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Bandits break into six banks on varsity campus P7 Joseph Yobo rues Nigeria’s absence at Nations Cup P24 Judges get six-month deadline on corruption cases P9


VOL. 7, NO. 1941 FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 11, 2011

Jonathan: subsidy must go

Lagos-Ibadan Expressway:

South African firm, bank join Bi-Courtney


OPE rose yesterday for the reconstruction of the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway. A South African firm and its partners, including a bank, have teamed up with Bi-Courtney Highway Services Ltd. on the project. Bi-Courtney won the concession in 2009 on the basis of Private Public Partnership (PPP) to rebuild the road and run it as a concessionaire, but a combination of factors has made it impossible for the company to begin the work. Officials of a leading


By Our Reporter

multi-national construction company, Group 5 and one of the biggest banks in South Africa, Rand Bank, visited Works Minister Mike Onolememen at work in Abuja yesterday. Group 5 is a South African construction giant, with an established and growing international client base. It is engaged in resources, energy and infrastructure delivery. Bi-Courtney will handle the project with Group Five. Rand Bank will provide the cash. Continued on page 4


•Dr Jonathan

UEL “subsidy” must go, President Goodluck Jonathan insisted yesterday. The President urged Nigerians to do away with sentiment in their analyses of the government’s decision to remove subsidy on fuel. He spoke at the presidential dialogue with Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) of global corporations on Nigeria’s political leadership at the 17th Nigerian Economic Summit (NSE) in Abuja. Dr Jonathan urged the international businessmen not to shy away from investing in Nigeria because of the Boko Haram menace, which he described as “a temporary setback”. Those who fail to invest, he

•President woos investors From Gbenga Omokhunu, Abuja

said, will regret it in future because Nigeria has the potential to give them returns on their investments. He praised former military Head of State Gen. Muhammadu Buhari for supporting the removal of fuel subsidy. Antagonists of subsidy removal insist it will raise fuel prices and impoverish the poor. They urge the government to fix the refineries and unmask “the mafia” feeding fat on subsidy. The President said: “We are in a part of the world where we play politics with every-

thing. “Even issues of development are politicised here in Africa. On the issue of the deregulation, for instance, some key players who before this time never supported deregulation are now its supporters because of politics. That is why I can now appreciate people like General Muhammadu Buhari, who, in terms of politics, is my major contender. He said the issue of subsidising petroleum products is a fraud. “He is not playing politics with the issue of Continued on page 4

Govt to fight Boko Haram, others with N10b gadgets Sect strikes again Police draft DIGs to operations


From Vincent Ikuomola, Abuja


ITH the installation of a N10 billion equipment nearing completion, the Federal Government is stepping up its anti-terrorism battle, it was learnt yesterday. The project, which is coming under the National Public Security Communication System, according to sources, is to be completed before the end of this month. It is fashioned along the line of the Global System of Telecommunications (GSM). The equipment will serve the Armed Forces, the State Security Services (SSS), the Police, the office of the NSA and other arms of the security services. The installed line capacity, for instance, exceeds that of MTN and Globacom combined, it was said. When fully deployed, the equipment has an excess capacity of over one million lines. The office of the NSA is expected to coordinate the operations of the equipment, which is like a radar that can detect threats to security. Besides, the Federal Government is said to have begun talks with neighbouring countries on a mutual agreement on secuContinued on page 4

•Oyo State House of Assembly Speaker Monsurat Sumonu leading other members to celebrate the Tribunal judgment in favour of Governor Abiola Ajimobi (left) ... yesterday. Story on page 9. PHOTO: FEMI ILESANMI









•From left: Minister of State, FCT, Jumoke Akinjide, Benue State Governor Gabriel Suswam, Ekiti State Governor Kayode Fayemi, Akwa Ibom State Governor Godswill Akpabio, Rivers State Governor Chibuike Amaechi and Cross River State Governor Liyel Imoke discussing during the National Economic Council (NEC) meeting at the State House, Abuja ... yesterday.

•From left: Director-General, Nigerian Institute of Advanced Legal Studies (NIALS), Prof. Epiphany Azinge (SAN), Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Dahiru Musdapher and Minister of Justice and Attorney-General, Mohammed Bello Adoke (SAN) at the 2011 Fellows Lecture of the Nigerian Institute of Advanced Legal Studies at the NICON Luxury Hotel, Abuja ... yesterday.


Jonathan: subsidy must go Continued from page 1

Nigeria’s development. But not everybody will have the mind of Gen. Buhari. People I don’t want to call their names now see an opportunity to play politics with the issue of subsidy to bring the government down. Under this situation, you must take time to explain to Nigerians. I keep telling people to forget about Jonathan being the President today. If you don’t deregulat,e in the next 15 years, you will begin to import fuel from countries such as Benin, Cameroun, Ghana, Chad, Niger and so on. These are countries that have just found crude oil. “People know the truth, but for political reasons they would rather misinform the public and create disaffection. Deregulation only serves the elite who have 10 jeeps to fuel and not the poor

masses.” Jonathan condemned how the privatisation of government businesses was done in the past, adding that the processes were not transparent. “We realise that the privatisation done in the past was not transparent. Companies were handed over to those who are not capable. One of the areas we have some challenge is the steel sector and this is because the company was given to people who know nothing about the sector and instead we heard stories of cannibalising and so on and so forth. So, in the power sector we don’t want to have that kind of experience and that is why we must introduce due diligence into the process of picking companies that are interested in the sector and to make sure that it’s not a starter but a company with a track record in the sector.

“The power sector is an opportunity for investors; that is why government is opening up the sector for the private sectors to come in. We got to where we are because government was directly involved in business and that companies like the Nigeria Airways, which was supposed to be one of the biggest in Africa, could not make it. Nigeria is almost like a green field waiting to be tapped because before now, there was too much monopoly. “But with the liberalisation of the economy, the country is ready to be harnessed by investors. Areas like seaport, airport, communication and agriculture are waiting to be tapped by private investors.” On terrorism, Jonathan said all those involved in the October 1, 2010 bombing in Abuja have been arrested and charged. His words: “Terrorism is a


global phenomenon. We are very much aware of what happened in England during the IRA uprising. We are doing all we can to bring the issue to the end. The issue of Boko Haram that we are experiencing today in Nigeria is nothing new globally. Most countries of the world have experienced terrorist attacks. These are temporary challenges we have and, definitely, we shall get over them. “It is quite normal for a country to solicit for investments. Even countries at war solicit for investment and Nigeria is certainly not at war. Anybody who does not want to come and invest in Nigeria because of the Boko Haram incidents will really regret it because the problem is just temporary. For security, there is no country that is completely safe.” At the summit were governors, ministers, top government functionaries and frontline businessmen within and outside the country.

South African firm, bank join Bi-Courtney Continued from page 1

Other partners include Rand Merchant Bank, the second largest financial institution in South Africa; Vela VKE, supporting engineers and consultants; Project Management International (PMI), experienced South Africanbased construction experts, and Yola Consultants. Receiving the team, led by Bi-Courtney Chairman Dr. Wale Babalakin, the Minister said: “It is in the interest of every Nigerian for this concession to succeed. It’s a project that is very important to us in the country, considering the busy nature of the road, which records about 3000 vehicles per hour. It’s the foremost dual carriageway in the country. It’s, therefore, important for us to start work on time.

“We are convinced that you have the ability to realise the dream. We know one of the partners in the consortium very well because we’ve been working together for long.” Babalakin promised that the road will be delivered on schedule, stressing that work will begin as soon as the rainy season ends. He added that the consortium will complete the project in three years. Babalakin said: “Group 5’s knowledge of toll road in Africa is legendary. It comes in with very cognate and current experience for the actualisation of the project.” Group Five has 12 500 workers. Some of its key contracts include the successful delivery of a range of contracts for the FIFA 2010 Football World Cup.

Boko Haram kills village head’s brother in Borno


EMBERS of the Boko Haram sect struck again on Wednesday night. They invaded a Borno State village in three lorries. Their entry into Mainok village, in Kaga Local Government Area – 60 kilometres from Maiduguri – sent the village into panic. They invaded the residence of the village head, who was not at home but killed his brother Fanami and another person whose name could not be immediately ascertained. The Boko Haram men divided themselves into three groups as they shot indiscriminately at people and into the air, according to eyewitnesses. They also attacked the police station in the village, the office of the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) and some other government buildings. Joint Task Force spokesman Lt.-Col. Hassan Mohammed confirmed the incident. He said no arrest has been made. Lt.-Col. Mohammed also yesterday said there is a nexus between Boko Haram and alQaeda. “Boko Haram is al Qaeda,” he said in an interview with Reuters. “I see perfect links. It cuts across boundaries. al Qaeda has no boundary; Boko Haram has no boundary. All terrorists, one problem,” said Lt.-Col. Mohammed, who was dressed in camouflage and flanked by

Govt to fight Boko Haram, others with N10b gadgets Continued from page 1

Gen Andrew Azazi, might not be unconnected with security alert issued by the United States government to its citizens to stay off some prominent hotels in Abuja. Gen. Azazi, on the directive of President Goodluck Jonathan, has ordered Ministries, Agencies and Departments (MDAs) of government to volunteer capable personnel to be trained by his office on counter terrorism and emergency response strategies. A source in the Presidency, who spoke on the new security equipment, said it would complement the tracking device put into operation a few months From Yusuf Alli, Abuja and Abiodun Joseph, Maiduguri

soldiers. Many analysts and Nigerians doubt the extent to which Boko Haram has global ambitions the group’s avowed aim is to introduce Sharia across Nigeria - but it seems to be growing in sophistication and it is thought they have made contact with al Qaeda’s North African affiliate. The sect claimed responsibility for multiple gun and bomb attacks that killed 65 people in and around Damaturu last Friday, in its deadliest attack yet, which left bodies littering the streets and reduced police stations, churches and mosques to smouldering rubble. The attacks followed multiple bomb blasts earlier the same day

ago by the police as well as the over 2000 units of Close Circuit Televisions (CCTVs) that have been installed in Abuja and Lagos as well as the Aerial Unmanned Vehicles (AUVs), which are also expected to be deployed in the nation’s borders. The source, who pleaded not to be named, “because the matter is sensitive”, said the security agencies under the office of the NSA have intensified physical security checks across the FCT and major cities as well as deployment of intelligence personnel in busy hotels and offices across the country.” The source said: “We are doing our best to ensure that we protect the lives

in nearby Maiduguri, including a triple suicide bombing of a military headquarters and three roadside bombs, all shortly after Friday prayers, according to the military. Col. Mohammed said he had unconfirmed reports two suicide bombers involved in Friday’s attacks were trained in Afghanistan. Borno State borders other African countries, including Cameroon, Chad and Niger, the latter having its own problems with the Sahara-based al Qaeda in the Islamic Magreb. Mohammed suggested these porous borders were making it easy for militants on either side to move in and out of Maiduguri. “Maiduguri has been a

and property of the citizenry and foreigners. Once the entire new security apparatus is put into use, you can be sure that these criminals causing so much trouble for the people will be taken care of adequately.” Assuring Nigerians that the government is on top of the security situation, the source also said “the fight on terrorism should be a collective one because the man or woman who has turned himself or herself into a weapon of destruction is difficult to monitor”. “So, every Nigerian should consider this fight his or her own. It must not be left for the government to fight alone.”

harbour for people from Chad, from Niger, from Cameroon. Now ... the people they have invited have now become a source of terror,” he said, agitatedly, declining to sit down during the interview. “I can tell you many people have been co-operating with us and we have collected many arms,” Mohammed said, as two soldiers kept guard. “I must admit that sometimes men exhibit some excesses, but ... We have handed over people to the police who will be prosecuted,” Lt.-Col. Mohammed said. As part of steps to check Boko Haram menace, a shake-up is imminent in the operations of the Police. It was learnt that Inspector-

General of Police Hafiz Ringim has asked all Deputy InspectorsGeneral of Police (DIGs) to go for operations and supervise activities in all the zones. Also, an enquiry into the recent bomb blast at a Mobile Police Force Base in Gombe has started at the Force Headquarters with some officers and men invited for interrogation. According to sources, the police may review their mode of operation to cope with the security challenges being posed by Boko Haram.


A source said: “The IGP might effect a shake-up to make the Force more responsive to the latest security challenges. “One of the new features of the restructuring is to make all police officers, from the IGP to the least officer, to be involved in checking any security threats. “The security challenges at hand now cannot be left to the Commissioners of Police alone; all hands will now be on deck.” The source added: “For instance, all DIGs will now be involved in operations and supervise activities in the zones for more proactive responses. “Although some officers did not like the idea of the DIGs coordinating operations but the police management felt they have to provide leadership.” The Deputy Force spokesman, CSP Yemi Ajayi, said: “I have not seen the signal that DIGs will co-ordinate operations. When I get to the office, I will find out.”

CORRECTION The story, with the headline ‘PDP aspirant collapses’ published on October 27, was not done in bad faith to embarrass Maj. Gen. Charles Airhiavbere (rtd). The fact that Gen. Airhiavbere’s reaction is reflected in the story is an indication that there was no malice intended. But since Gen. Airhiavbere feels so strongly about it, we hereby retract the story. - Editor

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Harvest of deaths on the highways The United Nations has urged member-states to halve injuries and fatalities from road crashes by 2020. Nigeria, which has the second highest rate of deaths through road crashes, some days ago, launched a committee to realise this. The launch of the initiative coincided with the ‘ember months’ when the rate of road crashes is believed to increase. Many doubt the sincerity of government in joining the global initiative, especially with the lacklustre approach to road rehabilitation and construction, writes OLUKOREDE YISHAU


FAMILY of five, some days back, perished on the Tamburawa bridge along the Kano-Zaria road. Father, mother, two children and a brother went down with their dreams. The family’s head and driver of the ill-fated Mercedes Benz car was Abubakar Adamu, a 49-yearold resident of Badarawa Kaduna. He was travelling to Kano from Kaduna, with his wife, Maryam, 28; his brother, Ibrahim Adamu, 47; and his two children, four-year-old Halima and oneyear-old Muhammad Abubakar. They are all dead. No fewer than 34 people have died in accidents on the bridge, located at Kilometre 21 Kano Zaria federal highway in the last six months. On October 30, an expectant woman and 10 others died in a road crash in Imo State. A witness said a trailer rolled uncontrollably and fell on top of the 18-seater bus coming from Okigwe. The woman died when the vehicles were being broken with axes to rescue trapped passengers. Two days earlier, on October 28, four people were killed and another one injured in an accident along the Tegina-Kontagora road in Niger State. It was the turn of Anambra State on October 23, when an articulated vehicle crushed two people to death on the Onitsha-Awka old road, near Onitsha. The accident occurred at about 12:30 p.m., close to Afor-Nkpor market on the outskirts of Onitsha. In the last three months alone,

Police arrest editor


HE police yesterday ransacked the office of National Accord and arrested one of its editors over stories about the country’s soccer organisation. The newspaper said plainclothes policemen arrested Editor Olajide Fashikun on Wednesday over stories about a letter carrying the supposed forged signature of FIFA President Sepp Blatter. Fashikun told The Associated Press yesterday that he was released on bail, though police impounded his laptop and hard drive as part of a slander investigation initiated by the Nigeria Football Federation. Harassment of journalists remains common in Nigeria, though the country has a vibrant press, the AP said.

‘Senate has no stand on subsidy’ From Damisi Ojo, Akure


•An accident on the Okene-Auchi road, which claimed 16 lives on Monday.

Nine injured in Oyo road crash


O fewer than nine persons yesterday evening sustained injuries in a multiple accident along Oyo/Ibadan road. The accident involved two trailers and two cars. The immediate cause of d accident could not be immediately ascertained as at press time. Officials of the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) helped in rescuing the victims. They were taken to the State Hospital, Oyo town.

Bode Durojaiye, Oyo

They were attended to at the accident and emergency unit. The acting Chief Medical Director of the hospital, Dr.Alayo Ayo, told The Nation on telephone that two persons sustained injuries on the forehead, three serious burns, and the remaining four sustained body injuries. He said no one died in d accident.

The road network

160,000 4,000

The country’s approximate no of roads

The estimated number of roads per state

close to 200 lives are believed to have been lost to road crashes. Five days ago, an accident claimed 30 lives in Edo State. The victims included children, travelling for the celebration. It occurred on the Benin-Okene-Abuja Express Road. Eyewitnesses said the accident, which occurred around Okpela, involved two commercial buses. The victims were reportedly trapped for several hours. It was a Herculean task removing them from the wrecked vehicles. On the same day, no fewer than 16 people died in a road crash on the Okene-Auchi Road in Kogi State. Two Toyota Hiace buses, travelling in opposite directions with 30 passengers on board, had a head-on collision about 13km from Okene in Kogi State Sunday Maku, Kogi State Sector Commander of the FRSC said the victims included nine men, six women and a baby. He said 10 other passengers, including eight men and two women, sustained injuries. He attributed the cause of the accident to dangerous overtaking. Corpses of the deceased were deposited at the Okene General Hospital mortuary, while the in-

15 The country’s percentage of paved roads

jured passengers were treated in the same hospital. Wednesday, November 2 did not end in Benin without tragedy striking again. No fewer than eight people died in a multiple accident along the Murtala- Muhammed Way in Benin City. The accident involved a commuter bus marked XK 563 USL, a Volkswagen Jetta car with registration number DG 744 BEN, a motorcycle and a tipper, which fell at the opposite side of the road. The lorry rammed into other vehicles. Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC) boss Osita Chidoka, quoting a recent World Health Organisation (WHO) report, said Nigeria was rated 191st out of 192 countries with the world’s un-safest roads. According to Chidoka, if something radical was not done to rectify the bad state, road crashes, which had claimed 1.3m lives and made over 50 million people disabled, could increase by 65 per cent between 2015 and 2020. Dr. Sydney Ibeanusi has the mandate of the Federal Government to coordinate activities aimed at reducing the high number of deaths recorded on Nigerian roads. Some days ago,

Ibeanusi puts the figure at 162 deaths per 100,000. This is considered the world’s second highest. He said: “Our emphasis is to see how we can reduce this.” He added that there was hope relevant agencies would contribute to ensure proper funding for the programme as well as advocate policies adequate to the target. The UN Decade of Action on Road Safety and Injury Prevention, launched in May, aims to achieve significant reduction in road accident injuries and deaths by 2020 using contribution from several sectors. Inaugurating the Ibeanusi-ledcommittee, Minister of Health Prof. Onyebuchi Chukwu said by the set date, “we should have drastically reduced loss of lives, loss of limbs and injury on our roads.” He said road crashes killed more people in Nigeria than diseases. The committee has members from agencies such as the Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC), police, fire service, Federal Emergency Management Agency FEMA), ministries of works and health. The committee has the mandate to manage safety on roads; provide safe vehicles and mobility; safe roads; ensure safe use of roads; and ensure post-crash care. It remains to be seen if the country makes a headway with its move to halve the deaths and fatalities recorded on the roads. A situation where only about 15 per cent of the country’s over 160,000 kilometer of secondary and tertiary roads in Nigeria is paved, is nothing to cheer about.

MEMBER of the Senate Committee on Security and Intelligence, Senator Boluwaji Kunlere, yesterday said the Senate has not taken a stand on the planned removal of petroleum subsidy. He spoke with reporters in Akure, the Ondo State capital. Kunlere, who is representing Ondo South Senatorial District, said: “It has not been discussed officially; even when we were discussing another matter and people were trying to raise the issue, the senate president cut them off immediately. The motion which was raised on subsidy is not the same thing as fuel subsidy removal. “We were debating on the issue of how the sum of one trillion naira as against N240 billion on subsidy and people were trying to bring in whether subsidy must stay or not. The senate president cut short the debate and reminded members that the issue being discussed was the amount which was spent on subsidy. “Senator Bukola Saraki from Kwara State had raised a motion that government had overspent money on subsidy as against N240 billion, over a trillion naira had been spent. We are now asking who the beneficiaries of this subsidy are; who are the people that are buying kerosene at the official rate in this country?”

Boost for courier services


OREMOST global logistics firm TNT Express Worldwide (Pty) Ltd has signed a partnership agreement with Stellar Africa in Nigeria . The firms said the partnership “allows businesses within Nigeria access to a viable and exceptional express courier solution.” A statement by Stellar Africa reads: “TNT Express and Stellar Africa have been in partnership for some time, working together to service the Ghanaian market. Consequently, the decision to work together in Nigeria was not a difficult one. “Stellar Africa, an eminent West African operator specialising in logistics, have a successful history in both Nigeria and Ghana. They are poised to bring this experience and expertise to the Courier market. A Company spokesman stated that “with substantial support we’re receiving from TNT Express, we’re going to be providing a superior business solution to those with express needs. “Stellar Africa’s Nigeria Head Office will be operating from Plot 147B, Younis Bashorun Street , Victoria Island in Lagos from November 14.”



NEWS SSS arrests Naval man, four others By Jude Isiguzo

THE State Security Service (SSS) said yesterday in Lagos that it has apprehended five suspected pirates, including a man believed to be a retired Naval officer. According to the security organisation, they were arrested for allegedly hijacking a vessel carrying 26,000 tonnes of fuel. The suspects are: Lawrence Adesanya, a retired lieutenant commander, Donald Cokor, Teke Abaka, Lucky Momoh and Philip Kokoh. SSS Deputy Director, Public Relations, Mrs Marilyn Ogar, announced this at a media briefing. She said the Lagosbound vessel, ROASA TOMASOS, was hijacked by the suspects and others still at large on November 3, won its way to Lagos from the Niger Delta. Mrs Marilyn Ogar said: “On November 6, the SSS successfully recovered the vessel and its content intact while the suspects, who are members of a notorious gang of pirates, were apprehended. “Investigation also revealed that this same group hijacked a vessel, named Cape Bird, carrying 32,000 tonnes of automated gas oil, belonging to Sahara Energy Resources on October 7 and stole eight tons of the products,” Mrs Ogar said. The SSS spokesperson said the suspects would soon be charged to court. She said two persons had been declared wanted in connection with the hijack. They are Abenego Abaka, a.k.a Captain Abedi and Felix, a.k.a FNU, a “lawyer.’’

Court rules Jan. 16 in Kudirat Abiola’s murder case


AGOS State yesterday said it has proved the case of conspiracy and murder against former Chief Security Officer (CSO) to the late Head of State General Sani Abacha, Major Hamza al-Mustapha and one other. It urged the court to convict them. This was the submission of the prosecution in the trial of al-Mustapha and Lateef Sofolahan, described as an aide to the late Kudirat, wife of the deceased politician and businessman, MKO Abiola, over her murder in 1996. Lead prosecution lawyer and Lagos State’s SolicitorGeneral Lawal Pedro (SAN) told the court yesterday during the adoption of final addresses that the state has provided sufficient evidence for the court could reach to return a guilty verdict against the accused. Al-Mustapha and Sofolahan were charged with conspiracy and murder. They were arraigned in 2000.

By Eric Ikhilae

In a 31-page written address, in opposition to the defendants’ address of about 139 pages, the prosecution raised two issues for determination as against the defendants’ five. On its first issue of whether it has proved the charge of conspiracy, the prosecution argued that it has convincingly proved that the accused persons did conspire to murder Kudirat, despite the defendant’s claim that they never met until their arrest in 1999. Pedro argued that in proving conspiracy, it’s irrelevant that there must be a direct communication among conspirators. He added that the court could reach a decision of conviction based on inference as against relying solely on direct evidence. “All that needs to be established is that the criminal design alleged is common to all of them. Proof of how they connected with them-

selves or that the connection was made is not necessary for there could even be cases where one conspirator may be in one town and the other in another. “It is settled law that conspiracy can be inferred from the conduct of the parties. It does not necessarily have to be by direct evidence of agreement. ‘’The proof of conspiracy is generally a matter of inference deduced from certain criminal acts of the accused done in pursuance of an apparent criminal purpose in common between them’’. He argued that the second prosecution witness (PW2), Barnabs Jabila (aka Sergeant Rogers) and third prosecution witness (PW3) Mohammed Abdul (aka Katako) recanted, having earlier admitted carrying out the murder on the orders of the first defendant, al-Mustapha. Pedro said the court could still establish the accused culpability from the available circumstantial ev-

idence. On the second issue of whether the prosecution has proved the charge of murder, Pedro relied on Section 7 of the Criminal Code, contending that the accused needed not to have been present where Kudirat was shot nor participated in the shooting for them to be guilty of the offence. He argued that despite the argument by the defendants that its key witnesses, the Jabila and Abdul (PW2 and PW3) were inconsistent and as a result unreliable, the court could still convict the accused based on circumstantial evidence before it. “Where there are other evidence before the court which are not direct but circumstantial, compelling and leaves no doubt as to the guilt of the defendants, the court can still find the defendants guilty of the offence,” he said. Listing a series of attack on the interests and members of the leading oppo-

Fake Naval officer held with arms By Titilayo Banjoko


•From left: Senior Contracts Director, Group Five Richard Evans, Minister of State (Works) Bashir Yuguda, Minister of Works Mike Onolememen and Chairman, Bi Courtney Consortium Dr Wale Babalakin during Bi Courtney’s group’s visit to the minister on the plan to commence work on the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway in Abuja... yesterday PHOTO ABAYOMI FAYESE

Atuche, associate urge court to quash charges


ORMER Managing Director of Bank PHB Plc (now Keystone Bank) Mr Francis Atuche and his associate yesterday urged a Lagos State High Court in Ikeja to quash the charges of stealing brought against them by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). Atuche was charged with two former directors of Bank PHB, Mr Lekan Kasali and Mr Fumi Ademosun before Justice Adeniyi Onigbanjo. They are each facing a three-count charge of conspiracy and the theft of N11.4 billion, belonging to the bank In a Notice of Preliminary Objection moved by Atuche’s counsel Chief Anthony Idigbe (SAN) and Mr Deji Sasegbon (SAN), the former bank chiefs asked the court to discharge him. Ademosun, in a motion

sition group under the Abacha government, the National Democratic Coalition (NADECO), Pedro argued that the court could safely conclude that al-Mustapha, who held a strategic security position, could not extricate himself from the atrocities committed by the regime and its agents. He prayed the court to hold that the prosecution has established the case of conspiracy against the accused and, by circumstantial evidence, proved the case of murder against al-Mustapha and Sofolahan. Lead defence lawyer Olalekan Ojo urged the court to acquit his clients on the grounds that the prosecution has failed to satisfactorily discharge the burden of proof placed on it by the law. He argued that it’s impossible for the court to reach a verdict of guilt against his clients, based on contradictory and unreliable evidence provided by the prosecution, particularly its star witnesses, PW2 and PW3. He prayed the court to dismiss the charge against his client and discharge and acquit them. Justice Mojisola Dada has fixed January 30 next year for judgment.

By Joseph Jibueze

moved by his counsel, Chief Robert Clarke (SAN), also prayed the court to free him. Atuche said the Federal Government cannot, through any agency, initiate or commence any fresh charge in any court when a similar charge in another court is pending. The defendant urged the court to order the EFCC not to subject him to double jeopardy by trying him in two courts based on the same facts. He said trying him in the Lagos High Court on allegations similar to the ones he is facing at the Federal High Court, Lagos, is tantamount to an abuse of court process. Atuche sought an order striking out his name from the charge. Idigbe said the transactions on the charges in the

two courts were interlinked. Besides, he added that the EFCC, acting for the Attorney-General of the Federation, can only prosecute a crime under a Federal Law, and not the Administration of Criminal Justice Law of Lagos State. The lawyer argued that there was no prima facie case by the EFCC on the intention of his client to defraud the bank. He urged the court to grant the application. But EFCC’s counsel Deacon Dele Adesina (SAN) and Mr Kemi Pinhero (SAN) opposed the applications. Adesina said the EFCC is competent to institute the action, having got a fiat from the Attorney-General of Lagos State. According to him, the two cases are different. He said while the one at the Federal High Court has to

do with failure to comply with banking laws, the charge before the Lagos High Court is about stealing. “I urge the court to dismiss the application and clear the way for trial,” he said. There was a heated argument between Idigbe and Adesina on who was delaying the trial. Idigbe had sought an adjournment to study a new proof of evidence served on him by the EFCC. Adesina said over six months had passed since arraignment, yet trial has not begun. He said it was due to alleged ploys by the defence to delay the matter. Idigbe said: “It is the prosecution that is attempting to unnecessarily delay this matter by holding onto the new proof of evidence since May 11.” However, an agreement


was reached that the prosecution would not rely on the document just yet. Justice Onigbanjo adjourned till November 28 ruling on Atuche’s notice of preliminary objection and Ademosun’s Motion on Notice.

FAKE Naval officer was found yesterday with a large catche of arms and ammunition He was arrested by men of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) in Igando area of Lagos State. Godwin David, an indigene of Umuahia in Abia State, was arrested in his hideout after his gang of robbers and kidnappers, who had been arrested by SARS, led the police to him. Four rocket launchers, nine AK 47 rifles, two locally made handcuffs, 30 magazines, live ammunition, four fake Naval caps and uniform, charms and four unused cartridges were discovered at his hideout. David said: “We go for major operations, ranging from N2 million and above, and my share is usually bigger than every other gang member’s share because I am the leader. “When we go out for the operation, we dress in Naval uniforms so that no policeman or soldier on the road will suspect us. Once we get to our hit area, we take off the uniforms and begin our operation,” he said. Godwin also confessed that his gang has kidnapped four people who paid several millions for their release. “We have kidnapped four people in Lagos. We collected N2 million and N4 million from two of the victims. “I was in the camp when I saw my boy with a man who came on an Okada. I heard a gunshot and immediately, I opened fire, and before I knew what was happening, I was arrested by SARS operatives.”



NEWS I’ll revamp Osun’s economy, says Aregbesola From Adesoji Adeniyi, Osogbo


SUN State Governor Rauf Aregbesola has reiterated his determination to revamp the state’s economy. He spoke yesterday during a four-day retreat for the Executive Council in Offa, the Kwara State capital. Aregbesola reminded the participants of his resolve to run an “unusual” government. He said having understood the peculiarities of the state before coming into power, he was convinced that running a conventional government would not help him achieve his goals. The governor said the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed with the Nigeria Railway Corporation (NRC) to ensure easy transportation of agricultural and manufacturing products between Osun and Lagos states, was one of his strategies for economic growth. He said the eradication of poverty, hunger and unemployment; promotion of healthy living, functional education, peace and progress are the priorities of his administration. Aregbesola said his major responsibility as a leader is to improve the lives of the people. He urged the participants and civil servants to work towards achieving the six-point integral development agenda of his administration. In a presentation, entitled: “Osun State Development Agenda,” the governor said the establishment of a Southwest regional market in Dagbolu; logistics centre for Osun State in Lagos; creation of commodity exchange market; and the development of agro-industries were part of his plans to boost the economy. He also mentioned the establishment of technical skills development centres and a Yoruba World Heritage Centre in IleIfe (to be called New Ife); and the development of tourism. A retired federal permanent secretary, Dr. Goke Adegoroye, called for greater understanding between civil servants and political office holders. Adegoroye said the vision of any new administration might be difficult to achieve if civil servants fail to key into the programmes and see themselves as the vehicle for delivering on the objectives of the administration.

Fayemi begins tour of councils


KITI State Governor Kayode Fayemi will begin a tour of the 16 local government areas of the state next Tuesday. He will attend Town Hall meetings at every local government. This will enable him interact with people at the grassroots, identify priority projects that would be included in the 2012 budget and involve the people in governance. The meetings would feature question and answer sessions, and evaluation of policies. Chief Press Secretary to the Governor Mr. Olayinka Oyebode said the tour will begin at Efon local government and end in Ado-Ekiti local government on November 28.

Lagos tightens security By Miriam Ndikanwu


HE Lagos State Government has tightened security around its secretariat in Alausa, following speculations about a likely bomb attack by the Boko Haram

sect. Governor Babatunde Fashola gave civil servants a 14-day ultimatum to remove all abandoned vehicles within and around the secretariat, and other government offices. The directive was contained in a circular issued by the Head of Service, Adesegun Ogunlewe. To curb the illegal use of government number plates by private individuals, the state government has introduced new letter codes on official number plates and will soon commence the re-registration of all vehicles attached to Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs). The circular reads: “We warn officers to desist from affixing government number plates to their private vehicles. It is a criminal act. It is disheartening that some public servants engage in this act, which causes embarrassment to the government when such vehicles are involved in traffic offences. “MDAs are hereby advised to repair faulty vehicles or forward the list of such vehicles to the Public Service Office for consideration for boarding or assignment to other agencies that can maintain them.” Ogunlewe said all government officials coming into the secretariat during public holidays and weekends would henceforth be introduced and identified in writing, with a photocopy of the official’s identity card affixed to the letter. The circular urged executive council members and permanent secretaries to identify themselves at the gate, as the security men at the gate may not be able to identify them due to frequent change of portfolios.

Expectant woman remanded in prison From Sulaiman Salawudeen, Ado-Ekiti


MAGISTRATE’S Court in Ado-Ekiti, the Ekiti State capital, yesterday remanded an expectant woman in prison custody, until November 14. Abosede Johnson, who is six months pregnant, and a male accomplice at large, allegedly broke into a boutique owned by Tope Ademiluti at Mugbagba Street and stole goods valued at N1.507 million. Abosede pleaded not guilty to the charges.

•Head, First Bank Media Relations, Mr. Babatunde Lasaki (right); and members of the media team, Miss Efeturi Doghudje (second right); Mr. Aderemi Edwards (second left); and Mr. Bethel Obioma during a visit to theheadquarters of The Nation in Lagos...yesterday PHOTO; SOLOMON ADEOLA

Tribunal upholds Ajimobi’s election


HE Governorship Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, yesterday dismissed the petition of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) challenging the election of Governor Abiola Ajimobi. The PDP claimed that Ajimobi possesses dual citizenship of the United States and Nigeria. This, it said, disqualified him from contesting the April election. It prayed the tribunal to nullify Ajimobi’s election and declare its candidate, Otunba Adebayo Alao-Akala, winner, having scored the second highest number of votes. But the three-man panel, headed by Justice Abdulkadir Pindiga, said the petition is speculative and lacks merit. It held that the PDP failed to prove its allegation. Though the petitioner raised many issues , the panel reduced the major issues for determination to two: whether Ajimobi has dual citizenship and whether by virtue of his status, he should be disqualified from contesting the election. Justice Pindiga, who read the judgment, said all that the PDP proved in its submissions was that the governor is a citizen of Nigeria, meaning that he can contest any position in Nigeria. He said the laws guiding citizenship are being reviewed by various countries by reason of technological advancement and economic considerations, which have turned the world into a global village. Justice Pindiga said the fact that a Nigerian obtains an American Green Card does not nullify his Nigerian citi-

Governor, others hail judgment


YO State Governor Abiola Ajimobi has said his victory at the Governorship Election Petition Tribunal yesterday is a triumph of democracy and the Rule of Law. He said the judgment has confirmed that there are still men of honour in the nation’s judiciary. Ajimobi gave glory to God and thanked the people for their support. He said: “First of all, we give glory to God. We glorify his holy name for guiding and helping us; for ensuring that we overcome those who planned evil against us. “Secondly, the judgment confirms that there are men of honour in the judiciary, because if we were to go by the past, it probably would have been another story.” Debunking the allegation of dual citizenship, the governor said: “I am not an American citizen. Yes, I studied in America and was once an immigrant, but once you leave the place for six months to a year, you automatically lose your residency, which I have lost. “Even if I were to be a dual citizen, once I am a Nigerian citizen by birth, I’m entitled to be a Governor of Oyo State. Either by birth or by naturalisation, I have the right to be Governor. All those who don’t want me to be are fighting against God. “I thank everyone, first, the people of Oyo State, for standing by us and giving us their mandate. Secondly, I thank my darling wife, who is always by my side. “I thank the media, religious leaders, tradiFrom Bisi Oladele, Ibadan

zenship by birth, but that he or she only holds dual citizenship, which gives him wide opportunities in both countries. He said Sections 28 and 182 of the constitution, which talk about disqualification by dual citizenship does not forbid a Nigerian by birth, who has not renounced his citizenship, from contesting

From Oseheye Okwuofu, Ibadan

tional rulers and the masses, who have supported me so far and will continue to support me. I assure them that I will not let them down. I am a gentleman and a gentleman’s word is his honour.” Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) supporters across the state have been celebrating Ajimobi’s victory. Those in Ibadan, the state capital, stormed the Government House in Agodi, after the judgment was delivered yesterday. The Caretaker Chairman of Saki West Local Government, Dapo Popoola, said the judgment has strengthened the hope of the common man in the judiciary. He urged the people to shun violence, as they celebrate the victory. The Caretaker Chairman of Ido Local Government, Professor Adeniyi Olowofela, said: “The judge made it clear that a Nigerian cannot lose his right as a citizen of Nigeria, even if he or she takes up the citizenship of another country. “When Ajimobi won the election, Otunba Adebayo Alao-Akala congratulated him. That means he conceded victory to Ajimobi and that is true sportsmanship. Why then did he go to court or allow his party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to do so? “One would have expected that Alao-Akala would have dissuaded PDP from going to court to distract the people of the state. It was a fruitless exercise. My advise to him and the PDP is not to waste their time appealing the judgment.”

election. “In the final analysis, this petition is devoid of any merit; it is speculative. We, therefore, dismiss same and award a cost of N10,000 against the petitioner,” Pindiga said. The Action Alliance (AA) had filed a motion seeking to stay action on the judgment, pending the determination of an application on whether a

winner should emerge in the April 26 election, in which the party’s logo was omitted on the ballot paper. But the panel held that the petitioner failed to file its motion at the right time. Justice Pindiga said parties have up to 21 days to appeal any decision of the tribunal, but AA failed to do so. The panel dismissed the application with a cost of N5,000.

Robbers attack five banks in Ogun varsity


BOUT 24 robbers yesterday stormed the main campus of the Olabisi Onabanjo University (OOU) in Ago-Iwoye, Ogun State, and raided five banks, using guns and dynamites. The raided banks are all second generation banks. They stole millions of naira and injured many people. An eyewitness said the robbers drove into the commercial banks section of the institution around 11am and started shooting into the air. People fled in confusion. The hoodlums divided

From Ernest Nwokolo, Abeokuta

themselves into groups and attacked the banks, while others stood on guard outside. They destroyed the banks’ security doors with dynamite and held customers and staff hostage for about an hour. Police spokesman Mr. Olumuyiwa Adejobi said the robbers arrived in three buses and brought down the doors to the cash points, using dynamites. Adejobi said the Commis-

sioner of Police, Mr. Nicholas Nkemdeme, the Area Commander and other senior officers in the Command had visited the crime scene. He said: “The Police will open discussion with the university authority, students and staff of the robbed banks to help in the investigation.” The university’s senate meeting, slated for 12 noon yesterday, was put on hold. Those expected avoided the campus, while others fled in fear. A lecturer, who pleaded for anonymity, said when they

started hearing gun shots, they thought there was a clash between rival cult groups, until they realised that robbers were operating. The lecturer said: “Five banks located at the main campus were raided. “The robbers bombed their way into the banks. People ran for cover in different directions. “Many people sustained gunshot injuries. Staff vehicles were riddled with bullets and the senate meeting was called off to enable injured members go for treatment.”



NEWS Gowon seeks solution to Nigeria’s insecurity FORMER Head of State, General Yakubu Gowon, has called for a holistic approach to solving the present security challenges bedeviling the nation. Gowon spoke in Abuja as chairman at the public presentation of the book: Lifting the Peril – A Root Cause Resolution of the Niger Delta Crisis, written by a former Deputy Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Patrick Ekpotu. The book, which was published by the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies, (NIPSS), Kuru, near Jos, seeks to proffer lasting solutions to the Niger Delta crisis and other crises in Nigeria, from a policy perspective. Gowon, who was represented by the former Minister of Information and National Orientation, Prof Jerry Gana, said the book was timely because the nation is beset with ethnicity and religious crises.

Group alerts to PDP’s alleged plan to rig Kogi poll


HREE weeks to the Kogi State governorship election, a group, Coalition of Youths for Proper Democratic Change, yesterday raised the alarm over an alleged plan by the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to use the security forces to rig the poll. It urged the Nigerian Army to transfer the Commander, Army Records Office in Lokoja, the state capital, saying he might be compromised during the poll. The group said it arrived at

From Mohammed Bashir, Lokoja

this conclusion based on the Army officer’s “constant romance with the PDP-led government in the state. In a statement by its chairman, Mallam Zubairu Abdullahi, the group said: “Information available to us shows that hundreds of Hillux pickup jeeps have been purchased by the PDP-led state government to be used by thugs, who will disguise in military and

police uniforms to forcefully rig the election by snatching ballot boxes, changing figures and scaring away eligible voters from exercising their civic responsibility. “As part of their evil strategy to win the forthcoming governorship election at all cost, Police Commissioner Joseph Amana Abakasanga, who has refused to be part of their plan, has been transferred from the state, using their connection with the Federal Government. The Army barracks

in Lokoja is also being considered to be used as one of their illegal thumb-printing centres during the election.” It urged security agencies, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and other stakeholders in the conduct of the election to be transparent and honest in discharging their duties during and after the election. The group said it would mobilise the manpower with necessary gadgets to monitor

Appeal Court dissolves Borno election tribunal From Kamarudeen Ogundele, Abuja


State Security Service frees youth leader From Bukola Amusan, Abuja

THE State Security Service (SSS) yesterday freed the detained President of the National Youth Council of Nigeria (NYCN), Comrade James Olawale Ajani, who was planning to lead a hunger protest over the Federal Government’s proposed removal of oil subsidy. Despite the arrest, Ajani said the protest would go on as planned as the group’s members were ready for it. The NYCN leader was arrested on Wednesday by SSS officials in Abuja following the group’s planned protest against fuel subsidy removal. He said the NYCN was out to tell the government that its decision to remove fuel subsidy was unpopular, urging Nigerian youths to support the protest to make the government rescind its decision.

‘Solve Nigeria’s problems before rebranding’ By Nneka Nwaneri

A BRAND management expert, George Thorpe, yesterday urged the Nigerian government to sort out the nation’s problems before making moves about rebranding. He noted that Nigeria and Africa lack leaders with moral values and integrity, saying this has led to the people’s lack of trust in them. Thorpe spoke in Lagos at the 17th Advertising Day and induction of fellows and members of the Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria (APCON). The theme of the programme is: A Segmentation Study of the Advertising Market in Nigeria: The Portfolio Strategy and Positioning Implications for Advertising Agencies. He said leaders at the three tiers of government should be scrutinised for integrity as a determinant for good governance.

the election and expose nefarious activities of any person or group of persons that may attempt to rig the election. It urged the Inspector-General of Police Hafiz Ringim to monitor the activities of his men who will be posted to the state on election duty to ensure that the election is free, fair and credible. The group said any policemen found wanting in the discharge of his responsibilities during the poll should be made to face justice.

•From left: The National Publicity Secretary, Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), Alhaji Lai Mohammed; Osun State Governor Rauf Aregbesola; former Vice-Chancellor, Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Prof Wale Omole; first Military Administrator of Osun State, Maj.-Gen. Leo Ajiborisa; and Head of Service of Osun State, Elder Segun Akinwusi, at the ongoing four-day retreat on asset management for the Osun State Executive Council members, at the Avalon Hotel, Offa, Kwara State...yesterday. PHOTO:STATE HOUSE

Tribunal upholds Suntai’s, Yuguda’s elections


HE Taraba and Bauchi States’ Election Petition Tribunals yesterday upheld the elections of Governors Danbaba Suntai (Taraba) and Isa Yuguda (Bauchi) as winner of the April 26 and 28 polls. Taraba State’s three-man tribunal, led by Justice Luka D. Abba, in two separate verdicts, struck out the petitions filed by the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) candidate, Senator Danlami Ikenya, and the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) flag bearer, Ahmed Yusuf. Ikenya, through his lead counsel, Festus Idepefo, had submitted that the poll did not comply with the Electoral Act 2010 and the 2011 Election Guidelines issued by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). He prayed the tribunal to nullify the election and arrange a fresh poll. Counsel to Yusuf, Sule Joseph Gani, noted that there were irregularities at the polling units and at the collation centres in 10 of the 16 local government areas, including Takum, Sardauna and Ussa.

From Fanen Ihyongo, Jalingo and Austine Tsenzughul, Bauchi

But counsel to INEC, Sebastine Hon (SAN), said the election was conducted lawfully. He prayed the tribunal to strike out the two petitions on the grounds that the petitioners’ “pleadings were irrelevant”. Justice Abba ruled that the “the petitioners failed to establish relevant evidences to prove their allegations”. He said: “We are convinced with the respondents’ (the governor’s, INEC’s and the PDP’s) defenses. We can’t rely on mere observation of the forms. The tribunal’s judgment is not the best on earth, but the best from the bench.” The Bauchi tribunal dismissed the petition filed by the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) candidate, Yusuf Maitama Tuggar, for lack of merit. Tuggar had on May 5 filed the petition against Yuguda, alleging electoral malpractices, contrary to the Electoral Act 2010 as amended. He also brought in forensic

‘Even if the 245,610 votes, said to have been invalidated by forensic test, are removed from Yuguda’s over 770,000 votes, Yuguda is still leading with over 516,215 votes’ experts who examined the disputed ballots and other electoral materials used for the alleged malpractices. The votes cast in the 20 local government areas were counted and examined to ensure the veracity of the petitioner’s claims. In a five-hour judgment, Justice David Mann struck out the petition, saying Tuggar failed to prove the allegations beyond reasonable doubt. He said Tuggar had claimed that Yuguda breached the Electoral Act, as amended, in his sworn affidavit, which was

filed before the tribunal, but could not tender the document before the tribunal. The tribunal chairman maintained that Tuggar failed to prove that the polls were marred by multiple thumbprinting, thuggery, intimidation, harassment of voters, snatching of ballot boxes, bribery and other financial misdeeds. He overruled the statements of the 29 witnesses of the petitioner, declaring there was nothing to relay on as most of the evidences were “hearsay.” Justice Mann discountenanced the video memory cards submitted with the petition, saying: “It was dumped on the tribunal as it was previewed before the tribunal while the tribunal lacks the facilities that would have enabled it to preview the tapes.” He struck out the petition for lack of merit and upheld the election of Yuguda, saying: “Even if the 245,610 votes, said to have been invalidated by forensic test, are removed from Yuguda’s over 770,000 votes, Yuguda is still leading with over 516,215 votes.”

N35.5m fraud: Deji Abiola, businessman may settle out of court D EJI Abiola, the second son of the late business mogul, Basorun M.K.O. Abiola, who is standing trial for alleged fraudulent conversion of N35.5million, may settle out of court with a businessman and plaintiff, Mr. Jide Jose. At the resumed hearing yesterday, counsel to Deji Abiola, Mr. P.O. Jimoh-Lasisi (SAN), told Justice Adeniyi Onigbanjo of a Lagos High Court, Ikeja, that

By Adebisi Onanuga

there were moves between his client and Jose to settle the matter out of court. He said the terms of settlement during discussions Abiola and Jose were almost finalised yesterday. Jimoh-Lasisi expressed surprise that the prosecution was not in court to speak on the latest devel-

opment. He prayed for a short adjournment to enable the plaintiff and defendant come to an amicable conclusion on the matter. The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) had arraigned Abiola on a one-count charge of stealing by fraudulently converting N35.5 million belonging to Jose.

The agency alleged that Abiola collected the money from Jose on May 24, 2008, after promising to supply him printing machines from Switzerland but did not import or supply the machines. The alleged offence contravenes Section 390 (7) of the Criminal Code Law, Cap C17, Laws of Lagos State, 2003. Abiola pleaded not guilty to the charge and was granted bail.

HE Acting President of the Court of Appeal, Justice Dalhatu Adamu, has dissolved the Borno State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal. The tribunal was to deliver judgment in the petition filed by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its candidate, Ibrahim Goni. The petitioners are challenging the April 26 election victory of Governor Kashim Shettima of the All Nigeria People Party (ANPP). Part faithful had arrived as early as 7' o’clock at the Magistrate Court Zone 2venue of the sitting. But the announcement by the Secretary of the panel changed the mood of the court. He said: “I have been directed by the Registrar of the Court of Appeal to inform you that this tribunal has been dissolved and so will not be sitting today. We shall wait for further directives.” Efforts to get the President of the Court of Appeal proved abortive. The Supreme Court had, on October 31, set aside the stay of proceedings granted by the Court of Appeal in the proceedings before the tribunal. The court ordered parties in the suit to return to the tribunal to resume hearing of the petition.

Funeral for community leader


HE remains of a community leader in Olorunda town, Abeokuta North Local Government of Ogun State, Pa Phillip Asamu Ogunsola, will be interred today in the town. Pa Ogunsola died on October 27. He was 95. He is survived by many children and grandchildren, including Mr. Olusegun Ogunsola, Managing Director, LASEG Limited. The funeral ceremonies started yesterday with a lying-in-state at the Baptist Primary School, Olorunda, and a wake at his home in the town. Pa Ogunsola will be remembered as a courageous community leader, whose sense of justice, fairness, discipline and commitment to society helped in shaping the course of Olorunda town and environs.




•Representative of the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Environment Alhaji Gambo Jakada (left), Head, Special Climate Change Unit, Dr Samuel Abia State Governor Theodore Orji (left); Director-General, Nigeria Economic Summit, Mr Frank Nweke Jnr; Adejuwon, and National Coordinator, Un-Redd and Programme, Alhaji Salisu Governors Kayode Fayemi (Ekiti) and Ibikunle Amosun of Ogun State at the seventh Nigeria Economic Dahiru at the stakeholders workshop on enhancing capacity for clean Summit in Abuja…yesterday development mechanism implementation in Nigeria in Abuja…yesterday

PDP: CPC has collapsed From Gbade Ogunwale, Assistant Editor, Abuja


HE Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) yesterday said the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) has collapsed with the recent judgment by the Court of Appeal upholding the victory of President Goodluck Jonathan in the April 16 presidential election. A statement by the PDP’s National Publicity Secretary, Prof Rufai Ahmed Alkali said from every indication, the CPC which, initially arrogated to itself the status of a strong opposition party has bitten the dust. According to Alkali, when the CPC was formed last year, it was very clear to all discerning minds that given the party’s nature and organisational structure and the manner its leaders were going about propagating its policies, it was doomed for failure”. “We in the PDP have no reason to gloat over, or celebrate the collapse of any political party. This is because of our firm belief that in a plural society like Nigeria, the multiparty system is the best option for sustainable democratic governance. “When a party which, aspires to rule Nigeria roots its philosophy and doctrine in sentimentalism and primodialism, then it is bound to fail, especially given the multi-cultural and cosmopolitan character of the Nigerian society”. The statement added that it did not come as a surprise when in the build-up to the 2011 general elections, the CPC could not systematically organise primaries to produce it candidates.


Judges get six months deadline to dispose of corruption cases

HIEF Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Dahiru Musdapher yesterday gave judges handling corruption cases six months ultimatum to dispose of them. The order, according to the CJN, became imperative following public outcry. Justice Musdapher ordered them to either hear and determine the cases within the period or strike them out if there is no diligent prosecution. He spoke in Abuja at a lecture organised by the Nigerian Institute of Advanced Legal Studies (NIALS) and conferment of honorary Fellowship of the Institute on distinguished personalities. Those conferred with the Fellowship of the Institute are Justice Walter Onnoghen of the Supreme Court, Chief Chimezie Ikeazor (SAN); Chief Bayo Ojo (SAN); Prof Francis S.L.Wang; Prof Karisu Chukkol and Prof Isabella Okagbue. Speaking on the topic: “The Nigerian Judiciary: Towards Reform of the Bastion of Constitutional Democracy”, the CJN lamented the delay in the dispensation of justice which he identified as a major challenge in the justice delivery sector. He attributed such delay to institutional incapacities in facilities (especially electronic facilty), in-built delay mechanisms in the law, as well as failings on the part of some Judges, the official and private Bars, law enforcement agencies, litigants and witnesses. Justice Musdapher said: I must make specific mention of the need for Judges to prioritise criminal matters bordering on official corruption that

•CJN orders accelerated hearing into disputes From Kamarudeen Ogundele, Abuja

are placed before them. It has since been recognised that corruption is the bane of development in Nigeria. Therefore, it is imperative for all Judges to realise that these cases are extremely important to Nigerians and must be dispensed with swiftly. “I hereby strongly advise all Judges to accelerate the hearing of such cases and ensure that they are dispensed with within six months of filing. If for any reason the prosecution is not ready to proceed with the case, then the matter should be struck out rather than leaving the public with the impression that the judiciary is not performing its necessary role in curbing corrupt practices in Nigeria. These delays cannot be tolerated any longer.” Justice Musdapher reiterated his resolve to attain zero tolerance to corruption or misconduct among Judges. He admonished Judges to be mindful of the fact that “A poor Judge (in terms of integrity) is perhaps the most wasteful indulgence of the community. You can refuse to patronise a merchant who does not carry good stock, but you have no recourse if you are hurled before a Judge whose mental or moral goods are inferior. An honest…, able and fearless Judge is the most valuable servant of democracy, for he illuminates justice as he interprets

‘A corrupt Judge is more harmful to the society than a man who runs amok with a dagger in a crowded street.’ and applies the law…” Quoting the words of Justice Samson Uwaifo to drive home his message, Justice Musdapher said: “A corrupt Judge is more harmful to the society than a man who runs amok with a dagger in a crowded street. The latter can be restrained physically. But a corrupt Judge deliberately destroys the moral foundation of society and causes incalculable distress to individuals through abusing his office while still being referred to as ‘honourable’. He , however advised the public not to write baseless petitions against Judges on mere suspicion of impropriety. He expressed optimism that the Judicial Reform Committee would come out with recommendations that would reposition the judiciary and restore its lost glory. He envisions a judicial system that would be simple, fast, efficient and responsive to the needs and yearnings of the citizenry.

He announced the full computerisation of Supreme Court operations so as to ensure efficient and speedy processing of court documentations, fast-track compilation (and transmission) of records of proceedings and other vital documents; enable Judges; lawyers; litigants; researchers and the public to have easy access to online legal database among other benefits. On the appointment of Judges, Justice Musdapher pledged support for diversify in the process. He expressed concern about the declining intellectual depth and overall quality of the judgments of some Judges as well as the frequency with which some Judges churn out conflicting decisions in respect of the same set of facts. He said his administration would introduce Intelligent Performance Measurement System for both judicial and non-judicial staff to weed out those who are unproductive. Dignitaries who graced the occasion included Speaker of the House of Representatives, Aminu Waziri Tambuwal; Attorney General of the Federation and Justice Minister, Mohammed Bello Adoke (SAN); Acting President of the Court of Appeal, Justice Garuba, Justices of the Supreme Court, Justices of the Court of Appeal, Corps Marshal of the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), Osita Chidoka, Chief Edwin Clark; senior lawyers and a host of others.

Lagos ACN chair Ajomale to George: you’ve battered image


AGOS State Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) Chairman Otunba Oladele Ajomale, yesterday described the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) chieftain Commodore Olabode George (rtd) as a politician with a battered image struggling for relevance. He said George’s reputation has been dented beyond panel-beating, following his conviction by the court for corrupt practice, stressing that, in any forum where good governance, transparency, integrity and credibility are debated, he cannot be a speaker. The party chairman said George could not be a role

•’Obanikoro is an ingrate’ By Emmanuel Oladesu, Deputy Political Editor

model for the youths because he has contributed to the nation’s economic and political adversity. Ajomale also described the Nigerian High Commissioner to Ghana, Senator Musiliu Obanikoro, as an ingrate, saying that he has bitten the hand that fed him. The politician was reacting to the uncomplimentary remarks made by the duo about the ACN national leader, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu. While George castigated Tinubu for the electoral woes of PDP in

the state, Obanikoro described the former Lagos State governor as a politician worse than the late Head of State, Gen. Sani Abacha. Ajomale said both of them are deficient in moral value. Chiding George for what he described as a reckless statement, Ajomale said: “Some people are shameless. Really, they are not behaving like Yoruba, but they bear Yoruba name. In Yoruba tradition, I don’t believe that an ex-convict will ever come out to say all sorts of rubbish at this stage of his life. In Yoruba tradition, it is a shame. Sometimes, they even bury their

heads in the sand. “Someone who is a criminal and who has been sentenced will now come out to say something about politics? I think it is time we have to look at our value. I don’t think that he is an upright man and he has no sense of decency at all to pass judgment on anyone. He should not be seen; he should not even be heard”. “Today, I don’t think that Bode George has the mouth to say anything about political development in Nigeria. he cannot be a role model for any young man to copy. So, he should shut up and let responsible people talk in the society. I think Asiwaju

should disregard his utterances. It is the utterance of a lost soul “. Ajomale said Obanikoro is a renegade because he passed insult on leaders who made him, adding that he has forgotten his past. He added: “Obanikoro is not the type of person that should insult Asiwaju. I am proud to say that Asiwaju made him. We were in the executive council together. He gave him the opportunity to become a commissioner. He gave him the opportunity to become a senator. If not because of that foundation and opportunity, how can he become an ambassador and saying rubbish today.

US cancels terror alert for citizens THE United States has canceled a terror alert that warned citizens to stay away from three luxury hotels in Abuja. The U.S. Embassy said it called off the warning because of increased security around the Hilton, NICON and Sheraton hotels, as well as around government buildings and major roads. The embassy said on Sunday the radical Islamist sect known as Boko Haram planned to attack the hotels and other sites in the capital. The Federal Government criticised the move, saying the U.S. warning was not based on new information and was unnecessarily spreading panic. Boko Haram has claimed responsibility for a series of attacks in the north that have killed more than 100 people since Friday. The group has also claimed responsibility for an August 26 attack on the United Nations headquarters in Abuja that killed more than 20 people.

Two suspects held with cannabis From Gbade Ogunwale and Abayomi Fayese, Abuja

The Abuja Command of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) yesterday paraded two men arrested with 951.1 killogrammes of weeds suspected to be cannabis. Jude Okwonkwo and Chinedu Nnamani were intercepted by the NDLEA officials at Gwagwalada on the outskirts of the Federal Capital Territory on Saturday. According to the FCT Commander of the NDLEA, Mrs. Omolade Omole, the suspects were transporting the item stuffed in about 30 sacks from Onitsha, Anambra State to Kaduna. Mrs Omole said the suspects, a driver and a conductor, concealed the drugs in a truck they were driving to Kaduna before they were intercepted by the NDLEA officials. The suspects said they were sent by their master, apparently the owner of the truck to deliver the drugs at a designated location in Kaduna but that they never knew the bags contained cannabis. Mrs Omole said the suspects would be charged to court after investigation.



NEWS Ex-Edo Speaker loses at tribunal

Bayelsa National Assembly members write PDP’s NWC

From Osagie Otabor, Benin


HE petition of former Speaker of the Edo State House of Assembly Bright Omokhodion was yesterday dismissed by the House of Assembly Election Petition Tribunal. Omokhodion of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) was challenging the election of Monday Ehighalua of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) representing Esan West. The former Speaker had, in his petition, alleged that invalid votes were added to the votes of his opponent and that the petition did not comply with the electoral law. He urged the tribunal to nullify the election and declare him winner. But Justice Dije Abdul Aboki said Omokhodion failed to prove that non-compliance with the Electoral Act affected the results of the election. The tribunal also held that the petitioner failed to prove that invalid votes were counted and added to the votes of his opponent. Justice Aboki said: “There is no basis to fault the return of the first respondent and consequently we affirm the return of the first respondent and the petition is hereby dismissed. The tribunal in another judgment upheld the election of Kingsley Ehiagiamusoe representing Igueben constituency. It dismissed the petition filed by Stephen Idehere of the ACN challenging the election of Ehigiamusoe.

Family of slain actor flees home HE family of Benin actor, Daniel Iyamu, who was allegedly killed by his wife, Grace, has fled its home. This followed arrests of family members by the police. Iyamu was found dead in his room on Wednesday after his wife allegedly hit him on the head with a pestle. When our reporter visited the house yesterday, there was no one around. The gate was open but the


From Osagie Otabor, Benin

door was locked. A neighbour said he did not know where the family went. It was gathered that the arrests followed suspicion that the wife did not commit the act alone. Some of the late actor’s children had claimed that their mother, who was found unconscious in another room, was mentally imbalance.

•Sylva to declare intention to re-contest tomorrow


AYELSA State lawmakers in the National Assembly yesterday decried the decision of the National Working Committee (NWC) of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to conduct further screening of Governor Timipre Sylva ahead of the November 19 primary in the state. Sylva will formally declare his intention to re-contest the primaries under the PDP tomorrow despite his exclusion on the list of cleared candidates. The lawmakers, in a petition to the NWC and PDP’s Acting National Chairman, said subjecting Sylva to any further scrutiny is illegal and at variance with the PDP Constitution and the Electoral Guidelines for Primary Elections 2010 . They claimed that the screening and clearance of candidates for governorship primary election is the exclusive function of the governorship screening committee set

From Isaac Ombe, Yenagoa

up pursuant to Article 17.1 of the PDP Constitution and paragraph 16 of the Electoral Guidelines for Primary Elections 2010. “The Governorship Screening Committee duly empanelled is the one led by Brig Gen Idi Adamu(rtd) which screened the aspirants in accordance with its mandate on October 27 at the PDP Zonal Office, Port Harcourt, Rivers State,” the lawmakers said . The petition was signed by Heineken Lokpobiri (Bayelsa West Senatorial District); Paulker Emmanuel (Bayelsa Central) and Clever Ikisikpo (Bayelsa East Senatorial District). Others are Warman Ogoriba (Yenagoa, Kolokuma Federal Constituency); Jephatha Foinghan (Brass/Nembe Federal Constituency); Nadu Karibo (Ogbia Federal Constituency); Henry Ofongo (Southern Ijaw Federal Constitu-

ency). The petition reads: “We wish to inform the National Working Committee that the uncertainty being created is causing a lot of tension in our great party and indeed the entire state. “We therefore demand that that Governor Timipre Sylva and other aspirants screened and cleared by the Screening Appeal Panel be allowed to contest the primary in line with the tenets of democracy and the rule of law. “As representatives of the people and members of the Bayelsa State caucus of the National Assembly, we are constrained to write to the NWC of PDP that the powers and functions of the National Working Committee as enshrined in Article 12.63 of the Constitution of the Peoples Democratic Party 2009 as amended do not include screening and or clearance of the candidates for any election.

‘That Sylva, who was not found to have breached any of the grounds for disqualification, was duly screened and issued with a clearance certificate. “That the guidelines in Paragraph 16 (d) allow for any aspirant aggrieved by the decision of the Governorship Screening Committee to appeal to the Governorship Screening Appeal Panel. “That in Paragraph 16(f) of the guidelines “only aspirants cleared by the Governorship Screening Committee or whose appeal the Governorship Screening Appeal Panel has upheld shall be qualified to participate in the primary election.” Sources said Sylva’s declaration is aimed at keeping his supporters intact ahead of the election. The party’s delegates’ election is billed for Monday, and the planed declaration was also aimed at preparing the supporters for the occasion, it was learnt.

Delta NLC chief dies in Warri From Okungbowa Aiwerie, Asaba


HE Delta State Chairman of the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC), Mike Akusu, is dead. He died in Warri yesterday of an undisclosed ail-

ment. It was learnt that he has been battling the ailment in the last couple of months. He was believed to be in his early 40s. Akusu, who doubled as the state chairman of the Nigerian Union of Teachers (NUT), emerged NLC chairman after a keenly contested election in April. The deceased was from Effurrun, Uvwie Local Government.

Honour for training expert


GLOBAL body, the International Association of Facilitators (IAF) has named Noruwa Edokpolo as the leading international facilitator for October. Edokpolo, a corporate strategy consultant, is the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Transformed Thinking, a human capital development company. A statement by his colleague, Ola Emmanuel, said the honour was informed by Edokpolo’s expertise and business strategy facilitation activities, which has positioned him as a leader in the global body of international facilitators. Emmanuel hailed Edokpolo’s choice as a leading international facilitator for last month. He described it as a well deserved recognition. IAF is a body of facilitators that serves as an avenue for interchange, professional development, trend analysis and peer networking. It has members in over 63 countries.

Amaechi hits rights activists From Clarice Azuatalam, Port Harcourt


HE Rivers State Government has said it is disappointed by the silence of Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch on the killing of policemen on escort duty. Governor Rotimi Amaechi spoke in Port Harcourt during the inauguration of 2 Brigade Officers’ Mess at Bori Camp. He said it was painful to see civilians who “ordinarily should not carry arms, but use them to kill security agents not only in Rivers but across the country.” Represented by Deputy Governor Tele Ikuru, Amaechi urged Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch not to lose their voices but to start talking now. The governor said: “The lives of these uniformed men also matter because when they turn their trigger on these hoodlums; it becomes an issue. “The man in uniform equally has a wife and children.” The Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant Gen Onyeabo Ihejirika said the army is taking proactive steps to contain Boko Haram attacks.

•Raji (right) collecting the letter from Meekor. With them is Dr. Okei Odumakin (third left)

Saro-Wiwa, others honoured at 16th anniversary From Bisi Olaniyi and Clarice Azuatalam, Port

Activists: probe their deaths


By Miriam Ndikanwu


N what many observers described as a solemn assembly, the Ogoni yesterday shut down their businesses to mark the 16th year remembrance of their 13 fallen heroes. The event, which took place at Bori, the headquarters of Khana Local Government of Rivers State, drew hundreds of Ogoni elders, men, women and youths. They wore black imprinted with the picture of the late environmentalist, Ken Saro Wiwa. Saro-Wiwa and eight others were hanged on November 10, 1995, during the regime of late General Sani Abacha. Four other Ogoni men had been killed earlier . A memorial service was held at the All Saints Anglican Church Cathedral, Ogoni Diocese Headquar-


EMBERS of civil society organisations under the umbrella of Campaign for Democracy (CD), Women Arise and Ogoni Welfare Association (OWA) have urged the Federal Government to probe the circumstances leading to the death of renowned environmentalist Ken Saro Wiwa and eight others. The Ogoni Nine were killed by the military regime of late Gen. Sani Abacha on November 10, 1995. The groups made the demand yesterday during a peaceful protest which started from Ikeja and ended at the office of the Lagos State Governor Babatunde Fashola (SAN). They also demanded for the implementation of the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP) report on pollution in Ogoniland. CD National President Dr. Joe Okei-Odumakin, who led the campaign, said the late Saro Wiwa led a peaceful struggle to demand justice and equity and end to exploitation and environmental degradation in the oil rich community. OWA's Public Relations Officer Thankgod Meekor urged the Federal Government to declare a state of emergency in the region. The groups presented a letter to the governor, who was represented by his Special Adviser on Information and Strategy, Lateef Raji.

ters, Bori. Bishop of Ogoni Rt. Rev. Solomon Gberegbara urged

Ogoni people to always seek the face of God and remain united, while going about

the non-violent struggle. After the service, the Ogoni Peace and Freedom Centre, Bori, opposite the council secretariat, was inaugurated. The President of the Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People (MOSOP), Ledum Mitee, said the killings of the Ogoni martyrs was the darkest period in the people’s struggle for justice. Mitee said the Ogoni Heroes’ Day was to honour Saro-Wiwa, Edward Kobani, Albert Badey, Samuel Orage, John Kpuinen, Theophilus Orage, Barinem Kiobel, Daniel Gbokoo, Baribor Bera, Paul Levura, Nordu Eawo, Felix Nuate, Saturday Dobee and many others who died in the Ogoni struggle for justice. The MOSOP president said the people’s boldness and courage were visited with a lot of pains, which he said many persons exploited to their gains.





We are going to raise a bill to introduce a policy that will gradually lead to the rehabilitation of our roads by reintroducing toll gates across the country. -Mike Onolememen, Minister of Works

‘17 Nigerian firms invest N325b in Ghana’

NEC endorses return of Commodity Boards


HE Ghana Investment Promotion Centre said yesterday that 17 registered firms owned by Nigerians had invested 1.5 billion dollars (about N325 billion) in Ghana’s economy. Mr George Aboagye, Chief Executive Officer of the agency, disclosed this while presenting the investment opportunities in Ghana at the ongoing 2011 Lagos International Trade Fair. Aboagye said the investments were those recorded between September 1994 and June 2011. He said that the investment was expected to grow by $500 million (about N75 billion) by 2015. Aboagye said the investments were in agriculture, manufacturing, building, liaison, services, tourism and the general and export trade sectors of Ghana’s economy.

IFC earmarks $400m for Africa telecoms


HE International Finance Corporation (IFC) plans to spend up to $300 million in the financial year ending June and another $400 million in the following year on new African telecoms projects that are not commercially attractive to traditional financiers. “We would very much be looking to do $200-$400 million a year for our own account in Africa and ideally helping mobilise funding from other sources - commercial banks, other development institutions - to double or triple that,” said Kent Lupberger, IFC’s global head for Technology, Media and Telecom. The private sector financing arm of the World Bank previously did a lot of financing of cellular companies but is doing less of that now because the firms are now established and have easier access to financing.

DATA STREAM COMMODITY PRICES Oil -$115.3/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 -10.3% 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 $32.820b CFA EUR £ $ ¥ SDR RIYAL



0.2958 206.9 242.1 151.8 1.9179 238 40.472

From Vincent Ikuomola, Abuja


• From left: The Group Managing Director of NNPC, Engr. Austen Oniwon,the awardee and Group General Manger, Group Public Affairs Division, NNPC, Dr. Levi Ajuonuma (FNIPR) and the President of the Nigerian Institute of Public Relations, Alh. Mohammed Abdullahi, at the Investiture of the institute in Abuja.

Nigeria targets $900b GDP by 2020, says minister N

IGERIA intends to achieve a Gross Do mestic Product of $900 billion by 2020, the minister/deputy chairman, National Planning Commission (NPC), Shamsudden Usman said yesterday. This projection came hours before the president of Dangote Industries Limited, Aliko Dangote said Nigeria was a much better than the BRIC countries in terms of doing business. The BRIC countries are Brazil, India, China and South Africa. Speaking at the 17th Nigerian Economic Summit (NES) in Abuja, Usman said foreigners are more optimistic and concerned about the positive projection and plans of Nigeria’s Vision 20:2020. Usman said that the Vision 20:2020 target is to attain a Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of not less than 900 billion and per capital income of not less than $4,000 by

• Country better than BRIC-Dangote

From Gbenga Omokhunu, Abuja

2020. “It is not Shamsudeen’s vision; it is not even President Goodluck Jonathan’s vision. It is a Nigerian vision crafted by over 5, 000 of most articulate and influential Nigerians. “We are almost working from the answer to the question. We have already claimed three steps almost without doing anything. When we started in 1999 we were in number 44. Now we are in number 41 so we are making progress because while we are growing rapidly other countries are not growing as fast as.” At a dialogue with President Goodluck Jonathan alongside Chief Executive

Officers of companies at the Summit, Dangote noted that the international communities believe that Nigeria is “the safest country to do business without fear despite the security challenges.” He said there must be that political will to develop the economy, adding: “The perception has not really been fair to Nigeria because the benefits of investing in the country is there. This is because sometimes people are just a bit too lazy to go out and find out the real situation of the issue. “Are you saying that Brazil is safer than Nigeria? Definitely no. Sometimes I drive myself around in Lagos. We are all global investors and we know that somebody who just shares

my name cannot drive in a car in Brazil. He has to do that in an helicopter. I mean with due respect I am just comparing. Even Iraq, which has not been stable for some years now just had an investment forum in London, it was over booked. We are even lucky. We were eight in number that went but they could only accommodate four of us. “People forget that whoever captures Nigerian market actually capturers the entire ECOWAS region’s market. It means you are producing for over 300 millions of people. I keep on telling people that if I have $20 billion I will invest everything in Nigeria because there are so many sectors one can invest in.”

Amnesty insists Shell must pay $1b clean-up fine


OR not taking concrete steps to correct oil spills in the Niger Delta in the past three years, the Amnesty International and the Centre for Environment, Human Rights and Development (CEHRD) yesterday declared that Shell must pay an initial $1 billion for clean-up of the pollution. Devastating oil spills by Shell in 2008 and 2009 at Bodo, Ogoniland, Bayelsa State, is said to have polluted the water, land and affected fishing, farming, increasing health hazard and causing death of many residents of the community. Shell, which is said to have accepted liability for the oil spill in the area, is yet to clean up the sites or pay compensation as required by law. The company said efforts to address the issues at Bodo were hampered by

From Augustine Ehikioya, Abuja

other intrigues. At a Press Conference in Abuja yesterday by Amnesty International and the CEHRD, while releasing the new report, titled, ‘The True tragedy: Delays and failures in tackling oil spills in the Niger Delta’, the two bodies called on Shell to immediately pay the initial $1 billion clean up fine in line with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) report on the issue. UNEP had earlier reported that it will take about 25 years for Ogoniland to recover from the devastation. Noting that the regulatory agency, the National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA) is ineffective, they urged the government to ensure that NOSDRA enforces the regu-

latory system by making sure all oil spills are cleaned up immediately and impose effective penalties when the regulations are not adhered to. While stressing that the damage to fisheries, farmlands and water has resulted in food shortages, higher prices and health challenges in Bodo, they lamented that the offer of 50 bags each of rice, beans, sugar and tomatoes, as relief package for the disaster by Shell, is misplaced given that the firm recently declared profit of $7.2 billion. The Amnesty International’s Researcher for Nigeria, Aster van Kregten, said: “Shell must commit to pay an initial $1 billion to begin the clean-up of pollution caused by oil spills in the Niger Delta.” “Shell’s failure to

promptly stop and clean up oil spills in Bodo, has devastated the lives of tens of thousand of people. Bodo is a disaster that should not have happened, yet it is one that due to Shell’s inaction, continues to this day. “The Federal Government of Nigeria should implement the report recommendations in full, and should also implement in full the recommendations of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights.” Pointing out that the air been breath in by Bodo residents is contaminated, the CEHRD’s Coordinator, Patrick Naagbanton, at the occasion, said many diseases in the area, including cancer, skin-redness, rashes, throat irritation and serious respiratory problems are linked to the oil spills.

HE National Eco nomic Council yester day endorsed the return of commodity boards. It also approved the Federal Government’s plan to stay clear importation and distribution of fertilizer. NEC, which is chaired by Vice President Namadi Sambo comprises of the 36 states governors, minister of planning, Shamsudden Usman, Minister of justice Mohammed Bello Adoke and the governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Sanusi Lamido Sanusi. Governor Olusegun Mimiko of Ondo, who briefed newsmen at the end of the meeting that lasted about five hours alongside governor of Kwara, Abdufatai Ahmed and Taraba, Danbata Suntai also said the meeting agreed that governors go round to know the actual state of dam projects in the country. This he said is in line with the Federal Government’s plan to revolutionise agriculture. On the return of commodity boards, he said after much deliberation, the council agreed that farmers should not be left in the hands of market forces, rather the commodity board should do that. By this the governor said farmers would be encouraged. He also said that the meeting endorsed the establishment of productivity council as a way of streamlining productivity so as to encouraged productivity.

Fed Govt to sell N65b 10-yr bonds


IGERIA plans to sell 65 billion naira (411 million) in 10year sovereign bonds with different maturity dates on Nov. 16, at its eleventh monthly debt auction this year, the Debt Management Office said on Thursday. The debt office said it would sell N35 billion of 10year paper due to mature in 2018 and 30 billion naira in the 10-year paper maturing in 2019. All are re-openings of previous issues and the results of the auction will be published the following day, it said. The 2018 instrument has a term to maturity of six and half years, while the 2019 has a term of seven years, eleven months. Nigeria, sub-Saharan Africa’s second-biggest economy, issues sovereign bonds monthly to support the local bond market, create a benchmark for corporate issuance and fund its budget deficit.



BUSINESS NEWS ‘NigComSat-1 did not disappear’ From: Onyedi Ojiabor, Assistant Editor and Sanni Onogu, Abuja


FTER more than three years of speculation and accusa tions, the whereabout of the Nigerian Communication Satellite technology, codenamed NIGCOMSAT-1, has been established. NigComSat-1 which was launched in May 2007 as part of economic and technological development plans of the Federal Government, was reported missing shortly after its installation. But the Managing Director of the Nigerian Communication Satellite Limited, (NIGCOMSAT), Timasaniyu Ahmed-Rufai, said the system did not disappear from the air space as was widely reported. Ahmed-Rufai, said the satellite was intentionally removed on November 10th 2008, 18 months after, and stored in the parking orbit to avoid counter-productive collision with other satellites. The measure, he explained, was a proactive action aimed at saving the country an imminent heavy financial debt that could arise from claims of damage by countries whose communication satellites would be adversely affected in the event that Nigeria’s own crashed, having developed a threatening fault. The NigComSat DG made the revelation during an interactive session with the Senator Gilbert Nnaji-led Senate Committee on Communications and the parastatals under the Federal Ministry of Communications Technology as part of the oversight function of the committee.

Nigeria GDP rebasing may raise size of economy, says Bureau


IGERIA plans to change the base year for its Gross Do mestic Product (GDP) to 2008 from 1990, a move that could lead to a “huge jump” in the estimated size of the country, the national statistics chief said yesterday. The measure scheduled for January will aim to better capture the current real economy, taking into account the growth of sectors like telecoms, Yemi Kale, head of the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) told Reuters in a phone interview. When Ghana made a similar move to recalculate its GDP last November, its estimated output shot up by 60 per cent, catapulting it into the ranks of the middle income countries. “When we do it next year ... We expect a huge jump in GDP because we have been using the 1990’s and the structure of the Nigerian

economy has changed since then,” Kale said. “There have been a lot of changes in the Nigerian economy, for example, we now have a telecom sector which did not exist in the 90s,” he added. Most governments overhaul their GDP calculations every few years to reflect changes in output and consumption, such as the advent of mobile telephony and the Internet, but Nigeria has not done so since 1990. If Nigeria’s $247 billion economy is revised up by as much as Ghana’s was, it would be almost as big as South Africa, the continent’s top economy, with a GDP of $422 billion. Arguably, the effect on Nigeria could be even more pronounced since Ghana’s rebasing was only from 1993, not 1990.

Turmoil in Egypt this year enabled Nigeria to overtake the North African nation’s now $232 billion economy, to take second place. A 60 per cent increase would value it at $395 billion, only just behind South Africa. “The implication is that GDP per capita will subsequently increase making Nigeria a more attractive investment case and potentially boosting consumer stocks,” said Samir Gadio, emerging market strategist at Standard Bank. Nigeria’s economy is currently growing at 7-8 per cent. Alan Cameron, economist at CSL Stocbrokers said the move , which has involved International Monetary Fund assistance, would make its debt look better but diminish its tax revenue as a percentage of GDP, as Ghana’s move did, as well as its trade surplus.

International Breweries floats N7.5b rights issue


MONDAY - FRIDAY LAGOS – ABUJA Departure Arrival 1. Aero 06.50 08.10 2. Associated 07.00 09.30 3. Air Nigeria 07.00 08.20 4. IRS 07.00 08.20 5. Dana 07.02 08.22 6. Arik 07.15 08.15 7. Chanchangi 07.15 8. Air Nigeria 08.15 09.35 9. Dana 08.10 09.20 10. Aero 08.45 10.05 11. Arik 09.15 10.15 12. Chanchangi 10.00 11.00 13. IRS 11.15 12.35 14. Dana 12.06 12.26 15. Aero 12.20 13.30 16. Air Nigeria 13.25 14.45 17. Chanchangi 13.30 14.30 18. Arik 13.45 14.45 19. IRS 14.00 15.20 20. Aero 14.10 15.30 21. Air Nigeria 14.50 16.10 22. Dana 15.30 16.50 23. Chanchangi 15.30 16.30 24. Arik 15.50 16.50 25. Aero 16.00 17.20 26. IRS 16.30 17.50 27. Arik 16.50 17.50 28. Dana 17.10 18.30 29. Chanchangi 17.30 18.30 30. Air Nigeria 17.35 18.55 31. Air Nigeria (T/TH) 18.30 19.50 32. Arik 18.45 19.45 33. Aero 19.20 20.40 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8.

LAGOS – BENIN Arik 07.30 Associated 08.30 Aero 10.50 Arik 11.45 Associated 13.00 Aero 14.25 Arik 15.30 Associated 16.00

1. 2. 3. 4.

Arik Aero Arik Aero

1. Arik 2. Aero 1. 2. 3. 4.

By Tonia Osundolire

NTERNATIONAL Breweries plans to raise N7.514 billion from existing shareholders through a rights issue. Speaking at the completion board meeting of the company, Managing Director of International Breweries, Otunba Michael Daramola said that the fund would be used to offset a long-term loan and increase working capital. ”We have some substantial amount of our loan in foreign currency. With the drop in naira value this has hit deep into our accounts leaving it in red. The decision to raise the fund through rights by existing shareholders was unanimously agreed by shareholders at the company’s annual general meeting held earlier in the year to meet the company’s capital requirement,” Daramola said. He noted that the directors of the company are of the opinion that the company will have adequate working capital and sufficient liquidity to meet its immediate and foreseeable obligations and funding requirements. Commenting on why the company came at this time when the market is witnessing massive drop in share value, he said that, those picking the rights already agreed to do so and he believes it will be successful. However, he added that the company’s quarter three results, which was positive is a tip in the iceberg since the quarter four results will be much better that the company performed same time in 2010. For future plans, he said all stakeholders including the technical partners and principal shareholders, together with the board of directors and management are committed to sustaining the company’s growth and enhancing its profitability. GTI Capital Limited is the lead issuing house to be offer while the join issuing houses are Radix Capital Partners and Meristem Securities Limited.

Flight Schedule

• From left: Representative of Lagos State Governor and Commissioner for Special Duties, Dr Wale Hammed; Regional Director of Europe, Africa and Middle East British Standards Institute (BSI), Mr Theuns Johannes Kotze; MD/CEO Fidelity Bank Plc, Mr Reginald Ihejiahi and Executive Director Share Services of the bank, Mr IK Mbagwu, during formal presentation of the ISO 27001 certificate to the bank by British Standards Institute in Lagos...yesterday. PHOTO: DAYO ADEWUNMI

NARTO to Fed Govt: wipe off cartel before Isa added that it was not just HE Nigerian Association of deregulation enough for the Government to deRoad Transport Owners


(NARTO), a member of the Nigeria Employers Consultative Association (NECA) has given the Federal Government a number of conditions to fulfil before removing the subsidy on fuel. National Operations Coordinator of the association, Alhaji Lawal Isa told The Nation that importers of petroleum products have formed a cartel, which the government must wipe off before withdrawing petrol subsidy. He said that NARTO believed and supported the Federal Government when it said that Nigerians would benefit from fall out of the partial deregulation. He said but this turned out to be the association’s undoing, as the price of diesel that powers the association’s trucks and heavy duty vehicles shot up without any corresponding benefit such as good roads and local production of products.

Noting that four optimally functioning refineries are not enough to satisfy the fuel needs of Nigerians, Isa urged the government to repair all the existing refineries and ensure the building of new ones before withdrawing fuel subsidy. He said: “If Government must remove fuel subsidy, existing refineries must be made to function optimally. New ones must also be built. The country has lost billions of naira to Turn Around Maintenance (TAM) with nothing to show for it. Kaduna Refinery’s TAM was done last year, but the refinery has broken down again. The Federal Government should bring in experts, who can do the TAM, and also bring to book those who have been hiding under TAM to siphon public funds.”

regulate. He said that It also has to wipe off the cartel that has been feeding fat on partial deregulation to enrich themselves at the expense of the Nigerian masses. “ If they have to import from other countries into Nigeria, there has to be aims and objectives of deregulation, because those who import have constituted themselves into a cartel. If one imports from Saudi Arabia, another imports from Liberia, another person imports from Venezuela, by the time they bring the products, they are not supposed to sell according to their different import costs, it is the cartel that will sit down and determine the price that you and I will sell our products. If we are being honest to ourselves, as long as the cartel exists, we will be having problems, no matter the type of deregulation policy we have,” he said.

Exhibitors groan over low patronage at Lagos fair


XHIBITORS at the on-going Lagos Trade Fair are com plaining over low patronage, linking the situation to the economic situation in the country. Speaking with The Nation, a Sales Representative of Sony Electronics, Debo Olaleye, said the low turnout was not due to the Muslim festivity only, but was also a result of the low circulation of cash in the economy. “Although the Sallah holidays took its toll on the level of visitors this year, the present economic situ-

Toba Agboola

ation of most people is also a major contributing factor to the low turnout,” he said. The representative of Indomie, John Bakare, said the Eid-el-Kabir holiday should have been taken into consideration while scheduling the event to forestall low patronage. He described the trade fair as the worst in recent years, adding that the organizer should have consider public holidays before picking the date.

“This is the fourth time we are exhibiting our product at this fair and we are really surprised at the low turn out of visitors this year. Not only this, there are lots of things that are not in place. For example, the stands are not well arranged for easy access and so on,” he lamented. A representative of the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry, organisers of the trade fair, who pleaded anonymity, said the low turn out due to the Sallah holidays, was an unexpected occurrence.

LAGOS – CALABAR 07.30 11.20 12.50 16.00 LAGOS – JOS 10.55 11.15

LAGOS – KADUNA Aero 08.00 Chanchangi 10.00 Arik 10.00 Arik 15.10

08.30 09.10 11.50 12.45 13.40 15.20 16.30 16.40 08.50 12.40 14.10 17.20 12.15 12.45 09.10 11.00 11.10 16.20

LAGOS – PORT HARCOURT (CIVIL) 1. Aero 07.15 08.35 2. Arik 07.15 08.35 3. Arik 09.00 10.20 4. Dana 09.27 10.40 5. Aero 10.50 12.30 6. Arik 11.40 13.00 7. Air Nigeria 12.00 13.10 8. IRS 13.30 15.00 9. Arik 14.00 15.20 10. Dana 15.03 16.20 11. Air Nigeria 16.00 17.10 12. Arik 16.10 17.30 13. Aero 16.15 17.30 14. Arik 17.10 18.30 1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

LAGOS – OWERRI Aero 07.30 Arik 07.30 Air Nigeria 13.40 Arik 14.00 Arik 16.30

08.40 08.40 14.55 15.10 17.40

1. 2. 3. 4.

Arik Aero Arik Aero

LAGOS – WARRI 08.15 11.50 11.55 14.55

09.1 12.50 12.55 15.55

1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6.

LAGOS – KANO Air Nigeria 07.10 IRS 08.00 Dana 08.10 Arik 12.20 IRS 14.00 IRS 18.15

08.50 09.45 09.40 14.00 15.45 19.55

LAGOS – OWERRI 07.20 14.00 16.30

08.30 15.10 17.40

LAGOS – UYO 10.35


1. Arik 2. Arik 3. Arik 1. Dana

LAGOS – MAIDUGURI 1. IRS 11.15 13.15 2. Arik 15.50 18.00 LAGOS – ILORIN 1. Overland 07.15 2. Arik (M/T/TH/F) 17.30

08.00 18.00

LAGOS – ABUJA SAT/SUN Arik 7.15; 10.20; 2.20; 5.20pm – 7.30; 9.15; 10.20; 2.20; 4.50; 6.45 Aero 07.30; 09.35; 13.10; 14.50; 20.20 – 07.30; 09.35; 13.10; 14.50; 20.20 Air Nigeria 08.15; 14.30; 17.15; 18.30 – 08.15; 13.30; 14.30; 17.15; 18.30





15 FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 11, 2011

Vol 3 No. 151

A firm’s winning in CDMA circuit ‘The war to determine the leader in the CDMA segment is currently between Visafone and Starcomms. The two are flexing muscles because of their savvy in the provision of good internet services... For Multilinks and Zoom, these are not the best of times’

Its advent in 2008 changed the CDMA equation. Like a Trojan horse, it is still trudging on with incredible agility, writes WALE ALABI, writes on the rise of Visafone


OBODY gave Visafone a chance when it opened shop in 2008 as a CDMA operator. Firstly, because it is an indigeneous telecoms brand. Secondly, to most critics, only few Nigerians could handle the challenges that the CDMA technology brands were facing then. Besides, the Global System Mobil Communication (GSM) operators, who, although were new entrants into the market, were giving the CDMA brands a run for their money. But then, Visafone was able to break through because of the pedigree of its owners led by Jim Ovia, who was already a technology savvy and successful banker before veering into telecoms. As Managing Director/ Chief Executive Officer of Zenith Bank, Ovia had turned the financial brand into a superbrand in the banking sector. Given this background, very few doubted the capacity of Visafone to become a winning brand, which emerged from the ashes of the then moribund Cellcom. It later received a Unified Access Service Licence as a telecoms operator from the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) to offer mobile, fixed and any other telecoms service to its subscribers. Relying on the strength of Zenith Bank, Visafone co-branded with the bank. It got so interesting that wherever you see a Zenith Bank, you see a Visafone shop. This helped the brand to break into the market. At the beginning, youths in branded vests use the shop to sell Visafones but today it has become a one stop-shop for customers who have enquiries or complaints to make. Analysts contend that this co-branding effort is one of the factors that grew the Visafone brand in the market. As at the time Visafone came into the market, handsets were still not affordable to the coomon man. The brand saw a window of opportunity in this segment, and sold both line and handset to them at N2000. This enabled Visafone to bond with petty traders, students and youths who occupy the largest segment in the pyramid.


Later in 2008, Visafone launched its top of the range mobile office solution designed to revolutionise the way the busy business executive conducts business away from the office, it has warmed itself into the upper echelon of the market. It was in line with this strategy that it also recently introduced Motorola XT 800 and ZTE R750 dual SIM touch screen smart phones which operate on the Android Operating System. All these explained while the company was able to amass over three million subscribers after 16 months of operation and crossed the one million subscriber mark in just six months from its launch in February 2008. Thus, recording an unprecedented industry milestone as the fastest growing mobile company in Nigeria since the earliest it took a Nigerian based GSM company to hit 1 million was nine months. The achievement later earned the brand an award. From any angle one chooses to look at it, the brand is one of the few locally built brands that have proved their mettles in the market place. Today, despite all odds, it seems to be making inroads to assume the top position in the CDMA market.

•From right: Mr Cyril Anozie, Head of Trade and Investment, Nigeria High Commission London, who represented the High Commissioner, declaring open the Ariya Culture and Tourism Expo 2011 in London. With him are Sola Enikonlaiye (middle), Special Assistant to the High Commissioner and Ms Ola Wright, Chief Executive Officer of Ariya Expo.

This was confirmed recently, when a newsmagazine named it the Best CDMA network nationwide. While conferring the award on Visafone, in Abuja, Senator Ben Obi said: “The award was in recognition of the brand outstanding services and contributions to the society. Speaking to reporters after the award, the Chief Operating Officer (COO) K.V. Srinivasa said the awards the network has been receiving this year are a strong statement buttressing the leadership role the company is taking in providing voice clarity and data. “We are in the forefront of providing quality service and superfast data in this business and we are capping that with a clear customer experience reinforced through our 83 retails shops spread across 26 states and 71 cities nationwide.” Before then, the company had won the Nigeria NCC award for the network with the widest reach in terms of retail outlets, shop and consumer experience and friendly initiatives. The war to determine the leader in the CDMA segment of the market is currently between Visafone and Starcomms. While the two are flexing muscles because of their savvy in the provision of good internet services, Visafone seems to be ahead in penetration and spread. For Multilinks and Zoom, these are not the best of times. Lyer admitted that there has been meteoric rise in the profile of the company, which he linked to some factors. Lyer also disclosed that the network can now boast of 66 per cent of the market share in the CDMA segment. “Many things are responsible for the growth, but I think the most sensitive factors are; quality network, quality in terms of customer services, quality in terms of marketing and our strong technological base, which has made it easy for us to offer good solution that, would endear customers to the network. “Besides, I think we are consistent in our offering and understand the need of the consumers, especially in mobile and data services,” he said. Recently, Visafone launched two packages tagged Visa World Connect and Visa IDD (International Direct Dial), which enable both new and existing customers to make international calls for as low as N6 per minute to 30 countries. Lyer said the package ensured that new customers who purchase Visa World Connect package, would enjoy a bundled package of 500 minutes and a free handset with a year’s warranty to make international calls to their favorite destinations such as Unisted States, Canada, India, China, UK Fixed and 25 other fixed destinations upon activation and call for as low as N6/min to these destinations. Also, existing customers can subscribe to Visa IDD Bundled Minutes by dialing the appropriate short code for packs of 100 minutes, 300 minutes or 500 minutes to call these destinations at the same rate. Speaking further, he added that the introduction of these packages underscored the company’s commitment to offering reduced international tariffs to its customers. ”We are mindful of the increasing need to keep in touch with friends, families, loved ones and business partners in key countries and have, therefore, created a truly affordable package that can address this need,” On why the relationship between Visafone and commercial telephone operators had been cordial, Lyer said the company provided parashops, table and phones at subsidised rates for unemployed youths to start off and offer feedback services through its customer service unit. “Consumers are always eager to associate with brands that offer seamless solutions at affordable prices. We realised this and tailor our service along that. Out of 750 people in our employment, 500 people are in customer service. This is the largest chunk and we have call centres that are managed 24/7 to attend to customer needs.” Soon, Visafone will deploy additional 200 new retail outlets across the six geo-political zones of the country to bring its services nearer to the people.




LASAA gets new trucks T

HE Lagos State Signage and Advertisement Agency (LASAA), has taken delivery of two additional heavy duty poster cleaning trucks. Speaking after receiving the trucks, the Managing Director of the agency, Mr George Noah, expressed LASAA’s readiness to combat the menace of indiscriminate posters in the state. He stated: “ This will send the right signals to all poster offenders that our agency

truly means business.” “This trucks with their many features and enhanced capacity will compliment the enforcement operations of the agency.” He restated the agency’s zero tolerance for posters in the state adding that LASAA will continue to prosecute poster offenders wherever they are apprehended. The trucks have 24 horse power Honda motor fliat and can deliver 5.7 gallons per minute.

They also come heavy duty wand with six gallons per minute for tough jobs. The dual gun for hot and cold water delivers three gallons per minute of pressure water. They are designed for heavy industrial use with a special by pass system for longer run times in by pass mode.They offer a steam combo and adjustable thermostat and also high pressure soap injection.

Etisalat promo kicks off


TISALAT Nigeria has inaugurated its ‘9ja Free Credit’ promo after giving out over N3billion airtime to over six million subscribers between June and October this year. This promo, which is designed to enable new customers to experience the benefits of the Etisalat network and enjoy up to N100, 000 bonus airtime will run from Novembe 130 2011 Chief Commercial Officer, Etisalat Nigeria, Wael Ammar, disclosed that the promo is one of the company’s numerous ways of ensuring that new subscribers joining the most innovative network in the country, are encouraged to improve their bonding and friendship with loved ones and business associates. According to Ammar, “Our

customers are always at the centre of our business. This is why we have designed this promotion in such a way that all new subscribers to our network begin to enjoy the benefits of the brand. All the customer has to do is to buy an Etisalat SIM card, register it in November, recharge as much as he or she can within the next 30 days and we will reward them with 30 per cent of their total recharges after a 30-day cycle”. The bonus credit is valid for 30 days and can be used to make calls or send SMS to any network in Nigeria. Postpaid customers are also not left out as customers, who buy an Etisalat postpaid SIM card and register in November will get 30 per cent discount on their November bill, while an extra 10per cent instant bonus will be received by customers who recharge using Etisalat E-TOP UP.

‘Why consumers like Peppe Terra’


•From left: Mr. Olumide Shogunle, AGM, Monitoring Inspection and Enforcement Department, Lagos State Signage and Advertisement Agency; Michael Yedenu, Head, Enforcement Unit; Mr Bayo Ajibola, Head, Billing and Client Services; Mr Tope Akande, Head, Corporate Affairs; Mr Mutiu Bello, Head, Special Duties and Mr Gbolahan Dixon, Head Mobile Advertising, at the launch of trucks of the agency in Lagos.

Nescafe thrills consumers with Magic Mug Flight N ESCAFE, produced by Nestle Nigeria Plc, has organised the Magic Mug Flight, in Abuja. The event, which attracted various consumers of the brand, pupils and Nollywood stars, provided consumers the opportunity of interacting with the brand its manufacturers. The Category Business Manager, Nescafe, Mr Tayo Olatunji, described the Nescafe Magic Mug Flight as an innovative brand activation, designed to provide consumers of the brand a memorable experience by making some of them shortlisted from the pool of entries for the activation, fly the hot-air balloon to the admiration of a cheering crowd. “The Magic Mug Flight, for us, is designed to give our consumers unique experience, an experience of a life time as an exciting brand

that is quite innovative in terms of products and the experience we give to our consumers. “This is another innovative way of giving something back to our consumers. A lot of them have seen the flying balloon either on TV. A number of them who have travelled, have seen it before, but according to our research, the majority of them have never flown in one before. So, what we have just done is to bring the experience to them”, he stated. He explained that those selected for the air balloon ride were randomly picked from a pool of entries sent via SMS to interested consumers to a short code 33811, indicating their

ages and locations, adding that each of the lucky winners would also be given the opportunity to bring in two of his friends to fly with him on the hot balloon with a pilot and a celebrity. “By involving the lucky consumers and their friends, it simply means, we are not just talking to the consumers and giving them a life-time experience, we are also extending the gesture to those close to them”, he explained. The hot balloon, which takes five persons at a time, according to him, goes up about 50 metres. He, however, expressed the brand’s determination to extend the activation to every nook and cranny of the country to allow for more consumer participation.

Samsung holds promo draws


AMSUNG Mobile, a division of Samsung Electronics West Africa (SEWA), a subsidiary of the global giant in Smartphones, Samsung Electronics Company, has held the first draws in the Samsung DUAL SIM promo. A total of 55 winners emerged at the end of the draw. Ten winners will cart away 43’ Plasma TV, 15 won notebooks while the others smiled home with DVD players. The electronic draw, which reinforced Samsung Mobile’s commitment to reward consumers for the brand love, took place at

SEWA corporate office in Lagos. It was conducted by MTECH, a renowned digital firm, and was adjudged transparent by the observers. The promo is endorsed by the Advertising Council of Nigeria (APCON), Lagos State Lottery Board and Consumers Protection Council (CPC). Speaking at the event, Head, Product Marketing Hand Held Product, Samsung Electronics West Africa, Jude Omozegie, said he is excited when he has the opportunity to reward consumers. He observed that promo is wellreceived going by consumers’ re-

sponses at Samsung retail outlets in the country. He noted that it is an indication that Samsung is fast becoming consumers’brand of choice due to its design, functionality, reliability and efficiency. “Samsung Mobile cherishes every business that comes our way. Aside the fact that Samsung Mobile delivers full value in terms of functionality, reliability, efficiency, designs and cutting edge technology, “ he said. Only phones bought from authorised dealers, with genuine Samsung hologram, qualifies for the draws. The promo continues till December and the draws will be held every fortnight in Lagos.

OMMENDATION has been trailing Peppe Terra since its launch about a year ago. ‘’It performed better than all internal projections and has established itself as a darling for both trade and consumers.” These were the words of Roy Deepanjan, managing director, Tropical General Invesment, manufacturers of the product. ‘’Peppe Terra is a ready to cook blend of the freshest tomatoes, spiciest red peppers and premium onions, produced through state of the art processes and packed in an easy to open-to-use packaging. With the high cost of tomatoes, pepper and onions, Peppe Terra is God-sent as it gives me a perfect blend of tomatoes, onions and pepper at the same cost of just ordinary tomato paste. I get all the benefits of three at the cost of one!

This is the testimony of a consumer of Peppe Terra, a product from TGI Nigeria (from the house of Chi). “At only N30, the value that Peppe Terra brings to my table is immense. More so now, that the tomatoes, onions and pepper are so costly and mostly not available fresh in the unhygienic open markets.” Deepanjan added: “Peppe Terra has found a place in the purchase basket of the Nigerian woman, who is extremely wise in understanding what her family needs – the authentic taste, coupled with the best hygiene and ideal price.” TGI Nigeria has the mission of serving consumers with ‘value added’ and ‘differentiated’packaged food products and has launched other unique, affordable products such as Terra range of herbs, spices, seasonings, mayonnaise.

Milo Football Clinic ends


ESTLE Milo has hosted thousands of pupils in Lagos.It was at the second season of the Milo Football Clinic held at the Campos Square, Lagos Island, which has ended. An elated Martin Woolnough, Managing Director, Nestle Nigeria, said his company is happy to be involved in fishing out football talents in Nigeria. Peter Rufai, a former Super Eagles’ goalkeeper, said he conceived the project as a way to give-back and showing appreciation to Nigerians for supporting his football career. He praised Nestle for making the dream a reality. Woolnough said his company

had no difficulty buying into the initiative because its propositions are in sync with Milo. The initiative also offers the company a chance to take part in not just fishing out, but also motivating tomorrow’s champions, a proposition for which Milo is well known. The event witnessed a large turnout with kids lining up for football lessons, with children from leading secondary schools in Lagos in attendance. The football clinic, in its second season was held in only one state last year, but has been extended to three, namely, Lagos, Enugu and Kwara states. The sponsors promise that other parts of the country will benefit from it.

Physically challenged, group shines


HE saying that there is ability in any disability came to the fore in Sapele, Delta State when the Maltina Dance Gig, a pan-Nigeria dance competition with the theme Show Your Swag, landed in the town. King ‘Gee’, a physically challenged young man, virtually kept the audience clapping and hailing for more action as he did some astonishing stunts at the show when he mounted the stage. Not a few people were surprised at the amount of energy and vigour that were displayed by him. King ‘Gee, whose real name is Godday Akinyomi, hails from the neighbouring Edo State and is the leader of a musical group called “The Aaron”. According to him, he was born crippled and vowed never to let his disability to limit his vision in life.

In his word: “One thing I hate most is seeing people with disability looking down on themselves by being burdens to people around them. I learnt at very early in my life is that I must make a difference and the moment I discovered my talent in music, I decided to be performing in some shows around the city and this has really boosted me to the extent that myself and some other boys decided to form a group called “The Aaron” in 2004 to further extend our goals of being achievers”. He said the Maltina Show Your Swag was a good platform for him and the group to further showcase their talents to the outside world and called on well-meaning Nigerians to help in the launch of their first album which he said has been stalled due to finance.









Justice for Jackson •Finally, the pop star’s doctor suffers for his professional wrong


ICHAEL Jackson, the pop icon who died of drug overdose on June 25, 2009, finally had justice on November 7 when a Los Angeles court jury convicted Conrad Robert Murray, the late Jackson’s physician, of involuntary manslaughter. He was convicted of pumping his patient, who suffered from acute insomnia, full of Propofol, an anaesthesia only permitted for use in surgical chambers. Katherine, the late Jackson’s mother, grunted, “I feel better now” as she emerged from the courtroom, amid loud celebration by the pop icon’s fans outside. Dr. Murray sat stoic and expressionless as the jury pronounced the guilty verdict. He was led away in handcuffs

‘The prompt trial of Dr. Murray is a lesson to the Nigerian criminal-justice system. In six weeks, the society has got justices – and transparently so. Such speed and impersonal rigour is highly recommended for these climes, where justice is almost always denied because it is almost always delayed’

even as he watched his daughter weep. The facts that emerged from the trial proved beyond any reasonable doubt that Dr. Murray professionally erred in his relationship with the late Jackson. For one, he was, as the Americans would say, in the hole for some US $780, 000 in sundry debts: court judgments against his medical practice in Las Vegas, outstanding mortgage payments and child support for some of his seven children, that he had by six women. The causes of the debt alone, particularly court fines and alimonies, established a trend of loose living and professional remiss that further, ab initio, damned the doctor, even if his innocence was presumed. Being in such financial hole would therefore appear to have made him desperate to cling to the job; and therefore left him rather helpless to resist the rather suicidal demand by Michael Jackson, hankering after dangerous, if not lethal sedatives, just to combat his insomnia. Well, Dr. Murray got his due dessert, is bound for jail for a maximum of four years and may have his doctor’s licence revoked, which is like a life sentence in poverty. Still, below the societal rage and ululation of conviction, Dr. Murray is at best a fall guy for being the final trigger of Michael Jackson’s death. Right from the cradle, Jackson was abused through and through. Joe Jackson, his father, spared no effort, including plain cruelty, to forge his poor son into a money-spinning machine. Joe’s legendary iron discipline, which bor-

dered on cruelty, was a subject of domestic tiff within the Jackson family, with the Jackson siblings, who morphed into the famous Jackson 5 and later The Jacksons, eventually backing their mum against their all-mighty dad. By setting his mind on the commercial success for his sons, the elder Jackson effectively robbed his musical genius son of his childhood. That mercantilist spirit effectively turned Jackson into a mega-buck machine, which commercial interests exploited to the full. Though he sparkled and dazzled, and his music and lyrics showed a tender soul that craved love and compassion for humanity, Black, White or Yellow, those he cared for so much only craved for the fortune they could get from that music machine with a wondrous voice and magical dance feet. So, Dr. Murray might have been complicit in fatally mistreating Jackson’s insomnia. But those who drove him into that condition are even guiltier than the fall guy. Still, even in death, Jackson remains a cash cow, at least to old Joe. His father has brushed his grief aside to sue Dr. Murray in a wrongful death suit, from which he claims unspecified damages! The prompt trial of Dr. Murray is a lesson to the Nigerian criminal-justice system. In six weeks, the society has got justices – and transparently so. Such speed and impersonal rigour is highly recommended for these climes, where justice is almost always denied because it is almost always delayed.

Joe Frazier: 1944-2011 • A boxing legend dies HE death on November 7 of Joseph William “Joe” Frazier, a former Olympic gold medalist and world heavyweight boxing champion, marks the departure of one of professional sports’ most memorable characters. Nicknamed “Smokin’ Joe” for his implacable demeanour, Frazier was renowned for his ferocious left hook, his total commitment and his raw courage in the boxing ring. He was one of the best-known in a glittering array of boxing greats of the time, many of them African Americans. He was superceded in name recognition only by his great opponent, Mohammed Ali, the man against whom he fought three epic battles that have gone down in sporting folklore. Born to poor share-croppers in South Carolina, Frazier’s boxing career epitomises the way in which the African Americans of his era utilised


‘Frazier was never able to escape from the shadow of Ali, but there can be no doubt that he was a great boxer in his own right. Indeed, it may be said that it was Frazier’s misfortune to be boxing at a period when his country had a surfeit of world-class heavyweights’

sporting success as a legitimate means of breaking out of a vicious cycle of poverty, jail and dependency. He was first attracted to boxing after viewing the sport on television, and rose to fame after he became the only American boxer to win a gold medal at the 1964 Tokyo Olympics. Turning professional after the games, he developed a fearsome reputation for his brutally direct punching style, and became the world heavyweight champion with his defeat of Jimmy Ellis in 1970. He held the title until 1973. It was Frazier’s intense rivalry with Mohammed Ali that was to truly engrave his name in the annals of boxing fame. Frazier gave Ali his first defeat in the ring when he beat him in a 1971 fight billed as the “Fight of the Century.” It was the first of a trio of boxing confrontations that would forever link the two gladiators in the popular imagination. Ali defeated Frazier in the second match in 1974, before their final confrontation in the Philippines. Dubbed the “Thrilla in Manila,” the third match between Frazier and Ali is widely regarded as the greatest boxing fight in history. It had all the elements of a memorable match-up. It was a grudge match, with a lot of bad blood between two men who passionately disliked each other, as much as they respected their abilities. In addition, the location of the fight outside traditional arenas in

the United States gave it an otherworldly aura as well as one of the first truly global audiences for a single-sport event. The fight itself was a masterpiece of skill, stamina, courage and brutality. Both men repeatedly delivered their trademark punches: Frazier, with his vicious left hook; Ali, with his quicksilver jabs. In the end, Ali won, but it was obvious that neither man had really lost, and that boxing was the true winner. Frazier was never able to escape from the shadow of Ali, but there can be no doubt that he was a great boxer in his own right. Indeed, it may be said that it was Frazier’s misfortune to be boxing at a period when his country had a surfeit of world-class heavyweights. Outside the ring, he suffered the ups and downs that often assailed the sportsmen of his time. The millions he made from boxing were lost in a series of bad investments. He apparently resented the way in which he was always being depicted as Ali’s quintessential opponent. His attempts to help his son, Marvin, reach the heights he had attained were doomed to failure. However, his love of boxing never faded. He opened a gym in his adopted hometown of Philadelphia and sought to pass on his knowledge to the youth whom he regarded as the future of the sport. May his soul rest in peace.

Syria and the Arab league


RESIDENT Bashar al-Assad of Syria has made a mockery of the Arab League peace initiative. Since he signed the document, his security forces have mercilessly attacked the city of Homs with heavy weapons, hunted down army defectors and killed scores of pro-democracy protesters. The United Nations says 3,500 protesters have been killed in the crackdown on the popular uprising. In signing the peace document, Mr. Assad pledged to pull the military from restive cities, release political prisoners and start talks with the opposition on democratic reforms. His only gesture: releasing 500 detainees while leaving perhaps thousands of protesters in jail. When Arab League foreign ministers meet on Saturday, they should eject Syria and urge the United Nations Security Council to condemn Mr. Assad and impose international sanctions against the regime. Russia and China will find it harder to block a Security Council resolution — as they did in October — if the Arab world calls for action that goes beyond the sanctions already imposed by the United States and Europe. At a minimum, the United States and Europe should push the Security Council to demand that Syria allow international news media and monitors into the country. Mr. Assad might be less inclined to brutalize his people if he knows the world is watching. It is extremely disappointing that Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey still has not backed up his tough anti-Assad talk — and his support for the Syrian opposition — with tough sanctions. He may worry about harming Turkey’s business community if he tries to reduce Syrian-Turkish trade. But, one way or another, Mr. Assad eventually will be gone. It is in Turkey’s interest and the interest of the region to ratchet up economic and political pressure so that change happens sooner, before violence spreads. One serious concern is that an Assad-led Syria will stoke Kurdish separatists to expand their continuing conflict with Turkey. – New York Times

TRUTH IN DEFENCE OF FREEDOM Managing Director/Editor-in-Chief Victor Ifijeh • Editor Gbenga Omotoso •Chairman, Editorial Board Sam Omatseye

• Executive Director (Finance & Administration) Ade Odunewu

•General Editor Kunle Fagbemi

• Gen. Manager (Training and Development) Soji Omotunde

•Deputy Editor Lawal Ogienagbon

•Chief Internal Auditor Toke Folorunsho

•Managing Editor Northern Operation Yusuf Alli

•Senior Manager (sales) Akeem Shoge

•Managing Editor Waheed Odusile •Deputy Editor (News) Adeniyi Adesina •Group Political Editor Bolade Omonijo

•Advert Manager Robinson Osirike •IT Manager Bolarinwa Meekness

•Group Business Editor Ayodele Aminu

•Press Manager Udensi Chikaodi

•Abuja Bureau Chief Yomi Odunuga

•Manager, Corporate Marketing Hameed Odejayi

•Sport Editor Ade Ojeikere •Editorial Page Editor Sanya Oni

• Manager (Admin) Folake Adeoye





IR: The promise by the Vice President Arc. Namadi Sambo that private universities would soon be beneficiaries of the Tertiary Education Trust Fund is gratifying to the stakeholders in the sector. At present, only governmentowned universities are benefitting from the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFUND). As a matter of reality, the importance of private institutions especially private universities in Nigeria, cannot be overemphasised. These institutions, since liberalisation of the education sector by former President Olusegun Obasanjo over a decade ago, have contributed their input in students’ intake, closing the widening gap of opportunities for prospective students in the public universities. Many of them have also abundantly improved in areas of physical development, curriculum planning and staffing based on National Universities Commissions (NUC) regulations. With 45 private universities, 37 state-owned and 36 federal, the government cannot but pay more attention to the private education sector which yields N363.5 billion yearly. Page 23 of The Guardian of Sunday, October 2, reports that “the sector is perceived to offer higher quality of education and caters for a larger number of school-age population than government-sponsored institutions”. The report also noted that the business failure rate in the sector remains low. This is because all forms of bureaucracies are prevented and there is smooth running of systems. The services of the fund as highlighted on its website are to provide funding for educational facilities and infrastructural development; promote creative and innovative approach to educational learning


Private varsities deserve ETF grant and service; stimulate, support and enhance improvement activities in the educational foundation areas, like teacher education, teaching practice, library development and special education programmes and to champion new literacy enhancing programmes as scientific, information and technological literacy. If the mission of TETFUND is, as it claims, to deliver effective and transformative intervention programmes to the tertiary education in Nigeria through funding and efficient project management and its corporate objective is to use funds generated from education tax to improve the quality of education in Nigeria, these should not be exclusive of the government-owned


universities. The stakeholders of these private universities do not encourage a situation where staff salaries and other benefits are delayed, thus precluding face-offs (between the employees and their employers) that could lead to industrial strikes of many months as witnessed in public universities, although this is not to say that the former do not have their teething challenges . Former Chairman of the NUC Standing Committee on Private Universities (SCOPU), Professor Nurudeen Olorun-nimbe Adedipe in a paper titled “ Challenges of Access to University Education in Nigeria” published in The Nation on Sunday, October 31, 2010 submitted in the

following words: “I am aware of the enormous resources that proprietors of private universities pump into the establishment of their respective universities. They are unique members of the proprietorial stakeholdership. They need to be recognised for such facilities as takeoff grants and access to Educational Trust Fund (ETF) facilities, among others. The case of ETF support should, in fact, be taken for granted since the fund is an accrual of income-related taxes that are no respecter of whatever an institution is federal, state or private”. Also, in its editorial comment, Daily Sun, Thursday, May 26, captioned Private Varsities and ETF Funds, advocates that “since the ETF inter-


• Idris Katib Crescent University, Abeokuta, Ogun State

Politicians as ‘alcoholic rodents’

IR: The concept of ‘alcoholic rodent’ is largely attributed to the work carried out by John Crabbe the American behavior geneticist at the Oregon Health and Science University and the Portland VA Medical center, renowned for his studies of alcoholic rodents. Crabbe has for years done research on mice from a strain called C57BL/6J, who are unique in their voracious appetite for alcohol. Let me say here that majority of Nigerian politicians especially

those in the corridors of power share similarities with alcoholic rodents in their propensity and voracious appetite for corruption, greed and electoral violence. Are these behaviors of Nigerian politicians psychological or genetic? Is it in the gene of Nigerian politicians that they should conduct themselves in public offices like the alcoholic rodents who, in their drunkenness inevitably unleash destruction on any unfortunate house-hold that came their way?

Antonio Maria Costa of the United Nations office on Drugs and crime in a paper delivered at a public forum in Abuja in 2007 stated thus; “your country used be notorious for corruption. It lost billions of dollars - the livelihoods of millions of people - to foreign havens, stolen and expatriated by corrupt leaders. By some estimates, close to $400 billion was stolen between 1960 and 1999. Sani Abacha alone is estimated to have stolen the equivalent of two to three percent of the country’s GDP for

Corruption in the private sector IR: Over the years, corruption in Nigeria has not only become endemic, but also, regrettably, disturbingly institutionalised so much so that it has become a way of life. It is almost becoming an aberration in Nigeria not to be corrupt as the general belief of an average Nigerian is that except you engage in some form of shady deals, sharp and corrupt practices, you cannot “make it”. The level of corruption has assumed a frightening dimension such that in today’s Nigeria the predatory “benchmark” for stealing, looting and embezzlement of funds is now in the range of billions and no longer millions of yore! While tales of celebrated cases or incidents of corruption by politi-

vention fund is sourced from a Federal Government levy on the profits of the private companies operating in Nigeria, all students in both public and private universities should be entitled to a share if they are not to be unjustly denied of the commonwealth. The relevant laws should be amended to accommodate private universities. But the criteria of accessing the Fund should be clearly spelled out and strictly enforced to discourage a fresh run by profit-motivated proprietors.” Based on the promise made by Vice President, Sambo, it is crystal clear that it is quite possible for the government at the centre to devise a model that will cater for private universities’ access to the Fund. When that is done, private universities will have the capacity to even perform better than what we now all witness in telecoms and aviation sector.

cally exposed officials and public office holders have dominated public discussions, a lot of scams and unwholesome practices in the private sector either go under-reported or rarely discussed publicly. The general feeling is that corruption is limited or restricted to and mainly a government or public sector phenomenon. This is far from the truth. In fact, the private sector is gradually turning into a cesspit of corruption which is much bigger than the public sector. Regrettably, policy makers and anti-corruption bodies seem to be glossing over the enormity of corrupt practices and unethical conducts pervading the private sector which seem to have been on a steady increase in recent time. It is morally delinquent for bank directors and top executives to en-

gage in financial improprieties by way of reckless stealing and squandering of customers’ funds kept in their custody. At the heart of the crisis which rocked the banking sector and led to the recent bank failures include, unprofessional conducts, unethical behaviours as well as the love of the filthy lucre, immoral passion and inordinate ambition. A moment of thought will reveal that this litany of corrupt and dishonest practices and destructive business attitudes stem from greed – an attitude of mind which puts the self before the larger good of the organisation and society. It is this long-entrenched attitude which we have to obliterate in order to restore confidence in and move the economy and the nation forward. Business leaders and organisations must rise above visceral rewards as well as parochial

and self-serving interests to do that which is morally, ethically and professionally right by ensuring and promoting fair business practices. For our fledgling democracy to grow stronger and flourish, and for us to achieve the common macroeconomic objectives of true, meaningful and sustained economic development, we all, as individual citizens, in our various spheres of influence, must be actively involved in the concerted efforts to curb the stubborn cankerworm of corruption which have eaten so deep into the socio-economic fabric of the nation. Leaders at all levels must have the fear of God and must be committed to “whatever things are true, honest, lovely and are of good report”. • Kayode Oluwa, Lekki- Lagos

every year that he was President.” Think of the millions of vaccinations that could have been bought with the amount; the thousands of kilometers of roads that could have been paved; the hundreds of schools, hospitals and training centres that could have been built; and the water treatment facilities that could have been modernized with this money. The “opportunity cost” of the stolen common wealth is enormous. Think of how different Nigeria would look today.” Rational minds around the world have expressed shock at the high level of corruption by virtually all former governors and other high profile public office holders. More shocking is the fact that even the current governors who are witnesses to the public odium faced by their erstwhile colleagues in the hands of the operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), whose arrests and prosecution are dramatized in the public media still go ahead to dip their hands into public treasury and loot the resources meant for development of their states. If these tendencies are not similar to those of alcoholic rodents, what then are? When will our politicians stop behaving like alcoholic rodents or are they waiting for violent revolution before turning a new leaf? • Emmanuel Onwubiko Human Rights Writers’ Association of Nigeria, Abuja.




End of the working class heroes (5)

Reality Bites F

Olatunji Ololade

ROM the goodness of his heart, President Goodluck Jonathan will remove Nigeria’s fuel subsidy. It will be “appropriate” and “economically prudent” that he does so – as long as he endeavours to do it righteously and very humbly. The Nigerian people – working class to be precise – will accept it and then try to understand it; most people however, will feign an understanding of his action simply because they are born to be “realistic” and “understanding” and President Jonathan is at heart, a “very, very good and humble man.” Hence from the generosity of his heart, Mr. President will do the bidding of his soul as well as that of his coterie of estimable and intellectual cabinet of Ministers and special advisors; he will follow the beaten path and remove Nigeria’s fuel subsidy. And Mr. President will do so informed by the simple and irrefutable economics that has spurred successive Nigerian governments to effect the “deregulation” of the nation’s oil sector or “removal of fuel subsidy” to generate income for “national infrastructural development” among other benefits. The wisdom in his plan is being substantiated by arguments that the

government is currently collapsing under the unwieldiness of its magnanimity towards the citizenry via fuel subsidies thus the need to remove the incentive. According to President Jonathan’s economics, in the new “deregulated” socioeconomic milieu, the shrewd, imperceptible but self-determining dynamic of demand and supply would determine fuel prices. Despite the prevailing dynamics of its seemingly incontestable economics, the incumbent administration’s latest gambit establishes the ignorance, gluttony and unintelligibility of its so-called social welfare programmes. It also points to unforgivable lapses in Mr. President and his cabinet’s grasp of the social realities of the Nigerian economy. It is no doubt lost on Mr. President and company that the Nigerian economy virtually thrives on crude oil export and is therefore; extremely vulnerable to internal and external market upset in the oil sector. What this means is that a fractional rise in cost of fuel will wreak unmitigated ripple effects on the industrial sector as well as key components of basic need indicators such as food, housing, shelter and health. These ripple effects, as usual, will manifest uncontrollably and without boundary hence various

‘In all of this, the biggest loser is the Nigerian working class. Despite their impoverishment and sheer oppression by the ruling elite, they have no other choice but to gird their loins and acquiesce to the devastating effects of the government’s planned removal of fuel subsidy come 2012’


LOT of people emphasize the pace of infrastructural developments under the Governor Adams Aliyu Oshiomhole-led administration in Edo State. For me, what I consider foremost achievement is the restoration of the peoples’ confidence in the electoral process through the One Man, One Vote movement. Oshiomhole’s story in government is that only God and the will of the people, can determine the life and success of a man, not any godfather. When a society runs a system where only one man decides if vacancy exists or not, that society cannot grow. Development cannot occur by miracle but in the realm of entrenching One man, One Vote. Without the fear of the electorate, good governance is impossible. This is the foundation upon which Oshiomhole’s achievements is anchored. It is on record that the government of Oshiomhole has within the space of two years and 11 months standardized public schools in the state, provided learning aids and instructional materials to them, implemented teachers posting to adequately staff schools in rural areas, while eradicating illegal examination centres otherwise called miracle centres. Education as a policy item is naturally topmost among the priorities of the Oshiomhole administration, for the obvious reason that it is the most important asset Edo people can boast of and this is what makes its people different and unique. Governor Oshiomhole’s political will is evident in the development and evolution of this sector. It seems appropriate to do an assessment and to probe issues like; how far has Governor Oshiomhole gone in the education sector? What has he been able to accomplish? What are the challenges that still confront the state and what is the administration doing to ensure that its stated objectives are achieved? Before the coming in of this administration, Comrade Oshiomhole had approached a couple of professionals and experts in the education sector to help think through a blueprint for his administration. And so, what we have as education policy today was a document that was conceptualized by profession-

social amenities and liberties will become less accessible to the average Nigerian and far removed from the breadlines comprising the vast majority of the country’s over 140 million population. The private sector will suffer the biggest reverses as small scale entrepreneurs’ will likely lose their businesses due to higher business overheads. When one business is lost, many dependent families are exposed not only to poverty but other forms of social exclusion which include constrained access to justice system which is usually determined by financial leverage and constrained rights to political participation. Thus the intended removal of fuel subsidy will herald no relief from the country’s most pressing social problems nor would it foster an ideal social system with amenable delineation in rights, privileges and institutions’ capacity to safeguard and distribute these variables equitably. What President Jonathan and company have failed to understand and honestly admit is that they seem more obsessed with the pace of privatisation than the transparency and judiciousness of the process. Also noteworthy is the fact that in Nigeria, there is no clear boundary between the private and public sector; the former is frequently an extension of the later and quite often than not, it is government officials and their associates that end up buying these public holdings. There is therefore, a conflict between the end and the means to privatization in which the under-privileged tax payer and working class are often the ultimate losers. But why embark on such controversial and brazen violation of public trust and right to fair governance? Farooq Kperogi, anAssistant Professor and university teacher in the United States of America (USA) notes that it’s because

the numerically larger and yet insignificant proportion of the country’s population – that is, the civil servants – requested a miserly N18, 000 monthly minimum wage, that the Nigerian government has decided to shove every Nigerian who falls outside the orbit of institutionalized stealing otherwise known as government, to the brink of existence. More amusing is the fact that the same government that claims to be groaning under the excruciating yoke of subsidizing fuel prices for the benefit of the Nigerian citizenry has managed to deplete the country’s foreign reserve by $3.5 billion in 2011 alone to subsidize the extravagance and indulgent politics of its officials. In all of this, the biggest loser is the Nigerian working class. Despite their impoverishment and sheer oppression by the ruling elite, they have no other choice but to gird their loins and acquiesce to the devastating effects of the government’s planned removal of fuel subsidy come 2012. It is scandalous that among oilproducing countries in the world, Nigerians pay about the most for petrol. While Nigerians currently pay about $1.64 for fuel per gallon, Venezuelans pay only 18 cents per gallon, Iranians 37 cents per gallon, war-ravaged Libyans 54 cents, Saudi Arabians 48 cents, Qataris 72 cents, Bahrainis 78 cents, Turkmens 72 cents, Kuwaitis 87 cents, Omanis $1.17, Yemenis $1.32. Only citizens of the United Arab Emirates pay slightly higher than us for petrol at $1.78 per gallon. The standard of living in all of these countries is allegedly preferable than what is obtainable in the country due to better social safety nets that they provide for the poor. Come next year, Nigerians will pay N141 per litre at the very minimum, which adds up to about $3.6 per gallon according to Kperogi.

Three years of Oshiomhole’s education policy By Onaivi Oziotu als. Today, the administration has invested about N180 Billion not only in physical infrastructure to open up the state but in the areas of schools and hospital infrastructure for economic activities. I can testify that the governor is very proud that the decadence he met is gradually giving way. At the inception of the Oshiomhole administration, the environment was one of inadequate facilities, indiscipline and ill-motivated teachers, decreasing schools enrolment particularly in public schools; the thrust of the administration’s policies was to address these issues in that order. First, the governor resuscitated the inspectorate and monitoring unit of the education ministry to underscore his zero tolerance for indiscipline among other vices. He insisted that private schools in the state must be reaccredited and that exams mal-practices would be treated as criminal offence. Clearly, these were very ambitious goals but when you look at these issues today, Edo people would be the best judge to see how far the Comrade Oshiomhole administration has gone in this sector. Moreso, the Governor made sure that there was effective control of the schools and also put in place a machinery to constitute community based schools management boards, while the administration also instituted scholarship schemes for indigent students. Teachers in various subjects areas were recruited. Edo State government has in its work plan, the completion of two modern primary and secondary schools in each local government area of the state while there are also on-going efforts to collaborate with local governments to give bursary awards to students in

tertiary institutions. In all of these, of great significance is that the proper planning needed to jumpstart this process of rejuvenation and reclamation has begun. In other words, the results that the people of Edo State are seeing in the last two years and 11 months is not an accident but a product of rigour and planning. Of course, the planners may not have anticipated all the challenges, especially given the unfriendly political party that held sway in the House of Assembly as at then. But again, Edo people are the best judge on how far the government has performed. One other area of achievement is the uniform termly examination in public basic and secondary schools in the state to remove the phobia of almighty WAEC and NECO. Today, the state operates common calendar for both public and private schools. During the course of re-registration which the governemnt instituted, it discovered 56 schools that were operating illegally while another 53 schools sanctioned for five years for other infractions. Among these, 36 of the schools were recommended not to be allowed to run beyond basic education levels because their facilities werer found to be substandard. Again, it bears restating that the administration met a situation where many of the private schools were not really private schools but examination centres. This informed the measures put in place by government to fight examination mal-practices because that is the area the Governor emphasized zero tolerance so as to remove Edo State from the unenviable position of first among the three notorious examination mal-practices centres. Government succeeded in achieving this feat through the collaboration of the examination bodies and the determi-

This means that petrol would be cheaper in America and some European nations that do not export as much oil as Nigeria. Kperogi claims that he currently pays a little over $3 per gallon in Atlanta for quality fuel that actually burns a lot slower than Nigerian fuel adding that Nigerian importers always import the lowest possible quality of fuel into the country. “The federal minimum wage in the United States is $7.25 per hour. That adds up to $1,160 per month, which is equivalent to N184, 000 per month. Thus by next year, a junior clerk with an N18, 000 monthly salary in Nigeria will be paying more for fuel than an American laborer who receives the equivalent of N184, 000 per month. And the low-grade clerk is a citizen of the world’s 8th largest exporter of oil,” he notes. One needs neither clairvoyance nor Kperogi’s principles of logic to discern the extent of Nigerian leadership’s insensitivity and gross inhumanity to the citizenry. No finely-spun theory of economics or principle of politics could adequately justify the fairness and necessity of the planned removal of fuel subsidy by President Jonathan and company. An impressionable politician in a fit of independence celebration and platitudinous outburst declared recently that: “Already, we are beginning to do things differently. I believe that integrity, honour, patriotism, selfless service and fear of God, must be the hallmarks of leadership at all levels. A nation is sustained by its institutions and systems. I have taken strong measures to improve on governance.” That man was President Goodluck Jonathan. Too bad he does not understand the true import of even his own words. •To be continued… For SMS only 08038551123

nation of the people of the state. As part of his determination to sanistise the system, Governor Oshiomhole insisted that every child that must enroll for WAEC or NECO must produce his or her original junior WAEC (JSS 3) certificate, to ensure that those writing the examination passed through the rudiments of basic schools. He also made the tendering of SS 2 class attendance register as a condition for writing WAEC or NECO in the state. Today, Edo people are glad that these measures have yielded positively to the cleansing of the system. Also worthy of note is how Governor Oshiomhole bridged the infrastructure gap. When his administration came on board, one of the first measure he took was to raise a facility of N2.2 billion to access the Universal Basic Education (UBE) funding of N2.2 Billion. But there was a challenge; the state was not able to utilize this fund because, there were agents of anti-change and those who derive joy in milking the state dry. They ensured that members of the State Universal Basic education Board (SUBEB) nominated by the Governor were not screened by the then Speaker and as a result, the state couldn’t access the funds without the board in place. This delay lasted for over four months and the resultant catastrophic damage is better imagined than experienced. For Governor Oshiomhole who is not used to lamentation, he pulled the money from Central Bank where the state was servicing the fallowed money and the sum of N1.52 Billion was used to purchase the standard furniture in many of the renovated schools. The state government procured 40 thousand pieces of double seaters and 35 thousand of the single seaters. The combined effect was the provision for 115,000 seats for Edo State children. The state government is constructing 154 new classrooms at the primary school level, renovating 255 others while also building perimeter fencing for 29 primary schools. While the above are by no means exhaustive, the verdict by the good people of Edo State is that their Comrade Governor has raised the bar of governance in the state. • Oziotu writes from Igarra, Akoko Edo Local Government, Edo State



EDITORIAL/OPINION ‘It is a point of wisdom to be silent when occasion requires, and better than to speak, though never so well.’ ————Plutarch (46? - 120?) Greek philosopher.


EFORE l get readers confused, it is pertinent to let them know the Afenifere that one is referring to here today. That Afenifere is the one that some weeks back visited the beleaguered former governor of Ogun state, Gbenga Daniel. Today’s discourse is on an Afenifere with a leadership that refused to then separate Alliance for Democracy (AD), a political party from the real Afenifere during the tempestuous reign of former President Olusegun Obasanjo leading to the emergence of Afenifere Renewal Group and the Action Congress(AC) political party. The cadaver of that once formidable Yoruba socio-cultural group is what has been blotting the political landscape of the south-west with infectious harlotry. Yours sincerely has taken his time to study the political situation before responding on whether the elders in that entourage have learnt any lesson from history or not. The visit of the Afenifere cadaver to the Asoludero residence of the former governor was reportedly led by its national leader Ayo Fasoranti with Lanihun Ajayi, Ayo Adebanjo, Olu Falae, Dayo Duyile, Seinde Arowogbofa, , Pekun Awobona and Lanre Omisore among others in the entourage Before one gets too far, it is necessary to let the world know what the beneficiary of that controversial and unnecessary Afenifere leaders visit was accused of. The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) charged Daniel to court over serious allegations that while in office, he; diverted about N12billion revenue in Ogun State Bureau of Lands and Survey; non-remittance of N1billion deducted from Ogun State workers’ salaries; fraudulent and illegal payment of an amount of N1bilion purportedly as counterpart funding for water projects; illegal debt servicing to the tune of N5.2billion as against an appropriation of N350million for the same purpose in 2009; Payment of N300million electricity utility charges by the State Electricity Project Agency despite direct deduction of same from various Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs); diversion of N500million agricultural loan granted by National Agricultural Credit Bank for Rural Development; diversion to cronies


WANT to wager that half of the problem of governance in Nigeria lies in its secretive nature. It is a carry over from our colonial past when the highly cunning British masa dared not allow his stupid native legmen to know or say, how much bales of cotton or drums of palm oil was shipped to Britain every month. So Masa swears his kiffir to an Oath of Secrecy: see no evil, hear no evil, say no evil. This way the poor native was bound by a self-serving law to simply watch like a mugu even as his father’s land was pillaged by white invaders. To think that this oath is still alive and well in Nigeria and that it is still being administered to our civil servants must be the height of slavery of the mental mode. Now, if you are serving me or working for me, why would you go to great lengths to hide the ‘work’ from me? What has the obnoxious Oath of Secrecy got to do with Imo state, Adapalm (now known as Imo Palm Plantation,IPP) and all that? A lot: Adapalm is probably the largest agric (oil palm) plantation in the land if not beyond. The Imo State Government under Governor Rochas Okorocha, has recently made what for me, is its smartest move since it took off last May: it has off-loaded Adapalm to Irish managers we are told, but the snag is that the deal is shrouded in secrecy. Yours truly has been one of the strongest campaigners for the concession of that huge patrimony of Imo people which even the politicians in all their capriciousness, have found difficult to savage. Adapalm can generate more revenue for Imo than it gets from the Federation Account if run at its optimum. But there is need for vigilance as most concession deals in Nigeria today are frauds. Adapalm, perhaps the only valuable asset of the Imo people left, is said to have been handed over to Roche, supposedly an Irish firm on a public-private- partnership (PPP) basis. This is about the only information made public to the people in a transaction of this magnitude. Your first reaction is to say, shoo, Irishman dey chop oyel, Irishman get palm tree for him place? That is to interpret the deal in the Warri lingo. But really, is Roche the same one that is world renowned in the field of pharmacy? We thought it was a Swiss firm? What is Roche’s pedigree in palm oil farming and processing? The Malaysians we know, even the Chinese and Brazilians. But the Irish! In fact one doesn’t have a good opinion of the

‘Afenifere’: Unity in prejudice

•Gbenga Daniel

and associates an amount totalling N5billion in the name of salaries and allowances under the Contingency and Miscellaneous of the Office of the Governor; questionable transfer and disposal of government-owned enterprises and investment portfolio of over N15billion by Gateway Holding without enabling law or House of Assembly approval; illegal purchase of 20 refurbished graders to the tune of N950million for Local Government Areas and subsequent deductions from their allocations on monthly basis; illegal purchase of 20 Toyota Prado Jeeps to the tune of N200million for LGAs and subsequent illegal deduction of same from their accounts and allocations; fraudulent procurement of loans from various financial institutions (mostly banks) amounting to over N22billion without approval from the House

of Assembly. Contrary to public expectations, after the elders came out of their purported ‘Asoludero’ closed door meeting with the former Ogun state tyrant of a governor, Chief Fasoranti reportedly told journalists that the former governor “did very well in his eight years rule as governor, he is faithful, am sure he will come out free, we shall stand by him and wait for court ruling; you don’t condemn a man until he is found guilty.” What kind of sweet talk must have transpired between Daniel and these elders to make Chief Fasoranti to be erroneously ‘sure’ that the erstwhile despot in democratic garb ‘will come out free? How can an elder who lives in Yoruba land come out to gleefully announce that Daniel ‘did very well in his eight years rule as governor, he is faithful’ when the man actually not only performed woefully but also turned that Gateway state into a lawless enclave safe only for people who subscribed to his whimsical mis-rule and equally believed, largely due to immoral and conscienceless patronage, that he performed very well in eight years. Daniel might be ‘sincere’ with these elders but he was not faithful to the people of Ogun state and democracy in general. The Fasoranti Afenifere in its issued communiqué said: “As Afenifere leaders, it behoves us to find out the facts as they relate to the allegations made against our former governor, Gbenga Daniel. We deplore the current trend of media trials which damage potentially innocent people reputation.” The communiqué further stated that the elders have listened to him and “are satisfied with what we


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Imo:of Adapalm, Irishman and palm oil Irishman largely due to the way the British had portrayed him. The Brits have a way of making other peoples look congenitally stupid. That is how come the first things one knew those teenage days about the Irishman were denigrating jokes passed down by the Brits. Remember the most common joke about an Irishman who comes upon a heap of excrement on his path, he dips his foot in it and says, ‘it sure feels like shait, but you never can tell with these things.’ He then pokes his finger in it and holds it to his nose, ‘ It smells like shait alright but you never know…’ he proceeds to taste it and screams, ‘oh mi gawd it’s shait! Thank goodness I didn’t swallow it.’ With this dim impression of the Irishman, questions abound on this transaction; questions that would have been answered were governments around here run with a pinch of transparency. Who exactly are Roche? What is their pedigree in palm oil and allied businesses? How long is the concession period? What is the projected cumulative revenue accruing to Imo State over this period? How much investment is Roche expected to make in Adapalm over this period? A statement made earlier in the year by the Secretary to the Government of Imo State (SGI) suggested that Adapalm in private hands, would earn about N800 million over a concession period of 15 years. That would be daylight robbery. After the first two years of

refurbishing and upgrading of facilities, the firm when up and running, ought to deliver a minimum of N1 billion monthly. This is expected to rise sharply as it attains optimum capacity. Adapalm, as it is, ought to attract a concession fee of between two to five billion naira upfront. But whatever it is worth, whether a penny or half a kobo, let it be done with some transparency and a modicum of integrity as it may well be the best thing that happened to Imo people in a long while. The quantum of jobs it will generate alone and the boost it will give to the state’s economy will be quite salutary. The same thing should be done quickly to the Shoe Manufacturing Industry which is a stone throw from the Government House and which has been in a tears-evoking state for decades. What is surely not salutary that is emanating from Imo state now is in the idea of paying students monthly stipend of between N1.00 and N1.50k. Tokenism is the feast of the poor in spirit, they say. Perhaps someone will be kind enough to explain what informed this policy and also reveal to us what these poor souls are supposed to do with this monthly pittance. Is Governor Okorocha mocking the abject poverty inherent in Imo people by showcasing it to the world? Apart from the problems of administering these coins and the legion of ghost students that will grow around this scheme, we say it is an outright no-brainer.

have heard.” The same elders that accused the media of giving media trials to Daniel have turned themselves into a court and have pronounced his ‘innocence’ in public glare to all the charges since they “are satisfied with what we have heard” to use their words. Who is then guilty? The media that reported empirical happenings and facts during and post Gbenga Daniel’s despotic reign or the elders that acquitted a man based on lies he fed them with in confidence? Chief Fasoranti and even the Afenifere communiqué is highly prejudicial since it proclaimed Daniel’s innocence even when a final judicial pronouncement is yet to be made on the matter. Ogun state indigenes and other inhabitants that witnessed the despoliation of that great state in eight years of Daniel’s mis-rule would never forgive the Afenifere elders that broke tradition by visiting this despot rather than allow the reversal to be the case. Were they trying, albeit fruitlessly to give credibility to illegality? One doubts the sincerity of these elders in the prevailing circumstances because they have not truly projected themselves as fathers of all. If not, why didn’t these so called elders visit Asiwaju Bola Tinubu when his politically motivated trial for operating dormant foreign accounts while in office commenced. Did they not read the newspapers? Are they not aware or is Tinubu not a notable son of Yoruba land? May be they have forgotten so quickly the road to Bourdillon? Or is it that they are averse to identifying with ACN, a political party of which Tinubu is one of its national leaders. Even at that, why didn’t they visit Dimeji Bankole’s residence in Onikolobo, Abeokuta to show solidarity at the height of his court travails? Afterall, he belongs to same PDP as Daniel before the Asoludero despot eloped to PPN? In reality, Fasoranti and his team actually destroyed Yoruba tradition through their unwarranted unity in prejudice visit to Daniel that is capable of fragmenting the south-west rather than solidifying the region. These elders must beware as history is watching every bit of their step. They have a lot to learn from Plutarch, that Greek philosopher when he said: ‘It is a point of wisdom to be silent when occasion requires, and better than to speak, though never so well.’ These elders’ affront on public sensibilities over despotic Daniel must stop. The governor should please deploy this fund to upgrading existing facilities in our schools. Talking about upgrades, Governor Okorocha also spoke about building 350 European- standard schools in the state. Again, this is a no, no. Please Mr Governor, can you give us the basics first? Please deploy the funds quickly to refurbish all the schools in the state first. Please think basic. Most of our schools do not have roofs, windows and fences. Repair them; don’t build new schools yet. LAST MUG: Unviable States: Lamido Sanusi got this one wrong Perhaps exasperated by the poverty in the land and the continued clamour for more states, the governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) had declared recently that the existing States in Nigeria are not viable suggesting a merger instead of carving out more. Yes Nigeria may not be classified as an affluent country but we are certainly not a poor nation. What Nigeria suffers from is profligacy, fiscal indiscipline and mindless wastefulness by those managing our resources. Our corporate resources are anything but being managed. They are being flared like the gas in the Niger Delta. By per capita income, Nigeria was probably the poorest country in Perth recently for the CHOGM (a near-worthless meeting), but an account said we had the largest contingent – about 500! That would refurbish at least 50 schools in Nigeria. Mr Governor have you seen the state of our schools across the country? Why would a governor have about 1000 personal aides and you say such a state is not viable? Why would a governor have four chiefs of staff to manage his staff; how much of state’s fund is used to buy party re-nomination in some states? No sir, we are more than viable; we just happen to be wastrels.

‘By per capita income, Nigeria was probably the poorest country in Perth recently for the CHOGM (a near-worthless meeting), but an account said we had the largest contingent – about 500!’









Restore Nigeria’s confidence with Botswana


ELECOMMUNICATIONS giant, Globacom, has called on the Super Eagles to put smiles back on the faces of Nigerians after the country failed to qualify for the Nations Cup finals holding in Gabon and Equatorial Guinea next January. The Eagles are lined up in doubleheader friendly games with the Zebras of Bostwana and Chipolopolo of Zambia on November 12 and 15 in Benin and Kaduna respectively and Globacom believes there is no better time for the national team to restore the confidence of Nigerians in the team . Globacom described the two matches as ‘Must-Win” for the Super Eagles urging the team to go for outright victories.

“They are confidence boosting encounters from where the Eagles must emerge victorious to return to their favorite position before the African Cup of Nations ouster, the company said in a statement in Lagos yesterday. “This time calls for unity of purpose not only from the Super Eagles players, but also from millions of Nigerians who must support the team to take this next step back to the top,” the statement added. Globacom commended the Nigeria Football Federation for organizing the friendlies so as to keep the team in shape ahead of 2013 Nations Cup Qualifiers and 2015 World Cup qualifying roundsrespectively.

Sir Jonah Eze Table Tennis tourney serves off


HE third edition of Sir Jonah Eze Table Tennis tournament serves off on Wednesday November 16, 2011 and will end on Saturday the 19th . The event will hold at the Table Tennis section of Ikeja club and is being sponsored by Dee Jones Petroleum and Gas Limited, a leading player in the midstream section of the oil and gas industry. According to the coordinator of the tournament, Chukwuma Udom, the 4-day tournament will be declared open by a top level representative of the sponsors. The event which is an annual event, was born out of the sponsor’s unwavering commitment to youth and sports development in the country. This becomes even more apparent as majority of the professional ping pongers who have graced the tournament in the past have gone to do the nation proud by winning many laurels both at local and international levels. In order to raise the quality of this year’s edition, the sponsors have already provided two international standard tables and nets at the venue of the tournament. Delivering the equipment recently, the Managing Director of Dee Jones Petroleum and Gas Limited, Sir Richard Eze, appealed to other public spirited

Nigerians and corporate bodies to take a cue from the chairman of the company, Sir Jonak O. Eze whose philanthropy has brought succour to sports in Nigeria. Receiving the equipment, the Coordinator of the event, Chukwuma Udom, thanked the sponsors for their kind gesture. He said through the sponsorship of this annual event, Sir Jonah Eze and his organisation, Dee Jones Petroleum and Gas limited have brought joy and hope to many families in Nigeria whose wards had excelled at the tournament, across the globe. This year’s event will, no doubt produce fresh talents who would definitely fly the nation’s and flag in world arena.

• Sir Jonah Eze

Anambra to immortalise Power Mike A s part of efforts to immortalise the late Wrestling maestro, Chief Mike Okpala alias Power Mike, the Anambra state government yesterday inaugurated the Local Organising Committee for the Power Mike Memorial International Wrestling Championship in the commercial city of Onitsha. The State Commissioner for Youths and Sports Lady Chinwe Anowai after the inauguration said it was part of the ongoing reform of sports in the state. The state it was gathered, is working in collaboration with the Anambra State Chapter of the Nigerian Wrestling Federation The Commissioner commended the organizers for their willingness to immortalise the late sports icon, who she said made the state proud during his days, According to her, “The state government is happy with the efforts of the Wrestling Federation and will continue to support all genuine plans to promote sports in the state” She disclosed that Anambra state was once the face of sports of the nation which virtually dominated in all sporting activities, adding that the state will soon regain her pride of place in sports in the country in no distant time. “If we consolidate on the achievements we have recorded in the

From Adimike George, Onitsha

last three years and maintain the current pace, the state will soon bounce back to prominence in sports”. She said. Earlier, the State Chairman of the Wrestlers’ Association, Emeka Ofolloma said that the Championship was conceived to relive and honour the late wrestling icon for his numerous contributions to the development of wrestling and sports in general which brought fame to the country. The bulky wrestler and current heavy weight champion in Nigeria argued that the late Power Mike who was famous for his enormous strength, was the pioneer of professional wrestling in Nigeria, adding that the competition will feature ‘who is who’ in wrestling within and across the shores of Africa. He said the competition has been slated from December 27 till December 29 this year, adding “We are working round the clock in collaboration with the state government to ensure that we have a hitch free championship that will surely spur the youths to channel their strength into meaningful activities like sports. It will also encourage other sportsmen to continue doing their best for their country, seeing that our past sports heroes are celebrated and their visions kept alive.”

NOC, Greensprings partner on Olympic Values

Siasia shows up at Zambia in Keshi’s unveiling Keshi to join Johannesburg • Explains withdrawal of court case T for Nigeria Super Eagles today F NIGERIA/BOTSWANA FRIENDLY


HE Chipolopolo of Zambia have arrived in Johannesburg for the final preparatory camp ahead of next Tuesday’s international match against the Super Eagles. Zambia and Nigeria clash next week Tuesday in Kaduna in one of the top African fixtures on a busy FIFA international calendar week. Chipolopolo landed in Johannesburg on Thursday and were immediately joined by Swiss based striker Emmanuel Mayuka. Others expected at the team hotel later in the day and on Friday are Israeli based midfielder William Njobvu and Chinese based James Chamanga respectively. Chipolopolo coach Herve Renard included defence and midfielder maestro Stoppila Sunzu into the squad after earlier ruling the TP Mazembe star out of the game on account of his arm injury which had resulted in his arm being put in a ‘pop’ – plaster of paris. The Fox said on departure that on advice of the Chipolopolo medical staff, Sunzu would not be a risk to travel with the team and prepare for Nigeria. The towering defender-cummidfielder will therefore be available for selection as the Chipolopolo medics believe that his arm no longer poses any danger. Despite the injury report, Sunzu was called for assessment as the technical staff wanted to determine extent of arm injury. The doctors reckoned that his healing was good and the player was no longer in pain or danger following removal of the ‘pop’ two days ago. On Jacob Mulenga, the FC Utrecht striker will not be available for the Nigeria game on account of the medical examination he was

undertaking. Mulenga confirmed his medical routine with Football House. The FC Utrecht head of medical staff Frank van Hellemondt has also officially informed Football House that Mulenga’s knee was operated on Wednesday. He said Mulenga’s injury was ‘serious’ and ‘it could take at least 6-9 months to recover’. FAZ however intends to use the Christmas period to fully assess Mulenga’s injury in Zambia ahead of the African Cup of Nations finals.


UPER Eagles coach Stephen Keshi could not travel to Benin with the squad yesterday as he stayed behind in Abuja for his contract signing ceremony with the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) on Thursday. There is only one scheduled daily flight from Abuja to Benin, and the unveiling of the coach,

planned to start at 12 noon and last 90 minutes, is not expected to finish on time for him to make that flight. The rest of the squad leave without the coach. There was no training in Benin yesterday, but regular sessions will start again today. Kickoff time for Saturday’s match up against Botswana is 5pm.


Joseph Yobo rues Nigeria’s absence S

UPER Eagles captain Joseph Yobo insists that the current Super Eagles team have players with the talent to be in contention for CAF’s African Player of the Year prize. Nigerian players suffered another blackout as CAF released its nominees for this year’s awards. Not even Osaze Odemwingie, who finished as the top African goal scorer in the English Premier League with his 15 goals last season, got into the list which saw QPR’s Adel Taraabt nominated. “I believe we have the talent to be nominated for the award, but we didn’t qualify for the Nations Cup so that has

• Eyes permanent deal with Fenerbahce affected us,” Yobo said. And the Super Eagles captain may have a point. Ideye, like Odemwingie, scored 15 goals for Sochuax before moving to Dinamo Kyiv. Emmanuel Emenike scored 14 goals for Karabukspor before his move to Fenerbahce and then to Russia. Yobo says the Eagles will have to work to regain respect. “We have to take it one game at a time now, whether it’s a friendly, or a competitive match. “Our goal should be to start to get wins, get our confidence back and then

we’ll see what happens. “We have a coach who is a legend and very well respected, and I believe we can start to try to build the confidence of Nigerians back in us.” CAF’s 10-man shortlist also has the likes of current holder Samuel Eto, Didier Drogba, Yaya Toure, Gervinho and Lille’s Moussa Sow, who hit 25 goals last season. The shortlist will be reduced to five by November 20th and a final three by the time the ceremony is held in Accra on December 22. The initial shortlist was drawn up by

the technical, media and football committees of CAF, but the winner will be determined from the shortlist by the coaches and technical directors of affiliated national associations of CAF. Meanwhile, Fenerbahce are anxious to tie down Everton defender Joseph Yobo to a permanent deal. The Nigeria international is into his second season on-loan at Fener. Yobo has successfully replaced Diego Lugano at Fener this season and his form has attracted the attention of clubs from Spain and Italy. Fener management know they risk losing the defender unless they can tie up an agreement with Everton.



IGERIA basketball international, Olumide Oyedeji has been sacked by his Korean club, Changwon LG Sakers . The Nigerian center was part of the All Africa Games and the FIBA Africa Men Basketball Championship in Mozambique and Madagascar respectively. The club stated that Oyedeji has been thriving but a lack of quickness has led to his sack. "Oyedeji did his job, but I'm just sorry for him. We needed a fast and good scorer, so we brought (Aaron) Haynes," said Changwon LG Sakers coach Kim Jin. The 2.08m Oyedeji is the KBL's leading rebounder with an average of 15.45 per contest. At the Afrobasket this summer in Madagascar, where he played for a Nigeria side that captured the bronze medal, the 30-year-old averaged eight points and 8.1 rebounds. Players from abroad are coming under more scrutiny in the KBL, with the league having this season reduced the number of foreigners teams are allowed to have from two to one.

has told his lawyer to go ahead with procedure to withdraw the legal suit against the football federation following his sack. Siasia said: “I have gone to my lawyer to tell him that I want to withdraw the case from the court. This is all about me and my future and I also believe that I have passed a message (to the NFF). “I don’t have any grudge with anybody but it is just the way the technical committee sabotaged me to fail that is so painful. My first reaction was to go to court because a contract is made of two parties and not one. “So, I felt I have to make them (the NFF) realise that there are certain areas that the FA must have to improve so that whoever takes my position will gain from what I just lost.” Siasia also made it clear that he is still haunted by failing to guide the Super Eagles to the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations. He admitted that his position as Nigeria’s manager for 10 months has helped him “learn some real lessons.” The former Heartland coach also acknowledged that his unsuccessful spell with the Nigerian men’s team has put a dent in his managerial career. “I am still not very happy that we could not qualify for the Nations Cup. I know we did our best but somehow it was meant to happen for me to learn some real lessons. “I know most people were disappointed with that but I am the most disappointed. My career, my future and everything I had built for myself has been affected by that single act,” said Siasia.

Ekeji wants NSC/state governments partnership HE need for state governments to partner with the National Sports Commission (NSC) in the country’s bold attempt to get to tap budding sportsmen and women from the grassroots has been stressed by the Director General of the National Sports Commission (NSC), Chief (Dr) Patrick Ekeji. Ekeji made the call when he paid a courtesy call on the Imo state ministry of Youth and Sports on Wednesday to woo the Imo government to lend support to the two Mini Sports Centres sited in the State to help discover more talents for the country. The Imo-born administrator opined to the State Honourable Commissioner for Youth and Sports, Comrade Kenneth Emelu that the exposure of young athletes to the facilities that abound at the Mini Sports Center in Nguru in Aboh Mbaise and Isiala Mbano would go a long way in producing world beaters in few years from now. His words, “I know that if we work at the mini sports Centre and we are able to expose our young ones to sports at a tender age they will become world

Korean club sacks Oyedeji

From Tunde Liadi, Owerri beaters in few years. I want to enjoin the Commissioner to make use of the time he has now and by the three years will elapse with serious training Olympic Champions and Commonwealth kings would have been produced among them. Take Long Jump and other sports for instance, if the preparation starts early it will be of great help. “Government must see sports development in the State as an area of investment. In Brazil, for any player to be signed on, a certain percentage will go to the Brazil FA. Investment in the youth is also an investment in the future. We must see sports as an area in which government can get deliberate investment and not just all about fun. “ While reacting to the remarks of the DG of the NSC, Comrade Emelu stated that he would go and do on the spot assessment of the two local governments where the mini sports centers are sited. He thanked Dr Ekeji for the visit and expressed his desire to do everything within his reach to get sports back on track in Imo State.

Sunshine, Dolphins seal CL spots

T • Taye Taiwo and Dickson Etuhu at the National stadium Abuja before a training session on Wednesday

• Oyedeji

• Keshi

ORMER Super Eagles’ head coach, Samson Siasia made a surprise appearance at the unveiling ceremony of his successor, Stephen Keshi in Abuja on Thursday. Siasia, who was sacked by the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) for failing to lead the Super Eagles to the 2012 AFCON, walked into the Media Centre of the National Stadium, Abuja - venue of the unveiling ceremony at about 1.55pm local time. His appearance raised a few eyebrows while others simply applauded as he walked up to Keshi on the podium and embraced him in an emotional atmosphere. And in a dramatic manner, Siasia handed over an all-green coloured Super Eagles’ jersey to Keshi with number four inscribed at the back. It would be recalled that Keshi wore the jersey number four during his more than 10-years active career as a defender and later captain of the Nigerian men’s national team. The gesture of the former Nigerian Under-20 coach drew more applause from those gathered inside the Media cCtre of the Abuja stadium, as he stole the show. However, Siasia has given reasons for withdrawing a N1 billion court case against the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF). Siasia, 44, explained to journalists that he took into consideration his future and football in Nigeria. He opened up that his court case was never targeted at any individual but at “the technical committee (that) sabotaged me to fail.” The former Super Eagles’ manager

HE top two sides in the Nigeria Premier League (NPL), Sunshine Stars and Dolphins have booked their places in next season’s CAF Champions League. Sunshine Stars had already qualified before the mid-week games in the NPL that saw them pinch a point against Ocean Boys in a bad-tempered contest at the Samson Siasia Stadium, Yenagoa. The Akure club now have 71 points from 37 matches while, Dolphins, with 70 points from 37 matches can no longer be overtaken by third placed Warri Wolves who have amassed 65

points from 37 matches. The top two clubs in the NPL qualify for the CAF Champions League. Dolphins sealed their place in CAF’s glamourous club competition after they crushed Zamfara United 4-0 at the Liberation Stadium in Port Harcourt on Wednesday. A brace from Olewezi Johnson and well taken strikes from Derrick Amadi and youngster, Emem Eduok completed a happy day in the office for the Port Harcourt club and goal hero, Olewezi was pleased with the fact that the club had claimed a Continental place.

By Innocent Amomoh HE Nigeria Olympic Committee (NOC), yesterday in Lagos signed a Memorandum Of Understanding (MOU), with Greensprings School, a private high school in Lagos in line with the Olympic Values Education Programme (OVEP) recently established by the International Olympic Committee (IOC). The signing ceremony of the MOU which took place at the school premises, in the Anthony area of Lagos, is directed at using Greensprings as a model to further instil these values in the society, starting from the schools. Representing the President of the NOC, Sani Ndanusa, Secretary of the body, Tunde Popoola explained that the choice of Greensprings is as a result of the performances and the records which the school has been associated with in all spheres. “The pupils of this school are role models considering the standard the school has been able to maintain in the past years and this we hope to leverage on. It represents an example of the kind of community we intend to create by instilling these values. “This partnership is going to be a life-long thing to ensure that everything we do evolves around these values starting from our homes. We want to get real values back to the society and the NOC is championing it,” he said. Responding to the gesture, the Director of the school, Lai Koiki said the management of the institution is elated to see the school on a platform that gives it the opportunity to educate Nigerians and children especially on what real values should be. She said that though the choice of Greenspring as the model may have been borne out of its concentration on sporting activities in and outside the country, which she said is the deliberate effort of the management to ensure the pupils get some sports flavor alongside academics, the school will not take the opportunity for granted “Sports have given us a hope, and we know that the future is bright. Now it has put us on a national platform, which invariably puts us on the world platform. It is an incredible partnership that I hope will last longer than expected,” she said.

Nigeria’s Oyetunji joins Velez CF


PANISH third Division side VELEZ CF have signed Nigeria’s Oyetunji Oloye on a t 2-year contract. The 20 year who also has Spanish passport ,was signed from Danish League Third Division side Bk Victoria, Copenhagen. According to AdebayoAdeyanju a Scottish Football Association licensed player agent and Director at Unlimited Concept Sports Management Limited, U.K, despite having offers from top clubs in Europe, Oyetunji decided to sign for the Spanish side because he sees the club as a place where he can develop himself to a better player. “Oyetunji is a strong, energetic player. He is also very skillful and fast with the ball. He is very good in the air with the ability to keep ball possession. I believe it is because of these qualities that Velez came for him. “Despite having offers from other top clubs in Europe, Oyetunji saw Velez as a club who could help him grow and become the player he wished to be. He believes the Spanish team would be a stepping stone for him,” Adeyanju said.

RECOGNITION Monarchs get certificates Anambra




Governor cracks down on illegal occupants

Man held over wife battery




NON-GOVERNMENTAL organisation, Krisanctus Productions, Enugu has organised a debate for secondary schools aimed at promoting good health among the youth. Collaborating with the German Leprosy and Tuberculosis Relief Organisation, the NGO is holding leprosy awareness debates in secondary schools in three local government areas of Enugu State. The councils include Enugu North, Enugu South and Enugu East. The first in the series of the debate was held at Queen’s Secondary School, Enugu. With the approval and support of the state Ministry of Education, Krisanctus Productions assembled as many as 12 secondary schools. The schools, some private, others public, were chosen randomly. According to the Executive Di-




Page 25


NGO organises health debates in Enugu schools From Chris Oji, Enugu

rector of Krisanctus Productions, Mazi Sanctus Okereke, information and knowledge sharing on leprosy has currently transcended a segregated target audience as everyone is a potential victim. “This is why this project is designed to create a forum where students from different secondary schools from three local government areas around Enugu metropolis shall compete in an academic debate on leprosy. This debate is going to be a pilot with potential for scaleup when successfully implemented,” Okereke explained. Giving a run-down of the pro-

gramme, Okereke said there will be a total of 10 different debating and quiz events in the project, happening at two stages. Nine of those events shall happen at the three local government levels while the grand finale shall be a quiz show at the state level. “At the start, there was an advocacy visit to the Commissioner for Education and Health to garner support for the competition and also create awareness. After the advocacy, a selection of 12 secondary schools (four each from the three local government areas) was made. “The local government areas are Enugu South, Enugu North and Enugu East. Schools shall be selected from private and government

schools and contacted with the help of the Ministry of Education.” An introductory letter was sent to the school debate co-ordinators (teachers) to inform them of the desired objectives of the project and to enable them to involve other students in the school level rehearsals. By so doing, a wider number of students was sensitised alongside their teachers. The debate topics included “Leprosy Patients Suffer More Stigma than HIV Patients,” “Leprosy is a Terminal Disease with the Least Attention,” “Leprosy is More of a Curse than a Disease,” “Superstition is the Main Factor in the Spread of Leprosy,” “Leprosy is Curable,” and “Persons Affected with Leprosy have

Same Rights as Every Other Person.” The participating schools included College of the Immaculate Conception (CIC), Enugu, Holy Rosary College (HRC), Enugu, Queen’s Secondary School, Enugu, Idaw-River Girls’ Secondary School, Enugu, Union Secondary School, Awkunanaw and Day Secondary School, Independence Layout. Others were Trans-Ekulu Girls’ Secondary School, Enugu, Model Ideal College, Abakpa, National Grammar School, Nike, Emene Girls’ Secondary School, St. Patrick’s Secondary School, Emene and Command Day Secondary School, Enugu.

Orphanage graduates 134 students Home celebrates 10th anniversary


O fewer than 134 youths nurtured at a Kaduna orphanage have acquired skills in various endeavours. Some have graduated from secondary school. Others have become proficient in skills. It is a remarkable story for people who were given little chance when they came into the Home. At age seven, Mary Yahaya became an orphan. She had no hope in life. But succour came her way when she was picked up and brought to Mercy Home Orphanage, an arm of the Restoration Bible Church and Ministries where she has been in the past 10 years. Today, Mary is an SS II Science student at the Mercy Home Primary and Secondary School which was established by the church for orphans. There is hope that she is on her way to stardom. At the 10th anniversary of the home, Mary said: “We are orphans, but some people think we are hopeless. But we have hope in God because we have people taking care of us and we know that they will never forsake us.” Founder and President of the home, Rev. Tunde Bolanta believes that the future holds a lot of promise for Mary and

From Tony Akowe, Kaduna

other children in the home. According to him, some of the orphans brought to the home “are now in secondary school here at the Orphanage Day Primary and Secondary School. There is a need to increase the classrooms and add other facilities. An extension of the orphanage has been in the pipeline because of increase in the population of children. We trust God that this vision will soon be realised.” Rev. Bolanta, who is the General Overseer of the Kadunabased Restoration Bible Church and Ministries said at the cerebration that the home which was inaugurated by the late Mrs. Stella Obasanjo in 2001 was set up with the vision of providing shelter, education and medical care for orphans, to rehabilitate and provide a half-way home for traumatised young ladies, free skill acquisition and medical care for the community. He said: “Ten years after the establishment of the home, “our modest effort to serve humanity has indeed yielded fruits. Currently, Mercy Home is taking care of 61 orphans, even as it is providing a home, education and medical care for them. “More than 1, 000 people have

•Mrs Paulina Francis displaying her works at the Mercy Home Orphanage

benefitted from our skill acquisition programme, over 3, 000 babies have been delivered at the clinic and maternity as well as many young unwedded mothers and other traumatised young people rehabilitated. “Mercy Home, more recently, has been able to make soft loans available to graduates from our free skill acquisition programme. The above accomplishments would not have been possible without the help and support of our faithful friends and

partners home and abroad, we say thank you. “Our members of staff have been excellent in the performance of their duties individually and collectively. They have not seen their assignments as jobs but as ministry to the less privileged. I pray the Almighty God will reward them abundantly now and in the hereafter. “Our church family, The Restoration Bible Church, has been a great pillar of support as, on a weekly basis, a percentage of

church income goes towards the running of the home without which the quality of life and service to the children would have been affected.” Mercy Home is not all about orphans as the centre also runs a vocation centre where skills are impacted freely on those willing to learn. One of those who passed through the centre is Paulina Francis, a house wife whose husband is •Continued on Page 26




‘Probe Rivers electoral commission’ From Clarice Azuatalam, Port Harcourt


HE Association of Frontline Political Parties (AFPP) in Rivers State has called on Governor Chibuike Amaechi to set up an independent panel of inquiry to investigate how N4.7 billion released to the state Independent Electoral Commission (RSIEC) for the 2011 local government election was spent. The AFPP also wants the gov-


ernor to cause RSIEC to substantiate its announcement that “only the sum of N550m was appropriated for the participation of various parties into the 2011 election.” Speaking in Port Harcourt, Prince Uchechukwu Ichenwo and Johnbull Obrasua, chairman and secretary of AFPP respectively said that their call became necessary because shortly after they raised alarm on not being paid, RSIEC announced that N10m was appropriated to each participating political party in the state only to allegedly short pay the parties by N3m each. The group also said that RSIEC should explain why it beats this hasty retreat to credit the accounts of the political parties after AFPP had threatened to invite the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) into the matter, adding that the commission should disclose who owns the company where the

voting materials were printed and how much was expended on the job. The AFPP also wants the commission to explain why the sum of N282m was appropriated to each of its commissioners “under sub-heads of Election Duty and Election Hazards.” In blaming the commission for the poor performance of the opposition parties in the last local government polls in the state, they also said that they were aggrieved because the commission has disbursed funds meant for the Degema Local Council election to some political parties “while over 15 other political parties are yet to be credited with their money months after the election has been concluded and results announced.” But RSIEC said that it only received the sum of N550m as grants for political parties and not N4.7b as claimed by opposition parties. Prof. Nimi Briggs, chairman of RSIEC said at a press briefing that from the amount the commis-

sion received, the grants worked out N8m for each of the political parties, with N6m designated for the May 21, 2011 local government election into 21 local government areas, while N2m was designated for September 17, 2011 local government polls into Degema local government. Represented by Hon. Nimi Walson-Jack, the Commissioner for Public Affairs and Civic Education in RSIEC, he noted that because of its experience in conducting past elections where some political parties took the grants and never bothered to participate in the polls, it decided to hinge fund disbursement this time round on certain milestones,

including establishment of an office in the state capital, conduct of primaries, purchase of nomination forms, among others. “From our experience in 2008 and 2010 elections when some political parties took the N5m and N3m grants respectively, and did not participate in the elections, the commission decided on a pro rata basis for the disbursement of funds to the political parties this time round,” he explained. The RSIEC boss added that the basis on which the commission decided for giving out the grants is meant to encourage political parties for the number of seats for which they sponsored candidates.

From our experience in 2008 and 2010 elections when some political parties took the N5m and N3m grants respectively, and did not participate in the elections, the commission decided on a pro rata basis for the disbursement of funds to the political parties this time round

Industrialist bags national award


•South African preacher, Brain Juber admiring one of the works from the Orphanage

Orphanage graduates 134 students •Continued from page 25

constantly on the move due to the nature of his work. She told Newsextra that she was trained at the Mercy Home Vocation Centre, even as she said: “I am grateful today for the training I received from this place. Most of the people we train here are not doing anything. But you can see what I have been able to do with the training. “My husband has been a great source of encouragement to me. Even though he is not here and is far away in Anambra State, he has encouraged me; giving me

money to start the business. Some of the beads you see here are used for dressing a bride during her wedding. Some of them cost as much as N12,000. “When I leave here, I will be going to dress one girl that is getting married. With the money I make from here, I assist my husband in taking care of the home and training the children in school.” On her part, Lucy Ewuga has trained five batches of students at the vocation centre on the act of knitting and she believes that most of those who have passed through the centre are now established and doing their own businesses with which they

support their families. According to her, it costs as little as N1,500 to make a set of cardigan which is sold for N3,500. South African Preacher, Brain Juber who visited the home as part of its 10th anniversary celebration admonished the 134 graduating students not to let go of the training they were offered. “After today,”he admosnished, “you must be the ones giving someone a helping hand and not the one receiving again. That is why you have been trained and given some skill with which to be useful to yourselves and others close to you.”

HE Chairman of Innoson Group of Companies, Chief Innocent Chukwuma is among the eminent Nigerians recently honoured by President Goodluck Jonathan. He was honoured with Officer of the Federal Republic (OFR) based on his enormous contributions in promoting commerce and industry in the country. The award, which will be given to him on November 14 together with other eminent recipients, would be his third national award. Three years ago, he was honoured with Officer of the Order of the Niger (OON) by the late President Umaru Musa Yar’ Adua. On September 23, 2010, at Abuja, Jonathan awarded him the National Productivity Order of Merit (NPOM). This was also in recognition of his contributions in the production of goods and services. Chukwuma’s industrial record is outstanding. His group is into many viable products ranging from motorcycle assembly, plastics, motor manufacturing, tyres and tubes production. The President had on October 15, 2010 commissioned Innoson Vehicle Manufacturing Plant at Nnewi, Anambra State. He made a remarkable statement concerning Chief Chukwuma’s giant strides in the auto industry. On April 6, 2010


at Innoson Mega Plastic Industry, Emene, Enugu, the state governor, Sullivan Chime in his working visit described Chief Chukwuma as an industrial enigma who, though not an engineer, can conveniently defeat any engineering professor in view of his business ingenuity and creativity. His business track record is so impressive. This has earned him other distinguished honours from corporate bodies and organisations such as Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ), Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE), Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA), Standard Organisation of Nigeria (SON), Commonwealth Business Council (CBC), among others.




Community honours Edo SSG HE Ikabigbo community has celebrated the appointment of Dr. Simon Imuekemhe as Secretary to the Edo State Government (SSG). Dignitaries from all walks of life gathered at the Ikabigbo Primary School in Etsako West Local Government Area of the state for the reception of the SSG, who hails from the community. The ceremony was organised by his kinsmen. The weather was favourable and the atmosphere was carnival-like. Local dancers, including the mystical Odumodu masquerade, hunters’ club, and popular Edo musician, Igbadumhe, were all present to thrill Imuekemhe and his guests. The event, which was one of its kind in Edo North Senatorial District, was a meeting point for those that matter in Edo politics. Dignitaries at the event were Governor Adams Oshiomhole and his Deputy, Dr. Pius Odubu. The Speaker of the House of Assembly, Hon. Uyi Igbe, member representing Owan Federal Constituency and Etsako Constituency, Hon. Pally Iriase and an engineer, Mr. Abubakar Momoh. Others were Majority Leader, Edo State House of Assembly, Hon. Philip Shuaibu, his colleague representing Akoko Edo South Constituency, Hon. Dele Oloruntoba, Hon. Johnson Oguma representing Etsako Central, Hon. Peter Aliu representing Etsako East, the Head of Service and her husband, Mr. and Mrs. Eki Inneh, the Chief of Staff, Barrister Osarodion Ogie, commissioners and Permanent Secretaries. The Oba of Benin, HRM, Omo ‘N Oba ‘N Edo, Uku Akpolokpolo, Oba Erediauwa sent a powerful delegation comprising high-ranking palace chiefs. The Ogieneni of Uzairue Alhaji Imonike Omogbai, the Otaru of Auchi, Ikelebe 111, Alhaji Aliru Momoh; the Olokpe of Okpe, the Imah of Somorika were among other traditional rulers present. The Oduma of the Universe, and former Foreign Affairs Minister, Chief Tom Ikimi, Leader, SouthSouth Action Congress of Nigeria, Barrister Osagie Ize-Iyamu, the State party chairman, Barrister Thomas Okosun, Prince Tony Omoaghe, Prince Austin Eweka, Mr. Lawrence Okah, Mr. Ben Sorae,


•Imuekehme (left) and Deputy Governor Dr Pius Odubu (right) at the reception From Osagie Otabor, Benin City

Dr. Olusegun Oseh, Mrs. Medina Emovon, ACN state Women Leader, Mr. Wole Iyamu were also present. The Christian and Muslim communities were fully represented just as non-governmental organisations, Etsako Club 81, Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Trade Union Congress (TUC) were also present. Nobody thought the Comrade Governor would be present as he was said to be busy receiving some

members who defected from the PDP in Fugar, Etsako Central Local Government Area. However, he stormed the venue. He didn’t just add colour to the event. His arrival signalled the beginning of the encomiums poured on Imuekemhe. There and then, Imuekemhe canvassed for another four-year term for the governor to enable him to complete the projects he had started. The SSG said the state would never be the same again by the time Oshiomhole has completed his second tenure. He said Oshiomhole has per-

As a civil servant, Imuekemhe believes he holds an office of trust which he swore to abide by. This was why he was able to serve as Head of Service in three governments without any problem

Anambra monarchs get certificates From Emeka Attah



HE Anambra State Government has issued certificates of recognition to seven newly recognised traditional rulers. Governor Peter Obi presented the certificates to the royal fathers at the Conference Hall

premises of the Government House, Awka. The new traditional rulers were Igwe Anthony Onyekwere of Owelle Community in Anambra West Local Government Area, Igwe Nick Obi of Nnobi in Idemili South Local Government Area and Igwe Felix Oyimmadu of Ukpor in Nnewi South Local Government Area. Others were Igwe Christopher Muoghalu of Isuofia in Aguata Local Government Area, Igwe Samuel Uche of Ezira Community in Orumba South Local Government Area and Igwe Ralph Ekpe of Enugwu-Ukwu in Njikoka Local Government Area. The seven new traditional rulers bring to 26 the number of royal fathers recognised by the present administration.

Governor Obi, in his speech at the occasion, disclosed that “your recognition by government was based strictly on due process and rule of law and was not influenced by any individual or group.” The governor further charged them to “remain responsive to the aspirations of your people and uphold the laws of the land as well as maintain peace, law and order to sustain the prevailing stability in the state. He reminded them of the need for prudent management of government financial support for the collective interest of the people, even as he enjoined them to ensure effective supervision by government. The Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Matters, Mr. Dubem Obaze urged them to work for the welfare and development of their communities and state in general.

formed well and deserves to be reelected, pointing out that a fouryear single term is not enough for the governor to complete all the projects he had embarked upon. “Adams Oshiomhole is a blessing to this state because of the transformation he has brought about in the entire state. The people are happy and would want more of the monumental developments he has started. Some villages which depended on stream for their drinking water have abandoned such for the boreholes which the governor sank in many communities. “Many hospitals have been built and renovated, while many schools have been rehabilitated. But I want to remind us that we all have a responsibility; which is that this moving train is not aborted. It must get to its destination,” he stated. Imuekemhe recalled his reaction when report reached him that a reception was being organised for him, just as he wondered if there was need to celebrate his appointment. He however concluded that the people should celebrate the developments initiated by Governor Oshiomhole across the 18 local government areas of the state especially in Ikabigbo community. H e said: “We are made to serve humanity and the administration of Comrade Adams Oshiomhole is serving the people of Edo State and the country. We all have a responsibility that all the projects embarked upon must be completed in eight years and let us not abort the journey but ensure the development programmes are completed. We are here to celebrate Oshiomhole. We are here to celebrate development,” he added. While eulogising Imuekemhe, Oshiomhole said: “Imuekemhe who retired as Head of Service was

made the Secretary to the State Government because of his track record.” The governor said further: “Imuekemhe represents one of those rare public officers who will always, any day, put their job first before any sentiments. “As a civil servant, Imuekemhe believes he holds an office of trust which he had sworn to abide by the oath of office. This was why he was able to serve as Head of Service in three governments without any problem,” he said. “God has used us to redefine politics and governance such that Edo people and the people alone will always come first before any other consideration,” he said. The President-General Ikabigbo Aloaye Union, Comrade Bello Aneru said: “We must use this occasion to appreciate the Comrade Governor’s deliberate decision to carry out developmental projects in the state covering renovations of schools, construction of water boreholes, roads construction and rehabilitation, renovation of hospitals, youth empowerment and government-community partnership project initiatives. According to him, the road to the community is a ready example of the governor’s unrivalled performance as well as the construction of a borehole which is providing water for the community. He disclosed that the gathering of eminent personalities from within and outside the state to honour Dr. Imuekemhe was made possible because of his appointment as Secretary to Edo State Government, adding that “by the appointment, Comrade Oshiomhole has demonstrated his resolve to ensure that merit and competence must be the yardstick for public service appointment which he championed as President of the Nigeria Labour Congress.



Oil communities assured

NGO lauded for boosting education R

•Governor Chime


ESIDENTS of Igbo Etiti Local Government Area in Enugu State have praisedthe efforts of a non-governmental organisation , the Sam Otoboeze Foundation, for donating educational materials to primary schools in the area. The materials comprised of exercise books, packets of chalk and ball pens worth N400,000. Igwe Chris Okwor, the traditional ruler of Ihekurem Aku community,Igwe Chris Okwor told journalists in Nsukka that such gesture would go a long way in improving the quality of education in public primary schools since the government could not do it alone. ``For public schools to improve, individuals and NGOs should complement government's efforts. ``Other organisations and wealthy individuals should emulate the foundation by assisting

Delta spends N1.7b monthly on teachers’ salaries HE Delta State government says no less than N1.7 billion is expended monthly on teachers’ salaries in the

state. The Commissioner for Basic and Secondary Education, Prof.Patrick Muoboghare, disclosed this in an interview with journaliststs in Asaba . Muoboghare said that figure was for secondary schools teachers salaries as the state government expenditure on primary schools teachers was not included in the figure. He also said that the total workforce in secondary schools in Delta was about 19,000, with about 15,000 of the figure being teaching staff. The commissioner further explained that the state had about 500 principals on grade level 16 heading schools and another 500 on merit grade level 16. Muoboghare, however, said that effective January 2012, secondary schools in Delta would be merged as the idea of a school having junior school and senior school was unnecessary. “Now you see we have schools like St Patrick’s College, Asaba having St Patrick’s College Junior and St Patrick’s College Senior. “That is uncalled for, but in January when we merge we will have just St Patrick’s college, one school for both junior and senior.” he said. The commissioner also said that the schools when merged would have just one authority or principal, adding that there

‘Pay attention to the mentally ill’ By Charity Williams


CALL has gone to government and wealthy individuals to assist the mentally ill and vulnerable persons and their children. The call was made by Prophet Favour Aniebo who marked his birthday with the inmates of So Said Charity Home in Okota, Isolo, Lagos. Prophet Aniebo, who said his vision is to make great contribution to humanity, said he considered it fulfilling to take care of the mentally impaired and destitute on his birthday. He later made handsome financial and material donations. Expressing delight at the kind gesture, the co-ordinator of the Home, Mrs Felicia Martins said: “We are called by God to assist each other because whatever we do to others is directly to our creator who is recording every attitude.” According to Mrs Martins, it is regrettable that the number of the mentally ill keeps increasing by the day necessitating the Home to accommodate as many as 200, including a medical doctor who studied in the United States of America and a newscaster. She highlighted some of the challenges confronting the home to include: high medical bills, school fees for children, food stuff, accommodation and salaries for workers. Other areas of challenge where the home would need assistance are vocational materials, school bus, water supply, building materials and finance.

Delta was the need to de-congest schools in Delta. “That is the only reason we are building new schools, as we do not intend to deny any child of school age in Delta education because it is his right.” The commissioner further said that from January net year, only the most experienced teachers would be allowed to teach the junior secondary one students, as the students were freshly harvested from their homes. “So they need experienced persons to start inculcating the right values into them from their first day of their secondary education,” Muoboghare said. He said the state government was also looking into the cases of 12 more schools, whose ownership were in contention, before the government would take a decision whether to hand them over or not.

Edo urged to encourage rubber, palm production


N entrepreneur, Mr Emmanuel Odigie, has urged the Edo State government to encourage farmers to go into rubber, palm produce and cassava cultivation, among others, by providing land, funding and modern equipment. Odigie made the call while speaking with journalists at the ongoing 25th Lagos International Trade Fair organised by the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI). Odigie is showcasing agricultural commodities such as raw cocoa, processed ribbed smoked rubber sheet, palm fibre, palm fruit and red oil as well as wood carvings and bronze art works at the fair. According to him, his company has about 50 hectares of palm plantation, 30 hectares of cassava farm and 20 hectares of rubber plantation at Egbokor-Orhionmwon Local Government Area of the state. He expressed regret that rubber farming had been abandoned due to the discovery of oil. He, however, praised the government for


HE Commissioner representing Ughelli North/Ethiope East Local Government Area on the board of the Delta State Oil Producing Areas Development Commission(DESOPADEC), Dr Peter Egedegbe, has reassured the people of the commission’s commitment to meet the needs of oil-producing communities in the state.


the government to improve the education sector. ``The type of education given to children in any country determines its bright or bleak future”,Okwor said. Prof. Marcel Agu, a senior lecturer at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, said that what the foundation's gesture remained indelible since the best gift one could give a child was quality education. ``I applaud the foundation in its determination to improve the quality of education in public primary schools. ``Our children are the future leaders of this country, and for them to compete favourably with their counterparts globally, they must be equipped with quality education,'' Agu said. He attributed the poor quality of education in public schools to inadequate funding, saying that government should ensure that public schools in the country regain their lost glory. ``There is no magic a lecturer will do in higher institution if a good foundation was not laid in primary and post-primary schools for any child,'' he said. Mrs Chinyere Ngwaka, a secondary school teacher, said the intervention came at the appropriate time when some schools found it difficult to get money to buy chalk for teachers to teach pupils. ``I am happy that some people still have the interest of our future leaders at heart. I urge other people who waste money on unnecessary things to emulate the foundation’s good example. ``My prayer for the founder is that God will replenish his purse so that he will do more to humanity. Headmasters and teachers should ensure that the materials are judiciously used to justify the objectives of the foundation,'' Ngwaka said. ``I commend the foundation for this outstanding achievement aimed at alleviating the sufferings of public primary schools,” she said.

Edo providing N1billion loan for farmers and urged it to do more. Odigie also noted that the Edo Government was also creating awareness at the community level for farmers and interested investors to go back to rubber planting. Meanwhile, a farmer, Mr Godwin Nonso , has urged the Lagos State government to motivate farmers to showcase their product at trade fair. He said that introducing agricultural products exhibition into the fair would encourage foreign investors to invest in the nation’s agricultural sector. “Job seekers may even learn one or two things from the farmers, thereby solving unemployment crisis in the country. “We cannot continue to showcase foreign products and manufacturing products at the trade fair; we need agricultural products at the fair,’’ Nonso said.

Cultural festival to boost tourism

T •Anambra State Governor Peter Obi (middle) inspecting the on-going construction of Majuoa St. Road in Awka

Niger Delta group lauds Shell


GROUP, Niger Delta Indigenous Movement for Radical Change has praised the Anglo-Dutch oil company, Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC), for the recent award of N7.8 billion contract to a Nigerian firm. The oil major had recently awarded a $50 million pipe line contract to a Nigerian firm, S.C.C. Limited for the manufacture of line pipes in an effort to boost local production capacity of a key pipeline making materials. The group also lauded the recent award of the Amukpe-Escravos Pipeline project to another indigenous firm FENOG Nigeria Limited by Pan Ocean Oil Corporation. Nigeria has been trying to promote the use of local content particularly in its oil and gas industry in order to develop local capabilities and create employment. In a statement signed by its President, Nelly Emma, John Sailor (Secretary) and Mukoro Stanley (P.R.O.), the group said the award of the contract by Shell to a Nigerian firm would boost the Local Content. According to the statement, the region will be a peaceful place if local contractors are encouraged by oil majors, urging Shell to award more contracts to Nigerian firms rather than foreign firms. “We want to hail Shell for the recent award of N7.8 billion contract to a Nigerian firm; this is good news to our group that has been fighting for implementation of the Local Content Act and transparency in the petroleum industry. Shell and other oil majors will not have any problem with our group as long as they do not act in a way to undermine the Local Content Act. This gesture by Shell is a right step in the right direction, but this

Delta From Okungbowa Aiwerie,Asaba

does not mean that we will not fight on, oil majors will not know peace in the region unless they do the right things.”

HE Chairman of Badagry Local Government Area, Lagos State,Mr Husitode Moses, says the council plans to repackage Badagry Cultural Folks Festival to boost tourism in the area. Moses told reporters in Badagry that the festival would also serve as source of revenue for the council. ``I am planning to repackage Badagry cultural folks festival to ensure that we promote our heritage endowment with a view to deriving economic gains from it.’’ He promised to budget more funds and resources for the organisation of the festival in order to attract tourists. ``Just like we organised it in 2009 when hotel business and general merchandise were boosted, the council will re-enact the same feat in such away that the economy of Badagry will be lifted.''

Delta From Polycarp Orosevwotu, Warri

Egedegbe gave this assurance during a town hall meeting with host communities in Agbon and Abraka in Ethiope East Local Government Area and Uvwiamughe-Agbarho, AgbarahaOtor, Orogun, Owevwe and Erhobaro communities in Ughelli North Local Government Area. He noted that the commission would embark on meaningful projects that will affect lives positively in the state, saying that the town hall meeting was to enable the people decide on what projects to be executed in their communities. Egedegbe, who said that the commission had decided to adopt a bottom-to-top approach in order to get the communities to make input into the 2012 budget, explained

•Governor Uduaghan that the commission was not out to embark on white elephant projects that would be abandoned, assuring that projects to be executed by the commission would be completed within one year.

Governor cracks down on illegal occupants


NUGU State Governor Sullivan Chime has ordered the arrest of people occupying any portion of the roads in the state. Chime, who gave the order in Enugu , while inspecting public schools, frowned at the way residents destroyed public utilities in the state. He was particularly irked at the indiscriminate way residents used portion of asphalt roads as platforms for mixing their cement for the construction of their private houses and other structures. The governor, who was held in traffic following the construction of a building on Old Airport Rd in Emene near Enugu,

wondered why people should turn the roads to workshops. ``This road was built with meagre resources of the state. It is wrong to mix concrete on asphalt roads because it destroys the road. Just get them arrested,’’ the governor ordered. He also banned the washing of vehicles on roads, pointing out that the chemicals used for car wash were capable of destroying the road. The governor embarked on the inspection of public primary and secondary schools in the state to ascertain the facilities needed to improve them.

Provost gets royal blessing

T •From left: Phili Hall, Vice Patron, Nigeria-Britain Association (NBA), outgoing British Deputy High Commissioner, Robin Gwynn and Tunde Arogunmati, NBA President, at a farewell party in honour of the Gwynns, hosted by NBA Life Patron, Mr. Akintola Williams at his residence in Ikoyi


‘We won’t sack any worker’ WHILE rendering account of his stewardship, the caretaker Chairman, Ekiti West Local Government, Mr. Sola Fakanle has assured that no worker would be laid off during his administration. As the council boss lamented overstaffing in the council’s department of Account and Administration, he expressed displeasure over paucity of medical professionals in the local government, which he said, had been hampering quality healthcare delivery at the grassroots. The chairman, who made the revelation in a chat with the newsmen in Aramoko Ekiti, revealed that 90 per cent of the total revenue is spent on salaries and wages, leaving behind a paltry sum for infrastructure and other capital projects. The council chief disclosed that a comprehensive health centre worth N7 million had been built at Alele quarters in Aramoko to boost healthcare delivery, adding that the council had spent a sum of N8 million on bursary award to about 1,600 students of the local government origin across the tertiary institutions in the country. Among other achievements, he revealed that a N4 million worth of Women Development Centre was built in Okemesi-Ekiti to train women in skills acquisition for self-dependence and empowerment for womenfolk.

Chiefs ostracise ex-council chair From Polycarp Orosevwotu, Warri

•From left: Head Girl, Methodist Girls High School, Christianah Olowu; Mr Joseph Oyegbile; Mrs Stella Jackson; Mrs Adebisi Adeyemi, Chairman Advisory Council of the school, Mrs Dame Johnson, Principal of the school Mrs Ruth Olusheye; Mrs Abimbola Alli and Rev Oguntayo cutting the cake to mark the celebration of the 132 anniversary of the school.


MOSOGAR Council of Chiefs (Oguedion), Ethiope West Local Government Area, Delta State has ostracised the immediate past chairman of the council, Dr Wilson Omene and one-time commissioner for Housing in the state, Engr. Abraham Bobor and others for allegedly causing disunity in the kingdom. Others that were also ostracised are; President General of Mosogar Development Union, Chief Joe Omene, Mr Oghenedoro Ugbune, Dr Omonigho Ogbakpa for allegedly working against the monarch, HRH Udurhie 1 and the development of the community. The monarch, who disclosed this during emergency meeting of the Council of Chiefs held at his instance, said the actions of the people were unbearable and that they were being ostracised for their alleged failure to adhere strictly to the laws of the kingdom. He further alleged that they have taken some actions that were inimical to the progress of Mosogar people, pointing out that the essence of the meeting was to review the activities of the accused persons and be ostracized from the community to serve as a deterrent to others.

HE Oba of Lagos, His Royal Majesty, Oba Riliwanu Babatunde Aremu Akiolu I has advised the new provost of Adeniran Oba Akiolu Ogunsanya College of Education (AOCOED), Otto/Ijanikin, Lagos, Mr Olalekan Wasiu Bashorun, to be firm and diligent in the discharge of his duties. The monarch gave the charge when the management of AOCOED led by its Governing Council Chairman, Mrs. Victoria Adedamola Akran, introduced Mr. Bashorun as the new Provost. Oba Akiolu observed that Mr. Bashorun came from a very distinguished family on Lagos Island, adding that such pedigree must

Council seeks upgrade of communities


HE Chairman of Ise/Orun Local Government Area in Ekiti State, Mr Femi Ajayi, has called on the state government to upgrade five villages in his council to the status of a town. Ajayi, who, at a press briefing, hinted that he had defrayed the N30 million debt he inherited from his predecessor, listed the villages to include: Ogbese, Kajola, Ajegunle, Obada and Afolu. He said the communities have enough basic amenities and the population to merit the conversion that would enable them have more infrastructural facilities and produce substantive heads to pilot the affairs of the agrarian communities. He emphasised that the villages had contributed immensely to the agricultural development of the state, noting that their new statuses would draw more benefits to the areas. On the debt incurred by the local government before he came on board, the chairman disclosed that the council was being run on an overdraft of N10 million monthly to pay staff

salaries, which he said, he had normalised for the council to be in good shape. He further disclosed that he had expended about N40 million on the construction of roads in the two major towns (Ise and Orun) to ease transportation and bring the dividends of democracy to the people. He said about N6.2 million was paid as bursary to the students of tertiary institutions in the council area in the 2009/2010 academic session to palliate the sufferings of indigent students. Ajayi revealed that the council is working with the Guinness PLC for the extension of water project to Ise, Orun and other major villages in the community.

form the basis for the provost’s excellent performance on the job. “You must be firm in the discharge of your duties as the provost of your college. “Even, if I, Oba Akiolu I, should send a candidate for admission to your college’s programmes and such candidate is not qualified, you must not admit him or her” the oba said. Oba Akiolu I, who is the Chairman, Lagos State Council of Obas and Chiefs, prayed for a successful tenure for the Provost, hoping that he would move from the job to a higher assignment. The traditional ruler urged the college’s governing council, management, staff and students, to work harmoniously with the provost in the best interest of the institution. Responding, Mr. Bashorun pledged to live up to the confidence reposed in him by the royal father, promising to work tirelessly for the upliftment of the college. He said he was prepared to reposition the foremost tertiary institution in Lagos State to meet all international standards and to the envy of all in Nigeria. On the entourage to the oba’s palace were two members of the college’s governing council, Chief Labi Ishola-Lemomu, Alhaji Salia Fagbenro, college registrar, Mr. Bola Disu, Bursar, Mr. Olayiwola Ipaye, Director, Centre for Lagos Studies, Mr. Femi Keshinro, a lecturer, Mr. Dotun Oluwa, and PRO, Mr. Adebowale Odunayo.

Firm gets new MD BRITON, Mr John Robert Jenkins, has been appointed the new Managing Director for Ports and Cargo Handling Services Limited, Member of Sifax Group. Jenkins succeeded Mr Aboubaker Hadi, who returned to his home country to take up a national appointment. Jekins was also the former General Manager of Golden Terminal in 2006 and has had 32 years experience in the maritime industry in Europe, Middle East and Africa.


•Oba Akiolu (sitting in the middle ) Mr Bashorun (left) and Mrs Akran (right) with other visitors and white cap chiefs during the visit





The Arewa House, Kaduna, was packed full on October 29 when renowned educationist Prof Adamu Baike unveiled his autobiography, Against all odds, to mark his 80th birthday. TONY AKOWE writes

Man of many firsts turns 80 H

E has many firsts to his name. He is the North’s first professor of education; first Chairman of the Northen Elders Christian Forum and first Nigerian to be appointed vice-chancellor of a foreign university. Prof Adamu Baike, turned 80 on October 29. Former Head of State Gen Yakubu Gowon was in his element that day as he dished out rib-craking jokes. There was hardly a dull moment during the over two-hour event held at the Education Trust Fund (ETF) Hall of the Arewa House in Kaduna. As elders, who are contemporaries of the celebrator, walked into the hall, it was glaring the respect he commands in the region and beyond. Though an indigene of Kano, Baike’s contribution to the nation’s educational development has conferred on him the status of a national icon. Gowon, who chaired the event, recalled their early days, telling stories of when they were in school. He told the gathering how good he was as a goalkeeper, who constantly stopped Baike from scoring, but not without incurring pains in his stomach in the process. He jokingly questioned Baike’s ‘claim’ to be 80 and the fact that he has to reluctantly accept that Baike is older than him as he turned 77. When Professor Emeritus Umaru Shehu, entered, Gowon sought to know who is older between him and Baike. Following Shehu’s response, Gowon appeared satisfied that there was somebody older than Baike in the hall. The crowd erupted in laughter. Bishop Matthew Hassan Kukah also made the gathering to reel with laughter while reviewing a book written on the celebrator. He said he accepted to review the book without knowing the task ahead of him and had to pray silently for the event to be postponed, especially after realising that the book was entitled:Against all Odds and has 730 pages. According to Kukah, the book could have taken a different title, which he called: “How one flew over the cuckoo’s nest.” He wondered: “How this great man escaped the vagaries, vicissitudes and challenges of life.” He argued that the autobiography was a clarion call to all those who have played a role in the life of this nation to step forward and tell their stories themselves, adding that the tragedies afflicting leaders around the world, from the Arab dictators to our own local dictators here, show clearly that if you do not try to tell your own story as you see your own life, you will reduce your future to speculations, innuendos, superstitions, suspicions and misrepresentation. “The world will see you not as you want them to see you but sometimes as your worst enemies want you to be seen. Gaddafi will not be seen from the eyes of the Americans.” Accolades were poured on the birthday boy. Former Vice- President Atiku Abubakar described him as a man with positive influence on his life and always willing to spend his time in serving his fatherland in the area of education. An Associate Professor of Law at the Nasarawa State University and former Special Adviser on Legal Matters to Abubakar, Maxwell Gidado, said Baike’s influence on his life was something he would never forget, especially when he (Baike) employed him as a lecturer at the Nasarawa State University, Keffi. The book presenter and former Minister of Defence, Gen Theophilus Danjuma, said there was so much to learn from Baike’s life. He agreed with Bishop Kukah that leaders should write their life memoirs to serve as guide to the younger generation.

• The celebrator, Prof Baike assisted by his wife Elizabeth to cut the cake

When called upon to give the vote of thanks, the former Director, Centre of Historical Documentation (Arewa House), Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria and member of the organising, committee for the book presentation, Dr Halilu Boboi, took time to reflect on his relationship with Baike. He said: “I came to work with him a little late; from 1999 to 2006 when I was Director of Arewa House. He was the Chairman of the Northern Educational Research Project, which Arewa House established to address the problem of education in the northern states. He chaired the technical committee and was also instrumental to a number of activities associated with the project, including the annual education summit, which we used to hold here at Arewa House. He comes out as somebody fully dedicated to the cause of education. He never complained about anything, but applies himself without any worry. He will sponsor himself to Kaduna, find his own accommodation and participate in our activities. “Our relationship with him was more like that of a father than the chairman of a technical group. We used to share some jokes with him. He had files for every member and he used to tell us that if we do well, there will be positive remarks about us on the file and if

we do badly, the files will get missing. He was more of a father to us, trying to encourage us to do what we should do, trying to guide us and asking the right questions. He comes out as a perfect gentleman who is able and willing to bring everybody under his umbrella. He encouraged us and served as a father to all of us during our activities at the Northern Educational Research Project. He is such a wonderful man”. Boboi, however, told The Nation that Baike “has been an integral part of the university system as early as the 1960s. He served as Dean of the Faculty of Education, Ahmadu Bello University and was closely associated with the Institute of Education. He had a stint as VC of several universities; one of the few who served not only in the part of the country where they come from. He was at the University of Benin and travelled out of the country to the Southern African region. He came back to establish a new university in Nasarawa State. So, he is the kind of person that has contributed immensely to the development of education in this country. He served in various committees. He inspired the establishment of various agencies. I believe that when the history of education in this country will be written, the name of Prof Baike will be written in gold.”

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor, Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, who was the guest speaker wondered why he was picked for the job. He added: “When I got the letter inviting me to speak at this event, I wondered why I have been selected. But like Bishop Kukah said, I could not afford to miss an event like this. I was supposed to go on hajj with my family. I had to send them ahead with a mind of joining them there later for me to be here.” When it was his turn to speak, the celebrator, in apparent response to Sanusi, said: “One thing Sanusi does not know is that his grandfather signed my father’s retirement papers. The two families have been very close.” Expectedly, Baike, however, did not fail to take his pound of flesh from Gowon. He told the gathering: “We were school mates with Gen Gowon and when we spoke earlier, he reminded me that he wanted us to join the Army together and I told him that if I had joined the Army, he would have become the General that he is now and maybe I would have ended up a Private. While Gowon went to Barewa College, I went to Teacher Training College. That was how we went our separate ways.” More pictures on page 32



SOCIETY It was a celebration of cross-boundary culture last Saturday when former Miss Omoyemi, a niece of General Alani Akinrinade and Ishaya, son of General Paul Tarfa, exchanged marital vows. TAJUDEEN ADEBANJO was there.


E was at the University of Westminster, London to accomplish a mission - a Masters Degree in Management and Economics, but on getting there, matters of the heart set in when he set his eyes on a damsel. “We met each other when I was doing my Masters in London. My friend invited me for a friend’s birthday party. It was at the birthday party that I met Yemi, since I set eyes on her, I knew I have another mission to accomplish in the UK,” Ishaya, son of former commandant of the Nigerian Defence Academy (NDA), Maj Gen Paul Tarfa, who got married to the woman of his dreams last Saturday, told The Nation. He considered winning her heart, another challenge and went all out to accomplish it. Before returning home, he had become friends with former Miss Omoyemi Akinrinade, a niece of General Alani Akinrinade, a former chief of Army Staff. Ishaya’s proposal drew tears from the eyes of Omoyemi. Apparently, she had been expecting it. “I cried the day he proposed to me,” Omoyemi told The Nation. “I was working on my laptop in London while he was doing the same thing in Abuja, Nigeria. Suddenly, he kept a long silence and then made his intention known. Being an emotional person, I cried and told him to call my dad. “He hung the phone, called my dad and called me back. Immediately, my mum called me to inform me that Ishaya just called,” she explained. The rest, as they say is now history. The couple walked down the aisle last Saturday at the Holy Cross Cathedral on Catholic Mission Street, Lagos. In the presence of eminent personalities, Ishaya and Omoyemi were declared husband and wife by the Monsignor Paschal Nwaezeagbu-led officiating ministers. After a photograph session, the bridal train moved into the refurbished City Hall opposite the church. Guests were treated to melodious music by the Gloria Ibru-led G-Knot band. Aside dressing, one thing that stood the couple out were their scintillating dance steps. It amused the guests; many of whom stretched their necks to watch the couple’s superlative display. But give it to Omoyemi; she deserved all the accolades showered on her by the bridal train and the guests. Her mother, Mrs Yemisi Akinrinade, was equally awesome on the dance floor. Anchored by the popular polyglot, Bisi Olatilo, the wedding featured a minute silence and prayer for the groom’s late mother Mrs Deborah Tarfa, cocktail, cutting of the cake, toast and couple’s dance. Wife of Chairman MicCom Cables and MicCom Golf Centre and Resort, Princess Olufunke Ponnle, said the opening prayer. Princess Ponnle, a London-trained engineer, prayed God to make the couple the best of friends. Chairman of the occasion, former Chief of Naval Staff, Vice-Admiral Akintunde Aduwo described marriage as sacred. Aduwo, a former military governor of the defunct Western Region, expressed joy to chair the reception. “In the last two months, I have chaired weddings involving children of military families and the unions have to do with bridge building,” he said. He urged the couple to always show understanding and maturity in dealing with each other. “This is your own ship, both of you should settle issues within your bedroom. Always remember to protect your family values,” he said. Aduwo thanked everybody that made the union a reality. An elated bride’s mother, Mrs Yemisi Akinrinade, described the day as wonderful.

•The couple Ishaya and Omoyemi cutting the cake

‘I cried when he proposed to me’ She said: “The groom is a loving young man and my daughter is one of the best daughters anybody would ever ask for and today is a good day for every body.” Marriage, she noted, is a covenant. “It is about family and about being there in good times and in bad times. Marriage is easy, though people say it’s difficult,

but I don’t think so. Marriage is easy if you are open, if you are honest, if you are forgiving, then it’s easy. It’s not about seeking to console one person or another. It’s about accepting with all the flaws. Once you do that, it is easy. I wish them happiness and long life,” she said. Gen Tarfa urged the couple to learn

how to resolve issues amicably. Marriage, he said, is about understanding each other, “that they should exhibit at all times.” Ishaya was full of appreciation to his in-laws and guests. •More pictures on page 31



SOCIETY Continued from page 30

•Groom’s father Major Gen Tarfa

‘I cried when he proposed to me’

•Chief Femi Olopade

•Gen Alani Akinrinade (right) and Mr Dehinde Abolarin

•Gen Chris Ali and his wife Dolly

•Bride’s parents Mr and Mrs Femi Akinrinade

•Vice-Admiral Aduwo

•Former Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Jubril Ayinla

•Chief Alex Duduyemi and his wife Shola

•Former Governor of Ekiti State Otunba Niyi Adebayo (left) and Labi Ani-Mumuney

•Oba Otudeko (left) and Chief Tayo Akpata

•Air Vice-Marshal Anthony Okpere (left) and Rear Admiral Andrew Okoja

•From left: Prof Adebayo Williams; Mrs Ronke Fatuga and Mrs Tonye Eyimira PHOTOS: ADEJO DAVID




Man of many firsts turns 80

Continued from page 29


•Kano State Deputy Governor, Abdullahi Ganduje and Minister of the Environment, Mrs Hadiza Malaifa

•Gen Gowon (left) and Gen Danjuma

•Former Chief of Army Staff, Martin Luthar Agwai


•Vice-Chancellor Bayero University Kano, Prof Abubakar Abdulrasheed (left) and Prof Shehu

•Mr Sobanjo (left) and Chairman Aso Savings and Loans, Dr Abdu Mukhtar •From left: Smollan; Mrs Laoye and Mr Woolnough

Passing the baton On November 1, a group, LEAP, held its sixth CEO’s Forum and book launch in Lagos. NNEKA NWANERI was there. NON-PROFIT organisation committed to developing dynamic leaders known as Leadership, Effectiveness, Accountability and Professionalism (LEAP), on November 1 brought thousands of youths to the City Hall, Lagos, for the sixth Chief Executive Officers (CEO) Forum and the launch of its latest book, Passing the Baton. The event gave opportunities to young entrepreneurs and chief executives to reappraise themselves and look for a better way of improving their services and sustaining their businesses. Guests jostled for space as they kept trickling in till the hall was filled. They were mostly young men and women hungry for the knowledge to carry their businesses Hence, they came in their num-


bers to listen to speakers. Some of the speakers were the Managing Director (Chief Executive Officer of Nestle Nigeria Plc, Martin Woolnough; Chairman/Chief Executive Officer Smollan Group, Dough Smollan. Others were the former Chief Executive Officer of Insight Communications, Biodun Shobanjo; ace broadcaster and television presenter, Adesuwa Onyenokwe; youth motivational speaker, Toyosi Akerele of Rise and a host of others. They shared insights on the theme of the day: Key principles to sustaining businesses: insight from global CEOs. Everyone stayed glued to their seats as they listened attentively when speakers told them about their life-changing experiences. Mr Woolnough encouraged the

•Mr Oladejo


youth on the keys to becoming what they want to be. “Honesty, integrity, hard work and loyalty are basic. Service, passion, discipline,

urgency, intelligence and results are the core attributes the employers look for,” he explained. To the helmsmen, he said: “The most powerful form of leadership is to lead by example.” The book was reviewed by the Group Managing Director, Hygeia, Mrs Fola Laoye, who took over the business from her father. She said the six-chapter book examined succession options both internally and externally. Quoting from the book, she gave the importance of the book for transition in family owned businesses and recommended same for all leaders in businesses. “In the Nigerian context, the issue of succession planning is compounded by the country’s harsh business climate. As a result, majority of Nigerian businesses do not outlive their founders and this loss negatively impacts on a variety of stakeholders, from employees to shareholders to a broader community,” she stressed. The book was unveiled by the Special Adviser to Lagos State Governor on Commerce and Industry, Mr Seye Oladejo, amid fireworks.



SOCIETY It was a gathering of academics and professionals when former Vice Chancellor of the University of Ife, now Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Prof Cyril Agodi Onwumechili, launched his autobiography: Coming a long way. Former Vice-President Alex Ekwueme, governors, professionals and chiefs completed the A guests list. OSAS ROBERT and HAMEED YEKINI report.

•From left: Mrs Beatrice Ekwueme; Prof Afolabi; Prof Onwumechili and Admiral Alison-Madueke

Celebrating an icon I

NDEED as his autobiography puts it, Prof Cyril Agodi Onwuechili has come a long way. When his autobiography: “Coming a long way” was launched in Lagos on October 28, it was time to recall old times for him, his friends and associates. Onwumechili, a former Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ife (now Obafemi Awolow University) pulled a crowd of eminent personalities to the launch. It was a crowd of intellecutuals that came to honour one of their own. By 10a.m, the guests had settled in the auditorium of Nigeria Institute of International Affairs (NIIA), Victorian Island, Lagos waiting for the event to start. Many of them were either former students of the erudite professor or his colleagues. The event was a reunion of sorts as alumni of King’s College, Obafemi Awolowo University and Enugu State University gathered to honour a living legend. In attendance were the Chairman of the day; former Vice-President Alex Ekwueme, whose presence was greeted with a standing ovation; former governor of Anambra and Imo states; Admiral Amechinna Alison-Madueke; former Head of Civil Service of the Federation, Prof Oladapo Afolabi; Gloria Elemo, who represented the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Science and Technology, Dr Dere Awosika, among others.

Ekwueme, also an old boy of King’s College, recalled his 66-year-old friendship with Prof Onwumechili. “We have known each other for a period of 66years and for the whole 66years, a lot has happened to us while trying to succeed. But we finally thank God that we achieved our aims and we are all here to celebrate with the hero. Agodi was the best student in his class. This book, ‘Coming a long way’ is a heavy volume with 530 pages. Once you start, you won’t stop,” he noted. Prof Afolabi, who reviewed the book, took the guests all through the different stages of Onwumechili’s life. The academic icon according to Afolabi, has his humble beginnings at Inyi, Oji River Local Government Area of Enugu State. He has featured in seven international biographical whois-who including the ones published on science. ‘‘Coming a Long way is a rich and legendary work of Onwumechili as told by himself. The memoir is a unique book of inspiration, motivation and challenge. It has been described by some reviewers as ‘The seven books in one of Cyril’ because it could be recognised and published as an excellent work on its own merit. The author chose to publish this seven in one book for the merit of the people and for all to buy seven books at the cost of one. Coming a long way remains a masterpiece and a reference point for all interested in scien-

tific research in African context, politics and intrigues in the Nigerian universities’ administration, town union, model of community development and the art of scholarship,” Afolabi said. He added:“While some, according to Shakespeare, are born great, some achieve greatness and some have greatness thrust at them. Onwumechili has achieved greatness. There were testimonies after he left King’s College that he was the most brilliant student that has passed through the school. He became a professor at the record age of 30.”

•Dr Ekwueme

•From left: Mr Ayo Opadokun and Mr and Mrs Anya o. Anya

•From left: Dr Elemo; Prof Michael Faborode and Mr Tunde Thompson PHOTOS: NIYI ADENIRAN

•Mrs Uzo Mkparu (left) and Mrs Ugo Okoli




Health is wealth Last Saturday at the Sheraton Hotel and Towers, Ikeja, Lagos, Indulge Nigeria Ltd., a healthy living advocacy company, honoured individuals and corporate bodies for their contributions to the wellness of Nigerians and Africans at large. WALE ADEPOJU reports


T was an evening of fun, music and glamour. It was a cool evening gathering to appreciate those who have contributed to wellness in Africa. Who-is-who in the health and wellness sub-sectors were present; it was the third Indulge Award Dinner at the Sheraton Hotel and Towers, Ikeja, Lagos. Guests arrived early. They looked healthy. Most of the women were gorgeous in their dinner gowns; the men looked respledent in well tailored suits. Some wore traditional attires. The Master of Ceremony made the evening more interesting as he cracked jokes to the admiration of all. He, intermittently, took his time to introduce distinguished guests as they made their entries. Everybody was recognised including the awardees. Five individuals and five companies were on the honours’ list as to be those recognised for their contributions to wellness. These honourees were the wife of Ekiti State Governor and Initiator, Ekiti Development Foundation (EDF), Mrs Bisi Fayemi, who received an award for women welfare, and the Chairman, Sickle Cell Foundation, Nigeria, Prof Olufemi Akinyanju, honoured for his commitment in alleviating the burden of sickle cell disorder to ensure that all those affected can live normal pain-free lives. There was also the Founder, African Refugee Foundation (AREF), Chief Segun Olusola, honoured for providing relief for people in need. His award came under the humanitarian service category. Others were the Medical Director, Alimosho General Hospital, Dr Bolaji Adebiyi, who received an award for sports in work places, Founder/Executive Director, Vitiligo Support and Awareness Foundation (VITSAF), Ogo Maduewesi, was honoured for her vitiligo awareness campaign the Grand Cereals Limited for Soya Pure Oil; Unilever for Blue Band Low Fat Spread; African Independent

Television; Promasidor for Loya High Calcium Milk and MTN Foundation. The host, Indulge Nigeria Limited, led by its Chief Executive Officer, Dr Bisi Abiola, each guest gave two gift bags before they were ushered to their seats arranged in clusters. Dr Abiola along with the ushers accompanyed them to their seats. Her hospitality was indicative and appreciative of their attendance. There were games such as exchange of garlands, dancing competition, question and answer which added pep to the event. Dr Abiola explained that the achievements of the awardees cut across different areas of wellness initiatives. According to her, they included women welfare, heart health, provision of basic human needs and encouraging healthy diet plan and lifestyle. “It covers promotion of beneficial fitness activities in the work place, boosting public awareness on vitiligo, controlling and providing care for sickle cell disorder, and dissemination of healthful news through selective health programmes and talk shows, among others,” she said.

•Prof Akinyanju and Dr Abiola

•Mr Azeez Sanni

•Mr Tunde Latona and his wife, Peju


• Deputy Governor of Osun State, Otunba Grace Titi Laoye-Tomori receiving Chief Executive Officer, Ignition Nigeria, Mr Neil Wragg during a courtesy visit on Transformation Agenda for Youths in Osun State in her office, Osogbo, Osun State.

•Amb Olusola and Anthonia Aina

•Dr Adebiyi and his Wife, Bimpe


•Olugbo of Ugbo Kingdom, Oba Obateru Akinruntan, his wife Iyabode, joined by Princes and Princesses to cut the 2nd coronation anniversary cake last Friday at Ode-Ugbo, Ondo State



SOCIETY The Seventh anniversary of the Records and Information Management Agency (RIMA) was celebrated at the Sheraton Hotels and Towers, Ikeja, Lagos with pomp and ceremony. NNEKA NWANERI reports.

•Ms Fashola; Mrs Oyebo; Mr Toyin Ogunsinde, Mrs Oyewole and Dr Thurston cutting the cake


HE red carpet was inviting. Fixed at a strategic point at the entrance of the Banquet Hall of Sheraton Hotel, where everyone was treated like a star, guests stepped in one after the other, gaily dressed in dinner attires. The ladies glowed in beautiful gowns and men in well-sewn suits, as they posed for photographs with their colleagues and hosts. At the entrance of the hall were large banners indicating the organising partners, which included Firstbank of Nigeria Plc and Havilah Academics. The dinner was meant to celebrate excellence, reward hard work, honour integrity in the promotion and management of records and security of information. Richmond Osuji, who anchored the event introduced RIMA Foundation President, Mr Oyedokun Oyewole. There were goodwill messages from asso-

•Chairman, ARMA International Educational Foundation, USF, Mr Larry Eiring (left) and DG/ CEO, National Identity Management Commission, Mr Chris Onyemenam

In celebration of excellence ciates of the agency. Among them was International Director, International Records Management Trust (IRMT), Dr Ann Thurston, who came from the United Kingdom. She won the RIMA Icon of Our time in Information Management and Security. Awards were presented to the Head, Document Management of First Bank Plc., Mrs Yemisi Oyebo, who won the Management Personality of the Year. Others were V Connect as the Personalised Information Product; Lagos State Records and Archives Bureau (LASRAB), for Special Information Management (SIM) award for state ministry; Special IM awards for banks was bagged by FirstBank with its 27001 certification; award for health care goes to

Family Health International, among others. There were various entertainment groups and individuals who thrilled the audience with their music and performances. The Meditators Entertainment mimed some songs while the Laugh Ambassadors gave rib-cracking jokes to the delight of guests. Also performing was Korede the short boy. The anniversary cake was cut with the trustees and advisors of the foundation. There was also a launch of the RIM Africa Journal. Mrs Oyebo, who was referred to as the RIMA’s mother for the day, lauded the project. She said she was captivated by the president’s passion for RIMA.

The host gave the reason for the day. She said:“This annual event is organised to reward and recognise individuals and organisations that have excelled in the record and information management industry in Nigeria and Africa.” Oyewole said: “This year’s edition was significant because for the first time, someone was named the RIM Icon of our Time, with voting done by professionals everywhere across the globe and the global information management society of the world. In attendance were the Lagos State Governor’s sister, Yinka Fashola and the Managing Director/ Chief Executive Officer of Ice magazine, Mrs Clara Okoro among others.


Member of The Nation editorial Board, Prof M o s e s Makinde and v e t e r a n journalist, Mr O l u t a d e Makinde at the wedding

• The couple Oluwamayowa and Olubunmi

• Bride’s father Folayemi Famotimi flanked by bride’s mum Victoria Akin-Dada (left) and groom’s mum Mrs Elizabeth Abe

•Confetti: (from left) Abiola, Modupe, Bose, Dolapo and Jumoke






ND when our messengers came to Lot, he was grieved for them because he could not protect them against the sacrilegious acts of his townsmen (who were neck deep in homosexuality). Lot concluded: ‘this is a day of woe.’ And as the evil doers came rushing towards him he said: ‘’my people, here are my daughters; they are (sexually) more lawful to you than your fellow men. Have fear of Allah and do not humiliate me (with your sacrilege) before my guests. Is there no single good man amongst you? “Then, the Angels said: ‘Lot! We are the messengers of your Lord; they shall not touch you. Depart with your kinsfolk in some part of the night and let none of you look back, except your wife. She shall suffer the fate of the others. Their appointed time is the morning. And, is the morning not near? And when our judgement came to pass, we laid them (and their towns) upside down and let loose upon them a shower of burnt stones bearing the tokens of your Lord. Such is not far off from all evil doers”. Q. 11: 76, 77, 81 & 82. The above Qur’anic quotations are in reference to the people of Prophet Lot (Lut) and the consequences of their evil deeds. But as the last quoted verse indicates, the story of such evil machination did not end with them and its consequences will not end with them. Now, the imperial West seems to have found a new civilisation in sodomy. It probably believes that the men of Sodom and Gomorrah were afflicted by the mentioned calamity either because they were not clever enough or they had no nuclear power with which to fight God. The chief gay crusader of this era is no less a personality than the Prime Minister of Britain, David Cameron whose campaign for free homosexuality and same sex marriage is going international. At the Commonwealth Heads of Governments Meeting held in Australia two weeks ago, Cameron’s preoccupation was to sell the constitutional entrenchment of free homosexuality to other Heads of governments particularly those from Africa. He threatened to withdraw his government’s aid to any country that refused to allow gay freedom in its constitution. The first reaction to that threat came from the Ghanaian President John Atta Mills who publicly and eloquently told his fellow countrymen that his government would not tolerate the linkage of foreign aid to promotion of gay rights. President Mills open denunciation came after David Cameron boasted in the British Parliament that he had sold the concept of gay rights to the Commonwealth countries. “If the aid is going to be tied to things that will destroy the moral fibre of our society, do you really want that?” President Mills concluded. Ghana was not alone in such denunciation. Uganda also asserted last week that she would rather suffer any economic backlash from anywhere over her opposition to gay rights. Meanwhile, the Presidents of both countries have separately proscribed homosexuality and condemned Cameron’s threat. Out of the 54 members of the Commonwealth, 41 maintain laws banning homosexuality, with many of those laws dating back to the British colonial rule. Uganda has described Cameron’s threat to cut bilateral aid as bullying tactics. And Ghana, which enjoyed some 36 million British pounds aid last financial year, said it would not compromise on the matter. It will be recalled that Cameron had been harping on gay rights since early last year. He apparently promised his party to take the campaign for gay rights to the outside world, convinced that the British point of view was more salutary than Africa’s. When Malawi, another African Country, sentenced two homosexuals to 14 years imprisonment with hard labour recently, David Cameron responded by slashing $30 million from that country’s aid. Led by President Goodluck Jonathan, a Nigerian delegation attended the recent Commonwealth meeting in Australia. But no one gave any report of such a clandestinely devilish mission (positively or negatively) back home. Why was Nigerian delegation silent on it? That is a general question for anybody to answer in relation to Nigerian factor. What we rather saw was a shameless sponsor of a bill in the Senate calling for the inclusion of gay freedom in Nigerian constitution. Incidentally, a controversy had ensued on an allegation that the 08051101861

Executive gay crusade

•Cameron Deputy Senate President was working on such a bill, an allegation which he promptly denied. It will be too much of a coincidence for a bill of that nature to suddenly surface in our Senate subsequent to the Commonwealth meeting at which Cameron’s gay crusade was intense. The coincidence became more suspicious when a termagant Nigerian woman of Eastern extraction appeared in the Senate to defend the sacrilegious bill. However, we thank God that the Senate President David Mark, maintained his dignity and upheld the cultural honour of Nigerians by not allowing any debate on such an obnoxious bill. In his remark, Mark told his colleagues that such a bill was not only incompatible with African culture but also antithetical to religious beliefs in Nigeria. Bravo! Allowing a debate on such a sacrilege would have brought any image left for the Senate to the lowest ebb. It could be assumed that for David Cameron to have championed such a desecration, he must have also been a gay. And what can be strange in having a gay as the Prime Minister of Britain when publicly known Gays are consecrated as Bishops in the Church of England which is headed by the Queen. And despite the hue and cry on Cameron’s heretic action, the Queen who is the Head of State remains silent. A political school of thought has suggested that David Cameron might have

been driven by blind ambition to win election into the crusade for gay rights. But that can only be true of his campaign for the sacrilege inside Britain. What votes does he expect from African countries? An analyst said he needed the acceptability of the Commonwealth countries as a springboard for his gay rights campaign at home. At least if he tells Britons that almost all the Commonwealth countries have accepted to include gay rights in their constitution that may ginger the British electorate towards voting for him. After all, he has also taken his gay crusade even to secondary school level in England saying that teaching children about equality for gay people and the importance of civil partnerships should be “embedded” in Britain’s school curriculum. The irony of Cameron’s new crusade is that he had, in the past, opposed any inclusion of gay rights in the British constitution. Even as recently as 2003, he voted for the retention of section 28 of the British acts which prohibited gay rights in Britain. But in a sharp departure from his Tory past, Cameron has come out shamelessly to apologise for supporting that section and turned round to say that teaching about equality was an important way of combating homophobic bullying. In a question and answer session called ‘Cameron Direct’ recently, where he was answering questions posed to him by the Gay Rights campaign group at Stonewall, he opened up on his conviction of gay rights. The group asked whether he agreed with the Liberal Democrat leader, Nick Clegg, that children should be taught that homosexuality is “normal and harmless”. And his answer was this: “We do need good sex and relationship education. That education should teach people about equality and the sort of country we are – that we treat people the same whether they are straight or gay, or black or white or a man or a woman. It is important that ethos is embedded in our schooling”. “In the past, the Conservative party made a mistake with section 28. That is something we have apologised for. We got that wrong. The only thing I thought where Nick Clegg was potentially getting it wrong is, I don’t think the style and content of sex and relationship education should be dictated from high up in Whitehall and Westminster. There is a danger with that”. “But should we teach children about relationships? Yes, we should. Should we teach them about consent? Yes, we should.

‘It does not matter that Britain, a once colonial empire is returning to the path of perdition neither does it matter that some evil-minded Nigerians are trying to smuggle in the British woes since most Nigerians will do anything for money. What matters at this stage, if Nigeria will remain a country, is to keep far away from the madding crowd of the insane West. Sodomy is the straight path to Hell. We can’t thread it’

Should we teach them about the importance of equality, whether you are heterosexual or homosexual? Yes, we should. Should we teach them about civil partnerships being the way of same sex couples showing commitment just as married couples show commitment? Yes, we should”. “All of those things can help us to create a fairer country and also help us deal with homophobic bullying. There is no doubt that it is a problem and it can be dealt with.” Cameron’s remarks came after Clegg made his call for children to be taught that homosexuality is normal and for faith schools to be required to introduce antihomophobic bullying policies. Britain’s changing attitude towards homosexuality was highlighted last week in a study by the National Centre for Social Research which found that 36% of respondents thought sexual relations between two adults of the same sex were “always or mostly” wrong. This is down from 63% in 1983. Long before carrying his gay campaign to the Commonwealth meeting in Australia, Cameron had secretly done a lot of homework in that direction. For instance, an openly gay woman, Ruth Davidson, 32, had been elected as leader of the Scottish Conservative Party after the entire membership of the party had rejected her leading rival’s radical proposals to create a new centre-right party. She is widely seen as David Cameron’s favourite chosen to lead the Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party by a comfortable margin after a most bitterlyfought and divisive leadership campaign in party history. Officials in London believe that Davidson, a lesbian and the youngest of the four candidates, will be able to freshen up the Tories’ faltering appeal to Scottish voters. Her victory saves the prime minister from the embarrassment of watching the UK party being split by Davidson’s rival for the leadership, Murdo Fraser. Now, with the rapid rate of moral degeneration and deification of capitalism in the West, promoting major vices like homosexuality, lesbianism and bisexualism cannot be strange in any European country. What can be strange is the official exportation of such vices to Africa with such cheap blackmail. The concern here is not much for Africa as a continent as it is for Nigeria as a country. Here is a country of multi-cultural, multi-religious adherents who have for centuries held on tenaciously to their cultural identity and religious affinity. It will be most unfortunate for this and future generations to allow some uncultured charlatans amongst us to smuggle the woes of another society into ours with a view to desecrating our highly valued cultures and faiths. I first heard of the presence of a gay group in Nigeria in 1998 when the preparations were in top gear for the take off of the Fourth Republic. On investigation as a journalist, I discovered that the Headquarters of the group was then in Ibadan. I endeavoured to meet the leader of the group but my effort proved abortive. However, I was able to speak with him on phone (not GSM) from Lagos. It was during our conversation that he told me boastfully that all hands were on deck to get same sex marriage legalized in Nigeria through the National Assembly. He told me that the group had number, money and men to back up its demand emphasising the status of the ranks in the group. The group’s Headquarters then was somewhere off Osuntokun Avenue in Bodija Ibadan. But when I tried to locate the place about two years later, I discovered that the group had relocated to Abuja where it could closely monitor the legalisation of its project through the National Assembly. Thus, I was not surprised when an attempt was first made in 2003 to sponsor a bill in the National Assembly for the legalisation of same sex marriage in Nigeria. It does not matter that Britain, a once colonial empire is returning to the path of perdition neither does it matter that some evil-minded Nigerians are trying to smuggle in the British woes since most Nigerians will do anything for money. What matters at this stage, if Nigeria will remain a country, is to keep far away from the madding crowd of the insane West. Sodomy is the straight path to Hell. We can’t thread it.





Man held for allegedly damaging wife’s eye L YING on her back and facing the ceiling at the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH), Ikeja, 28-year-old Deanne Igho, a graduate of Accounting from the University of Port Harcourt, (UNIPORT) Rivers State, slowly opened her eyes for the first time after several hours in the theatre. She was shocked to find herself in the hospital. “How did I get here?” she wondered. Gradually, she regained consciousness and remembered the incident that occurred at her matrimonial home in far away Port Harcourt on October 7, 2011. Although she could open her eyes, she was sad that she couldn’t see with her left eye. Deanne, who is currently undergoing the mandatory one-year National Youth Service in Port Harcourt reportedly had a quarrel with her heartthrob, Sylvester Emezi two weeks earlier. He was alleged to have pierced her left eye ball with a sharp object. Her shout for help was fruitless. No one was around to rescue her. Pleas by the mother of one to her husband to take her to the hospital fell on deaf ears as he reportedly left the house and locked her inside. Bleeding profusely from the deep cut in the eyeball and eyelid, Deanne banged on the door and at the same time, made frantic calls on her phone for help. But none came until she reportedly passed out. Her little baby who at that moment, woke up, had his body stained with the blood from her mother’s injury. He cried uncontrollably, apparently craving for his mother’s attention. Hours later, there was a bang on the door Neighbours were calling out to Deanne. But there was dead silence from within. The door was reportedly forced open where, to their dismay, Deanne was found on the floor in the pool of her blood. She was subsequently rushed to a private hospital, where the doctor suggested that they should go to a specialist hospital owing to the severity of the damage to the eye. News making the rounds in Port Harcourt is that Sylvester intended using his wife’s eye ball for ritual purposes. Reports had it that the man allegedly ran into a debt of N5m and in his bid to pay, approached a herbalist who demanded that he should bring his wife’s eye ball with which a concoction would be prepared. On application of the concoction, report said the lender would completely forget about the money. In a chat with Newsetra on the issue, the victim’s younger brother, Nero Igho, explained how the family heard about the shocking news.

Stories by Titilayo Banjoko

He said: “That night, my phone rang and when I picked it, I saw it was my sister’s phone number. I heard her crying in pain, saying she was afraid she was going to die. “She pleaded that I should call her husband to take her to the hospital that she was bleeding from an injury in the eye. Immediately, I cut the line and dialed her husband’s number but he refused to pick. “For the first time in my life, I wished I had wings with which to fly from Lagos to Port Harcourt. I then decided to call his father who also lives here in Lagos, to at least reach his son. After that, I also called our father to call her husband, which he did without luck. When I called my sister later, someone who identified himself as Mr. Castro picked the call and informed me that my sister was in the hospital. “Two days later, I travelled to Port Harcourt and discovered that she was rushed to the University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital (UPTH) but was referred to a specialist hospital as the doctors claimed to be writing their exams. On getting to a specialist hospital, we were informed that they needed to carry out surgery urgently on the eye to avoid any infection likely to affect the second eye. They told us that the eye was damaged. I reported the case at a police station before bringing my sister to Lagos for the surgery.” Nero, who insisted that his family wanted justice to be done, further wrote to Crime Victims Foundation, a human rights group in Lagos to assist his family to get the culprit in order for justice to be done. “Please Crime Victim should not leave any stone unturned in ensuring that justice is done,” he stated in his petition to the foundation. Meanwhile, after the incident, Newsextra gathered that Sylvester left Port Harcourt for an undisclosed destination. He was later said to be lodging in a hotel in FESTAC Town area of Lagos in preparation to leave the country as investigation later revealed. But unfortunately for him, Nero, as gathered, got wind of his whereabouts following which he paid him a surprise visit, in the company of a friend. Sighting the duo, Sylvester reportedly attempted to sneak away but was accosted by Nero and his friend. Nero, as gathered, spoke to him in a soft tone and succeeded in cajoling



him to go and see his father-in-law so that the case could be resolved. But on reaching his father-in-law’s DopemuAgege abode, he was apprehended by the police, from where he was taken to the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), Ikeja. Investigations by Newsextra revealed that Deanne’s parents initially kicked against their daughter’s relationship with Sly, as he was popularly called, but she reportedly insisted on settling down with Sly. However, in a meeting with Sylvester before he was taken to Port Harcourt for more police investigation, he wore an expressionless disposition, blaming his indulgence on provocation orchestrated by the devil. Apparently unaware of the magnitude of the damage, he replied when asked about Deanne, “I am also looking for her and my baby. We actually had an argument and she threw the fan at me. I, in turn, hit her back with the fan and she got injured. I took her to the hospital where I was asked to pay the sum of N75, 000. But I left

her to look for the money only to come back and see that her parents had taken her away. Right now, I don’t know where she is.” Pointing to his hand, he continued, “Look at my hand. She inflicted this injury on me in the process.” Her present state, according the Executive Director Crime Victims Foundation (CRIVFON), Mrs Gloria Egbuji, would, no doubt, devastate her. “She needs a lot of encouragement at this moment. She is a victim of crime, and we have to help her. “In fact, we condemn the act and feel it should not, in any circumstance, happen to anybody. We have already liaised with the Lagos State Police Command, following his arrest from a hide out here in Lagos, and would be transferred to Port Harcourt. “The Lagos State Commissioner of Police Mr Yakubu Alkali has assured us that he would link up with his Rivers State counterpart when the suspect gets there. I assure you that with this move, the case will not be forgotten,” he said.

Night guard held in alleged murder of man, 24



USUF Olawale Balogun was hale, and hearty on October 13 when he celebrated his 24th birthday. Three days after, he was shot dead, allegedly by a security guard attached to Sunderland Hotel in Surulere, Lagos Mainland, last week. Eight days after his murder, Yusuf, who should have been buried following Muslim rites, is still in the morgue under police custody while his family is fighting for justice to be done. The only son of his widower father, Yusuf (aka) Hunter, was cut down in his prime in a hail of bullets allegedly fired by one Jelili, a security guard attached to Sunderland Hotel in Surulere, at Jelz Bar located along Oduduwa Street, Surulere Lagos on October 16. An eyewitness and friend to the deceased, Sunday Williams, said they had gone to Kilo

area of Surulere at about 10pm for a good time at the popular Jelz Bar along Oduduwa Street. “When we got to the bar, ‘Hunter’ was playing games and then I told him that it was late and so we should leave. I went outside to wait for him and I saw some area boys fighting with members of the Oodua Peoples Congress (OPC) from Sunderland Hotel. “The fight escalated as they broke bottles to stab their opponents. Then one of the OPC men shot into the air but when that could not quell the fight, he suddenly turned the gun at me and made to shoot me,” Williams said. Overwhelmed with fear, Williams said he ran away and hid in the toilet beside the café within the building. He said that when the OPC men saw he had escaped, he then turned the gun towards the bar and shot through the glass. When calm seemed to have been restored, he said he went back to the hotel to check his friend. On entering the bar, he was shocked to see Yusuf sprawling on the floor of the bar. He said: “I really do not know how he was shot, but maybe he was trying to run out through the back door like others when the pellets of bullets pulled him down. “I quickly carried him outside to see how to revive him because he was still breathing, but the two gates were locked. “I had no choice but to leave him there to go and seek for help. I jumped over the gate and ran to his house. I knocked to no avail. I called the numbers of his family members that I had on my phone but they were all probably asleep at that time. “I also went to their elder brother, Akeem’s

house and hit the gate too but no one answered me. I went back to the bar and met him still breathing. “I met the police there and I begged them not to let Yusuf die like this but they told me that they were waiting for the Special AntiRobbery Squad (SARS) to come and carry him. In an emotion-laden voice, Williams said he helplessly watched his friend die in his arms without helping him. He said: “He died there without help despite police presence.” The visibly shocked Williams said he was not even spared a few minutes to mourn his friend. “I was shocked when the police told me that they could not remove the corpse unless a photograph was taken,” he said. With this disclosure, he said he went out again in the night to search for a photographer without success. “When I came back after searching fruitlessly for a photographer, they insisted that they would not move his corpse until the photograph was taken. “The police now locked the bar with Yusuf inside and then took about five of us to their station. They asked us to write statements after which we were detained till the following morning when they left me to inform the family. However, Balogun had earlier chased the security guard to the Sunderland Hotel where he ran back to. He said: “He ran to the hotel and the manager closed the gate on me. I kept on hitting the gate but got no answer and then I peeped through the hole in the gate and saw when he scaled the fence to another compound.” With this disclosure that the security guard who shot Olawale had escaped back to the

hotel and was allegedly being protected by the manager, the next day, some of the youth in the area stormed the hotel and unleashed terror on both the building and staff. The distraught youths destroyed all the louvres, television sets and air conditioners. However, the intervention of the police saved the hotel from being set ablaze. He said: “The police have done nothing since then except to withhold the corpse. Even the compensation the family was promised has not been given. When Newsextra visited the Sunderland Hotel, some repairs were going on. Attempts to talk to the manager of the hotel were vehemently rebuffed. However, a middle-aged man who is supposedly the manager of the hotel told Newsextra that he could not comment on the incident. One of the residents of the street who spoke to Newsextra in confidence described the death of Hunter as a senseless one. He said they were still trying to come to terms with the murder. He said “What we are waiting for now is justice and that is why we are calling on government to intervene. In addition to punishing Yusuf’s killers, they should look into the menace of OPC in the guise of security.” The Police Public Relations Officer, Lagos State Command, Samuel Jinadu, said justice would run its due course, adding that the Area ‘C’ Commander, Bashir Abdulahi, would do everything possible to bring the culprits to book. He said that although two people had been arrested in connection with the murder, a thorough investigation was continuing. Jinadu said he was not aware that the corpse was still being held, and promised to ensure that the corpse was released to the family for burial.





HE activities of one of the leading microfinance banks in the country, Umuchinemere Pro-credit MicroFinance Bank, (UPMFB) Enugu, is suffering a setback as a result delays by customers in repayment of credit facilities given to them. This, according to the management of the bank, has become a major factor militating against its poverty eradication efforts and that of other micro-finance banks in Nigeria. The chairman of the bank, Monsignor Obiora Ike, told the bank’s shareholders at its 15th annual general meeting (AGM) that the bank was compelled by banking rules and regulations to write off over N70m of its profit in 2010 because

Poverty alleviation programme stalled From Chris Oji, Enugu

of the problem of non-payment of loans by some customers. Ike lamented: “Many people came to the bank and collect money as loans; use it to do business but when it is time to repay the loan, they deploy all manner of antics not to repay the money. They tell the bank don’t disturb me, and when the bank comes a second time they change address and when the bank traces them to their new location, they will go to court and say the bank is disturbing them. That is the phenomenon happening in Nigeria: people taking loans are not

willing to repay, thereby hampering the efforts of our bank and other micro-finance banks in poverty reduction.” The bank boss said however that despite all odds, Umuchinemere Micro-finance Bank was able to eke out a net profit-after-tax of N27.4m, or 11kobo earnings per Share in 2010, which was ploughed back to the bank’s Share reserve to beef up its share capital. While the bank’s customer base moved up from 31,782 in 2009 to 43,172 in 2010, Ike noted that despite the cold operating environment in 2010, the bank made remarkable progress in certain as-

pects of its financial activities in the year under review, as it recorded appreciable increase in its paid-up capital and asset base from N222, 181,570 to N247, 916,510 and from N1.3m to N1.5m in 2010 respectively. He said the activities of the bank over the years, especially during the period under review, got wide acknowledgment and earned it more investors from both within and outside Nigeria, as Enugu State government, for instance, had finalised arrangements for 200 more cabs to be added to the over 500 fleet in its poverty reduction scheme in transportation area managed by the

UNICEF, partners move to prevent outbreak of diseases


NE hundred days since famine was declared in parts of Southern Somalia, the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) and its partners are doing their utmost to prevent a second and potentially more devastating wave of deaths from disease against a background of conflict. “The current rains will bring some relief to drought-affected areas in Somalia and neighbouring countries. They, however, also increase the risk of disease outbreaks and hamper the distribution of aid,” said Elhadj As Sy, UNICEF’s Regional Director for Eastern and Southern Africa. “Escalating fighting across the South of Somalia is also making it even more difficult for our partners to safely deliver life-saving support to children and their families.” As Sy said these factors could aggravate the humanitarian crisis in Somalia and the region. “UNICEF will expand its efforts to reach children wherever they are and minimise the impact of the deteriorating situation. We appeal to our donors to ramp up their invaluable support,” he added.

In Mogadishu, a UNICEF and WHO-supported measles vaccination campaign has begun for 750,000 children between six months and 15 years old. Since the declaration of famine in July, more than one million children have been vaccinated against measles in Somalia. “Across the country, tens of thousands of children have died in past months, and hundreds more die every day. Any delay or disruption in the delivery of assistance is a matter of life and death,” said Sikander Khan, UNICEF’s representative in Somalia. “I urge all parties to the conflict to meet their moral and legal obligations to provide safety and security to children and women already facing a disaster,” he added. “Severely malnourished children are nine times more likely to die from infectious diseases such as measles, cholera and malaria than healthy children. Measles cases have increased dramatically this July when famine was first declared. There were more than seven times as many measles cases than the same month in 2010. “Large numbers of people on the

move, extremely overcrowded camps for displaced people, low immunity and poor water and sanitation infrastructure are also major risks. The onset of the rainy season generally leads to spikes in the number of people suffering from water-borne diseases such as acute watery diarrhoea and malaria. “The disease caseload is also high in neighbouring Kenya where there is an outbreak of dengue fever. “Fighting and heightened security in the border area have led to a significant decrease in the number of Somali refugees crossing into Kenya to 100 people recently compared to 3,400 in recorded previously. “Despite the temporary suspension of all but life-saving humanitarian activities in the refugee camps at Dadaab in Northeast Kenya following the abduction of two aid workers, UNICEF is committed to continuing support for severely malnourished and ill children as well as providing safe water, education and protection services through its partner organisations. “Since the declaration of famine on July 20, almost 110,000 severely mal-

nourished children were treated at UNICEF-supported centres across the region. More than 2.6m people were provided with access to safe water and over 1.5m were reached with hygiene awareness and supplies. Since July, 8,700 metric tons of life-saving supplies were delivered by air, land or sea to South and Central Somalia. “The international community’s response since the famine declaration was tremendous.” Continuing, As Sy said. “But the magnitude of the crisis is such that we are far from reaching every child.” “UNICEF’s Horn of Africa appeal for operations in 2011 was $425m. The needs for 2012 will still be in the hundreds of millions and contributions will be urgently needed so that feeding programmes can assist children and their families in need without any breaks. For Somalia alone, UNICEF needs US$300m in 2012 to ensure the current level of support and to scale up where needed. “We need to get these funds as early as possible to secure the pipeline of critical supplies keeping children alive,” said Khan.

bank. Dissatisfied that the bank used its profit to repay the loans some of its customers took, as its shareholders’ fund experienced a reduction as a result of adjustments and provisions that included total write off of bad debts, the Umuchinemere bank chairman exhorted loan defaulters to act with integrity and keep their promise to repay their loans, even as he urged the shareholders to enhance their equity participation in the bank. “We are faced with the challenges of delays by some customers in the repayment of loans administered as and when due, resulting in the write-off of such debts from our reserves,” the chairman further informed the bank’s stakeholders, urging them to assist in ensuring that facilities borrowed from the bank are promptly repaid. Monsignor Ike charged the bank’s Correspondence banks to collaborate with it in activities that will engender progress of the active poor people and not just looking for the bank’s placements. Earlier, the Legal Holder of the bank and Bishop of Enugu Catholic diocese, Rt. Rev. Dr. Callistus Onaga, represented at the occasion by his Vicar-General, Very Rev. Mgr. Luke Adike, thanked the bank for all its good services to the people of the diocese and the entire Enugu State. Describing the bank as one of the best in the country, the Prelate explained that the bank was not just established to make money but to serve as a veritable instrument of spreading the Good News and proclaiming the gospel through economic emancipation of the people. He therefore urged the bank to keep to banking rules and maintain good relationship. The AGM approved the appointment of three new directors for the bank.ancipation of the people

‘Akpabio committed to people’s welfare’


HE Akwa Ibom State Commissioner for Information and Communications, Mr. Aniekan Umanah has reiterated Governor Godswill Akpabio’s commitment to the people, as evidenced in the numerous peopleoriented projects executed in all communities in the 31 local government areas of the state. Umanah, who was speaking recently at the Metropolitan Hotel Calabar, venue of the 42nd National Council on Information said this commitment by Governor Akpabio has gingered

people’s trust, confidence and support to the Akpabio-led government. He said the government appropriates about 80 per cent of its budgetary provisions for capital expenditure and about 20 per cent for recurrent expenses annually in order to cater for meaningful development projects for the people. Mr. Umanah emphasised that, with this disposition, the state government is able to embark on various people-oriented projects in all sectors which are widely

accepted and highly commendable by the people. Using roads construction by the Akpabio government for illustration, the he said when government sets out to build a 4km road, for instance, the road will be seen physically and walked on by the people. This, according to him, is a show of integrity and commitment on the part of the state government. “With this posture,” Mr. Umanah said, “the people of Akwa Ibom State now look unto the government with prospect,”

•From right: Clerk of the House, Ojokoro Local Council Development Area, Lagos, Mr Akin Akintolayo; council chairman, Hon Benjami Olabinjo; vice chairman, Hon Fausat Hassan-Olajokun; Hon Jamiu Odebiyi; Hon Halimat Towobola; Hon Sunday Ajayi and Hon Olawale Kashimawo

adding that “this trust is what the Federal Government lacks from Nigerians due to years of abandoned and uncompleted federal projects as well as unaccomplished dreams.” He further noted that when only about N4m is released by the Federal Government for a federal road project estimated to gulp multi-millions of Naira within a targeted period; this only heightens the lack of trust and confidence about Federal Government’s commitment to the people. Mr. Umanah therefore urged the Federal Government to step up avenues and strategies to build up the people’s confidence in order to enable the people to buy into the Federal Government’s new development agenda, visions and programmes. In his reaction, the Minister/ Deputy Chairman, National Planning Commission, Dr. Shamsudeen Usman, acknowledged the people-oriented projects of the Akpabio-administration, stating that he was in Akwa Ibom and actually saw the


roads and other projects executed in the state. The minister commended the Akpabio administration for its commitment to the development of the state and the people at large, even as he expressed optimism that Goodluck Jonathan’s administration is committed to the transformation of Nigeria and the well-being of Nigerians.

With this posture, the people of Akwa Ibom State now look unto the government with prospect…This trust is what the Federal Government lacks from Nigerians due to years of abandoned and uncompleted federal projects as well as unaccomplished dreams



President Jonathan, during his visit to Port Harcourt, observed different construction project going on in the state and this made him declare that Governor Amaechi has turned the state to a construction site. This development is in the interest of the people and, no doubt, a lot of sacrifice will be made in this regard

Amaechi’s wife apologises over gridlock


ORRIED by the gridlock on roads in Port Harcourt which people have to contend with on a daily basis, the wife of Rivers State Governor, Dame Judith Amaechi has appealed for patience as she said the situation resulted from the transformational changes going on in the state. Mrs Amaechi, who spoke during the 33rd convention of Ladies of St. Mulumba, Nigeria and conferment of award of Ambassador of Christ on her at the Holy Rosary Chaplaincy, Catholic Institute of West Africa, Port Harcourt, explained that the expectation of the people and the will to better their lot have inspired government to put in place people-oriented projects that have direct bearing on the citizens. The governor’s wife recalled that “President Jonathan, during his visit to Port Harcourt, observed different construction project going on in the state and this made him declare that Governor Amaechi has turned the state to a construction site. This development is in the interest of the people and, no doubt, a lot of sacrifice will be made in this regard. Please, bear with the government on this development.” She also enjoined the church and people of the state to pray always for those in government to enable them to actualise their laudable ideas for the people. Mrs. Amaechi, who was conferred with an “Ambassador of Christ” award at the event, said the honour would inspire her to do more for the good of the people, promising that she would provide meaningful counsel and advice to her husband to enable him to fulfil


HE Vice-Chancellor of the Federal University of Technology Owerri (FUTO), Prof. Cyril Asiabake has charged the new executive of the Students’ Union Government (SUG) of the institution to operate in tandem with his vision of making the 31-year-old citadel of learning a world-class centre of academic excellence. He explained that the ongoing transformation in the university through re-orientation of both staff

•Bishop of Port Harcourt Diocese, Most Rev. Dr. Camillus Etokudoh presenting a gift to the wife of the Rivers State Governor Dame Judith Amaechi during the 33rd convention of Ladies of Mulumba, Nigeria at Catholic Institute of West Africa, Port Harcourt From Clarice Azuatalam, Port Harcourt

his electoral promises to the people. Declaring the convention open, the Catholic Bishop of Port Harcourt Diocese, Most Rev. (Dr.) Camillus Etokudoh thanked God for the safe arrival of all participants, even as he told them that God is sending them out to cause

changes in their families and the country. Etokudoh, who pointed out that “there is no competition in destiny” also advised women to “be contented with what God has given them, adding that they should do more in making the society more peaceful and habitable.” Highlight of the convention was the conferment of award of Ambassadors of Christ on some prominent Nigerians for their contribu-


Also honoured were the Director-General, Greater Port Harcourt Authority, Dame Aleruchi CookeyGam, HRH Eze Robinson O. Robinson, the Eze Ekpeye Lobo and Justice Mary Odili. Others included Justice Peter Agumagu, President Customary Court of Appeal, Rivers State, Mrs. Esther Anucha, Head of Service, Rivers State Civil Service and many others.

Students urged to maintain standards From Emma Mgbeahurike, Owerri

and students was meant to motivate them and create an enabling environment to take the institution to greater academic height. The V-C stated this when he declared open a four-day leadership training/ retreat for the new student

union leaders held in Owerri, the Imo State capital. Lamenting the deviation of the past SUG of the university which, according to him, manifested mostly in the exploitation of fellow students and financial recklessness, Prof. Asiabaka warned that it would no longer be business as usual. The

Clark dissolves Delta PDP elders forum HE South-South leader of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Chief Edwin Kiagbodo Clark has dissolved the Delta State Elders’, Leaders’ and Stakeholders’ Forum of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and put up new executive headed by Hon. Eric Ezenwa Oboduku-Anigala with Evangelist Emmanuel Okorodudu as state secretary and Barrister Isa Clark as treasurer. Clark, who advised members and supporters of the party to close ranks and get committed than ever before at his country home in Kiagbodo, Burutu Local Government Area of Delta State, said there is no crack in his group but said that the dissolution of the two factions of the Delta elders’ and leaders’ forum headed by Chief Godwin Ogbetuo and Chief Hope Erute was part of its preparations for the party’s forthcoming congress.

tions to the growth and development of the church and humanity. Apart from receiving her award, the governor’s wife also took delivery of awards given to the wife of the President of the Federation, Dame Patience Jonathan as well as that of her husband, Governor Chibuike Amaechi. Awards were also presented in absentia to the Governor of Cross River and Akwa Ibom states and their wives.

From Polycarp Orosevwotu, Ughelli

Clark called on all members of the party to go back to their respective local government areas to ensure that the Anigala-led executive is strengthened to bring back to the fold all aggrieved members that had left the party as the party prepares for its most taxing period of local, state and national congress. He reiterated that the dissolution of the elders’ and leaders’ forum of the Chief E. K. Clark-led faction of the PDP was borne out of the desire to ensure that there is a working relationship in the Delta PDP and also to win more members to the party for the purpose of oneness. In a brief interview with the state chairman of the Chief E. K. Clark faction of the PDP Hon. Eric Ezenwa Oboduku-Anigala and the state secretary, Evangelist Emmanuel

Okorodudu, a one-time executive member of the Captain Senebe-led executive called on all PDP members in the state to work assiduously with the new executive in ensuring that the party moved to the next level of progress. Anigala said that one of the tasks his team was going to face is on how to restore the party’s lost glory. He said it was glaring that the party at the national level recognises the two factions of PDP in Delta State, but promised that the factions will not hamper the due process or undermine the party’s constitution in the forthcoming ward, local government, state and national congress. Okorodudu, in a statement, also appealed to those who lost in the party’s primaries and general elections to join hands with the Anigala-led executive in order to give the party a new lift.

university would not hesitate to fire any staff or student found guilty of obvious misconduct. He urged the principal officers of the SUG to begin a new life of transparency, honesty and sincerity. Also speaking, the Dean, Students’ Affairs of the institution, Engr. Remy Uche advised the SUG officials to imbibe the mission statement of the Asiabaka administration to enable the university to appear in the global map of world-class universities. Describing the new SUG team as men of honour, Engr. Uche said that the leadership training became necessary as it was aimed at inculcating in the students values that would enable them to positively change the world. In his lecture entitled “Education and the Social Responsibility of Youths in Nigeria,” a one-time

Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academics) of the institution Prof. E.T Eshett drew a distinction between formal and informal education, even as he described education as the greatest investment which any government could bequeath to her citizens. Regretting that more than 60 per cent of Nigerians are still uneducated several years after the attained independence, the former DVC expressed optimism that the ugly situation could still be rectified with determination, commitment, sincerity of purpose and patriotism on the part of both the government and the people . Prof. Eshett challenged the new students’ leaders to take the retreat seriously, be of good behaviour, Godfearing, principled; equitable, justice; fairness and to steer clear of cultism and high handedness.

The ongoing transformation in the university through re-orientation of both staff and students was meant to motivate them and create an enabling environment to take the institution to greater academic height…It would no longer be business as usual











•From left: Asiwaju Tinubu, Oba Sikiru Adetona and Ogun State Governor Ibikunle Amosun at the festival.

At the yearly Ojude-Oba carnival in Ijebu-Ode, Ogun State, Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) National Leader Asiwaju Bola Tinubu enjoined people to support the regional economic integration championed by the Southwest governors as the first step towards the economic rejuvenation of the six states. Deputy Political Editor EMMANUEL OLADESU reports.

‘On regional economic integration I stand’ I

N post-Awolowo era, Southwest geo-political zone faces new challenges of development, which impose a heavier burden on the five progressive governors on the platform of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN). How can the glory of the region reputed for scoring firsts in nearly many fields be restored? Can the Southwest bounce back as the leading regional economy and pacesetter for other zones? In what way can Oyo, Ogun, Ondo, Osun, Ekiti and Lagos States look inward and forge a common bond of economic unity? Can the comparative advantages of mutual enterprise be explored and maximised by the states? These are puzzles on the front burner for a region that is now seized by the fear of the future under Nigeria’s lopsided federalism. Reflecting on the backwardness of the Southwest, one of the brains behind the integration project, Dipo Famakinwa, gave reasons for thinking in this direction. He explained that, since revenue allocation would also be reduced to the sharing of spoils, Yoruba are in for an unfair deal. Also, he pointed out that the absence of Yoruba in the commanding height of the regulatory agencies is weakening its influence in some strategic sectors, including banking, finance and telecommunications. Famakinwa, who shed light on the plausible implementation strategies in Ado-Ekiti, Ekiti State, at the Economic Summit organised by the state government, also highlighted what he called “the attainment intentions”. In his view, the goals of economic integration include collective infrastructural development, human capital development, employment generation, improved Gross Domestic Product (GDP), galvanising the private sector, cultural awakening, enhancement of living standard and good governance. He identified the areas of comparative advantage, which has made leverage plausible. These he tagged strategic hubs of development. Famakinwa said Ekiti has comparative advantage in education, human capital development, agriculture and tourism. Lagos has advantages in commerce, industries and services. Ogun’s strength lies in oil and

gas, energy and industries. Similarly, Ondo has capacities in the areas of oil and gas, energy and agriculture, especially in cocoa. Osun’s potentials include tourism, agriculture, especially cocoa and animal husbandry. Oyo, naturally has edge in agricultural processing, packaging, and small-scale processes. Having repudiated the ‘mainstream’ option, a false and short-sighted approach canvassed by the conservative bloc in the region, the six governors seem to have taken the bull by the horns. The idea of regional economic integration is beautiful on paper. Now, to translate it into reality without further procrastination is another hurdle. ACN national leader Asiwaju Bola Tinubu said the economic liberation, triumph and survival of the Southwest is a task that must be done. For the former Lagos State governor, it is heart-rendering that Yoruba, which was persecuted in the dark days of the military, is now being marginalised barely 12 years after the restoration of civil rule. He therefore, contends that there is much work to be done by the leaders of the region. At the yearly Ojude Oba festival held in Ijebu-Ode, Ogun State in the week, Tinubu cautioned against reliance on the crumbs falling off the ‘federal table’. He said the marginalisation and deprivation of the race, which is the outcome of the collaboration between the powerful centre and its agents in the zone, might continue unabated. With the ACN leader at the ceremony were Governors Kayode Fayemi (Ekiti), Chief Rauf Aregbesola (Osun) and Senator Ibikunle Amosun (Ogun). Tinubu stressed: “We have seen repeated debasement of our people. Criminal neglect

of our developmental and educational needs by the center and sinister moves to demonise the few among us that have dared to challenge, not just the Federal Government, but also those from our ranks who have become willing tools for our marginalisation”. The ACN leader emphasised that the victory of the party in the 2011 elections marked another milestone in the region. He said the progressive camp, which drew inspiration from the ever green Action Group (AG) philosophy, owed no apology to the reactionary elements in this regard. What is important, he stressed, is the concerted efforts on the part of the change agents in the Southwest to transform the zone, tackle illiteracy, reduce graduate unemployment and improve the general living condition of the people. However, not many people in the region are able to comprehend the elements of the economic integration proposal. After a year of mooting the idea, implementation machinery has not been rolled out. The six states are not operating on the same economic level. While Lagos, Ondo and to some extent, Ogun could boast meagre resources, Ekiti and Osun are among the poorest in Nigeria. Observers agree that how to share the cost and burden of the agenda before reaping the long-term fruits is a challenge. Famakinwa stressed that the baseline for success is good governance and active cooperation among the governors. Since the integration agenda would require a pool of resources and sacrifice, only frugal, visionary, patriotic and determined administrators can cooperate to build a regional rail, encourage joint ventures and maximise the benefits of comparative advantage in an atmosphere of coopera-

‘In this task, we are ready to gather all progressives willing to engage all shades of opinion and determined to chart a new course economically and politically for the Southwest. We bear no grudges. we hold no hostages and we seek no kingdom. The only thing we seek is a new Yoruba nation and a return to the ideals that made us a proud and intelligent people’

tion. Tinubu is of the opinion that the push for economic integration in the Southwest would return the region to the Awo era. He said selfreliant programmes would turn the zone, once again, into a model of good governance. The ACN leader said it may also be the panacea for the debilitating and suffocating effects Nigeria’s failed federalism. “Nigeria’s current problems are largely traceable to adulterated federalism, in which enormous power and resources are vested in the federal government to the detriment of the other units. We must come to the grips with the new political realities Nigeria today. There are times that require a different kind of courage and new strategies and alliances driven by the justness of our cause and conviction of our beliefs”, he said. Tinubu stressed that no political advantage or concession is won by trooping to Abuja to beg for favours, adding that Southwest should be weary of those who trade the collective political integrity of Yoruba for contract patronage and juicy political appointments. He urged the traditional rulers with progressive orientation and intention, including the Awujale of Ijebuland, Olubadan of Ibadanland, Alaafin of Oyo and Eleko of Lagos to support the course being charted for the race. ACN, he said, offers the alternative transformational ideology to develop the Southwest, assuring that the multiplier effects would spread to many parts of the country. He said no stone would be left unturned, until the goal is achieved. His words: “This Southwest renaissance to which I am fully committed is anchored on the new move towards regional integration. This is an integration that will hopefully spurn the wheels of development and regional cooperation among all governors of the Yoruba states. “In this task, we are ready to gather all progressives willing to engage all shades of opinion and determined to chart a new course economically and politically for the Southwest. We bear no grudges. we hold no hostages and we seek no kingdom. The only thing we seek is a new Yoruba nation and a return to the ideals that made us a proud and intelligent people”.




‘Benue still held by grim challenges’ Nathaniel Tarwase Apir was a project manager with Coca Cola in Holland before he joined the Benue State Government as a Project Consultant. In this interview with Assistant Editor DADA ALADELOKUN, he speaks about his experience so far.


HEN did you sign this contract with the state government? It was November last year but it came into effect March this year. That was when I was mobilized to start. What was really your mandate? My mandate was to establish the fact that every contractor that has a contract to build, construct, redesign or develop or refurbish any single project from primary school to roads to hospitals and everything complies with the specifications that were given and that timelines were followed. Where there are variations in contract numbers, we come up with justifiable reasons and I look at them and I advise the governor. What is the level of project execution in Benue State, especially the water projects? The Katsina-Ala and Otobi water works is designed for 10,000 cubic metres capacity a day. Currently there is this 5000 capacity water treatment plant that is dilapidated and is only capable both in Katsina-Ala and Otobi of generating about 1,200 cubic metres capacity a day. As soon as the 10,000 cubic metres capacity in both Katsina-Ala and Otobi is ready and plugged into the system, the 5000 cubic metres capacity will also be reactivated to generate the 5000 cubic metres capacity; meaning that Katsina Ala and Otobi are designed to deliver 15000 cubic metres capacity a day.

However, the water works as is currently being constructed by this Chinese company, CCCEC; quality of equipment and civil works is below standard. The plants, from my assessment as a professional, will not go beyond two years before we run into massive challenges of maintenance breakdown and water outages. The Makurdi water works has many challenges. There are no works going on there. When we talk about failings in some of these things, it is simply that certain specifications have not been followed and then we don’t have a professional to head the team. For a Ministry like Water Resources, you need a professional to head the Ministry. Have you been able to deliver on your mandate? I have only had one review presentation with the governor since that time. This was even before the contract. It was in December. I came in here as an independent assessor and did my work. I have taken data on primary schools, secondary schools, everything. I saw a primary school in Agena near Sai built in 1976. There were three thatched houses and a thatched hut for the Headmaster. Student population was about 300. So, when the governor saw it, he gave an order that the school should be rebuilt. I said we should not work based on the spur of the moment. We should be systematic because we have a million of this around the

• Apir

state. He said ‘no, no, no. This is an embarrassment. Go and fix this school.’ I told him ‘if you are going to fix primary schools, let me give you a strategy, governor.’ In 2006, we generated N200 million revenue internally. Let’s take N100 million from whatever Ayabam is generating, put it aside, work on primary schools. I understand that SUBEB gives out three classroom block for N11million or N10 million. The governor insisted we fix that; we took the guys there and we completed three classrooms. They have not been paid a kobo. That school is right now being used. The population has gone to over 500. The second block has been abandoned because the contractor ran away. He has not been given one kobo. I had a meeting with Oklobia and Governor Suswam, ‘this N13billion bond what are you going to use it for.’ Everybody gave his opinion and I said let’s use it to complete every on-going project. The bond has been taken. I can’t say where it is going. What is the origin of this bond really? I looked at the revenue profile of the state from FAAC and internally, it never went beyond N48 billion every year. The records are there. If they were hiding other things I don’t know but this I took

from their every year budget presentation. It was always just around average of N48billion. And at the time I hadn’t the data on how much was going into projects. So, I did a calculation and I said, ‘okay, if you are taking N13 billion, you want to finish every one of these projects, perfect, I don’t have a quarrel with that.’ But when I did a revenue profile of the state, I found out there were leakages in the salary structure. I now said ‘what exactly is the number of the civil servants that we have and what are they taking monthly?’ There was no data. I said let us introduce human manager; it is a software. If I sit here I should know the number of my staff in Holland, what they take, when they joined the company or when they joined the civil service and when they will be leaving the civil service. It calculates even their pension. The people would put servers in every local government, so at a click of a button, if you want to know about any civil servant, you click his name, it will tell you this guy joined the civil service so and so year. He is due for retirement so and so year. This is his salary. This is his training. You are not going to send passports. Everything would be biometric. These people would come round, every body must put their finger print and it would be on the system. So you can’t go change anything. It was turned down. Now I hear that wages ranges from N1.2 to N1.4 billion before the N18,000 thing. We cannot verify that I am sorry. We cannot say it is true really. Let’s have accurate data. We can pay N18,000 if we know about the number of people we have. What is BENADA doing? It has been killed. But BENADA carries a budget of N350 million to N400 million every year – paying salaries, paying traveling allowance, paying electricity bills – but what is the value adding proposition of BENADA to agricultural development in the state? When Aper Aku was here, every community had a fertilizer site or warehouse. You go to my village Ulam, there is a fertilizer dumpsite. Everywhere we have this BENADA stuff. They were dumping fertilizers in these sites where the real farmers reside. Where is BENADA today? What

• Bayelsa State Governor, Chief Timipre Sylva (right) presenting the staff of office to King Ebitimi Banigo (left) as the Amayanabo of Okpoama.

is the situation on road projects? Gbeji – Zakibiam is abandoned by Dantata and Sawoe. The quality of work by Dantata and Sawoe is fantastic but they have not been funded. They have constructed over 43 culverts and bridges on that road and it is world class. The Adipo-Vandikya-Quotiyo road, by AG Vision is world-class. But they are not funded. The AgbiedeGwer road is a disaster. Many of the road and water works are a fraud in terms of execution. Do you have a comprehensive report of all these? Of course, yes. My post suggests that I have to present to them. If I open my mouth, this state will be on fire. I am honest with you because the little I have written, the response that I have gotten has been crazy. People haven’t got the information as to what is happening and for us insiders, we are like horses. Projects have been duplicated in order to make payments. How do you think the present government has impacted on the lives of the people and in what areas? As a student of leadership, I believe that governance is about improving the living conditions of the people and when people cannot earn a decent wage, it becomes a problem. The agitations we have and the impact that the ACN was able to make in four months is because there is massive disenchantment arising from the fact that people are economically deprived. Development is not about infrastructure alone. If you look at the human development index, it encompasses so much. You have to look at what people are earning; their capacity to meet their basic daily needs and when that is not happening, then discontent begins to brew. So, if I am going to rate this government in terms of development, I will rate it very poor because most of even the infrastructure we are developing are abandoned and we have not been able to generate employment that could absorb a small percentage of the graduates that we churn out every year. Taraku Mills is dead. Benue Bottling was sold out under circumstances that we can never really define. The TomatoMango Juice plant started by Akume has not been completed. Ber Agbum is dead, Ikongbhe is dead. All these balderdash about bringing foreign investors is bunkum because no foreign investor would come when there is no electricity, no good roads, no water. In the past four years, we have not generated any employment and we can only do that if we understand that governance is not all about physical infrastructure but it has so much to do with creating employment opportunities for the people. We have an industrial park around Makudi-Naka road; the fertilizer plant is not working. A lot of the industries there have folded up. What is the way forward now? The way forward basically is complex in the sense that, we have an election that is inconclusive in the sense that we are still under the process of litigation in courts. So we never really know where the pendulum will swing otherwise my view would simply be that the current crop of leadership in Benue state is not adequately equipped intellectually, mentally to lead the state. But because of the cloud that is hanging I cannot specifically tell you this is the way forward. If the pendulum swings the other way or it is reversed to maintain the status quo, it would mean we are saddled with this mess for the next four years. So I cannot offer any opinion on that.






Research won’t reduce rice price, says expert


HE research on rice varieties is to enable farmers increase yields and not reduce the price of the commodity. Speaking with The Nation, the Executive Director, Institute of Agricultural Research and Training (IAR & T), Prof Benjamin Ogunbodede, said a lot is involved in improving the potential of a rice variety to increase the quantity produced over time. He added that the price would be a lot higher when launched into the market. He said the new varieties can withstand heavy flooding brought on by climate change. Rice quality, the IAR & T said is an area of interest to breeders, growers and researchers.

Stories by Daniel Essiet, Agric Correspondent

Ogunbodede said new rice varieties and contributes to higher yields and incomes for rice farmers. He noted that the nation needs high-yielding rice varieties, fertiliser, and irrigation to increase overall rice production. New rice varieties, he noted, offer new options for growers and expanded market opportunities for the industry. He said his institute is working to increase production efficiency of maize by developing hybrid varieties that address many of the major constraints to maize production, such as drought, low soil fer-

tility, pests, diseases, and parasitic weeds. Researchers at the institute developed the varieties through conventional plant breeding by tapping naturally-available traits. Working with the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) in partnership,the Institute for Agricultural Research (IAR), Zaria, new maize varieties which included 13 open-pollinated varieties of extra-early, early-intermediate, and late-maturity with resistance to the parasitic weed Striga hermonthica and stem borers, tolerance to drought, and with good adaptation to sub-optimal soil nitrogen were released. Four hybrids with drought-tolerance were released.

He said the varieties have the potential to provide farmers with opportunities to overcome the challenges to maize production. Maize farmers often suffer from infestation of parasitic weeds and prolonged droughts, rendering farms almost harvestless and farming households with little food and insufficient income for most of the year. Low soil fertility is often as devastating as droughts, while stem borers in the forest regions also hurt productivity. He said agricultural productivity has stagnated in many parts of the country and that new agricultural technologies, such as high-yielding crop varieties, offer the promise of improving productivity and hence the welfare of farmers.

• Ogunbodede

Ex-commissioner seeks increased investment in agric


FORMER Commissioner for Lands and Survey in Delta State, Mr Raymos Guanah, has called on the Federal Government to increase its funding of agriculture to ensure food security. Guanah said in Asaba that investing more in agriculture and provision of incentives for small and medium-scale farmers would encourage youths to go into farming rather than seek “white-collarjobs.” He said Nigeria has rich arable fallow land, yet more money is spent on food importation. Guanah said: “We have very rich

soil in Nigeria. The problem is people cannot cultivate them because either they don’t have the means to do it or they feel that they may not make profit from it. “By this, I mean that some of them would want to go into largescale farming, but may not have the funds to cultivate the size of land that would be suitable for such purpose. “Again, some of them get discouraged because of food importation, because through it, the market is flooded with food items and then you have a glut, and at the end of the day, they don’t make profit.

“But if these things are checked, the youth and, especially, the unemployed graduates would be encouraged to go into farming.” Guanah, who is the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Raymos Guanah Farms, OkpeOrogun in Ughelli North Local Government Area of Delta State, said even in developed countries farming was encouraged. He explained that most European countries do not have larger land than Nigeria, but they farm to feed their countries and at the same time have enough for export. He said with Federal

Government’s investment in largescale farming, the level of unemployment and hunger in the land would be reduced, while more revenue would accrue to the country. Guanah said his farms have 56 workers, mostly graduates and women and that the farm, which is on 51 hectares, is involved in the production of pineapples, and yams. Other items produced in the farm are plantain, cassava, cucumber, carrot, pumpkin, Okro pepper and tomatoes. He explained that he veered into farming to provide food and jobs for the people.

The former commissioner said he also wanted to give back to the society what it has given to him, especially now that the clamour for diversification of the economy from oil is high. He explained that nobody had to study or be an agriculturist to practise or contribute his or her quota to sustainable food production and food security. Guanah appealed to both the Federal Government and other relevant authorities to put in place policies and measures that would help reduce unemployment and poverty in the country.

Council trains 5,744 farmers


HE Mubi North Local Government Council of Adamawa State has trained 5,744 farmers in the past three years. Its Chairman, Mr Kevin Peter told reporters in Mubi that the farmers were exposed to modern techniques on aquaculture, poultry, crop and cowpea production as well as preservation, agro-processing and fertiliser application. He said the farmers were selected

from the 11 wards for a three-month training programme under the Skill Acquisition Scheme of the state government. “The beneficiaries were exposed to modern and best farming practices to encourage productivity. “The training was also designed to enhance farmers entrepreneurial skills, encourage agricultural processing and educate them on how to engage in profitable agriculture,” he added.

Abia farmers to get N1b loan soon

T • Participants across Africa converged on Lagos for the Drought Tolerant Maize for Africa (DTMA) project.

Firm to boost food production


MULTI-NATIONAL supermarket, Spar, popularly known as Park n Shop has unveiled plans to partner with farmers in its new expansion programme by 2015. Its Regional Manager, Mr Rahul Mehindiratta, said at a pasta cooking competition in Abuja that since the supermarket deals with farm produce, plans are on to ensure direct business relationship with farmers. The initiative, he said, would enable consumers to have better access to fresh farm produce at local market rate. His words: “Spar has ambitious phase wise plans to eventually have 200 outlets by 2015 throughout Nigeria. This structure will enable us to reach out directly to farmers across the length and breadth of the country thereby ensuring farm level fresh produce at local market prices for our customers.” Speaking on the competition, Mehindiratta noted that it was aimed at introducing flour mills

From Olugbenga Adanikin, Abuja

pasta as well as sensitise consumers on how it can diversely satisfy their tastes. He said it was part of the organisation’s commitment to offer consumers quality and fresh food and non-food items at affordable prices. In his remarks, the Branch Manager of Pasta Flour Mills Plc, Mr

Adesina Jimoh, said there was the need to enlighten the public on various ways of cooking pasta aside from its normal use as a staple food. He said Durum wheat remains the best in the world and it is purely used to produce the golden penny pasta. Of the 10 contestants, 28 years old Miss Evelyn Peters, emerged the winner with a score of 82.6 per cent.

HE disbursement of N1 billion loans to farmers in Abia State will start before December 1, Governor Theodore Orji has said. In an address presented on his behalf by the Commissioner for Youth Development, Mr Paul Mba, in Umuahia at a workshop organised by the Ministry of Agriculture, the governor said he had signed the Irrevocable Standing Payment Order (ISPO) to pave way for the payment. The governor charged the Ministries of Finance and Agriculture to work out modalities for genuine farmers, to access the loan. Orji added that the government was collaborating with the Abia State Oil Producing Area Development Commission, local governments to create more than 5,000 jobs through the 17 Liberation Farms in each of the 17 local councils. “The motive of this collaboration is to develop the rural areas and

discourage our youths from seeking the white collar jobs. “All we want is for farmers to be innovative and ensure the state occupies an enviable status in the agriculture map of the nation,” he said. The Commissioner for Agriculture, Chief Ike Onyenweaku, in his welcome address, said the workshop attended by selected farmers across the state, was aimed at building capacity of genuine farmers. “This forum will provide necessary windows for radical acceleration and sustainable food production. “Farmer will be mobilised and sensitised on the effective and efficient use of credit facilities and other agricultural input to promote food security,” he said. Onyenweaku told the participants that the government has paid its counterpart funds for FADAMA III, IFAD/FGN/NDDC Community based Natural Resources Management Projects, and commercial tractor-hiring.

Poorest countries hardest hit by high food prices, says World Bank


LOBAL food prices remain high and volatile, hitting the poorest countries hardest and adding to the strains facing the global economy, according to the World Bank Group’s new Food Price Watch released ahead of the G-20 Summit in Cannes, France. While the bank’s food price index has dropped five per cent from its February 2011 peak and dipped marginally in September by one per cent, it remains 19 per cent above its September 2010 levels.

“The food crisis is far from over,” said World Bank group president Robert B Zoellick, who has urged the G-20 to put food first. “Prices remain volatile and millions of people around the world are still suffering. The World Bank has been working closely with the French presidency of the G-20 and our partner international organisations on actions to protect the most vulnerable from the dangers of food price volatility, while also addressing some

of its root causes. Let’s remember, averting crisis is not just about banks and debt. Millions of people around the world face a daily crisis of hunger and malnutrition. At Cannes, the G-20 can and should take steps to address their needs.” The Group of 20 heads of government, met recently to discuss the global economy, are expected to endorse a package of concrete actions to improve transparency and policy coordination to detect and correct problems early; to help countries

manage price volatility using sound risk management tools; to promote more productive and resilient agriculture; and to get food to the needy fast through emergency regional humanitarian food reserves and agreement not to ban exports of food for World Food Programme. As the world population reaches a staggering seven billion people, it is more important than ever for the global community to galvanise around actions to improve food security.



AGRO-BUSINESS Adamawa: Emerging food basket

‘Erratic power supply killing food industry’


HE erratic power sup ply is having an ad verse effect on food preservation, a food safety expert, Prof Dele Fapohunda, has said. He said if not addressed, the problem would get worse. Power supply, he said, has implications for animal products and food. Fapohunda said the basic challenge for cold storages is the availability of quality power and much less developed infrastructure basically at the sale point. He said the power supply is hampering the ability of

Stories by Daniel Essiet, Agric Correspondent

the industry to provide controlled temperature and humidity and gas control necessary for food preservation. Many spices, fruits, eggs, among others, are stored in cold storages, he said, adding that power supply is affecting the ability of the industry to store fast decaying foods. He said companies transforming raw agricultural commodities into ready-toeat (RTE), brand-name food products for both retail and foodservice consumers need

power. The ability to preserve what one grows, he said is central to the project of food security. Fapohunda said the industry is suffering from food loss because of problems of preservation, urging the government to boost energy to sustain food supply. To ensure food supply, he said the industry needs to have reliable power supply to reduce wastage of stored food. He expressed concern over the devastating effects of the ongoing power crisis.

By Daniel Essiet, Agric Correspondent


• Fapohunda

Fapohunda said the industry has been plagued by frequent outages, saying frequent power outages would hurt output.

• Project Manager, Cassava: Adding Value for Africa (C:AVA), Dr. Kolawole Adebayo (second left), inspecting the sun drying of High Quality Cassava Flour (HQCF) in Palissa District, Uganda. With him are Field Officer, Joyce Okello (left) and Country Manager, Francis Alacho.

72 communities get N172m for Fadama project


AUCHI State Fadama III Project disbursed N172 million to 72 Fadama Community Associations between 2009 and 2011.

Dog show in Lagos


UVELA Nigeria Lim ited has held a dog show in Lagos to celebrate ‘World Animal Day’. The event attracted pet lovers and celebrated pet care givers.This year’s show, the third, brought togethter individual pet owners, pet care professionals and celebrities. In a statement by the Ambassorial Representative of the World Animal Day (WAD) in Nigeria, who is also the organiser of the show, Steve Idowu Omoarukhe, Ruvela Dog Show is designed to stop animal cruelty by human beings. He listed dog fighting, tail docking, ear cropping, and excessive puppy male, among others as forms of animal cruelty.

The Project Co-ordinator, Dr Ali Garba, said in Bauchi State that the 72 associations were drawn from the 126 Fadama Users Associations and 90 Fadama Community Associations in the state’s 20 local government areas. He explained that the remainingassociations would soon benefit from the gesture as the fund disbursement was continuous. The co-ordinator disclosed that the benefiting associations were able to own assets,such as irrigation pumps, fish ponds, milling machines, access roads,

boreholes, culverts and small earth dams across the state. He said the funds had assisted the beneficiaries to acquire economic assets and rural infrastructure which had reduced the hardship earlier faced by such communities. Garba said the project was part of efforts being made by the government to reduce poverty as well as create employment opportunities in the rural areas to curb ruralurban migration. He revealed that the benefiting communities, staff of the project, local government employees and vulner-

able persons within the society had gained from the capacity building training of the project. He, however, criticised the delay in the payment of local government counterpart fund andcommunity matching fund,which had affected the budget implementation due to inadequate funds. He warned the beneficiaries against diversion of funds allocated to them, adding that the project as well as World Bank officials would soon embark on inspection tour of various projects implemented under the scheme.

‘Weevil detector can protect palm trees’ A machine that detects the red palm weevil, a pest that devastates palm trees across the Middle East and North Africa, could help farmers protect their crops. The tiny red insects burrow into the trunks of palm trees and devour them from within, so infestations – known as “date palm AIDS” – are usually unnoticed until the weevils have hollowed

out the trunks. The trees then collapse beneath their own weight or are blown over by the wind “The red palm weevil is the worst known palm tree pest in the world,” Ali El-Banna, president of the palm tree laboratory at Egypt’s Agricultural Research Centre, told SciDev.Net. It has affected a quarter of

Egypt’s 12 million palm trees, he added. “Farmers used to depend on the physiological symptoms that appear in the very late stages. Now, with the machine, we can rescue the tree before it’s too late,” he said. The machine, designed by Egypt’s Defence Ministry, works “like a metal detector,” according to its inventor, Ahmed Amin.

DAMAWA State is an agric economy. About 70 per cent of its population depends on agriculture for their livelihood. The state is endowed with the production of onions, lettuce, tomatoes, pepper, spinach, rosella, kenaf etc. The major cash crops produced include groundnut, cotton and sugar cane as well as several food crops that include; rice, maize, millet, cowpea, bambara nuts, cassava, yam, sweet potato etc. As a result of the need to achieve food security and to chart the course of development targets to uplift the living standard of the people, agriculture in state became an issue of immeasurable importance. A great deal of livestock production is also undertaken to supply the state’s animal protein requirements. Animals such as cattle, sheep, goats, pigs, and poultry are reared for domestic consumption and commercial purposes. Poultry production is undertaken in every part of the state, as the practice is acceptable to all the ethno-religious groups in the state. Though not much of industrialisation in the state, several industrial raw materials of agricultural origin are produced. The popular ones include sugar cane, cotton and groundnuts. This is evident around the location of industries like the Savannah Sugar company in Numan and Afcott in Ngurore, close to important areas for the production of sugar cane and cotton respectively which are the most important raw materials used by the companies mentioned here. The genuine need for food and fibre in Adamawa State cannot be over emphasised and that is why agricultural production is a well-planned activity involving the use of land, labour and capital to achieve enhanced output. Adamawa State is known for the availability of agricultural lands which further buttresses the reason why agriculture is the mainstay of the majority of the people of the state. However, most farmers are poor small-scale producers whose control of money capital is very limited hence they undertake agricultural production with low capital outlay, which does not allow for ‘growth and diversification of the farm enterprise. There are a few large-scale agricultural outfits such as Sebore Farms and government agencies like the Adamawa Agricultural Development Programme (ADADP) and the Adamawa Agricultural Mechanisation Authority (AAMA) that operate with large and cost-intensive fixed inputs like tractors, combine harvesters, boom sprayers and- modern • Governor Nyako silos. The government is making effort to modernise agricultural production, processing, storage and distribution through the infusion of improved technology and management so that the sector can be more responsive to the demands of development in other sectors of Adamawa State’s economy. In this regard, the activities of the Adamawa State Agricultural Mechanisation Authority (AAMA) in hiring of tractors and other farm machinery and implements are noteworthy. Also, the efforts of the Adamawa Agricultural Development Progamme (ADADP) in rendering extension services, provision of wash boresand tube wells technology to boost dry season farming, as well as improved seeds and other farm inputs to farmers in the state, are in line with this objective. The traditional agro-industries produce quite a number of processed products from agricultural raw materials. These include local magi (daddawa) from locust bean and soya milk from soya beans. Others include the popular zobo drink from flowers of redsorrel vegetable, which a dark-red liquid is believed to have medicinal attributes. Other products from small-scale (micro) agro-industries in Adamawa State include Masa from white rice, Waina from cassava flour, Kosai from beans, Kuli-kuli from groundnut, Ridi-cake from beniseed and Fura from either millet or sorghum. Fish is an important part of the diet of many people in Adamawa State. This makes the demand for fish to be consistently on the rise. As the population grows and standards of living rise, demand for diets which are rich in animal protein will also continue to rise. To this end, there are tremendous potentials for increased fish production in Adamawa State which can be realised by improving the management of existing stocks, utilising unexploited stocks and exploitation of reservoirs. The surge of interest and investment by small farmers in beekeeping and honey production reflects growing understanding of the various uses of honey and increasing demand from local and international markets. The Government is out to reduce the rural poverty, promising agricultural productivity. It is trying to address supply of agricultural produce. As far as food is concerned extra production of food is needed to meet the need of the growing population. The state government is increasing public spending on agricultural sector which in turn will increase food supply. On the general level, government spending target public investments such as developing infrastructure, roads, and other necessary infrastructure to make rural market approachable for every enterprise to reach the source.




New investors buy into GNI


EW investors yester day consummated the acquisition of substantial equity stake in Great Nigeria Insurance (GNI) with the transfer of about 6.1 per cent equity of the insurance firm to new investors through the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE). A total of 233.31 million shares of GNI worth N116.66 million were exchanged in five deals yesterday, in what market pundits said were cross deals- a reference to pre-settlement of the trade between the buyer and seller before consummation at the NSE. The deals yesterday represented 6.1 per cent of the 3.827 billion outstanding shares of GNI. The transactions on GNI also accounted for 48.6 per cent of total volume traded at the NSE. Following Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN)’s new banking regulatory regime that required banks to either divest from non-core banking subsidiaries or form a holding company to hold those subsidiaries, Wema Bank, the parent company of GNI, seeks to divest its majority

• Market loses N13b By Taofik Salako and Tonia Osundolire

equity stake in the insurance company in line with the bank’s decision to focus on core banking operations. However, details of the new investors and parties to the deals were still unclear as at press time. Meanwhile, market value of all equities quoted on the dwindled further yesterday as investors lost N13 billion to a predominantly bearish trading session. Nearly two in every three stocks that recorded price changes closed on the negative, pushing aggregate market capitalisation of all equities down from N6.503 trillion to N6.490 trillion. The All Share Index (ASI) dropped by 41.07 points or 0.20 per cent to close at 20,450.44 as against its opening index of 20,491.51. The decline yesterday was orchestrated by losses recorded by several high-cap stocks including Dangote Flour, First Bank, StanbicIBTC, Japual Oil & Maritime,

Oando, Skye Bank, United Bank for Africa and Unilever Nigeria. Total volume of shares transacted moved up to 480.12 million valued at N2.12 billion in 3,799 deals as against 240.52 million shares worth N2.43 billion exchanged in 4,355 deals posted on Wednesday. Volume grew by 99.6 per cent while value dipped by 12.76 per cent. However, on the price movement tables, Pan African Bank; Ecobank Nigeria led gainers’ log with maximum five per cent value gain to close at N1.89. Other strong gainers in the top five brackets are; Forte Oil, GT Assurance, UACN Property and Goldlink Insurance. Value gains here were due to improved earnings as well as market forces. On the losers’ table Red Star Express le in percentage term by 4.78 per cent value dip to close at N2.19. Other strong losers are Custodian & Allied, Evans Medical, NAHCO and RT Briscoe. The dips were due to market forces alone.







e-mail: 08033349992 sms only


•The Trade Fair arena

A trade fair for all

Nigeria is seen as a viable market because of its vast population. Was this the attraction for foreign exhibitors at this year’s Lagos International Trade Fair? Did they realise their goal for coming? JANICE NKOLI IFEME reports •STORY ON PAGE 52

Shoppers speak

Trade fair Page 52

Page 52





HE atmosphere was lively; people, lighting, colourful costumes, music, dances and all kinds of entertainment; any attraction to track down the shopper. The event is the 30th Lagos International Trade Fair. The unusual human and vehicular traffic from the entrance of the Trade Fair Complex on the Lagos-Badagry Expressway readily announces the fair. Even before you get to the arena, you have been ushered in by people showcasing different products. If you are not patient enough to get to the main pavilion, you might end up outside as many sellers would pester you to buy their products. But those outside are nothing compared to the huge exhibition of goods inside. The local exhibitors comprising small, medium and large scale companies employed various entertainment strategies to attract customers. The various states of the federation were on ground to showcase their resources and heritage. Foreigners from different countries also had their stands. Some of the products on display were cars, electronics, household appliances, furniture, arts and crafts, clothing, babies’ wears and accessories, fabrics, generators, inverters, solar lights and everything one could think of. Dealers on fairly used items, such as clothing, shoes, bags, shirts and trousers were mostly seen outside the pavilion making brisk sales. Food vendors, drinks and fast food outlets are not left out of the jamboree. Different people have different reasons for coming to the fair. For some, it is strictly shopping; others for sightseeing and to be entertained. Some students go on excursion. Of course, the sellers are there to make sales. But does the presence of so many people guarantee that sellers were receiving money from shoppers in exchange for products? Mr Cornelius Okafor, a dealer on security gadgets and close circuit television, said: “The trade fair is a major opportunity to advertise our products and that is what we are doing. So, we believe it will go well.” The China stand was booming as people went back and forth. This seems normal, judging from the influx of many Chinese traders in different markets, many of who have

A trade fair for all essentially conformed to the Nigerian system of trading. Many of them speak the popular Pidgin English, which makes it easy for them to make headway. The Lebanese were also visible in their acts. A Ghanaian exhibitor of handicrafts, African dresses and beads, Ms Genevieve Baidoo, said: “I am here every year. I don’t miss the Nigerian trade fair. I love it and the benefits it offers”. Another Ghanaian, Ms Precious Adaletey, a make up artist, was seen attending to ladies who want to ‘look more beautiful’. She said: “You can see, looking good is good business. Our business is to make you look more beautiful and Nigerian ladies like to look beautiful”. She expressed optimism that she would find franchise for the products in Nigeria. Also, Cameroun’s Mr Pierre Lumiere Tiefang, who deals in aluminium and roofing products was optimistic, saying: “We are here basically to create awareness and find representatives. We are very busy at the fair. People have been coming”. But for some Egyptian exhibitors who spoke to The Nation Shopping, it was a different ball game as they complained of low sales. They were eager to talk about their products, such as gas and electric cookers. Speaking on behalf of his countrymen, Mr Walid Elmasry, who deals on cars, said: “Please tell your people about us. We want them to buy our products. They are very good. Maybe many people are not buying because of Sallah. We hope they will buy,” he said. The Indians appeared to be the worst hit. A group of Indian women selling Indian clothing, jewellery and accessories expressed discontent. “May be your government did not tell the people to visit our stand. It is lack of publicity”. Another chipped in: “In India, the government does a lot of publicity and tells every body to make sure they visit the fair. I don’t think your government did that”. Rather than give their names, another said: “Come let me show you our representative. He will speak to you”. The person in question was a Mr

Surinder Kumar. He said: “Your government should tell people to visit our stand. We represent many companies from India and we do a lot of things. We train both illiterates and literate people in IT depending on the need. We have great computer and hi-tech institutes in India, which we want to bring to Nigeria. We are trying to reach the Nigerian government”. Speaking on this year’s theme: Increasing competitiveness of Nigerian products in the global market, the Minister of Trade and Investments, Mr Segun Aganga, said his ministry was mapping out some strategies to promote trade and investments so as to diversify the economic base

•Arts and crafts at the trade fair

classy fair Sales splash came up at the same time the Lagos International Trade Fair was going on. It was encouraging and challenging and the rationale is for an average Lagiosian to enjoy unusual discount on every item for christmas, writes TONIA ‘DIYAN.


• A mascot at the trade fair

from mono product economy and increase non-oil export to enhance foreign exchange earnings. He added: “We are also trying to mainstream trade and investment into our national development plan and ensuring paradigm shift in Nigeria’s foreign trade with emphasis on economic diplomacy, all aimed at making Nigeria a global player in the global economy. The ministry would continue to promote made in Nigeria products through trade exhibitions and specialised trade fairs with a view to stimulating domestic production and attracting foreign direct investment”, he added. The National President, Nigerian Association of Chambers of Com-

merce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture, Dr Herbert Ademola Ajayi, said: “If our economy is to speedily recover her enhanced growth, our governments at all levels should give priority attention to the provision of infrastructural facilities (good roads, adequate power supply, portable water and efficient commercial system); ensuring the security of lives and property and support of real sector operators.” The Lagos International Trade Fair is the biggest discount fair and Exhibition in Nigeria and, indeed, Africa. It continues to live up to its billing of the biggest trade fair in Nigeria. The Lagos Chamber has been organising the premier Lagos International Trade Fair in Nigeria since 1986 when it took over from the Federal Government of Nigeria which started it in 1981. The 10 day event would end Sunday.

HE fair is a platform for friendship, acquaintance, communication, good relationship, warm reception. There were communication materials for further contact after the exhibition. It was a fun place to be as it was made very easy for everyone who was present and items that were not available were discussed on how they could get to shoppers.i.e, home services were rendered. Thirty top brand names were on ground. Namely; contester shoes and bags, foot prints which sells just shoes, the fragrance stores, life strokes; sells arts and crafts, polo city, sixth sense, the reading room; sells books, lingerie and many more. It was a sale with a bang with all items sold at a discount and put together by the members of staff of green grass solution limited. Its very first edition with very good preparations and awareness created. A couple of supporters for the organisers of the exhibition also made it successful. They promised to put up another exhibition this time next year. Going back to their drawing board, they would make amendments and welcome suggestions. It was a classy exhibition mainly for elites in a very sophisticated environment.” The fair mainly accommodated fashion exhibitors of top brand names. For six hours daily, running for three days con-

secutively. The venue was chosen because of the target market the organisers were looking at. The aim of the exhibition is to bring shoppers and exhibitors together. And an opportunity for exhibitors to have a one on one contact with shoppers. Individuals are given the opportunity to interact with top brand owners, enjoying very low discount on every item they have always longed for. The General Manager Mr Enitiolorunda Idris told The Nation Shopping how different his vision is, stating that it’s a fashion exhibition where the average Lagosian should enjoy discounts on every fashionable item. ‘It is only our first edition and there is room for us to improve’. He stated that the aim of the fair would not have been achieved if it was arranged in an open, common environment as the whether is unpredictable and no one knows when it would rain. Available also at the exhibition were Business section- fashion, furniture, electronics, household appliances, children wears, tele-communications, consumer goods, real estate, fashion beauty sales, among others. Other side attractions were; comedians; Mc- De-javoe and Hugobros who thrilled the crowd, with hilarious jokes and making announcements and advertisements for each exhibitor as they went round from one stand to the other. Their style helped to get more people and passers by visit the exhibition, en-

joying the various discounts available. They were able to create more awareness while the fair lasted. Lots of work were done by the organisers to put smiles on the faces of the exhibitors at the end of the fair and shoppers enjoyed unusual discounts within the three days. Rukkies gave out massive sales of 50 per cent discounts off their clothing. Likewise other exhibitors. Only conteser gave 30 per cent off and these are known brand names mostly for the elites. Parents were not left out, as they visited to shop for school items for their kids on their way home after picking them from school. It is called the school runs hours making the fair very busy and interesting all through the day. ‘Class’ is the watch word for this fair. A classy fair , not like one where shoppers would have to pick items from the ground or a muddy environment and a scattered setting. Speaking with Enitiolorunda, he said “the place at Isaac John Ikeja was chosen because it is enclosed, popularly known by elites and sophisticated people with very top brand names on display which elites would want to get. And bringing those items to them at an unusual affordable prices that they would never have gotten ordinarily when they visit these shops. this is a big plus, he said.” The organisers were able to achieve their aims, putting smiles on the faces of exhibitors and shoppers.






‘Shared-services to cut banks’ lending rates ’ T

HE cost of lending by banks could be reduced if banks can share some of their key infrastructure that contribute to their cost of operations. The Managing Director, Zenith Bank Ghana Limited, Daniel Asiedu, said cost of lending always rises in line with banks’ cost of operation, and that shared-services is the only way to reduce such costs. Speaking yesterday at the on-going Vodafone African Business Leaders’ Forum in Ghana, Asiedu, said even though banks think of supporting entrepreneurs, the cost of lending has been a major roadblock. He

From Collins Nweze, Accra Ghana

added that by sharing key infrastructure and cooperating with one another, banks in the continent would have their cost reduced drastically. ”I am the Treasurer of Bank Treasurers Association in Ghana, and there was a time we were trying to buy a particular note counting machine. We drove it from the association level and we got a bulk discount from the sellers. There was a cost reduction. That means my overhead cost will reduce and my cost of lending will equally reduce,” he said.

operation in terms of loan syndication, explaining that big ticket transactions are lost to foreign banks, where local banks fail to come together to finance such transactions. “We have stronger and powerful foreign banks that will take over the transactions even though they are not based in the country. Look at the Cocoa Board of Ghana for instance; financing is still being done by foreign banks. We need to work together to change this situation,” he said. Ghana’s Minister of Communications, Haruna Iddrisu, highlighted the importance of facilitating strong Public, Private Partnerships to spur growth on the continent. “We must establish both strong leadership and strong institutions in Africa. The key is to recognise the private sector as a partner to government in en-

He said banks need to share services such as Automated Teller Machine (ATM) usage. In many cases, he explained, the machines are mounted too closely, with basic infrastructure repeated in all the cases. By sharing and networking the infrastructure, the banks will save huge funds, which could reduce cost of credit, adding, “the point is, we can have one or two ATMs serving the customers of all the banks to reduce cost of operation.” He said the mistrust and cut throat competition that exist in the industry is even affecting1 co-

VISA supports CBN’s cashless banking policy


payment platforms, like Automated Teller Machines, Point of Sale terminals and other devices, are secured. “I think the first thing that bank customers demand is security of their funds. We are committed to ensuring that their funds are secured,” he said. Ashaye, explained that the firm builds secured technology that makes it difficult for fraudsters to hack into, especially with migration to Europay, MasterCard and Visa (EMV), which is a more secured platform needed to pre-

ISA Incorporated, a global payments technology firm, has said it supports the Central Bank of Nigeria’s (CBN) cashless banking policy. It said that the plan would help ensure financial inclusion. The Country Director, Sub-Saharan Africa, VISA Incorporated, Ade Ashaye, who disclosed this in an interview with The Nation, said cashless banking will get more people in rural areas involved in banking. He said banks should ensure that customers’ deposits are protected by ensuring that the e-

vent frauds. He explained that EMV is a global standard for inter-operation of integrated circuit cards or chip cards which could be used on point of sale (POS) terminals and automated teller machines (ATMs), as well as for authenticating credit and debit card transactions. He said: “ It is a joint effort between Europay, MasterCard and Visa to ensure security and global interoperability so that Visa and MasterCard cards can continue to be accepted everywhere.

Unity Bank showcases products at Fair


NITY Bank is showcasing eight new products at the Lagos International Trade Fair, which opened on Friday. The products are the Unity Pays Fixed Assets Acquisition (UPFAA), Unity Pays Assets Acquisition Regular (UPAAR), Unity Bank Better (UBB), Point of Sales (POS) and Unity Holy Trip (UHT). Others are the Double Edge Account (DEA), Internet Banking and Fixed termed Deposits. A senior official of the bank at the trade fair told told reporters on that the products were unique to the bank and were aimed at wooing more customers. She said the bank’s presence at the fair was to promote the im-

CSR: MoneyGram redeems pledges to winners


were surprised that what they perceived as a joke eventually turned out to be a reality. Some of the winners according to a statement, got HP notebook computers, while others went home with school bags containing educational materials meant to support the urge for quality education by different categories of people in Nigeria. The customers present at the event included Dorcas Ayegbo, Ekpechi

ONEYGRAM and its agent banks in Nigeria have made good their promise by giving out 20 notebook computers and other educational materials to customers who emerged successful in the national draw for their consumer promo this year. Some of the lucky winners, who attended the prize presentation ceremony held at the Lagos, headquarters of the money transfer company,

Chinwe, Adebayo Abiodun, Ajibade Abolanle and Olufunmilayo Osibajo. In her review of the consumer promo, Feyikemi Adebayo, MoneyGram’s Regional Director for Anglophone West Africa; expressed satisfaction with the response of customers to the exercise, which she said was meant to service the educational needs of the country.


Rate %


3-Year 5-Year 5-Year

35m 35m 35m

11.039 12.23 13.19

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


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) Tenor 91-Day 182-Day 1-Year

Amount 30m 46.7m 50m

Rate % 10.96 9.62 12.34

Date 28-04-2011 “ 14-04-2011




1.80 10.04 1.42 12.35 0.53 1.09 36.58 1.72 2.49 4.10 14.61



1.89 10.54 1.49 12.90 0.55 1.13 37.70 1.77 2.50 4.11 14.64

0.09 0.50 0.07 0.55 0.02 0.04 1.12 0.05 0.01 0.01 0.03




1.62 5.89 0.83 2.91 2.30 4.26 1.18 0.71 5.22 5.00 0.97


Offered ($) Demanded ($)


OBB Rate Call Rate

age of the bank and to increase its customer base. The official described the Unity Pays Fixed Assets Acquisition as a kind of revolving account that would help customers to buy specific items. “This product allows a customer to deposit 20 per cent cost of the fixed item he wants to buy while the bank makes up the remaining 80 per cent. “The customer has one year to pay back the loan. Our POS allows the customer to pay for goods in supermarkets and pay through electronic machine. “Our Fixed Term Deposit is modified to give special interest which is higher than savings and it has limits,” the official said.




hancing social and economic development,” Iddrisu stated. He said the primary challenge facing Africa today is the need to build stronger institutions. These institutions will be tasked with fighting corruption, ensuring quality health care, fighting infant mortality, among others. ”We have a unique opportunity - investment opportunities abound - and we can make a change in the lives of our people by making good choices about how we leverage our abundant natural resources, such as oil.” The theme for the two-day conference is, ‘Enhancing Africa’s Business Opportunities through Effective Public Private Partnerships’. Iddrisu said what Africa needs to do beyond building strong institutions, is to facilitate the private sector in partnering government.



Sold ($)

Rate (N)


















Year Start Offer

Current Before

C u r r e n t CUV Start After %




















Bureau de Change 152.0000 (S/N)




Parallel Market






27-10-11 N6.5236tr 20,607.37

28-10-11 N6.617tr 20,903.16

% Change -1.44% -1.44%





July ’11

Aug ’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% 9.4%

Offer Price

Bid Price

9.17 1.00 118.85 100.28 0.77 1.03 0.89 1,639.36 8.24 1.39 1.87 7,351.90 193.00

9.08 1.00 118.69 99.71 0.74 1.03 0.88 1,634.12 7.84 1.33 1.80 7,149.37 191.08




1.54 5.60 0.79 2.77 2.19 4.06 1.13 0.68 5.00 4.79 0.93

0.08 0.29 0.04 0.14 0.11 0.20 0.05 0.03 0.22 0.21 0.04


NIBOR Tenor 7 Days 30 Days 60 Days 150 Days

Rate (Previous) 24 Aug, 2011 9.0417 9.6667 11.2917 12.1250

Rate (Currency) 26, Aug, 2011 10.17% 11.46% 11.96% 12.54%




04 July, 2011

07, Aug, 2011














NEWS Elechi, Ucha know fate today

Another communal crisis looms in Anambra


ARELY 11 years after the resolution of the AguleriUmuleri communal crisis in Anammbra State by former President Olusegun Obasanjo, another crisis is looming in the troubled communities. The two communities are in Anambra East Local Government. One of the warring communities had petitioned the Inspector-General of Police Hafiz Ringim and the Director- General of State Security Service (SSS) Eta Ekpenyong. Also petitioned are the National Security Adviser and the Commissioner of Police Muhtari Ibrahim. The Umuleri community is protesting the invasion of their land by Aguleri people. The matter had been settled at the Supreme Court. Following the apex court judgment, the state government revoked the contentious portion. But the Aguleris allegedly started developing the area. The petition reads: “Um-

HE Governorship Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Abakaliki,Ebonyi State, will today deliver judgment on the petition filed by theAll Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) governorship candidate in the April 26 election Senator Julius Ucha. Ucha is challenging the election of Governor Martin Elechi of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). Ucha asked the tribunal to declare him as the winner of the election, claiming to have secured the highest number of lawful votes. The Tribunal Secretary, Aminu Shawai, said the tribunal has adjourned the matter till tomorrow. Shawai said the ANPP’s


•Elechi From Ogbonnaya Obinna, Abakaliki

petition is the only outstanding case before it.

Tribunal adopts final briefs in petition against Okorocha


HE Governorship Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Owerri, Imo State, yesterday adopted the final briefs of Imo State Governor Rochas Okorocha and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governorship candidate Ikedi Ohakim. Ohakim is challenging the legality of the May 8 supplementary election which returned Okorocha of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) as winner. Justice E.N Kpojime received all documents pertaining to the petition following the April 26 and May 8 governorship elections. The tribunal’s ruling would soon be communicated to the parties. The preliminary hearings lasted for months and 33 witnesses testified for the petitioner, while three stood for the

From Emma Mgbeahurike, Owerri

first and second respondents . Addressing reporters at the court premises, APGA’s lead counsel Niyi Akintola (SAN) urged the tribunal to be fair. Commenting on the supplementary poll held in respect of the governorship election in the state, he said the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), within its power, can postpone or cancel an election, saying the Electoral Act is explicit on the matter. PDP lead counsel Awa Kalu said the petition has been concluded, adding that the petitioner believes that he has made an issue concerning the April 26 election and the May 6 supplementary election. He described the May 6 election as unconstitutional.

Court orders parties in Ogun PDP dispute to maintain status quo


FEDERAL High Court in Lagos yesterday ordered warring parties in the factionalised Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) in Ogun State chapter to maintain status quo pending the determination of a case filed by a factional Chairman, Chief Dayo Soremi and two others. The court presided over by Justice Charles Achibong gave the order owing to its inability to hear an application by the plaintiff as a result of the defendant’s failure to serve its processes on the applicant. Defendant’s lawyer, A. O. Ajana told the court that he was unable to effect service of his application on the plaintiff because his colleague, in whose custody the processes were kept, lost them to a robbery attack. He prayed the court for a short adjournment to enable him regularize his clients’ position on the case. Ajana’s application is intended as a

Success Digest Enterprise Award THE 15th edition of Success Digest Enterprise Award (SDEA) will hold on Saturday at the Oranmiyan Hall, Ikeja Airport Hotel, Lagos. Chairman, Success Digest Enterprise Award, Dr Sunny Obazu Ojeagbase, said nine entrepreneurs would be honoured.

By Eric Ikhilae

response to the motion on notice in which Chief Soremi and others are seeking to restrain the party from recognizing any other members of the party in the state, other than them, as members of state’s party executive. Plaintiff’s lawyer, R. O. Oluyede, who grudgingly acceded to the court’s decision to adjourn the case, requested that the court restate its order for parties to maintain the status quo, a request the court accepted. Apart from the PDP the applicants also joined the Inspector General of Police, Alhaji Abubakar Kawu Baraje, Alhaji Tajudeen Oladipo, Uche Secondus and Olusola Oke as defendants. Another leader of PDP in the state, Senator Monsurudeen Osholake indicated his intention to be made a party in the case. Osholake who’s lawyer, Gani Bello claimed was the party’s authentic Chairman, said he ought not to be excluded from the case. Bello argued that there was need for the court to join his client in the case as he is an interested party to the suit. “We are seeking to be joined in these proceedings because the applicants included the name of my client in the exhibits before the court, they made some allegation against Senator Osholake who is the authentic chairman of the PDP in Ogun State.

‘There is a peace process. The Local Government Chairman is championing it. I promised my people that as long as I live, I will never allow anything like war to happen again’ From Nwanosike Onu, Awka

ueri has always remained peaceful and law- abiding even in the face of provocation and attack by Aguleri people. But we cannot continue like this”. The state government has not demarcated the contentious land in compliance with the White Paper which was issued in 1995 after the crisis, it was learnt. Commissioner for Information and Culture Maja

MASSOB petitions Jonathan, IGP over member’s death From Ogbonnaya Obinna, Abakaliki


HE Movement for the Actualisation of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB) has petitioned President Goodluck Jonathan and the Inspector-General of Police Hafiz Ringim on the death of its member Sylvanus Amuta. Amuta died shortly after he was allegedly beaten up by the police in Abakaliki, Ebonyi State, during the Igbo Day celebration. The petition, signed by MASSOB’s Director of Information Uchenna Madu, said Amuta was among the four persons beaten up and arrested by the police at the Abakaliki Township Stadium. The petition reads: “We wish to inform President Goodluck Jonathan, the Inspector-General of Police Hafiz Ringim and the human rights groups that Dr. Amuta of Umuhu Omuma, Oru East Local Government, Imo State, is dead. “The 70-yearold Amuta was one of the four MASSOB members beaten up by the police during the Igbo Day celebration on September 29. “He died as a result of internal bleeding after battling to save his life from an internal injury and psychological trauma inflicted on him by security operatives. This extra -judicial killing of our member by security agents cannot be swept under the carpet.” Madu said the group also condemned the continued detention of three of its members- ThankGod Nwachukwu (13), Chukwuebuka Okata (140 and Irechukwu Nogide (16) at Abia State Criminal Investigation Department(CID) in Umuahia since September 29.

Protest as Police kill 78 year-old ruler


ANDEMONIUM broke out yesterday in Ikorodu, Lagos when a 78year-old ruler was shot dead in front of his compound. The reason for this act could not be immediately known but sources said the police claimed they were on a random raid of the area. According to sources, the traditional ruler identified as Chief Amos Oriyomi, (Baale of Bamgbelu Parafa) was in his compound having lunch with some of his visitors when a team of policemen stormed the area chasing after some ‘suspects’; who were reported to have ran into the compound. Sources said all entreaties by the septuagenarian to the invading policemen that they were in a traditional ruler’s compound and that no criminal could have escaped into the compound fell on deaf ears and they were reportedly moved into their waiting patrol van including the Baale. But outside the compound, a mild argument reportedly ensued during which sympathizers resisted the arrest of the traditional ruler. However,

By Titilayo Banjoko reports said, when he was eventually asked to get down from the van, a trigger-happy policeman reportedly opened fire on him. The defenceless traditional ruler slumped. He died on the way to the Ikorodu General Hospital. Sensing danger, the policemen were said to have zoomed off while the youths of Bamgbelu Parafa gave them a chase. More sympathisers later joined the protesting youths and matched towards the Igede Police station with a view to razing it down but were dispersed by another team of riot policemen which fired canister of tear gas. When contacted, the state police Public Relations Officer, Mr. Samuel Jinadu said he was yet to be briefed on the shooting. But the Area ‘N’ Commander under which Igede Division is, ACP Marcos Omuiyadun said the situation is under control. He said the policemen who went for the raid have been arrested and detained.

Umeh and the Secretary to the State Government Paul Odenigbo declined comments on the issue. Commissioner for Lands and Urban Development Peter Afuba also refused to speak. The communities decried the shoddy handling of the 1995 and 1999 crises in the area, saying it may cause another crisis in the area. President- General of Umueri community Henry Jideani and a member of the State Conflict Resolution Committee confirmed the provocation by Aguleri. An Aguleri community leader Prof. Adive Udedibia said the matter would be resolved amicably. He dismissed the allegation. “There is a peace process.

The Local Government Chairman is championing it. I promised my people that as long as I live, I will never allow anything like war to happen again,” he said. The Nation learnt that it was Prof. Udedibia who initiated the peace moves between the warning communities after the previous crises in the area. Ibrahim declined comments on the matter. He said the police had strenghtened security in the area and warned against any breach of peace. PUBLIC NOTICE OREKIE I, formerly known and addressed as MISS OREKIE OGONNA IJEOMA, now wish to be known and addressed as MRS OLAOYE OGONNA IJEOMA. All former documents remain valid. General public should please take note.

LOSS OF DOCUMENT This is to Inform the General Public of the Loss of a Federal Certificate of Occupancy dDated 22/ 07/2003 of No 118 along Lagos /Abeokuta Expressway Abule Egba, Lagos State Registered as No 83 at page 83 in volume 96 in the Lands Registry at Ikoyi Lagos State If found, kindly contact 08027220289 or call Alhaji Yisa Bello on 08033905924



NEWS Boko Haram attack: Damaturu federal secretariat deserted From Duku JOEL, Damaturu


OLLOWING the attack by suspected members of the Boko Haram sect in Damaturu, the Yobe state capital, the federal secretariat has been deserted by workers. The four-storey building, which was destroyed in the attack, has become a ghost of itself as most of the workers have stayed away from the building. The offices of the National Orientation Agency (NOA), the administrative office of the Civil Defence Corps, Federal Staff Clinic and the Federal Ministry of Works are among those hit in the bombing. Some workers of the affected ministries have taken refuge in neighbouring offices that are not badly affected. Only cleaners were seen around the secretariat. When our correspondent visited the secretariat, the state Director of NOA, Mohamed Wakil, and some other workers were taking refuge in the office of the Public Complaints Commission.

17 die in Bauchi road crash From Austine Tsenzughul, Bauchi


EVENTEEN persons died yesterday and many others injured in a road accident on the Azare–Potiskum road in Katagum Local Government Area of Bauchi State. The accident occurred at 12.35pm, involving an 18-seater Toyota commercial bus with registration number XC195KPG and a Peugeot 505 station wagon with registration number AE466PKM. The Bauchi State Sector Commandant of the Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC), Mr Zakaria Mamman, confirmed the incident. He said: “The 15 persons that were injured during the accident include seven women , six men and two children, while the 17 persons that died include 15 men, one women and a child.

Jang’s wife advises Plateau women on peace


LATEAU State Governor’s wife, Mrs Talatu Jang, yesterday urged the women in the state to work for the return of peace to the troubled state. She noted that women have a lot of influence on their husbands and that they should use this to make them renounce violence. Mrs Jang said: “Women should be able to talk to their husbands and their children because the men that are fighting are your husbands and children and you have so much influence on them.” The governor’s wife spoke at the Government House in Jos, the state capital, on arrival from an overseas trip.


•ACN to Yakowa: brace up or resign From Tony Akowe, Kaduna

tire Jema’a Local Government Area was respecting the curfew. This morning (yesterday), the Police Commissioner was here and we went round to see the extent of damage. There was some level of destruction that took place, but everything has calmed down now as nobody is wandering outside. “I have not been told of any casualty, apart from the body found last Wednesday morning between the boundary of Jema’a and Zangong Kataf, which started the problem. I hope the curfew gets relaxed soon. But the youths must learn to respect the law and be peaceful. Unfortunately, the more affected persons by the curfew are not the trouble makers.” Patients at the Kafanchan General Hospital and other private hospitals in the area were said to have been left unattended to as a result of the 24-hour curfew. The government has strengthened security in

Kaduna metropolis, Zaria and other towns to prevent reprisal attacks and ensure the security of life and property. The Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Media and Publicity, Reuben Buhari told The Nation that there was no need for the residents to fear as adequate security measures have been put in place. He said security agencies were on top of the situation and that calm has returned to Kafanchan. Buhari dismissed the rumours that there was commotion at Gonin-Gora, a suburb of Kaduna metropolis on Kaduna-Abuja Road, describing it as mischievous and aimed at throwing the state into confusion. He said: “I heard such a rumour and I drove to the area to see things for myself. In fact, I drove past Gonin-Gora and travelled for about 40 kilometres away from Gonin-Gora on the Abuja highway and there was no trouble as being speculated.

Some people would just sit down somewhere and tell lies.” The Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) in the state accused the government of failing to protect the residents. It urged Governor Patrick Yakowa to brace up for the challenges of governance or resign. The government had imposed a 24-hour curfew on Kafanchan and Zango Kataf local government, following tension in the town over the discovery of the body of a young man on Wednesday. It was learnt that about four petrol stations were razed between Wednesday and yesterday with an unspecified number of houses, despite the curfew and security patrols in the town. Sources told The Nation that some houses on the outskirts of the town were burnt on Wednesday night by some youths. Residents of Kafanchan metropolis spent the night guarding their homes from possible attacks.

She said: “The call on women has become necessary in view of the fact that the crises are depriving Plateau women and youths of a lot of benefits from foreign organisations. “My pet project, Women in Agriculture and Youth Empowerment (WAYE), has entered into a partnership with an organisation in Canada for the expansion of the project. One of such organisations is already on its way from Canada to Jos, but some of them are sceptical about the crises in the state.

From Kolade Adeyemi, Kano

According to him, the Council approved over N13.591 million for landscaping and provision of interlocking tiles for some hospitals, namely Murtala Muhammad Hospital and Sabon Bakin Zuwo Maternity Ward. The council also approved N9.134million for the Kano Agric Show, scheduled to hold this month, while another N64.287million was approved for the construction of four classroom blocks at Fisheries, Livestock and Entrepreneurial Institute.

Benue gets new Speaker From Uja Emmanuel, Makurdi



HE Kaduna State Police Commissioner Ballah Magaji Nasarawa yesterday said 20 suspects have been arrested in connection with the crisis in Kafanchan, in the southern part of Kaduna State, for allegedly destroying property. The police chief, who has relocated his office to the town, told our correspondent on phone that the suspects were arrested at the scene of the crisis. He said there was no report of any casualty. Nasarawa said: “We are totally in control. We have effected between 15 and 20 arrests. The people were caught at the scene of the riots. I cannot tell you where we have taken them now. But I want to say that we have not seen or heard about any other loss of life apart from the dead body that sparked the violence. I want to assure you that people are obeying the curfew and we are witnessing peace now.” The Chairman of the Interim Management Committee of Jema’a Local Government Area, Yunana Barde, said: “Kafanchan and the en-

From Yusufu Aminu Idegu, Jos

Kano approves N363m to build 26 Magistrates’ Courts HE Kano State Executive Council has approved over N363 million to build 26 Magistrate’s Courts in the local governments. The Commissioner for Information, Youths, Sports and Culture, Dr Umar Jibril Farouk, addressed reporters yesterday in Kano after the meeting of the State Executive Council. Farouk said the council also approved over N964.3 million for the second phase of 60 blocks of classrooms in the 44 local government areas to decongest primary schools.

20 arrested over Kafanchan unrest as youths defy curfew

HE Benue State House of Assembly yesterday elected Dave Iorhemba as its new Speaker. Iorhemba, a Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) member from Guma State Constituency, takes over from Terhemen Tarzor, whose election was annulled by the tribunal. Kenneth Iyo (PDP), Gwer West State Constituency, moved the motion nominating Iorhemba. He was seconded by Nick Oworo (PDP) Obi State Constituency. The 27 members, who were present at the plenary, unanimously voted in favour of Iorhemba’s election.

• Speaker, House of Representatives, Aminu Waziri Tambuwal (right); Deputy Speaker Emeka Ihedioha (middle); and former Deputy Speaker Austin Opara, at the burial ceremony of Opara’s father, the late Pa Robert Opara, in Port Harcourt, Rivers State.

Tribunal rules today in Kwara governorship poll petition


HE Governorship Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Ilorin, the Kwara State capital, will, today, deliver judgment on the petition filed by the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) and its candidate, Mohammed Dele Belgore (SAN), challenging the election of Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). Belgore challenged the declaration of Ahmed by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) as winner of the April poll. The three-man tribunal, chaired by Justice Ngozi Emehelu, on October 27, fixed today for ruling after counsel to the petitioners and the respondents adopted and adumbrated on their final addresses. Both sides had quoted legal authorities to support their positions and urged the tribunal to uphold their arguments. Belgore wants the tribunal

From Adekunle Jimoh, Ilorin

to annul the votes recorded from areas he alleged were fraught with widespread irregularities (five local government areas and some wards). He said the tribunal should declare him the duly elected governor, based on the highest number of valid votes recorded in the April 26 poll. At the last hearing, tribunal Secretary Uju Mesiobi-Emeto told the court that the ballot count ordered by the chairman showed that 213,011 ballot papers were used in the areas ACN is challenging, as against the 234,203 votes that INEC claimed to have recorded in the areas. The number of votes cast ought to tally with the number of ballot papers used, she said. Mesiobi-Emeto’s confirmation came after ACN lead counsel, Ebun Sofunde,

had drawn the attention of the tribunal to the petitioner’s allegation of inflation of votes, which he said accounted for the huge difference in the votes. Sofunde said: “Through the evidence of PW65 – one of the three expert witnesses called by the which upon an examination of the EC8As in all the areas being challenged, it was found that 234,203 valid votes were recorded as having been used, whereas upon physical count of the ballot papers for those areas, the actual ballot papers used were 213,011. Thus, it gives a discrepancy of 21,192 ballot papers recorded as valid votes and as was disclosed in Exhibit AAO/10 by PW65. This discrepancy occurred in 363 polling units. The said ballot papers were tendered in evidence as exhibits. “Furthermore, a physical count of the said ballot papers, under the supervision

of the court, was ordered and it confirmed the discrepancy of 21,192 ballot papers recorded as votes. The parties were ordered to take part in that counting exercise and given ample opportunity to do so. The respondents deliberately failed to take part in it. In INEC V Oshiomole (supra) at page 662D – 664A, the Court of Appeal approved of a similar exercise that was carried out by the tribunal and further held that the evidence from the count was one which the tribunal could not ‘turn a blind eye to’ and the tribunal was right to make use of it.” Whereas the respondents’ counsel raised a number of technicalities upon which they want the tribunal to dismiss the case, Sofunde countered that their (respondents’) submissions fly in the face of several legal authorities, including Supreme Court decisions, which he said back the petitioners’ case.




Lucas Papademos heads Greece’s interim govt

South Africa’s ANC suspends youth leader Julius Malema


OUTH Africa’s ruling party ANC has suspended its youth leader Julius Malema from the party for five years. He was found guilty of bringing the party into disrepute and ordered to step down as youth league president. Once a close ally of President Jacob Zuma, Mr Malema has become one of his strongest critics, accusing him of ignoring poor South Africans who helped bring him to power in 2009. The BBC’s Milton Nkosi says the verdict boosts Mr Zuma’s re-election bid.

Mr Malema, 30, wants Mr Zuma replaced as party leader ahead of the 2014 elections and replaced with deputy leader Kgalema Motlanthe. Our correspondent says it is now difficult to see how Mr Malema can affect the ANC leadership contest next year, however Mr Zuma is not certain of a second term and other critics remain. Mr Malema has said he will appeal against the ANC’s decision to suspend him. Mr Malema has 14 days to appeal, but was already suspended for his statements on Zimbabwe and so must vacate

his position as youth league leader immediately. If he loses his appeal, the ANC will elect a new youth league leader. After Mr Malema’s suspension, an ANC spokesperson said: “Disciplinary procedures are not meant to end anybody’s political career, they are meant to correct behaviour.” This is a victory for President Jacob Zuma. It clears the way for him to pursue his ambition of serving a second term when the leadership contest takes place in a year’s time.

South Sudan condemns Sudanese ‘attack’


OUTH Sudanese officials have condemned Sudan after an aerial bombardment of a refugee camp in their territory. The BBC’s James Copnall was at the Yida camp in oil-rich Unity State, which borders Sudan, when it was bombed. Local official Miabek Lang said at least 12 people had been killed and 20 wounded. The Sudanese military, which has been fighting rebels in areas near South Sudan, has

denied the claims. Our reporter says the first bombs fell at around 12:00 GMT and when he arrived at the camp some 10 minutes later, a second round of bombing started. He says that just as a UN helicopter, carrying food aid, settled on to a makeshift landing zone at the camp, there was a deep and terrifying thud of a nearby explosion. A large plane was spotted heading to the north, our reporter says.



THE appointment of Lucas Papademos, the former vice-president of the European Central Bank, as prime minister of Greece has brought to an end five days of intense political wrangling. Greece’s party leaders agreed yesterday to give Papademos the mandate to form an interim coalition government to replace that of George Papandreou. He will be sworn in as prime minister at noon today, the presidential palace announced. “I have accepted the mandate to create a coalition government … the honour is big and the responsibility that I undertake is even greater,” the

66-year-old Harvard-educated economist told reporters, emerging from the presidential palace. “I am not a politician but I have dedicated the biggest part of my career to economic policy in Europe and Greece. The Greek economy continues to face huge problems despite the very big efforts at fiscal adjustment and improvement of competitiveness,” Papademos said, the tension evident in his voice. “Greece is at a crucial crossroads. The choices that are made and the policies that are enforced will have a decisive

impact on the wellbeing of Greeks. The way forward will not be easy but the problems can be solved, and will be solved, if there is unity, co-operation and consensus.” The appointment of Papademos, who is considered one of Europe’s foremost experts in macro-economics, was met with relief. Politicians, pundits, economists, business and industry leaders all expressed the belief that, liberated from the constraints of “political cost”, Papademos was the ideal person to navigate the country away from the shores of economic disaster.

Murdoch denies ‘code of silence’ over hacking


EWS International chief James Murdoch has rejected suggestions the company operated like the Mafia over the phone hacking scandal. During questioning by MPs, Labour’s Tom Watson suggested its UK arm had adopted the “omerta” code of silence. Mr Murdoch said that was “offensive and not true” and said he was not made aware in 2008 that phone hacking went beyond one rogue reporter.





Reina: We’ll turn it on

Toure: We’re still ‘far away’ from Barcelona’s level Y

AYA Toure has revealed he would love to emulate the success of former team Barcelona with Manchester City but insists his current club are still ‘far away’ from the Catalans’ current level. “At the moment, I think we are far away from Barcelona because they are an amazing club with a fantastic squad,” Toure told reporters. “Most of the best players in the world are already there, Xavi, Andres Iniesta, Lionel Messi, Gerard Pique, Daniel Alves. “To become like them, we have to win some cups. The comparison now with Barcelona, Manchester is the lower end. We will continue to work hard to become like them.” The Ivorian has enjoyed a positive time at the Etihad Stadium since his arrival from the Champions League holders and has become a staple of Roberto Mancini’s set up. And while he believes the English Premier League side still have to win more trophies before it can be compared to Barcelona, he insists they will do everything in its power to try and match the Spaniard’s achievements. Despite admitting that Manchester City cannot yet match the Primera Division side, he believes it is a great team in its own right and now have two starting XIs with which to compete on both a domestic and

continental level. Using its recent back-to-back wins against Wolves, in which just three players started both games, as an example, Toure believes City showed it can swap and change and still be successful. “We have more than one team now,” Toure told reporters. “We have got two teams. If you see [the side used against] Wolves in the Carling Cup, people said it was the second team. For me, it is not the second team because everybody is good enough to play and everybody is doing fantastic. “When you see the team that played against Wolves in the Carling Cup, they won 5-2. The team that played against Wolves in the Premier League at the Etihad won 3-1, but it was difficult. We have got two teams that can both play in the Champions League. We have got a fantastic squad and fantastic players, everybody is improving. The Ivorian went on to say that he hopes this City team rewrites some of the club’s record books and that it can dominate the league for years to come. “I think about making history with City. It is already a different contest to last year when I joined because we have the quality players who have come in now – Samir Nasri, Sergio Aguero and the other fantastic players.


RSENAL midfielder Alex Song has heaped praise on Gervinho



NGLAND have been warned to forget any ideas of Spain taking it easy – even if Fabio Capello throws in the kids on Saturday. Liverpool keeper Pepe Reina says the reigning world and European champions are coming to Wembley to make a statement. Reina is hoping to figure for his country and says his fellow Spaniards based in the Premier League are all eager to impress. He said: “There is no such thing as a friendly these days. “For those of us who play our club football in England this is a very special game. When you go away with your national team, you always want to win.” And Reina says that Manchester City’s playmaker David Silva could be one of the

stars after turning on the style this season. Silva, signed for £26m from Valencia last June, has been in stunning form for Roberto Mancini’s tabletoppers. Reina said: “Playing in England has certainly helped him and he’s up there with the best in the Premier League. “It has made him a regular starter for Spain. He’s improved since he came to England, just like Xabi Alonso and Fernando Torres did when they joined us at Liverpool. Reina will begin the game on the bench with captain and first choice Iker Casillas likely to start the friendly. But the 29-year-old is just happy to be in the squad, saying: “Only 11 players can start. You have to accept your role and I always feel very lucky to be there.

Cole: Ferguson has revolutionised soccer


ORMER Manchester United and England striker Andrew Cole believes Sir Alex Ferguson has ‘revolutionized’ soccer during his 25 years at Old Trafford. Cole played under Ferguson for six years between 1995 and 2001, and helped guide the club to a treble win in 1999. Ferguson received special praise from both players and managers regarding his reign

at United, and Cole has hailed how the Scot has adapted as the years have progressed. “I think he’s revolutionized football. When people stay manager at one club for 25 years and how’s he done it, you’ve got to move with the times,” Cole said. “We’ve got generations that have changed from when the manager first started managing football to where he is now, it’s exactly the same way but in a different manner.

Jagielka admires positive Cahill

Lille to the Ligue 1 title last season and Song, who used to play for Bastia in France, was impressed by what he saw. Song knew that it would be a tougher challenge for the Ivory Coast international to succeed in the Premier League, but so far he has performed well. Gervinho has established himself as a regular starter in Arsene Wenger’s side during the early part of the season and Song believes he will only become more confident, both on and off the pitch. “I watch a lot of the French league at home so I knew when Gervinho arrived that

Song hails Gervinho’s impact


RSENAL midfielder Alex Song has heaped praise on Gervinho for settling in quickly following his summer move from Lille. Gervinho helped inspired Lille to the Ligue 1 title last season and Song, who used to play for Bastia in France, was impressed by what he saw. Song knew that it would be a tougher challenge for the Ivory Coast international to succeed in the Premier League, but so far he has performed well. Gervinho has established himself as a regular starter in Arsene Wenger’s side during the early part of the season and Song believes he will only become more confident, both on and off the pitch. “I watch a lot of the French league at home so I knew when Gervinho arrived that he was a very good player,” Song told Arsenal’s Official Matchday Programme. “I’m not surprised to see him doing well here and I think there’s more to come. It’s not easy to come to the English league, it’s harder and stronger, but he’s getting used to it and I’m really happy to see him making a difference in games. “Gervinho is a very quiet guy, not one who talks too much, but I think it’s normal that you look and listen when you arrive somewhere before saying a lot. “I think he’s now coming out of himself and you can see it on the pitch too.”


VERTON defender Phil Jagielka has praised the attitude of team-mate Tim Cahill and expressed his importance to the club. Everton defender Phil Jagielka has praised the attitude of team-mate Tim Cahill and expressed his importance to the club. Cahill came on as a substitute during Everton’s 21 Premier League defeat against Newcastle on Saturday and made a determined performance despite suffering from an ongoing ankle injury. And Jagielka had nothing but admiration for the Australia international. “He’s [Tim Cahill] a big player for us,” the England international told BBC Radio Merseyside. “He loves playing for Everton and we love having him.” Although having started just once in four games, Jagielka believes that Cahill’s positive performances are a reflection on his character. “At the moment he can only be a sub and be an impact player,” he said. “He’s not quite 100 percent fit. Others wouldn’t want to be on the bench. But that shows the type of guy he is.” “He won his challenges and, even if he doesn’t win them, he’s a pain.” Meanwhile, Jagielka admitted that morale is ‘not good’ within the Everton squad after the team slipped to 17th position in the league following the loss to Newcastle - their fifth defeat in six games. The Toffees had chances to take at least a draw from St James’ Park but errors cost them dearly as they left the north east without a point. “Unfortunately it has been the tale of our season so far,”


Jagielka told the Daily Express. “I won’t say we’ve gone up there and played brilliantly, but we’ve been okay in patches and created chances and not taken them.” “At the other end, any sort of mistake that happens they’ve seized on. Tim Howard hasn’t had much to do, but they’ve scored two goals.” “Morale is not good. I’d be lying if I said we were all high-fiving each other in the changing room. We’re all absolutely gutted, managers and coaches included.” “I don’t think we would have expected to have got so few points from this run. That’s five out of six we’ve lost.” “We’ve been in games, at least 70 or 80 minutes, and in the past we might have nicked a draw or a win. The manager has got a hard job to do now in terms of getting confidence and moral back up.”




Nani nears half century S


Germany’s Goetze eager to face Dutch


ERMANY’s teenage star Mario Goetze is hoping

for the chance to take on World Cup runners-up the Netherlands on Tuesday and for the opportunity to play alongside Real Madrid playmaker Mesut Ozil. Goetze, who turned 19 in June, has been in stellar form this season for both his club, Borussia Dortmund, and country, but Germany coach Joachim Loew has so far resisted playing him alongside Real’s Ozil. Germany face Euro 2012 cohosts the Ukraine in Kiev on Friday, then host Holland in Hamburg four days later, and Loew has said he will experiment by playing the pair together in at least one of the games. “When I am on the national team, it’s always fun,” said

Goetze. “Especially for a game against Holland, what more could you wants? “That is a real classic.” Goetze says he now has a lot more attention from defences when he plays. “Last year, there was maybe one player marking me, now there are two or three players,” he said. “The opposition are taking more intensive care of me, they’ll try anything to stop me and there has also been some provocation.” Having made ten appearances for Germany, scoring two goals in the process, Goetze has been in eye-catching form especially when he orchestrated Germany’s 3-2 win over Brazil in a friendly in August. He scored twice in

Dortmund’s 5-1 hammering of Wolfsburg last Saturday which saw his club go second in the German league behind leaders Bayern Munich.

Pareiko pleads for calm as Estonia meets Ireland


HE Republic of Ireland represent a major obstacle for Estonia in the UEFA EURO 2012 playoffs, but goalkeeper Sergei Pareiko hopes his side can make use of the chinks in Giovanni Trapattoni’s men’s armour. Unexpected Group C runners-up in qualifying, Estonia are two fixtures from next summer’s finals, but are up against an Irish side still smarting from narrowly missing out on the 2010 FIFA

Kelly out to banish heartache



TEPHEN Kelly is desperate to help banish the memory of Republic of Ireland’s play-off heartache against France by seeing off Estonia. Ireland were cruelly denied a place at the 2010 World Cup finals after Thierry Henry’s controversial handball helped set up William Gallas’ gamedeciding goal. Although that infamous game was back in November 2009, Fulham full-back Kelly insists the scars from missing out on South Africa remain. Kelly is now preparing to tackle Estonia in Friday’s first leg away from home and he believes qualifying for Euro 2012 would put an end to their France anguish once and for all. When asked how keen he is to banish the memory of their

IR Alex Ferguson believes Nani is only in the shadow of former Old Trafford team-mate Cristiano Ronaldo “because he is Portuguese” with the winger in line to earn a 50th cap today. After a remarkable year, Portugal winger Nani hopes to mark his 50th cap in style against Bosnia and Herzegovina in today’s UEFA EURO 2012 play-off first leg in Zenica. Having come out of Cristiano Ronaldo’s shadow at Manchester United FC, following his Portugal teammate’s move to Real Madrid CF in 2009, Nani — who made his debut for Portugal in September 2006 — is eager to continue shining at international level, having been an ever-present in the 2012 UEFA EURO Group H campaign. The former Sporting Clube de Portugal midfielder played a major role in United’s 19th league title triumph last season, his third in four years, and with nine goals and an unrivalled 18 assists, his influence upon Sir Alex Ferguson’s side was reflected by further recognition: United’s players’ player of the year award for 2010/11. “Nani had a fantastic season last year,” said Sir Alex. “”He is only in Ronaldo’s shadow because he is Portuguese. That is the only link I can see. He was never in his shadow in my mind”. He has always had great potential but some players take longer to mature than others.”

France play-off heartache, Kelly replied: “Desperate. “Obviously, the freshest in the memory is still France and everybody has got that scar, that wound still there. “It’s something that if we qualify now, hopefully that will be papered over and that will be it, we can forget about it and it

World Cup at the final hurdle. Starting in Tallinn on Friday and concluding in Dublin on Tuesday, something will have to give. “I played against some Irish players recently, so I know a bit about them already,” said Pareiko, who took on Ireland’s Stephen Kelly and Damien Duff in Wisa Kraków’s recent UEFA Europa League games against Fulham FC. “The ability of their players is obvious. “These two matches are special ones. Skill is an important issue, but character and luck will be big factors as well”. “Some people have said that short passing and quick football could be a good weapon against the Republic of Ireland,” added Pareiko. “In their games against Russia [a 0-0 draw] and Armenia [a 1-0 defeat] it was evident that the Irish sometimes can’t handle fast, skilful players.”

Gonalons replaces Nasri in France squad


YON defensive midfielder Maxime Gonalons was awarded his first France call-up on Wednesday after Samir Nasri was ruled out of the friendly games with the United States and Belgium due to injury. Gonalons, 22, has never

previously been included in a France squad but was drafted in after Manchester City midfielder Nasri succumbed to an inflamed tendon in his left knee. France play the United States at Stade de France on Friday before tackling Belgium at the same venue four days later.


ARREN Bent is determined to capitalise on the absence of Wayne Rooney and stake a claim for a place in Fabio Capello’s Euro 2012 plans against Spain. Capello will be looking for a striker to fill Rooney’s boots in the group stages of next summer’s tournament after the


Manchester United ace was handed a three-match ban by UEFA. Aston Villa frontman Bent has never featured at a World Cup or European Championship but the striker is determined he can cut it on the biggest stage. And the 27-year-old, who has scored four goals in his last five internationals, believes Saturday’s friendly against world and European champions Spain will be a perfect chance to prove himself after Rooney was not included in the squad. “It’s a big blow for England Wayne Rooney not being there because you need your World Class players at the big tournaments,” he told The Sun. “It’s unfortunate he won’t be there but if I’m selected I’ll do everything I can to help. “I’m not sure how England fans perceive me. They clearly see Wayne Rooney as the number one but after that it’s a free for all. There’s one of four players who can do his job. “I’ve never been at the World Cup and we didn’t qualify for Euro 2008 but this is a big chance to show everyone what I’m about and I’m looking forward to it. “It’s like an audition to prove you can play against the tougher teams. It doesn’t make me nervous, you just have to think of it as another game.”

Shevchenko set to end career with glory


KRAINE’s veteran star Andriy Shevchenko may have entered the final stage of a glorious career but he is hoping to overcome injuries for a final crowning achievement with success at Euro 2012. The European championships, which Ukraine co-hosts with Poland, would be the perfect occasion for the 2004 Ballon d’Or winner and current Dynamo Kiev star to win honours for his country before hanging up his boots. Ukraine’s national manager Oleg Blokhin, himself a football icon in the Soviet era, has repeatedly said that Shevchenko remains an integral member of his team, whose skills and experience would be vital at the championships. “Andriy (Shevchenko) is not just another football player,” Blokhin said. “He is also a person of tremendous and

indisputable authority, who is so necessary for our team.” “I hope he’ll be able to overcome his injuries and gain his form for the start of the European championship. Meanwhile, we will do everything we can to help him.” Blokhin has called the Dynamo Kiev striker into his line-up to play friendlies against Germany at Kiev on November 11 and Austria at Lviv on November 15. Shevchenko, who is suffering from chronic pain in his back, said he was undergoing courses of medical treatment in Germany and England and was hopeful he would be ready to join his country’s squad at the Euro-2012. “I will join the national side at the European championships only if I feel myself good and ready to stand the competition for a place in the line-up,” Shevchenko told AFP.









AST week, I was in a realm of reflection that interfaces between realism and idealism, struggling with the identification of the indispensable tools for success in the battle for justice. There is no denying the fact that the reality of our existence is widespread injustice; but the ideal is not justice. Justice is the second best where a society has lost its original innocence as ours has. And when it is said that justice is the first order of a political community, there is a need for a slight modification. For that principle makes sense in the case a political community that has evolved from and surpassed the age of innocence or one that is a product of a deliberate effort that thwarts the enduring effectiveness of an original innocence. The political community we identify with did not start off as a complex behemoth that we have now. Its story goes back to centuries before 1918 to the village communities that make up the various national entities that formed the regions of the Independence Constitution. It’s interesting that we fondly remember those regions these days; but they were predated by and successors to some of the smallest polis that can be imagined. Those small units were the loci of something else than justice. They were communities. Philia is the Greek word for friendship; and as Aristotle, the “master of those who know”tells us, “Community depends on friendship; and when there is enmity instead of friendship, men (and women) will not even share the same path.” A philia relationship is one of mutual benevolence; in which one good turn deserves another, not necessarily from the recipient of our caring attitude, but certainly from others within the community if only in the long run. Out of the three kinds of friendship that Aristotle identifies, the one that is relevant to my concern here is advantage friendship of which civic friendship is an important example for its significance for the life of a good society. In a society in which civic friendship prevails, people have an attitude of mutual fellow-feeling; they treat one another kindly, with respect and civility. It is the social institution, the innermost fabric of life in the society that sets up this attitude and triggers it when needed. It is mutually expected and the expectation is not disappointed. In a remarkable passage in his Nichomachean Ethics, which bears witness to the point I made above, Aristotle suggests that where there is civic friendship, there is no need for justice:”when men are friends they have no need for justice, while when they are just they need friendship as well.” In Moral Tradition and Individuality, John Kekes, extends this idea further to suggest that “civic friendship has no use for rights….And a society in which


Skloka is us

Money is the religion of the nation, one for which no one is an agnostic. The filthy rich can’t have enough and the damned poor can’t wait for their piece of the pie. It’s therefore not surprising that instead of mutual well-wishing; we indulge mutual hatred •Map of Nigeria

rights are jealously guarded provides incriminating evidence against itself. For in such a society, litigation attempts to exact what goodwill should freely give.” It is unclear whether we should lament this turn of events in the life of contemporary societies, including ours. But that is where we are; it is the reality of our existence in which civic friendship is an alien, and this is why justice matters for us. Skloka is Russian word that has to do with money and trouble and it is one which one can reasonably find applicable to us. In our individual and national quest for the former, we run into plenty of the latter. But we don’t just pursue money, we worship it. Money is the religion of the nation, one for which no one is an agnostic. The filthy rich can’t have enough and the damned poor can’t wait for their piece of the pie. It’s therefore not surprising that instead of mutual well-wishing; we indulge mutual hatred. And there is no common good to ignite the passion of citizens at war over private interests.

...and what of IMPORTED FUEL?

In The Correspondence of Boris Pasternak and Olga Freidenberg, Olga the young and attractive cousin of Boris, who had her own share of angst in a society that had fallen into the trap of money and trouble, gave us a riveting account of skloka.”Skloka stands for base, trivial hostility, unconscionable spite breeding petty intrigues, the vicious pitting of one clique against another. It thrives on calumny, informing, spying, scheming, slander, the igniting of base passions. Taut nerves and weakening morals allow one individual or group to rabidly hate another individual or group. Skloka is natural for people who have been incited to attack one another, who have been made bestial by desperation, who have been driven to the wall. Skloka is the Alpha and Omega of our politics. Skloka is our method.” John Leonard who reviewed the book many years ago for The New York Times thought that Olga was bitter when the Soviets won’t publish her books. It’s unclear if we are to take this as a suggestion that Olga’s



NO. 1941

‘But I believe there are positive lessons Baba Suwe and the rest of us can draw from the 23-day experience. If nothing else, the experience seems to have exposed him better than all his years in comedy. By now, he must be contemplating a home video on the basis of his NDLEA experience.’ VINCENT AKANMODE



bitterness may have clouded her judgment about her native land. Well, it’s clear to the visually handicapped that Olga’s account of skloka is a true picture of the social fabric of modern Nigeria where gotcha politics has been the defining mark.Skloka, indeed, is us. In a skloka infested polity, civic friendship is out the door; mutual benevolence is foreign; and rabid hatred is the order. This is as much about the geometric rise in criminal activities, including the recent spike in militancy, as it is about incivility and indecency of our political practice. Senseless violence and wanton killing of political opponents can only be understood as a symptom of the disease of skloka, a disease that afflicts our politics at all levels. It is in such a context, a second tier of politics without community, that a focus on justice and rights makes sense since in the absence of community, there is no sense of friendship; no idea of fellow-feeling and a state of nature situation prevails in which individuals are only motivated by self-interest. Yet it is naïve to expect that true justice can be realised in the absence of community, in an ego-centered society of possessive individualists motivated by nothing but sheer ego. Indeed the constitution, the statutes, and the justice system are presumably established essentially to deliver on the promise of justice in the context of skloka infestation. But that assumes that the agents of the system of justice are immune from the skloka pathology which afflicts the rest of us. If experience is anything to go by, that assumption is doubly false. Even if it is a true picture of our reality, it is hard to come to terms with such a gloomy picture. How, it might be asked, with such a desperate prognosis, have we survived as a nation thus far? The answer is simple but painful for its simplicity. While skloka is the Alpha and Omega of our politics, it afflicts some more than others. Those it afflicts more are irredeemably committed to its practice, can’t have enough of it; and to boot, they have the means to be in charge. While those it afflicts less are real victims, they are too disparate and too compliant to combine their forces to change the situation. In the event, those minority of the population who benefit from the ailment aren’t inclined to back off as long as those majority victims driven to the wall have no urge to turn around. That is, as long as the latter have not internalised the survival principle of the insane.

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•Hardball is not the opinion of the columnist featured above

Frazier: When second fiddle is honourable


T is doubtful whether any athlete ever played second fiddle so gloriously, so honourably and so ebulliently as Smokin’ Joe Frazier. Between 1971 and 1975, and over three epic bouts, the Philadelphian bestrode the boxing heavyweight division with the legendary Muhammad Ali like twin colossi. By the time he succumbed to liver cancer on November 7 at the age of 67, both his fame and reputation were left unaffected by the sort of scandals and wild living that have denuded the career and reputation of Iron Mike Tyson. However, much more than his fistic quality, but not in spite of it, Frazier’s rise to acclaim was swaddled in paradox. He was a brawler, but he somehow made brawling both noble and scientific during a boxing season dominated by the fistic poetry and grace of Ali. Frazier’s entry into the Valhalla of boxing heroes is indeed worth studying. Beside Joe Louis, the Brown Bomber who dominated the heavyweight division for about 12 years with unparalleled panache, Frazier should have been a cipher. Yet, apart from being compared with Louis when he was yet to capture heavyweight glory, his relentlessness in the ring and the fervour he brought into every bout more than compensated for his brief reign or absence of distinguishing artistry. He reminds us of the incomparable

styles of the solid aurochs, Jack Dempsey, who fought and bested the smooth and graceful, Georges Carpentier in 1921. Frazier was nothing near Sugar Ray Robinson, arguably the greatest boxer of all time. Though both were inducted into the Boxing Hall of Fame, Robinson, with his fluid style and quick and powerful punches and jabs, towered ‘pound for pound’ above every other boxer in any weight category. Yet, in just three bouts, particularly the last of the three, which is still described as the ‘greatest fight in boxing history,’ Frazier cemented his reputation. It will be recalled that he announced that reputation with the equally memorable fight in 1971 at Madison Square Garden where he defeated Ali in the ‘Fight of the Century.’ However, it was not only on account of playing second fiddle memorably that made Frazier a legend; that he did it over three bouts, two of which he lost, is also a world first. Frazier’s second fiddle in fact rises into dignity and acclaim when it is compared to the achievements of notable statesmen and literati who played strong second fiddle to great men but are hardly remembered today. Who recounts in popular works today the historic part played in Japanese post-war history by Prime Minister Shigeru Yoshida without

whose bureaucratic deftness it is doubtful Gen Douglas MacArthur would have made a success of administering Japan during the occupation? We still remember Conrad Adenauer’s post-war leadership of Germany, his opposition to Nazism, and his incendiary temper; but who remembers his economics minister, Ludwig Erhard, architect of the German economic ‘miracle’ in spite of serving for 14 years in that post? Indeed, we also still remember with great fondness ‘the most distinguished man of letters in English history’ without equal nostalgic fondness for Thomas Boswell, his biographer, who gave us ‘the most famous single work of biographical art in the whole of literature.’ It is, therefore, no mean achievement that we cannot talk of Ali’s formidable ring artistry today, or make reference to his huge reputation, without mentioning, with almost equal reverence, the tenacity and reputation of Smokin’ Joe. He sealed his place in boxing history with his first win in 1971 over Ali, and his last 1975 loss to Ali in the Thrilla in Manila, which Ali described as the closest he ever came to death. And he somehow made second fiddle a great, even dignifying, position, leaving us befuddled in grappling with the definition of greatness, what its elements are, and whether it is not in fact a spiritual rather than physical thing.

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The Nation November 11, 2011  

The Nation November 11, 2011

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