Nigeria’s widest circulating newspaper
Ajimobi’s wife: I wasn’t arrested
Fashola proposes N497b 2013 budget
NEWS Page 6
•Rumour mongers unfair to me
•Votes N268b for capital projects
VOL. 7, NO. 2296 THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 1, 2012
TR UTH IN DEFENCE OF FREEDOM TRUTH
Oil wells dispute: Revenue agency backs Bayelsa
ESPITE the protest by the Kalabari community in Rivers State, the disputed oil wells will still remain with Bayelsa, a federal agency declared yesterday. Kalabari elders and traditional rulers on Monday staged a protest in Abuja over the alleged ceding of Soku oil wells in Rivers to Bayelsa State, allegedly with President Goodluck Jonathan’s support. The
•Rivers won’t agree, says Amaechi •Kalabari protest in Port Harcourt From Nduka Chiejina, Abuja
President is from Bayelsa. The oil wells in Kula, Soku, Ehem-Sarama, Idama and Abose communities produce 300,000 barrels of crude daily. “The status quo remains – which is that the oil wells, for now, belong to Bayelsa State,” chair of the Revenue
Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC) Elias Mbam, said yesterday in Abuja. The Kalabari elders accused the RMAFC, the National Boundaries Commission (NBC) and other federal agencies of being used by the President to cede the oil wells to Bayelsa, a claim presidential spokesman Re-
uben Abati dismissed as “irresponsible” because, according to him, the federal agencies are independent. Mbam said: “The status quo remains and that is that the wells, for now, belong to Bayelsa state it is an old issue and the RMAFC is not doing anything differently until the NBC completes its
assignment and the Supreme Court gives a final ruling on the matter.” He said the commission “relies solely on the decision of the Presidential Committee on the Verification of Oil Wells of December 2000, comprising the office of the Vice President, National Security Adviser, Continued on page 4
Boko Haram: Police seek public help to nail senators Gunmen kill ex-governor’s associate Lawmaker sues ministers, others
ENATORS Ahmad Khalif Zannah and Ali Ndume are under security watch for their alleged link with Boko Haram, Inspector General of Police Mohammed Abubakar said yesterday. Abubakar urged members of the public to give information that could help
From Yusuf Alli and Gbade Ogunwale, Abuja
in the investigation of the senators. “The senators are still under security watch and we need evidence before we can make progress. So, we are calling on people who have evidence on these senators to come forward. Our investiga-
2015: Akpabio’s deputy quits
tors need evidence to enable them prosecute the suspects.” Zannah represents Borno Central. Ndume represents Borno South in the Senate. The Boko Haram sect is widely believed to have sprouted from Borno State, which has lost huge human and material resources to in-
cessant bombings by the insurgent group, which campaigns against western education. Abubakar, who spoke at the Force Headquarters, Abuja added that investigation into the bribe-for-fuel subsidy clearance involving House of Representatives member Farouk Lawan, was still on.
Lawan was alleged to have compromised his integrity while he presided over the ad hoc committee of the House that investigated payment of fuel subsidy to some real and imaginary importers. Opening a two-day seminar for state and zonal heads of the Criminal Inves-
tigation Department (CID), Abubakar emphasised regular training and capacity building for police investigators. Disturbed by unresolved murders, rape and kidnapping, the police chief urged heads of the various CIDs to be alive to their responsibiliContinued on page 4
SEE WHO IS IN TOWN
KWA IBOM State Deputy Governor Nsima Ekere quit his job yesterday “for personal reasons.” His terse letter of resignation sent to Governor Godswill Akpabio reads: “Pursuant to Section 306 (5) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended), I kindly notify you of my resignation from the Office of the Deputy Governor of Akwa Ibom State forthwith on personal grounds. “I want to thank you immensely for the opportunity to serve Akwa Ibom State and the good people of the state as well in the remaining years of your administration.” A statement signed by Ekere’s Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Inemesit Ina, confirmed the Continued on page 59
•Tennis stars Venus (left) and Serena Williams during a news conference in Lagos...yesterday. Story on Page 59&63
PHOTO: BOLA OMILABU
•CAPITAL OIL SPEAKS ON SUBSIDY SCAM P12 •EDO PROMOTES TEACHERS P58
THE NATION THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 1, 2012
NEWS HURRICANE SANDY
Obama, Romney, swing For President Barack Obama and his main challenger, Mitt Romney, the fear of swing state is the beginning of wisdom. Hurricane Sandy or not, they are finding ways to woo voters from these states, writes OLUKOREDE YISHAU
HE last time it happened was in 2000 when Al Gore slugged it out with George Bush jnr. Al Gore won the popular votes with no less than half a million votes. But Bush won more of the Electoral College and so took the White House. This year, the possibility of history repeating itself is real. This has put both candidates under tremendous pressure in the last days of the campaigns. Though they are being slowed down by Hurricane Sandy, Obama and Romney’s strategists are working behind-the-scene to see that their candidates get the swing states. In United States presidential politics, a swing state is also known as battleground state or purple state. What this means is that a state designated as purple is not in the firm grip of a single candidate or party. No candidate has overwhelming support to secure the electoral college votes. As a result of this, these states are targeted by the two major political parties because winning these states is the best opportunity to gain electoral votes. On the other hand, non-swing states also known as safe states, are either Republican or Democratic. So, candidates concentrate less campaigns in these states. Many of the Southern states, such as Texas, Mississippi, Alabama and South Carolina are historically conservative and in the firm grip of the Republican. Wyoming, Utah, Idaho and Nebraska are also in this group. The Democrats usually have a safe passage in California, Vermont, Massachusetts, Oregon, Hawaii, Connecticut, Illinois, Rhode Island, and New York. Based on this knowledge, each candidate does less campaign in their stronghold and spend time, money, and energy in the swing states. University of Oregon political science Prof. Joel Bloom mentioned three factors in identifying a swing state. These are: “examining statewide opinion polls, political party registration numbers and the results of previous elections.” Ohio’s reputation as a swing state started in the 1980s and it has since titled towards Democrats. One state to watch closely is Maine. Reason: Democrats have won the last five presidential elections. Obama won by 17 percentage points in 2008. There are, however, concerns that Romney’s Northeastern roots could change the equation. Michigan, where Romney was born and raised, is also worth watching. His father was a popular governor of the state. But the competition with Obama will be rooted in the economy – not nostalgia. The Obama administration’s rescue of the auto industry, opposed by Romney, is key here. Minnesota‘ , where Democrats have won in the last nine presidential elections, also seems a safe ground for Obama. Despite the fact that Democrats seem to have an upper hand here, the Obama campaign is leaving nothing to chance.
The storm is not over yet. We’re going to continue to push as hard as we can to provide resources…no bureaucracy, no red tape... I want everyone leaning forward on this. I don’t want to hear that we didn’t do something because bureaucracy got in the way
•Obama (right) and Romney: who carries the crown?
New Mexico promises some drama. It has an history of hardfought presidential elections. But despite the fact that Republicans won the state in 2004, it is still viewed as Democratic-friendly. For Obama, Nevada‘ may not be easy to take given the fact that its economy has dimmed under his administration. It has the highest •New York's LaGuardia Airport remains closed yesterday as thousands of travellers are stranded in the city devastated rates of home foreclosure and un- by Sandy employment. Romney can capitalise on this. But Obama still has a strong appeal to Latino voters and this may prove decisive in who always emerged the president. Un- terday during which he toured the Virginia Gov. Robert F. McDonnell der Obama, the state’s economy has damaged areas with Republican said the Obama administration’s rewins the state. Over the years, Pennsylvania has steadily improved. This could help Governor Chris Christie, a regular sponse was “incredibly fast and tilted more towards the Democrats Obama win the state again. But critic, has furthered his re-election we’re very grateful.” He said Obama has been “direct in presidential races. A Quinnipiac Romney is not giving up. So, the bid. Christie has heaped praises on him in the aftermath of the storm, and personal” in his approach to University/New York Times/CBS president cannot relax. Until recently, Virginia was not saying that “the president has been the disaster, saying that during News poll gives Obama an edge of considered a purple state. all over this and he deserves great natural disasters, “partisanship 11 per cent points. Hitherto deeply conservative, it credit”. goes out the window.” The Rocky Mountain West state seems to be changing with the Obama’s handling of the disaster, He added: “The election’s going of Colorado‘ was a major victory point for Obama in 2008. Before population shifts in its North. said analysts, is a contrast from to come, but it says a lot about the then, the state was won by the Re- Obama won the state by seven per Hurricane Katrina in 2005. The then president, and it makes me feel publicans in eight of the last nine cent in 2008. But the two candidates President, George W. Bush, and good to be an American that people presidential elections. Can Romney have conceded that they have no then Louisiana Governor, Kathleen have had the right focus.” clear hold on the people. Blanco, engaged in finger-pointing. The president has also take it back for the Republicans? What role will Romney’s choice Bush was a Republican president. downplayed campaign in order not One state that not a few is looking out for in the presidential race of Representative Paul Ryan play Blanco was a Democratic governor. to mismanage the situation. White is Florida‘ . This state won by in who wins Wisconsin? Ryan is But Obama has looked beyond par- House advisers, such as David Obama in 2008 was where Bush jnr from the state. Democrats narrowly tisanship. For him, disaster has no Plouffe and Chief of Staff Jacob Lew, are working with him to engot the edge in 2000 earning the won the state in the last six presi- party affiliation. Obama said: “The storm is not sure everything goes right. reputation of the most famous dential contests. Ryan’s entry has A top aide for Bush’s 2004 reelecbattleground state in America. But made it a true battleground state over yet. We’re going to continue what role will the fact that under and the candidates are not giving to push as hard as we can to pro- tion effort Matthew Dowd said vide resources…no bureaucracy, no Obama has used the power of his Obama its economy has been sour anything to chance here. Interesting days sure lie ahead. red tape.” incumbency and “done just exactly play in who they cast their votes An aide said he told an emer- what he needs to do.” for? A storm in president gency meeting: “I want everyone “The longer they can have him There is also Iowa‘ , where RomObama’s favour leaning forward on this. I don’t being the president and not a canney has expended energy and reThough campaigns have been want to hear that we didn’t do didate, the better for them,” Dowd sources in order for Obama not to repeat his 2008 record. The slowed down by the historic Hur- something because bureaucracy got said. But Romney has not allowed president’s poll ratings in this state ricane Sandy, it has provided in the way.” D.C. Mayor Vincent C. Gray said himself to just lie low in this critiis lower than other nearby states. Obama with a commander-in-chief Though it has six electoral votes, moment. Coming a week before Obama told the governors and cal hour of need. He has found a this may prove very important in a Election Day, the president is get- mayors of the thirteen affected role for himself by holding a relief ting praised where he used to get states and the District of Columbia event in Ohio to collect donations close race. that they “can call the White House for storm victims. Reporters tried New Hampshire‘ also appears knocks. Democratic and Republican gov- directly themselves” if they encoun- to complicate his situation when slipping off Obama’s grip. Here they asked him whether he was reRomney is seen as home boy. He ernors are commending the perfor- ter any bureaucratic red tape. Several high-ranking Republicans considering his earlier position that mance of the Obama administrahas an holiday home there. For Romney, Ohio is critical to tion. Romney is the loser for this, have praised Obama. Chair of the disaster management should be the Republican Governors Association business of the states. He declined taking the White House. In the last said some analysts. Obama’s trip to New Jersey yes- and a leading Romney surrogate comment. presidential election, its choice has
THE NATION THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 1, 2012
NEWS HURRICANE SANDY
states and Sandy
Transportation mess slowly untangles SOME New York City ground transit and airports are coming back to life yesterday. After days of canceled flights and stranded travelers, two New York-area airports — John F. Kennedy and Newark Liberty — were scheduled to reopen yesterdaywith limited service. But New York’s LaGuardia Airport was to remain closed yesterday because of significant damage. The city’s massive subway system will stay offline for several more days as workers try to bring the inundated underground network back to life. New York’s bus service will resume a nearly full schedule yesterday, but it probably won’t accommodate the five million commuters who rely on the subway every day. Police in New York coped with crime. Thirteen people have been arrested there, and most of them were charged with looting Tuesday in the wake of Superstorm Sandy, CNN affiliate WABC reports. Much of the looting took place on Coney Island in Brooklyn.
Rooftop rescues in Staten Island BLOOD shortage due to Sandy Likewise, the transportation headaches are far from over in New Jersey. The rail operations center of New Jersey Transit was crippled by eight feet of water, and an emergency generator was submerged, officials said. Floodwater damaged at least 65 locomotive engines and 257 rail cars. It will be weeks before service resumes on the New Jersey coastline. “There is major damage on each and every one of New Jersey’s rail lines,” Christie said. “Large sections of track were washed out.” Authorities reported a fire in Mantoloking, a New Jersey shore town between the Atlantic Ocean and Barnegat Bay.
Effects of the storm, state by state
• Strong winds blew these boats free of their moorings at a marina in Brant Beach on Long Beach Island on the New Jersey shore
IN Philadelphia, commuters were more fortunate. The Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority said regional rail service was expected to resume yesterday morning. States farther west are grappling with Superstorm Sandy’s dramatic encore — a blizzard that dumped 3 feet of snow in West Virginia and left hundreds of thousands in the shivering cold.
Still in the dark
EARLY yesterday, at least 6.2 million electric customers across the Eastern United States were still in the dark. At one point, about 300,000 people in West Virginia were without power. That number dropped to 236,000 yesterday morning. But residents can’t necessarily count on the power staying on long. As snow continues falling, so do power lines and tree limbs — meaning residents are still at risk of going cold.
How Sandy will test Obama, Romney
• Sandbags line luggage drop off desks at Newark Liberty International Airport in New Jersey
For survivors, it’s time to pick pieces
EOPLE in the coastal corridor battered by superstorm Sandy yesterday took the first cautious steps to reclaim routines upended by the disaster, even as rescuers combed neighborhoods strewn with debris and scarred by floods and fire. But while New York City buses returned to darkened streets eerily free of traffic and the New York Stock Exchange prepared to reopen its storied trading floor yesterday, it became clear that restoring the region to its ordinarily frenetic pace could take days — and that rebuilding the hardest-hit communities and the transportation networks that link them together could take considerably longer. “We will get through the days ahead by doing what we always do in tough times — by standing together, shoulder to shoulder, ready to help a neighbor, comfort a stranger and get the city we love back on its feet,” New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg said. By late Tuesday, the winds and flooding inflicted by the fast-weakening Sandy had subsided, leaving at least 55 people dead along the Atlantic Coast and splintering beachfront homes and boardwalks from the midAtlantic states to southern New England. The storm later moved across Pennsylvania on a predicted path toward New York State and Canada. At the height of the disaster, more than 8.2 million lost electricity — some as far away as Michigan. Nearly a quarter of those without power were in New York, where lower Manhattan’s usually bright lights remained dark for a second night. But, amid the despair, talk of recovery was already beginning. “It’s heartbreaking after being here 37 years,” Barry Prezioso of Point Pleasant, N.J., said as he returned to his house in the beachfront community to survey the damage. “You see your home demolished like this, it’s tough. But nobody got hurt and the upstairs is still livable, so we can still live upstairs and clean this out. I’m sure there’s people that had worse. I feel kind of lucky.” Much of the initial recovery efforts focused on New
York City, the region’s economic heart. Bloomberg said it could take four or five days before the subway, which suffered the worst damage in its 108-year history, is running again. All 10 of the tunnels that carry commuters under the East River were flooded. But high water prevented inspectors from immediately assessing damage to key equipment, raising the possibility that the nation’s largest city could endure an extended shutdown of the system that 5 million people count on to get to work and school each day. The chairman of the state agency that runs the subway, Joseph Lhota, said service might have to resume piecemeal, and experts said the cost of the repairs could be staggering. Power company Consolidated Edison said it would be four days before the last of the 337,000 customers in Manhattan and Brooklyn who lost power have electricity again and it could take a week to restore outages in the Bronx, Queens, Staten Island and Westchester County. Floodwater led to explosions that disabled a power substation Monday night, contributing to the outages. Surveying the widespread damage, it was clear much of the recovery and rebuilding will take far longer. When New Jersey Governor Chris Christie stopped in Belmar, N.J., during a tour of the devastation, one woman wept openly and 42-year-old Walter Patrickis told him, “Governor, I lost everything.” Christie, who called the shore damage “unthinkable,” said a full recovery would take months, at least, and it would likely be a week or more before power is restored to everyone who lost it. The New York Stock Exchange was again silent Tuesday — the first weather-related, two-day closure since the 19th century — but trading resumed yesterday morning with Bloomberg ringing the opening bell. And in New York, residents of the flooded beachfront neighborhood of Breezy Point in returned home to find fire had taken everything the water had not. A huge blaze destroyed perhaps 100 homes in the close-knit community where many had stayed behind despite being told to evacuate.
HE hurricane that is blowing through the East Coast has threatened to create the kind of unpredictable havoc in this election that presidential candidates always fear. With all the scripted television spots and carefully choreographed live appearances, Hurricane Sandy is generating fear that might push the campaign in directions that nobody has expected. Mitt Romney and President Barack Obama, and their circles of advisers, •Zelizer are likely glued to the weather By Julian Zelizer coverage, trying to figure out which way this hurricane will make the election winds blow. Social scientists have studied the impact of extreme weather on elections in American history, such as the ways in which Hurricane Andrew in Florida affected the 1992 contest between President George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton But the severity of the unfolding hurricane, which will stretch across several states if the worst predictions come true, might be more dramatic than anything we have seen in a long time. The hurricane will pose a huge test for Obama in the next few days, one that will make the debate in Denver look like child’s play. As voters, particularly those who are undecided, deliberate over whom they should support, they will watch Obama as he navigates through the storm and the post-storm clean-up. The crisis offers an opportunity for him to act presidential in a way for which some voters are thirsting and to demonstrate the kind of command that has often been lacking. He does not want to be an echo to President George W. Bush’s response to Hurricane Katrina, which became a symbol of incompetence. At the same time, there is little that Mitt Romney can do, other than watch to see what people think of Obama’s response, because any statement from him could easily become seen as political and offer little evidence of his own ability to lead. The storm has already forced the campaigns to alter their short-term strategies. Already, both campaigns have canceled events in key states such as Virginia that are in the eye of the storm. Romney will certainly have to pull some of the television spots that he has been getting ready to unleash in the final days of the campaign. Romney’s strategy has focused on saving for a last-minute advertising blitz for which he planned to unload his campaign’s coffers. Republicans didn’t count on a storm getting in the way. As Americans watch to see their fellow countrymen and women struggling through a crisis, they won’t want to be bombarded with 30-second attack ads. The Romney campaign will have to quickly think of ways to redesign their ads in certain states so that they fit the moment and provide voters with hope about new leadership rather than take the risk of generating criticism of the GOP being too petty and political, as occurred with Libya. Romney’s team will have to redirect some of their energy toward states not affected, leaving the airwaves silent in the other states, waiting to see whether Romney has the momentum that can carry him. •Zelizer, a professor of History and Public Affairs at Princeton University, wrote this piece for CNN.
THE NATION THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 1, 2012
•Kalabari elders protesting against alleged ceding of Rivers oil wells to Bayelsa State in Port Harcourt...yesterday.
PHOTO: BISI OLANIYI
Senators under security watch over Boko Haram Continued from page 1
ties. But he cautioned the officers to respect the fundamental human rights of the citizenry while carrying out investigations. According to him, torture must not be one of the tools of investigation. Besides, those being investigated for bailable offences must be given bail without delay. “We need to partner the Nigerian people for a 21st century policing whereby things are done professionally, in accordance with the rule of law and respect for the dignity of the human person,” Abubakar said. Zanna has filed a N5billion suit against the Minister of Defence and three others for alleged libel and mental trauma when the Joint Task Force (JTF) claimed that a suspected Boko Haram Commander,
Gunmen kill ex-Borno governor’s associate
OME gunmen yesterday shot dead Alhaji Mustapha Flawama, an associate of former Borno State Governor Ali Modu Sheriff. Although not a member of the state executive council, Flawama, 62, was a member of Sheriff’s inner caucus during his tenure between 2003-2011. Residents said the gunmen trailed the deceased to his house at Polo area of Maiduguri. “They came around 10.30am in a tricycle and met him within the premises of his house. Without delay, they manoeuvred their way and fired several gun shots into his head and chest. He died on the spot. The assailants sped Shuaibu Mohammed Bama, was arrested at his residence in Maiduguri. Other defendants are the Chief of Defence Staff, the Attorney-General of the Federation, and the spokesman for the JTF, Lt.-Col. Sagir Musa.
off, a resident said. They also targeted police formations and schools. The Chibok Divisional Police Station, a Bible and primary schools and telecom masts of GSM firms in Chibok town were burnt down. Chibok is 130 kilometres south of Maiduguri. According to an eyewitness and resident of Chibok, the gunmen came in two unmarked Golf Volkswagen vehicles armed with petrol-bombs and Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) to attack the police station and the schools at dusk.
Zanna, who is still being investigated by the State Security Service (SSS), deposed to a 19-point affidavit in support of the action in which he insisted that Bama was not arrested in his house. In the writ of summons filed by his counsel, Mr.
Gbenga Olagundoye, the senator is “claiming N5billion jointly and severally against the defendants (including aggravated damages) for libel”. The senator said that the words “ published concerning me, meant and were unContinued on page 59
Kalabari protest in Port Harcourt
HE monarchs, chiefs, elders and other Kalabari people from Akuku-Toru, Asari-Toru and Degema Local Government Areas of Rivers State continued their protests in Port Harcourt yesterday. The Kalabari protesters, led by the Amanyanabo of Abonnema, King Gbobo Bobmanuel, in their thousands, clad in black attire, with placards and banners, while chanting war songs, moved from the popular Isaac Boro Park to the Government House, Port Harcourt. Addressing the protesters’ Rivers State Governor Rotimi Amaechi said the Federal Government, last month, released N17 billion from Soku Gas Plant in AkukuToru LGA of Rivers State to Bayelsa State, instead of paying the money into an escrow account, pending the resolution of the boundary dispute. Chairman of the AkukuToru Traditional Rulers’ Council Special Boundary Commission, Chief Emmanuel Awoyesuku-Jack, said the boundary dispute was triggered by ex-Bayelsa Governor Timipre Sylva, when he visited the Soku gas plant. Awoyesuku-Jack said Soku people and AkukuToru Local Government Council, protested Sylva’s visit, which they described as a breach of protocol. He said: “President Jonathan is personally responsible for the boundary dispute between Rivers and Bayelsa States.” The three Kalabari LGAs have 1,600 oil wells, while the disputed oil wells produce 300,000 barrels of crude oil per day, while the proceeds, according to the Supreme Court judgment of
From Bisi Olaniyi, Port Harcourt
July 10, should be paid into an escrow account, pending the resolution of the boundary dispute. A former Vice-Chancellor of the University of Port Harcourt (UNIPORT), Prof. Nimi Briggs, a Kalabari, urged the Federal Government to do the right thing, in the interest of peace and justice. The lawyer to Kalabari people, Ibim Dokubo, insisted that his people would continue to say no to stealing of their wealth and money and would resist being balkanised, while declaring that the boundary dispute had its origin traceable to the President, when he was Bayelsa’s deputy governor. Bayelsa State was created out of the old Rivers state on October 1, 1996, during the regime of the late General Sani Abacha. Yesterday, the Kalabari protesters carried banners some of which read: “Don’t let the Niger Delta boil again. Be warned”, “Jonathan, please rule with the fear of God”, “Kalabari will resist every attempt to divide and steal our land”, “We stand by the 10th administrative map of Nigeria”, “For the sake of peace, return Soku to its rightful owners”, “Don’t divide Akuku-Toru LGA, don’t steal our land and resources, what you sow, you will reap.” The protesters, through their leader, King Gbobo Bobmanuel, who is the Amanyanabo of Abonnema, at the gate of the Government House, Port Harcourt, presented their protest letter to Rivers Deputy Governor, Tele Ikuru.
Oil wells dispute: Revenue agency backs Bayelsa against Rivers Continued from page 1
Department of State Security, National Boundary Commission RMAFC, the Nigerian Navy, DPR and the office of the Surveyor General of the Federation,” which retained the wells in Bayelsa State. He added that the commission was holding on to the Supreme Court judgment of July 10, which stated that “until the National Boundary Commission concludes its exercise of delineation of the disputed boundary to finality, it will be futile and premature to determine the boundary of the two states in present circumstances. However, the appropriate order to be made in the prevailing circumstance is that of striking out the plaintiff’s suit.” Mbam said the claims of the Kalabari National Forum, led by Awoyesuau-Jack, a traditional ruler, alleging that some public officials connived to take away some communities from Rivers state and hand them over to Bayelsa State for political reasons is baseless, malicious and a calculated attempt to misinform the public and embarrass the RMAFC. He urged all parties to exercise restraint and allow peace to reign while the National Boundary Commission completes its assignment on
Amaechi: we won’t allow Bayelsa to collect Rivers oil wells
IVERS State Governor Rotimi Amaechi talked tough yesterday on oil wells dispute between his state and Bayelsa – the President’s home state. “We won’t allow the ceding of our oil wells”, he said. Amaechi spoke while opening a legislative capacity building programme for the Rivers State House of Assembly in Calabar, Cross River State. He said Rivers and Bayelsa states had never had issues with boundaries, which according to him, are well known to all. He added that since the creation of Bayelsa State, there has been no law or agreement ceding any part of Kalabari communities or Rivers State to Bayelsa State. Said the governor: “We will not allow the attempt by the Bayelsa State government to collect our oil wells. I have read what the Bayelsa State governor said. That the 11th edition of the (administrative) map (of Nigeria) gave them the oil wells. When? They didn’t talk about the 1st edition to the 10th edition; they chose to avoid that, and went to the 11th edition, but the question they should answer is, why avoid the delineation of boundaries between the two states. The RMAFC boss said Bayelsa State has sent a petition to the commission, and the RMAFC has constituted an inter-agency committee, comprising the National Boundary Commission, De-
the previous editions?” “But the Federal Government came to court and said, ‘oh we made a mistake in the 11th edition; we will correct it’. They should correct it; the documents were filed by their lawyers, not our lawyers. All we want is for the Federal Government to go back to the 10th edition and correct everything... “Bayelsa State was created so many years ago. There has been no law ceding that part of Kalabari kingdom to Bayelsa State. Now, when did it suddenly change? It changed in 2006, but I don’t want to join issues. I want the Kalabari people to represent themselves and I will stand behind them, and all what we are saying is that they should look from the 1st to the 10th edition (of the administrative map) and not an imaginary 11th edition.” He went on: “It won’t work; it will certainly not work. No matter how they try to intimidate the agencies of the Federal Government, we will continue to go to court and let our people know that the agencies of the Federal Government are being intimidated; that is what we are saying.” Amaechi urged Rivers people to stand
partment of Petroleum Resources (DPR), the office of the Surveyor General of the Federation and the offices of Surveyors-General of Bayelsa and Rivers states. The committee, he said, will look at the details of the petition to determine where
behind his administration to ensure justice, equity and fair play in the “sudden” claims by the Bayelsa State Government. “All we want is for Rivers people to stand by us; Soku community has been in Rivers State long before Bayelsa State was created. Elem- Sangama is not a ward in Bayelsa State, but they said they don’t want territory, they want derivation, how can that work? Does oil come from the air? He has already answered the question for us, but we must struggle to get back our oil wells.” Amaechi said. He added: “Very soon, we shall present the Appropriation Bill. The kind of bills you have passed into law are useful to the people.” Cross River State Governor Liyel Imoke said no compensation was paid to Bakassi indigenes that are passing through hard times. “A whole local government area was collected and handed over to Cameroon and till now, no compensation has been paid to my people. I think it is right for the federal government to look at this problems critically,” Imoke said.
the disputed oil wells belong. The DPR will determine the content and quantity of the oil wells. The National Boundary Commission, Mbam said, will have to complete its assignment first before the determination of which state owns
the wells, but he expects the NBC to finish in good time so that other activities will follow. On the 13 per cent derivation funds that is now a source of controversy between the states and oil producing communities, Mbam
said: “As of today, the RMAFC Act does not allow the commission to release money to communities but we have advised state governments to use the 13 per cent derivation fund to develop the communities where oil exploration takes place. The 13 per cent derivation fund, according to him, is meant to address the challenges that may arise as a result of oil production. He maintained that the money should be used to address such challenges. Mbam urged aggrieved oil producing communities to come forward and make presentations at the review of the new revenue formula, on how best the 13 per cent derivation should be handled in the review. Mbam said lack of funds has delayed the review and eventual release of the much expected revenue formula. “The success of the review Continued on page 59
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THE NATION THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 1, 2012
NEWS Kaduna bomb explosion: Security agencies identify mastermind, launch manhunt ARELY four days after a suicide bomber killed eight people and
injured 145 in Kaduna, security agencies have uncovered the mastermind of the blast and his operational base. They have launched a manhunt for the mastermind who reportedly relocated from Kaduna immediately after the blast. There was security alert yesterday following the leakage of a likely teleconference in Maiduguri today by the Boko Haram leadership. It was learnt that reporters in Maiduguri had been informed about the teleconference. There were indications that while some leaders of the sect wanted a shift of the confer-
From Yusuf Alli, Managing Editor, Northern Operation
ence, others favoured it. According to findings, security agencies have identified the coordinator of the bomb explosion and his operational base in Kaduna. A highly-placed security source said: “Preliminary investigation into last Sunday’s incident has revealed the identity of the coordinator of the blast. Also, security agencies were able to locate the operational base of the mastermind. “The suspect, however, relocated from Kaduna after accomplishing his mission at St. Rita’s Catholic Church in Kaduna. “We have launched a manhunt for him. We will soon
arrest him because we have been trailing him.” The source added: “We have established that the fleeing suspect was the ‘key’ mastermind of the blast. “We uncovered his operational base, but for strategic reasons, we will not give the details until he is caught.” Responding to a question, the source said: “The security agencies are on top of the challenges posed by violent groups such as the Boko Haram. “You should realise that terrorism is a new security problem confronting the nation. But we are responding to it. “The Federal Government is also collaborating with international agencies to ad-
dress the problem.” Meanwhile, there was security alert yesterday following alleged plans by the Boko Haram to hold a teleconference in Maiduguri today. Another source said: “We have placed security agencies on the alert following a notice to reporters in Maiduguri that Boko Haram might open up today on the recent bombings. “We learnt that while some of their leaders were opposed to the briefing, others favoured it. “Whatever it is, we are eager to know what they will say and we will respond appropriately.”
NYSC postpones orientation in Bayelsa, Borno, Yobe From Bukola Amusan, Abuja
HE orientation for 2012 Batch ‘C’ National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) members will begin on November 6 nationwide, except in Bayelsa, Borno and Yobe states. A statement issued by the Head of Press and Public Relations Unit in the NYSC Directorate Headquarters, Mrs. Abosede Aderibigbe, said the postponement of orientation in Bayelsa State is as a result of the recent flood, which led to the accommodation of displaced persons at the NYSC Permanent Orientation Camp in Kaiama. The statement further said security challenge is one of the reasons for the postponement of orientation for corps members posted to Borno and Yobe states. It said the NYSC members posted to the three states will begin their orientation from November 28 till December 19 at the NYSC camps in Kaiama Grammar School, KolokomaOpokuma Local Government Area of Bayelsa State, Wanune in Tarka Local Government Area of Benue State and Magaji Dan Yamusa in Keffi, Nasarawa State.
Reps to begin probe of Education Ministry, federal universities From Victor Oluwasegun and Dele Anofi, Abuja
HE House of Representatives is to begin the probe of the Ministry of Education and all agencies under the ministry to ascertain how funds budgeted have been utilised from 2007 to 2011.The investigation will also encompass all the federal universities, polytechnics, colleges of education and unity schools across the country. In an exclusive interview with The Nation yesterday, the Chairman of the House Committee on Public Accounts, Solomon Olamilekan Adeola, said the committee is embarking on the probe of the ministry from 2007 to date to ascertain what the huge funds that have been sunk into the ministry and all the agencies under it have been used for. According to him, despite the huge funds provided for the ministry, the standard of education has fallen. The budget for the education sector in 2012 stands at N486 billion- one of the highest sectorally. Concerning the proposed investigation of the ministry, its agencies and parastatals under it, he said:“‘We have divided the investigation into two fronts. We have the Auditor General’s report. Many of the agencies of the Education Ministry and parastatals have numerous queries raised by the office of the Auditor-General relating to the activities of the ministry for the past six to seven years. Visible among them is the main ministry that has about eight years AuditorGeneral’s report, that is from 2004 to 2011.” •From right: Vice-President Namadi Sambo; Governor Liyel Imoke of Cross River State and Governor Godswill Akpabio of Akwa Ibom State during the Special Boundary Meeting at the Presidential Villa, Abuja... yesterday.
‘Politicians tempt judges with money to influence election petition’
•Ogun State Governor’s wife Mrs. Olufunso Amosun presenting a Certificate of Recognition to Folarin Oluwasayo David as the Best Pupil in the West African Senior Secondary School Certificate Examination in May/June 2012 from Abeokuta South Local Government Area during the uplifting of SS3 Students Public Presentation in Abeokuta...yesterday
Yemen LNG gas pipeline blown up again GAS pipeline feeding Yemen’s only liquefied natural gas (LNG) export terminal was blown up again on Tuesday night, the operating company said yesterday. “Yemen LNG confirms the sabotage of the 38 inch gas pipeline that links the block 18 to the Balhaf terminal on the Gulf of Aden,’’ said the company, run by France’s Total. “The explosion occurred at 2200 on October 30, 2012 at 295
km north of Balhaf Liquefaction Plant.’’ Yemen’s oil and gas pipelines have been sabotaged repeatedly since antigovernment protests last year created a power vacuum, which armed groups have exploited to cause fuel shortages and slash export earnings in the impoverished country. The 320-km pipeline supplying the 4.5-billion dollars plant has been attacked several times by suspected al
Qaeda-linked gunmen after military strikes on Islamist militants. The Balhaf facility, which opened in 2009, has the capacity to supply up to 6.7 million tonnes and delivers LNG, gas-cooled to liquid for export by ship, under long-term contracts to GDF Suez, Total and Korea Gas Corp. The operator did not say when the pipeline might be reopened.
OLITICIANS tempt judges with huge money to influence their decision on elec-
tion petition, a retired Justice of the Supreme Court said yesterday. Justice Olufunmilola Adekeye said this during a public presentation of a book: “Election petition practice and procedure in Nigeria: A petitioner’s guide,” in Abuja. She clocked 70 last week and retired from the apex court. Justice Adekeye said: “Winners and losers should learn to congratulate each other after elections; that is never the case in Nigeria. Immediately after every election, there begins a longdrawn legal battle. It is always the do-or-die-syndrome. After every election there must be litany of petitions. Section 285 of the constitution created the tribunals. “Politicians have developed the knack of using election petition periods as time to malign judges, batter them or say all sorts of things against them in the media. “That notwithstanding, I encourage judges to always stand on the path of truth, play your own role according to the oath of office you swore to uphold. Don’t let them discourage you. The truth is that no judge will go to any politician to seek bribe; it is these same politicians that will start looking for the judges all the places, through relations, friends and close associates. “As Nigerians, we must al-
From Kamarudeen Ogundele, Abuja
ways stand up and defend our judges and protect their integrity. It is a pity that most times, even the political class does not understand the role of judges in democratic settings. “I urge the ruling class and political parties to always put the country first. Let us all close ranks for the sake of Nigeria, even though what they do at the political parties level is another thing altogether. “For the sake of Nigerians and the future of our country, we want peace. We must give the youth of this country the proper orientation. For me, charity begins with them.” Also at the event, former Lagos Governor Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu said it would be difficult for Nigerians to live in peace without an acceptable and just system of government. In the speech read by a member of the House of Representatives, Bimbo Daramola, Tinubu said Nigerians must be allowed to choose their leaders through a free and fair election. He said: “How can governments continue to have legitimacy unless they are formed by the will of the people they govern? “How can the will of the people be determined except in elections that are free and fair? And how can elections be free and fair unless all participants abide by the ground rules and have access to an independent and impartial arbiter in the event of disputes?
“I have posed the questions above in order to underline the utmost importance of the subject on which this book has been written. Without doubt, the proper and efficient adjudication of election petitions have a direct link to the peace and prosperity of the nation. Elections must be conducted in accordance with acceptable and well-defined rules and aggrieved persons must have access to justice. “Now, having access to justice is not sufficient. Anyone with knowledge of how judicial systems operate will appreciate that the knowledge and mastery of the application of the rules of court is much more important. This is even more so, where the matter belongs to that class of specialised subjects with which only few lawyers are conversant. “It is on this basis that we must all commend and applaud the author of this book in documenting knowledge in this allimportant area of law and at this stage of our national development. As a person with firsthand knowledge of Nigeria’s electoral system and its impact on governance, I am very pleased with the publication of this book.” The Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Mariam Aloma Mukhtar, was represented by Justice Walter Onnoghen of the Supreme Court. Ekiti State Governor Kayode Fayemi and a former Chief Justice of Nigeria, Mohammed Lawal Uwais, also attended the event.
THE NATION THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 1, 2012
NEWS Ogun CJ frees 42 inmates From Ernest Nwokolo, Abeokuta
THE Ogun State Chief Judge, Justice Olatokunbo Olopade, yesterday freed 42 inmates at various prisons across the state. Fifteen were freed in Ilaro, five in Abeokuta, nine in Oba, nine in Ijebu and the rest in Sagamu prisons. Three of them were females. When the Judge visited the prisons yesterday, she urged the freed inmates to be law-abiding. Many of them were convicted for offences ranging from robbery to murder. Justice Olopade decried the slow pace of police investigation. She said cases of missing files and the unavailability of witnesses were responsible for prison congestion. Justice Olopade said majority of inmates were awaiting trial, adding that some had spent between three and six years in prison without conviction. She said: “It is disheartening to find out that most cases are pending without judicial process. “We have cases of no-file from the Police and nowitnesses, which delay justice. “This is wickedness and in my report, I will inform the appropriate authorities of the attitude of some people in the cause of discharging their duties.”
Osun Poly proscribes study centres THE management of the Osun State Polytechnic, Iree, has ordered the closure of all study centres operating in its name. It said all its Part-Time programmes would henceforth, operate on the Iree campus. In a statement, the institution’s spokesman, Mr. Tope Abiola, said the decision was in compliance with the directives of the National Board for Technical Education (NBTE) on the operation of Part-Time programmes by polytechnics and technical colleges. Abiola said any individual or institution caught using the polytechnic’s name to defraud people would be prosecuted.
N18.38b loan: Panel recommends sanction for Oyinlola
HE Commission of Enquiry set up by the Osun State Government to probe the N18.38 billion loan taken by the administration of Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola from the United Bank of Africa (UBA) yesterday submitted its report. It indicted Oyinlola for leadership failure. The Prof. Femi Odekunleled panel said the former governor should be sanctioned for heeding the advice of the former House of Assembly Speaker, Mr. Adejare Bello, to take the loan, even though there was no emergency situation that required it. Oyinlola was also recom-
ows Park Investment Limited”. Former Head of Service Segun Akinwusi and the former Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning, Mr. Abiodun Akintaro, were also indicted for “failing to offer the required advice to Oyinlola during meetings on the loan”. Akinwusi was singled out for what the panel described as an act of “dishonesty” in denying his participation in the deliberations in the memorandum to Governor Rauf Aregbesola, as well as in his oral submission under oath before the commission.
The commission said the former Speaker should have instituted a public hearing on the loan, when opposition members of the Assembly kicked against the loan. It said issues surrounding the loan should have been deliberated on at the public hearing before the loan was approved by the Assembly. The panel recommended the former Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Works, Mr. Ojo and the DirectorGeneral in the Due Process Office, Mr. Gbenga Abiola, for commendation over their insistence on doing the right thing at the risk of their careers.
Aregbesola thanked the commission for the work done. He said the report would be subjected to a review by technocrats and the government’s decision would be contained in a White Paper. Oyinlola’s media aide, Mr. Ayo Olaiya, said: “We knew what a panel set up by the state government would do. “The panel allowed the person that set it up to appear before it and make submissions. The same person has now received the report to judge the case. “It is interesting, but we will react appropriately after reading the full report.”
Ajimobi’s wife returns to Nigeria •’My detractors have God to contend with’
YO State Governor’s wife, Mrs. Florence Ajimobi, yesterday arrived in Lagos from Britain to defend her integrity and dismiss the rumour that she had been arrested for alleged money laundering. All smiles, Mrs. Ajimobi arrived at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Ikeja, Lagos at 6:50am aboard a Virgin Atlantic Airways aircraft. She said the PM News report that she was arrested in London last Saturday for money laundering was the handiwork of mischief makers, who she said were playing “dirty politics”. Mrs. Ajimobi said the originators of the report were out to tarnish her image. She said she accompanied her daughter, who was returning to school, to London on Sunday. Mrs Ajimobi said: “I have never had any encounter with the London Metropolitan Police and I will never do. It was just a rumour, like you said. I think the time has come for Nigerians to stop playing dirty politics. “We should be very objective when giving information, particularly members of the press. We should always verify the information we are given. The ultimate measure of any man or woman is where you stand in times of conflict, challenges and controversy and not in times of comfort. I stand on the solid rock of Jesus Christ and all
Ilasa-Ekiti gets regent •Ambassador rejects govt’s choice From Sulaiman Salawudeen, Ado-Ekiti
mended for sanction for approving the terms of the loan, which the panel said was inimical to the interest of the state when compared to the interest of the bank. The panel also recommended that the ex-governor be sanctioned for “the irrational application of parts of the loan and for directing certain obvious reckless disbursement of the loan”. Oyinlola was blamed for approving an “unthinking Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the IDG that has turned out to be a fraud against the state” and for “authorising dubious and irregular payments to Mead-
HE Ekiti State Government yesterday appointed Mrs. Comfort Dayo Idowu Regent of Ilasa-Ekiti. This nullifies Tuesday’s reports that Nigeria’s envoy to Congo, Princess Jolaade Onipede, emerged regent. Speaking with reporters in Ado-Ekiti, the state capital, Commissioner for Information and Civic Orientation Funminiyi Afuye said the government did not reckon with the appointment of Princess Onipede, the first daughter of the late monarch of Ilasa-Ekiti, Oba Abel Ajibola, who died on October 1. Afuye said the appointment of Mrs. Idowu was the consensus of traditional rulers and chiefs in Ekiti East Local Government Area. Princess Onipede disagreed with the government’s decision. She said: “The purported appointment is a ruse. Afuye does not know the tradition of Ilasa and he is not a native of the town. All the kingmakers of Ilasa will not come together and make a mistake. “They are the people to announce the regent and they have done that. Mrs. Idowu cannot come to my father’s palace and rule. She will have to go Afuye’s village to serve as regent and not Ilasa. The state government does not know the rule. Maybe Afuye gave her the wrong information.”
By Kelvin Osa Okunbor
other grounds are sinking sand. “This is a phase and it will pass over, because I am more than a conqueror. It is the price I have to pay as the wife of a politician, particularly in Oyo State, where there is a record of dirty politics. I do not have any blemish in my wardrobe and I am never going to have any.” Mrs. Ajimobi said contrary to another rumour that she was arrested two weeks ago, she travelled with her husband to Taipei, Asia, through Dubai, for an official engagement. She said: “I went on an official visit to Taiwan with my husband and we did not go to London. From Lagos, we went to Dubai, then Hong Kong and Taipei. From Tapei, we returned to Hong Kong, Dubai and back to Lagos. The record is there in my international passport. I can give you my passport to photocopy. “It was also alleged that I had travelled out of Nigeria 52 times since my husband assumed office. That sounds very ridiculous to me. It means I do not even live in Nigeria. Like I said, we can make photocopies of my passport for verification.” On her mission to London on Sunday, Mrs. Ajimobi said: “I have a 14-year-old child that has been in England since 2007. She is still in secondary school and comes home. The school insists that parents pick up their children because they are minors and there are no
•Mrs. Ajimobi (right) and her daughter, Ajibola, at the airport...yesterday. PHOTO: ISAAC JIMOH AYODELE
exemptions for international pupils. “I cannot shelve my responsibilities as a mother because my husband is a governor. I have to manage my home, take care of my children and be a responsible and committed mother. That I will do, no matter what anybody says. My children need me. My daughter in London needs me and I will be there for her.
I am not using government funds because she has been there sinse 2007.” On her advice to those spreading the rumour of her purported arrest, Mrs. Ajimobi said: “The fear of God is the beginning of wisdom. If they have the fear of God, they will stop being mischievous. They should think before they act because on judgment day, we will all ac-
count for our actions. “I do not grudge them; I just know they have God to contend with. I have maintained a good reputation for over 32 years and anybody trying to tarnish that image will have God to contend with. I know they will pay for it.” The governor’s wife later yesterday visited cancer patients at the University College Hospital (UCH), Ibadan.
ACO: Ondo can’t be left behind in Southwest
HE campaign organisation of Rotimi Akeredolu, the candidate of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) in the October 20 governorship election in Ondo State, the Akeredolu Campaign Organisation (ACO), has criticised “the recent activities of Governor Olusegun Mimiko”. It accused the governor of “hobnobbing with reactionary forces”, saying this is “true to type, judging from his antecedent as a military apologist, as the governorship candidate of the defunct United Nigeria Congress Party (UNCP), one of the parties described by the late Chief Bola Ige as one of the fingers of a leprous hand”.
In a statement by its Publicity Director, Mr. Idowu Ajanaku, ACO said: “Mimiko’s penchant for characters, who are the enemies of the progressives in Nigeria is a clear indication of why Mimiko has worked assiduously against the aspiration of the Yoruba people. “Such characters include Otunba Gbenga Daniel, who with all his cohorts, was swept off in Ogun State by the ACN and Senator Iyiola Omisore, who was also the Osun State governorship candidate of the UNCP, whose Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) suffered the same fate in Osun. “It is clear that the reactionary forces, who worked together during the late Gen.
Sani Abacha’s transition programme to frustrate the Yoruba people, are regrouping to continue their failed project. They will surely fail again. “Indeed, claims that the Ondo people have rejected the integration agenda is not only uninformed, but a jaundiced logic. The result of the election, which we have given a provisional consideration, shows that ACN has a good showing in all the senatorial districts in the state. “What has happened is a temporary setback, which was made possible by the collusion of the power that be, security agents and Mimiko to intimidate and harass our supporters to arrive at a predetermined answer of returning
Mimiko at all cost. “The question is how did Mimiko get 49,000 votes in Akure South Local Government Area, when only 29,000 voters were accredited? It is also a fact that the opposition got majority votes in the election, which is an indication that the people were eager to vote for regional integration and sustainable development. “Let everyone who cares remember that this is Ondo State, the cradle of progressive politics in Nigeria. The people cannot turn their backs against sustainable development, which has been demonstrated in Lagos, Edo and is evolving in Ogun, Oyo, Ekiti and Osun states under ACN administrations.”
THE NATION THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 1, 2012
NEWS Probe killings, says ANPP From Gbenga Omokhunu, Abuja
THE All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) yesterday decried the murder of 20 villagers in Kaboro, Zamfara State . ANPP urged the InspectorGeneral of Police, Mohammed Abubakar, to investigate the incident. It called on the Federal Government to reappraise its rural development strategies with emphasis on safeguarding and mainstreaming local seasonal commercial clusters. The party said: “This is because as evidence has emerged; Kaboro village makes a lot of money from the sales of livestock and farm produce during Islamic celebrations.” “As a party we believe that it is the first duty of government to protect the lives and properties of its citizens from evil elements.”
Subsidy scam: Jonathan shuts out marketers
OVES by marketers involved in the fuel subsidy scam to get a reprieve from the Federal Government have failed. It was learnt President Goodluck Jonathan warned his aides not to meet with any of the indicted marketers. The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) yesterday said more marketers are still being investigated. It was gathered that some marketers, led by an oil baron, had desperately attempted to meet with the President in the last two weeks. Although they infiltrated the system to book an appointment, the President refused and read the Riot Act to all his aides. It was also gathered that the desperation made the President to declare on Tuesday that the law would take its full course on indicted marketers.
From Yusuf Alli, Managing Editor, Northern Operation
A government official said: “These indicted marketers have been lobbying for an audience with the President in the last two weeks. “They are seeking for reprieve, they would like the President to bend the rules. “They do not want to face trial, they don’t want to refund looted cash. “They think the situation would be business as usual. “The situation got to a point that the President called some of his key aides and warned them against condoning these marketers. “He threatened to deal with any aide hobnobbing with the fuel subsidy suspects. “The President shut his doors on the indicted marketers and asked them to go and sort themselves out in court. “I think their plan was to reach out to the President and
whip up sentiments to tarnish the Aigboje AigImoukhuede Committee Report. “The lobbying made the President, who was represented by Vice-President Namadi Sambo, to make a categorical declaration on Tuesday that the ``government is taking every legal measure to ensure that those who defraud the government in the petroleum subsidy scheme are made to pay back the stolen fund and are severely punished.” Jonathan made his position known during the public presentation of a book, “Reforming the Unreformable: Lessons from Nigeria” written by Finance Minister ,Mrs Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala.” The source added that the Federal Government has discovered that the affected oil marketers have launched
covert “personal campaign of calumny” against members of the Aig-Imoukhuede Presidential Committee . The government official added: “They are unrelenting in their ploy to blackmail the government and members of the Presidential committee. “In fact, one of the marketers on trial, who has been granted bail after being in detention without records of fuel importation, is now leading the propaganda against this administration and the Presidential Committee. “The matter is forcing the marketers to become desperate and we are expecting various types of attacks in the next few days. “But we are happy that Nigerians are with us on this count.” A member of the committee said: “We are aware that they intend to fight back by distracting
Nigerians through cheap blackmail but they cannot succeed. “We did our job in a transparent manner. The issue is not about media campaign as we know that the police and the EFCC even authenticated our reports because the marketers when questioned could not disprove the allegations against them. “ Our report is watertight. What we put down against them was so specific and clear. That is why their campaign to discredit our report is not achieving any success.” The EFCC said it has not closed the file on indicted oil marketers as more fuel subsidy fraud suspects are still being investigated. A source said: “We are not done yet with the ongoing investigation of fuel subsidy scam. More suspects will still be arraigned in court.”
Former Corps member sues INEC, NYSC
• From right: President Goodluck Jonathan; Vice-President Namadi Sambo; Anambra State Governor Peter Obi and his Kogi State counterpart, Idris Wada, PHOTO AKIN OLADOKUN at a meeting on oil well boundary dispute between Kogi and Anambra states at the Presidential Villa in Abuja.
76 oil wells: Cross River may get reprieve
H E F e d e r a l Government may activate Section 5 (7) of the Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC) Act to draw fund for Cross River State. The idea was mooted at the meeting on the resolution of the loss of the 76 oil wells by the Cross River State Government presided over by the Vice-President, Namadi Sambo. Present at the meeting were Governors Liyel Imoke (Cross River) and Godswill Akpabio (Akwa Ibom), the RMAFC Chairman, the Director-General, National Boundary Commission (NBC), Mohammed Ahmed and other government officials. The meeting, which was held at the vice president Conference room at the State House, was at the instance of President Goodluck Jonathan. The meeting, which examined the judgment of the Supreme Court on the matter and the matters arising therefrom requested the RMAFC to suggest the way forward. A statement by Sambo’s
media aide Sani Umar said: “The agencies have been meeting to find ways to advise the Federal Government on the need to provide succour to Cross River State due to the financial discomfort it suffered by the judgment of the Supreme Court. “The section stipulates that for the purposes of the Act and for avoidance of doubt, where any state suffers any loss which is outside its control, the Stabilisation Fund shall be used to give succor
From Vincent Ikuomola, Abuja
to such a state.” On the issue of Bakassi, Akpabio, who spoke to reporters at the end of the meeting, said challenges of insecurity in the region, the idea of humanitarian challenge and the aftermath of the ceding of Bakassi were discussed to find a peaceful way to accommodate all parties so that there will be peace in the region. On the issue of Nigeria
buying over the peininsula, Akpabio said: “Anything that will give us an advantage of an additional territory I will be glad to support it. “It is also an alternative if the price is not too high if we can afford it why not? We can buy back because, Bakassi is too dear to our heart. “For instance, in the case of Akwa Ibom, we are still groaning because it is too close to us.
Presidency denies report
HE Presidency has denied the report that the Federal Government intends to nail corrupt governors. According to the statement by the media aide to the Vice-President, Sani Umar, the report attributed to his boss was totally wrong. The statement reads: “Our attention was drawn to a publication in some national newspapers where President Goodluck Jonathan was reported to have stated that the Federal Government will nail corrupt governors. “The President, who was represented by the Vice-President at the book launch entitled: “Reforming the Unreformable”
by the Minister of Finance, Mrs Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, never made any such statement referring to any governor. “Rather the statement in question reads: On the governance level, we are going after those who commit economic crimes and corrupt practices with impunity” “In the light of the foregoing therefore, we wish to draw the attention of the media who reported Mr. President’s statement inappropriately to address it properly and reflect the correct statement. “This will set the records straight by not misleading the public and casting aspersions on governors who are our partners in progress in our transformation agenda.”
“It is 40 minutes from one of our local councils. We really like Bakassi to come back to Nigeria.”
FORMER corps member, Catherine Nzegwu, has sued the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) for leaving her uncared for after she was injured in an accident during the voters’ registration in preparation for last year’s general elections. Nzegwu, who was an Assistant Registration Officer (R2) in Opobo, Rivers State, was returning from Opobo to her base at Community Secondary School Umuozoche in Etche Local Government Area at the end of the exercise when she had an accident on February 6, last year. Her right leg was damaged. She is claiming N60 million damages from the two organisations. Ms Nzegwu said she is permanently disabled and sought an activation of the insurance policy for corps members, which was put in place during the election. In a statement of claim filed at Federal High Court in Port Harcourt, Ms Nzegwu claimed that both NYSC and INEC officials abandoned her and even failed to contact her family when she was in the hospital.
THE NATION THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 1, 2012
NEWS Anglicans to meet on homosexuality
HE Anglican Church in Nigeria will host a fiveday international conference on homosexuality. Addressing reporters on the coming Divine Commonwealth Conference taking place in Abuja from Monday to Saturday, the Primate, Bishop Nicholas Okoh, said the attendees are joined by “biblical orthodoxy.” The attendees, he stated, would be people “who uphold and promote the teachings of the scriptures.” Okoh said: “Some sections of the church are riding rough on the teachings of the church and there have been attacks on the scriptures, which have started affecting the lives of the people.” He said marriage should and must be between a man and a woman. The primate said: “God’s purpose is sufficient and is designed to propagate human existence. “The conference will be a
From Nduka Chiejina, Assistant Editor
gathering of attendees against homosexuality and same sex marriage. “Nigeria’s security and flood challenges will also be discussed and at the end of the gathering, the church will declare a seven-day fasting for the country from November 12 to November 19.” On the coming appointment of the next head of the church of England, Okoh canvassed a democratic process to elect the next Archbishop of Canterbury. The primate decried the presence of policemen in churches. He described the development as “abnormal but forced on the churches.” This, Okoh said, can only stop if those pursuing Christians give up. “If they don’t stop, they will push people to the edge and they and their sponsors will be consumed by the backlash.”
FEC okays N11.9b for buildings
HE Federal Executive Council (FEC) has approved N8.7billion for the construction of a 13storey office headquarters for the Code of Conduct Bureau. Another N3.028billion was approved for a new General Hospital at Gwarimpa. The Minister of State for the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Ms Olajumoke Akinjide, announced this after the weekly FEC meeting, presided over by President Goodluck Jonathan. The initial cost for the contract for the Code of Conduct Bureau headquarters was N3.51billion. The sum was, however, reviewed to N8.7billion so as to accommodate car parks. “This building is a 13-storey building, comprising a
From Vincent Ikuomola, Abuja
four multi-level storey car park, two of which are subterranean and two above ground; nine storeys are for the actual building. “This contract was originally awarded in 2010 but because of a development control provision that any building in the Central Business District must have its own multi-level car park, the design had to be revised to put in the parking provision.” The completion period is 36 months. The 220-bed hospital project, she said, would serve the inhabitants of the Gwarimpa Housing Estate and beyond.
•Osun State Governor Rauf Aregbesola receiving a plaque from the Federal Commissioner, National Population Commission (NPC) representing Osun, Akogun Lere Oyewumi (right), at the Governor’s Office in Osogbo. With them is Deputy Governor Titi Laoye- Tomori
Jonathan carries out minor cabinet reshuffle
MINOR cabinet reshuffle was announced by President Goodluck Jonathan yesterday. Minister of State (Power), Darius Dickson Ishaku, swapped place with the Minister of State (Niger Delta), Hajia Zainab Kuchi. The change takes immediate effect. Presidential spokesman Dr. Reuben Abati, who announced the reshuffle, said it was meant to strengthen the sector. Besides, he said, the action was aimed at raising performance level to meet the expectation of Nigerians. However, it was gathered that the shake-up may not be unconnected with the sudden drop in power supply in some parts of the country shortly after the Minister of Power, Prof.
•’No contract talks beyond Nov’ From Vincent Ikuomola, Abuja
Barth Nnaji, was eased out of office. The presidential aide, however, said he was not aware of any drop in power supply. Abati, who was accompanied by Minister of Works Mike Onolememen, Communications Minister Mrs. Omobola Johnson and FCT Minister of State Ms. Olajumoke Akinjide, also announced that there would be no contract discussion beyond November under the 2012 budget. The President gave the directive at the council where he also issued the November 30 deadline for submission of memos for
contracts under the 2012 budget. Statutorily, the budget cycle ends in December but the government is allowed to spend into the first three months in the new year. Abati said: “The President made it clear that no fresh memos for contracts will be accepted by Council after November 30. “So, effectively, November 30 is the deadline for the submission of any memo under the 2012 budget.” Responding to a question on the reason behind the swapping, Abati said: “I am not aware that there has been a drop in the supply of electricity. “If anything, the testimony that we get from Ni-
gerians is that there has been an increase. “In fact, in many parts of the country, people now enjoy electricity supply for many long hours of the day and for this, government has been commended. “I don’t know, maybe you are talking about an isolated case, but the general impression across the country is that there has been an improvement and that this is one sector where government has achieved a lot. “ If the President takes any step at all with regards to power, you can be sure that that effort is to further strengthen the sector and continue to raise the level of performance and to meet the expectation of Nigerians.”
Newswatch: Directors fault Ibrahim’s claim to majority stake ownership
OUR directors of the troubled news magazine, Newswatch, have faulted claims by businessman Jimoh Ibrahim that he has legitimately acquired majority shares in the company. They also denied the businessman’s claim that they were no longer directors of the company. Ray Ekpu, Dan Agbese, Yakubu Mohammed and Soji Akinrinade, in a counter-affidavit in response to a suit filed by Ibrahim, said Ibrahim has consistently misrepresented facts in his claim to the ownership of the company. They admitted that parties actually entered a share purchase agreement. They faulted Ibrahim’s claim that he has acquired the company, contending that he and his company, Global Media Mirror Limited (GMML), failed to perform their obligations under the agreement. The directors accused Ibrahim of subverting the actual intention of parties to the agreement, alleging that he has not demonstrated any intention of growing the company, but rather has engaged in stripping its assets. They averred in the affi-
By Eric Ikhilae
davit that by the agreement, Ibrahim and his company were required to pay N510million before May 5 last year, before they could take over the board of Newswatch and its management. The directors stated that Ibrahim and GMML failed to meet the requirement by May 5, but instead caused the money to be transferred on May 9 from “the account of another company – NICON Investment Limited – into a new account that he (the second plaintiff) had opened in the name of the first plaintiff (Newswatch Communications Ltd) without any board resolution of the first plaintiff and in respect of which he was the sole signatory.” They admitted resigning as executive directors at the completion meeting of May 5 last year, but that they were reappointed as non-executive directors, a development which explained why the magazine continued to retain their names as directors after the meeting. They denied Ibrahim’s claim that an Annual General Meeting of the company was held on August 20 this year. “We state categorically that Form CAC 7 filed at the Corporate Affairs
Commission (CAC) as well as Form CAC 2 and Form CAC 2.1 attached to the plaintiffs’ affidavit are contrived by the second and third plaintiffs (Ibrahim and GMML) as there was no meeting of the first plantiff (Newswatch) at all to that effect.” They stated that rather than perform their obligations under the agreement that would have enabled them take over the company as majority shareholders, Ibrahim and GMML allegedly hijacked the company to themselves and want to use the court to legalise their illegal actions. The directors have also filed a notice of preliminary objection to the suit. They argued that the suit disclosed no reasonable cause of action against them; that Ibrahim and his company do not have the authorisation of the first plaintiff to sue. Ibrahim is, by the suit, seeking to strip the four directors of their status and prevent them from declaring a trade dispute between him(with 51 percent stake) and the remaining shareholders (with 49 per cent stake). Justice Okon Abang has fixed hearing in the suit for December 3.
THE NATION THURSDAY, NOV EMBER 1, 2012
THE NATION THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 1, 2012
Jonathan orders repair of roads before Yuletide
Osun Speaker decries loose petrol pump prices
HE Speaker of the Osun State House of Assembly, Mr. Najeem Salaam, has decried the indiscriminate pump prices of petroleum motor spirit (popularly called petrol), saying selling the product above the fixed price and the perennial scarcity have shown that the people manning the petroleum sector should be removed. The Speaker, in a statement signed by his spokesman, Mr. Goke Butika, implored the Federal Government to restore normalcy to the sector and protect the masses who are being exploited daily. He said failure to do so would give the citizens the impression that the government was not concerned about their welfare. Salaam urged the Minister of Petroleum to state the position of the Federal Government on the matter, noting that keeping mute while the exploitation by the marketers continues implies that there is a conspiracy. He said: “Let it be known that Nigerians are experiencing a difficult period with the trickle down effect of exploitable loose prices of petrol. It’s a crime for people in charge of petroleum to keep mute, while some unscrupulous marketers are smiling to the banks.” The Speaker enjoined the National Assembly to wade into the matter with a view to halting corruption in the petroleum sector. He added: “Each time the pump price of petrol fluctuates, the economy of the nation is threatened and the poor are made to suffer.”
From Vincent Ikuomola, Abuja
HE Minister of Works, Mr. Mike Onolememen, has been ordered to ensure that federal roads are in good condition for easy movement during the Yuletide. President Goodluck Jonathan gave the order yesterday during the weekly Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting. The President, according to the Minister of Communica-
tion Technology, Mrs. Omobola Johnson, directed the Ministry of Works to carry out the repair of roads washed off by flood before the Christmas season. Mrs. Johnson, who anchored the press briefing shortly after the FEC meeting, said: “As we approach the Christmas period, you know there will be much travelling, as people will head for their villages and towns to celebrate the Yuletide. “President Jonathan has directed the Ministry of Works to ensure that the major roads in the country are in good condition to guarantee the safety of the people travelling home for the Christmas and New Year celebrations.”
The Works Minister, who was also at the briefing, assured that the ministry will do everything possible to ensure that federal roads are in good condition, especially those affected by flood. He said the ministry is working on Kano, Plateau and Enugu roads and those in other states. Mr. Onolememen said the rehabilitation of Kano roads would cost about N3 billion, while that of Plateau would cost about N1 billion. He said measures are in place to guard against compromise by top officials involved in the projects monitoring. The minister announced the reopening of the Third Mainland Bridge, 10 days before the scheduled date. This, he said, the ministry would replicate in its duties. Said he: “As a result of the heavy rains witnessed in all parts of the country this year, coupled with the overflow of Rivers Niger and Benue, our roads were damaged. “Today, the Federal Executive Council approved that a special programme for the maintenance and rehabilitation of major arterial roads should be carried out
by the Federal Ministry of Works. “Today’s approval by FEC will ensure that all impacted road infrastructures are given due attention. “So, in the next couple of weeks, we will witness a massive roll-out on most sections of the federal highway across the country. “I assure Nigerians that we will do our best to ensure that the roads are put in good conditions again to guarantee the safety of motorists and commuters during the end of the year.” On the successful completion of the rehabilitation of the Third Mainland Bridge, he said: “Yesterday, we re-opened the bridge, whose contract was awarded for maintenance and repairs by the FEC last November. “The repair was scheduled to be completed by November 6, but due to effective planning and monitoring, we achieved the feat about 10 days before the scheduled completion date.” Onolememen said the reopening of the bridge has brought succour to motorists and commuters in Lagos.
Glo connects Lekki Estate to its fixed network
ATIONAL Carrier, Globacom, has begun the connection of residential estates in Lagos and other cities to its fixed line network, riding on the Glo Broadaccess infrastruc-
ture. As part of this roll out drive, the company has connected NICON Town, one of the newest residential estates on the Lekki-Epe Expressway in Lagos. The Head of Glo Broadaccess, Mr. Karuna Menon, said the telecommunications company is delivering high quality voice service, data transmission, high speed Internet services and video streaming to the 433 plots in the estate. He said Globacom’s fibre optic cable laid earlier on the LekkiEpe axis makes it easier for the estate to connect to Glo’s fibre optic infrastructure. Menon added that from the fibre cable on the expressway, the infrastructure is stepped down in a central hub in the estate and redistributed to homes to connect end users. A visit to NICON Estate showed that Globacom’s network installation in the estate has the capacity for 1568 connections, though the estate currently has about 433 houses. Residents have the privilege of choosing whatever bandwidth bundle they wish, based on their Internet usage requirements and this is made available by the wireless multiple cable points or both. “The infrastructure is robust and unique, not seen anywhere in Africa,” Menon said. The management of the estate attested to the speed and capacity of the Glo Broadaccess network. According to the General Manager of the NICON Town Management Company, Mr. Jimmy Osho, residents are capable of downloading or uploading films, videos and heavy data files with incredible Internet speed. On the cost of the facility to residents, Osho said last mile connections to the homes are affordable and the tariff is based on the individual monthly usage. Besides the NICON Estate, several high-end customers have been connected to the Glo Broadaccess network and are enjoying the services. Menon noted that more estates in the country have shown enthusiasm in the service “and we hope to spread the coverage in a very short time.”
Minister warns contractors, consultants on flood projects From Olugbenga Adanikin, Abuja
HE Minister of Environment, Mrs. Hadiza Mailafia, has warned contractors handling soil erosion and flood control projects to speed up completion of the projects. She said the warning was given to ensure prompt inauguration, stressing that no payment would be made to any contractor without visible and verifiable reports of performance. Mrs. Mailafia spoke yesterday in Abuja while addressing contractors, consultants and officials responsible for the execution of the 15 projects in the Southeast. She noted that excuses would not be accepted for job delay, adding that contractors said they had a thorough knowledge of the project terrains and inherent challenges before they were awarded the contracts. The minister said: “I cannot sit here, approve the payment of over N1 billion in the last one year and not see the inauguration of the projects. I’ve not taken, received or asked for a kobo from anyone of you. I have never asked anyone to see me before I acted on files, nor have I asked anyone to see me after granting approvals for any of these projects, which were awarded before I assumed duties here. I will not be stampeded by any means by anybody into payments that I am not convinced any person is entitled to.
THE NATION THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 1, 2012
If we see investors who are ready to put in their funds, we can put in our funds and buy equity into the investment, but it must operate in Rivers State, so it can create employment opportunities for our people. - Rotimi Amaechi, Governor of Rivers State
Naira trades flat against dollar
Nigeria may close oil fields to curb gas flaring
HE naira traded flat against the U.S. dollar on the interbank yesterday as expectations of dollar inflows from energy companies and offshore investors buying local debt provided forex liquidity, dealers said. The naira closed at N157.10 to the dollar, the same level it closed on Tuesday. Dealers according to Reuters, said the naira initially weakened to N157.30 intraday but firmed after dollar sales by the local unit of Addax petroleum and some lenders selling hard currency to keep within the stipulated Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) open limit position for banks. “We saw growing demand in the market initially because of cheaper rate at the interbank, which saw the naira testing N157.25/157.30 level, but later closed firmer as some banks sold down their positions,” one dealer said. Traders said the naira is seen trading within the present band for the rest of the week because of anticipated dollar inflows from offshore investors buying local debt and from stateowned energy company Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC). The apex bank sold $50 million at N155.74 to the dollar at its twice weekly auction yestersday, compared with $43.5 million sold at 155.76 to the dollar on Monday. Traders said more importers now preferred to buy dollars at the interbank market because it was cheaper than the effective rate at the CBN window because the apex bank charges one per cent commission on every dollar sold at its auction.
DATA STREAM COMMODITY PRICES Oil -$107/barrel Cocoa -$2,686.35/metric ton Coffee - ¢132.70/pound Cotton - ¢95.17pound Gold -$1,800/troy ounce Rubber -¢159.21pound MARKET CAPITALISATIONS NSE JSE NYSE LSE
-N6.503 trillion -Z5.112trillion -$10.84 trillion -£61.67 trillion RATES Inflation -10.5% Treasury Bills -7.08% Maximum lending -22.42% Prime lending -15.87% Savings rate -2% 91-day NTB -15% Time Deposit -5.49% MPR -12% Foreign Reserve $35.8b FOREX CFA -0.2958 EUR -206.9 £ -242.1 $ -156 ¥ -1.9179 SDR -238 RIYAL -40.472
• From left: Vice President, Usage and Retention, Airtel Nigeria, Tanmoiy Saha; Chief Marketing Officer, Airtel Nigeria, Olu Akanmu and Chief Operating Officer & Executive Director, Airtel Nigeria, Deepak Srivastava during the launch of a bouquet of value offerings in Lagos.
NCC Commissioner queried over false allegations T HE Minister of Com munications Technol ogy, Mrs. Omobola Johnson has queried an Executive Commissioner in the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) for levelling unsubstantiated allegations against the Ministry of Communications Technology and the NCC, The Nation, has learnt. The Commissioner had alleged that billions of naira were lost under the current leadership when frequency bands were allocation to two private companies without following due process. He was said to have made the allegations in the Presidency during discussions on the conflict between the Ministry of Police Affairs and the private firm. The Presidency is also said to be miffed over insinuations linked to the Commissioner in a daily newspaper, (not The Nation) that top government offi-
From Augustine Ehikioya, Abuja
cials and the Presidency were indicted over waiver granted to MTS First Wireless, a company now owned by AMCON. The report alleged that the waiver was in favour of the Executive Vice Chairman of NCC, Dr. Juwah. Juwah described the allegation as spurious, stressing that he had nothing to do with MTS First Wireless Limited since he left in 2005. He blamed the allegation on those who are desperate to undo him at the Commission. A reliable source at the Ministry of Communications Technology said the Commissioner is suspected of masterminding the recent phony reports about frequency racketeering at the regulatory body with the intent to rubbish Juwah.
The source said the contents of the report bore semblance to written comments by the Commissioner in his earlier submissions at a meeting in the Vice President’s office, which were circulated to several government officials, including the Minister of Communications Technology. He said: “When we read the newspaper reports, we found that they have quoted from the same documents circulated by the Commissioner and in few days following, the same newspaper published an indictment of the Presidency regarding the waiver to MTS” The source also noted that the Commissioner has made matters worse by granting several interviews to some daily newspapers and online publications, where he repeated the allegations, insisting that any disci-
plinary actions against him by the Board will not stand as he is a member of the board, and did not attend the meeting where such decision was taken. The Minister of Communication Technology is said to have constituted a disciplinary committee to interview the Commissioner with a view to giving him a fair hearing before the matter is referred to the Presidency for appropriate actions, given the fact that he is yet to prove that any fraud has been committed in the assignment for frequencies by the Commission.
IGERIA may shut down oil fields as it tries to clamp down on gas flaring. This could be done even if it means a loss of revenue, the petroleum industry's chief regulator said yesterday. Africa's top oil producer and holder of the world's seventh largest natural gas reserves, is considered to be among the top two gas flarers in the world, burning off unwanted gas, after Russia. "One of the things we are doing is to do some analysis for government, to such an extent that it will even mean a proposal to shut down fields to avert huge gas flaring," Osten Olorunsola, Director, Department of Petroleum Resources, told Reuters, adding, "we will probably make that position known to government very soon." Despite a noticeable dip in flaring of associated petroleum gas, produced as a by-product of crude extraction, Olorunsula said the government was unhappy with the pace of decline. He said Nigeria currently routinely flared between 1.3 and 1.4 billion cubic feet (bcf) of gas a day, down from roughly 2.5 bcf about one and a half years ago. Russia flares around 20 billion cubic metres of associated gas each year, or approximately one-third of the total amount extracted at the country's oilfields.
GUS 9: MARRIAGE IN THE JUNGLE
Citi Bank, IFC lift emerging markets NTERNATIONAL Finan through 92 banks in 23 develwith $1b cial Corporation (IFC) oping countries.
and Citi have signed a $1 billion risk-sharing facility to stimulate the growth of trade in emerging markets. The funding is expected to support emerging market trade flows of up to $6 billion through 2015 and drive job creation and ensure economic development. At the signing ceremony , the duo said this marks the
By Okwy Iroegbu-Chikezie Asst. Editor
first extension of an existing facility under the IFC Global Trade Liquidity Program. Over its three-year period, the facility reached $900 and supported $6 billion of emerging market trade. The facility financed more than 2,000 funded trade investment instruments
Global Head of Treasury and Trade Solutions at Citi, Naveed Sultan, said Citi’s partnership with the IFC has been a tremendous success, helping to stimulate the recovery and growth of global trade in emerging markets. He promised to continue the partnership with banks, corporations, and the public sector across emerging markets to stimulate global trade.
Witness: How Finbank management manipulated N10.9b shares
LAGOS High Court, Ikeja, presided over by Justice Lateefa Okunnu, was yesterday told how the former management of Finbank Plc, led by Mr. Okey Nwosu, manipulated the bank’s shares through several companies created by the management. The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), had charged Okey Nwosu and three others for alleged theft of N10.9billion
By Adebisi Onanuga
belonging to the Bank. Nwosu is standing trial alongside Dayo Famoroti, Danjuma Ocholi and Mrs. Agnes Ebubedike, all former directors of the bank between September, 2006 and November 2007. At the resumed trial of Nwosu, the witness, Mr. Anafi Buba Mohammed, who is a law enforcement officer incharge of compli-
ance and Enforcement in the EFCC, told the court while being led in evidence by counsel to the EFCC, Rotimi Jacobs(SAN), that the bank’s money was used to secure the shares through two stock broking firms and some companies known as Special Purpose Vehicles(SPVs). He gave the names of the stockbroking firms as Springboard Trust, Investment Limited and Integrated Limited .
heirs may not be a match made in heaven. But it was a marriage consummated in the Usaka Jungle. It all started when Priscillia Ezeh openly professed her affection for Ifet Iniobong. As Head Warrior, Uzor Osimpka intervened by declaring her readiness to ‘join’ the two lovers as man and wife. Not to be left out of the romantic drama, Onyinye and Bornford brought out two wrappers. With Paschal Eronmose as Best Man and Patience as Officiating Minister, Priscillia took Ifet as her lawfully wedded jungle husband. But by evening, ‘newly wedded’ Priscillia refused to share her meal with Ifet. She openly denied him. So much for jungle marriage! For the day’s challenge, the contenders were required to stand apart at equal distances and climb two suspension ropes fastened to two trees. Once a contender catches up with another, they
are tapped out of the game until a winner emerges. The reward for winning the task, according to show anchor Chidi Mokeme, was exemption from punishment, should either the winner or his team lose in the next challenge. And for losing, the contender would start behind others at the commencement of the next task. Nuhu Zigwayi won while Onyinye lost out. Not particularly pleased with the general performance of the contenders, Mokeme instructed them to undergo an hour of physical exercises daily to be coordinated by the reigning Head Warrior, Nuhu Zigwayi. Gulder Ultimate Search, Nigeria’s longest-running 100 per cent local content reality TV show, is the flagship sponsorship project of Gulder, a brand of Nigerian Breweries Plc. GUS 9 continues tonight on AIT, African Magic World (DSTV), Real Star (Star Times), AKBC, Uyo and ITV, Benin at 10pm.
THE NATION THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 1, 2012
$210m investment coming for Starcomms
ODE division multi ple access (CDMA) telecoms service provider, Starcomms Plc, said it has reached an agreement with Capcom Limited for the provision of $210 million capital investment of cash and assets. The deal is expected to make Capcom own 90.5 per cent of the telco’s restructured issued share capital. Capcom was founded by MBC, a trust of 20 years standing, whose portfolio companies manage over $1.25 billion in the asset management and commercial banking sectors. It focuses on emerging markets. Capcom has
By Lucas Ajanaku
attracted a group of family offices and funds committed to investing in the Nigerian telecommunications industry and participating in the development of the sector. The backers comprise a number of African and emerging market funds, including PanAfrican Capital’s asset management division, PAC Asset Management and two private family offices, with long experience of investing in Africa, Bridgehouse Capital and OldonyoLaro Estates. With this investment, Capcom aims to create a na-
Court adjourns N110m case against Isyaku Ibrahim
N110 million loan re covery case instituted by Unity Bank against Isyaku Ibrahim has been adjourned to November 13, 2012, the High Court of Justice, FCT ruled yesterday. Unity Bank dragged Ibrahim to court in 2008 for the recovery of N110million indebtedness for which judgment was obtained in June 10, 2010. According to court proceedings, Alhaji Ibrahim failed and neglected to pay the judgment debt, thereby compelling the bank to file an application to sell his house situated at Plot 1757, off, Jimmy Carter Street, Cadastral Zone, Asokoro District, Abuja. The application could not however be heard as Ibrahim asked the Court at various times, to sell his factory at Gwagwalada. At one time he told the
tional broadband Internet champion capable of significantly contributing to the government’s ambition to bridge the digital divide between Nigeria as an emerging market and other developed markets internationally. According to a statemnt from the telco, as part of the agreement, Capcom has agreed to cause the contribution to Starcomms of certain CDMA assets over which it intends to acquire control in separate but related transactions. It said Capcom will contribute to Starcomms assets, including the spectrum licence of MTS and the CDMA mobile telecoms business of Multi-Links. In addition to facilitating the CDMA con-
solidation, Capcom will provide $98 million in cash to finance the post-acquisition integration of these assets, to meet on-going shortterm losses in the business and to deliver the combined company’s new business plan. In consideration of their proposed sales of certain assets to Capcom, both Helios Towers Mauritius Holdings Limited and Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) will own stakes in Starcomms (together representing less than 12 per cent of Capcom’s equity following Capcom’s investment) derived from Capcom’s shareholding on completion. According to the telco, the proposed transaction will
create a leading CDMA operator in Nigeria and represent a fundamental step as part of the consolidation move in the Nigerian telecoms industry. With the benefit of the 20 MHz of contiguous 1900MHz spectrum to be held by the consolidated operations, the largest spectrum allocation for any mobile operator in Nigeria, Starcomms will be at the forefront of the shift away from current generation of services into a long term evolution (LTE) technology platform, capable of delivering new 4G and related data and other services that would offer customers substantially improved performance. Monetsing the new
broadband services and applications will provide Starcomms with crucial first mover advantage in the Nigerian market with its 4G / LTE network rollout. Speaking on the transaction, Starcomms’ Interim CEO, Olusola Oladokun, said: “The proposal from Capcom will enable Starcomms to reduce its high level of borrowings and improve its low liquidity position. Given the significant challenges the business has faced over the last two years, Capcom’s investment will facilitate a strategic turnaround, improve the competitive position in the market and place the company on a growth path for the future,” he stated.
From Nduka Chiejina, Asst. Editor
Court that the factory has been sold, but when the matter came up for further settlement, he claimed that the prospective buyer had not paid. In the last Court sitting of September 25, 2012, it was gathered that the customer requested for two weeks adjournment with an undertaking that the judgment sum shall be paid on or before October 12, 2012, failing which the trial Judge should grant the bank’s application. Although, it was learnt that the bank opposed the application, the trial Judge adjourned the matter to October, but at the end of the submissions by both parties, the judge once again adjourned the case to November 3, 2012.
• Group Managing Director, Verdant Zeal, Mr. Tunji Olugbodi (left) presenting the organizational award for Brand Excellence in Telecoms to the Public Relations Manager, Etisalat Nigeria, Miss Chineze Amanfo at the 2nd Annual Marketing World Awards 2012, held at Oriental Hotel in Lagos...last week.
NSITF pays N14.8m compensation to injured workers T
HE Managing Direc tor/CEO, Nigeria So cial Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF), Alhaji Munir Abubakar yesterday said the agency has paid N14.8million who were involved in accidents, as well as those that died as a result of such accidents. Abubakar made the disclosure during an interactive session with industrial unions on the implementation of the Employees Compensation Act (ECA) 2010, held
By Dupe Olaoye-Osinkolu
at Nigeria Employers Consultative Association (NECA) house, Lagos He said: “The Fund has refunded to employers the sum of N14,217,494.31,while N619,511.35 was paid to the next of kins of deceased employers since it started.” Giving the breakdown on the claim, the NSITF’s Direc-
tor said the medical care support refund to the employers amounted to N14.2million, while death cases involving periodic payments to the next of kin was N619,511.35. He said 412 applications for claims have been received to date, and another 4,507 as notice of accidents or deaths. Abubakar explained that failure to complete all relevant ECS forms or failure to
include required attachments, glaring ignorance of the manner and type of accidents/diseases covered by the act, among others, were some of the challenges affecting delay in claims settlement. On the impacts of the implementation of the Employees’ Compensation Act which commenced last year, the NSITF boss, said over 1000 employers registered under the scheme as at August 31st, this year.
Capital Oil denies involvement in subsidy scam
HE management of Capital Oil and Gas Industries Limited has dismissed as spurious the allegations of fraudulent collection of subsidy claims levelled against it by the Presidential Committee on Subsidy, headed by Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede. The Media Relation Officer, Ike O. Chukwu, said the company had watched for a long time the smear campaign carried out against it, which sometimes labelled it as an ‘oil thief,’ but has now chosen to put the record straight. He condemned the way the Aig-Imoukhuede com-
By Emeka Ugwuanyi
mittee is executing its mandate, which he noted is raising concerns in the oil industry. “We observed that the conduct of the chairman of the committee, Mr. Imoukhuede is suspicious and highly questionable, and has come to a point that the decision to continue to list us as one of the companies whose transactions require clarifications despite the painstaking efforts, has become worrisome.” He said the auditors found from information obtained from government agencies,
including the Department of Petroleum Resources, Navy, Nigerian Ports Authority and Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, that vessels mentioned in the transaction actually arrived in Nigerian waters He said: “Access Bank Plc is the major financier of our business. It finances about 70 per cent of our importation. Aig-Imuokhuede is also the Managing Director and major shareholder of Access Bank. He also has vast interest in many companies that have benefitted from the petroleum subsidy scheme, which are among our very
strong competitors.” Chukwu said that the stark reality is that the longer the oil companies remain without receiving their subsidy refunds, the better for Imokhuede and his Access Bank because they will continue to get more interest accruals on the loan facility. He said that the bank checked every stage of the importation process and ensured that the importation was actually carried out. Therefore, the investigation Aig-Imoukhuede is currently carrying out on Capital Oil’s imports is an indirect investigation of his bank.
THE NATION THURSDAY, NOV EMBER 1, 2012
THE NATION THURSDAY, NOV EMBER 1, 2012
THE NATION THURSDAY, NOV EMBER 1, 2012
THE NATION THURSDAY, NOV EMBER 1, 2012
THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 1, 2012
POLITICS THE NATION
Eminent jurist, Hon. Justice Oluwadare Aguda, in this piece, reflects on the widespread quest by Nigerians for a genuine constitution that will guarantee true Nigerian nationhood.
Path to people’s constitution F
ROM the inception of its current Constitution in 1999, Nigeria has been in search of a new one to put its federal system and general governmental structures in a more satisfactory form. The country was on the verge of complete disintegration when General Sani Abacha suddenly died on June 8, 1998, thus ending his five years of brutal and nihilist dictatorship. Immediately, there was intense pressure on Abacha’s successor, General Abubakar Abdulsalam, to hand over power to a civilian administration within a few months of his assumption of office. Such pressures came from impatient Nigerian politicians as well as from the international community. For instance, the secretaries-general of both the Organisation of African Unity (now African Union) and the United Nations urged General Abdulsalam to go ahead with the elections already scheduled by Abacha for the following October. In the event, General Abdulsaam stayed in power for only a little over 10 months (June 8, 1998 to May 29, 1999). As a result of the great rush, the Constitution that came into force on May 29, 1999 was not only poorly drafted as a legal document (as I have tried to show in several published articles), it was also found to be unsatisfactory in its contents by many individuals and different sections of the country. Consequently, many issues have been raised and canvassed for the protection of both the general interest and sectional interests. Parts of the Constitution have even been amended by the National Assembly. Obviously, one could view the federation from a number of angles. In this article, I am going to touch upon only three issues which I consider to be fundamental for the unity and harmony of the federation. The first is whether the federation is made up of “sovereign nations” so that there could be a “sovereign national conference” to review its structure to enable its “sovereign” component “nations” to opt out of the federation if they so choose. The second issue is whether the different communities within the federation “own” the sections of its territory to which they are indigenous, thereby giving them the right to claim exclusive (or just superior) entitlement to the natural resources found in those sections. Finally, I wish to consider whether the Federation as a corporate entity does or does not owe a duty to assist the areas with peculiar problems or needs. Let us take a brief look at the origin of the Nigerian Federation. The country was put together, and its subsequent evolution into a federation was moulded, by an extenal authority. In the process, that external authority disregarded pre-existing linguistic/ethnic boundaries. Besides, the linguistic/ethnic groups on their part did not confront imperialism as united groups nor did they claim the right to selfdetermination, then or afterwards. By contrast, the nationalism and nationalist movement that emerged in 19th century Europe asserted from the start
the right of each linguistic/ethnic group to self-determination. According to Hans Kohn, In the nineteenth century, the age of nationalism, the populations [within the Hapsburg Empire] regarding themselves as belonging to the same ethnic and linguistic group felt more and more the desire for establishing a bond of unity across historical borders and this trend became powerful centrafugal forces threatening to disintegrate the Hapsburg Empire” (p.20). However, “The process of national awakening among the various nationalities started only in the decades following the downfall of Napoleon [in 1815]” (p.18). [Hans Kohn: The Hapsburg Empire 1804 – 1918 (1961 ed.] One major problem now confronting Nigeria is that an increasing number of its various peoples are beginning to think and agitate in the mode of 19th century European nationalism, conceiving their linguistic/ethnic groups as being entitled to self-determination. Some of the larger groups in particular are awakening the consciouness of their members, calling for a “sovereign national conference” to determine afresh the question of whether the different ethnic groups within the Federation should continue to stay together and on what terms. And also in regard to other fundamental issues, people talk as if the country’s Constitution were a carbon copy of the American one. One crucial example of this line of thinking generates the arguement that because each state in the American federation controls the mineral resources located within its territory, the same practice should operate in Nigeria which is a federation too Most Nigerians seem not to appreciate the fundamental differences between the two federations While it is true that the United States of America too is a federation, its emergence was fundamentally different from that of Nigeria. It was formed by existing independent political entities (in 1789), which were then free to determine what degree of sovereignty they would give up to a central authority and what they would retain for themselves. In the event, they gave up very little to the Centre, mainly inter-state commerce, common defence and the modest degree of involvement in foreign relations they cared to get themselves into at that stage. Even a common currency for the whole federation was to come later. The much enhanced position now enjoyed by the Federal Govern-
• Justice Aguda
ment vis-a-vis the states in America has been due largely to the role of the Supreme Court, especially with respect to the protection of individual liberty, while its power and prestige on the international stage soared in response to events in the outside world only after the First World War. Unlke the American model, the Nigerian Federation resulted from British imperialism which did not, at any stage of the country’s development, give the different linguistic/ethnic groups the option of self-determination. Those groups did not act as united ethnic groups in their encounter with imperialism, nor did they assert the right of each ethnic group to self-determination. Consequently, they were not, and still are not, in a position to determine what degree of their soverignty they would give up to the Centre and what degree they would keep for themelves. Besides, each of the emergent federating states in Nigeria consisted of several ethnic groups and even after they were further subdivided, each of them still remains multi-ethnic and multi-lingual. It is also crucial to recall that after the British created Nigeria, and were nurturing the new nation-state, they took resources from whichever part of the country they could garner them to administer and develop the whole country. They mined coal from the eastern part of the country to fire the newly built railway system, an important engine of development. They took revenues from the cotton and groundnut farmers from the north and cocoa cultivators from the west. Later
they took the enormous natural resources provided by the River Niger to provide electricity for the country, etc. Consequent upon the above historical development, the reality is that Nigeria came into existence and has, for close to a century, been nurtured as an indivisible corporate entity to which all the ethnic groups have contributed. The groups and communities comprised within the Federation now possess only such rights as are recognised by the Federation’s Constitution and the laws made under it. However, the situation is not unchangeable. An alteration in the relationship between the various ethnic groups can be achieved but this has to be with the concurrence of all the ethnic groups, large and small, making up the Federation. This could be done through a national conference or a constituent assembly in which each nationality would be suitably represented. In contrast, a “sovereign national conference” at which each ethnic-nationality will be free to assert its right to unilaterally determine its own future within the Federation or outside of it might lead to the use of force. If such a situation should arise, it would be pure fantasy to imagine that people would be able to continue to live outside their traditional ancestral home areas as they are doing at present. The second question raised in this article relates to natural resources. Do the communities own the pieces of territory they occupy traditionally,
‘However, the situation is not unchangeable. An alteration in the relationship between the various ethnic groups can be achieved but this has to be with the concurrence of all the ethnic groups, large and small, making up the Federation. This could be done through a national conference or a constituent assembly in which each nationality would be suitably represented’
comprising the land surface, the things that lie beneath that surface and the airspace above the surface? . There are three broad categories of natural resources available to a nation. These are the land space it occupies (including such things as water, rocks, mountains, etc) on the surface of the earth; the air space above the ground; and the minerals occurring below the surface of the earth. The land surface and the air space above it are the most enduring of all the natural resources possessed by a nation. They literaly define the boundaries of the nation and unite its peoples. They provide the framework within which the nation exercises its sovereign authority internally and projects its power and prestige at the international level. The current Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigria provides in its section 4(1) as follows: “Every citizen of Nigeria is entitled to move freely throughout Nigeria and to reside in any part thereof, and no citizen of Nigeria shall be expelled from Nigeria or refused entry thereto or exit therefrom.” This means that every citizen of Nigeria has an equal access to the lawful use of the country’s land territory and air space above the surface. No citizen has the right to deny another citizen the lawful use of the Federation’s territorial space. In addition to the constitutional guarrantee of the common use of the country’s land surface and air space, the Constitution prohibits any commnity from using the waters flowing through its territory as its exclusive property but can only use it subject to national control. The Constitution provides in Item 13(c) of the Second Schedule as follows: “The National Assembly shall have power to make laws for the Federation or any part thereof with respect to - ..(a) ..(b) ..(c) the regulation of the right of any person or authority to dam up or otherwise interfere with the flow of water from sources in any part of the Federation. “ Thus, the right of every citizen of Nigeria to own and use land in any part of the Federation is guarranteed in the Constitution. Similarly, his right to use the Federation’s air space in accordance with the law is not in contention either. If the natural resources comprised in the land surface and the air space above the land are common national resources to be used and enjoyed by all the citizens of Nigeria in common, what makes the natural resources lying beneath the surface of the land different? If communities are to be regarded as “owning” the natural resources “produced by” (that is found in) their areas, do the communities which “produce” (in which are found) the waters used to generate and supply the electrical energy of the country “own” those waters? The strategic and economic importance of rivers and other sources of water as natural sources and a major form of national power cannot be denied. This reality is underscored by the fact that many nations have gone to war, or narrowly avoided going to war, over the control and use of rivers and other sources of waters. Why is there such bitter contention in Nigeria about resources found under the earth’s surface but not about those occurring on the land surface and in the airspace above it? Such bitter contention would seem to have arisen in part as a result of the terrible environmental degredation caused in the areas where oil minreals are mined. The people’s loss of their means of livelyhood and clean water and the •Continued on page 18
THE NATION THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 1, 2012
Constitution amendment: Matters arising •Continued from page 17
long neglect of the people affected by the damaging effect of mining operations have naturally added to the acrimony. Besides, the desire by the different sections of the Federation for a greater share in the nation’s wealth by whatever means is a factor. As part of the controversy, there have arisen the idea and claim that the people in whose areas of the Federation where the mineral resources are found should enjoy, if not the whole of the revenue derived from them, then at least, a high proportion of it. In support of the above position, the analogy is made that at an earlier period in the history of the Federation; the regional governments of the areas where cocoa, cotton and groundnuts were produced were allowed to keep fifty percent of the revenue accruing from the export of those crops, the areas where oil is now “produced” should be allowed to keep a similar portion of the revenue coming from the oil resources. It should be pointed out, however, that there is a fundamental difference between the two sources of revenue. While the oil is mined out of the ground with modern technology by big oil companies, each farmer who grows cocoa, groundnuts or orcotton has to use his personal physical labour and that of his family to plant, tend and harvest the crops. It used to take six to seven years for cocoa trees to mature and produce fruit. Because of the amount of labour required to grow cocoa, many farmers did not send some (or even any) of their children to school. They needed the children to provide labour on the farm. The present writer ought to know: he had to run away from the farm when nearly sixteen to start school. On this issue, one important point to bear in mind is the impermanence of mineral resources. A nation exists in perpetuity, just like its economic fortunes. Today, most of Nigeria’s cash revenue comes from petroleum resources located in the South. But solar power may take over the energy scene in future. For Nigeria, most of that solar energy resource will be derivable from the sunnier Northern region which, in any event, constitutes eighty percent of the country’s land mass. How then will the revenue derived from solar energy be shared between the “producing areas” and the Federation? And even without waiting for a solar-dominated future, what about the electrical energy-producing River Niger at Kainji Dam and other rivers in the country? Most of the country’s industrial production has depended on electrical energy form that source for more than fifty years. How does one calculate and share the revenue accruing therefrom? How does one calculate eighty percent of the “income” coming from the country’s land surface (a natural resource)? It would also be hard to evaluate the farm produce coming from the eighty per cent of the nation’s land mass that feeds the nation. The answer to the controversy surrounding the sharing of the revenues derivable from the country’s natural resources is that, while as a corporate entity the Federation owns all the natural resources in the country, it owes in return a duty to provide for the areas with special needs. This is the third point I am looking at in this article. Providing for areas in need would be the best approach to dealing with peculiar problems in different parts of the country, such as massive environmental degredation such as in the Niger Delta; serious flooding caused by dams or by the dredging of rivers for transportation; large-scale natural flooding; serious erosions causing large-scale environmental damage to agriculture and transportation; and so forth. At present, apart from the cur-
‘To start with, when an area containing 80 per cent of the country’s land mass has only slightly more than half of its population, then the issue of relative cost of administration and development arises. In a developing country, it requires relatively more resource and greater effort to administer and develop a sparsely populated region than is required for a more compact population occupying a similar size in area. Consider the difficulty of providing primary education for small scattered villages’ rent nation-wide flooding, the most conspicuous of these problems occurs in the Niger Delta region and the Federal Government is taking the matter as a national assignment as it should Twelve years ago, I warned that unless the glaring underdevelopment in the northern part of the country and the terrible environmental degredation in the Niger Delta were tackled as national assignments, they would constitute serious obstacles to the establishment of democratic government in the country. I wrote: “These variations [in religion, culture, etc between the different parts of the country] are accompanied by an uneven development, particularly between the North and the South, in education, industrial capacity, trade unionism, media coverage and people’s consciousness of socio-economic issues in the modern state. There are major forms of degredation in the oil producing areas. Unless the remedying of uneven development in the country, environmental degredation in the oil producing areas and desertification in the far North are going to be taken as national assignments, they constitute serious destabilising factors in the political framework.” [Understanding the Nigerian Constitution of 1999 (M I J Publishers) Lagos: 2000, p.34] The civilian Government under Chief Olusegun Obasanjo that came into office in May 1999, continued to view the Niger Delta agitation as a rebelion to be suppressed by force, just as the military rulers before it had done. Fortunately for the country, late President Musa Yar’ Adua was persuaded to chart a new course. [Some say he was forced to do this in order to secure the flow of the oil then being seriously disrupted and reduce by the rebellion in the region.] He negotiated with the agitators (now officially known as “militants”) and offered amnesty to those of them willing to lay down their arms. His Vice-President and subsequent successor, President Goodluck Jonathan, himself from the area, continued the approach. Under this new conciliatory Federal Government policy, many of the former militants have now been sent abroad for technical trainng while others are being trained in Nigeria. A University of Petroleum Technoly has been established in the region. On the whole, a great deal of money and organisational effort have gone into solving the huge problems of the area, with a whole ministry and a development commission established to look after its affairs. Now, relative peace reigns in the area. Had this sensible approach been adopted sooner, Nigeria would have saved many lives and greatly lessened human suffering. Furthermore, it would have been much cheaper for the nation. Of areas with special needs I mentioned above, we should now take a look at the second one, the northern part of the country. We may ask why the North should be seen as an area with special need. To start with, when an area containing 80 per cent of the country’s land mass has only slightly more than half of its population, then the issue of relative cost of administration and development arises. In a
developing country, it requires relatively more resource and greater effort to administer and develop a sparsely populated region than is required for a more compact population occupying a similar size in area. Consider the difficulty of providing primary education for small scattered villages. This would not necessarily be a problem for an industrialized nation to which a large land mass may be of great advantage. In addition to the problem of size of territory, we have the problem of educational backwardness. A major factor contributing to this problem was the British colonial policy of not allowing the Christian missions to proselytise in the Muslim areas of the North starting from the First World War. Virtually all of the western education received by Nigerians at that stage and for years later was provided by the Christian missionaries who found it essential for the spread of their faith. The Turkish Empire was an ally of Germany in the First World War and it embraced the Arab and much of the Muslim world. The British were therefore fearful of a possible uprising among their Muslim subjects in support of Turkey. They reassured the religious leaders in northern Nigeria (as they also did in the Sudan) that they would not interfere with their religion. Christian in road into the North would have resulted in many Muslim children being converted into Christianity. However, the Christian missionaries were allowed to proselytise in the non-Muslim parts of the North (now the Middle Belt) which had not been conquered by Dan Fodio and his jihadists. Consequently today, nonMuslim parts of the North have a much higher level of western education than the far North This historical development has in no small measure contributed to the low level of western education in the far North. According to the Federal Government of Nigeria, there are now
no fewer than nine and half million children of school age in the North who do not attend any school or who only go to quranic schools for the almajiri or street children. The actual figure may be much higher. Most of the parents of these children are very poor and ignorant. Their children too will grow up being ignorant, very poor, helpless and hopeless in life. When this scale of ignorance, poverty and hopelessness in parts of the North is appreciated, one could easily understand the pivotal role of the people’s condition in the Boko Haram insurgency in the area. To deny this causal connection would be to ignore the lessons of history and political sociology. For example, in Western Europe in the 1920s and 1930s, large numbers of people were attracted to the communist ideology on the left while on the right fascism appealled to the masses movements in support of the dictators, both in the context of poverty and mass discontent. The consequence of the prevailing condition was a great disaster for the whole world. The situation is depicted by the historian David Thompson this way: “By 1932, there were 30 million people unemployed in the world, in addition to millions who were doing short hours and more millions in Africa and Asia about whom there was no statistical knowledge. The immediate result was vast human suffering, personal frustration and social hardship; the ultimate result was that the victims turned, in desperation, to extremist political movements, of either communism or fascism, which promised to cure unemployment and provide a new basis for national recovery and material prosperity. Never were conditions in the western world more favourable to the ambitions of any demagogue or adventurer who had the insight and skill to exploit mass discontent.” David Thomson, World History, 1914 - 1961 [London: Oxford University Press] 2nd Ed. 1963, p.117. It seems quite clear to me that unless we accept that Boko Haram sprang from and (in addition to the operations of the
Federal Government’s security agents) is now fuelled by massive poverty and socio-economic discontent, we will not be able to search for its solution in the right direction. Last week, in a reprisal attack for the Boko Haram’s killing of one officer and injuring some members of the JTF (Joint Task Force) in Maiduguri, Bornu State, the JTF allegedly killed 30 people and burned down “dozens of houses”. Religious, political and traditional leaders in the area protested against the outrage. In its annual report for the year 2011, Amnesty International accused the Nigerian police of unlawful killings in the country and also “.. said that the government had not published the report on the July 2009 clashes between the Boko Haram and security forces in which more than 800 people died, including police officers and the Boko Haram’s leader, Muhammed Yusuf.” The indiscriminate killing of innocent people in the name of fighting the Boko Haram insurgency will not solve the problem. On the contrary, it will actually assist the insurgents to enlarge their rank and increase their general support, as has been shown in other parts of the world. I would like to repeat what I advocated twelve years ago. Poverty in the North must be tackled as a national assignment. The Federation as a corporate entity derives resources (in various forms) from its different sections. In return, it owes the duty of assisting its needy sections. Massive organisational resources and efforts need to be put into education, health, rural roads, agriculture, energy generation and distribution to aid industry and provide employment and other forms of social upliftment. The detail of what needs to be done should be identified through empirical studies. Private investment in education and all areas of development must be promoted The above approach would not only save many lives and reduce the suffering of millions of innocent people, it would preserve the Nigerian Federation and be much cheaper in the long run. If the problem is not solved rationally without sectional sentiment and bickering, it may engulf the whole Federation and threaten its survival. Hon. Justice Aguda (rtd) is a consultant in Nigerian Law.
• From left: Senate President David Mark, Delta State Governor Emmanuel Uduagham and Rivers State Governor Rotimi Amaechi at the Senate Retreat on Constitution Review held in Asaba, Delta State.
THE NATION THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 1, 2012
EDITORIAL FROM OTHER LAND
FIRS’ N3.8 trn harvest
•In just nine months, this is good sport; but where is all the money by the way?
OW, what cheery news the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) has infected us with in a season of seeming national moodiness and strife. That the FIRS has been able to gather up into the nation’s treasury, a whopping N3,800,000,000,000.00 in just nine months, is a feat worthy to be lauded. Though we are not told the comparative figures from the third quarter of 2011, it is still a tidy bundle of money by any measure. When we factor in takings from other sources such as crude oil receipts, revenue from the Nigeria Customs and numerous commercial agencies and parastatals, the country’s earnings are bound to exceed her annual budget targets. While FIRS’ performance is commend-
‘That the FIRS has been able to gather up into the nation’s treasury, a whopping N3,800,000,000,000.00 in just nine months, is a feat worthy to be lauded. Though we are not told the comparative figures from the third quarter of 2011, it is still a tidy bundle of money by any measure. When we factor in takings from other sources ... the country’s earnings is bound to exceed her annual budget targets’
able (and we hope it will surpass the N4.628trn year-end earnings of 2011), there is still ample room to do much more. First, in the areas where it has experienced exponential loss in revenue, for instance, Stamp Duties which fell from N4.42 billion to N1.87 billion and National Information Technology Development Fund which plunged from N2.28 billion to N427 million, efforts must be made to ensure that such huge variance never occurs again in those areas. More important, we expect FIRS as the taxman to get more proactive and creative in making Nigerians pay tax, especially the so-called ‘super-rich’ who flaunt their wealth and exhibit so much extravagance. A good case in point is the recent report that there are over 150 private jets in Nigeria. With each jet costing between $40 $50 million, it is expected that individuals or companies that own such high luxury items are tracked and made to pay adequate taxes. This approach also has the salutary effect of helping to curb ostentatious living and check corruption. But, beyond huge tax revenues, we ask, where is all the money? The total federal tax revenue for the year ended 2011 was N4.6 trillion and the federal budget was in the same range; there is also the crude oil sales revenue, among other sources of income for the Federal Government, yet there seems to always be a shortage of funds to back the budget and carry out government programmes. Recently, there was furore over nonfunding of most of Nigeria’s foreign mis-
sions, necessitating a near collapse of her embassies and high commissions across the world. The matter was so severe that some top officials posted abroad were forced to return home in search of funds for the basic necessities of the missions. Recall too that since the middle of the year, there has been a running feud between the National Assembly and the Federal Executive Council over the pace of implementation of the federal budget. The impression has been that there was a shortage of cash to back budget proposals, thus the under-performance of the current budget. Recent attempts by the government to access foreign loans, coupled with ever-burgeoning domestic debts re-echo the question: where is all the money gone? There is no doubt that government needs to show a lot more transparency, especially as regards accruals to the federal coffers. The people need to know all the possible receivables so that they can be on the same page with the government. Above all, we must note that in more developed economies, the fear of the tax man is the beginning of wisdom for most citizens and he helps keep every man on his toes as regards tax responsibilities to the state. In other words, we urge the FIRS to dig deeper. The era where it sits in its lush office and watch tax revenues flow into its till ought to be over now. With ample creativity, Nigeria’s tax revenues could be nigh limitless.
John Cardinal Onaiyekan •The priest as model of moderation in a nation embroiled in needless crisis HE papal elevation of Dr. John Olorunfemi Onaiyekan, Archbishop of the Catholic Diocese of Abuja, into the conclave of cardinals, may well be recognition of Dr. Onaiyekan’s excellence in priestly, public and private lives. But coming at this time when Nigeria is captive to insane fundamentalist shedding of innocent blood, which feigns religiosity but has nothing to do with any faith, it is papal medallion for the imperative of the priest as a moderating influence, even when everyone else is losing his head. Pope Benedict XVI’s creation of Dr. Onaiyekan as cardinal, taking effect from November 24, could not therefore have come at a better time. All through his priestly career, Dr. Onaiyekan has been brilliant at his theological studies and outstanding as a practising priest. Those who know him personally have testified to his sense of pious rectitude, his devotion to the highest good in secular society and his ability to to draw a line between sectarian fidelity and the need to work together with other faiths for the collective sanity of the country. He loved his faith without zealotry. But all these previous traits have only come to reinforce Dr. Onaiyekan’s excellent ecumenical credentials, at a time his country, goaded down the road of religious infamy by a few murderous malcontents and anarchists, needs such traits most. That also must have driven his joint nomination, with the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar III, for the 2012 Nobel Peace Prize, for somewhat trying to maintain some Christian-Muslim detente, in the face of terrible odds and un-
provoked intra, and inter-religious killings by Boko Haram. The Nobel nomination and now this cardinal elevation just show, through the noble deeds of likes of Dr. Onaiyekan, both the secular and spiritual globe are not ready to give up on Nigeria just yet. That is salutary. But even before this dire religious crossroads, the cardinal-designate has earned a reputation of speaking truth to power, in his own inimitable non-shrill but nevertheless clear manner, a trait Dr. Onaiyekan shares with his illustrious predecessor in the College of Cardinals, Anthony Cardinal Olubunmi Okogie, retired Archbishop of Lagos Catholic Metropolitan See, even if Cardinal Okogie was a shade more combatant. When at the brazen steal that was the 2007 general elections when much of Nigerian Christendom was given to cant, perhaps on account of the religious bent of Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, then outgoing president, Dr. Onaiyekan cut through the double talk and told the world how brazen that electoral heist was. That not only consolidated the Nigerian Catholic Church’s record of robust engagement of secular authorities on issues of public importance, as already laid down by the likes of Cardinal Okogie, it also reverberated well with the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) rank-andfile. An indignant CAN therefore voted out its sitting president, then Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) Primate, Peter Gasper Akinola, who had prevaricated over the electoral mess and voted in Dr. Onaiyekan. That was in the best tradition of the Church as societal conscience in troubled times.
In the new Cardinal Onaiyekan, Nigerians should realise anew the immense talent this country harbours and how we can leverage these talents to lift our country. John Cardinal Onaiyekan, after his consecration on November 24, would be Nigeria’s fourth cardinal: after Cardinals Dominic Ekanem, Francis Arinze and Okogie. With all the chaos and crisis of 52 years of independence, Nigeria has produced a Nobel Laureate in Prof. Wole Soyinka and Africa’s most popular novelist in Prof. Chinua Achebe, among other illustrious sons and daughters that are the envy of the world. With right leadership and motivation, Nigeria can hold its own among other nations. Let this common national pride in Dr. Onaiyekan’s elevation then trigger a common purpose in making our country great.
‘Those who know him personally have testified to his sense of pious rectitude, his devotion to the highest good in secular society and his ability to to draw a line between sectarian fidelity and the need to work together with other faiths for the collective sanity of the country. He loved his faith without zealotry’
How private are your phone calls?
MERICANS need safeguards against snooping by intelligence agencies that are tracking terrorists. In the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks, the Bush administration monitored the international phone calls and emails of hundreds, perhaps thousands, of people within the U.S. without a court order. Seven years after the New York Times broke that story, it is apparent that privacy safeguards legislated in response are inadequate — a deficiency Congress needs to rectify. The House recently voted to extend for another five years amendments to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act adopted in 2008. The amendments allow U.S. intelligence agencies, with minimal court supervision, to collect vast amounts of electronic communications from sources reasonably believed to be abroad, even if a U.S. resident is at the other end of the conversation. Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) has placed a hold on similar action in the Senate in the hopes of amending the legislation. Meanwhile, a group of lawyers, journalists, activists and academics who communicate confidentially with foreigners living abroad has filed suit claiming that the 2008 FISA amendments have made it difficult for them to exercise their constitutional rights and execute their professional obligations. On Monday, the Supreme Court will hear arguments on whether the plaintiffs, represented by the ACLU, have legal standing to bring suit. Given the importance of the constitutional questions involved, the justices should affirm that they do. But the important actor in protecting the privacy of Americans is Congress. The 2008 amendments do contain some protections for Americans’ privacy. For example, the government may not use its authority to gather information abroad to “target” someone known to be in the United States. The law also contains “minimization” procedures placing restrictions on the retention and dissemination of information about U.S. citizens and residents. But critics say that the prohibition on the targeting of Americans is no guarantee that the government isn’t engaging in what the ACLU calls “dragnet surveillance” of Americans’ international emails and phone calls. Given that intelligence agencies are trawling for broad categories of information — perhaps as broad as “communications originating in or terminating in Yemen” — it’s inevitable that some of those communications will involve people in the U.S. How many? The office of the director of national intelligence said last year that it is not “reasonably possible” to determine the number of people in the U.S. whose communications may have been “reviewed.” It’s generally assumed that most of the collection involves not real-time eavesdropping on phone conversations or instant messages but the downloading of large amounts of information, which is later analyzed. In one scenario, communications from a person in the U.S. would be accessed as part of the scrutiny of a variety of messages sent or received by a foreign target. But some worry that analysts also may use the names of U.S. citizens and residents in their searches of acquired communications. The office of the director of national intelligence insists that the government does not engage in “back door” searches of Americans, but also acknowledges that government operatives have “sometimes circumvented the spirit of the law.” In voting to reauthorize the FISA amendments, the Senate Intelligence Committee concluded that the law “has been implemented with attention to protecting the privacy and civil liberties of U.S. persons.” Americans would be more receptive to such assurances if Congress were to adopt two amendments proposed by Wyden and Sen. Mark Udall (D-Colo.). One would prohibit, in the absence of a court order, “the intentional acquisition of the contents of communications of a particular United States person or the searching of the contents of communications … in an effort to find communications of a particular United States person.” (There are exceptions for emergencies in which such information might be necessary to save lives.) The other would require the Justice Department and intelligence agencies to inform Congress of how many people in the U.S. have had their communications either “acquired” or “reviewed.” Congress must strike a new and better balance between national security and the privacy rights of Americans. – Los Angeles Times
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THE NATION THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 1, 2012
CARTOON & LETTERS
IR: My attention has been drawn to the write-up titled ‘True face of postgraduate medical training’ by Dr. Timi Babatunde in the October 22, edition of your newspaper. I can not hold brief for, or defend the National or West African Postgraduate Medical Colleges, which are the institutions responsible for organising and publishing results of examinations. It is obvious that the target of the accusations contained in the write-up are examiners who are responsible for setting the questions, marking the papers, and deciding the results, which are ratified by the institutions except in cases of genuine appeals and protests. As an examiner therefore, I am constrained to put in perspective the deliberate misrepresentations and omissions of the writer or complainant. Firstly, if the writer is truly a doctor, s/he ought to know the bodies that should deal with such complaints. Secondly, the residency training prepares doctors through a postgraduate scientific and professional apprenticeship for appointment as Consultants. Consultants are the last port of call for decisions about diagnosis, treatment and follow-up of patients seen at the highest levels of health care facilities. Patients often live of die through their opinions, which can only be challenged by peers in the same specialty. With such responsibilities, one can only sympathise with those who are passing through the training which we have also passed through with its challenges. There can therefore be no apologies about the fact that standards have to be set, they have to be high, and they have to be maintained. These examina-
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Re: The face of postgraduate medical training tions are therefore to be compared to the ICAN or elevation of lawyers to the position of SANs. When it comes to examinations, questions are set by a Court of Examiners made up more than one individual. When questions are to be scored, they are either marked in conference, or marked by at least two independent people after a marking scheme has been agreed, and marks are reconciled before final scores are awarded. At the end of every examination, a meeting of all examiners reviews the whole examinations with scores, with thorough discussion, hard consideration for borderline candidates and sometime sympathetic consideration leading to upgrade of
borderline failures. A major issue is the attitude of trainees. Dr. Babatunde forgot to inform his readers that those who are pursuing the program leading to the Fellowships are qualified medical doctors who are fully employed as Registrars and Senior Registrars, and earning full salaries while going through training and sitting for examinations. In addition to that, most of them are engaged in private practices either as proprietors or in the employment of other private practitioners. Some moonlight in two or more places in addition to their full and permanent employment. Although these practices are frowned at, there is little that a trainer can do, other than
grumble since he/she is not the employer of the one in training. All these are in spite of the fact that the trainee is aware that there is generally a maximum period of about six years within which the hospitals expect them to complete the training and give room for others to come in. A good number are also married with children. This is what I call eating your cake and wanting to have it at the same time. You will then wonder how much time is available for reading and preparation for these examinations. In addition, some of the trainees are already formed family men and women, who are not so amenable to instructions. In an attempt to finish quickly, some candidates
also appear for these examinations against trainers’ when it is obvious that they have not prepared adequately. Since the examination is a human system, it is not perfect. It is however pertinent to show that results are not always as erroneously presented, For example, the results of the last examination in my Faculty shows that 29 out of 97 passed the Primaries, 52 out 90 passed Part I, and 35 out of 41passed Part II. Agreed, examination fees should not be prohibitive, but the argument that doctors in full employment and earning salaries are heavily handicapped can not be sustained. As trainer and examiners who agonise over the performances of the candidates, one can not help feeling being unfairly treated by this write-up simply designed to vilify the examiners and the postgraduate medical colleges. P. O. Olatunji Lagos
Re: Imoke’s undignified view of women
IR: I frown at Dr. Cosmas Odoemena’s article in The Nation of October 18 page 20, which offers criticism that is intellectually sterile and not well founded. The article marked Imoke’s speech with a quotation mark but did not indicate the closing quotation mark, so we just have a loosely running sentences being attributed to Imoke. It will interest Odoemena to know that human beings, whether men or women, are a part of tourism assets. They fall under what is referred to as the social attraction of tourism prod-
ucts. A city having beautiful women shows that the women are naturally, culturally or cosmetically beautiful and tourism is about ‘experience’ –something beautiful to look at, certainly not ugly sights. For a city to have beautiful women also means that the men are sensitive to beauty as such both sexes are aesthetically conscious. Beauty either as body adornment or other forms of embellishments shows that such a society has risen. There is refinement of taste in the way the people look, walk or their environment, and
that such a society has time for leisure which ultimately means that it is a stable and organized society. If Odoemena is not being mischievous, the word delicacy is not a reference to human beings. In his entire article, there is no sentence directly from Imoke referring to women as delicacies. Above all Cross River State has a high cultural history of women beautification. The richly decorative coiffure of the Efik women, in the hinterland the nsibidi and eblemi body decorations and the moninkim maiden dances are all
forms of indigenous expressions of beauty among Cross River women. It is a misplaced emphasis to assume that beauty connotes sexual gratification. It is more about wellbeing and pleasantness. I am yet to see an ugly woman among the President’s cabinet. Finally, the dignity, respect and prestige of womanhood are also embodied in her beauty which must be admired, praised, sang or painted like Mona Lisa. Dr. Victor Ecoma. Calabar
THE NATION THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 1, 2012
The election in Ondo state
HE gubernatorial election in Ondo state has come and gone. Dr. Olusegun Mimiko and his Labour Party have won. In spite of the protestation of the PDP and the ACN, it seems that the people have decided. This is the spirit of democracy. The people have foolishly or wisely chosen who their leader for a while should be. Most of us independent observers are convinced that the economic integration platform of the ACN is in the longer interest of our people in the South-western part of Nigeria. I have a feeling that Mimiko himself would not be opposed to integration and I do not see how Ondo State can avoid integration with the rest of the Southwest even if Ondo state is not in the same party with its neighbours. In politics, one can choose his friends, but one cannot choose his neighbours. It’s like in life generally; one can choose one’s friends, but not members of one’s family. If this is a given position, both Mimiko and leaders of the ACN would have to get used to each other. If they do not, it is our people who would suffer. It is not necessary for elders to jump into the affray between the two contending ideologies in the Southwest. Statesmanship should dictate that reconciliation is the way forward. Our interests are permanent, even though the strategies to attain these interests may change and there is no need to reduce political contestation to struggles between individuals and to personalize issues as it is being done in the story of Ondo State. There is absolutely no need to demonise and denigrate Bola Tinubu who by all accounts and yardstick has been a positive force in Yoruba politics. Whether we like it or not, Tinubu for the foreseeable future, will remain a relevant and constant force in Nigerian politics. I have read comments glamorizing one group while demonizing leadership of another group. There is no doubt
‘Dr. Mimiko should settle down and face the reality of the need to relate positively with the main political force in the Southwest and he should avoid being used to fight intra and inter ethnic battles. He has enough on his plate at home and he must understand that his support in Ondo State is statistically very weak’
T was not supposed to become like an Animal Farm’s tale, but like everything that those in government handle, they have introduced class to it. Yet, when Taraba Governor Danbaba Suntai and his aides flew out of Jalingo, the state capital, last Thursday, one thing that probably was far from their minds was class. Unarguably, every one on board that ill-fated flight knew where he belonged in the hierarchical structure, it was not an issue to be flaunted to the extent of embarrassing anyone. It was a flight of jolly good fellows, perhaps, on a Sallah binge. But it turned out otherwise. It is not Suntai’s fault that his lieutenants are being treated as subjects in a matter of life and death because he himself is not aware of what is going on around him, at least, for now. Our prayer is that he pulls through. Suntai needs all the prayers to be alive because it appears he is between life and death. Suntai has a passion which we have all come to know him for and this is flying. He loves running around in a plane and at the least opportunity he takes to the sky. Since he passed out from the Nigerian College of Aviation Technology (NCAT), Zaria, Kaduna State, Suntai has been flying himself whenever he is opportuned to do so. To him, flying is not only an hobby, but a passion. Hear him: ‘’Personally, right from the onset of my life, I chose aviation as a career and pursuing it I was able to obtain admission to Mbrevidaila Aeronautical Univer-
that the leadership of the ACN has been largely successful in mobilizing people in the South-west and asking them to begin to look inwards, so as to find salvation from collective efforts, rather than looking towards an external saviour from Abuja. This trend has always characterised politics of people in the South-west over time and anyone who goes against this tendency would eventually find out that he has backed a wrong horse. This is the evidence of history and the political history of the South-western part of Nigeria is clear on this. This is also in tandem with global trend where cultural awareness accompanied by local autonomy is the order of the day. This is why I find it ridiculous for anybody to accuse the leadership of the ACN of tribalism. Politics is about defending group or collective interest and political parties are organised for this purpose especially in a situation of competing and conflicting interests as we find in Nigeria. Politics is war by other means. Instead of resorting to violence to defend one’s interest, one is involved in organised party politics. This is the real meaning and advantage of party political organisation. In advanced countries like the United Kingdom, Spain, Italy, Germany, Denmark and Belgium, political parties exist specifically to defend regional or cultural interests and they don’t have to be apologetic about this; and anybody who feels defending regional interest is against the national interest is living in a fool’s paradise, because after all, the national interest is the aggregation of the interests of all. Dr. Mimiko should settle down and face the reality of the need to relate positively with the main political force in the South-west and he should avoid being used to fight intra and inter ethnic battles. He has enough on his plate at home and he must understand that his support in Ondo State is statistically very weak. He should concentrate on the task of development and creating jobs and economic opportunities at home. And that should take all his time, so that he doesn’t have time for indulging in self-adulation and praises from his A-men corner. Mimiko is an intelligent man and personally likeable, I have respect for his sense of judgement. He should avoid being used as a Trojan horse or bridgehead of those who may be opposed to progressive development in the region especially at a time when it is obvious the region is under intense and programmed marginalisation. The ACN as a political party needs to be seen as a mass movement that is ready to work with other mass movements in other parts of the country in preparation for 2015 election.
The party must therefore be structured in such a way that its leadership is collective and not domineering. There is also need for internal democracy within the party so that candidates who contest elections command the support of the electorate. This is not a time to apportion blame, but this is a time for reform and democratization of all party Jide organs. This is the Osuntokun bitter lesson that it must learn from the Ondo election. Political parties grow when challenged. Parties without opposition tend to ossify. This is why I believe the ACN has no reason to feel discouraged or despondent, after all, it made a good show in Ondo in spite of the loaded dice against it. The electoral process must be transparently fair and not subject to the shenanigans of party hawks who would like to use federal might and muscle to win elections. We have seen this before and it has not always been in the interest of Nigeria and Nigerians. If this country is to progress, we must allow a contestation of ideas from which the right way forward would evolve.
‘Political parties grow when challenged. Parties without opposition tend to ossify. This is why I believe the ACN has no reason to feel discouraged or despondent, after all, it made a good show in Ondo in spite of the loaded dice against it’
Animal Farm sity in Florida, but coming from a very poor background, I could not sponsor myself in school; so, I started seeking scholarship, but I could not obtain a scholarship. So, that was how I ended up in the pharmacy profession. However, aviation has continued to bite in my blood. And when I learnt that I could even fly at my age, I decided to come over here to see the rector and inform him about my ambition and he enrolled me. ‘’And after some few training, today, I was able to undergo this solo flight. So, in my blood I have it as a passion, so this passion translates to my belief in encouraging students who want to be pilots to be sponsored to train...so, it is a passion...I don’t know about other governors but the thing is all about passion’’. Suntai spoke in August 2010 after he finished at NCAT and took his first solo flight as a pilot. He was no doubt ecstatic that, at last, he could now fly a plane. Many of us would wish we could also do the same thing but we lack the courage to take up that challenge. We can only fly with our mouths. Suntai, it is said, so much loves flying that he devotes so much time to it at the expense of his executive duties as governor. This is, however, not the subject under discussion. We are here concerned with the way other victims of the crash are being treated. It all appears as if the governor was the only one aboard the Cessna
‘Life is the same, be it that of a prince or a serf. In so much as we do not want Suntai to die, we should also strive in like manner to ensure that the others also live’
28 plane flown by him whereas he was not. There were others with him. Among them were his Aide-De-Camp (ADC). Dasat Iliya, Chief Security Officer (CSO), Timo Dangana, and Chief Detail, Joel Dan. Now the only difference between them and Suntai is that the latter is a governor, which by our country’s standard, makes him a demi-god. This explains all the fawnings over Suntai since the unfortunate accident. It is as if those on board the plane with Suntai do not exist as far as the authorities are concerned. To them, it is all about Suntai, Suntai and Suntai. We are not saying that the government should not show concern about the well-being of the governor. All we are saying is that they should also show interest about the well being of others injured in the crash. E are told that the govern ment is so much con cerned about the governor because he sustained far more serious injuries than others and I
say that is where they got it all wrong. Why do I say so? A man, in most instances, does not die from the seriousness of his injuries. The severity of an ailment does not necessarily hasten the death of the indisposed. So, why are we not as concerned about the others as we are about Suntai. Life is the same, be it that of a prince or a serf. In so much as we do not want Suntai to die, we should also strive in like manner to ensure that the others also live. When it concerns life, we should treat the king and his servant the same way. The state, which flew Suntai to Germany for treatment also has the means to fly the others abroad for treatment, so why didn’t it do so? Was it advised medically not to extend the same gesture to them? What informed such medical advice? Is it because they are lesser mortals who do not deserve such royal treatment? God forbid, but if any one of them dies from his injuries, how will the government look like before the people? Has the government spared a thought for that? Well, what am I even talking about? Do they care about losing face before the public? It is not too late to make amends. The others too should be flown abroad for proper medical treatment because life is the same, whether that of a governor or his ADC, CSO or chief detail. We are all equal before God and no life is more precious than the other in the eyes of the Almighty.We are not in George Orwell’s Animal Farm where pigs turned things upside down, broke the commandment on equality and turned the kingdom into where ‘’all animals are equal but some animals are more equal than others.’’ I wish all the Cessna 28 plane crash victims hasty recovery.
Lawal Ogienagbon email@example.com SMS ONLY: 08099400204
Carpenter’s hammer as gavel
Our lawmakers will not cease to confound the world with their absurdities. Last week in Lokoja, the Kogi State capital, members of the House of Assembly turned themselves into a laughing stock when they held plenary outside the constitutionally recognised venue because they did not have access to the Assembly Complex. Besides that, they also sat without the mace, the House symbol of authority. The speaker added to the drama by wielding a carpenter’s hammer as gavel. In a society like ours where most of our lawmakers behave more or less like thugs, anything could have happened had there been any tiff during that session. If any of his colleagues had annoyed him that day, only God knows what the honourable speaker would have done with the carpenter’s hammer he wielded with so much relish. Will our lawmakers ever grow up? When will they stop ridiculing their countrymen with their incivility? They need a lesson in public behaviour, but my fear is they may think they are in one of those their sessions and turn the poor facilitator to a punching bag.
THE NATION THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 1, 2012
COMMENTS This article first appeared in The Guardian on August 22, 1991. The article is as relevant today as it was 21 years ago. Today as it was then, it doesn’t appear there is anyone in charge of the economy. Today those who contributed to the collapse of the banking sector, those who supervised their activities and those who have been accused of defrauding the government are also economic advisers to government. Happy reading.
T feels good to be a Nigerian at this period of our nation’s history. For once, attention is being shifted from corruption, police brutality, drug, scandals, student riots and so on, to issues of development. Economic decisions that government believes to be in the interest of the governed are promptly taken. In politics, we have come up with our own models that will shame the whole generation of Western model builders. We have come up with our own definition of political party, elections, manifestos and so on. In international economic diplomacy, we can ignore William Keeling and his Western masters and co-detractors who were envious because of about $150 million or 1.5 billion naira we spent on hosting the most successful OAU summit since the organization’s inception in 1963. If their problem is our outstanding debt, which is now $30 billion by their records, this we have been servicing without default. At home, our economists have shamed their Western counterparts by embracing models they had been too timid to adopt. We have embraced what our economists call “the inevitable large scale programme of devaluation” in spite of the reservations of Western economists and scholars like Jaime de Millo (the World Bank official) and Ricardo Fari of Johns Hopkins University. Both men have warned that the wholesale devaluation of our naira would not help our situation. Our former Head of State - the frustrated chicken farmer, once noted for his cynicism about our economic programme, has even taken the battle to Columbia University where he dared our creditors to begin charity at home by adopting the law of demand and supply and to jettison “protectionism” against Japanese goods and subsidy of their agricultural produce. He is on his own; our government economic advisers would want us to know they are in charge. Unlike General Obasanjo, they have faith in our creditors. What I have found disturbing however is
ECENTLY, one J.E Okeke wrote an offensive article titled “Why governor should come from Anambra North”. Offensive, not because it contains the intellectual barbs one expects from a serious writer; nay it rather offends because it offers no serious appeal to the truth nor facts about the matter raised. Nevertheless as a firm believer in the libertarian theory of the press, which notes that the sole method of arriving at the truth in the long run is by free competition of opinion in the opinion market and that the one that seems most rational will emerge and be generally accepted. This tenet thus necessitated this response. Okeke who claims to head the Anambra North Peoples Assembly, unfortunately hindered his own article via his opening statements which ran as thus “Not a few readers of The Nation on Sunday September 9, must have been thoroughly appalled at the inter-
‘Surely he is yet to declare for the office as he is presently rather concerned with his present mandate as a senator representing the people of Anambra Central. Again, he is not the only politician to have spoken on the zoning matter; others like Soludo, Ukachukwu, Andy Uba, Ifeanyi Ubah, Victor Umeh and Obinna Uzor have also aired their views on the issue’
Aikhomu and the travails of the naira not the economists ingenious recommendation that we must boycott goods and services including drugs, food, telephone, electricity, if the prices are too high, but their occasional head-on collision with government. This tendency tends to cast doubt in the mind of the governed especially when they are being told there is only one way to our economic salvation. The government no doubt needs credibility if it is to carry the people along. We can now recall that as at November 13, 1986, the first-tier rate was N2.80 to $1 or N4 to #1. But shortly after this, the first rift between the government and its economic experts became noticeable. Then, on November 24, 1986 when the exchange rate jumped to N3.45 to $1, Augustus Aikhomu, then Chief of General Staff, panicked and attempted to issue a decree to ensure stability of the naira in total disregard for the law of “demand and supply”. He consequently went ahead to increase the amount of foreign exchange for auction from $50 million to $75 million. The rift was settled but not without a strong warning from the Central Bank that government’s interference would not be tolerated. By November 1990, when they had successfully arrested the decline in the value of the naira, the exchange rate had floated up to N10.75 kobo to the dollar. Barely two weeks later, the Central Bank through its Director of Research, Dr. M.O. Ojo, ably defended this rate claiming that the naira was realistically valued because the supply of foreign exchange tallied with demand. In his words, the “rate is dictated by simple law of
demand and supply.” He allayed our fears by informing us that low exchange rate is no indication that the economy is not on course. By last July 24, the floating exchange rate had climbed up to Nl1.32 kobo to the dollar. Once again Aikhomu, the military Vice President, broke the truce by publicly criticizing the Central Bank and its economic masterminds. Characteristically, the Vice President then said that, “the value of the naira cannot be left absolutely to the whims and caprices of market forces”. He is thinking of government measures aimed at stabilizing the exchange rate of the naira at an acceptable level. The latest confrontation has once again provided an opportunity for the critics of the economic policies of government to ask where exactly we now stand. The economic experts have moved us from first tier to second window, back to second tier and forward to the Dutch market. They have reduced our lives to second-tier lives. We accepted because “hope rises eternal in the human breast.” If government now doubts its able ally in this war of economic survival, how are we sure we have not all been hoodwinked? In all this, I sympathize more with government. This is not because I care less for helpless Nigerians, who live second-tier lives, but our government that is saddled with the overall responsibility of taking us to the economic El Dorado seems to have been reduced to a pawn in the chess game of our economists. With this type of betrayal from a trusted ally, we can easily see that, were it
Anambra 2014 and Okeke’s hallucinations By Igboeli Arinze view granted by Senator Chris Ngige and his response to the question of agitation for the next governor to be of Anambra extraction.” Now even a year one student undertaking a general study course in philosophy and logic would obviously agree that Okekes scraggy opening comments is nothing but a fallacy of hasty generalization. True Mr. Okeke may have been appalled by the Ngige interview, in fact he is allowed to be appalled and has the freedom to be appalled, he may even lead a one-man protest and picket The Nation newspapers or NTA Onitsha, God knows that I do not have a problem with that, but if that is the case then he should have spoken for himself alone and not resort to numbers or a crowd he doesn’t have. Rambling further, he accused Senator Ngige of not understanding the agitation of Ndi Anambra North and of doublespeak since Ngige as a democrat candidly called for Ndi Anambra to collectively decide who would govern them come 2014 and at the same time questioned the notion or assumption that come 2014 it was the turn of the people of Anambra North since at no point in time did the people of the state collectively agree to zone the office of the governor to any zone. An unbiased fellow can obviously decode that there is no distinction between Ngige’s call for the people to choose their governor and the fact that Ndi Anambra at any level had never agreed to a zoning formula. In all spheres of our society the people have lead-
ers who naturally represent their views or interests. These leaders act as a go-between their own people and other leaders from time to time. Most local governments and the senatorial zones have a coterie of able leaders, leaders who have the confidence of their people, but such leaders would agree that at no time has there been a discussion nor an agreement on the principle of zoning, had there been such an agreement then the likes of Joy Emodi and Chudi Nwike would have allowed Mbadinuju and contestants from Anambra South to jockey for the position of governor in 1999; no this was not the case as both aspirants on the platform of the All Peoples Party and the Alliance for Democracy contested and lost out to Dr.Chinwoke Mbadinuju. Again in 2003, 2007 and 2010, several aspirants from Anambra North filed out keenly to contest the primaries of their various parties and the elections proper. Amongst these aspirants were the likes of Okey Odunze, Alex Obiogbolu, Joy Emodi, Tony Nwoye, Emma Anosike, Benjamin Obidigbo and a host of others who slugged it out with the eventual winners of such elections. My question to Okeke is that if such an accord actually does exist, then the aforementioned aspirants should never have joined the fray to contest the position of governor. Surely, they would have held their peace and allowed for their turn as prescribed by the accord. Let’s assume that one of these candidates mentioned had won, would they have been stopped from taking the oath of office simply because a fictitious accord existed only in the minds of Okeke? Okeke’s assertion that the zone made a pact with the incumbent, Peter Obi and is a rea-
not for the craftiness of government, our whole economic system would have collapsed. Our government made up of men and women of great skills has, in spite of its unpredictable self-serving allies, successfully combined the husbandry of our economy with other vital decisions that have. far-reaching effects on our lives. For instance they alone decide for us when the nation needs to be prodigal or ostentatious. They alone know when we can make donations to the needy, sick, elite, successful footballers, musicians, churches and mosques. And it is they alone that can decide when it is time to stop spending money as if there will be no tomorrow. As if these were not enough burden for government, it has to maintain a delicate balance between investing in our future political stability and health as well as housing for all in the magic year 2000. It has to juxtapose economic rationality with political expediency. It is obvious that our economic managers are not ordinary men. Even craftiness is a measure of resourcefulness. I would therefore rather swim or drown with a resourceful government with all its scheming than with our economic experts who operate more as agents of our creditors. – August 22,1991
‘By last July 24, the floating exchange rate had climbed up to Nl1.32 kobo to the dollar. Once again Aikhomu, the military Vice President, broke the truce by publicly criticizing the Central Bank and its economic masterminds. Characteristically, the Vice President then said that, “the value of the naira cannot be left absolutely to the whims and caprices of market forces”. He is thinking of government measures aimed at stabilizing the exchange rate of the naira at an acceptable level’ son why the incumbent was declared winner in 2010 is in error and another shade of falsehood attempted, one emanating from his hallucinations, which naturally tends to backfire as it removes from the article whatever remained of its credibility. It is on this note that I advise Okeke to allow sleeping dogs to lie. Even if Governor Obi and the likes of Okeke had any agreements concerning 2014 after the robbery of 2010, pray how it is binding on me or other persons from Anambra state, since neither I nor my leaders were privy or party to such an agreement? Again Okeke entangles himself in his own labyrinth when he advocates “that from debates grow a better understanding of issues confronting a nation”. One is then forced to wonder why he is then against Ngige’s call for an agreement by leaders of the state concerning the issue of zoning, or is Okeke trying to be clever by half? Finally why is Ngige central in all of these arguments? Surely he is yet to declare for the office as he is presently rather concerned with his present mandate as a senator representing the people of Anambra Central. Again, he is not the only politician to have spoken on the zoning matter; others like Soludo, Ukachukwu, Andy Uba, Ifeanyi Ubah, Victor Umeh and Obinna Uzor have also aired their views on the issue. Okeke seems to have been blinded, deafened and dumb to the statements credited to those mentioned above but it seems that there is a “His name is John” effect when Ngige is involved. Perhaps there is then more to this than being about it being the turn of the people of Anambra North, a script driven by the fear of Ngige designed by self-seeking politicians with the purpose to deny Anambra the best in leadership. This we must resist in its entirety as it is nothing but undemocratic in all ramifications. The 2014 elections should be left for Ndi Anambra to decide. Let us allow the people to lead! • Igboeli Arinze writes from Awka
THE NATION THURSDAY, NOV EMBER 1, 2012
NATIONSPORT WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 1, 2012
CAS throws out Odegbami's case
HE long drawn out legal battle between former international, Segun Odegbami and the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) came to an abrupt end on Wednesday. The Court of Arbitration for Sports knocked the case of the former Super Eagles' captain out, owing to the failure of the appellant to make the necessary payment for the pursuant of the case. Odegbami, who was to contest for the presidency of the NFF, withdrew at the last minute citing some under hand tactics and thus headed to CAS to seek redress. However, according to a letter from CAS on Wednesday, following series of reminders to Chief Odegbami
most likely reminders of his responsibility to pay the appeal fees into CAS accounts, reminders which were not responded to, the case was deemed terminated by the legal body. "I refer to the CAS letters of 30 August 2012, 14 September 2012, and 3 October 2012 and inform the parties that to date, the CAS Court Office did not recieve the Appellant's payment of the advance costs on its bank account within the given deadline, i. e 12 October 2012. "Therefore, I inform the parties that the above-mentioned procedure is deemed withdrawn and a Termination Order shall follow within ten days, "according to the CAS letter.
Cross River ready for 2012 Obudu Mountain Ranch race
HE Cross River State Government has pledged to make this year’s annual Obudu Mountain Race scheduled for Nov. 17 as memorable as ever. Dr Jude Amadi, the Cross River Director of Sports disclosed this to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Wednesday in Calabar. ``We are ready for the 2012 Obudu Mountain Race and you also know that come 2014, Nigeria and Cross River will host the World Mountain Race.
``This, therefore, means that the 2012 edition is a test run, a prelude to 2014 and we are also going to use 2013 to test run our capacity to host in 2014. ``A new route has been designed for the race and it is no longer going to be on a tarred route. It is going to be business according to the World Standards of mountain running. ``Therefore, everything has been put in place and the Local Organising Committee has been holding a series of meetings. We are now ready,’’
2013 AFRICA CUP OF NATIONS
No automatic place for Osaze, says Keshi N
IGERIA coach Stephen Keshi has dismissed reports that Osaze Odemwingie would be at the Nations Cup as no player is guaranteed a shirt yet. "No! There was no time I said such a thing. That a player has a shirt in the Nations Cup squad when we have not even opened camp?" Keshi questioned. "No player is guaranteed a shirt for the Nations Cup. Any player invited for the Nations Cup final camp must prove on the pitch
From Tunde Liadi, Owerri gathers momentum. He said he would always honour Nigeria's invitation in as much as he is in good condition and stable health. "Yes, I will play against Venezuela. I am ready and eagerly waiting for the day to come. I don't have any other country so I will always come for Eagles' assignment in as much as the coaches deemed me worthy to be in the squad," Ambrose explained to NationSport.
Rabiu Ibrahim: I am happy to be back
ELTIC midfielder, Rabiu Ibrahim is glad to have shaken off the injury that kept him on the sidelines at the Scottish champions since beginning of current season. He said: “I am glad to be back. I was injured, but now okay. I am fit to play and at disposal of the coach, who has the right to pick whoever he wants. I am enjoying life in Glasgow. Celtic have been good to me.” The former PSV Eindhoven player joined the Glasgow giants on a free on being laid off by the Dutch Eredivisie campaigners last winter and went on to play a couple of games in the twilight of the last
Scottish Premier League campaign. Since the start of current campaign, Rabiu has been in obscurity at Celtic, where compatriot Efe Ambrose is basking in prominence, following his summer switch from Israel Ligat club Ashdod. Rabiu, who was roundly tipped to step into the shoes of Austin Jay-Jay Okocha in Super Eagles, following his sublime displays at the 2007 FIFA Under-17 Championship in South Africa, maintained Nigeria is in the right stead to lift the trophy at year’s African Cup of Nations in South Africa. He said: “Nigeria are a strong country in African football and Super Eagles will be a team to beat in South Africa. I like what Coach Stephen Keshi has been doing with the team. “There are lots of quality players on the team and it’s left for Keshi to make the right selections. With the caliber of players at his disposal, Nigeria can win the cup.”
that he deserves to have a shirt." West Brom striker Odemwingie last played for Keshi in a Nations Cup qualifier in February in Rwanda and has since not featured for the Eagles again. The Eagles coach has since said the striker was not ready to play for the country after he failed to get back to him as regards his availability for the AFCON qualifier in Liberia in September. A rumoured reconciliation meeting between coach and player has yet to take place. On the much-talked about training base for AFCON, Keshi confirmed MTNFootball.com report that the Eagles will first train in Faro, Portugal, before frica.
they fly down for a final buildup in South Africa. "We will camp in Portugal and from there head to South Africa," he said after his choice of Zimbabwe was overruled. Keshi has called up 24 players from the Nigeria Premier League for training beginning on Sunday in Abuja for the friendly against Venezuela in Miami, USA, on November 14. Nigeria are drawn in Group C along with defending champions Zambia, Burkina Faso and Ethiopia. They open their campaign on January 21 against Burkina Faso.
...As West Brom star gets manager’s praise
Efe Ambrose ready for Venezuela tie ELTIC of Scotland defender, Efe Ambrose has revealed to NationSport exclusively that he would be on the plane to Miami, United States in the coming days for the Super Eagles' friendly with Venezuela billed for November 14. Ambrose has been a regular in the coach Stephen Keshi's new look Eagles and in a chat informed that he would make the long trip to the USA to heed his fatherland call as the preparations for the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations competition
Standard Chartered Bank Orji receives Sports Festival Torch to organise annual •Calls for unity through Sports clinic for kids—Mobley OVERNOR Theodore From Ugochukwu Ugoji-Eke,
HE Nigeria international was sent-off in the Baggies' match against Fulham last month but has impressed since returning against QPR, Manchester City and Newcastle. And Clarke is hopeful the 31-year-old can continue to progress ahead of Monday's visit of Southampton. "His sending off was a blow for him," said Clarke. "I think he has learned his lesson and he showed that in the game against QPR. I put him back in for that game and he played really well and he
did what I thought he would do. "He came in and made his contribution against Manchester City and Newcastle as well. I think Peter has always been motivated. "When I spoke to him in the summer he was keen to be here and see how the team developed with me as the head coach. "That was the impression I got from him at the start and I think he's happy and comfortable here. He trains well every day and is a good worker, and I've got no complaints about him. He's done well for me."
RACIAL ABUSE: Mikel’s claim faces threat
HELSEA's race case against Mark Clattenburg is in danger of collapsing after it emerged that the club has employed independent lawyers to investigate the claims of their players. The club are expected to conclude their internal investigation on Wednesday into allegations that the referee racially abused John Mikel Obi and called Juan Mata a ‘Spanish t***’. The external lawyers will then provide Chelsea with legal opinion as to whether their case will be successful. Despite issues over the available evidence, Chelsea remained robust. Clattenburg, who has been taken off the Premier League match list this weekend, has protested his innocence since his controversial handling of Chelsea’s 3-2 defeat by Manchester United on Sunday. Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand (right), who has been outspoken on racism in football,
tweeted on Tuesday morning: 'Will be interesting to see how this alleged 'race' or 'insulting' language episode pans out, our game is under the microscope like never before.'Mikel was among the Chelsea players back at training on Tuesday morning. Now it has emerged that Chelsea are fearful of the backlash if the players have misheard or misjudged Clattenburg’s conversations during the stormy clash against United. Chelsea will proceed with the case against the referee only if they are satisfied the claims made by the players after the game will stand up to the FA’s burden of proof. It means they will need to satisfy an FA commission ‘on the balance of probability’, but they also have to negotiate the complexities of the Metropolitan Police’s investigation into the affair. If the case breaks down, it will reflect badly on Chelsea, who made their claims of inappropriate
language against Clattenburg in a strongly worded statement on Sunday, two hours after the final whistle. Earlier it emerged that the club and Mikel could be charged with misconduct by the FA after the midfielder had to be restrained from manhandling the referee in his dressing room following the clash. Clattenburg did not mention the behaviour in the ‘extraordinary incident’ report he filed on Sunday, but he now has to make a detailed statement to the FA. Clattenburg’s assistants, Michael McDonough and Simon Long, and fourth official Mike Jones have filed reports in which they say they did not hear the Durham official say anything inappropriate. All four were in the referee’s room when Mikel burst in with Chelsea chief executive Ron Gourlay and manager Roberto Di Matteo.
T was a memorable day for some children at the Italian International School Lekki, as Liverpool FC legend, Dietmar Hamman led a coaching clinic and training session for kids. The clinic was organised by the cllub sponsors, Standard Chartered Bank. Speaking at an interactive session, Dan Mobley, Regional Head of Corporate Affairs, Africa, assured that "Standard Chartered Bank will sustain the aspirations of kids by conductiong an annual clinic." While reacting to issues raised, he elaborated that, "the idea of a soccer academy may be contemplated in the long term. Liverpool FC have enjoyed sponsorship from Standard Chartered Bank for for almost a decade and the relationship has been both beneficial and fruitful. We are all proud of the Club and Didi." Former German International and Liverpool fan favourite, Dietmar Hamman also hailed Standard Chartered Bank for conducting a soccer clinic for kids in Lagos last weekend. "Didi", who led other coaches to the Italian International School, Lekki to personally conduct Liverpool Legend salutes Standard Chartered Bankcoaching Besiktas. The club had sessions with the kids, cut a happy approached him for his figure all through the opinions on two Nigeria training period. In internationals - Sone 2000-2005, Didi won Aluko and Ikechukwu his three League Cup Uche - they had wanted to winners' medal first recruit this summer. winners' medals in In his three - year stint English football and with The Black Eagles, was a part of that Amokachi scored 19 goals astonishing in 77 games in the Super Champions League League. final in Istanbul.
Amokachi may abandon Eagles for Besiktas job
UPER Eagles Assistant Coach Daniel Amokachi could leave his post in the coming days according to Turkish media. Turkey's number one sports daily Fanatik is reporting that Daniel Amokachi has been recommended to become the new Director of
Football of Istanbul giants Besiktas J.K. The President of Besiktas, Fikret Orman, is in support of their ex player taking the post, and an announcement on the decision shall be made shortly. Daniel Amokachi still wields influence in the corridors of power of als -
Responding to questions from journalist, he stated, "I am very happy to work with these children and I think Standard Chartered Bank has done so well to provide kids with a great opportunity especially in their future career andgrow their passion for the beautiful game." Concerning Liverpool's poor start in the English Premier League, he enthused that, " There were massive departures from the club, Carrol was loaned out, Kuyt sold and so the new manager, Rogers, who was brilliant at Swansea, will need time and support for the club to bounce back." Didi also charged the air with nostalgia when he told journalists about our now retired soccer gladiators. He said, " Nigeria is blessed with great talents over the years. Great players like Austin Okocha, George Finidi, Sunday Oliseh and (the late) Rasheed Yekini were house hold names in Germany and all over Europe." Dietmar Hamann was one of several new signings unveiled by Gerard Houllier during the summer of 1999. He made his League debut for the Reds at Sheffield Wednesday on the opening day of the 1999/00 season, as did Titi Camara, Sami Hyypia, Vladimir Smicer, Sander Westerveld and Eric Meijer. Discovered as a 16-years-old, he enjoyed tremendous success with Bayern, winning two Bundesliga titles, the UEFA Cup, the German cup and the German League cup. He also starred for Germany in the 1998 World Cup.
committed to ensuring that the outcomes are fully implemented for the benefit of Nigerian sports. “The least we could do to repay the kind of confidence Mr. President has invested in us and the extraordinary commitment he has shown for sports development is to ensure that that the recommendations are fully implemented,” he said. The Minister added that, “ It is true, like many have pointed out that we have had several sports retreats or conferences in the
past, but this is the first time that a sports retreat was hosted by a Nigerian President. It must also be noted that Dr. Goodluck Jonathan is the first ever-Nigerian President to mention Sports as an important sector in the national budget.” He further stated that the retreat had provided the vehicle to kick-start the much-needed reform in the sports sector, which would lead to an enduring system that guarantees sustainable success in Nigerian sports. The sports sector retreat held Monday,
last week with the President, Vice President and virtually all members of the Federal Executive Council members in attendance. Members of the organized private sector, media, sports technocrats and other stakeholders from within and outside Nigeria were also present. The consultants McKinsey, who helped organized the retreat, are putting the recommendations reached at the event together for implementation by the Sports Ministry.
Orji of Abia State has received the Eko Sports Festival torch, which arrived the state as part of its tour of the country and will finally stop at Lagos to signal the beginning of the 18th National Sports Festival tagged EKO 2012. The torch which began its nationwide journey on the 25th of September 2012 from State House Abuja, arrived in Umuahia Township stadium at noon with the bearer, an Abia State-born International sprinter, Miss Josephine Omaka. Receiving the torch, on behalf of Governor Theodore Orji, the Deputy governor, Sir Emeka Ananaba enjoined athletes to participate in the Sports Festival to be hosted by Lagos State from November 27th to December 9th and use the event to strengthen the unity of the country which was the primary aim of introducing the event. The governor said that the
•Picture shows one of the participants, Master Demilade Azeez being presented a certificate at the end of the football clinic in Lagos recently.
Umuahia unity of Nigeria can never be compromised; stressing that one of the ways to achieve that is through sports which has been known to unite the people of Nigeria, “when tribe and religion disappear in the dictionary of the country”. Orji said, “There is need to promote sporting activities in the country, this is because whenever the country is participating in any sports festival the issue of where one comes from is no more there, what we have is one Nigeria. Therefore sports festival should be encouraged for what it stands”. Governor Orji said that the state would soon embark on the development of talents in sports by initiating sporting activities in primary and secondary schools, stressing that the State was endowed with sports men and women who had done the nation proud in both national and International competitions.
Cross River to feature in 23 of 25 events
ROSS River will feature in 23 of the 25 events at the forthcoming 18th National Sports Festival, scheduled for Nov. 27 to Dec. 9 in Lagos. Dr Jude Amadi, the Cross River Director of Sports disclosed this to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Wednesday in Calabar adding that: “We are the host of the next edition of the festival, which means invariably we are going to participate in all sports. “It is better we keep on exposing all our athletes in all the sports from now so that by 2014 it will be easy for us to administer in all available events. By 2014, our athletes would have had the feeling of the sports festival,’’ he said. “Last year in Port Harcourt, we won 7 gold, 12 silver and 17 bronze to take the 15th position at the 17th edition of the festival in Rivers. By the grace of God, we shall be doubling it this time around in Lagos,” Amadi said. According to Amadi, the state
is prepared and it commenced rigorous and intensive training about three months ago. He added that the state's athletes were already in closed camping. “Our athletes are technically, physically and mentally ready and ready to go. We are hopeful that the performance this year will beat that of Rivers 2011. After the 17th edition of the festival, the scope of team preparation, calibre of athletes and coaching levels have greatly improved as a result of the state’s Comprehensive Sports Development programme. A lot of athletes have been discovered and groomed and are undergoing training. I can assure you that we are going to do better at this festival,’’ he stressed. On team sports at the festival, Amadi noted that the state picked the male slot in football at the zonal elimination in Uyo. “We performed excellently well at the zonal elimination because we went to Uyo with discovered and home grown athletes,'' Amadi added.
Eko 2012: cash crunch hampers Oyo's preparations
Minister to implement recommendations he Honourable Minister of Sports and Chairman of the National Sports Commission, Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi has pledged to faithfully implement the recommendations of the sports sector retreat which held Monday, last week. The Minister said he was confident that the retreat would not turn out to be a mere talk shop as he is
ITH few weeks to the much expected 18th National Sports Festival tagged Eko 2012, things is yet to take shape in the camp of a close neighbour to the hosting State, Oyo State, as their athletes are yet to resume camping ahead of the bi-annual sports fiesta. Investigations revealed that Oyo State Sports Council that primarily saddled with responsibilities of recruiting, nurturing and preparing athletes for the tourney is still evasive and not alive to its responsibilities due to none availability of fund. Oyo is now on the verge of losing accommodation facilities at Obafemi Awolowo Stadium where they usually camped athletes ahead of NSF to Osun who is also planning of bringing their athletes to Ibadan where they would be able to see better facilities in preparation for the Eko 2012.
Oyo State’s athletes on hearing the development have started fuming over the alternative camping facilities located at Lekan Salami Sports Complex where the State is likely to be left with which is not yet habitable. Oyo which held a colourless pre-tournament last week with no awareness or fun fare always associated with the traditional tourney tagged Oyo Sports Fiesta is contemplating of using a squash hall located inside Lekan Salami Sports complex which has just two toilets and two bathrooms to camp more than 100 athletes in case it could not secure Awolowo Stadium. The State’s Commissioner for Youths and Sports Dapo LamAdesina when contacted said he has been working to address the situation while still assuring that his State would spring surprises by coming top when the event gets underway in Lagos this Year.
THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 1, 2012
NAU woos Senate on take-off grant
The Ekiti State University (EKSU), Ado-Ekiti, was shut indefinitely on September 28, by the authorities because of a violent protest by students over the killing of one of them by a supposed hit-and-run vehicle. However, beyond restoring property damaged during the protest, the EKSU management needs to address the myriad of issues that may have influenced the protests. Reports SULAIMAN SALAWUDEEN.
Fed Govt revokes FGGC Ikwo contract THE Federal Government has revoked the contract for the construction of Federal Government Girls C o l l e g e (FGGC), Ikwo in Ebonyi State for failure of the contractor han- •Wike dling the project to complete it on schedule. The Minister of State for Education, Mr Nyesom Wike, announced the revocation during the inspection of the project at NdufuAlike in Ikwo Local Government Area. -Page 40
CAMPUS LIFE •An eight-page section on campus news, people etc
‘We ate, read and played together’ TEARS flowed freely last week when the remains of some of the slain students of the Federal Polytechnic, Mubi (MUBI POLY), Adamawa State, were buried. Chimaobi Venamtius Mbaegbu and Chimezie Odigbo were buried in their home states of Imo and Anambra; James Ayodele Odewale was buried in Adamawa where his family lives. They were among the 40 killed on the 52nd Independence anniversary on October 1 by yet unknown gunmen.
•Entrance to the university
EKSU students seek reforms S
TUDENTS of the Ekiti State University (EKSU), Ado-Ekiti, are to pay N6,500 fine before they can resume to complete the second semester of the 2011/2012 academic session. At a meeting the university management held with their representatives on Tuesday, it said a resumption date would not be announced until 70 per cent of the student population had paid the fine. The amount, reduced from N10,500 after an appeal by the students, is to indemnify the university against the losses it suffered when the students went on the rampage September 28 to protest the death of Abiola Teslim Yusuf, a final year student of Accountancy, who was hit by a vehicle in Osekita Hostel, an off-campus students residence, under controversial circumstances. By the time the protest which started a few minutes after 4pm and lasted about 40 minutes was brought under control, almost all buildings on campus, including the health centre, security unit, Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Centre, lecture theatres, engineering and the part-time blocks and the Access and Zenith Bank structures, had been vandalised; while the school’s Agricultural Farm which had 3,500 birds, 120 crates of eggs, 10 goats, 75 sheep, 25 rabbits, 30 pigs was looted. Also, at least five vehicles were burnt. It was only facilities of the medical school that were spared. However, some sources believe the death of the student was not the
only reason for the violence. They claimed that it provided an avenue for students to rebel against alleged nonchalant attitude of the university authorities to several complaints about insecurity, missing examination scripts, delay in the release of results, sexual harassment, cultism and other issues. Some students and workers who spoke with The Nation alleged that the management responded poorly to issues pertaining to their health and welfare, including how they are attended to at the health centre. They said it would be irrational for students to have visited such scale of destruction on their own school because a student, said to be a cultist, died in an accident. They noted that many students had died in one accident or the other and no protest was staged or property destroyed Recounting what led to the protest, they said Yusuf was taken to the health centre after being hit and was not promptly attended to. “It was their customary failure at the school’s health centre that forced us to take him to the State Teaching
Hospital (EKSUTH) where he was again referred to the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH). He died in Ibadan on the way to LUTH,” they said. But the Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Patrick Aina, denied the allegations. According to him, despite that he learnt Yusuf was a high ranking member of the Eiye Confraternity, a notorious cult group, he personally supervised his being taken to the hospital for medical attention immediately after the incident. Aina said: “When we realised that his condition was not stabilising at the health centre as we expected, he was moved to the Intensive Care Unit of EKSUTH. But on Friday, we were referred to LUTH when the doctors explained he had to be operated upon by experts as he sustained a serious head injury. “The student died in Ibadan on his way to LUTH on Friday, despite our efforts to ensure that he survived even when we had not asked about who was responsible for the student’s death.” Aina was hurt by the level of destruction. “I had gone to Osekita
‘When other students found that they had destroyed almost all buildings in the school and knowing they would be required to pay for damages, they decided to maximise the amount they would be told to pay, so they looted the farm’
Hostel on Friday shortly before the incident and spoken with the students, but it was shocking and amazing that they still decided to vent indefensible anger the way they did, after all our efforts. To us, this is an unjustifiable action and will be investigated,” he said. Perhaps after investigating the Vice-Chancellor would find that some of the students participated in the destruction to justify how much they would be forced to pay for damages. “The dead student was a cultist. It was his fellow cultists who led the destruction. When other students found that they had destroyed almost all buildings in the school and knowing they would be required to pay for damages, they decided to maximise the amount they would be told to pay, so they looted the farm,” said a student, who did not want to be named. Aina may also find that the university needs to find solutions to cultism, admission racketeering and sexual harassment, among others. Some students who spoke with The Nation confirmed these problems and others such as enrolment of supposedly unqualified/under-qualified students, especially for parttime programmes, lack of fully functioning registry for student data storage/retrieval system, inadequate facilities, high handedness of lecturers, and unregulated off-campus hostel accommodation system • Continued on page 26
THE NATION THURSDAY,NOVEMBER 1, 2012
O stem the falling standard of education in the state and save it from further decline, the Abia State government through its Ministry of Education is to shut about 100 illegal primary and secondary schools. Speaking at a press briefing in Umuahia for the certification of Examination Ethics Marshal International, the Commissioner for Education, Dr Monica Philips, said that it had become imperative for such schools to be closed to set the standards expected of the education sector. “The illegal private schools will be closed down and the premises sealed, as they are grounds for the breeding of examination malprac-
Abia to shut 100 illegal schools From Ugochukwu UgojI-Eke, Umuahia
tices, while unqualified teachers are employed thereby churning out half-baked students,” she said. She added that when closed, they will only be reopened when they meet the conditions for establishing schools. “Most of the schools we are going to close down are poorly ventilated, situated in environments where they are not supposed to be, and have no
sporting facilities,” she said. For a school to be legal, Mrs Philips said they must be well ventilated, have sporting facilities, qualified teachers with a minimum qualification of the National Certificate in Education. She also said the schools are situated too close to each other when they should be at least a kilometre apart. When shut, she said the pupils of the affected schools will be transferred to other schools approved by the ministry.
Speaking on the induction of examination ethics marshals, Mrs Philips said the state has trained 1,400 participants, among whom only 1170 passed the diagnostics test and were issued with Examination Administrators Integrity and Technical Certificate. She described the state as a pioneer in the area of ensuring that examination malpractices are wiped out from the schools system. The Commissioner urged participants who failed to succeed
during another phase of the programme coming up soon, pointing out that a time is coming when such uncertified administrators will no longer be allowed to conduct examinations. She warned, “The ministry will not hesitate to withdraw the certificate of any examination administrator who gets involved in any form of malpractice, as such withdrawal will render such an officer ineligible to continue participating in the administration of examinations in the state”.
EKSU students seek reforms • Continued from page 25
where security is not guaranteed. With a guarantee of confidentiality, the students, both males and females, reeled out tales of what one of them saw as “aberrations that live with us here in the school.” Despite assurances by concerned authorities, the students explain “these problems just do not go”. Fatade (not real name), a student of the Faculty of Education said: “The problems are so much that nobody can solve them. We talk of constant loss of examination scripts and attendant failure of those who you expect should pass their examination; talk of substandard, yes, substandard lecturers; talk of sexual harassment through various means by male lecturers of female students; talk even of extortion of the students in various ways. The problems are more than I have said. “I should also add the issue of unclear admission process. How are the students being admitted? Is it through the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination organised by JAMB or through a separate arrangement independent of JAMB? When you observe how a student runs his life, you will appreciate the pertinence of my questions,” Fatade said. A petition by some part-time students about three weeks before the crisis mirrors some of Fatade’s claims. The students petitioned the vice chancellor over the alleged “refusal of the school’s senate to process” the clearance of their final results for necessary collation and processing to enable them meet the deadline of the National Youth Service Commission (NYSC). They appealed through the petition dated September 12, for immediate and result yielding intervention of the VC to quicken the clearance by the senate of the results for early release of their certificates. Most of the students allegedly affected were graduates of the Departments of Business Administration, Accounting and Banking/Finance. They said: “Each time we go to the department, we were always referred to Directorate of Part-Time Programmes; getting there, there is no other news than that the ‘Senate has not approved our results or will approve soon’ and this has brought confusion into our careers. “But with the pedigree of Prof Aina in the academic world, we are confident that he will act fast to bring back the lost glory of EKSU by ensuring that results are released as at when due,” they concluded. Debunking their claims, the Deputy Registrar, Information, Mr Olubunmi Ajibade, told this reporter on phone that the university had approved the results of the Part-time students up to 2011, including the backlog of 2006 and 2007 set. He said: “The senate had approved the results of three sets of graduates up to 2011 before the last convocation and whoever has not got his result now must either be a fake student or have problems with his academics.”
But the students said that there was a gulf between them and the authorities which they said had frustrated moves to either secure succour when critically needed or nip problems in the bud. While experiences of delays in processing results have remained a recurring decimal, other issues like outright loss of, or missing examination scripts which has led to undeserved repeats of students appear too common not to merit repeated mention. Findings confirmed several cases of victims of missing scripts in the faculty of education and others. “I know of someone who came in 1996 and is still in the school today. Remember some of the PT students wrote something in the papers recently, many just continue to push on. They engage in other activities when attempts to find solutions have not really yielded results,” one student said. He also claimed that some students graduate without paying fees and are not detected. “Let me cite the cases of those who could be in their final year and have never paid any school fees. How can you fathom that? I have never owed any schools fees here but we have many who would apply their school fees on some other uses and find a way to cover up. There are available ways for them with internal support. Many of them have graduated while some are in the process of escaping”, he said. Questions are being asked about how the institution is handling issues like sexual harassment of female students by male lecturers, nebulous admission process or criteria and a seemingly infinitely elastic accommodation of so-called part-time students whose numbers are far in excess of those in regular programmes. Confirming the presence of cult gangs, a part three student of Chemistry, said at least a minimum of 10 students must have been killed by cult groups in the past two years, asking “but how is the school dealing with this?” Many of the students explained that cultism in this school has grown from being just “a menace to being a plague”, threatening the very existence of the institution. Some of the students said the fear of the cultists in the school is the beginning not just of wisdom but the only assurance of life and safety. The students said cultists operated openly within the campus and also in town, especially around places such as Adebayo-Olaoluwa, Housing Estates and Bashiri areas. “It is some kind of imprisonment we undergo here either as students on campus or as occupants of so called hostel rooms in Ifaki,” a student said. Another complained about accommo-
•Some burnt vehicles
•A damaged vehicle in front of the vandalised health centre
dation making life on campus a drag. “How is the school dealing with students’ accommodation? Most of us students are residents in Ifaki and Iworoko where life has become so miserable that one often feels it was an error to choose EKSU.” Some of the students appealed to the authorities to be more proactive in treating the many problems faced by students in the school. They said: “We gathered there was a time authorities of the school expelled nearly 500 students across the faculties based on findings of having secured admission through a fraudulent process. When will such be repeated to remove well known bad eggs? How is EKSU dealing with the problems? According to the VC during an interaction with journalists recently, the issues are being resolved as committees are already in place. He said it is not business as usual for the lecturers again as examination scripts have to be submitted and assessed within a given time frame after the examination which must be
religiously kept to. Noting that complaints of any form of harassment by the lecturers are also being handled, the VC said hostels were being built in conjunction with some private individuals on Public-Private Partnership (PPP) arrangement. Admitting the problem of electricity, he explained that the institution had invited some owners of private hostel accommodation for students to ensure they are provided with electricity even if they would be made to pay for such. Also defending the institution, the Registrar, Dr Omojola Awosusi, noted that there has never been a time the school was lax in rising to the issues raised. He said last year, seven senior members of staff were laid off in a sweeping purge which was not strange to the system. Admitting that there have been reports of sexual harassment of students by lecturers which he said were few and far between, Awosusi observed that the worst harassment has remained that perpetrated by bad eggs
‘If you make your findings, you will discover there are no students in Part One. We even want to change the ‘part-time’ to ‘distance learning’. This will bring the population down while enabling more students to attain their dreams’
among the students. “The cultists and rapists are often found to be students themselves,” he said. On the student population, he said there were about 13,000 regular students and about 10,000 part-time ones, a figure he declined to see as overpopulation. Regarding the supposed over bloated part-time (PT) students population, Awosusi said students were not admitted for part-time programmes this year. “If you make your findings, you will discover there are no students in Part One. We even want to change the ‘part-time’ to ‘distance learning’. This will bring the population down while enabling more students to attain their dreams.” To solve the myriad of problems, a lecturer said a stakeholders’ forum has to be convened to lay bare and possibly resolve the issues. He said despite spirited efforts of the VC to change the situation, he has not succeeded much, as the same problems keep reoccurring. “Perhaps the student number has to be reduced through whatever means; perhaps a major disciplinary committee would come in to collect and collate data on the students; perhaps, its another means that will be used to get at the problems,” he said.
THE NATION THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 1, 2012
Research can help avert flood, food crisis, says UNILORIN VC V ICE-Chancellor of the University of Ilorin (UNILORIN), Prof AbdulGaniyu Ambali has urged Nigerian universities to research into high yielding and short term maturing crops to avert impending food crisis caused by the floods that ravaged 19 states of the country. Speaking with reporters in Ilorin, the Kwara state capital, Ambali also said that encouraging faculties of environmental studies in universities to forecast weather conditions to prevent a reoccurrence of the flood disasters. “When we carry out research and come up with seeds that will not take
From Adekunle Jimoh, Ilorin
too long mature, such exercise will solve that kind of problem. That means we will use those seed varieties that will mature in a short time,” he said. He said the university also has a role to play in training disaster management experts. “In the area of emergency intervention, the universities could train people that will be well equipped in the
disaster intervention management. Right now, some experience of flooding of this year show that we were ill-prepared to come to rescue the victims. The university should carry out research on how the flood disaster was handled with the hope of foreseeing a better strategy to handle such disaster in future,” he said. On UNILORIN centre for international studies, he said that the centre was established first of all to coordinate the admission process and ad-
vertise the university to possible prospective foreign students. “Since then it has gotten the attention of all our international friends. Now, we have close to 2,000 international students from various parts of Africa. By so doing the university is complementing the effort of the Federal Government of Nigeria in continuing to lead Africa not only taking care of their welfare but in terms of the empowerment of their citizens,” he said.
Chukwumerije said: “I moved around and saw what sound leadership can do; what a united people can do. And I moved around and saw what prudent management of whatever you have can do. And that prudent management starts with a very clear vision of what you want; that you want to lead the society from a certain stage of development to a higher stage of development. “Not just the quantum of money collected or what is being done with it but the management of that money.
This is the first institution that I have been to that, adopted a collective, approach to management of university affairs especially money”. “On our part whatever we can do to help the university we will do. The issue of one, your take-off grant, if I can get from the VC any evidence of others who have suffered similar handicap but have been able to retrieve their take-off grant, that will give me a very good precedent I will use to convince the authorities about your own.”
NAU seeks Senate’s intervention on take-off grant • Laments reduced allocations
HE Nnamdi Azikiwe University (NAU), Awka is seeking the Senate’s help to effect the release of its take-off grant from the Federal Government. When the Senate Committee on Education visited the institution penultimate week, the Vice-Chancellor, Prof Boniface Egboka, told them that the university, established by the Anambra State government in 1991 and taken over by the federal government in 1992 when General Ibrahim Babangida was military head of state, has not received the N500million grant alleged to have been diverted to the University of Abuja. Also, Egboka expressed concerns to the committee, led by Senator Uche Chukwumerije that the yearly allocation from the federal government for overhead and capital development has been dwindling since 2008. He said in 2008, the budgetary allocation to the school by the federal government was N584,048,971 while the amount released was 354,048,971, about 60.62 per cent of the total. In 2009, the N795,639, 456 budgeted was released in full – the only time it happened. However, since then, he said the allocation has continued to drop. For this year, only N192,036,842.60 of the N429,342,466 million allocated
From Nwanosike Onu, Awka
was released. Nevertheless, 2011 was the worst year for the university in terms of allocation as the institution got only N262,861,005 from the government, out of which only N193,348,071 was released. However despite these handicaps, Egboka told the committee the university has made judicious use of its internally-generated revenue. In 2003, the university administration with the full backing of the governing council and the parents and teachers forum, agreed on various levels of development or endowment levies to help the institution. These levies, added to the postgraduate and diploma fees, form the sources of fund which enabled the institution put up structures and move the school to the permanent site where today, it has blossomed to a giant. Recently, the Education Minister, Prof Ruqayyat Ahmed Rufa’i inaugurated some of the projects completed with IGR, including: a gigantic water project (Phase I), and the Dr Alex Ekwueme Centre for MultiDisciplinary research building. Others included Chike Okoli Centre for Entrepreneurial Studies
•The Social Sciences Faculty at NAU
building; Faculty of Law building; students hostels (Phase 4), faculty building for management science wing A; Department of Economics building; foundry workshop (Phase I); Geological sciences laboratory and primary school lecture hall, among others. Responding to the VC’s plea and the level of infrastructural development in the university, the Committee pledged to make sure the takeoff grant and special trust fund were released to the institution.
Ogoni students lament oil spillage From Precious Dikewoha, Port Harcourt
•Cross-section of Education reporters posing for a group photograph after a three-day capacity-building workshop in Lagos, under the Journalism PHOTO: ADEGUNLE OLUGBAMILA Development Programme (JDP) in education sector held at the OSTRA Hotels and Halls, Ikeja, Lagos.
HE students residing in Bodo community in Ogoni land, Rivers State have vowed to support Amnesty International to get justice over Shell oil spillage in their community which they claim has academically frustrated their future. The students, comprising primary, secondary and tertiary institution learners, trooped out from their various schools to the market square, where the community gathered to welcome Amnesty International and the Centre for Environment, Human Rights and Development (CEHRD) which facilitated the visit. Speaking on behalf of the students, Mr Paul Meeba said they have no future as fishing, farming and other economic and activities have been destroyed due to the oil spillage. Also, he lamented that many students are dropping out of school due to lack of sponsorship as parents can no longer work. Meeba said: “We the students of Bodo community in Ogoni Land have expressed our gratitude to Amnesty International who visited our community especially the oil spillage site which has attracted intentional concern and reaction over the level of damage in our land.
THE NATION THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 1, 2012
Amosun condoles with Solarin family
FUNAAB FILE COREN accredits engineering programmes THE Council for the Regulation of Engineering in Nigeria (COREN), has granted full accreditation to all the four undergraduate Engineering programmes of the Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta (FUNAAB). The cheering news was contained in a letter dated October 2, this year and signed by the Registrar of COREN, Mr Felix Atume, and addressed to the Vice-Chancellor, Prof Olusola Bandele Oyewole. The programmes, Agricultural Engineering, Civil Engineering, Electrical/Electronics Engineering and Mechanical Engineering, were assessed by COREN’s accreditation team that visited the university between July 29 and August 2. The accreditation is valid for a period of five years. However the Council will still pay random visits to the university within the period of validity.
Varsity bags VON award THE FUNAAB has bagged the prestigious Voice of Nigeria (VON) award for emerging the First Runner-up in the Education Support Services (ESS) 2012 Essay Competition. The award came courtesy of an essay by an alumnus, Mr Adeoso Oluwasegun Ganiyu: “An Assessment of the Nigerian Universities Environment”, held at the VON Conference Room, Radio House, Abuja. Adeoso, a Chemistry graduate, submitted the essay using FUNAAB as his case study while writing his project in the university in 2010 under the administration of Prof Oluwafemi Olaiya Balogun as past Vice-Chancellor. A medical student from Ahmadu Bello University Zaria won the competition; Adeoso was first runner up for FUNAAB, while a Law student from University of Benin was second runner up.
VC counsels Librarians on ICT PROF Oyewole has declared that all librarians should be Information and Communication Technology (ICT) compliant. Oyewole made the declaration at a dinner organised in honour of the participants of the national workshop by the Nigerian Library Association (NLA)s ICT section with the theme, “Creating Innovative Libraries in Nigeria”, held at the International Scholars and Resource Centre (IS&RC). The Vice-Chancellor said the strength of the university depends on the quality of its library, adding that the Nimbe Adedipe Library, established over 24 years ago can no longer accommodate the rising student population of the university. Oyewole counseled the participants to implement what they learnt from the training.
HE Ogun State Governor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun, has sent a message of condolence to the late Solarin family on the death of their matriarch, Mrs Sheila Solarin who died October 21.. The message was delivered on behalf of the governor by the Commissioner for Education, Science and Technology, Segun Odubela at their family house, located within the premises of Mayflower School, Ikenne. In the message, Amosun described Mrs Solarin as a pillar of support to her husband and a catalyst to the education development in the state and the country. He added that her immense contribution to the development of education in the past 60 years she lived in the country would remain a reference point and prayed God to grant her eternal rest. In her response, daughter of the deceased, Ms Corin Solarin thanked the government for standing by the family while Sheila was ill, providing her access to quality treatment. She promised to convey the Governor’s message to other members of the family.
Meanwhile, two men (names withheld) alleged to be land speculators have been arrested by the Commissioner at Ofada Community Comprehensive High School, Ofada in Obafemi/Owode Local Government for trespassing on land belonging to the state. They were arrested when Odubela accompanied by the Special Adviser to the Governor on Education, Science and Technology, Dr. Tunji Abimbola and other top officials of the ministry visited the school to assess the level of encroachment on it. On getting to the school, the men were seen clearing at a private residence erected within the school compound. When interrogated, they said they were contacted by a private developer to clear the portion of the land. Odubela ordered their arrest and they were subsequently handed over to the police. Similar incidents were recorded at Ayepe Comprehensive High School; Odogbolu Local Government and Sokoya Memorial Nursery and Primary (Wesley) School, Makun, in Sagamu Local Government.
•Odubela (right) handing over the condolence message to Ms Corin.
ASCON to infuse case studies into programmes By Adegunle Olugbamila
• Mr Peters
HE need for the Administrative Staff College of Nigeria (ASCON) to infuse case studies into all its programmes has informed a workshop on case writing and development to hold tentatively
early next year. Director-General of ASCON, Mr Ajibade Peters said the workshop will also be attended by representatives of all Management Development Institutes (MDIs) in Nigeria. Peters said the workshop is expected to, among other things, lead to the development of relevant cases to be used as references in all programmes run by the college. Peters who made the announcement during the closing ceremony for six regular courses taken by 138 participants at college auditorium, said the idea was to consolidate the success recorded during an earlier Case Writing and Development Workshop attended by 20 faculty staff of MDIs in West African Sub-Region hosted by ASCON September last year with the assistance of the Commonwealth Association for Public Administration and Management (CAPAM).
“In more recent times, ASCON has been making efforts to make all our regular training programmes casebased. We believe that emphasis on the use of more of case studies will provide our participants wilt the practical experience that will not only aid the acquisition of the requisite skills to their work. In order to make this a reality, ASCON has been working with the CAPAM and the Commonwealth Secretariat (COMSEC) to develop local capacity for case writing.” Of the six regular courses ended penultimate week, only the Management Consulting Course (MCC) lasted four weeks. Others were completed in two weeks. Peters said the MCC was longer because it is examinable and involves a week long practical field assignment in which participants are expected to identify problems in their choice of organisation and finding solutions to same, as well as write and present re-
ports in groups to a panel of assessors that often include a representative of the case study organisation. “Our experience with the MCC training model, which we have used for various other programmes in the past, shows that learning is more effective when trainees are exposed to, or are given the opportunity to evaluate or deal with real-life situations and challenges. We have indeed recognised that the hands-on or practical experience during training builds both the skill and confidence of trainees to be better and to that extent prepares them to be better decision makers and effective in coping with the risks and challenges of work situations. The six courses closed are: Performance Management (26); General Management (38); Advanced TrainThe Trainers (six); Advanced Records Management (133); Financial Management (28); Supply Chain Management (five); and MCC (22).
Lagos tax agency woos pupils with scholarships
ECONDARY school pupils that submit entries for the ongoing essay competition organised by the Lagos State Internal Revenue Service (LIRS) may have their eyes on the mouthwatering scholarship prizes on the offer, however, LIRS hopes to reap other benefits from the initiative. Mr Tunde Fowler, Executive Chairman of the tax agency said at a briefing Monday last week that beyond rewarding the best essayists, the LIRS hopes to educate them about the importance of taxes to societal development with the expectations that they will become tax compliant adults. Fowler also hopes that the research the pupils would carry out in the course of sourcing materials for the competition will help improve them academically while they would become change agents on tax education to their parents and other adults. He explained that taxation makes it possible for the government to meet its obligation to the people, underscoring the need for compliance. “It will promote academic excellence. Anytime a child is asked to write, he undergoes research and anytime he does that, he improves academically. The competition will also make the children change agents. The whole idea is to catch them young; let them understand the intricacies of tax compliance. “Lagos generates an average of N17.5 billion from tax monthly. It is
•From Left: Tutor-General/Permanent Secretary, Education District IV, Mr Ayobade Obajimi, with Mr Fowler and Mrs A.O Adeboye, representative of Education District V at the briefing. By Kofoworola Belo-Osagie
close to three times what we get from the Federal Government. If more people pay, the state will get up to N20 billion,” he said. Junior secondary pupils participating in the competition are expected
to write on: “Payment of tax is your duty, your civic responsibility and the Law” or “Well equipped schools, recreational centres, good hospitals, good roads, efficient transportation etc. Tax payment makes them possible.”
On the other hand, senior secondary pupils are to write on: “Lagos State will continue to be a centre of excellence if all taxable adults pay their taxes promptly and correctly” or “Tax payments fund infrastructural development in Lagos State.”
Part-time students’ tale of woes Page 31
*CAMPUSES Transportation *NEWS crisis *PEOPLE hits *KUDOS& KNOCKS Last week, all hell was letUNILORIN loose at the Ekiti State University (EKSU) following the death
of a final year student of Accounting, Teslim Adebola Ibrahim. OLATUNJI AWE reports. *GRANTS Page 34
CAMPUS LIFE 0802-4550-354 email: firstname.lastname@example.org THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 1, 2012
‘Managements must see students as partners’
The remains of some students of the Federal Polytechnic, Mubi (MUBIPOLY), Adamawa State, who were killed on October 1 by yet unknown gunmen have been buried. WALE AJETUNMOBI, CHISOM OJUKWU (500-Level Chemical Engineering, Federal University of Technology, Owerri) and AYODEJI ADESINA (Corps member, NYSC Onitsha) attended the funeral.
Muhammed Dauda is the unified president of the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS). He was elected a couple of months ago. EMMANUEL SHEBBS (500-Level Political Science, University of Calabar) cornered him on his programmes for students. •The late Chimaobi’s father (left) with sympathisers during the funeral
PHOTO: CHISOM OJUKWU
‘We ate, read and played together’ •Students relive good times with slain colleagues
•Muhammed •Story on page 30
EARS flowed freely last week when the remains of some of the slain students of the Federal Polytechnic, Mubi (MUBI POLY), Adamawa State, were buried. Chimaobi Venamtius Mbaegbu and Chimezie Odigbo were buried in their home states of Imo and Anambra; James Ayodele Odewale was buried in Adamawa where his family lives. They were among the 40 killed on the 52nd Independence anniversary on October 1 by yet unknown gunmen. Chimaobi’s body arrived in Umuaju Mpam Ekwereazu in Ahiazu Mbaise, Imo State for burial
in the early hours of the day. The late Chimaobi was an HND student of Civil Engineering. Though, the late Chimaobi’s hostel is in Wuro Patugi he was not there when the gunmen struck in the community. He had gone to Turowada to see his course mate, Chimezie Emmanuel Odigbo. Around 11pm of that fateful day, both friends fell to assailants’ daggers. During the requiem mass held for the late Chimaobi at St. Anthony’s Parish, Mpam, his mother, Josephine Mbaegbu, described him as Godfearing and a complete gentleman.
The late Chimaobi was the last child of his parents, Nzena Ozo and Lolo Mbaegbu. In a brief funeral rite before his body was lowered into the grave, Lolo Josephine said his son was brought up in the Roman Catholic way. The late student attended basic school in his hometown until he moved to Stella Maris Secondary School, Aba, when he was in SSS 2. “Chimaobi finished Secondary School in 2004 and tried repeatedly to be admitted into some of the universities around, all to no avail,” Sunny Mbaegbu, his brother re-
counted amid sobs, adding: “this was why he applied to far away Mubi in 2008 where he was admitted pronto.” Mr Joseph Ugwuatu, the choirmaster of the Parish, told CAMPUSLIFE in tears that the late Chimaobi was one of the best tenor singers in the choir. “He was a good boy, very active whenever he was around. In fact, he sang with us in August which was the last time he visited home before his death,” Ugwuatu recalled. The late Chimaobi was also said to belong to the Catholic Lay Readers Association and Catholic Youth •Continued on page 31
•CAMPUSLIFE correspondent launches book-P32 •Corps member sensitises pupils on diseases-P33
THE NATION THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 1, 2012
JESAC, 21 million game changers and Nigerian politics
N Monday, I got an email from the Joint Education Stakeholders Action Coalition (JESAC) a voluntary association of 19 critical unions and organisations that cut across the entire education sector in Nigeria that is primary, post-primary and tertiary levels. The coalition raised some issues which I feel are relevant to the development of education and progress of this nation to warrant a write up. I have noticed for some time that the country is gradually changing, but these changes are painfully slow with most of us unaware of this because of the security challenges we are facing in some parts of the country or our penchant for a revolution to happen and everything will instantly fall in place. Any careful observer of our educational system knows too well that all is not well with the sector that is known to transform lives and change the fortunes of nations. Today, the United States is battling how to encourage its citizens to take up engineering, science and mathematics related courses across board if it is to compete favourably with China, India, South Korea and other Asian countries that have “stolen” American technology, improve on it and have moved on to become the investment haven of the world thereby threatening the economic future of the only super power in the world. In the document sent to me, JESAC emphasised that Nigerian parents spend over N1.5trilion in payment of school fees in foreign countries with over N160 billion going to Ghana alone! This level of capital flight and negative balance of payment in education, it noted, are unprecedented in the his-
Pushing Out with
Agbo Agbo 08052959489 (SMS only)
•email@example.com tory of any nation. This is one of the greatest financial management challenges confronting Nigeria as a nation. In order to make its own impact, the document said all JESAC member organisations resolved to continue to play their roles towards improving the quality of education with a view to reducing the number of Nigerian students seeking education abroad. This is a goal anyone that wants to see the progress of this potentially great nation should support. The coalition thus resolved at its sixth regular meeting late last month to mobilise its “21 million members to support and vote for education friendly parties and politicians and to work and vote against education unfriendly parties and politicians.” It also determined “to make the point that actions taken or not taken by politicians for education will have ballot box consequences.” In order to ensure that it is taken seriously by politicians, the process of mobilisation will start with the Fourth Expanded Consultative Conference of education stakeholders scheduled for the first quarter of 2013. The conference will revolve around the theme “Education Meets Politics with 21 million Game Changers.” For those who have been following the buildup to the November 6 presidential elections in the US, they know too well that becoming the President of that country is not a piece of cake as both contenders are expected to know almost everything about their country by reeling out economic figures, facts and statistics without consulting any paper or prepared speech. Without doubt, one can reasonably conclude that these are well groomed, educated and articulated gentlemen that did their homework well before presenting themselves for elective office. This is the main reason I’m excited by the
‘Managements must see students as partners’ •Continued from page 29
OW can you describe your tenure as the NANS President? With the help of God, my tenure has been able to redirect the focus of the students’ movement in Nigeria by taking NANS back to campuses. We have several representatives of NANS on our campuses, today, such that there is grassroots representation. How can you describe the behaviour of students on the campus? The truth remains that one cannot separate the behaviour of students from the decadence in our society. We have been trying to use our programmes to change the bad habits of students to reflect how our society should be. By teaching good values, we promote good culture in the society. We have been in the vanguard that seeks to promote peace in any part of the world. For instance, Nigerian students in the United States, South Africa and Tunisia have been among the groups that advance unity and propel anti-terrorism campaigns in these countries. This is what we want to achieve. How will you rate President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration on education? From what we have noticed, we can say there is an improvement but he needs to work harder to make education affordable to Nigerians. What have been your challenges as the president of Nigerian students? Our major challenge has been the ability to ensure that we satisfy the aspirations of students. But we have been hindered by lack of funds for our programmes. Do you think the suspension of part-time education by the National Universities Commission (NUC) is in order? To us in NANS, the cancellation is unac-
ceptable and we have made it clear to the NUC and other stakeholders that the decision was in bad faith. Even though we frown at the abuse of the system by some universities, not all institutions were using it as racket. We believe that NUC rather than scrap the programme should ensure that standard and proper regulation are put in place so as not to deny the beneficiaries of the programme the access to education. Some state governments have not fulfilled their promises on the payment of bursary to students, what is your take on this? We have identified some of them and I want to restate that we shall not relent in agitating against the ill-treatment of students by government officials. We will make sure that the defaulting governments, irrespective of the persons in power, fulfill their obligations to students. What is your advice for vice-chancellors, rectors, provosts and managements of tertiary institutions? If they must achieve their aims and objectives for their respective institutions, they must see students as progress partners. Also, if there must be peace in our campuses, management must ensure that students are encouraged to contribute their quota in the academic communities where they are. This is because when the students see themselves as stakeholders and not strangers, they will not engage in an act of violence. Any last word for students? Students should remain focused in their academic pursuit because that is the primary purpose of school. Students must maintain peace on their campuses and wherever they find themselves. We should not engage in violent protests that will damage the image of the institution or destroying property put in place by management. Our drive is quality education and students must support us because it is their right to live a good life after their graduation.
21 million game changers. If indeed JESAC can comfortably mobilise its members then they have a very strong voice and a say to determine those that will rule Nigeria at the federal, states and even local government level. I am also taking the coalition made up of such association as the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU); Nigerian Union of Teachers (NUT); Colleges of Education Academics Staff Union (COEASU); Conference of Alumni Association of Tertiary Institutions in Nigeria (CAATIN); amongst others seriously because it has taken a bold step in the right direction. It called on its members to rise and actively join the process of review of the constitutions to remove the current constitutional ambiguity regarding the roles of various tiers of government in administration of education. The roles and responsibilities of Federal, State and Local Governments in establishment, management, supervision and regulation of pre-primary, primary, post-primary and tertiary education, it says, should be clearly spelt out in the constitution. Frowning at the situation where education is under concurrent list in the constitution, the coalition is right when it believes that this has fuelled confusion, politicisation and buck passing in education. “Should a universities, polytechnics and colleges of education established by laws passed by a State Houses of Assembly be subjected to operate under the directives of a federal parastatal for admission of their students?” That’s really food for thought. Another reason I’m thrilled about this idea is the resolve “to speak with one voice and work together to support education friendly Leaders, policies, programmes and politicians for the root and branch transformation of Nigeria’s education to rank among the best in the world.” It would not be out of place to say that the sector needs a Marshall Plan to correct years of neglect that ends up producing thousands of “educated illiterates” every year, a system that is almost devoid of checks and balances thereby putting unnecessary pressure on employers of labour to train and re-train our graduates to fit into the realities of the 21st century after being trained with 20th century toolkits. Back to our US example, it is noteworthy to mention that all the three 2012 presidential de-
bates took place on university campuses-University of Denver, Denver, Colorado, Hofstra University, Hampstead, New York and Lynn University, Boca Raton, Florida-where the intellectual capabilities of the candidates can be tested and weighed to see if they conform with that of a rapidly changing world, we need that in Nigeria and the mobilisation will have to start now to create the awareness among students that they have the power to determine who wins the presidential election in 2015. In doing this, the coalition should be aware that it has to be smart in the area of voter registration because most students are often caught in the middle; they register when school is in session and are compelled to go home when elections hold, or vice versa, thereby depriving them of the opportunity to vote. If the coalition can build on the 2010/2011 Consultative Conferences it held where candidates for Presidential, Governorship and legislative elections presented their plans and manifestos for the education sector then the buildup toward 2015 will be exciting indeed. Fallout of that conference is that some Governors began showing commitment towards fulfilling the promises they made at the Conferences which include provision of infrastructure, teaching and learning facilities, motivation of teachers with prompt payment of salaries and training and re-training programmes. In all of this, the bottom-line is that Leadership plays a critical role in the development of any society, a look at the leadership structure of a society says a lot about that society. Leadership can either move a people forward or backward. The perennial challenge faced by any political system, therefore, is political leadership succession. While some countries have a clear cut criteria for leadership selection and succession, Nigeria does not which is why we have charlatans in almost every facet of our system, and where you have charlatans mediocrity thrives. This is why the 21 million game-changers matters to me, but with a caveat: that is if JESAC is not infiltrated by the same charlatans and mediocre who may end up having stooges that would be bent on doing the bidding of their politicians godfathers at the “right price” when the time comes. I believe the organisers will have this in mind as they put their agenda in motion. Nigerians would definitely be watching.
James Monehin, popularly known as Bobby, at the Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), was the Public Relations Officer (PRO) of Students’ Union Government (SUG). He told HANNAH OJO (400-Level English) and SIKIRU AKINOLA (300-Level Political Science) why he is vying for the presidency of the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS).
‘NANS must return to campuses’
HAT is your antecedent in students’ unionism? I started in 100-Level after students’ union was proscribed. I was part of the voices that agitated for the restoration of the union and this was achieved. I contested for the office of the Public Relations Officer (PRO), I won. After my tenure, I was honoured as the Most Financially-Prudent officer. As PRO, what were your achievements? Before we came, one of the challenges we had was the incessant closure of the university. I was pre-occupied with how to break this jinx during our tenure. Getting it right was the solid foundation upon which we achieved the feats. At the end of the day, our regime was adjudged the fastest in the annals of OAU. We spent eight months for an academic session; that was unprecedented. What is your take on suspension of unionism in many higher institutions? Decapitation is not a solution to migraine. This presupposes that suspension is not the solution to students and management face-off since the union also serves as a platform for training future leaders. Suspension will lead to scarcity of good leaders, which is one of the challenges the country is facing. But with the combined efforts of both executive and legislative arms of NANS, zonal and state chapters, our agenda will focus on restoration of unions back to campuses. It is no longer news that you are contesting
for NANS presidency, what motivated you? The umbrella called NANS can be described as an umbilical cord that connects all Nigerian students. More so, the role being played by youths particularly in this democratic era cannot be undermined. In order to contribute my quota for the betterment of all students, I believe I have all it takes to deliver beyond expectations as NANS president. The association, under my leadership, must be returned to campuses. If elected, what should Nigerian students expect from your leadership? My manifesto will serve as a podium upon which the next generation will stand. These include the proper funding of education. NANS constitution will be made available to all Nigerian institutions while there will be swift and proactive intervention in all institutions with agitations that will lead to restoration of both proscribed unions and suspended or expelled comrades.
THE NATION THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 1, 2012
CAMPUS LIFE Part-time students of the University of Calabar (UNICAL) are frustrated over the inability of the school management to identify with them on their plight. They spoke to STANLEY UCHEGBU (400-Level Accounting).
Part-time students’ tale of woes
LL seems not to be well at the Centre for Educational Services incharge of parttime programmes at the University of Calabar (UNICAL). Its students of the programmes are frustrated over the challenges confronting them. The Vice-Chancellor, Prof James Epoke, has been accused of insensitivity for not showing the same interest he has in normal programmes to the centre. The students’ complaints range from delay in release of results to accommodation problems and insecurity in their off-campus hostels. Augustine Umoh, 300-Level Business Administration, said the Vice- Chancellor has overlooked the part-time programme despite the hike in fees being paid by the students. He stressed that their lectures were always held in the evenings but most times “we don’t have electricity in the lecture venues.” He added: “The business vendors staying very close to our lecture venues keep disturbing lectures with the sound from their generators and you know that gaseous emission from generators is not good to human health.” The students also complained about delay in the release of their results. An anonymous student said: “Our results do not come until another session begins. This has been the culture since the inception of the programme. It has a way of affecting students because nobody will know if he has a problem until when another session has begun and such person will be asked to register for courses he failed.”
The student added: “The lecturers are unwilling to help. At times what they would tell you is that nothing could be done because the Senate has sat on the results and there would be no amendment. This is unfortunate because they will force us to accept carry-over courses.” On her own part, a 200-Level student of Education and Planning, Veronica Ekang, said management must mandate all lecturers to submit their result booklets before or after three weeks of endorsement by the departmental heads. She said: “As part-time students, we are many in number and there is no doubt the lecturer will complain about the voluminous scripts that they have to mark. But they should borrow a leaf from bodies such as WAEC and UTME. They can use modern technology to make marking easy for them.” On the part of Johnson Ekande, a 200 level of Political science, the Vice Chancellor should make provision of hostel accommodation because of the security and better electricity supply, adding that electricity is one of the major amenities students demand and students staying off campus cannot say they have had the best of it, besides, the amount paid for the allocation of a bed space is cheaper compared to the exorbitant amount they pay for accommodation off campus. Staying in the hostel saves a whole lot of headache due to its proximity to classrooms, library and department. The provision for hostels accommodation should not be made for regular students alone; we deserve one if not for anything at least for paying the highest amount
in school fees. Joseph Ayang, 200-Level Banking and Finance, told CAMPUSLIFE that if there had been on-campus accommodation for the part-time students, there would have been improvement in their academic work because many students would have engaged in group reading. “I never liked staying off campus because there are so many benefits one enjoys staying in the hostels. You are sure of adequate security and punctuality to lectures and exams,” Joseph said. He said students staying offcampus are at the mercy of petty robbers and burglars. He recounted his experience in Calabar
South, a student-residential community which is close to the campus. Joseph said: “I was returning from class in an evening.Two unfamiliar guys accosted me and asked for my phone. They hit me on the face which prompted me to extend the gadget to them. They frisked me thoroughly dispossessing me of my wallet, shoes, wrist watch and gold necklace. The area is terrible in the evening and I know many students are also faced with this kind of experience. This is because the incident is a normal occurrence here every night.” “The landlords are only interested in their rent and the secu-
rity of the students is not their concern. They are not interested in the welfare and security of their tenants. We are left at the mercies of these robbers, which is why I will love to move into the school’s hostel, where I will be fully assured of my security.” CAMPUSLIFE gathered that there was also a clash between cult groups last June in Calabar South community, which left about four students dead with many injured. Other part-time students, who spoke with our correspondence, appealed to the management of the university to work out modalities with natives of Calabar South on how to improve security in the area.
•Ayodele...stabbed to death
•Lucky Emmanuel... also killed
•Chimezie...also stabbed to death
•Chimaobi...stabbed to death too
•Calabar South area where students are being robbed
•Continued from page 29
Organisation of Nigeria (CYON). The deceased always donned his cultural attires proudly for all to see. In MUBI POLY, the late Chimaobi was the 11th Igwe of the National Association of Igbo Students. Back home in Mpam, he was an active member of the Akusinachi Age Grade until his death. Emeka Anyanwu, a commercial motorcyclist and classmate of the late Chimaobi, expressed shock at the death of his secondary school friend. He described the deceased as “very cool-headed”. The late Chimaobi’s father, John, is a driver. His mother, Josephine, is a petty trader. His elder brother, Sunny, a teacher at the staff school of Rivers State University of Science and Technology (RSUST), spoke on behalf of the family, said: “We have resigned ourselves to fate but this country of ours must not take this massacre of our beloved ones for granted.” Also in Amakwa, Nza, Eziora and Ugworie, the four villages comprising Ozubulu Kingdom in Ekwusigo Local Government Area of Anambra State, the arrival of the hearse that brought Chimezie’s remains cast a pall of grief on the kingdom. For two hours, the body was laid outside the father’s house. Hundreds of sympathisers thronged the Odigbos’ compound to commiserate with the family. The late Chimezie, was in HND 1 Civil Engineering. The late Chimezie’s father, Mr Hyacinth Odigbo, a business merchant, was gloomy. His eyeballs turned red when he sighted the hearse bringing the body of his son. He wept profusely as the coffin was being removed from the hearse. Sympathisers took him to a corner,
‘We ate, read and played together’ consoling him, as the rites of passage were being performed. When CAMPUSLIFE moved close to inverview him, the wailing Odigbo declared: “Chimezie’s killers have dealt the whole family a devastating blow.” He told our correspondents that nothing has ever devastated him like the death of “my promising son”. He said: “It sounded unbelievable to me when the news of Chimezie’s death was broken to us on October 2 but when I saw the body of my son, I cried like a baby. I would have preferred death to take me rather than my promising 24-year-old son.” He rained curses on the killers as he dashed repeatedly to Chimezie’s grave. He urged the government to
find and punish the assailants. The late Chimezie’s sister, Chiamaka Gloria Odigbo, was inconsolable when the deceased’s coffin was brought to the family compound. The HND 1 student of Ramat Polytechnic, Maiduguri, said: “No amount of compensation can bring my brother back to life. We don’t want any compensation or commiseration from government; all we want them to do is to stop these senseless killings in all parts of the country. Mr John Odewale, said he was still in shock over the killing of his son, James Ayodele, who was an NDII Electrical/Electronics Engineering student. He condemned the Federal and Adamawa State governments for not visiting the
bereaved families. Speaking to our correspondent from Yola, Odewale said: “My son was a tall, brilliant and promising student, who was serious with his studies. This was why I was ready to spend my last kobo on him before he was killed by wicked people, who never deserved to live among men. “Since the death of Ayodele, I have not been myself because of the shock. I am just leaving hospital now and my wife has not been able to do anything since they killed Ayodele. You will be surprised that the government, whether state or federal, has not issued a statement consoling the families of the victims. This is insensitivity because the students
were killed over their inability to manage the security of the country. The only people that visited us are the management of the polytechnic, who brought N30,000. Is this a country?” Etenge Ibritam, HND I Civil Engineering, hardly found words to describe her slain colleagues. She said: “We ate together, read together, and did everything together. They were like brothers to me.” Innocent Chukwu, a course mate of the slain students, escaped from being killed by the assailants because he went to pick a notebook he forgot in school that fateful Monday. Innocent told CAMPUSLIFE that the attack was not fallout of the Students’ Union election. He described his slain colleagues as promising students, saying they would be missed by the Rotary Club of the polytechnic.
THE NATION THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 1, 2012
CAMPUS LIFE Graduate holds career fair for students From Adenike Ashogbon LAGOS
N a bid to sensitise students on their career choices, a group of Lagos State graduates has organised the second edition of the Lagos International Career Fair. The event will be held in the main auditorium of the University of Lagos (UNILAG) next Wednesday from 9am to 3pm. The theme of the programme is Human capacity building in Nigeria: To achieve a viable and secure nation. The event, which will provide information on different careers, was organised against the growing rate of unemployment in the country. According to the release by the Information Officer of the group, Mr Adewale Bello, the event will
also serve as a platform for exchange of information and ideas on various sectors of the economy. Adewale said: “The Lagos International Career Fair is a high profile platform to promote products and services capture.” He concluded that the strategic location of the event was to attract students from all tertiary institutions in Lagos and environ to attend the programme. The fair would feature human resource, corporate affairs and marketing representatives from companies in the major manufacturing, processing, management, multinational, engineering, telecommunication and petroleum firms in Nigeria.
•Cross-section of lecturers at the programme
CAMPUSLIFE correspondent launches book
Don delivers 54th inaugural lecture
HE 54th Inaugural Lecture of the University of Calabar (UNICAL) was held last week. It was delivered by Prof Akon Esu of the Department of Curriculum and Teaching. The ceremony was held in the university International Conference Centre. The lecture was titled The Teacher and the Nation. The Vice-Chancellor, Prof James Epoke, led a procession of professors which included the Deputy ViceChancellor (Academic), Prof Austin Obiekezie, his Administration counterpart, Prof Simeon Utsalo, Registrar, Dr Julia Omang, members of the university senate, Deans of faculties and Heads of departments. Prof Akon, in her lecture, described a teacher as one who is responsible for the training and mentoring of past, present and future workers and leaders in the society. She said in education the teacher was responsible for guidance and direction of the learners.
From Stanley Uchegbu UNICAL
Describing the history of teacher from 1960 to date, she told the audience that prospective teachers were trained at the Teacher Training College and Institute of Education at the University College of Ibadan for the award of teachers and two certificates (GD II) and Post Graduate Diploma in education respectively. She stated that the diploma programme was criticised and discontinued in 1958, thus leaving Teacher Grade II certificate as the highest teaching qualification in Nigeria at the time. Prof Okon said teachers were those professionally qualified to pass knowledge to learners at all levels of education, stressing that the teachers expected the nation to treat them well in terms of remuneration, incentives and enabling environment. She added that they deserved comfortable salary package in order to motivate
A •Prof Akon
them to demonstrate their skills and knowledge in teaching the youths. She concluded the lecture with the saying that teachers were not born but made and that without professionally trained, qualified and dedicated teachers, the nation’s efforts to educate its youths would be in vain. Prof Epoke described the lecture as interesting, adding that there was no education without a teacher, who played central role in education of generations.
GRADUATING Mass Communication student and CAMPUSLIFE correspondent from the University of Lagos (UNILAG), Tosin Adesile, will unveil his new book next Thursday in Abeokuta, Ogun State. The book, which is the fifth the student has written is titled Seidu, the youth corper. The event will be held at the NUJ Secretariat, Oke- Ilewo, Abeokuta by 1pm and dignitaries expected at the event include the wife of Ogun State Governor Ibikunle Amosun, Olufunmilayo; Commissioner for Education in the state, Barrister Segun Odubela; Director of Infrastructure, Ogun State, Engr. Rauf Olaniran, among others. The father of the day is Prince Niyi Olatidoye, former Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Sport and Youth Development, while the mother of
•Tosin From Oluwatobi Makinde UNILAG
the day is Mrs Oluremi Sobola, an educationist. Other guests are Mrs Kemi Adedotun, Mrs Efe Soriyan and Very Reverend Ayo Adeniji, Provost, Cathedral Church of St. Peter, Ake-Abeokuta among others. The event will also feature a lecture titled Restoring morals in our higher institutions. Tosin already has four published books, which are The little orphan and other stories, The school leavers, The uncommon twins and Go and sin no more.
Commission to partner with students
HE BRACED Commission has expressed its readiness to partner with students in keeping track with development in education of the students and youths of Niger Delta origin. While addressing the delegation of students under the banner of Niger Delta Students Union Government (NIDSUG), who paid a courtesy visit to the commission, Ambassador Joe Keshi, emphasised that any country that wants to develop must ensure qualitative education of its citizens. He decried the poor state of education in Nigeria, especially in the
•Participants at the workshop
Students undergo ICT seminar
HE management of University of Calabar (UNICAL) has held a one-day seminar on Information Communication Technology (ICT) for the students of the university. The reason for the seminar was to educate and improve the students’ knowledge in ICT. The seminar was held in the expansive International Conference Center of the institution. In attendance were the Vice-Chancellor, Prof James Epoke, Dean of Students’ Affairs (DSA), Prof Eyong Eyong, Dean of Faculty of Management Sciences, Prof Joseph Udoayang, Information Officer of the university, Mr Effiong Eyo, Director of ICT, Mr Roughus Okoro and Students’ Union officials.
From Stanley Uchegbu UNICAL
In his remark, Prof Eyong said: “The programme is organised by the management to increase the knowledge of students in ICT because we believe that a student who is not ICTilliterate does not deserve a place in the university.” He added that with the internet provision on campus, students had no right to say they do not have materials for their studies because the internet facilities are abundant in the school. In his speech, Prof Epoke said: “The management believes it is extremely important for students to acquire
knowledge through the internet facilities we have provided on campus.” Okoro said the internet was the new way through which students acquire knowledge. He added that the management provided 200 computers for the purpose. “The gesture is only meant for students who have duly registered with the management; each student is entitled with three hours free internet browsing per day and 90 hours per month,” he said. The SUG officials praised the management for the gesture, saying students of the university would acquire requisite skills and knowledge through such facilities.
From Emmanuel Shebbs UNICAL
rural areas. Keshi said: “The only thing that can guarantee progressive education is our ability to carry the younger generation along in all that we do.” President of the students, Yelah Tombara noted that the challenges of education should be the concern of policy makers. He decried the poor state of facilities in primary, secondary and tertiary institutions, adding that the current condition was only driving the development of Nigeria backward.
‘The only thing that can guarantee progressive education is our ability to carry the younger generation along in all that we do’
THE NATION THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 1, 2012
CAMPUS LIFE Nigerian student wins international poetry prize
•Dr Usanga recieving the plaque from a member of the group
STUDENTS’ group, Blood Drive initiative (BDI), University of Calabar (UNICAL) chapter, has honoured some members of staff of the institution to recognise their service to humanity and society at large. Among persons honoured at the event held at the UNICAL Hotel were Prof A. Udoh, Chemical Pathology Consultant, Prof Emmanuel Uko, Dr Essien Usanga, who are Haematology Consultants, Ekerette Ekere, Assistant Director, Haematology Unit, UNICAL Teaching Hospital (UCTH) and Dr Wilfred Ndifon, the state coordinator, National Blood Transfusion Service (NBTS). In his address, the BDI coordinator, Kareem Jubril, noted that
Group honour varsity staff From Isaac Mensah UNICAL
the club within the year had recorded success in donating 68 units of blood to save lives outside and within Calabar environ. The final year student of Medical Laboratory Science expressed appreciation to the UCTH, NBTS, and Rotaract Club of UNICAL for their support and sponsorship in the area of blood donation. Speaking on behalf of the NBTS coordinator, Blood Donor Recruiter, Okanga Ngim, described the honour as an indication of a worthwhile relationship between the NBTS and the
students’ group. He used the medium to call for voluntary non-remunerated blood donors, stressing that blood donors are national heroes. On his part, Dr Usanga said he was delighted with the honour, adding that it was high time students explored other avenues to save lives outside the campus. Godwin Odey, 300-Level Medical Laboratory Science and winner of the highest donor award, noted that voluntary non-remunerated blood donation had become his lifestyle since the day he saved an anaemia patient.
300-Level student of Chemical Engineering at the Federal University of Technology, Minna (FUT Minna), Nebeolisa Okwudili, has emerged the second runner up in the poetry category of the 2012 Asian International Writing Competition. His entry was Ode to Biafra. Okwudili, a budding writer, submitted 60 entries in September comprising poetry works and essays. When CAMPUSLIFE met him, Nebeolisa said the feat was a “nice start” for him in the literary contest. “And I hope for better chances in the future,” he said. The first prize was won by Shlok Prakash from India. While other winners cut across several countries. Kenyan Faith Pepela emerged overall winner in the essay category. The first prize winner was presented with $300 while the second prize got $200 and the third prize, $100. Also, $50 consolation cash and merit award certificates were given to fourth to 10th positions. The organisers of the international contest are SM Sains Alam
•Nebeolisa From David Osu FUT MINNA
Shah, the principal of Alam Shah Science School, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (ASIS). While the theme for the competition was Patriotism: A Global Perspective.
•Adenike with the pupils during the seminar
Corps member sensitises pupils on diseases
T •The new memebers of the club after the inauguration
Rotary club holds investiture
HE Rotary Club of Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile-Ife, has organised its 27th investiture ceremony. The event was held on the campus of the university last week. Welcoming dignitaries, the installation committee chairman, Abduraheem Ayoola, said many people still did not know what the club was all about. He said the club was a humanitarian society, whose aim was to develop the society. Outgoing president of the club, Ahmed Obadun, thanked God for sparing his life to witness the handing over ceremony. Recalling his challenges and achievement, he said: “We are more than happy that out of the little funds we got,
From Sikiru Akinola and Jane Ariyibi OAU
we were able to put smiles on the faces of many people. Just like every Rotary year, the OAU chapter of the club has achieved some of its projects with the support of members. To this end, we call on all and sundry to donate immensely towards the realisation of other projects as a way of contributing our own quota to humanity.” The incoming president, Taofiq Hassan, 300-Level Economics, prayed for his predecessor, saying without the foundation of the outgoing executive, no meaningful
achievement would be achieved by his administration. “I want us to eschew all anti-social vices and make peace a redeemer in our quest for unity. Let us be crusaders for peace and change agents in our community,” Taofiq said. After the swearing in of the president, 17 members were inducted. Also, Dr Emmanuel Omisore of the department of Urban and Regional Planning, Mr Henry Temitayo, Vice Chairman of the Nigerian Institute of Management, Oyo State chapter and Mr Adedayo Sobowale, the Head of Department of Computer Engineering were awarded for their contributions to the club.
O commemorate International Day of the girl child, a Corps member, Adenike Ashogbon, serving in Amuzu Ubakala, Umuahia South in Abia State has held a seminar for female pupils of Ujah’s College Amuzu, Ubakala, Abia State. The tutorial was targeted towards making the girl child a champion among her peers. The theme of the workshop was That she may know. Adenike, who told the pupils that they could only achieve their dreams through hard work, also advised them to see education as the light that would lead them out of the darkness. She also tutored the pupils on rape and molesta-
From Tomiwa Bello UMUAHIA
tion. At the end of the programme, Adenike distributed sanitary pads and pant liners to the participants. She educated them on how they could use the materials. Adenike, speaking to CAMPUSLIFE after the programme, noted that there was need for people to see the girl child as key player in the society today. “There is need to raise awareness on the challenges the girl child faces daily in order to reduce the rate of premarital sex and other diseases,” Adenike said.
THE NATION THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 1, 2012
College’s students pledge excellence As the new session begins at the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) Television College (TV COLLEGE), Jos, students have rededicated themselves to academic excellence. GOTODOK LENGSHAK (400Level Television Journalism) writes.
FTER three weeks holiday, students of the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) Television College (TV COLLEGE) have resumed for another session. Many of them described the break as the “longest” against the two-week holiday always given by the authorities of the college. There was excitement on the campus as students moved about doing one thing or the other. Some, who travelled to their homes during the holiday, returned with new materials, which they moved into their hostels with
•Some students of the college after their resumption
help from colleagues. Registration of courses began immediately, signalling that the new semester would be demanding. As at the time of filing this report, some students were yet to resume but those who spoke to CAMPUSLIFE expressed the hope that the session would be hitch-free. For Nora Duksuk, 300-Level Television Journalism, increasing the tempo of her academic performance remained her hope, while expecting an improvement on the infrastructure in the college. She said: “I expect a better stay in school this semester. I expect that the road construction intended by the management should be done now because this is harmattan period, which is perfect for such work. Also, I expect a stiffer challenge academically
knowing that being in 300-Level is not going to be a tea party. But I will do my best to achieve good grades.” Jebarang Mupalngnyi, 300-Level Television Journalism, said: “I hope to improve on my academic work. This is the ultimate target for me. I also expect lectures’ time
to be regular so that students will be able to cover the outline for each course.” To repeat his classroom knowledge in television and movie production was all Augustine Ebuka, 200-Level Television Production looked forward to. He said the media was a business that needed
‘I hope there will be an improvement on the side of our lecturers because we are tired of hearing the same thing over and over again. There are new concepts and methods of teaching in digital media and we must move with the trend to compete with our peers from other parts of the world’
undiluted commitment. “I will also want to brace up academically because I feel my result so far is not okay and I am not coming here to spend money to gain less. I know that to whom much is given, much is also expected. Therefore, I am here to shoot up as the sky is not my limit but going above it is my paramount target,” Augustine added. Some students believed that the school’s curricula are due for improvement to accommodate modern technologies that will enable them follow up the current trend in the media industry. One of them, Dan Ibrahim, 300-Level Television Production, said he hoped the content of lectures would encompass new technologies in digital media. “I hope there will be an improvement on the side of our lecturers because we are tired of hearing the same thing over and over again. There are new concepts and methods of teaching in digital media and we must move with the trend to compete with our peers from other parts of the world,” Dan said. The president of Television Production Students Association (TEPSA), Dakas Jwanji, has stated his plans to improve on students’ welfare. He told CAMPUSLIFE that the association planned to float programmes that impact positively on the academic wellbeing of the members. He said: “We are working towards the possibility of embarking on an excursion, so that the students will see things from practical viewpoint. We would also want to get a studio established as well as broaden the knowledge of the students as to what is expected of them outside the school environment. These things might take a long time to be put in place, but this semester presents the opportunity for us to start the process.”
Hundreds of students of University of the Ilorin (UNILORIN) were stranded at the campus park last Tuesday due to the fuel scarcity. GBENGA ONALAJA writes.
•Stranded students in queue at the UNILORIN park last Tuesday
ONG queues have returned to the University of Ilorin (UNILORIN) following the scarcity of premium motor spirit (PMS) otherwise known as petrol in Ilorin metropolis. The scarcity has caused transportation woes for students of the university, who resumed a new session few weeks ago. The problem came at the time the Vice-Chancellor, Prof Abdulganiyu Ambali, who resumed two weeks ago, was still settling down for business. Last Tuesday, students and staff were stranded for hours as they waited for buses to convey them from the campus to their various destinations. Commercial cabs and buses that normally ply the
Transportation crisis hits UNILORIN campus in their numbers were nowhere to be found as commuters lamented the development. A student, who did not want his name disclosed, said after the difficulty he experienced in getting a taxi to the campus in the morning, he was convinced it was going to be difficult for him to move out of the school later in the day “since most of the cabs do not want to ply the university route.” After standing for hours in the scorching sun, Prof Ambali visited the park with his team to sympathise with the stranded com-
muters. Having empathised with the stranded staff, he urged the students to be patient, while assuring them that the authority would do all in its power to ensure “smooth movement” of the students to their various homes and also to prevent a repeat of the situation. He directed that the university’s buses that run on diesel should be fuelled immediately to transport the students and members of staff. The Director of Works, Prof Abdulganiy Sanni, who was on
hand to manage the situation, said the problem was due to scarcity of petrol in Ilorin. He said: “The problem is caused by the scarcity of petrol in town, which has made it impossible for commercial vehicles to come into the university.” “The university is concerned with the mobility of the students, that is why everybody is here, the Vice Chancellor was here, the dean of student affairs was here, I am here, my deputy is here, so all hands are on deck to make sure this problem is resolved and nor-
malcy is resumed in spite of the scarcity of fuel”. Some students who spoke to CAMPUSLIFE were not happy with the development. Wasiu Ayinla, 300-Level Arts student, expressed disappointment that the university did not manage the transport crisis properly. He said: “The university is supposed to have prepared for this problem to prevent the long queue we are witnessing on the campus. Since my admission into this university, there has always been chaos. So, this is not new to me.”
THE NATION THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 1, 2012
ET again, the human race has shown its bestiality and perverted morality in Aluu. For days, a very offensive video of the gruesome murder of four undergraduates circulated over the internet and social media networks. The video captured everything that man is capable and incapable of doing to his fellow man: the tape of jungle mammals and self-righteous judges. The four undergrads were accused of stealing laptops and mobile phones, which resulted in their lynching by aggrieved villagers that precipitated Armageddon in broad daylight. Just like every other humane individual who has seen the video, what really baffled me was the fact that these angry villagers actually thought they were doing their community good by defeating ‘evil’ through bestiality. The whole development brings to my mind, the classic novel by Joseph Conrad Heart of Darkness, which captured the juxtaposition of “supposed light” and “darkness”. There was a character called Mr. Kurtz and his fellow Europeans, who had come to black Africa to bring civilisation and shine the light of salvation on the populace through their dark but fetish hearts. The plot eventually revealed that
The unrighteous jurors the black natives turned out to be the ones with a good heart and the white men, with all their lies about civility and charming looks are actually the ones with the heart of darkness. Conrad wisely said that: “Few men realise that their lives, the very essence of their character, capabilities and their audacities, are only the expression of their belief in the safety of their surroundings.” Whether Conrad was right or not is not the crux of this piece. But whatever reason the people of Aluu had for venting such horror on these young men, whatever pent-up anger they had in their hearts over previous terrorism from criminals in their community, was no excuse for them to lynch four young adults. Contrasted here with the “accused” is the “judge”, a juxtaposition that does not necessarily suggest that the “accused” is bad and the “judge” is good. The judge here, in my metaphor, is definitely not a righteous judge. The darkness at his heart should be contrasted with the crime of the accused; the process of dispensing justice is where the true darkness lies. It is also puzzling that some indi-
viduals stood through the whole action, filming the incident with their phones. Men and women stood there watching four unlucky boys burning and writhing in pain. Shame! Being dishonoured would, in no way, be measured against the pain the lynched students would have felt. The knowledge of their nakedness does not compare to the feeling of fear and horror that must have taken over their victimised hearts. Had they actually been trying to explain their situation to anyone in the mob? Had anyone cared to listen to their explanation coming out of their bloody mouths? Had anyone in the crowd been a little sensitive as to persuade the unrighteous judges to tamper justice with mercy? Had the judges’ quest for “justice” been so intoxicating that it numbed their humanity? The spurt of blood from their heads as the heavy sticks and stones fell heavily on them, the pathetic sight of one of the boys trying to crawl out of the fire, that odd smell of roasted human flesh, the cringing and cries for help and mercy! None of these was
enough to plead mercy for the accused. No mother in the mob thought of the possibility of her own son suffering a similar fate. No father braved up the crowd to shield these children of another parents from the barbarism of vengeful judges. No brother felt the spirit of kinship for these brothers of theirs from another mothers and pleaded on their behalf. No sister cried or ran out for help for these brothers. At that moment, these sons and brothers were alone in the world, with only the fear in Chidiaka’s eyes and the pain written on Tekena’s face. Had Ugonna reached out to his mother, who was far away and oblivious of her son’s fate? Had Lloyd died saying the last prayer? Indeed, there is no need to probe for the supernatural source of man’s evil; as man alone is quite capable of wickedness his dark heart conceives. My deepest condolence remains with the families of the accused. Your sons have not been judged fairly, whether or not they were guilty. The unrighteous judges who ‘presided’ over their case were a group of brute and self-righteous captor. But there is a righteous judge, who
By Onyinye Nkwocha
judges the heart of all men. Before him should you appeal your case, because he is the custodian of the true constitution of human laws. He is the only law giver and judge. He is aware that those who live by the sword will surely die by the sword. I rest my argument. Onyinye is Corps member, NYSC CALABAR
Rescuing secondary school education
By Kingsley Amatanweze
BOUT four decades ago, an average primary school leaver popularly known then as a Standard Six graduate was taken to have acquired the minimum level of education that qualified him to be referred to as ‘literate.’ Then, having a senior secondary school certificate went a long way in upgrading him academically, thereby
WANTED to be numb, but my soul cried out loud for me to ignore the feeling. I am supposed to have been accustomed to pain, but I am a man who has a heart. By implication, pain has a space in my system and no matter how one tries to suppress it, it will definitely find a vent to erupt. What informed this piece is the brutal killing of four promising students of the University of Port Harcourt (UNIPORT) by natives of Aluu community in Rivers State. Like voices from the grave, the young men cry out that there “ain’t no love in the heart of the city”. The boys would have pleaded for mercy but they were seen by the bloody men of Aluu as people that deserved to die. Jungle justice, the common term for the punishment meted out to the students, whom Nigerians have come to identify as Aluu Four, is not new. It is not old either. In the days when our fathers walked proudly in their brutish existence, mob action was not obtainable. Our ancestors killed when they had to, but the gods of the land frowned at reckless killing. And apart from when sacrifice demanded it, the people in primitive African society frowned at extra-judicial killing. Thieves, when caught, were usu-
making him almost as intelligent as a university graduate of nowadays. Presently, and for the past two decades, even an average senior school certificate holder can hardly prove his mettle when challenged with those questions and situations a Standard Six leaver of the past four decades would be comfortable to do justice. The presage is obvious: the standard of secondary education in Nigeria is dwindling and hurriedly going down. That basic education standard is falling in Nigeria is not implicitly the crux of my concern. No. My concern is on the lackadaisical attitude of the authority and the society in general towards salvaging the eroding values. The public schools system seems to be suffering from this travesty of education system, with the mushrooming private schools adding salts to the already aggravated injury of the secondary education system. Though one can still find some good standard private schools, and some unity schools that are still living up to expectation, most schools nevertheless are outrageously below standard and are poorly equipped. The nation has, for a long time, un-
derrated and neglected the values of education sector and this has been done in so many ways. The first being the poor remuneration package for teachers, negligence on equipping the public schools by the government, lack of professional training for teachers for improved output, amongst others. The begging question is: why is the government at different levels, practically playing ostrich when the value is eroding in education sector? After successive records of mass failure in both internationally and nationally conducted senior secondary certificate examinations, in which the percentage of the candidates that passed English and Mathematics, including three other subjects, progressively dwindles, the federal government instead of declaring a state of emergency in the education sector, further causes deterioration with engagement of Corps members, who are not trained to be teachers. The right thing to do to salvage the education system is recruiting qualified teachers, to be absorbed into the schools, and re-training the existing teachers and not killing the fate of promising poor students of public
Justice of the jungle ally paraded round the village and punishments were meted out according to the maxim that governed the land. Back then, the shame of being paraded at the village square as a thief was enough deterrent from crimes. Then came the West with their tailor-made solutions to every foreseeable problem. They brought new laws and frowned on the ones that have worked here for time immemorial. We got a police force that replaced the communal checks and balances; we got courts to dispense the new justice and we adopted new ways and dropped the old values. As the new ways failed to answer the yearning for justice, a yearning that in the past were mostly satisfied upon appeal to the gods of the land, we decided to take the laws back from the new ways that failed us. We are receding from courts where justice could be bought by the highest bidder; we are dropping the police formation that has become ineffective. But because we are helpless, we reverted to jungle justice, a travesty of the natural order of
things. Jungle justice is a product of deep pain from being expressed by citizens because those who are breaking the law are going scot-free. A thief that obtained materials from another fellow at gun point walked freely and even flaunted the wealth ill-acquired to oppress his victims. Anyone who has suffered tends to be unsympathetic to such oppressor. He would definitely guillotine the head of a thief rather than handing over to the police. Jungle justice would have been okay if the society can match the crime with the punishment being meted out, and ensure that the crime is proven beyond reasonable doubt. However, this is the error committed by the people Aluu when they roasted the four students. The community did not investigate the crime enough or so it seemed. I recalled the people in James Ibori’s community celebrating his genius for theft and known criminals walking away with chieftaincy titles in my native Igbo land. Even now, big thieves are in our political offices
schools with the deployment of nonprofessionals such as Corps members. Notwithstanding, Corps members that studied education courses may be posted to schools under the supervision of qualified teachers. While non-education graduates Corps members, should be purged out of the education system for a sustainable education system. Some level of respect should be given to education in our national life and the professionalism of the education personnel should be emphasised just like we have in other profession such as medicine, engineering, accounting and law among others. The teaching practice being undergone by students of education is not a mere formality, unless the nation wants to regard it like that. The disregard of students of education in scholarship awards is an enough evidence that tells why the nation could not engender development in its education. And in the real sense, it is not ideal. The government should regulate the operations of the proliferating private secondary schools to see that they are standard enough to breed the futures of this nation. New and vibrant qualified teachers should be recruited to re-
lording it over us. They steal public funds without any meaningful development in the land, yet they are not given the Aluu treatment. But the four boys suffered because they were not guarded by policemen as our corrupt politicians are protected. That is the kind of country we live in: the poor hurt the poor and the thieves smile to the banks mocking the rest of us. The killers of the lynched students must be brought to book. This is important because Nigerians throw caution to the wind when it comes to meting out punishment illegally. The mob killings are becoming a trend in our country. The Aluu Four were not the first to be videoed while being brutalised and killed for unproven offences. We have had similar stories from places like Lagos, Abuja, Anambra, Calabar and so on. I know very few may not be able to stomach the mob action, but in such barbarity, when one stands by and watch those that commit the crime without alerting the authority, one is also shares the guilty verdict. True that one man’s voice may not make a different, but one must not wait for someone else to speak up against evil, it requires courage to condemn it and one will find that he is not alone. The spirit of the four victims, who have now back joined their ancestors,
place spent ones and also to supplement where there is inadequacy. The yearly poor performance of students in West African Examination Council (WAEC), National Examination Council (NECO) and Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) should be a presage that something has gone very wrong with the nation’s education system. And as such, there should be a cause of concern to the government. The public school is known in the olden days to be an academic help to children and wards of the common man in the society. The academic performance in public schools is becoming dismal day by day. Government and the general public must do the right thing to salvage the education sector in Nigeria. Let non-education graduates be withdrawn from our secondary schools. And let a state of emergency be declared on the education ministry. For sound education is the bedrock of any developed nation. A stitch in time saves nine. Kingsley, 400-Level Metallurgical and Material Engineering, UNN
By Sam Ibok
would surely be calling for justice. I feel I should write a poem to suppress my anger. But could poem have woken the dead from their grave? The best I expect is for government to ensure justice is done to atone for the killing of these youths. Sam, 300-Level Curriculum and Teaching, UNICAL
THE NATION THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 1, 2012
CAMPUS LIFE Poly inaugurates SUG
AGOS State Polytechnic has inaugurated the recently-elected leaders of the Students’ Union Government (SUG). The ceremony was held at the Engineering Lecture Theatre, Ikorodu campus. Present at the event were the Rector, Dr Abdul-Azeez Lawal, who represented by Deputy Rector, Barrister Olasunkanmi Longe, Barrister Tiamiyu Odusose, Registrar, Mrs Aderonke Ige, Dean of Students’ Affairs (DSA), Mr Tajudeen Senayon, Director Academic Planning Board, Mr Samuel Sogunro, Parents/guardians, students and other staff of the Polytechnic.
•Members of the newly-inaugurated Students’ Union leaders after their swearing in From Tolulope Ogunleye LASPOTECH
According to the management, the SUG leaders were screened based on their Cumulative Grade Point Average (CGPA) and moral character before the voting.
The Rector in his speech said that the polytechnic had raised the bar of excellence to build the leaders for tomorrow in the country. He however urged the new leaders to ensure reciprocate the trust bestowed in them by students with good leader-
LASU Law students urged to be good ambassadors
LAWMAKER, representing Ifako-Ijaiye Constituency I, at the Lagos State House of Assembly (LAHA), Dayo Saka Fafunmi, has tasked the Faculty of Law students of the Lagos State University (LASU) to be law abiding and good ambassadors of their school, wherever they go. Fafunmi made the call while presenting certificates of office/awards to deserving student-parliamentarians at the Dinner/Award Night organised by the Olayiwola Adeoye-led Law Students Society of Nigeria (LSSN) 2012/ 2013 exco. It was held at 10 Degrees Events Place, Ikeja. Expressing joy on the conduct of the students during the all-night event, he said: “When students invite you to programmes, one thing that rushes to your mind is that they usually end up fighting. But with your conduct today, you have proven otherwise.” Advising the students on the future, the lawmaker said: “I know fully well that some of you, who have served or are serving as student-parliamentarians, would become members of local, state and federal houses of parliament in the future. I, therefore, implore you to be confident and fulfilled in yourselves. Always
From Mariam Akingbala and Anuoluwapo Alani LAGOS
be focused and good ambassadors of your alma mater; the future is bright for you.” In his keynote address, the dean of the faculty, Prof. Mohammed Abdulrasaq, represented by Dr Olaoluwa, explained to the students the importance and purpose of law dinner to the law profession. Abdulrasaq also charged the students, “never to over-rely on just the learning, citation of cases and statutes, but to be versatile in every aspect of life. You can’t put a medical doctor in a dock without knowing a lot about medical profession,” he said. He, however, admonished the students not only to merry, but to network, interact and learn from one another. Executive Chairman, Amuwo Odofin LGA, Comrade Ayo Adewale, while presenting awards/certificates of office to deserving executives of LSSN, recalled with nostalgia, activities that took place in his days as the President of the Lagos State University Students’ Union Government (LASUSUG). Adewale, who was president in the 1998/1999 aca-
demic session, appraised the immediate past dean of the faculty, Prof. Olusegun Yerokun for his steadfastness and his stance always for justice. He said: “It’s my pleasure to meet Yerokun in the midst of students again. During my days in the university, he was one of the few professors, who always stood on our side during turbulent days. Then, when some students were unjustly expelled by the university management, it was Prof. Yerokun who salvaged their plights.” The highpoint of the event were the presentation of awards of excellence by Yerokun to Fafunmi and Comrade Adewale, as best Honorable and Council Chairman of the year. The occasion also featured dance, comedy and musical performances by various student’ artistes. Other dignitaries who graced the event were Mr Pedro Lawal (SAN), Solicitor General and Permanent Secretary, Lagos State Ministry of Justice, represented by Mr Mikail Kadiri a lawyer; Mr. Ade Ipaye, Lagos State Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, represented by his Personal Assistant, Ms. Iyabode Oshodi; amongst others.
•Online Editor of The Nation newspaper Mr Lekan Otufodunrin presenting cash prize to Nicholas Omoh, the first runner-up in The Nation/AfricanLiberty.org essay contest... last week PHOTO: GBENGA KUTELU
ship. The new president, Muritala Balogun, said his administration won’t betray the trust of the students. Other inaugurated included Mayowa Oworu, Vice President 1; Rukayat Onasanya, Vice President II; Ramson
Acheme, General Secretary; Zeenat Oluwo, Assistant General Secretary; Oluwasegun Iroko, Public Relations Officer; Waheed Adamson, Welfare Director I. Others are Alfred Samson, Welfare Director II; Muritala
Quadri, Financial Secretary; Sadiat Al-Hassan, Treasurer; Samuel Akerele, Sport Director; Oluwadamilare Okuneye, Social Director. The Speaker of the parliament is Kehinde Olofintunyi and his deputy, Sunday Oluwafemi.
On and Off Campus By Solomon Izekor 08061522600
THE NATION THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 1, 2012
EDUCATION Bowen varsity clocks 10
S the Bowen University, Iwo, Osun State, celebrates its 10th anniversary this week, its Vice-Chancellor, Prof Timothy Olagbemiro said the institution has lived up to its mission to provide high quality, morally sound and socially relevant education, in the most cost effective manner. Olagbemiro, in a statement announcing the anniversary activities, said the university, within its short life span, has produced first rate graduates in science, technology and the humanities, who combine godliness and academic excellence with a strong sense of ethical responsibility towards the societal development. On the convocation which holds on Friday and Saturday, he said it will feature award of First Degree and Prizes for graduands in the Faculties of Social and Management Sciences, Agriculture, and Faculty of Science, Science Education and the College of Health Sciences, as well as conferment of Honorary Degree, award of postgraduate degrees. The Convocation Lecture titled “Education as Liberation” will be delivered today by Prof Gerald John Pillay, Vice Chancellor and Rector, Liverpool Hope University, Hope Park, Liverpool, United Kingdom.
Illegal varsity operator jailed
HE proprietor of two illegal universities, Mr Francis John Agbo, has been jailed for five and a half years for impersonation and forgery. Agbo, who also posed as the Director of Research and Innovation of the National Universities Commission (NUC), was convicted of the offences by Honourable Ali Tari Changbo of the Upper Area Court, Keffi, Nasarawa State. The convict also claimed to be a senior academic staff of the Nasarawa State University, Lafia, to defraud unsuspecting admissionseekers. The evidence tendered before the Court by the Prosecuting Counsel, Mr Aaron Zamani, a Legal Officer in NUC, included fake admission letters and fliers advertising the Nasarawa State University, Lafia; testimonies of witnesses, some of them victims; the accused’s claim of being the Coordinator of the University’s Nyanya Study Centre, tellers of Unity Bank as well as Aso Savings and Loans, Oturkpo, which bore his name and that of his wife. In his judgment, the Presiding Magistrate said the evidence was
RUN FILE PG programmes begin
By Kofoworola Belo-Osagie
glaring, especially those of the victims, including Peter Blessing, who met the accused at different locations. He also failed to tender receipts to the victims for payments made to him which ranged from N8, 500 to N45, 000 for admission forms and school fees. The evidence revealed that more than N100,000 was extorted from four victims who testified before the court. Delivering the judgment, the Magistrate ruled that the court found the accused as having contravened Section 179, 324 and 364 of the Penal Code and pronounced him guilty of forgery and cheating by impersonation. He was sentenced to three years in prison for the former and two years for the latter, bringing the total sentence to five years without an option of fine. The Magistrate also directed the convict to refund the money dubiously collected from the victims or risk the extension of his sentence by six months. The five-year sentence would run
•Awe, Deputy Director, Legal, NUC
concurrently with effect from 23 February, 2012, when the convict was first arraigned. Describing the judgment as a victory for the university system, the Deputy Director, Legal, NUC, Mr. Moses Awe, said it will serve as a deterrent to other proprietors of illegal outfits who defraud people. He called on members of the public to always cooperate with the Commission in reporting any illegal outfit and advised prospective candidates to visit NUC‘s website for the list of approved universities.
Reward for community, friends
YABATECH expands facilities
HE Yaba College of Technology is set to increase her carrying capacity in view of the burgeoning candidates seeking placement into the foremost institution at every passing year. The management of the institution has just concluded the inspection of resources and carrying capacity status visit by its regulatory agency- National Board for Technical Education. The rector of the College, Dr. Margaret Ibiyeye-Ladipo, in her address at the plenary session of the NBTE’s visit, said over 100,000 applicants are seeking admission into the college through JAMB in the last UTME. To this end, a 500-seater lecture hall is being upgraded to a 2000 capacity block of classrooms with offices for lecturers; a seven-storey building which is nearing completion and would be ready for the next academic session, contains 93 offices, seminar rooms and a completed two-storey building donated by the college alumni; she stated. The Rector added that college is constructing another 1,300 seater auditorium with complement of classrooms to sit additional 360 students with other buildings for Marine Engineering and Agriculture situated at her Epe campus including the School of Science building; Dr. Ladipo said the process of short listing of applicants is ongoing to complement the staff on ground as required by the NBTE, while a number of equipment in various departments have been purchased, the library stock piled with current books, journals and supported by the e-library. She, howeverlamented that the carrying capacity of the college is less than 3000, adding, “each year we get not less than 100,000 applicants seeking admission into the college. This brings about the problem of engaging a vast percentage of the nation’s critical masses.” In his response, the head of the NBTE team, Mr Ifejika A. commended the college on its efforts at providing for all the regulatory body’s pre-requisites and requisites for the exercise before the college can scale through.
THE Redeemer’s University (RUN), owned by the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG), has been given the nod by the National Universities Commission (NUC) to begin postgraduate studies. The NUC gave the approval recently after its resource evaluation team affirmed that the university’s facilities and manpower were okay for postgraduate programmes. On the breakthrough, the RUN Vice-Chancellor, Prof Debo Adeyewa, said it is an avenue for the university to propel the change and transformation needed in the national postgraduate studies. “This is another breakthrough in our determination to reposition African education for global impact. We are determined to make the needed change and impact postgraduate trainings in the country,” he said. The programmes approved by the NUC are: History, Psychology, Theatre Arts, English, Literature, Physics and, Microbiology.
•:From left: Director of Education, Training and Inspectorate, Mr Jackson Iheukwumere Osuh, Dr Ijagbone and Director, Administration and Finance, Mr Joseph Lalai Musa at the event
Nigerian science labs not good, says NISLT DG
HE Registrar/DirectorGeneral, Nigerian Institute of Science Laboratory Technology (NISLT), Dr Folorunsho Ijagbone has lamented the state of science laboratories in schools. He expressed his grief at a press briefing held at the zonal office of the institute in Ibadan, Oyo State last Thursday to announce its 28th annual national conference holding November 7 to 10 at University of Calabar. The theme is “Science Laboratory Technology (SLT) and Development of Oil and Gas Sector in Nigeria: Prospects and Challenges’ Ijagbone said the institute has done a lot to restore the laboratories in schools. His words: “Laboratory infrastructures are expensive to maintain. To maintain is under serious challenge. What we see in labora-
By Seun Olalude
tories is not encouraging but through the intervention of STEPB, a World Bank project, there are changes. “As part of our regulatory functions, the institute visited some institutions to inspect and assess their laboratory facilities to ensure they conform to global best practices. Through this intervention the institute has been able to assist in the installation, repairs and maintenance of laboratory equipment and training of laboratory personnel. Many laboratories that were not functional before are now being revived, especially in the science and laboratory education sector. Dr Ijagbone said the institute is putting in place facilities that would take science laboratory to next level. “With the facilities we are put-
ting in place in the Multipurpose Science Laboratory (MSL), we plan to include forensic services as part of our extension services to the public. Forensic laboratory analysis would assist in criminal investigations of cases requiring laboratory input. The concept note has been prepared for the Federal government’s consideration,” Speaking on the theme of the conference, he said it was carefully chosen to address national challenges in the oil sector, adding that the technological aspect of oil and gas are settled in the laboratory. Guests expected for the conference include Cross River State Governor, Liyel Imoke; Vice-Chancellor, University of Calabar, Prof. James Epoke; and Hon. Abiodun Akinlade, Chairman, House of Representative Committee on Science and Technology among many others.
MTNF digital libraries now accessible to blind students
HE facilities of the digital libraries endowed by the MTN Foundation (MTNF) in the University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN), and the University of Benin (UNIBEN) have been upgraded to make them accessible to visuallyimpaired students. A statement by Mr Akinwale Goodluck, Director of the foundation which is the corporate social responsibility arm of MTN Nigeria, noted that a special software called JAWS has been installed in the libraries to will enable blind students take advantage of the available resources.
“The MTNF UniversitiesConnect project is one of the flagship projects of the foundation, and one that has had profound impact on thousands of our tertiary students. We realised the need to extend the profound benefits of the facilities to students with visual impairment as well. That precisely was why we embarked on the enhancement project,” he said. With the installation of JAWS, the visually impaired students will enjoy access to resources in thousands of other libraries in Europe and America, enabling extensive research in every field including law,
arts, architecture, engineering, medicine, e-books, journals and magazines, which the libraries boast of. Goodluck also said MTN Universities Connect libraries in the University of Lagos (UNILAG) and Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria, will soon be enhanced with JAWS. The MTNF project was established under the Education portfolio in 2005 to provide digital access to educational materials on a myriad of subjects from over 5,000 world-class resource centres abroad for the benefit of students in tertiary institutions.
To entrench hard work and reward brilliance in RUN, the nanagement has honoured some members of staff, students and friends. The event took place during the 7th Thanksgiving and Award night at the RCCG Youth Centre, Redemption Camp. Speaking at the event, the ViceChancellor, Prof Debo Adeyewa said the selection process for the recipients was rigorous. “The Award Committee did a rigorous work in selecting this year’s recipients. I am challenging every one of the awardees to see this as a call to do even better in their fields,” he said. The five members of staff honoured for their outstanding services are Prof. I. O. O. Komolafe, who won the ViceChancellor’s Hero Award; Dr Akachi Odoemene (Best Researcher); Mr Oluyombo Onafowokan (Best Academic Staff); Mr Adefemi Oluwole (Best Administrative/Technical Staff) and Mrs. Dorcas Omoyajowo (Best Junior Staff). Non members of staff honoured at the event were: Late Prof. Gabriel Olusanya, former Nigerian Ambassador to France (Post-Humous Academic Support Award); Pastor Joseph Adeyokunu (Outstanding Support Award); and Joel Oke and Pastor A.O. Oladeji (Unique Support Awards).
Information Unit restructured THE RUN management has restructured the Protocol and Information Unit. The unit domiciled in the Vice Chancellor’s Office has been upgraded to Corporate Affairs Unit with Public Relations, Media Affairs and Information Unit; Strategy Communications, Linkages and External Affairs; Resource Mobilisations, Fund Raising and sponsorship management and; Protocol and Event Management Unit form the sub-units of the new office. Coming on board to man and complement the existing workers in the unit are the former Head, Corporate Services, Benson Idahosa University, Mr Adetunji Adeleye and the former Senior Publications Officer, Babcock Univesity, Mr Sanusi Okesola.
THE NATION THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 1, 2012
UNILORIN FILE Award for radio presenter THE Proprietor of the Offspring Rafat International School (ORIS), Amoyo, in Ifelodun Local Government Area of Kwara State, Mr Ismaila Olarenwaju, has described UNILORIN 89.3 FM as a radio station out to contribute to the development of education in the state. Olanrewaju made the remark at a presentation of merit award to UNILORIN 89.3 FM and Mr Olusegun Olukayode, the Yoruba news presenter of the station, at a brief award ceremony held at the radio station. Olanrewaju said the school made a careful observation of all radio stations in Kwara State and discovered that UNILORIN 89.3 FM has contributed immensely to the development of education in the state. The school’s Headmaster, Mr Babatunde, said the award was to recognise the good and unique style of Yoruba presentation and news casting of Olukayode. Babatunde, an alumnus of the University of Ilorin (UNILORIN) also said that the station has served as a case study to pupils of the school in terms of Yoruba news and programmes presentation.
Varsity receives govt’s tractors THE University of Ilorin has expressed gratitude to the Federal Ministry of Agriculture for the donation of two tractors to the Faculty of Agriculture of the University. The Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Is-haq O. Oloyede, while speaking at the presentation of the tractors, thanked the Federal Government for the kind gesture. He added that the university would graciously await the automated green house promised by the Ministry of Agriculture. Oloyede also thanked the incumbent and past Dean of the Faculty of Agriculture, Prof. A. A. Adeloye and Prof. O. A. Omotesho respectively for their efforts at securing the tractors. Speaking earlier, Prof. Adeloye thanked his predecessor and the Federal Ministry of Agriculture.
APPROACHING DEADLINES 2012 TWAS-IROST Postdoctoral Fellowship Programme, Iran Postdoctoral Fellowship Programme in Natural Sciences for Young Scientists from Developing Countries (other than Iran) at the Iranian Research Organization for Science and Technology (IROST), I.R. Iran 2012 Study Subject(s):Natural Sciences Course Level:Postdoctoral Fellowship Scholarship Provider: TWAS-IROST Scholarship can be taken at: Iran Eligibility: Applicants for these Fellowships must meet the following criteria: -Apply for the TWAS-IROST Postdoctoral Fellowship within 5 years of completion of their PhD qualification; -be permanent resident in a developing country (other than I.R. Iran); -must not hold any visa for temporary or permanent residency in Iran or any developed country; -hold a PhD degree in a field of science and/or technology; -be regularly employed in a developing country (other than the host country) and hold a research assignment there; - provide evidence that s/he will return to their home country on completion of the fellowship; -not take up other assignments during the period of his/her fellowship; -be accepted at an IROST department participating in the scheme and provide an official acceptance letter from the head of the department (see sample Acceptance Letter in the
Scholarship can be taken at: India Eligibility: -be a maximum age of 40 years on 31 December of the application year; - hold a PhD degree in a field of natural sciences; be nationals of a developing country (other than India); -must not hold any visa for temporary or permanent residency in India or any developed country; - be regularly employed in a developing country (other than India) and hold a research assignment there; -provide evidence of proficiency in English. Scholarship Open for International Students: Yes Scholarship Open for Students of Following Countries: Developing Country (other than India) Scholarship Description: TWAS-IACS Postdoctoral Fellowships are tenable at the Indian Association for the Cultivation of Science (IACS) for a minimum period of six months to a maximum period of twelve months in the following fields: Theoretical physics; Condensed matter physics; Spectroscopy; Materials science; Non-conventional energy; Physical chemistry; Organic chemistry; Inorganic chemistry; Biological chemistry; Polymer science. IACS will provide a monthly stipend to cover living costs, food and health insurance. The monthly stipend will not be convertible into foreign currency. The language of instruction is English. How to Apply: By Post, fax or Email Scholarship Application Deadline: 30 June 2012
‘How to revolutionise education through mobile learning’
IGERIA’S foremost mobile learning expert, Mr Muyiwa Bamgbose, has given insight into how the country can tackle some major challenges by embracing mobile phone technology in the teaching-learning process. Bamgbose said with the erratic power supply, high cost of computers and ineffective Internet supply, the mobile phone, whose acceptability and popularity in Nigeria has stunned the world, is the next option that can be applied to overcome learning challenges in the country and Africa as a whole. Bamgbose stated this in his lecture entitled: Educational revolution in Africa, mobile learning options: Prospects and
By Bisi Oladele, Ibadan
challenges. He delivered it this year’s annual distinguished personality lecture at the Obafemi Awolowo Hall of the University of Ibadan, last Tuesday. The educationist explained that today’s mobile phone is a mini-computer which can perform a lot of tasks, including surfing of the web, storing of large amounts of data as well as writing examination and revision, among others. He added that from villages to cities across Nigeria, the failure of the land phone and crashing prices of call charges make mobile phones a must for over 70 per cent of citizens, thereby offering enor-
mous opportunities for educators to pass on learning materials to students. Bamgbose, who developed MOBILEARN, a product that helps students attempt past questions, get assessed and study more in their weak areas, on mobile phone, pointed out that education is the basis for development. He, however, noted that the type of education offered in Africa is not the type that can bring development. He faulted the system of education in the country on the strength that it does not teach students to think and solve problems. He advised that the country needs to re-examine the focus and nature of its education and redirect same to solving its potential national problems. He recalled that
many years ago, China sponsored a great number of its youths for university education in the United States (US), pointing out that today’s growth of China’s economy is largely traceable to yesterday’s training of its youths in the US. “The objective of our education must be to transform. We must tailor our education to helping our students to think, not to remember. We must teach them to deal with issues, to solve problems. Government should not be the solution providers but people that passed through the educational institutions. Our lecturers must also lead in this way by solving problems rather than consuming what others produced,” Bamgbose said.
Edo commissioner meets House over spending
‘Oloyede impacted positively’ THE chairman of the University Women Association Basic School, Prof V.A. Alabi, has praised the President of the association, Dr. R.O. Oloyede, for the positive impacts of her leadership in the school. Alabi gave this commendation at the send-off organised in honour of Mrs Oloyede by the school. Prof Alabi, who said she came on the board in 2004, noted that Dr Oloyede became the president in 2007. She observed that under Oloyede’s presidency, the school wore a new coat of paint, a brand new bus was bought, staff salary increased and the school environment was made greener. The Chairman of the Parents Teachers Association Suleiman Adebara, an engineer, (PTA) thanked the management and implored the incoming President, Mrs Hassanat Ambali, to visit the school. The head mistress,Mrs Daramola, led the audience in singing songs of appreciation and she presented a gift to the honouree. In her response, Dr. (Mrs.) Oloyede thanked the Almighty for His impacts on the school management and staff members.
application form). -provide evidence of proficiency in English; be financially responsible for any accompanying family member Scholarship Open for International Students: Yes Scholarship Open for Students of Following Countries: Developing Countries (other than Iran) Scholarship Description: TWAS-IROST Postdoctoral Fellowships in natural sciences are tenable for a minimum period of six months to a maximum period of twelve months at IROST.IROST will provide a standard monthly allowance which should be used to cover living costs, such as accommodation, food and health insurance. Only emergency medical aid will be available, if needed. The monthly stipend will not be convertible into foreign currency. The language of instruction is English How to Apply: Email, Post Scholarship Application Deadline: 15 September 2012 2012 TWAS-IACS Postdoctoral Fellowship Programme for Developing Countries, India Postdoctoral Fellowship Programme for Young Scientists from Developing Countries at the Indian Association for the Cultivation of Science (IACS), Kolkata, India 2012 Study Subject(s):Natural Sciences, Biological Chemistry, Condensed Matter Physics, Inorganic Chemistry, Materials Science, Non Conventional Energy, Organic Chemistry, Physical Chemistry, Polymer Science, Spectroscopy and Theoretical Physics Course Level:Postdoctoral Fellowship Scholarship Provider: TWAS
HE Edo State government has earmarked over 100 schools across the state for total transformation as part of its continued effort to improve the standard of education. The disclosure was made by the Commissioner for Education, Ekpenisi Omorotionmwan, during the briefing of the House on the activities of his ministry. According to the commissioner, the ministry generated N246.9 million, supervised the transformation of 120 schools, while from an approved N7.7 billion capital expenditure, N3.3 billion was ac-
From: Osemwengie Ben Ogbemudia, Benin
cessed and of the N55 million allotted for recurrent expenditure, N38.18m was released. Responding to questions from the House on the ministry’s source of the IGR and where that of tertiary institutions in the state go to, Omorotionmwan said the IGR of the ministry which is totally exclusive of the ones generated by tertiary institutions came from registration and renewal fees, book reviews and use of school infrastructure, stressing that the money generated by ter-
tiary institutions are augmented with subvention to aid their operations. He said the state accessed N4.2 billion from the UBE counterpart funding scheme in 2011, noting that the state also provided its share of N4.2billion same year which has helped the total school transformation agenda of the current administration, adding that government has also earmarked over 100 schools for further transformation. The commissioner further said that the ministry has recruited 500 science teachers who are presently awaiting deployment.
•From left: Vice-Chancellor, Benson Idahosa University Prof. Mac-Donald Idu; Deputy Director, Entrepreneurship Development, National Universities Commission (NUC) Mrs Lauretta Achor; Chief Executive Officer, Poise Nigeria Mrs Mavi Isibor and Head, Poise’ Graduate Finishing School Mrs Ukinebo Dare at the unveiling of a software-Psense by Poise Nigeria at Protea Hotel, Ikeja, Lagos
THE NATION THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 1, 2012
Pupil gets reward for finding ‘missing clock’
ELECHI Onyema was the hero at an activity-based competition after he successfully found the ‘missing clock.’ The competition was set within the 2011 Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas award-winning text The Missing Clock by Mai Nasara. It involved stages in which the contestants were required to solve puzzles, tradein farmland products, and saving the proceeds in a mock bank among others. Eventually, the contestant able to solve the puzzle used the answer to locate a missing clock buried somewhere at the venue. Onyema of Scholar’s Crest International School, Omole went home with a Samsung mini laptop after the event held at the University of Lagos Sports Complex. Participating schools in the competition included the University of Lagos Women Society School, Jesus House school, Gbagada; and Tomobid School, Agidingbi. Onyema attributed his victory to
By Musa Ramat
divine intervention, and his being focused. ‘’I am very happy to make my school proud and I want to believe this is not by my size or strength but God’s grace and my being focused,’ he said.’ Chairman of the event, Prof Akachi Ezeigbo said it was organised to publicise the book and promote agriculture in Nigeria. She said: ‘’This was a good way of enlightening the children and this was to make the book more popular and even promote agriculture in the country.” Mr Adeniyi Giwa, Chief Operating Officer of Cent and Century, the major sponsors of the competion who also anchored the programme, said the organisation is dedicated to training pupils. In additon to learning about the book and agriculture, Mr Adeniyi Adekunle. Lead Consultant of Cent and Century said the pupils also
•From left: Mr Adekunle; Onyema; his teacher Mr Oyewole Oyetoro and Mr Giwa after the event
gained the values of team work and financial education. ‘’The ethics of the organisation is to put value in people, and since the book deserves to be valued we
decided to put that value on the children as the text was set across working as a team, family life, and so on.’’ Other sponsors included: Guin-
ness Nigeria Limited; Nigeria Bottling Company Limited; ZODML Laboratories; and the Strong Nation Ministries.
Journalism, photography, dominate career talk
•ASS pupils and their teachers (in white outfit) posed for a group photograph at the event
AOCOED primary school marks 20th anniversary
HE week-long activities to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the AOCOED Staff School (ASS) came to a climax on last Wednesday with the guest lecturer, Mr Fowowe Sunday Simeon, tasking parents on the need to partner with the school management to attain its dream of ranking among the top five primary schools. In his lecture titled: Roles of parents in the educational development of their children, Simeon, a teacher of Primary Education Studies at the Adeniran Ogunsanya College of Education (AOCOED) Otto/ Ijanikin, said the college, which manages the school, has in the past two decades, endowed the schools with facilities and organised regular training for teachers. He said it was high time parents complemented same by monitoring their wards’ development being more of an inspiration. Fowowe reminded parents that situations where mothers become threats to their wards, and fathers hardly stay around to appraise their children’s progress, posed a danger to their wards’ future. “We feel parents need to be urged not to shy away from their responsibilities. Phrases like ‘tiger
By Adegunle Olugbamila
mummy’ and ‘busy dad’ are the common usage that come to the lips of every Nigerian. But a bit of more parental grease might turn our children with great talents to an assured future.” The head teacher Mr Ogunmade Sunday Adetayo, expressed joy for being in the saddle as ASS celebrated its 20th anniversary. He said the school prides itself in using subject teachers to teach individual subjects rather than one teacher teaching all the subjects to a class, as practised by many private schools. Adetayo added that the links ASS made with schools in Africa and the UK, through the British Council, has also helped its growth. “This will enable our pupils and teachers to do exchange programmes with other schools,” he said. Adetayo lauded the tireless efforts of predecessors and parents and the management of the school for their commitment to its vision. On his plans for the future, the head teacher said: “Our current enrolment figure currently stands at 350 including the new 39 pu-
pils given admission in the new session. But within the next 10 years, we hope to have increased to 3000 with facilities commensurable with our population. We also dream of being among the top five primary schools in Nigeria in the next 20 years.” On Monday last week, the Parents/Teachers’ Association had presented an 18-seater Mazda bus to the school, which was acknowledged by the AOCOED Provost, Mr Wasiu Olalekan Bashorun, Registrar Mr Bola Disu and other top members of the management. The PTA chairman Mr Ogunyemi Kayode said the leadership of the association, which came on board two years ago, have completed a mini water project (consisting of a borehole and water storage tank), refurbished the toilets and employed a helper and a Phonics teacher for the school. “The management performances have been so far commendable, CSS today is far above average but there will always be room for improvement,” Kayode said. The occasion also featured various performances rendered by pupils of the school.
ALKS on security, journalism and photography dominated a career awareness programme organised by the Guidance and Counseling unit of the Lagos State Education District II in Maryland. Select pupils from public secondary schools in the district heard from experts in the fields on what should guide their career choices and the attitude and aptitude they must possess to be successful in journalism and photography. Being a professional photographer, Mr Frank Okonedo was in a position to tell the pupils how to pursue photography with a passion. He urged the pupils not to be driven by the need to make quick cash, like many who take wait and get photographs at parties; rather, he said they should develop themselves until it becomes a craft to them. “To be a photographer is a craft. You must be driven by your passion. Let passion drive you; don’t look at the money. If you do, at a point the money doesn’t come you will grumble. Passion keeps you going. You can make it with perseverance and endurance,” he said. On his part, Mr Obed Awowede told the pupils the story of how he dumped his marketing degree for the pen profession, practising as a journalist in Tell and Insider magazines, among others. “I made up my mind to be a journalist 33 years ago as a Form Two student of Government College, Ughielli. My father wanted me to be an accountant when I left school. I wanted to read Mass Communication at Auchi Polytechnic but he pushed me to read Marketing at the University of Port Harcourt
By Kofoworola Belo-Osagie
(UNIPORT). After school, I took a marketing job but didn’t get the satisfaction I craved. I wanted to engage the public in the way journalists do,” he said. Awowede praised the Guidance and Counseling Unit of District II for organising the programme to help pupils avoid the pitfalls many in the older generation fell into because of ignorance about career opportunities. “In those days we didn’t have forums by which children are addressed to check their talents to decide what they want to do. You don’t have to be confused about it. You can be guided,” he said. Speaking on security, Mrs Adetoun Omole of Learners Edge Consulting, said the young ones must be aware of security issues and behaviour considered anti-social and therefore a threat to the peace of the society. She counseled the pupils not to give in to peer pressure to participate in unwholesome acts. “Grooming students to keep up solid home values will go a long way so that even when pressure to indoctrinate them in another way comes, they will be able to withstand it,” he said. Mrs Lizzy Ometan, Director, Guidance and Counselling, was happy that the district was the first to organise the career talk in Lagos State. “District II is doing a good work in terms of counseling. It is a plus for us. The programme was attended because we picked students and counselors from all the schools in District II; and we told the counselors to replicate the talk to other pupils on assembly,” he said.
Ogun to set up committee on school land encroachment
HE Ogun State government will soon set-up an interministerial committee to checkmate the activities of land speculators and private developers who encroach into land belonging to public secondary schools. The committee will be drafted from the Ministry of Education, Bureau of Lands and Survey and Bureau of Urban and Physical Planning. Commissioner for Education, Science and Technology Segun Odubela spoke while assessing the level of encroachment by private property developers at Pakoto
High School, Pakoto, Ifo Local Government Area. Odubela said the committee would have as part of its terms of reference, measures that will put a final end into the menace. The state government, the commissioner added, will not fold its arms and watch those whom he termed ‘disgruntled elements’ take laws to their hands. “The present administration in the state, as benevolent as it is, will not fold its arms and allow “disgruntled elements” do whatever they like with the land belonging to our schools, Odubela said.
THE NATION THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 1, 2012
Fed Govt revokes FGGC Ikwo contract T HE Federal Government has revoked the contract for the construction of Federal Government Girls College (FGGC), Ikwo in Ebonyi State for failure of the contractor handling the project to complete it on schedule. The Minister of State for Education, Mr Nyesom Wike, announced the revocation during the inspection of the project at NdufuAlike in Ikwo Local Government Area. The foundation stone of the college was laid in May 2010. It was expected to be completed in September 2011 to enable pupils displaced by the citing of the Federal
From Ogbonnaya Obinna, Abakaliki
University, Ndufu-Alike Ikwo in their school to commence normal academic activities. This was never realised due to poor execution of the contract, which made the Ebonyi State Government to appeal to the Federal Government to allow it take over the project to alleviate the sufferings of the pupils. Wike expressed displeasure over the failure of the contractor to deliver on the project after collect-
ing over 75 per cent of the contract sum and summoned the contractor to his office in Abuja. He gave assurance that the federal Government would do everything within its powers to ensure the completion of the school in December. In his reaction, Governor Martin Elechi, who also visited the site with the Minister, expressed worry over the condition the pupils had been subjected to and urged the Federal Government to expedite action on the project. The Governor promised that the state government would landscape the school and asphalt the internal roads as its contribution.
•From left: Mr Isimoya, Prof Micheal Okenimkpe, Chairman of the seminar; Mr Emmanuel Obijiofor, a speaker and Mr Idowu at the event.
Parents urged to invest in their wards
INCE no formal institution offers training in parenting, Wellspring College, Omole, Ikeja decided to train parents on raising well-adjusted children who will contribute their quota to societal development. At a seminar on “Godly Parenting in an Information-Free World” held at the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Ikeja, last Saturday, parents were guided by seasoned facilitators on how to inculcate timeless values in their children. Declaring the programme open, CEO, Management Science Centre, owners of Wellspring College, Mr Daniel Isimoya, recalled an incident during his youth service in the 80s that underscored the importance of good training by parents. “During my service year, I met the son of a former Head of State. He did not know how to cook for himself. He was going to put sugar in his stew. It was a friend and I who grew up in the village that helped him to cook. I wondered why his father did not teach him to cook yet he was the Head of State; but I who grew up in the village could
By Kofoworola Belo-Osagie
do so,” he said. Speaking on the topic: “Parenting the Child for His Maker”, Dr Tunde Fowe said parents must intentionally pass their values to their wards if not, the television and other people will fill the void. “Purposeful parenting must be intentional. If you don’t plant good seeds you will reap weeds. Good intentions do not grow. It is what you sow with your character and time that grows,” he said. He urged parents to express love for their children by investing quality time in them, like he said he and his wife did for their four children – three of them teenagers. In his keynote address, Director, Private Education and Special Programmes, Mr Segun Idowu Lagos State Ministry of Education, said parents are key to how a child eventually turns out because they lay the foundation. Idowu, who was drafted by the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Mrs Omolara Erogbogbo to attend the event, said: “In fact par-
ents lay the foundation upon which other agencies of socialisation build. The life of a child therefore is most times a function of what type of foundation, what type of ground the foundation is laid, what type of material is needed to construct the foundation, and the depth and strength of the foundation. If the foundation is faulty, it will take the grace of God and extra efforts of teachers in the school, the religious organisations, the media etc to build on it.” In her speech, Principal of the College, Mrs Oluwayemisi Oloriade expressed hope that the seminar would inspire parents to play their all-important roles in the upbringing of their wards well. “I believe this seminar will transform us as parents. It will challenge us to an attitudinal change in our approach to parenting. It will produce for our society committed parents like Eunice and Lois, the mother and grandmother of Timothy, who were praised for the godly upbringing of Timohty,” she said.
Southeast NANS eyes senate seat
HE Southeast zone of the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) has resolved to go for the office of the Senate President at the NANS convention next month. The zone is also sending a candidate to contest for the office of the vice president (special duties) during the convention. In a communiqué issued at the end of a stakeholders’ meeting last Sunday, the association said it had endorsed Ezekiel
From Chris Oji, Enugu
Nwankwo of Imo State Polytechnic for Senate President and Adanma Agwalla of Abia State University, Uturu, for the post of vice president, special duties. It intends to contest for the assistant secretary general post, too. The communiqué signed by the presiding officer, Anselem Chinedu Nebeife and secretary, Obinna Achionye said the stake-
holders painstakingly deliberated on a wide range of issues bordering on the fate of the Southeast NANS in the coming students’ convention. The communiqué said the zone would approach the convention as a united team with common purpose and aspirations. The students called on all prominent Igbos to support the forthcoming Igbo Youth Summit being organised by Ohanaeze Ndigbo.
A day with Mrs Olufunke Ponnle
HE year was 2005 or 2006. I was a cub reporter, Kofoworola sent by my Editor, Mr Gbenga Omotoso, to cover a Belo-Osagie house warming ceremony in Ibadan. It was special because, Kofosagie@yahoo.com Mrs Olufunke Ponnle, wife of 08054503077 (SMS only) the owner of MicCom Golf Resort, Ada, Osun State, Prince Tunde Ponnle, built the house for her primary school teacher. I joined the Ponnles to Ibadan for the event. It was the first time I heard about the couple, their resort or other business endeavours. But it was like I had known them all my life during the about 90 minutes ride from Lagos. Throughout the trip, they treated me with such warmth that I felt I was their youngest child. I also observed the loving relationship they shared. There was tenderness in the way they addressed each other, not just in looks but in the tone of their voices. My decision to conduct the interview on why Mrs Ponnle’s built the house during the ride turned out to be a wise one that provided rich material for my story, arguably one of the best in my journalism career because I enjoyed writing every bit of it. The event was one of those that made me feel like pouring out my heart on the paper such that anybody who wasn’t there felt like he was. It was inspiring because of the good it brought to the old woman in her twilight years. When I read of Mrs Ponnle’s death on Tuesday, I did not have the luxury of time to dig out that article. It would have refreshed my memory of the trip, the programme and my interaction with the old teacher and her family. However, without it, I still remember that Mrs Ponnle said the teacher took particular interest in her as a pupil, praising her when she did well and punishing her when she did poorly. They kept up the relationship after school, attending association meetings during which the teacher never showed jealousy about her protégé’s success in life. Mrs Ponnle said she used to visit her teacher in a rickety storey building in Ibadan with stairs so steep she worried how the old lady managed climbing them daily. That was what inspired her to build a house for her and it was going to be a secret until the day it would be handed over. “But I told her it would not be good; the woman could have a heart attack because of her age”, interjected her husband who listened as she told the story. Mrs Ponnle took her husband’s advice and revealed the plans for the house to her teacher before it was completed. When I asked the teacher, whose name I cannot now recall without help, how she received the news, she said, “I wept like a baby.” But on the day of the house warming, the old woman was all smiles. The three bedroom flat, located in a part of Ibadan I cannot also remember, was also furnished by her former pupil. There was a settee in the living room, and beds and mattresses in the bedrooms. The house was fitted with a borehole so the taps ran. After prayers, sumptuous meals and light talk, we departed for Lagos. And that was the last time I saw the couple. I do not know whether Mrs Ponnle did any other good deed. But the only one I witnessed has remained with me, and I am sure in the heart of that teacher she cared for. I am happy I met such lovely woman even if it was for a day. People of means should remember that life is short and the resources we gather here on earth will be left behind. However, like Mrs Ponnle and many other philanthropists, we can deploy them to do a world of good in the lives of many people in need in our society. In the education sector, there are many students seeking scholarships to complete their education; there are many who need text books; there are communities without schools or good infrastructure. There are schools without teachers, libraries without books, laboratories without equipment. These are areas needing attention where wealthy people can write their names in the hearts of many. Pursuing such courses translates to leaving lasting legacies.
‘But on the day of the house warming, the old woman was all smiles. The three bedroom flat, located in a part of Ibadan I cannot also remember, was also furnished by her former pupil. There was a settee in the living room, and beds and mattresses in the bedrooms. The house was fitted with a borehole so the taps ran’
THE NATION THURSDAY, NOV EMBER 1, 2012
THE NATION THURSDAY, NOV EMBER 1, 2012
THE NATION THURSDAY, NOV EMBER 1, 2012
THE NATION THURSDAY, NOV EMBER 1, 2012
THE NATION THURSDAY, NOV EMBER 1, 2012
THE NATION THURSDAY, NOV EMBER 1, 2012
THE NATION THURSDAY, NOV EMBER 1, 2012
OREIGN Direct Investments (FDIs) in the country have
dropped by more than 53 per cent, a Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) report has said. In a document entitled: Developments in the external sector, the CBN said FDI inflows went down from $1.72 billion in the first quarter to $0.80 billion in the second quarter of the year. The aggregate foreign capital inflows also dropped by 37.79 per cent and 13.78 per cent to $3.44 billion, compared with the preceding quarter and the corresponding quarter of last year. Of the total capital inflows, FDI accounted for 23.22 per cent, portfolio investment, 76.78 per cent. CBN traced the decline in FDI inflows to insecurity and slow pace of global economic recovery. However, the continued dominance of portfolio investment in the aggregate capital flows re-
FDIs drop by 53 %, says CBN Stories by Toba Agboola
flected the attractiveness of the domestic financial assets. Also, portfolio investment inflows dropped from $3.82 billion recorded in the preceding quarter to $2.64 billion. Available data indicated that foreign exchange inflows dropped by 2.44 per cent from $28.19 billion in the first quarter to $27.50 billion in second quartrer. However, total outflows increased marginally by 0.32 per cent from $10. 09 billion in quarter one to $10.11 billion. Consequently, a net inflow of $17.38 billion was recorded in quarter two as against $18.10 billion in quarter one. Further analysis revealed that
Utomi seeks blueprint for real sector’s growth
HE Federal Government has been urged to design a blue print to enable the manufacturing sector to contribute significantly to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), and enhance the entrepreneurial base for industrialisation. At the 50th Anniversary Lecture and book presentation of Vitafoam Nigeria Plc in Lagos, a member of the Nigerian Economic Summit Group, Prof Pat Utomi, argued that Nigeria cannot claim to have an economy when the manufacturing sector contributes only four per cent of the GDP. In a lecture entitled: Strategic policy options for Nigeria’s industrial growth, explained that Nigeria, which is growing by six to seven per cent annually, has the capacity to grow by 16-17 per cent without any challenge. He lamented that factors, such as industrial policy failure, declining institutions and lack of human capital development, among others, remained the bane of industrial growth. The manufacturing sector, he noted, plays strategic roles in every economy, as it remains the engine of economic growth, adding that sustainable development can only be achieved if resources are efficiently mobilised and transformed into productive activities that engender growth and generate employment.
“For the country to move forward, the manufacturing sector need to account for a significant percentage of output of about 35 per cent but currently, we are less than three per cent of GDP in Nigeria whereas Nigeria has the capacity of growing at 16 to 17 per cent per annum without any challenge because we have the ingredients but how do we offer leadership to take us where we are going. “Our economic policies, our human capital, entrepreneurship, leadership, institutions and access to capital are not sufficient enough to make us competitive and advance,” he said. The expert added that when the sector is revived, it would help to actualise a long-term strategic development plan that would stimulate economic growth and reposition the country onto a path of sustainable economic growth and rapid development. He commended the management of Vitafoam for its doggedness and commitment, adding that the company has helped to develop entrepreneurship in the country. Earlier, the Chairman of the company, Mr Samuel Bolarinde, said the success recorded by the company was as a result of commitment, dedication and loyalty of the workers.
be able to support the growth of the solar industry in Nigeria,” he said. El-Schaedhaei also recommended the use of solar energy for tackling the problems of climate change and ensuring a cleaner environment. He explained that solar energy technologies use energy from the sun to provide electricity and even cooling for businesses, industries and homes, saying it is a clean, nonpolluting and renewable source that can improve power efficiency. He listed other gains inherent in the use of solar energy to include its nature,environmental sustainability, easy use, as well as low cost of maintenance “I have worked within the energy industry for a few years now and paid close attention to how the Solar energy works for the generation of electricity. “I find the process very insightful.I am fascinated by the UK Government’s high level of interest in the technology
the inflow through the CBN declined by 17.07 per cent from $12.11 billion in the preceding quarter to $10.05 billion in the review period. Similarly, outflow through the bank, declined marginally, by 1.70 per cent, from $9.76 billion in quarter one to $9.59 billion in quarter two. Total foreign exchange transactions through the apex bank resulted in a substantially lower net inflow of $0.46 billion in the review period. This was reflected in the marginal accretion to the stock of external reserves registered in the review period. However, Nigeria’s trade balance declined to $6.85 billion in quarter two from $10.34 billion recorded in quarter one following the contraction in merchandise exports and expansion in imports. Aggregate exports declined by 9.80 per cent from $24.97 billion quarter one to $22.53 billion, while aggregate imports on the other hand, increased by 7.57 per cent to $14.49 billion. Meanwhile, the Canadian High Commissioner to Nigeria, Chris Cooter has said his country was working on strategies aimed at in-
creasing its FDI in Nigeria. At a meeting with the Minister of Trade and Investment, Dr. Olusegun Aganga, in Abuja, Cooter said his country was planning to increase its investment within the next few years and had confidence in the economy. The envoy said as part of efforts to strengthen trade and investment relationship between the two countries, more Canadian firms had indicated their willingness to invest in infrastructure in the country. He explained that the move was a follow-up to the Nigeria-Canada Bi-National Commission meeting in Abuja with Nigeria’s Ministers of Foreign Affairs and Trade and Investment and their Canadian Foreign Affairs counterpart. “Two weeks ago, the Nigeria– Canada Bi-National Commission met in Abuja and the centre-piece of that Bi-National Commission was how to build and strengthen economic relationships between Nigeria and Canada. “Therefore, we are looking at areas where Canadian companies can invest in Nigeria and how they can form partnerships in Nigeria in line with the NigeriaCanada Bi-National Commis-
From left: Pro-Chancellor, Pan African University, Dr Christopher Kolade; Secretary to Lagos State Government, Dr Oluranti Adebule; Bolarinde and Managing Director,Vitafoam, Mr Joel Ajiga at the event. PHOTO: ABIODUN WILLIAMS
Govt, private sector urged to adopt solar energy
OVERNMENT should adopt solar energy to solve its power supply problems, the Chief Executive Officer, Sovereign Solar Energy Technology Limited, Dr Felix El-Schaeddhaei, has said. He advised the Federal Government and private firms to embrace this energy alternative for rural electrification. He said: “Solar electric power systems are an effective energy conservation programme because they conserve costly conventional power for urban areas and town market centres including industrial, commercial and private uses. This will allow for decentralised solar generated power for lighting and satisfying basic electrical needs.” He said solar technology applications were not widely exploited and, as such, many have been left out of the development loop. “If we can learn from Japan and other countries and tailor various Nigerian market specific programmes aimed at reducing the cost of solar power systems, we will
sion,” Cooter said. Aganga said the Federal Government would partner with genuine investors who were willing to invest in critical sectors of the economy. The sectors, he said, include infrastructure, mining, petro-chemical and agri-business. “We have a big infrastructure deficit in Nigeria and that is why the Federal Government is concerned and determined to bridge the gap by developing the critical infrastructure required to drive our industrial development. “Especially in those areas where we have comparative and competitive advantage such as mining, petrochemical, agribusiness and even the Small and Medium Enterprises sector. “We are ready to work with foreign investors who are interested in investing in infrastructure projects. For those who are interested in public-private partnership in infrastructure development. “We will link them up with key government agencies, such as the Infrastructure Concession and Regulation Commission and other ministries or agencies for the necessary action,” Aganga said.
“I feel it will do well if the PHCN look at a way of implementing similar processes in Nigeria to boost and increase our much needed power generation. This is a very interesting initiative, such that people can generate electricity themselves through their solar panels mostly installed on their roof, within the comfort of their homes, they enjoy the free electricity and still get paid for what they have generated. “There are just too many advantages of solar energy over the nonrenewable resources like oil. Solar energy is healthier than oil.The burning of oil releases carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases into our environment. The average home produces more than twice the amount of carbon dioxide than an average car does. “Solar panels are cheap to build. All you need is a reliable ‘Do It Yourself’ kit and a guide that will guide you every step of the way. I think it is high time government encourage this technology”.
•A solar Fan
THE NATION THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 1, 2012
•Computer Village, Ikeja
For visitors and residents of Lagos, the Computer Village in Ikeja is different strokes for different folks. OLUOMA OMEIHE, who has been following the trend of business in the market, reports.
HEN Olubunmi Akomolafe lost the power pack of her HP laptop, she was advised by her friends on the campus to visit the Computer Village, Ikeja, for a replacement any time she visited Lagos. An undergraduate of Ekiti State University,Ado Ekiti, the opportunity for Olubunmi to visit Lagos came recently, and she took it. Being a first-time visitor to the market, she was assailed by a horde of traders. While some operated in shops, many, especially young men and women, plied their trade at the fringes, preferring to stand by the roadside canvassing clients. After a long moment of indecision, she was assured of quality and a good deal for her money. She followed one of the many female ‘canvassers’ to a shop and picked a power pack. “It was tested in my presence and it worked perfectly. I paid N4,000 and left. When I got to my uncle’s house at Agege, I still used it and it worked. I was excited that, at least, I had got a replacement for my faulty power pack,” she told The Nation. But her joy was shortlived as the power pack packed up after two weeks. She could not return the item because it was not covered by warranty and she couldn’t risk another trip from Ado Ektiti to Lagos, about four hours drive; it was not worth the deal, especially now that the roads have become death traps. So, she resigned to fate, kept the power pack in the hope that whenever she visited the city, she would go and lodge a complaints to the person who sold it to her. “I did not have an opportunity to come back to Lagos until the end of the semester exams, that was about three months after. So, when I came, my uncle advised me not to bother myself as I was not likely to meet the person in the shop again,” she said. If Olubunmi’s power pack lasted for only two weeks, the handset Patrick Chukwudi bought never worked at all. According to him, he had heard so much about a firm selling handsets in the market and made up his mind to go and buy from there. When he alighted from the Danfo bus that brought him to the market, somewhere in front of Awolowo House, Ikeja, he was attracted to the stand of a group of boys who displayed phones in a container under a canopy close to Safegate Microfinance Bank Limited on Awolowo Way, Ikeja. “It was as if I was hynotised. When I got there, I saw very attractive handsets but they were not in their packs. They persuaded me to buy one of them, telling me the phones were all in perfect working condition and that all I needed to replace was the battery. So, I paid for one of them and left. I bought a battery and charged it for three hours when I got home. Afetr that, I tried fruitlessly to power it but to no avail,” he recounted, adding that when he got there the following day, the young man that sold the handset to him did not show up. “I cannot imagine myself leaving Itele, Ogun State, to Ikeja to go looking for somebody that, even if I see
Many faces of Computer Village now, I can scarcely match his face with the transaction,” he said Olubunmi and Patrick are but a few of the thousands of unsuspecting people who have fallen to the antics of unscrupulous elements in the market in which handsets and other electronic valuables allegedly collected from their owners at gun point have been found. Perhaps, this development and the fact that the market community has become an embarrassment to the environment prompted the Lagos State Government to shut the gate of the market a few years ago. The situation has since improved as officials of KAI, an agency set up by the state government to enforce environmental law, now virtually has a ‘standing army’ in the market, ensuring that the place is kept clean.
‘Like in every human community, Computer Village is not all about fraudsters. There are honest young men and women who, through hard work and dedication, are making the market tick’
Like in every human community, Computer Village is not all about fraudsters. There are honest young men and women who, through hard work and dedication, are making the market tick. When Asuquo Daniel had problems with his laptop recently, he lost hope that it would ever work. A friend had introduced him to one of the engineers in the market. “I was working when the screen of my laptop suddenly went dead. I was confused because I did not immediately know what to do. So, I packed it into my bag and went home. When I discussed it with a friend, he introduced me to a young man called Rotimi in the Computer Village who fixed the problem perfectly,” he said. For traders at the Computer Village, doing business in the market has not been a bed of roses as their products face stiff competition from cheap ones imported from China and other Asian countries. For them to keep afloat, they must reduce the prices of their goods, which affects their profit margins. They also have to contend with power problmes as they pay heavily, running their shops on generating sets. Nelson Ogeide, sales manager, Seaman Group of Companies, dealers in handsets and other accessories, identified ‘price war’ as a great challenge besetting his business. “We have to cut down our prices. This will eventually eat into the profit margin. The government should do something about the influx of substandard handsets into the country,” he said. On customers, Ogeide said the challenge his organisation has to contend with is warranty and repairs. According to him, once a customer is told that there is a year or two years warranty on the device and the device gets spoilt, they will return it, adding that in most cases, it is always a physical damage that the devices suffer. “Most of the faults do with physical damage and we try to explain to them that our warranty does not cover physical damage but factory fault problem. In such cases, the customers try to make us look like we are not living up to our responsibilities and so we have to collect such gadgets and try to repair it and if it cannot be not repaired we give them new ones in return,” he explained to The Nation. According to him, there was a time the firm had issues with returned goods and recorded a great loss up to N3.5b million because the goods couldn’t be returned to the importers. Another challenge which the firm faces is running the place on power. “Owing to the power problem in the country, we run diesel generators for up to 12 hours that is 8am-8pm daily. Diesel costs a lot of money. Coming to work during public holidays is also a challenge because of transportation problem,” he added. On what the state government could do to assist the tradContinued on page 50
THE NATION THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 1, 2012
States delay Fed Govt’s emergency call centre project
FFORTS by the Federal Government to build emergency call centres to mitigate the impact of natural disasters, domestic accidents, violent crimes and even sudden illnesses may just remain a pipe dream as some governors are yet to provide land for it. A source close to the Nigeria Communications Commission (NCC) told The Nation on condition of anonymity that Rivers State is leading the pack of other states that are resisting citing the project in their states for no reason. According to the source, the frustration comes either by way of not granting approval for land to build the facility or approving a peice of land to the NCC in an environment that is not congenial for that purpose. The source disclosed the buildings structures had been put in
Stories by Lucas Ajanaku
place in 28 states, equipment were in 18 states while the others would come in phases, adding that Airtel, Glo and MTN have already keyed into the initiative. But, Lagos State said it has made land available for the project. Mr Adebiyi Fatai Mabadeje, state Commissioner for Science & Technology, said approval for the building of the call centre had been given by the government since 2010, adding that it is not clear why the NCC has not started work. Mabadeje disclosed that the managemnt of Command Centre, an initiative of the state government to bring emergency relief to the citizens, has been outsourced to a firm, saying the centre has been reciving and act-
ing promptly on calls that come in to the centre. The multi-million naira project is being undertaken by the NCC for the Federal Government. It is expected to be handed over to an independent agency of the government or a private organisation to manage. Rita Nwachukwu, senior project manager, NCC, who disclosed this, lamented that the development was delaying the project and sought the intervention of members of the Communications Committee of the House of Representatives to intervene. Nwachukwu, who in company of Adenuga Temitope, Operations manager, Infrastructure Engineering, NCC, received Honourable Oyetunde Ojo, said some states were not cooperating, she requested the interven-
tion of the lawmakers in getting these states to allow reason to prevail. She, however, said the NCC has not lost hope as it has kept engaging the states. Accoording to her, a certain percentage of the revenue of telecoms service providers in the country is supposed to be deducted for funding the centre, which will eventually be handed over to the Federal Government that will determine its fate. “If you dial 112, it is an emergeny number, you don’t pay. Originally, the main design of this centre is that a certain percentage of the revenue of the operators should be deducted and used for funding the project,” she said, adding that the legislators should use their position to ensure that a law is enacted to make the dream come true.
HP: Our products are of global standard
EWLETT-Pachard (HP) has said its products are manufactured for consumers after carrying out a thorough research and development (R&D). Rita Amuchienwa, channel development manager, Nigeria and English West Africa, HP Nigeria, who spoke with The Nation at the launch of the firm’s range of printers in Lagos, said the firm did not engage in the production of goods targeted at a specific market by compromising on quality. “It is true that there are products for particular markets, the printers we are launching today are universal products. That is, they are the same everywhere in terms of quality. “As an industry leader, all HP products are of the highest quality and we keep to our high standard of reliability and durability. HP’s series of Ink Advantage products are available not just in Nigeria but in more than 80 countries and regions around the world. The markets that offer the Ink Advantage products have demonstrated a demand for a new way of everyday, quality reliable printing at a much lower price,” she said. According to her, the printers all have the advantage of the new peinters is that they can do better
•From left: Tolulope Lawani, HP Printing and Personal Systems Marketing Manager, West Africa; Amuchienwa, and Janet Thiong’o, HP IWS Product Manager, West, East and Southern Africa, Printing and Personal Systems Group, during the launch.
than what the old ones used to do. “On the colour printer, you can get about 300 pages while you can get about 200 pages on the black spend the same amount of money in buying the old ink,” she said, adding that printers can be deployed to personal use in the office and can also meet the demand of small and medium scale enterprises. She said the printers too were capable of printing pictures with high resolution that last a lifetime.
The printers are web-enabled that can just be connected to the Internet through an ethernet cable or over Wi-Fi –working without requiring a computer and installation of any device drivers. Every printer is assigned a unique email address through which Office documents, pictures or PDFs could be sent and it will get printed. Since the email message is the new Ctrl+P, you can use the printer to print stuff from any device that is capable of send-
Lagos to establish software institute
ETERMINED to tap into the enormous potential in the Information Communication Technology (ICT) industry, the Lagos State government is to establish a software institute to position the state as an ICT hub. Mr Adebiyi Fatai Mabadeje, Commissioner for Science & Technology, who disclosed this in Lagos, said establishing the institute is a “concept which the state government is looking into” in line with the government’s desire to explore other means of promoting economic development. According to him, the “concept” is being considered “at a more encompassing level, beginning from innovation to incubation. We are focusing on the biggest industry which is mobile. We are looking at how the state can tap into it and chanelling energy into it.” He said the state government placed high premium on ICT train-
ing, thus underscoring regular training of personnel of the state in the Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) beginning from basic to knowledge to engineering. He disclosed that the state trains 600 teachers every year on ICT tree, an international standard training recognised globally. Mabadeje listed other areas where the state has deployed ICT to include security, through tollfree “767” and “112” emergency lines, revenue collection (ETCC), Vehicle Registration (Autoreg), Health Management Information System (HMIS), Electronic Document Management System (registry computerisation), general personnel administration (oracle data base) and many more. He added that the government through the Ministry of Science and Technology has an ICT vision to improve the quality of education in institutions of learning and
improve access to information for various research activities. The e-learning Centre was upgraded from the then Lagos City Library built in 1964. It embodies a state-of-the-art ICT learning environment utilising the latest electronic and digital technology. The structure consists of four floors. The ground floor consists of the reception area, Information Centre and the interactive Children’s Library for kids between five and 11 years. On the first floor, there is an elibrary which has over one million electronic books, Book Library, and training rooms with multimedia facilities. The Pro-metric or Online Testing Centre is on the second floor, for those who want to write professional examinations while the third floor has the Exhibition Hall, the Herbarium and the Video Conference Centre
ing email be it a mobile phone, a gaming console, an old PDA, Internet-enabled TV or an iPad. Apps that can pull web pages and other content directly from the Internet could also be downloaded or installed on the printers.
‘Nigeria not investing enough on R&D’
HE Nigeria Computer Society (NCS) has decried the low investment by the government on research and development (R&D), arguing that no nation can grow without the application of science, technology and innovation to respond to emerging socio-economic challenges. “Research must be an essential element for Nigeria to use technology and innovation to respond to socioeconomic challenges. Nigeria, however, underinvests in research and development,” Jide Awe, chairman, Publicity, Events and Trade Services Committee of NCS, said, adding that the body had concluded plans to host a forum on computer science, information technology, and R&D in Lagos. Scheduled to hold between November 14 and 16 at the University of Lagos, he said: “NCS is again rising to the occasion to address the key challenges in the nation’s research environment to improve R&D performance and contribution to the national development agenda.” According to a statement by NCS, the main goal of the workshop is to build collaborative, purposeful and rigorous research effort towards national development, adding that major activities during the workshop will include: exposure to modern computer science/ information technology research, methodologies and tools, Grant seeking proposal writing techniques, information about grants, fellowships and scholarships, mentorship, formation of research groups, research collaboration, interactions among IT professionals, interactions between the industry and academia, Interaction between IT professionals and government, exhibition of research outputs, presentation of excellence in research awards. Lecturers in computer science/IT, postgraduate students in computer science/IT, IT consultants/researchers, departmental and units heads, academia, government/public and private sectors, IT industry players, business development, executives/ managers, brand Image developers, IT consultants/researchers are targets. Key facilitators include: Prof. Zachariah Tanko – Champlain College, Burlington, VT. USA, Dr. Richard Boateng – International Center for Information Technology and Development (ICITD), Southern University, Baton Rouge, USA, Prof. Charles Uwadia – Centre for Information Technology & Systems, University of Lagos, Nigeria, and Dr. G.M.M Obi - Lead Research Consultant, International Business Systems Limited, Lagos, Nigeria, among others.
Faces of Computer Village Continued from page 49
ers, he said the business has got nothing to do with the government, so government funding is not possible. “The only way government can help us is hastening the repair of the main road leading to Simbiat Abiola Way so that customers will be able to park their cars in front of Seaman instead of going around Computer Village in search of parking space,” he told The Nation. For Sylvester Onuoha, salesman at Sultech Computers, his worry is the low patronage he faces due to cut-throat competition from the big-time computer sellers.“My major challenge is having to compete with large-scale computer sellers. Customers would prefer to go to a large scale business man to coming to my little shop to purchase computer because they are scared of buying fake computers,” he said. John Oboro, general secretary, Computer and Allied Products Dealer Association (CAPDAN) said the body has mechanisms in place to ensure that people who are
short-changed in the course of business transaction get redress. Yes, this Computer Village is the single largest concentration of hardwares in the entire West African sub-region. Anybody that feels aggrieved in the course of doing business can report and CAPDAN will act,” he assured. Meanwhile, the Commissioner for Science & Technology, Mr Adebiyi Fatai Mabadeje, has assured that Computer Village will move from its present location to another befitting site. The commissioner who addressed ICT editors, said the government has been engaging stakeholders about its intention to relocate them. “Though we are engaging stakeholders, there is a legal issue to the relocation,” he said, adding that the land that was initially scheduled to accommodate the traders somewhere in Abule Egba, a suburb of the state, has been encroached upon. He promised that the government would handover a befitting ICT park to the traders. “We ate not giving up on the matter. We will move them, we have plans for that area (Computer Village),” he said.
THE NATION THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 1, 2012
NATURAL HEALTH E-mail:- firstname.lastname@example.org
Remedy for hypertension Consultant, Nature Healing Alternatives, Lagos, Mr Leye Popoola answers the first question; a natural healer and Medical Director, Lamdebs Clinic, Lagos, Dr Lambo Adebisi answers the second.
YPERTENSION also known as high blood pressure (HBP) is becoming more common in Nigeria and indeed, across the world particularly in developing countries, where there is industrialisation. Artisans, office workers and drivers are worse hit. However, this condition can be cured, through regular exercise, consumption of water and essential nutrients, among other therapies. Hypertension refers to a condition where too much pressure is exerted on the arteries when the blood is pumped by the heart. The heart of a high blood pressure patient pumps blood through the circulatory system with greater force, thereby causing additional strain to the entire cardiovascular system. If your blood pressure is greater than 140 over 90, it is considered high, it is important to note that people cannot determine their body pressure as high just because of one reading. Except they have a reading that is exceptionally high , with systolic blood pressure, reading of 200 and above and diastolic reading of 120 and above. People need to take their blood pressure for not less than three times before they can say it is high. Hypertension can be mild, moderate and severe. When it is mild, the blood pressure usually reads: systolic 140 to 159 while diastolic is 90 to 99. And moderate hypertension can be 1660 to 179 for systolic and 90 to 99 for diastolic. For severe, it is greater than 180 for systolic and greater than 110 for diastolic. However, it is important to note that blood pressure is not static throughout the day. It rises and falls. The reason it fluctuates is due to physical activities that people are
involved in. Also, the food eaten or drinks taken are the cause. People need to be concerned about their blood pressure because the cardiovascular system is composed of the heart and blood vessels with each heartbeat blood is released from the left ventricle into the aorta, which is a very large blood vessel, that then transports the blood throughout the body. The blood delivers oxygen and essential nutrients such as vitamins, minerals and proteins. Others are essential fats, sugar and hormones, to all the cells of the body. The blood is also responsible for removing waste products from the cells. The blood is then returned back to the heart through the veins. After that, it is sent to the lungs to receive fresh supply of oxygen. The process starts all over again.
Causes There are two types of high blood pressure. They is essential hypertension which results for no apparent reasons and the secondary hypertension, a complication of another condition. Essential hypertension comprises 95 per cent of all diagnosed cases of high blood pressure. Secondary hypertension can be the result of arteriosclerosis, atherosclerosis, congestive heart failure, kidney disease, diabetes, hormonal disorder, taking birth control pills, pregnancy and exposure to heavy metals such as lead and cadmium. Secondary hypertension can be cured in most cases; if the root cause is removed then the propensity of a cure is very high. Since most high blood pressure falls under the essential hypertension, we shall focus on essential hypertension.
The exact cause of essential hypertension still remains a mystery. The following factors may make one to be predisposed to essential hypertension.
Dehydration Water is the most important nutrient in our body. It is also the main transport media of the body; it delivers nutrients to all the cells of the body. Your body can exist without food for six weeks or more, but an average person can only live about five days without water. Please note the following facts about water. The body is about 60 per cent water. The body muscles are about 75 per cent water. The human brain is about 75 per
Questions 1 I was diagnosed of hypertension but I detest orthodox medicine, can you tell me any alternative therapy for high blood pressure? Olusegun Onaja, Kwara State. 2 Is there any alternative treatment for fibroid? Halima Mohammed, Kaduna State. cent water. Human blood is about 82 per cent water. Human bones are approximately 25 per cent water. Salt Many of us take too much salt. My friend Abbey, when eating usually puts salt in a different plate and adds it to his food as he eats. Salt preserves our foods but can be dangerous when taken out of proportion. A lot of it is in the processed foods like hot dogs, satis, ham, beacon and sausage, among others. However salt is a dead food that people must not take in excess. Most processed foods have salt in them for preservation purpose. What I usually advise is people should not add salt to their soup while eating. Beside the fact that salt triggers HBP, it also makes the body retain water, thereby causing oedema.
Recommendations People should drink lots of water. For an average male adult, three litres of water a day and two and a half for female should be drunk. The water should be spread out in a way that one litre will be consumed in the morning, another in the afternoon and then another at night. People should stop drinking alcohol and hard drinks. They affect people’s blood level negatively. Tea and coffee can cause a rise in blood level. When somebody has low level blood, as experts, we usually advise the person to take tea or coffee with some medications to increase it.
Nip fibroid in the bud naturally
IBROIDS are devastating and have subjected women living with the condition to go through surgeries. But traditional medicine has an answer to it. There are herbal preparations that can shrink this growth or tumour in the uterus within few days of tak-
ing herbs. The treatment procedure should include having a pelvic scan to determine whether they have the condition. Then the hormonal pelvic scan should also be done to ascertain the level of estrogen most especially. Hormonal profile can show the level of progesterone. They should have follicle stimulating hormone (FSH), prolactin, luetinising hormone (LH), micro-culture and sensitivity (MCS) test of vagina swab. Women who have fibroid should avoid eating eggs, milk and white flour products. They should also avoid fried foods, white sugar and food in heated polythene packs such as moimoi as the chemical from the polythene can trigger estrogen to become dominant. And this can worsen the condition of fibroid patients. Also, they should avoid staying under an atmosphere smelling
of insecticide and aerosol.
Recommendation Women having fibroid should consume literally home-made soy milk, soya beans which is rich in phyto-estrogen as it normalises estrogen level in the female. They should also consume fresh fruits and vegetables. This is because organic food contain healing properties.
Fibroid treatment Herbs made from anti-tumor herbs such as sour sop’s roots, stem and leaves. Sour sop is called sawa sharp locally in Nigeria. This starves the fibroid from getting basic nutrients called adenosine triphosphate (ATP). Also, antiiflammatory herbs called soghum bicolor known as poroporo in Yoruba and astringent herbs such
as back of cashew, anti-microbial herbs such as cloves known as kanafu in Yoruba are useful. Also, important in the treatment of fibroid are female hormone balancing herbs called cissampeli owariensis also known as jokoje roots in Yoruba and sometimes, analgestic herbs such as awogba aarun in Yoruba.
Symptoms Women who have fibroid usually have heavy menstrual flow and painful sexual intercourse. They also have prolonged menstrual flow, backache and sometimes no symptoms at all. Fibroid, which is mostly caused by estrogen dominance, is of three major types – subseious, submucosal and intra-mural. Estrogen is a female hormone responsible for menstrual flow, breast enlargement
and development of female features in general. Fibroids, which can be as small as a peanut and also as large as a football, may lead to infertility depending on the size and position of fibroid in the womb. The condition, he noted, was more predominant in black women compared to their white counterparts. This is due to their genetic make-up, he added. Fibroid occurrs mostly among women of childbearing age but when menopause sets in, it tends to shrink or experience retardation. An estimated 80 per cent of fibroid cases are as a result of hormonal problems caused by estrogen. This estrogen dominance has also been linked to development of breast cancer, among other diseases. Other causes of fibroid are abortion and infection
THE NATION THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 1, 2012
NATURAL H EALTH
Hepatitis and escape routes for its ‘Walking Corpses’ (2)
OMEN are more perceptive than men, and they often decide the actions of men or divert the courses. Cecilia Uwadi did just that to me this week. She is the production editor of The Nation newspaper. Often boisterous when production deadlines are going to be missed, she surprised me on Wednesday last week when, calmly, she told me on the telephone I had overwritten the column for last week. The implication was that I was going to be asked to cut it to size, and that would have involved time. Now, the more time you lose after copy deadline, the more you eat into the printer’s time, the fewer the copies the printer would print, and the more the cash the newspaper would lose in the market. I was several kilometres away. Cecilia suggested we stop the copy at the banks, and I continue it today as a second part of an ongoing series. I replied that I didn’t have the energy for that. Writers do not like second or third parties to tamper with their thoughts, because their butchering may destroy the story line. But I trusted Cecilia, and gave her the nod. I had wanted to address readers’ letters this week, especially the one from a woman in Awka who was going bald on the sides of the scalp, and, in addition, always had bags in her lower eyelids. Her bags reminded me of those of K.R., a tall, handsome and well-mannered gentleman. Those bags have defied therapy to improve potassium intake to balance it with sodium, as blood sodium elevation and blood potassium depletion, like allergy and poor blood circulation, are possible causes of “bags”. I haven’t seen K.R. lately to know if cayenne, especially when combined with the biochemic cell salt ferrum phos, got the blood moving faster and emptied the bags. If the bags remain defiant, other possible causes of them could be suboptional kidneys, especially if there are dark rings around the eyes, and/or an underactive thyroid gland, for which the Dr. Broda Barnes home self-test is a sure diagnostic tool. I do not wish to plunge into these matters today. I received two touching letters from readers of last week’s column which advised me to heed Cecilia’s suggestion about a follow-up column to last week’s column. But if you don’t mind, I‘d quickly say Bell’s Kidney Cleanse and Function Tea and/or Amazon KDCL or new comer Kidney Rescue can help sluggish kidneys. As for the slow thyroid gland, it has been found that, while its problems may come from within it, exhausted adrenal glands often cause thyroid slowdown as well. The adrenals respond to Borage oil, Pantothenic Acid (Calcium Pentothanate or Vitamin B5), Plant Sterols and Sterolins, and many proprietary Adrenal Essentials formulations, which include adrenal glandulas in the blend. As for the thyroid gland, Dr. Broda Barnes (please check on the internet) found that most laboratory tests for thyroid function were often unreliable, and he developed a diagnostic technique which many doctors agree is better, and use, even if not l00 per cent foolproof. To do this self-test, shake down well and keep a good mercury (not digital) thermometer under your pillow at night before you go to bed. When you wake up in the morning, do not move in bed. Place the thermometer under your armpit for about 10 minutes. Menstruating women should do it on the second day of their cycle, other people any time. The normal temperature reading would lie between 97.8 and 98.2 degrees Fahrenheit. This reading should be consistent over three days. Anything below this reference range suggests underactive thyroid gland or hypothyroidism, which has been linked to about 100 diseases, many of them degenerative. Anything above the range suggests overactive thyroid gland or hyperthyroidism, which may be a cause of rapid heart beat (tachycardia), consumption and thinness, bulging eyes (Grave’s disease) and allied ailments, overheating, profuse sweating, nervousness, insomnia and even headaches or blurry vision from too much energy in the system. While eating goistrogen-rich foods such as Cabbage does help slow the racing thyroid, the treatment of choice is Buggleweed, which is not readily available in Nigeria. Many doctors prescribe a synthetic hormone, Synthroid, which has been proven inferior to the natural equivalent, Armour thyroid, a glandular extract from animal thyroids of which Dr. Alan Gabby M.D., who, like Dr. Barnes, uses it, said: “I frequently see patients who are being treated for hypothyrodism with thyroxin (synthrold) but who continue to experience typical hypothyroidism symptoms, such as fatigue, depression, cold extremeties, fluid retention and dry skin. However, after switching to an equivalent (or sometimes even less equivalent) doses of Armour thyroid, their symptoms disappear rapidly”. Please, permit me to make two more quick points on this matter before we return to Walking Corpses in viral hepatitis (1). Hypothyrodic people hardly convert beta carotene to Vitamin A. A deficiency of Vitamin A may cause night blindness and dry skin. Without Vitamin A, the thyroid gland cannot make its major hormones, and may remain a lame duck. Many men and women reporting low sexual drive or fertility problems need to do the Berne’s Basal Body Temperature self-test to determine their thyroid status.
Walking Corpses The first touching response to last Thursday’s column was from a reader who sought anonymity. He said in a cell phone text message: Sir, now that hepatitis patients are WALKING CORPSES as described by you in your article of today (25/ 10/12)… you have given them no hope again in life. I read you every week, sir. I feel sad about the title” I replied immediately. “Oh no. You got me wrong. The column was meant to warn that all of us could be walking corpses ... I spoke of people who died behind the wheel and of my uncle who died of diabetes. One of them didn’t know his blood sugar level had gone up over 500. The idea is... don’t be a walking corpse. Run lab tests regularly to catch ailments young and nip them in the bud. That was why Boluke Chemists was brought into the picture.” This reader felt better and brighter with this re-assurance to reply: “Thank you, Sir. I agree with you. There are people who have never done FBC (Full Blood Count), as cheap as it is. Even FBS (Fasting Blood Sugar) and RBS (Random Blood Sugar). An elevated WBC (White Blood Cell) in my FBC result in 2008 made the lab attendant to do HBsAg for me without
Chanka Piedra extracts to be “hepatoprotective” (liver protecting) and antihepatotoxin” (disabling liver poison). One point arises from this which I do not wish to discuss in detail today. In the last 50 years, doctors advised pregnant women in England to eat animal liver because of its rich store of nutrients. But what if that animal liver had a large quantum of hepatoxins and not enough antihepatotoxins and hepatoprotective agents? Of course, the human liver loss of these toxins is doomed, if the animal liver consumer does not have enough protection in, and for his or her own liver. I don’t, for this reason and more, relish animal liver, remembering that three of my maternal cousins, all from the same mother, died of liver failure! In India, doctors found Chanka Piedra was “an effective single drug in the treatment of jaundice in children.” The same report quotes British researchers as saying that “children treated with a Chanka Piedra extract for acute hepatitis had liver function return to normal within five days.”
Kyolic Aged Garlic Extract
asking him to do it. It was positive. I have since then taken precautionary measures right from dieting, regularly yearly. Viral load count test. My last load was UNDETECTABLE because it was below 200. I have vaccinated the whole household, and my knowledge of the disease has increased “I have just completed the reading of Dr Gish in the 7th Annual Liver Update (which) is available in the Cleaveland Clinic Journal of Medicine 2008. It is quite revealing. You can read it in HYPERLINK “http://m.ccjm.org.co” “I also have a friend who is a very close friend and a hematologist with bias for blood disorders. He also believes in the submission of Dr Gish. Early detection can add few years to carriers but, sadly, thousands do not even know they carry the deadly virus in their system. I am 48, and I just hope I will get some additional years with the consolidated efforts I have made and I am making” Yes, there is hope for “additional years” in Mother Nature in which is anchored the Creator’s Will Grace and Love for human health. We experience this Will Grace and Love when, in overcoming chronic illness, we recognise that He, who decreed the formation of our bodies by Mother Nature, had provided through these same forces, long before the bodies came into being, all that would be needed for their nurture in health and healing in illness. We only have to discover and use them aright in humble gratitude to the Creator. Didn’t doctors believe last century that liver cells once damaged or dead were not regenerable? Aren’t all the nutrition oriented doctors saying today that Milk thistle, a once unknown herb, helps liver cell regeneration? Milk thistle gained this reputation when, in animal experiments, it made the liver overcome the destructive capacity of carbon tetrachloride. This chemical is reputed to be one of the worst enemies of the liver, and scientists rank the liver-protecting capacity of any herb in terms of its ability to neutralise it. The first research, since replicated in many laboratories worldwide, divided animals into three groups. The first was given Milk thistle before and during exposure to the chemical. The second was given Milk thistle only after exposure. The third was not given Milk thistle. All animals in the last group died, with heavy liver damage. Mortality averaged about 50 per cent in the second group given Milk thistle 24 hours after exposure. No death occurred in the group which took Milk thistle before and during the exposure. This is why herbal doctors always prescribe Milk thistle in liver therapy. Last Thursday, I mentioned many equally good hepaprotective herbs which Hepatitis-challenged people should take, if need be for life, for remnants of the hepatitis army may regenerate and regroup for another battle. In fact, we do not have to wait for vanquished hepatitis to strike before we take them…for life. Didn’t Hippocrates, the Father of Medicine, advise us a long time ago: LET FOOD BE YOUR MEDICINE AND MEDICINE YOUR FOOD? Ever since I suggested it to a member of the DANTATA family who had a liver condition in the 1980s and Milk thistle helped him, for which he gave me a present, THE HERBS BOOK by James LUST, I have used Milk thistle regularly. Some of the other liver herbs I mentioned last week were Amazon Liver Support and Carquega, which features as an ingredient in the former. I will quickly make brief remarks about them, briefly address Kyolic Aged Garlirc Extract, which I also recommend, move on to the second reader’s text message and, if time permits, mention some other terrific herbs which space did not permit mention last week.
Amazon Liver Support In the Amazon region, this proprietary product is used traditionally, as the clinical paper says, for hepatonic, hepatoprotective and antihepatoxic for steatosis, hepatitis, fatty liver, cirrhosis and other live diseases and conditions. Eight herbs make up the product, the star herb of which, in my view, is CARQUEJA. When researchers gave a group of rats lethal doses of the liver poison phalloidin, 76 per cent of them died, but 100 per cent survived in another group which took Carguega along with the poison. Chanka piedra (the Yoruba call it ehinbisowo or ehin olube) is another star item in Amazon Liver Support. I mentioned it, too, in passing last weak. No fewer than five human studies in the Amazon belt have confirmed it to “effectively protect against liver damage from various chemical liver toxins.” Two studies on children beset with hepatitis and jaundice found
e-mail: email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
This is natural organic, sliced garlic naturally aged (without heating) in a special process for about 20 months to concentrate the healing forces of the natural herb to about 50 times of their natural powers. It is odourless, besides, and as the product literature, suggests, packs 50 punches to one of natural garlic. In the review of scientific journals and meetings, more than 100 clinical trials in various parts of the world are rated by researchers who confirm claims made by Wakunaga, of Japan, the producers. In this presentation are heading such as: •Aged Garlic Extract and Coenzyme Qio decreases Arterial Stiffness Retards Progression of Coronary Artery Calcium in Risk Fire Fighters. •Aged Garlic Extract has Immunodulating Activity in Humans. • Aged Garlic Extract increases Adiponectin in subjects with Metabolic Syndrome •Aged Garlic Extract lowers Blood Pressure in Patients with Treated but Uncontrolled Hypertension: A Randomized Control Trial. There are reports about other ailments, especially tumours, sickle cell anemia, immune boosting, blood disorders, Nitric oxide bioavailability, and Reproductive effects, Anti-stress and AntiAge Effects, Brain and Anti-Depression Effects. Liver detoxifying and Protective effects of Kyolic Garlic are also well researched by Wakunaga. There are reports that Kyolic Aged Garlic Extract • “Protected cells from Toxic Carbon Tetrachloride and Paracetamol (Acetaminophen) •“Enhanced Metabolism of “Acetaminophen in Humans. • “Prevented Mutagenic Effects of the Liver Toxic Afflatozin B1 • “Prevented the Toxic Effects of Phenobarbital and Bromobenzene • “Enhanced Detoxification of Acetaldehyde of Enzymes in Liver • “Inhibited cholestergenessis in Hep G- 2 cells”. Carqueja Used traditionally for digestive disorders, it is described as the South American version of Milk thistle. Midly hypertensive (lower blood sugar), it goes well for gastric ulcers, increases bile production, improves gastroenteritis, kills Helicobacter pylori, a cause of peptic and duodenal ulcers, helps in acid reflux (heartburn), illeocecal valve disorder, elimination of liver flulces (flat worms are a which cause of liver cirhosin and cancer), and gall bladder stones.
The Second Message It says: “I am Hepatitis B positive and have been treating it off and on for close to two years now. For (the) past two months, I was on medication taking LIVOLYN tablet for liver. I was asked to conduct other tests of viral hepatitis which are Hbe Ag and Hb DNA viral load because I complained of itching. The result of the Ag is Negative but I could not do the DNA because of cost. Another reader said: last year, my wife to whom I complained about my health decided to run a test on me based on her experience on similar complaints of most of the ex-militants at Obubra Camp during their re-orientation programme. The test showed that I was positive to Hepatitis B virus. To confirm the test, we went to a private hospital ... and it was true that I am positive. The doctor showed me by saying the disease kills faster than HIV/AIDS and there is no known cure for it. That was the only good news I had from that hospital. Now, the challenge I have is where to get real counselling and how to manage the situation. Sometimes, I drink Livolene. In conclusion, there is hope in Mother Nature for hepatitis cure. Many hints were given in this column last Thursday. Today, I pass on the suggestions of one of my nutrition-conscious doctor friends. He suggests Vitamin C, which is antiviral, be used as part of a therapy at between 5000mg and 10,000mg a day. I add that the Alkaline or Buffered brand be used to avoid acid buildup from ascorbic acid. I suggest, also, a good Bioflavonoid complex as bioflavonoid are antiviral. He suggests, also, DMG to increase tissue oxygenation which kills viruses. That’s why Ubiquinol (most active variant of CoQio) is a food ally, like 35 per cent food frade Hydrogen Peroxide. ZEOLYTE may also be fried. It is a powerful detoxifier (mixture of Zenolytre and Humic Acid Powers). Can we ever stop screening the hands of Mother Nature in our healing efforts. We needn’t become walking corpses if we see her as a gift from God and let her into our homes, nay our bodies. Now, Cecilia, when last did you have your liver function checked?
Tel: 08034004247, 07025077303
THE NATION THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 1, 2012
CITYBEATS Fashola presents N497.277b budget L AGOS State Governor Babatunde Fashola yesterday presented a N497.277 billion budget for 2013 to the House of Assembly. The budget comprises a recurrent expenditure of N228.913 billion and capital expenditure of N268.364 billion. The proposed appropriation exceeded this year’s budget by 1.08 per cent and requires a deficit financing of N40.537bn, which is 0.3 per cent of the state’s GDP. Among those who witnessed the event were former Governor Lateef Jakande, Oba Rilwan Akiolu I of Lagos; captains of industry, members of the state executive council. The overhead costs of N139.173billion comprise dedication expenditure, N21.753 billion, subvention, N31.892 billion, debt charge, (External), N0.609 billion, debt charges (Internal), N15.938 billion, debt charge (Bond), N1.989 billion. Also, capital receipts for the 2013 Budget is estimated at N22.912 billion, comprising Grants of N3billion, Investment Income, N0.332 billion, and N19.580billion for other capital receipts. The proposed capital expenditure of N268.364 billionn consists of Core Capital, N237.209billion, Capital Development (Dedicated), N19.580billion, Grants, N3.000 billion, counterpart funding, N2.500billion, special expenditure, N5.000 billion, risk retention fund, N0.075 billion, and contingency reserve, N1.000bn. The governor gave the sectoral breakdown of the budget as: General Public Service, 14.076billion, Public Order and Safety, N18.799 billion, Economic Affairs, N156.273billion, Environmental Protection, N44.131billion, Housing and Community Amenities, N46.149billion, Health N42.498billion, Recreation, Culture and Religion,
08033054340, 08034699757 E-mail:- email@example.com
‘Lagos won’t delay implementation of traffic law’
By Miriam Ndikanwu
By Segun Balogun
N5.749billion, Education, N64.343billion, Social Protection, N3.259billion, and Contingency, N2.000 billion. He said the government required about N40 billion for a shoreline protection plan designed to save the some communities from ravaging coastal erosion. A team of consultants from Holland, he said, had designed the plan that would stretch for about seven kilometres along the shoreline. In the past two years, communities like Kuramo, Victoria Island extension, Oniru Estate, Goshen Beach Estate and Alpha Beach have been hit by ocean surges, claiming lives and properties. He said the project would be implemented in phases because the government does not have the financial requirement to execute the project in one fiscal year. “In order to do this and start immediately, I have proposed a re-ordering of this year’s budget as approved by the state executive council to defer other projects till 2013 while we focus on this life threatening environmental risk,” he said. The governor acknowledged the receipt of N400million from the Federal Government as emergency relief fund due to states grouped in Category B of flood prone states. He said his administration recognised the risk posed by the state’s geographical location and promised to deploy the best available solution to tackle the attendant problems. Fashola noted the horror and devastation of lives and properties over the last 24 hours across the North Atlantic in the East Coast of America, adding that the state has been advised to be ready for the impact of rising water levels. Fashola unveiled plans to
THE Lagos State government yesterday spurned calls for more time for sensitisation before implementation of the new traffic law. To heed those calls would amount to sanctioning the maiming and killing that occur daily in the state, especially by commercial motorcyclists, Commissioner for Transportation Kayode Opeifa said. Responding to requests that government should give residents two years to adjust to dictates of the law, Opeifa said giving such time could be interpreted to mean that the government tacitly supported the loss of lives, accident, and robberies on the roads. Opeifa said there was no need for further sensitisation because the provisions of the law have been undergoing scrutiny with the affected stakeholders since 2008. According to him, all contentious provisions of the law have been discussed with affected stakeholders before the governor finally signed the bill passed by the House of Assembly. “We promised Lagosians safe, reliable, efficient and sustainable transportation system This, I promise you we will continue to pursue even at the cost of our last breath without fear, favour or prejudice to any party. “Lagos is just one of the few states where the activities of commercial motorcycle operators still flourish with little or no regard for those that patronise them. We, as a responsive government, will not fold our arms till the worst befalls us,” the commissioner said. The law, he said would demand a change in lifestyle that will prove difficult initially, adding that Lagosians will in the end be grateful for the promulgation of the law.
•Fashola presenting the budget to Ikuforiji (left)... yesterday.
PHOTO: OMOSEHIN MOSES
Don’t rest on your oars, Ikuforiji urges governor
AGOS State House of Assembly Speaker Adeyemi Ikuforiji has advised Governor Babatunde Fashola not to rest on his oars despite the notable development strides so far. Ikuforiji, who said the challenges facing the state, were still enormous, spoke when Fashola presented the Budget 2013 to the House. Urging the governor to use his position to address the challenges, Ikuforiji said there was need to keep hope alive. “These challenges which require critical, extraordinary and urgent action include the deplorable state of roads despite the huge investment and painstaking effort this government has made in that area. In our socio-cultural context, it is the belief of the citizenry that democracy should translate to good roads. Otherect a cenotaph at Iju-Ishaga, a Lagos suburb, where a Dana plane crashed on June 3 in memory of the victims. He praised the victims’ families for their trust in government, which he said helped in the management of what was “a very difficult process.” He said: “Our agreement to dedicate the crash site as a memorial in honour of the victims is being implemented on our side as clear directives have been given to the appropriate ministries and organs of government.” He expressed gratitude to all the first responders and
er challenges confronting us today also include falling standards of education, youth unemployment and poor social orientation and dwindling value system,” Ikuforiji said. The speaker said the House shared the dreams of the governor “because your success is our success, this House will continue to forge the necessary executive-legislative harmony in order to achieve that shared goal of maximum returns to our people”, he said. “Mr. Governor, you have been able to keep your head high in spite of the challenges associated with governing a mega-city state with overstretched infrastructure and a people who eagerly yearn for the dividends of democracy in spite of the difficulties with the collection of taxes”, he said
rescue team from the Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA), Police, Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA), National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), and the fire service who braved the odd to recover 150 bodies. Fashola said: “Our gratitude goes to all our health personnel from the Honourable Commissioner for Health and members of his team, especially the ViceChancellor of LASU and the Medical Director of LASUTH, who worked with
other experts to painstakingly sort, tag and process the bodies and prepare forensic samples for overseas analysis which led to the positive identification of 141 (One Hundred and Forty One) bodies that have been released to the bereaved families for burial. “I believe that this identification of over 94 per cent of the victims – and we are still working to conclude the rest – helped us to avoid a mass burial for the first time in our history of such human tragedy and I hope it will bring the bereaved families nearer to relief.”
THE NATION THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 1, 2012
EQUITIES NIGERIAN STOCK EXCHANGE DAILY SUMMARY AS AT 31-10-12
New rules coming, says NSE •UPDC,
7-Up now market making stocks
EW market rules that will set guidelines for stockbroking operations, investors’ relations and complaint management may soon be unveiled by capital market regulators. The Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) is seeking the approval of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for a new body of rules that will set minimum operating guidelines for stockbroking firms. SEC plans to roll out new consolidated market rules that will serve as major reference for investors and operators. Chief Executive Officer, Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), Mr Oscar Onyema yesterday at a media briefing after the quarterly meeting of the Capital Market Committee, said the NSE has submitted the final draft of its new rules on stockbroking functions to SEC for approval. According to him, the new rules were results of consultations with key stakeholders in the industry including the SEC and the Association of Stockbroking Houses of Nigeria (ASHON). “The final report is with the SEC and we are sure when its board approves, we can begin to work towards meeting the minimum standards. It has to do with process, people, technology and net capital, which has to do with the risk base,” Onyema said. He noted that following the approval of the new rules, stockbroking firms will be given
By Taofik Salako and Tonia Osundolire
timeline to comply with the new rules and this may trigger self-induced consolidation in the industry as operators jostle to meet the minimum standard. Director General, Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Ms Arunma Oteh, also yesterday said the Commission would roll out new consolidated market rules to boost investors’ confidence in the nation’s capital market. She reiterated the commitment of SEC to protection of investors’ interests, adding that the SEC would soon also issue guidelines on the treatment of investors’ complaints to ensure speedy resolution. According to her, under the new guidelines, investors would know where to direct their complaints because only major complaints would be directed to the Commission. In his remarks, Managing Director, Abuja Securities and Commodities Exchange (ASCE), Mr Yusuf Abdurrahi, said the Federal Government was committed to using the Exchange as a platform for its agricultural transformation agenda. He said that the ASCE was one of the key projects that the Federal Government is planning to put in place within the next 15 months. Meanwhile, Seven-up Bottling Company (7-Up) Plc and UACN Property Development Company (UPDC) Plc would today be added to the portfolio
of market making stocks on the NSE. Since the initiative kicked off with 16 stocks, 12 other stocks had been added at different times. The two newly added stocks bring the number to 30. The introduction of the two new stocks is in line with NSE’s phased approach of bringing in additional stocks to the portfolio of market making stocks. NSE had promised at the inception of the initiative on September 18 2012, that all quoted stocks that are trading above par value will be added to the market making initiative over a period of six months. The 30 stocks covered by the initiatives now include PZ Cussons Nigeria Plc; Nigerian Bag Manufacturing Company Plc; Presco Plc; International Breweries; Lafarge Wapco; Fidson Healthcare Plc; Redstar Express Plc; Zenith Bank Plc; Sterling Bank Plc; D.N.Meyer; Diamond Bank; FCMB; Fidelity Bank Plc; Nigerian Breweries Plc; Guaranty Trust Bank Plc and UAC Nigeria Plc. (UACN). Others are Access Bank Plc; Academy Press Plc; Custodian & Allied Insurance Plc; First Bank Plc; Dangote Sugar Plc; Union Bank Plc; NASCON Plc; Nestle Nigeria Plc; AIICO Insurance Plc; United Bank for Africa Plc; Ecobank Transnational Plc; Skye Bank Plc; 7Up Plc and UAC Property Development Plc. However, the downtrend at the stock market worsened yesterday as the benchmark index dwindled by 1.15 per cent. The decline depressed average yearto-date return to 27.50 per cent. Aggregate market capitalisation of all equities dropped by N98 billion from N8.521 trillion to N8.423 trillion. The main index, the All Share Index (ASI), which tracks share prices of all quoted companies also slipped from 26,739.22 points to 26,430.92 points.
NIGERIAN STOCK EXCHANGE DAILY SUMMARY AS AT 31-10-12
THE NATION THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 1, 2012
Sanusi tasks private sector on economic growth
IGERIA’S private sector needs to take active roles in the stimulation of Nigeria’s economic growth, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi has said. In a statement released yesterday by the CBN titled: ‘Challenges of Nigeria’s Economic Development Aspirations and Leadership Question,’ he said that the private sector has been the source of other countries’ economic successes, while the government continues to play a proactive role in guiding its economic development. He regretted that though the Nigerian economy has achieved some considerable progress, the accomplishment is far below her realizable potentials given her abundant human and material resource endowment. The country, he added, is still grappling with numerous challenges, which has continued to militate against the achievement of economic transformation. He explained that Singapore and Malaysia are ranked as some of the wealthiest nations in the world, and is a byproduct of visionary leadership that were able to transform their economies through consistent policies and active private sectors. “A cursory examination of these emerging economies reveals how these economies have been remarkably transformed over a space of 50 years. However, Nigeria failed to keep pace with these contemporaries, despite being more resource endowed than these countries,” he said.
By Collins Nweze
According to him, Malaysia at the early stage of her development, procured improved oilpalm and rubber seeds from Nigeria and became the world’s largest palm-oil producer/exporter and a major exporter of rubber. But now, Nigeria has nothing to show for it, but instead has become a major importer of these commodities. He said the Asian miracle was able to create resources, which were managed efficiently to promote economic growth and development, adding that the structure has helped in freeing the countries from corruption as resources are directed to areas that produce high economic returns. According to Sanusi, same systematic and coordinated policy intervention by the gov-
wealth over and above all other considerations has rendered leadership most ineffective,” he said. The Governor said the economy is yet to achieve the necessary structural changes required to jump-start rapid and sustainable economic growth while the attitudinal and structural changes needed for economic transformation are still very much lacking. This he said, is traceable to the manifestations of structural rigidities occasioned by the apparent weak linkages existing among the primary, secondary and the tertiary sectors of the economy. He added that the huge foreign exchange inflows from oil have also not been effectively harnessed to ensure a comprehensive diversification of the economy.
ernment to steer the economy to the right path is also needed to drive Nigeria’s economic growth. “Industrial policies directed at developing strategic sectors of economies as well as the cooperation between the private sector and the governments are needed to drive growth. Government policies should be geared to ensuring private sector competition between small and large companies as well as promotion of export-led growth,” he said. He said there are challenges militating against Nigeria’s growth plans. “There is the prevalence of executive/legislative/judicial lawlessness and corruption within the body polity as the personal interests of many leaders override collective goals. The frenzied quest for
First Bank’s Academy graduates 104
HE Management of First Bank Plc has announced the successful completion of 16 weeks intensive learning journey of the pioneer set of its FirstAcademy Foundation School. The Managing Director/ Chief Executive Officer (MD/ CEO) of the bank, Mr. Bisi Onasanya. He announced this in Lagos at the graduation ceremony in Lagos said the graduands went through various sessions of indepth learning and development, to enable them successfully navigate through their careers in the Bank. Explaining the rationale behind the setting up of the
tainable manner. The First bank boss said, the institution determined to have FirstAcademy stand true to its name in developing the FirstBank workforce. He said the aca-demy is combining the tenets of corporate training with the intellectual discipline and rigour that underpin academic learning. Giving a breakdown of how the bank arrived at the 104 people who were finally selected, the bank said a total of 127,000 responded to advertisement placement 11 months ago from across the 36 states and after rigorous selection exercises, the 104 who graduated from the Academy were selected.
By Uyoatta Eshiet
Academy, Onasanya said FirstAcademy was specifically inaugurated to provide a strategic platform for competence development, knowledge management, culture change, and overall organisational transformation. The academy, he said is made up the Foundation School for entry-level staff, the Specialised Banking School, Management School and Leadership School. He said, “Our goal is to continually invest in our people, in order to uphold superior performance, sustain shareholder value, and assure our Bank’s future successes in a sus-
FGN BONDS Amount N
3-Year 5-Year 5-Year
35m 35m 35m
11.039 12.23 13.19
19-05-2014 18-05-2016 19-05-2016
Initial Current Quotation Price Market N8250.00 5495.33 N1000.00 N552.20
Price Loss 2754.67 447.80
INTERBANK RATES 7.9-10% 10-11%
PRIMARY MARKET AUCTION (T-BILLS) Amount 30m 46.7m 50m
Rate % 10.96 9.62 12.34
Date 28-04-2012 “ 14-04-2012
GAINERS AS AT 31-10-12 SYMBOL
GLAXOSMITH CUTIX MANSARD UBN UAC-PROP NEIMETH PORTPAINT ACCESS FIDSON OKOMUOIL
38.05 1.70 1.70 7.51 11.31 1.06 3.80 8.70 1.10 34.01
HE managing director of Resort Savings and Loans Plc., Mr. Abimbola Olayinka, has promised shareholders that the company is set to declare dividend for this financial year. Olayinka made the promise during an interactive session with shareholders at the Muson Centre, Lagos. According to Olayinka, the bank has been able to make profit in the current financial year and its improving performance is expected to continue as the year progresses. The management of the bank, he added, “believes in consolidating the achieve-
ments recorded in the first half of the year so as to post an impressive result for the year 2012. Some of the profitable activities of the bank will crystallise in the last quarter since management believes in cash backed, profits”. Last year’s audited account which posted a loss of N1 billion was as a result of the compliance with the prudential provisions binding on financial institution; the management of RSL had since turned this position to a positive one. The bank’s 6th Annual General Meeting (AGM) comes up at the Beach Resort, Akodo, Lagos.
39.90 1.78 1.78 7.84 11.80 1.10 3.90 8.90 1.12 34.50
1.85 0.08 0.08 0.33 0.49 0.04 0.10 0.20 0.02 0.49
C/PRICE 121.20 0.61 4.07 0.76 0.57 29.45 32.02 4.02 2.17 1.02
CHANGE 8.80 0.04 0.24 0.04 0.03 1.55 1.68 0.21 0.11 0.05
Amount Sold ($) 150m 138m 113m
Exchange Rate (N) 155.2 155.8 155.7
Date 2-7-12 27-6-12 22-6-12
EXHANGE RATE 6-03-12 CAPITAL MARKET INDEX Year Start Offer
NGN USD NGN GBP NGN EUR NIGERIA INTER BANK (S/N) (S/N) Bureau de Change (S/N) Parallel Market
C u r r e n t CUV Start After %
147.6000 239.4810 212.4997
149.7100 244.0123 207.9023
150.7100 245.6422 209.2910
-2.11 -2.57 -1.51
DISCOUNT WINDOW Feb. ’11
Standing Lending Rate ,, Deposit Rate ,, Liquidity Ratio Cash Return Rate Inflation Rate
8.50% 4.50% 25.00% 1.00% 12.10%
8.50% 4.50% 25.00% 2.00% 12.10%
9.50% 5.50% 30.00% 2.00% 11.8%
NIBOR Tenor 7 Days 30 Days 60 Days 150 Days
NSE CAP Index
27-10-11 N6.5236tr 20,607.37
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%
28-10-11 N6.617tr 20,903.16
% Change -1.44% -1.44%
MEMORANDUM QUOTATIONS Name
LOSERS AS AT 31-10-12
SYMBOL O/PRICE NB 130.00 AIICO 0.65 DIAMONDBNK 4.31 CONTINSURE 0.80 WEMABANK 0.60 JBERGER 31.00 CAP 33.70 VITAFOAM 4.23 HONYFLOUR 2.28 TRANSCORP 1.07
‘Resort Savings & Loans to declare dividend soon’
Amount Amount Offered ($) Demanded ($) 350m 150m 350m 138m 350m 113m
Tenor 91-Day 182-Day 1-Year
able development. Thus, the prevalence of weak institutions, poor governance as well as poor ethical standards in most public and private organizations, constrain the realization of economic,” he stressed.
WHOLESALE DUTCH AUCTION SYSTEM
OBB Rate Call Rate
•CBN Governor, Sanusi Lamido
He said the economy is also faced with widespread dilapidated and dysfunctional economic and social infrastructure. This has hindered the growth of the economy, and was the result of decades of neglects, weak technological base and poor maintenance culture over the years, he added. “Corruption has become endemic and has continued to ravage the entire strata of the society. In fact, corruption is a direct result of the weak leadership, poor value and reward system in the country. Menace of weak governance constitutes a serious challenge to the various efforts and reforms meant to achieve economic growth for sustain-
ARM AGGRESSIVE 9.17 KAKAWA GUARANTEED 1.00 STANBIC IBTC GUARANTE 125.18 AFRINVEST W.A. EQUITY FUND 125.49 LOTUS CAPITAL HALAL 0.79 BGL SAPPHIRE FUND 1.11 BGL NUBIAN FUND 0.95 NIGERIA INTERNATIONAL DEB. 1,736.41 PARAMOUNT EQUITY FUND 10.45 CONTINENTAL UNIT TRUST 1.39 CENTRE-POINT UNIT TRUST 1.87 STANBIC IBTC NIG EQUITY 9,098.21 THE DISCOVERY FUND 193.00 FIDELITY NIGFUND 1.67 • ARM AGGRESSIVE • KAKAWA GUARANTEED • STANBIC IBTC GUARANTE • AFRINVEST W.A. EQUITY FUND
9.08 1.00 124.89 124.84 0.76 1.11 0.93 1,129.87 9.94 1.33 1.80 0.00 191.08 1.62
OPEN BUY BACK
Previous 04 July, 2012
Current 07, Aug, 2012
THE NATION THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 1, 2012
NEWS Kidnappers yet to free Anambra community leader From Nwanosike Onu, Awka
HREE days after the abduction of the traditional prime minster of Enugwu-ukwu, in Njikoka Local Government Area of Anambra State, Chief Dennis Anaekwe, by suspected kidnappers, his whereabouts are still unknown. The Nation, however, learnt that the abductors yesterday contacted his wife, demanding N20million ransom. The hoodlums reportedly kidnapped Anaekwe on Monday at Omire. The abductors were said to have used two vehicles, a white Toyota Hilux van and a Toyota Sienna car. The Enugwu-ukwu prime minister is second-in-command in the traditional hierarchy of the community. He was reportedly kidnapped when he went to the site of a filling station he is building in the community. A source said: “Those people operated in a commando style. We were somewhere monitoring the situation that morning when they swooped on our traditional prime minister, popularly called (Omenyi Enugwu-ukwu) and bundled him into their vehicle and sped off. “The worst part of it is that our traditional ruler, Igwe Raph Obumneme Ekpe, travelled overseas for a medical check-up. The man, who was supposed to act before his return, has been kidnapped. Enugwu-ukwu is now like a kingdom without a king.”
Onitsha traders sue Access Bank for alleged tenancy breach
•Obi (left) presenting the bus to Archbishop Okeke at Blessed Michael Tansi Memorial Secondary School, Agulueri... yesterday
From Odogwu Emeka Odogwu, Nnewi
M Archbishops hail Obi’s leadership virtues
HE Archbishop of the Niger Province, Anglican Communion, Most Reverend Christian Efobi and the Catholic Archbishop of Onitsha Ecclesiastical Province, Valarian Okeke, yesterday hailed Anambra State Governor Peter Obi for his leadership virtues. Efobi said he would always talk about Obi because he is a good governor. The cleric noted that all men of goodwill should love the governor for restoring credibility to governance and for being a man of his word. Efobi spoke at St. Christopher Seminary, Ekwulobia,
From Odogwu Emeka Odogwu, Nnewi
when the governor presented a new 18-seater bus, 10 computer sets with accessories and N4million to the school. The money, it was learnt, is for the school’s laboratory, sports and transformer. Efobi received the donations for the school. He thanked Obi and assured that the church would uphold the partnership with the government as well as pray for his administration. Obi also donated buses and 10 computer sets each to Mercy
Secondary School, Umuoji, and Blessed Michael Iwene Tansi Memorial Secondary School, Agulueri. He gave a cheque of N10million to Father Joseph Secondary School, Agulueri. Obi assured that his administration would continue to fulfil its promises to the residents to restore confidence in governance. The governor said giving money directly to institutions for projects was working because everybody could see the result. He gave example with 25 buildings his administration is putting up in missionary hos-
pitals. At Tansi Secondary School, Okeke said the Obi administration was God’s gift to Anambra State. He hailed the governor for his “foresight, courage and exhibition of Christian virtues”. He explained that equipping and empowering the schools would enable the students to acquire the knowledge and skills to make them become productive. A community leader, Chief Anthony Oguejiofor, noted that the gesture Obi is showering on schools was last done during the military administration of Arthom Kpera.
Achebe’s book: Ohanaeze calls for ceasefire
HE umbrella Igbo sociocultural organisation, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, has called for a ceasefire in the debate on Prof Chinua Achebe’s latest book: There was a country.
•Says debate may threaten Ndigbo, Yoruba relation From Chris Oji, Enugu
The organisation cautioned the people of the Southeast and Southwest to ensure that the is-
sue does not erode the goodwill the late Dim Emeka OdumeguOjukwu and Chief Obafemi Awolowo promoted with their famous “handshake across the Niger”. The Enugu State CD Chairman, Chief O. A. U. Onyema, told The Nation yesterday that “these unwarranted exchanges of venomous views can erode the existing good relationship between the two progressive groups – Ndigbo and Yoruba”. He added: “We strongly advise that we have to be careful not to allow the altercations to create bad blood between the two ethnic groups. The civil war has come and gone, and we are talking about one Nigeria. Therefore, issues of the past should form history for study and guide against future recurrence. It should not be resurrected to apportion blames and cause divisions.” The CD chairman noted that Achebe has expressed his views, adding that they are not error-proof. According to him, no one can claim absolute knowledge
of all that transpired during the war period. Onyema said: “Anyone who has a better view or information can come up with his or her own academic materials rather than be an armchair philosopher on a critical issue. “Please, our elders, whose utterances are unpalatable for and against this book, should watch their steps and desist from updating the current generation with unwarranted altercations. We need more books on issues of this nature so that we can appreciate our mistakes and make corrections for tomorrow. “Honestly, I urge every well-meaning Nigerian from any ethnic group to desist from issues that can create bias in the minds of our youths. This is because Abraham Lincoln once said: ‘Tell me the prevailing sentiments in the minds of your youth and I will tell you the character of the next generation’. Wrong sentiments should not be impacted into our youths, please.”
Abia begins physical verification of council workers
HE Abia State Government has announced that it has begun a physical verification of local government workers. It said this would reduce the challenges the introduction of the controversial biometric system may cause. The new system was first carried out by the Biometrics Committee to identify genuine workers, beginning with Umuahia South Local Government Area. Since the government introduced biometrics in the local governments, many issues have arisen. The workers have complained of non-payment of salary because the system has reportedly been rejecting their thumbprints.
From Ugochukwu Ugoji-Eke, Umuahia
Following the non-payment of the workers, the government directed the Biometrics Committee, headed by the Chief of Staff to the Governor, Mr. Cosmos Ndukwe, to begin physical identification. Ndukwe said the verification became necessary as some workers’ photographs did not match their faces. He said the new approach would reduce the problems the workers were facing in the payment of their salaries. The Chief of Staff explained that the exercise was not to punish anyone but to assist the government in tackling staff matters at the third tier of government.
EMBERS of the Electronics Dealers Association, Onitsha (EDAO), Anambra State, yesterday sued the Access Bank Plc at an Onitsha High Court for an alleged breach of tenancy agreement. The traders accused the bank of violating a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between them before it was allocated a piece of land in the market. Through members of their executive, Philip Iheanacho, Simon Nwankwo and Innocent Emenari, the traders regretted that despite their repeated letters to the bank to renew its tenancy, the bank has not responded. In their statement of claim, the traders said: “The bank has, in spite of the fact of the expiration of the Memorandum of Understanding, continued to occupy the banking premises allocated to it and conducted all its banking activities without any disturbance whatsoever. Yet, the defendant has refused to recognise the ownership/reversionary interest of the EDAO. “The defendant is not an outright owner of the premises. It does not pay any rent. Instead, its occupation of the premises is governed by the MoU, which has expired by effluxion of time. “The defendant will continue to use the premises and refuse to renew the basis of its occupation except the court orders it to do the right thing.” The prayers of the traders include a declaration that by virtue of the MoU, the defendant’s tenancy on the premises has expired. EDAO is seeking a declaration that in the absence of a renewal of the MoU, the defendant is no longer entitled to continue occupying the premises at the market.
Sambo for Imo tomorrow From Okodili Ndidi, Owerri
VICE-President Namadi Sambo will arrive in Imo State tomorrow for an assessment of the floods that recently devastated the state and the condition of the victims. Imo State was not among the states President Goodluck Jonathan visited during his tour of flooded states. Governor Rochas Okorocha broke the news in Owerri, the state capital. He said the Federal Government delegation, led by the Vice President, would visit the affected local government areas. The governor promised the victims, who gathered at the Ohaji/Egbema Local Government Area’s secretariat, of his administration’s support. Okorocha said the N400million Federal Government flood aid would be shared equally between the two affected councils. According to him, the Ministry of Health has established two clinics in the affected areas to meet the medical needs of the victims. The governor added that a team of medical experts from the United States will offer free medical services to the displaced persons.
THE NATION THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 1, 2012
Police uncover ‘gang of killers’ in Jos •Record 25 armed robbery cases in two months
HE Plateau State Police Command has uncovered a criminal gang that allegedly carried out most of the killings in Riyom and Barkin Ladi Local Government Areas. There have been over 100 attacks in which over 300 people were killed in the last 12 months in both councils. The killings were always attributed to “unknown gunmen”. Police Commissioner Emmanuel Dipo Ayeni yesterday told reporters how the suspected were arrested. The police chief spoke in Jos, the state capital, on the activities of the command in the last two months. He said: “Based on information concerning attacks on Sopp, Jebu, Ranchol Sopp, Kwaki, Forest, Hawan Kibbo and Bangai commu-
FCT begins work on solid waste transfer stations From Bukola Amusan, Abuja
THE Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) will today perform the ground-breaking of three solid waste transfer stations. The projects are among those the FCTA has planned for efficient sanitary disposal of wastes in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT). The ceremony will hold at Mpape, Apo and Kubwa. The stations are the processing sites for the temporary deposition of wastes. They will also be used as major points where local waste collection vehicles deposit their waste cargoes before loading into larger vehicles.
From Yusufu Aminu Idegu and Gift Nwachukwu, Jos
nities in Riyom Local Government Area in early October by unknown gunmen, a team of detectives from the State Criminal Investigations Department (SCID) swung into action and uncovered the killer gang. “A gang of five, suspected to have carried out series of attacks in Riyom and its environs, was arrested by the police. Its members are: Muhammed Abdullahi, Yau Abdullahi Yarima, Jafaru Abdullahi Damina, Musa Abdulahi Damina and Abubakar Abdulahi Damina. “An identification parade was carried out and one of the victims of the attacks identified two members of the gang as those who at-
tacked his parents and killed all members of his families in one of the attacks.” Ayeni said the suspects would be charged to court for criminal conspiracy and culpable homicide.
The police command has, in the last two months, arrested 25 suspected armed robbers and recovered 17 stolen vehicles and 13 motorcycles. The police chief said: “The
value of the items recovered is put at N13.4million. Twenty assorted arms and ammunition as well as cartridges were also recovered from the suspects.
“The police command, through intelligence-based policing, has reduced crime to the barest minimum and provided the necessary environment for the interplay of law-abiding residents.”
Deeper Life killings: Soldiers hunt for ex-council chief
EMBERS of the Special Task Force (STF) on Kogi State security are searching for a former Chairman of Okene Local Government Area, Alhaji Yahaya Karaku, for his alleged complicity in the bombing of Deeper Life Bible Church, Okenne, it has been learnt. Twenty worshippers died in the attack and two soldiers on duty at another location were killed during the incident. The police arrested Karaku over the incident but he was released after he was absolved of complicity. His freedom from the po-
From Muhammad Bashir, Lokoja
lice has not deterred the soldiers from going after him. It was learnt that STF members invaded a popular hotel in Lokoja last week when they were searching for the former council chief. The Commander of the STF, Lt.-Col. Gabriel Olorunyomi, confirmed the search in a telephone interview with The Nation. He said Karaku has a case to answer with the Army. Olorunyomi said: “What we need is for him to come and defend himself over some issues. He can’t just be walking freely on the street when some issues are not
Police put Jos churches, mosques on alert
THE police yesterday warned Muslim and Christian worshippers in Jos, the Plateau State capital, and its environs to be on the alert for likely suicide atTHE Lagos Sate Police tacks. Command has warned The police noted that memowners of accident and bers of the Boko Haram sect abandoned vehicles at the may not have stopped their State Criminal Investigakillings. tion Department (SCID) Police Commissioner Panti, Yaba, and Ikotun Division to remove them or Emmaniuel Dipo Ayeni adrisk having them auctioned dressed Christians and Muslims at a stakeholders’ meeting at the to the public. Police Officer’s Mess in Jos. The vehicle are: Nissan He said: “The purpose of this Sunny with registration meeting is partly to review number AL141FFF; an current security situations and unregistered Senator Opel; challenges as we have done on a Toyota 4Runner regular bases. (CF642JJJ); an unregistered “If you ask me to review our Peugeot 505; a Blazer Jeep, situation in the last two (EW582ABC); Toyota months, I will say with all Camry (AL619FKS); an unregistered Mercedes Benz sense of disappointment that our religious leaders have re203 and an unregistered laxed the security network we Opel. Others are: Nissan all agreed to put in place at Quest (NK480AAA); V/ worship centres in this state. Wagen Passat (AV70FKJ); “In our stakeholders’ meetunregistered vandalised ing in March, this year, we Toyotoa car. Also, a agreed on certain security Mitsubishi Space Wagon (WK719KJA), Toyota Liteace strategies to be put in place to bus (DN234LNK), V/Wagen prevent another suicide bombLT 35 unregisted; V/Wagen ing. Most leaders of worship centres complied immedibuses (XR957ABC) and ately. But later on, we all re(EH344LSD).
Police warn vehicle owners
•Ayeni inspecting a cache of arms recovered from suspected armed robbers in Jos…yesterday
From Yusufu Aminu Idegu and Gift Nwachukwu, Jos
laxed. “The last suicide bomb attack in Jos was in February, this year, when suicide bombers attacked worshippers at St. Finbarr’s Catholic Church, Rayfield, Jos, killing over 20 worshippers. “We all agreed here that worship centres should be barricaded by leaders of the church and mosques that no worshipper should be allowed to come to worship centre with a vehicle and that handbags should be allowed into the premises during congregation. “I wish to sound this note of warning that we have relaxed and we need to wake up. the attackers have not given up. I am not saying they are coming today or tomorrow; they will strike again when they notice that we have relaxed. “In this command, I have never allowed my men to relax. But we don’t have enough men to police everyone in the state, hence we agreed on police-community policing. You will help us to help you.”
cleared. We are not out to hurt him but to take him to the Department of Military Intelligence (DMI) for questioning. If he is found innocent, we will let him go.” On the insinuation that the soldier might kill Karaku if they arrest him, Olorunyomi said: “Nigeria has not degen-
erated to that level of lawlessness. This is a civil case. How on earth do you think we will just kill a person like that?” But a senior police officer, who spoke in confidence, told The Nation that there is no constitutional provision that the police should report
or hand over a suspect to the Army. The police officer said the normal practice is that soldiers hand over a suspect to the police for investigation. Efforts to contact Karaku were unsuccessful. It was learnt that he was not in Kogi State.
THE NATION THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 1, 2012
NEWS Flood: Soup kitchens open in Edo
HE Oshiomhole Peoples Brigade yesterday opened soup kitchens for flood victims in parts of Edo North senatorial district. At the relief camp in Ekperi Grammar School, the group’s Coordinator , Mr. Athanasius Ugbome, urged the authorities to relocate persons who are still living in flood-prone areas to forestall future casualties. At the Skill Acquisition Centre camp, Ugbome expressed shock at the living condition of the victims and urged groups and individuals to assist them. He said: “This is the worst natural disaster in recent times in our country and it is time for well-meaning Nigerians to come to the aid of the displaced persons, who have been forced out of their ancestral
From, Osemwengie Ben Ogbemudia, Benin
homes. “Some people out there are not really aware of these people’s suffering. They need our support. They need assistance and deserve the empathy of all.” Some of the items on ground to cater for the over 12, 000 victims in the camps included cows, bags of rice, gari, beans, potatoes and packaged water. Ugbome advised the victims to be patient and remain in the camps, following warnings by meteorologists. Chairman of the Central Committee for Displaced Persons Christopher Tomoh thanked the group. The traditional ruler of Ekperi, Alhaji Oye Kanoba, Egiegba II, urged Nigerians to emulate the group.
Ex-Akwa Ibom governor’s wife dies at 72
RS Nneyin Attah, wife of former Akwa Ibom State Governor Obong Attah is dead. She was 72. Mrs. Attah died on Monday at her home in Lekki, Lagos. The family’s spokesman,
CAVEAT EMPTOR This to inform the general public that house 67 of 43 Road,Lugbe Federal Housing Estate Abuja Belong to Mr S.T. Agbowu.Any person or group of persons porpoted to buy or sell the property does at his PERIL."NEMO DAY QUOD NON HABET".General public take note.
Mr. Dele Sobowale, a veteran journalist, said: “She died on Monday at their home in Lekki, Lagos, after a protracted illness. “Mrs. Attah is of Bahamas nationality. Her death is another national loss.’’ Sobowale said burial arrangements would be announced later. Mrs. Attah is survived by her husband and two children. She was a librarian and was involved in women empowerment programmes.
THIS IS TO INFORM ALL MOTORISTS THAT THE WESTERN AVENUE FLYOVER BRIDGE LEADING TO IJORA WILL BE CLOSED TO TRAFFIC ON NOVEMBER 3rd, 2012 & NOVEMBER 4th,2012 BETWEEN 7a m - 12noon DAILY. THIS TO ALLOW FOR THE ERECTION OF PRESSURISED BEAMS.ALL MOTORISTS USING THIS ROUTE ARE REQUESTED TO USE ALTERNATE ROADS DURING THESE HOURS. MANAGEMENT CHINA CIVIL ENGINEERING CONSTUCTION COMPANY (CCECC)
AUCTION! AUCTION!! AUCTION!!! From the Authority of Ojodu Local Council Development Area, there will be Auction sales of Unserviceable Vehicles/Plants of the L.C.D.A at the secretariat on Monday 5th November, 2012by 10.00am Auctioneers:Mr. J.F. Obitunde Chief G. A. Akinyemi & 080-33466559 080-37117093
•Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) Chairman in Ekiti State Chief Jide Awe (right) receiving a printer donated to his Ado-Ekiti office by Mr. Bamidele Faparusi, representing Emure, Gbonyin and Ekiti East Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives...yesterday.
Bakassi: Nigeria shouldn’t have gone to ICJ, says Anyaoku F ORMER Commonwealth Secretary-General, Chief Emeka Anyaoku, yesterday said Nigeria made a big mistake by allowing the dispute on the ownership of the Bakassi Peninsula to be taken to the International Court of Justice (ICJ). Anyaoku spoke in Abuja yesterday at the Second Annual Lecture and the Book Launch of the Society for International Relations Awareness (SIRA). He said indigenes of the Peninsula should have been allowed to determine where they belong. Anyaoku cited the example of the Falkland Islands, which originally belonged to Argentina, but were ceded to the United Kingdom (UK) after the people determined that they wanted to be in the UK. He also cited the case of the Rock of Gibraltar, which originally belonged to Spain, but became a legal part of the UK after a referendum by the people. Anyaoku suggested that since Nigeria had lost out of the case, the next step was to intensify diplomatic dialogue with Cameroun, to ensure that the people of Bakassi were adequately taken care of. He said: “I think this is what Nigerians should have done, but having failed to do that, they should live with the afterthought. “Secondly, the government should look out for Nigerians in Bakassi, who have cho-
We gave Fed Govt evidence for review, says senator
HAIRMAN of the Bakassi Support Group Senator Basil Henshaw yesterday alleged that the Federal Government was provided with fresh facts, which could have been presented to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) to prevent the ceding of Bakassi Peninsula to Cameroun. Henshaw, who spoke at a forum on “Citizens’ perspective on the resolution of the Bakassi crisis”, accused the Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, Mohammed Adoke, of lying to Nigerians that no fresh fact emerged for the appeal. He alleged that the minister suppressed the facts with “impunity”. The Director-General of the Nigerian Institute of International Affairs, Prof. Bola Akinterinwa; House of Representatives’ member Amb. Nkoyo Toyo; President, Arewa Youths Consultative Forum, Alhaji Yerima Shetima; Chairman, June 12 Coalition, Baba Omojola and a member of the Ogun State House of Assembly, Mrs. Adijat Oladapo, were at the forum. Henshaw hailed the leadership of the National Assembly for its firm resolve to save Bakassi people from slavery. sen to return to Nigeria. This should be the focal point of our policy on Bakassi.” Anyaoku said the country’s foreign policy has been doing well since President Goodluck Jonathan assumed office. He said: “Nigeria does have a foreign policy and it has been more forcefully articulated since President Goodluck Jonathan came into office. Foreign Affairs Min-
By Precious Igbonwelundu
He said Bakassi people were beingdehumanised by Camerounians in the area. Henshaw said young girls and women were being raped and the men victimised. He said it was sad that the Green Tree Agreement was being violated and the Federal Government was taking no step to protect its citizens. Henshaw said: “Many people, in order to cover their inactions, continue to effectively lie to us that there is no evidence and that nothing new has emerged. The Bakassi group has demonstrated publicly that there was evidence, but some people did not want to pursue the cause of the people. “While the Attorney-General claimed there was no evidence, we provided the government with facts. He claimed they could not get experts to examine these facts and we provided an expert and even prepared a brief. “The people have said they do not want to be a part of Cameroun and they do not also want to be taken away from their ancestral land. “If it is the oil that the Camerounian government is after, the people are appealing to the Federal Government to allow the Camerounians have the oil, but our people should be allowed to own and live in their natural environment.”
ister Gbenga Ashiru has never missed any opportunity to articulate the country’s policy with the promotion of the nation’s economic interest. “He speaks about protection and the defence of Nigerians in Diaspora and I am happy about that.” Anyaoku urged the Federal Government to adequately fund the country’s missions abroad. He said the
missions were the face of the government abroad and “must reflect the real image of Nigeria.” The Resident Representative of Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftun, Nigeria, Mr. Thomas Mattig, said the organisation would promote a better understanding and a public discussion of Nigeria’s international relations and foreign policy.
Oshiomhole promotes three teachers, demotes headteacher
DO State Governor Adams Oshiomhole of Edo State yesterday promoted three teachers in Edo Central Senatorial District. He demoted the Headteacher of Annunciation Catholic College Junior Secondary School for alleged incompetence. When the governor visited schools in the district to assess the punctuality of teachers, he said: “It gives me some confidence to find that all is not lost.” Giving cash gifts to some teachers for their dedication
From, Osemwengie Ben Ogbemudia, Benin
to duty, Oshiomhole said: “You are an example of what is possible and I am proud of you. It gives me some comfort that even in the midst of this madness, there are some people who we can still be proud of, who take their responsibilities seriously. “It is worrisome that majority of teachers either report late or shun work. “When we punish those guilty of late coming or absenteeism, we should reward those who are doing their job well.
I am happy that a few of you take your work seriously. “We must bequeath to our children a better society and education is at the heart of our future. “If we keep looking for excuses the country will keep having challenges. Nigeria is not perfect and it cannot be perfect if each of us do not play our parts well. “Every child would not be a graduate, no matter what we do. There is no country where every person is a graduate, but every child is entitled to free qualitative education. That requires that we make the right
investment in infrastructure.” Urging teachers to be hardworking, Oshiomhole said: “It is important that we do not allow you to think that latecoming is not a serious offence.” To the headteacher who was demoted to a classroom teacher, the governor said: “As a headteacher, you never ensured that your teachers complied with the regulation. “You led your teachers in coming late and we will not retain you as the head. We will demote you to a classroom teacher. A leader must lead by example.”
THE NATION THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 1, 2012
NEWS Akwa Ibom deputy governor quits over 2015
Senators under security watch over Boko Haram Continued from page 4
derstood to mean that: “I harbored a wanted Boko Haram terror Suspect in my house and therefore I am a supporter of the terrorists group Boko Haram “That the clear innuendo in the words complained of, bore and were understood to bear the meaning which I have just stated by the facts that pleading in the foregoing paragraph by way of innuendo with the following particulars: “That Boko Haram is a notorious terrorist group oper-
ating in Nigeria and who had been held responsible by the public for a series of terrorist activities, bombings and killings both of civilians as well as military, police and other Para-military personnel. “That it is generally believed by members of the public that the Boko Haram secretly receives materials aid and other support from some members of the society. “That the publication complained of falsely portrayed me as one of he persons who aid and support the Boko Haram in their terrorist activ-
ities. “That as a person who has always publicly condemned the destructive activities of the Boko Haram, I am a hypocrite “That the publication complained of was calculated to disparage me and to lower my estimation in the eyes of the general public and in fact, my reputation has been seriously damaged by the words complained of.” Zanna said the JTF declaration has caused him considerable distress and urged the court to grant him the damages he sought.
Williams’ sisters advocate increased empowerment for women
ISITING tennis champions, Venus and Serena Williams, yesterday advocated adequate empowerment of women in Africa. They said the presence of women in eminent positions around the world is a demonstration of the significance role which the female gender can play in the scheme of things. The duo, who spoke at a news conference in Lagos, said women have more to offer if they were adequately empowered and motivated to be the best they can be. They stated that women empowerment and equal opportunity for the girl-child were dear to their heart, which was why they supported the Breaking The Mould (BTM) initiative, a women’s empowerment programme aimed at advancing the cause of women in Africa. They added that they were excited to be in Lagos, which was their first visit to Africa while noting that the tour of Lagos would afford then the opportunity to meet and impact the lives of women and
young girls through the BTM initiative. Venus, the older of the sisters, said for her, coming to Nigeria in particular was an exciting experience. ‘‘It is exciting to be in Africa. It’s been great to be part of the Breaking The Mould initiative. We look forward to meeting Nigerian women and learn from each other as women have so much to offer’’, she said. She said further that they were amazed by the rousing welcome they received from Nigerians, even as she promised that they would thrill the nation when both of them engage each other in an exhibition match tomorrow. ‘’We have played so many finals in different places and look forward to playing another final in Nigeria. I don’t know who is going to win between the two of us, but it’s going to be a good match. We feel the excitement all around us and it makes us feel so special, loved and encouraged to do better and win more matches.’’ Serena explained that the visit was a great opportuni-
ty to inspire and motivate women and young persons. ‘‘It is an honour as this is our first visit to Africa and Nigeria in particular. We are more excited because we are here as a family and most importantly, we are here to do something different; to mentor the young women and young kids, and in general to understand ways of breaking the mould’’, she said. ‘‘We are here to let them know that, if you have a dream, you can achieve it, and that it is okay to break the mould. We are really honoured and proud to be part of such a great idea. We look forward to playing each other in the presence of our lovely Nigerian fans, who have been following our coming to Nigeria on twitter through their messages.’’ Accompanied by their mother, Oracene Price, the Williams’ sisters described Africa as a great continent that has produced many great mould breakers, even as they declared that their African descent was never a disadvantage in any way.
•Nsima Continued from page 1
resignation, but refused to go beyond the lines in the letter. Reports from the state indicated that senior government officials discussed the development in hushed tones as the news filtered through in the course of the day. Attempts to speak with the governor’s media aides failed, but sources indicated that preparations for succession to Akpabio had caused a split in the government. Ekere, 47, who hails from Ikot Abasi in Eket Local Government is said to be interested in taking over the reins of government in 2015, while the Secretary to the State Government, Umana Okon Umana, who hails from Uyo Senatorial District, is also reported to be insistent on taking over the Uyo Government House. Both men are believed to enjoy wide support in their respective spheres of influence, and had looked forward to
obtaining the governor’s support. A high official of the government said yesterday, “it has been a difficult decision for the governor to take. On the one hand, he largely owes his victory at the poll in 2007 to Umana. As Finance Commissioner in the Victor Attah administration, Umana stuck out his neck, supported the governor morally and financially and galvanized votes for him in the very crucial Uyo district. “He thereafter emerged the SSG and has remained a major pillar of the government. He had left no one in doubt that he had his eyes on occupying the seat at the expiration of Akpabio’s tenure. Again, in 2011, in the face of very stiff challenge from Senator John Akpanudoedehe who crossed to the Action Congress of Nigeria to pick up the ticket, the task of mobilising support for the PDP in the Uyo district fell on Umana. He performed creditably. “On the other hand, Ekere has been a very loyal deputy. He served creditably and proved his worth in the government. His people in the Eket district believe that it is their turn to produce the governor. In the 1999-2007 period, Victor Attah, from Uyo, was the governor. Since then Akpabio, from Ikot Ekpene district, has been in the saddle. It is therefore believed that, in the interest of justice
and equity, it should go to the Eket zone. “This is the crux of the matter. The resignation has further complicated matters, coming so soon after the 2011 election.” Ekere was one of the 47 aspirants who indicated interest in succeeding Governor Attah in 2007. He stepped down in support of the governor and thus boosted his political standing. He was thus tipped as the running mate, but, on the intervention of party elders, shelved his ambition. He was replaced by Patrick Ekpotu, a loyalist of Governor Attah, in a bid for reconciliation ahead of the 2007 election. But, Ekpotu was dropped last year and replaced by Ekere, in what was described as a reward for loyalty. Resignations by deputy governors are not new in the Akwa Ibom political scene. On June 23, 2005 , Chris Ekpeyong was impeached by the state House of Assembly, apparently at the behest of Governor Attah. However, the intervention by the national leadership of the PDP saw the House reverse the removal. He consequently resigned on July 5. He was replaced by Michael Udofia. In October 2010, there was heavy speculation that Ekpotu had resigned. This was later denied and the deputy governor was allowed to serve out the term.
Revenue agency backs Bayelsa Continued from page 1
of the new revenue formula depends on variables. One of such variables is funding,” he said. He said RMAFC is optimistic that the 2013 budget will address funding chal-
lenges to allow RMAFC go to the zones and carry out workshops and receive input from stakeholders. The RMAFC boss was silent on when the new revenue formula will be released but he said the commission was
looking at next year - if it has the requisite funding to complete its duties. Funding is required to finance the travel arrangements of 37 members to all parts of the country, hire consultants and for sundry logistics.
Your Sexual Health & You: Novelty Tips, Questions & Answers
am dating a woman that is 14years older than me. I am 25years and she is 39years. Do you think we have a feature together? I really love her. She is wonderful and understands me – Maxwell Dear Maxwell, people discourage such relationships because a much older woman will age faster and may not be able to meet up with your needs for children and frequent intercourse. But, it does not mean you cannot be together. If you are ready to settle down now, you can still have three kids before she is 45 years and if she takes good care of herself by exercising and eating right, she will age slowly and gracefully. So you can definitely have a happy life together. I wish you the best – Uche Hello Zee Virtual Media. I am beginning to experience premature ejaculation again. During my honey moon last year, I used the Colt Stay Hard Delay Cream throughout and I had the best sex of my life. My wife was very impressed. The cream has finished now and I am back to my old self ejaculating in less than two minutes. Please I need this cream badly. Thanks - Prince Hello Prince. Don’t worry. We have the Colt Stay Hard Delay Cream. Call the numbers below to get it– Uche I have been taking Extenze Plus Penis Enlarger for two months now and I am seeing the results. I want to order for a new pack but I have also been hearing about Big Bam Boo and Max Size enlargers. Now I am confused. Which one is the best? Paul Hello Paul, users have had good results with all of them so it is difficult to say that one is better than the other. My advice to people is to always stick to what works for you. You are getting results with Extenze Plus so I suggest you continue with it – Uche My wife experiences low libido and never feels like having sex – Jude Jude let her take Max Desire. It is a libido boosting supplement for women and a stress reliever too. She should also use an arousal gel during intercourse like the Clit
Sensitizer Gel. A combination of these two products will stimulate her from the inside and outside to get the required results - Uche I bought a rabbit vibrator from you some months ago and I enjoy it so much that I am beginning to have orgasms which I never had before. My fiancée is jealous and unhappy – Flora Dear Flora, a vibrator is supposed to help your relationship. It cannot replace your fiancée. Nobody marries a vibrator. Look, try your best to ensure your fiancée is sexually satisfied. If that happens, he will relax and be happy for you too – Uche I tried watching an adult film with my husband to spice up our relationship. It was one of those cheap mojo films they sell in traffic and I did not like it. It was all sex from beginning to the end. Are there no softer films that women like me will like? Thanks – Angela Dear Angela, the movie you saw is a hard core wall to wall film made for men in particular. Next time look for feature films. Feature films are higher quality adult films with story lines made for women. Examples of feature films for women are Babysitters, Bad Girls Cell Block 69 and Twisted Tales. You will like these ones –Uche I am 63 years old and I suffer from weak erection. I have heard so much about you and my friends say you can give me something – Barrister Femi Dear Femi, the right health supplements can restore your erection and improve your performance. Call and ask for Enzyte Supplement or Xzen 1200 supplement – Uche That’s it for today. The names of the people featured here have been changed for their privacy. Adults in need of these treatments/ novelties can call 08191978308 or 08027901621 or any other number here to order or they can order online at www.zeevirtualmedia.com. Zee Virtual Media delivers to you wherever you are in Nigeria. For enquiries, send your emails to firstname.lastname@example.org - Uche Edochie, MD, Zee Virtual Media.
THE NATION THURSDAY, NOV EMBER 1, 2012
THE NATION THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 1, 2012
Tanzanian leader Kikwete regrets rise in road crashes
ANZANIAN President Jakaya Kikwete has deplored the alarming rate of road crashes in the country, after the government invested heavily in improvement of the national transport system. “Motorists must realise their great responsibility for public safety on all roads and highways. It is their reckless disregard for safety regulations that contributes to the high numbers of orphans and disabled persons besides the immense loss of the national workforce,” said the President. President Kikwete was inaugurating a newly-tarred 32 km road linking the northeastern town of Rombo Mkuu on the foothills of Mount Kilimanjaro to Tarakea on the Tanzania-Kenya border.
According to the President, accidents on Tanzania’s roads in 2011 claimed 3,981 lives and left 20,802 persons injured. Road crashes in the first half of this year caused 1,808 deaths and injured 9,155 persons, he said. “Most of these accidents were avoidable. Their principle causes were over-speeding, drunk driving and disregard for safety instructions and road signs. “I hereby direct the Police Force to enforce traffic regulations, including withdrawal of driving licences of reckless drivers,”Kikwete said, urging the public to propose amendments to the existing traffic code if they saw it outdated. Ongoing road construction projects total 11,154 km aiming to link the country’s major towns and all regional administrative centres with qual-
ity infrastructure for the movement of people and goods. “Our goal is to open up opportunities for internal trade and development so that the majority of the population can raise their incomes and improve their standard of living,” President Kikwete said. He challenged the residents of Kilimanjaro region to step up agricultural production and enter the neighbouring Kenyan market since road transport was no longer a limiting factor. Tanzania has teamed up with a number of development partners, including the African Development Bank, the EU and the World Bank, to improve roads leading to areas with high economic potential in agriculture, mining and tourism.
Kagame: we’ve benefited from inclusive development
RESIDENT Paul Kagame of Rwanda has said that the country’s choice of inclusive development had produced postive results. Kagame was speaking at the opening of the 7th edition of the yearly African Economic Conference which got underway in Rwanda’s capital, Kigali, on Tuesday with hundreds of leaders and scholars from across the continent in attendance. The four-day conference will discuss the continent’s
prospects for sustainable and inclusive growth in the context of the international economic crisis. Kagame said, “In Rwanda, we understand that politics and economics go hand in hand and we have made a conscious and deliberate choice of inclusive development based on our political reality. ‘’By and large, they have produced positive results. Growth has been consistent and poverty levels considerably reduced by 12 per cent, from 56.9 per cent to 44 per cent in five years,” he said. Africa has weathered the economic crisis and achieved considerable advances in the area of poverty reduction and human development. However, the region is still home to high levels of poverty, hunger, unemployment and inequality in political voice and access to resources.
“Over the first decade of this century, with the exception of 2008, Africa experienced exceptional economic performance and growth in GDP per capita,” he added. In his contribution, administrator of UNDP Helen Clark said “but there is a way to go in many countries to translate that growth into higher human development. “Deliberate policy measures and targeted investments are needed to make growth not just fast, but also inclusive and sustainable.” In his remarks, President of the African Development Bank (AfDB) Donald Kaberuka underscored the need for long-term solutions. He suggested that Africa’s growth should include doing research on solutions on how African countries could internally finance their development, and learning from what has gone wrong globally to redesign their policies.
Thai teenager kills mother in computer game row
15-YEAR-OLD boy allegedly stabbed his mother to death on Wednesday after she had scolded him for playing computer games into the early hours of the morning, police said. The Thai teenager slashed
his 50-year-old mother three times with a machete and stabbed her in the back at their Bangkok home at 2 a.m after they had argued about his late-night computergame playing, Police Major Prayuth Puengkaeha said. The boy’s sister was also
wounded in the altercation, and had to be hospitalised. Prayuth said the boy’s case would be presented to the Juvenile Court. The identities of the boy and his family members are withheld for legal reasons.
South Africa’s opposition to compel release of Zuma ‘spy tapes’
OUTH Africa’s official opposition Democratic Alliance (DA) says it is willing to go to court to compel the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) to produce the socalled Zuma spy tapes. The alliance also said it would urge the court to force the prosecuting authority to produce other documents and memoranda that were relevant to the case. The spy tapes led to the NPA’s decision to drop charges against Zuma, paving the way for him to become President. The NPA said it had sent a full transcript of the tapes to President Zuma’s lawyer,
Michael Hulley, but he is refusing to release it in spite of a court order. The issue boiled over at the National Assembly on Tuesday when Mosiuoa Lekota, leader of the opposition party COPE, was ordered to leave the chamber after refusing to withdraw statements about President Zuma relating to the tapes. Lekota had called for the impeachment of the President because he had defied an order of a Supreme Court of Appeal urging him “to hand over the abbreviated transcripts of the tapes that permitted criminal charges to be dropped or withdrawn
against himself”. Lekota said President Zuma was bound by his oath of office to obey, respect and uphold the Constitution. However, Deputy Speaker Nomaindia Mfeketo ruled that Lekota’s statements were “unparliamentary”, and he was kicked out of the chamber. Lekota served as chairman of the National Council of Provinces and as a cabinet minister before leaving the ANC, following the highprofile fall-out between Zuma and Thabo Mbeki. South African legal analyst Paul Hoffman says the “spy tapes” are stolen tapes.
THE NATION THURSDAY, NOV EMBER 1, 2012
THE NATION THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 1, 2012
SPORT EXTRA DAY 1 Venus and Serena arrive Nigeria: Several journalists who were at the airport to receive the sisters were shocked when it was announced by the organisers about ten minutes to the arrival of the sisters that Serena, the most controversial of the two sisters would be arriving late. Many had expected to capture Serena for their cover pages as she was the most daring and most prosperous of the Williams sisters. Though there were delays before anyone could catch a glimpse of Venus who had to conclude all protocols at the airport. Venus who seemed shy of the large crowd that swarmed round her, kept quiet all through as she was fiercely protected by the security personnel attached to her at the Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Lagos. Venus who came aboard Delta airlines on Tuesday afternoon to the warm embrace of her fans, was however, chauffered in a E350 Black Mercedes Benz to the Federal Palace Hotel, Victoria Island Lagos where she would be lodged for four days. Her sister, Serena came aboard a Turkish airline at about 9.30pm where just a few journalists were on ground to welcome her. The two sisters alongside their mother, Oracene Price and their personal assistants passed their first night in Nigeria. DAY 2 We're not NigeriansWilliams sisters: As early as 7am on Wednesday, many journalists were gathered at the Federal Palace Hotel, to accompany the
Williams’ sisters: We’ll play at Rio 2013
HE Williams sisters are two professional American tennis players: Venus Williams born 1980, seven-time Grand Slam title winner (singles), and Serena Williams born 1981, fifteen-time Grand Slam title winner (singles), both of whom were coached from an early age by their parents Richard Williams and Oracene Price. There is a noted professional rivalry between them – between the 2001 US Open and the 2009 Wimbledon tournaments, they have met in eight Grand Slam singles finals. They remain very close, often watching each other's matches in support, even after one of them has been knocked out of a tournament. Both sisters have beingWomen's Tennis Association at the World No. 1 position. In 2002, after the French Open, Venus Williams and Serena Williams were ranked No. 1 and No. 2 respectively. During the 2010 French Open, they became the co-world no.1 players in women's doubles, in addition to holding the top two positions in singles tennis as well. forth he hopes the Williams the fact that her late half-siscountry. They also throw their By Stella Bamawo sisters would recognise him ter, Yetunde Price bears a Niweight behind ‘Breaking The Williams’ sister on their visit each time he waves to them gerian name. Mould’’ (BTM) campaign, a to the Governor of Lagos State, at subsequent competitions as All the smiles disappeared women’s empowerment iniBabatunde Raji Fashola. The he was indeed one of their best as she was set to answer the tiative programme which acsisters were received at the fans. Sponsors from the Niquestion. Serena refuted all cording to the organisers is Government House Marina geria Breweries Limited claims that the two American inspiring mechanism to help around 8am by the Governor (NBL) and Procter and Gamtennis stars may have an oriwomen at various life stages who commended them for ble makers of Always also gin in Nigeria. According to to embark on a journey of selftaking the innitiative to supgave speeches. The marketing Serena who wore a somber belief so that they can know port the women empowerDirector of Nigeria Brewies, mood immediately after the that indeed they can achieve ment programme. By 10.30 presented the two sisters with question was thrown at her, anything once they set their am, the Williams' sisters arthe popular Ankara fabric stated: "No, we are not Nigehearts to it. rived for a press conference. sewn into a jacket. The two rians. The name was given to At the interactive session Present at the Press Confersisters were delighted when her out of the blues by my the Williams’ sisters hinted ence were top dignitaries, they were given the gifts as mum." that they plan to play doubles amongst whom was Chief they tried opening the packIt could be recalled that at the 2016 Rio Games for a Molade Okoya-Thomas who age. Yetunde Hawanya Tara Price chance to win their fourth was given the honour to give A ten- year old girl opened was the elder half-sister and gold medal.They are excited a welcome speech to the sisthe floor for the interactive personal assistant to leading about competing in Rio de ters. In his speech, Chief session with the media at the tennis players Venus and Janeiro, even though the Okoya-Thomas commended venue when she was given Serena Williams. At the time games are four years the sisters whom he claimed an opportunity to ask the two of her death, she was 31 years away."It's our main goal," he had followed their success sisters some questions. Serena old, the eldest of Oracene Serena Williams said. "We and failures at major tournawho answered questions Price's five daughters, mother were talking ... about how we ments. Most especially, he fielded by the girl, of three children, a registered can't wait to get to Rio. And recognised their mother commended her for the ‘wise’ nurse and owner of a beauty obviously, bearing in mind whom he congratulated for questions as she claimed that salon. that we're both healthy, that's producing such successful our goal to be there." at her age, she would not have Serena, however, enthused children. He said:"Having been able to ask such queson her first link with Nigeria Venus and Serena teamed to produced these two kids that tions. some years back when her win 13 Grand Slam doubles have produced so many medHowever, the most controplane had touched down in titles and won Olympic gold als, if I were you, I will die. versial question for the day Lagos for some minutes. in doubles in 2000, 2008 and But really you will not die yet, was when Serena was asked Serena claimed, she had been 2012. This year, the sisters beat you will live long to if she had family ties in Niexcited to have stepped on the Andrea Hlavackova and Lucie celeberate more successes Hradecka of the Czech Repubgeria, as there had been talk Nigerian soil. with your children." that her family had an origin The two sisters are, howlic 6-4, 6-4 at the London The 77-year old philanthroin Badagry, Lagos. The belief ever, happy to be in Nigeria Games.On Sunday, Serena pist jocularly told the that she could have a Nigeas they pledged to support the beat top-ranked Victoria Williams sisters that hencerian blood flowing owing to development of tennis in the Azarenka 6-4, 6-4 to win the
WTA Championships final in Istanbul. Tennis session at Ikoyi Club: The tennis sisters rounded off their second day in Nigeria with a tennis clinic with the Kids of mmebers of the Ikoyi club. The stand was filled as many came to watch Serena and Venus play with the kids. Parents jostle to snap pictures of their kids who played with Venus and Serena just as The kids were at their best as they tried to match strokes from both sisters. After the clinic, serena and Williams took pictures with the delighted kids. DAY 3: Fans to pay N1m a table to dine with Venus, Serena The Williams' sisters will visit selected schools in Ikoyi, while organisers claim that about 400 tables have been set aside for a gala night. To dine with the Williams sisters' the NationSport gathered that the organisers had placed a price tag of one million naira for a table of eight people. Four hundred tables are expected to be filled up as their are claims that there is a mad rush for tables in order to spend the night with the Williams' sisters. DAY 4: Exhibition match The Williams’ sisters have promised their teeming fans in the country that they should play a keenly contested match between them. The sisters, accompanied by their mother Oracene Price, will play an exhibition match against each other Friday in Nigeria's largest city of Lagos. The Williams sisters will conclude their visit to the country and depart for the United States of America.
TODAY IN THE NATION
THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 1, 2012
ATURE seems to be furious nowadays. The floods in Nigeria have spared neither the rich nor the poor, submerging homes and businesses, turning many into refugees and scavengers. Canoes are gliding over flooded asphalt lines that used to be roads. People are dead. As the fear of an apocalypse stalks the land, many are rushing to check the holy book, asking: the days of Noah and his ark again? But Nigeria is not alone in suffering this anger of the elements. Super storm Sandy has been pounding some parts of the United States, killing people, uprooting trees and smashing them on cars, flooding streets to submerge homes and disrupting power supply. The cataclysmic effect of it all has strengthened the spiritualist’s thought of a world coming to a grievous end and many are screaming: “Oh no; not now, Lord!”. There is, ironically, a comical side to the furious floods. Nollywood’s old kids, the naughty Aki and Pawpaw, visited the displaced people’s camp in Asaba, Delta State, shaking hands with the people who lined the road to welcome them. It was hilarious seeing the “kid stars” carrying kids they are barely taller than. Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan said he brought them to the camp to address the displaced people because of his experience when he once visited in the night. He said the people never bothered about his presence as they stayed hooked onto the television, watching the pranksters, Aki and Pawpaw. So he decided to bring them to the camp to address the people. It was a hit. With the disturbing news of storms and floods have come stories of human disasters and wickedness, of graft and greed. Those who have got an insight into the Ribadu Committee Report are shaken at the level of corruption in the oil industry. There is no trace of $183million signature bonuses paid by oil companies. Shell is said to be owing N137.57billion for gas sold. Addax’s debt is reported to be $1.5billion in royalties. Between 2002 and 2011, $5billion is said to have been lost in oil sales to the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC). Petroleum Resources Minister Diezani Alison-Madueke has said the “final” report, which was compiled by a 21-man revenue task force, is not final because it needs the government’s input. There are also Governance and Control and the Refineries task forces, according to the minister, who said a team had been set up to examine the various reports. It is after the team is done that the issues in the Ribadu Report can be addressed. Now, what is that? Why has the rot in the oil industry taken this long to uncover? Who are the big cats feeding fat on this? Isn’t this a case of leadership deficiency? Who supervises the NNPC? The Presidency, after lashing those commenting on the report, has said it is yet to get the document and that nobody indicted will be spared. Good talk. But, can we match our talk with action? Can we really go all the way and clean up the rotten system? Even as we examine the Ribadu Report, the Halliburton scandal – remember this? - has suddenly resurrected. President Goodluck
TRUTH IN DEFENCE OF FREEDOM
‘Life is the same, be it that of a prince or a serf. In so much as we do not want Suntai to die, we should also strive in like manner to ensure that the others also live’ VOL. 7, NO. 2296
COMMENT & DEB ATE EBA
Hell of a country to have been the architect and executor of the violence. The world keeps wondering what Boko Haram’s anger is all about. Perhaps there would have been no Boko Haram, if the police had not executed its leader, Mohammed Yusuff. Perhaps. The sect has the right to demand justice. In fact, there can’t be peace without justice. This is the point that many of our leaders got wrong in their Sallah messages. They urged us to embrace peace and pray for the unity of our •THE UNIPORT FOUR: Tekena, Lloyd, Chidiaka, Ugonna dear country. Can there be peace without justice? But, this is not to say any group, no matter how versatile in violence, should take the law into its own hands. No. I think it’s time for Boko Haram to change its tactics. The wickedness continued in Plateau State where unknown (?) gunmen killed six patrons of a drinking bar enjoying the local brew, burukutu. A week before last Sunday’s attack, two men had been killed in the community, Gindin Akwanti, in Barkin Ladi Local Government Area. They were on their way from the market when their assailants pounced on them. In Onitsha, a four-man gang shot dead a car dealer, Chief Emeka Ekwerendu, in broad daylight; 7.30am. The gang trailed their victim to a school where he dropped his kids. They shot his vehicle’s tyres, taking it off control. It • Suntai being initiated in August 2010 hit a parked vehicle and got stuck. The Jonathan is said to have directed that the book assailants then shot Ekewerendu, opened his be reopened, two years after the investigation car’s boot and carted away a huge sum of was surreptitiously dumped. The fresh probe money. is said to have been initiated because of the Why do people kill for money? Would the United States’ insistence that those indicted chief have resisted his assailants, if they had in the $240million bribe-for-contract scandal asked him to surrender the cash? Was it must be punished before Nigeria can recover the seized $180million bribe cash. But, there are unconfirmed reports that the President is under pressure from two former heads of state not to reopen the case. ERMAN doctors are battling to save Will Dr Jonathan go ahead with the case? the life of Taraba State Governor Who are the people asking him not to? Why Danbaba Fulani Suntai, who crashed should it take America to nudge us to action, even as we make a huge noise about fighting an aircraft last Thursday. His five passengers corruption? Why do we always allow are begging to also be flown overseas. corruption to slap us in the face before we When Suntai got his licence at the start boasting of fighting back? Nigeria College of Aviation Technology After a brief lull, the suicide bomber (NCAT) in 2010, this newspaper splashed his returned last Sunday, striking at a Kaduna “initiation” pictures on its pages. His Catholic church. It was like a Hollywood Excellency, decked in a shirt and a tie with a movie scene; full of action, deadly action, but pair of brown trousers, stood erect like a real. Kids were the worst hit. Eight people soldier as an official emptied a bucket of died; scores were injured. water on him. What a ritual! The implacable Boko Haram sect is believed
robbery or assassination? Will the police get the killers? And talking about the police. They lost five men in Ogun when robbers ambushed a team responding to a “distress” call. How will the police differentiate a fake distress call from a genuine one? Poor guys. In Abuja, a senator and a former governor are quarrelling over who wears the father of Boko Haram crown. The State Security Service (SSS) is questioning Senator Ahmed Khalifa Zanna about his relationship with a suspected commander of the sect, Shuaib Bama. Zanna says the man, his nephew, was not arrested in his Maiduguri home, but in former Borno Governor Ali Modu Sheriff’s. The ex-governor fought back, saying the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) senator is “the engine-room” of Boko Haram, which, according to him, the lawmaker nourished through his hajj-by-road programme. Why did Sheriff wait till now before speaking? When will the SSS question him, in the light of the new allegation? Could this be why some people insist Boko Haram is all politics? Also in Abuja, there is the seemingly needless quarrel over the oil benchmark for the budget. The executive says it should be $75. The Senate says no; $78 is appropriate. The House insists on $80. I doubt whether the common man knows how this row will better his lot. Amid the natural and human calamities, Nigerians continue to see everything as a joke. I don’t blame them. There is so much to cry over; they may have been losing gradually that human feeling that provokes tears. Now, they laugh at their leaders. Consider this sent to my mobile by a colleague: “Three former leaders – from UK, US and Nigeria - went to hell. The first asked the devil to allow him make a call to London to inquire about the country’s welfare. He spent five minutes on the telephone. Satan billed him $5million. The ex-US leader also made a call and spent eight minutes. The bill: $8million. “Then, the ex-Nigerian leader called Abuja. He spent two hours. ‘How much be my bill?’ he asked Satan. ‘$1,’ he replied. Surprised, the former leader said: ‘But I stayed longer than them.’ Satan smiled, saying: ‘Calling hell from hell is not expensive; it’s a local call.’” So long!
A governor and his hobby
HARDBALL N Monday night, 18 people were reported to have been shot dead by robbers at Kabaru village in the Dansadau emirate, Maru local government area of Zamfara State. Since last year, more than 60 people have lost their lives in robbery attacks in that emirate alone. Each attack costs dozens of lives rather than a few. In October 2011, about 19 people were reported killed by armed men at Lingyado village. And at Dangulbi, 27 people lost their lives as robbers moved from house to house shooting and maiming, and with plenty of time to spare. It will also be recalled that last month, at Dogon Dawa village in Kaduna State, armed men believed to be robbers killed about 24 people. Some Fulani herdsmen later claimed that the Dogon Dawa attack was a revenge mission against villagers who robbed and murdered nomads returning from annual grazing expeditions. Sadly, everyone is becoming
People have been wondering what may have happened. Was the weight of office too much for the mind to concentrate on the risky but exciting business of flying? Who owns the aircraft; another of His Excellency’s toys? Will Suntai fly again? I often wonder how things that are made for man’s comfort easily become agents of pains. May the Almighty restore Suntai’s health. And may the authorities listen to the distress call to fly the others out for treatment. Amen! •For comments, send SMS to 08057634061
•Hardball is not the opinion of the columnist featured above
Something worse than imagined is happening in the North beastly. In May, robbers also reportedly shot dead 34 traders at the Potiskum cattle market in Yobe State. The traders had earlier in the day foiled a robbery attack and caught one of the assailants whom they quickly lynched. To avenge the dead robber and to punish the traders’ effrontery in foiling the robbery, scores of attackers using explosives and dangerous weapons staged a raid on the market killing 34 people, though unofficial estimates put the figure at more than 50 victims. In addition, in a feat of brazenness, the robbers razed the market. A pattern is beginning to emerge from these daring robbery raids. One is the ease with which the robbers operate; and two is the viciousness of the raids and the large-scale killings that accompany them. This
worrisome pattern, which no other part of the country seems able to match, probably indicates deeper fissures in the North than previously imagined. In the first instance, it is possible that the police are understaffed and poorly equipped to counter the attacks; or that, as a few reports show, they are probably compromised. Second, as the Boko Haram terrorist phenomenon also shows, the scale of alienation in the North may in fact have reached an extreme level, such that criminals really can’t be bothered anymore if the society goes to seed or not. Third, it is also likely that, like the rest of the country, proliferation of small arms and light weapons has reached crisis point. Whatever the situation, the federal and state governments must appreciate that the problem, as indicated by the creeping anomie
in the North, has gone beyond what mere deployment of policemen and logistics can address. We have a major crisis in our hands, as increasingly larger swathes of the country are becoming more and more ungovernable. This column has warned repeatedly that notwithstanding the platitudes issuing from the National Assembly and the presidency, the country is manifesting the early stages of deep structural decay. If the decay is not checked soon, and if a restructuring of the country is not undertaken urgently and honestly, it is a question of time before the country slips into something much worse, something intractable. Now is the time to discuss; now is the time to do something concrete about the reigning paradigm that has proved impotent in the face of mounting and complex challenges.
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Published on Oct 31, 2012