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Nigeria’s widest circulating newspaper

Senate queries minister over N640m SURE-P cash NEWS

•Bala Mohammed to explain spendings Page 58

17 Boko Haram suspects arraigned NEWS

Page 10

•Lagos prosecutes ‘terrorists’

VOL. 8, NO. 2681 THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 28, 2013



Never has the future of our country depended on one moment than now and never has it relied on two organisations than the APC and the PDP as they try to turn a balance of power to advantage. •EDITORIAL PAGE 17

Why we dumped PDP for APC, by governors Excitement in Kwara, Rivers, Adamawa Tinubu: merger will change electoral system


HERE was a surge of excitement yesterday across the states whose governors defected from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to the All Progressives Congress (APC). Supporters of the governors in Rivers, Kwara and Adamawa hailed the decision. Governors Rotimi Amaechi (Rivers) and his Adamawa State counterpart Murtala Nyako also spoke on why they took the decision. Amaechi said his state had suffered neglect under the administration of President Goodluck Jonathan. He said he decided to join the All Progressives Congress (APC) to protect Riv-

From Bisi Olaniyi, Port Harcourt, Adekunle Jimoh, Ilorin, Barnabas Manyam, Yola and Kolade Adeyemi, Kano

ers’ interests. Nyako hinged his decision on the “injustice” suffered by the PDP in the state under the party’s National Chairman, Bamanga Tukur. He said all efforts to reverse the injustice failed. Apart from Amaechi and Nyako, Sokoto State Governor Aliyu Wamakko, Kano State Governor Rabiu Kwankwaso and Kwara State Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed also joined the APC in what has been described as the biggest political cross movement since 1999. Other leaders of the New

I was not elected to lead Nigeria; I was elected to lead Rivers State and I had looked at the interests of Rivers people and have seen that these interests were not protected in PDP —Amaechi

PDP, led by Alhaji Kawu Baraje including former Kwara State Governor Dr. Bukola Saraki also signed up. Amaechi, who is also the Chairman of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF), noted that the issues he and the other aggrieved members of the G-7 raised were not resolved by President Jonathan and the PDP. Amaechi, who spoke with reporters on Tuesday at the Port Harcourt International Airport, Omagwa, shortly on arrival from Abuja, said: “Yes; we have joined the APC, after the meeting we had with (Gen) Muhammadu Buhari, (Asiwaju Bola) Tinubu and the


Continued on page 2

PDP expels Oyinlola, others


HE National Disciplinary Committee set up by the Bamanga Tukur-led Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has recommended the expulsion of Alhaji Abubakar Baraje, Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola and Dr. Sam Sam Jaja.


IGERIA Football Federation (NFF) Technical Committee Chairman Chris Green is insisting that his committee has not taken any decision on the appointment of a foreign technical adviser for the Super Eagles. Sport Page 23

Continued on page 2

•Fashola signing the paper...yesterday


Lagos completes N87.5b bond

From Yusuf Alli, Abuja

The APC had written the FCT Police Com-

Business Page 11

Keshi leads Eagles to W/Cup

Soldiers deployed to stop APC’s protest HERE was tension yesterday in Abuja following the insistence of All Progressives Congress (APC) leaders to march on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in protest against its plan to have a supplementary election in Anambra State. Soldiers were drafted to the INEC headquarters in Maitama District as part of a heavy security build-up to stop the march. Some INEC officials met with security agencies yesterday. Details of their talks were unknown. But there were fears that the march might be used to call for the removal of the INEC chairman Prof. Attahiru Jega.


HE Federal Government has hired a foreign consultant and an international tax firm, McKinsey & Co, to bring in N75billion from the non-oil sector. The Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister of the Economy, Dr. Ngozi OkonjoIweala, broke the news yesterday.

News Page 2

interim Chairman of the APC

PDP leaders have hijacked the party... It has reduced politics to personal quarrels, blackmail and cheating and no decent man can remain in the party as its antics may lead the country to civil war —Nyako

Fed Govt hires tax consultant

ASUU slams Wike’s comment


HE Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) yesterday said its strike could end within 24 hours, if the ommission in its agreement with the Federal Government are corrected and reflected in the new resolution with President Goodluck Jonathan on November 4. News Page 8

Senate expels Silvio Berlusconi


•From left: Group Managing Director, Sterling Bank Plc, Mr. Yemi Adeola; Governor, Central Bank of Nigeria, Mr. Sanusi Lamido Sanusi; and Chairman, Sterling Bank, Dr. Suleiman Adegunwa, during the inauguration of Financial Inclusion Project at the Asejere Market, Makoko in Lagos...yesterday

HE Italian Senate has voted to expel ex-Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi from parliament with immediate effect over his conviction for tax fraud. Foreign Page 60




NEWS I am shocked by defection of PDP governors to APC, says Tukur


EOPLES Democratic Party (PDP) National Chairman Bamanga Tukur is shocked at the defection of five governors to the All Progressives Congress (APC). To Tukur, the governors went too far by defecting from a ruling party into the opposition camp, saying that the door of negotiation and dialogue was still open to the defectors. Governors Rotimi Amaechi (Rivers), Musa Kwankwaso (Kano), Aliyu Wamakko (Sokoto) Abdulfatah Ahmed (Kwara) and Murtala Nyako (Adamawa), alongside members of the Abubakar Baraje faction of the PDP, defected to the APC on

From Gbade Ogunwale, Abuja

Tuesday. A statement yesterday by his media aide said Tukur, who is on a visit to China, had been in touch with the Presidency and party leaders on the development. The statement quoted Tukur as saying that the development was normal in a democracy as, according to him, the party leadership would always come together to salvage the party. Tukur said: “There is always a limit to demonstration of anger. If anger can cause you to pack all your bags and load and Continued on page 60

Soldiers deployed to stop APC’s protest •Osun State Governor Rauf Aregbesola, presenting the trophy to Oladele Afolabi, the captain of Orolu Football Club after a football match between Ede South Football Club and Orolu FC marking the third years anniversary of the Aregbesola administration at Oba Olasore Royal Park, Iloko-Ijesa...on Tuesday. With them (from left) are: Deputy Governor Titi Laoye-Tomori; wife of the Governor, Sherifat; Secretary to the State government, Alhaji Moshood Adeoti and others.

Presidency reaches out to Amaechi, Nyako, others


ESPITE the hard line posture of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), the Presidency has opted to reach out to the aggrieved governors and leaders of the New PDP to give room for the completion of peace talks with President Goodluck Jonathan. The aggrieved governorsRotimi Amaechi, Murtala Nyako, Abdulfatah Ahmed, Aliyu Wammako and Rabiu Kwankwaso- defected to the All Progressives Congress (APC) on Tuesday. According to sources, who pleaded not to be named, a security chief has since Tuesday been reaching out to the aggrieved G-7 governors to honour the President on Sunday by attending the resumption of peace

From Yusuf Alli, Abuja

talks. It was learnt that the security chief made the governors to realise that the ill-health of the President accounted for the shift of the meeting. It was gathered that the security top brass said even if the governors had taken their decision, it is proper to allow the conclusion of talks with the President. A source, who spoke in confidence, said the intervention of the security chief was as a result of the likely implications of an all-out-battle between the President and the governors. The source said: “The top security brass has been begging the governors to return to the

negotiation table because of likely degeneration of the political situation in the country. “His fear is that the implosion in PDP may ground governance to a halt, in view of the attitude of some hawks in the ruling party that the President should adopt a tit-for-tat measure against perceived political adversaries. “The consequence of the crisis on the 2014 Budget became obvious following the probability of APC controlling the majority in the National Assembly, especially the House of Representatives. “So, there is pressure on the governors to have a rethink. The security chief has contacted some key Northern leaders and traditional rulers to intercede.” As at press time however it was

learnt that the aggrieved governors, with the exception of Governors Sule Lamido and Babangida Aliyu, were yet to make any commitment to have meeting with the President on Sunday. Another source said: “Mr. Rotimi Amaechi told those making the overtures as follows: ‘I won’t attend any meeting on Sunday since I am no longer in their midst.’ “The governors are skeptical about the sincerity of the President to the resumption of peace talks. He is using the session to gauge the feeling of the governors and determine when to strike against them. “The governors and New PDP leaders have merged with APC; it is presumed that the reconciliation process is dead.”

balance of power is tilted in favour of the incumbency. “Nigerians have never seen a group that will have a common focus and put patriotism as the cornerstone of their guiding principle. “This (APC) is a party that will put people at the forefront of their cause in participating in politics. Never has there been a group that will focus on the welfare of the Nigerian citizenry and fight corruption and waste in governance. There are many

areas that this new APC alliance and effort will unveil. “We will ensure that we have credibility in the voting system, the character, commitment of our people – the value that you want to pass the torch to the coming generation on democracy. It is very important that we are able to do that. “Otherwise, it will turn out that election after election, confidence in the electoral process will drop and we don’t want that

Tinubu: merger will transform electoral system


HE All Progressives Congress (APC) will transform Nigeria’s electoral system for good, its national leader Asiwaju Ahmed Tinubu said yesterday. He expressed optimism that the party, would work towards enthroning transparency in governance. Tinubu, speaking in an interview broadcast on Aljazeera television, said Nigeria’s political landscape has changed . “It will change forever and

By Joseph Jibueze

change for good. The scale and balance of power is tilting and changing to the opposition. We are moving from imperialism to proper democracy,” the former Lagos State governor said. Tinubu said rebuilding confidence in the electoral system is crucial in achieving a virile democracy. “The sophistication, the honesty, trust, transparency necessary in electoral process have been absent in this country. The

Continued on page 60

Why we dumped PDP for APC, by governors Continued from page 1

(Chief Bisi Akande). “The governors met on Monday and decided that we must meet with the APC leadership and when we met with the APC leadership, it was important we took a position and the position we took is for the good of our democracy and to ensure that Nigeria moves forward. “We cannot continue the way we are, where we are. The picture painted by the PDP was as if we were begging to come back to the PDP and issues were not being looked into; issues were not being resolved and it is important that we resolve it one way or the other.” Giving an insight into the development, the NGF chairman said the new PDP decided that it was important that the members move into the APC and position themselves for the next elections. His words: “Rivers State must know that for me to have taken that decision, I had looked at the general interests of Rivers people. I was not elected to lead Nigeria; I was elected to lead Rivers State and I had looked at the interests of Rivers people and have seen that these interests

were not protected in PDP. “I have seen the fact that we are losing our oil wells in Etche, in the Kalabari areas and that the more they continue to pilfer these oil wells, the more we will continue to lose our wealth.” In spite of quitting the ruling PDP, the NGF chairman maintained that he still held President Jonathan in high esteem and had no personal quarrel with him. Amaechi said: “The President (Jonathan) and I have no personal quarrel. It is important we put that in perspective. All the issues were issues that affect Rivers people, were issues that affect Nigerians and I am a Nigerian. I have to address those issues. “He is my President and I respect him. I respect his office, respect him as a person, respect the fact that he is older, but then as elected governor of Rivers State, I have the responsibility to lead Rivers State. “If you look at what is going on, the Federal Government is not able to fund the states anymore. They say oil theft, but oil theft is not enough reason for which we cannot fund ourselves.” On the state’s development, the NGF chairman said his administration was about to inau-

gurate about 300 primary schools, another 70 health centres to add to the 60 earlier inaugurated. He noted that his administration was about inaugurating the Kelsey Harrison Hospital, Emenike Street, Port Harcourt. Besides, there is a new hospital inside the Rivers State University of Science and Technology (RSUST) in the state capital. The new hospital is a partnership between the Rivers government and the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC). Amaechi mentioned also the Mother and Child Hospital at the old site of the University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital (UPTH) in the old Port Harcourt Township, popularly called Town, for which his administration had paid the NDDC about N960 million. The governor pointed out that for the mother and child hospital, the NDDC was expected to contribute about N900 million to make it N1.8 billion. The NGF chairman said: “The new stadium (on Port HarcourtOwerri Expressway, near the Port Harcourt International Airport) is about to be completed. So, development is actually going on. We are working.”

It was jubilation galore yesterday in Ilorin. Former - PDP members, loyalists, supporters and sympathisers across the 16 local government areas thronged the GRA secretariat of the former PDP. It was all drumming, dancing and shouting as the people came to solidarise with their leaders for joining the APC. The atmosphere was hilarious as they continually chanted APC. The chairman of the former New PDP, Alhaji Ishola Balogun-Fulani, told reporters that the merger spelt the death knell of PDP in the state. Said he: “Our leaders have spoken the mind of everybody in Kwara State, especially those of us in PDP. That is the end of PDP in Kwara state. We believe in what our leaders have done and we are now bona fide members of the APC. The PDP is dead in Kwara State. “We are going to carry everybody with the people we met on ground in the new APC in the state. What we know is that putting up the APC structure, there must be convention or congress. All that will be done and everybody will be carried along. “We in Kwara State have leadContinued on page 60

Continued from page 1

mand for protection during the march. But the police turned down the request. Soldiers have been deployed at various entry points leading to INEC and the gate. A source spoke of how: “security agencies had been meeting in the last 48 hours on APC’s request and they have aligned with the decision of the FCT Police Command because of the likelihood of hoodlums hijacking the protest march. “With recent security challenges at the nation’s capital, we may not be able to permit such a march,” the source said, adding: “I think some security chiefs might relate with APC chiefs for their understanding.” INEC is said to be treating the march as “purely a security issue”. “It is true that soldiers had been deployed in as part of security measures. We cannot ask security agencies not to do their job,” a source said. In a statement last night by its Interim National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the APC vowed to proceed with the march, despite the “illegal” move by the police to stop it. The statement said: ‘’We are doing this as a patriotic service to the nation because INEC as presently constituted is not capable of organising a free and

fair election again in Nigeria. If the Commission is not checked, its incompetence and conniving acts could plunge the country into chaos of unimaginable proportions.” APC explained that ahead of the march, it wrote a letter to the FCT Police Command to inform it of the planned procession and to request for escort to forestall a possible hijacking of the march by hoodlums. It added: ‘’To our dismay, however, the FCT Police Commissioner did not only turn down our request for police escort, but also cheekily advised us to restrict our activity to holding a press conference within our party headquarters to convey our grievances to INEC . ‘’We reject this very patronising directive from the partisan FCT Police Command and hereContinued on page 60


PDP expels Baraje, Oyinlola, Jaja •Ex-Osun governorL I’ve not left PDP


HE National Disciplinary Committee set up by the Bamanga Tukur-led Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has recommended the expulsion of Alhaji Abubakar Baraje, Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola and Dr. Sam Sam Jaja. They were suspended on November 11 for what the party’s leadership described as anti-party activities. Baraje was the national chairman of the New PDP. Jaja was his deputy. Oyinlola was the national secretary. However, Oyinlola said he remained the national secretary of the ruling party. Oyinlola has been at war with the leadership of the PDP over failure to reinstate him as national secretary. The Court of Appeal in Abuja had, on November 6, ordered the PDP to reinstate Oyinlola as the national secretary. The party suspended him, instead. Announcing the committee’s recommendation yesterday, the deputy chairman of the Disciplinary Committee, Chief Ebenezer Babatope, pronounced Baraje, Oyinlola and Jaja guilty - as charged. Babatope, who spoke on behalf of the committee, however, said the case of Senator Ibrahim Kazaure, who was also suspended alongside the trio, had been deferred for one month. According to him, Kazaure would still have to appear before

From Gbade Ogunwale, Abuja

the committee on December 10 to clarify certain issues relating to his case. The committee extended his suspension by 30 days. Babatope, who initially declared that the party chieftains stand expelled, later said the recommendation was subject to ratification by the party’s National Working Committee (NWC). Babatope said: “We have examined all the charges very meticulously and very critically and we have arrived at this conclusion that we are passing on to the National Working Committee. “Three of them have been found guilty of charges brought against them. They are Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola, Alhaji Kawu Baraje, and Sam Sam Jaja. “We have recommended to the NWC that they should be expelled immediately from the party. “ Asked whether the committee gave the expelled party chiefContinued on page 60

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Who is who •Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola SAN (middle), his deputy, Mrs. Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire (right), Commissioner for Finance, Mr. Ayo Gbeleyi (second left), Chairman, Chapel Hill Advisory Partners Limited, Mr. Wale Edun (left) and Managing Partner, Chapel Hill Advisory Partners Limited, Mr. Bolaji Balogun (second right), at the Completion Board meeting for the N87.5 billion final tranche of the N167.5 billion debt issuance programme of the Lagos State Government at the Banquet Hall, Lagos House, Ikeja, Lagos...yesterday.

As the All Progressives Congress (APC) relishes the defection of five nPDP governors into its fold, Assistant Editor ADEKUNLE YUSUF writes on political actors that made the merger movement a reality.



•Chairman, Universal Furniture Ltd, Mr Antonie Moudaber, Chairman, SCOA Nigeria Plc, Dr Massaad Boulos and Danielle Moudaber of Concept Designer Universal - the designer of the Intercontinental Hotel, Victorial Island, at the unveiling of the Universal Furniture showroom in Lagos.

•From left: Mr Frederico Carvelho of West Africa Intel (left), Country Manager, Mr Olubunmi Ekundare and PR/ Marketing Manager, Mr Adim Isiapkong, at the, The Intel Explore and Learn Lunch in Lagos... yesterday. PHOTO:MUYIWA HASSAN

•Rap artist and judge for Nokia Don’t Break Da Beat 2013, Modenine(left); music artist, Niyola and Marketing Manager, Nokia West Africa, Kesiena Ogbemi, at the grand finale of Nokia Don’t Break Da Beat rap competition held at 10 Degrees Event Center, Oregun, Ikeja

HE road is long and tortuous, but all the aggrieved governors braved the odds. Now, five of the seven aggrived governors have escaped from the scorching heat of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and joined the moving train of the All Progressives Congress (APC). Here are the faces that made their movement from fractious PDP possible. Chief Bisi Akande An elder statesman and national chairman of APC, Chief Bisi Akande is a man that is widely respected as a man of integrity and courage. Unlike many political upstarts who now bestride the current national political firmament without any credible antecedent, Chief Akande belongs to the camp of tested and trusted leaders who have been around for long, having been a pro-people politician for over four decades without soiling his white garment. Over the years, apart from his wealth of experience in party administration and governance, Chief Akande is a democrat that believes in enacting an egalitarian order for his society. Between 1999 and 2003, he was the prudent governor of Osun State where he successfully initiated and delivered projects that impacted positively on the people, despite meager resources accruing to the state then. A welfarist to the core, he led the APC train that visited some states recently. During the visits, Chief Akande and other APC chieftains appealed to all the seven aggrieved nPDP governors to quit the camp of “bad people,” and join the progressives. Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu A dogged fighter and relentless defender of the masses, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu is the national leader of the APC. He is one of the spirits behind the evolving opposition movement that is quietly changing the face of politics in the current dispensation. As two-term governor of Lagos State (between 1999 and 2007), Asiwaju Tinubu changed the face of Lagos with people-oriented policies and programmes. He led the APC train that recently toured some states, asking nPDP governors to break loose from their persecutors and seek refuge in his party. Born in Lagos on March 29, 1952, to the illustrious Tinubu family of Lagos State, Asiwaju Tinubu, who studied in the United States of America, is a leader of leaders. A pragmatic, charitable, grassroots’ person, Asiwaju Tinubu’s first foray into active politics was as a founding member of the defunct Social Democratic Party (SDP). In 1992, he was elected as a


Senator of the Federal Republic Nigeria to represent Lagos West Senatorial District. At the National Assembly, he distinguished himself as the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Banking, Finance, Appropriation and Currency - a foremost committee of the Senate. Asiwaju began his two-term public service as an elected Executive Governor of Lagos State on the platform of the Alliance for Democracy (AD). For his excellent performance as the Executive Governor of Lagos State of Nigeria (1999 – 2007), Asiwaju Tinubu received several awards. As an astute political strategist, he survived the massive incursion of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to the South Western States of Nigeria as the only re-elected Governor of the AD. Today, the great legacy of Asiwaju Tinubu is built on by his successor, Mr. Babatunde Raji Fashola (SAN), who served as his Chief of Staff. Continuation of Tinubu’s outstanding policies makes the present administration of Lagos State an exceptional and the foremost Government in Nigeria. Gen Muhamadu Buhari (retired) In a country where most ex-military men are pelted with public scorn, General Muhammadu Buhari, former military head of state, enjoys a cult followership. Over the years, he is respected as an unrepentant apostle of anti-corruption. He is also a patriot and nationalist of th best dye. Born in Daura, Katsina State, on 17 December 1942, Gen. Buhari attended Primary School in Daura and Mai’adua, 1948-1952, and later proceeded to Katsina Model School in 1953 and Katsina Provincial Secondary School (now Government College Katsina) from 1956-1961. A man imbued with steel determination, he joined the then Nigerian Military Training School, Kaduna in 1963 and also attended Officer’s Cadet School in Aldershot (United Kingdom), October 1963. In 1964, he was





who in the merger movement?





ANALYSIS at the Nigerian Military College, Kaduna for Platoon Commanders’ Course and later attended the Mechanical Transport Officer’s Course at the Army Mechanical Transport School in Borden (United Kingdom) 1965. Gen. Buhari also studied at the Defense Services’ Staff College, Wellington (India), 1973, and the United States Army War College, June 1979 to June 1980. He has contested the position of Nigeria President three times in a row, which shows his determination to lead and transform the country through a democratic process. According to those who are close to him, his words are his bond. Alhaji Kawu Baraje He is the national chairman of the nPDP. He worked with Kwara State



Government as a teacher and public administrator, and rose to the position of permanent secretary before he voluntarily retired without blemish. A dependable party man and orator, he worked closely with Mr. the late President Umar Musa Yar’Adua on the 2007 pre-campaign tours round the nation as well as presidential campaign rallies throughout the 36 states of the federation, including the Federal Capital Territory (FCT). Alhaji Baraje was elected the National Secretary of the PDP in March 2008, and later took over from the former Acting National Chairman, Dr. Bello Haliru Mohammed, as Acting National Chairman. After a group of PDP broke ranks with the main body, he was elected as national chairman of nPDP, leading a group of aggrieved governors who stormed out of the PDP convention to form their


own PDP. Senator Bukola Saraki Besides being a serving senator, Bukola Saraki is a two-term former governor of Kwara State who enjoys tremendous goodwill in his constituency. He won his mandate both as senator and governor on the platform of the PDP, and served his state meritoriously for eight years, becoming the chairman of NGF in the process. A dynamic and powerful grassroots mobilizer, Senator Saraki is credited as having improved and turned around the fortunes of NGF, turning it into a powerful group that is now the envy of the Presidency. Apart from inheriting and building on the solid political machinery bequeathed by Senator Olusola Saraki, his legendary late father, the former governor successfully installed his anointed candidate, Governor Ab-



dulFattah Ahmed, as his successor. He and Governor Ahmed will be bringing their teeming loyalists and followers into the APC. Governor Rotimi Amaechi Born on May 27, 1965, Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi is River State is known for his fearlessness and strength of character. As a man of strong character, courage and principle, he has piloted the affairs of his state where is credited with sterling performance. His achievements in office in the last six years speaks volumes of his leadership credentials. He is on his second and final term in office. A charismatic leader, he was elected as chairman of Nigeria Governors’ Forum, and reelected for a second term by his colleagues, despite brute opposition by the Dr. Goodluck Jonathan’s presidency.

Governor Aliyu Wamakko Born in 1953, Governor Aliyu Wamakko is an astute grassroots politician. He was elected governor of Sokoto State in 2007 as a member of PDP and reelected in 2011. He attended Sokoto Teachers’ College and the University of Pittsburgh, USA. He is a close ally of Hon. Aminu Tambuwa, speaker of the House of Representatives. He is also a member of G-7 Governors. His party, the PDP, recently suspended him and later rescinded the decision, but Governor Wamakko has made up his mind not to return to the PDP. In his state, he holds all the aces as far as political relevance is concerned. He will be an invaluable asset in his new party. Governor Rabiu Kwankwaso He was elected of Kano State from 1999 to 2003, and re-elected for a second term as Governor on 26 April 2011. Born on October 21, 1956, Governor Kwankwaso is an engineer who has served his people very well and distinguished himself. After obtaining his National and Higher National Diploma at Kaduna Polytechnic, he proceeded to Middlesex Polytechnic (1982-1983) and Loughborough University of Technology (1983 -1985) in the UK where he got his Masters Degree in Water Engineering. He failed to win re-election in 2003 and was subsequently appointed Minister of Defence under President Olusegun Obasanjo. In spite of everything, he went back into the ring in the 2011 gubernatorial poll and won the election, thus staging a comeback to the governorship seat in the populous and sophisticated state of Kano. His movement into the APC is a great plus. Governor Murtala Nyako After serving meritoriously and retiring from the Navy, he was elected governor of Adamawa State in 2007 as a member of PDP. He has been piloting the affairs of the state with dignity and fear of God. Born on August 27, 1943, Governor Nyako is now completing his second and final term in office. Besides enjoying a glorious career in the Navy, Governor Nyako is a farmer of repute who owns one of the biggest farms in the country. His exit from the PDP is a minus to the ruling party. Governor Abdulfattah Ahmed He was elected as governor of Kwara State in 2011, succeeding Bukola Saraki, who is widely seen as his godfather. He won his seat as a member of the PDP before he and saraki joined the nPDP and defected to the APC.

PDP crisis: How it all began

HE crisis which polarised the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) started in 2010, when President Gooluck Jonathan declared his intention to contest the 2011 presidential election. He perceived some serving governors as not being supportive of his ambition. The matter was resolved in a “family” way and Dr. Jonathan emerged as the candidate based on agreement with the northern governors that he would not run in 2015. Though President Jonathan is yet to declare his ambition to contest in 2015, but his body language and the utterances of his kinsmen and aides have shown that Jonathan is not willing to pack out of Aso Villa on May 29, 2015. Governor Sule Lamido of Jigawa State had shown interest in presidency, a move that was considered

By Leke Salaudeen, Assistant Editor

as a threat to the ambition of President Jonathan. The people of South-south, particularly the Ijaws, had threatened that if Jonathan was not allowed to run for second term, there will be war in this country. They branded Governor Rotimi Amaechi as a sell -out for purportedly accepting to be running mate to Lamido, instead of backing a fellow South-south for presidency in 2015. Amaechi had denied this allegation several times but the presidency insisted that he had vice presidential ambition. The Chairman PDP Board of Trustees, Chief Anthony Anenih used the occasion of his birthday anniversary to seek endorsement of Jonathan as the party’s presidential candidate in 2015. Gover-

nor Babangida Aliyu of Niger State, who is also Chairman of The Northern Governors Forum said that Jonathan signed an agreement with the North that he would not re-contest in 2015 and that the party’s presidential candidate would come from the North. President Jonathan has denied signing any agreement with any group concerning 2015. Some governors and members of the National Working Committee (NWC) are not impressed with the leadership style of Alhaji Bamanga Tukur. He was alleged of running the party as a private enterprise. While the concerned party members were canvassing for internal democracy in the party, Bamanga Tukur in a bid to demystify the “stubborn governors” and take

over the party structures ahead of 2015, dissolved the state executive committees of Adamawa and Kano states, among others, and appointed Care-taker Committee members without consulting the governors. The NWC announced the suspension of Governor Amaechi on May 27, for refusing “to obey the lawful directive of the Rivers State Executive Committee to rescind his decision dissolving the elected Executive Council of Obiokpor Local Government Area of Rivers State. This is in furtherance of the determination of the leadership of the party to enforce discipline at all levels within the party.” The party suspended Amaechi because of a decision taken by the State House of Assembly and for refusing to take directive from the state

•PDP chair Bamanga Tukur

party chairman. He was never allowed to defend himself. On June 5, the NWC suspended Governor Aliyu Wamakko of Sokoto State. His offence was that he ignored invitations and lawful directives of the NWC. Though he was later reinstated but Amaechi remained suspended. •Continued on page 7




Navy elevates 130 officers


Governors’ defection to APC bad for PDP, say lawyers L AWYERS have described Tuesday’s defection of the Alhaji Kawu Baraje-led faction of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to the All Progressives Congress (APC) as a signal to President Goodluck Jonathan to prepare for life after office. The lawyers, who commended the defection, described it as necessary for sustainable democracy and advised the president not to witch hunt the defectors. They said the defectors only exercised their constitutional rights of freedom of choice and association, noting that the former PDP governors will not relinquish power, since they succeeded in creating a division in the party. A Professor of Law, Akin Oyebode, said the governors could not have taken the steps without the approval of the majority of their House of Assembly members. He said there may be need for a court pronouncement on

Defection good for democracy, says ACF From Tony Akowe, Kaduna


HE Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) yesterday described the defection of five PDP governors to the APC as democracy in action. The Northern socio-political group said it would prefer that the nation’s political parties reduced to two for the growth of the political system. The forum said it was clear that the multi-party system did not give Nigerians a clear choice because the parties have been clones of one another. It said: “The defection of five PDP governors to APC is democracy in action, which allows players to change their political strategy towards declared goals when the need arises. “ACF sees the unfolding events as a healthy development towards the emergence of a viable alternative platform for the polity, considering the fact that democracy without viable opposition is a sham. “You would note that ACF has been hankering for a two-party system that can provide clear choices for voters. Before now,the multiparty practice has not provided Nigerians with clear choices because the political parties have been clones of one another. “Consequently, the choice has been reduced from which parties can deliver good governance to which parties has the capacity to win elections to determine who gets what, why, where, how and when. “ACF, therefore, hopes the unfolding political dynamics will lead to the evolution of two political parties that are far-sighted, surefooted and resolute in their determination to promote democracy premised on the triple foundation of liberty, justice and common decency.”

•’They can remain in office’

The defection is a good omen for our democracy. It is an exercise of their constitutional right and I hope the Federal Government will understand it that By Precious Igbonwelundu

how long the governors can remain in office. Oyebode said: “The merger has hiked the stakes for the 2015 election. The PDP is in serious trouble. It never took the aggrieved members seriously and this is a really bad news for it. “President Jonathan and his co-travellers have been circumscribed and this is serious trouble for them.” Activist lawyer Femi Fala-


na said the governors can remain in office because there is a Supreme Court judgment on such issues. He said in the case of former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar, the apex court held that he could remain as VP, even though he defected to the defunct Action Congress (AC). Falana said: “The court’s decision is morally bankrupt, but that remains the law. Certainly, the decision means shortchanging the electorate, who voted for another platform.



eral Government should take it in good fate, rather than use arm-twisting tactics to oppress them. “What has happened is a signal for President Jonathan to start preparing for life after presidency. “In the history of Nigerian politics, no party losed the Northwest and Southwest and wins election. So, it is goodbye to the presidency for the PDP.

Balarabe, Peterside hail defectors

ORMER Governor of the old Kaduna State Alhaji Balarabe Musa has lauded the defection of the Alhaji Kawu Baraje faction of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), also known as the nPDP, to the All Progressives Congress (APC). Musa told The Nation that he supports the development, describing it as “very good for the country’s democracy”. He urged APC to bring the Labour Party (LP) and other progressives into its fold. Musa said: “At the moment, the APC has strengthened its might towards 2015. All it needs is to bring the LP and other credible parties into its fold.


“However, we should be interested in the re-alignment of forces for the good of this nation.” A constitutional lawyer, Chief Emeka Ngige, said: “The Baraje faction acted in accordance with constitutional provisions, which state clearly the grounds on which elected persons can move to another party. “The Constitution says a person shall lose his seat, if he crosses to another party, unless there is a division in his party or a merger. “The nPDP succeeded in creating a faction in the party as provided by the law and joined APC. So they acted in accordance with the Constitution and are in good standing. “The defection is a good omen for our democracy. It is an exercise of their constitutional right and I hope the Federal Government will understand it that way. “That is politics. The Fed-

By Precious Igbonwelundu

By Precious Igbonwelundu

“Also, I think the APC should not insist on merger alone. It should accommodate any party that wants to maintain its identity but form an alliance.” Chairman of the House of Representatives on Petroleum (Downstream Sector) Dagogo Peterside said: “The defection is a watershed in our democratic journey and hope rekindled. The beneficiaries are Nigerians. Our democratic institutions will be strengthened by implication. Never again will the people be taken for granted. I congratulate these men of courage.”

Rivers PDP celebrates Amaechi’s exit

HE Chief Felix Obuahled Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Rivers State has warned members of the party not to follow Governor Rotimi Amaechi to the All Progressives Congress (APC). Some PDP members yesterday took to major roads in Port Harcourt, the state capital, to celebrate Amaechi’s defection to APC. The rally began at the

From Bisi Olaniyi, Port Harcourt

Rivers PDP Secretariat at N0. 23, Aba Road, with singing, drumming and dancing. PDP members carried placards and banners with various inscriptions, such as: “PDP will continue to govern Rivers State”; “Amaechi, resign now as Rivers governor”; “Expect new APC soon”; “Amaechi, pack and

go” and “We thank you rebel governors for leaving PDP”. The PDP members caused a traffic gridlock on the Aba Road. Speaking with reporters, Rivers PDP Secretary Chief Ibibia Walter said: “The party will not fail to wield the big stick against any member found indulging in antiparty activities, as we remain resolute in our support for the President and leader our

great party, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan. “We urge the people of Rivers State to shun any act or ploy to hoodwink them into believing that Amaechi has anything to offer. “The plan has always been to dent the image of the President before Nigerians, despite the fact that both of them come from the same geo-political zone. President Jonathan has done well.”

Chairperson, House of Reps Committee on Diaspora, Mrs. Abike Dabiri Erewa (second right); members of the committee, Ajibola Famunrewa (right); Nigeria High Commissioner to South Africa Amb. Sunday Yusuf (second left) and Mr. Adamu Sadafi during the presentation of the embassy’s report to the committee in Pretoria, South Africa...yesterday.

HE Nigerian Navy (NN) yesterday promoted 130 officers, including six former Commodores to Rear Admirals. The elevation produced 44 commodores, 50 captains and 30 lieutenant-commanders. Naval spokesman Kabiru Aliyu said the new Rear Admirals are: former Director of Naval Information Obiorah Medani; former Chief Staff Officers, Eastern Naval Command, J. O. Okojie and J. O. Oluwole; the Commander of the Nigerian Naval Ship (NNS), Quorra, and a former Director of Naval Intelligence, F. D. Bobai; A. O. Odeh and S. U. Ahmadu. The new rear admirals would be decorated jointly with their army and air force counterparts, while the other officers will be decorated by their administrative authorities on a date to be communicated in due course, The Nation learnt yesterday.

Govt, private sector urged to develop cooperatives From Tayo Johnson, Ibadan


HE government and the private sector have been urged to recognise cooperatives as relevant to socioeconomic development. The National Coordinator, Southwest Cooperative Sector Assessment Summit/Exhibition, Mr. Ademola Akintola, spoke yesterday at the summit/exhibition organised by the Oyo State Ministry of Trade, Investment and Cooperative and the National Association of Cooperative Consultants (NACC) at the State Secretariat in Ibadan. Akintola said: “Cooperatives essentially empower people, create jobs, promote the standard of living and reduce poverty. There is need for the government and the private sector to stop paying lip service to this sector and fund cooperative societies, if they want to achieve sustainable economic growth.” He said the dormant cooperative sector was responsible for our economic problems, adding: “At critical socio-economic challenging periods, cooperatives provide a fall back and bail out. The alarming rate of unemployment, poverty, hunger, poor standard of living and other socioeconomic challenges in our country can only be reduce through a vibrant cooperative sector. “About 70 per cent, that is 120 million Nigerians, are poor due to over dependent on the government. Corruption can only be curbed when cooperative societies effectively empower people.” A Southwest Cooperative Summit will hold on March 12 and 13 next year to address the anomalies in the sector. The summit, themed: “Revamping the cooperative sector for sustainable socio-economic development”, will hold at the International Conference Centre, University of Ibadan (UI).





Fayemi: power shift imminent

‘Saraki’s, others’ exit welcome’

KITI State Governor Kayode Fayemi has said the merger of the new Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) with the All Progressives Congress (APC) is a signal that alternation of power at the federal level is imminent. The governor, who spoke in Osogbo, Osun State, at the

OME members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Kwara State loyal to the party’s National Chairman, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur, have said the defection of Senator Bukola Saraki and his group to the All Progressives Congress (APC) is a welcome development. In statement by Dr Abdulsalam A. K. Abdulsalam (Kwara Central), Iliasu Ibrahim (Kwara North) and Chief Lanre Ogundeji (Kwara South), the party said their defection “is a blessing not only to the people of the state but also to the well-being of our great party in the country.” The statement added: “We wish to assure our National Chairman, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur, and the leadership of our party of our loyalty. As we journey towards 2015, we wish to state that the exit of these people will not affect the fortune, progress and prosperity of PDP in the state.” Also, the President-General, Afonja Descendants Union, Abdulkarim Olola-Kasum, said the defectors’ presence would have posed a danger to PDP’s fortune in the 2015 elections. “They would have acted the role of the Trojan horse to ensure the failure of President Goodluck Jonathan in the 2015 election. I am now inspired to join the PDP to participate in ensuring the return of President Jonathan to Aso Rock in 2015,” Olola-Kasum said.


third anniversary of the Rauf Aregbesola administration, noted that democracy without alternation of power was elected dictatorship. He said there was always need to alternate power so that democracy could be meaningful. Fayemi said the APC was

not the same as the PDP, adding that the party of progressives was about development and revolution. According to him, this made the aggrieved PDP governors and leaders of the new PDP to join the APC, a development he described as a “great political earthquake.”

S •Fayemi

Unease as Sylva, others ‘dump PDP’ for APC


HERE was unease yesterday in the Bayelsa State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), following news that former Governor Timipre Sylva had defected to the All Progressives Congress (APC). Sylva, an estranged member of the PDP, took refuge under the Kawu Baraje-led new PDP. The former governor re-


From Mike Odiegwu, Yenagoa

portedly joined the APC with his supporters. Sylva, who was denied a second term ticket by the PDP, was said to have taken the decision to return to the frontline of political activities. The Nation enquired about the former governor’s political fate yesterday.

A source, who spoke in confidence, said: “His fate is known. You know he was a principal member of the new PDP and he was involved in all the meetings and negotiations before the merger. “He contributed in midwifing the process. If the new PDP has joined the APC and seized to exist, it means he has also joined the APC. He cannot back out from the decision

Ex-PDP members berate Alao-Akala

ORMER leaders and members of Oyo State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), under the aegis of Senator Ajimobi Re-Election Movement (SAREM), have said former Governor Adebayo AlaoAkala is a “politician with a dead conscience.” They noted that instead of Alao-Akala being “remorseful and seek divine forgiveness for his bad governance, he goes about polluting the political atmosphere with his bad utterances”. The movement was reacting to an interview the former governor granted a national newspaper (not The Nation) on the merger of the new PDP governors with the All Progressives Congress (APC). Alao-Akala was quoted as saying Governor Abiola Ajimobi’s second term in office was uncertain and that the APC was like a car without a driver. Addressing reporters yesterday in Oyo town, the Chairman of the movement and a former Special Adviser

If the PDP had the like of General Muhammadu Buhari, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, Chief Bisi Akande, Alhaji Aminu Masari, Chief John OdigieOyegun, Alhaji Ibrahim Shekarau, Imo State Governor Rochas Okorocha, former Abia State Governor Ogbonnaya Onu, the party would not have been sinking and become the abysmal shred.” From Bode Durojaiye, Oyo

to the former governor, Akinrogun Segun Taiwo, said no party could boast or parade eminent personalities of redoubtable character as the APC. Taiwo said: “If the PDP had the like of General Muhammadu Buhari, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, Chief Bisi

Akande, Alhaji Aminu Masari, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, Alhaji Ibrahim Shekarau, Imo State Governor Rochas Okorocha, former Abia State Governor Ogbonnaya Onu, the party would not have been sinking and be in abysmal shred.” The former governor’s aide described the merger of five G7 governors and members of the new PDP as a ray of hope. He hailed the former PDP governors for their courage. According to him, the only way to change the country from impunity and messy governance of the PDP-led administration was to join hands with the progressives to wrest power from the PDP. On the merger, he said: “It is a welcome development. It will create a viable and credible alternative. It is incontrovertible that everybody is fed up with the PDP-led Federal Government. It’s a government, which is providing the cover for its corrupt officials and making them sacred cows and untouchables...”

PDP Crisis: How it all began Continued from page 5

A group of five legislators with the support of Abuja-based politicians made a futile attempt to impeach Governor Amaechi. There was fracas in the House of Assembly as 27 members loyal to Amaechi blocked the move. The appearnce of the governor and his security brought the situaton under control. Governor Aliyu and his colleagues who were in Rivers to pay solidarity visit to Amaechi were stoned at the airport by those suspected to be supporters of the Minister of Education Nyesom Wike. The high handedness of the party leadership brought the seven governors together and formed what was known as G7. They were Governors Aliyu (Niger), Rabiu Kwakwanso (Kano), Wamakko (Sokoto). Murtala Nyako (Adamawa), Amaechi (Rivers), AbduFattah Ahmed (Kwara) and Lamido (Jigawa). At the special convention of the party held in August, a group of party members including the governors stormed out of the Eagle Square, venue of the convention. It was discovered that the delegate lists from the states of the governors opposed to Bamanga Tukur’s leadership were substituted to humble them. The aggrieved members immediately regrouped at a location and held a parallel convention with former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, Senator Bukola Saraki, and the seven governors in

attendance. They announced the formation of new PDP under the chairmanship of Alhaji Abubakar Kawu Baraje and Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola as National Secretary. In pursuit of peaceful resolution of the crisis, the aggrieved governors visited eminent leaders like Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, Generals Ibrahim Babangida and Abdusalam Abubakar to intimate them of what was happening in the party and why they were insisting on internal reforms and the need to refocus the party in line with the vision of the founding fathers. The demands of the aggrieved governors are: that President Jonathan should not contest in 2015 based on earlier agreement; removal of Tukur as Chairman of PDP for lack of transparency and his autocratic tendencies; reinstatement of Governor Amaehi as a member of PDP; returning the party structures to the governors in states where the executive committees were dissolved, and reinstatement of Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola as PDP National Secretary following the Appeal Court ruling. While the President was dragging feet over peace talk with the members of the new PDP, Tukur on his part re- constituted the party’s national disciplinary committee to try the aggrieved members. The committee headed by Alhaji Umaru Dikko had summoned Baraje, Oyinlola, and Dr Sam Sam Jaja, the vice chairman of the group to appear before it.

of the new PDP. “Also, you remember that the PDP dumped Sylva and denied him (a second term), despite all the sacrifices he made for the party, including his contributions to the election of President Goodluck Jonathan. So, if Sylva and other like minds decided to dump the party for APC, his action is justified.”

From Adekunle Jimoh, Ilorin

‘PDP to become opposition party soon’


R. Tom Ohikere, a former Kogi State commissioner of Information in the Ibrahim Idris administration of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), has said the party will soon be struggling for relevance in the nation’s politics. Dr. Ohikere told our reporter on phone yesterday that the poor level of internal mechanism in the ruling party led to

From Muhammad Bashir, Lokoja

the irreconcilable differences among its top players. Five PDP governors and chieftains on Monday defected to the All Progressives Congress (APC). “It is the tragedy of leadership and poor internal mechanism in the PDP that led to its

viable members defecting to another party. That is just the beginning of an end to the PDP, because more governors from the ruling party will soon quit and join the APC,” Dr Ohikere said. The former spokesman of the PDP in Kogi State noted that the defection of five governors to APC showed that the APC was a more viable alternative to PDP.




‘Malaria kills .3m children annually in Nigeria’ Malaria is responsible for the yearly death of over 300,000 children under the age of five in Nigeria, the Malaria Action Programme for States (MAPS) has said. Mr Dominic Usman, the organisation’s Behavioural Change Communication Officer in Benue State, spoke yesterday in Makurdi at the ongoing fifth Benue State Council on Health (SCH) meeting. Usman said the country also recorded over 100 million clinical cases of the disease annually.

Education Times holds award By Sampson Unamka

THE West African Examinations Council (WAEC) Registrar, Dr Iyi Uwadiae; an academic at the Joseph Ayo Babalola University (JABU), Ikeji-Arakeji, Osun State, Prof. Joel Babalola and top officials of the Lagos State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB) are among dignitaries expected today at the seventh award of a publication, Nigerian Education Times. The event, which holds at the Centre for Management Development (CMD), Shangisha, Lagos, will reward distinguished Nigerians and corporate bodies. Lagos State Governor Babatunde Raji Fashola (SAN) is the special guest of honour while former governor, Alhaji Lateef Jakande is the father of the day.

ASUU can call off strike in 24 hours, if...


HE Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) yesterday said its strike can end within 24 hours, if the omissions in its agreement with the Federal Government are corrected and reflected in the new resolution with President Goodluck Jonathan on November 4. The union, however, described the statement credited to the Minister of Education, Nyesom Wike - that ASUU was making outrageous demands - as untrue. The union said it wanted President Jonathan to facilitate the endorsement of the resolutions it reached with him and signed by a highranking government official, preferably the Attorney-General of the Federation, and not a permanent secretary. ASUU said one of its representatives, including the President of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), should be witnesses to the agreement. It said the N200 billion agreed upon as this year’s re-

‘Strike increases private varsities’ intake’


HE continued strike of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has opened a wider window of swelled intake for private universities in Nigeria. A great number of students who gained admission into federal and state universities have switched to private universities. During the matriculation of Babcock University in Ilisan-Remo, Ogun State, The Nation gathered that some of its students had gained admission into other universities and were waiting for the strike end. But since this did not materialise early, they opted for Babcock University. Ademokoya Tosin, of the Department of Accounting at the university said she gained From Oseheye Okwuofu, Ibadan

vitalisation fund for universities should be warehoused with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and disbursed. The union’s position was conveyed by its National Treasurer, Dr Ademola Aremu, in an interview yesterday with The Nation in Ibadan, Oyo State. He said the union appreci-

By Medinat Kanabe

admission into the University of Lagos (UNILAG) and was waiting for the strike to be called off. But when it was evident that the year might run out with the schools remaining shut, she switched to Babcock. Another student, Orukoto Omawunmi, of the Department of Economics and Banking, said she came to Babcock when ASUU refused to call off strike. Orukoto said: “I decided to come to Babcock and write the post-UTME (Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination). When I passed it, I didn’t look back on the admission I had gained into UNILAG because with the strike, I was not sure of when I would graduate if I stuck to UNILAG.”

ated the intervention of President Jonathan but noticed that some of the resolutions reached with him were not in the letter sent to the union. Aremu said the Supervising Minister of Education, Nyesom Wike, was economical with the truth by not telling Nigerians that besides the N30 billion earned allowances, the gov-

•From left: DirectorGeneral, Federal Institute of Research, Oshodi (FIRO), Dr Gloria Elemo; Vice President, Nigerian Academy of Science (NAS), Prof Mosto Onuoha and Prof Awele Maduemezia, after the Nigeria Science Prize regional sentitisation workshop, organised by NAS in Lagos...yesterday.

By Okwy Iroegbu-Chikezie

Mark mourns Ondo lawmaker From Onyedi Ojiabor,

Assistant Editor and Sanni Onogu, Abuja

SENATE President David Mark yesterday said the late House of Representatives’ member from Ondo State, Raphael Nomiye, was a committed legislator, whose forthright contributions would be missed. In a condolence message to House of Representatives’ Speaker Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, the government and people of Ondo State, the Senate President said Nomiye died when his services were most needed. In a statement in Abuja by his Chief Press Secretary, Paul Mumeh, the Senate President noted that the late Nomiye was a vibrant legislator and an astute politician, who was concerned about the wellbeing of the masses.

N24m ‘theft’: Magistrate orders bench warrant enforced

By Precious Igbonwelundu

Need for policy on poor houses

THE Second Vice President of the Nigerian Institution of Estate Surveyors and Valuers (NIESV), Dr. Bolarinde Joshua PatunolaAjayi, has called for a policy to check abandoned and derelict buildings in the country. He said this would ensure that government agencies and the private sector set aside a certain percentage of their income to complete or rehabilitate such propertiy whenever the need arises.

ernment had not released the N100 billion it publicised to Nigerians. Dr Aremu said as intellectuals, ASUU was being cautious because the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Senator Anyim Pius Anyim, had undermined the 2012 Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) because it was signed by a permanent secretary in

the Federal Ministry of Education, Prof Nicholas Dimanche. He said: “We are not making fresh demands. In fact, the National Executive Council (NEC) would have suspended the strike but the concerns of our congresses were that many of the things agreed to with Mr President during the November 4 meeting were not included in the letter signed by a permanent secretary in the Federal Ministry of Education, Dr Mark John Nwobiala.” He said the strike could end within 24 hours if the omissions were corrected and reflected in the new resolution. Dr Aremu said: “They are interested in wasting the time of Nigerians. What we observed do not require an additional kobo to effect. The letter does not include a nonvictimisation clause.”



NAF promotes 107 senior officers

HE Nigerian Air Force (NAF) yesterday announced the promotion of 107 senior officers, comprising 15 Air Vice Marshals, 39 Air Commodores, 31 Group Captains and 22 Wing Commanders. Those promoted to Air Vice Marshal are: Elam Nzokala, Christopher Gudi, Suleiman Dambo, Victor Udoh, Chukwuma Mojekwu and Emmanuel Akogu. Others are: Eche Agwungwu, Muhammadu Muhammed, Uko Ebong, Ibrahim Umaru, Benjamin Nweze, Sani Ahmed, Rufus Ojuawo, Lawal Alao and Stephen Onuh. Those elevated to Air Commodore are: Oluwole Akinsanya, Isiaka Amao, Ayuba Lassa, Christopher Umolu, Abdulganiyu Olabisi and Danladi Bausa. Also included are: Ibukun Ojeyemi, Remigius Ekeh, Christopher Dola, Lazarus Mshelia, Aliyu Pani, Dahiru Sanda, Mahmud Madi and Usman Suleiman. Others are: Charles Ohwo, Mohammed Yakubu, Emmanuel Wonah, Idi Lubo, Akugbe Iyamu, Morgan

From Gbade Ogunwale, Assistant Editor, Abuja

Idonibo, Dauda Prayero, John Ochomma, Sonny Ohemu, Paul Jemitola, Sambo Usman, Emenike Umeoka, Chinwedu Onyike, Taofiki Oladega, Musa Tanko, Hyacinth Eze, Ayodele Dudusola, Nelson Camday, Christopher Egwoba, Abdullahi Kassimu, lliyasu Yahaya, Olatokunbo Adesanya, Dele Alonge, Ado Inuwa and

Emmanuel Akinbayo. Those who made Group Captain are: Anthony Ekpe, Ikechukwu Ogbodo, Gideon Bako, Okey Ezeanyagu, Anthony Martins, Esen Efanga, Michael Ekwueme, Ndubuisi Okoro, Chidiebere Obiabaka and Simon Peter. Others are: Mohammed Yusuf, Ayo Famuyiwa, Henry Yurkusi, Ademuyiwa Adedoyin, John Laoye, Jibril Usman, Abdullahi Bello, Abdulrasheed Kotun, Felix

Uwakara, Abubakar Sule, Olufemi Odeyinde, Gbolahan Oremosu, Olasunkanmi Abu, Loveday Wariboko, Mohammed Ibrahim, Luther Kamat, Sylvanus Ojo, Razaq Olarenwaju, John Opara, Wapkerem Maigida and Zayyan Usman. A statement by Air Commodore D. J. Alonge on behalf of the Director of Public Relations and Information of the Air Force said the promotions take immediate effect.

U.S envoy to back anti-corruption fight


HE United States Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr James Entwistle, has said his country will support Nigeria’s fight against corruption and promotion of good governance. A statement by Mr Sani Mohammed, the U.S. Embassy Senior Information Specialist, quoted the envoy as saying that the U.S planned to expand bilateral trade and investment between the two countries. Entwistle said: “I will continue focusing the United States efforts on partnering Nigeria to develop measures to more effectively fight corruption and advance transparent and accountable governance.”

The envoy also expressed the readiness of the U.S. government to work closely with the Nigerian government in reducing violence and terrorism. He also said the U.S. would address “legitimate economic needs” of Nigerian communities, which are vulnerable to violence. Entwistle, on November 26, presented his Letter of Credence to President Goodluck Jonathan in Abuja. The ambassador, who is a career member of the senior foreign service of the rank of counsellor, was the U.S. Ambassador to the Democratic Republic of Congo. Entwistle is a graduate of Davidson College in North Carolina.


LAGOS Magistrate’s Court, Igbosere, yesterday ordered the police to enforce a bench warrant on Nelson Maduabuchi, who is suspected to have jumped bail in an alleged N24 million suit. The Magistrate, Muyiwa Martins, gave the ruling after she rejected a medical certificate brought by counsel to the defendant, simply identified as Odoh, claiming that the defendant was hospitalised. Mrs. Muyiwa issued the bench warrant on October 14 because the defendant had not appeared in court since he was admitted to bail with N2 million and two sureties in like sum. His sureties - Benedict Ugwaegbunam and Richard Ekeh - were ordered to show cause. Maduabuchi, 39, was arraigned on November 11, 2010, on a four-count of conspiracy, obtaining goods under false pretences and theft. Prosecuting Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) Nicholas Adaora (rtd) said the defendant, with others at large, on February 18, 2008, at 11am at 6, Ijora Causeway, Lagos, conspired and obtained goods worth $50,000 from Baader Schulze Laboratories. He said the defendant deceived the complainant that he was would help the company register its product with the National Agency of Food and Drug Administration (NAFDAC). Adaora alleged that the defendant stole the products worth N16.7 million. Yesterday, counsel to the complainant, Chikelu Ilegbune, said the defendant and Ekeh had telephoned the complainant’s representative, Chief Nzeribe Okegbue, requesting a meeting to enable him make some payments and reach an agreement on how to liquidate the balance. He said the defendant had sent his wife, Mrs. Nelson Maduabuchi and elder brother Cyril Maduabuchi on November 6, the same day the police arrested Ugwegbunam, pursuant to the court’s order for the sureties to show cause.




Aregbesola marks third anniversary in office


MASSIVE crowd gathered yesterday at the Freedom Park in Osogbo, the Osun State capital, to mark the third anniversary of the Governor Rauf Aregbesola administration. Aregbesola said he has delivered on his electioneering promises and pledged to continue to make life better for the people. At the rally were Ekiti State Governor Kayode Fayemi; Osun State Deputy Governor Mrs. Titilayo

•Alternation of power imminent, says Fayemi

Laoye-Tomori; Aregbesola’s wife, Serifat; Ekiti State Commissioner for Integration and Intergovernmental Affairs Funminiyi Afuye; top government officials and chieftains of the All Progressives Congress (APC). Fayemi said the defection of the Alhaji Kawu Baraje-led faction of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to the All

Progressives Congress (APC) was a signal that the alternation of power at the federal level is imminent. He said democracy without alternation of power was “elected dictatorship”, hence the need to alternate power to make it meaningful. Fayemi said APC was not the same with PDP. He described APC as a party of progress, development and revolution, adding that this

led the aggrieved PDP leaders to the party. He said their defection was “a political earthquake”. Congratulating Aregbesola on his third anniversary in office, Fayemi described him (Aregbesola) as “a visionary leader, who has made positive development in all sectors”. He said Aregbesola deserved another term to complete his people-oriented

programmes and urged the people to re-elect him. Fayemi said he was not “unaware that the PDP is scheming and targeting” next year’s governorship polls in Osun and Ekiti states, adding that he and Aregbesola believed in the support of the people and would not accept a replication of the “anambracadabra election” that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) conducted in Anambra in their states.

Man arraigned for ‘defiling’ daughter, 15 A 48-year-old man, Sanni Idowu, was yesterday arraigned before a Magistrate’s Court for allegedly defiling his 15-year-old daughter. Idowu was arrested on October 23 in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital. He pleaded “not guilty”. The Magistrate, S.A. Oyediran, remanded Idowu at Agodi Prison and adjourned the case till December 9.

Oyinlola’s SSG may drop PDP From Adesoji Adeniyi, Osogbo

•Ekiti State Governor Kayode Fayemi at the Passing-Out-Parade of ‘Batch C’ members of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) at the orientation camp in Emure-Ekiti... on Tuesday.

Centre urges Southwest governors to build dams


HE Southwest Regional Centre for National Water Resources Capacity Building Network (SRCNWRCBN) yesterday urged the governments of Southwest states to build common dams. SRCNWRCBN, an arm of the Federal University of Agriculture (FUNAAB) in Abeokuta, Ogun State, said given the depleting effects of climate change on water supply, there was need for build dams to meet the needs of humans, plants and animals and prevent “starvation and poverty” in the Southwest. Coordinator of the centre Prof. Johnson Adewunmi said such dams, if built, would be used to preserve water for drinking, irrigation and fishing, among other needs. Adewunmi spoke with reporters in Abeokuta after the opening of a regional workshop on climate change and integrated water resources management in the Southwest.

From Ernest Nwokolo, Abeokuta

At the workshop, which was opened by FUNAAB’s Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Olusola Oyewole, were participants from the ministries of Environment and Water Resources in Lagos, Ogun, Oyo, Ekiti and Osun states. Adewunmi said the availability of dams would make Southwest farmers active all year round like their coun-


terparts in the north. He said: “The Southwest has not been clamouring for the construction of dams to preserve water. Water is not only for drinking; it is also for irrigation, fishing and other needs. “It is up to our leaders to build dams. In the early 60s and 70s, Audu Bako, who was governing Kano State then, foresaw the need for dams. Today, Kano State has over 50 dams and two or three of them can gener-

ate hydro electricity. But here, when they talk of dams, the government and our leaders will be thinking of rural water supply, it is not. “This water can also be used to irrigate the field, so that throughout the year, there will be farming activities. In those days, Southwest farmers used to go on merriment during the dry season, but in the North, once the rain stops, they go for irrigation and make money throughout the year.”

Steady water supply for Osun

HERE will be steady water supply all over Osun State before the end of the first quarter of next year. The Special Adviser to the Governor on Water Resources, Mrs. Tawakalitu Williams, said: “As soon as ongoing repair works on all the vandalised and unattended water schemes across the state are completed, they will start working optimally.”

Mrs. Williams spoke yesterday during an interactive session with community leaders and members of the Plumbing Contractors Association at the Secretariat in Osogbo, the state capital. She said a team will be constituted to oversee water schemes in small communities and water tankers would be provided before the end of the first quarter of next year to supply water

to communities that lack water. Mrs. Williams said the Ilesa Water Scheme, which will have the size and capacity of the one in Ede, will be completed in 2015. The General Manager of the Osun Water Corporation, Olugbenga Owojuyigbe, said the rehabilitation of the Ede Water Scheme will be completed before the end of the first quarter of next year.

tariat in Ibadan. Akintola said: “Cooperatives essentially empower people, create jobs, promote the standard of living and reduce poverty. There is need for the government and the private sector to stop paying lip service to this sector and fund cooperative so-

cieties, if they want to achieve sustainable economic growth.” He said the dormant cooperative sector was responsible for our economic problems, adding: “At critical socio-economic challenging periods, cooperatives provide a fall back and bail out.”

Govt, private sector urged to develop cooperatives


HE government and the private sector have been urged to recognise cooperatives as relevant to socio-economic development. The National Coordinator, Southwest Cooperative Sector Assessment Summit/ Exhibition, Mr. Ademola

From Tayo Johnson, Ibadan

Akintola, spoke yesterday at the summit/exhibition organised by the Oyo State Ministry of Trade, Investment and Cooperative and the National Association of Cooperative Consultants (NACC) at the State Secre-

A FORMER Secretary to the Osun State Government (SSG), Alhaji Fatai Akinbade, may soon dump the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). Akinbade, who is aspiring to contest next year’s governorship election, was the SSG in the administration of former Governor Olagunsoye Oyinlola. Akinbade’s media aide, Kayode Oladeji, in a statement yesterday, said: “We are definitely on our way out of the PDP. We are still consulting, after which we will tell our supporters where we are heading. “We urge our supporters to remain calm and be law abiding. More than ever before, we need to be focused, so as to get to the Promised Land, because we are on a rescue mission as directed by God.” There are rumours that Akinbade may join the Labour Party (LP).

NBA hails Ondo NDDC nominee


From Damisi Ojo, Akure

HE Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Okitipupa branch in Ondo State, yesterday hailed the nomination of its former Chairman, Mr. Amuwa Benson, as the state’s representative on the Board of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC). Benson replaced the former nominee, Dr. Benson Enikuomehin, whose name was withdrawn from the Senate by the Presidency. There have been jubilation in Ondo oil-producing communities and traditional rulers in the area commended Benson’s nomination. In a statement by its Chairman, Jerry Ajisomo, Vice-Chairman Tayo Ogungbemi and Secretary Okorisa James, Okitipupa NBA said Benson was the right choice for the job and pledged to support him to ensure that he succeeds.

Oyo redeploys council workers


From Bisi Oladele, Ibadan

HE Oyo State Local Government Service Commission has begun the mass redeployment of workers. A statement by the commission’s Information Officer, Mr. Bimbo Ladepo, said the exercise was to correct the imbalance in staff distribution in the 33 local governments, ensure smooth conduct of government business and improve service delivery to the people. He said ongoing programmes in the health sector require the deployment of some officers, mostly as managers and desk officers. Ladepo said: “The importance attached to some of these programmes, such as the Local Action Committee on AIDS (LACA) and Local Immunisation Programme, by the state government, based on the benefits accruable to the people, makes it crucial for suitably qualified officers, mostly nurses, community health extension workers and health officers, to be in charge.

Osun approves N4.5b car loan for workers THE Osun State government has approved N4, 527,820,000 car refurbishing loan for 9,435 workers. This is part of activities marking the third anniversary of the Governor Rauf Aregbesola administration. Commissioner for Finance, Economic Planning and Budget Dr. Wale Bolorunduro told reporters in Osogbo, the state capital, that labour unions in the state civil service were responsible for managing the loan account, adding that the government was not a signatory to the account.




CITYBEATS LINE: 08078425391

Lagos charges 17 Boko Haram suspects with terrorism


EVENTEEN suspected members of the proscribed Islamic fundamentalist group, Boko Haram, were yesterday arraigned at the Federal High Court in Lagos. They were charged before Justice Ibrahim Buba following the withdrawal of Justice Musa Kurya, before whom the suspects were first brought. The Lagos State government, represented by its Director of Public Prosecution (DPP), Mrs Olabisi Odugbesan, charged the suspects with seven counts of alleged terrorist acts and possession of prohibited firearms and ammunition. The accused, are Ali Modu, Adamu Karumi, Ibrahim Ali, Ibrahim Bukar, Mohammed A. Mohammed, Bala Haruna, Idris Ali, Mohammed Murtala, Kadri Mohammed, Mustapha Hassan, Abba Duguni, Sanni Adamu, Danjuma Yahaya, Musa Bala, Bala Daura, Farouk Haruna and Abdula Zuladaini. Journalists were barred from the courtroom by officers of the State Security Service (SSS), but it was learnt that the charge was read out in English and interpreted in Hausa. The accused pleaded not guilty. An attempt to arraign the accused on October 25 was stalled because five of them had no lawyers. Yesterday, Mr. O.E

By Joseph Jibueze

Nwagbara represented the seventh accused; Mr. D. Dada represented the sixth and eight to 17th accused. The first to fifth accused were not represented by any lawyer. Justice Buba ordered that the accused, be remanded in prison. The charge said the accused were arrested at Plot 5, Road 69, Lekki Phase 1 Housing Estate; 24 Oyegbemi Street, Ijora Oloye, Apapa and an unnumbered bungalow on Oyegbemi Street, behind Celestial Church, Ijora Oloye on March 21. The government said they conspired among themselves “to commit felony, to with: acts of terrorism” by having in their possession explosive substances, including three packets of explosive construction pipes and 15 detonators. They were also allegedly in possession of 11 AK-47 rifle magazines loaded with 30 rounds of live ammunition each; 200 rounds of 7.62 mm live ammunition, one AK-47 rifle, two AK-47 rifle magazines with three rounds of live ammunition each, two suitcases containing explosives and one water container of explosives. Also recovered from the suspects, the charge said, were one bag containing canisters, one HP laptop, five Nokia handsets and one red

Volkswagen Golf car with registration number Lagos: SMK 427 AZ, allegedly meant to transport the explosives. The offence is contrary to Section 17 of the Terrorism (Prevention) Act 2013 and punishable under Section 17 (b). In another count, it was stated that Ibrahim Bukar and Kadri Mohammed, on the same day “knowingly entered into an arrangement as a result of which money is to be made available for the purpose of terrorism for a proscribed organisation to wit: Boko Haram sect.” The government said the offence was contrary to Section 13 (2) of the Terrorism Prevention Amendment Act 2013 and punishable under the same Act. According to the fifth count, the accused were arrested by a team of security agents for being members of a proscribed organisation, the Boko Haram sect. The alleged offence is said to be contrary to Section 2 of the Terrorism (Prevention) (Proscription Order) Notice 2013 and punishable under the same Section 2 (3) (1) read in conjunction with Section 33 (1) (b) of the Act as amended. The sixth count said they had in their possession prohibited firearms without a licence contrary to Section 516 of the Criminal Code, Cap C38, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004 and

Police arraign three for alleged robbery


•Lagos State AttorneyGeneral and Commissioner for Justice, Ade Ipaye

punishable under the same section. Journalists were also barred on October 25 from covering the case. As proceedings were to begin, an SSS official asked everyone who was not a lawyer to leave the courtroom. When the reporters identified themselves and explained why they were in court, the security agent said the press had been barred from covering the case. He said the SSS got a directive from the Presidency not to allow journalists to cover the proceedings. When the journalists complied and stood outside the courtroom, another armed SSS officer asked them to leave and not stay anywhere around the corridor. “I give you five minutes to leave this place, or you will be handcuffed,” the security agent threatened. The case first came up on October 2, but was adjourned till October 9 because the accused could not speak English and there was no interpreter around. The case again could not go on on October 9 because the court did not sit. Justice Buba adjourned till December 3 for trial.

By Remilekun Osasona

HE police have arraigned three men, Adeniyi Adebanjo (24), Lekan Olanrewaju (22) and Morufu Adebowo (26) at the Ikeja Magistrate’s Court for alleged robbery. They were charged with conspiracy to rob and attempted robbery. The prosecutor, E.I Nnamonu, alleged that the defendants attempted to rob one Ahmed Olalekan on November 22 at Oyingbo in Lagos. One of the charges read: “That you Adeniyi Adebanjo, Morufu Adebowo, Lekan Olanrewaju on the 22nd day of November, 2013 at about 1700hrs at Oyingbo Lagos, in the Lagos Magisterial District did conspired amongst yourselves to commit felony to wit: Robbery and thereby committed an offence punishable under section 297 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State of Nigeria 2011.” The defendants pleaded not guilty. Magistrate, A. O. Komolafe granted them N100,000 bail with two sureties in the like sum. She adjourned till January 14, 2014 for trial.

Senator empowers the poor


By Leke Salaudeen, Assistant Editor

HE Senate Minority Whip, Senator Ganiyu Solomon (Lagos West), has called on political office holders to assist in reducing poverty by empowering the less privileged. Solomon who spoke at the official presentation of his Poverty Alleviation Programme at the All Progressives Congress (APC) Lagos State Chapter Secretariat in Ikeja, said if all elective office holders can give out to assist the people who elected them, it will go a long way to reduce poverty. The senator said this is not the first time that he would make presentation of working tools and materials to boost the trade of the common people noting that “some of my colleagues in the APC too have been doing their best in this regard to reduce poverty to the barest minimum in our society.”


Church holds crusade

HE Emmanuel Worldwide Evangelical Ministry (EWEM) will hold its end of year revival programme in the first week of December in Ikeja, Lagos. It was gathered that the programme which will take place at Ikeja club, opposite Computer village, will begin on December 2 and end on December 6. Minister in charge of the church, Prophet Joseph Alao Akindale said the programme was a direct response to a divine directive to take the gospel to the grassroots in Ikeja and environs.


Indigenous investor unveils 20m-song phone


•Governor Imoke and wife Obioma at the news conference on the Calabar Carnival

Calabar to light Africa’s biggest ‘Xmas tree


N preparation for the annual Calabar Carnival, the Cross River State government is planning a groundbreaking Christmas tree-lighting ceremony, having taken delivery of the tree, touted as the biggest in Africa. The tourist city of Calabar, the state capital, is already wearing a new look in readiness for the month-long festival, which begins on Saturday, with the traditional illumination of the symbolic Xmas tree. As part of the opening ceremonies, popular comedian Akpororo has been confirmed as one of the entertainers. He is expected to thrill guests, including governors, government officials, captains of industry and revellers, among others, to a fun moment at the Millennium Park, venue of the ceremony. The tree-lighting ceremony will be followed by the Paradise City Walk against HIV/AIDS the next day. Entertainers billed for the post-walk event, tagged: World AIDs Day Charity Concert, include Samsong, Obiwon, Segun Obe, Kage, Nnanke and Darlene, who will be performing at the Millennium Park, by 7pm. Before the concert, Governor Liyel Imoke is expected to open the Festival Village at the Calabar Municipality Council grounds. The Festival Village, according to a Government House source, is being moved from its traditional ground at the Cultural Centre, owing to construction of a new shopping complex.

ITH the catch phrase: ‘Let’s Go Solo’, an elegant smartphone enters the Nigerian market with a bang, priding itself with the best content and services ecosystem, and coming from an indigenous investor. “This is an exciting day for all of us in the Solo Family,” says Tayo Ogundipe, founder and Global CEO of Solo Phone, at the media unveil of the new product on November 22. He described the initiative as providing an intuitive user experience on elegant, affordable devices. “It is especially thrilling that we are launching our global brand in Nigeria; it’s great to be home,” he said, adding: “Our mission is to combine our roots in emerging markets with our global industry experience in the mobile telecommunications space to deliver a compelling and complete experience on affordable smartphones across Africa and other emerging markets. This vision is our passion because this is our home,” said the eloquent Solo phone honcho. Ogundipe said at the media launch at Intercontinental Hotel, Lagos, that the new device is offering over 20 million local and global songs, as its Unique Selling Point (USP). The phone, which came with an initial screen display

Stories by Victor Akande

photo promo, has Afro Pop singer, Iyanya Mbuk, as its ambassador. Ogundipe’s presentation at the event captured the product as having free upto-date music, Nollywood movies and strong gaming applications. Asked if his company took permission for the use of the songs, the Solo Phone boss, who said he is a respecter of intellectual property, said his company is signed to Sony, Warner and Universal music, with Olisa Adibua of Beat FM as link man to the local choice songs. He said the device is “not just a smart phone, but comes with an easy widget and experience that makes you a moving DJ,” noting that his company, in addition, is collaborating with Etisalat, to offer six months and one-year free data in the two categories of the phone for buyers. Head, Devices & Terminals at Etisalat Nigeria Olayiwola Onafowokan said at the event: “Etisalat is happy to partner with Solo in fulfilling our objective of providing Nigeria with the best Internet experience. We believe it is important for network providers and phone manufacturers to collaborate and initiate products and services to satisfy the increased demand for data and smartphones by sub-


scribers.” The range includes Solo S350 and Solo S450; the former, a 3.5" screen Android Jelly Bean 4.1 smartphone with dual SIM capabilities, 4GB internal memory with 8GB of SD card, expandable up to 32GB. The latter, a 4.5" screen, Android Jelly Bean 4.2 smartphone with dual SIM capabilities and 16GB of internal memory, coupled with SD card capabilities of up to 32GB. The package, according to Ogundipe, is an unusual digital video rental service that enables customers to stream, download and store videos for up to two weeks on their mobile devices.

Tonto Dikeh is ELOY’s Best Actress


ONTROVERSIAL actress Tonto Dikeh has been named Best Actress of the Year at the Exquisite Lady of the Year (Eloy) awards. It’s a first major recognition for the thespian, who is often linked with questionable lifestyle. Miss Dikeh beat Chioma Chukwuka-Akpotha, Ini Edo, Ireti Doyle and Kate Henshaw, among others, in that category. The star-studded event took place Sunday at the Red Carpet Events Centre, Victoria Island, Lagos. Dikeh, who spotted a black fitted gown, attended the show in company of a young man, Michael Awolaja, who is rumoured to be her beau. Dikeh who got the feat through Uche Jombo’s flick, My Life, My Damage, was said to have showered encomiums on the young man while receiving her award. The guy, otherwise called Malivelihood, according to his Instagram page, is “Agent to the Stars, Luxury Designer, Entrepreneur, Business Man, Fashionista & Jeweller.” Dikeh is known to have been showing off gold customised iphones and other accessories recently.






Capital market has grown by 38.8%, says Oteh From Nduka Chiejina


(Asst. Editor)

ETWEEN January and November this year, the Nigerian capital market grew by 38.8 per cent growth, the Director-General, Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Ms. Arunma Oteh, has said. Ms. Oteh, who made this known while addressing market women during the capital market wealth and health day held at the Kuje Market in Abuja, yesterday, described Nigeria’s capital market as one of the best performing in the world. She said SEC has laboured to strengthen the regulatory framework for funds management in the last few years, to encourage retail investors to invest through mutual funds or collective investment schemes. She said to invest, parties must be healthy in order to make informed investment decision which was what informed “the wealth and health day.” Oteh told the traders that if they are “not physically healthy, it doesn’t matter how much you have, you cannot do anything, that is why we said it is important that people manage their money properly, that they save and invest for their future, pension and health challenges.” She said if you learn to save and invest, you will have a greater future. “If you save and invest, you will have a better life in the future and that is why we said we will go around and preach that message. If you learn to save and invest, you will help our country’s challenges; we will build our roads, we will build our airports and we will build our ports.” She said SEC will continue to develop capacity in order to prevent fraudulent investors from entering the market.

DATA STREAM COMMODITY PRICES Oil -$117.4/barrel Cocoa -$2,686.35/metric ton Coffee - ¢132.70/pound Cotton - ¢95.17pound Gold -$1,396.9/troy Sugar -$163/lb MARKET CAPITALISATIONS NSE -N11.4 trillion JSE -Z5.112trillion NYSE -$10.84 trillion LSE -£61.67 trillion RATES Inflation -8% Treasury Bills -10.58%(91d) Maximum lending -30% Prime lending -15.87% Savings rate -1% 91-day NTB -15% Time Deposit -5.49% MPR -12% Foreign Reserve $45b FOREX CFA -0.2958 EUR -206.9 £ -242.1 $ -156 ¥ -1.9179 SDR -238 RIYAL -40.472

“Nobody in AMCON knows who Enterprise Bank bidders are. Nobody in AMCON knows how many the bidders are, or who will be shortlisted. It is only when they (the advisers –Citi Bank and Vetiva Capital) have looked at all of these people that they decide who and who are qualified,” -Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) CEO, Mustafa Chike-Obi

Fed Govt eyes N2.95tr non-oil revenue


HE Federal Govern ment is aiming to real ise N2.95 trillion from non-oil revenue by the end of 2014, the Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister of the Economy, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, has said. Mrs. Okonjo-Iweala, who made this known to State House correspondents at the end of the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting in Abuja, yesterday, explained that of the amount, the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) is expected to realise about N2.2trillion, while a foreign Consultant and an international tax firm, McKinsey & Co, will be saddled with the task of getting the additional N75billion, also from the non-oil sector. To get the N75 billion, she said efforts would be intensified to get on the system

• Sets N75b target for tax consultant From Augustine Ehikioya, Abuja

those who have either been evading taxes, or paying less taxes than they ought to pay, adding that the consultant is expected to get 1.75 per cent Commission, averaging N470million if it is able to generate the additional N75 billion non-oil revenue. She said: “The FIRS brought a memo seeking to strengthen non-oil tax collection and non-oil revenue collection. The drive that this administration is undertaking in terms of diversifying the economy seems to be yielding results. We need to expand our tax and revenue base to be able to do better. “Nigeria’s tax to GDP ra-

tio currently is relatively low at 7 per cent compared to other countries of the world. Our aim is to move from 7 percent to 22 per cent over time in the medium term. We are hoping over the next five years, the country will move gradually to this ratio. We want to do that through blocking all the loopholes and leakages in tax collection. That is why we resolved to find avenues to support the FIRS,” she added. Mrs. Okonjo-Iweala pointed out that about 65 per cent of registered tax payers did not file returns in the past two years, while about 75 per cent of medium and small businesses currently in the tax system, were also not paying tax, adding that

about 30 per cent of the companies operating under pioneer status abuse those incentives and evade tax. She said the consultant has outlined seven steps to be taken by the FIRS to boost non-oil revenue, including improved audit, tax filing enforcement, review of tax holidays and exemption, tax arrears and debt enforcement, increased registration of companies and improved external communication. She said the President’s anticipatory approval for the award of contract for the provision of technical support for non-oil revenue enhancement and capacity building services to the FIRS in favour of Messrs Mckinsey & Company for N1.470billion inclusive of all taxes equivalent to $8.750million with a completion period of 12 months, has been secured.

• From left: Associate Vice President – Global Sales & Distribution, Arik Air, Mr Trevor Henry; Sales Manager, Ms Ibiyemi Odusi; and Group Executive Chairman, Peacock Group of Companies, Aare Segun Phillips, during a joint inspection tour of Ibadan GSA office. PHOTO: ISAAC JIMOH AYODELE


By Simeon Ebulu

Jaiyesimi (CFAO Automotive); Jacky Hathiramani (Dana Group) , Adeoye Ojuoko (SMT Nigeria(Volvo); Mohad Wasnani (Globe Motors); C.K. Thampy (Toyoto Nigeria); Francis Ogboro (KIA Motors) ; Seyi Onojide (R.T. Brisoe Nigeria Plc); Benson Uwatse (Westar Associates Limited – Mercedez Benz) and Olutoyin Okeowo (Metropolitan Motors Limited). In a speech after the meeting, Aganga said all parties have agreed on mutually beneficial

strategies to ensure the successful implementation of the policy in line with President Goodluck Jonathan’s Transformation Agenda. “The meeting with major automobile importers in the country was very fruitful as it provided the opportunity to iron out lingering issues. It also afforded us the opportunity to understand what their concerns are. They have all endorsed the policy, but what they are asking for is a level playing ground for every player in the auto sector, and also to have more input in the implemen-

• Investigate NNPC over kerosine subsidy From Victor Oluwasegun and Dele Anofi. Abuja


HE Speaker of the House of Representa tives. Aminu Tambuwal yesterday named a five-member Conference Committee on the2013-2015 Medium Term Expenditure Framework that would meet its Senate counterpart. The Committee is expected to resolve differences generated over the oil benchmark for the 2014 budget. While President Goodluck Jonathan proposed $74 oil benchmark, the Senate approved $76.5, while the House raised it to $79. Members of the Committee, include the Chairman, Finance Committee, Abdulmumin Jibrin. Chairman, Aids, Loans and Debt Management, Adeyinka Ajayi, Daniel Reyemeju Abdulrahman Terab and Fort Dike. The Speaker made the announcement after the House resolved to investigate the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) over subsidy for Dual Purpose kerosine (DPK). House Committee on Petroleum Resources (Downstream) was mandated to conduct an investigative hearing to establish the actual amount spent on kerosine subsidy from 2910 to 2013.

Beware of wonder banks, NDIC warns customers From KoladeAdeyemi, Kano


Auto policy: Govt, importers agree on plan T

HE Federal Govern ment and major auto mobile importers in the country have agreed to fashion out a collective action plan for the successful implementation of the new automotive policy. This was the highpoint of a meeting between the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Olusegun Aganga, automobile importers, and representatives of Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) in Abuja. Those who attended the meeting included: Chief Ade Ojo (Toyota Nigeria Limited); Cosmas Maduka (Coscharis Motors Limited); Adekunle

2014 budget: Reps raise Committee on MTEF

• Aganga

tation of the policy,” he said. “This is not a problem at all because the next step we usually take with all the policies that we have is to have an industry group to monitor and work with us in the implementation stage. So, we have set up a committee to work with us in the implementation of the policy.”

HE Nigeria Deposit In surance Corporation, [NDIC] has warned bank customers across the country to resist the temptation of patronising financial institutions that offer ‘mouth- watering interests’ so as to avoid falling victims of fraudsters. The warning was given yesterday by its Managing Director/Chief Executive Office,Alhaji Umaru Ibrahim, at the 34th Kano International Trade Fair during the NDIC special day. He noted that the body has been making efforts to sanitise the financial system by enthroning stability. In doing this, he said “wonder-banks operators” have been arrested and charged to court.

Owners of DISCOs, GENCOs battle NERC over losses

HE owners of the Elec tricity Distribution Companies (DISCOs) and Generation Companies (GENCOs), yesterday tackled the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) over challenges in the power sector that have resulted in financial losses. NERC had at the meeting

From John Ofikhenua, Abuja

in Abuja churned out its expectations from the operators. But the operators cautioned the Commission to redirect its efforts at tackling the reality in the power sector instead of focussing solely on expectations.

Kano DISCOs’ Chief Executive Officer, Dr. Jamil Gwamna, told NERC that due to abysmal load allocation to the Kano DISCO, which supplies Kano, Jigawa, Katsina States and Republic of Niger, the company has not generated any money from the power entity. He said: “I have watched the

presentation of the last presenter. And my concern is very simple as far as my DISCO is concerned. I have noticed the emphasis on compliance with MYTO II model but actually the reality on ground as far as Kano is concerned, is that all the assumption of the MYTO have been turned upside down. It is not

working. “ I will start with the load allocation to Kano. It is really sad that for the last three days, our allocation was as low as 40mega watts (Mw) covering Kano, Jigawa and Katsina States. And not only that, about 20Mw will go to Niger Republic. So, how on earth can I make money?













The annual budget of the Federal Government is central to the success of virtually all sectors of the economy. In Nigeria, delays and poor implementation have been its hallmark. OKWY IROEGBU-CHIKEZE writes that stakeholders in the manufacturing sector, at a forum, stressed the need for proper implementation of the budget to grow the sectors.

‘Poor budget implementation crippling economy’


PERATORS have outlined steps to effective budget implementation. They said the late submission of budget proposals by the executive arm of government to the National Assembly and extended deliberation by legislators have remained stumbling blocks on the way of effective budget implementation. Speaking at this year’s Seminar/ Luncheon of the Financial Services Group of the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), its President, Mr. Goodie Ibru, said: “Over the past decades, we have hardly seen budget implementation at the federal level begin in January of any fiscal year. In fact, it is difficult or nearly impossible for private sector operators to accurately forecast when the annual budget will be approved. To illustrate, it took an average of five months and two weeks from presentation to passage and approval of the Federal Government annual budgets in the last 12 years.” He warned that unpredictable budget approval timelines make

By Okwy Iroegbu-Chikezie Asst. Editor

planning difficult and cause inefficient allocation of resources. Ibru, who was represented by the Deputy President, Alhaji Remi Bello, frowned at the recent findings by the probe panel of the House of Representatives Committee on Budget and Appropriation that less than 45 per cent of the capital component of the Federal Government budget was implemented over the past 10 years. Stressing the need for an early passage of the budget, he added that the private sector relies heavily on the Federal Government budget to take critical investment and financing decisions. The LCCI chief maintained that beyond infrastructure deficit, weak institutions and corruption, delays and poor implementation of budget were increasingly inhibiting productivity and private sector growth. Chairman of the Financial Services Group Mrs. Olajumoke Fashanu said budget implementation has be-

come a major challenge at different levels of governance. She said though it has remained a major issue, the case of the Federal Government was quite pertinent considering that over 50 per cent of revenue is spent at the federal level. Key implementation challenges she said included extra budgetary spending, procurement problems, poor revenue collection and remittance. She berated the government for what she described as weak budget monitoring with spending agencies not accounting for funds allocated to them. Mrs Fashanu said this constituted a weak link in the budgeting process, resulting in a low rate of performance and inability of the government to achieve most of its target development goals and objectives. The Director-General, Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), Mr Muda Yusuf, said the budget is predicated mainly on oil revenue and, therefore, vulnerable. His words: “We have assumptions on inflation and exchange rate. If

these indices fail, the budget is affected.” He advised the government on budget conception, preparation and implementation, noting that poor skill in any of the above affects overall delivery. “Our public servants can be better at implementing budgets through training and learning more about private sector strategies. There should be capacity building in the public sector for budget planners to improve on planning and implementation. The public-private partnership initiative can come in handy here,” he said. He also said corruption was affecting the successful implementation of public sector budgets. “Even where projects have been well articulated and approved, corruption often frustrates the delivery of value to Nigerians. “There is so much talk about fighting corruption, yet there is little action. Unless we address this malaise, there will be no concrete outcome from our annual budgets. “The issue of value-for-money needs to be tackled more seriously and the crusade against corruption should go beyond rhetorics,” he said. Earlier, the Guest Speaker and Lagos State Commissioner for Economic Planning & Budget, Mr. Ben

Akabueze, said the state internally generated revenue (IGR) accounted for 60 per cent of the state’s annual budget. He said the state accounted for over 70 per cent of national industrial investments and 65 per cent of commercial activities with the GDP estimated at N13.71trillion or $91.40 billion as at last year. He said Lagos has infrastructural gap due to lean resources, adding to bridge the gap, it has courted the private sector. Akubeze said: “Our policy focus is driven by public-private partnership, private sector-led growth, transparency and accountability, human capital development, good governance and participatory planning.” To implement the state’s budget adequately, he said the government engaged in multi-year perspective to budget planning, revenue forecasting capacity, expenditure ceilings, participation of the public in budget preparation and effective procurement system. Akabueze added that the measures, last year, improved budget performance from 80 to 89 per cent while it increased IGR in addition to improved public service delivery. He said the state had demystified budgetary system and has remained a benchmark for the federal and state governments.

NBC injects N80b into business expansion


•From left: Obi Martha Dunkwu, Abubakar and NACCIMA Director-General, Dr. John Isemede at the event. PHOTO: ABIODUN WILLIAM

NACCIMA slams govt on governance, ATIONAL President, Nige region. rian Association of Chambers unemployment He said the chamber was worried of Commerce,Industry,


Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA), Alhaji Mohammed Badaru Abubakar, has slammed the Federal Government over the high cost of governance and unemployment. Calling for a reduction in recurrent expenditure in governance, he regretted the disparity between those in government and the governed. He urged policy makers to look at innovative ways to generate employment and grow the economy. Speaking at a media parley in Lagos, he urged all tiers of government to consider adopting austerity measures to reduce recurrent expenses and ensure that “business as usual”syndrome is transformed to “business unusual” to impact positively on the economy. On key employment sectors, Abubakar said agriculture has the capacity to contribute over 40 per cent to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by employing over 60 per cent of the population.

He regretted that the government intervention in infrastructure and incentives to boost real investment in the sector have not achieved significant impact as the country still grappled with low productivity, profitability and competitiveness. He said: “There is glaring insufficient food for local consumption and poor value chain.” He called for adequate capitalisation of Agricultural Bank to enable it cope with the huge demands of agribusiness evolution. Furthermore, he suggested that agricultural research institutes be empowered to enable them develop high-yield seedlings and cheaper farming techniques, which would enable the nation produce at a cheaper rate and enhance competitiveness in the global market. On port congestion, he called on the relevant agencies to address the issue so as not to miss the opportunity of becoming the hub in the sub-

that the policy of 24 hours cargo clearance promised by the government was yet to become a reality as cargo congestion has continued unabated at ports, compounded by too many inspection and government agencies. He berated the Federal Government for multiple taxation and levies that manufacturers are confronted with. His words: “We cannot continue to ignore the serious negative impact of multiplicity of taxes and levies on businesses. It is therefore imperative for government at all levels to harmonise taxes and levies throughout the country to effectively address the problem.” Abubakar, however, commended the government on the recent reduction of the cost of registering business by 50 per cent. He said the gesture would enable a large number of informal business operators to take advantage of it by registrating their businesses to enable policy makers have better statiscal data for planning.

HE Nigerian Bottling Company (NBC) Limited has in vested N80 billion in the expansion of its business, its Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Ben Langat has said. He said the fund would allow the company to continue the production of high quality beverages. Lamgat spoke when the Director-General of Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON), Dr Joseph Odumodu, and his team visited the company in Lagos to ascertain its level of compliance to quality management systems. Langat said NBC was committed to compliance across management systems, quality, environment, health/safety and food safety evidenced by its certifications in the production processes. He noted that the company has worked to certify all bottling plants against internationally recognised management system standards with regard to quality, food safety, environment, health and safety in its 13 plants across the country. He said: “In total commitment to our purpose, in 2011 we announced a fresh investment of N45billion into our operations. “The investments were targeted at modernising infrastructure, enhancing supply chain capacity, developing human capital and expanding our corporate social responsibility. “At the moment, these investments have totalled N80 billion surpassing the earlier target by almost 100 per cent.

‘Operating environment still unfriendly’


HE Nigeria Association of Small and Medium Enterprises (NASME) says the nation’s business climate is still not friendly to indigenous entrepreneurs. NASME spokesman, Mr Nerus Ekezie, made the observation in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos. Ekezie said the business environment was not friendly as should be due to over regulation by the Federal Government. “We are going through a lot in terms of regulation as most of the businesses are finding it difficult to make sustainable profits. “The growth rate of our business is being hampered by the obnoxious laws in place,” he said. According to him, many of the indigenous entrepreneurs are being challenged daily by multiple taxes by the various tiers of government. “Our members are paying large chunks of their working capital as taxes to different agencies of government. “Nothing will be left for the development of the businesses if we have to pay so much as taxes,” he said. Ekezie described as unfortunate Nigerians’ high expectations from local entrepreneurs in terms of quality goods and services in spite of the hostile business environment. “Producing locally has been very expensive as raw materials and other factors of production like finance, labour and machinery remain high,” he said.





A historic moment •With two-party state finally born, the partisans have a responsibility to save a nation


HIS is not the first time Nigeria will tion. The parties are populated by a welter but must channel all discord into strength experience a grand alliances that pits a of partisans who believe and who doubt. But rather than division. giant against another. But except the this is the time for the parties to establish a Both parties must avoid coming across as party by fiat under the militaristic logic of the set of internal values that will hold in scorn champions of any tribe or faith but the Babangida administration, this is the first time the opportunists, spies, carpet baggers, big- higher values of a unified nation. As the party in the centre, the PDP must that we shall have a de facto two-party sys- ots, militarists, dedicated plutocrats and dinot be seen as hounding the opposition. This tem, which the partisans see as enduring. We viders. This happens successfully when fidelity to is the time for civilised dealing, and not the will not conjecture whether, with the birth of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in an- values bests any loyalty to strong men. Yet pursuit of Hobbesian advantage. If we have other expanded form with the absorption of we cannot remove powerful personalities an opposition party, it has an equal right to five governors, it will amount to a new era of from politics since politics is essentially the protection of the institutions of state. If about people. However, the strong person- the Jonathan administration takes advantage binary politics. What is clear however is that this republic ages should help to strengthen the values of the defection of five governors to intimihas coalesced forces of ostensible harmonies, rather than slacken them. Where individuals date them into silence, it has abused the preand today it offers an apparent choice of the mean less values will mean more. This way, rogative of power as the president of all. The decision of the Jigawa State governor, APC versus the People’s Democratic Party the virus of the religious and ethnic bigot Sule Lamido, not to join the party is per(PDP). The coalitions of the first republic and will gradually lose its hold on our society. While the parties enjoy the presence of the ceived to come from President Jonathan’s inthe second did give us the parties as melting pots but mosaics where different interests in big men, it must chisel its position and not timidation tactics. We do not want to believe ethnicity, faiths, businesses and other allow itself to be held hostage to the inter- that in order to corral rebels into his camp, demographics cohabited. They lived together ests of the powerful over the party. If the the President has unleashed the Economic and in a pig-in-a-sty prostitution without regard parties fail to abide by these ideals, they risk Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on his foes. That is a familiar tactic. Rivers State for differences in world views or ideologies. falling into the miasma of past decay. This will also entail selling the parties to governor Rotimi Amaechi has thrown this Their targets were to win elections. That intention rigged our politics out of a the grassroots, and this will fulfill the say- accusation at the president but the presidency desire for an enduring twohas shied from any party system. By implicacredible response. tion, it robbed us of historic We abhor corruption opportunities to build a traof whatever type. But it dition for our political elite, is an act of corruption recruitment of enthusiasts, to punish a thief bethe building of core values cause he does not beand the encrusting of the long to the family. right platforms on which to Whether it is the pogovern. Rather, we have lice, army, the State Sespun in an endless rigmarole curity Service, the of repetitions and futile EFCC, it amounts to an experimentations. abuse of power to deThe announcement that ploy them for undue the APC now embodies a advantage and hound stature that carries 16 states opponents with them of the federation is salutary because they do not benews not because it gives the long to the president’s new party advantage but beparty. Worse still, the cause it promises to rid the Independent National body politic of the monarElectoral Commission chist tendency of a one-party has acquitted itself as state and potentially offers an adjunct of the ruling a choice for the Nigerian party. A two-party syspeople. tem will not succeed It might be true that with when, either by percep16 states, APC has superior tion or concrete action, electoral value, a majority in the election umpire the House of Representapitches its tent with the tives, dominance in the big ruling party. cities as massive vote bags. We need to build a It might be true that, with the party system so that we widespread sense of drift can install a great and that the Jonathan administravibrant nation. Without tion has evinced in his few great values, the party years in the saddle, a winwill lose character. • Bamanga Tukur, PDP National Chairman •Bisi Akande, Interim National Chairman, APC dow opens for the opposiWithout character, it tion. But the APC must be wary of the sins of which it has accused its opponent. It must serve as an arbiter of the people’s will and clarify its platforms in ideas and character. Without these, Nigerians will have parties without a choice. That will be a tragic pass. The APC is soldering together quite a number of parties, tendencies and personages, and that has helped it to build a force that the PDP observes with worry. But that is not enough. Its ability to serve as an alternative party will lie in crafting a party with an alternative judgment. The judgment must be sublime, persuasive and transformational. The PDP, on its part, ought to respond by doing same and entrench itself by instilling a peculiarly Nigerian charm into its brand of conservative politics just as APC evangelises a progressive standpoint. We cannot say we have a two-party state if the parties are about persons or tribe. So, the parties ought to show to us what distinguishes them. Otherwise, we shall have the old script of Nigerian politics where a disenchanted member of a party can swivel to another and be embraced. That makes the parties sties rather shelters of ideological faithful. That is how we can build an enduring tradi-

ing attributed to a former speaker of the United States House of Representatives, Tip O’neil, that “all politics is local.” It should be a two-party system of co-owners and not of oligarchs. The PDP now controls 18 states, the senate and the centre, and for now it enjoys the advantage. It does not have to build a party hierarchy, elect officers and is assured of its loyalties. The APC now faces the challenge of working together. This is the time for vigilance. It has to avoid any disruptive rancour

cannot establish a tradition. Without a tradition, it will lapse into oblivion. We do not want a party system that fritters away over tribe, faith, the hubris of big men and the failure of values. Neither should President Jonathan prostitute it with his dictates nor should the new party falter through internal contradictions. Never has the future of our country depended on one moment than now and never has it relied on two organisations than the APC and PDP as they try to turn a balance of power to advantage.

‘The APC is soldering together quite a number of parties, tendencies and personages, and that has helped it to build a force that the PDP observes with worry. But that is not enough. Its ability to serve as an alternative party will lie in crafting a party with an alternative judgment. The judgment must be sublime, persuasive and transformational. The PDP, on its part, ought to respond by doing same and entrench itself by instilling a peculiarly Nigerian charm into its brand of conservative politics just as APC evangelises a progressive standpoint’

Africa’s new crisis • The UN should act over plight of Central African Republic


N the summer of 2012 France warned its allies that al-Qaeda was taking root in northern Mali and could establish a base for jihadist extremism across north Africa. Its warnings proved correct. The crisis became so acute that France was forced to lead a military mission to Mali this year to halt the complete takeover of the state by jihadists. Now France warns that another state, the Central African Republic, is falling into anarchy. Last week Laurent Fabius, French foreign minister, declared that the CAR was in “total disorder” and “on the verge of genocide”. His warnings must be taken seriously by the international community. The CAR is a far smaller state than Mali with a population of just 4.6m. Its people are predominantly Christian, with a Muslim minority comprising up to 20 per cent of the population. Last March, a rebel group called the Séléka, which comes from the predominantly Muslim north, ousted the CAR president, François Bozizé. Since then the country has become lawless as Séléka’s banditry has provoked raids and reprisals between Christians and Muslims. A huge population displacement has happened, involving 620,000 people. State institutions have collapsed. The country has a humanitarian crisis. The outside world is beginning to take note. The six-nation Economic Community of Central African States has deployed a 2,500-strong peacekeeping force in the CAR. But there are reports it is struggling to do its job. As a result, France is pressing the UN Security Council to pass a resolution next month that would pave the way for a stronger African Union force to keep the peace. Ban Ki-moon, the UN secretary-general, last week said he supported the establishment of a UN peacekeeping mission with as many as 9,000 troops, if conditions allowed. Humanitarian groups such as Amnesty International are urging more immediate action. The world needs to keep a strong focus on the CAR. Experts say the sectarian conflict between Christians and Muslims could grow to appalling levels. The country is also becoming the kind of ungoverned space that risks becoming a haven for Islamist extremist groups. The UN, France and the US cannot afford another failed state in Africa. They need to ensure there is an effective response to this crisis and a swift restoration of law and order. The recent warnings about genocide cannot possibly be ignored. – Financial Times

TRUTH IN DEFENCE OF FREEDOM Managing Director/Editor-in-Chief Victor Ifijeh

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IR: On Sunday, November 17, I visited the recently opened Ikeja Shopping Mall. The first thing I noticed was that the revolving door at the main entrance of the mall was not functioning. There was a sign by the door advising patrons of the mall to use the side doors. At the time, I thought little of the door as I believed that it must have broken down either on that Sunday morning or on Saturday evening. I also assumed that the door would be repaired within a day or two. My assumption was predicated on the fact that I did not think that a revolving door requiresthe services of an expert with a Ph.D. in Aeronautics to get it fixed. I was therefore shocked when I



Parable of the revolving door

visited the mall early on Friday morning to discover that the revolving door was still not revolving. Now, my issue is not about a revolving door that is not revolving. What triggered this piece is what I believe the door tells about our maintenance culture as a people. Upon enquiries from regular pa-

trons of the mall, I was informed that the door had been in that state of immobility for weeks. Is it that difficult to repair a revolving door? The poor door is however not the only victim of our nonchalant attitude to maintenance. In most of public offices and private homes, one notices assets that are either

damaged or spoilt and which require minimal ‘effort’ to restore and which we ignore or just simply do not care about. On my first trip to the Holy Mosque in Mecca, I noticed that some bulbs that were functioning were being removed and replaced with new ones. I was informed that the though the bulbs were not yet

of insecurity, a menace that has now become a synonymn of the country in the international community. The All Progressives Congress should peruse the failures of this party and tell Nigerians how they would bring about the desired changes in the country. PDP are currently clueless. They can’t even manage their internal crises successfully. How would they be able to manage the affairs of the country to a logical end? When a country is drowning in a socio-political hullaballoo like this, what is needed is change. If a ruling party is consist-

ently failing the masses in change creation, i don’t think it is a bad idea to align with a fresh alternative to salvage the country from avoidable shipwreck. I want to appeal to APC not to rest on their oars. They need to continue keeping the ruling party on their toes- an area where APC really deserves accolades. Nigerians need to be convinced that they have something to offer. As much as politicking is ongoing, the welfare of the people should not be sacrificed. It should be noted that Nigerians would be the one to vote

afterall. Now that the bunch of brooms is getting father, APC should consolidate this with continuous progressive government in their respective states of control. This will be the benchmark that Nigerians would use to determine their capability to steer the wheel of the country. It is too early to jubilate, the change process is still at its cradle stage. There is need for more exploits because better is the end of a thing than its beginning.

Now that the APC fold has expanded

IR: It was not really shocking when five of the aggrieved and progressive-minded governors of the corruption-ridden Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) parted with their erstwhile undemocratic abode. Perhaps, what shocked Nigerians was the decision of two of the governors to still remain with a party they have been longing to part with. The defection of the five governors is not only appropriate, but also symbolic considering the urgent need to rescue this country from the regressive stronghold of PDP-a party that has been piloting the affairs of this country for the past 13 years without much success stories. The rate at which companies are leaving Nigeria today is alarming. They abandon our country for a more conducive one like Ghana. This is not unconnected with the poor power supply and unbearable bad road networks that make business difficult to do. Nigerians will not be quick to forget the fuel subsidy removal and its concomitant hardship. More heartbreaking is the misappropriation of funds generated from it. When Nigerians are suffering with majority living below one Dollar per day, a PDP Minister cabinet had the audacity to purchase multi-million-dollar bullet-proof cars and yet is unshaken. The high level of impunity is just too appalling! What do we say about the state


• Simon Godwin University of Lagos

burnt out, they had to be replaced because they were approaching their expiry date. Similarly, in the United Arab Emirates, I have seen with my own eyes and I took pictures of hotels being given a bath! One of the things I learnt from the former Mayor of New York, Giuliani’s book, Leadership, is that infrastructures do not decay or become degraded overnight. Decay is a gradual process. It starts with innocuous things like failure to repair a broken down revolving door, failure to replace a burnt bulb, failure to polish your shoes for N20, failure of a lawyer to buy a new bib for N200, failure of a driver to replace a broken side mirror, failure of the aviation authorities to repair a faulty conveyor-belt and those little things that require minimal effort to replace and restore. The reason I write about doors, bibs and bulbs is borne out of my fear that the faulty revolving door may signify the beginning of the decay of the very beautiful structure that the mall represents. Decay is like cancerous growth. If cancer is not detected early and treated, it extends its tentacles to other cells. It is the revolving door today; it may be the restroom tomorrow and the escalator the day after. I intend to visit Ikeja Mall after on Sunday and I hope and pray that the revolving door would be revolving before then. • Olanrewaju Tasleem Akinsola Lagos.

Of Pope Francis and Nigerian politics

IR: There are some interesting coincidences between Spain and Nigeria in respect of Saint Ignatius of Loyola, Ibrahim Babangida, Muhammadu Buhari and Sanusi Lamido Sanusi; All Muslims. Spain used to be a Muslim Country. Pope Francis is a Jesuit meaning he belongs to the Society of Jesus founded by Ignatius of Loyola. Pope Francis was head of the Jesuits in Argentina.”On the morning of the 15th of August, 1534, in the chapel of church of Saint Peter, at Montmartre, Loyola and his six companions, of whom only one was a priest, met and took upon themselves the solemn vows of their lifelong work”. Babangida was born August 17 1941. Babangida was given the

Argentinean name MARADONA by the Nigerian Press. Pope Francis was born December 17 1936 and Muhammadu Buhari December 17 1942. The Pope is a Head of state and Buhari ex Head of state. Pope Francis is austere and Buhari is known to be stern. July 31 is known as Saint Ignatius of Loyola Day and Central Bank Governor tipped as a possible Presidential candidate like Buhari was born on July 31, 1961. The registration of the All Progressives Congress (APC) was accepted on July 31 2013 by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). Ignatius of Loyola was born in Northern Spain in 1491. He was a soldier. Ibrahim Babangida was

born in Northern Nigeria in 1941 also a soldier. 1491 could be said to be a rearrangement of 1941 Babangida is an ex General of the Nigerian Armed forces and Ignatius a Superior General of the Catholic Church. Ignatius took up arms for the Duke of Najera. Broke his leg and injured another was known to limp, had surgery and spent a long time recovering after being taken home by French Soldiers. Babangida fought in the Nigerian Civil war. Sustained a leg injury, known to limp, had surgery and spent a long time recovering in a Hospital in France Najera sounds like Nigeria Najera is associated with the river Najerilla. Nigeria is associated with

the river Niger. Ignatius lived in the Castle of Loyola in Spain Babangida lives in a Mansion in Minna, Niger State. July 31 is known as the feast of Saint Ignatius of Loyola. Ignatius of Loyola died July 31, 1556. On July 31, 1991 Babangida declared open the Executive Chamber of the Presidential Villa (where maters of state are deliberated). Interestingly, Raymond Dokpesi, the director of the then Babangida presidential campaign organisation is an old Boy of Loyola College Ibadan. •Augustine Togonu-Bickersteth, London, England





Politics in Ekiti in 2014

N the last three years, unlike before, Ekiti has experienced stability in governance and politics. This was something that we never had before and it is my hope and the hope of all our people that this would remain the same in 2014. We have been lucky to have a governor and legislature that are performing as expected by the people. We are of course in a democracy and no one is perfect and democracy is based on competition of ideas and personalities. But in any democracy that is worth its name, there is no need for changing a winning team. In the last three years, Ekiti has witnessed tremendous transformation in its infrastructure. Where there were no roads, roads have been built. Where roads were not completed as in my hometown of Okemessi, they have now been completed. The capital city of Ado-Ekiti has also witnessed a transformation that was beyond normal expectation. Secondary school students are being trained in the use of computers and are being given laptops to assist them in their education. The social welfare sector has witnessed changes for the better. Hospitals are being revamped and new ones built. The water sector is also receiving attention. All these things are things that we all can see. We would of course want our state to be put on the pedestal of the most developed state in the country inspite of our limited resources. Ekiti has not reached that level yet, but if we maintain stability and peace as has been the case in the last three years, we would get there. Under Governor Kayode Fayemi, the tertiary education sector, has witnessed great strides in its march towards excellence. A visit to Ekiti State University and the College of Education in Ikere would show the tremendous physical transformation that has taken place in the tertiary education sector. More can still be done in every aspect of our life in Ekiti, but it would be unkind for anybody to dismiss what has been achieved. Visitors from outside the state always marvel at the excellent network of roads linking our various towns and villages. I myself saw this in a new road between Ikogosi and Efon Alaaye which was hardly traversed by many vehicles, but which also demonstrates that the current administration is well and alive to its responsibilities. There can be no development in an atmosphere of chaos and instability. This is why any attempt to disturb the peace of Ekitiland should be decried and resisted by all


HE job of the police is well cut out. It is to maintain law and order. In so doing, the police are expected to be up and doing, proactive and be ahead of criminals. The police, though not spirits, are expected to be everywhere in order to nip crimes in the bud. In societies where the police know their duty, they discharge their functions with the best of intentions. They leave no room for the people to doubt their integrity. How I wish our police could be like that. Don't get me wrong, the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) is trying within its limited resources. We know its constraints but those are not enough for it not to rise to the occasion when the need arises. Our police do certain things which the larger public finds worrisome. They tend to pander to the whims and caprices of the powerful. The downtrodden have no chance with the police even where they are the aggrieved. It is very easy for the police to turn them to suspects suddenly and before they know it they are behind the counter. Getting out of the counter entails the greasing the palms of the policemen at that station. If they don't pay in time, they may end up in court as accused in matters they know nothing about. Where they are lucky not to be taken to court, they pay through their nose because the longer they are at the station, the more they pay. The sins of our police are many. They arrest

right thinking people. While political competition should be welcomed, we should never allow bloodletting and thuggery to prevail in our state. I’m not a politician but I can see with my eyes and hear with my ears and I know for sure that Ekiti people are favourably disposed to the current administration of John Kayode Fayemi. Our people have a saying that ‘when your masquerade dances very well in the public, one’s head is bound to swell with pride’. This present governor is dancing well and representing Ekiti in the outside world of Nigeria and abroad, creditably. We are known for our academic prowess and intellectual erudition and Fayemi represents all these in human physical form. It is always a matter of pride for me to listen to him make presentations or to read what he has written or to hear the comments of even his fellow governors about how lucky we are to have a scholar governor. A prophet is without honour but in his own country. We are now living under grace and our prophet should have honour in their own countries. This man Kayode Fayemi should have honour in his own state of Ekiti. This brings me to the next election in 2014. The struggle is between the main opposition PDP which nationally is in disarray and doesn’t seem to pose much challenge to the incumbent administration in Ekiti. Opeyemi Bamidele, technically an APC member of the House of Representative who says he wants to contest for governor in spite of the fact that his party has endorsed the incumbent, poses no risk to the government in power and I believe he knows it. There is no need for violence. The sky is wide enough for a thousand birds to fly and as Chairman Mao said “let a thousand flowers bloom.” Opeyemi Bamidele’s entry into the gubernatorial contest should be welcomed without any acrimony. It is unfortunate that some people driven more by enthusiasm than wisdom have been arrested for being involved in murder of an opponent. We pray that this would not happen again and our elders should speak out that this is not the way of Ekiti people. We are known for our honesty and forthrightness and truth and courage. We should let all these attributes guide our action. Violence is against all we stand for in our state and anybody involved in violence should be sanctioned. Inflammatory statements should be avoided especially for people in the opposition because no government would want to unleash violence on his people. The onus is on

the opposition and those who are being manipulated from outside and from Abuja to cause violence in Ekiti with the hope of unleashing violence and might of the federal government on our progressive state. Politics is not war and all things foul and fair should not be permitted in politics. Deceit and lies and promises that cannot be met should be depre- Jide cated. One should Osuntokun avoid throwing stones into one’s own father’s house. A man who wants to be governor can only be governor over a peaceful state. And we should not throw away the peaceful achievement of the last three years which outsiders have always envied us for as the most peaceful state in the country. Any young man who has ambition of being governor should wait for his time, but it is not likely that Ekiti Central Senatorial zone that has produced two civilian governors since 1999 would produce another one in 2014, no matter the resources available to him from a neighbouring oil-producing state. Ekiti people may be poor individually, but we are not for sale.

‘One should avoid throwing stones into one’s own father’s house. A man who wants to be governor can only be governor over a peaceful state. And we should not throw away the peaceful achievement of the last three years which outsiders have always envied us for as the most peaceful state in the country’

Wanted : People’s Police people at will and engage in extra judicial killings. They also know how to perform what the late Afrobeat sensation, Fela Anikulapo - Kuti, called ''government magic''. They can turn blue to white and green to red in a twinkling of an eye. When they do such things, I wonder if our policemen have conscience. What do you make of the killing of a man, as it happened some years ago, who sought refuge in a police station at Mafoluku in Lagos. The deceased had been driven to the station by a taxi driver, who returned the following day only to be told that his customer was nowhere to be found. The driver, who suspected foul play, raised an alarm. It was later found that the deceased, who returned late from abroad the previous day had been killed because of the foreign money he was carrying by those who should naturally have protected him. Can those involved in such bestial act be called policemen? Many years after that unthinkable act, we don't know what has become of the case. Were those involved dismissed and tried? In what court were they tried? Is the case still on or has it been concluded? Are the policemen still in service? We need to know all these in order to know how to reform our police,

‘Although Oduah has since denied that the bulletproof cars were bought for her use by the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), the police and her henchmen appear to be manufacturing a reason why she should have such cars, if not now, but certainly in 2015, when she will again be in the forefront of the president's campaign’

which do well when on peace missions outside the country. How can that be, you may wish to ask, when they treat us their compatriots like nonentities back home. Is it a function of those ''I know I can treat anyhow and those I don't know I must respect''. We, the people, deserve all the respect we can get from our policemen to enable them discharge their job well. The police also deserve our respect. But with the hostile attitude of some of them, they have alienated themselves from the people. Many Nigerians will think twice before they help any policeman because they believe he does not mean well for them. But it should not be so. he police and the people should work in sync for their mutual benefit. The police leave room for suspicion when they engage in acts in which ordinarily they should not be found. Like Caesar's wife, the police should be above board in whatever they do. When the story of the N255 million bulletproof cars broke, the police were not involved. Up till now, I cannot say if they are investigating the matter which involves the Minister of Aviation, Princess Stella Oduah. Now madam is not a small fry. Remember, she was the brain behind Neighbour2Neighbour, one of the groups that worked towards the election of President Goodluck Jonathan in 2011. The group, it was learnt, is waiting in the wings to reenact in 2015 what it did in 2011. The bulletproof cars will become handy then, sources said. Although the princess has since denied that the cars were bought for her use by the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), the police and her henchmen appear to be manufacturing a reason why


she should have such cars, if not now, but certainly in 2015 when she will again be in the forefront of the president's campaign. How do I mean? The THISDAY, in its lead story on Tuesday, reported the police as confirming that there was an attempt on Oduah's life in Abuja on Saturday night. She was said to have escaped the attempted assassination because she was not in the Escalade Sport Utility Vehicle (SUV), with registration number FST 914 BL. The paper forgot to tell readers if the SUV was bulletproof. According to the paper, a report of the incident was lodged at the Mabushi Police Station at 5.35 p.m., on Monday, that is about 48 hours after the attack. Now I can smell a rat. Those behind the story know what they are doing. With the House of Representatives indicting Oduah over the bulletproof cars, they believe that now is the time for them to act to save the minister's neck before the president looks that way. The administrative panel set up by the president has also submitted its report. We know the content of the lawmakers' report, but we don't know that of the administrative panel. The House, which indicted Oduah, asked the president to take a decision on the issue because the penalty for the offence is three - year jail with N100,000 fine option. The president may not act on the House report, but since we don't know what his panel recommended, we wait to see how he will handle the matter. ut Oduah and her people are not waiting. They are moving fast to whip up public sympathy for her. This is why we are now suddenly getting to know that an attempt was made on her life last Saturday. Let us take the THISDAY report verbatim from


Lawal Ogienagbon SMS ONLY: 08099400204

here : ''The Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Commissioner of Police (CP), Mr Femi Ogunbayode, through his Public Relations Officer, Mr Athine Daniel, a Deputy Superintendent (DSP), said what was found inside the car after the shooting was a mettalic object, which the police are investigating. The driver of the vehicle, whose name he withheld, was not injured, he added. ''Also speaking to THISDAY on the phone, Mr Joe Obi, the Special Adviser, Media to the minister, said the incident occurred on Saturday along the Nnamdi Azikiwe Road by Banex Bridge, Ministers' Quarters, Maitama. He added that unknown to the gunmen, Oduah was not in the car at the time of the attack. He said the driver was lucky to have escaped the assassin's bullets. Also, photographs of the Escalade provided by the Federal Aviation Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) spokesman, Yakubu Dati, showed that it appeared to be riddled with some bullet holes, but the reference to the bullet holes was inexplicably missing in the statement provided by the police on the attempt on Oduah's life''. ‘’Inexplicably missing’’ link? No. Their lie caught up with them.





A Ayo Adebanjo’s interview in The Punch last week confirms why whatever he says has an attentive audience among his Yoruba people whom he along with other revered elders have served creditably for upward of 50 years. As was in his character, he stated without ambiguity the unanimity of thought on the recurring issue of the national question by his Yoruba people. According to him, it is “only a mad man who will oppose dialogue”. Yoruba position has always been that the national question can be resolved only through a national sovereign conference. However, some of his admonitions: that his Yoruba people should trust President Jonathan; that Awo never went into coalition with strange bed fellows; that ACN ought not to associate with Tom Ikimi who served Abacha’s despicable regime as well as Muhammadu Buhari who although is incorruptible but a non-progressive religious fundamentalist; that the Yoruba will not vote APC because of APC leaders’ visitation to Babangida and Abdulsalami Abubakar who should be jointly held responsible for the killing and prevention of a Yoruba son from ruling the country. I think Pa Adebanjo’s above declarations did serious damage to the Yoruba cultural advancement and political consciousness. Adebanjo no doubt knows that trust is earned among the Yoruba. But here we have President Jonathan who seems to be at war against Nigerians since his election, who provides refuge to corrupt elements, whose open display of politics of ‘the end justifies the means’ is on display at both the national and state levels; this is a president who has tucked away inside his locker, the reports of past dialogues, the Uwais electoral reform report, the Ribadu report among piles of others from the National Assembly unattended to. I am sure Pa Adebanjo knows that as much as we hold our leaders in high esteem, they are incapable of

‘If protecting this new achievement requires cohabitation of the new political leaders with our yesterday’s perceived enemies or those without the progressive badge, they have earned our trust to decide on our behalf. I am sure Awo in whose name the old and ‘renewal’ Afenifere fathers and sons swear will be happy in his grave that “in the destruction of the noble line, there is always a survivor”’


Adebanjo Vs new Yoruba leaders influencing who the Yoruba people trust. Awo himself as far back as 1952 said that the Yoruba will not vote for you because you are Yoruba if they cannot see an added value you are going to add to their lives. But the Yoruba knew Abiola, who used the old western state scholarship to study accountancy in Britain, but was to later deploy his newspaper to mislead and wage war against Awo the leader of the progressives, was an enemy of the progressives. The Yoruba knew the difference between him, Babangida and Abacha, and other military apologists who made their fortunes through the state was that unlike others, Abiola ploughed back what he took to solve social problems across the country, a strategy that earned him a landslide victory in the 1993 election. Yoruba that contributed to that victory and fought to defend his mandate on principle can be trusted to make an informed judgment if and when confronted with making a choice between PDP and APC in 2015. Yes from hindsight we can say Awo was right to have resisted marriage of convenience in 1959. At least Pa Adebanjo accepted in the interview under focus that he along with our other respected elders (Afenifere) were misled by Babangida and Abdulsalami to support Obasanjo. As it turned out, Obasanjo and his self-serving mainstreamers only used Yoruba to build private empires and private universities while destroying the public institutions our revered leaders including Adebanjo put in place. The South-west mainstreamers used our people as stepping stone to join their counterparts in the east and the north who according to Alabi Isamah have jointly ruled our country since independence. But it is doubtful if Awo who applied a lot of

HE life and times of late Chief Sunday Bolorunduro Awoniyi, the Aro of Mopa, who died in November 28, 2007, in a London hospital from injuries he sustained in an auto crash on Abuja – Kaduna road, will again readily come to mind as many of his associates will be using the six year memorial anniversary to reflect on the state of the nation. By his death, a very big vacuum was created in the nations leadership sphere. Awoniyi was no doubt a very great man. Late Awoniyi, in his life time demonstrated the highest level of integrity and was accountable in both public and private life in the tradition of the late premier of the Northern region, Sir Ahmedu Bello, the Sardauna of Sokoto under whose tutelage he honed his leader-ship skills. With the crisis rocking the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), a party Awoniyi co- formed, the leadership crisis in the country as well as the planned national conference, his views would have gone a long way in addressing these key issues. Some commentators are of the view that, the man died too early; for them this is the time Nigeria needs him for his forthrightness and patriotism. He never called a spade by any other name. He stood truth on the head. Awoniyi, who would have been 81 this year, would be remembered for his various contributions towards the building of the Northern Nigeria Civil Service and a network of friends and political alliances, that still endure many years after. A Yoruba of Okun extraction from the North Central Region of Nigeria; a Christian and minority, who led the Muslim and majority Hausa/Fulani dominated Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF), Awoniyi’s imprints, his ideals, positive contributions to national development and his insistence on the entrenchment of internal democracy are those things he would be remembered for. Delivering a spell binding 5th Arewa lecture some years back, Awoniyi’s comment on leadership, just like it is today, remains relevant. He had stated: “One statement on which there is hardly a dissenting voice in Nigeria is the political clichés that “what Nigeria lacks is leadership”, implying that, the day the legendary leader appears from that day onward, Nigeria’s problem will begin to disappear rapidly”. Danladi (Sunday) as he was fondly called by the detribalized Sardauna of Sokoto (Ahmedu Bello), sees the North like the Sardauna as “One North, One People, One Destiny” and will always urge particularly the middle belt youths then to “ignore” whenever expressions like “Core North” which con-

intellectual rigour to finding solution to Nigeria’s problems will in 2013 still stick to a 1959 failed experiment as being canvassed by Adebanjo. Were he to be faced with similar choice of canvassing true federalism where each group can control her own destiny as against marriage of convenience as occurred between NPC and NNNC, he would most probably be compelled to embrace today’s Afenifere Renewal Group option, designed to achieve the same objective without danger to the health of the Yoruba people who can look up to a pan Nigerian national party that can serve as a balance of terror to desperate PDP hawks interested only in self preservation. And finally perhaps as a result of Pa Adebanjo’s unhidden war with the Afenifere Renewal Group that was accused of removing the carpet from under their feet, he would rather endure PDP than support any group ACN is linked with. For instance while insisting he “has no good word for the PDP,” which for him “are intolerable”; he also says he cannot ask PDP to be thrown away because like PDP, APC is an amalgam of strange bedfellows. Since according to him APC is a coalition designed only to uproot PDP from power, “he is not ready to move from frying pan to fire”. In other words, Pa Adebanjo is by inference saying we should allow PDP to continue its 14 years of mismanagement, of corruption and of national and international embarrassment. If this represents the view of the old Afenifere that Adebanjo speaks for, then it is clear there is a disconnect between our revered fathers and the over 40 million Yoruba whose today’s tenor, tune and tone they are unable to decipher. Now as it was in the first and second republics, the omen is potent. PDP is deploying state

resources, logistics and security apparatuses to undermine the efforts of the governments of the Yoruba states that pose no threat to the party’s ongoing looting but only want to be left alone to manage their own affairs. PDP Abuja headquarters that has been busy suspending elected PDP governors for alleged anti-party activities have been fueling intraparty feuds in Yorubaland. They recently hailed Opeyemi Bamidele’s efforts at destabilising his party in Ekiti. In Ondo, Mimiko who was aided to retrieve his stolen mandate from PDP by Ahmed Tinubu has today become more PDP than PDP. Because of the strategic importance of Ondo State and its capacity to destabise South-west, Mimiko, a governor on the platform of Labour Party, had the singular honour of nominating PDP minister from Ondo. In line with PDP and the President’s perfidious brand of politics, in place of PDP candidate in the last Ondo State election, it was Mimiko that got massive Abuja support. Three days after his victory, Mimiko was in Abuja celebrating the birthday of the president’s wife. Dr. Frederick Fasehun who was recently engaged in public altercation over pipeline monitoring contracts with its other splinter Oodua group seems to be going ahead with state support to register his Unity Party of Nigeria in spite of existing decrees and laws banning use of names of banned political parties. Response to our unresolved national question requires new approach beyond hiding behind principles, philosophy ideology within a system where other actors behave like gangsters, guided by neither rules mores nor culture, and where even the judiciary has come under severe assault. Adebanjo has already expressed joy that PDP was uprooted from Yoruba land, without asking for the methodology the new generation of Yoruba political leaders like Chief Bisi Akande, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, Wale Oshun, Niyi Adebayo, Segun Osoba and other young Yoruba intellectuals adopted to achieve the feat. Without resorting to “operation wet e” they have retrieved stolen mandates in Edo, Ondo, Ekiti and Osun from Obasanjo and his PDP Yoruba mainstreamers. They have gone ahead to mobilize, winning elections in Ogun, Oyo and Edo states. The young men at the helms of affairs in these states are said to be setting the pace of development for other states to follow. What more can our revered fathers ask for? If protecting this new achievement requires cohabitation of the new political leaders with our yesterday’s perceived enemies or those without the progressive badge, they have earned our trust to decide on our behalf. I am sure Awo in whose name the old and ‘renewal’ Afenifere fathers and sons swear will be happy in his grave that “in the destruction of the noble line, there is always a survivor”.

Awoniyi: Six years after By Abu Micheal note that other parts are “peripheral or marginal North. On his views of what a united, strong and self- reliant nation ought to be, Awoniyi had this to say, “to unite this country, require better knowledge of ourselves. Our unity has to be looked at as a deliberate choice rather than chance. It has to be achieved incrementally – one group removing causes of dissention within it and then reaching out to achieve accord with the next and the next and the next. Still on late Sunday Awoniyi’s concern about the nation’s unity, he said it is slow and tedious but he maintained it merits a determined effort and will only happen if as a people, we work at it consciously and continuously and with the greatest of determination to succeed. A great man of Okun descent, he would be remembered for his politics of decency. Late Awoniyi while alive would always, insist on a just and egalitarian society where a leader must ensure the rule of law, and provide a level playing ground for all competing interests. Making Nigeria a land full of opportunities for all citizens and a free and democratic society was his major pro-occupation. Late Awoniyi, a one time ACF Chairman Board of trustees in 2000 and chairman of the forum’s central working committee in December 2004, saw transparency of the electoral process as what the nation needed; he believed that once an electoral process is faulty, the entire ‘edifice’ will be faulty and unacceptable. As the nation approaches 2015, late Awoniyi would have naturally called for a considerable improvement in the quality of Nigerian politicians by deliberate actions. It is regrettable that six years after his demise, Nigeria has not outgrown the politics of ‘chop I chop’, a thing he detested with a passion. For late Awoniyi, “Even if we achieve the miracle of sanitizing the electoral process, the Nigerian politician will continue to fool us so long as his quest for high office is a case of neck or nothing for which he is prepared to sacrifice the good of his country. A simple man by nature, described by many as father of modern Okun politics, he also while alive was tolerant. Though a christian, he embraced people of other faiths without any acrimony.

Late Awoniyi has since gone, but the issues he felt about religion has not changed. All his life he wished Nigerians could outgrow the petty sentiments attached to their faiths. He believed in one indivisible Nigeria. His religion was Nigeria - one Nigeria. Late Awoniyi’s disposition to public office and politics today stands him out in a country where leadership, politics, disunity and religion have become the issue. At the 5th Annual lecture in honour of Sir Ahmadu Bello, while speaking on the harmonious co-existence of the country, his suggestion would certainly assist in the National conference being proposed, where he said let us not forget that we owe our past achievements in no small measure to our ability to compromise and make friends of former foes. Late Sunday Bolorunduro Awoniyi, got involved in politics after a successful Civil Service career when he represented his people of Kogi West in the Senate on the platform of the defunct National Republican Convention (NRC). He also participated at the constitutional conference organized by the regime of the Late General Sani Abacha. With the political process that followed the conference, Awoniyi, joined forces with politicians of like minds to form the defunct All Nigerian Congress (ANC). He was the pioneer chairman of ANC and in 1998 played a prominent role in the formation of the PDP and in the emergence of Chief Olusegun Obasanjo as PDP candidate and President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. •Micheal sent this piece from Lokoja, Kogi State

‘For late Awoniyi, “Even if we achieve the miracle of sanitizing the electoral process, the Nigerian politician will continue to fool us so long as his quest for high office is a case of neck or nothing for which he is prepared to sacrifice the good of his country’





HIEF Ayo Fasanmi, former Senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, spoke a few days ago, in an interview, about the National Conference which President Jonathan has initiated. In summary, his opinion is that President Jonathan’s calling of a National Conference is merely diversionary. I am sure that if Chief Fasanmi met me and we talked about this, he would want me to comment publicly on what he has said. To that end, here is how I would start. I believe that most Nigerians, and citizens of the Nigerian Southwest, who read Chief Fasamni’s reported comments some days ago know him only as one of the NigerianSenators of the Second Republic (1979-83) and, perhaps, also as a major actor in the dangerous politics of the Abacha era. I, however, know him deeper in the politics of our land. I know him as a major actor in a tougher chapter of our history. In my last column (last week), I wrote briefly the story of how we the youths of the Western Region erupted in late 1965, after the powers controlling Nigeria had blatantly rigged our Western Regional election of that year. Well, Chief Fasanmi was our highest man in that fight – a fight in which we, young men and women of the Yoruba Western Region, bluntly rejected the huge insult of the rigging of our Regional election, and pitched our little strength determinedly and unyieldingly against all the powers of the Nigerian state – against the Nigerian Federal Government, our own Regional Government, the Nigeria Police and secret services, and even some sections of the Nigerian Army. As President of the Action Group Youth Association, Chief Fasanmi was the leader of our central command, the coordinator of the minds that shaped and moved that glorious struggle. I cannot let pass the opportunity to say that those of us who worked by his side in that high command remember him forever as an indomitable and dependable warrior and leader, a man dedicated to the highest and best in our nation’s values. As for the National Conference, I agree totally with Chief Fasanmi that President Jonathan’s sudden conversion to the need for a National Conference is a diversionary political move. I am absolutely persuaded that that is so. The PDP party that brought President Jonathan to the presidency was in shambles. Slowly but surely, it seemed to be stumbling towards total dissolution. President Jonathan’s chance for one more term which he desired seemed to be crumbling. In spite of his earlier statements opposing a National Conference,


ONALA Olumhense’s account of the late Vice-Admiral Mike Okhai Akhigbe published in The Guardian was certainly not meant to be a compliment or a tribute to a man so dedicated to his naval profession and Federal Republic of Nigeria. He did not sugarcoat his disdain for the admiral that made us question his anger. He set out to highlight his perceived failures, which was already so apparent with his death or his missed opportunities to make Nigeria a better place. For the most part, he ignored the truth and the many contributions Akhigbe made on national developments. He also failed to note that Akhigbe’s emergence on the big screen only lasted for 11 months as Chief of General Staff, a de facto vice president. For the most part of his “decade and half at the height of his power,” Akhigbe only played a supporting cast. As critical as the essay was of the Admiral, it only succeeded in showing that Olumhense held Akhigbe in very high esteem beyond the imagination of the Admiral himself to have concluded that “he had every opportunity to provide or help provide the vision and inspiration and direction and dynamism that every society needs to fire up its development and empower its people.” Really? In Nigeria, such an inspirational dynamic vision can only be contemplated within a very narrow family circle. Again, why should

‘It is disingenuous to say Akhigbe did not leave Nigeria a better place considering the circumstance under which he emerged as second in command. Nigeria was in turmoil as a result of the fallout of June 12, there was a need for an impartial leadership to guide it out of chaos’

Troubling thoughts on the national conference he and his advisers could see that most of the peoples of Nigeria desired, and would gratefully embrace, a National Conference. So, the President converted – and he announced that he was calling a National Conference. A major Nigerian party, APC, has been saying for weeks, like Senator Fasanmi, that President Jonathan’s National Conference is only a diversion. I believe that most Nigerians areagreedwith the APC in this matter. I don’t believe that it is difficult to see that President Jonathan saw the issue of National Conference as a political life-line and grabbed it. Even among PDP stalwarts whom I have chanced to engage in conversation on the National Conference issue – I mean those PDP stalwarts who still belong to the Jonathan fragmentof the PDP and who strongly back his re-election bid – many have no illusion that their man’s sudden call for a National Conference was a political move aimed at saving his politicalambition. They say it is a smart diversionary move – and I agree. But it is a diversionary move nevertheless. However, the biggest thing now is thatwe, the nationalities that make up Nigeria, are desperate for a major change in the manner in which our common country has been crooked up. The situation calls for serious – nay, desperate – urgency. Our so-called Federal Government has become a demolition crew violently wrecking our country. Under its battering ram, our states have become dangerously impotent. Most parts of our country are retrogressing. Even the Federal Government itself admits that 60.9 percent of us Nigerians now live in absolute poverty. More than 75 percent of our youths are unemployed. In the more literate parts of our country (such as the Southwest) countless families are housing and providing for their young men and women who graduated from universities up to five years ago. Recently, I met one husband and wife whose five children are university graduates (two of them with Masters Degrees), all of whom are unemployed. Under these conditions, various species of sophisticated crimes are flourishing in our country – kidnapping

for ransom, murder-for-hire, superior electronic frauds, outright terrorism, etc. More and more Nigerians are erecting barricades around their homes, and we are becoming a people living in self-imposed prisons. We are breeding a whole generation immersed in the culture of desperation, crookednessand deepseated vileness. Nigerian nationalities are, more and more, becoming enemies of one another. That all these may result in the breaking up of Nigeria is no longer in doubt. No country whose society is being pulverized the way the Nigerian society is being pulverized can possibly live as one country for long. In fact, the greater fear now is this: Even if Nigeria scatters into many different countries, will the human materials now being generated in Nigeria be able to build any decent countries out of the fragments? In the context of Nigeria, is our whole future as peoples not being totally destroyed? Should we not now quickly dissolve Nigeria before Nigeria totally destroys us and all our future – before it is too late? Therefore, our nationalities as nationalities must seize every and any chance to re-order this country. We have no choice other than to grab the Jonathan National Conference and struggle together to use it to carry out needed changes. We must restructure our federation in a hurry. Either that or total disaster. No third possibility exists. Since independence, our nations have shown in various ways that they reject the excessive weight being given to the Federal centre in the life of Nigeria. Their reactions and resistance have created various difficult situations in our history. The Ijaw peoples of the Delta have been resisting might and mane, and sacrificing many of their youths, since virtually the day of independence. The Igbo led a secessionist move that provoked a terrible civil war and took the lives of millions of people. The Yoruba have, since even before independence, urged persistently that the Nigerian Federation be properly and rationally structured. Virtually all major political movements among the Yoruba, even if they disagree on

Gbogun gboro other things, have come out clearly in support of a rational structuring of the Nigerian federation. In the course of the 1990s, the Yoruba came close to seeking secession rather than continuing as part of a federation that is destroying its component peoples. Thus, we Nigerians confront two truths concerning the Jonathan National Conference. The first truth is that President Jonathan’s calling of the National Conference is a diversionary political move, aimed at keeping his bid for another term alive. It is unlikely that he had any other intention beyond that. And the second truth is that we the nations that constitute Nigeria so desperately need to carry out very major changes in the structure and life of our country that we must accept the Jonathan National Conference and work mightily with it. The ball is therefore in President Jonathan’s court. Irrespective of his intentions for calling the National Conference, he must now work with our nationalities to make the conference an outstanding success. This may be the last chance left for Nigeria.

‘The ball is therefore in President Jonathan’s court. Irrespective of his intentions for calling the National Conference, he must now work with our nationalities to make the conference an outstanding success’

I also knew NNS Fearless By Austen Oghuma Akhigbe carry the Nigerian burden? After all, Akhigbe was not a white man of the 1800 whose self- righteous duty was “to civilize the more brutish and barbaric part of the world”, including Nigeria. There are so many other intelligent officers within the military ruling class, some of who are still very active in the current civilian system. There was no platform in place to articulate such a vision. It still does not exist. However, if Olumhense was talking about Akhigbe in the Brazilian military formation and dictatorship which transformed their country from a developing nation to its present status as a democratic and economic power house, he would have made a point. That dictatorship began its hold on power in 1964 and from the onset was determined to change the face of Brazil. It adopted nationalism, economic development and opposition to the spread of communism in the Americas as an ideology. Within 21 years in power the Brazilian Miracle emerged. Today Brazil has a high level of economic development and once produced gasoline from its vast sugarcane plantations rather than depend on oil imports. So if Akhigbe failed to inspire Nigeria, it is a collective failure of the Nigerian Armed Forces. However, to expect such a transformation from the Nigerian military as structured was simply delusional. And even to expect that Akhigbe had such a big influence on the leadership of the Nigerian Armed Forces showed two things: lack of knowledge on the command and control structure of the military; failure to recognize ethnic fault lines in Nigeria; behind the scene major players or he was simply deceived or probably too enthralled by Akhigbe’s energetic and charismatic nature. He was a gentleman with a swag undoubtedly, likeable and highly intelligent. But Olumhense failed to see the warm and friendliness of the man.of Costalva Even at that, it is disingenuous to say

Akhigbe did not leave Nigeria a better place considering the circumstance under which he emerged as second in command. Nigeria was in turmoil as a result of the fallout of June 12, there was a need for an impartial leadership to guide it out of chaos. It was not necessarily to hold Nigeria together as a united country but to avoid the human tragedy that was looming. The world could not contemplate Nigeria in a serious crisis of such magnitude because the ripple effect was unthinkable. Even today, the international community cannot and will not standby, to watch Nigeria descend into the pit of hell. That was the situation! If that was the only contribution he made to save the lives of millions of Nigerians, history will be kind to him. He emerged on the national scene at a very precarious time. As a senior naval officer, Akhigbe had always demonstrated high levels of competence, knowledge, experience, vision, communication, leadership skills and the ability to motivate, manage and solve problems. He was not a carnival barker or rabble-rouser. Nor did he harbour any latent malice and envy against anyone. He was a man with feelings and deep knowledge and was at any time prepared to defend his position on any issue. That was how he earned the sobriquet or the tagline of NNS Fearless. He spoke his mind with candour and logic; and often supported his position with numbers. He had the moral courage to stand up to his superior officers not to defiant but efficient execute his duties. For example, when President Ibrahim Babaginda’s Structural Adjustment Programme required reducing the size of the armed forces, Akhigbe counseled navy superiors against such a move to cut naval ratings and officers. Hence there was no mass retirement as opposed to what transpired in the army and air force. His argument was not complicated. He reminded them of the length it takes to fully train a naval officer after graduating from the Nigerian Defence Academy. He argued that by the time naval

officers fully complete their training to include naval operations, logistics, marine engineering and weapons engineering, their course mates in both the army and air force were already holding command positions. While these were decimated, the Nigerian Navy remained cohesive. Akhigbe did not always get away with his brutal truthfulness. He paid the price when he was by–passed for promotion at least on one occasion, which was later rectified. Akhigbe was never a protégé of Aikhomu. In fact, Admiral Augustus Aihkomu had impeded his political advancement and gave that chance to Fidelis Oyakhilome instead, who was police officer. When he finally emerged in Ondo State as governor, he ensured the state was given its due from the Federation Account since oil wells producing sizable. He got the Federal Government to include it as an oil producing state. In Lagos State as governor, he ensured that the Third Mainland Bridge, which had been abandoned, was completed. Even IBB, admitted at the commissioning that he was out-manoeuvred by Akhigbe for the federal government to release fund to complete the project, which was initiated by retired MajorGeneral Mobolaji Johnson, the first governor of Lagos State during the Gowon administration. Akhigbe went beyond the metropolis of Lagos into the hinterland to build roads. Other projects embarked the Akhigbe administration was the Opebi link road, the Oba Akran flyover to ease the traffic to name a few. In addition, he introduced model schools to support the Jakande educational programme. These are landmark achievements. Finally, the late Admiral came to the United States, the land of immigrants not to die, but to find a cure for his illness. But he was fully aware as a practicing Catholic that he had no control over his place to die. At least, we know where he died. But do not know where we will end our journey on earth when the time comes.







To enter a secondary school in Lagos State today is not easy. Pupils must pass a placement test. But space constraints in junior secondary schools is a challenge, which the government says can only be tackled gradually.

• Primary school pupils in one of the placement test centres in July.

Many pupils, no classrooms L ‘ ‘ AGOS State public schools are no longer an all comers affair. There are now stipulated criteria for admiss ions, transfers and promotions. While no tests are required for admission into public primary schools, all primary six pupils seeking admission into public junior secondary schools (JSS) must take a placement test. The test was introduced in 2011 to check the transition of poor quality primary school products into JSS under the guise of implementing the Universal Basic Education (UBE) Law which stipulates that education should be free and compulsory from primary to junior secondary (nine years). The signing of the Law by the Federal Government in 2004 led to the scrapping of the National Common

Provision of additional classrooms and furniture has been and is still of great concern to the state government and SUBEB. Excessive influx of people into the state make nonsense of our plans. All the over 110,000 Primary Six pupils that passed the Placement Test have been admitted into JSS1


By Kofoworola Belo-Osagie, Adegunle Olugbamila, Medinat Kanabe, Sampson Unamka and Jane Chijioke report

Entrance Examination and the state’s edition of the examination in 2006. With the abrogation, secondary school teachers, who took charge of

The number of pupils enrolled in the school is quite large and we are short of teachers. Last session we had four arms while this year it was five. The fact is that those admitted by SUBEB will secure admission. The secondary schools we have here are just too small


pupils that went through primary schools without achieving the required learning outcomes, complained about their quality. The pupils did not do well in the West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE). Many teachers said they got JSS1 pupils who


NDDC’s quest for ‘quality’ schools -Page 27

King’s College principal seeks succession plan in Unity Schools

KING'S College, Lagos Principal Otunba Dele Adepeju, has called on the government to address the dearth of teachers plaguing Unity Schools nationwide. -Page 39

could not spell their names. With reforms introduced by Princess Sarah Sosan, who oversaw the education ministry, the state introduced 50 per cent benchmark for promotion in primary and secondary schools. All pupils attending public schools were required to


make at least 50 per cent in English and Mathematics and three other subjects before moving to the next class. The Commissioner for Education, Mrs Olayinka Oladunjoye is implementing this policy. The seriousness attached to its implementation was demonstrated with the sanctioning of nine senior teaching staff for allegedly circumventing the policy earlier this month. The teachers, including four Principals, three vice-principals and two class teachers were warned, demoted, transferred or had their promotion for allegedly "contravening approved promotion criteria and mutilation of students' report cards." Mrs Oladunjoye told The Nation that any teacher or official caught flouting the education policies would be punished. "We have put a lot of monitoring in place. Once you are caught, you are going; with it, you tell us you • Continued on Page 26

•A 10-page section on campus news, people etc

‘How am I going to start again?’

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EDUCATION • Continued from Page 25

are not a part of us," she said. This year, 96 per cent of candidates who sat for the Lagos State Placement Test for primary six pupils from both public and private primary schools passed the examination. It was a complete reversal of fortunes from last year when 75 per cent of the candidates failed. While the government, teachers and parents are happy about the performance, the government is battling another problem - accommodating all of them in the public junior secondary schools in the state. Chairman of Lagos State Universal Basic Education Board (LSUBEB) Mrs Gbolahan Daodu said at a parents’ forum that the board had been unable to place some of the over 110,000 candidates who passed this year's placement tests into junior secondary schools because of space constraints, especially in Alimosho, Ikorodu and Ketu, where she said there were not enough schools. She said after the test written in July, the board discovered that almost 20,000 Primary Six pupils from private schools did not sit for it. They were allowed to take the re-sit with those who failed to make the 50 per cent benchmark in the initial test in September. This allowance notwithstanding, she said the board is still getting requests from parents whose wards did not sit for test and re-sit, yet want to be admitted into public secondary schools. "If you have not sat for our exam, there is no way your child will be admitted. When we did the re-sit, this year, we still had more than 10,000-20,000 who didn't write the test in the first place. But we allowed them to write the test. However, it is shocking that up till now parents are begging to get their wards who did not write the test into our schools. The over 110,000 that passed the test, it is still a challenge to place them in schools because there are not enough classrooms,"


Many pupils, no classrooms she said. Mrs Daodu told The Nation in an interview that the situation is so bad that if all the candidates are to be admitted, some pupils may be forced to sit on the floor until the government expands the facilities. She said: "I want everyone to note that it is a two way thing: one, it is compulsory for every child to be in school; but it will take time before we build the schools and you know people complain that in schools they sit on the floor. "It is either we allow them to sit on the floor and give them education, or we do not allow some people to go to school because there are not enough chairs. We cannot renovate all the schools at the same time; we cannot construct all the schools at the same time. We should control our population; that is the truth. And we also appeal to Omo Onile to give land to government to build schools rather than selling the land to people for other things. They should make it available for government to build school, especially in areas like Ketu and Ikorodu." However, when contacted yesterday, she said all pupils that passed the test had been placed into schools. In a text message, she said: “Provision of additional classrooms and furniture has been and is still of great concern to the state government and SUBEB within the available financial resources. Excessive influx of people into the state make nonsense of our plans. All the over 110,000 Primary Six pupils that passed the Placement Test have been admitted into JSS1.” Class sizes have ballooned in JSS1 classes of many junior secondary schools, with each class having up to 60 pupils and above. Many schools have been forced to create extra arms. Checks by The Nation revealed that many schools now have more than the traditional five arms of JSS1 classes.

I was unhappy that the head mistress of the private primary school my daughter attended did not register them for the placement test. When I complained, she promised to link me with somebody who helped my daughter. Her name came out’ –Parent When The Nation visited a school in Mafoluku, Oshodi, a teacher who refused to give his name said the population has increased and teachers are inadequate. "The number of pupils enrolled in the school is quite large and we are short of teachers. Last session we had four arms while this year it was five. The fact is that those admitted by SUBEB will secure admission. The secondary schools we have here are just too small. Instead of the government to create more schools they just concentrate all their effort in renovating the existing ones. Imagine the number of pupils graduating from our primary schools! Where will they all enter? Or are you trying to deny some education?" However, an Education Secretary, who prefers not to be named, said the problem would not have been so obvious if the education districts had notified SUBEB about the new

junior secondary schools it created this session. “The problem is not so bad in my Local Government because all the pupils were placed. However, the Education District did not carry SUBEB along when it created new junior secondary schools so SUBEB initially only posted pupils to the old schools. But this has been corrected,” he said. A teacher who teaches English in one of the newly created junior secondary schools confirmed this. She said that the population of pupils in her school is still low. “We had few students until they sent some to us again. But we still do not have enough,” she said. Perhaps to check population, the government insisted that all parents should produce the tax clearance certificates, evidence of their tax payment, before their wards could claim their admission. This has been a sore point for some, who could not provide the document. For those in regular employment with the electronic tax clearance certificate 9eTCC), they only needed to provide the photocopies of the card along with other required documents. For others without it, they were referred to the local government tax offices to pay N2,500, receipts of which were presented in schools before their wards could be admitted. However, it discovered that parents have found a way around providing this vital document - simply by borrowing from those who have. "I learned that all you need is just to visit the local council in your area and with N2,500 you get a photocopy of tax identification card which you can present in the school where you ward is offered admission," said a teacher in Ojo area of Lagos. "If I am lying, let government crosscheck the names of each student against the name on the tax identification card they presented;

New pacts with foreign varsities THE Ekiti State University (EKSU), Ado-Ekiti is arranging institutional collaborations with some tertiary institutions across the globe which will among others, involve the exchange of staff and students on joint research programmes. The Vice-Chancellor, Prof Patrick Aina said this shortly after arriving from an international conference on Climate Change, Sustainable Intensification and Food Security in SubSaharan Africa held in Morogoro, Tanzania. Aina said the institutions include the Ohio State University (OSU) and iAgric both in the United States of America, and Sekoine University of Agriculture (SUA), in Tanzania.

Farming partners visit REPRESENTATIVES of an agroallied firm, Vegefresh, have visited the EKSU Vice-Chancellor, Prof Oladipo Aina, as part of ongoing investment collaboration on the establishment of commercial farms. The team, led by the General Manager, Agro Business, Mr. Olumide Ojo, commended the commitment of the EKSU management towards the take-off and sustainability of the joint business venture. Ojo explained that Vegefresh has an international reputation in agricultural management and described the partnership with EKSU as worthwhile. He noted that the project would change the face of agriculture in Ekiti State, because it would encourage young agricultural entrepreneurs, increase food availability and create jobs in the three senatorial districts of the state.

•The Edo community parading at the cultural festival of Mind Builders School, Omole Phase II, Lagos ... on Saturday.


Kwara deputy speaker seeks more TVE funding

EPUTY Speaker of the Kwara State House of Assembly, Prof Mohammed Gana Yisa has said unless the nation gives adequate priority to technical education, the muchanticipated development will remain elusive. He gave this warning while delivering the first convocation lecture of the Kwara State College of Education (Technical), Lafiagi in Kwara State. Yisa, who is a Professor of Agricultural Engineering, bemoaned the lip service being paid to the funding of education, particularly technical education.

By Remi Adelowo

While describing education as the bedrock of any sustainable development, Yisa, who was once a Provost of the institution, further identified lack of patriotism, inconsistent policy, corruption, outdated curriculum, inadequate teachers, and apathy towards technical education as the bane of the nation's development. Yisa, whose lecture was titled: Technical Education in Nigeria: Circumstances, challenges and perspective,

explained that Egypt, Malaysia, Japan, China, Singapore attained greatness due to their commitment to technical education. He, however, enjoined government at all levels to access funding opportunities across the globe to fast track the development of technical education and technological advancement. The Chairman of the Governing Council of the Kwara State Polytechnic, Prof Sheu Jimoh, expressed sadness over the dwindling fortune of the education and blamed it on lack of political will by successive governments.

then you will understand what I'm talking about. For instance, my niece bears Rilwan Akinyemi, but the name on the tax card her mummy used for clearance is Alimi Adediran. This is just to show that many of these parents can hardly feed their families let alone pay tax." However, a teacher who teaches at Ojo High School, said the money paid at the council is legitimate. "Though I don't know the amount but I learned after payment, they are given a tax clearance which they bring down here to process their wards' admission," he said. A parent in Okokomaiko area said she used her neighbour's tax card. She said: "If not for a neighbour who gave me his tax identification card, maybe my son wouldn't have been offered admission. Before then, I had been running from one end to the other seeking for who will assist me. "My husband works as a security man in my area. He fell seriously ill early this year and we had to take him back to the village (Jos) for treatment. Since them I have been taking care of myself and my five children with this bread and pure (sachet) water that I sell." The parent said she also helped someone else with the card. She said: "The day I got to Community High School to do the clearance, I met a woman who was pleading that her daughter be considered for admission without the tax evidence. She told them as a widow she could barely support her family. The school told her there was nothing they could do as the directive was from government. "After sorting my son's admission, I met the woman at the entrance still crying. I could not hold it any longer. I walked up to her and said: 'Woman, stop crying. I know what you are going through because I am also facing similar challenges. Take this card that a neighbour also gave me and go and do your clearance.' "Immediately the woman's face brightened. She went back to present the tax card." Despite government's declaration that the route into its junior secondary schools is strictly through the placement test, The Nation has also discovered otherwise. A parent said his ward got into one of the public schools in Ikeja without taking the test. He said he got help from one of the workers in the school. "I was unhappy that the head mistress of the private primary school my daughter attended did not register them for the placement test. When I complained, she promised to link me with somebody who helped my daughter. Her name came out; they called me to provide all the necessary documents, including my tax clearance, which I did and my daughter was admitted," he said. When our reporter visited a junior secondary school in Mushin area posing as a guardian seeking admission for a ward, an administrative staff promised to help after the payment of N10,000. "I can help you, but admission into our school is quite expensive. It is around N10,000, and it is done in secret," she said She added that the admission process will commence once the money is paid but that the pupil would not be admitted immediately and would resume probably in January because the first term examinations are around the corner. Our reporter tried to persuade her to bring the price to N5,000 but she refused, saying: "Oga, that is the amount we collect. You don't know how hard placing a student is. If you can't pay N10,000 there is no how I can help you o! Do you think the process is easy? You don't know how all these government things are, if you can't pay that amount then you have to go elsewhere"



Many contractors have come to realise that it is not easy to pass the quality test of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC). The building of schools, they have come to realise, must meet the required standard of the Commission. JANE CHIJIOKE reports.

NDDC’s quest for ‘quality’ schools


HERE is still hope for Nigeria. By refusing to overlook poor quality jobs, the NDDC has set a good example for other agencies of government in the country." That was how Comrade Ibinabo Robinson, a Buguma youth leader, captured the botched inauguration of three projects in his community. The elders and youths of Buguma in Asari-Toru Local Government Area of Rivers State had gathered for the inauguration of the projects executed by the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) in Kalabari National College, Buguma. Smiles froze on their faces on being informed that the ceremony because the Acting NDDC Managing Director, Dr. Christy Atako, was not impressed with the job done. She told the Buguma chiefs and the pupils that NDDC would not be associated with projects of questionable quality. “We pay attention to quality. So, we will not commission any project that does not meet our standards. If we hand over a sub-standard project, it means that we are defrauding the people," she said. NDDC, she said, would stop contractors who try to deny pupils the benefits of the quality of facilities put in place for them. The community elders saw reason with her. Speaking on the community’s behalf, Chief Daar George praised NDDC for insisting on quality job. He said though his people, especially the pupils, were eager to take charge of the facilities, it was better to wait for the contractor to deliver on quality. "We agree that the contractor should come back to finish the job to meet the standards set by NDDC," he said. The school principal, Dr. Gibson Sokari-George, said NDDC gave them a sense of belonging by rehabilitating the school’s dormitory, dining hall, kitchen and the principal’s quarters. Despite the deferment of the inauguration, he said, they were still happy and hopeful. In Akwa Ibom State, Dr Atako also refused to inaugurate a laboratory, an assembly hall and classrooms for the Community Secondary School in Ikot Ubom in Nsit Ubium Local Government Area, because they were sub-standard. Dr. Atako also declined to inaugurate a solar powered water project at Ikot Ekpan also in Nsit Ubium Local Government Area. She said: “I was meant to commission this project today but I am disappointed at what I saw. I didn't believe that contractors could deceive NDDC into inaugurating projects that were so shoddily done”. A visibly angry Dr. Atako added: “I was given the impression that the projects were properly done but what I saw is a far cry from the high standards for which the NDDC is known. I have told the contractors


HE Joseph Ayo Babalola University (JABU) in Ikeji-Arakeji, Osun State, is in celebration mood this week as it graduates its fourth set of students. The week-long programme of activities kicked off with a briefing and convocation lecture by Governor Kayode Fayemi on Monday; variety night for graduands on Tuesday; community/reunion service (Wednesday); and graduands/alumni reception today and the main event, the award of first degrees tomorrow.

that they must complete these projects according to specifications." She warned that the contractors stood the risk of being blacklisted if they failed to adhere to the directive. The commission, she said, had set standards which it was not prepared to compromise. The need to maintain the standards, she said, made the commission to inspect its projects regularly to confirm the contractors' claims before payments. "We will always make sure that we inspect every project even if they tell us they have done 100 per cent of the job, we will go there and inspect it before we pay. We also encourage contractors that are doing well," she said. Despite the development, the village head of Ikot Ekpan, Chief Sunday Emmanuel, said they thought that the contractor had completed the job when they were invited for the ceremony. “We are surprised that the commissioning was stopped because of some deficiencies. Since the Acting MD is not satisfied, we are willing to wait for the contractor to do what is required of him,” he said. At the Federal University of Technology, Owerri (FUTO) in Imo State, where the NDDC modern hostel complex is awaiting commissioning, the students’ joy was cut short following a pre-commissioning inspection by Dr. Atako who was not impressed with what, she saw. She ordered the contractor back to site. She said NDDC's main concern was the delivery of projects that would make the Niger Delta people happy, adding that the commission would "enforce strict adherence to standards and project specifications. We will not tolerate contractors doing shoddy jobs.” Dr Atako expressed dissatisfaction with some aspects of the hostel's finishing, asking the contractor to rectify the defects within two weeks. A major contractor said Dr Atako had woken many of the contractors from slumber, noting: "Some of us are doing our best to meet her expectations. However, it has not been easy as we are also battling with the challenges of funding." Things are looking up as NDDC inaugurated 60 projects in the last three months, indicating that many contractors are getting it right. Dr Atako is the happier for it. At the inauguration of the University of Benin hostel, she expressed happiness after going round the complex. The modern office and detention complex built for the State Security Service, SSS and the Orthopaedic and General Surgery Complex at the Federal Medical Centre (FMC) in Asaba, the Delta State Capital, also got the thumbs up from Dr Atako for being well executed. The FMC's Medical Director, Dr. Leo Erhunwunsee, thanked the NDDC for the complex, which he described as a magnificent edifice that would aid the work of the medical personnel.

• Dr. Atako (second left) and other NDDC officials inspecting projects at the Kalabari National College in Buguma, Rivers State.


UNILAG-SSANU threatens strike

T may take longer than expected for normal school activities to resume at the University of Lagos (UNILAG) even after the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) calls off their 18 weeks old strike. This is because the Senior Staff Association of Universities (SSANU) UNILAG has announced has announced plans to down tools to protest the partial payment of earned allowances. The university has, however, denied this claim. SSANU Chairman, Comrade Adekola Adetomiwa said at a briefing at the union’s secretariat said the university management has failed to pay the allowances in full despite the Federal Government releasing N1.6billion for that purpose. He complained that rather than pay them N360,000, the management paid N180,000 each. The SSANU chair said members were given forms to fill in 2010 which were updated last year to justify their earned allowances. However, Adetomiwa said rather than effect payment with the 2012 template, the UNILAG management used that of 2010. Adetomiwa said the union has staged two protests to demand implementation without results,


O make real leaders out of prefects in primary schools in Lagos state, the Standard Mandate International (SMI) hosted a prefects and leaders summit from more than 60 primary schools in the state. The summit, which has as theme: "Think and lead right", was held at the main auditorium of the University of Lagos (UNILAG). Speaking at the event, Proprietress, Hubert Ogunbiyi Memorial Primary School, Mrs Abosede Oloyede Ogunbiyi, who also chaired the event, said many leaders today cannot deliver because they did not get the opportunity to go through trainings, so they were unprepared mentally, socially and morally. She told the children to seize the opportunity of the summit. "Make use of it well so that when you grow up and occupy leadership

By Kofoworola Belo-Osagie and Ibrahim Yusuff

wondering why UNILAG is delaying when other universities have started making payment. "There is an agreement signed with the Union both at state and federal levels to improve the level of infrastructure in the universities and also the earned allowances which we have worked for. "Based on personnel cost to the university, eventually it was reduced from N167billion to N150billion. University of Ibadan got N2.1billion, Federal University of Agriculture Abeokuta (FUNAAB) got N800million while Unilag got N1.6billion; and these institutions including UNIBEN have all paid their staff based on the amended templates. "The University of Ibadan, UNIBEN, FUNAAB, even the Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU) Ile-Ife all used the new template of N360,000. Why is UNILAG different when everyone knows that to rent a flat in Lagos costs nothing less than N300,000? It will be an error of judgment on the part of UNILAG management to be paying senior staff N180,000 instead of N360,000,” he said. The SSANU boss urged the Federal

SMI trains prefects By Medinat Kanabe

positions you will be able to leave behind good legacy for the young that will come after you," she said. In her lecture, Lieutenant Commander Remilekun Adetayo counseled the prefects to learn to discipline rather than punish. "Punishment tells a child that he or she is bad and does not usually have a relationship with what the child did wrong; but discipline tells you that what you did is wrong and not to do it again. It tells you what to do instead. Discipline will lead to effective leadership." Pastor Ayodele Nelson, convener of the summit, told the children what it takes to be good leaders. He said: "Always think critically

JABU graduates 366 tomorrow By Kofoworola Belo-Osagie

Among the 366 graduands to receive scrolls tomorrow, the ViceChancellor, Prof Sola Fajana said at a briefing that 11 of the graduands bagged first class; 104, second class upper; 206, second class lower; and 44, third class. The university will also confer an honorary doctorate degree on Elder Ogunbiyi, the chairman of JABU en-

dowment committee and founder of Mutual Benefits Assurance for his contributions to educational development. Notwithstanding the class of their degrees, Fajana said all the students have been exposed to quality tuition in their various fields - in addition to vocational training in the university's entrepreneurship skills acquisition centre and IT certifications.

Government, Ministry of Education as well as the National Universities Commission (NUC) to direct the UNILAG management to follow due process. He explained further that UNILAG Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) has increased in the past few years, adding that while some states are struggling to increase their IGR, at UNILAG, the reverse is the case because of its location in Lagos. "We are calling on the Pro-Chancellor, Prof Jerry Gana to get a copy of the template and ensure that this money is paid accordingly. Denial of this particular document by the management will make SSANU to resort to strike action," he said. Refuting SSANU's claims, Deputy Registrar, Information and Protocol, Mr Adegbule said on phone that the university has paid SSANU members in line with the 2009 Agreement. He, however, said there were some omissions that were being attended to. "The university has paid the allowances in line with the agreement. There are few omissions we have, which were not deliberate, which the university is looking into. "ASUU that is at the forefront of the struggle has not been paid, but is not making noise because they know we are collecting information and are in the process of paying," he said.

He said: “JABU is a university that focuses on quality. Not just because the National Universities Commission [NUC] expects and directs so; even without supervision it will be so. JABU has a student/staff ratio of 1:6, so we can ensure one-on-one teaching and learning. We ensure what we teach is exactly what industry wants because we have on our board captains of industry who tell us about new trends.”

before accepting or doing anything. When you ask questions, you become an inventor or discoverer of new things." He told them that there are three types of thinking which he said are the naïve, selfish and fair-minded thinking, as he added that the children should be fair minded thinkers. Nelson said preparation would yield better leadership. "If we have a crop of leaders that are being prepared and equipped with the necessary quality and orientation, they will lead in a different way. If they are being made to think critically we will get a good result from their leadership. Even the negative activities of our government will be questioned when we have a critical thinking mind," he said. Vennesa Edeh, an America-based motivational speaker, also advised the children to set long and shortterm goals, be determined to achieve them and make sacrifices. The swearing in and oath taking was done by Mrs Bola Animashaun, a lawyer, who also told the children the duties of different positions. Demilade Sonuga, Head Boy of Scholars Crest School, Omole Phase said that he learnt to always think about others too and not only himself.




‘Include organic agri in curricular’ THE Vice-Chancellor, Federal University of Agriculture Abeokuta, Prof Olusola Oyewole, has challenged researchers to seek strategies towards entrenching organic agriculture in the nation's agricultural production system and education curriculums. The ninth National Conference on Organic Agriculture. Oyewole, who spoke through his deputy (Development), Prof Kolawole Salako, said organic agriculture has become a lucrative enterprise, particularly in North America and Europe in the last decade accounting for about US$65 billion per annum of certified organic goods. Therefore, it is about time Africa took her fair share. Oyewole said after its review of academic brief, FUNAAB has identified Bachelor of Science in Organic Agriculture as one of the new academic programmes, being proposed for approval by the National Universities Commission (NUC), adding that if approved, FUNAAB would become the first university in West Africa to run such a programme.

LBS praises varsity THE Lagos Business School (LBS), has praised FUNAAB’s for being prudence with in the funds she receives from the Federal Government. The LBS hopes that a synergy between the two institutions would enhance agricultural businesses in the country. The LBS team leader Mr. Ikechukwu Kelikume gave the commendation after a tour of the business venture arm of the University. He described the visit as an eye-opener to the great work the university was doing and the abundant opportunities that still lie ahead. "When we were contacted over the university's planned capacity building and returns on investment, we decided to come here to see what the FUNAAB is doing business-wise. However, I see gold, diamond and lots of resources that are yet to be tapped. "My school is a business school and FUNAAB is like a practical arm of what we do. So, I think the synergy is not something that we would say is a one-off thing. It is something that would be long lasting.” He advised the university to sustain its alumni relations, noting that experience has shown that alumni bodies are capable of propelling advancement and development of their alma maters.

WB research body holds workshop THE West and Central African Council for Agricultural Research and Development (CORAF/ WECARD), a World-Banksponsored project, in conjunction with FUNAAB has held its maiden workshop, in Accra, Ghana. It was aimed at promoting efficient and proven drying technologies for sustainable food security and poverty alleviation in the subregion. The project Regional Coordinator, Upscaling the Nigerian Flash Drying for Sustainable Regional Trade and Income Generation in West Africa (UDESWA), Dr Abdul-Rasak Adebowale, said project would pay attention to issues bordering on livelihood change, with special focus on opportunities and constraints to its adoption, as well as gender matters and poverty elimination. Others, he said, were environmental impacts, market development and sustainability of the drying systems within the project communities, as well as the scaling-up of such systems beyond their catchment areas.

Lagos stops non-parents from leading forum


ON-PARENTS will no longer be allowed to chair parents' forum of public primary and secondary schools in Lagos State. The Education Commissioner, Mrs Olayinka Oladunjoye said this at a forum organised by the Lagos State Universal Basic Education Board (LSUBEB)in Alausa, Ikeja. She also said executives of the parents' forum can only serve for two years, renewable only once.

By Kofoworola Belo-Osagie

She said the Ministry of Education has had to stipulate these rules as a result of abuses by some individuals who continue to serve as chairmen long after their wards passed through the schools, even up to 10 years. She added that the forum should stick to their role of providing support for the head teachers and not interferring with their work. She regretted that such interfer-

ence resulted in a chairman slapping a head teacher and recommending her for punishment to his friends in the House of Assemnly. "We have a tenure for parents who want to be members of our Parents' Forum. It is not acceptable for parents whose children are not in the school to be chairman and want to remain there. The tenure is for two terms of two years. "The Parents' Forum is meant to complement the efforts of the head

teachers not to lord it over them and remain there in perpetuity," she said. The SUBEB Chairman, Mrs Gbolahan Daodu said the two terms are not automatic but must be contested for. She said: "It is your responsibility to choose whoever you want for only two years. If they do well in that period, you have to do an election to re-elect them. After that second term, even if they are the best, they cannot continue."

Chevron/NNPC rewards students in art contest


HE hall was well decorated. The dim-lit hall was jampacked as a sea of anxious teens from various secondary schools across the federation watched as the ceremony slowly reached its finale. A row of art exhibitions by the participating schools lined one end of the hall. It was the annual National Art Competition organised by the NNPC/Chevron joint venture which held in Asaba, Delta State Capital. The occasion was graced by several dignitaries including the supervising Education Minister, Nyesom Wike, Delta Commissioner for Education, Prof Patrick Mouboghare and his counterpart in Youth Affairs, Ebifa Ijeoma, and Chairman /Managing Director, Chevron Nigeria Ltd, Andrew Fawthrop. Others were Mrs Funmi Shadiya, wife of the Director, NNPC/CNL JV Operations, Mr Tunji Idowu, Area Manager, PGPA West, art teachers, parents, and judges The event was also attended by several government officials from the Federal and Delta State Ministries of Education and about 600 secondary schools' pupils from the state. Wike, who was represented by Chike Uwaezuoke, the Director, Basic and Secondary Education, Federal Ministry of Education, praised the

• Mr Uwwaezouke (Left), Ebifa Ijeoma (second left), and Mrs J. Akinmoyewa, Permanent Secretary, Delta State Ministry of Basic and Secondary Education (right) with Darl Otitodirichikwu at the event. From Okungbowa Aiwerie, Asaba

American oil multinational for its contributions to educational development through its various interventions, including the Scholarship for the Blind and the Agbami Medical and Engineering Professionals Scholarship (AMEPS) programme which have benefited over 12,000 scholars. He said: “By supporting and providing the children opportunities to project their creativity, the Joint Venture is helping to preserve some of our today for posterity, while also encouraging imaginative interpretation of our collective experience.”

Mr Ebifa Olisaeloka Ijeoma, Commissioner for Youth Affairs, Delta State, who represented the Governor Uduaghan promised that the government would continue to partner with the company to implement programmes in education. Earlier in his remarks, Mr Fawthrop, who was represented by the company's General Manager, Nigerian Content Development Raymond Wilcox, said the theme of the competition: 'Dignity in Labour' resulted in 533 entries from students across Nigeria, out of which 20 were selected, adding, that the participants gave the theme various insightful and creative interpretations. He

noted that 140 students have emerged as since the onset of the programme. The star prize for was won by Darl Uzu Otitodirichukwu of Day Waterman College Abeokuta; while Olapega Olaifa of Peaklane College Akute, Ogun State and Onyekachi Unobuagha of UNIBEN Demonstration Secondary School Edo State were first and second runners-up. Certificates were equally presented to the 20 winners while the first, second and third received scholarships and cheques for various amounts of money. Participating schools were also presented with plaques.

Old students to launch welfare scheme for members


HEN the Federal Government College Ogbomoso Old Students Association (FEGOCOOSA) converge for their annual reunion/homecoming on Saturday December 7, its executive will be launching a welfare scheme where privileged members are expected to assist the not-too-lucky ones financially. Students in the school who are from less privileged homes will also benefit from the scheme in addition to the general career guide/mentoring to give students across board new orientation towards life goals. Aside, the event, which will be laced with lots of fun reminiscent of the 'good old days’ will see members feature in contests such as karaoke, dance, singing, and a raffle draw, which will reward the best dressed couple with a return ticket to Ghana, among others goodies. The FEGOCOOSA National President Francis Orbih said this in a briefing in Lekki Friday. He said: “Some of the participants of the competitions that we mentioned will be divided into our four major houses Osun, Niger, Soun and Unity, in line with the school's old tradition. The event is also an award night which is in three categories. We are going to award some of our members who have made their marks in their various callings in and

• From left: Orbih, Okundayo; FEGOCOOSA Social Swecretary, Adeyemi Komolafe and PRO Tope Louis at the briefing. Berger/Alausa area. Also those who contribute to their alma mater. By Adegunle Olugbamila

out of Nigeria. We are also awarding students in the school who have performed outstanding in their studies. The third are some old teaching and non-teaching staff of the school who have made us proud through their commitment and hard work." Describing FEGOCOOSA as one of the 'most organised' Unity Schools associations, Orbih stressed that the reunion, which was instituted shortly after FEGOCOOSA came to effect in 1982, five years after the school was established, has remained consistent, using the event as a platform to inspire members to

"We believe if we don't play together, we cannot work together. It's an opportunity to renew friendship form new bonds and try to achieve the aims for which Federal Government College is set up. Chairman End of the Year event Planning Committee Odi Okundaye said the event would be coordinated by ace comedian Bright Okocha and might be assisted by Teju Baby Face, an alumnus. Explaining the rationale behind The Event Centre in Agidingbi venue of the event, he said: 'We realise the venue is strategic because it is accessible to those who are coming from

are coming from local and international airports can easily navigate their way. "The executive have realised that the fingers are not equal. We found out that while we have many of our members doing well in their various endeavours, there are others who are still battling with survival. Therefore, we feel if we must expect them to contribute to their alma mater, their financial empowerment must first be considered. For the students too, we believe we must encourage them in order to give their best in accordance with the old culture of academic excellence our school is reputed for."


Gains of ASUU strike


Our challenges, by trainee teachers

Page 31


Page 36


CAMPUS LIFE 0805-450-3104 email: THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 28, 2013



Staying at home because of the ongoing Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics (ASUP) strike had become boring to them. So, David Ofobuike and his sister, Ginika, who were students of the Federal Polytechnic, Oko (Oko Poly) in Anambra State left home to visit their cousins in Nnewi. They were burnt to death when their bus crashed and caught fire, following a brake failure. EMEKA ONWUDINJO (ND II Mass Communication) reports.

•Science and Laboratory Management students in a procession on campus to mourn their colleagues


‘How am I going to start again?’ •Dad mourns two students who died in road accident


HE community was mourning. It reflected in virtually all the households where the tragedy, which hit the Ofobuike family, was being discussed. Being a small community, news, whether tragedic or comic, travels fast in Ezioko in Orumba North Local Government Area of Anambra State. Last weekend, the community mourned with the Ofobuikes who lost two children – Daniel (21) and Ginika (18) – in a road accident. They were going to visit their cousins in Nnewi when their bus caught fire. The deceased, who were students of the Federal Polytechnic in Oko (OKO POLY), Anambra State, had been at

‘If there had been no strike, my cousins would not have died... Daniel was such a wonderful guy who was always lively and polite; Ginika was very intelligent and sociable’ home since the Academic Staff Union of Polytechnic (ASUP) strike began.... When the hearse conveying their

remains arrived in the community, family members, friends and sympathisers wept uncontrollably.

•The late Daniel

•The late Ginika

Their father, Mr Ugochukwu Ofobuike, in tears, muttered: “How am I going to start again?” Perhaps, his children would not have died if polytechnics had not been closed because of the ASUP strike. The late Daniel and the late Ginika were National Diploma (ND) 1 students in the Department of Science

and Laboratory Management at Oko Poly. Moments before the accident, CAMPUSLIFE gathered, the deceased were lively when they spoke on telephone with their cousins, whom they were going to visit in Nnewi. •Continued on page 30

•VC praises campus journalists-P34•OOU loses students-P35




The dearth of quality research (I)


HAT do these individuals have in common: Wole Soyinka, Chinua Achebe, Ola Rotimi, J.F. AdeAjayi, Obaro Ikime, J.D. Alagoa, Isaac Adeagbo Akinjogbin, A.M.A. Imevbore, G.A. Makanjuola and Abayomi Sofowora? Some of the names I mentioned are well known for obvious reasons. Prof. Wole Soyinka, the late Chinua Achebe and Ola Rotimi are well known literary geniuses whose works are known and read worldwide. Prof. Ade-Ajayi, Ikime, Alagoa and Akinjogbin are internationally renowned historians. Prof. Imevbore and his colleagues, on the other hand, distinguished themselves with the Kainji Lake Research Project when the nation was constructing its largest hydroelectric power generation dam at Kainji, and his study of river blindness and the containment of the menace in the new Federal Capital Territory (FCT) remained outstanding contributions to national research and development agenda. Prof G.A. Makanjuola invented the yam pounding machine, an invention that revolutionised the preparation and production of probably the acknowledged delicacy of the Yoruba people of Southwestern Nigeria and beyond. Prof. Abayomi Sofowora’s Sofagara is used for the treatment of sickle cell anaemia. I used these distinguished scholars to address an issue that I feel is of national importance. I have been concerned about the quality of research coming out of our ivory tower for quite some time now and I feel there is no better time to beam the searchlight on it than now when the ASUU strike is on the front burner of national discourse. I say this against the backdrop of our varsities - which one commentator referred to as “degree mills” - interest in churning out ill equipped graduates just like a factory rolls out products from its production line. This development, no doubt, has had a negative impact in the quality of research in recent years. As the visitor to Federal University of Tech-

Pushing Out with

Agbo Agbo 08116759750 (SMS only)

• nology Akure (FUTA) and other federal universities, President Goodluck Jonathan said during the 23rd convocation in 2011 that Nigerian universities record poor scores in international ratings because their authorities pay little attention to research. In that same convocation speech, the President noted that the nation needed high quality manpower and impactful research to achieve necessary economic growth and development. He said: “Our education administrators need to urgently address the importance of research, which is one reason our universities perform poorly in international ratings. We must upgrade our curricula to ensure the provision of quality education. Learning at tertiary levels should produce graduates that are self-reliant. “We must equip our students with knowledge that will make them active contributors to national development. Our farmers want improved seedlings and need storage technology for their yields, while our artisans want simple tools and implements to aid their work.” He charged university administrators to focus on courses that could empower their graduates to create jobs rather than adding to the pool of unemployed youths in the labour market. The president concluded by saying, “We now need graduates who are problemsolvers and job creators, and whose characters will be enviable and unimpeachable at all times.” I took time to take important quotes from the speech because academic members of the university community are generally considered to be thinking circle in any society. In the contemporary knowledge-based world, professors in the sciences, social sciences and humanities are important member of the community, they’re supposed to be thinking on behalf of government and providing the intel-

‘How am I going to start again?’ •Continued from page 29

After the call, they left for the journey. On Nnodi Road, a few •Students carrying the remains of the deceased kilometres to Nnewi, the to the burial ground bus in which they were He added: “Both of them were travelling crashed folfriendly to every student in the delowing brake failure. Eyewitnesses said the vehicle som- partment. Ginika played with all ersaulted severally before it fell into manner of people without discrimia drainage. It caught fire immediately. nation. She was very quiet and gentle. Our correspondent learnt that the She was a friend to everyone in the occupants struggled to get out of the class.” Nwajiaku Kenechukwu, a cousin to ill-fated vehicle after the crash. the deceased, said they were victims In the commotion, some of them of ASUP strike. “If there had been no were trapped. The late Daniel and strike, my cousins would not have died,” he said, adding: “Daniel was Ginika were among those trapped. Their colleagues thronged the such a wonderful guy who was alOfobuike compound for the funeral. ways lively and polite; Ginika was They were led by Abel Abba, presi- very intelligent and sociable.” Martins Ogbonna, their classmate, dent of Science and Laboratory Sturecounted how he met the late Daniel dents Association. Abel, who spoke on behalf of the and Ginika. “We met in a tutorial students, described the death of class. Both of them were welcoming Daniel and Ginika as pathetic, saying and polite in their approach. But I was the department has lost great stu- shocked to hear that they died in such a horrible manner. I could not sleep dents. He said: “When I learnt of Daniel’s for days because we were close, espeand Ginika’s death, I was shocked and cially Daniel who usually came to me for practical work and assignment.” speechless for minutes. Another student, Nathaniel “I could not believe it until we came here to see their parents. Today’s cer- Ezeokoli, said the growing list of stuemony confirmed that what we heard dents’ death through accidents and is the truth. So, we are here to pay the other preventable causes should send last respect to both of them as their a signal to the striking lecturers and presence in our life will not be for- the government to reach an agreement and call off the strike. gotten till we meet again.”

lectual base for policymaking. Up until the late 1990s, research played a critical part in many facet of our society. For instance, animal scientists in Nigeria were credited with producing ground breaking vaccines that curtailed, and in some cases, eradicated killer diseases in animals. The same can be said in other disciplines within the academia. But why did these suddenly ceased and how did we arrive at this sorry state? Analysts have over the years expressed opinions on how Nigerian universities found themselves at this decadent state and how they can overcome it. Of course, most of the explanations are external to the system, and are, in most cases, right: decades of neglect, funding inadequacy, flight of the best teachers to greener pastures etc. But after blaming the brain drain syndrome for several years, may be it is time we turned our attention to the drained brains that were left behind in seeking the explanations for our failure to move ahead. One area I would like to start from is that our universities are yet to fully recover from the fallouts of years of military assault on our educational system that led to the flight of several top level academics in virtually every discipline. The 1990s was a particularly brutal era for the universities as several leading academics left in droves. The group included those who trained outside the country and who found ready homes in their former territories, others who went on short or medium term fellowships and who were absorbed into the system, and many young and bright academics who left the country on sponsored training programmes but who failed to return at the completion of their studies. Coupled with this were the recruitment challenges and lack of what I’d call generational renewal. The competition from other sectors for the best graduates made it difficult to attract the best talents for entry level positions in our faculties. So, our universities faced the dual challenge of inability to attract best talents and retaining good ones. Since our varsities could not attract the best hands – who were attracted to lucrative sectors like the oil, banking and financial sectors – they made do with third of fourth best; in some cases, grossly underrated products. These were the products used to fill departments as lecturers. Another side of the issue emerged as the unemployment crisis started becoming more pronounced from the mid-1990s. Individuals who never in their wildest imagination would

have contemplated a career in the academia found themselves becoming candidates for entry level positions in our varsities since they could not find employment elsewhere. With several departments brimming with vacancies, the stage was pretty well set for the ‘introduction’ of the patronage system to a place where it is supposed to be an anathema. I say this because the university should be the last place to allow mediocrity to thrive because of the strategic role it plays in development. As the patronage system gained inroad, our universities became populated with several individuals as lecturers who could better serve the institutions in other capacities; individuals who never in their wildest imagination considered a career in the academia and who took the job hoping to bail out at the first available opportunity but who began to enjoy the attractions of the position even as the opportunity of alternative employment never presented itself. Many entered the system not because of what they know but who they know. It was common for Heads of Departments to exchange candidates for appointment. Departments declare vacancies or adjust vacancies to suit the status of preferred recruits and lowering of the standard became commonplace. In the process, many entered the profession without understanding what it entails and what it requires in terms of values, ethics and culture. The truth is, after so many years, many of those who joined the system inadvertently are now occupying commanding positions in our systems and are indirectly creating new cultures, ethics and values to suit their capacities and preferences. Mediocrity finally came home to roost. This aside, the politicisation of education, against the wisdom of educational planning economics, later resulted in massive uncoordinated expansion of the educational system. Politicians now impose University administrators without recourse to the Senate – which is statutorily empowered to elect Vice Chancellors. Politics eroded university autonomy and academic freedom, making the ivory tower looks like an annex of the political terrain. It is worse at the State level where policies such as admission of students, employment of teaching staff and others are subjected to ethnic politics. Years of sowing mediocrity later manifested in dearth of quality research and scholarship as we started reaping the ‘reward’ through flawed leadership in almost every facet of our national life.

Biyi Ogunbiyi is a 300-Level student of Mathematics at the University of Lagos (UNILAG) and founder of Tudors Group, a fashion outfit with photography, clothing and management arms. The group recently organised “Rip The Runway”, a show that brought fashion aficionados worldwide to the Oriental Hotel in Lekki, Lagos. He tells ADEBISI ADENIJI (300-Level Communication and Language Arts, University of Ibadan) how fashion can solve unemployment.

‘Fashion can drive growth’


OU have a lot going for you as an undergraduate, what is the secret? Basically, it is God. Your fashion show “Rip The Runway” held recently was well-attended by guests from within Nigeria and overseas. How were you able to achieve this considering the event was the maiden edition? We carefully selected our guests and got assurance of their attendance weeks before the event. We also looked at the logistics properly and this helped us build a dynamic team that ensured proper planning and publicity for the show. What does Tudors Group stand for? Tudors Group stands for quality in fashion, music and artiste management. Some say fashion is instinctive; others say it is learned from culture. What does fashion mean to you? To me, fashion is simply the expression of one’s inner self in colours, cuts and combinations. There has been a growing interest

in fashion, especially among youths, with many designers, clothiers and fashion outfits emerging from the industry. What do you think is responsible for this? I believe our generation is getting more fashion-conscious every day. Also, the re-emergence of the middle class and its wide patronage of fashion vendors is getting more youths to use their talents in fashion to develop the industry. Simply put, where there is opportunity, there will be seekers. It is a case of bees to a honeycomb. Despite a boom in the fashion industry, it appears Nigeria still has a long way to go compared to France, Italy and others. Does the growth of these countries in fashion have any negative effect on the local fashion business? First, we have to know that by nature, human beings have different perceptions and preferences in fashion. What is fashionable to me may not be attractive to you. And I may prefer Western style while your own


preference may beArabian fashion. But at every stage of human existence, maturity comes in and I believe, in due time, Nigeria will match these countries in fashion and might even go beyond their limits. Where do you see the fashion industry in the next 10 years and where do you see Tudors Group? We are getting good signals with respect to our fashion industry as an avenue to stop crime, youth restiveness and unemployment. I see the Tudors Group in this line of growth. Is it worth it to leave a lucrative job for fashion without fear of going bankrupt? Yes, I do and a lot of people are witnesses to this fact. How do you combine your academics with fashion business? It is about proper time management and, most importantly, God’s grace.




For a rewarding future The Redeemer’s University (RUN) Alumni Association is partnering with the institution to create a platform for its students and graduates to learn skills that will make them employable after school. WALE AJETUNMOBI reports.


O prepare graduates of the Redeemer’s University (RUN) for the future, its alumni association is partnering with the management to ensure that they do not become a burden to society after school. For hours last Saturday, students and graduates listened to human resources and management experts in a programme tagged Generation Next CEO Business Roundtable on skills and ways to become successful entrepreneurs after school. In his opening speech, the Director of Corporate Affairs, Mr Adetunji Adeleye, said the programme, which is to hold quarterly, was designed to make students draw a proper graduation plan. He said the management believed the future of the university belonged to the good activities its graduates were doing in the society. He added that the parley was necessary to allow students learn and

•The speakers with some of the participants after the seminar

share in the success stories of the alumni and make necessary decision after their programmes. He said: “The vision of the founding fathers of this university is to make it a global centre of excellence. In our efforts to achieve this vision, we do want to ensure that the university churns out gifted graduates that will establish global conglomerates in service of humanity.” Sam Aikhomu, Human Resources Director, Ernst and Young Consulting, tasked the participants to have long-term career plan and coherent curriculum vitae that would boost their chance to succeed in their chosen fields. The job-recruitment expert, who spoke on Graduate employability and skills, said having best classes of degrees was not enough to secure lucrative employments, stressing that what defined employability was for a graduate to possess personal competence skills, which he listed to include business support acumen, analytical

thinking, honesty and integrity, leadership abilities, organisational awareness, and oral and written communication skills among others. He said: “You don’t have to wait till the day you will graduate from the university to build a good profile of yourself. You must start from your very first day in the university. When you have a good plan, alumni association would be a good platform to build good social network.” He urged the students to always carry out research on all sections of their dreamed workplace, stressing that such undertaking would make them gain knowledge to be relevant to employers and solve organisational problem. The second speaker, Godwin Isibor, Managing Director BUA Sugar, said nobody had achieved success by sleeping all day, noting that aspire leaders set goals for their lives and “go for the broke”. Isibor, who is also the Pro-chancellor of Benson Idahosa University in


Benin City, said anyone who wished to achieve success in anything must work out ways to balance career plan, personal finance, family life, good health, social and spiritual life.

He said: “One thing I will leave with you is that, you have to run your life by yourself. Every day, you must engage in activities that will enhance your goals. Although, luck may play out at a period but you have to know that it only helps when we have good preparation. If you do what successful people do, you would surely be successful.” Earlier, the Librarian, Dr. Layi Adebayo, said he was confident that the aspiration of the programme would be met because the institution was blessed with more than 25 professors and quality personnel. He urged students to productively use the knowledge they acquired during the programme. The event also featured question-and-answer session, which allowed participants to bear their minds on how they could start small to achieve big. There was also a comedy session and education career talk.

While many of their colleagues are at home because of the ongoing Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) strike, students residing in Moremi Hall of the University of Lagos (UNILAG) have turned the hostel to a vocational centre to train their colleagues in various crafts. ADEYEMI OLALEMI (300-Level Physics and Education) writes.

•A purse made from Ankara material

•Some of the handbags made by the students


CADEMIC activities at the University of Lagos (UNILAG) may have been paralysed because of the ongoing Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) strike, but some students are utilising it for their own good. Instead of going home to do nothing, the students turned their hostel to a skill acquisition centre. Welcome to Moremi Hostel, the prestigious female hall of residence, where students now learn various vocation including handbag and bead making.

Gains of ASUU strike The students are using the ASUU strike to their advantage, learning skills that could make them potential entrepreneurs without their certificates. CAMPUSLIFE learnt that the skill acquisition programme started like a joke when a few students gathered to receive training from an unnamed woman, who taught them in various craft. The trainees, who paid

N5,000, later organised free training for their colleagues. The population of the apprentices increased when students called their colleagues to return to campus to benefit from the programme. A student, who was trained, said: “It was like a child’s play when I was called by my friends to come to the campus for vocational training. I am happy now because I have learned

how to make handbags using local materials such as cardboard, foam, gum and Ankara materials.” Odunayo Oshinibosi, 300-Level Computer Science, said: “A lady came from outside the campus to conduct training for a few students on handbag making. So, I joined them. We paid N5,000. Those who were trained then taught their friends and it continues like that in a chain

reaction.” Another residence of the hostel, who did not say her name, told CAMPUSLIFE: “Most of the students who stayed back in the hostel during the ongoing strike can now make bags of different styles.” Some of the students said they could now make three bags per day and sell each for N2,000 or N3,000. Many of the students, who hope to make more money from the bag business, said they were not concerned whether ASUU and the government would sheathe their sword and end the six-month strike.







Poly union gets caretakers


HE Provost of the Federal College of Education in Pankshin, Plateau State, Prof David Wonang, has inaugurated a seven-man caretaker committee for the institution’s Students’ Union Government (SUG). At the ceremony, Prof Wonang encouraged the committee members to work together as a team to promote the welfare of students, urging them to work with the fear of God. The chairman of the committee, Christopher Eze, promised to promote peace on the campus, adding that the committee would employ dialogue to resolve problems. The Dean of Students Affairs (DSA), Mr E. Ekele, said that the


Quiz for Kogi pupils From Chisom Ojukwu NYSC OSOGBO

ary School and Baptist High School were first and second runners-up. The Chairman, Academic Staff Union of Secondary Schools in Lokoja, (ASUSS) Mr James Ogbeha said the corps member has made a sound academic impact on the lives of the students. He added that the organiser deserved recognition from the State government The NYSC representative, Mr Tipani Lucky, commended the corps member for organising the competition, saying the programme had changed the lives

of the students. He urged the state government to encourage corps members who had such passions. A representative of the Science Teacher’s Association of Nigeria (STAN), Mr Samuel Olaiya commended the corps member for the project. Tochukwu thanked participants for honoring his invitation to the competition. He said that he had desired to empower the students academically by organising such a competition, adding that he was excited with the success of the programme. Items ranging from science laboratory equipment, textbooks and examination past questions brochures were presented to outstanding students.


HE Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) Television College (TV COLLEGE) in Jos has held matriculation ceremony for freshers admitted into Television Production, Television Journalism and Television Engineering departments of the college. The Acting Rector and Dean of Studies of the college, Ms Halima Bewell, congratulated the students. She advised the students to take advantage of the various opportunities offered by the college to acquire professionalism. Bewell warned the students to eschew negative influences, stressing that cultism remained an illegal group on the campus. The Head of Department of Television Production, Mrs Phoebe Rishanti, who administered oath on the students, advised them to be good ambassadors of the institution. The Academic Secretary, Mr

Akoko students lament poor education


•Prof Ambali (third left) and Akogun (left) with the campus writers in his office

VC praises campus journalists


ICE-CHANCELLOR of the University of Ilorin (UNILORIN) Prof AbdulGaniyu Ambali has commended campus journalists of the institution for promoting the good image of the school. The VC praised the student-writers when members of the CAMPUSLIFE Correspondents’ Club visited him in his office last week. Ambali attributed the success of his administration to God and the cooperation he received from staff and students. He thanked the campus journalists for recognising his administration efforts in the past one year to develop the university. He said: ‘’I appreciate your interest in what our administration is doing in contributing to the development of our school. I urge you to see the university as your home and keep promoting us positively through your reporting. That is not to say you should be silent on areas that need improvement. We want the university to continue to grow

From Abibat Awo UNILORIN

and we need positive criticism to achieve that. If you see any lapses, you can alert us in a professional way, but you don’t have to be negative about whatever is going on because this is your home.’’ Ambali promised to initiate more projects, stressing that his administration was committed to providing improved teaching and conducive learning environment for students, while reiterating his commitment to staff training and improved welfare package. He observed that that the Federal Government and the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) needed to establish a monitoring committee that would ensure that agreements reached by the two parties are implemented. ‘’Whenever agreements are reached, everybody signs; individuals go home with the signed documents, but

nobody sits down to mediate between the two parties to ensure that what has been signed is implemented. And that has always being our problem. But if there is a monitoring committee in place, ASUU could go to them and sound a note of warning that an aspect of the agreements is being neglected,’’ he stated. Ambali advised Nigerian leaders to shun corruption and said that the best way to tackle Nigeria’s problem was to make food available to everybody and guarantee their future. Speaking on behalf of his colleagues, Hameed Muritala, a Computer Science student, praised the VC for his achievement, saying that he had surpassed the expectations of students with his style of leadership and achievements in the last one year. The university’s Deputy Director of Corporate Affairs, Mr Kunle Akogun, led the delegation. Other members of the team included Wale Bakare, Alabede Surajudeen and Akorede Shakir.

constitution of the committee was aimed at giving students opportunity to serve the interest of their colleagues, advising members to ensure peace and cooperation between management and students. He also told them to be humble and see themselves as servant leaders. Other members of the committee included Kefas Walshak, Iliya Bature, Dazam, Jona Tokos Geoffery Wana, Maria Gungshin and Filishak Mulengshak. The event was attended by members of staff of the institution. The committee was charged to organise election into various offices of the union next year.

Stay away from cultism, students told

•Ogbeha (second left) joined by Tochukwu presenting trophy to the winners

CORPS member serving in Kogi State, Tochukwu Onuchukwu, has organised a quiz competition for secondary school pupils in Lokoja, the state’s capital. The competition, which was Tochukwu’s personal Community Development Service (CDS) project, was held at Bishop Delise College. Eleven secondary schools participated in the contest. Subjects covered in the competition included Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Information and Communication Technology, English Language and Mathematics. The event which started at 9:45am had three schools as finalists. Bishop Delise College emerged as the overall winner while Government Day Second-

From Vivian Gyang FCE PANKSHIN

TUDENTS of the Federal Polytechnic in Ado-Ekiti (ADO POLY) under the banner of Akoko North East Local Government Students (NAANELGS) have lamented the poor level of education in the country. They spoke through their president, Abiodun Adalumo. Abiodun, HND II Accountancy student, said the association was no happy with the way politicians pay lip service to education. He said: “It is sad that today’s leaders who were beneficiaries of good and affordable education during their time have become

From Suleiman Dutse TV COLLEGE

Zakari Yakubu, said the students must take their studies seriously. He said: “It is not enough to be matriculated. You must try your best to graduate in flying colours.” The ceremony was attended by parents, relatives and friends of the inductees. Highlights of the event included music performances, choreography and video interviews organised by management of the college. Some of the students, who spoke to CAMPUSLIFE, said they were happy to be in the college, promising to abide by the rules and regulations of the institution. The event was attended by Administrative Manager of the college, Mr Peter Oche, Head of Department, Television Journalism, Manyam Terkembi and Head of Television Engineering Department, Mr Titus Mazhinyi. From Temitope Yakubu ADO POLY

looters of public treasury and have refused to fund public education. What is worrisome is that they use stolen funds to establish private institutions in the country.” He continued: “The ongoing Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) and Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics (ASUP) strike have shown that the Federal Government is not serious about making quality education available to the children of the poor. Our leaders’ children are schooling abroad while we grapple with the uncertainties of the education sector. Here, many higher institutions lack befitting classrooms, lecture theatres and other facilities for students to learn. Every year, the government earmarked funds to improve education. But the money end up in private pockets.” The students urged the striking lecturers to end their industrial action in the interest of students.

VC hails Ajimobi for bus gift


HE Vice Chancellor of the Ladoke Akintola University of Technology in Ogbomoso (LAUTECH), Prof Adeniyi Gbadegesin, has praised the Oyo State Governor Abiola Ajimobi for attending to the wellbeing of staff and students of the institution. Receiving the 2013 model NISSAN bus donated to the institution’s Students’ Union Government (SUG) by the governor, Prof Gbadegesin commended

From Lekan Fadeyi LAUTECH

the governor for the gift, noting that such gesture would help to promote a cordial relationship between the students and the government. He said the management of the varsity would welcome assistance of the state government to realise the objectives of the institution, adding that the university was ready to ensure a conducive atmosphere for learning.



CAMPUS LIFE Polytechnic woos games sponsors


•New students doing the exercise

Freshers’ registration starts at UNILAG


HE University of Lagos (UNILAG) may be planning to pull out of the ongoing Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) strike, with an order by authorities of the institution asking freshers to commence the registration for the 2013/2014 academic session last week. The exercise, which had started on Monday, is expected to end next week. A non-academic staff, who does not want her name in print because she was not authorised to speak on the issue, said management decided to commence the registration process since ASUU was about to end the strike. “With the progress that we have seen in the attempts to suspend the strike, it is foreseeable that it would soon be called off. So we want the registration to be done now so that resumption would be smooth. The registration is being co-ordinated by the Non-Academic Staff Union of Universities (NASU). So, we are on course with what we are doing. We are not ASUU. Though, we believe in the cause that ASUU is fighting for,” she stated. Some of the new students lauded

From Godwin Simon UNILAG

the management for what they described as a “good move”. They said that the exercise would reduce stress and save them time when the campus is re-opened. Emmanuel Adedoyin, 100-Level Law, said the exercise would enable him to settle for academic activities when the session begins. “This is very nice and good for UNILAG. This registration will really boost our morale and make us feel more like students. It would save us from stress,” he stated. Samuel Olufowose, a student of Biochemistry bemoaned the ongoing ASUU strike, noting that it has disrupted the academic calendar. He said the registration and described it as timely. Meanwhile, members of the University of Lagos Joint Christian Fellowship (UJCF) has started their yearly “Catch them young” programme. UJCF Evangelism Secretary, David Chukwuma, said the exercise was geared towards assisting news students get their footing on campus. He said: “During registration exer-

cise, there are sequences in which documents should be arranged. But we discovered that most of the new students are not acquainted with the sequence. So, we come here to calm them down and help them with the arrangement. We do this to assist the university community in maintaining order especially inside the registration hall and also we use the avenue to reach out to them and show them the love of Christ.” Photographers on the campus have expressed delight with the ongoing registration, saying it has boosted their business activities. Some of them who spoke with our reporter said ASUU strike has grounded their activities for a long time. They said the ongoing registration has brought relief to them. One of them who simply identified himself as Bolaji said they are always looking forward to the annual registration exercise as it is often a period for high financial gain. Shakiru Soyeye who relies on photography business as a means of livelihood said life has been miserable for him in the past five months due to lack of patronage caused by the ASUU strike.

HE Chairman of the Local Organising Committee of the 18th Nigeria Polytechnic Games (NIPOGA) scheduled for next June, Mallam Usman Buhari, has said the Federal Polytechnic, Bida in Niger State, needs N1.3 billion to host the games. He said: “We are determined to surpass what Ede did in all ramifications. We are providing a wellequipped media centre to enable journalists to file their reports. Our facilities will have flood light so as to have games played in the evening, which has never been done in the history of NIPOGA. Right now, work is ongoing at the two basketball courts. We are building a main bowl which will include tartan track, indoor sport hall, tennis court and we are upgrading our existing facilities.” Buhari called on corporate bodies to support the school by constructing some of these facilities. “They should take up one of these projects; build it and brand it. We don’t need their money, but the facilities. We are appealing to corporate organisations im Nigeria to assist us in providing the facilities that we need to host this game. The LOC chairman said there was no going back on the date for the games, adding that the institution has the facilities to accommodate all the 3000 athletes expected to participate in the games. He reiterated the commitment of the polytechnic to host all the games in Bida and ruled out the possibility of using Minna, the Niger State capital, as venue. Buhari said the school is not hosting the game to have a competitive edge over the participating schools.

From Joseph Eshanokpe BIDA POLY

“We have put in place necessary structures to ensure mercenaries are fished out. People should not see it as a do or die event. We are not desperate to win but rather, we are determined to leave a lasting impression on the stakeholders. Bida is a friendly town and people here are always warm to receive visitors. We are working in conjunction with all relevant security agencies to ensure maximum security. We are going it all the attention it requires,” he stated. The LOC boss also urged the public to design a logo and mascot for the games which should reflect the environment (BIDA). The launching of the logo and mascot comes up next April. The organisers said the games would feature 15 sports. They included basket ball, handball, volley bal, football, athletics, hockey, table tennis, tennis taekwondo, squash, chess, scrabble, judo and badminton.

‘We have put in place necessary structures to ensure mercenaries are fished out. People should not see it as a do or die event. We are not desperate to win but rather, we are determined to leave a lasting impression on the stakeholders’

OOU loses students From Sanya Boluwatife OOU

•The late Philips


TUDENTS and staff of the Olabisi Onabanjo University (OOU) in Ago-Iwoye, Ogun State were in mourning mood last week, following the death of a graduating student, Philips Kadiene Azubuike. Philips, a student of Computer

Science, was said to have died in an auto crash that occurred on OruIjebu road. Until his death, Philip was the Coordinator of the Nigerian Red Cross (NRC) in the university. He was also the technical coordinator of his fellowship. Another student, Emmanuel Okonkwo, in the Faculty of Law has reportedly died. Speaking to CAMPUSLIFE, Femi Oyeniyi, a graduating student of Political Science, said: “It is unfortunate that we lost him. Azubuike was an easygoing fellow. He was nice person and always filled with fun.”

College begins diploma programmes •The album cover


RINCESS Ifemide Akinbunmi, a student of the University of Abuja (UNIABUJA), has launched her debut album entitled: Ifemi si Olorun ajanaku (My love for the Almighty God). The album launch, which took place at Sheraton Hotels in Ikeja, Lagos was attended by members of Christ Revival Victory Chapel International (CRVCI) and clerics including Pastor Joy Ajanaku, Pastor John Salami, Mrs Akinbunmi Florence and Mr James Oyeleke. Ifemide thanked the late Prophet Iretiola Ajanaku, saying God used him to turn her life around. “I want to express my deep ap-

Student waxes album From Opeyemi Samuel EKITI

preciation to God and the late Prophet Ajanaku who God used to turn my destiny around. I was nobody when he picked me up and started training me. I didn’t spend a kobo on this album. He gave me spiritual and financial help and that’s one of the reasons why I am so indebted to God and him,” she stated. Ifemide and her crew entertained the guests with songs from the album. Her mother, Mrs Akinbunmi,

said: “Ifemide’s father died on his way to Abuja to see her in school. Before he died, he used to tell me to take care of Ifemide. I went through hell to take care of Ifemide and her siblings after I lost their father. I didn’t know that she will end up being a gospel singer because I wanted her to be a lawyer.” Speaking to CAMPUSLIFE, a participant, Mr James Oyeleke, said: “I am not surprised that Ifemide is launching her debut album because I know she is someone who can sing very well. She has been a good singer in church.”


HE National Board for Technical Education (NBTE) has accredited the Oyo State College of Agriculture, Igboora (OYSCAI) to run Computer Science and Science Laboratory Technology programmes. The NBTE team leader, Mrs Helen Oduntan made this known at a Resource Inspection Visitation to the college for the commencement of National Diploma programmes in Computer Science and Science laboratory Technology. The Acting Provost, Prof Gbemiga Adewale, and Oduntan stressed the need for the college to run technology-based programmes. Prof Adewale said agriculture and technology are interrelated, adding that increased agricultural productivity would be feasible with significant improvement in agricultural

From Helen Olawore OYSCAI

processes and equipment through technology. Prof Gbemiga said the managemnt saw the need for students to be versed in Information and Communication Technology, which was why the programmes were introduced. Mrs Oduntan described the college as a fast growing institution with good human and physical infrastructure. She praised the management, members of the Governing Council and the Oyo State Government for the massive infrastructural development and science facilities that were donated to the college. The Chairman of the Governing Council, Chief Babatunde Soares, thanked the Board for its support towards the development of the College.




Our challenges, by trainee teachers Some students undergoing compulsory teaching practice in various secondary schools spoke to KEMI BUSARI (400-Level Political Science, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife) about their challenges.


S part of their course requirements, education students must undergo compulsory teaching practice, before the award of the National Certificate of Education (NCE) and Bachelor degree in Education. They are expected to undertake the exercise for six to 12 weeks as trainees in primary and secondary schools. The practice is as old as the study of education itself. The trainees are made to teach subjects related to their • field under the supervision of lecturers, who will award marks at the end of the exercise. Simple as the exercise may appear to be, it is beset with impediments, which are hindering the fulfilment of the ideals of the exercise. Students undergoing the practice across the country identified poor remuneration, lack of teaching materials, accommodation and disrespect by pupils, among others, as challenges they face. Jahphet Adebisi, a 300-Level student of Osun State College of Education in Ila Orangun, said the overpopulation of the classes assigned to him is breeding disrespect by pupils. “I can say some of them are seriousminded but the classes are over-populated. This made some of the pupils

to disobey our orders and look down on us because we are trainees,” he complained. Responding to questions, Omotoke Olowo, a 400-Level Education student of Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU) in Ile-Ife, Osun State identified accommodation and transportation as problem she is facing. She said: “I spend more than N200 daily on transportation and this leaves me with little or nothing to feed on. Sometimes, I feed on just fried yam and sachet water for a whole day.” Other factors that demoralise the trainees, according to Dorcas Ogundele, a student of Mathematics and Economics in Foreign Links College of Education in Moro, are troublesomeness and unruliness of some of the pupils. “My experience here so far has been terrible. Even if all you have on you is not enough for your sustenance, some of the students still come to you to ask for money and extra lessons. Ridiculously, some will walk up to you and say ‘Aunty I love you’. Imagine how disrespectful it is for an underage pupil to woo his teacher,” Dorcas offered. Omotola Olaniyan, a student of OAU, identified teacher-student relationship as her challenge. She said: “Some of us always put in our best to teach what we know and expect

•Some of the students undergoing teaching practice

the pupils to get the scope of the subjects. But you would be surprised to see them looking empty when supervisors came for assessment. It would look as if we have not taught them anything.” A supervisor from the Osun State College of Education in Ila Orangun, Dr Adisa Olawumi, in an interview with CAMPUSLIFE said the exercise was achieving its objectives but added that the challenges being faced by the trainees could erode the gains of the exercise. “The kind of students we have today are not studying education because of interest, they attend colleges of education because they don’t have any other choice,” he said, stressing

that the shortfall is affecting the exercise negatively. Olawumi noted the standard of teaching practice had fallen, adding that teachers in schools where students are posted for the exercise used to be supervisors but said their morale to mentor the trainees had disappeared because of socio-economic problems. On what could be done to solve these challenges, students recommended that a proper remuneration system should be ensured to increase enthusiasm of trainees. Folasade Ojo, a student of Lagos State University (LASU), said: “The school authorities should engage the government to pay encouraging sti-

pend, no matter how small. It has not been easy for some of us to cope with meager resources from our parents. Yet, they want us to teach in the same way paid teachers do.” Isreal Olarotimi, an OAU student, urged government to motivate teaching practice trainees if only to mak the exercise serve as a platform for students to gain teaching experience and professionalism. Gbenga Ilupeju, 400-Level Political Science Education, University of Uyo (UNIUYO), said: “I think teaching practice is achieving its intended aim but challenges such as trainees’ identity card, overcrowding of classes and posting of trainees to rural areas should be looked into and amended.”

Members of the staff of the Department of vocational Teacher Education at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN) have held a free training for pupils in the institution’s host community. The exercise was conducted with the institution’s recently-acquired mobile laboratories. INYA-AGHA EGWU reports.


HE mobile laboratories recently acquired by the University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN) are being put into use by the Department of Vocational Teacher Education. Last week, two of the mobile workshops were deployed in Iheakpu-Awka community in Nsukka to train pupils in the neighbourhood on some craftworks. As members of staff of the department drove the workshops into the town, pupils of Community Secondary School waited in eagerness to receive free vocational training. But, the mobile classrooms could not get to designated centre because of bad road. The vehicles were stationed at St. Mary Grammar School, which is a few metres away from the selected centre. Pupils of the host school took advantage of its location and participated in the training while their counterparts from designated school walked down to the new location. Before the training, the secondary school teachers and principals were conducted round the mobile laboratories, during which some vital equipment were introduced to them. Some of the areas in which the pupils were trained included, building and construction, textile and apparel, essential science, electronics, home maintenance, plant science, food science, dietetics/nutrition and horticulture, among others. Each pupil spent about 15 minutes in each section, conducting practicals under the supervision of a UNN facilitator before moving over to another section. The Principal of Community Secondary School, Mr Reuben Agada, said the mobile laboratory had simplified learning and offered practical classroom experience to stu-

Their neighbours’ keeper dents. “This is the first time I am witnessing this type of innovation. In all the zones I have served as a principal, I have not seen a thing like this. I am really impressed and proud that my school is the first to benefit from this technology,” he said. Agada was optimistic that the

mobile laboratory would make a positive impact on secondary education in the country if many pupils had access to it, especially in the area of science and technical education. The Chief Supervising Principal, Post Primary Management Board in Obolo Afo Zone, Mr. Joseph Ugwu, observed that the mobile workshop

would make tremendous impact in secondary education because “it is practical-oriented and computerbased” as opposed to conventional classroom setting with chalk and board. He expressed concern about continuity of the innovation, saying the idea should not be limited to schools in Enugu only. Some of the pupils who shared

•Pupils studying a building design in construction section of the mobile workshop

their thought with CAMPUSLIFE after the training said the technology offered faster learning method through the use of computerised gadgets compare to conventional classroom setting. Kingsley Tochukwu, a pupil of Community Secondary School, said: “I learn faster in the mobile laboratory. When I was taught electronics in classroom, we only used drawing to indicate some of the things we should see physically. But in the mobile laboratory, I saw equipment and how the process happened. I can repeat the same thing anywhere. I will be very happy if this training continues.” Feargod Ugwuoke, SSS Three pupil of St. Mary Grammar School, said learning building and construction in the mobile workshop was the best training she had received. “It is much easier for me to learn in practical than to just listen to a teacher talking on construction in the classroom.” Another pupil in SSS Two, Ujunwa Ugwu, said: “I wish fthe mobile laboratory could be brought to my school so that we would be using it often. I prefer learning in practical way because I will see and experiment everything by myself, unlike in the classroom where we only listen to the teachers.” One of the Facilitators, Tochukwu Ejiofor, said the mobile laboratory provided the pupils an opportunity to use equipment which could not be provided in their schools’ laboratories. The Director, Centre for Technical Vocational Education, Training and Research (CETVETER), Prof Benjamin Ogwo, said the innovation would be taken to other communities, noting that Iheapu-Awka community was selected for the training because of its proximity to the university.




Jang okays N2b for infrastructure at state varsity

From Yusufu Aminu Idegu, Jos



LATEAU State Governor, Jonah David Jang, has released over N2 billion for massive infrastructural development of the state-owned university in Bokkos. The governor also vowed to make the institution the envy of all. Jang disclosed this while laying the foundation-stone for the construction of new faculties, departments and classrooms at the university's main campus in Bokkos.. In 2007, Jang had suspended academic activities at the university due to inadequate facilities and workforce as well as improper administrative structure. The governor further granted the institution autonomy. He said:"Plateau State University Bokkos today stands as an autonomous institution. We have decided to free it from all forms of bureaucratic bottlenecks so that it can fast tract its developmental objectives. This is towards leveraging on setting for itself goals that are not only attainable but which will make it stand out as a modern citadel of learning. “It is for this reason that we have released over N2 billion to

construction firms to commence series of capital projects and I've directed the firms to move to site immediately to commence constructions. Jang also directed the Commissioner for Urban Development to survey the internal roads within the university for construction. He said it is his desire to complete the construction of internal roads within the institution before 2015. In addition to infrastructural development, Jang said lecturers have been sent on foreign training. "A memorandum of understanding

(MoU) has been signed with South African universities, which has led to the lifting of the ban earlier placed on overseas training. As a result of this, the first batch of staff of the university will leave for South Africa next year for their doctorate programme, with one staff from each of the 17 Local Government Area of Plateau State.” Welcoming the govenor, the ViceChancellor of the university Prof. Doknan Danjuma Sheni, said the administration of governor Jonah Jang is not only education-friendly but pro-active as demonstrated in


• Mrs Laoye-Tomori (right) conversing with Chancellor of the University, Ooni of Ife, Oba Okunade Sijuwade at the convocation.

learning in the institution. The deputy governor gave this commendation while inaugurating the central library of the university as part of activities to mark the 4th Founder's Day and the 1st Convocation. During a tour of the library, Mrs. Laoye-Tomori noted. "No

institution of learning can survive without the provision of adequate learning materials.” She, therefore, commended the entire management of the university for getting it right. Earlier the deputy governor underscored the need for private participation in education. She described it as an important social service.

"Only those who do not know the value of education will believe that it is a profit making venture," she said, urging all and sundry to view the establishment of private educational institutions as service to humanity,” she said. She called on both the Federal Government and the Academic Staff union of Universities (ASUU) to solve their disagreement in order to bring back to normal the damages that has been done to university education in the country.

NYSC lauds Oral-B partnership


• Vice-Chancellor, Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba-Akoko [AAUA], Prof. Femi Mimiko, laying the Foundation-stone of the 6,000 bed hostel while the Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Rotimi Ajayi (1st Left), and other principal officers watch


HE Zoological Society of Nigeria (ZSN) will hold its Eighth Annual Conference from December 9-12, 2013 at the University of Lagos. The event, which has as theme: Zoology and the Nigerian transformation agenda, is expected to attract Zoologists from all tertiary institutions in Nigeria. Chairman, Local Organising

Varsity joins ACU THE Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba-Akoko (AAUA), has been admitted to full membership of the Association of Commonwealth Universities (ACU). ACU is the world's first and oldest international network established in 1913. In a letter, Secretary-General of ACU, Prof. John Wood, said AAUA would benefit immensely from the bonding. He said: "As a member of a growing community of over 500 institutions around the world, you have access to an unparalleled resource of networks, information, advice and support from your peers. “Being a member of the ACU brings with it a number of opportunities to engage with other members, taking advantage of the experience and expertise of your peers in the international higher education sector through a range of projects, networking, and events. The ACU offers staff of member institutions the opportunity to further their professional development through our programmes, events and services.”

6,000-bed hostel gets deadline

Osun deputy governor praises OUI library

HE Deputy Governor of Osun State, Mrs Titi Laoye-Tomori, has commended the effort of the Pro-Chancellor, Dr. Ramon Adedoyin and the management of Oduduwa University Ipetumodu (OUI) for putting in place a good library structure stocked with research materials that will facilitate

his actions. He requested the governor to link the university to electricity power grid, assist in internet connectivity, provide portable water supply, and landscape staff housing. Responding to the governor’s largesse, Prof Sheni said:"The provision of N2 billion by you this year, signals the beginning of a new chapter in the life of our university. Projects like the library, faculties of Arts and Social Sciences, senate, fencing the academic area, the university gate house with its frontal fence, and the multi-purpose complex are among what the N2 billion has been put to use for."


HE National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) has praised Procter & Gamble [P&G] for partnering it to assists Corps members employment in Lagos State. It gave the commendation after Oral-B team members took part in the NYSC Career Panel, a skills development and acquisition programme at the NYSC Orientation Camp in Ipaja Lagos . Mrs Rachael Idaewor, NYSC Head of Skills Acquisition and Entrepreneurial Development (SAED) described the Oral-B Team's talk as very educational. "Oral B's initiative is very beneficial in the light of the uncertainty many corps members face after school. Their effort at mentoring these young school leavers on how to appeal to recruiters during interviews for dream jobs is highly appreciated and the information these corps members acquired during the talk will definitely come in handy when they start going for interviews," she said. The Oral-B team shared success tips with the corps members, including how to look, speak and exude

Zoologists hold annual conference Committee (LOC), Dr. Grace Adeoye, said in a statement that President Goodluck Jonathan is the Special Guest of Honour for the conference, while the Minister of Agriculture and Water Resources, Dr. Akin Adesina, will deliver the keynote address at the opening

ceremony on December 10. UNILAG Vice-Chancellor and chief host, Prof Rahamon Bello, will give the welcome address. Sub-Themes for the conference include: Environmental protection and biodiversity in transformation agenda, public health and disease

By Ibrahim Yusuff

confidence. They laid emphasis on enhancing personal grooming, appearance and attitude before and during a meeting with an interview panel. Frances Nwosa, P&G District Manager, Customer Business Development, urged the corps members to identify their passion and then work at building a career out of it. "A career is long term, and different from a job. It has opportunities for progress. In the uncertain economy and with limited job opportunities, every job interview must be taken seriously and be well prepared for. Good personal hygiene that comes with using recommended health and beauty products boosts confidence levels, attitude and appearance that enhance the first impression the interviewer has of you," she said. Speaking on the initiative, one of the corps members, Abimbola Ojikutu, said that there is definitely a link between good personal appearance and securing the right job. She also commended the OralB Team for the talk. control in the transformation agenda, pest management in food security and biosafety, and ethics and policy in transformation agenda. Specialists in Embryology, Ecology, Cell Biology and Genetics, Wildlife Management, Entomology, Parasitology, Environmental Toxicology, among others, have been invited to submit abstracts of not more than 500 words for the conference.

THE AAUA Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Femi Mimiko, has given a degel Une10 months for the completion of a 6,000-bed hostel. Mimiko, who laid the foundation-stone of the hostel said when completed, it would accommodate 50 per cent of the institution's students on campus. The facility, which is a PublicPrivate Partnership, (PPP), initiative, would be managed under a Build Operate and Transfer (BOT) arrangement for 25 years by the partnering company, STP Consult Nigeria Limited. The firm has also requested for an additional piece of land to build another 6,000-bed hostel as the second phase of the project. Mimiko said the project is dear to his heart as he has always desired good accommodation for AAUA students. He said: "Each time I go to town and I see the condition under which our students, especially the female, live, my heart usually misses a bit and that was why we put everything into this to ensure that at some point in the life of this university, it will be possible for us to provide accommodation for all our students."

VC mourns Iyayi THE AAUA Vice-Chancellor, Prof Mimiko, has commiserated with the Academic Staff Union of Universities [ASUU] over the death of its ex-president, Prof. Festus Iyayi, in a motor accident along Abuja-Lokoja Road penultimate week. In a condolence letter to ASUU President, Dr. Nasir Isa Fagge, Mimiko said: "The loss of such a highly resourceful, sociallycommitted and patriotic Nigerian at the time the union, and indeed the entire working population of Nigeria needed him most, is particularly painful." Mimiko, who described the late Iyayi as "a gem and international award-winning journalist," recalled that only last year, he headed a delegation of ASUU NEC to AAUA to facilitate discussions between the administration and ASUUAAUA leadership. "This was one occasion where his passion, dedication and robust negotiating skill came into full demonstration," Mimiko said as he prayed that GodAlmighty would comfort his family, the leadership and members of ASUU and the nation on the unfortunate incident.





Monarch seeks varsity status THE Sasere of Ondo, Chief Olusola Adeduro is soliciting the upgrading of Adeyemi College of Education (ACE) to a university. Adeduro made the call when he received members of the college management team, led by the Provost, Prof Adeyemi Idowu, who came to felicitate with him at his residence in Ondo town. He described the provost as an astute and benevolent leader, whose contributions to the development of the institution, would remain a reference point for future generations. He expressed satisfaction with the level of physical development in the college, noting that the institution with its facilities is ripe for upgrade. He said: “I am in pains whenever I see that the Adeyemi College of Education still remains a college despite the facilities in the place If one looks at it objectively, ACE is five times the size of some universities, even in the United State of America.”

Screening for new candidates NEWLY admitted students into ACE will start screening in January, next year in preparation for their resumption. A circular by the institution mandated all candidates offered provisional admission to pay acceptance fee before they are screened. Candidates who have also been offered admission through the direct entry would also pay a certain amount of money in lieu of post-UTME screening. Receipts of payment should be presented during the exercise. In addition, candidates that have been offered provisional admission through the change of institution platform will have to produce evidence of payment for change of institution during the screening exercise.

APPROACHING DEADLINES SP Student Excellence Scholarship - 2014 For the Study of the Arab World and the Gulf Region The Kuwait Program at Sciences Po (KSP)is a partnership between Sciences Po and the Kuwait Foundation for the Advancement of Sciences (KFAS). Working together, the two institutions are supporting research and teaching in the social sciences and the humanities with special emphasis on the study of the Arab World and the Gulf Region. Every year multiple scholarships of up to 10,000 Euros each will be awarded on the basis of the candidates’ excellent academic record and project at Sciences Po. Eligibility: Candidates of all nationalities may apply. Eligible candidates are students admitted to the Paris School of International Affairs of Sciences


Po (PSIA)for the 2014 intake, on the following master's programs: Students admitted to one of PSIA’s master’s programs and committed to enroll in the Concentration in Middle Eastern Studies Students admitted to the Master in International Energyat PSIA Students applying to a dual degree program are not eligible. Important: Please note that an application to the KSP Excellence Scholarship does not constitute an application to Sciences Po. All applicant is must first complete an application for admission to Sciences Po and ensure that they have submitted it successfully. If this first stage is not completed, the application for the KSP Excellence Scholarship will not be considered. Scholarship: Multiple scholarships will be awarded on a competitive basis in 2014-2015.

Each recipient is awarded up to 10,000 Euros per year.The scholarship is offered for two years of study (up to 20,000 Euros total), on condition of completing the scholarship requirements. In principle, the scholarship goes towards covering tuition fees. Requirements and conditions: The KSP Excellence Scholarship is given to recipients based on the following conditions: The scholarship is valid for the 2 years of study on condition of sufficient academic performance (top 50 per cent of class by the end of the first year). Students who do not meet this requirement will have their scholarship withdrawn in the second year. The scholarship is dependent on the recipients following the same course of study for 2 years. A change in Master or concentration will lead to the withdrawal of the scholarship in the second year.

Catholic Church proposes N3b for varsity

HE Catholic Diocese of Awka has raised about N1 billion being a part of the N3 billion targeted for the establishment of its proposed institution-Peter University, Achina in Aguata Local Government Area, Anambra State. Already, more donations have poured in. The Chairman of the occasion, Chief Arthur Eze, donated N200 million, while Tony Nwoye, a politician gave N20 million. Two other politicians Chiefs Victor Umeh and Willie Obiano donated N10 and

From Odogwu Emeka Odogwu, Nnewi

N5 million each. In his address Catholic Bishop of Awka Diocese, Most Rev. Paulinus Chukwuemeka Ezeokafor hopes that the faith-based university would kick off academic activities in September next year. Aside the donors, Rev. Ezeokafor also hopes to leverage on the 171 parishes and some 557 priests of the church. He said the committee in charge

of the project has taken various steps that would facilitate the university license by the National Universities Commission (NUC). He said Awka Diocese had been at vanguard of providing education at the primary and secondary level since time of its evangelism. The university is located in the premises of St Peter's Special Science School Achina with an additional 77 hectares donated to the Catholic Church and the Aguata community.



• Founder Afe Babalola University Ado-Ekiti Aare Afe Babalola, ABUAD Provost, College of Law Smaranda Olarinde, and the guest speaker, Prof. Chris Ohuruogu from the Faculty of Law, Ban Idahosa University, Benin during the ABUAD's maiden Law Week by the College of Law.

Ghana varsity to understudy ABUAD’s feat

ELEGATES from the University of Industrial Development, (UID), Ghana who attended the Afe Babalola University Ado-Ekiti (ABUAD) maiden convocation on Monday, October 21 have expressed their desire to adopt ABUAD as a model and its founder Aare Afe Babalola as mentor. A letter dated November 1, and tagged: ‘Greetings from the University of Industrial Development, (UID), Ghana’ was addressed to Aare Babalola. It was signed by UID Founder/Proprietor Dr Shelley Amos. The UID team said they came to ABUAD on invitation from Babalola's old friend and colleague and former Chief Justice Alfa Belgore (rtd), (the university’s multipurpose hall was named after justice Belgore on convocation day)

Governor Peter Obi represented by the Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Osaeloka Obaze, said his government has awarded the road leading to the institution for N1.8 million. Obi assured the support of the state government in other areas. Former Governor, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Prof Charles Soludo donated a hospital he built in memory of his late mother at Isuofia, about 20 minutes to Achina to be used as the university's medical college.

CU students shine at software contest

Secondary school records high THE Provost ACE has commended the good performance of the Adeyemi College of Education Demonstration Secondary School in the West African Secondary School Certificate Examination. In the analysis of the May/June 2013 WASSCE result released by the West African Examination Council, the school recorded 90 per cent at credit/distinction levels in 15 out of 19 subjects. The result is better compared to the 2012 WASSCE result where the school recorded 90 per cent credit / distinction in 12 out of 18 subjects.

Apply at heather.clarke@sciencespo.frwith ‘KSP Excellence Scholarship Application 2014’ in the subject line. For all applicants: CV in English, Cover letter in English of 1000 words (indicating which program at PSIA you are applying for) addressed to the members of the joint selection committee Release form (see page 3): For applicants coming from Sciences Po's Undergraduate College only, in addition to the two above-mentioned items (CV and cover letter), please also provide: Copy of the official academic transcripts for the entire length of your time in higher education (including periods spent abroad on exchange programs). Two letters of reference from professors, written in English. Deadline to apply is: February 4th, 2014

From Adegunle Olugbamila

praised the altruism of the legal icon, and his massive investment in the three and a half-old ABUAD. The letter reads in part: "We came in from Ghana as guests of former Chief Justice of Nigeria Alfa Belgore (retired), to attend the occasions featuring the presidential visitation, and your historical convocation of the first batch of students from your world-class university. "We regard ourselves very lucky to witness the achievement of an icon in Africa, who selflessly developed an educational institution that can only be compared with Harvard, and other famous universities in the developed world. Accept our well deserved congratulations for the success of both celebrations. "Having witnessed the overwhelming investments on your

campus and the splendor of the latest of the state-of-the-art in educational service delivery to get your students fully prepared for the uncertain labour world, we consider it a worthy commitment to adopt your university a model, and your honoured self as mentors for our evolving University of Industrial Development in Ghana. “Our Board of Directors decided to nominate your friend, Dr. Alfa Modibo Belgore, the former Chief Justice of Nigeria as the first ProChancellor of University of Industrial Development, (UID), in Africa which is established as a private sector initiative in Accra, Ghana. "Your pace-setting achievements over three, and a half years is a great challenge to us in Ghana, and we are struggling hard to meet your pace half way. Attached are some of the

interesting pictures we took during the occasions we participated in at your prestigious university.” The UID team admitted that the frenzy that characterised the convocation prevented them from meeting the ABUAD founder. However, they are planning a tour of ABUAD. "We could not see, and rub minds with you as our mentor, during the celebration because of tight security. Hence we have decided to come exclusively for a study tour to your university on a day to be comfirmed by you, when we will have time to exchange ideas with you on how to develop our new university. Prof. Olu Makinde, who has accepted to be our consulting Vice-Chancellor for institutional development, will discuss with you, and confirm the best convenient time table for our proposed study visit," the letter added.

By Jane Chijioke

OVENANT University (CU) students outclassed other competitors at this year’s Nigeria Software competition held at Tinapa, Cross River State last month. The university's contingent returned from a two-day competition, with laurels and cash prizes for their efforts. The CU quartet from the Computer and Information Science Department was led by Dr. Ambrose Azeta. They returned to the university in company of two trophies and N1.75 million. The CU representatives featured in two different categories in a competition that attracted 24 teams comprising students from across 21 schools nationwide. The pair, Okwuokenye Ebuka, a 400- Level Management Information Science student and Inwalome Emmanuel, a 400-Level Computer Science undergraduate topped the Nigeria Best Open Source Software of the Year category, sponsored by Institute of Software Practitioners in Nigeria (ISPON). For their feat in creating a software solution on ‘anti-cultism social education media’, they were awarded a medium sized trophy with N250,000. Similarly, in the Nigerian software Excellence Award 2013 category, Raymond Ativie and Oroge Alanuloluwa both 400 Level Computer Science students, emerged first runners up, carting away a giant trophy and N1.5 million for their initiative. Receiving the participants the ViceChancellor, Prof Charles Ayo, said students of the university are exposed to the best of resources, as it would enhance their personal development and bring to light their innate potential.




King’s College principal seeks succession plan in Unity Schools


ING'S College, Lagos Principal Otunba Dele Adepeju, has called on the government to address the dearth of teachers plaguing Unity Schools nationwide. Olapeju, who spoke on Saturday at the 23rd matriculation held at the school’s Victoria Island annex, noted that another worrisome aspect is what becomes of Unity Schools when the crop of experienced teachers retire as the Federal Government is not making succession plans. He said: “Government should declare recruitment emergency in unity colleges. Succession plan in the unity colleges is endangered. Those who are to take over from experienced hands are not there. Government should recruit teachers mostly in vocational subjects because the subjects have increased. Here we need about 200 young and vibrant permanent teachers.” He urged the school to embrace reforms in the admission process that will authenticate proof of the selection, adding that such approach will expose unqualified candidates that might want to sneak into the system through fraudulent means. "The more one relies on only one exam as a gateway to securing admission into unity colleges, the more desperate parents will device

•As school holds matriculation By Jane Chijioke

unethical method to compromise the sanctity of the exam process. "The introduction of post-UTME in the tertiary sector has undeniably led to the admission of more qualitative students into our tertiary institutions," he added. He advised the over 500 new pupils to live up to the white-uponwhite uniform, which, according to him, is emblematic of academic excellence King's College is reputed for. Adepeju also called on parents to see themselves as committed partners in their wards' upbringing. The supervising Minister of Education Chief Ezenwo Nyesom Wike, who was represented by his Special Assistant (Special Duties) Mr Lambert Opara, said President Goodluck Jonathan's administration places emphasis on education as the engine room of the nation's economic and technological growth. Said Wike: "Much attention is being focused on the Unity Schools; the idea is to bring back the dream and aspiration of the founding fathers. “The schools were established as

centres of unity, but have, over the years, degenerated to the extent that most of them hardly meet the minimum requirements as colleges.”

In an interview with The Nation, the PTA Chairman Emmanuel Oriahki, said through some new projects by parents, the acute accommodation problem facing the school would soon be a thing of the past.

He, said the dining room for instance, accommodates about 300 out of 1,300 pupil population, a development, which Oriakhi said, forces the school to make students eat in turns, thereby delaying their reading time.

• Dr. Femi Olaleye educating pupils of United Christian Primary School, Apapa, Lagos about cholera at the Aquafina Cholera Intervention campaign in Lagos. 39 top

Pupils get session with author, The Nation columnist


HE unavailability of a school library with e-resources is no longer a problem for some pupils of Wahab Folawiyo Senior High School, and Akande Dahunsi Memorial Senior High School, both in Osborne, Ikoyi, thanks to the Zaccheus Onumba Dibiaezue Memorial Libraries (ZODML). They have been inducted as members of the ZODML and therefore, have access to use physical and e-resources anytime they visit the library located in Ikoyi, Lagos. The pupils - about 30 from both schools - participated in an interactive session that ZODML organised with an author, Dr Tony Marinho to familiarise them with the intricacies of writing and benefits of reading. During the session, Dr Marinho, who writes a column in The Nation shared his childhood and writing experiences with them. He challenged them to be inquisitive and seek out the meaning of things they do not know. Marinho, a gynaecologist, responded to many questions from

By Kofoworola Belo-Osagie

the pupils, including telling them his favourite among the 10 books he has written so far. “My favourite book is Nene and other stories. Nene is a book I wrote 25 years ago. It is about my University of Ibadan experience - how to avoid being raped; how to enter the right relationship; among others. The pupils took turns to read from one of his poetry books, The Laterite Soil, a copy of which had been given to each participant prior to the event. Some of the pupils also read from poems they had written based on the book's title and the best three were awarded prizes by the organisers. Marinho also presented the winners, Onyedikachi Eke (first), Joseph Solomon (second) and Peace Shalom Ogbe (third) with another of his books, Hope's Wristwatch. Executive Coach for ZODML, Mrs Ifeoma Esiri, said the programme aims to stimulate a healthy reading habit in the teenagers. She said: "It helps us fulfill some of our mission statements which is to

• Tony Marinho with the pupils holding copies of The Laterite Soil.

provide resources for Nigerians to improve themselves. We always look out for children in disadvantaged education sector. It has given us the opportunity to meet them and bring them to the library and make them members. Thereafter, we engage them to use resources to educate

themselves and learn more. We have internet access so they can get information pertaining to their school work - inducting them into the habit of coming to the library." On his part, Marinho said he was delighted to interact with the pupils. He urged parents to buy books for

their wards to improve their reading habits. “Parents don't give or buy books for their kids during festivities. If you all buy books, we will solve the problem of dwindling reading culture. We can solve the problem if we want to,” he said.

FRSC organises ‘safety cautions’ awareness in schools


HE Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) has implored road users to exercise road cautiousness to avoid incessant road crashes. The Agbado Unit Commander Mr Babatunde Farinloye, made the plea at the inauguration of Road Safety Clubs in some private schools within Agbado area in Ogun State. Farinloye spoke through the FRSC Head of Special marshals and Partnership’s Coordinator, Mrs Adejoke Fadairo. The event was organised by the Akute, Ajuwon, Alagbole and Ojodu districts of the National Association of Proprietors of Private Schools (NAPPS), in conjunction with FRSC, Agbado Unit Command at Breakthrough Academy, Akute in Ogun State. Farinloye enlightened the pupils on some highway rules, especially when crossing over.

By Ayeni Olalekan

"Watch both left and right and be sure of safety before crossing the road. When you are crossing over the road in a group, you must always arrange yourselves with respect to your heights. For instance, let the tallest person should be behind to watch in every direction should there be any imminent danger before you all cross to the other side," Farinloye said. He warned the pupils to avoid undue recklessness, use of cell phones, listening to music through earpiece, and backing traffic while on the roads, in addition to riding on motorcycle without wearing a helmet. Farinloye added: "Always remind your parents and guardians inspect their vehicles before embarking on any journey. Advise them to imbibe defensive driving culture and respect traffic

•Mrs Oyebisi, Mrs Fadairo, Unit Service Officer, Mr Dauda Ibrahim and the Command’s Public enlightenment Officer, Mr Francis Oladele.

rules and regulations. The NAPPS Chairperson, Mrs Temitope Oyebisi, urged other private schools to key into the

initiative, saying it would reduce road crashes. One of the participants, a pupil of Abundant Grace Private School,

Adeyeye Oluwakemi, called on motorists to stop improper vehicle maintenance which is a major factor in road accidents.




Poverty no excuse for failure, pupils told


•NB Plc renovates school block, donates books

ITH an education, determination and a love for books, even pupils from underprivileged backgrounds can get to any height of career achievement. That was one of the vital lessons pupils of Eric Moore Senior High School, Surulere, Lagos learnt when ‘Beyond the School’, a career counselling initiative of the Nigerian Breweries Plc, passed through their school. Poverty, they were told by the project's coordinator, Mrs. Clementine Vervelde, was no reason not to excel in life. It was her response to a question from one of them, who wanted to know how a young person whose socio-economic background limits the availability of funds for food, clothing and other life's essentials could choose a good career. Telling her life's story, the SS1-SS3 pupils learnt how a poor Rwandan girl was able to grow into a professional who could speak five languages because of her ability to dream and read. She said their access to education was already a foundation on which they could build successful careers, urging them to add imagination and determination to it. "You have to believe in yourself and dream big. The fact that you are already in school is a first step that

By Kofoworola Belo-Osagie

you are capable to achieve anything. In Africa, we always use poverty as an excuse for our situation, but we know of great people who, despite their poverty, were able to achieve great things. "When a child is born, he or she does not have a choice of a mother or father. But that child has a right to education. I was born in a small village in Rwanda, but even as a little girl I dreamt. My first dream was to see children in Africa believe in themselves and be able to change the world," she said. She also told them her secret to success was through books she read from an early age. She said the 'Beyond the School' initiative was initiated to address the poor reading culture of Africans through book donations to schools so that pupils from any background can read and be serious about excelling right from their youth. Mrs Vervelde said: "The challenge we have in Africa is reading. Through this initiative, we also give books to schools. But as students, you must also play your role. Instead of fighting on the streets, get together with your peers, interact and share information. You have to love yourself and feel you are good enough. Each of us has our unique quality so explore it."

To succeed in their careers, Mrs Vervelde counselled the pupils to choose careers because of fulfilment, and not just to make money. She also advised them to choose subjects that are relevant to their careers and ensure they have interest in them. "Career decision making for students like you is important because at this stage, you are developing and the choices you make may drastically affect not only you but your family and friends," She added. Speaking at event, the Corporate Affairs Adviser, NB Plc, Mr. Kufre Ekanem said the 'Beyond the School' is gaining ground because of its impact on pupils in the schools visited so far. "We have come to show the students what they need to do to realise their dreams. This is the fifth school under this project and this is because of the feedback and positive response the programme has received so far. This is part of the NB winning with Nigeria vision. We have also built and renovated facilities in schools and we are committed to giving students the right guidance they need to succeed in life," he said. From Eric Moore, the NB Plc train moved to impact pupils of another school, Igbobi College, this time, through the renovation of their senior block.

•• Mr Jerimaya Ogunjere with students


OOD upbringing and cultural orientation are central to the education offered at City of Knowledge Academy (CKA), which opened in Ijebu-Ode, Ogun State. Its founder Mrs Mosun BeloOlusoga told The Nation that the school will provide leadership training, ethical orientation as well as academic grooming in an excellent environment, away from the hustle and bustle of the Lagos cities. With ethical pillars anchored on a tripod-culture, character and confidence, Belo-Olusoga said the school is "determined to begin a quality cultural re-orientation that would spur pupils' interest in indigenous values. These values would enhance social awareness, conscience, empathy, diligence and academic excellence, while developing mind wealth among the pupils.” “The pupils are selected future leaders with the capacity to bring lasting positive change in within Nigeria and the world stage in general.” She however, cautioned that

‘Culture vital to learning’ By Sampson Unamka

finance will not guarantee pupils’ admission, adding that they and their parents’ ability to share in the goal of the school would be a prerequisite. She said the school would emphasise good upbringing. "Culture is a huge part of our heritage that has been taken for granted in the quest to provide quality and well rounded education for Nigerian children. So, while much emphasis has consistently been placed on the provision of infrastructure, educational resources, qualified teachers including curriculum content, this (culture) important tool that could be used to bring about development has been neglected. We should revive our basic moral values of honesty, respect, hard work and integrity," she said. “For me, culture and integrity are really important. You have children, who can't speak their local languages; who don't know the meaning of their names. Here, our children will be

confident about who they are. By the time a person finishes from CKA, you will know that this is a well brought up individual who is morally sound, has empathy and can stand his ground with any child from anywhere in the world,” she concluded. The Head of School, Ms Biola Lamikanra, said the school rules will not be sacrificed to satisfy parents' whims. She said: “I have been a teacher for a very long time. I am totally confident and there is no parent I will allow to do things we do not allow." Ms Lamikanra said the school has employed the 'best crop of teachers’. In addition to teaching a combination of the Nigerian and British curricular, she added that CKA pupils would be required to learn vocational subjects. “In line with British curriculum, they (students) will take the checkpoints and the IGCSE examinations in Year 9 (JSS3) and 12 (SS3),”.



Courageous parenting


THOROUGHLY enjoyed the parenting forum organised by the Lagos Empowerment and Resources Network (L.E.A.R.N), an initiative of Mrs Abimbola Fashola, wife of the Lagos State Governor, Babatunde Raji Fashola last week. Kofoworola There was no dull moment during the event. Participants Belo-Osagie had a feeling that L.E.A.R.N hit the bull's eye with the choices 08054503077 (SMS only) of the personalities who served as guest speakers and panel. They attacked the issue of parenting from various angles, enriching the experience from all involved. The speaker I enjoyed in particular was Mrs Austen Peters, CEO of Terra Kulture. She flayed parents' tendency to over pamper their wards and expose them to so much comfort that the lose touch with the modern day realities in Nigeria. She particularly accused public office holders for squandering ill-gotten wealth on themselves and their families when many Nigerians cannot afford three square meals. For instance, Mrs Austen Peters said though many of her friends do it, she does not fly her wards in First Class when they travel overseas on holidays to make them sensitive to the fact that such privilege does not come free and is not a do or die affair. Her talk tallied with a story a participant on my table shared with me in the course of the event. The man said his boss temporarily transferred his son from one of the elite private secondary schools in Lagos to a rundown public school in a densely populated area of Lagos. He also stripped him of the privileged of getting chauffeur-driven to and from school and ordered him to commute by public transport. As if that was not enough, he also registered him as an apprentice in a mechanic workshop - all in the bid to make the lad see that there is another kind of life outside his father's cosy mansion. It did not take the boy up to one week to be repentant and beg his father's forgiveness and reinstatement to favour. I do not know what happened afterwards because that was where the story ended. However, I applaud the father's courage to apply such seemingly stiff sanctions on his son. I am sure there are many affluent parents who wish to do so but will not dare because they would be scared stiff that something bad could happen to their wards while undergoing the punishment. So many what ifs (he is hit by a car on the way to school; gets sick from drinking bad water; gets injured working with the mechanics; becomes the target of bullies in the new school) or pressure from their spouses, would ensure the 'project' does not see the light of day. However, children need to be aware of what it is like to be on the other side so they know life is not a bed of roses. That way, if the tide changes, adapting to whatever situations that come their way would not be so difficult that they give up on life or embrace crime. Parents should allow their wards participate in household chores - like cleaning, cooking, washing, and the like. They should not be the preserve of the domestic servants. Like another speaker noted, parents are very good training domestic helps than their own wards. But this is a mistake. Each child should have specific responsibilities around the home. Parents should also establish routines for the home. Children should know what to do once they wake up. The rising time is also of importance. Children should not be allowed to get up when they wish. They should learn to rise before dawn, do chores, prepare breakfast and get dressed all in time for school. I learnt all these were possible when I was in the boarding house. We woke up by 5.30am and between that time and breakfast by 7am, we had to bathe, dress, make our beds, clean our corners, and complete our morning duties (which could include washing the toilet). Lateness was not tolerated. The time was structured. This is also possible at home. A child who knows he has to complete a number of tasks before a particular time would soon learn to schedule his time properly. It is not always easy to get children to cooperate in learning these values. However, it is an invaluable part of the informal training every child should get from home. As another speaker said at the forum, the society is made up of families. Whatever we see in our society is as a result of what comes out of our homes.

‘It is not always easy to get children to cooperate in learning these values. However, it is an invaluable part of the informal training every child should get from home. As another speaker said at the forum, the society is made up of families. Whatever we see in our society is as a result of what comes out of our homes’


Thursday, November 28, 2013






•New APC members jubilating in Port Harcourty, the state capital.

BISI OLANIYI examines the implications of the defection of Rivers State Governor Rotimi Amaechi from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to the All Progressives Congress (APC) for the 2015 general elections in the oil-rich state.

Amaechi’s defection unsettles Rivers PDP


HE defection of Rivers State Governor Rotimi Amaechi from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to the All Progressives Congress (APC) may change the political calculations in the state, ahead of 2015 general elections. The defection has decimated the PDP. In the next few weeks, many federal and state legislators and council chairmen are also expected to bid farewell to the party. The Minister of State for Education, Chief Nyesom Wike, alerted the PDP on the decision of the governor to join the APC. At Okrika, he alleged that Amaechi had planned to cause confusion before leaving the fold. Wike, who is also the grand patron of the Grassroots Development Initiative (GDI), urged his supporters to gird their loins, stressing that Rivers PDP must support President Goodluck Jonathan for a second term. “The day Amaechi leaves the PDP, we will do thanksgiving. If he (Amaechi) did not misbehave, most of you would not have had the opportunity (of returning to the PDP. The day he finally leaves, we will say God thank you, for letting problem leave us alone, because the governor and his people are problems to us. Let them leave, so that we can have our peace.” The Secretary-General of the GDI, Samuel Nwanosike, was in the same frame of mind. Nwanosike, who is also the Rivers State PDP Publicity Secretary, said: “Frustration made Amaechi to demand for the PDP structure in Rivers State. The governor cannot win one ward in Rivers State. This is the time to show who the true politicians are in Rivers State and the politicians fully in control of the grassroots. “It is not about making noise. We will challenge Amaechi during elections. We want the Presidency in 2015 and we will continue to support President Jonathan.” But there was jubilation in Port-Harcourt, the state capital, and other towns, following the defection. To the Commissioner for Agriculture, Mr. Emma Chinda, it as a right step in the right direction. He described Amaechi as a popular politician and crowd puller. He lamented that the PDP has lost the astute politician to the op-

position. “Let me warn that forcing Governor Amaechi to leave the PDP for another party will lead to the death of the PDP in Rivers State. Governor Amaechi is popular because of what he has achieved in the state. If politics is about development, I do not know who will come and tell anybody anything here. Who are you going to tell cock and bull stories? They will not listen to you. Politics is about development”. “Are you going to deceive the beneficiaries of the free health and free education programmes, with massive infrastructural development and the Rivers State students, who are abroad on scholarship? The last time this was done was when King Alfred Diete-Spiff, the Amanyanabo of Twon-Brass, Bayelsa State, was the military governor of Rivers State. “Governor Amaechi is very popular in Rivers State and he is an asset. By forcing him out, the PDP will have difficulty in Rivers State”, he added. Wike had a contrary opinion. The Supervising Minister of Education maintained that the PDP is still strong in the 23 local governments. He said these local council chapters will hold a thanksgiving service to mark Amaechi’s exit. However, the Chief of Staff, Chief Tony Okocha, said that the minister is suffering from illusion. He chided him for nursing a governorship ambition and deceiving the people that he is mobilising for the President’s second term. Okocha asked the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Attahiru Jega, to call the minister to order. He alleged that he has flouted the rule by campaigning before the mandatory 90 days to the poll. The Chief of Staff asked the minister to face the problems in the Federal Ministry of Education, especially the strike by the members of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), which he said, has affected the image of the Federal Government. Following Amaechi’s exit, Wike automatically becomes the arrrowhead of the PDP in the state. Last week, he charged the PDP members to prepare for battle. During the inauguration of the GDI in Okrika, an event that was witnesed by

the President’s wife, Dame Patience, and the former leader of the Niger Delta Vigilance Movement, Ateke Tom, the minister boasted that PDP will retain power in Rivers State beyond 2015. Wike said: “Do not be provoked. Be calm. Our time will come. Nobody will stop it. When you are provoked and you take action, what you may want to achieve, you may not realise it. I will continue to plead with all of you to be calm and be focused. Our agenda is to make sure that, by the special grace of God, in 2015, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan returns to Aso Rock. “They have told you that they will take away the party structure from the Chairman, Chief Felix Obuah, and his executive committee. Let Amaechi bring his money and change the structure of the PDP in Rivers. It will not work. They are doing one leg here, one leg there, trying to distract us, so that we will not be focused.” The minister said that Alhaji Bamanga Tukur is the authentic PDP National Chairman and President Jonathan is the National Leader. He also said that PDP is not divided in the state, maintaining that Obuah is the Chairman. Analysts believe that the die is cast between the PDP and the APC in Rivers State. The main issue is succession in 2015. In the past, the governorship was rotated between the upland and the riverine parts. Amaechi is from Ubima in Ikwerre Council. Wike is from Rumueprikom in Obio/Akpor Council. Amaechi and Wike are Ikwerre. The disagreement between Amaechi and Wike started when the governor declared that power should shift from Ikwere to another zone. He said that Ikwere would have enjoyed the slot for eight years by 2015. He stressed that power shift will give the zones a sense of belonging. Sources said that Amaechi was initially rooting for Senator Magnus Abe, a lawyer and former Information Commissioner. He is from the Rivers Southeast. Obuah, however, dropped the bombshell in Omuma on November 24, when he declared that a member of the House of Representatives, Dakuku Peterside, who represents AndoniOpobo/Nkoro Constituency, had “out-

smarted” Abe. Peterside, a former Commissioner for Works, has been silent on his 2015 governorship ambition. But sources said that he is working underground. Amaechi’s camp is of the opinion that, if Abe is deprived of the opportunity, he may team up with Wike and join the GDI to fight the governor. But, there is no confirmatioin of this. The politicians fighting for the soul of the Rivers PDP have been perfecting strategies to liquidate one another. For example, Obuah recommended Amaechi for suspension for alleged anti-party activities. The governor was suspended. Wike said at Omuma: “Next year, Rivers people will know who did what. So, keep quiet. Pretend as if nothing is happening. Let them release all their gunpowder and it will dry. But, when we start to release our own, it will be more serious, heavier and they will not be able to stand it. Nobody should panic. “We are aware of all the lies. Do not bother yourselves. There are things you do not know. From next year, we will tell you. Do not be violent. The truth will come up very soon. Continue to galvanise support for Mr. President and the PDP.” The governor however, described Wike’s outbursts as unfortunate, saying his conduct is unbecoming of a minister. Okocha also had had words for Wike. He said:“He (Wike) should be able to define what revolution is. Revolution could be ideological. When the governor talked about revolution, he was not talking about carrying arms. He (Wike) is talking from the point of view of ignorance. That is the minister’s level of understanding.” “Governor Amaechi and his supporters are Christians and have no such tendency. We do not have any record of violence.” The Rivers State Commissioner for Information and Communications, Mrs. Ibim Semenitari, dismissed Wike’s activities as the ranting of an ant. She said that the PDP will face its dooom in the next election. Now that Amaech has left the PDP for the APC, only time will tell who will laugh last.




‘PDP desperate to retain power’

All Progressives Congress (APC) Interim Women Leader Mrs Sharon Ikeazor spoke with CHINENYE MUOJEKWU in Lagos on the prospects of the party in 2015 elections shorly before the APC Women Town Hall meeting.

‘APC will rule in 2015’


PC women were tear gassed by the police during their protest in Anambra State. What is your take on that? It just shows the impunity that we are talking about in Nigeria. It shows that we don’t have a right to protest anymore. It is totally wrong for the police to tear gas the women. The police should make sure that we have security, but during the peaceful protest, we were gassed. This has to stop in Nigeria. More women registered for the election than men. Don’t you think, if there was a female candidate, she would have emerged the winner of the election? Precisely, the problem is that we women are not yet united. The essence of this town hall meeting is for us to unite. You know we are three merging parties rom the state level to the ward level. We decided to hold this town hall meeting for us to unite. Our strength is in our numbers. We are going to be a formidable force within the political party. As women, we constitute 51 per cent of the population. The majority of the registered voters are women. So, we want to use that numeric strength to bring about victory for the APC because APC is bringing about that change for us women. Beyond bringing victory for the APC, 2015 is around the corner. What will the women be asking for, in terms of positions? We are already preparing our female aspirants. We have started organising training and workshop for female aspirants, who are going to run in the

2015 general elections. We have local govern,net elections going on and we have been preparing women who have been running. In 2015, we will see an increase in the number of women running for elective positions on the APC platform. What do you have to say on the World Violence Day? Women should not tolerate any form of violence whether abusive or physical. Project Alert is doing a fantastic job in Nigeria, they are the first NGO that has a centre for abusive women. So, any woman that is abused or beaten up by her husband has a place to run to and we have fund such NGOs. What are the chances of APC in 2015? Our chances are bright. The APC is a conglomerate. Think of the strength of the defunct CPC, ACN and ANPP. With these three together, our chances are very bright. There are fears that INEC may not live up to expectation in 2015, do you hold such views? No, we are going to have our party agents, who will protect our votes. The protection of votes is key and we are already training our polling unit agents, both male and female. But, in the case of Anambra, the APC, in a statement, recently said they were not given accreditation for the agents to be use... (Cuts in) This is all part of the problem we went through with INEC, which we will not allow in 2015. Anambra election has shown us what INEC might do in 2015 and so we will start working now to prevent it. What is the party going to do to en-


sure it wins election in the Southeast in 2015? I am from Anambra state. The APC a new party for them in the Southeast but, by the time they see the members of the interim NEC and members of the APC, who are from the Southeast, begin work, they will buy into it. That is why I am doing town hall meetings to sensitize people. Once they know that their people are part of the APC, they will join. APGA started by playing regional politics by saying that APGA was for the Igbos. No party is for one tribe. I was the National Women Leader of the CPC and I am from Anambra. Every party is for all Nigerians. We just have different ideologies. You have family member in one party and you be in another. We should not play regional politics. I grew up in Lagos but I am Igbo.

Anambra poll and presidential gamble

In this piece, Hon. Chika Nnadozie warns that the perceived position of President Goodluck Jonathan on the inconclusive Anambra State governorship poll may generate discord in the troubled chapter.


HE recent developments in Anambra gubernatorial elec tion must be a cause for concern for any patriotic PDP member in Nigeria. The body language of President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan and his unpublicised anti-party activities and the treatment meted to his party, before, during and after the Anambra election leaves no one particularly,the PDP members in doubt,that President Jonathan who doubles as the leader of our party has penchant for supporting opposition elements and parties against his own party. I’m Honourable Chika Nnadozie, from IsuofiaWard in Aguata Local Government area ofAnambra state. I have being a member of the PDP since inception and have occupied key positions in the party in the past.I was a Senior Special Assistant To Ex Governor Mbadinuju of Anambra state. I was privileged to be part of the Presidential campaign in 2010/2011 and saw all the intrigues and power plays that took place especially, how the Southwest states were traded off and compromised, all because of the president’s ambition, to the then A.C.N now APC. As if it will stop there until it happened again in Ondo and Anambrastates . I least thought of it that my home state,Anambra PDP, will become a victim of such unfair, selfish presidential compromise against his own party as experienced by Anambra PDP particularly our candidate Hon Tony Nwoye. A popular young man, loved by Anambarians, who fought his candidacy up to the Supreme Court and won, only to lose to the intrigues of his own party, which supported APGA and Governor Obi during the last election. The President did exactly the same thing in Ondo election to Governor

• Nwoye

the floor fears no fall. The president should be reminded that he could be caught in the web of his own manipulations For reason of clarity, I need to say that I am not a member of the new PDP rather I detest their actions. I am alsonot a member of the APC, but the way and manner in which Mr President is playing his game may boomerang. Initially, I did not believe those who earlier said that there werepressures on the national leadership of the party to abandonTony Nwoye in the legal struggle for his candidacy at the Supreme Court which Dr BamangaTukur was said to have resisted, because of its consequences on the party. I’m sure that there must be palpable fear by now, in the minds of Ekiti and Osun stakeholders, as no one is able to predict the body language of Mr President on the forthcoming elections in the two states in 2014. I rather advise the stakeholders in both states to take their destiny in their own hands. The question to ask our national leaders and stakeholders is, whywill Mr President, the leader of our party , always abandon his own party and continue to support opposition parties for whatever reason , particularly starving them with funds to run elections. Secondly, can opposition party singlehandedly secure victory for Mr President in the 2015 presidential election? Finally, where is Dr BamangaTukur and the National Leadership of our party in all theses? A stich in time, saves nine. I call on the patriotic leaders of our great party to prevail on Mr President to retreat from this inglorious path which can only lead all to perdition. Time will tell.

Olusegun Mimiko and the Labour Party,at the expense of his own party, PDP. He simply mortgaged their future for his friendship of Mimiko and the opposition Labour party. The PDP candidate, Barrister OlusolaOke, got a little or nothing and belated financialsupport while TonyNwoye of Anambra got nothing. He went to the election like an orphan, if I may quote him in his AIT interview on November 17, 2013. Our President and the supposed leader of our party has legalised antiparty activities and will obviously reap what he sows come 2015 presidential election, except and if this trend is stopped and assuage the feelings of the past victims . May I quickly remind the President, if this has not come to his thoughts, that the PDP members whose future are currently being mortgaged, may join hands with the opposition to pay Nnadozie is the former Special Ashim back in 2015, because the man on sistant to former Gov. Mbadinuju.

By Musa Odoshimokhe


ORMER Information Minister Prince Tony Momoh has said the People Democratic Party (PDP) will be desperate to hold on to power, following the defection of the aggrived governors tothe All Progressives Congress (APC). He said the party would use everything within its reach to ensure it holds on to power. He said: “The consequence of this is that the PDP is going to be more desperate. PDP is going to fight like a bull in the China shop. It is going to be the spoiler. This is because nobody willingly hands over power. Power is taken. “If any person or group thinks that power is going to be willingly relinquished, they are mistaken. The struggle for change is a hard battle; this must be fought constitutionally and legally,” Momoh said. The APC chieftain maintained that plans to return power to the people was on course. “When we came up with the merger idea, people said merger was impossible. Today, we have merger and everything is on course. “We didn’t just think of the splinter group then. The whole idea was muted, but right now, we have spread out to bring together all the progressives. “So, the PDP, which is a conservative party, has a lot of splintering groups. We have resolved to pull out the progressives among them into APC.” Momoh added that the PDP had its ways in the country by manipulating elections, sustaining corruption and entrenching fraud in the system. He noted that although the PDP would become the opposition party in, it never envisaged it would be soon. “So, this is just the beginning of getting PDP out. We felt that PDP will be in the opposition by 2015 but we did not know it will be so soon.” He said those who feels that the union is that of strange bed fellows should have a rethink because the party manifesto has clearly defined the mode of relationship. “I heard some people saying that people who are in APC are not homogeneous, in order word there is no compatibility. They forget that there is a document that everybody in APC must accept and that is manifesto of the party. “We are not just interested in taking power but interested in giving to Nigerians what democracy as a system of government ought to have offered them in the area of freedom. “What social justice ought to have offered them infrastructure development which PDP flagrantly ignored since it came to power in 1999,” he added. •Prince Momoh

Community leader seeks support for Anambra election By Musa Odoshimokhe


LEADER of the Ogidi Community in Idemili North Local Government Area, Anambra State, Chief Sam Anyanwutaku, has urged political parties not to boycott the supplementary election in the interest of democracy. Speaking at a press conference in Lagos, he said such a step will not advance the development of democracy in the country. He said: “Those who called for the boycott of the election have not considered the overall interest of the country. If they carry out their threat, it would amount to a waste of resources.” “We heard that is it only in two local governments that there was problem. I don’t think there is any reason to cancel the entire result because there were no visible problems in other local governments.” He said being a stakeholder in Ogidi community, it was important his people’s position in the election process is respected because Ogidi community was already bracing up for the election. “As a progressive citizen, who has knowledge about how Anamabra State is governed, I took time to study the parties and their candidates


vying for the governorship election and came with the conclusion that Ogidi people will return the ruling All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA) in the state.” He maintained that the people of Ogidi have not had it so good, except under the Obi Administration in the state. “Since the creation of Idemili Council, no indigene has been appointed chairman of the council, but this was possible under Governor Peter Obi.” He added that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) must do all within its power to live above board by conducting transparent elections. He commended the governor for its education, health, security and social welfare services.





Getting the right salt for food Too much salt, experts say, causes cardiovascular diseases (CVDs). But, taking the right salt may not be harmful to health, OYEYEMI GBENGA-MUSTAPHA reports. 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456


ALT is used to season food, but too much of it is bad. This is why doctors advise that people should run away from salt to protect their health. But more research is now showing the importance of sodium in diet. Salt involves the regulation of blood pressure and body fluids; transmits electrical impulses within the brain and between the brain and the nervous system cells (hence its inclusion as one of the critical “electrolyte” minerals); helps control heart activity, and even help regulate metabolism. If care is not taken, salt can increase the risk to hypertension. According to the Health Coach, Sea Ducks Nigeria Limited, Sam Ayeni, people must exercise caution when adding salt to their food. “The lion’s share of sodium we eat is table salt found in processed, packaged, and prepared foods we eat. According to a resource, Nutrition Action, by simply cutting the amount of sodium (salt) we eat by two grammes daily 10,000 lives would be spared from related heart attacks and strokes,” he said. According to a source, the average person eats about 3.3 grammes of sodium, primarily from table salt, but he only needs a fraction of this amount. The maximum recommended by most health organisations is 2.3 grammes. However, the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend that African-Americans, people over 51 and anyone with diabetes, hypertension, or kidney disease should ingest less than 1.5 grammes daily. Few people actually have sodium deficiencies. Ayeni added; “Because sodium and potassium are like the opposite sides of a coin (when one faces up, the other tends to face down and vice versa), it is important to choose the right salt and use it in the right quantities for your body. When we eat excessive sodium, too much water enters our cells creating a higher pressure inside. Simply eliminating most packaged, prepared and processed food would bring the sodium intake into healthier levels. But that’s not all. “We hear about people switching from table salt to sea salt. And one would naturally ask questions, such as, is it really worth all the trouble? Before I answer, let’s consider the diet of our ancestors. “The diet of our pre-agricultural ancestors was rich in salt—not the salt now found on almost every table in small glass shakers, but potassium alkali salts, which are found in abundance in non-grain plant foods. These salts

Nigeria, others set for convention


AGOS State Traditional Medicine Board Chairman, Dr Bunmi Omoseyindemi has said Nigeria and other West African countries can still reduce infant and maternal deaths and attain the millennium development goals (MDGs) 4 and 5 by 2015 in the sub-region, if the government provides enabling environment. Omoseyindemi, spoke this while briefing The Nation on the forthcoming sixth annual congress of traditional medicine practitioners (TMPs) and conventional medicine practitioners (CMPs) holding between December 2 and 3 at Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso. Themed- Role of traditional medicine in reducing maternal and neonatal mortality; with nine sub-themes: The Role of women in nation building; the current statistics on maternal and neonatal mortality; traditional medicine practitioners’ understanding of pregnancy and child birth; herbal treatment during pregnancy - the risks and benefits; home-based approaches for preventing pregnancy-related illnesses; hermful practices during pregnancy - a medical practitioner’s perspectives, recognising the limits of our art: what TMPs think; is there any such thing as natural/ “traditional” immunisation?, An example of effective collaboration for pre-

123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456 • Sea salt 123456789012345678901234 123456789012345678901234 heart attack and stroke. Eating more potassium123456789012345678901234 rich foods like bananas, beans, and leafy greens 123456789012345678901234 helps balance sodium in the body. But it must 123456789012345678901234 be the right salt.” 123456789012345678901234 123456789012345678901234 Ayeni continued: “Table salt is usually mined 123456789012345678901234 from deep in the earth and is heavily processed 123456789012345678901234 to remove other minerals while sea salt is 123456789012345678901234 evaporated sea water and is less processed, and 123456789012345678901234 includes other minerals, including many trace 123456789012345678901234 minerals needed for good health. While some 123456789012345678901234 media reports that the amounts of other 123456789012345678901234 123456789012345678901234 minerals found in sea salt are insufficient to 123456789012345678901234 justify switching from table salt, this is not true. 123456789012345678901234 While sea salt may not have a lot of the minerals 123456789012345678901234 needed in higher amounts such as calcium and 123456789012345678901234 magnesium, it typically contains many minerals 123456789012345678901234 needed by the body in trace amounts. 123456789012345678901234 “While some people cite the addition of 123456789012345678901234 123456789012345678901234 iodine to table salt as a rationale for using 123456789012345678901234 this processed product, it is really not a great 123456789012345678901234 source of iodine. Simply eating more garlic, 123456789012345678901234 spinach, sesame seeds, pineapple, pears, 123456789012345678901234 peaches, pumpkin and non-genetically•Refined salt

were eaten in their naturally form. The salt we know today is processed sodium chloride (NaCl). It is found in virtually every food choice in the standard Nigerian diet. “Sad enough, our standard diet is also dangerously low in potassium alkali salts. The combination of a sodium chloride excess with a potassium deficiency can contribute to many health issues, including increasing the risk of

123456789012345678901234 123456789012345678901234 123456789012345678901234 123456789012345678901234 123456789012345678901234 123456789012345678901234 123456789012345678901234 123456789012345678901234 123456789012345678901234 123456789012345678901234 123456789012345678901234 123456789012345678901234 123456789012345678901234 123456789012345678901234 123456789012345678901234 123456789012345678901234 123456789012345678901234 123456789012345678901234 123456789012345678901234 123456789012345678901234 123456789012345678901234 123456789012345678901234 •Omoseyindemi By Wale Adepoju

venting needless deaths of mothers during pregnancy and delivery. He said a book consisting of monographs of 55 medicinal plants to treat malaria, hypertension, diabetes, Sickle Cell Anaemia, HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis (TB), will be launched at the conference. He said the book, which was developed with the support of experts from the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) subregion, was written primarily for the treatment of some ailments tagged ‘six priority diseases’ .

modified soy can help you meet your iodine needs.” “Manufacturers typically add anti-caking additives to table salt to ensure it pours smoothly from salt shakers while this is not


Do you know:

ONSTIPATION, also known as costiveness of dyschezia is most often defined as having a bowel movement less than three times per week.Itusuallyisassociatedwithhardstoolsordifficulty passing stools. You may have pain while passing stools or may be unable to have a bowel movement after straining or pushing for more than 10 minutes. Constipation is most often caused by:


Lack of physical activity Not drinking enough water Delay in going to the bathroom when you have the urge to move your bowels Stress and travel can also contribute to constipation or other changes in bowel habits.

123456789012345678901234 123456789012345678901234 123456789012345678901234 123456789012345678901234 123456789012345678901234 123456789012345678901234 123456789012345678901234 123456789012345678901234 123456789012345678901234 123456789012345678901234 123456789012345678901234 123456789012345678901234 123456789012345678901234 123456789012345678901234 123456789012345678901234 123456789012345678901234 123456789012345678901234 123456789012345678901234 123456789012345678901234 123456789012345678901234 123456789012345678901234 123456789012345678901234 123456789012345678901234 123456789012345678901234 123456789012345678901234 123456789012345678901234 123456789012345678901234 123456789012345678901234 123456789012345678901234 123456789012345678901234 123456789012345678901234 123456789012345678901234 • Mr Ayeni

done with most sea salt. Some table salt has actually been found to contain sugar, thereby increasing most people’s already high sugar intake. I use and sell unrefined sea salt and recommend it due to its more natural, unrefined state replete with important trace minerals. While it may cost more, it is worth it,” the food coach said.

Benefits of ginger • Ginger improves the absorption and assimilation of essential nutrients in the body. • Haven’t been feeling hungry? Eat fresh ginger just before lunch to stoke a dull appetite. (Ayurveda recommends that lunch should always be your main meal of the day, because this is when your digestive energy is naturally at its peak). • Ginger clears the ‘microcirculatory channels’ of the body, including the pesky sinuses that tend to flare up from time to time. • Feeling airsick or nauseous? Chew on ginger, preferably tossed in a little honey. • Can’t stop the toot-a-thon? Gas—oops— guess what?! Ginger helps reduce flatulence! • Tummy moaning and groaning under cramps? Munch on ginger—for best results, toss it in a little warm ghee before you • Reeling under joint pain? Ginger, with its anti-inflammatory properties—can bring relief. Float some ginger essential oil into your bath to help aching muscles and joints. • Got a surgery done? Chewing ginger postoperation can help overcome nausea. • Stir up some ginger tea to get rid of throat and nose congestion. And when there’s a nip in the air, the warming benefits of this tasty tea are even greater! • Bedroom blues? Try adding a gingery punch to a bowl of soup. (Psst…the Ayurvedic texts credit ginger with aphrodisiac properties, too!) •Source:

Other causes of constipation may include:

Colon cancer Diseases of the bowel, such as irritable bowel syndrome Mental health disorder Nervous system disorders Pregnancy Underactive thyroid Use of certain medications Constipation in children often occurs if they hold back bowel movements when they aren’t ready for toilet training or are afraid of it. Home Care Children and adults should get enough fiber in their diet. Vegetables, fresh fruits, dried fruits, and whole wheat, bran, or oatmeal cereals are excellent sources of fiber. To reap the benefits of fibre, drink plenty of fluids to help pass the stool. Source:





When cometh Guardian Angels? Welcome Miracle Salt

Herbs and Supplements to Watch in 2014 (2)

Angel, for the literature says it does curt the appetite.

Guardian Angels


INCE Olusola Sowemimo reported in this column her experiences about the Guardian Angel and Miracle Salt, there has hardly been any day I haven't received enquiries in the mail of whether these products are selling in Nigeria, or of when they will, if they are not. And, always, my reply has been: they will come when the time is ripe. Today, I wish to confess to both Dr. Isaac Idehen and Mrs. Veronica Momoh, both in Benin, that I have been privileged for some time to be a happy user of Guardian Angel or GA as it is also fondly called by the millions of owners, and Miracle Salt. I haven't short changed anyone, though. Not even Mr. Oni of Owo who has become an almost daily feature in my mail over these matters. I was only lucky that Olusola Sowemimo thought it nice to spoil me a little. She returned to Lagos from the 41st yearly conference of the Cancer Control Society in Mexico with two GAs, for her family, one of which she released to me. As I write, well past midnight, for I see better at night than during the day these days, thanks to a large amoury of nutritional and other weapons against eye cataracts, I have the GA tightly clutched in the fist of my left palm. Only a few hours ago, I got my sister, Mrs. Yemisi Amaku, and my niece, Mrs. Folake Ogunje, to try Miracle Salt. So did I Adesola Hannah Oshilaran, my personal assistant, whose headache, persistent for some months, had recently defied what seemed to be its match, Natrum mur, one of the 12 biochemic tissue or cell salts. I gave her a dose of Miracle Salt, believing it would curb this problem. It did Natrum, mur and Miracle Salt are members of one family: sodium chloride. But this is not the sodium chloride in the salt shake on the dining table. That salt has been refined to remove about 80 biochemical minerals from it in the form in which sodium chloride is naturally found. It is in this whole form that sodium chloride performs its health- giving functions in the body without causing harm. When it is refined or dismembered and those biochemical nutrients are gone, that sodium chloride becomes a poison which fuels hypertension, among many problems. Conversely, Miracle Salt has been demonstrated to reverse hypertension, curt asthma, irregular heart beast, balance high blood sugar levels, extract excess acids from the blood and cells, particularly brain cells, thereby improving mental health, encourage production of hydro-electric energy (make energy from water) in the cells, and in the formation of hydrochloric acid in the stomach, without which proteins cannot be well digested there. Hydrochloric acid, at 0.5 per cent concentration in the stomach encourages the production of pepsin, enzyme which digests proteins there. Many people who complain of heavy or sluggish stomach or indigestion in the stomach leading to overstay of food in this organ which causes such food to began to decay and produce gas there, are probably deficient in chloride, which is a component of sodium chloride and supports the manufacture of hydrochloric acid, according to one School of Medicine. I must quickly add that another School of Medicine peopled by researchers such as Dr. Robert Young does not believe there are acid primps in the stomach which pump out acid to digest proteins. From the thinking of this school, it would appear that acid is extracted from acid-rich foods, such as red meat during the churning action of the stomach, to digest such foods Belching is a sign that all is not well in the stomach‌ food is decaying and producing gas, which is belched out; soon, germs will proliferate in the stomach, a major one being Helicobacter pylori, the bacterium associated with peptic (stomach) or duodenal ulcer. People who cannot tolerate a meal of beans without suffering heartburn probably need to raise their blood chloride levels. The common table salt won't do a good job of this without possibly creating elevated blood pressure and other health problems, because it has been stripped of almost 80 or 100 biochemical compounds which prevent this and stuffed with the silicate of aluminum, a dangerous metal. For such people, Miracle Salt therapy may help. Where I have found my sample of Miracle Salt helpful are in respect of energy output and nerve power. Naturally, sodium helps to conduct nerve transmissions from the brain to all parts of the body and from these parts back to the brain. Weak pulses, from insufficient hydro-electric energy in the nerve cell and from poor nerve transmission or flow, would mean poor or slow response to stimuli, short attention spans and some of those symptoms associated with the aging process. In this column, I have explained many times why I carry a torch about in the evenings. The motorist may see you alright. But it may take a long time before the message from the eye gets to the brain and from the brain to the muscle of his hands on the steering wheel, that he should avoid hitting you, gets to its destination. When you wave him off your path with the light from the torch, he may suddenly "wake up". Miracle Salt may also help people who internally eat the moon but have not enough flesh in their bodies to justify this. There is no doubt that some of such people may be hyperthyroid, a condition in which the thyroid gland is overworking, over burning food, overdriving the heart (palpitations etc.) or pulping out the eye ball (Graves disease). It is true, also, that digestion may be poor or there may be too many people who

have glanconia or cataracts, or such other eye conditions in which the nerve of the eye may become weak, may experience improvement in eye energy and visual acuity. It is possible that, in such a condition, better results will be achieved if antioxidants for the eyes and Lion's Mane, which stimulates the brain to make Nerve Growth Factor (NGF) or hormone, are added to the regimen. In the case of thin people, micro-organisms in the intestine sharing nutrients with such people. But, often, there may be a problem with the sodium battery and the sodium/potassium pumps which are crucial for the uptake by the blood vessels through the villi of nutrients in the intestine. Miracle Salt may help to correct such a problem, according to Master James Min, whose book titled SIMPLE ORIENTAL MEDICINE I am just reading. Miracle Salt is thought to have its origins in the Orient, that is the Eastern parts of the earth, and its secrets handed down the generations. It is said to be a rich amoury of minerals, herbs and healing energy. Although it is suggested that one pinch of the thumb and index finger (or one-eighth of a teaspoon) be placed on the tongue on empty stomach and allowed to duix with saliva for one minute five times a day, I have devised other ways of using it. If I wish to alkalinize aggressively, can I not add Miracle Salt to food substances I know also detoxify.? Can I add the pinch to the juice of two or three limes or lemon (not orange) for their potassium and minerals, or to unsulphured Blackstrap molasses or to Nature Min, a proprietary blend of seabed minerals from Forever Living Products? When I tried it with lime juice just before bed, my eyes opened wide awake all night, and I experienced, to my surprise, that manly lift that is the desire of many aging men or overstressed young men. I still wonder whether this had anything to do with the adrenal glands which, an Alternative Medicine, we often treat to restore erectile function in men and help woman out of sexual frigidity. It will be some time before I can tell of its affects on my appetite. All I can report for now is that I had my first meal at about 3pm yesterday, and, as I write today, Monday, November 25, it is 12.05pm and I haven't brushed my teeth let alone had a meal. I wonder, also if this can be the result of using Guardian

I am still too overwhelmed by this simple, 24-karat gold plated, 300 - point hand acupuncture device to comment authoritatively about it. I have tried to encourage Master James Min, who makes it, to be a guest writer, some day, in this column. For now, I will be speaking about it with diagrams. The idea is to let us all appreciate the MASTERPIECE that the physical human body is. Western medicine, which many of our doctors practice with arrogance, rigidity, and visible hostility to different ideas about medicine from other parts of the world is essentially DRUG MEDICINE. I saw a breast cancer patient again last weeks and was happy. The last time she visited, there was a terrible odour all around her. I told her her breast was decaying like a corpse while the rest of her body was still relatively alive, because Candida and other micro-organisms were decomposing it. They got there in the first place because the breast was toxic. Toxicity does not always mean acidosis or heavy metal poisoning. Hatred is toxic. It runs counter to the principle of LOVE and affects the heart (and breast region) which, in Eastern medicine, is the seat of the 4th Chakra or the seat of Love. We are all split parts of the Sparks of Light from out of the Radiations of the love of God. We must, therefore, love and be loved. If the one we love fails to return the love, we have no business hating him or her, we can give our love to work, a cause, country or other persons. Surgeon Dr. Sheally and journalist/ spiritualist Carolym Myss discovered in their joint practice in the United States that woman who hate pathologically develop breast cancer within 18 months of the onset of the hatred, and are often heated without doctor's intervention if they forgive the one they hate. I asked this woman to try and forgive her husband who has abandoned her and the children since she faced her cancer challenge in 1999. I also asked her to bath the injury and pack it with baking soda as Dr Sollani does in Italy. And to my joy, there was no putrid smell about her during the last visit. Guardian Angel may help her and anyone else Master James Min is a certified Hand therapist. We can also call him a hand massage doctor. His book shows the hundreds of meridian points on the palm and at the back of each hand (as shown in the diagrams) and foot. A meridian is an energy flow channel through which spiritual energy (Breath of Life) flows from the in-dwelling human spirit to the physical body. Spiritual energy journeys through various organs of the body to keep them warm and healthy. When they are massaged, the meridian end - points or "energy switches" on both sides of the hands and feet stimulate energy flow in these channels. Blockages do not always appear to occur in occupations which encourage friction in these parts of the body. Office workers who hold pens throughout the day are less massaged than bricklayers, for example. With every organ connected to its own meridian terminal, Guardian Angel was designed to stimulate as many of them as possible in a single therapy. It is amazing how each joint of the finger affects a specific part of the body. I give the meridian terminals in front and at the back of the middle finger serious attention because they support eye health, and I use the eyes a lot in rough conditions. Now, as I rise from my writing desk, I safely tuck away my Guardian Angel hand acupuncture device, and reach out for the jar of Miracle Salt, for a punch of this "spice of the earth. When cometh thee hither, Guardian Angel, for Dr. Idehen, Mrs Momoh, and the many others waiting in great expectation. •Welcome, Miracle Salt. A million thanks, OLUSOLA SOWEMIMO.

e-mail: or Tel: 08116759749, 08034004247, 07025077303




BUSINESS e-Business


• BBM on Android analysis

BlackBerry‘s hazy world Over one month ago, BlackBerry sold its BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) to search engine Google. Since then, the download of BBM apps has been smooth but the company remains in dire straits, reports LUCAS AJANAKU.


300-LEVEL student of Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile Ife, Osun State, Ebun Ayetoto, said when she woke up one morning about two months ago and discovered that the screen of her BlackBerry phone had gone blank, her world literally came down. According to her, the mobile device suffered the same problem before and she got N8000 from her uncle to fix the problem at the Computer Village in Ikeja, Lagos. “I bought the BlackBerry Bold 2 for N2,7000 a few years ago. I enjoyed the device until it started misbehaving. The first time, it was screen problem and I paid N8000 to change the screen. It happened again the second time and I spent another N7000 to fix it. “So, when it happened the third time, I was thinking of how to raise money to buy another one when I heard that BlackBerry had sold its BBM to Google and made it available to Android and iPhones. I quickly changed my mind and settled for Tecno P5, which I bought for N16000, downloaded the BBM from Google Play,” she said. According to her, since the transition, the experience has been delightful. She no longer contends with constantly charging the battery of her mobile phone and her BB messages are not longer delivered late. “Message delivery is in lightening speed, very fast. There is no more issue of hanging network which used to be my experience when I was using BBM on BlackBerry,” she added. She said other advantages she enjoys are the use of dual subscriber identity module (SIM) phone and use of the same account on BBM on BlackBerry phone and BBM on


Android. Another user who simply identified himself as Wasiu said since he bought his GTide GPad 4, he now pings on his iPad which does not only have television but radio and other features. It has been more than a month after BBM started the iOS and Android platforms and it is still doing remarkably well on the iPhone. BlackBerry announced that during the first week of the roll-out, it generated 20 million new active users, adding that BBM service now boasts about 100 million monthly active users. It said during its first week, BBM was the top free overall app in 35 countries in Google Play and in 107 countries in the App StoreSM, and continues to maintain a strong position in key markets such as Canada, United States (US), United Kingdom (UK), Indonesia and much of the Middle East and others. A few days ago, BBM was top of five iOS app for downloads in no fewer than 50 countries, including important markets like Nigeria, South Africa, Argentina, Colombia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Canada and UK. Even in markets like India and UK where WhatsApp, another instant messaging platform, has its stronghold, BBM continues to do so well, demonstrating uncanny longevity in Latin American, African, European and Asian iPhone markets. Speaking on the development, Executive Vice President, BBM at BlackBerry, Andrew Bocking said: “It is great to see so many people downloading BBM, but the true measurement for us is engagement – the connections being made and the conversations in which our BBM community engages. The power of BBM has always been the active, real conversations and interaction that our customers enjoy.

‘BlackBerry will, ultimately, end up selling the company due to the difficult competitive smartphone market and low probability that BlackBerry 10 can return BlackBerry to sustained profitability.A breakup is more likely than outright sale and fundamentals will continue to deteriorate over a now longer public sale process under new management’

“From here on out, we will focus on active users of BBM and will no longer focus on simple download numbers.” But the Waterloo, the Canada-based mobile device manufacturer, may be experiencing dwindling fortunes among the youthful segment of its customers in some markets. For instance, while BlackBerry remains the most widely used handset among South African students, new research has shown that its future in that demographic is less rosy. According to the findings of the South Africa High-tech Student 2013 research, released by World Wide Worx and Student Brands, the brand is synonymous with affordability, courtesy of BlackBerry Internet and messaging service (BIS and BBM). The survey, according to MyBroadband, found that more than half (57 per cent) of students used a BlackBerry handset, with Nokia a distant second at 20 per cent, with Samsung third (14 per cent), and the iPhone fourth at five per cent. Only 15 per cent of respondents said they wanted to buy a BlackBerry as their next device. As many as 40 per cent said they wanted an iPhone next, while 29 per cent would prefer a Samsung. Nokia fell back to only eight per cent. The prospects for less popular brands showed slight improvement, with Sony moving from one per cent of current usage to four per cent of planned usage, and HTC from one per cent to three per cent. Analysts say the $1billion injection it secured from Fairfax Financials and its partners may just be a time-buying strategy as its future does not look any bright unless there’s a major improvement. Sales have plummeted by almost 50 per cent due to lacklustre demand for BlackBerry 10 devices and a limited market for legacy BlackBerry 7. Canaccord Genuity, a global full-service investment bank focused on growth companies with operations in 11 countries, released its new research which showed that BlackBerry’s operating margin for mobile devicres stands at 55 per cent in third quarter of this year. Analyst at Canaccord Gebuity, Michael Walkley wrote: “While we maintain our belief BlackBerry will ultimately end up selling the company due to the difficult competitive smartphone market and low probability that BlackBerry 10 can return BlackBerry to sustained profitability, we now beleive a breakup is more likely than outright sale and fundamentals will continue to deteriorate over a now longer public sale process under new management.” But despite the turbulent time in the global smartphone market, data from advisory firm, International Data Corporation (IDC) shows that BlackBerry remains a relevant and popular brand on the African continent. Smartphone shipments to Africa were up 21.5 per cent year on year for the third quarter of this year, and now accounts for 18 per cent of the overall African mobile phone market’s volume.



e-Business Spectranet takes LTE wireless services to Abuja


ATIONAL internet service provider, Spectranet Limited, has announced that it has launched the long term evolution (LTE) or 4G technology to its customers in Abuja, promising to replicate the same feat across the nation. Speaking in Lagos, Director of the firm, Ezekiel Fatoye, said LTE wireless broadband network has been making global strides, registering the highest growth across all technologies and redefining customers’ experience, adding that the firm has decided to take the technology to its customers in Abuja. According to him, the firm’s commitment to customer-centricity reliability, flexibility, responsiveness, innovative products and services will herald a new and exciting experience

for customers in the country. He said based on the pattern of usage, the company offers high bandwidth of up to 4 mega bytes per second (Mbps) and above with data downloads as high as 30 gigabytes (Gb) and above. “Today, reliable and fast access to the internet is no more a luxury but a necessity broadband penetration has a direct impact on country’s growth, proved time and again in many countries and across continents. We at Spectranet are committed to bringing best in class internet services to our country and help customers to experience and enjoy what the world is experiencing and enjoying. We have plans suiting every customer, ranging from corporate to individuals and we are committed to bringing great value to every user in the country,” Fatoye said.

Etisalat hunts for SMEs Easybusiness millionaire


O support Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) realise their business ideas, Etisalat has launched an innovative scheme tagged: Easybusiness Millionaire Hunt. Director, Business Segment, Etisalat Nigeria, Lucas Dada, said the Easybusiness Millionaire Hunt will go a long way to help young entrepreneurs who possess fantastic business ideas but lack the capital to pursue their dreams. “Easybusiness Millionaires Hunt is designed to reward Nigerian SMEs with the most viable business ideas with fantastic gift items such as business grants worth N20million, free training courses on entrepreneurial management and advisory services from the esteemed Enterprise Development Centre of the Pan Atlantic University, office equipment and smart phones to kick off their business in the right direction,” he was

quoted as saying in a statement. He beleives the promo would prove beneficial to SMEs across the country. “Although the Top 10 winners with the best business ideas will be rewarded with N2 million each, there are also other prizes to be won which include free business trainings at the Enterprise Development Centre of the Pan Atlantic University for the top 50 winners, in addition to getting office equipment to help them start up their business and over 200 smartphones to be won on a daily basis throughout the promo duration,” Dada explained. He said interested customers are required to text YES to 5885 from their Easybusiness lines to opt-in for the competition after which an SMS would be sent to them indicating a unique code and a URL where their business ideas should be forwarded to.

Samsung’s experience stores for Abuja, Warri


AMSUNG Electronics West Africa, and two accredited local partners, said it has opened two additional Samsung Experience Shops (SES) in Abuja and Warri as a demonstration of its strategic commitment to give customer opportunity to learn, play and share the latest technology releases from its stable. According to a statement, the Abuja and Warri stores are the latest additions to the series of SES being rolled out in the country, bringing the total number of such retail outlets to 15 with six in Lagos. SES are easily-accessible brandretail outlets that showcase Samsung’s technology leadership for consumers to experience and interact with Samsung product


line-ups ranging from audiovisual, home appliance, mobile phones, IT solutions, digital imaging devices, laptops and accessories. Director, Hand Held Devices, Samsung Electronics West Africa, Emmanouil Revmatas, said SES will give customers full Samsung experience across its digital appliances and smart phones category. “SES will provide the consumers with a stimulating environment to discover the full spectrum of Samsung’s world-class offerings in one easily-accessible location. Our consumers in Abuja and Warri will get the opportunity to see, feel and touch and can share, play and learn through the latest technology releases from Samsung. The possibilities are just endless,” he said.

MTN, LG partner on smart TVs

TN Business, the business-to-business arm of MTN Nigeria,has reached an agreement with global leader in consumer electronics, LG Electronics, to bundle MTN broadband internet service with LG Smart television. This deal, according to a statement, ensures that customers buying LG Smart TVs are given MTN HyNet, the 4G broadband internet service offered by MTN Business. Chief Enterprise Solutions Officer of MTN Nigeria, Mr. Babatunde Osho, said: “With Smart TVs increasing in popularity, the need for a high-speed internet service, like MTN HyNet, to enable customers take advantage of the Smart TV technology, cannot be overemphasised.”

MTN Business, he added, would like to see more and more people enjoy the whole range of benefits, such as online movies, live streaming, associated with Smart TVs and other smart devices. General Manager, Home Entertainment, LG Electronics West Africa Operations, Mr. Steve Ryu, said; “This unique partnership is ultimately about meeting the needs of our customers in a bid to provide cutting edge technological products and services to them in comfort and style.” Ryu further said with the LG Smart TV and MTN HyNet Internet service that comes with free 8GB data for three months, customers are bound to experience limitless online opportunities.

• From left: Directors, Alfred Conferences, Mr Moses Obisesan; Ms Ilavbare Goldfish Rahmatulai, MD/CEO Hatlab Ice Cream Delite Limited; Mrs Latifat Balogun and Mr Frederick Apeji, during a courtesy visit to Hatlab Ice Cream Delite Limited office in Abuja, ahead of the forthcoming Mobile Money Women conference.

Software remittances take 40% of forex


HE Nigeria Communications Commission (NCC) said there has been a steady increase in foreign exchange (forex) demand for software and other telecommunication equipment by operators. It said 40 per cent of total remittances in the last three years were for software. Director, Policy and Competition at the NCC, Mrs Lolia Emakpore who made this known, said, this was due to demand for network purchase, expansion and upgrades, adding that the regulator processed and approved over 5,580 confirmation of reasonableness of services (CRS) for forex invoices in the telecoms industry between 2010 and 2013. She, however, said over 745 applications were declined due to integrity tests failures ranging from over-invoicing, expired contract agreements as well as duplications of invoices. “Over the years, the NCC proc-

By Lucas Ajanaku

essed CRS invoices applications running into billions of dollars and millions of pounds sterling and euro currencies. “Software remittances accounts for over 40 per cent of the total cost of CRS processed over the last three years,” she said. According to figures from the regulator, in 2010, it processed CRS for forex invoices for $281.2million, •5.7million and £1.2million while in 2011, it processed invoices for $624million, •14.5million and £1.4million. Last year, this figure went up to $894million, •31.37 million and •0.78million respectively. Emapkore, who spoke in Lagos at a forum organised to review existing guidelines for CRS application processing, recalled that in 2002, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) requested for regulatory collaboration and support from the NCC for CRS

for telecoms related transactions, adding that NCC has been providing expert advice to CBN on CRS transactions remittances based on CBN’s regulations on international trade. She said: “NCC took over this regulatory oversight to support the CBN and developed the initial Guidelines for CRS application processing in 2003, highlighting the expectations from the bankers, operators and the vendors in respect of the CRS invoices. “The imperative of carrying out the CRS function include check capital flights; encourage the development of telecom software skills and local content in Nigeria; ensure efficient utilisation of forex by the telecoms companies; control forex round tripping; and bridge the gap between telecoms Foreign Direct Investments (FDIs) and CRS remittances,” she said.

‘How social media can grow SMEs, others’


N information communication technology (ICT) firm, Cornerstone Limited, has unveiled a software called Victory 100 that allows small and medium scale enterprises (SMEs) to use social media platforms to enhance growth and expansion of business. Its Chief Executive Officer, Rev Lawrence Awolade, who unveiled the software in Lagos, said it is a seamless digital marketing social media business system that allows the user to post and manage all their social media platfrom from one site. According to him, it takes hours every day to post on the variety of major social media sites available and more time to manage them, answering questions and trying to get them to buy products. He said the cost and time spent on finding a way to capture the names and

By Bola Ajetumobi emails of interested people, building a relationship with them through emails, newsletters and proposing business deals could be overwhelming. “We harness the power of social media, take the mystery out of social media marketing, delivering an easy to use automated system that even beginners can understand and use. It helps you to manage your social media across multiple platforms, monitor brand mentions and quickly publish content within a single dashboard,” he said. According to him, the email platform built into Victory100 allows the user send personalised mails to all prospects when there is something special to promote or an announcement of new products or services at just $25

per month. Awolade said Victory100 has an integrated lead capture system to gather the names and email addresses of interested visitors to user’s posts and an auto responder to send them a series of targeted emails that help develop a strong relationship. He said the V-Success solution is like a health club for the users’ mind and vital to wealth creation efforts, adding that it is designed to take business and personal life to a new level using audio and video archive that provide motivation, inspiration, leadership and success training. He added that the V-Success programme gives the user ongoing advanced training on sales, leadership, personal growth and advanced internet principles to help assure success in business.

Lagos reads riot act to ISPs, others over masts


HE Lagos State Urban Furniture Regulatory Unit (UFRU) has issued another warning to banks, insurance firms, Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and other small users of telecoms masts in the state to evacuate all hollow pipe masts and replace them with galvanised steel masts. Its head, Mr. Joe Igbokwe who gave the warning, said: “Our deadline for the evacuation of old hollow pipe masts still stands at December 31, 2013 as we directed a few months back.” He expressed worries that since the directive was first given two months ago, none of the firms concerned have complied, even

when the government had shown leadership by evacuating hollow pipe masts it was using. He called on the affected firms to borrow a leaf from the state government and immediately evacuate all the outdated structures. Igbokwe warned that failure to evacuate hollow pipe masts after the deadline, would compel UFRU to embark on a comprehensive evacuation from January 1, 2014, at the expense of their owners. “Since we gave the directive few months back, we are yet to see any serious commitment on the part of the affected operators to show seriousness and concern. “Governments all over the world

make laws that help everybody live decent and fruitful life and expect that law-abiding citizens comply and obey the laws for peace and progress. Governments do not need to chase individuals, companies or corporate bodies about on how to do normal things. “For the avoidance of doubt, UFRU restates that the deadline for the removal of old masts and replacing them with galvanised steel masts still stands at December 31, 2013. “The affected companies are reminded that complete and comprehensive evacuation of these old structures starts affectively by January 1, 2014,” Igbokwe said.





With ekpoita / 08077706130

sHoWbliTz Smith, Jay-Z Back Obama’s Gay Stance

On May 9, President Barack Obama became the first sitting president to announce support for same-sex marriage. Now two of the country’s celebrity Black stars actor Will Smith and rapper/businessman Jay-Z, are backing President Obama on his controversial stance on gay marriage. While promoting his upcoming blockbuster film “Men in Black III” in Berlin, Smith told the Associated Press that Obama’s support of gay marriage is a “brave” move particularly in an election year.Meanwhile, Jay-Z, whose actual name is Shawn Carter, also made his pro-gay stance public, backing our president in his support of legalizing same-sex marriages. In Philadelphia, when announcing a two-day music festival in early September, Jay-Z sat with CNN’s Poppy Harlow to discuss some issues and one of them was Obama’s startling comment about his support of gay marriage. Jay-Z, who has rallied round Obama since his 2008 campaign days, told news reporters “I’ve always thought of it as something that was still, um, holding the country back,” In the not-too-distant-past, Smith was at the center of a gay controversy himself. There were reports that he was involved with actor and running buddy Duane Martin. Star Magazine reported that Smith and Martin had maintained a gay relationship for years. It was implied that their union was responsible for the downfall of Smith’s marriage to Jada. The rumors of Smith’s possible sexual preference began to pick up steam after he completed the 1993 film “Six Degrees of Separation,” where he portrayed a gay college student

POETRY Mind Behind Bars As the days progress From the rising of the sun My heart won’t cease its twists Of anguish. This cold hospitality under locks Is poison for any mind. Yet I see faults erased On the crunch guilt’s kolanuts. I admit, I’m lost. The rain has departed Now the sun wears his shoes, I rust on this spot still. There have been no wages Of all my days in this cage. The tears keep streaming, Fuelling the heart’s drive And now a stench I wear. My flesh swells in fear And strange sickness. Please ring the bell of justice, I tell the angels Hovering this rusty cell.

Good Friend

- Habib Akewusola

So many names to call a friend, The list is far from short, Like buddy, pal and good old chum, And some might say cohort. Partner sounds too western, Confidante just doesn’t fit, We could try to use acquaintance, (I don’t like that name one bit). We’ve tried out quite a lot here, But they all feel like dead ends, So I’ll just stick with what has worked, And call you my good friend. - Jennifer Wilson

WORDWHEEL Form as many words as you can with the letters in the wheel. Every word must make use of the letter at the center, i.e. the letter T. A 9-letter word with the meaning “ UNPLEASANTLY NOTICEABLE” is hidden in the grid. This is the star word. 2letter words and proper nouns are not allowed. Words up to forty score excellent.










Unscramble the word jumbled in the grid below and place the deciphered word in the blank grid.












Humour A Nigerian Naval officer was addressing the rank and file of the force and told them of new uniforms, boots, increased remuneration the force has approved for them. As he mentioned the approved items, the crowd kept shouting “hurray!”such that the officer could not hear even his own voice again. He got angry, brought out his gun and fired in the air. Everyone became quiet and the officer, quite enraged warned “ if you hurray againnnnnnnna, you shall hurray yourself”.

Got wind of a criminal act, plan? Alert your friend,The Police.

conquer oneself is the best and noblest victory; to be vanquished by one’s own Pep Talk To nature is the worst and most ignoble defeat. - Plato










Dangote, banks, FMCGs rally equities to modest recovery


IGERIAN equities broke away from a two-day downtrend yesterday as highly capitalised stocks in the building materials, banking and consumer goods subsectors moderated prevalent profit-taking transactions and rallied the overall market situation to a modest positive position. With 33 losers to 29 gainers, considerable gains by highly capitalised stocks such as Dangote Cement Plc, Cadbury Nigeria, GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Nigeria, Nigerian Breweries, Guaranty Trust Bank and Zenith Bank altered the market trend, reversing the downtrend that started on Monday with a modest gain of N12 billion yesterday. Average daily market return, which had been negative in the past two consecutive trading sessions, turned positive yesterday with a gain of 0.09 per cent. This implied addition of N12 billion in new capital gains to aggregate market value of all quoted companies on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE). The All Share Index (ASI), the common value-based index that tracks all equities on

By Taofik Salako

the NSE, inched up to 39,011.31 points as against its opening index of 38,975.16 points. Aggregate market value of all quoted equities on the NSE also increased from N12.466 trillion to N12.478 trillion. Cadbury Nigeria led the bullish stocks with a gain of N2.85 to close at N59.85 per share. Nigerian Breweries followed with a gain of N2.48 to close at N167.50. GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Nigeria placed third with a gain of N1.20 to close at N66. Dangote Cement added N1 to close at N195. Okomu Oil Palm rose by 56 kobo to N44.50. Union Dicon Salt, which recently secured a new minority core investor and management, rallied 47 kobo to close at N5.12. Red Star Express gathered 21 kobo to close at N4.41. Jos International Breweries added 17 kobo to close at N3.57. Access Bank rallied 16 kobo to close at N10.05. Zenith Bank rose by 13 kobo to N21.35. Guaranty Trust Bank gained 11 kobo to close at N27.61 while United Bank for Africa added 10 kobo to close at N7.60 per

share. Reduction in average turnover and the prevalence of losers still underlined the dogged profit-taking trend that had overshadowed the market in the previous trading sessions. Aggregate turnover dropped below recent average with the exchange of 361.78 million shares valued at N4.76 billion in 4,763 deals. For the first time in several days, Transnational Corporation of Nigeria (Transcorp) was missing on the top activity chart. Banking stocks dominated the top-10 activity chart. Unity Bank was the most active stock with a turnover of 79.59 million shares valued at N44.19 million in 162 deals. Zenith Bank followed with a turnover of 58.77 million shares worth N1.25 billion in 215 deals. Banking stocks altogether accounted for a turnover of 203.15 million shares worth N2.01 billion in 1,463 deals. On the downside, Lafarge Cement Wapco Nigeria led the losers’ list with a loss of N5.26 to close at N100. Oando followed with a drop of N1 to close at N14. Nestle Nigeria lost 50 kobo to close at N1, 249.50. Transcorp dropped by 46 kobo to N4.34. CAP lost 45 kobo to close at N50. PZ Cussons Nigeria declined by 40 kobo to N36.10. Cement Company of Northern Nigeria and Eterna lost 38 kobo each to close at N9.30 and N3.99 while UAC of Nigeria dropped by 35 kobo to N66 per share.





Lagos completes N87.5b bond issuance


AGOS State Government has completed the last phase of N87.5 billion bond issuance programme from the Capital Market. State Governor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, (SAN) who presided over the completion meeting for the Bond held at the Banquet Hall, State House Ikeja yesterday, said the development would help fast track the completion of major projects across the state. The N87.5 billion 13.5 percent fixed rate bond expected to mature in 2020, is the concluding phase of N167.5 billion debt issuance programme ( series 2) under which the state had raised N80 billion in 2012. Projects expected to substantially benefit from the concluding deal of N87.5 billion bond, the highest ever by any government in the country, include the ongoing expansion of LagosBadagry Expressway, the blue line rail system from Okokomaiko- Mile-Na-

By Miriam Ekene-Okoro

tional Art Theatre- CMS corridor, Adiyan Water Works which is to deliver 70 million gallon of water per day. Others are Ayinke House Maternity Hospital at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH), Atlantic Shoreline Protection from Goshen Beach to alpha Beach to protect communities being threatened by coastal erosion, Isolo-Isheri-Ijegun Link Bridge, Apapa CBD road networks and Mushin-Isolo Road among several others which government says will change the lives of citizens in the state. Governor Fashola described it as “a statement of belief in an action government rather than an action governor. It is a statement of confidence in the ability of the system to run even when the actors change. But let me say that I believe that the process of looking inwards rather than out-

wards for solution to our problems is gaining ground”. He assured that the funds would be utilized to address ongoing infrastructural projects which he believed would add value to the economy and aid both small and large scale enterprises do their businesses more profitably. “We are seeking to build an economy in Lagos that gives everybody opportunity,” Fashola said, noting that with all hands are on deck, he was confident his administration would leave a legacy, before stepping down in 2015. He said those that complain about borrowing to finance public infrastructure and compare the state’s economy to the prosperous economies of America and Europe, do not, however, know why those economies appear successful. “They have the strongest armies, well equipped policemen, good roads,

airports, seaports, many hospitals that we pay so dearly to patronize” “But they will not tell you that America has a debt of over $17trillion. They will not tell you that the wonderful facilities in Dubai are funded by sensible contracted debts, invested in life changing investments such as we are doing in Lagos. “Their sense of patriotism and national development is abroad. Ours is at home”.


Alleged mismanagement: NDIC absolves Osibodu

HE Nigerian Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC) has absolved the former Managing Director (MD) of Union Bank (UBN), Mrs Funke Osibodu of the allegations levied against her by former staff and pensioners of the

Sterling Bank takes Agent Banking to Makoko community


TERLING Bank Plc yesterday launched its ‘Financial Inclusion Initiative’ under the agent banking model, in Asejere market, Makoko, Lagos. The bank’s Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Yemi Adeola said during the launch that presently, more that 70 million Nigerians live below the poverty line adding that the agent banking model will enhance economic growth for the rural populace. He said it was not enough for banks to embark on corporate social responsibility without deliberately tackling poverty. “Every now and then, plans to eradicate poverty and bring financial services are discussed with much hype and promise, but in reality, no real action is taken. But this

•Sanusi wants more banking services extended to the poor By Collins Nweze

time around, I am pleased to announce that this is a reality initiated by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and propelled by Sterling Bank will help tackle poverty by bringing more people into the financial system,” he said. CBN Governor, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi said during the event that banking is no longer a luxury. He said the apex bank has taken steps to simplify banking, making it available in both the rural and urban areas. Sanusi said both the literate and illiterate can now open and run accounts on the agant bank

model by simply allowing the agents to take their fingerprints. He said the CBN is committed to providing access to affordable financial services and products for every Nigerian adding that the financial inclusion strategy target is to help reduce the number of adult who are excluded from formal fnancial services from 46.3 per cent in 2012 to 20 per cent in 2020 with specific targets for payments, savings, credit and insurance. He said sustaining Nigeria’s development hinges on ensuring that at least 80 per cent of all adult Nigerians have access to affordable financial services as well as the right en-

Amount N

Rate %


3-Year 5-Year 5-Year

35m 35m 35m

11.039 12.23 13.19

19-05-2014 18-05-2016 19-05-2016

vironment within which to flourish economically. Sanusi said the CBN has over the years recognised certain barriers to achieving inclusion some of which includes; distance to bank branches, cumbersome account opening requirements, lack of awareness of financial products and services amongst others. “As a regulator, we also recognise the challenges deposit money banks face in trying to reach the underserved communities which include; the cost incurred by the banks in catering to lower valued accounts and the cost of expanding their branch networks to excluded communities,” he said.

WHOLESALE DUTCH AUCTION SYSTEM Amount Offered ($) 350m 350m 350m

MANAGED FUNDS Initial Quotation Price N8250.00 N1000.00


OBB Rate Call Rate

Current Market 5495.33 N552.20

Price Loss 2754.67 447.80

PRIMARY MARKET AUCTION (T-BILLS) Tenor 91-Day 182-Day 1-Year

Amount 30m 46.7m 50m



Rate % 10.96 9.62 12.34

Date 28-04-2012 “ 14-04-2012

GAINERS AS AT 27-11-13



4.65 0.75 57.00 3.40 2.20 4.20 1.03 1.35 0.81 0.50

C/PRICE 2013-11-27

5.12 0.81 59.85 3.57 2.31 4.41 1.08 1.41 0.83 0.51

%CHANGE 10.11 8.00 5.00 5.00 5.00 5.00 4.85 4.44 2.47 2.00

LOSERS AS AT 27-11-13 2013-11-26




4.80 4.37 15.00 105.26 4.88 1.24 4.74 0.65 0.67 1.46


C/PRICE 4.34 3.99 14.00 100.00 4.64 1.18 4.52 0.62 0.64 1.40

Year Start Offer

NGN USD NGN GBP NGN EUR NIGERIA INTER BANK (S/N) (S/N) Bureau de Change (S/N) Parallel Market

Current Before

Current After

Amount Sold ($) 150m 138m 113m

Exchange Rate (N) 155.2 155.8 155.7

Date 2-7-12 27-6-12 22-6-12

147.6000 239.4810 212.4997

149.7100 244.0123 207.9023

150.7100 245.6422 209.2910

-2.11 -2.57 -1.51














July ’11

July ’12





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%


CUV Start %

%CHANGE -9.58 -8.70 -6.67 -5.00 -4.92 -4.84 -4.64 -4.62 -4.48 -4.11

Amount Demanded ($) 150m 138m 113m

EXHANGE RATE 6-03-12 Currency

INTERBANK RATES 7.9-10% 10-11%

bank. Members of the House of Representatives Committee on Banking and Currency had earlier in their proceeding yesterday expressed surprise at the allegation made against Mrs Osibodu that she manipulated the bank’s records to the depletion of shareholders fund. The chairman of the Committee read out Funke Osibodu’s letter where she highlighted that the House had not given her the details on a number of allegations against her and thus she cannot provide any submission or participate in the hearing. She further alleged that is the petition raised bother on criminal issues, and only the law courts can try such issues. He assured Mrs Osibodu that no decision had been taken on the petition and the hearing was to assist everybody especially Osibodu to hear the issues and be in a position to respond to this . On the jumbo salary to the management staff, the. NDIC said the pay was as prescribed by the CBN and that if the NDIC had noticed a discrepancy, it would have forced the bank to reverse it and force the management to refund the excess.



•Lagos State Governor, Babatunde Fashola


19-09-13 11.432.09 35,891.90

23-09-13 11.494.75 36,088.64

% Change -




Bank P/Court

Previous 04 July, 2012

Current 07, Aug, 2012

8.5000 8.0833

8.5000 8.0833




NEWS Dickson to complete Ogbia-Nembe Road

Oba of Benin hails Oshiomhole

From Mike Odiegwu, Yenagoa


AYELSA State Governor Seriake Dickson yesterday said his administration would complete Ogbia-Nembe Road in 2015. He said the project would reposition the rural areas for investment, tourism and other socioeconomic activities. Dickson, who made the promise during his ‘Thank you tour’ to Nembe Local Government, described the road as a catalyst for the development of the area. The governor, who was accompanied by his deputy, Rear Admiral John Jonah (retd) and former military administrator of Ebonyi and Delta states, Navy Capt. Walter Feghabo, was received by residents at Ogbolomabiri. He hailed the people for preserving their cultural heritage and announced a donation of N10 million for the promotion of culture in the area. Dickson said: “What I’ve seen today reminds me of how much we as a government needs to do in terms of working closely to preserve, propagate, export and expose this beautiful aspect of our lives that often we don’t show enough.

Governors meet in Anambra


•Former Head of State, Gen. Yakubu Gowon (middle), Governor Adams Oshiomhole (right) and Godwin Akenzua, the Enogie of Evbobanosa, during Gen. Gowon’s visit to the governor in Benin City... yesterday.

Dokubo to Jonathan: save me from gendarmes •MEND calls for his release •May attack Benin Republic’s interests


FORMER Niger Delta militant, Mujahid DokuboAsari, who was arrested in A MEETING of the Southeast/ Southsouth governors yesterday Cotonou, Benin Republic, on Tuesday by Beniniose ended in Awka, the Anambra State capital, with an agreement gendarmes (police), yesterday sought President to schedule a meeting of the Goodluck Jonathan’s interstakeholders from the zones for vention to secure his rea cross-fertilisation of ideas on lease. best ways to move the zones His lawyer, Festus forward. The meeting was attended by Keyamo, urged the President to ensure that no the host Governor Peter Obi. harm befalls his client. Others were Sullivan Chime He said Dokubo-Asari, (Enugu), Theodore Orji (Abia), who owns investments in Emmanuel Uduaghan (Delta), Benin Republic, was Liyel Imoke (Cross River) and picked up around 2 pm on Dave Umahi (Ebonyi deputy Tuesday and taken to an governor). Addressing reporters after the unknown destination. “We want to emphasise meeting, Governor Imoke said that Alhaji Dokubo-Asari the summit, which would hold carries on legitimate busiin the first week of January, ness and has been living would attract leaders from the partly in Benin Republic zones. From Odogwu Emeka Odogwu, Onitsha

By Joseph Jibueze, Lagos and Bisi Olaniyi, Port Harcourt

for many years. “In fact, he owns houses, schools and an academy in that country,” Keyamo said. He alleged that DokuboAsari’s arrest was politically-motivated. According to him, it was a bid by “certain forces in Nigeria in unholy alliance with the Beninoise government to keep him away as 2015 approaches.” Dokubo-Asari sup-

ported President Jonathan and said he would make the country ungovernable if he is not re-elected in 2015. Keyamo pleaded with the Nigerian government “to intervene and ensure that no harm befalls Alhaji Dokubo-Asari and to use diplomatic means to secure his release and safe return to Nigeria.” Dokubo-Asari has reportedly adopted Benin Republic citizenship. The Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) has called for

his release. It hinted that if the “General” was not set free unconditionally, it might attack Republic of Benin’s interests. The militant group said this yesterday in an online statement by its spokesperson, Jomo Gbomo, while condemning Tuesday’s arrest of the NDPVF’s leader, who declined the 2009 amnesty offer of the Federal Government to the repentant Niger Delta militants, insisting that he was not a criminal to be granted amnesty.

SSS accuses suspected kidnap kingpin Kelvin, others of terrorism


HE State Security Services (SSS) yesterday said investigation has shown that suspected kidnap kingpin, Kelvin Eziegbe and members of his group were involved in terrorism. It said it was yet to conclude investigation on their involvement, but had got the nod of a Federal High Court in Abuja to remand them for 90 days. Eziegbe, Frank Azuekoh and Haruna Momoh, who were arraigned before the Magistrate’s Court, Wuse Zone 2, Abuja on October 29 were accused of masterminding highly-coordinated kidnappings in the Southsouth, extending to the

From Eric IKhilae, Abuja

Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja. They were accused of kidnapping Delta State Commissioner for Higher Education, Prof. Hope Eghagha, rights activist, Mike Ozekhome (SAN), former Anambra State Deputy Governor, Dr. Chudi Nwike and others. Nwike, who was reportedly kidnapped in March, was found dead some days later in a community near Agbor in Delta State by security agents. Counsel to the SSS, Clifford Osagie, told the court that further investigation showed that the accused were involved in terrorism, kidnapping and murder, which did not fall within

the jurisdictional competence of a magistrate’s court. He said the SSS has secured the permission of the Federal High Court, Abuja to detain the suspects for another 90 days pending the conclusion of investigation. The lawyer, who applied to withdraw the First Information Report (FIR) on which they were earlier arraigned, assured that the trio would be arraigned before a court of competent jurisdiction at the conclusion of investigation. The court allowed the withdrawal of the FIR, as requested by Osagie and ordered that the accused be further remanded in SSS’ custody pending their arraignment.

50 suspected terrorists arrested in Cross River, Edo, others


VER 50 suspected terrorists have been arrested in Cross River, Rivers, Edo, Ogun, Zamfara and Sokoto states in the last three months following the spread of Boko Haram activities to other states, it was learnt yesterday. The assertion, which was credited to the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. General Azubuike Ihejirika, was contained in a report of the Senate Joint Committee on National Security and Intelligence and Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters.

From Onyedi Ojiabor, Assistant Editor and Sanni Onogu, Abuja

The report was debated by senators at a plenary yesterday. According to the report, Ihejirika told the committee that the initial plan of Boko Haram was to use the killing of Christians and the burning of churches to gain a foothold and unfold other phases. He also told the committee that the recent killings at the Yobe College of Agriculture might not have

generated as much controversy as the Apo killings, but that the people needed to see how the victims were murdered in their sleep to appreciate the weight or gravity of the problem. The report further quoted Ihejirika as saying “that in the last two to three months, activities of suspected Boko Haram Terrorists (BHT) have spread to other states, including the FCT as was evident in the arrests of over 50 suspected terrorists in Cross River, Edo, Ogun, Rivers, Sokoto and Zamfara states.”

HE Oba of Benin, Omo n’Oba Erediauwa, has said Governor Adams Oshiomhole of Edo State has “done very well” in his five years rule. The monarch spoke yesterday when the governor visited him to present his scorecard in the first year of his second term. The traditional ruler, who was impressed with the governor’s scorecard, said he would not relent in his prayers for him to sustain the good programmes. According to the monarch, “you have done very well. I can say this openly, I often pray for you to our ancestors to keep you going. I urge you to keep the flag flying. “All the roads you have done and still doing, I want to thank you very much. There is one road you want to do, which is very close to me, Adesogbe, I hear you want to repair it and I thank you for this.” Governor Oshiomhole said his administration would sustain the pace of work in the three senatorial districts. Said he: “When I came in for the second term, I promised that we would continue with the projects we have started and when they are completed, we would start fresh ones. We have completed the Airport Road and it is now a beautiful sight having six lanes with bus stops. We are trying to plant palm trees in the median of the road. “We have also built six roads off the Airport Road. We have completed the five junction with drainage. So we can say we have solved flooding in the area. “We will soon award a contract to extend the five junction road. We are reclaiming the moat from Upper Lawani down to Upper Mission and we have desilted it. This has reduced flood in the area.”

Edo raises committee to curb street trading From Osagie Otabor, Benin


DO State government has raised an eight-man committee to curb street trading and restore sanity and orderliness in public places. This followed the expression of disappointment by Governor Adams Oshiomhole about the inability of the existing committees, such as the ‘War Against Indiscipline’, to meet expectations. Oshiomhole removed Isimeme Iriogbe as the Commissioner for Transport and replaced him with Orobosa Omo-Ojo. He ordered the towing of over 30 vehicles and seizure of goods during routine inspection. Omo-Ojo, who inaugurated the committee yesterday, said other committees comprising security agencies would be set up to ensure compliance. He urged the committee members to rid the state of roadside traders and faulty vehicles causing traffic jams. The commissioner said: “We deemed it fit to set up the committee to rid the state of debris. We are determined to track down those who have converted our roads to markets despite huge money spent to beautify the city.





Apo killings divide Senate

HERE was tension in the Senate yesterday over the killing of eight persons in Apo Legislative Quarters, Abuja, believed to be Boko Haram insurgents. The Senate named the owner of the controversial uncompleted building as a sister to former President Olusegun Obasanjo, Oluwole Adunni. The building is being managed by her son, Adekunle Salisu. Some lawmakers dissociated themselves from the report of a joint Senate committee that probed the alleged extra-judicial killings. The killings, which took place at Soji Aderemi Close, Apo Legislative Quarters, on September 20, attracted criticism. The Senate considered the report of its Joint Committee on National Security and Intelligence and Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters. The Chairman, Senator Mohammed Magoro (Kebbi South), presented the two volume 65-page report. The committee noted that of the 15 persons arrested and taken into custody by the DSS, four have confessed to be Boko Haram members. It also said majority of the occupants cohabited with Boko Haram elements unknowingly. The committee said: "Intercepts received after the

•Panel says Obasanjo's sister owns building From Onyedi Ojiabor and Sanni Onogu, Abuja

raid and made available by the DSS indicate that the raid was a necessary and timely one, (indeed proactive). It said Suleiman Musa, sect leader, is at large and is being trailed by security agencies. It said "the overall anti-terrorist strategy of the Federal Government is still appropriate and effective but in this particular case the conduct of the operations leaves much to be desired." The committee noted that there is a Boko Haram cell in Abuja planning to carry out terrorist activities in the area. It said "the death of eight people was not a case of extra-judicial killing but the action of an hastily executed operation." The committee also quoted the DSS to have informed it that "it could not be ruled out that the Shoprite Shopping Mall, Abuja, could have been the target of a Boko Haram attack, which was scheduled for September 22 but disrupted by the security raid of the Apo incident. "This is more so as the raided Boko Haram hideout is within the same Apo vicinity as the Shoprite Shopping Mall." The committee said the

agency added that "given the penchant of the sect for sensationalism, it was also not unlikely that the residence of the Senate President, which is not far from the raided hideout, could have been a target of the attack." On the owner of the building where the incident took place, the committee said Adekunle Salisu, owner of the uncompleted building in Apo where the incident occurred "informed the committee that the property belonged to his mother, Oluwole Aduni, the only sister to former President Olusegun Obasanjo, but that the property is being managed by him." The committee added that Adekunle Salisu "further revealed that he inherited the security man, Joseph from Kaduna State, from the site engineer, Gbenga Olumiluwa, when he handed over the site to him in June." The committee said Salisu "refuted the allegation" that he threatened to bring military personnel to forcefully eject the occupants because "he had no cause to say so." According to the committee, Salisu said "he does not have any relationship whatsoever with the military." On whether he collected any rent from the occupants, or aware that the security

guard was doing so, the committee quoted Salisu to have said "he never collected any money from them (occupants) and had no idea if the security man was doing so." But Senator Mohammed Sani Saleh (Kaduna Central), a member of the joint committee, promptly dissociated himself from the report. He said the report digressed from the terms of reference of the investigation and described the operation as "irresponsible and unprofessional." Senator Kabiru Garba Marafa (Zamfara Central) also disagreed with the report because members of the committee failed to say whether the killing was extra-judicial or not. But Senate Leader Victor Ndoma-Egba and Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe disagreed. Ndoma-Egba, who congratulated the joint committee, said terrorism had put the world in a difficult time. Senator Emmanuel Paulker (Bayelsa) noted that the fact that 18 of 20 senators appended their signatures on the report should be a sign of a balanced report. Deputy Senate President Ike Ekweremadu praised the committee and the Senate for their maturity in considering the report.


Lawmaker hails Fed Govt

HAIRMAN, Senate Committee on Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Smart Adeyemi yesterday praised the decision of the Federal Executive Council (FEC) to award contract for the reconstruction of the Kabba/Ilorin road. Adeyemi, who represents Kogi West expressed the appreciation of his constituents to the government for the contract. He said: "I am elated at the news of this contract. It has come as a huge gift to my


From Johnny Danjuma, Lafia

UTHORITIES of the Federal Medical Centre, Keffi, Nasarawa State, have raised the alarm over rising unclaimed bodies in its mortuary. The Medical Director, Dr. Joshua Ndom-Giyan, said the 27 bodies are mainly robbery and accident victims. Ndom-Giyan said the Centre plans to hold its maiden health week soon. He said: "There are 27 unclaimed bodies in our mortuary. We don't know their identities and how to contact their relatives. "The purpose of the Health Week is to enable each department exhibit a high standard of professionalism. "The minister for Health will inaugurate some important projects at the centre shortly. "Projects to be inaugurated include accident emergency units, obstetric gynaecology centre, family planning unit and pharmacy unit."


Police arrest six in Gombe

HE police in Gombe State have arrested six men, who allegedly specialise in stealing and reselling motorcycles. Police spokesman Fwje Atajiri said yesterday they were arrested at 12:25 hrs on Sunday. He said they were caught after they broke into a shop at the Timber Market and stole six motorcycles. Atajiri said their suspicious movement attracted some policemen on patrol.


HE Royal House of Wisdom Ministry (7thDay) a.k.a. Wisdom of God will hold its annual four-day programme, tagged: “No more famine in the land.” The programme will hold at 7, Duru Avenue, Owode Elede Bus-Stop, Mile 12 in Agboyi/Ketu Local Council Area of Lagos State on December 5. The theme is “God’s Ark of Covenant.” PUBLIC NOTICE OLADOSU


Varsity student to die by hanging

MAKURDI High Court on Tuesday sentenced a 100Level Sociology student of the Benue State University to death by hanging for robbery. Justice Adam Onum held that he was satisfied with Jacob Atongo's confession and found him guilty. Onum sentenced the accused to death by hanging, insisting that the sentence prescribed under the law for the offence must be followed. Atongo conspired with two others and robbed Stephen Akuma and several others at gunpoint on June 26,

From Uja Emmanuel, Makurdi

last year. The convict and his accomplices dispossessed Akuma of his Toyota Camry car and other victims of valuables, including money. He also attacked Judges' Quarters, Makurdi, on July 3, last year and robbed 15 people, dispossessing them of various items and money at gun point. The offences contravened the Robbery and Firearms Laws. During the proceedings, the accused pleaded not guilty to the charges and testified for himself with one

witness called by his counsel. The prosecution called seven witnesses and tendered several exhibits, which included two statements made by the convict to the police. In the statements, according to the prosecution, the convict confessed to the crimes. But counsel to the accused E.Z. Agbakor argued that the prosecution failed to prove the case against his client. Agbakor told the court that the accused did not make the statement tendered in court voluntarily, insisting that he was tortured and forced to confess to the offences. He submitted that several

"material inconsistencies and contradictions existed, which cast reasonable doubt on the case of the prosecution." The counsel pointed out that there was no identification parade conducted on the accused, and urged the court to discharge and acquit his client. Prosecuting Counsel Mrs Moji Sule submitted that the prosecution had established every charge against the accused based on the strength of his statements. Sule argued that there was no need for an identification parade where the accused had identified himself by the commission of the crimes.

constituents and everyone is happy. "They have reached me and asked me to express their gratitude to the Federal Government." FEC yesterday approved the N8 billion contract for Kabba/Ilorin road. The contract is expected to last 36 months. Adeyemi said the award of the contract is a promise kept.

Unclaimed bodies in Nasarawa

‘No more famine’

•Former Military President, Gen. Ibrahim Babangida (second left); Deputy Speaker, House of Representatives, Emeka Ihedioha (right); former Chief Justice of the Federation, Justice Mohammed Uwais (second right) and Niger State Governor Babangida Aliyu at a public presentation of a book,"Landmark Constitutional Law Cases In Nigeria 2004-2007: The Atiku Abubakar Cases", in Abuja ...yesterday.

From Onyedi Ojiabor, Asistant Edior and Sanni Onogu, Abuja

I, formerly Mrs Oladosu Nuratu (D.O.B) 21/10/1969 NOW wish to be known and addressed as Mrs Akasoro Muinat Mojisola Olajumoke (D.O.B) 23/04/1974. All former documents remain valid. General public should please take note.

From Vincent Ohonbamu, Gombe

The police spokesman listed the suspects as Isa Lawal (gang leader), Mohammed Gaji, Yakubu Ya'u and Umar Mohammed with Shamsudeen Ibrahim and Danlami Mohammed as receivers. Atajiri said the police arrested Ugochukwu Mbisike, who allegedly tracks people withdrawing money from the bank and rob them. He said Ugochukwu was arrested as he tried to rob his victim, who was changing his tyre. Ugochukwu allegedly spiked his victim's tyre at the bank premises and trailed him to the point where he tried to change the tire.

LOSS OF DOCUMENT This is to inform the general public that the C of O in respect of Plot 16, Block 10, Federal Government Layout at Gwarinpa, Abuja, belonging to David Kehinde ‘M’ of Plot 355 Cadastral Zone CO2 Gwarinpa, Abuja is missing. All efforts to trace same document proved abortive. If found please return to the nearest police station.





Awareness reduces HIV/AIDS among our men, says Navy By Precious Igbonwelundu

THE Nigerian NAVY (NN) yesterday attributed the low HIV/AIDS rate among its personnel to regular awareness and enlightenment campaigns. The Flag Officer Commanding (FOC) the Western Naval Command (WNC), Rear Admiral Ibok Ibas, spoke in Lagos during this year's Health Week lecture at the Nigerian Navy Ship (NNS) Beecroft Base in Apapa. Ibok was happy that naval personnel had become highly enlightened on the danger associated with the illnesses. He said the Navy would continue to enlighten those at its formations to ensure a healthy workforce. The Commander, NNS Beecroft, Commodore Chris Ezekobe, said the Navy had been battling with the high morbidity and mortality rate, especially among its ratings. He said: "This could be attributed to a lack of awareness on their health status and poor management of their prevailing illnesses. "But that has become a thing of the past, because most of these illnesses could be prevented by simple awareness, prompt diagnosis and treatment. "If adequate attention is given to healthy living, the Nigerian Navy would be able to boast an effective workforce, which would be used to achieve its constitutional role in protecting the nation's maritime." Some of the resource persons at the event urged the personnel to extend their mandatory annual medical check-up to all levels of the service. Also, Dr. Lilian Ibe, of the Naval Medical Centre, Naval Dockyard, advised officers, irrespective of their ages, to constantly check their blood pressure to avoid hypertension. She said people do not need to be 40 years and above before checking their blood pressure. According to her, once a person becomes hypertensive, he or she will have to be on treatment for life.

Church holds programme THE Christ Ambassador Church Rock of Ages New Covenant at Ajagun Estate, near Powerline Sefu Elede via Ibafo in Owode/Obafemi Local Government Area of Ogun State will hold a 10-day marathon prayer from today till December 6. The chief host, Prophet P.A. Adelere, gave the theme as "Tomorrow about This Time" Ni Iwoyi Ola 11 King 7:1a. Adelere said miracles will abound at the programme.

Vehicle owners warned THE Lagos State Police command has warned owners of abandoned vehicles parked at Gowon Estate and Alakara Divisions to remove them or lose them to members of the public through auction 21 days after this publication. They are Toyota Corolla AS 977 AKD, Toyota Camry BW 243 JJJ, Toyota Camry DN 359 LSD, and Altima Nissan KH 08 KJA.

•L-R: Governors Peter Obi (Anambra); Sullivan Chime (Enugu), Theodore Orji (Abia); Emmanuel Uduaghan (Delta); Liyel Imoke (Cross River); Dave Umahi (Ebonyi Deputy Governor) with Dr. Willie Obiano (APGA Governorship candidate), after a meeting of the Soutsouth/Southeast governors at the Governors' Lodge, Awka...yesterday. PHOTO: ODOGWU EMEKA ODOGWU

Fed Govt okays N42.69b road contracts


HE Federal Executive Council (FEC) yesterday approved N42.69 billion road contracts across the country. The Minister of Works, Mike Onolememen broke the news to State House correspondents after the FEC meeting presided over by President Goodluck Jonathan. The road projects, according to him, include rehabilitation of three federal roads in Kogi/Kwara, Bauchi/Plateau and Adamawa states and dualisation of one federal road in Kano State.

From Augustine Ehikioya, Abuja

He said: "The Ilorin- Jebba (93.6km long single carriage way) in Kwara State is in favour of Messrs CGC Nig. Limited in the sum of N14, 587,233, 292.17 with completion period of 24 months." "Council also approved the award of contract for the rehabilitation of IlorinOmuaran-Kabba Road in Kwara/Kogi states N8,217,373,106.17 with a completion period of 36 months. Contract for the dualization of Kano-Katsina Road phase 1(Kano town at

Dawanau roundabout Katsina state border in Kano State) in the sum of N14,078,252,565.88 with a completion period of 30 months was also approved by the Council." "Council also approved the award of contract for the rehabilitation of Tumu-PindigaKashere (Gombe State)Futuk-Yalo (Bauchi State) Bashar-Dengi (Plateau State Road : construction of YaloBashar-Dengi Section) in Bauchi State/Plateau State, in the sum of N3,076,381,622.74."' "Council approved the award of contract for the re-

habilitation of Mubi- MaihaSorao- Road with spur from Mubi-Bukula in Adamawa State in favour of Messrs DePacific Investment Limited, in the sum of N2,997, 940, 010.26 with a completion period of 18 months." The Minister of Information and Supervising Minister of Defence, Labaran Maku, who coordinated the press briefing, said that when completed the road projects will enhance transportation, communication and socioeconomic activities as well as improve the living standard of the citizens in the area.

IBB, Tinubu, others, eulogise Atiku at book launch


ORMER Vice President Atiku Abubakar yesterday in Abuja received encomiums at public presentation of a book chronicling his politicalcum-legal battles during his tenure as the Vice President. Between 2004 and 2007, he won 14 different court cases mainly against the administration of President Olusegun Obasanjo, in which he was vice president. Former military President, Ibrahim Babangida who chaired the event described Atiku as a good Nigerian and a good democrat. Governor Babangida Aliyu of Niger State fol-

From Gbade Ogunwale, Assistant Editor, Abuja

lowed suit, describing the former vice president as the best President Nigeria is yet to have. The book, titled: Landmark Constitutional Law Cases in Nigeria 2004-2007: The Atiku Abubakar Cases, attracted a large crowd of eminent Nigerians from judicial, business and political circles. Other dignitaries present at the Shehu Yar’ Adua Centre, Abuja, venue of the event included the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Aminu Tambuwal and

his Deputy, Mr. Emeka Ikedioha. Others included representatives of the governors of Sokoto, Kwara, Enugu and Kano States. A former Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Malam Adamu Ciroma and a number of traditional rulers also graced the occasion. The national leader of the All Progressive Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu was represented by the spokesman of the APC, Alhaji Lai Mohammed. Tinubu said: “Atiku was misunderstood by many Nigerians for resolving his po-

litical crisis through the courts when he was Vice President. But we thank God that the efforts he took in those days have become the bedrock of our democracy today”. The President of the Dangote Group of Companies, Alhaji Aliko Dangote who was represented by Alhaji Issa Yusuf also described the former vice president as a business mentor. Over N50 million was raised at the launch by authors of the book, Professor Maxwell Gidado and Barrister Chidi Ojukwu.

Senate queries minister over N500m SURE-P cash for NYSC


HE Senate Ad-hoc Committee on the Subsidy Reinvestment and Empowerment Programme, yesterday queried the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Senator Bala Mohammed for allegedly spending N500million Subsidy Reinvestment and Empowerment Programme (SURE-P) to rehabilitate the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) orientation camp in Abuja. The committee also faulted Bala for allegedly using the sum of N140million to repair new SURE-P buses in April 2012. The committee also raised eyebrow over the payment of N1billion to the Abuja Investment Company when the agency was supposed to be an income generating establishment. Chairman, Senate ad-hoc Committee on SURE-P, Sena-

•Also N140m to repair new SURE-P buses From Onyedi Ojiabor and Sanni Onogu, Abuja

tor Abdul Ningi, therefore asked the FCT management to forward details of allocation, receipts and payment made with the SURE-P funds which acrued to it since 2012. Members of the Senate committee wondered why a whopping N500m should be spent to rehabilitate the NYSC camp in Abuja when the agency was being, well funded by the Federal Government. The Minister was specifically asked to justify the approval of N140million to refurbish new buses bought in 2012 by the federal government, less than one year after the new buses were purchased. The minister promised to forward statement of ac-

counts and backlog of current account balance. On the N1billion paid to Abuja Investment Company Limited (AICL), Mohammed said the firm was registered under the Company and Allied Matters Act, hence the FCT procured the vehicles for the Mass Transit Scheme through the company. He said the money would be recovered because beneficiaries have accounts and sureties. He said, “They are already paying back. Banks are already approaching us and promised us additional N1.1billion loan because we have a system that is working.” On why FCT administration spent N140million to repair the new buses, Mohammed said, “The indian vehicles we bought, 350 and additional 500 were

not durable so we bought spare parts so that the vehicles will be on the road and our people will not he stranded on the road.” He also added that the rehabilitation of the NYSC followed due process. He said additional 100 new buses would be bought because the ones on the fleet of his ministry’s mass transit scheme were already breaking down and that another N100million lifeline is needed to help the operators build capacity so that the buses wont be breaking down frequently. He described the Abuja Taxi Scheme as an initiative, whereby 160 taxis were bought. Mohammed said: “We have also procured additional 180 taxis. The FCT provides 10 per cent subsidy so that beneficiaries would be able to pay.”

Senate invites Oduah, Aviation chiefs From Onyedi Ojiabor, Assistant Editor and Sanni Onogu, Abuja


HAIRMAN, Senate Committee on Aviation, Hope Uzodinma, has invited the Minister of Aviation, Ms Stella Oduah to appear before it on December 5, it was learnt yesterday. Also to appear with her are Chief Executives of Aviation parastatals. Clerk to the Committee, Aborisade Victor, said in a statement that the meeting between Oduah and the Aviation Committee would take place on December 5, at the Conference Room 022, Senate New Wing by 12.00pm.

Jega: don’t judge me by Anambra poll


HAIRMAN of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Prof Attahiru Jega yesterday begged Nigerians not to evaluate his integrity till after the 2015 general elections. Jega made the call during an interaction with the Civil Society Election Situation Room and Policy and Legal Advocacy Centre (PLAC) in Abuja. He insisted that the tainted November 16 governorship poll in Anambra should not be a parameter to judge his determination to conduct free, fair elections in 2015. Admitting that there were significant lapses and betrayal of trust by some unscrupulous INEC officials, Jega said the commission would ensure that corrupt elements were weeded out before 2015. To that effect, the INEC boss urged the public to give evidence against any staff who engaged in electoral malpractice in Anambra. He said: “We had expected Anambra election to be the best but unfortunately it was not. We did our best, however, from all indications, our best doesn’t seem good enough. “We have resolved that no matter what, we shall retain our sanity and remain focus. I have and will continue to tell Nigerians that there is no need for us to panic at this time. “Like I said previously, though we cannot cancel the election, my promise to Nigerians is that we will not spare anybody who has been found to have sabotaged our efforts. “We have to keep hope alive and continue to build confidence. We must deepen our democratic process. We must prevent reversals. “We will not allow what happened in Anambra to repeat itself. It was very expensive.”



NEWS Anambra 2013

Plot to frame up Ngige uncovered

‘Ekwunife-Obiano suit a ‘smokescreen’ ‘ as trying to We see Mrs. Ekwunife T claim what she can’t get - Anambra HE Interim Publicity Secretary of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Anambra State, Mr. Okele Madukaife, has said the suit between Mrs. Uche Ekwunife and Mr. Willie Obiano is an invitation to a treat and a reminder to a deal, in a business platform, called the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA). He said in a statement yesterday: “In our view, it is an epic wrestling contest in the proverbial Anambra bush between Osa and Uze (two species of squirrels). None of them can claim ownership of the ripe palm fruits. “We see Mrs. Ekwunife as trying to claim what she can’t get - Anambra governorship, even when we acknowledge that Obiano’s multiple registration and lack of qualification to be governor is an unhidden fact that would either make or mar the electoral process. ‘’We do not see the suit as an internal affair, since those stoking the fire are outside APGA and Anambra State. “We see the struggle as a smokescreen to force the hands of a dummy to a follow-up agreement on the N5.7 billion looting formula,

governorship, even when we acknowledge that Obiano’s multiple registration and lack of qualification to be governor is an unhidden fact that would either make or mar the electoral process

which documentation is found everywhere in the state, unfortunately using the Judiciary as a cannon fodder. “In the circumstance, we repeat our call that INEC should prosecute Obiano. “We are not looking forward to the Ekwunife-Obiano smokescreen suit, which would be abandoned when the deal is right, as the solution to the electoral offence of double registration, irrespective of where corrupt officials try to transfer Obiano’s name in the voter register. “We restate that having confessed that the Anambra elections were compromised and some culprits arrested, who have indicted elements

PDP urges members to take part in supplementary poll


From Chris Oji, Enugu

HE Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the Southeast has directed its members and supporters in Anambra to participate in Saturday’s poll. This followed threats by its candidate, Comrade Tony Nwoye and those of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Senator Chris Ngige and Labour Party, Dr. Ifeanyi Ubah, to boycott the election. The trio insisted on cancellation of the poll and a fresh one conducted. PDP, in a statement in Enugu by its National Vice-Chairman, Southeast, Col. Austin Akobundu (rtd), urged members in the affected local governments, wards and polling units to comply with the directive. They were directed to mobilise support for Comrade Nwoye. Akobundu said the Chairman of Anambra PDP, Prince Ken Emeakayi, had also been told to ensure that PDP faithful vote on Saturday He said: “The party expresses its gratitude to members, supporters and the electorate in Anambra State for their support. It appeals to them to vote for PDP and ensure that it wins the supplementary election.”

Ekwunife’s suit begins Dec. 5 From Nwanosike Onu, Awka


SUIT instituted by a governorship aspirant on the platform of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), Mrs. Uche Ekwunife, against Chief Willie Obiano, the party’s candidate, APGA and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), over the alleged multiple registration of Obiano, is to begin on December 5. It was filed at the Federal High Court, Awka and has been assigned to Court II, to be heard by Justice M.L. Abubarka. In the originating summons prepared by Ekwunife’s counsel, Chief Ugo Ugwunnadi, the plaintiff (Ekwunife) wants a declaration that the first defendant (Obiano) by the combined effect of sections 9 (1) (2) (3), 2 and 3 and Section 24 (1) (e) of the 2010 Electoral Act (as amended) is not a validly registered voter in Anambra State entitled to have his name in the state’s voter register kept by the second defendant (INEC). “A declaration that the second defendant is under a statutory duty to delete the name of the first defendant from the voter register kept by the second defendant and prosecute the first defendant for a breach of the 2010 Electoral Act (as amended) in view of Section 12 (1) (2) and (3) of the Act. “A declaration that the plaintiff is the person qualified to the exclusion of all others to be presented by the third defendant to the second defendant as the third defendant’s candidate for the 2013 Anambra State governorship election.”

in the state government, declaring that they did not rig alone, there are only two options left for the Prof. Attahiru Jega-led INEC -correct the error, or resign. “The ‘supplementary poll’



neither rights this wrong, provides a level-playing field for contestants, nor guarantees the rights of Anambra State voters. “The unfolding struggle is a struggle to reassert the freedom of the people to choose their leaders. “As opposed to a dash, we see it as a long-distance race that calls for perseverance, to make Anambra shed the toga of an internal colony of Abuja landlords of power.”

HRIS Ngige Campaign Organisation said yesterday there is a plot by the Anambra State government, official of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) and the security to frame up the All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate, Senator Chris Ngige. It said the government and APGA plan to use people from outside the state to ‘confess’ to electoral offences in the botched governorship poll and blame Dr. Ngige. The organisation said in a statement: “Our source confirms that the mercenaries would be paid between N5 and N10 million to write a statement accepting guilt in offences, ranging from impersonation to forgery and snatching of ballot boxes, on the instruction of Dr. Ngige. “We restate that the APC candidate is above board. He was not involved in pranks and, therefore, not connected with any electoral offence. “Any attempt to hang any electoral offence on his neck through mercenaries will fail. “We restate that only the cancellation of the poll, which stakeholders, observers and the umpire have admitted was marred by irregularities, will guarantee the democratic rights of Ndi Anambra. “The public is informed to be on the alert and expose any plot intended to humiliate Ngige and other progressives. “Our party demands that the reactionary forces involved in this plan should desist before they experience God’s wrath and that of Anambra people.”



FOREIGN NEWS Italy's Senate expels ex-PM Berlusconi


HE Italian Senate has voted to expel ex-Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi from parliament with immediate effect over his conviction for tax fraud. Berlusconi, who has dominated politics for 20 years, could now face arrest over other criminal cases as he has lost his immunity from prosecution. He told supporters in Rome it was a "day of mourning" for democracy. Ahead of the vote, he vowed to remain in politics to lead his Forza Italia in a "fight for the good of Italy". Berlusconi told supporters gathered outside his Rome residence that "no political leader has suffered a persecution such as I have lived through". He said: "It is a bitter day, a day of mourning."



Berlusconi, 77, said his struggle would continue outside parliament. He said: "We must stay on the field, we must not despair if the leader of the centre-right is not a senator any more. There are leaders of other parties who are not parliamentarians." The debate in the Senate had been heated, with two rival senators nearly coming to blows.

Egypt prosecutors order arrest of activists


GYPTIAN prosecutors have ordered the arrest of two prominent activists for inciting a protest in Cairo on Tuesday. Ahmed Maher, head of the 6 April youth movement, and Alaa Abdul Fattah, took part in the demonstration outside the upper house of parliament. Prosecutors also ordered that 24 other activists detained at the protest be remanded in custody for four days on sus-

picion of various charges. They were calling for the repeal of a new law that restricts demonstrations. Yesterday morning, prosecutors announced that arrest warrants had been issued for Mr Maher and Mr Abdul Fattah after investigations showed they had "incited" people to "violate the protest law" by demonstrating outside the Shura Council building.

China 'monitored' US bombers in new air zone


HINA monitored the flight of two US bombers that flew across its newly-declared "air defence identification zone", its defence ministry said. The B-52 planes flew over disputed islands in the East China Sea on Tuesday without an-

409 Nigerians in South African prisons

nouncing themselves, defying new Chinese air defence rules. Japan and the US are strongly opposed to the air zone declared by China. They have accused China of unilaterally attempting to alter the status quo and escalate regional tensions.

HE House Committee on Diaspora has described the increasing numbers of Nigerians in foreign prisons as "ridiculously embarrassing". The Chairman of the committee Hon Abike Dabiri Erewa made this observation after the committee's visit to two prisons in South Africa where 409 Nigerians are being held for various offences. She was accompanied on the visit by Hon Ajibola Famurewa and Hon Umaru Shidanfi both members of the committee, consular officers of the Nigerian Embassy, and executives of the Nigerian Union in South Africa. The committee at an interaction with some inmates were told that some of them have completed their prison terms, yet were still being kept in Jail. The inmates complained of extreme discrimination by the prison authorities in South Africa saying that as Nigerians, they get very bad deal. Sometimes according to the inmates, the authorities tore into pieces their Nigerian passports among several other allegations and refused to grant them bail, while others from other countries that committed similar bailable offence were granted bail. The Chairman of the committee Hon Abike Dabiri Erewa advised the inmates to stay away from crime as obviously it does not augur well, no matter what. While on a visit to the Nigerian High commissioner to South Africa, Ambassador Sonni Samuel Yusuf, the committee commended the em-

bassy for their various interventions and intimated them of the various allegations not only by Nigerians in prison but Nigerians generally in South Africa of discrimination in several areas. The Nigerian Ambassador assured the committee, that the embassy will continue to make the welfare of Nigerians in South Africa their priorities.

In the words of the Ambassador "nobody has the right to seize anyone's passport not to talk of tearing them into pieces". He said issues like that are not peculiar to Nigerians alone but blacks generally in South Africa and African ambassadors in South Africa are deliberating on this issue. He said the embassy will not relent in its efforts to protect

the right and dignity of Nigerians. He also commended the large numbers of Nigerians excelling in South Africa in their various areas of endeavours, adding that the Embassy would continue to ensure that "one bad apple does not spoil the whole bunch" Over 400,000 Nigerians are resident in South Africa.

Moscow police arrest 'armed Islamists'


GROUP of radical Islamists have been arrested in Moscow with bombs, hand grenades and guns seized, Russian police say. They claim the 15 arrested are members of an Islamist group called At-Takfir Wal-Hijra. Police say the arrests were made during earlymorning raids at flats in the east of the Russian capital. Officials said three homemade bombs, detonators and fuses for making more devices were also found. At-Takfir Wal-Hijra was banned by Russia's Supreme Court in 2010 for "inciting interethnic and interreligious enmity", Russia's Interfax news agency reports.

The group has been mentioned in local media reports several times in the recent years as being one of the most active extremist groups in the region. It shares its name with a militant group founded in Egypt in the 1960s, although it is not clear whether the organisations are linked. With just over two months to go before Russia hosts the Winter Olympics in the Black Sea resort of Sochi, these arrests will attract more international attention than usual, says the BBC's Daniel Sandford in Moscow. In recent years the conflict between Russian forces and separatists in Chechnya has fuelled attacks by Islamists.

Syria: Government to attend Geneva peace talks


HE Syrian government has confirmed it will attend peace talks planned for January, but says it is not going in order to negotiate a handover of power. Its delegation to the talks in Geneva will receive direction from President Bashar al-Assad, official media report. It dismissed the opposition's key demand that Mr Assad play no role in any transitional period. Turkey and Iran - who back opposing sides in the conflict

- have united in calls for a ceasefire ahead of the 22 January talks known as Geneva II, Iranian media reports. The Syrian foreign ministry said its delegation to the talks would pursue "the Syrian people's demands, first and foremost eliminating terrorism". Officials routinely refer to all opposition in these terms. Referring to comments by Western and some Arab foreign ministers, who support a move away from Mr Assad's regime, the Syrian

foreign ministry said: "They need... to wake up from their dreams. The uncompromising statement certainly will not encourage the opposition to take the plunge, especially as the regime is politically, diplomatically and militarily in a stronger position than it has been for a long time, our correspondent adds. Earlier this week, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said Syria's government and opposition would both attend the talks.

NEWS Why we dumped PDP for APC, by governors Continued from page 2

ers and they are Senator Bukola Saraki and Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed. According to tradition, we don’t have any particular party in Kwara State as a must. It is where our leaders pitch tent with that we go. We are Sarakites and we have our structure; anywhere we move to we do that en masse. All the executives of the wards, local councils and of the state will move en masse to the party our leaders said they have merged with. To a chieftain of the APC in the state, Alhaji Bashir O. Bolarinwa, merger “is a welcome development.” Nyako said with the high level of impunity under the Tukur leadership no decent man could remain with the PDP. The governor spoke at the Yola International Airport on arrival from Abuja. He warned that unless Nigerians rose to checkmate the excesses of the PDP leadership, which in his view had become more hardened than the worst military despotism, the country may be plunged into ethnic and religious war. “The current PDP leaders have hijacked the party and they seem to have no clue about what it is supposed to be doing at all. It has reduced politics to personal quarrels, blackmail and cheating and no decent man can remain in the party as its antics may lead the country to civil war,” he said. Nyako said the crises in the state chapter of PDP was a fallout of the unjust dissolution of the state executive by Tukur for selfish reasons, adding that all efforts to get the issue regularised proved abortive as the national chairman refused to heed the clarion call of wellmeaning Nigerians to rescind his

decision. Tukur hails from the state. Said the governor: “Many well meaning individuals have called on the national chairman to rescind his action and reinstate the state exco, but he vehemently refused to do so, and the President did not see anything wrong with that, despite the recommendation of many committees set up by the party that the exco be reinstated. We have written letters and articles to get the injustice redressed to no avail as the national chairman was hell-bent on achieving his odious aim.” He added that the country is in turmoil as a result of the failure of the leadership to uphold equity and fairness which, to him, has affected development. When he was asked whether they felt betrayed by the actions of the governors of Jigawa and Niger states who backed out from the defection to the APC, Nyako said the two governors said they were not yet ready to join the merger, “one of them said by the grace of God I shall join you in January.” Nyako will brief his supporters tomorrow on his discussion

with the APC leadership. “I will convene a meeting with my supporters and inform them about our pact with the APC and the agreement reached,” he said According to the governor, part of the agreement reached with the APC leadership is that it is the governors that will oversee the affairs of the party in their states. The expected political activities and fanfare that should have characterised the defection of the Kano State Governor Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso from the New PDP to the APC appeared lukewarm yesterday. At the Government House, nothing had really changed as the PDP flag is still hoisted. On arrival in Kano yesterday, the governor settled for the day’s business by proceeding to the weekly council meeting. His supporters were seen at the Government House discussing the political development in hushed tones. The Director of Press to the Governor Mallam Halilu Baba Dantiye simply said: ‘’When things are clearer, everything will start kicking off.

‘I am shocked by defection ’ Continued from page 2

then move into the home of your arch opponents, that, to me, is an anger so misdirected and it is unfortunate. “We cannot ask anyone not to leave the party if he so decided. After all, soldiers go, soldiers come. If anyone leaves the PDP, many more people will join. It happens every time. “All the same, I seize this opportunity to say to others who want to remain to stay back and join the process of re-building and reforming the PDP.” Tukur urged willing members

of the G7 and other aggrieved members of the PDP to return to the “mainstream” party. He assured that the PDP would always be ready receive returnees back into the fold. “What we are saying is; let us come together as a party to promote the transformation agenda of President Goodluck Jonathan who we elected to lead us in Nigeria. “Let us put behind us crises and bickering so that the President and leaders of the party could concentrate on governance and delivery of the dividends of democracy to all.”

‘Merger will transform electoral system’ Continued from page 2

to happen. For us, it’s a new beginning. It’s a new hope. It’s a new commitment. “The perception alone of having so many governors working together in one party and platform will encourage people to share ideas, share values and encourage them to put their confidence in the electoral system to change the process and make sure one man, one woman , one vote should be the order of the day,” Tinubu said. According to him, the shifting political equilibrium would re-

kindle the expectation of the observing world that opposition is not only existing on paper but “physically present” in Nigeria. Tinubu said APC is working hard to gain power “in an honest and peaceful manner,” which he said “will strengthen the confidence of other democratic observers around the world.” He added: “Nigeria, in responding to this development, must realise that help is here. Hope is here; that we will represent them effective to engender true democracy in the country; that their vote will count; that the

nation will be represented by the leadership that can be trusted. “And if we trust our leaders and encourage them for not breaking promises, they we will develop faster, and we have honesty and transparency in governance, we will eliminate mediocrity – we will be able to focus on developing our country. “This is a blessed nation with human and material resources and we should be able to harness these resources for the greatest interest and number of our people.”

PDP expels Baraje, Oyinlola, Jaja Continued from page 2

tains fair hearing, Babatope responded in the affirmative. He said: “We met last week; we gave them seven days to appear.They were duly informed and so if some people say our action is premeditated, fine. But all we know is that this committee is composed of men and a woman of integrity.” Reacting yesterday, Oyinlola maintained that he remained the

national secretary of the PDP and that his expulsion cannot stand. A statement issued in Abuja and signed by his Principal Secretary, Femi Adelegan, insisted that Oyinlola remained the National Secretary of the PDP and would continue to lay claim to his legal and valid status as the National Secretary of the party. The statement added: “Oyinlola is deeply encouraged by the demonstration of solidarity

by well-meaning Nigerians, locally and abroad; who have continued to call to commend him for his indomitable spirit, endurance, courage and the dutiful manner with which he has continued to respond to the political problems of the PDP.” He denied joining the APC although he was at the meeting on TUesday that preceeded the announcement of the defection of five governors to the APC.

Soldiers deployed to stop APC’s protest Continued from page 2

by states that in exercise of our constitutional rights, the leadership of the APC will go ahead with its planned peaceful procession on Thursday, the 28th of November, to express our dissatisfaction with the corruptionridden INEC and to pass a vote of no confidence on the Commission. ‘’When we wrote this letter, we were quite aware of the ruling of the Appeal Court affirming the decision of Justice Chinyere of the Abuja Federal High Court the in the case of All Ni-

geria Peoples Party v Inspector General of Police (2006) CHR 181 which said, inter alia: ‘If as speculated by law enforcement agents that breach of the peace would occur, our Criminal Code has made adequate provisions for sanctions against breakdown of law and under so that the requirement of a permit as a conditionality to holding meetings and rallies can no longer be justified in a democratic society.’ ‘’Being mindful of the position of the law on this issue, but as a law abiding and a patriotic political party, we nonetheless in

our said letter asked the police to provide us with escort during the procession, in line with international best practices. That the police turned down this request speaks volumes about its disdain for the rule of law. ‘’We will not be deterred by the blatantly-partisan police, who have missed another great opportunity to affirm their neutrality and respect for the rule of law. We will use this march to prove the point that we shall not condone a police command, however partisan or corrupt, abridging our constitutional rights.”



SPORT EXTRA Odemwingie hopeful of Nigeria recall


ARDIFF City striker Osaze Odemwingie has acknowledged that he would love to play for Nigeria in the 2014 World Cup in Brazil if called-up by coach


Stephen Keshi. In an interview with Wales Online, after Cardiff’s 2-2 draw with Manchester United on Sunday, Odemwingie, who has been capped 55 times, said that he would love to play in another World Cup after representing Nigeria in the 2010 World Cup in South Africa. “I was in Nigeria’s squad for the World Cup finals in South Africa and I would love the chance to go again,” he told Wales Online. Odemwingie, believes that if he produces good form for City week-in week-out, the door is always open for a possible Super Eagles’ recall. “Why not?” said Odemwingie. “Certainly, I be-

lieve there is a chance. If it comes I would be delighted. “I haven’t been selected recently because the new coach wanted changes in the team. “First of all, it affected the older players so the situation wasn’t so friendly, but he has made it clear that any player who is active and eligible had a chance for Nigeria for the World Cup finals, so we will see. “Playing for my country in Brazil would mean so much. I was in South Africa with Nigeria during the 2010 edition and it was a great event. “Brazil is maybe even more popular football-wise so it would be great to be part of that if it happens,” he added.

Ndubuoke drums up support for Keshi


EARTLAND chairman, Fan Ndubuoke has strongly supported Super Eagles’ manager, Stephen Keshi to head to the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil with his team. Shortly after Nigeria booked passage to the quadrennial global football showpiece at the expense of Ethiopia, discussions have shifted to whether or not, the former Togo coach should head to the World Cup with his wards or play second fiddle to a foreign superior in Brazil, this has led to Keshi saying he is not scared of being sacked. Ndubuoke said the former Nigerian defender should be given the total support he needs to guide the side to their fifth campaign at the global football event but that Keshi should avail himself of quality advice.

"Nobody should consider sacking Keshi or imposing somebody on him no matter what but he should come down from his Olympian height to seek quality advice from coaches, seasoned administrators as well as media personnel on how to go about his assignment in Brazil. "Keshi will do himself a lot of good to reduce his bossy posture and I-know-it-all attitude as well as avoid the utterances like I don't care if I'm sacked. "No one knows it all, he should listen, take advice and open doors for useful criticisms and suggestions. "I recall the critical role the media played in Nigeria's qualification for her debut at USA '94 FIFA World Cup similar role could still be available to him if he asks for it. "It was inexperience that caused the USA '94 side's pro-

gression in the hands of the Azzurri of Italy. That squad remains the finest till date. "Keshi's biggest challenge is that he doesn't watch the domestic league, he hardly goes round to watch matches. "For the assignment in Brazil to be successful he must move around and pick quality players that will add value to his squad and soften the expected rough edges in Brazil. UEFA CHAMPIONS LEAGUE RESULTS Bayer Leverkusen 0 - 5 Man United Shakhtar Donetsk 4 - 0 Real Sociedad Juventus 3 - 1 FC København Real Madrid 4 - 1 Galatasaray Anderlecht 2 - 3 Benfica PSG 2 - 1 Olympiakos CSKA Moscow 1 - 3 Bayern Munich Man City 4 - 2 Viktoria Plzen





Mourinho to rotate Chelsea squad J

Leighton Baines sidelined for Everton with fractured toe


VERTON left-back Leighton Baines has been ruled out for between 10 days and six weeks after fracturing a toe against Liverpool last Saturday. The 28-year-old was substituted after 50 minutes of the Merseyside derby, which ended 3-3 at Goodison Park. “Leighton has got a fracture in one of the bones in his right foot,” said Toffees boss Roberto Martinez. “It could mean anything from missing six weeks to being back in 10 days. It depends how the fracture heals.” Martinez, speaking to the Everton website, added: “It’s in such a specific spot and we’re going to see how [the injury] reacts. “We need to see how it develops.” Baines has played in every game for Everton this season and has started each of their 12 league games and scored twice. He has also made five appearances for England as he challenges Ashley Cole for the first-team berth in the national side. Baines’s absence will be a blow for Martinez, whose side are seventh in the Premier League and one point off the top four ahead of testing trips to Manchester United and Arsenal in their next three games.

OSE Mourinho plans to rotate his squad throughout December after witnessing Chelsea’s less than convincing progress to the Champions League knockout stages. The Blues were beaten 1-0 by Basle, who claimed the double over the 2012 European champions, but advanced to the last 16 as Schalke drew 0-0 at Steaua Bucharest. Chelsea play the Romanians on December 11 bidding to confirm top spot in Group E, something which eluded them in Switzerland as Mohamed Salah’s strike settled a match in which Mourinho’s men failed to muster a meaningful shot. The limp loss was all the more surprising after the impressive display at West Ham, but Mourinho had made just one change from Upton Park. It is likely he will regularly rotate his options next month, with Sunday’s Premier League contest with Southampton the first of nine matches in a congested period. “Clearly I got signs of fatigue,” Mourinho said. “I got signs of players in trouble to play two consecutive matches in three days. That will push me, for sure, to make different kinds of decisions. That’s obvious. In some positions we have that situation resolved in


a very easy way because we have lots of players to play the attacking positions on the right, on the left, behind the striker. “We’ll make decisions, again not to punish players, because I don’t punish players when I’m not upset and when I’ve found a reason for a not-good performance. It’s not a question of punishment, it’s a question of using the squad and the options we have and to make changes when we have so many consecutive matches.” Mourinho refused to criticise his players, but took little comfort from the performance. He added: “The only positive thing is that we go through, but we don’t go through because we got the result, we go through because Schalke didn’t get the result. That, for me, is not the same. In the end we qualified, which is the first objective, and now we have the last match at home to get the result to finish first. “I want to praise Basle. They won because we were sleeping in the last minutes, but they won also because they were the best team and they deserved to win.” Chelsea striker Samuel Eto’o was taken off on a stretcher in the first half and faces a scan to determine the full extent of his leg injury.

Mignolet hails Suarez and Sturridge link-up at Liverpool

L •Baines

Arsenal focus on “tough” Cardiff, Insists Mikel Arteta


RSENAL midfielder Mikel Arteta has warned his team-mates they must not dwell on their Champions League situation, with a “tough” match against Cardiff City coming up at the weekend. The Gunners beat Marseille 20 in the Champions League last night, but despite having 12 points and sitting top of their group, still need to avoid a three-goal defeat away to Napoli in their last match to secure qualification. Arteta wants the side to quickly turn their attention back to the Premier League though and focus on Cardiff, who held Manchester United to a draw last weekend. “We start thinking about Saturday now and we have time to prepare for the game in Napoli”, the Spanish midfielder told his club’s official site. “Cardiff will be very tough. “That’s why we need to get back and prepare well for Saturday to make sure we get the points again.”

It’s good we play you next,Vertonghen warns United


OTTENHAM Hotspur star centre back has called on his side to show bounce-back-ability against the reigning Premier League champions Manchester United. Having been out-played and humiliated by title-chasing Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium on Sunday, November 24, Tottenham Hotspur fans may have looked forward hoping to face one of the form-struggling sides in the bottom half of the Premier League. However, there is to be no such respite as Spurs are tasked with the challenge of tackling the Manchester United, themselves looking to use the North Londoners as the opportune side to defeat in order to send a message to the rest of the teams in the division… that, despite their inability to hold on to a win against Cardiff City, they can still dispose of the league’s marquee clubs. Fearless defender Jan Vertonghen, 26, believes: ‘it

is a good thing we play Manchester United next.’ Vertonghen has participated in every single minute of Premier League action available to the Lilywhites thus far this season, has completed 90% of his tackling attempts, completed 45 clearances and made 21 interceptions. If Spurs are to contain a United team with a strong attack, led by tireless worker Wayne Rooney, then


Vertonghen will have to produce a five-star performance, something he sounds fully confident of doing as facing United so soon after the City humbling is ‘not a big problem’ as the team can rely on the support of their 12th man at White Hart Lane; the club’s vocal supporters. ‘We are at home and we have the support of our crowd. I am sure we can win that game. It is not a big problem. Of course we didn’t play well against City but we are better than that [and] can solve the problem. We will talk and bounce back on Sunday [versus United].’ Spurs, though, have a fixture before the United clash, as they travel to Norway to take on Tromso in the Europa League on Thursday. It is likely, however, that Andre VillasBoas will field a weakened selection as, with four wins already registered in Group K, they dominate the group and are five points ahead of Anzhi Makhachkala, in second place.

IVERPOOL goalkeeper Simon Mignolet believes Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge have formed the best partnership in the Premier League. Dubbed ‘SAS’, Suarez and Sturridge have scored a total of 20 goals between them for Liverpool this season, and the Merseyside outfit are second in the table and four points off leaders Arsenal following a bright start to their campaign. And Mignolet, who made the switch to Anfield from Sunderland in the summer, hopes the front two can keep producing the goods for the entire season. “I come across them every day in training and I don’t think there is a better partnership than the two of them,” the Belgium international told Sky Sports News. “They can produce a lot of

goals and hopefully they can keep doing that.” Both strikers were on the scoresheet in the 3-3 Merseyside derby draw with Everton on Saturday, with Sturridge coming off the bench to grab a point with minutes remaining, to which Mignolet said: “We know what Daniel can do for us, he can score goals. He came on at the weekend and luckily he was there to equalise.” Mignolet also revealed that he and his team-mates are not getting carried away with the start they have made, and was coy on his club’s chances of lifting the Premier League. “We just take games as they come and try to focus on the next game in hand,” he said. “We try to make sure we get three points there, then do the same the next week. The season is still long and, from now until February, there are a lot of games to be played.’

Suarez (r) and Sturridge




LOC chair satisfied with Games


•Lagos state government presents Scholarship Award to athletes who represented Lagos at the National Sports Festival held in Lagos in 2012. Special adviser to Governor on Education Otunba Fatai Olukoga presenting Scholarship Award of N200,000.00 (Two hundred thousand naira) only to a student of Lagos state Polytechnic, Nwakamma D. Chidimma held at Alausa Ikeja Lagos yesterday. With them Mr. Lateef Ibirogba (3rd left), Mr. Hakeem Bello (right) and Dr. Abiola Awonuga P.S. (See story on page 24) Photo: OMOSEHIN MOSES

Cricket Federation partners NSSF


HE Cricket Federation of Nigeria (CFN) has expressed the desire to partner the Nigeria School Sport Federation (NSSF) to ensure that the game returns to school sports in Nigeria. President of the Cricket Federation, Emeka Onyeama said Cricket was last played in 1985, adding that the sports has what it takes to instil resilience and the determination to succeed on the average child. "We must make efforts to develop Cricket like the Indians and other countries

From Innocent Amomoh, Ilorin

that have used Cricket for Commercial purposes. And make it a viable industry," he said. He said the partnership had become necessary to facilitate the reintroduction of the sports in school sports subsequently. "We want to disabuse our minds of the erroneous belief that Cricket is an expensive sport. We are in partnership with kitting companies in India and some other countries. The

equipment will be made available and cheap," he said. Reacting to the proposal, the President of the NSSF, Ibrahim Mohammad said the partnership is a welcome development as he charged other sports federations to emulate the Cricket Federation. "There's no state in the country that has less than 300 primary schools talk less of the secondary schools. So you now see how many Nigerian kids that will be involved in a particular sport,"

HE Chairman, Local O r g a n i s i n g Committee (LOC) for the 6th National Schools Sports Festival (Kwara 2013), Mrs Rhoda Ajiboye, on Wednesday expressed satisfaction with the level of activities at the Games. Ajiboye told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Ilorin that the LOC had been able to surmount the initial hitches in hosting the event. She said that Kwara accepted to host the Games, even at short notice, because of the need to enhance sports development in the country. Ajiboye said that she was eating from the same pot with participants at the

Games, to ensure that they were being served with good quality food, at all times. She expressed confidence that with programmes like the ongoing fiesta, the nation would soon regain its lost glory in sports, at the global stage. Ajiboye, who is also the Permanent Secretary, Kwara Ministry of Sports and Youth Development, disclosed that arrangements had been concluded to renovate the Indoor Sports Hall of the Kwara stadium. She commended Gov. Abdulfatah Ahmed, for giving the Nigerian youths a chance to develop themselves physically and mentally.

2014 NSF: Coach tips Team Bayelsa to sweep swimming medals


HE Head Coach of Bayelsa Swimming Team, Mr Reuben Amos, on Wednesday boasted that the state team would win all gold medals for the game at the next National Sports Festival (NSF). Amos told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Yenagoa that the team had been preparing hard since May. “Bayelsa as a Coastal state, has the natural talent and qualities for swimming and we are going to be the best among the 36 states at the next NSF in Calabar. My team has been training to get fit and to improve skills to enable them

to actualise the dream in the 2014 sports fiesta. “Team Bayelsa did well in the just concluded fifth edition of the Chief of Naval Staff Swimming Competition in September in Oghara, Delta. We clinched second position while Delta took the first position and we won seven gold and three bronze medals. So, we are good in swimming,” he said. Amos commended the state government for the on-gong upgrading and construction of new facilities for the game. He said that it was a step in the right direction. “The provision of the new

swimming-pool is a good development and I believe it’s going to be the best in Nigeria. I give kudos to Bayelsa Government,” the coach said. Amos, however, said lack of modern facilities for training was the team's main challenge. He, therefore, urged the state government to provide more facilities to promote swimming to international standard. He explained that the provision of modern ground for training would not only help to improve performance but would attract more athletes to the game.

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HAT will President Goodluck Jonathan do to please Nigerians? Even a brief illness – a routine for millions of Nigerians who throng the hospitals when our easily provoked doctors are not on strike – has become a subject of scurrilous attacks on his integrity. Dr Jonathan fell ill the other day in London. In the spirit of the openness and transparency that have characterised his highly successful but much maligned Transformation Agenda (T.A.), his spokesman Dr Reuben Abati issued a statement, saying his principal was “ indisposed” and had sought “precautionary” medical attention. That was all the President’s traducers needed. They pounced on him with the ferocity of a hungry lion. They said Jonathan was not ill, but battling a big hangover after hitting the bottle so hard on his birthday, which coincided with the London trip. Hangover? How? All attempts by Abati to ram it into the heads of the purveyors of this treasonable rumour that his boss is a teetotaller failed. What kind of drink can induce a presidential hangover – if any has ever occurred anywhere in the world? Johnnie Walker? Bicardi Rum? Scorpion Vodka? Scotch Whisky on ice? English Whisky? Cognac on the rock? Brandy with soda or plain Brandy? The debate on the etymology of “hangover”, its politics and social impact has been raging in boardrooms, newsrooms and varsity staff rooms where idle teachers-beer glasses in their hands - have been coming up with strange and scary effects of alcoholism. Teachers have so much idle time now – no thanks to the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) strike – to propound esoteric theories, some of which could actually be treasonable but for the characteristic magnanimity of the Jonathan administration. When is a man (or a woman) said to be having a hangover? Does a hangover indicate a state of recovery from bingeing? Can’t a hangover result from the stress of office? Or a sixhour flight? Do presidents have hangovers? Is a hangover a medical condition? When should a man visit the doctor as a “precautionary” measure? Unknown to his traducers, Dr. Jonathan was already fit as a fiddle after a few hours rest – as prescribed by his doctors. He then went on to attend the Honourary International Investors Council (HIIC) meeting, the opening of which he missed. They, those idle fellows apparelled in critics’ garbs, then launched into another round of wicked speculations. If it was no hangover, how come he recovered so fast? What was the nature of his illness? Waving the Freedom of Information (FOI) Act, they demanded to know Jonathan’s health status. Even when he returned to Abuja and told reporters that he actually had some health “challenge”, the questions did not cease. Wetin be challenge? Tell us if na hangover or no be hangover; chikenah, some said scornfully. Thus, “hangover”, an ordinarily harmless word that is commonly used among beer parlour patrons, pepper soup joints clients, night clubbers and excited street revellers, has found


EAR reader, Hardball will take it that we all know the nursery tale about the Pied Piper of Hamelin, that fellow who blew away with his pipe, the pestilence of rats in Hamelin and subsequently took all the kids of the town in tow. Each time one hears Dr. Akinwunmi Adesina, our honorable Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, speak about his beat, one is instantly reminded of that fabled Hamelinian who was full of charisma and blandishments but whom you would hearken to only at your peril. Recall that Hardball had brought the matter of rice crisis on this platform once before but he might as well have thrown water on the back of a tortoise. Apparently nobody listens, nobody cares; the people leading us have a singularly insular mindset. Why are we revisiting Adesina and his agric empire once again so soon? Stakeholders have shouted themselves hoarse about impending food crisis and a looming hunger in the land but our minister seems lost in his own rarefied world of private jets and five-star hotels to hear or understand. On the other hand, each time he


VOL. 8, NO. 2,681

‘One should avoid throwing stones into one’s own father’s house. A man who wants to be governor can only be governor over a peaceful state.’ JIDE OSUNTOKUN




Needful hangover from above

• Dr. Jonathan

•Prof Jega

its way into national reckoning as part of our presidential lexicon. But, dear reader, today’s column is not about “hangover” and its complex theories. It is all about those words and phrases that have been etched indelibly in our minds this year because of how they have been deployed by some key personalties. By now, those civil servants of old must be ruing the way officialese has been battered by the very people who should be its custodians, all because the civil servant has been relegated to the background by the political appointee. The other day in Abuja, a minister told of how she got a memo for the purchase of two bullet proof cars. In the memo, there was nothing like this: “ I have been directed to inform you that after a careful deliberation and in consideration of the fact that there are security challenges in the country, it has been well advised and it has been so accepted that the ministry should buy two armoured vehicles for the Honourable Minister… . Please, accept the assurances of my esteemed highest regards. Your obedient servant… .” Not anymore. We are in the age of Short Message Service (SMS). The minister – no prize for guessing who she is, dear reader – simply replied: “Do the needful.” You can imagine what the reply would have been in those days. Until the Dependent –sorry, a slip there – Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) deployed it to break the tragic news that was the Anambra State governorship election, nobody really cared about the word “in-

conclusive”. It had no place in our political lexicon. It barged in on us like “annul” did in 1993 when the military regime of the selfstyled president, Gen. Ibrahim Babangida, halted the announcement of that year’s presidential election – Nigeria’s fairest and freest ever – which frontline businessman Chief Moshood Abiola was set to win. INEC agreed that the Anambra election was rendered inconclusive by a cocktail of irregularities – late arrival of materials and officials, voter register confusion (many names were missing), thuggery and sheer sabotage (as in the case of Idemili North) – but refused to cancel the exercise. Why? Any logic here? There is no need for INEC to hang on to its unpopular decision, like a Premier League referee. If it insists that the inconclusive election will stand, does it not imply that the exercise had been compromised ab initio? INEC chair Prof Attahiru Jega is a man of integrity, but this Anambra show has failed all tests of integrity. He need not be scared to do the needful. He should apologise to the electorate for letting them down, pull the brakes on the planned supplementary election – you can’t supplement a doomed ven-


A bloody nose for PDP

EOPLES Democratic Party (PDP) chair Bamanga Tukur says he is “shocked”– I hope his doctors are on the alert for any eventuality– that five of its governors have fled like rats from a sinking ship. The party should, by now, be ruing the day it decided to enthrone impunity over justice and division over unity, setting one group against another and mixing personal interest with party interests, even as it paid little attention to governance. Its loss of five governors –more to follow – to the All Progressives Party (APC) will surely hurt its foolish dream of ruling Nigeria for 60 years. The APC has been called a party of strange bedfellows. But its leading lights have said that the guiding principle is to


Adesina, the Pied Piper of Nigeria climbs down from his high-horse, he throws fictitious statistics and international awards at us hoping to bamboozle us. The first key issue is that without any basis, he has caused the tariff and levy on rice to be increased to 110 percent in lieu of stemming importation and growing the commodity locally. Great idea. But this fellow is not given to sitting down and pursuing anything to a logical end; he seems to have the attention span of an excited teenager. Where is the document backing this grand policy? Where are the stakeholders he works with to actualise this beautiful idea? Zero. Nothing. Meanwhile, huge levies are being collected on every bag of rice coming into Nigeria. This levy is supposed to build a fund to develop local rice production. Where is the rice fund? Zero. Who is managing it? Zero. Where is the account? Zero. We would not complain if only Adesina kept his rice fund and the rest of us suffer no ruinous consequence. But we are paying heavily

ture – and get set for a fresh poll. No need for grandstanding. No need for arrogance. No need for deceit. They called themselves the Group of Seven (G7, for short) but the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) labelled them “rebels”. The seven governors said they were fighting for reforms in the party, threatening that should they not have their way, they would leave. Five of them quit on Tuesday. The PDP leadership thought it was all a joke. Why label them rebels; to bring back memories of the war? Will PDP keep Nigeria at war perpetually? Now, the PDP’s rebels are heroes of the All Progressives Party (APC), which is fighting to save our democracy from the brink to which the PDP has recklessly taken it. As the PDP battled to rein in its “rebel” governors, it got support from the Presidency and the police. The police, following “orders from above”, smashed a ceremony at which new teachers were to be presented letters of appointment in Port Harcourt. The New PDP’s offices in Abuja and Port Harcourt were sealed off after the police got “orders from above”. A meeting of governors at the Kano Governor’s Lodge in Abuja was invaded; the police had “orders from above”. The police should not be deceived; Nigerians know that finding among them a spiritual giant who may be getting heavenly instructions is like finding a needle in a hay sack. Many Nigerians will readily proclaim that “above” is the Villa. Can’t the police be more creative? There are so many other fascinating words and phrases, thanks to the inventiveness of our talented politicians. If they build a public toilet and give youths motorcycles, they call in television stations to beam to us all their “giant strides”. And when it is time for elections, they buy cutlasses and axes for youths–all in the name of “youth empowerment”.Whatever they do, they say it is to “move the nation forward”, even as they, by their actions, engage the reverse gear. No matter what you say about the Nigerian politician, you can’t accuse him of not being creative, most of the time in the negative sense. He knows how to choose his words and use them to the fullest effect.

for this guy’s rascality. First, it has become almost impossible to import rice through Nigeria’s ports because it is very costly while smuggling it through neighbouring countries has become very profitable because of very low tariffs at their ports (about 30%). Because it is so lucrative, smugglers have overwhelmed our Customs thus most of the commodity in the Nigerian market today is smuggled. The result is that Nigeria loses revenue; genuine importers are out of business and the modest, individual effort at growing rice locally is being jeopardised because a bag of smuggled rice is far cheaper than a bag of local paddy (unprocessed rice). According to the Customs, Nigeria loses about $1 billion daily on smuggled rice. Coupled with the Boko Haram activities in northwest Nigeria, many rice farms in Nigeria are abandoned and many plants are in a state of partial shutdown.

save Nigeria’s democracy from the political barracudas in the PDP, which has made a mess of almost all the sectors –economy, education, security and more. The government has been fighting corruption with all its might, but corruption keeps growing. It has been crying rule of law, vowing to respect the constitution, yet impunity rules. It has been sloganeering about free and fair elections, yet ballots get battered. There is no need to cry for the PDP. It has all the opportunities to make life comfortable for us all, but it lacks the tools – leadership and character. Isn’t that what politics is all about? •For comments, send SMS to 08111813080

•Hardball is not the opinion of the columnist featured above What is Adesina’s response to all this: that Nigeria produce 1.1 million metric tonnes of rice in the last dry season and that she is poised to do more in 2013. Inflation had gone down to its lowest since 2008 and that Nigeria received an award from the Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO) for reducing the number of hungry people in Nigeria from 19.3 million in 1990 to 13 million in 2013. Agriculture has employed 25 million youths he said and that the Federal Government has reduced food import by N857 billion. But Hardball can tell you that these have all turned out to be phantom statistics and lies from our agric minister. It is sad that if Adesina leaves this job today, Nigerians would remember him as the man who dazzled so much but had little substance. Nigerians have watched with bemusement how the bright promise that Adesina held turned to a dreadful mirage. CORRECTION: Yesterday this column stated that seven ‘rebel’ PDP governors decamped to APC. As we have found out, only five made the move. Error regretted.

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Nov 28, 2013  
Nov 28, 2013