Airtel among others. The carnival which ended yesterday featured performances by school children within the FCT, durbar, cultural night/ traditional cuisine and bush bar/traditional hairdo, masquerades performance, boat regatta, command performance and musical fiesta. The mobile traders and food vendors that brought items to the Eagle Square for sale were alleged to pay about five thousand naira for the space occupied. The allocation of open space and collection of the levies created some drama outside the main square shortly before the kick-off of the opening ceremony. The Abuja carnival was initiated by the Olusegun Obasanjo administration in 2005 as an annual event to hold during the harmattan season in Nigeria. It is to create a platform to present and preserve the rich intangible cultural heritage of Nigeria. Last year, some innovations were introduced into the carnival with the involvement of women and youth organisations, school children, non-governmental organisations, military/paramilitary and culture/tourism groups. The states that were absent at the opening include Bauchi, Nasarawa, Edo, Imo, Abia, Delta, Enugu, Gombe, Ogun, Zamfara, Lagos, Osun, Borno, Cross River, Kwara, Jigawa, Sokoto and Kebbi.
THE NATION WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 27, 2013
The Midweek Magazine History on Kelani’s canvas
‘Throughout the history of the 20th century, photographers were saying that taking photographs goes beyond just pointing and shooting but Kelani Abass captures the essence of painting as something that is more fictional’
VER the past five years, Kelani Abass’ artistic journey has led to his third solo exhibition which held at Centre for Contemporary Art (CCA) in Lagos titled: Asiko: Evoking personal narratives and collective history. According to the artist, the event was a narrative of his family against the history of his community. The body works are about three historical materials and media; the inter-mingling of photography, painting and printing. “I started as a printer with my father then I went to study painting in Yaba College of Technology.Now that technology has taken over the world, I added photography. History will always come to play while reflecting in what you do,” he said. The exhibition is in three series namely, the ‘Family portrait series’ with a performotive installation of typewriter where he brought his mother into the space protraying the pain and joy she felt when she met his father and what they achieved together. Another work shows the letter press machines his family bought for the family business back then. ‘I use the element to represent my family because my father has always been known to be a printer. So, I am trying to immortalise it; to bring it back to life on my canvas,’ he added. The second is the Calendar series, which is about a particular calendar that was printed back then. According to him, people bring their photographs and it is super imposed against the background for the people to share the following year. The third is Family album series, which shows the trajectory of time,space and technology. ‘Back then,only professionals could take photographs with analog camera but now,even a child can take a picture with phones’, he recalled. Kelani noted that the exhibition has been successful compared to previous ones due to extensive research. He said the aim of the exhibition is to educate people about
By Chinasa Ekekwe
VISUAL ART the family and also, to know more about arts. Curator, CCA, Bisi Silva said that over the last 150 years or more, the histories of both photography and painting are over inter-twined in the sense that painters say that photographers are not artists because photography comes from a scientific background and the photographers themselves have been fighting for their right to be considered as an art form. ‘Throughout the history of the 20th century,
Adams to support NTDC boss
Society holds bible quiz
HE Director-General of Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation (NTDC) Mrs. Sally Uwecheu–Mbanefo has commended the efforts of the chief promoter of Olokun Festival Foundation, Otunba Gani Adams for his efforts and that of his foundation at promoting domestic tourism by financing and organising festivals and cultural shows, which emphasise those things that ‘bind us together as a nation’. She described the festivals as great economic potential if properly branded and packaged in tandem with the nation’s aspiration. The NTDC boss, who was guest of Adams last Saturday, said NTDC will not only support the cultural activities of the Olokun Foundation, but form a strategic partner for the advancement and promotion of domestic tourism. She however regretted her inability to attend the last Olokun Festival saying, “I am here to show that my inability to attend the Olokun Festival held in Suntan Beach Badagry was not out of contempt but due to a national assignment which left no spare time for me.” Mrs. Uwecheu–Mbanefo disclosed that she had been monitoring the cultural activities of Otunba Adams with particular interest in the Olokun, Oya, Okota and other festivals long before her appointment as the Director–General, NTDC. “I have studied your enthusiasm and analyzed your zeal at projecting and promoting the cultural heritage of our people in serving the nation’s tourism vision and I realised the import of the mass movement of your members on the economy of a given area of celebration. This is domestic tourism at its best. “You are one of the great cultural icons in Nigeria. I am particularly happy that you are using all these festivals to stoke the embers of domestic tourism and stabilise the country by diverting restive energies into cultural activates which rejuvenate, resuscitate and revitalise our culture and value for international appreciation”
photographers were saying that taking photographs goes beyond just pointing and shooting but Kelani Abass captures the essence of painting as something that is more fictional. When you paint,it is what you are visualising that is being represented; It is what is infront of the artist that people are taking at the end of the process,” she said. Silva said to some certain extent,one is dealing with reality on one hand which is the photographs and painting which is the figment of the artist’s imagination. Kelani was born in Abeokuta, Ogun State, Nigeria. He studied Fine Art at the Yaba College of Technology ,Lagos. The exhibition kicked off on October 25 and would end on December 21.
•Gani and Mrs Uwecheu-Mbanefo
TOURISM Otunba Adams commended Uwecheu-Mbanefo for the rare honour and appreciation the little the foundation has been able to do and are doing to earn cultural identity for Africa. He assured the NTDC boss of the foundation’s support, advice and cooperation at all time. “Since we commenced the cultural revolution to stimulate love, peace and harmonious relationship, you are the first Director–General of Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation who show a deep understanding of what is expected of them in that post,” Adams said. Otunba Adams said: ‘Tourism promotion and marketing is not only about making noise or paparazzi, it is about mobilising the stakeholders which you have successfully done, networking with members of the private sector, which you have done by mobilising and boosting the morale of diligent practitioners and cultural promoter, which is what brought you here.”
SENIOR Secondary School (SSS) three pupil at Methodist High School in Aba, Abia State,Precious Agu has won the 11th edition of the Bible Society of Nigeria (BSN) National Quiz Competition for Secondary Schools which held at the weekend in Lagos. She scored 313 points. The school represented the Eastern zone. Other schools that won were Orita Baptist Model School, Ibadan. It came second with 313 points. Lugga Govt Day School, Taraba came third with 296 points and ECWA Baba Al Hamdu Secondary School, Kano scored 288 points. In his keynote address, Pastor Adebowale Oyeniyi of the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG) urged the youth to read the Bible and show forth their light to the world. He said: “We are in perilous times. It is easy to fall into temptation. But it is not the worst of times. We must refuse to compromise. Let us be better people for the nation.” BSN Secretary-General Dare Ajiboye tasked youths on ungodly practices, saying they should not participate in them. Citing Samuel and David, he said they stood for God. He, however, warned: “There is a price to pay for standing for God – reproach, name calling by friends.” Mr Kehinde Olokose, who spoke on the impact of the competition on youths, praised the BSN for sponsoring the event over the years, adding that it should up the good work it is doing. He advised the youth to be studious. The following schools got five Bibles each for their representation at the event: Methodist High School, Yaba, Brainfield College, Lagos, Herbert Macaulay Junior and High School, Yaba, Access International School, Good Shepherd School, Obanikoro and International School.
US varsity promotes Nigerian
HE President of the Faulkner University, Alabama, United States, Dr. Billy Hilyer has promoted Nigerian born scholar, Dr. Uduak Afangideh to full professor for the 2013/2014 academic session. In a letter to Dr. Afangideh, the university president commended her ‘effectiveness in her discipline, her commitment to scholarly pursuits and her dedication. The appointment takes effect from August 1, 2013. Dr. Afangideh, who hails from Akwa Ibom State, is among three that got full professorship. She joined
Faulkner University in the Fall of 2008 having taught at the University of Calabar, since 1995. While at Faulkner, she has distinguished herself as a researcher and a scholar and was instrumental in the successful implementation of the university’s first research and creativity day, serving as the committee chairman for the event. Dr. Afangideh holds a Bachelor of Science from Freed Hardeman University, a Master of Science from Tennessee State University and a doctorate in Plant Breeding from the University of Calabar.
By Joseph Eshanokpe
THE NATION WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 27, 2013
Forecasts Niger Insurance Gross Premium - N2.73b Profit after tax - N212.95m Mutual Benefits Gross Premium - N2b Profit - N885.633m Regency Alliance Gross Premium – N812.596m Profit after tax – N256.437m Learn Africa Turnover - N1.06b Profit after tax - N58.336m Total Nigeria Turnover - N46.676 b Profit after tax - N942.1m MRS Oil Nigeria Turnover - N51.20b Profit after tax - N712 m Eterna Turnover - N27.64b Profit after tax - N563.834m Okomu Oil Palm Turnover - N2.667b Profit after tax - N1.044b Stanbic/IBTC Bank Net operating income N16.805b Profit after tax - N2.737b ASL Turnover - N1.084b Profit after tax - N101.355m GT Assurance Gross Premium - N3.892b Profit after tax - N710.62m Cornerstone Insurance Gross Premium - N1.223b Profit after tax - N80.01m Oasis Insurance Gross Premium N562.500m Profit after tax - N79.868m African Alliance INS Gross Premium - N1.215b Profit after tax - N107.213m Berger Paints Turnover - N976.303m Profit after tax - N88.258m SCOA Nigeria Turnover - N835.0m Profit after tax - N18.200m Dangote Sugar Refinery Turnover - N38.251b Profit after tax - N3.49b Studio Press Nig. Turnover - N3.375b Profit after tax - N20.422m Julius Berger Nig. Turnover - N80.125b Profit after tax - N2.55b Intercontinental Wapic Ins Gross Premium - N1.41b Profit after tax - N250.450m Equity Assurance Gross Premium - N2.45b Profit after tax - N287.283m Standard Alliance Insurance Gross Premium - N2.142b Profit after tax - N475.964m Continental Reinsurance Gross Premium - N6.917b Profit after tax - N805m PRESCO Turnover - N2.60b Profit after tax - N800.9m RT Briscoe Turnover - N4.553b
29 NLNG is one of the biggest success stories in our country. From what I am told, the company has invested $13 billion so far since inception, and has become a pacesetter in terms of revenue generation for the government. -Minister of Trade and Investment, Dr Olusegun Aganga
Currency in circulation drops to N1.47tr T HE volume of currency in circulation rose by 3.4 per cent to N1.47 trillion at the end of the third quarter, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has said. In a report obtained by The Nation the apex bank said the increase is in contrast to the decline of 5.5 and 1.1 per cent at the end of the preceding quarter and corresponding period of last year. It said the development, relative to the preceding quarter was attributed, largely, to the 3.5 per cent increase in currency outside the banks.
By Collins Nweze
It explained that the value of Commercial Paper (CP) held by the banks rose by 94.1 per cent to N29.1 billion by September, compared with N15 billion at the end of the preceding quarter. The development was due to the increase in holding of CP by the banks during the review period adding that the CP constituted 0.44 per cent of the total value of money market assets outstanding, compared with 0.23 per cent at the end of the
preceding quarter. “The value of BAs held by DMBs increased by 53.2 per cent to N24.5 billion at the end of the review quarter, compared with the increase of 58.1 per cent at the end of the preceding quarter. The development reflected increase in investments in BAs by the banks. Consequently, BAs accounted for 0.37 per cent of the total value of money market assets outstanding at the end of the review quarter, computed with 0.24 per cent at the end of the preceding quarter,” it said.
Also, bills of various maturities, ranging from 55 to 227 days, were used for liquidity management during the review period. Total sales amounted to N750.98 billion, while total subscription was N1,512.42 billion, compared with N2.7 trillion and N4.2 trillion allotted and subscribed to in the preceding quarter. The bid rates ranged from 11.50 to 14 per cent, while the stop rates ranged from 12 to 13.20 per cent, compared with 11.500 to 13.299 per cent in the preceding quarter.
Matured bills worth N1.5 trillion were repaid during the period, resulting in a net injection of N778.40 billion. According to the report, the primary market segment, treasury bills of 91-, 182- and 364-day tenors, amounting to N739.37 billion, N1.8 trillion and N739.37 billion, were offered, subscribed to and allotted, in the third quarter of 2013, compared with the respective sums of N1 trillion , N1.7 trillion and N1 trillion in the preceding quarter.
NAICOM to blacklist auditors for connivance By Omobola Tolu-Kusimo
•From left: President/Chief Executive, PEARL Awards, Mr. Tayo Orekoya; GMD, Dangote Cement, Mr. D. V. G. Edwin and Chairman of the occasion, General Theophilus Danjuma (rtd) presenting the award of the overall winner at the Nigerian Stock Market-PEARL of the NSE, to Dangote Cement at the PEARL Awards in Lagos.
‘Adopt single entry point for foreign carriers’
VIATION experts have canvassed the adoption of single entry point for foreign carriers, describing the multiple entry points granted by the government as another attempt to further cripple indigenous airlines. The experts: Mr Gbenga Olowo, chief executive officer of Sabre Travel Africa, and Mr Taiwo Adenekan, who are both aviation economists, described the granting of multiple entry points to some foreign airlines as another antagonistic policy that could further impoverish domestic airlines that are battling operations afloat. They spoke in separate interviews last week in Lagos with The Nation. They urged the Federal Government to emulate steps taken by some foreign governments to protect their airlines by only granting one entry point to Nigerian carriers .They
Cash-less banking for states in June - P 30
By Kelvin Osa Okunbor
listed the foreign carriers with multiple entry point into Nigeria to include: British Airways, Virgin Atlantic Airways, Emirates, Air France / KLM, Ethiopian Airlines, Turkish Airlines , Lufthansa Airlines and others .They said the designation of Emirates and Turkish Airlines to fly into Lagos, Abuja and Kano only amounts to selling of the nation’s birth right , as indigenous carriers do not enjoy such right in United Arab Emirates and Turkey. They said such multiple entry points given to foreign carriers further helped to destroy the potential of domestic carriers, as the foreign carriers make much profit from Nigeria. The experts said that the call by the House of Representatives to review the bilateral air services agreement Nigeria
signed with other countries is long overdue, when the foreign carriers, which are beneficiaries of the agreement make billions of dollars yearly from Nigeria. Specifically, Adenekan advocated the open bid for Nigeria’s seven most lucrative international routes to foreign carriers, from where over $ 500 billions could be made for seven years to float a national carrier. He listed the routes to include: Lagos-New York, Johannesburg, Rome, Frankfurt, London, Jeddah and Dubai. According to Adenekan, granting flight frequency to foreign airlines will further weaken the capacity of domestic carriers. He described the granting of multiple entry points to foreign carriers as a disservice to the growth of indigenous operators, urging the government to consider protectionists policies
Banks get N5.76 CBN loan - P30
to assist local operators. He said: “How do you expect domestic airlines to do well, when government I’d granting multiple entry points to carriers to fly passengers from their operational hub into different cities and airports in Nigeria. “What then will be left for domestic carriers? “The foreign carriers should only be allowed to fly their passengers into one city, from where the domestic carriers will distribute under some partnership. “How come Arik Air is not allowed to fly into more than one airport in the United Kingdom and United States. But, British Airways, Virgin Atlantic, Emirates, Turkish Airlines, Ethiopian Airlines , KLM/ Air France , Lufthansa Airlines fly into more than one city in Nigeria.”
HE National Insurance C o m m i s s i o n (NAICOM) may blacklist auditing firms that collude with insurance firms by passing incorrect financial statements despite clarity on the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS). NAICOM Director of Supervision, Mr Nicholas Okpara gave this hint in Ilorin, disclosed that the comission would maintain a black book where the names of auditors who consistently fail to leave up to their responsibilities would be entered. He said once this is done, the auditor will be barred from auditing financial statements insurance companies. He said: “We are working to blacklist auditing firms who have consistently endorsed false accounts. “It is already on the table and I think it is the right way to go because the financial statement of a company is a joint responsibility by the board and management of that company. “The auditor that provides the quality assurance and to the extent the auditor will certify the account is more or less taking responsibility that the account contains no error and it is the true and fair view of the financial position of the company.” He wonderd why an audited account should contain errors if the auditor had done his work diligently and professionally. “Why should an audited account reveal such errors that are false and full of error,”he asked rhetorically.
How I became successful in business
THE NATION WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 27, 2013
MONEY THE NATION
Banks get N5.7tr CBN loan to boost liquidity
HE Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has lent banks and discount houses N5.74 trillion to boost liquidity. The figure is an increase of 124.4 per cent compared to the N2.56 trillion in the preceding quarter. The fund, which came as Standing Lending Facility (SLF), was granted in the third quarter, which ended in September, at 14 per cent. The SLF is an overnight credit available on banking days between 2 pm and 3.30 pm, with settlement on the same day value. Also, the total Standing Deposit Facility (SDF) was N14.3 trillion during the third quarter, representing an increase of 135.1 per cent over the level in the preceding quarter. According to the CBN, banks’ deposits at the apex bank increased by 14.8 per cent to N7 trillion in contrast to the decline of 10.2 per cent at the end of the preceding quarter. The development reflected largely, the 75.4 per cent rise in banks deposit, which more than offset the 32.5 and eight per cent decline in the deposits of others’ and
•Lenders shun interbank for discount window Stories by Collins Nweze
Federal Government, respectively. The CBN attributed the significant increase in activities in the standing facilities window mainly to the banks’ preference for depositing their overnight balances at the discount window rather than placing them at the interbank. It explained that money market rates were influenced by the liquidity condition in the banking system arising from the introduction of the 50 per cent Cash Reserve Ratio (CRR) on all public sector deposits, coupled with the delay in the release of fiscal allocation. The CBN had on November 19 Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meeting maintained the Monetary Policy Rate (MPR) at 12 per cent, and kept the symmetric corridor of plus two per cent around the MPR for SLF. However, the SLFs are available only to banks and discount houses that have executed the Nigerian Mas-
ter Repurchase Agreement (NMRA) with the regulator. The NMRA covers the operations of the SLF and addresses issues relating to pricing, duration, custodian as well as default resolution in lending. The Liquidity Ratio Cash Reserve Ratio (CRR) and the Net Open Position were also retained at their preceding quarter’s levels of 30, 12 and one per cent. It said discount window also remained open to authorised dealers to access both the standing deposit facility (SDF) and standing lending facility (SLF). Overall, developments in money market indicators were mixed in the review quarter. The CBN said that the value of money market assets outstanding at the end of the third quarter stood at N6.5 trillion, showing an increase of 0.34 per cent, compared with the increase of 5.96 per cent at the end of the preceding quarter. The development was attributed, to the 94.13 and 53.15 per cent in-
crease in banks investments in Commercial Paper and Bankers Acceptances outstanding during the period under review. There were also mixed developments in banks’ deposit and lending rates during the third quarter. The average savings deposit rate, which rose to 2.44 per cent from 2.04 per cent in the second quarter, all other rates on deposits of various maturities fell from a range of 5.69 per cent to 7.72 per cent to a range of 4.92 to 7.55 per cent in the third quarter.
The weighted average inter-bank call rate, which stood at 11.69 per cent at the end of the second quarter of 2013, rose by 2.34 percentage points to 14.03 per cent in the third quarter of 2013, reflecting the liquidity condition in the banking system. Similarly, the weighted average rate at the Open Buy Back (OBB) segment rose to 14.14 per cent at the end of the review quarter from 11.27 per cent in the preceding quarter. The Nigeria Inter-bank Offered Rate (NIBOR) for the seven-day and 30-day tenors rose to 13.79 and 13.95 per cent from 12.19 and 12.46 per cent, in the preceding quarter.
‘Multiple tax hinders growth’
ULTIPLE taxation is a disincentive to foreign direct investment (FDI) which hinders economic development, President, Chartered Institute of Taxation of Nigeria (CITN) Mark Dike has said. Speaking during a CITN induction in Lagos, he said multiple taxation, under whatever guise is a major hindrance to economic development and social emancipation. “There is no doubting the fact that taxation is inevitable because it provides the resources for government to provide infrastructure for its citizens, but when taxes are severally replicated on the income of an individual, then there is a big cause for concern. For instance, some state and local governments request people to pay for registration of business premises and licence of business premises,” he said. Dike said these were one and the same as the only difference is the change of name. He regretted that governments, unfortunately, seemed not to have the wherewithal to enforce discipline and sanctity in the tax system as it is obvious that all levels of governments today are bent on collecting taxes, anyhow.
He said clients and policy makers have continued to look up to us in their constant search for solutions to the various taxation and fiscal policy problems. “For instance, there had been several agitations from some quarters for an upward review of property tax. This call, though, seems good on the surface but definitely not the major solution or panacea to the problem of insufficiency of revenue or eradication of corruption which has eaten deep into the fabric of the Nigerian system,” he said. The CITN boss said the success of a unified tax system depends largely on the government’s use of tax professionals who are its members to handle their tax matters in order to eliminate quacks in the tax system. “The regulation of the tax practice and administration in any country is necessary to discourage sharp practices. This apart, the low level of tax education among the populace has made voluntary compliance quite difficult, hence, the need to consult members of a regulatory body like the CITN for professional tax advice and guidance,” he said.
DMO stifles development, says WAIFEM chief •From left: Acting Executive Director, South, Unity Bank Plc Mahmud Elems; Head Corporate Communications Theodora Amechi and Acting General Manager/Divisional Head Quality Management Aliyu Ma’aji at the bank’s media interactive session in Lagos.
Cash-less banking for states in June
ASH-LESS banking, which began in Lagos last year, will go nationwide before the end of June, next year, according to Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Deputy Governor, Operations Mr Tunde Lemo. Anambra, Ogun, Rivers, Kano, Abia and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) adopted the policy last June. Speaking during the Nigeria Inter-bank Settlement System (NIBSS) 20th anniversary in Lagos, Lemo said the use of mobile phones and Point of Sale (PoS) terminals in implementing the policy remained critical. “That is a challenge that we are also working on. If mobile phones can serve as a touch point, our transactions would go up rapidly. So, these are some of the things we are looking at, hoping that by next year, as we roll out more PoS machines, we have to see how we integrate the mobile phones into the
network because in the hinterlands, the challenges would be more. We hope to roll-out to all the state capitals by the second quarter of next year,” he said. Lemo said an effective payment system was going to be an effective anchor for the transformation of the economy even as the nation strives to be one of the 20 biggest economies in the world by 2020. CBN Director of Communications Ugochukwu Okoroafor said the policy was meant to reduce the amount of physical cash circulating in the economy and encouraging more electronic-based solutions for payments for goods and services, transfers among others. Since the project was introduced in 2002 in Lagos, many commercial banks have, through emails, text messages and formal letters been sensitising their customers on the need to embrace alternative payment options. In an emailed statement to its cus-
tomers, GTBank said the policy will drive the development and modernisation of Nigeria’s payments system within the Abuja and selected states. It said all individuals and corporates will be encouraged to adopt electronic payment and other banking options. The policy, which before now was only operational in Lagos State in terms of charges, is aimed at promoting the use of electronic-based transactions instead of cash for payments for goods, services, transfers among other services. The implementation of the ‘Cashless Lagos’, as it is known, began eary last year and has recorded improvements is the use of PoS, Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) and other e-payment tools. The service charges/fees did not apply until March last year, in order to give people time to migrate to electronic channels and experience the infrastructure that has been put in place.
IRECTOR-General, West African Institute for Financial and Economic Management (WAIFEM), Prof Akpan Ekpo, has said the creation of the Debt Management Office (DMO) to manage Nigeria’s debt profile is a minus for the economy. Speaking at the weekend during the yearly workshop of Finance Correspondents Association of Nigeria (FICAN) in Ogun State, he said such institutions ended up impoverishing the future generations. He said the DMO regularly issues debt instruments which creates more debts for the economy and stifle funds that could have gone into infrastructure funding. He said in most cases, the raised funds are not channeled into building viable infrastructure that supports economic growth and development but are wasted on frivolous projects. Ekpo said in 2004, Nigeria’s debt stock amounted to about $46.6 billion, which comprised $35.9 billion of external debt and $10.7 billion of domestic debt. He said high debt service costs on Nigeria’s $30.4 billion Paris Club debt had tremendously strained public finances, crowding out space for other necessary social expenditure and investments in public infrastructure.
However, he said as part of the successful debt negotiation process with the Paris Club, Nigeria paid its creditors outstanding arrears of $6.4 billion, received debt writeoff of $16 billion on the remaining debt stock (under Naples terms), and purchased its outstanding $8 billion debt under a buy back agreement at 25 per cent discount for $6 billion. The entire debt relief package totaled $18 billion, or a 60 per cent write-off in return for $12.4 billion payment of arrears and buyback. He said the exercise involving the buyback was unprecedented and represented an “unnatural” solution under the Paris Club protocol for a low-income country; it was the second largest - debt relief operation in the Club’s 50-year history. Such was the debt exit deal that succeeded in eliminating the country’s external debt overhang syndrome. Meanwhile, Nigeria’s total debt now stands at N8.32 trillion ($53.42 billion), the DMO has said. The latest statistics released by the DMO on its website showed that at the end of September, the total debt comprised the external debts of the Federal Government and the state governments as well as the domestic debt component of the Federal Government.
THE NATION WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 27, 2013
MONEY Banks are taking strategic positions in funding Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) seen as key driver of the economy and financial services sector. COLLINS NWEZE reports steps taken by most lenders to empower the subsector through improved lending.
• Biscuit manufacturing plant
Banks jostle for SMEs’ funding
UNTIL recently, banks in Nigeria and other parts of Africa were relatively unwilling to finance the millions of Small and MediumEnterprises (SMEs) dotting the continent’s challenging business landscape. Reasons: poor quality of financial records maintained by most SMEs, insufficient protection of lenders’ interests under existing commercial laws, and the difficult business environment where they operated. However, deposits money banks have recently, started to develop improved value proposition to enhance banking services to SMEs. Banks like Ecobank Nigeria, Skye Bank Plc, Access Bank, First Bank of Nigeria among others have consistently improved their commitments to lend to the subsector. There have also been various SME development and advocacy organisations including the Nigerian Association of Small Scale Industrialists (NASSI) and the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN) have constantly encouraged banks to enhance the access to finance to SMEs to help grow the economy while also helping business methods by focusing on training and enhancement of business methods of these businesses. The recommendations are against the backdrop of the partial success of the 2005 Micro-Finance Policy, Regulatory and Supervisory Framework for Nigeria introduced by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). The project has transformed the 607 community banks operating across the country into micro-finance institutions to enable them extend micro-loans to individuals, businesses, and organisations, which would otherwise be unable to access funding from formal financial institutions. Ecobank Nigeria said it was committed to developing robust value proposition to enhance banking services to retail markets across Africa, including the under-served SME segment. According to the bank, the role was in line with its goal to extend its dominance of the wholesale banking business in the region to the retail segment since SME banking has been identified as a key driver of retail and economic growth. To achieve this, the bank embarked on an aggressive and strategic expansion of its distribution channels by growing its branch
network through acquisition of Oceanic Bank in Nigeria in September 2011 and Trust Bank Ghana Limited (TTB) in January 2012. The acquisitions added nearly 500 branches to the Group’s network thereby consolidating its status as Africa’s number one bank brand. This is a key part of the bank’s goal to bring banking closer to its customers, a key part of the value proposition to drive retail banking. The bank’s transactional account offering allows customers to make use of its branch and electronic channels, driving easy and convenient payment. The bank also offers a competitive international payment platform using telegraphic transfers and documentary trade solutions to boost payments to foreign suppliers within and outside Africa. The bank has a strategic alliance with Nedbank of South Africa and the Bank of China which clearly illustrates the group’s global ambitions. The bank also provides various financing products to help SMEs grow and their businesses. These include basic overdrafts, business term loans, trade and distributor finance in local and foreign currencies. The Ecobank overdraft makes funds available to eligible SMEs when they need it without having to pay interest on the full cash limit but on the amount of cash utilized. While the business term loan is repayable in equal monthly installments for any period from one to five years to finance specific business needs of SMEs. Ecobank also provides flexible short term finance to businesses that import and distribute raw materials, nonperishable finished goods. The bank’s trade finance offering helps SMEs manage their cash flow while minimizing risks associated with the settlement of international trade. More importantly, Ecobank Transnational Incorporated and African Guarantee Trust Fund recently signed a portfolio guarantee agreement worth $50 million
to support Small and Medium Scale Enterprises across sub-Saharan Africa. Following the signing, which took place at the ETI’s head office in Lagos, Ecobank pledged to promote and support small businesses within the region. The two institutions said under the terms of the $50 million agreement they would work together to unlock the potential of SMEs in Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Kenya and Nigeria to deliver inclusive growth. Speaking on the agreement, Group Executive Director, Domestic Bank, ETI, Mr. Patrick Akinwuntan, said the inaccessibility to finance had been a major obstacle to small business growth and development, with only 20 per cent of African SMEs receiving a credit line from a financial institution. The agreement, he said, aimed to assist viable SMEs by providing an AGF-backed partial guarantee for 50 per cent of net losses of the principal. This, he added, was under the loan facilities extended to customers in the value chain of the SME financing programmes, including contract and receivable finance, distributorship finance and asset finance. A statement by the company quoted the Ecobank Group Chief Executive Officer, Thierry Tanoh, as saying, “This agreement reaffirms Ecobank’s commitment to support small and medium-sized businesses and our collaboration with African Guarantee Fund will further enable the SME sector to play a critical role in the socio-economic development of Africa.” Akinwuntan said, “Ecobank recognises that the SME and mediumsized enterprises sector has significant growth potential, represents Africa’s ‘rising middle’ and provides the largest employment pool for our vibrant population. This agreement leverages our unrivalled pan-African footprint to deepen financial inclusion in Africa.” Also speaking, Chief Executive Officer of AGF Felix Bikpo,
maintained that the partnership with Ecobank was of great significance as it provides them with a very important Pan-African banking network through which African SMEs would be assisted in getting increased access to financing. In a separate assertion, Chief John Odeyemi, National President of the Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA), disclosed recently that SMEs engaged in the distribution trade constitute about 50 percent of the sector, while 10 percent are into manufacturing, 30 percent in agriculture and 10 percent in the service sector. According to Chief Odeyemi, SMEs account for over 60 per cent of Nigerian Gross Domestic Product generated mainly in the agricultural, service and distributive trade sectors. He added that SMEs engaged in distributive trade are more viable than those in the manufacturing and agricultural sector, making it easier for them to access funds from financial institutions. In spite of the challenges, which characterise lending to SMEs in agriculture and manufacturing sectors of the economy, Akinwuntan noted that Ecobank remains committed to funding these sectors. He said the bank’s value proposition to SMEs was developed after painstaking research on the needs of businesses in Nigeria, using traditional and non-traditional methods to evaluate, mitigate and price the risk associated with financing SMEs, especially in the manufacturing and agricultural sector. “We have developed a comprehensive value proposition anchored on three pillars to aid the growth of SMEs. The three pillars are access to finance, capacity development and business advisory and transactional support. Enhancing access to finance remains the key objective of the bank, and we intend to achieve this by providing capacity devel-
‘Deposits money banks have recently started developing improved value proposition to enhance banking services to SMEs. Ecobank Nigeria, Skye Bank Plc, Access Bank, First Bank of Nigeria amongst others have consistently improved their commitments to lend to the subsector’
opment solutions and advisory services to SMEs, through third party partners, and our knowledgeable sales team. The bank also encourages the businesses we finance to develop capacity in managing their risks, help them organize themselves into cooperatives and ensure financial statements are up to date. This helps in minimizing the risk of failure ultimately leading to a healthy loan book,” Akinwuntan said. The expected social and economic outcomes from funding of SMEs is to raise household incomes, create employment, improve food security due to increased trade, manufacturing, agricultural productivity and the generation of market surpluses, as well as improved access to markets, while institutionalizing credit products at more affordable rates for individuals and small businesses across the country, in a sustainable manner. Also, Skye Bank said it intensified efforts to provide financial services to the unbanked within the population. The Executive Director in charge of South-south Business Development/Retail Banking, Skye Bank Plc, Mrs Ibiye Ekong, who disclosed this during an interaction with the press in Lagos, said the lender will reach out to the unbanked through specialised product offering adding that it had perfected plans to enhance opportunities in the retail segment of the market. “There are about 64 million unbanked adult population in the country, and another 16 million youth population that is unbanked. So, a lot of opportunities abound out there for players in the industry”, she said. FirstBank has reiterated its commitment to SMEs growth through improved funding and capacity building. Speaking ahead of the its premier SME conference held in Lagos, the bank’s Executive Director Retail Banking South, Mr. Gbenga Shobo said the lender has as part of its far-reaching SMEs’ support programme named SMEConnect, initiated an a yearly conference. He said the conference with theme: “SMEs at the heart of national development: Creativity, capacity and capital” will highlight challenges and opportunities for small businesses.
THE NATION WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 27, 2013
THE NATION INVESTORS
Standards & Poor’s rates economy, banking as S high risk TANDARDS & Poor’s Ratings Services has classified economic and banking industry risks as ‘very high’ in a report that underlined fears about Nigeria’s lop-sided economic growth and wealth distribution and the changes in the banking industry. In its ‘Banking Industry Country Risk Assessment (BICRA)’, which focused on Nigeria, Standards & Poor’s (S & P) rated the country’s overall economic risk as eight and banking industry risk as seven on a scale of one to 10. In a breakdown of the risk assessment, S & P scored Nigeria as ‘very high risk’ in terms of economic resilience, ‘intermediate risk’ in terms of economic imbalances and ‘extremely high risk’ in terms of credit risk in the economy. The report scored Nigeria’s banking industry’s institutional framework and competitive dynamics as ‘very high risk’ while the industry’s system-wide funding was adjudged to be of ‘intermediate risk’. The report however noted government’s support for the banking industry. According to the report obtained by The Nation, Nigeria’s economic risk was a balance between the country’s considerable natural resources and improving economic diversification and low wealth levels, persistent political risks, and large infrastructure deficiencies. “The economy depends, however, on oil revenues, and we consider that there is a strong potential for future asset and equity price bubbles. The main source of economic risk stems from Nigeria’s very weak payment culture and rule of law, poor underwriting standards, and high credit concentrations and foreign currency lending,” the report stated. It explained that the economic risk score for Nigeria was based on economic resilience, economic imbalances, and credit risk in the economy. The report noted that Nigeria’s strong economic growth and improving diversification were being held in check by oil dependence, low wealth and infrastructure deficiencies pointing out that dependence on oil has been a major catalyst for corruption. According to the report, Nigerian economy is expected to expand by about 6.4 per cent per year through 2013-2014, which is strong in a global context. Considerable natural resources support the economy, but the non-oil economy has largely fueled growth for the past few years. Key non-oil growth sectors include agriculture, trade, and services. Positively, this should broaden economic diversification and create opportunities for the banking sector. “Nevertheless, we expect the economy, exports, and government revenues to continuing depending on oil in the near term, which exposes domestic economic stability to oil prices. The reliance on oil is also, in our opinion, a catalyst for corruption, political interference, and internal security problems, while the majority of the population has yet to receive any real benefit. Nigeria remains a low income country, with per capita GDP that we estimate will remain below $2,000 over the next two years. Furthermore, there are significant shortcomings in physical, commercial, and legal infrastructure,” the report stated. S & P stated that ahead of the 2015 elections, political risk will likely increase and could stymied the reform process in the power, agriculture, and infrastructure sectors. “We remain more skeptical about real reform in the natural resource sector due to entrenched interests. Generally, we believe the country’s weak rule of law, along with cor-
•There is strong potential for asset and equity price bubbles •AMCON is a major distortion Stories by Taofik Salako
ruption, will act to restrain growth and pose a continuing risk to the banking sector,” S & P stated. It pointed out that Nigeria’s restrained expansion understates the potential for high growth and large imbalances. “In our opinion, Nigeria could be exposed over the longer term to inherently high economic imbalances, including periods of credit volatility. This is because its wealth—supported by the country’s immense natural resources—is overly concentrated geographically, industrially, and among its population. In our opinion, this leaves asset prices vulnerable to systemic shocks, such as heightened political risk or a sharp drop in oil prices,” the report concluded. While the report noted that regulation and supervision under the Sanusi Lamido-led administration at the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) have been far more effective than in the previous regime, it however expressed apprehension that there could be a lapse when the CBN Governor steps down. “We view the trend for industry risks in Nigeria’s banking system as negative. In our opinion, mounting competition could push up the appetite for credit risk, particularly among the sector’s lower- and middle-tier banks. This in turn could lead to loosening underwriting standards. The change in the Central Bank of Nigeria’s leadership could in our view alter the positive regulatory developments of recent years, as well as the guarantees and support for lending in preferred (as defined by the Central Bank of Nigeria) sectors. This may further threaten the business models of lower-tier banks,” the report noted. The report noted the strong recovery at the Nigerian stock market, which prices have recovered strongly since mid-2012, with inflation-adjusted equity prices growing about 33 per cent in 2013, but it cautioned that Nigerian Stock Exchange is prone to volatility, illiquidity in bearish periods, and rapid growth. The Nigerian banking industry’s risk was based on S & P’s assessment of the institutional framework, competitive dynamics and system-wide funding. According to the report, Nigeria’s banking regulation and supervision assessment as “intermediate” strongly factors in the proactive intervention of the Central Bank of Nigeria during the 2009 financial crisis, which is thought to have averted a systemic failure. It also takes into account the central bank’s efforts to improve governance and oversight of risk management over the past three years. Nevertheless, staff and data capacity issues remain, as do gaps in the regulatory framework with regards to market, operational, and interest rate risk. Furthermore, the report raised concerns about potential long-term political influence at the central bank. It described regulatory track record and corporate governance in the Nigerian banking industry as “weak” noting that in 2009, 10 out of 24 banks, which represented between one-third and one-half of system assets, failed and had to be “quasi-nationalized” due to serious corporate governance deficiencies and reckless lending practices.
“We regard governance and transparency in the Nigerian banking sector as “weak.” Positively, domestic banks started reporting according to International Financial Reporting Standards at year-end 2012. Increasingly, half-year and quarterly statements are available. We don’t expect implementation of Basel II or III within the next two years. Despite the efforts of the central bank to increase transparency and governance, for example through the reporting of relatedparty lending or by limiting tenure of bank managing directors, we still believe aspects of ownership, management, and governance lead to additional risk,” S & P stated. The report underlined that Nigerian banking industry’s competitive dynamics’ rating represented the structural implications of the competitive landscape that a bank faces within the broader banking industry, which is determined by risk appetite, industry stability, and market distortions. The report singled out the Asset
Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) as the only major distortion in the financial market noting that though it had played a main role in supporting the banking sector by purchasing nonperforming loans and recapitalizing failed banks, AMCON’s continued presence represented a major distortion. According to the report, AMCON remains a significant shareholder in the banking sector, through its direct ownership of the three quasinationalized banks, share collateral from margin loans, and a sizable liability with the Central Bank of Nigeria while all banks also have to pay 0.5 per cent of total assets to AMCON yearly to pay off past bad debt. “The Nigerian banking sector has undergone two major consolidation periods in the past 10 years. In our opinion, the second phase is close to an end, although the future of the three quasi-nationalized banks remains unclear. As the new industry landscape clears, we expect competition to increase and the sector to continue to organize itself into
three distinct tiers. Most rated banks are in the upper and middle tiers. Positively, with 21 banks operating in the sector, we don’t believe there is any significant overcapacity because of inherently low leverage and retail penetration, as well as strong long-term economic growth fundamentals. We anticipate stiff competition, however, on at least two fronts: attracting low-cost retail deposits in a country with low banking penetration, and banking large corporates together with their staff, thirdparty suppliers, and distributors. We believe foreign banks will continue to attempt to enter the sector in 2013-2014, but barriers to entry remain high for banks without significant capital or scale,” the report outlined the industry stability outlook. S & P will today discuss its expectations about the risks and growth of Nigerian financial services over the next two years at a complementary seminar scheduled for Lagos. The seminar will look at Nigeria’s sovereign ratings in the context of political manoeuvring before and during the 2015 general elections which could undermine the reform process, increase regional tensions or derail Nigeria’s currently positive economic growth and diversification story.
•From left: Chief Executive Officer, Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), Mr. Oscar Onyema; Managing Director, Nestle Nigeria Plc, Mr. Dharnesh Gordhon; Executive Director, Business Development, NSE, Mr. Haruna JaloWaziri and Company Secretary and Legal Adviser, Nestle Nigeria Plc, Mr. Bode Ayeku during the visit of the management of Nestle Nigeria to the NSE ... on Monday
Capital market retreat’ll boost economy, says Oteh
IRECTOR-General, Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Ms. Arunma Oteh, has said the retreat by capital market stakeholders, which starts today, will proffer major initiatives that will contribute significantly to the growth of the Nigerian economy. The retreat, under the auspices of the Capital Market Committee (CMC), will end on Saturday with the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) as the chief host. Oteh noted that the retreat provides a robust platform for stakeholders in the capital market and global financial experts to deliberate on how to move the market forward and grow the economy. According to her, given the retreat’s theme, the caliber of participants and invited guests, the platform will lead to very rich and highly rewarding policy suggestions and initiatives. She said the Executive Chairman,
SEC of Brazil, Mr. Leonardo Gomes Pereira will be at the retreat to speak about the lessons of Brazil while Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister of the Economy, Dr. Ngozi OkonjoIweala ; Minister of Power, Professor Chinedu Nebo; Executive Director, Mo Ibrahim Organisation, Mr. Abdoulie Janneh, amongst others would also grace the programme. Chairman, organising committee of the retreat, Mrs. Oluwatoyin Sanni had similarly expressed optimism on the success of the 2013 retreat. “We expect a very successful retreat with attendance in excess of last year’s 350 participants. The retreat will afford participants an excellent opportunity to interact with key stakeholders in the capital market; opportunity to engage
with and have positive interactions with knowledgeable speakers and participants, both domestic and international; and networking opportunities with other issuers, operators, regulators and other stakeholders,” Sanni said. She noted that the recovery and growth in the Nigerian capital market was partly due to the outcomes of the previous retreats. According to her, the CMC retreat has been very useful to the recent revival of capital market which has risen to over N12 trillion with the capital market community now speaking in one voice and with focus. “Because we are all on the same page, nobody is guessing and trying to wonder what are the priorities of the capital market this year, where are we likely to be going, what are the committees and so on. Everybody now has a clear knowledge and information about the market,” Sanni said.
THE NATION WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 27, 2013
THE NATION INVESTORS
West African Ceramics to invest N8b in Ogun W EST African Ceramics Limited (WACL) plans to invest about N8 billion on the establishment of a state-of-art ceramic tile factory in Ogun State. Group Executive Director, West African Ceramics Limited, Alhaji Lawal Idirisu, who made this known during a courtesy visit to the Commissioner for Commerce & Industry, Ogun State, Otunba Bimbo Ashiru, said the company plans to invest $50 million on a ceramic tile plant in the nearest future due to rising demand for Eu-
ropean standard quality tiles in Nigeria and across the Sub-Saharan West African region. The firm has been manufacturing tiles in Nigeria since 1995 under the name Royal Ceramics. It changed to its current name in 2009. The company is the premium producer of Porcelain, Vitrified and Glazed tiles in West Africa. According to him, market demand for quality tiles as obtainable in European countries such as Spain and Italy is rising on an alarming rate owing to the trends in the home,
property, and real estate industry. Idirisu, who was accompanied by the Group Consultant, Alhaji Abdul Balaya, noted that although the company’s factory in Ajaokuta, Kogi State is fully operational to capacity, meeting both domestic demands and export to the West African market, the company is being proactive based on consumer and industry insight, and research to establish another production plant. “Beside the availability of raw materials in quite enormous quan-
tity, Ogun State is a viable commercial hub of industries with enabling climate and good governance and this will only improve our distribution system as well,” Idirisu said. Ashiru commended the investment plan and the choice of Ogun State assuring that the state would provide constitutional support in ensuring the investment is realised. He said the economic benefits of the ceramic tiles plant to the state and the people of the state are enormous noting that the new plant implies job creation for several,
people and good impact on the state. Reacting to the issue of smuggled products and importation of products into the market, he said “substandard products will naturally find their way out of the market and eventually close shop as they cannot be sustained competitively.” Ashiru urged the visiting team to remain determined in the expansion plan and assured them of all necessary support the state can possibly accord.
FBN Holdings, UBA, Julius Berger, others win laurels at PEARL awards
BN Holdings Plc, United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc and Julius Berger Nigeria Plc were honoured for their outstanding leadership in their various sectors at the PEARL Awards. The PEARL Awards celebrates corporate excellence and recognizes quoted companies who have been exceptional in terms of performance and adherence to good corporate governance. FBN Holdings emerged as the sectoral leader in the Other Financial Institutions category. UBA emerged as the leader in banking subsector while Julius Berger was adjudged the sectoral leader for the construction industry. PEARL Awards applies several well-known and generally accepted indices as parameters to assess companies including turnover growth, return on equity, earnings yield, share price appreciation, dividend cover, dividend yield, net asset ratio, dividend growth and profit margin ratio. Speaking on the company’s award, Chief Executive Officer, FBN Holdings Plc, Bello Maccido said it reinforced the leading role of the FBN Group in the sector barely one year after it adopted the holding company structure. FBN Holdings Plc was incorporated in Nigeria on October 14, 2010, following the business reorganisation of the FirstBank group into a holding company structure. The group’s subsidiaries include First Bank of Nigeria Limited, FBN Capital Limited,
FBN Life Assurance Limited and FBN Micro finance. “We are delighted at being recognised for excellence and remain committed to providing superior financial solutions to our customers across the entire value chain and growing our different business lines by realising the synergies and cross-selling opportunities that exist across the Group,” Maccido said. Other sectoral leadership winners include UAC of Nigeria, conglomerates; Nigerian Breweries, breweries; National Salt Company of Nigeria (Nascon), food products and beverages; AIICO, insurance; GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Nigeria, healthcare; Dangote Cement, industrial goods and Total Nigeria, which was adjudged the best in the oil and gas sector. PEARL bases its rankings from data sourced from the annual reports of quoted companies duly filed with the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) and the Stock Exchange Daily Official list for the year under consideration. The report of the research and collation sub-committee is usually reviewed, verified and thereafter endorsed by the board’s technical committee, which subsequently presents it to the full board for consideration and approval. The awards are in three categories – the sectoral leadership awards, market excellence awards, and overall highest award category, otherwise known as the PEARL of the Nigerian Stock Exchange.
•From right: Head, Vitafoam Nigeria Plc, Sales and Marketing, Mr Gabriel Okoli; Managing Director, Media Vision, Mr Sola Bankole; Marketing Manager, Vitafoam, Mr Ben Okosun at the presentation of Consumer Durable Brand of the year award to Vitafoam in Lagos.
SADC to honour outstanding entrepreneurs
UCCESS Attitude Development Centre (SADC), organisers of Success Digest
Enterprise Awards (SDEA), will hold its 17th Annual Award for outstanding entrepreneurs on Saturday, in Lagos. In a statement, Chairman, Success Attitude Development Centre (SADC), Dr. Sunny–Obazu Ojeagbase, said the SDEA was his own way of contributing to the development of entrepreneurship in the country.
The publisher of Success Digest Magazine said awards which has run for more than 16 years; has always been based on merit. He said the awards has been sponsored yearly by some corporate organisations which include First Bank Plc, MTN, Cadbury among others. Dr. Jimoh Ibrahim, Group Managing Director, Energy Group, is billed to deliver the keynote address at the event where nine outstanding entrepreneurs will be honoured. Specifically, Ibrahim will address entrepreneurs on why he buys failing businesses and turns them around.
Ojeagbase said SADC is introducing a new dimension to the awards this year with the introduction of Hall of Fame, where renowned entrepreneurs in Nigeria will be inducted into the SDEA Hall of Fame. Among the awardees in this edition is Dr. Ola Orekunrin, Founder Flying Doctor in Nigeria, who emerged the Young Entrepreneur of the year. Linda Ikeji, owner of Linda Ikeji Blog will be given a special recognition at the award while Mr. Ufot Udeme, CEO SO&U Saatchi & Saatchi Limited will be honoured as the Entrepreneur of the Decade. Jumia.com emerged as the Innovative Business of the Year, among others.
‘Nwogu’ll add value to NDDC’
•From left: Chief Executive Officer, Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), Mr. Oscar Onyema; Winner, 2013 NSE Essay Competition Awards, Mr. Mahmud Abdullahi of Government College Azare, Bauchi State and Vice President, NSE, Mr. Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede at awards in Lagos
HE nomination of the chairman of the Abia State Oil Producing Areas Development Commission, (ASOPADEC) Mr. Samuel Nwogu, into the board of Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) will ensure the impact of the Commission is felt by the people of the state. Speaking to reporters in Lagos, Chief Executive Officer, Platinum Logistics limited, Mr. ThankGod Ntaku said the nomination reflected the wish of the majority of the people of the oil producing communities in the state by nominating a true son of the soil to represent the state on the board of the Commission. He was optimistic that this appointment was capable of restoring the confidence of the people of the area in government. He called on the governments at all levels to make wide consultations
before people are appointed into sensitive positions in government adding that decisions, policies and programmes of government had more to do with achieving peace than deploying of law enforcement agents. Ntaku appealed to government intervention agencies like the NDDC to embark on programmes and projects that would develop the human capital in their areas in order not to sabotage the good intention of the government that set up the Commission. He frowned at a situation where the majority of the people of the area do not have access to potable water more than two decades that the Federal Government established the Oil Mineral Producing Areas Development Commission, OMPADEC that has since been rechristened the NDDC.
THE NATION WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 27, 2013
CPS: Pencom generates N3.73tr
ATIONAL Pension Commission’s (PenCom) N3.73 trillion assets generated under the Contributory Pension Scheme (CPS) and registration of over 5.8 million members have deepened the financial sector, its Acting Director-General, Mrs Chinelo Anohu-Amazu has said. Mrs Anohu-Amazu, who spoke while showcasing the success of the CPS introduced in 2004 to delegates from 40 countries at the World Pension Summit in Amsterdam, Netherlands, said the assets have grown from a deficit of N2.6 trillion prior to its inception in 2004 to N3.73 trillion in the nine years of the existence of the Scheme. She told the delegates that the CPS is sustainable, funded and privately managed by operators licensed by PenCom, adding that the legal and institutional frameworks established by the Commission which are responsible for the success so far recorded, have also provided a platform for the provision of infrastructure and the development of the real sector, thereby reinforcing the transformation agenda of President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan. The World Pension Summit is a yearly event dedicated to on-going advanced learning for senior pension professionals. It also offers comparative analysis of pension experiences in participating
• From left: Conference Chairman, Harry Smorenberg; Mrs Anohu-Amazu and Co-Conference Chairman, Erik Eggink at the summit in Amsterdam, Netherlands.
countries, as well as provide insight into the impact of emerging trends on pension arrangements and ample room for peer-
Pension business’ll soar, says IGI Pension boss
HE industry will boom when the regulatory body, the National Pension Commission (PenCom) releases the guidelines on the informal sector under the Contributory Pension Scheme (CPS), the Managing Director of IGI Pension Managers, Stanis Ezeobihas has said. Ezeobi said according to statistics, there are about 51 million working people in Nigeria with only 5.6 million registered in the CPS. He said that despite the N3.73 trillion pension funds generated through the contribution of the 5.6 million people, about 45 million people were yet to register, showing that a huge market still exists in the industry. He said: ”The market frontier is the informal market going by available statistics, although there are challenges and costs that go with getting the informal sector on board. It is more expensive to cover than the formal sector. “The informal sector consists of artisans, Okada association, Drivers Union and market women associations among others and reaching these people can be difficult,” he said. Ezeobi said to reach and register these groups of people, pension managers have to come together with a common goal to achieve results. He said for IGI Pension, the company is repositioning to keyinto the prospects of the sector, adding that it has recapitalised to over N1.2 billion, more than the N1 billion recapitalisation required by the regulatory body. “On our own part, we are strategising at using the parent company, IGI Insurance Plc platform which has a broad agency network to penetrate the informal sector and get a significant share of the market. “We are the last to be licensed
• Chairman IGI, Remi Olowude
by PenCom since the new scheme began, but we have been able to grow and surmount all of our challenges. What we are waiting for now is for PenCom to release the guideline on the informal sector,” he said. The Acting Director-General of (PenCom), Mrs. ChineloAnohuAmazu said the framework on informal sector participation is been put in place by the commission, noting that the market is huge and untapped. She stated the policy issues such as contribution rate, mode of collection and enforcement have been addressed by the framework. She, however, noted that the informal sector and selfemployed persons lack a coherent structure and have an unwieldy composition, which renders their integration into the new scheme a difficult task. She added that compliance among the small sized private sector employers is challenging in the implementation of the CPS as they see CPS as additional cost to their operations.
to-peer discussion among delegates. It brought together over 350 professionals, experts and key authori-
NION chiefs warn proposals for a new cap on the defined benefit savings pots of 35,000 employees is the ‘last straw’ Union chiefs accused Lloyds Bank of mounting a “relentless attack” on staff benefits as workers threatened to strike over the loss of final salary pension perks. Some 35,000 employees, a third of the workforce, have been told their pensionable pay will be frozen by Lloyds under changes to its terms and conditions. No more inflationary increases will be made. The final salary pension plans were closed to new members in 2000. But union chiefs claim thousands of other staff who have joined in the past decade now fear Lloyds may also make cuts to their terms and conditions. Ged Nichols, general secretary of Accord, said it was “particularly difficult” for staff to accept given the bank’s fortunes are recovering and “executives are reaping the benefits of this through share options”.
ties in the field of retirement solutions management with specific focus on pension fund strategies, social security and employee benefits.
The theme of the summit centered on pension investment, risk management, pillars for pension sch e m e a d m i n i s t r a t i o n , c o m munication and information management and strategies for stimulating growth in pension portfolios. The Acting DG led a delegation comprising Mrs. Grace Usoro, the General Manager/Head Public Sector Pensions Department and Ms. Olusola Odufuwa, Head Corporate Counselling Unit of the PenCom. Other speakers included Prof Zhen Li, Director of the Institute for Social Security Study, School of Public Administration, China Renmin University; Yves Leterme, Deputy Secretary-General of the OECD, Paris, William De Vijlder, Vice Chairman of BNP Paribas Investment Partners, Brussels. Others were Gerard Riemen, Managing Director, Federation of the Dutch Pension Funds, the Hague, Gareth Gibbins, Steve Webb, Minister of State for Pensions, United Kingdom, Elsa Fornero, former Minister of Labour, Social Policies and Equal Opportunities, Italy, Nancy Heller, Senior Managing Director, Globalisation, TIAA-CREF of the United States and AnnamariaLusardi, Academic Director, Global Financial Literacy Excellence Centre.
Lloyds union prepares strike ballot over cuts to final salary pensions Antonio Horta Osorio, Lloyds chief executive, is due to pick up three million shares in a mater of days. Mr Nichols said a scrutineer was being appointed ahead of a strike ballot which could trigger a damaging walkout by staff over Christmas and the New Year. The majority of the 35,000 are thought to be women employees in branches. In a letter to Nick Fisk, Lloyds’ head of employee relations, Mr Nichols said: “Members have been hugely critical of the bank with many saying that they have lost trust and confidence in the organisation. Some have described this latest attack on their benefits as the last straw.” He added: “Members who are not fortunate enough to be in the defined benefit [final salary] scheme are also
worried because, if the bank can break its promises to its longest serving and loyal employees about their pensions, then what is safe in terms of condition of employment and other benefits? “Others have noted that staff who are transferring to TSB are being offered compensation for the loss of their future pension benefits but no such compensation is being offered to those who will be staying with the Lloyds Banking Group.” Lloyds swallowed crisis torn Halifax Bank of Scotland (HBOS) at the height of the financial crisis. Accord represents the bulk of these workers. Staff in the final salary pension had been receiving yearly increases in pensionable pay of two per cent, under a former cap.
Tax cut offers workers £11,000 pension boost
TAX cut for City fund managers will leave the typical worker £11,000 better off on retirement, the Treasury has said. Treasury minister, Sajid Javid, told MPs that the impact of the tax cut has now been independently assessed by the Government Actuary’s Department The Treasury has promised to abolish “Schedule 19” stamp duty reserve tax, which applies to some investments sold by funds. The tax cut, worth £145 million a year to the fund management industry, is politically controversial and Labour has promised to reverse it. SajidJavid, a Treasury minister, told MPs that the impact of the tax cut has been independently assessed by the Government Actuary’s Department. The actuaries calculated that a typical 22-year-old currently earning the average weekly wage and investing the equivalent of 10 per cent of their earnings in a pension over their career “would see a fund value £11,200 greater at retirement as a result of these changes,” he said. This is equivalent to approximately a 1.3 per cent increase that worker’s total fund at retirement, Mr Javid
said. Ed Miliband, the Labour leader, in September suggested that Labour would reinstate the tax, describing the Coalition move as a “tax cut on hedge funds”. Labour has said it would use the money raised to reverse Coalition cuts in housing benefit for people with spare rooms in social housing, dubbed the “bedroom tax” by critics. Mr Javid said the actuaries’ figures showed that the tax cut was in Britian’s best interests and should not be reversed. “Abolishing Schedule 19 will make UK based funds more competitive, create jobs and improve returns for investors. The government reforms will also mean that ordinary savers could be over £11,000 better off when they retire,” he said. “Schedule 19 is a major deterrent to foreign investment funds moving to the UK. Labour’s plans to reinstate the tax would rule out real benefits for hardworking families and could cost thousands of jobs across the UK.” Separately David Gauke, a treasury minister, has said that that the tax cut would boost employment,
arguing that asset management funds would flock to the UK to set up businesses. In a response to a written question in the Commons’ Mr Gauke said that the asset management industry already directly employed 32,300 people in the UK. Edinburgh, he said, has 3,300 people employed in the industry, Coventry 1,200. A further 900 people work for asset managers in Reigate and 500 in Liverpool. He said that there were “tens of thousands” more people whose jobs are indirectly reliant on the sector. He said: “Many of these jobs are created by funds which are set up in the UK. The abolition of this tax will encourage more funds to be set up here, thereby safeguarding existing jobs and equipping the UK to compete more effectively in the global race for growth.” Daniel Godfrey, head of the Investment Management Association, said that the changes would put the UK on a more even footing with other European countries such as Luxembourg and Dublin. He added that it was a world class opportunity. • Culled from The Telegraph
THE NATION WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 27, 2013
SMALL BUSINESS AND ENTREPRENUERSHIP
How I became successful in business Founder/Chief Executive Officer Proten United Kingdom, Opy Onas is a young entrepreneur, who is devoted to empowering entrepreneurs. DANIEL ESSIET met him.
PY Onas, real name Opeoluwa Onaboye, is an international speaker, author, business coach and entrepreneur. His businesses, which are based in the United Kingdom include Proten Coaching and Development, Proten Youth Development and Proten Publishing House. The 27-year-old life coach was born in Ogun State. He attended Mayflower School, Ikenne. He moved to the United Kingdom when he was 13. His entrepreneurial plans were hatched when he lost a huge amount of money. According to him, nobody embraced entrepreneurship in his family, even though his father was involved in buying and rental of properties. But at 18, “while in my first year at the University in London, I became involved in fraudulent activities. I spent around four years in different kinds of activities to earn a living and maintain my lavish lifestyle.” “This led to my involvement in a burglary where money and my personal possession was stolen. The experience, coupled with my strong christian faith led me to give up the criminal lifestyle and embark on a straight path,” he recounted. Why did he venture into business? “When I gave up my old lifestyle, I gave up all my possessions and gave all my money to a charity,” he said, adding: ”I started looking for jobs and was unsuccessful. Through my job hunt, I came across a friend that owned an estate agency business and I asked him to show me how it works and he took me through the whole process. This was my first experience in business.” At 22, Onas started an estate agency from his bedroom and grew with a
good portfolio of clients. He said he started his new business from his laptop in his bedroom. ”I talked a friend into building me a website and designing a business card for me. As the business was generating income, I was using it to grow the business,” he said. He further said his wife has supported “my crazy ideas from the beginning,” also played a role. “In total, I didn’t have more than £500 personal investment over the years. Everything else has been income that has been re-invested into the business,” he added. As the business grew, he explained, expectedly, some challenges set in just like every business does at the start up phase. He realised that he was not passionate about the business anymore and so was not giving much attention to it. However, while running the estate agency business, many people approached him to teach them how to set up their own businesses.He found that he was much more excited and passionate about it and that helping people to achieve their dreams was something he naturally excelled in. Eventually, the estates agency failed. He had to close it down. He set up a business consultancy firm to support start-ups through the initial process. This led to his putting together his first book within a four- month period. The book was launched in the UK House of Parliament and has since become a huge hit, among aspiring entrepreneurs across the world, he said. Onas has built up a wealth of knowledge on the subject of motivation and personal development. He has grown the consultancy firm, pro-
viding support to hundreds of entrepreneurs through one-on-one coaching services, seminars, conferences and workshops that are delivered to several organisations, including universities, colleges and churches, among others. He has also set up a youth development organisation, providing support to disadvantaged young people in Britain, and helping them into employment. Last year, he set up a publishing company to help aspiring authors publish their books. His words: “My aim is to train individuals not just to start a business, but most importantly, pursue a business that they are passionate about as this is the only way they can go through the tough times.” On challenges, he said his father did not initially support him. “He knew I was extremely smart and he wanted me to work in a top city firm. I would always lock my self in my room in order to focus, he said. He said his father’s disposition started changing “when I was featured in a full page article in a national newspaper in the UK. Right now, he’s my biggest supporter and probably the person who has bought most copies of my book”. Another challenge to him, was the fact that he got married quite early (at the age of 24) and this was a period where his business was still growing and there was no regular income. “I had to do part time and night work to support my business aspirations and also ensure that my family was looked after financially. This was a tough period in my life,” he said. He said over the past years, he had worked with over 20 different people as a team working on various part of the company and projects. He has worked on various projects and also
From left: Director-General, Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), Mr. Muda Yusuf; Chairperson, Financial Services Group, Mrs Olajumoke Fashanu; Lagos State Commissioner for Economic Planning and Budget, Mr. Ben Akabueze and Deputy President of the Chamber, Alhaji Remi Bello at a seminar by the group in Lagos.
Young entrepreneurs get training
OW to solve problems of young entrepreneurs was top on the agenda at a workshop titled: Africa Rising - Market place for young ideas, which held at the Lagos Business School, Enterprise Development Centre, Pan Atlantic University, Ajah, Lagos. The forum reflected on entrepreneurship as well as the significant shifts that need to happen to address youth employment creation that have failed and the need for governments, big business and policy makers to act with the necessary speed to stop the youth unemployment epidemic. Director, Start-up Hub, Lagos, Mr Chibuike Aguene stressed the need to address the growing youth unem-
ployment crisis and enable young people to create businesses which can generate jobs and economic growth. He said the nation was confronted by unemployment and more young people were being thrown into the labour market. To tackle this challenge, he said the training was held to encourage, educate and empower young entrepreneurs. With the focus on entrepreneurship and its potential for economic development and job creation, he said the recognition of entrepreneurs as having an important role in the economy has emerged. He said the forum was a deal with Enterprise Development Centre of the Pan African University, to
feature in the Global Entrepreneurship Week. The dialogue, he said, engaged the business leaders, students, Corps members, young and aspiring entrepreneurs, and seasoned educators to chart the course for enterprise development in the youth sector to groom the next generation of new business leaders Deputy Director, Enterprise Development Centre of the Business School,Nnneka Okekearu supported the call to empower more young entrepreneurs. She noted that there were many opportunities tosupport entrepreneurs to explore them and help the government to create jobs.
delivered large government contracts in the UK for youth development. He delivers coaching services to individuals and small and large businesses. He has travelled around the world, speaking and empowering individuals to realise and utilise their passion. talents and gifts. He is the author of a book titled: “Turn your passion into your profession. Known as the “Ideas Midwife”, What is the secret of his success? “The most important aspect of my business is my faith in God. Apart from anything else, you must have hope and for me, this is my faith in God.Also, you must get yourself a mentor or coach. You can’t go on the journey successfully alone. Have someone walk with you? Find a dream mate on your journey. All you need is one person who believes in you and walks the journey with you to encourage you when you feel like giving up.” His advice: “I don’t believe in motivation alone. That’s why I don’t call myself a motivational speaker. If you motivate someone who is going down a hill, he will only go down the hill faster. People need more than motivation, they need inspiration, education, guidance and strategic input. I try to cover those areas. Mindset is the most important aspect of a human being.
•Onaboye Ask any athlete, he will tell you that the race is first won in the mind before they even reach the track. You must first believe that you can before you attempt anything. If you give yourself any opportunity to doubt, then you’ve already been defeated. Focus is key to success. He believe that starting a business young has its advantages as it means one is e in tune with latest technology that can be used to drive the business forward in this age.Apart from his faith, he is passionate about two main things- young people and entrepreneurship. “I am passionate about developing individuals and helping them fulfill their God-given potential, especially young people. I am also passionate about promoting entrepreneurship as I believe that we have all been given gifts or talents to use for serving other people.”
Processing ginger for export
HE demand for ginger ale, ginger beer, biscuits and other ginger flavored products is expanding locally as well as on the international markets. You can set up a small-scale ginger processing plant and realise more profit from exporting the processed ginger powder concentrate than selling the raw ginger products. There is also attractive local market for processed ginger products by beverage, food, confectionery, soft drink, and pharmaceutical factories in Nigeria. Major raw materials required for ginger processing includes raw ginger, which grows abundantly in Kaduna and Plateau States. Other raw materials are lime oils; lemon oil, acetone, ethanol glycerol, sucrose, sodium acetates and other chemicals can be sourced from the open market in Nigeria. The machinery and equipment required will include washing and drying machine, cold extractor, milling machine, stripper and hammer, material handling equipment, bagging facilities and other fixtures. All these equipment are available locally. Production of ginger powder and concentrates involves the following process: •The raw ginger is cleansed, dried
By Edwin Agbaike (Projects/ Financial Consultant)
and milled. • Thereafter, the resultant product goes through a process of desolventisation encapsulation and extraction, depending on which end product is desired. Site should be closed to source of raw material and final market for products. Sitting a plant in Kaduna, Jos or Lagos city will be very ideal. The location of plant must be accessible to transportation to move raw materials to plant site and final products to market. It is also very essential to have basic infrastructures like water, electricity and good access roads. Cost of setting up a small scale ginger processing plant ranges from about N370,000 to N1.2 million, depending on expected outputs. The viability of this project is not in doubt. Moreover, the returns are high with very short payback period. Processed products could be exported to ECOWAS sub-region and European countries. Local supplies could be made to confectionery, soft drink and pharmaceutical factories in Nigeria. For more information contact email@example.com or call 08023381900
Group to train 100 youths
HE President, Webisco International Federation of Nigerian Entrepreneurs of Tourism, Chief Margaret Fabiyi said 100 youths would be trained on how to prepare traditional foods. Mrs Fabiyi said in Abuja that the nation’s indigenous foods were going into extinction. According to her, the training which is free for the first 100 youths, is part of the company’s contributions towards improving the standard of living of the people. “The purpose of the training is for Nigerians and foreigners to appreciate and embrace indigenous meals, as well as for tourists and visitors to embrace our locally-made foods and for
them to give the foods international recognition,’’ she said. Fabiyi said foreign continental dishes have taken over the traditional dishes, adding that “most Nigerians no longer want to eat traditional foods again’’. According to her, “all they requested for at the fast food joints are Chinese, Italian and Korean dishes which are not supposed to be. “Eating local and natural foods enhances longevity.’’ Fabiyi said eating home-grown foods was a great way of celebrating the uniqueness of African foods. She described Nigerian delicacies as “highly nutritious, healthy, medicinal, readily available and easy to prepare”.
THE NATION WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 27, 2013
EMPOWERMENT CLINIC with
Managing people for success BOOK REVIEW BOOK REVIEW Author: Publisher: Reviewer:
ANAGING people has always been a challenge everywhere. This is because people are difficult to manage and most managers too lack the skill of effective people management. This is why I want us to discuss this book titled: “The Art of Managing People” this week. It is co-written by Dr. Phillip Hunsaker and Dr. Anthony Alessandra, two brilliant management experts. Hunsaker is a professor of Management and director of Management Programmes, School of Business Administration at the University of San Diego. He is a renowned consultant, speaker and author of many best-selling books on Management. As for Alessandra, he is a highly-respected sales, marketing and management consultant as well as an award-winning public speaker. He has written more than 100 articles. According to Hunsaker and Alessandra, the art of managing people productively and effectively is ever-changing and evolving, and many of the managerial concepts proposed some years ago cannot work in today’s environment. These experts ascribe this to the fact that people, business environment, government and world have changed, while scarcity of resources has worsened, especially the valuable resource of skilled labour. Hunsaker and Alessandra disclose that attracting, training, motivating and keeping employees have become much more difficult and expensive. They submit that this text has been writ-
Phillip Hunsaker and Anthony Alessandra Simon & Schuster Inc. Goke Ilesanmi
ten to overcome many of the traditional manager-employee relationship problems. According to these authors, when a manager establishes a friendly yet productive working atmosphere, the benefits to the whole organisation are substantial. They educate that allowing your workers to express their own personalities and maximise their potential will reduce stress within the workforce, create a positive spirit throughout the company and increase the organisation’s productivity. This text is segmented into three parts of 19 chapters. Part one has generic subject matter of building productive managerial relationships, and covers the first five chapters. Chapter one is entitled “Adjusting effectively to personal style differences”. According to Hunsaker and Alessandra here, interactive management is a process of dealing with people as individuals in order to build trust in the manager-employee relationship, thereby improving productivity in the organisational setup. Chapter two is titled: “Learning how to learn”. These authors say here that successful managers in today’s rapidly-changing world are distinguished not so much by a set of technical skills as by their ability to learn and adapt to the fluctuating demands of their careers. They stress that continuing success requires the ability to explore new opportunities and learn from past successes and failures. Hunsaker and Alessandra say one purpose for studying the learning process is to understand how people go about generating concepts, rules and principles from their experiences as guides for their future behaviour. In chapters three to five, these authors discuss concepts such as doing unto others; deciding how to decide; and analysing transactional
styles. Part two is summarily woven together as “Interactive communication skills” and contains eight chapters, that is, chapters six to 13. Chapter six is titled: “The art of questioning”. Here, Hunsaker and Alessandra educate that one of the most critical and valuable tools in the manager’s arsenal of communication skills, is the art of questioning. They add that the ability of the manager to ask the right questions at the right time to help his or her employees best is an essential and integral part of interactive management. “Skilful questioning simplifies the manager’s job because it gets employees to ‘open up’. The employee feels free to reveal inner feelings, motives, needs, current situations, goals, and desires. With this knowledge, the manager is in a much better position to guide the employee to the ultimate achievement of personal, professional, and organisational goals,” assert Hunsaker and Alessandra. In chapters seven to 13, they beam their ana-
lytical searchlight on concepts such as the power of listening; projecting the appropriate image; communicating through voice tones; using body language effectively; spatial arrangements saying things; how your use of time talks; and making sure with feedback. Part three, the last part has a general subject matter of “Interactive problem-solving” and covers the last six chapters, that is, chapters 14 to 19. Chapter 14 is titled: Problem-solving together. Hunsaker and Alessandra educate that when managers are asked how they make decisions and solve problems, the typical response is usually something like “I don’t know. I just do what has to be done”. In the words of these authors, “Although they may not be able to specify what steps they take or what rules they apply, all would probably agree that making ‘good’ decisions and effectively solving problems are the essence of good management.” In chapters 15 to 19, Hunsaker and Alessandra discuss concepts such as defining the problem; developing action plans; implementing action; following through; and what to do with what you have learnt. Conceptually, these authors have presented an inventory of very rich and brilliant ideas in this book. Stylistically, this text is a success. For instance, the language of the text is simple while the organisation of concepts is okay. The authors use graphics to further enhance understanding of readers. Also, the title is short and assertive. However, grammatical errors are noticed in the text. One of these is, “Letting your workers express their own personalities and maximise their potentials…” (outside back cover), instead of “Letting your workers express their own personalities and maximise their potential…” Note that “Potential” is an uncountable noun and therefore does not structurally take an “S”). Another error is that of structural redundancy, that is, “Much more difficult and much more expensive” (page xi) instead of the elliptical version “Much more difficult and expensive”. In spite of these errors, this text still passes for a masterpiece. It is highly recommended to anybody that wants to become well educated in the art of management.
BUSINESS COMMUNICATION Enhancing business communication with correct tense application(2)
AST week, we said when we talk about any form of verbal communication, the issue of tenses is very important because tense is any of the verb forms relating time to action. We said there is actually a problem when we cannot accurately relate time to action and use the appropriate tenses in a given business situation. We discussed types of tense. We explained that Simple Present Tense refers to habitual or permanent actions, e.g. “I read every day”; “I go to the office every day”, etc. As for Simple Past Tense, we said it is used for expressing an action that took place before the present time, e.g. “I went to school yesterday”; “I saw him in the morning”, etc. We educated that Present Continuous Tense is structurally formed through combination of any of the auxiliary verbs or verb “to be” (is, am, are, etc) and the present participle (-ing) form of the verb involved. We explained that Past Continuous Tense is used in a situation where one past action was completed while another was still in progress.
Present Perfect Tense
This is formed through the combination of has or have and the past participle form of the verb involved, e.g. “I have written the note”. This tense tells us about a completed action with present relevance. The past participle form of a verb is its third form. For instance, a verb such as “Go” has “Went” as past tense and “Gone” past participle. For “Write”, we have “Wrote” as past tense and “Written” as past participle. Different forms of each verb are written against it in the short forms “pt” and “pp” in the dictionary. You also have these different forms of every verb at the end (or beginning) of any standard dictionary. Present Perfect Tense is a form of present tense, especially that it does not mention the time that the completed action took place but only expresses its relevance to
By Goke Ilesanmi
the present time. Note that when you mention a specific date or time in the past, you cannot use present perfect, e.g. “I have seen him in the morning”. This is wrong. The correct form should have been “I saw him in the morning”. However, it is possible to say “I have seen him this morning” if we are still in the morning time.
Past Perfect Tense
This is the past form of the present perfect. It is formed through the combination of had and the past participle form of the verb involved. This tense is otherwise called pluperfect, remote past or past before past. It is used for the earlier of two actions that took place in the past, while the simple past is used for the one that happened later, e.g. “I had gone before he came”. Like the present perfect, past perfect tense is not used when a specific date or time is mentioned in the past. However, this rule is broken, especially if two actions took place in the past with one happening earlier, and the speaker wants to emphasise the date or time of the earlier action. In this type of situation, commas are usually employed to separate the area of time, to make it look like an intrusive element, that is, something that can be removed. An example of this can be drawn from preface to the first edition of Roget’s Thesaurus of English Words and Phrases by Betty K. MA: “...Conceiving that such a compilation might help to supply my own deficiencies, I had, in the year 1805, completed a classified catalogue of words on a small scale, but on the same principle, and nearly in the same form, as Thesaurus now published….”
It is common in (Nigerian) journalism to
misuse past perfect tense. Look at this sentence, for example: “President Goodluck Jonathan had on Tuesday confirmed the matter”. If it is the case that the president confirmed the matter again on Wednesday, it is correct to use past perfect tense like this for that of Tuesday that was earlier. Similarly, if the president denied the matter on Wednesday, then we can use this statement like this, but commas will still be required to separate On Tuesday. However, if it is the case that the president only confirmed this on Tuesday alone, without re-confirmation or denial after this day, it is wrong to write the above expression in past perfect tense. Instead, it is more grammatically correct to use simple past tense and change the position of “On Tuesday”, e.g. “President Jonathan confirmed the matter on Tuesday”. *Note: it is “You had better do….” not “You had better done”. This is because “Had” here means “Should”.
Simple Future Tense
This tense is used to express simple futurity. Here, the first person singular pronoun I and plural “We” make use of the modal auxiliary verb “Shall” to express simple futurity, e.g. “I/We shall go today.” However, second-person singular and plural “You”, third person singular pronouns “He”, “She” and “It” and third person plural pronoun “They” use “Will” to express their simple futurity, e.g. “He/She/It/ You/They will go today.” In spoken English, it is “Will” that is more commonly used for all persons. But the implication of this indiscriminate use of “Will” is that a listener may not know whether a speaker is expressing simple futurity or expressing a promise, especially when Will is used with “I” and We. The reason being that when it comes to
expressing a promise, I and We make use of “Will”, while other pronouns employ “Shall”. Another way of expressing futurity is by using “going-to” with an infinitive. This is called Future of Intention, e.g. “I am going to see him tomorrow.”
Future Perfect Tense
This tense is formed through the combination of simple future tense and present perfect tense. It tells us about an action that will be completed by a particular future date. Here, the assignment of “Shall” and “Will” is just as applicable in simple future tense. A lot of people wrongly use “Would have” for all persons while using this tense, even in the present-tense case, probably because the phrase is phonetically pleasant. The standard way of using this tense is: “By next month, I/we shall have worked here for five years”; “By next month, they will have worked here for five years”, etc. •To be continued PS: For those making inquiries about our Public Speaking, Business Presentation and Professional Writing Skills programme, please visit the website indicated on this page for details. Till we meet on Monday.
•GOKE ILESANMI, Managing Consultant/ CEO of Gokmar Communication Consulting, is an International Platinum Columnist, Certified Public Speaker/MC, Communication Specialist, Motivational Speaker and Career Management Coach. He is also a Book Reviewer, Biographer and Editorial Consultant. Tel: 08055068773; 08187499425 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.gokeilesanmi.com
THE NATION WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 27, 2013
The Midweek Magazine
‘We are not here as a number’
E are not here to add to the numbers of galleries in Lagos. And we chose to be on the Mainland. In fact, the gap between Island and Mainland in terms of gallery and promotion of art is what we are here to fill by charting a new direction.” These were the assurances of the Proprietress of Reconnect Art Gallery on Carter Street, Herbert Macaulay Way, Lagos, Mrs Olayemi Madu while briefing art editors in Lagos on the grand opening of her new art gallery and exhibition, tagged Repositioning Visual Arts for better value. Madu, a graduate of Industrial and Fine Art, University of Uyo, said Reconnect Art Gallery would take visual art from mere mentions to elaborate books and catalogues presentations with critical essays and well-informed art reviews. She stated that the gallery would achieve its set objectives by among others operating as a springboard of promotion for young artist to launch their careers. She said that the gallery would act as a one-stop shop for sales and marketing of total visual art products. “To help the visual artists exhibit and expose their works through the provision of gallery space and workshop cum studio space just like our international counterparts. Also, to provide a platform through which stakeholders in the sector could be coordinated in working for the growth of the industry,” she added. She continued: “We are aware that in the last few years, some exhibitions enjoyed professional curatorial directions which have given visual art a deeper appreciation and value, apart from being object of decoration.” She noted that such success must be improved and sustained. This, she said, informed why Reconnect Art Gallery took up the challenge of helping to sustain the tempo. She however decried government’s inconsistency in policy formulation, which she said, left the people with little or no knowledge about the art. “The professional bodies of artists have also done more harm to the development of visual art as the structure is not
•One of the work on display
By Ozolua Uhakheme Assistant Editor (Arts)
VISUAL ART coordinated to drive the body to the next level. Access to fund is also a major challenge which has pushed the visual art profession to the back among other professions…We must take cognisance of the fact that visual art plays a major role in making our lives rich. It is pressured to have a purpose. Imagine our world without art.” On her dream to operate a gallery, Mrs Madu said: “My love for art started while I was in secondary school and I was enjoying myself. Before I got into the university, I spent two years with the famous Prof Abayomi Barber learning the basics. Also, I was always with my brother artist, Lekan Otuyelu in his studio. But when I left the university, I was scared to face the challenges of being a full time studio artist until very recently. “I have this dream all the while. Initially, studying art was
discouraging because of my mother’s resistance but I stood my ground. Today, here we are. We have just started, we hope to grow bigger.” The mother of Olayemi, Mrs. Christianah Mojisola Otuyelu regretted her actions towards the daughter then, saying it was as a result of her ignorance about the value of art. She said that her world view about art changed when she visited an exhibition in the United States. “I found that it is great business with lots of values. I regretted discouraging my daughter. From that moment I decided I must encourage her in the art business. On my return to Nigeria, I called her to bring a proposal on what she wanted to do in art. This gallery is one of what has come out of it,” she said. The group exhibition, which opened November 16 and runs till December 14 is featuring artists, such as Prof Abayomi Barber, Kolade Oshinowo, Kunle Adeyemi, Deola Balogun, Rasheed Amodu, Lekan Okeshola, Fatai Abdulkareem and Adetola Adenuga. Others are Ayoola Sodade, Dayo Adeyemi, Oluwafemi Awoderu, Blessing Ibie, Bashiru Kalejaiye, Olusegun Oduyale, Biodun Okemankinde and Oladipupo Adesina.
Wiping tears off widows’ eyes
HE Founder, Rose of Sharon Foundation (RSSF), Chief Folorunsho Alakija has charged the country’s leaders to eradicate the sufferings of the people. She said leaders must remember that the poor are human beings that deserve fair treatment and right to life. She spoke in Lagos while receiving a fellowship award conferred on her by the Yaba College of Technology, Lagos (YABATECH). “We must remember the poor are fellow human beings like us. Let us emulate the Rose of Sharon Foundation, which I established years ago to take care of the sufferings of poor widows and orphans so that poor masses will be helped in the country,” she said. Chief Alakija, richest black woman in the world, was conferred with college fellowship award at YABATEC. The award is the highest bestowed on anybody in the college. Chief Alakija, who is also Executive Vice Vice Chairman, Famfa Oil Limited, while appreciating the school management gave thanks to the Lord for the award, saying she felt highly honoured to be referred to as woman of virtuous by the school management. She pledged to touch every area of the school by providing infrastructure and assisting in the renovation of some of facilities. She commended the new entrepreneurship development centre noting that it would provide her the opportunity to touch the lives of the youths who are the future leaders. Alakija was born in 1951 to the family of Chief L.A Ogbara in Ikorodu, Lagos State. She is a business tycoon involved in the fashion, oil and printing industries. She is the Group Managing Director of The Rose of Sharon Group which consists of The Rose of Sharon Prints and Promotions Limited and Digital Reality Prints Limited and the Vice Chairman of Famfa Oil Limited. At age 7, Alakija travelled to the United Kingdom to begin a four-year primary education at Dinorben School for Girls in Hafodunos Hall in Llangerny, Wales. After returning to Nigeria, she attended Muslim High School Sagamu, Ogun State. She re-
AWARD By Abiodun Morakinyo
turned abroad for her secretarial studies at Pitman’s Central College, London. She also studied fashion design at the American College, London and the Central School of Fashion. In November 1976, she married a lawyer, Modupe Alakija. Mrs Alakija started her career in 1974 as an Executive secretary at Sijuade Enterprises, Lagos. She moved on to the former First National Bank of Chicago, now FinBank where she worked for some years before establishing her tailoring company called Supreme Stitches. This rose to prominence and fame within a few years, and as Rose of Sharon House of Fashion, became a household name. As National President and life trustee of the Fashion Designers Association of Nigeria (FADAN), she left an indelible mark, promoting Nigerian culture through fashion and style. Her foundation, the Rose of Sharon Foundation helps widows and orphans by empowering them through scholarships and business grants. Mrs Alakija, who is known as a philanthropist due to her role in helping the widows, orphans, the poor and an evangelist of all was being cheered by well wishers as she was called out for her honorary award as a result of her role in the home of her father land. She is a writer. Her books include The University of Marriage, Alone with God, Growing with the hands that Gives the Rose and her own biography. Also, the foundation has partnered the Benue State government in the quest to alleviate the anguish of widows and orphans in the state. The Rose of Sharon Foundation is collaborating with the Benue State Government in the area of agriculture, through the introduction of mechanised farming, subsidisation of fertilisers, provision of storage facilities for widows’ farm produce, enterprise development training, and educational support for interested widows, their children, and orphans.
•Mrs Alakija and Nuru Yakubu, Director, National Board of technical Education, Kaduna (NBTE).
Penultimate Friday, the foundation visited Benue State where Mrs Alakija, Mrs Esther Osho, Mrs Stella Awoh, Mr Bassey Essien and Mrs Nkem Udechukwu, Project Coordinator, were received by Governor Gabriel Suswam, his wife Yemisi, Head of Service, Terna Ahua, Chairman, State Civil Service Board, Mrs Comfort Agogo and Mrs Comfort Ajene, Commissioner for Culture and Tourism and other members of the State Executives. The foundation is not only providing the enabling environment for widows and orphans to meet their immediate needs through financial empowerment (micro credit scheme), it also provides educational scholarships (widow’s children and orphans), support for accommodations and shop rents, quality and affordable healthcare services. It provides capacity building for them through enterprise development trainings to improve their chances of having reliable livelihoods
and help them to be self-employed, thereby strengthening their roles in shaping their future and that of their children. As part of its plan to reach out and touch widows, the foundation conducted a feasibility study in Benue State three years ago and discovered that the state has over 5,000 widows, (one of the highest in Nigeria) out of which 2,100 widows were pre- registered with the foundation. As a result of this study, it decided to enter into a partnership with the state Government with a view to alleviating the suffering of these widows, their children and orphans. Moreover, the public presentation of Mrs Alakija’s book, The Cry of Widows and Orphans, is helping to advance the campaigns towards improving and enforcing the existing laws and push for the enactment of new ones to abolish all forms of inhumane practices that still exist in many of our societies today.
THE NATION WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 27, 2013
The Midweek Magazine
President Joyce Banda of Malawi is an exemplary African leader. From her pedigree as a successful business woman and rights actvist, she became a member of parliament, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Vice President. She is billed to deliver the annual Osigwe Anyiam-Osigwe Lecture in Lagos tomorrow, writes DADA ALADELOKUN
HE Nigerian Institute of International Affairs, Victoria Island, Lagos, will come alive tomorrow. President Joyce Hilda Banda of the Republic of Malawi will be the cynosure of all eyes as she mounts the rostrum as guest speaker at the 14th session of the annual Osigwe Anyiam-Osigwe Foundation Lecture. She will evince her prowess as one of the Forbes’ 100 most powerful people in the world, her pedigree as a grassroots mobiliser and her advocacy skill in defence of the poor and the vulnerable in the society. The lecture’s central theme is: Genuine democracy: The price and the prize, but Banda will specifically address the topic: Leadership and the challenge of delivering appropriate dividends of democracy to the citizens. As a president of an endowed yet very poor African country, Banda assumed the position at a very difficult and challenging moment in Malawi. The economy was in shambles and protests which often became violent were regular occurrences due to sanctions and needless face-off between the government of her predecessor, former President Bingu wa Mutharika and the main Western allies and donors. Mutharika had earlier sidelined her as Vice President of the country and banned her from attending cabinet meetings due to the politics of succession and third term ambition of the former strongman and Banda’s popularity as grassroots politician. The former president sensing that she is becoming increasingly too popular to put a spanner into his self-succession plan beyond the constitutionally allowed two terms sacked her as the Vice President of their party. Banda steadfastly resisted Mutharika’s efforts to force her out office while the succession battle got to its peak when the late president decided to groom his brother Peter Mutharika to become his Democratic Progressive Party’s (DPP) candidate in the country’s coming 2014 general elections. She left DPP to form her own People’s Party with her supporters and she emerged as one of Mutharika’s fiercest critics while still the country’s Vice President, lambasting her boss management of an economy hobbled by fuel shortages. When Mutharika knew third term was not feasible with the then Vice President Banda consolidating her newly registered party People’s Party, he wanted his younger brother Peter to take over from him, thereby perpetuating a family dynasty. While the plots to remove her as Vice President was going on, President Mutharika took ill and eventually died in a South African hospital. Two days after he died on April 5, his kitchen cabinet led by his younger brother refused to inform the country about the death of the president and this created a constitutional crisis for two days as Malawi was without a leader. With regional and global pressure from the United States, United Kingdom, European Union, Africa Union and the United Nations backed by the civil society groups in Malawi she was allowed to assume leadership of the impoverished country whose economic mainstay is agriculture. Having worked all her life empowering women, promoting girl-child education and combating poverty in the rural areas through her various macro-credit interventions, she assumed the presidency of Malawi with her heart in the right places. First she embarked on major diplomatic shuttle first within Africa and around the world to repair broken relationships with major world powers and the multi-lateral institutions which include the World Bank, ADB and the IMF. Her diplomatic shuttles yielded immediate results as all the frozen donor monies started coming in. For most of the presidency of Mutharika the country
From Malawi with love LECTURE
could not fund its annual budget due to blockade on donors’ funds which is about 40% of the country’s annual budget. Mutharika’s human right records were horrible, he muzzled the press and emasculated the judiciary as he became paranoid and ready to crush any opposition to his self-succession plan. To prove to the world that she means business and ready to get her hands dirty in her bid to get Malawi out of the morass of poverty and under-development, she sold off the Presidential jet and 60 Mercedes Benz Limousines Mutharika government bought for executive use and cut her own salary and other benefits by 30 per cent and that of her ministers. When asked why she sold off the Presidential Jet her predecessor bought for $22million US dollars with annual maintenance cost of more than $300,000 US dollars she said, ‘’I must lead by example. My country is a country where 80% of Malawians are living in extremely poor rural areas. The times are hard for the country and we cannot afford a luxury of an executive jet and limousines. If I told my people to brace up for the challenges ahead and tighten their belts my own belt must be tighter. I cannot be flying presidential jet with the prohibitive cost of maintaining it and be telling my people they should endure hardship. I must prove to Malawians that we are in it together. A country that is struggling to get drugs into its hospitals cannot afford the luxury of a jet for her president’’ she explained. Within her few days in office she tackled headlong the problem of acute fuel shortage which has become a blight on the country’s economy as people cue for weeks in search of fuel. She reached out to oil producing countries and Nigeria to get oil to power the economy. She started a number of reform programmes to give new life to the already comatose economy and with about two years as President of Malawi the country is on the right path to recovery with the local currency Kwacha stabilising against the US Dollars after the devaluation and the inflation has reduced from over 40 per cent to 28 per cent a figure she is determined to bring further down until it gets to a single digit. In her recent address to the General Assembly of the United Nations in New York she told the world leaders in attendance that the post-2015 Millennium Development Goals agenda should focus on given income to households if the world is serious about real development and sustainable peace. She said ‘’If we cannot uplift the people that are in our rural areas, as is the case for many developing countries to earn decent income in the household, the vicious circle of population growth, mal-
nutrition, maternal risks, poverty will remain with us. If the post 2015 development agenda is to realise its dream, we need to go to the grassroots where the poor are. This will drive us to equality of opportunity for people across all income groups and help us realize our dream of shared prosperity. This is key to restoring the dignity of all our people.’’ To demonstrate her commitment to the quest of helping households to get decent income she has integrated the people into her economic development agenda through rural cooperatives that enable the rural poor to benefit in some of her infrastructural and housing projects. In a continent where many leaders dither and condone corruption among their friends and inner circle she recently sacked her entire cabinet and close aides for corruption charges and got the country’s anti-corruption agency to prosecute those accused of corrupt practices. On her choice as the keynote speaker of the Anyiam-Osigwe lecture series, Coordinator-General of the Foundation, Mr. Michael Anyiam-Osigwe said the trustees of the foundation decided on her due to her rare and shining example among African leaders. ‘’She inherited a country in total mess and within a short period she is turning around the fortune of the country. She is restoring hope to Malawians who have been despondent. Her people can see steady and remarkable progress. She knows what she wants for her people and what her priorities are. Even when the country seems not to have the means in terms of money like other countries within the continent she is focused and determined to turn around the fortunes of her country. She is expanding the revenue base of the country. She has a strong will to make Malawi the biggest example of what a great leader can do to turn-around a country. Mrs. Banda has the mental and intellectual depth to do justice to our theme and her topic at our public lecture this year and I am sure Nigerians will applaud her. She will share her experiences and insights with our policy makers and some of our leaders who will attend the lecture.’’ Her profile on Wikipedia reveals she was born Joyce Hilda Ntila on April 12, 1950 in Malemia, a village in the Zomba District of Nyasaland (now Malawi). Her father was an accomplished and popular police brass band musician. She has a Cambridge School Certificate, followed with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Early Childhood Education from Columbus University in United States and another degree, Bachelor of Social Studies in Gender Studies from the Atlantic International University, United States. She also obtained a Diploma in Management of NGOs from the International Labour Organisation (ILO) Centre in Turin, Italy. She is currently pursuing a Master of Arts Degree in Leadership at Royal Roads University in Canada. She received an honorary doctorate this year from Jeonju University in South Korea. President Banda has been involved with many grassroots projects with women since the age of 25 to bring about policy change, particularly in education. She founded the Joyce Banda Foundation for women empowerment and promotion of education. She founded the Young Women Leaders Network, National Association of Business Women and the Hunger Project in Malawi. She (jointly with President Joaquim Chissano of Mozambique) was awarded the 1997 Africa Prize for Leadership for the Sustainable End of Hunger by the Hunger Project, a New York-based non-governmental organisation. She used the prize money to fund the building of the Joyce Banda foundation for children. In 2006, she received the International Award for the Health and Dignity of Women for her dedication to the rights of the women of Malawi by the Americans for United Nations Population Fund. She served as commissioner for “Bridging a World Divided” alongside personalities such as Bishop Desmond Tutu, and United Nations Human Rights Commissioner, Mary Robinson. Banda was also member of the Advisory Board for Education in Washington DC, and on the advisory board for the Federation of World Peace and Love in Taiwan. In 2010, Banda became a member of the Global Leaders Council for Reproductive Health, a group of 16 sitting and former heads of state, high-level policymakers and other leaders committed to advancing reproductive health for lasting development and prosperity. Chaired by former President of Ireland, Mary Robinson, these leaders seek to mobilise the political will and financial resources necessary to achieve universal access to reproductive health by 2015 – a key target of the UN Millennium Development Goals.
Ghanaian wins African Story Challenge prize
HANAIAN Nana Boakye-Yiadom multimedia story has won the African Story Challenge. His winning story digs into how SMS text message technology is transforming the lives of rural farmers in Ghana. The award carries a fully-sponsored international reporting trip and laptop prizes for the first and second runners-up, is open for submission. With Boakye-Yiadom on top, Diana Neille’s story on land inequalities in South Africa for eNews Channel Africa (eNCA) came second, while Alex Chamwada of Citizen TV in Kenya was voted second runners-up for a series of reports on how a region of southern Somalia has overcome the odds of civil strife to feed people within and beyond Somalia’s borders. In producing Phone Farming, which was published and broadcast by Citi FM, the organisers said, Boakye-Yiadom travelled across Ghana to explore the impact that the simple but effective SMS technology is having on their farms and families. The winning story, they said, was chosen from 20 finalists. Along with the three winners, other finalists ill undergo an intensive story-camp with mentor support to improve their ideas. In all, 315 entries from across the continent were screened by a technical review panel that evaluated which ideas had the best potential to become top-quality stories on Agriculture and Food Security, the first of five themed categories covered by the contest. “Boakye-Yiadom’s story was very well told,” said Omar Ben Yedder, chair of the judging
By Evelyn Osagie
panel and group publisher of IC publications. “You can tell he has done the leg work: there’s lots of first hand evidence, he has spoken to people on the ground and went around the country to find out the impact of technologies on farmers.” “With a goal to improve the health and prosperity of Africans through compelling and innovative multimedia storytelling on issues that really matter to people, the African Story Challenge is a programme of reporting grants to encourage journalists to experiment with new content ideas and ways to engage audiences through mobile technology, social media and other digital tools,” according to the organisers. “We were impressed by the high caliber of journalists that we have attracted in this pan-African contest,” says African Story Challenge Editor, Joseph Warungu. “We need more of this kind of journalism that makes a real difference in the lives of ordinary people by taking on issues that are often overshadowed by politics and entertainment news.” The African Story Challenge is a project of the African Media Initiative (AMI), the continent’s largest association of media owners and operators, in partnership with the International Center for Journalists. It is supported by an $800,000 grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation with supported from the African Development Bank and the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA). Warungu, who is AMI’s content development director, developed the project while an ICFJ Knight International Journalism Fellow attached to AMI.
THE NATION WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 27, 2013
The Midweek Magazine A book of U S V A IL intrigues
Y the time I was done with the book, I said to myself, wao! This is a book of extraordinary revelation. Yet Honour For Sale, an insider account of the murder of Dele Giwa, by Major Debo Bashorun, ret., is for me a great book not because of the narratives of the murder of Dele Giwa alone. If I were the author, I would give a title covering a wider canvas. The title of the book, in spite of its tease and grand promise, delivers less on the riddle of Dele Giwa’s murder than its periscope of the grandiose mediocrity of an era, of a single man and his nest of dedicated felons, who wanted to ossify the definition of Nigeria as an army with a state rather than a state with an army. It is a narrative of megalomania, vanity, intrigue, fear and trembling. It is also the story of a roiling civil society more at peace with its impotence than the importance of subverting tyranny. The army becomes the metaphor of this active surrender to a destiny carved by a few, anointed with guns, spiced by intrigues, gutted by sycophants, buoyed by brigands, protected by bigots, financed by thieves and consecrated with sacrifices. Yet when you begin the book, you are not introduced early to the heart of lion and the cunning of the tortoise that is Major Bashorun. He loses his father early, enters the city of Lagos almost a destitute, has to cut away from an exploitative uncle and never contemplates a career in the army until a swashbuckler of a soldier snatches his girl friend when he celebrates a new job. We also note that he disdains the life of inaction during the Nigerian civil war and leaves his battalion to the furnace of battle. We also note that this man, in spite bloodstained face and arms, bullet in the legs, a half a mile walk to safety, his escape while others die in the hands of Biafran soldiers is a precursor to a life with nine lives. We cannot also escape his sometimes volcanic rage at the fact that the Hausa Fulani language becomes the lingua franca of the army and his fellow southerners are ready to sacrifice each other in order to please their entitled superiors in the vortex of power. The reader waits while his personal odyssey develops to be introduced to the principal of his narrative, Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida, whom he meets as principal staff officer to the chief of army staff, general Wushishi. IBB is Bashorun’s rescuer, and that is the beginning of irony in the engrossing narrative. This is an atmosphere where as a press officer of the chief of army staff he does not have an office, is ordered out of the office of Aliyu Muhammadu Gusau because he cannot speak Hausa and the present National security adviser Sambo Dasuki would not have him around. IBB spots his value because IBB does not see loyalty to tribe as the ultimate. But he is going to let us know that IBB who is his salvation also promises to be his damnation. He is his heaven and also his hell. The IBB story covers every dimension of evil. According to Bashorun, the aspects are Treachery, intrigue, drugs and murder. For treachery, examine the coup that ousts Wushishi. IBB is told in confidence by Wushishi how he plans to crush the coup that ushers in Muhammadu Buhari as head of state. But how come IBB, a fellow kinsman, and confidant turns out to be the lynch pin of that overthrow? For drugs, can you recall when he overthrows Buhari and the seedy cells of Buhari’s gulag become a source of public outrage? Especially when the pictures darken the pages of the newspapers? We also learn in those days that some of the tenants of the jail are drug traffickers. Bashorun says he is one of three panelists appointed to look at the cases. But an order comes from above that some of the men be released without investigations. Alas, notes an astounded Bashorun, some of them are recognizable faces because he is ordered to personally usher them into the country through the airport when IBB is chief of army staff. He wonders if they are discovered, how could he have exonerated himself? We also hear of the story of the Bank of Credit and Commerce International, where the principal of this narrative is believed to have a special relationship as a major investor and of course his wife, Maryam Babangida. We learn that when the BCCI is exposed and closed down from all countries in the world as a
Title: Author: Reviewer: Publisher: Pagination:
Honour for sale Debo Bashorun Sam Omatseye BOOKCRAFT 360
conduit for money laundering, IBB would rather change its name to something else and retain its activities. Apart from his own intrigues, don’t we read about the story of why poet Mamman Vatsa is posted away from a powerful and lucrative position of quartermaster-general to the false grandeur and sinecure office of the minister of the Federal Capital Territory, and how the author believes that he is implicated in the coup because of a personal rivalry with boyhood friend IBB? You will read also how the southerners are targets of ethnic politics. The premier position is for the northern muslim. As for the southerners, the muslim southerners come before the Christians. Yet we note that many southern soldiers, especially in the east convert to Islam in a cynical pilgrimage to belong to the circle of favour. Who would not hold his breath about IBB’s dalliance with marabouts from Mali, their prayers, fasts, animal sacrifices? One ram is also buried alive in the state house. Don’t we also read about some powerful personalities in the book? The most striking is Haliru Akilu whose frail frame is a decoy from his sinister power play as the upholder of the wickedness of office and the clannishness of the army. He once instructs the author that loyalty to the army supersedes loyalty to country, and that is how he defines loyalty to the president, IBB. He bawls, curses, smirks. He is the ruthless macho man, the regime’s Rottweiler. The other personality is Sambo Dasuki, a scion of the caliphate who is portrayed as a man with not only a patrician entitlement but one without patience in dealing with nonhausa Fulani, especially southerners. We also encounter Muhammadu Gasau who is in cahoots with IBB in everything, a stealthy, ruthless man who visits Lawyer Alao AkaBashorun at night to order him to quit defending Bashorun over the latter’s battle with the junta over the Dele Giwa saga. Aka Bashorun ignores him. Then we encounter Maryam Babangida, the peacock and emblem of vanity and privately a scourge to everyone else. She is the she who must be obeyed, even by the husband, the head of state. Her appetites for attention, genuflection, money, jewelry, sartorial fashion, are so adroitly presented and I wonder if I ever encounter this elaborate manifestation of flamboyance since the familiar Imelda Marcus obsession with shoes. If generals bowed to her and a man like Dasuki, in all his royal bona fides, could quit because of her, then the extent of her power leaves little to the imagination. But the story of the murder of Dele Giwa provides a heart-stopping narrative, and it can imbue any reader with wonder. How does a message to whitewash the image of a regime turn the messenger into a plotter to overthrow a regime? That is the question that the reader will have to ask. Ray Ekpu is bound for New York with other editors to receive an award as international editor of the year. Bashorun is asked to meet a certain PR consultant to
help launder the regime’s image and show its innocence in the murder of Dele Giwa. But Bashorun is uncomfortable and does not carry out the mission because what he sees is not what he anticipates as he gets to the city. He returns to Nigeria and tells his bosses he cannot accomplish the task. So he is arrested, and that begins a story of first contempt, then alienation, then persecution, then attempts on his life. The story of his relationship with IBB and his regime, especially Akilu, reads like a thriller. Word after word overwhelms with its promise. I do not however see in its 345 pages any smoking gun on who murders Dele Giwa. Yet the book is smoking. It is smoking with institutional guilt? Are they after Bashorun because the army and the government murder Dele Giwa or because Bashorun does not do a Pr job. Again is Bashorun paranoid over the task? IBB himself tells Bashorun that the government does not murder the Journalist. The reader can be the judge. But we get through the story of his escape through the now famous NADECO route and his manoeuvre from a check-point to checkpoint until he boards a flight from Ouagadougou to the United States where he has to escape three attempts on his life. This is a book that evinces deep personal knowledge of the working of an important era of Nigeria, the tale of government of intriguers and cesspit of corruption. He paints an atmosphere of despots and narrow-minded felons unaware of a larger society beyond their kens of greed and larceny. IBB comes across as a calculating impresario, cunning, deceptive and ruthless. Yet, Bashorun also quietly believes that he is held hostage by forces sometimes larger than him and he bows because of his thirst for power. He is the ultimate contradiction as tyrant, kind now, brutal now. His belief that money can buy everything is a constant motif of IBB’s power theory. I cannot but believe that, in spite of the villainy of IBB in the book, he comes across as a failed messiah, a man who could have done good but whose love of life and power could not but compromise such high ideals. Professor Wole Soyinka once asserted that, “event in literature is experienced according to the level of treatment.” This book is well treated and has the ability to relocate the reader in time and space and even generate empathy, if, sometimes, sympathy. Yet the book leaves some holes. One, we do not see the relationship between IBB and Buhari throughout the book. When Buhari is head of state, we do not see any characterization of their meetings, his views about him and vice versa, as well as Brigadier Idiagbon. We learn later that IBB coup might have failed if Idiagbon is in the country. In spite of Bashorun’s heroics he comes across as too clean considering he is cosy with and a partisan of the regime. He also is close aide of Mrs. Babangida and all her lurid stories of vanity and corruption. Even when he collects bribe sent to him in the hey deys of his persecution, he couches his acceptance as a man of honour who must survive. All through his travails, we are deprived of any substantial insights into the private storms of his family. We don’t get any sense of his wife’s panic, vulnerabilities or aplomb. Wole Soyinka fielded a question on this subject over his You Must Set Forth At Dawn, he replied that such curiosities and fantasies are Western. But our society’s increasing individualism and urbanization have torn open our communal seals. Again, he reports his Civil war soldiery as an adventure. We learn nothing about his news of the circumstances of their fratricidal chapter, the pogrom, the military politics. He rarely mentions Biafra, and we hardly encounter the names of Gowon or Ojukwu. For all his umbrage over knowledge of Hausa Ianguage as ticket, he never tells us if he ever attempted to learn the Ianguage. Apart from a few typos and rhetorical stumbles, this is a well-written work and adds to the unfolding saga of the murder of Dele Giwa. As Nobel Laureate Wole Soyinka writes in the preface, “the theories that attach to Dele Giwa’s murder are yet to be laid to rest in a cast-iron, impregnable casket.” But Bashorun has made the case for guilt without evidence and guilt works on conscience. And as Charles Dickens writes in The Great Expectation, “conscience is a terrible thing if it accuses man or boy.” If the IBB regime pursued Bashorun because of guilt, then it must have the Dickensian conscience, and if that is true, it is, if ever, the only redeeming quality in a brutal era. But what did it do with that conscience? That is the intriguing part of this book of intrigues.
Church holds maiden music concert
By Joseph Eshanokpe
ROVINCE 40 of the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG), Ojodu, Lagos has held its first musical concert for its youths at its Solid Rock Parish. Its Provincial Pastor Bola Odutola said the event was aimed at inspiring the youth in exhibiting their talents, noting that most gospel songs these days are mainly for entertainment. He said Christian songs should not be for` mercantile purposes alone, but rather they should used to draw people to God, adding: “They (songs) are supposed to be soullifting, not for selling.” He adduced the background of some musicians as a reason their songs being adulterated. “When a seed is planted, it grows deep down before it grows up,” he argued, urging the youth to be strong in the words of God before they launch out. Reasoning that a child is the father of the man, he said: “Know God in your teen years, instead of when you are old. The best time for you to know the Bible is now.” Odutola, who inaugurated the church’s ‘mass choir’, tasked its members to worship God in their songs. “You will not only singing, but also worshipping God. There is a difference between the two. To worship God, you will need inspiration,” he added. The over 20-member choir gave a special rendition of some popular Christian songs in Yoruba, Urhobo and English. For example, they sang “All hail the power of Jesus name” in a unique tune and ‘Do Oghene do’(an Urhobo song) for worship to the admiration of all. Their outing shows dexterity, brilliance and talent. A minister in charge of the teenagers, Dr Funmi Bankole said the concert was a platform for the teenagers to show their talents in songs, dance and drama. “We want to set the pace, we want to be the reference point, we want to stand for Jesus. We want the world to come to us to seek solution in the world of music,” she said.
If they must strike.... By Busayo Oluwole
Mingled feelings cross borders, It is an annual festival; an unofficial leave; With destinies hid in dim darkness; Dreams treading the perilous paths of perdition, Fie! We never dickered for this mishap; Wonder-wounded at our garnished hapless fate, We sit unfit every morn; Hoping amidst the haze at dawn, At dusk, Our spirits sink into our quilts, Ostracized from temple of knowledge; We groan and moan in despair; Zillions smoldering in the grim illness of idleness, If They Must Strike, Why must we be the fated heifers for their sacrifice? Why bait Us to bear the brunt of the burns? Why thrust your virulent sword at our hearts? Our descent to doom; Their ascent to boom, The sheep sheared for the follies and frailities of their shepherd, Our dole;their dell of delight, They megaphone nothing but feigned love; Veiled hookers lost in lust, Parading motels for gains, The moguls giggle in drab derison; Their stolid hearts too Black to see the morrow of the giANT of Africa burning into ashes, Schadenfreude! They cackle at our murky darkness; But why not? We toil and moil in the sultry sun; They,sit sipping champagne in airconditionedtheatres cobwebbed in dalliance, Their BLOOD gleefully treading the primrose path in the far west, The door of reality shut against Them, Their honey-coated policies are sheer politic, Tell THEM.
THE NATION WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 27, 2013
The Midweek Magazine
PHOTO OF THE WEEK
Can’t cheat nature! Masqueraders on break at this year’s Abuja Carnival •PHOTO: OZOLUA UHAKHEME
Yuguda gets Oyo title
GAME 2013 award for Aregbesola
On Saturday, Bauchi State Governor Isa Yuguda will return to Oyo, where he did his Youth Service in 1980, for the chieftaincy title of Obasayero to be conferred on him by the Alaafin, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi III. SAMPSON UNAMKA reports
HE Alaafin of Oyo does not confer chieftaincy titles on people for the fun of it. He selects only those deserving of the honour because as the Alaafin everything he does generates interest. Not only that, people also tend to read meaning to his actions. So, the Alaafin exercises caution before bestowing honour on people. By virture of the 1914 grading of Chiefs in Oyo Province titled: Oyo Prof 6/1 file No. C 924/914, the Alaafin is accorded a pride of place. The memo dated December 11, 1914, notes: “The Alaafin is far and away senior to all and was and is more powerful”. But the memo does not make the Alaafin the sole monarch in Yourbaland. Whatever the Alaafin does, he does with the power conferred on him by law. It instructive to note that despite this power, the Alaafin from history and especially the incumbent, Oba Lamidi Olayiwola Adeyemi III, has been circumspect in the use of such power. For instance, unlike some of his brother Obas, Oyo tradition does not allow the Alaafin to create flamboyant titles such as listed in Reverend Samuel Johnson’s book on Yoruba history. Besides, few attributes have to be noted in such prospective awardees. This is best illustrated by the comment of the notable Yoruba scholar of History and International Relations, Prof Jide Osuntokun in the defunct Daily Comet of November 6, 2003. Thus, “The Alaafin does not look at your wealth before he honours you and all Oyo titles have old pedigree, there are no such frivolous titles there. Oyo Alaafin remains the repositioning of political decorum and sagacity in Nigeria”. It is on this premise that the choice of Bauchi State Governor Isa Yuguda for a chieftaincy title be viewed. Although, he is a second term governor, this could not have been the sole
•Yuguda reason for his appointment for the prestigious title of Obasayero of Oyo Empire. The first attraction can be traced to his National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) days in Oyo in 1980 where he first had the opportunity of meeting Oba Adeyemi in his full regalia in one of his public appearances at that time. That Yuguda is a man of challenges can be seen in his tenure as the MD/CEO of the defunct NAL Merchant Bank during which he initiated several reforms which changed the bank’s fortunes. It is also of special note that Yuguda had the singular honour of being elevated from Minister of State for Transport to a substantive Minister in charge of Aviation under for President Olusegun Obasanjo between 1999 and 2005. As Minister of Aviation, he saw to such infrastructural reforms and changes like the Student-pilot training at the Nigeria College of Aviation Technology in Zaria, Kaduna State. He also saw to the resurfacing of the runway at the Murtala Muhammed Airport in Ikeja, Lagos, as well as the construction and commissioning of a new lounge at the park, among other innovations. Some of the reforms he initiated as governor included prioritisation of human capital development in governance. This is in the area of education. In the health sector, he ensured that Bauchi has a teaching hospital, with Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University running a medical college in addition to eight new general hospitals in the state.
S the countdown to the second edition of GAME 2013 picks up, the convener of the event, Abiola Salami, has stated reasons why his platform is honouring TV mogul and fashion icon, Mo Abudu and Osun State Governor, Rauf Aregbesola, during the second edition of the event, which holds on November 29 and 30 at the Radisson Blu Hotel, Victoria Island, Lagos. Salami said the reason the pair were selected was because of their contributions towards empowering Nigerian youths. “It is with joy that I disclose to you that this year, GAME will be honouring two eminent Nigerians under its M.A.D. Awards. These are two great Nigerians who have made inroads in their chosen fields of endeavour we are honouring Mo Abudu, the CEO of EbonyLifeTV, for her giant strides in entertainment and empowering African youths. Abudu’s is an amazing tale that would inspire our youths. We are also honouring Governor Rauf Aregbesola for his outstanding contributions to education in Osun State,” he said. This year’s faculty will be hosted by Dr. Christopher Kolade and members include Prof Pat Utomi, Prince Julius Adelusi Adeluyi, Jimi Awosika, Sir Ademola Aladekomo and Amina Oyagbola. On the significance and impact of GAME 2013, Salami said: “As many organisations across Africa are setting and approving budgets and performance targets for the New Year, 2014, there is no better time for professionals to position themselves for productivity. GAME2 013 has been packaged to re-ignite the neurons of productivity in the workforce of organisations across the continent and is designed in line with indepth empirical research on the five essential elements of Total well-being.” Game 2013 will also feature the senior professional ladies panel discussion, a special feature of GAME 2013 with a focus on women. The theme for discussion is ‘Balancing Family, Relationship & Career Success,’ and is to be chaired by House of Representatives member, Honourable Abike Dabiri-Erewa.
Etisalat unveils top 20 contenders for flash fiction prize
NE of Nigeria’s telecommunications services providers, Etisalat Nigeria has unveiled top 20 finalists shortlisted for the social media driven Flash Fiction Prize built into the Etisalat Prize for Literature, which holds in January
2014. Director of Brands & Communication at Etisalat Nigeria, Enitan Denloye, said in Lagos Flash Fiction is important in the Etisalat Prize for Literature and in literary circles because “it represents the short form of storytelling, a common stepping stone for accomplished writers. Short stories are where a lot of writers discover and perfect their talent, especially in the social media driven world today of digital communication where content is absorbed in 140 characters or less.” In pursuit of its vision of encouraging and inspiring creativity, Etisalat called for entries for the Flash Fiction Category in the Etisalat Prize for Literature. According to Denloye, “entries opened on September 2 and closed September 30, 2013. We received over a thousand entries after close of entries, the public started voting online in keeping with the guidelines of the competition. Voting lasted from the October 1 through 31 and the result of the voting are the top 20 unveiled.” The Flash Fiction category is designed to celebrate the short form of storytelling for the upcoming writer. Three prizes will be awarded to the top three writers in this category selected by a high profile judging panel for the Flash Fiction Prize. The winning author will get a cash sum of £1,000,a digital tablet, and will be promoted online and via digital media platforms. The category will also produce two runners up, with each receiving a cash sum of £500 and Samsung Galaxy Note for their literary efforts. The top stories will be compiled into an e-book anthology of flash stories which will be promoted online. Details of the top 20 contenders whose entries are now being assessed by a panel of writers, publishers and respected individuals in the literary community to select the winning flash fiction writer are available on http:/ /etisalatprize.com/etisalat-prize-flash-fiction-top-20/.
THE NATION WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 27, 2013
THE NATION WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 27, 2013
THE NATION WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 27, 2013
THE NATION WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 27, 2013
WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 27, 2013
Three years ago, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola took over the reins in Osun State. Group Political Editor EMMANUEL OLADESU examines the achievements of the administration, which underscore the governor’s endorsement for a second term by stakeholders.
Aregbesola: Three years of renewal
IX years ago, a pall of gloom descended on Osun State. The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had just wreaked a monumental havoc on the people. Following the governorship election. The loser, Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola. The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate, was declared the winner. Voters were dejected. The winner, Comrade Rauf Aregbesola, was left in the cold. Undaunted, the former Lagos State Works and Infrastructure Commissioner approached the temple of justice for redress. For three years, the legal fireworks raged. The people could only heave a sigh of relief, following the Oyinoloa’s deposition and subsequent inauguration of Aregbesola as the third civilian governor of the State of the Living Springs. The engineer-turned politician met a state writhing in pains. The stolen mandate had been used to the disadvantage of voters. Almost all the sectors were on their knees. Roads were bad. Schools laid prostrate. The morale of the civil service was down. Internally generated revenue was at a low ebb. Governance was reduced to a tea party. The euphoria of victory withered immediately in the face of the challenges. Aregbesola swung into action. His first step was to plug the loopholes. For six months, he did not have an executive council. Through this measure, he succeeded on saving N30 billion. His Spartan lifestyle, disdain for opulence and aversion for primitive accumulation made Aregbesola to reduce the cost of governance. The painstaking planning and metyiculous execution of projects have yielded dividends. Today, observers believe that the state is counting its blessings across the sectors. This, they argue, is in fulfillment of the promise to make the government friendly and responsive to public yearnings. Aregbesola re-christened Osun State as “Ipinle Omoluabi”, which translates into a state of character. In his opinion, the people should return to the old value and virtue, which defined their past and made their leaders to shun vices. An ideologue, he is also a believer in the Awoist philosophy of welfarism and “Life More Abundant.” For three years, the governor has canvassed for the practice of the federal principle and regional integration. Although he has come under fire for his federalist ideas, he is unrelented. To him, the clamour for decentralisation of power, preservation of identity and agitation for autonomy in a federal set-up is in tune with reality. Aregbesola promised to maintain a clean break from the past. Today, the governor has turned the state into a huge construction site. Many have applauded him for constructing roads that will connect the state with the neighbouring Ogun and Kwara States. Another key area his government has recorded transformation is the education sector. Shortly after assuming the reins, the governor organised the Osun State Education Summit. It attracted eminent Nigerians, including the Nobel Laureate, Professor Wole Soyinka, and other stakeholders. The public schools have become a burden to the society. Indigent stu-
• Aregbesola teaching pupils in the classroom.
dents became drop-outs. The students, especially those in primary schools, were roughly dressed and malnourished. School buildings were in dilapidated state, students’ performance, both at the internal and external examinations, were abysmally poor. There were no instructional materials and tuition fee was beyond reach of many indigenes. From the recommendations of the summit, the government developed a blue-print. Since then, education has not been the same in the state. One of the steps taken by the administration in sharpening the sector is the provision of two pairs of unified school uniforms to each of 750,000 pupils in the public primary and secondary schools. It was meant to boost the morale of the students and promote unity among the public schools. The provision of free uniforms. This is apart from N800million. This is apart from N1.8billion being injected into the basic education, including the provision of examination and running grants and instructional materials for public schools. No fewer than 3,000 tailors were contracted by the government to sew the new uniforms made of Adire batik. The material was chosen to empower the artisans and Adire makers in the state. It has become a showpiece of creativity. HE deputy governor and Education Commissioner, Mrs. Titi Laoye Tomori, said that N30billion has also been spent on the physical structures, especially the classrooms, to guarantee a conducive atmosphere for learning. She explained that the administration is also constructing 170 new model schools to replace the dilapidated buildings. The new classrooms will have state of the art facilities, adding that it will enhance and stimulate the teaching and learning environment. Tomori said that 20 schools are for students in Senior Secondary Schools. When completed, she said that each is
•Former Chief Justice Olaniyi Ojo, Aregbesola and wife, Sherifat, during his inauguration as governor.
expected to conveniently accommodate 3,000 students on the basis of 40 per class. Each of the structures will have an examination hall that can comfortably seat 1,500 students and two e-libraries; one for sciences and the other for arts and social sciences would cost the N700 million, according to the government. Many of these school building have since been completed and commissioned. For Junior Schools, from Primary 5 to Junior Secondary School 3 (JSS3), 50 of them would be constructed, each accommodating 1,250 students while the elementary schools, Primary One to Four, which would be 100 pieces, would accommodate 900 pupils.
To further stimulate the interest of students to learning, the government has invented computer tablets. The equipment, designed in form of an iPod called “Opon Imo,” contains the entire senior school syllabus, including Yoruba traditions, past questions of the West African Examination Council (WAEC), National Examination Council (NECO) and Joint Administration and Matriculation Board (JAMB) for 10 years in the software design for the system. Besides, in a bid to encourage the enrolment of children in public schools, government has rejuvenated the school feeding programme,
tagged ‘O’MEAL’. The programme has increased the enrolment figure in public primary schools by 40 per cent in the last session. Determined to ensure the sustainability of the programme, government also said it was committing N3 billion annually for its implementation. Besides, the government, which also increased the running and examination grants per student in public secondary schools to N150 and N400, making a total of N550 against the N150 made available by the last administration, and N400 per pupil in •Continued on page 46
THE NATION WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 27, 2013
Hope renewed as Aregbesola marks third anniversary •Continued from page 45
primary schools, has now decided to invest N500 million annually, for the scheme. HE state-owned tertiary institutions are also funded adequately. School fees have been reduced. For those at the polytechnic and College of Technology, the fee was reduced from N42,000 to N25,000, while those in the state university was slashed from N205,000 for Law and Medical Students to N100,000. Sciences was reduced from N155,000 to N75,000 while Social Sciences and Art now pay N75,000, instead of N130,000. Another milestone in the educational sector under the current administration was the scholarship offered to all the 98 medical students of Osun State University (UNIOSUN) for their clinical courses to complete their medical programme in Ukraine. The intervention gulped N146 million at the rate of $7,000 each, comprising the cost of training, accommodation and other sundry matters while their parents were supposed for care of their feeding only.
Security Aregbesola is presiding over a peaceful state. Security experts are of the opinion that the state has the lowest crime rates. “Aregbesola’s government places high premium on security of lives and properties. This stems from the belief that peace and security engender growth and development. On the contrary, insecurity poses direct threat to direct investment both local and foreign as no investor would risk investing in an atmosphere of violence and insecurity”, said his media aide, Mr. Semiu Okanlawon. He added: “Against this backdrop, apart from the regular police manning the state, government set up dedicated crime response team nicknamed Swift Action Squad (SAS), who are now visible in strategic areas in the state as well as identified troubled sports. “Government also equipped this special squared with five Armoured personnel Cars (APCs) and 25 patrol vans for surveillance. Government also constructed two state-of-the-art police stations and multi-force security control centre. “Additional 100 patrol vans were also to be provided for the SAS and seven more police state to be built. Currently, a state –wide distress management system, which would allow security agency to respond within 40 minutes, is being developed so as to guarantee effective and efficient crime, detection, crime prevention and crime control”. The community policing network is evolving to boost security network across the country. Thus, the government recently purchased a helicopter for SAS for area surveillance. The goal is to make the state a “no-go-area for criminals” and “a no-crime-area”. As a humanist, Aregbesola is an exponent of poverty alleviation. About 90 percent of the Nigeria’s over 150 million people are said to have been living below poverty line. An average Nigerian lives on less than a Dollar per day. The rising unemployment has compounded the poverty rate. The Aregbesola government’s response to this is a structural empowerment programme, a social security trust, for vulnerable indigenes. It is tagged “Agba Osun”. Under this programme, 1, 600 people are placed on monthly stipend of N10, 000 for their upkeep. The governor is also committed to youth empowerment. No fewer than 20, 000 youths were employed in Aregbesola’s first 100 days in office. The Youth Empowerment Programme is tagged “OYES”. Beneficiaries are young volunteers who render community service. They are placed un-
location of the facilities in such a way that the sighting of the hospitals, referral hospitals and healthcare clinics fall within reasonable radius to one another across the state. OR example, a Primary Healthcare Clinic is sited within 10 kilometers radius of every Osun town, with special attention to the needs of the children, women and elderly. Also, a functional General Hospital is sited within 20 kilometres radius of human habitation and referral hospitals within 30 kilometres radius of human settlement. The nine state-owned hospitals and 12 comprehensive healthcare centres have been rehabilitated for optimal functionality, easy access and quick service delivery In three years, government has also built 74 additional primary health centres. It has carried out six medical and surgical missions to offer free treatment and surgeries to several thousand citizens. Provisions have been made for over N300m worth of drug to state hospitals and primary health centres. Apart from physical development, government also focused on human capacity building in the health sector by empowering about 400 youths as paramedics to join Osun Ambulance Service Authority. Aregbesola believes that the health sector has not been uplifted to an optimum standard. Thus, it has shifted his attention now to training and upgrading of cadres of health sector. Oddly, this has not been done in the history of the state since its creation twenty years ago. The idea behind this retraining is for the medical personnel to be exposed to latest medical technologies and techniques in various fields of medical practices. Hence, the State of Osun Government has committed N18 million for sponsorship of six medical personnel to the University of Magdenburg Teaching Hospital, Germany. Aregbesola is of the opinion that no nation or state can thrive in an atmosphere of violence and insecurity. Peace and security are the major developmental ingredients without which any investor, local or international, can be attracted. Statistically, Osun is said to have one of the list crime rate in the country. The security of lives and properties ably guaranteed in the state is a veritable carrot the state dangles to investors and they followed. Dagbolu as a commercial hub is a mid regional market for the entire South West. Less than five kilometer outside Osogbo, it is expected to be a logistic village where various warehouses would be specifically built for relevant investors and manufacturers so that their goods would be sold to the people of the state at the exact prices they are being sold at Oke Arin in Lagos, for instance and other major markets in Lagos. There are also international markets for ready-made products. Currently, Ayegbaju International Market, located at the old governor’s office and Aje International Market, sited at the state Trade Fair Complex, Osogbo. Osun State is a tourist state. One of its major towns, Ile-Ife, is the cradle of Yoruba. The tourist centres in the state is being re-activated. “It is the priority of this administration to generate revenue through tourism and that is why we are developing the tourist sites”, said Sikiru Adetona, the Commissioner for Tourism. Recently, the government hosted the traditional rulers from the old Yoruba Empire, stretching to Togo and Republic of Benin. At the ceremony, the governor stressed the need for cultural renewal and unity among the members of the race. Aregbesola is very passionate about Southwest integration. He is one of the governors, whose commmitment to the regional vision has inspired the re-chanelling of creative ideas towards the drive for self-reliance in the region.
•Aregbesola presenting a book to a physically challenged pupil in Osogbo, the state capital. Beside him is Deputy Governor Mrs Laoye-Tomori.
•Pupils displaying Opon-Imo in their classroom
der a monthly stipend of N10, 000. Also, about 5000 youths have been trained to acquire special ICT skills through the “OYESTECH”. Last month, they had good tales to tell during their graduation ceremony. Some of them were employed by private organisations. Some received soft loans from government to start their business. Under the “OREAP Programme”, 600 youths were trained in the government’s Agricultural Enterprise Academy. Also, 50 youths were sent to Germany to acquire advanced farming skills. The administration has also recuited over 6000 qualified youths as teachers in the public schools. The school feeding scheme (O’MEAL) for the elementary school also employed about 3000 caterers, who cook delicious meals for the children. Equally, through the school uniform programme, government has
empowered 3000 tailors, who were sourced locally to sew over 750,000 pieces of school uniforms for elementary, middle and high school children. All these schemes have reduced poverty and crime. ANY experts have lauded the urban renewal efforts of the Aregbesola Administration. To improve the physical condition of urban areas,the aadministration has provided N100m counterpart fund to the UN-Habitat initiative. The partnership, which will explore the state’s urban renewal potential, will also focus on rural-urban developmental potential. The partnership is sequel to the collaboration of the state government with the UN-Habitat for the preparation of structured plans for nine cities. The cities, which include Osogbo, Ife, Ilesa, Ejigbo and Ikire, have been earmarked for urban renewal by the government. The partnership agreement
was concluded at the UN-Habitat Headquarters in Nairobi, Kenya, during the 24th Governing Council meeting of the agency. These programmes are aimed at preparing and implementing the structural plan project currently going on in nine cities in the state. The state’s N100m contribution to UN-Habitat was fully paid last year by the state government. In consonance with these preparations, the UNHabitat has agreed to give technical support in the area of effective deployment of these tools. The training programme will address the unsuitable urban growth, problems affecting the environment and growing inequalities between the rich and the poor, and serious distortion in the form and functions of cities. Health is wealth. Thus, health caredelivery is a priority in Osun State. The government has planned the
‘The euphoria of victory withered immediately in the face of the challenges. Aregbesola swung into action. His first step was to plug the loopholes. For six months, he delayed the setting up of a cabinet of talents and other key appointments. Through this measure, he succeeded on saving N30 billion. His Spartan lifestyle, disdain for opulence and aversion for primitive accumulation made him to reduce the cost of governance. The painstaking planning and metyiculous execution of projects have yielded dividends’
THE NATION WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 27, 2013
POLITICS In this piece, legal scholar Prof. Ben Nwabueze (SAN) highlights the differences between the 2005 Abuja Political Conference and the proposed National Dialogue and offers suggestions on the mode of operation, membership composition and report ratification.
‘How national conference can succeed’
N February 2005, President Olusegun Obasanjo suddenly convened what he called the National Political Reform Conference (NPRC). The charade did not end with the abrupt disbandment of the NPRC, but was continued by the National Assembly Joint Constitutional Reform Committee (JCRC) under the chairmanship of the Deputy Senate President, Senator Ibraham Mantu, whose main object was to obtain, by fraudulent manipulation, a semblance of public approval for the elongation of the President’s and state governors’ tenure of office.
Purpose of the proposed national conference and a legal framework for its operation
approval of the Constitution by the entire mass of the people, which is to bestow legally binding force upon it. A Referendum of the people to approve the Constitution is the most fundamental aspect of the whole process. It is no doubt a novel process in the country, but that is what is legitimately due to the Nigerian people– an opportunity, for the first time since the creation of the Nigerian state in 1914, to adopt, through Referendum, a Constitution by and for themselves in exercise of the constituent power inherent in them as a‘sovereign people, not just to make an input in the amendment of an imposed Constitution. It is their birthright as a sovereign people, a birthright of which they have long been denied, first, by our British colonial masters, then, by our military masters, and, now, by our so-called democratic rulers in the Presidency and the National Assembly. There is no justifiable reason for continuing to deny them that birthright. Given an existing legal order, constituted by a Constitution, the principle of the Rule of Law, by a Legislative Assembly, a Presidency, a Judiciary and other instrumentalities of government, such as we have in Nigeria, a National Conference to adopt a People’s Constitution, and a Referendum to approve the Constitution so adopted, must be authorised by a law enacted by the National Assembly and assented to by the President, in the terms set out in The Patriots’ Bill. There is no way a Referendum can be held in the country under the existing legal order without an enabling law prescribing how it is to be conducted, its outcome and the force of the result in law. People cannot just troop out to vote in a referendum. Anything else outside the legal framework set out in The Patriots’ Bill can only take place by way of a revolution, such as happened in the eight African countries where the Conference took place outside the pre-existing legal order. It is doubtful, to say the least, whether such a revolution can take place in Nigeria, as things are at present. The impediments are too many and too great. Sections 16(1) and 17(8) of the Bill deserve to be specially noticed. Section 16(1) provides : “The Chairman and Secretary of the National Conference shall certify the Draft Constitution as passed by the National Conference and lodge authenticated copies thereof with the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives who shall cause it to be laid before the appropriate House but the said Draft Constitution shall not be subject to any change or amendment by any of these authorities.” (emphasis supplied). Section 17(8) says : “... the Draft Constitution for the Federal Republic of Nigeria adopted and passed by the National Conference shall become law and be binding on all persons and authorities when and if there is a majority of ‘YES’ votes at the Referendum approving it....” Thus, the National Conference and Referendum Bill prepared by The Patriots sets out in clear enough terms an appropriate Legal Framework for the proposed National Conference. The Presidential Advisory Committee may propose amendments to it.
Conference) may become a talk-shop, as did the 2005 NPRC, without achieving its primal purpose, which is to give us a new Constitution. It would thus be a failure, as asserted by those opposed to the idea. To ensure the accomplishment of this primal purpose, the Conference, when it convenes, must have before it, a Draft new Constitution to form the basis of its deliberations; without this, its meetings are bound to become a talk-shop and will not accomplish their primal purpose. Clearly, a situation where every Nigerian or every member of the Conference may submit a Draft new Constitution for consideration by the Conference will result in the Conference having before it too many Draft Constitutions, which may make it difficult for it to accomplish its primal purpose. Thus, the problem boils down to the issue of a modus operandi for the Conference. But, whilst the Committee’s recommendations are awaited, it seems clear that we cannot run away from the imperative necessity of having a Constitution Drafting Committee. The Okurounmu Presidential Advisory Committee itself is not envisaged as a Constitution Drafting Committee, and is neither intended nor mandated by its Terms of Reference to function as one. The job requires a specialist committee of experts. A Constitution Drafting Committee was part of the modus operandi used in making the 1979 Constitution. The Federal Military Government (FMG) had in 1976, by an executive instrument, set up a Constitution Drafting Committee (CDC) of 49 members (the 50th member, Chief Obafemi Awolowo, declined to serve) composed of prominent lawyers, men and women knowledgeable in the principles and practice of statescraft, and other seasoned experts/specialists (the 49 Wise Men, as they came to be known), to prepare a Draft Constitution. A Draft was duly prepared by the Committee. Thereafter, the FMG enacted a Decree establishing a Constituent Assembly – the Constituent Assembly Decree 1977 – corresponding more or less to the proposed National Conference. As constituted under the enabling Decree, the Assembly had 230 members, of whom 20 were appointed by the FMG, seven were the Chairman of the CDC (Chief FRA Williams SAN) and the chairmen of its six sub-committees (I was one of the six), and the remaining 203 members were elected, not directly by the people, but by the local government councils acting as electoral colleges. But the important point to note as regards the issue of modus operandi is that the Draft Constitution prepared by the CDC was laid before the Assembly and formed the authorised basis for its deliberations. The enabling law required the Draft Constitution to be presented in the Assembly in the form of a Bill, which the Assembly was to deliberate upon following a procedure of first and second readings and detailed clause by clause consideration in a committee of the whole Assembly. The procedure allowed for amendments to be moved by members. Indeed, an amendment seeking to replace the presidential system proposed in the Draft with the parliamentary system of cabinet government was rigorously pressed upon the Assembly in two different forms and lost : see Proceedings of the Constituent Assembly, Official Report, vol. 11, cols 1943 – 55; cols. 1981 – 8. The Chairman of the CDC and the Chairmen of its six sub-committees, sitting in the front benches, were assigned the responsibility of piloting the Draft Constitution Bill through the Assembly. It needs to be stated, despite the controversy that arose over the issue between the Assembly and
Being a palpable fraud, a farce, and pro• Prof. Nwabueze grammed to come to nothing, the 2005 NPRC cannot in any way be equated with character of a Sovereign National Conthe proposed National Conference, or ference. It is a contradiction, both in be used as a basis for saying that the latideas and in terms, to demand a Soverter will also come to nothing. As coneign National Conference when a sovceived, the proposed National Conferereign government is still in place and ence has a specific purpose, namely, to in control; you must first displace or discuss and agree on the terms and conemasculate the latter before you can ditions to be embodied in a new Constihave an SNC, as was the case in the tution as the basis on which the diverse eight African states of Benin, Togo, nationalities and peoples comprised in Congo (Brazzaville), Niger, Mali, Nigeria can live together in peace, secuChad, Gabon and Zaire in the period rity, progress and unity as one country 1990 to 1993. under a common central government. For the sake of a proper understandThis is the primal purpose of the proing of the meaning of the term, “Sovposed National Conference, the crux or ereign National Conference”, it needs pivot of its agenda, and to which everyto be explained that the provisions in thing else is ancillary. The Patriots’ Bill to the effect that a ConGiven the above primal purpose for it, stitution adopted at the National Conthe initial problem facing the Conferference “shall not be subject to any ence is to fashion out a Legal Framework change or amendment” by the Nafor convening and holding it, and for tional Assembly or the Presidency (secholding a Referendum to approve a tion 16(1)), and that the Constitution, Constitution adopted at the Conference. so adopted, “shall become law and be Without such a Legal Framework, the binding on all persons and authorities” Conference cannot effectively take off as directly it is approved at a Referendum conceived, and will be doomed to fail as (section 17(8)), do not make the Condid the 2005 NPRC for the reason, among ference a sovereign body, in the strict others, that, as earlier explained, there sense of the term, inasmuch as the fiwas no law establishing it and backing nality of its decisions and the legally up its work. The task of fashioning out binding force of the approval of its deappropriate Legal Framework for the cisions by the Referendum derive from proposed National Conference has, hapa law enacted by the sovereign legislapily, been entrusted to a Presidential Adtive authorities under the country’s exvisory Committee. No Committee of this isting legal order. type, with wide-ranging Terms of RefBut refusal by the National Assemerence, was set up in 2005 as a prelude to bly or the Presidency to enact into law, the convening of the NPRC, and to lay the provisions in sections 16(1) and the foundation for its successful outcome. 17(8) of the Bill, or to abide by them In any case, as earlier stated, fashioning a after their enactment into law, will be new Constitution for Nigeria was never a test of the ability of the Nigerian part of the agenda or purpose of the people, in spite of the impediments, to NPRC. assert and demonstrate their power and Some years ago, in October 2001 to be supremacy as the repository of the precise, The Patriots prepared such a Lecountry’s sovereignty and the source gal Framework in the form of a Bill, titled of the sovereign power exercised by the National Conference and Referenthe legislative and executive organs of dum Bill, which it submitted to the Presigovernment. From the contest of dency and the National Assembly. The power over this issue between the sovBill, after some revision, was re-submitereign government and the people as ted to the two bodies in 2013. the ultimate sovereign, the National The long title of the Bill describes it as Conference may emerge as a sover“A Bill for an Act to make provisions for eign body. convening a National Conference of the peoples of Nigeria for the purpose of Ensuring the adoption of a discussing and adopting a new Constisuitable new constitution by tution to be submitted for consideration and approval by the people of Nigeria at the conference a Referendum and matters ancillary Ensuring that the National Conferthereto.” The long title thus provides a ence adopts a suitable new Constituclear enough description of the characThe vexed question tion for the country raises a problem ter of the Conference proposed. This is perhaps more troublesome and more reaffirmed by a declaration in a Preamble whether the conference has perplexing than the issue of fashionthat the Conference is “a Conference of the character of a sovereign ing out appropriate Legal Framework; the nationalities and ethic groups com- body the problem is not taken care of by fashprised in this Nation so as to give them The Legal Framework for the conven- ioning out an appropriate Legal Framethe opportunity to exercise their inherent right to determine democratically for ing and holding of a National Confer- work. Unless the adoption of a suitthemselves the Constitution by which ence and a Referendum, as set out above, able new Constitution for the country they wish to be governed in one united does not confer upon the Conference the is ensured and is realised, it (i.e. the Nigeria” (emphasis supplied). The Pre‘But refusal by the National Assembly or the Presidency to enact into law, the proamble further declares that the need for the Conference arises from the fact that visions in sections 16(1) and 17(8) of the Bill, or to abide by them after their enactthe Constitution under which the country is governed “came into existence as a ment into law, will be a test of the ability of the Nigerian people, in spite of the result of a Decree enacted by the Federal impediments, to assert and demonstrate their power and supremacy as the reposiMilitary Government.” The Bill then goes on to spell the pro- tory of the country’s sovereignty and the source of the sovereign power exercised by cess for holding a Referendum for the the legislative and executive organs of government’
the FMG, that the 1977 – 78 Constituent Assembly was not a mere deliberative body, and that the substance, content and form of the 1979 Constitution were the product of its decisions, notwithstanding a few changes surreptitiously slipped in by the FMG at the last minute after the Constitution Bill had been passed by the Assembly. Such, then, was the modus operandi used in making the 1979 Constitution. Recognising the imperative necessity of having before the proposed National Conference a suitable Draft ew Constitution to form the basis of its deliberations, I formed in the course of the Uyo National Political Summit the idea of getting a team of prominent lawyers, political scientists and other experts with specialist knowledge to work with me to prepare a suitable Draft new Constitution and, when the Draft is ready, to reconvene the Uyo Political Summit to have a thorough and critical look at it, and make such revisions and changes as may be considered necessary. The re-convened Uyo Political Summit would be a kind of mini National Conference. Leaders from the various geo-political Zones attending the Summit will be duly inducted to mobilize and enlighten participants from their Zones on the provisions in the Draft in order to facilitate deliberations on it and its adoption at the National Conference proper. As I said in my last letter, dated October 31, 2013, to the 15 members of my Committee of lawyers, political scientists and other experts, drawn from the six geopolitical Zones,, “unless the National Conference, when it convenes, has before it a Draft New Constitution, to be piloted by people well acquainted with its provisions and well inducted on what is necessary to be done to get it adopted, the Conference may lose focus and degenerate into a talk-shop and end without achieving anything, like the previous ones”. In preparing a Draft, we will look at Drafts prepared by Pronaco, The Patriots, the amendments/revisions made on the 1999 Constitution or under consideration by the National Assembly, and proposals from other quarters, as well as the constitutions of some other African countries. When my Committee completes its work, then, its Draft, with changes made on it by the re-convened Uyo National Political Summit, will be sent to the Presidency, the National Assembly, and the Presidential Advisory Committee if its life/mandate has not expired by the effluxion of the time given to it to wind up its work and turn in a report. Chairmanship of the conference It needs hardly be emphasised that the character of the proposed National Conference, and its success or failure, would be determined, to a great extent, by the credentials, the personality and forcefulness of character of its Chairman. He or she must be a person with a considerable measure of acceptability in the Northern and Southern segments of the country, and whose mind, attitude and disposition are not known to be unduly conditioned or otherwise affected by the North-South Divide, which must be acknowledged as among the worst of the country’s many afflictions – a person who, therefore, commands the confidence of the generality of people in both segments. In addition, he or she must be a person whose age and condition of health leave him or her sufficient physical strength as well as mental and emotional stability to be able to withstand the enormous strain and stress of piloting, mediating and moderating the proceedings of the Conference, which are expected to be stormy, even acrimonious, a task that would tax the patience of even the Biblical Job. It is as well that the President, as the authority to appoint the Chairman of the Conference, should start right away to give serious thought to the choice of a person to chair it. The choice is not going to be an easy one, because there are not many Nigerians that meet the above criteria.
THE NATION WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 27, 2013
Sands of Time (You Are Love).” Later that AALIYAH year, tabloid reports surfaced claiming that the sultry teen singer had married the 27-year-old Kelly, but Aaliyah denied the union and the marriage was reportedly annulled. While a student in the dance program at Detroit High School for the Fine and Performing Arts (she graduated in 1997), Aaliyah released Portman her sophomore Natalie album, One in a Million (1996). Helmed by the wellknown pop producer Timbaland and featuring rap performer Missy “Misdemeanor” Elliott, Singer, actress. Born One in a Million portrayed Aaliyah Dana Haughton, on the 17-year-old singer as a January 16, 1979, in sultry hip-hop chanteuse Brooklyn, New York. with a self-confidence well Raised in Detroit, beyond her years. The Michigan, the young singer album garnered favorable competed unsuccessfully on reviews and sold two the television program Star million copies. Search at age 11. Later that In 1997 she recorded same year, she performed “Journey to the Past,” the with R&B legend Gladys Academy AwardKnight, the former wife of nominated theme song to her uncle and manager, the animated feature Barry Hankerson, at a fiveAnastasia and performed night stand in Las Vegas. the song for the Oscar In 1994, at the age of 15, telecast in 1998. Her next Aaliyah catapulted onto the soundtrack effort, “Are You R&B charts herself with her That Somebody?” for 1998’s debut album, “Age Ain’t Dr. Dolittle, starring Eddie Nothing But a Number”. Murphy, went to No. 1 on Produced by the successful the R&B charts and was a singer R. Kelly, the album pop crossover hit, earning quickly sold a million Aaliyah her first Grammy copies and eventually Award nomination. earned platinum status In 2000, Aaliyah made her based largely on the success acting debut in the surprise of two hit singles, “Back and action hit Romeo Must Die, Forth” and “At Your Best
starring opposite martial arts star Jet Li in a Romeo and Juliet-inspired story set in modern-day Los Angeles. She was also an executive producer of the movie’s soundtrack and performed the hit single “Try Again,” which netted her a second Grammy nomination as well as two MTV Music Video Awards for Best Female Video and Best Video From a Film. Aaliyah was killed on August 25, 2001, when a small Cessna passenger plane carrying the singer and her video crew crashed and burst into flames shortly after takeoff from Abaco Island in the Bahamas, where they had just completed work on a video. The plane was headed for Miami, Florida. Aaliyah and seven other people, including the pilot, were believed to have died instantly, while a ninth passenger died later at a Bahamian hospital. Aaliyah was 22 years old at the time of her death. She is survived by her parents, Diane and Michael Haughton, and an older brother, Rashaad Singer, actress. Born Aaliyah Dana Haughton, on January 16, 1979, in Brooklyn, New York. Raised in Detroit, Michigan, the young singer competed unsuccessfully on the television program Star Search at age 11. Later that same year, she performed with R&B legend Gladys Knight.
The two thousand member Baptist church was filled to overflowing one Sunday morning. The preacher was ready to start the sermon when two men, dressed in long black coats and black hats entered thru the rear of the church. One of the two men walked to the middle of the church while the other stayed at the back of the church. They both then reached under their coats and withdrew automatic weapons. The one in the middle announced, “Everyone willing to take a bullet for Jesus stay in your seats!” Naturally, the pews emptied, followed by the choir. The deacons ran out the door, followed by the choir director and the assistant pastor. After a few moments, there were about twenty people left sitting in the church. The preacher was holding steady in the pulpit. The men put their weapons away and said, gently, to the preacher, “All right, pastor, the hypocrites are gone now. You may begin the service.”
CHANGE OF NAME ONOJA: I, formerly known and addressed as MISS BLESSING ONOJA now wish to be known and addressed as MRS ROBINSON BLESSING. All former documents remain valid. General public take note. UDEUGWU: I, formerly known and addressed as MISS UDEUGWU IFEOMA STELLA now wish to be known and addressed as MRS IGBO IFEOMA STELLA. . All former documents remain valid. IMT, NYSC and general public take note. CHANGE OF FAMILY NAME We the family of Ojieze, from Umuanigwe Enugu Mmaku, in Awgu LGA of Enugu State, formerly called and addressed as OJIEZE, wish to be called and addressed as NWACHINEKE. All documents and credentials are still valid. Enugu State Local Government Civil Service Commission, Enugu State Primary Education Board, Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps and the general public take note.
I, Formerly known and addressed as MISS. IGULAMI ANTHONY IYERITEI now wish to be known and addressed as MRS. DIVINE EFIYE LUKE JULIUS-OIFO. All former documents remain valid. General public should please take note.
I, formerly known and addressed as Miss Wulemotu Musa, now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs. Wulemotu Ukpe. All former documents remain valid. General public take note.
CONFIRMATION OF NAME
This is to Comfirm that Aghidi Theresa and Isibhakhomen Aghidi refer to One and the same person and now wish to be known and addressed as Isibhakhomen Theresa Aghidi. All former documents remain Valid. The general public should please note.
THE NATION WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 27, 2013
Pellegrini rules out Hart loan P
ELLEGRINI has also played down speculation he might sign a new keeper during the mid-season transfer window. Hart, the current England first choice, recently lost his place in the City side after a series of inconsistent displays and has sat out their last five games. Pellegrini said: "There is a lot of news about six or seven goalkeepers that we want to buy but it is not true. "There is no chance that Joe Hart could go out of this squad in January." Hart has not played for City since a late error proved costly in City's loss to Chelsea on October 27. He has been told he will return as Czech minnows Viktoria Plzen visit the Etihad Stadium in the Champions League tonight but Pellegrini has given no assurances about his long-term prospects. Costel Pantilimon has done little wrong since taking Hart's place and could be back in goal for Sunday's clash with Swansea in the Barclays Premier League. Pellegrini said: "I think that is a question for next Saturday. "When we start the next game of the Premier League we will talk about who will start playing.
"The important thing for Joe is that he will play tomorrow and we hope he will have a very good performance." Pellegrini was speaking at a press conference to preview the game against Plzen, which will be their penultimate fixture of group stage. The pressure is now off with City having already secured their place in the knockout rounds but Pellegrini wants to finish the section with a flourish. If results go their way, they could still supplant reigning champions Bayern at the top of Group D. Pellegrini said: "I think it is very important to win the group. "It is not the most important thing, the most important thing is to qualify, but it is very important to play well also. "The most important thing is to win and then we will see what happens." Captain Vincent Kompany trained with the squad ahead of the game but is not yet ready to return to action after a thigh injury. Pellegrini said: "Vincent started this week on some work with the whole squad. I think next week he could play."
would do it all again if given the opportunity. "For me, regardless of what condition you are in, if you are selected by the England manager, you go out there and do the best you can, regardless of whether you are carrying an injury or not," he said. "The England manager (Roy Hodgson) gave me an opportunity and it's always a pleasure to put the England shirt on." Rodgers said Sturridge was unable to start because of his condition after returning from international duty. Sturridge said he was still
Long vital to West Brom, says Clarke
EST Brom boss Steve Clarke believes striker Shane Long can play an important role for the club after Monday's 2-2 draw with Aston Villa. Long, who almost left the club for Hull City on transfer deadline day, scored a welltaken brace at The Hawthorns on Monday to put his side two goals ahead, before Karim El Ahmadi and Ashley Westwood struck for the visitors. While Villa hit back to take a point, Clarke was delighted with Long's performance and feels the striker's contract situation will soon be finalised, with Long having just nine months left on his current deal. Albion do, however, have an option to keep him for a further 12 months. "Shane's performance at Chelsea everyone spoke about – he did really well," Clarke said. "He got another goal when he was away with the Republic and he showed tonight (Monday) when he's on his top level he is a force to be reckoned with. "I've said all along Shane would have a big part to play for us this season and he’s proving that on the pitch – and
Sturridge: No regrets disappointing Rodgers IVERPOOL striker Daniel Sturridge has no regrets over his decision to play for England despite being unable to start the Merseyside derby Sturridge, 24, came on as a second-half substitute against Everton on Saturday, clinching a point for Liverpool with an 89th-minute header in the 3-3 draw. Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers was disappointed by Sturridge's decision to play 90 minutes against Germany on Tuesday. But despite upsetting his club manager, Sturridge said he
being troubled by a thigh injury but hopes he can prove his fitness and return to the starting line-up against Hull on Sunday. "I have been hampered for the past three games," Sturridge said. "Since West Brom when I got the bang I've had blood underneath my muscles in my thigh. It's still there now. When I shoot from long distance I still feel pain but it's getting better.
"It's important that I'm training. I didn't get to train much when I was away with England - I only trained once before the game. "I need to get the momentum going and just try to get it right and make sure I'm in the right condition to be able to go out there and do myself justice. "I hope I'll be fit enough to start against Hull next weekend. It would be great to be back in the side."
Villas-Boas odds-on to go next
NDRE Villas-Boas has gone odds-on to be the next Premier League manager to leave in the wake of Tottenham's 6-0 drubbing at Manchester City. Fulham boss Martin Jol had been the clear front-runner for a number of weeks with, but he's now out to 7/4 with Sky Bet and Villas-Boas has taken his place as the 10/11 favourite. The Portuguese had already been under pressure after criticising the club's home support earlier in the season, while their lack of fire-power up front has only added pressure. Spurs had been relying on a solid defence up until Sunday, when title favourites City doubled their goals conceded tally with a ruthless display. Former Porto and Chelsea manager Villas-Boas suggested he was "ashamed" of the loss, prompting punters to pile money on an swift departure. Sky Bet's Chris Spicer said: "Villas-Boas was a 33/1 chance prior to Sunday's defeat at the Etihad Stadium, but we cut him to 10/1 after the final whistle. "Interest in the Spurs boss didn't pick up until Monday night, though, and by Tuesday morning he'd been
backed into 10/11 favourite, though plenty will be eyeing up Martin Jol's renewed value."
•Shane Long that's all he can do. "I'm sure the club will sit down sometime in the future and sort his contract out. "It's not my department, as I've said many times." The draw ensures West Brom keep up their impressive recent form, having lost only one of their last nine top-flight matches, although five of these have been draws.
Wenger hails Ramsey’s transformation
ANAGER Arsene Wenger admits there was a time last season when he was told not to play Aaron Ramsey at the Emirates Stadium - but never lost confidence in the potential of the Wales midfielder. The 22-year-old former Cardiff trainee is relishing his integral role at the heartbeat of the Arsenal team, from where he has scored 11 goals already this season to help the Gunners top the Barclays Premier League. It is a remarkable turnaround in fortunes for Ramsey - now fully recovered from an horrific double leg break at Stoke in February 2010. After facing an uncertain future following some indifferent displays last season, he looked short on confidence, especially when the target of jeers from sections of the home support. Wenger, though, always felt Ramsey's time would come, having invested some £5million to bring in the then raw talent in June 2008. "Let's not forget that one year ago people were saying to me: 'it is difficult to play him at the Emirates', but you have to give him credit for that transformation because he could deal with that," said Wenger, whose side tackle Marseille on Tuesday night aiming to move a step closer to the last 16 of the Champions League. "He could come back, he never give up and convinced everybody that he has the needed quality." Wenger added: "You could see there was an impatience with him at the Emirates. "As a manager you are always in a period where you think, 'do I push him through and he can go more down?'
Or do you give him a breather to regenerate to get him a fresh start? "That is always difficult for us to assess because it is linked to their mental state. "When their own confidence is down, of course they are in trouble, but Aaron is a confident boy." Ramsey's transformation was highlighted by his second-half header which secured a 1-0 smash-and-grab raid on Borussia Dortmund earlier this month to put Arsenal back on course for qualification from the toughest of groups. "There is a technical difference now," Wenger said. "We always saw that he had a good engine, now he has another quality in that he does not hide to take the ball, and when he makes a mistake, he doesn't hide again. "For me that is a quality. He is always available to take the ball and play. "Where he has improved a lot is in his first touch, in his finishing, in the quality of his long balls which was always too strong or not accurate enough and in the speed of his vision."
THE NATION WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 27, 2013
Forlan and Uruguayan glory, a family affair
Diego Forlan’s family and the Uruguayan national team are inextricably linked, with the current Celeste star’s father, Pablo Forlan, and his grandfather, Juan Carlos Corazzo, having both enjoyed success in the iconic sky-blue shirt. Far from letting their fame weigh heavy on his shoulders, Diego has made his own contribution to the footballing history of a nation that, when compared to the relative populations and geographical size of neighbours and rivals Brazil and Argentina, has traditionally punched far above its weight. Chosen as the best player at the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa, Forlan attributes his success to commitment and respect for Charrúa football tradition – elements he has been brought up with since birth. And by appearing in last week’s 5-0 away win over Jordan in the first leg of the pair’s intercontinental play-off, Forlan also helped Uruguay move to the brink of a 12th FIFA World Cup finals. What's more, Brazil 2014 would be extra-special for two very good reasons: firstly, the chance to defend his adidas Golden Ball crown and secondly, performing in the nation where he currently plays his club football for Porto Alegre’s Internacional, a team his father also graced for many years. In the days leading up to the first leg against Jordan, Forlan spoke to FIFA.com about luck, his unique family and the roller coaster ride that was South Africa 2010. the blue, the white or the red shirt. That aside, red isn’t representative of Uruguay. So I went to have a word with the kitman, who’s been with us with ages. I asked him why we were playing in red and whether we could use the white shirt, which is one of the colours on our flag. He agreed and asked me to speak to [team captain Diego] Lugano, the coach and the officials. So off I went, speaking to people. Everyone agreed, we changed back to the white shirt and, in the first game in it, we won 3-0. Besides which, it looks nicer, people liked it and it ended up being a big seller. Once again, Uruguay struggled in World Cup qualifying and are involved in the play-offs for Brazil 2014. How does a team that found the going so tough in qualifying then go on to reach the semi-finals, like La Celeste did at South Africa 2010?
For us Uruguayans, the qualifiers are always very tough. Every game is difficult and we always want to reach the World Cup. For Uruguayan people, that’s an absolute must. Football means so much to our country and missing out on the 2006 World Cup in Germany was really painful. Then, ahead of the 2010 finals, we had to go through a playoff against Costa Rica. But, once we’d qualified, we felt
that the work put in since we failed to reach the 2006 World Cup had borne fruit – so we could now go on and make the most of the World Cup. You certainly did that at South Africa 2010, to the extent that you won the adidas Golden Ball, an award previously won by fellow South Americans like Ronaldo, Romario, Diego Maradona… It’s unbelievable! You go down in history. For my name
Whenever I was with him, people would say: “Look, there’s Forlan’s son!” That used to make me feel proud. Three generations of my family have been crowned South American champions with Uruguay. I don’t think there’s another like it in the world – it’s gone down in history.
OOTBALLING success runs in your family, with you having followed in the footsteps of your father and grandfather. What’s your view on that legacy? As a boy, it was always really nice knowing that my dad was well-known. Whenever I was with him, people would say: “Look, there’s Forlan’s son!” That used to make me feel proud. Three generations of my family have been crowned South American champions with Uruguay. I don’t think there’s another like it in the world – it’s gone down in history. It’s a tradition that was passed down to me and one which I, though I don’t have a son yet, will tell him about when I do. It’s a sensational feeling. That’s how I see it and that’s how my dad must see it too. I think that it must make him very happy. Would you agree that tradition is something you place great stock on in your personal and professional life? Yes, one example was at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, when we were preparing to take on the hosts. We’d been using a red shirt as part of our away kit, but there’s no red on the Uruguayan flag… People were saying that’s why we didn’t win when we weren’t wearing our normal kit but, after thinking about it, I realised that the colour wasn’t the problem, as we weren’t winning games with
to be alongside players like that is really incredible, sometimes I can’t even believe it myself. I was in very good shape that year. I’d been training hard and also doing additional work with a personal trainer. Not long before the World Cup I played for Atletico de Madrid in the final of the Copa del Rey, which we lost against Sevilla. But we also reached the final of the UEFA Cup, when we beat Fulham, all of which helped me go into the finals on form. Allied to that was the fact most of our squad had been together since the 2007 Copa America. In Uruguay’s run to the last four on African soil, you witnessed first-hand one of the most unusual and dramatic moments of that final tournament: Luis Suarez’s goalsaving handball against Ghana. Where were you and what was going through your mind? I was in the middle of the
park. I remember that there was a free-kick taken from near the box. After they sent the cross in, the ball started pinging about from one side to another. All I could think about was that someone had to clear the ball out of there as quickly as possible, but all the while, it kept pinging around the box until boom! Suarez stuck out a hand! I stopped dead in the centre of the field, right where I’d been standing. Ghana had a penalty in the last minute of extra time. To be honest, I already started thinking about our flight home, I couldn’t think of anything else at that moment. But when the guy [Asamoah Gyan] hit the penalty against the bar and over, I could feel the relief right in my stomach. It was unbelievable. Was that a stroke of luck or did ability play a part too? Uruguay aren’t one of those national teams that get much luck. We have to play really well if we want to achieve our objectives. We’re not like Brazil, for example, who play really well but always get a healthy slice of luck too. Don’t get me wrong, I must explain that I’m not saying Brazil have been successful through luck, of course not. Brazil have great players and a really strong footballing tradition. What I mean is that for us to beat Brazil, for example, we need to play at 200 per cent. If we only play at 70 per cent of our capabilities against Brazil it’s impossible to beat them.
THE NATION WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 27, 2013
EQUITIES NIGERIAN STOCK EXCHANGE DAILY SUMMARY AS AT 26-11-13
Bearish rally bites harder as equities lose N79b
HE profit-taking trend at the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) became stronger yesterday as investors appeared to be scrambling to monetise and lock-in recent capital gains. With more open market sell orders than buy orders, most equities ended on the downside. Average return at the stock market dropped by 0.63 per cent, implying a loss of N79 billion in market capitalisation of quoted equities. Aggregate market value of all equities dropped from N12.545 trillion to N12.466 trillion. The All Share Index (ASI), the benchmark index that tracks all equities on the NSE, slipped from 39,222.02 points to 38,975.16 points. Average year-to-date return at the stock market consequently dropped to 38.81 per cent. Besides the preponderance of losers to gainers, losses by several highly capitalised stocks also exacerbated the downtrend. Top-20 stocks
By Taofik Salako
dominated the 34-stock losers’ list. Nigerian Breweries topped the losers’ list with a loss of N4.99 to close at N165.02. Mobil Oil Nigeria followed with a loss of N1.50 to close at N114.50. PZ Cussons Nigeria lost N1.30 to close at N36.50. Cadbury Nigeria and Dangote Cement dropped by N1 each to close at N57 and N194 . FBN Holdings declined by 74 kobo to close at N16.03. Oando dropped by 54 kobo to close at N15. Transnational Corporation of Nigeria (Transcorp) lost 51 kobo to close at N4.80. Unilever Nigeria slipped by 46 kobo to close at N61.40. United Bank for Africa (UBA) dropped by 35 kobo to close at N7.50 while Cement Company of Northern Nigeria, National Salt Company of Nigeria and Guaranty Trust Bank lost 30 kobo each to close at N9.68, N12.80 and N27.50. The profit-taking trend was
evident on Transcorp, which remained the most active in the downtrend as it was during the uptrend. Transcorp recorded the highest turnover of 68.04 million shares valued at N336.42 million in 239 deals. Oando followed on the activity chart with a turnover of 44.14 million shares valued at N650.23 million in 581 deals. Wapic Insurance trailed with a turnover of 41.23 million shares worth N41.08 million in 83 deals. Banking subgroup accounted for 150.42 million shares valued at N1.94 billion in 1,883 deals. Insurance subsector recorded a turnover of 87.88 million shares worth N85.34 million in 347 deals. Altogether, total turnover stood at 449.13 million shares worth N4.81 billion in 6,247 deals. On the upside, Nestle Nigeria topped the gainers’ list with a gain of N53 to close at N1,250. Total Nigeria followed with a gain of N3.90 to close at N164. CAP added N1.60 to close at N50.45. Flour Mills of Nigeria rose by N1.40 to close at N85. Ecobank Transnational Incorporated chalked up 71 kobo to close at N14.99 while BOC Gases gained 31 kobo to close at N6.66 per share.
NIGERIAN STOCK EXCHANGE DAILY SUMMARY AS AT 26-11-13
THE NATION WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 27, 2013
How to grow the economy, by Onasanya
HE Group Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of FirstBank of Nigeria, Bisi Onasanya has said the growth of the Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) holds the key to sustainable development and long term survival of the economy. Speaking yesterday at the bank’s maiden SME Connect National Conference in Lagos, he said SMEs will ensure the provision of alternative employment opportunities for millions of unemployed within the population. He said the conference with theme: ‘SME’s at the Heart of national development; creativity, capacity and capital’, aligns with the lender’s thrust for excellence in thought leadership, influencing policy and financial inclusion. He said with the bank is in a position to understand the needs of SMEs and do more in promoting the subsector’s development based on its industrial experience. Lagos State Governor, Babatunde Fashola (SAN) said SME subsector is key in job creation, enhances export earnings, poverty reduction, wealth creation, income redistribution and reduction in income inequality. Fashola, who was represented by the state Commissioner of Finance Ayodeji Gbeleyi said the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) recognises that at all levels of development, SMEs have a significant role to play in economic development. He said SMEs constitute over 90 per cent of enterprises in the world and
Joe Keshi is UBA Chairman
Stories by Collins Nweze
account for about 60 per cent of employment. He said SMEs play important roles in employment generation and poverty reduction. He said the total number of SMEs in Nigeria is over 17 million, adding that the subsector has not performed to its full potential. “Therefore, the vital and vibrant roles that they play in the economic growth and development of other countries have not quite been mirrored in Nigeria. Most of the challenges the SMEs face arises from the need to have a mode of operation of the enterprise. Some of these challenges include lack of effective policies or appropriate legal framework, financial constraints and access to credit, poor infrastructure and, most especially unstable power supply, lack of skilled labour and poor ethical conduct. In most cases, our SMEs routinely operate outside the normal structure of the economy; they ignore extant laws and regulations and continued to be somewhat indifferent to changing trends both domestically and globally,” he said. Speaking at the conference, the CEO of The Chair Centre Group, Mrs. Ibukun Awosika, said SME operators should take advantage of reforms in the power sector and grow their businesses. She said technology acumen should be pursued by SME operators as that’s the future for would be successful entrepreneur. Awosika, delivering a keynote address, said entrepreneurs should be smart, wise and creative in identify-
ing a niche market they can explore for their benefits. Also addressing entrepreneurs at the conference, the founder of Konga.com and DealDey.com, Mr Sim Shagaya said the commerce spirit of Nigerians must be revived and that technology is changing the business world, gaining widespread acceptance and e-commerce is driving it. He said businessmen should face challenges as that is the true test of their resolve to succeed or not,and should ensure proper accounts book in order to be able to access funds from banks.
3-Year 5-Year 5-Year
35m 35m 35m
11.039 12.23 13.19
19-05-2014 18-05-2016 19-05-2016
HE Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) yesterday engaged maverick artist Charles Oputa (Charlie Boy) to help it to convince residents of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) to sell to embrace cash-less policy. Some staff from the CBN led by the Deputy Governor, Operations, Mr Tunde Lemo, accompanied Charlie Boy on the campaign train to Abuja’s biggest trading location, Wuse market. Lemo told journalists at the rally that the campaign was to enable the apex bank create the much-needed
From Nduka Chiejina (Assistant Editor), Abuja
awareness about the importance of the policy. Most of the challenges that could have militated against the smooth take-off of the policy, he said, had been addressed by the CBN. The next phase of the policy, Lemo added, is the roll out of mobile money that would ease cashless transactions. He said the CBN was “rolling out rapid mobile money to make us comfortable and its part of the chal-
OBB Rate Call Rate
Current Market 5495.33 N552.20
WHOLESALE DUTCH AUCTION SYSTEM Amount Offered ($) 350m 350m
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 26-11-13 2013-11-25
COSTAIN 0.69 PRESTIGE 0.66 WEMABANK 1.17 AIICO 0.85 ETI 14.28 BOCGAS 6.35 NESTLE 1,197.00 AIRSERVICE 3.41 CAP 48.85 NEIMETH 1.00
0.75 0.70 1.24 0.90 14.99 6.66 1,250.00 3.55 50.45 1.03
%CHANGE 8.70 6.06 5.98 5.88 4.97 4.88 4.43 4.11 3.28 3.00
LOSERS AS AT 26-11-13
SYMBOL TRANSCORP UNITYBNK ETERNA RTBRISCOE LIVESTOCK UBA FBNH IKEJAHOTEL MANSARD ROYALEX
O/PRICE 5.31 0.65 4.60 1.21 5.13 7.85 16.77 0.68 2.30 0.52
C/PRICE 4.80 0.59 4.37 1.15 4.88 7.50 16.03 0.65 2.20 0.50
Year Start Offer
Amount Sold ($) 150m 138m
Exchange Rate (N) 155.2 155.8
Date 2-7-12 27-6-12
NGN USD NGN GBP
NGN EUR NIGERIA INTER BANK (S/N) (S/N) Bureau de Change (S/N) Parallel Market
DISCOUNT WINDOW Feb. ’11
Standing Lending Rate ,, Deposit Rate ,, Liquidity Ratio Cash Return Rate Inflation Rate
8.50% 4.50% 25.00% 1.00% 12.10%
8.50% 4.50% 25.00% 2.00% 12.10%
9.50% 5.50% 30.00% 2.00% 11.8%
NIBOR Tenor 7 Days 30 Days 60 Days 150 Days
Rate (Previous) 4 Mar, 2012 9.0417 9.6667 11.2917 12.1250
Rate (Currency) 6, Mar, 2012 10.17% 11.46% 11.96% 12.54%
CAPITAL MARKET INDEX
CUV Start %
%CHANGE -9.60 -9.23 -5.00 -4.96 -4.87 -4.46 -4.41 -4.41 -4.35 -3.85
Amount Demanded ($) 150m 138m
EXHANGE RATE 6-03-12 Currency
INTERBANK RATES 7.9-10% 10-11%
lenges that we are removing’’. “Mobile money will soon become a virtual POS and with mobile money, 120 million Nigerians who have mobile phones would benefit from the initiative,” he said. When the mobile ‘money unitive’ kicks off, Lemo said: “Every Nigerian is going to be a POS on his own, apart from the fact that through mobile money you can spend, receive money. And what we are saying is that every Nigerian will become a virtual branch of a bank because you go to your bank to lodge and withdraw money.”
MANAGED FUNDS Initial Quotation Price N8250.00 N1000.00
The Board also appointed Mrs. Rose Ada Okwechime as Vice Chairman. Mrs Okwechime is the Managing Director of the Abbey Building Society Plc and has played a leading role in financial services for over 20 years, including a stint at the Bank of England. Both appointments took effect from November 21. Speaking on his appointment, Keshi said: “I am touched that my fellow board members have asked me to chair the Board. Chief Ogbue has raised the bar on governance, transparency and business growth. We will sustain the strong governance and risk management structures in place and maintain the momentum of our pan-African growth strategy.” Chief Executive Officer, Phillips Oduoza, said: “We are looking forward to working with the new chairman and vice chairman, even as we will miss the wise counsel and insights of Chief Ogbue. We are privileged to have the combined experience of Ambassador Keshi and Mrs Okwechime, one of the four distinguished women on our board.”
CBN takes cash-less campaign to Abuja
FGN BONDS Tenor
NITED Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc has appointed Ambassador Joe Keshi as Chairman. In a statement, the bank said Keshi was appointed to the Board of UBA in 2010 and was made Vice Chairman on January 1, 2011. He had over 35 years experience in the civil service. He was a career diplomat, served as Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Permanent Secretary, Cabinet Secretariat, The Presidency, Charge d’Affaires, Embassy of Nigeria, The Hague, Netherlands and ConsulGeneral of Nigeria, Atlanta, Georgia. It said Keshi’s appointment followed the retirement of Israel Ogbue, a member of the UBA Board since 2005 and Chairman since January 1, 2011. “It has been a pleasure serving the bank. I have worked with a group of men and women who have been responsible for forging an extraordinary transformation in Nigerian and African banking. Ambassador Keshi is an admirable choice to lead the Bank in its next growth phase,” said Ogbue.
NSE CAP Index
19-09-13 11.432.09 35,891.90
23-09-13 11.494.75 36,088.64
% Change -
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THE NATION WEDNESDAY NOVEMBER 27, 2013
HE leader of the Niger Delta People’s Volunteer Force, Alhaji Mujahid Dokubo-Asari, was arrested yesterday in Cotonou, Benin Republic. A statement by his lawyer, Festus Keyamo, said Dokubo was picked up by the police between 1pm and 2pm around the Lubeleyi Roundabout and taken to an unknown destination. The wealthy former militant reportedly opened a private university in the Benin Republic, the King Amachree African University, which is preparing to
start degree-awarding programmes next year. “We want to emphasise that Alhaji Dokubo-Asari carries out a legitimate business and has been living partly in Benin Republic for many years now,” Keyamo said in his statement. “ I n f a c t, he owns houses, schools and an academy in that country. All these places have been searched as at this evening (yesterday evening) and nothing incriminating was found.”
Akwa Ibom to erect foot bridges
KWA Ibom State Governor Godswill Akpabio yesterday assured indigenes of government’s plan to erect more pedestrian bridges in Uyo, the state capital. Akpabio, who was on an inspection tour of the newlybuilt corrugated foot bridge on Edet Akpan Avenue, said his administration would erect more pedestrian bridges at strategic locations to modernise the state and ensure the safety of pedestrians. The foot bridge on Edet Akpan Avenue was built by Nigerpet Company. A new one is to be erected on Ikot Ekpene Road near University of Uyo. Governor Akpabio said the bridges would ensure security of life and add value to the state. He said: “More of the pedestrian bridges will spring
From Kazeem Ibrahym, Uyo
up in strategic locations in the city to turn Akwa Ibom to a modern state. “We want to avoid accidents so that pedestrians don’t cluster there and try to cross over. We will provide a foot bridge at least on a dualised thoroughfare to the state.” The governor said the building of pedestrian bridges was part of his administration’s transformation agenda. His words: “This is part of the strategy of the uncommon transformation and I believe that with the beauty of the foot bridge, people would want to come here and replicate what they are seeing in other parts of the country.”
Corporal ‘kills’ police inspector in Edo
POLICE corporal, identified as Ozeigbe Omobunde, has allegedly killed a police inspector, who was going for an official duty in a bank on the Benin-Agbor Road. The incident occurred about 8pm on Monday on Iyoha Road, near Guinness Nigeria Plc, Benin plant. The identity of the slain inspector could not be ascertained at press time. It was learnt that the fleeing suspect shot another cor-
From Osagie Otabor, Benin
poral identified as Ayinla. The inspector’s body has been deposited in an undisclosed hospital, while the injured corporal is receiving treatment in the same hospital. Police spokesman Moses Eguavoen said he was yet to receive a signal about the incident. He promised to call back as soon as he gets the signal.
• His Royal Highness Omo n’Oba n’Edo Uku Akpolokpolo Erediauwa, Oba of Benin (left), receiving Hajia Aishetu Oshiomhole, Governor Adams Oshiomhole’s mother, during her visit to the royal father in his palace...yesterday.
Nyako berates Akpabio on G7 comment
O V E R N O R Murtala Nyako of Adamawa State has urged President Goodluck Jonathan to be wary of politicians, who drive away people from him through their arrogant disposition. He was reacting to a statement credited to his Akwa-Ibom State counterpart, Godswill Akpabio, who said there would be a rebellion in the states of the G7 Governors. Nyako urged the President to have it in mind that people like Akpabio would be among the first to leave him if they discovered that his supporters had deserted him. Nyako, who spoke through his Director, Press and Public Affairs, Ahmad Sajoh, said Adamawa government would have ignored Akpabio’s statement, but for his (Akpabio’s)
From Barnabas Manyam,Yola
closeness to the presidency and the utterances of some Bamanga Tukur-led PDP members in the state, who were eager to foment trouble. Said he: “We view Governor Akpabio’s closeness to the presidency and his ignominious role in the 16 is greater than 19 debacle as too obvious to be ignored. “It is therefore in consideration of the above reasons that we see the veiled threat by the Akwa-Ibom governor as a pointer to the possibility of incitement of civil revolt in our state. “We equally capture the allusion to the abuse of the President’s humility and patience as a direct threat to the effect that they will advise him (the President) to take drastic measures against the G7 Governors. “Considering
that a peaceful meeting of the governors was recently interrupted by a DPO, it means that any threat from either presidential advisers or acolytes should be viewed seriously.” Nyako urged President Jonathan to be wary of those trying to keep people away
from him, saying such people would soon betray him. He reiterated his commitment to provide effective leadership to the people and enjoined them to resist attempt by desperate politicians bent on creating disharmony in the state.
Oshiomhole sets up panel to probe council chair, others
OVERNOR Adams Oshiomhole of Edo State has inaugurated a panel of enquiry to probe the suspended chairman, vice- chairman, secretary and councillors of Orhionmwon Local Government, who allegedly travelled to Italy without permission. Inaugurating the panel in Benin City yesterday, the governor said government’s action was in line with the Local Government Act. He said: “We are founded as a government on the principle of social democracy, accountability, transparency and respect for the electorate. We depend on votes, we don’t depend on rigging and we know that for us to attract votes, government must function and it functions better when at various levels of government, the three ties of government complement each other. “With the state and local governments working together, we will render services to our people. However, it is now a matter of public secret that the chairman, vice- chairman, secretary and councillors of
From Osemwengie Ben Ogbemudia, Benin
Orhionmwan Local Government left the country allegedly to Italy at the same time without anybody’s permission. “I only got to know of it when I was watching news on the TV and I saw people protesting that the entire government was out of the country. I was concerned, I made some preliminary checks and found that there was some truth in it.” Oshiomhole added: “In line with the Local Government Act, when a local government official has misbehaved, we are obliged in law to set up an inquiry to give those accused of wrongdoing the opportunity to explain. “In accordance with the law, the House of Assembly has approved the suspension, while this inquiry is on, initially for two months. I believe the issues are not so complicated that they cannot be established within the time frame of the panel, that is within a month or a month and a half.
Proprietress gets two years for dud cheque
•Man jailed for rape
N Asaba High Court has sentenced a school proprietress, Mrs. Esther Onekpe, to two years imprisonment with hard labour for issuing a N4 million dud cheque to a bank where she obtained an overdraft facility. Mrs. Onekpe r e p o r t e d l y obtained an overdraft of N4 million from the Asaba branch of the
From Aiwerie Okungbowa, Asaba
United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc to boost her diesel business, but used the money to build a school. An Ogwashi-Uku High Court has also sentenced a 44-year-old man, Tony Okogwu, to seven years imprisonment for raping a 16-year- old girl (name withheld) in a bush.
THE NATION WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 27, 2013
NEWS ‘No mass wedding in Kaduna’
Firm creates 5,000 jobs THE company engaged in the reactivation of the thermal power plant and one of the rolling mills of Ajaokuta Steel Company in Kogi State, Reprom Nigeria Ltd, has employed 5,000 Nigerians. The Managing Director, Attah Achimugu, assured that more Nigerians would be employed as its expansion programme continues. Reprom Nigeria is in partnership with a Ukrainian National Foreign Corporation (UNFEC) to reactivate the company. Achimugu addedthat equipment for the reactivation of the plant have been cleared and received at the steel plant. "The company is only awaiting the delivery of turbine and transfer oils next week."
From Kolade Adeyemi, Kano
ADUNA State government yesterday said it was not its responsibility to sponsor or organise mass wedding for divorcees and widows. Governor Mukhtar Yero said it was the responsibility of the family. The governor said he had no plans to emulate the mass wedding scheme being carried out in northern states. Yero attributed the increase in divorce cases in the North to bad orientation. "It is not our responsibility; it is that of the family. This is why we are preaching the need for moral restoration." The governor spoke after being honoured as the "Icon of Peace" at the Kannywood Award Night in Kano. He urged actresses in Kannywood to get married, stressing that many young girls see them as role models. "Please for the actresses yet to marry, they should do so because they are role models."
12 'robbers' arrested From El-Zaharadeen Umar, Katsina
HE police in Katsina State have arrested 12 robbery suspects, including a 12-year-old boy. Police spokesman Aminu Sadiq said some good Samaritans in Tudun Matawalle quarters gave us a lead. "We mobilised our men to the scene; arrested the suspects, including a 12-year-old boy and recovered two knives, four hacksaws, one axe, one local pistol and one toy gun as well as a laptop computer."
Yero sends nominees to House From Tony Akowe, Kaduna
ADUNA State Governor Mukthar Yero has sent the names of the ex-Speaker, Basir Zubairu; former member of the House of Representatives, Ado Dogo Audu and some council chairmen to the House of Assembly for confirmation as commissioners. The governor, in September, sacked the Executive Council he inherited from the late Governor, Patrick Yakowa. Others on the list include ex-commissioners Everton Yari (Health) and Nasiru Aliyu Damau (Inter-Governmental Affairs). Also included are exchairmen - Ahmed Shehu Giant (Kaduna North); Joseph Thot (Jaba); Isaac Bodam (Kaura); Madami Garba Madami (Chikun); Mrs. Comfort Amwe (Sanga); Joshua Shekarau Uchissa (Lere) and Kasimu Lawal Abubakar (Sabon Gari). In a November 15 letter to the Speaker, the governor said: "I hereby submit to the Kaduna State House of Assembly, the list of nominees for clearance to enable their appointment into the Kaduna State Executive Council."
•President Goodluck Jonathan receiving the letter of credence from the United States Ambassador, James Entwistle, at the Presidential Villa, Abuja... yesterday. With them is the Supervising Minister of Foreign Affairs, Prof. Viola Onwuliri. PHOTO AKIN OLADOKUN
Gunmen kill 45 in Plateau M
ULTIPLE attacks on four communities in Barkin Ladi Local Government Area of Plateau State have left 45 people dead. The four villages are Tatu, Rawuru, Bok, and Dorang, all from Fan district. The attack came just two days after Governor Jonah Jang raised the alarm on a plot to attack the state. The attack was said to have been carried out simultaneously early yesterday, according to the village head of Tatu, Da Pam Gyang. The victims have been buried by relatives in mass graves. It was gathered that over 10 persons escaped death during the attack. It was a gory sight when our correspondent visited the area. Some victims were burnt beyond recognition inside their houses. Many survivors were seen relocating to the council headquarters; some went to Jos with their families. A member of Rawuru , who gave his name as Dalyop Shom, said: "We have to run away now. We thought we lived with the Special Task Force and are protected. But these attacks prove contrary. "I have no hope in security agencies, I have to go and take refuge wherever my safety and that of my
•Including family of seven •STF: figure was 37 •Victims buried From Yusufu Aminu Idegu, Jos
children is guaranteed." Another villager, Jok Chollom, said: "The gunmen stormed my relative's house at 12:30am and killed the father, the mother and their seven children." Chollom vowed not to sleep in the village again. "I don't feel safe in this village anymore, the security agencies did not come to the aid of the community. "At 1am yesterday, I started hearing gunshots; I rushed out and saw bodies of members of my community. They were killed in their sleep. "Our village was under siege for more than one hour, with no help from any security agencies in the area." Pam Yakubu, who lost six relatives, said: "The gunmen started shooting sporadically. I managed to escape. When I returned from my hideout, there was blood and bodies everywhere. They killed my neighbours Davou, Yop, Sarah, Felix, Timothy and Dung. "The strategies adopted by
Man remanded for ‘murder’
MAGISTRATE's Court in Minna, Niger State, has ordered that a 24-year-old farmer, Danladi Abubakar, be remanded in prison for allegedly beheading an 11month-old baby. Abubakar, who is facing a one-count charge of culpable homicide punishable under Section 222 of the Penal Code, was alleged to have sneaked into the baby's room and stole the tot before beheading it. The accused told the court that he was contracted by a man in Bida for N20,000. The incident at Fujeregi in Gbako Local Government
From Jide Orintunsin, Minna
Area, caused the community to raise a search team, which was unsuccessful. It was gathered that the people resorted to prayers, which they believed led the accused to make a confession. The incident was reported to the police and the accused was charged to court, where he pleaded guilty. The Magistrate, Maryam Ladidi King, ordered that the accused be remanded in prison custody, pending the advice of the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP). No date has been fixed for hearing.
the attackers show that they must be professionals. They spoke good English." He appealed to security operatives to strengthen security around the council to prevent a recurrence. Speaking to reporters at one of the graveyards, President of Church of Christ In Nations (COCIN) Soja Bewarang, described the attacks as an attempt to wipe out the people. Rev Bewarang said: "Although security operatives around, the gunmen still entered the communities and embarked on this brutal and inhuman affair. He called on the government and the Special Task Force to restore order to the state. The Interim Sole Administrator of Barkin Ladi, Habila Dung, described the killings as barbaric. He said: "The high number of deaths in these attacks gave the suspicion of ethnic cleansing; the gunmen intended to wipe out these people.’’ Dung said:" I got a call at about 1 am yesterday that hundreds of gunmen had stormed the villages.I noti-
fied security operatives." A statement by the Special Task Force (STF) on Jos crises reads: "This is to inform the public that on November 26 at 2am, unknown gunmen carried out coordinated attacks in Katu Kapang, Daron, Tul and Rawuru villages of Barkin Ladi and Mangu Local Government Areas." The statement, which was signed by its media officer, Capt Salisu Mustapha, said: "The attackers killed about 13 persons in Katu Kapang, eight in Daron, nine in Tul and seven others in Rawuru. Five people were reportedly injured. "On receiving the report, STF personnel moved to the scene to bring the situation under control but the gunmen fled on sighting the troops. The situation was, however, brought under control by men of the STF. "The Commander of the Task Force, Maj-Gen David Enetie, has visited the villages to assess the situation. The Plateau State government said the attack was an attempt to prevent the Jonah Jang administration from consolidating on the peace in the state, particularly in Barkin Ladi . Jang, last Sunday, at the COCIN headquarters raised the alarm that forces were on their way to wreck havoc on the state.
Group celebrates anniversary From Tayo Johnson, Ibadan
A CHARITY group, Ile Aanu Maternity Home(IAMH), yesterday celebrated its 23-year-anniversary. The foundation is an arm of the Christ Apostolic Church, Olorun Wibee, Ijokodo, Ibadan, under the leadership of Pastor Peter Adedigba and Prophetess Dorcas Adedigba. The project manager, Dr Kunle Adedigba, said that the foundation started as a charity maternity home in July 1990 and has saved 5,000 expectant mothers and 10,000 children. He said it offers free delivery services to women and children. Adedigba said: “The foundation is funded by the church and personal donors. We discovered that we have had so much and we deemed it fit to convert the charity maternity centre to a foundation called IAMCCF.” He said every fortnight Thursdays, they give donations to the motherless babies homes, the physically-challenged and prisons. According to him, the maternity centre has never recorded any still birth or maternal mortality since its inception.
PUBLIC NOTICE ACHIBIRI: I, formerly known and addressed as Miss Achibiri Roseline Ugonna now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs Richard Rose Ugonna. All former documents remain valid. General public take note.
I, Mr Sunny Onyema of 33 Afolabi Obe street Ori-oke. ejigbo. Lagos notify the general public that I have applied to the LSDPC for its consent to change ownership of a wing semi-detached bungalow at 285B orange cresent LSDPC Estate Oke-afa,Isolo.Lagos which was originally allocated to Chief Calistus I. Nwawolo I have made series of efforts to contact Chief Calistus I. Nwawolo the assignor from whom I brought the property, but all efforts have proved abortive. I hereby indemnify the corporation against any future claims that may arise if my application is granted, and undertake to pay cost of any dispute that may arise on same. LSDPC, Chief Calistus I. Nwawolo and The General public, please take note.
THE NATION WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 27, 2013
NEWS Reps suspend plenary over colleague's death
Auto dealers seek Senate’s intervention on new policy T V
EHICLES dealers are pushing for an extension of the deadline for the implementation of the National Automotive Policy, which they say will affect their trade negatively and give their competitors an unfair advantage. The Auto Manufacturers Representative Group petitioned the Senate over alleged “insider abuse” of the policy by Stallion Group of Companies. The group, which met with the Senate Committee on Trade, requested the upper chamber to prevail on the government to extend the deadline for the implementation of the policy by at least 24 months. Coscharis Motors boss Cosmas Maduka, who spoke on behalf of other members, said they decided to ask for more time to enable industry players take the policy to their principals. Maduka also said members of the group wanted a level playing field to avoid a situation where a single player will run others out. He noted that Stallion Group, within 24 hours of the announcement of the policy, registered Form M for the importation of over 14,000 cars. He said the government should guard against “un-
•Senate petitioned on ‘breach of policy’ From Onyedi Ojiabor and Sanni Onogu, Abuja
necessary monopoly”. Minister of Trade and Investment Olusegun Aganga said the group was with him on Monday. Aganga, who said the group did not oppose the policy, said the complaints of the auto dealers would be “looked into”. Maduka said: “There was a policy on automobile promulgated by the Federal Government, a new way to go for Nigeria automobile industry, which is welcome by all the Automobile Manufacturers Association of Nigeria. “But all we are asking is an extension of the deadline because we just heard about the policy. “The policy was promulgated on October 2 and the deadline was on October 3. There was a transformation that took place in the banking sector. Banks were asked to raise their capital and time was given to them to comply. “This is about investment; we need to talk to our principals - Toyota Japan, BMW Munich AG, KIA Motors of Korea and others. “We need to show them that this is government
policy; please, queue up. “If you don’t queue up, you will lose your market share. They will study this policy and tell us what they want to do. “That is all we are asking government, please, give us time to talk to our principals and come up with our own plan, but put up your own deadline whether we meet it or not that is our own business. “But don’t tell us it is already started when you are talking to us today. We are not spirits, there is no way we could have known what you wanted to do. “To worsen the matter, one of the players in the industry had insider information about the government policy which, for us, is criminal. “Under 24 hours of the announcement of the policy, the player went and registered Form M for over 14,000 units of vehicles and opened LC to import cars on the old duty while the rest of us will pay 70 per cent as the case may be to be able to import the same cars. “How do we compete in the same market? “All we are asking for is that all players should be made to pay the current
duty or we should be given time to meet up so that we can also register our own Form M and do our business. “We are saying don’t encourage monopoly by giving one person undue advantage. A transparent policy that gives a level playing ground to everybody is all we are asking for. “By 18 or 24 months from today we know those who are ready to play this game.” The petition, titled “Re: Measures to transform the Nigerian automotive industry and attract investment into the sector” was signed by representatives of Toyota (Nigeria) Limited, CFAO Automotive Group, Mercedes Benz Nigeria, Globe Motors Holdings, KIA Motors Nigeria, Coscharis Group, Kewalram Chanrai Group and Briscoe Ford. The chairman of the Senate Committee, Odion Ugbesia, said the committee would look into the group’s complaints. Ugbesia also said the group must tell the government the value it planned to bring into the sector for the benefit of the country.
•Ebonyi State Commissioner for Information and Orientation Chike Onwe (middle) presenting a laptop to Nwachi Amanatullah Uro (left) during the distribution of Zakat proceeds to 55 beneficiaries by Zakat and Sadaqat Foundation (ZSF) ....yesterday. With them is ZSF Executive Director, Imam Abdullahi Shuaib.
HE death of a member of the House of Representatives, Raphael Oloye Nomiye, caused the House to suspend plenary till today. Nomiye, who died last Friday in his Gwarimpa, Abuja home, represented Ondo/Ilaje/ Ese Odo in Ondo State on the platform of the Labour Party (LP). After examining and approving the votes and proceedings of the last sitting, Speaker Aminu Tambuwal announced the suspension of plenary in honour of Nomiye. He said: "It is with a heavy heart that I announce the passage of our colleague, Raphael Oloye Nomiye, whose sad event occurred on Friday." Tambuwal announced the suspension of legislative activities, saying: "Honourable colleagues, in keeping with the rules of the House, the House will suspend plenary and all activities in honour of the deceased. This morning (yesterday), I also got a call from the Senate President, who said the Senate suspended plenary in
From Victor Oluwasegun and Dele Anofi
honour of the deceased. The House hereby adjourns plenary until tomorrow (today)." House Leader Mulikat Akande moved for the suspension of plenary and Deputy House Leader Leo Ogor seconded the motion. Christian and Muslim members said prayers for the repose of Nomiye's soul. Tambuwal told reporters, after signing the condolence register with other members of the House, that the late Nomiye was a committed lawmaker. According to him, the House will miss the late legislator. He said: "He was a man of peace, a very humble, very gentle character. He never approached me, and I am sure any member of the leadership, with any form of complaint. He was a very, very committed legislator, always attending the duties and callings, be they here at the plenary or at the committee level. We shall surely miss him. May his soul rest in peace."
Anambra awards N27.51b contracts
HE Anambra State government yesterday approved contracts worth N27.515 billion. The decision was taken at the Executive Council Meeting yesterday in Awka. Briefing reporters, the Commissioner for Information, Culture and Tourism, Joe Martins Uzodike, listed the contracts as the new Government House, Governor's Lodge, House of Assembly building, Judiciary headquarters, as well as official residences of the Speaker and the Chief Judge. Others include a shopping mall at Nnewi at N3 billion, rehabilitation of Upper Iweka flyover to Zik's roundabout in Onitsha at N3.5 billion. The council also approved the rehabilitation of the expressway from Amansea to Amawbia
From Nwanosike Onu, Awka
with street lights in the state capital at N5 billion, Afor Umunya-Odumodu junction to Enugu-Onitsha Expressway (N240 million), AchinaOnneh-Agbudu-Ogboji road (N770 million), Nnokwa Ichida road (N580 million), Nkitaku-Obe -Agulu General Hospital road (N600 million), Umunnamehi-Ihial-Uli road and internal roads at Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital, Ihiala (N300 million) and Okpuno Awka erosion control channel (N220 million). In addition, there are Aguluzoigbo roads (N1.8 billion), Ndikelionwu road (N136 million) and review and publishing of Anambra State Laws Vol 1-10 (N40 million).
‘Stop supplementary election’
NON-GOVERNMENTAL organisation, Sensitisation Initiative for Grassroots (SIG), has sued the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) at the Federal High Court, Abuja, seeking to stop it from conducting the poll on Saturday. The plaintiff is asking the court to determine whether INEC, within the provisions of sections 25, 26 and 153 of the Electoral Act ( 2010) as amended, has power to declare the November 16 and 17 governorship election in the
From Eric Ikhilae, Abuja state inconclusive. They also want the court to determine whether the electoral umpire, by the provisions of Section 178 and 179, has power to call for a supplementary election upon the inconclusiveness of the election. The plaintiffs are urging the court to hold that the term “supplementary election” is alien to the Electoral Act 2010, as amended, and has never been contemplated under the provisions of the constitution.
Judge withdraws from suit against Leadership reporters
USTICE Peter Affen of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja yesterday withdrew from adjudicating the forgery case filed against two LEADERSHIP reporters by the Federal Government. His withdrawal followed a report that the case file was withdrawn from Justice Usman Musale, without any application from parties, and re-assigned to Justice Affen, who hails from Bayelsa, the same state as President Goodluck Jonathan. The Federal Government filed the criminal charge against the Group News Editor of the newspaper, Mr. Tony Amokeodo and
From Eric Ikhilae, Abuja
political correspondent, Chibuzor Ukaibe. In the charge, it was alleged that they forged a letter from the Presidency. During yesterday's proceeding, Justice Affen said he is withdrawing from the case to protect his integrity and that of the judiciary. Justice Affen is the third judge to handle the case since the action was instituted several months ago. When the case came up yesterday, Counsel to the Federal Government, Chief Adegboyega Awomolo ((SAN), said he saw the publication and expressed
shock over it. "I saw the publication this morning and I must say that it is objectionable and unfair. I knew nothing about it but its effect is enormous," he said. Counsel to the journalists, Mr. Femi Falana (SAN) said: "I was surprised when I saw the report yesterday. I hold your lordship in high esteem and from my investigation, the court did not ask for the case." Falana added: "Having regard to the integrity and the independence of the judiciary, your lordship may wish to send the case file back to the Chief Judge. This humble application is hinged on need to preserve the integrity of the judiciary."
Justice Affen, in his short ruling, said the only thing that connects him with President Jonathan is that they are from the same state. "I must place on record my profound gratitude to counsel in this matter for seeking to protect not only my integrity but that of the judiciary. It is correct that justice is rooted in confidence and must not only be done but seen to have been done. "The implication of the publication is far too damaging to ignore. I will, therefore, in the interest of justice return the case file to the Chief Judge for re-assignment to another judge that is not from Bayelsa State," the judge said.
THE NATION WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 27, 2013
Pope Francis calls for power devolution
OPE Francis has called for power in the Catholic Church to be devolved away from the Vatican, in the first major work he has written in the role. In the document, he says he is open to suggestions to changes in the power of the papacy. He also warns that rising global economic inequality is bound to explode in conflict. Since becoming Pope in March, Francis has struck a markedly different tone to his predecessor on several issues. The new document did not
address some of the key ethical reforms called for by Catholic progressives and ruled out any change in the Church’s teaching on abortion or the exclusion of women from the priesthood. However, the Pope has already set up an advisory council of eight cardinals who are due to gather in Rome for their second plenary meeting next week. He has also set up new mechanisms for reform of the Vatican bureaucracy. the main thrust of Pope Francis’ pontificate, as outlined in this document and in his many
Syria: Peace talks will not stop FSA rebels
HE leader of the Western-backed rebel Free Syrian Army has said that forces aligned to him will not join the peace conference in Geneva in January. Gen Salim Idris, head of the FSA’s Supreme Military Council, told al-Jazeera that they would continue to try to topple President Bashar alAssad. He warned Mr Assad would use the talks to buy time and continue to wage war. Iran, which is closely allied to the Syrian government, said it would attend if it was invit-
ed. Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said his country would make an “important contribution to the resolution of the problem”. The UN, US and Russia have been trying for several months to persuade the Syrian government and opposition to attend the peace talks, the first in the 32-month conflict. On Monday, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon announced that an international conference to discuss a political solution, known as “Geneva II”, would be convened on 22 January.
homilies, is that he wants to see a less Vatican-centred Church whose greatest concern is for the poor and the marginalised, victims of an unjust global economic system that puts profit before people. In addition, Pope Francis says that ties with Islam have taken on great importance for the Catholic Church because of the growing number of Muslim immigrants now residing in many traditionally Catholic countries. “We Christians,” he says, “should embrace Muslims with affection and respect in the same way that we hope and ask to be respected in countries of Islamic tradition.” In his “apostolic exhortation”, Pope Francis said he preferred a Church that was “bruised, hurting and dirty because it has been out on the streets, rather than a Church which is unhealthy from being confined and from clinging to its own security”. The document suggests major changes are on the way, with Francis noting that the Church has to get over an attitude that says: “We have always done it this way,” the BBC’s David Willey reports from Rome. It represents an ambitious programme to try to rekindle his church’s missionary zeal, our correspondent says.
Afghanistan: Karzai refuses to budge on U.S pact
FGHAN president Hamid Karzai has proposed new terms for a deal governing troop withdrawal from Afghanistan, according to the White House. After his meeting on Monday with US national security adviser Susan Rice, a spokesman said: “President Karzai outlined new conditions for signing the agreement and indicated he is not prepared to sign the bilateral security agreement (BSA)
promptly.” Karzai has persistently raised questions about the pact, which would enable US troops to operate in the country beyond next year. An assembly of Afghan elders on Sunday endorsed the deal and advised Karzai to sign it promptly. However, he said he would wait until after a presidential election due next April. There should be peace in Afghanistan before the deal is signed, he said. In Kabul, Karzai’s spokesman said the Afghan president wanted the United States to halt all military operations on civilians’ homes and return Afghan citizens held in the Guantánamo prison camp before the pact was signed. Rice, who made a three-day
visit to Afghanistan to visit US troops, told Karzai it was not viable to defer signing the deal until after the election, the White House said, adding: “It would not provide the United States and Nato allies the clarity necessary to plan for a potential post-2014 military presence. Without a prompt signature, the US would have no choice but to initiate planning for a post-2014 future in which there would be no US or Nato troop presence in Afghanistan.” Karzai’s office said he asked Rice for further assurances from the United States that its forces will not raid Afghan homes and called on America to express a sincere commitment to help start stalled peace talks with the Taliban.
Thai protesters force closure of ministries
HOUSANDS of demonstrators fanned out across Bangkok emboldened by their takeover a day earlier of the finance ministry, where crowds stormed the gates and camped out overnight. It was closed on Tuesday along with the transport, agriculture and tourism ministries. Bangkok interior ministry Security personnel stand behind barricades at one of gates of the interior ministry. Photograph: Damir Sagolj/ Reuters Outside the interior minis-
try, thousands of protesters held a standoff with riot police as they called on workers inside to leave. Protesters say they want Yingluck, who took office in 2011, to step down amid claims her government is controlled by her brother, the former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra, who was ousted in a military coup following corruption allegations in 2006. On Sunday, more than 100,000 demonstrators took to Bangkok’s streets, uniting
against what they call the “Thaksin regime”. But the opposition-led movement has grown increasingly vague about its goals and demands. What started a month ago as a campaign to unseat Yingluck is now been seen as a battle to uproot the Shinawatra network from Thai politics, with no clear explanation of what that means. Thai protesters occupy Finance Ministry Protesters inside the finance ministry. Photograph: Barbara Walton/EPA
NEWS Amaechi, Wamakko, Nyako, Saraki, Oyinlola join APC Continued from page 6
Asked if the merger meant dropping the name, new PDP, he said: “All these are implications of merging. What they are telling you is that we have merged and we have agreed to merge. “Please take note that... you have observed that ...some of our members took permission to go out of the meeting; they did not walk out. You have seen the Governor of Kwara State, you have seen the Governor of Niger. They all took permission to travel. “In fact, some of us here are travelling too. We only waited a little bit for this communiqué to be read because of you.” Although Baraje did not give the details of why the leaders terminated talks with Jonathan, The Nation learnt that the merger came two months earlier than proposed by the coalescing groups because of the President alleged foot-dragging on the peace talks within the crisis-ridden PDP. The G-7 governors and the New PDP had opted to wait till the conclusion of talks with Jonathan on or before January before merging with APC or not. It was learnt that the bungling of the peace talks last Sunday by the President made the merger a fait accompli. Most of the governors and New PDP leaders were aggrieved that the President was only bidding time. The New PDP and the G-7, according to sources, also acted to beat alleged plot by the Bamanga Tukur-led National Working Committee(NWC) to
Tinubu: it’s rescue mission for our democracy
LL Progressives Congress (APC) national leader Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, speaking on the coming of the five governors to APC yesterday, said: “It is a good rescue mission for our fledgling democracy; it’s a must for the country. It’s very necessary and we are happy about that.” Asked of the APC’s next step, Tinubu quipped: “We cannot divulge all our strategies to the media at once. It is better to give it to you in piece meal in order not to even create confusion anywhere. “We are happy with the development. We have this commitment to rescue our country from drifting and we act as a group to promote the interest of this country. expel their leaders. A governor, who spoke in confidence, said: “For sometime now, we have been weighing options. We felt we should wait till January 2014 to move to APC, if the talks with the President did not yield any fruits. “As a matter of fact, in the last 48 hours, we were still at the crossroads on whether to give Jonathan more time or not. “We have, however, discovered that the President was just bidding time to consolidate and deal with the G7 governors. At a point when we gave the President a breathing space during the peace talks, he decided to remove ministers allegedly loyal to the G-7 governors. “In another instance when we thought were making progress with the peace talks, Oyinlola and others were suspended. “And when we expected resumption of peace talks after this year’s Hajj, Jonathan kept
“Patriotism is not about one’s personal goal, but that of the society, the nation or corporate entity. That is what we are putting forward. Pressed to be specific on how many PDP governors have really joined the APC, Tinubu added: “What does it matter whether they are three, four, five, six, seven or eight? Why not have more; why not 28? Are you seeing the trend with which we are going? “It is a free society, somebody is giving you seven now; somebody can decide tomorrow morning to come on board; that makes it eight. Do we do subtraction and addition when tallying on the pages of newspapers only? We are considering the calibre and the character of people, not numerical exchanges of numbers.”
on shifting the goalpost. Although he said he would meet with us on Sunday, we knew there were plans to expel some of our leaders on or before Friday.” After reviewing past meetings, the group concluded that the President was never seriously committed to the peace talks. “Each time we met him, he would just be laughing. His position is that he should bark orders at us and we should comply, said the source, who added: “Technically, they do not want us in PDP again but they were being tactical in trying to edge us out.” Another source said: “We are actually expecting three or more PDP governors to join the APC early next year. “This is just the beginning of the coming political hurricane in the country. Nigerians should wait for further developments.” Replying to a question, the source added: “All the G-7 members did not join the
APC today because of one reason or the other. They gave us cogent reasons, which are acceptable to us. “We are expecting them in 2014. For example, Governors Babangida Aliyu and Sule Lamido offered to explore the peace initiative to the fullest. Aliyu, who may make up his mind in January, is also reading the lips of political makers in Niger State. “For Lamido, the Presidency knows he is a political asset and it has been mounting pressure on him with a promise to address the money laundering case against his children. They know he is passionate about hanging corruption allegations against his children. They are using likely reprieve for the children as a bait to woo Lamido. “Also, Lamido as a party man, defers to ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo a lot. He might still want to consult the ex-President before taking the next step.”
Lawmakers will decide when to defect, says Tambuwal Continued from page 6
Federation or a Commissioner of the Government of a State or a Special Adviser; (e) save as otherwise prescribed by this Constitution, he becomes a member of a Commission or other body established by the Constitution or by any other law; (f) without just cause he is absent from meetings of the House of which he is a member or a period amounting in the aggregate to more than one-third of the total number of days during which the
House meets in any one year; (g) being a person whose election to the House was sponsored by a political party, he becomes a member of another political party before the expiration of the period for which that House was elected: “Provided that his membership of the latter political party is not as a result of a division in the political party of which he was previously a member or a merger of two or more political parties or factions by one of which he was previously sponsored.”
PDP: we’re unperturbed Continued from page 6
“We wish to commend the wise decision of some of the aggrieved governors to dissociate themselves from the action of some of their colleagues. “ We assure all Nigerians that the PDP will continue to grow from strength to strength and will definitely emerge stronger from this event. “We reiterate that the posi-
tion of the law is very clear that there is no factions whatsoever in the PDP. “Finally, we wish to reassure our teeming members that our doors remain open to address all grievances. We shall, however, not condone any acts of internal subversion from any quarters.” According to the PDP, the beauty of democracy is that in a political party system, some members are bound to leave while others come in.
‘Progressive revolution has started’ Continued from page 6
back home where you belong; to the party that feels the pains of Nigerians and understands that power and responsibility are merely exercised on behalf of the people and only to serve the collective interests of all Nigerians. “By coming into the fold of the progressives, you have
opted to discard the politics of corruption, nepotism and deception in favour of transparent and accountable leadership that is governed by the principles of progress, integrity and equity. “Together, we shall forge stronger alliances by joining forces with other like-minded progressives to rescue Nigeria from imminent collapse.”
THE NATION WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 27, 2013
NEWS NEW PDP, APC MERGE
Why aggrieved governors’ action is legal, by lawyers
ID the five aggrieved governors of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) violate any law by joining the All Progressives Congress (APC)? No, say lawyers. The governors’ action is legal because there is no constitutional provision that they cannot move from one party to another under any circumstance. Unlike legislators, governors do not have to prove that their party is factionalised in order to retain their seats, lawyers said. The governors, therefore, can retain their seats even though they were elected on a different political platform (PDP). Besides, lawyers said until the Constitution is amended to that effect, it is not an impeachable offence for a governor to cross to another party. According to them, Section 177 of the 1999 Constitution clearly states that a person shall only be qualified for election into the office of the governor of the state if he is a member of a political party and sponsored by a political party. The same constitution, lawyers noted, did not state that such a person cannot leave that party after achieving electoral victory. Lawyers referred to the decided case of Abubakar Atiku versus Attorney-General of the Federation, in which the Supreme Court held that a person sponsored by a political party to power could leave the same party to another without breaching any section of the constitution. According to them, there are also instances where even elected legislators changed parties without losing their seats. In the Senate, Dr Wahab Dosunmu, Senator Adeseye Ogunlewe and Senator Musiliu Obanikoro, all elected on the platform of Alliance of Democracy (AD) defected to the PDP. Chief Arthur Nzeribe (Imo), Senator John Nwanunu (Abia) and Dr Usman Kadir (Kogi) defected from the All Nigeria People Party (ANPP) to the PDP. In Abia State, Senator Uche Chukwumerije, elected on the PDP platform, defected to the Progressive Peoples Alliance (PPA). Chief Adeniyi Akintola (SAN) was of the view that the fact that there even exists a faction within the PDP makes the governors’ action legal. “The Constitution and the Electoral Act are very clear on that. Once there are factions, it gives room for an elected public office holder to move to another party,” Akintola said. Chief Rickey Tarfa (SAN) said such cross-carpeting is in consonance with the freedom of association guaran-
By Joseph Jibueze teed by the Constitution. “I think a governor defecting from one party to the other is legal depending on the circumstances, but first of all we have the freedom of association,” he said. For Dr Joseph Nwobike (SAN), there is nothing illegal about the governors’ joining APC considering the divisions within the PDP. “The point is that before today, there is no doubt that there had been serious political division within PDP. “What the Constitution contemplates is that if there is no division, then it is not legal to move to another party. “There is this case of Benson Arekpe against Bendel State House of Assembly, which dealt with the issue. “It was stated that except where there is a division, you cannot decamp to another political platform having been elected on another. “But in this particular case, it does appear that there is a political division with the formation of the New PDP and parallel executives and all
Abubakar has been attributed to the uneasy relationship he has at home with Nyako. It is to be noted, too, that the party’s national chairman, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur hails from the state. The situation remains foggy. How it turns out remains to be seen. In Nasarawa State where CPC’s Governor Tanko Al-Makura holds sway, he narrowly won the 2011 governorship poll. He has since been making efforts to consolidate his hold on power. He has a formidable foe in the PDP that has former Governor Abdullahi Adamu as captain. Now that Adamu is in the same boat with the governor, Al-Makura could breathe easy. However, it remains to be seen whether interests and ego would not affect their relationship in the run up to 2015. United, the state would remain in the APC fold. If the scenario prevailing today remains till 2015, the general election would be the first to provide real contest. In the entire Far North, compris-
not in any way invalidate their positions. “The framers of the 1999 Constitution stipulates that a governor must be a member of a political party and is sponsored by that political party. “However, once he is sworn in as governor, he becomes the governor of a state and not of his political party, because even people from outside his political party must have voted for him.” Ofuokwu said the Supreme Court may still have make a definite pronouncement on the issue of cross-carpeting. “On the other hand, going by the interpretation of the judgment of the supreme court in the Rotimi Amechi v Celestine Omehia’s case one can say that their seats belongs to the parties on whose platform the election was won. “I envisage a plethora of cases, both frivolous and otherwise, to test the legality of this decision which the PDP itself had tolerated and allowed to thrive amongst its own fold in the past thereby making it an acceptable convention, or so it seems,” Ofuokwu said.
A University of Lagos (UNILAG) law lecturer, Wahab Shittu, believes that once a governor has been elected, he is no longer beholden to his party. He said: “Membership of political parties is a reflection of choice and is open to every Nigerian depending on their perespective of choice. “The G-5 governors are at liberty to change camps and the retention of their seats cannot be prejudiced because they are now the governors of their respective states and not governors of their parties. “The issue which is debatable is whether or they carry a moral burden. But no legal obstacle exists,” Shittu said. Activist-lawyer Bamidele Aturu said the governors acted in line with the Constitution. “Governors are under no legal disability for crossing from one party to another. Their constitutional mandate is statewide. “Only legislators need to show that there is factionalisation in the party they are exiting from to keep their seats if they cross to a new party. This disability does not attach to governors,” Aturu said.
•Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola SAN (right), Senator representing Lagos Central Senatorial District, Mrs Oluremi Tinubu (left) and a former Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Minister and Interim Deputy National Secretary of APC, Mallam Nasir El-Rufai (middle), after a meeting at the party’s secretariat in Abuja
2015: Merger redefines political landscape •Continued on page 5
that, although the new PDP was declared as null and void and unconstitutional. “But that does not take away the fact that there was indeed political division within the PDP. So, arising from that, one can say that the decampment may not be altogether legally wrong. “Having regard to the fact that there was indeed some measure of divisions within the PDP, then there seems to be a justification for the movement from the PDP to the New PDP and from the New PDP to APC,” Nwobike said. A constitutional lawyer Mr Ike Ofuokwu said a governor is not bound by law to remain in the party from which he was elected. His words: “It is the inalienable right of the aggrieved governors of the PDP and other members of the new PDP to change their membership of a political party at any time it pleases them so to do. “This right of association is fundamental and constitutional. Therefore their action is legal. “That they were elected on the platform of a different political party does
ing states in the North East and North West, 13 in all, the PDP will have to struggle to rake up sizeable votes. In the Middle Belt of North central states, both major parties remain strong. The South East and South South remains impregnable for the PDP and APC will have to struggle to make the 25 per cent mark outside Rivers and Edo. How fast Governor Rochas Okorocha, backed by the likes of ex-Governor Achike Udenwa can move remains to be seen. The South West is likely to remain a stronghold of the APC. It has a tradition of filing behind progressive parties and, the fact that there would be a strong contest would likely encourage the people to votes in high numbers for the tile-tested progressive platform. If it were to be a football march, commentators would describe it as a crunchy tie. The challenge is to ensure that all elections henceforth, starting with Ekiti and Osun next year are free, fair and credible. Otherwise, rigging becomes the overriding factor.
What future for PDP? •Continued on page 4 not find it funny. All the five governors have supporters and they are sure to go with their governors”, he said. Tsav may be correct. These governors are people who have nothing to lose. Most of them are in their second tenure and they have deep pockets. They can afford to spend their last kobo just to make a statement and assert themselves in their areas of influence. Geographically, the whole of the Southwest region, perhaps with the exception of Ondo, has now fallen into the hands of the “ opposition “. The Northwest, too, has been cornered by the opposition. The same with the Northeast. The PDP is left with its advantage in the Northcentral geo- political zone and the Southeast. In the Southsouth, it will have to contend with a depletion of goodwill. Tuesday’s development in the
PDP underscored the gravity of the crisis that has been plaguing the party in the last one year. Indeed, five months ago, precisely in July, Adamawa State Governor, Murtala Nyako boasted that the People’s Democratic Party was seriously ill and that himself and other aggrieved governors and stakeholders were just awaiting its death to give it a befitting burial. It is certainly not the best of times for the party which claims to be the largest in Africa. Pity, it’s legendary crises resolution mechanism, more popularly known as “family affair”, seemed to have miserably failed to solve this riddle. Two things have aggravated the crisis. First, the level of discontent was high. Second, disgruntled elements are also powerful in their own right. Nyako’s tone lent credence to it all. “Some of the stakeholders only deemed it fit to remain in the party due to the political positions they occupy presently and if the party failed
to survive its self-inflicted illness, they will give it a befitting burial and leave for good. “People are saying that the PDP is dead or about to die but a concerned person like me will remain in the party till it dies and give it a befitting burial. If PDP will die, let it die in our hands so that we will give it a befitting burial and mourn her.” Coming from a governor elected on the platform of the party for two consecutive times speaks volume. Unfortunately, all efforts to master the crisis failed to achieve the desired goal. When President Goodluck Jonathan told newsmen on Sunday that the much anticipated meeting between him and the aggrieved governors would not hold, many people read it as the last chance for the party to mend its fences. But it was not to be. The future of the party retaining the government at the centre is dicey, but it will depend on how the opposition manages and harnesses the present development.
THE NATION WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 27, 2013
‘It’s time to end electoral impunity’ Text of an address delivered by the Interim National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Chief Bisi Akande, on the Anambra State governorship election debacle in Abuja... yesterday. strategies that included mass disenfranchisement, starving of opposition strongholds of electoral materials and the late or none delivery of voting materials and result sheets; We raised the alarm on the sudden creation of 1,973 voting units, for which our agents got no tags; We criticized the 22-hour curfew, because we believed it was a ploy to give the riggers the leeway to carry out their plans without being noticed and we warned that the results will not be acceptable without voting in all local governments.Sadly, all our warnings proved prescient. Before we begin our deliberations on how to resolve this recurring issue of electoral impunity, let me sound a note of warning:1. If those who manipulated Anambra election, and the Delta Central Senatorial District before it, are allowed to get away with their shenanigans, they will be further emboldened to ply their devilish trade in Ekiti and Osun next year, and of course we can forget about the 2015 general elections.2. The issues at stake go beyond Anambra State. They have the potential to affect the whole of Nigeria, with dangerous consequences for our young democracy.And history should be our guide. This is exactly how the First Republic unraveled! A power-drunk central government seized on what is purely an intra-party affair in the then Action Group in its desperation to humiliate and decimate the opposition. The consequences of that decimation led to the first military coup and subsequent reactions that led to civil wars. And Nigeria has yet to recover from it. The nation cannot afford a repeat!The Anambra election has been seized upon by an increasingly desperate presidency/PDP to seek to humiliate our party and portray us as lacking in electoral
OURTESIES...It is said that when bad things happen, it provides a chance for good people to make things better!The mess that has been made of the Anambra election by the same body saddled with ensuring that it is free and fair is indeed a bad thing.While the Anambra debacle, in which INEC apparently acted out a script written by the presidency and the PDP, represents a new low in the country’s unenviable saga of electoral impropriety, it must now signal the death knell for electoral malfeasance and brigandage in Nigeria.Make no mistake about it: If something drastic but lawful is not done now to stop this electoral impunity, our country is ultimately heading for the precipice. This is not about crying wolf where none exists. The wolf is here and ready to pounce.Our challenge is to stop it before it is too late.As things stand, we have a dangerous admixture of Power and Impunity, and the end product cannot but be explosive. We have a presidency that has no qualms about abusing national institutions to achieve a pre-set electoral objective, which is to humiliate a growing opposition party; A ruling party that is ever willing to sacrifice its own candidate in elections just to get at the opposition and a conniving electoral body that is packed full of saboteurs and blatantly amoral individuals is not befitting of any civilized society. We must be determined to stop it in Nigeria.To be sure, our party was not caught unawares. Ahead of the Anambra election, we issued a total of 15 press releases warning against everything that eventually happened at the elections. We said INEC was working in cahoots with the presidency/PDP to rig the elections; We exposed the rigging
We will be forced to take a decision not to participate in any future election until there is a far-reaching restructuring of INEC that will see a purge of the bad eggs in the commission, a re-orientation of the remaining staffers and the compilation of a new and credible voters’ register
value. That is why an unconscionable PDP spokesman raced to the media to hail the ill-fated election to the high heavens, even when the PDP candidate and some members of his family were among the thousands who were disenfranchised and marooned. That is why the presidency has maintained a loud silence, because it was never interested in the Anambra PDP victory or a free and fair election, having made a devil’s deal to work against its own party just to get at the APC.In the end, the devilish duo of the presidency and the PDP abandoned their own candidate and threw caution to the wind, without caring about the implication of their bizarre action. They discountenanced the opinion of their own candidate, who condemned the sham of election and joined with other candidates to call for fresh elections. They celebrated as if their party is APGA even as their candidate was left stranded. This is an eye opener, and should end any doubt about the presidency and the PDP’s road-map for future elections.Let me also use this op-
portunity to re-state our party’s stand, as contained in our Nov. 18th petition to the Chairman of INEC, Prof. Attahiru Jega: Only a fresh election based on a new transparent voters’ register can correct the litany of grave flaws that ruined the elections. Nothing else is acceptable to us for the reasons we have repeated over and over again. For the avoidance of doubt, we say, for the umpteenth time that there were serious irregularities and non-compliance with the provisions of the Electoral Act 2010 as amended; That INEC Chairman Jega himself acknowledged these irregularities, when he said an official of the commission compromised the election in Idemili North LG, a stronghold of our candidate, Dr. Chris Ngige; That the voters’ register used for the election was so tainted that many voters, especially in Senator Ngige’s stronghold, were disenfranchised; That students were recruited as Presiding Officers and Polling Assistants, further compromising the electoral process; That the staff of Nnamdi Azikiwe University (UNIZIK), Awka, were recruited as Supervisory Presiding Officers (SPOs), contrary to INEC’s directive that staff of UNIZIK would not be used in the election since the APGA Deputy Governorship Candidate, Dr. Nkem Okeke, was a Senior Lecturer with the university prior to his candidacy; That election materials were not distributed in a timely manner in many polling units, thus affecting the timely commencement of accreditation and voting; That INEC failed to deploy election officials in sufficient numbers to several polling units, and election officials were recruited at the election venue and deployed without any form of
•Chief Akande training; And that results were brought in without being publicly announced by the LGA Collation Officers. These are just some of the grave flaws that sealed the fate of the election In conclusion, there is no doubt that our party has totally lost confidence in the ability and capability of INEC to organize a free, fair and transparent election anywhere in Nigeria. We have no iota of confidence in INEC’s personnel and the commission’s voters’ register, which we believe has been irredeemably tampered with to such an extent that it can no longer be relied upon for any election. We will be forced to take a decision not to participate in any future election until there is a far-reaching restructuring of INEC that will see a purge of the bad eggs in the commission, a reorientation of the remaining staffers and the compilation of a new and credible voters’ register. The restructuring of INEC and the compilation of a new voters’ register are the barest minimum requirements for Nigeria’s return to the path of electoral chastity.
Free HIV screening for Oyo residents
Nwoye rejects Saturday’s poll
HE candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Comrade Tony Nwoye, has said he won’t participate in Saturday’s supplementary election. The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has insisted the supplementary election would hold on Saturday. But the All Progressives Congress (APC), Labour Party (LP) and PDP have pulled out, leaving the All Progres-
•’Metuh on his own’ sives Grand Alliance (APGA) as the major contestant. Briefing reporters yesterday in Awka, the Tony Nwoye Campaign Organisation, led by its Director- General, Mr. Victor Ezenwa, said the PDP National Publicity Secretary, Chief Olisa Metuh, was on his own on the proposed election. He said: “Our candidate, Comrade Tony Nwoye, has
stressed that he won’t be part of the election. If PDP participates in the poll, it means it is giving credibility to an illegal act. “Metuh ought to realise the circumference of his office. He can’t put words into the mouth of the PDP candidate. “Our party’s position is that we will not be part of the election. Metuh is on his own.
Anambra youths seek cancellation of poll
HE National Youth Council of Nigeria (NYCN), Anambra State chapter, has called for the cancellation of the inconclusive Anambra poll. The body also asked the Chairman, Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Attahiru Jega, to resign. It alleged that the poll was marred by rigging, late arrival of materials and harassment of voters by security agents. Briefing reporters in Abuja
From Bukola Amusan, Abuja
yesterday, state Acting Chairman Comrade Chibuzor Ekwenye said the poll was a fraud. Ekwenye decried the police for harassing those who protested, saying: “We protested peacefully, but the police harassed us. They attacked us with tear gas and arrested us as they did to women last Tuesday. “But if you support the election, the police will not attack
you. I wonder if the police, who are paid with tax payers’ money, are for everybody or for the ruling All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA). “We have resolved to stop at nothing until this poll is cancelled and our demands are met.” About 1,000 youths marched on the streets despite police harassment. They urged President Goodluck Jonathan to prevail on INEC to reinforce voters’ confidence in the commission.
‘No to supplementary poll’
GROUP, the All Anambra North Youths, under the aegis of Odinma Anambra North Youths Initiative (ODIANYI), yesterday urged the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Chair, Prof Attahiru Jega, not to conduct Saturday’s supplementary
poll. It urged INEC to cancel the November 16 poll and organise a fresh election. Addressing a news conference at the group’s headquarters in Oyi Local Government, the group’s Chairman, Mr. Tony Obiora Okafor, said the election was a fraud.
It lamented that many voters, who were cleared by INEC, found their names missing on election day. Okafor cited “the pathetic case of Comrade Tony Nwoye, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate and his family, who discovered their names were not in the voter register.”
What he is doing is at variance with the views of the majority.” Director of Protocol, Tony Nwoye Campaign Organisation Mr. Ken Arinze, told reporters that PDP would pursue the matter legally. He thanked the party’s National Chairman, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur, for supporting the PDP candidate and standing by the truth. Arinze said after the election, Metuh did not invite or
discuss with Nwoye. Arinze urged PDP supporters to remain calm and stay at home on Saturday.
‘Ekwunife’s suit laughable’
HE Director- General of the Willie Obiano Campaign Organisation, Chief Joe Martins Uzodike, yesterday said the alleged suit by a member of the party and a lawmaker representing Anaocha/Njikoka/Dunukofia Federal Constituency, Mrs. Uche Ekwunife, asking for the disqualification of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) candidate over alleged double registration, is an exercise in futility. Some national newspapers reported that Mrs. Ekwunife, who came second to Willie Obiano at the party’s governorship primaries, had filed a suit at the Federal High Court, Awka, seeking the disqualification of the APGA candidate from the governorship race on the grounds that he registered to vote in Lagos and Anambra states, which is an electoral offence. But addressing reporters in Awka, Uzodike, a lawyer and the Anambra State Commis-
From Tayo Johnson, Ibadan
From Odogwu Emeka Odogwu, Nnewi
sioner for Information, said although APGA had not been served a summons, Mrs. Ekwunife’s action, if it was true, was disturbingly laughable. He said: “I expect Mrs. Ekwunife or whoever is behind her to know that a court of competent jurisdiction had ruled on that matter by saying that Obiano did not do double registration. Also, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had made a statement on that issue. “Mrs. Ekwunife was part of the APGA campaign and even collapsed her structure into Obiano’s campaign organisation. For her to do this at this time is something many people do not understand...”
HE Oyo State Agency for the Control of Aids (OYSACA) will, on December 2, offer free HIV counselling and screening to over 25,000 people across the 33 local governments. This is in commemoration of the World AIDS Day, an occasion to unite in the fight against HIV and support people living with the virus. Wife of the governor and OYSACA chairperson Mrs. Florence Ajimobi spoke with reporters yesterday in Ibadan, the state capital, on the celebration. She said HIV counselling and testing would be conducted through mobilisation outreaches and mobile facilities in all councils. Mrs. Ajimobi, who was represented by OYSACA Project Manager, Alhaji Siji Ganiyu, said the programme was to prevent HIV infection, AIDS-related deaths and stigmatisation of people living with the virus. She said: “It requires multisectoral efforts targeted at intensive HIV counselling and testing services. It, therefore, becomes imperative for stakeholders to use the resources at their disposal to encourage, motivate and persuade our people to come out and get tested to know their HIV status. “Government will support programmes and interventions by stakeholders to achieve this vision.”
THE NATION WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 27, 2013
THE NATION WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 27, 2013
Wilshere makes it double for Gunners
RSENAL beat Marseille 2-0 after two goals from Jack Wilshere at the Emirates. Wilshere scored the only goal of the half in just 30 seconds. Bacary Sagna’s ball forward found Wilshere in space on the right wing. The England midfielder drove into the box, cut onto his left foot and curled a shot into the far corner. Arsenal then dominated possession but did little with it. Aaron Ramsey failed to turn in a Wilshere cross, and the next real chance came when Nicolas N’Koulou tripped Ramsey outside the box, the referee wrongly awarding a penalty.
Mesut Ozil had his poor penalty easily saved by Steve Mandanda. On 65 minutes, Wilshere doubled his tally and Arsenal’s lead, when Ramsey’s neat pass for Ozil, bursting into the box, was pulled back by the German
for Wilshere to slot past the ‘keeper. The substitute Florian Thauvin went close as the game drew to a close to give Arsenal a scare, but Arsenal were always in control. Next week's games remain crucial.
•Action pictures from Champions League matches
Dortmund back in contention
ORUSSIA Dortmund have blown their UEFA Champions League Group F wide open with a 3-1 victory over Napoli on Tuesday night. The win takes the German side, losing finalists last season, into second place in the pool behind Arsenal. They are now level on points with Napoli and will travel to Marseille for their final pool game, while Napoli host leaders Arsenal. Dortmund were deserved
winners on the night, though it needed a late Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to make the points safe. Dortmund led 1-0 at the break, a penalty scored by Marco Reus after a foul in the area by Napoli’s Federico Fernandez. Reus had a hand in his side’s second too, laying on the pass for Polish international Jakub Blaszczykowski to score on the hour-mark. Napoli gave themselves hope when Lorenzo Insigne latched on to Gonzalo Higuain’s pass to
score with 20 minutes remaining. But Gabon international Aubameyang made the game safe as he latched on to Robert Lewandowski’s brilliant ball to score his side’s third. CHAMPIONS LEAGUE RESULTS Basel 1 - 0 Chelsea Steaua Bucuresti 0 - 0 Schalke 04 Arsenal 2 - 0 Marseille B. Dortmund 3 - 1 SSC Napoli Z.Petersburg 1 - 1 Atletico Madrid FC Porto 1 - 1 Austria Wien Ajax 2 - 1 Barcelona Celtic 0 - 3 AC Milan
2013 NIGERIAN SPORT AWARDS
Mikel Obi, Okagbare win Sports Man/Woman of the Year
IGERIA’S Mikel Obi and Blessing Okagbare have won the Sports Man and Woman of the Year Award at the second edition of the 2013 Nigerian Sport Awards held at the Muson Centre Onikan, Lagos State on Tuesday. Though the two sports personalities were not in attendance to receive their awards, however, they sent representatives who collected on their behalf in the presence of a large audience who graced the occasion, which was shown live on Africa Independent Television AIT. Austin Okocha on the other hand, was called on to give the Footballer of the Year Award to Victor Moses ahead of John Mikel Obi and Sunday Mba. Coach Stephen Keshi retained the Coach of the Year award, while the Team of the Year award was given to the Super Eagles of Nigeria. Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan of Delta State’s large entourage was not disappointed
By Stella Bamawo as the amiable Governor got the Sports Governor of the Year Award. In his speech, Uduaghan stated that the future of Sports belong to the grassroots, hence his consistent investment in grassroots sports development in the country. The President of the Nigeria Football Federation, Aminu Maigari dedicated his award to the teeming football fans in the country. Maigari was named the Sports Administrator of the year. Bunmi Ogunyale got the Sports Journalist of the Year just as Toyin Ibitoye got the broadcast version of the Nigeria Sports Journalist of the Year Award. Ibitioye dedicated his award to the late, Joe Ighile who was the Producer of the Sports Programme. Perpetual Nkwocha continued her domination in Female Footballer of the Year awards just as Aruna Quadri who flew in from his base in Portugal got the Ball Sports
Personality of the Year award. Divine Oduduru was the Discovery of the Year in Athletics. The young man who could not hide his excitement, performed some acrobatic displays after collecting his award from seasoned journalist, Modele Sharafa Yusuf. Greensprings School clinched the School Sport Award. The crowning of the event was the special recognition of the Sydney 2000 Olympic medallists who got their gold medal thirteen years after when it was discovered they were cheated out of it. They got the IOC Trophy Presentation. The award was received by Eniofok Udo-Obong . The victorious Golden Eaglets team were also recognised for their excellent performance in this year’s FIFA U-17 Championship held in UAE. The Lagos Liason officer, Tayo Orewere stood in for the Minister of Sports who commended the organizers for the initiative.
RHYTHM AND PLAY
Al-Makura hails President Jonathan
ASARAWA State Governor, Alhaji Tanko Al-Makura has praised the efforts of President Goodluck Jonathan to revive school sports in the country through the Rhythm N’ Play programme. The Nasarawa State Governor made this declaration during the launch of the programme at the Government Science Secondary School, Eggon, Nasarawa yesterday, which attracted about 1,000 students across nine secondary Schools.. The Governor who was represented at the launch by the Secretary to the State Government, Hajia Zainab Abdulmumin, commended the initiative which he said was in tandem with sports in the state. “I am informed that the aim of this Rhythm N’ Play Campaign is to enhance mass youth
From Segun Ogunjimi, Nasarawa participation in sporting activities, promote youth development and empowerment through sports and play. This is a noble intention considering the role sports play in physical and mental development of our children. “This initiative of resuscitating the school sports through Rhythm N’ Play by His Excellency Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, President and Commander in Chief of the Nigeria Armed Forces therefore, is worthy of commendation and emulation by all well-meaning Nigerians, especially governments and school administrators across the country. Elated Sports Minister, Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi confessed that he was excited about the large turnout of students for the
maiden launch of the Rhythm N’ Play in Nasarawa and promised to ensure the students are equipped and get the training which would help them discover and sharpen their sports talents. “The idea is to create a programme that would attract children to engage in sports. So we are targeting 2 million athletes from schools through this Rhythm N’ Play over a period of two years and we are happy with what we have seen here today”, the Minister disclosed during the flag-off ceremony of the programme in Nasarawa yesterday. The programme is targeted at enhancing mass youth participation in sporting activities, promote youth development and empowerment through sports and play which was flagged-off by President Goodluck Jonathan on June 6, 2013 in Abuja.
TODAY IN THE NATION
‘INEC should endeavour to learn from past mistakes and extricate itself from the litany of errors that have become its moral albatross in the conduct of elections’ WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 27, 2013 TRUTH IN DEFENCE OF FREEDOM
COMMENT & DEB ATE EBA
OW that it is pretty certain we shall begin a national conference, sovereign or otherwise, on the country’s constitution probably during the first quarter of next year, an examination of how they did it in the United States nearly two hundred and twenty five years ago should provide some useful insights on how to succeed. I have my doubts that it will for several reasons. First, I share the widespread public scepticism, even cynicism, about President Goodluck Jonathan’s conversion to the idea after resisting it all this long. Many people think it is essentially to divert public attention from his inability to solve the myriads of the problems he is faced with, some of them selfinflicted. The more cynical members of the public even think it is a weapon those around the president – if not the man himself – who don’t believe in Nigeria want to use to break it up. If you think this is far-fetched you only need to ponder over government’s lackadaisical attitude to what Sam Nda-Isaiah, the publisher and columnist of Leadership, had aptly described as “industrial scale” oil theft under the president’s watch, to have a rethink. As Governor John Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti said in his interview with Tell (November 11), “You don’t joke with your source of income, unless they know what we don’t know. Unless people carting away the resources – if indeed it is being stolen – are also people associated with the system.” This government, it seems, doesn’t give much damn about how the oil cabal is stealing the country blind. Third, it is doubtful that the government has the capacity to fund and manage the conference in the face of a costly general election coming up in less than 18 months. Already it is an open secret that the government has found it difficult to adequately fund Senator Femi Okurounmu’s 13-man agenda setting panel, relatively modest as its cost is. Last but by no means least, with Professor Ben Nwabueze, who seems to have this government’s full ears, lately offering to write a draft constitution for the conference, much to the surprise of only those who don’t know the man’s antecedents, it is obvious that the government has pretty much made up its mind what kind of constitution it wants to give this country. If you know the professor’s antecedents then you won’t be surprised if his proposed draft constitution is likely to create more problems for the country than it can solve. Those old enough to remember or curious enough to search would know how 47 years ago he played the anticipatory role he now wants to replay. This was in February 1966 when our first military head of state, Major-General J. T. U. Aguiyi-Ironsi, set up a Constitutional Study Group under Chief F. R. A. Williams to carry out a brief similar to Senator Okurounmu’s. However, even before Chief Williams could begin work in earnest, some members of the general’s kitchen cabinet, among who was our learned professor of law, persuaded him to promulgate the infamous Unification Decree 34 in May. Our professor reportedly had a hand
RIPPLES NIGERIANS TO FEEL IMPACT OF POWER SECTOR SOON– Minister
Mind you, SOON in Nigeria could mean A DECADE
People and Politics By
MOHAMMED HARUNA email@example.com
A primer on how to make a constitution
•Dr Jonathan in drafting it. The decree effectively put paid to Chief Rotimi’s assignment. However, whatever anyone’s scepticism or cynicism about the national conference it is now more or less a fait accompli. Regular readers of this column may recall that on February 8 last year, I reversed my long-held objection to a sovereign national conference and called for it. My objection has been on the ground that the problem of our country has been more the attitude of its leaders than of its constitution with all its flaws. After all the best rules are not worth even the paper they are written on if they are obeyed only in the breach. And this has, by and large, been the case with our country where impunity has since become the guiding principle of state policy. I changed my mind about the SNC not because the attitude of our leaders had changed, because it hadn’t – and still hasn’t. I changed my mind because, as I said then, “I simply do not see why any region should put up with the kind of insults and abuses the North has suffered because of a commodity
from which the vast majority of its people have gained little or even nothing.” So by all means let’s have not just a national conference. Let’s have a sovereign national conference even if there are no guarantees against its being used to break up the country. As I said in my article in reference, it would be a sad day for Africa and for the Black race, and, of course, for Nigerians themselves the day their country, as the largest concentration of Africans and the Black race – and for that matter, the smartest ones breaks up. Chances are it won’t but even if it does, the prospects that we can, in the end, sort out our differences and emerge stronger as a nation in spite of the best efforts of those who imagine opting out is their only hope of realising their full potential as a nation, is worth the risk of a break up. So let me attempt a summary of a primer on how the Americans, whose presidential democracy we replaced our colonial legacy of parliamentary democracy with, did it 224 odd years ago. The primer is a 1969 book, The Constitution of the United States: An Introduction by Floyd G. Cullop. Per chance, we may learn a lesson or two at the end of our two-and-a-quarter century journey on how the Americans got it right the second time. The first time was before 1777, a year after the original 13 states under the British declared their independence from colonial rule after winning their revolutionary war against the British crown. They then drew up The Articles of Confederation under which there was no central executive government or judiciary, only a national assembly, the Congress, which had no powers to raise taxes or raise an army and whose members were not even obliged to
S news filtered in about noon yesterday that the G7 had bitten the bullet, an old song flashed in Hardball’s mind. It goes something like: “What’s that monster in the forest that raises so much hell and will not let us sleep? If it will eat us up let it hurry but it must quit threatening us.” Hardball, of course, speaks about the Peoples Democratic Party (or Pikin Dumps Papa- if you are light-hearted, (PDP)), Nigeria’s shambolic ruling party which has been haemorrhaging since May and seems in danger of achieving a mortal denouement. Lady Macbeth said it better: “If it is done when it were done, it were well it were done quickly…” Last May at the party’s convention in Abuja, key members unhappy with the turn of events had staged a walk out and had immediately moved to form what they called New PDP. Notable among such members were seven state governors along with the party structure in their states. But it is hardly done when a critical action like this is taken; consequences often follow in a trail, sometimes like a whirlwind as we have experienced since May. The breakaway PDP governors are Aliyu Wamakko (Sokoto); Babangida Aliyu (Niger); Rabiu Kwakwanso (Kano); Sule Lamido (Jigawa); Murtala Nyako (Adamawa); Abdulfatah Ahmed (Kwara) and Chibuike
Pikin Dumps Papa… Amaechi of Rivers State. These men of power, in the company of most of their supporters, have declared for nascent All Progressives Congress (APC). This crossing of the Rubicon, so to speak, has immediately diminished the PDP which boasts of being the biggest party in Africa not necessarily to a minority party but to something of ‘the second party’. That is a new reality that will dawn on the remaining members now. Second, this move has exposed the lack of strategic depth of the party, it has shown it up to being a behemoth without a brain box; a lumbering giant. How come several months of negotiations did not make a dent on the rebel governors; not even one of them could be won over. It signposts the weakness in the current leadership of the party or what is left of it. In fact the leadership stock has long been depleted and narrowed down to a very few people while the Board of Trustees, the apex elders forum that provides insight, dept and guidance in any party’s crucial affairs is in disarray. A number of the most influential members have been sidelined and they
attend its sessions. It took four years, i.e. 1781, for the last state to ratify it. It lasted only eight years thereafter because it proved unworkable. Eighteenth century American is, of course, not 21st century Nigeria. But the brevity of the Article of Confederation is still food for thought for those who talk glibly about confederation as the solution for Nigeria’s constitutional problems. When the 1777 con-federal arrangement prove unworkable, the states called a convention in Philadelphia in 1787 to review it. All 13 states attended except Rhode Island. However, instead of merely revising the old constitution they embarked on a completely new one which replaced the confederation with a federation that had a central government with three arms that checked and balanced each other. Powers were shared between the central government and the states. Those held by Congress were on an Exclusive List. Those held by both the centre and the states were on the Concurrent List. Others were denied to both. The convention then decided to submit it to the people of the constituent states rather than to their legislative houses for ratification. It decided that before the new arrangement could become the supreme law of the land it had to be ratified by three quarters of the states or nine out of the 13. Because transport and communications were slow in those days, making direct referendum difficult, constitutional conventions were set up in each state to which people sent delegates. By July 1788 ten states had ratified it and it became the Constitution of the United States of America. It went into effect on March 4, 1789 and by 1790 all the 13 states had adopted it. The Bill of Rights containing ten amendments were added in 1791. Since then sixteen more have been added and the last one ratified on July 5, 1971. Since then also the number of the states in the union has increased by addition, rather than by division as is our own case, to 50. The American constitution is an excellent study in brevity, clarity and simplicity. As a study in contrast it couldn’t be more different from ours. But the really big difference is not so much the unwieldy size and complexity of ours. The big difference is that the Americans have respected theirs but we have not respected ours. Instead we keep quarrelling with it and, like the bad work men that we are, we keep trying to re-write it every so often. It’s very unlikely that we will get it right for once this time around given what looks like the bad faith in convoking it but, success or failure, the conference, it seems, has now become inevitable. •For comments, send SMS to 08059100107
•Hardball is not the opinion of the columnist featured above merely sit on the fence and watch the drama play out. Some are known to give tacit backing to the ‘rebels’ and are probably part of the unfolding game plan. Hardball squints into his crystal ball at this juncture to determine that this is indeed a day to be noted in Nigeria’s history as a crosscarpeting of this magnitude has never occurred in her annals. It is an augury that is at once dramatic and historic. At issue is presidential power shift which is of course compounded by a leadership most invidious. Are the ‘rebels’ overly pushy and precipitate in their desire to force change? Time will tell as events unfold in the days ahead. Back to the idea of piking dumping papa, in African tradition, it is father that disowns and disinherits the child. To have it the other way round is an affront; it is to challenge paternity, a call to arms literally. Again, it is akin to a giant facing defeat and possible annihilation; it will not be as smooth as David felling Goliath with one stone and hoisting his head. That was divine adventure; this is realpolitik. But the intense and heated atmosphere that would ensue would sorely need a leader or healer if you like. If the ultimate purpose of the ongoing politicking is about the people and the polity then you have to preserve the twain first because there will not be a president if there are no people and of course a place to preside over.
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