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Nigeria’s widest circulating newspaper

ANPP: no plea bargain for Ali’s son, others

Oando’s project to create 36,000 jobs


•It ’ll be another fraud, says party

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•Cooking gas to do the magic

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VOL. 7, NO. 2311 FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 16, 2012



Xi Jinping is China’s new leader


I Jinping has been confirmed as the man to lead China for the next decade. Mr Xi led the new Politburo Standing Committee onto the stage at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, signalling his el-

evation to the top of China’s ruling Communist Party. The party faced great challenges but would work to meet “expectations of both history and the people”, he said. Most of the new committee are seen as politically

conservative, and perceived reformers did not get promotion. Xi Jinping replaces Hu Jintao, under whose administration China has seen a decade of extraordinary growth The move marks the official passing of power from

one generation to the next. Mr Xi was followed out onto the stage by Li Keqiang, the man set to succeed Premier Wen Jiabao, and five other men - meaning that the size of the allpowerful Standing CommitContinued on page 4

Jonathan: fuel subsidy to go Govt set to act on Ribadu Panel’s report, others From Vincent Ikuomola, Abuja


IGERIANS were told yesterday to brace themselves for a full deregulation of the petroleum industry’s downstream sector. Fuel prices range from N100 per litre to N110 and N130 in many states – no thanks to supply problems. Motorists are grumbling. But the situation may get worse – price-wise – going by Dr. Goodluck Jonathan’s speech yesterday. In his view, full deregulation of the downstream sector is the solution to fuel shortage. The popular thinking is that deregulation will bring higher prices; the government insists it will not. The policy, says the government, will ensure regular supply and free some cash to rebuild the country’s infrastructure. To Dr. Jonathan, to attract investors, who will build refineries and end importation of petroleum products, subsidy must go. The President spoke in Abuja when he received the report of the graduating participants of the Senior Executive Course 34, 2012 of the National Institute of Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPSS), Kuru, at the Presidential Villa. Continued on page 4

is it that people are ‘notWhybuilding refineries in Nigeria, despite that it is a big business? It is because of the policy of subsidy, and that is why we want to get out of it

Continued on page 4

•The scene of the accident on Otedola Bridge...yesterday

Four feared dead in Lagos multiple accidents


OUR people were feared dead last night in multiple accidents on Otedola Bridge on the Lagos-Ibadan expressway. The accidents caused a gridlock on the ever-busy highway. Mr Bisi Kazeem, Deputy Education Officer of the Federal Road Safety Commission, told

the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that the vehicles involved in the accident include an articulated lorry, a fuel tanker, a truck and at least two saloon cars. “We do not have access to other affected vehicles yet. “Efforts are still on to shift the truck and the tanker so as to remove the vehicles trapped under

them,” Kazeem said. He said the Lagos-Ibadan half of the expressway was partially blocked by the tanker and the truck. “All relevant agencies are on ground trying to remove affected vehicles and restore normalcy. “The Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA)

Babangida: I learnt political notes from Olusola Saraki

is setting up floodlights while men of the fire service are blanketing the area,” Kazeem said. “We are advising motorists to exercise patience and obey traffic officials at the scene. They should follow the diversion and avoid hopping lanes in order not to compound the congestion,” he said.

Ex-military leader, others eulogise ex-Senate Leader •PAGES 4&5 •AGRIC P13 •SPORT P24 •SOCIETY P25 •BRAND P29 •POLITICS P43




Forced to of Ejigbo They lost their breadwinners to the crash of an Air Force plane at Ejigbo on the outskirts of Lagos in 1992. Twenty years after, they complain of neglect by the authorities, reports ADEBISI ONANUGA • National President, Diabetes Association Of Nigeria, Dr. Sunny Chinyere (third left), presenting books on National Clinical Practice Guideline for Diabetics in Nigeria to Osun State Governor Rauf Aregbesola , during a programme to mark World Diabetics Day 2012 at the LAUTECH Teaching Hospital, Osogbo...yesterday. With them areConsultant Endocrinologist Dr. Babatope Kolawole (left), Mr Kingsley Ogbonna (second left), Commissioner for Health Dr. Temitope Ilori (second right) and the Chairman, Committe on Health, Mr. Adeleke Ogunsola (right).

•Ogun State Governor Ibikunle Amosun presenting a brand new Toyota car to Mr Adeniji Olufemi Adewale as reward for being the Best Teacher from the state in Abeokuta...yesterday. With them are Adewale’s wife, Bolatito and the Special Adviser to the Governor on Education, Dr Tunji Abimbola.

•Director General, Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON), Dr. Joseph Odumodu, (left), Managing Director/ CEO, FBN Holdings Plc, Mallam Bello Maccido (second left), Chairman, Chapel Hill Denham Group, Mr. Olawale Edun (second right) and Managing Director/CEO FBN Capital Limited, Mr. Kayode Akinkugbe (right) at the second Annual FBN Capital Investor Conference at the Federal Palace Hotel, Lagos...yesterday


HEY have been grieving since 1992, when their world came crashing down. Precisely 20 years, one month ago, they lost their husbands to the cruel hands of death. They were in their 20s. They are the widows and children of about 131 officers of the Army, the Navy and the Air Force who died in the Nigerian Air Force Lockheed C130Hercules aircraft, which crashed into the swamp in Ejigbo in 1992. The then Military President , Gen. Ibrahim Babangida , promised to provide for their needs, including houses, education for their children and so on. The promises, which were made to assuage their losses, remain unfulfilled. Regrettably, more than 20 years after, most of the widows and children of the victims of the crash have not fared better. Some have even died. Two years after the incident, a directive was issued from the office of the Chief of Defence Staff that letters should be given to all the widows to their various state military administrators then to provide accommodation. While some of the state administrators then responded positively, others shut their doors against the widows. Most of the widows and their children were ejected from their various barracks. The children education provided for under Section 334 of the Term and Conditions of Service for officers in the Nigerian Army 1979 was halfimplemented. According to the provision of the Section, “ for the purpose of training, the children are to be treated as Federal Government scholars and all conditions applicable to Federal Government Scholarship students will apply to them.” But the reverse was the case. On September 26 in Kaduna, a cenotaph was unveiled in memory of

the victims by the Commandant of the Armed Forces Command Staff College(AFCSC), Jaji, Air Vice MarshalllAhmed Tijani Muazu. While the victims were remembered, nothings was said about their widows. At a roundtable discussion with their counsel, Mr. Femi Falana (SAN) and Mr. Kabir Akingbolu, held at the Strong Tower Redeemed Christian Church of God, Gbagada, Lagos, some of them bared their grievance against the government, which successively, had abandoned them to their fate. A daughter of one of the victims, Mrs. Bisi Olusanya-Johnson, said she lost her mother due to neglect by the military authority. Olusanya-Johnson claimed that lack of adequate care and depression led to the death of her mother a few years after the crash. Crying profusely during the event, Mrs. Olusanya-Johnson said she was 14 years when she lost her father in the crash. She said her mother faced a lot of

BlackBerry’s hold on Nigeria’s market In Nigeria, South Africa and Egypt, Africa’s three biggest economies, BlackBerrys outsold smartphone competitors this quarter, write The Guardian of London


•President, Europe, Africa & Middle East Region, Starwood Hotels & Resorts, Roeland Vos (left), President & CEO, Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Frits van Paasschen (second left), President, Global Development, Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Simon Turner, and Area Manager Nigeria, Starwood Hotels & Resorts, Alexander Gassauer (right), at a media roundtable in Lagos... on Tuesday.

They asked us not to marry and we are living without any man. This is sad. It has been tough and my husband served the Army for 20 years before the incident that claimed his life

HAT’S your BB pin?” The question is the ultimate social status badge for many young, urban Nigerians. Standing in front of a row of gleaming BlackBerry handsets in a Lagos phone shop, sales assistant Remi Olajuwon explained: “The average Nigerian has a very healthy interest in status and luxury. So if somebody asks for your BlackBerry pin and you don’t have one …” she trailed off with a dismissive flick of her false eyelashes. Retailing at between $200 (£126) and $2,000 in a country where most live on less than $2 a day, the cost alone made it a status symbol, she added. “People come in to buy one just to show they’ve been promoted.” Amid sagging sales in Europe and

North America, developing markets offer a ray of hope for Research in Motion (RIM), after the maker of BlackBerry posted a $235m loss for the latest quarter. In Nigeria, South Africa and Egypt, Africa’s three biggest economies, BlackBerrys outsold smartphone competitors this quarter. Kenya and Ghana also had buoyant sales, officials said. Around one sixth of Africa’s 620 million active phone subscribers come from Nigeria. Half of Nigeria’s 4 million smartphone owners use BlackBerrys, and use among the wealthiest segment of society is forecast to increase sixfold by 2016. “There’s a misconception Africans only want cheap phones [but] Nigeria is a key market for us. We’re seen as an aspirational product,” said RIM re-




be single for 20 years, widows plane crash victims in pains

•A cross-section of the widows and children of the victims at the meeting trauma taking care of her children. She said: “I was 14 years old when my father died. In fact, I was in school when we were summoned from the school to inform us of the tragic incident. Few days later, the military authorities directed us to quit our apartment. “My mother died because of the trauma she went through since the demise of my father. My mother carried the burden to her grave. One thing which these wicked leaders should realise is that the pain which they made us go through, their own children will go through it.” She also spoke of how her mother made several appeals to former military governors of Lagos State to provide their family with the landed property promised after the crash to no avail. OlusanyaJohnson appealed to military authorities to pay all her father’s entitlement. A widow of one of the victims of the crash, Mrs. Stella Onabolu, said they had made several attempts to convince military authorities as well as Ministry of Defence but were paid little attention. She explained that while their col-

leagues who are from Navy and Air Force had prompt attention from their corps, the Army turned deaf ears to their case, adding: “As at today, I have not received the school fees of my children from the Army headquarters for 2011, not to talk of 2012. We met the Minister of State for Defence in 2010 but nothing happened thereafter. “Last year, the president made a statement on the issue and promised to offset all our entitlements but the presidential pronouncement was just an empty promise like that of his predecessors. We are praying silently for a miracle on the matter. The Army is the worst corps because they don’t want to see us at all. “They are behaving as if they have something to hide but we know that God will fight for us. Several times, they had threatened us. They asked us not to marry and we are living without any man. This is sad. It has been tough and my husband served the Army for 20 years before the inci-

•THE BLACKBERRY CRAZE: What is your BB pin? gional director Waldi Wepenerlast month, after the company opened its first Nigerian store in Lagos’s computer village, a sprawling haven for tech junkies. With its image increasingly outdated elsewhere, RIM hopes to capitalise on Nigeria’s twin obsessions with status and communication. BlackBerry-related dramas flood newspapers’ agony aunt

pages. On social websites, debate rages as to whether a bride photographed using her phone during her wedding ceremony was reading an e-Bible, or was merely a BlackBerry addict. The Nollywood film industry, whose clunkily named movie titles are a good cultural barometer and include delights such as the

dent that claimed his life.” Another widow, Mrs. Risikat Mukoro, said she wrote several letters to former President Olusegun Obasanjo, Gen. Abdulsalam Abubakar (rtd) without any response. She said she had not collected any money from the Army since they relocated from Lagos to Abuja. She said: “Many widows did not get any landed property from their state government as promised. Initially, the then military government promised to give all of us landed property in Lagos. Later they directed military governors of our respective states to redeem the promise, but many states have not fulfilled that promise. Some states gave landed property to victims without any C of O. “Since the Army headquarters relocated from Moloney Street in Lagos to Abuja, I have not collected any money from them. They asked us not to marry another man, but they refused to cater for our family.”

Mrs. Didi Feruke-Bello, the widow of late Lt. Commander Kareem Bello, said the battle for their entitlements was not a personal but aimed at upholding the ideals of their late husbands. “We are not fighting for ourselves, but we are fighting for the dead. They made them to die and rendered us useless. If you have forgotten, I did not forget because the memory of that dark era is still fresh in my memory,” Feruke-Bello said. Falana assured the widows of his preparedness to use instruments of law to get justice for them . He said: “It is very sad that you have been abandoned for about 20 years by successive governments in the country. They made promises when the incidence happened but they didn’t do anything to correct this injustice. “Is it not an irony of life that Obasanjo who was tried illegally for phantom coup, pardoned to contest elections would spend eight years ruling the nation without addressing

the plight of the widows? When he was there one would have thought that he knows where shoes pinch others. “If the military failed to address this injustice before the end of this month, we will be compelled to use the instrument of law to seek redress. We want to assure you that human rights community and progressive arms of the bar are behind you.” Akingbolu toed a similar lane. He said: “The continued neglect of these widows is an act of wickedness and injustice by successive administration in the last 20 years. “It is very sad that many of your colleagues have lost their lives in this struggle, but I want to task you that you should close rank and work as a team so that together you will get justice at the end of the day. The women had fulfilled their own part of the contract by declining to marry another man since the loss of their husbands, but their entitlement is still in the winds.”

“Fazebook Babes” series, has recently spawned the hit multisequel “BlackBerry Babes”. The comedy follows a group of scantily clad university girls obsessed with getting the latest phones. The popularity of BlackBerrys in Nigeria is partly born of necessity. Erratic internet services and a nonexistent landline network are plugged by unlimited data bundles, costing about £12 a month. Unpredictable phone networks force those who can afford it to own two handsets. “I already have another smartphone, but I need a BlackBerry pin number to socialise with friends and get babes. BlackBerry has an edge because of the pinging,” George Emeka, a university student said, using the colloquial term for its instant messaging service. Others are getting more bang for their buck. Yahya Balogun, who lives in a Lagos slum, used eight months of savings to buy a secondhand model. The taxi driver has caught on to the growing number of high-end businesses who advertise and communicate using BlackBerry pin numbers as well as traditional means. “All my clients in [upmarket district] Victoria Island own BlackBerrys. It is a good investment,” Balogun said.

In his rundown district where extended families squeeze into single rooms, neighbours frequently browse on his phone. “My daughter can use the internet [for schoolwork],” said neighbour Tosin Alabi, his face lit by the screen’s blue glow during a recent powercut. “Personally myself I can never pay 1,000 naira [£4] every week for internet. And the battery is terrible when I can go for two days without charging my own phone,” he added, indicating a battered Nokia feature phone. Nokia’s low-cost phones remain the top overall sellers across Africa, though affordable mid-range mobiles could also erode RIM’s top-end dominance, analysts say. Last year, Chinese manufacturer Huawei gobbled up almost half of Kenya’s smartphone market with the launch of its $100 devices powered by Google’s Android software. RIM has felt the heat in South Africa, where, unlike Nigeria, mobile carriers offer packages with Apple iPhones. “You’re only with it if you have an iPhone, preferably the iPhone 5, or Samsung Galaxy SIII,” said Khayakazi Mgojo, based in Pretoria. A three-day loss of service across Africa and parts of Europe last year was the final straw for some. “I

switched because BlackBerry was frustrating me with all its constant freezing at the most inconvenient times, short battery life and the daily reboots,” Mgojo said. Nevertheless she added: “I still use it for social network because it’s cheap compared to buying data bundles.” RIM hopes to bat away growing competition in its most important African markets by releasing its jazzed up BlackBerry 10 software in South Africa and Nigeria at the same time as other global markets next year. “At a time when Nokia is strengthening its distribution arm in Nigeria and Apple has recently appointed its first official distributor … the opening of the first BlackBerry-branded retail store is a logical step [to remain] the country’s No 1 smartphone vendor,” said Nick Jotischky, an analyst with Informa Telecoms & Media. And for the consumer there still seems a popular groundswell for RIM’s best known product. Manzo George, a businessman who owns three BlackBerrys, said he had no plans to switch over to an Android phone anytime soon. “When people ask me why not try a new brand smartphone, I tell them there are smartphones and then there are BlackBerrys.




•Senate President David Mark speaking, during the flag-off of the Southwest “Zonal Public Hearing on the proposed Alteration to the Provisions of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999” at the Lagos Airport Hotel, Ikeja...yesterday. Listening are: Lagos State Governor Babatunde Fashola (third right), Senate Minority Whip and Chairman, Senate Committee on the Review of the 1999 Constitution, SouthWest Zone, Senator Ganiyu Olanrewaju Solomon (3rd left), the Senator representing Lagos Central Senatorial District, Senator Oluremi Tinubu (2nd right), Deputy Chief Whip, Senator Ayoola Agboola (right), Senator Sola Adeyeye (right) and Senator Olufemi Lanlehin (left). STORY ON PAGE 7

I learnt political notes from Saraki, says Babangida


FORMER Military President, Gen. Ibrahim Babangida, yesterday described former Senate Leader Dr. Abubakar Olusola Saraki as a refined politician from whom he learnt a “few political notes”. Also, a former Governor of Nasarawa State, Alhaji Abdullahi Adamu, said the late Saraki was a bridge between the North and the South. Babangida, who spoke on Saraki in a statement through his Media Adviser, Prince Kassim Afegbua, said the former Senate Leader understood the dynamics of politics. The statement said: “Nigeria has once again lost a rare political gem, such a refined man who understood the tempers and mercies of politics and who gave more than a passing interest in nurturing it. “ He was a man that cultivated his politics in a very peculiar manner and espoused the practice of generosity and good neighbourliness to sustain his array of political followers. Easily called Oloye by his numerous followers back in his na-

From Yusuf Alli, Abuja

tive Ilorin , Senator Olusola Saraki was a politician that created his own panache throughout his entire political sojourn. “He was very close to me and I had the rare privilege of learning a few political notes from his rich reservoir of political knowledge. “Senator Saraki has the mileage that most politicians do not have. He was kind, generous, God-fearing and enjoyed a popularity that was peculiar to him alone. He understood the dynamics of Nigeria politics and was able to sustain his political relevance through and through. “Even though death is the final sting of man, it is hurting to lose such a political colossus at this time. His death struck me with awe. It is nostalgic especially when I reflected on those good old days when we shared certain political philosophy together; the philosophy of one Nigeria , the philosophy of growth and development and the symbolic practice of being kind to fellow human being. “Senator Olusola Saraki’s

philanthropy was infectious and down-to-earth. His love for the ordinary folks out there earned him a place in their million hearts. He was the masses man who craved for the elimination of poverty. He shared his riches and politics with many, and his ability to fit into all political groupings was what made his life very unique. “On behalf of my family, I join millions of his admirers, friends and associates in condoling his family over this painful loss. May Allah in His infinite mercy grant him eternal rest in the hereafter. May He grant the family the strength and courage to bear with this hurting loss. Adieu, Oloye until we meet to part no more. On his part, a former Governor of Nasarawa State, Senator Abdullahi Adamu, in a statement in Abuja , said the late Senate Majority Leader was one of the most successful brokers of peace and “a bridge” between the Northern and Southern parts of Nigeria . Adamu said: “When he was majority leader, the NPN had a slim majority that made it

Suspected killer of Gen Shuwa shot dead, says JTF


•Gen. Babangida

impossible for it to carry out its agenda but the late Saraki’s political sagacity made him find a way for the ruling party to always have its way in the Senate. “It was to his credit that he held firmly to Kwara State and was able to not only provide adequate leadership for the people but also used it as a spring board for meaningful contributions to national politics.” He commiserated with the Saraki family and urged the Kwara State Government to immortalise Baba Oloye as the deceased was fondly called. Continued on page 63

HE Joint Task Force (JTF) in Borno, Operation Restore Order, said yesterday it had killed the man suspected to have shot dead Major Gen. Muhammadu Shuwa, 79, a civil war hero, who was last month shot dead in his home in Maiduguri. The task force, in statement, said: “In a sustained follow up operations this afternoon (yesterday) the combined troops of the JTF Operation Restore Order, 333 Air Defence Regiment, the Department of State Security, supported by Armoured Personnel Carriers with helicopters, conducted a major offensive operation against the insurgent terrorists at Nganaram, Bulabulin and Bayan Quarters areas of Maiduguri metropolis. “During the offensive and in the counter attack, a major

Joseph Abiodun, Maiduguri

commander of the Boko Haram terrorist sect, commanding the Northeest and the Northeast of Maiduguri by name Ibn Saleh Ibrahim, with some of his commanders and foot soldiers were killed by our operating troops.” The JTF said the clampdown was ongoing, revealing that Ibrahim was confirmed to be responsible for the assassination of the late Gen. Shuwa (rtd). It added that Ibrahim acted on the orders of sect leader, Abubakar Shekau, that the civil war hero must be eliminated. Lt. Col. Sagir Musa said the military recovered several weapons, including ammunition and improvised explosive devices, during the operation.

Xi Jinping is China’s new leader Continued from page 1

tee had been reduced from nine to seven. Those five, in order of seniority, were Vice-Premier Zhang Dejiang, Shanghai party boss Yu Zhengsheng, propaganda chief Liu Yunshan, Vice-Premier Wang

Qishan and Tianjin party boss Zhang Gaoli. The new leaders had great responsibilities, Mr Xi said, but their mission was to be united, and to lead the party and the people to make the Chinese nation stronger and Continued on page 63

Fuel subsidy must go to ensure development of oil industry, says Jonathan Govt raises panels on Ribadu report, others

Continued from page 1

The government, in January, announced the deregulation of the sector, but its action, which pushed up petrol price, was greeted by massive protests. The plan was dropped, with fuel price rising to 97per litre. Nigeria’s four refineries in Port Harcourt, Warri and Kaduna are working at about 30 per cent capacity. The remaining 70 per cent of the nation’s need is imported. The President noted that only if people could bear the pain, total removal of fuel subsidy would make Nigerians happier. He likened the process of transforming a nation to surgery, which could be painful but would make the patient healthier at the end. “Why is it that people are not building refineries in Nigeria, despite that it is a big business? It is because of the policy of subsidy, and that is why we want to get out of it. “To change a nation is like surgery. If you have a young daughter of five years who has a boil at a very strategic part of the face, you either, as a par-


HE Petroleum Revenue Special Task Force’s report may not be dead after all. The government yesterday gave a ray of hope that in spite of the controversy that greeted the report, it might still see the light of the day. President Goodluck Jonathan raised three committees to prepare draft White Papers on the report of the Mallam Nuhu Ribadu Committee and two others on the oil industry. The committees are to work for two weeks. Also yesterday, Senior Special Assistant to the President on Public Communication Dr. Doyin Okupe, said the report would not be swept under the carpet. A statement by presidential spokesman Dr. Reuben Abati, said: “In furtherance of ent, leave that boil because the young girl will cry or you take the girl to the surgeon. “So, you have the option of just robbing mentholatum on the face, until the boil will burst and disfigure her face or you take that child to the surgeon. On the sighting of a scalpel of the surgeon alone, the child will start crying. “But if she bears the pains,

From Gbade Ogunwale, Abuja

his declared commitment to doing all within his powers to ensure greater accountability, probity and transparency in Nigeria’s oil and gas industry, President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan today (yesterday) established three committees to prepare draft White Papers on the reports of the Petroleum Revenue Special Task Force, the National Refineries Special Task Force and the Governance and Controls Special Task Force. “The Committees are to study the reports, review the issues raised, and prepare draft White Papers for the consideration of the Federal Executive Council within two weeks. “The White Paper Committee on the Petroleum Revenue Special Task Force Report will be chaired by the Minister of

after some days or weeks, the child will grow up to be a beautiful lady.” “There are certain decisions that government must take that may be painful at the beginning and people must be properly informed so that they will be ready to bear the pains,” he said. The President expressed optimism that Nigeria will

Labour, Chief Emeka Wogu, with the Minister of Interior, Comrade Abba Moro, Minister of State, FCT, Oloye Jumoke Akinjide, and the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs II: Dr. Nurudeen Mohammed as members. “The White Paper Committee on the report of the Governance and Controls Special Task Force will be chaired by the Minister of Lands, Housing and Urban Development, Ms. Ama Pepple. Other members of the committee are Minister of State, Defence, Erelu Olusola Obada, Minister of Transport, Senator Idris Umar, and Minister of State for Agriculture and Rural Development, Mallam Bukar Tijani. “The White Paper Committee on the report of the National Refineries Special

achieve a turnaround in fortune within 10 years, with the right policy. He said: “I believe that you do not need a lifetime to change a nation. Under 10 years, Nigeria can change and people will not even believe that this is Nigeria again. Immediately you come up with strong policies in key sectors of the economy and keep it for

Continued on page 63

10 years, the change will be astronomical.” Comparing Nigeria and Canada on the running of refineries by the graduates, Jonathan said Canada has 16 functional refineries and Nigeria has four that are struggling to refine at 30 per cent of installed capacity because all the refineries in Canada are privately-owned.

“Immediately you made that statement, I sent a note to my Chief Economic Adviser to tell me the ownership structure of the refineries in Canada. I wanted you to tell us why they are working. He replied that all the refineries in Canada are private sector owned, with strong public sector regulatory regime and this is the key thing,” he said. The President, who also commented on the debts being owed by NIPSS, especially N105m tax arrears, said it is a criminal offence for any agency of government to deduct employees’ taxes without remitting same to authorities. “It is a problem in this country, whether you are an agency of government or not, you Continued on page 63

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NEWS LAM ADESINA (1939-2012) Monarch consoles family THE Ekerin Olubadan of Ibadanland, Senator Rashidi Adewolu Ladoja, has expressed shock about the death of the former Governor of Oyo State, Alhaji Lamidi Onaolapo Adesina. He said he commiserated with the family, government and people of the state on the irreparable loss. Ladoja said the deceased left good legacies for which he would be remembered.

‘Death ‘ll change politics of Oyo’

ABUBAKAR OLUSOLA SARAKI (1933-2012) Akume condoles with Saraki family

‘Ex-Senate Leader contributed to Nigeria’s political emancipation’


HE Deputy Leader of the Lagos State House of Assembly, Rotimi Abiru, has joined millions of Nigerians in mourning the death of the Second Republic Senate Leader, Dr. Olusola Saraki, who died in Lagos on Wednesday morning. Abiru, in an interview with reporters yesterday, described Saraki’s death as a national loss, adding that while alive, he was a hero who contributed to the political emancipation of Nige-

By Oziegbe Okoeki

ria. The lawmaker noted that his (Saraki’s) brand of people-oriented politics and success in building on his strong support base in his contribution to Nigeria’s political development would create a place for him among heroes of democracy. He said his death is not only a loss to his family and Kwara State, but to Nigeria. Mr. Abiru said the late politician was a great men-

tor, mobiliser, symbol of the struggle for a better society and a philanthropist. He added: “We will miss his political strategies and maturity. The ability to adapt to and develop a political platform was part of his legacy. So also was his understanding of the Nigerian political terrain. “As a political leader and welfarist, the philanthropic activities of Senator Saraki would be missed. There’s no way heroes will live forever. They will die. All we can do

•The late Saraki

is pray for the repose of their souls. “Saraki was a detribalised Nigerian. He was a bridge builder. These made him a stabilising influence in our national polity.”

From Joseph Okwuofu

THE former Senate Majority Leader Teslim Folarin has said the death of Lam Adesina would change the landscape of Oyo politics. Describing Lam’s death as a shock, Folarin restated that his death would change the landscape of Oyo politics. He spoke yesterday when he visited the family of the politician at Felele, Ibadan. Folarin said the deceased was a political titan, not as the late strongman of Ibadan politics, Alhaji Lamidi Adedibu, adding that his death would reshape Oyo State politics. He said: “When Baba Adedibu died, we were shocked and are yet to recover from his death. “Baba Lam was known as a man of peace. He was a strong political leader like the late Chief Adedibu. He was another titan. He was a key player and we have to go back to the drawing board. You know what that means.” The former Senate Leader and his supporters were received by Lam Adesina’s widow, Alhaja Saratu Adesina, one of his sons who is the Commissioner for Youths and Sports, Mr. Adedapo LamAdesina and the former Secretary to the Oyo State Government (SSG), Chief Adeniyi Koleoso. He prayed for the repose of the soul of Lam Adesina.

Alaafin, others condole with Ajimobi THE Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Olayiwola Adeyemi III, yesterday led a delegation of traditional rulers in the state to commiserate with Governor Abiola Ajimobi on the death of former governor, Lam Adesina. The monarch, who said the death of Alhaji Adesina was unfortunate, described him as a vibrant and focused politician who believed in the politics of ideology and principle. Oba Adeyemi lauded the contributions of the late elder statesman to the political, social and economic development of Oyo State, saying he was a fanatical progressive during his life. While acknowledging the exemplary leadership quality of the late Adesina, the royal father said no politician in the state had benefited from the political career of the former governor more than himself.

THE Senate Minority Leader, Senator George Akume, has condoled with the Saraki family on the death of the Second Republic Senate Leader, Dr. Olusola Saraki. Akume said in a statement: “I received with shock, the news of the death of Dr. Olusola Saraki. I commiserate with his immediate family, Kwara State Government and all Nigerians on this irreparable loss. “Baba Oloye was a philanthropist who committed his life to the development of Nigeria.

Jang mourns From Yusufu Aminu Idegu, Jos,

PLATEAU State Governor Jonah Jang has described the death of Senator Olusola Saraki as the transition of a great rallying point of the people. According to a condolence message signed by Mr. James Mannok, the Director of Press to Governor Jang, the late Saraki was a great mentor, mobiliser, symbol of the struggle for a better society and philanthropist. While condoling with the people of Kwara State, Governor Jang urged the Saraki family, Kwara State Government and the indigenes to be comforted by the legacy of service the late elder statesman left. He prayed to God to allow the late strongman of Kwara politics rest in peace.

Senator sends his condolences Former Inspector-General of Police, Mr. Sunday Adewusi (left), condoling with Senator Bukola Saraki, son of the late former Senate Leader, Dr. Olusola Saraki, in Ilorin ...yesterday.

Saraki a political icon, says senator


HE Vice-Chairman of the Senate Committee on Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Nurudeen AbatemiUsman, has described the late strongman of Kwara politics, Dr. Olusola Saraki, as a political icon who contributed to the development of the country. The senator said this in a statement issued by his

Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Mr. Michael Jegede, to commiserate with the family of the philanthropist who died on Wednesday at 79. Abatemi-Usman, whose late father was the deputy when the late Governor Cornelius Adebayo ruled the old Kwara State in 1983, said Saraki’s demise is a great loss not only to the people of

Kwara State, but to other Nigerians. He noted that with his political sagacity, the Second Republic Senate Leader had built a formidable political dynasty, and his children, including Bukola Saraki, are involved in politics. “My prayers go to members of the Saraki family as they mourn the death of their patriarch. We have lost a rare

His death is end of era in Kwara, says Ngige


ORMER Anambra State governor, Senator Chris Ngige, has expressed shock on the death of the former Senate Leader, Dr. Olusola Saraki. He described his death as the end of a glorious era in Kwara and northern Nigerian politics. Speaking with reporters in Awka, Senator Ngige said he met the late Saraki when he was a member of the Medical Students Association of the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. He said: “Dr. Saraki encouraged us to study hard and prepare for the future. He told us that the future belonged to youths. At that time, one could see the warmth and genuine passion he had for the downtrodden and oppressed people, which

he transformed into charity and philanthropy.” Senator Ngige described Saraki as an astute politician and a strategist. He added: “As a politician, Saraki was an astute strategist and an achiever. For five decades, he was the big masquerade in Kwara politics, producing a dynasty of political gladiators who continue to hold sway in the state and Nigeria. He passed on at a time

Afonja descendants salute ‘commoners’ friend’ From Adekunle Jimoh, Ilorin

T •Ngige

the people of Kwara and Nigeria need his advice and wealth of experience. I pray for the repose of his soul.”

Ladoja: a great loss


gem, a colossus, an enigma of sort and a quintessential politician who was involved in the politics of Kwara State and Nigeria for over 40 years,” Abatemi-Usman said. He added: “The late political juggernaut will be remembered for his humility, bigheartedness, humanitarian spirit and commitment to the development of the country. May his soul rest in peace.”

THE Chairman, Senate Committee on Petroleum (Downstream), Senator Magnus Abe, has commiserated with Senator Bukola Saraki on the death of his father, Oloye Abubakar Olusola Saraki. In a statement, the senator representing Rivers South-East Senatorial District, described the Second Republic Senate Leader as an elder statesman whose ingenuity and contributions to the political landscape of Kwara State and the nation at large were legendary.

ENATOR Rashidi Adewolu Ladoja has described the death of former Senate Leader Senator Olusola Saraki as a great loss to the nation. He said the death of the great politician and elder statesman “occurred when we still need his wealth of experience.” Senator Ladoja praised the deceased’s concern for the unity of Nigeria and growth of democracy. He prayed that Allah should grant the deceased eternal rest and his family, Kwara State people and other Nigerians the fortitude to bear the loss.

HE Afonja Descendants Union (ADU) in Ilorin, Kwara State has said the late Dr. Olusola Saraki lived and died as a friend of the commoners. The Chairman of the union, Alhaji Abdulkarim O. Kasum, told reporters yesterday in Ilorin that Dr. Saraki achieved much in politics because he was hardworking. Said he: “The strongman of Kwara politics was a grassroots politician. His death marks the end of an era in Kwara politics. His position will be difficult to fill.”

Ihedioha: demise is a national loss


HE Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mr. Emeka Ihedioha, has expressed sadness about the death of Second Republic Senate Leader, Dr. Olusola Saraki. He said his death “at this time in our country’s drive towards the consolidation of democracy is painful as the polity will miss his contributions.” Ihedioha described the late Saraki as a nationalist, a compassionate personality, and a celebrated achiever whose life and time were dedicated to the improvement of the poor. He consoled the Saraki family, government and people of Kwara State and prayed that God should grant the soul of the departed eternal rest.



NEWS Obasanjo to lead ECOWAS election observers to Ghana From Augustine Ehikioya, Abuja

FORMER President Olusegun Obasanjo will lead a 250member ECOWAS Election Observer Mission to Ghana to monitor the country’s general elections billed for December 7. A statement issued yesterday by the Communication Unit of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Commission said the trip is within the context of the region’s instrument for the provision of support to member-states holding elections. It reads: “The ECOWAS team, comprising representatives of the various segments of the West African society will be in the country for nine days to observe the conduct of the presidential, legislative and local elections, expected to contribute to the deepening of democratic culture in the country. “An ECOWAS assessment mission was in Ghana in October to review preparations for the elections during which the mission members met stakeholders, including representatives of political parties, civil society organisations and the national electoral commission, to discuss their perspectives on the preparations for the elections.”

Subsidy scam: ANPP opposes plea bargain for Tukur’s, Arisekola’s sons T HE All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) yesterday described the negotiation discussions entered into by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) with Mahmud Tukur, son of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) National Chairman, Bamanga Tukur, alongside Abdullahi Alao, son of business tycoon, Arisekola Alao, as another fraud. A statement issued in Abuja by the National Publicity Secretary, Emma Eneukwu, said: “The attention of the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) has been drawn to a widely reported news yesterday that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, has entered into ‘discussion’ with Mahmud Tukur, son of the PDP Na-

From Gbenga Omokhunu, Abuja

tional Chairman, Bamanga Tukur, alongside Abdullahi Alao, son of business tycoon, Arisekola Alao and Alex Ochonogor, over their role in the fuel subsidy scam. “This is in a bid to secure a plea bargain for the suspects. Their company, Eternal Oil and Gas Plc, allegedly obtained N1.9 billion from the Petroleum Support Fund for a purported importation of 80.3 million litres of petrol; and EFCC had said it never imported the petrol. Inasmuch as our great party believes in the law of the land and its instrument and processes, we are nevertheless strongly convinced that entering into a plea bargain

with suspects in the opprobrious fuel subsidy scam is tantamount to another daylight robbery of the Nigerian people. “It is an incontrovertible truth that investigations into the fuel subsidy regime and the subsequent mind-boggling revelations about the robbery of the Nigerian people were brought about by the nationwide demonstrations of the masses early this year when the Federal Government demonstrated gross insensitivity by removing the subsidy on fuel. In other words, it was the people that inspired the ongoing arraignment of the subsidy fraudsters. Hence, it is to the people that they should refund all

that have been stolen from them. “Granted, the purpose of plea bargain under the Criminal Procedure Act and Section 13[2] of the EFCC Act is mostly asset recovery; but the peculiar political atmosphere in Nigeria is sure to make mockery of this legal procedure as serial criminals enmeshed in manifest raids of the people’s commonwealth use it to meander out of the net of justice. This was no doubt what inspired the former Chief Justice of Nigeria, Honourable Justice Dahiru Musdapher, on November 14, 2011 to describe the application of Plea Bargain in the Nigerian context as being of ‘‘dubious origin’’, explaining later that he was referring to ‘‘the sneaky

Uwais, Musdapher, EFCC disagree on plea bargain From Kamarudeen Ogundele, Abuja


Thanksgiving FIRST Baptist Church (FBC), 12, Oremerin Street, Itire, Lagos will on Sunday celebrate its annual family thanksgiving tagged: “Harvest of God’s Goodness”. The minister-in-charge, Pastor A.P. Oyeyemi, said members are expected to celebrate the occasion with their relations and friends.

Stolen vehicle A HONDA Accord saloon car, model 2005, painted in navy blue colour, with engine no K24A43332876, chasis no 1HGCM56885A111264 and registration no TZ 724 KJA, belonging to Mrs. Kemi Kola Okunola was stolen at gunpoint in Ikeja, Lagos at about 7:30pm on November 11. If found, please report at the nearest police station.

motive behind its introduction into our legal system, or its evident fraudulent application. “The ANPP therefore emphatically states that any misapplication of plea bargain in the ongoing fuel subsidy fraud court cases amounts to a second fraud on the good citizens of this great nation. We call for judicial vigilance on the part of the people; and also call on the National Assembly, as the people’s representative, to ensure that this new development in the subsidy cases does not set the stage for a massive shortchanging of the Federal Republic by indicted subsidy fraudsters. It is either they refund the monies they stole in full, or they face the full wrath of the law.”

•From left: Rivers State Governor Chibuike Amaechi, his Ekiti State counterpart, Kayode Fayemi, former World Bank VicePresident Oby Ezekwesili and wife of Rivers State Governor, Judith Amaechi, at the BRACED States Education Summit in Port Harcourt...yesterday.

Court told how ex-works minister, others ‘defrauded’ government


FEDERAL High Court, Abuja yesterday heard how former Minister of Works, Dr. Hassan Muhammed Lawal and nine others allegedly misappropriated about N6.4 billion equity contribution by the Federal Government, Nasarawa and Kogi state governments for the construction of the Guto Bagana Bridge. By Adeola Ogunlade The revelation came after A CLERIC, Pastor Jimmy they pleaded guilty to the Tewe, the Senior Pastor of amended 44-count charge KingsWord International Church, Oregun, Lagos, has brought against them by the called for a credible leader- Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC. ship in the public and The nine others are Dr. private sectors, saying it is a major panacea for national growth and development. He spoke at a press briefing held ahead of the EMBERS of the church’s 15th anniversary House of Reprecelebration, which began on sentatives yesterWednesday and will end on day urged the Federal GovSunday. The programme, entitled: ernment to provide subsidy on the importation of “Supernatural Order”, will Atemisimin Combination feature Bible teaching, Treatment (ACT), drug to encareer and professional able Nigerians have easy acseminar, prophetic prayer ministration and supernatu- cess to it. The House also directed ral night of wonders, which its Committee on HIV/AIDS takes place at the Gymnaand Malaria Control to carry sium Hall, National out in-depth studies on maStadium, Surulere, Lagos laria and advise the House today.

Cleric calls for credible leadership

From Kamarudeen Ogundele, Abuja

Adeogba Godwin Ademola, Digital Toll Company Limited, Swede Control Interlink Limited, Proman Vital Ventures Limited, Nairda Limited, Siraj Nigeria Limited and Wise Health Services Limited. The accused allegedly perpetrated the fraud through a bridge contract, which was to link Nasarawa with Kogi. The term of the contract awarded on Public Private Partnership was, Built Operate and Transfer between the Federal Government and the two state

governments on one hand and the concessionaire, Swede Control Intertek Limited. Testifying against the accused, a prosecution witness, Mr. Chike Nwibe, a member of the team that investigated the scam, said investigation showed that the Federal Government and the two state governments paid their equity contribution of N6.4 billion, while the private partner did not. Led in evidence-in-chief by the EFCC counsel, Wahab Shittu, the witness, who is a Deputy Superintendent of Police revealed that “some of the

documents available to the investigation team show that the N6.4 billion and other contributions in connection to the contract are to be paid into a joint account to be managed by signatories of the two parties. “However, that did not happen as monies were most times released directly to another company, which later transformed into being the concessionaire. The name of the company is Digital Tolls Company Limited (DTCL), which belongs to the third accused person, Dr. AdeogbaGodwin Ademola,” the witness added.

HE controversy trailing the introduction of plea bargaining in the criminal justice system in Nigeria continued yesterday with two former Chief Justices of Nigeria disagreeing on the concept. While former CJN Muhammad Uwais said it will enhance justice administration and maximise scarce judicial resources, Dahiru Musdapher said it is a threat to Nigeria due to massive corruption. The duo spoke at the Seventh Negotiation and Conflict Management Group (NCMG) African ADR Summit organised with the National Judicial Institute (NJI) in Abuja. While the duo canvassed different positions, the incumbent CJN, Mariam AlomaMukhtar, was indifferent. In her opening remarks, Justice Aloma-Mukhtar urged the summit to resolve divergent views and foster the understanding on the use or otherwise of plea bargaining. But the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), which is at the centre of the controversy, insisted that plea bargaining remains a viable option in criminal justice administration. Speaking on the theme of the conference: “Plea Bargaining and the Criminal Justice System in Africa”, Uwais urged participants to focus more on how best the judiciary can adapt to the use of plea bargaining in a manner that does not compromise fair administration of justice.

Reps seek Fed Govt’s subsidy on malaria drugs


From Victor Oluwasegun and Dele Anofi, Abuja

accordingly. It urged the Federal Government to consider the use of effective malaria drugs that malaria parasites are not resistant to in the country’s bid to roll back malaria. These resolutions were sequel to the adoption of the prayers of a motion brought before the House by a member, Uzoma Nkem-Abonta.

The lawmaker in his lead debate noted that “malaria affects over 100 million of Nigeria’s estimated 140 million population, with over one million Nigerian children between ages one-five dying of malaria each year. Approximately 60 per cent of all cases of malaria occur among the poorest 20 per cent world’s population, with young children and women at the highest risk of malaria infection and mortality.

“From the above World Health Organisation (WHO) certified statistics, malaria kills more people than HIV/ AIDS, or any other killer disease,” he said. He regretted the lack of political will to fight the scourge by government, citing the allocation of N200 million in 2008 and zero budget allocation for the procurement of ACT anti-malaria drugs and monotheraphies in 2009.

According to him, subsequent budgetary provision for malaria treatment has steadily been on the decline, which he noted is responsible for the near collapse of the country’s health system. He said there is need for deliberate action towards addressing the problems of inadequate personnel, lack of equipment, infrastructure, importation of sub-standard and or counterfeit drugs, among others.



NEWS CONSTITUTIONAL REVIEW It must reflect what the people want, says Suswam

Ekweremadu: new states not ruled out

•’No to Sovereign National Conference’ From Sanni Onogu, Makurdi



EPUTY Senate President and Chairman, Committee on the Review of the 1999 Constitution Ike Ekweremadu yesterday said the National Assembly hasn’t ruled out state creation in the constitution review. He spoke at the opening of the Southeast zonal public hearing on the review of the 1999 Constitution held at the Enugu State House of Assembly Agitation for state creation in the Southeast dominated presentations at the public hearing. He said: “It is not true that the National Assembly has ruled out state creation. “It is also not true that it is pursuing any special agenda on the matter as we have no such powers. “Rather, the position of the National Assembly is that while it is committed to ensuring that every request is treated on its merit, Nigerians need to understand that the processes for state creation are different from that of conventional constitution amendment. “State creation under the military was decreed into existence by fiat. “But in a democracy, state creation is a long and cumbersome process requiring the input of Nigerians and is therefore not an entirely

SENATORS ALL: Ekweremadu flanked by Chukwumerije(left) and the event yesterday. From Chris Oji, Enugu

National Assembly affair.” The Deputy Senate President also assured that the National Assembly is committed to ensuring that every view counts. He urged Nigerians to act “responsibily, with decorum, and patriotism.” “Importantly, we should approach it with not only the present in mind, but also with an eye on the future, willing to give and to take, fully aware that the interest and wellbeing of this great nation are best guaranteed

by securing the interest and wellbeing of the whole”, he said. The Chairman of the Senate Committee on Constitution Review, insisted that neither the Committee nor members of the National Assembly had any hidden agenda. He said: “Let me reassure Nigerians that there is absolutely nothing like a predetermined agenda. “We will continue to apply ourselves only to the agenda which you have set or will set for us through your input. “Our detractors do not have the interest, health,

Mark, Fashola clamour for state police, true federalism


ENATE President David Mark and Lagos State Governor Babatunde Fashola have said state police and true federalism must take centre stage in the recommendations for the ongoing review for the amendment of the 1999 Constitution. The duo spoke at the opening of the Southwest Zone public hearing of the proposed amendment. The event, which held in Oranmiyan Hall of the Lagos Airport Hotel, Ikeja, was chaired by Senator Ganiyu Solomon. It was attended by former Lagos State Governor Lateef Jakande, Senators Oluremi Tinubu, Gbenga Ashafa, traditional rulers, community leaders and civil society organisations, among others. Mark said the National Assembly has taken no position on the proposed amendment. The idea of the public hearing, he said, is to collate views, which will form the agenda for the review of the constitution. “I would like to suggest that any amendment we make must take two issues into consideration; any amendment that will improve security should be prioritised . “And amendment that will bring development nearer and quicker to the people should also be prioritised. “This is my humble suggestion. All of you are conversant with Delhi in India, Rio and Brasilia in Brazil; all these former capitals have special

BY Miriam Ndikanwu

status in these countries. “When the call for special status for Lagos comes up, you are not asking for anything out of the ordinary. “I believe the view of the governor on the status of Lagos State is the view of Lagosians. “We are all here to collate the views, there are many issues we want to discuss, there are issues we should address from a patriotic and nationalistic point of view and not just from a selfish point of view .” Fashola acknowledged the importance of the public hearing. The governor also raised concerns about the arguments that have lingered about who should decide the issues to be amended in the constitution. He said: “Perhaps let me start by saying that we asked ourselves in this discussion, that who is suited to know where the constitution is faulty? “Is it the people or the people who they have elected to operate it? “But that will be a matter that will evolve in the course of the debate here because we can’t even resolve it all here. “All I need to say is that the Lagos State Government has held a public hearing based on the parameters sent to us. “They are devolution of powers, state creation, geo-political zones, traditional rulers, local governments, Land Use Act, NYSC Act, Code of

Conduct Bureau, fiscal federalism, immunity clause, mayoral status for Abuja and, of course, the police.” The governor urged speakers to prioritise issues of national security and development. “It seems to me that the constitution itself is not an end, but a means to an end and that end is our collective prosperity. “ A federal arrangement for this country, in my view, is not negotiable because that is the only way that the diversity of this country can be harnessed. “We are so different but yet the same. We are so diverse yet one and the best way is to allow each independent state develop at its own speed, according to its own ability. “So issues like fiscal federalism and political federalism, I will put them on the top of the list and that takes me to issues about devolution of power. “Issues like police must come under the devolution of power, but what is most important for us to deal with today is our national security. “Without it we’ll continue to live in fear. “A few years ago, the most important item on the agenda was robbery, but that agenda now has kidnapping, spiced with terrorism. “So where is the capacity of the police to deal with issues, such as rape and those are matters that the states can deal with?”

peace, unity, and prosperity of this nation at heart. “Again, I say to them that we are not and we will never be intimidated or distracted. “Such elements should therefore be ignored. “We are committed to doing that which will stand the test of time." Present at the event, chaired by Senator Uche Chukwumerike, were Senators Ayogu Eze, Gilbert Nnaji, Chris Ngige, Andy Uba, Sunny Ogbuorji, Chris Nwankwo and Hope Uzodimma. Others include Enyinnaya Abaribe and Igwe Nwagu

ENUE State Governor Gabriel Suswam yesterday warned that the constitutional review process must reflect the wishes and aspirations of the people and not the “whims and caprices of the drivers of the process.” Suswam spoke at the opening of the Northcentral zonal public hearing on the proposed alteration of the provisions of the 1999 Constitution in Makurdi, the state capital. The governor said the state was opposed to a Sovereign National Conference in whatever guise. Deputy Senate President Ike Ekweremadu denied that the National Assembly has jettisoned the issue of state creation. Suswam said: “I want to say that Benue State is opposed to the convocation of any conference in whatever name. “We willingly elected our lawmakers and gave them our own mandate. There is no basis after we elected them to say they are not qualified to speak and act on our behalf. “ If we had wanted a conference, whether sovereign or national, we would have done that before the election of our representatives. “I believe that we are here in numbers because we want to pass a vote of confidence in the National Assembly and to clearly show and indicate that these are our representatives. “We enjoin them to ensure that the amendment is not based on their whims and caprices but what we say here.” Ekwereremadu, who was represented by the Chairman of the Northcentral Zone of the Committee on Constitution Review, George Akume, lauded the people for their faith in the constitution review project. He said: “It is not true that the National Assembly has ruled out state creation. It is also not true that it is pursuing any special agenda on the matter as we have no such powers.” Ekwereremadu noted that state creation is constitutionally a process that should originate from the people, local government councils, members of the State Assembly and members of the National Assembly from the areas seeking new states. He added: “The role of National Assembly is to provide leadership, moderate the process, and ensure compliance with the legislative due process.” Present at the event were Deputy Governor Stephen Lawani; former Minister of Information Prof Jerry Gana; former Deputy Senate President Ibrahim Mantu; Etsu Nupe Alhaji Yahaya Abubakar; Emir of Lafia Alhaji Isah and other traditional rulers. Also present were Senators Banarbas Gemade, Sulieman Adokwe, Dahiru Kuta, Smart Adeyemi, Joshua Dariye, Abdullahi Adamu, Zainab Kure, Victor Lar, Solomon Ewuga, Gyang Pwajok, and Philip Aduda, Nicholas Ugbane, Ibrahim Musa and Joseph Akaargerger.



NEWS Amosun hails brilliant teachers, pupils OGUN State Governor Ibikunle Amosun yesterday hailed two teachers and six pupils, who won national awards. He restated his determination to sustain free education in primary and secondary schools, pay teachers’ salaries promptly, improve the conditions of service and retrain teachers. Amosun spoke in Abeokuta, the state capital, at a reception organised in honour of the awardees of the President’s Teachers and Schools Excellence Award (PTSEA). Mr. Adeniji Olufemi of the Yewa College, Ilaro, won the National Best School Administrator Award and Mr. Sodipo Taiwo of the Methodist School, Abeokuta, emerged the Best Primary School Teacher in Nigeria. Ogun pupils won the Best Speller at the Spelling Bee Competition; the Best Candidates in the Cowbell National Mathematics Competition, Senior and Junior categories; Best Candidate in the 2011 West African School Certificate Examination (WASCE) in Nigeria and Second Best in West Africa; and Best Candidates (2) at the 2012 Whizkid Competition, organised by the Nigeria Computer Society. Amosun said he felt “very proud that barely 17 months after he assumed office, Ogun State has regained its leading position, not only in education and sports, but in other fields of human endeavour.” He said: “This event is not only historic, but proof that our vision and passion are right; our investments are just and our strategies are working.” Commissioner for Education Segun Odubela said the PTSEA was introduced in 2007 to motivate teachers and schools to improve on service delivery. Cash rewards were given to the awardees and the governor said their names would be registered in the state’s Education Hall of Fame. Outstanding students in various subjects were given scholarships.

Ogun pays N388m compensation From Ernest Nwokolo, Abeokuta


HE Ogun State Government has paid N388.07 million as compensation to persons, whose buildings were demolished to pave the way for road expansion in Abeokuta, the state capital. The Director-General of the Bureau of Lands, Mrs. Ronke Sokefun, told reporters that affected persons in Ita-Eko, Oke-Sokori and Totoro were paid N300 million this week. Claimants in Akin-Olugbade were paid N88.07 million last week. Mrs. Sokefun said the government is determined to give Abeokuta a facelift. She urged the public to always visit the bureau for clarification on issues relating to land purchase, titles and ratification.

•From left: The Olugbon of Orile-Igbon, Oba Samuel Adegboyega; Alafin of Oyo Oba Lamidi Adeyemi; Oyo State Governor Abiola Ajimobi and his deputy, Otunba Alake Adeyemo; during the traditional rulers’ condolence visit to the governor in Ibadan on the death of former Governor Lam Adesina...yesterday.

Ondo LP ‘evades’ service of petitions


NE week after the governorship candidates of the Accord and the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) in the October 20 election in Ondo State filed their petitions, the Election Petition Tribunal is still finding it difficult to serve the respondents, Governor Olusegun Mimiko and the Labour Party (LP), copies of the petition. It was learnt that its bailiff could not serve the LP because its office at Oyemekun was locked up. Mimiko was said to be una-

•Accord expels governorship candidate From Damisi Ojo, Akure

vailable when the bailiff went to the Governor’s Office. However, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has been served with copies of the petitions. Five parties have filed petitions at the tribunal, challenging the declaration of Mimiko as the winner of the election. They are ACN, Accord, Congress for Progressive Change (CPC), Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and People for Democratic Change (PDC). ACN’s counsel Titiloye Charles said time is of the essence in view of the 180-day lifespan of the petitions. He said the party has requested a bailiff report from the tri-

bunal in order to apply for a substituted service, if the respondents could not be served personally at the end of yesterday. Yesterday, Accord expelled its candidate in the election, Mr. Olawale Ojo, for alleged misconduct. It alleged that Ojo did not follow the party’s procedure, before filing a petition at the tribunal. Ojo is praying the tribunal to nullify the election on the grounds that he was unlawfully excluded from participating in the election by INEC. But the party dissociated itself from Ojo’s petition. Speaking with reporters in Akure, Accord Chairman Mr. Ajibola Falaiye said: “Ojo is a member of our party. Before the election, he approached me that he would like to contest

for the governorship seat and I initially supported him. “I gave him a letter to INEC as the party’s candidate. But, as time went on, Ojo was not screened and INEC did not send any letter to us on why he was not screened. “Since INEC refused to clear him, we had no candidate for the election and are not calling for its cancellation. The party did not submit the required materials to INEC before the election, so we did have a candidate.” Ojo could not be reached, but a prominent member of the party, who spoke in confidence, said Ojo met all the requirements for the election and should have been recognised by INEC as Accord’s standard bearer. He accused the party’s leadership of colluding with LP to frustrate Ojo’s petition.

Aregbesola marks new Islamic year with fireworks


ESIDENTS of Osun State on Wednesday night welcomed the new Muslim year, called Hijrah, with fireworks at the popular Oja Oba in Osogbo, the state capital. It was the first time such a colourful event would be organised to mark the beginning of the Islamic year. Governor Rauf Aregbesola urged Muslims to be tolerant of other religions and pray for Nigeria to overcome its challenges.

Explaining that Islam preaches peace and tolerance, he said: “Any Muslim without good behaviour should have a rethink and follow the laid down principles in the Holy Qu’ran and that of the Prophet Mohammed. “Islam is a religion of peace and, as Muslims, you must be of good behaviour with those you come in contact with. Whoever has a deep knowledge of Islam would not engage in violence.

“As we celebrate, we must also strengthen our prayers for Nigeria. We must pray against violence and war, so that we can all have rest of mind.” Explaining the significance of Hijra, Aregbesola said: “The lesson of Hijra is to leave everything that is bad for good. It is when we do this that we have played our role as Muslims.” The government declared yesterday a public holiday to mark the beginning of the Islamic year.

Fashola: Higher education should be redefined


AGOS State Governor Babatunde Fashola has said higher education must be repositioned to address the country’s challenges. He said education is the greatest treasure any nation can seek. Fashola spoke on Wednesday at the 64th Foundation Day Anniversary and the 2012 Convocation Lecture of the University of Ibadan (UI). In his lecture, entitled: “Framework for Re-inventing Higher Education forNigeria’s National Development”, Fashola said: “In the 21st century, education will remain the most valuable currency every nation will desire, but which no Central Bank can print. Every nation must decide how much of this currency it requires and set about how to acquire it.”

From Tayo Johnson, Ibadan

He said human capital must be developed to extract and add value to other resources. Fashola said: “We must understand that our economy has changed and that the training of our human capital must change.” He said the Federal Government and states must come together to decide on the kind of economy Nigeria desires to build over the next 20-50 years. The governor said: “There should be massive investment in developing infrastructure and policies that will sustain such an economy, such as building roads, providing power and developing agricultural policies that will stimulate production.” UI’s Vice-Chancellor Prof.

Isaac Adewole described Fashola as a “versatile and intelligent” man. He said: “Access to higher institution in this country is a major problem, because over 35,000 students applied for admission in UI this year, while only 2,386 students were admitted due to lack of space.” The Pro-Chancellor Chief Wole Olanipekun said Fashola has brought sense to governance. Chairman of the occasion Prof. Oladapo Akinkugbe urged the government to pay more attention to polytechnic education. Decrying the discriminating attitude of the government and Nigerians to polytechnic education, he said: “For Nigeria to develop technological, it must focus more on polytechnic education.”



NEWS Governors call for educational advancement

Fed Govt won’t dump Ribadu report, says Okupe


HE Federal Government has no intention of dumping the Nuhu Ribadu report, Senior Special Assistant to the President on Public Affairs, Dr Doyin Okupe has said. In a statement yesterday, Okupe said the Federal Government would look at the recommendations and verify the data in the report. According to the President’s aide, the fact that government has decided to verify the contents of the report as recommended does not mean the report would be thrown away. Okupe said since the cover letter on the report stated that the government must verify the facts before any action is taken, it would be wrong for it to do otherwise. According to him, at no

time did he or any official suggest that the report would be dumped. “There are several issues raised by the committee that would never be swept under the carpet by the Jonathan administration. “Anyone found wanting shall be punished and all loopholes for corruption blocked. “An obvious disclaimer issued by the committee on the report makes it impossible under our laws to indict or punish anybody except and until the Federal Government verifies and reconciles the facts as recommended by the committee”. Okupe said because the report was hurriedly put together and submitted, the


Reduce power at centre, says Imoke From Nicholas Kalu, Calabar


ROSS River State Governor Liyel Imoke yesterday said the proposed constitution should consider critically the restructuring of the Nigerian federation. The governor spoke at the public hearing on the review of the 1999 Constitution for the Southsouth geo-political zone in Calabar, the state capital yesterday. Imoke, who spoke through Deputy Governor Efiok Cobham, said the centre is too powerful; “the states instead of being seen as the federating units are as seen as “lower partner in the Nigeria project.” He said items listed on the exclusive list of the constitution were higher than those in the concurrent list. According to him, 68 items are on the exclusive list and only 28 on the concurrent has made the centre a sole proprietor. Imoke also called for the review of the revenue allocation formula, which gives the Federal Government the greater chunk of the allocation. Deputy Senate President Ike Ekweremadu has refuted reports credited to him that the National Assembly has ruled out the possibility of creating more states. Ekweremadu said the position of the National Assembly is to ensure that every request for state creation is treated on its merit. His words: “Our role at the National Assembly is to provide leadership, moderate the process, and ensure compliance with legislative due process. For instance, the onus lies on the areas seeking new states, not the National Assembly, to generate the requests and reach out to other parts of Nigeria to see reason with them and support their aspirations. “Thus, people seeking an additional state to be carved out from the present Ondo State should also bear in mind that such requests must receive the blessing of Sokoto and Abia states, among others, to scale through. “A referendum is also required with the involvement of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). But whereas the processes are obviously cumbersome, it is certainly not an impossible task. “All that is needed is political maturity, consensus building, patriotism, enlightenment, and sense of justice,” he stated.

‘Rotate governorship in Oyo’ From Bisi Oladele, Ibadan



From Gbade Ogunwale, Assistant Editor, Abuja

HE indigenes of Oke Ogun area of Oyo State have recommended rotation of the governorship among the three senatorial districts. Though they objected to rotational presidency, the indigenes said rotational governorship would end years of marginalisation of the area. They also pushed for the creation of Oke Ogun state, strengthening of the local government system as well as abolition of the state-local government joint account. The member representing the Irepo/Olorunsogo/ Oorelope Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives, Jimoh Afees, praised the turn out of his constituents. He said it meant the people were prepared to have a constitution that would serve them. At the public hearing were notable indigenes of the constituency such as the Registrar, Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB), Prof Dibu Ojerinde; chairman of Oke Ogun Development Council Prof J.D. Dada; traditional rulers from Kisi, Igbeti and Igboho communities as well as leaders of community unions and professional bodies.


government would waste time and money to verify it before a White Paper is issued. “ I must assure Nigerians that this administration is serious about fighting corruption through the prosecution and institutional reforms. “Any person or organisation found wanting by the report after verification would be made to face the law,” he added.

IVERS State Governor Rotimi Amaechi, his Ekiti and Anambra State counterparts, Kayode Fayemi and Peter Obi and former Vice President of World Bank Mrs Oby Ezekwesili have urged Niger Delta states and the Federal Government to give priority to educational advancement. They spoke at the Bayelsa, Rivers, Akwa Ibom, Cross River, Edo and Delta (BRACED) states Education Summit yesterday at the Government House, Port Harcourt. Amaechi said: “If we don’t give priority to education, our country will be doomed. “I believe that is why we have gathered here today because education is first. It is the future of our children and if we don’t do that, our children and future will be doomed.

From Bisi Olaniyi, Port Harcourt

“What we have in the Nigerian educational system is appalling, with the infrastructure dilapidating. “ In Rivers State, with many well-equipped model primary and secondary schools, students are now leaving private schools for public schools. “The administration has given priority to ICT, education, agricultural and oil economy, and we have contracted Germans to handle vocational education in fashion designing, hair dressing, welding, building technology, ICT and others.” Fayemi said: “We have crisis in the education sector. We must tell ourselves the home truth. One laptop per secondary school student in Ekiti state will amount to nothing, without quality teachers. What BRACED

commission is doing is commendable. “The first thing we should do is to declare a state of emergency on the state of education in the country.” “I think the BRACED Commission should come out with modalities to improve our educational sector. The crisis we are witnessing in the North is not a religious or political crisis, but an economic crisis.” Obi said: “The future of the children is very important. Let us make things good and work in Nigeria.” Mrs Ezekwesili urged Nigerians should embrace change and that early childcare should be a regional priority. The former education minister added that emphasis must also be placed on basic and secondary education in order to move forward.




Akingbola’s trial may start afresh

No section will be favoured, says Mark


ENATE President David Mark yesterday said no section of the country would be marginalised in the constitutional review process. Mark spoke at the Senateorganised peoples’ public session on the review of the 1999

From Adamu Suleiman, Sokoto

Constitution in Sokoto. Mark said Nigeria is developing democratically and that the National Assembly is working to defend the rights

‘We want Apa state’ From Uja Emmanuel, Makurdi


REATION of Apa state, financial autonomy for Houses of Assembly, power shift and abolition of state and local government joint account dominated the public session of the 1999 Constitutional review for Ado/Ogbadigbo/Okpokwu Federal Constituency in Benue State. The people also called for a rotation of the governorship among the three senatorial districts. Chairman of the session Justice George Uloko said the constitution review is a welcome development and called on residents to make an input. The member representing the constituency in the House of Representatives, Hassan Saleh, said the public session is to increase the capacity of participants.

and privileges of Nigerians. The Senate President emphasised the need for the constitutional review to focus on sensitive issues, such as security of life and property as well as unity. “The National Assembly is working to ensure a better Nigeria and it is our hope and readiness to ensure fairness on the matter of constitution review. “We need to work to defend our hard earned unity by entrenching lasting democracy. “We need to integrate to fast track even spread of development without compromising the strength of our security requirement for profitable opportunities for the entire people of the country,” he said.

By Adebisi Onanuga



ORMER Managing Director of defunct Intercontinental Bank Plc Erastus Akingbola was in court yesterday, but his case failed to go on. His case file is yet to be tranferred to another judge. This has strengthened the opinion that the case may start afresh (de novo) or Akingbol may be let off the hook.

Akingbola was arraigned by the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC). For about 20minutes that he was in court, Akingbola stayed back in a Mercedes Benz Sport Utility Vehicle (SUV). One of his aides approached the court for enquiries. Sources said contrary to what happened in the Supreme Court case of Ogbunyiya vs Okudo (1979), the court was not considering any move to discharge Akingbola. Akingbola is on trial with an associate, Bayo Dada, for alleged theft of N49.1 billion

belonging to the bank. It was gathered that Akingbola’s case file is still in the custody of the registrar of the former court of Justice Habeeb Abiru, who was recently sworn in as a Justice of the Court of Appeal. Justice Abiru, it was said, ceased to have jurisdiction to continue the case. Some legal luminaries, including Femi Falana (SAN), said the implication of this is that the case had been technically resolved in Akingbola’s favour. “In other words, Mr Akingbola has been discharged a second time due to no fault of his,” said Falana in reference to his discharge in another case at the Federal High Court for what Justice Justice Clement Archbong blamed on “lack of diligent prosecution”. At the last sitting on October 22, Justice Abiru ordered Akingbola to close his defence and file his final address within 14 days of the sitting of the court. The judge adjourned the trial, which had lasted about 18 months, till yesterday to announce the date for judgment. But on November 5, Justice Abiru was sworn in as a Justice of the Appeal Court

FAAN to remove aircraft By Kelvin Osa-Okunbor


HE Management of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) will soon start removing abandoned aircraft from the nation’s airports. A statement by the General Manager, Corporate Communications, Yakubu Dati, said: “This became necessary because these aircraft have become safety hazard on the airside. “Apart from being an eyesore, some of these aircraft have been abandoned for more than 10 years. “The Authority hereby calls on all owners of abandoned aircraft to remove them from all our airports within the next one month.”

505 return from Hajj By Kelvin Osa Okunbor


IVE hundred and five pilgrims from Oyo, Ogun and Osun states yesterday returned to the Hajj and Cargo terminal of the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA), Lagos, after observing the pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia. Their return marked the end of this year’s hajj. The Boeing 747 aircraft which brought the pilgrims touched down at 2:30pm. Among the pilgrims were the Chairmen, Oyo and Ogun states Pilgrims Welfare Board, Taofeek Akewugbagold and Izak Yusuf and the outgoing Secretary, Osun State Muslims Welfare Board, Abdulkareem Ibrahim. Akewugbagold hailed the Federal Government for a hitch-free exercise. Yusuf described the exercise as a success.





Prospective investors must be very careful. Several fund managers are only out to dupe unsuspecting members of the public. They use different tactics to lure unsuspecting investors. Members of the public should contact SEC before parting with their money. - Ms Arunma Oteh, DG, SEC

Lagos warns telecoms firms over structures By Lucas Ajanaku


AGOS State govern ment has warned telecoms operators and internet service providers (ISPs) that it may pull down base transceiver stations (BTS) and other facilities built without approvals from the agencies created by the state House of Assembly. Speaking in Lagos, Joe Igbokwe, the Head, Urban Furniture Regulatory Unit (UFRU), a unit operating under the Physical Panning Law of the state, said the agency would no longer fold its arms and allow the operators to flout the laws. He said MTN and Etisalat could not disobey the laws of South Africa and United Arab Emirates (UAE), but they are doing just that in Nigeria. He recalled that on May 28, 2012, the Commissioner for Physical Planning and Urban Development had an interactive session with the stakeholders in the banking, telecoms industries, ISPs, Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) and others to announce the take off of UFRU, a unit in the Ministry operating under Physical Planning Law. No 3 of June 5, 2010. He noted that several meetings were held with the operators to fashion the way forward. He said UFRU had demanded the details of structures or installations to enable it to build a data base for administrative convenience and, most importantly, to enable agency conduct integrity tests on these structures and check whether they are fit to remain where they are. This, according to him, is against the backdrop of the avalanche of complaints from Lagosians concerning the structures in their host communities.

DATA STREAM COMMODITY PRICES Oil -$107/barrel Cocoa -$2,686.35/metric ton Coffee - ¢132.70/pound Cotton - ¢95.17pound Gold -$1,800/troy ounce Rubber -¢159.21pound MARKET CAPITALISATIONS NSE JSE NYSE LSE

-N6.503 trillion -Z5.112trillion -$10.84 trillion -£61.67 trillion

RATES Inflation -10.5% Treasury Bills -7.08% Maximum lending -22.42% Prime lending -15.87% Savings rate -2% 91-day NTB -15% Time Deposit -5.49% MPR -12% Foreign Reserve $35.8b FOREX CFA -0.2958 EUR -206.9 £ -242.1 $ -156 ¥ -1.9179 SDR -238 RIYAL -40.472

• From left: One of Etisalat’s customers, Mrs. Doris Musa; Head, Mass Market Segment, Etisalat Nigeria, Mr Idowu Adesokan; another customer, the Iyalode of Akure Kingdom, Chief Cecilia Omotunde Maradesa and Director, IT Strategy, Planning & Architecture, Etisalat Nigeria, Mr Otuyemi Otule, at the Etisalat Customer Forum, at Sunview Hotel, Alagbaka, Akure.

Court empowers AMCON to take over Ubah’s properties I

T is, indeed, a trying time for businessman and oil marketer, Ifeanyi Ubah and his company, Capital Oil and Gas Industries Limited. A Federal High Court in Abuja has ordered a temporary forfeiture of over 12 real estate properties located in Lagos, Anambra, Enugu and Niger states. Justice A. Abdu-Kafarati, in a ruling on Wednesday ordered the nation’s 21 commercial banks to, within three days and upon receiving the order, provide the court with details of Ubah and his company’s financial standing with them. The court also ordered the Inspector-General of Police, Assistant Inspectors-General of Police and the Commissioners of Police in Lagos, Enugu, Anambra and Niger states to assist in the enforcement of the orders. Justice Abdu-Kafarati’s orders were on an ex-parte application by the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) in a suit marked: FHC/ABJ/CS/ 714/2012. By the order, Ubah and his company are to grant “im-

• 21 banks to provide his financial details By Eric Ikhilae

mediate possession”of the affected properties to AMCON pending the determination of a substantive suit it filed. The court granted AMCON leave to serve the defendants originating processes in the case on the defendants at 1 Capital Oil Close, Westminster, Ibru Jetty Complex, Ibafon, Apapa, Lagos. The court also ordered AMCON to enter undertaking as to damages in the event that the court finds that the order ought not to have been given. This development is coming on the heels of a similar order by a London court ordering a worldwide seizure of Ubah’s known assets. The court, presided over by Justice Cooke, ordered that until the return date or further order of the court, Ubah and Capital Oil, must not remove from England,

Wales or any other part of the United Kingdom, any of their assets, which are in England and Wales valued at over $133 million or in any way dispose of, deal with or diminish the value of any of their assets up to the same value. The injunction covers the following assets: The property known as Capital Oil and Gas Industries Limited at 1, Capital Oil Close, Westminster; Ibru Jetty Complex, Ibafon Apapa, Lagos State; or the sale of the money, if any of them have been sold. The court also ordered that until a further order of the court, the respondent and each of the parties are prohibited from taking any steps whatsoever, whether directly or indirectly, to dissipate, dispose or in any way impinge on Access Bank’s right in and to any product covered by six Bills of Lading dated October 8,

2011, October 14, 2011, October 18, 2011, November 10, 2011, November 13, 2011, and December 21, 2011 including (but not limited) to products that have been and will be received into the shore tanks at Apapa, Lagos, and in particular, approximately 40,000 metric tonnes received in June/or August 2012. The court further directed that Ubah and Capital Oil should within seven days of service of the order swear and serve on Access Bank’s solicitors an affidavit of their assets worldwide exceeding £50,000 in value whether in their own names or not and whether solely or jointly owned, giving the value, location and details of such assets. It noted that failure by the respondents to comply with the orders of the court would be tantamount to contempt of court.

Oando’s LPG initiative to create 36,000 jobs


HE introduction of Oando OGAS 3kg cooking stove targeted at low income households could create a minimum of 36,000 jobs. Chief Executive Officer, Oando Marketing, Mr Abayomi Awobokun, made this known during his presentation at the Oando/ACCESS AFRICA (Agriculture, Climate Change and Entrepreneurship Support Services) summit in Abuja. He said: “Our goal is to successfully switch up to five million households to cooking gas from kerosene and other dirty fuels over the next three to five years. We believe this effort will not only boost the lives of millions of Nigerians, it will also create up to 36,000 jobs across the value chain. These jobs will be in the retail, distribution and manpower development sectors as the

By Dan Essiet

LPG value chain grows and develops.” The stove, which has a burner, cylinder and gas, was introduced by Oando Marketing PLC to alleviate the suffering associated with firewood, charcoal and others for cooking. It was the outcome of one year research. The product, which is targeted at the low income earning customers is praised for its target audience who can refill their gas using the Pay-As-U-Gas (PAUG) facility at any Oando station. It allows customers to buy LPG through a metering system. Oando has signed an agreement with Lift Above Poverty Organisation to provide loans through its micro finance banks to lowincome households. Awobokun said: “This is

another important step in our quest to provide innovative and affordable LPG cooking stoves to an estimated five million low income households over the next five years. We are strongly encouraged by the reception and feedback from consumers and other relevant stakeholders since we introduced the three-in-one gas cooking stove this year. This partnership with LAPO is one of many to boost our effort to switch majority of Nigerians from the use of biomass fuel to deepen LPG utilisation.” To further enhance accessibility, Oando Marketing initiated the three-wheeler supply scheme (Keke Napep) to supply O-gas to customers who make requests to either refill or exchange cylinders via the O-gas carelines. To address the issue of

affordability, the company introduced the Pay-as-ugas metering system to enable customers refill with any amount they can afford per time. President of the Nigeria Labour, Abdulwaheed Omar, said: “It is something that has been long overdue for Nigerians to have something like this. “So, I want to thank and congratulate Access Nigeria and Oando Marketing PLC for partnering with you to ensure that Nigerians will be able to get something in terms of facilitating cooking that is going to be very easy simple, and above all safe. We in the Labour movement, we wholeheartedly welcome this idea. We are ready to partner with Access, Oando and every other stakeholder to ensure the success of this project”

US seeks data on Excess Crude Account management • AGF: ‘45,000 ghost workers uncovered’ From Nduka Chiejina, Abuja


UNITED States Dip lomat, Douglas P. Climan, said the American Embassy is interested in how the Nigeria’s Excess Crude Account (ECA) and finances is managed. In a statement, the Office of the Accountant-General of the Federation (OAGF), said Climan made the request during a visit to the Accountant-General of the Federation (AGF), Mr Jonah Otunla, at the Treasury House, Abuja. It said the diplomat told the AGF that he “came to the Treasury House to understand the budgeting and the operation of the Federation Account. “He said he would also like to know how ECA withdrawals are made, and how the unspent balance of capital is managed.” It explained that after listening to Otunla, the diplomat expressed optimism that the 2013 budget would be passed before the end of this fiscal year. Also, the AGF said measures introduced by the government, ministries, department and agencies (MDAs) in 108 establishments, have unearthed 45,000 ghost workers. He said it was the outcome of the adoption of Government Integrated Fiscal Management System (GIFMIS). “Since the inception and adoption of GIFMIS, about 45,000 ghost workers have been detected. It has helped in manpower planning and budgeting; how many people are on the payroll of government and the cost implication,” he said. On the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS), the Government Integrated Financial Management Information System (GIFMIS) has led to the improvement in Cash Management System through Treasury Single Account (TSA), and other non-financial Reforms he added.




Reps to probe N13b foreign missions’ debt T

HE House of Repre sentatives is set to in vestigate how N13 billion debt was incurred by the country’s missions. Besides, it has raised a 23man special committee to further fine-tune the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) which has passed second reading. The lawmakers condemned the 2013 budget of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for lacking focus on programmes aimed at promoting the worth of the country in the comity of nations. The House Committee on Foreign Affairs, during the 2013 budget defence of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs yesterday also faulted the allocation of N788,496,120 to

• PIB passes second reading From Victor Oluwasegun and Dele Anofi, Abuja

a conference on women empowerment. For its Abuja headquarters, Directorates excluding the Nigerian Institute of International Affairs (NIIA) and its 118 overseas Missions, excluding three, the Ministry is proposing N23,516,878,688 for personnel and N23,487,974,123 for overhead totalling N47,004,852,810 for its recurrent expenditure for 2013. For capital expenditure the Ministry is proposing N23,646,102,870 for its Abuja headquarters, overseas Missions,excluding three and its five Directorates ex-

cluding the NIIA. The Ministry was led to the House by the Minister, Olugbenga Ashiru. Chairman of the Committee, Nnnena Ukeje, said the Ministry ought to have learnt to be a change agent in promoting the interest of the country rather than accepting everything shoved at it by other countries without aiming to get anything in return. The Committee also questioned the N13 billion debt owed by the country’s missions, insisting that the Ministry must present evidence on how the debt was incurred. “Has the N13billion be-

come a recurring decimal as it is appearing again in 2013 budget?” Ukeje asked. Though Ashiru said the money has not been released as it was not appropriated for in the 2012 budget, the Committee disclosed that it would probe how the debt was incurred. The Speaker, Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, announced the members of the Special Ad-hoc panel after the closure of the second day of debate on the contentious bill with the title: “A Bill for an Act to provide for the establishment of a legal, fiscal and regulatory framework for the Petroleum Industry in Nigeria and for other related matters and a Bill for an Act to establish the Na-

tional New Frontier Agency for the purpose of exploration and production of oil and gas in the Frontier of Chad Basin, Dahomey Basin, Imo Basin, Benue Trough, Bauchi Basin and Sokoto Basin and for other matters connected therewith”. Tambuwal, who named the Chief Whip of the House, Ishaka Mohammed Bawa, as head of the Ad-hoc panel and Minority Whip, Samson Osagie as the Deputy Chairman of the panel, said the members were to take further legislative action of aspects of the PIB. The Ad hoc Committee is to conduct a public hearing on the bill. Many of the lawmakers who spoke on the provisions of the

PIB pinpointed perceived loopholes, inconsistencies and what they believed would have negative impact on the nation and their regions.

‘Why Dana Air crash victims’ payment is delayed’


ELAY in getting let ters of administra tion from the Probate Registry arm of the Lagos High Court has stalled payment of the outstanding $7,000 per individual to families of those who lost their relatives in the June 5 Dana Air crash, it was learnt yesterday. The Director-General of Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), Dr Harold Demuren, made this known at a meeting with representatives of Dana Air and family members of the crash victims. He said without such a vital document, it would be difficult for the insurers to facilitate the payment of the outstanding compensation. Demuren explained that so far, the airline has paid $30,000 to 80 individuals, while efforts were on to resolve multiple claims, a problem which had been stalling the payment to the other 73 passengers, whose family members were yet to be paid. He explained that without securing the letters of administration, it would be difficult for the family members to get the outstanding claims. Demuren said NCAA had been holding meetings with the Lagos State Government to fast-track the processing of Letters of Administration.

Katsina solar power project takes off From John Ofikhenua, Abuja


HE Federal Govern ment has flagged off a 30mega watts solar power plant project in Kankiya Local Government Area of Katsina State. In a statement, the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) said yesterday that the project on completion would boost the economy of the state. According to the statement, the project was conceived as part of the Nigerian-German Energy Partnership. The statement reads in part: “The coming of this project is a major milestone in achieving sustainable energy via renewable means. Investment into this field has never been attractive due to the high capital outlay needed. A critical concern by investors when setting up a power plant is that of cost recovery, and this is achieved through a wholesale tariff that allows for reasonable rate of return on investment. “To promote investment in renewable energy, NERC had proposed a number of incentives, such as a guaranteed market for renewable, simplified licensing process, land access and, most importantly, a feed-in- tariff that is robust enough to allow for operators to recover their costs over a period of time.



AGRO-BUSINESS Ekiti to boost cocoa production


• Oyo State Commissioner for Agriculture, Natural Resources and Rural Development, Bimbo Kolade planting a gmelina tree to flag off the tree planting/forestation campaign by Charcoal Dealers Association of Nigeria, in Ilero, Kajola Local Government Area.

Kwara inaugurates committee on A agric master plan N 11-man committee to implement the Kwara State

Agriculture Masterplan (KAMP) has been inaugurated by the state Governor, Alhaji Abdulfatah Ahmed. The Committee has been charged to work diligently to ensure the aims of food security and agro-driven economic prosperity are achieved within stated timelines. Inaugurating the committee in Ilorin on Tuesday, Ahmed, who is also its chairman, said KAMP, a five-year plan developed in partnership with Cornell University, New York, University of Ilorin and Kwara State University, is a carefully articulated plan for making Kwara the agricultural hub in the West African sub-region. ‘Having pioneered successful commercial agriculture in the previous administration, we are moving a step further with KAMP through a partnership among the academia, the private sector, farmers and government. We decided to benchmark against best practices globally, which led us to sign an MoU with Cornell last July, the first by a sub national anywhere in the world”, he said. According to him, his belief is that agriculture can be

Stories by Daniel Essiet, Agric Correspondent

the mainstay of the economy if planned and implemented as outlined in KAMP. While pledging to provide the committee with all support necessary for the successful implementation of its mandate, Governor Ahmed said members had been carefully chosen based on their track-record and capacity to make valuable contributions to the successful implementation of KAMP and urged them to be diligent in their work as agriculture is the fulcrum of the state’s economic plans as enshrined in shared prosperity. He said with KAMP, the state will be leading the way in agriculture reforms but with an emphasis on partnership with critical stakeholders such as the academia, effective planning and an embedded mechanism for monitoring and evaluation. The committee’s terms of reference, according to the Senior Special Assistant, Investment Policy

and Strategy, Abayomi Ogunshola, are to develop a general framework to achieve the overall goals of KAMP and develop a specific work scope for each milestone. Others are to develop a financing strategy for the achievement of targets with the private sector, donor agencies, venture capital and private equity firms whilst the government ensures that the enabling environment is put in place at all time to support the private sector investments. Other members of the committee are Vice-Chancellor of Kwara State University, Professor Rasheed Na’Allah, Commissioner for Works and Transport, Dr. Amuda Kannike, Commissioner for Finance, Alhaji Demola Banu, Commissioner for Agriculture, Mr Bode Olayemi, Abayomi Ogunshola, Director General of Bureau of Lands, Mr. Tope Daramola, Senior Special Assistant on Media and Communications, Dr Muyideen Oluwafemi Akorede and Senior Special Assistant on Agriculture, Alhaji Babatunde Mahmud Ajeigbe.

KITI State government is mounting a campaign to revive cocoa production in the state. The Director, Tree Crops Unit,Ekiti State Ministry of Agriculture, Mr. Rufus Arabi made this disclosure in Ibadan during the review of Cocoa Transformation Agenda Implementation Plan for 2012 and deliberation on implementation of plans for 2013. He said the state has 66,000 hectares of land, which has been set aside for cocoa production, adding that the Ministry of Agriculture, in collaboration with the Ekiti State University, has established a 10-hectare cocoa clonal garden within the university farm. This will provide a platform for training, research and generate hybrid pods. He said the state will establish another five-hectare cocoa seed garden within the university research farm. Arabi also disclosed that the Growth Enhancement Support (GES) of the Federal Government was having positive impact in the state. Although, he said the first GES exercise in the state had some challenges, Arabi noted that the redemption

under GES can be improved upon if more effort is put into sensitisation. Noting that majority of the farmers did not have money to redeem their inputs when roll-out was done, he suggested that future roll-out of GES should be between December and January when farmers are selling their cocoa after harvesting. Arabi observed sharp practices among beneficiaries - leading to mutual suspicion among suppliers, agrodealers and farmers as there were cases of adulterated products and a case of underweight fertiliser by one supplier. He suggested that cocoa GES rollout should be revisited and carried out in four designated areas and farmers well mobilised ahead of the exercise in future. The acting Director, Tree Crops and Rural Development Service, Ogun State, Mr Olugbenga James Oyesola, reported that “some agro-dealers did not have financial muscles to buy products from dealers. “Some suppliers did not release goods until the minimum 50 per cent of the cost of goods was paid to agrodealers. Some suppliers complained of distance of redemption sites to farmers.”

Lagos threatens to shut unhygienic abattoirs


HE Lagos State government has threatened to close down abattoirs and slaughtering areas, which are not hygienic and compliant with the relevant laws governing meat slaughtering . Commissioner for Agriculture and Cooperatives, Prince Gbolahan Lawal said this while speaking with journalists after a seminar on the mode of meat transportation in Lagos. Lawal warned that the state government would not condone any act of uncleanness and lawlessness in meat processing and delivery. Speaking through the Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Agric and Cooperatives, Dr Nureni Funsho, he said the state will not hesitate to lock up any abattoir found to be unhygienic or noncompliant with the relevant laws governing meat slaughtering in the state. According to him, attention will be given to all areas of food supply chain with emphasis now on the consumption of wholesome meat by the citizens. Lawal disclosed that the state government will commence from January full implementation of refrigerated standard transport system for meat slaughtered at the vari-

ous slaughtering facilities in the state. He added that this is in accordance with the provisions of section 32 of the Meat Inspection Law of Lagos State, CAP M3 of 2003. So far, he said, 100 refrigerated vehicles have been acquired. He said the target is 200 vehicles will cover all areas of Lagos, adding that nobody will be allowed to transport meat except through such vehicles. The commissioner said the government is ready to ensure measures to boost meat hygiene, handling and sanitation procedures. He said all raw meat products have to be transported and handled with care to prevent contamination. Lawal said effective enforcement of the law is important in ensuring best practices in meat handling. He said the government will spare no efforts to enhance food safety controls and work to ensure meat products are safe . The Lagos government rolled out a policy banning the use of rickety vehicles and motorcycles in the transfer of meat throughout the state. Under the policy, the mode of meat haulage will be through dedicated refrigerated meat vans.

V‘Rising food prices killing small farmers’


URGING agric commodity prices will not improve the fortunes of small scale farmers, a don, Prof Abel Ogunwale has warned. Speaking with The Nation, Ogunwale, a lecturer in Agricultural Extension and Rural Development, Faculty of Agricultural Sciences, Ladoke Akintola University, Ogbomosho,Oyo State, pointed out that, in spite of the large quantities of foodstuffs produced, small farmers had no influence on the prices paid. When consumers pay more for their products, the farmers still do not benefit, attributing it to the presence of many intermediaries. As a result, he said small scale farmers are paid very low prices from their farm produce . Under normal circumstances, he noted that high consumer prices are supposed to translate themselves into high producer prices for the small scale farmers. According to him, low producer

prices for the small scale farmers means they cannot earn enough to solve their problems of basic needs. He said most small scale farmers sell their produce through traders of farm produce who are generally described as middlemen. The major problem is that a good number of middlemen take advantage of the ignorance of the small scale farmers about market opportunities for their produce and cheat them either through the weights and measures they use to purchase farm produce or through outright payment of exploitative prices. High cost of production and of doing business,he noted, has blocked small-scale farmers from growing into commercial farmers. Unless small-scale farmers are given vast tax concessions, he said they will continue to incur high costs of production as fertilizer prices, fuel and even other essential goods go up.

•Farmers at the just concluded National Agric Show in Tudun-Wada, Nasarawa State






Lagos agric success story


•From left: A National Officer, Anil Nair, Owoeye and General Secretary, Shaibu Mohammed during a press conference in Lagos.

‘Nigeria self-sufficiency in rice realistic’


GROUP, Rice Millers Importers and Distributors Association (RIMIDAN) has expressed faith in the government’s plan to reduce importation of rice due to preparedness to finance key development programmes. Speaking in Lagos, its Vice-President, Mr Tunji Owoeye said the government is supporting several measures to boost farm productivity. He said increase in the nation’s main food staple is expected despite devastating floods that have claimed lives and caused millions of naira in damage to crops and property. Although the floods have damaged millions of tonnes of rice crop, he was optimistic that farmers could plant more to make up for the shortfall. By good fortune, he said serious flooding was limited in the southern part of the country. He said this year was quite different as the nation has never experienced such a level of flooding. As always, he hoped for a more prosperous one in the year to come. Looking through the season,

By Daniel Essiet, Agric Correspondent

Owoeye said the conditions were good for replanting. He said the government is taking steps to introduce high yielding varieties, minimise post-harvest losses, focus on value-addition as well as removing hurdles in the way of farmers. According to him, local production of rice is about 1.8 metric tonnes and RIMIDAN contributes about 79 to 84 per cent. He said investment in plants, machinery and equipment by the association are in the region of N150 billion. Owoeye said import of rice would badly hit local production, causing huge losses to exporters/traders and farmers because cheaper import will ruin agricultural production potential of the country. He said the association is working with research institutions to achieve self-sufficiency in rice production using high-yielding seeds. Owoeye said there is coopera-

tion between farmers and scientists and this was one way to improve rice production. He said the association is developing long-term strategies for the local rice and also help build a brand across the market. Meanwhile, despite widespread floods in Southeast Asia, expectations are for global rice production to rise three per cent this year, according to the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) . Global production of paddy, or unmilled rice, will reach 721 million tons in 2011, 2.4 million tons higher than it predicted in July, and three per cent up from 2010 production, forecasts the FAO. “The revision reflects expected improved rice harvests in Bangladesh, China, Egypt, India and Vietnam, which more than outweighed a worsening of prospects in Indonesia, the Republic of Korea, Madagascar, Myanmar, Pakistan, the Philippines and Thailand,” the FAO said. According to him, the market for rice is still good, and there is prospect for small farmers growing rice for the local consumption.

How to improve farmers’ income, by expert


IOTECHNOLOGY can play a significant role in helping small-scale farmers improve their incomes and quality of life, an expert, Dr Lanre Talabi has said. Food biotechnology employs the tools of modern genetics in the ageold process of improving food production. Biotechnology helps to produce an abundant supply of better-tasting and more nutritious foods. Speaking with The Nation, Talabi, who is the Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Talon Nigeria Limited, said biotechnology is crucial to the pursuit of food security since conventional crop improvement alone cannot guarantee human nutritional needs.

By Josephine Owede

He said biotechnology has the ability to boost the amount of food production per acre while better managing water resources, particularly in the face of drought or water shortages. One of the products of biotechnology is biotech crops. Talabi, said biotech crops offer the opportunity to produce more food and improve incomes while being good stewards of their land. According to him, small farmers with access to plant biotechnology would enjoy reduced input costs, increased crop productivity and higher incomes, which will lead to improvements in the home, and for families and communities.”

For small farmers, he said improving yields with less labour not only provides better incomes but a higher quality of life. Talabi said there are tested biotech crops, which are vitaminrich, herbicide-tolerant and insectresistant and drought-tolerant. As food security and sustainable agriculture have become key concerns, he said adopting biotech crops will optimise productivity and contribute to food, fiber security and address climate change. He noted that with modern biotechnology, intractable pests and diseases of plants and animals could be controlled, enhance nutrition as well as help plants cope with diverse soil conditions, droughts, high salt contents and poor soil fertility.

Akwa Ibom fishermen decry impact of oil spill R ESIDENTS on the Atlantic coastline in Akwa Ibom State have decried the negative impact of frequent oil spills from Qua Iboe oil fields operated by Mobil Producing Nigeria (MPN). The MPN, an affiliate of US oil firm ExxonMobil, on Sunday reported a fresh oil spill from its operations near the Akwa Ibom coastline. Reacting to the development in separate interviews with News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), the residents said that the spills were too frequent. Two spills had occurred in the Qua Iboe oil field operated by the MPN on August 13 and 24. The Chairman of Esit Eket Local Government, Chief Ibanga Etang,

decried the impact of spills on the fishing communities in Southern Akwa Ibom. “The spill contaminated the water, causing fish drought and distorting t marine food chain. “Whenever a spill occurs, fishermen are thrown out of businesses because when the waters become toxic, fishes migrate from the reach of fishermen. “The recurring spills put to question the claims by Mobil management that it has replaced aged pipeline network,’’ Etang said. A fish seller, Mrs Udual EyoSunday, told NAN that they were

adversely affected by the oil spill. “Whenever there is oil spill, the fishermen do not bring fish back from the waters and when we cannot buy fresh fish, we have nothing to dry and sell. “We find it difficult to feed our children and the situation will continue for a long time. “That is why we need relief materials and compensation for the damage to our source of livelihood,’’ Mrs Eyo-Sunday said. A community leader in Ibeno Local Government Area, Chief John Etim described the latest spill as the worst in recent times. He said frequent spills had impoverished the fishing population on the coastline.

GRICULTURE is a sector that has grown tremendously in Lagos because there is a lot of potential. Successive governments in the State have continuously promoted various agricultural products, which include rice, maize, cassava, yam, plantain, vegetables, fruits, coconut, palm oil, fish, goat, sheep, rabbits and pigs. The quest of the state government with regard to the enhancement of agriculture is extremely inspiring. Farmers in the state have been provided with the required assistance from the state government. Agricultural inputs such as fertilisers, pesticides, herbicides and tractors are continuously purchased and distributed to farmers throughout the state. The overall performance of the state’s agriculture sector is impressive. To a great extent, the huge transformation was a response to an increased demand for agricultural products prompted by the industrialisation process. The industrialisation is associated with a growing and increasingly richer and more urban population. The increased opportunities for farmers have led to a favourable environment for agricultural modernisation. Huge investments have been made in agricultural development. In an attempt to boost the growth of the fishery sub-sector, the State Government, through its Ministry of Agriculture procured and distributed several fishing inputs such as outboard engines and nets to fishermen in Ijede, Eti-Osa and IbejuLekki riverine communities. Similarly, the livestock sub-sector has continued to enjoy priority support from the government. To enhance the growth of animal husbandry, the state government in February 1995 reiterated its readiness to continuously finance its ultra modern Abattoir and Lairage Complex situated at Agege in Lagos. Established to guarantee hygienic slaughtering of animals, the Complex, according to government, will effectively provide modern facilities for butchers in the state. Determined to forge the state ahead in all agricultural activities, the government recently evolved various Agricultural Development Incentives (ADI) to boost all operations associated with the growth of the sub-sector. These incentives, among other things, guarantee the availability of soft loans to small and medium scale farmers; the allocation of farming land to interested agriculturists and the provision of modern working implements for farmers; also, the state government is making giant strides as regards providing a face lift for its Agricultural Development Programme (ADP). The state Ministry of Agriculture, for instance, has expanded its Marine Agriculture (LASMADEP) initiative by harnessing its aquatic potential towards accelerated fish production in the state. The LASMADEP initiative has created 400 jobs directly for beneficiaries and over 10,000 jobs indirectly to cage manufacturers, for feed millers and sales, fish marketers, processors and storage amongst others with the possibility of specialisation.The ministry has also initiated actions to replenish the declining threshold of water bodies in the state to improve fish landing. With the successful introduction of the “Eko Meat Van”, the Ministry has discouraged the use of illegal meat vans operating in and outside the state . With the effective curtailment of Avian influenza (AI) and African Swine Fever (ASF) in the state, the ministry has embarked on the distribution of disease free livestock under its Inte-

•Governor Fashola By Daniel Essiet

grated Livestock Expansion Programme (ILEP) to farmers. The Rice for Job initiative has successfully increased rice cultivation in the state from less than 50 hectares in 2007 to 250 hectares last year, with 200 youths attracted to the farm. Irrigated farming that would ensure double cropping has also been introduced to ensure year round production cycle by the beneficiaries. Two modern rice processing facilities with a capacity for four tonnes per day each were also used to produce “Eko Rice” in distribution within the state. The government’s focus is on boosting the productivity of the agriculture and fisheries sector to sustain its robust economic growth. The AGRIC_YES initiative was also designed to produce first class entrepreneurial elite farmers in the area of poultry, fish farming, bee-keeping and all season vegetable farming as well as correct the problems of the old Farm Settlement Schemes in the state. The Ikorodu Fish Farm Estate, which has been fully subscribed, is currently producing at 60 per cent of its capacity. An average of 3,000 tonnes of fresh fish was produced annually from the estate with over 400 jobs created directly and over 100,000 jobs indirectly. A technological incubation centre has been added with hatcheries and processing facilities that will add value to the estate. Approval has also been given for the establishment of a modern fish market in the state that would ease citizen’s access to purchase fish at any time and day irrespective of the buyers’ location. With the success recorded at Ikorodu, the ministry has cleared a 60Ha farmland at Ketu, Ereyun in Epe LGA for another 400 plots capacity Fish Farm Estate. The land has been surveyed and laid out with the front fence, gate and site office in place. The estate, which will be the largest Fish Farm Estate in Africa will produce about 20,000 Tonnes of fresh fish per annum,” the commissioner said. The Rice for Job initiative has successfully increased rice cultivation in the State from less than 50Ha in 2007 to 250Ha in 2009 with 200 youths attracted to the Farm. The Tractor Hiring Unit (THU) has serviced an average of 2,105 farmers with an average of 1.5ha tractor time per farmer for farm mechanisation. The regime of Governor Babatunde Fashola strongly focused on technology-driven productivity gains, which became an important additional characteristic of agricultural production expansion. The government is diversifying agric produce and meats and has acquired great relevance.






BATN donates cassava plant Nasarawa



Imoke votes N500m for youth employment

Council urges Mobil to lift oil spill victims


Cross River 18



HE Senator representing Northern Senatorial District in Cross River State, Professor Ben Ayade, has launched a N20m scholarship scheme for 216 indigent students in the district. Speaking after the launch at his constituency office in Ogoja, Ayade said the scheme is intended to promote scholarship and address the plight of financially-handicapped students in the district to help them achieve their goals. His words: “I was moved to institute this scholarship scheme by the sufferings many parents go through in order to send their children and wards to school, especially tertiary

Akwa Ibom

Page 17


N20m scholarship for 216 students From Nicholas Kalu, Calabar

institutions. “So, with this, an opportunity has been created for the less-privileged ones to reach the heights attained by others.” The 216 successful candidates comprises four students from each of the 54 wards namely Bekwarra, Obudu, Obanliku, Yala and others in the Ogoja local government areas of the district. The successful candidates are in various disciplines in tertiary in-

N20m has been provided for the scheme and adequate arrangements have been made for the disbursement of the funds to the beneficiaries just as it is hoped that the beneficiaries of this programme would make the best use of this window of opportunity and justify the sponsor’s great sacrifice stitutions across the country. A statement signed by the chairman of the scheme committee Chief Patrick C. Okem indicated that out of 2,914 applications that were received, 254 on-line entries were re-

jected for non-compliance with laid-down instructions as well as late submission of forms. Okem further disclosed that each beneficiary is expected to receive N75,000 in cash a year.


ITH the flood receding and submerged homes and farmlands becoming visible again, displaced residents of Delta State are returning home. Many are doing so with their spirits quite high. Two months of unprecedented flooding forced several thousands of Nigerians from their homes and into makeshift structures in parts of the country. This sent them to depths of despair. Their mud shelters were washed away. Doors and windows of brick shelters gave way under the impact of flood waters. As boats ferried the displaced to relief camps, a gloomy future was all most could imagine. This was the lot of residents of Ndokwa-East Local Government Area in Delta State, which was underwater for the duration of the disaster. Some 5,350 persons, mostly from the council, were camped at a local stadium in Kwale, headquarters of Ndokwa-West Local Government Area, Pastor Austin Osama, relief camp pastor, told Newsextra. People of Oshimili South Local Government Area were equally affected, as were those of parts of Ndokwa West, even Isoko area, all in the state. But as the people returned home, much of the despair had gone, replaced by hope for a productive future. They ate fairly well in camp, even cooked their own food, provided by the state government and donors. Their accommodation, in schools and stadiums, was not the best in the circumstances, but treated mosquito nets at least helped to keep malaria at bay. Medical personnel were on hand to attend to their health, and the clergy to minister to their souls. Children were enrolled in camp school. But the best tonic was skill acquisition. At the Kwale stadium, many youths learned to sew, make hair, beads, barb and even drive. Those who went back home before the official closure, though, did so empty-handed but those who waited, were sure of at least a half bag of rice each, their beddings, N5,000 as well as skills, in many cases. The best care was at the Institute of Continuing Education (ICE), Asaba, where about 1,200 displaced


•Dr. Anthonia Ashiedu addressing the displaced persons at the ICE flood camp, Asaba

Despair gives way as flood victims return home By Ogochukwu Ikeje

persons were initially camped before the number was pruned down to 851, following the transfer of some to other camps. The camp was temporary home to displaced residents of Oko, Oshimili South Local Government Area of the state, although there were also some sacked persons from Ndokwa-East and even one or two from Kogi and Benue states. The camp, managed by the state Commissioner for Poverty Alleviation, Dr. Anthonia Ashiedu, was run like a typical village community, complete with quarters and heads, “so that we can have a structure,” she said.

Meetings were frequently held with the people, sometimes twice a day, if need be. A wake-up bell was rung at 5.30am, followed by general sanitation a half-hour later. Breakfast was next, after which the headmistress’ bell summoned pupils to the assembly ground. In the early evening, camp footballers, coached by professionals, one of them an international player, took to the field. At 6pm, Catholic and Pentecostal faithful fellowshipped, separately, before uniting at the dinner table and then before two plasma TVs offering Nollywood movies as well as English Premier League. Three hours later, the camp gate slammed

shut, preparing its occupants for bed at 11pm. All of that helped them deal with the agony of the flood. But there were other efforts. The skill acquisition project at the ICE camp was more elaborate and better organised. There were many computer sets, tailoring and knitting machines, among other skills tools provided by the Poverty Alleviation Ministry. Sundry classes were created ranging from tailoring, bead-making, confectionery to weaving, and from music, drama, hairstyling, knitting, soap-making to IT. “The youths showed amazing in-

“The committee was meticulous and gender-friendly in the selection processes in line with the objectives and Senator Ayade’s desire to promote scholarship and encourage less-privileged persons. “N20m has been provided for the scheme and adequate arrangements have been made for the disbursement of the funds to the beneficiaries just as it is hoped that the beneficiaries of this programme would make the best use of this window of opportunity and justify the sponsor’s great sacrifice.” terest,” Ashiedu said. “People who had never touched the computer before were doing profound work on the PC. Mothers who had never come near a sewing machine were producing wonderful material in no time. The knitting students were making and packaging bed-sheets and pillowcases for sale in the camp. Weaving students were producing cardigans.” On rounding off their tutelage, the skills candidates were rewarded with not just proficiency certificates but starter-packs to help them commence work in post-camp life. Miss Esther Okeke, 22, the best in the hairstyling class, got a hair-dryer. Beaming with a smile and exuding the air of success, she thanked her benefactors for taking good care of them in the camp and helping them to have a fresh start in life. Some left with sewing and knitting machines and a lot of spring in their steps. The music class produced 18-yearold Ebuka Oramadike, who could give Nigeria’s crooner Tuface a good run for his money. He performed his song, “My Story”, being a delicate and moving account of early family misfortune. His father died and he and his mother were thrown out of their home by relatives. His mother would later die also six months after being delivered of a baby, leaving Ebuka in the care of a loving grandfather. Commissioner Ashiedu has promised to have his lyrical effort waxed into a record. The budding singer is, however, torn between a career in entertainment and the army. A children’s cultural troupe also thrilled the camp, displaying delicate dance steps and not a little enthusiasm. The flood victims’ performance left a strong impression in Ashiedu’s mind. “What this shows is that for every Nigerian, every Nigerian child, there is a potential,” she said. “If you encourage them and they are in the right environment, they will excel. The average Nigerian is a good, talented and wonderful breed.” As the camp residents prepared to leave, their emotions got the better of them. They showered praises on Ashiedu, some reaching out for •Continued on Page 48



Council urges Mobil to compensate oil spill victims T

Cross River votes N500m for youth empowerment


•Governor Imoke

HE Cross River State government has voted N500 million for youths empowerment programme. The Manager of Microfinance and Enterprise Development Agency,Mr Terence Elemi, disclosed this in an interview with reporters in Calabar, the state capital. He said the state government in collaboration with the Bank of Industries (BOI) made the N500 million available as loan to empower the youth in the areas of processing and manufacturing in the state. “We are already collecting and processing business plans and reviewing them for submission to give out the loan for them’’.

Asaba cultural festival to cost N20.5m


HE Asaba Development Union (ADU) says plans have been concluded for the organisation of the 2012 Asaba cultural festival with a planned budget of N20.5 million. The Vice President General of the union,Mr Anthony Efeaya, disclosed this in an interview with journalists in Asaba, He said the one- week cultural event, which would cost about N20.5 million, was aimed at boosting the economy of the Asaba community as well as attract tourists to see the rich cultural prowess of the people. Efeaya said that the festival, which was the fourth edition, would be held between December 15 and December 22 He said that the festival was scheduled for the holiday to enable the sons and daughters of the community, both home and in the Diaspora, to participate. Efeaya said that the festival would also help generate funds for the development of the education sector as the union had plans to float a scholarship scheme for outstanding students of the community.


Delta He further disclosed that there were plans to make the festival an annual or bi-annual event so that it would foster unity amongst the people. The union’s vice president said that the first edition of the festival was held in 1974, while the second and third editions were held in 1983 and 1994 respectively. He also said it would serve as an opportunity for the indigenes both home and abroad to constantly meet and interact with a view to furthering the development of the community. Efeaya said that the festival would feature lectures, dancing competition among various cultural groups from both the community and outside, fashion parade as well as sport. He explained that there would be a national volleyball competition, tagged “the Asagba of Asaba volleyball competition” and that certificate of participation would be awarded to all participants in the various events.

Cross River Elemi said that the agency had so far trained 270 young graduates, 15 people from each of the local government areas on enterprise development and facilitation skills. “The ones we trained we use them whenever we do our programmes and they help us in training others too. “The agency was set up to encourage the growth and development of micro, small and medium enterprises. “We do a lot of capacity building training, access to credit; cheap and reliable credit and work in collaboration with banks to make sure that people we train get credit facility from bank to go about the business. “We monitor and ensure that businesses progress and the money collected must be used for the proposed business.” Elemi said that the agency had intervened in three core areas in the state on capacity building for process improvement, access to cheap and reliable finance and credit were given out at single digit interest rate.

•From right: Chairman, Qua Iboe Church Nigeria, Surulere, Lagos, Elder Sam Bassey; Chairman of the anniversary, Bro Udeme Ufot; church Vice-Chairman, Deacon Aniekan Ukpana and Deacon Udom Emmanuel during the 50th anniversary of Qua Iboe Church, Nigeria in Lagos


HE Edo North coordinator of All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN), Alhaji Abdulahi Mohammed, has disclosed that over 350 hectares of cassava farm were destroyed by flood in the state. Mohammed disclosed this in an interview with newsmen in Auchi, Edo State He said the flood, which affected Etsako East and Etsako Central Local Government Areas of the state, caused serious damage to the council areas which were known for growing cassava, rice and yam.

Edo The farmer lamented that most of the cassava farmland destroyed by the flood was almost at harvesting stage. The AFAN coordinator called on state and Federal Governments to urgently map out strategies of ameliorating the suffering of the affected farmers. Mohammed said that the affected farmers

By Musa Odoshimokhe

They equally maintained that the country was not ripe for state police but wanted a situation where the commissioner of police would be answerable to the governor of the state. They held the view that the creation of Badagry State would hasten development and urged the government to tackle the Badagry expressway as a way of fostering co-operation between Nigeria and its neighbouring state linked by the road. Responding after the session, Hon Rafeequat Onabamiro, Deputy Chairman House Committee on Women in Parliament, representing Badagry Federal Constituency on the platform of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) who hosted the session, said whatever the Nigerian people want that is what will be given to them by the House. She explained that the seventh assembly want the best for the country, “we know what we are doing and in view of our credibility, I think the people should allow us to look at the issues dispassionately and see what we would come out with, with the decision the have made today.

•From left: The Akran of Badagry and Hon. Onobamiro at the public session on Constitution review held at Badagry

HE Chairman of Ibeno Local Government, Akwa Ibom State, Mr Henry Nko, has appealed to Mobil Producing Nigeria to urgently compensate victims affected by its oil spills. Nko told the reporters in Ibeno, Akwa-Ibom State , that the oil spill had adversely affected the fishing community. According to him, the oil spill has contaminated the waters and land on the Atlantic coastline in the fishing settlements. He said that fishermen in the area were compelled to suspend fishing operations to avoid catching contaminated fish, which could pose health hazard to the public. He explained that the development had deteriorated the living condition of the fishermen, saying: “the fishermen are calling for immediate relief materials to cushion their plight. “The entire Ibeno people have been in a very sober mood because the source of their means of livelihood has been grossly affected by the oil spill. “Our fishermen have stopped going to the sea because their fishing implements have been damaged and contaminated. “The implements are now unsafe for fish-

Akwa Ibom

ing because a contaminated fish is unsafe for consumption. “The spill was spontaneous; it took us by surprise and the waters have been polluted and you can see dead fish floating on the surface of the water,” Nko said. The chairman also said that he had appealed to the community’s traditional rulers and fishing groups to maintain the peace. Nko said that Mobil had assured that it would clean up the spill and compensate members of the community.

•From left: Moderator of the event Prof. Bayo Okunade, Hon Awoleye and Alhaji Akibu Animasahun during the event


Residents seek new state

HE cry for a new state rented the air at the last public session on the constitution review in the Ibadan North Federal Constituency.The people demanded for Ibadan State from the present Oyo State. The public session was facilitated by the member representing Ibadan North Federal Constituency Hon. Abiodun Awoleye. The venue was the Cultural Centre, Ibadan, the Oyo State capital. The residents explained that the creation of Ibadan State was long overdue, saying that the composition of the 11 local government areas in Ibadan with population of over 2.3 millions according to the 2006 census is more that the population of Balyesa , Nassarawa, Ekiti states. They urged the National Assembly to expedite work on the amendment to ensure the creation of the new state in the ongoing amendment. Awoleye while assuring the people of a people-oriented constitution that will take cognisance of views, opinions, demands, submission and aspirations of the people of Ibadan North Federal Constituency and Nigeria as a whole regardless of their sex, age or political affiliations, said the constitution will truly reflect the wishes of the people. The lawmaker said the purpose of the exercise was to give everyone the opportunity to participate in the amendment process. The event according to Hon. Awoleye, is to correct abnormalities - to add, remove and make proper adjustment to the 1999 Constitution forcefully given to us by the military. He said the House had received over 200 memoranda/ submissions from groups and individuals on their views about the constitution which made the House to take the amendment processes to the various constituencies to ensure grassroots participation which he described

By Jeremiah Oke

as a welcome idea, a great achievement of the House and first of its kind in the history of Nigeria. The amendment according to Hon. Awoleye will not be business as usual where submissions will not be implemented. He said: “It is not going to be business as usual. That is the reason we have a steering a committee with a secretary that will write the report and forward to the National Assembly within one week.”

Crusade THE three-day miracle crusade of the Motar Prophetic Ministry of Gethsemane Church began yesterday. It will end on Sunday, November 18. The theme is:God,the Impossibililty Specialist and venue is the church premises, 18, Ijegun Road, Babalegba bus stop, Ikotun in Igando/ Ikotun Local Council Development Area, Lagos State. The Friday programme will begin at 10:30 p.m. till dawn. The grand finale on Sunday which is an Anointing Service will start at 10:00 in the morning. Brother Marvellous Chidera will be among anointed men and women of God who will minister at the programme. Brother Onyekachi Umeh and Evangelist (Dr) Dunni Olanrewaju will also feature at the three-day programme. Explaining the theme to newsmen at a press conference at the church’s auditorium, the founder and Chief Host, Pastor Ndubuisi Awom said: “The focus of the programme is mainly to boostup people’s waning faith in the existence of God and in the limitlessness of His power to rescue them from all the machinations of the evil one.

would face a lot of pressure coping with losses because most of them borrowed money to farm. He, though commended the role so far played by governments, individuals and organisations identifying with the flood victims, called for additional donations for the victims. “The most important thing I think these people need now is assistance for them to go back to their normal business, which is farming. They need assistance in form of finance, farm inputs and implements. “If government can seriously come to their assistance with the above listed items, the people will have something to hold on to because they have lost so much that they almost want to give up on life. “Government can make things happen fast because November and December are a good time for planting cassava,’’ the coordinator said. Mohammed also urged the Federal Government to reinvigorate its agriculture policy implementation, especially that on cassava. He said that government policies on agriculture were good but they most often ended up on the pages of newspapers. “If this new policy on cassava flour for bread is to work out well, then government must not only work with the farmers but plan with them as well,”he added.


Local govt promises better life


HE Ojokoro Local Council Development Area (LCDA), in Lagos State, has reiterated its determination to improve the standard of life of its residents and make them enjoy more dividends of democracy. This was disclosed by its chairman,Hon Adeyemi Olabinjo, during the first sitting of second session of the third legislative council chamber, held at the council chamber. The aim of the meeting was to set plans on how to raise the standard of living and better the welfare of residents in the area. Olabinjo remarked that Ojokoro LCDA was the only council in the state that returned its councillors , chairman and vice- chairman during the last election. He attributed this to the cordial relationship between the chairman and the his workers. He recalled the award given to him by the Executive Governor of Lagos State, Babatunde Fashola last year for the best constituency of sport centre, during the Local Government celebration. Speaking on his plans for next year,he said his administration would concentrate more on provision of Physical Health Centre (PHC), distribution and installation of newly purchased transformers to the various communities within the LCDA and improving the security situation in the council. “Government is charged with the responsibility of protecting life and properties of the citizens. We are duty bound that to ensure that our people have the best of the government they voted into power,” he said. Also speaking, the Council Leader, Hon Sunday Ajayi said the modest achievement was made possible because of the determination of the chairman and his workers.

•From left: Mr. Tunde Badejo, MD/CEO of Soft Alliance and Resources Limited, receiving the Specialised Partner of the Year Award 2012 from the Senior Vice-President, ECEMEA – Alfonso Di Ianni at this year’s Oracle MEA Partner Awards ceremony at Fairmont Hotel, Dubai, United Arab Emirate

Council chief procures vehicles for police By Akeem Alawoki


GEGE Local Government Chairman, Hon. Jubreel AbdulKareem has presented two security patrol vans to the Area Commander in charge of the two police unit Dopemu and Isokoko. This, the council chief said, was meant to aid security of the communities. AbdulKareem stressed the need for the police to buckle up on their responsibilities, citing the recent armed robbery incident that took place in the council as unfortunate. To nip crimes in the bud, he said the gesture becomes imperative. According to him, there is no community that is crime-free but it can be reduced to the barest minimum. He admitted that Agege in the past has been notorious for criminal activities and tribal clashes, but reduced drastically in recent time. He enjoined residents to be security conscious by monitoring their environment for any suspicious character or movement and report immediately to the Police.

•Governor Akpabio

‘Be security conscious’ SUN State Governor Rauf Aregbesola and his wife Sherifat have urged women, especially wives of public office holders to be more security conscious, with a view to allowing them play roles for the good of the society. The duo spoke in Osogbo, the state capital at

‘350 hectares of cassava destroyed by flood’

Monarch canvasses role for traditional rulers

HE paramount ruler of Badagry, Aholumenu Toyi, the Akran of Badagry has canvassed for the inclusion of roles of traditional rulers in the constitution. He made his position clear during the public session of the constitution review in the Badagry Federal Constituency, at the town hall in Badagry. He said what the government had done was a reflection of the wishes of the people and it would go a long way to make the constitution reflect what the people want. He said: “What has happened today is an indication that the people really want to correct their mistakes and emphasise what bind us together so that the country can advance. We are aware that the constitution has been very silent about the role of traditional rulers; this is an opportunity to look at the matter dispassionately”. The monarch believed that with specific role for raditional rulers in the constitution , people at the grassroots will be well guided in what they do and will support the development of the country. Participants at the event agreed that local government autonomy was long over due and by the same token, rejected the autonomy for State Assemblies and believed that the system should retain its present position.



HE Chairman, Badagry Local Government Area Hon Husitode Moses Dosu has urged youths to embrace hardwork as the surest way to success. He also advised them to be committed to the ideals of their dream. He gave these as words of advice to the graduating students of the Noble Skills Acquistion Centre in Badagry. He thanked their parents for their support and sponsorship. The council chair said training in skills has become a cardinal programme for his administration because of its potential to address poverty and underdevelopment. He admonished the matriculating students to borrow a leaf from their senior colleagues who approached their studieswith all seriousness. Dignitaries present at the

the flag-off of a three-day workshop on “Protocol, Security and Etiquette for Female Public Office Holders and Wives of State Functionaries.” The workshop was organised by the Office of Wife of the Governor. Governor Aregbesola said that women are so important in taming the security challenges which the country is experiencing. The governor further said that wives of political office holders and their relations are increasingly being targeted for abduction, as criminals want to use them as points of contact to their husbands who they believed are wealthy. He said: “Before some disgruntled elements bond together to take advantage of the subsisting reign of insecurity in the country to cause security havocs to us, it is necessary that we arm ourselves with useful security tips and practical information that will shield us from their onslaught. “Our minds need to be laden with requisite information that will further enable us to be more security conscious. More than ever before, now is the time that we have to make more sense of the popular mantra–eternal vigilance is the price of liberty,” he noted. Aregbesola stressed that the vigilance of women, especially wives of public functionaries, would help them support their husbands and ensure effective service delivery. Describing women as custodians of the present and developers of the future, he said that his administration is more alive to its reposnsibilities of ensuring security of lives and properties as well as eradicating poverty in the state.

Council trains youths in skills event include: Vice-Chairman, Hon Elizabeth Pedetin Kappo, Secretary to the Local Government, Hon. Setonji S. Balogun, Council Manager, Prince Sunday Olujobi, the Legal Officer, Mr. Tunde Agbedahunsi, Supervisor for Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation (WAPA), Hon. Elizabeth Hunpe, Leader of the House, Hon Demawu Abimbola Taiwo, Majority Leader of the House, Hon Meiha Senapon, Special Adviser on General Matters, Hon Kovobau Sunday, Supervisor for Environment, Hon Kuyimo Moses among others.

Briefly Church anniversary THE week-long activities lined up for the 20th anniversary of Unity Church of Christ will begin in November 19 with evangelism at 3:00 p.m. Others include, Bible seminar on Wednesday, November 21 at 3:00 p.m. It will continue on Friday November 23 with varieties like Couples Night, Youth Session, Good Women to be anchored by Provincial Superior Apostle Akinmolenu. Saturday, November 24 will feature visitation to orphanage homes where the church is expected to donate to the homes. The grand finale comes up on Sunday November 25 with thanksgiving service at 10/12, Unity Church Street, off Akinpelumi Street at Ikosi-Isheri LCDA, Lagos at 10:00 a.m.

•From left: Vice-Chairman Hon. Pedetin Kappo; Hon. Dosu; Mrs Bukola Husitode and Leader of the House, Hon Demawu Taiwo





Bonanzas vs. quality of service •We welcome NCC’s ban on promos and lotteries by telecoms firms


VEN as Ebube Essien-Garricks, the 27 year-old student of Rivers State College of Health Science and Technology, Port Harcourt, is still celebrating her emergence as winner of the Cessna 182 aircraft in the MTN Ultimate Winner Wonder Promo, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has banned further lotteries and promos by the telecoms firms. Since she has opted for the monetary value of the aeroplane, EssienGarricks will be celebrating her most memorable Christmas this year, as she is to receive N64million being the cash value of the plane. When MTN made its intention of giving the aero-plane as its first prize public, many people dismissed it as one of those gimmicks by companies to deceive members of the public. The cynics have therefore been proved wrong by the company with the draw held in the presence of officials of the Nigerian Lottery Regulatory Commission (NLRC), the NCC as well as newsmen, and which was adjudged to be transparent. We congratulate Essien-Garricks for emerging the lucky winner of the promo. However, beyond the euphoria of the new experience are other salient questions concerning this particular promo and others that the GSM firms have been doing in recent times. If the idea is partly to empower loyal customers, won’t it have been better to spread the prizes in a way that more people would benefit rather than giving an individual N64million in our kind of economic milieu? Moreover, promos and lotteries have been with us for long and there is nothing to suggest that they are likely to disappear

anytime soon. Companies, including the big brands that have been in existence for ages also do bonanzas; they appear to have little choice in today’s markets that are getting increasingly competitive and sophisticated. But even in this fierce competition for people’s pockets, the companies cannot be left to their own sense of judgment. That is why the promos and lotteries are being regulated to ensure that consumers get the best value for their hard-earned money. Although most of the firms say the idea behind the bonanzas is to reward loyalty, the truth is that ultimately, they want to make more money not just by retaining loyal customers but also by attracting new ones. Unfortunately, the way the telecoms companies have been going about their sales promos in recent times gives the impression that they are biting more than they can chew. The bonanzas overstretched telecoms facilities and led to big drops in quality of service. Of course this naturally made telephone subscribers to inundate the NCC with strident complaints that the regulatory authorities could not ignore. It is in this light that we welcome NCC’s ban on lotteries and promos by the telecoms firms. The operators affected by the ban include: Globacom, MTN, Airtel, Etisalat, Intercellular, Visafone and Multilinks. Indeed, the ban has been long overdue. And it should be in force until the commission is satisfied that the companies have the capacity to sustain their bonanzas without adverse effects on their quality of service. Apparently, to give teeth to the ban, the NCC signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the NLRC. This is within the commission’s powers as it is expected to protect consumers against unfair practices

by the telecoms firms, among other responsibilities. As we have noted, there is nothing basically wrong with sales promos and lotteries, provided they are done responsibly. But a situation where they lead to network congestions should not be tolerated. The firms are in business primarily to provide reliable and affordable telephony service to Nigerians, this should be their main focus; they need not embark on sales promos that they lack the capacity to sustain. Telephone subscribers in the country deserve better service from the operators. If they feel compelled to encourage their customers, the operators could do so by further reducing their tariffs. This makes more sense than embarking on promos that affect the integrity of their networks.

‘There is nothing basically wrong with sales promos and lotteries, provided they are done responsibly. But a situation where they lead to network congestions should not be tolerated. The firms are in business primarily to provide reliable and affordable telephony service to Nigerians, this should be their main focus; they need not embark on sales promos that they lack the capacity to sustain’

Farewell, Baba Oloye •The exit of Waziri of Ilorin, Abubakar Olusola Saraki, 79, is a major political transition


O the doting Ilorin masses, the death on November 14, of Dr. Abubakar Olusola Saraki (1933-2012), Kwara political titan, was the exit of an irreplaceable pearl. To Dr. Saraki’s political opponents however, many of them among the Ilorin elite, it was the exit of a feudal democrat (no matter how contradictory), who arrested the Kwara masses’ development with subversive generosity. The accurate picture probably lies between these two extremes. Love him or hate him, nobody could deny the near-total grip on Kwara politics by Dr. Saraki, the man who, from the Second Republic (1979-1983) till his death, literally put Kwara State (even when Kogi was part of that state) and its politics in his pocket. Two times in two different republics, Dr. Saraki tested his dominance of the Kwara

‘Did Saraki’s politics result in real economic development for his doting masses? Not in the sense of state-structured mass and free education and equal opportunity policies championed by Chief Obafemi Awolowo and Nigeria’s political progressives. But did his people trust him? There is absolutely no doubt: for the Ilorin masses, the generous-to-a-fault Baba Oloye can never be replaced!’

political landscape and came out flying. When he fell out with his protégée, Alhaji Adamu Attah, old Kwara State governor in the Second Republic, he promptly backed Cornelius Adebayo, who as it was, was from the rival Unity Party of Nigeria (UPN), in the 1983 election. Senator Adebayo triumphed and the Saraki mystique stayed. Again, when in 2003 he fell out with Mohammed Lawal, a former naval general, he pushed forward his son, Dr. Bukola Saraki, left his party, the All Nigeria People’s Party (ANPP) and teamed up with the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). Again, Saraki triumphed; and his mystique again soared. But even for the all-mighty Oloye, hubris was only a matter of time. That would explain why in a conservative, chauvinistic and largely Moslem state, he decreed Gbemisola, his senator daughter to succeed his son Bukola, the outgoing two-term governor and now a senator. To boot, he had to float a brand new party and personally led Gbemisola’s campaign. This time however, he faltered. Even then, it took Saraki the Son to vanquish Saraki the Father! That was the extent of his domination of Kwara politics. But how did Dr. Saraki, who contested and lost parliamentary election in Ilorin in 1964, grow to become a rare and enduring colossus just one decade after? The answer would appear in the late Saraki’s understanding of his political environment; and formulating a winning philanthropy to win over the Ilorin masses. A trained doctor and product of the University of London and St. George’s Hospital Medical School, also in London, the ide-

alism of a young professional, exposed to the libertarian politics of the United Kingdom, could have caused the young medic to move against the far less liberal political temper of his Kwara locale. But instead, he fashioned a philanthropy that gelled extremely well with the near-feudalism of his native land; and forever courted his beloved Ilorin hoi polloi. In the 1970s, Saraki did not only boast series of scholarships for indigent but promising youths, his private group of hospitals was part business and part charity. All these would translate into solid political support in the Kwara/Kogi Belt in the next three decades. Did Saraki’s politics result in real economic development for his doting masses? Not in the sense of state-structured mass and free education and equal opportunity policies championed by Chief Obafemi Awolowo and Nigeria’s political progressives. But did his people trust him? There is absolutely no doubt: for the Ilorin masses, the generous-to-afault Baba Oloye can never be replaced! So, even with development-suspect politics that many insist is the legacy of Dr. Saraki, the Second Republic Senate Leader’s perfect bonding with his people, earned with the initial investment of his personal fortune in their welfare, underscores the fact that leaders of all political persuasions will earn their people’s trust with sacrifice and perceived service. If that were the only Saraki legacy, and practising politicians now can inculcate that trait, Nigerian politics would be much better. Fare thee well, Baba Oloye!

Obama’s door to tax compromise


T’S NORMAL FOR President Obama and congressional Republicans to be pushing and posturing in the wake of last week’s election. Everyone is trying to gauge how the political dynamics have shifted, though on paper the balance of power remains unchanged. All are trying to enhance their bargaining position. Both sides want to seem reasonable to Americans who want politicians in Washington to compromise, while reassuring partisans that they will stand up for principle. It’s normal but also potentially dangerous, because compromise is going to be essential. In the short term, if Congress and Mr. Obama don’t reach an agreement by the end of this year, tax rates will rise and spending is due to be slashed. The economy would go back into recession, according to the Congressional Budget Office, and unemployment would spike again. In the long term, the United States faces evermounting debt that could leave the government with little to spend beyond what it owes on pension and health-care programs and interest on the debt. It’s been collecting about 16 percent of national economic output in taxes and spending about 24 percent. That’s not sustainable. The biggest obstacle to compromise over the past couple of years has been Republican insistence that revenue can’t go up. It’s been encouraging to see many in the GOP shift, albeit gingerly, off that position since Mr. Obama’s reelection. But most Republican leaders continue to insist that revenue can’t be raised by hiking income tax rates. Instead, they suggest a change to the tax code — limiting the value of deductions and closing loopholes. Some Democrats in Congress and the administration, meanwhile, insist that only raising rates will be acceptable. Mr. Obama struck an appropriate balance in this debate Wednesday during his first press conference since his re-election. His first choice, he made clear, is for Congress to allow tax rates to rise for the wealthiest 2 percent of the country while keeping everyone else’s rates the same. He was sceptical about the loophole-closing route. “You know, the math tends not to work,” he said. But when pressed, he didn’t close the door on alternatives. “If the Republican counterparts, or some Democrats, have a great idea for us to raise revenue, maintain progressivity, make sure the middle class isn’t getting hit, reduces our deficit, encourages growth, I’m not going to just slam the door in their face,” he said. “I’m less concerned about red lines per se.” In fact, as we wrote on Sunday, Treasury could collect a lot of money, and mostly from the rich, by limiting deductions. This approach could have an added benefit of encouraging people to make decisions based on economic benefit, not gaming the tax system. But Mr. Obama is right to insist that Republicans, if they favor that alternative, must spell it out and show the math. Allowing rates on the rich to rise to Clinton-era levels would do little to harm economic growth. And limiting charitable or mortgage deductions would be politically difficult; do Republicans really have the votes for that? Mr. Obama is right to keep the door open. He’s also right not to give up the leverage of rates that, absent any congressional action, will rise with the new year. – Washington Post

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IR: Imagine that you are a family man and your business is production and selling of pure water. There is now a discussion with your wife on the way forward on the family budget. Your wife knows that the higher the price of pure water, the more the money that would be available for groceries, shopping and travelling. It also happens that there are many other pure water sellers in your town. This has created a situation where you alone do not determine the price of this product. Moreover, simply because the raw material (which is natural borehole water) is readily available does not mean that the price of your pure water will remain favourable. If you were to assume a benchmark price for pure water, what would it be? Experience tells you N75 per bag is realistic but your wife is asking you to fix it at N80, eight naira higher than last year’s. She is also telling you she has faith that you will continue to produce and supply one million bags of this pure water per year. There are however ominous signs around. There is a buzz that one of your big buyers is now sourcing his water from a river because he has the technology to produce good quality pure water from it. Your warring neighbouring towns are also coming round to the negotiation table and a peace accord would mean dormant pure water factories would soon glut the market with high quality pure water. Should this happen (and it is looking more likely than less) there would be a sharp fall in the real family revenue. You would have to go a-borrowing to finance your house-hold needs. As the head of the family, you know that a lower price assumption of pure water price will not only curb your wife’s spending spree, it could be a blessing in disguise for your ailing farm business. This is the meat of the heated debate between the President and his Coordinating Minister of the Economy/Finance Minister on the one hand and the National Assem-


Oil and budget 2013 bly on the other. In his 2013 budget speech proposal to the National Assembly three weeks ago, President Goodluck Jonathan had set $75 as the upper limit benchmark for oil price. The House of Representatives is pushing for $80. The Minister of Finance and the Coordinating Minister for the Economy, Mrs. Ngozi OkonjoIweala, had, in defence of the government position, said the $75 oil benchmark “is based on moving averages of the world oil price and government’s simulations allowing for uncertainty in world oil price movements”. She said this was a “standard technique commonly used by commodity-dependent countries to protect them against the volatilities of oil”and in that respect “$75/barrel price represents

an upper limit from our model, if Nigeria is to maintain a stable macroeconomic environment for next year.” The rationale for government position is obvious. A modest oil price benchmark is a vote for more diversification of revenue sources, less dependence on oil, development of other sectors and reduction in government spending especially its recurrent expenditure. And government seemed to be showing its intentions when President Goodluck Jonathan presented an appropriation bill of N4.9 trillion for 2013, compared with N4.697 trillion in 2012. The share of the recurrent spending in aggregate expenditure in the 2013 budget estimate was reduced from 71.47 per cent in 2012 to 68.7 per cent, while capital

expenditure as a share of aggregate spending was also increased from 28.53 per cent in 2012 to 31.3 per cent in 2013.) But a lower oil price benchmark is also a matter of economic survival. Last week, the US Wall Street Journal published a sober report on the Nigeria oil situation. The 2008 experience where oil prices fell almost overnight from $147 per barrel to $38 per barrel is a sad reminder. This threat of oil price volatility remains constant and underscores the need to rely on a robust and prudent methodology to estimate the benchmark price. The legislature may also be secretly banking on a supposed excess liquidity that would sweep the

economy if their $80 proposal carried the day. There would be more money for the government to throw around. An uncontrolled increase in liquidity will however be harmful to sound macroeconomic forecasts. Inflation rates would certainly rise significantly. The exchange rate would come under severe pressure, leading to a depreciation of the Naira. High inflation would result in higher interest rates. A combination of high inflation, interest rate and an unstable exchange rate is bad for economic planning, both for the government and for private businesses. It is also important to look at how some other oil producing countries are doing it. Angola currently has the highest benchmark at USD77. Algeria has $37, Venezuela $50, Qatar $55, Kuwait $60, Saudi Arabia $60, Oman $75. Should we now be competing for the highest in the world? Hopefully, the legislature will do the right thing – agree on a modest oil price benchmark that takes the interest of the Nigerian economy and its people into account. • Johnson Ogude Ilorin.

Lagos Okada restriction in perspective


IR: Permit me to clarify some things about the restriction of Okada on some major roads inLagos state. To some, it is a wrong move in a right path; some see it as a right move in a wrong path, while some others see nothing beneficial in the policy. Well, life is a comedy to a feeling man; it is a tragedy to a thinking man. To the first group of thinkers, the banning of Okada from plying some major roads of the state is a wrong decision but they see nothing bad in the way the policy is enforced taking into consideration the obdurate nature of the people on the street. If a right decision, as they claim, has been enforced this same way, they wouldn’t have gone against the policy. They see the policy as a wrong move in the

right path. The second school of thought sees nothing bad in the policy but would not have subscribed to the way of enforcing it. In the process of enforcing it, the so called enforcement agents cause more calamity than what the policy was set to curb. By pursuing the defaulters, the police men maim and at times cause more death on the highways. To them, Governor Fashola should have devised a way of arresting the culprits different from the way of the Nigerian police. The third category of observers comprises those that may belong to the opposition party that see nothing worthwhile in the policies of the incumbent leader. They condemn instead of criticizing, they

blame instead of praising. Their argument about the restriction of Okada from plying some major roads is that the government does not provide an alternative for those that are banned from the job. They often miss the content as well as the intent of the policy; they refer to it as though it is a total ban of Okada operation in the whole of the state. While it should be noted that the policy is to restrict the operation of Okada on some express ways where they serve as menace to human lives both as instrument of robbery and accident, the policy does not ban Okada operation in the entire State such as manner of other states like, Yobe, Kano, Abuja and Rivers. And since this policy has been in

operation, reports have it that the twin menace of robbery and accident have grossly reduced in Lagos state. Those Okada riders that are restricted from the Expressways still have other minor roads to ply and make their money. Those that are condemning the policy are either in the political opposition and are looking for unreasonable political gimmicks to win the Lagos seat of power in 2015 or the gullible rustic common people on the street. Afterall, the Governor cannot be affect by the menace of Okada on Expressway neither can any of his convoy. The policy is for the betterment of those of us, the majority citizens of the state. • Christopher Mbanefo Ojo Alaba,Lagos state




Twenty-first century slaves


ODAY, complaint is often made of what we call the failure of the Nigerian dream. Today, we lament how monstrously many forces of society fulfill and fail to fulfill their work; how the ruling class is perpetually functioning in profligate, chaotic, and altogether, insensitive manner. But today, as usual, we fail to look inwards, probably because we know if we endeavour to do so long enough, we shall find in you and me, the summary of all other failures and disorganizations—a sort of heart, from which, and to which all other confusion and monstrosity gravitates in our fatherland. Complaint is often made that our problems persist because we refuse to convene a Sovereign National Conference (SNC). I wish to believe that there is depth and a semblance of truth in such frivolous mindset even as it becomes more glaring daily that a trillion SNCs will not save Nigeria. For any consensus or practicable solutions arrived at the conference would be the result of self-serving efforts of generations of louts, hired assassins, ex-convicts, treasury looters, armed robbers, advance fee fraudsters, decadent clerics and bloodthirsty political godfathers to mention a few. What manner of surplus could result from a gathering of crows? That we undermine ourselves and underestimate our self-worth are old stories told. Now that we have failed us, we pursue the comfort of cheap consolations. Nigeria hasn’t failed us. Mr. President hasn’t failed

us. Our politicians haven’t failed us. You and I have failed us. You and I are the thorny thickets shielding our shoots from the sunny spokes of daylight. Who connived with foreigners and the ruling class to plunder Ajaokuta and pilfer NITEL? Who bursts our pipelines to steal our gas for export? Tell me, who steals at night to strip our streets of floodlights? Is it Mr. President, his deputy, perhaps the Senate President? They couldn’t achieve such bestiality on their own even if they tried, could they? We are the hoodlums causing chaos at random, according to the whims of our cowardly godfathers. We are the policemen mounting road blocks at random to fleece hardworking compatriots of the little they manage to scrounge, everyday. We are the bankers pilfering the lifesavings of poor and struggling compatriots after we deny them the benefits of patronizing us. We are the bank chiefs stripping Peter to pay Paul and robbing the downtrodden to feed our wantonness and greed. We are wives to the thieving governor, and councilor, gigolo to the rogue bank chief. We are the journalists pandering to the whims of predators we have learnt to endure on our power plinths. We are the practitioners who sold out, the watchdog who became lapdogs and then, dung-dogs. We are the Lagos big boys and drama queens desperate for groove


N life, only very few things are as painful and psychologically enervating as the experience of being vilified by the public for taking a position which you know is right while the criticizing majority is gullibly led in the opposite direction which you know is patently wrong. That was the kind of experience one of Nigeria’s most accomplished technocrat and bureaucrat, Mr. Steven Oronsaye, was made to go through recently. He was the butt of cruel jokes and acerbic criticisms for disowning the report of the Petroleum Revenue Special Task Force of which former EFCC Chairman, Mallam Nuhu Ribadu, was Chairman and Oronsaye was deputy chairman The committee was set up to, among other things, look into the various sources of revenues from the petroleum sector in the last 10 years and see if all monies that should accrue to the Federal Government actually got paid and, if not, recommend ways of plugging the leakages. Long before the committee concluded its work, Nigerians were regaled with reports in the media with headlines like: “Ribadu Vows to Nail Oil Thieves” and “Ribadu Gives Oil Thieves Red Card”. These and the reputation of Ribadu as an anti-corruption czar helped to raise expectations about the committee’s report. So when the report of the committee found its way to the media with a hint that it had earlier been submitted to the Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani AlisonMadueke, who appeared not to be enthusiastic about its implementation, it immediately caused a hoopla which made President Goodluck Jonathan to direct that the report be formally submitted to him by the committee. During the report submission ceremony on 1 November, 2012, at the Presidential Villa, Oronsaye publicly

‘But from all that we have seen in the report so far, there is no ground to impugn on Oronsaye’s integrity. In fact, the only thing the report has done very well, as far as one can see, is that it has vindicated the man’

and splendour in the midst of too much rancour, and squalor. We are the armed robbers and thieves. We are the foolish according to the leadership of the sick and imbecilic. We are the activists exploiting the pains of the trodden to perpetuate our grand schemes of wantonness and greed. We are the clerics selling salvation to monsters we adorn with power, unquestioningly. We are the prophets of doom and eternal damnation. We are the critics capable of nothing but unsubstantiated claims and clamour. We are the ones who see nothing good in anything. And even I who write this epitomize the grandest of all evils, your high and mighty columnist and intellectual terrorist as nothing distinguishes me from the errant breed selling truth to the consistent bidder piece-meal and wholesomely, every time. Now there are as many truths as our vanities. We whose job is to salvage by truth and candour have joined the prodigal breed in calling our motherland a failed state. What is a failed state? A failed state is a nation peopled by you and me. There is fundamental evil in our souls hence the vileness of our norms and culture. What evils should we set out to abolish in our modern society? To this, I bet very many well-meaning people would answer poverty, though they ought to answer slavery. Face to face every day with the shameful contrasts of riches and destitution, high dividends and low wages, and painfully conscious of the futility of trying to adjust the balance by means of charity, private or public, they would answer unhesitatingly that they stand for the abolition of poverty. But poverty is merely a symptom, slavery is the disease. The ex-

tremes of riches and destitution follow inevitably upon the extremes of leadership and bondage. We are not enslaved because we are poor; we are poor because we are enslaved. Yet we have all too often fixed our eyes upon the material misery of the poor without realizing that it rests upon their deliberate degradation into slavery. The evils of power in the present system are greater than is necessary no doubt and to imagine that they might be immeasurably diminished by a more suitable form of democracy, federalism or whatever political contraption catches our fancy amounts to an exercise in futility. Like class scum perpetually enslaved to the villainous benevolence of their feudal lords, we have learnt to condone all manners of irregularities in leadership and industry. Every day, we are compelled to work so hard in pursuit of everything and nothing in particular. And almost all who work have no voice in the direction of their work; throughout the hours of labor we are mere machines carrying out the will of a master. Work is usually done under disagreeable conditions, involving pain and physical hardship. The only motive to work is wages: the very idea that work might be a joy, like the work of the artist, is usually scouted as utterly Utopian. But by far the greater part of these evils are wholly unnecessary. Just like Russell said, if we all could be induced to desire our own happiness more than another’s pain, if we could be induced to work constructively for improvements which we could share with all the world rather than destructively to prevent other classes or nations from gaining an inch above us, the whole system by which the world’s work is done

might be reformed root and branch within a generation. From the point of view of liberty, what system would be the best? In what direction should we wish the forces of progress to move? Should we continue to place our destinies in the hands of dinosaurs desperate to take with them to their grave, all that’s promising and true of our great nation? Should we continue to serve as muscles to the attainment of dreams of creatures of cruelty we have learnt to condone on our power plinths? Desperate times call for desperate measures; except that it is never some desperate measure to seize our destiny from savages doling unequal laws unto our clueless race. It is hardly some desperate measure to pay heed to the riotous yearnings of every human reserve within our battered State as our ability to identify and unite with them in partisanship and ache, inures them time and over again, against the temptations of leadership we loathe and grieve over. • To be continued…

‘What is a failed state? A failed state is a nation peopled by you and me. There is fundamental evil in our souls hence the vileness of our norms and culture. What evils should we set out to abolish in our modern society? To this, I bet very many well-meaning people would answer poverty, though they ought to answer slavery’

Ribadu report: Vindicating Oronsaye By Mallam Atiku Ataguba disowned the report arguing that due process was not followed in compiling it. For a report that had already been leaked to the media on the assumption that the powers that be want to consign it to the shelf to gather dust like most others before it, Oronsaye’s action was seen as a confirmation that there was indeed a conspiracy to kill the report. He was dubbed an ‘agent’ who had been ‘settled’ to deliver the bomb that would blow the report into smithereens. To make the toga of a ‘settled agent’ fit well on Oronsaye, Ribadu went ahead to point out that he (Oronsaye) was appointed into the Board of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation NNPC a few months after the Task Force was inaugurated. Ribadu further insinuated that Oronsaye refused to attend meetings of the committee and only turned up once when the issue of Addax’s financial malfeasance was to be discussed and that he (Oronsaye) apparently turned up for the meeting because of his perceived interest in the company which Ribadu accused him of defending spiritedly throughout the session. Ordinarily, these allegations are enough to sway anyone that Oronsaye delivered his disclaimer on the report for rather selfish and unpatriotic reasons. But the facts that are beginning to emerge about the report as the dust of sentiment begins to settle down indicate otherwise. I must confess that I was one of those who believed that Oronsaye was guilty as charged, especially as his position that due process was not followed in compiling the report was endorsed by only one other member of the Task Force, Mr. Bernard Oti, who incidentally was appointed as Group Executive Director Finance and Accounts of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation and member of the Corporation’s Board a few months after the inauguration of the committee. To me, this showed a clear pattern of settled men were working hard to earn their pay. But having taken the pain to study the report, I am persuaded that Oronsaye has

been vindicated and that he may have been moved by patriotic zeal to stick his neck out to disown the report. Oronsaye may have carefully considered how disappointed Nigerians would be when they would discover that the report did not so much as hold the so called oil thieves by the elbow not to talk of catching a single thief. Or how else do you describe a report that contains the most damning disclaimer of its essence contained in paragraph 4, page 2 of the report which states: “The data used in this report was presented by various stakeholders who made submission to the Task Force in the course of our assignment at various dates, which have been disclosed in relevant sections of the report. Due to time frame of the assignment, some of the data used could not be independently verified and the Task Force recommends that the Government should conduct such necessary verifications and reconciliations.” If the statement quoted above is not a disclaimer, then somebody needs to explain to Nigerians how it differs from what Oronsaye said at the report submission ceremony. In fact, I tend to believe that Oronsaye was being euphemistic in stating that the Task Force did not follow due process in arriving at its report because what Ribadu and his fellow committee members tell Nigerians by the above statement is that they did not do the job for which the committee was set up. And to my mind, not doing the job for which the committee was set up is definitely worse than doing it but not following due process. Not verifying the data submitted to the committee and recommending that “government should conduct all necessary verifications and reconciliations” is like pushing the job back to the government that set the committee up in the first place to thoroughly appraise data and figures with a view to determining where there are revenue leakages in the system. If the data and figures were not verified as admitted in the report then on what basis did it arrive at the conclusion that some companies and agencies did not pay what they ought to pay to

government? How did the Task Force expect the government to prosecute those it indicted? On the basis of unverified and unreconciled figures? The point that Oronsaye was trying to make at the report submission ceremony has now become very clear: The Committee did not do what it ought to have done; if it was because of time constraint, it should have asked for more time to do the right thing. Looking back now, it is also getting clearer that all the allegations against Oronsaye that he disowned the report because he has been settled with appointment to the Board of NNPC and that he has interest in Addax are mere attempts to tarnish him and render his observation about the report questionable. If in spite of Oronsaye’s appointment into the Board of NNPC he was insisting on getting a better report done that could nail all those who shortchanged the country in one way or the other, then it is safe to conclude that he is a patriot. On the allegation that Oronsaye has interest in Addax because he turned up for meetings after a long period of absence from the committee’s meetings and insisted on the right process being adopted in appraising data that pertained to the firm, that argument is neither here nor there. In fact, it could be argued that Oronsaye’s action was consistent with his position that the committee’s work be properly discharged and above board. He has since denied having any interest in Addax. What we know about Addax in Nigeria today is that it has been bought over by Sinopec. It is left for those who made the allegation to substantiate it by coming out with facts. The Presidency has challenged Ribadu to name those whom he claimed tried to compromise him. It will be just fine for him to tell the Nigerian public all he knows about Oronsaye’s interest in Addax so that we can appraise him appropriately. But from all that we have seen in the report so far, there is no ground to impugn on Oronsaye’s integrity. In fact, the only thing the report has done very well, as far as one can see, is that it has vindicated the man. • Ataguba is a public affairs analyst.



COMMENTS ‘I have nothing but contempt for the kind of governor who is afraid, for whatever reason, to follow the course that he knows is best for the State.’ —————Sophocles,Dec 30, 0495- December 30, 0405


Any time the controversy regarding the issue of Okadarestriction by the Lagos state government comes up, my mind flips back to the memory of that ancient Greek philosopher cum playwright, Sophocles (04950405). Sophocles, a man born in Colonus (Athens) was a wealthy and well educated man of his epoch who wrote about 123 plays. But the one he was best known for is the master piece: ‘Oedipus the King’ (Oedipus Rex). In one of the ruminations over the rating of governments of his era, he was recorded by history to have said: ‘I have nothing but contempt for the kind of governor who is afraid, for whatever reason, to follow the course that he knows is best for the State.’ This statement aptly depicts my understanding of why Governor Babatunde Raji Fashola might have signed the new Lagos Road Traffic Law that is still generating hullabaloo in the polity. Most inhabitants of the state, because of the peripheral relief that commercial motorcyclists (Okada riders) offer them, believe though erroneously that the governor is a cruel man that has no empathy for the people he governs. Without any attempt at pretending not to appreciate the usefulness of Okada in a system with a public transportation system that has been under serious challenges for decades; it is germane to state that the governor is being vilified for not being afraid to pursue the course that he truly believes is best for the people of Lagos state. Someone like him will not be treated with contempt by Sophocles and perhaps, millions of other Lagos inhabitants, including yours sincerely, that believe that change is inevitable in life. Though people may resent change but history has shown that they later embraced it in the long run. Just one example out of several others would suffice; when Fashola implemented the BRT project initiated by the Bola Tinubu administration, members of the NURTW and commuters resented it vehemently. The NURTW even went on strike with some of its unscrupulous members damaging some of the new buses. Because commuters were stranded at bus stops, they complained and blamed the government- just because of temporary


UR dainty dame of the Petroleum Ministry, Mrs. Diezani AlisonMadueke, sure knows how to heap it on us. She takes the coal in furious shovelfuls, red-hot, crackling and throws it at us in a devilmay- care manner. Her latest assault is that anti-reform forces are behind the call for her sack? She insisted that those who want her fired are enemies of President Goodluck Jonathan’s transformation agenda especially as it concerns the oil sector which she supervises. Hear her: “Those fighting the government in the media are doing so because we have been able to frustrate their efforts in strangulating the economy through their devilish black market and questionable profiteering at the expense of the Nigerian people. “I would not want to join issues with those criticizing me because they are crying foul that through us, Mr. President has broken the old order where things were done without coordination. “What is hurting them is that we have put policies in place where they can no longer cheat the government and cause untold hardship to millions of Nigerians.” Diezani’s woofing is particularly galling coming on the tail of the sordid presidential soap opera re-enacted during the submission of the Ribadu Committee report. Recall that Diezani had set up a series of committees in the wake of a national protest that greeted the yanking off of the so-called petrol subsidy last January. One of such panels was the Petroleum Revenue Special Task Force (PRSTF) headed by Malam Nuhu Ribadu. But not even a thousand committees can cover up for Dieziani’s inadequacies since she was appointed to the federal cabinet about five years ago. Her incompetence has become more glaring since she was put in charge of the Ministry of Petroleum Resources. That heart beat of the country has never been in a worse mess since the creation of Nigeria. Indeed, were she not a minister of the Federal Republic, one would have accused her of either being rude to the extreme or harboring mischief of the most devious kind. Perhaps she is gangrened by a combination of the two conditions because that is the only circumstance under which she would dare to heap so much insult on the festering injury she has inflicted on the people of Nigeria in the last few years.

Okada and Fasholaphenomenon

• Fashola transportation setbacks. But today, everybody is applauding that transportation programme. Such could have been truncated but for the governor’s belief in what he thinks are good for the state. The Okada people like the NURTW members, reportedly have taken the laws into their hands making bonfires and damaging public transport buses. They seem to have forgotten that they are not above the law. Marshall Thurgood (1908-1993), a former U.S. solicitor general in a speech delivered at the St. Louis, Missouri on August 15, 1966 admonished: ‘Lawlessness is lawlessness. Anarchy is anarchy. Neither race nor colour nor frustration is an excuse for either lawlessness or anarchy.’ What this implies is that the okada

riders have no respect for the rule of law by their engagement in criminality. Afterall, what has the Traffic Law says that is beyond this world other than to seek to restore sanity and decency on Lagos roads. Let us have a perusal: The Law bans operation of commercial motorcyclists on 475 out of the over 9,010 routes in Lagos State through a law passed by Lagos State House of Assembly. The reason for this can be gleaned from the official statistics compiled by the Planning and Research Department of Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA) and corroborated by the State Police Command’s records which of course are yet to be disputed by the okada riders in the state. Let us ask the Okada people what they have to say to the figures that not less than 619 people were killed or seriously injured in commercial motorcycle accidents across the Lagos between January 2010 and October 2012. From the number, 107 people died while 512 sustained serious injuries from the accidents. The gender breakdown shows that 71 males and 36 females died during the period. Can the okada riders dispute the fact that Okada accidents have been on the increase in barely over a year. Despite the poor record keeping status of the country and the fact that several okada accidents might never be reported, it is yet to be argued by antagonists of okada restrictions that 271 accidents occurred in 2011 and that that same year, 47 were killed while 98 persons were injured. These okada riders can not controvert the fact that in 2012, 171 accidents


SMS O8181624757,


Jump, Diezani jump

• Diezani Alison-Madueke How dare Diezani talk to us about reform in the midst of a debilitating fuel scarcity and surreptitious price hike? What reform in an industry with anaconda-sized corruption? Only last August, The Economist described Nigeria as the world capital of oil theft with about $7 billion lost annually. This crime has grown exponential in her time and she obviously has no clue as to how to solve the problem. Dieziani is the supervisor –in –chief of a corruption crippled industry that cannot adequately refine petroleum products, cannot import, cannot store, cannot distribute. What is the nature of this so-called reform for a minister who does not know the quantity of crude oil we export nor does she have statistics of the quantity of petroleum products we import? Where does the so-called reform start and end for a maladroit minister who cannot explain to Nigerians how trillions of naira of the so-

called subsidy fund was signed away to a confederate of rogues who claim to be oil importers? Why are our pipelines being shut down under her watch? Why are major oil firms like Shell and Total suddenly selling off their assets and migrating? Why is the nation bugged down by perennial scarcity of petroleum products yet we reform? Somebody sure needs reformation if in all this we accuse ‘anti-reform forces’. We insist that Diezani has clearly become an albatross around the neck of the president, the presidency and the nation. We advise she takes a dive. The most honorable thing left for her now is to jump. She must jump while she can; she must jump while there is still some dignity left. She must jump before she is pushed. AYO ORITSEJAFOR: My PJ is bigger than yours “Thus says the Lord God: Woe to the foolish prophets, who follow their own spirit and have seen nothing!” Ezekiel Ch. 13vs.3 (KJV) So this is what it’s all about; all the shadowboxing and hullaballoo is all in aid of acquiring a private jet (PJ) just like all the other ‘big boy’ preachers and ‘men of God’. The news last weekend from Warri that flamboyant Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor, president of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) had acquired a PJ did not surprise many watchers of Nigeria’s Christendom. What may have baffled many

occurred. More sadly is the fact that the death toll in 2012 increased to 63 people with 59 sustaining serious injuries from the record so far gathered. The figures might be more. The above are in the realm of safety even when the security statistics reeled out by the State Police Command through Umar Abubakar Mango, Lagos Commissioner of Police sounds confounding. The Police security record reveals that of the 30 armed robbery incidents recorded between the months of July and September 2012, twentytwo were deftly the handiworks of Okada motorcycle riders. In July alone, eight robbery operations were recorded with seven involving the use of okada; in August, five out of eight robberies were the handiworks of okada; In September, ten out of fourteen robberies were carried out with Okada. More damning is the fact that okada riders lurk around especially banks, houses and offices waiting for people that have gone to collect money to rob them of not only the money but other valuables. Even assassins/abductors have used okada to commit criminality not only in Lagos but in other parts of the country. Most brand new cars get old quickly not because of manufacturers’ defects or carelessness of owners but because okada riders drive aimlessly on the highways and streets inflicting in the process dents and scratches on motor vehicles. The car owners are left to bear the brunt of repair costs later. Whatever the utility value of commercial okada to the owners and even its contributions to easing transportation problems in the state, such cannot supersede the security and welfare of the generality of Lagosians-said to be the primary aims of government in the 1999 Constitution (as amended). The Fashola-phenomenon is about excellence, good example and of true leadership to the good people of Lagos state. The recent call by the PDP in the state on the governor to emulate President Goodluck Jonathan is laughable. How can light and darkness be compared? The governor of example in Lagos is a performer while the president at the centre is a weakling. We do not need to be unnecessarily emotive about this matter of okada restriction. Unfortunately, the problem with our people is that they hardly want to endure short term pains that would bring long term succour for the benefit of all. It is just a matter of time, we shall all commend Fashola for not being afraid, for whatever reason, according to Sophocles, to follow the course that he knows is best for his State.

was the slant that the nearly $5 million (about N750m) bird was a gift from his church, Word of Life Bible Church. It was meant to be reward for 40 years of toil in God’s vineyard. But Nigerians ask: how could the church write such a fat cheque to the Founder, Visioner, General Overseer and Papa of the church? Can the tail wag the dog? Why would our dear man of God show such inefficiency in managing the truth of his new luxury toy? Could it be that Papa is ashamed of his monstrous new-found wealth? He need not be. Have we not been taught that their god is not a poor god and that poverty is for ‘true’ Christians? He has company; he is now among the super-rich, jet-set ‘ men of God’. Some of them even have more jets than some one-jet, Nigerian commercial airlines. In a time of unspeakable rot in the polity and extreme privation and impoverishment of the people, our ‘men of God’ have got themselves into a race for acquiring billion naira private jets. They are in the race with corrupt politicians, oil thieves and ‘banksters’. They are in competition to show opulence, to exhibit their material worth. Why would a true preacher of the Word be in such a hurry as to need a PJ? Some heads of state do not own PJs. I am not aware that the British Prime Minister owns one. Where on earth would a true preacher want to fly to in such private- jet hurry? Even Christ could not get to Lazarus in time enough yet he got the job done when he eventually got there. When did this spiritual labor become a race to conquer space and time? Expresso thinks something does not add up in this new wave of mind-numbing flamboyance. Which god is this we are talking about that allows our vanity to grow expensive wings? Can anyone see Mammon peeking from somewhere? LAST MUG: Your turn: anything to smile about? Is Expresso an incurable pessimist or is our country truly a mirthless, cheerless entity that only makes us sad? This is the question for you to answer dear readers as this space is hereby thrown open to next week Friday November 23, 2012. Please text information about any person or thing in Nigeria that gives you hope, cheers you up, inspires you or makes you proud and happy to be a Nigerian. Ensure that your contributions are short, simple and verifiable; including your name and location. Warning: another sad piece awaits you if we don’t have adequate responses to fill this space by Wednesday. Have a great weekend.








Maigari, envoys assure of FG support for Eagles



•Miami wants Eagles Back

• Igiebor



Fayemi receives games torch


Igiebor, Ameobi, Dike

thrill Keshi •Says Nigeria must return to its pride of place •Begins work on defence line

• Ameobi

• Maigari

Nwosu wants African teams for Eagles


• Dike


bafemi Martins performance Was below par against Venezuela Nigeria coach Stephen Keshi has said Obafemi Martins has to improve to make his team as he did not see his full potentials versus Venezuela. On Thursday, the Super Eagles beat Venezuela 3-1 in an AFCON warm-up in Miami with Levante striker Martins making a long-awaited return to the

•••Wants Martins to improve national team. However, the former Inter Milan star was below par and was replaced on the hour by his former Newcastle teammate Shola Ameobi, who was making his debut for Nigeria.

“He needs to step up his game because I know he can do better than he did because he has the potentials but I did not see much of him,” said Keshi after the game. ‘Obagoal’ shone in training in the USA,

Imoke to flag off Obudu Race, as prize money remains

•Ekiti State Commisioner for Sport Folorunsho Olabode, Nigeria’s Gold Medalist 4x400 metres, Bukola Abogunleko and other board members of Ekiti State Sports Council showing off the Torch of Unity for the National Sports Festival yesterdy in Ado-Ekiti

but had at least two chances to make hay against Venezuela so as to stake a strong claim for a place in the Eagles squad to next year’s Nations Cup in South Africa.


Win a morale booster—Echiejile

Screening for Eko 2012 beauty pageant holds Nov. 27 NFF: Ikhana still Super Falcons’ coach

From Patrick Ngwaogu

•Nwosu •Ikhana





Former Anambra State Governor and first woman to hold the position in Nigeria, Dame Virgy Etiaba, is 70. She marked her birthday with the launch of her autobiography: My Life; My Story, in Abuja last Sunday. TAJUDEEN ADEBANJO writes.

•The celebrator (4th left) keenly watched by Hajiya Sambo (5th right); Prof Akunyili and others as Dr Chikwe (right) supervised cutting of the cake


HE was born during a historic era and she made history as the first woman governor in the country. For Dame Virginia Ngozi Etiaba, life began on November 11, 1942. The World War II was on and Nigerians, being subjects of the British, took part. Born in Umudim, Nnewi at St. Thomas Maternity, Akwodo, Nnewi North Local Government Area of Anambra State, Dame Etiaba defied all odds to become the first woman governor of Anambra State and, by extension, first woman in Nigeria to occupy that coveted seat. The mother of six rolled out the drums last Sunday to celebrate her entry into the septuagenarian club. Earlier, a public building in Nnewi, the Dame Virgy Etiaba Centre, had been inaugurated as part of activities marking her birthday. The 70th birthday featured a dinner and the unveiling of her autobiography, My Life; My Story. Outside the hall was a giant banner with an imposing picture of the celebrator welcoming the guests. The banner with the inscription ‘Mama @ 70’ danced to the rhythm of the light wind. The expansive Musa Yar’Adua Centre, Abuja, venue of the ceremony, bubbled all through. The hall was decorated with white and golden satin. The celebrator’s big pictures hung at strategic points in the hall. The table overlays depicted the status of the celebrator. Soon, the hall was filled with A-list dignitaries from different parts of the country. It was put together by her children - Bennet - a chartered accountant and a two-term former chairman of ICAN, United Kingdom District; Emeka - a lawyer and political activist; Okenwa - a printer and publisher in London; Echezona an astute lawyer in Port Harcourt; Ezinwanne – also a lawyer who works with the Federal Ministry of Foreign Affairs. She is with the Nigerian Embassy in Paris and Chioma, head of Private Banking at Fidelity Bank. The celebrator could not have asked for more going by the array of personalities on ground.

Woman of substance They included politicians, top business men, captains of industry, associates, friends among others. The Anambra Amazon decked in a purple lace blouse, George wrappers with a blend of gold and purple, golden headgear, bracelet, choker, lovely eye glasses and blue pair of shoes. She led the wife of the Vice-President, Hajiya Amina Namadi Sambo, who represented the First Lady, Dame Patience Jonathan, into the ornately decorated hall. Hajia Sambo shone in a grey Arabian Abaya and beautiful hijab. As expected, the event was full of razzmatazz with photo-journalists competing to take better pictures of the celebrator and the guests. Various foreign and African cuisines including choice wines were at the mercy of the guests. Many paid tributes to Dame Etiaba for her commitment to nation building and being a mother of successful children, teacher, Deputy Governor and Governor in Anambra State. Hajiya Sambo congratulated the celebrator. She described her as an “evidence of a woman in whom the Lord is well pleased.” “We see in the case of Dame Etiaba, evidence of a woman in whom the Lord is well pleased. These include your numerous accomplishments in various fields. You have added values to the lives of virtually everybody who has crossed paths with you. In this respect, I recall proudly your achievements as a wife, mother, teacher and politician. In each of these instances, you discharged yourself creditably as a woman of honor and enduring values. May I congratulate you therefore, Your Excellency, for your trailblazing roles as a former deputy governor, and later Governor, of Anambra State,” she said. According to her, the impact of the celebrator on the quality of life of the Anambra people lingers on. “The women of Nigeria continue to hold you in a very high esteem for doing them proud. Further to that, is the fact that you successfully

confirmed that Nigerian women are well able to discharge themselves creditably in governance, if given increasing opportunities to express themselves,” Hajia Sambo stated. Former Vice President Dr. Alex Ekwueme wished Dame Etiaba more fruitful years. Decked in a blue suit, a blue shirt, colourful tie and a matching pair of shoes, Dr Ekwueme who celebrated his 80th birthday a few weeks ago, prayed God to continue to bless the celebrator. Ekwueme and his wife, Beatrice, described the former Anambra State Governor as a “humane and humble person.” National chairman of All Peoples Grand Alliance (APGA) Victor Umeh said Dame Etiaba’s book gave a vivid account of what transpired within the period of Governor Peter Obi’s impeachment and her ascendance to the seat of the governor of the state. Umeh said the book would be useful to the generations unborn. Mr Bennet Etiaba, her first son, was full of praises for his mother. The former UK ICAN chief, popularly called Ben, described her as a “woman of integrity and great humility.” Emeka Etiaba, the second son, thanked God for granting their mother long life. An elated Dame Etiaba praised God for everything she has achieved. “ It is not easy attaining the age of 70 even though people interpret it in the Bible that 70 is the highest and terminal but I do not feel like that. I just feel as if I am 50. It is of the Lord’s making and I am really very happy about it. He should take all glory,” she said. “I know that God would not have allowed me to see this day if my testimony has expired. I learnt early in life that when your goal is to render quality service, your greatness will be inevitable. I have been inspired by many positive stories but most of all, my job in serving humanity brings me the most fulfillments as it affords me the opportunity to better my soci-

ety,” the celebrator stated. Dignitaries at the birthday bash included representatives of the Senate President; Senator Andy Uba; Senator Ikechukwu Abana; Senator Ugochukwu Uba,Minister of Health, Professor Onyebuchi Chukwu, Minister of Woman Affair, Hajia Zainab Maina; Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Godswill Akpabio was represented by Secretary to State Government, Obong Umanah Umana; Anambra State Governor, Mr. Peter Obi was represented by the Secretary to State Government, Mr. Oseloka Obaze; the Governor of Delta State, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan was also represented his the Secretary to State Government, Comrade O. Macaulay; the Chief Judge of Anambra State, Justice Peter Umeadi; Deputy Speaker of Anambra State House of Assembly, Hon Chukwudi Orizu; Justice Gladys Olotu of Federal High Court, Abuja and Justice Nwodo of Court of Appeal. Also in attendance were the Igwe Nnewi, Igwe Kenneth Onyeneke Orizu III; CEO of Ibeto Group of companies, Dr. Cletus Madubugwu Ibeto who was the book launcher; Dr. Onyechi Ikpeazu, SAN; Chief Chris Uche, SAN; Chief Emeka Ngige, SAN; CEO of Capital Oil and Gas Limited Mr. Ifeanyi Uba; Hon Uche Ekwunife; former Minister of Information, Professor Jerry Gana, who reviewed the book; Professor Dora Akunyili; National Chairman of ANPP, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu; National Secretary of the PDP and former Governor of Osun State, Olagunsoye Oyinlola; National Woman Leader of the PDP, Dr. Kema Chikwe; Chief Corp Marshall of the Federal Road Safety Corp, Mr. Osita Chidioka; former Chairman, Police Service Commission Chief Simon Okeke; Hon Chris Azubuogu; Dr. Okey Ude; Dr. Obinna Uzo; Chief Neto Orazuluike of Genesis Group; General Sam Moum;, Dr. Charles Tabansi; Pastor Obi Ekwueme; Hon Anayo Nebo; Hon Agunwa Anaekwe; Chief John Nwosu, Chief Dennis Okafor; Chief Joe Obijiako; Mr Chudi Ofodile; Mrs. Amaka Onuigbo; Alhaji Sani Shinkafi and among others. •More pictuers on page 26




•Dr Ekwueme; Obong Umana and Mrs Beatrice Ekwueme

•Major-Gen Sam Momoh (rtd) (left) and House of Reps memeber Hon Chukwu

•Mr Ken Emechebe (left) and Mr Emeka Etiaba

•Dr Onu

•Chief Umeh


•From left: Osun State Governor Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola; husband of the celebrator Alhaji Moshood Omidiran; the celebrator Mrs Ayo Omidiran; Speaker, House of Reps., Hon Aminu Tambuwal and Osun State House of Assembly Speaker, Hon Najeem Salam

•Member, House of Reps Hon Lasun Yusuf

•Member, House of Reps Hon Akeem Abiodun

•Wife of Osun State Governor Alhaja Sherifat Aregbesola (right) and wife of Osun State Chief of Staff Mrs Kafayat Oyetola

•From right: Prof Siyan Oyeweso and other guests



SOCIETY The first community tertiary institution in Nigeria, Igbajo Polytechnic in Osun State, has held a fund raising dinner in Lagos. Reporter DAMILOLA OWOYELE was there.

Pride of a community I T was a fundraising dinner that one would not forget in a hurry. Igbajo Polytechnic, the first community tertiary institution in Nigeria, took off in 2005. Since then, it has grown in size and population. It is a private initiative of an elite group in Osun State. According to the Rector, Prince Adedapo Oke, the institution was not founded for financial gain; the major purpose was to fill the vacuum created by the poorlyfunded government universities, hence the convening of a stakeholders forum and a fundraising dinner party. The dinner was held at the Banquet Hall of Etal Hotels, Oregun, Lagos, last Friday. Prince Oke, who did not hide his joy and mirth as he welcomed guests, praised the polytechnic administration’s efforts and the growth it had yielded. He shared anecdotes of challenges and triumphs he had experienced as the helmsman of the institution. His challenges evoked empathy from the guests who also applauded his triumphs. As the evening progressed, and choruses from the polytechnic’s choir reverberated across the expansive hall, one could perceive the splendour of the burgeoning institution. There was obvious camaraderie between staff members, and unsuppressed cordiality between students and lecturers. Different courses of meal were served in the ambience of the hall with music in the background, Guests wined, dined and chatted in jollity. Notable among them were the Managing Director of WEMA Bank Mr Segun Oloketuyi and the Vice Chairman of Industrial and General Insurance Company (IGI), Mr Remi Olowude. Traditional rulers in attendance were dressed in their regalia. They added colour to the event. They insisted on speaking in their parlance, which they said has been eschewed by the modern society to the detriment of all. Prominent among them were Oba Adeniyi Olufemi Fashade (the Owa of Igbajo), High Chief Michael Ajibodu and Otunba Segun Ola. Chief Tunde Omikunle, the anchor for the evening and a member of the institution’s Board of Trustees, read the enviable citations of the august guests. He spoke of the sacrifice Oloketuyi and Olowude have made for the progress of the polytechnic. He did not leave out how much the institution had benefited from them. Oloketuyi, who was dressed in white with his wife, eagerly took to the podium to praise Igbajo Polytechnic, its administration and the community in which it is situated. He said: “The Igbajo Polytechnic initiative is the first of its kind in Nigeria and is still the only community polytechnic in Nigeria till date. Research has shown that an educated and literate workforce is important to the growth of any nation. The more the intellectual capital you have, the better your chances of successes. Communities that generate a wealth of intellect tend to produce better economic returns. Therefore the

•Chief Edward Ajibodu and his wife Mojisola

•Oba Fashade and his Olori

•Prince Adedayo Oke

•Chief Tunde Omikunle

•Prof Ayodeji Agboriyinmi (left) and Mr Akin Majaru

•Chief Olajide Oyewole and his wife Yetunde •Mrs Victoria Fadahunsi and Mr Femi Tayo

•Dr and Dr Damola Onifade

Igbajo Polytechnic initiative is an investment in economic future of the community.” Olowude, the guest of honour, enjoined the attendants to commit financially to the noble cause of the polytechnic. “For all lovers of good education, the establishment of Igbajo Polytechnic is a dream-come true. The vision of the polytechnic is to become one of the foremost in the production of first rate graduates

in the sciences, the arts, and technology blended with strong moral responsibility. Support for this institution is not limited to the rich, but should involve us all.” The Chairman, Board of Trustees of the polytechnic, Chief Ade Fadahunsi, said, in a time when private higher institutions are confronting the challenges created by inadequacies of the public universities, it is necessary to

•Dr Bosun Ayinde


explore avenues of funding to meet the huge cost of running Igbajo Polytechnic. Chief Fadahunsi implored corporate bodies, individual donors and international organisations to rise to the civic responsibility of helping to educate the Nigerian youth. He praised the traditional head, Owa of Igbajo, and the Igbajo community for their commitments. Prince Oke remained unrelent-

ing in his praise for the “approved” university. He said the journey so far has made certificates for seven courses obtainable from the institution. At the end, the Rector was prodigious in his gratitude to the benefactors, all of whom had given generously. He said the dreams the founding fathers had for Igbajo polytechnic would be realised.



SOCIETY President Goodluck Jonathan led eminent Nigerians to Warri, Delta State to felicitate with President of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) and Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria (PFN) Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor on the 40th anniversary of his call as a Pastor. SHOLA O’NEIL and POLYCAP OROSEVWOTU report


OR Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor, the President of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) and Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria (PFN), November 10, will linger in his memory. Top political, religious and business leaders besieged the International Gospel Centre (IGC) of the Word of Life Bible Church (WLBC), Warri, Delta State, to felicitate with him on the 40th anniversary of his call to the pulpit. The event also coincided with the 25th edition of the Jubilee Word Festival of the WLBC, which he founded in 1987, after leaving the Church of God Mission. He was the pastor of the Praise Centre Branch of the church in the oil city. President Goodluck Jonathan, who led top politicians, including the host Governor, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan, read the only lesson of the service, which was led by renowned American Televangelist and Pastor of Wisdom Centre ministry, Dr. Mike Murdock. Also in attendance were Pastor Paul Adefarasin of the House on the Rock, and Dr. Mike Okonkwo, presiding Bishop, The Redeemed Evangelical Mission, and other anointed men of God. Teaching on the topic “Seven Laws of Success,” Dr. Murdock told the congregation that success comes from God through dedication, faith and working with Him. He noted that the success story of the WLBC founder was based on those principles. He described Pastor Oritsejafor as a dynamic preacher, a pastor, evangelist, teacher, prophet, apostle and an author with a unique anointing of God. He explained that Pastor Oritsejafor anointed messages have brought salvation, deliverance, revival, healing and outstanding miracles to millions across the world, adding that he demonstrates God’s power with signs and wonders. Dr. Murdock said Pastor Oritsejafor, as keynote speaker, has ministered in crusades with well over 2,000,000 souls in attendance. “He has also ministered and still ministers in various international and local conferences and seminars which have taken him to well over 50 countries and every continent of the world.” “In a bid to carry out God’s divine mandate of bringing the message of Salvation, Deliverance, and Healing to the homes of countless millions, Pastor Ayo started a TV programme, (Hour of Deliverance), in 1980. Currently, he’s on several Cable Networks all over the world and preaching through the internet via this website.”In his message, President Jonathan described the celebrator as an exceptional, courageous and forthright leader in the search for a lasting peace, security, justice and equity in the nation. The President also com-

40 years in the Lord’s vineyard •President Jonathan (second right), Governor Uduaghan (second left), Pastor Oritsejafor and his wife, Helen

•Mrs Akinjide

•From right: Hon Ochei; Hon Basil Ganagana and Hon Funkekeme Solomon

mended Oritsejafor, popularly called Papa Ayo, for his humanitarian gestures, which he said, has impacted on the lives of thousands of persons in the past four decades. Governor Uduaghan also eulogized the sterling leadership qualities of the celebrant. The highpoint of the event was the announcement of a 10-seater Bombardier/Challenger 601 jet gift to the pastor, whose 40th pulpit anniversary celebration also coincided with his birthday. The purchase of the aircraft, which is reportedly worth about N800million, was funded by donations from church members, according to the announcement. There were also renditions of gospel tunes and worship songs by prominent gospel singers, including the famous in-house Milk and Honey Choir. In his reaction, an obviously overwhelmed ‘Papa Ayo’ noted that the

presence of prominent men and women, including the President was a source of joy for him. He particularly remarked that the physical presence of the Nigerian President in the service was a clear sign of his true friendship. He used the opportunity to pray for the presidents and predicted a brighter future for the nation. He recalled that in 1972, the Lord miraculously saved and delivered him during a crusade where he immediately felt the call of God upon his life. He thereafter enrolled in the New Covenant Bible Institute, Benin City, Nigeria. While in college the Lord showed him a vision of himself preaching to countless thousands of people with great power and authority and he heard the Lord say “Take my Word to the World.”

Responding to all the good wishes, Pastor Oritsejafor thanked the President, the Delta state governor, the Speaker, Delta state House of Assembly, Hon Victor Ochie and all other dignitaries who found time out their busy schedule to honour him. The Olu of Warri, Ogiame Atuwatse II, led a long list of traditional rulers, including the Ooni of Ife, Oba Okunade Sijuwade, who was represented by a very high ranking titleholder in the kingdom, the Ovie of Uvwie Kingdom, Sideso II, Pere of Seimbiri Kingdom, Pere Charles Ayemi-Botu, among others. Other guests include the representatives of the governors of AkwaIbom, Edo and Bayelsa states, Mrs Olajumoke Akinjide, Minister of State, Federal Capital Territory (FCT), as well as business and religious leaders from all over the country.

Former Minister of External Affairs, Professor Bolaji Akinyemi, who is a renowned Professor of International Relations and Diplomacy, delivered a public lecture titled Nigeria of My Dreams: Towards the Consolidation of National Unity, as part of events marking the celebrations. The lecture was moderated by former President Olusegun Obasanjo, who described the celebrant as a man prepared by God. He said, “Your achievements in the last 40 years must be regarded as Moses type of preparation. God has prepared you; now you are beginning again.” Dignitaries at the lecture included Deacon Gamaliel Onosode, Prof Gabriel Yomore, who organised it, Prof. Jim Omatseye and Pastor Augustine Orhiagbo, among others.


•Governor of Osun State, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola presenting an award to the husband of Osunn CP, Dr Nathaniel Adeyemi

•Commissioner of Police, Osun State Command, Kolafite Adeyemi (left) presenting an award to Mr Tunde Busari. With them is Mrs Abimbola Busari (right)

29 FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 16, 2012

Vol 4. No. 1776

Tonight, the winner of Gulder Ultimate Search (GUS) 9: The Gatekeepers’ Fortune, will emerge. The job of the three gatekeepers – Dominic Mudabai, Michael Nwachukwu and Christopher Okagbue – has been concluded. Of the 12 contestants that started the race, four are left. They are: Nuhu Zigwayi, Paschal Eronmose, Adah James and Onyinye Udodi. In this report, WALE ALABI chronicles the journey to their finale.

• Udodi, during a task in the Gulder Ultimate Search 9

GUS 9: The Ultimate Man emerges today W

HO emerges the ultimate champion? This will be known tonight, hopefully by 10 o’clock. But the crown for Ultimate Woman has been picked by Onyinye Udodi. Before then, it was a straight contest between Uzor and Onyinye, who were the only remaining female contenders in the competition. The last female contestant standing has a lot of goodies waiting for her. She is entitled to a million naira cash prize, irrespective of her prize winnings, even if she emerges winner of the competition. There is also the pride of the bragging rights to the Ultimate Woman moniker. Other female contestants that have been evicted from the competition are: Kofya Brown, Ayo Ojueromi, Bornford Patience and Priscillia Ezeh. Keen watchers of the show would have predicted that Bornford Patience, despite her small frame, was the favourite for the GUS last female standing prize. She possessed strength and mental alertness. She, however, ran out of steam when it mattered most, thus leading to her eviction. However, Uzor crashed out of GUS 9 because of disobedience; thereby giving Onyinye an easy claim to the throne. Uzor was sent packing for relieving herself from the burden of the Stump of Shame: she removed it from her leg twice. It is forbidden for contestants to remove the Stump of Shame unless directed to do so by Chidi Mokeme, the Anchor man; and this must be at the task location. The Stump of Shame, as the name connotes, is a heavy stump of wood, which those who perform woefully in tasks are expected to wear around their right leg. It was, however, a running battle between the two over who would emerge as last female contestant standing. Uzor and Onyinye are not new to being in

• Onyinye Udodi is the last female standing the limelight. Uzor is a 27 year old actress who stars in Tinsel, About to wed and a long list of TV soaps. On the other hand, 23 year old Onyinye who hails from Anambra State is a model and a one-time Face of Anambra State. Her sister, Chimaobi Udodi was a contestant in GUS 8: The Contest of Champions. Onyinye placed fourth in the first gatekeepers’ task while Uzor was sixth, in the same challenge. In the following day challenge, which was group based, Onyinye was part of the losing group while Uzor was part of the winning team. In the climb and dunk competition, in which contestants were expected to climb up a tree and dunk oranges in a basket, Onyinye outshone Uzor. While Onyinye put in eight oranges out of 10, Uzor could only dunk five oranges. Uzor’s weakness was clearly manifested in the Raise Your Flag challenge; when she was paired alongside Nuhu Zigwayi. The game involved the contestants going through an obstacle course, fetching braces in the process then fixing it on the skeletal frame of a ladder which they then climb on to raise a flag. Nuhu kept on dragging Uzor and at a point in time, she was shown falling. Onyinye and her partner, Paschal Eronmose won the challenge. Onyinye was also part of the winning team in the Ladder of pain task. She inspired Paschal to victory in a game which tested the strength and endurance of contenders. Uzor on the other hand was part of the losing team. Her partner, Nuhu, was the first to give up in the game. Even though Gatekeeper Chris Okagbue was present, Nuhu and Uzor narrowly missed eviction. Meanwhile, Onyinye and Paschal were handed a calabash by the Council of Elders for their victory. Accord-

ing to the elders, the content of the calabash will aid the two contenders in their search. Uzor soon showed that what she lacked in brawn, she more than made up for by using her brains. She had the honour of emerging as the first female Head Warrior after winning the Archer’s Quest. Not only did she hit bull’s eye on her first attempt, she also solved her riddle in record time. Though Onyinye solved the same puzzle, she finished fourth. Uzor upstaged Onyinye in the Episode 12 challenge. Onyinye emerged last. She, however, bounced back in Episode 13 when she emerged second in the Memory Recall challenge. This was despite a 10 second delay she had to suffer due to her poor performance a day earlier. Uzor finished fifth. In the Gauntlet challenge, Uzor was part of the winning team while Onyinye was part of the losing team. Onyinye performed better than Uzor once again in the Puzzle of Doom. Onyinye emerged fourth while Uzor placed sixth. In the Pot of Life challenge, where contenders were required to smash the pots of other contenders, thus marking their end in the games; Uzo placed sixth while Onyinye emerged second. By Episode 19, the warriors had been down to seven. The Giant Crossworld puzzle required that three players should form two teams while the rejected contestant would serve both teams as a transporter. While Onyinye was picked in one of the teams, Uzor was not picked by any. She had to play the role of transporter. Onyinye’s team eventually won. In the challenge of the 20th episode, Onyinye finished second, while Uzor finished third. For the challenge of the 21st

episode, they were grouped into two teams comprising three members each. Onyinye’s team also won the competition. However, in games in which both female contenders were grouped in the same team, their side lost. The games were the Tug of War, Mudgby and Human Raft. Speaking after her eviction, Uzor said: “My experience in the jungle was tough. I have to say it was really, really, really tough. Yes, I knew it wasn’t going to be easy, but nobody said it was going to be this difficult. I probably gave up a thousand times everyday. I was like, I think I’ve tried. I can’t kill myself. I think I’ve pushed myself beyond limits. Judging myself, I would say I did 120 per cent. I tried. I could not do any of those things before. I’m sure nobody would expect that I would come this far on the quest. Because most of the times, I didn’t seem like the strong contender, who you know, could beat them to it. I’m sure some people would say yes, she got lucky. It’s more than luck, I have grace, so amazing on my life.” She added: “Everything is for real o, nothing is staged on Gulder Ultimate Search. It’s been amazing. I’m grateful to God, my family, Gulder, Nigerian Breweries and everybody who has been involved in this in one way or another.” Speaking on her emergence as last female contestant standing, Onyinye said: “ It feels wonderful being the only girl in the gang. It makes me feel like I’ve finally made it through, that I’m not like the other girls, or a weakling or something. It means a lot to me.” The grand finale will be shown tonight on Africa Independent Television, African Magic World (DSTV), Real Star (Star Times), Akwa Ibom Broadcasting Corporation (AKBC) and ITV, Benin at 10pm.




Student wins aeroplane in MTN promo T

HE word lottery is from the noun ‘Lot’ meaning fate or destiny. Lottery is defined according to the law as any game or scheme, arrangement, system plan, promotional competition or device for distribution of prices by lot or chance or a result of exercise of skill. Since the inception of the business of lottery and promotions in Nigeria, no company or lottery crooner has taken the bold and giant step of awarding an aeroplane or the cash equivalent like MTN Nigeria just did in their just concluded Ultimate Wonder Prize promo. Different reactions have greeted this outrageous and almost impossible promo prize. Some crossed their fingers to watch how it would go, some expressed their disbelief, some even felt insulted claiming that the promise of an airplane is a play on their intelligence. In all, Nigerians awaited the prize giving day like Christmas; finally the day came, though not without its own troubles as Nigeria Communications Corporation (NCC) announced the suspension of all the promos in the telecom sector a few days to the draw. Some felt this last minute development is a ploy by MTN to avoid fulfilling their promises. But to the shock of everybody the jinx was broken, history was made as Ebube Essien-Garricks, a 27-year old student of College of Health Science and Technology, Rivers State, emerged the winner

By Wale Alabi and Raji Rotimi Solomon

of a Cessna 182T aircraft in the much talked-about mother of all promos - the MTN Ultimate Wonder promo. She emerged winner in an elaborate and transparent draw held at the Golden Gate Plaza, Ikoyi, Head Office of MTN in the full glare of journalists, Nigerian Lottery Regulatory Commission and the NCC. Addressing journalists, Chief Marketing Officer, MTN,Larry Annetts stated that the journey so far in getting the ultimate winner, as promised by MTN, has been interesting, credible and transparent. “When we came out with the promo, many doubted us but today we have an ultimate winner who will go home with the promised Cessna 182T aeroplane. The take-home for us here is that MTN is committed towards enriching the lives of its consumers. When we say we will do something, you can be sure that we don’t renege on our promises. The can-do- spirit is forever guiding our paths in offering utmost satisfaction to our consumers and we are glad that today a Nigerian has been enriched and empowered with an aeroplane,” he stated. Ebube, who was notified of her good fortune via a phone call immediately opted for the cash value of the plane, which is N64 million.Overwhelmed and full of emotion, she showered praises on

MTN describing the ultimate prize as a true wonder coming just in time for Christmas. “ I am short of words, there is no word to describe what I feel right now, it is almost as if it is a dream but I know that nothing can be more real than what I am feeling right now. This must be the best Christmas gift ever. It is truly wonderful,” she exclaimed. Speaking on the process so far, in the selection of winners for the promo, the assistant director, Lagos zone of the NLRC, Mr Obi Iriegbu, stated that it has been transparent and credible. “We started this journey together, ensuring that the consumers’ interests are protected and that the brand fulfills its promises. So far so good, it has been a credible and transparent process leading to the ultimate winner of the aeroplane promised, from the beginning of the promo,” he stated. It would be recalled that the promo started in August with promises of fantastic and fabulous cash prizes and an ultimate winner of an aeroplane. 1,200 people won N150,000 each, while 12 winners got N2million each during regional cash-prize presentations in Lagos, Ibadan, Onitsha, Abuja and Port Harcourt. The presentation of the cash value of the aeroplane, which is N64 million to the ultimate winner, will, however, resonate with a lot of Nigerians, for a long time to come, gauging the excitement and pleasant surprise which it threw up.

Microsoft unveils Windows 8


ICROSOFT Nigeria has unveiled the Windows 8 product to its customers and partners in Nigeria. The unveiling was held at a high profile open door event held at Harbour Point Event Centre, Victoria Island, Lagos. Apart from Windows 8, which was the main product exhibited at the event targeted at IT professionals, developer and partners, there was also an introduction of Windows RT. Speaking at the event, the Country Manager Microsoft Anglophone West Africa, Emmanuel Onyeje described the launch as a beginning of a new era. He said when the PC was first invented about 20 years ago, there were very few users and that it had since then increased to over 1.2 billion global. He said local consumers and businesses can now enjoy all that Windows 8 has to offer: “A beautiful new UI, a wide range of apps with the grand opening of the Windows Store, available on more than 1,000 Windows 8 certified PCs and tablets”. According to him, “with the launch of Windows 8, Microsoft is unveiling a re-imagined Windows to the world. Whether you want a tablet or a PC, whether you want to consume or create, whether you want to work or play – Windows 8 delivers a personalised experience that fits your unique style and needs. “In addition to the range of new devices available, consumers can also upgrade their existing PCs. Through the end of January, consumers running PCs with Windows XP, Windows Vista or Windows 7, are qualified to download Windows 8 Pro for an estimated retail price of $39.99. And eligible Windows 7 PCs purchased between June 2, 2012, and January 31, 2013 in more

By Raji Rotimi Solomon

than 140 countries can download Windows 8 Pro for an estimated retail price of $14.99 with the Windows. Speaking further, he said “Windows 8 will be available in two versions at retail, Windows 8 and Windows 8 Pro. And for our business customers, Windows 8 Enterprise offers new possibilities in mobile productivity with features like Windows To Go, DirectAccess, and BranchCache, as well as enhanced end-to-end security with features including BitLocker and AppLocker.” Also speaking at the event was the Windows Business Group Manager, Kevin Connolly, who said for the first time “You are going to have a device you can love and trust” General Manager, Ha-Shem Network Service Limited, Olaide Akisanya said: “Windows 8 is an excellent product, it empowers our customers work force by enhancing their business productivity, makes them work smarter and better. They can view the world at their palm once they have installed on their devices. It gives customers an eagle eye view of the world.” Windows 8 features the new fast and fluid Start screen that gives people one-click access to the apps and content they care most about, the entirely new Internet Explorer 10 that is perfect for touch, and builtin cloud capabilities with SkyDrive Microsoft’s open door events serve to address the demand for more spaces in which African technology professionals are able to experience the latest-generation technologies first-hand, exchange ideas, build skills, and network with their local IT community and Microsoft technologydoor sessions were dedicated to Office 15, SQL

Server 2012 and Visual Studio 2012, with the aim of helping companies leverage their existing IT investments and skills. Attendees were able to experience these technologies first-hand, share ideas and advance their skills as well as network with their local IT community and senior Microsoft technology experts. Microsoft’s network of partners across Nigeria include local developers who build software products for local businesses to deploy solutions based on Microsoft technology, further helping to drive local innovation, growth and competitiveness through continued investment in the local IT economy. By equipping local businesses with the tools to develop local technology solutions, Microsoft is helping to give this vital growth engine vitality and longterm sustainability through valuable skills and new jobs. Founded in 1975, Microsoft is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realise their full potential.

• Essien-Garricks

BA relaunches in-flight magazine


RITISH Airways’ (BA) award-winning in-flight magazine is reaching for new heights following a major re-launch to appeal to ‘Generation Curious’. The ambitious make-over comes as High Life gets set to mark its 40th anniversary next year with a stylish and contemporary redesign to reflect a very British sense of irreverence, wit and attitude. The new-look has been created by British Airways and Cedar Communications to make the magazine even more inviting and accessible for millions of the airline’s customers. The redesign comes as new research from High Life *reveals that the average adult will have travelled more than 18,324 miles around the world by the time they reach 40 – almost seven times as far as their own parents did by the same age. Dubbing today’s travellers as ‘Generation Curious’, Abigail Comber, head of brands at British Airways, said: “Today’s flyer wants to experience a place, not just visit it. “High Life is keeping pace with this incredible change in travelling. We’re delighted with the new-look, and are sure it will reinforce the positions of High Life and, its sister publication, Business Life as the best in class for travel content.” The High Life redesign features a new masthead using a new font – Caslon Graphique – as well as a range of new fascinating features and thought-provoking columns. Customers will enjoy one of twelve different covers of the magazine when it starts appearing on British Airways’ planes and in lounges around the world this month, as well as a feature on ‘Generation Curious’ from philosopher Alain de Botton. Business Life, which caters mainly to short haul customers, gets a similarly ambitious make-over in November and time-conscious travellers will be able to take advantage of a new feature, which indicates how long it will take to read each article, making it even easier to read on shorter flights.

Security guard, fuel attendant win cars in Star promo


WO more winners have been handed the keys of brand new Toyota Corolla cars as premium lager beer, Star, continues to reward consumers in the Star Time To Shine promo. Odachi Augustine Oko, a fuel attendant based in Ebonyi State and Ese Okarei, a security guard working for a commercial bank in Warri, Delta State, became the latest batch of car owners. According to 22-year-old Odachi, a native of Cross River State, he had gathered over 30 Star crown corks since the promo commenced before he got the winning crown cork. “I believe my persistence

By Wale Alabi

paid off for me. I have collected over 30 corks since the promo started so I played to win the big prize and I did”, Odachi said. The lively attendant said he is still not done with collecting Star corks. He intends to continue collecting Star crown corks until the promo ends. “I won’t stop keeping Star crown corks. I want to win more prizes in this promo,” he said. Okarei, a 27-year-old native of Delta State and the second car winner expressed gratitude to Nigerian Breweries, makers of Star lager beer for the new car. “What else can I say but thank you to Ni-

gerian Breweries PLC.? It is almost unbelievable that a humble security man like me is now the owner of a brand new car. I am so grateful,” he said. The elated duo were handed the keys to their brand new cars by exNigerian International football star, Victor Ikpeba, at the corporate Headquarters of Nigerian Breweries Plc, makers of Star in Lagos. Ikpeba, in his hey days as The Prince of Monaco, praised Star for touching lives through the promo. “I am happy for the winners of these cars and I would like to praise Nigerian Breweries for this initiative.






Handbag, a woman’s prized item

e-mail: 08033349992 sms only


• Brown leather hand bag

For women, buying a bag is a major decision even when they may already have a dozen or more in their closet. JANICE NKOLI IFEME proffers tips for buying a bag.


ESIDES shoes, bags are definitely other items women don’t joke with. Many women turn jelly over different kinds of bags and take pains in matching their bags with their shoes. Women can never have enough bags. Those who have money to spend are lucky because they can splurge their money on bags of all shapes, colours and sizes. However, for the budget conscious who are nevertheless smitten with bags, it is wise to decide which bag would fit an already existing wardrobe. When buying bags, consider where it is going to be used so that you will not be easily swayed into buying just any bag that catches your fancy. Ask yourself whether the bag will fit into your existing wardrobe. A wise dressed woman will always know how to mix and match her wardrobe with her bags, shoes and accessories to make her wardrobe more cost effective. Bags and shoes, when mixed and matched with different clothes, will give a new set of wardrobe to the wise dresser. Be able to put a price range for your target bag so you will not be tempted into buying anything that costs more than your budget, except if the price is already a bargain and it can be mixed and matched to several clothing. This characteristic will of course make the price of the bag more cost effective in the long term. Fashion victims would always

look at magazines and follow the newest craze in bag designs and colours. Wise and elegant dressers will always go for the classic look. Going with a classic look will mean your bag will outlast the newest craze and could be worn anywhere and anytime, for any occasion. There are, however, a few rules that would have to be followed by a woman before buying a bag. A petite woman should avoid very big bags, as this will tend to make her look more petite than she already is. Bags can also hide body imperfections, so be sure to know which body parts you want understated before choosing a bag. If you want to avoid getting attention on your big hips then choose a shoulder bag. If you have big breasts or broad shoulders then a waste bag is for you. Bags can come in all types like pouch bags, shoulder bags, tote bags, flap bags, evening bags and many others. They can also come in various materials like leather, satin, velvet, denim or nylon. There are as many bag designs and materials depending on the creativity of bag makers. Bags are welcome gifts for every female. However, being able to buy the right bag for the right person can be difficult, considering that each person has different tastes in bags. When doing this, it would be better to ask the person about her preferences in bags. If the person is close to you, then you would have more knowl-

•Black hand bag

• Continued on Page 33

A beach affair Page 32

Be special, use beaded bracelet

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Okada ban affects sales in Japan of Africa market

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Handbag, a woman’s prized item • Continued from Page 31

edge about her fashion style and occupation. This way, your gift would not end up at the bottom of her closet. Handbags that complement your body type There are variety and styles of handbags to be found in the market, a quick, easy choice is almost impossible. Handbags have, it would seem, become a top value in most women’s life. Handbags are used to carry a wide variance of items, other than cosmetics and other necessary “stuff”, and this would include credit cards and without a doubt, cell phones. Every woman loves her collection of various handbags. Why? Because, in most cases, they are the most noticeable fashion and style accessories they possess. Women love to be seen carrying their designer handbags and flaunting them at gatherings, such as parties, meetings, and get-togethers. The problem though is that there are many women who may not actually have the means to purchase these ever changing designer bags. The significantly related problem with not being able to afford the high priced bags is that women simply must have them, if they are to remain fashionable, especially with the constantly changing trends in the handbags industry. Handbags are used not only for giving a stylish statement, but also to provide a completeness to the outer appearance while furnishing a style statement and at the same time, giving the image that these bags are simple, supple containers that contain everyday items. The handbags that are more purposeful and contain more compartments for storing everyday items are more preferred by the typical homemaker. Do not let that fool you though. There are some very unique styles and colours to be found in this category that add fashion to these practical handbags. Because there are more than a thousand different designs and styles of handbags in the market, the act of locating the one perfect handbag, becomes more complicated. Finding a handbag that suits one’s body type and even their personality should be an important part of the handbag search, in addition to looking for something that is simply stylish. While selecting a particular bag, it is important to also keep the shape of the body in mind. The reason for this is so that one does not appear to be out of proportion to the bag. The handbag that is perfect should be a match for your body style. Any woman, who is thin and tall, has an advantage because practically any shape and style of handbag will suit her. She will be well adorned with an over-sized and clutch type handbag or a shoulder bag. Long legged women even look


RGANISERS of Shopaholic Sunday, who have their fairs only on Sundays, held the second fair last Sunday. It was well attended by vendors and shoppers at the Elegushi Private Beach, Lekki, Lagos. The co-ordinator of the exhibition, Mr Ometan Patrick Efetobore, said it is to help shoppers. He said: “The fair is mainly for shoppers who are assumed to be more relaxed on Sundays and as such have more time for outdoor events; that is why we make it a Sunday affair. It is our style and what we stand for.” Present at the fair were vendors like La Posh hair, La Bennis accessories, Jazmine Dayz limited, M and C Hat ventures, Syboo’s jewellery house, Honey Luks, Sapphire shoes, Hey babe clothing, Usomine, YKD Klothesaholics, House of Sogis, Beauty additions, Aurora collections and trendy feet ventures, among others. There were stands for all kinds of items sold at discounted rates. Something was available for every pocket. Every shopper went home with their choices of items at affordable prices. “We are looking for new ways to promote small and medium scale businesses; to let vendors understand that it is not only about what they sell, but more about the kind of publicity they can put up for themselves in an exhibition like this, said Mr Efetobore”. He further promised that things will only get better because the organisers will not stop going back to their drawing board and would keep improving. An exhibitor, Mrs Ada Edafe of La Posh Hair spoke with excitement: “The venue is spacious and I don’t regret being here. The

charming and sexy with a large handbag. But guess what? Even smaller handbags will look great on taller women but keep in mind that smaller handbags look better when they fit snugly under the shoulders. Women, who are plump and short, should be more careful when selecting a handbag. The smaller bags are more likely to suit the females with short height and physique because a large sized bag may give the impression that they are even shorter. Any small and cute purse will likely create the illusion of more heighth and make the shorter gals appear to be taller than they actually are. Girls with a curvy, sexy body are very fortunate. The use of the handbag accessory may give a significant enhancement to their body curves. Handbags that are found hanging right above their waist are very good looking on them and give the image of providing them with a great posture. A medium sized bag works best in emphasizing the curvy shape of the woman’s body. Larger, more plus sized women should avoid using the small handbags, as these bags may tend to emphasize their plus sized body. This can also make them appear larger and wider when compared to the size of a small purse they may be carrying. Handbags with short straps should also be avoided by plus sized women. They should try to be seen with slightly larger and wider handbag, which will naturally make their larger size appear to be smaller. Now that you have had a chance to see some of these ideas about the right selection of fashion handbags, it should not be too difficult for you to be able to choose a designer bag that suits your body style and your personality. Another important thing you may want to keep in mind is that handbags do not only emphasize your body type but also the type of outfit and footwear you embellish. Many women prefer to actually avoid changing handbags very frequently. Carrying all that “stuff” around and having to change bags with each outfit is simply more of a hassle than it’s worth to some. For those who prefer to find a bag that suits their body and personality and then be able to change the appearance of the bag rather than actually changing the bag, there is an alternative. If you are a prudent woman who likes the idea of being able to change the look of your handbag without having to actually change bags, you should consider the very stylish and popular Miche bag. This bag provides an array of different looks while maintaining the same inner functionality. It is no wonder so many busy and successful women are turning to this practical solution in handbags. So, the next time you go to buy a bag, you know what to look for.

• Patterned hand bag

• Keyboard style hand bag

A beach affair Last Sunday, shoppers and vendors gathered for a trade fair at the Elegushi Private Beach, Lekki, Lagos. It was shopping with fun. ‘TONIA DIYAN reports.

• People at the beach fair

turnout is great and very encouraging. I have my fliers distributed here in the beach and shoppers won’t stop coming to my

stand. I am fulfilled. I sell all kinds of weave-on and hair accessories at the cheapest price one can think of. The organisers

are known for satisfying vendors and shoppers 100 per cent each time they come up with an exhibition. I am happy to be associated with them.” The owner of M and C Hat ventures, Mr Sylvester Okeke, told The Nation Shopping how he made huge sales at the fair. “I will be here again and again. I don’t regret coming here. I wish the fair can extend till tomorrow. I sell male and female hats of various designs and patterns and I have sold almost all the hats I came with. Shoppers have booked for more than what I have in stock, therefore I have to make them available as soon as possible.” Mrs Eudora Obinwogu of Aurora collections was also a vendor at the fair. She said: “Everyone here today has a good tale to tell. We all sold our items and as if that was not enough, we were all given valuable gifts at the end of the fair. Also, all the vendors that were at the first exhibition were given free space to participate. This is indeed one of the best treatments one can get from organisers of any fair. It is very rare you know! she smiled.” A shopper, Mr Kunle Komolafe testified to the affordability and uniqueness of the items he bought. “I bought a pair of designer shoes for half its price. I was amazed and was forced to ask the vendor how he got it. And he said, ‘relax, have you forgotten this is a fair? We are slashing prices here. I had to buy two more pairs because I know I won’t get it anywhere else this cheap.” The organisers of the exhibition are into partnership with various high-end stores, lounges, clubs and bars who helped to distribute flyers and other awareness materials, thereby creating more awareness even at the venue.




Shopping Right with

Clothes that stand the test of time

I • Green and bronze beaded-bracelet

Be special, use beaded bracelet If you are looking for a special gift for someone you appreciate, a hand-made bracelet may just be it. These unique pieces of handcrafted jewellery are in high demand. SULIAT LAMID writes.


ANY people make beaded bracelets a special part of their wardrobe because of their originality. They are specially crafted to suite the taste of the user. This ensures their uniqueness. They are used for special occasions, such as traditional parties, weddings and red carpet events. They are available in button jewellery bracelet, crystal bracelets, gemstone and clustered beaded pieces. While shopping, consider the personality and dress sense of the person you are shopping for. Does she like a lot of drama? If so, then consider beaded jewellery that has a lot of flair. Are they sophisticated? If so, choose something elegant, like a single strand in sparkling, shimmering crystals. Perhaps, your gift recipient loves to wear unusual buttons. If that is the case,

• Gem stone beaded bracelet

consider a button jewellery style bracelet. You may consider buying charm and bead bracelets as a gift if the recipient loves tradition. Beaded bracelets can be bought at Osanmoire located at Asa Afariogun Street, Off Osolo’ Way off Mutala Muhammed Airport Road, Ajao Estate, Lagos. Here, you can get a good one with at least N850. You can also find them at Dealday, located at 43, Raymond Njoku Street, off Awolowo Road, Ikeja, Lagos. Here, with N1, 300, you get a cobalt blue bracelet. You can also get good quality ones for N2,000 and above. The prices depend on the type and quality of the bracelet. A beaded bracelet is a very good commodity to present as a gift because it brings colour, beauty and elegance.

T is often hard work and expensive to keep up with clothing trends and to change your wardrobe with the seasons. That is why it is a great idea to build a classic wardrobe that will keep you looking and feeling stylish, regardless of the season and current trends. It is far more important to look good than it is to look different all the time. A loud patterned blouse or suit might be fashionable but you can only wear it once in a while and chances are it will be out of style soon. A classic wardrobe allows you to JANICE NKOLI IFEME accessorise with the latest fashions while maintaining timeless elegance. as flashy and attention grabbing as you It does take time to build, but it is possiwant. Think of the suits and shirts as blank ble to create a fashionable and classy wardcanvases and the accessories as the paint. robe that will last you years to come, if not Women can completely change the look of a lifetime. The following is a guide to help a classic outfit by wearing a colourful scarf you build a classic wardrobe. or eye catching piece of jewelry. Men can The first step to building a classic wardexpress their individuality and sense of style robe is having an understanding as to what with a bold tie or shiny cuff links. Accessomakes something classic. In this case, clasries are much easier to change and discard sic means clothes that stand the test of time. than an expensive tailor made garment. Here are just a few examples of classic looks that have stood the test of time: black, Other parts of a classic wardrobe stripes, denim, cashmere, trench No wardrobe is coats, polo shirts complete without and white buttonshoes, belts and ups. casual wear. Classic Buy what you abshoes and belts are ‘It is far more important to solutely love. If you and basic. look good than it is to black won’t be excited Black goes with eveabout ripping the look different all the time. rything and is altags off, then sleep appropriate. on it. In the beginA loud patterned blouse ways Brown is a close secning, it might be However, or suit might be fashion- ond. hard to distinguish shoes and belts are classics from the able but you can only another area of a trends, or from the that can wear it once in a while wardrobe just plain expensive. reflect the wearer’s This is where knowand chances are it will be individuality. Once ing yourself is key. own the basic out of style soon. A classic you The next step is to black and brown only buy what wardrobe allows you to shoes, go ahead and works double duty. yourself. accessorise with the latest express A good rule of Fill out your wardthumb is to never fashions while maintain- robe with smart buy anything that casual wear that won’t go with at ing a timeless elegance’ compliments your least two other outclassic suits. Colfits. You will end oured button down up having to buy shirts can be worn more clothes just to with them for a more informal look. Leave match your new purchase, which is more the jacket at home for an even more casual wasted money in the long run. Think of look. Solid coloured polo shirts and v-neck your personal style, and buy nice quality cashmere sweaters are always classic and pieces to create a functional wardrobe work well with the slacks. The beauty of where everything mixes and matches. the classic wardrobe is its flexibility. You Do not be a slave to trends. Only buy what can mix and match the pieces and always you love, and a classic, functional wardlook like a classic. robe will eventually follow. The classic suit Another thing is coming to terms with the fact that some clothes are worth splurgEvery classic wardrobe starts with a clasing on. That is a fun rule, but for some, it sic suit. It can be dressed up for weddings, can also be the hardest. Consider it an infunerals and professional settings. It can also vestment in yourself. If you do not invest be dressed down for nights on the town or in yourself, who will? If you think about it, after work occasions. The classic suit is dark buying an expensive classic jacket is more and solid. Patterns and unusual colours can practical than buying a trendy coat that will be in vogue one season and a joke the next. last only for a season, no matter how cheap You cannot go wrong if your best suit is the coat. black, navy blue or dark gray. That may sound boring, but a dark suit gives you inClassic accessories finite options to spice up your look with If you only wear suits and shirts, a classic accessories. Meanwhile, it never goes out wardrobe can appear to be very boring. This of style, so you can feel free to spend more is where accessories come in. They can be on a good suit.

Write to us, express your views, observations and experiences. Let’s have your comments about shopping. Your comments, questions and answers will be published first Friday of every month. With your full name and occupation, send e-mail to: SMS - 08033349992




Okada ban affects sales in Japan of Africa market The sprawling Nkwo Nnewi International Motorcycle Spare Parts Market is facing hard times, with traders lamenting low sales because of the ban on commercial motorcycles in some states. ODOGWU EMEKA ODOGWU reports from Nnewi.


KWO Nnewi in Nnewi North Local Government Area of Anambra State, Southeastern Nigeria, often described as the Japan of Africa, is facing hard times, with the ban on commercial motorcycles in some states. The market is known for activities surrounding coupling of motorcycles, sales of new and old spare parts, repair of motorcycles of all types and others. Acclaimed as the largest market after Onitsha Main market, people come from various parts of the country and outside to buy motorcycles and their spare parts. Traders were in a dull mood when The Nation Shopping visited the market. Importers of motorcycle parts, sellers and repairers lamented that the restriction of commercial motorcycles has adversely affected their businesses. The market was busy but the actors said much was not happening following the ban on commercial cyclists in some states. But many believed the drop in sales was due to the actions of the dreaded Boko Haram sect in the North. Chairman of motorcycle parts traders Mr Nchedo Oboh and members of the executive were not willing to speak with the The Nation. But some of the marketers eventually responded to the probes of this reporter. A motorcycle repairer, Mr Izuegbenam Chinagolum, said it does not take more than three hours to couple a machine depending on how neat a job the repairer wants to do. He claimed that the same coupling that takes one hour can take three hours if the repairer wants his job to be neat. He claimed that every machine part has a name and brand, which determines their price, noting that no trader goes out to sell a fake product but original. He informed that the Nkwo Nnewi Market has been sanitised that every product is original and if anyone sells fake, the person is as good as finished. A brand new machine costs between N65,000 to over N120,000, depending on the brand. The Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Gabros Group of Companies International, Chief Gabriel Chukwuma, an importer of machine parts, accused some state governors of aiding crime and criminal activities in their states with the ban of commercial motorcycles. He said the country was rich enough to be paying the unemployed youths some stipends to keep them out of crime, adding that the money carted away every month into foreign accounts by the state governors and those in elected positions could take care of unemployment in the country. In corroboration, the Chief Executive of Iyketex Integrated Services Company Ltd, Mr Nworie Ikechukwu, lamented that their profit margin has drastically dropped. “Before, we made at least a profit of N20,000 to N25,000 daily but now we don’t even make up to N3,000, he said. He appealed to the government to stop banning okada, adding: “Let there be machine, keke and vehicles. Placing restriction on okada may result to crime as it will render many people jobless.” Representative of Mitsuba Motor Company Limited, Mr Tony Nwangwu, was more succinct in his submission. “My brother, nothing is moving now due to the ban on motorcycle in different states. There is no more business here and it is really paining us. ‘’We sold up to 50 machines daily when there was market but now we sell only two a day and, sometimes, we don’t even sell at all,” he said. He appealed to the government, saying: “I am not comfortable with the ban. It will increase criminality and kidnapping in the country. Some may even join bad gangs. “Okada is the last resort. Our brothers who came back from the North who have nothing doing can take up okada riding business by carrying okada on hire-purchase, which will in turn reduce crime in the state.” The business magnate who attributed the increasing crime wave all over the country to the ban on okada business by most state governors, noted with dismay that there was

• Nkwo Nnewi market

• Motorcycles on display

no how hundreds and thousands people would be deprived of their source of livelihood in one swoop without creating worrisome security challenges. “Tell me why a right thinking person should ban or restrict the activities of commercial motorcyclists popularly called okada in any state of the federation? What else do you expect from the idle minds you will create if not crime and criminality? “Whether anybody wants to believe it or not, the commercial motorcycle sector is the highest employer of labour in Nigeria. Every year our universities graduate about five million young persons. Only about 5,000 are employed, where do the rest go to? Most of them join the okada business to sincerely avoid the temptation of crime and suddenly you force them to drop the business without providing an alternative means, invariably

you have encouraged them to go into crime. And on a very serious note, if this trend continues, in the next couple of years Nigeria will begin to eat one another raw,” Chukwuma said. He enumerated other adverse effects to include the vicious circle of hardship that okada ban had brought to immediate and extended family members of the affected okada operators, saying the ugly development had negatively affected the lives of millions of other Nigerians including motorcycle mechanics, importers of motorcycles and their spare parts and other artisans who survive on motorcycle business. He, however, praised Governor Peter Obi of Anambra State and his Bayelsa counterpart, Mr Seriake Dickson for not toeing the path of other governors who banned okada without putting machineries in motion to

absolve the disengaged okada riders. “Obi is wise enough to know that any ban without commiserate provision of jobs will likely boomerang. That is how leaders should reason; waking up one morning and taking one vital decision without considering its holistic adverse effect on the people is sheer madness. “In Taiwan, bicycles and motorcycles still ply their roads, but the extent of development has made the citizens on their own to turn to buses and trains for their movement. Naturally, commercial motorcycles are fading out due to massive development in that country. You cannot have bad roads, traffic gridlock every day, mass unemployment and you are asking citizens not to ride motorcycles in our cities. This portends great misfortune, for the country in the near future,” he noted.




IGI promises customer friendly products, services I

NDUSTRIAL and General Insurance (IGI) has promised to continue to provide unique and customer friendly products and services to its customers. Speaking at IGI Day at the 2012 Lagos International Trade Fair in Lagos, the Executive Director, Finance and Accounts, Yinka Obalade, said over the years, the company had consistently contributed to the development of the economy through the provision of valuable financial risk products and services that conform to international standards and best practice. “We have consistently been a big player in the financial services sector and our membership of the LCCI, since 1992, remains consistent with our vision of being the preferred provider of insurance, risk management and financial services. According to him, “for us in IGI, this is another opportunity to bring our unique and customer-friendly

Stories by Raji Rotimi Solomon

products and services closer to our customers, in our continuing effort to make world class insurance services available to Nigerians. These products include IGI Annuity Plan, IGI Credit Life Plan, IGI School Fees Plan, Agricultural Insurance and IGI Motor Easyride. Also readily available at our stand are a number of our existing products, notably IGI Dividend Plus Plan (DPP), IGI Travel and Health Insurance and IGI Estate Comprehensive Insurance Scheme (ECIS), among others. “We also provide comprehensive insurancepackage policies to protect public buildings, we offer a full range of risk management services that include comprehensive and confidential risk management reports on property wherever they may be located in Nigeria. This is to help our clients determine areas that require improvements in physical infrastructures. “As a dynamic organisation, IGI

is focused on improving its services to all its stakeholders and the nation. Our mission, as we seek to become a global brand, is to continue to create, protect and preserve wealth. “Since our founding in 1992, we have executed insurance mandates for federal and state government institutions and consummated insurance transactions for several leading multinational corporations. “Today, the IGI Group is the largest insurance company in Nigeria and the largest underwriter in West Africa. Insurance remains our flagship and we have subsidiaries and strategic investments in other diverse sectors, notably real estate, banking, telecommunications, mining, construction, waste management and engineering. We operate in 45 branches across Nigeria and have subsidiaries in other African countries, notably Uganda, Rwanda, Ghana, The Gambia as well as a representative office in London.

DUO expands footprint into Nigeria SPECIALIST ICT marketing and PR agency, DUO Marketing Communications has announced its arrival in Nigeria. DUO will pursue distinct strategies in the country depending on its clients’ needs. The firm specialises in business-to-business communication, particularly for medium-sized ICT companies that have their roots in South Africa. “Our clients typically don’t have huge marketing budgets and they expect value for their money,” said DUO CEO Judith Middleton. “The drivers for PR are strictly commercial - trendiness doesn’t carry much weight in this market. We’ve learned to focus on communicating the hard benefits our clients can deliver.” We consider opening local offices when the time is right, says Middleton, “but for now we are investing in building relationships with local journalists, bloggers and opinion formers. We have tried wire distribution, but the results were extremely poor given the high cost - we would rather spend our time, money and attention on developing personal relationships. That’s what delivers results.” “This is new territory for us, as it is for our clients. But it’s clear that Africa is a globally attractive market for the ICT industry, and equally clear that African companies face a PR disadvantage going into the rest of the world. There is so much truly transformative technology being developed here we love being able to give it the platform it deserves.”

Panasonic unveils product lines PANASERV Nigeria Limited, authorised service agents for Panasonic consumer electronics products in Nigeria, in conjunction with Panasonic Corporation, Japan, has unveiled its latest product lines models at the 2012 Annual Panasonic Dealers’ convention held in Lagos recently. Some of the latest products (2012 models) include air conditioners, flat screen televisions, home theatres and music systems, digital still cameras, camcorders, home and kitchen appliances. Over the years, Panasonic Corporation has maintained a firm grip on air-conditioning technology, leading the way with landmark product innovations that impact living. The 2012 model ECONAVI dual sensor and Super Alleru Buster Filter with ECONAVI mono sensor air conditioners are completely inspired by nature, with great emphasis on energy conservation and optimal performance. ECONAVI dual and mono sensor air conditioner utilises human sensor and control programme technologies to detect where energy is normally wasted and self-adjusts cooling power to reduce energy waste. Panasonic air conditioners now guarantee a consistent supply of comfortable, clean and healthy air with minimal use of energy and inbuilt air purifier. According to promoter of Panasonic in Nigeria, Bhujraj Rupani, “Panasonic air conditioners now come with a new air-purifying system called nanoe-G, which utilises nano technology fine particles consisting of ions and radicals to purify the air in the room. It works effectively on airborne and adhesive micro-organisms such as bacteria, viruses and mould, thus ensuring a cleaner living environment.”

MTN Nigeria tops advertising spenders MTN Nigeria topped the list of spenders on advertising in the country with over $4 million in 2011. MTN, according to MediaReach OMD’s annual report contained in its publication Mediafacts, is followed closely by Globacom, Etisalat and Airtel in the telecommunications product category which spent $12.518 million out of $22.750 million spent in above-the-line advertising in 2011. This was followed by personal paid announcement with $3.654 million while entertainment, leisure & tourism was third in the product category with $3.125 million. The report showed Nigeria recorded an increase of 5.3 per cent on sum spent on ATL advertising activities (television, radio, outdoor and press) in 2011 over the previous year. It noted that in 2011, Lagos region accounted for 54 per cent, North 20 per cent, the East 11 per cent while the western part of Nigeria accounted for the remaining 15 per cent.

More winners emerge in promo • Grand prize winner of Airtel’s Hello Tunes promo, Ughagwu Emmanuel Ifeanyi (2nd right) receiving his Samsung 55" LED TV from Vice President, Usage and Retention, Airtel Nigeria, Tanmoiy Saha at the corporate headquarters of the company. They are flanked by Manager, Voice and VAS Content Evelyn Ezomo (left) and Senior Manager, Special Projects (Marketing) Adefolake Ogunbanjo.

Airtel to host CNN’s Fareed Zakaria


IRTEL Nigeria has announced plans to host select influential personalities at a high profile event that will feature renowned journalist, internationally acclaimed author and host of popular Fareed Zakaria’s GPS on CNN, Fareed Zakaria. The event tagged, Airtel’s Night of Influence, is a distinct platform that will provide a great networking opportunity to prominent international personalities, very successful Nigerians and the Airtel brand. It will hold on Sunday, November 18th, at the prestigious Eko Hotel & Suites in Victoria Island, Lagos. Zakaria, who has confirmed to

speak on the theme: Africa’s Political Economy: The Challenge of Leadership, will bring on hand rich insights into the continent’s economy and its interactions with the global socio-economic and political landscape. About 500 influential men and women drawn from the private and public sectors within and outside Nigeria as well as top politicians and government officials will attend the event. Speaking on the initiative, the Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of Airtel Nigeria, Rajan Swaroop said the company is committed to providing significant forums for interactions and

creating credible platforms to improve the quality of leadership in Nigeria and Africa through dialogue. “The Night of Influence will deepen the interface between our brand and the cream of Nigerian society whose decisions and activities influence, to a large extent, the trend of fashion, lifestyle, and indeed socio-economic development of the country,” Swaroop said. Fareed Rafiq Zakaria is an Indian-American journalist and author. From 2000 to 2010, he was a columnist for Newsweek and editor of Newsweek International. In 2010, he became editor-at-large of Time Magazine.

MORE Winners have emerged in the ongoing Indomie Super Millionaire promo as the seventh draw was held in Lagos last Thursday. The winners include another 7 lucky winners of the star prize money of N1 million while several others won prizes such as; I pads, refrigerators, laptops, Plasma TVs, washing machines, Blackberry phones, cooking range, music systems, air conditioners and microwaves ovens while several others won cartons of Indomie as consolatory prizes. The draw, which took place at the head office of Dufil Prima Foods Plc, makers of Nigeria’s No.1 noodles brand -Indomie Instant Noodles was witnessed by the representatives of the National Lottery Regulatory Commission (NLRC), the Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria (APCON) and members of the media to ensure transparency and credibility. Speaking at the draw, the Head of Marketing, Dufil Prima Foods Plc, Mr. Manpreet Singh said the company is very proud to have changed the fortunes of thousands of its esteemed consumers with 49 millionaires in seven weeks with another lucky seven to win the star prize on one million naira in the eighth week which is the last in the promo. “With the Indomie Super Millionaire promo, Dufil Prima Foods Plc has once again reinstated its commitment to giving back to our consumers by rewarding them and touching their lives. So far, more than 20,000 consumers have won prizes in the promo.” Singh disclosed that the electronic process of the draw has been tested and verified to be very effective which ensures that all entries are captured and have equal chance of winning thereby giving all participants the opportunity to win. He stressed that the electronic draw also makes it very easy to carry out as it only requires a tab of a button on the computer which will randomly throw up the entries and will select a winning entry once the stop button is clicked.



Union Bank’s rebirth


CCORDING to Al Ries and his partner, Jack Trout in their seminal book, Positioning, ‘brand positioning is the way you apply the concept of positioning in your branding process, towards determining the space you want to occupy in your prospect’s mind. For well over fifty years, Union Bank as a brand, with legion of customers was associated with the image of a strong, big and reliable corporate entity, more so when the stallion , an equally strong and dependable animal was chosen as its brand icon. But all this changed when the apex bank wielded the big stick during the banking consolidation era. Soon, the perception of the bank’s customers changed, as the erstwhile strong bank was discovered to have become a ‘paper weight’ stallion. Following this development, most loyal customers simply abandoned or close their account with Union Bank and aligned with the competition. Besides, due to lack of adequate fund, Union Bank could barely play in the big league where it was formerly a frontrunner. In those trying days, to the customers and the public, Union Bank was perceived as “old fashioned, not classy, not posh and a bank with old buildings meant for the old, the pensioners and the retirees.” And to worsen matters, the brand custodians of the bank did not bother to rebrand or reinvent the bank. Wayback then they argued that although, Union Bank is old, so old people will naturally stay with them. Also, they contend that the longevity of Union Bank could be combined with modernity. Yet all these argument could not sway the customers who felt that while other banking brands were leveraging on technology Union Bank does not seem to be bothered. However, all the aforementioned complaints will soon ba a thing of the past as Union Bank is set to reinvent itself and regain it pride of place on the financial landscape. Only last week at its corporate head office in Lagos, a team of experts, including creative agency personnel and management staff, who had been working on the process to reposition the bank, unveiled a master plan to reinvent the bank. According to the experts, they were not willing to do away with some old attributes, which had, in the past kept the brand flying. One of such attributes is the corporate pay-off ‘Big, Strong and Reliable’, which they felt captures the whole essence of the Union Bank brand. Also, the bank has refreshed its logo and came out with attractive signages and more appealing blue and white corporate colour. The new positioning move, which according to the bank, will be customer-focused, is to be driven by all the stakeholders, especially the workers. As part of the first steps towards achieving the set out objectives, the bank has unveiled a multimedia advertising campaign. The print version of the campaign is already running in some national dailies. The campaign sums up the story of the bank from the beginning and its determination to wake up and meet the expectations of its loyal customers. The ad, which is illustrated with a female musician, who exhibits great enthusiasm is titled ‘Bringing dreams alive…,’ it therefore moves on to state that “For almost a century, we have helped fulfil hopes and aspirations. We have given many Nigerians the needed back-up to sing new songs. Nigerian is born great. Union Bank is bringing out that greatness in every Nigerian”. At the unveiling of the new campaign, the bank’s marketing strategy consultant, Mr. Tayo Bright said; “The bank is taking new steps to create new identity, new brand, remodeling and new signage, which showcases service offered. The bank’s blue colour, which signifies trust, will come on a white that shows the bank’s sincerity, cleanliness. These will reflect on our branch buildings across the country.”

He added that the new corporate identity would cover every business communication materials such as business cards, letter-head, envelopes, e-mail template and other internal and external communication materials of the bank. “We are going to upgrade all other branches to a world class standard. We are presently working on 100 branches nationwide and hope to cover 400 branches in the next eighteen months. We will not put our signage on a building that is not befitting for our new look,” he added. In a bid to change the customer approach of the bank’s staff, Bright disclosed that staff members of the bank’s, whose branches have been remodeled with the new look, are already changing their attitude and are now more customer–centric and more willing to attend to customer complaints better than before. Meanwhile, other platforms like TV, billboards, radio and other media were said to have been penciled down to engage customers. Also, if the profile of the handlers of the brand and their previous exploits in the area of brand development are anything to go by, the new assignment may turn out to be a walk over. Aside Bright and the new team that makes its Corporate Affairs Department, Creative Zones, the Ad agency that worked on the new campaign, is being managed by two creative egg heads; Messrs. Doyin Adewumi and Sola Adegorioye.. Established in January 1917, as a Colonial Bank. Over the years, it turned out to become one of Nigeria’s largest agricultural credit financial institutions, with a low deposit amount for opening an account. In a recapitalisation process announced in 2004, the bank absorbed Universal Trust Bank and Broad Bank of Nigeria. In 1925, Colonial Bank was absorbed into what became Barclays Bank DCO, which became an international banking entity. Between 1925 and 1945, before the coming of UBA, both Barclays and the Bank of British West Africa (BBWA) were the main banking concerns in the country and were engaged in a mild competition. In 1978, the Nigerian government took its banking business away from the bank and also repatriated many of its expatriates as punishment for the international bank’s dealing with apartheid South Africa. The initial loss of the government’s account dented its lead among other banks of the era though; an incoming civilian government in 1979 began relaxing its attitude towards the bank. After the end of apartheid, in 1996, the bank became the first Nigerian bank with a branch in South Africa. In 1979, Barclays Bank, London sold about 50 per cent of its holdings in the Nigerian branch to Nigerians and the name was changed from Barclays Bank of Nigeria to Union Bank of Nigeria in order to reflect a new image and ownership structure. It is among the first banks in Nigeria to list its shares on the Nigerian Stock Exchange having done so in 1971.

‘The bank’s blue colour, which signifies trust, will come on a white that shows the bank’s sincerity, cleanliness. These will reflect on our branch buildings across the country’

Agency’s chief thought on LAIF awards TUNJI ABIOYE’S two years old Fuel Communications made its debut on the LAIF medals table with two nominations carting home a Silver medal. Here is the Fuel CEO’s perspective on the LAIF and its import to his agency and the industry at large.


OW do you feel with Fuel just about two years after winning silver and another nomination? Great! Absolutely fantastic. It’s the first of many more to come. What does this say about the agency and its work ethics? Creativity in advertising, among other things, is an agile inter-marriage of unique points-of-view and ingenious execution.Fuel believes in the unpopular; the iconoclast and this is what we bring to bear on all our briefs. Our debut on the winner’s table/nomination list shows that our point of view is actually working... that we are getting people’s attention in distinctive and fresh ways. The game can only get better from now on. What do you think is responsible for the gold drought in the award and what is the implication of this for the industry. As a fall-out of the credit crunch/financial crises of a few years ago, clients’ attention shifted to hard metrics – sales and sales pipeline. The brand became nothing but the proverbial cow – milked by both clients and agency. Everybody gets paid but only the brand suffers. Who takes care of the brand? Where are her custodians? Where are her advocates? Revolutionary works can only be sponsored by revolutionary clients. Clients who understand adventure as a window to growth. Take ‘redbullstratos’ as a case-study? How many clients can commission legendary works like that? Without the corporate will of the principals, ‘me too’ campaigns are what would continue to form the critical mass of the works from adland. Comment and advice to organisers: Kudos to the entire LAIF/AAAN team for a great event. However, we feel a lot of thought and creativity can still be integrated with the yearly event. As experience architects for various clients, ad men can make their own signature event an unforgettable and breath-taking one – a sort of mecca for men and women with differentiated acumen. From the setting to the content and memorabilia, we can do more to demonstrate the inventiveness we peddle. Infact, this should cascade into even the actual awards itself,

By Jimi David

(The Gong) – in terms of design and lettering. Most Trusted Brand Awards holds December BrandHealth Limited, the organizers of the annual brand awards in Nigeria tagged Most Trusted Brands, have concluded plans to host the third edition of the awards, which comes up in December 5, in Lagos In a statement, Mr. Emmanuel Udowoima, Chief Executive Officer of BrandHealth said that the theme for this year’s edition is “Innovation as a Source of Trust”. He said that in as much as innovativeness in product packaging and delivery seems to be the order of the day in the market place, brands hold it as a point of duty to earn the trust of their consumers. In his words: “The Most Trusted Brand Awards is perhaps the most transparent Awards in Nigeria as winners are chosen directly by the consumers and they do not have to pay anything to win the awards. “As a people, we are increasingly losing our values by the day. People, organisations and brands are no longer trusted or trustworthy, promises are no longer kept. We know that men and women with conscience are worried. Our response to this negative trend is the only reason why the Most Trusted Brand Awards was instituted three years ago. It is meant to identify and celebrate brands that build and maintain sustainable relationships of trust with their consumers”, he said. Shedding more light on this year’s edition, he said that BrandHealth conducted a survey in 15 states of the federation with over 1,600 consumers participating to choose their most trusted brands for the year 2012. The results of the survey he added identify the Most Trusted Brand in each product category and overall and the winners will be announced at an elaborate ceremony scheduled to hold in December at the Sheraton Hotel and Towers. The registrar of Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria (APCON) will be the Special Guest of Honour, Mr. Tony Chiejina, Head Corporate Communications, Dangote Industries Plc will be the Guest Speaker while Mr. Enitan Denloye, Director of Brands and Communications Etisalat Nigeria will deliver the key note address. BrandHealth is a research agency dedicated to brands and their bonding with consumers. In the last three years it has been in the forefront of conducting research which cut across many sectors to determine the brands that bond most with consumers in terms of usage, awareness, loyalty, relevance, esteem and availability for consumption. •JIMI DAVID is Brandweek Special Correspondent

• L-R: Managing Director/CEO, Bank of Industry, Nigeria, Ms Evelyn Ndali Oputu; Chairman, Board of Directors, Etisalat Nigeria Mr Hakeem Belo-Osagie and Chairperson, Women in Management, Business and Public Service (WIMBIZ) Mrs Adeola Azeez at the 2012 Annual Conference to mark 11th anniversary of WIMBIZ, held in Lagos recently.

*Editor - Wale Alabi *Consulting Editors - Rarzack Olaegbe, Sola Fanawopo * Correspondent-Jimi David * Business Development - Kenny Hussain * Legal Adviser - Olasupo Osewa & Co Brandweek is powered by Brandz Republic Consulting and published every Friday in THE NATION newspaper. All correspondence to the editor - 0808.247.7806, 0805.618.0040, e-mail: © All rights reserved.



SOCIETY The Nigerian Academy of Science (NAS) has hosted this year’s meeting of the African Science Academy (AMASA-8), with the theme:Climate Change in Africa: Using Science to Reduce Climate Risks. NNEKA NWANERI reports.

•Prof Ibidapo-Obe flanked by Hon Ewa (left) and Dr Okali

•From left: Prof Adeyinka Afolayan; Dr Sunny Kuku and Prof Emeritus Augustine Esogbue PHOTOS: NNEKA NWANERI

•Dr Elemo and Mr Omotowa


•Prof Chukwu (left) and UNILAG VC Prof Rahmon Bello

T was a gathering of those that matter in the science industry. They came for

this year’s edition of the meeting of the Science Academy at the Four Points Sheraton, Victoria Island, Lagos. They came from South Africa, United States, Australia, the Gambia and Ghana. Notable Nigerians also came in large numbers. Ministers, elderstatesmen, captains of industry and renowned professors of sciences were not left out. The theme of this year’s conference was Climate Change in Africa: Using Science to Reduce Climate Risks. It began on Monday and ended on Wednesday. The conference hall, where the event was held had no unusual decoration. All in the expansive hall could see the big screen in the centre. Presentations were viewed with

Gathering of scientists the aid of a projector. The opening was chaired by the immediate past president of the academy, Dr David Okali. His successor, Prof Oye Ibidapo-Obe anchored the event. Major stakeholders in the industry were also present. The Managing Director of Nigeria LNG Mr Babs Omotowa; Minister of Science and Technology, Ita Okon Bassey Ewa who represented president Goodluck Jonathan; Minister of Health Hon Onyebuchi Chukwu; Director General of FIIRO, Dr Gloria Elemo; Publisher of News Digest Magzine Mr Declan Okpaleke and others. While declaring the conference open, Ewa

was presented with the ‘Joint Statement called ‘Raising the African Voice on Climate Change’. Speaker after speaker spoke on partnering with the government to ensure that the dangers of Climate Change are reduced. They urged investments in economies and collaboration with various science departments. Prof Ibidapo-Obe acknowledged that for eight years, the Academy has partnered with the best scientists in the country, playing the lead role of letting the people know the full implication of natural occurrences. “Because the problem is so complex, handling it should be with a concerted plan of action. There should be more collaboration

between the agencies of government and the Academy. Its a big role we are playing that since 2009, the thought of the conference began and now it is coming at a time when we need it most. Its all about preparedness and learning our lessons,” he warned. After the ceremony, a cocktail was held by the hotel poolside. The pool glowed in the moonlight, giving a serene atmosphere. Guests held their glasses as they spoke and moved around meeting new friends. It was another way to network as exchanged handshakes and laughed. The evening was made even livelier by a dance group led by popular TV drama comedian, Papa Ajasco. The performed Yoruba, Edo and Hausa dances as the foreigner vistors, who admitted to being in the country for the first time got spell bound watching in admiration.


•From left: President, Lawal Group of Companies, Ibikunle Lawal, President and Chairman, Board of Trustees, Dr. Ramon Adedoyin, his wife Iyabo cutting anniverssary cake

•Professor Isaac Olawale Abert

•Acteress Racheal Oniga



SOCIETY The need for women to contribute to the development of the nation was emphasised at the international seminar held by the National Governing Body of Inner Wheel Clubs in Nigeria, last Saturday at the Sheraton Hotel and Towers, Ikeja, Lagos. ABIKE ADEGBULEHIN was there.

For women only T

HEY looked resplendent in their attires. Some were in Ankara; others wore skirt suits with matching pair of shoes. They exchanged pleasantries at the entrance of the hall. The women, members and executives of the International Inner Wheel Club, gathered under the auspices of the National Governing Body of Inner Wheel Clubs in Nigeria to bring change and development to women folk. The hall was decorated with Inner Wheel Club collarets and plaques to showcase their prestige in the society. It was a luncheon to round off the club’s two-day seminar at the Sheraton Hotel and Towers, Ikeja, Lagos, last Saturday. The seminar tagged Women for Africa: Role of Inner Wheel featured paper presentations by international and national speakers on different topics. It was to encourage women on the need to contribute their quotas to national development. The gathering was the first to be held in Africa. It was well attended; non members of the club were also in attendance. The event began with the national anthem and that of the club. It was followed by a call to order by the National President/Representative of Inner Wheel Club, Mrs Doyin Abiodun-Oredin. The sitting arrangement was uniquely

•From left: Victoria Ikague; Mrs Wemimo Olasanya; Mrs Zainab Ikheloa; Mrs Alatise and Riva Jaattela

done to accommodate all in such a way that they faced the projector and presenters. They listened with rapt attention to the presentations. The event’s co-ordinator, Mrs Oluwayemisi Alatise, gave the welcome address. Decked in ash attire, Mrs Alatise was excited over the success of the programme. According to her, the programme was usually held overseas. Finland, Turkey and Turin has hosted the event. She said with her efforts and other members’, the event was brought to Nigeria. Stating reasons for holding the seminar in Lagos, Mrs Alatiuse said she was moved by the first seminar paper in Europe she received from the former President of the National Council of the International Inner Wheel Clubs, Hannele Karhunen. ”Reading through the first seminar paper sent to me by Hannele in year 2009, I was challenged to put up a similar programme in Lagos,” she said. “We were a step ahead in our vision and glad the dream is a reality today. It is a challenge conquered by determination to succeed. Just like how Hannele is tagged with

Women for Europe in Finland, Luisa tagged with it in Italy; I have also been tagged with it in Lagos,” she said. She believed the seminar will impact positively in the life of women in Nigeria, vowed that a communiqué would be presented to the Lagos State House of Assembly for necessary consideration. “We shall draft a communiqué at the end of the seminar and present same to our House of Assembly as expression of our opinion and solution to some of the problems highlighted by various opinions,” she said. She said the forum is an avenue for member countries to benefit from wealth of knowledge from each other. “We shall continue to learn from each other as we exchange views from time to time,” she said. One of the guest speakers, Ori Obasi urged women to give their girl children proper education. Government, she said, should include character training in the educational curriculum for all round training of the children. “Character training should be given

proper attention in the curriculum of the nursery, primary and junior school levels of education. Girl child education should be given greater emphasis. Most of actions of mothers are often borne out of ignorance and frustration. A well articulated welfare scheme for the youth to get them gainfully occupied should be a priority for governments as well a swell meaning citizens. That will help a great deal in curbing youth restiveness,” she said. Prof Rose Anorlu, a Consultant Gynaecologist, College of Medicine, University of Lagos, presented a paper on cervical cancer. She urged the women group to increase the awareness on this cancer. “The government, health care personnel, civil society groups, community leaders, non-governmental organisations and well meaning Nigerians should all be involved in preventing this preventable disease,” she said. After the presentations, participants posed for pictures. The guests were treated to sumptuous meal after the lectures.

WHAT AND WHAT ANDWHERE? WHERE OP Elegance Magazine will on Sunday celebrate its 5 th anniversary and 4th recognition award ceremony at the Oranmiyan Hall of the Lagos Airport Hotel, Ikeja, Lagos. Osun State Governor, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola will receive the award while Asiwaju of the Source, Chief Oyekunle AlexDuduyemi will chair the occasion.

•Ogbeni Aregbesola



OMORROW, the newlyreturn pilgrims under the Hajj Mabrur Ventures Limited (HMVL) will converge at The Muslim Congress (TMC) Dawah, Lagos for a get-together. The ceremony will also feature presentation of certificates to the new Hujaaj (alhajis). Guests including HMVL Chairman, Sheikh Dhikrullahi Shafi’I; Dr Abdul Wasiu Gabadeen are expected at the reception.


•Alhaji Jakande



OMORROW, The Youths Social Club of Nigeria will install Dr Chidi Anyaegbu as Patron of the club at Jasmine Hall of the Eko Hotel and Suites Victoria Island, Lagos.

•Dr Ezekwesili


HE Nigerian Education Times Magazine will today holds it sixth Award of Excellence at Auditorium 3 of the Centre for Management Development (CMD) Centre, Sangisha, Lagos. Among the awardees is the former Lagos State Governor, Alhaji Lateef Jaknade and other well meaning Nigerians.

HE 57th edition of the annual convention of the Foursquare Gospel Church in Nigeria which started on Monday will come to an end on Sunday at the Convention Ground, Ajebo, Ogun State. The conference has the theme ‘‘the fullness of Christ”.









•Sheikh Shafi’I

Chairman of the occasion is the Chairman/Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Ibeto Group Nigeria Limited, Dr Cletus Ibeto and the Key note address will be given by Chairman, Standard Organisation of Nigeria, Dr Joe Odumodu.


HE Bayelsa, Rivers, Akwa Ibom, Cross River, Edo and Delta states with the acronym BRAC ED Commission will conclude its education summit tomorrow at Government House Banquet Hall, Port Harcourt, Rivers State. The summit started yesterday. The summit with the theme Empowerment through quality education will witness paper presentations on various issues as they affect the states and the country. The keynote address will be given by the former Education Minister and World Bank Vice President for Africa, Dr Obiageli Ezekwesili. Minister of Education Prof Ruqayyatu Ahmed Rufai is the special guest of honour. Some of the panellists are Prof Duro Ajeyalemi, Dr Gabriel Obi, Visafone founder, Jim Ovia and the Executive Secretary of National University Commission (NUC), Prof Julius Okojie among others.

EDERATION Accountant Allocation Committee (FAAC) Post Mortem Sub-Committee national seminar on non oil sector of the Nigerian Economy which started yesterday will come to an end today at the NICON Luxury, Abuja. The conference with the theme Initiatives for optimal revenue generation and collection from the non oil sector is meant to sensitise government at all levels on the need to improve frevenue generation and collection in the non-oil sector of the economy. Federal Cpaital Minister Senator Bala Muhammed will give the keynote address. Special guest of honour is Nigeria’s Senate President, Senator David Mark. Expected special guests on the occasion are Minister of Finance Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Minister of Agriculture Dr.Adewumi Adeshina; Minister of National Planning Commission, Dr.Shamsuddeen Usmar and Minister of Solid Mineral Mohammed Musa Sada.

•Senator Muhammed



SOCIETY Edo State Governor Comrade Adams Oshiomhole held a valedictory service for his dissolved excutive council and a special thanksgiving mass to mark the end of his first term. OSAGIE OTABOR reports.


HE St. Paul Catholic Church on Airport Road, Benin City, Edo State was filled by politicians last Sunday. They came from all over the country to join Governor Adams Oshiomhole at a special thanksgiving mass to mark the end of his first tenure. The church was well decorated for the ceremony. The gathering was reminiscence of the crowd that accompanied Oshiomhole to the church the day the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) declared him winner of the July 14, 2008 governorship polls. Oshiomhole and his deputy, Pius Odubu wore French suits. Oshiomhole daughter Jane Adukwu was at the mass with her son. Archbishop of Benin City Most Revd Augustine Akubeze led Rev. Fr. Paul and Rev. Fr. Andrew Obinyan to conduct the mass. In his homily, Revd. Father Akubeze said the Christian community would always support the administration of Oshiomhole. He said his victory at the polls was a unanimous decision of the people for good governance. The cleric said: “Edo people have reposed so much confidence in you and they have demonstrated this through their votes that you will bring respite to them. However, let me remind you that to whom much is given,

A memorable first term much is expected. Do not give the people any reason to wish otherwise”. “We promise to continue to support you always with the generosity of our prayers.” In his remarks, Oshiomhole called for more prayers for God to help him in running the state. He prayed God to give him and his deputy the spirit to forgive those who opposed to them. The governor said:“the resources that we control are meant for the good of the people, that God would give us wisdom to do that which would deliver the greatest good to the greatest number of people.” He urged the people to continue to remember the government in prayers, adding:“with God we would take Edo State to the next level.” These was a special thanksgiving offering by the governor and his deputy. Top on the list of dignitaries were former Head of State, Gen Yakubu Gowon; two former governors of Edo state, Chief John Odigie Oyegun; Prof. Oserhiemen Osunbor; Deputy Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Lady

Valerie Ebe; former Minister of External Affairs, Chief Tom Ikimi; Mr. Osarodion Ogie; Mr Simon Imuekhemen and members of the Edo State House of Assembly led by Speaker Uyi Igbe among others. Also at the mass were chieftains of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) including former NDDC Commissioner representing Edo State, Hon. Matthew Iduoriyekemwen. Two days earlier, Oshiomhole dissolved the Executive Council following the expiration of his first tenure. The end was memorable. Members hugged and bantered. There were no dull moments. The weekly meeting of the Executive Council led by Oshiomhole was usually full of life. In what was dubbed the session of the midnight sun, the Exco was once locked in a meeting that lasted for more than 24 hours in the formative period of the administration. Oshiomhole noted: “We did not come here to lament. So we needed to come up with ideas on how to revive the state”. Many of his aides will remember how he always put them through their paces. “I know

•From left: Governor Oshiomhole; his daughter, Mrs Jane Adukwu and her son; General Gowon; Dr Odubu and his wife, Deaconess Endurane

•From left: John Oyegun and his wife and Mr and Mrs Inneh

•Traditional leaders at the event

•Chiefs from the Palace of the Oba of Benin

•Chief Tom Ikimi (right) and other guests

it is very difficult to work with me, I know I’m a very hard and ruthless driver, I’m a long distance runner,” he told Exco members who gathered for the last working day of his first tenure. While thanking them for their contribution to his success, he was moved to tears as he bade them farewell. “Whatever accolades we have received are products of our collective effort. I believe that we collectively gave our best as commissioners. We ensured that what we were doing benefited from the renewal of our mandate. It was clear that those projects which we presented before the people, were the collective result of our efforts. I want to thank you immensely for your contribution. But no matter how we enjoy a game, when it is full time, the referee must blow the whistle”, he said. Oshiomhole added: “You are perhaps one of the least paid and appreciated in the country but that did not translate to low productivity. Thank you so much for what God has used you to do”. Dr Osagie Obayuwana, former Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, who responded on behalf of others, said:“This is perhaps one of the best assemblages of the cabinet consisting of egg heads. We have learnt many things from you sir”.

•Prof Osunbor



SOCIETY The 10th Macmillan Literary Night was held last Thursday at the Agip Hall of MUSON Centre, Lagos, with the theme Break it! Stumbling Blocks to National Development. NNEKA NWANERI writes.

Breaking the stumbling blocks HERE was music, there was dance; there was poetry, there was rhythm. Drama, once again, was at play when publishing Macmillan Nigeria Publishers Ltd held the th 10 edition of the series of its Literary Night themed Break it! Stumbling Blocks to National Development, last Thursday. Amid camera flashes, a large capital ‘M’ kept moving in circular motion between two head tusks, being the Macmillan Logo, at the centre of the stage. It sat solidly on prototype carved rocks with a mini-fountain flowing from it. It was made to look like a moonlight setting with black background and flashes of coloured lightings. Guests trooped in one after the other. The young and the grey haired; the upper and lower classes; the white and dark skinned; the intellectuals, and an array of dramatists and poets. At the foyer were many books on a shelf by the publisher. It was obvious that many new ones had been added from last year’s harvest. Since 1999, Macmillan has not missed holding the series except twice. This year’s theme was quite significant - coming at a time corruption, ethnicism, anarchy, impunity, mediocrity and many more issues are troubling the country. The message of the theme - we all have a role to play - leaders and followers; parents and children; administrators and captains of industries alike. Renowned poet Odia Ofeimum moderated the event. The presentations were of both young and old Nigerian authors based within and outside the country. It was something out of the ordinary; fresh and new and directed by Mrs Emmanuel. It began with the Crown Troupe of Africa which did a dance drama.The drama - This Land Will not Die and Crossroads authored by Pius Adesanmi who teaches French in the United Kingdom – was led by Segun Adefila. After the drama came the poetry session. Nollywoosd stars Nobert Young, Joke Sylvia, Tina Mba and Ihria Enakhimio interpreted two poems This land will not die and Crossroads. Afrobeat artiste Dede Mabiaku’s daughter Ayeola, a graduate of Biochemistry and Masters degree holder, interpreted her own piece Assassin’s Flame. Tenure Ojaide’s I No Go Sidon Look; Bunmi Oyinsan’s prose Three Women; Promisca Anoni’s drama Boko Haram, her poem Fela’s Comeback and her drama-comedy Mr Waz were also performed. I Am by Ada Iloekunanwa; Beast of No Nation by America-based Nigerian Uzodinma Iweala and more were presented.


Others were: These Beliefs by Solomon Obla; Scorch Unoma Azuah; Ministes at War by Onome Ovuaporie; When the Sun is Hot by Ugochukwu Promise; Grown Burden by Obari Gomba, who teaches Literature at the University of Port Hacourt; Iquo Ekeh performed her own poem Voice From Far Away Land and Mrs Francesca Emmanuel, who wrote a poem while with her maiden name Francesca Pereira interpreted her own poem E Get As E Be. By the time the presentations were mid-way, the hall was filled to capacity. Chairman of the organising committee Mrs Francesca Emmanuel has, for 12 years organised, inspired and directed the series. In her introductory remarks, Mrs Emmanuel said: “Though Macmillan cannot stop these trends, but in our own small way, we are putting humour here and there to make the evening a pleasant one.” Chairman of Macmillan Nigerian Publishers Mr Bode Emmanuel noted that the theme was borne out of a high sense of national consciousness coupled with the uncompromising belief that the multifaceted obstacles hampering Nigeria’s development are not breakable. “We lined up professional readers and actors to use their dexterous art to further ignite our passion for national-building. We will not relent in our efforts in publishing well focused books for meaningful national development,” he said. The chairman of the occasion, Chief Philip Asiodu, admitted that the two hours was rich in music, dance and presentations that have identified corruption as the number one killer of the nation. He urged Nigerians not to remain in the viscous circle forever. “Let us work hard. Play your part, I play my part. We must not give up hope like William Shakespeare’s King Lear. It is heart warming to for us to know that the potential is not all lost and we can do things to standard,” he said. Macmillan writers of the years were called to the stage where they took a bow to the admiration of the audience. They were Segun Adefila, who began performing in his school days; Ben Tomoloju; Lola Akande; Godswill Umoh; Dele Taiwo and Desmond Dada. Guests at the event included former Inspector General of Police Alhaji Musiliu Smith; Prof Adigun Adeja; Mr Sola Omole; Mrs Doris Fafunwa; Prof John Pepper Clark; Prof Kofi Duncan; President of the Nigerian Sickle Cell Foundation Prof Akinyoju; Mrs Adeniyi Williams and others.

•From right: Mr Obafemi Olopade, his wife and Prof Frank Okisor

•From left: Prof Clark; Chief Asiodu and Mr Emmanuel

•From left: Bimbo Emmanuel; Young; Mrs Mba; Victor Olaotan of Tinsel and Mrs Silver

•Mrs Emmanuel

•Dr Duncan and wife





•Former Miss Ifeoluwa Adegboye and her lovebird, Abayomi Kufoniyi, during their wedding at The Stone Church, Ibadan, Oyo State

•From left: Human Resources Director, Nigerian Breweries Plc and guest speaker, Mr Victor Famuyibo greeting President/Chairman, Chartered Institute of Purchasing Managers (CIPM) Mr Abiola Popoola and CIPM Vice-President Mr Sunday Korode, at the 13th induction of the institute held at Civic Centre, Victoria Island, Lagos







It is just 18 months into the four-year tenure of Oyo State Governor Abiola Ajimobi. Yet, intense political manoeuvres have already begun at the centre of politics in Yorubaland across major political parties. Correspondent BISI OLADELE reports.

Oyo 2015: Parties in strategic moves B

Y November 29, it will be exactly one and half years that Senator Abiola Ajimobi was sworn in as the seventh Governor of Oyo State. The governor, who contested and won on the platform of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), succeeded a Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governor, Chief Adebayo AlaoAkala, who hails from Ogbomoso, the second largest town in the state. Ajimobi is from Ibadan, the state capital. Alao-Akala had tried in vain to secure a second term from voters. Though he polled over 65 percent of the total votes cast in Ogbomoso land, the higher number of votes in Ibadan, which were largely in favour of Ajimobi, truncated his dream of breaking the jinx of one-governor, one-term in the history of the state. The political scene was quiet in the first year, except for the alliance that was built between Senator Rashidi Ladoja and Ajimobi. Ladjoja, a former governor, is the leader of the Accord in the state. The alliance was borne out of the need for the ACN to enjoy the support of the then seven members of the House of Assembly who contested on the platform of the Accord. Ajimobi needed their support to form a synergy against the then 12 PDP members who were feared to be desperate to thwart his efforts to transform the state based on bitterness arising from the failure of the PDP to win the governorship election. The equation has since changed as ACN has gained a member each from the two other parties to swell its ranks to 15 out of 32. While the ACN and the Accord are in good form till date, the PDP is still unable to wriggle out of the internal crisis that has continued to afflict it since 2006 as things have since then fallen apart among major gladiators. The Action Alliance (AA), whose fortune rose by reason of the appointment of its governorship candidate, Taiwo Otegbeye as Special Adviser by Ajimobi, is also at the rear as feelers from the party show that its members are working together with the present ACN administration. In all defections so far, ACN and Accord are the beneficiaries while the PDP’s rank keeps depleting by the day. But events in recent times have shown that politicians in the state are not willing to waste any time or opportunity to grab a good platform with which to launch out for the 2015 election. Though it is unclear if Governor Ajimobi is interested in second term, the opposition, mainly the PDP gladiators and former governor Rashidi Ladoja do not seem to be scaling down on their ambition to give a fight in 2015. Ajimobi has fingered the PDP in the state as behind the recent online report alleging that his wife, Florence, was arrested in London for being in possession of N500 million. “We know those behind it. In fact, they are political jobbers who lost out in the last election. Three of them are from PDP. They have never achieved anything in their lives. They are coming back with the old system of maligning people. When you are doing well as a politician, some mischief makers who want to pull you down would concoct stories like this particular one.” he said in Abuja at the meeting of the National Economic Council. The current belief in the ACN in the state is

• Governor Ajimobi

• Senator Ladoja

ond time if Ladoja joins the race with the ACN candidate that may most likely hail from Ibadan. But analysts punctured the belief, saying that most of the civil servants who voted for Ladoja would not have cast their votes for AlaoAkala if the contest was only between Ajimobi and his immediate predecessor. They argued that Yoruba are clearly tired of the PDP and that those civil servants would have given their votes to Ajimobi who was adjudged a better alternative to the two other candidates. Analysts also believe that a four year rule of Senator Ajimobi as governor with good impact would convince many other voters who queued behind the Accord and PDP in 2011 that Ajimobi and the ACN are obviously better alternatives. To make matters worse for the PDP, Ladoja is currently supporting Ajimobi, his cousin and the PDP remains split as they are in other Southwest states. Should Ladoja join the race again in 2015, his participation will add less glamour, colour and less tension unlike the last year election, principally because nothing will be new with the candidates. Events have, however, shown that electors in the state have not switched their choice of candidate and party since last year.

Alao-Akala The immediate past governor of the state remains a factor for his electoral value. Though he has since lost many of his followers to the ACN and Accord, he still pulls a good weight, particularly in his Ogbomoso town and some parts of Oke Ogun. It is believed that Alao-Akala has started preparing to contest for the Senate in 2015. He is, according to sources, counting on the support he can easily garner in the three local government areas in Ogbomoso and his appreciable popularity in some other local goverments in Oke Ogun that make up the Oyo North Senatorial District to unseat the incumbent, Senator Hosea Agboola. The latter, who hails from Oke Ogun, however, has enough political clout to give Alao-Akala a good run for both his money and popularity. The ambition has already pitched both of them against each other though they were once best political associates. Yet, the ACN candidate for the position, Dr Wale Okedare, is sure to rebound in 2015. • Alao-Akala

that some PDP governorship hopefuls, who hail from Ibadan will stop at nothing to discredit the Ajimobi-led administration to create an opportunity for their emergence. Yet, internal harmony is an alien within the PDP fold in Oyo State. Former Governor Adebayo Alao-Akala is leading a faction while former Senate Leader, Teslim Folarin and the Minister of State for FCT, Oloye Jumoke Akinjide also lead a faction each. The current Executive is under the control of Folarin while Akinjide is said to be battling hard to wrest it from him. The minister had waved an olive branch at Ladoja a few months ago, offering a partnership with him and his large crowd of followers to form a bigger faction in the PDP. Though talks and agreements progressed, Ladoja backed out at the last minute when he realized that Folarin was not ready to let go of the executive who has been acknowledged as the authentic one in the state by the national leadership. He was said to have told Akinjide that he was not ready to return to a factionalized PDP.

Accord Ladoja is synonymous with the Accord in the state. The former governor joined the

• Mrs Akinjide

party in January last year and started mobilizing support for his governorship ambition. He gathered so much crowd behind him but the large number of supporters could not match that of Ajimobi, who trounced him with about 50,000 votes in the election. Yet, Ladoja remains a strong factor in Oyo politics as he commands large followership. He is also gaining back some of his former followers who stayed back in the PDP when he decamped to Accord. Some factions within the PDP have started making subtle moves to oppose his touted ambition to re-contest the governorship election come 2015. The politicians and their supporters who are working behind the scene, are exploiting all chances to ensure they succeed in opposing his candidature for 2015. Reason: they believe that his contest would either split the potential votes for the PDP or better still, split Ibadan votes as it did in the 2011 elections thereby spoiling the chances of the PDP. They believe that the PDP would have won the last governorship election if Ladoja had not contested as they see the Accord as purely an extension of the PDP. They also fear, it was gathered, that the interest of Ibadan as a city with the highest population will be threatened for the sec-

‘The PDP in Oyo State is the loser in many ways. Aside its members leaving in droves for either the ACN or Accord, it is unable to harmonise its many divergent interests. Yet, some leading lights in the party are fighting tooth and nail to pick the party’s governorship ticket for the next election’

Ajimobi and the ACN The current governor, among other considerations, has shown that he is a different type of politician in that he has risen above party sentiments and the winner-takes-all approach to accommodate various other parties and interests in his government. For instance, he accommodates the PDP, Accord and AA in his cabinet. He is, interestingly, also working with other different interests across the state, always emphasizing that his government has a place for anyone with genuine interest in transforming the state. So far, Ajimobi’s government has been marked out by integrity, vision and commitment to service, among others. It is unclear if Senator Femi Lanlehin and Dr Ismail Adewusi, who are major contenders for the governorship ticket of the ACN are still determined to give a good fight in 2015.

PDP The party in Oyo State is the loser in many ways. Aside the fact that its members are leaving in droves for either the ACN or the Accord, it is unable to harmonize its many divergent interests. Yet, some leading lights in the party are fighting tooth and nail to pick the party’s governorship ticket for the next election. The ACN is always quick to finger Senator Folarin and Oloye Jumoke Akinjide in this ambition. It will, however, take an extra luck for the party to return to Agodi Government House in the near future in view of Ajimobi’s unfolding huge political stature made possible by his developmental projects as well as stable profile of Ladoja and his refusal to return to the PDP.




Ondo: Jonathan, PDP supported me, says Oke By Augustine Avwode, Assistant Editor


HE gubernatorial candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the just-concluded election in Ondo State, Chief Olusola Oke has rebutted allegations that President Goodluck Jonathan and the leadership of the party at the national level undermined his chances by refusing to work for him. Oke, in a statement, said on the contrary, he was well supported by the Presidency and the national leadership of the party, describing the rumours that he attributed his defeat to lack of support from the party as the handiwork of mischief makers and fifth columnists “whose stock in trade is spreading unfounded rumour and feasting from different political camps”. “I am deeply shocked at this wicked misrepresentation. It would be sheer ingratitude. I have been part of the NEC and I know what the President does. At no time did I insinuate or utter a statement to that effect. It would be a contradiction of myself. What Mr President did for us was in conformity with the standard procedure of our party at all elections”. Oke added that “I am aware as an officer of the party that the President and the national body of this party take all elections involving our party serious at all times”. “This insinuation is wicked, mischievous and unprofitable for anyone to brazenly distort facts and misrepresent me on a simple matter. President Jonathan is not just the leader of the party, he insists that all elections must be well supported. He did very well for us and that is why we got this far. He attended our rallies in company of the Vice President and all our party organs”. Speaking about the support provided by the party, the former legal adviser to the party said: “I got maximum support from my party and the presidency. Next to God, the president was the biggest supporter of our campaign. The insinuation is absolutely incorrect. I’ve done paid advertorial to express my hearth-felt appreciation to the President. We remain eternally grateful to the national body of the PDP. It is, therefore, not out of place to conclude that the misrepresentation of facts was done with tacit sinister motive to cause disaffection among the leadership of the party.” Oke blamed the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the ruling Labour Party for whatever went wrong with his desire to rule the state. “What went wrong in the election was between the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC and the Labour party. That aspect is left for the tribu• Oke nal to resolve”, Oke noted.

Constitution: Plateau supports new states From Yusufu Aminu Idegu, Jos


WO of the three senatorial zones of Plateau State have expressed their support for the creation of more states, but one of the zones opposed the idea. At the Plateau North Senatorial District stakeholders meeting held at Plateau Youth Centre, Dandikowa neighborhood, it was unanimously agreed at the constitution review meeting that there was no need to demand new states. The meeting, however, added that should any other senatorial district be interested in creation of new states, they should go ahead with the agitation. But at their separate stakeholders meetings held by the Central and Southern Senatorial Districts of the state at Pankshin and Shendam, the two zones unanimously supported the creation of more states. They argued that new states would bring about speedy development. However, the three senatorial districts took a common ground of the issue of indigeneship and citizenship clause, saying indigenship should be enshrined in the proposed constitution just as according to them, they believe in equal rights of all citizens. Stakeholders from the three zones were expected to assemble at government House Jos to hold a meeting with Governor Jonah Jang so as to harmonize their position before proceeding from to Markudi, the Benue State capital for the North-central constitution review meeting . The North-central geo-political zone is expected to take a common position on issues like creation of states and matters that concern the minority ethnic groups in the country at that meeting and forwarded to Abuja for consideration by the national constitution review committee at the National Assembly.

‘Saraki’s opponents ‘ll miss him too’

A day with President Jonathan in Jigawa F OR two consecutive days - November 5 and 6, 2012 - Presi dent Goodluck Jonathan took his working visit to Jigawa State. The visit later turned out to be an opportunity for him to commission stateexecuted projects such as N9.5 billion State Secretariat, N800 million Yakubu Gawon NYSC and Sport Centre, Academy for Gifted and Talented Bamaina and the foundation laying of Dutse International Airport and Collage for Remedial and Advanced Studies, Kafin Hausa. The President also took time to convey a meeting with Jigawa Stakeholders. The event which appeared a town hall meeting was held in Council Chamber, Government House and was attended by all wellmeaning Jigawa State indigenes - the Ulmaa, women group, politicians, elders, technocrats, from Civil Service, academia, private sector giants, and members of the National Assembly including members of Jigawa State Executive Council. Unlike other meetings convened for political purposes, this one was premeditated to create a platform for the state think-tank (as Governor Sule Lamido called them during his preamble at the occasion) to interact with the President directly on issues that touch the lives of Jigawa State people nay Nigeria in general. This also afforded the President opportunity to gather first-hand information on problems of the people and proffer suggestions on how best those challenges could be surmounted. Obviously, President Goodluck wasn’t disappointed with the manner in which people aired their views on his administration as well as the systematic approach the state is taking from one of the backward and poor states to status of a wellplanned, developed state. Though, he (President) was astonished with ongoing development in Jigawa State and the prudent and transparent manner in which Governor Sule Lamido is governing the state, he didn’t hide his feelings in virtually all the places he visited to either commission, inspect or lay foundation of projects in the state. Prior to his commissioning of the new NYSC camp, he remarked: “…in the whole country, I think is not up to 15 states that have constructed special place for Corp members in including the Federal Capital. And I was told this is best NYSC in the country. It was constructed at a cost less than N800million, if it was in other places… you will hear the N2 billion or 1.5 billion was expended.” Some of the requests made to Mr President on which he instantly assured the people were: some federal road linking the state with border with Niger Republic, Kano-BaburaNiger Republic, Kano-JahunHadejia and Kano-Gumel-Niger Republic. All, according to the Act-

• Lamido By Yusuf Suleiman

ing Chairman of the state’s elders, Alhaji Muhammad Ibrahim, are critical to socio-economic livelihood of Jigawa people. Other requests included: Federal Collage of Education, damming of water from Hadejia valley to support irrigation and address the perennial flooding of communities at the water banks; dredging of Hadejia River as well as revival of 31-year abandoned Hadejia irrigation project and the Federal Government intervention of Dutse Greater Water Project with the intention of transferring water from 60kilometre Sintilmawa town, an outskirt of Dutse, the State capital. These requests were echoed by erstwhile Ministers of Commerce, Alh. Bello Maitama and Alh Sale Shehu, who also bemoaned the glaring socio-economic challenges in the state no thanks to federal government’s neglect of its responsibility to the state. Proprietor of Lautai General Enterprises Bashir Muhammad; former Secretary to Jigawa State Government, Alh Tanko Ayuba; Dr Zubaida A. Nagee, Dr Ummah Abdulwahab among others bluntly told the president that for economic activities to flourish with enhanced internally generated revenue (IGR), the federal government must intervene in the areas listed. Without hesitation, they reminded Mr President that, so far, the IGR of Jigawa State was little above N200 million, the amount which one local government in other states generates. The elders pointed out that all the projects the state governments so far executed were with the meagre resources from the federation allocation. They urged the President to treat their requests with urgency.

In his response, President Jonathan ordered the Minister of Works, Arc. Mike Onalememen, Minister of Water Resources, Sarah Achekpe and their counterpart in Education, Professor Rukayyatu Rufai to give account of their ministries’ impacts in Jigawa State. Though, the ministers made attempt to explain some of their programmes, the mien of the people in attendance showed dissatisfaction. However, the people were convinced in the end that Jigawa State would not be forgotten in terms of Federal Government project allocation after all. President Jonathan, however, explained some of policies of his government on education, road development, agriculture and air transportation. He hinted that the Federal Government planned to establish a university each in all the states of the federation to ensure qualitative education for all. But he said that government would not establish any Collage of Education or Polytechnic in the near future, adding that the policy was to ensure that the newly established universities get the required funding that would make them compete with any other university around the globe. The President said the phenomenal development recorded in Jigawa State within the last five and half years had made to him wonder what other state are doing. To him, if the Jigawa example is replicated in other states, Nigeria would have been a better place. “I thank Governor Sule Lamido sincerely,” he added. He acknowledged that for any state to be economically independent, there must be free movement of goods and services which according to him, is one of the cardinal objectives of his administration. He hinted that his administration would create at least a cargo terminal in all the states to serve as gateway for export of agricultural products. He promised to take the Jigawa people’s demands seriously. He added that Federal Government would collaborate with the state government on water supply, irrigation and the proposed Dutse Airport. On the whole, the assembly got the much-sought assurances and commitment of the President that the Federal Government would likely consider Jigawa State as from 2013 budget on schemes of capital. If that happens, then who will take the credit? Sule Lamido who is doing a wonderful job which attracts President’s visit? Elders who, despite all odds, packaged the demands of Jigawa State and eloquently presented them to Mr President for execution? Or even the President himself? The people of Jigawa State, of course, will thank the trio for their commitment to Jigawa Project and it is left for other states to emulate the giant strides. • Suleiman works at Press Unit, Government House, Dutse

By Dada Aladelokun, Assistant Editor


FORMER member of the House of Representatives, Alhaji Bashir Bolarinwa yesterday described the late Senator Olusola Saraki as an insurmountable factor to his political opponents while his reign lasted as a deciding figure in Kwara State politics. To the ex-lawmaker, therefore, the Kwara political kingmaker will not only be missed by his teeming loyalists, his influence will for a long time, remain fresh in the minds of those who did not share political camp with him while alive. “Oloye Olusola Saraki has different meanings to different classes of people, but an undisputable fact is that until his death, he was overtly or covertly omnipresent in the affairs of Kwara, with politics being just an area. He was an insurmountable factor to his opponent and a success bridge to his loyalists. No doubt, he will greatly be missed for whatever reasons by Kwarans in particular and Nigerians in general,” he explained. Bolarinwa, who is also a governorship aspirant in the state in the 2011 elections, also stated that the eventful life of the late politician would, one way or the other, serve as a lesson to other politicians across the country. He enjoined fellow politicians and other public servants in the country to let their attitude to their people be guided with the fear of God, bearing in mind that one day, they would give account of their stewardship before their creator. “Many have passed away and quite many will still go as many babies are being born day in, day out. The death of Oloye Saraki should further convince us all that life is transient and as such, while alive, we must conduct ourselves with the fear of God in the overall interest of the masses of our teeming people,” Bolarinwa added.

• From left: Deputy Speaker, House of Representatives, Emeka Ihedioha, Country Representative, United Nations Women, Grace Ongile (middle) and House Leader, Mulikat Adeola during a meeting on women’s political PHOTO: ABAYOMI FAYESE participation in Abuja.




My mandate is to help middle-class families, says Obama ‘

President Barack Obama, on Wednesday, had his first post-election press conference at the White House. Excerpts:

Young people who are brought here through no fault of their own, who have gone to school here, pledged allegiance to our flag, who want to serve in our military, who want to go to school and contribute to our society, that they shouldn’t be under the cloud of deportation, that we should give them every opportunity to earn their citizenship


AN you assure the American people that there have been no breaches of national security or classified information in the scandal involving Generals Petraeus and Allen? Well, I have no evidence at this point, from what I’ve seen, that classified information was disclosed that in any way would have had a negative impact on our national security. Obviously, there’s an ongoing investigation. I don’t want to comment on the specifics of the investigation. The FBI has its own protocols in terms of how they proceed. And you know, I’m going to let Director Mueller and others examine those protocols and make some statements to the public generally. I do want to emphasize what I’ve said before. General Petraeus had an extraordinary career. He served this country with great distinction in Iraq, in Afghanistan and as head of the CIA. By his own assessment, he did not meet the standards that he felt were necessary as the director of CIA with respect to this personal matter that he is now dealing with with his family and with his wife. And it’s on that basis that he tendered his resignation, and it’s on that basis that I accepted it. But I want to emphasize that, from my perspective at least, he has provided this country an extraordinary service. We are safer because of the work that Dave Petraeus has done. And my main hope right now is — is that he and his family are able to move on and that this ends up being a single side note on what has otherwise been an extraordinary career. What about voters? Do they deserve to know? You know, again, I think you’re going to have to talk to the FBI in terms of what their general protocols are when it comes to what started off as a potential criminal investigation. And one of the challenges here is — is that we’re not supposed to meddle in, you know, criminal investigations. And that’s been our practice. And you know, I think that there are certain procedures that both the FBI follow or DOJ follow when they’re involved in these investigations. That’s traditionally been how we view things, in part because people are innocent until proven guilty. And we want to make sure that we don’t prejudge these kinds of situations. And so my expectation is — is that they followed protocols that they already established. Two years ago, sir, you said that you wouldn’t extend the Bush-era tax cuts, but at the end of the day, you did. So respectfully, sir, why should the American people and the Republicans believe that you won’t cave again this time? Well, two years ago the economy was in a different situation. We were still very much in the early parts of recovering from the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression. And ultimately, we came together, not only toe extend the Bush tax cuts, but also a wide range of policies that were going to be good for the economy at the point — unemployment insurance extensions, payroll tax extension — all of which made a difference, and is a part of the reason why what we’ve seen now is 32 consecutive months of job growth, and over 5 1/2 million jobs created, and

•Obama the unemployment rate coming down. But what I said at the time is what I meant, which is this was a one-time proposition. And you know, what I have told leaders privately as well as publicly is that we cannot afford to extend the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy. What we can do is make sure that middle-class taxes don’t go up. And so the most important step we can take right now, and, I think, the foundation for a deal that helps the economy, creates jobs, gives consumers certainty, which means gives businesses confidence that they’re going to have consumers during the holiday season, is if we right away say 98 percent of Americans are not going to see their taxes go up; 97 percent of small businesses are not going to see their taxes go up. If we get that in place, we are actually removing half of the fiscal cliff. Half of the danger to our economy is removed by that single step. And what we can then do is shape a process whereby we look at tax reform, which I’m very eager to do. I think we can simplify our tax system. I think we can make it more efficient. We can eliminate loopholes and deductions that have a distorting effect on our economy. I believe that we have to continue to take a serious look at how we reform our entitlements, because health care costs continue to be the biggest driver of our deficits. So there is a package to be shaped, and I’m confident that parties — folks of good will in both parties can make that happen. But what I’m not going to do is to extend Bush tax cuts for the wealthiest 2 percent that we can’t afford and, according to economists, will have the least positive impact on our economy. You’ve said that the wealthiest must pay more. Would closing loopholes instead of raising rates for

them satisfy you? I think that there are loopholes that can be closed, and we should look at how we can make the process of deductions, the filing process easier, simpler. But when it comes to the top 2 percent, what I’m not going to do is to extend further a tax cut for folks who don’t need it, which would cost close to a trillion dollars. And it’s very difficult to see how you make up that trillion dollars, if we’re serious about deficit reduction, just by closing loopholes in deductions. You know, the math tends not to work. And I think it’s important to establish a basic principle that was debated extensively during the course of this campaign. But right now what I want to make sure of is, is that taxes on middle-class families don’t go up, and there’s a very easy way to do that. We could get that done by next week. On immigration reform, the criticism in the past has been that you did not put forth legislation with specific ideas and send it up to the Hill. This time around, you have said again that this will be one of the top priorities for a second term. Will you then send legislation to the Hill. And exactly what do you envision is broad immigration reform? Does that include a legalisation program? And also, what lessons, if any, did Democrats learn from this last election and the Latino vote? Well, I think what was incredibly encouraging was to see a significant increase in Latino turnout. This is the fastest-growing group in the country. And you know, historically what you’ve seen is Latino vote — vote at lower rates than the broader population. And that’s beginning to change. You’re starting to see a sense of empowerment and civic participation that I think is going to be powerful

and good for the country. And it is why I am very confident that we can get immigration reform done. You know, I — before the election, I had given a couple of interviews where I had predicted that the Latino vote was going to be strong and that that would cause some reflection on the part of Republicans about their position on immigration reform. I think we’re starting to see that already. I think that’s a positive sign. This has not historically been a partisan issue. We’ve had President Bush, John McCain and others who have supported comprehensive immigration reform in the past. So we need to seize the moment. And my expectation is is that we get a bill introduced and we begin the process in Congress very soon after my inauguration. And in fact, some conversations, I think, are already beginning to take place among senators and congressmen and my staff about what would this look like. And when I say comprehensive immigration reform and — is very similar to the outlines of previous efforts at comprehensive immigration reform; I think it should include a continuation of the strong border security measures that we’ve taken, because we have to secure our borders. I think it should contain serious penalties for companies that are purposely hiring undocumented workers and taking advantage of them. And I do think that there should be a pathway for legal status for those who are living in this country, are not engaged in criminal activity, are here simply to work. It’s important for them to pay back taxes, it’s important for them to learn English, it’s important for them to potentially pay a fine, but to give them the avenue whereby they can resolve their legal status here in this country, I think is very important.

Obviously, making sure that we put into law what — the first step that we’ve taken administratively dealing with the DREAM Act kids is very important as well. One thing that I’m — I’m very clear about is that young people who are brought here through no fault of their own, who have gone to school here, pledged allegiance to our flag, who want to serve in our military, who want to go to school and contribute to our society, that they shouldn’t be under the cloud of deportation, that we should give them every opportunity to earn their citizenship. And so, you know, there are other components to it, obviously. The business community continues to be concerned about getting enough high-skill workers. And I am a believer that if you’ve got a Ph.D. in Physics or Computer science, who wants to stay here and start a business here, we shouldn’t make it harder for him to stay here. We should try to encourage him to contribute to this society. I think that the agricultural sector obviously has very specific concerns about making sure that they’ve got a workforce that helps deliver food to our tables. So there are going to be a bunch of components to it, but I think whatever process we have needs to make sure border security is strong, needs to deal with employers effectively, needs to provide a pathway for the undocumented here, needs to deal with the Dream Act kids. And I think that’s something that we can get done. I waanted to ask about the families of these four Americans who were killed in Benghazi. Sean Smith’s father, Ray, said he believes his son basically called 911 for help, and they didn’t get it. And I know you’ve said you grieve for these four Americans, that it’s being investigated. But the families have been waiting for more than two months. So I would like to — for you to address the families, if you can: On 9/ 11, as commander in chief, did you issue any orders to try to protect their lives? Ed, you know, I’ll address the families not through the press. I’ll address the families directly, as I already have. And we will provide all the information that is available about what happened on that day. That’s what the investigation is for. But as I said repeatedly, if people don’t think that we did everything we can to make sure that we saved the lives of folks who I sent there, and who were carrying out missions on behalf of the United States, then you don’t know how our Defense Department thinks or our State Department thinks or our CIA thinks. Their number one priority is obviously to protect American lives. That’s what our job is. I will put forward every bit of information that we have. I can tell you that immediately upon finding out that our folks were in danger, that my orders to my National Security team were do whatever we need to do to make sure they’re safe. And that’s the same order that I would give anytime that I see Americans are in danger, whether they’re civilian or military, because that’s our number one priority. With respect to the issue of mandate, I’ve got one mandate. I’ve got a mandate to help middle-class families and families that are working hard to try to get into the middle class. That’s my mandate. That’s what the American people said. They said, work really hard to help us. Don’t worry about the politics of it. Don’t worry about the party interests. Don’t worry about the special interests. Just work really hard to see if you can help us get ahead, because we’re working really hard out here and we’re still struggling, a lot of us. That’s my mandate.






HIS world is a dramatic entity mysteriously coded in parables. Every living thing therein sees it and re-

lates to it, according to its own nature of existence. It takes history to decode those parables only after the actors might have left the stage. Who are we? Where are we coming from? And where are we going from here? Those are some of the questions which all rational human beings should be asking themselves constantly. But such questions have been rendered irrelevant because the dynamic circumstances of life have changed the priorities of man. The only question now in vogue, which every opportune Nigerian seems to be answering, is this: ‘what am I getting from this?’ It is a material world. That very question is the real drama that permanently engages the attention of citizens today. It is the question that crowns money as the king of the world. It is the question that fosters greed and fetters humanity to the stake of Satan. It is the question that presents vanity to an average Nigerian as the only substance worthy of pursuit. Incidentally, however, no answer to that all-time question has ever proffered any solution to any human problem. Such an answer would rather confirm the ephemerality of this world of vanity. What can we say of a man who fixes his eyes on the sun but does not see it? Instead, he sees a chorus of flaming seraphim announcing a paroxysm of despair. That is the parable of the country called Nigeria. Like the Israelis of Moses’ time, Nigerians have become gypsies wandering aimlessly and wallowing in abject poverty even in the midst of abundance. What else do we expect from Allah beyond the invaluable bounties with which He has blessed us? What is Nigeria not blessed with? We have land in abundance, not in terms of size alone but also in terms of soil fertility and rich vegetation. At least over 77 million hectares of land is said to be arable in Nigeria. Out of this, only about 34 million hectares is reportedly cultivated for various agricultural activities including husbandry. This has even dwindled to about 25 million square hectares as more and more rural youths keep migrating to cities and towns for imaginary greener pastures. We are blessed with rainfalls that water our plants from the sky and graze our animals to satisfaction. We are endowed with a variety of nourishing food crops bounteous enough to feed us from generation to generation without importing from anywhere. The Qur’an testifies to this in chapter 80 thus: “Let man reflect on the food he eats; how ‘We’ pour down the rain in torrents and cleave the earth asunder; how ‘We’ bring forth the corn, the grapes, the fresh vegetables, the olive, the palm products, the thickets, the fruit-trees and the green pasture for you and for your cattle to delight in…” Allah’s favour is regular and incessant. We cannot deny it. In addition to the aforementioned, we have energetic and dedicated work force that is married to the farm land and plants in Nigeria. We also have intellectual brains that engage in research works days and nights to ensure agricultural improvement of our country. Nigeria is not lacking in forest and savannah. She is rich in rivers and mountains all of which are great resources for people who are seeking reasonable comfort and are not self-deceptive. What we lack is a responsible government that should manage the national economy sensibly and care about our foremost heritage which is agriculture. That food is becoming a threat to Nigerians today is not only a shameful development but also an evidence of clear naivety on the part our governments especially in the past twelve years of the so-called democratic dispensation. The misfortune started when the first shot at the Presidency in 1999 was handed over to a parochial ‘prisoner’ who had lost contact with the reality of life while withering in prison. At the commencement of democracy in that year, some die hard Nigerian optimists saw the President a reincarnate of the Biblical Egyptian Joseph of yore who could rescue Nigeria from an impending scourge. But no sooner had he become President than most Nigerians realised that the man who was thought to be a Joseph coming from the prison to transform the dream of Nigerians into reality was actually a Chameleonic Mathew. As a farmer that he claimed to be, he had been expected to act like Chairman Mao of China who started the revolution of his country with agricultural self-sufficiency. But this Mathew eventually confirmed that a man can only give what he has by proving that he was never tutored in the act of good governance and decency. Those who imposed him on Nigeria have since openly confessed their calamitous error expressing a belated regret and liking their bleeding fingers with internal agony. Today, Nigeria is by far worse than she was two decades ago. 08122697498

Egypt for instance

•Dr. Jonathan

Not only did Presidential prisoner parochially promote cassava alone, of all crops, and pushed many farmers into cultivating it, he also ensured that small scale farmers made no headway in their efforts on that venture. And when the Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO), an active arm of the United Nations, attempted to bail out Nigeria from this man’s devilish antics by granting small scale farmers a substantial financial aid in the name of ‘FADAMA’, in 2006, the news only ended on radio as a mere announcement. The money, (N50 billion), meant to boost agriculture through peasant farmers became a booty for the hawks among some government officials and their lackeys in the private sector. Most of those poor farmers ran helterskelter seeking loans that were pegged at N250,000 naira per head without getting one kobo. All sorts of huddles were erected on their ways until they became frustrated and rested their case with God. The only farmer who was conspicuously known to have benefited directly from that money was the President himself who arrogantly announced on a television network, during a Presidential media chart in 2006, that he got a whopping N2 billion for his farm as loan from the money meant for the peasants. Can you imagine that callous greed? The Southwest governors of that time and their Southeast counterparts also did not help the matter. Rather than focusing on agriculture which was the natural occupational endowment of their regions, those gold diggers preferred to depend wholly on oil largess which was coming to them from the Federal Account through the so-called allocation of revenue sharing. To them, such a quicker way of making money was more beneficial than investing in agriculture which could only yield results perhaps years after they might have left office. In Nigeria, the cost of running government alone is enough to render the country bankrupt. What are we doing with over 40 federal ministers and scores of Presidential Senior Special Advisers as well as a retinue of Personal Assistants when even America with her huge economic resources, and large population and financial wherewithal has only ten ministers? Why must we have two ministers in each ministry? Why must we have separate ministries for agriculture and water resources? Where is the Federal Government’s farm to justify that? Besides, what informs the idea of the socalled constituency allowances for legislators, at the federal and state levels, running into billions of naira, especially at a time when innocent women and children are crying for food alone which is a foremost necessity of life? No one would have thought that artificial hunger could be added to the abysmal level of penury in Nigeria despite the unprecedented rise in price of oil in the international market during those wasted years. Governance in Nigeria has become an artful trick adopted to bamboozle the populace into

blind submission. The propaganda in the 1980s spearheaded by Professor Jerry Gana, the then Chairman of MAMSER was almost hypnotising: ‘food and shelter for all in the year 2000!’ That slogan was changed in the 1990s to: ‘Vision 2010!’ And when year 2010 began to approach, the slogan again changed to: ‘Vision 2020 20! Now, without roads, without electricity, without rail transportation system, without jobs for majority of the able-bodied citizens, without security and even without food on our tables and stable supply of petroleum products, how can we hope to become one of the 20 biggest economies in the world in year 2020? Isn’t that a day dream? It takes two to tangle. If the deceivers can pretend not to know that a game of deception is in place, the deceived populace surely know even if they also pretend to play along. No country in history is ever known to have achieved economic vibrancy by magic. Nigeria cannot be an exception. In an FAO report a few years ago, about 300 Nigerians were said to be dying of hunger daily. Only God knows the level to which that figure might have risen to by now. Yet, rather than reacting to that sad news positively to bring succour to the people, our government continues to assure us of becoming one of the biggest economies in the world in eight years time even as the easy money accruing from our petroleum resources is being partly stolen brazenly and partly shared monthly among states and political cronies without any benefit to the masses. By some actions taken during his tenure, President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua of blessed memory remains commendable for showing an example of governance with human face and human heart. At a time when Nigeria was not threatened by famine like now, he earmarked N80 billion for food importation and announced a suspension of all tariffs on imported food items to the relief of all and sundry. He also released grains from the national silos to check inflation even as he pumped N400 billion into the economy for the purpose of creating about 10 million jobs then. Though, such measures were far from being adequate for a country which was aspiring to become one of the biggest economies in 2020, the move was generally seen as a good beginning of a hopeful future. However, as soon as Yar’Adua died, all such progressive steps were suspended and the national treasury was virtually thrown wide open for audacious thieves to scoop upon with impunity. Today, open day official theft has rather become a means of winning medals and earning national honour than the shameful act it used to be. Now, having realised how ramshackle the economic foundation laid down for Nigeria by a Mathew (from the prison) who, as President, could hardly reason beyond the siege mentality of the prison yard from where he had emerged, the current regime ought to have laid a new foundation. But there is no indication to that effect. If President Jonathan truly means well for Nigeria, as he claims, and wants to preserve his name in the good record of Nigerians, he must endeavour to clear the rotten stable on ground before he can achieve any appreciable success. A fire brigade approach like the release of N90 billion to tackle food crisis in a country like Nigeria cannot help in overcoming an avoidable melancholy now starring the country in the face. Yusuf (Joseph), the son of Ya’qub (Jacob), did not know that he could proffer any solution to a fundamental problem of a country other than his own. Neither did his brothers who sold him into slavery know that he would one day find solution to a major problem in another land. But the accident of history never ceases to play itself out. Without Yusuf, only Allah knows what the history

of Egypt would have been today. And without a Pharaoh’s dream of drought, the story of Yusuf would have been totally different from what we now know of it. If Egypt had any major plight when Yusuf was in prison in that country, it was Pharaoh’s dream. It turned out that Yusuf’s imprisonment in Egypt was a blessing, not only for Egypt but also for him and his family. What could have been a repeat of that episode here in Nigeria, turned out to be a regrettable bizarre in the first decade of Nigeria’s fourth democracy as most national assets were sold and bought by the powers that be in the name of privatization. Today, Nigeria has become an empty barrel merely making the loudest noise where silence is supposed to be golden. The rest is left to history. Yours sincerely was a student in Egypt in the 1970s when the hostility between that country and Israel was fierce. Egypt was then an ally of the (now defunct) Union of Soviet Socialist Republic (USSR) while Israel was virtually a satellite of the United States. Not only did Egypt suffer isolation from NATO member countries of Europe and America but the Soviet Union which was supposed to be her main ally was also not forthcoming with any meaningful assistance beyond the supply of light and medium range weapons. Thus, the Egyptian government had to buckle in firmly in order to fend for its people at that critical time. Realizing the importance of food supply especially in a war situation, Egypt mobilised all her agricultural resources around the River Nile and forgot about any food importation. The result was tremendous. Just over a decade ago, Uganda, a subSahara African country, found herself virtually in a similar position as that of Egypt. A colossal drought broke out in that country killing thousands of people and virtually wiping out the entire cattle herd in the country. No Pharaoh in Uganda to dream of a premonition and no Yusuf was in a prison to translate any dream into a solution. What the Ugandans did to find a solution was to reset the country’s agricultural focus. Rather than concentrating on tilling the land and rearing the cattle, which drought had eroded, a new focus was brought to bear. Uganda took to commercial ‘bee farming’ as a relieving alternative. The seriousness which the government of that country paid to the new focus was such that Uganda became a country to reckon with in the production and supply of honey and other bee products within a very short time. A substantial amount of honey consumed in Europe today (because European honey is not quite good for human consumption due to excessive chemicals it contains) is got from Uganda as well as Kenya and Tanzania. And those products have since become the second biggest foreign exchange earner for Uganda after coffee. Here in Nigeria, it is rather ironic that people who live by the river bank can’t get water to drink at a time when those living in the desert can find a reliable oasis to combat any drought with. President Yar’Adua’s tenure was a lesson for politicians who want to learn as most people now look back to that tenure with nostalgia. Given all the resources with which we are endowed, Nigerians should have no business with poverty let alone food crisis and unemployment. In one of the reactions to this column recently, someone pointed out that “about 97% of Nigerian wealth is in the hands of 3% of Nigerians who are mostly in government”. He was right. The implication of this is that 97% of the populace is being forced to scramble for the remaining 3% of the national wealth. Why won’t there be insecurity in the land? Wherever injustice replaces law, restiveness must serve as a consequence. It is only in the interest of those in government, especially the legislators who are most active in sharing public funds, to let the national wealth spread across board legitimately if only to avoid the current situation in virtually all major cities in Nigeria where every estate has become a prison in which the occupants are voluntarily jailed. To ignore the rule of law and shun justice in a land blessed with milk and honey is to cultivate trouble with insecurity in all its ramifications. Where people are well educated and conscious of their rights; where they perceive wealth as a matter of equal opportunity and not the exclusive right of any group; where they see themselves as qualified but denied their legitimate entitlements; nobody can consign them to ignominy indefinitely. They will react in no uncertain terms at the appropriate time. That is the current happening in some Arab countries which must not be allowed to happen here in Nigeria. Enough of empty promises




MO State government has released over N1.7b for the funding of free tertiary education in

the state. While launching the programme tagged ‘Investment for the Future’ at Heroes Square, Owerri, Governor Rochas Okorocha disclosed that over 19, 000 students of Imo origin schooling in Imo State University, Imo State Polytechnic Umuagwo and School of Health Science Technology, Amaigbo in Nwangele Local Government Area will benefit from the scheme. While students of IMSU get N100,000 each for 2012/2013 academic session, students of Imo State Polytechnic and College of Health Technology will receive N80, 000 and N60, 000 respectively. The governor, who had earlier declared free education in primary and secondary schools in the state, however, presented cheques to some beneficiaries to demonstrate the commencement of the programme. Okorocha explained that it was his vision and utmost desire to make education free for all as this will create opportunities for the children of the poor to access quality education which he lamented had, before now, had been an exclusive privilege for the rich. He further disclosed that arrangements are being concluded to absorb students of Imo origin in other tertiary institutions in the country during the second phase of the programme. The governor stated that free education at all levels in the state is a preparation for a better future that will guarantee the eradication of ignorance, poverty and injustice. While he urged the students to shun anti-social vices such as prostitution, cultism and armed robbery, the governor expressed optimism that the adoption of all students by the state government under the free education programme will inculcate the spirit


HE British American Tobacco Nigeria (BATN) has

boosted the Nasarawa State FADAMA III project with a cassava-processing plant as well as a borehole with a 5,000 water storage tank.

•Governor Okorocha displaying a cheque for the project

Imo releases N1.7b for free tertiary education of patriotism in them and make them responsible citizens. He maintained that extending the free education programme to the tertiary level is possible in Nigeria if leaders could shun corruption and self-aggrandisement as the country is endowed with abundant resources. Okorocha added that his government successfully funded the multiple-billion Naira free education programme by reducing the cost of

governance and making sacrifices which include the forfeiture of his four year salary and reduction of the security vote from N6.5b to N2.5b. The governor however directed the students to return to their various communities and collect their cheques from their traditional rulers, even as he urged them to always remember to extend the gesture to future generation whenever

they get the opportunity to do so. The governor also announced the release of N1b for the payment of gratuity to beneficiaries whose amount is below N500, 000. Lamenting the huge sum of gratuities owed to retirees by the past administrations, he said his administration has resolved to begin the payment of those that retired as junior staff to ameliorate their plight. Earlier, the Commissioner for

Education, Prof Adaobi Obasi said the governor’s passion for education is being taken to higher heights via the achievement of what many had described as impossibility in the education sector. She added that the revolution in the education sector as pioneered by the governor is not restricted to free education as 305 model schools are being constructed in all INEC ward of the state.

BATN donates cassava plant to Nasarawa From Johnny Danjuma, Lafia

The facility is powered by an electricity generator also

donated by the tobacco firm. BATN said it decided to intervene in cassava processing to

•Ibikunle (left) inaugurating the cassava plant

ensure higher income and better quality of life for the citizens. The executive director of BATN, Gbenga Ibikunle, during the commissioning of the cassava processing plant in Lafia, explained that the industry will greatly improve efficiency in the processing of agricultural produce as it is also geared towards reducing wastage and increasing productivity. Donating the facility to Ezzen Fadama III Users Group of Bulan Sidi community in Lafia, he emphasised the need to properly take care of the industry and regard the project as their own, rather than seeing it as not belonging to anybody in particular. “Let me implore all members of this community to take very good care of this plant and all the facilities that are being handed over today,” he said. He equally told them that the new system of processing cassava into garri and other derivatives will engender

higher product quality, higher income and better quality of life for members of the Ezzen Fadama III Users Groups, Bukan Sidi community. The mission of the foundation, according to him, “is to improve the quality of life of citizens in rural and urban areas of Nigeria through the implementation of various community development projects in four areas.” The four areas, he explained, are sustainable agricultural development, sustainable potable water supply, sustainabe environmental protection and sustainable educational development. On the donated facilities, Ibikunle said that “they are now the property of the entire Ezzen Fadama III Users Groups, Bukan Sidi community and you must use them faithfully and guard them jealously.” He added that the BATN foundation is confident that “the industry will bring the best sustainable benefits to you all.”

Despair gives way as flood victims return home •Continued from Page 17 a final embrace, calling her Mummy. How did the commissioner put their grief behind them at the camp? “I live with them practically,” she said. “I’m here in the morning and leave in the night. Anybody can approach me and we’ll talk. These are my fellow human beings, and so for me, any job I have to do is really a privilege. I can’t do it properly if I don’t

bond with them. I’ve never dressed outside of what you will look like in a camp situation. So it was easier for them to gravitate towards me and for me also to gravitate towards them.” She also got a lot of help. Pro Labore Dei, an international missionary organisation headed by Rev Sister Stella Maris, was outstanding alongside Missionaries of Love and Mercy, an offshoot whose volunteers

catered selflessly for the displaced people at the camp. Rev. Maris memorably talked a devastated flood victim out of committing suicide. The man’s wife was missing in the flood, his son died in the waters, and he only managed to rescue another child just over one year old. He wanted to end it all by taking his own life. The Pro Labore Dei chair stepped in, managing to calm him down. Then, he asked

if the baby could be taken off him. Sister Maris obliged. That me ant a lot to Commissioner Ashiedu, just as the efforts of staff of the Poverty Alleviation Ministry did. But as the flood receded and the displaced people returned home, Ashiedu would want governments of West African nations to team up in preventing a recurrence of this sort of disaster. One way they can do that, she said, is knowing when to release water from the numerous dams in the subregion.

•Award-winning Esther






BETWEEN: 1. 2.


1. 2.



} }



TO:…………………THE DEFENDANTS: OF……………......THE 1ST DEFENDANT LATTER RAIN ASSEMBLY CHURCH, PLOT 4, AKILO ROAD, OGBA IKEJA, LAGOS STATE. THE 2ND DEFENDANT 59, ODUDUWA WAY, G.R.A, IKEJA, LAGOS STATE IN THE ………..LAGOS JUDICIAL DIVISION………….OF NIGERIA You are hereby commanded that within thirty days after the service of this writ on you, inclusive of the day of such service, you do cause an appearance to be entered for you in an action at the suit of SAVE NIGERIA GROUP (SNG) LTD/GTE and one other, PLAINTIFFS, and take note that in default of your so doing the Plaintiffs may proceed therein, and judgment may be given in your absence.

Dated this 26th day of September, 2012.

By Order of the Court

…………………………….. Registrar



WRIT OF SUMMONS INDORSEMENTS WHERE OF the Plaintiffs claim against the Defendants are as follows: 1.

A DECLARATION that the objects and the mode of running the affairs of the 1st Plaintiff is as contained in the Memorandum and Articles of Association of the 1st Plaintiff.


A DECLARATION that the Plaintiffs are entitled to the exclusive use of the name SAVE NIGERIA GROUP (SNG), and no other person or group.



The sum of Twenty Million Naira (N20,000,000.00) only to be paid by the defendants as General Damages to the Plaintiffs for the embarrassments caused them by the unauthorized use of the name SAVE NIGERIA GROUP (SNG) without the written consent of the Plaintiffs. The Cost of this suit.

Dated this 26th day of September, 2012. 3.



A DECLARATION that only those whose names appeared or are contained in the Register of the 1st Plaintiff kept at its Registered Office pursuant to Sections 79, 83 & 84 of the Companies and Allied Matters Act (CAMA), CAP C20, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004 are the members of the 1st Plaintiff.

A DECLARATION that the Defendants, their servants, agents, privies and other person(s) acting on their behalf or through them do not have the right and/or power to issue press statements, call press conferences, hold conferences, organize rallies, embark on protests or demonstrations or carry out any activity whatsoever and howsoever with the name SAVE NIGERIA GROUP (SNG) without the written consent of the Plaintiffs.

AN ORDER of court directing the defendants, their servants, agents, privies and any other group or persons on their behalf or through them to close down any and all the Websites, Email and Twitter accounts, Facebook Fans pages or any social site opened or hoisted in the name SAVE NIGERIA GROUP (SNG), without the written consent of the Plaintiffs.

………………………………. Armstrong Ekomah, Esq. Armstrong & Co. No. 16, Nnobi Street, Ikate, Surulere, Lagos State. 080361598837

This writ was issued by Armstrong Ekomah of Armstrong & Co. (Favour Chambers) whose address for service within jurisdiction is No. 16, Nnobi Street, Ikate, Surulere, Lagos State agent for the Plaintiffs, SAVE NIGERIA GROUP (SNG) LTD/GTE & one other Legal Practitioner for the Plaintiffs whose address is at Suite 2007, Block B (2nd Floor), Anbeez Plaza, Wuse Zone 5, Abuja, FCT.

The Writ was served by me at 6.


AN ORDER of court directing the defendants, their servants, agents, privies and any other group or persons acting on their behalf or through them to obliterate upon Oath all marks, articles or imitations and to deliver up for destruction upon Oath all printed work, all published work and all materials in their possession, custody or control which bears the name SAVE NIGERIA GROUP (SNG) without the written consent of the Plaintiffs.

A PERPETUAL ORDER OF INJUNCTION restraining the Defendants, their servants, agents, privies and any other group or persons acting on their behalf or through them from using and assisting others to use the name SAVE NIGERIA GROUP (SNG) to call press conferences, issue press statements, hold conferences, organize rallies, protest, demonstrations or to carry out any activity whatsoever without the written consent of the Plaintiffs.

……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… On the Defendants (described mode of Service)………………………………………………………. On the …………….day of …………………………2012 Indorsed the……………day of ……………………….2012

Sign:…………………………… Address:………………………… ...…………………………………. ...…………………………………. ...………………………………….






08033054340, 08034699757 E-mail:-

Council chiefs: Okada accounts for 73% robbery cases

Robbers attack Fashola’s aide By Emmanuel Oladesu

By Miriam Ndikanwu


BOUT 73 per cent of robbery cases recorded in Lagos State between July and October were from motorcycles and tricycles, the 57 local council chiefs have said. They spoke yesterday through their Chairman, Akeem Sulaiman, at a press briefing by the Conference 57. He was supported by his counterparts from Amuwo – Odofin, Ayodele Adewale; Ejigbo, Kehinde Bamigbetan and Mushin, Babatunde Adepitan. According to them, the restriction of commercial motorcycles from some roads in the state, was in order. They pledged to start the enforcement of the law banning commercial motorcyclists on roads within their localities. “Giving the security challenges in contemporary Nigeria, it is not out of place for any serious government to take measures that will entrench a sense of security in the people. Of the 30 armed robbery cases recorded in Lagos State between July and October, 22 were motorcycles and tricycles related. Sulaiman said the restriction of commerical motorcycles is generating a fuss, adding: “By interpolation, this means that 73 per cent of armed robbery cases in Lagos State involved motorcycles and tricycles. No sane government or people can sit back, watch and maintain a criminal silence over this menace to the society.”

•Director, Wheatbaker Hotel Ikoyi, Mrs. Mosun Ogunbanjo (middle) flanked by American Jazz musicians Bob James (first left) Nathan East, Chuck Loeb (second right) and Harvey Mason of the Fourplay group on their arrival for the three-day Lagos Jazz festival beginning today. PHOTO: NNEKA NWANERI

Police pay officer charged with A N12.44m theft POLICE pay officer, Mohammed Biu, was yesterday arraigned before an Igbosere Magistrate’s Court in Lagos, for alleged theft of N12.44 million belonging to the police. The defendant, who was brought to court in handcuffs by members of the Monitoring Unit of the Inspector-General (IG), was a pay officer at the Police College, Ikeja, Lagos when the offence was committed. Prosecuting Sergeant Julius Babatope told the court that the defendant conspired with others at large, between July and December 2010, to

By Precious Igbonwelundu

defraud the Police, of the cash when he was pay officer. The money, he said, was for the payment of police recruits’ allowances. The offence, he said, contravened Sections 409 and 285 of the Criminal Laws of Lagos, 2011. Biu pleaded not guilty. Magistrate F.O. Davies-Abegunde granted him N1 million bail with two sureties each in the like sum.

NDLEA destroys N13.6b drugs


HE National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) yesterday destroyed N13.6 billion worth of heroin and other drugs hidden in woollen and carpets and balls. The weight of drugs destroyed in compliance with a court order is 12,676.121kg. They included 12,543.260kg of cannabis, 76.341kg of heroin, 43.770kg of cocaine, 3.600kg of methamphetamine and 9.15kg of amphetamine. NDLEA’s Chairman/Chief Executive Ahmadu Guiade, who supervised the exercise, said any society that failed to destroy drugs would destroyed by drugs. He said: “Any society that fails to destroy drugs will end

By Kelvin Osa Okunbor

up being destroyed by drugs. Cannabis like cocaine, heroin and methamphetamine has serious consequences on health, economy and security of a nation. We shall not take any decision that will ruin the future of our youth who are the leaders of tomorrow.” Giade said medical or recreational reasons were not enough for Nigeria to legalise the use of cannabis. He said: “Let it be made clear that Nigeria is not considering legalising cannabis or any other narcotic drugs for recreational use. The future of our youth is greater than any recreational consideration.”

Noting that there are legitimate ways to recreate, he listed sports, dancing, singing, wrestling, festivals and other socio-cultural activities as highly recreational. “Every drug seized and destroyed, and every drug trafficker arrested and convicted, reassures us that our society can be completely free of drugs. I implore you to support drug control programmes as we intercept more drugs and dismantle drug cartels in the days ahead,” he said. The exercise was witnessed by some royal fathers, heads of military and paramilitary agencies, members of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) and students.

ACN, PDP supporters protest at PROTEST erupted at tribunal venue the State Local Gov-


ernment Election Appeal Tribunal yesterday, following the indefinite adjournment of an appeal by the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN). ACN’s candidate, Adewale Adeniji, is challenging the declaration of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate Ibrahim Obanikoro as winner of the October 22, last year Ikoyi/Obalende Local Council Development Area (LCDA), Chairmanship election. The tribunal declared Obanikoro winner on October 4. It nullified the certificate of return issued Adeniji by the Lagos State Independent Electoral Commission (LASIEC). Dissatisfied, ACN and Ad-

By Joseph Jibueze

eniji appealed, praying for the quashing of the verdict. Yesterday, proceedings were stalled by protests from ACN and PDP supporters who kicked against the adjournment of the case. The courtroom, which was filled to capacity, turned rowdy after a court registrar announced the indefinite adjournment. He did not give any reason for the action. “The tribunal has directed me to inform you that the appeal has been adjourned indefinitely,” the registrar said. ACN’s lawyers Chief Adeniyi Akintola (SAN) and Mr Femi Falana (SAN) expressed shock over the development. PDP’s lawyer, Chief Bolaji

Ayorinde (SAN), also said he was surprised by the development. It was, however, learnt that two pending petitions against members of the tribunal led to the adjournment. When the news of the adjournment got to those who could not gain access into the courtroom, more protests followed. It was not clear who wrote the petitions, but the writers were said to have accused members of the panel of being compromised. One of the members is Justice Habeeb Abiru, who was recently elevated to the Court of Appeal. The Tribunal is chaired by Justice Opeyemi Oke, the third most senior judge in Lagos State.

She ordered the Investigating Police Officer (IPO) to depose to an affidavit that he knows the residence of the defendant in Abuja which must be verified. She adjourned the case till December 14. Biu’s arraignment has brought to three, the number of persons arrested and charged to court in connection with the theft. The first was a dismissed Corporal, Amos Balogun,

who was charged before Chief Magistrate E.A. Fabanwo of Court One, Igbosere. In July, a Chief Superintendent of Police (CSP), Mrs. Rebecca Okereke, was also arrested in connection with the theft, but because Fabanwo was on official duty at the Local Government Election Tribunal, Okereke was arraigned before Magistrate F.O. Davies-Abegunde. Okereke was granted N3 million bail with two sureties in the like sum. The matter was adjourned for consolidation with that of Balogun at Fabanwo’s court.

ROBBERS on Tuesday attacked Governor Babatunde Fashola’s Special Adviser on Information and Strategy, Alhaji Lateef Raji, in his Oshodi, Lagos home. Raji is recuperating at the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, (LASUTH), Ikeja, from injuries sustained in the attack. Family sources said a threeman gang invaded Raji’s residence at Oyegunwa Street, Oshodi, at 2.30 am on Tuesday, threatening to kill him and his wife. The robbers reportedly took about N250,000 cash; Raji’s Ipad, jewellery belonging to his wife, recharge cards worth about N100,000, a laptop and three mobile phones. Recharge cards belonging to Raji’s wife, who operates a business centre, were also stolen. The matter has been reported to the police at Sogunle. An associate of Raji, who spoke with The Nation, said the robbers would have been apprehended, if the police had acted fast when alerted. He said: “I gathered that the three armed men entered through the toilet window, after cutting the burglar proof. They entered into the master bedroom and demanded for money. After they had packed all they wanted, they wanted to go to the children’s room, but Raji and his wife tried to resist them. That was why they removed the handle of one of the machines in the gym and hit him on the head. The cut on his head was deep.”




PFAs to appoint directors to boards of companies


ENSION Fund Administrators (PFAs) may appoint directors to represent their interests in companies where they have substantial equity stakes, the National Pension Commission (Pencom) has said. Speaking at the FBN Capital’s 2nd Annual Investor Conference in Lagos yesterday, director general, National Pension Commission (Pencom), Mr. Muhammad Ahmad, said PFAs that have made strategic investments that statutorily qualify them for board position may exercise their rights to appoint members of board of directors. Ahmad, who was represented by head of investment supervision, Pencom, Mr. Ehimeme Ohioma, said PFAs would need to protect their investments and ensure that companies in which they have investments are run in line with best corporate governance practices. He however, clarified that PFAs might not directly occupy the board positions but rather choose to appoint credible and knowledgeable independent directors that could protect their interests. He reiterated ongoing efforts by Pencom to increase PFAs’ exposures to the equity market through categorisation of pension funds into three segmentations –

By Taofik Salako and Tonia Osundolire

according to age and risk brackets. In his keynote address, Minister of Trade and Investment, Dr. Olusegun Aganga, said Nigeria would continue its quest to become the leading investment destination in Africa through strategic policies and diversification of the economy, Aganga, who was represented by director general, Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON), Dr. Joseph Odumodu, said the Federal Government was committed to consolidating on the gains so far recorded by further strengthening the onestop investment centre of the Nigeria Investment Promotion Commission. He noted that Nigeria was Africa’s leading investment destination with an foreign direct investment (FDI) of $8.9 billion in 2011, some 16 per cent of Africa’s total FDI of $55 billion in 2011. He said the government would step up activities geared towards promoting investment opportunities in power, food, education, and transportation sectors, adding that the administration would also move to stimulate investment in other sectors of the economy through diversification and stimula-

tion of investment in the oil and gas downstream sector. In his welcome address, managing director, FBN Capital, Mr. Kayode Akinkugbe said investor conference would enable stakeholders to consider enabling factors and practical actionable initiatives that can be taken to boost Nigerian growth. Managing director, FBN Holdings Plc, Mallam Bello Maccido noted the strategic importance of the investor conference. He added that First Bank has always taken the leadership position in championing the cause of promoting national economic growth and development. According to him, the brainstorming session would enable both investors and key operators and stakeholders in different sectors to interact, network and proffer sustainable solutions to the cause of moving the nation ahead. Meanwhile, the Nigerian stock market witnessed modest capital appreciation yesterday as the benchmark index trended upward by 0.04 per cent. Aggregate market capitalisation of all quoted companies on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) inched up to N8.399 trillion from its opening value of N8.396 trillion. The All Share Index (ASI), the-main index at the NSE, improved slightly from 26,346.70 points to 26,356.62 points. Total turnover stood at 244.2 million shares valued at N2.02 billion in 3,797 deals.





NDIC: 39m Nigerians excluded from banking


TOTAL 39,200,000 Ni gerians representing 46.3 per cent of the country’s population are excluded from the financial system, it was learnt yesterday. Director, Special Insured Institutions Unit, Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation of Nigeria (NDIC), Bashir Umar, disclosed this

Stories by Collins Nweze

at the Corporation’s media workshop in Jigawa State. He said 23.8 million adults are saving at home while the ratio of bank branch to total population is one is to 24, 224 persons. According to him, the financially excluded persons are mainly the rural dwell-

ers, persons who had bitter experience in banking services and some other disadvantaged group. He said rural areas are repository of the poor and Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) hence their financial empowerment is vital to achieving financial inclusion and poverty alleviation.

Umar said the Financial Inclusion Strategy adopted by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) is expected to reduce the high level of exclusion of adult Nigerians from financial services, which will indirectly reduce poverty level. He said deposit insurance is one of the financial safety nets that plays a critical role

Five banks earn N248b in Q3, says Aig-Imoukhuede


HE five biggest banks in the country earned $1.6 billion (N248billion) as at September 2012, four times the $400 million (N62billion) they achieved in 2005, the Managing Director, Access Bank Plc, Aigboje AigImoukhuede, has said. This was contained in a report by the Oxford Business Group Update released yesterday. “The Nigerian banking system is poised for a new era of

competition,” the Access Bank boss had said. In a September report on the sector, Lagos-based Cordros Capital noted that the 12 banks it surveyed – including the top five – all posted revenue growth of more than 20 per cent in the first half of 2012. The United Bank for Africa (UBA) announced in unaudited results that its gross earnings grew to N168.2 billion, up 21.4 per cent on N138.5 billion in the same

quarter of 2011. Total assets rose 11.1 per cent year-onyear to N1.95 trillion and profit before tax surged 376.25 per cent to N44.86 billion. The figures represent a turnaround after the prolonged effects of the 2008/09 crisis, when 10 banks accounting for 40 per cent of the system were signalled out by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) for auditing and were subsequently sold off, nationalised or recapitalised. The crash came after several

years of growth that were fuelled by “margin lending” – banks lending to investors who then used the cash to buy the banks’ shares – and other soft and suspect lending deals. The clear-up is estimated to have cost $21.5 billion, including bailouts, forced mergers, the sacking of leading banking figures and the purchase of $11billion in non-performing loans (NPLs) by the newly established Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON).

Cashless Policy: CBN to introduce incentives


ERCHANTS will be rewarded with in centives through commercial banks in a bid to drive the cashless policy, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has said. The CBN Deputy Governor, Tunde Lemo disclosed this yesterday at a cash-less policy seminar organised by the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI). He said that the cashless

By Toba Agboola

policy, which was kick-off in Lagos state will soon be implemented in other states of the federation with a more extensive and effective awareness campaign. Lemo explained that CBN has appraised the Lagos situation on the implementation of cashless policy and based on the report generated, some far-reaching decisions would be taken to improve

the effectiveness and ease of the policy on the economy. The Deputy Governor, who was represented by Eric Yaduma of the Shared Services Sector in CBN, said a draft report has already being presented to management and after the review of the report, some positive changes should be effected before the policy is rolled out to other states. “What CBN is thinking right now is to encourage

banks to introduce some incentives to merchants. We are trying to determine the best incentives schemes for stakeholders,” he said. He also revealed that one of the thinking of the apex bank right now is to perfect the cashless policy, which had 5,000 Point of Sales (PoS) outlets at inception but now has about 200,000 outlets in Lagos, before extending the policy to other states across the country.


Rate %


3-Year 5-Year 5-Year

35m 35m 35m

11.039 12.23 13.19

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

Initial Current Quotation Price Market N8250.00 5495.33 N1000.00 N552.20

Price Loss 2754.67 447.80

INTERBANK RATES 7.9-10% 10-11%


Rate % 10.96 9.62 12.34

Date 28-04-2012 “ 14-04-2012




0.51 3.65 2.10 1.71 2.16 18.81 10.86 12.98 6.05 3.89

O/PRICE 1.39 8.85 265.00 1.84 4.59 1.53 1.59 1.63 8.08 1.41

cluded arrangements to resume operations following collaborations with the regulatory authorities. He said SGBN has obtained a regional banking licence for the take-off, stating, that the lender has met the required N25 billion for banking industry operators in the country. He added that the bank is being expected by the regulator to furnish it with the identities and CVs of its directors and the holdings in the bank. The new bank is also expected to furnish the apex bank with the name of the Managing Director for screening, before final approval is given for its take-off.


0.54 3.83 2.20 1.79 2.25 19.40 11.20 13.38 6.20 3.98


0.03 0.18 0.10 0.08 0.09 0.59 0.34 0.40 0.15 0.09

C/PRICE 1.26 8.41 251.85 1.75 4.37 1.46 1.52 1.56 7.78 1.36

CHANGE 0.13 0.44 13.15 0.09 0.22 0.07 0.07 0.07 0.30 0.05

Amount Sold ($) 150m 138m 113m

Exchange Rate (N) 155.2 155.8 155.7

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


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

Current Before

C u r r e n t CUV Start After %

147.6000 239.4810 212.4997

149.7100 244.0123 207.9023

150.7100 245.6422 209.2910

-2.11 -2.57 -1.51














July ’11

July ’12





Standing Lending Rate ,, Deposit Rate ,, Liquidity Ratio Cash Return Rate Inflation Rate

8.50% 4.50% 25.00% 1.00% 12.10%

8.50% 4.50% 25.00% 2.00% 12.10%

9.50% 5.50% 30.00% 2.00% 11.8%

NIBOR Tenor 7 Days 30 Days 60 Days 150 Days


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

Rate (Previous) 4 Mar, 2012 9.0417 9.6667 11.2917 12.1250

Rate (Currency) 6, Mar, 2012 10.17% 11.46% 11.96% 12.54%

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

% Change -1.44% -1.44%


LOSERS AS AT 15-11-12



OCIETE Generale Bank of Nigeria (SGBN) will resume operations as a regional bank, the Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC), has said. The Corporation’s Director, Insurance and Surveillance Mr Zacheaus Anate, disclosed this yesterday at a media workshop in Jigawa State. SGBN’s operating licence was revoked by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), in 2005, for failing to comply with the directive for banks to recapitalise to N25 billion. Anate also stated that Savannah Bank Plc, whose licence was also withdrawn for the same reason, has con-

Amount Amount Offered ($) Demanded ($) 350m 150m 350m 138m 350m 113m


Tenor 91-Day 182-Day 1-Year

Societe Generale to return as regional bank



OBB Rate Call Rate

regulator in the effort at promoting financial inclusion to include a risk-based tiered framework on Know Your Customer (KYC) regulation aimed at easing access to financial services for low income customers, floating of the N220 billion Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Development Fund, as well as the mobile money transfer initiative among others. He, however, noted that despite the various initiatives by the government and regulators to enhance financial inclusion, several challenges still beset the efforts.




not only in promoting public confidence in financial systems, but also in protecting unsophisticated and small depositors. Umar said the objective of improving the nation’s financial system as seen in epayment reforms was informed by the World Bank rating of Nigeria as underperformer among most of its Sub-Saharan African peers, with the widest disparity being in the category of percentage of adults, who borrowed from formal institution in the past 12 months. He listed other measures by the financial system

Offer Price

Bid Price


9.08 1.00 127.71 124.40 0.76 1.11 0.94 1,735.74 10.75 1.33 1.80 8,695.33 191.08 1.62



Bank P/Court

Previous 04 July, 2012

Current 07, Aug, 2012

8.5000 8.0833

8.5000 8.0833






NEWS Rescued suspected robbers die in Imo

Kogi lawmakers’ peace parley ends in scuffle •‘It’s not true’ says lawmaker •Speaker Bello may resign next week


HERE was free-for-all yesterday among some Kogi State House of Assembly members. One of them, Friday Makama, allegedly lost a tooth. A source told The Nation that the brawl occurred during a meeting in Lokoja, the state capital, where the lawmakers were trying to resolve the leadership crisis rocking the Assembly. The parley was said to have been at the instance of former Governor Ibrahim Idris. But it was reportedly deadlocked. The source said the meeting held at ‘High Ground’, where the governor receives visitors. At the parley were Governor Idris Wada and the lawmakers, except embattled Speaker Abdullahi Bello. It was learnt that the meeting was a follow-up to an earlier mediation parley at Ibro Hotel, Abuja, last Monday. The source added that the meeting, which was slated for 9pm, did not start until 12.20am. Another source said trouble started when the agenda

From Sanni Onogu, Abuja

was perceived to have changed, which did not go down well with pro-Bello lawmakers. The source said: “The meeting was meant to return the House to the status quo ante. But when it started, we suspected a foul play and we disagreed with their illegal proposition.” It was learnt that the meeting proposed that “Majority Leader Yunusa Yakubu should write a letter of proclamation to Bello for endorsement and approval so that the House can reconvene formally”. The source added: “Though that would have nullified the initial impeachment, but the grouse was that Bello was to resign honourably at the resumed sitting of the House. It was that suggestion that sparked the fight. “Minority Leader Yori Afolabi stood up to note that the suggestion was wrong and that Kogi had been in the news for so many wrong reasons and there was every reason to first correct the wrongs before talking about

Bello’s resignation. “It was at that point that Makama, who had been pacing around, attempted to shut him up. That led to the fight.” Makama, a notable member of the group of 12 lawmakers, allegedly lost a tooth before other lawmakers separated the warring lawmakers. A highly placed member of the House, who spoke in confidence, said: “Nobody lost his tooth. But there was just a little scuffle between one of the legislators, Makama and Afolabi.” Responding to a question he said: “I did not know what he said before the Minority Leader punched his mouth. Although I saw blood gushing out, but there was no tooth loss.” On whether the fight was caused by the call on Bello to resign his position next week, after proclaiming the House, he said: “No. That aspect had already been concluded. “The conclusion was that he would convene the House in line with the Constitution and preside so that the House would move forward.

“What it means is that all they have done is a nullity. He would be given his right to recall the House according to House rules and, of course, the resolution was that because of the sharp divisions and for House to move forward, he would resign his speakership and allow for the election of a new Speaker. “How can the other Speaker continue? I told you that all they did was a nullity. Nobody knows who will be the next Speaker, until we get to the floor of the House. But the man will come and resign. That has been agreed upon.” But Makama denied fighting anyone, saying: “There was nothing like that, to my knowledge.” Responding to a question, he said: “On what? We are honorable men. How can we fight?” On allegations that he lost a tooth during the fight, he said: “How can I lose my tooth when I did not fight. It is not true.” However, another lawmaker said: “Yes, there was an exchange of blows.”

MBAN highlights gains at HOFEX 2012


HE President of Mortgage Banking Association of Nigeria (MBAN) Mr. Abimbola Olayinka has highlighted the gains of the association in the last one year under his leadership. He spoke in Lagos at the second MBAN Housing Finance and Investment Conference & Exhibition (MBAN-HOFEX). He acknowledged the

Abia demolishes old timber market From Ugochukwu UgojiEke, Umuahia


THE Abia State Government has begun the demolition of the old timbre market in Umuahia. The market has about 500 stalls. The exercise, it was learnt, was in adherence to the government’s plan to relocate the traders to the new market on Ikot Ekpene Road. About a year ago, the government told the traders at the timber market that they would be relocated to a better and permanent site, where they would have better amenities and bigger space. The aim, the government explained, was to decongest the palce as a residential area and reduce fire outbreaks associated with such markets. The traders resisted the move but the government insisted that its order must be obeyed. A year after, the traders are yet to move to the new market. The resistance reportedly forced the government to begin the demolition. The Deputy Chief of Staff to the governor, Charles Ogbonnaya, explained that the demolition showed the seriousness of the government.

presence Lagos State Governor Babatunde Fashola; Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor Lamido Sanusi; Minister of Lands, Housing and Urban Development, Ms.Ama Pepple, among others, to the conference. Olayinka noted that MBAN has progressed in the last one year. The MBAN president said the association, in its 20

years of existence as the selfregulatory organisation for the mortgage banking sector in Nigeria, has mitigated the challenges of the sector. He added that the association’s National Executive Council (NEC) has achieved a lot in the last one year. According to him, the body has consolidated the mortgage banking sector,

PUBLIC NOTICE GHOST CHRISTIAN HOLY MISSION Notice is given to the general public that the above named church has applied for registration under PART ‘C’ of the companies’ allied matters Act 1990. THE TRUSTEE ARE 1. Prophet Ikenna Miracle Peter 2. Evang. (Mrs.) Blessing Ikenna Peter 3. Mr. Chinedu Nzomiwu 4. Mr. Chinonso Kelvin Peter 5. Mr. Chibuike Aladi 6. Mrs. Roseline Philip Eshiet AIMS AND OBJECTIVES: 1. To preach the word of God 2. To set the captives free 3. To deliver the oppressed Any objection(s) to this registration should be forwarded to the registrar general, corporate affairs commission. Plot 420 Tigris Crescents off Aguiyi Ironsin Street, Maitama, Abuja within 28 days of this publication. Signed Prophet Ikenna Miracle Peter.

PUBLIC NOTICE GOD DECISION CHURCH OF CHRIST This is to inform the general public that the above named organization has applied to the corporate Affairs Commission for registration under part C of the Companies and allied Matters Act. TRUSTEES ARE: 1. WILSON UZOEHERE KINSLEY 2. WILSON NEBECHI TECULAR THE AIMS AND OBJECTIVES 1. To Preach the word of God 2. To care for the welfare of the member Any objection to the registration should be forwarded to the Registrar General, Corporate Affairs Commission,Maitama, Abuja within 28 days of this publication. SIGNED: Seidu Kehinde Olalekan

which he said would be concluded in April 2013. He expressed confidence that the post-consolidation era would witness a new dawn in the sector.

•Police arrest two ‘gang members’ From Okodili Ndidi, Owerri


OLICEMEN from the Imo State Police Command yesterday rescued two suspected armed robbers from a mob after they were allegedly caught dispossessing people of cash and other valuables. But the rescue was a little too late as the suspected robbers died on the way to the hospital, following the machete cuts they reportedly sustained from the mob. It was learnt that the police got information from one of them, leading to the arrest of two other members. Police spokesman Vitalis Onugu, a Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP), said: “Policemen attached to the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) got a distress call that two armed robbery suspects were about to be lynched by a mob at Spibat Road in Amakaohia/Akwakuma, Owerri North Local Government Area. “On arrival, they met the two suspects with loaded double-barrelled shotgun and other dangerous weapons. They were tied down with two motorcycle tyres hanged on them, ready to be set ablaze. The two suspected robbers were rescued at the point of death as a result of machete cuts dealt on them by the angry mob. “They died before they could get to the hospital. They were alleged to have robbed people of their lap tops, handsets, among others. One of the suspects, Buchi (surname unknown) from Akpodim in Mbaise Local Government Area of Imo State, managed to describe to the policemen their hideout before he died.”

Anambra prepares for post-flood rebuilding NAMBRA State Gover-


nor Peter Obi yesterday described as “enormous and beyond what government can do alone” the work needed to clean up the state after the floods. The governor, who addressed reporters in Abuja, noted that Anambra State needs to determine the level of destruction to enable it understand what steps to take next. He said: “As I have always

maintained, the issue of displaced people and setting up of camps, which were the first necessities thrown up by the floods, are not major challenges. Some of those at the camp cannot go home now because their houses, farms and property have been washed away and destroyed by the floods. Resettling such people are among the major challenges we are going to face now.”



NEWS Grandfather bags First Class in UI


A GRANDFATHER, Mr. Aderemi Alli, was among the 21 First Class graduates produced by the University of Ibadan (UI) at its convocation on Thursday. Of the 1,582 graduands for the 2011/2012 academic session, 243 had Second Class Upper Division; 920 Second Class Lower Division; 135, Third Class and 203, Pass. Alli (57) was among the three first class graduates produced by the institution’s Faculty of Law. He got a first degree in Economics Education 31 years ago. Alli, whose last child is studying Electrical Engineering in UI, told reporters at the ceremony that he was motivated to study law because many of his schoolmates had become Senior Advocates of Nigeria (SAN). He said: “I feel I can still contribute to the society, despite my age. I am using this medium to advise others that they can do it, if I can do it.” The Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Isaac Adewole, said of the 21 first class graduates, one was produced by the Faculty of Arts and 17 came from the university’s affiliated institutions. He said the university did not produce many first degree graduands due to the disruption of the 2011/2012 academic calendar, which he said prevented some final year students from completing their courses. Adewole urged the graduands to be useful to the society. He said: “There is no doubt that UI has laid the foundation that will enable you to face the challenges of the 21st century and the demands of the present-day labour market. “It is your responsibility to prove that the education you have acquired is world-class.”

LP ‘suspends’ four members in FACTION of the Lagos Anambra Party (LP) in Anambra


State has suspended its new state Chairman, Comrade Sam Oraegbunam, and four other persons. The faction’s Secretary, Basil Iwuoba, in a letter to LP’s National Secretary, claimed they were suspended for alleged “anti-party activities.” Others suspended, he said, are Organising Secretary Karl Mbanefo; Deputy Chairman (North) Luke Ezeanokwasi and Youth Leader Alex Obi. But speaking with our correspondent on phone, Obi denied receiving any suspension letter. He added that Iwuoba had earlier been suspended from the party. Obi said: “I am the Secretary of the committee that wrote a report suspending the former state Secretary Basil Iwuoba and his group. I am not the person suspended. We are not suspended. On the contrary, we suspended them. “Those people were suspended following their action in the presence of the National Chairman and other national delegates from our headquarters who came to commission our new ultra-

By Joseph Jibueze

modern state secretariat on November 3. We suspended them following the instruction of the National Chairman of the party.” Iwuoba wrote: “Following the State Executive Council (SEC) meeting of the Labour Party, Anambra State, on November 1 at out secretariat at 22 Nya Ranch, GRA, Awka, we wish to inform your good office that among the resolutions passed is the suspension of the following persons from the party.” He listed the names of those suspended, adding that their alleged offence was that they rented another office secretariat for the party when it had a functional secretariat. Iwuoba said the party never deliberated on it. He said they violated Article 5, Sub Article Bi of LP’s Constitution. Iwuoba and others had protested against the secretariat’s inauguration in Awka, saying the party’s office should remain in his house. He described the inauguration of the new office as illegal.

Niger to spend N123.5m on Governor’s Lodge


IGER State Government will spend N123.5million to renovate the Governor’s Lodge, the Commissioner for Works and Infrastructural Development, Mallam Abubakar Baba Jibreel, has said. The commissioner said the decision was taken yesterday at the weekly State Executive Council meeting in Minna, the state capital. The Governor’s Lodge is located within the Government House in the state capital. Governor Babangida Aliyu, since assuming office in 2007, has been living in his personal home in Minna. Addressing reporters after the Exco meeting, Jibreel said the contract for the project has been awarded to an indigenous firm, adding that the job would be completed within a month. The commissioner explained that the contract entails the expansion of some rooms and provision of modern furniture. He said the government wanted to prevent the build-

From Jide Orintunsin, Minna

ing from further dilapidation and make it conducive for living. Jibreel said the government would soon begin work on the streetlights between Chancahaga, in the outskirts of the state capital, and the Maikunkele junction.

•Gombe State Governor Ibrahim Dankwambo (left); Sen. Abdul Ningi; Sen. Abba Bukar Ibrahim and Sen. Abubakar Tutari, at the Northeast zonal public hearing on the review of thje 1999 Constitution in Gombe...yesterday

Gunmen kill six in Kaduna village


UNMEN have killed six people in a village in Zango Kataf, Kaduna State, a government official said yesterday. The attacks occurred late Wednesday, witnesses said. The area was the centre of post-election violence in April last year, in which scores of people died and thousands displaced. The North has been beset by violence for over two

years and it has worsened during the present administration of President Goodluck Jonathan. The bulk of the unrest has been caused by Islamist sect, Boko Haram, but religious and ethnic tensions on the dividing lines between the mostly Muslim North and largely Christian South still stir up unrelated deadly clashes. “Six people, including two

expectant women, were shot inside their homes and set ablaze, while a two-year-old baby was injured,” Domininc Yahaya, Zango Kataf Local Government Chairman, told Reuters. “Youths in the community are restive and threatened reprisal attacks. But we are trying to calm them down as we hold meetings with their leaders and various security agencies,” he added.

The police confirmed the attack but gave no details on casualties. One witness said he heard the gunfire at around 10pm on Wednesday and saw burnt bodies in the morning. Boko Haram, which is based in the Northeast of Nigeria, wants to impose Sharia, the Islamic law, more widely in a country of 160 million split between Christians and Muslims.

Kogi faults elders’ allegations against Wada



HE Kogi State Government yesterday faulted the allegations by the state’s elders against Governor Idris Wada. The government said the allegations were misleading and could cause disaffection between the residents and the governor. Some Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) stalwarts in the state had accused the governor of diverting government resources to acquire private property. They also accused the gov-

ernor of complicity in the impasse at the House of Assembly. Addressing reporters in Lokoja, the state capital, the Commissioner for Information, Yagbaji Bologi, noted that the allegations by those he called self-styled elders were made from an uninformed position. The commissioner said though he did not begrudge the elders for exercising the right to speak their minds, he added that painting the governor as inept, corrupt and weak in public was not expected of elders. Bologi said: “A group of self-styled Kogi PDP elders, setting aside all known rules of constructive criticism and positive engagement, and in a most ‘un-elderly’ manner, chose to attack the credibility of Governor Wada and passed him on as an inept, corrupt and a rudderless leader. “We do not begrudge the so-called elders on their rights to personal opinions. We are, however, worried

that they ignored other peaceful and advisory avenues opened to them to communicate their fears to the governor. Rather, they approached the fifth estate of the realm to tar and wash the linens of the administration in public.” On the claim that Wada was not a card-carrying member of the PDP, the commissioner stressed that the matter had been settled by a court of competent jurisdiction and become a non-issue. Bologi said: “It is ridiculous to say Capt. Wada is not a card-carrying member of the PDP. As it stands today, Capt. Wada is the leader of the party in our state. The issue of his membership came up before and after the governorship election. Petitions were written against Governor Wada and the issue was even a subject of litigation before the courts of the land, which declared a verdict of not guilty on the governor. Since the court

has made a pronouncement on the matter, we do not think it proper for anyone to make an issue from it.” On the allegation that the governor was using government resource to acquire private property, the commissioner challenged the elders to prove their allegations. According to him, as a man of honour, Wada has an unwavering commitment to run a transparent, accountable and all-inclusive government. The appointment of the liaison officers, the commissioner said, was to fill the vacuum created by the exit of the former local government chairmen. Bologi said a date has been fixed for the council election. Also, the Special Adviser to the governor on Media and Strategy, Jacob Edi, regretted that those who were criticising the governor were nowhere when floods ravaged the state.

UNIJOS students protest fee hike, others


TUDENTS of the University of Jos (UNIJOS) yesterday protested the increase in their schools fees. The protest disrupted academic activities throughout the day. It was learnt that returning students, who were paying N17,500, are now to pay N27,000. New students, who paid N38,000, are to pay N81,000, including N25,000 acceptance fee. The Nation learnt that the

From Yusufu Aminu Idegu, Jos

students were also protesting a new policy, which directed them to pay N5,000 each for any carryover course before they would be allowed to rewrite the examination. The new policy reportedly forced old and new students to abandon their academic work for the protest. Last year, the university authorities hiked the school fees by N10,000 and introduced another increment this year.

•Registrar: we’ll address them The students noted that the increment showed that the authorities were insensitive, adding that it was unacceptable to them. The placard-carrying students took over the main gate of the Bauchi Road campus at 8am. They demanded a reversal. Some of the placards read: “Daylight rape”; “Our parents are government workers and have not been paid”; “Many parents cannot afford

the increase”, among others. Acting President of the Students’ Union Government (SUG) Maya Nanlop led the protest. She said the increase amounted to “commercialisation of education” and a demonstration of “the insensitivity to students’ plight”. According to her, efforts to discuss the matter with the management were rebuffed. Nanlop said: “I led a delegation of the students’ union

body to negotiate with the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academics) on the increment in fees, but we were denied audience. To my surprise, he said a student cannot interact with him.” The Registrar, Mr. Jilli Dandam, addressed the students and promised to take their grievances to the management. He said: “I am speaking to you in my capacity as a father and the Registrar of this institution. I will take back your protest to the management.”



NEWS Benin monarch visits Oshiomhole


N a rare show of support, the Oba of Benin, Oba Erediauwa, yesterday visited Edo State Governor Adams Oshiomhole at the Government House. The Oba, who is rarely seen in public, arrived at the Government House in the company of some senior chiefs. Urging the governor to keep up “the good work”, the monarch said: “I came to congratulate you on your swearing in. I watched it on television and it was very impressive. You have done well; keep the flag flying. “My chief broke kola and said ‘may God continue to enrich the treasury with the wherewithal to do what you are doing’; please finish the projects. Other traditional rulers are waiting for you to continue work in their domains. You are a wonderful man.” Thanking the monarch for his support and prayers, Oshiomhole said: “I am deeply indebted to your Majesty. Your have been a father to me and to all of us in Edo State. My biological father could not have done better for me than you have done.” On his vision for the second term, the governor said: “I am determined to do more than I did in the first term. We have overcome our learning curve. “We will restore the beauty of this great city. I am indebted to the Bini for accepting me as a son and a brother. By their votes, they spoke loud and clear.”

Old students to celebrate ex-headteacher at 80


•Oba Erediauwa and Oshiomhole...yesterday.

Airhiavbere’s petition to be heard afresh T HE Court of Appeal sitting in Benin, the Edo State capital, yesterday ordered the re-constituted Governorship Election Petition Tribunal to hear afresh the petition filed by the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in July 14 election, Maj.Gen. Charles Airhiavbere (rtd.) Airhiavbere is challenging the election result on the grounds that Governor Adams Oshiomhole allegedly

From Osemwengie Ogbemudia, Benin

lacks the educational qualification to contest the election. He is also alleging that the election was marred by irregularities. The Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), the Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) and the INEC Returning Officer are joined as respondents.

On September 27, the Justice Suleiman Ambrusa-led tribunal struck out paragraphs in the petition that had to do with educational qualification, explaining that it was a pre-election issue. Airhiavbere appealed the ruling and the Justice Helen Ogunwumiju-led panel held that even though the petitioner had the option of approaching a regular court,

Section 177 of the 1999 Constitution gives the tribunal jurisdiction to entertain the petition. The panel said the tribunal erred by striking out several paragraphs of the petition and restored all the pleadings contained in the original petition. It ordered the Acting President of the Court of Appeal to constitute a new tribunal to hear Airhiavbere’s petition. The panel dismissed Oshiomhhole’s petition that Airhiavbere’s appeal should be struck out.

We’re fighting diabetes, says Aregbesola



SUN State Governor Rauf Aregbesola yesterday said his administration is working towards eradicating diabetes

and related diseases. He spoke at the Ladoke Akintola University of Technology (LAUTECH) Teaching Hospital in Osogbo, the state capital, during the World Diabetes Day celebration. Aregbesola said the state government has been making efforts to give Glucometer to diabetes patients, which he said would help them manage their condition. Urging diabetes patients not to be depressed or see their predicament as a curse, he said: “Diabetes is not a punishment from God, but a disease that is common among blacks. “Findings have shown that this disease is common

among people who do not exercise and consume junk food.” Aregbesola said the government would soon visit elderly patients in their homes to give them appropriate treatment. He said in addition to the 774 Primary Healthcare Centres he met on ground, his administration has built 72 more. The governor said 55 Comprehensive Health Centres are being equipped with modern equipment to ensure effective health care delivery. He said the government is making efforts to eradicate diabetes and other related diseases by encouraging the people to exercise regularly and

shun junk food. Aregbesola said: “After all our efforts, if you are diagnosed of this disease, do not be depressed. Do what you need to do and leave the rest to God.” Commissioner for Health Temitope Ilori said the government is concerned about the people’s health. President, Diabetes Association of Nigeria, Dr. Sunny Chinenye urged government at all levels to ensure availability and affordability of essential medicines and equipment for people living with diabetes. Highlight of the event was a road show, led by the governor, from Ajegunle to Idi-Seke.

Seven injured in Ekiti ACN, PDP clash


EVEN persons were injured yesterday in AdoEkiti, the Ekiti State capital, in a clash between supporters of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). It was learnt that four ACN supporters are in critical condition at the emergency ward of the Ekiti State University Teaching Hospital (EKSUTH). They are Gbenga Akinwumi, Tayo Faboya, Olajiga Gbenga and Olatunji Azeez. Sources said trouble began when former Governor Ayo Fayose’s supporters flooded

From Sulaiman Salawudeen, Ado-Ekiti

the state capital with his (Fayose’s) posters, which bore the inscription, “Restoration 2014”. It was learnt that some ACN supporters tried to stop them from pasting the posters at Irona. Sources said Fayose’s men allegedly attacked the unarmed ACN supporters with machetes. Akinwumi said: “We were in our homes when Fayose’s men came with the posters and we told them to go. They insisted that they must

paste the posters, whether we consented or not.” When reporters visited the Okesa Central Police Station, persons believed to be loyalists of both parties were making statements. Commissioner for Information and Civic Orientation Funminiyi Afuye said: “Trouble always trails Fayose anywhere he goes. The world should be aware that he has started with his brigandage again, attacking people in their homes. Since he started another round of gyration, violence has crept in. “Despite the standing or-

der against the use of sirens, Fayose always move about in a convoy of cars blaring siren. “Those attacked in their homes are now in the hospital, critically injured. Nobody should try the resolve of this government to maintain peace.” Director-General of the Fayose Campaign Organisation Gboyega Oguntuase said: “They cannot hound us out of the state. Ekiti belongs to all of us. If they are doing this when real politics has not started, what do you think they will do when it gets hotter?”

ORMER students of Ajuwa Grammar School (AGS), Okeagbe-Akoko, Ondo State, will on November 20 celebrate the 80th birthday of the school’s former headteacher, Chief Guy Gargiulo, popularly called GG. The event will hold at the school’s premises by 12 noon. Gargiulo, an Italian and naturalised Briton, turned 80 on August 12. He was the school’s headteacher between 1963 and 1978. The event’s Organising Committee Chairman, Mr. Ayo Ogedengbe, said the programme is intended to honour Gargiulo for his contributions to the school’s development and his positive impact on the lives of the pupils. In a statement, Ogedengbe described Gargiulo as a selfless, hardworking disciplinarian and educationist. He said: “In his 15 years as headteacher, GG touched the lives of his pupils positively, sponsoring some indigent ones. He accepted agricultural products from parents, who did not have money to pay their children’s fees. “GG introduced swimming as a sport in Ondo State in 1976 and was the pioneer chairman of the state’s Amateur Swimming Association until he retired from service. “Under his watch, Ondo State won many laurels in swimming and Ajuwa Grammar School was the cynosure of all eyes. GG sold his inheritance from his Italian father and deployed the proceeds to the construction of a house in Okeagbe for the school’s old students, which he named Pleiadi.” Ogedengbe said Gargiulo built an agricultural company, AOSAGRICOL Nigeria Limited, in Ikare, which he intends to bequeath to the Old Students’ Association after his death.

‘Be good examples’


KITI State Deputy Governor Mrs. Funmilayo Olayinka has urged Nigerians to bequeath good legacies to future generations. She spoke during a condolence visit to activist lawyer Morakinyo Ogele, whose mother, Madam Fehintola Ogele, passed on recently at the age of 120. Mrs. Olayinka said nothing is more valuable than a good name. She said the greatest legacy a parent can leave for his or her children is a good name and untainted character. Mrs. Olayinka prayed for the repose of Madam Ogele’s soul and asked God to grant the family the fortitude to bear the loss. Ogele, who introduced members of the family to the deputy governor, said his late mother lived a life of service to the people of her community.

Public Notice ABUKI LIMITED Flat 3, Oyinkan Abayomi Drive RC922192 ADVERTISEMENT OF SPECIAL RESOLUTION TO WIND-UP In the matter of Abuki Limited in Voluntary Liquidation Members’ Winding-up in the matter of the Companies and Allied Matters Act 2004 Notice is Hereby Given that the General Meeting of the above named company was duly convened and held at Flat 3, Oyinkan Abayomi Drive, Ikoyi Lagos. The following special resolution was duly passed. That it has been proved to the satisfaction of this meeting that the company cannot by reason of its inability to generate business continue to remain on the companys’ register, and that it is therefore advisable to wind-up the same, and accordingly the company be wound up voluntarily. Dated 14 November 2012. Signed Antonella Saldo Director

Bola Ajibola & Co. Company Secretary




Hamas fires missiles into Israel


Palestinian militants have targeted Israel’s commercial capital Tel Aviv with missiles fired from the Gaza Strip amid escalating violence in the region. Residents took cover after air raid sirens alerted them to a missile threat for the first time there since 1991. One missile landed in an uninhabited area while at least one more is thought to have landed in the sea off the city. Meanwhile, Israel’s defence minister has authorised the call-up of 30,000 reservists. Fifteen Palestinians have been killed in Israeli operations against militants in Gaza Strip since Wednesday afternoon, when an Israeli air strike killed the military leader of Hamas, the militant group that controls the territory, in his car. Three Israelis have died during a barrage of hundreds of missiles fired from Gaza, mostly into southern Israel, some of which have been intercepted by Israel’s Iron Dome missile defence system. The rocket fired at Tel Aviv that came down on dry land hit a field in the suburb of Rishon Lezion, south of the city. The armed wing of Islamic Jihad said it had fired an Iranian-built, Fajr-5 rocket at Tel

Aviv. “We have widened the range of the battle to reach Tel Aviv and what is coming will be greater,” the group said in a statement. This is the first time Tel Aviv has been threatened by missiles since the first Gulf War, when missiles fired by Saddam Hussein’s Iraq landed in the city. Israeli Defence Minister Ehud Barak said: “This escalation will exact a price that the other side will have to pay.” The Hamas Prime Minister in Gaza, Ismail Haniyeh, condemned what he called Israel’s “ferocious assault” against the territory. “We here in Gaza will remain steadfast and unshaken,” he said in a televised statement. “We will fend off the aggression. “We are all confident in our intrepid resistance fighters who are now deployed on the front.” Late yesterday, BBC correspondents in Gaza reported several massive explosions and missile fire in and around Gaza City as Israeli strikes continued. Many of the Palestinians killed in Gaza during the last two days by the Israeli aerial

and naval bombardment were members of militant groups, but civilians - including four children - were also among the dead. They included 11-month-old Omar, the son of Jihad Misharawi, a BBC Arabic picture editor. The three Israeli civilians who died - two women and a man - were killed on the top floor of a block of flats in the southern town of Kiryat Malachi that suffered a direct hit by a rocket. Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu has said Israel will do “everything in its power” to avoid civilian casualties in the conflict with Hamas. But he said Hamas was deliberately placing its rockets and missiles in civilian areas prior to launching them at Israel. “There is no moral symmetry between Israel and the terrorists in Gaza,” he said during a televised news conference in Tel Aviv. “Hamas deliberately targets our children and they deliberately place their rockets next to their children. Now despite this reality - and it’s a difficult reality - Israel will continue to do everything in its power to avoid civilian casualties.”

Sierra Leone deploys soldiers for election


IERRA Leone has deployed additional soldiers to help police maintain order as tensions rise ahead of Presidential elections, Defence Ministry officials said yesterday. More than 1,000 troops are to be deployed to support the 13,000 police deployed to ensure a peaceful presidential and parliamentary elections in the country tomorrow. “The military’s presence and the police are symbolic message that they will be there to maintain law and order,” government spokesperson Abdulai Bayraytay said, adding that government would “continue to preach that violence should not be part of the process”. Although there have been skirmishes between opposing party supporters, the campaign has so far been hailed as peaceful by both local and international observers. With the general election being only the third since the country’s civil war ended in 2002, the two leading parties

•Ban calls for peaceful polls have accused each other of inciting violence. Businesses closed in Freetown yesterday, the last day of campaigning, while thousands of supporters of the opposition Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP) rallied through the streets of the capital. The party’s presidential candidate is Julius Maada Bio, who led a military coup that won widespread support in 996. During the past week, supporters of the ruling All People’s Congress filled the National Stadium for a speech by present President Koroma, who was elected in 2007. Both parties have focused much of their campaign on increasing foreign investment in the country’s mineral resources, which include gold, diamonds, bauxite and iron ore. In 2011, Sierra Leone was ranked 180 out of 187 countries on the UN Human De-

velopment Index, with majority of its population of nearly six million living on less than one dollar per day. According to analysts, Saturday’s elections will be a test of the transition process that started in Sierra Leone after the end of a decade-long civil war that left at least 50,000 people dead and 270,000 displaced. The UN Secretary-General. Ban Ki-moon yesterday called on Sierra Leoneans to ensure that the elections tomorrow are peaceful. Ban also urged them to build on the progress made since the end of the country’s civil war. The UN Scribe in a statement by his spokesperson, Martin Nesirky, urged Sierra Leoneans to ensure that the same peaceful spirit that characterised the electoral process prevails on the election day, as well as during the vote counting and announcement of the results.

US court orders BP to pay $4.5b fine


P has received the biggest criminal fine in US history as part of a $4.5bn (£2.8bn) settlement related to the fatal 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster. Two BP workers have been indicted on manslaughter charges and an ex-manager charged with misleading Congress. The Department of Justice (DoJ) said BP must hand over $4bn. The sum includes a $1.26bn fine as well as payments to wildlife and science organisations. As part of the agreement, BP will also plead guilty to 14 criminal charges. The company apologised for its role and said it regretted the loss of life. BP will pay an additional

$525m to the Securities and Exchange Commission over a period of three years, the firm said. The resolution with the DoJ includes a record criminal fine of $1.26bn, as well as $2.4bn to be paid to the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation and $350m to be paid to the National Academy of Sciences, over a period of five years. DoJ Attorney General Eric Holder said its resolution “stands as a testament to the hard work of countless investigators, attorneys, support staff members, and other personnel”. He went on: “In addition to the charges filed against BP, a federal grand jury returned an indictment charging the two highest-ranking BP supervi-

sors, who were on board the Deepwater Horizon on the day of the explosion, with 23 criminal counts - including 11 counts of seaman’s manslaughter, 11 counts of involuntary manslaughter, and alleged violations of the Clean Water Act. “The grand jury also charged a former BP executive - who served as a deputy incident commander and BP’s second-highest ranking representative at Unified Command during the spill response - with hiding information from Congress and allegedly lying to law enforcement officials.” The executive, David Rainey, is alleged to have intentionally under-estimated the amount of oil spilling from the well.




•Lagos State Governor Babatunde Fashola (middle) addressing students of Michael Otedola College of Primary Education at Epe during his inspection tour of projects in the state... on Wednesday. With him are Commissioner for Education, Mrs. O. Oladunjoye (left), Commissioner for Information and Strategy Lateef Ibirogba (right), S.A. Education, Mr. Fatai Olukoya (second left), Commissioner for Establishment & Training and Pension, Mrs. Florence Oguntuase.

•Senator ‘Gbenga Ashafa (left); former Lagos State Commissioner for Health Dr. Leke Pitan and Senator Olorunnimbe Mamora, at the sensitisation/submission of Memoranda of 1999 Constitution review for Lagos East Senatorial District at Magodo, Lagos...on Wednesday.


•Chairman, Lagos State Inter-Party Advisory Council (IPAC), Mr. Akinola Obada (left), Kabir Satu Mohammed, National Chairman, IPAC, and Mrs. Yetunde Akintoye, Chairperson of Action Party of Nigeria (Lagos State) at a meeting in Lagos.

•Mr. Ajai Musaddi, Director of Industries(left), Mr. Arjan Mirchandani, Chairman, Sona Group, Mrs. Ogochukwu Mainasara, Director, Registration and Regulatory Affairs, National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), Joseph Ogunniyi, Company Solicitor unveiling the Tempranillo Wine and Savana Apple drink at the Euro Global Second Partners Forum in Ikeja, Lagos.

•The last batch of pilgrims to Saudi Arabia brought home by Med-View Airline on their arrival at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Ikeja, Lagos... yesterday. PHOTO: ISAAC JIMOH AYODELE.

•From left: Principal, Aunty Ayo Girls Comprehensive Junior Secondary School Ikoyi, Lagos, Mrs. Animasahun Modinat Abiola (left), Director, Lagos Empowerment and Resources Network (LEARN), Mrs. Tonne Said, Director, Legal Services, Etisalat Nigeria, Mrs. Adeolu Idowu and Mrs. Adisa Taiwo, at the second Etisalat Career Counselling held in Lagos...yesterday. PHOTO: NIYI ADENIRAN

•Deputy Chief Missioner, Imam Azeez Onike (left), National President, Alhaji Seriff Yussuf and Women Leader, Alhaja Nofisat Arogundade, at a news conference on the commencement of a new year in the Islamic Hijra Calendar, held at the NASFAT Headquarters, Ilupeju, Lagos...on Wednesday. PHOTO: ISAAC JIMOH AYODELE.

•National President, Nigeria Union of Traders Association, Ghana, Deacon John Igwe Ukala (left); Chairman; House of Reps Committee on Diaspora, Hon. Abike Dabiri-Erewa, member of the committee, Ajibola Famunrewa, Vice Chairman of the Association, Joseph Obi and Secretary General, Comrade Jasper Emenike after a meeting with the committee at the National Assembly PHOTO: Abuja... yesterday. ABAYOMI FAYESE




Eagles’debutexcitesAmeobi N

EWCASTLE United striker Shola Ameobi was delighted with his international debut for Nigeria as they beat Venezuela in Florida on Wednesday. The former England Under21 star was handed a secondhalf debut by coach Stephen Keshi in the 3-1 victory. Despite only playing for half-an-hour, the striker was pleased to have made the step up to international football. "It's my first game, I just feel honoured to play international football," he told BBC Sport. Ameobi earned special praise from fans and officials after helping set-up the third goal and the 31-year-old insists he has nothing but respect for his team-mates. “This game will prepare us for what to expect at the Nations Cup.” "We played good and made life hard for them," he said. "It was nothing personal, we fought hard and gave our everything. "They had great support here but we took the game to them. The lads were superb and I'm delighted to have contributed to a good win." After a goalless first half, Ideye Brown and Nosa Igiebor scored in a five-minute spell early in the second half. Both teams failed to convert several scoring opportunities in the first half, but the Super Eagles broke through in the 48th minute.

The brilliant Igiebor found Kwambe Solomon, whose cross was tapped in by Brown. Igiebor made it 2-0 in the 53rd minute blasting a fierce 30-yard shot that landed inside the right post and stunned the pro-Venezuela crowd inside the Marlins Park. Venezuela pulled a goal back thanks to Frank Fleschcer in the 69th minute. But Ameobi calmly held-up play before finding Lazio youngster Onazi Ogenyi, who completed the scoring in stoppage time. Nigeria coach Stephen Keshi admitted they had played a tough opponent: "This game will prepare us for what to expect at the Nations Cup. "The boys turned up the heat in the second half and were duly rewarded. "We've seen what we can do and learned things here as well." Nigeria begin their Africa Cup of Nations campaign against Burkina Faso on 21 January and then face Zambia and Ethiopia in Group C.

Babangida: Eagles will score goals


X-INTERNATIONAL, Tijani Babangida has told football fans in the country to expect rain of goals

•As Onazi vies for AFCON spot •Eagles camp opens Dec 17, pros get January 4 deadline


that we should have a strong squad that can challenge any team in the world that is why we want everybody in camp by January 4th at the latest.” Keshi is presently holidaying with his family in the United States and returns to the country in the second week of December. Meanwhile the Super Eagles are scheduled to return to the country on Friday evening through the Murtala Mohammed Airport, Lagos via Delta Airlines


CHOOL rugby took a big step forward at the EXP Lagos 7s played at the National Stadium, Surulere, last weekend. It was only the narrowest gap in the AIS defensive line but that’s all it took for CMS squeeze across the gain line and sprint away and score the only try of the match and seal the 5-nil victory. For both teams it was their first competitive match and so nerves must have been raw as they warmed up beside the pitch. The game was played as a curtain raiser to the Lagos 7s final sponsored by marketing company EXP. The game which was played in excellent spirit by the boys and both sides in the true spirit of rugby. The form of rugby played was “touch” rugby in which a two handed touch replaces normal full contact tackling. Touch rugby is played by players at all levels of the game to sharpen skills and technique while at junior levels of the game it is played to protect young bodies from the rigours of full contact rugby. Rugby was recently

introduced at AIS following requests from pupils interested in learning this fast growing international sport. CMS Grammar, one of the oldest schools in Lagos, are part of the Cowbell sponsored I-Try rugby development programme through which 30 schools in Lagos are being coached. A rugby union team has 15 players on each teamwhile sevens rugby has seven players on each team and is played on a full-size pitch. Having only seven players on the field, instead of the usual 15, makes sevens a fast, action-packed game and high scoring because of the huge amount of space to attack. Rugby is growing quicker in Africa than anywhere else in the world according the International Rugby Board. Two factors are put forward for the enormous growth of the game in Africa, firstly the “Olympic factor” (7s rugby will be the new team sport at the 2016 Olympics), and secondly the huge impact Kenya has made on the international sevens stage over the last decade.

2,000 for Youth Athletics’ meet


Martins promises more EVANTE of Spain striker , Obafemi Martins may not have scored in the friendly against Venezuela, but he’s thinking of doing that when he returns to the team soonest, even as Head Coach Stephen Keshi assured that he would be given a second chance when camp opens for the AFCON 2013 preparations. Martins said after the game that he wanted to score on the night but the goals simply did not come. “But I will be back and better when we return to camp, I know what I can do and I’m sure the coach will give me the opportunity to prove myself”. Also speaking, Lazio of Italy midfield sensation Ogenyi Onazi, who scored the team’s third goal has vowed to grab a shirt ahead of the Nations Cup. “I’m happy at the manner the coach has been given me opportunity and I can assure Nigerians that I will be part of the team that will bring the Nations Cup to the country next year”, the former My People FC star owned by Pastor TB Joshua declared. Meanwhile, December 17, has tentatively been picked as the day camp will open in Abuja to kick-start preparations for the Nations Cup in South Africa. Keshi said in Miami, that the camp will open with home based professional players, while their foreign based counterparts are expected to join up with the rest of the squad in Faro, Portugal between January 3 -4. “We need to work together for at least two weeks and after


CMS pips AIS at Exp Lagos 7S

From Segun Ogunjimi, Abuja from the Super Eagles at the Africa Cup of Nations next year in South Africa going by the result scooped in their last two games. The former Super Eagles’ winger, said the Eagles have shown that they can be a highscoring side after winning by a 4-1 margin in their last qualifiers against Liberia and yesterday’s 3-1 spanking of Venezuela. Though he confessed he didn’t watch the match, Babangida however is, however darting hopeful that the team handler, Stephen Keshi still has enough time to tackle the grey areas noticed in the team. “Honestly speaking I did not watch the match but some of my friends that watched told me that the defence line was faulty, while the midfield too

needs to be worked on. I also noticed these areas in the Eagles 6-1 victory in Calabar which I watched live. But one good aspect is the fact that the Eagles are scoring goals now. “A goal scoring team like Eagles only need to work on their defence line and polish the midfield a little and the team will be ready for action in South Africa. I am really impressed with the team for beating Liberia 6-1 and now Venezuela 3-1 despite the defense problem people are complaining of”, Babngida told NationSport yesterday. Babangida also promised to communicate his ideas to his former teammate Stephen Keshi in order to show his support in the verge to lead the Eagles to glory in South Africa. The 2013 Cup of Nations will hold between January 19th and February 10th, 2013.


HE management of the official marketer to the Athletic Federation of Nigeria (AFN) on the forthcoming Confederation of Africa Athletic (CAA) approved 1st Africa Youth Athletic Championship, Nilayo Sports Management Limited has called on corporate bodies for sponsorship towards hosting a befitting event slated for Warri, Delta State next year, just as about 2,000 athletes are expected. The Chief Executive Officer, Bukola Olopade disclosed that for the championship

scheduled between March 27 April 1 2013, at the Warri Township Stadium to be a success need the support of all multinational companies and well meaning Nigerians and as such appealing for sponsorship in order to help the federation grow. Speaking further, the former commissioner for sports, Ogun State said Super Sports has agreed to be the official broadcast right owner, while the Africa Independent Television will be local broadcast partner and that Arik Airways named the official Airline.


Glo Soccer Academy screening ends


IVE outstanding kid players have emerged from the Glo Soccer Academy screening exercise in Cotonou and Porto Novo in Benin Republic to draw the curtain closed on the hunt for talented youthful players by Glo in Nigeria, Ghana and Benin Republic. They are Foligan Ekoue Antoine, midfielder; Nwobu Ifeaniyi, centre back; Kam Amadou Deda, striker; Houessou Igon, right forward and Coles Chamsudeen, centre right. The standby players include midfielder Gouhoeao Benoit and defender, Rock Junior. They emerged after a competitive and rigorous drilling by the Glo Soccer Academy technical team of Anthony Baffoe, Tijani Babangida, Zion Ogunfeyimi, who were joined by local Coaches Pastor Dennis and Ex Benin International, Moussa Latounji. These players will join their

•...As 5 lads qualify from Benin Republic colleagues already selected from Nigeria and Ghana in the semifinals this weekend, after which 33 of them will go into the Academy House for the Soccer TV Reality show, the biggest in Africa. Some of the players said their dream is ‘to be at the Theater of Dreams, home of Manchester United FC,’ which is one of the star prizes for the last 16 players that will emerge from the Academy. Head of the regional screening crew, Anthony Baffoe expressed his delight at the level of football ingenuity displayed by the hundreds of youths registered in Benin Republic. In his words, "any selected player amongst these lots will certainly compete at any level given the right mentality and exposure.’ Similarly, Moussa Latounji, expressed joy and appreciation to Glo for recognising Benin Republic and wished for many

more of such in coming years from the leading telecoms operator which he said, ‘has brought more joy to the Benin people.’ Officials of the Glo Soccer Academy said that the selected players from all the screening centres in Nigeria, Ghana and Benin Republic will be pruned down to 33 who will head for the Glo Soccer Academy in Lagos, where they will be trained by top coaches from West Africa and Manchester United Football Club. The winners will go on a training tour of the Manchester United Soccer Schools in Carrington, England, as well as enjoy the G-Bam Scholarship of N750,000 each as part of the prizes. In addition, one of them will emerge as the Most Valuable Player and will earn N5 million, while the remaining 15 will go home with N1 million each.


hidi Mokeme, the Anchor man, paid an early morning visit to the Gulder Ultimate Search 9 warriors’ camp. He ordered the four remaining warriors to pack all their belongings along with other bare necessities and exit their camp for the third time. They were directed to meet him at the look-out point. What the remaining warriors assumed may be an eviction task turned out to be a tête-à-tête with the Anchor man. He took them down memory lane as they reminisced over their aspirations and experiences on Gulder Ultimate Search 9. All remaining warriors made no pretensions about their desires to become the Ultimate Hero.

Chidi soon left after the ‘heart talk’ while warriors took a nap at the look-out point. By sunset, they made their way to an abandoned mill which one of their clues led them to. They also tried to make sense of the pieces of clues which they had received from the inception of the competition. They soon laid their head to rest in preparation for the final showdown of Gulder Ultimate Search 9. The final episode of Gulder Ultimate Search 9, the Gatekeeper’s Fortune, will be broadcast on Africa Independent Television (AIT), African Magic World (DSTV), Real Star (Star Times), Akwa Ibom Broadcasting Corporation (AKBC) and ITV (Benin) at 10pm tonight.



NEWS Xi Jinping is China’s new leader

Govt raises panels on Ribadu report, others Continued from page 4

Task Force has Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Arc. Mohammed Sada as Chairman, and Hon. Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, Minister of State for Health, Dr. Muhammad Pate and Minister of State for Education, Mr. Ezenwo Nyeson Wike as members. “The Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation will provide secretariat for the Committees. A statement by Okupe yesterday said at no time did he or any official of government suggest that the report would be dumped even though the data were yet to be verified.

“There are several issues raised by the committee that would never be swept under the carpet by the Jonathan administration. Anyone found wanting shall be punished and all loopholes for corruption blocked. “An obvious disclaimer issued by the committee on the entire report makes it impossible under our laws to indict or punish anybody except and until the Federal Government fully verifies and reconciles the facts as recommended by the committee in its submission to the government”. Okupe stated because the report was hurriedly put together and submitted, the government would have to waste a lot


of time and money putting together machinery to verify the document before a white paper would be issued. “I must assure Nigerians that this administration is serious about fighting corruption through the prosecution and institutional reforms. Any person or organization found wanting by the report after verification would be made to face the law”, he added.

Jonathan: fuel subsidy to go Continued from page 4

must deduct tax and if you fail to remit it, it is a criminal offence. We do not encourage departments of government to deduct tax and keep it,” he said. The NIPSS participants described the precarious security situation as a disincentive to business in their report entitled: “Resource diversification for sustainable economic development in Nigeria”. They identified unemployment as one of the causes of insecurity and urged the government to address it. “One of the greatest threats to security is unemployment. It provides for unemployed youths and other disgruntled persons to attack the system which they believe is respon-

sible for their plight,” the report said. In tackling the scourge, the NIPSS participants called on the government to strengthen trans-border security through bilateral agreements. They returned a damning verdict on the nation’s airports, saying they all lack the capacity to counter terrorism. The airports, according to them, are characterised with porous perimeter fences without Closed-Circuit Television (CCTV). “The nation’s aviation sector is not robust enough for diversification,” they said. They said the maritime sector is over dependent on foreign carriers. The NIPSS graduates urged the media to be objective and

responsible in their reportage. For the country to successfully diversify, government must strengthen its security apparatus, they said. The participants also decried the situation in which the nation is over-dependent on crude oil and natural gas. “Nigeria needs to reduce its level of dependency on crude oil and expand development of its rich non-oil sectors. Human resources is key to diversification.” They said research and development were required to improve the economy. They said good governance is critical to resource diversification. In that regards, they urged the President to ensure that the terms and conditions of the Performance Contract Agreement

more powerful. “The people’s desire for a better life is what we shall fight for,” he said. Corruption had to be addressed, he said, and better party discipline was needed “The party faces many severe challenges, and there are also many pressing problems within the party that need to be resolved, particularly corruption, being divorced from the people, going through formalities and bureaucratism caused by some party officials,” Mr Xi said. “We must make every effort to solve these problems. The whole party must stay on full alert.” The new Standing Committee was endorsed in a vote early on Thursday by the new party Central Committee, but in reality the decisions had been made in advance. The new leaders will gradually take over in the next few months, with Hu Jintao’s presidency formally coming to an end at the annual par-

liament session in March 2013. Mr Xi has also been named chairman of the Central Military Commission, a Xinhua news agency report said, ending uncertainty over whether that post would be transferred from Hu Jintao immediately. Mr Hu’s predecessor, Jiang Zemin, held on to the post for two years after he stood down from the party leadership. New Standing Committee member Wang Qishan has also been named head of the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection - the party’s anti-corruption watchdog. Mr Xi, a former Shanghai party chief, was appointed to the politburo in 2007. A “princeling” - a relative of one of China’s revolutionary elders - he has spent almost four decades in the Communist Party, serving in top posts in both Fujian and Zhejiang provinces, as well as Shanghai.

His speech drew praise online, with a number of netizens liking his more informal style. Under his administration China has seen a decade of rapid development, overtaking Japan as the world’s second-largest economy. But the development has been uneven, leading to a widening wealth gap, environmental challenges and rumbling social discontent over inequality and corruption. Analysts say there has been division at the very top of the leadership in the lead-up to the party congress, with two rival factions jostling for position and influence. The transition process has also been complicated by the scandal that engulfed Chongqing party leader Bo Xilai - a powerful high-flier once seen as a strong contender for the top leadership. His wife has been jailed for murdering a British businessman and he looks set to face trial on a raft of corruption-related charges.

‘I learnt political notes from Saraki’ Continued from page 4

He added: “The exceptional touch of Baba Oloye, with the grassroots was one of the major sources of his political relevance and something other Nigerians should emulate. He was a self-made person who came to limelight and stayed in the limelight. “The late ‘Father of Kwara Politics’, as some fondly called Dr. Saraki, had been a

prominent political feature at all levels of the country’s democratic journey, from the First, Second, Third and Fourth Republics. “It is hard to forget the profound roles Dr. Saraki played in the formation of the National Party of Nigeria (NPN) in the Second Republic , the Peoples Front (PF) in the aborted Third Republic and the defunct All Peoples Party (APP) in this Fourth Republic , before he joined us in

the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). “He was a good Muslim with a compassionate heart. I urge other Nigerians to learn from the deceased’s virtues of compassion and humility.” While urging his son, Senator Bukola Saraki, to emulate his father, he called on the people of Kwara to give him all the support to be able to fill in the giant shoes left behind by his father.”






HE passing of Alhaji Lam Adesina, former governor of Oyo State, has created another gaping hole in the landscape of progressive leadership, not just in Oyo State, but in the country as a whole. That statement sounds humdrum, given the human penchant for hyperboles especially in the wake of events such as this. Appearance notwithstanding, I am persuaded of the veracity of the claim in this regard. At least three qualities are central to progressive political leadership. First is an empathetic understanding of the challenges that face the folks that they lead. This is a quality of mind and heart. Second is the ability to intelligently identify and execute policies that are designed to overcome those challenges. This is a quality of the intellect. Third is the manifestation of courage and boldness and determination to confront all obstacles in the chosen path to deal with those challenges. This is a quality of the spirit, what the Yoruba refer to as igboya. All these go together. Empathetic understanding without adequate policies is impotent. Policy sans empathetic understanding is blind. It is true, of course, that different individuals can lay claim to the possession of the qualities identified above. However, in a democratic system, in which ideas and policies compete for the support and acceptance of the public, birds of the same political feather must flock together. And a lone ranger in a crowd of antagonistic ideas and policy options may discover the inevitable choking of his ideas. This is why good men and women sometimes find themselves in politically incongruent circles and ultimately regret their inconsequentiality to effect change. Lam was a compassionate human being. We may attribute this to his background as a self-made man. Yet this would only be partially right. There are many with his background who later found themselves in position of authority where they could right wrongs and sooth human pains but chose otherwise. Lam was an intelligent man who brought the passion of an intellectual to governance. And if nothing else did, Lam’s unceasing political jabs at civilian and military dictators must earn him credit for courage and boldness. With those qualities as his driving force, he made a choice early in his life to align himself with like-minded patriots to promote an agenda of abundant life for all. He had an intellectual endowment that facilitated the move. His career in teaching, a profession that makes the development of the human person its mandate, revealed to him the imperative of political action for the right policies to empower the masses. Early on, he joined the foremost progressive political organisation of the day and never wavered even in the face of an atrocious recourse to the brutal use of power


Yes, they’ve very much within, ...BOOTLICKERS PLC.

TODAY IN THE NATION ‘The Fashola-phenomenon is about excellence, good example and of true leadership to the good people of Lagos state. The recent call by the PDP in the state on the governor to emulate President Goodluck Jonathan is laughable. How can light and darkness be compared?’ VOL.7 NO.2,311



The Lam Effect ‘He assailed the deliberate impoverisation of the masses and served as a headhunter for candidates. To his credit, and the credit of the national leadership of his party, Oyo State and the Southwest are back in the column of progressives’

•The late Adesina

by opponents. From Action Group to UPN, to NADECO, then AD, and ACN, Lam fought valiantly in the trenches of progressive battles for better lives for the masses. As a “prisoner of war” in the military-declared political battle of 1994-1998, Lam had the scars of war to prove it. In 1999, after the cessation of hostilities and the defeat of militocracy, civil governance was ushered in, and who else could have merited the gubernatorial crown of the pace-setter state than the Great Lam, a title which his empathy, intellect, and courage earned him? He approached governance with a determination to enlarge the freedom of the people and make life more abundant for them. Following the populism of the old UPN, AD would provide education, health, employment and improve the conditions of rural life. The welfarist manifesto appealed to the people

who never forgot the good times of the foremost welfarist. But times had changed. The federal system that made possible the magical achievements of the 50s and 60s was no more. The unitarists had ensured that states would be better served as appendages to the centre and would survive only on hand-outs from the Federal Government. This was bound to jeopardise the effective execution of any progressive agenda. Added to this was the heritage of a bloated bureaucracy. The dilemma of any progressive government is how to reconcile the existence of a run-away bureaucracy and its huge overhead with the provision of essential services for the rest of the citizens who are in the majority. On the one hand, labour is not only an essential part of the progressive coalition it is also a segment of the citizenry with needs that government has a responsibility to meet.



On the other hand, in a state with meager internal and external resources, the more the resources that go to servicing a disproportional workforce, the less is available for every other need, including welfare programs. There was no doubt that Lam struggled with this dilemma, which confronted him immediately he assumed office, with a bitter labour dispute. It is not a dilemma that can be ignored and, though Lam is gone, as he would say, the search must continue for a workable resolution of this dilemma. The electoral hurricane of 2003 swept off Lam and his colleagues from government houses in the Southwest with the exception of Lagos. There are truckloads of blames to go round. What is important, however, is that to their credit, Lam and his colleagues never lost hope; neither did they waver in their commitment to progressivism. Outside of the power structure that they once controlled, and in the political desert that was Southwest for eight years, they fought on with the power of ideas. Without any skeleton in his cupboard, Lam was able to hold his head high, sneering at the godfathers of rigging and political chicanery. He assailed the deliberate impoverisation of the masses and served as a headhunter for candidates. To his credit, and the credit of the national leadership of his party, Oyo State and the Southwest are back in the column of progressives. This is the Lam effect and legacy. A peaceful rest is assured for him because he left the scene as an achiever and overcomer. He fought the right battles and secured victories for the people. But while it is over for him, it is just beginning for the rest of us, and especially for his former colleagues, every progressive, and particularly in the pace-setter state, his foremost political son, Governor Abiola Ajimobi. To paraphrase the late Senator Ted Kennedy, the work must go on, the cause must endure, the hope must live on, and the dream of empowering the people to excel must never die. To the matriarch of the Lam Adesina family, Alhaja Saratu Lam Adesina, and Dapo and his siblings, there is every reason to celebrate a life that was fulfilled in every respect. You cannot ask for a better inheritance. For all of us, in the memorable title of his brilliant column, the search continues. •For comments, send SMS to 08082036515

•Hardball is not the opinion of the columnist featured above

The police should be worried


NE of the most difficult and unpleasant tasks top police officers in Nigeria face is how to respond to the misconduct of their men. They are often torn between the dignified acceptance of blame for the egregious actions of trigger-happy cops, with the implication of public loss of confidence in that security institution, and the deliberate and even instinctive resort to lying about those malfeasances in order to cover up for their men and present a façade of professionalism. The police top brass have so far not found the right formula to manage this dilemma and engender a reform-minded and reform-driven modern police organisation. The consequence is that in the past few decades, an increasingly unethical police force appears to dominate, override and compromise its top echelons, thereby giving the security organisation a bad image. The police should really be worried that their image is not improving. Not only are a significantly large number of policemen and officers resistant to change and modernisation, preferring to do things the old-fashioned, unscientific and unrefined way, they have also created a security monolith that no one seems able to manage or reform. To everyone’s dismay, that unhealthy mould became the immediate trigger for the turbulence ravaging the Northeast. Amnesty International and other local civil society organisations have given us an earful of the reprehensible practices of the police. Rather than be shamed into refining their methods, as the current Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Abubakar,

is crusading, they prefer to deny all wrongdoings. And rather than prevent or limit to the barest minimum poor policing tactics, they seem resigned to routinely and absentmindedly punishing errant policemen as a satisfactory remedy. But prevention is always better than cure. The police hierarchy should be worried that the country is daily inundated with newspaper reports of police misbehaviour. The top brass need to be shamed into action. Torture, extra-judicial killings, discourteous policing methods that alienate the public, and as experienced by a newspaper recently, even imperiousness by top police officers who should know better, and on whose shoulders the reforms being undertaken by the IGP rest, are some of the widespread reports that humiliate and ridicule both the police as an institution and the country as a whole. Given the attitude of many police officers and the rank and file, it is not unlikely that the IGP will find it increasingly difficult to make his modernisation efforts permeate the entire organisation. He has scrapped police checkpoints, which for decades opened the largest black nation on earth to scorn, and is moving to undo decades-old habits of torture and cruelty. He will need likeminded officers to succeed. But it is not clear whether he has succeeded in identifying passionate and patriotic officers burning with the zeal to give Nigeria one of the most modern police organisations in the world, if not in technology, at least in methods.

Nor is it even clear that the presidency, which itself is still steeped in fairly archaic ways of running a 21st Century government, shares the IGP’s passion for change and modernisation. This column acknowledges the efforts of the IGP and some of his officers, and even feels the IGP sometimes cuts a lonely picture up there where he is. If he wishes to succeed, however, he must change gear by doing something definitive about his officers who abuse their power, and he must also reconceptualise the training paradigms of both the officer corps and rank and file, clean up the torture chambers and remould them into proper crime detection and crime investigation departments, and forcefully but intelligently institute behavioural changes in his men, police stations and police commands all over the country. Very many of his top officers are too steeped in the methods of the past to be of any use to a modern police and to the country. A surgical intervention is needed to restore public confidence in the police. A failure to carry out that surgery means abandoning the police force and indeed the entire country to an uncertain and brutish future and perhaps eventually to an anarchical showdown. The task is not easy, but for the sake of the country, the IGP, who has talked the talk quite engagingly, is encouraged to take firm and concrete measures to implement his reforms. He must believe in himself and not condone the laxity, collusion and connivance many of his men are noted for.

Published and printed by Vintage Press Limited. Corporate Office: 27B Fatai Atere Way, Matori, Lagos. P.M.B. 1025,Oshodi, Lagos. Telephone: Switch Board: 01-8168361. Editor Daily:01-8962807, Marketing: 01-8155547 . Abuja Office: Plot 5, Nanka Close AMAC Commercial Complex, Wuse Zone 3, Abuja. Tel: 07028105302. Port Harcourt Office: 12/14, Njemanze Street, Mile 1, Diobu, PH. 08023595790. WEBSITE: E-mail: Editor: GBENGA OMOTOSO

The Nation November 16, 2012  
The Nation November 16, 2012  

The Nation November 16, 2012