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41,44,45

I wept on the phone when I travelled for 10 days without my husband

‘We participated in many robberies but wasted all we got on prostitutes’

Boko Haram attacks Pages I defecated 2-3 NIGERIA/ BOTSWANA in my trousers FRIENDLY when I heard the Keshi steps sound of bombs out with Pg. —Corps member

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—Ace gospel artiste, Tope Alabi

Pg. 15

Eagles

Nigeria’s widest circulating newspaper

VOL.05 N0. 1942

TRUTH IN DEFENCE OF FREEDOM

SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 12, 2011

Boko Haram

N150.00

thought The thought marriage of marriage scares me 23 Page

Peace talks initiator gets death threats ...reveals why dialogue is stalled Pages

ess —Nollywood actr Adaora Ukoh

2,3,5

Security beefed up around Force Hqtrs Plot to bomb Police College averted in Jos IN THE NEWS

Buhari replies Jonathan:

I'm not for 4 fuel subsidy

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Gunmen kill village head, wife in Kaduna town …despite curfew 6

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2 NEWS

THE NATION, SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 12, 2011

BOKO HARAM ATTACKS

•A view of the bombed Federal Secretariat in Damaturu

•The Police Command Headquarters also bombed

I defecated in my trousers when —Corps member •Damaturu T

HE tragedy that has been the lot of Maiduguri, Borno State capital, also hit Damaturu, the Yobe State capital, last weekend. The dreaded Boko Haram, which had held Maiduguri by the jugular, also invaded its otherwise sedate neighbour, Damaturu. And by the time the dust settled, the story became one of a long stretch of agony and wailings. The dreaded sect during the operation bombed the state Police Headquarters along Gujba road and some buildings at the 300 housing units along Maiduguri road where the anti -terrorism operatives of the Joint Task Force (JTF) have their offices. The explosions, which occurred in the twilight hours of Friday, November 4, 2011, completely changed the expectant air of joy of the residents who were already in high spirit for their last Sallah preparation into that of fear, panic and despair. Many families never saw each other that day after the sect struck; those who stuck together had to contend with the safety and cries of their

Duku JOEL, Damaturu children and their loved ones. “It was catastrophic. Wallahi, I thought it was the end of the hour because I have never heard such a disturbing blast before,” Sani, who spoke to our reporter on phone, said. A youth corps member narrated that he never knew that he excreted inside his trousers until the next day. “I purged in my trousers when the bombs started exploding at the Federal Secretariat, but I never knew until the following day when I did not hear gunshots again because I live behind the Federal Secretariat. “I even missed my way; instead of going inside YTV premises, I saw myself going back to the secretariat where the bombs were exploding. It is still a miracle how I escaped,” the corps member, who identified himself simply as Adebayo, said. “An elder in the Cherubim and Seraphim Church, who pleaded anonymity, also narrated his ordeal: “We had just finished a programme in the church that evening and I

asked my wife to go to the house with the children (pointing to his house in the church premises). “I stayed behind to arrange some things and lock up the church when I heard a huge bang. The sound came from the Assemblies of God Church. I quickly rushed out of the church to the house and told my wife to move out of the church premises with the children, that something terrible was happening. “By the time we came out of the gate of the church, there was shooting everywhere. I did not see my wife and children until the following day. I did not even know where there were. We both ran in opposite directions. My heart kept thumbing each time there was an explosion.” Bala, another resident, was filled with shock to narrate his story, as according to him, he escaped by a whisker: “I was coming from Maiduguri, approaching the Yobe mosque when I heard the first explosion. I thought it was probably a petrol tanker that fell and exploded. I heard another one, so I decided to

put my ears on the ground. As I approached the roundabout, I saw people running from all directions. So I had to run for my dear life, but what I saw was terrible,” Bala said. Yakubu said he was disconnected with his family throughout the night, which made him more confused. “I went to buy a ram for the Sallah celebration when my friend whispered in my ears that the town had been taken over by Boko Haram. Before I knew it, my wife had called me and asked me to stay wherever I was and not to come home. I had to enter the bush crawling like a wild animal, and each sound of explosion made my heart to jump. It was terrible!” A resident of 300 housing estate, whose house was affected by the impact of the bombing, disclosed that his eyes couldn’t believe what they saw. “I saw my wife’s missed call, but I could not return it because I was busy in the office. Then, another call came in from my friend telling me that there was problem in my area. I hurriedly rushed out of the office. I

headed straight to my house. By the time I got home, my house had completely been shattered due to the impact of the bombing of the Anti-terrorism Police building, which is very close to my house. “I met my wife confused and my kids all crying. We got more devastated because one of my sons could not be seen; so we just assumed that he was among the dead bodies in front of our house. My head was completely empty until I got a call from a relation that my son had left the house shortly before the blast to see his friend in the neighborhood and that he was safe. At that moment, I became a bit relaxed but it is the worse experience of my life”, Adamu narrated. A middle aged woman, who identified herself simply as Janet, also relived her expereience: “When the bombing started, I picked up my five-year-old daughter and we started running towards Potiskum road in the bush, not knowing that the Police Headquarters was on fire. We had to quickly run back to the

Boko Haram: Peace talks initiator gets

THE man who facilitated the September peace talks between a faction of the Boko Haram sect and former President Olusegun Obasanjo has been receiving death threats from unknown persons who are opposed to any such dialogue. The representative of the pro-dialogue faction, Baba Kura Fugu,who received Chief Obasanjo in his Maiduguri residence on Thursday, September 15 for the talks was shot dead 48 hours after by the opposing faction. The peace talks have since been on hold with members of the sect launching co-ordinated bomb and gun attacks in Maiduguri, Damaturu and Potiskum, penultimate Friday. About 150 lives were lost in the mayhem. But now, Kaduna-based civil rights activist, Malam Shehu Sani, says the country would have been spared this agony if the Federal Government had agreed to negotiate with the sect after the Maiduguri talks.

Tony AKOWE, Kaduna

Speaking to The Nation, Mallam Sani said: “When we came back from Maiduguri after meeting with the Boko Haram family and they gave some suggestions and ideas on the way out of this crisis, I believe that the former President took their demands to the government and I suspect that his suggestions were received, but obviously not honoured. “I believe that there are two forces battling to gain President Jonathan’s attention on the way out of this issue. On the one hand are those who do not believe in violence and are disposed to dialogue as a way of finding amicable settlement. On the other hand, you have those who believe in the use of the military to diminish and bring down the group. ”By my understanding of this group, I do not believe that the military can bring down this group because they

are not a conventional group that is out on the street or resides in the bush in a face me, I face you formation. They act in a guerilla fashion. They strike and withdraw and believe in surprises as a tool in prosecuting their violent campaign. “We should also understand that in the last three years, the same kind of violence has been used against the group and each time the government thinks it has diminished the group, you see them coming out stronger. Many people do not understand the group; but from my own contact with the group, I have found them to be a highly organised force of young men who are very deadly and determined in what they are doing and at the end of the day, those who will suffer are innocent citizens. “So, our trip to the group, which I facilitated, I believe is the best way out of this violence. The issue that sparked

off this violence was the killing of Mohammed Yusuf and others in 2009 and till today, there has never been an attempt by government to reach out to the families of these people or to address the issue, apart from the belated prosecution of the policemen that carried out the killing. “I was the first person to make contact with the Boko Haram group. The commanders and family members are dreaded and are seen as monsters who cannot be approached. But I singlehandedly took the risk of reaching out to them. I believe all the government needs to do is to support and back up any attempt that will end the crisis. “However, it appears that the Federal Government is resolute in employing force to dislodge the group. Otherwise, it would have given our initiative some attention. Despite the killing of Baba Kura Fugu, who hosted us, we were not willing to abandon the

initiative because the main Boko Haram group made it clear that they were not party to the killing of Baba Kura Fugu. They have said that they cannot kill one of their own and they are even in support of the initiative, which I have started. “For that to have happened and nobody is doing anything, all that people like me can do is to fold our arms and watch, because if I can take the risk of reaching out to the Boko Haram group and the government, on the other hand, is not willing to implement some of the ideas and suggestions they were given, there is nothing anybody can do about it. ”What were the ideas they were given towards the resolution of this crisis? First, there was the need to rebuild their houses, their mosques and schools that were demolished from 2009 to 2010. Secondly, there is the need to release some of their members cur-


NEWS 3

THE NATION, SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 12, 2011

BOKO HARAM ATTACKS

•Some Damaturu residents boarding a luxury bus to leave the town.

•Anti-terrorism vehicles bombed Photos: Duku JOEL.

I heard the sound of bombs residents relive night of horror house of one of our church elders to take refuge. Over 200 of us were holed up in the compound”. Abdullahi, who lives in Jerusalem area, one of the most affected parts of the town, said: “All my children were just crying. They kept on asking me, ‘What is going?’ I told them to stop talking, that God would protect us”. Bulama, a seller of second-hand clothes near Total Filing Station at the main round about, said when he heard gunshots, he began to run along with some policemen. “I gave a policeman my clothes so that he can escape”. He informed that disclose policemen had to pull off their uniforms and run naked for fear of being easy targets in the crisis. “I saw a lot of them (policemen) naked, climbing trees; some were crawling on their stomachs like reptiles. There were many of them without their uniforms where we were hiding. What I saw was terrible. I pray it would never happen again. “Our policemen were nowhere to

be found. The entire town was taken over by Boko Haram guys, Bulama maintained. A female youth corps member, who has since left for her hometown in the eastern part of the country, described her ordeal as “horrifying”. “This is my first time of knowing what passing through a psychological trauma really looks like. Even though I’m seated in my house now, I can’t still bring myself together. The fear that they are still around, that they would strike any moment is still strong in me. I jump at any slightest sound. I can’t even close my eyes because I would be seeing the whole thing again”, the corper said. “I saw an angel covering me and one police woman. We slept at the roof of the Police Headquarters. Only God knows why the place we were hidding wasn’t bombed. It was a miracle that we survived. My phone started ringing when we were hiding; I switched it off and smashed it on the wall,” a resident disclosed. Our correspondent, who was at the Federal Secretariat, observed that

I saw a lot of them (policemen) naked, climbing trees; some were crawling on their stomachs like reptiles. There were many of them without their uniforms where we were hiding...

some staff of the damaged ministries are now taking refuge in those neighbouring offices that are not badly af-

fected, just as only cleaners were seen around the secretariat. The state Director of the National Orientation Agency, Wakil Kaku, and some of his staff were seen taking refuge in the office of the Public Complaints Commission. Kaku regretted the destruction, stressing that “most of the things we lost here can hardly be retrieved. My greatest pain is those rich workshop materials that we have gathered over the years”. It was observed that some of the ministries were relocating to the personal residences of their directors or comptrollers. The Yobe State Police Commissioner, Suleimon Lawal, whose office was also completely razed down, is now operating at the Area Command Office of the force in Damaturu. Many people in Jerusalem ward, one the Christian dominated areas in the state which was worse hit by the attack, have moved to other parts of the city, while other have completely left the town. Motor parks are now over-

crowded with passengers waiting to flee the town. Expectedly, in the ‘Nigerian spirit’, the cost of transportation has astronomically gone up. Most of the luxurious buses have increased their fares by N1,000. One of the travellers, who identified himself as Chinedu, regretted the increase in the fair. “What they are doing is very bad and ungodly. How can you use this kind of situation to make more money? It is very inhuman”, he added. Yobe State government has said that it would investigate and come out with the modality of how best to compensate those who were affected in the attack. Alhaji Goni Fika, the Commissioner for Home Affairs, Information and Culture, who spoke with our correspondent on phone, disclosed that “Government is still studying the situation to see how best the victims can be compensated. I cannot say any other thing because all the other measures are being handled by security operatives”.

death threats ...reveals why dialogue is stalled rently in detention. “Thirdly, there is the need to scale down military presence in Maiduguri in phases, which has not been able to end some of the activities of the group, but has led to gross human right violations and turned the people against the military and other security agents in Borno State. “If you go to Borno State now, people have more fear for the security agents than they have for the Boko Haram group. The next thing we have said is that the government should symbolically honour the court ruling that says it should compensate the family of Mohammed Yusuf. “Now, if they had started implementing these suggestions, which were part of our agreement with the Boko Haram group, you could then have a way out. But the government is only giving credence to the use of force and the implementation of the Gatalari Committee, which the Boko

Haram’s main stream, led by Shikau, has said they don’t want to have anything to do with. “If the Boko Haram group said they are not opposed to my own initiative but are opposed to the committee set up by government, all they need to do is to support this initiative. I have nothing to gain other than bringing an end to this orgy of violence and restoring peace in this country. But for now, I can tell you that I do not think that the government has taken President Obasanjo’s submission seriously. They are just interested in the use of force”. He, however, still expresses hope in the peace process in spite of government’s refusal to dialogue with the group, saying: “For now, I have not ruled out the possibility of continuing with the talks. But there is no way I can continue with the peace initiative if the government has not shown much interest in what I am doing.” Sani said he has received various

forms of threat as a result of his peace initiative, adding: “I have been receiving threats and it has to do with the fact that I initiated a peace process that will bring an end to violence and the threats are very specific, that I should end the process of bringing the government and Boko Haram to end this thing. “I do receive text messages and calls telling me this is what it is. I do not think that this is something that my family members agree that I should get involved in. In fact, many of them believe that I should just sit back like others and watch. My take is that there is a socio-economic and political implication to what is happening now. It is not human to fold your hands and see hundreds of human lives being wasted; neither is it human to sit back when you know that you can make an impact. It is not human to see violence take over your country and you sit back when there is something you can do. “What I feel is that this is my own

•Shehu Sani

contribution. Other people, especially in this part of the North, have chosen to remain silent either because they don’t like the government and the saying that the enemy of your enemy is

your friend or because they are afraid of voicing out or taking any initiative or for the fact that they are simply not concerned. They may think that the Boko Haram group will target them if they are opposed to them. “I know that the Boko Haram are well organised and can reach their target anywhere at any time and they may not be used to passing through the normal channels where their cars will be checked. As an organisation, they have their leader and a parliament called Shura and whatever they do, it is not just one person directing the affairs. They reach a collective decision on what they want to do, which is approved by their own parliament, which is the Shura. “When you are dealing with such a group that also has spread across neigbouring countries, you should know that you are dealing with a very serious problem, which needs a very serious approach to handle”.


4 NEWS

THE NATION, SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 12, 2011

Buhari replies Jonathan: I’m not for subsidy removal

F

ORMER Head of State, General Muhammadu Buhari, yesterday disowned a suggestion by President Goodluck Jonathan that he had thrown his weight behind the Federal Government’s plan to remove oil subsidy. The President, in a speech at the opening of the 17th Nigerian Economic Summit (NSE) in Abuja on Thursday, had said some key players, including Buhari “who before this time never supported deregulation are now its supporters because of politics. That is why I can now appreciate people like General Buhari, who in terms of politics is my major contender. He said the issue of subsidising petroleum products is fraud.” But responding to the President’s reference to him as a supporter of fuel subsidy removal, the former head of state said his position had been “misrepresented and misapplied by the President to suit the unpopular measure the government wants to take.” The general’s spokesman, Mr.Yinka Odumakin,in a statement, said: “While it is true that General Buhari has dismissed what government officials call “subsidy” as a fraud, his position has been misrepresented

and misapplied by the President to suit the unpopular measure the government wants to take. “General Buhari insists that most of the elements that go into what is called “subsidy” is the cost of corruption in the opaque business of oil import that has become a cash cow for the alliance of oil importers and government officials bleeding Nigeria white. “He maintains that the sharp practices that characterise importation of petroleum products suggest that the state of our refineries is a deliberate sabotage by these powerful forces who are doing illicit business at the expense of the welfare of the people of Nigeria. ”If this were not so, why is it that the public does not know how much a litre of petrol is bought from the international market and the places we are buying from? Why is consignment deliberately left at the ports for I4 days to attract demurrage? Why go and pile charges at private jetties again which is also part of the landing costs?” he asked. “ He further buttressed his assertion with the deadlock between the Federal Government and states over the N250 billion that was to be deduct-

ed as first line charge for “oil subsidy” for only September 2011 when that was the amount budgeted for the whole of 2011. He said: ”It took rejection of cheques by the states for about two weeks before N65 billion was returned from this amount into the pool. Why has the cost of subsidy been rising monthly since January when the volume of import has not increased and prices of petroleum products have not gone up in the international market? “As a man who has stood against corruption in both private and public spheres all his life, General Buhari cannot lend his support to a measure that aids corruption and further impoverishes the people as all the Federal Government wants to do is to jerk up the pump prices. “His panacea is that government must fix our refineries and facilitate the building of new ones so that we can refine locally for the benefits of our economy and the people and derive maximum benefits from the 114 additives of oil. “ When this is done, Nigeria can be in league with other OPEC countries where the cost of fuel in Saudi Arabia is $0.12 (N18 per litre), Kuwait $0.79

Tribunals uphold elections of Chime, Uduaghan, Elechi, Ahmed •PDP’s victory in Kwara temporary, says Aregbesola Chris OJI, Enugu, Okungbowa AIWERIE, Asaba and Ogbonnaya OBINNA, Abakaliki

G •Buhari (N32 per litre),UAE $0.37(N57 per litre), Venezuela $0.05 (N7per litre), Qatar $0.22 (N34 per litre), Iran $0.42 (N17 per litre) and Algeria $0.20 (N31per litre). “Pending when the above will be done, the Federal Government must get out of fuel importation and let the marketers do their own business of importation in a competitive way that can modulate prices up and down. “ This is General Buhari’s way of rising beyond partisanship to offer suggestion in the overall interest of the countrynot by backing oil cabal agenda of impoverishing the people to satisfy the greed of a few.”

•The flooded entrance of the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH), Idi-Araba, Lagos, after a down pour...yesterday Photo: Oyeyemi Gbenga-MUSTAPHA

CJN’s ultimatum: EFCC puts 14 ex-governors, two ex-ministers, 59 others on trial under surveillance

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HE Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) yesterday said it has put 14 ex-governors, two ex-ministers and 59 other highprofile accused persons on special surveillance to prevent them from fleeing. The development followed a new directive to all judges to complete all anti-corruption cases within six months. EFCC Chairman, Mrs. Farida Waziri, also described the new directive as a ‘boost’ to anti-graft war. She assured that the was ready to prove its case against politically exposed Persons presently on trial. The EFCC, whose position was made known in a statement in Abuja by its Head of Media and Publicity, Mr. Femi Babafemi, said it is currently prosecuting 75 high-profile cases and 1,500 others. The 75 high-profile cases include those of 14 ex-governors and two former ministers. The ex-governors and ministers in-

Yusuf ALLI, Managing Editor, Northern Operation clude James Ibori, Senator Saminu Turaki, Peter Odili, Michael Botmang, Joshua Dariye, Boni Haruna, and Rasheed Ladoja. Others are Jolly Nyame, Attahiru Bafarawa, Adamu Abdullahi, Lucky Igbinedion, Ayo Fayose, Chimaroke Nnamani, Orji Uzor Kalu, Chief Femi Fani-Kayode and Babalola Borishade. The EFCC statement said: “This directive apparently tallies with the objective of the campaign for the creation of special courts to fast track the trial of corruption cases which the EFCC chairman has vigorously pursued since 2008 in the interest of the nation’s socioeconomic and political development. “In response to this development, the Commission is not only ready to prove its cases in all matters it has filed in court, its chairman has equally issued

an immediate directive to put some accused persons and suspects in these matters under strict surveillance to foil any escape attempt by those who believe their prosecution will never come to an end in their life time. “The Commission will also want to enjoin all citizens to show greater interest in these cases henceforth with a view to ensuring that all stakeholders are put on their toes and report any plot to escape justice. “While the Commission remains committed to the successful implementation of the CJN’s directive in the interest of justice and the overall interest of the nation, we enjoin all defence counsel in graft cases to see this development as also serving the interest of their clients, as justice delayed is justice denied.” On the practice directive, the statement added: “The EFCC has described as a great boost to the nation’s anti-graft war, the directive issued by the CJN, Justice Dahiru Musdapher to judg-

es to henceforth conclude all corruption cases filed and/or pending in their courts within six months. “The Commission issued the statement in response to series of media enquiries seeking its reaction to the development. “The directive, if strictly adhered to by judges, will not only draw to a close the over 75 high profile cases and 1,500 others it is presently prosecuting in courts with the attendant effect of reshaping the nation’s antigraft war, it will equally reposition the country’s reputation in the international community. “The EFCC chairman, Mrs. Farida Waziri, has expressed her profound gratitude to the CJN for being courageous to issue the directive at this critical period in the process of nation building. “She said it is a confirmation that the judiciary is responding to the yearnings of the citizenry.”

OVERNOR The governorship election petition tribunals in Enugu, Ebonyi, Delta and Kwara states have upheld the elections of the incumbent governors of the respective states. Governor Sullivan Chime of Enugu State yesterday described his victory at the elections petition tribunal as the triumph of democracy after the tribunal which sat in Enugu, dismissed for want of merit, the petition filed against him by the governorship candidate of the Labour Party in last April’s elections, Mr Okey Ezea. While thanking God and the people of the state for their support while the case lasted, the governor, in a release signed by the Commissioner for Information in the state, Mr Chuks Ugwuoke, also extended his hands of fellowship to the petitioners and all those who lost to him at the April gubernatorial polls. He said, “We give God glory for guiding us and for being with us through the process. We also thank our people immensely for their solidarity right from the elections when they gave us their mandate. This verdict has further reaffirmed my faith in the ability of the Nigerian judiciary to dispense justice without fear or favour.’’ The governorship election petition tribunal sitting in Abakaliki also yesterday upheld the election of the Governorship candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in the April 26 governorship elections, Chief Martin Elechi as the governor of Ebonyi State. The candidate of the All Nigeria People’s Party (ANPP), Senator Julius Ucha, had approached the election tribunal, seeking the nullification of the declaration of Elechi as the winner of the election. Senator Ucha averred that the candidate of the PDP did not score the higest number of votes during the election and should not have been declared winner by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). In a more than three-hour unanimous judgment delivered by the Chairman of the tribunal, Justice Nuhu Galandanchi, the tribunal dismissed the petition of Sen.Julius Ucha for lacking in merit. Justice Galadanchi said the petitioners failed to discharge the burden of proof placed on them by law, adding that the petitioners further failed to establish that the elections in the 13 local government areas were invalid or void by reason of corrupt practices. In a swift reaction to the judgment, counsel to the petitioner, Mr Emmanuel Egbunonu said the judgment did not reflect the evidence presented to the tribunal, adding that they would appeal against the judgment at the Appeal Court sitting in Enugu. Also reacting, the Ebonyi State Governor, Chief Martin Elechi, thanked God for the victory, adding that the victory confirmed that INEC conducted the election transparently and honestly in Ebonyi State. In Delta State, the Election Petition Tribunal yesterday upheld the victory of Dr Emmanuel Uduaghan in the April 26 governorship election. The Justice Joy Unwana-led panel nullified the results of the entire Bomadi and Burutu Local Government Areas because “there was absence of the constituent elements of an electoral process’’ Also the tribunal nullified the results of the election in parts of Warri North, Warri South, Warri South-West, Ethiope West and Burutu local government areas. According to Justice Unwana “since it is part of the tribunal’s adjudicatory function to cancel unlawful votes, it follows that upon such cancellation, the remaining votes must be computed and the candidate who scored the highest number of lawful votes ….. be determined” Following the cancellation, the PDP candidate scored 422,509 of the valid votes cast while the Democratic People’s Party (DPP) candidate scored 410,556 votes. Jusitce Unwana affirmed that the burden of proof was essentially on the petitioner, which it failed to discharge Unwana said that despite the nullification of the votes in Bomadi and Burutu Local government areas, the nullified results did not affect the outcome of the election and therefore affirmed Uduaghan as the duly elected governor. On his part, the Kwara State Governor, Alhaji Abdulfatah Ahmed described the judgment of the state's Governorship Election Petition Tribunal, which declares him as the duly elected governor of the state, as sweet and sound. "It's an affirmation and confirmation of the wish of the good people of the state who voted for us. We are indeed grateful to Allah who made today another happy day for us," the governor said in a statement signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Alhaji Abdulwahab Oba. Alhaji Ahmed said his electoral victory at the tribunal was dedicated to God who saw him through and the good people of the state for entrusting him with their mandate. Governor Ahmed, who described his triumph as a victory for democracy and the rule of law, appealed to Kwarans to join hands with his administration in the task of building a new Kwara. "I wish to assure members of the opposition that the PDP is large enough to accommodate everybody without any bias. I therefore urge you to shelve political bitterness and be part of the movement for a better Kwara", he said. Osun State Governor, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, however, described the Kwara State verdidct as a temporary set back, urging all ACN supporters to remain steadfast. "The dismissal of the case of the Kwara ACN's governorship candidate, Dele Belgore, is a temporary setback. Justice will come at the end of the day," he said. Governor Aregbesola stated this before ACN loyalists who gathered at the residence of former chairman of GTBank, Prof Jamiu Oyawoye in Offa, Kwara State on Friday evening. He encouraged the party members not to relent, saying his petition at the tribunal suffered similar fate before the Court of Appeal finally ruled in his favour.


THE NATION, SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 12, 2011

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Tinubu congratulates Ajimobi, insists on subsidy removal debate

SIWAJU Bola Ahmed Tinubu, former governor of Lagos State and Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) national leader, has declared that Nigerians have every right to debate with vigour the subsidy removal controversy, just as he congratulated Governor Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo State over the judicial validation of his mandate. "I wish to congratulate Governor Ajimola for his success at the courts. His was a mandate well-earned. The court case itself was a distraction of a sort, since it was clear who the winner of that election was. Now that the courts have spoken, it is time to go full-scale to deliver on election promises. I have no doubt that Governor Ajimobi is up to the task," he said. But in apparent reference to President Goodluck Jonathan's claim that some opposition figures were playing to the gallery by politicising the impending removal of the subsidy on petrol, Asiwaju Tinubu said Nigerians must not allow themselves to be blackmailed into silence on a crucial issue affecting their lives. He said: “The debate going on is part of the democratic rights of Nigerians. They cannot be blackmailed to keep quiet over what directly affects them or their children."

The ACN national leader said his party, after extensive thinking and wide consultation, has taken a principled and well-thought out position on the matter; and that if the federal government was wise, it would thoughtfully ponder that position instead of crying wolf where there was none. "My party has taken a position and that is my own position also. There must be ‘con-

dition precedent’ before any talk of subsidy removal should be entertained. Certain things must be in place in terms of infrastructure and people-oriented policies,” he said. Asiwaju Tinubu itemised such "condition precedent" as an infrastructure development bank that could fund rail transportation and

modernisation and develop a mass transit system and commodity exchange boards to help millions of farmers across Nigeria to guarantee minimum price for their farm produce. "A Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) government that has failed in 12 years to provide good roads or alleviate poverty has no justification to remove subsidy and ask Nige-

rians to sacrifice more," he declared. The former governor dared the Jonathan presidency to conduct a vote on the subsidy issue. "I challenge the government to hold a referendum on the fuel subsidy issue, to let Nigerians decide, just like they did in Greece. That is the essence of democracy which is for the people, of the people and by the people,"he said.

•From left: Former Governor of Lagos State, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu; Governor of Osun State, Mr. Rauf Aregbesola; and the National Chairman of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), Chief Bisi Akande, at the closing of the Osun State Government exco retreat at Offa, Kwara State yesterday.

Group asks Conduct Bureau to give details on Jonathan, 14 ex-governors

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HE Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC) has asked the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB) to state the amount refunded to the government by 14 of the 15 former governors initially accused of breaching the Code of Conduct for Public Officers. Invoking the Freedom of Information Act 2011, the non-governmental organisation gave the bureau seven days within which to furnish it with the details of the initial charge against all of them. The CCB recently charged former Lagos State Governor, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, before the Code of Conduct Tribunal

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•Says Tinubu’s trial selective Kamarudeen OGUNDELE, Abuja

for allegedly operating foreign accounts while in office. But CISLAC’s Executive Director, Auwal Musa, noted that in the absence of information on how others were left off the hooks, it appeared that the bureau was deliberately being selective in the determination of who to prosecute. Specifically, the organisation is demanding for: Full disclosure of the accounts allegedly operated by Tinubu, including details of transactions, amount of funds in each of the account

he was alleged to have operated, as well as all inflows and outflows in these accounts. The detailed version of the charge sheet submitted to the bureau by the Joint Task Force set up by the then president, Olusegun Obasanjo, which investigated the 15 exgovernors. Information on the action taken by the bureau on a case-by case basis and information about those who got plea bargain and how much each of them refunded to the government. It will be recalled that on October 15, 2006, the Bureau

accused 15 ex-governors, including President Goodluck Jonathan (Bayelsa), James Ibori (Delta), Lucky Igbinedion (Edo), Ayo Fayose (Ekiti), Boni Haruna (Adamawa), Olugbenga Justus Daniel (Ogun), Olagunsoye Oyinlola (Osun), Adamu Aliero (Kebbi), Atahiru Bafarawa (Sokoto), Ibrahim Saminu Turaki ( Jigawa), Ahmed Makarfi (Kaduna), Dr. Chimaroke Nnamani (Enugu), Achike Udenwa (Imo), Sam Egwu (Ebonyi) and Bola Tinubu (Lagos). The CCB Chairman, Mr. Sam Saba, at a recent press briefing, claimed other former governors and public officers were still being investigated, adding that

once the bureau was convinced that they have cases to answer, it would make public the list of those to be arraigned before the CCT. He, however, said the bureau might not proceed against some of the exgovernors on the list because they had made some refunds to government. He named former governor of Jigawa State, Saminu Turaki, as one of the governors who had made refunds, but he did not give details. Tinubu, in the preliminary objection to the charge against him, told the CCT that he was never invited by the CCB to defend himself in line with the Act, establishing the bureau before he was charged.

Fresh security beef-up at Force Headquarters

fresh alert yesterday sparked security beef-up around the Force Headquarters in Abuja. The road leading to the complex, which was recently targeted by the Boko Haram sect,was blocked to traffic. The latest security measure came on the heels of an attempt to bomb the Police Staff College in Jos on Thursday night. Also, the panel, probing the recent bomb blast in Gombe, has inspected the extent of damage at the Mobile Police Force Base in the state capital. Investigation by The Nation showed that security agencies stumbled on fresh alerts forcing the cordon-off of the Force Headquarters for about 10 hours. Although the blockade was

•Road blocked •Plot to bomb Police College, Jos averted •Protesting youths stopped in Lokoja take such a step. We took Yusuf ALLI, Managing Editor, Northern Operation relaxed at about 5pm, the heavy security at the Force Headquarters created panic in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT). According to findings, there were conflicting reasons on why there was an extra security measure for the Force Headquarters. One source said the blockade followed threats of attacks by Boko Haram members, although another source said the police were being pro-active on the strength of intelligence that some Niger Delta militants

planned to storm Abuja to protest the planned removal of fuel subsidy by the Federal Government. A top source said: "We got intelligence report that there might be some protests in Abuja and the Boko Haram members could take advantage of it to wreak havoc. "This intelligence report was fuelled by alleged plans to bomb the Police Staff College in Jos on Thursday. This plot was foiled by security agencies. "There was stampede at the college, but with the security reinforcement, the situation was brought under control. "So, we got to a situation

"We also received alerts of possible clash between some ag-

whereby we cannot do any other thing than to be proactive based on the alerts whether they are true or not. "You cannot blame us for protecting the Force Headquarters as a result of the intelligence alerts." The Deputy Force Public Relations Officer, CSP Yemi Ajayi, confirmed the security beef-up around the Force Headquarters. He however said: "We were just being proactive. We decided to take precautionary measures, and we have reopened the road since 5pm. "To avoid panic, we had alerted the public on radio on Thursday that we will

advantage of the Police Diary on radio to do that." Meanwhile, investigation into the recent bombing of a Mobile Police Force Base in Gombe has continued with members of the panel visiting the scene of the blast. A source said: "Members of the panel, headed by a Commissioner of Police, have inspected the scene of the blast to know the extent of the damage done by suspected members of Boko Haram or hoodlums as being argued in some quarters. "I can tell you that investigation has reached an advanced stage and the panel will soon turn in its report."

NEWS 5 Guber race: Sylva kicks off campaign amid uncertainty EVEN without the announcement of his name as one of the cleared aspirants for the November 19 governorship primary election of the PDP in Bayelsa State by the National Working Committee of the party, Chief Timipre Sylva will today kick off his campaign. The governor’s confidence and push to contest the 2012 election in the state got a boost two days ago when six out of the eight members of the National Assembly from the state threw their weight behind him. It was learnt yesterday that the governor is determined to be part of the process that would throw up the flag bearer of his party at the election. Apparently banking on the clearance that had ealier been given to the governor, his Special Assistant on Security, Chief Richard Kpodo, told newsmen in an interview that the party had screened and cleared him for the election and that there was no reason why the governor would not present himself for the primary election. In fact, Kpodo said the governor was given a certificate of clearance as evidence that he was fit and qualified to seek the party’s nomination as its candidate for the election. He said those who were fighting to frustrate him were only playing games. “ I am aware that the governor has been cleared. He was in Port Harcourt for the screening and when he came out, he was displaying his certificate. What else do you want? “Who is fighting Sylva? Let the person come out openly and say this is why I am fighting this man. Are you afraid? Don’t stay behind and pretend. It is time for you to come out. Let us know the one who is inside the bush and beating the drum for people to dance on the road. Who are the people that they say they have cleared? Those whose records we all know? “Some of them are having court cases today. Some of them, the governor fought to make sure that they won their re-elections and now they are fighting him. Some of them came with drinks to beg the governor so that they can win their elections,” he said. The governor’s aide added that the governor had been given “a certificate that says he is fit to run. So, on November 19, he will be there to be elected a candidate by the delegates. And, he will win. Quote me, he will not only contest, he will win. “Was there any time he was indicted by a court of law over any criminal offence? Is it based on petitions that they will ask him not to contest? Is there any public officer in this country that people have not written petitions against? Even Mr President, when he was governor here, they wrote petitions against him. I am sure there are various petitions against them. Sylva will contest the primaries and he will win because the people want him”.


6 NEWS

THE NATION, SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 12, 2011

Gunmen kill village head, wife despite curfew in Kaduna town

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NKNOWN gunmen who have been terrorising residents of Kafanchan in Kaduna State in the last few months yesterday made nonsense of the curfew imposed by government in the area, killing a village head and his wife in the early hours of the day. Killed were Bulus Adamu, village head of Apiakashi in Takum District of Fanstuam chiefdom of Jema’a Local Government Area, and his wife, Ladi. Two other persons were injured in the attack. The attack was said to have forced the convening of an emergency meeting of officials of the state government, traditional rulers, opinion leaders and legislators representing the area at the national and state levels to review the security situation and stop the bloodshed. The government delegation to the meeting was said to have been led by the Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Alhaji Lawal Samaila Abdullahi.It was saddled with

•Women protest attack •Government, stakeholders in crucial talks Tony AKOWE, Kaduna the responsibility of brokering a lasting truce in the area. Throwing light on the latest attack,a resident said: “When we heard gunshots, we thought it was soldiers shooting to scare away people who might have been wandering about. But,later, we started hearing people shouting and calling for help. “That was when I knew that we were under attack. I woke up my family, and took them to safety. We then mobilised ourselves to go and rescue those under siege, while others were sent to inform the soldiers. “By the time we got there, we saw our chief shot and butchered. He was lying in a pool of his blood. His wife was still breathing, but with bullet wounds on her body. She died before she reached the hospital. “Our boys are chasing them right now, the Fulani. We know

some of them. I have not seen any soldier here. It is over two hours since the attack. We have taken Samsom Joshua and Pius Dakup to the hospital because they were shot, but they survived with serious injuries”. Hundreds of women in Kafanchan and surrounding villages , on hearing the news, took to the streets barebreasted to protest the killing and the incessant attacks on their villages. They also deplored what they regarded as the failure of the security agents to protect them and at the same time busy arresting their children. The protesters demanded the immediate release of those in security detention. An eye witness told The Nation on the phone that the protesting women “are coming from Kafanchan town, Kanikon village, Ungwan Rimi, Katsit, Takau, Ungwan Masrara and other villages around Kafanchan on foot. I don’t know who is coordinat-

ing them. But I can see that they are not wearing any clothes over their chest. I have never seen this kind of thing in my life. “They are singing Christian funeral songs and carrying placards. They are saying that soldiers are killing their youths and raping their daughters. They say that soldiers are aiding and abetting the attacks on their communities by Fulani gunmen. They say they don’t want any soldier in Southern Kaduna again. The state Commissioner of Police, Ballah Nasarawa, who has temporarily relocated his office to Kafanchan to take charge of security in the area confirmed the two incidents. The police boss said: “The village head was killed. Two people are injured. One is the wife of the village head. Her condition is very critical. I don’t know what would happen as we speak. But we have been given some names of suspects. And we are working to-

NDIC to Savannah, Societe Generale banks: Resume operations second quarter next year or face sanction

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HE Nigerian Deposit In surance Corporation (NDIC), yesterday gave Savannah Bank Plc and Societe Generale Bank of Nigeria (SGBN) Plc up till the second quarter of 2012 to resume operations or face severe regulatory measures. NDIC’s Managing Director, Alhaji Umaru Ibrahim, said this while presenting the activities of the organisation to the media. He spoke during a forum organised for editors. Umaru said the corporation is not giving the two banks the latitude to resume operations any time they wish to. He said the banks had approached the regulators on their intention to start on a clean slate, adding that they were directed to recapitalise their operations and subsequently resume transactions. He said: “The banks have submitted blueprints on how they intend to go about their resumptions, but we told them to look for fund first. ‘’I believe before the end of the year, a committee that was set up on the issue will deliver its reports. ‘’We made it clear to the management of the two banks that if they fail to resume operations in the interest of depositors, there can be regulatory intervention. The banks could be bridged. ‘’Whatever step they are goContinued from Page 64 games. Put simply, Aiyenugba was thrown into the fire and he got burnt. Today, he is out of the Eagles as the scapegoat. Many of the Olympic Games boys are good enough for the Eagles. We should grind out the results against the Zebras of Botswana today in Benin and on November 15 against the Chipolopolo of Zambia in Kaduna. Thereafter, Keshi should build his team around the Dream Team V. Thank God he will accompany them to Morocco for the Olympic Games qualifiers. A major pitfall for Nigerian coaches has been the tendency to sell players to European clubs. What this trait has

Akinola AJIBADE ing to take, it must be in the interest of the depositors. There will not be any sacred cow.”. Umaru said several meetings had been held with the management of Savannah Bank, adding that the Central Bank of Nigeria(CBN) was informed on the goings-on in the bank. He said Savannah Bank went to Court and won the case instituted against the management of CBN, adding that the Court gave the bank 18 months to re-open for business. He said the 18 months lapsed over a year ago, arguing that the interest of the depositors should supercede every other interest on the issue. According to him, the banks need to be sympathised with having gone through a lot of problems since their licences were revoked several years ago. “For a bank that closed business 7 years ago. It is not easy to come back. The branches of these banks were dilapidated. Properties were stolen from the banks, inspite of the presence of the policemen assigned to secure the closed banks. Most of the employees have left. In some cases, they were thrown out of thier apartments by their landlords because they cannot pay thier rents. We set up a committee to take stocks

of the banks. All these took some time. But we believe the interest of the depositors of the banks is important as insurer to financial institutions”, he added. The NDIC’s boss said it is difficult for the banks to access the

capital market for funds, adding that the issue has prevented the banks from coming back on stream. On wonder banks, Umaru said a committee was set up to look into their activities a few years ago.

Oyo Assembly sacks LG chairmen

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HAIRMEN of Transition Committees man aging the affairs of the 29 local governments in Oyo State got the boot yesterday from the House of Assembly. The sack followed the expiration of the three months tenure allowed them by the constitution. Besides, some of the chairmen were said to have failed to furnish the House with their scorecards as a basis for the renewal of appointment. However, a reliable source in the House confided in our correspondent that the chairmen would return next week when all their scorecards will have been fully examined. The source pointed out that there was need to adhere to the provisions of the constitution, though the source added that the case would not have gone that way if the chairmen had submitted their results in good time to allow the lawmakers to look into their books. All the scorecards were al-

Bisi OLADELE, Ibadan ready in as at press time yesterday, according to the source. This came as the House passed a supplementary budget bill sent to it by the governor three weeks ago. The bill passed- N14, 556, 543,144- showed an increase of N191, 500,000, from the N14, 365, 043, 144 in the original bill by the executive. Governor Abiola Ajimobi had written to the House seeking a renewal of tenure for the council bosses for another three months but the failure of some of them to submit their results put the House in a difficult position against the constitution. The motion to sack them was moved by Hon. Farinto Fakorede, member representing Iwajowa constituency. He is a member of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). The 29 chairmen were sworn in on August 8.

Contractor coaches shown with Nigerian coaches is that they lose focus on the job and always prefer their exports than to field players on merit. Keshi must avoid being a scout for or manager of Eagles’ young players. He obviously wouldn’t have forgotten the spat he had with Togo’s Seyi Adebayor. He also shouldn’t allow foreign scouts or managers dictate to him who plays. Fairness should be his watchword and that will only come if he isn’t a scout, who is being told how to pick his squad. Only the best is good for Nigeria and it is only the way to achieve success. We don’t want contractor

coaches in the Eagles. Coaches shouldn’t be seen selling wares, such as wrist watches, as we witnessed at the 2010 World Cup and Africa Cup of Nations. We were told that our players and coaches turned the camp into a trading centre, thus losing focus. In fact, one woman caller from Bayelsa State sought to know from Amokachi on a Supersports’ programme if he didn’t sell wrist watches to players in camp. Da Bull stylishly answered by saying he could also sell things to her. He didn’t reply her. Players’ indiscipline should be treated as an internal matter, such that it doesn’t affect

the mood in the camp. Players are bound to make mistakes. The coach should be prepared to forgive the errant ones. One feels strongly that sabotage accounted for our ouster from the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations. I may be wrong. It also won’t be out of place if Keshi sets a code of conduct for the players. But he must be prepared to lead by example. It is about time we started having school boys play for Nigeria again at the senior level. That should be the challenge facing Keshi, who broke into the mainstream Eagles as a school boy. Good luck today against the Zebras of Botswana.

wards arresting them. “It is true that some women are protesting against what has been happening here since peace left this town. But it is a peaceful protest. It is not true that all of them are leaving their breasts uncovered. Many are wearing their clothes complete. But some have refused to cover their own”.

PUBLIC NOTICE This is to notify the general public that the original C of O No. No. Dcb/3752/72 dated 4/02/1983 belonging to Mr. Ogunbawo Gbolahan Olusegun of 8/10, Emmanuel Ikubolaje Street, Anibaba Ikorodu, Lagos, is missing. All efforts to find it had proved abortive. If found, please return to the nearest police station or the address above.

PUBLIC NOTICE EVIDENCE OF GRACE BELIEVERS ASSEMBLY The general public is hereby notified that the above-named Church has applied to the Corporate Affairs Commission for registration under part C of the Companies and Allied Matters Act 1990. THE TRUSTESS ARE; 1 ) Pastor Francis Akinlolu Taiwo – President 2 ) Pastor Peter Folorunso Ogunleye – Member 3 ) Pastor (Mrs.) Agnes Mojirayo Taiwo – Member 4 ) Pastor Israel Adegboyega ldowu – Member 5 ) Pastor Jonathan Olusola Adeleye – General Secretary AIMS AND OBJECTIVES 1) To preach the word of Truth that guarantee absolute freedom. 2) To plant, operate and administer local / international Churches. Any objection to the registration should be forwarded to the Registrar-General Corporate Affairs Commission Zone 5, Wuse, Abuja within 28 days of this publication. Signed: BARR. ALEX ADESIDA


THE NATION, SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 12, 2011

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THE NATION, SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 12, 2011


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THE NATION, SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 12, 2011

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T is an open secret that food insecurity stem ming from poverty and lack of purchasing power is an index of underdevelopment for any nation. On the other hand, cheap food, housing and good policing are taken for granted as signs of development in the comity of nations. In recent times however these notions have come under serious scrutiny and reconsiderations because of the huge costs involved in moving developing nations up the ladder of development as envisaged by their benefactors, the so called developed world. We postulate that human rights are an essential ingredient of any democracy and no state can claim to be a true democracy where human rights are supplanted and violated with impunity. Without any attempt at labeling we assume that all the nations of the world as well as their leaders know where they stand on this matter. We shall however limit ourselves for now to some recent events on the world stage for discussion today. We shall discuss the warning by IMF MD Christine Lagarde that the world is in financial turmoil, and that if care is not taken this may be a lost decade and that the Asian economies are not immune to the financial crisis that have laid Europe prostrate economically. We shall examine Human Rights Watch [ HRW ]declaration that Boko Haram has killed 600 Nigerians and that its adherents should be brought to book as well as the US embassy warning to its citizens to avoid some 5-star hotels in Abuja. We will consider the anti corruption drive in S Africa and the suspension of the ruling party youth wing leader Julius Malema for

The high price of rights, development and security

five years for insubordination and disruptive behavior and we shall share with the reader the laudable stated objectives of a major development institution in that country – the Industrial Development Corporation of S Africa – IDC. First one can not agree more with the IMF that the world is in financial crisis. Except perhaps to qualify it by saying that the world is not Europe alone and the IMF boss as such is still suffering from an illusion of grandeur. Which is an affliction of western European nations who think that the G8 or G2O club made up of the so called 8 or 20 richest nations of the world dominate world financial and economic activities . Europe is indeed in financial distress because its leaders have misplaced their priorities and moral values and are incapable of making ends meet and have in the process tarnished their cultural, diplomatic and national image in the comity of nations. It is an open secret that China is sufficiently finan-

cially liquid to bail out European nations like Greece and Italy which unceremoniously and hastily changed their Prime Ministers this week in order have fresh leaders to handle the debt crisis, which have , through unpopular and welfare hostile austerity measures tarnished the reputation of both former Greece PM Georges Papandreou and play boy PM Silvio Berlusconi of Italy. But out of mistaken pride the Euro zone will not ask for financial succor from China. Neither will China , which has taken a lot of stick from Europe and the US over its human rights record and the relationship with Taiwan, be a ready helper without a high price. That is if it ever feels like negotiating a bail out deal for its ideological enemies and global diplomatic detractors. So the warning by the IMF boss that Asia may not be immune may be sincere and even enlightened . But it sounds extravagant coming from a world body that has always seen itself as an agent of European nations in terms

of its executive appointments and funds for infrastructural development. Especially at a time when the tide of world trade showed clearly that there is a positive wind of change blowing in the direction of Asia in terms of the volume and leadership of world trade and commerce. So if Europe retraces its steps in terms of an urgent and innovative review of its economic policies then it will not be lamenting the prospects of a lost decade that the IMF boss is seeing on the horizon. Definitely the statement credited to British PM David Cameron at the last Commonwealth Conference in Australia that Britain will cut foreign aid to nations that do not recognize gay rights or same sex marriages is a misuse of economic strength to humiliate aid beneficiaries and is another potent sign of moral decadence accompanying the greed that have thrown Europe and indeed the Euro zone into financial turmoil. Secondly, the warning by the US embassy on the bombing of some leading hotels in Abuja and the reiteration of

that warning to a rebuff by the Nigerian authorities that it is on top of the matter, show clearly that the Boko Haram issue has become a huge albatross on the neck of the Federal government. That HRW is asking for the culprits to be brought to justice when they have not even been apprehended let alone arrested by the security agencies seem to be putting the horse behind the cart. Daily headline news reports suggest that the authorities are in a quandary on how to deal with the issue and the news reported widely that the terrorist group have relocated from Borno to Yobe State can only heighten the apprehension of the citizenry in such locations. Again the US warning is bound to have a huge negative effect on the services as well as the profitability of the hotels mentioned. I think it is the responsibility of government to create an enabling environment for businesses located in Nigeria to function effectively and in safety for the benefit of both their customers and employees in all sectors of the economy. The Boko Haram menace may be wreaking havoc on the Abuja hotels for now but it needs to be contained urgently before it spreads to other industries in Abuja and the business community takes flight from that locality. That is the duty of government and it is the right of its citizens to expect protection from those it has elected into office to do just that. A stitch in time saves

nine. Thirdly the news that the cantankerous leader of the youth wing of the ruling ANC party in S Africa has been suspended for five years for disruptive anti party activities is a welcome relief for those who admire the ANC administration in that nation albeit from afar. Coming on the heels of the sacking of two cabinet ministers and the nation’s police chief for corruption by the President Jacob Zuma administration the suspension of the fiery Julius Malema is a step in the right direction and is in sync with the model of economic development in S/Africa and I want to share with the reader what I read about the development organ in that nation in the annual report sent for CHOGM 2003 held in Nigeria in Abuja. The document states that the goal of development in S Africa is democracy and economic prosperity and thenation stands on a three legged pot grounded in sharing, humanity and inclusion . The three legs are - a sustained and prosperous democracy, a constitution that guarantees human rights for all citizens,and thirdly the quest for sustained economic growth and citizen empowerment . That was the legacy that Nelson Mandela bequeathed to SAfrica at the end of his one term presidency . That was what his successor Thabo Mbeki continued until he was removed with the aid of the brash Julius Malema who has now been told that he is not above the party or the rule of law in S Africa . Respect for youths by governments should not be mistaken as a sign of weakness by elders .That is the Malema lesson for all for all African youths in their climb up the social or political ladder . It is a lesson certainly worth cultivating in the interest of the socio economic development and security of the entire continent.


10 COMMENTARY

THE NATION, SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 12, 2011

The gains of Baba Suwe’s brush with NDLEA With

Vincent Akanmode 08077536312

vincentakanmode@yahoo.com

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Y childhood memories were re cently rekindled by the high drama involving the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) and ace Nollywood comedian, Babatunde Omidina a.k.a. Baba Suwe. It all began on October 12, 2011 when some operatives of the NDLEA arrested Baba Suwe at the Murtala Mohammed International Airport on his way to France where he was billed to act as the master of ceremonies at the christening of his friend’s baby. He was suspected to have swallowed wraps of cocaine. Like the NDLEA did when a Nollywood actress, Hassanat Akinwande a.k.a. Wunmi, was arrested at the same airport about five years ago, they immediately ferried Baba Suwe to their headquarters where he was detained in the hope that wraps of cocaine would begin to roll out from his anus in a matter of minutes. But they were wrong. Minutes turned into hours and hours into days without the faintest sign of cocaine in Baba Suwe’s faeces. Before long, an anxious moment was unleashed on the nation as everyone awaited the comedian’s ‘’shit’’ with bated breath. Convinced that tons of cocaine were stuck in Baba Suwe’s belly and determined to avert the looming prospect of national and international embarrassment, the agency, according to Baba Suwe, resorted to various measures to force the substance out through his

anus. He recalled that at a point, they had to insert a pipe in his mouth and pumped water into it in an effort to flush out the perceived substance. He stooled and stooled until the expansive premises of the NDLEA became a land flowing with faeces and urine, but there was no sign of cocaine. By the time he was released penultimate Friday, the bulky, effervescent actor had become a shadow of himself, looking gaunt and weak. It was the second time I would hear of someone’s excreta generating so much interest. The first was in a fairy tale that held us spellbound during my early years in elementary school. The tortoise and the monkey were friends until the monkey did something that angered the tortoise and the tortoise decided to punish him. As the story goes, after a deep thought on life’s issues, the tortoise sighed and prayed: “May we not be held responsible for an incident we don’t know about.” The tortoise expected a loud amen from the monkey, but the monkey did not seem to appreciate how important the prayer was, so he kept quiet. Moved to high dudgeon by the monkey’s indifference, the tortoise decided to punish him. Knowing that he was not endowed with enough physical strength to deal with the monkey, the tortoise reached for his bag of tricks. He made a cake and coated it with honey. He then spread it on the rock until it was dry and crispy. He went to the leopard and gave him a portion of the delicious stuff. The leopard took a bite and nodded his head in a profound gesture of appreciation. “Where on earth did you get this from?” the leopard screamed. “You won’t believe it, dear leopard,” replied tortoise, “it is the monkey’s faeces.” There and then, the leopard decided that he must get the monkey at once for more of his faeces. He accosted the monkey and requested for his faeces. Although he was sur-

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

prised at the strange request, the monkey innocently obliged the leopard. But the taste of the faeces that came out of his anus was a far cry from the delicious stuff the tortoise had given him. The leopard thought the monkey was not willing to cooperate. He descended on the monkey and beat him black and blue. With each punch, the leopard commanded the monkey to bring out the sweet stuff he had given to tortoise. But the more he beat the monkey, the more irritating the human waste that came out of his anus. The monkey has lived with the experience till today, and that is why the word “amen” has not departed from his mouth since the bitter experience. I would not know if Baba Suwe was as innocent as the monkey, but I am certain that he will live with his NDLEA experience for a long time. “They inserted something in my mouth and pumped water inside. Another

Our safety on their lips

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OU may not like the sound of it but it is what you get to hear daily. As the mindless killings and bloodlet ting continue across the nation, it is sickening that those we look up to for solution or, at the least, some respite have been bungling through one faltering step into another. This seeming inaction, or plain ineptitude, has no doubt emboldened the perpetrators of the heinous act. Afater deaths running into hundreds, it is now obvious that the citizens have become mere pawns in the ongoing bloody chess game of death. Each time a bomb goes off, either in the name of Boko Haram or the Movement for Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) or any other group for that matter, charred remains of innocent souls are often gathered as the tragic mementoes of the senseless carnage. Eulogies are rendered in plastic sobriety as the authorities are never tired of making empty vows to arrest and punish culprits. This circus of doom has been a running soap opera for some time now. It has fallen into an easily but, sadly, predictable pattern. There is no sign that we are about seeing its season-ending finale anytime soon. Question is: Are the people convinced that the government is doing all it can to end the orgy of unprovoked killings in whatever guise? I have my doubts. I doubt if anyone is ready to give the government plaudits for its self-proclaimed efforts at fighting terrorism. The assurances of safety of lives and property being bandied by the government seem not to be striking the right chord or ringing the tone of credibility amongst the generality of the people. Instead, they wonder why the security authorities would chose to lie through the teeth at a time they expect them to come clean on the failures within the system. They want to know why terrorism seems to be gaining the upper hand in spite of the mass deployment of law enforcement and intelligence operatives across the country. Nigerians are simply tired of being told to go to bed with two eyes closed when they know the danger in sleeping with one eye closed. They are no strangers to the danger that lurks in the corner as they forage for fate in an increasingly volatile community. True, the fear of Boko Haram may be a clear and present danger. The tension that has pervaded the land is inflamed by the shocking reality that government has no answer to the impending danger other than wringing its hands in supplication to the Almighty. For now, it may be politically correct to live in self-denial and continue with the chestthumping decoy of ‘sitting on top of the situation’, but there is no denying the fact that the mystique surrounding this edifice of lies will soon crumble like a pack of cards. But should the government insist on toeing the path of deceit, it may soon find itself grappling with allegation of being an accomplice after the facts of mass murder. Clearly, it is sheer irresponsibility for any government to watch idly while its citizens are being decimated daily by bombings, arsons, road carnage and other nefarious acts! It is high time Presi-

dent Goodluck Jonathan and his men stopped paying lip service to the safety of the populace. In plain language, when a government fails to protect its citizens, it loses the moral right to be so addressed as one. The sorry story of presidential lassitude in moments such as this is symptomatic of the confusion in governance. Understandably, that’s a bitter pill to swallow. Too many things are going awry at the same time and these are tell-tale signs of the drift towards anarchy. Exactly why the people snigger each time the government speaks about its capacity to stop the madness. Talk, I must say, is becoming to cheap a commodity in high places! Last week’s bombings in Yobe and Borno states were no exception. With scores dead and hundreds injured, the flips flops that have been noticed for quite some time reached a crescendo when the National Security Adviser, General Owoye Azazi (rtd.) flayed the government of the United States for raising false alert on the plan by the Boko Haram sect to bomb three luxury hotels in the Federal Capital Territory. To Azazi, it was one joke carried too far. He moaned: “The current threat of attack on the three hotels in Abuja is not news, and for over three months, the security services have taken proactive measures to protect the designated critical facilities and others. “The Federal Government wants to advise members of the public that it would continue to ensure the security of lives and property under its jurisdiction despite the unfortunate events in Maiduguri and Yobe over the weekend.” Perhaps to reassure Nigerians about their safety, the spokesperson of the State Security Services, Marilyn Ogar said: “We have internal security challenges and it is nothing new. I don’t see any problem that is beyond the Nigerian security agencies. Of course, we have deployed men and beefed up security everywhere.” The simple and obvious fact is that there is nothing in place to show that these measures are working. The first sign of government’s seriousness to address the madness is how it handled the previous one. And Nigerians are wise enough to know that serial phony

Question is: Are the people convinced that the government is doing all it can to end the orgy of unprovoked killings in whatever guise? I have my doubts. I doubt if anyone is ready to give the government plaudits for its self-proclaimed efforts at fighting terrorism

thing was inserted in my anus and water was also pumped inside. I then began to stool. I visited the toilet six times that day. Since then, I have been visiting the toilet frequently,” he told journalists shortly after he was granted bail at the Lagos High Court penultimate Friday. As would be expected, his lawyers are already threatening fire and brimstone. A particular lawyer even said he should sue the NDLEA not just for damages, but for aggravated damages. 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. Besides, his faeces is now a brand from which he can rake in millions of naira. All he needs to do is to package it neatly for the national museum or other outlets where tourists would pay heavily for a glance. There is no better way to justify my father’s saying that one should be wary of dismissing anything as useless just because its time has not come. Even a bad clock would be correct twice in a day, he said. Personally, his experience has thought me to be wary of the kind of food I fill my stomach with, particularly when I have to travel through our airports. In a country where nothing works, a scanning machine can advertise a heavy meal of fufu or lafun as a heavy ingestion of cocaine. Now, I would rather go for amala, moinmoin or other kinds of food that share no colour similarity with outlawed substances. A friend told me I should not rule out the possibility of juju in the whole saga. I told him I don’t subscribe to superstition. But just in case it holds some truth, I would advise the NDLEA to immediately constitute its own team of witchdoctors to tackle such cases in the future. Abi?

Knucklehead With

Yomi Odunuga E-mail:yomi.odunuga @thenationonlineng.net SMS only: 07028006913

rhetoric has not solved any problem anywhere in the world. Another fact is: empty sophistry cannot put the country back on the path of sanity. This descent into anarchy can only be halted when those concerned truly put their hands on the plough and collectively confront the demons of destruction. It cannot be achieved by tendering dud safety cheques and questionable assurances of safety. The security agencies may feel otherwise but the Nigerian populace has no doubt that the present security challenges are way beyond what they can handle. They cannot understand why, attacks after attacks, the agencies continue giving excuses for the ease with which these persons breach the peace. It happened in Jos and, till today, not a single conviction has been achieved in spite of the President’s righteous rage. There have been several bombings and the real culprits and their sponsors are yet to be apprehended. They strut the streets, strategizing on their next targets; picking victims with impulsive randomness. How then can the government expect the people to fancy this far-fromcredible idea of ‘safety’ on the lips unreliable government officials? Personally, I would not be surprised if members of the civil society group decide to drag the Jonathan administration and his security apparatchik to court for involuntary mass manslaughter. Because it is operating the machinery of governance, especially that of public security in a near-dormant mode, many lives have been lost due to its criminal neglect and a total abdication of its responsibilities to the citizens. Is this any different from the recent case in the US where the late Michael Jackson’s personal physician, Dr. Conrad Murray, was found guilty of involuntary manslaughter for using the powerful anaesthetics, Propofol, in treating insomnia? An overdose of the drug, it was learnt, led to Jackson’s untimely death. For this, Murray is set to lose his medical license and perhaps, spend some time in prison. Back home in Nigeria, lives are ignominiously wasted while those that are expected to protect them either make a clarion call for prayers or promise the living that everything is being done to protect them from yet another catastrophe! Is that not the tragic Propofol that many had fallen victims to, as the inertia continues unabated?


ess —Nollywood actr Adaora Ukoh

Weekend

PEOPLE

Relat io

THE NATION, Saturday, NOVEMBER 12, 2011

nship

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Boko Haram sect kills 32-year-old father of two …six months after he narrowly escaped death in post-election violence

He had survived a similar incident in May when he was almost killed during the postelection riots that engulfed Kano and other parts of the North. He narrated to us how he had to jump over the fence into the airport while he was being pursued by hoodlums who were bent on killing him... Continued on Pages 12-13


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THE NATION, SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 12, 2011

Boko Haram sect kills 32-yearold father of two… six months after he narrowly escaped death in post-election violence

•Seun’s widow (middle) on arrival from Kano at the Murtala International Airport, Ikeja

A

pall of grief fell on the residence of the Onasanya family at No. 8 Obasa Daodu Street, IjuIshaga, Lagos State, on Monday. There was pin-drop silence in the expansive living room even as sympathisers besieged the compound to offer their condolences over the loss of their 32year-old son, Oluwaseun Onasanya. The deceased father of two was one of the close to 200 people reckoned to have been killed in the penultimate Friday’s violent attacks by suspected members of the militant Boko Haram sect in Damaturu, Yobe State. The deceased, according to investigation, was until his death an employee of equipment giants, Caterpillar and Tractor (CAT). He was attached to the Kano office of the company, where he functioned as the Regional Product Sales Officer of the company. Penultimate Friday, he and one of his friends, Peter Olagbade working with Scoa Motors, were said to have left Kano in Oluwaseun’s official Toyota

Kunle AKINRINADE

Hilux vehicle for Damaturu, to honour a business appointment. He had hoped to return to Kano the same day. During the ill-fated journey, the late University of Ibadan (UI) graduate of Agricultural Engineering was said to be in constant touch with his wife, Funmi, until about 6 pm when his vehicle was ambushed by members of the sect. On sighting the sect members who were armed to the teeth, he was said to have tried to manoeuvre his way out of danger, but the fellows caught up with him. A fluent speaker of the Hausa language, he was said to have engaged his attackers in a conversation and pleaded with them to spare his life, but they were said to have turned deaf ears. They allegedly dragged him and his friend out of the vehicle and hacked them to death. Their killers were also said to have held on to their bodies until heavily armed riot policemen stormed the

From what we gathered, my brother pleaded with his assailants in Hausa language which he spoke fluently when he was alive, but they did not listen to him. We gathered that he was brutally killed together with his friend ...

scene and dislodged them. That was when the two bodies were retrieved by the minions of law. Oluwaseun’s wife became worried when she could no longer reach any of her husband’s three telephone lines as well as his friend’s. The deceased, Oluwaseun, was said to have survived a similar attack in May this year when violence rocked the northern part of the

couintry shortly after the presidential election. He was said to have been given a hot chase by hoodlums around his residence at Aviation Quarters, behind Aminu Kano International Airport. His attackers beat a retreat only after he had jumped over the fence into the airport premises. The deceased’s elder brother, Mr.


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THE NATION, SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 12, 2011

•Relations and sympathisers at his burial in Ijebu-Ode, Ogun State on Tuesday

My brother was a very friendly, unassuming, hardworking and kind-hearted young man who would do everything possible to put smiles on the faces of people around him. He was such a promising man

•The late Seun with his wife during their wedding Charles Onasanya, said: “My brother was a very friendly, unassuming, hardworking and kind-hearted young man who would do everything possible to put smiles on the faces of people around him. He was such a promising man. It is sad that he was killed by heartless fellows who do not value innocent souls. “He had survived a similar incident in May when he was almost killed during the post-election riots that engulfed Kano and other parts of the North. He narrated to us how he had to jump over the fence into the airport while he was being pursued by hoodlums who were bent on killing him in his residence at the Aviation Quarters, close to the airport. “From what we gathered, my brother pleaded with his assailants in Hausa language which he spoke fluently when he was alive, but they did not listen to him. We gathered that he was brutally killed together with his friend and that their bodies were mutilated. We also learnt that they were not even willing to leave the scene in

order to prevent people from rescuing the deceased persons until they were dislodged by mobile policemen who were drafted to the scene.” The 59-year-old father of the deceased, Dr. Abayomi Onasanya, was in a pensive mood when our correspondent visited. Although he managed to exchange pleasantries with friends, associates and relations who came to commiserate with him on the death of his son, his courage occasionally failed him as he repeatedly wiped tears from his face with a handkerchief. At about 4.20 pm on Monday, his pastor, Venerable Adeloye of the St. John’s Anglican Church, Iju-Ishaga, Lagos State, and some members of the church came to conduct a 20minute service during which members of the family were counselled with words from the bible. The clergyman left shortly after praying for the bereaved family, asking God for the fortitude to bear the loss of their son.

The patriarch of the family later requested for some drugs to combat the toll his son’s death had taken on his health. He told a caller on the telephone: “Who told you I was crying? I am not crying o!” The obviously devastated mother of the deceased, Madam Georgina Onasanya, had a running battle with family members who insisted she must stop looking at Oluwaseun’s photo album, which was kept on a couch in the sitting room. At a point, her husband had to order that the photo album be taken into his room. Oluwaseun graduated in 2006 and did his youth service in Zamfara State. He got married on July 19,2008. He is survived by his wife and two children, Simisoluwa and Tayo, aged one and two years respectively. His remains were interred last Tuesday in his home town, Ijebu-Ode, Ogun State, amid curses rained on his killers by sympathisers.

•His brother, Charles


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THE NATION, SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 12, 2011

How generator fume killed prophet, two children •Wife, other kids in critical condition O

CTOBER 23, 2011 was a tragic Sunday for an Ijoko, Ogun State-based cleric, simply identified as Prophet Ayo. He died together with two of his children while the fate of his wife and two other children now hangs in the balance. The tragedy resulted from the family’s exposure to generator fume in their No 7, Adegbola Adekunle Street, Alasia, Ijoko, Ogun State residence. On the fateful day, the prophet was said to have rented some Yoruba films from a nearby home video outlet to watch together with his family. He was also said to have been given some telephone handsets by the owner of the movie shop to charge. He then settled down with his wife and four children to watch the movies. Midway into the fun, a power outage occurred and the 38-year-old cleric quickly switched on the generator and placed it close to the door to shield it from rain. However, the decision to place the generator at the doorstep became the family’s undoing. He, his wife and children fell asleep as they were watching the films. The smoke from the generator later engulfed their room in the uncompleted building. The following morning, those who had given their phones to Ayo to charge stormed his house to collect their phones but met the door locked. After repeatedly knocking at the door without any response, they became worried that the family was not yet awake and it was already going to 5:30 pm. The window to their room was said to have been covered with curtains, a situation which forced those around to forcibly open the door.

•From left: Late Mary,Hannah (who died along with their father) and their elder sister, now in critical condition

‘ •The late Ayo

When the door was forced open, we saw the body of the prophet’s wife resting on her last child’s and she was foaming in the mouth. Her big body had pressed down that of her five-year-old daughter almost beyond recognition

,

Kunle AKINRINADE It was gathered that it was not the first time the late Ayo would put his generator at the doorstep. Recalling how it all happened, one of his neighbours, who spoke in confidence, said: “Prophet

Ayo was fond of watching movies whenever he was at home on Sunday. On the day of the incident, he had just returned home when he decided to get some video CDs from a nearby video rental shop. He was also given some GSM phones by people at the

shop for charging. He returned home to watch the films. “Not long after, there was a power outage and he quickly dashed out to switch on his generator. He placed the generator near his door and they were watching films till very late before they slept off

without switching off the generator. “It was those who gave the prophet phones to charge that alerted neighbours when they knocked repeatedly on the door of their room without any response. The door was then forced open at about 5.30 pm. “When the door was forced open, we saw the body of the prophet’s wife resting on her last child’s and she was foaming in the mouth. Her big body had pressed down that of her five-year-old daughter almost beyond recognition. “Prophet Ayo was found in a corner of the room almost lifeless, with other children hovering between life and death.” Another resident, who asked not to be named, described the incident as mysterious. •Continued on Page 16


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THE NATION, SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 12, 2011

•From left: Sadiq, Bassey, Olaniyi, Aderibigbe and Babalola

‘We participated in many robberies but wasted all we got on prostitutes’ A member of a seven-man robbery gang arrested by operatives of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS of the Lagos State Police Command has expressed regrets particpating in seven robbery operations only to lavish all his loot on prostitutes. In a confessional statement he made at the Police Headquarters, GRA, Ikeja, Lagos penultimate Wednesday, 25-year-old Rasheed Alimi, who said he was an okada (commercial motorcycle rider before his foray into armed robbery, said

•Tunde and Alimi

Ebele BONIFACE he had begun by taking a member of the gang to night clubs and hotels. In turn, he said, the gang member, Tope Olaniyi, would buy him drinks and Indian hemp and also give him prostitutes to sleep with.”People around Ikorodu (Lagos) saw him as a big boy,” he said. “I used to take him to hotels and night clubs and he did not only pay for my service but

The uncaring behaviour of my elder brother, Rasheed Babalola, pushed me into joining a robbery gang... I can’t even tell you one single thing I did with all the money I got from robbery. Prostitutes in particular were the ones eating the money, because whenever we robbed, we would go into hiding and prostitutes were the ones who managed our funds

a l s o bought drinks and Indian hemp for me. He also gave me prostitutes to sleep with. “From the first operation he took me to, I got N5,000. That was big money to me, because I used to make only N2,000 per day from riding okada. Although we sold the Honda car we snatched for N120,000, they gave me only N5,000. “I participated in more than seven operations, but prostitutes did not allow me to save a dime. I regret making friends with a prostitute. Upon all the love she said she had for me, she ran away when she heard that SARS men had picked me up. If I regain my freedom now, or after serving prison terms, I will look for her to give me all the money she took from me,” Alimi lamented. Another member of the gang, Oriyomi Babalola (27), attributed his foray into the underworld to the uncaring attitude of his elder brother. He, however, lamented that he was yet to record a breakthrough after nine robbery operations before he was arrested by operatives of SARS. Babalola, who said he began life as a bus driver in Mile 2 area of Lagos and was married with a child, recalled that after learning auto mechanic in Ibadan, Oyo State, he had called his elder brother on phone and

•Continued on Page 16


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THE NATION, SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 12, 2011

‘We participated in many robbery operations but could not save a dime because of prostitutes’

•Continued from Page 15

told him that he was coming to stay with him in Lagos to enable me look for a job and save enough money to rent a room. He said: “When I landed at his house in Ikorodu, I kept my luggage behind his room and went to his workshop to tell him that I had arrived Lagos. Instead of welcoming me, he was very hostile. He asked how much I had come with so that he could help me to secured a room, because the one room he was living in was too small to accommodate me. “I thought he was joking until I followed him back to his house and he gave me a mat and told me to sleep in the passage. He also prevented me from taking my bag into his room, claiming there was no space. “Each morning he was going to his workshop, he would tell me that the food in the house was too small and that he would not be able to share it with me. For two days, I nearly became sick due to hunger, and I did not know when it would end. When his neighbours noticed what I was going through, they gave me little food to keep my body and soul alive. “When I started having friends at Ikorodu, I decided to stay with them, since they accommodated me and gave me food. It was through one of my friends that I got a bus to drive. To my greatest surprise, three or four of my friends were always willing to accompany me to wherever I wished. “One day, as I was carrying passengers to Mile 12, they told me to stop on the way. They told me to watch how they had been getting the money they had been spending on me. They beat up all the passengers, collected their handsets, money, shoes, trousers, wrist watches, earrings and whatever they could lay their hands on.

“When we left the robbery scene and were sharing our loot, they told me that the bus I was driving was snatched. They said since they could not get a buyer or someone to dismantle it so that they could sell the parts, they decided to work with it to make some money. I became afraid and dumped the bus. “I started learning boxing. I intended to go professional, but the gang told me that boxing would be very useful to them, since I could box a stubborn victim into submission. But I never boxed any victim before I was arrested.” Babalola recalled that the first robbery operation he undertook with the gang fetched him N20,000 even though he was supposed to have been given up to N150,000 since they were seven in number and they got more than N1.3 million. He said: “The uncaring behaviour of my elder brother, Rasheed Babalola, pushed me into joining a robbery gang. But luck was against me, hence, I had not made any headway in over nine armed robbery operations I participated in. “I can’t even tell you one single thing I did with all the money I got from robbery. Prostitutes in particular were the ones eating the money, because whenever we robbed, we would go into hiding and prostitutes were the ones who managed our funds. They were the ones who would go out to know whether policemen were looking for the gang or not. We also had informants we gave money to for vital information that would help us to escape from the police. When I started getting money, I took to heavy drinking.” Asked how he was arrested, he said: “I was arrested in a canal. When the policemen were pursuing me in the canal, I was sure that they were SARS operatives, because no policeman had ever pursued us into the

I regret making friends with a prostitute. Upon all the love she said she had for me, she ran away when she heard that SARS men had picked me up. If I regain my freedom now, or after serving prison terms, I will look for her to give me all the money she took from me canal.” Another suspect believed to be the gang’s leader, Sadiq Olarikan (22), said: “I am a commercial driver. I was arrested at Ijede Police Station, Ikorodu area for armed robbery. My role in any operation was to control the steering. That is why I am called the pilot. The man who lured me into robbery is one Taye. He is now in prison. It was the same month he was arrested that I was also arrested. I have participated in more than seven operations. “The first operation occurred along Iyana-Ipaja Road. We snatched a Camri Pencil car and sold it to our buyer, one Elese, who is a car dealer. He resides in Iyana-Iba and sells his cars anywhere he finds convenient, including mechanic workshops.

“I dropped out of school in Primary Five because there was no money to further my studies. We sold the Toyota Camri car for N130,000. I added my share of the money to my savings and bought a bus, but it was stolen from my compound. I had not even finished the payment before they stole it. I bought the bus for N900,000 and was paying N20,000 weekly before they stole it. “The loss of the bus made me to go fully into armed robbery. We are seven in number and we used locally made guns and cartridges. We snatched cars at gun point in traffic jams. I am not the owner of the gun we used. It belongs to Tope Olaniyi and Asunmade Aderibigbe. They can tell you how they get guns.” Responding Olaniyi (22), who dropped out of school in JSS III, said: “My brother, Agunmade, bought the gun for me and I used to give him returns from every operation we carried out. I used the gun to intimidate victims. I ordered them to lie face down. If the victim proved stubborn, I beat him or her; I never fired a shot. “I made N200,000 from my second operation and used the money to rent a house and put my girlfriend there. My wife does not know that I am an armed robber, because we don’t live together. She is an Ibadanbased hairdresser.” One of the suspects, 26-year-old Asunmade Aderibigbe, said he was an okada (commercial motorcycle) rider but had to quit the job after a serious accident. “The accident made me to start doing any business that could fetch money, but money was not coming. We had two buyers, but one died some time ago. It was the one who died that arranged money and bought the initial three guns we were using. When he died, everybody started buying guns by themselves. I used to hide my gun in the bush or

in my TV set after operation. “I participated in robbery nine times but only five were successful while the other four were not successful. It was one Ibrahim who lured me into crime. He called me on the phone from prison and told me to be ready to become rich with the new business idea he learnt in prison.” Another suspect, Sunday Bassey (22) said: “We all met at Mile 12. I dropped out at Senior Secondary One. Sadiq is our pilot, Aderibigbe is the gang leader, I am the conductor and director, because I showed them the car to snatch and where to go and rob. “ I was a honest director. I used to tell them not to cheat or to be thieves among thieves, so that we would share what all of us took risk to get. In an operation, I was the field commander. After the operation, Aderibigbe shared loot.” A member of the gang, Tunde Solaja (26), said: “One Sunday morning, one of my children was sick. I tried to borrow money to treat him but nobody agreed to lend me a kobo. My father and mother also refused to help me because they said they did not know how I got my two children. I took my son, Ibrahim, to church and they told me to bring money for his feeding and drugs, so that they would take him to the hospital. I had no kobo to deposit, so they rejected my child. “I told Ibrahim that he would not die. Instead, I would sacrifice my life. And that was what gave me the courage to join this gang. From the first operation, I got N40,000 and treated my son. I am a robber by circumstance. I know that I am telling the truth and God will forgive me. “My role in the gang was to torture people who have money but find it difficult to spend it for the good of humanity. I don’t kill.”

How generator fume killed prophet, two children •Continued from Page 14 He said: “My house is just a short distance away from his. I can tell you that this incident remains a mystery to me because of the way it occurred. The wife of the prophet even confirmed after she was resuscitated, that they were about praying that night after watching the television when something like a whirlwind took over their room and they could no longer control themselves as the wind over-powered them. She said that even her late husband was holding a bible close to his chest while leading the prayer before the unfortunate incident.” The elder brother of the deceased prophet, Mr. Taiwo Oyewole, was said to have rushed the victims to some private hospitals in town but they were rejected on the grounds that their conditions had got beyond control. They were subsequently taken to Ota General Hospital where they were admitted. Mary, the youngest child of the family, was said to have given up the ghost on the way to the hospital. And while arrangements were being made to bury her, her seven-year-old sister also died. Prophet Ayo himself only survived another six days before he gave up the ghost. His wife, popularly called Mama Hannah, and her remaining two kids were

When the door was forced open, we saw the body of the prophet’s wife resting on her last child’s and she was foaming in the mouth. Her big body had pressed down that of her five-yearold daughter almost beyond recognition lucky to make it to the hospital but were in a coma for some time. However, the Akoko, Ondo State-born widow and her kids were moved to the residence of one of her relations somewhere in Ikotun, Lagos, after they were prematurely discharged from the

hospital when they could no longer pay for treatment. The Ijesa-Isu, Ekiti State-born carpenter turned prophet was also said not to be in good terms with his elder brother because of his role as a cleric in a parish of the Cherubim and Seraphim Church. Speaking with our correspondent, Oyewole said: “It is true that Ayo and I had issues, and it was because of the way he abandoned his job as a carpenter to answer his purported ‘God’s call’. Why would someone who called himself a cleric not go to church and opted to watch movies on Sundays? “I was the one who brought him to Lagos after he finished his apprenticeship as a carpenter .He was the son of my twin sister and I thought I could help him make a good living by bringing him to Lagos. But he was such a heady person. “When he was living with me, I warned him several times to be of good conduct but he would not listen. After he started living on his own, he told me that God had called him to serve him, which I initially queried. But when he insisted, I took him to a friend of mine who is a founder of a parish of Cherubim and Seraphim Church. “While he was serving under the man, he usually quarrelled with him and I had to broker a truce

between them on several occasions. He was later given a place by his spiritual boss to establish his own church. He even invited me to his church’s annual anniversary, which I did not attend on principle. His wife later explained to me how members deserted the church on account of his high handedness. “After he lost his members, his church ceased to exist and he started operating from his residence as a seer. I admonished him times without number to find a church to worship on Sundays but he said he was not ready to bow to any pastor again. He had since resorted to staying at home on Sundays to watch movies. “But I strongly believe that the incident that claimed his life was beyond the ordinary. It could be that he was made to suffer for the sins of those he had liberated from the power of darkness or he might have handled a job beyond his power as a prophet. “For now, his widow and the children have been moved to a location to forestall an influx of sympathisers. But they are also not hale and hearty. They were discharged from the hospital when they could no longer afford the hospital bills. “I am using this opportunity to appeal to Nigerians to come to their aid so they could live normally once again.” •Prophet Ayo’s widow


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THE NATION, SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 12, 2011

T

HE Standard Organisation of Nigeria (SON) invasion of a section of the Bridge Head market at the commercial city of Onitsha Anambra state is generating some controversy with the leadership of the market denying any invasion SON, according to sources, on Tuesday raided the market where faked goods estimated at over N50 million were impounded while several warehouses suspected to be housing the fake products were clamped down. Sources said that SON during the raid on the market as part of its routine checks stormed the warehouses allegedly containing Carlton chain saws worth over N50 million which was imported into the market. Speaking to journalists on the development, the Head Anambra state SON office Awka, Mr. Madubuike Nwajagu said the warehouses remained sealed off until after investigations, adding that the action was to stop further injuries to the users of the Carlton allegedly faked products and to enable them trace the source of the faked products. Mr. Nwajagu, however, said they have started investigation and analyses to discover whether the products were fake or substandard as there is difference between faked products and substandard ones. The Anambra State head of SON disclosed further that the raid was as a result of a tip off by one Haulage company which had alerted them that their product-Carlton Chain saws were being faked and they swung into action, unmasking the suspects and sealing off the warehouses where the faked products were discovered. It was gathered that luck ran out on the suspected importers of the fake products when SON

Controversy trails SON invasion of Onitsha Market

•Some of the seized items

Adimike GEORGE, Onitsha

officials visited the market and reported to the market leadership of their planned search of the market for fake Carlton products, but the information leaked out and the culprits rushed into premature packing out and evacuation of the faked and substandard products only to play into the hands of SON officials that were immediately

alerted. He insisted that after their investigation, they would hand the culprits over to their enforcement unit for necessary action, adding that the case was still at the consumer complaint desk stage and having registered the product and company, SON has to protect their sole franchise. “They could not complete the evacuation before policemen from Fegge Police Station came in and arrested some suspects

along side quantities of faked Carlton products packed neatly in Chinese in scripted cartons,” a source disclosed. The suspects were said to have been taken to Fegge Police Division for interrogation. But in a swift reaction, the Vice-Chairman of the affected market, Tools and Allied Products Dealers Market Association, Chief Sylvester Ahanonu debunked the claim that substandard Carlton chain saws

worth N50 million were impounded in the market. He said that the Carlton chain saws imported from its manufacturer had been sold for over 30 years in the market. He disclosed that about three months ago, a trader in the market got the sole franchise of the products from its manufacturer. According to him, “The sole franchise owner, who is our member, had been advised to meet with the market association executive and discuss ways to actualise his sole franchise mandate without needlessly harassing traders that have the products in stock already by either buying up the old stocks of the chain saws within the market, which still has the known manufacturer’s quality or give the traders of the old stocks some time to sell their stock and now buy directly from him. “But he went about accusing and threatening the traders, who are selling the old stock of the product and reporting same traders to SON and the police that what they were selling is fake and sub-standard,”he explained. Ahanonu assured that the market remains a place to buy quality product, adding: “Our market and its executive are willing to discuss about our products, even as we are helping SON in its investigation and in solving this disagreement amicably”.

Transfer of non-indigenes

Abia didn’t set the precedent — Governor Orji’s aide Barrister James Kwubiri Okpara is Special Adviser on Public Relations to Abia State Governor, Chief T A Orji. In this interview with AUGUSTINE AVWODE, he explains why the state government recently transferred non-indigenes from the state civil and public service. He argues that it was not a precedent set by Abia and that critics are unfair to the state. Excerpts:

Y

OUR state recently sacked non-indigenes and sent them packing. What informed that policy? The use of the word sack is wrong. Abia State only transferred non-indigenes in the public and civil service in their states. There are thousands of non-indigenes who are still employed and paid by the Abia State Government. The reason for the action of Abia State Government is for the economic, human and infrastructural development of Abia State. There are thousands of Abia State youths who are unemployed. Thousands of Abians were displaced and lost their means of livelihood due to the recent disturbances in different parts of the country. All of them are in Abia State and any responsible government must be interested in the welfare of her citizens. Does it mean that Abia State had no alternative? My answer to your question is yes. This action was long overdue. The bulk of the resources of Abia State were expended in paying salaries and allowances of civil and public servants. It is a well-known fact that Abia State is a civil ser-

vice state and the state government is the biggest employer of labour in the state. The wage bill of the state was enormous. Also, the new minimum wage which the state government had started paying made a difficult situation impossible. For Abia to develop according to our expectations, the government had to take the bull by the horns and embark on measures and policies that will generate funds for the government to develop the state and to employ unemployed Abia indigenes. Since this action was taken, there have been criticisms against the action of the government… It is true that people are entitled to their opinions, but such criticisms must be honest, informed and objective. In the recent past, high-ranking government officials from neighbouring states and, even members of the clergy, have made statements that question their sense of judgment and whether they are fit to occupy these exalted positions. The fact of the matter is that these so-called critics have cleverly forgotten that since 1999, that other states in the

South East and beyond have routinely transferred back Abia citizens in their employment to Abia State. Even those who had worked and retired in these states and were receiving their pensions were sent back to Abia State with their pension files. When these things were happening, Abia State did not complain. Instead, our sons and daughters were absorbed into Abia State civil service, and for the pensioners, Abia State assumed responsibilities for their pensions. As at the times of these unfortunate events, there was a conspiracy of silence. Nobody condemned or questioned the actions of those states. These critics, public affairs commentators and clergy men who are talking now do not have any moral or legal grounds to complain. Other states started this action and what we have now is a reaction. Abia State did not start the transferring of non-indigenes back to their states. In 1991 when Abia State was created out of Imo State, within 24 hours Abians were locked out of their offices. Abians did not com-

plain. Historically, it is a fact that Nigeria at a time sent back nonindigenes to their countries when their presence was almost overwhelming our social and economic systems. Abia State cannot cope with a situation whereby nearly 60% of the workforce are none indigenes. Furthermore, the major companies, contractors and businessmen in Abia State are non-indigenes and nobody has disturbed them in any way. The post secondary institutions in Abia State are also dominated by non-indigenes and they are not being disturbed. In Abia State, the workforce is bloated. For example, the recommended ratio for students/pupils to teachers is 30-1. But in Abia State, it is 40-3. There were serious redundancies. People were paid for doing nothing. Three or four persons were paid for doing the job of one person. The situation was so bad that workers would decide when to come to work. They combined government jobs with their private businesses. We didn’t want that. We had to stop it.

•Okpara


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Against the backdrop of the third anniversary of the Adams Oshiomhole administration, the Edo State Commissioner of Information and Orientation, Mr. Louis Odion, fielded questions from a group of journalists on a number of issues affecting the state. Excerpts:

THE NATION, SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 12, 2011

Oshiomhole has liberated Edo from godfathers’ bondage —Louis Odion, Information Commissioner

I

t is three years since Comrade Adams Aliyu Oshiomhole became the governor of Edo State. Looking back, how would you describe the experience? I think it has been three years of complete transformation for the people of Edo State in the sense that there has been a shift in the paradigm of governance in the state. You must be familiar with the details of the titanic court battle Comrade Oshiomhole fought to retrieve his stolen mandate. Of course, on assumption of duties three years ago, the state was in a complete state of decay, destitution and dilapidation. It was one dark jungle where godfatherism was the order of the day. For years, the development of Edo was arrested in the sense that those who found themselves in power were both intellectually crippled and morally bankrupt. The little that was accruing to the state was being shared by the godfathers and their hirelings. But because Oshiomhole has a popular mandate, he therefore had the political courage to put a stop to this funny culture. He met a state that was practically bankrupt in November 2008. Added to that was a backlog of arrears owed pensioners and sundry contractors. So, the comrade governor had to be creative, put on his thinking cap, re-engineer the process such that from the position of bankruptcy in 2008, Edo is now financially stable. I’ll tell you a small story. You know last month (October), there was a disagreement between the Federal Government and the states over what was available to share in the Federation Account. As a result of that little face-off of more than a week, salaries were delayed in most states. In fact, anxiety was being expressed by the media that federal workers including soldiers had their salaries delayed. But in Edo State, we were financially healthy enough to pay before the dispute was resolved. That tells you the level of financial re-engineering that has taken root under Oshiomhole within a space of three years. From the less than N300m IGR (Internally Generated Revenue) of 2008, the IGR for the month ending September was over N1.6billion, representing an increase of more than 500 percent. In the last three years, Comrade Oshiomhole has built more than 500 kilometres of new solid roads across the state equipped with good drainage system. We have built more than 500 classrooms and laboratories of world standard. We have created more than 15,000 fresh direct jobs for Edo youths. I can go

•Odion

on and on. Let us even leave the torrents of accolades that have been coming Oshiomhole’s way from discerning observers and bodies over the great job he is doing in Edo today. You see, last week, the country director of the World Bank visited Benin City and announced that following an independent investigation they carried out, they found that the social indicators in Edo today are far, far above the national average. By that, they mean the attainment of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), namely access to quality healthcare, portable water and good education. World Bank is a credible institution not known for making frivolous statements or dabbling into local politics. For that reason, the World Bank announced its decision to put $60million into Edo in terms of support for the infrastructural projects being undertaken by Comrade Oshiomhole. That tells you the level of commitment of this present administration towards delivering on its promises to the Edo people. So, put simply, any fairminded person will agree that Oshiomhole has significantly

improved the human condition in Edo in the last three years. But in a recent interview, a lawmaker representing Etsako Federal Constituency in the Federal House of Representatives declared that Edo State is being mortgaged and that the governor has already borrowed N75 billion since he came to power and is planning to borrow additional N126 billion. Doesn’t that raise an exclamation mark on the managerial prudence of the Comrade Governor? The man you are referring to is a PDP man. Of course, that should be expected. PDP is a government of lies, make-believe and godfatherism. They were in power for about nine years, and they ran Edo aground. What they used to tell the people of Edo State was that, after paying salaries, there was little or nothing left to do anything. For nine years and three months, all they were doing was just collecting federal allocations, paying salaries and sharing the rest. The schools in the state went under and all the roads were in disrepair, the hospitals also collapsed. But the period the Comrade

Governor came in (2008) coincided with when we had that credit crunch, when there was a sharp drop in revenue. For instance, the first month he got into office, the revenue that accrued to the state was barely enough to pay salaries. The wage bill was about two billion naira, and what came into government coffer was less than N1.6 billion and the internally generated revenue of the state was less than N300million. Invariably, the state was more or less bankrupt. Of course, the Comrade thought that Edo people elected him to power, and he had to perform; they didn’t elect him to power to give excuses. So, he had to put on his thinking cap. What that meant was that he had to start closing the loopholes. He also made a policy to cut down on recurrent expenditures. When he came in, the ratio of recurrent expenditure to capital was about 80:20. Thus, you were dedicating 80 per cent of your revenues to recurrent expenditures, paying salaries, personnel courses, seminars and all that, and just 20 per cent to capital projects, like roads, hospitals, etc. And civil servants would make payment of salaries

You must be familiar with the details of the titanic court battle Comrade Oshiomhole fought to retrieve his stolen mandate. Of course, on assumption of duty three years ago, the state was in a complete state of decay, destitution and dilapidation. It was one dark jungle where godfatherism was the order of the day...

,

and seminars a priority. Of course, the blueprint you make in government is dependent on the availability of cash. The government might say it is planning to embark on the construction of 20 roads, but that is dependent on the availability of cash. If there is no cash, you will put that on hold. So, when the Comrade came in, he said that was unacceptable, and there was a deliberate policy to cut down on recurrent expenditures. In his first year in office, he was able to save over seven billion naira, I mean, what he would have spent on seminars, oversea tours, etc. So, he used that seven billion to start road projects. So, when Hon. Abass Braimah said Edo State is indebted, I wonder where he got his fact from. That is what happens when you combine economic illiteracy with political malice. What is true now is that Edo is functioning. By the 23rd of every month, civil servants in the state get their salaries. You also recall that when the controversy over minimum wage started, Edo State was the first to enforce it, nay, pay arrears. Does that speak of a state that is bankrupt? So, we are used to their lies. We challenge him to provide facts and figures. The godfather of Edo politics and PDP national power broker, Chief Tony Anenih, recently declared that the ruling Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) will surely lose Edo State in the forthcoming 2012 governorship election in the state. Giving Anenih’s towering status, isn’t that enough to make the ruling party jittery? Jittery in what sense? Anenih is a spent force. You remember that, in 2007, when election held and the people’s mandate was stolen, Anenih was in PDP then. Of course, they boasted that they won the election. So, when that victory was submitted to judicial scrutiny, it was discovered that the election was massively rigged. The Comrade came into office on June 2008 as a minority in the State House of Assembly. PDP had the majority in the house. So, for over a year, the governor was held hostage, because his views and policies he pushed to the house, Anenih used his boys in the House to stop the passage of those bills. Of course, the governor kept working at it, and, with time, some of the House of Assembly victories they [PDP] recorded were overturned by the court, and ACN was able to make some progress in that regard. In the last April election for the House of Assembly, the scale changed, with ACN now having 19 seats in the State House of Assembly to PDP’s five. What this means is that Anenih’s party controls only five seats in the state. So, when he says he is coming to dislodge the Comrade Governor, you wonder how he is going to perform the miracle. People are a lot wiser now than in the past when they used to sit down and forge results; people are more enlightened now to see the dividends of democracy; they can see new roads being built; more parents are withdrawing their wards from private schools to enroll them in public schools, because the public schools have been

•Continued on Page 56


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THE NATION, SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 12, 2011

Saturday

THRILLER

Big trouble in little ‘Eden' Metamorphosis of the indigenesettler crisis in Jos, Plateau State


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THE NATION, SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 12, 2011

Metamorphosis of the i

•Blood spot: Scene of the brutal murder of victims of a recent crisis in Ali Kazaure area of Jos.

•Ruins of a worship house in Jos. property were looted or stolen, including students’ books and their credentials. Many students who lived in Angwan Rogo were also displaced.

H

ER tired gaze burned into some mythic distance. And her old eyelids blinked as if to shut out the past. But she couldn’t. Vignettes of blood and hastily carved curses stole from her lips into the chilly air. The effect was awesome –spine-chilling to be precise. Bitterness bulged from convulsive theatres of blood that brutally marred her past, into the frosty blue of the night. “They killed all of my four children in one night. That same night, they cut off my right hand. It was two days after my eldest son’s wedding. They did not care that his wife was pregnant; they killed her in her sleep. She was eight months pregnant,” lamented Aishatu Majira. The 67-year-old gin maker recounted with grief and a mien that suggested, among other things, a visceral lust for vengeance; her ordeal in the ethno-religious violence that reduced Dilimi, a village on the outskirts of Jos, Plateau state to a ghost town. Then she fell silent, staring ardently into the distance. It was a macabre silence replete with spasms of blood-curdling angst, misery and discontent, one decade old. According to her, the youngest victim of the killings in Dilimi was a three-month-old baby who was beaten with sticks while he was strapped on his mother’s back. He died while his mother survived, she said. Hard as it was to picture the extent of bitterness devastating Majira’s heart, a furtive glance at the ugly stump replacing what used to be her right hand indicated a woman utterly torn apart. Her good hand, that is the left hand however, seemed gnarled, liver-blotched and sinewy from wrestling with the sleight of years and the trials of Dilimi. It lay propped on an inappropriately bared thigh and wrapped around a cop pipe from which threads of smoke spiralled to twine into the dark. It seemed she wasn’t there but she was; even as the gruesomeness crackled in her grief dissolved into the passing tribute of a sigh. Unlike Majira, Lemora Mohammed’s pain is more recent and it transcends the passing tribute of a sigh. Simply put, a sigh would never be enough to express the brutal massacre of her parents, two sisters, an 18-month old cousin and a crippled aunt. Mohammed, who was a victim of a more recent sectarian crisis in Jos, had her world viciously torn apart when the rampaging hordes of Jos attacked their home in Angwan Rogo, in the wee hours of a Saturday night. “We were just settling in to sleep after a late supper. Suddenly, we heard

•A Christian woman stands outside her home which was one of the 130 houses burnt by a Muslim mob in the Ali Kazaure neighbourhood.

Olatunji OLOLADE, Assistant Editor people running and screaming in agony. A neighbour rushed to our door and banged on it screaming: ‘they are here! They are here! Run while you could.’ She never made it past our door.” And so did Mohammed’s family. Save her and her younger brother, Jabir, whom she claimed had gone out to ease himself, “nobody else made it.” Majira and Mohammed weren’t the only casualties of the violence. Victims spanned across neighbouring townships and the entire city of Jos in the violence that raged from Friday, September 7 to Monday, September 10, 2001. A 52-year-old man from Watam, in Riyom local government area, survived with serious injuries after witnessing the execution of several of his neighbours by rampaging youths. “Everything happened like bad magic. One day, I was sharing drinks and exchanging friendly banters with my neighbours, the next, they were hunting me down like bush meat simply because in some far away village, people from my tribe had killed people from theirs in a stupid clash…They killed an entire family in my compound. They tied them up and hacked them to death with machetes. Then they doused them in petrol and burnt them to death. From my refuge, I watched

them with shock wondering how it could have been me,” he lamented. According to him, “Jos was never like this. It used to be a great place to live in. The weather was nice and everything was great. It was like our own little Eden.” So much for Eden. Were Jos truly, Eden, a former civil servant from Dadinkowa, wouldn’t have lost his life in the same gruesome manner in which many victims were murdered. According to eyewitness accounts, he was stopped and surrounded by youths as he was driving into town. While the youth contemplated killing or releasing him, he tried to start up his car again and a cassette of a sermon was inadvertently switched on in his car stereo. Hearing this, the youth swooped on him, attacking him with machetes and setting him on fire. They left his charred remains in the boot of his car. Initially, relatives had difficulty finding his vehicle as the number plate had been removed. Eventually, a relative located it and found the burnt and shrivelled body in the boot. The neighborhood of Angwan Rogo near the University of Jos was the scene of some of the worst violence. According to a school principal from Angwan Rogo, “The violence reached Angwan Rogo on Friday, September 7. We tried to leave but we couldn’t pass. That night, I was at home. About 16 Hausa men came to the house. They were carrying knives, cutlasses and axes. We could identify about seven of them as

our neighbours. They came into our compound but fortunately they couldn’t penetrate into the house. We had turned the lights out and we saw them cutting down trees; they were saying they were cutting down the trees of the enemy. Later they burned and vandalised our house, after we left. Some of our neighbours were not so lucky. The Hausa men got into their houses and killed people, then threw their corpses into their house.” Early the next day, we tried to leave again but the place was still being attacked. On that Saturday, September 8, some of my neighbours were killed, including Mr. Okoye, a man from the south who worked at the university. They left his corpse in front of his house. Another family was also attacked that day: they were indigenes, Biroms. They killed the father and three sons in the house. They asked the mother and daughters to leave, and then burned down the house.” People were killed with bullets, machetes and local arrows. Houses were burnt; bodies of men, women and children were also burnt. It was a pathetic sight. At least 25 students and at least six or seven university staff, including two lecturers, were believed to have been killed. On September 8 ,Allanana Anthony Atta Ebuga, a fifth year pharmacy student, was burnt in his room in Angwan Rogo; he was sleeping when his house was set ablaze. The previous day, four girls were burnt inside a room. Lots of

In the beginning… The incident that sparked off the violence occurred outside a mosque in the area of Jos known as Congo Russia. On Friday, September 7, a young Christian woman allegedly tried to cross the road through a congregation of Muslims outside the mosque. Manu Shubair, an eyewitness who claimed to be part of the congregation at the time, stated that the violence was triggered by a young girl, about 22 years old. He claimed that the girl tried to pass through the congregation but was accosted by an attendant who advised her to take another route. But she refused and a heated exchange ensued between the girl and the mosque attendant. Eventually, she had her way. However, while the Imam was about to begin his sermon, she allegedly tried to return the same way. When challenged, she insisted that she must take the same route. “The attendant advised her to wait till the end of the prayer but she insisted that she must have her way again. Then they started arguing. She was abusing the attendant and even though two of her neighbours took her aside to calm her and explain that the attendant was simply doing his, she never listened. She started shouting and later, picked up a stone and threatened to hit the attendant with it. At this juncture, a young man went to her to take the stone from her but she struggled with him until he slapped her. She increased her shouting and promptly, a group of about 30 youths came out of the houses, wielding stones, sticks, bows and arrows. They started attacking cars and people. A crippled man in the congregation was hit in the shoulder with an arrow. He was the first victim. Car windows were smashed. And there was chaos,” stated Shubair. Another eyewitness account has it that contrary to claims that the violence was triggered by a young, native Christian woman, the reverse was the case. Josiah Denbo, a driver who claimed that he witnessed the violence, alleged that the Muslim attendant was extremely rude and overbearing. “I think that was what made the young lady to snap. He was trying to order her about and even threatened to beat her up if she refused to obey him. We simply stood by hoping that other members of the congregation would intervene to avert trouble but we were wrong. They supported the troublesome attendant. We couldn’t take it any


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THE NATION, SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 12, 2011

indigene-settler crisis in Jos

•A Muslim elder stands in front of the Al Bayan Secondary School Mosque burnt by a Christian mob •Survivors of a recent massacre identify and bury their loved ones in a mass grave. longer when one man joined the attendant to beat the poor girl up. It was very wrong for them to do that. They were ordinary visitors and they were cheating a daughter of the soil. We had to take action.” A different account has it that on that fateful Friday, the lady (names withheld) had, as was her usual practice, left her place of work to go home for lunch. Her usual route passes in front of the Mosque located at the Congo-Russia junction. Prior to September 7 2001, this had not been a problematic exercise for her. All this changed on that fateful day as she was accosted on her way back to the office from her house by members of the boys’ brigade who asked her to go back home and take another route until after the prayers. But she refused. An angry exchange of words ensued, which attracted other worshippers. Suddenly a man from the crowd struck her resulting in a free-for-all fight. How this assumed monstrous proportions is still a hazy confusion of events, resulting in claims, counter-claims and two judicial commissions of inquiry. The reality, however, is that from these hazy beginnings, the quiet streets of Jos town were turned into a “battle ground” as Christian and Muslim youths took up arms against each other. Within six days over 1,000 people were reported dead. Politics of distrust Unlike other parts of Nigeria, which have experienced periodic outbreaks of indiscriminate violence with tragic regularity, Jos was initially viewed as a haven of peace and beauty until September 2001. It was thus a place of refuge for people fleeing violence in other neighbouring areas. This regular influx of refugees bearing testimonies of the atrocities that they left behind from clashes in Kaduna, Bauchi, Taraba and Nasarawa states may have inadvertently contributed to an atmosphere of fear among the inhabitants of Plateau State. The resulting increase in population in Jos escalated economic and demographic pressures, leading in turn to the scarcity of goods and increase in tension. Plateau State has a majority of Christian inhabitants with Muslims constituting a significant minority. It also consists of several ethnic groups, which fall into two broad categories: those who consider themselves “indigenes” or original inhabitants of the area –among them the Birom, the Afizere and the Anaguta– and those called “non-indigenes” or “settlers” composed in large part of HausaFulani, Igbo, Yoruba and members of

•Many refugees return to meet their homes in ruin. other ethnic groups predominantly found in other parts of Nigeria. Some of the “settlers”, notably the HausaFulani have lived in the area for several generations. Christianity is the dominant religion among the “indigenes”, while Islam is the dominant religion among the Hausa- Fulani “settlers” in particular. Causes of the violence are many and varied but eventually all contributed to fuel the mayhem. In reality the crisis was more political and economic than religious. The violence stemmed from a longstanding battle for control of political power and economic rivalry between different ethnic groups and between those labelled as “indigenous” and “non-indigenous” inhabitants of Jos. As grievances built up over time, all sides appealed to religious sentiments to manipulate popular emotions and eventually to inflame the situation to a level where it could no longer be controlled. Another major causal factor in the Jos crisis, according to some residents, is institutionalised discrimination and government’s refusal to heed calls for its redress. In terms of access to resources and opportunities in day-today life, the distinction between “indigenes” and “non-indigenes” is critical. In practice the two groups effectively have different rights, resulting in discrimination and inequalities of access in many fundamental areas of life and well being. The impact was and remains particularly felt in education and employment, where an informal two-tier

system operates. For example, “nonindigenes” have to pay higher fees to enter good public schools. While paying the same taxes as “indigenes”, “non-indigenes” complain of discrimination and harassment in their search for employment, especially in the civil service and in federal institutions, where many senior positions are seen as effectively reserved for “indigenes”. The strain between “indigenes” and “non-indigenes” therefore became more pronounced in the competition for political posts. In 1994, there were the first signs of violence and attacks on religious institutions following the appointment of a Muslim as sole administrator of Jos North Local Government Area of the state. There were equally tensions over other public appointments in 1996 and again in 1998. An unending bloodbath At the backdrop of peace efforts in the wrath-torn region, sporadic outbreaks of violence have instilled in the residents – both settlers and indigenes – a devastating pall of fear. Since the September 7, 2001 crisis, subsequent crises have erupted in the erstwhile peaceful city including the post-election violence which occurred on Thursday, November 27, 2008 in Jos North LGA, claiming about 600 lives. In 2010, the first spate of violence occurred on January 17and lasted about four days. Houses, churches, mosques and vehicles were set

HRW. ablaze during the fighting that left at least 200 people dead. Hundreds more were killed in fresh clashes in March 2010. The mayhem which began before dawn on March 7, saw over one hundred killed by HausaFulani herders in Dogo-Nahawa village near Jos. The attacks went on for four hours, and nearby villages were also targeted. Guns were fired by the perpetrators to cause panic and led to villagers running towards them to be hacked to death by machetes. About 500 people died in the clash. The way forward According to Umar Habila Dadem Danfulani of the University of Jos (UNIJOS), the use of military force and emergency powers cannot permanently resolve the problem posed by sectarian violence given its historical, ethnic, elitist, class and faith character. “The military and mobile police very often become a part of the problem, killing more people than the ethnic and religious militias. The men in uniform sent to provide security very often extort money from the citizens whose security they are supposed to safeguard and when bribed, they fail to maintain peace. Moreover, ethnic and religious militia clashes promptly resume once the soldiers and police are withdrawn.” He recommended that practical steps should be taken towards de-

veloping a culture of social citizenship unique and fitting for Nigeria. Such steps, he advised, should involve the National Orientation Agency (NOA), the media, authors of school books and all stakeholders. According to him, the Nigerian people must be mobilised towards engaging and embracing the political reality of multiculturalism and on the basis of this recognition, address the challenge of multicultural citizenship. This implies a reform of the Nigerian constitution towards sharpening and broadening the concept of citizenship and eliminating the definition of indigeneship and all the political privileges that goes with it. Economic policies should be drawn to provide the basis for sustainable development, emphasising social welfare, compulsory mass education and literacy, poverty alleviation and popular participation, which is, entrenching the principles of democracy.” Another possible step forward, now under active discussion would be to compromise the rights of indigenes and the rights of resident nonindigenes of particular LGAs, by allowing only non-indigenes who have resided there for a long time to vote in local elections, but also by giving them indigene certificates from that place. This would dilute the current rights of resident nonindigenes, who already have the right, more or less without regard to length of stay, to vote and be voted for in local elections; and it would dilute the current rights of local indigene groups, who would have to share political control and indigene rights with long-term residents of other ethnic groups. A major question, of course, would be what to do about all the non-indigenes who are already long-term residents of particular places, like the Jasawa, Igbo and Yoruba of Jos. If this could be solved, and if properly administered, such a compromise could produce two healthy effects: advance effective voting rights, and encourage the development of new, less exclusive, local identities: Jossite, for instance, instead of Berom or Jasawa. The problem with this or any other step that might be legislated would be, as always, sound administration. Many believe that if good governance could somehow be realised, this by itself would resolve the country’s ethno-religious conflicts and the war-torn city of Jos may regain the peace that once established it as an Eden of sort.


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THE NATION, SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 12, 2011

As a civil servant who became a SAN, I have opened a new path in legal career —Lagos Perm Sec, Lawal Pedro, at 50 Permanent Secretary, Lagos State Ministry of Justice, Mr. Lawal Pedro, SAN, recently clocked 50. In this interview with MIRIAM NDIKAWU, he speaks about his childhood days and issues concerning the civil service at the state and federal levels.

•Pedro

You have just celebrated your 50th birthday, but you look like a 30year-old man. What is the secret? Well, I would just say it is God’s blessings and contentment. Don’t stress yourself over something you can’t get. You also need a settled home. As a man, you need a good wife who understands you. She knows the challenges you face every day. She knows your problem and does not add to your stress. You can imagine, as the Solicitor General of Lagos State, even as a director, the workload is enormous. If you have a partner who does not comfort you but adds to your stress, definitely, you will age overnight. How does it feel to be 50? I feel great. I have every reason to thank the Almighty. God is so good to me and my family. That was why I chose to celebrate this and be happy. Tell us about your family. Well, I have four fine children. One of them is a medical student at the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital. Another one has finished first degree and is doing Law. The others have also indicated interest in Law. At the age of 25, I had already been called to the bar. That was why I celebrated both my birthday and my silver jubilee. How did you mark your 50th birthday? A book was launched to celebrate the day, the book is a review of my first law publication called Jurisdiction of Courts in Nigeria, where I was able to write and discuss the jurisdiction of all the courts in the country, from the Supreme Court and the

Court of Appeal to the High Court, Customary Court, Sharia Court and the Tribunals, among others, just to show which of these courts you may have cause to go to when the need arises. Before then, there was a symposium to commemorate my birthday. The symposium bordered on which way Nigeria should follow between federalism and development. I believe that federalism aids development, but you must be able to practise it in a way that it aids development. But when your federalism is a misnomer, you take one step forward and two steps backward. That is not too good for us. On that day, we discussed how to reduce the cost of governance in Nigeria. We talked about security and policing in a federation. We also spoke about the minimum wage and which way for the federating units in Nigeria. These are burning issues that affect the lives of Nigerians. I think I should not just be celebrating 50 years without thinking about Nigeria. I told some people at the bar that look, a particular generation was

referred to as a wasted generation. Soyinka said so because I believe the man must have been frustrated comparing how educated we are to our European counterparts. We meet at conferences and seminars, and then you begin to wonder what is wrong with the black race. And that is why I continue to plead with the lawmakers at the National Assembly that they should give Nigeria a sense of direction. If we want to adopt federalism, let’s do so. When the constitution was to be amended, they got it amended. But now, you ought to also amend the constitution so that Nigerians will get the benefits and dividends of democracy. They need to work. Anywhere you will not allow peaceful change to come, you must be looking for violent change. Even on the issue of the law concerning health, it took the women protesting at the National Assembly almost naked before the bill was passed. It should not be so. If a policy is good for Nigeria, each and every one of them should put party politics behind and look at the benefits it

will bring to Nigerians. Because of the military command structure, you can give an excuse that we cannot have true federalism. But how many years have we been practising democratic governance? We have seen the transition from Obasanjo to Yar’Adua and now to Jonathan, and we are still doing the same thing. We must be able to develop and change things. I can assure you that if we have a good federal system in Nigeria, within 10 years, we will develop greatly. Unfortunately, some people don’t want that change. What was your childhood like? I was born in the Brazilian Quarters on Lagos Island. I lived on Lagos Island till I was between eight and nine years old. Then I moved to Durbar Road, Ikoyi, where I lived from 1972 or there about till I moved to Victoria Island some time in 1980. Then I moved to another Ikoyi house when I was in the university and the Law School. So, I had a very comfortable life. And the way it was in those days, we had what we called close relationship with our parents; a commu-

I know people will say I am a SAN who is a political office holder, collecting salary as an ordinary civil servant. I tell them, in 2008, you might say that of me. But not anymore because I have opened what we call the path for people in service, working and being able to attain that height as a SAN. I am a Director of Civil Litigation at the federal level now

,

nal lifestyle. I had big uncles like Mr. Bakare Oluwa, who felt I was his first son. My father brought them up, so they should bring me up too. They felt that if I was with my father, I would be spoilt. I also had another uncle, the late Justice Kotun. So, all my life between Ikoyi and Victoria Island, I was staying with them. They regarded me as their own son. If I complained, they would tell my father not to interfere. I had a very good and comfortable upbringing. So, in essence, I lacked nothing. Do you have the experience of playing with other children in your neigbourhood? Yes, but not on the bad side. Let’s say for fun. But even when I started living in Ikoyi and VI, there was virtually no day I would not be in Lagos Island. I would be with my peer friends. We grew up together. We played football. I played football at City Hall in Tafawa Balewa, because I was a footballer. So, I always left my quiet environment, which I found too quiet but very good for upbringing. So, I was always on Lagos Island. What are some childhood experiences you would like to share? In those days, we had what we called ikoto. If you don’t know that, you would know the rubber they used in plaiting hair in the past; there were a lot of designs we could do with it. All those plays we engaged in are not there anymore. What the kids do now is video game or watch Cartoon Network. In our days, Cartoon Network was in a comic book

•Continued on Page 56


23

LOCATION

BACKSTAGE

SNAPSHOT

REEL NEWS

MUSIC

SCREEN

Edited by: VICTOR AKANDE

Tel: 08077408676

E-mail: victor_akande@yahoo.com

ntertainment

THE NATION, SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 12, 2011

s s e r t c a d o o w y l l 窶年o Adaora Ukoh See pages 28-37

I really want to ask the married people, does it really pose a kind of fear? I really need to say this; it's posing a lot of fear


24

THE NATION, SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 12, 2011

STANDh BY! Wit

VICTOR AKANDE

Afro Hollywood Best Entertainment Writer 2009

E-mail: victor_akande@yahoo.com Tel: 08077408676 (SMS only)

THINK

nt part of An importa s of any the succes is its civilisation late the mu ability to e t led to the a th factors ther success of o Eric .— s civilisation rt Reine

There Will Be Blood: Nigeria's film industry reflects the messy process of nation building

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HE opening scenes in the Hollywood epic, There Will Be Blood, feature a grainy video shot in soundless shadow. Without a doubt it is one of the most beautiful big screen scenes in modern memory. But in fact the scene itself, and ultimately the movie as a whole, takes the viewer back to a rougher period in early American history before the country was connected by railroad, telegraph, and highway. Similarly, Nigeria's nascent movie industry operates in a land without robust national infrastructure. The fact that the industry exists at all, speaks to its amazing resiliency. More than any other industry, Nigeria's film industry reflects the messy, ambivalent process of nation building currently taking place in the country. Men and women with few resources, but a boundless ingenuity have taken matters into their own hands and crafted not only an industry, but in fact an art form that is quickly evolving into a national cultural movement. While in monetary terms, the Nigerian film industry pales in comparison to that of the United States, it is undeniably the most vibrant expression of talent and ingenuity in the country. Not only does the industry employ over 1 million people making it the largest employer outside of agriculture it has exerted considerable cultural influence both within Nigeria and throughout the African continent. In fact the cultural genre, generally featuring modern themes interspersed with native cultural symbols, represents a new cinematic art form in its nascent stages. Its ability to capture the energy and ambition of Nigeria's youth is nothing short of startling. The film production industry has given them jobs, hope and ultimately valuable skills. In recent years, political and business leaders have taken notice of the industry and attempted to capitalize on its vitality. The political leadership wishes to use cinema as a marketing tool to burnish Nigeria's image abroad. The mainstream business community wants to harness Nigerian cinema's economic potential. However, at this point, efforts to corral growth whether by censorship or

More than any other industry, Nigeria's film industry reflects the messy, ambivalent process of nation building currently taking place in the country government investment on one hand; or by strictly enforcing intellectual property rules on the other threatens the industry with extinction. In the United States, wild cat oilmen found small wells and drilled them. In the course of their expansion, railroads, banks and towns arose in their midst. As the movie There Will Be Blood depicts, the process was fraught with danger and uncertainty. It was messy. It was fraud and corruption, intrigue and violence. But out of that dynamic process a vast energy industry emerged which ended up fueling America's industrial growth. My point here is not that the Nigerian film industry should be allowed to grow unaided or unregulated but that at this stage in development, the creativity, drive, and passion that exists within the industry should be

The early days of American cinema featured less advanced technology than currently employed in the lowest budget Nigerian film. They were often grainy, choppy, and lacking in sound

allowed to flourish more freely. Some point to the fact that the content and quality of today's Nigerian films leaves much to be desired. So what? The early days of American cinema featured less advanced technology than currently employed in the lowest budget Nigerian film. They were often grainy, choppy, and lacking in sound. But they succeeded in gaining an audience, and, more importantly, setting the ground for the cultural aesthetic the world currently knows as Hollywood. Just as a man cannot become an adult before he is a child, so the Nigerian cinema arts industry must be allowed its period of infancy on its way to a more mature reflection of the lives, stories and values of the Nigerian people. The youth of Nigeria are its most important resource. Developing their character and talents is more important and vastly more valuable than all of the oil wealth in the world. As the largest employer of Nigeria's youth, the film industry is helping to give them a purpose that is largely lacking in other sectors of the society. Of course much of today's films express the exuberance and immaturity that come with being young. But it also contains the energy, passion and brilliance that our youth are yearning to reveal to themselves, the country, and the world as a whole. As the American oil industry grew, its supporting infrastructure began to form the backbone of the nation whether in term of railroads, telegraphs, industrial equipment, or oil pipeline. In fact today's largest telecommunications companies such as Quest Communications use rights of way that were originally owned by the small wildcat drillers. Similarly, as Nigerian cinema continues to grow, both as an art form and an industry, related infrastructure will naturally evolve as a result. Whether it takes the shape of a village cinema, production studio or distribution shop, ultimately the means of distribution will form the basis for a more robust Nigerian infrastructure. And infrastructure, as we all know, is the backbone of any nation. — Linus Idahosa is CEO, Delyork Film Academy

WRITE TO US! Do you watch Nollywood movies? What do you think of the Nigerian motion picture industry? Send your review of any movie or short essay on any topic of your choice about the film industry in not more than 200 words. Send entries by e-mail to: victor_akande@yahoo.com or SMS your short comments to 08077408676

SNAPSHOTS Uche Jombo angry

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MIABLE Nollywood diva, Uche Jumbo loses her cool recently when she stormed the Surulere branch her bank fuming with anger. Screaming at the top of her voice,

•Uche Jombo

the actress demanded that her four accounts with the new generation bank be closed henceforth even as she threatened to sue for damages. Sources say the thespian decided to close these accounts owing to poor services that have brought her embarrassment, especially with her visa card during some of her trips outside the country. Most recent was her US trip where she was shooting the concluding part of her Damage trilogy. She was said to have ran out of cash because the bank messed up her FOREX account.

NTA berths on HiTV

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•Toyin Subair

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ONTROVERSIAL actress, Tonto Dikeh who recently got back from the US where she had gone to acquire a USD 2,000 tattoo has been reported to find a new career in music; or could it be a pass time? Snapshot gathers the sex symbol actress is pursuing this new found love vigorously. Already, Miss Dikeh has hit the studio with music producer cum singer, Kas who recently got her on to his record label and both are currently working on the actress's first album. It is said that the actress has already credited Kas in the soon-to-come album as the man who is kick-starting her music career.

HE Nigeria Television Authority, (NTA) has been added to the local channels on Nigerian Pay TV platform, HiTV. According to Mrs. Kemi Fashina, HiTV's Brand/Marketing Manager, “other local stations that are heavy with indigenous news, lifestyle and entertainment programmes would be added soon. We made a promise to our subscribers and Nigerians that as a Nigerian brand, we will have more local channels on our platform. With the inclusion of NTA 2 Channel 5, we are poised to add more channels as plans have reached advanced stage.” HITV recently gave its subscribers the opportunity to enjoy free viewing of two of its top channels, Dove TV and Television Continental, TVC, from October through December 2011.

Tonto Dikeh hits the studio


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THE NATION, SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 12, 2011

RE ELNEW S

RISING STAR

Flowssickk gathers musical acts Dupe AYINLA-OLASUKANMI

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ECENTLY the official launch of Nigeria's newest, talented and young hip hop and rap artist, Flowssickk, was unveiled at the Nextcafe, Silverbird Galleria, Ahmadu Bello Way, Victoria Island. The young gifted artist that has poise, flair and charisma has endeared himself to numerous fans in his short foray in the music industry. The show played host to performances by Ruby, a beautiful songstress who kicked off the event, she was followed by some new dynamic acts like Classic, Yokee and LOS. Ragga Rap Artiste Shank was also present and had brief performances with Flowssickk himself alongside Dammy Krane. A short interactive session followed, which provided an opportunity for guests to make inquires about the future plans of Flowssickk as well as the record label, with members of the Kollertunz Records. Guests at the events included Millicent and Karen Igho of Big Brother Africa Amplified 2011, Davido, Ashley and Dammy Krane. The peak of the event was the final performance of Flowssickk on his hit track, Low Key. The event was powered by Kollertunz Records and Silverbird Lifestyle.

Kelani receives acclaim in Brazil

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ECENTLY released flick of ace movie maker, Tunde Kelani, is due for premiere in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Titled Maami, the movie is billed to open the maiden Bem Vindo A Nollywood Film Festival; Sao Paulo, Brazil. The premiere will also witness a recollection of nine films made by the ace cinematographer. The festival will take place at the Cine Olido in Sao Paulo, between November 18 - 27, 2011. A London International Film School trained filmmaker, Kelani boasts of decades of experience working on 16mm feature films such as- Iya Ni Wura and Taxi Driver, Iwa, Anikura and a host of others. He cut his teeth in the early 1960s as a cameraman in television before he found interest in cinematography. In response to the selection of his films for the maiden edition of the festival, he said: ''The list of nine films selected for the festivals are important because the films are valuable not only to the Yorubas in the homeland, but

especially to the Yorubas in the Diaspora, who despite 200 years to 300 years of slave-trade, have remained true and close to the culture.'' The event will also showcase a retrospective of nine films made by the award- wining director, Kelani. The films are: Maami, his latest effort starring award winning actress, Funke Akindele, others are Efunsetan Aniwura, Thunderbolt, Saworoide (1999), Agogo Eewo (2002), The Narrow Path (2006), The Campus Queen (2004), Abeni (2006) and Arugba (2008). In recent times, the filmmaker has had series of retrospectives of his works from the New York African Film Festival (2004), Rotterdam International Film Festival (2004), the Los Angeles International Film Festival, the Festival of African & Caribbean Film in Barbados in 2003 and the International Film Festival in Rotterdam in 2004. His latest film, Maami would after its premiere in Sao Paulo, Brazil come to Lagos

Adesuwa premieres in London

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ECENTLY in London, fans of veteran director Lancelot Imasuen came out in numbers to witness his new movie titled Adesuwa. According to reports, the premiere of the movie was quiet a success. The reports stated that the two screens at the Odeon Cinemas (Greenwich), where the premiere took place, were sold out, and had many people unable to get in to see the movie. It was also reported that several cultural groups attended the premiere in traditional attire, which added colour to the event. And the likes of Bob-Manuel Udokwu, Dayo Adeneye (D1), and Obi Emenloye, among others, were also present to grace the event. Adesuwa is an African story, set

•Dayo Adeneye with Lancelot Imaseun in 1752AD. It tells the story of Princess Adesuwa, the betrothed of Oba Akengbuda of Benin, who is abducted by the vassal chief of Ubulu-Uku, Obi Olise. Her abduction leads to an epic battle between Benin and Ubu-Uluku. The film features Olu Jacobs, Bob-Manuel Udokwu, Ngozi Ezeonu, Cliff Igbinovia, Kofi Adjorlolo, and Olaya Iyobosa. The movie will also be premiered in Benin and Lagos before the year runs out.

cinemas in February 2012. One of the major highlights of the Bem Vindo festival is a roundtable discussion which will feature erudite scholar, Jonathan Haynes, a Professor of English at the Brooklyn Campus of Long Island University in New York, USA and some of Nollywood's most respected practitioners including Kelani who will have along with him his Associate Producer, Hakeem Adenekan, Mainframe's Production Manager, Jamiu Shoyode. Other discussants are star actress, Stephanie Okereke, Del-York's Chief Executive Officer, Linus Idahosa and Bic Leu, one of the Festival's curators and Head, International Relations and Project Management for Del- York.

T

•Kelani

Genevieve, Osita, others for MFR

HE recent National Honour Awards by the Federal Government to Film Practitioners has drawn different reactions from film practitioners all over the country. A statement passed by Brian Etuk, Head of Public Affairs, The Nigeria Film Corporation (NFC), on behalf of the Managing Director of Nigerian Film Corporation, Afolabi Adesanya, stated, “it is indeed heartwarming that the motion picture industry has continued to garner recognition and accolades from home and abroad, for rebranding Nigeria as the motion picture nation of the African continent, redefining African cinema and as a tool for international diplomacy. “The NFC boss also commended the recipients whose acting and creative careers, spanning several years, have transformed the dynamics of

socio-cultural lives of movie fans and enthusiasts globally.” The National Honours Award scheme was instituted in 1963 to honour deserving citizens, and friends of Nigeria who have contributed to the development and progress of the nation. And over 18 practitioners have been duly honoured. They include, Dr Yemi Farounbi, (OON), Chief Wale Adenuga (MFR), •Genevieve Chief Lari Williams (MFR), Justus Esiri (OON), Chief Adebayo Faleti (OON), Brendan Shehu (OON), Mrs. Taiwo AjaiLycett(OON), Chief Pete Edochie (MON), Mr. Frank AigImoukhuede •Osita (OON), late Yusuf Mohammed (MFR)Mr. Zeb Ejiro (OON), Chief Peter Igho (MFR) and Chief Eddie Ugbomah (OON).

AFRIFF partners Arik Air on Nollywood promo

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N line with its desire to collaborate with the organizers of the African International Film Festival (AFRIFF), Arik Airline has launched a promo for Nollywood stars to have a chance of getting free return ticket to the 2012 allimportant Tribeca Film Festival holding in New York. This is coming on the heels of the festival organisers announcing the jury members for the panAfrican event set to run from November 30 to December 4, 2011 in Lagos. In the words of the Chief Executive Officer of AFRIFF, Chioma Ude, the free ticket will be won through a poll in an online competition called the

“Fly Arik Prize for African Movie Stars”. The winners, he said, will be chosen by the general public as it is a poll for the public's favourite Nollywood Stars. On the recently released jury list, Ude said that they comprised six individuals who are wellgrounded in the global arts community. They include France-born Eriq Ebouaney, British playwright, Oladipupo Agboluaje and Heidi Lobato who is the chairperson of Stichting Likeminds, a theatre primarily by and for children of immigrants in Netherlands. They will adjudicate on Feature and Animation. To adjudicate on Documentary categories is Femi Odugbemi, an

award-winning writer, producer/director and photographer who is widely respected for his creativity and professionalism. Odugbemi served as the President of the Independent Television Producers Asssociation of Nigeria (ITPAN). Odugbemi will be joined by Mahen Bonetti, Founder and Executive Director of African Film Festival, Inc. (AFF), a nonprofit arts organization founded in 1990; and Mbye Cham, Ph.D. who is originally from The Gambia and is currently Chairman of the Department of African Studies at Howard University in Washington, D. C. With the AFRIFF theme as

Africa Unites, Ude says that it draws on the principle that being African is a bond that goes beyond geography, birth or lineage; as people of African origin are spread across the globe and Africa is also a proud home to many non-Africans. “The vision is to reflect a common true African identity and re-establish Africa as an original home to all. Africa has been able to capture the world's attention through its ancient cultural heritage and beginnings of civilisation. With films, it will have the power to connect people from around the world, creating common ground hence promoting boundless unity,” he said.


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THE NATION, SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 12, 2011

Provabs, award winner at the recently conducted Nigerian Gospel Music Awards, is an artiste whose strength of character has stood the test of time having danced the platform of the music industry for more than ten years. In this interview with RITA OHAI, he speaks on his musical career and more.

Cynthia Mare gets recognition in UK

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K-BASED Nigerian songstress, Cynthia Mare, is getting recognition in the music firmament as she recently emerged the winner in the Best UK-Based Afro/Caribbean Act Category at the justconcluded British Entertainment Film Fashion Television Award (BEFFTA) held on Oct 22, 2011 in London. This is an attestation to her efforts and commitment in making a career out of music despite the passing on of her mother recently. She was proudly accompanied by Crew from SW Radio Africa who walked her up the stage to collect the award holding up Zimbabwean flags in company of Betty Makoni, Leah African Design and Simba, an attestation of the enormous support from her African fans. The effort of her Nigerian management outfit, Now Muzik, has also helped pitch her for the African market. In May 2011, she performed 2face's 'Be There' at Touch of Genius: 2face Idibia Tribute Concert held at Scintilla. She did a remix of her 'Catch Me When I Fall' single with General Pype, and a duet with Terry G'Be Your Girl' tracks from off the Love Drunk Compilation Album.

I don’t see women as tools —Provabs H

OW did you coin the name Provabs?

I wanted to represent common truth in its simplest form so while a lot of people chose to call me different names at the beginning, when I started off rapping, I decided to stick with Provabs which also bears some similarities to a particular book in the Bible which speaks about wisdom, knowledge, understanding and generally how we can address basic issues in life. Since you derived your name from the Bible, are you a religious person? Foundation-wise, the fear of God is key for me and I try to reflect Him in my lifestyle but I will not call myself a religious person because religion to me means tradition. I would rather say I practise Christianity which is a way of life. What kind of music do you do and when did you start rapping? I ventured in to music in 1999 right out of Secondary School and I do gospel music but I also address other issues such as social or political matters. In my songs, I speak about love, moral values and other things so I will not want to put myself in a box by saying I address only God-issues. How are you able to sing about moral values in the kind of society we live in? I believe in being practical. Majority of the things I sing about are things that I go through on a daily basis and if I am able to find strength out of a weakness and I put across to people how I was able to come out of this struggle, it will serve as an encouraging factor. So it's not something I am forcing down a person's throat but I'm just saying this is where I have been and this is how I walked through it. It also makes people understand that I am human even though most gospel artistes try to paint the image that they live as flawless, holier-than-thou lives which is not right. What is your view on the growth rate of Gospel music in Nigeria? It has really grown and things are a lot better now than when it started with the likes of Ebenezer Obey. Technologically,

we have advanced and the quality and level at which our music reaches out to people has become higher. Although I cannot say the same in terms of the quality of the message communicated because a lot of the things they saw as taboo in the past are now being accepted as the norm. Why do you think there is some disparity between the secular genre and your kind of music? I think it's a function of belief. The types of songs we listen to oftentimes reflect what we stand for. Most of the things we tag as acceptable or normal are things that would have been frowned upon in the past. For example, the level of freedom for kids to smoke, drink or womanize is on the rise and this deviation from that which is sane tends to reflect in their personal or spiritual lives and invariably in their choice of music. Are saying you do not smoke, drink or womanize? No, I don't. There's a difference between womanizing and appreciating a lady (laughs). I will not look at a lady the same way most other guys would. Rather I will see her the way I am

There's a difference between womanising and appreciating a lady (laughs). I will not look at a lady the same way most other guys would. Rather I will see her the way I am supposed to, as a friend and a confidant not as a tool

supposed to, as a friend and a confidant not as a tool. Why has it taken eleven years to release an album? It has taken this long because I have been combining music with school. It takes time to meet the right people in the industry and build a relationship with your fan-base because when the album comes out, these are the people who will buy it. Also, I think it's important for every artiste to take the time to understand their talent and groom it so that they can create a standard. When should we expect your album to hit the market? My album will be ready by the end of the year. So far, I have recorded 10 songs and we are hoping to push the number of tracks on the album to 14. Although it will have rap as its core ingredient, I am featuring a lot of artistes like Ige of Project Fame, M.I, Spaceship Boi, IBK, Nikki Laoye. They will all bring different flavours into the album. How did your parents react to your decision to get involved with music? My parents were quite strict with us while we were growing up and so I had to prove beyond reasonable doubt that this was what I wanted to do. What does style mean to you? Simplicity. I am a regular shirt and jeans person and I only wear suits if the occasion demands that I wear one, so I like to keep it simple. Which fashion item do you value the most? I am really not particular about things like that but I guess shoes would do. Tell us a bit about your background. My full name is Olasubomi Anthony Aina A.K.A Provabs. I am from a family of ten. I have eight siblings and I am the fourth in position and was the second son in the family until my elder brother passed on. Apart from being a rapper, I am a graduate of the College of Education, Akoka where I studied Building and at present, I am a 400Level student of Lagos State University (LASU).

•Cynthia

D-Large drops ‘Do the Jegg’ single

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HE C.E.O of Large Entertainment and fast-rising artiste-cum-actor DLarge who starred in the hugely successful 'Prada' Nollywood flick is not resting on his oars as a respected force in the music industry with the recent release of a new single dubbed 'Do the Jegg'. D-Large recently returned from Belgium where he has toured relentlessly and also had collaborations with the best and finest counterparts on this side of the world. The music is not joke to D Large as he is putting his mouth where his money is with delivering world class visuals for the hit bound records. In 2008, he was introduced to fans with the release of the video 'One love' which was promoted under the Kennis Music imprint, 'One love' enjoy rave reviews and airplay on TV networks across all platforms and it was followed with a popular song 'Marry dem'. 'Do the Jegg' is a trail described in some quarters as a movement. The song is easy to sing along and it is delivered on an instrumentation that is futuristic. The record produced by Cashson sees the upbeat artiste D Large delivering his lyrics effortlessly as he introducers listeners to a new dance move that is bound to go viral.


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THE NATION, SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 12, 2011

AY Live London edition holds November 19

Excitment as Asa, Pamela Williams thrill fans at Smooth FM's Concert

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William

Timi Dakolo dazzles at O2 Arena

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T was simply exciting and engaging as scores of fans were treated to top class performances by the three acts that FTER two successful 2011 were billed. First was the promptness with editions of AY Live, which which the event started, second were held on worker's day, May 1st 2011, at the Eko was the crisp and clear sound Hotel and Suites and in Abuja on production which the musicians Sunday June 19, 2011 at the themselves profusely commended; Thisday Dome, the third edition and last but not the least was the of 2011 is billed to hold in caliber of people who attended the th London on Saturday, 19 event. November, 2011 at the Discovery Albright treated Lagosians to Centre Barking, London. what is poised to becoming The AY Show, which is Nigeria's premier annual luxury arguably one of the best comedy music event. This year they were shows in Nigeria and on TV, not disappointed either as Pamela travels across the country. Williams, Jimmy Dludlu and Asa AY Live has broken and set delivered on point. enviable record standards in The event proper started with comedy events in Nigeria. In 2007, diminutive female saxophonist he held Lagos spell bound when Pamela Williams who didn't leave the second edition of AY Live, anyone in doubt about what she Lagos Invasion drew a record came to do here in Nigeria; crowd forcing him to do two although relatively unknown here shows instead of one. Two years before her performance, she later, similar feat was reenacted in ensured that she left an indelible Nigeria's Federal Capital City, mark on the audience that she when the show, Abuja Invasion wasn't just another lady blowing stood Abuja still, and becoming that instrument. The prolific artiste Abuja's most attended who has over 6 albums to her entertainment event ever. Expected at the event are Elenu, Gordons, MC Shakara, Ushbebe, and many more.

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•Asa

•Pamela

…opens show for Shalamar •Jimmy Dludlu and Band

Lagos in the last two years as he is fast becoming a staple at such credit showed that big things events. He showed why. He wore sometimes do come in small an electric green suit and white packages as she grooved the house shirt to represent the Nigerian Flag down, even coming off the stage to and had a watch of similar colour work the crowd. Her performance to match, he played for about an finished on a high and as the hour songs from his 3 albums and changeover was being made for the before he left the stage had walked next act to come on, a departure into the crowd, had ladies come on from what happens at such events the stage to dance and of course occurred, a DJ wasn't introduced or had the entire hall in thunderous compere trying to crack jokes but a applause with his dexterous play ventriloquist named Bariyu and his on the guitar. alter ego, a dog and other The last performance and characters. This surprising act got headline act of the day was, of the crowd laughing then Jimmy course, home girl Asa. Everyone came on. waited in anticipation for this This was the guitar maestro's Nigerian International to perform fourth appearance on stage in and she didn't disappoint.

DJ Zeez to release new video

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OKASIBE crooner DJ zeez is set to release the video of his latest single title Take it Easy. The artiste says that unlike his previous which were shot by Bigboyz (Skillz), Take it easy musical video is being shot by SquareBall. When asked why he decided to shoot his present video with SquareBall, he said, ”SquareBall is my friend. Skillz is gonna shot another song for me”.

•DJ zeez

9ice, Waje, others for Lagos AIDS Walk

Austino Milado fathers second child

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YAMMDU Austin Charles, known as Austino Milado, has been singing praises to God for delivering his wife of their second baby, a girl, who came into the world on Monday th 7 November, 2011 at 4:30 am. Austino Milado started music professionally in 1998 with a band in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, before going ahead to form his own band and was introduced into the music scene with his 2002-released first work entitled Super Eagles Carry Go.

DJ Zeez released his latest single a couple months ago which is enjoying wide airplay with major radio Stations across the country. He is presently shooting the music video to the song which he said should be ready by next weekend. Fans of the songster who have longed to see the video for Take it Easy can now ease a sigh of relief has the Zeez has promised it going to be different from the others before it.

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T turned out to be another milestone achievement for 'Beautiful Noise' crooner, Timi Dakolo, when he opened the show for Shalamar's re-union held on the th 29 of October at the Indigo, O2 Arena in South-East London. Shalamar is an American music group that made waves in the 1970's and 1980's. They were originally a disco-driven trio created by Soul Trian booking agent, Dick Griffey, and showcreator, Don Cornelius. The group went on to be an influential dance group, masterminded by Soul Train producer Don Cornelius. Shalamar was regarded as fashion icons and trendsetters and helped to introduce 'body popping' to the United Kingdom. The American group notably known for their 'Night To Remember' hit track which ruled the airwaves in the early 80's still haven't gotten over Timi's performance as he rocked the audience with his 'I Love You' and 'There's A Cry' single from his recently released album entitled 'Beautiful Noise', and Love Drunk compilation album. The resolve of a legendary band of this magnitude to have Timi Dakolo open for them is a pointer that the Timi brand is undoubtedly 'world-class'. This is indeed a new phase for this unrivalled vocalist and it certainly comes with blank pages to fill.

•Waje

S part of activities to th celebrate the 30 anniversary of the discovery of HIV world-wide, Biire Child and Maternal Health Foundation, an indigenous communitybased organization (CBO), and the Lagos State Government have organized a road-walk tagged Lagos AIDS Walk. Billed to hold on Saturday, November 26, 2011, around the first flyover on the Lagos Third Mainland Bridge, the project is aimed at boosting public awareness of an anti-stigma and anti-discrimination law enacted in May, 2007 by the Lagos State Government under the leadership of the erstwhile

governor, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, and also to increase the public patronage of the Law. Dare Ajayi, the Founder of Biire, on the walkathon hinted that, “What is most exciting about the walk is the active passion and compassion in the high net worth personalities and celebrities who have signified their interests to join the anticipated thousands of walkers, all to be led by Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu and the former president of Zambia Republic, Kenneth Kaunda (who is currently in Nigeria on a courtesy visit to President Goodluck Jonathan) who have also endorsed the walkathon with the promise to participate in it.” Expected to be part of it also is

renowned medical practitioner and elder statesman, Dr. Ore Falomo, who has vowed to ensure the active participation of relevant medics in the walkathon. Pastor Ituah Ighodalo, the Founder and Senior Pastor of Trinity House, the wave-making interdenominational church based in Lagos, is also expected to be part of the walkathon which has major radio stations such as Cool FM and Wazobia FM and several A-list entertainers registering to join the line-up and entertain at the walkathon, among whom are Gongo Aso-crooner - 9ice, Banky W, MI, Sound Sultan, Ty Bello, Nneka, Waje, Chidinma, JJC, Funke Akindele, and a host of others.


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Moodley appointed Director of Sydney Film Festival

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ANAGER of the Durban International Film Festival (DIFF) Nashen Moodley has been appointed as Director of the Sydney Film Festival. Announcing Moodley's new appointment, Peter Rorvik, Director of the CCA and DIFF noted that Nashen has established a reputation as an astute and worldrespected film programmer. While his departure is a great loss to DIFF, Rorvik said, it is for Nashen a big step into the international arena, and deserved recognition of his skills. “Of course he is not just a brilliant programmer, widelyacknowledged by the filmmaking community, but in his broader role as film festival manager he has contributed significantly to the growth and development of the Durban International Film Festival across the past decade. His expertise and understanding of film industry processes are an asset to any organization, and the CCA and DIFF congratulate Nashen on his appointment and wish him well for his future projects and adventures. Both the CCA and the city of Durban will miss this popular personality, and we will certainly maintain our relationship with him,” he added. Prior to joining DIFF, according to Moodley, he was a regular attendee and the Sydney festival has been extremely important for his cinematic education. “I have so enjoyed these past 11 years and, as I embark on this exciting new challenge, I am happy that DIFF is in a position of great strength and opportunity. It was been a great privilege and pleasure for me to work with Peter Rorvik and the dedicated Centre For Creative Arts team, and I wish them all the very best for the future. My intention is to remain closely connected to African cinema and filmmakers and I will remain a friend and keen supporter of DIFF.” Moodley will take up his new position in January. The Sydney Film Festival takes place from 6 to 17 June while the Durban International Film Festival runs from 19 to 29 July 2012.

Zebu and the Photo Fish gets New York premiere

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ITH the Africa Roundtable around the corner, organisers of the event have said that film clips from the upcoming African Diaspora International Film Festival were, on Thursday, November 10, screened at the headquarters of Global Information Network. The event witnessed the New York premiere of the Kenya/Uganda film, Zebu and the Photo Fish, Directed by Zipporah Nyarura Also at the screening was Nanny Cam: Xenophobia In The Motherland, an intimate documentary which explores the frustration and heartache of those living in the townships on the outskirts of Cape Town, South Africa, in the days following the May 2008 xenophobic attacks

Rhoda Wilson show back with new series

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HE award-winning Rhoda Wilson Show is back with a new series and new look this November on BEN TV, Sky Channel 184. The 30 minute show, first series th which was shown on Saturday 5 November, had Rhoda Wilson interviewing internationally renowned relationship coach Des O'Connor; whose dating tips and techniques have seen him travel the world. Des has appeared on The BBC and Sky sharing his strategies for dating success as well as speaking at sell-out events since the start of his career. According to Rhoda Wilson, “I believe I can make a difference because there is a need in the market and I have incredible passion and I am committed to making this happen.”

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Plus-sized Nollywood actress Adaora Ukoh who is wearing a new look has come of age in the Nigerian movie industry and is not relenting against what seems to be an odd her physical structure. Ada, who wouldn't reveal the amount paid her for shaving her hair in a new flick, in this interview with MERCY MICHAEL, opens up on her challenges in the industry, her marriage, TV Talkshow and other things.

‘It’s a big challenge to be fat in Nollywood’

CRAPING your hair completely is not something that you are used to. Initially, when you were approached by the producer to do this, how did you feel? Initially, the script was what came in first. So when I read the script, I was very excited about the role and I just wanted to do the role. I read the script over and over again and the Director called back to ask if I had read the script well. I said yes. And then he said, I hope you know you are going to cut your hair? I was like, how? When? But along the line I just decided to do it. It took me a while though. Every time I'd go to the mirror and flip my hair backwards and wonder what the skull will look like by the time the hair goes off. But outside that, I was really willing to do it because I loved the script and I really wanted to give that depth interpretation. How much were you paid? I'm not telling you how much I was paid, but for what it's worth, I was fulfilled playing my role. You keep talking about the script. What is it about the script that fascinates you? Number one, it is a script that is based on the traditional Igbo rulership. It is a film about a kingdom, but not so much about the kingdom but about the Igwe's direct family. So the intrigue in the script talks about a man who couldn't give birth because of the things he had involved himself in just to have a child, but did not want to say it out. So the whole blame fell on the woman. At a point when it was becoming obvious, he had to set his younger brother up with the wife, under an oath, so they start sleeping with each other to have a child, so that the thing will remain in the family instead of going out. But at the end of the day, the drama played out. I learnt a lot from the movie, especially some traditions I didn't even know about the Igbos. It was a deep movie for me and then the character was deep for me. I grew old in the movie. And outside the fact that I had to cut my hair, there was a scene where I went dumb. It was a transitional role and it was challenging. When I get a script that's very challenging, I don't sleep. Trying to even move myself to the old Adaora was challenging. With all of that, I'm hoping that by the time the movie will come out it will be a good one. What has been people's reaction to the new look? This is a new look and new things come with it. Initially, I didn't find it funny when they finished the scraping. When I mean scraping, it was scraping with razor blade. They called these women that do the real scraping; they used soap in the hair and used razor blade to take it off. When they finished, I kept looking at myself in the mirror. But the comments I started getting on set were encouraging. They kept saying, “Adaora, you look nice o. You look better without the hair.” Honestly, it's a strange thing to me. It's not what I'm used to, not even when I lost my dad did I scrap my hair. So the only thing the character did for me when I was shooting was that I put myself in my mother's shoes when I lost my dad and I watched them scrape her hair. That thought really gave me that emotional part. But outside that, people loved it. Though I enjoyed the air that actuallywent into the skull but it took a while for me to really sink into the new look. And then when I came back to Lagos after the shoot, everybody started buying the new look. Everybody loved it. And so I had to embrace it. And when I finally embraced it, I went for the photo shoot; I did something like, with the hair and without the hair online, if there were up to a 100 comments, 90 loved me without the hair. How long are you going to be wearing this look? I intend to wear it for a long time to come. I tell you, people really do love the look. You were off the movie scene for a while. Why? The TV programme I decided to delve into, Diva Dynasty, made me quit acting for a while. It was just a decision. I was trying my hand on another thing because the industry started changing, lots of faces that you don't

•Adaora

understand and the scripts weren't really going to add up to the career. There were some few marketers then who really believed in me despite my size and all that. They dished out good scripts, so I always had that enthusiasm to work with them. They actually stopped working and the thing took its toll on me somehow. And then the scripts I started getting, I wasn't really into them and when the opportunity for me to try my hands out as a presenter came, I decided to give it my shot because I like giving my best into what I'm doing. So that actually slowed down the acting career part for a while. And after shooting my first season, I find out that I couldn't get my mind off acting, so I decided to pick it up again at least when the good scripts came; the kind of scripts that will project the image. That was what slowed it down a little. But now I'm back. Back not because of I want to come and still shoot every script that comes my way, but back because I still want to define my career and make good movies. What is happening to Diva Dynasty, we didn't really see much of that on TV? Maybe because it's airing on HITV. From the comments I get, I noticed that most Nigerians that live in the Diaspora are the ones who really view it because it's showing on Sky 2040. We wanted it to come on African Magic but we were getting one or two hiccups so we moved to HITV; so maybe because it's not showing on our local stations and all that, which is what we intend to do with the season 2. You talked about size; as a plus-sized actress, has it been a challenge? I was arguing with someone recently and I said, it's harder for a plus size to really gain your stand in Nollywood than in Hollywood and the reason is because in Hollywood they see beyond your looks. What they look out for is the talent. In Nigeria, if you're not careful, you will die with your talent especially in this our industry where all that thrive are other things beyond talent. You come to a movie set where there are four to five girls and then a particular brand is not represented. I am a plus size and I have embraced it and the world has come to love it like that but it's very unfortunate that if they get a role that a plus size can play they turn you down because you're big. Take a Look at the Ghanaian movie industry, it is not as bad. There is this movie, Four can play, the plus-sized girl in the movie was what made the movie nice. The truth about this weight issue is that it is what every typical African woman deals with because of our kind of food. Even those who are trying to keep trim, it is still a weight problem that they are dealing with, how much more when you have genes to grow fat. The best you can do is to embrace it. You can't kill yourself. If it was in Nollywood, Whoopie won't be a star, Monique won't be a star, Queen Latifah won't be a star. I know a

cut corners. And then these corners that they try to cut are even cheap corners. After all, what we are still doing is drama; we've not started doing real movie. Here cameras are stationed. Cameras do not move. But the truth about movie making is that, it is a movie, everything must move. Cameras talk; characters move on set. But here cameras will be stationed; you walk in and out of camera. Honestly, I look forward to sitting down on that director's seat much more later in my career, but before then I would go and learn more about directing. We've not seen you play sex roles. Why is that? It's not my thing. Sex role is not my thing. When you look at every movie, there is usually a theme. Like the movie I'm shooting presently, there is sex scene but the producer decided to shoot it like a silhouette, where you light the wall. You will be doing all the sex scenes but it will be showing on the wall. Not that if he decides to shoot the sex part straight he cannot but as long as they know how to move with the cameras, I will do it because it's an integral path of the movie. But it's not me to go shoot a movie that has sex as the theme. Not that I don't do romance, I do romance in movies but I might not do outright showing the sex scene that probably could look vulgar and then coupled with the fact that we've not learnt how to shoot it because at the end of the day, it tells on the actor, not on the camera man. What do you do for leisure? I use my laptop a lot. I write a lot. I've slowed down on going out after I had my last accident. Besides, I have partied, clubbed enough. I was born in Lagos, so where is the nook and cranny that I don't know? For me to go out now, it has to add up. There is a need for me to go out, even when it comes to partying or clubbing. The last clubbing I actually did was when they hosted a colleague of ours who won an award. It was a red carpet event so it still adds up. I go out and I get paparazzied, interviews and all that. Everything I want to do now must add up. Outside that, I stay in my house. It's as comfortable as anywhere I want to go to. Plans about marriage…is your size also a challenge? Do I really care? And I don't know, but seriously I don't really care, neither do I know. But when it will happen, it will happen. It's knocking, I must tell you. But sometimes, I don't know I really want to ask the married people, does it really pose a kind of fear? I really need to say this; it's posing a lot of fear. The truth is that it is staring me right in the face. I used to call my mom and I'm like mummy I don't understand…I just feel like, will it stagnate me? I remember discussing with a friend of mine and she said Adaora I don't know why my mom thinks that marriage is the solution to every girl's problem? I have thirteen friends that are married and none of them is happy. But I'm praying and asking God for the right path and direction. But has it ever been an issue when it comes to relationship? Wel l, few guys who like the m slim could feel she's big, but I give it to 85 percent, they like them big. How many kids do you plan to have? One ooo, a girl that I will be able to teach how to make shakara like me.

lot of slim people that are very impressed with me and say to me, God! You make me feel like adding some weight. Being a plus size doesn't take from you as a person. It's been a big challenge, I must tell you. I am not going to pretend like it's not but thank God today, I'm being referred to as the big, bold and beautiful and I love that title. Can you recall one particular scenario when you've been turned down? I know a couple of scripts even the one I sat down with the writers to script, they go back to the sponsor of the movie and say no we can't give her the role because she's plus size. I do not want to call names of movies, but I know a couple of movies that the person they later cast for the role ended up spoiling the movie. I remember talking to some of my fans, do you know that even on twitter some fans want to start up a group where we should start this plus size thing as a movement, but I said no that there is a way we'll go about it and it will look like it's a fight or there is a beef. But when you look at it, they too feel that bad that they are not represented. A plus size doesn't stop you from being the best that you can be. Do they go to the market and their dresses are not there? Even when you travel outside, there are shops for the plus size. Plus size actually starts from 14 and a size 14 in Nigeria considers herself to be a slim person. Who are they deceiving? Abeg, leave matter. Most of your other colleagues have gone into movie production. Any plans in the future to join the league? Yes. There is no point waiting on some scripts that will not help your career. I have already started my production company; it's called the Big Sis Production. I'm very passionate about writing. You know a good movie starts from a good script. I have scripted like two movies that have been shot in Asaba, trying my hands on it to be sure is something I can do and I'm even impressing myself so it is something I know that very soon, before the year runs out, I will kick off with my first movie. The script is fully ready and we are good to go. As an aspiring producer, what do you consider to be the most important aspect of movie making? There are two things you cannot take for granted in movie making, scripting and casting. If you get it wrong with these two, the movie is a flop, no matter how beautiful the story is. You can have a beautiful story, the moment it is poorly scripted, that's where the wahala starts. My problem with movie making is that they try to •Adaora Ukoh

It's knocking ooo I must tell you. But sometimes, I don't know I really want to ask the married people, does it really pose a kind of fear?


Yobo: I’ll fight Sack not peculiar NOC must keep up non-chalance in Eagles to Siasia — Obiefule with the pace— Falilat Pg. 30

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• Eagles in training on Wednesday

Pg. 34 • Keshi

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Yobo: I‘ll fight non-challance in Eagles S

KIPPO, I hope you have overcome the shock of october 8 My brother, it has not been easy. I never, in my wildest imagination, thought about not being in the Nations Cup in January. It is really heartbreaking. In fact, it was not till we got into the dressing room that it dawned on some of us that we had lost the Nations Cup ticket. The most painful thing was that we had the game under control but we just allowed it slip through our hands. Well, we have to move on. I had to try and pick myself up so that I can motivate my team mates. What really went wrong on that day? I can’t actually put a finger on what went wrong on that day. If we had converted the begging chances that came our way in the first half, the story would have been different. We came into the game to win while they came to play for a draw. But the whole thing changed when they scored first. It destabilized us. We really lost composure. Before we knew it, we were chasing the game. It really had to necessitate a change of approach. But it was a test of character. Stronger teams would have bounced back stronger. But we did well to bounce back and took the lead but there was this misconception that we needed another goal to qualify so we had

These are not the best of times for Nigerian football. Before now, the last time Nigeria failed to qualify for the Nations Cup was 25 years ago. A 2-2 draw with Guinea on October 8 meant Nigeria’s flag will not be hoisted when the Nations Cup kicks off in January. This situation has left stakeholders pondering the way forward. In this interview with CLEMENT NWANKPA JNR, Super Eagles’ captain, Joseph Yobo, the one nicknamed ‘Mr. Dependable’, declares that Eagles will be strong again. to push for that goal. I must repeat that in all these, we lost composure. That is what you get when you leave it till the last day. We have to stop that. I mean, we have to start off well during the qualifiers. We are used to leaving it till the last day and that unsettles the players. We were already under pressure to win the Guinea match but the pressure was even more when they scored first. All these wouldn’t have happened if we had booked our place with a match or two to spare. That is one big lesson we have learnt from this incident. We have to learn to get off the starting block as fast as possible. There is the belief that this

generation of players are not committed to the national colours. Incidentally, I wouldn’t want to give excuses here. I have to take full responsibility here. I want to apologise to Nigerians for our failure to qualify for the Nations Cup. From now onwards, I will take it upon myself to ensure I push the players on the pitch. If I will need to push a player, who is not doing well, out of the pitch for us to qualify, I will do that. I agree with you that some of my colleagues need to be more committed to the national team. Some of the things we do in the national team, we don’t do them in our clubs. How would a player show more commitment to his club

only to do otherwise in the national team? We cannot condone that anymore. If you don’t want to play for the national team, don’t come when you get the invitation. It pains me to see some players turn up and not give their best. Nobody is bigger than the national team. We have the responsibility to fix Nigerian football and bring back smiles to the faces of our compatriots. I want to win something with the national team before I quit and I wouldn’t want anybody to stand on my way. How much of these have you discussed with new Eagles chief coach, Stephen Keshi? I have spoken at length with him and he has told me what he wants

from me. I must confess that Big Boss is my role model. He had excelled as Eagles captain and now he is a coach. It is only a privilege to be captain when he is the coach. There is a lot I can learn from him. He is someone who wants to win and I want to win, so that makes both of us. Most importantly, he has got charisma and that is something worth emulating. You have just had your first training session under him. What is new in his approach? Every coach has his own style and training routine. We don’t need to discredit the past coaches because I am sure there are also things that Big Boss must have learnt from

them. He will no doubt come with his own pattern of play but the fact is that 80 percent of the team are still the players used by Siasia. He has inherited a good team and could add some new players to make it better. But I think Big Boss makes football look easy. We have just spent a little time with him but he has made it so easy for us to adapt to his work ethics. He has coached other national teams and I have no doubt that he will bring his experience to bear. But I will like to see the current spirit in camp continue. Whenever there is a new coach, people start fighting for places. I want that healthy competition to be sustained. If at any point, I am not able to command a regular shirt in this team on merit, I won’t hesitate to take a walk. What are your expectations as Eagles confront Botswana and Zambia? These are just friendlies. It is just a forum for us to come together and shake off the disappointment of not making it to the Nations Cup. It is also an opportunity to meet with the new coach. Most importantly, it should serve as a good preparation before the Nations Cup play-off against Rwanda in January since I don’t know if we can have another friendly before then. The result is not the most important thing here. We just have to find a way of putting the past behind us. How do you feel being the National team Skipper at a time Nigerian football is seemingly at

its lowest ebb? The burden is on me to also make sure things change for the better. Before we played against Cameroun at Tunisia 2004, Jay Jay (Okocha) told us that one of the legacies he wanted to leave behind was to banish the fear of Cameroun in Nigerian football. We all saw the role he played that day. I also want to banish the bad memories of our recent failure. I will do everything within my power to motivate my team mates. You have just been nominated for the national merit award. Yeah, I just got the news the same way you got it. I have not gotten any letter officially informing me of the award. But if that is true, I’m glad to know that all my efforts are not in vain. It is good to note that this nation appreciates all I’m doing. This will spur me even to do more. Do you think your club, Fenerbahce stands a good chance of retaining the Turkish League? Why not? We have played ten matches this season and we are still on top of the log. The fans have been splendid. They have been there for us all the way and deserve nothing but the best. Just last week, we lost a match away from home and the fans gave a reception as if we won because they saw how we won the previous match even with ten men. The Fener fans are really models of how fans should support their teams. We are driven by their support. But beyond all these, our position in the league has shown that what we achieved last season was not a fluke.

We were already under pressure to win the Guinea match but the pressure was even more when they scored first. All these wouldn’t have happened if we had booked our place with a match or two to spare. That is one big lesson we have learnt from this incident. We have to learn to get off the starting block as fast as possible.

•Super Eagles players arriving for a training session in Abuja recently.

•Yobo


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Teardropsfordomestic T league players HANK goodness, there’s finally going to be a closure on the 2010/2011 Nigeria Premier League (NPL) season which has set a new Guinness World record having run for over a year. With matches in ten centers and with all eyes on the matches in Ilorin and Kano involving the front runners, this is the time the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) needs to close ranks with the Board of NPL to ensure that the country’s football is spared the embarrassment of some previous seasons. It must also be said that the new NPL Board led by Chief Rumson Baribote has quit the combative approach of his predecessors and accorded the NFF the respect and authority it commands over football affairs in the country. Needless to stress that the crisis that led to the sorry pass in the league were partly fueled by the king-sized egos of those who have been at the helm of the league these past eight years. While it is not yet Uhuru in terms of absolute peace in the contest for the Chairmanship of NPL, the pronouncement of the court which brought in the reign of Baribote has been the fillip that brought about the roadmap that culminated in the conclusion of the 2010/2011 season. It is hoped that aggrieved parties in the NPL dispute will relegate their personal ambitions, lower their chests and permit the youths to further their career through a league that can redefine its path again. As we approach the last day of the season at the ten venues tomorrow, a thought must be spared for these

By Harry Iwuala

players who have borne the brunt of the distortions that marked this season. All through the stalemate, the players have been at the mercy of their club management and in most cases owed salaries for upwards of eight months. They had no other source of livelihood unlike the Club Managers and the Chairmen who benefitted from the crises one way or the other. They were the ones being lobbied and enticed by both the corporate concerns fighting for the sponsorship right and the chairmanship candidates who needed their support to clinch the coveted seats. The story from almost all the clubs have been that of lamentations for piles of unpaid backlog of salaries by their owners, the respective state governments. Not even the involvement of some of the clubs in continental competitions mitigated their cases before these state governors that readily mount the podium to receive glory when success come any of the club’s way. Recently, it was the Imo state governor, Rochas Okorocha who led a marathon delegation of commissioners, advisers and special assistants to receive the Federations Cup won by Heartland players who prior to the match were owed close to ten months salary arrears. Following the success at Teslim Balogun Stadium,

•Ofem

Okorocha and his government now found money for air tickets to fly the same team that labored through the dangerous roads to Lagos. At the last count, Bayelsa United and Ocean Boys, properties of the Bayelsa State government owe the players backlog of salaries and recall that these clubs have at various times in the past brought honours to the state when they clinched both the League title and the Federations Cup. It is not possible that reprieve will come their way at this time when Timipre Sylva, the governor is fighting for his political life against formidable foes that seem to enjoy the backing of the President, himself, a former governor of the same state. Governor Theodore Orji of Abia State had in the days leading to Enyimba’s Federations Cup final and CAF Champions League semi-finals announced with fanfare the approval of N100m to clear logs of debt owed the players. There has been no sign that the said money got through to the Board of Enyimba and with the club out of the running for any laurels this season, it is doubtful if the promise will be followed through to implementation. The story is same in Kwara State for Kwara United, Benue State for Lobi Stars, Enugu State for Rangers, Zamfara State for Zamfara United, Plateau State for Plateau United and JUTH FC and across all the teams. It came to a head in Kaduna United when a player had to go on air after their protest match to the Government House to plead with the authorities to pay their eight months unpaid wages. A similar situation was witnessed with Sunshine Stars when few days to the return leg of their CAF Confederations Cup group stage game, the players threatened to boycott the match. In Rivers State, Governor Rotimi Amaechi with his all-knowing approach to governance has refused to pay the wages of players of Sharks FC and Dolphins. Little wonder he had no qualms advising the President to abolish football in Nigeria for two years after the Presidential World Cup Task Force that he led succeeded only in throwing money at the problem of football but failed to get the Eagles to fly in Angola and South Africa. It is only in Nigeria that people will work and not be paid their dues and yet the employer strut the streets free and in the case of the club owners, they even try to pontificate on the problems of

the country. I know of a Nigerian business man who had to close shop in South Africa when the labour laws of the country were set on him by workers that were given the Nigerian slave labour treatment. Are Nigerian players not members of the Nigeria Labour Congress and if they are, why has organized labour not amplified the plight of these young men? Again, this is one reason some persons that parade themselves as Players Association leaders must hide their heads in shame for not lifting a finger to bring the plight of the players to public discourse. Is it not strange that these characters only concern themselves with issues of football politics rather than welfare of players they to represent? Despite the difficult and antiquated environment they ply their trade in, these players have continued to acquit themselves creditably especially in international competitions. Two clubs, Enyimba International and Sunshine Stars played through to the semi-finals of the CAF Champions League and the CAF Confederations Cup, making them one of the top four clubs on the continent. Kaduna United reached the last eight of the Confederations Cup and thus can be considered one of Africa’s best eight clubs. The Flying Eagles that reached the quarter finals of the FIFA U-20 World Cup had a horde of domestic league players in the squad and that is a huge statement of quality on the league. Incidentally, successive handlers of the Super Eagles only consider these players as a footnote on their squad list while their counterparts in lesser-ranked African teams are on display for their countries. The NFF have to work in tandem with the NPL to create an operational manual for football clubs in the country and this must form the irreducible minimum for the registration of any club to participate in organized football in the country. Football authorities should seek audience with the Governor’s forum to intimate the state chief executives on the need to hands-off running of clubs as an arm of government. They should be made a presentation that contains a road-map to relinquishing of the states’ hold on football clubs and there are many Management experts in the country with the business template to privatize club football.

Harry Iwuala is a renowned Journalist based in Lagos, Nigeria

VOICE OF SPORTS

With Clement Nwankpa Jnr. sportswar@yahoo.com

Moving On WATCHING Eagles’ training session on Wednesday, it gladdened my heart to see that we have moved on from the disaster of October 8. Stephen Keshi, the one nicknamed Big Boss had taken charge and he let all around know that he was in charge. Regular readers of this page will attest to the fact that I faulted Samson Siasia’s midfield combination. For starters, I have never been a fan of the two-man midfield. In modern day football, it is practically unworkable as it doesn’t guarantee defensive solidity. It is even worse if the two midfielders lack the holding ability. I had opined that if Siasia ever failed, that will be his albatross. That is history now. We have just moved on from the Siasia reign to the Keshi era. I had shown up at the Abuja National Stadium mainbowl for one reason- to have some inkling into the Keshi work ethics and football culture. So was I impressed? Well, on first impression, I will say ‘yes’. I just have some reservations because we have to wait and see how everything pans out on match day. Last week, I advised Keshi against wholesomely altering the Siasia team. It is interesting to note that he has built the team around the foundation laid by his predecessor but the more cheery news is that he has opted to pay more attention to the defensive details Siasia ignored. I wasn’t surprised. By the way, he was one of the best defenders that ever dorned the green and white colours. The players were split into three groups namely keepers, defenders and midfielders/attackers. Ike Shorunmu was in charge of the keepers, Keshi handled the defenders while Sylvanus Okpala and Daniel Amokachi supervised the midfielders and attackers. For the first time, I noted that he must have consciously picked his assistants based on their areas of competence while active. Shorunmu was a keeper, Okpala a midfielder cum utility player and Amokachi, an attacker. Then during the 11-a-side session, I saw a probable team that had Vincent Enyeama in goal shielded by a back four of Efe Ambrose, Taye Taiwo, Joseph Yobo and Yusuf Ayila. There was a midfield triangle with Dickson Etuhu and Fengor Ogude at the base and Joel Obi at the top, while the trio of Ike Uche, Chinedu Obasi and Brown Ideye held sway in attack. That was more like it. With more men in the midfield, the team looked solid. It was not all about the number of men in the middle of the pack, I was more enamoured with the variety. The presence of the more defensive Etuhu and Ogude behind him, gave Joel the license to venture forward. He was everywhere with a bewildering vivacity. It was only a training session but it spoke volumes about the Keshi football orientation. I took special interest in his session with the defenders. He lined out four defenders and insisted that they moved the ball from one flank to the other with all of them having a feel of the ball. Next, he had some opposing players launch an imaginary attack. One of the two central defenders, the stopper, was expected to start the marking. The emphasis was to ensure that the two central defenders were never on the same line. Generally, Keshi was more interested in what the boys did when they were without the ball than what they did with it. When he saw a player who stood near an opponent without committing with the tackle, he had screamed; “why are you standing there watching him? Is he your wife?” Under Siasia, the more physically-engaging players like Etuhu and Ayila didn’t feature prominently but the current dispensation could belong to them. It was obvious Keshi is not oblivious of the shortcomings that undermined Siasia’s quest but he is also well aware of his predecessor’s strength-the trail-blazing attacks launched from the flanks. While insisting that the team defended with greater discipline, he also got the wide players like Ahmed Musa busy. He ordered that the balls be dispatched to the flanks with greater urgency while beckoning on the wingers to be swifter. Victor Moses was not on the pitch that evening but he surely will be useful to the Big Boss. Imagine Musa and Moses on either flanks (that will be a topic for another day). Mikel Obi was not fully fit for the session but on the sideline, I saw him standing with team psychologist Robinson Okosun for over thirty minutes. That was after they had taken a walk round the arena. They both looked so serious at the task that I confronted Okosun afterwards. He had taken it upon himself to change the players’ poor attitude that led to the Nations Cup ouster. “I can assure you that you will see an entirely different Mikel after now”. In this regard, I think Okosun is as important off the pitch as Keshi is on it. Candidly, the Nigerian team is not as bad as some are wont to believe. For instance, juxtapose the Nigerian 11 with the Ghanaian best 11. Man for man, is the Ghanaian team better? Do they even play in bigger clubs? Michael Essien is in Chelsea just like Mikel; Sulley Muntari currently sits on Inter’s bench for Joel; Kelvin Prince Boateng and Taye Taiwo are team mates at AC Milan. Their current first choice keeper Adam Kwarrasey plies his trade in Norway while our own Enyeama features for current French champions, Lille. The only difference between these two teams is the players’ attitude. If the Nigerian players change their carefree attitude to national team engagements, they will attain even greater heights. These said, we have to move on. The friendly game against Botswana today is the very first step in our journey to revival.


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NATIONSPORT SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 12, 2011

NATION SPORT

NATION SPORT

NOC must keep up with the pace — Falilat

Obinna Obiefule,The Younger brother of out-of- favour Super Eagles’ midfielder, Paul, almost moved to the Norwegian League last August before he staged a sensational return to the Maltese League where he is now the second leading scorer in the Premier League with 10 goals from 10 matches. In this chat with THE NATION SPORT’S TUNDE LIADI, Obinna speaks on his new club Marsaxlokk FC; life in Malta and his desire to play some role in the rebuild of the Super Eagles under Stephen Keshi ; amongst other issues. EXCERPT

• Obiefule

• Siasia

Sack not peculiar to Siasia — Obiefule • Falilat

• Obiefule


THE NATION SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 12, 2011

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NATION SPORT

Inside The Glass House WITH AMINU MAIGARI

Nigeria football will bounce back (3)

I

T was a sweet victory for the Pharaohs as they edged the Black Stars 1-0 at the spanking-new arena on the outskirts of Luanda. For the Pharaohs, it was a third straight African Cup of Nations title, following wins in 2006 (at home) and in 2008 (in Ghana). The victory, made possible by a lone goal scored in the second half of the match, ensured a seven African Cup of Nations title – unmatched by any other country - for Egypt. In 2006 on home soil, it took a penalty shoot-out for the Pharaohs to overcome the Elephants of Cote d’Ivoire. With Hassan Shehata in charge, the Pharaohs looked unstoppable. But things have changed. Even Hassan Shehata has been booted out after the Pharaohs failed to qualify for the 2012 African Cup of Nations, finishing bottom of a group that also included Sierra Leone, Niger and South Africa. That was unthinkable less than two years ago. Certainly, there is no big team that will not have its low period, and there is no small team that will not have its high period. Now, Botswana, a country not given much regard in international football before the start of the 2012 African Cup of Nations qualification series, has won for itself global accolade after becoming the first country to qualify for the tournament after hosts Equatorial Guinea and Gabon. It is the first African Cup of Nations finals for The Zebras, who happen to be in Nigeria at the moment. Today at the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium

in Benin City, the Zebras take the pitch against the Super Eagles of Nigeria in a match that promises a lot of fireworks. Yes, fireworks. And each of the two teams has different reasons for wanting to go all out. Botswana have qualified for a first-ever African Cup of Nations finals (after 27 editions0 and want to go to Equatorial Guinea and Gabon to impress. The team is bubbling with confidence having toppled the likes of Tunisia (2004 African champions) and Malawi in their group. The Super Eagles start a new life under the country’s longest-reigning Senior Team Captain and and everyone wants to impress. Everyone wants to be seen as the good and energetic and obedient boy and will throw everything into it. It is a friendly match, yes, but be sure it will be hot. On Tuesday, it is the turn of the Chipolopolo to take on the Super Eagles, in Keshi’s second outing. Venue is the Ahmadu Bello Stadium, Kaduna – a venue where Keshi played a number of memorable matches. On Friday last week, I was in my office when Stephen Keshi sauntered in for the first time, for a brief meeting. He walsk with confidence and assurance and self-esteem, and I believe he has nothing to fear. He has won and he has lost. He was hailed as a hero when he qualifed tiny Togo for the FIFA World Cup finals (Germany 2006) for the first time and he was not even allowed to take the team to

Germany as he was relieved of his appointment after a poor Cup of Nations outing in Egypt. He has seen it all. And as I said at the Unveiling Ceremony in Abuja on Thursday, Keshi is a capable man who we believe can handle quite well the task of leading the Super Eagles to rise quickly from its lowly position at the moment and return to the top drawer of the international game. Below are excerpts from the address: “Mr. Keshi, I warmly welcome you to one of the hottest seats in world football. Analysts have gone to town to insist that the several changes of the Head Coach of Nigeria Senior Team reflects instability and uncertainty. Yet, these things happen in sport, especially when results fail to match expectations of the people. “Without any gainsaying, football is about the only factor that truly unites all Nigerians, from all walks of life and without prejudice to ethnic, religious, social and economic background. This truism compels us, custodians of the game, to always strive for excellence both on the field and in the boardroom. “The surgeon we have found, we believe, is surely someone who can do the job. Several commentators have talked about the need to return to the schools and catch ‘em young. Surely, Mr. Stephen Keshi knows what they are talking about. He came from the secondary school straight into the National Team, and at an early age, captained the

•Taye Taiwo, Joseph Yobo and another Super Eagles’ player during training recently.

Nigeria senior team. He understands that football is for the young and bright and agile. Those he has picked as his assistants also understand this. “Mr. Keshi also understands that the old days and the old ways will no longer do. The Super Eagles must play with a new spirit and a new vision. Keshi played in five African Cup of Nations and won medals in four of them. This means he understands the winning mentality and how to motivate his team to excel, for he captained the Eagles in those four Cup of Nations finals where he won medals. “I heartily congratulate Stephen Keshi because we believe he is capable of the task and we hope he will prove his mettle having finally been handed the opportunity he has desired for a long time. But I must also warn him that Nigerians want the Super Eagles to rise quickly from the present lowly position and return to the top. “That will mean a lot of hardwork done quickly. There is no time to waste. I am happy that Mr. Keshi has already settled easily into the job as we look forward to two important international friendly matches against Botswana and Zambia within the next five days. “Let me use this opportunity to remind all Nigerians that they have a big job to support Mr. Keshi in this assignment. He cannot do it alone. The NFF will support and co-operate and advise, but we will not interfere with his duties as Head Coach. The bulk stops on Keshi’s table, at all times.” This, of course, is the truth. As I promised Keshi last week Friday, the Nigeria Football Federation will allow him the freedom to do his job the best way he deemed, bringing into the job several years of experience at the top level. We will advise and support, but we will not go as far as interfering pointedly with his job. After failing to qualify for the 2012 African Cup of Nations, all hands must be on deck to ensure we land in South Africa in 2013, and also qualify for the 2014 FIFA World Cup finals in Brazil, which qualification series begin in June 2012. The qualification series for 2013 AFCON starts in January 2012 and this is the reason why we all say there is no time to waste. We cannot afford to wait until the eleventh hour before starting to prepare. Someone sent me a text message wondering why the Super Eagles are playing friendly matches and for what purpose. I did my best to educate him on the purpose. The Super Eagles may be down, but they are certainly not out. The Super Falcons failed to qualify for the Women’s Football Tournament of the 2012 Olympic Games, but I assure Nigerians that a wake-up call it was. The players now know they can be beaten, that they are no longer the impregnable fortress that they used to be. Their response will come in the qualification series for the 2012 African Women Championship, which starts early next year. And for the Super Eagles, the response should start today.

NIGERIA / BOTSWANA FRIENDLY

Keshi steps out with Eagles

‘B

IG Boss’ Stephen Keshi will take the first step as new Nigeria coach Saturday in a friendly against Botswana in Benin City. The 49-year-old Keshi sparked off the exodus of Nigerian players to Belgium when he moved to Anderlecht in the 80s. He was also international skipper when Nigeria made their World Cup debut in 1994 and also won a second Africa Cup of Nations title same year. Soon after those feats, Dutch coach Clemens Westerhof predicted that the big central defender will succeed him as Nigeria coach and this forecast has finally come to pass 17 years later. Keshi qualified Togo to the 2006 World Cup in Germany and also handled Mali. He was assistant coach when the Eagles qualified for the 2002 World Cup. His immediate task now is to lift the team above the huge disappointment of not reaching next year’s Nations Cup amid suggestions that the players’ attitude is wrong. "They showed good attitude this morning and the same thing this evening," remarked Keshi after his first training Wednesday. "I think they're beginning to change their mindset, they want to do something right this time and we just have to help them and be patient. "These guys are not from Jupiter, they're human beings like us. It’s not that they can't make mistakes. We all make mistakes, it's just that we have to learn from our mistakes. "Right now, what they're doing is very encouraging." Team captain Joseph Yobo said ‘Big Boss’ has impressed the players with his knowledge and experience. "He is a legend in Nigeria, a great defender and someone who the players and officials respect a lot,” said the Fenerbache defender. "He has shown us that he knows what he is doing and together with him, we hope to try to rebuild the trust of Nigerians in this team." For Africa Cup newcomers Botswana, they will get a taste of things to come when they

•Keshi

face the Eagles on the artificial pitch of the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium in Benin City. Botswana coach Stanley Tshosane has said this Nigeria is just the kind of friendly he has been craving for before the West African treat that awaits them in Group D at the Nations Cup in January. Group D houses Mali, Guinea and Ghana, the latter Botswana will play in their opening tournament game on January 24 in Franceville, Gabon. "I’m happy that Nigeria have announced a strong squad for the game as it will help us a lot," Tshosane said. "I believe we will learn from them." Tshosane has picked a strong 23-man squad to Nigeria, but he will be missing first-choice goalkeeper Modiri Marumo of Bay United in South Africa as he is injured. Therefore second goalkeeper Noah Maposa of Gaborone United is set to stand in for Marumo Also missing will be key midfielder Dirang Moloi. Moloi has been between clubs and he is currently embroiled clearance battle with ex-club South African club Vasco da Gama to Notwane in Botswana. However, veteran attacking midfielder Diphetogo Selolwane of SuperSport United will grace the game together with striker Jerome Ramatlhakwana. Ramatlhakwana, the 2011 CAF Africa Player based in Africa nominee and Botswana’s 2012 Group K qualifiers hero with five goals, makes the team despite being frozen at his South African club Santos Like his Zebra teammate Moloi, he too is bogged in a want-out scenario with his South African club since the start of the 2011/2012 season. But Tshosane said while he has fitness concerns over some of his five foreign-based players, the onus is on the team to show against an African giant that they qualified for the Nations Cup on merit. "This is a big opportunity for my team to shine," Tshosane offered.


Olubanwo Fagbemi

On Sport Sport On SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 12, 2011

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T

HIS is golf and sure, you must see several swings, especially those that look like a Polo player without a horse... those are swings that pack off divots from any golf course. But can you complain? You dare not, for the game comes with all sorts and its the hackers who go home with the divots. Don't ever ask what they do with it. Well, something miraculous happened last week when the West Africa Amateur Golf championship was playing out at the Ibori International Golf and Country Club in Asaba. The event was billed for 13 West African nations. At Tee-off, 10 nations showed up. This was fair enough. But what wasn't fair had to do with the nation, Gabon, that outshone all countries, including host, Nigeria, just because they had a wonder kid in their midst... a kid who could kill Goliath with a stone. The kid is Thomas Augustino. He is 12 and he plays off Handicap-7, something close to being referred to as a professional player. He has got this fast swing which is simply flash pizzazz, something akin to that of Tiger Woods when he, Woods, was still the Phenomenon. Thomas, always hit drives that would make you think he calls for power elsewhere anytime he wants to hit it fat. Reason is the boy is just as fragile as any 12 year old that hops around sucking a damned thumb and holding ice cream on the other. Yet this is a boy of uncommon vigour and confidence, a kid who is always in pristine tranquility. Thomas blew all minds off

GOLFLINE

NTDC brings for WITH

Tony Akhigbe golflineintl@yahoo.com 08094863638

The golf prodigy from Gabon

•Thomas Augustino

in Asaba, despite the fact that the Nigerian team of 'men' came out tops. The whole thing got to a point that some watchers, at a point, could not resist the magical presence of this Gabonese and, yes, mainly ladies, had to grab him and toss him up in air several times just in sheer fun.

"I can't imagine where he gets that swing from", Festus Makelemi, one of the first five golf professionals in Nigeria stated. "I was just standing by my tee-shot on the fairway of the 6th hole. Then came this drive that moved ahead of mine. I was asking myself who hit this. Then came this

boy standing by the ball, getting ready to hit his approach. That was Thomas. I was lost in thought. I was thinking how did he do this". Even though Makelemi was dazed, Thomas Augostino, the wonder kid saw no big deal about what he was doing. To him, this is golf and its all about swings and how fast you could make the clubface make contact with the golf ball. "People always think you have to be old and huge to hit it big", Thomas said in French for he hardly speaks English and you need an interpreter to get words out of him, 'But golf is all about swings and how fast you can make it. Power doesn't count here but you must be fit". Well, Nigerians may adore him but the Golf Federation of Gabon worship the kid. Already the Gabonese are looking forward to the 2016 Olympic Golf coming up in Brazil and they are already boasting Thomas could clinch some three gold medals. The President of the Gabonese Golf Federation Paul Pablo did not have to strip himself of shallow ego when he boldly pronounced: "Thomas Augustino is wrapped in a neat package with a ribbon on it. We await the 2016 Olympics and the fruits we shall reap". Goodness, only if the Nigerian Golf Federation could be bold to tell Nigerians what will happen to golf in 2016 Olympics. Whatever happens, Nigerian golf must never drift to a sad point where our Pros will shift to Gabon for lessons like they currently besiege South Africa to get their swings fixed.

UBTH captain celebrates

P

ROFESSOR Waziri Erameh is the Captain of the new University Of Benin Teaching Hospital [UBTH] Golf Club. He is a man who loves to enjoy his vices and this could be reason he's seen as a different man in midst of different golfers. Some see the eye surgeon as a hot-shot, even in America where he frequents to perform, as a man who is always muttering half in dismay, half in anger and always stamping through everywhere. Some golfers see Erameh like some shyster who wants to win a court case by sticking to the surface of things and pretending there is nothing more to it. Yet, some other golfers believe Erameh will never look at what's really there but only what he would like to have there. This could be yes, it could be no. But what all golfers across the nation can say about Erameh is that he is a man who can be quickly turned into a glorified servant... a kid to fetch and carry. This is the Vintage Erameh. He listens to everyone and he is prepared to serve everyone. He is so down to earth, to that point he doesn't believe in these words that 'truckers know where they eat'. Erameh eats with his caddies

and course workers. Yet, this is one man who shows the courage of a stoic man than harbour the hope of a fool. He could be extra 'hard' if the needs warrant it. This could be reason he was able to turn a UBTH jungle, den of thieves, into a glorious full blown 18holes all- Green putting surface within some four years. Today, and as you are

reading this, Erameh is being surrounded by hundreds of well wishers, mostly golfers in one moment of uncommon joy and celebration. Reason? Erameh has just been elevated to the position of an Academy Icon... A Professor. "This is a milestone in my life", Professor Waziri Erameh stated. "I could have celebrated in several ways but the game of golf comes to the fore and

this is reason I arranged this golf to tourney so I could reach the depth of joy with fellow golfers in attendance". The Erameh Elelvation tourney is involving some 120 golfers, mostly from Niger Delta. Delectable prizes, some sponsored by the 'Dean of Golf' Sam Iredia who is the Chairman of the UBTH Golf Club Board of Trustees will be won.

Ibori captain wants more ladies on course

T

HE Lady Captain of the Ibori International Golf and country Club, Faith Okoh Baya, did not naturally embrace the game of golf. She was into Hockey and she conquered the game by winning laurels for Delta State. At a point, she came into contact with the sport, but from afar. She wouldn't say if she loved the game at the time or not. All she could see was that the game could be easily related to Hockey where she was 'Chair Lady'. "It's all about swings",she said amidst hidden smiles you could see from those who are extra shy, "and I think this could be easy... as in Hockey". Golfers like to hold their game. They quickly asked

Faith Okoh to keep to her Hockey rather than view golf as a 'play-thing'. To prove golf could be easy from her Hockey point of view, Faith stormed the game with all energy she could muster and devoted quality time to hit perfection. She did. She came in around year 2005. By the year 2006 she came out of the Gateway Games in Ogun with a gold medal in golf, all for Delta state. "I came to Golf to prove I could do it, like I did in Hockey", Faith said. 'But the shocking thing is after a moment in golf, I could not let go. The game could be addictive. am now all for it that I no longer think of Hockey.

"I have moved in the game. I am now the Lady Captain of the Ibori Club. This has not taken anything away from me. I am still the same woman who hates arrogant people. I listen a lot and I want things done right. Due Process must prevail. I hate foul ideas. "But I still have my regrets. I mean a lot of women are not coming to the golf course. Since my tenure as Lady Captain, I have succeeded in moving some ladies to the course. I am still working on it. Look, it could be difficult to get an unwilling person to the course. But just persist. Truth is the moment you get anyone to the course, there is no going back for the fellow. Golf is that addictive".

e-mail: deewalebf@yahoo.com

Keshi: The quick fix

I

T is hard, very hard, to see Stephen Keshi succeed where Samson Siasia failed with the Super Eagles. The former Nigeria skipper is as gifted as they come, but his disciplinary records as a player and methods as a coach will always be questioned. Anyone nicknamed ‘Big Boss’ will always dominate others, and how that pans out with the errant players in the national team is of real interest. While Siasia, despite youth team coaching pedigree, flopped at senior level, hitting rock bottom with last month’s ignominious 2012 Africa Nations Cup exit following interplay of factors that included poor handling of players, desperate tactics and biased selection, Keshi is unlikely to institute marked difference. If his welcome of rather wayward players to the fold was designed to differentiate his approach from Siasia’s, it was hardly reassuring. Particularly instructive was his tacit accommodation of 2010 World Cup villain, Yakubu Aiyegbeni. That really is no way to signpost reconstruction after the heartbreak of Nations Cup qualification failure instigated, incidentally, by player indiscipline. Keshi’s credentials were no doubt polished by taking lowly Togo to the finals of the 2006 World Cup in Germany and picking the reins of the exceptional 2010 Mali squad to the Angola 2010 Nations Cup finals, but just as the legendary libero made a hash of events afterwards, his stewardship of probably Nigeria’s most undisciplined bunch could unravel sooner than later. And no one would say they didn’t see it coming. Yet, judgement cannot be swift. In desperation did the country turn to the man rated behind eventual appointee, Siasia, in the official interview for the same job last year. With friendly matches looming and qualifiers for the South Africa 2013 Nations Cup and Brazil 2014 World Cup finals lurking after Siasia’s spectacular misuse of unprecedented support for the local coach, a quick fix was logical, and Keshi was it. That doesn’t make him the best option available, mind. A systemic search for an appropriate foreign expert is always preferable. The earlier we appraise Keshi’s performance in extension of the Siasia mandate then, the better for us. To Saturday’s international friendly against Botswana in Benin City we must look for our first opinion of the man at work. It is not his first experience at the helm, to be sure, but it is the first as head coach and he now bears full responsibility for results – good or bad. The encounter at the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium will be followed by a testier clash with Zambia three days later in Kaduna. Like it or not, Keshi will have to play with more or less the same First Eleven arranged in succession by Shuiabu Amodu, Lars Lagerback and Siasia. Critics will, therefore, have to hold their fire. The road to South Africa and Brazil will surely provide evidence for measure. As determined by the football federation, qualification for both tournaments and a minimum quarter-final finish are the set milestones to be reached. To ease preparations, the federation released a list of 29 players through its technical committee and has promised ‘200 per cent’ backing for the new coach. With assistants Daniel Amokachi, Sylvanus Okpala and Ike Shorunmu, as well as the impressive remuneration enjoyed by his predecessor, Keshi is expected to rediscover the spirit of old. In the end, whether Keshi avoids the coach-star player tussle that hastened his departure from his most successful stint with Togo from 2004 or the ineffectual handling that characterised his subsequent minding of Mali remains to be seen. With Nigeria, he could be helped by knowledge of the prevailing system just as he could be undone by the power play vortex that rapidly sunk an unwary Siasia. Perhaps still, his cause could be helped by the proposed adoption of a code of conduct just as it could be scuttled by a proposed slash of the $10, 000 win bonus for the Eagles and $5, 000 for a draw. There is, nonetheless, a case to be made for the latter resort. If less-fancied Guinea managed to upstage Nigeria in the race for Gabon/Equatorial Guinea for much less inducement, it may just be time to deemphasise money as the ultimate incentive. In any case, Keshi’s panacea for immediate revival is worthy of consideration. Not exactly original, his suggestion that supporters don green jerseys on match day is quite colourful. It should stimulate patriotism in the players, said the well-travelled Keshi. I am inclined to agree – for now.

A cynic’s goof ABOUT the most amusing posturing to attend the unending circus known as Nigerian football administration was Peterside Idah’s recent angling for a national team coaching appointment. Perhaps to help his cause, the former Super Eagles goalkeeper launched blinding praise of new head coach Stephen Keshi. ‘’He has this aura about him that is unbelievable. People respect him and people fear him,’’ he said of Keshi. But Keshi’s former employers at the Togo and Mali football associations certainly didn’t think so, firing the former Nigeria skipper at critical times. Peterside delivered a more worrisome assessment of national team matters. Reacting to the clearance of England-based duo Shola Ameobi and Victor Moses for Nigeria, Peterside thought the country didn’t need the former because he was 30 and would therefore not contribute meaningfully to the team’s development. I strongly disagree. There are definitely older players in and around the national team, and Peterside should know since he was at a time part of the set-up, however briefly or unspectacularly. Considering the fact that Ameobi was raised in an English football culture based on relative transparency and efficiency, there is every reason to believe that the Newcastle striker’s 30 years is worth nearly 40 locally with rampant cases of age falsification at youth level.


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THE NATION, SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 12, 2011

BACK STAGE

GUS 8: Last leg of the champions’ slot A

FTER what seems like a prolong preliminaries in the eighth edition of the Gulder Ultimate Search reality show; the amplified version of this physically tasking reality TV is gradually getting to the point that one could aptly describe as the beginning of the end. With the last set of 10 contestants being deployed to the Ososo forest last week, and one of them; Ebobi already down there is no doubt that another context within the general competition is the best loser's chance that will be given to one contestant each that had dropped from the three batches.

There is no gain saying that apart from the desperation with which the each loser will want to cash on the opportunity to come back and be listed among the last 10 standing, the tendency that the competition is delving into a more active climax is also evident in the fact that fans and supporters o0f the aspirants will join in the battle, as their vote is what will determine the last candidate to fill in the final slot to complete the ten contestants from which the'Ultimate Hero'will emerge. This year's contestants had entered the Ososo forest

Gyang Sunday is an undergraduate of Ambrose Alli University, Ekpoma, studying Medical Laboratory Science. Sunday is highly determined and has set great expectations for himself. He is 25 years old and hails from Plateau State.

Ebhonhan Lillian Ebhonhan Lillian is an undergraduate of the University of Benin where she is currently studying Political Science and Public Administration. Lilian classifies herself as the Queen of the wild. She is 22 years old and hails from Edo State.

The first to be evicted in the group; Ebobi Chimaobi is an undergraduate of Environmental Health at the Anambra State College of Health Technology. Chimaobin had claimed to be much focused and cautions, just so her opponents don't regard her as a pushover. She is 23 years old and hails from Anambra State.

Okoroafor Ezeoba is a graduate of International Relations from Lead City Ibadan. This season's oldest contender, Ezeogba is very tough and regards himself as the Man of Steel. He is 29 year old and hails from Imo State.

Ekwuru Ulunma Ekwuru Ulunma is an undergraduate of the Lagos State University where she is currently studying History and International Relations. Pretty Ulunma said there is more to her than the smiles and the good looks. She is 26 years old and an indigene of Abia State.

Patience Ihongbe

24 years old Patience Ihongbe is a banker and an Undergraduate of Mass Communication at the Lagos State University. Patience classifies herself as a record breaker, little wonder why she's challenging for the Ultimate Prize. She is from Edo State

Oniovosa Efe Oniovosa Efe is a graduate of the Enugu State University of Science and Technology where he studied Estate Management. Efe is strong and never considers second place as an option. He is 25 years old and hails from Delta State

Is an undergraduate of the University of Jos where he currently studies English education. Eejiro classifies himself as being jungle smart. He is both physically and mentally strong. He is 24 years old and hails from Delta State.

Okoroafor Ezeoba

Ebobi Chimaobi

Gyang Sunday

Eejiro Ejogbamu

in Edo State on Tuesday, September 13, 2011. But like a dramatic irony, the new batch of five young men and women who have been kept away from the TV do not know the challenges that lay ahead of them, until perhaps Ebobi kiss the door. As it is, only three will qualify, while six more will be eliminated. The lucky contestant who will be voted back by viewers will be joining Geraldine Obi, from Batch A, and the yet to be determined best loser from Batch B. A unique feature of this Batch is that it has the oldest and youngest of the contestants this year.

Egone Kesiena Kesiena is a graduate of Production Engineering from the University of Benin. She is a proven athlete and has represented and won medals for teh nation at the international level. she is 25 years old and comes from Delta State.

Alawoki Olanrewaju Alawoki Olanrewaju is 21 years old and a Graduate of Economics and Accounting from Bells University of Science and Technology. Although he is the youngest of all the contestants, he is not intimidated. Olanrewaju is from Oyo State.


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THE NATION, SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 12, 2011

N

O doubt in my mind we all know that rape is the crime of forcing someone to have sex, especially by using violence. Incredibly, the act of rape from a man to a woman is steadily on the increase, research has shown. It is not only a Nigeria thing but a global phenomenon. The British crime survey estimates that 47,000 rapes occur each year, yet sadly, the numbers continue to rise. Back home here in Nigeria, the statistics might not be so accurate. The reason is not far fetched. In this part of the world, the society attaches stigma to a lady who is bold enough to go to court and report a case of rape. Though I am open for correction, but the worst part of the scenario is that some of our men folk put the whole blame on women. Okay, take this; Act one scene one; a man asks a lady out for a drink or two. She turns him down. He becomes persistent, she finally says "yes" why not"? He takes her out; He asks her out again on a lunch date; she says to herself; "oh, he's so sweet; and again why not a harmless lunch date. So they do lunch. Then he goes further, calls her up yet again; asks her out on a dinner date; she thinks to herself: "What's a harmless dinner date; with this "gentleman" "After all, he's been so patient and sweet; then she does a dinner date with him. On her way home; he chaters her a cab and gives her a few thousand of naira for her "recharge card. "Act one, scene two He thinks to himself (believe me, this is the thought of the typical average "Nigerian man") Ah; I have spent a lot on this babe, it is payback time! I have invested, it is time for me to reap from my investment. So he calls her up again and offers an encore of a lunch date. She thinks to herself, "this guy appears sweet and nice, but he is not really my type" So, she turns him down. He sends her ceaseless and countless text messages professing his undying love for her. He meets a brickwall. He intensifies his effort; he vows to himself; I will not lose this babe, I must not lose this babe.(We all know his motive

Dear Vera, I am so stunned at your write up today. Never knew ladies of this worth still exist in Nigeria. Please keep it up and keep at it, one day. The ladies will surely learn. •For reasonably focused men, your title holds and that must be food for thught for both genders. The write-up, excellent

Are all men potential rapists? is certainly not love, it is not even obsession for her, it is simply that rejection of his overtures will not be acceptable to him; not after spending…) So, he continues to woo her; sends her flowers and teddy bears. Her resistance begins to gradually crumble; and then she thinks to herself (this thought process is also typical of some average Nigerian ladies) "this guy has tried; I feel sorry for him, I don't see why I can't be friends with him on a platonic level. Act one, scene three He attempts again to ask her out on a dinner date; this time around he becomes more daring though in a subtle manner; he offers to cook her dinner at his apartment. "I have never cooked for a woman before" he says. So, after a brief thought; she feels; Oh, he is so sweet and generous; I am sure a harmless dinner cannot go wrong." So, she gets dressed up, arms herself with the address he sent to her in box and finds her way to his doorstep, then presses the door bell. Act Two, scene One He opens up the door, obviously delighted that tonight; will be the night that he takes his long awaited… (please, readers, do fill in the blanks) He ushers her in, the room is cozy, everything is in place, the light is dim and romantic; there is candle light on the table, soft music was coming from another corner of the room. and accurate! Focus should always be intelligence, kindness, maturity, understanding in situations and occasional elegance. A man who considers beauty as first attraction will spend his financial life, first and later see the ugliness in the first attraction. Men should be less deceived by only beauty-attraction. Lanre Oseni

He made her comfortable; offers her a glass of red wine; while she is sipping, he dashes to the kitchen, gets the dinner ready. They have dinner; "Hmmm, this is really nice, she complements; and things for a couple of minutes went as planed. After dinner, she offers to help with the dishes, he politely turns her down; deep down he thinks, "don't worry, we are going on to bigger and better things." Act two scene Two He comes out from the kitchen, sits right next to her on the comfortable sofa. His sitting position becomes a little uncomfortable for her, so she moves slightly away; he moves closer, she moves further away, at his third attempt to move closer again she suddenly gets up and announces she is leaving. " Thank you very much, she says, I have had a wonderful time; you are indeed a fine cook; but I would like to take my leave now." He says to her, " why would you want to leave now; the night is still young. At her insistence on leaving, he surprisingly drops his gentlemanly act; and forces her back to the sofa; she attempts to get up; she can't because he is too strong for her, he forces a kiss on her lips; she moves her face away; he holds both her hands behind her. At this point she knows it is the right time to panic, she manages to say "no" "no" to him, her "no" meant "yes" to him. He contin-

ues to fondle her; his hand and mouth begins to go everywhere, her clothes were up, she is scared, she tries to scream but all she can mutter is a quiet "no" she knows he is much stronger than she is; he reaches for her pants, she struggles, he gets angrier and more aggressive by the minute; he tears her under pant. Tears streams down her face, this is a nightmare she thinks. She prays, to wake up. He forcibly enters her, deeper and deeper. It hurts her, she stops struggling knowing that this is a lost battle. It was a long agonizing and worst moment of her life. He gets up, tells her to clean herself up and leave! To him, the monstrous mission is accomplished. She gets up; rushes for the door and ran into the still quiet night to the comfort of her apartment. She takes her bath, still feeling pains all over her body; she quietly climbs into her warm, waiting bed and cried herself to sleep. Days after the rape incident, she has refused to sue him, for fear of being stigmatized by the public and society at large. She still lives with the bitter experience till date. This is not the first evidence I have that suggests that rape might be a crime of opportunity as much as of impulse. According to research; back in the 1970s and early 80s, a number of highly controversial psychological projects sprang up at colleges in the United States, analyzing male atti-

tudes to rape. Half of a group of high-school males, for instance, said they believed it is acceptable "for a guy to hold a girl down and force her to have sexual intercourse "if he found her sexually attractive. In a survey of 7,000 men, conducted by shere Hite, 46 per cent responded in the affirmative to the question, "Have you ever wanted to rape a woman?" Arguably, the most distressing statistics came from a study conducted at the University of California in 1980. A group of men was read a story in which a woman politely refuses a man's offer of a lift home. Enraged by this perceived rejection, the man holds a knife to her throat and proceeds to have full intercourse with her; with the victim protesting wildly throughout the attack. Asked whether they might behave similarly, 17 per cent of respondents said yes, while 51 per cent agreed there was some likelihood that they would but only if they could be sure they would get away with it. The results of this study, and many others like it, is enough to make us ponder on our view on rape, even in this part of the world. What is both interesting and shocking is that the act of rape is not limited to single or people that are not officially a couple. I have recently been told in person that rape is even present in some marriages! Yes, it's true. Act three, scene One. Fidel and Hadiza have been married for eight years. They love each other they have kids

Text messages Re: Beauty attracts…but does not hold •Chidi, thanks for your write up on Beauty today in the Nation. I am impressed and this is just the plain truth. Those girls out there who think they can lure men with their beauty which most times pseudo will

•Lady Evangelist Funmilola Fawa cutting her 40th birthday cake at a reception for her recently

just be used and dumped. They are not suitable for marriage. This accounts for why many marriages break up today. On wrong foundation of beauty personality counts a lot. Its made up of virtues. Natural beauty is admired and not just cosmetic-mended faces, sabretongue or tailor-patched figures of fashion. Good day. Dr. Leke Ojeyemi

•Thanks for your article of November 5. Are women reading you? Mine talks and acts like a sumo wrestler, rebuffing all entreaties to be gentle and soft of voice and attitude. May be because she is biggerframed or lack training. How I keep my balance? Oh, there are others-bigger and smaller in frame who are of pleasant and soothing voices.

•Aye to your final submission’. Personality gets the heart. We as men marry character. A beautiful rude arrogant woman is the ultimate nightmare – bad presenting as good. The virtuous woman is the dream woman. A crown jewel. Aloysius Abuja

•In fairness to beauty and beautiful women, there’s this nerve in a man’s heart that vibrates to this endowment. However, our ladies have allowed beauty to get into their heads, misinterpreting every glare and stare by men. Verily, men are wired by sight but we have loose connections to ‘attitudes professed by beauty. According to Nimonde L Inclos; that which is striking is good is always beautiful”. I think Divinity has a way of sharing attributes unequally, while some have facial beauty, some have beauty tucked in the minds, skirts, lingerie. Seun Osinkolu, Ogbomoso

•I just finished reading your article today but I want you to have a re-think of your article. “You will know in two months”. Myself is a example because I have been in a relationship for the past three years only to discover this year that my girl has been hiding something from me. In short two months is nothing to talk about please. Let’s be talking about years and not month(s). Comrade Fale, Jos

•I agree with you that beauty attracts but seldomly lasts… In your winning article that converted me and my wife as your fans…Everyman has a

and live in a dream home. Theirs is what one would call the ideal home and the ideal family. That is when you look at them from the outside. The problem is, things are not always what they seem. Unknown to many, their marriage had been sexless for over eight months. Act two, scene two Hadiza for over eight months has been punishing Fidel, her husband of eight years for cheating on her with their maid. Through the eight months Fidel will plead almost every night for sex, while the wife will turn the other way, and all were always in place. Then one night, Fidel could not take it anymore; he had done all he could to get his wife to forgive him. He decided enough was enough. Before they had these issues; they were always inseparable, in bed. Act three, scene two This fateful night, Fidel at first attempted to plead to his wife for sex, as she prepare to turn him down again, he did the worst. He forced himself on her, tore her underpants and the rest they say is… yes, history. The good news is this, change is possible. There are a million and one way, to win women without using force. You know women need to be pampered, and loved. No matter how bad or resistant women might be; please remain yourself. Do not allow any woman bring out the worst in you, or turn you to a rapist. Good luck.

(mumu botton) you did address most of the grey issues raised recently. Respect is reciprocal, personality, intelligence, selfconfidence and being socially at ease with a mind of her own and a sense of self value. Any beautiful woman lacking the above is worse than a zombie. I admire and appreciate beautiful women but my heart goes to those with brain especially your tutorial student. O. C. Felix •”Beauty attracts…”was quite amusing in the sense that it was very academic in essence than the real message it was made to portend. You write mostly about ideal situations which unbelievably hardly address the real issues. Today, who in the actual sense is perfect? Successful marriages had gone through various tests, drilling and hurdles that are hinged on tolerance, luck and perseverance. All qualities enumerated by you are mere prerequisites that hardly survive the test of time. We men can be mean at times that our women need God’s grace to forge ahead. Marriage is one of the most risky businesses as involves life-time affairs. Olofinsao Julius Akinloye, Ibadan


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THE NATION, SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 12, 2011

Give ‘tanks’

H

OW’re you all? Hope you enjoyed the Sallah break? I did. My big ram which was given by SUD (Sen. Umaru Dahiru, OON), came with some other goodies and those around me were full of thanks because they ate and ate till they wanted no more. I’m still full of thanks to the gentleman himself, SUD. It is good to give thanks. Just as I thought I had had enough of the goodness of the season, I got a text message from my good friend/brother whom until this week I had known and addressed as Col. Amaechi. The text simply said: I have now been promoted to the rank of Brigadier General. Hurrah!! (Now) Brig.

Luckson Amaechi is the head of Abalti Barracks, Ojuelegba, Lagos . To a layman in military matters, Abalti Barracks is the musical headquarters of the Nigerian Army. Some years ago, Amaechi invited me to the launching of their musical efforts in form of the album, ‘Give Tanks’ -on the jacket of the album was a soldier manning a war tank. Scarry, umh… That was the beauty of it. The welcoming sounds from the album soon took mine, and other minds that listened to the song away from war. It was beautiful!! Now that Luckson Amaechi is now a Brigadier, I hope we shall have more reasons to give thanks and no tanks in Nigeria I pray.

My husband hasn’t made love to me for 3 years Hi sister, please I need your advice. I’m a married woman with four children but I am not a happy woman because my husband will not touch me, the last time we made love was Nov. 2008. Anytime I ask for it he always turns me down, he loves doing it outside but I can’t. I have been trying to erase the idea of making love out of my mind but it’s difficult and I don’t know what to do. I’m only 35 years; he took advantage of my innocence to put me in family way when I was just 22 years only for him to abandon me now and I am so lonely. I can count the number of times he has made love to me in the past 14 years of our marriage. In some religions, the avoidance of sexual intercourse between a man and a woman for more than a period of one month when none of the partners has a life-threatening disease or where none is undergoing a spiritual obligation known to the other party is a clear indication that something is WRONG. Yes, it is normal that as your marriage ‘grows older’ sexuality changes. The kind of intense sexual attraction usually experienced at the onset of your relationship/marriage often changes with time. The giz-giz feeling most people experience with dating and early in our relationship later becomes more familiar and fewer demands for sex. Arguments, anger, worries about bills and other factors contribute to elements that tear couples apart in the bedroom. The more volatile it is, the more we tend to be drawn

away from each other. Interestingly, sex is an important bonding component in marriage, so even when you have problems, a good time with your partner in the bedroom should normally restore your bond. So, marriages that don’t maintain their sexual vitality are very much at risk. Your marriage is at a big risk; I tell you! Even legally, a marriage that has gone on for a year without sex is as good as over. You say you have tried coaxing him to touch you to no avail. That’s a big problem you’ve got there. Have you tried knowing why? Are you the nagging type? Women sometimes get to that state in life that a witch is kinder compared to us. Have you tried to look inwards and tried to see where you may have driven this man out into the hands of other women? It’s never too late to make amends. Others are our mirrors – ask somebody to assess you and see where you might have gone wrong. Most men will not find you attractive even if you wear the best perfume carry the best face and figure but very bad with your mouth and attitude. If on the other hand you have been given the pass mark by people who know you, then it may be your ways in the bedroom. Learn new tricks and let him know you’re ready to practice them. As I always say, girlfriends don’t carry the ‘I’m Tired’ placards, so they tend to have the hearts of the men. If you like, be a hijab-wearing woman or an S.U, that’s for the public. Your man wants to see vibrancy

in the bedroom and he wants you most times to be silly. Do the holyholy for the public and scatter grounds in the bedroom. Most importantly, pray. God can still restore this marriage. Let everybody reading this pray along with you. On a final note, I am ready to travel anywhere you are to see your husband to beg him. I have done that many times for people before. I will do it for you. Before then, get praying, get busy learning new things and start writing him passionate notes. God will touch his heart, amen.

Lost Contacts •Hi Deola, Please kindly help reach out to my classmates still alive (1956 - 1959 set) of Wesley College Ibadan for a re-union. Owoeye (08033306236). •Kindly link me with my friend, Mojeed Busari from Ede . We attended Oyan Gramms, Oyan together between 1972 and I976. Thanks - Rasaq Raji, (08033588302). •Help me. I stayed with the family of Mr. and Mrs. Benson Onyekwuluje some years ago. I lost contact with their granddaughter, Ndudi Precious Onyekuluje, please link me up with her. My is name Udealor Florence Oby. I stay in Abuja , (08068063444). •Link me up with Julilian Emeribe. We were classmates at DVC before she relocated. She reads Hearts with Adeola Agoro regularly. Thank you - Aunty Dede (08024689713).

Hearts With Adeola Agoro E-mail: libranadeola@yahoo.co.uk Tel: 08023162609

Let’s discuss masturbation Hi aunty Adeola, I love your response to situations. I’m a 23-year-old guy with no girl to really hold on to as my girl. Now the problem that whenever I have the urge for sex, I masturbate and feel very ok. Ma, is there a problem with masturbation; medically, religiously and otherwise. Let me say something here; masturbation is condemned publicly by most people as a taboo – the forbidden fruit, yet most of the people who spit at it engage in it in the privacy of their bedroom. Hypocrites! God, the world is full of them. Mine however is not to tell you whether it is good to engage in it or not. It’s your life and if you have to choose between sleeping around and giving yourself comfort without messing around, I’d say the latter is better. I sought for expert advice on the topic and here is what I got for you: •Masturbation is very safe - but not entirely safe. Unlike sex with a partner, masturbation can’t give you a sexually transmitted disease, nor will it subject you to the muscle strains, pokes in the eye, and awkward moments that can come with partner sex. But masturbation safety isn’t guaranteed. “Masturbation is just about the safest sex there is,” says Cornog. Frequent or overly vigorous masturbation can irritate the skin of the penis, as the average guy knows all too well. Less well known is that habitually masturbating face down — for example, by thrusting against a sheet, pillow, or even a carpeted floor — can injure the urethra in such a way that urine exits the penis not in a stream but in a hard-to-control spray. Barbara Bartlik, MD, a psychiatrist and sex therapist in New York City, says she’s seen facedown masturbators with urethral trauma so severe that they are no longer able to use a urinal and must urinate while seated. In certain extremely rare instances, masturbation and partner sex alike can cause penile fracture. This painful condition, actually a tear in the tunica albuginea, the whitish tissue surrounding the penis’s spongy layers occurs when an erect penis strikes a hard object or is forced downward. A medical emergency, it often necessitates surgery. •Solo sex can supercharge your sex life or scuttle it. For various reasons, solo sex can be a real boon to sex with a partner. It helps teach men about their own sexual response — what feels good to them and what doesn’t — so they will be better able to explain to their partners just how they like to be touched. It helps men learn to recognize the ‘moment of inevitability’ just before orgasm and helps teach them how to avoid premature ejaculation. Perhaps most significant, it’s a great coping mechanism for any man whose partner is temporarily unavailable for sex because of absence or illness or has a sex drive that doesn’t quite match his own (something sex therapists call a disparity in frequency preference). Of course, some men become so obsessed with solo sex that they begin to lose interest in having sex with their partner. The resulting hurt feelings and alienation a partner feels can make it hard to sustain the relationship. But experts are quick to point out that masturbation is perfectly OK even for men in a committed relationship. “We cannot assume that just because a man masturbates that there is a problem with his primary relationship,” says Bartlik. •Certain forms of masturbation can lead to sexual dysfunction. Experts warn that men who frequently stimulate themselves in ways that don’t simulate sex with a partner — for example, stroking very rapidly or with great pressure or friction — can develop retarded ejaculation. That’s a type of sexual dysfunction in which it is difficult or even impossible to climax during partnered sex. “Any man experiencing any sexual dysfunction should ask himself if he’s masturbating in ways that produce sensations that differ from those he gets from his partner’s hand, mouth, or vagina,” says Michael A. Perelman, PhD, clinical associate professor of psychiatry, reproductive medicine, and urology at Weill Cornell Medical College in New York City and the president of the Society for Sex Therapy and Research “Then he should consider what he could say to her to make the stimulation more similar and how he could change the way he masturbates to make it feel more similar to what his partner does.”

Can I have a solid relationship without job and shelter? Dear Adeola Agoro good day. How can I go into a solid relationship when I have no job and shelter; though I have responsible female friends around me? -Alex, from Shomolu, Lagos .

•L-R: Recipient, Ambassador for Peace Award, Mr Gbade Olamerun; with him are former Nigerian Ambassador to Ethiopia, Chief Olusegun Olusola and Mrs Olamerun s in Lagos.

They say, ‘A good day is a pay day.’ In other words, if you have a job or a career, you can earn money. If you can earn money, you can buy things you need, pay your bills, have a place to live, and basically do things you want to do. Without money, you can’t do much! Having a job or career makes you feel good. Knowing you can do earn money for your skills is a great feeling. Most girls I know may go into a relationship with a guy who doesn’t have a job, but one who has the potential of getting a good job. With no job and no potential, you will only attract the wrath of the society. Love is no longer blind o. You didn’t say what your qualifications are or what your skills are. If you haven’t got any, remove the thought of girls from your mind. That’s not the next thing for you at all. Concentrate on creating a solid

foundation that will ensure that you will build on to have a successful future. When you have a job or a career, you have self-respect, dignity, and self-worth. You will not only be responsible and taking care of yourself, you will be able to take care of any good girl that finds your heart. I’m sure you don’t want to have a girlfriend who will most often than not witness days when you have to borrow money to pay your bus fare, beg for food to survive or get kicked out when you bring her to where you presently live. Get a job first and get a life, okay!

From You to Me •Sister Adeola, I wasn’t one of your column readers before, but now I am. God will continue to give you good counseling skill thanks Oloyede from Iragbiji. (08076956254). •Dear aunty Adeola, you’re a God-sent angel to our society. You don’t know how many blind eyes you have opened. I love the way you solve people’s problems – 08101894702.


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LIFE

Society Profile

THE NATION, Saturday, NOVEMBER 12, 2011

STYLE Gossip Interviews

41

I wept on the phone when I travelled for 10 days without my husband

—Ace gospel artiste, Tope Alabi SEE PAGES 44 & 45


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THE NATION, SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 12, 2011

Tope Alabi is one of the most popular Yoruba gospel artistes. Apart from singing in churches, both home and abroad, the mother of three is the brains behind 70 per cent of the sound tracks of Yoruba films. In this interview with GBENGA ADERANTI, this diva says singing is just a fraction of what she can do. She also talks about the bad press she has been getting in recent times, among other issues. Excerpts:

‘I wish I could minister in suit trousers’ T

HERE seems to be many negative reports about you in the media, including your rumoured pregnancy, alleged drug pushing and collaboration with D’banj. What is going on? It is not true that I am pregnant. They should not write something about me that is not true. I’m not pregnant. Pregnacy is a good thing that every woman desires. That is if you have not stopped having babies. I am not pregnant. I have three kids already. I don’t know why they should write that I am pregnant. On the cocaine rumour, I have never been to London before. I only visited the United States. Before I went to America, I was supposed to be in London. But the two times they invited me to London, the British High Commission didn’t grant me and my husband visa. So, we stopped processing. Then in 1998, they granted me a visa to the US. That is the only place I have been to. I’ve been to the United States for about four times now. That is all. I also visited Cote D’ Ivoire. Why then do you think the media is always picking on you? I would say it is the glory of God. You know, when you are praying for glory and the glory comes, you will also see the trouble. The trouble of the glory is what I think I’m experiencing. For some time now, I have been sick. So, I have been down, crying every time, not eating very well. I’ve been thinking a lot. And when you think too much, you have high blood pressure. There are so many things happening. I’m just down. I don’t know why people should write what is not true about me. What is this thing about your collaboration with D’banj? This D’ banj of a thing; I think I,ve seen D’banj once in my life. That was when I went to Victoria Island, Lagos. I do go to the prisons for ministration. Any time I go, they release between 80 and 100 prisoners. So, the prisoners want me to be coming all the time. I met Ade Bendel in the prison then. When he was out, he was so happy and said that I should come for a press conference or

•Tope Alabi

whatever. He decided to gather some people together and said we were the people who used to come to the prison before he was released. That was where I met D’banj for the first time. And that should be about two years ago. What is this your prison ministry all about? There are things that happen that are mysteries. When somebody is a thief, it must have started from somewhere. If somebody is a criminal, it started from somewhere. Even as street urchins, it started from somewhere. At times, when you don’t behave the way God wants you to behave, God has a way of bringing you to Him. I discovered that prisoners are the people God really wants. I love going to the prisons to preach and sing to inmates. It is one of my callings. I just want to make them happy. How do you feel when you minister in the prisons? I feel great because that is the only place I would minister without getting paid. I so much love going to prisons and motherless babies’ homes to sing. If you are working and nobody is paying you, you are satisfied that after all, you are getting the reward from God directly. I believe that those people in the prisons are the people God really wants. God wants to change their lives. That is why He took them to the place. When you are in the prison, you are helpless and you don’t have any hope. Assuming you were sentenced to 20 years imprisonment and you believe that is where you will die. But suddenly, somebody preaches to you and Jesus gives you hope. You would want to listen. If a prisoner did not go to jail and you tried to preach to him, probably he would not listen to you. But when they are in prison, they are ready to listen to you. I think it is a good avenue to talk about Christ. When you met Ade Bendel, what was the first thing that came to your mind? I was just happy. Ade Bendel was the first person that invited me to the place. He told one of the warders to call me. He said right inside the prison, he was listening to my album and he wanted me to come. He believed that there was something about me that was good. I was there about five times. The first time, we were told that about 60 prisoners got amnesty. The second time, they released about 100. There was no time I would go and minister in prison that they would not tell us later that some people were pardoned. He now believed in that ministry so much. From there, I started visiting the prisons. I was in Abeokuta Prisons some weeks back, though several appeals were made for the release of prisoners but to no avail. I got information that after my visit, they released some prisoners. They now called and they asked, ‘Is prison your area


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THE NATION, SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 12, 2011

•Tope Alabi with her husband

of calling?’ That any time you visit the prisons, they release people. I said that is how God wants it. What do you think is responsible for the release of prisoners each time you pay visit them? When God is working with you, you know. Even in churches where I minister, they pay me, despite the fact that they pay me, it does not mean that I will not work with the Holy Spirit. Another time they invite me, they would tell me many things that happened. Even when it is time for testimonies, you would see two or three people come out and say when Sister Tope Alabi was ministering, this and that happened.’ How long have you been in this ministry? I’ve been in the music ministry for 12 years. The prison ministry is about six years old. Gospel music is not as profitable as secular music. Why is it like that? I think it is because the world prefers darkness to light. Anything that is associated with God, many hate to be part of it. There are many people who listen to Tope Alabi, yet they still go for secular shows and pay N5,000. If Tope Alabi says they should pay N200 for her concert, they will not come. It will get to a time that they won’t have a choice but to follow Christ. I believe there will be a time they will change to Christ. There is nothing they can do about it. God has His own way of planning things. You and your husband appear to bond very well. Does that mean the two of you don’t quarrel? We hardly quarrel. He was my friend for six years before we got married. We got married 11 years ago. We were friends, we never talked about dating. We would go to the studio and he would do my job for me. I never called him to say hi or I just want to say hello. But about the seventh year, he proposed to me and I said okay, let me go and think about it. He was my friend before we came together. He is like a brother to me and I’m like a sister to him. We hardly quarrel. The only time we quarrel is on the stage, because he knows so much about music, and when you do nonsense on stage, he doesn’t like it. He gives you signs immediately, not minding if church members are looking at you or not. And how long does it take you to resolve this? May be five minutes after ministration. The good thing about him is that he doesn’t like me saying I don’t like something all the time. And I don’t like him complaining about a thing all the time. I don’t like to lose my friend. And he is my friend. I never see him as my husband, and there is nothing like love papparazi. It is just on cordial relationship. He is a friend. Does he sometimes feel threatened by

your star status? There is nothing like that. He is the one making the band. There is nothing like feeling threatened. But unlike you, he is hardly known... Ah! When they invite us to a programme, they know him. They introduce him before they introduce me. If they don’t want to do that, I pick the microphone immediately and introduce him. Almost all the churches know him now. Have you ever travelled without him? Yes. I went to the US. I spent only 10 days in the US and I called him more than 25 times. The first day I called him, I told him that I could not cope. I asked him why he sent me to the US when he knew I could not cope. He said he didn’t know that I would not be able to cope. He told me to wait till my visa expired. I started crying on the phone. Though he goes out alone and I go out alone too. At times, I do take buses. I go on BRT. How do people normally react to you inside the BRT busses? Most of them don’t believe that it is Tope Alabi. Each time they see me, they say this face looks familiar’ and I would ask them ‘where?’ They don’t believe that I can take the BRT. At times, they will start arguing among themselves. They will even be abusing themselves. What do you do when you are not singing? At times, I go to Canaanland. I go there to sleep for three or five days. Why can’t you rest at home? I have some ‘ECOMOG soldiers’ (children) in my house. There is no way you can relax in that house. These are children I have not been seeing in two or three weeks. They will want to stay with me, especially my last born. What is that fashion item you can’t do without? (Long pause) I can’t do without making my hair. I’m sick now. I told my stylist to come here. I don’t like leaving my hair untidy. What is your favourite colour? Pitch. Are you one of the people who believe in labels? I use Gucci wrist watch and my perfume is Channel. Do you have a designer who designs what you wear? I’m a designer myself. My father was a tailor. I design for my husband and myself. I draw everything. I can sew. But I don’t have a machine at home. One thing about artistes is that they find it difficult to manage their homes. How have you been coping? It is not that difficult. The only thing is that you need to train your children in the way of the Lord. If you know you are the type who doesn’t stay at home all the time, train them. Let them know that it was Jesus that brought them into planet earth and He is the only one that can take care of them. So, when you wake up in the morning, pray. If you want to eat your food, pray. If you want to sleep in the

night, pray. They will know everything. If you go for a week, you will know that your children are in good hands. They understand the kind of job you do and they know Christ. They won’t give you problems. It is not difficult. Why it is so difficult for so many people is because instead of explaining to them well, they would want the children to believe that the parents are working for them. For me, I find time to assist my children in their home works anytime I’m at home. If you don’t do this, there is the tendency for them to be rebellious. That is why some people say it is the children of men of God that misbehave. They won’t misbehave if you train them very well. What is that thing you desire but seems difficult to accomplish? I have been wearing trousers for the past 25 years now. I would have loved it if Christians are allowed to wear suit trousers to minister, even in our videos. I don’t do it, because I don’t want people who we’re bringing to Christ to derail. You know that there are some Christians whose doctrine is against that. I would have loved to put on neck lace during ministration, but when I’m outside or during ministration, you don’t see this on my neck. It is not because I want to show people that I’m a saint; it is just because of the new converts. That is why I cover my hair when I minister. But when I ‘m not going for ministration, I use my necklace. When did you begin to get negative publicity? It started when we released Amazing Grace. That was in November 2009. Then, they didn’t write anything. They started sending text messages to my husband’s phone, saying, ‘You are going to hell. We saw you, you opened your hair.’ ‘You are now beautiful. You were not as beautiful as this before.’ And I asked ‘Is

there anything wrong with making yourself beautiful?’ That was when I started experiencing it. The second one was when Erelu said I was not of God. I cried. Why is it that you have not been able to do anything about the Erelu woman? We have so many things to do for God. Besides, it is very glaring that she has been lying. We don’t have to be talking about that. How will you describe your husband? My husband is my father. She is my younger brother. She is my lover. You talked about babies. When are we expecting another one? When God says I should have another baby. I have two biological and one adopted children. Apart from gospel music, what else do you do? I do sound track for Yoruba movies. I do jingles. I get peanuts for the sound tracks in movies. I do it because I enjoy doing it. When your faith comes in conflict with your job, how do you resolve it? It cannot happen. That is why I stopped getting stories to do sound tracks on the phone. Before, they would tell me the story on the phone and I would do the sound track, and it would be perfect. They know I’m smart and I will get it. They would not tell me that it was fetish. Now, anybody who wants me to do sound track for any movie, I tell them, ‘Bring the film, let me see.’ I have returned seven films now. I didn’t do the sound tracks because they were not talking about God. If you can’t finish your story and tell us these and these are not good and you are telling us that what is bad is good, I will not do the sound track. What next should your fans be expecting? Angeli Mi video is ready. The next album is also ready. Agbelebu is coming out next year.


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THE NATION, SATURDAY NOVEMBER 12, 2011

B

E fascinated by this season’s new animal prints-python prints! It is is the new leopard prints exciting the fashion industry. It adds a bit of glamour to a simple look and adds texture to any outfit in a more subtle way. Just remember this number one rule for pulling off this trend. Never mix two or three animal prints as accessories together.

•Tiwa Savage •Black python belt by Fashion Addict

•Snakeskin bangle bracelets by UO •Python black printer tights by Foot Traffic •IB Agwu

•Python print silk dress by Lanvin

•Natural snake print handbag by Prada

•Gray python vamp pumps by Christian Louboutin


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THE NATION, SATURDAY NOVEMBER 12, 2011

I

N a multitude of styles, fabrics and hues, whether seriously romantic or loaded with attitude, there is a variety to choose from. Lace has definitely come to stay and it’s a fashion musthave. Whatever your mood, be it romantic, sensual, western, street punk or pop, there is a lace look to fit it.

•Ifeoma Williams •Chief Nike Akande

•Model

•Temi Binitie

Tom Ford to dress Daniel Craig in new James Bond’s movie And lots of attractive women will no doubt be undressing Daniel Craig in the movie, as is the James Bond tradition. At Craig’s request, Tom Ford will provide all of Bond’s wardrobe for the new film, Skyfall, just as he did for Quantum of Solace. The Telegraph reports that all garments will be handmade in Italy because a spy deserves nothing less.

•Carol Adeneye

Candice Swanepoel says being a Victoria’s secret angel makes it ‘harder to date’ Candice Swanepoel is not single, which is a great relief because all the guys who hit on her are douche bags, she says. “I think it’s harder to date as an angel because when people meet us it’s hard to look past our job, what we look like. “They are always trying to impress you, you know, like ‘come to my mansion blah blah blah,’ as opposed to the guys who hit on us non-angels, who are douche bags without mansions.”


DIALOGUE

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THE NATION, SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 12, 2011

Aliyu at 56: Life with the ‘Chief Servant’ Chief H servant, to me, OW do I begin to describe this man who fortuitous circumstances have brought me to share my destiny with? Dr. Mu’azu Babangida Aliyu, the powerful governor of the Power State means many things to many people. I do not see a saint, but I can attest to the fact that the Talban Minna does not dine with the devil. In fact, he keeps the devil a million miles away. When a few weeks ago I remembered he would turn 56 today, I went nostalgic. I recall I was nonplussed when he called me on June 2, 2011 and told me he had appointed me to serve as his Chief Press Secretary. Without prior notice, he asked me to head for the Executive Chamber of the Government House where arrangements had been concluded to swear me into office. That was the beginning of the second journey with the state’s chief executive, who prefers to be called the chief servant of his people.I joined the team in November 2008 as Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, in the wake of a political rivalry between the Governor and a section of the political elites in the state. My assignment was simple— to establish a robust relationship between the state government and media outfits across the country. I did my best. Working with the Chief Servant in the last three years has been rewarding. His fast pace has helped me to reassess myself. Aliyu has proved to be an intellectual bureaucrat with a bias for excellence and a phobia for failure. He wants today’s assignment done as if one started it months ago. From his inauguration on May 29, 2007, Governor Mu’azu Babangida Aliyu showed a keen desire to make an impression on the state as a prudent, conscientious and re-

I

T is challenging for me to write about my father, Hilary Nmerengwa Isiguzo, in the past. It is more frustrating still not feeling that he is dead. I returned to the house after his passing, at 82, expecting a surge of emotions that would have pressed the message home – there was none. These have to do with the type of father he was than any detachment from him. He prepared us for the future, he trained us, mostly relying on resources that were not immediately within his reach. He sacrificed for us, suffering humiliation for the sake of his children. He endeared himself to us with his sense of service. He protected us at times we never knew we were in danger. Life for him was about his family which he led with incredible examples of selflessness and the larger human community that watched a simple man who simply got things done, a man who stood by his word, at great risks to him. My best memories of papa are those of a disciplinarian who rewarded hard work and academic excellence. It was in pursuit of these that he made some of his greatest sacrifices for

best describes the job of an elected leader who derives his powers exclusively from the mandate of the electorate…. leadership should be and reflect humility and ability to render services to the people in the most dignified and accountable manner

,

•Aliyu

Danladi NDAYEBO sponsive leader. As a good manager of resources, he has placed a very high premium on accountability and judicious application of funds. And as an administrator, the chief servant has displayed an unparalleled level of competence, sensitivity and responsiveness never before experienced in the state. Governor Babangida Aliyu is an accomplished bureaucrat who understands the rules of public order. He went into the governorship

contest with a clear understanding of the plights of the people, and what was needed to reverse the prevalence of poverty and underdevelopment ravaging the state. He would not pander to the wishes and desires of a few who would want to take undue advantage of their closeness to power.He provided an insight into how he intended to govern the state when he assumed the official title of “Chief Servant” instead of the more flamboyant title of “His Excellency.” His reasons were both inspiring and logical. His words then:

“Chief Servant, to me, best describes the job of an elected leader who derives his powers exclusively from the mandate of the electorate….leadership should be and reflect humility and ability to render services to the people in the most dignified and accountable manner.” The Chief Servant has in the last four and a half years left development imprints that are difficult to ignore. His chosen areas of priority, namely education, health, agriculture, infrastructural development and social security have seen progressive achievements. His accomplishments have been attributed largely to prudent

Father, friend, ‘fender’ Ikeddy ISIGUZO

his children, starting with his return to Mobil in 1974. Before the war, he had been Depot Manager in Enugu, Makurdi, Jos, Zaria, Kano, and had other roles in Apapa and Port Harcourt. He had bought a car; he had built his first house by 1963, installing showers in it. In 1974, he made one of the biggest sacrifices of his life returning to Mobil as a casual labourer in order to fend for his children. He stacked drums at the facility in Apapa for four years before he was returned to the staff list, to serve under his juniors. He took it all in his strides. The clarity of his thoughts flowed through his speech. When he wrote, the cursive was a delight. I cannot forget waiting for his letters, while in school, for the advice they bore and his goodness that each word radiated. A former teacher, he was strict, so strict that I never knew he was acting for our good. I am immensely proud of papa.

•Late Hilary Isiguzo

I could not have had a better father. He led me through life, watching every step. He supported me. When I went to the seminary against his advice, he let me be. Only a year in the seminary, I told him I was leaving,

he ignored me for a while, then advised that I concluded me education there, an advice that served me well. At 17, I decided to be a journalist. He was the one who through Engineer Awojobi in Mobil, got me a note that I took to Mr. Sola Odunfa, who employed me at The Punch a year after. He bought me a portable typewriter for my work and even a pair of sunshades when he noticed that my work entailed being outdoors. He read anything I wrote and told everyone about his son, the journalist. Papa offered everyone respect and courtesy. Though my mails came through his office, he opened only two of my letters and apologised – the first was my GCE result and the other my admission letter to IMT. On both occasions, he explained that he could not contain his excitement at knowing the content of the letters. He rewarded me – a leather suitcase for the GCE result and an air ticket to Enugu, the first time I travelled by air. All his children have instances of his kindnesses, peculiar to each child and each

and judicious application of funds, visionary planning and consistency in policy implementation. As a politician of prodigious hue, Aliyu has demystified power and the act of governance. He has introduced initiatives that are novel in the history of political leadership in Nigeria. An instant revelation is the Ward Development Projects which ensure that development reaches the grassroots. The Ward Development Projects, which ensures that each of the 274 wards in the state receives N1m monthly, is a huge success story. Under the initiative, each ward takes full responsibility for proposing to the state government development projects that the ward consultative forum feels deserves priority attention. The implementation of projects is carried out by the people, who participate fully at all levels. The Jama’a Forum, a meet-thepeople-tour, initiated and embarked upon by Governor Aliyu to meet and interact with the people one on one in their communities and villages, has not only gained significant support but has served as an instrument through which the governor relates directly with the common man. The tour is aimed at getting to know the people, their areas of need and how to address their problems as well as giving the people an opportunity to interact freely with their governor on issues that bother them. After learning the ropes in Abuja where he rose to become a permanent secretary in the Federal Civil Service, I have no doubt that Dr Mu’azu Aliyu would return to the nation’s capital to teach his teachers. Happy Birthday Sir. •Ndayebo is the Chief Press Secretary to Governor Mu’azu Babangida Aliyu. circumstance. He celebrated us. Papa never preached, the message was in his own life, which was an admixture of challenging circumstances. He had his stock of setbacks, but he kept walking with his head high. He married his first wife, Patricia Nwanyeze (nee Orji), my mother, in 1956; she died in 1962. He married Eunice (nee Nkoro) in 1963; she died in 1998. Four years later, he married Rosemary Uloma (nee Onyerionwu) with whom he lived until he died. I would like to use this opportunity to thank our mother, Rosemary, for the exceptional care she provided for papa. I think she was part of God’s way of rewarding papa for his care for people. Papa is gone. We will live with memories of a man so organised, so thoughtful, so caring, who would never tell anyone of a good he did to another. I will miss him and I know anyone who knew him would too. His life calls for celebration, which is why I am not crying. •Isiguzo, Chairman Editorial Board, Vanguard, wrote this tribute to his father who will be buried in his native Umuokegwu in Abia State next Friday


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THE NATION, SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 12, 2011

•Nigeria’s stand at the WTM

‘We ‘ll make Nigeria destination of choice ’ T

HE world met once again in Custom House, ExCel, London to discuss and engage in tourism business. As it has become the trend in all major tourism fairs, Nigeria’s stand was among the outstanding ones in Africa’s section of the fair. It had a dorminant one-storey stand skilfully constructed with an open sitting position that gave one a view of the whole pavilion. The stand had a predominance of the nation’s greenwhite-green with a huge square shaped banner, welcoming visitors to Nigeria and also proclaiming “Tourism is Life”. Once again, the aesthetic masterpiece that Nigeria had on offering at the World Travel Market 20011 (WTM) paid off as there was a steady stream of visitors to the stand to make enquiries and generally collecting information on Nigeria. Speaking on the agressive efforts of the Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation (NTDC) in its drive to position the country for both business and leisure tourism, the NTDC boss, Otunba Olusegun Runsewe, said Nigeria would soon be the tourism destination in Africa. Runsewe said the high volume

of tourists to Nigeria’s pavilion attest to this. He said Nigeria pavilion was constructed as a storey building and painted in the country’s colours to reinstate Nigeria’s commitment to the sector. Runsewe said the storey building had attracted hundreds of other exhibitors and visitors to the pavilion in the Africa Hall. He said the pavilion, decorated with Nigerian historical monuments, tourism attractions, arts and craft and investment attractions, had recorded more visitors than the previous exhibitions. According to him, Nigeria, in the last few years, has made a steady progress that must be consolidated upon and Nigeria has put efforts in place to achieve this target. “Nigeria is participating at the exhibition to benefit maximally from the global market tourism share. “If you may recall, the United Nations World Tourism (UNWTO) says that Africa is recording a steady tourism growth. “So, Nigeria will not be at the rear and watch other countries maximise their tourism potential to boost their economic growth. “We want to position Nigeria to be the most preferred tourism destination in Africa. “Nigeria has a very rich tourism potential such as the diverse cultural heritage, beaches, monumental arts

and crafts, festivals, among others,” Runsewe said. Meanwhile, the WTM 2011 was not just about wooing tourists to different countries, the UNWTO also met to discuss global tourism. Many industry practitioners hived a sigh of relief as the tourism statistics of 2011 so far revealed a steady growth of the industry. “Our industry (travel and

tourism) is in good health,” said an elated Secretary General of the UNWTO, Taleb Rifai, while giving a report on the state of the travel and tourism industry and its performance for the months between January and August 2011. Rifai further said the industry had continued to record steady growth and improvement despite the difficulties and challenges it faced with the performance of the first eight months of the year put at 4.5 per cent

•NTDC staff attending to visitors at Nigeria’s stand

with the advanced economies (Europe) recording a surprising growth rate of plus six per cent (+6). According to the report, the 4.5 per cent translates 671 million international tourists arrival in eight months. That is 29 million more than the record of 2010 for the same period. Meanwhile, the record is expected to hit the one Continued on Page 50


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THE NATION, SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 12, 2011 report as the SLIMMA region made of Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Malaysia, Mexico and Argentina. ‘‘Despite the current volatility, international tourism is proving to be an important economic driver for many European economies, bringing much needed foreign exchange and helping to ease the pressure on their balance of payments,’’ he said. The tourism exhibition, which is an annual event, was attended by more than 152 countries. Other African countries at the event were Kenya, The Gambia, Morocco, South Africa, Mauritius, Namibia, Egypt, South Africa,Ghana, among others.

•L-R: Chief Samuel Alabi, President, FTAN; Otunba Segun Runsewe, DG, NTDC; and Charles Burman, MD,Digital Publications, at the launch of the Nigeria Online Tourism Destination at the WTM

•L-R: Chief Kanayo Oko, Director of Finance, NTDC; Mary Okiemute Oghobase, MD, Tourism and Hospitality; and James Dummer, President, Luxury Cultural Tourism, UK.

•L-R Ikechi Uko, publisher, ATQ; a guest; Dr. Charity Iriobe; and Mr. Nkereuwen Onung, President, NATOP, at the WTM

‘We ‘ll make Nigeria destination of choice ’ Continued from Page 49

billion mark in 2012 while in the decade beginning from 2013, international travel figure is projected to reach 1.8 billion figures. Europe, in the words of Rifai, posted a surprise performance, recording a growth rate of plus six per cent, while the emerging economies, which in the last couple of years, maintained top range performance trail Europe with four per cent. Travel peaked in Europe during the months of summer with July recording 118 million, while August recorded 112 million making Europe the highest performing region for the summer period. The Middle East and North Africa regions, he said, suffered casualties as their performances were not too impressive, while the outbound countries in the words of Rifai remain healthy with China recording three per cent growth, which he said was very impressive. Despite this positive result, Rifai said the trend was expected to reverse in the years ahead with the emerging economies,

claiming back its leading position. The UNWTO scribe insisted that the emerging economies, especially those of the BRICS region, which consist of Brazil, Russian, China and South Africa, would be the bride of international travel as they would continue to attract huge traffic, while also the attention of the travel world would be focused on another emerging region which was described in the WTM/UNWTO industry

Kehinde FALODE: 08023689894

Isi Ewu

This dish is so unusually delicious and is only complete, if you have eaten the major parts of the goat head. It is seasoned with utazi leaf and ehuru seeds which give it the distinct flavour and taste. Ingredients •1 goat head •Onions (optional) •Fresh pepper •½ tsp ewuru •Oil bean (ubaka) •Crayfish •½ tsp ground potash •Utashi leaf •Seasoning cubes •Salt •Palm oil

Preparation •Cut the goat head into pieces. Season properly and cook till the meat is soft and you are left with a very little, but rich stock. Add ugba, mix together and set it aside. •Pour red oil into a clean pot, dissolve potash in water and add it to the oil.We add the potash to thicken the oil. Add grinded crayfish to the oil you have thicken with potash. •Mix the crayfish with the oil very well; add fresh pepper, onions , seasonings and salt to taste. •Mix it together and add grinded ewuru (spice). Mix the prepared condiment with the boiled goat head and stir. Stir together very well and add utashi leaf in order to give it bitter taste. Take note: If you want isi ewu to last for hours, do not add onions to it.

Nutritional benefits of palm oil Since its discovery in the forest in the 19th century in Malaysia, palm oil has been commercially utilized in culinary and cosmetic applications. The nutritional value of palm oil offers mixed blessings in the form of potent antioxidants and saturated fat. Like other edible fats and oils, palm oil is easily digested, absorbed and utilized for support of healthy growth. Fats serve distinct roles in the diet and in the body. In the diet, fats provide essential fatty acids and energy and are a carrier for the fat soluble vitamins. Those vitamins are A, D, K and E. In the body, the functions for fat include energy reserve, thermal insulation, organ protection, tissue membrane structure and cell metabolism. Below are some tips: •Palm oil is a source of Vitamin E. The principal role of Vitamin E in the body appears to be as an anti-oxidant. It prevents oxidation of unsaturated fatty acids, phospholipids and Vitamin A. It may also help maintain cell membrane stability and be essential for normal neurological function. Vitamin E is present in all tissues. It is stored primarily in muscles and adipose tissue. Due to Vitamin E role as an anti-oxidant, research has investigated its possible link to the prevention of cancer. The eight antioxidants found in vitamin E help to prevent heart disease and cancer. According to the Linus Pauling Institute, the pitfall of vitamin E is that once it takes out a free radical, its antioxidant power is neutralized. •It gives vitamin K which is very important to the body. Without vitamin K, the slightest cut on your skin would cause massive blood loss from the body. Vitamin K enables blood clotting which helps to seal off wounds from the inside and keep blood flowing throughout the body where it is needed. According to the National Institute of Health, NIH, deficiencies in vitamin K often have symptoms of easy bruising, bleeding and a resistance to antibiotics. •The small amount of Omega 3 fatty acids found in palm oil can go a long way toward helping your brain function at full throttle. According to

the University of Maryland Medical Centre, researchers have found that, by reducing inflammation, Omega-3 fatty acids can reduce the risk of developing heart disease, cancer and arthritis. Omega-3 is highly concentrated in the brain where it aids memory, cognitive and behavioural functions. Also called polyunsaturated fatty acids, Omega-3 represents the smallest variety of fat in palm oil. •The rich amber hues of palm oil are called carotenoids by scientists and are a good indication of its antioxidant properties, or disease-fighting capability. The American Palm Oil Council credits beta-carotene, a derivative of Vitamin A, as palm oil’s main carotenoid antioxidant. Beta-carotene works to boost the immune system and protect the body from developing diseases caused by cellular damage. Beta-carotene is found in the pigment of palm oil; as a fat-soluble nutrient, its potent healing abilities are enhanced by the presence of healthy fats in palm oil.


THE NATION, SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 12, 2011

Cross River set to develop tourism sites

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HE Cross River State government is set to di versify and develop its tourism assets that are outside Calabar, the state capital. According to the managing director of the Cross River StateTourism Development Bureau, Mr. Micheal D. Willaims, the state has been zoned into three tourism districts. The aim is to develop the current tourism sites in these districts into destinations that can be accessed by tourists on tour of the state. He said due to the size of the state and the state of the infrastructure, it will be impossible for tourists to fully visit tourism sites in the state, but dividing the state into zones, tourists could go on a tour of these sites zone by zone, making it easier and less stressful for the tourists. The zones are‘ Calabar, Ikom or Obudu. Visitors can begin with the historic city of Calabar which includes Akamkpa and Oban; move to the second hub in Ikom, with surrounds,including Agbokim Falls and the Cameroon border; and finally arriving at Obudu, including the famous Obudu Mountain Resort and the Canopy Walkway at Buanchor. He added that tourists can easily spend two nights in each location without much stress on the road. Mr. Williams said eco-tourism is being encouraged, especially with the communitybased tourism initiative of the Bureau, but that poverty is a

Cross River tourism team in Akwaaba 2011 major bane of eco-tourism. A new behavioural change campaign is needed aimed at encouraging poor communities to practise sustainable consumption of bush meat and firewood, while exploring new opportunities for employment and income generation through tourism. Responding to questions on the state of the roads in Cross State, he said the state of the Calabar-Ikom-Obudu highway is due to neglect by the Federal Government and that the Governor had recently implored the Federal Ministry of Works’ representative in the state to address the matter. He added: “Despite the

challenges with federal infrastructure, our momentum must be sustained in developing our tourism. If we continue to move ahead, I believe that the government will find it harder to ignore our plight.” Mr Nkereuwem Onung, Chairman, Remlords Travels and Tours, talked on concerns about Tinapa Business Resort and explained that the Tinapa Lakeside Hotel was being adapted for leisure visitors and that a world-class international conference centre was to be located across Tinapa Lake, as well as other developments that will re-position the resort and bring retailers in to enhance the shopping experience. Williams also talked also

about the Calabar Festival month that will kick off next month, saying that this year’s Calabar Festival has been uniquely packaged to re-ignite the spirit of the festival with special weekend events planned for every Saturday and Sunday, with four major gospel nights on each separate Sunday during the festival. Popular international gospel artistes such as Ron Kennoly, Mary Mary and Chevelle Franklin are billed to perform. It would be recalled that Cross River continued in its dominance of the tourism industry in Nigeria by winning Best Tourism State in Nigeria’ at the 7th edition of African Travel Market (Akwaaba 2011) last month.

City Café begins operationC

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new high class expan sive restaurant, City Café, has opened on the ground floor of Mulliner Towers, former NNPC building, Kingsway Road, Ikoyi, Lagos. At the head of this new experience in culinary and wine adventure is the immediate past Lagos State Commissioner for Tourism and Inter-governmental Affairs. The café is coming with a breath of fresh air in its innovative concept of culinary offering for guests and service delivery. In addition, the restaurant serves both local and continental dishes. The facility features not just a restaurant, but a hang-out with a cozy ambience. The location at the ground floor of the Milliner Towers gives one both comfort and a certain level of privacy.

City Cafe is a luxuriously appointed Restaurant and Cafe Bar Franchise – the only eatery and watering hole in Mulliner Towers – and we are now officially open with full panoply of services. The Cafe has a delightfully spacious sky-lit ambiance that would impress guests. It is the ideal venue for breakfast meetings and business lunches. Also, fine wines and premium spirits are also on offer. According the CEO, Senator Afikuyomi, the group has an adjacent franchise, Michelangelo – The wine Shop. According to him, inhouse cocktails are uniquely Lagos; they celebrate Lagos heritage through nomenclature, with names like Point of No Return, Five Cowry

•Eko swimming pool

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Kioupouroglou, the additional rooms will come onboard in the third quarter of next year. When the additions come on board next, the hotel will have a total of 834 rooms.

RAVELLERS will benefit from a new level of customer service thanks to thousands of iPads being issued to the airline’s senior cabin crew from next week. The move comes after a highly successful trial, involving 100 senior crewmembers, who are responsible for delivering service to customers onboard the airline’s 226 aircraft. Specially developed software and apps enable cabin crew to tap into data giving them customer preferences and their previous travel arrangements, allowing them to offer a uniquely personalised service. The three month-long trial has been judged such a fly away success that British Airways has given the go-ahead for the specially equipped iPad 2 to be issued to 2,000 senior cabin crew across the entire British Airways long and shorthaul fleet. Frank van der Post, British Airways’ managing director, brands and customer experience, said: “The possibilities for future development of the iPad are endless, and this is only the beginning. Once the roll-out has been completed, our crew worldwide will be able to offer a premium and more thoughtful onboard service to customers in every cabin. Bill Francis, British Airways’ head of inflight customer experience, added: “The benefit of the iPads has been felt right from the beginning, with fantastic feedback from both customers and cabin crew alike. “The iPads provide real-time insight into our customers’ preferences across a whole range of areas, from special meal requests to onward travel plans enabling us to deliver a truly bespoke service.” The iPad discreetly replaces long cumbersome scrolls of paper, which are normally handed to cabin crew, listing up to 337 customers, just before the doors close and the aircraft departs. Instead, the iPad, equipped with British Airways-developed apps, is simply refreshed just before departure using 3G technology, to provide cabin crew with an up-to-the-minute passenger and preference list. This means any customer service issues which arise in the air, can immediately be followed up by ground-based colleagues as soon as the aircraft lands and the iPad reconnects to the network. The iPad also shows cabin crew where each customer is seated, who they are travelling with, their Executive Club status and any special meal requests. In addition, it also gives them a vast library of information at their fingertips including timetables, safety manuals and customer service updates. Destination guides to are also being loaded on to the iPads so cabin crew can provide customers with the latest information about key cities served by British Airways. iPads used by pursers onboard the British Airways business class-only service between London City Airport and New York’s JFK, can also get live updates throughout the flight, thanks to the services’ unique OnAir.

SUDOKU 1ST STEP IN SOLVING PUZZLE 351: Look at the 3 bottom horizontal (GHI) 3x3 boxes. The right box has 2 in cel Ig, while the middle box has its 2 in cell He. The left box must, therefore, have its own 2 in row G, where there is only one vacant space - cell Gc Reasoning along these lines, try and fill in the other vacant cellss •Sport Cafe Creek, Third Mainland Bridge, Badagry Coconut Exotic and National Theatre. City Cafe Bar and Restaurant also offers you free internet WIFI access as long as you wish. Sports lovers would equally have something to

cheer. The café has live telecast of Tennis Grand Slams, world boxing, ICC Cricket, IRB Rugby, Spanish La Liga, Italian Serie A, French Football League, Bundesliga, Barclays Premier League, Champions League and others.

Eko Hotel to upgrade facilities

KO Hotel and Suites will next year add 180 rooms to its existing facilities, making it the biggest hotel in Nigeria. According to the hotel’s director of marketing,Mr Danny

51 BA equips staff with iPads

In addition, the hotel has recently refurbished and redesigned its swimming pool and the swimming pool area. The swimming has been refurbished and refitted with new tiles, leaving the pool looking new. The swimming pool deco looks more inviting and generally pleasant. Mr. Kioupouroglou, spoke on the innovation: “We realized at some point that our swimming pool needed to be upgraded. So, that was what we tried to do this year. We put the swimming pool bank in shape. We renovated the restaurant, that is Sport Café, before that. We started last year August and we finished in December and then we went to the restaurant by the swimming pool. We renovated that and we opened in April. After that, we did the

swimming pool and we opened in July. “We changed the concept of the restaurant. We added the swimming bar, the slight, new tiling, new beds, new recreation facilities and many more. “You have to up your game in the face of increasing competition. You have to be abreast of the competition, so that is what we are doing. We try to increase and provide facilities that are not available in other places so that people will continue to patronize Eko Hotel. Now we are going to Ocean View Complex and we are going to do a complete renovation there. We are going to upgrade the place. We are going to create an entertainment park there. There are surely a lot of activities that we are embarking on.”

SOLUTION TOMORROW. HAPPY PUZZLING!


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THE NATION, SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 12, 2011

Marriage in three realms (2)!

EAR Reader, It is a good day! You are blessed in Jesus’ name. I have shared with you what marriage is, and what the key of agreement and understanding will do in sustaining the Christian home. Marriage in three realms according to God’s design, is to involve the spirit, soul and body, so that the blessings marriage carry are expected to affect them. This week, I shall be teaching on the Spiritual Advantage of marriage. As part of God’s agenda for the married couple, He expects them to become spiritually stronger than when they were both single. Two of them brought together in

Thus, when a man and his wife agree, there is tremendous power released and if they disagree, their prayers are hindered (I Peter 3:7). For example, if a couple believing God for the fruit of the womb stand in agreement, without giving room to doubt, God is compelled to grant their request. ii. Companionship! Another characteristic of the spiritual phase of marriage is companionship. God’s Word says: Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend (Proverbs 27:17). There’s no way two pieces of iron can sharpen each other without coming together in contact. Consequently, this provision only works when two people are united as a couple. Husband and wife enjoy greater light, when they put heads together to make decision affecting their family. Imagine what would have happened to the tower of Babel, if everyone had opposed each other’s idea while building, they might still have been there arguing till today! Therefore, this spiritual principle of agreement needs to be applied by couples to see their

dreams come true. iii. Divine Favour! Another characteristic of spiritual phase of marriage is divine favour. Once this favour is present, it is irreversible. That’s why God’s Word says: Whoso findeth a wife findeth a good thing, and obtaineth favour of the Lord (Proverbs 18:22). This kind of divine favour elevates couples to such great heights that even men are compelled to favour them. Marriage then becomes desirous, which is what it should be. This favour also secures for you a lifting and promotion in status, frequently happening in an increase in material possessions, finances, etc. iv. Divine Security! Ecclesiastes 4:12 says: …If one prevail against him, two shall withstand him; and a threefold cord is not quickly broken. That is, God, the husband and the wife form a three-fold cord that is not quickly broken. Therefore, as man combines forces with God and establishes God’s purpose for marriage in their home, God honours that

home by ensuring that nothing prevails against it. I see God fortifying and equipping your home to withstand demonic forces and the pressures of the secular world in Jesus’ name. Being born again is the only SURE way to exhibiting spiritual phase of marriage. It entails saying, “No” to the world and saying, “Yes” to God. If you are set for this awesome experience, say this prayer of faith: Dear Lord, I come to You today. I am a sinner. Forgive me my sins. Cleanse me with Your precious Blood. I accept You as my Lord and Saviour. Now I know I am born again! Congratulations! Call or write, and share your testimonies with me through: E-mail: faithdavid@yahoo.com Tel. No: 234-1-7747546-8; 07026385437, 07094254102. For more insight, these books authored by me are available at the Dominion Bookstores in all the Living Faith Churches and other leading Christian bookstores: Making Marriage Work, Marriage Covenant and Building A Successful Family.

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warfare against the devil, will cause ten thousand devils to flee as seen in Deuteronomy 32:30. Thus, they become a greater terror to the devil, than they were before marriage. Below are some of the spiritual advantages of marriage, but are not limited to: i. Prayer Power! God’s Word says: …If two of you shall agree on earth as touching anything that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven (Matthew 18:19). That is, the spiritual phase of marriage offers the couple unity, so that when they pray to God on any issue of concern, He honours their request speedily.

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Asthma in children could lead to death

STHMA is a disease of the respiratory system, which causes swelling and narrowing of the airways. Asthma affects both children and adults. Symptoms •Difficulty breathing •Fast (rapid) breathing •Shortness of breath, even at rest •Tightness in the chest •Cough Note: A persistent night-time cough is one common sign of asthma, even in children without other symptoms. •Rapid pulse •Sweating •Decreased level of alertness, such as severe drowsiness or confusion. Causes & Risk Factors Asthma is commonly seen in children. It is a leading cause of hospital stays and school absences. Children with asthma may be able to breathe normally most of the time. When they encounter a substance that can cause problems (a “trigger”), an asthma attack (exacerbation) can occur. Common asthma triggers include: •Animals (hair or dander) •Aspirin and other medications •Changes in weather (most often cold weather) •Chemicals in the air or in food •Dust •Exercise •Mold •Pollen •Strong emotions •Tobacco smoke •Viral infections, such as the common cold. In recent years, there has been a worldwide increase in the number of children with asthma. This trend has been linked to environmental factors, including air pollution. However, it is important to understand that indoor triggers can play just as much of a role as outdoor triggers in bringing on an asthma attack. Children’s airways are narrower than those of adults. This means that triggers that may cause only a slight problem in an adult can create more serious problems in children. In children, an asthma attack can appear

suddenly with severe symptoms. For this reason, it is important that asthma be diagnosed and treated correctly. Some children may need to take medicine every day, even when they do not have symptoms. Tests & Diagnostics The doctor will use a stethoscope to listen to the lungs. Asthma-related sounds may be heard. However, lung sounds are usually normal between asthma episodes. Tests may include: •Lung function tests •Peak flow measurements •Chest x-ray •Allergy skin or blood tests •Arterial blood gas •Eosinophil count (a type of white blood cell). Treatments A plan should be set to avoid asthma triggers in children. This plan should outline how to: •Avoid asthma triggers •Monitor symptoms •Take medicines The plan should also tell the parent when to call the nurse or doctor. There should also be an emergency plan that outlines what to do when a child’s asthma flares up. If the child is in school, make sure teachers, school nurses, physical education teachers, and coaches know about the child’s need to take asthma medicine. Find out what you need to do to let your child take his medicine

during school hours. Make sure the school has a copy of your child’s asthma action plan. Medications There are two basic kinds of medication for the treatment of asthma: •Long-term control medications •Quick relief or “rescue” medications Long-term control medications are used on a regular basis to prevent asthma symptoms, not for treatment during an attack. They should be taken every day, even when you do not have symptoms. Some people may need more than one long-term control medication. Types of long-term control medications include: •Inhaled steroids (such as Azmacort, Vanceril, AeroBid, Flovent) prevent swelling in your airways - these are almost the first choice of treatment •Leukotriene inhibitors (such as Singulair and Accolate) •Long-acting bronchodilators (such as Serevent) help open airways •Cromolyn sodium (Intal) or nedocromil sodium •Aminophylline or theophylline (not used as frequently as in the past) Quick relief, or rescue, medications are used to relieve symptoms during an attack. These include: •Short-acting bronchodilators (inhalers), such as Proventil,

•The less the trigger, the less the likelihood of an attack that will demand the use of an inhaler

Ventolin, Xopenex, and others. •Corticosteroids, such as prednisone or methylprednisolone) given by mouth or into a vein. Although these are the same medications used to treat adults, there are different inhalers and dosages especially for children. In fact, children often use a nebulizer to take their medicine rather than an inhaler, because it can be difficult for them to use an inhaler properly. Children who use an inhaler should also use a “spacer” device, which helps them to get the medicine into the lung properly. Children with mild asthma (do not have symptoms very often) may only need quick relief medication as needed. Those who more severe asthma need to take control medications on a regular basis to prevent symptoms. A child who is having a severe asthma attack should be immediately seen by a doctor. The child may need to stay in the hospital, and may be given oxygen and medicines by an intravenous line (IV). Eliminating triggers The parent or guardian can help control a child’s asthma by helping get rid of the indoor triggers that make symptoms worse. If possible, keep pets outdoors, or at least away from the child’s room. No one should smoke in a house or around a child with asthma. Eliminating tobacco smoke from the home is the single most important thing a family can do to help a child with asthma. Smoking outside the house is not enough. Family members and visitors who smoke carry smoke residue in and on their clothes and hair — this can trigger asthma symptoms. Keeping humidity levels low and fixing leaks can reduce growth of organisms such as mold. Keep the house clean and keep food in containers and out of bedrooms — this helps reduce the possibility of cockroaches, which can trigger asthma attacks. Bedding can be covered to reduce exposure to dust mites. Detergents and cleaning agents in the home should be unscented.

All of these efforts can make a significant difference to the child with asthma, even though it may not be obvious right away. Keeping an eye on a child’s asthma A peak flow meter is a simple device that you and your child can use at home to monitor lung function. The meter can help you see if an attack is coming, sometimes even before any symptoms appear. This allows you to take preventative measures. Peak flow measurements can help show when medication is needed, or other action needs to be taken. Peak flow values of 50 to 80 perecent of the child’s personal best results mean a moderate asthma attack is occurring or going to occur, while values below 50 perecent suggest a severe attack. Children under age 5 may not be able to use a peak flow meter well enough to make the numbers useful. An adult should always watch carefully for a child’s asthma symptoms. It’s a good idea to start using peak flow meters before age 5 to get the child used to them. Complications The complications of asthma can be severe. Some include: •Persistent cough •Lack of sleep due to nighttime symptoms •Decreased ability to exercise and take part in other activities •Missed school •Missed work for parents •Emergency room visits and hospital stays •Trouble breathing that requires breathing assistance (ventilator) •Permanent changes in the function of the lungs •Death. Prevention There is no fool-proof method to prevent asthma attacks. The best way to reduce the number of attacks is to eliminate triggers (especially cigarette smoke) and follow the asthma plan that parents develop with the doctor. When families take control of their home environment, asthma symptoms and attacks can be significantly decreased.


53 Coping with diseases

THE NATION, SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 12 2011

When drugs don’t give happiness: Withdrawal

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HE symptoms of marijuana withdrawal include irritability, anxiety, depression, insomnia (inability to sleep), anger, decreased appetite, and craving (obsessive or even violent desire for the drug). All drugs of addiction produce withdrawal symptoms when stopped inappropriately. These symptoms include emotional and physical manifestations. Various drugs produce various symptoms. Physical manifestations of withdrawal of a drug from an addict include: nausea and vomiting, running nose, fever, chills and sweats, cramps and aches, and sleeplessness. Emotional manifestations of drug withdrawal include; anxiety, nervousness, depression, mood swings, and suicidal thoughts. Individuals may differ in their collection of symptoms, the severity of symptoms, and in the onset and duration of symptoms which may be from the first day to about 2 weeks following drug cessation. Individual monitoring is therefore a component of the withdrawal exercise. Withdrawal symptoms are often unbearable and

this makes it difficult for addicts to keep their abstinence from the drug of abuse. Because of this, withdrawal exercise is best done in a rehabilitation environment and with appropriate caregivers. However, the patient may be treated on an out-patient or in-patient basis. Only a few drugs of addiction have a substitute drug that can be used to ease withdrawal, block undesirable effects of withdrawal, or prevent relapse, e.g. buprenorphine (Suboxone) for morphine. Generally, rehabilitation includes psychotherapeutic aspects. For various drugs of addiction, including marijuana, behavioral treatments such as motivational enhancement therapy (MET), cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), and contingency management (CM) are used. Family members and care givers should support the patient with motivational incentives to help him or her remain abstinent. In the case of marijuana, MET is used to encourage abstinence and to motivate the users to change. CBT teaches coping skills in

with Prof. Dayo Oyekole

Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs)

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matters related to abuse and cessation of drug use. CM is a reward program for compliance. It may include helping former addicts in advancing their education or professional training, special health care, helping to securing their employment, and improving their social status. The complete management includes both withdrawal and preventing relapse into drug addiction. For marijuana addiction, there is no drug that is clearly effective and can be used in all cases for withdrawal and prevention of relapse. However, nefazodone (Serzone®) and fluoxetine (Prozac®), which are properly antidepressant drugs, have been successfully used for some marijuana addicts. Dronabinol (Marinol®) which is a cannabinoid derived from marijuana and has antivomiting properties has also been used to alleviate

some symptoms of marijuana withdrawal. Various addictions (such as to alcohol or nicotine) are treated with similar patterns with or without the use of specific detoxification drugs. As always, with every problem in life, prevention is better than cure. Within the family and home, when each member plays his or her role responsibly, the home is an effective therapy for all social problems. It is where members should find or regain their peace, dignity, joy, hope, comfort, restoration, and security. This may beat all medicine, all psychiatry, and all expertise. Spouses, parents, and heads of households should always take the task of home making seriously. Dr. ’Bola John is a biomedical scientist based in Nigeria and in the USA. For any comments or questions on this column, please Email bolajohnwritings@yahoo.com or call 07028338910

Pelvic inflammatory disease overview

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ELVIC inflammatory disease (PID) is infection of a woman’s reproductive organs. Infection spreads upward from the cervix to the uterus, Fallopian tubes, ovaries, and surrounding structures. Some of these conditions are also referred to as: •cervicitis (inflammation of the cervix); •salpingitis (inflammation of the Fallopian tubes); •endometritis (inflammation present in the lining tissues of the uterus); and •peritonitis (inflammation of the peritoneum, the membrane that lines the abdominal cavity and covers most of the abdominal organs). All of these conditions may be considered as specific dis-

eases but many investigators group them together as variations of PID, especially if they are caused by either Chlamydia trachomatis or Neisseria gonorrhoeae. Bacteria can infect the Fallopian tubes and cause inflammation (salpingitis). When this happens, normal tissue can become scarred and block the normal passage of an egg, causing infertility. But if Fallopian tubes are partially blocked, an egg may implant outside the uterus and cause a dangerous condition called an ectopic pregnancy. An ectopic pregnancy can cause internal bleeding and even death. Scar tissue may also develop elsewhere in the abdomen and cause pelvic pain that

can last for months or years. The two most commonly involved bacteria that cause PID are Chlamydia trachomatis and Neisseria gonorrhoeae, that cause the sexually transmitted diseases, chlamydia and gonorrhea. PID can cause a wide variety of symptoms. Some women can be very ill and have severe pain and fever. Others can have no obvious symptoms or even appear ill. Thus, PID is not always easy to diagnose. But it is important for women to seek medical attention if they have any risk factors for PID or symptoms of PID. PID affects more than 1 million women in the United States per year. Nearly 250,000 women are hospitalized annually because of PID. Sexually active adolescent females and women younger than 25 years are at greatest risk, although PID can occur at any age. Pelvic Inflammatory Disease Causes Pelvic inflammatory disease is most frequently caused by bacteria that are transmitted through sexual contact and other bodily secretions. Bacteria that cause gonorrhea and chlamydia cause more than half of cases. Many studies suggest that a number of patients with PID and other sexually transmitted diseases are often infected with two or more infectious agents, and commonly these are Chlamydia trachomatis and Neisseria gonorrhoeae. Other organisms can also cause PID but are much less common When to Seek Medical Care If a female is experiencing the following symptoms, she

should see a health care provider: •Abdominal pain that does not go away • Irregular vaginal bleeding • Foul-smelling vaginal discharge •Unusual vaginal discharge •Fever, nausea, vomiting Given the long-term complications PID can cause, such as infertility and ectopic pregnancy, it is recommended that females seek immediate medical attention if they have any of these symptoms: • Lower abdominal pain or tenderness •Fever greater than 101 F (38.3 C) •Abnormal or foul-smelling vaginal discharge Pelvic Inflammatory Disease Symptoms If a woman has PID, she may have any of these symptoms: •Abdominal pain (especially lower abdominal pain) or tenderness • Back pain •Abnormal uterine bleeding •Unusual or heavy vaginal discharge •Painful urination •Painful sexual intercourse Symptoms not related to the female reproductive organs include fever, nausea, and vomiting. PID symptoms may be worse at the end of a menstrual period and during the first several days following a period •Dr B. Filani is the Chief Consultant of Sound Health Centre, Lagos. You can contact him on 08023422010 or on facebook or email soundhealthcentre@yahoo.com.

EXUALLY Transmitted Diseases are popularly called venereal diseases. They are contagious diseases, easily transmitted by sexual contact from an infected person to a sexual partner who is otherwise healthy. The germs causing these diseases vary a great deal, but all depend on the warmth and moisture of the sexual organs for survival. They readily penetrate the delicate skin and moist membranes that come in contact during sexual intercourse. Once the germs have invaded the tissues of the sex organs, they propagate and spread to other tissues, even throughout the body in some cases. The sexually transmitted diseases cause various kinds of suffering with tragic results as damage to an unborn child, infertility and even premature death. Once established in a person’s body, the disease tends to persist, if untreated, for the duration of life. Syphilis and Gonorrhoea are the bestknown venereal diseases, but the range also includes genital herpes, candidiasis and warts, as well as trichomoniasis, chancroid, staphylococcal infections and Lymphogranuloma venereum. In spite of our present knowledge of these diseases and in spite of the availability of effective treatment, the number of cases of sexually transmitted illness has increased so alarmingly that they are virtually out of control. Changes in public attitudes towards sexual matters, widespread use of contraceptive pills and the emergence of resistant strains of organisms seem to have contributed to the increase of these diseases. The symptoms of sexually transmitted diseases vary, depending on the causative agent. There may be abnormal discharge from the sexual organ, with foul odour and itching sensations, as in Gonorrhoea, Trichomoniasis and Candidiasis. There may be ulcers and pinching sensations as in Genital Herpes Simplex, Staphylococcus, Syphilis, Chancroid and Granuloma inguinale. Thirdly, there are those characterized by the appearance of lumps and bumps in the private parts, as observed in cases of genital warts and Lymphogranuloma venereum. Prevention It should be well understood that when a sexually transmitted disease is diagnosed in a man or woman, the disease has probably already passed on to the sexual partner, it is therefore important that both should treated to prevent reinfection. Also, it is strongly advised that any suspicion of a venereal disease or of possible exposure to infection, calls for urgent medical attention. In fact, prolonged cases of venereal infections have been shown to predispose one to more dangerous infections such as HIV/AIDS. Treatment/Control In Holistic Lifecare, it is strongly advocated that in order to avoid suffering in the midst of plenty, we must turn to NATURE. Some of the natural remedies being advanced for the treatment and control of sexually transmitted diseases include the extracts of local herbs such as Allium cepa, Senna alata and Plumbago zeylanica. For further information and consultation on Holistic Lifecare research and services, especially on Blood Infections, Infertility, Sexually Transmitted Diseases, Chronic Debilitating Conditions as well as mental and social problems, please call on: 0803-330-3897 or visit: Mosebolatan Holistic Lifecare Centre, Adeyalo Layout, Ogbere-Tioya, Off Olorunsogo Express Bridge, Ibadan. Website: www.holisticlifecare.com. Distance is no barrier, we can send remedies by courier if need be. We also have facilities for accommodation, admission and hospitalization in a serene and homely environment.


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THE NATION, SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 12, 2011

•Anyim

•Uwueche

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VEN though 2015 is still 42 and a half months away, the quest of a Nigerian president of Igbo extraction is already gathering steam. The fire was stoked recently when the Ohanaeze Ndigbo, the apex pan-Igbo cultural and socio-political group, in conjunction with the Igbo World Congress (IWC) held the Igbo Day celebrations in Abakaliki, the Ebonyi State capital, between September 26 and 28, 2011. Not unexpectedly, the event, boasting of the presence of notable Igbo sons and daughters at home and abroad, turned out to be a forum for the examination of the possibility of the emergence of an Igbo as president in 2015. Though many people have argued to the contrary, the Igbo, one of the major tripodal ethnic groups upon which Nigeria stands, has only had a shot at the highest political office in Nigeria since independence, for barely six months, January to July 1966, under the late Major General J.T. U. AguiyiIronsi, a purely military regime. Those who disagree, however, claimed that the late Nnamdi Azikiwe, an Igbo, was Nigeria’s first president. Ever since then, the

2015: Igbo on the march again Augustine AVWODE Igbo have been sidelined. Apart from these two, the most the Igbo have risen politically ever since then has been the office of the Vice President to which Dr. Alex Ekwueme was elected during the administration of Alhaji Shehu Shagari during the second republic from 1979 to 1983. The second of its type was Commodore Ebitu Ukiwe when he was appointed the Chief of General Staff, and, therefore, the second in command during the early part of General Ibrahim Babangida’s ad-

ministration. However, it was not for a long time. At the Abakaliki event, Senator Uche Chukwumerije, (PDP Abia North), who headed the propaganda desk during the Biafra war and later held sway as Secretary of Information (Minister) of the Federation, passionately canvassed a path that he believed would ensure the realisation of presidency for the Igbo. In a lecture he delivered titled “Wake up call: Path to Igbo self – Realisation”, Senator Chukwumerije posited that other major ethnic groups were able to make it because they took a rather

unorthodox route to the presidency. According to him: “It was the Niger Delta militancy that ensured that President Goodluck Jonathan became President of Nigeria, while the Boko Haram sect is being used by the North to achieve its presidency bid in 2015,” he said. He also argued that the Yoruba socio-cultural organisation, Afenifere, used the Oodua Peoples Congress, OPC, to achieve the presidency 12 years ago. “The Igbo should, therefore, incorporate the MASSOB into its system to ensure that an Igbo emerges as

President of Nigeria,” he argued. Yet, he acknowledged, even tacitly, the daunting challenge realising this dream poses. He stated that: “The dialectal pendulum of Nigeria’s power politics may swing the presidency to our side sooner or later, but such opportunities can only come if we unite as a group. My submission is that the Ohanaeze Ndigbo should take up its fatherly duty of devising means of constructive engagements with our youths to achieve this ultimate objective. As members of one large family, we must stop behaving like the proverbial victim of a bee sting who


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THE NATION, SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 12, 2011 flees at a mere hum of a house fly.” And with all the emphasis at his disposal, he submitted that “Igbo nation must produce the Presidency in 2015 and all hands must be on deck to achieve this noble task. To implement this, a 20-man committee should be constituted, including the five Eastern governors, to look into the challenge of getting Igbo presidency in 2015.” That was in September and less than two months after that declaration to the admiration of many youth groups in the South East geo-political zone, another reputable voice upped the ante last week. Dr Chukwuemeka Ezeife, one-time governor of Anambra State and erstwhile Political Adviser to former President Olusegun Obasanjo, declared in an interview he granted to newsmen that only Igbo can stop an Igbo from becoming president in 2015. A statement many think is heavily pregnant. It is at once a veiled threat to those who may be working on other alternatives as well as a clarion call to Igbo to unite, knowing full well that the issue of forging a united front has always been the major political Achilles heels for the Igbo in this regard. According to him, realising the Igbo presidency dream “depends on every Igboman. Nobody from outside Igboland can take away the presidency from us in 2015, if we truly want it because we are comprehensively justified to fight for it. The God of justice must be with us. By the time Jonathan finishes his tenure, every zone should have supplied Nigeria with a president for at least five years, except the South East”. Referring to the Gen Ironsi administration that was followed by a tragic 30-month war, Ezeife said: “What we had was a coup that lasted for six months and two million people buried with it. God knows about it, Nigerians know about it. Therefore, when I was the chairman of power sharing committee of the national political reform conference, the members of the committee agreed that there should be rotation by geopolitical zones for presidency. Since every zone has had it, except the South East, what reason can anybody give for the Igboman not to fight for it?”, was his question. He made it clear that the Igbo would view a denial to produce the president in 2015 seriously. In his words “By virtue of rotation, we should demand and get the presidency. Refusing it, to us, means refusing us membership of Nigeria, and that is when they will play into the hands of those agitating for Biafra. For us advocating for one Nigeria, we are gradually finding it harder to continue our advocacy, if there is persistency in injustice and unfairness”.

Payback time More than anything else, some Igbo leaders think that apart from the demand of fairness and justice, it is only proper to expect some reciprocal behaviour. During last year’s tussle for the presidency, a section of the South East, especially the elderly ones and the Ohanaeze Ndigbo, categorically threw their weight behind President Jonathan with the understanding that in 2015, he would support the zone to produce the president. In equal measure, the Igbo Political Forum (IPC), described as young political turks from the zone, threw its weight behind the North and was ready to back whoever emerged as the consensus candidate from the North on the understanding that in 2015, the South East would be supported to produce the next president. In the ensuing political clash, President Jonathan prevailed.

Divided house The events that culminated in the emergence of President Jonathan as the presidential flag bearer of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in December 2010 clearly suggest that as a zone, the South East and as a people, the Igbo, still have a lot of home work to do in the art of forging a united front and speaking with a common voice. Ezeife narrated a moving drama that graphically illustrated this. Hear him: “I was the chairman of a think-tank formed by Senator Pius Anyim and myself, whose aim was to talk to the North and South-South, collect their aspirations, go to Owerri to talk to our people and get their mandate. Before then, the North had already invited us. We had been Vice to them already, and if they were ready to support us, we were ready to talk about it. “We agreed before we left for Yar’Adua Centre that fateful August that the discus-

•Chukwumerije

sions would be preliminary and exploratory. In no way, were we going to issue a communiqué or make commitments to anybody. Along the line, some of our delegates started taking the position of the North. I was flabbergasted; I wanted to challenge things, but discovered that some people were pre-lobbied before we came. “They started lobbying for Vice-Presidency, and barely one week after that meeting, names of people appeared as members of the Babangida campaign group. Our own chairman even gave way to the Northern chairman. No Igboman with any sense of history will prefer at that stage to support the North instead of the South-South. But, unfortunately, this communiqué was published, supporting the North. Some people quoted me as saying it was a political ambush. Those who knew my politics were shocked, and called me. I had to tell them the truth. “So, at the Igbo summit in Enugu chaired by Mbazulike Amaechi, six days after, we endorsed Jonathan unconditionally. We did this in order to give our people a clear sign of where we were going. Gradually, all Igbo abandoned the position of the pre-Northerners and we dumped all our eggs in Jonathan’s basket”. The fact is that long before now, and given the developments that took place in 2007, the South East has all along been eyeing 2015. That was before the untimely death of the late President Umaru Yar’Adua. His demise paved the way for what some people called “divine zoning”. The South East region was, therefore, content with play the “beautiful bride” or if you like being the “king maker,” while making it clear that 2015 would be its own turn. It was little wonder, therefore, that all the presidential aspirants, particularly those of the PDP, courted the zone with all the attention it deserved. This was reinforced by the suggestion that in 2015 the South East in the light of the party’s zoning arrangement, would produce the president and that Jonathan’s partici-

•Ezeife

pation in the primaries was not because the party had jettisoned the zoning arrangement, but because of his constitutionally provided right to contest as a sitting president. And while the Ohanaeze and other political stalwarts backed Jonathan, ahead of the 2011 elections, the Igbo Political Forum, IPF, (a group of Igbo elders that insists on zoning) weeks later, met in Enugu State, with the campaign directors of the four northern presidential candidates under the PDP and declared that they would support whoever emerged as the consensus candidate from the North. The candidates included former military president, Gen. Ibrahim Babangida, rtd; former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar; former National Security Adviser, Gen. Aliyu Gusau, rtd; and former Governor of Kwara State, Bukola Saraki. In explaining the position of the Igbo, Ohaneze’s president-general, Ambassador Ralph Uwechue, had argued that Jonathan had done more for the Igbo than anybody else to deserve their support, but importantly for him to support them in 2015: “Jonathan comes from the South-South, and Nigeria has six zones; and that if we reinforce the importance of the zones, other things would follow. And we insisted that the positions in the country should rotate among the six zones. “Also, those we consulted told us that they had been watching what Jonathan has done since he took over, that action speaks louder than words. They said that since the late General Aguiyi Ironsi was killed in Ibadan that an Igbo is now the head of the Nigerian army, and it was Jonathan who did it. They also said that for 50 years, Ndigbo have been asking why the Enugu airport has not been given the full international status. The people who have suddenly discovered that they are lovers of Ndigbo, feeding the public with false pretence, ignored the Enugu airport because making it an international airport would boost Igbo economic activities and save our people from travelling to Lagos and Abuja before flying out of the

Not unexpectedly, the event, boasting of the presence of notable Igbo sons and daughters at home and abroad, turned out to be a forum for the examination of the possibility of the emergence of an Igbo as president in 2015

,

country. Jonathan has done it for us. “For the first time in the history of Nigeria, an Igboman has been appointed Minister of Internal Affairs. This is an important ministry. When Senator Ike Nwachukwu was the Foreign Minister, when he was to be appointed Minister of Internal Affairs, it was changed overnight. They didn’t trust an Igbo man enough to head that ministry; they didn’t want an Igbo man to be in charge of security. That was how Ike Nwachukwu became Foreign Minister twice. “Talking about zoning, there are six zones in Nigeria, one has seven states, four have six states each, and only the Igbo South-East has five states. But some people say Nigeria is zoned between the North and South. That is not true. We must correct that wrong impression. We have six zones, and that was why the late Yar’Adua was president and Senator David Mark, also from the North is the president of the Senate. It means that in 2007, until Yar’Adua died, the North was completely in control of Nigeria politically with the two important political offices in the country, president of the country and the president of the Senate as were occupied by them.” On the part of the IPF, it advanced that the South-East had agreed with the North over 2015. After the meeting in Enugu, former Minister of Health, Prof ABC Nwosu, said: “There are five points of disagreement. The first is that the meeting between the IPF and Northern Elders was a public meeting and the agreements have been widely publicized with the list of those in attendance. The Ohanaeze fangled argument on rotation to the South-East does not exist anywhere except in their imagination. If they reached an agreement with the INC, let them make it public. “The second difference is that the Igbo presidency 2015 proposed by the IPF is predicated on a four-year completion tenure by the North of the presidency to terminate in 2015. The northern presidential candidates have gone public on this and IBB, at his declaration of interest, said he would do only four years, “So help me God.” President Jonathan, who declared three days later, kept silent on the matter of tenure and has remained silent on it ever since; and his campaign handlers have remained silent too. People like me would want the president-general of Ohanaeze to say something on tenure before he says anything on Igbo presidency in 2015, because the two are closely linked”. This is the type of internal disagreement which many fear could once again wreak havoc on the esteemed ambition of the Igbo as a nation and South East as a zone.

Zoning policy and Igbo’s ambition But while some people are of the view that internal disagreement may pose a problem to the 2015 bid, others also hold that the zoning arrangement in the PDP, being the dominant party, may also abort the dream. The PDP zoning arrangement is such that while some people claim that it is between the North and the South, others say it should strictly be among the six geo-political zones. And whereas the South West has produced the president for two terms totalling eight years, the South-South currently has President Jonathan who had completed one year left of the late Yar’Adua tenure before beginning his own afresh on May 29, 2011. By the time he completes his tenure in 2015, assuming he does just only one tenure, he would have grossed five years and the total, to those who sees zoning only in the light of South and North, would be 13 years while the North would have only the three years of the late Yar’Adua. Whether such people would allow the presidency go to the South East, therefore, remains a critical factor. It must not be forgotten that the same set of people made it almost impossible for Jonathan to emerge as they claimed that the North still had five more years to complete the turn which Yar’Adua started. The fact that they lost the battle in 2011 means that they may not want to play the second fiddle in again in 2015. Herein lies the import of the Igbo quest for the presidency in 2015. It certainly will be a titanic political tussle, yet if the Igbo would not divide their ranks, and remain resolute in their determination, knowing that the late Gen Ironsi, the last Igbo man to sit on the number one seat, did that 44 years ago as at today, and that it will be 48 years by 2015, they could still realise the dream.


THE NATION, SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 12, 2011

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‘We used to sleep at the balcony in those days because Lagos was safe’

•Pedro

•Continued from Page 22 form like paper, which we read. They were educative. Most of them were imported. All the Mikky Mouse cartoons, we didn’t watch

them on the television; we read them and subscribed to them. Things have really changed. When we were on Lagos Island, whenever I decided to stay with my biological parents, most of the time, we slept outside overnight. There was a pavement, and on top of it, we would just put a mat or foam and that was where we would sleep. It was only at dawn when it became a bit cold, that we would go inside. It was not as if there was no bed to sleep on, but because Lagos was safe and clean, we slept near drainage without suffering mosquito bites. You didn’t have to cover your head or your body. That was the kind of life we lived then. Even in the morning, it was in the same drainage or what you call gutter where we used card boards to design boats and put them in the running water. Everyone knew his own boat, and we would go and meet it at the next street to see which one arrived first. It was a very interesting game. Those things don’t happen anymore. It is video games we have now. How did these help in shaping your choice of career? Like every other person, whether you like it or not, consciously or unconsciously, you have a role model. You must see something in another elderly person that you want to emulate. I am very sure most young people now would see our governor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, and they would want to be like him be-

cause they see the good things he has done and people say good things about him. People look up to someone like that. So, in my own days, we had people we looked up to. From my family side, I had Hon. Justice Ikotun. He was a lawyer before he became a magistrate, a chief magistrate and a judge of the High Court. He was married to my aunt. To me, he was a role model. And the way he carried himself in the family, the way people respected him when he was going out, I would say: ‘This man is so important and I want to be like him.’ So, from that time, no course ever crossed my mind except Law. And do you feel fulfilled as a lawyer? It has been so interesting, challenging and, of course, fulfilling for the Almighty God to have favoured me to live up to my dream and reach the pinnacle of my career. One, as a permanent secretary in the civil service, I could not claim to be the best. It was only God who ordained it. And today, as a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) I am very happy. I know people will say I am a SAN who is a political office holder, collecting salary as an ordinary civil servant. I tell them, in 2008, you might say that of me. But not anymore because I have opened what we call the path for people in service, working and being able to attain that height as a SAN. I am a Director of Civil Litigation at the fed-

eral level now. I have my friend, Appah, a SAN; he also earns salary. So, the road is open. People who work in government can now achieve the same thing that our colleagues achieve outside. So, it’s been tough but challenging and rewarding too. What has it been like coordinating the administration of justice in the state? Well, that in itself is challenging. You know Lagos State. The population is not less than 18 million people, and 18 million people is like 18 million problems. So, it’s been challenging. That is why the law office of the Lagos State Attorney General’s Chambers, Ministry of Justice is the largest in Nigeria, if not West Africa, because of the number of lawyers and the number of departments we have to be able to contain the legal problems that arise from the daily activities of Lagosians. So, it’s been challenging. But I am very happy that at least, consciously or unconsciously, through tutelage, I have surmounted those challenges. Like the former solicitor general of the state, Mr. Fola Arthur-Worey, who is now the Executive Secretary of the Security Trust Fund and also a former commissioner for lands, I am like a younger brother to him. So, while he was Permanent Secretary and Solicitor General for almost 10 years, I was always in and out of his office. I was one of the persons who could walk into his office at any time, even though I wasn’t a direc-

tor then, and we related with issues together. So, from his office, I learnt a lot and I only built on the things I learnt from him. Of course, there was also Hon. Justice Olayinka, whom I took over from directly. She didn’t stay as long as Mr. Arthur-Worrey. She was always making me a confidant even though I was not the most senior director next to her. But everything she did, she carried me along. And whenever there was a problem, I was one of the first people she would draw their attention to. And that is part of the legacy Prof. Osibajo also left behind because he was her Attorney General then. So, it was easy for me. I learnt from the way Mrs. Olayinka handled the office and the way I saw Mr. Arthur-Worrey do it. There is this general perception that public service ought to be for those who are on top of their profession. But today, that is not the case as we have all sorts of persons in the public service. Why is this so? The situation is reversed. In the past, we had always thought that the civil service was a dumping ground for people. The reason is because you go at 8 am and close at 3 pm, and you have all the time. The perception then was that government work does not end. But things have since changed; at least I can speak for the Ministry of Justice, that now, the civil service is having more of qualified and dedicated officers who want to serve.

‘Oshiomhole has liberated Edo from godfathers’ bondage’ •Continued from Page 18 public schools have been rehabilitated. People are in a position to see results, and I believe Anenih is day-dreaming. You should understand their psychology. For him to lord it over in Abuja is dependent on his record at home. Now, as they are gradually facing extinction, of course, they will try to make attempts to bounce back; but they are joking, because Edo people have said goodbye to their kind of politics. PDP is sunken ship. In any case, the party is factionalised. When you mentioned PDP, I was wondering whether it was the Anenih faction that was threatening to reclaim Edo State or the Ogbemudia faction. Even in PDP, there is a revolt against the Anenih kind of politics. I believe Anenih is day-dreaming, because Edo people have said goodbye to godfatherism. I would like also to inform you about the shenanigans that went on in 2007 that led to the emergence of Prof. Osunbor as Edo State governor. Anenih didn’t want Osunbor to fly the PDP ticket in that election; he wanted his own prodigy to be governor in the 2007 election; but President Obasanjo imposed Osunbor on him. Of course, you know the background of Osunbor – Obasanjo’s in-law. This tells you the kind of politics they play in PDP. Against his personal wish and desire, Anenih had to deliver Osunbor on election, and good enough, months later, the court found that the election was massively rigged. That tells you the culture of imposition and godfatherism in PDP. When Obasanjo caused a furore in 2007 that the election was door-die, Anenih quickly came to clarify that “You are politically dead if you don’t deliver”. For instance, if I lose Edo State to the opposition, it means that I am

politically dead, and that has turned out a fulfilling prophesy. They not only lost Edo State in 2008, they have also lost sufficient ground in the House of Assembly, too. Now, they are in the minority. The joke now in Edo State is that Anenih, from being a national leader, has been banished to his community in Esan land. By next year, when Edo State will be voting, the final nail will be driven down the political coffins of all the political contractors in Edo State. For, they have passed their political sell-by date. What should be the projection of the Comrade Governor in the lead up to next year’s election? The issues are clearly defined already. People will be asking you: what do you have to offer? PDP was in government for over nine years, and they didn’t do anything, and Comrade Oshiomhole came to office and started from the scratch, and, in less than three years, he has done more than 500 kilometres of solid roads and rehabilitated hundreds of schools and created more than 15,000 fresh jobs. At the moment, we have more than 190 projects going on simultaneously across the three senatorial zones, to which more than N120 billion have been committed. Unlike in the past, when whatever accrued to the state was always shared, people now see that democracy works. So, the people are there to judge. So, gone are the days when one godfather would sit down and say, “This is the list of those to be returned to various offices”, and, without any democratic contest, it would be ratified. The parents who used to pay through their noises in private schools, who now have to take advantage of public schools, you don’t need any more campaign for them to vote Oshiomhole. There is this funny story being

•Odion

told in Edo State of a former PDP chieftain who, on the last election, called his father to vote for PDP because he wanted to retain his seat in government, but his dad told him that he could not vote for PDP because in the place, which served as a voting centre, was a new school constructed by Comrade Oshiomhole. Of course, his dad voted for ACN, and the PDP politician we are talking about has recently crossed to ACN. So, when Anenih and his sinking brigade say they want to take over Edo State, we just sit down and laugh. In fact, in Edo today, these jaded characters are referred to as ‘Tuketuke politicians’. How are they going to defeat Oshiomhole? The popular refrain in Edo State now is “One Man One Vote”. And you think it is practicable in a peculiar environment like ours? It is. It was demonstrated in the

last election. PDP was beaten hands down. Out of 24 seats in the state house, ACN won 19, yet the PDP is not contesting most of those results in the court, because they are an expression of people’s wish. For us, we believe, given what Oshiomhole has done so far, he will be returned massively in July next year. What are the implications of leaving active media practice to become a media manager for your state? It is like reversing the role now. Until now, I would normally report those who are in government, the newsmakers. But, now, I am on the other side. It is quite interesting, in the sense that when you see things happening, you feel a sense of impotence that you are unable to write on it. I told people that I consider my present engagement as going on sabbatical. I hope to come back to writing when my tour of duty ends. For me, it is quite illuminating to be on the other side to see why things don’t really work in the country. When you said the new role makes you appreciate why things don’t work in the country, what exactly do you mean? It is in the sense that you have a vision, a policy – of course you require the civil service to implement that policy, and civil service is the engine room of government – but, again, you find sometimes that the civil service will not necessarily share your own vision or passion. So, ultimately, you now experience some kind of disconnect in policy implementation. Like many commentators have said in the past, our problem is not about vision, not having a dream; it is often about implementing it. For instance, when President Obasanjo came into office 12 years

ago, he came up with UBED (Universal Basic Education), which, from the blueprint, you could applaud as very visionary. But, if you look back today, you will probably tell yourself that the fine points of that policy are yet to be fully realised. In conceiving that idea then, the government had a grand vision; but implementation has been a challenge. That’s the point I am trying to make. Also, in Edo, when the Comrade Governor, Adams Oshiomole, came into government in 2008, the situation he met on ground was parlous, and the civil service had gone completely geriatric in the sense that you found a deficit, because there had been an embargo on employment over 10 years. What that meant was that, at the top cadre, you had directors and permanent secretaries who, of course, were nearing retirement age, but at the middle cadre, you had people who were just there, but the lower cadre was almost empty. But, when he came in, he lifted the embargo. So, now, there is an attempt to renew the civil service, bringing fresh blood into the system. What do you consider the highpoint of your journalism careers? I wouldn’t like to call it highpoint, because I haven’t left journalism. I am only on sabbatical in public service, but if you ask me of the most exciting memories, I would say mine has been remarkable, because I never had any formal training in any journalism school. I came in as a reporter and was fortunate to rise to become an editor and the MD/ Editor-in-Chief of a paper. The story continues, because I haven’t left journalism. By the time my tour of duty ends in Edo State, I will come back to journalism.


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Tomorrow in THE NATION PUNCHLINE

SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 12, 2011 TRUTH IN DEFENCE OF FREEDOM VOL.7, NO. 1942

Governors that want to depend on allocations from the federation account should know that the game may be over sooner than anticipated and there may be no federal funds to sustain 37 states and 774 local governments

—Ropo Sekoni

F

UEL subsidy must go. That was Presi dent Goodluck Jonathan’s emphatic dec laration at the opening of the 17th Nigerian Economic Summit (NSE) in Abuja. In the face of strident opposition to the proposed removal of the controversial subsidy, the President insisted there is no going back on the policy which, he believes, is in the best interest of the country. How one wishes that the President would exhibit this courage of a Lion, determination of a Pharaoh or fearlessness of a Nebuchadnezzer on other matters beyond fuel subsidy such as the raging wave of terrorism in parts of the country. Urging his fellow country men and women to do away with sentiments in analysing the government’s decision to remove the purported subsidy, President Jonathan wondered why anyone should seek to play politics with such a matter of pure economic policy. This, he believes, is no more than an attempt by opportunistic political opponents to derail his administration. Indeed, Mr. President wants all those mischievous elements playing politics with the subsidy debate to learn a lesson or two from his “major contender”, General Muhammadu Buhari’s allegedly apolitical, patriotic stance on the issue. “That is why I can now appreciate people like General Muhammadu Buhari…He said the issue of subsidising petroleum products is a fraud. He is not playing politics with the issue of Nigeria’s development. But not everybody will have the mind of General Buhari,” President Jonathan said in commending what he believes is his arch political adversary’s support for the removal of fuel subsidy. Now, I am not too sure that President Jonathan has been accurately briefed on General Buhari’s perspective on this policy. To the best of my knowledge, General Buhari has not contributed directly to the fuel subsidy debate. But his close associates such as his Petroleum Minister as Head of State, Professor Tam David West, and his spokesman, Yinka Odumakin, most certainly echo the ascetic General’s mind when they declared that the alleged existence of any subsidy is totally fraudulent. The implication is that you cannot honestly claim to be removing what is essentially a phantom subsidy. But whatever may be General Buhari’s view on the subject, why should President Jonathan expect the generality of the public to do away with sentiments on a policy with serious implications for their very existence? How can any rational being be unemotional about policies that will affect the quality of his or her life? Contrary to the President’s contention, it is exactly those who own ten jeeps rather than the masses who are depen-

Fuel subsidy: Beyond pure economics

•Jonathan

dent on public transport that can afford to be unsentimental, even totally indifferent, to any debate about fuel subsidy removal. The reason is simple: They can afford to buy the essential commodity at any price! Has the President forgotten all too soon the famous nationally televised debate between Chief MKO Abiola of the SDP and Alhaji Bashir Tofa of the NRC before the June 12, 1993, presidential election? Has he forgotten that the NRC candidate could not state the prevailing pump price of fuel at that time? Of course, it was not Alhaji Tofa’s fault in any way. Just like Mr. President, his ministers and other champions of unending fuel subsidy removal, he probably never had to personally fuel his fleet of luxurious vehicles. And no matter the cost of fuel, it hardly made any noticeable impact on his unlimited resources. Going by the general tenor of his remarks at the 17th NES, President Jonathan seems to

The intensity of the opposition to removal of fuel subsidy only reflects the depth of distrust between the Nigerian people and their government. It has absolutely nothing to do with anybody wanting to bring down the Jonathan administration. The President and his team can more productively channel their energies to re-building public trust that has been so severely eroded over the years - thus breeding cynicism towards public policies no matter how well meaning

have been convinced that economic and development policy should be left strictly to the discretion of economic experts. He thus laments the fact that “issues of development are politicised here in Africa”. But then, this is not a phenomenon limited to Africa. Even in the most highly developed democratic polities with a substantial percentage of enlightened voters, the direction of economic policy is subjected to the periodic verdict of the electorate. The reality is that economic policy often makes the difference between life and a living death for millions of people. It is simply too important to be left to the dictatorship of a microscopic economic elite.

Dr. Kalu Idika Kalu, the General Ibrahim Babangida regime’s cerebral Finance Minister was scandalized that even market men and women dared to express an opinion during the public debate on whether or not Nigeria should obtain an IMF loan. He never hid his contempt for those he percieved as veritable illiterates in economic matters expressing an opinion on economic policy. The IBB regime’s economic egg heads went on to adopt wholesale the IMF and World Bank’s neo-liberal Structural Adjustment Programme (SAP) that involved massive devaluation of the Naira among other measures that ultimately virtually wiped out the middle class, widened inequality between socio-economic classes and plunged the country into unfathomable depths of poverty from which she is yet to recover. As far as the technocratic elite on President Jonathan’s economic team are concerned, the removal of fuel subsidy is a purely technical economic matter that has nothing to do with politics. The price at which fuel is sold to the final consumer falls far short of the cost of production. A subsidy thus exists, which must be removed to enhance the overall efficiency of the economy as well as the fiscal capacity of government to deliver on much needed infrastructure. But then, the non-economic mind insists on asking further questions: Why are all our refineries not functioning optimally? What happened to the billions expended over the years on Turn Around Maintenance of these refineries? Why do we export crude oil and import refined petroleum with the attendant structural price distortions? Which other member of OPEC is in this utterly ridiculous position? If there is something inevitably and incurably deficient in public management of structures, processes and resources, why should government be trusted to manage the expected savings from removal of fuel subsidy efficiently, transparently and judiciously? If the unending removal of fuel subsidy by successive administrations since that of IBB in the mid-eighties has not resulted in the promised improvement of infrastructure, what is the rational basis for expecting anything different now? The intensity of the opposition to removal of fuel subsidy only reflects the depth of distrust between the Nigerian people and their government. It has absolutely nothing to do with anybody wanting to bring down the Jonathan administration. The President and his team can more productively channel their energies to re-building public trust that has been so severely eroded over the years - thus breeding cynicism towards public policies no matter how well meaning.

Ade Ojeikere on Saturday talk2adeojeikere@yahoo.com

Contractor coaches

H

ERE we go again. We expect a new dawn in the Super Eagles, with the appointment of Stephen Keshi as chief coach. We seem to think that Keshi would provide the missing link in the squad; he once captained the team and was an assistant coach. In terms of experience with the Eagles, Keshi seems to have it. But does he have the Midas touch that can return the Eagles to winning ways? What stands out clearly is that Keshi’s tenure offers the Nigerian coach the last chance to handle the Eagles. If Keshi fails, then the Nigerian coach fails and it would be tragic for the younger coaches as well as Nigerian stars who played in Europe. The problem with the Nigerian coach is that he fails to see himself as a manager whose duties rest not with teaching new tactics but in managing players’ egos without necessarily being submissive. The Nigerian coach comes unprepared for the job and loses the players’ respect and confidence when his training methods are

seen to be archaic and not in sync with what they are taught in their European clubs. Our players recognise an ill-equipped coach. So, there is always a conflict whenever the players go into the pitch. They are torn between what the coach has taught them and what should be done, given what they are exposed to in Europe. It is this confused state that makes the Eagles a bore to watch. And Nigerians wonder how players who excel in Europe struggle whilst playing for Nigeria. The Nigerian coach talks about prayers. He relies on luck- can you blame them? Not tact to win matches. He blames ill-luck for missed chances. Sometimes, he blames the players yet these mistakes are made in training but left uncorrected. Not so for the foreign coach. He stops training if the wrong moves are made and gets the players to repeat that tact, until it becomes perfectly a part of them. The Nigerian coach wants us to pray for the team in churches and mosques. That is okay, if the coaches have taught them what they should do. But they don’t. They rather rely on the players’ potential and pedigree. The consequence of this ill-preparedness is

the nervy display by the Eagles. Don’t our opponents have access to the Almighty? Does Keshi have what it takes? Will Keshi take risks by introducing new players in the team? What pattern will he play? Is he going to allow the players express themselves freely on the pitch or will he stick to formations that have made the team rudderless? It must be said to Keshi here that the Eagles are ageing and are past their prime. They have seen it all and cannot be motivated to give what they don’t have. Our players trek on the pitch after 60 minutes because they are tired. Keshi needs to break away from the past. He needs to field players based on their current form. He must be interested in finding out why certain key players don’t play for their European clubs. He must ask the European clubs’ coaches how they manage to get the best from our players. It is obvious, the clubs have better players for each position and the European coaches are fair in their selection. Players are picked on form such that those dropped struggle to regain their positions. That way, it affects the total outlook of the team to produce good results and excite the

fans. The Eagles have wobbled most times because those who fumble know that they would be fielded again on grounds of being experienced. What the Nigerian coach doesn’t realise is that experience can be acquired only if they try new players when the need arises. I listened to the former coach on a Channels Television’s programme challenge a viewer to name a better right full back than Chibuzor Okonkwo. The coach did say that he searched for one and did not find. The viewer should have asked him if he didn’t see the right backs in the U-23 and U-20 teams. Keshi must seek replacement for ageing Eagles stars in the youth teams, especially those who did well at the youth World Cup. Bottom line is that Nigerian coaches have fixations towards players that they have handled in the past, irrespective of their current form. This fixation has stunted growth in the Eagles, such that some players don’t have substitutes and the coach is unperturbed. If Vincent Enyeama had adequate competition, may be Nigeria’s flag would have been hoisted at the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations. Dele Aiyenugba was poor against the Guineans because he hardly found himself between the goalposts for such crucial

•Continued on Page 6

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Profile for The Nation

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November_12__2011

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