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Terrorism: Court jails ex-governor's aide A

FEDERAL High Court in Abuja has jailed a former Special Assistant to the Kogi State Governor on Youth Empowerment, Ogwu Achemu, for four years for allegedly coordinating terrorist activities in the state. Achemu, the first political office holder to be jailed for terrorism, had served under ex-Governor Ibrahim Idris and was briefly retained in office by Governor Idris Wada before he was shuffled aside. He had been short-listed for a fresh appointment as a Senior Special Assistant except for his trial which was just concluded. Achemu was allegedly arrested and arraigned in court by the State Security Service (SSS) for importing dynamite and explosives from Bayelsa

Yusuf ALLI, Managing Editor, Northern Operation State to bomb Lokoja Stadium during the governorship primaries of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in January 2011. SSS investigation revealed that Achemu had established a terrorism base in Ayangba in the Eastern part of Kogi State where he allegedly coordinated thuggery and terrorismrelated activities. Although he is still being investigated for alleged killing of another political thug (Osama) of the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) whose corpse was tied to a vehicle and allegedly driven round Ayangba by the convict, the law caught up with him over the botched attempt to bomb Lokoja Township Stadium.

It was gathered that the SSS had uncovered where Achemu bought the explosives in Bayelsa State and how he recruited some people from the state to Kogi to train him and his boys on the art of bombing. While the ‘imported’ boys confessed to the SSS, the agency could not retrieve any of the explosives from Achemu before he was convicted on Wednesday in Abuja. The case officer, Mr. Alhassan Iliasu from the SSS gave testimony in court on the findings of the agency on Achemu. Iliasu served as one of the Prosecution Witnesses during the trial of the convict in the last one year. The court records showed that Achemu was put on trial on a two-count charge of terrorism.

According to the prosecutors from the Federal Ministry of Justice, the leader of the team, M.S. Hassan (Assistant Director) and Ahmed I.O., the convict was arraigned for allegedly violating Section 15 sub-sections 1 and 3 of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission Act 2004. The Section reads: "A person who willfully provides or collects by any means directly or indirectly any money by any other person with intent that the money shall be used for any act of terrorism commits an offence under this Act and is liable on conviction to imprisonment for life. "Any person, who commits or attempts to commit a terrorist Act or participates in or facilitates the commission of a terrorist Act, commits an offence under this Act and is liable on conviction to impris-

onment for life. "Any person who makes funds, financial assets or economic resources or financial or other related services available for use of any other person to commit or attempt to commit, facilitate or participate in the commission of a terrorist act is liable on conviction to life imprisonment." Relying on SSS investigations, the prosecutors pleaded with the court to invoke the EFCC Act and mete out appropriate punishment to Achemu. But the defence team, led by A. Salisu, said nothing incriminating was found on Achemu and he did not commit any terrorist act as alleged by the SSS. He asked the court to ignore the submissions of the prosecution team because they did not hold water. In his judgment, Justice Donatus Okorowa, who ob-

served that Achemu had been attending the court session regularly, jailed him for "four years without an option of fine." There were indications last night that the convict may appeal the sentence. Ex-Governor Ibrahim Idris had dissociated himself from the activities of Achemu. The former Director-General, Press Affairs to the former governor, Mr. Richard Elesho had said: "The (ex) governor does not breed thugs. He is a law abiding citizen. He is not running for any political office now and so has no reason to disrupt the PDP primaries. "This story of thugs invading the state is strange to me and I am not aware of it. The aide of the governor could not have done the dastardly act in the name of the governor."

Insurance brokers honour Senator Tinubu

•Lawmaker promises to be good ambassador


ENATOR Oluremi Tinubu on Thursday received the prestigious fellowship award of the Nigerian Council of Registered Insurance Brokers (NCRIB). The award ceremony marked the grand finale of activities lined up to mark the 50th anniversary of the NCRIB. NCRIB, formerly Nigerian Corporation of Insurance Brokers, was founded in 1962 and incorporated in 1967. The award, presented to Senator Tinubu in Abuja by the President/ Chairman, Governing Board of NCRIB, Barrister Laide Osijo, was particularly given to her for her pivotal role in the growth of the NCRIB and her contributions towards good governance and democracy in the country. Barrister Osijo, who described Senator Tinubu as one of the pillars of the NCRIB, also listed the pivotal donation the Lagos Central federal lawmaker made towards the building of an ultra modern NCRIB secretariat. NCRIB President also listed Senator Tinubu's youth and development advocacy, especially her New Era Foundation, through which she has worked tirelessly to touch

Onyedi OJIABOR, Assistant Editor lives and inspire young people to strive for excellence; her education programmes, including an annual Spelling Bee competition to raise educational standards; the annual "One-Day Governor" programme, and the Alternative School for girls in Lagos State who dropped out of school due to early pregnancy, as some of the programmes that earned her the award. The body did not forget Senator Tinubu's endowment funds in the universities, her unpublicised contributions to education and other populist causes that spread to distant places like Liberia where she donated school buildings as part of effort to help the wartorn country get over some of its challenges, and the donation of a science block to Adeyemi College of Education, Ondo. On the political front, the NCRIB boss listed Senator Tinubu's hosting of a quarterly Town Hall Meeting in her Lagos Central constituency to discuss development issues and to create a feedback mechanism on her official activities in Abuja, her popular

•President of the Nigerian Council of Registered Insurance Brokers, Barrister Laide Osijo (right), presenting the Fellowship Award to Senator Oluremi Tinubu during the Council’s 50th anniversary Award Night in Abuja... yesterday. PHOTO: Abayomi FAYESE.

given positions of responsibility. "I don't know how she did it to convince the men after 50 years for her to emerge the President of NCRIB. She has been able to flow with men and carried other women along. That really warmed my heart. "That is what we want to see, especially when women are clamouring for 35 per cent affirmative action. We want to see women when they are given positions of responsi-

bility, they do their duties with distinction and carry other women along. That is why we are all here tonight to give her the support she deserves. "I shy away from awards. I don't know if I deserve it or not, but I'm here to celebrate a wonderful woman, a woman who has done extremely well in her position as NCRIB President." Other recipients of the Fellowship award included Osun State Governor, Ogbeni Rauf

Aregbesola; Ondo State Governor, Dr. Olusegun Mimiko and Commissioner for Insurance, Mr. Fola Daniel. The Pace Setter Award went to Alhaji T. A Sanus while the leadership award went to the Ide Ahaba of Asaba, Chief Sonny Odogwu and Dr. Remi Alo who was pioneer Executive Secretary of NCRIB. Past presidents of the organization were also given special recognition aside giant television sets.

NLC to mobilise against removal of fuel subsidy

Jonathan to speak on national issues tomorrow



RESIDENT Goodluck Jonathan will address the nation on current national issues tomorrow during the Presidential Media Chat. The President, according to a statement issued by his media aide, Dr. Reuben Abati, is expected to answer questions during the Presidential Media Chat, which takes the format of question and answer. The programme, which will be broadcast live on the network services of the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) and the Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria (FRCN), will begin at 7 pm. President Jonathan will answer questions and respond to comments from a panel of

Bill for the elderly aimed at providing social security for Nigeria's frail but struggling elderly citizens, and her determined effort to make the twilight years of elderly citizens better through a new scheme, 'Elderly Citizens' assistance Scheme, which is about to commence in her constituency. Senator Tinubu, who responded on behalf of fellow awardees, said that she took time off from the tight schedule of the constitution review in Lagos to attend the event and planned to re-join her colleagues early on Friday. She assured that they would be good ambassadors of the NCRIB fraternity to keep the flag flying. On the award, the lawmaker said it was not particularly for her, "but it is about celebrating with a woman (Barrister Osijo) who after 50 years of an organistion emerged the first female President of the organisation." Barrister Osijo, she noted, had done excellently well and represented the female folk very well. Senator Tinubu said: "I'm proud of her because she has done extremely well. That is how women are supposed to be worthy representatives of the women folk if they are


Vincent IKUOMOLA, Abuja reputable media practitioners on a broad range of issues that are presently in the public domain.

HE Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) will mobilise Nigerians against the planned the planned full deregulation of the downstream petroleum sector. The congress' President, Comrade Abdulwahed Omar, who made this disclosure in a statement yesterday, said "the statement by President Goodluck Jonathan claiming that only the removal of fuel subsidy will allow for domestic refining of fuel is highly disturbing." Omar said the crisis that would welcome any announcement of further withdrawal of subsidy on petroleum products would be more monumental and more far-reaching than envisaged by anyone. He added that the "January protests would be a child's play compared to what might follow any attempt to deregulate the downstream sector of the oil industry." The government, according to the NLC boss, has more than enough reports and details to commence a honest process of punishing those in illegal possession of our collective wealth rather than inflict more pains on Nigerians, while industries and virtually all public infrastructures have collapsed. The congress noted that the planned deregulation has been preceded by artificial fuel scarcity in most pasts of the country, stressing that despite the wave of revelations regarding monumental corruption in the petroleum industry, it will be unimaginable to contemplate any other thing than focusing on ridding the industry of the endemic corruption which he said has be-

John OFIKHENUA, Abuja come so pervasive. Omar therefore posited that Nigerians would love to see President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan dissipate energy on fighting corruption in the industry as he promised Nigerians. He recalled that all those so far indicted of corrupt practices in the fuel subsidy scam have not yet been prosecuted. “More revelations on corruption keep coming out by the day. The argument proffered that domestic refining of petroleum products is only possible under private operators cannot be defended. Our refineries were built and operated successfully as fully public owned enterprises in the past, and until the industry was massively inflicted with corruption and home for corrupt government officials and their cronies, the refineries functioned well," he added According to the NLC, the problem with the petroleum industry is largely lack of decency and political will on the part of the government to deal with those who have already been identified as having corruptly enriched themselves with funds meant for the industry. While casting doubts on the honesty of Mr. President about the plan, Omar said: "We believe Mr. President is not being honest with Nigerians about the real problems of the industry. The same President who set up several committees to identify the crisis in the industry and who have been given detailed reports by the committees cannot validly say he is still helpless.






Justice Kayode Eso dies at 87


MINENT jurist and former Justice of the Supreme Court, Justice Kayode Eso, is dead. He was aged 87. According to a release issued by the family, Eso died peacefully at the Hammersmith Hospital, London, United Kingdom, in the early hours of Friday, after a brief illness. The release also stated that he is survived by his widow, Mrs. Helen Aina Eso, and children, Funmilayo Eso-Williams and Olumide Eso. Justice Eso, who was highly respected for his forthright and courageous views on national issues, was born in Ilesha, Osun State. He had a bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Law from the Trinity College in London. Describing his death as a great loss to the family and Nigeria, Venerable Ladipo Eso, younger brother to the late jurist, said: “He stood for truth, lived for truth and this permeated through his life in the family and in his chosen

•He died lamenting Nigeria’s woes, says younger brother Segun AJIBOYE, Innocent DURU and Joseph JIBUEZE career both as a lawyer and also as a judge, and through his life as a Supreme Court judge.” Speaking with The Nation in his Lagos home, Ven. Eso said the late Justice Kayode Eso, as the head of the Eso family, ensured love and harmony among the family members. He said: “We will miss him because of his love for the family. He was the head of the Eso dynasty of Ilesa for 40 years. He brought us together in love and made us to grow together in love. Since the death of our father, he led us and saw to our fears. “With him as the leader of the family, you would hardly know that this child belongs to this father. Everybody sees himself as a member of the Eso dynasty. We thank God for his life because he lived a very fulfilled life.”

On the probable cause of the jurist’s death, the younger Eso said: “It’s just general elderly ailment. It’s a bit of shock to us, but also not a shock because an elderly man of 87 years, anything could happen to him. “He was alright for his age. He was a very strong man. He just developed a sudden ailment. We were together in London.” Ven. Eso said he last spoke with his elder brother last week in England, during which the foremost jurist lamented the state of affairs in Nigeria. According to Ven. Eso, the late justice expressed sadness that people are now getting rich without working, and that criminals are no longer punished for their crimes. He was said to have described a society where crimes go unpunished as a confused society. He said: “We were together less than a week ago in England, where we were holi-

daying. He was an openminded person. He spoke on different issues of life. He spoke about the state of the country and how sad he had always been looking back on this country. “He regretted that people are now getting rich without working, and that no crime is punished as such. He said when you have a society where crime is not punished, it is a very confused society. He was really sad about all this. He did his best to stand against corruption. “He had always been very brilliant. He loved music to the core and also loved Latin in those days when we were studying Latin in school. He was the head of the grammar school as a senior prefect. He made many marks in his entire life. He did a lot to excel. “When he went to study Law, he came out with distinction. He started law practice when he came back to the coun-

try in 1954. His first practice was in northern Nigeria, Jos to be specific. He came to the West later and joined the judiciary where he eventually rose to be the chief judge of Oyo State. “From there, he was appointed a judge of the Supreme Court and all through he showed his brilliance and the purposefulness to the law practice and the judiciary. Till he died, his knowledge was still intact. “He was a Christian to the core. He was a real Christian, one who believed in life, death, resurrection and ascension of our Lord Jesus Christ. He beats his chest about God. He was the chancellor of the Diocese of Ilesa for 33 years before he relinquished the post because of old age. “He had just completed a church behind his house in Ilesa. He built the church and gave it to the Diocese of Ilesa. The church is called Anglican Church of the Risen Christ.” An Associate Professor at the Federal University of Technology (FUTO), Owerri, who is Eso’s niece, Abimbola Uzomah, described the late jurist as a father. “My mum was his younger sister and they were very close. He was a father to me. He was always concerned and caring. He cared for us as though we were his children, and that was the kind of care that existed between him and mum. “When mum died, it was so painful to him, but he survived the pain. He was always telling me that I look so much like his sister. He also extended the same love to my children. “When I wanted to marry

my husband, an Igbo man, he stood solidly behind me. His house is a second home for us, even in London. It was home away from home. We never referred to him as an uncle. We called him Grandpa.” Two particular cases will stand out in his illustrious career. The first was the trial of Nobel Laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka, in the mystery gunman case. Soyinka stood trial over his role in a broadcast, which the government of the defunct Western Region of Nigeria termed offensive. Delivering judgment in the case, Justice Eso returned a verdict of not guilty on Soyinka, and shortly after that, he was transferred from Ibadan to Akure, then regarded as a rural station. He also stood out for his forthrightness and courage in the celebrated case of Chief Obafemi Awolowo Vs Alhaji Shehu Shagari in 1979. The Apex Court, in deciding the law relating to election cases had by a majority of 6-1 affirmed the election of Alhaji Shagari as duly elected President, in the case which will remain green in Nigeria’s jurisprudence. However, the courageous decision of Justice Eso in the case remains legendary. In his dissenting judgment, Justice Eso held that at least twothirds of 19 states could only be 13 and not 12 2/3. The late jurist was born on September 18, 1925 in Ilesha, Osun State. He attended Holy Trinity School, Omofe, Ilesha, from 1933 to 1939. He was in Ilesha Grammar School between 1940 and 1944. He, thereafter, proceeded to the University of Dublin where he acquired the Bachelor of Law in June 1953 and Master of Arts (MA) in 1956,

Northern governors eulogise him •First Nigerian female lawyer, Chief Folake Solanke (SAN), signing the condolence register at the Ibadan home of the late Justice Kayode Eso... yesterday. PHOTO: Femi ILESANMI

It’s a colossal loss, say Solanke, Sagay


IGERIA’S first indigenous female lawyer, Chief Folake Solanke, yesterday described the death of Justice Kayode Eso as a colossal loss to his family, the legal profession, the country and the world at large. She said: “I find it extremely difficult to be using the past tense to talk about him. “The late justice was a man who represented the golden age of the Supreme Court in

Nigeria. “His legal knowledge was awesome. His knowledge of literature was superb and his knowledge of the English language was extraordinary,” she said. Solanke added that Eso was also a God-fearing man who recently commissioned a chapel built at his personal expense for his people at Ilesa, Osun State. “He was a family man and

he loved human beings. All members of the bench and the bar gained from his knowledge,” she added. A constitutional lawyer, Prof. Itse Sagay (SAN), also said Justice Eso’s death was a major blow to Nigeria. Sagay said: “For me, it is a major tragedy because he was not only a legal colossus, he was the ‘Mr Integrity’ of Nigeria. “He was a landmark for hon-

esty, integrity and principles. “So, it is a blow to the country and for me. He was an uncle to me. It is an exceptional loss. It is enormous and incalculable. “In fact, that is the person by whom I judge things; the standard that I follow. “Apart from his brilliance and his great contributions, his integrity and uprightness has been a beacon for the rest of us”.

Judge, lawyers pay tributes


EMBERS of the inner bar have expressed shock on the death of Justice Kayode Eso, describing it as a huge loss to the country. Yusuf Ali (SAN) in his reaction said the death of Justice Eso represented the triumvirate cycle of deaths in the country. According to him, "the death of Lam Adesina represented the executive arm, Baba Saraki’s death stood for the legislative while the death of his lordship, Justice Kayode Eso stands for the judiciary. That is the striking balance. In his tribute, Adebayo Adelodun (SAN) described the late jurist as one of the best brains to emerge from the judiciary, pointing out that he has left a vacuum that will be difficult to fill. "It is a big loss to the nation in general. We will miss him sorely, especially his contribution to the justice system of the country.

Oseheye OKWUOFU, Ibadan Another lawyer, John Baiyeshea (SAN) remarked that Eso lived and died for the welfare of the oppressed. "He used his profession to make things better generally for the generality of the people. He did not allow law to be used for oppression and suppression. “ In his tribute on the condolence register at Eso's residence, Justice Peter Aderemi, a retired jurist of the Supreme Court, wrote: "A quintessential and adroit judge has departed this sinful world. Your cherished contribution to the development of law and promotion of justice will remain indelible in the hearts of all of us. May your great soul rest in peace.” A visit to the Ibadan residence of the late jurist yesterday showed a solemn atmosphere.

Jide ORINTUNSIN, Minna ORTHERN States Governors’ Forum (NGSF) yesterday expressed sadness over the death of Justice Kayode Eso, who they described as ‘’father of judicial activism.’. The Chairman of the forum and Niger State Governor, Dr. Mu’azu Babangida Aliyu, in a condolence statement, said Eso’s death was saddening and painful, particularly because it came at a time his advice and guidance were required to consolidate the gains made in the nation’s judiciary. According to the statement signed by Aliyu’s Chief Press Secretary, Mallam Danladi Ndayebo, ‘’the late Judge was perhaps the greatest single advocate of the independence of the Judiciary, and he was well known for his relentless efforts in maintaining discipline and protecting the integrity of the court.’. The forum Chairman regreted that the legal luminary died at a time he still had much to contribute not only to the development of the bar and the bench but to the society in general. The forum cited the eulogy of a Justice of the Supreme Court (JSC) Pius Olayiwola Aderemi on the departed legal luminary: ‘’The late Justice Kayode Eso was a ‘permanent exhibit’ whose decisions as a judge were legendary and delight to study. They were full of erudite scholarship, well reasoned and replete with legal authorities. They contained fine statements of law and veritable guides for all in the legal profession or connected with law.’’ The Chairman pointed out that hard work, commitment and dedication to duty earned Eso his elevation to the nation’s apex court, adding that he was not surprised that President Goodluck Jonathan picked him out for the prestigious award of the Commander of the Federal Republic (CFR) during the last National Honours Award in September. The statement then urged members of the deceased’s family and colleagues on the bench and bar to take solace in the fact that the late Justice of the Supreme Court lived a fulfilled life of service to the nation and humanity. It also prayed for eternal rest to the soul of the deceased and that God grant members of his immediate family and his former colleagues on the bench and the bar the fortitude to bear the loss.







Justice Eso as a judicial activist NEWS ANALYSIS Eric IKHILAE HILE here, Justice Eso was commonly referred to as the Father of judicial activism in the country in view of his belief that the judiciary must be independent of the other arms of government. This disposition, which he exhibited not only through his judicial decisions, but also through his speeches and writings, endeared him to all, who saw him as an accomplished jurist, a man of high moral standing, reputed for his uprightness, firmness and diligence. This reputation informed the various important assignments he was saddled with even after his retirement from public service. In a highly ethic conscious society like this, the late jurist was picked by the government of Rivers State in 2008 to make peace among the people of the state. Despite being a Yoruba man, without any historical link with the people, they believed in him, knowing that truth and transparency are universal. As the Chairman of the Rivers State's Truth and Reconciliation Commission, he discharged his responsibilities without any taint on his reputation. That he approached every assignment with all his strength was evident in the all-revealing report of the panel he headed that investigated the rot in the nation's judiciary in the days of the late Gen. Sani Abacha. The report serves as a reference point till date. He was also a member of the committee set up last year by the retired Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Dahiru Musdapher, to advise on how to reform the judiciary. The committee was headed by the equally retired CJN, Justice Mohammed Uwais. While at the Bench, Justice Eso's activism was reflected in his various decisions. One of such cases was what is now commonly referred to as "the mystery gunman case." In the case, Nobel Laureate, Prof Wole Soyinka, was docked in 1965 for allegedly seizing a radio station at gun point when the station wanted to announce rigged election results. Justice Eso, then 40 years, in his judgment, returned a verdict of not guilty on Soyinka. Justice Eso, shortly after the judgment, was transferred from Ibadan to Akure, regarded then as a rural environment. Another of his prominent cases was the celebrated case of Chief Obafemi Awolowo Vs Alhaji Shehu Shagari, in 1979.The Supreme Court, in deciding the law relating to election cases, had by a majority of 6-1, affirmed the election of Shagari as duly the elected President. Justice Eso was the only one who dissented. In his dissent opinion, he held that at least two-third of 19 states could only be 13 and not 12 2/3. That decision has till date, remained green in the nation's jurisprudence. The late jurist was born on September 18, 1925 in Ilesha, Osun State. He attended Holy Trinity School, Omofe, Ilesha from 1933 to 1939. He was in Ilesha Grammar School between 1940 and 1944. He, thereafter, proceeded to the University of Dublin where he acquired the Bachelor of Law in June 1953 and, in 1956, Master of Arts. The late Eso was called to the English Bar in November 1954 and in December of the same year, the Nigerian Bar.He immediately went into legal practice in Jos. Four years later, he joined the Western Regional Legal Department as a draughtsman, where he was in charge of civil litigation in the entire region. In 1964, he became Principal Legal Draughtsman. A year after, he was promoted to the High Court bench and in 1967, he was among the justices appointed to the Western State Court of Appeal. The deceased rose to become the Chief Judge of Oyo State in 1976 after the splitting of the Western Region. In 1978, he was elevated to the Supreme Court where he spent 12 years before retiring in 1990. __


•The late Justice Kayode Eso’s younger brother, Ven. Ladipo Eso

•His niece, Abimbola Uzomah

Jonathan, Mark, Tinubu others mourn


RIBUTES have continued to trail yesterday’s death of eminent jurist, Justice Kayode Eso. In a message by Dr. Reuben Abati, the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, President Goodluck Jonathan described the death of the retired Justice of Supreme Court as a great national loss, adding that the President received news of the death with sadness. “Eso was an eminent jurist, a courageous judge and consistent advocate for an independent judiciary. “His long and exemplary life was dedicated to the service of law and order, and the dispensation of true justice, equity and fairness to all.’’ The president, on behalf of himself and the Federal Government, extended heartfelt condolences to the Eso family, their friends, associates and the government and people of Osun State, urging them to take solace in the fact that Eso would forever be remembered as a very bold, fearless and courageous judge who contributed enormously to establishing the independence of the judiciary. “Members of the legal profession owe a debt of gratitude to the late Eso for his immense legacy of learned, erudite and seminal judgments, prodigious writings and major interventions in national debates. “He urged members of the bar and bench to emulate the dedication, discipline, integrity and activism that Eso exemplified, even up to old


age.’’ In his message, Senate President, David Mark, described the death of the Supreme Court Justice as a monumental loss to the nation, especially the Judiciary. Mark, who reacted to the death of the foremost jurist, lamented that the country has lost one of the best and fertile minds in the judiciary. A statement by the Special Adviser (Media) to Senate President, Kola Ologbondiyan, quoted Mark as saying that Late Eso was one of the proponents of the legal reforms that ushered in the era of dignity and the independence of the nation’s judicial system. “As a legal officer and jurist, Eso was a voice for the voiceless. He defended the defenceless and was there for the oppressed. “He was forthright and a distinguished officer. Nobody doubted his integrity and where he stood on national issues were clearly unambiguous. He was a patriotic Nigerian.” National leader of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) and former Lagos State governor, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, said the death of Justice Kayode Eso has left a gaping hole that can never be filled in the Nigerian judiciary. “Nigeria has lost in Justice Eso a golden heart and an irrepressible soul burning with justice, fairness and equity. He packed so many good traits: scholarship, character, modesty, boldness, honesty, integrity and candour. He was the quintessential judicial role model,” he said.

Tinubu called on the Eso family to be comforted, saying that their patriarch was a Nigerian gift to the Justice universe. “His loss is no doubt painful. But you must rejoice in this gift to the world. Even as you grieve, you must thank God for this rare gift, who has nevertheless, been called by his creator, after he had lived to a ripe old age,” he said, adding that Justice Eso was one of the “classical,” justices in the golden age of Nigeria’s Supreme Court. “Our Nobel Laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka, once famously declared that justice was the first condition of humanity. But Justice Esho was one of those that ensured, through his wisdom and rigour of judicial pronouncements, that basic justice never escaped the average Nigerian, even if he served for most part under military rule. He ensured that justice was done, even if the heavens would fall.” Tinubu described Justice Esho as a patriot-guide, who by the instrumentality of the law, pointed his compatriots to the right way, and insisting on the rule of law. “Justice Eso never shirked his judicial responsibilities, even when the powers-that-be were involved. His minority judgment over the 1979 presidential election, in which he rejected the latter day idea that two-thirds of 19 states could be anything than 13, and nullifying President-elect Shehu Shagari’s election.” Tinubu said Justice Eso was one of the justices that fired his

administration in Lagos State to institute far-reaching judicial reforms, aimed at increasing access to justice and fastening the pace of the courts and ensuring fairness for all. He therefore called on all to preserve his legacy, but added: “We can only do that if all our judicial officers rededicate themselves to the cause of justice. That is the only way we can preserve the Esho legacy and make our country truly great.” Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar also extolled the extraordinary virtues of integrity of the Late Justice Kayode Eso. Atiku, in a statement by his media office in Abuja, said the late legal luminary was notable for his courage and integrity because of his role in saving the image of the judiciary from the nadir of moral eclipse. As a judicial activist, he said the late Justice Kayode Eso was always on the side of justice, regardless of whose ox was gored. The former Vice President also recalled that almost every administration in Nigeria had invited Eso to head one judicial inquiry or another because of the recognition that he was a rare man of probity. According to Atiku, “honour counted above money in the eyes of the late Eso and even his enemies must privately find themselves admiring his unique uprightness.” He said Eso deserved a special place in the pantheon of Nigeria’s judicial heroes and that judges and lawyers should imbibe his virtues to make our judiciary more vibrant, unbiased and fearless.

Eso used law as instrument of social re-engineering, says Amosun

GUN State governor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun, has mourned the death of foremost Nigerian jurist and retired Justice of the Supreme Court, Justice Kayode Esho, who passed away yesterday. Amosun also condoled with the Chief Justice of Nigeria, the Judiciary, government and people of the State of Osun on the demise of the revered jurist. In a press release by his Senior Special Assistant on Media, Mrs Funmi Wakama, Senator Amosun said Justice Esho died at a time when the nation would have benefited immensely from his wealth of experience in the ongoing reforms in the justice sector. “Kayode Esho was an embodiment of all the sterling qualities of an ideal judge. Erudition, sagacity, courage, integrity and commitment are among the noble qualities that

defined the life and times of Justice Esho,” the governor said. Amosun recalled that Kayode Esho belonged to that golden era of the Nigerian Supreme Court, “which turned out landmark judgements that have remained reference points till date.

“Esho used the law as an instrument of social re-engineering,” Amosun declared. The governor called on members of the Bar and Bench to follow in the footsteps of Justice Esho in order to reposition the Judiciary and restore its

glory. While praying for the eternal repose of his soul, Amosun urged members of the family of Justice Esho to take solace in the fact that he led an exemplary life. “His footprints are indeed endured on the sands of time”.

Akeredolu: his death is shocking


HE former President of the Nigeria Bar Association,Mr Oluwarotimi Akeredolu [SAN] has expressed shock over the news of the demise of a legal Icon, Justice Kayode Esho (Rtd), In a statement made available to reporters,the Action Congress of Nigeria[ACN] candidate in Ondo State said:” We express shock and sadness on the passage of this quintessential jurist not because of his age. According to the statement, Justice Esho enjoyed the gift of longevity and remained active till the end. ‘’Justice Esho’s bestrode the legal firmament

Damisi OJO,Akure with unequalled gusto. His contributions to our jurisprudence remain invaluable. He was a consistent advocate of a corrupt-free judiciary, nay society. He will be remembered for his courage and activism on the Bench. “His outstanding pronouncements on the Bench and lately his courage to alert the nation on the incursion of the virulent virus of corruption into the judiciary marked him out amongst the great jurists and men of his time and age. Akeredolu commiserated with the family of the deceased and prayed for the repose of his soul.

His death, a national tragedy Akinjide


SO’S death was a national calamity because he was one of the best judges Nigeria has ever produced. Akinjide said:“ His judgments are comparable to the best judgments in all the English-speaking world. “It is a great loss to the Commonwealth. I extend my condolences to members of his family, Nigerians and the Federal Government. “He was involved in putting together the Constitution of South Africa, which has been serving that country very well since Mandela. “People like him are few and rare and may his soul rest in perfect peace”. Prof. Taiwo Osipitan (SAN) He described the death of the eminent jurist as shocking, adding that his contributions to the legal profession would outlive him. He said: “It is shocking but then it is also a graceful passage and a painless one. One can only pray that his beloved soul would rest in perfect peace. “ Of course, he made substantial contributions to the legal profession, which would obviously outlive him. “He was known for being honest, he was known for being fearless, he was known for being just and above all, he was an incorruptible judge.” Mr Olu Daramola (SAN) He said Eso was a pride to the country, adding that he would be remembered for being a judge with a very high sense of integrity. “Eso was one of the finest brains in the country. He was a great man by all standard and a pride to the country. “His death is a sad loss for Nigeria”. Human rights activist, Mr Bamidele Aturu He said the former Supreme Court judge exemplified the core values of the legal profession. “It is a very sad loss in the sense that the man represented the best of our values in judicial system. “Eso was outstanding in terms of integrity, in terms of dedication to service and in terms of commitment to sound principles of the law. We will miss him greatly.




Governors Uduaghan, Amaechi, Fayemi mourn late jurist

Osun declares three days of mourning O SUN State governor, Rauf Aregbesola, yesterday declared three days of mourning following the death of eminent jurist, Justice Kayode Eso. Aregbesola, who made the announcement at a special sitting in honour of the legal icon at the state House of Assembly, also said that the state government would fly the flag at half mast. The governor described Eso’s death as very painful and shocking, stressing that he was an incorruptible judge known for judicial activism in the legal profession. “The exit of the legal icon is sad and we pray against such unfortunate incident. His life was dedicated to both the rich and the poor and he was a patriot par excellence,” he said. Aregbesola said Eso served humanity and God and he was a great ambassador whose death would be a huge loss to the anti-corruption crusade and the legal profession. In his own address, Mr Najeem Salaam, Speaker of the House expressed pain at


the demise of Eso, who he described as world-class jurist, eminent scholar and an honest judge. The Speaker said: “The ‘legal legend’ was not just any jurist or legal mind but a special breed who exhibited honesty, integrity and the virtues of ‘Omoluabi’ (the virtuous)”. The daughter of the deceased, Mrs Funmilayo EshoWilliams, Special Adviser to the Governor on Women Affairs, said the death of her father really upset her. Esho-Williams, who spoke on phone from the UK, said that her father was a loving, kind and generous person whose death had created a vacuum that would be difficult to fill. Also commenting, Chief Ebenezer Babatope, former Minister of Transport during the military regime, said Eso’s death had thrown the whole country into a mourning session. Babatope, who said that the late jurist was his uncle in the family circle, described him as a forthright, brilliant and honest man as well as flaw-


IMILARLY, Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan of Delta State has described the death of Justice Kayode Eso as a great loss to the country. In a statement issued by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr Sunny Ogefere, on Friday in Asaba, the governor said Justice Eso's death, coming on the heels of that of Oloye Abubakar Saraki and former Governor Lam Adesina, was indeed saddening and a great loss to the country. ``Once again, we have lost a true Nigerian, a patriot, a statesman and a professional to the core. Here goes another great Nigerian, his type are few in this our time. ``Late Justice Eso was an eminent and respected jurist who fought and stood for credibility of the judiciary," the governor said.

•Aregbesola less in his judicial decisions. The Minister of State for Defence, Mrs Olusola Obada, in her own condolence message said: “Eso was my first and foremost uncle in whom I was well pleased. “He was my father-figure whose immense contribution to my life has remained indelible. He was a distinguished jurist who served the nation meritoriously without any blemish. “Kayode Eso was a brilliant judge and a great patriot whose style of judgment will for long remain a reference point in the nation’s judicial system,” he said.

He prayed God Almighty to grant the family and the nation the fortitude to bear the loss. Also, in his condolence message, Governor Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers State, expressed shock at the demise of Justice Kayode Esho. In a statement by his Spokesman Mr. David Iyofor, Governor Amaechi described Justice Esho as an accomplished jurist, a rare breed of uncommon wisdom and sharp intellect who always stood on the side of the law and what was right. Amaechi hailed Justice Esho’s enormous contributions to the growth of Nigeria’s legal and justice system and the good work he did as a justice of the Supreme Court. “Justice Esho was a man of uncommon virtues. His work in the Apex Court would not be easily forgotten. Most important to us here in Rivers State was his commitment to the Rivers State Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) which he chaired, contributing to the return of peace and sanity in the state.” “We are particularly grateful for the thorough and comprehensive work he did at the TRC. Rivers people hold him dearly and will always remember him for that,” Amaechi said. The governor condoled with the Esho family, the judiciary and the entire country over this great loss, and prayed for the repose of his soul. Also, the Ekiti State governor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, expressed regret over the death of Justice Eso, describing his passage as a “big blow to the judiciary in particular and the nation at large.” Fayemi, in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Olayinka Oyebode, described Eso as “an incomparable legal giant whose contribution to jurisprudence will remain indelible in Nigeria and Africa.” The governor further described Eso as “an impartial, incorruptible and fearless judge who did justice to all cases before him, regardless of personalities involved.” Describing Eso as “the conscience of the nation’s judiciary”, Fayemi recalled that the late judge was fothright in arriving at his decisions as a judicial officer and never allowed anybody to initimidate him. Fayemi noted that Oso was a role model to upcoming lawyers and judges in commitment, dedication, industry and discipline which helped him to maintain a scandal-free career both at the Bar and on the Bench. He stated that Oso’s death has created a big void in the league of eminent Nigerian jurists whose counsel and contribution will be crucial as thenation embarks on another round of constitution amendment process.

Innocence lost

OR the last couple of months a scandal has been brewing in the United Kingdom. A scandal of titanic proportions which reduces a British national treasure from the highs where only heroes dare to roam to the lowest depths of a villainess terrain. The late Sir Jimmy Savile was not only one of the most loved and respected men in Britain; he was quintessentially an omnipresent and eccentric adornment to British public life. As a disc jockey, television presenter, media personality and charity fundraiser, Jimmy Saville single handedly raised an astounding £40 million for charities and transformed the lives of thousands through his television show Jim’ll Fix It. He was a personal friend to Margaret Thatcher, Prince Charles, Lady Diana, Knighted by the Queen, given a Papal Knighthood by the Pope John Paul II amongst so many other honors. However, it was not until after his 2011 death that hundreds of allegations of child abuse and rape became public, leading the police to believe that Savile may have been one of Britain’s most prolific sex offenders. With these allegations, it came to light that Jimmy Saville may have sexually abused over 300 young boys and girls, including mental patients and critically sick children. The crashing end to a legacy that was Jimmy Saville could not have been worse. Child abuse is not only one of the most horrific crimes imaginable; it is also one of the most damaging on the victim. One can only fathom the disastrous effect such a crime would have on the poor children that have fallen victim to it. It is really sad to know that in this day, we live in a world where such monstrosities can take place against such innocent beings. In some of the cases I have personally come across in the past, children as young as 16 months have been raped and abused. One of the most profound and heart-breaking cases was one that I have written

about before about a four year old girl that was raped consistently by her neighbour and carer. When I came across the case, the little girl was already physically and psychologically damaged and had tragically contracted HIV from her abuser and she was only four years old. I tried everything to pursue the case and assist the family but unfortunately, I was unable to keep in contact with them as they were displaced during one of the past Kaduna riots. Up until now, I am unable to get the devastating image of that little girls face out of my mind and I know it will remain with me for the rest of my life. Paedophilia or sexual acts towards children and adolescents who are far beyond a prepubescent level of physical and psychological development is one of those concepts that any normal person would find impossible to get their head around. However, it is a vice that we must accept happens in the society, a crime that we must be able to identify and prevent. Unfortunately, paedophiles or child molesters are not easy to classify as they come from all socioeconomic classes. Most modern cultures in general strongly condemn underage intercourse and regard it as a very serious crime, based on the idea that children are not sufficiently mature to be able to consent to intercourse and that intercourse with children is therefore rape. One cannot imagine why any adult would descend to such a low that they would feel the need to molest children. But I think the truth is that there is no simple explanation as to why some adults sexually abuse children. Although some make excuses for it by saying that paedophiles are mad people, but to be honest I think that explanation gives these abusers an easy way out. Unfortunately it may just come down to the basic fact that some people have an unhealthy interest in children and they do not care that sexual contact between adults and children is harmful to the child. Infact certain

molesters create the belief that they are merely showing affection by molesting a child. However, for the vast majority who are aware that their actions are wrong, they go to great lengths to keep their offences secret in order to continue to abuse children. I think what tends to also happen is that the majority of sex offenders were themselves sexually abused as children or exposed to it by witnessing the abuse of a loved one. Regardless, being an abused child does not give you any right to do the same thing to someone else. I must also stress that being abused does not necessarily cause an adult to molest a child. Like all people, abused persons make choices; to continue the circle of abuse or not. Sex offenders and pedophiles have got to be accountable for their actions no matter the darkness in their past. Unfortunately, there are so many myths and assumptions drummed into our consciousness and built into our society that help to create a safe haven for child molesters. For example, some believe that it is almost always the fault of parents because they neglect their children or that certain classes of people do not molest children. In order to hinder child molesters, these theories must stop so that we can concentrate on the conduct of adults and an atmosphere that empowers perverse adults to molest children. I think that the most frightening aspect of child abuse is that about 75-85% of molested children are molested by relatives or other familiar adults and not strangers, just like in the case with the family I met. As a parent, I would think that the most important strategy to protect children is to have good communication with our children. It is important to explain to children the difference about good and bad physical contact and to talk to them regularly, listen and observe their behaviour. One must know about their child’s activities and feelings. If in the unfortunate situation, a child

has been abused, they most likely may be too afraid and embarrassed to talk about it. In that situation, it is up to the parent to detect the physical and behavioural signals. An abused child may loose appetite, regress to infantile behaviour such as bed wetting or excessive crying, fear the dark, have recurrent nightmares or disturbed sleep patterns, unusual interest in or knowledge of sexual matters, expressing affection in ways inappropriate for a child of that age. A parent should notice whether a child has vaginal or rectal bleeding, infections or venereal disease, torn or stained underclothing and other signals such as aggressive or disruptive behaviour, withdrawal, running away or delinquent behaviour, or even unusually failing in school. In a situation where children show adult-like sexual behaviour, it is usually because they have been exposed to it by another child or adult because children tend to copy and repeat adult behaviours. Most experts agree that boys and girls have an equal chance of being sexually abused, although some children are more likely to become victims than others; children who are easily controlled by adults make easier targets. The abuse of children in my opinion is the worst action against any society. It is a problem of international proportion, especially when children are being trafficked from continent to continent in order to fuel this grotesque, illicit trade. The solution must also be international, enjoining the resources and forces of the whole world. There are no

excuses for sexually abusing children at any time, in any place and under any circumstances. Every child has the right to innocence; every child should be protected. Every time I am confronted with the harrowing facts that many of the children trafficked for sex slavery in Africa end up victims of AIDS or that a proportionally high number of the victims are tempted to commit suicide, my heart breaks. I have never been an advocate for capital punishment, but in the case of child abusers, I would vigorously campaign for the worst kind. I met Jimmy Saville as a young girl in 1984 on a TV programme called Saturday Starship when members of my class were invited to appear on a programme he was holding. It was the highlight of my life back then to meet this larger than character who was so giving and kind. Jimmy lived up to every expectation we had as he joked, teased and smiled at all of us who participated. Little did we know then that behind the quirky, cheeky smile that Jimmy had lay a dark and sinister secret. Jimmy’s story is a lesson to everyone to be more vigilant when it comes to their children. I hope it will serve as a deterrent to stop other children being abused. As a mother, I know that in order to stop the paedophile from educating our children about abuse, we must educate and protect them ourselves. Children are born innocent, devoid of sleaze, when a paedophile strikes, they render that innocence… lost.



Opposition merger talks: PDP is paranoid - ACN


HE Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) has accused the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) of suffering from deep paranoia over the ongoing merger talks involving key opposition parties, including the CPC, as well as other progressive forces in the country. In a statement issued in Lagos, on Friday by its National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the party said there is no better indication that the PDP is deeply worried by the talks than the resort to downright lies and abuse of the opposition parties by the PDP spokesman, Olisa Metuh, in order to discredit the talks. It said that in Mr. Metuh's latest mudslinging, blackmail and name-calling against the opposition, he described the ACN as a ''one-man party'' and the CPC as a ''believing in violence''. ''The truth of the matter is that PDP is terrified of the outcome of the merger talks. From the commencement of these talks, PDP has been having nightmares. However, the truth of the matter is that these talks have the blessing of a significant chunk of the leadership of the PDP, who for the time being, cannot come out publicly. ''Well, Mr. Metuh, here is a message you may want to convey to your paymasters: No amount of name-calling, blackmail or character assassination can stop an idea whose time has come. ''And if the PDP is so sure that the talks will fail, why is it even bothering to make any comments at all? We are comforted by the wise saying, that anywhere you see the sign that reads "No Thoroughfare",

then it means there is a road there. PDP's days as a political party are numbered with the assured success of these talks,'' ACN said. The party said the tagging of the ACN as a one-man party by the PDP has become a meaningless cliche, adding: ''All we have to say is that those who have the good fortune of belonging to the ACN know that there is no political party with a more robust democratic practice than the ACN. ''As a matter of fact, the usual remarks of former PDP members who joined our party is that they never believed any political party can be as democratic and inclusive in arriving at decisions affecting the party and its members as they have found in ACN. ''Perhaps Metuh had not joined the PDP when Governor Rotimi Amechi of Rivers State, who won the PDP primary elections for the Governorship of Rivers State, had his ticket forcibly taken away from him, and it took the Supreme Court of Nigeria - in a landmark decision - to restore his ticket to him and pronounce him Governor, even though his name was not on the ballot. ''Or may we ask, where was Metuh when the PDP, after the death of late President Umaru Yar'Adua, decided to jettison its zoning agreement on the platform of shameless expediency to pave the way for President Goodluck Jonathan,'' ACN queried. The party said while the CPC is quite capable of defending itself against the irresponsible allegation that it believes in violence, the

Constitution amendment: Northern governors may reject capital punishment •To meet on amendment issues, roadmap soon


•Akande trophy for violence and gangsterism goes to the PDP. ''Again, we ask: Where was Metuh when some gangsters with the full backing of the highest echelon of the PDP kidnapped a serving governor, or when the leader of the same gangsters openly confessed to the then President that he singlehandedly rigged election in favour of the PDP in the 2003 Anambra Governorship poll? ''Perhaps, Mr. Metuh should take time to study the antecedents of his party before washing its dirty linens in public in the name of criticizing other political parties. Far from the picture painted of the PDP by Mr. Metuh in his interview, his party is nothing but a conglomeration of strange bedfellows, whose only bond is the sharing of the largesse they have made of the nation's commonwealth in the past 13 years,'' ACN said.

Police arrest six oil companies’ MDs over alleged N24.6billion oil subsidy scam


HE Special Fraud Unit, Milverton Road, Ikoyi, Lagos, has arrested the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officers of six oil marketing companies over their alleged involvement in a N24.6 billion oil subsidy scam. They were arrested following SUF’s continued investigation of oil marketers, as referred to it by the Presidential Committee on Oil Subsidy. Those arrested are Mr. Odjegba Onoriode, Managing Director Eurafric Costal Services; Mr. Ejiofor Innoma Chikadiba, Group Managing Director, Caades Oil and Gas Ltd; Mr. Sowami Olatunde, Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of Prudent Energy and Services Ltd; Mrs. Gladys Amaefule, Managing Director, Somerset Oli and Gas Ltd; Mallam Bashir

Jude ISIGUZO Adamu Gusau, Managing Director Imad Oil and Gas Ltd, and Sir Daniel Chikwudozie, Managing Director, Dozzy Oil and Gas Ltd. SFU’s Commissioner of Police, Mr Tunde Ogunsaki, confirmed to The Nation that the suspects are still in their custody. The spokesperson for SUF, Ngozi Isintume-Agu, an Assistant Superintendent, who also confirmed their arrest, told The Nation that investigation so far has revealed that a total subsidy amount of N6.130billion was paid to Eurafric Coastal Services Ltd, based on 85, 519 million litres of fuel imported between November 2010 – 2011 financial year, which comprises six transactions. She explained that a total amount of N9.935 billion was

due to CAADES Oil & Gas Ltd, based on 13.501 million litres of PMS imported in December 2011, which comprises two transactions. Prudent Energy & Services Ltd, Somerset Oil & Gas Ltd, and IMAD Oil & Gas Ltd got payments of N1, 360, 898,638.10 was paid to based on a single importation of 18, 316, 767 million litres of PMS, N2.690 billion was paid to based on 40.165 million liters of PMS imported in two transactions, of N2.760 billion was paid to based on 55.426 million liters of Petroleum Motor Spirit imported which comprises three transactions respectively. Dozzy Oil & Gas Ltd also claimed N1, 773, 938, 533.60 in a single transaction dated 01/07/2011. Isintume-Agu noted that investigation is on-going and that trial of the suspects will commence at the end of the investigation.

30 brand new aircraft for Nigeria’s national carrier


EARNING from the unpleasant experience of Nigeria Airways, the nation will, in the next few weeks, have a private sectordriven National Carrier, with 30 brand new aircraft. The disclosure was made yesterday by the Director of Airport Operations of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), Henry Omeogu, at the Port Harcourt International Airport, Omagwa in Riv-

Bisi OLANIYI, Port Harcourt ers State, in an interactive session with newsmen. Omeogu was accompanied by the Regional General Manager, Southsouth/Southeast of FAAN, Mrs. Ebele Okoye, and the authority’s Director of Maintenance and Engineering, Mr. Femi Ogunode. The FAAN’s director of airport operations also stated that only brand new aircraft would

be allowed in the national carrier, and would offer worldclass services. He stated that domestic operations at Port Harcourt International Airport had henceforth been relocated from the terminal building to airconditioned tents, to ensure quick completion of the rehabilitation works, while the international operations would later be moved to the tents, with Christmas targeted for completion.

HE Northern Governors Forum (NGF) may reject capital punishment for corruption, as proposed by the Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) to the National Assembly Constitution Review Committee, as a major amendment to the 1999 Constitution. It was also gathered that the 19 state governors in the region may soon meet on key areas of the constitution they are seeking amendment. The governors will meet on ACF’s development roadmap for the region and its proposals for constitution amendment. Investigation by our correspondent, however revealed that the governors are not favourably disposed to capital punishment for corrupt elements. It was learnt that the ACF’s demand is now a matter of “Dead on Arrival.” A Northern Governor, who spoke in confidence, said: “We have not got the ACF’s proposals on constitution amendment. But from what we read, some

Yusuf ALLI, Managing Editor, Northern Operation

of us do not see capital punishment as a way of stemming corruption. “Even in the roadmap submitted to our Northern governors, the same ACF asked us to strengthen institutions, address poverty to eradicate, provide quality education and promote agriculture to address the social problems confronting our society. “When armed robbery was rampant nationwide, the military regime introduced death penalty and they were tying those convicted to stakes, but did it stop robbery operations?” Asked what might be the position of Northern governors, the source said: “We will adopt democratic norms and international best practices in solving corruption in Nigeria. “And I am quite sure that this will be the position of all the 17 governors in the South too. The ACF’s proposal cannot fly at all. “We are even in a country where we are susceptible to miscarriage of the law. Go back to 1984 when

the military administration of Buhari-Idiagbon was jailing innocent former governors for 63 years and so on for nothing.” Responding to a question, the governor said: “We will soon meet on ACF’s proposals, whether for roadmap or constitution amendment.” The ACF had in a memo to the Constitution Review Committee, said: “The law classifies crimes, according to the severity of their consequences both on the individual victim, the community or the country. If crime holds a high potential to gravely harm or kill its victim, the more severe the punishment, which was designed to punish and deter offenders. “This is to say that punishment must always fit offences. One crime that has proved capable of gravely harming or killing its victim, Nigeria , is corruption. “Sadly, our laws have not recognized corruption for what it is. ACF recommends that corruption be recognized as a capital offence and made to carry capital punishment.”



Better Life, leaders and fights


HE People’s desire for a bet ter life is what we shall fight for‘ – That was a statement in the speech the newly unveiled Chinese leader Xi Jinping used to introduce himself to the world last Thursday after a closed door one week meeting of the ruling Communist Party of China in Beinjing the Chinese capital. Obviously having in mind the flamboyant and highly competitive US elections of November 6, the Chinese newspaper ‘The China Daily‘ in its editorial this week noted defensively though that‘’ the ostensible lack of drama throughout the whole week may disappoint sensation seekers. But the confidence in continuity instead of revolutionary ideas and dramatic approaches means a better tomorrow is attainable‘. In addition to promising to fight for a better life Chinese Leader Xi said corruption too must be addressed and better party discipline was needed. According to Xi, - ‘the party faces many 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 bureaucracy caused by some party officials. We must make efforts to solve these problems. The Party must stay alert.‘ Let me start by saying that Xi Jinping too is a man of the world who is a 59 year old Chemical engineer married to a well known singer wife in China with a daughter and he has worked briefly in a farm in the US in 1985. So the stereotype of Chinese leaders being commonly dull, conservative and immersed in revolutionary ideas all the time like Mao, is just not realistic. We shall therefore analyse Xi’s message in global terms and compare it with other ‘fights’ or wars in other places and sectors on the global scene to learn a few lessons from China’s brand of democracy which many western socio political analysts pore scorn on because of its massive dictatorial content and one party political structure. Undoubtedly China’s outgoing President Hu Jintao led China to

stupendous growth over the last decade resulting in the elimination of Japan as the world’s second largest economy. But then corruption grew spirally and environmental matters led to disasters requiring massive state bailouts and interventions. Xi has therefore made the right sounds for the Chinese masses in taking over. Also the media is in tune given the editorial of the China Daily mentioned before. But the key elements of Xi‘s speech in fighting for a better life for the Chinese people are anti – corruption crusade, transparency, keeping in touch with the people, removal of red tape in business and development, party discipline and above all security. The Chinese leader’s message is loud and clear - the party must be alert because there are forces out there in China wondering why a party made up of just 80m party members should rule on behalf of a billion people. So the Communist Party must be alert so that it is not dethroned prematurely or unexpectedly by such dissidents. Party leaders and members must toe party lines and obey orders for the party to survive and maintain its grip on power. Discipline in the Chinese sense is for the party so it can stay ahead of the larger society in terms of political power and control. Party members too are enjoined to stay closer to the people so as to know if they are happy or not and to note their complaints before they become explosive and threaten the status quo which is the continuous dominance and sovereignty of the Communist Party in China. So in very few words Xi has rephrased or adopted Confucianism the politi-

cal and administrative ideology of the Chinese sage Confucius in a communist setting in modern China that will surely make Mao Tse Tung - the founder of Revolutionary China founded in 1949 – green with envy in his grave .Confucius was a Chinese philosopher, editor and politician who lived between 551 and479 BCE during a period called the Spring and Autumn of Chinese history. His theories had a ding dong battle with acceptability in Chinese history but over time have come to be recognized globally as a sine qua non for good corporate governance and political management. Confucianism emphasized personal and governmental morality, correctness of social relationships, justice and sincerity- all of which the new Chinese leader Xi really hammered home as the guiding principle of the new Chinese administration. Which really is a good take off for a communist regime that is more known for its taciturnity and secretive nature, rather than a culture of carrying its people along on its policies or style of governance. It is this Chinese style of governance that we have to compare albeit rather briefly with other methods of economic and political management that revolve around events in Mali, the US, and Nigeria in the last week. With regard to Mali, ECOWAS has raised a military contingent of 3000 with soldiers drawn from Nigeria, Niger and Burkina Fasso whose President Blaise Compraore is the main negotiator with the rebels. But the military contingent is doomed to fail before it has even started. Some critics have asked it not to wait for UN approval before taking off as that

would delay it and snuff out its resolve as the UN in recent times according to them, has not done anything right. They point to its human rights irritants in the Congo that has had Uganda and Rwanda vowing not to contribute their soldiers to any UN controlled forces in the region. Worse still, the AU official in charge of the Mali contingent is reported as saying that negotiation is still an option with the contingent. So of what use is the land armada that is meant to drive out the Mali Occupiers who are said to have forced girls into prostitution in northern Mali and concscripted boys in their area of occupation into the their Islamist army as boy soldiers? ECOWAS should therefore make up its mind to see the intervention project through using its own resources and control and utilizing the advantage of proximity to the problem area as well as intimate knowledge of the environment of conflict. It was therefore nice hearing that French President Francois Hollande has promised French help in terms of logistics and training stressing that France will not contribute any military force to the Mali contingent. ECOWAS really must have the stomach to fight to free Mali and stop a dangerous precedent in its region and it can not do this by behaving like the proverbial cat that wants to eat fish from a pond without getting its paws wet as it seems to be doing right now over its preparations for intervention as at this week. In the US the reelected President Barak Obama is trying to implement the manifesto that got him elected which is to raise taxes and make spending cuts and analysts have said he is trying to take the US over a cliff which really is frightening. But then he got elected for promising to raise taxes while Mitt Romney was given the cold shoulder for promising to cut taxes for the rich. Even though Obama has promised to negotiate with the Legislature and give way on other bills like Medicare later, he has insisted that the rich will be taxed while the middle class will get tax relief. So what kind of fight is Obama in to give the American people a better life like the new Chinese

leader just promised his people? It is to me a fight to help the poor in the US no matter the odds against his economy policies derided as Obamanomics by his opponents who invented the over the cliff terminology to create fear that raising taxes followed by spending cuts will lead to a US recession which would balloon into another global economic crisis similar to the global meltdown that started in 2008; leading to further spending by governments to bail out banks and industries as was done post the 2008 financial crisis. In Nigeria we shall look at the leadership provision of a better life for its people syndrome in the context of the utterances of a Nigerian regional body the Arewa Consultative Forum and others as well as those of the only Nigerian leader who has ruled the nation as both a military and civilian leader, former President Olusegun Obasanjo. Arewa in speaking was trying to make its contribution to our constitutional review process and the body which speaks for the north said that corruption should be visited with execution. Incidentally China punishes corruption with execution of those found guilty and has no remorse over that. Really I buy the argument of Arewa as the punishment of death could be a powerful deterrent for potential culprits to think twice before enriching their personal purses at the expense of the paying public. General Obasanjo too spoke in the same vein as Arewa although he did not specify capital punishment but he berated the present administration for not tackling corruption sufficiently and for treating the Boko Haram terror with kid gloves. So that is putting both corruption and security on the priority list of any leader who wants to fight to create a better life for Nigerians. Obasanjo went on to accuse Nigerian politicians as lacking discipline in that after elections they throw away the manifesto that they used to campaign and upon which they were elected to power. Which is the opposite of what Obama is trying to do, willy nilly in the US, as it is unthinkable that he would abandon his campaign promises and ever renege on them even though he cannot contest for the office of president again. At another forum Obasanjo revealed that he was under pressure as president to rig an incumbent state governor out of office, but he resisted the pressure to ask a residential electoral officer to achieve that sinister design. But was the pressure from within his party or without and what punishment was meted out to those who dared to moot such an idea to an incumbent president? At another forum, the Chairman of INEC Professor Attahiru Jiga announced that he has evidence that political parties vote money for post election litigations and money to bribe INEC officials and that is why such litigations are rife and are the bane of our brand of democracy because there is money available as budgeted. That means that the INEC boss has more fights to fight to get our electoral act right. Which also shows that the electoral process or its monitoring should not be limited to campaigns and elections alone, but to close and constant scrutiny of the books and even minutes of party meetings to nip such acts in the bud. But is that possible or acceptable in a democratic society? Undoubtedly one needs a long spoon to dine with the devil in politics. But in the quest to provide a better life for the people one leads, certain steep prices have to be paid, as eternal vigilance is truly the price of liberty and of course democracy in any nation, especially a big one like our own Nigeria.





Of airborne pastors, grounded congregants Knucklehead


may not be a religious freak but I am conversant with what the Christian faith says about obtaining divine favour from the Creator of the universe. In a society that has sold its soul to worldly possessions, I really cannot understand why some of us criticise our modern-day inspirational speakers, who chose to sell their message of prosperity from the sublime ambience that the pulpit offers. Even the Bible tells us that not all that call His name should be taken as His true sons. It admonishes us to watch, pray and be mindful of beingprey to the devilish antics of the wolf in sheep’s clothing. It beseeches us not only to engage in deep introspection but also to continually strive to pattern our lives after the noble trajectory of Jesus Christ. At least, this much we were told in Sunday school in our formative years. To be sure, we were not told that making Heaven or living a Godly life was going to be a walk in the park in a society where only the fittest stands the chance of trudging on. There are numerous temptations and far too many tantalising carrots delicately placed on that narrow path. That is why we need His divine grace on this journey. That grace, I must admit, does not come easy, too. For some of us, growing was made difficult by all manners of strict rules bothering on religiosity. At a point, we were made to understand that the Afro Beat icon, FelaAnikulapoKuti, must have sold his precious soul a million times to the devil for daring to accuse the religious leaders amongst us of feeding fat on us while we sheepishly worship them like the ignoramuses that we were. In my little household then, it was a sacrilege to mutter a single line from the chorus of that AbamiEda”s take on how excessive religiosity had entrapped us. Moreover, come to think of it, the pastors and Imams of those days were not living half as large as the ‘poorest’ clergy now live. They could be well dressed in their oversized coats of many colours,but they were not anything near the super models that now minister unto us, teaching us how to demand our inheritance from God. The pastors of yore sure knew the Bible and did apply it to quotidian challenges. Yet, they couldn’t” measure up when compared to the transliteration of Biblical verses of modern day pastors and its eclectic application to suit specific purpose. They were obviously filled with Holy Ghost, fire-spitting and tongue-speaking, but they did not apply the right economic mix and were not, therefore, that commercially viable. So, what the hell was Fela talking about? Turn over the page to the modern times and what do you have? Today’s spiritual leaders are the architects of their own fate. They have, literally speaking, taken their faith and fate into their own hands. Unlike in the past when brethren were admonished to prayerfully meditate on Jesus’ eternal words in the book of Matthew 7:7 that reads “Ask and it shall be given you. Seek and you shall find. Knock and it shall be opened unto you”’, today’s e-pastors have mastered how to snatch victory from the jaws of perseverance, by fire by force! If Fela were to be alive today, I have no doubt that he would

have upgraded the lyrics of his classic to accommodate the extravagant disposition of present day ‘men of God’. My thoughts, anyway. The question has been asked: should there be a limit to the ‘blessings’ that the clergy gets from God? Not really. However, something is not just right with the way the church is being run today. In the last two decades or more, many a psychedelic churches have sprung up with questionable business module that tends to portray them as limited liability companies other than altars of worship for the gathering of the saints. When the General Overseer dies, his wife takes over while the eldest son or daughter is naturally ‘anointed’ to take over from the mother at the appropriate time. This worrisome development is being replicated in most of the new generation churches today with countless General Overseers, Bishops, Senior Evangelists, Daddies and Mummies superintending over the business of communing with the Creator. It will be interesting to know the percentage of those who throng these worship places to strengthen their spiritual relationship with God and those who see them as fertile grounds to harvest prosperity messages! How many of them really understand that spirituality in Christendom transcends the ululations of grandiose living as exemplified in the lifestyle of the man on the pulpit? Question is: How come the clergy is no longer content with living a moderate yet comfortable lifestyle? Gone forever is the Spartan ways of the clerics of old. It appears today’s pastors are in a hurry to enjoy the good things of life. They are in a fierce battle to rule the world, dominating the hedonistic symbolisms of Mammon. Even erecting monuments for God has become a worldly contest. Many now move around in convoys of bullet proof SUVs and heavily armed guards. It will not be surprising if some of them preach the Word with a loaded gun strapped to their waists. It is a disturbing trend these days; they now speak about their Gucci suit, their Raymond Weil wristwatches, their PocoRabanne perfumes, Italian belts and all manner of vain fashion accoutrement before talking about the import of Jesus’ choice of riding a donkey into Jerusalem when he could have picked the best of the horses! Sure, this is not a place to dwell on the growing rate of lascivious excesses in our worship places. In her contribution to reports that the President of the Christian Association of Nigeria and Founder of Word of Life Bible Church, Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor, was ‘blessed’ by his flock, which he has shepherded for 40 years, with a 10seater Bombardier/Challenger jet worth over 40 million dollars, a lady had suggested on her Facebook page that the government should consider introducing Pentecostal Evangelism as a course in our universities so that more potential pastors would have the opportunity to perfect their skill on how to prosper in the Lord’s vineyard. You may call it funny but her contribution says a lot about the gradual descent of religious piety into the realm of mercantilism. Evidently, the swagger and showmanship that many a pastor have brought into what was once a solemn assembly of the


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

faithful is not helping matters. Wither the old rites of worship in a society where even the most outrageous dressing, homosexuality and lesbianism can be excused with a biblical quotation? Lord have mercy! The righteous outrage over a plane gift notwithstanding, I believe we are missing the point, expending energy on criticising the pulpit. Before we crucify the pulpit, we must first engage in self-introspection. Why, for example, do we worship at a particular church? Is it because a particular preacher sends adrenaline down our spines each time he mounts the podium or because of his style, the grandiloquence of his speech, the pitch in his Queen’s English, his deployment of American slangs or simple because of his exquisite dressing? Are we there to serve God or Mammon? If we do not want to be labelled hypocrites, we must first take the log out of our eyes before daring to take the speck out of our pastor’s eye. If we had not complained against the rabid acquisitions and stupendous wealth of our spiritual leaders amidst the crying suffering among the congregants, why do we cry blue murder just because of a slight upgrade in status? Can’t we just see the latest acquisition of a flying toy as a necessary tool in the desire to bring the gospel closer to the lost in our villages and hamlets? As my good friend Lara Wise puts it, those who whine over the perceived greed that has taken over the pulpit do so because they have refused to set their standard beyond man. She wrote: “God’s standard is same for everyone; pastor, church and congregation. I keep saying this, no pastor, whether jet-flying or bicycle-riding, deserves to be your standard. That way, nothing they do or do not do surprises us. And why do I get this sneaky hunch that we are yet to hear and see more happenings in the last day Christendom that will shock, annoy, depress and distract us?” No other person could have put it better. Those who frequent certain altars for blessings without any patterned course or giving a hoot about how they come into sudden wealth should just claim their own private jets now! For those who truly crave the glory of His kingdom, Lara says they should look unto Jesus, “the author and finisher of our faith.” For those who are still dazed by the sickening material cravings of self-styled, end-time preachers, let them be consoled by his soothing words in Mark 10:18 to wit he admonished: “Why do you call me good? No one is good but One—God.” So why fret when mere mortals fail to practice what they preach about him? Why?

Reactions to Saturday Flakes

Re: Okada riders’ suicide mission in Lagos •Why can’t okada riders obey simple instructions meant for their own safety? What kind of country is this? Those who produce okada are not riding them in their country as a means of public transportation. Why here? Gordon Chika Nnorom, Umukabia, Abia State. What was responsible for the heartless vandalisation of public property? Let the truth be told for once in this country. What were government’s plans for these okada riders. Government will cause more harm than good with this policy. Okada riders are jobless people because and it is impossible for government to provide jobs for all of them. There should be orientation and training programmes for them, not proscribing okada. Thanks. OIK, Minna. •Thank you, Vincent, for your balanced judgment over the conflict between the Lagos State Government and okada riders. Granted that the cyclists had offended the law and should be punished, the government resorting to the destruction of the confiscated motor bikes instead of imposing some fines or taking other restrictive measures against its owners is akin to applying jungle justice to the okada riders, which no government with a true sense of purpose ought to do to its citizenry, no matter the level of provocation. Sentiments apart, crushing one’s source of income can be provocative. In legal parlance, provocation is classified as temporary madness and a madman on the rampage can go to any length to inflict harm or damage on anybody or anything, not minding the likely unpleasant consequences of his action. Although the okada riders have done no better,

those who destroyed their bikes in the first place committed greater sin and are to blame. Emmanuel Egwu, Enugu •I agree that okada riders did wrong by attacking public buses. But the government did the abominable It means that nothing good will come out of the existing social system. That is why the oppressed should organise and wrest power from the present bankrupt ruling class. Amos Ejimonye, Kaduna. •Okada riding is one of the businesses people have resorted to in order to battle hunger and hopelessness. The same government that is responsible for the alarming rate of unemployment has no moral justification to impound or destroy anybody’s source of economic survival. If the government provides gainful employment for the youth, no reasonable person would ride okada. Ifeanyi O. Ifeanyichukwu •I don’t know why you people have nothing to write except on okada, instead of asking the government to provide good roads, which would have discouraged people from going on okada. I know that many of you junk writers are on the payroll of the ACN government. 08085857485 •Whichever way anyone looks at the above subject, it is the responsibility of government to provide security by way of adequate infrastructure that will aid security itself. It should also provide sufficient recruitment of law enforcement, military and para-military agents as well as CCTVs and street patrol.

Seizing and destroying motor bikes is the most crude and wicked way of checking insecurity. So, crime will stop or/and has stopped with the vandalization of people’s bikes? Not at all. Provide jobs. Let education and health services be made free and 60 per cent of the present okada riders will quit voluntarily. When taking a drastic action like the Lagos

State Government has done, it should have adequately prepared for protection against reactionary possibilities like the destruction of BRT buses. The society is tough, Vincent. In suffering, you do not apply the advanced countries’ solutions in a less developed world where alternatives are hardly provided. Lanre Oseni.

Re: Tell them, Tambuwal, budget is no ritual •Let us believe that the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Aminu Tambuwal, spoke the mind of every Nigerian on the poor implementation of the 2012 budget and the nation’s infrastructural decay. Democracy is taking shape since the Speaker can speak to the President eye ball to eye ball on the state of the nation without compromise. Democracy is about checks and balances between the three arms of government. All the three arms should sit up to move the nation forward. Gordon Nnorom, Umukabia, Abia State. •I think your friend, Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila, deserves our collective pity because it is clear that he lacks the intellectual capacity and legislative sagacity to understand that a budget which began in April cannot hit 100 per cent performance by September. Please, let’s tell them to focus on how to reduce their jumbo pay and begin the process of impeaching those who turn oversight functions into ‘farouklized’ functions. Ogbaisi Godfrey.

•With the melodrama on the presentation of the 2013 budget by the President, between the executive and the legislative arms in recent times shows the beauty of democracy. However, I would have wanted a situation where we can effectively check the legislature. Sometimes, they wield power dishonestly. The executives are hereby advised to execute our budget honestly and committedly. Sometimes, followers and members who actually are supposed to execute and implement are worse culprits than the President., the Senate President and the Speaker we accuse. Lanre Oseni.

Re: Labaran Maku’s penance at National Assembly Labaran Maku is working hard to save his job through his utterances to Nigerians and the lawmakers. He should apologise to Nigerians over his outburst. Gordon Chika Nnorom





This is a police station!


THE NATION, Saturday, November 17, 2012

HE banner at the capacity-filled Dr. Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium fluttered with buoyancy and optimism. It bore such assuring declaration as “Edo is in safe hands: Welcome to the future”. As early as, students from different primary and secondary schools, crowd of party faithful, military and Para-military personnel and cultural ensembles, in their thousands, surged and fought their way to be part of the future that was being ushered in with the swearing-in for the second term of the new light of Edo politics, Governor Adams Aliyu Oshiomhole. At exactly 9.30 am, the stadium was already filled to the brim in kaleidoscope of colours don by an ecstatic and jubilant throng of citizens ready to hold the future in their own hands. Security personnel had a challenging time controlling the hordes of guests who wanted to be part of history that was being celebrated. History not because it was the first time a governor was being sworn in for a second term, but history that records the victory of one man one vote crusade that began sometime last year. History that celebrates the interment of the politics of godfatherism. History about a kingdom regained. History about a return from the wasteland. Regretting how the Despite the waterancient Kingdom of Benin tight security, the crowd suddenly became a ‘Paradise was ready to break Lost’, Governor Oshiomhole barriers to see their traced the cause of the rot to lack of governor, who has planning and neglect: come to be known as “Regrettably, in the recent past, the ‘Oshio Baba’ coroneted state became riddled with mismanagement, for yet another voyage oppression, corruption, poverty, that would put Edo marginalisation of the people, suffocation of civil State firmly in the society, and the general neglect of the basic needs pantheon of democratic of the masses. There was hardly a difference and developed state. between the rural and urban centres in terms of The Edo people were not alone in planlessness, unemployment, infrastructural their felicitation with the Comrade deficit and decay, unaccountable leadership, Governor. Friends and associates, political manipulation, waste cutting across political divides and criminal diversion of state braced the early morning showers to resources, and general register their camaraderie. As at insecurity.  Investors refused 10.30am, the roll call of political to come to Edo State, security gladiators included the former head Regrettably, in the recent forces were overwhelmed, of state, Gen. Yakubu Gowon (rtd), schools and hospitals were past, the state became National Leader of the Action dilapidated, workers were not Congress of Nigeria (ACN) and riddled with paid as and when due, many former governor of Lagos State, retired without benefits, mismanagement, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, pensioners died without ACN National Chairman, Chief oppression, corruption, pension and our people just Bisi Akande, Governor Babatunde continued to hope against poverty, marginalisation Fashola of Lagos State, Peter Obi hope. This situation, in a of Anambra State, Rauf of the people, suffocation general sense, continued until Aregbesola of Osun State, Owelle November 12, 2008 when a of civil society, and the •Comrade Adams Oshiomhole subscribes to the Rochas Okorocha of Imo State, new dawn began in Edo relevant oaths during his swearing-in as governor Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers State, general neglect of the State.” of Edo State for a second term at the Samuel Emmanuel Uduaghan of Delta This explains why in the basic needs of the Ogbemudia Stadium, Benin City...on Monday State and ACN National first four years of his reign, he Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai masses. There was hardly was focused on a blistering Muhammed. Also on hand to campaign of urban and rural a difference between the honour Oshiomhole were renewal to regain the lost former governors of Ekiti, Ogun rural and urban centres in kingdom of Benin. and Anambra States, Chiefs Niyi Adebayo, Segun Osoba n Linus OBOGO, Assistant Editor n Edo is working terms of planlessness, and Chris Ngige respectively, among others. As part of the strategy to stadium. A phenomenon that he has become in the state, even unemployment, engender hope in the people For four dizzying years, the people those in opposition could not but admit that this was an and address the rural/urban infrastructural deficit and epochal as they turned out to witness the coronation of the believed in and anchored their hope on drift, there was urgent need to the Comrade Governor and in the end, it diminutive gadfly whom God has given to the state. A decay, unaccountable take development to the turned out to be a voyage of promises gadfly who, even before his assumption of office, has people, if anything, to instill a leadership, political kept, hope kept alive and an fastened himself upon the citizenry, persuading and jolting sense of belonging in them. unprecedented transformation across them out of their political docility and obsequiousness. manipulation, waste and After reminding the people the state. And a reproach for a few who for long reduced the state to that everything that was criminal diversion of Speaking to The Nation in Benin, a a fiefdom. considered impossible has former PDP member, Mr. Osahon Much more than the convergence to witness the state resources, and been made possible, the Obazele, who said he defected to the inauguration of Oshiomhole’s second term, was a governor belched with general insecurity ACN said: “For once, Edo people can demonstration by the people that once they find a leader contentment and added that trust their governor.” who is not only selfless but one who has a demonstrable Edo is working, but not After nine years of growth stasis, the skills to lead, they are ready to follow. And with shouts of without firing a potshot at people can look back and heave a sigh of “Oshio Baba”, “Oshio Baba”, there was no denying the fact those he labelled godfathers. that this was a leader they had long been in crying need of. relief that the pains and deprivations of “We have proved the the past have been righted within so This was why they turned out in their thousands to godfathers wrong and today, short a time by the Comrade Governor celebrate what they regard as the extermination of the Edo is working,” assuring that in his second term, he in the saddle. So far, there has been what Obazele forces of darkness. A state whose people were for a long would attract private investments, revisit water supply in time reduced to miserable spectators, persuaded to believe described as “evidence of democracy for development, Benin City and pursue the sinking of boreholes in the rural that Edo was no longer viable as a state by a godfather and democracy for good schools, democracy for new roads, areas. Apart from developing the new Benin Layout and water supply, for women, children and youths.” Without a coterie of his followers, the showpiece could not be an effective land use act, he vowed to make the rural areas fail, the slogan of ‘no youth, no election, no children, no embraced any more than as a political emancipation of centres of development so that people “will no longer tomorrow, no women, no nation became the plank on some sort. travel to the capital city to see civilisation.” which the governor has anchored his developmental In a veiled reference to the brusque manner with which Lending voice to the governor’s rural/urban renewal agenda for the state. the ghost of the past was exorcised, echoes of “Hurricane •Continued on page 19 Kingdom lost Adams”, “Adamant Adams” wafted all round the

Agenda for second term: No more shall our people travel to our capital city to see civilisation –Oshiomhole




THE NATION, Saturday, November 17, 2012


•The victims, from left: Shotinoye, Ogunseye, Oyedele, Amodu

Two years after, Ogun community honours victims of chieftaincy dispute n Kunle AKINRINADE n EMORIES of the orgy of violence that occasioned the tussle for the seat of the traditional ruler of Ijoko community, Ogun State in 2010 were rekindled in the community recently. The ugly incident had claimed no fewer than eight lives in the community, including that of the 32-year-old son of the traditional ruler. In the morning of April 27, 2010, the traditional ruler, Oba Lasisi Ogunseye, had left his palace to attend the hearing of a suit filed by some aggrieved parties against his installation as the Oba of the town at the Ota Division of the Ogun State High Court. A few minutes after the court session, Oba Ogunseye was on his way home when unidentified hoodlums attacked his convoy at Oju-Ore junction, Otta. While the octogenarian monarch escaped the attack by a whisker, some of his loyalists were not so lucky. Eight of them were killed in the violent attack. The victims included the Asiwaju of Ijokoland, Chief Olufemi Sotinoye; the Ekerin of Ijokoland, Chief Akibu Amodu and the Oba’s son, Prince Monsuru Ogunseye. The other victims were Bashiru Osoba, Kazeem Oyedele, Sherif Oloyede, Fatai Sanni and Akeem Sanusi. Prince Monsuru was said to have escaped from the scene of the attack and went into hiding somewhere in Otta. From his hideout, he started making calls to his friends and siblings on his mobile phone, asking them to come and rescue him. Unknown to him, some people who initially did not recognise him as the oba’s son, overheard his conversation on the phone and alerted his assailants. Pronto, they stormed his hideout on motorcycles and apprehended him. They were said to have taken him to the house of a chief who allegedly passed a ‘death sentence’ on him. His captors then took him to a shrine in the community where his body was reportedly mutilated until he died. In a similar vein, Sanusi, a 29-year-old graduate of Computer Science from the Lagos City Polytechnic, was said to be two days away from resuming work at Emirate Airline when he met his gruesome death. He was said to have left his base in Lagos to attend the court session in solidarity with the monarch. He was said to


•Akeem sanusi

•Oba Ogunseye

have tried to jump over a fence when the crisis broke, but his assailants held him by the leg and shot him dead. As for Osoba, a man who pretended to be his friend was said to have pointed him out to his killers. Fearing that he had charms that might make him not to die from gunshots, his assailants resorted to stabbing him to death. The trio of Oyedele, Oloyede and Sanni were also said to have been killed in similar circumstances. In appreciation of their heroic deaths, the indigenes of the town decided to honour them recently at a ceremony tagged Ijoko Fallen Heroes. Held at Ijoko Community Primary School, hundreds of residents trooped out to honour their departed kinsmen. The commemorative ceremony, witnessed by Oba Ogunseye and Olori Igbimo of Owu, Abeokuta, High Chief Femi Shodeinde and other dignitaries, commenced with the laying of Continued on Page 21

THE NATION, Saturday, November 17, 2012

16 1004 Estate, for its history as the largest single high rise estate in sub-Sahara Africa, is a significant landmark for Nigeria’s property landscape. It is, therefore, undeserving of the current bickering associated with it, writes SEGUN BALOGUN RIVING into one of the four clusters of 1004 Estates as a visitor, you will find there is no place to park. The well-lined parking lots are all flagged with “No Parking” notices as each flat is entitled to just one lot. Parking lot, as inconsequential as it may seem, continues to generate arguments that sometimes get out of hand among its upper-class residents. The Nation gathered that reliably that a foreigner reportedly slapped a Nigerian over issues of parking lot. For instance, as a visitor, and you expect your host – who probably has more than one vehicle to solve your parking space problem, you may be asking for too much. The problem of parking lot has pitched the manager of 1004 Estates Limited, against the residents in recent times. According to Sola Oni, the company’s General Manager, the company seeks to “provide world-class services that can bring credit to Nigeria.” Taking up this pursuit has put the company in a dilemma as to how to achieve its aim of satisfying the residents, numbering over 1000, and also balance the interest of the company’s investors. The company, established in 2004 for the sole purpose of acquiring the derelict 1004 Estate, which had previously housed Second Republic lawmakers and later senior federal civil servants, first had to resolve the feud between the federal and Lagos State governments, before it could commence refurbishment in 2008. The state government, as the rightful trustee of land within the state, believed it should have the right of first refusal to buy the estate. Consequently, the estate was locked for four years, while interest on financing instrument accrued. In the end, according to a source close to the deal, the company had to pay both governments, which “is like paying twice for the property.” The new 1004 Estate launched in 2009, amid economic crunch and the management company, according to sources, are now at loggerheads with the 1004 Residents Association over service, electricity, Land Use charges and sundry issues. The association seems to be at its elastic limit and can no longer put up with some of the company’s “unilateral” decisions. In the report of its August 11 meeting, the residents “resolved to engage the services of law firms to provide guidance on how to enforce our rights. We believe it is the only way to go if we are not to become pawns and helpless subjects in the hands of an organisation that wants to have its cake and eat it.” Accusing the company of trying to have its cake and eat it, the association is implying that the company, having sold the housing units, should now have limited rights in running the affairs of the estate. They claim the company is running roughshod over their rights as flat owners. At the heart of this simmering crisis is the perception that the new estate management is opposed to dialogue with residents and takes actions unilaterally. “All the issues are not new, but they didn’t generate so much controversy because the previous management was in constant dialogue. We were told the electricity rate will decrease when occupancy increases but surprisingly, it was otherwise,” said a resident, who does not want to be named. The electricity charge was increased by 50 per cent to N75 per kilowatt, irrespective of whether the power source is from national grid or the estate’s generator. While this rages, service charge was increased in February to N750,000 with immediate effect. To ensure that residents pay, the company allegedly refused selling electricity units to residents that have not paid the service charge. This prompted the association to demand audited accounts for the year ending 2011. Residents agreed to pay N350,000 and no more until all funds were accounted for. This appears agreeable to both parties until October 17 when the company asked for additional N200,000 from each flat to fund what residents called “laughable projects.” “In all our meetings with the estate managers, our position had been clear; submit your accounts for previous quarters for audit to the association (as expected of all responsible estate managers). They agreed to submit several times but failed to,” says the resident association, in its email response to The Nation’s enquiry. When the company will not baulk, each flat contributed N10,000 to contract KPMG for an audit exercise to determine “what should be the fair charges.” They also setup committees on Power and Budget comprising their members. Pending the outcome of the audit, they decided to deposit N350,000 as 2012 service charge. However, the KPMG’s audit exercise failed because, as claimed by the association, it was “frustrated by the MD of the 1004 Estates Limited. He was very unprofessional and uncooperative with the audit exercise. To date, it is on record that requested documents to ensure the audit exercise has not been tendered and the audit exercise has stalled.”


•The 1004 Estate

Uneasy calm at 1004 Estate •Residents quarrel with managers over power supply, land use charges In an interview with The Nation, Mr. Oni said he does “not know what informed the power audit,” dismissing the committee’s recommendation of N37 to N42 per kilowatt charge. “The committee did not consult us for their audit and none of our officials was on that committee. They do not want to accept our data and I did not see any reason why we should accept theirs when it was not fair to us. We have our own facts that informed the charges. To generate one kilowatt of electricity cost us about N73. So, selling it for N75 is not unfair,” he said. “Daily, we burn an average of 9,000 litres of diesel. Since August 16, almost three weeks ago, we have been running on generator because a major cable got damaged and we have given PHCN money to repair it, which has not been done. Yet there has been constant power.” He, however, conceded that the management is currently “trying to do the account. Our auditors are working on the statement of account. We will give them the [account] books and we will agree on an amount.” According to him, if residents pay service charges promptly, the management can bargain for cheaper rates for services by paying in advance.

“As we speak, more than 200 flats still owe service charge for 2011 and we are in 2012,” he said, citing price increments and projected capital projects as the reason for increasing service charge. Part of the projects includes painting of the estate, installation of CCTV, installation of biometric security doors, group life insurance and others. “We are looking beyond what other estates are doing. We are looking to provide world-class services that can bring credit to Nigeria,” Mr. Oni said, claiming that “most of those that make noise and throw stones are those who do not want the property value to increase. They just do not want us to embark on any project because that will mean their landlords will increase the rent.” He also said the organisation is getting the backlash from some residents it has confronted over unruly behaviours. “They bypass electrical connections. One man brought in thugs to beat up his neighbour. In fact, some of them engage in child labour, which is against the law. It is part of the structure we want to implement, which they are not happy with. There are several occasions when our repair team was denied entry into some flats to effect repairs,” he said, reeling out the “surprise behaviour” of occupants.

THE NATION, Saturday, November 17, 2012


‘Prosecute my father’s killers’ Continued from Page 19

He claimed the organisation had to take loans to bridge deficit created by sharp increase in prices after subsidy removal programme in order to maintain its “vast” infrastructure and ensure uninterrupted services. The estate’s 12 elevators – two in each of the six 14-floor buildings – are under 24 hours service contract, so also is its 10MW power station, 1million litre water treatment facility that pumps thrice daily, 250 cubic metre per hour sewage plant, lawns, fitness centres, and swimming pool. “I believe some residents are into estate management and I just wish they will be able to inform the residents what it takes to deliver the services we render here. There is a woman who took a loan to buy an apartment here but had to sell it. She sold it for almost double the amount she bought it because the value has increased based on the work we are doing.” Another issue is that of insurance policy, which the residents claim knowledge of, alleging that they have been paying premium. But they deny knowing the insurer and have never seen the policy. Mr. Oni said the policy is insured by Mansard Insurance and “residents are free to come in and demand the policy.” Although residents are not complaining of the quality of services, they complain that the services are not enjoyable because they are offered at “cut-throat charges.” “From the huge cost of living in this place, one would expect a certain level of comfort but that expectation has eluded us so far. We burn N4,000 per day on electricity. Therefore, many people do not use their air conditioning units, washing machine anymore,” a resident complained, adding that residents expect the service charge to cover all sundry charges. “But they still charge for every other thing. They even charge us for Land Use Charge.” The company seems to be in a dire fix to raise money as the estate was recently locked for about five hours by the state government for defaulting on payment of Land Use Charge. Responding, Mr. Oni said: “The Federal Government charges us Tenement Rate and the state government also brings Land Use Charge. Lagos government billed us N24million last year. It’s amazing things like this still happens in Nigeria.” However, a question that residents want answered is whether every levy should be passed unto them. Though the association said it is aware of the prevailing economic situation, they, however, insist on an audited report before it would decide whether its members should “pay more or less.”

wreath at a cenotaph erected in their honour. Various groups, including Igbo and Hausa, paid homage to Oba Ogunseye and his chiefs while an interdenominational service was held for the repose of the souls of the departed indigenes. Relations of the deceased persons also received cash awards as a token of appreciation of the sacrifice made by their siblings. Some of the victims’ relatives who spoke with our correspondent asked •Yusuf the Ogun State government to revisit the incident and bring the culprits to book. Monsuru Ogunseye’s wife, Nimotalai, recalled her last days with her husband and the burden of raising the four children he left behind all alone. She said: ”They couldn’t find my husband dead or alive. I was at home when he told me he would accompany the Kabiyesi to court. He gave me N200 before he left home, promising to return early. He left at about 6.30 am. I never knew I was seeing him for the last time. “At about 3 pm, I learnt that Kabiyesi and his supporters were ambushed. We tried his phones but they were switched off. It was on the third day that Kabiyesi called me to his palace to break the news of my husband’s death. He, however, consoled me, asking me to take heart. “Dead or alive, we have not seen his body till today. It got to a point that some of my friends even launched a fruitless search for his body in Ota. We later learnt that he was taken to a shrine shortly after he was ambushed. He left me with four children, but I thank God that my husband’s family has not abandoned me to my fate. And that is my greatest joy, especially the Kabiyesi who has been seeing to my wellbeing and those of his grandchildren.” Temitope Shotinoye-Rasheed, whose father was among the victims, recalled her last encounter

•Mrs Shotinoye-Rasheed

with him. She said: ”I loved my father very much because he stood by me for five years after my mother died before he was gruesomely killed. “On April 25, 2010, he asked me to prepare fish stew for him and I obliged him. I handed the stew to my younger brother who was living with him and I left for Cotonou, Republic of Benin, to purchase some goods. While I was returning on Tuesday April 27, I ran into the scene of the incident at Oju-Ore, but I never knew that he was among the victims. “I want those who were responsible for my father’s death exposed, prosecuted and convicted to serve as a deterrent to other lawless elements in the society. It is absurd that some heartless youths would kill an 82year-old in cold blood.” Yusuf Sanusi, whose brother, Akeem, was also dispatched to early grave, explained how his elder brother left home for the journey of no return. He said: “He (Akeem) was a friend to Kabiyesi’s children. He had just graduated from the Lagos City Polytechnic and had just been offered employment by Emirate Airline. He was to resume work on May 2 but he was killed on April 27, 2010. His death has devastated me so much. “He told me while he was leaving home that he would return as soon as the court

proceedings were over. But when the incident occurred, we tried to reach him on his telephone line only for a male voice to answer that he found the phone around Oju-Ore shortly after the violent clash. Some sympathisers had found his bullet-ridden body shortly after the incident. “I want the government to intervene by fishing out my brother’s killers because his death was a great loss to my family.” In his remarks, Oba Ogunseye said: “Apart from my son and others who were killed during the violent attack on our way from court, countless others were harassed and brutalised. One of them is a man called Muibi, who was shot several times. In fact, bullets were lodged in Muibi’s intestines and it took several days for doctors to remove the bullets. My joy today is that Muibi is alive and still plays football. “As for those who were responsible for the death of these patriotic indigenes of this community, they will forever live with the consequences of their sins. “I also want to say that contrary to insinuations in some quarters, we have not chased anyone out of Ijokoland. We are lovers of peace and not lawless people. Those who say they were chased out are actually those who lack the character to live among decent people like us.”

•Mrs Ogunseye and children



I first went to the market to buy ingredients with which I would make good soup. Apart from cooking for the victims and providing water for them to bathe even though their legs were in chains, I also kept them company, cracked jokes with them and made them to have the hope of seeing their families after paying the necessary ransom


•The main suspects

‘How my husband drafted me into kidnapping business’ T

HE wife of a suspected leader of a kidnapping gang, Mrs Eno Joseph, has said that her role as a member of the gang was to prepare food for victims.

Ebele BONIFACE Confessing her role in the gang in an interview with our correspondent, the 25-year-old indigene of

Uduan, Akwa Ibom State, said: “I knew my husband, Victor, as far back as 2007. I had a child for him but the child later died of chicken pox.

“Our journey into trouble started when my husband told me that he wanted to go into kidnapping and that he wanted me to have an input into the business. I told him that I saw trouble coming, but he said what I saw was not trouble but a lot of money coming our way. He said he got his inspiration to go into kidnapping from a guy called ID, whom he said had given him N1 million. “Since I could not convince him to return the money and we were experiencing a lot of financial problems, I told him that I would need a part of the money to open a shop. In March last year, I was sleeping in our house at about 2 am when the police came and arrested me and my husband. My husband told me to be courageous, saying it had happened and we had to pay the price. “The Federal Special Anti-Robbery Squad (FSARS), who arrested us, charged us to court. They said I collected robbery money. We were later remanded in prison. “While I was in prison, my sister came and said one lawyer had arranged how we would regain our freedom. When we came back from prison, I decided to go into petty trading to assist my husband financially. “I hate trouble, but my husband would not listen. He later went with his friends to go into kidnapping again. My husband called me one

day and sat me down. He told me to listen very carefully. He said some friends of his were coming to the house and I should not go anywhere. “On that fateful day, I was in our parlour between 9pm and 10pm watching the television when he and his friends came in with a total stranger. I asked him who the man was and why they had brought him to the house. I told them I had just left the prison yard and did not want to go back to jail so soon. “I told my husband to take the man back to where they had brought him from, but he begged me to exercise some patience. It was in the process of exercising patience that I started my role as the food provider. “I first went to the market to buy ingredients with which I would make good soup. Apart from cooking for the victims and providing water for them to bathe even though their legs were in chains, I also kept them company, cracked jokes with them and made them to have the hope of seeing their families after paying the necessary ransom. “At a point, I became sympathetic to one of the victims and started planning how to assist him to escape. I was the one that opened the door for him to find his way before my husband and others who were deeply asleep would wake up. “When he had escaped, I kept the door open and went to fetch water. When I came back, they told me that the victim had escaped. They asked me why I opened the door for him to escape and I told them that I did not know that the door was open because I was hurrying to fetch water. I lied to them because they were very angry over the victim’s sudden disappearance.” Asked why she did not report the incident to the police if indeed she did not want to be a party to the man’s abduction, she said it was risky to do so. “If I had reported to the police, I would have been thrown into the police cell and it



•Other suspects

would have been difficult for me to secure my bail because the police would want to use me to arrest other members of the gang,” she said. Asked how the chain on the legs of the victim were removed, she said: “I don’t know. What I did was to keep the door open for him. How he removed the chain is what I don’t know.” The second suspect, Victor Sunday (34), a native of Etinang Local Government Area, Akwa Ibom State, said: “She (Eno) is my wife. We have been married for five years now. Although I am yet to pay her bride price, both of us agreed to be husband and wife. Every other thing is mere formality. The important thing is love. “I had a workshop before I joined a company on Victoria Island, Lagos. I did automobile engineering. I joined the company in 2006. I left because I was trained as an installation agent but there was no money there. Hence, I joined another company also on Victoria Island. “At a point, I became frustrated with my job because my company could not generate enough money to pay its staff. It was in that mood that one Idon Eseng aka ID, a taxi driver, met me and introduced me to kidnapping. “ID told me that if I could bring a victim from the company where I was working, I would get big money to take care of myself and my wife. That was how we arranged the kidnap of one Mr. Adebayo, a director in the second company where I worked. I was the one who identified the director. The man’s relations later paid N13 million but my share was one million naira. “I later bought two vehicles with the money. I bought one bus for commercial purposes and one SUV for pleasure ride. Then my enemies saw me and became jealous. They reported me to the Commissioner of Police, Lagos State Police Command, Umar Manko, who immediately ordered the O/C SARS, Abba Kyari, to fish us out. “I know my jealous friend who reported me, because when I came back, I found that when he asked me to give him N500 to drink beer, I told him that I had no money. He said he heard that we did one job that paid, but I insisted that I had no money. He then vowed to inform CP Umar Manko or O/C SARS SP Abba Kyari. “I was arrested in March last year and taken to SARS office. I was later charged to court. The case that took me to court was that of the Federal SARS. I spent about eight months in Ikoyi Prisons. While I was in the prison, one of the inmates introduced me to a lawyer and I followed his instruction. He said he would assist me to come out. When I came out, I started looking for job. I moved out from where I was living in Oshodi because I knew that if we were reported to SARS, their first port of call would be my house. I moved from 3, Oremeji Street, Oshodi to 42, Matokun Road, Lambe, Ogun State. “There I called a friend in prison, named Emma, a native of Akwa Ibom State. I asked if he knew anybody who could get me a gun for a job we had in our hand. He linked me up with one Mr. Joseph who came with a locally made gun in company with two other men. “So, we went to Okota in Lagos where we

got the victim in his car. His car attracted us because it showed that the man was wealthy. We followed him to his house. As he wanted to go into his house, we approached him, showed him the gun and he melted. What we did next was to order him to enter our own vehicle, a Nissan Sunny car. “Out of the four of us, three went in to ransack the house. We brought the man out of the house, seized his Samsung handset, N2,000 cash and his car. We later took him to my house on Matogun Road, Okearo, Ogun State. “On our way, we gave him dark glasses to wear because we did not want anybody to identify him. It was at about 9 pm. We chained him in the leg and kept him inside. It was one of our members called Joseph who negotiated for ransom between the family and the gang. Joseph was on the phone contacting the family “The victim stayed in my house for six hours. My wife was giving him food and water to bathe. The victim was able to escape because we were sleeping while watching. How he removed his chains and opened the door is still a mystery to us. “All of us left the place immediately and relocated because of his escape. I called my wife and David. The house is a two-bedroom flat. I rented it for N65,000 per year in September.” The third suspect, Eteh Mbong Udo (27), a native of Ikot Epene, Akwa Ibom State, said he was an okada (commercial motorcycle) rider around Ojodu Grammar School, Lagos. He said: “I became a member of the gang last year. I was introduced to the gang by a fellow okada rider called ID. He bought a car and graduated to taxi driver, operating in the same area. “He called me on the phone to meet him and take him somewhere. I did so three times. It was under the Berger Bridge that he asked me to wait for him. He later came with a polythene bag and I went and dropped him at Akiode Bus Stop, Ojodu. He gave me N50,000. “Later this year, his wife called me and told me that we should plan about kidnapping to make big money. I became afraid and told her that I had not done such a thing before. She then asked me to be a man and that only cowards don’t take risks while only those who take risks make it in life. “She then told me that the reason I was given N50,000 was for me to be part of the gang and work with them. I told her that I wanted to travel to my state. While I was in Calabar, he was calling me on the phone for two days, telling me that they had succeeded in the kidnapping job. “A day later, she called again and said the victim had escaped. I had been with ID for seven years and I knew that he used to do robbery jobs, but I did not join him at that time.” The fourth suspect, David Udom (27), a native of Anang, Akwa Ibom State, said: “I am an okada rider. I was arrested because they said I was among the gang. I was only taking Madam ( Victor’s wife) to the market to buy ingredients with which she prepared food for victims. I had not been paid a kobo before I was arrested.” The Commissioner of Police, Umar Manko, said the force would not rest until the suspects were all fished out.

•Comrade Adams Oshiomhole signs the relevant documents after subcribing to the oaths of office during his swearing-in as Governor of Edo State for a second tenure

•The governor (right) congratulates his deputy, Dr. Pius Odubu, and his wife, Deaconess Endurance Odubu

Oshiomhole’s agenda for second term Continued from page 14 effort, Chief Ihemien Omorodion told The Nation that until Oshiomhole became governor, access to electricity and potable water was a mere wishful thinking. The people were far removed from modernity. According to him, “For long, we were far away from civilisation. We did not know what electricity was, neither did we know how pipe-borne water tasted like. Yet we had people who carried on like our leaders, but failed to provide leadership. We cannot thank the Comrade Governor enough. The reason we are here today (the day of inauguration) is to show that we are solidly behind him.” The next four years Unveiling his administration’s agenda for the next four years, Governor Oshiomhole said there will be conscious effort at rebuilding faith in the citizenry and mobilise the people to rededicate themselves to the collective growth and development of the state. “In the next four years, we shall continue to rebuild faith in government and governance at all levels; mobilise our people to commit to collective growth and development, and strengthen institutions for efficient and effective service delivery. It is our hope that traditional leaders and institutions as well as religious bodies and civil society groups continue to mobilise their members to complement our efforts. We shall not fail to deliver on all our promises and to complete all on-going projects. “Allow me to say that while we will continue to work on infrastructure, we plan, in the next four years, to place emphasis on promoting

sustainable economic growth and development. Our government will emphasize human capital development, training and retraining of teachers and public servants; promotion of agriculture for food production, employment and increased income to our farmers and rural dwellers; small and medium scale industrial development. We shall continue to attract local and foreign investors to Edo State so as to create more jobs for our people.” Humbled by the overwhelming endorsement of his administration’s collective mission and support for the struggle to refocus, reposition and redefine Edo State for peace, progress and prosperity, Governor Oshiomhole was seemingly lost for words to qualify his gratitude to the Edo people whose unparalleled and unflinching support and encouragement saw his administration overcome all obstacles, booby traps placed in his administration’s path. Symbolically, Oshiomhole’s return for a second term, the turnout as evident in the mammoth crowd for his inauguration, was by no means an open endorsement of his governance approach as well as the people’s collective rejection of domination, bad governance, bad leadership, and undemocratic conduct in the management of the state’s commonwealth in the nine years preceding his assumption of office in 2008. He summed up his scorecard tersely: “Collectively, we set an example and political milestone for Nigeria and Africa as we showed that it was possible to defeat negative political forces, run elections without violence, and campaign on performance and the support of all strata of society.”

THE NATION, Saturday, November 17, 2012


Alhaji Fatai Ibukunle is popularly referred to as Lam’s boy. He served as Personal Assistant to Alhaji Lam Adesina for close to 30 years. In this interview with OSEHEYE OKWUOFU at Felele, Ibadan residence of the late political icon who breathed his last Sunday in a Lagos hospital, the current Special Assistant to Governor Abiola Ajimobi, spoke on his experience working with the late Lam Adesina, his political philosophy and what he told him during his last moments in the hospital. Excerpts.

The last thing Lam told me –His PA for 30 years Fatai Ibikunle went to NPN, but Baba Lam said he was not leaving the UPN because his own philosophy was tied with the progressives. He said he was not leaving. And he did not leave the party even when the likes of Eruobodo went to NPN.  A lot of people went to NPN then in annoyance because Awolowo disappointed them but Baba Lam said no.  So, despite the disappointment in SDP, he did not leave the party. He remained there when Adedibu and co disappointed him. At a point in time, it was learnt that Abacha tried to lure him to his side. What happened after that? They were urging him to leave the struggle then in NADECO. A lot of enticements were brought to soften Baba’s stance but he turned them down and later Abacha wanted a reliable politician and sought him out, but he said no, he was not leaving the struggle. He said he was a NADECO member and that they were going to fight Abacha till he left that office. And after Abacha’s death, with all the struggles including imprisonment, they asked him, sir, what are you going for? But Baba Lam said he was not desperate. He said he didn’t know, but God will tell him the thing to do and the right way to go.  After some time, they told him to go for governorship and after much consultation, he went for governorship.  And he became governor in 1999.    How would you describe your relationship with Lam?  The relationship was that of a father, mentor and son. A father who loved his son so much. Many thought I was his biological son. But no! It was just out of interest. He took me in when I was very young and for over 30 years, I was with him as his PA. And throughout the period, any meeting he wanted to go, he would call me. Even when at the Constituent Assembly, whenever they had a meeting at night, and if other colleagues of his said I should go out, he would

•The late Lam Adesina What was the late Lam Adesina to you and how did you meet him? ABA Adesina was a father to me because he took over my upkeep right from my tender age and brought me up since then. He took over everything that had to do with my upbringing since he became the House of Representatives member in 1979. He mentored me on how to live life and on how to chart the political terrain. How do you rate him as a leader? He was a fine gentleman. Adesina was my own Awo because I never lived with Awolowo, but I have been with Adesina and he was a very kind and considerate leader and he loved people and loved putting his followers in positions of authority.  Ask people the question, who made you chairmen of local government chairman? And the answer will be Lam. Who made you commissione? Lam. Who made you the House of Representatives member? Lam.  He loved to put people in positions and making people happy. He didn’t even have much time for himself, but was always addressing others’ problems.  So, he was a complete gentleman.  How do you rate him as a politician? He was a fine politician. He would never harbour any grudge against anyone. He would say things the way they were without fear or favour.  He would tell us look, whenever you want to go to for political struggle or contest, make sure you go with your brain and diplomacy, and that as a politician, you must be diplomatic and must succumb to the will of Allah.  And that anytime you are looking for something, you should prepare your mind that it is going to be a failure. If you success, okay, but if you fail, it will not be a problem to you because you have already prepared your mind.  That’s is why some politicians develop hypertension. Throughout his life, he never suffered blood pressure or undue anxiety because anytime we were going for any contest, he would tell us, look Fatai, let us prepare our mind to the fact that humans are what they are, we should never look for perfection, human beings can change.  Let us believe that it’s either we win or lose. And let us put in our best that will make us win.  But if we lose, it should not be a shock to us. So, Lam was a complete politician.  You know he started in 1979 when he contested the State House of Assembly election,


but along the line, Baba Awolowo said no, he should go for the House of Reps. So, his mind was to go to the State House of Assembly, a lower position, but Awo said he should go higher. Then, in 1987, he was prepared to go for local government election, but Babangida banned them and thereafter they said he should come, but he said no, he was no more interested.  That was when Baba Alayande’s son became local government chairman. Recall that the late Lam Adesina had made attempt in the late 1980s to become governor of Oyo State, but somewhere along the line, that wasn’t to be. What happened? Chief Michael Adeniyi Koleoso served as the Secretary to the Well, what happened was State Government (SSG) between 1999-2003 in the Lam Adesina’s that in 1988, his people came to him and asked him to represent administration. Koleoso, a former National Chairman of the them in the Constituent Alliance for Democracy (AD), relives his experience with Lam Assembly, and he went.  So, Adesina whom he referred to as a ‘bossom friend’ for over five during the 1988-89 Constituent Assembly, he and others like of decades when he spoke with OSEHEYE OKWUOFU in his Saki Chief Segun Osoba came residence in Saki West Local Government Area of Oyo State. together and  formed a political movement which later OW did you receive the news It was a rude shock and immediately, I had on  metamorphosed into SDP. of the passage of your friend, to pick my phones and start coming to So, he tried to become governor Alhaji Lam Adesina, who died Ibadan. at that time, but people in a Lagos hospital last How long did you know him as a disappointed him. People like Sunday? friend? Adedibu and co., they Somebody called on the phone Ah, I had known Lam for a very very sabotaged his effort and he was informing me that Lam died. I felt long time, for over five decades and we left resigned to fate.  And in devastated because I didn’t expect him to had been close since that time. We were 1983, when he wanted to go for die, though death will eventually come like David and Jonathan, just to tell you the deputy governorship, with one day but he was full of life when I paid how close we were. And we had remained Chief S. M. Afolabi, they him a visit a few days ago before I got the in the same progressives all along because disappointed him again. But shocking news. You know, we were we shared the same political ideology, the those who believed in him together in the hospital where I had gone same principles etc. urged him to go for a second to visit him and we had a lively discussion. What can you say about Lam as a term in the House of Reps, but We read the dailies together and expressed person? he was still resigned to fate. our feelings about what we read together. Oh, very amiable, selfless, and Chief S. M. Afolabi and others

Lam and I were like


THE NATION, Saturday, November 17, 2012


let the party down, and make sure the party is in good shape.’ And I asked, why are you telling me all these?  He said no problem, that I should not fear, and that he will return to Ibadan and when he arrived, he will call me first and I should come and brief him on what is happening  on the political scene in the state, and that he will then give his own advice on how to restructure and harmonise the party. He said he would call the governor and three of us would sit down and work out the best way the party would go.  I said okay sir, thank you. Thereafter, I called a boy with him, Jide and ask him why did Baba call me this night, I hope there is nothing?  He said no, that he was sleeping only to later wake up and asked him to call me that he wanted to talk to me.  I asked, what was happening?  He said that Baba only said that he wanted to be sure that things were in good position and that he didn’t want anything to happen to the party (ACN). He said he just remembered those things  while he was sleeping and he felt he should tell me. I said okay, I will join you in Lagos on Saturday. Then Governor Ajimobi told me that he would be going to Lagos on Saturday and I  felt that I should allow the governor to go first, after which I would later be in Lagos on Sunday morning. But on Sunday morning at about, Jide was called me repeatedly. I felt then that something must have happened.  Before long, Dapo, his son, called me and said daddy was in coma. I said that must have been the reason why Jide was calling me.  I asked what do we do? Before he died, he called I said we would go to Lagos •Ibikunle me about 11pm and said and join them.  He said okay, that he will be waiting for Fatai, how are you?  I me in their house at Felele say ‘no, he must be here, I am mentoring and that I should pick him asked Baba, why are you him, let him stay with me, he is my Personal up there.  About 15 minutes Assistant.  Then, there was a day in 2011, he calling me at this late later, the governor called wanted to go on a trip with the former and told me that Baba had President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo,  I think night? He said ‘it’s already passed on. I broke it was Maputo. So, when we got there, he because I wanted to talk down.  I asked myself, why said I would go with him. But when we were this time? Just when at the airport, the chief of Protocol to Chief to you.’ I asked, what everybody was expecting Obasanjo deliberately sidelined me at the him back to Ibadan. And happened? He said ‘I just tarmac. So, when I saw Baba Lam coming since that Sunday I have not with Obasanjo, I went to him and hold his want to talk to you about been myself, because there agbada and said Baba, they said I should not were a lot of things we the political terrain of go with you again.  Baba Lam immediately needed to do.  Since 1979, I told Obasanjo that he was no more going Oyo State and I want to have never left Baba for a with him again because they didn’t pick my day, except when the Personal Assistant (PA).  Then Obasanjo said: admonish you that military took over in 1983 ‘Why this Fatai all the time? Anything you everything should take when I went to get the civil want to do is Fatai. He (Obasanjo) asked service job.  We have been where is the Fatai? Lam said here is Fatai. place decently and in together.  Since 1979, Baba Obasanjo now said oh, is it this young man? had never disappointed me order.  You should work No wonder Lam will not do without you. and there was never any day He then turned to his Chief protocol and said with the party and we disagreed.  In fact, some you are a thief, simply because you did not people thought I was the want to give him his own estacode that is strengthen the party and first born. I have been with why you don’t want him to go with you. let the party remain Baba for all season.  And That was how we went on that trip.  So, for anything I have become many years I was part and parcel of Lam. united and strong today, anything that I have, I What was your last discussion with him owe them to God, and to before he died? Lam Adesina.  Baba would Before he died, he called me about 11pm sleep at night and he would and said Fatai, how are you?  I asked Baba, wake up very early in the why are you calling me at this late night? He morning and ask, where is Fatai?  We thank God that said ‘it’s because I wanted to talk to you.’ I asked, what Governor Ajimobi is going to carry on where Lam Adesina happened? He said ‘I just want to talk to you about the left off because before his death, he (Ajimobi) had already political terrain of Oyo State and I want to admonish you that taken over people like us. And Lam had told me that the same everything should take place decently and in order.  You loyalty I gave to him, I should give to Ajimobi.  We thank God should work with the party and strengthen the party and let that he lived a good life.  He was a man that was agreeable to the party remain united and strong.  You know my ways, my God’s heart and very religious.    ideas, and how I go about everything.  You know my He went to bed at and would wake up very early and associates well, call them, let them rally round Ajimobi.  Don’t



begin his prayers. He would see all his grandchildren go to school before he got up. So, that was his routine. He had always told me that if he died the next day, he wanted to be seen in the right place. He said I have left everything about this world. I will say the truth, I will stand by the truth and I will say whatever God asked me to say. I don’t want anything on earth again.  I don’t want any house, what I want is to be closer to God. And Baba Lam was closer to God.  And even when he felt sick, we rushed him to UCH and by 12 midnight, he was praying on his sick bed.  So, he was a man closer to God, and a very good family man and role model for all generation.  He loved his wife and his children so much. You also worked closely with him when he was governor between 1999-2003, as his Personal Assistant, what was your experience working with him? You see, one thing with him was that if he resumed in the office, I would be with him every day in his office by 7.30am. He would give me all his day’s programme, the people he would see and he would ask me to take the programme to the protocol and I should discuss it with him every morning.  So, before his arrival in the office, I would have perfected everything.  He would ask me to bring all the files and he made sure he treated all the files. He never took any file home or taken any file on a trip.  He would ensure all files were treated in his office. If he travelled for one week and the files were up to 200 or 300, he would treat everything in the day and he would not talk to anybody. I would not go to his office because I knew he would not welcome anybody during that period.  After treating all the files, he would call me on the intercom and say I should come.  So, he was a dutiful man who loved his people so much.  He would never delay any file for a second.  I could tell what his body movement meant. And whenever he whispered, I knew the deeper meaning. It was said that Alhaji Lam Adesina never visited hospital except once when he was rushed to UCH and St Nicholas Hospital…? Yes, for close to 30 years that I was with him, I had never seen any doctor treating him for any illness.  His only sickness was malaria. And he treated malaria by himself.  In fact, when he was in the House of Reps, and he happened to travel for ten days, after four days, Baba would come back to the country. He would say he could not stay abroad. Though he was in his early 40s then, but he would say he was not interested in staying there because the place was too cold for him. That was Baba Lam for you, so he was not known to visiting hospitals throughout his life. While in the Constituent Assembly and House Reps, unused estacodes were said to be returned by Lam Adesina, were you ever privy to this? Yes. I handled the whole thing with strict directive from Baba Lam. He would ensure that all the unspent money was returned to the treasury. When the military took over in 1983, while he was leaving for Ibadan, he told me then that Fatai, if a spoon should miss in this house, I will hold you responsible. He said everything that I would need to return, let them sign the inventory and bring it to me in Ibadan. When he was in the Constituent Assembly too, he said Fatai, if anything should be missing here I will hold you responsible, make sure you let them sign the inventory for you and bring it to me.  I said it’s okay, so, that was the true nature of Lam, in fact, I can call him a perfect man.  He didn’t want any blemish at all. Why was he given the nick-name ‘Mr. Point of Order’? He was always happy to hear people call him that name because of what he stood for.  He was a man who wanted things to be done the right way; a man who had the interest of his party at heart. And the name came about when he was always saying the truth, and standing by the truth. Most times, he would make that statement on the floor of the House to correct any wrong or misgivings about the state of the nation. We will miss him greatly.

David and Jonathan –Ex-Oyo SSG Koleoso considerate fellow who cherished the welfare of others. He would not want any discomfort for anybody. He was very intelligent, somebody who always sought the good of others. You served together with him in the AD government from 1999-2003 as Secretary to the State Government. Can you share your working experience with Lam? As I mentioned earlier on, he was my bosom friend even before we were in government. Lam and I enjoyed doing things together. We planned together. When it was time for meals, we ate together. This was so much pronounced that people outside started saying maybe the two belonged to a cult. It was strange to hear such talks, because we didn’t believe in cult. Lam was a devout muslim and I am a practising Christian. But they were saying things because they could not find what was going on between us. We had to ignore them since we did not belong to any cult. All we knew was that we were very close as

friends and it was not out of place for people to read meanings into people’s life style and relationship. We did things together. During meal time, while we were in government, we ate together in the office. And people kept wondering that there must be something between us. But I can tell you there was nothing other than love, understanding and sharing of common goals, aspirations and ideas. We never disagreed and that was why we were able to flow on many issues. Working with him was a very pleasant experience anybody would pray to have. He was tolerant, considerate and above all always seeking the interest of others first. He was full of brilliant ideas, and a very cheerful person who you would enjoy every bit of your stay with him. We can say our friendship endured because we shared many things in common- honesty, virtues, probity, courage and love of God and humanity. When was the last time you saw him and what was your last discussion with him?

I saw him last when I went to St. Nicholas Hospital to visit him in Lagos. And we had a very pleasant time a very useful discussion together. We talked about the state of the nation, our party in the state, especially how to strengthen and harmonised all interests. We talked about the activities of the government and he advised that we should work together for the progress of the party. Did he have a premonition of his death? No, because all our discussions ended on one note that when he returned to Ibadan, then a lot of things would be done. He had the mind of coming back and everybody was eager to have him back home. He was also eager to come home and I could read this from our discussion. That is why I said that his demise was sudden and unexpected. He died at a time all the people were eagerly waiting to receive him back home. So, it was a rude shock to me that he passed on at this time. Lam was a great man, a true friend and a lover of the people.




Delta: Okada out, tricycles in

•Some of the Almarine built 18-seater water buses


OTWITHSTANDING critics’ position that roads in Delta State are in deplorable state and therefore cannot justify any investment by government in transportation, what could be described as a silent revolution is taking place in the transport sector in the state. Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan confirmed this much recently at the launch of the1,250 tricycles to replace motorcycles popularly called Okada as a means of transport in the state in September ending. While addressing the gathering, the governor declared: “We are improving the transport sector and very soon, more commercial buses and boats for the riverine for our people. The time has come for us to adopt a comprehensive transport system that would guarantee the safety of lives and property in the state”. Taken at face value, this mind set could have probably informed the flurry of activities in the last three months in the state that has seen the government launch buses, tricycles and taken delivery of water buses to boost both land and marine transport. “This is a massive investment by the governor in his bid to give the state’s urban transport a facelift. Those who are saying the roads are bad, that we should continue with Okada are not mindful of the security implication of continuing with that mode of transportation; the havoc people use Okada to inflict on innocent people and the fatality of the accidents involving Okada. Let the government continue with the urban transport renewal project, it is a good idea that we should not continue to postpone for any partisan consideration. At least we have started, let us see how we progress from here”, a source who craved anonymity told The Nation in Asaba, the state capital, last weekend. The government’s plan is to introduce the tricycles as means of transportation, in strategic cities across the state in phases to replace the popular albeit controversial Okada form of transportation. The plan has already taken off on November 1, in the three major cities of Asaba, Warri and Effurun. To make the introduction of the tricycles appealing and to ensure that it does not constitute a financial yoke to the primary beneficiaries – the Okada riders in the state - the state government bent backwards to assist them by announcing a subsidy of about 70 percent in the price of the tricycles. What ordinarily should cost about N400,000:00, with the kind approval of the governor, was given out for N150,000:00. But typical of almost every initiative of government in this part of the world, unscrupulous elements would always find a way to abuse, if not destroy it for selfish reasons. And in a show of a propensity for self-destruct, it was gathered that those who got the tricycles for the subsidised rate connived with crooked businessmen who bought it of them for between N250,000:00 and N300,000:00 thereby making an instant profit of between N100,000:00 and N150,000:00. Besides, tongues started wagging that the scheme was all about political patronage designed by the government to settle “the boys”. But the Commissioner for Transport, Ben Igbakpa, debunked the allegation in a subdued angry tone, saying mischief makers would stop at nothing to discredit a laudable programme. Speaking to The Nation, Igbakpa

•Some of the new tricycles

Augustine AVWODE Assistant Editor said: “That is very funny. I sat with His Excellency, the governor, and it was agreed that these tricycles should be given to the commercial motorcycle unions. So they have their leaders and have been doing their things. When the governor commissioned the tricycles, he handed them to the unions. They are to collect the money and pay into government’s account, and when we see the proof of payment, then I release the number of tricycles they have paid for to them. So they were the ones doing the distribution really not the government and there was no particular yardsticks used in distribution as only the Okada riders are the ones doing it, not to talk of using it as a tool for political patronage. “You may even go and cross-check what the governor said on that occasion. It was as if he knew. To me, those who are saying this are equally saying that if they were the ones in position, they would use the programme as political patronage. Sorry, His Excellency is not like that.” For the record, Governor Uduaghan at the launch of the tricycles had stressed that they were exclusively reserved for commercial motorcycle operators, warning politicians to keep off as they were not meant for political patronage. He specifically enjoined politicians not to see the policy as an avenue for providing jobs for their boys and advised them to go to the open market if they were interested in empowering their boys with tricycles. His words: “I like to appeal to the political class not to interfere in the distribution of these tricycles. Do not use it to settle your boys. The tricycles are strictly for the Okada riders who are transiting from Okada to tricycles.’’

Barely a month after the launch of the tricycles, Governor Uduaghan also launched 160 new buses in October to further boost the transport sector in the state. They included 50 units of Marcopolo buses, 100 units of Toyota Haice buses and 10 units of Tata buses. While commissioning the buses in Asaba, Governor Uduaghan explained that investment in the transportation sector was part of his Human Capital Development agenda, adding that the objective was to touch lives in the rural areas. He said the aim of investing in the transportation sector was to reduce the cost of transportation and make Deltans travel in a more comfortable condition. He maintained that Deltans were entitled to enter good vehicles whether they own one or not. And, again, critics soon latched unto the announcement that majority of the Marcopolo and TaTa buses would be run by private transport services, while 50 of the Toyota buses would be run by the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW). Igbakpa, again, defended the policy, saying the trend is that only government businesses with private touch tend to do well as a general observation. He argued that of all the operators the government has been dealing with, the private operators have been exceptionally good and therefore government has no hesitation in engaging it to manage the larger number of the buses. In like manner, the government is not detached from the transport needs of the riverine communities in the state. The government has taken delivery of 110 units of Almarine built 18-seater water buses out of the 130 units that were approved by the State Executive Council. It was learnt that the remaining 20 units are already at the Apapa Port and would be delivered anytime from now to the government in the state. Once the num-

When I spoke a little while ago about the attitude of human beings towards government property, you just imagine somebody coming into a clean, air-conditioned bus, carry meat with blood dripping from it and would like to just keep it anywhere; and in fact some find it difficult to pay or not wanting to pay at all just because it is government owned


bers are complete, they would be commissioned and given out to be managed by competent private transport companies that specialise in marine transport. Signs that the transport sector would enjoy some fillip showed early in the year. When the removal of subsidy was announced as a New Year gift to Nigerians by the Federal Government, it would be recalled that it generated a lot of tension across the country. Yet, in Delta State, all was calm. Igbakpa linked this to the foresightedness of Governor Uduaghan who had had about 100 buses bought and had to commission them then to quickly cushion the effect of the hike in the pump price of petrol. In fact, when it was noticed that owners of transport companies were diverting fuel subsidy palliatives in the state, the government threatened them with severe sanctions. The state government had directed the transport companies not to increase fares as a result of the hike in the price of petrol, noting that it would bear the extra cost occasioned by the increment. But some of the operators were playing smart. The governor, who was said to have been visibly unhappy with the action of the transport companies, lamented that after several discussions and agreements with them, they still went ahead to corner the palliatives provided by the state government. “I don’t want a repeat of this. Do not collect more than the fare you were charging before Christmas. If you repeat this, I will show you the way out. Transport companies should be humane rather than exploitative at this material time in the nation’s history. Do not exploit the people. Be considerate and charge moderate fares. There should not be anything like special seasonal fares. Instead of high fares, it should be lower”, the governor was reported to have warned the operators concerned. While attention is fixed on the current effort by the government, a source in Asaba said there is nothing new in the drive by the Uduaghan administration for urban renewal in the transport sector. The source, who would not want his name mentioned, insisted that since 2008, the governor has demonstrated his commitment to safe, clean, affordable and efficient transportation in the state. “The truth is that the state government’s policy for the provision of cheap and afford•Continued on Page 48








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

Diary of a holiday man


ITH amazing surround hospitality, the journey for the MTV Europe Music Awards began at Frankfurt, Europe's second-largest airport. It was still dusky at dawn last Saturday morning and my hosts had been awake for me for an onwards journey to Radisson Blu, some 12km/10min drive from the airport. It was my first real stay in Frankfurt, a city known as home to a vivacious music scene 365 days in a year. My stint before now had been on transit to Berlin, for the annual Berlinale, and also in keeping fate with my choice of the German Airline, Lufthansa and its Miles and More offering, Frankfurt happens to be a stop enroute Paris and Nice for the annual Cannes International Film Festival. Later that evening of Saturday November 10, 2012 prevent activities began with a press briefing at the City Hall in Romerberg. Journalists from all around the world were there to confirm the celebrities that were present for the event. They had asked about the new things in the offing for their fans, while seeking to also know the fast take of the visiting acts on the hosting city of Frankfurt. Soon, the mood for Monster Cocktail Reception set in. Venue was Gekko's Bar, Hochstrasse, and the Disc Jockey brought down the roof. This was followed at 9:30pm by MTV Dinner at Frankfurter Botschaft, Westhafenplatz and a Night Clubbing at APT Apartment, Hanauer Landstrasse, which I turned down. It was meant to be a holiday, and the fun was getting laborious. Thanks, boss of EVOM World for your mail: "Beloved Brother, I just finished reading your piece in today's 'The Nation'. Do have a refreshing holiday. Please remember to go to church on Sunday. Enjoy more grace. Shalom! Mike Agboola." The receptionist didn't have an idea of the nearest church. She brought out a map, the journey by taxi could be killing - and by train, a complicated chain of connections. Above all, the name of the church, which I still find very difficult to spell or pronounce, remains funny. It would just be wrong to attend some sort of cult's meeting in the name of a church. I searched the various TV channels for some gospel programmes. This couldn't be the case in Nigeria. It would just be okay for me to be in the spirit. I did. Now back to the MTV EMA business, I wish to say that I may have been thrilled by the presence of the world's top stars like Heidi Klum, Ludacris, Alicia Keys, Taylor Swift, Carly Rae Jepsen et al, I was stunned by the nearperfect organisation of the show, such that I had to ask how all that was achievable. You will find in The Nation's tomorrow edition,

Elegant set stages, a fiesta of laser lights on display and a flurry of entertainment stars who took turns to perform, added to the craze of the eager crowd. The side attractions were jawdropping spectacles, as aerialists, pyrotechnics, choreographers added to the thrills this same line that describes the ambiance of what could be said to be the mother of all shows. "Elegant set stages, a fiesta of laser lights on display and a flurry of entertainment stars who took turns to perform, added to the craze of the eager crowd. The side attractions were jaw-dropping spectacles, as aerialists, pyrotechnics, choreographers added to the thrills. The entire Europe stood still as thousands connected to the biggest music award which was broadcast live on MTV channels around the world...The night gathered momentum as rains of pseudo embers fell on the performing artistes. With a backdrop of restless digital lights, excitement grew for the cheering crowd, as they danced and sang along with the monster acts during their performances." Now check out some fascinating facts about the 2012 MTV EMA: Set was designed by celebrated German stage and set designer Florian Wieder, who previously worked on the MTV EMA in Berlin, Munich and Liverpool. The show had elements of a circus theme that scored it as a “magical, visual feast.” The 2012 MTV EMA featured more fire, water and lasers than ever before. Nearly 10,000 kilometres of cable was laid down; 1,200 flight case boxes were used to transport equipment such as lights, cameras and tripods; 18 HD cameras were used to shoot the show; 40 TV screens helped the crews backstage to keep an eye on the action. Backstage, performers and presenters had the opportunity of being polished to perfection at the EMA SPA an exclusive backstage beauty and relaxation facility. Monster partnered with the MTV Staying Alive Foundation to set up a backstage DNA Headphones Customization Booth. Talent will be invited in to have a pair of DNA headphones customcreated to their style. Additional pairs autographed by Talent were auctioned off to raise funds for the MTV Staying Alive Foundation. Furniture and accessories for the dressing rooms were provided by


Lovely Things, whilst additional quirky furnishings for an artist lounge area was supplied by Table Art. One of the most popular snacks in the dressing room area was Seed & Bean organic chocolate (with more than 300 bars ordered, each wrapped in a eucalyptus infused leaf wrapper). The crew had 3,000sgm of carpet, 2,000m of panelling, 350 trestle tables, 500 towels and 400m of extension leads (power strips) and 150 bottles of boutique champagne provided by Goût de Diamants. Top sponsors including Microsoft provided all performers and presenters with new Windows 8 devices, including The Dell XPSTM 12 Ultrabook - a PC which converts into a tablet with a simple flip of the screen, so that they can work and play wherever and whenever they want. EMA performers, presenters and crew enjoyed delicacies from specialist showbiz location Eat Your Hearts Out using locally sourced ingredients. The team had ordered in four tons of ice, along with countless pounds of potatoes, butter, cream and sugar. Somewhere between 35,000 to 38,000 meals were cooked during the weeklong build up to the show. To keep everyone hydrated, the team had ordered in 30,000 bottles of VIO water, 20,000 Cokes, 20,000 bottles of Warsteiner beer, 16,000 bottles of Smirnoff vodka, 10,000 bottles of Jack Daniels, 10,000 bottles of Bacardi, 5,000 bottles of Southern Comfort, 3,500 limes; and 120 bar staff to serve it all! Dancers were provided by EMA veteran Aicha McKenzie and choreographed by Nathan Clarke, who recently worked as the Associate Director for the closing ceremony of both the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. Assisting Nathan and Aicha was acclaimed dancer turned choreographer and the winner of 'So You Think You Can Dance Germany 2011' Dennis Jauch, who not only choreographed the dance troop, but was also part of the EMA performance on show night. MTV booked over 7,500 hotel room nights in Frankfurt to cater for the thousands of people associated with the show. Moving all the crew and guests around took 100 limos, 2,000 airport transfers and 200 coach transfers. Hmmmmmmm.... The list is endless. Let's open a talk on our shows, music and movie awards, as well as film festivals in subsequent editions of STANDBY. Still in holiday mood, next call is Johannesburg tonight as the 9th Annual Channel O Music Video Awards goes down with Nigerian superstar Ice Prince and South Africa's 'it girl' Bonang already named as hosts… God willing, a post-familiarisation trip to Cape Town will follow.

Do you watch Nollywood movies? What do you think of the Nigerian motion picture industry? Send your review of any movie or short essay on any topic of your choice about the film industry in not more than 200 words. Send entries by e-mail to: or SMS your short comments to 07029013958

Daniel Ademinokan, Stella Damasus acquire new property in Abuja


EMEMBER Daniel Ademinokan, Nollywood actress, Doris Simeon's ex-hubby, whose crashed marriage made headlines early this year? The popular Nollywood director, Daniel who relocated to Abuja with David, the only product of the marriage, is in a celebration mood. In recent times, Daniel has had a lot going for him. The dude who recently got back from summer trip to Dubai with his son has acquired yet another property in the heart of Abuja which will house his Company, Index Two Studios and a Boutique called Code 55. Meanwhile, Daniel is not alone in the merriment. It may interest you to know that Stella and Daniel are partners and both co-owner of Index Two Studios, a production company and more recently Code 55. According to close sources, November has been slated for the official opening of Code 55. Sources also disclosed that though acquiring the property may appear a herculean task

for the Director, it wasn't as Daniel recently landed a few deals to write for some production companies in the US and was handsomely paid. “He frequents yankee a lot and has been shuttling California and New York meeting with some top Hollywood producers,” the source said. For doubting Thomas', who refuse to believe that Daniel has moved on with age-long friend, Stella Damasus, their partnership is the birth of Unspoken, their first coproduced movie on the stable of Index Two Studios. “Stella and I jointly own a production company called Index Two Studios. This is our first work together professionally but we've been friends like forever. We shot it in Douala. Meanwhile, it was a great and interesting experience but you know, it's never easy producing a movie away from your base. We had to fly all our equipment. It may interest you to know that Stella and I were Executive Producers and she played the lead,” he said earlier this year.

Pete Eneh passes on


ETERAN Nollywood actor, Pete Eneh is no more; Pete is a Nollywood veteran, he is a key stakeholder in the industry who died moments

ago at Enugu after a struggle to survive a leg injury. According to sources, he died moments ago in Enugu after a deep sitted struggle to survive a leg injury. “He will forever be remembered for the role he played in trying to revitalise Igbo language movies and the seed of unity he planted in it. The burial arrangements will continue. We have contacted the family and will update everyone as the burial arrangements unfold. “Nollywood will make sure that he is remembered; he was a great disciplinarian and we at the Nollywood family is in a dark hour. We have contacted the family and we will update everyone as events unfold.” He added.



RE ELNEW S GUS 9: Paschal Eronmose is champion!


NANTAP honours RMD, AliBalogun, others

Ogbonna's book launch shifted



HE National Association of Nigerian Theatre Arts Practitioners NANTAP is currently holding its 14th National Convention this weekend at Abeokuta, the Ogun state capital. The convention which opened on Friday 16th Nov, 2012 at the Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library, Oke Mosan, Abeokuta, has as its theme; Taping into the arts, culture and tourism potentials in Nigeria. With Prof. Bode Sowande as key note speaker, the convention is expected to take stock of how the theatre industry can survive within the current economic realities in Nigeria. The high point of the series of events at the Convention will be the investiture of some practitioners who have distinguished themselves in this chosen career and also have served the Association meritoriously over the years, with the highest honour of Fellow of Theatre Arts (FTA).


The event which is hoped to attract practitioners, theatre patrons and enthusiasts from across the country will take place this evening by 7:00 pm. Among the recipients are Messers Ben Tomoloju, the first NANTAP coordinator; Mahmood Ali-Balogun, the first President of the Association; Peter Tadeniawo Adekunle, Hon. Richard Mofe-Damijo, Mr. Biodun Abe, all former Presidents of the Association and also the Olowu of Owu, Oba Dr. Olusanya Adegboyega Dosunmu and veteran actress Alhaja Zainab Buki Ajai. The Executive Governor of Ogun State Senator Ibikunle Amosun will also be conferred with the honour of

UE to unforeseen circumstances, the launch of a book by art collector, Ogbonna Solomon Nwainyinya, which was slated to hold today, Saturday, November 17, has been shifted. In a statement, Ogbonna stated that a new day has been fixed for the book which he described as one of the best compilation of artworks in Nigeria. “The postponement is due to some unforeseen circumstances. I just hope by th March 9 n-ext year, I will be able to have the public presentation of the book,” he stated. As someone who has been able to preserve all the works of art procured by his late father Aguene Nwainyinya Okorie in his gallery and in book form, Ogbonna presently has in his custody, over five thousand art works both those collected by him and those he inherited from his father. “The book is basically on the genesis of Chief Okorie who in his lifetime spent his money and time to procure over 7,600 works of diverse media. These works include bronzes, woods, water colour, oil on canvas, acrylic on paper and so on,” he further stated. Apart from the fact that Okorie was a traditional ruler, being the Agu Udo 1 of Onicha Igboeze in Ebonyi State, his love for the art took him to many countries like Congo, Kenya, Cameroon and many more places where he sowed the seed for the art. “All these are what I have been able to document in the book,” he said.

Hotman promises better Guild

DStv unveils new channel


STV has a new addition to its already impressive array of movie channels. The new channel christened True Movies 1is dedicated to delivering a powerful mix of remarkable true stories based on real people and actual events, 24 hours a day. With performances from a wide range of A list Hollywood stars from Meryl Streep and Glenn Close to Matt Damon and Angelina Jolie, True Movies 1 features a diverse and emotional blend of award winning content from family relationship dramas, teen pregnancies and missing

children to corruption, murder and miscarriages of justice. Launching on DStv Channel 138, True Movies 1 will draw from its extensive catalogue of true movies and true-to-life dramas to bring viewers a gripping schedule of weekly premieres, morning movies and themed days. MultiChoice Africa's CEO, Nico Meyer says “We are pleased to be launching True Movies 1. We are certain that the launch of the channel will provide subscribers with expanded viewing options and bring them greater entertainment variety”.



ITH the inauguration of its newly elected National Executive in Lagos recently, Vice-President, North West Zone of the Guild, Comrade Salihu Othman Isah has said that the Guild is set to be repositioned.

Also known as Hotman, Isah disclosed that the goodwill which the umbrella body of the movie industry had hitherto enjoyed in the past will be reclaimed, especially in the zone where he leads. He said the enthusiasm which has greeted his assumption of office from players in the entertainment industry and the general public was very encouraging. However, Hotman insisted that all hands must be on deck to ensure that movie practitioners across the country need to contribute his or her quota for the realization of the desired success. The cross-over Thespian said it is morally questionable for A-list actors not to give back to the industry that made them for it to reach the next level calling on older practitioners like to use their positions to galvanize the new spirit and ensure that peace reign in the industry. “We must keep the new spirit going for us to reach our desired limit. To realize this, the A-list acts have a major role to play through support and encouragement for the new national executive.



I love women because they’re like mothers

Ibukun Apata drops My Redeemer's Praise Kunle AKINRINADE

T •Gbenga Peters

—Gbenga Peters

•Yomi with Gbenga Peter


ALENTED gospel singer cum song writer, Ibukun Apata, is making an entry into the music scene with a debut album entitled My Redeemer's Praise. The artiste, who is blessed with a sonorous voice and unique stage performance, has headlined church music concerts and revivals across the states of the federation. The final year Higher National Diploma (HND) student of Mass Communication of Lagos State Polytechnic, LASPOTECH, said the album will change the face of gospel music in Nigeria. “My Redeemer's Praise has a rich combination of songs of praise, worship, thanksgiving and testimony and I am very sure it would redefine gospel music in Nigeria because the tracks are spiced with edifying lyrics. It will also take people to the realm of praise and reconnect those who are troubled with God because the songs in the album are inspirational and soul lifting.” The album which will be launched today at the Redeemed Christian Church of God, RCCG, (The Lord's Chapel Area) Ikotun-Egbe, Lagos State, has nine soullifting tracks such as “Reason for the Season, Everlasting Jesus, It's Opened, The Greatest Name, Oro wa tope and the hit track; My Redeemer's Praise” among others.

Lahlah grabs the mic


NE Nigeria's most sought after music producers, Oluwafemi Osonubi popularly known as Lahlah is about to test music waters with his new single titled Kelegbe. The music producer who has been writing his own songs in the past is about to join the likes of K Solo, Terry G, Don Jazzy and OJB Jezreel who have all evolved into being musicians after distinguishing themselves as music producers. Lahlah believes his ability to churn out commercial songs with mass appeal will make him have an immediate impact on the music scene. “I have been writing my own songs for a long time and I believe it is now time that I take the plunge into music. My production background will also serve as an edge as I know that my ability to churn out commercial song will make me have an instant impact on the scene.” He said. The talented producer cum artiste, who has produced songs for notable artistes on the music scene, is also planning to shoot a video for the song which will be directed by Nineteen 'O' Nine.

So many female fans will tell me to my face that 'I love you'. They will even kiss me on stage, but it does not mean I should apply any meaning to what they did




Ice Prince to host Channel O Music Video Awards

Introducing Dr Jazz: The new R&B crooner

Skales, Wande Coal dazzle at the Club with Remy Martin


•Dr Jazz

INE champagne cognac, Remy Martin, added a distinctive touch of class, quality and premium entertainment to the festivities over the weekend of Saturday 27th October, 2012 as the brand held its October signature party at the exclusive Club N-tyce, Victoria Island, Lagos with an eye-popping ensemble of superstars. On hand to capture every single moment of the fun and excitement were the brand's media partner,s, TRACE Urban TV and The Beat 99.9 FM. Together with the premium brand's iconic line-up for the

party which paraded Mavin superstar, Wande Coal; E.M.E soldier, Skales; hot raves of the moment, D'pzle and L.A, along with one of Nigeria's hottest DJ and hypeman, DJ Spinall and Shody. DJ Spinall had the crowd rocking wildly all night, as one after the other the stars took the floor and gave a wonderful account of themselves. Not surprisingly though, the most remarkable performances on the night were those of Mukulu crooner, Skales closely followed by that of multi award-winning sensation, Wande Coal. According to Thibault Robert,

Remy Martin's Senior Brand Manager, getting the superstars to come party on a Saturday night during the festive period was a coup the premium brand was proud to have pulled off. “We just wanted to go the extra mile for our loyal consumers and all fun lovers who turned out here tonight. We're glad we could put a smile on everyone's faces that was present, and you can be sure that next month's party is going to be even better,” he concluded. The next At the Club with Remy Martin party is scheduled for 30th November, 2012 at The Place Lounge, Lekki Phase 1, Lagos.


Preparations for Ekiti Mega Fiesta hits top gear


LANS are in top gear to make this year's Ekiti Mega Fiesta a bigger and better event as the organisers are working with professional event managers and partners in the entertainment industry to unearth the tourism potentials in the Ekiti with support of the State government and the First


Lady Erelu Bisi Fayemi, who promised last year to make this year's edition more memorable. All eyes are now on Ekiti for this year's edition of Ekiti Mega Fiesta 2012 with special performances by 2face Idibia and others. We learnt that Bimbo Durojaiye, one of the brains

behind the project is working towards using the event to celebrate the youths and bring together Ekiti sons and daughters home and abroad, and being a festive period the influx of indigenes and tourists into the state will promises to stimulate economic and social activities.

NMS: Obesere, W4 visit housemates

T was a moment of stunned surprise for the housemates of the the 2012 Next Movie Star when the Paramount King of Fuji Music, Abass Akande Obesere and Afro hip hop star, W4 came calling. Both artistes were present as special guests at the first Thank God It's Friday night, a night reserved for the housemates to unwind and let their hairs down in an atmosphere of unbridled fun and revelry. Dressed in a well-cut blazer atop a checkered shirt and black pant, the Fuji music star was ushered into the warm embrace of the housemates who shrieked and screamed on sighting him. The reception was no less overwhelming for W4 whose real name is Adewale Adepoju. “I have followed the success story of the Next Movie Star since inception and I am proud at how far it has come. Some of you may not know but I am also an actor and when I see young people wanting to go into the profession,

I advise them to endeavour to get the requisite training and education,” Obesere said as he settled down to an evening of fun. On his part, W4, who has been enjoying increasing mainstream acceptance since the release of his hit single, Kontrol, also advised the housemates to remain focused

•Obesere performing

because the entertainment industry is not for the indolent. “It's a tough world out there but you are lucky because you would be coming in with a lot of skills and experience which your being in the Next Movie Staroffers you. Make use of the opportunity and take Kontrol,” he said.

•Babatunde, Dele George handshaking Gloria Doyle

Gloria Doyle joins Freiheits


REIHEITS Communication Limited, an outfit positioned towards music video production has officially signed on gospel singer, Gloria Folakemi Doyle as its first artiste. At the signing ceremony held recently, Chairman of the outfit, Dele George said that the company is also working on other artistes. Stating reasons why he signed on Doyle, George said that the management of the production outfit saw her previous works and were satisfied with it. Freiheit Communication, he said, is working on artistes that they believe have the potentials to

soar high and take their place in the industry. In the words of Managing Director of the company, Olufemi Ajibode, Freheit has come to stay. “In the last seven years of the existence of the company, we have done a lot of promotions on musical video productions, e-liberary where people can listen to any kind of music, have them on their phones or flash drive,” he said. Doyle who agrees that she is fully set to take her new album to the next level also said she is ready to work and cooperate with Freiheit to ensure that she achieves the mileage and success she has envisaged.




‘My kids understand why I have to make a choice’










Pg 30


Fatherhood has improved my




ECENTLY, my spirited campaign on social media against the restriction of commercial motorcycle (Okada) operations in Lagos State was at some point seen by some friends as an over-drive. They wondered if I wasn’t an Okada Baron using my access to mass media to champion a hidden personal interest. But I had no such interests in the Okada business beyond the rare occasions I find them handy for quick getaways. As I settled to piece this stuff, something told me I may also be seen as overbeaten the path of the issue of the Nigeria Premier League (NPL) and the intent of the Minister of Sports/ Chairman, National Sports Commission (NSC) on doing away with the NPL Board as presently constituted. It is no longer in the realm of privileged information as even the smallest class of Sports Journalist has had it whispered in their ears by persons close to the Minister. They know for certain that the League isn’t going to start on December 1 or 2 because the Minister has decreed so. They are also aware of a plot to have the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) suspend the

This grounded league will have grave repercussions Chairman of NPL and the Board members on account of the audit query which incidentally, the auditor has recanted. More disturbing was the cynical manner the audit query was leaked to the media as though someone needed to be discredited in order to deal with him. I still insist the Minister can take bold action to expose any misdemeanor by any sports official by frontally taking up the person and for grave financial misconduct, invite relevant government agencies. Or don’t we trust the same agency government has been saying is there to deal with corruption. Why the resort to media trial? Recently, I engaged a Sports Editor who seems to have bought into t he Minister’s vision for NPL on the merits and demerits of the audit report. His hardened position on the


Harry Iwuala matter is that the query exposed the fraud in the NPL even if the auditor may have ran foul of his professional ethics in dealing with such matters. It didn’t matter to him that an audit query represents area(s) of a financial report requiring clarification and which when provided will naturally lead to the presentation of a full report. From reports, the contentious part was the N38m television rights fee and which for reasons best known to the NPL and the rights holder, were not remitted through the NPL

bank account. It was wrong not to have followed financial accounting and reporting procedures on this matter but that doesn’t amount to fraud if those responsible have shown satisfactory proof of receipt and expenditure to the auditor. But then it is funny how the NFF has suddenly become a superintendent of NPL affairs when it hasn’t contributed a dime in the equity of the company. Recall the persistent cry of former NPL Chairman, Chief Oyuki Obaseki that all the seed capital promised them at

inception by the NFF and the Ministry was never remitted. How do you claim share ownership in a company you have no paid up capital? The current NPL Chairman, Chief Victor Rumson Baribote is the architect of the present muscling of the league body and his disposition can be traced to the political shenanigans that brought both the NPL and NFF into office. By innocently but naively becoming an appendage of the Federation, he unwittingly played into the hands of the Ministry which is using the instrument of Decree 101 (now Nigeria Football Act of 1999) to dictate what happens in the League. This explains why the directive to query the NPL had to be passed on to the NFF after it became manifest that the

Nigeria Shooting Sport Federation eyes Olympic glory

•Ayo Omidiran

•Action from the Shooting tourney held recently at the Shooting Range, Rowe Park in Yaba, Lagos

Commission lacked the power to institute an administrative panel into NPL affairs. Unfortunately, we are all dancing to the tunes of calling for the disbandment of NPL without pausing to evaluate the consequences on the players and the administration of football. Is it not too obvious to us all that the declining fortune of the Falcons is traceable to the comatose nature of the domestic Women Football League? At this point, the NFF and if they choose, the Sports Commission should be addressing the issue of encouraging the various cadre of leagues in the country through funding support as is done in the advanced football nations we always look to. Television and sponsorship rights are distributed in such a manner that smaller clubs in the lower leagues find something to hang on to provide players for the big league. What is the fate of the Nigeria National League and the Amateur League which are not permitted to secure sponsors from brands in competition with NFF Sponsors? How much funding are they benefitting from the NFF partnership? Interestingly, most of the clubs in the two lower leagues are privately funded and unlike the NPL, the club owners here will rise someday to ask questions. That day will mark the beginning of genuine football reforms just like the Militants did in the Niger Delta. What we cannot say today is how they will go about their agitation but it is better we made haste early to avoid an unsavoury outcome in the future. The ouster of Sunshine Stars from the Champions League can be partly blamed on the absence of competitive league to prepare them for such crucial stage of the competition. If the League had remained suspended as we have it now, it is left for imagination where Super Eagles Stephen Keshi would have been picking his homebased players from. The grounding of the league serves no purpose and is killing what is left of the industry. Go and ask the various food vendors and other artisans who eke out some earning from weekly congregation of teams. Because ours is an economy without data, it hasn’t been possible to estimate the contributions of the League to the economy of various cities where matches are hosted. Matters of infraction can always be resolved without holding everybody down and this is exactly what the seeming perpetual state of flux has imposed on the real stakeholders. A piece of advice for the NFF henchmen is that you cannot tomorrow cry for autonomy when you are making the body available as an undertaker for those you seek autonomy from. When good men keep quiet as another is being dragged to the slab, one day the executioner will find no bad man to slaughter and what happens to the good man?



T was six days after President Barack Obama won re-election to lead the United States of America for a second term and a couple of weeks following Hurricane Sandy. A 12-hour flight from Lagos took us to Atlanta, Georgia and we then proceeded to Miami, State of Florida for the international friendly against Venezuela. Arrangements were seamless as expected and the Nigerian delegation then got ready for the match against the La Vinotinto after a couple of training sessions. Wednesday night’s (Thursday early morning in Nigeria) match was meant to set in motion the preparations of the Super Eagles for the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations championship in South Africa next year (19th January – 10th February, 2013). Before leaving Nigeria, I received several e-mail and phone sms messages asking why we were going to play Venezuela when in fact, the Africa Cup of Nations would be against African opposition. Of course, the standard response was that you can only play those you are able to reach agreement with pertaining to venue, time and date, and general logistics. Also related to this is the fact that it is not only those within Africa that you MUST play ahead of a tournament involving African countries. International friendlies are meant to test strength generally, against teams that can provide quality opposition, afterall, they also


do pity Super Eagles' coach, Stephen Keshi for being under intense pressure to raise a quality team to go to South Africa early next year and do what is considered in some circles to be an impossible. The impossible task he is saddled with by the sports egg heads in the land is to win the 2013 African Cup of Nations despite not having the necessary wherewithal to do so and the presence of insurmountable obstacles could only make one but to pity him. It is note-worthy that his employers, the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), are not on the same page with their parent body on the win-the-trophy syndrome and would grant Keshi a shoulder to cry on as the country counts down to the great kick- off in South Africa in January. The contract Keshi signed for three years is to qualify Eagles for the Nations Cup, get at least to the semi finals and then go on to qualify for the 2014 World Cup holding in Brazil. Winning the Nations Cup trophy is not a must for him and the sports big wigs have gone beyond their brief in tasking the coach to go to the former apartheid enclave and do the impossible. The contract has not been amended or tinkered since it was penned in Abuja sometime ago to my knowledge and those who want Keshi’s lads to go and win the Cup in February are wishful -thinkers and not realists. The NFF, on our behalf, has, through the jaundiced contract, conceded the trophy to other fifteen qualifiers before the first ball was

Inside The


American Wonder! are football teams. The match against Venezuela fitted the bill and gave us the kind of overview we wanted. The same day we played Venezuela in America, the United States senior team (whose next games are in the CONCACAF qualifiers for the 2014 FIFA World Cup) were away to Russia (whose next games are in the European qualifiers for the 2014 FIFA World Cup); Argentina (whose next games are in the South American qualifiers for the 2014 FIFA World Cup) played against Asian giants Saudi Arabia; Portugal (whose next games are in the European qualifiers for the 2014 FIFA World Cup) tackled African side Gabon; Cote d’Ivoire (also playing in the Africa Cup of Nations in South Africa) were away to Austria (whose next games are in the European qualifiers for 2014 FIFA World Cup). Georgia, who have their next games in the European

qualifiers for 2014 FIFA World Cup, hosted Egypt (an African side that failed for the second successive time to qualify for the Africa Cup of Nations); Algeria (heading to the Africa Cup of Nations) hosted Bosnia (playing in the European qualifiers for the 2014 FIFA World Cup); Uruguay, playing in the South American qualifiers for the 2014 FIFA World Cup, were away to Poland, who are in the European qualifiers for the 2014 FIFA World Cup and; Tunisia, heading to the Africa Cup of Nations, played Switzerland, who are involved in the European qualifiers for the 2014 FIFA World Cup. I have given these instances to buttress the point that the confederation from where your opposition comes from doesn’t really matter, at certain times. That is why we are working round the clock to ensure that the Super Eagles play African opposition

onwards, in readiness for the Africa Cup of Nations. It is not the result from Wednesday’s match that mattered (though we all love the victory). What mattered was the fact that the Eagles played a good game, even with a number of debutantes, and gave a good account of our football and defended the green-white-green credibly. Goalkeeper Austin Ejide only confirmed what we have always known: that he is a good goaltender. His reflexes were as sharp as ever and he made a number of great saves. Perhaps, I should then talk about the first-timers. Shola Ameobi, joining the group for the first time, showed strength and ball sense, while Solomon Kwambe and Bright Dike also gave good account of themselves. When I was told about Coach Keshi bringing a Bright Dike that we had not heard anything about previously, I was anxious to see how he would fare. He

didn’t do badly on the day. Kwambe did his level best at right back, and showed tremendous awareness and intelligence to assist for the first goal, scored by Brown Ideye. F o r m e r j u n i o r international Ogenyi Onazi started his first match, and won applause from several quarters. He was agile, strong and ambitious. His goal was a beauty. Umar Zango, home boy, was also diligent and useful. In his return to the team for the first time in two years, Obafemi Martins showed his usual strength and persistence, and was a constant threat before he left the pitch. Elderson Echiejile, at left back, was fearless and forayed upfront in a beautiful way. Ideye was his bustling self, and I am sure he was quite happy to score his first senior team goal (few people remember that Ideye and Echiejile played in the Nigeria U-20 team that reached the quarter finals of the FIFA U-20 World Cup in Canada in 2007). The Dynamo Kiev boy gave a good account of himself. So did Raheem Lawal, whose talent and capabilities we first saw at the Africa U-23 Championship in Morocco towards the end of last year. Yet, the day belonged to Nosa Igiebor, who drove from box-to-box and scored a wonder goal. His ballwinning mentality was superb and his touches took out the opposition smoothly. He worked and worked and

Keshi’s contract won’t make Eagles Champions-1 AKINLOYE


08050246155 kicked in the qualifiers and would take a special divine grace to change the course of history. With the terms of the contract, we have shot ourselves in the foot and added another year to ones we have gone without the continental trophy and may have to wait for more years if our eyes remain closed to the right way contract should be penned. Nigeria has operated in the real of limitation in last seventeen or so years with the defeatinflicted contracts we signed with our coaches after the era of Dutchmen, Clemens Westerhof and Bonfrere Jo, and it is the major reason we had been third best in the continent since Tunisia’94. Giving targets is a crucial p a r t o f m o d e r n management of human resources. It may have received great acclaims in the board-rooms for the successes it has achieved over the years and made great men and build institutions; yet it cannot shed the fact that it operates in the realm of limitation if wrongly applied. The aim to take part in

any competition is to win the top-most prize and not to be an also-run. Sportsmen no longer go to the Olympic Games to play the second fiddle in modern times. With billions of naira to be won, athletes now target only the top prize in competitions and go as far as doing the unthinkable to get to the top and remain there. O u r f o o t b a l l administrators should move away from the ancient Olympic motto of being happy in participation and quit setting self-defeatists targets which had only succeeded in dragging our game to the pit. Setting limitations as terms of contracts will only drag our football deeper in the mire. It will have occasional stir when our ranking will improve only for it to go down again as if it is a game of see-saw which is the past time of children. The contract which the NFF signed with Keshi is the greatest obstacle standing between Nigeria and the Eagles winning the trophy again for the third time in South Africa early next year and will ensure we remain

trophy-less in more Nations Cup tournaments to come if our soccer wigs do not remove the limitation from future contracts. Money and time will be invested in preparation for the tournament in Faro, Portugal and it would be like pouring water in the basket. Eagles will be getting ready for an exercise in futility. The effort will not be crowned with success and it would have been better not to have qualified and the players stay with their different clubs rather than preparing for a tournament which had been lost even before the first kick is taken. Every act undertaken on earth, though physical, has its spiritual connotations and the spiritual, as it is written in the Good Book, controls the physical. The spirit behind the contract and its terms will not work for a third win for the senior national team. It cannot go beyond its brief and can only keep its part of the agreement everything being equal. Also, it is not automatic that Eagles will get to the semi finals. They still have to earn it. Aside adequate preparation, everything must go well b e fo r e a n d d u r i n g t h e tournament. Misfortune must be shut out of the team and they must cut back on mistakes which reared their ugly heads during the qualifiers when poor goal keeping denied victory at crucial moments.

Goals must continue to rain in consistency with their last outing which produced six goals in sharp departure from their history of barren draws.

never got tired. There were those who said the central defence pair of Azubuike Egwueke and Godfrey Oboabona must sit up. Surely, they must. But we must concede that they gave their level best and intervened at some critical periods, though they need to be more agile and alert to the opposition onslaught. One is quite delighted that the victory was achieved despite the absence of several first team players, such as John Mikel Obi and Victor Moses of Chelsea FC of England who both pulled out. Not invited but also definitely in the first frame are skipper Joseph Yobo (Turkey), goalkeeper Vincent Enyeama (Israel) defender Efe Ambrose (Scotland); midfielders Kalu Uche (Turkey) and Obiora Nwankwo (Italy), strikers Ikechukwu Uche (Spain), Ahmed Musa (Russia), Osaze Odemwingie (England) and Emmanuel Emenike (Russia). There are also players like Obinna Nsofor (Russia) Fegor Ogude and Dickson Etuhu. We are indeed blessed with an embarrassment of riches. All that is left is for the technical crew to throw the door open for everyone they feel are good enough to fight for shirts as the Nations Cup camp opens in December. Tribute to R. B. Jah It was on Monday while in the United States of America that I learnt of the demise of Chief Ralph Beresford Bamidele Johnston, a former Board Member of then Nigeria Football Association in the late 1970s, serving under the late Sunday Dankaro. No doubt, he was much more known as the Team Manager of the Green Eagles team that cruised to Nigeria’s first Africa Cup of Nations triumph, at home, in 1980. The Sunday Dankaro administration laid a solid foundation for the emergence of a very strong Green Eagles, and the team signposted its potentials by winning bronze at the Africa Cup of Nations in 1976 and 1978, before lifting the trophy in 1980. May his gentle soul rest in peace.




Movie Review

Star gives more prizes to consumers

Kokomma: The indignity of man

Money Drops train hits Port Harcourt

•Biola Alabi

Nigeria’s Got Talent semi-finals heats up


ITH just three semi-finals talent hunt show, contestants in talent hunt show, Nigeria's Got Talents have put on a display of the amazing range of dance routine across Nigeria. The Pebbles set things rolling with a professional ballet performance to 2face Idiba's Omo T'osan - the first time many in the audience were seeing that merging of two influences, “You guys have displayed to us that Nigeria has it all. Your level of seriousness, professionalism, and creativity was amazing,” judge and actress, Kate Henshaw gushed. The Expendables, all the way from the Garden City of Port Harcourt, brought the audience back home. “Dance is our life, what we do, how we express our feelings. Dance is what we were born to do. We are glad that we have been given the privilege to do what we love and we hope Nigerians will take us to the finals, so we can dazzle them with extraordinary dance moves." There were also the singing talents, like 11 year old Toke Salami, who blessed the audience

with gospel classic, Ijoba Orun and Azuka Ekazue, who sang an old time classic from Boys II Men, End of the Road. From dance to singing, juggling to fire-eating, Nigeria's Got Talent has shown each weekend that there is much more to look forward to. The semi-finals continue next week and viewers still have the power to save their favorite talent. Hosted by Andre Blaze, the judges for the season are radio host Dan Foster, actor Kate Henshaw and entertainment entrepreneur, Yibo Koko. The Airtel-sponsored first season of Nigeria's Got Talent began to air on 16 September and will run until December 2012.

Tip-Tap unveils Oluwaseun


HE name Olatosin Oluwatosin may not ring bell in the Nigerian music industry, though this 17 year old multi talented 200 level student of International Law and Diplomacy, Babcock University has been in the field for quite some time. In 2009, Oluwaseun went into music professionally after his secondary school and did a lot of freestyle and free shows before Tip- Tap Records, owned by Adebola Yusuf Adepitan aka Danku, known to have managed artistes such as Konga, Ice k, Slime Joe and Lace. Friday, November 2, at the Yoruba Tennis Club, Onikan,

Udemma Chukwuma

Tip Tap Records officially unveiled Oluwaseun into the Nigerian music industry, in an event which also served as a listening party for some of his singles including Olele, featuring Olamide and Party Dey Here featuring Terry G. At the unveiling session, the musician cum music producer, Oluwaseun said, that Olele is a song he wrote to celebrate the female folk. “Olele itself is a phrase I brought from childhood. I was like let me make people remember their childhood, so I brought the Olele so that everybody will remember that it has not gone totally,” he enthused.


His manager, Danku disclosed that the starstudded ten-track album would be would be released early next year after a video shoot in London, Nigeria and Dubai.



Ibironke ARIYO



Ikeja Bobo City starts operation Ibironke ARIYO

fabrics expo holds in Abuja

Oreke Ibadan Beauty Pageant 2012



‘Let’s not over-criticise pastors who have problems with their wives’ Recently when Lekki-based yuppie Pastor Ituah Ighodalo buried his father, six governors and other high profile guests filed behind him to pay a last respect to Pa Jeremiah Ighodalo, his late father. Even after the exotic burial ceremony and reception, the amiable yuppie head pastor of Trinity House Church in Lekki, Lagos, rolled out more basket of food, medication and other necessities to the needy who came in droves to the outreach he organised the following Saturday. Pastor Ituah Ighodalo has come a long way from Christ Chapel, one of the parishes of The Redeemed Christian Church of God where his popularity was steadily on the rise. Few years ago, he left unceremoniously, but his fame went ahead of him and today, the successful chartered accountant, who is also popular in social circles, is said to be leading one of the fastest growing churches inAfrica. Ituah Ighodalo spoke to PAUL UKPABIO at his luxury home in Ikoyi, Lagos.



•Pastor Ighodalo with wife, Ibidun

Even as pastors, they still make mistakes... What we need to do is to encourage one another and not to overcriticise one another because you may not know where the shoe is pinching... So if a pastor that has been married for many years suddenly has problem with his wife, let's move close and counsel

THE NATION, Saturday, November 17, 2012


Lagos CP Manko and go or we send Long before he was named the police boss in Lagos State, Commissioner of Police, Umar Manko, knew that policing a state like Lagos would come with lots of challenges. As an investigation expert, he also knows the importance of good investigation in the war against crimes. He has employed these strategies with mixed successes. In this interview with SEGUN AJIBOYE and EBELE BONIFACE, Manko speaks on the challenges confronting his men. He also speaks about his leisure, family and other personal issues. How challenging is it to police a state like Lagos? NY command that has the responsibility of Lagos State will definitely have some challenges because of the nature and uniqueness of Lagos and its strategic position in the country. And because of the economic status of Lagos and the privileged position the state is occupying in the affairs of this country, if you find yourself as a commissioner of police here, you cannot shy away from the fact that some challenges are attached to it. Again, I have always been aware of the challenges of policing a state like Lagos even before I became the CP. But all said and done, the challenges are being looked into and tackled in every way that we can. Those of us who are police officers here have to go the extra mile to make sure that the state is safe for law abiding people to do their businesses. And sometimes you have to look beyond the ordinary to meet up with the challenges. But I want to confirm that since my assumption of duty here, it has been very interesting, and I •Manko think I am satisfied with what we have done so far. Your men had a rough time with bandits recently in what seemed a coordinated ttack on a bureau de change in Lagos. How did you get to arrest the suspects behind the attack? That was a tough one for the police. But thank God, within a short period, we were able to apprehend the brains behind it. How did you outsmart them? What happened on that day was that some miscreants came here and tried to embarrass everybody. But some people refused to understand that these criminals came with a mission, but because they were effectively checkmated, they couldn’t put that mission into practice. In the process, we lost some policemen, while some innocent citizens got wounded and others were killed. The policemen that died were not shot in their bedrooms; they were shot by these hoodlums on the streets of Lagos. And that is an indication that, contrary to what many people were saying, that the people came and had a field day and went away, they were indeed confronted by the police. If they had a field day and went away, I do not see how policemen would die on the street. The citizens that were injured or killed happened because of the desperate bid of these criminals to escape. Now, if you get criminals in the midst of citizens who are innocent, my profession is such that you don’t shoot to kill. Because when you fire in the midst of citizens, an innocent soul could get killed or injured from the bullets of the police, which to us is not professional enough. You see, I am a policeman and this is the only job I know. When that thing happened, I was left with all options. The option of prevention probably was not very effective. So, another option open to me was to detect and



The ember months started about two or three months ago and I hope and pray hard to God that we will have a peaceful Yuletide season this year. But for me and my team in Lagos, we are ready and working to ensure that there is peace here and we are determined to do that


possibly prosecute. We then went onto the drawing board to see how best we could fish out those who committed the crime. Of course, you know this same group went to Abeokuta and even went to Ilorin. What they wanted to do in Lagos, which they couldn’t do, they attacked a bank, ransacked a police station. We tried to study the mode of operation there in Ilorin and compared with what happened in Lagos, and we believed that there were some similarities and we started from there. Of course, I want to tell you that three quarters of my policing career was spent or had been spent so far in the investigation outfit. I was the OC General investigation Department here in Lagos State. I was also at one time in charge of general investigation in the whole police command, Abuja. So, investigations are not new to me. And so we set the machinery in place to see if we could nab them. But how we went about it is what I will not disclose here. The result is that we got those criminals. You do have a functional relationship with other commands… (Cuts in) Yes. Of course, we are all under the same house. Whether in Abeokuta or in Ilorin or Lagos, a commissioner of police in charge of a state command will interact frequently. More importantly, we see ourselves as brothers.So, we exchange ideas. And, of course, that is the only way it should be. We have very good working relationship with our colleagues all over the federation. So much is being said about your leadership style. How would you describe jt? The thing is that I have always thought, not only in Lagos, but anywhere I have worked, that I can never be the master of everything. I know I cannot do it alone. And come to think of it, if I could do it alone, there wouldn’t be any need for any constable in the Lagos State Police Command. And because I realised that in the course of doing my duty, I tried as much as possible to define my role as Commissioner of Police. I also try to distinguish quite clearly between the roles of those of us who are in the officers cadre and the field officers, because whatever role we perform, whatever assignment or duty we find doing, it is how we handle that position that matters. Therefore, each person must play his or her role for the collective success of our organization, the Nigeria Police Force. So, I give responsibility to every member of my team as defined in our rules. I also try to do mine as the leader of the team in the state, to the extent to which the regulation allows me. And I call on every other person to do his or her own. It is that simple. We are approaching the Yuletide season when there is usually an upsurge in criminal activities. What measures are you putting in place to checkmate bandits? Well, we are aware of this trend. But with God on our side, the story would be different this time around. The strategies are kept to my heart. But the police in Lagos are prepared. That is an assurance from me. We are already in November. The ember months started about two or three months ago and I hope and pray hard to God that we will have a peaceful Yuletide season this year. But for me and my team in Lagos, we are ready and working to ensure that there is peace here and we are determined to do that. How do you motivate your men to do more for the security of the state? Well, we try to commend and congratulate those who are doing well. We write officially to the Inspector General of Police. For example, the young man in SARS, Superintendent of Police (SP) Abba Kyari, he is doing brilliantly well in that place. We have written to the Inspector General of Police, and I can tell you that it is

THE NATION, Saturday, November 17, 2012


to criminals: Pack your things Holy Ghost fire after you presently receiving attention. In the last couple of weeks, especially after that Sunday that the media have dubbed black, we have been able to smash about three syndicates of deadly armed robbers. Of course, you know that a few weeks back in Ogun State, some of them (bandits) went and killed five policemen. Even though we are not working in Ogun State, we are already on the trail of these people, and very soon, we will call you to come and look at their faces. So, we try to encourage those who work hard. Those we can make commendation for at my level as the commissioner of police, we would do that while those the Assistant Inspector General of Police (AIG) has to do, we will solicit his assistance. Again, those who are found wanting are adequately compensated too, because if you are a Divisional Police Officer (DPO) and you refuse to work, I remove you on the air and ask you to hand over to the most senior person in your police station and report to the headquarters. You will see many police officers with very big ranks here; some of them wearing provost •Manko clothes, some of them doing nothing. If you cannot work where you are, you come here and stay. So, one particular area where the image of the that is their own compensation for failing to police has been battered is gone. Nobody is do what is expected of them. I promised accusing the police any longer of taking N20 myself since I started assuming the positions or giving police bad image because of N20. of leadership that I will lead by example. And The other time, I was reading an article in a with God on my side, I have been doing newspaper and the writer was talking about exactly that. okada riders. The writer said I was wrong to But you cannot deny the fact that some of say the okada riders in Lagos contribute your men are facing hard times with almost 98 per cent to cases of armed robbery accommodation. What are your plans incidents in the state. He said I was talking towards solving these problems? fallacy. And I begin to wonder what his Well, the first thing I will say on that is that business is with my statistics. I am a graduate the problem of accommodation with the of Sociology and, of course, you know police is age-long, and those we can handle statistics is a component part of Sociology. So, we will try to maintain them and make them I should know my statistics. Again, I was clean as much as possible. But I would like to talking from the point of knowledge. I have let you know that the Inspector General of my facts. I am a member of the National Police today, IGP MD Abubakar is doing Institute for Police and Strategic Studies. I everything he could to ensure that we have enough accommodation. He is working on all don’t make statements for the sake of talking. Now, the man said that I should have aspects of police welfare, and I think within a very short time, things will work out well and concerned myself with the N20 issue. I say this man is living in the past because the issue things will be better and completely different of N20 is no more relevant as far as the from what they used to be. While we will Nigeria Police is concerned, and thanks to my continue to make very good use of what we Inspector General of Police. Take the incident have on ground now, we expect that, as already being demonstrated by the leadership of the black Sunday for example, the man had forgotten that three sets of armed robbers that zeal of the Inspector General of Police, more had to do with that crime, including their barracks accommodation would be made arms are with me. Now, we are determined to available. The truth of the matter is that the man is not make sure that crimes are not being committed. First, before we start only working on accommodation while you investigating, particularly in Lagos State, the are still in the service; he is also working on post-service housing for every policeman, and Lagos State Government, and in fact, the governor, Babatunde Raji Fashola, has done we have seen within the little period that he much to ensure a proactive policing in Lagos has come out with positive structures that are tailored towards solving most of the problems State. If you go to the waterfront, there are vessels, boats, bought by the government to confronting the police. The Inspector General of Police has said that during his own time, he patrol the waterways. If you come into the mainland, you’ll find the Rapid Response would try as much as possible to put Squad (RRS) attack patrols all over the place. measures in place where policemen would And the man is constantly reviewing these have their houses, even before they retired. And to make good that promise, the police already has what you call a mortgage bank, which every police man is being encouraged to participate at subsidised sums. I think with that and other measures being put in place, issues of accommodation problems will be over in a very short period. I believe policing has to be proactive. What proactive measures do you put in place to ensure success for the command? You see, if you look at the transformation agenda of the Inspector General of Police, you discover that whatever he said there, I mean, all the cardinal points there are all proactive and transformational. The man says remove roadblocks, replace them with motorised patrols. The road blocks are removed. You see,

strategies, asking you questions. Let me tell you something: this okada issue, before the thing became law to restrict them to certain areas, the governor did all he could. You would see RRS men on motorcycles trying to check these criminals in the traffic. But when this persisted, we said let us restrict okada to certain areas. And from the statistics we have, Lagos State has about 910,000 roads, and these motorcycle riders are restricted to only 469 roads. And come to think of it, some senior journalists have been attacked by armed robbers who use okada to operate. So, when we talk, we know what we are saying. Motorcyclists in Lagos State are using their motorcycles to commit crimes and I have my facts. And that law, there is nobody that will intimidate us out of enforcing it. Do you ever have time for relaxation? Yes, I do. How do you relax? I attend parties and do other social things at my own time. One would think you are hard to deal with. Is it? No. You see, there is this feeling that this man is a hard man. Well, however hard I am, I still have some soft spots in me. It is natural of human beings. I try to distinguish clearly between work and relaxation, and I give my time to each of them as time permits. You see, if I am at work, I am at work. And the only person who will be my friend at work is the person who does his own work. But if I want to relax, I know where to go to. I will go and relax, and then I will refuse to mix it with work because these are two different roles. And once you are able to analyse that, you find time to do certain things. But even when I am relaxing, I still think about work, at least mentally. So how was growing up? I come from a royal family. I am a direct descendant of King Masaba of Nupe land. King Masaba was of the Fulani Dynasty and my grandfather was one of the students. So, I grew up in that circle. So what motivated you to join the police? We had the native authority police in those days. And the chief of the native authority police of my town, one Alhaji Usman Isa, was a fine looking man; very handsome. And anytime he appears in the native authority police uniform, everybody admired him, including myself. Again, he was like a senior brother to me. We are all from the same family. So, I think that had an impression on me. Despite that, I still tried to run away from anything that had to do with uniform. But that was until after I left the university. Which university did you graduate from? In those days, we called it the University of Sokoto. But it is now called the Shehu Usman Dan Fodio University. I left there and I came to Lagos to do my NYSC. I did my youth service in Lagos, at Alagbon Close. What year was this? It was in 1984, and I got enlisted on 31st December 1984. I’m sure the story is a lovely one for you.


You know, like I told you, I have said it many times that sometimes I am an Imam or a pastor. And that I like preaching. My advice to criminals in Lagos is this: if you are criminally-minded in Lagos, pack your things and go or we send the Holy Ghost fire to catch up with you


Yes, of course. There is no way you can grow from Assistant Superintendent of Police, with a peep one star, and rise to the position of the Commissioner of Police, as I am now, without saying thank you to God. But again, there were challenges. What challenges? At a point in time, I had to suffer certain things because I didn’t believe in the system where people go and collect money from people. I don’t like corruption. I didn’t just start this policy today. It has been part of me for a long time. I’ve always hated corruption, and sometimes we suffer for it, because we became persistent and damned the consequences as well. God knows that those things are wrong, and if I say I don’t like it, I don’t like it. And sometimes in the process of that, certain thing happened. But I want to thank God that despite all that happened, I am a commissioner of police today. Do you have any soft spot? I do. I have soft spot for my children. I like my children a lot. I want to believe that you love madam too.. I do (laughs) How did you meet her? Well, I was a young man full of life in Kaduna. That means you did all those things young men do? Yes. I did things young men of my age did. We met in 1982. I was still in school at the time. Was it love at first sight? I think so. I had not been very active in that area prior to our meeting. But we met and I got married. What attracted you to her? Probably her simplicity. I have always been very simple in my private life. But if you go a little away from that, I am also very passionate about nature. I like animals. I feel very happy in the midst of animals, and that is why anywhere I live, you find all sorts of animals surrounding me. And I am also a very good horse rider, probably because I am a prince. I also like reading poems. Who is your favourite poet? Professor Wole Soyinka. Why he? I don’t know. I just love him. But if I may tell you, when I was growing up in my days in the university, any time I got annoyed and looked at my surrounding, I started jotting down what I saw. And before you know it, that tension or anger would start getting out of me. And that brought me very close to people like the late Attah, Mammam Vatsa and so many of them. What is your advice to policemen in Lagos? My advice to my men is to shun corruption, and to re-orientate themselves towards the new order, because if you are corrupt, everything about you is bad. There is no way you can find anything good in somebody who is corrupt. In whatever form you define corruption, not even material terms alone, also in moral terms. Once they say this thing is corruption, there is a lot of things that are wrong with it. My advice to my men in Lagos State is that the new thinking of the police is very clear. We should try as much as we can to key into the new thinking, as spearheaded by the Inspector General of Police, so that we can get along. But if they are not willing to get along, then they go home, because I am not going to compromise on corruption. I expect everybody, including the last constable here, to do his own bit so that collectively, we would be able to give Lagos and Lagosians an effective police service delivery. Anybody who has a contrary idea about this will have himself to blame. And what about the criminals in Lagos? You know, like I told you, I have said it many times that sometimes I am an Imam or a pastor. And that I like preaching. My advice to criminals in Lagos is this: if you are criminally-minded in Lagos, pack your things and go or we send the Holy Ghost fire to catch up with you.




S THE man at the head of the Directorate of Transport in Delta State, what would you say are the vision and policy thrust of the directorate in the state? The vision and policy thrust of the Directorate of Transport in the state are tailored in a way that they conform with the Three Point Agenda of His Excellency, Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan. In summary, the vision and policy thrust of the directorate is to provide safe, reliable, effective, efficient and integrated transport operations and infrastructure that will best meet the needs of passenger and freight services. Ours is to provide Delta State with adequate, sustainable, affordable, comfortable and safe transportation services in all modes. The directorate is responsible for the design, supervision, and administration of traffic control devices, inter-city/intra-city transportation and water craft services; we ensure effective management, control of road traffic policies, safety of lives and property on our roads. Besides, it is also incumbent on us to provide transportation infrastructure such as jetties, buoys, pillars, and terminals and stop shelter, laybys and so on. And don’t let us forget that the directorate is also saddled with evolving active strategies for the channelisation and dredging of inland waterways routes in order to provide easy access to riverine communities in the state. Delta State has now joined the league of states that have banned the use of motorcycles, popularly called Okada, at least in some cities… Yes, and it is because of the above that we resolved that Okada should leave our major highways because there is no way in which they fit into this vision and policy thrust for the state. They are not safe, reliable, effective, and efficient. They can’t be said to be sustainable, affordable or comfortable means of transportation. If you consider the accidents that are results of recklessness on the part of Okada, you will feel terribly aggrieved. In terms of security, they are the ones that will trail and give information to kidnappers about people, when to strike and where. These are some of the things we have considered and we think Okada, as a child of necessity, is not a thing we can afford to keep in Delta state any longer. What informed the policy of giving some of the recently commissioned buses in the state to private operators? If you look at government’s business, the ones that are successful are those that have the private touch. In Delta State, the transport sector has been a marriage between the private and public sectors and that is the way it has been. Now, among our operators, the best ones today as we speak are the ones we have partnered with in the private sector. We have a government operator, the Delta Line, but the private sector’s performance has been very encouraging. All the private operators are doing well, very well. And that is why we have no hesitation in engaging them. The government and your ministry have been criticised on account of the recent 1,250 tricycles launched in the state. They claimed that it was for political patronage. That is very funny. I sat with His Excellency the Governor, and it was agreed that these tricycles should be given to the commercial motorcycle unions. The plan has been on since January. That is why today when people cry and talk about the ban of Okada, I wonder why people should be complaining because it is a policy and enlightenment that have been on since January. These tricycles have been purchased since last year but it has taken time to put them together, assemble and change them to the state colours of blue and white and other things. We have been telling them that one day, you are going to leave the roads and when we finished


‘Our major challenge with transportation in Delta is people’s attitude’ Benson Igbakpa is the Commissioner, Directorate of Transport, Delta State. In this interview with Assistant Editor, AUGUSTINE AVWODE, he explains the activities of the state government in the transport sector. Excerpts: doing that, we told them that you are not just going to leave the roads but you are going to be the owners of these tricycles. And how did we do that? When I resumed as Transport Commissioner, I met about 8-9 unions of these Okada riders in Delta State and I think that was chaotic. It was not healthy enough and I told them I don’t want to deal with more than one or two; so go and streamline yourselves. No union that has factions can expect to do well or survive. So I begged them to please come together that we are young men, let’s come together because as a Commissioner for Transport I was not ready to deal with multiple factions. They heeded the plea and came together except for one that is hiding somewhere due to ego or so. So they have their leaders and have been doing their things. When the governor commissioned the tricycles, he handed them to the unions. They are to collect the money and pay into government account, and when we see the proof of

payment, then I release the number of tricycles they have paid for to them. So they were the ones doing the distribution really not the government and there was no particular yardstick used in distribution as only the Okada riders are the ones doing it, so it is not a tool for political patronage. A large part of the state lies in the riverine areas. What efforts is your ministry making to ensure an effective transportation in the riverine areas of the state? We are very much aware that a large part of the state lies in the riverine areas. And we have eminent people from these areas. But we must agree that transport has been a problem in those areas. However, the happy thing is that, like I keep telling people, His Excellency is like Nostrademus, the man who saw tomorrow. He keeps playing ahead. In January this year when there was problem about subsidy removal, the governor already had 100 Hiace buses in place in

Delta: Okada out, tricycles in

•Continued from Page 22

able transportation for Deltans dates back to 2008. I have been in this transport business for a while now. That year, I remember the government launched the State Urban Taxi scheme with 170 taxis. These taxis have helped to alleviate the transportation problems in the state. “Then between 2009 and 2011, the government bought about 500 units of 18-seater buses for the State Urban Transportation Programme. Some of these buses, about 40, were given to schools as shuttle to assist the students who were then experiencing transportation problems”. The state government moved in to alleviate the transport challenges faced by tertiary school students by providing in nine units of 38-seater Nissan Civilian buses to them.

The buses were distributed to the three campuses of Delta State University at Abraka, Asaba and Oleh, the three polytechnics at Ozoro, Otefe and Ogwashi-Uku and the Colleges of Education at Agbor, Warri and Mosogar. Evidently, the transport sector in the state has enjoyed good attention from government, a development Igbakpa said must be encouraged. According to him, “The transport sector is an important component of the state economy, impacting on socio-economic developments and people’s welfare. Only an efficient transport infrastructure and services will provide some of the economic and social opportunities the state needs to attain the Millennium Development Goals (MDG). In fact,transport is one of the key sectors that

play a crucial role in achieving the goals of poverty eradication and sustainable development, the sectors is very much linked and influences development in other sector of the economy”. But then, the general concern about the parlous shape of roads across the state continues to be a source of worry to many people. They argue that the first thing would be to fix the roads if the government wishes to see the many buses it is buying serve the people for a long time. Besides, they also argue that no amount of professionalism would guarantee efficient and sustainable transport system where the roads are manifestly bad. The call has been “please fix these roads.” A prominent indigene of Asaba, told The Nation that those criticising the government

Delta State. So when people were busy fighting, he was busy commissioning and rolling out buses. For the people in the riverine areas, he has made sure that while those in the hinterland are being taken care of, they are also provide for. In line with that vision, the State Executive Council approved the purchase of 130 water buses, (18 seaters). And as we speak, we have taken delivery of 110, as soon as the remaining 20, which are already in Apapa Port are delivered here, they will be commissined by His Excellency and they will be given out. But in Delta State we believe that the private partners are the best to work with because they have proven that over time. We believe in the PPP arrangement. Critics say all the government is doing is to waste money and misplace priority because there are no motorable roads in the state. How would you react to this criticism? Well, yes, it is a known fact that we all have challenges with roads. It is not peculiar to Delta State. I challenge anybody to go across the states in Nigeria, there is no state in the country that doesn’t have challenge with roads. More so, this is the South-south, this is the Niger Delta, what it costs to construct a kilometre of road here is not what it costs in another place. Again, Delta is a peculiar state in that it is not a one capital state. Yes, Asaba is the capital city, but we have so many cities. We have Warri, Ughelli, Sapele, Agbor, Abraka and all these cities have to be looked at the same time. When people are comparing Delta Sstate with other states, I laugh because there is no basis for comparison. Delta Sstate is a mini-Nigeria. Besides, the governor just read the riot act to contractors few days ago. Three days ago, the governor did not work in his office. He practically moved his office to the Ministry of Works, he was there for hours, where he discussed with contractors, did approvals and gave them marching orders. He actually gave them up to December 15 to perform, to shape in or be shipped out. He is ready to pay, work and get your money. The governor is not sleeping over the road issue in the state. But the critics should know that while we are talking about roads, we don’t do it with our teeth, we do roads with money. The resources are such that they must be judiciously allocated to cater for other needs in the state. People who say it is a waste of money must rethink their opinions. Today, Delta parades the cheapest transport fare in the country. Our transportation is being subsidised by government. Any distance that will cost you N50:00, you pay N20:00, the government pays N30:00. So in most cases, the government pays about 75%. People are free to talk but they should cross check their facts. What are the challenges facing the transport sector in Delta State? The basic challenge facing the transport sector in Delta State, I would say is that of the attitude of human beings, especially as it affects what the government is doing in the state. The basic challenge, as is usual with all government businesses, is scarcity of resources. It is a major problem. I know that His Excellency the governor has a wonderful agenda to transform everything overnight but because of limited resources, not everything has been done. When I spoke a little while ago about the attitude of human beings towards government property, you just imagine somebody coming into a clean, air-conditioned bus, carry meat with blood dripping from it and would like to just keep it anywhere; and in fact some find it difficult to pay or not wanting to pay at all just because it is government owned. So, in summary, the attitude of the people towards government property or business and the dearth of resources are the major challenges facing the sector in the state. for not doing enough on rehabilitation of roads and or construction of new ones are by all standard justified and can be called patriots. He jokingly asked in Pidgin English, “abi the vehicles wan fly? No bi road them go pass? Dis no be politics, this one na the right thing to say, we all be PDP and na we all get Delta”. But while conceding that the state is facing challenges of roads, Igbakpa insisted that critics are not fair and have failed to cross check their facts. He argued that the state is unique and the terrain very demanding as is with all Niger Delta states. Besides, he insisted that the resources available are small in relation to the number of issues begging for urgent demand. He revealed that the governor last week gave the contractors up to December 15 to perform or be fired. The hope is that the contractors will perform so as to ensure that Deltans celebrate the coming yuletide season enjoying good buses and plying good and safe roads.

THE NATION, Saturday, November 17, 2012

Before the emergence of Alhaji Ibrahim Dankwambo as Governor of Gombe State, the deadly Kalare phenomenon had taken a life of its own, sending shivers down the spines of law-abiding citizens. In this interview with our Abuja Bureau Chief, YOMI ODUNUGA, the state Commissioner for Youth Empowerment and Poverty Alleviation, Alhaji Mijinyawa Sani Labaran, explained how the governor brought his personality to bear on the group and positively transformed its members. Excerpts: hat can you say are the specifics of the objectives of the Dankwambo administration in the area of empowerment and curtailing youth restiveness as it affects Gombe State? •Governor Dankwabo The matching mandate of the Gombe State Ministry of Youth Empowerment and Poverty Alleviation which is a key government organ is to empower the youth and alleviate poverty taking into account the social dislocation and the apparent youth restiveness that has bedevilled our state for so long without any meaningful and practical action taken in the past to deal with the menace. On assumption of office, our Governor, Alhaji Ibrahim Hassan Dankwambo, the Talban Gombe, was categorical that the issue of youth empowerment and the issue of poverty alleviation will be in the front burner and will be given due attention by his administration. With that pronouncement, the Governor did the kits at a ridiculous cheaper rate. Now the governor has not waste time and he promptly matched words with actions. directed that 520 youths should be giving training in different He decided first to deal with the youth empowerment as the fields in addition to 320 already trained. cornerstone for dealing with the social disorder that has You are yet to talk about the restive ones who are more become prevalent in the state. What we did was that we took into account the result of the likely to join the Kalare group or were already members. last census which signified that 65 per cent of our population Were they ever in the scheme of the government agenda? Again, we have the restive ones who were not at school are mainly youth. If you take this into consideration, it becomes obvious that the situation is indeed alarming and frightening. completely and you cannot pretend to take an unschooled Alarming in the sense that some of the youths are graduates of restive youth to where he will go and learn. What will he learn different fields, but are not employed. Once you have attained when he cannot even be within the control of the master an educational level like these youths and you find yourself trainer? We feel that these category of youths need to be out of job that becomes a problem to the society. This problem reoriented to a certain level. Their attitude and the way they has a multiplier effect such that others willing to enrol into behave need to be changed. The governor took it upon himself to assume the role of an architect of that reorientation and schools misconstrue this as discouraging. What we did was to categorise the youths into two rehabilitation programme. So we test run with just 1200 youths. What we did was that categories of the educated and the non-educated. What we mean by the educated are those who have reached certain we subjected the youths to a special programme at the NYSC levels of education, may be at BSC, BA and whatever level and Orientation Camp here in Gombe where these youths were those that graduated with HND and NCE, all of these we call exposed to a series of coordinated activities which were geared graduates whom we categorise as such. Then we have others towards making them morally, socially and cognitively that are not educated; not that they are not educated competent in the society. That is why you will see them now in completely, those that were opportune to be in schools, but uniforms of road marshals and environmental marshals where along the line dropped. We call this non-educated because they were sub-divided and trained by competent professionals. Seeing the importance also attached to this youth training they don’t have anything to show that they are educated. And of course, we have those that were not even opportune programme, the governor decided that we have to give it a to be in schools, and they don’t know anything as far as strict supervision. So, the need again arose to take 330 more of education is concerned. For the first category of the educated, the youths to the Citizenship and Leadership Training Centre the governor decided and directed that we should extract their in Shere Hills, Jos where they were graduated and from there, respective Curriculum Vitaes (CVs) and send to the ministries based on their competence at the centre, they selected 30 of and other organs of government to explore openings them to be the supervisors of the other 300. We now said let commensurate with their lines of training as the case may be. the 300 monitor the already-trained 1200 that underwent training here. This measure was taken in order to give the So, what happened after the collection of the CVs? In the Ministry of Housing for instance, you will see that we programme the right frame to ensure continuity and have sent in architects and builders. When you go to the sustainability. What is the level of acceptance of the programme? Ministry of Works also you will see civil engineers, electrical This can be seen in the total absence of anti-social elements engineers and so on. So we have a database of the unemployed graduates here in Gombe State and it is from this data that we on our streets or in our politics. When people talk about an appreciable drop in criminality, hooliganism and thuggery, fill in openings in our manpower need. In his wisdom also, the governor has directed that a total of what they are referring to is the effectiveness of the youth one thousand teachers be employed based on the declaration empowerment measures that have been initiated and of state of emergency in the education sector by the governor religiously implemented by the Dankwambo administration. The programme has received a resounding acceptance by in response to the dilapidation and complete mess in which we met the education sector on our assumption of office. One the people of the state because the entire effort is meant to obvious advantage of the database I spoke about is that most address a topical security issue that has worried every of those that have NCE have automatically been injected into stakeholder in the state. If you can recall how this issue of an already emergency area where their services are badly and youth restiveness dented the image of the state in the past, then you will appreciate how far this administration has gone in urgently needed. curbing the menace. And the non-educated? Alhamdulillahi, all this was in the past. We have youths that On the other category of non-educated, you may wish to recall that we graduated 320 trainees in different skills. At the have changed now, we have youths that are having a sense of point of graduation, they were issued with free tool kits so that belonging, courtesy of the governor who rationalised the issues when you learn how to be a tailor, then we give you all that is and initiated practical solutions that have worked. You can required for you to open your own shop and become only understand the importance of the actions taken, if you independent. The governor too, as a follow up, graciously quantify the encomiums that are daily being showered on our approved the issuance of the disbursement of N200,000 to each governor not just by the people of Gombe who bore the brunt, trainee as interest-free soft loan which is repayable due to the but by even visitors to the state who were confronted by the flexibility of the conditions attached to the disbursement, even meanness of the situation in the past. Do you foresee a role for the private sector in this? though we are yet to disburse simply because we have to put Well, it depends on what role the private sector sees for itself. in place strong monitoring and evaluation mechanisms. In the past, we had a very bitter experience; at the point of graduation But I can tell you that we have showcased this training in once they were issued with those tool kits, some of them sell Abuja. The World Bank invited all the states. We had the


49 second meeting also in Ilorin where it was agreed that our model has to be adopted. Some of our sister states used to come here from time to time to learn not just the methodology but the whole concept, how to make it work and to change the attitudinal behaviour of their youths to avail themselves to such opportunities. Before the government’s intervention, what was the situation like in the state? The issue of the so-called Kalare, the anti-social elements, is a well-known security challenge and at that time, Gombe had become notorious for the wrong reason. It reached a stage where reference was being made nationally to the Kalare issue in terms that were very unpalatable. Gombe at that time was synonymous with a major insecurity catastrophe that was seen as capable of spreading to all parts of the country. In those days, not even a Commissioner could sit comfortably in the office to attend to the issues of governance due mainly to the activities of the Kalare. Their reign of terror was geat. The political will of the governor and his sense of commitment to the good of Gombe became handy when the time came to stop it . Today, it is history. The right mix of leadership has nipped the problem in the bud. In his inaugural speech, the governor made it abundantly clear that he was not going to condone such nonsense, and true to his words, he has stamped it out through pure sincerity of purpose. All the actions of the government afterwards have been predicated on that pronouncement. You were the supervising Commissioner when the anti-Kalare measures were being implemented, what were the challenges? Obviously, the challenges were there. To change somebody that has derailed at that level within a while cannot be an easy thing. That must have explained why some people were postulating that it would be impossible to rein in the Kalare. In the course of this interview, I made mention of the inviolability of leadership in effective governance. When a leader is purposeful, committed and downright competent, there is nothing he cannot achieve. It is this same leadership by example of our governor that has helped us surmount the problems that would have ordinarily dragged us back. Yes, challenges existed just like in any other task, but to those of us working under Governor Dankwambo, challenges are meant to be dealt with. What measures are you taking to deal with beneficiaries who see government lifelines as their share of the national cake? This is a problem that we have experienced in the course of our relating with the people. As at now, we have some 1200 tricycles ready for distribution. We are finalising arrangements towards distributing them. To forestall such misconceptions, we may have to route them through a leasing company where proper documentation will be made. We see it as a revolving fund but some people see it as a share of the proverbial national cake. The leasing company is to ensure that, through proper documentation and monitoring, all the beneficiaries live up to their own commitments so that others too will benefit until a wider segment of the state eventually benefits in line with the plan to fight poverty. Our idea is to put in a mechanism to recover and keep track. What is the level of government’s intervention in helping school leavers that require special arrangement to access education in view of the high number of students that are out of schools due to lack of proper guidance? The reality is that we have a number of our youths with some deficiencies who require guidance and special teaching arrangement to remedy their papers for admission into universities. In this group, we have potential professors, engineers, academics and all those whose interest in education is awesome but are out of school for some rectifiable problems. The governor, having studied the situation and the need to intervene, directed that 1000 of them be subjected to a special remedial programme at the University of Maiduguri. Successfully, more than 50 per cent of them have got placements at the university at the end of the programme. We have talked extensively about youth empowerment. What plans do you have for the larger society, the elderly and the other vulnerable groups? We have a special programme we call conditional cash transfer. This programme means that we have a survey throughout the state and we say okay let us take the elderly, the less-privileged in the society to first empower them. What a participant will get in a month is just N15,000. Out of the money, N5000 goes to the participant while N10000 goes to the participant’s account in the bank which you cannot access. You have to have somebody who is a dependant. After the six months of the programme, we will be making a savings of N60,000 for a participant in his own bank account. We will subject the appointed dependant to a skill acquisition at the Ultra-Modern Skill Acquisition Centres where we are training our own youths. We subject an appointed dependant of a particular trainee to a training of six months. So in the next six months, after the graduation, we must have saved N120,000 for the trainee. Then what we have to do is we graduate the dependant so that he can be assisting the participant and that will be the end of that and then we get additional ones. This is a special programme for men, women, the elderly and the disabled. We have a total of 2500 of these trainees that would benefit.

How we rid Gombe of the Kalare menace –Youth Commissioner Mijinyawa



Ladies don’t feel secure when they are with me; what could be the problem?


ISTER Adeola good morning, my name is Damilola my problem is that I noticed ladies do not feel secure when they are with me, please what could be the problem. Dear Damillola, if you follow the tips below, they may help you solve your problem: •Be yourself and act natural. No one likes a fake, so just be yourself. People will admire that you aren’t afraid of what others think. Don’t be different on purpose though; this will just make you seem weird. •Sincerely praise others. Don’t use flattery, but genuinely give credit where credit is due. •Avoid making fun of others. Avoid insulting other people unless you’re just messing around. Don’t say anything hurtful. Be really careful with this. The longer you’ve known a person, the more you can mess around with him or her. •Make fun of yourself. You know yourself better than pretty much anyone else, so it’s easiest to make jokes about you. Everyone likes someone who’s humble. •Confidence is important. Try sticking to your principles

and don’t say the opposite a few moments later. That just makes you look like you are desperately trying to find something smart to say (Think about what you are going to say). •Think about what you are going to say before saying it. Consider what people’s reactions will probably be, and decide if what you are about to say is worth being spoken. •Minimize others’ mistakes Do not correct other people, unless their mistake will end up making things worse for them or someone else. Also, downplay it if others point it out. •Be inclusive. Don’t use an inside joke unless everyone present knows it. Also, don’t refer to something about which a person in the conversation doesn’t know without explaining it to him or her. •Be bold! Don’t be afraid to make a fool of yourself! Being open is important in making people relax.[[Image:Free Silly Sisters Making Faces Creative. •Have GOOD hygiene. •Remember the types of things the people who you are around like, then you can talk about things you all like, and everyone will be laughing with you and smiling soon!

My cousin has crush on a guy and she doesn’t know how to let him know H

i, I have a cousin who is 18 and has crush on a guy. She needs me to advise her on how to get this guy and how to know if the guy has a crush on her. She’s 18 too. Hi. Are you sure you’re not the same person acting as your cousin? Whatever the case, be careful when making it known to a guy that you like him. Most guys, rather than take it as a compliment that a woman finds them attractive, laugh with friend behind her back and take it that she’s free or cheap. If you’re both 18, and the guy is around that age, it may not be productive giving such a young guy the come-on lights. Older guys are able to handle flirting and ‘toasting’ well. Since you asked for it, I will give you a few tips to show a guy you like him but be warned that you can’t flirt with someone unless they’re flirting

back with you: 1 Smile happily while talking to him or waving out to him. And giggle now and then coyly at his jokes. 2 Stare deeply like you want him while talking to him. And glance at him now and then when he’s not close, but look away when he looks at you. It’s all about making him curious. 3 Whisper in his ear like you have a secret to tell him

when both of you are alone in a crowded place. Just make sure your lips accidentally touch his ears. 4 Lean on him with an excuse while talking to him by adjusting your heel, or losing your balance, or while walking through a crowd. 5 Flick your hair to the other side slowly with one hand while talking to him. Guys are suckers for this

My girl is three years older; she wants marriage when I’m not yet ready


’m in a relationship with a lady who is three years my senior and a graduate while I am an apprentice; I’m 27 years by age. I love her so much I call her Obioma, (my happiness). Right now we are having problems because she

wants to get married by next year while I am thinking of getting married in 3 years’ time. What do you think I should do to keep this lady because I don’t want to lose her. Please help. - Tony from Owerri.

Ladies run away from me because of my big penis I’m James; please ma there is this problem that I’m facing concerning sex partner. Whenever I had a friendship with a girl of my mate it doesn’t last because if I’m to have sex with her she complains of my dick that is too big for to handle it. Please help me to hook up

move. 6 Act cute when you talk to him. Keep your finger on your lip while thinking, or blush now and then. 7 Compliment him and speak highly about anything he does. He’ll love spending time with you. And make sure you ask for his help now and then, he’ll feel more manly around you.

with any lady or woman you know that she is seeking for my type co’z my female mates are running from me because of my big penis. You can reach me on 07088……. From Kaduna State. Dear James, I want to believe that at God’s own

time, you will meet the woman who will accept you for whom you are and how God created you. It is for my character to link people up based their natural endowments or lack of it. Be patient, your own woman with the right size will come. Don’t be promiscuous till then. AIDS is real.

•Mr. & Mrs Akinrinade at their wedding ceremony in Lagos last week.

Dear Tony, I understand the reasons you may not want to marry now and I understand why she wants it today if possible. She’s at that age when relatives, friends and all those who are close to her would expect that she should be settled in marriage. After all, she’s through with university education and she’s ripe for marriage at 30. As for you, you’re still learning a vocation and may not be financially ready for the demands of marriage. If you’re a man of dignity, you will think twice before depending of your wife for sustenance. Both of you are at a crossroad. Since you love her so much and wouldn’t want to lose her, you may meet midway. Asking her to wait for the next three years will be too much but if she has a job and really desirous of marriage now she can loan you some money for a low key marriage. Go and pay her dowry if that will make her happy. However, she might want more than just her dowry being paid. She might want to move in as your wife and become properly married. That is where you may have problems if you don’t have a house of your own. If she can also loan you some tidy amount for a small apartment, you may go ahead and marry properly. Mind you, make it clear from the beginning that if you demand any assistance for her now, it is because you don’t want to lose her. She shouldn’t try to become a boss over you and she should take you as you are. Let her know that you wouldn’t want her to complain if you’re not able to act as a man until you finish your vocation. Preach to her the virtues of patience in such a situation. If however she cannot provide for the things she’s asking you to do now, let her know you love her, but you cannot give what you don’t have.

Hearts With Adeola Agoro E-mail: Tel: 08023162609

Female for love •A worklng class lady 32 years who is HIV positive needs a man of any age over 32 christian not divorce who is also Hiv for marriage. 08167914061. •Tolulola, 25, choco, 5.3ft tall, graduate, bursty and romantic, very active, looking for a matured sexually active man for marriage. 08085041761. •Temitope is 28 years of age,responsible & decent,seeking a God fearing, caring & loving man between 35 to 50 for marriage, call me on 07064541636. •Am Bolanle from Osun state living in Lagos, a banker, 28years. Need a man from 35 to 40, he mush be a lawyer banker or doctor. Single and ready to settle down. Call 07082107766. •Am Taye, 26years, choco and big burst, 5.4ft tall, jovial, romantic, graduate, sexy, seekng a serious man for a relationship. 07089558087

Males for Love •Amusan Gideon Alabi, 33 based in Abuja needs a matured lady btw 30 and 35 who is lovely, caring, God fearing, financially independent and considers herself good enough for a serious relationship that can lead to marriage. Call: 08168093612 or 07087860909. •Williams, a staff of C&T Company, 46, resides in Ondo state needs a lady of between 40 and 52 who is caring, loving and romantic for serious relationship. 08036706314. •Tobiloba, I’m 46yrs old (civil servant) widower, base in Lagos, I need a divorcee or widow 2 be my wife, my contact is 08102675193. •Bukola, 47, civil servant, widower, base in Lagos needs a divorcee or widow to be his wife. Contact 08135796241. •Tasiu, 47yrs old, civil servant from Zamfara needs a God fearing lady between 20 and 30 for a serious relationship that will lead to marriage. Call: 07060596636, 08029051703. •Samuel, 34, based in Ogun state, handsome, needs a single lady or businesswoman for friendship. Call: 08136916257. •Kazeem, 36, Muslim, handsome, employed, from Ibadan but based in Lagos needs a responsible pretty caring loving God-fearing single B.Sc. graduate, working, Muslim lady based in Lagos aged b/w 22 and 26 for a serious relationship that will lead to marriage. 08135909085. •Rev. Lucky, 47, comfortable widower with kids, needs a humble, caring, submissive working class/business Christian lady, 37 to 44, a graduate, widow/single mother with 1or 2 kids, not ready for child bearing, for marriage. 08063593143. •Richard, 38, a Lagos-based engineer, dark in complexion, 5ft 7"tall and single needs a caring and romantic lady between the ages of 22 and 42 for a serious relationship. Call: 08036851909.

Each time I try to make love to my girl I ejaculate within 30 seconds of sex


y name is Adebayo, and I am a graduate, my problem is each time I try to make love to my girl I ejaculate within 30 seconds, even before entering her and

after that, I cannot have an erection again. Please help me. Dear Adebayo, see your personal doctor. He will know what to do. That’s all I can say now. Best wishes.

From you to me •Deo, I’m a reader of your page Heart in The Nation. It’s been a good write-up. Keep it up pls. Feyi from Abuja. •Good morning Adeola Agoro. I’m Mr. Williams and I have a problem and that is I AM IN LUV WITH YOU and I mean it.08097397725. •I like the way you answer questions. 08176390374. P.S: Thanks to those who like this page and my style of writing. Mr. Williams and the others who ‘love me’, thank you too, but please note that I’m happily married.

Lost Contacts Please link me up with former Miss Funmilayo Onasanya, a native of Ikorodu who worked with the defunct National Bank of Nigeria around 1990. She was then living at Federal Low-Cost Housing Estate, Akinyele B/Stop, Ipaja. I am Mrs. Anike Adedotun Of No 6 Adisa Lane, Sango with telephone number: 08022590052. I would appreciate if you publish my request.




T was about seven in the morning and I was on my way to work. I was running quite late so I was in a bit of a hurry. Maybe that was the reason I did not see the lone figure, a woman that suddenly dashed across the road right in front of my car. I applied the breaks as fast as possible to avoid hitting her. But it was too late. I heard a crunching sound and a cry of pain and I quickly parked and ran out of the car. Seeing the blood from a gash on her head, I initially thought she was dead. Then I heard her moan and she opened her eyes. “Are you alright?” I asked worriedly, my hand on the uninjured side of her head. She gazed at me without speaking, moaned again then closed her eyes. I was already late for work but I could not leave her lying there by the roadside. Besides, a few passersby had gathered and were asking questions. With their help, I placed her in the back seat of my car and drove to my family hospital. She was admitted and I stayed for a while to ensure she would be ok. I later left for work after instructing one of the nurses I knew to call me if they needed anything. On my way from work that night, I stopped by the hospital. I was glad to see that she was awake, sitting up and taking some drugs. Standing by the bedside was a nurse as well as another woman I had not seen before. “How are you feeling now?” I asked her after the nurse had told her I was the one who had brought her to the hospital. Before she could answer, the other woman said angrily: “So you are the idiot that almost killed my sister this morning! Why can’t you these drivers look where you are going?” “Take it easy, sister. It’s not like that...” the lady I hit, stated. Then turning to me, she said: “Please, don’t take any notice of her. She can be temperamental at times...” “And what’s that supposed to mean?” demanded the sister. I spoke up then. “Madam, I’m sorry for what happened. It was an accident and not intentional.” That seemed to calm her down a bit. Later, I introduced myself to her sister and spoke for sometime with her. “I’m Flora,” she said, extending her hand for a handshake. I studied her closely. The injury on her head had been bandaged and it didn’t look as if she was injured on any other part of her body. I felt relieved at that as I had

feared that she could have broken a leg or hand. “I’m glad to see you sitting up and looking alright,” I said. She smiled a little then laid back on the bed. Before leaving, I spoke to the nurse briefly about Flora’s condition along the corridor outside her room. “The doctor said the injury was not deep so she will be fine. But she has to remain in the hospital for a couple of days as we need to do an x-ray to ensure there are no internal injuries,” she explained. It was three days when she eventually left the hospital. I felt responsible for what happened so since it was a weekend and I did not go to the office, I took her home. She lived with her elder sister, Aunty Janet the one I met at the hospital. In the house were two young girls and an older girl who looked a lot like Flora. I initially thought the children were her elder sister’s kids. But when we entered the house, they ran to her shouting ‘Mummy’ and embraced her. I looked at her in surprise. To me, she looked too young to be a mother, much less, a mother of two. I didn’t even know she was married as I had not seen any man with her at the hospital. “Mummy, where have you been? Did you buy anything for me?” the younger girl who looked about four stated. Flora smiled and patting them fondly, turned to me. “This is Uncle Bari. Say hello to him.” “Welcome Uncle,” they both chorused looking up curiously at me. I smiled at them then sat down on a chair. Aunty Janet and the older girl who was Flora’s younger sister, Patricia had gone to where I presumed was the kitchen as I could hear the noise of pots being opened and closed. “Thanks for bringing me home. You didn’t even have to. I could have found my way home easily,” she said, sitting on a chair to my right. “It was nothing. As I said, I feel responsible. What if something worse had happened? We won’t be sitting here chatting like this,” I noted. She nodded then said: “You are right. Maybe, it’s not time for me to go yet.” The elder sister brought some drinks later and Flora and I sat drinking for a while and chatting. I was curious about her and there were some questions I wanted to ask her. But I didn’t, as I felt it would be rude of me

Bride of winter (4)

warning and I didn’t bring an umbrella from home,” she said. I enquired after the children. Then, turning to her, stated: “And your husband? I’m yet to meet him. Did he travel or something?” I asked. She remained silent and simply stared straight ahead through the windscreen. Then, to my shock, I saw tears streaming down her cheeks and onto the blue top she had on. “Is there anything the matter? Did I say something to upset you?” I asked in a concerned tone. She sniffed and shook her head, the tears still falling... I opened the glove compartment and bringing out a hankie, gave it to her. She took it silently then broke down and began sobbing. I looked for a space close to a busy bus top and parked. I sat, silent and waited for the weeping to subside. It was a full ten minutes later that she was able to get control of herself. She wiped her face with the hankie and said: “I’m sorry. I don’t know what came over me,” she stated. “It’s ok,” I assured her. “If you are having any problem, you can talk to me. As a friend. I’l be happy to help in any way,” I added, turning to take her hand in mine. She sighed then stated: “Thanks for the offer. But there’s nothing you can do. You see, it’s my husband or rather my estranged husband as we are separated...

to be prying in her private affairs. I left a short while later, turning down her offer of staying for dinner with them. “There’s somewhere I have to be in the next 30 minutes,” I explained as she saw me to my car. As I drove off, I could see her from my side mirror, standing by the gate of the building and waving.

I did not see Flora again for a while. I was busy with work and other things that needed my attention. But I called occasionally to check on her health and she always told me she was fine. It was about three weeks later, on a rainy evening when I ran into her again. I was returning home from a visit to a friend when I saw her standing at a bus top, taking shelter

There was an omission in our recently run series titled Bride of winter. The concluding part of Part 2 was supposed to have the following passages which were omitted due to production error. Due to some readers’ complaints, we are running it here to correct the mix-up as a bonus read for our esteemed readers. Enjoy. Patience, (Page coordinator). **** That was how Henry and I became formally engaged. But before we could start planning our future together, a letter arrived from a childhood friend of his that was based abroad that put our plans on hold. Syl was the friend’s name

Bride of winter (2): Omitted segment and in the letter, he had stated how he was doing quite well in the UK, had bought his second house and was even thinking of starting his own business. “Why don’t you come over and join me? We can do something together...” To my shock, Henry was keen on taking up his friend’s offer. I was seriously against it as it would lead to us being separated but he waved away my fears stating: “We would only be apart for a short while. Once I settle down, I will send for you. You know how tough things are in this country. So, just see it as being for our fu-

from the pouring rain. I wound down the window on the passenger’s side and called to her. Seeing me, she ran towards the car and got in. “Where are you going?” I queried after we exchanged greetings. She stated she had gone to the market and was returning home. “The rain started without

ture. I’m going there to make a better life for us.” I didn’t see the need for him to go abroad for a better life as he put it. He was doing quite well in his job and with time, he could rise to a high position in his company. But Henry could be quite stubborn and once he has made up his mind about something, it’s difficult to change it. So, despite my objections and that of his family as well to the trip, he went ahead with the preparations. And soon, it was time for him to leave and I was left all alone. By this time, we had been together for about two years and his departure left a big vacuum in my life.

To be continued Next Saturday, join us for Flora’s intriguing tale and Bari’s response... Send comments to 08023201831 or

We kept in touch through phone calls, emails and letters but it was not the same thing. I missed him terribly. And despite his promise to send for me as soon as possible, it was five years before that could happen. It was a tough time for me as you can see at the beginning of my story. He had returned to Nigeria and we had done the traditional marriage rites and he gone back to his base. Soon, I would be jetting out of the country to be with him and I was so excited at the thought, I was finding it difficult to sleep... End of Part 2

When did we become a nation of such unhappy people?(2)

Continued from last week


N recent times, though, the characteristic optimism and unbreakable spirit we are known for, seem to be waning. Hope that e go better, keep fading everyday. And the reasons for the demise of optimism, are glaring for everyone to see. Back in 1999, hope was reborn in the country after the military made a hasty retreat from politics and governance, something they had no business being involved with in the first place. The belief back then, was that after

the trials and trauma the country went through under military rule, that at last, a new dawn, an era of good governance that will usher in peace, prosperity and security for the nation’s teeming millions, has come. After thirteen straight years of democratic rule, there’s no hint that we are on the right track. In fact, the suspicion among a large section of the populace is that we are not on any track at all - that we are like a derailed train that has gone off track and is careering blindly towards disaster. Just

as such a train has no control, so has the country become. And if you are a citizen living in such a country, will you be going about smiling and looking happy? No way! Now you understand the reason for the misery and unhappiness in the land. So much has gone horribly wrong with our country that it will take more than a miracle to sort things out. How do you straighten out a country that has been nearly ruined by so much corruption and the reckless plundering of its God-given resources, the likes of which the world has not seen in a long time? And how such plundering has led to the pauperisation of a large section of the populace (over

70 percent by World Bank estimates). With such a huge number of people living in penury and feeling like outcasts in their own fatherland, we don’t need a soothsayer to tell us that there’s trouble ahead. Because a country that stands by and watches its people suffer is in serious trouble. No amount of rhetorics by those in charge of the nation’s affairs will avert this looming disaster. The only remedy is concrete action and this can only come about when politicians and others in positions that take decisions that affect the nation, put the PEOPLE first, before politics and private interest. Sounds like a tall order. But it’s been done in other countries so why can’t

we do the same here? It’s only when that is done that developing the country becomes easy. And such challenges that look insurmountable today such as regular power supply, good, motorable roads, quality health care, good schools and other social amenities the citizens can enjoy, will become readily available. Nigerians are very easy people to please. They are not asking for the moon. Just give them the basics that will enable them live decent lives and they will sing your praises for ever. Nearly six decades after the late Premier of Western Nigeria, Chief Obafemi Awolowo introduced free education in the Western Region, he is still

been praised today for his vision. That the West is the most sophisticated and educationally advanced region in the country is largely due to that singular act of a man who could see tomorrow. My fervent wish is that we will have more leaders like him with an eye on tomorrow, the future and not those who only think of what they can gain today. They might have acquired all the wealth in the world but what legacies will they leave behind? None. Perhaps when more men and women of vision in Awo’s ilk, emerge, then Nigerians might smile again. And who knows, regain their lost position as the happiest country in the world. Concluded




Keeping your teenagers pure (3)


EAR Reader. You are welcome to another exciting edition. This week, we shall be re-emphasizing again on, Reasons for keeping teenager pure. As you open up your heart to God’s Words concerning your teenagers, I see God opening your eyes to see and to know what to do to keep, and to direct them in God’s ways. There are basic truths about child training, which when you embrace and practise, will enable you to raise godly children. These basic truths form the foundation of child raising; as you know, the foundation of a building is its most important part (Psalm 11:3). Let’s take a look at these key points. God owns your children One of such truths is, knowing that your children in actual sense do not belong to you, but to God. He has simply put them in your charge and made you their caretaker. The only way to preserve the coming generation is to train the children today. We must understand that the little ones of today are the giants of the Christian faith tomorrow; they will constitute the church of Jesus tomorrow. Thus, if the present move of God must be sustained and increase, then parents must be awake to the call of God to raise godly chil-

Continued from last week

A mid cycle surge of the leutenizing hormone is essential if a woman with regular cycle is to achieve pregnancy The leydig cells of the testes pick up signals to produce testosterone of about 510mg per day, and the levels of testosterone produced are higher, between 6and 8am in the morning when the level is about 20 -25nm/l and lower in the evening , 1418nm,hence the matter of early am erections in boys and young men . Some mothers can not say for sure who the fathers of their first born kids are , and in some communities, fathers have been known to use this testosterone dependent Physiological response, to determine if indeed a son was fathered by them or someone else. From birth to about 10 -12 years, there is usually a pause in the production of this testosterone but it picks up again by puberty, and by the age of 30, a gradual decline ensues, but by the age of 70, most of all the biological apparatus needed for synthesis of testosterone will have become defective. A man requires about 300ng/dl of testosterone to initiate and maintain normal sexual activity Testosterone stimulates synthesis of nitric oxide( NO),a potent natural body chemical used in the manufacture of VIAGRA, it relaxes, corpora cavernosa, and at the same time excites the brain via the serotonin and dopamine path ways. Androgens stimulate the branching pattern of neurons, in a process necessary for the neuronal connections involved in memory and cognition Gene mutation involving the aromatase enzyme may result in reduced androgen from estrogen precursors. A similar mechanism may be responsible for changes in androgen receptors in bone

dren. The future of the church depends, to a large extent, on what we do with our children today. Psalm 11:3 says: If the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do? This means if you lay a solid foundation for your children in the Word of God today, then there will be co vacuum tomorrow. Now that your children can be shaped and moulded, shape them and mould them according to God’s standard. It is a commandment Another fundamental truth that you must understand about child training is, it is a commandment from God. A commandment is a law or an order. So, in case you previously thought child raising is an advice, a suggestion or a thing you do at your convenience, understand this: child training is a commandment! It is a must for you! It’s a commandment from God, not from man. Remember, however, that God’s commandments are not grievous. My husband says, “His commandments are not to grieve you, but to groom you!” A refusal to train your children in God’s fear is absolute disobedience to God’s commandment. It requires deligence God specifically instructed Israel to mind the words of His command and pass them down to their children with all diligence. So, child training is no small responsibility, it must be done carefully and purposefully. Note that successful farmers do not scatter their seeds on the highway as they travel. No! They acquire a piece of fertile soil and sow diligently and deliberately, expecting a bountiful return. Children spend a greater percentage of their time at home with their parents. So, Christian parents need to sit down and teach their children the scriptures.

Health of boys and men

In focus: Andropause osteoblasts resulting in bony changes such as osteoporosis, osteophytes, low back and waist pain Obesity ,hypertension diabetes mellitus , heart disease are probably due to decreased stimulation of lipoprotein lipase, and consequent decrease in high density lipoprotein, the good cholesterol Early andropause Andropause occurring in in men aged 30 years and older, may be physiological, but can be due to many other problems In men below 30 years and older, it could be congenital or acquired. Acquired conditions could be as a result of infection, traumatic injuries or neoplasia, such as simple

enlargement of the prostate gland or prostate cancer. But neoplastic diseases are commoner in older men Early andropause may occur in people born without a testis, deformed testis, undescended testis, ambiguous genitalia, or heamaphrodites. Castration may occur by accident, done in the hospital to remove tumor or by error during treatment for something else. Depending on pattern of usage, large intoxicating volumes of alcohol can have direct effect by crashing plasma testosterone. Chronic usage is associated with altered metabolism in favor of estrogen; the active metabolite of testosterone is not produced, and there is

increased concentration of sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG), which further lowers body testosterone Smokers, may surfer low testosterone by indirectly affecting transcription at the level of the brain, and target tissues. Other factors associated with andropause include ; Use and abuse of sex performance enhancing drugs Overuse of supplements, those containing pain killers Herbal and non herbal performance enhancing drugs Hypertension and diabetes mellitus, reduced lipoprotein lipase, altered metabolism Hydrocele, meaning build up of watery fluid in a mu-

•A man at his andropause

It is a seed Successful farmers pay close attention to the quality of seeds they sow, particularly as they want to make good profits from the harvest. Child training God’s way is a seed with promises of great reward. Understanding this dimension of child training enables you go about it as a labour with profit. Genesis 8:22 says: While the earth remaineth, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease. There is profit in sowing the seed of a sound Christian upbringing in your children. Personally, there were certain positive instructions that were sown as seeds in my life as a little girl, that I will forever be grateful to my parents for. I didn’t enjoy the rigour of the training then, but now I have good fruit to show for their labour of love. If you sow the seed of good child training today, you will reap the fruit of peace, joy and fulfilment tomorrow. To keep your children and teenager in God’s ways and directions, you need to be in a good relationship with God. You to accept Him as your Lord and Saviour. Are you born again? If not, Please say this prayer of faith: Dear Lord, I come to You today. I am a sinner. Forgive me my sins. Cleanse me with Your precious Blood. I accept You as my Lord and Saviour. Now I know I am born again! Congratulations! Until I come your way next week, please call or write, and share your testimonies with me through: Email:; Tel. No: 234-1-7747546-8, 07026385437, 07094254102 For more insight, these books authored by Pastor Faith Oyedepo are available at the Dominion Bookstores in all Living Faith Churches and other leading Christian Bookstores: Single With A Difference and A Living Witness

Health Matters With DR MIKE OYAKHIRE 08170268670 email: cous space in the scrotum and Varicoceles, caused by abnormal engorgement of veins around the sperm cord frequently on the left side. Testicular torsion, characterized by very severe sudden onset agonizing painful swelling of the testis Poorly treated viral infections, chicken pox orchitis, mumps, indiscriminate use of drugs for pains, arthritis, for recreation Any major illness; Particularly those involving the chest, and brain, inflammatory conditions of the groin , testis or scrotum Clinical features of andropause are similar to menopause in women and include, lack of interest in environment, abnormal enlargement of the male breast, brittle bones, low or no sex drive, problems with initiating and maintaining strong penile erection, unexplained weakness, loss of skin tone, accumulation of fat around trunk, mood swings, anger and outbursts ,depression, memory loss, waist and body pains etc what to do Just as for menopause in females, many ways are available, by way of estrogen or testosterone formulations, skin patches, injections and creams. Problem is getting baseline levels to guide treatment and in some cases, treatment by these formulations either produce desired results, poor results, no results at all or cause cancer of the breast or prostate. precipitate heart attack or sudden death, liver failure, obesity or diabetes mellitus. Su-

pervision by a physician is critical before deciding on any such methods outside drug treatment, it is often advisable to try and accept what you cannot change, and communicate this to your wife or sex partner if you are extraordinarily and understandably sexually active .It should be understood that there is only one period in a lifetime when you really are a man. Avoid excessive medication with performance enhancing drugs, especially those who have been diagnosed as diabetic or hypertensive. Most of them are steroids, and steroids are diabetogenic, meaning, they increase blood sugar to levels beyond which pancreatic insulin can effectively handle. Besides, sex performance enhancing drugs can kill while the super performance is going on, or days after. There is no wisdom in a house wife expecting a husband in his early 40s or late 50s to go on and on in any particular night of bliss as if he had suddenly become a 19 year old boy Avoid excessive alcohol, cigarettes , fats, direct sugars and junk diet. Honesty , truthfulness, understanding , gentle loving expressions of concern about what is happening, good communication towards achieving marital harmony and total family happiness are all possible when individuals and couples passing through menopause and andropause open their minds to access adequate and insightful commentaries on such matters




Poison-Part 1

T is necessary to have some knowledge about poison, perhaps not about the music band or the perfume named poison, but about the substance and phenomenon it produces. A Mormon friend of mine once spat out after tasting a lolly pop saying it had coffee flavour (Mormons do not take coffee). He then went against my approval of alcohol consumption until I asked him: “If you were accidentally poisoned with some food and taking half a bottle of wine would counteract the effect of the poison, would you drink the wine?” In actual fact, alcohol does indeed disturb the action of many drugs and that is one reason why your doctor would warn you not to take any alcohol while on a medication. However I am not encouraging you to try alcohol as an antidote (something that neutralizes poison) if you suspect you have been poisoned. Alcohol may even be a dangerous or fatal mix with certain poisons, such as brain depressants, within the body. Cigarette smoke is another poison and is well known to be associated with cancer. Cigarette smoking can also affect the way some body enzymes tackle drugs and chemicals and that is why your doctor would also ask if you smoke before prescribing certain drugs. Likewise, would cigarette smoke affect the action of certain poisons? It may be that chemicals that are dangerous can be useful in certain respects but it takes a knowledgeable person to differentiate such things. Here we arrive at the question: what is a poison? A poison is a chemical substance that causes harm, ill health, or death to our bodies. However, most chemicals, even those considered safe, can act as poisons. For each substance, it depends on how much is consumed, how quickly it is consumed, for how long it is consumed, and if nothing within the victim’s body or spirit can stop its action. It also depends on when it is consumed. For example, what can hurt an infant or an elder may not hurt a mid-lifer. Another factor is who consumes the substance; a Chinese may react to something that is safe for an African. The substances commonly known as poisons are generally harmful to most people in a single small dose. Examples of poisonous chemicals are cyanide, strychnine, and arsenic. When we talk of food poisoning, this is usually caused by bacteria such as Salmonella or E. coli and other microorganisms. Some of these microorganism produce toxins. Amongst the famous cases of poisoning that gained publicity worldwide are two interesting stories. Rev. Jim Jones of the Peoples Temple orchestrated a mass suicide of 914 persons in Guyana in 1978 using cyanide in their drink – The Guyana Tragedy. A former KGB colonel, Alexander Litvinenko, who died in London in 2006 was rumoured to have been poisoned with radioactive polonium (210Po). How do we know about poisons? Poisons are found in nature. Animals such as snakes produce venom that is injected into their prey or victim through their fangs when they bite. Some snake poisons paralyze the victim’s muscles, including the

Coping with diseases with Prof. Dayo Oyekole

Sexually transmitted diseases (STDS) muscles used to breathe, thus causing death. Some weed plants produce poisons from their roots to prevent growth of other plants in their vicinity and limit sharing of nutrients so that the weed flourishes. Plants may also have poisons in their leaves or flowers to prevent insects from eating them. Antibiotics are actually poisons produce by some microorganism (such as bacteria) to destroy other microorganisms. Many natural substances that we use as drugs were originally discovered as poisons. When some early British explorers in Nigeria observed some Calabar rituals with the poisonous esere beans or Calabar beans, they took away the beans to Britain to study the actions of the beans and in no time extracted a drug, eserine. It is also called physostigmine from the botanical name of the plant, Physostigma venenosum. Physostigmine is very important in medicine today and is used for the treatment of a number of conditions such as glaucoma, myasthenia gravis, Alzheimer’s disease, and delayed stomach emptying. It can also improve short term memory. Similarly, many poisonous microbial, plant, and animal chemicals have found use in medicine as drugs. These are numerous and examples are botulinum, digitalis, strychnine, colchicine, atropine, vincristine, and quinine. Therefore what is medicine for a sick person is poison for a healthy person. This is one reason why we have to keep medicines out of the reach of children. Some of us abstain from anything considered poisonous, some of us use drugs and substances selectively and with measure, and some of us do not know how to use them and can get poisoned if we use them. Traditional African practitioners are sometimes dreaded because they have poisons that scientists are ignorant about how they work since they have been shrouded in secrecy. In warfare, knowledge of poisons is regarded as power. In everyday life, knowledge of poisons is a source of some security. Poisons can get into our bodies through breathing, consumption, injection, bites, and contact. We will look at various poisons and various ways by which we can be poisoned. Dr. ’Bola John is a biomedical scientist based in Nigeria and in the USA. For any comments or questions on this column, please Email or call 07028338910

Preventing diarrhoea in children


IARRHEA is the second leading killer of chil dren under the age of five around the world, accounting for approximately 15% of under-five child deaths worldwide, or almost two million deaths annually according to WHO (2003). What is diarrhoea? Diarrhea is the passage of loose or watery stools occurring three or more times in a 24-hour period. The three types of diarrhea are: acute diarrhea, persistent diarrhea, and dysentery. If an episode of diarrhea lasts less than 14 days, it is acute diarrhea. Acute watery diarrhea causes dehydration and contributes to malnutrition. The death of a child with acute diarrhea is usually due to dehydration. If the diarrhea lasts 14 days or more, it is persistent diarrhea. Up to 20% of episodes of diarrhea become persistent. Persistent diarrhea often causes nutritional problems, creating the risk of malnutrition and serious non-intestinal infection. Dehydration also occurs. Diarrhea with blood in the stool- with or without mucusis called dysentery. Dysentery is very dangerous because of its ability to lead to anorexia, rapid weight loss, and damage to the intestinal mucosa. Another danger is sepsis. Though the global underfive mortality from acute diarrhea has decreased from 4.5 million to 1.8 million annually, acute diarrhea continues to take a huge toll on chil-

•The Nigerian children dren’s health in developing countries. (WHO 2006). Diarrhea represents a significant burden on the health system, the household, and the nutritional status of children. The management of each type of diarrhoea should prevent or treat the main danger(s) that each presents. Why diarrhoea is dangerous When a child has diarrhoea the body fluids and salts can be quickly lost from the body. The child becomes dry (dehydrated) and this is very dangerous and may kill the child. Diarrhoea causes rapid depletion of water and sodium - both of which are necessary for life. If the water and salts are not replaced fast, the body starts to “dry up” or get dehydrated. If more than 10% of the body’s fluid is lost, death occurs. Severe dehydration can cause death. The cause Diarrhoea is a symptom of


infection caused by a host of bacterial, viral and parasitic organisms most of which can be spread by contaminated water. It is more common when there is a shortage of clean water for drinking, cooking and cleaning and basic hygiene is important in prevention. Water contaminated with human faeces for example from municipal sewage, septic tanks and latrines is of special concern. Animal faeces also contain microorganisms that can cause diarrhoea. Diarrhoea can also spread from person to person, aggravated by poor personal hygiene. Food is another major cause of diarrhoea when it is prepared or stored in unhygienic conditions. Water can contaminate food during irrigation, and fish and seafood from polluted water may also contribute to the disease. Distribution The infectious agents that cause diarrhoea are present or are sporadically introduced throughout the world. Diar-

rhoea is a rare occurrence for most people who live in developed countries where sanitation is widely available, access to safe water is high and personal and domestic hygiene is relatively good. World-wide around 1.1 billion people lack access to improved water sources and 2.4 billion have no basic sanitation. Diarrhoea due to infection is widespread throughout the developing world. In Southeast Asia and Africa, diarrhoea is responsible for as much as 8.5% and 7.7% of all deaths respectively. Scope of the Problem Amongst the poor and especially in developing countries, diarrhoea is a major killer. In 1998, diarrhoea was estimated to have killed 2.2 million people, most of whom were under 5 years of age (WHO, 2000). Each year there are approximately 4 billion cases of diarrhoea worldwide. Prevention Diarrhoea can be prevented by pursuing multisectoral efforts by: improving access to clean water and safe sanitation promoting hygiene education exclusive breast-feeding improved weaning practices immunizing all children; especially against measles using latrines keeping food and water clean washing hands with soap (the baby’s as well) before touching food and by sanitary disposal of stools. These tips can help parents and communities as well to prevent almost all of these deaths and most of the malnutrition caused by diarrhoea.


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





THE NATION, Saturday, November 17, 2012


•The bridge under construction

Ajimobi, the bridge builder N the realm of metaphor, Abiola Ajimobi, the current governor of Oyo State, is building political bridges that are strange to the politics and governance of the state. Before now, Oyo State was a hotbed of political intolerance. Totalitarianism, the one that was prominent in Stalin’s Russia, was the order of the day. Political office and perquisites were localized among loyalists and party faithful. Offices were held in totality and there was no space for the opposition. Perhaps because of his helicopter view of life and his exposure at the highest echelon of the corporate world, Ajimobi detests totalitarianism. Immediately he came into office, his first port of call was the homes of rival political parties. At the end of his consultations, he had harvested quality brains from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Accord Party (AP) and Action Alliance (AA) into his cabinet. For an Oyo State, which used to be governed by totalitarians, this bridge-building was a fresh and comely air. Ajimobi’s metaphorical bridge-building is, however, a child’s play when compared to his literal role as a bridge builder. An unlucky fellow that he is, the ceaseless downpour of last year, especially that of August, 2011, was to expose the underbelly of his predecessors, depositing the pains of their inactions on his laps. Bridges that had been built for decades which were sparsely maintained, streams and canals, to whom dredging was alien, began to give way and overfill their brims. As the ceaseless downpour pounded the ageing bridges, in ones and twos, the poor bridges began to give way aftermath the August 2011 flooding. And the masses, who would not take ‘No’ for an answer, wept like the biblical Israelites in the wilderness. Not even the fact that rebuilding the bridges was not budgeted for in the year’s fiscal plan. Nor that money available to government is not limitless. And to worsen it all, no help was coming into the coffers of Oyo State from anywhere in the firmament. The PDP in Oyo State, not only didn’t lend a droplet of tear, it and its super rich sidekicks never lent a dime. The party-led Federal Government, either by design or default, merely drafted its helmsman, President Goodluck Ebele Azikiwe Jonathan, to Ibadan. After a few droplets


•Another view of the bridge n Festus ADEDAYO n of tears in commiseration, Ebele’s presidential aircraft whooshed off with his goods and luck. Even the Apete bridge in Ibadan, washed off by the angry flood, which the President visited, till date, over a year after, has only the nostalgia of Goodluck’s helicopter as the only memento that he was there to visit them. Full stop! So, after mourning the losses, Ajimobi embraced the eternal Yoruba wise-saying, which counsels that a man’s palm is his closest ally that will not play him Judas. He rolled up his sleeves and, amid cascading sweats, began the process of reconstruction and picking the ruins of the dilapidation, one after the other. The Secretariat/Bodija bridge in Ibadan is his first port of call. It had become notorious for over-spilling its contents at every little flood provocation, inconveniencing passers-by, and at one time or the other, washing some victims into its bosom. Ajimobi immediately awarded the rebuilding of this massive bridge, which, but for the perennial flood that hampers its timely completion, would have been completed by now. Many other bridges have received the Midas-touch of a governor who has been nick-named the Bridge Builder in Oyo State. The Ogbere Babanla bridge, for in-

•Ajimobi stance, during the flooding that occurred in August last year, was reported to have guzzled a few victims like a notorious python. It gave way aftermath the fury of the flood. Ajimobi awarded the reconstruction of that bridge and right now, the people of the area have overcome the machination of the bridge or the water that flows underneath it, which some spiritualists attributed to some infuriated gods at work. So also for the Olomi, Ayeye and the Osoro River bridges. These bridges wrecked untold havocs on the people of their areas whenever it rained. Indeed, they had become sources of fear to the inhabitants. As I write this, the bridges have been reconstructed and have assuaged the fears of the inhabitants that the goddesses of the rivers were the ones whose non-pacification resulted in the periodic flooding. The Alaadorin, Sakutu bridge in Oyo town, the Omowunmi-Olorunsogo bridge in Ibadan, the Simeon AdeboAdeyi-Awolowo Road bridge and the Mokola-Cele-Baracks Junction bridge, among others, also got overfilled and were subsequently damaged by the flood, making life difficult for the people. These were bridges which had spanned decades and which gradual decay was not arrested over the years until their final collapse.

Perhaps the greatest of Ajimobi’s bridge-building penchant is the Mokola flyover bridge. The stretch of road that leads from Challenge, through Ring Road, to Dugbe and through University of Ibadan to Ojoo road, is very strategic to commerce Ibadan. It is the road that leads in and out of the Northern and Eastern parts of the country. Indeed, the road, at a conservative estimate, must be one of the most plied roads for traffic of merchandise and people. Because of the implosion in population, the Mokola axis, where four footpaths meet (apology to Ola Rotimi’s The gods are not to blame), witnessed heavy human and vehicular traffic. Governments came and went and no one had the sense of direction to halt the drift. Until Ajimobi. The last time such a bridge was constructed in Oyo State was under General David Medayese Jemibewon, over 30 years ago. Awarded to an international contractor of rock-solid reputation for excellence, CCECC, that bridge is on the verge of completion, with workers working day and night. At completion, it will provide a Lagos-like feel-good feeling to the people of Oyo State, aside its ancillary role of easing traffic.   •Adedayo is Special Adviser (Media) to the Oyo State Governor.

THE NATION, Saturday, November 17, 2012



LAM ADESINA (1939-2012) Ajimobi, Lamido, Ladoja, Olunloyo, others relive Lam Adesina’s memories at Oyo Assembly special sitting

Ciroma, Ihedioha, Dakingari, others visit Sarakis F T

OP politicians in Nigeria thronged the Ilofa road home of the late Dr. Olusola Saraki yesterday commiserate with his family in Ilorin, Kwara State. Ex-Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor and former Finance Minister, Alhaji Adam Ciroma. Others on the delegation included former Ogun State governor, Otunba Gbenga Daniel, former Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Alhaji Yayale Ahmed, former Bauchi State governor, Alhaji Adamu Muzau, former Kebbi State governor, Adamu Aliero and Alhaji Kashim Shettima. Others who also paid condolence visit to the family included Deputy Speaker, House of Representatives, Chief Emeka Ihedioha, Kebbi State governor, Alhaji Saidu Dakingari, Ambassador Nimota Akanbi, the proprietor of Alhikma University, Ilorin, Alhaji Raimi Oladimeji as well as Ilorin kingmakers and some

n Adekunle JIMOH, Ilorin n

other traditional title holders in the ancient city. In his speech, Ciroma who said the delegation represented millions of others who could not join the trip, described the death of the patriarch of the Saraki family as a great loss to the nation, pointing out that such conclusion was derivable from the amount of work the deceased had done for the unity of Nigeria. Gbenga Daniel said the intention of the delegation was to share the pains of the moment with the larger political family left behind by Saraki. “What he stood for, what we knew him for, was to build bridges across political and economic divides,” the former governor said while praying for the immediate family for the fortitude to bear the loss. In his own message, Ihedioha expressed sadness that at a time the nation was making another attempt at reviewing its constitution, one man who

was part of such exercise in the past and whose experience would have immensely helped the current process has gone. He said the late Saraki would be sorely missed by all. He said: “He taught all of us how to play politics of the people. He led an exemplary lifestyle. We came to congratulate you because Nigeria is celebrating him in a big way even though he was never president of the country. He brought such fame to the leadership of the Senate when he was in office. He wasn’t a man celebrated because of wealth, but rather because of his relationship with the people for whom he lived and suffered. He lived a fulfilled life and bequeathed to Nigeria a glorious line of succession because we can all see what is happening in Kwara today as a state of very successful leaders. Today, your state has become a model, obviously because of the way your father led the people.

Ex-ICPC boss, CAN, NU others eulogise Saraki at death CORES of Nigerians have continued to pour encomiums on the late strongman of Kwara politics, Dr Olusola Saraki. Pioneer Chairman of ICPC, Justice Mustapha Akanbi (rtd), has described the late Dr. Olusola Saraki as a bridgebuilder, who had contributed significantly to development of Nigeria. The ex-Appeal Court President added that Saraki was very outstanding and had dedicated his life to the service of his people, particularly Ilorin. Justice Akanbi said: “I cannot think of any politician who has touched the lives of his people like the late Abubakar Olusola Saraki.” However, like mortals, Akanbi said: “The former Senate leader had his own weakness. But by and large, he towered high and above many of his peers.” He advised Nigerians to strive to live honest and decent life, adding that Saraki had left a worthy legacy in the minds of various individuals who had benefited from his kind deeds. In a remark, the Assistant Secretary, Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Northern states, Rev Cornelius Fawenu applauded Oloye’s unbiased religious approach to life. Fawenu who is also the state scribe of CAN, added that “no doubt, it is unpleasant news if we think like men, because to us mortals, it is shocking but to the creator of Dr. Olusola Saraki, he has finished his race. And he has left an indelible mark in the sand of time. “He has actually impacted humanity positively, for whichever angle you want to look at it, here was a man that specialised in raising people from the grass to grace without religious consideration. So we are going to miss him in Kwara State, Nigeria will miss him too. “Towards the close of last year, we had an encounter and he promised a number of things, but the health condition could not allow us to follow up. But we know that his son, Dr. Bukola Saraki who has taken after him will expedite action on those issues, because those issues are meant for religious harmony which


n Adekunle JIMOH, Ilorin n

the man stood for. “My charge to people of affluence in Kwara and Nigeria in general, is that one day, the whistle will be blown by the umpire who controls the destiny of men. So we should always be ready to meet our maker.” The Chairman of the Northern Union (NU), Chief Patrick Adaba, in his reaction on behalf of the union, described the late elder statesman as a leader of the people who lived a worthy life that should be emulated by Nigerians. He said: “Honestly, we the political sons of Dr. Olusola Saraki are still in shock because he has left us as orphans. “But we are happy for his well-spent life. He contributed tremendously to the political, social and economic development of our great nation. We feel bad and it is only God that can console us. His death was a big loss not only to us his political sons, the good people of Kwara state, but to the entire nation.” He added that the vacuum created by Dr. Saraki’s death would be difficult to fill because of his immense leadership qualities. Also, the President-General, Afonja Descendants Union, Abdulkarim Olola-Kasum said: “One thing about Saraki is that he was not a walk over. He didn’t achieve his greatness on a platter of gold. He worked for it, he lost election in 1964, but with determination he came back. “Whether money or no money, Saraki was winning the support of Kwarans and he succeeded, Saraki worked for his victory. Saraki spent to rebuild Ilorin. By that time, there was shortage of water and bad roads and Saraki came to our aid. He tried. He became a leader of NPN.” The former chairman of All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) in Kwara State, Prof. Albert Ogunsola has described the late Waziri of Ilorin as a great leader who lived an exemplary life. He said the news of Saraki’s death could not be anything less than shocking. He described his death as a great loss to the country and Kwara State in particular,

adding that, “I don’t know how we are going to cope. When he was on his sick bed, people still went to him to seek his advice. Ogunsola, Saraki’s confidant, said life could no longer be the same for him, for the mere fact that people in his own age bracket are very few, adding that, “we discussed on a daily basis on phone. He was a source of strength and encouragement to me.” He added: “Suddenly, he is no more. Who is that person of his age that I can discuss with? The way we talked, the way we joked and so on. Who will I discuss with again?” Ogunsola asked. However, Ogunsola described Saraki’s death as a reminder to everyone, particularly those who are advanced in age, urging the people to always live for others as Saraki did all his life. “Saraki lived for Kwara and for Kwarans. We take consolation in God that He will give us another leader who will not be selfish. Many who were on his payroll, just for remaining with him, their livelihood will stop because he is no more.” A staunch supporter of the late politician and former Secretary to the State Government, Alhaji Sheu Abdul Gafar said the death of Saraki had “created a great vacuum.” Gafar said that “Saraki was a politician with a difference. He was a leader who bore no grudge against his opponents and was friendly to all and also gave freely to his supporters.” A former deputy governor in Kwara State, Deacon Simon Sayomi has described the late politician “as a very intelligent and energetic man who knew all his followers by names and would be strong throughout the campaigns even when most of the followers were yawning as a result of fatigue.” He added that he met the late political icon at Olofa’s palace in 1974, when the then Olofa, Oba Olawore Olanipekun was conferring chieftaincy titles on some people and “I was there as commissioner, so I sat close to him and after the event, I heard him discussing with someone about his interest in the development of Kwara State.

OND memories of the former Governor of Oyo State, Alhaji Lam Adesina came alive on Friday at a special sitting of the state House of Assembly where eminent personalities from all walks of life poured encomiums on the late politician and elder statesman. The hallowed chamber of the House of Assembly was filled with friends, political associates, members of the state Executive Council and family members of the former governor who in turn extolled the virtues of the Alhaji Adesina. They described him as a quintessential leader, patriot, committed progressive and a defender of the defenceless. Among the personalities who graced the occasion were former Governors Omololu Olunloyo and Rashidi Ladoja, Governor Sule Lamido of Jigawa State, National Chairman of Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), Chief Bisi Akande, Senator Lekan Balogun as well as former and present members of the National Assembly. In his tributes, Governor Abiola Ajimobi said that his memories of the ``Great Lam’’ were those of an uncle, teacher, mentor, political leader, columnist and social crusader, an administrator and a man with the fear of Allah. ``The image of the Great Lam, evergreen in my heart, is that of the man who was at peace with his God in his last days. For about two years now, Alhaji Lamidi Adesina had devoted the most of his time to prayers and supplications to Allah. ``His thoughts had become more like those of clerics. Such earthly things as anger had become alien to him. At every instance, his conversations ended with expression of total submission to the will and dictates of

Allah,’’ he remarked. The governor recalled that he met Adesina for the first time in 1965 as his teacher in Lagelu Grammar School, Ibadan. ``Fresh from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka where he had just bagged a bachelor degree, he was the favourite of students. Very often when he realized that his affinity to students was becoming an albatross, he would say “Don’t take my simplicity for foolishness….” He was bright and eloquent. I owe my little command of English Language to his tutelage. `` When I returned from the United States of America in the 1970’s, I was re-connected to the Great Lam on the pages of the Nigerian Tribune where he wrote a weekly column entitled “The Struggle Continues…” Lam had grown to become a renowned advocate of justice and democracy. He was courageous and daring. Every time I feared for his safety because of his writings. ``Lam returned to advocacy for the rights of Nigerians and early return to democracy when the soldiers sent politicians packing in 1983. It was the fight of his life and it was not surprising when in 1998, he was “captured” as a prisoner of war by the military government. ``But like Joseph who was catapulted from prison to the throne, the “capture” was the platform on which he rode to become the governor of Oyo State a year later,’’ he said. Although Governor Ajimobi described his death as a monumental loss not only to his political family but to the entire state, he, however, thanked God that the former governor lived a fulfilled life. Also, former Governors Olunloyo and Ladoja described Adesina

as a reliable leader who usually stood by his words, adding that as a teacher, he reached the pinnacle and as a columnist, his column was read the world over. In his own remarks, Governor Lamido of Jigawa State recalled with nostalgia his affinity with the former governor while they were both in the House of Representatives in the Second Republic. He described Adesina as a worthy son of Oyo State, who was committed to making life more comfortable for the masses. Also, Chief Bisi Akande who was governor of Osun State between 1999 and 2003 said that Adesina who was his former colleague exhibited exemplary leadership and was fanatical about ensuring the return of the SouthWest geo-political zone to theº progressives. Senator Lekan and Chief Michael Koleoso, in their respective tributes, described Adesina as an apostle of peace who would always be remembered by the people of Oyo State for his dogged fight for their well-being. The Speaker of the Assembly, Mrs. Monsurat Sunmonu, said the former governor imbibed the tenets of Awoism which was essentially welfarist. ``He made his mark contributing meaningfully to debates and other legislative activities of the House of Representatives in the Second Republic. He was in the vanguard of liberation of Nigeria from the military opportunists and dictators to democratic rule,’’ she remarked. The first son of the deceased, Dr. Wasiu Adesina, while responding on behalf of the Adesina family, expressed appreciation to all and sundry, calling for the sustenance of the policies and ideals of his late father.

58 News


Ogun PDP crisis: Court sacks Obansajo’s loyalists P

EOPLE’S Democratic Party (PDP) faction loyal to former President Olusegun Obasanjo has lost in the struggle for the control of the party in Ogun State. A Federal High Court in Lagos yesterday voided the congresses the faction conducted in the state in July from which an Executive Committee led by one Dipo Odujinrin was constituted. In a ruling yesterday, Justice Okon Abang ordered the affected officials, who emerged from the voided ward, local government and state congresses conducted in the state in July, to vacate offices and yield the party’s management and control to those officials who emerged from the earlier congresses conducted by the harmonised Dayo Soremi-led Executive Committee.


Justice Abang, who upheld the judgment of the court delivered by Justice Charles Archibong on May 2, pronounced the Adebayo Dayoled Executive Committee as the authentic management body of the party in the state by virtue of the May 2 judgment. He ordered the PDP to accept the committee in that regard, accord it all necessary materials to operate unfettered and allow it serve out its fouryear tenure as allowed by the party’s constitution. The judge ordered the Inspector General of Police and all other relevant security agencies to help enforce the court’s order. He ordered the arrest and prosecution of anyone among the sacked party

officials who refused to vacate office. Justice Abang, who criticized the PDP for lacking respect for due process, held that the party acted against known principals of rule of law and constitutionalism when, having appealed the May 2 judgment and sought a stay of execution pending appeal, took steps aimed at circumventing the judicial process by conducting the July 23 congresses rather than await the outcome of its appeal. The ruling was on an objection raised by the PDP and nine of its principal officers, including its National Secretary, Olagunsoye Oyinlola, challenging the court’s jurisdiction to hear a committal proceedings initiated against them by the Adebayo Dayo-led Executive Committee, accusing them of disobeying orders contained

in the May 2 judgment. The judge held against the PDP and its principal officers, holding that his court has the jurisdiction to hear the contempt proceedings because it was intended to protect the court’s integrity and powers. Justice Abang held that although he will consider the motion for committal later, he chose to make the consequential orders in exercise of the court’s disciplinary jurisdiction as provided in Sections 56(6)(b) and 283(3) of the constitution and to prevent a state of anar-

chy in the Ogun. The judge held that the decision to delay the contempt trial was in view of a pending application before the Court of Appeal, dated July 10, 2012 and filed by the alleged contemnors for stay of execution of the May 2 judgment. The judge observed that despite being served with the motion for committal proceedings, the alleged contemnors refused to file a counter-affidavit, believing that the court lacked jurisdiction to entertain the contempt case. “The unchallenged evidence

before the court showed that the judgment debtors (PDP and others) that they had conducted congresses in July in Ogun State, while the judgment was yet to be set aside. “This action of the alleged contemnors is distasteful, senseless, oppressive, high handed, sufficiently outrageous, reprehensible to the extreme and showed gross disregard for the rule of law,” the judge held He adjourned the case to January 13 next year to await the appellate court’s decision on the pending application.

ACN berates Wada over non-performance


HE Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), Kogi State Chapter yesterday slammed Governor Idris Wada for not showing any clear initiative for the development of the state 10 months into his four-year tenure. The party said it was obliged as true democrats to advise the national leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to “take very seriously the petition written by some elders of their political party as it relates to the delibitating state of affairs in Kogi State under Wada.” Kogi State Chairman of the ACN, Alhaji Haddy Ametuo, LOSS OF DOCUMENT This is to Notify the general public that Dr funke Dokunmu lost the following document. 1. The building approved plan. 2. The original title Document of the building situate and lying at Plot 1166 Itire Road, within the Surulere scheme of the Lagos State Development and Property Corporation, now known as 144, Ogunlana Drive, Surulere Lagos State of Nigeria. General public should please take note.

•Says Kogi PDP elders are right Sanni ONOGU, Abuja in a statement made available to newsmen in Abuja, lamented that “the crisis of leadership is synonymous with the state is a source of constant angst.” Ametuo noted that “never since the dark years of military brigandage has this tragedy manifested so agonisingly than the Wada administration.” He insisted that if the revelation had come from the opposition parties,the PDP would have found a very ready haven to hide. The statement reads in part: “Now that it’s from within, we challenge you to talk and talk. You must because Kogi is truly drifting. “While the former Governor Ibrahim Idris was very slow, Wada is an illegal ‘treadmill’ governor who appears to be perpetually in motion but still at the same point. “The present occupant of the Kogi State Government House has shown that he is not governed by the Nigerian constitution. “Anyone that thinks that Wada Idris would obey any

existing or future court order without the intervention of the appropriate authorities that are desirous of sustaining Nigeria’s democracy, including the international community, should believe a stranger who tells you that you are not your mother’s child. “If the people of Kogi State are to salvage their democracy, a much more concerted effort on the part of the international community as well as its population, is needed. “You can get a government to see and hear no evil, but not the electorate or the international community. “Wada had not made any progress since he took over as ‘governor’ on January 30 after the Vice-President of Nigeria directed the Inspector General of Police to escort him to Government House, Lokoja. “In the last 10 months, we have not seen any spark, policy pronouncement or dramatic action to move Kogi State forward from Mr Wada. “In fact, Wada hasn’t performed below what we expected of him. This first 10 months are characterized by cluelessness, lawlessness, disregard for the rule of law and apparent lack of direction. “We have only seen palpable flashes of profligacy as seen in the N900million wedding of his god-father, Ibrahim Idris, which he (Wada) hosted at the Government House, Lokoja on April 6. “In the last 10 months Mr Wada has wasted over 175 days in junketing between Abuja and Lokoja as well as globetrotting from coast to coast

•L-R: Governor of Oyo State, Senator Abiola Ajimobi; ACN National Chairman, Chief Bisi Akande; and Governor of Jigawa State, Dr. Sule Lamido, at the special valedictory session held by the Oyo State House of Assembly in honour of the late Alhaji Lam Adesina in Ibadan yesterday. PHOTO: FEMI ILESANMI, Ibadan

Task Force foils N24 bn fraud in PHCN .... seals off Lagos HQ central stores


HE Presidential Task Force on Power yester day sealed the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) central store located in Ojo area of Lagos after uncovering a plan to defraud the Federal Government of over N24 billion. It was gathered that the fraud would have been successful if the ministry had approved a request to purchase existing equipment in the store, which had not been disbursed. The Task Force, which paid an unscheduled visit to the store, Ikeja Distribution Company, and. Eko Distribution Company, was led by the Minister for Power Haji Zainab Kuchi. She was accompanied by the Task Force Chairman Engr, Dagogo Jack, Permanent Secretary in the ministry, Dr. Dere Awosika and its Vice Chairman, Maj.Gen. Adebayo Ashimiyu Olaniyi.

PUBLIC NOTICE CIELO LIMITED Flat 3, Oyinkan Abayomi Drive RC926092 ADVERTISEMENT OF APPOINTMENT OF LIQUIDATOR In the matter of Cielo Limited by special resolution of the Directors dated 14 November 2012. Messrs Bola Ajibola & Co. of 56 Allen Avenue Ikeja, Lagos has been appointed as Liquidator of the above named company without a Committee of Inspection Dated 15 November 2012 SIGNED: Antonella Saldo Director

Bola Ajibola & Co. Company Secretary

Jude ISIGUZO ”Just last week, the Permanent Secretary processed documents requesting a lot of things that are lying down in the store running into N24 billion”, the minister lamented. The premises of the store were sealed off following discoveries that all that was needed to move the power sector forward were in the store but not distributed to project site. Maj.Gen. Olaniyi immediately after the discoveries were made, ordered the commanding officers of Ojo Military Barracks to take over the place and ensure that nothing leaves or comes in to the place until investigation is concluded. The minister said only last week, a proposal for N24 billion was submitted for the purchase of the same items that the Task Force discovered in the store. She noted that if these discoveries were not made, and the proposal approved, the items would have been taken from the same store in Ojo and the money would have gone into private pockets, thereby making it impossible to achieve success in the power sector. “The equipment here are more expensive than any other equipment because they run into billions; a single equipment here can cost a million dollars. If we have this much in a sector of power that we believe needs all these things, we wonder why they are still here. “This is a discovery for us and we are happy that we

came here to see these things today. “Eventually, if we find out that there are people who masterminded this, we will allow due process to catch up with them because it is sad that such a thing could happen”, she said. The Task Force Chairman, Mr Jack, who lamented that the cartel was bent on ensuring that the power sector remained a failure, noting that an inventory officer was drugged because of the inspection. He said the officer, who is being treated in a hospital, will be visited by the committee. The chairman said: “The challenge we have is that we currently grow electricity at the generation level. We have sizeable electricity for it to move down to the room. These people must do the right thing. The transmission must be good. “The transmission is turning out to be a very weak link and some of the evidence we saw here show why it is so. You have electrical elements lying here for six years, why did you order them and keep the here for that long? If you do not need them and some of them had been ordered three times over, why? “Basically government is here to make sure that this has to stop. The Task Force has taken over these assets. They can only be allowed to move from here to project and not any other place”, he said. The committee also visited the Apapa ports Terminal, where 306 containers of installations and materials which were recovered by the Nigerian Customs Service.


Edo governorship: PDP candidate opens case at tribunal


ANDIDATE of the Peoples Democratic Party, Major-General Charles Airhiavbere (rtd) has opened his case in the on-going hearing of the petition he filed at the Edo State Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal. Counsel to Airhiavbere, Sunday Aguinede informed the tribunal of the Wednesday Court of Appeal judgment and sought the tribunal leave to initiate new issues for determination. The tribunal Chairman, Justice Mu’azu Pindinga said the tribunal could not go back to the pre-trial stage and urged Airhiavbere’s counsel to start calling witnesses. The first witness called by Airhiavbere, Saturday Oamen told the tribunal that he could neither read nor write after he was asked to read contents on his PDP membership card. He, however, said the portion written ‘Ward 2' on the card meant he was the number two leader of his ward. Saturday told the tribunal that his deposition at the tribunal which he adopted was written by his lawyer. He said he didn’t display his party’s emblem on the day of the election and alleged that security agents worked with

•I can’t read or write, witness tells court

Osagie OTABOR, Benin

He said the PDP agents did not sign the election results after the election because he asked to leave. Three other witnesses called by Airhiavbere included Sunny Imafidon, Best Okhuosisi and Victor Ojo. The three witnesses said they were not party agents during the elections, but accredited supervisors by INEC.

They said the PDP party agents did not sign the election results sheets after counting. Sunny said he was given accreditation as supervisor a few minutes before election commenced and that people were intimated to vote for ACN. He, however, said he lost the INEC accreditation letter

authorising him to serve as supervisor after the election. Sitting was adjourned to November 21st for continued hearing after Airhiavbere’s counsel requested for three days to assemble their witnesses. Oshiomhole’s counsel, Adeniyi Akintola (SAN) said the 14 days given to Airhiavbere to call witnesses have started despite the three days adjourment.


Bisi OLANIYI, Port Harcourt


HE students of the University of Port Harcourt (UNIPORT), leaders of the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS), from universities in the South-South and SouthEast zones and Okrika people, yesterday fought at the burial of Lloyd Toku Mike at Port Harcourt cemetery in Rivers State. Lloyd, 18 (born on November 21, 1994) was one of four UNIPORT’s students lynched on October 5 this year at OmuokiriAluu in Ikwerre Local Government Area of Rivers State, near the university, for alleged stealing of mobile phones and laptops. He was a 200 level, Civil Engineering student. The other victims were: Biringa Chiadika Lordson (20), 200 level, Theatre Arts; Ugonna Kelechi Obuzor (18), 200 level, Geology and Tekena Erikena (20), a Certificate student in the Faculty of Education. All of them were first sons of their parents. The cemetery, owned by the Port Harcourt City Local Government Council, is on Freetown Street, Off Aggrey Road, Old Port Harcourt Township, popularly called Town. •The body of late Lloyd Toku being carried by pall bearers for burial at the 6th Field, between Bende and Niger Street, old Port Lloyd hailed from Okrika LGA Harcourt Township, popularly called Town... yesterday PHOTO: Bisi OLANIYI. of Rivers State, where the wife of President Goodluck Jonathan, oil and the proximity to the Dame Patience, and a former milisea for import/export pur- tant leader, “General” Ateke Tom, poses. hail from, with many people from “The refinery will be mod- the area coming to pay their last art refinery is expected to He said following DepartNicholas KALU, Calabar produce up to 650 direct jobs ern, state-of-the-art with the respect and mourn with the bement of Petroleum Rewith another 4, 000 to 6, 500 ability to process crude oil reaved. sources’ approval, the conThe slain Lloyd, aka, Big L, was will complete financial and jobs created externally in sup- and crude oil blends from struction period is expected Nigeria and most of the from Okirike War Canoe House, administrative formalities port functions. to last for 18 to 24 months, within the next two months “The planned location for crude exporting countries. Ogbogbo Town in Okrika LGA. with first production schedThe interment was preceded by and move to re-engineering the refinery, which has al- The refinery has a design cauled for late 2014 and early pability to produce LPG, a burial service at the 6th Field, and approvals for fabrication ready been secured and is 2015, depending also on Fedand construction phases beideal in respect to the local petrol, kerosene, diesel, located between Bende Street and eral Government support. Street at the Old Port fore the end of January 2013. feedstock supplies of crude heavy fuel oil, lubricating oil, Niger He said: “This state-of-theHarcourt Township, popularly greases and bitumen. called Town, which was rounded off at 12:05 pm, with many Okrika chiefs, elders, mothers and youths in attendance. est applaud. Chris OJI, Enugu come out also from Imo The undertakers from Kpainma Before the states presentaState. tion, the state governments Mortuary moved the white casAt yesterday's hearing co- or their representatives made ket containing the remains of other with traditional HE South East zone ordinated by Senators Uche their presentations. dances. which is demanding Lloyd into a Ford Explorer XLT Chukwumerije, Ayogu Eze Aba state is proposed to be for an extra state to Publisher of Champion Sport Utility Vehicle (SUV), with and Chris Ngige, the main carved out from the present bring it on par with other newspaper, Chief Emmanuel registration number: Lagos: BDG chambers of the Enugu Iwuanyanwu presented on 485 AS, with “Kpainma AmbuAbia State; Adada is to be zones is divided over which House of Assembly was behalf of Imo State. carved out from the present parts of the zone the state lance Service,” boldly written on filled to capcity with supEnugu State; Anim to be would be carved out. The state gave its nod on both sides.The journey to the porters of the proposed state carved out from the present This followed the presentathe creation of a new state nearby cemetery immediately scrambling for vacant from anambra and Imo began, with relatives, friends and Anambra and Imo State tion of a plethora of demands spaces. while Equity will be a confrom 6 various groups. satates, inclusion of the 6 associates of Toku Mike and his At each presentation, there zonal structure in the consti- wife joining the long convoy of tribution of local councils The groups stormed the were counter boos and tution, rotation of power, cars. from all the five South East South East zonal public hearcheers from the supporters devolution of power to all states. ing on the review of the 1999 Shortly after arriving at the cembut it seemed that the Adada tiers of government as well etery, the students of UNIPORT The remaining two, Orimili Constitution held at the and Anim received the high- as the state police. and Orashi are proposed to Enugu State House of Asinsisted that they must carry the sembly. casket from the SUV to the grave, The states presented for which angered Lloyd’s parents consideration include Aba, (both from Okrika) and other Adada, Anim and Equity. T WAS a black Thursday Sunny NWANKWO,Aba tioned in print said that the Okrika people. Others are Orimili and For over one hour, the mournin Aba as eight persons in tipper, while descending to Orashi. the commercial nerve of Ogbor Hill / Umuoba Road ers, especially Okrika people eyewitness account said out junction, had a failed break were held to ransom, which led All the agitators came with Abia State lost their lives in a of the eight persons that died and lost control, ramming to mounting tension and charged pomp and pageantry, with fatal motor accident involvon the spot, five were passen- into unsuspecting Abia Line atmosphere, with the elders preeach trying to outdo each ing a trailer with registration gers in a Keke with govern- Network bus already at the vailing on the students to give number Abia XA 555 UNC ment approved number junction. Three keke were also peace a chance, to no avail. carrying gravel,three tri14571, two passengers in the affected before the tipper A visibly-displeased mother of cycles (Keke),Abia Line NetAbia Line Network died im- came to a halt, discharging Lloyd said: “Where were work Bus and a trailer of mediately the tipper hit their its content on the road. UNIPORT’s students for over Flour Mill Nigeria Limited car. One other person was three hours, when they were killAnother eye witness,Mr. with registrattion number: suspected to be a driver to Chidozie Ndukwe blamed ing my son? Okrika people Lagos XR 912 LSR along Abaone of the tricycles that was the tipper driver for the loss should carry the casket.” Ikot Ekpene Road Aba. also involved in the accident. of lives as he (the driver) was Initially, Toku Mike, a Deputy The incident, which ocThe eyewitness who would descending the hill with ex- Director of Programmes at the Racurred about 5pm near water not want his name men- cessive speed. dio Rivers, Port Harcourt and his side bridge, according to an wife tried to control their emotions, but as their son’s remains were being lowered into the grave at 1:25 pm, both of them started TUnion will on Saturcrying. nor Fashola will both serve CELEBRATION which will day November 17th, At the graveside, Lloyd’s father take place at the National as host governors, while 2012 present Asiwaju said: “I love you so much. I HRH Gibson Nwisu, Eze Stadium Complex Surulere, Bola Tinubu an award in Lagos starting from 10am Uzu Awka and HRM wanted you to live. May your soul recognition of his outstandunder the chairmanship of Rilwan Akiolu, Oba of rest in peace, while the mother ing leadership qualities and Senator Ben Obi, Special Lagos will serve as fathers said; “O’l boy, I love you. I have great sense of that you are resting. Go in Adviser to the President on of the day.Your newspaper faith philantrophy.The award peace. I love you. I would have is hereby invited for coverInter Party Relations. Govceremony will take place as given you the best of everything. ernor Peter Obi and Gover- age part of the 7th AWKA DAY God knows best.”

members of the ACN to ‘manipullover’ the whole process. Saturday said 50 persons were accredited in unit four and claimed that he threw away the letter accrediting him as Supervisor for unit 4, 5 and 6 in ward 10 by INEC.

N280bn refinery to be constructed in Calabar OST Petroleum Industry Calabar, Free Trade Zone (CFTZ) has signed a joint venture financing agreement with Niger Delta Refinery and Petrochemicals Company Limited, a subsidiary of Eton Finance Private Limited and part of the Eton Group of companies to finance, construct and operate a 100, 000 barrels a day capacity Greenfield complex refinery to be located within the CFTZ. The financing by the Eton Group is for the re-engineering and construction and operation of the export designated refinery for Host Petroleum Industry to the tune of $1.8 billion (about N280 billion). The agreement was done in Calabar, the Cross River State capital, on Thursday, by the Project Chairman, representing Host Petroleum Industry CFTZ, Dr. Henry Oqua Solomon Edet, and Managing Director of Niger Delta Refinery and Petrochemicals Company Limited and a Director of Eton Finance Private Limited, Mr Allan Rennie. Dr. Edet said the Host Petroleum Industry refinery project which has been awaiting funding since April 2001

NEWS 59 UNIPORT Four: Students, community clash at victim’s burial

Constitution Review: Six groups fight over additional state for South East


Eight die in Abia auto crash


Awka Development Union honours Asiwaju




EQUITIES Honeywell Flour Mills records N1.8b profit in first half



ONEYWELL Flour Mills Plc witnessed considerable growths in key performance indicators in the first half as the flour-milling company improved on cost management. Interim report and accounts for the six-month period ended September 30, 2012 showed that profit before tax rose by 35.6 per cent while profit after tax increased by 36.6 per cent. Turnover had risen by 17.4 per cent. The report indicated appreciable improvement in profit-making capacity of the company with pre-tax profit margin of 8.2 per cent in 2012 as against 7.1 per cent in corresponding period of 2011. Turnover rose from N18.68 billion in 2011 to N21.93 billion in 2012. Profit before tax stood at N1.79 billion as against N1.32 billion in comparable period of 2011. Profit after tax also improved from N959 million to N1.31 billion. The company’s balance sheet expanded by 32 per cent with total assets of N50.96 billion in 2012 as against N38.59 billion in 2011. Fixed assets had grown by 83 per cent as the company nears the commissioning date of its new mills, which will add 1,000 metric tonnes per day to its milling capacity.

• NSE index rises by 0.17 % By Taofik Salako and Tonia Osundolire

Commenting on the performance of the company, chairman, Honeywell Flour Mills Plc, Dr. Oba Otudeko said in spite of the obvious challenges in the business environment, the half-year result reinforces the positive outlook for the company. According to him, the company looks forward to sustaining the performance through the year while also harnessing benefits from recent investments to create sustainable growth momentum that would continue to drive the company’s performance in the foreseeable future. He outlined that ongoing investments in production facilities were geared to meet current and medium term demand as well as extend the footprints of the company and its brands across the country. He noted that Honeywell Superfine Foods Limited (HSFL), a subsidiary of Honeywell Flour, has been unable to satisfy rising demand for its Honeywell branded noodles. Meanwhile, the Nigerian stock market closed yesterday on a positive note

with a modest gain of 0.17 per cent. The All Share Index (ASI), the main index at the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), trended upward to 26,400.94 points from its opening index of 26,356.63 points. Aggregate market capitalisation of equities inched up by N14 billion from N8.399 trillion to N8.413 trillion. Turnover stood at 179.851 million shares worth N1.142 billion in 3,421 deals. The financial services sector remained the most active with a turnover of 109.023 million shares worth N615.437 million in 1,819 deals. This was followed by the oil and gas sector with 44.027 million shares worth N46.837 million in 201 deals. Cadbury Nigeria led the advancers with a gain of 69 kobo to close at N25.89. NCR (Nigeria) rose by 66 kobo to close at N14.40. Presco gathered 43 kobo to close at N14.45. Nestle Nigeria added 35 kobo to close at N600.50 while National Salt Company of Nigeria gained 27 kobo to close at N6.47 per share. On the other hand, GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Nigeria led the decliners with a loss of N2.15 to close at N40.85. Ashaka Cement dropped by 51 kobo to close at N18.89. Conoil lost 89 kobo to close at N16.96. Oando slipped by 42 kobo to N11 while Flour Mills of Nigeria dropped 39 kobo to close at N63.10 per share.





Manu: We have to beat Mali on Sunday


OLDEN Eaglets would seek a convincing victory against their Malian counterparts on Sunday to ensure the country’s smooth passage to the African Under-17 championship for the first time in six years. Nigeria’s last appearance at the Under-17 continental championship was in 2007 when the late coach Yemi Tella guided the Eaglets to victory in Cotonou en route to Korea where they equally emerged world champions. Coincidentally, current Golden Eaglets’ Head coach, Manu Garba (MFR) assisted Tella in 2007 and has enthused that the country would qualify Morocco 2013 by ensuring a resounding victory against Mali on Sunday to make the second leg in Bamako in a fortnight mere formality. “ Frankly, I don’t like talking too much ahead of our matches but there are no two ways about this, we have to beat Mali well on Sunday “Garba volunteered when pressed about his expectations against the Junior Eagles of Mali who reached this stage after a 6-3 aggregate win over Mauritania. “Our objective remains the same,

Torch of Unity arrives Edo

•As Malians arrive Calabar today •As Government promises •Tickets pegged at N1000; N500; N100 are confident that the boys reward for exceptional athletes

win our matches in convincing style and qualify

for the 2013 African Under17 Championship and we

• Garba


would deliver the goals following their excellent form in our training sessions,” he noted. Meanwhile, the Golden Eaglets are leaving no stone unturned as the team perfect strategies for the crucial game with the players sharpening their skills in shooting penalty kicks. He said: “ We have done well up to this stage and the truth is that we have not failed to score at least three goals in all our past matches and Mali would not be an exemption by the grace of God. “We are taking no chance at all and we are ready to score goals through any available opportunity especially through set pieces.” Meanwhile, the Malians are expected to fly into Calabar on Saturday morning and would have a feel of the pitch at the U.J Esuene Sports Stadium as mandated by Confederation of African Football (CAF). In a related development, the maximum price for ticket for Sunday’s match is N1, 000 for the state box while the covered stand and popular side is pegged for N500 and N100 respectively.


HE much awaited National Sports Festival (NSF) Unity Torch finally arrived Edo State yesterday as it was received by the newly appointed Secretary to the State Government (SSG) Prof. Julius Ihonvbere . The torch which came into Edo State from Delta State through Benin-Agbor-Asaba Road, was officially escorted to the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium by officials of the National Sports Commission (NSC) and Edo State Sports Council, as well as athletes. At the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium, the Torch was formally presented to the SSG (Ihonvbere) by one of the NSC Southsouth Zone 1 Coordinators, Mr. E. J. Akpabio, while the Sports Council Director, Mr. Godwin Okute ceremoniously took it round. However, welcoming the Torch to Edo State, on behalf of the Governor, Adams Oshiomhole, Prof. Ihonvbere said that he was delighted the Torch of Unity heralding the 18th National Sports Festival has arrived the state. The SSG retrospectively added that, “as the name implies, the Torch symbolizes the Unity of this great country through sports at a time when the country is facing various security challenges, Sports should play a prominent role in cementing the bond of unity among the diverse people of this country which is the main

From, Osemwengie Ben Ogbemudia, Benin objectives of introducing the National Sports Festival after the civil war in 1973,” he said. Against this backdrop, Prof. Ihonvbere assured that, “Edo State is fully prepared to participate at the 18th National Sports Festival tagged “EKO 2012”, adding further that, “ we will do everything possible to ensure that the athletes put in their best within the limit of our financial resources” Also, he concluded that, “athletes who win gold, silver and bronze will commensurably be compensated by the state government” Other dignitaries present at the occasion include the Permanent Secretary Ministry of Youth and Sports, Mr. Felix Otoide, the NSC South South Zone 1 Coordinator, Mr. Yemi Usikaye, Mrs. Betty Omoruyi among others.

Team Spirit • Edun will help Glo charges Eaglets to go for total victory Eagles win, qualifying match for 2013 focused towards winning AJOR sponsor of Amike: NSF could be better African Youth Championship this weekend’s match and the football in Nigeria, would place them at a return leg in Bamako. Globacom has called says Ejide on the U-17 vantage position in the The Golden Eaglets National team, HE Nigeria senior categories.


By Femi Shittu N a bid to excel at the African Cup of Nations slated for South Africa next year, Super Eagles’ safe –hands Austin Ejide has said that only a positive team spirit can help the Nigerian national team excel at Africa’s most prestigious football tournament. The Hapoel Be’er Sheva of Israel goalkeeper said for the Eagles to contend favourably with top team in Africa, they must play as a unit both in and outside the pitch. Ejide, who led the Super Eagles as the stand-in captain to a 3-1 victory over Venezuela in an international friendly last Thursday, expressed gratitude to God on behalf of his team mate. He said: “I thank God for my team mate and I thank God that we won, I think that is very good for Nigeria. We are ready for the Nations Cup the most important thing is the team spirit and as you can see it is very high. A lot of fitness is coming from the striker, I believe once we can come together early, play together, at the end of the day we still retain our form, and believe we will go far in the tournament. The team will officially resume camp preparatory to the Nations cup proper in December. The Eagles will be locking horn with Ethiopia, Burkina Faso, and the reining Africa champion Zambia in Group C.


Golden Eaglets to ensure total victory over their Malian opponents this weekend at U.J Esuene Stadium in Calabar. The company, in a statement released in Lagos on Friday, said that outright victory over the Malian U-17 National team in the first leg of the final

qualification ladder. Globacom advised the Eaglets to make the second leg a formality by going for total victory in Calabar on Sunday. To achieve the expected success, the Company called on both the coaching crew and the players to remain

defeated the U-17 National teams of Niger and Guinea respectively before reaching the last stage of the qualifiers. Globacom is the major partner of Nigeria Football Federation and the official sponsor of all Nigerian National teams.

‘Refresher courses essential for coaches’


OTIMI George-Taylor, the immediate past President of the Nigeria Boxing Federation (NBF), has urged boxing coaches to get acquainted with the current trends in boxing, for the 18th National Sports Festival (NSF). George-Taylor told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Friday in Lagos that being conversant with the computer scoring system was the first step in achieving the objective. He noted that most boxing coaches in the country were not yet conversant with the computer


scoring system, which he said would boost the chances of their boxers, if properly understood. ``If we are using the proper way to score our boxers, when they go out, they will understand how it works. Has our coach gone out for training on how the new techniques works? The authorities ought to have organised a refresher course to keep the coaches abreast with this trend, to improve the chances of their boxers at the NSF. ``If you are applying the wrist

and you are not applying it as a rule it is wrong; if you are running a hundred metre dash and you are running off your track, how do you expect to win? It’s a good thing to develop the grassroots, but you need to develop it with the right kind of approach and techniques,’’ George-Taylor said.

Filade told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos on Friday that the MOC was expected to have resumed in Lagos as there were issues to be handled by it. ``They are so many things the LOC cannot do without the consent of the MOC,” he said. According to him, the LOC is not in a position to have a true picture of the number and sizes of state contingents to the games, so as to plan for their reception in Lagos. He noted that such official delays could only be tackled when

O l y m p i a n s Association (NOA) has decried the absence of cadre system in the itinerary of the National Sports Festival (NSF), which could be detrimental to the country’s grassroots sports development objective. NOA president, Henry Amike told the News Agency of Nigeria NAN) on Tuesday in Lagos that the NSF of today is much different from what obtained in his days as an athlete. The former national quartermiler wondered why the cadre system which used to cater to all comers was abandoned. “During my days the NSF was organised in a much different manner, we had the junior, intermediate and

“But today it’s just one event which is senior, so it makes it difficult to do the catch them young programme. “Because most of the people that will be competing are above 16, so what happens to age nine and above? Obviously the one we were doing before was better,’’ Amike said. Amike, who placed eighth in the 400m hurdles event at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympic Games, however, charged the National Sports Commission (NSC) to ensure continuity. “As far as am concerned continuity is what we lack in this country, we need to sustain genuine grassroots development programmes; and not dwell on paper work.

NTRA to train taekwondo referees


ERGUSON Oluigbo, President, Nigeria Taekwondo Referees Association (NTRA), on Fri-

LOC urges MOC to relocate to Lagos

N a bid to hasten preparations for the 18th National Sports Festival (NSF), the Local Organising Committee (LOC) says it wants the Main Organising Committee (MOC) to relocate to Lagos. Olumide Filade, the LOC Secretary for Media and Publicity, noted that the presence of the MOC in Lagos would help to put final touches to preparations for the festival. He stressed the need to put final touches to preparations for the event,


the MOC moved to Lagos. The secretary said the bureaucratic bottlenecks between the MOC and LOC would be reduced drastically with the movement of MOC top officials into Lagos. ``We need them to come here, so as help to fast track activities. There is now little time left between now and the kickoff of the festival.’’ NAN reports that MOC offices at Teslim Balogun Stadium had yet to be put to use, less than a fortnight to the Games.

day said that 50 referees would be trained to officiate with electronic equipment at the 18th National Sports Festival. The festival, tagged ``Eko 2012’’, will be staged by the Lagos State Government from Nov. 27 to Dec. 9. Oluigbo told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that a seminar to acquaint them with the current rules and regulations of the sport would be conducted between Nov. 26 and Nov. 28. ``Our aim is to ensure that the competition is managed in such a way to avoid competitors protesting against unfair judgment on the part

of the referees. The electronic scoring media will be used during the competition; therefore, officials need to be trained on the use of the equipment prior the festival. They will be trained on the use of the Protector Scoring System, Video Replay System, Electronic Socks Application System and on other officiating rules,” he said. The President noted that there would be different registration fees for both the old and new referees. He explained that at the end of the seminar, exams would be conducted and certificates awarded appropriately to those who were successful.



Tor Tiv’s son takes minister’s daughter to the altar

•Governor Ibrahim Hassan Dankwambo (left) and the Tor Tiv, Alfred Torkula, at the wedding reception.

•The couple, Mr Kaase Torkula, son of the Tor Tiv, Alfred Torkula, and former Miss Grace Samuel Ortom, daughter of the Minister of State for Trade and Investment, Mr. Samuel Ortom, at their wedding in Makurdi... recently

•Governor Dankwambo and the former EFCC chairman, Mrs. Farida Waziri

•Minister of Trade and Investment, Mr. •Mr. Samuel Ortom, bride’s father •Governor Gabriel Suswam of Benue State Olusegun Aganga

•The Executive Secretary, Nigerian Shippers’ Council, Capt. Adamu

Security operatives gun down four suspected members of Plateau killer gang


HE Special Task Force (STF) on Jos crises, codenamed ‘Operation Safe Haven’ said its troops had gun down four people suspected to be members of a killer gang while on routine patrol at Maijankai village of the Barkin Ladi Local Government Srea of Plateau State. There have been over 100 cases of attacks by unknown gunmen in Barkin Ladi and Riyom within the last one year, one of which led to the death of the late Senator Gyang Dantong and Gyang Fulani who were attacked while trying to bury over 60 victims of an earlier attack in the area. According to a press statement issued by the STF in Jos yesterday, the gun battle between the gunmen and the task force took place by 9:30am onThursday. The statement signed by Captain Salisu Mustapha, media officer of the task force, reads, “This is to inform the general public and good people of Plateau State that on November 15 by 9:30am, unknown gunmen open fire at STF personnel who were on routine patrol at Maijankai village of the Barkin Ladi Local Government Area. “The STF troops fired back and in the process, four of the gunmen were shot in their legs while one other member was captured without injury. “Items recovered from the gunmen included two AK 47 rifles, two rifle magazines and 24 live rounds of 7.62mm (special).” The statement went further: “Preliminary investigation revealed that the gunmen were on

their way from Bauchi State to Jagindi village in the Sanga Local Government Srea of Kaduna State before the incident occurred. “The four injured have been handed over to the Policemen in Barkin Ladi division who subsequently took them to Barkin Ladi General

Hospital for medical attention, while one of them captured without injury is currently in the STF custody undergoing investigation” The task force reminded the public that any individual or group who are bent on fomenting trouble with the sole aim of truncating the peace

of the state have made themselves enemies of the state and will be treated as such. The Plateau State government has always insisted that the people carrying out attacks on Plateau communities do come from outside the state.

Kayode Eso: In honour of a legal icon


N Justice Kayode’s death, the country has lost one of the most courageous, consistent, principled and erudite judges to adorn the Nigerian bench. As a judge for over three decades, he was never associated with corruption or abuse of office. His contributions to the Nigerian constitutional law and jurispudence are unrivalled. At the Western State High Court, Court of Appeal and Supreme Court, he handled very many controversial cases but he never for once betrayed his oath of office. His judgments in the cases of the State v Wole Soyinka, Awolowo v Shagari, COP v Agbaje, Akilu v Fawehinmi, Military Governor, Lagos State v Ojukwu, Anya v Iyayi, Legal Practitioers Disciplinary Committee v Fawehinmi etc cannot be faulted on grounds of law and facts. Even his dissenting judgments could not be ignored by the neo-colonial legal establishment. In Attorney-general of Bendel State v Attorney-general of the Federation, he advocated that the gates of our courts be opened to all aggrieved parties. In Fawehinmi v Akilu, he condemned the anarchronistic doctrine of locus standi. As far as he was concerned, public inter-

Femi FALANA (SAN) est litigation ought to be encouraged as “we are all our brothers’ keepers” in line with our extended family culture. In Military Governor of Lagos State v Ojukwu, he condemned “executive lawlessness”. In Thomas v Olufosoye, he criticised the resoluition of religious disputes in courts. In Awolowo v Shagari, he stated that a state, like a human being, could not be factionalised in the interpretatiom of two thirds of 19 states. In Garba v FCSC, he insisted that military dictators could not operate above decrees enacted by them. In Ariori v Elemo, he said that judges had to take cognisance of our educational backwardness and level of development in the interpretation of the law. In Mrs Funmillayo Ransome-Kuti v Attorney-general of the Federation, the jurist consigned to the dustbin of history the invocation of state immunity to justify the violations of human rights of the citizens. In Afolabi v Governor of Oyo state, his Lordship held that accrued rights of citizens cannot be taken away without remedies. In Obih v Mbakwe, Justice Eso ruled that a sit-

ting governor could not hide under the immunity clause in the constitution when his election is being challenged. As a judge of extraordinary candour and courage, Justice Eso teamed up with Chukwudifu Oputa JSC and Andrew Obaseki JSC at the Supreme Court to form the trinity of judicial activists that promoted the rule of law and expanded the democratic space. Upon retiring from the service after a glorious career, his lordship presided over many commissioons of inquiry set up by the federal and some state governments to probe the break down of law and order. In particular, he headed the national panel which recommended the removal of corrupt judges from the Bench in the 1990s. It is on record that none of the judges indicted by the panel had the timerity to challege his dismissal from service. Until he breathed his last, Justice Eso usually expressed sadness and frustration over the intolerable level of judicial corruption in the country. At a public function in Lagos last year, the legal icon openly called for revolution to solve the crisis of underdevelopment in Nigeria.


SPORT EXTRA LOC to take contingent to tourism sites


HE Local Organising Committee (LOC) for the 18th National Sports Festival says it will take states contingent to tourism centres in Lagos State to show its hospitality. The LOC’s Secretary-General, Dr Kweku Tandoh, disclosed this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Friday in Lagos. Tandoh said that arrangements had been concluded and vehicles would be on ground for the contingent’s to use to explore and experience the new Lagos State. ``We want our visitors for the sports festival to enjoy a bit of our hospitality and for them to enjoy their stay and have a memorable experience. As part of our hospitality, the contin-

gent from the states will be taken on excursions for them to explore the serenity of the new Lagos,’’ he said. The LOC scribe said that contractors were working tirelessly on all the sports facilities for the Games to ensure that everything was in good shape. Tandoh assured Nigerians that all the sub committees of the LOC were also working to ensure that the fiesta was a memorable one. ``I have the confidence to tell you that Lagos is ready for the Games and the sub-committees are working hard for the festival to be the best ever,’’ the LOC scribe said. NAN reports that the biennial Games, tagged ``Eko 2012’’, is scheduled for Nov. 27 to Dec. 9.

We got biros, snacks as reward, says ex-swimmers


WO ex-swimmers who participated in the maiden edition of the National Sports Festival in 1973, said they got ball pens and snacks as their reward. The duo, who spoke to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Friday in Lagos, regretted that they were not handsomely rewarded during their days. Comparing their days with what obtains now, they said: “Our time wasa child’s play to compare with today. “Nowadays, athletes are rewarded financially unlike our time which was mere

handshake with the state executives’’. One of them, Bright Misabi, a swimmer from Bayelsa, who featured for Lagos State during his hey days, said the biennial competition had grown astronomically. “I cannot believe that it is this same Games where we were given ball pens, towels, hangers and scholarships that people are making fortunes from,’’ he said. Misabi said he envied today’s athletes for their prospects and noted that they never had such plethora of opportunities in their time.


A word on Nigerian coaches • Continued from back page surrender the running of such federations? Is this not the time to remove them? Shouldn’t we show those waste pipe federations still hanging in there the new direction for our sports by replacing their members? Let’s swallow our pride and do what others have perfected. Emerging sports nations borrowed from working templates of winning countries. They sent their coaches to learn new tricks. They also sent their administrators, technical hands and ancillary staff to countries with comparative advantage in the sports in which they chose to excel. Today, little Jamaica (in terms of population) is a world beater in a sport that was America’s birthright. The Americans taught the Jamaicans what to do after the reggae-loving country fumbled at the 1996 Olympic Games. The Jamaicans learnt well; now, the Americans are considering going to their students for tutorials on the way forward in the sprint events. So, who are the Nigerian coaches? They are former ex-internationals and retired athletes who were not fortunate to hit the limelight. No problem with such call list, yet the disadvantage, as we have seen is that they are not equipped for the job. They have failed to appraise the finer details of their trade. It is alright that they played the game, but they must be trained in the rudiments of coaching. Coaching is an art that is dynamic. It requires that the coaches should be retrained periodically to appreciate the new trends in a particular sport. Many will argue that countries that have clinched the World Cup did so with their nationals as coaches. It must also be said that they have thriving domestic leagues- in the case of soccer- and that they made deliberate attempts to train and retrain potential stars into coaches. They have workable templates that predate this era where coaches have emerged. They have data which they rely on in times of crises. They have established institutes to train and retrain coaches. Things work in these climes because the blue-chip firms trust the administrators. Accountability is not negotiable, simply because laws exist to punish those found guilty of financial misdeeds. All hail Ameobi, Ideye, Ejide Watching the Super Eagles confront Venezuela in the wee hours of Thursday (from 2am to 4 am) in Miami, United States, three things remained on my mind. The first bothered on how well the new imports would fare in the game. Shola Ameobi, Bright Dike, Onavi and Austin Ejide provided the answers with their performances. The second poser that was answered was the fact that our best players are in Europe. There is the urgent need for Stephen Keshi to either compel some players to play in unfamiliar positions at the Africa Cup of Nations in South Africa, if he wants to compete with the best in the continent. These players will have to function in key areas in the team’s defence, given the glut of talents in other positions, such as the midfield and attack. The third poser answered was that some players, such as Emmanuel Emenike, Oboabona, Ejike Ezeonye and others are not needed in the evolving Eagles side. Ameobi may be 31, but his contributions for the over 30 minutes that he played, after replacing Obafemi Martins, showed that he is the right replacement for fumbling Emenike. The uncanny manner in which Ameobi held off his marker before passing the ball to an unmarked Onavi, underlined the reason why he is revered at Newcastle. He was a pain in the neck for the Venezuela defenders. His imposing presence on-and-off the ball gave the defenders a nightmare. Those who tried to muscle him off the ball were light weight. He didn’t play as an upstart. He was easily one of the men of the match. For goalkeeper Austin Ejide, his heroics ensured that Venezuela didn’t beat us. His timely saves held the game for us to seal the third goal off Ameobi’s visionary play. I hope that Keshi saw the way in which Ideye played with ease on the left side, striking a telepathic understanding with Ameobi. As the game ran its course, I pitied Keshi as I reflected on the team’s potentials. Osaze Odemwingie, Ikechukcu Uche and Ahmed Musa must fight for shirts. Still, it will be early to say that the Eagles will lift the trophy in South Africa. What I can say is that Keshi has a date with destiny, if he picks players on merit, not on what they had done in the past. The fact that certain players got Nigeria qualified for the Africa Cup of Nations should never be the reason for picking them- if others are better. I don’t envy you, Keshi.



TOMORROWPUNCHLINE IN THE NATION The tension that is required is for citizens to impress on their representatives in government that over concentration of power and resources in the centre is not likely to lead to a motivated and functional middle class that can bring development to Nigeria. Okada is a glaring example of failure of the state



HEN I wrote in this space two weeks ago on Chinua Achebe’s new book, ‘There Was A Country: A Personal History of Biafra”, a number of readers wondered why I was silent on the on-going controversy on the role of Chief Obafemi Awolowo, Minister of Finance and Vice-Chairman of the Federal Executive Council, during the war. Is it true that he described starvation as a legitimate weapon of war even as millions of hopeless people were dying from hunger and easily preventable diseases? Well, I chose not to focus on that aspect of the book because so much has been written already on the issue. Secondly, I really do not think it is a productive debate. It has generated more heat than light. Perhaps the fairest and most objective piece I have read on the controversy is that of Simon Kolawole, the perceptive This Day columnist. He contends that the Biafrans were wrong to have rejected the opening of a corridor to get food to the starving population. If there was fear that the federal side could poison the food, simple laboratory tests would have proven if this was true or not. On its side the Federal Government ought to have done more to ensure food got to millions of starving people. It could have more actively involved international organizations in this respect. Furthermore, if the Federal Government could bomb Biafra intensively, it could have used the same air planes to bombard Biafran towns and villages with food. After all, the logic of the war from the federal side was that there was no Biafran state in any meaningful legal sense of the word. In the eyes of the Federal Government, therefore, Biafrans were Nigerian citizens and extra effort could have been made to prevent the mass starvation so graphically depicted in the Achebe’s book. That would have placed the General Yakubu Gowon administration on a higher moral pedestal. But then, were Awolowo’s actions during the war motivated by a desire to eliminate the Igbos and so as to pave the way for his vaunting ambition to rule Nigeria as Achebe asserts? I think this position is rather farfetched. There is absolutely nothing in the vast civil war literature to legitimate this allegation. Furthermore, Awolowo’s strenuous efforts to help prevent the war are copiously documented and he wouldn’t have gone to such length if he really wanted the East out of Nigeria. However, it is important to note that Achebe indeed recognizes Awo’s talent and said so much in the book. For example, on page 45, he writes: “By the time I became a young adult, Obafemi Awolowo had emerged as one of Nigeria’s dominant political figures. He was an erudite and accomplished lawyer who had been educated at the University of London. When he returned to the Nigerian political scene

Achebe, Awo and Igbo-Yoruba relations

•Chief Awolowo


from England in 1947, Awolowo found the once powerful political establishment of western Nigeria – sidetracked by partisan and intra-ethnic squabbles. Chief Obafemi Awolowo and close associates reunited his ancient Yoruba people with powerful glue – resuscitated ethnic pride – and created a political party, the Action Group in 1951, from an amalgamation of the Egbe Omo Oduduwa, the Nigerian Produce Traders Association and a few other factions”. Achebe’s unsavoury perception of Awo’s role in the war must be understood within the context of Igbo/Yoruba relations in both the pre-colonial and post-colonial eras. The relationship between these two ethnic groups in turn centred essentially around their two most formidable and charismatic leaders –

Nnmadi Azikiwe and Obafemi Awolowo. The rivalry between this two, their mutual suspicion of each other thwarted any meaningful political handshake across the Niger and had profound effects on the course of Nigerian history. For instance, in the 1940s, both Zik and Awo were members of the Nigerian Youth Forum, the pre-eminent nationalist organization of the time. In 1941, the seat of Sir Kofo Abayomi as a member of the Legislative Council representing Lagos became vacant. There was therefore an election to fill the position. While Awolowo, an Ijebu, backed Earnest Ikoli an Ijaw man, Azikiwe threw his weight behind Samuel Akinsanya, an Ijebu man. After an acrimonious campaign, Earnest Ikoli won the election. Azikiwe subsequently resigned

—Ropo Sekoni from the Youth Movement claiming that there was a tribal gang up against Akinsanya that resulted in the latter’s loss to Ikoli! This further strained Igbo/Yoruba relations as most Igbos left the Nigerian Youth Movement and it became an essentially narrow Yoruba organization. Another case in point was the 1951 western regional election. Azikiwe contested the election on the platform of the NCNC and won a seat to the Western House of Assembly. His aim was to become Premier of western Nigeria and he had sufficient political following in the West to achieve this. But by then, Awolowo had transformed the Egbe Omo Oduduwa into the Action Group (AG), one of the most disciplined and well organized parties ever in Africa. The Yoruba political establishment resented that Zik had such large following in the West when no Yoruba politician enjoyed the same following in the East. They could not envisage a situation in which an Easterner was Premier of the East, a northerner would be Premier of the North and then another Easterner would be premier of the West. Thus no stops were pulled to thwart Azikiwe’s ambition. An incomparably astute politician, it is difficult to understand how Zik could not have seen that, no matter how much he was loved in the West, there was no way he was going to become Premier in Ibadan given the geopolitical configuration of the time. On the day of the convocation of the Western region Assembly, the Action Group had a majority of elected members and was able to checkmate Zik and produce the Leader of Government Business in the person of Awolowo. But then, not content with aborting Azikiwe’s premiership ambition, the Action Group capitalized on indiscipline within the ranks of the NCNC and prevented Zik from being elected from Ibadan to the centre as a federal legislator. Of this incident, Chief Bola Ige wrote in his political treatise that “since the Action Group had shown their majority on the floor of the House, there was no need to over-kill Zik by denying him election to the federal legislature”. At the time of the 1951 carpet crossing incident at the Western House of Assembly, Achebe was a student at the University College, Ibadan. He watched the situation closely and was disappointed at what he perceived as the introduction by the Action Group of tribalism into the country’s politics. It is within this context that we can properly appreciate Achebe’s perception of Awo and his role during the war. The 1951 incident has over time haunted Nigerian politics making a handshake across the Niger impossible. If historical animosities can be overcome and hurting memories healed, there can be a strong Igbo/Yoruba political alliance that can link up with progressive forces in the north to win power and lead Nigeria in a new direction.

Ade Ojeikere on Saturday

A word on Nigerian coaches


HEY have caused us pain. They have brought us shame. They have stained our sports. They have refused to change. They are unwilling to improve on their skills. They still do things in the past, yet expect to compete with the world’s best. They are unperturbed by the downward slide in our sports. They insist it is their birthright to tinker with our sports, despite the shambolic results. But I ask, can we not do without these coaches for a while? For me, Nigerian coaches should just leave us alone. Nigerian coaches are not ready to learn. I have witnessed several coaching clinics. Nigerian coaches don’t attend them. I tried to ask some of the big ones why they didn’t participate in those courses. I was shocked to hear them say what was it that they hadn’t read in the past? Some of them described such courses as waste of time and another attempt by the organisers to grease their

palms wit free cash. I have heard Adegboye Onigbinde cry over the poor rating of Nigerian coaches. The respected tactician is miffed that Nigerian coaches still rank in CAF’s grade C (the equivalent of primary school certificate) and has taken pains to upgrade our coaches. Yet, they are not prepared to move with the times. Onigbinde has, however, blamed the NFF for foot dragging on the matter. The truth is that Onigbinde didn’t wait for any NFF for him to be eminently qualified to perform in FIFA’s and CAF’s technical matters. Onigbinde sir, this is the way forward. Our coaches must emulate you by upgrading their knowledge. Our coaches must know that learning is a continuum. The only way that they can be relevant is to attend courses. We are tired of their archaic tactics. Honourable Minister sir, Chief Molade Okoya-Thomas stirred the hornet’s nest when he lampooned Nigerian coaches. He identified our coaches’ incompetence as the problem with table tennis – a sport in which

Nigeria was Africa’s King Kong, but has, sadly, fallen on bad times. He didn’t stop there. He urged the National Sports Commission (NSC) to head straight to either Sweden or China to recruit ping pong coaches to rejuvenate the game. Okoya-Thomas’ therapy for table tennis is the elixir that sports needs to compete with global giants. Indeed, a Nigerian international of yore, Kasali Lasisi, led Congo to qualify for the table tennis event at 2012 London Olympic Games. Lasisi achieved this feat when his wards beat Nigeria at the Africa Championships. In recognition of his tactical savvy, the Africa Table Tennis Federation named Lasisi to lead the continent’s squad to the world tourney. Is anyone asking questions about Lasisi’s whereabout? Yes, only the Sports Minister, Bolaji Abdullahi. Interestingly, Abdullahi is talking about the need to involve the private sector in funding sports. Okoya-Thomas has the clout to get Nigeria three good table tennis coaches, with all the expenses paid by

blue chip companies, who know his worth. Okoya-Thomas has singlehandedly sponsored the Asoju Oba Cup for 44 years. This year’s edition is the 44th. The amiable business guru knows his onions, when it comes to ping pong. He could have kept quiet and concentrated to his competition. But he passionate about the game. Having seen the tourney through 43 years, he knows that the standard has fallen and feels strongly that it can be revived, with the good coaching of emerging stars at the grassroots. The sore point of Nigeria’s participation at the last Olympics was the coaching. We saw how our coaches couldn’t match their foreign counterparts. We lost at crucial stages due to our coaches’ inability to read games well and provide counter strategies. It is three months since we returned from a medal-less outing, yet no action plans have been drawn up, except for the Presidential Sports Retreat held in Abuja. The talk in high places is that we are waiting for the current sports federation’s term to lapse. I ask: what are we doing with those federations whose tenures have lapsed? Should the members •Continued on Page 61

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-08094000052, Marketing: 01-8155547, Abuja Office: Plot 5, Nanka Close AMAC Commercial Complex, Wuse Zone 3, Abuja, E-mail: Tel/07028105302 Port Harcourt Office: 12/14, Njemanze Street, Mile 1, Diobu, PH. 08023595790 `Website: ISSN: 115-5302 Editor: DELE ADEOSUN

The Nation November 17, 2012  

The Nation November 17, 2012

The Nation November 17, 2012  

The Nation November 17, 2012