Page 1

Cold war in NCC over $460m police project –PAGE 7


NEW INSIDE –Pages 35-38

Nigeria’s widest circulating newspaper

Vol.06, No. 2271


ONDO 2012:


OCTOBER 7, 2012


Akeredolu calls for removal of SSS Director Oke berates Mimiko over education crisis Pages 4&5 Akungba Mayhem: NANS cautions Mimiko

US, UK, France oppose review of ICJ judgement on Bakassi –PAGE 2

Send solidarity messages to Cameroun Pro-review groups yet to submit fresh documents


What’s wrong with Patience Jonathan?

–PAGE 23

•Lagos State Governor, Mr Babatunde Fashola SAN (right) being welcomed by the Chairman of the Royal African Society and former Minister for Africa, Asia and the United Nations, Lord Mark Malloch- Browne (left) and the Chairman of PZ Cusson ,Mr Richard Harvey (middle) to a Business Breakfast organised by the Royal African Society at the Simpson's- in the Strand, London at the weekend.

Nine killed in Ogun road crash –PAGE 7

Why North is re-opening on-shore/off-shore issue–Niger Gov –PAGE 2

NEWS Why North is re-opening on-shore/offshore issue • Says it’s far from being settled By Adetutu Audu


HE on-shore/offshore oil dichotomy is far from being settled, regardless of the Supreme Court’s pronouncement on it, Governor Babangida Aliyu of Niger State, has said. Aliyu, who doubles as Chairman of the Northern Governors Forum (NGF), insists that the Federal Government’s position that the matter remains closed on account of the apex court’s ruling, is also unconvincing. “If it had been settled why are some people talking about it?” he wondered in an interview with The Nation on Sunday in Lagos. He said while the North aligns itself with the centre in putting in place some corrective measures in the Niger Delta in view of the problems associated with oil exploration, it does not regard the on-shore/offshore issue as part of those corrective measures. He said: “You have a Ministry of Niger-Delta, you have NDDC, derivation, then this little one that other people, as part of the citizenship of a country should be enjoying, they have not been enjoying. “Sometime people can make something out of nothing, so that you can come back to negotiate. That is the argument. If the federal government says it is a settled matter, but we are discussing it so that people can understand. It was a sacrifice that was made then to solve some problems. But there is still room for discussions.” The governor also spoke on the issue of indigenes and non-indigenes, saying it should be addressed once and for all during the proposed constitution review especially in view of the security problem it has created in the country. “It is not nice when a person who has been born in a place and his parents have stayed there for so long to be regarded as a non-indigene. That creates its own security problem, not to mention the psychological trauma that such a family maybe suffering,” he said. Besides, he wants the revenue sharing formula and the problem of insecurity reviewed. He does not understand why the Federal Government should be taking 52 per cent of the nation’s revenue.


HREE world powersthe United States of America (USA), United Kingdom (UK) and France are in solidarity with Cameroun on the Bakasi issue amidst pressure on the Federal Government by some interest groups to appeal against the ceding of the Bakasi Peninsula to Yaounde. The three countries, according to diplomatic sources, have assured Cameroun of their continued support on the decision of the International Court of Justice (IJC) on the peninsula and their commitment to the Green Tree Agreement. The US, UK and France ambassadors in Cameroun, it was gathered, met that country’s Minister of External Affairs at the weekend to express their strong opposition to any attempt by Nigeria to initiate a review of the ICJ ruling. The Western nations are all members of the influential Security Council of the United Nations. One source said: “We have got diplomatic report of the closed-door session between the ambassadors of the three countries and the Minister of External Affairs of Cameroun. “We are aware that they insisted on the Green Tree Agreement at the meeting. This has justified our decision to weigh all options on the latest demand for a review of the judgment. “Beyond sentiments, we are looking at the diplomatic implications especially the likelihood of sanctions on Nigeria by the UN Security Council if we seek a review of the judgment. “We have a challenge of not being trusted as a nation that respects agreements or treaties. These are all the sides to the matter.” There were indications last night that the government has finally foreclosed filing an application for a review of the IJC ruling because there are no fresh facts or documents to support such. Nigeria has up till October 10 to file an appeal based on fresh facts. Although President Goodluck Jonathan had said government would not appeal the decision of the IJC, scores of groups and individuals have been piling pressure on gov-


US, UK, France oppose review of ICJ judgement on Bakassi • Send solidarity messages to Cameroun • Pro-review groups yet to submit fresh documents

•Ekiti State Governor, Dr Kayode Fayemi with Commissioner for Special Duties, Dr. Wole Olugboji (L), inspecting a guard of honour by newly recruited fire brigade members during the closing of their orientation in Ado-Ekiti at the weekend FROM: Yusuf Alli, Managing Editor, Northern Operation

ernment to reconsider its position. The President, apparently bowing to the pressure, last Wednesday constituted an eight man committee to strategise on the possibility of an appeal by Nigeria. But none of the pro-appeal groups or individuals including the Cross River State government has so far volunteered fresh information or document to the office of the Attorney General of the Federation/Justice Minister as directed by the committee. At a session on Thursday night at the residence of the Senate Leader, Mr. Victor Ndoma-Egba (SAN), the Federal Government committee mandated Cross River State and others canvassing for review to make new facts or documents available to it. Members of the committee are the AGF, the Secretary to the Government of the Federa-

tion, Chief Anyim Pius Anyim, the DG of the National Boundary Commission, Senator Ndoma-Egba, a representative of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, two members of the House (Ahmed Ali and Nnenna Ukeje) and another Senator. Sources close to the meeting said: “Contrary to reports, the meeting was held at Ndoma-Egba’s residence and not at the Office of the Attorney-General as being insinuated. Only the representative of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs was absent at the session. “When we asked for documents to support new argument for a review of the ICJ judgment, the counsel hired by the Cross River State Government, Mrs. Nella AndemRabana (SAN) and the AGF of the state came to make verbal submissions. “Mrs. Andem-Rabana even told the committee that the review is being sought based on four factors. But she could only discuss three factors with her

argument based mainly on the Anglo-German Treaty Agreement of 1913. It was the same Treaty she had canvassed as a member of the Federal Government Team at ICJ in The Hague in 2002. “When asked if the ceding of Bakassi was not caused by negligence, they had nothing to say. “We asked them to get all relevant documents and submit these particulars for evaluation by the AGF in line with Article 61 of the ICJ statute. “We have been waiting all day for new pleadings and documents without anything from pro-review side.” Asked what would become of the agitation, the source said: “It is apparent that the Federal Government will not seek a review of the ICJ judgment because we formally handed over the territory in 2008. “It is laughable that nine years, 11 months and 26 days after the ICJ judgment, we are seeking a review. And those agitating for it have not been

Mubi killings: SSS arrest two suspects


RESIDENT Goodluck Jonathan is in possession of a preliminary security report on the Independence Day anniversary massacre of 40 students in Mubi, Adamawa State. The report suggests that the killings might not be unconnected with the Students Union Government election held at the Federal Polytechnic, Mubi on the eve of the attack. The State Security Service (SSS) has already arrested two suspects alleged to be the masterminds of the killings. A source familiar with the matter said: “From the Interim Report, the SSS has


•Jonathan gets interim report FROM: Yusuf Alli, Managing Editor, Northern Operation

succeeded in arresting two suspects who are strongly alleged to be the masterminds of the killings. “The government was also briefed that the killings had a strong link with the outcome of the Students Union Government election at the Federal Polytechnic, Mubi. “Some aggrieved students were alleged to have embarked on revenge following the defeat of their candidates. “The Interim Report

shocked the government because it underscored the level at which our youths have degenerated.” But government is not ruling out other clues, sources said. One source said: “The Police and other security agencies are working on other factors which could have caused for the genocide. “Some suspects have also been arrested by the Police. Their interrogation might provide additional clues to the security challenge in Mubi and those behind it. “Also, for such violence to have been perpetrated, it sug-

gests a kind of arms pile up in Mubi. The security agencies and the police are expected to get to the root of how students were involved in gun running. “There is a suspicion that the killings might be a spill over of the political situation in Mubi and the state. Security agencies are to probe those behind the violent syndicate operating in the commercial town. The probe of the killings also involves remedial steps to be taken to prevent a reoccurrence. “So far, a fullscale investigation is still in progress and the nation will be briefed accordingly.”

able to come up with documents to meet the conditions stated in Article 61 of the ICJ statute. “What we have is a situation where they are running helter-skelter at the last minute looking for documents. “We have also mandated the aggrieved state and groups to come up with a compilation of alleged violations of human rights of Nigerians resident in Bakassi Peninsula. “If these violations are established by the committee, we can forward the list to the UN Committee on Human Rights to consider. Yet, they have not given the committee any example. “Most members of the committee felt disappointed that there have been noise all over without documents to back up the agitation. We cannot make ourselves a laughing stock before the international community.” Article 61 says: “An application for revision of a judgment may be made only when it is based upon the discovery of some fact of such a nature as to be a decisive factor, which fact was, when the judgment was given, unknown to the Court and also to the party claiming revision, always provided that such ignorance was not due to negligence. “The proceedings for revision shall be opened by a judgment of the Court expressly recording the existence of the new fact, recognizing that it has such a character as to lay the case open to revision, and declaring the application admissible on this ground. “The Court may require previous compliance with the terms of the judgment before it admits proceedings in revision. The application for revision must be made within six months of the discovery of the new fact. “No application for revision may be made after the lapse of ten years from the date of the judgment.” Meanwhile, the Federal Government was shocked that barely 72 hours after inaugurating the eight-man committee some highly-placed people have personalized the Bakassi issue by sponsoring attacks on the AGF, who is the chairman of the committee. A source said: “The President made the AGF the chairman of the committee because the matter involved is directly under his portfolio. “Government is surprised to read about personal attacks on the AGF on a matter being looked into with transparency. Members of the National Assembly are in the committee and the AGF has not imposed his views on any person or group so far. “We hope that those behind these attacks will allow the committee to do its work without distraction.”



Why we seek total integration (1)


N the end, and as it has been famously proclaimed by a political wit, all politics is local. This column craves the indulgence of the numerous fans and readers of its Sunday musings, particularly the Nigerian multitude, to do some ethnic arithmetic this morning and in subsequent issues. In many ways, when we beam a searchlight on the Yoruba Question, we are also beaming a powerful x-ray on the National Question and the problematic arrested nationhood in Nigeria. Let us therefore begin with the kernel and motto of this intervention. For integration to be meaningful, it cannot afford to be piecemeal and offhand, lacking in ideological coherence and integrity. But in certain political circumstances, integration can be incremental as long as the part does not threaten the organic whole. Partial integration is a product of partial vision. Economic integration cannot take place in the absence of political integration. A great political drama is unfolding in the oil and bitumen-rich and humanly endowed state of Ondo as presided over by the politically adroit Rahman Olusegun Mimiko. It is a drama that has pitted some of its outstanding intellectual products against the rest of their intellectual peers and comrades in arms in the old west. It is so profoundly ironic that it is in the rump of the old Ondo province that this great battle is being fought. History often indulges in a cruel mockery of humanity. This was where it all started, when the late sage, Obafemi Awolowo, journeyed to the ancient town of Owo to team up with the equally revered late statesman and patriot, Michael Adekunle Ajasin. Thus was born the Egbe omo Oduduwa, an organisation which sought to impose a cultural uniformity on a hitherto fractious and divided Yoruba nation which for fifty years after the collapse of the old Oyo Empire had fought itself to a political and military standstill in a series of civil wars which culminated in the Kiriji Armistice supervised by the colonial overlords. By then, even the fighters had forgotten the original causus belli. The cultural ascendancy of the Egbe omo Oduduwa which invoked as a stirring and rallying trope the illustrious name of Oduduwa, the fabled primogenitor of the Yoruba race, led to the political hegemony of the Action Group, a party anchored on rousing rhetoric and mass mobilisation. It was arguably the best organised political machine in tropical Africa. It is to be noted that despite being the older man, and despite being equally accomplished, Ajasin did not feel any qualms whatsoever about accepting Awolowo’s leadership. It was based on an acceptance and acknowledgement of Awo’s sterling credentials as a formidable and visionary political thinker and outstanding organiser. It was also based on the principle of noble self-abnegation in the larger interest of political group and nation. Basorun J.K Randle once told snooper of how miffed and mystified he was as a young boy when a man with a dignified aura walked in only for his great father and all the Lagos political grandees and fabled aristocrats to quietly stand up in deference. When he later asked his illustrious father what on earth was going on, J’K Randle told his boy that that was Obafemi Awolowo, the new leader whom they had all decided to follow. This was another example of noble and



nooping around With

Tatalo Alamu


collective self-erasure in the greater interest of group and nation at classic play. Yet the fundamental paradox remains that every time a dominant faction of the Yoruba political elite achieves something close to a complete mobilisation of the Yoruba race for a political cause, the wheels immediately begin to come off the mobilising train leading to a clattering and shuddering halt in the middle of nowhere leaving both the mobilised and their mobilisers in acute distress and dismay. Then the heroic exertions start all over again like some Sisyphean venture. This was precisely what happened in 1959, 1979 and in 1999. Now in 2012, we are beginning to see telltale signs of elite betrayal of a popular cause once again. Those who are metaphysically minded often point at the celebrated curse of Alaafin Aole when as a result of what he considered to be elite perfidy among

the Oyo nobility, the distressed and embattled king was known to have shot his arrow in several directions, indicating insurmountable divisions and irreversible fracturing of inspiration and aspirations among the Yoruba elite until the end of time. But the sociological explanation is more banal and less aweinspiring. The wheels often come off the Yoruba train due to a combination of internal sabotage and external assault often presaged by momentous infiltration. The external factors can be briskly disposed of but with careful objectivity. Nigeria is greatly traumatised at the moment and this is not the time for ethnic vainglory and sabre-rattling. As arguably the most politically advanced and sophisticated ethnic group in Nigeria, it has been noted that, in and out of power, when the Yoruba nation sneezes, the rest of the country catches cold. The fear of the Yoruba is the be-

ginning of wisdom. This is often due to a combination of irrational envy and unenlightened self-interest. Many of the other elite groups simply feel that as the most culturally coherent, economically viable and politically savvy segment of the nation, the modernising Yoruba elite cannot simply walk away from Nigeria just like that leaving others to roast in the postcolonial hell. Despite our shouting from the rooftop that total political and economic integration is not about the disintegration and covert dismemberment of the nation, many have refused to be persuaded. Despite our well-wrought and splendidly argued contention that Yoruba regional integration is meant to serve as a fast-tracked developmental hub for the rest of the nation and as a heroic nudge for the other regions such as was the case in the First Republic, other elite groups are not persuaded that this is not a sophisticated secessionist gambit. The most benign view from these hostile quarters is that if the Yoruba cannot use their economic vibrancy, their political sophistication, their cultural subtlety and their prodigious intellectual endowments for Nigeria as a whole, then they aren’t going nowhere. Everybody will roast here together, may be until the western interlopers come with a coffin or a historic curfew. At its most extreme and malignant, this argument holds that since the Yoruba region was developed with Nigerian resources, then it must serve out its peonage first before even contemplating freedom. This is not about developmental ideas but about serving feudal penance. It is a case of heads you lose and tails you lose. Recently, a rabid ethnic hegemonist even went as far as noting that if the Yoruba insist on leaving, all it will take is a bomb well-aimed at the Third Mainland Bridge to bring the empire crashing.

Okon is Commander in Chef


S tragedy blends fluidly and fluently with comedy in our daily existence, it is becoming impossible to separate the comic from the tragic. The old sub-genre of tragi-comedy does not quite capture the stirring monstrosity of our reality in contemporary Nigeria in all its brilliant chiaroscuro. Darkness is clearly visible. Welcome to Kafka’s Penal Colony. Welcome to sub-Saharan cinematography and the cabinet of Dr Caligari. Welcome to comitragedy. Imagine that the casualties from Monday’s Mubi massacre probably surpass the figures from one month of mayhem in Mogadishu even at the height of war and lunacy in that strife-torn country. Yet it is Somalia that we blithely refer to as a failed state. When shall we learn to call a spade a spade? Or the opium is just a flower? Snooper was deep in rumination about these tragic fatalities and the infelicitous gaffes and goofs they elicit from officialdom when he almost collided with a truly outlandish figure in the kitchen. It was the impossible Okon dressed in a crude travesty

of the full ceremonial uniform of a Commander in Chief complete with silky gloves and bristling epaulettes. Before yours sincerely could finish marvelling at the kitchen Napoleon, the crazy boy exploded.. “Oga, Okon now be commander in chief, no be like dem yeye Yoruba musician ooo. He get time like dat when I dey see dem fine and dandy young Yoruba Oba for Lagos. I come ask wetin be im name and dem say na Elegusi, so I come think say dem better Yoruba people dey give dem cook Oba title. I come say I be Elewedu and dem area boys come beat me sotey. Naim I come tell dem I be Emir for Tuwo Shinkafa. But dis one like dem Jonathan be commander in chief for inside dem Aso Rock, Okon be commander in chief for kitchen sef. Make dem area boys come try dem nonsense make I put better pepper for dem konta konta eye.” “But Jonathan is a real Field Marshal.” Snooper offered. “Oga, no be wetin we dey talk? Na for inside dem field for Aso Rock him dey do him road Marshal for independence ceremony. Even dem Ekwueme and dem old soldier Gowon dey hide under dem

Aso canopy. I see dem with my korokoro eye. Dem mountain Anyim dey cry for Ibo, biko, biko, biri kem biri. Dem Boko be dem mama him husband. I don tell dem Jonathan make dem cancel dem independence day, abi na by force?” “Okon, have you been hit by shell before,” snooper demanded. “Plenty time. Shell no dey kill Efik man. Dem stupid Yoruba barber come throw dem cowrie shell at Okon for Bar Beach,” the crazy boy sneered. “Okon, you are a big fool, big time,”snooper noted with a comic frown. “Ha oga no be only dat. He get time like that for dis dem Oduduwa kitchen. As Okon come break egg from dem Ogbologbo Yoruba witch for Oyingbo market dem egg come do Gbuaam and dem shell come hit Okon and dem bird come comot and him dey cry tin o tin oo for kitchen. Naim I come pick race. Calabar juju come finis Yoruba witch. Who born Gbetugbetu for Creek Town?” It was on that note that snooper quickly shut the kitchen door at the Chef Commander.

But anytime the Yoruba modernising elite offer one of their own authentic members to carry the torch for Nigeria, it has always ended in tears and tragedy. The argument is that the Yoruba cannot add political power to cultural and economic empowerment. If it must be a Yoruba person at all, it must be one that cannot pass muster and only one that is critically misendowed enough to continue the project of perpetual and permanent underdevelopment of the nation. Yet this potentially great country continues to lurch from one crisis to another, stalled in historic stasis and mired in the muck of developmental degradation. It is clear that something will have to give eventually. Like animals boxed into a colonial cage, we continue to scratch and tear at each other. We cannot just continue like this. If forcefulness of rival developmental paradigms and the clarity of alternative political visions cannot persuade those who hold Nigeria to ransom and their various collaborators, then an unspeakable and very eloquent tragedy will, and very soon too.. But hatred and irrational envy of the other is not the exclusive preserve of other Nigerian nationalities. Many fractions of the Yoruba political elite also exhibit fear, loathing, hatred and irrational envy towards each other. The modern Yoruba political culture is anchored on these pathological traits and with them infiltration is easy and external onslaught easier. This is why it would amount to a grave error of judgement and lack of political subtlety if the unfolding political drama in Ondo state were to be framed as a clash of will and wits between two titanic personalities or a duel unto death between a rampaging lion and a rampart Iroko. Yes, there is surely a bitter personality tussle somewhere. Yes, this is a power struggle between two of the most successful masters of political mobilisation thrown up by the postmilitary Yoruba nation. As a ringside observer and thwarted arbitrator, this writer can write a tome on a political romance gone very sour. But there are underlying social and historical currents to this tussle which make the personalities involved, however forceful and powerful and however attractive or repulsive to the vociferous partisans, to be mere impersonal manifestations of some greater political forces at play. This is ultimately a titanic battle of ideas about the destiny of the Yoruba ethnic group within the larger totality of the Nigerian nation. To be sure, the struggle for total integration of the Yoruba region does not preclude and cannot exclude the struggle for power at the Nigerian centre. Each is in fact a logical correlate and corollary of the other. But in order to better understand the current forces at play and to deepen our knowledge of the order of battle, it is important to go back to 1959, 1979, 1999 and to Chief Obafemi Awolowo’s parting shot to his shell-shocked party faithful at the tail end of 1983. (To be continued)




ONDO 2012 Akungba mayhem: NANS cautions Mimiko


EACTIONS continue to trail last Wednesday crisis among Labour Party (LP) supporters in Akungba Town of Ondo State. Two youths allegedly lost their lives in the fracas that followed a visit to the town by Governor Olusegun Mimiko. The latest comment on the matter came from the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) Zone D. The studdent body while decrying the incident, called on the governor of the state to be careful with the way he carries out his electioneering campaign. In a statement signed by Olufemi Metufo, the Director of Publicity for Zone D NANS, the organisation condemned any type of political campaign that will lead youths to attack one another for whatever reason. The student body said it is more worrisome because report had it that the youngsters were fighting over a large sum of money allegedly doled out to them by Mimiko after his campaign speeches. “For us at NANS Zone D, it is no longer comfortable to fold our arms while some politicians plan to burn down the region. The incident that happened in Akungba on Wednesday is indeed a sad commentary of the relationship between politicians and youths. We wonder what mannner of campaign should lead to youth to attack one another with dangerous weapons. When you consider the information that the crisis was over a large sum of money doled out to these youths by the governor after his speech, then it becomes more worrisome. The incident is a confirmation of our earlier position that the government in Ondo State is not youth friendly. A government that has refused to empower the young ones now give them money to act as political thugs. It is a shame and we want it to stop,” Metufo said. NANS also told Governor Mimiko to ensure that such incidents do not happen during his campaign again. “Be that as it may, it is our position that the governor of Ondo should henceforth prevent the killing and maiming of youths in the name of election campaigns. We refuse to sit down and watch lives being wasted by politicians,” the statment said. Metufo said the association will not shy away from the need to take action against the governor and his party in the event of any other bloody occurence anywhere in the state. “In the event of any other bloody occurence at Mimiko’s campaign location anywhere in the state, NANS will not hesitate to take necessary and immediate action against the governor and his party,” he said.

Ondo South elders reiterate support for ACN candidates N

OTABLE political and community leaders in the Ondo South Senatorial Zone of the state have reiterated the resolve of the area to vote for the candidates of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) during the October 20 governorship election in the state. The elders, rising from a crucial meeting, debunked claims in some quarters that the area will follow a governorship candidate from one of its local governments. They added that the people of the area are ready to go with a party which stands a chance of winning the election and not a dead party. “The truth of the matter is that we are hundred percent with the ACN and its candidates. Those talk-

ing about any other party are spreading false runour. Our people will not vote for the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for anything because it is no longer on ground in Ondo State. It is a dead party here,” they said. The elders including Chief Oluwanbe Omololu (a former Director of Immigration), Chief Francis Thinnance, Professor Esi Ebisemiju (a former Special Adviser to the Late Chief Adekunle Ajasin on Energy Matters), Chief Sedera Victor Babatunde, Chief Adewale Omojuwa, Chief Olu Tawose, Chief Wole Eruaye - three former deputy governorship aspirants among others, threw their weight behind the ACN. The elders insisted that it is only the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN)

that has the blueprint to develop the area which has suffered a criminal neglect from the Governor Olusegun Mimiko’s government in the last three and half years. They noted that Dr. Akintelure, the deputy governorship candidate of the ACN, is a renowned medical doctor, a philanthropist of note who has contributed immensely to the development of the senatorial district. The elders, however charged Barrister Rotimi, Akeredolu(SAN) and Dr. Akintelure not to forget the people of the area when they get into office, as the area has been neglected by the government of Dr. Olusegun Mimiko. They added that although Chief Olusola Oke, the governorship candidate of the Peoples Demo-

cratic Party PDP in the State, is from the area, he will not get 20percent of the votes cast in the area. ”Quote us and tell the people, Oke will not win 20percent of the votes in Ilaje. We don’t want him. We dont want the PDP. We are with the ACN, the party that can take us to the promiseland,” the elders said. Responding to the assurances, Dr. Akintelure thanked the elders for their massive support for the ACN. He told the elders that he remains their son and will not do anything against their interest but would work hard towards the development of the area. Others at the meeting included Mrs. Funmilayo Akintelure, Mr. Femi Johnson and Mrs. Modupe Johnson, among others.

Ondo Mega rally: Court remands five ACN members. From Damisi Ojo, Akure


HE Chief Magistrate Court sitting in Akure has ordered five Action Congress of Nigeria [ACN] supporters in Ondo State to be remanded in prison custody. They were arrested from different locations after ACN rally in Ondo, the home town of Governor Olusegun Mimiko and accused of conduct likely to breach peace and assault. The six accused, Jimoh Adebiyi, Ojo Gbenga, Joseph Ogah, Samson Otugbo and Oyewole Gabriel, however, denied the allegation. Applying for the bail of the accused, Akure lawyer and right activist, Titiloye Charles who led the ACN legal team urged the court to take judicial notice of the old age of the 4th and 5th accused persons who are 66 and 67 years old. He said they could not have conducted themselves in riotous manner and presumes the accused person innocent pending trial. The Attorney General of Ondo State, Eyitayo Jegede represented by Taiwo Olubodun took over the case and opposed the bail application. The presiding Magistrate F. A. Akintoye ordered the accused to be remanded in prison till 0ctober 18. Earlier, there was a mild drama in court when a Press Officer [PO] from the Governor’s Office started using camera to film Charles and his clients. The lawyer demanded to know why camera was deployed to court and asked whether it was to intimidate lawyers and the judiciary. The PO apologized and stopped the video coverage of court proceedings. He claimed to be from the office of the Governor. Lawyers present in the court decried the judicial intimidation taking place in the state.

Oke berates Mimiko over education crisis •L-R Abike Dabiri-Erewa, member, House of Representatives, Chairman, Amuwo Odofin Local Government Development, Area Comrade Ayodele Adewale, ACN Gubenatorial candidate Ondo State, Akeredolu, and his deputy, Dr Paul Akintelure, during a Youth Forum in Ondo State, recently.

From Damisi Ojo, Akure

Mimiko grossly incompetent – Ex-aide T


FORMER aide of Governor Olusegun Mimiko of Ondo State has described the Labour Party (LP) gubernatorial hopeful as a grossly incompetent administrator who should not be in the race for a second term. Mr. Tunde Imolehin, leader of the Sunshine Mandate Forum and now a chieftain of the Action Congress of Nigeria, was until recently a very close associate of the Ondo governor. While explaining why he dumped the governor to pitch his tent with the opposition ahead of the October 20 governorship election, Imolehin said Mimiko as an incompetent administrator has only succeeded in wasting the time and resources of

Ondo people in the last three and a half years. “There is no way anybody who is aware of Mimiko’s administrative style will pray for him to govern Ondo State again. Here is a man who lacks the ability to recognise competence and encourage competent people. “He would rather promote incompetence as long as he stands to benefit from such action politicaly. All his actions and inactions are determined by politics. He gives very little thoughts to competent people. “His crafty nature is one other reason why he cannot work with competent and patriotic people. He is too unreliable to work with. Given the calibre of people in the state, he will always find it dif-

ficult politically with his style,” he said. Imolehin, who said he is highly optimistic that Rotimi Akeredolu, the ACN candidate, will win the governorship election, described the three and a half years of Mimiko’s reign as a waste. “We expected him to achieve so much given the support and acceptance he got when he came in. With the resources of the state and the people’s readiness for change, much was expected from him but he failed. His approach to governance is bad. He sees himself as the superior one leading many inferior people. He must always be right. His opinions are the only good ones. Others carry no weight. These were the problems with him,” he added.

Imolehin then urged the people of the state to reject Mimiko and cast their votes for Akeredolu and the ACN on October 20. He called on the people to support the party’s agenda aimed at uniting the entire Southwest sociopolitical zone. The frontline envoronmentalist said he is woring tirelessly with others to spread the manifestoes of the party across the state because of his belief that with such good programmes spelt out, ACN is the party of the people. “All we need to do is take the good message to the people and they will gladly accept to vote for the ACN. The plans of the party for Ondo State and the Southwest as a whole is the best you can find anywhere,” he said.

HE Olusola Oke Campaign Organisation [OOCO] has berated the Ondo State government for the collapse in the education sector of the state. A statement by the Deputy Director of the Organisation, Rotimi Ogunleye, described as an unpardonable failure the situation where all the tertiary institutions in the state have been shut down due to government’s insensitivity and high handedness. Oke who is the governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the state also carpeted the government over the refusal to pay secondary school teachers the 27.5% professional allowance it promised them two years ago. “It is sad that a government which calls itself a caring heart has unleashed draconian regime and outright terrorism on the workers of the state- owned Adekunle Ajasin University and the Rufus Giwa Polytechnic. “Today, over 3,000 staff of the institutions are on strike while over 8,000 students of the two institutions are left wandering about.”




ONDO 2012


HREE leaders of Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) in Ondo State at the weekend urged Governor Olusegun Mimiko to allow peaceful transition in the state. According to them, the citizenry is fed up with the Labour Party [LP] administration. The trio, former Commissioner for Natural Resources, Mr. Solagbade Amodeni, Deputy Director, Aketi Campaign Organisation for Ondo Central, Mr. Ade Adetimehin and Director Campaign/Election, Aketi Campaign Organisation, for Ondo East/ West Federal Constituency, Mrs. Lola Fagbemi spoke in separate interviews with The Nation on Sunday. They maintained that Mimiko has failed the people and should concede his position to ACN’s candidate, Mr Rotimi Akeredolu [SAN]. Amodeni said he was part of the cabinet that awarded the contract for the dualisation of Ondo township road three years ago, lamenting that till now, the work is less than 15 percent level of construction. According to him, “I was in the state General Hospital in Ondo about two weeks ago, what I found was suicidal, patients were lying on bare floor. “It would have been better for Mimiko to have contested


HE Akeredolu Campaign organization (ACO) has called on the Director General of the State Security Services to immediately transfer, Mrs Betty Adokie, the Director, State Security Services(SSS) Ondo Command. It accused her of being “a tool in the hand of Governor Olusegun Mimiko in his campaign effort in Ondo State”, and accused her of actions which were unbecoming of an occupant of such a high office in a reputable organisation like the SSS.

ACN leaders urge Mimiko on peaceful poll From Damisi Ojo, Akure

for local government chairman, rather than being a governor. When I was a local government chairman, about 12 years ago, I built many markets and ultramodern motor parks, the project the LP government is doing now with pride. “On civil service, Mimiko purportedly approved N22,000 minimum wage which is actually N16,000 and he pays them with the right hand and takes it back with the left through various taxes. “Akeredolu came with sincerity of purpose. He has promised to provide 30,000 jobs in the first 100 days in office. We know him as a man of his words”. Amodeni hailed the total integration of Yoruba race and specifically appraised the comments of the ACN National Leader, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu that refinery would be built in Ondo State as an oil producing state. The former Commissioner said this development would assist in generating mass employment and establishment of more industries. He described the choice of Akeredolu as God-ordained, saying God himself

•Suporters at the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) governorship candidate at an election rally in Ore, Ondo State, recently

picked the former NBA President and not ACN or its leadership. Also, Adetimehin said Mimiko should start packing his loads, stressing that the citizenry has had enough of his visionless government. He disclosed that for the

past four months, the party has embarked on ward to ward visitation, saying “the effect of the visitation is what people witnessed at Ondo Redemption Rally”. Adetimehin, who is also the State Treasurer of the party, said Mimiko’s administration

has failed in all aspects of life, especially in employment generation, bad infrastructures and lack of empowerment in spite of huge resources accruable to the state. Mrs. Fagbemi, who is an indigene of Ondo, said Mimiko has battered the image of Ondo

Akeredolu seeks removal of SSS director According to ACO “Mrs Adokie has devised a gimmick of arresting members of the PDP, ACN and LP while cleverly releasing the LP members and holding the PDP and ACN members in detention on spurious charges.” It called on the SSS authorities to transfer her from the state because she has “become a clog in the wheel capable of drawing the good name of the institution (SSS)

in the mud. We also want to warn that if she continues in office with the same attitude the members of PDP and ACN may have no choice than to resort into self help which will not augur well for the peace of the state. Hence this call for her immediate removal which we believe the Director General will not take lightly.” The campaign organisation also denied allegation by the Labour Party

(LP) that ACN is planning to bring Tokyo, the embattled former NURTW chairman of Oyo State to Ondo State to foment trouble describing it as a product panic and hallucination on the part of the LP. The organisation also called on the people of Ondo State to challenge the Labour Party to explain why it has commissioned agents to acquire unclaimed voters card from the Independent National Electoral Commission

Ondo State. In a statement by Idowu Ajanaku, Director Media, Publicity and Strategy of ACO, he said a couple Mr and Mrs Ola Olu Oladapo form Ondo West has been arrested by the police with more than 2000 voters’ card and are in the custody of the police at the state headquarters in Akure. The man under arrest has confessed that these cards are unclaimed voters cards which he got

indigenes with his deceitful nature, stressing that he betrayed ACN leader, Asiwaju Tinubu, the late Adebayo Adefarati, Chief Olusegun Agagu and others. She enjoined the citizenry to use their votes to send him away from Alagbaka Government House on October 20. from the INEC office. “We call on the Inspector General of Police to investigate this matter and not allow Mimiko working hand in glove with the Ondo State Police to sweep this under the carpet. We also want the people of Ondo State to see through the deception that the LP represents, especially with their public grand style which is contrary to what they are doing in secret. They say one thing and mean another but their evil deed will no longer be covered. God will continue to expose them.”

Mimiko’s profligacy and ACN’s broom revolution


HE recent mammoth crowd of the diehard supporters of Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN at Ikare-Akoko, Ondo and Ore venues for the party’s campaign train to sell the candidature of Barrister Rotimi Akeredolu’s gubernatorial ambition signifies one thing-CHANGE. The pendulum of political power is about to swing in the acclaimed Sunshine State, away from Mimiko’s Labour Party to the ACN. But why? That is the million naira question. The answer, I dare say, is not farfetched to the long-suffering indigenes and those who care to pay an unbiased visit to Ondo State. In spite of the media hoopla that has trailed the phantom achievements of the incumbent governor, Dr.Olusegun Mimiko, the bare facts on ground point to the gross lack of value for the whopping sum of N660 billion he has so far collected on behalf of the oil-rich state from the Federation Account. Add this to the N38 billion the Dr Olusegun Agagu-led administration left in the state’s coffers and the N20 billion so far advanced from the N50 billion borrowed from the Capital Market and the picture of wanton waste seems complete. Almost. Simply put, Ondo people

•Akeredolu By Idowu Ajanaku

have been short changed in the socio-economic spectrum of the vast country. The bitter truth is that the current administration has not justified the state’s huge economic potentials for three and a half years. Come October

20, 2012, the good people of Ondo State, South-West Nigeria, will have the great opportunity to file out to the polls and make a choice of the man who would pilot their affairs for another four years. It would be a monumental disaster to pitch tent with the LP that has pauparised them, handing out tokens such as bore-

holes and market stalls in the name of development. As the much-respected ACN national party leader, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, has rightly pointed out, Mimiko has “failed to deliver on roads, education, health care, water and job creation.” The rural communities are

groaning, stewed in utter negligence by a governor who, at inception, boasted that he needed only one term to wave the magic wand of true transformation. Therefore, he” lacks the credibility to seek continuity in office.” Taken sectorially, Governor Mimiko has a lot of questions to answer. Let us begin with the critical issue of infrastructure which should be the engine room to catalyse any meaningful industrial revolution. First, there is the huge N65 billion OSOPADEC Fund meant for the opening up of the oil-producing but largely neglected Ilaje Community and other Riverine areas now a subject of investigation by the EFCC. Many roads across the length and breadth of the state are decrepit. Amongst these are the failed road dualisation projects of Ondo, Arakale and the five-kilometre stretch in Owo town. The promised Igbokoda township road from Ugbo junction to the jetty is left unfulfilled. So is the N178 million reportedly spent for a 90 -metre Owo-Ogbese road. In a similar vein, is the criminal neglect of adequate water supply both in the urban and rural areas. The multimillion naira Owena Dam project at Ondo is still coma-

tose. The promised water project in Akure remains a pipdream even as the governor has metaphorically asked the people to drink the wasteful water fountain! Honestly, were these roads and water projects similarly neglected at the rural and urban areas in good shape, the dream of the founding fathers to make Ondo State an industrial hub for the entire country would have long seen the light of day. It has arguably become the raw materials base of several much-needed minerals and agricultural materials any state would require for sustainable economic development. These would inadvertently elicit job and wealth creation. Name them, limestone, shale, gypsum, silica sand and bitumen are all waiting to be tapped. So also are cocoa, cassava, kolanut, cashew, cowpea and coffee. Others include cash crops and food crops such as rubber, oil palm, timber, soya beans, plantain and yams, all of which could be cultivated on an industrial scale. Unfortunately, Mimiko’s self-serving administration never thought in this direction. Ajanaku is director of Media and Publicity, Akeredolu Campaign Organisation.




Police shoot pregnant woman to avenge colleague’s death in Imo From Okodili Ndidi, Owerri


team of Mobile Policemen, yesterday, went wild in Owerri, Imo State, shooting a pregnant woman after one of their colleagues was crushed to death by a hit and run driver. The policemen opened fire on the offending driver’s bus on learning that he had escaped from the accident scene. The bus, according to an eye witness, was attempting to overtake another vehicle when it rammed into a motor-cycle on which the policeman was riding. He died on the spot. The driver and other occupants of the bus immediately fled the scene on confirming the identity of the victim. Shortly afterwards, however, the team of policemen stormed the area and began to shoot indiscriminately. One of the bullets from the policemen’s guns hit the pregnant woman in the lower part of the abdomen. A commercial tricycle she was riding in was passing by the area at the time. She was rushed to a nearby hospital with doctors battling to save her life last night. It was also gathered that the infuriated policemen also descended on innocent commuters and plying the route after they had vandalized the bus. The state Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Vitalis Onugu, could not be reached by phone.

N141b debt: Reps can’t use AMCON to settle scores, says Chike-Obi


HE Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of Asset Management Company of Nigeria (AMCON), Mr. Mustafa Chike-Obi, has given the process leading to the transfer of N141 billion assets to the organisation by top businessman, Mr. Femi Otedola, a clean bill of health. The deal has come under attack from a section of the public and the House of Representatives which felt it was shrouded in secrecy. The Central Bank (CBN) had listed Otedola among 419 individuals, company directors/shareholders and 113 organisations barred from receiving loans from banks until they clear the amounts

•‘Settlement in order’ By Ibrahim Yusuf

currently standing against their names. The decision, the CBN said, was aimed at “strengthening financial stability and entrenching a culture of financial discipline.” Speaking exclusively to The Nation on Sunday, Chike-Obi said the transfer of Otedola’s assets followed due process and was not influenced in any way as being suggested in some quarters. The House of Representatives had, in a statement last Monday by the Chairman of its Committee on

Media and Public Affairs, Alhaji Zakary Mohammed, said it would demand details of the transaction between AMCON and Otedola because, as he put it, it was done with ‘confidentiality and secrecy’. But the AMCON boss denied the insinuation. He said: “We have been negotiating with him in the last six months. There is a process. We had to analyse his assets, value the assets, make proposals and counterproposals, go to the exco and to the board. We needed to go through all of that and we did that for six months.”

The operation of the organisation, he said, is guided by Sections 63 and 14 of the AMCON Act. “Section 63 says: ‘AMCON may carry out all its functions without the approval or permission of any other authority.’ It is in the Act. So Zakary Mohammed is incorrect,” Chike-Obi emphasised. He added: “We have 12, 000 loans and we are resolving about five loans a day. If I had to seek the permission of the House of Assembly to restructure loans, then I cannot do my work.” Besides, he said the agency is short-staffed. “We don’t have enough staff to resolve even five loans a day. The whole of the

‘Declare Anambra a flood disaster area’


HE Anambra State Elders Council has called on the Federal Government to declare Anambra flood disaster area. The Council made the call after a meeting with Governor Peter Obi at the Governor’s Lodge. The Chairman of the Council, Dr. Dozie Ikedife, lamented that six out of the 21 local government areas of the state have already been submerged in water. While commending the sustained efforts of Governor Obi and prompt intervention in the affected areas, Ikedife noted that the devastation has gone beyond the capability of the local and state governments. He appealed for immediate intervention of the federal government and organisations to bring succor to the flood victims. He also observed that most of the industries recently commissioned by the President have all gone under the water. A former governor of Anambra State, Dr. Chukwuemeka Ezeife also called on the National Emergency Management Agency–NEMA-to establish a visible presence in the state while requesting churches to continue to assist the victims. The Archbishop of the Niger Province, Most Reverend Christian Efobi, called for prayers and collective efforts of all stakeholders to cushion the effect of the devastation. Also speaking, the Anglican Bishop of Awka, Right Reverend Alexander Ibezim, regretted that huge resources have already been lost to the menace and people’s suffering have continued to increase.

•L–R: Chairman, Ogun State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB), Chief Mufutau Ajibola; Comrade Julius Ogundipe; Chairman, Ogun State Teaching Service Commission (TESCOM), Barrister Olubukunola Onabanjo; and Ogun State Governor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun; during the 2012 World Teachers’ Day celebration at the MKO Abiola International Stadium, Abeokuta at the weekend.

2015: Count me out, says Yakowa


OVERNOR Patrick Yakowa of Kaduna State wants to be counted out of the 2015 presidential race and warns those linking his name to the election to let him be. According to the governor, he is currently pre-occupied with delivering the dividends of democracy to the people of the state who elected him into office last year. In a statement by Mr. Reuben Buhari, his Senior Special Assistant on Media, Governor Yakowa said moves to drag his name into the 2015 presidential race are nothing but a deliberate and calculated mischief aimed at pitching him against President Goodluck Jonathan and Vice President Mohammed Namadi Sambo. A group which called itself Northern Democratic Alliance had, in an advertorial, claimed that the governor had been endorsed to contest the 2015 Presidential election with former Oyo State governor, Rasheed

From Tony Akowe, Kaduna

Ladoja, as running mate. The statement said that the real intention of the promoters of what it called ‘tales by moonlight’ is to portray the governor in bad light and a disloyal party member. Mr. Buhari said: “The governor has made it very clear that everybody has the

constitutional right to contest for any political office they are interested in, but such ambition should not be built on the destruction of His Excellency‘s hard earned reputation as trustworthy and loyal party member. “The sponsors of such write-up should feel free to market themselves to the people, with whom the final

decision rests but should leave the governor out of it as he has never shown interest in the 2015 presidential race. “For the avoidance of doubt, the focus of Governor Patrick Yakowa is the continued delivery of democracy dividends to the good people of Kaduna State through his three widely acclaimed agenda of Security, Unity and Development.”

staff put together are 360. If they had to review loans, then they would have no other work to do. “It is illegal because Section 63 of AMCON expressly tells us that we should not ask permission from any other authority and Section 14 says the same thing. So, I don’t know what Zakary Mohammed means.” Chike-Obi said the Committee Chairman probably read newspaper headlines and hurriedly jumped into conclusion. “Negotiations are conducted between two parties. That’s what we call bilateral negotiations. I don’t have to tell anybody I met Arik today or I met Arik yesterday or I’ll meet with Arik tomorrow. Does it make sense to you that I should negotiate with somebody and before we have even agreed in resolving the issues, I should go and announce to the world?” Miffed by insinuations that the transaction was shrouded in secrecy, he raised several posers. “Do you know who is on my board? You have Deputy Governor of the CBN, Managing Director of the Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation, Director General, Securities and Exchange Commission. You think that after they approve something, it’s secret? They are all representing everybody in the country. So, where is the secrecy there when we took it to the board? If you take something to a board like that how can it be secret?” He dismissed as an insult on the intelligence and integrity of the AMCON board members, the statement that the transaction was probably influenced one way or the other by them. He declared: “I’ve restructured over 500 loans, including Arik, Aero Contractors, MRS. These are big companies. Why did Zakary Mohammed not care about the 500 loans I have restructured?” “We restructured Arik’s debts a year and half ago. Nobody asked us about that. The other 500 loans we restructured nobody told us it was done in secrecy,” he noted. AMCON, he stressed, cannot be drawn into any political intrigues by any individual or group. “If he (Zakary Mohammed) wants to fight Femi Otedola, let him fight Femi Otedola. He cannot use me or AMCON. If Zakary Mohammed had said MD AMCON, we read in the papers that you have done this and that, can you come and share with us the process that led to the recovery of these assets? I would gladly oblige him. But he just saw the headlines and went ahead to form an opinion.”

Enugu teachers decry early retirement


HE Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT), Enugu State Wing, has expressed strong dismay over what it described as mass premature retirement of teachers in the state. Chairman of NUT in the state, Comrade Chumaife Nze, made the stand of the teachers on the issue known yesterday during the 2012 World Teachers’ Day Celebration held at Okpara Square, Enugu. Nze said they felt that the retirement was not only

From Adaobi Enem, Enugu

improper but heart breaking. He urged the Enugu state Universal Basic Education to recall without delay those teachers affected by that “obnoxious policy and to put a stop to it.” On the 27.5percent Teachers Special Allowance, the NUT boss in the state recalled that for three years now, the union has been requesting for the payment of the remaining 17.5percent of allowance. He expressed regrets

that the NUT in the state had written several letters/ memos requesting for the payment of the remaining percentage but all to no avail. Nze, however, said he was confident that the state government would make a positive response to their request , adding that the total amount involved was not compared to what the state government had been doing to keep the masses happy. While appreciating government’s effort in recruitment of teachers par-

ticularly in the secondary schools, he noted that there was still great dearth of teachers in our schools. Governor Sullivan Chime, who was represented by the Commissioner of Education, Dr Simon Otuanya, had commended the teachers over their contributions towards the growth of the society. He promised to provide toilet facilities in public schools in the state, including primary and secondary schools.


Nine month old baby, eight wedding guests die in road crash Ernest Nwokolo, Abeokuta IGHT wedding guests lost their lives yesterday in Abeokuta on their way to the ceremony scheduled for Lagos. The dead included a nine month old baby and his mother. Six other were seriously injured in the crash which occurred at about 8.15am close to the Police Information Technology Centre on the AbeokutaSagamu expressway in the Ogun State capital. It involved a Volvo tipper and a Toyota Hiace commercial bus. The tipper,which was heading towards Abeokuta, was said to have veered off its lane and rammed into the bus. The Sector Commander of the Federal Road Safety C o m m i s s i o n (FRSC),Mr.Ayobami Omiyale confirmed the incident but could not say how many people died. The capacity of the Hiace bus is 19 including the driver. The injured were taken the Federal Medical Centre and the bodies of the dead at the morgue of the State Hospital,Ijaiye,Abeokuta. The victims are said to be members of the African Church Solution Camp, Ewang Estate, Abeokuta. They were to be guests at the wedding of another member of the church in Lagos. Relations and friends of the victims rushed to the hospital to see them on hearing about the accident. The church was in a pensive mood last night.


Security: we have achieved a lot, says Sambo From Tony Akowe, Kaduna


ICE President Namadi Sambo said in Kaduna yesterday that efforts by the federal government at addressing the security challenges in the country are beginning to yield results. Speaking at a reception for sons and daughters of Kaduna State occupying various positions in the country, he said the government can achieve more with the full support of all. He said, “the various security agencies’ efforts have also yielded positive results as they have drastically reduced the potency of the aggressors. We can achieve more successes only if we have the full support of all and sundry and I call all citizens of the state and the country in general to partner and participate in fighting this menace.” He said that the desire of the government to transform the country is paramount and can only be achieved through the concerted efforts of all Nigerians in reviving and developing the nation’s infrastructure to meet the yearning and expectations of Nigerians.



Biafra: More knocks for Achebe -Blame Ojukwu too, he rejected a food window offer- Fani Kayode


ROFESSOR Chinua Achebe’s new book, There Was a Country, has continued to attract passionate reactions from critics and admirers across the country. The renowned writer had alleged in the book that blockade policy of the General Yakubu Gowan-led military government, which

By Sam Egburonu, Remi Adelowo and Joe Agbro

prosecuted the civil war against Biafra amounted to genocide. Condemning the allegation as unfortunate, the National Secretary of the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC), Alhaji Buba Galadima, said, “His views

that Gowon and indeed the Federal Government committed genocide during the civil war is not correct; on the contrary, I believe the government was magnanimous in the way and manner it prosecuted the war.” Asked to expatiate on this assertion, Galadima noted, “After the war ended, Gowon made a dec-

laration of no victor no vanquished. He also declared a policy of the 3Rs, which meant reconciliation, rehabilitation and reconstruction. That policy, to my mind, was highly successful.” Galadima therefore, accused Achebe, of ethnic partisanship. “Would he (Achebe) have done differ-

From Left: Head, offshore operations, office of Special Adviser to President, Mr Obase Okongor; Commissioner, Federal Civil Service Commission, Dr Akpama Akpama; Director, Cabinet Secretariat, Office of the Government of The Federation, Dr Edem Odey, And Nigeria's Ambassador to Czech Republic, Amb. Kate Okon, at A Farewell Dinner For The Ambassador In Abuja On Friday. PHOTO: NAN

Cold war in NCC over $460million police security project • Executive Vice Chairman, Commissioner at logger heads •Presidency raises technical committee on dispute


LL is not well between the Executive ViceChairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Mr. Eugene Juwa and one of his national commissioners over the allocation of a frequency to a private company. The frequency, 450MHz, was allocated to Openskys Services Limited, but the commissioner has alleged it was originally earmarked for the Police for their security communication and video monitoring. He has written a petition to the Minster of Communications Technology, Mrs.Omobola Johnson, on the issue. But Openskys Limited has disputed the commissioner’s claim saying the frequency was allocated to it in 2009 before the Police Project was initiated and that it has been cooperating with the Police for the smooth take off of the project since the Federal Government has 25 per cent equity in Openskys Services Limited. A top source in NCC described the face- off between the two officials as a fall out of the appointment of Mr. Juwa in succession to Dr. Ernest Ndukwe. Investigation by our correspondent revealed that the commissioner had in a memo alleged that the EVC unilaterally awarded the frequency to Openskys Ser-

FROM: Yusuf Alli, Managing Editor, Northern Operation

vices Limited. The commissioner in his brief memo to the Minister said: “The Federal Government procured and deployed a CDMA network (GoTa System) for security communications and video monitoring nationwide at a cost of $460million on the same 450MHz for the Nigeria Police Force and other security agencies. “With full knowledge of the above facts, the EVC of NCC, without due process, went ahead to unilaterally assign the same 450MHz to Openskys Services Limited. “I refer to the meeting held yesterday with the VicePresident during which we discussed surrounding the inability of the police to operate its national telecoms network as well as the newly installed security systems in Abuja due to a so-called ‘NCC Frequency Award’ made to Openskys Limited, a Private Individual Licensee. “With every sense of responsibility, I wish to state that my contributions at the said meeting were honest and aimed at trying to solve a clear national security problem. “Although my professional contributions did not go down well with the Minister and the EVC of NCC, I

had nevertheless expected that I would be invited to the meeting of the technical group so as to furnish clarifications on my stand.” A source in NCC, however said: “The award of the frequency predated the EVC in office. “The challenge we are having is that the affected national commissioner has been at loggerheads with the EVC since he was appointed. “His position is that since a southerner left the office, he should be made the EVC as the most senior northern commissioner. He has made NCC ungovernable for the EVC by creating discord between northern and southern staff. We have never had any ethnic challenge as this man is doing.” In its reaction, Openskys Services Limited, through its Operations Manager, Mr. Osi Okaro, said: “Openskys Services Limited is a Joint Venture/PPP between private investors and MIGCOMSAT. NIGCOMSAT is wholly owned by the Federal Government. “Openskys Services Limited was registered in 2008; the company applied to NCC for the 450MHz frequency and was duly allocated that frequency in 2009. “All the necessary payments were made and Openskys Services Limited has been cooperating with the Nigeria Police Force since then. “The technological

equipment required to roll out this service has been put in place by Openskys Services Limited. When it takes off, it will complement the technology available as well as support telecommunications penetration and enhance national security, architecture, PUSH to TALK and so on. “The entire project will provide for Nigeria and the Nigerian government cheaper, more efficient telecommunications facilities with wider coverage. It is common knowledge in the industry that a fifth columnist led by a disgruntled National Commissioner is operating within the NCC with the aim of destabilising the organisation from within. “Openskys wishes to plead that it should not be dragged into this internal high-wired politics within the NCC. All transactions of Openskys with NCC have been conducted with highest level of transparency and credibility. “The national economy is about to begin an upward, positive swing because of renewed international confidence in government commitment towards a robust economy. It will be a serious shame if all hands are not on deck to ensure that genuine companies are not deterred from carrying on business without fear of blackmail and character assassination.”

ently if he found himself on the other side,” he asked, adding, “Governments in other countries do worse things during war times. We need to rise above ethnic partisanship and not raise unnecessary tension in the polity,” he said. But Professor Akachi Adimora Ezeigbo of the department of English, University of Lagos, who has done extensive research on the Nigerian-Biafran civil war, said emphatically that Achebe said the truth. The author of Roses and Bullet, a novel set during the civil war said, “I was a young girl when that war was fought. And what he (Achebe) reported there is the truth. Biafra as it was called at that time was completely blockaded. So, there was no way food was coming in. And even those who tried to bring food in through the air, Nigerian planes were shooting down the planes and they tried to block them from coming in. So, it was, of course, a deliberate attempt to starve the people. I guess they did that because they wanted the war to end quickly. But, it was what was done,” she said. Ezigbo also said, “I know Achebe’s comment is very painful. But, one thing I know is that when people write about history, they try to tell the truth or what they consider to be the truth. So, he is looking at it from that perspective.” Former Aviation Minister, Mr. Femi Fani Kayode, agreed that the issue of starvation in Biafra, which led to the unfortunate death of millions of children, women and aged civilians, was a historical fact. “Let us be honest about this,” he said, “the policy of blockade led to death of children, women and the aged. If you merge the starvation to the pogrom of Igbos in the North before the war, only few can fault the allegation. So there is no doubt that there was an element of genocide. It is a fact, it is on record. “But there is more to it and this is where I will fault Achebe. It is wrong for him to blame only Gowan and Chief Obafemi Awolowo for the starvation of innocent civilians during the war. Achebe should have recorded that Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu contributed to that because the Federal Government then made a proposal to open a food window so as to save civilians, but Ojukwu rejected it. Ojukwu insisted that food can only be sent to Biafra with night flights so Nigerian government, fearing that he wanted to use that medium to acquire weapons, rejected that offer. Unfortunately, Ojukwu, not considering his people, rejected FG’s proposal and only used the pathetic pictures of starving Biafran soldiers as propaganda weapon, as capturedin Ralph Uwechue’s book , Reflections on Nigerian Civil War,” he said.




Amaechi assures flood victims of support

Philanthropist donates to Anambra flood victims


HE Rivers State Governor, Rotimi Amaechi, has promised to provide relief materials for victims of Omoku and Ahoada flood disaster. He spoke yesterday at Okwuzi, one of the flooded communities in Ogba/ Egbema/Ndoni Local Government Area. Apart from Obrikom, Ebocha and Okwuzi communities, which the governor visited, other villages ravaged by the flood are Egbema, Kala and Opuogbogolo in Ahoada West Local Government Area. Amaechi assured urgent and drastic steps will be taken to provide shelter, food and healthcare services for the displaced victims. According to him: “By Monday, we expect the executive council committee to take over. They will come with mattresses, clean potable water, food and medical items. Where we have primary schools those people that are displaced should take over. “We will get doctors to come and see if there are water-borne diseases, we will see what we can do to assist them.” Amaechi called on the federal government to come to the rescue of the state. “We never knew that the flood affected Rivers State until some few days ago. And it is bad, very bad. What I saw today is a monumental national disaster,” he stated.

PDP members defect to ACN By Adetutu Audu


UNDREDS of members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Ikosi-Ejirin Local Council Development Area(LCDA) in Lagos State have joined the ruling Action Congress of Nigeria(ACN). The decampees were led by Mr. Idowu Ogundare at a rally which coincided with ACN meeting in Agbowa. Ogundare said they left the PDP because of the developmental efforts of the Executive Chairman of Ikosi-Ejirin LCDA, Prince Segun Adetola, and Governor Raji Fashola. Adetola, he said, has initiated several progressive moves such as distribution of 100 free GCE forms, construction of a block of six classrooms with head teacher’s office and provision of benches, tables and chairs in schools across the LCDA.

Festival of hymns, songs holds


HE third edition of the Methodist Church Nigeria, Diocese of Lagos West’s Festival of hymns and songs holds next Sunday by 4pm. The Diocesan Bishop, Rt. Rev Isaac Olawuyi, said: “This festival of hymns is to identify with one of the most valued elements of Methodist as a Church of God, whereby we communicate the gospel through glorious hymns to all and sundry.” The chairman of the planning committee, Sir Abidoye Ayoola, stated that renowned gospel artiste, Evangelist Tope Alabi will perform at the event alongside the Diocesan choir group.



•Emir of Dutse, Alhaji Nuhu Sunusi (L) being assisted by Commissioner For Health, Dr Tafida Abubakar, to administer oral Polio vaccine on a child at the last round of Immunisation Plus Day in Dutse, Jigawa... yesterday. PHOTO: NAN

I’ll use Police N5m for prison reforms, says Ugolor T

HE Executive Director of the African Network for Environment and Economic Justice, Rev. David Ugolor, has promised to use the N5million compensation awarded to him by the court against the Nigerian Police Force as “seed money for prison and police reforms.” Ugolor was arrested and remanded in Oko prison after a suspect in accused him of sponsoring the murder of the Private Secretary to Governor Adams Oshiomhole, Comrade Olaitan Oyerinde. He was granted bail by an Edo State Criminal High Court and awarded N5million damages by Justice Esther

From Osagie Otabor, Benin

Edigin. Ugolor, in a chat with our correspondent, said his experience during the period exposed him to the treatment inmates suffer in Nigeria prisons. He said his interaction with inmates at the prison showed that more than 90 percent of them were awaiting trial while many of them are innocent of crimes they were accused of. According to him: “What people are going through in Oko prison will make you lose confidence in the Nigeria project.

“The way people are treated in Oko prison even animals will not be treated that way. The kinds of food given to inmates are not worth it.” He added: “It is a bitter experience. I would rather not see this experience as a bad one because it provides me an enormous opportunity to do more work. “We are now going to expand our work to fight for more prison reform and police reform. It is now increasingly clear that in Edo State, public interest litigation process needs real focus by the civil society.” On the N5million awarded

to him by the court, the activist said it will be put in public litigation programme. His words: “I have nothing to do with that money. I will use that money to support initiatives for setting innocent prisoners free. “Police will have to pay the money. They cannot go around it. The money will be the seed money we will use to establish the public litigation programme for prison and police reform campaign in Nigeria and we are starting from Edo State.” He described the late Olaitan as a fantastic friend, stating his family will be consoled only when the police fish out his killers.

FG orders FERMA to fill potholes by December


HE Presidency has directed the Federal Roads Maintenance Agency (FERMA) to get rid of potholes on federal roads before December. The zonal coordinator South – South Zone 11 of FERMA, Engr. Jimoh Kajogbola, disclosed this at the weekend while flagging-off newly- awarded contracts for road maintenance in the zone at Illah, Delta State along the Benin-Asaba-Onitsha dual carriage way. He said maintenance of roads that were not under contract by the Federal Ministry

From, Osemwengie Ben Ogbemudia, Benin

of Works (Highways Department) would be executed through contracts and direct labour by the end of November. FERMA Executive Director in charge of Road Maintenance Services, Alhaji Garuba Mubi, said the agency has awarded over 50 major road contracts and no fewer than one hundred emergency road contracts to ensure that the December deadline given by the Presidency is met. According to him: “We are going for operation zero pot-

holes and that will engage virtually the whole management. All of us will be involved; we are also going to be part of inspection of the contracts executed all over the nation up to December, 2012. “We are going to ensure that the contractors are done according to FERMA specifications and on schedule.” He added: “We are also going to ensure that the potholes are minimised or new zero before December 2012. “What we are begging essentially is for the National Assembly to graciously support Mr. President and con-

Turn to God, Nigerians charged


IGERIANS have been advised to turn to God for solutions to the various problems bedeviling the nation. The National President, United Gospel Churches Association of Nigeria (UGCAN), Rev. (Dr) Priscilla Otuya, made the call during the national regeneration conference tagged “Nigeria! Solution Doth Come” in Lagos. Otuya said: “If God is good enough to be consulted during elections, then he should be good enough to be consulted in the open as a nation

By Adeola Ogunlade

for solution.” She said the challenges of Nigeria are beyond the ordinary and requires extraordinary wisdom. Otuya noted that Nigeria is groaning under rising insecurity, poverty and corruption, which are having devastating effect on Nigerians. A civic education project was launched during the conference as part of efforts to awaken Nigerians to good governance. A Leadership Integrity award was also given to

Christian leaders and professionals. Some of the awardees include the General Overseer, World of Eternal Life and Revival Ministry, Rev Samuel Olutoye, Superintendent of the Apapa District of the Assemblies of God Church, Rev Kola Ogunbola, and Executive Secretary of National Summits Group, Mr. Tony Uranta. Other awardees are National Secretary of Middle Belt Forum, Dr John Dara and President of Journalists for Christ (JFC) Lekan Otufodunrin.

sider the case of road maintenance and the time of work with the budget up to March next year”. He listed the contracts in the South-South Zone 11 made up of Edo, Delta and Ondo states to include: General repairs and pavement strengthening of the Benin – Shagamu (Ofusu – Ajabandele dual carriageway) awarded to Messers Sunny Bounce Resources; General maintenance repairs and selected shoulder reinstatement along BeninEkpoma – Auchi Road awarded to Messers Ffordiac and Pavement strengthening and shoulder reinstatement along Ewu- Uromi- Agbor Road, awarded to Messers ARC Marine & Civil Eng Ltd, among others.

POPULAR philanthropist, Chief Willie Obiano, has donated relief materials to flood victims in Anambra State. He called on public-spirited organisations and individuals to come to the rescue of the victims. Obiano described the flood that ravaged several communities in Anambra as unprecedented while praising the state government for alleviating the suffering of the victims. He spoke last week while donating relief materials to victims in Aguleri, Umuleri and Anam rehabilitation camps. Some of the items include food items, sleeping materials and beverages. He also offered one of his family houses to accommodate 16 homeless families.

Osun identifies 15,000 dilapidated buildings From Adesoji Adeniyi, Osogbo


HE Osun State government has identified about 15,000 buildings across the 30 local government areas in dilapidated conditions. Commissioner for Lands and Physical Planning, Architect Muyiwa Ige, disclosed this at a public lecture to mark this year’s World Habitat Day in Osogbo, the state capital. He said 14,000 other structures need minor repairs. The commissioner stated that efforts are in top gear to ensure that owners of such structures rehabilitate them. Ige, who said the government would assist the owners of the structures to ensure proper rehabilitation, also hinted that the enumeration of the dilapidated structures to ensure healthy living. According to him, the dilapidated structures include those in major towns and cities such as Osogbo, Ile-Ife, IlaOrangun, Ilesa, Ikire, Esa-Oke and Ikirun among others. He said: “Physical growth and development in our towns and cities are nothing to write home about. Structures in most cases are built with little or no regard paid to Town Planning regulations.”




•Rice mill workers


HE Rice Mill Company Nigeria Limited, Abakaliki, Ebonyi State is always a beehive of activities. Currently, the mill boasts over 6,000 workers, 2,500 rice milling machines and a production capacity of more than 11,000 tons. The Rice Mill known for the production of the popular Abakaliki Rice has since its inception not only increased the revenue generation of the state but has also brought economic growth and investors to the young state. The company, though, does not make use of the best and modern rice processing machines like in China and Japan, it still produces good and nourishing rice that has fed the people of Ebonyi State and some parts of the country and beyond. But government relocation plans, according to businessmen, will tear the high-profile location apart. The company according to the Chairman, Mr. Joseph Ununu, started as Abakaliki Rice Mill in 1967 on No. 60-65 Gunning Road Abakaliki. "We have been here even before the creation of Ebonyi State, Abakaliki has been a household name in the production of rice in the country. Before now, Abakaliki was exported outside the country and the rice is one of the best in the country. The first milling engine procured for milling of Abakaliki rice was bought by one Mr. Anekwe Bestman. The relocation of the mill to its present site was done under one Hon. P. O. Nwike, who was then the Executive Chairman, Abakaliki Local Government Area in the then Anambra State. Signatories to the statement included the Chairman, Joseph Ununu; Administrative Secretary, Nwede Richard; Secretary, Usulo

Once upon Abakaliki Rice Mill Abakaliki rice used to be known all over the federation. But things have gone badly wrong for the mill. OGBONNAYA OBINNA who recently visited the mill writes. Emmanuel and Fidelis Igwe. ‘’The company has been doing its business without any hitch until recently when the state government announced its intension to relocate the mill. However, on November 15, 1977, the land used for the construction of the rice mill was leased by the Abakaliki local council to rice mill association, Abakaliki for 99 years upon payment of valuable consideration. ‘’All the same, in September, 1989, the Rice Mill Association, Abakaliki was registered as a company with the incorporation name - Rice Mill Company Nig. Ltd and registration number RC. 136,800. But on January 1, 2000, customary right of occupancy with respect to the entire area of land measuring 1938.464 square metres occupied by the company was issued by the Government of Ebonyi State. ‘’Every month, the industry

presently pays N55,000 as revenue to the Abakaliki local government council and another N55,000 as payment for business premises to the state government monthly,’’ Ununu said. The company is at the verge of collapse with the relocation plans of the state government. Some prominent business owners of the rice mill have all shut down their shops and taken away their milling machines. According to one of them, who pleaded anonymity, "we don't want to be taken unawares, since the state government has made the pronouncement, I know they are going to follow it with action as they did in the case of the stone crushers. Though the matter is before the court, I know that at the end of the day, the state government will always have their way.’’ We have lost everything there, the place that

used to witness a lot of business activities has become a shadow of its old self. The millers are even afraid to bring huge rice for milling because you don't know when the movement will commence. Everything has been lost at the Abakaliki Rice Mill.’’ Ununu regretted that since the company came into existence, neither the state government nor the local council authority has rendered any meaningful assistance to it. "It is disheartening that since the company's existence, there hasn't been any meaningful assistance to us, the roads within the rice mill premises were constructed through the assistance of the former president Olusegun Obasanjo," they lamented. "The government can't boast of putting one pin here except that former President Olusegun Obasanjo who visited here and felt

impressed after seeing the rice mill, he then decided to tar the roads in the rice mill," added Chief Sunday Oketa, 46, who said he started rice milling business at the age 18. As a child, Oketa recalled he joined the industry as a "dust carrier" and later trained for one year and six months as a machine operator. "My father was alive then and he was one of the founders of the rice mill," he said, adding that the entire family members were trained properly in farming. "Early in 1971, we sold a bushel of rice at ten naira here and by then there was nothing like foreign rice. All Ebonyi people were farmers; we never knew any other handwork except farming. And when you come here, you see enough rice, food stuffs such as cassava, yam and that's why we name Ebonyi State, the Food Basket of the Nation". He remembered that way back in the 1980s, people from as far as Lagos, Benin, Port Harcourt usually come to buy Abakaliki rice. "In those days, 15 trailer load of the commodity, 50 to 60 Mercedes Benz 911 lorries, asides other small vehicles such as pickup vans leave the mill every day," Oketa said, adding that the importation of foreign rice into Nigeria "is killing business here." ‘’Before now, some state governments bought rice worth millions of naira from the Abakaliki rice mill. This is to tell you the quantity and quality of rive we produce here. ‘’It is on record that before now even if you wanted to buy N50 billion worth of rice from here, all you needed to do was just be patient and within some hours, you would have the quantity you paid for. But today because of the relocation controversy, you can hardly get that quantity of rice here and I must tell you also the price of rice in this place has gone so high that the less privileged people of the state can no longer afford the Abakaliki rice that was in every household.’’ Our investigation reveals that the most affected are the aged women, the youths. As early as 5am, aged women and youths troop to the company for menial jobs and I tell you none of them goes home with less than N1000 every day. According to one of the aged women, "the state government said they are removing the rice mill, if they do so ,what do they expect us to do, how do they expect us to feed our children and pay their school fees? The government is insensitive to the plight of the masses. Do they expect us to move to Iboko, Ikwo or Oso Eddah for our menial jobs?’’ The State government through the State Commissioner for Information and State Orientation, Comrade Chike Onwe had earlier announced that the decision of the state government to relocate the rice millers to the three locations in the state is both irrevocable and irreversible. Reacting on the state of facilities at the Rice Clusters and possible relocation of the Abakaliki Rice Mill, Comrade Onwe noted that the matter is before the court adding that the state government would not push further for the relocation until all the facilities needed to be on ground are completed.


News Review


Impeachment, massacre and another I alone can't solve Nigeria's problems


RESIDENT Goodluck Jonathan,on the occasion of the Nigeria's 52nd Independence anniversary on Monday,pleaded for the support of all citizens in solving the country's peoblems,because as he said,he could not do it alone.He was optimistic that if all hands were on the deck,the task of rebuilding Nigeria would be easy.He biblical,saying Nigeria possesses many Nehemiahs at all levels who God can use to rebuild it.

MAHATMA GHANDI REMEMBERED Indian students dressed in the attire of Mahatma Gandhi assemble for the Ahinsa Dandi Yatra in Ahmedabad, India on October 2, 2012. Some 1000 students dressed as Gandhi participated on the occasion of Gandhi Jayanti or Birth Anniversary of Father of the Nation Mahatma Gandhi. Officials from the Guiness World Records presented a certificate confirming the establishment of a new world record for the number of people in Gandhi attire to the organiser and 1000 participants. Photo: AFP

Soldiers kill two in battle at Boko Haram's bomb 'factory'


ECURITY men swooped on a suspected Boko Haram bomb factory in the university town of Zaria on Sunday, killing two members of the sect. The raid was said to have been launched to pre-empt an alleged Independence Day bomb attack on churches in the city by the group. Several other members of the sect were arrested during the midnight raid which was preceded by the evacuation of residents of the neighbouring households to safer places to avoid being caught in cross fire.

Delta commissioner abducted; police orderly killed


ELTA State commissioner for Higher Education ,Professor Hope Eghagha is yet to found,almost one week after his abduction on the Abraka/Agbor Expressway by gunmen who also killed his police orderly and injured his driver. Prof Eghagha was returning to Asaba from his village,Ughile,in a black land Cruiser Prado with number plate DT 01D06,when the gunmen unexpectedly blocked his way at Owa-Ekei Junction in Ika North Local Government area with their Toyota Camry. They fired into the air to scare those who might want to come to the aid of the victims.


Gunmen kill 43 students

T was a bloody independence anniversary day in Mubi,Adamawa State after gunmen invaded students' hostels in the town and shot 40 dead. The town is host to three tertiary insitutions-Adamawa State University,Federal Polytechnic and School of Health Technology. The gunmen were said to have gone from room to room ,knocking at the door and calling out the occupiers by name and thereafter proceeded to shoot their victims. The police confirmed 25.Three students of the University of Maiduguri were also shot dead on the same day in their apartments at 202 Housing Estate in the Borno State capital.

NJC:President can't decide Salami's fate


HE National Judicial Council (NJC) declared on Tuesday that it is the only body or institution empowered by the 1999 Constitution to recall the suspended President of the Court of Appeal,Justice Ayo Salami.It said President Goodluck has no power or role to play in the recall or reinstatement of Justice Salami or any other justice of the appellate court.The NJC 's position was contained in its reaction to a suit by 11 plaintiffs challenging President's Jonathan's refusal to reinstate Justice Salami.


Kenyans allowed to sue UK in torture case


court in London has ruled that three elderly Kenyans who claim they were tortured in the 1950s have the right to sue the British government. Wambugu Wa Nyingi, Paulo Muoka Nzili and Jane Muthoni Mara claim that they were tortured by colonial forces during the Mau Mau uprising. Nzili says that he was castrated; Mara, that she was sexually assaulted. The high court ruled last year that the complainants do, in fact, have "arguable cases in law" against the British government. Today's ruling focused on time: The British government has already admitted that its forces committed acts of torture. It argued, however, that the statute of limitations has lapsed - that the cases happened too long ago to bring to trial. The court ruled on Friday that "a fair trial on this part of the case does remain possible, and that the evidence on both sides remains significantly cogent for the court to complete its task satisfactorily." The UK's foreign office said in a statement that it was "disappointed" with the ruling, which could have "potentially significant and far reaching legal implications."

Four Nigerian peacekeepers killed in Darfur


OUR Nigerian soldiers on peacekeeping mission in Sudan's restive West Darfur were killed in an ambush on Tuesday evening. The United Nations Secretary general Ban Ki Moon said the world body

"is appalled and deeply saddened" at the attack and asked the Sudanese government to "conduct a full investigation and to ensure that the perpetrators are swiftly brought to justice.


Archbishop Tutu wins $1m for 'speaking truth'


foundation promoting good governance in Africa says it will give anti-apartheid hero Archbishop Desmond Tutu of South Africa a $1m award for "speaking truth to power". The London-based Mo Ibrahim Foundation announced the one-off award on Thursday, saying Tutu "is and has throughout his life been one of Africa's great voices for justice, freedom, democracy and responsible, responsive government". A Nobel peace laureate, Tutu was an anti-apartheid leader during the most desperate years of the struggle against racist rule and has continued to be outspoken on world events. He has been particularly critical of Israel's treatment of Palestinians and China's treatment of Tibetans. Last month Tutu caused a stir, calling for Tony Blair, Britain's former prime minister, and former US president George W Bush to face trial in The Hague for their role in the Iraq war. Writing in the Observer newspaper, Tutu, who turned down an invitation to attend a conference in South Africa where Blair was the main speaker, accused the two men of lying about weapons of mass destruction.


ICE Admiral O.S. Ibrahim was named Chief of Defence Staff on Thursday in replacement of Air Marshall Oluseyi Peterin, who has proceeded on his terminal leave.Vice Admiral Ibrahim was, until now, the Chief of Naval Staff. The new Chief of Naval Staff is


White House confirms cyber attack


HE White House has acknowledged an attempt to infiltrate its computer system, but says it thwarted the effort and that no classified networks were threatened. White House spokesperson Jay Carney told reporters the White House is equipped with mitigation measures that identified the attack, isolated it and prevented its spread. He said there was no indication that any data was removed. "There are distinctions between those networks that contain classified information and those that don't, and the attack was against an unclassified network," Carney said. Carney described the attack as "spear-phishing" and said such efforts against government computer systems are "not infrequent." Carney spoke in Henderson, Nevada, where president Barack Obama is preparing for his first debate against rival Mitt Romney on Wednesday.




o infiltrate its and that no

White House ttack, isolated that any data


News Review

security reshuffle Taraba deputy governor impeached


ARABA State House of Assembly on Thursday impeached the state Deputy Governor, Alhaji Sani Abubakar following the assembly's adoption of the recommendation of the sevenmember Judicial Commission of inquiry set up by Justice

Josephine Tuktur, the acting Chief Judge of the state.The commission, with Mr Usman Dangiri as Chairman found Abubakar guilty of gross misconduct one of which was diversion of MDG projects to Yagai Academy, a private school allegedly owned by him.

Honour killing family sentenced to death


IVE members of a family in India have been sentenced to death for the torture and "brutal" murder of a young couple in a so-called "honour killing" two years ago. The parents, uncle, aunt and brother of Asha, a 19-year-old girl killed along with her boyfriend Yogesh in 2010, were all condemned to hang by judge Ramesh Kumar in Delhi on Friday. Yogesh, a taxi driver, wanted to marry Asha, the daughter of a vegetable vendor, but the girl's family was against the alliance because the boy belonged to a lower caste. India has seen an upsurge in such killings, which mainly involve young couples who marry outside their caste or against their relatives' wishes and are murdered to protect what is seen as the family's

reputation and pride. Autopsy reports revealed the young couple had been tied with ropes, beaten with metal pipes and electrocuted, local media reports said. "Medical examination had revealed that the two had died due to the thermoelectric shock from repeated electrocution," said the Indian Express newspaper. Public prosecutor PK Verma told AFP: "All the five persons were handed the death penalty because it was proved beyond doubt that they tortured and killed the young boy and girl just because they were in love and wanted to marry. "The murders were brutal and deliberate." The convicted family can appeal against the decision in a higher court.

Man strangles former wife, takes body on European 'trip' New CDS,Service chiefs appointed Rear Admiral D.J Ezeoba while Air Vice Marshall A.S. Badeh is the new Chief of Air Staff The incumbent Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. O.A. Ihejirika (Abia) retains his position.

man jilted by his ex-wife first kidnapped and then strangled her. He then took her body on a trip across Europe by road and finally dumped it in a shallow grave, a court in London has heard. Lithuanian-born Rimas Venclovas, 47, was outraged to find his ex-wife Vitalija Baliutaviciene, 29, had a new lover in Britain, Daily Mail reported. Baliutaviciene's body was found



THE WEEK IN QUOTES · "The type of leaders the Nigerian system is designed to throw up are leaders that are not minded to bring any benefit or hope to the ordinary people,but rather there to protect the archaic system and maintain the nebulous and dysfunctional status quo." —Mr.Femi Fani-Kayode, ex-minister of aviation on Nigeria at 52 years.

· "In Nigeria,we love to speak big grammar on issues that may not have any bearing with poverty and the enormous challenges facing us such as unemployment,insecurity and others." —Governor Ibrahim Shema of Katsina State on the fresh controversy over on-shore/off-shore oil dichotomy.

· "Last year,the governor of my state spent over 150 per cent on security.He over spent the security vote.It was the only budget he implemented by more than 100 per cent.All the other ones were below 30 per cent." —Alhaji Aminu Masari,former Speaker ,House of Representatives on how governors rule their states.



Ex-Philippine president Arroyo arrested


Romney able to keep the focus on jobs and the sorry state of the US economy and Obama forced to defend his record. Romney himself had earlier portrayed the debates as a possible key turning point in the election and analysts had described it in recent days as a make-orbreak moment for Romney, who trails Obama not only in national opinion surveys, but in the handful of key states that will determine the election's outcome.




Romney 'wins' first presidential debate against Obama EPUBLICAN presidential hopeful Mitt Romney has been declared the clear winner of Wednesday's first campaign debate as President Barack Obama stopped short of offensive attacks against his challenger. Some 67 per cent of those surveyed by CNN in a "flash poll" after the debate declared Romney the winner. Obama's re-election prospects on Intrade, an online prediction market, also fell from 74 per cent to 66 per cent. The 90-minute debate in Denver, Colorado saw

by a mushroom-picker in a remote wood in western Poland two months after she went missing from her home in the British cathedral city of Peterborough, last August. Prosecutors told the Old Bailey that Venclovas meticulously plotted his ex-wife's abduction after learning about her new life, applying for a fake passport and using the lover's credit card so that he wouldn't get caught.


ORMER Philippine President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo has been placed under arrest at a hospital on plunder charges for allegedly conspiring to loot nearly nine million dollars in state lottery funds. A Philippine anti-graft court ordered on Thursday the arrest of the former president for allegedly stealing the funds meant for charity programmes, and spending the money on election campaigns. Police arrested Arroyo, 65, at a military hospital in Manila where she had checked in on Thursday morning for treatment for a long-term spinal illness. "Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo is now under the custody and detention of the P h i l i p p i n e National Police," S e n i o r Superintendent N a p o l e o n Coronel told r e p o r t e r s outside the hospital shortly after she was arrested.

CRISIS Kazakhstan's longest serving prime minister resigns


HE prime minister of Kazakhstan has resigned after leading the oil-rich Central Asian nation for five years and shepherding its economy through the global financial crisis. Karim Massimov's resignation was accepted on Monday by a presidential decree, which also resulted in his appointment to the position of head of President Nursultan Nazarbayev's administration. Massimov was the longest-serving head of government in the former Soviet nation's history and is widely respected in the international investor community. Real power in Kazakhstan is held by Nazarbayev, but Massimov has been seen as an influential and competent steward of economic affairs. His resignation had been expected, and is widely seen as an attempt by Nazarbayev to consolidate power.




Man, 35 abducted on his wedding day in Kwara From Adekunle Jimoh, Ilorin


HE mysterious disappearance of a-35-yearold fuel attendant, Zubair , Fulani, is still a riddle to his family members in Ilorin, the Kwara State capital. Zubair , a Fulani, was allegedly abducted by yet-to-be identified men on September 28th, 2012, the day of his wedding and kept in their custody for about five days. The wedding preparation of Zubair Aliyu Balogun and his heartthrob had commenced on Thursday, September 27, only for him to disappear Friday morning and his whereabouts remained unknown for five days. However, the groom was later found naked by an Okada man in a bush at KanguOlunlade Village, Ilorin where he was purportedly dumped by his abductors early Tuesday morning, October 2, 2012. He was then taken to a private hospital by his people when they converged at where he was found. The victim is still recuperating at an undisclosed hospital. The matter was reported at the “A” Division police station in Ilorin, where investigations was said to have commenced to unravel the mystery behind the five-day abduction and torture of Zubair. The head of BalogunFulani family, Alhaji Mahmud Durosinlorun Atiku Fulani, said there was no suspicion prior to the abduction, vowing that the family would use all legal and spiritual means to fish out the perpetrators.

Teachers are agents of change, says Amosun

Kwara police arrest Corps member, two others for alleged robbery O


HE Kwara State Police command has arrested three men, including a member of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) serving in the state, for alleged robbery. In her reaction to the development, the Kwara State coordinator of NYSC, Mrs. Ezinne Ezekwe, said she could not confirm the incident. According to her,”I am expecting the Police Commissioner to brief me of the incident officially before I can make any comment.” The spokesman of the state’s command, Olufemi

From Adekunle Jimoh, Ilorin

Fabode ,however confirmed the incident, adding that investigation had commenced on the incident. It was gathered that the corper and his gang allegedly stormed a big shop along Taiwo, Ilorin, where all manners of expensive phones and accessories are being sold and held customers and the staff at gunpoint. He said that “in the operations that lasted about 30 minutes, the armed robbers forcefully collected money, phones and accessories from

customers and the staff running into millions of naira and bolted away in a waiting Toyota salon car. “Luck, however, ran out for them when the victims, that is the customers and the staff raised an alarm of the robbery incident, pointing at the runaway car that was taking the suspects away. Passers-by and other enraged sympathisers gave the suspects hot chase and nabbed them in a traffic holdup. “The suspects, having noticed that the game was up, jumped out of the vehicle and

took to their heels before they were nabbed and taken to ‘A’ Division police station. “It was at the ‘A’ Division Police Station that the suspects were handed over to members of Special Anti Robbery Squad, who during interrogation discovered that the leader of the armed robbery gang is a youth corper. “It was revealed that the suspect was posted to serve in Ira, a small town near Igbaja in IrepodunLocal Government Area of the state from where he and two others came to rob at the state capital.”

PPA Boss: Reject 2013 budget if...


HE National Chairman of Progressive Peoples Alliance (PPA), Chief Sam Nkire, has called on the Nigerian public to reject any state or federal government’s budget proposal for 2013 which projects a recurrent expenditure that is more than capital expenditure. Chief Nkire said the poor state of public utilities in the country had made it imperative for Nigerians to begin to ask questions about how the tax payer’s money as well as the nation’s resources are spent or managed. The PPA boss said for some time now, government at the federal, state and local government levels had failed in their primary duty of providing the basic needs of the people due to excessive emphasis on the comfort of government officials, which is funded by uncontrolled recurrent expenditure. He regretted that the few public servants in Nigeria made adequate provision for their welfare and comfort by budgeting nearly 75 percent for their food, travel, shelter, healthcare, and security while over 150 million Nigerians are left to fend for themselves. According to him, “There was no reason why cost of running government should be higher than cost of providing infrastructure and taking care of the welfare of the people.” The PPA National Chairman advised the federal and state governments to ensure that this trend is reversed in order to tackle the problems of poor road network, unemployment, disease and insecurity in Nigeria.

GUN State governor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun, has described teachers as potent agents of social change, noting that the Nigerian society places on them an onerous responsibility of nurturing a future for it. He stated that it was in the light of this that his administration placed a high premium on their conditions of service. He therefore informed the teachers of the plan of his government to grant seven percent Teachers’ Peculiar Allowance as additional motivation. The governor spoke at the MKO Abiola Stadium, Abeokuta, during the 2012 World Teachers’ Day. While explaining that his administration had kept his promises to workers by implementing the National Minimum Wage, paying their salaries as and when due and creating a work-friendly environment for them, the governor lamented the occasional delay being experienced by primary school teachers in receiving their monthly pay, blaming it on the laws guiding payment of salaries of primary school teachers and the menace of ghost workers in the local councils. Amosun stated that the ongoing biometric data capturing exercise will rid the system of ghost workers. He said his government had approved the promotion of 4,951 teaching and nonteaching staff, which was due since 2009 and 2010. “I understand your letters of promotion are ready and that some of you have even received them,” he said.

Flood cuts off East-West Road

•From left: Wife of late Chief Lateef Adegbite, Modinat, wife of Lagos State Governor, Abimbola Fashola, daughters of late Adegbite, Aisa, Jemeelat, and son, Ahmed, at the 7-day Fidau Prayer for late Adegbite at the Ake Palace in Abeokuta, yesterday Photo: NAN

Tight security for Plateau bye-election


HERE was water-tight security in Jos and environs yesterday as voters filed out to perform their civic duty in the bye-election meant to elect replacement for the vacant seat of Plateau North in the National assembly. The tight security, according to the state police commissioner, Emmanuel Dipo Ayeni, was to ensure total compliance with the order banning vehicle movement during the election. He also said the restriction of movement was to prevent rigging of the election. The only vehicle Seen on the streets in all the six local governments of the zone were those of security agencies, electoral officials and media personnel The election was generally peaceful though the turn out of voters was low in the morning. It was observed, however that voters later trooped out later in the afternoon to cast their votes. While six parties, Action Congress of Nigeria, People’s Democratic Party, All Progressive Grand Alliance, Democratic People’s Party, All Nigeria People’s Party and the Labour Party fielded candidates for the senatorial election, only three of them presented candidates for the House of Assembly election. The two seats became vacant on July 8 following the death of Senator Gyang Dantong and former Majority Leader, Mr. Gyang Fulani, while

From Yusufu Aminu Idegu, Jos

leading a funeral procession for victims of sectarian clashes between the Berom farmers and Fulani herdsmen. The PDP candidate, Mr. Gyang Pwajok, voted at his Angwan Dalyop Polling Unit in Alikazaure Ward of Jos North, while Governor Jonah Jang, cast his vote in his Ladura Du Ward of Jos South. Speaking variously after


casting their votes, Jang and Pwajok expressed satisfaction at the voter turnout in their units. The ACN candidate, Mr. Yusufu Pam, who voted at the Gold and Base Polling Unit, urged the electorate to come out and exercise their civic right as remaining at home would not help their cause. He expressed optimism at the outcome of the election, adding, however, that as a good

sportsman, he was ready to accept the wishes of the people if the election was conducted in a free and fair manner. The Resident Electoral Commissioner, Habuh Zarma, earlier promised that the election would be free and fair. As at the time of filing this report, votes were being collated in some local governments while voting was still going in some other polling units.


HE East-West road has been cut into two at the Bolu-Angiama-Umeh stretch of the road in Delta State by the Forcadoes Rivers. The development has forced many travellers to find alternatives or abandon their trips altogether. Some of such stranded travellers are said to be fleeing from the flood which has devastated their homes in Bayelsa and Delta States. Scores of the travellers have taken up temporary shelter at an abandoned petrol station in Patani while others remain by the roadside with some of their belongings.

Police begin manhunt for killers of UNIPORT students

OLICE in Rivers State are on the trail of the mob that beat to death four male students: Ugonna, Ilyod, Tekana and Chidiaka of the University of Port Harcourt (UNIPORT) at the weekend. They were set ablaze after putting car tyres on their necks, for allegedly stealing mobile phones and laptops. The incident took place at Aluu community, beside UNIPORT, where most of the students who could not secure accommodation on the campus reside, making the area to be thickly populated, with a lot of commercial and social activities always going on there. Aluu is off the ever-busy East-West Road, currently being dualised by the Federal Government. The residents of the ancient communityare now fleeing to avoid indiscriminate arrest by policemen, especially

•Residents flee Aluu community From Bisi Olaniyi, Port Harcourt

of innocent persons. The Rivers Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Ben Ugwuegbulam, a Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP), in a telephone interview confirmed that four persons were killed on Friday at Aluu for stealing, but could not ascertain if the victims were students of UNIPORT or not. He also stated that the Rivers State Police Command was investigating the unfortunate incident, while warning residents of the state against taking the law into their own hands. He urged members of the public to always make useful information about criminals in their midst available to the command, while assuring that their identities would be well

protected. It was learnt that the owners of the expensive mobile phones, including BlackBerry and the laptops at the off-campus hostel, expressed displeasure to their friends over the loss of the items, thereby raising the alarm, which attracted indigenes of Aluu and passersby. The missing phones and laptops were later traced to the killed students, who were young men in their early 20s, and were said to have denied knowledge of the development, without being given the opportunity to defend themselves, before they were beaten to death and set ablaze by the angry mob. The Deputy Registrar, Information, Dr. Williams Wodi, when contacted yesterday said: “Right now, I am not in a posi-

tion to confirm to you that the alleged victims are bona fide students of UNIPORT, as is being widely speculated. “The alleged incident took place at Aluu Village, about two kilometres outside our main campus. We do not have responsibility for security in Aluu communities, which are beyond our jurisdiction. The relevant security outfits are working with our security department to establish the true identities of the victims and what actually transpired on the day of the reported incident.” The Vice-Chancellor of UNIPORT, Prof. Joseph Ajienka, who is marking two years in office, has been waging war against lawlessness, cultism and criminality at the Federal Government-owned higher institution, thereby restoring peace, with law and order ensured.



Mubi massacre and the limits of outrage Festus Eriye

Nigeria’s descent into depravity is a challenge that is now beyond President Goodluck Jonathan and the security agencies

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HE cowards who slaughtered fortysomething unarmed students of the Federal Polytechnic, Mubi on Independence Day are yet to openly own up to their devilish act. So we may never get a full understanding of their motivations and agenda. Still, there are all kinds of pointers that put the usual suspects in the frame. All the circumstantial evidence suggests that this was something sectarian and political; it was not just the arbitrary act of rival school gangs fighting over turf or girls. This was cold, calculated and pre-meditated. The guns started blazing at 10.30pm the previous night and did not stop booming until 3.00am the next morning. For over four and a half hours more than 40 young Nigerians were methodically executed in their hostel for reasons they will never know. The act was also deeply symbolic. The killers could have carried out their deadly spree on any other day, but they chose to do so on the day Nigeria celebrates her independence as a nation. If you think that is coincidental, then think again. The timing is important because beyond damaging national cohesion, it presents a public relations conundrum for a beleaguered government which rose out of the ashes of one of the bitterest political contests in Nigeria’s history. The attackers asked for the identity of their victims before dispatching them to untimely death. Other eyewitnesses said they called the victims by name and then killed them. Clairvoyance is not required to conclude that the identification parade would have been to sort out Christian from Muslim, Northerner from Southerner. Several months ago in the same Adamawa State, gunmen burst into some churches and slaughtered over 20 worshippers. Other innocents would be killed where they gathered to grieve their loss. A couple of weeks ago in Bauchi, it was another tale of unprovoked deadly assault against a hapless community. What should be evident by now – going back to similar attacks in places like Bayero University, Kano – is that certain people and forces are hell-bent on pushing our buttons until we slide into an undeclared sectarian and ethnic war. Their strategy is clear. If past outrages have not done the trick, then up the scale by killing more people in the kind of numbers that will generate global headlines, and stir even the most stable and sober to reach for their sword. What is especially depressing about the Mubi massacre is not just the sheer scale of its savagery, but its exposure of the helplessness of the authorities to guarantee the security of citizens. Senate President, David Mark, captured this reality vividly in his reaction to the killings. He said: “Today it is Mubi, who knows where and when it will happen in the next town. How many policemen can you put in various universities and polytechnic in this country? It is absolutely impossible. There is no way; it does not matter how well you fund the security agencies.”

•Federal Polytechnic students, Mubi, rushing to leave the campus

One of the reasons the execution-style killings have riveted attention is because the victims are students. But the reality of present day Nigeria is that in the North-East and other parts of the north, the mindless slaughter of scores of people has been a weekly occurrence. We are only shocked when the body count is especially high. Let’s forget the hollow posturing: what is happening is a national crisis that is far beyond the capacity of President Goodluck Jonathan and the security agencies to manage. The almost daily killings give the lie to claims by the president and other officials at different international fora that government is containing the Boko Haram insurgency and the freelance killings. Mubi is evidence that this crisis will not be addressed by merely reshuffling the leadership of the national security apparatus. General Andrew Azazi was fired as National Security Adviser (NSA) and Colonel Sambo Dasuki hired in his stead, but the switch has not made one jot of a difference. Dasuki has shown that he’s no magician. It’s not as if the agencies have not had their moments. But where they make some progress like in the slaying of the Boko Haram spokesman, Abu Qaqa, that gain is immediately cancelled out by a statement-making type of Mubi massacre. After each of these bestial outings, Jonathan and the National Assembly leadership serve up the usual chorus of outrage. This time, for added effect, Mark has called for the death penalty for perpetrators of such heinous crimes. Unfortunately, knee-jerk reactions based on the emotions of the moment will not solve anything. The death penalty is a dubious solution that has not stopped serial killers in America, or mass murderers whether in Rwanda or the Balkans. Nigeria needs help and Jonathan even more so. He needs to call an urgent national gathering, or family meeting, that transcends political affiliations and ethnic origins. Such a gathering is imperative to hammer out a national consensus that certain

“Knee-jerk reactions based on the emotions of the moment will not solve anything. The death penalty is a dubious solution that has not stopped serial killers in America, or mass murderers whether in Rwanda or the Balkans”

things like the mass murder of innocents are unacceptable. We need to agree that our differences can be resolved without recourse to senseless slaughter. We need to agree that we can pursue our political aspirations within the ambit of law, without recourse to the bloodshed blackmail. We have to agree that that all who will not subscribe to this national compact become our common enemy who should be fought and defeated by all means necessary. Without such a consensus, no president whether of minority or majority ethnic group origin - will be able to deal with what is happening right now. Without such a deal, we will never have enough men under arms or in our security agencies, to thwart evil men when they decide to embark on killing sprees in deserted outposts of our vast land.

Shades of Imelda Marcos


T’S not every day that the much-maligned Nigeria Police gets to celebrate success. Its Kano State command was in good spirits the other day as they announced that after one year tracking a five-man gang of robbers who had the temerity to scavenge for loot at the Nassarawa Quarters, Kano home of late Head of State, Gen. Sani Abacha, they finally snared their quarry. At the celebratory press conference, they paraded a haul of jewellery worth N30 million said to belong to Abacha’s widow, Maryam. While we rejoice with the former First Lady on the recovery of her bling, we doubt whether the bandits dispossessed madam of all of her expensive metal – causing us to suspect there must be more gold left behind in ‘Fort Knox.’ That is another way of saying that madam’s overall jewellery inventory is abysmally undervalued at N30 million. It just reminds you of Imelda, spouse of the late, unlamented dictator of The Philippines, Ferdinand Marcos. After her husband fell from power, hungry hordes overran the Malacanang presidential palace in Manila to get a first hand view of the opulence in which the erstwhile first couple lived. And they got more than they bargained for. In the lady’s closet they found over three thousand shoes! How many shoes would one woman wear in a life time? In the end her closet became a museum for pieces from past seasons. We must equally wonder about the mindset that can amass over N30 million in jewelry, when just down the street thousands of almajiri are dying of hunger. Vanity of vanities; all is vanity!

Sanusi’s unkind cut By Oluwagbemiga Olakunle


COULDN’T believe the story credited to the Central Bank governor- Mallam Lamido Sanusi in our print media until I listened to his comments as reported by the channels news on Wednesday, September 12. I could hear him saying that President Olusegun Obasanjo was a very bad economist even though the retired general could be a good farmer. While one is not trying to hold brief for the former president, the CBN governor should be reminded that it was this same “ very bad economist “ that assembled a good economist management team that bailed out the nation from the Paris club and settled the accumulated debts. The leadership of this same “ very bad economist “ went on to facilitate Millennium Development Goals [MDGs] and other development programmes that are still being supported by international donor agencies. Interestingly, included in the economic management team of this “ very bad economist” are renowned economists and world bankers like Prof. Charles Soludo, Dr. (Mrs) Oby Ezekwezeli and Dr. Ngozi Okonjo- Iweala- the current Coordinating Minister of the Economy(CME) and the Minister of Finance who served in the same capacity under President Olusegun Obasanjo –the very bad economist in Sanusi’s own views Instead of resulting to name-calling which is very unethical and alien to African culture, the CBN governor should convince the public on the propriety of the proposed new naira note with his own facts and figures. Why should Sanusi always be in a mood to force down his monetary policies on the public instead of sensitizing/convincing us on the desirability of his new policies? Unknown to him, his combative attitudes is giving bad image to the administration of his principal- President Goodluck Jonathan. The same fifth columnists who advised Jonathan to change the name of UNILAG to MAULAG are at work again using the CBN governor as their arrow-head. They want the President to operate like a military dictator in a democratic setting which is making him to lose touch with the realities on ground which the likes of Doyin Okupe and Sanusi Lamido are trying to keep away from him. President Jonathan is therefore advised to read the handwriting on the wall and beware of controversial public figures around him who are specialists in making him to have headon-collisions with either the National Assembly or the electorates .Meanwhile, one hopes somebody who really loves Mr. President should please call the CBN governor to order and advise him on the code of conduct that guides the running of his office as the CBN governor while he allows Drs Doyin Okupe and Reuben Abati to do their work with some level of decorum. I hope Mallam Sanusi Lamido will not be like the case of ‘omode to lenu agba nrun’ (i.e. a youngster who accuses an elder of having a mouth odour). A word they say is enough for the wise .Sanusi should have tried to puncture the economic gains of President Olusegun Obasanjo’s 8 years in office. The former president claimed that he left about $40b (forty billion dollars) in our foreign reserves and some deposits in our excess crude accounts for the raining day when he was leaving the office. But he (President Obasanjo) lamented that those accounts have been depleted now by the successive administrations who claim that the raining day is already here .The CBN governor should have faulted Obasanjo’s administration score-cards instead of resulting to namecalling and mudslinging. Not even Dr. Doyin Okupe who was hired to do the hack man’s job for this administration has the temerity and audacity to call President Obasanjo names. Sanusi should please try and recognise the boundary between mudslinging and the defence of government policies. The federal government’s decision to put on-hold and possibly lay to rest the controversies surrounding the restructuring of naira and especially the printing of the ¦ 5000 naira note is a very welcomed and timely decision .Meanwhile, it may be expedient for President Goodluck Jonathan to advise the CBN governor to turn in his letter of resignation so that he (Sanusi) can have enough time to prepare himself ahead of 2015 general elections. Oluwagbemiga Olakunle is General Secretary, National Prayer Movement


Ogochukwu Ikeje 08084235961 (SMS only)

S Nigerians, we sure have our worries, but don’t we, on occasion, wonder why we are so blessed? Everywhere else, the earth quakes, sinking homes, burying and mangling private and public facilities, to say nothing of the precious lives lost. Asians, Europeans, South and Central Americans count their costs now and again whenever the earth moves. Our continent and country are largely spared. Hurricanes ravage the United States so often that the Americans have since learned to differentiate one from another simply by giving them human names. That was why we heard of Hurricane Katrina. We are spared of such Katrinas. Volcanoes are rare in Africa, unheard of in Nigeria, but erupt in Europe, spewing hot ash and rocks, and causing not a little palaver. We are also blessed in that area, aren’t we? There are other natural disasters from which the good Lord has insulated us. But since last month, Nigerians have felt the power of water, life’s otherwise precious liquid. No one is comfortable with that encounter. A persistent downpour swelled the Niger River and other rivers and tributaries, causing them to overflow their banks. The result has been utter devastation. Over two million people were reported to be displaced in Kogi and Edo states. Hundreds of houses collapsed under the impact of water. Displaced residents found temporary perching spots on the rooftops of surviving houses, waiting to be evacuated. Women clutched their babies, hoping something would happen to put them out of their



Comment & Analysis

Life after the floods Today’s remedial action determines tomorrow’s well-being nightmare. In Delta and Anambra, misery was widespread, as homes and farmlands were washed away. In Ndokwa-East, a council in Delta, reports suggest no flood ever wreaked so much havoc in its history. It left about 22 clans under water, their people in sheer torment, displaced and with little to eat and little to wear, in makeshift shelters, and unsure of what tomorrow would bring. In Onuaboh, for instance, a clan of three communities, namely, Umugwor, Umuoche and Umuazu, this year’s flooding will be a watershed. No dry grounds at all. Inyi, where I spent two formative years, is a vast body of water. 2012 will be the year of the Great Floods. Discounting the services of wall calendars, the year will help to set off one event from another. It is an unsavoury encounter with one of man’s most cherished resources. There has been some response from government. The Emmanuel Uduaghan

administration in Delta State has sent relief to the displaced residents, as have individuals and organisations. But there is need for more work. There is need for the authorities, including the federal government, to assess the situation and ascertain the magnitude of damage. Next, it will help to determine what assistance is required. Plus, no one should forget that whatever relief is sent should be appropriate, targeted and monitored. There are reasons for these suggestions. Disaster management can easily be bungled if not properly thought-out, just as relief efforts can be misapplied and wasted if not clearly conceived and monitored. If the right things are not done at the right time, people needing help become hopeless. And that deepens the initial crisis. For some of the flood victims, their plight has a traumatising impact. Their

“The victims need comprehensive relief consisting of, but not limited to, food, medicine, water, clothing, and, of course, sleeping places, till the water recedes. They will also be happy to see that assistance meant for them actually gets to them, and not to some opportunistic dealers or people far removed from the floods. But beyond all that, they need something permanent, something to start and sustain them after the great waters. They need cash to buy new seedlings and begin all over again”

farmlands may have been flooded in the past, but not their houses or entire communities, as is the case in Ndokwa-East and parts of Isoko in Delta State. These people are struggling with not just economic loss; they are also grappling with psychological shock and need help in that area as well. They need encouragement now, some sort of psychological therapy. They need comprehensive relief consisting of, but not limited to, food, medicine, water, clothing, and, of course, sleeping places, till the water recedes. They will also be happy to see that assistance meant for them actually gets to them, and not to some opportunistic dealers or people far removed from the floods. But beyond all that, they need something permanent, something to start and sustain them after the great waters. They need cash to buy new seedlings and begin all over again. It is in the interest of everyone if this crisis is well managed. For one, it will show that we can learn from past blunders in disaster management, and that our governments really care for the people they govern. No one should lose sight of the imperatives of mitigating the unpleasantness of life in a relief camp. Still, it must not be forgotten that tiding victims over the flood season is only one step, requiring another. That second step is even more fundamental. It should resolve the issues of life after the floods. What will the farmer-victims eat when the waters recede? And since these farmers also feed the society, what will we all eat when dry grounds appear? How these issues are resolved now will determine the quality of life after the floods.


Comment & Analysis


Total disconnect Suggesting that all is well with the country in his Independence Day speech, shows the President as not quite attuned to reality


IGERIANS must have resigned to the fact that President Goodluck Jonathan, much like others before him, is not given to making rousing speeches that move a people to reach for greater heights. Repeatedly, the president’s speeches have come flat like expired beer, with little vigour, candour or sound bites. Whereas the citizens are supposed to look forward to the Presidential Address on Independence Day, people hardly remember it these days, and when they listen, there is hardly anything to hold on to. If Nigerians thought President Jonathan and his people could not muster an exciting speech, they never reckoned that the day would come so soon when the address for such an auspicious occasion as the country’s independence celebration would be riddled with unverified points of fact, half truths and outright untruth. This last October 1st address was not only the limit of a poorly written speech, it also gave an eerie inkling as to how the Presidency works. Apart from poor craftsmanship, for an administration that has not managed any sector of the economy, the address sought to paint a rosy picture of the situation in the country. The President actually said that, “…our nation is indeed making progress.” He went on to point areas such as electoral reforms, power, oil and gas, job creation as among sectors that his administration has made improvements. If President Jonathan and his handlers had been a little more rigorous in managing the affairs of state, it would have occurred to them that there is really nothing to report whereupon they would channel their thoughts to other themes instead of a speech filled with spurious and unsubstantiated claims. One such claim about the government’s fight against corruption generated embarrassing opprobrium a few hours after the President delivered the speech, forcing aides to issue rebuttals. The address has claimed that,” we are fighting corruption in all facets of our economy, and we are succeeding.” It went further to quote Transparency International (TI) as rating Nigeria the second most improved in the effort to curb corruption. In response to an obvious falsehood, presidential aides


HE problem facing Nigeria as a nation and threatening its existence as one indivisible nation is nothing but greed and corruption. If I am saddled with the responsibility of drawing up an agenda for the country, I would list corruption as the only one. Asides from corruption, cultism is another big problem that has become worrisome to patriotic and well-meaning Nigerians owing to continued silence and pretence in the society. It is also high time all Nigerians both at home and abroad got hyped up to foresee the inherent dangers in allowing our society to continue to be a largely cult-driven one. There is no doubt that the forging of an egalitarian society will continue to be a day dream should concerted efforts not be made to say no to cultism in all ramifications in Nigeria. Now is the time for all Nigerians in positions of authority, especially the policy and decision makers, to come out openly to identify with the fight against cultism in the society by shunning membership of any secret cult. It is pertinent for all politicians irrespective of political affiliation to denounce their membership of any secret cult or association, as until this is done and addressed seriously, politics in our country will continue to be tagged, not only as a dirty game but a game

would bluster that they quoted a popular business paper which had made the initial error and which, having gone unchallenged, was merely a ‘notorious fact’. It was nothing terribly serious, they seem to suggest. But has corruption abated in Nigeria in the last two years? Not by any margin; in fact it has risen exponentially. The fuel subsidy scam which broke out last January has no comparison in Nigeria’s history. We see how the major anti-graft agency, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has come a cropper as it has been hijacked and seemingly clamped by the office of the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF). When last did the EFCC successfully prosecute anyone or put any corrupt official behind bars? What we hear daily is how cases are bungled as if by design, by senior EFCC lawyers draped in silk. Indeed, corruption has become Promethean in nature and the real wonder is that the President cannot feel the heave of this massive monster. The President said, “We have cleaned up our electoral process; our elections are now globally acclaimed to be free and fair. Nigeria is now on a higher pedestal regarding elections.” This assertion is very far from the truth as many Nigerians know. Elections in Nigeria are still haphazard and very dangerous venture and votes ordinarily do not count unless the entire nation’s army


•Editor Festus Eriye •Deputy Editor Olayinka Oyegbile •Associate Editors Taiwo Ogundipe Sam Egburonu

•Managing Director/ Editor-in-Chief Victor Ifijeh •Chairman, Editorial Board Sam Omatseye •General Editor Kunle Fagbemi


is mobilised to watch over the ballot. How can it be said that there is an electoral process when mere voter registration is still manual and subject to manipulation and abuse? Not even the report of President Jonathan’s electoral reform body (the Uwais panel) was implemented. The truth is, there is no electoral institution, or it is at best, weak and unsustainable. The President also remarked that, ‘particularly in the last two years, the Nigerian economy has done appreciably well despite the global financial crisis. Nigeria’s real Gross Domestic Product (GDP) has grown by 7.1 percent on average.” In the first place, the statistical basis of this supposed growth cannot be relied upon as the country’s data bases are weak, poorly managed and often applied dubiously. If indeed the country’s economy has been enjoying such growth rate, where is the result to show for it in real terms? Adjunct to the seeming phantom growth is the assertion that: “We have improved on our investment environment; more corporate bodies are investing in the Nigerian economy…Nigeria has become the preferred destination for investment in Africa.” The President’s speech also stated that the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) reported that 249 members joined the fold as at July this year. No proper time frame was stated. However, the Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA) said recently that between 2009 and 2011, about 800 companies closed shop because of increasingly unsustainable environment which includes poor power situation, energy crisis and government policy flip-flop. There are still no appreciable improvements in these regards. If indeed 249 firms set up shop in Nigeria recently, where are they? It is futile to go on point by point about this address. It is apparent that having not been able to record any tangible achievements in nearly one and half years, the President’s speech-writers, faced with a blank sheet and a blank situation, had to cobble up a speech anyway. We appreciate their dilemma. We urge the President to take it as a wake-up call. Let him focus and begin to deliver promptly on some of his promises. It will be another October 1st so soon. Let the President reconnect with the people.

Bad governance is Nigeria’s problem where cultists are seen as movers and shakers in party politics. It is high time the issue of cultism was addressed as a bane

to the emergence of an egalitarian society in Nigeria. There is no doubt the need for an attitudinal change, whereby religion in the country is being

used as a smokescreen to promote corruption and cultism. The million dollar question is: For how long shall we continue to chase the shadow

while leaving the substance of the problems facing us as a nation? Restructuring or balkanisation of Nigeria is not the problem but corruption

and cultism. Time will tell. Odunayo Joseph Mopa Kogi State

Thoughts on Ethiopia’s Boeing 787-800


IGERIANS recently hailed the historic landing of Ethiopia’s Boeing 787-800 in Lagos. This shows the benefit of good leadership. The Ethiopian leaders want the best for their people, they are not selfish, and they


O, who do we blame, and really is it a blame game or the scary realisation that we are just a nation run on auto-pilot, one for which after 52 years, we are still plagued largely by the same problems? We are 52, part of the country is in water. We are deep in flood and equally flooded on all fronts by corruption, mismanagement, maladministration and poor governance. Two months ago when parts of the Shendam/ Mikang axis and the southern part of Plateau were cut off from the north, it was just one of those rare occurrences. The city centre was next with scores of death; parts of Bauchi were not spared. But

are not the type of government which shares the common wealth of their people for their selfish interest. The late Prime Minister of the country, Mr Meles Zenawi, managed the wealth of the country well to the ben-

efit of all citizens; the result is what is manifesting now. Going by the recent history of the country which was presumed to be the poorest in Africa; famine-infested, and now a land flowing with milk and honey through selfless

service of good leaders. What can we say about Nigeria? Shameless giant of Africa. Our leaders, to borrow a biblical language are “prodigals”. All what our past leaders left behind has been destroyed by our present ones.

Nigeria and floods like all floods, all issues that have plagued us, with a wave of the hand, are confined to the bin of history. As said earlier, this is no blame game, NEMA has tried. In the face of tight budget, the agency resorted to big boats and canoes for the evacuation exercise, exhibiting ‘Nigerian promptness and expertise’ in the rescue efforts and relief distribution. But it smacks of selfishness that on the immediate, very little had been done as prevention, by a body responsible for combating these forces of nature. Lake Nyos is close to Nigeria, and sources say a 2005 UNDP report had predicted

that the dam was at “a point of potential collapse”, in fact, within 10 years it may collapse. Yet, after seven years, nothing has been done. Based on the report, financial losses estimated in billions of naira, comprising crops, residential and commercial structures, utilities and infrastructure, including roads and bridges and other services will occur. Although Lake Nyos is yet to collapse, when it does, all these predictions and others not known will occur. We are not only just faced with a bad case of flood, but possible outbreak of epidemics, it is so strange that with the level of devastation,

no national emergency was declared. Depending on whose figures, more than 30,000 people around the country are displaced, and stranded. Death toll now is over 500 people and it’s on the increase. No one really cares, and 52 years, no one cares. One cannot point to any very-quick-fix-it solution, drastic measure or long term plan. No one even understands how and why the dam was opened, causing the rise in water level in some states. I dare say government has failed. By Charles Dickson

Our common wealth is being mismanaged, with all the resources God in His infinite mercy bestowed on Nigeria as a country. We cannot make headway because of greed, corruption and selfish accumulation of unneeded properties. We find ourselves hiding our face in the comity of nations like someone with leprosy because of our many shortcomings. With all the wealth of Nigeria, we have no national carrier that we can call our own but Ethiopia which is not up to two states in Nigeria is performing a miracle of being the first country in Africa to purchase Boeing 787-800. Why are we blaming our sport men and women for claiming other countries as theirs when they can no longer bear the shame that is attached to the name of Nigeria? With all these problems, does any Nigerian have any sense of self esteem again? By Israel Oyegbile Sabo Tasha, Kaduna.



Ropo Sekoni ropo.sekoni


AST Sunday’s column concluded that our postmilitary governments have failed to revisit policies crafted by military dictators in their search for unity at all cost and without consideration for citizens’ rights and security. In addition, trustees of power since the transition to civil rule tend to be imitating military rulers in crafting low-wattage and high-verbiage policies that are likely, if not quickly nipped in the bud, to further endanger insecurity, increase inter-ethnic tension, and shrink citizens’ freedom. Some of such policies under consideration pertain to provisions in the constitution on when and how citizens can become indigenes (not residents) of communities other than those into which they and their parents are born. Another policy issue worth worrying about is creation of grazing corridors across the country for nomadic cattle breeders. Today’s piece will address principally these two issues. One thing that makes these two issues troubling is that the current civilian government is not genuinely interested in involving citizens directly in the making of the constitution that is to define and circumscribe their political and social life. Just like the military before it, the administration of President Jonathan is talking from both sides of its mouth regarding the place of citizens in the construction of the

Femi Orebe femi.orebe 08056504626 (sms only)



Comment & Analysis

HAVE had this running dialogue with my very good friend, Antony A. Sani, Publicity Secretary of the Arewa Consultative Forum (A C F) who sees any talk of regional economic integration or any effort at canvassing true federalism as nothing but a façade for ethnic nationalism that I could not but shout hurray when in recent times equally significant voices from the North have come out loudly in support of both. In an article: The State Of The Nigerian Nation, by Alhaji Ahmed Joda, and, also, by former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar as recently as at the ceremony of the award of the Leadership Governor of the Year by the LEADERSHIP newspapers at Abuja this past week, a ringing support was lent the drive towards true federalism which remains about the only panacea to our lingering problems as a country. Wrote Ahmed Joda: ‘Our country has passed through difficult times, including a civil war and has survived. We must not mistake the fact of our survival to anything such as military might. The truth is that we have survived because the ordinary Nigerian overwhelmingly desires to live together in one united country under some commonly acceptable arrangement. It is quite clear from all we are passing through and from all the political debates in which we have been engaged, that there is a sufficient body of opinion around the country that the present arrangements are not adequate and need to be discussed further.’ And in his opening remarks as Chairman of the 2012 Leadership Conference and Awards Ceremony at Abuja on Tues-

Revisiting our unification policies (3) It is illogical for an Igbo man or Fulani woman that does not speak Ijaw to lay claim to indigeneship of Ijawland constitution of their country. On one hand, the President said that he wants the process of constitution making to involve citizens. On the other, he affirms that it is the recommendations of a committee constituted by him that will produce a people’s constitution for the country. In other words, the president talks right on sovereignty of citizens but acts to avoid call for a national conference to create a democratic constitution. Our country may be taking a major but avoidable political risk if it chooses to legislate on the process of indigeneship in a multiethnic federation without involving citizens and ethnic nationalities in the process of making such determination. Similarly, any legislation regarding creating zones for cattle, goat, and pig farmers in different parts of the country is likely to lead to political disadvantage that may outweigh its economic advantage for any group. But let us, for the sake of argument, agree that the present National Assembly can legally perform the function of a constitutional conference and create whatever constitutional provisions it wishes, the dangers inherent in creating policies or constitutional provisions that legislate on indigeneship and trans-state grazing grounds for private farmers must not be discountenanced. It is important for policy makers not to confuse indigeneship with residency. The former is culturally

endowed while the latter is politically endowed. It is safer for policy makers to focus on requirements for residency than to attempt to legislate on the process of acquiring the status of indigene of ethnic communities. Our constitution needs to guarantee citizens’ freedom of movement. Regardless of where they live, citizens must enjoy at all times and in all places the right to vote and be voted for. In addition, Nigerian citizens that choose to live in communities or states other than the one into which they were born should have the right to do so guaranteed by our constitution. Such citizens must be protected against discrimination when they seek employment, rent or buy a house, enroll their dependents in schools. They must have the right to enjoy all social amenities provided in their community or state of residence. It must be added that such citizens are also obligated to pay taxes levied in their adopted communities and obey the laws created by such communities. The right of the community to determine how long a citizen must live before he or she can enjoy the privileges of residents should be respected by the constitution, but the federal government can recommend an upper ceiling to the number of years a citizen must live in another community before he or she becomes a full-fledged resident. This is how far a federal constitution can

go on guaranteeing citizens’ freedom of movement within the federation. Any attempt to legislate on the process of indigenization is a wild goose chase. Indigeneship is generally the end point of assimilation into another culture. While a citizen in a federation does not have to necessarily blend into the culture of any community he or she migrates to in order to enjoy the privileges of residency, he or she needs to be culturally assimilated before he or she can claim the status of an indigene. For example, the language that binds the various ethnic groups together in our country is English or a smattering or bastardization of it. On the other hand, individual ethnic communities exist and thrive on languages other than English. It is, therefore, illogical for an Igbo man or Fulani woman that does not speak Ijaw to lay claim to indigeneship of Ijawland, simply because he or she has chosen to migrate to an Ijaw community. It is also irrational for citizens who live in cultural enclaves such as Sabo in northern and southern Nigerian towns and villages to aspire to be recognized as indigenes of such towns and villages. Nigeria has enough problems with Bauchi and Plateau states regarding tension between those who claim to be indigenes and those in the process of transition to indigeneship. We need not multiply such tension by

nudging the country’s constitution in the direction of confusing the requirements for indigeneship with those for residency. Similarly, the call for creation of Grazing Zones across the federation for nomadic cattle farmers is fraught with more danger than can be readily observed. It is true that the country is already experiencing serious tension because of conflict between nomadic cattle farmers and plant growers in various parts of the country. But the solution to this problem is not to appropriate land from communities for the use of nomadic cattle farmers across the states. What is needed is for the government at all levels to provide facilities for transforming nomadic cattle farmers to sedentary farmers. Most of the countries that produce enough cattle for both domestic consumption and export do not rely on nomads. They adopt new scientific techniques in animal husbandry that make it possible for cattle and goat farmers to have a normal life that does not include following cattle or goats from one community to another. Just like nomadic education of the military era, creating grazing corridors for nomadic cattle farmers across the country is likely to fail to achieve the higher goal that should inform policy formulation: improvement of the quality of life of the citizen. What is needed is a policy that will modernize all forms of farming in the country and thus make the country competitive in all forms of agriculture. The United States, Argentina, Spain, Brazil, and many other countries are exporters of beef today, without having to rely on nomadic cattle farmers. Nigeria can also move to this level. To be continued

The increasing call for true federalism We have survived because the ordinary Nigerian overwhelmingly desires to live together in one united country under some commonly acceptable arrangement day, September 18, 2012, former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, not only called for the overhauling of Nigeria’s political structure in order to pave way for true federalism, he publicly regretted not supporting former Vice-President Alex Ekwueme’s call for the creation of six semi-autonomous regions. Said he: “Now, I realize that I should have supported him because our current federal structure is clearly not working. Dr Ekwueme obviously saw what some of us, with our civil war mindset, could not see at the time. There is indeed too much concentration of power and resources at the centre. And it is stifling our march to true greatness as a nation and threatening our unity because of all the abuses, inefficiencies, corruption and reactive tensions that it has been generating.” Without a doubt, the modus operandi towards achieving the desired goal has been as varied as there are calls for true federalism. While many have called for a Sovereign National Conference Alhaji Ahmed Joda apparently fears this model, believing it could be a recipe for disintegration. He was winsome enough, however, to concede that though such an outcome cannot be ruled out, the problems we face will not permit us to ignore the fact that we need to, and must, address these problems in order to safeguard our future either as one unit or under some other form of arrangement; concluding that it is much better to face the issues frontally, and to discuss them frankly in an open forum to come up with solutions that can ensure a peaceful existence for Nigeria. His preferred route is via a Constituent Assembly which he presents as follows:’ It appears that a likely more acceptable arrangement will be the establish-

ment of a Constituent Assembly, with a full mandate to comprehensively review the Constitution. The Constituent Assembly should be composed of an entirely elected membership. No representation should be permitted for special interests. The election should be on zero political party bases. Serving Members of any legislative body should not be eligible. Public Servants, who wish to serve, must resign from their offices. And it should be brought into being by an Act of the National Assembly.’ With this well reasoned position, and more, in support of true federalism, it will be apposite for opponents of true federalism to go back and relearn their history of Nigeria in order to understand how in the First Republic of 3 regions, regional autonomy galvanized overall national development through positive interregional competition. This, incidentally, was a theme that featured prominently in the Keynote Address by the Ekiti State Governor, Dr Kayode Fayemi, at the recent National Convention of Egbe Omo Yoruba (National Association of Yoruba Descendants in North America, held in Baltimore, Maryland. Happily, many of the things he recalled for the Western region, if not most, are replicated in the other regions of North and East. During that period, he said, Chief Obafemi Awolowo, as Premier, established the first TV and Radio Station in Sub-Saharan Africa, Cocoa House, Ibadan, he said, was built from revenues generated from cocoa and coffee just as the University of Ife, now Obafemi Awolowo University, was established from same sources. Under the auspices of one

of the best organized political parties in Africa, the Action Group, he continued, the government inaugurated the free primary education programme which, till today, has put the South-West in good stead politically, educationally and economically. It was in that era too, he reminisced, that such great institutions as the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, and the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, were established in the North and the East, respectively. However, on the contrary, the military with its command structure mindset came in 1966 and imposed a suffocating unitary system that had remained the bane of the country even where sustained struggle had rid Nigeria of military autocracy. His address then continued: ‘At independence in 1960, there was regional autonomy and each region had its own constitution. There were only about 26 items on the exclusive list of the Federal Government but today, there are 66 thereby nearly completely suffocating the states. Suddenly our unity in diversity was trampled upon by the military with far reaching consequences. For instance, he said, the totalitarian imposition and horrendous decimation of the Yoruba educational system, its economy and commerce let to many of the Yoruba intelligentsia leaving in doves to Europe and America; people who, today, cannot guarantee that their own children will ever return to Motherland, thus culturally, and otherwise, depleting the Yoruba’. If the above is true of the Yoruba, so also is it true of the 250 other ethnic groups in Nigeria. But there remains a window of

opportunity which is restructuring towards true federalism which will, once again, engender positive interregional competition and co-operation instead of our unedifying atavistic politics of who controls the unitarist federal government which, as Vice-President Atiku says, has proved thoroughly inefficient. Not surprising though, the opposition is totally unrelenting. Indeed, so enervating has opposition to regional integration and true federalism got that I once responded to Tony Sani as follows: ‘These things, Tony, are about perspectives, and a pointer o each group’s preferred developmental paradigm for the nation. For the status quoists, what is on ground is simply the best. But for majority Yoruba, stronger regional groupings will make for a much stronger, more peaceful and equitable country. I then said: ‘consider, for instance, that both the North-East and the North-West had each synergized earlier via integration and economic cooperation, both would probably have chalked up developments that would have made Boko Haram a most unlikely phenomenon. I intend, one day soon, to consider doing an article on your strongly held opposition to regional integration which I see as a fall out of the North’s fear of the unknown. Whilst not only Europe or the Americas are synergizing, I am perpetually astonished at your angst against mere regional economic cooperation as a way of maximizing development and catalyzing national development and cohesion’. Today, I feel certain that my friend will sooner than later bow to a development whose time has come and for which leading lights in the North are beginning to lend theirTHE support.

Comment & Analysis



Adegboyega 08054503906 (sms only)


RESIDENT Goodluck Jonathan must have been a generous lecturer in his years at the Rivers State College of Education. In spite of the abysmal performance of his government on many fronts, the President still gave himself a pass mark in what was supposed to be his speech on the occasion of the country’s 52nd Independence anniversary, last Monday. Indeed, his self-assessment reminds one of the lizard which falls from a wall and nods in selfappreciation of the ‘feat’ it has performed since the people around were not willing to acknowledge same. Let’s start with President Jonathan’s claim on security. Is it not surprising that the President who always tells Nigerians that his government is ‘on top of the security situation’ has not celebrated the last two Independence anniversaries at the usual Eagle Square in Abuja? His aides are never short of excuses; no matter how illogical. I am sure if you ask them why this is so, they would readily tell you that it is because the celebrations have to be low-key; or that the President could mark the anniversary anywhere in the country; he could even choose to do it in his native Otuoke in Bayelsa State. But low-key or high-key, Nigerians want to see their President in a place they can connect with, like the Eagle Square, and not Aso Rock where only the privileged people attend cocktail circuits on behalf of themselves. This year, the President still could not come out of the ‘rock’ to felicitate

Postscript, Unlimited! By

Oyinkan Medubi 08187172799 (SMS only)


APPY birthday, Nigeria. I am sending this birthday card to you a little late, but you know what they say, better late than never. Besides, I say that the best ones come last, e.g. wine at a party. I would have sent it earlier anyways, but I have been a little stumped on what exactly to write to cheer you up. What with all your dismal and chequered stories of wasted opportunities, generations and even until recently, lives, it’s all we can do to hang on to our seats in this cinema of horror passing horror! The years do add up, though don’t they, ol’ girl? Just look at you, all grown up at fifty-two! What, still growing? Well, it is a matter of perspective, isn’t it, to determine who is grown and who is growing. But, if you say you are still growing, then so be it. I mean, when a dog barks, who is to argue with him on what he means by it exactly? Look at me now, at your age, I considered myself all grown. How I knew? Well, by the time you begin to notice that when you look in the mirror, you see some smooth areas of your skin surrounded by many variegated lines of wrinkles; or when you walk with your eyes on the ground so that you don’t fall cause if you do, they are going to need a crane to pick you up; or when you bend down, you have to hold

Jonathan counts his blessings FG suffering from ‘celebrating too soon syndrome’ with his ‘fellow Nigerians’ on Independence Day; yet he was decked in full military ceremonial uniform. If someone promises to borrow one a dress, we have to assess what he is wearing before knowing whether to take him seriously or not. How does the President expect us to believe that his government is ‘on top of the security situation’ when he keeps waving to us from the safe confines of Aso Rock on Independence Day? Or, does he not give a damn about that, too? If he has security reports that ‘danger looms’ if he goes to Eagle Square for the event, what of the rest of us that are not privileged to have such reports? The best people to score the President on security are the relatives of the many victims of the Boko Haram crisis, as well as the over 40 students massacred in Mubi, Adamawa State, hours after the President had beaten his chest that the security situation was improving. Perhaps the most astonishing claim in the President’s October 1 speech was that alleging that Transparency International (TI) rated Nigeria second after the United States, in anti-corruption efforts. This claim has been denied by TI and it has remained a source of embarrassment to the country. What the TI alleged claim has shown, further still, is the

penchant of our government officials to do selective exposure, selective perception and selective retention. What do I mean? These people see only what they want to see. Take the case of the Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA) that recently alleged that some 800 companies closed down in the country between 2009 and 2011. The Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (apparently in cahoots with the Federal Government, countered this and said, rather, that some 249 more companies had registered to operate in the country. They did not specify any time frame. Interestingly, it was the MAN statistics that the President referred to in his speech. In other words, that is what constitutes sweet music to the government’s ears. But the government would be making a big mistake if it thinks that Nigerians believe such manipulations. Again, they are the ones whose children left schools years back and are still roaming the streets in spite of the Peoples Democratic Party’s (PDP) 13-year rule in the country. So, they are in a better position to know whose statistics to believe, NACCIMA’s or MAN’s. The truth of the matter is that the kind of indefensible claim that the government made about its anti-

“The truth of the matter is that the kind of indefensible claim that the government made about its anti-corruption efforts is the way Nigerian officials bandy figures and claims; they had been doing it within for long, it is only that the attempt to begin charity’ abroad this time has backfired”

corruption efforts is the way Nigerian officials bandy figures and claims; they had been doing it within for long, it is only that the attempt to begin‘charity’ abroad this time has backfired. They said they found the claim in Business Day newspaper. Would they have seen the report (even if published in the New York Times or Times of London) if it had been negative? Even if his aides had included such a claim in his speech, the President ought to have been truthful to himself to know that it is a bogus claim. Whatever his government is doing to fight corruption is based on pressure from Nigerians; it is not a thing the government initiated of its own volition. Perhaps the fuel subsidy scam is about the most important anti-corruption war the government is fighting, and we know what it took Nigerians to make the government rise to the occasion. Even then, we are not sure if there would be any gain from the efforts if the matter is left completely in the hands of the present government. TI is not a frivolous body, neither are its scores as cheap as the President’s when it comes to assessing countries’ corruption profiles. Rather than apologise for misleading the President, one of his aides who should know said we need not lose sleep over the claim and that “People should focus on the message, namely that a lot of progress has been made and is still being made to tackle corruption in the system”. In the first place, this is in itself debatable; to now claim that Nigeria is the second country after the United States, in anti-corruption efforts, is taking a silly joke too far. Isn’t there a gulf between sleep and death? Let


no one make any mistake about it, the so-called ‘notorious facts’ that the President relied on in his anti-corruption claim was just a reflection of the shoddy manner the country is being governed. When government is honouring people, the medals would not go round; the next year when the medals go round, other arrangements would be mismanaged and recipients would be stranded on arrival in Abuja for the ceremony. Another example is the Gross Domestic Product that the President claimed to be growing at 7.1 percent annually in spite of the global economic crisis. The question to ask is how does this translate to better life for Nigerians? Nigerians reject to live by figures alone; even though they know that that is what they are as far as their government is concerned – mere statistics! Also, President Jonathan’s claim on free and fair elections suffered from the same ‘celebrating too soon syndrome’. The President had a free election last year because Nigerians overwhelmingly voted for him. If there is another poll today, the story would be different because the result would be significantly different from last year’s. Perhaps the only area that the President could claim to be making some progress is power supply. In spite of the phenomenal increase in the amount of megawatts available in the country, it is yet too early to lay claim to any credit in this regard. Let’s see how far this can be sustained so that we don’t dance ourselves lame even though we may never have an opportunity of having the real dance later. All said, President Jonathan is not competent to count his blessings yet. He is too generous with marks in his self-assessment. What we need is an impartial external examiner in Nigerians to rate him appropriately. They are the beasts of burden carrying the brunt of the country’s many challenges.

Happy Birthday, dear ol’ girl! On this your birthday, dear girl, here’s my glass raised in a toast to you: may your story be long, your tail be short and your ending wear a hat your waist as you rise cause it’s all gone, baby gone; or when you keep telling people not to block your view by standing in front of the TV until someone tells you that there’s no one there, it’s your eyes that have gone rheumy; I say when these things begin to happen, you know you are going somewhere. Trust me, I know; at that age, there is no more ‘up’ to grow to, it’s only ‘down’ baby, down. You see, girl, fifty-two is the age when people tell you a lot of lies, and because you are so vulnerable, you believe them. People actually tell you that you are still looking good. Don’t be fooled, looks don’t mean a thing. Ask Marilyn Monroe, ask Jackie Kennedy, as me. Did you say I don’t belong in that group? Come now, is this the time to split fine hairs? Anyway, people will also tell you, how strong you are! Again, don’t be fooled; you know what support cast you have to walk with. It is just you and your doctor who both know how many pills you have to pop in a day: a blue one for your rheumatic joints, a white one for diabetes, a red one for hypertension and a green one to help you remember your spouse’s name each morning. Fifty-two is clearly also the age when you need a little help from your first child to assist you to remember the names of his/her siblings. Those ones don’t usually want anything to do with your fos-

silised self anyway. It is also the age when your friends have to gather and eat your cake for you not because you like to see them around you (truth is you would rather not) but because you cannot eat any of that cake yourself if your doctor has his way. Girl, at fifty-two, you have a lot to be thankful for; you get by with the help of your friends. Oh dear, you say you have not been very lucky with your own set of friends, associates, citizens, or well wishers, and there doesn’t appear to be much you can do about them? Yeah, I know, your friends appear to be killing you right now. I forget now which nineteenth century writer said he’d rather be killed by his friends (they love him) than his enemies (that would be adding insult to injury). So, consider yourself lucky. In all fairness, some of us have wept for you; some have cried out in your defence; some have even shed their blood on your behalf. But it just appears that those who have given up next to nothing for you are the ones bent on taking everything you have to give, not caring whether they destroy you in the process. They just don’t seem to like you. I know, I know, you have been given so much in trust for us. Look at the extremely vast areas of very, very arable land you have in your keeping; look at the very vast amounts of solid and liquid minerals you are holding for our collec-

tive benefits; look at the vast amounts of human resources you have placed at our disposal. Yet, we have all but ruined you for our selfish and parochial interests. You have certainly seen it all, haven’t you? You have been ruled by vagabonds and killers; you have accommodated innocent mass assisted suicide hysterics cum citizens who have turned killers; you have also tolerated the inactive ones who are neither killers in government nor are in citizens’ bombing squads but have done nothing to help you. You have regarded everything and everyone with your bemused, sad and lonely gaze with admirable equanimity. Yet, I know you’re bleeding for yourself and for us even if we cannot see your bleeding heart. Because we are so blind and blinkered, no one has lifted a hand in your favour. So now, you have no one to call your own. There are people in Nigeria, but no Nigerians! Many of the things we do appear to pitch us on your side. See how much religiosity there is in the land. The churches are all but filled with converts gyrating endlessly in ecstasy while the mosques are pelting out calls for prayers at all hours, both waking day and sleeping night. Yet, not one of us shows that we even know the Almighty in any remote sense. Our psyches have been collectively and unidirectionally tuned towards taking, taking, taking out of the na-

tional cake, even killing for it while giving nothing to you in return. We are all, to a man, on no one’s side but our own; and you are all alone. Actually, you are to blame, partially. You have given us this much really, without adding the necessary and commensurate intelligence that would enable us use all these effectively for the greater good. Look at so many other lands with no resources whatsoever, whether liquid or solid; just see how they are able to manage the only resource nature has given them, their brains. Why did you not cut us a large size of the stuff too, brains I mean? I am seeing that in the Nigerian, it would appear that the black man is really short on the stuff. This is why avowed killers are in government and people help themselves to government funds in amounts that rival the national budgets of some countries. Still wonder that a people can be so blessed and still be so stupid?! It is all your fault. In spite of all these though, ol’ girl, I don’t despair; you still have a fan club rooting for you. I believe your bones will still rise from the ashes to gloriousness. The path might be long, rough and stony but the light at the tunnel will continue to be a strong pull for you. On this your birthday, dear girl, here’s my glass raised in a toast to you: may your story be long, your tail be short and your ending wear a hat. Happy birthday ol’ girl!



Comment & Analysis

Understanding the Lagos Traffic Law E

XPECTEDLY, the Lagos Traffic Law, signed into law on August 2, 2012 by the Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babatunde Raji Fashola, SAN, has generated lots of controversies. While many see it as essential for the cleansing of the Transport sector, others see it as phony, unimplementable and high- handed. From the several debates on the law, it is obvious that the major reservation over it is its execution. The recent ‘arrest’ of two military personnel, by the Lagos State governor, for plying lanes dedicated to the Bus Rapid Transit, BRT, once again brought into the open the issue of gross disregard for traffic rules and regulations in the state. It is not a mere coincidence that on same day that the governor, nabbed the two soldiers, a commercial bus driver running against traffic killed an official of the Lagos State Traffic Management Agency, LASTMA. Similarly, Mustapha Adeleke, a LASTMA official, was recently crushed to death at his duty post in Oke- Afa, Ejigbo, by a commercial bus driver, who was driving against traffic. Recent information from the Federal Road Safety Corps, FRSC, reveals a 20 percent increase in road accidents in the country with Lagos accounting for the largest proportion. Sadly, human factor accounts for a greater percentage of road accidents in the country. In Lagos, for instance, motorists flout traffic laws at will as ‘Danfo’ ‘Molue’ and ‘Okada’drivers are notorious for contravening traffic laws. They drive against traffic, carry more than the required number of passengers, stop to pick passengers at un-designated places, over speed among many others appalling acts.

It is, therefore, vital that every effort by the government to sanitize the sector should be encouraged by all stakeholders. This is why it is essential that the people give the traffic law a chance. Nevertheless, it is important to examine some aspects of the law that have been subjected to unending public scrutiny. To start with, let us consider the aspect that recommends a test for the alcohol level of wayward motorists. Taking into consideration the way many commercial drivers operate, it might be true that some of them function under the influence of alcohol, and perhaps other harder stuffs. This is partly responsible for the reckless manner they drive, putting the lives of commuters and others in avoidable danger. Hence, it is hard to fault this aspect of the law since its primary aim is to ensure that only sane men sit behind the wheels on our roads. For the effectiveness of this law, an aspect of the law has placed a restriction on the open sale of alcoholic drinks in traffic and in motor parks. Another part of the law that needs appropriate analysis is the one that outlaws smoking, eating and phone calls while driving. It is difficult to see the rationale behind any opposition against this particular portion of the law. For one, driving is a matter of life and death. It is, therefore, a matter of necessity that those who engage in it give it utmost concentration. It is important that motorists desist, as much as possible, from getting involved in actions that could distract them while driving. A moment loss of concentration, while driving, could lead to unimaginable losses. Evidence abounds of road accidents that were sparked off by motorists’ lack of concentration. Another section of the new law that requires accurate analysis is the one

Tayo Ogunbiyi

that deals with driving against traffic popularly known as ‘one-way’ driving. Considering the level of havoc that driving against traffic has caused in the state, this section of the law is definitely spot on. It will be recalled that a LASTMA officer was recently crushed to death by a motorist driving against traffic along the Lekki-Epe expressway. Sadly, the culprit revealed, upon interrogation, that most of those that stay along the axis drive against traffic. Consequently, the law against ‘one way’ driving is a welcome development. However, there is need to ensure that uniformed men, government officials and other VIPs who indulge in this practice are dealt with in accordance to the spirit of the law. Interestingly, the state governor doesn’t drive against traffic. Critics of the law have equally insinuated that it was inspired by the drive to generate revenue. However, in the words of the state governor “no amount of fines that we get can deliver on the economic prosperity that is possible if the Lagos traffic works’. Indeed, government makes more money when sanity prevails on the road. Ordinarily, the fear of paying the required fines should be enough for motorists to abide by the law. Perhaps, one issue that has been of major concern to most critics of the law is enforcement. Many fear that enforcing officers may turn it into a money making enterprise. Given the fact that there will always be bad eggs in any organization, there is fear that the powers conferred on LASTMA may be abused by some of its corrupt and overzealous officials. However, this is not enough justification to condemn the

law in its entirety. Must the society be turned into a lawless jungle because we don’t have the ‘right’ men to enforce our laws? There is hardly any institution in the country that is wholly filled with the supposed ‘right’ men. Interestingly, the state government has demonstrated sufficient resolve to deal accordingly with erring government officials. It has dismissed and suspended some while it has instituted judicial procedure leading to the incarceration of others. Nevertheless, the competence of traffic personnel to enforce the law need to be improved upon continuously while appropriate use of technology should be incorporated into enforcing the law. It is cheering to note that LASTMA officials are currently tapping into technology while discharging their duties. An example is the use of Auto Inspector- handheld devices which enable traffic officers to track information about any car registered in Lagos and its owner. On its part, government has been unrelenting in its effort to transform the transport sector. It has expanded and rehabilitated more roads while more inner roads are being opened up across the state. These are going alongside the provision of street lights, lane markings and provision of more bus terminals as well as the expansion of BRT operation. Presently, it has completed the design of the expansion of the Mile 12Ikorodu road while contractors have been mobilized to continue work on the ambitious Lagos- Badagry expressway’s redevelopment incorporating 10 lanes on either side of the road, light rail, BRT lanes among others . Equally, water transportation is also progressing as the dredging and

signalization of the 32km water route from Badore to Ijede has been completed. Similarly, the Badore and Ikorodu terminals have virtually been completed except for minor finishing works . Today, from one operation route in 2007, water transport is running on 12 routes (Ikorodu-Marina/ CMS; Marina – Mile 2; Ikorodu – Addax/Falomo; Ikorodu-Ebute Ero; Marina-Ijegun Egba-Ebute-Ojo; Mile 2 – Marina/CMS-Mekwen-Falomo; Badore – Ijede; Badore – Five Cowries; Marina – Oworonshonki; Ebute Ojo – Ijegun Egba; Oworonshonki – Five Cowries and Baiyeku – Langbasa) under the supervision of Lagos State Waterways Authority while passenger traffic has grown to over 1 million passengers per month and it is increasing. Put alongside the laudable Lagos Traffic Radio innovation, introduction of BRT as well as other modern taxi schemes, establishment of Lagos Drivers’ Institute (with offices across the state’s five divisions), the sanitation of Oshodi and Apapa axis, junctions improvement programme, continuous clean-up of highways, continuous rehabilitation of roads, massive redevelopment of Business Districts among others, it will be unfair to accuse the state government of inactivity in respect of the transport sector. The primary goal of government’s massive investment in the sector is to ensure free flow of traffic, road safety and social economic development. Therefore, the urgent task before everyone is to give the new law a chance since it is mainly enacted to protect the people. Ogunbiyi is of the Ministry of Information and Strategy, Alausa, Ikeja.

Where were Aba lawyers during Osisikanku era ?


NE of the most common types of bill boards along highways in the United States of America is that of lawyers soliciting for clients. Things like: “Got injury at work? Call now…”; “Your spouse a bully? Help is here. Call this number now”, etc etc. On a recent visit there, I was so fascinated by one of such ads that I soon saw myself reflecting over the plight of lawyers at home, I mean in Nigeria: Why are they not allowed to advertise their services in Nigeria. Although they (lawyers) are not the only professionals affected (doctors, accountants, architects etc are also affected by it), I believe that the time has come for the law so prohibiting them to be reviewed. Not being in any of the affected professions, I have never bothered to search the relevant law(s) for details but methinks that it is high time lawyers in particular are allowed to advertise their services in Nigeria. It will serve at least two major purposes. It will, while widening the ambience of human rights enforcement, create more opportunities for more lawyers to practice their trade; beyond the current situation where majority are clientless and have to resort to politics and journalism. But a lay fellow like me recently explained that allowing lawyers to advertise their services in Nigeria will be too chaotic because, according to him, a typical Nigerian lawyer is so brilliant and restless that he could conjure even the most ordinary issue as actionable. That was a few days before I came across a newspaper report on the recent public protest by lawyers living in Aba, Abia state over the state of roads in the city and my mind quickly went back to that friend’s description of the Nigerian lawyer: “… brilliant and restless”. Of course, to be both brilliant and restless is a rare and desirable attribute but it is doubtful if such qualities lend themselves to the type

of thing the Aba lawyers did. One, street protests are too ordinary to be an attractive option for a group of professionals who are held in such awe. Being “brilliant” and “restless” means to be able to think so fast ahead of others and come up with uncommon ideas on how to get about issues. Street protests by lawyers certainly do not show that the Aba lawyers gave a thought over the matter for which they resorted to physical agitation. Aba is a place generally known for being populated chiefly by traders and artisans. This description is not in a derogatory sense (after all, Aba used to be the “Japan of Africa”) but there is no doubt that an “Aba lawyer” would command a lot of respect in a city where majority of the inhabitants are believed to be too busy to think. The market stalls and workshops are obviously too noisy for the operatives in them to think. To be sure, a lot of gist take place in the markets but they are what they are: market place talks; very cacophonic and with the present state of things in Nigeria, talks in market places are laced entirely with angry vituperations especially against those in authority. It is for this reasons that some of us argue that it would be tragic for our society if everybody becomes an angry placard – carrying street protester. Agreed, the anger in the land is justified, the grievances are legitimate but there are those who can afford to remain emotionally stable or at least pretend to be so while the collective search for solutions to the myriad of problems continues. In my view, men of the wig and gown, whether they reside in Aba, Asokoro or Ajegunle, belong to this category of citizens. My view on the Aba lawyers’ street protest over the conditions of roads in Aba is that the lawyers ended up trivialising a rather serious matter. The mere fact that law-

By Ethelbert Okere

yers, dressed in their professional regalia, were on the streets protesting would immediately create the impression that it was a road show which idea most probably did not originate from among the lawyers themselves. True or false, the effect of such a perception is to make the incident appear politically motivated. And with that, the lawyers failed woefully to make an impression. Interestingly, one of the placards had by the lawyers read: “Lawyers Are Asking For Good Governance”. Really? How can lawyers be asking for “good governance” through street protest? If men of the wig and gown with all the privileges and prerogatives available to them resort to mere street protests in a bid to secure “good governance”, what would the traders in Ariara Market do? Yes, “good governance” but how would a road-show that lasted for less than hour bring about “good governance”? In my younger days, we used to be fond of this aphorism of the pregnant sheep which usually goes into labour the moment she sights another giving birth and end up giving birth to a premature baby: (Aturu hu na ibe ya na amu nwa, omuo nke n’akaghi aka). Where were the Aba lawyers when their counterparts in Lagos literally brought the entire Nigeria to its knees with its “occupy Nigeria” rally last January? The protest was led mostly by lawyers and we saw the result. Igbos living in the South East geopolitical zone similarly expect lawyers living among them to spearhead agitations for good governance but certainly not through such half-hearted shows as we witnessed in Aba recently. Elsewhere, lawyers call press conferences during which they articulate views on what they expect those in authority should do to serve the people well. In the South East, lawyers

carry placards like first year university students and Okada riders. In the South East, “brilliant” lawyers are becoming extinct because majority have abandoned their Chambers to seek for offices in political parties. As a matter of fact, it was the timing of the (Aba lawyers) protest that made it even more ridiculous. It makes no sense to protest over roads during the rainy season because that is when the roads are most susceptible to damage by the elements; more so in a year when the climate has been exceedingly inclement. But even more puzzling is the seeming mix up in the targeted authorities. According to the solo (only one newspaper in the country reported the incident) newspaper report, the chairman of the Aba branch of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), one Barrister Charles Eduzor had, during the protest “…called on the federal and state governments to repair the Roads in Aba”. According to the report, the protest “started from Aba High Court through Aba-Owerri road to PortHarcourt-Enugu Expressway”. Every Nigerian, including those living outside Aba, know that the Aba-Owerri Road and the Port-Harcourt – Enugu Expressway are federal roads. Yet, the same report had that, “as they marched, the lawyers sang anti Governor Theodore Orji songs…” Down the report, another official of the NBA was quoted as follows: “We need a responsive government in Abia which knows the needs of the people and come to their aid…”. We can see how apt the parable of the pregnant sheep is here. Who was their main target: the federal government or the state government? While nobody can, of course, argue that the learned gentlemen cannot tackle the Abia State government over the issue, my view is that mixing up a representation to both the federal and the state governments is a sign of

unseriousness. I have nothing against challenging Governor T.A. Orji on this particular issue or any other one for that matter but I believe that there are enough evidence of “criminal” federal neglect in the area that a group of people as privileged as lawyers should have used that occasion to a maximum effect: To lend their big voices to the perfidy of the federal authorities against the people of the area. That is why I expressed the view earlier in this article that the resort by lawyers to mere street protests trivialises the matter. The comments made by some of the officials of the Aba NBA are too ordinary to come from lawyers who are supposed to be fire brands. If Aba lawyers could not articulate a vehement and punchy response to the incredible conditions of the “Abia part of the Enugu-Port Harcourt Expressway”, then it is most unfortunate. It is not the traders in Ariaria Market that will do that. Which means that the learned gentlemen failed the people of Abia State in general and residents of Aba in particular in using their privileged position to draw the attention of the authorities to their plight. And I am aware that that has not been the standard among the people of Abia State. As I noted earlier, it is quite legitimate to talk about good governance but I believe that such a privileged group as lawyers cannot afford to look at the issue (of good governance) from such a narrow perspective as the Aba lawyers did during their ‘famous’ protest. Time was when the entire Aba was overtaken by kidnappers. Where were the Aba lawyers then? How many protests did they stage on the streets of Abia? The mere fact that Governor T.A. Orji was able to route the criminals in the state, thereby creating a safe atmosphere for people to come out to protest over their rights is, for me, a rare incidence of “good governance.”





Kuye, Daniel, Kashamu vs Obasanjo The age-long saying that a house divided against itself cannot stand is the new mantra of warring stakeholders in the Ogun State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) who are now prepared to forge a new front. But for how long will this truce last? In this report, Remi Adelowo writes on the new developments and undercurrents in Ogun PDP


ENUE of the meeting was the Victoria Garden City (VGC) of the former Minister of Commerce, Jubril Martins Kuye. Day was September 29, 2012. Present were chieftains of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Ogun State chapter, who included the host, Kuye, a former member of the House of Representatives, Dave Salako and former Senator, Lekan Mustapha. They are all members of the JMK group in Ogun State PDP. On hand to represent the Adebayo Dayo-led state executive council of the party is the party’s major financier in the state, Prince Buruji Kashamu, the founder of Omo-Ilu group, which controls the PDP state executive council. The reconciliatory meeting, which commenced at 11am, lasted for over four hours. Though none of those at the meeting agreed to speak to The Nation, a source in the Omo-Ilu group disclosed some of the resolutions reached by the hitherto warring groups. He said, “It was a frank session where everyone spoke his mind. At the end, the JMK group agreed to work with Dayo-led PDP state executive council, which it noted was democratically elected at a congress supervised by officials from the national headquarters of the party and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). “The meeting also resolved that the Dayo-led council should be allowed to function unhindered, while admonishing all party members to shun all acts capable of further polarising the party.” Before the truce Until the meeting held, the JMK and the Omo-Ilu group did not see eye to eye. For the leading figures in the JMK group, Kashamu, the major backer of the Dayoled council, was ‘a usurper who came to destroy PDP with his wealth.” Before the 2011 PDP governorship primary which eventually produced Gen. Tunji Olurin, the two groups worked at cross purposes, each plotting to promote its interests. But following entreaties from Olurin, the Omo-Ilu group decided to work with the PDP candidate, who as part of the agreements reached by the two camps, picked Tunde Oladunjoye, a mem-





ber of the Omo-Ilu, as his running mate. And things fall apart Shortly after the 2011 governorship election where Olurin lost to the candidate of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), the problem in the Olurin camp, which was backed by the former president, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, was due to what a source attributed to “irreconcilable differences.” The bone of contention, according to sources, was the desire of the former president to create a parallel state executive council of the party headed by Senator Dipo Odujinrin. Realising that the former president could have his way based on his influence in the party at the national level, the Dayo-led council filed a suit at the Federal High Court, Lagos, which ruled that the “congress that produced it was democratically conducted and as such properly constituted.” The same verdict was also passed by an Ogun State High Court in Abeokuta. With all efforts by Kashamu to convince the former president to support the Dayoled council coming to naught, the Omo-Ilu group, according to sources, decided to take its destiny into its own hands. The source added, “majority of PDP members are not happy with Obasanjo for not playing a father figure in the party; rather than uniting the party, he is dividing it by supporting Odujinrin whose council is not recognised by PDP members or the law courts.” The return of Gbenga Daniel A few days after the meeting held at Kuye’s Lagos residence, another enlarged meeting was convened at Ijebu Igbo, to formally inform party members of the reconciliation. This time around, another faction of the former Governor of Ogun State, Otunba Gbenga Daniel, was conspicuously present. This came as a surprise to many close watchers of the state politics. Daniel and Kashamu, many recall, were close political allies until things went awry allegedly due to the machinations of certain close aides of the former governor, who were allegedly suspicious of Kashamu’s growing influence in Ogun PDP. Kashamu’s political organisation, Omo

Ilu, was initially known as OGD-Omo-Ilu, a clear proof of the duo’s closeness when the going was good. But the relationship was not to last long after the former governor allegedly accused Kashamu of plotting to hijack the PDP structures in the state from him. The former governor, sources alleged, felt uncomfortable with Kashamu’s immense generousity, a trait that was said to have endeared him to party members in the Ogun State. In an attempt to rein in Kashamu, the former governor was alleged to have advised him to disband the Omo-Ilu group and fuse it into his (Daniel’s) political family, the OGD group. Kashamu reportedly turned down the request. At this point, the duo parted ways. Following the failure to ensure the emergence of its preferred candidate, Gboyega Isiaka, as the governorship candidate of the PDP in the 2011 general elections, Daniel’s political group, floated the Peoples Party of Nigeria (PPN) under which platform Isiaka contested the elections but still lost. After losing out in the PDP power play and unsure of the future of PPN, Daniel, according to sources, has come to the realisation that he needs the PDP more than the party needs him. This reality was said to have compelled him to make peace with Kashamu, who is now alleged to be a major force in Ogun PDP. But in order not to make the former governor lose face completely and in deference to his

status, stakeholders at the Ijebu Igbo meeting resolved to make him and Kashamu the state party leaders in Ogun State. The plot against OBJ For Daniel, Kuye and Kashamu, one major issue that is alleged to be their unifying force is demystifying the status of Obasanjo in the Ogun State PDP and by extension the state politics. Sources disclosed that these men believe that now is the time to hijack Ogun PDP from OBJ’s stranglehold rather than wait till close to the 2015 elections. Also for other stakeholders in the party, there is a general belief that the former president has not been fair to loyal party members who have stood with it through thick and thin. A party member puts the frustration of his colleagues this way: “nobody is happy that the former president did not recommend any of us for ministerial appointment and rather nominated two non-members, Ambassador Olugbenga Ashiru and Dr. Akinwunmi Adesina.” Will the truce last? In spite of the truce agreed upon by Daniel, Kuye and Kashamu, there are, however, strong indications that the varied interests of the individuals in the rundown to the 2015 polls may constitute a stumbling block in the search of a lasting peace in the Ogun PDP.



Almost two years before the end of Governor Peter Obi’s tenure, the race over his successor has begun in earnest, reports Remi Adelowo




HE political scene in Anambra State seems quiet on the surface. But that may just be a façade after all if the intense jostling presently going on underground over who takes over the Government House in Awka in 2014 is anything to go by. The stakes are indeed high. For the incumbent governor, Mr. Peter Obi, nothing short of having his anointed candidate as his successor would be good enough. Some weeks back, the revered Obi of Onitsha, Igwe Alfred Nnaemeka Achebe, had, during a visit to his palace by the governor, reportedly said that Obi deserves to have a major say on who succeeds him in 2014. But for other stakeholders in the state, both within the ruling All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) and opposition parties, the traditional ruler may just be playing to the gallery. The governor, they have resolved, must be stopped on his track before he ‘foists’ his anointed candidate as the next governor of the state. Elected on the platform of APGA, Obi got into office in 2006 in a blaze of glory. For over three years, he was in and out of courts to retrieve his mandate from Dr. Chris Ngige, the then candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), who was declared winner of the 2003 Anambra governorship election by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). His tenure was briefly terminated in 2007 when the Maurice Iwu-led INEC organised another election, which produced Dr. Andy Uba, the former Special Assistant on



2014: Battle for Anambra governorship race begins Domestic Affairs to former President Olusegun Obasanjo, as winner. Following the intervention of the Supreme Court at the request of Obi, who claimed that his tenure started on the day he was sworn into office, Uba entered the Guinness Book of Records as the first elected governor in Nigeria who lasted in office for only two weeks. Obi’s alleged ‘sins’ Sources alleged that soon after Obi became entrenched in office, he fell out with majority of APGA chieftains and ‘foot soldiers’ who assisted him during the election and the struggle to reclaim his mandate in the law courts. Obi, his critics alleged, refused to appoint APGA members into his cabinet, preferring non-members not known in the party. This development was reportedly brought to the knowledge of the former leader of APGA, late Dim Emeka Odumegwu-Ojukwu, who allegedly prevailed on the governor to redress the situation. But Obi, now elected for a second term in 2014, allegedly reneged on the agreement. Prior to his second term election, the governor had fallen out with the pioneer National Chairman of APGA, Chief Chekwas Okorie, who had accused him of alleged dictatorial tendencies and failure to fund the party. The Nation gathered that the treatment meted to Okorie left APGA badly fractured, with many of its members decamping to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN). The party has not recovered ever since. That APGA has lost steam in

the last five years is evident in the strong showing of the ACN and the PDP both at the 2010 and the 2011 general elections. Presently, out of the three senatorial seats in the state, PDP has two senatorsAndy Uba and Mrs. Margery Okadigbo, while ACN has one in the person of Ngige. Battle for APGA ticket With the personality crisis between Obi and the current National Chairman of APGA, Chief Mike Umeh yet unresolved, there are strong indications that the party may face the next governorship election as a divided house, according to sources in the party. But the question of who wins the party’s governorship ticket for the 2014 election appears to be the major concern today. Unconfirmed reports indicate that Obi is allegedly looking beyond the party to choose a candidate. And if feelers in the state are anything to go by, the Chairman/CEO, Capital Oil and Gas, Chief Ifeanyi Ubah, may get the governor’s nod for the ticket. Other candidates in contention Other notable personalities alleged to have serious interest in the race include former Minister of Information, Professor Dora Akunyuli and a member of the House of Representatives, Mrs. Uche Ekwunife. Akunyuli, who lost the Anambra Central Senatorial Seat to Chris Ngige in last year’s general elections, is not giving up on her political career, according to a source close to her. The Nation gathered that the former Director-General, National Agency for Foods and Drugs Administration and



Control (NAFDAC) now spends more time at her hometown, Agulu, in an attempt to consolidate grassroots support. However, another source disclosed that it is very unlikely that Akunyuli will contest against Ubah, whom she is quite close to if the latter shows interest in the race. Ubah, according to the source, is a close family friend of the Akunyulis. Ekwunife, who is serving a second term at the National Assembly, is said to have an outside chance to win the APGA ticket in spite of her close political ties with the governor. Another candidate, whose name is being mentioned in whispers within the Anambra political circles, is Chief Chuma Nzeribe, who lost the Anambra South Senatorial election to Andy Uba last year. Who wins PDP ticket? Though serving his first term in the Senate, Andy Uba is still said to nurse a burning ambition to rule Anambra State. Alleged to have a deep pocket to prosecute the campaign, Uba, according to insiders, has in the last one year been working behind the scene to actualise his dream. “The bitter experience he had in 2007, when he served as governor for two weeks, has not discouraged him,” said a source close to the former presidential aide. The major challenge Uba may face, according to sources is likely to be from forces loyal to President Goodluck Jonathan, who is alleged to have frosty relationship with exPresident Olusegun Obasanjo, widely acknowledged as Uba’s godfather. But despite the fact that the Anambra State chapter of the PDP is controlled by supporters of Uba, sources revealed that many of the top party members are not rooting for Uba’s candidature. Some members of this independent group are instead canvassing for the drafting of former Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria, Professor Chukwuma Soludo, who was the party’s candidate in the 2010 governorship election, into the race. “The snag in the proposal is that Soludo is allegedly wary of committing his time and resources to another energy-sapping campaign”, said a source who added, “The man (Soludo) was betrayed by many PDP members both at the state and the national level. He wants to be given solid assurances before he throws his hat into the


ring again.” Also set for the PDP governorship battle is Lagos-based businessman and philanthropist, Dr. Obinna Uzor, who contested for the ticket in 2003 and 2007. ACN not left out He personifies the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) in Anambra State. Across the state, Chris Ngige’s image looms large. His entry into ACN from the PDP has made the party a force to reckon with in Anambra State politics. In a recent interview, the firstterm senator pooh-poohed the agitation of some stakeholders on the need for a power shift to Anambra North senatorial zone, which has not produced a democraticallyelected governor of the state since its inception in 1991. Ngige had stated that since indigenes of the zone had contested for the governorship seat with people from other zones in previous occasions, it is only through a democratic process that the next governor of the state will emerge and not through a zoning formula. This statement, some analysts contend, is an indication that Ngige may contest the governorship race for the third time. As the countdown to the 2014 election begins, nothing for now looks certain on who takes over the Anambra Government House from Mr. Peter Obi.



My ordeal at the hands of Abacha —Aborisade

Dr. Bunmi Aborisade, a journalist and academic, came into limelight during the June 12 struggle, when, as the editor and co-publisher of June 12 magazine, he was arrested severally and detained. He later fled Nigeria to Ghana in 1997 but was arrested by the Rawlings government, ready to be deported back to Nigeria before the American Embassy in Ghana intervened and relocated him to the USA in 1999. Bunmi, who has lived in exile in the United States since then and only returned to Nigeria last month to take up appointment as a Senior Lecturer at Afe Babalola University, Ado Ekiti, relives his experience in this interview with Sam Egburonu. Excerpts


OUR incarceration in Nigeria and Ghana during the 1990s is part of the story of June I2 struggle. But Nigerians may not have known all that happened. Can you tell them more? The story of my arrest here in Nigeria during the June 12 struggle and while in exile in Ghana is a long one which I have reserved for my book coming out soon. Although my ordeals during the June 12 struggle in Nigeria and while in exile in Ghana have been widely reported in the local and international media, there are still some untold stories in the book. As you may have known, it all started with the June 12 Magazine (which I published with some friends) which gave a hard time to the Abacha Junta. I was arrested and detained at three different locations-Ikeja Millitary Cantonment, Directorate of Military Intelligence and the office of State Security Service (SSS). After my release, the military boys descended on the newspapers that carried the story of my ordeal while in prison. So, with the assistance of friends, I left Nigeria for Ghana on October 15, 1996. While in Ghana, I worked for the Independent newspaper owned by the President of West African Journalists Association, Ambassador Kabral BlayAmihere, who ensured that Nigerian journalists seeking refuge in Ghana had a voice in their local media and internationally. Then, we formed the Nigerian Journalists in Exile to continue the struggle back home and I was made the President. Many Nigerian journalists then saw Ghana as a safe route to travel overseas and sneak back into Nigeria. It was a little difficult to continue the struggle while in Ghana, but we


were encouraged by our comrades in the struggle in Nigeria and London who were in touch with us to boost our morals. For example, Senator Femi Ojudu and Wale Adeoye were always around to update us about the struggle back home since the use of the Internet was not that popular. Dr. Kayode Fayemi (Now Governor of Ekiti State) who was then wanted by the Abacha regime and Makin Soyinka whose father was on Abacha’s hit list, visited us from London a number of times. However, my story changed when I was arrested by the Rawlings regime on May 27, 1998 and was given ultimatum to leave the country. So, with the intervention of the American Embassy in Ghana and the US-based Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), I was relocated to the United States. You were arrested in Nigeria, you fled


ripples Marwa under pressure F

ORMER Military Administra tor of Lagos State, Ambassa dor Buba Marwa, is under intense pressure to return to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Ripples can reveal. The former Nigeria High Commissioner to South •Marwa Africa was a PDP stalwart until he decamped to the CPC, on which platform he contested for the Adamawa governorship in 2011 and lost to the PDP candidate, Muritala Nyako. In the last six months, some powerful interests in government have called on Marwa to return to the PDP, but sources disclosed that some of his closest political associates are still saying that on no account would he return to the party now or in the nearest future.

to Ghana and you were arrested again before you left for the United States. While in the US, your mother, who was in politics in Ekiti State, was bathed with acid and she died. How were you able to cope with the pains? If I tell you I know how I was able to cope, I must be lying. But I believe the Lord is my strength. Remember everything did not happen at the same time, it happened over a period of about 10 years. So, I took every situation as it came. The most painful of them all was the incidence of my mother which happened on December 10, 2002 during the regime of Governor Niyi Adebayo in Ekiti State. Because of my mother’s support for Governor Adebayo when she was the woman leader of AD in Ekiti State, some wicked politicians attacked her with acid and she died some months after. That was an incidence I will never forget. I first read it on the internet and I later confirmed it from the Guardian correspondence in North America, Pastor Laolu Akande. She died on March 2, 2003 and I was devastated when Governor Adebayo broke the news to me over the phone. I had to leave the USA for Nigeria for the burial. Since then, we (family and •Continued on Page 22

What next for Gershom Bassey?


NTIL recently, when the Gover nor of Cross River State, Senator Liyel •Bassey Imoke, declared that his successor in 2015 will come from the Northern Senatorial Zone of the state, not a few people believed that Mr. Gershom Bassey, the Chairman of the state water board was the governor-in-waiting. Imoke, his predecessor, Donald Duke and Bassey are the troika, who, before the return of civil rule in 1999, allegedly formulated a blueprint, which contains a 24-year developmental roadmap for the state. The document also reportedly contains a political succession strategy whereby each of the three men will rule the state for two terms. With Duke having completed his terms in 2007 and Imoke presently running his course until 2015, Bassey before now, was widely acknowledged as the heir-apparent just waiting to be crowned. But that assumption may have gone up in smoke if Imoke’s comments were anything to go by. So, the big question being asked by many stakeholders in the state presently is: what next for Gershom Bassey?


Political Politics turf

with Bolade Omonijo

Ondo election: What about the running mates?


HE only major item on the national political calendar at the moment is the Ondo governorship election scheduled for October 20. Mini, mega and grand rallies have been held by the three major political parties in all parts of the state and the atmosphere has been charged in the past two weeks. So far, it is good. It is bringing out the beauty of democracy. In my view, the fact that there is a real contest has enthroned the electorate and crowned them as kings. Each man or woman holds the key to his or her fortunes in the next four years. Following the campaigns as I have in the past week, issues have managed to come through the strong thicket of abuses and character assassination, threats and barefaced lies. At least, with respect to the Action Congress of Nigeria and the Peoples Democratic Party, solid promises have been made. It has been a little more difficult for the Labour Party that produced the incumbent because what the people want from the governor is an account of his stewardship, not fresh pledges. The people want to know what he did with what was handed him in 2009. The ACN candidate, Mr. Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, has promised to take care of the aged and the youth. He has promised to create jobs for 30,000 youths within his first 100 days in office as well as pay the aged some stipend monthly. This is already the case in Ekiti and Osun States. It was an issue during the campaign in Lagos State and may yet be embraced in the other states controlled by the ACN. A lot, too, has been said about the candidates. Olusola Oke of the PDP was national legal adviser of his party. To that extent, and given his previous appointment by the Agagu administration as chairman of the state Oil Producing Areas Development Commission, he is not new on the political terrain. Unfortunately, he too has a baggage as a prominent face of a government deemed to have failed; one that lost the mandate of the people. When he campaigns about performance, he is immediately reminded that he was once there. Mimiko is hailed as the iroko of Ondo politics. He has been part of all administrations since the still-born Third Republic. It is difficult to hear him truthfully label any of the previous governments as non-performing. He has therefore limited his campaign to emotive issues. He has left the substance to others. Very little attention has been paid to the running mates. In most cases, deputies, whether at the federal or state levels, are regarded as spare tyres. They only come into reckoning when the principals are not available. Even at that, whenever the chief executive has to step aside for a while, he prefers to transfer de facto power to the Secretary to the Government. It is the tragedy of a nation at sea. In the forthcoming poll, the running mate for the ACN is Dr. Paul Akintelure, proprietor of the Broad Hospitals, Lagos. He is an unassuming man and one would need only a few minutes with him to discover his depth and warmth, and what value he could add to the Akeredolu administration, if elected. His sojourn in the world of politics has been short, but eventful and impactful. There is also Saka Lawal in the shadow of Oke. Shortly after studying History at the University of Lagos, he went into the world of chasing contracts and trading. His active participation in partisan politics cannot be traced beyond the Mimiko government. He was one of the pillars behind the emergence of the Ondo governor and was rewarded with appointment as Special Adviser, Special Duties. Prior to that, he had been heavily involved in bidding and winning contracts in Lagos. It was not surprising that he, along the line, as election approached, defected to the ACN and immediately thought he deserved to have the governorship ticket. No sooner was he denied the ticket than he moved over to a PDP he had denounced. He has been in the three parties, all in search of prominence. An Akoko man who had campaigned on the basis that the district deserves the governorship, he has settled for the number two position without offering an explanation. On basis of political participation and experience, Olanusi Ali is the clear leader. He was the state chairman of the PDP and jumped ship with MImiko. He has been silent and cannot be said to have made any contribution to running the state. He has the least educational qualification and may not fit the bill of a man who could complement a governor or succeed him in case the unexpected happens. As the Goodluck Jonathan case has shown, at a time that the governorship candidates are on the spot, there is a need to evaluate the running mates. Akintelure, as a professional, a man who has been steadfast in his political party and appears to have the confidence of party leaders and his principal, may be the best of the pack. He is not the only doctor to have ventured into the political terrain and made a success of it. Che Guevara and Agostinho Neto were notable doctors who fought for the people. In Nigeria, many, especially in the East, would remember the contributions of Akanu Ibiam and Michael Okpara in building the region. A ticket of a legal giant- a Senior Advocate of Nigeria and former President of the Nigerian Bar Association and a successful doctor and medical director could breathe life into the ailing structure of a potentially prosperous state.




As former governor Orji Uzor Kalu’s new group, Njiko Igbo, formerly flags off an intensive search for Igbo unity over 2015 presidential election, Associate Editor, Sam Egburonu, examines the factors that the group would ultimately confront.


ORMER Governor of Abia State, Dr. Orji Kalu’s recent clamour for the unity of Ndigbo before the 2015 presidential election is understandably causing ripples in the politics of the Igbo race as interested observers and stakeholders are wondering if he has what it takes to lead the race in their quest for power in 2015. Kalu, an old timer in the search for presidential crown, who has been off limelight since his last effort to rejoin the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) was scuttled, raised the ante recently, when he began secret consultations with political leaders in the SouthEast zone since late last year. Perhaps because of the scandalous fate of his last political party and the final outcome of his grave face-off with his estranged political son, Governor Theodore Orji of Abia State, many dismissed the ability of the former governor and therefore concluded that his meetings could at best be aimed at reconciliations with his former political associates. His new scheme however became clearer recently, when he came up with the new group, Njiko Igbo (Igbo Unity), whose activities point to a larger political ambition. Beyond calculated moves to secretly sensitize grassroots political stakeholders in Abia State, a project The Nation learnt is not directly handled by Kalu or any of his known associates, the group has set its eyes to other states in the geo-political zone and beyond. For example, before the well reported meetings, early in the week, with some top leaders in Anambra State, including the Obi of Onitsha, Igwe Alfred Achebe, he had met and consulted with other traditional leaders outside the South-East zone, including the Ooni of Ife, Oba Okunade Sjuade, a development that supports the view that the new moves were calculated to boost his presidential ambition in 2015. In the parley with some leaders in Onitsha for example, Kalu did not hide the

2015 Presidency: How far can Kalu go? 2015 agenda as he admitted that the primary objective of the meeting was to unite all Igbo groups “for the major tasks ahead, including the 2015 presidential election.” He appealed to the Obi of Onitsha, to get involved in the project to unite the Igbos, saying, “My message is Igbo unity (Njiko Igbo). We are not preventing other Igbo groups like MASSOB, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Aka-Ikenga, among others, from carrying out their own objectives. “We do not belong to any political party; what we are doing is to unite Ndigbo (the Igbo’s) and make them a bundle of broom,” he said. One of his current associates, Senator Chris Anyanwu, was more explicit over the group’s primary agenda when she said, “Ndigbo needs someone who could champion Igbo unity successfully, concluding that the former Abia State governor had been found to be suitable to play the role. •Kalu For this reason, Anyanwu said, Kalu had been called upon to lead a movement to get an Igbo President come 2015. Can Kalu fit the bill? Asked whether Orji Uzor Kalu has the capacity to lead Ndigbo’s campaign for the 2015 presidential ticket, Dr Dozie Ikedife, the immediate past president general of Ohanaeze Ndigbo told The Nation, “I don’t know his capacity to lead the campaign because I don’t know who is following him and all that, but I share his vision. I support his moves because I know there are many ways to catch a Monkey.” Ikedife explained that clinching the presidential seat is a big task and so for Ndigbo, many approaches is necessary. If there is anything new about Kalu’s cur-

of Ndigbo has consistently remained disunity at the most critical points,” he said. Another factor that may work in favour of Kalu is the issue of credible political platform through which the aspiration can be realized. This concern emanates from the fact that Kalu is yet to be fully identified with any political party that will command follower-ship in Igbo land and beyond. But while some conservatives see it as a barrier, many consider it as an advantage as the group can actually approach any group to discuss 2015. Senator Anyanwu confirmed the groups plans to take advantage of this factor when she disclosed that the group would soon meet with all the existing political parties in Igbo land, and also hold talks with other stakeholders and South East Governors’ Forum. This, according to our findings, is where Kalu’s political history may work as a barrier

rent move to warrant serious attention, according to informed observers who commented on it so far, it is his emphasis on Igbo unity and his desire to make the largely republican nation what he described as “a bundle of broom.” This point of take off, it seems, will go a long way in helping Njiko Igbo’s project. “We do not belong to any political party; what we are doing is to unite Ndigbo and make them a bundle of broom,” Kalu said. The Nation’s investigation shows that the group is already reaping from this take off position for according to one of his former political antagonist, who pleaded not to named because of recent configurations, “envied as he may be, most of us as stakeholders of Igbo politics have come to agree that he got that point right as the bane

The stumbling blocks Kalu’s secret consultations in the SouthEast on 2015 have been wide and deep, our findings revealed. According to a source, one issue that the group is yet to find solutions to is the effect of the political history of the founder of Progressive People’s Alliance (PPA). Perhaps, the stiffest obstacles, according to one of his former associates include his inability to reconcile with aggrieved members of PPA and more importantly with Governor Orji. The source revealed that these problems are indeed responsible for the delay in meeting some political parties in Igboland, including All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), PPA and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). The source also revealed that the proposed talk with South-east Governors’ Forum, without first opening up a window of reconciliation with Governor Orji, may be a costly mistake. It would be recalled that the former governor ran for president in 2007 but lost to the late Umaru Musa Yar’Adua. His ambition to represent his people at the Upper Chamber was truncated by Senator Chukwumereji in 2011.

‘My ordeal at the hands of Abacha’ •Continued from Page 21 friends) have set up a foundation in her memory and we have been giving scholarships to indigent students of Ado Ekiti and we also hold an annual memorial lecture just to show that we still love her. We are preparing for the 9th anniversary this year and we have not missed any despite the fact that we have not collected any money from any one to fund the programme. Given your passion in the newsroom in those days, one is somehow curious that on your return from exile, you chose to lecture at Afe Babalola University instead of practicing core journalism or politics? Since I will be teaching media and communication, I am not totally out of journalism. The only thing I will be missing is the hustling and bustling of news reporting and the fun of the newsroom. But I hope to be as active as possible in journalism if not as a reporter, but as a trainer. As a political journalist, I still hope to be relevant politically without running for any political office. More importantly, I want to be part of the history in my home town-Ado Ekiti with the fastest growing private university in the country and a standard university that is ready to match any university in the world. So, I see Afe Babalola University as a place to build a carrier in academics rather than working for the government. What do you think the government can do to bring Nigerian professionals back from the Diaspora?

If our government creates the enabling environment for people to operate, our professionals scattered all over the world will surely return. Remember this is their country, they have no other country, and they are even more passionate about the country than those living in the country. In all my years abroad, I did not see any Nigerian who wants to live and die abroad. It is the prayer of every Nigerian in the Diaspora to return home one day. As I said, it is very simple to get our professionals to return to the country if the government can create an enabling environment for them to return. Some private universities like Afe Babalola University, Elizade Universities and others have been able to bring back many academics from Europe and America, which shows the same thing can be done in other sectors of our economy. President Obasanjo started very well by asking Nigerians to return when he became president, but Nigerians in the Diasporas lost interest when he started abusing them all over the place. The governor of Ekiti State, Dr. Kayode Feyemi also tried by rallying round the Ekitis in the Diasporas about a year ago when he visited them in London, America and Canada. He was able to convince them with his plans for the state and many of them were willing to return, but there was no follow-up since then. I also read in the news that Professor Wole Soyinka encouraged some professionals to return to Nigeria. There was a case of a Medical Doctor whom he persuaded to

establish a medical practice in the country and the doctor was frustrated by the system and he returned to the US some years later. At the political level, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu equally helped some of our comrades who went into exile during the June 12 struggle to return to the country when he was governor; he still helps some Nigerians in the Diaspora to relocate to the country. Others that can help bring back Nigerians in the Diaspora are state governors. They are in touch with the indigenes of their states outside. They meet with them anytime they travel outside the country. All they need to do is to work with them and provide the necessary logistics to enable them return to the country. I know most of our professionals outside the country will listen to their state governors rather than listening to the president. With Boko Haram, kidnapping, poor condition of living, corruption, general insecurity of life and property, do you think Nigerians abroad will want to return? These problems are equally present in developed countries. So, they are not peculiar to Nigeria alone. It is the response of our government to the problems that makes the difference. We have kidnapping in America, worst groups than Boko Haram, poverty of unimaginable proportion, corruption, etc. But the government is at alert 24/7 to deal with people who engage in such acts. If you engage in any of these acts, the government will hunt you to your grave. But the same cannot be said of our government. Here in

Nigeria, if you are kidnapped, you are on your own. If you steal public money, you are allowed to go scot free. Look at the role of the government in the fuel subsidy scandal in the country. If it were to be America, those implicated will be investigated, arrested and charged to court immediately and the media will update the public on every step being taken to ensure justice is done. But the reverse is the case in our own situation. Our government will be dilly-dallying on the case and the culprits will go scot free at the end. That is our problem. After 15 years in exile, you are returning when there seems to be no serious human rights activism going on; no NADECO or such like. So, can it be said that for you, the struggle is over? My primary concern for now is the students that I will be teaching. As you know, teaching is not a lazy man’s job; you have to read as if you are a student, conduct research and attend seminars. So, there is no time for extracurricular activity at all. But that is not to say that one will not speak out against injustices in the society or keep quiet while people in government loot the country’s treasury with impunity. It may be very difficult to be as active as one would have loved to in the absence of any serious organisation, but that is not enough for any serious minded person to give up the struggle. Otherwise, it is going to be a free day for the looters of our economy and oppressors of our people.



What’s wrong with the First Lady? N

EARLY 40 days after she was reportedly flown to Horst Schmidt Klinik Hospital in Wiesbaden, Germany for treatment of an undisclosed ailment, the whereabouts and condition of the First Lady, Mrs. Patience Jonathan, remain unknown. It's a classic case of the more you investigate, the less you get. Last week, the media was awash with speculations over her status. Many online agencies reported she had left the hospital in preparation for her return home. But Sahara Reporters, a popular United States-based online agency run by Nigerians, debunked the reports, quoting a source that said she was still hospitalised as at 6pm local time on Thursday. When our correspondent contacted her Media aide, Mr. Ayo Osinlu, he neither confirmed nor denied the return of Mrs. Jonathan. He simply said: "I cannot confirm that because I don't know your source". On when Nigerians should expect the First Lady, he was even more evasive, refusing to be committal. Asked how she was faring, Osinlu only said: "We give Jesus praise". Prodded further, he wondered: "Don't you give Jesus praise?" He pledged to get back with details, a promise he didn't fulfill as at press time. Our efforts to speak with the

The whereabouts and health status of the First Lady, Mrs. Patience Jonathan, remain shrouded in utmost secrecy. Sunday Oguntola reports on the many controversies surrounding her continued absence from Aso Rock and the true story of her medical status. German hospital also came to no avail as our calls to the following numbers +49611433436 and +490611432377 - only yielded a stock answering machine response in German language. A GALE OF SPECULATIONS This kind of blackout is why the rumour mill keeps running on Dame Patience, a boisterous, gregarious First Lady who brightened up public functions with her bubbly personality. Since her 'disappearance' from the public space, there has been no official statement or pronouncement on her ailment. The best attempt came from Osinlu who said she was "resting abroad" after hectic schedules. This has left the media speculating on the nature of her illness. While Sahara Reporters initially reported she was hospitalised for food poisoning after a surgical procedure went awry, a Lagos-based evening newspaper, PM News, claimed she is being treated for cancer of the uterus. Leadership Newspapers quoted one of the consultants working on Mrs.

Jonathan as saying she had undergone some intestinal operations to maintain a firm tummy, a process she said led to poisoning and complications. The source was quoted to have said: "Those operations that were performed on Mrs. Patience Jonathan led to a ruptured stomach and I think that was the reason she was fainting and as well having abdominal pains before she was brought here for treatment," the source said. SaharaReporters later reported she is undergoing treatment for Parkinson disease relying on medical sources in the hospital. One of the agency's sources claimed the disease was largely responsible for her clumsiness, drawling speech and slow movement at public events. The First Lady, he explained, has been suffering serious trembling in the left hand. "That's why she always uses her right to hold the microphone when speaking at public events," the source was quoted to have said. He added Mrs. Jonathan is affected by stiffness of the

limbs and trunk which affects her movement. HOW HER HEALTH'S TROUBLES STARTED Investigations by our correspondent revealed Mrs. Jonathan has been battling with the lingering effects of a partial stroke suffered many years ago. While no one is certain how the condition arose, reliable sources in Bayelsa claim it occurred at a time of emotional upset over matrimonial differences back when President Jonathan was still Deputy Governor. A source close to the First Family said the First Lady actually moved out of the Deputy Governor's residence in anger to express her displeasure over the said matrimonial issues. It was gathered she moved to Otuoke, the President's village, to cool off for some time before former Governor Diepreye Alamieyeseigha called for truce and reconciled husband and wife. Our correspondent learnt it was a move too late as the First Lady's health had suffered serious bashing from the shock. She was said to have developed high blood pressure while the crisis lasted. She reportedly fell ill later and was •Continued on Page 26




‘Nigerian constitution must resolve indigene, settler issue’ Chairman of the Northan Governors Forum, Babangida Aliyu of Niger State, in this interview with Adetutu Audu in Lagos speaks on critical issues that should be tackled at the on-going review of the constitution, the problem with Nigeria as a nation and other, topical matters.


• Babangida Aliyu

It is not nice for a person who was born in a place and his parents have stayed there for so long to be regarded as a non-indigene, that creates its own security problem, not to mention psychological trauma


T 52, Nigeria is still crawling. What is the problem? In the past we had answers like the problem with Nigeria is leadership, some people said it was economic development, some have queried if Nigeria was a nation. Is it a geographical expression? But I think we have gone beyond that. You take the adage that people get the type of leadership they deserve, so if we have problem with leadership or economic development, problem of whether we are a nation or not, it is because we have not been discussing enough.? I have always lamented the fragmentation of the elite because every country that is united, it is the elite who have been able to do this. Once they have been able to understand an issue and take a decision, it permeates the society. I will give you an example. At the local level, people really don’t care where you come from, all they care about is what kind of contribution are you making for the development of that community. It is your behaviour or attitude to them that matters. But the elite, we have made it so much because we are the ones competing with this and that and with our primordial loyalty to our community first. Even that loyalty is not for the development of the community, but exploitative nature. We gave another example of planning, at the initial stage, we have called development plan, which at least you have input –output that you will be able to measure and say yes we have put certain amount of money here and this is the result. Even the population, we are still not too sure. What is our actual population, are we still esti-

mating. Every region, state and local government had complained about the last census that they have been under counted. And if that is the case, then it means we have the problem of planning. Not to mention now our budgetary system, it is not at par with the development plan we are expecting. So if you say we are crawling, or walking, limping or whatever, this should be seen in the context of the way we do things. Many countries after 52, even a human being is no more a young man, he is in fact going beyond the middle

age. So what do we do? We need to be very frank. Some people may accuse you, I remember when I talked about some few things some people said that I was talking too much, they wanted to silence me. But that is the price I have to pay for leadership position I got through God from the people of Niger State. What would you say are the major issues we should be tackling in the on-going review of the constitution? This issue of indigene /settler, the constitution must say something about it. So that we don’t have this dichotomy of who is an indigene, who is a settler? When somebody has stayed in a place for this long, he should be able to enjoy the privileges and the right of that particular community. It is not nice when a person who has been born in a place and his parents have stayed there for so long to be regarded as a non-indigene, that creates its own security problem, not to mention the psychological trauma that such a family maybe suffering. Therefore, we need to talk about that. Some people are talking of creation of states, which may be fine. But I think we need another super structure. Maybe not zones like we have now, but look at the zone properly so that we can reconstitute the whole aspect of zones. To make them real development areas and concept that people will be able to identify. The way we are now is just a description, but we can look at that as an issue, maybe not for the immediate one, but I think we should begin to discuss such matters. Revenue allocation formula, this federalism that we have is a problem. How can you have a federal system having 52percent of the revenue?

With so many states, so many employees and many without the capacity to really do what they are supposed to do. Then you have a recipe for wastage and corruption. And most of the beneficiaries are in the state. I talked about education; the Federal Ministry of Education can be only concerned with the quality of tertiary institutions but should not be involved in the secondary education. Agriculture-the actual beneficiaries and the farmers are all in the states. That also should be a supervisory thing. Nobody can tell now the actual thing that is being produced by the farmers in a particular state, at local, state or federal level. What is the actual product? And even the estimated actual product, what revenue does it generate? When we talk about poverty of less than $1, like one of my colleagues was saying in his village, people have yams, so don’t talk about dollar to them because there is nothing they would do with the dollar. But that they should have food to eat. Now let us enhance that, so that the issue of hunger is taken away and then we go back to ensure we give them good school, good hospital. Naturally when you provide such things, the people will begin to look at themselves from higher level. The issue of being Nigerian, indigene or settler will go away because there is competition for economic benefits and other things. Devolving of powers to the local government and the state, we complain of the quality we get at the local government or the state and the main competition for political office is more at the centre, so people are competing to be there. In most cases by the time it finishes you realised

THE NATION ON SUNDAY, OCTOBER 7, 2012 that the real qualitative people that should be there are not there because they don’t have the wherewithal to be there. And then the local level which is the foundation for development would have been left to people who cannot really take it to higher standard. Many people are saying make the local government autonomous. Which is fine, but who do they report to, what do they need and who is going to supervise them? In many countries which operate the federal system, local government is a matter for the state. Now, we have 776 local governments. Lagos State from 20 to 57, are they right in doing what they did? Where you have a large population, you have to find a way to deliver services. In Niger State what I did instead of creating more local governments, I created what I called ward development, every ward is constituted into a group because you needed to do that to really get down to the people and they are the ones who know what they want. We also need to be discussing security. Governors may be called chief security officers, are they really? Do they have the wherewithal? Some are saying state police, some said no, make the federal police work, make them more efficient, give them equipment and employ more people. We have 371,000 police officers. 100, 00 or one third really do menial jobs of protecting some rich people and some political office holders. We are left with about 200,000 to do the job of policing about 160million people. We need to articulate properly, if we have state police, what is it they would be doing? We must know the limitation and the delineation of the role they should play, so that we don’t end up with the same problem we had one time where regionally we had police who were to protect the regime of the time. If a governor controls state police without proper articulation of role, he can use them for any other thing. So we need to sit down and articulate the role. Is it to combat local crime, rape and other issues? Then what is the role of the federal police? How do we supervise to make sure one is not going to the other extreme, what do we do to make sure we don’t create another problem through that? Already, I know many states have vigilante groups, even neighbourhood watch, you find that one street is being blocked and if you are late you cannot enter. But they are only protecting their lives and properties, which are the functions of a state and leadership. What are the northern governors doing to repair the damage done to the image and economy of the north by Boko Haram? The image that Boko Haram has damaged is not only to the north but to the whole country. When you go out of this country and you begin to discuss Nigeria, the perception out there is that we have problem. In fact many nations tell their citizens not to come, to them they think Nigeria is just one village that has the problem. They don’t know that this place may not have problem. So the image issue is not only for the north but Nigeria. I remember whenever we have image issue, we even constitute committee to go and discuss with other people because of the channel of communication, many people out there get information from TV channels like CNN, Al-Jazeera. For example I was told that many international pilots don’t sleep in Abuja, especially British Airways, when they drop people in Abuja they move to Lagos. Though they are coming to Lagos, but it is the same Nigeria. That also shows how we handle matters, for

It is not the Supreme Court that settled it. What is the judgement? It is to understand that it was an international thing. What happened is that the National Assembly at one time passed a law that if you really read the Supreme Court judgement; it is for the maintenance of the dichotomy. This is an international thing in every country, certain things out there belong to everybody

THE SUNDAY INTERVIEW instance, the flood thing. Many of us were aware of the issue three months before it happened. What did we do at both the local, state and the federal level? Now we are sending national emergency, what about the number of lives lost to the flooding? It is a collective thing. At the level of Northern Governors’ Forum we are going out to discuss with other people to enlighten them more that Nigeria is not the way and manner they perceive it. That to a larger extent you can come and do your business in any of the state without any fear. We need more sense of security because that is what people are used to. We have been talking with other states in the west to come and farm directly for things they need like tomatoes. I know we have been talking with the Governor of Lagos State, Babatunde Fashola to come to Niger, Kastina and other places to bring investors. Things you take for granted sometimes become more important, for some of us tomatoes have been taking for granted and now that it happened we realise how important it is. And that is why we tell some people no matter what happened, Nigeria will not break the way you think. And that is why we must all come together and patch it up, discuss and make corrections, restructure where we need to, but let us do it with respect and some decorum so that nobody feels he is being alienated or being accused for past issues. No matter the vocabulary we use to make some groups look like, we are the best and other groups are worst. The moment you describe me as the worst, I won’t even listen to what you are saying, even if you are right. We also established a committee of 41 members to look at all security reports either from state or federal government from Maitasine period in Kano, the white paper that has not been implemented, let them bring it out which one are still relevant, which one should the federal government now take, which should the state and the local government take and even the private sector do. I’m happy, they have gone very far, they are getting co-operation from the federal government. Why is the north trying to revisit the onshore/off-shore dichotomy issue which has been resolved by the Supreme Court? It is not the Supreme Court that settled it. What is the judgement? It is to understand that it was an international thing. What happened is that the National Assembly at one time passed a law that if you really read the Supreme Court judgement; it is for the maintenance of the dichotomy. This is an international thing in every country, certain things out there belong to everybody. There were a lot of problems, the cumulative problems that have happened in Niger Delta and there is a need to do some corrective measure but was not part of the corrective measure. You have a Ministry of Niger-Delta, you have NDDC, derivation, then this little one that other people as part of the citizenship of a country that they should be enjoying, they have not been enjoying. So if someone says there is no political issue, no decision we say it has been settled. If it had been settled, why are some people talking about it? Sometime people can make something out of nothing, so that you can come back to negotiate. That is the argument. If the federal government says it is a settled matter, but we are discussing it so that people can understand it was a sacrifice that was made then to solve some problems. But there is still room for discussions. It was recently announced that oil has been found in the Chad Basin. Do you support those who accuse the federal government of not making serious effort to prospect for oil in the north? Oil has always been there. There is oil in Bida and Sokoto Basin. For now the federal government is making attempt but it is not as cheap since the Chad Basin is a desert area. You might have to go deeper than you would have done in the riverine area. Most of the companies that would do the exploration may find out that instead of spending $2 in the Chad Basin, there they can spend 70cent. They have oil now in Kogi State, although I hear a lot of issues with Anambra State. I think the issue has more to do with the fact that Anambra is more proactive. But my understanding and the geographical location of Kogi, local governments have built schools in that place, how come nobody stopped Kogi from building schools and owning the place until now? The two parties should be able to sit down, discuss investment and what is coming out. I wish all Nigerians will know how much oil we produce, how much comes to Nigeria and how such money are being expended. You dwell much on foreign policies in your presentation. What do you think is wrong with Nigeria’s foreign policies? At first, we were more like Father Christmas trying to help others. Yes, Africa we must help ourselves, but in terms of foreign policies whatever you have you are expecting some

things back even in terms of relationship. Virtually all the countries we have helped are the ones competing with us or blocking our chances. Even smaller countries because of our size that should have been a plus for us, they use it to fight us; they don’t want us to be everywhere to make sure we don’t get what we are looking for. For instance, Saudi-Arabia is deporting Nigerians, I don’t know if Saudi Arabia has changed her policies because for Hajj we know there is no discussion on guide, but Ummrah we are aware that any lady going must have a guide. But if Saudi Arabia wanted to do that for Hajj they needed to let us know. The same embassy gave the people the visa they should have insisted that any lady without guide, we are not giving visa. Your vision three 2020 for Niger State seemes to have been abandoned in your second term. Why is this so? No. The issue is that we have laid foundation and we are building on it. And the most important part is that people are sharing the vision. People may say it has been abandoned because we have lessened the discussion because


people have imbibed it. In primary schools, you hear the students talking about vision three 2020; at least we have achieved that part of sharing the vision. And now it is the translation which in any way you cannot see until you see the results. Your name keeps coming up in the 2015 speculations. Are you running for higher office after now? I am hearing the rumour too. But you see you can’t stop people from doing analysis. I have told people severally that when I was approached to come and go for the House of Representatives in 1983, I was a student then, I would go and write my exams and come back for campaign and I won. This time I was praying to be appointed head of service in 2007,but I was drafted to go and run for the governor, so it would be foolhardy of me to say I want to be this or that. But I prepare my mind and myself with enough knowledge to be able to say if it comes to me, I will not be caught unawares. But I have not spoken to anybody that I have any ambition. I am very elated to find that some people feel I am qualified to run for whatever office.



INSIGHT •Continued from Page 23

diagnosed as suffering from partial stroke. A team of doctors, our source added, has been managing her condition ever since. The condition affected her movement making her limp while walking. When the First Family moved to Abuja, a battery of specialists were always on hand to attend to any emergency arising from the condition. Sources said her hectic public functions and restless travels must have aggravated her health conditions. "When you are hypertensive and in public office, you are in serious danger. When you travel a whole lot and hardly have time to rest then you are hitting the red zone. The chances are you will break down irredeemably, requiring serious emergency services," a medical doctor who craved anonymity confided last week. When she enjoyed better health, Mrs. Jonathan was always seen at public functions, favouring the nation with her boisterous personality. She was a moving force during her husband's electioneering campaign last year, traversing the length and breadth of the nation to scout for votes. She mobilised women anywhere she went, showing off her strong will and political resilience. When President Jonathan won the election, she did not slow down. Rather, she intensified her travels and activities. Her office was always bubbling with one event or the other. When terrorists started throwing bombs, she described them as disgruntled elements not pleased her husband was in power. To demonstrate her workaholic nature and ambition, she was appointed a Permanent Secretary in Bayelsa State last July despite public outcry. Mrs. Jonathan simply dismissed misgivings about her appointment, saying First Ladies should be given more roles and recognitions in the constitution to enable them support their husbands. She even canvassed for constitutional roles for First Ladies and entitlement to retirement benefits. According to her: "We the wives of political office holders, if our names are not in the constitution and our husbands retire with benefits, the Constitution amendment committee should also look into the issue of wives of political appointees. We should be included in the Constitution so that we too can retire with benefits. With that we can enjoy our career." KEEPING NIGERIANS WAITING Her absence from the public radar has continued to elicit concerns from Nigerians. More distressing is the secrecy surrounding her medical condition and status. For the Presidency, her health is a private issue that should never become public issue. Presidential aides argue she is not an elected public officer. Critics, however, say Mrs. Jonathan is too visible a public figure to be ignored. As the First Lady, Nigerians, they argue, deserve to know the nature of her ailment. Former Foreign Affairs Minister, Chief Tom Ikimi, believes Nigerians have the right to know how their First Lady is doing. According to him: "The Presidency's secrecy over the matter is evocative of the uncertainty over the fate of late President Umaru Yar'Adua, who died in Saudi Arabia in 2010. "Nigerians are indeed concerned about the health of their First Lady and want to know the situation of her health and at the same time wish her quick recovery and good health. Mrs. Patience Jonathan is a public figure and not just an ordinary Nigerian and as such, the public has a right to know her state of health and even that of her husband, President Goodluck Jonathan, as is done in other civilised climes." But Senior Special Assistant to the President on Public Affairs, Dr. Doyin

•The first couple with Benue State Governor, Gabriel Suswan

What’s wrong with the First Lady? •Horst Schmidt Klinik, Wiesbaden, Germany

Okupe, insists Nigerians should be empathic, not probing about the condition of the First Lady. He said: "I think even if it is a suggestion that the wife of the President is sick, what I will expect Nigerians to feel is empathy, not probing, not questioning (about her health)." TALES FROM GERMAN HOSPITAL Our correspondent sent an email to the German hospital where Mrs. Jonathan is reported to be receiving treatment but there was no reply. Calls to the telephone lines were picked by answering machines speaking in German. But investigations reveal that the Horst Schmidt Klinik Hospital where she's been receiving care specialises in cancer treatment - fuelling rumours the First Lady's case may have to do with the ailment. The website links directly to the Breast Centres Network with its opening page reading: "Our breast unit

is a comprehensive breast care center certified by the German Cancer Society (DKG) and the German Society of Sinology (DGS) since 2004. In 2006 we have obtained Eusoma initial accreditation. We treat about 900 patients with breast cancer disease including 350 patients with newly diagnosed breast cancer disease per year, while our outpatient diagnostic section sees about 3500 patients per year." On facilities, it says: "Our clinic is fully equipped with technical facilities for minimally invasive breast diagnostic measures. The spectrum of surgery includes ablative and conservative as well as reconstructive interventions. "We perform antilogous and heterogonous reconstructions as well as auxiliary diagnostic procedures and the sentinel lymph node techniques. Systemic treatment, such as antibody-, endocrine- and chemo-therapy, as well as supportive agents, that are initiated

in our interdisciplinary conferences, are administered in our outpatient clinic under the auspices of experienced gynecological oncologists. Our breast unit is an active center of national and international study groups and an assessment center of the national mammography screening project." Earlier media reports confirmed the First Lady is under treatment in the hospital as confirmed by many consultants. Though the hospital offers other services, it specialises in cancer cases. That the First Lady is there may well confirm media reports that her ailment is cancer-related. HER SPECULATED AILMENTS * Food poisoning * Parkinson's disease * Cancer of uterus * Partial strokes * Abdominal rupture


I’m not an ordinary person –Ara –Page 34




Kehinde Falode Tel: 08023689894 (sms)


Black still


the fashion scene


HAT’S the perfect way to rock the season without pastels or floral dress? A black dress to the rescue! •Ene-Maja Lawani

•Ndiddi Obioha

•Jennifer Olize

•Bridget Awosika

•Ijeoma Ndekwu

Ways to wear black


ASHIONISTAS and half of Nollywood have been rocking black garbs lately. It is a look that’s elegant and season-less whether it’s a casual cocktail bash or an elegant party. Ndidi Obioha was mod-cute in this long black cocktail dress at an event in Lagos last week. And while it might be too cold where you are to wear a

sleeveless garb, a black jacket, shawl or cardigan would look great just like Bridget Awosika paired her number. Ene-Maja Lawani was pure glamour in a velvety gown with mesh cleavage and shoulders detail. Picking a pure black gown like this one with just a hint of silver is a chic choice for a swanky party in the lingering days of cold.



Rousing street style T

HE best of street style from around the country. Discover what’s hot in! Ankara jacket, crazy wedge booties, Ankara maxi skirts, animal prints and more are incredibly what fashionistas are wearing right now! A Chic and gorgeous white or black dress with lace details One stylish black blazer -There is one of the reasons timeless fashion pieces retain their popularity, they go with most things in your wardrobe and transcend the trends. A great tailored and well-fitted jacket to show off feminine curves, and which can be paired with everything from work trousers to jeans. Turtleneck sweater-Neckline trends come and go like weather, but a turtleneck sweater has earned its place as a classic come rain or sunshine! Beads or pearls-Feminine pearls and beads are the

perfect trend-proof accessory to compliment your look. Wear gray pearls with black for a sexy tonal look; or choose layers of creamy white pearls worn with a simple black sheath dress for a perfect cocktail dress look. Large handbag-The bigger the bag, the better, and they all work under everything from cardigans to jackets or gown. Pumps, crazy wedge soles and stilettos shoes-They are a great choice when it comes to looking kinky; black pairs with almost everything. Patched Ankara- A little leg and a lot of pattern is a one way ticket to very cool appearance.

•Adaure Achumba •Amaka Williams

•Toni Tones is a head turner in this bold piece

•An oversized bag and flats bring together a relaxed chic look on Dolapo Oni





Wedge crazy T

•Derele Edun & Goldie

HERE are three varieties of wedge that are hotly in vogue now: the Giuseppe-Zanotti wedge shoes, wedge sandals and the wedge slippers. A wedge shoe is guaranteed to make you look chic. But never buy one without trying it out very well and making sure it fits at the store. Wedge shoes are everything you could want in a pair of sexy heels, from strap sandals, peep toe, to covered shoes. Wedges, after the 80s disappeared and it then reappeared again; they are the most elegant shoes of the season. They are a must have for women of style, who need to look classy and different. And some daring men are not left out too!

•Giuseppe-Zanotti -Wedge-Pumps

•Fabulous shoes

•Giuseppe Zanottisculpted peep-toe-wedges in crystal-encrusted silver

•Jlo velocity 11 wedge shoes

•Prince Uzoegwu





Nollywood actress and producer, Liz Anjorin, reveals her top ten favourites to Kehinde Falode

Favourite shoes designer Italian shoes & bags


Favourite bag designer Gucci & Christian Louboutin


Favourite perfume Hugo & Gucci rush


Favourite hairdo Ghana weaven


Favourite artiste Salawa Abeni, Yinka Ayefele, Tope Alabi & J-won 6

Favourite wrist watch Piaget, Rolex, Gucci & Prada


Favourite pet Puppy


p o t



Favourite fashion designer Princess Aishat of Eternally Zoe


Favourite food Swallow with efo riro, snails, ogunfe and egunsi


Favourite drink Fresh juice





British-Nigerian singer, Lemar, stages comeback

OU are about to release your new single 'The First Time.' What can we expect from the new track? The new track is just an uplifting and up-tempo song about feeling the fear and doing it anyway. The romantic side to it is for the first time feeling that you are with someone where everything feels right and everything is going well. But there is also an overtone of facing the unknown in life and just embracing it, moving forward and being who you are. This is also the second track off your new album Invincible so how does this track introduce us to the rest of the record? It is the first track on the album as well so I do think that it is a good intro. The album in general does have these uplifting moments throughout it so I do think that if people like this song then they will be feeling the rest of the album as well. So how have you found the response to the track and the new album so far? In general it has been really good. It has been three years since I have released anything so it is nice just to get my feet wet again on the circuit and doing a handful of gigs and getting back on the radio and so on. So getting back on stage has been a nice break from writing and the reception has been good so far. So fingers crossed when the album comes out people will get behind it and give it a listen -hopefully it will resonate with the people. This is your sixth studio album so how does this album differ to what you have released before? And how have you seen yourself develop as an artist? I definitely think that on a writing level I have progressed as an artist. On stage I am always learning but I do think that stage is my strong point and I think that is what most people who have been to my tours celebrate most about me - I love being on stage and performing. On an album level I think that the lyrics are a little deeper. There are uplifting moments but there are also more heartbreaking moments but I think lyrically the way they are delivered is slightly different as they are more layered and in depth. I have taken the reigns a little more on this album as well, I have produced quite a lot of stuff on the album; but I have also been able to work with some really cool friends/producers. So I think sonically it is very very personal to me. And the album will be the first thing that you have released off your own label so how exciting a prospect is that for you? It was exciting, scary and good all at the same time. I wanted to start at the core and make good music and I feel that I have done that and put together an album. And after I did that I was like 'well what is the quickest and m o s t straightforward way to get it out?' And this was it. I thought that it was a cool challenge and a w e l c o m e challenge and I know quite a few team players and so I brought them all on board. I have partnered up with EMI as well and they are helping me getting it out there. So it is nice to stand shoulder to shoulder as opposed to one rung down on the ladder and make the decisions both creatively and about the whole strategy. So it is turning out to be a load of fun. So why did you decide that now was the best time to leave a major label and strike out on your own?

Lemar Obika was born in Tottenham, North London, England to Nigerian parents from Enugu State. A few years ago he enjoyed substantial chart success in the UK. After a couple of years away, Lemar is back with his new album 'Invincible' and single 'The First Time' as he strikes out on his own label. I was with Sony for the best part of eight years and it was a five album deal and I released all of those so it was of do I resign? Do I sign somewhere else? Or do I take a chance and do my own thing? And I decided on the latter because once you have the music ready and the right people in place then there is no real difference. So I decided to do it this way and maintain most of the stuff and the creativity element and g e t t h e expertise from a major label

like EMI - they are there guiding me and pointing me in the right direction. How great has it been having that creative freedom and what impact to do feel that has had on the development of your music? It has been great having that freedom I must say - like I said at time it was nerve-wracking but overall it has been an absolutely amazing experience. I have been able to take a longer on the writing and get the songs exactly how I would like them and it has also made everything much more personal. Musically it is a very personal album and I hope that that there's a few people in relationships or just coming out of relationships that will listen to that and think 'it is coming from a very honest place and it resonates with me.' As you say you haven't released an album since 2010 so what have you been up to in that time? I have been living a bit of life (laughs). I have been doing some sun-seeking so I have been in LA quite a lot as well as bit of time in Miami before going on to Sweden, Denmark, South of France and London. So I have just been going around and visiting mates and writing songs and chilling with the family. I was reading that you had been out in LA doing some recording so how did you f i n d t h a t experience? It was great. Over the years I have recording in LA quite a lot - on most of my albums expect the first I have recorded a handful of songs in America. So I have really got a bit of attachment with LA as I have got some friends there now so any time I can I go out there and write some songs and chill by the beach. Why not? And you have penned the tracks for the album and you have spent longer putting the new record together than perhaps you would have done in the past so how important was it to be able to have that

time? I think it was very important because after eight years and releasing five albums - so it was an album every year or every other year - and when I wasn't releasing an album I was touring so you get a little bit burnt out. When you have written so many songs as well in order to get to the next stage and regurgitate songs I needed that time to slow down a bit and get back to the core of it - which is the song and trying to get the best song that I can. So what are your major influences when it comes to penning the tracks and how have those influences changed over the years? I think the influences have changed naturally - it is the same influence but because I have growing as an individual it changes. I draw influence from myself, my life an how I am feeling but also I have a handful of friends around me that I interact with and I might take a bit of their story as well and slip it into mine and relate it to how I am feeling. I think naturally as I have been progressing I have got more life experience I have met more people, travelled to more places and got more friends in different part of the world - they have different kinds of stories as well. Because I am always drawing on those influences the writing develops with that. So what do you hope this album says about you as an artist? I hope it just reinforces my journey so far and I hope it reinforces what I set out to do in the same place - which is as an artist to continually grow. When I started I said that I wanted twenty years in the business and I am half way there as this is tenth year going onto the eleventh. So I just hope people listen and think 'on a song-writing level this is great and on a vocal level he is great and I want to see him on tour so we can celebrate his songs'. Hopefully along the way I will also be able to help a few other artists. Well you have slightly touched on my next question really now that you do have you own label is it purely for releasing your own music or are you looking to take on other artists or bands? I would love to. You have got to start somewhere and this is the beginning and I am not sure where this is going to take me but I love being creative and I love helping other people in the studio, writing level, on a performance level. On my current album there is a duet with a guy who I think is a great song-writer and I just said 'I like the song and hopefully it gives people a bit of an insight to you and your sound. So jump on the track with me and let's see if people take notice of you and your talent'. He is not signed to me or anything but I just thought that he was a good talent. And that is what about the next up and coming talent or artist and helping other people along their journey. You have spent ten years in the music industry so how does the industry compare today to what it was like ten years ago? It is very different and I think that it is funny how a couple of years changes a lot of things. It is different in a good way in that the internet has played a massive way in the way people listen to music and consume music and value music - it has changed quite a lot. It is good that a lot of people have a lot of choice you can't blag it and if it's good people will think it's good an if it's bad people will think it's bad and people can say that it is bad as everyone has a voice now. It's not just what you read in the paper or what you read in the news as you can listen to something live and comment on it immediately and people get their buzz of what other people are saying. It is always developing and it is going to end up somewhere but I don't know where that is. Finally what's coming up for you for the rest of the year? The album is being released on October 8th and the single and then I am looking to announce some live dates hopefully in November. It will be a handful of shows to get my feet wet again on the stage and then next year I will do my proper tour. And in between all that I will be doing a lot of writing as well and I will be looking to see if I can help a few other people along the way. Lemar's new album 'Invincible' and single 'The First Time' is released 8th October •











Tel: 07029013958

The Rhoda Wilson Show a i r e g i N o t s e m co

profiling a variety of guests on her show, Rhoda Wilson has appeared on a number of TV and radio shows including BBC World Service, VoxAfrica, Bang Radio and Colourful Radio. WARDRhoda Wilson started her winning career as an expert in the inspirational financial and energy sector in talk show, Rhoda the United Kingdom. Her Wilson is about now experience in some of the getting ready to world's most prestigious stage its maiden firms gave her the skills and edition in Nigeria. ability to manage teams, The show tackles develop successful strategies, a range of and mentor individuals who issues aspire to be the best. with In 2012, His Excellency, success- President Jacob Zuma and ful the government of South experts Africa invited Rhoda as a from all guest of the African Union to walks of attend the “Global African life. Apart Diaspora Summit” in South from Africa, one of only two members of the BritishAfrican Diaspora to receive this invitation. Rhoda Wilson is not only a seen whether the show will retain the Gulder Ultimate presenter and TV producer, Search 8 two-anchor format, as she has a book club which or whether it will revert to was launched in 2011 and a the single anchor format as in successful women's charity the show's preceding years. called African & Caribbean For this year, three past Women's Achievements and winners of Gulder Ultimate leadership (ACWAL) Search will be playing the role •Rhoda foundation. of Gatekeepers. They are Dominic Mudabai (Gulder OUL singer and songwriter, Ultimate Search 4 winner), Michael Nwachukwu (Gulder Waje, launched her charity Ultimate Search 5 winner) and initiative tagged 'Waje's Safe Christopher Okagbue (Gulder House' recently. Waje's Safe House Ultimate Search 8 winner). is an initiative that is aimed at supporting NGO's and other causes that need help to achieve their objectives. The first project to be supported and so is the dance step, such under Waje's Safe House is the that a number of people: a busy MEDIC (Mental and company executive, a middle age Environmental woman, cab drivers, and notable Development Initiative for of all, a Lagos State Transport Children) initiative called Management Authority Project HELP (Help (LASTMA) official have to join in Educate the Less the dance craze. Privileged). Ali Baba is the LASTMA Waje's Safe official, and the dream of the House will be Director (Gini) is simple; only a assisting Project comedy merchant of his status is HELP achieve capable of selling the crazy its goal of obsession to many at a traffic keeping the congested junction in the heart of children of Lagos. The fast-paced music may Makoko in have been situated in Lagos, it is school by served as a menu of Africa's raising funds delight, hence the various types through Ring of beats and dances from around Back Tones the continent. (RBTs) for her hit new singles, "Oko Mi" and "I Wish".



HE final 12 contestants that will compete in this year's edition of Gulder Ultimate Search (GUS) will be unveiled tonight, in a ceremony scheduled to hold at the New Expo Hall of Eko Hotel, Lagos. The unveiling of the jungle bound contestants, follows a series of physical and mental screening exercises in Owerri, Benin, Makurdi and Lagos for the over 30,000 individuals who registered to participate for the contest which enters its ninth edition this year. Nigerian Breweries Plc, organisers of the show, say

GUS jungle bound 12 emerge tonight only 12 will proceed to the Usaka Forest in Obot Akara Local Government area of Akwa Ibom State, location of this year's showdown, where a winner is expected to walk away with N9 million, N500,000 swagger allowance and a brand new SUV worth N10 million. It is also expected that the host of Gulder Ultimate Search 9 will be revealed at the event. Last year, two anchor persons hosted the programme for the first time in the show's nine year history. It remains to be


Top acts gather for JJC video shoot


IGERIAN-BORN UKbased songwriter, rapper, singer and producer, JJC, is about now cooking a continental 'dish'. But the versatile artiste believes there is no better place to gather the 'ingredients' if not his home country. When it is out, the 'dish'; an obsessive dance video for his new single called African Skank, will thrill his fans to celebrated dance steps like Nigeria's Etigi, Ghana's azonto, Kenya's massia and South Africa's hlokoloza. Illustrating the message in the

•Ali Baba and JJC onset

video, Skillz as he is fondly called, has got the support of top acts like Ali Baba, Kate Henshaw, Weird MC, Goldie, Capital Femi and Kaffy, the dance queen, to play dramatic roles in the video shoot that held the length and breadth of Campbell Street, Lagos Island spellbound, last Sunday. It's a dance fever that will run afoul of the traffic law anywhere in the world, but the setting is Lagos, and at a time when a new traffic law is being enforced. However, the comic video is presented as a tension therapy in the crazy Lagos traffic. The music is obsessive,

•Kate Henshaw on set of JJC video

Waje gives to charity




Aralola Olamuyiwa, known as Ara queen of talking drum, has had her share of betrayal in life; a world she thought would end as fairy tale. In this interview with DUPE AYINLAOLASUKANMI, she reveals her plans for her new project through her NGO which has to do with women, children, and others. Enjoy


ELL us about the concert you had recently in Osun.

It went very well. I will describe it as a huge success too. What about your tour abroad? We are still working on that, and it will take place next year. It is to promote the movie Osun Funke, as well as Ara in Concert. We will be going to places like Copa, and some states in the US. Can you explain the reason behind this tour of yours? It is within my territory as an entertainer. Most artistes that have been able to do it, have the financial capability and the grace to thrill their audience. For me, Ara has been on stage for the past 25 years, and I don't have a single CD in the market. So it is only those who have the privilege to come to my concert that have the opportunity to see me perform. And I feel that celebrating my silver jubilee with a movie and collection of video is worth the time. Having been in the industry for 25 years without an album, is this deliberate? It was not planned that way really, because I have recorded several songs in the studio, hoping to release them. But a lot of factors came in and it had to be put on hold. The most of it, is that Ara is always on the road for one thing or the other. Like my concert, appearances, or my NGO project or family issues. But mainly it is because of my busy schedule. And because of this I somehow find myself sort of different in the box. Because when I am on stage I let loose, but when I am in the cage, I mean studio, I find it difficult to let loose. But I have been able to get over that, and now I have work that I will be releasing, and one is the one I did with Tuface, Olomi remix. What does your NGO project? The Ara NGO is a project that has to do with what I am passionate about. I am very much passionate about issues that have to do with women and children. Even before I became a mother, I had this concern to reach out to children which I did through different orphanages before I had my child. So after I had my child, I realised that there is more to just buying gifts for children, that there is more, like taking care of them, which has to do with the time they are in the womb and the time they are born. A mother is more or less like a god to them, so taking care of them has to do with education, basic amenities, creating a positive environment for them. The one I am working on right now is on maternal mortality And the reason I am very passionate about this issue is because I have seen, heard and read about how a lot of mothers die for reason next to nothing, and their babies too. Recently, my youngest brother's wife lost a five-month-old baby. I was the one who drove her to the hospital and she delivered the baby normally and I had the belief that if there

I'm not an ordinary person —Ara I know a lot is unusual about me, that is the spiritual angle. I know I am not an ordinary person and that is the reason I choose my friends. I cannot even say I have friends, but I have people that I work with. And because I have a very strong spirit I can see with my third eye

had been enough equipments, the baby would have survived. I was the one who buried the baby and everything was already formed. And I asked myself how he died, and I just realised that it was lack of equipments that are inexpensive. And I have heard of nine months pregnancies too. So I went online and Google to find out how much incubator costs and I was shocked, that most of our maternity hospitals do not have incubators, and then risk the lives of mother and child. So I am doing something that will involve Lagos State and other states too, and see how we can work together to provide these equipments needed to save mother and child. As far as I am concerned, I will do my best and leave the rest. I have a voice and a name and one of the purposes I have that is for a purpose to make people happy. There are some deaths that you know you cannot avert, but there are some



that you could avoid. My son at one year had malaria, and slumped and they could not resuscitate him at the hospital we took him to, I had to use mouth to mouth. They have oxygen machine, but the doctor on duty did not even know how to use it. He was gone for about 45 minutes; it was God that brought him back. What we are after is to save as many mothers and babies that we can. Another thing I am working on is thyroid glands, a lot of women have this, but I have seen men who have it too. I know about this, because I had it and I know the test, and treatment is expensive. And I know what it does to the body too. This is my second or third project, but right now we are trying to get incubators and monitoring machines for distributions. That is the Ara Passion Project. When did you realise that you had passion for acting and writing? I have always been in the entertainment, but not in movies. Well in secondary school I did a lot of stage plays and did win a lot of prizes for my school then. I had acted in one

movie, where I played a nurse. I did act on stage this year at the Black Image event. I wrote the story and was scripted by Tunde Babalola, and hopefully we will be working with uncle Tunde Kelani. Ara is a total entertainer that involves singing, dancing, and acting. We have Ramsey Noauh on board already; he will be playing the lead act in the movie Osun Funke. We are not on set, because the script is still in process. But for the book, we are done with chapter one and we have eight chaptersin all. The book has everything about me. Why did you decide to write an autobiography? You see as stars, there is more to us than you see. We are just like every regular human being, but with special talents. We are more or less the chosen ones and our life should be role models to people. Our life is not always perfect, but people see a perfect us on TV. We cry, we curse, we bless, we fight, we yab, we fart, we shit, we make babies, we make love, some of us cook, we make friends, we make enemies, we do everything. But we have the extra responsibility of making your world a better place for living with our talents. So I believe

that you should know that part of us that is like you and learn from it. In that regard, I respect two people a lot. Oprah Winphrey went from rape to miscarriage, and still came out successful, and Nelson Mandela, from prison to all sort of things. So I want to share the story of my positivity, my first kiss, my first boyfriend, and all those things. You used to be a tom boy while in school. Do you still smoke and drink? No, I have stopped smoking way back. But I still drink occasionally. But I am still a tom boy in a way. An example is the one I mentioned earlier that the dead baby of my brother's wife was placed in my hands, I removed the baby from the pack, wore a glove and looked at all the parts and I prayed for

him and buried him. And my mother was like iwo, omo yi sha. A woman naturally will not do such things. And after doing those things, I sometimes ask myself where I get the strength. Like when I do all those things I do on stage and sit down to replay, I ask myself if I was the one that did all that. And for me I don't see obstacles because I am a woman. If I want to get something, I go for it. Has it ever occurred to you that, there might be something unusual about you? I know a lot is unusual about me, that is the spiritual angle. I know I am not an ordinary person and that is the reason I chose my friends. I cannot even say I have friends, but I have people that I work with. And because I have a very strong spirit I can see with my third eye. So I am not fooled by certain things. But people like me; our weakness is attached to the people that we give our heart to. They are the people that can mess with us. No matter how powerful we are, our weakness is with the people we love, they are the only ones that can break us. Somebody like Samson gave his heart and secret to Delilah and he was captured. Don't forget that a prophecy had gone ahead of him. So that explains a lot of things about me. I am a very spiritual person and my mother knows, so there are some certain things that she won't tell about me. Like when she was pregnant with me, the things she saw and after I was born. Over-spiritual people will start terming it to mean different things, so I rather keep that part of me and use it, as long as I don't over step my boundaries with God, my creator. I don't runaway or deny it anymore. Even my secondary days, they knew that something was wrong with me. What is it like to be a single mother? For me I have come to a conclusion that life is how you take it. If you want it to be hard, it will be. If you want it soft, it will be. I am blessed, so I can take care of my needs, I do not need to wait for any man to do anything for me. To that, I praise God that He is putting food on my table and clothes on my back. Because I was an up and doing person, everybody was surprised that I became submissive to my ex when we got married. I won't take any decision or step without consulting him. I don't advise it being a single mother; I still will get married again and have more children. I am not pushing it or rushing it, I am waiting for that time. I know it will happen, because I have suitors. It is just a matter of choosing who I want and a matter of time too. I am not committed to anybody. How do you create time for your son, being on the road always? I work my schedule round my son, because I am his mother and father. So I create a balance. But single parent is not the best, because there are times that you will want just a hug, a kiss on the forehead, not forgetting that I am a very sensitive and emotional person. There are times that I just need somebody to hold my hands. I am not the type of person that will just go with any type of person, if I am not into you. Like kissing, because this has to do with my spirituality. I cannot share myself with two people. It will affect me and that is why I have to be extremely careful. But I thank God because he has been faithful.


Battle of the Year 2012 beckons!


ARTICIPANTS at this year's Battle of The Year ((BOTY)) Nigeria 2012 edition are all geared up and rearing to go. It's also time to experience the mother of all dance competitions as Nigeria's B-boys prepare to represent Nigeria at the 2012 International Battle of The Year Break Dance Championships. BOTY is the preliminary of the international Break Dance Championships with roots in Germany. This year's competition promises to be special as champions do battle in round-robin contests. This year's edition has variously been described as a clash of the titans featuring Space Unlimited, the 2011 winners and defending champions; One Unit the 2009 winners, All Stars, winners of 2008 edition, Dance Reloaded, Street Wizards, Shadows crew from Enugu, Code Red from

Benin, C.I.A, Body Control and many others. The eventual winners of the dance contest will represent Nigeria and possibly Africa at the 2012 international Battle of The Year finals in Montpellier, France. As usual, the judges will include an international B-boy from Europe as well as other ex Nigerian break dancers. This year's event comes up on Sunday 14th October, 2012 at the Indoor Sports Hall, Gymnasium Complex, National Institute for Sports, National Stadium, Lagos. This year's event will be hosted by Andre Blaze and Dotun of Cool FM. There will also be special guest appearances from hip hop nerds such as Cool Deejay Jimmy Jatt, Deejay Sose, Mr. Raw Nwanne, Illbliss, Vector, Mode 9, Deejay Neptune, Suspect, Fizzy Mayur, Deejay OZ, Zee, Deejay Snoop Damaja, Overdose and many others.

Single and Married comes to Nollywood


MID pomp and the usual razzmatazz, the movie, Single and Married, was on Friday, September 28, premiered at the Silverbird Galleria. Following a successful showing of the movie in Ghana penultimate weekend, the movie made an entry into Nollywood cinema in a ceremony that attracted hundreds of Nigerian movie enthusiasts. After a red carpet reception which lasted hours, guests and revellers trooped to the cinema to see the movie. Most of the movie's scenes were greeted with laughter and cheer. Directed by Pascal Amanfo and narrated by Ghanaian presenter, Anita Erskine, the movie delves into the intricacies of marriage and the challenges of being single, with focus on young adults. The storyline borders on issues about why spouses cheat on their partners and how to stop them. Among the lineup of casts in the flick are Yvonne Nelson herself, Chris Attoh, Nadia Buari, Afro neo-soul singer Efya, hip life rapper Tiffany, Kofi Adjorlolo, Kweku Elliot, Eddie

•Yvonne Nelson

Watson and Anita Erskine alongside Nigerian TV Presenter turned actress Tana Adelana and a host of others. The flick was produced by Media GH in partnership with Yvonne Nelson Productions. Among Nigerian artistes present at the premiere were Nyanya, DJ Jimmy Jatt and a host of others. Adding colour to the premiere was a number of Ghanaian celebrities who graced the red carpet. Majid Michel, Prince David Osei, Eddie Watson, Fred Nuamah, songstresses Efya and Irene Logan and Fashion 101 anchor Sandra Ankorbiah were all on ground to support their co-star, Yvonne Nelson.

Sport&Style THE NATION


FAMILY STROLL Persie, wife and daughter wear matching coats



Lawal flaunts tattoos like Beckham


Swimsuit model Kate Upton disappoints fans in a voluminous white blouse


Why l love



Isi Ewu By Taiwo Alimi


Nelsen Photo by: BOLA OMILABU

HE story of women football in Nigeria will not be completed without making reference to the profound and inspiring role played by catch-em-young Scot, Iain Nelson, former Marketing Manager for 7up Bottling Company. That the big gun, who is behind the success story of Pepsi Football Academy, has a bonded relationship with Nigerian women is not in doubt. So when he says Nigerian women are creative, courageous and enterprising you better believe it. In an exclusive interview with Nelson, at the Ijora office of the 7Up Bottling Company, the consultant to Pepsi Football Academy, disclosed his close affinity with Nigerian women footballers and how he helped build what is today one of the strongest female teams in the world from the scratch. “I 1998, l remember sitting in an empty stadium in Kaduna for the very first match of the African Women Championship and wondering if l have done the right thing. But at the end of the day, everything went well, the crowd came and Nigeria won and l said wow, we are truly on the right path. From then on l created a good rapport, a relationship with the girls and regularly meet with them. I encouraged them to act like superstars, which they are. I encouraged them to appear on television, do interviews wearing Pepsi shirt. The likes of Patience Avre, Mercy Akide, Florence Omagbemi, Stella Mbachu and Perpetua Nkwocha were given

Contd. on page 38







Swimsuit model Kate Upton disappoints fans in a voluminous white blouse




uxom swimsuit model Kate Upton is not known for her conservative dress sense, usually favouring low-cut tops, skin tight dresses and Daisy Dukes. But the pretty blonde clearly took the invitation to the Everything or Nothing: The Untold Story of 007 premiere as the dress code, and covered up her famous curves on Wednesday night. The 20-year-old opted for a conservative white blouse, black pencil skirt and black pumps for the Manhattan screening of the James Bond documentary. The Three Stooges actress also seemed to be ignoring her own advice on how to look sexy as she sported a prim bun and reserved demeanour. The former Sports Illustrated cover girl, who has been making waves as a high fashion model of late, told the November issue of cosmopolitan, looking effortless is the key to sex appeal. She said: 'To me, what's sexy is when you look like you're having a good time. That, and when you look effortless and have messy hair.' She said in the accompanying interview: 'I'm a little bit of a mix; a girlie girl and a tomboy. When I'm in a city, I'm girlie. But when I'm around a barn, I turn into a tomboy.' Kate, who is rumoured to be dating Detroit Tigers baseball player Justin Verlander, recently made the leap from Sports Illustrated to more high fashion publications including former French Vogue editor Carine Roitfeld's new mag. Roitfeld, admitted that she chose Upton for the cover because 'she is not a classic model' and while Kate still showed a little cleavage on the cover, but wore a simple sweater and held baby chickens. Everything or Nothing tells the story of the greatest secret agent in the world and the men behind 007. The new documentary goes inside the James Bond legend to uncover how a series of spy stories by Ian Fleming became Hollywood gold, and how film producers Albert R.


Keeping fit is a total package Joseph Abu is your regular guy on the golf course. The CEO of Fairway Golf Limited, a sport merchandising outfit with headquarters in Lagos, has won so many trophies on the golf course than he can remember but most importantly, he takes his fitness very seriously. Abu shares his experiences and views with TAIWO ALIMI, in this revealing interview. Excerpts:


Robin van Persie, wife and daughter wear matching coats as they take an autumn stroll


LTHOUGH the family seems to have settled into Manchester life well, Bouchra previously admitted she was hoping they could stay in London where the kids were settled in school and they had lived for the past eight years. Speaking in May, prior to van Persie's move to United, she said: 'We have been in London for eight years now. As a family, we love it here. 'Robin is captain of Arsenal and, as many

people claim, the leader of the Arsenal team. Arsenal believed in Robin when he was young and when he was considered as a bit of a rebel. 'We don't want to upset things at home either. Our kids, Shaqueel and Dina, go to school here in London. And they are just as happy as we are. 'We still expect to sit down after this season is over and have a look at the future. We have to make some decisions at some

point. But it is not just about Robin. He also thinks about us, his children and me.’ 'They want to be the best in the world and there is a price to pay for that. They have a certain aura which surrounds them and at times this distracts from the rest of the team. 'All the great players love being in the spotlight, and when the spotlight is on just one player, the other players can't be happy. The media chooses who to focus on and the others suffer.'

VICTORIA AND HER VANISHING THIGHS Gold medallist loses 10lbs since signing up for Strictly Come Dancing


OST women are only too happy to shed a few pounds. But after decades of Olympic training, it seems Victoria Pendleton cannot bear to part with even an ounce especially off her thighs. The cyclist, 32, who won a gold and silver medals at London 2012, revealed she has lost 10lb since signing up to Strictly Come Dancing. However, instead of feeling more feminine with her slimmer physique, Miss Pendleton said she is 'sad' her powerful thighs are vanishing before her eyes. Miss Pendleton weighed nine-and-a-half stone before training for the BBC1 show. The gold medal-winner also finally admitted she is determined to win the BBC1 show, after weeks of denying she is treating it as a serious competition. Speaking after the Classical Brit Awards, the 32-year-old said her body shape has changed dramatically since the London Games this summer. She said: 'I've lost weight. Since the Olympics, I haven't done any serious weight training. I've done a bit of work in the gym, but not any weight training to the level that I'm used to. 'And as a consequence I've already lost four and a half kilos of muscle. Mainly from my thighs. 'When I sit down and look at my legs, they don't look like mine any more. I feel a bit sad because I've worked for so many years to get that.

'And putting on a millimetre on my thigh girth, I used to be like: “Yes! yes! Thank you. It's working”. It is hard.' At the peak of her cycling powers, Miss Pendleton weighed 62 kilogrammes (9.8 stone). She signed up to strictly a month before winning a cycling gold in the women's keirin and silver in the sprint, but was sworn to secrecy at the time.

But asked if she feels more feminine now she has toned down the athletic physique that powered her to victory in the velodrome, she said: 'No. That's not me. 'I have spent my whole life trying to get bigger, muscled thighs, and now they are just disappearing in front of my very eyes, daily. It is going to take some time to get used to it.'

Contd. from page 38 Academy is not just about getting Nigerian future stars, but to also enable Nigerian youngsters to enjoy the game and participate in a controlled environment, given a sense of belonging. By luck, if any of them turn out to be a Mikel Obi, we are happy but most importantly we did not set out to only produce professional footballers but a commitment to put something back into this environment that we do business and we are lucky that Pepsi Academy has achieved this. The kids are lucky and we are lucky too. Female football Back then l was in good relationship with the then Minister of Sport, Emeka Omeruah, and he appointed me into various committees and one of the challenges he set before me is that should l help transform female football and l told him l was going to do my best. Even though at that point l did not think women should be playing football. But l saw it as a marketing challenge which l must conquer. The Female Football Development team was set up and we meet every Wednesday. Our vision is to turn female football into a brand and to be honest it is a visible vision. We felt that the first step is to hold a major tournament in Nigeria and we got the support of Mrs Mariam Abacha, the then first lady, and l was in Aso Rock to meet with her and she donated a trophy. That was the first step

When did you decide to take fitness seriously? Fitness is something I have always known. To be fit, you have to keep fit. Anytime I feel that my weight is getting out of hand l feel bad and that is why this year l decided that l would no longer take alcohol. Water is all l take, left for fruit juice that l take now and then. And my view about keeping fit is that it is a total thing. You have to eat right, drink right and exercise well to stay on top of your game. What is your fitness routine? I play golf. I go to sauna for massage and swim. I usually play three rounds of golf per week and when l have time l use the gym at home. Then when l feel l am putting on too much weight l go for swimming, which is one fast way to lose weight. I'm sure many people do know that. How fit would you say you are? I think l'm very fit. I can walk the course for over four hours and play and when l finish l don't feel too tired. That way l can burn excess calories and fat. As you can see l am trim and don't have any iota of excess fat. For my age, at over 50, and with my stature l think l am fit. I hardly fall sick too. The body is like an engine, it needs fitness, good food and vitamins to perform well. I watch what l eat and know what l eat too. How long have you been playing golf? Golf is a game that I picked up when l was young because l grew up on the lsland. Whenever we are on holiday l use to come to the Ikoyi Club course with my friends and one day Rev. Father McCarthy, who happened to be my Reverend at a Church located in Falomo, spotted me and gave me my first set of golf kit, that was how l started playing golf and it is now a part of me. Before then I used to play tennis and squash in secondary school, but when l switched to golf l had to give it my whole attention. Why do you preach the gospel of keeping fit in your household? My children prefer to play football. I encouraged them to play golf and even tried to teach them when they were in primary school, but they dropped golf

Abu along the way and right now they are into football. I have brought a lot of my friends into the game too. Golf is a great game that teaches you a lot of things. It is beyond keeping fit. It can teach patience and mental fitness and that is

why l am not happy that we do not have people with genuine interest playing the game again. What we have are people who play the game for the gain and not because they have genuine love to take it to the next level.

‘Why l love Nigerian women, Isi Ewu’ towards realising our dream. In 1998, l remember sitting in an empty stadium in Kaduna for the very first match of the African Women Championship and wondering if l had done the right thing. But at the end of the day everything went well. The crowd came and Nigeria won and l said wow, we are truly on the right path. From then on l created a good rapport, a relationship with the girls and regularly l meet with them. I encouraged them to act like superstars, which they are. I encouraged them to appear on Television, do interviews wearing Pepsi shirt. The likes of Patience Avre, Mercy Akide, Florence Omagbemi, Stella Mbachu and Perpetua Nkwocha were given endorsements by Pepsi and encouraged to talk on television to raise the profile of the game. I also got involved with the team, Super Falcons, because that was the brand we craved for. I recalled in 1999, sitting at my Ijora office and getting a call from Falcons' right winger, Avre. She was calling from the team's bus as they were heading back to their hotel during the Women World Cup hosted by the U.S. She said they (Super Falcons) had lost their first game,

in the Women World Cup, to the USA 7-1. I said 'Patience l work for 7up l don't work for 7-1'. But Nigeria has moved on from here and today we can beat our chest and say these girls are superstars and female football in Nigeria has come of age. I must say that Nigerian women are resilient, courageous and enterprising. They made me to believe in them because in the beginning l did not believe in them. I did not think females should have any business playing soccer. But they proved me wrong. Challenges working with Nigerian administrators I think some of the challenges l faced working with other Nigerian sport administrators is that how come what should take a minute is taking hours and what should take hours is taking just a few minutes. These two things marvel me. A programme that should ordinarily take hours is accomplished within some minutes and what should take minutes would eventually be argued upon and drag on for hours. Generally my disposition coming from the private sector and driven by the energy and determination to achieve is rather different from those coming from the public servants that do not have the go-for-it, lets-do-it attitude, so there is a

clash of culture or experience or both. Super Eagles I have to say here that the approach must change. The 1996 Olympics feat was achieved through luck. We did not work for it. We happen to have super stars and talented players that assembled and played together at that point in time. They had not come through a youth developmental system; they had not been super coached. They are just super talented and happen to play at the same time and that is why we have not been able to repeat that feat. Because other countries are not standing still and the sure way to get there is getting a workable system through the youth, the under- 11, under-13 and Under-15, and by the time they are in Under-17 the team is ready. Achieving result is not about luck but about management. What l am saying is that we need a development programme that would involve the whole Nigerians and competitions are held and the NFF take note of the budding talents and get them together and groom them. Luck has taken us this far and it cannot go further than this.

Sport&Style SUNDAY, OCTOBER 7, 2012


From page 35

endorsement by Pepsi and encouraged to Nelson talk on television to raise the profile of the game. I also got involved with the entire Super Falcons because that was the brand we craved for. I recalled in 1999, sitting at my Ijora office in Ijora and getting a call from Falcons' right winger; Avre. She was calling from the team bus as they were heading back to their hotel during the Women World Cup hosted by the U.S. She said they (Super Falcons) had lost their first game, in the Women World Cup, to the USA 7-1. I said 'Patience l work for 7up l don't work for 7-1'. From that scratch, Nigeria has moved on and today we can beat our chest and say these girls are superstars and female football in Nigeria has come of age. I must say that Nigerian women are resilient, courageous and enterprising. They made me to believe in them because in the beginning l did not believe in them. I did not think females should have any business playing soccer. But they proved me wrong.” Nelson, whose otherwise fruitful rugby career ended after a neck injury in 1967 while in the US, is a Nigerian to the core given his passion for Nigerian sport and delicacies. “I am very Nigeria, l am seriously very, very lucky to be involved in Nigeria with Nigerians and particularly with young Nigerians who are extremely humble, extremely talented with the right kind of attitude. I've been very lucky to have that involvement with Nigerian football at the youth and female levels. In term of Nigerian delicacies, l am in love with Isi Ewu (A tasty Igbo delicacy made from goat's head). I enjoy it a lot”. Blessed with three boys, who also share his passion for golf and fishing, the former rugby coach added his sporting background and working with youths as a rugby coach in the U.K, made the Nigerian project easy. Hear him: “My background in sport helped a lot. My favourite sports are rugby and cricket and I play both games relatively well. My last rugby game, interestingly, was for a team in the United State of America (USA) way back 1967. It was the final game of the tournament and the ground was very hard. I was running the length of the field and suddenly l lost steam and fell and broke my collar. And that is the end

Once a youngster like Mikel takes part in any competition, he is spotted and that Mikel has progressed from the Under-17 to Olympics and now a big star in Europe is not a surprise to us. Leisure time I play golf and l play fishing. They are both for leisure. Even though l love golf a lot l don't want to take it too serious. If l take golf too seriously maybe l would by now be in an asylum. Well golf is frustrating and it is easy to make you mad. Can't say it is relaxing because for me it is very stressful but l still play it, then l fish. Philosophy l believe that humility has done it for me. I am a humble person and that has given me the opportunity to work with others amicably. It has enabled them to see my viewpoint much better and tag along with my dreams. I think for me it is humility. Pepsi Academy at 20 The 20th anniversary of Pepsi Academy was held in July but l must say that l have a slightly different view about the tournament itself. We have a connection with St Bedes School, in Sussex, which is South of London, since 2006 and we have some of our boys from Pepsi Academy, who are on a 2-year scholarship and we feel that since we are celebrating the 20th anniversary why don't we invite St Bedes to Nigeria. We would have understood if the headmaster had said no, considering the fact that a lot of things has been in the media in the United Kingdom (UK) about bombs everywhere, but the headmaster said okay whatever the parents say, l would do and the parents also said okay. The young lads were thrilled to be in Nigeria. I believe this is the first time a school in the UK, would come to Nigeria for this kind of tour. These players were happy; they came and feel like superstars because they did a lot of interviews and cameras were pushed into their faces. So they enjoyed themselves. The competition itself went well and one of our players that is in St Bedes emerged as one of the best players of the tournament, that is talking about Rilwanu Olugbode. These boys had a super time and when they got back to UK, some of them wrote articles about their experiences in Nigeria and it is a very positive one. Only today, l got an email from Rilwanu informing me that he's been selected to play for a school in England. As you are aware, what Pepsi Academy wants to do is to get these boys ready for the bigger picture we have two of them, Tosin Michael playing professional football in Real Sport in Spain and Larry Egunjobi, who just transferred from Boavista to another club, which l can't remember now. To be able to evaluate Pepsi Academy very well, you have to go to its vision and mission to make any progress. Our mission statement was to be committed to Nigeria future stars. The

‘Why l love Nigerian women, Isi Ewu’ of my playing career. So l came back to the United Kingdom (UK) and because of my experience in rugby and l the fact that l have three boys l started coaching youngsters and because of my passion for the game and love for youngsters it was easy for me to teach them. When l got to Nigeria and saw the passion for football it was easy for me to step in and organise the coaching and other logistics for Pepsi Academy to succeed”. Nelson speaks on other related issues. Excerpts: Mikel Obi Mikel Obi was one of our boys during the official launching of Pepsi Academy in 1996 at Onikan Stadium Lagos and he was 12 years old then. I did not know him then and the only person that knew him well then was his coach. So he was spotted as a talented player then, even at 12 and that is why l am saying that talent cannot be hidden, it is easy to spot. Mikel was spotted and today we are happy that he is doing fine. I've told you about Rilwanu, he is a huge talent, the size of Lionel Messi but hugely talented.

Contd. on page 37

Lawal flaunts tattoos like Beckham ...tickled by Morato, Zara designs


HEY say 'if you have got it, flaunts it' and that was exactly what Nigerian promising star, Raheem Lawal has done by exposing for the first time the tattoos he inscribed to demonstrate the love for his children! 'Bend it like Beckham' is an oft expression in the soccer clime to underline how good the former England's captain, David Beckham is good at taking pin-point crosses and free kicks but the father of four adorable kids, is equally known for the alluring display of tattoos dedicated to his children. Of course, most footballers are known for wearing body tattoos with symbolic designs dear to them. For instance, Lionel Messi has the picture of his mom's face on his back shoulder! Beckham, who is regarded as one of the prima donnas of the beautiful game of soccer, is known for spotting some 20 tattoos all over his body with designs ranging from his son's names on his back, a guardian angel in the shape of a cross, his wife's name to a replica of her wrapped around her name in Hindi. He also has the Roman numerals VII to commemorate the number 7 he wore for Manchester United on his right arm. Therefore, Lawal is definitely in good company with soccer stars like Beckham who see tattoo as tasteful and not tacky in this revealing interview with The Nation Sport & Style. “I have tattoos on my body but the ones I like most are the ones with the names of my

By Morakinyo Abodunrin and Tunde Liadi children,” Lawal said matter-of-factly. “I have the names of my two children, Jumai and Bryan and this just my little way of it showing how much I love them. “I have tattoos and I don't see anything bad in this .This is a modern world and we must follow the trend if we don't want the world to leave us behind,” he explained further. Lawal is indeed living on the fast lane despite some obvious challenges in his professional career as a football player. He is a kind of player that loves to look. “Yeah, I'm very fashionable,” he said confidently. “Fashion means so many things to different people but if you are fashionable, you should be seen with some good designs. “I like wearing designer labels like that of Anthony Morato, Zara and other others. I like Nike shoes too. Of course, you won't catch me wearing the Super Eagles jerseys when there is no match or competition “My best designer is Antony Morato. I am crazy about his designs. I am usually in jeans and T-shirt. I rarely wear other things apart from this normal dress code and I love Morato designs,” he squealed, Lawal is not the first Nigerian soccer star that displayed liking for Moratos. Keen readers of The Nation Sport & Style would recall an earlier interview with Atletico Madrid's Nigerian youth International, Yusuf Olaitan Otubanjo where he praised

the Italian designer. To the uninitiated, Antony Morato is an Italian Fashion brand with reputation for the 'the stylisation of the modern man.' One of the celebrities on Antony Morato's list of impressive clienteles is Peter James Andre-an English and Australian musician noted for his successful singles:"Mysterious Girl" and "Flava". In fact, Antony Morato jeans are in different shapes and sizes with average prices ranging from 99 Euros to 128. “Morato's designs are very unique and they are not too expensive,” Lawal further revealed. This Lawal loves to live life to the full. The Adana Demirspor of Turkey player has equally revealed his fondness for fast cars. He said: “For now, I am using Infinity FX 35 when I'm in Nigeria but in Spain I ride Audi A3 2009 model. Porsche is a car I am dreaming about. I will like to buy Porsche whenever the opportunity comes, I just like the car. On what attracted him to his wife, Lawal lists some of the qualities that made him fall in love. “I think an ideal woman is not yet born but if you ask me some of the qualities i look for in a woman, I will tell you some. “She must be very intelligent. I don't care about beauty but I love ladies that are disciplined. I like slim women. “Yes, marriage is good though it has so many challenges. Marriage is not easy but it is sweet. You need to consider your family before taking any decision. My family is based in Morocco. “Marriage made me to be more responsible and know there are people who concerned about me, that will ask me questions when I do something. That keeps me on my toes.




New side of a Guinness dancer


INNER of the Malta Guinness 2008 dance contest, Temisan, has delved into music, with a passion that is evident through result. Temisan, real name Tonnie Temisan Francis, has been described by promoters as a singer, songwriter, musician and performer who shows no hesitation letting the characters he is trying to portray seep into his music. The result, they say, is an ideology that modern music is more than just a rhythm. “Listening to the voice that sits in the studio room, plucking his guitar while singing a string of memorable syllables together, instantaneously any listener begins to understand what Temisan is trying to deliver,” says a supporter on social media. Temisan, who won the Guinness contest alongside his group called Soul Quest, says his major passion is for singing rather than dancing, adding that dance occurred almost like a fluke.



Heidi Klum helms MTV EMA 2012



OP Nigerian singers M.I, Naeto C, Wizkid, eLDee, and Ghanaian leading male thespian, Majid Michel, are among the celebrities billed for the sixth edition of the annual music platform, Hennessy Artistry. The mood for the main show began with a preliminary party last weekend, when Hennessy lovers, music fans and celebrities came out in their numbers to be a part of the fun and excitement courtesy of Hennessy Cognac. That pre-event party recorded the first- ever performance of the Hennessy Artistry 2012 theme song, Bartender, where A-list celebrities and socialites like Wizkid, Jide

a Jide Kosoko’s docudram reaches final stage


HE docudrama, Battle for Life, produced by veteran actor Prince Jide Kosoko is in its final stage as the crew is now rounding off shooting. The docudrama examines issues on climate change as it relates to Nigeria's peculiar setting, while also breaking down what may seem complex and far-fetched for the average Nigerian. Research has shown that majority of Nigerian's have not heard about climate change, and some of those who have do not understand what it really means and the issues involved and as such do not have an idea of the enormity of the impending battle that humanity in general and Nigerians in particular are up against. According to Kosoko; “If you look at it critically, the effect of climate change is a threat to man’s existence and that explains why I settled for that title. I feel we need to address the issues of climate change today, otherwise we may

fall victim of its dangerous effects tomorrow. We are all witnesses to the floods that ravaged Lagos and Ibadan last year. Kogi State is also experiencing the same thing and we all need to be prepared because according to experts there are worse days ahead.”


ORLD renowned supermodel, Heidi Klum, will be at the centre of proceedings at the ceremonies of the popular MTV EMA Awards for 2012. The multi-talented celebrity is expected to bring her expertise th to bear at the 19 annual awards show scheduled to take place in Festhalle, Frankfurt, Germany. Said the German entrepreneur: “I'm honoured to host the '2012 MTV EMA' on its return to my home country of Germany. The MTV EMA is one of the biggest nights in global music, fashion and culture, and I'm thrilled to play a part in bringing this oneof-a-kind show to audiences all over the world. We're going to have a blast.” Adding his voice to the excellent choice of Heidi for the show, Bruce Gillmer, Executive Vice President of Talent and Music Programming/Events, Viacom International Media Networks, said: “Heidi is absolutely one of the most successful and recognisable multimedia stars on the planet. She is very clearly the best choice to helm the '2012 MTV EMA' in Frankfurt, and we're

•Heidi Klum

Hennessy Artistry fetes top acts Adenuga, Skales, eLDee, Ebuka Obi-Uchendu, Steel, Toolz, Audu Maikori, Majid Michel, AY, Flowssick, Gbemi OlateruOlagbegi, Orezi, Tee A, Gbenro, Ms Jaie, DJ Exclusive, DJ Caise and many more were part of the history. Apart from savouring the Bartender thrill, M.I and Naeto C, upon request by guests, also performed their hit tracks; Anoti and Kini Big Deal respectively. “We only aim for the best… we promised fans an amazing time and with the reception Naeto C and I received, I can only say thank you to Hennessy for making this happen.” M.I says. Supporting act, 2Face's protégé DammyKrane, performed his hit track, My Dear, and got the audience cheering loudly. Rave

•M.I and Naeto C performing

of the moment, Burna Boy, also performed two of his hit singles, Like to Party and Bend your Knees to an ecstatic crowd. Guests also partied all night to DJ Neptune's powerful mixes. “We are really grateful to everyone who came out to see

M.I and I perform the “Bartender” track for the first time. This is just the tip of the ice berg, Watch out for the Hennessy Artistry train as we shake up the federal capital, Abuja, next week.” Naeto C says.

Grand Oak targets revellers with new-look rum

•National Sales Manager, Grand Oak LTD , Mr Abenga Alo; Marketing Director Grand Oak LTD , Aare fatai odesile; GM/CEO Orange FM Akure, Mr Tokunbo Jegede and Category Manager Grand Oak LTD, Mr Abiodun Ayodeji


•Jide Kosoko

looking forward to showcasing her incredible talent within the extremely dynamic EMA environment. It's certain to be an unforgettable night." It would be recalled that Rihanna and Taylor Swift top the list of the nominees with six and five nods, respectively, with Justin Bieber and Katy Perry following closely behind with four nominations each. Lady Gaga, Carly Rae Jepsen, fun., Lana Del Rey, Nicki Minaj, Jay Z and Kanye West each received three EMA nominations, while Green Day, Gotye, Pitbull, Rita Ora, Flo Rida, Muse, Arctic Monkeys, Jack White and One Direction are up for two awards. Africa's Sarkodie, Camp Mulla, Wizkid, Mi Casa and D'Banj have also been billed to slug it out in the Worldwide Act category, where they will compete against their peers in India and the Middle East. Organisers say 2012 MTV EMA will broadcast on MTV channels around the world including MTV (DStv Channel 130) on Sunday 11 November at 22:00 CAT and on MTV Base (DStv Channel 322) on Monday 12 November at 21:00 CAT.

ITH efforts by brand managers to leverage on drinks that are capable of being embraced by all, fun seekers and happy-go-lucky folks will soon have something exciting to drink as they hang out at their favourite joints and night clubs amidst music and fanfare. This is much so, as foremost marketers of liquor brands, Grand Oak Limited, revealed at a media briefing in Lagos, the entry of new-look Dark Sailor Rum. According to the Marketing

Director of the company, Aare Fatai Odesile, the new-look Dark Sailor Rum aligns with the company's mission, which is to make people happy by providing brands that enhance prestige and lifestyle of the consumers. At an earlier ceremony in Akure, the Ondo State capital, Odesile said his firm has perfected a win-win situation through its corporate social responsibility initiatives by which Grand Oak and her teeming customers benefit. However, observers of the wines

and spirits market are of the opinion that the re-launch is aimed at discouraging counterfeiters and other product fakers. He revealed that his company had pioneered the introduction of the modern unifil packaging presentation with the intention of redefining the single serve segment “and giving our esteemed consumers what is obtainable in developed economies of the world, the 12 cl unifil package the first of its kind in Nigeria.” Abiodun Ayodeji, Grand Oak's Category Manager, added that the re-launch initiative “is aimed at changing the brand's outlook so as to set it apart from the pack as well as facilitate easy identification from pass-offs. Unlike in the past when it shared similar outlook with other regional brands, we have gone ahead to recreate new look for your cherished brand by pioneering the application of selfadhesive label film on the pack as a way of distinguishing it from other rum brands in the market place.”



Artistes converge for J Martins’ party


T was J Martins birthday last Sunday, and thus in the euphoria of the Independence Day celebrations, it was a double celebration as the awardwinning artiste and producer hosted some of the big names in the entertainment industry. It was all glitz and glamour as the celebrator also gave an exclusive performance of his yet-to-be released single, "Kpomo", to the delight of his guests which included Jude Okoye, PSquare, Terry G, AY the comedian, Gideon Okeke, Gbenro, Chris of Big Brother Africa, Gini, Orezi, Tunde Ednut, Jedi and Efa.

•AY, J Martins and Psquare

DJ Zeez drops Body Language …to perform at Nigeria’s Independence Anniversary in China


DDING to his retinue of hit songs, Fokasibe crooner, Kingsley Elikpo, popularly known as DJ Zeez, has just dropped a new single, Body Language. A club banger, Body Language has enjoyed unprecedented download from the artiste's official website. Report has it that it has also continued to trend among DJ's in major radio stations across the country. Produced by Pastorschild, a UKbased producer, findings reveal that Body Language is DJ Zeez's first song which he will not be producing himself. The

•DJ Zeez

Destiny Child flies tonight


FTER arduous audition exercises in Abuja, Makurdi, Owerri and Port Harcourt zonal venues, the much publicised Destiny Child (DC) gospel music reality show goes on air tonight, and every other Sunday in 2012 on Africa Independent Television (AIT). There are indications that the show is poised to live up to its promise of presenting a deserving platform for gospel musicians. The journey had commenced at the Musa Yar'adua Centre Abuja on Saturday, August 2, 2012 courtesy of a meticulous team of professionals powered by Deli Stationeries. Executive Producer of the show, Mr. Omax Eshareturi, reiterated that Destiny Child (DC) is a talent hunt show designed to give Nigerian gospel singers an opportunity to showcase their God given talents on the biggest gospel music platform. “This is the first of its kind, and a long-awaited relief to the frustration that gospel musicians' are regularly subjected to in the entertainment industry.” On the criteria for judging the participants, the producer, Mrs. Uche Thelma Eshareturi, said the judges considered vocal ability, courage, ministration and attitude, among other qualities. According to Eshareturi, otherwise called UCheena, “there is no dull moment for viewers, because from day one, despite the cloudy sky,

•Destiny Child


young and old contestants came out in their numbers, all in search of their destiny through this gospel talent hunt.” A preview of the first edition reveals very interesting footages from the auditions which started at the prestigious Shehu Musa Yar' Adua Centre. The preview began with the arrival of the executive producer, at the first audition venue, followed by his wife, Ucheena. Then Tim Godfrey and Samsong, both judges and two of Nigeria's most sought after gospel singers and gospel choir coordinators. That set the stage for the first elimination, with three different audition rooms, in all their splendour and magnificence. The contestants were seen being ushered in - to determine their qualification (the green card). Expectedly, each later came out of the audition rooms with different expressions on their faces, some smiling, some moody, some sad, some in tears. First round winners took turns to flaunt their green cards.

Iyanya rules At The Club With Remy Martin


T is said that every man's work is a reflection of who he is. Past MTN Project Fame winner, and Kukere exponent, Iyanya, showed just why he's remained on top of his game ever since he came on the music scene. His presence at the September edition of At The Club With Remy Martin which held at the trendy Club Vegas, Ikeja, Lagos was unequalled. The premium brand's September party had Iyanya as headliner act, playing alongside fast-rising artistes like Rexx, Shaydee, Pelly Hustle, and Esha Money. Not only was the turnout of people at the club on the night so impressive for a Saturday night, the atmosphere was totally electric. All through the night, the amazing DJ Spinall added to the verve that kept the fun seekers awake and hyperactive. Iyanya got the entire club on its feet as he entered with his latest banger, Your Waist, winding it down through Kukere and the song's remix with the koko master D’banj. His enthralling performance was in between equally wonderful displays first by Shaydee, Rexx and Esha Money, while Pelly Hustle came up after Iyanya and also gave a good account of himself as everybody had a good pre-independence party with Remy Martin Fine Champagne Cognac. As always, every bit of the action and excitement was captured by the brand's media partners, TRACE Urban TV and Beat 99.9 FM. “We are achieving our objectives with these monthly events; making the brand a force to reckon with when anyone thinks top quality premium entertainment,” disclosed Remy Martin Senior Brand Manager, Thibault Robert, in his statement about the event.

Mercy Michael new single is the third official single off his 3rd album entitled My Riddim which is due for release in January, 2013. The thirteen tracker album, according to the artiste, features a number of notable acts, currently making waves on the Nigerian music scene. While his fans are still savouring his new single and awaiting a bang come 2013 when his album will drop, DJ Zeez is gearing up for the 52nd Independence Anniversary of Nigeria in China which comes up on October 12. Organised by Jesse Oluwole Campell's Faajihouse, Beijing, China in collaboration with Embassy of Nigeria in Beijing, frontline music merchants earmarked to headline the Independence show tagged Faajihouse Nigeria Musical Show include DJ Zeez, African China and DJ XGEE. From the host country, expected to thrill are popular Nigerian China based acts Emmauel Uwache, a.k.a Hao ge, and DJ Larry. Dignitaries expected to grace the event include, among others, His Excellency, Mr. Aminu Bashir Wali (Ambassador Nigeria Embassy in China), ambassadors of various countries, ministers, diplomats, Chinese government top officials and Africa's top China-based Athletes. Following the Independence show, the stars are also expected to perform in two major cities in China; Shanghai, the largest commercial city in China and Guangzhou, the city with the largest population of Nigerians and Africans. With this and many more in the pipeline for DJ Zeez who recently launched is official website earlier this year, it is evident that the star is leaving no stone unturned in a bid to re-launch his career. Among his lineup of hit singles are Take it Easy, Fidodido, Same ni, Boobie.

Omotola leads other thespians for London Premiere of Amina


HE Empire Leicester Square event centre will come alive on th Wednesday, October 17 for the premiere and after party of the movie titled Amina. The doors open at 7.45pm for Red Carpet arrivals, with the screening including Q&A with the stars and filmmakers commencing at 8.45pm. Starring Omotola Jalade-Ekeinde, Will Johnson, Van Vicker, Vincent Regan, Allison Carol and Nicole De Souza, premiere of the movie directed by Christian Ashiaku is already gathering momentum with A-list thespians confirmed as guests. There will also be an after party after the premier with performances by Sway, Omotola Jalade-Ekeinde, Will Johnson, Siam Hurlock and T Angelos.










NOWN for his deep and thought-provoking analysis of thematic issues through the motion pictures platform, Tade Ogidan, producer and director of Diamond Ring and Madam Dearest, among others blockbusters is back with a scintillating thriller that focuses, not just on the good family crusade but also the good society value campaign. Entitled Family on Fire, the movie was shot about six years ago, but with a relevance that is not ephemeral, especially in the traditional African family institution. The story centers on Kunle (Saidi Balogun) whose mother handles with kid gloves and as a result, becomes irresponsible. Kunle who is a drug peddler puts large quantity of cocaine in his mother's luggage as she travels to visit Kunle's older brothers Femi and Wale in London. Hoping to arrive a day after their mother gets to London to pick up his stuff, but unfortunately, he misses his flight and arrives a few days later after his brother's wife, Bimbe had uncovered the wraps of cocaine in mama's luggage. The drama that ensued wrecks the entire family against the backdrop of ruthless gangsters who takes drug business more valuable than human life. Kunle himself couldn't believe all that unfold as a result of his dubious quest for wealth.

Family on Fire: untold havoc of drug peddlers

Dictator Featured Actors Sacha Baron Cohen, Anna Faris and Ben Kingsley Genre Comedy Running Time 83min Single And Married Genre Drama Running Time 141 min Savages Featured Actors: Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Taylor Kitsch and Blake Lively Genre: Drama Running Time: 131min Safe Featured Actors Jason Statham, Catherine Chan and Chris Sarandon Genre Action/Adventure Running Time 95 min The Bourne Legacy Featured Actors Jeremy Renner, Rachel Weisz and Edward Norton Genre Action/Adventure Running Time 135min Family on Fire Genre Action/Adventure Running Time 126 Mins BARFI Featured Actors Priyanka Chopra, Ileana and Ranbir Kapoor Genre Drama

Running Time 180min Resident Evil Featured Actors Milla Jovovich, Sienna Guillory and Michelle Rodriguez Genre Suspense/Horror Running Time 95 min Step Up 4 Featured Actors Kathryn McCormick, Ryan Guzman and Cleopatra Coleman Genre Romance Running Time 99 min Ice Age 4 Featured Actors Ray Romano, Denis Leary and John Leguizamo Genre Action/Adventure Running Time 94 min


Single & Married: It's an open secret


IRECTED by Pascal Amanfo and narrated by Ghanaian presenter, Anita Erskine, the movie delves into the intricacies of marriage and the challenges of being single, with focus on young adults. The storyline borders on issues about why spouses cheat on their partners and how they could be stopped. Single & Married is a movie by Media GH and Yvonne Nelson Production. This movie with its comic fascia still tactfully deals with the reality of some modern couples that are married and playing single or the other way round. Highly creative, the filmmakers' plan is to keep viewers on the edge of their seats, and biting your nails in anticipation of what is to come next and who is doing what. Talks about the greatness of the movie began following a sneak preview during the Nigerian premiere at the Silverbird Cinemas last weekend. The intrigues have been described by many as mindboggling. And so is the quality of cinematography and picture. Single & Married stars Yvonne Nelson, Chris Attoh, Nadia Buari, Afro neo-soul singer Efya, hip life rapper Tiffany, Kofi Adjorlolo, Kweku Elliot, Eddie Watson and Anita Erskine alongside Nigerian TV presenter-turned-actress Tana Adelana and a host of others.

Single & Married Genre Action/Adventure Finding Good Luck Featured Actors David Uro, and starring Kalu Ikeagwu, Shan George Genre Action/Adventure Resident Evil Featured Actors Milla Jovovich, Sienna Guillory

and Michelle Rodriguez Genre Science Fiction Running Time 95 min Vampire Hunter Featured Actors Benjamin Walker, Rufus Sewell and Dominic Cooper. Genre Suspense/Horror Running Time 105 min In The Cupboard Genre Action/Adventure Total Recall Featured Actors Colin Farrell, Bokeem Woodbine and Bryan Cranston. Genre Action/Adventure Running Time 118 min Last flight to Abuja Featured Actors Omotola Jalade Ekeinde, Hakeem Kae-Kazim, Jim Iyke, Ali Nuhu, Jide Kosoko, Anthony Monjaro, Uche Odoputa, Uru Eke, Jennifer Oguzie, Celine Loader, Olumide Bakare. Genre Drama

PORT HARCOURT Taken 2 Featured Actors Liam Neeson, Famke Janssen and Maggie Grace Genre Action/Adventure Running Time 91 Mins The Dictator Featured Actors Sacha Baron Cohen, Anna Faris and Ben Kingsley Genre Comedy Running Time 83 Mins Single and Married Single and Married (Rating: 18) Genre Drama Family on Fire Genre Action/Adventure Running Time 126 Mins The Bourne Legacy Featured Actors Jeremy Renner, Rachel Weisz and Edward Norton Genre Action/Adventure Running Time 135 Mins Ted Featured Actors Mark Wahlberg, Mila Kunis and Seth MacFarlane Genre Comedy Running Time 106 Mins Savages Featured Actors Aaron TaylorJohnson, Taylor Kitsch and

Blake Lively Genre Drama Running Time 131 Mins Resident Evil: Retribution Featured Actors Milla Jovovich, Sienna Guillory and Michelle Rodriguez Genre Action/Adventure Running Time 95 Mins Brave Featured Actors Kelly Macdonald, Billy Connolly and Emma Thompson Genre Action/Adventure Running Time 100 Mins



OOKING back at those days in the dragon's den, it seems you have interest in the youths. What spurred this passion? I love empowering the lives of the youths because I am also a Nigerian and I need to show 100 per cent patriotism, because in this same country I have cousins, nephews and families. And if you look around me you will see a lot of young people who can be of great value to our great nation. God has blessed us as a country so much with so much potentials, and if we don't achieve it, it will become a sin and that is why it always drives me crazy thinking of where we are and where we ought to be as a nation. In those days, our grandfathers went to school on their own account and they never taught them how they could secure a job, and at the long run if they didn't perform up to expectation, they got penalised for not having the right education. So, my own ideology is that we stop blaming the government because we are all Nigerians. I believe that a little drop of water can lead to a mighty ocean; so just think of what you can do and stop blaming the government. We as a people have a role to play in nation-building, because a good follower with a good leader is what makes up a great nation; so just think of what you can do and start doing it. However, it doesn't matter how you start, but the most important thing is starting with what you have on ground. If it is worthwhile the business will expand. If it is the people you know or one person will join you, before we know what is happening the number will increase to infinity until you get to where you are going. It is better than being idle and complaining because when we started it was not like this, we had to take it gradually because it is a vision that requires a lot of steps. Looking at the After school Graduate Development Centre programme when we started, over four thousand youths started this training with us. Before we checked it out, how many people were here last week and how many people got registered over the last nine months.? You know I am a mother, even if I have the resources of giving my children the best education in the world, where will it be? In what community? The point I want to stress here is that the day we have a revolution in this country, which I pray we will never have because I think the kind of revolution we need is the revolution of the mind and not of the might, people will come at you for having something, they will not inquire how you made it; whether you worked for it or you stole it. So by the time you take care of the less-privileged ones, by the time they all have, you will have rest of mind. Many have argued that the situation in the country is the reason for joblessness and restlessness of the youths. What is your view, compared to your growing up period? I was brought up in a middle class family; given the best education. I didn't go to school abroad. Then all the challenges we have in this country were still present, but I still had the opportunity of doing something. When we start the television series of the enterprise programme, you will be able to visualise everything I am talking about. One of those things I tell young people is that, don't come and tell me you can’t do this because you don't have that, because there are problems everywhere. But despite the problems we have as a nation we must not relent; we must keep on doing something and that is the commitment I have in achieving the goals of this project. Because personally I realised that a lot of this young people have a lot to do, they just need a little guidance and opportunity in achieving their desired dreams. There was no power, there were no resources. Even those challenges we had in those days we still have it up till date, but nowadays people have better opportunity than us. Then, who was going to give a girl of 25years fund to invest in a business? I had no collateral, I couldn't even tell my parents that the next thing on my mind was business. But now information is very easy to access anywhere; with the click of a button the internet is available to be used. So



I love empowering young people –Ibukun Awosika Mrs. Ibukun Awosika is the Founder and Chairman of The Chair Centre Ltd, a market leader in the office furniture and banking security system industries. She founded the After school Graduate Development Centre (AGDC), a national career centre in Lagos, Nigeria. ADETUTU AUDU met her at the graduation of a set of students under the AGDC programme. She shared her success story and why she is passionate about the youths. when we say that the environment has changed, the truth is that the environment hasn't changed that much because it’s really about the choices that you make. With the passion you have for this project, no doubt it is also capital intensive. Many would want to ask: what is in it for you? Before embarking on a project like this, the first thing you will need to ask yourself is why do I want to involve myself in this kind of project? And once the why is answered, you will be able to know the purpose why you are doing it. Firstly, when you have a desire for something of this nature, money becomes a secondary issue. With the kind of support we get from Unity bank, First bank and Lagos State government, it will encourage you to do more because it has gotten to the point at which you are no more carrying the burden alone and you have succeeded in scaling up and reaching out to the larger crowd and showing them how you care about them. In real life if you look at the young people that were in this programme some years back and you discover that the programme really played a major role in their lives, which money can't buy, you will feel very fulfilled because their lives were being transformed by you. When you listen to their testimonies, you will feel very happy. No doubt, the programme has been a success. Yet we can't rule out challenges. What would you say are your challenges? I am a wife, a mother and apart from this, I have numerous responsibilities as a person and sometimes looking for

resources to do some of the things I want to do to affect the lives of these young people sitting down here. But you know what? Life isn't about material things, because looking at the young people seated here, I don't know if any of them can also be of help to my own children later in future. Life is all about pay forward, at the end of the day they must also extend the programme to other generations and that is one of the reasons we deliberate on the pay forward project. Many young people see you as a mentor. Can you share your success story with us? After my youth service at Akintola Williams, I worked at Alibert Nigeria Limited, a furniture company, as Showroom Manager. Three and a half months after my employment, I resigned to set up my own furniture-manufacturing company, Quebees Limited, from which The Chair Centre Limited later evolved. I discovered that if I can also do some of these things on my own, that if I need any machine, I can rent it, and that is all I did at the beginning and it is one of the reasons I am so passionate about the enterprise programme. I am tired of listening to people saying: I don't have this, I don't have that. When I started I displayed some level of commitment to what I was doing and that is what kept me on the track up till date. What was your initial profit? When I started, I didn't really make a profit. You know, sometimes when you have to do a work and check back you must have made something, but because you are

committed to it you keep on doing it because you have business transactions and you get paid for it, it makes it encouraging and that is one of those things. One needs to understand that at the start your profit might be very minimal because of the money you are using in renting machines and all of that; and that is all right for a start because it is better you start doing something, or you never start; so it is opportunity cost. I love what I am doing as a person and to me I don't see it as work any longer, I just see it as an adventure. In all these, how do you juggle between your roles as a mother, wife and career? In life you decide on those things that are important to you. Because as a woman I have my vision and dream and I want to achieve them. I want to be successful as a wife to my husband, I want to also be a successful mother to my children, and once I am able to balance it up, it will make a successful home; all we need is understanding. And we need a balanced home to have the right atmosphere. I also apply wisdom most of the time, because the day my children matter most to me, I create time for them. The day it is my husband that matters, I create the time. The same goes for my work. If not, everything will crumble and that is why I need to measure the percentage of attention I give to them and that is why I can't advise another woman on how to run her family because it is your circumstances that determine your kind of action. My home is different from any other home. I am happy to be married to the best man.





ADETUTU AUDU (E-mail:, Tel: 08023849036)

Secret pain Kamoru Adedibu endures


ENATOR Kamoru Adedibu, the first son of the late Ibadan politician, Alhaji Lamidi Adedibu, is sulking currently. Apart from the fact that the political empire created by his late father had crumbled, the former chairman's, Senate Committee on Commerce and Industry, woes are multiplying. An insider disclosed that apart from losing his bid to go back into the Senate, he has also lost his wife to a popular Lagos hotelier. The story is that the lady was formerly dating the hotelier before she met the former Senator and since he could not secure his seat back in the Senate, she moved on.

Bukky Imasekha, Aisha Falode rally round Genny Adeosun


Mohammed Idris reigns supreme


OHAMMED Idris is one of the sons of the former governor of Kogi State, Ibrahim Idris. He is one guy who appears to be so discerning that he started thinking of life after his father's stint in power. It is not news that Idris owns the popular three-star Ibro Hotels which has presence in some cities in the Northern states of Nigeria, what many people do not know is that his son, Mohammed, is working tirelessly in keeping the business afloat and viable. Mohammed is also the owner of Summerest Apartments in Abuja, which is fast becoming a beehive of economic and social activities. One thing certain about Mohammed is the fact that he enjoys life to the hilt and is really painting Abuja red for he has all the money to throw around.

Nwando Okwuosa mellows


W A N D O Okwuosa came into limelight in 2003 when she won the coveted crown of Miss Nigeria. She was also the first Miss Nigeria to represent Nigeria at the Miss International Beauty Pageant. A combination of beauty and brain, Nwando is a law graduate from Sheffield University, and also holds a Masters degree from the same university. Five years ago, she joined the British army, and little or nothing has been heard of her since then. She was spotted in Lagos last year February at the official launch of Ene Maya Turban collection.

T is no longer news that one of Egba illustrious son and one-time ICAN boss, Chief Wole Adeosun is dead and had been buried. But the adage that a friend in need is a friend indeed came to play as friends rallied round his widow, Genny. Aisha Falode It is a known fact that Genny's world revolves her two friends, Aisha Falode and Bukky, wife of exgovernor Ibori's associate, Henry Imasekha after family. The duo no doubt played the part of true friends they were to Genny who is yet to recover from the shock of the demise of her late hubby.

Ishaya Bamaiyi's new vocation


ORMER Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant-General Ishaya Bamaiyi (retired), was brought from Abuja to Lagos in 1999 alongside Major Hamza AlMustapha, former Chief Security Officer to the late Gen. Sani Abacha; former Lagos police boss, Mr. James Danbaba; ex-Military Administrator, Zamfara State, Col. Jubrin Bala Yakubu and the head of MOPOL, Aso Rock Villa, CSP Rabo Lawal, for trial before an Ikeja Chief Magistrate Court on a two-count charge of conspiracy and attempting to murder the late Mr. Alex Ibru, publisher of The Guardian newspapers. He was later discharged and acquitted after standing trial for 9years by Justice Olubunmi Oyewole for the prosecutor's lack of proving the case beyond reasonable doubt. The prosecution, the court said, failed to coordinate its witnesses, exposing inconsistencies in their testimonies. Well all that is history now, as we gathered that the retired General is now a farmer. The Kebbi- born retired General, we learnt, having survived all his woes, has retired to his village, Zuru, and he is now into full-time farming.




Chima Anyaso rocks with less-privileged kids


HE head honcho at Ceecon Oil and former Abia State governor, Chief Orji Uzor Kalu's protege, Chima Anyaso, was a year older and in celebrating the milestone, he stormed the 'Sought After Children Orphanage'. With a van full of gifts (food stuffs and related materials), a bus filled with medicals and personnel, plus a car load of 'refreshment', all complemented with an envelope bearing 'cheques' from friends, Anyanso, with a select number of friends and family members, celebrated his birthday with the 'gifted' children at the home situated on Owode Addo, Langbasa - Ajah Lekki Expressway.

Day Lagos PPRO, Braide, let air down


OR the Lagos Police Public Relations Officer, Ngozi Conchita Braide, the adage of all-work-and-no-play is definitely not in her dictionary. The amiable police officer was spotted having fun at the Independence gig organised by Encomium Magazine in commemoration of the nation's 52nd Independence anniversary. Decked in a flowing green bustier gown, the Deputy Superintendent of Police also used the opportunity to showcase the tattoo in her arms which ordinarily the police uniform will cover. Ngozi Conchita Braide is the first female Lagos Police Command P u b l i c Relations Officer, PPRO.

Yeni Kuti dazzles


TILL fabulous at 50,Yeni Kuti, fondly called YK Power, the first child of the late Afrobeat maestro, Fela Anikulapo-Kuti, despite being mother of 22year-old Rolake, product of her crashed marriage to Femi Segun, has continued to prove that she cannot be brushed aside when it comes to socialising. The dancer cum dance instructor stepped out in bumper shorts ably complemented with right accessories at the Encomium Magazine White and Green Independence party. She no doubt dazzled all with her combination.

Mike Aremu and wife welcome first child


ELEBRATED saxophonist Mike Aremu is now a proud dad. The Aremus' bundle of joy arrived last Monday, October 1, 2012, in the UK. Aremu and his wife, Omolara, tied the nuptial knot at a private wedding in England in 2011 after his crashed marriage with his former wife, Bimbo. Sequel to this London wedding, the couple had been formerly joined in holy matrimony on the bride's birthday at the Ikoyi Registry in Lagos.





Niteshift Coliseum boss’ daughter hooked


aturday, September 23rd, Cassandra Olumese, daughter of NiteShift Coliseum governor, Calebs Olumese, got married to Uzochukwu Ogbugh at Archbishop Vining Memorial Church, Ikeja, and the reception was held at NiteShift Coliseum , Opebi, Ikeja - Lagos By Olusegun Rapheal

OLUSEGUN RAPHEAL (08033572821)

•Couple: Cassandra and Uzochukwu Ogbugh

•Bride’s parents, Calebs Olumese and wife, Tina

•Groom’s parents, Rev. Canon Chris and Ijeoma Ogbugh

•Chairman, Eko Hospital, Dr. Amaechi Obiora and wife, Alice

•Adedayo Adebiyi and wife, Adunni •Ehi Braimoh and Otunba Mike Ajayi

•Senator & Mrs Bode Olajumoke

•Ray Ekpu & wife, Uyai

•Tony Okoroji & Senator Olorunimbe Mamora

•Dr Yemi Ogunbiyi & Chief Andrew Oru

IndiaAfrica Awards celebrates budding entrepreneurs Ms Riva Ganguly Das and winner Pllonam Kumari

Toyosi Akerele and Amit Shahi Co-founder Theideaworks

Ronni Malik, 1st Secretary Indian High Commission


HE inaugural IndiaAfrica: a shared future, a high profile business venture competition recently took place in Lagos amid funfare. At the end of a keenly contested competition with hundreds of entries received from across India and Africa, Poonam Kumari from India with her idea of a solar-powered harvester, Zubaida Bai, which is a novel health-care venture, Kennedy Kithake and Kola Bayole of South Africa for their interesting education venture and Bhiraw Kumar Mandal of India for his innovative hydrogen-based energy solution emerged first, second and joint third place winners with cash prizes of $10,000, $7,500 and $5,000 respectively. Kumari and Kithake also earned a trip to the presitigious World Economic Forum, Davos 2013, as the top ranked Indian and African winners.

Chude Jideonwo

Real Zeal on stage



VOL 1 NO. 037

OUR Women... Now, You WIN T

HIS week's piece is a combination of news dissemination and informed analysis, structured to specifically connect with a special target audience - our young women for their information, awareness and call to action. To be more precise, we are talking to WOMEN (female) YOUTH with innovative ideas and entrepreneurial drive, ready to bring about progressive change for a better Nigeria, based on productivity, industry and employment generation, through their readiness to take advantage of a rare but once-in-a-lifetime opportunity offered by the Federal Government's youth empowerment and employment generation program, known as YouWIN designed for women. SO, THE NEWS: the President, leading the Federal Government team, has just launched the second edition of the YouWIN (Youth Enterprise with Innovation in Nigeria) program for women. The first time we wrote an article on YouWIN was October 9, 2011. It was shortly after the Federal Government launched the YouWIN program for the first time. We did, in that writ-up, identify with the plusses of the program, driving home the benefits inherent for our youths and the nation. The attraction remains the strategic focus for which the program was designed: to enable aggressive growth in employment, by engaging and supporting the youths. It involves the Federal Government's massive financial investment in form of grant, training and mentoring of participants. Specifically, however, the second edition of YouWIN is designed and focused for WOMEN. Essentially, YouWIN is an expression of the Federal Government's determination to create employment for our youths, drawing on their creativity, industry, determination to excel, through constructive engagement. On the government's part, it has committed to providing grants up to N10, 000, 000 per person for investment Specific Objectives of the Program include to: • Attract ideas and innovations from young entrepreneurial aspirants from Universities, Polytechnics, Technical colleges, and other post-Secondary institutions in Nigeria; • Provide a onetime Equity grant for 1,200 selected aspiring entrepreneurs to start or expand their business concepts and mitigate start up risks; • Generate 80,000 to 110,000 new jobs for currently unemployed Nigerian youth over the three years during which the three cycles will be implemented; • Provide business training for up to 6,000 aspiring youth entrepreneurs spread across all geo-political zones in Nigeria; • Encourage expansion, specialization and spin-offs of existing businesses in Nigeria; and, • Enable young entrepreneurs to access a wide business professional network and improve their visibility. PLEASE NOTE!!! • YouWiN is an equity contribution to your business. It is therefore NOT A LOAN but a grant. • Award recipients will be paid according to the needs of the business and specific mile-stones stated in the business plan. • Award recipients must be registered with CAC before disbursement of funds even though they do not need to be registered to apply. YouWIN will support the registration process. • Award recipients will operate accounts using their registered companies with any of the participating commercial banks prior to disbursement. • Award recipients must sign a grant agreement with

the managers of YouWiN before disbursement of funds. Apply Now! Competition Timeline • Mon. Sep 3, 2012 Launch of 2012/2013 Edition of the YouWiN! Business Plan Competition tagged "YouWiN! Women". • Mon. Sep 3, 2012 First stage business concept submission starts after launch by President Goodluck Jonathan. • Sun. Oct 14, 2012 First stage business concept submission closes. No entries accepted after this date. • Mon. Oct 15, 2012 Marking of first stage submission by an International Business School.

• Fri. Nov 30, 2012Notification of successful first stage candidates and invitation for training in each state of the nation. • Mon. Dec 10, 2012Training of the 1st set of second stage candidate starts. Trainings will be held in sets on 10 - 21 December 2012 and 2 - 11 January 2013. • Mon. Dec 10, 2012 Submission of second stage business plan starts on 10 December 2012 and ends 8 February 2013. Please note that only entries from candidates who attended the training and had their biometrics information collected are eligible and will be reviewed. • Fri. Feb 8, 2013 Submission of second stage business plan entries closes. All qualifying candidates must submit their business plans by this date. • Mon. Feb 11, 2013 Business plan marking commences with an international business school providing quality assurance. To apply, please go To us at MC&A Digest, the exciting thing about this women-directed program is the challenge it brings to our teeming population of educated, creative, focused, entrepreneurial and industrial women. To us, it is great thinking on the part of government for the ingenuity in encouraging the women towards putting their entrepreneurial spirit to work. This program puts a grant (not a loan) of up to N10m at the disposal of at least 1,200 women with demonstrable skills, abilities and creativity to start and run their own businesses and conveniently create employment for many others. The roll-call of female-driven businesses comes to mind at this time, across various industries. For instance, we can readily recall the Lady Cobbler (an excellent and ingenious demonstration of artistry, creativity and purposeful engagement). That enterprise has expanded exponentially, giving employment and apprenticeship to a sizeable number of men and women. We also remember the size and scope of businesses in the food vending business such as Tasty Fried Chicken brand. That brand has ex-

celled under the watch of a woman, who has demonstrated plenty of commitment to industry, providing jobs to many across the country. Aside from service businesses, we know of women that are excelling in architecture and building industry, landscaping, interior decoration, auto maintenance, manufacturing, beauty products and accessories sales and distribution. With the generous provision of grants by the Federal Government, all our women need to bring to bear is intelligence, creativity, intelligence and entrepreneurship. We should have that in abundance among our women. It is also important to underscore the fact that the primary beneficiary of this program is the individual woman who stands to improve on the basic success measure of personal wealth and income, investment drive and enhanced living standard. Our women youth with initiative should hurry to take advantage of this rare opportunity offered by YouWIN for women program to empower themselves. That is the focus of this program. The Federal Government's determination to empower the nation's youth (especially the women by this unique program), should be seen as a challenge our women youth should hurry to take advantage of. It is a clarion call for the women. Given that the scope of commitment and support for both editions is the same, underscores the efforts towards achieving a penetrable reach-level with this program. The world is changing on all fronts, with regard to nation-building. In a recent interview on the CNN news channel, the President of Chile did capture the changes in the global pillars of development. According to him, the traditional growth pillars, according to world standard, are democracy, growing economy and literacy level. Going by the new world economic order, however, all of that has changed. Today, the new and operating pillars of development are: TECHNOLOGY, INNOVATION, ENTREPRENEURSHIP and EQUALITY. It is also instructive to note that digital and knowledgebased economy is the new development frontier. In realization of this paradigm shift, Nations are structuring their development plans and pattern around the new insight, paying particular attention to the details of change. On a broader scale, YouWIN initiative strikes a connect with the ENTREPRENEURSHIP ingredient for growth and nation-building. As we noted in our first article on this program, this initiative by the Federal Government is a call to duty for the youths in this country. They should take advantage of the ample opportunities offered through this program, to actualize that productive personal ambition to work for a prosperous and better Nigeria. YouWIN for WOMEN presents our women-youths the opportunity to join hands in building a Nigeria of our dream. Our women are highly creative, patient, innovative and industrious. These are rare qualities we must take advantage of at this time. Between October 2011 and now, the first edition of the YouWIN program has thrown up 1,200 award winners scattered across Nigeria, actualizing the projection of the Federal Government. Women, the opportunities have been provided in large measure. If we do not optimize the opportunity inherent, we are to blame. The grants are ready, the entry is open and the process is on. Log on today and start the process of growing into a successful entrepreneur. Empower yourself, grow your wealth, become an employer of labor. Take advantage of YouWIN for women. This time, YouWIN is all about you our women!



‘Why I am passionate about the downtrodden’ Y

OU have shown so much passion for the uplifting of the underprivileged in the state. What is the driving force? When I came to Cross River State with my husband, I ensured that everything I would do would be to complement his efforts in Cross River State. If you know my husband very well, he is very passionate about the downtrodden. He calls them people that need government the most. He is very passionate about the majority of the people who are actually not in the urban areas. So he has inculcated that in my psyche and so my main focus when I came here was to look at the best way to also get at those who should really experience government. And it was in a bid to do that we decided to do a baseline data of what was happening in Cross River State; what do the women do and the men and so on? In the process, we realised that it is very important that if you empower a woman, you would not only be touching the woman alone, you are going to be touching her family, her husbands and children. Of course, children are the future, so we decided we are going to focus on the women, on a holistic approach to developing the woman. We have a slogan that says “putting more money in the hands of a woman.” I believe that the passion comes from buying into what my husband is doing and the desire to see things better for the people. Could you tell us a bit about your programmes? One day, I was sitting in my house and my child was sick, and I kept looking at this child and she was getting worse. So I took her to the doctor and said that I didn't know what was wrong with my daughter, that she was deteriorating. I took her to the emergency room of the University of Calabar Teaching Hospital, and was told that she had pneumonia. I was surprised. I thought pneumonia was for people who had exposed themselves to cold for a very long time. I went round to see the other kids in the hospital and every one of them had pneumonia. They were at least 18 babies. I was there for two hours and in that two hours, two children died. The doctor then started telling me about pneumonia. What I found fascinating about it was one, that it is preventable and two, it is curable and yet children are dying. So by the time he gave me the statistics it was scary, because he was telling me 20 children die every hour from

Wife of the Cross River State governor, Mrs Obioma Liyel Imoke, has shown a rare passion towards the uplifting of the underprivileged in the society. Like her name which literally means “Good Heart”, she has proved herself as a blessing to many, especially women and children. In a session with newsmen in Calabar, the state capital, she speaks about her passion as well as the ups and downs of her programmes geared towards providing succour for the downtrodden. Nicholas Kalu was there. pneumonia. Now that is ridiculous for a disease that is preventable and treatable. So I decided that why don't we take this up and again get the women to understand that your child does not have to have pneumonia. So we started a state-wide advocacy to enlighten women on what pneumonia is all about, how to identify and treat it and so on. We tagged that programme, Breath of Life, because we want the child to breath and live. And that again would make Cross River State fit for every woman and every child. Then again, I got a call from UNICEF saying we have street children in Calabar. I said no, that this is Calabar, clean and green; a tourism state. They took me to the back of Okoi Arikpo House and I saw that 36 children were staying there. I interviewed some of them and some said their parents had died, their aunties do not want them, they ran away from home f o r whatever r e a s o n . Q u i t e frankly, it was

not a very good sight and I promised them that I would get them out of there and into a home by Independence day which I didn't do. But one of the things I did was that we were able to give them food on a daily basis. The good news is that they are all in school or they are all in vocational skills training. We have also been able to reunite some of them with their parents because that is the end result we are looking at, and get them to live happily ever after. We started an initiative which we called Giving Life Options to Widows (GLOW). Basically we want to not just focus on women, but this particular set of women who are disadvantaged just by the mere fact that their husbands died, ostracised or stigmatised, and they are not able to access funds and facilities the way other women are able to. We want t o m a k e a conscious effort to get these things to them so that they can live without feeling that their lives ended when t h e i r husbands died. It is always more

difficult for the widows than the widowers. So with all these, we hope we can improve the lives of the people of Cross River State. We also initiated a programme called Partnership Opportunities for Women Empowerment Realisation (POWER). It is a holistic way of empowering women. So far, do you think you have achieved your aims? When we started, we probably picked up a child every month. I don't think we’ve had more than two children that have died this year from being abandoned. For instance, there is just one home for teenage girls presently. Normally it should be six or so. I believe we are beginning to make impact. The CCQ works very hard. I believe we are on the right track. We still have a lot more to take more off the streets. We are getting there. Have there been low points in your doing all these? They have been many. Of course you know the office of the wife of the governor is not constitutionally approved. And like I have said I have seen it as a duty to complement what my husband is doing. But most of these things are capital and personnel intensive, and need well trained and high tech personal. We had a doctor, a psychiatrist, who started with us and within a year, he passed. It was a big setback for us because he was able to work with the children and find out what was going on, because if you get a child off the street raw, it is a crazy experience. We also have challenges of parents who could not live up to their responsibility. They just don't want those kids. I have never seen anything like that. For me, we struggled to get the child rights act and we really need to begin implementing that child rights act. Why would you refuse to take care of your child that did not choose you to have him or her? Of course, you know that is this life - we have all sorts of people and I just put it down to the devil's advocate, because I believe I came fully to Cross River State about five years ago and I believe these things did not just start happening when I got here. They have been happening since and I decided to try and curb this situation, taking children off the streets, taking babies off the streets, help young girls who have found, and then you find people misinterpreting what we are doing. It is not just insulting, but it is heartbreaking. That to me has been one of the greatest challenges that we have had. I had a very sad day one day. I actually called my husband and told him, ‘you know what, I am going to leave this.’ I don't want people writing and talking about me. There was this doctor in the University of Calabar Teaching Hospital, who had literally written to everybody he could possibly write to, saying I was trafficking children. It just doesn't make sense. I can't understand the wickedness behind that. I called my husband and said I was shutting down everything. He came back from work early that day to come and counsel me. We have young girls who come with absolutely nothing. We start from the beginning, we buy them clothes, we clean them up, and we send them to the hospitals to do their medicals. So you ask yourself how people come up with these things. We have a no exchange policy. Even to thank us we are okay. How are you going to make these sustainable, especially after the present administration expires? First of all, POWER is a non-governmental organisation. It is separate from government. That was one step we took from day one to ensure that it is sustainable. Secondly, we are going to put infrastructure in place to ensure that we sustain it and we are moving international. To the glory of God, people are beginning to recognise what we are doing. By the grace of God we would be able to interact with more international donors and keep the programmes sustainable. We have had several international agencies already partner with us on our projects. So we are getting more internationally savvy.



Success skills for female business owners


NTREPRENEURS are a rare until successful! 3. Be A “Walking Billboard” breed. Successful female The way you look and dress entrepreneurs are even harder to announces the outcome other people find. Many women wake up and start their can expect from you. Make yourself a day scrambling to tackle things they “Walking Billboard” by showing up have to do at once and they end up not everywhere and always looking like a achieving much by sun set. Others high-powered person at the top of her spend the entire day staring at their game. Join networking groups, emails such that they hardly take out Chambers of Commerce, and they will time to visit other productive websites notice you when you enter a room and and develop themselves. Unless you're want to know who you are. Next, write articles in local and other an oncologist or a website designer, publications to showcase your your mails can probably wait. A p a r t i c u l a r l y i m p o r t a n t expertise, keeping in mind you need to differentiator in today's job market is tell how you can solve problems others the ability to portray an entrepreneurial have. 4. Trust Your Instincts! appetite. It is the intangible element that The key to success of any business is not only are employers seeking but job to follow your instincts! Launching a hunters today crave. Whether we are running a retail company is like having a baby, boutique or starting communications or everyone will try to give you their real estate firms, resources are available opinions and advice. At the end of the to female entrepreneurs to assist them day, your decisions need to come from in successfully running our businesses, within. Remember, it's YOUR baby! The key to our success has been avoiding economic shortfalls and structuring finances to ensure stability. perseverance and adaptability. Don't be afraid of original concepts, but also 1. Don't Do It If You Don't Love It Love the product or service. Your don't ignore feedback when it can only company will take more time than you improve your product or service. 5. Become the queen of sales could ever imagine. Surround yourself If you want to be a tremendous with people who will tell the truth even success you MUST master the sales if it runs contrary to your idea. Listen! Be willing to wait for the pay off, process. Not doing so is what destroys there are no “overnight” successes. too many businesses. They think they Always do the right thing, no matter don't have to sell or are afraid of it so what the consequences of doing the they don't do it, or they do it incorrectly. right thing will be. At the end of the day The damage is huge. Become the Queen of Sales! Read a there is nothing more valuable than your integrity, both in life and in book, take a course, hire a coach; do business. Success will come and go but whatever it takes to master the sales process. It doesn't have to be hard or integrity is forever. scary. It DOES have to be mastered to be 2. Follow The Money Learn to read your financial successful. 6. Know Thyself statements, keep your bookkeeping In general: Love whatever it is you updated, and pay attention to cash flow. Bill customers promptly & follow up on plan to do. Passion and conviction will carry you through the tough times. And unpaid bills. Pay your vendors. Learn to work networking events develop a good support system. efficiently, follow up, and get involved Allowed your business to take off by in organisations that allow you to build committing emotionally, physically, relationships with clients, prospects, financially and mentally to your success. suppliers and virtual team members. Marketing: Know & work your niche Build a good website and keep it updated. Study social networking and market. Those professionals who know use it wisely. Blog regularly. Save who they are, what work they do best & money before you launch or as much as who they best connect with & serve you can once you've launched; have as receive more referrals than those who don't know these things. much capital together as possible 7. Be Helpful! Get on top of your day-toAlways be in a position to help. Help day/monthly/yearly financials as soon as possible. That means hire a people in your network connect with bookkeeper and an accountant. It saves others. Make useful introductions, you money in the long run. Persevere suggest relevant events and articles that




Aging like fine wine or a used car?


can help people grow their business. As you begin helping others, people will begin to help you. Remember it's a twoway street: if you ask for help, you should also offer help. Offer a specific way that you can add value to their business. And don't forget to pay it forward because a little help can go a long way! 8. Ask questions! Learn to do the ASK! Most entrepreneurs are uncomfortable asking for help, advice, feedback, sharing influence, partnership or collaborations. When entrepreneurs start their business by asking the right questions, they actually run the business differently. They explore how and when they will end or sell the business, create ways of doing business that aren't 100% relying on the owner, and develop a succession plan. Systematize everything. When entrepreneurs systematize everything, they save money, reduce duplicated efforts, ensure their business can run in their absence, and they create a business to sell. Have a plan. Many entrepreneurs begin a business because they are passionate….and the business runs according to their passions and energy, without a plan. Having a business plan, marketing plan, financial goals, and growth plan is essential. 9. It really does take a village to succeed! Build your village or team early. Create the buzz, talk to people in your field, and do lots of networking well in advance of your launch. If you already have a group of people that know you and your story, when the time comes to sell your product or open your business, these are the people that would have known you “way back when” and will be more than willing to help you succeed. It truly takes a village, and early on in this process I started recruiting mine. 10. Never Let Fear Be A Factor When you are first starting your business your excitement will carry you a long way. At some point in the process fear and doubt begin to creep in. “This is a dumb idea”, “Who do I think I am”, “I can't afford to do this”, “I am afraid I am going to fail”…blah….blah….blah. This fear and doubt is what stops many a great woman inventors from actually launching. Do not let fear stop you. Press forward and recapture the excitement when the idea was birthed in you and continue on!

T was obvious that their relationship was on the brink. In fact they had to come to the end of the road. The man Shola gave everything on a platter of gold messed up and absconded with a younger babe. She was devastated and almost found it hard picking up the broken pieces of her life back. Luckily, she later rediscovered herself and rebranded her personality. Here she was in the second phase of her life and instead of the stress she used to experience it was a better life. A life filled with new hopes and aspirations. On his part, Dotun realised that he made a mistake and was back on his knees. He was ready to come back no matter the terms. Shola, however, had moved on; she felt she had been used, dumped when it mattered. In that relationship she always saw herself like a used car and it had been a journey of turmoil and torture. Was she ready to go back and give him a second chance? 'I was never happy in that arrangement, everything I desired came last and never really mattered. How can he think that I was going to fall again? My philosophy is once bitten twice shy. I learnt the hard way and now that I know that men can be really deceptive, I threw all my emotions into the dustbin.' Can you really turn your back at love? Can you say a capital No to the one you once had a crush on? How does it feel to be so far away from the one you love, admire and cherish? Words certainly cannot explain this state of mind and it would definitely be different strokes for different love folks. Usually, anger, resentment, confusion, frustration and distance can be linked to relationships that have failed or are failing. Anger comes when you feel that you have been cheated, abused or taken for granted in one way or the other. On the other hand, frustration comes into the picture when it is not your making, here you just do not understand what is going on. You can also get to a point where distance can tear you guys apart and you just do not know what to do. So what can you do to salvage this emotional situation? Well, there are no strict rules, it varies from none relationship to the other. Bode's experience made him pull out of something he wanted for keeps. He looked around for a substitute but somehow nobody fit into his expectation's and so he sought a second opinion about the pluses and minuses of his quarrelsome babe. She used to be the gal who made your heart skip in the right direction. It should have been love but then this babe had this caustic tongue, a tongue that tore the two of you apart. What he was actually looking for were tongues of affection but somehow the poor guy got the reverse. Interestingly, the tongue is the most dangerous muscle in the body. It is indeed the control room of any relationship. If you know how to make use of it then you can fly with your emotional dreams and desires. Conversely, it could set the relationship ablaze. The beautiful gal of his dream also had the chameleon tongue. This she used to tell lies, Lies that appeared to be so harmless, yet helped to pull down all the emotional structures he had built over time. He loved her so much but how was he going to cope with this angel who churned out half truths on a daily basis? Deception was indeed a way of life for this babe while the one who desperately wanted to possess her prefer the truth always. He tried to change this babe but unfortunately it was already a way of life for her. Bitter and angry, the lovebirds veered off on two parallel lines. Is the break going to be for a while or have you guys finally come to the end of the road? For about four months the love war continued and every means of communication was cut off. Out of sight, out of mind? Not really! As a matter of fact, Deola had so many sleepless nights; life was not interesting without his queen. He discovered that she also had her good sides and it was better to dwell on the positive and try to change the negative with time. This gap has punched a deep hole in the affectionate part of his heart. So he just has to make up his mind if he wants to go back to this babe. If you do, then she is just a phone call away. Well, the lyrics of a song 'Just a phone call away' captures the way you are likely to feel at this point. It talks about the state of your mind when you are missing someone who is very dear to your heart. It talks about a state of emptiness and the fact that you can still reach out to the one you love, if you are willing to make the move. 'I'm only one call away from you And when you don't know what to do Just pick up the phone This isn't goodbye, not even a break I know it's not one that we wanted to take It's gonna be a while, a while………. This isn't goodbye but you are crying’.




Listen to the oracle called Kashim T

HERE are some occasions in one’s life, one French philosopher once posited, “which neither time nor circumstances can change nor obliterate from one’s memory,” the administration of Borno State by Governor Kashim Shettima constitutes one of such occasions. Caught from the onset in the web of socio-economic hydraheaded problems compounded by serious security challenges, Kashim had to bolster through the debris of catastrophe. Poverty was staring its ugly face on the masses, unemployment surging, hunger looming and above all threat to lives and properties became manifest. If most governors who took the mantle of office on May 29, 2011 were jubilitating and dancing, Kashim couldn’t because his was a legacy of problems and blood stained banner. In short, he inherited a debit balance sheet interms of peace which is pivot and a hallmark of any meaningful development. Thus the assumption of Governor Kashim into office was indeed a watershed in the history of Borno as it was an era born into uncertainties to fend to certainties. The state was becoming a no go area due to Boko Haram onslaught and other security challenges resulting into deaths, arson and even assassination.. Borno was now begging for survival from downward precipice. However, not withstanding the enormity of challenges, Kashim chose to embark on this tortuous journey guided by the inspirational words of Edgar Guest who said “there are thousands to tell you it cannot be done; there are thousands to prophesy failure and there are thousands to point out to you one by one the dangers that lie ahead. Just take off your coat and go to it, just start to sing and you tackle the thing that cannot be done and you’ll do it.” Today, Kashim’s administration through various poverty alleviation programmes has put smile on the faces of many youths. While some of the dormant industries are getting lease of life employing new hands, issues of strikes by teachers of primary and tertiary institutions inherited have been resolved; students allowances increased, farming getting boost through provision of fertilizers and other equipment and victims of security onslaught gradually being rehabilitated and compensated. Inshort, in its relentless pursuit to good governance, Kashim’s administration has put in place interim and long term measures to address the socio-economic challenges facing the state. Some of the measures have yielded results, some are yielding and others expected. Inspite of the gains recorded so far, the security challenges are still very much around, though there have been some respite. Fully aware that peace is the cardinal point of all development, Kashim from the onset of his administration has been very outspoken and blunt in his address or meetings with the stakeholders in this regard. His persistent brutal frankness and disposition have endeared many to him and giving hope to the hopeless. Some are however not comfortable with this disposition of his while others are watching. For example, speaking at the Government House in Maiduguri recently when a delegation of the Military led by the Chief of Defense StaffAir Marshall Oluseyi Petirin called on him, Governor Kashim reiterated once more that the unity of Nigeria is not negotiable. According to him it is not feasible to tell Christians in the north to leave


OT a few readers of The Nation on Sunday, September 9, 2012 must have been thoroughly appalled at the interview granted by Senator Chris Ngige and his response to the question of the agitation for the next governor to be of Anambra North extraction. This interview was a follow-up to one he granted the NTA Onitsha station where the same question was raised and he gave the same answer. The import of these interviews coming on the heel of the other and the same question being asked is not lost on any well intentioned reader as a self serving view on Anambra politics, as the state inches towards another gubernatorial election, come 2014. At best it was the inevitable product of an inevitable cause. And the cause: Induced sentimentality, of course. To begin with, it is doubtful that Senator Ngige actually understands the agitation of Ndi Anambra North senatorial zone he seemed to be succinctly condemning and impugning on the good intention of Governor Peter Obi. When asked if he agreed with “Anambra North’s call for the next governor to come from their zone,”Senator Ngige retorted that “Anambra people should be free to choose whoever they want,” alluded to the fact that the crisis in APGA was as a result of Governor Peter Obi’s campaign that the governorship should shift to Anambra

•Shettima By Victor Izekor

just as it is not tenable to tell Muslims in the south to leave. In his major address titled “Islam and Peace in Borno” to the people of Borno on July 16th 2011, Kashim said, among others, “….. the current state of insecurity and deplorable state of affairs is not unconnected with the attempt to impose the opinion of a small group on a larger society, a situation which clearly abridges the freedom to freely hold and express one’s opinion which is fundamental and inalienable in any given society.” He went on “My fellow citizens, going by the present spate of things, how can a true Muslim explain let alone profoundly justify the current unfortunate cold blooded murders and bombings in the name of Islam? Islam means “peace and submission to the will of God” and should remain so, in both theory and practice. Islam never sanctioned the killings of non-Muslims and the destruction of their places of worship”. Governor Kashim then drew the attention of the people to history saying, “in the early phase of

Islam, when Muslims were persecuted by the Makkan pagans, they sought refuge in the present day Ethiopia, under a Christian King Negus. The Muslims stayed in Ethiopia for 15years and all entreaties by the Makkan leaders for Negus to deport them were rebuffed. In the same address to the people, Kashim lamented, “ I am personally, deeply pained by the trend of events. I am a native of Maiduguri, born, bred and buttered right in the heart of Yerwa, from Nimeri Korongoso. Most of these insurgents are from the well known neighbourhood of Shehuri North, Shehuri South, Limanti, Lamisu, Gamboru, Fezzan and Hausari wards of the metropolis. I say unto you my brothers what Hamid Karzai, the Afghan President, said at the burial of his brother Wali Ahmed Karzai some few days back: “……. My message for them (Taliban) is that my countrymen, my brother, should stop killing their own people. It is easy to kill and everyone can do it, but the real man is the one who can save people’s lives.” At various fora, press interviews or meetings, Kashim has been consistent in call-

ing stakeholders, especially, the governors and elite in the north to confront the security challenges in the north frontally before such confront them. To him, delay could be very dangerous. According to him, leadership failure is responsible for north’s poverty and its present predicament. In a press interview recently, Kashim made it clear that a problem in Borno, or any part of the federation if not properly handled, will certainly spread to other parts of the federation, adding, “right from the onset of this insurgency, I repeatedly said that if this is not contained, it has the capacity to snowball into bigger conflagration that might consume the whole north. Now I am afraid it is assuming a very wider dimension. But with the collective effort of all of us and with our prayers I believe we shall solve the problem. All those who are predicting doom for the country will not succeed.” Also speaking in Maiduguri during the presentation of “Excellence in Governance” award presented to him by the Nigerian Union of Journalists delegation led by its National President Alhaji Mohammed Garba, Kashim warned that those with vested interest in the perpetuation of the status quo and entrenched ills of the society will sooner than later discover their stand at best uncomfortable and at worst downright objectionable. In Kashim words, “Those of us who are privileged to be in higher positions may have saved as much as we can, build mansions in cities and sent our children to the most expensive schools in Abuja or outside the country, but I can assure you that the children of the poor who we have failed to provide employment for and give quality of life will one day turn against us.” Kashim pointed out that though he was not a prophet or apostle of doom but warned that if the extreme poverty presently plaguing the north is not fastly reversed, hell might be let loose. He predicted, “in the next five years the north may be in trouble because all our assets and infrastructure have collapsed”. It will, however be recalled that besides Kashim, some northern leaders including the Sultan of Sokoto, Muhammed Sa’ad Abubakar, Alhaji Maitama Sule, the Dan Masanin Kano, General T.Y Danjuma (Rtd) have expressed utter displeasure at the deteriorating state of things in the north and called for urgent restoration. However, Kashim has been persistent and brutal in frankness in this regard. Let us listen to this blunt oracle from the Sahel so that we might not get to a point where the falcon will no longer hear the falconer. The present predicament of the north should inform its forward march. With collective will, dialogue, sincerity of purpose and prayers, the dark cloud will fizzle out and a shinning sun will emerge. This should be the ultimate. Let us remember the saying of Peter Marshall, “when we long for life without difficulties, remind us that Oaks grow strong in contrary winds as diamonds are made under pressure.” In the immortal words of Chief Obafemi Awolowo, “After rain comes sunshine; after darkness comes glorious dawn. There is no sorrow without its alloy of joy, there is no joy without admixture of sorrow. Behind the ugly terrible mask of misfortune lies the beautiful soothing countenance of prosperity. So tear the mask.”

Why governor should come from Anambra North RIGHT OF REPLY By J.E Okeke

North, and concluded by asking when and where politicians “sat” to agree to rotate the governorship. The irony from the interview was Senator Ngige’s inference that Gov. Peter Obi and others agitating for the election of a governor from Anambra North extraction were deceitful. Permit me ask Senator Ngige why he will suggest that politicians should be called to a meeting where zoning shall be agreed upon and yet state that Anambra people should be free to choose whoever they want? The world clearly understands that agitations most often arise from perceived injustice and marginalisation against groups. We would want to remind Ngige that our zone has always been the decisive battle ground for any party that will win the governorship election, and this was not different in 2003 when the zone delivered more than 37 percent of the total votes cast for PDP for which Ngige was the party flag-bearer.

One of the many promises Obi made during his campaign in 2010 was that he would support the election of a governor of Anambra North extraction in 2014. We want to remind Ngige that this issue was top priority amongst our requests from all governorship candidates that visited the Anambra North zone in the course of their campaigns, and which he (Ngige) was wavering in his response as to when he will support the agitation. The outcome was that Peter Obi got the overwhelming vote from our zone, and we are most grateful that he has elected to keep to one of his electoral promises as otherwise is the case amongst many politicians. Governor Obi is not canvassing for a stooge to replace him as he has been quoted praying that whoever shall replace him shall be someone who shall improve on what he(Peter Obi) has done. The only addendum that seems to be offensive to the senator is that he canvassed that such a person be from Anambra North extraction. It is a common democratic belief that from robust debates grow a better understanding of issues confronting a nation. Common sense dictates that for a nation to prosper and achieve its purpose, a good leader must govern it. It is our belief that leaders abound in the three

senatorial zones in the state to lead Anambra State. We wish to remind Ngige that he had no experience in government to signpost his ability to lead well until he became governor of Ndi Anambra, yet embedded amongst us are many who have held public offices and discharged them honorably and efficiently. Democracy is clearly associated with two principles: equality and freedom. Equality of men before the law and God, and their freedom to make a choice are the two pillars. We all know and understand clearly the need to engender internal democracy in political parties. We are not demanding that candidates of Anambra North extraction be foisted on the political parties. Rather, we are lobbying, appealling and urging good nurtured and well meaning Anambrarians in the spirit of oneness, co habitation to support the agitation to elect a governor of Anambra North extraction. Our appeal follows the same pattern of agitation for Igbo Presidency and it is an integral part of our cherished Igbo culture that “Charity begins at home”. Okeke is the Chairman, Anambra North Peoples Assemply





E was made a chief at the age of three. At five, he was already a national hero. Ofonime Felix Okon (aka Udo Maryam) is a child of destiny, someone whose path was paved with gold. When he began to play xylophone music at the age of three way back in 1990, little did he know that that would usher him into the world of recognition where he would begin in earnest to dine and wine with kings and princes. But that has been his story. In 1992, when he played at the First Ladies International Conference, held in Lagos, the then Nigeria’s First Lady, the late Dr. Maryam Babangida was so impressed that she went up to the stage to lift him up. At that momentous moment, an elated Babangida intoned: “This is my second son.” And so began little Ofonime’s glorious sojourn into national and global reckoning. He tells the story thus: “I started playing at the age of three and since then the talent has taken me to all over the world. It was during the First Ladies Conference in 1992 when I played and the then First Lady Dr. Maryam Babangida discovered me. She was so thrilled by my performance that she came to the stage and carried me in her arms. She then declared, ‘oh, you are my second son.’ I was so moved and so fascinated by those words.” Okon had just turned five then. “Beyond that, she gave me a scholarship to the university level. From that moment on, she continued to expose me globally, taking me along to national and international conferences to perform for people all over the world. She also commissioned me to travel far and wide with my act,


HE National Troupe of Nigeria (NTN) knows how to hold the audience spellbound with variety of dances and dramas. Apart from their statutory demands as Nigeria’s foremost dance and drama troupe, NTN has carved a niche for itself. It has so far created so many dance dramas based on the nation’s repertoire of rich cultural heritage, that once their artistes mount the stage, the audience will have no choice but to cheer and giggle all the way. This was exactly what took place last weekend as the nation celebrated its 52nd Independence anniversary. The Troupe created what it termed The Bridge, an assemblage of musical dance – drama to whet people’s appetite on the occasion. But it went beyond that. The Bridge dwelt on the story of Nigeria, a nation with so much in the midst of poverty. It showcased in hilarious and dramatic forms a nation in the throes of confusion, in the belly of rudderless situation in all spheres. But dance can also be used to melt the heart; to put people in a lighter mood to face the problems of life. That exactly was the hallmark of the dances that were presented on that day. Arnold Udoka, the dance director of NTN, said it took him four days to repackage what he termed the enlarged version of The Bridge. “It is to portray the totality of the nation in terms of drama, music and dance as it turned 52,” he said. When some old tunes of Rex Lawson were played by a band made up of Femi Ogunrombi, it was really time to reflect on the entity called Nigeria. The tunes threw people back into

‘My music is spiritual’ He attained national limelight in 1992 at the age of five. Chief Ofonime Felix Okon was that little boy who played to the delight of the First Ladies conference in Lagos in 1992. Edozie Udeze met him showcasing my talent,” he said. At the moment, he is a Higher Diploma student of Akwa Ibom State Polytechnic, Ikot Ekpene, where he is studying Business Management. “After my education, I hope to establish a music school where I will teach younger artistes how to play musical instruments. I basically play African music, even though I don’t sing. When a music comes into my head all I do is use the instruments to play along, displaying my God-given talent. I also use the instruments to spread the gospel of love and peace among the peoples of the world. That is my mission as a musician.” Okon’s instrument is no doubt unique and efficacious to him. “Ah, what I play is called xylophone, it is an African instrument, a sort of piano, made from woods and perfected to give it its own unique jingles and sounds. I developed it myself from local materials and still produce more for those who need them.” He explains why and how he came into music. “Yes, music is in my family. My father was a choirmaster in my local Catholic Church in Akwa Ibom and he was

well-known then. I started playing early with my elder brother. For me, music is a spiritual thing. My inspiration comes basically from God. When I sit down, it comes and rings in my brain. All I do is begin to tap on my knees. Then the sounds begin to register and I try to form the parts as they flow bit by bit.” Okon says he spends an average of four hours three times every week to rehearse. “I don’t joke with that. We have rehearsals both in Lagos and in Akwa Ibom. In fact I shuttle between Lagos and my state where I play from time to time. Music has given me all I need in life – satisfaction, joy, fulfillment, comfort and all that. And I am grateful to God. This is why I have to acquire education so that my music will flow better.” Even then, he says, “the government of my state is paying special attention to entertainment and tourism presently. And we artistes are the greatest beneficiaries. Therefore, we need to contribute our quota to make artistes feel good and discharge their responsibilities to the people of Akwa Ibom State,” Okon further explained.

•Udo Maryam

Building a musical bridge

•National Troupe demonstrating The Bridge. By Edozie Udeze

time. It reminded the audience about the good old days when Nigeria was the pride of the Black man and people were happy in their little cocoons and hamlets. Today, the situation is different because there is poverty in the land. The youths have no jobs, crimes in all guises have taken over

the arena. But the tunes drove bliss into the hearts of the people. Some even sang along, while Pamela Udoka and Osezua Stephen sang and danced away on stage. The scene was not only electrifying, it depicted a nation that can be made better if the necessary indices of progress and developments are put in place.


The Bridge demonstrated the story of a man who has just been promoted a bank manager. But the sudden transfer to a place named Tanfo did not appeal to him. Perhaps the name Tanfo irked him, or somehow due to the insecurity of lives and property there, he was reluctant to go. Ordinarily promotions come with joy and celebra-

“The Bridge demonstrated the story of a man who has just been promoted a bank manager. But the sudden transfer to a place named Tanfo did not appeal to him” tion. Nigeria’s situation is a peculiar one; people shun certain places where lives are taken so cheaply. Now do you blame the bank manager for being so indifferent about his promotion? This is why that desired new order of peace and harmony is enthroned in Tanfo. Udoka devised that means to reach out to the people. And Sir Martins Adaji, the Artistic Director of NTN, described it as the basis for our unity. “It is a total entertainment to throw us back and forth on the need to build bridges of love and trust,” Adaji explained. The dance itself demonstrated a metaphorical interplay of chaos and peace, struggle and attainment, denial and opportunity and so on, usually associated with the challenges of nationhood, a nation on the march to building new bridges of love and cohesion.




Feting Akinadewo; the journalist-writer W

HILE a columnist may not necessarily be described as a journalist, a writer could transform into one. Such were the submission of AkogunTola Adeniyi last Tuesday at The Sheraton Hotel and Towers, Ikeja, Lagos. And the occasion was the public presentation/ launch of a book, Here Come the Commander In Chief, a collection of incisive weekly articles written in the spate of the last four years by Gabriel Akinadewo, satirical columnist and editor of the Nigerian Compass. Crammed inside the hall, seasoned politicians and elite journalists, especially of the print media stock, which is Akinadewo’s immediate constituency. And on ground to felicitate with him were senior colleagues in the media. In attendance were editors of the major newspapers as well as veterans in the industry. With panegyrics ushering the special guests which included two former governors of Ogun State, Otunba Gbenga Daniel and Abia State, Orji Uzo Kalu, amidst other dignitaries,


By Joe Agbro Jr.

the event got a spice of Yoruba culture. And in the keynote address delivered by Akogun Adeniyi, a consummate journalist who was a former Chairman/Managing Director/Editor-In-Chief of the Daily Times group described Akinadewo as a journalist writer. The book whose running theme revolves around changing Nigerians’ negative attitude is a compilation of the author’s incisive articles in the last four years as editor of the Nigerian Compass. In his welcome address titled, ‘Why do Nigerians commit crimes per second?’, Akinadewo contended that: “Almost everywhere else, democracy is working except in Nigeria.” Arguing that Nigeria’s corruption does not seem from lack of relevant laws, he said; ‘I argued severally that we have enough laws in the land to make Nigeria one of the best countries in the world.’ According to Akinadewo

TARS and celebrities such as Seun Kuti, Tiwa Savage, Basketmouth, Kelechi Amadi Obi and Temi Dollface trooped out in support of contemporary photography for the first annual LagosPhoto Fundraiser held at the Eko Hotels & Suites, Lagos recently. The annual event that celebrates the promotion of photography in Lagos and runs in conjunction with the LagosPhoto Festival,features exhibitions, workshops and large scale outdoor prints displayed throughout the city with the aim of reclaiming public spaces and engaging the general public with multifaceted stories of Africa. The LagosPhoto Fundraiser Launched in 2010, LagosPhoto is the first and only international arts festival of photography in Nigeria.aims to benefit the newly created LagosPhoto Foundation, which will serve as an extension of the annual festival and create a yeararound permanent home of

contemporary photography in Lagos. The evening, which began with intimate cocktails, saw guests inspecting the photographs that would be auctioned. With inspirational


N a society where the standard of education has been under serious scrutiny and many concerned citizens have been of the opinion that children are not receiving enough attention both from their parents and teachers, a lover of children, Ita Hozaife, has come out with a solution. With her INK Marks, a non-governmental organisation (NGO) which specialises in the training of kids in all aspects of the arts and creativity. She has succeeded in redirecting attention to the need to encourage them to be more serious about their Godgiven talents and innate creative abilities. Last weekend, Hozaife, in collaboration with the Lagos Country Club, Ikeja, put together an award ceremony tagged Reel Kids Awards to reward children who participated in a 3-week summer training/workshop organised by INK Marks. The training was in the areas of speech, script writing, po-

•L-R: Representative of Rivers State Governor, Mr. Dakuku Peterside, former Ogun State Governor, Otunba Gbenga Daniel, and the author Gabriel Akinadewo, during the book launch in Lagos. PHOTO: MUYIWA HASSAN

who looked suave in a dark blue suit; ‘There is no perfect Constitution in the world. Even in Britain, a leading economic and political power on the globe, there is no written Constitution.’ He could not resist taking a swipe at how the administration of former President Olusegun Obasanjo unilaterally changed Section 188 of the Nigerian Constitution which

stipulated ‘that two-thirds of the members of a House of Assembly must vote ‘yes’ before a governor is removed.” He went further to say, “Many Nigerians would describe several actions of the Obasanjo administration between 1999 and 2007 as atrocities committed against the Constitution but, pitiably today, Obasanjo is still being referred to, in some quarters,

as the father and mother of modern Nigeria.” Opining that Nigeria’s problems have little to with its laws or the system of governance in place, Akinadewo said; ‘The major problem has to do with the attitude of Nigerians, leaders and the led. Any country whose citizens have the wrong attitude to achieving an egalitarian society, will continue to grope in

First annual Lagos photo show holds

•Kuti (2nd left) and other artistes at the event


speeches from Kelechi Amadi Obi, leading Nigerian fashion photographer,Zainab Ashadu, Head of Public Relations for LagosPhoto, Ndidi Okpaluba, Director, PMO and Operational Strategy, Etisalat and

Mr. Femi Lijadu, the audience was taken through a journey of the photographic community in Nigeria in an effort to highlight the importance of the art medium as a driving social force. Musical performances by Pauline Udiagha, Sésu, Temi Dollface, and a comedy sketch by Basketmouth set the mood for the lively festivities, and a three course meal added to the simplistic grandeur of the evening. As the intimate candle-lit dinner was underway and a musical performance by Sésu was drawing to an end, the distinguished guests of the LagosPhoto Fundraiser buzzed in anticipation for the Live Auction that was about to take place. As prices for art photography have soared globally in recent years and a new emphasis on photography in contemporary art has

placed the medium in a prime spotlight, the art collectors, patrons, and tastemakers who attended the black-tie LagosPhoto Fundraiser knew well that such an auction could make Nigerian art history. The highlight of the evening culminated in a record-breaking live auction led by Roger Woodbridge, MD of Mainstreet Bank, of photographs that were included in the previous two editions of LagosPhoto. Photographers included leading local and international photographers such as Peter DiCampo, Benedicte Kurzen, Caline Chagoury, Hans Wilschut, Kadir van Lohuizen, Kelechi Amadi Obi, Medina Dugger, Judith Quax, Chantal Heijnen, Nana KofiAcquah, Alafuro Sikoki, Héctor Mediavilla, and Alfredo D’Amato. As the paddles were continually raised

Talents in creativity By Edozie Udeze

etry, drama and film making, among others. For the three weeks that the training was in session, the kids were made to write their own songs and film scripts which they produced. Part of the film and musicals were shown to the guests during the award ceremony. Hozaife explained that she got into the project about ten years ago because she discovered that a lot of kids were not doing well in the areas of English and Literature. “And if you do not do well in these two subjects, no matter how gifted you are, it will be difficult for you to express yourself confidently. So, our focus is essentially on youth development through media. This includes creative writing and content development. Basically our target is to develop these skills in children and

young adults using interview techniques,” she said. The INK Marks training/ workshop has so well developed that a lot of the kids have elected to go into filming or song writing. The awards were put in place primarily to encourage them to continue to tap on their innate creative powers. One of the kids named Uche simply said: “I love to play the piano. When I am on stage too, I feel cool.” Uche is just 11 years old and has been so indoctrinated that she now knows what it takes to be a deejay and a music star. “Music is good and I love it,” she said. The awards came in the following categories: best overall student, best team leader, best team player, most inspiring Reel kid. Others were Reel kids music videos, best team collaboration, best original

song, best music video concept and so on. It was while the recorded videos of the workshop were playing that a lot of parents really stood up to cheer their kids. The children performed with so much dexterity that one wondered how

the dark.” “Nigeria’s problems border on the consistent inconsistencies of Nigerians which have to do with our attitude growth, life, death, development, and our welfare.” No doubt, in a lucid and entertaining manner, Akinadewo’s articles analyse issues and problems confronting the country. In one of the articles, Akinadewo ensures justice comes the way of the family of three year old Kaosarat who was killed by a policeman’s bullet while her parents were further harassed by the same police. Reflecting on that story, Adeniyi said; “Written in prose, Akinadewo nonetheless brings the horrendous tragedy and man’s inhumanity to man to the fore. The power of his prose compels tears.” It is not news that Nigeria is going through hard times. Hopefully, the sense captured in Akinadewo’s compendium of articles, Here Comes the Commander In Chief ‘can fix Nigeria.’ and friendly competition for the winning bids stirred in the air, auction prices set record highs when Caline Chagoury’s Delaissé (Left Behind) sold for N5,000,000 and Hans Wilschut’s The Warp sold for N2,800,000. The live auction garnered a total of N13,675,000, allowing the LagosPhoto Foundation to implement exciting new photographic projects in Lagos. The record breaking sales at the LagosPhoto Fundraiser cement photography’s prime place in the contemporary art scene in Lagos and set a precedent for the future of Nigerian contemporary art. LagosPhoto opens on 13 October 2012 at the Eko Hotel & Suites, with nine simultaneous satellite exhibition venues including the African Artists’ Foundation, A White Space, Nimbus Gallery, Omenka Gallery, Muri Okunola Park, University of Lagos, and the Falomo Roundabout. they could have perfected their act within three weeks. The joy of it is that those talents have been discovered and the kids can jolly well prove their worth. Hozaife said: “This is for me an opportunity to give love to others, to help families and prepare the kids for the challenges ahead. That’s my joy.”

Book on Dokpesi launched


HE Man, Raymond Dokpesi” a book by Raymond Dokpesi Centre for Media Development was launched recently in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja. The book, according to Christopher Obuetse, the director general of the centre, is an update of his first memoir “Raymond Alegho Dokpesi, a Legend of Our Time”. He said the new book takes a look at the life of Dokpesi a man he said is

By Innocent Duru

worthy of note and emulation. “Raymond Dokpesi epitomises struggle, his spirit in adversity is never broken. He is a man who has gone through tough and challenging periods in life. His second name is storm, turbulence and in all these, God stood with him. “The book is an intellectual material aimed at bridging the gap in broadcasting history and media struggle in Nigeria,” he said.




End of the fatwa and new life, new rules H

E was invited to a U2 concert at Earls Court. The police said yes at once when he told them: finally, something they wanted to do! Backstage, after the show, he was shown into a trailer full of sandwiches and children. Bono came in and was keen to talk politics. They didn't spend long together, but a friendship was born. On a political trip to Dublin, Elizabeth and he were invited to stay at Bono's place in Killiney. Bono smuggled him out to a bar without telling the Garda and for half an hour he was giddy with the unprotected freedom of it and maybe thanks to the unprotected Guinness too. When they got back to the Hewson house the Garda looked at Bono with mournful accusation. A much-postponed meeting with John Major finally took place on May 11 at his office in the House of Commons. He had spoken to Nigella Lawson before he went and her levelheadedness was a great help. 'He can't possibly refuse to back you,' she said. She also had good news; she was pregnant. He told Elizabeth this, knowing that she very much wanted to be pregnant herself. But how could they think about bringing a child into this nightmare, into their soft prison? And then there was the simple translocated chromosome (a genetic condition Rushdie has), which turned pregnancy into biological roulette. A baby didn't seem like the wisest option for a man who was about to beg the Prime Minister to help him save his life. The Prime Minister was not wearing his trademark nice-guy grin and did not talk about cricket. 'I'd like to thank you for the four years of protection,' he told Major. 'I'm immensely grateful to the men who look after me, risking their own lives.' Major looked shocked. This was not the Rushdie he had expected. 'Maybe you should say things like that more often,' he said, 'in public, to correct the impression people have of you.' 'Prime Minister,' he said, 'I say it every time I talk to a journalist.' The meeting went well from then on. U2's giant Zooropa tour arrived at Wembley Stadium, and Bono called him to ask if he'd like to come out on stage.

On February 14, 1989, Salman Rushdie was sentenced to death by Iran's Ayatollah Khomeini, who issued a fatwa, accusing his novel 'The Satanic Verses' of being 'against Islam, the Prophet and the Qur'an'. Rushdie then adopted the alias Joseph Anton - merging forenames of authors Conrad and Chekhov. Here, is the final extract from his memoir 'Joseph Anton.' Rushdie writes in the third person as 'Joseph Anton'. Amazingly Special Branch did not object. Maybe they didn't think there would be many Islamic assassins at a U2 gig. He took Zafar and Elizabeth with him and for the first half of the show they sat in the stadium and watched it. When he got up to go backstage Zafar said: 'Dad don't sing.' All of a sudden he was ready. He told Elizabeth that he agreed; they should try to have a child. All the problems remained, the security issues, the simple translocated chromosome, but he didn't care. The newborn life would make its own rules, would insist on what she or he

needed. Yes! He wanted to have a second child. In any case it would not have been right to prevent Elizabeth from becoming a mother. They had been together for three-and-ahalf years and she had loved and put up with him with all her heart. But now she was not the only one who wanted a baby. A new year began. He kept trying to talk to Elizabeth about America. In America they wouldn't have to live with four policemen or the constant accusation of costing the nation a fortune without having performed any service to it.

Rushdie with Nigella Lawson

They had had a taste of that freedom in the last couple of summers (when they'd gone to the Hamptons on Long Island); they could have much more of it. Whenever he raised the subject she scowled mutinously and wouldn't discuss it. He began to see that she had a fear of freedom, or at least of freedom with him. He left for Paris to launch the French edition of The Moor's Last Sigh; the tension between them had not died down. In Paris, Caroline Lang, Jack Lang's brilliant and beautiful daughter, came to keep him company at the H么tel de l'Abbaye one afternoon, and because of her beauty, and the wine, and the difficulties with Elizabeth, they became lovers; and immediately afterward decided not to do that again, but to remain friends. In early September, Elizabeth's dearest wish came true. She was pregnant. He at once began to fear the worst. If one of his faulty chromosomes had been selected then the foetus would not form and she would miscarry very soon. But she was joyfully confident that everything was fine, and her instincts were right. There was no early miscarriage, and soon enough they could see an ultrasound image of their living, healthy child. 'We're going to have a son,' he said. 'Yes,' she said, 'we're going to have a son.' It was as if the whole world was singing. Meanwhile Elizabeth had become obsessed by secrecy. She didn't want anyone outside their inner circle to know she was pregnant until the baby was born. He did not know how to keep such secrets any more. He wanted to be allowed to live an honest life with his family. At dinner with Caroline Michel and Susan Sontag in a restaurant he told Susan about the baby and she asked if they were going to get married. Um, he stumbled, we're doing fine, lots of people don't get married these days. 'Marry her, you b*****d!' Susan shouted. 'She's the best thing that ever happened to you!' When he got home he stood in the kitchen leaning against the Aga range, and said, wryly: 'We'd better get married, then.' He found that he was feeling good about it, which amazed him. After the Wiggins catastrophe he had thought he would never risk another marriage. But here he went

Contd. on page 67




Enchanted by Obudu allure, AU President Yayi brings summit to Cross River

Yayi and entourage at the Resort pool side


UDDENLY, the weather changed. The mist rose like a white balloon and enveloped him and his team. It was euphoric! The temperature dropped. Everything seemed to stand still. They often do. At the hilltops of Obudu, the weather swings like the mood of a pregnant woman; one moment it is warm, the other it is supper cold. As the President took it all in, he nodded his head intermittently. A thought crossed his mind. The best of Africa should share in this experience. That was how the African Union Chairman (AU) and two-term President of Benin Republic, Boni Yayi, made up his mind that the next Summit of the African Union would hold in Cross River State. As President of Benin Republic and Chairman of AU, BoniYayi thought he had seen the best that the world had to offer in scenic beauty and floral splendour. But as it turned, nothing in his experience had prepared him for the wonders of the Obudu Ranch Resort. Confronted by the ethereal charms of the Resort, complemented by 21st century technology and a courteous staff, the President marvelled at this hidden treasure of Africa. He chatted excitedly about how the beautiful resort had re-affirmed Nigeria's leading position in Africa as a land of all possibilities. Awestruck by the otherworldliness of Obudu and its surrounding landscape, President Yayi was eager to explore. He decided on his second day at the Ranch, to move around and take in everything Obudu had to offer. From the Presidential Suites, he was driven to the waterpark from where he was taken to behold the

beauty of the waterfall, which from the maintain peak, looked like a giant silver thread. Overwhelmed by what he was seeing from a distance, he sought to know how long it would take him to walk to the waterfall. Six hours he was told. That got him fascinated the more. For how could he see the waterfall, which was six hours away from him on foot? But then, that is one of the many magic of Obudu. Done with taking in the sights of the mountain ranges and its allure, he and his team began walking back to their vehicles. Suddenly, the weather changed. The President and his team realised they were taking a walk in the clouds as a fog enveloped everywhere. With temperatures dropping to create a chill, visibility became poor. The Ranch is the only place in Nigeria that experiences four different weathers. And like is often said of the United Kingdom, weather in Obudu swings like the mood of a pregnant woman. One moment it is sunny, the next moment it is freezing. Despite the 'European like' weather, as he put, he decided to descend to the foot of the Ranch. He was going to experience a ride in a cable car for the first time in his life. And believe me, it is not an adventure for the faint-hearted. At the cable car station, his advance team took off first. When it was his turn to board the car, he did something that got everyone around reeling in laughter. After taking a ponderous step towards the cable car, he hesitated, turned around looking at no one in particular. Then he did a sign of the cross, a form of prayer by Catholics for protection, before entering the cable car that took him from a mountain range of over 500 000 feet above sea level to the ground level. On the ground, he joined the locals in playing drums and dancing to the rhythm of their dance steps. Done with dancing, he hopped back into the cable car that took him back up. Overwhelmed with excitement,

President Yayi revealed that given what he had seen and tasted in Obudu, he no longer would spend his holidays in Paris, France or Madrid in Spain. “I will come back,” he said repeatedly, before adding that he would make a case for the next Summit of the African Union to be hosted at the Obudu Ranch Resort President Yayi, who could not hide his feelings, described Cross River State as the most beautiful place he had visited in Africa. “It was a pleasant surprise to me when I visited those attractive sites here in the Ranch. I never knew there are God's wonders in this part of the world. It is fantastic,”he enthused. Yayi urged Nigerians to see Obudu as a tourism offering that must be aggressively marketed to the outside world, adding that the world ought to know Nigeria by this God's wonder and AU president exiting his suite, (left) Nigeria Airforce plane that flew him to Obudu

not Boko Haram. “We should not only talk of insecurity in the country, but try to project other good things that abound here and showcase them to the world in order to bring development to the country,” the AU boss stated. He promised to contribute his quota to support the tourism initiatives embarked upon by the state government. While commending the state Governor, Senator Liyel for the laudable initiatives and for keeping the state clean and green, which is one of the things that have made him contemplate more visits to the resort for holidays, he added that Nigerians and indeed Africans have no business going to Europe or other parts of the world when they have a jewel that must be patronised to grow.

By Our reporter



Kidnapper in the cathedral —PAGE 56

Why I oppose DNA testing for MKO’s children, says Abiola’s younger brother, Mubashiru Fourteen years after the death of Chief Moshood Kashimawo Olawale Abiola in controversial circumstances, after he was held by the federal government for declaring himself winner of the 1993 annulled presidential election, his memory is still fresh in the mind of his younger brother, Alhaji Mubashiru Abiola, the present head of the family. As he speaks, his words are heavy and his emotion deep, betraying an inner feeling which indicates that the wounds may have dried up on the surface, but definitely there’s still sore inside. In this interview with Paul Ukpabio in Abeokuta, Mubashiru Abiola talks about the mind of the family concerning how his brother died, the state of his properties, why the DNA verification of his children will remain controversial, and the present state of the Will.



OURTEEN years since the death of your brother, how have you been remembering him? Personally, I do prayers with Alfas every Friday for his remembrance. The family are doing the same here in Abeokuta where he had a mosque in his house and also at his Ikeja home in Lagos. Everybody knows that he was the bread winner of this house and since he has gone, the family is all right though not fully. We are trying our best, even MKO’s children are trying their best, and Kola is trying his best. Is there any particular reason why only two of his wives are staying in the house at Ikeja? There are no particular reasons why some wives live in Ikeja and others do not live there. That is how MKO left his thing. We are having two wives; the one that is senior now is Alhaja Adebisi Abiola. That one is living there and Dr. Doyin Abiola is living there as well. And the children like Hafsat do not live there permanently, since she comes and goes, she lives in Belgium with her family, Jamiu and Mumuni - all children of Alhaja Kudirat Abiola. Mumuni is now permanently in Nigeria. He is here with his wife and children. As head of the family, what role do you play? I have always been trying my best to unite the family and in doing that, I always work in collaboration with Kola because he is the first son of the family, while his sister Kuburat Omolola Edewor-Abiola is the senior daughter in this family. I talk to them regularly, though Kola is always travelling. I am presently trying to get him to talk to me about some things. There are things to talk about. Who are the people staying in the Sabo area home of your late brother currently? We rented out some part of the place, while

some family members too stay there. This is because if we leave the house without people inside, it’s likely that the house may just collapse. It is not like most of the people living there are paying the real worth of the rent, no. Some of them are just staying there, in order to take care of the building. But the place looks unkempt when we got there this morning. The building which used to host top government officials, traditional rulers and dignitaries from abroad when the late Abiola was alive is in abandoned state. I don’t know, but I go there regularly. The truth is that, I’m having plans to refurbish the whole buildings in the compound before the end of this year. But that will cost a lot of money. Does that mean that you are comfortable? Not that I am very comfortable. I am not comfortable and at the same time, I am not in discomfort. I am in the middle. But I know that when I want to do it, if I don’t have the power to do it, I will call on our Governor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun, he is my brother as well. I believe that God will do it. People are living in the houses there right now; the mosque is being used too. Though, none of my late brother’s children is living there. Those who live there are extended family members and also those we have rented out the place to. It is not that we collect exorbitant amount from these people, it is to help them and also make them tidy up the place. How far has the family gone with the issue of the Will? There is nothing wrong with the Will, except that we do not have the original yet. Nobody can say that he has MKO’s original Will. We have not seen the original Will. I •Continue on Page 57


LORENCE Adeyemi’s cry of “My baby… where is my baby?” in the middle of the intense night prayer session in a church in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, did not only distract the congregation at the vigil, it abruptly terminated the session with all attention turning to the panic-stricken woman. The fact that such a spectacle was a rarity in the church, With God Mission Church, located at Sanyo axis of the ancient city made the prayer warriors to sacrifice their devotion to join the distressed woman in the search for her baby. At this time Adeyemi was inconsolable. She was drenched in tears within minutes. Fear gripped everyone including the leadership of the church who were scared of the implication of the incident on the image of their fast-growing church. “That night I sympathised with the church officials. I watched them lamenting while running around looking for the possible places within the church premises where they thought the child could be. The situation can better be imagined. I could not join the search team because I had health challenges which actually took me to the church that night. But I also felt the heat as a mother,” an eye witness who craved for anonymity said. Normalcy, however, returned when from one of the rooms in the premises came a shouting match between one of the church officials and an unidentified person. This encounter spontaneously diverted the attention of the people to his direction. The shouting match The official, shouting at the top of his voice, was attempting to drag out a woman from the room but the woman was resistant having realised what was awaiting her outside the room. The official opted for unusual solution as he broke the door to access the room where he was face-to- face with Adeoye Kemi holding a baby. Kemi’s countenance had already betrayed whatever defence she might want to put up. By the time the mother of the baby arrived the spot it became more apparent that Kemi attended the night vigil for a different purpose. “The mother rushed at the baby but she was prevented by other members of the church to allow the officials interrogate the suspect. The tension had reduced but the noise was too much. The officials of the church saved the situation as the people had started to throw objects at her calling her devil and all sorts of names. The suspect was looking dejected as if she was on drug. She did not look like somebody who came to the church to pray that night,” the source added. If the mother had been allowed to handle the suspect the situation could have degenerated and compounded the problem. The mother could have attempted to take a pound of flesh and in the process overreacted. Joys of motherhood “My mood was too bad that day. I felt like hitting her. I could have done this if not for the people that prevented me to move closer to her. Upon all the noise over her, she did not look




Kidnapper in the cathedral It was supposed to be a prayer session and vigil at the Ibadan based church. However, an unusual drama interrupted the serene prayerful atmosphere. Tunde Busari reports


as if she realised what she did was a crime. I give glory to God for not allowing her to take my baby out of the premises before we caught her,” the elated mother said thankfully. In the end, the church contacted the police at Sanyo Divisional Police Headquarters from where a team effected the, arrest of Kemi and detained her briefly after which she was transferred to the State Criminal Investigation Department (SCID), Iyaganku, Ibadan. The Nation gathered that the 28-year-old suspect had arrived at the church early like others but hid within the premises. It was from where she hid that she patiently monitored the unsuspecting mother of the baby. She was busy preparing the baby for sleep to allow her uninterrupted prayer session with the congregation. When the baby had slept off and the mother left the spot, Kemi struck! She decided to carry out her devious plan. Nobody could explain how she tiptoed to the spot and carried the sleeping baby girl. She, however, offered an insight into the act. “I saw the baby sleeping and walked up to her and carried her. I tied her at my back and left the place. I then saw a room where I was when they saw me with the baby,” she said. Although Kemi alleged that

she was sent to steal the baby by a woman she called Funmilayo Akande, further investigation could not establish the substance of the allegation. Akande’s claim revealed a link between her and Kemi but the police say they have no evidence of the duo’s recent contact. The woman was consequently allowed to go. “It is not proper to hold an innocent for offence she did not commit. The parlance is that it is better a policeman allow 100 criminals to escape than punishing one innocent person. Before we went after the woman, we had gathered some information about her from her area. This helped us to quickly resolve the matter,” a police source said. The general consensus based on the character trait of the suspect throughout her detention period suggests a mentally unstable woman. During cross-examination with her alleged sponsor, it was learnt, she left no one in doubt of her inconsistency, thereby vindicating the woman when she was expected to reveal more information that could have nailed her as a kidnap kingpin. A police source disclosed that a member of the suspect’s family had cleared air on the suspicion of her health challenge. She was said to have once been a patient at the University

College Hospital (UCH) Ibadan after the family noticed a remarkable change in her behaviour. She is blessed with a kid but not married. According to the source, the suspect was also reputed for her diligence, the attribute that took her to Emmanuel Alayande College of Education, Oyo and later University of Ado-Ekiti where she studied Social Studies. “It is glaring that she is well educated despite her funny behaviour. We first thought she was trying to be smart. But whatever the case may be she would be charged to court”, the source said. Prompt investigation True to this promise, the suspect had since been arraigned at the Magistrate Court 12 in Ibadan on September 17. She was charged for child stealing but granted bail. The Acting Police Public Relations Officer of Oyo State Police Command, Daniel Oboyi, a Deputy Superintendent of Police, confirmed this and passed a judgement that the police acted well and in accordance to the Inspector-General, Mohammed Abubakar’s speedy investigation directive. “Elongating the investigation of this matter in particular will mean a contravention of the IG’s directive. And my CP has warned that whoever is found

wasting too much time on a case that requires less time to investigate will face sanction,” Eboyo said. There are fears that child theft has sneaked into the crime list in Ibadan in particular with the arrest of yet another woman a few weeks ago. The suspect, Sherifat Hassan, was arrested at Iyana Church, while allegedly attempting to abduct two little boys. It was learnt that she lured the kids with biscuits from a play ground where she found them. Luck, however, ran out on her when a relation of the kid ran into her and raised a poser she could not answer. “The relation quickly raised alarm which attracted the people of the neighbourhood to the scene. That was when they took the suspect to the Monatan Division,” a source said. The suspect would later deny the theft allegation with a claim that she had gone to the area in search of a church where she was to seek a solution to a certain problem she had battled with in the past few years. She said somebody introduced the church to her as the right place she could get the problem solved after her past unsuccessful effort at different places. “So when I was told about this church I said to myself that it could be the place. That is what brought me to the place. I was resting, at the spot where the people came to me, after I have searched for the church for some time without success. So, I could not understand why they said I wanted to steal the kids when I am praying to God to give me my own too,” she said in emotionladen voice. It was further learnt that the suspect, who also claimed to be a trained fashion designer, had a failed marriage. The factor which, a source argued, could be the reason she was searching for a church. The suspect also revealed she was into a fresh relationship and that given the reason she could not have done anything that could jeopardise her second attempt in marriage. She is already under prosecution having appeared before a magistrate at the Magistrate Court 12 at Iyaganku, Ibadan. Attempt to commit felony was slammed on her while the case has been adjourned to October 17. In a similar development, the duo of Martina Onwelikwe and Kingsley Linus are currently undergoing interrogation at the Abuja office of the National Agency for Prohibition of Traffic in Persons and other related Matters (NAPTIP). The suspects were detained following a discovery connecting them with a trafficking syndicate with network in major cities in Nigeria. They were arrested at the point of selling two babies for N400, 000 each. According to the Assistant Director of Press and Public Relations of the agency, Orakwe Arinze, the suspects’ modus operandi revolves round abduction and snatching of babies from their mothers, after which they transfer them to their agents, who are specialists in marketing the babies. NAPTIP officials are already on the trail of the agents while assuring that the suspects would be transferred to the police for further investigation and prosecution.




Yorubas compelled IBB to annual June 12 •Continued from Page 55

don’t know how government can help us with that; I was at Abuja some time ago on the matter. If you go to my late brother’s home at Ikeja, Lagos, you’ll find out that the place is always as if the man is still around. This is because of the efforts of Alhaja Moriamo Adebisi Abiola who has been taking care of the place; even paying for security, workers etc. I give real kudos to her and I always pray for her. Truly, she really deserves to be the head of the wives. Are you saying that she is co-coordinating the wives to your satisfaction? In fact, you know women, but what I can say is that this woman is trying her best, because each time I go there and see the place and the way she is handling affairs of the place, I am always delighted with her, and I must keep praying for her. I am happy with her. Has the family accepted the fact that there is no Will? I must absolve Kola of all blame here if the Will is available, I’m sure that he will handle it properly, and he has always been doing his best. However, I am surprised that this country is not treating this family well; the government is not treating this family well. Even in Ogun State where we belong. This is because it is this man that laboured to get these people there. They know that it was MKO that laid his life down for all of them to benefit. They are supposed to do something for the family. It is this country that killed this man. And everybody knows that in this country. Who among these present governors can face the military, face people with guns? It was this man that laid his life down because he wanted this country to survive, to be a very good country, to be democratic. But President Jonathan Goodluck recognised him recently, by re-naming the University of Lagos after him. That is fantastic, we appreciate it. He did well. However, people protested that MKO Abiola deserved more than that. Do you agree? I understand that, but somebody has to start from somewhere. This man has started by doing something, he can still do more. And that is our expectation. We are even planning to go and see him officially and thank him for the gesture. As the head of the family, what can you say about the actual size of the family? We are having about 77 children all round the world. How does the family keep in touch with one another, and how do you keep tab with everyone? The children are all in separate places across the world; America, Belgium, London, Nigeria and so on. The children keep communication going between themselves. As a family, we try to communicate and reach them one by one. I call them on phone regularly. And some of them are doing very fine. Some of them come home too at times and Kola especially, always goes round to see them abroad. Presently, I am trying to organise a family re-union, whereby all the Abiola family will be coming together at a particular time, though some of them are staying in faraway places. Most of them are abroad, but they have been connecting themselves on phone and on the internet. They make appointments and they meet in London and America. How did you resolve the issue of some wives that were accepted, while others were not? The wives are still there, but the only thing is that most of them were


not living with him when he was alive. There were four wives living with him before he died. But right now, two among the four are alive. The other wives, do they still identify with the family? Yes, they still do that. Anytime they have a problem, they call on me or they go to Kola, they go to his house and Kola, to the best of my knowledge, gives them assistance at such times. Without an original Will and a sharing formula guided by a Will, are there grudges or any grouse? As far as I am concerned, Kola has his own family too, so he can only do his best with his siblings’ school fees and other matters. Fourteen years after, has any of his wives re-married? In fact, we have not experienced or had such a situation! None of the wives he left behind has thought or made known intention to re-marry. Most of them already have children for him, at least one or two children. So the women are still maintaining his name till today. How about the continuity of politics in the Abiola family? Is the family encouraging and embracing participation in the nation’s political affairs? Yes, his first daughter went into politics, she is still in it. Right now, she has a federal government appointment in Abuja. Then Lekan in recent times has gone into politics. He told me about it, and I gave him the blessing. The only thing is that he made a political mistake. He has realised it, and he has plans to correct his mistake. Though right now, he is not in any particular party. Most of the children do not really feel inclined towards taking part in politics. They don’t seem to be interested. I am talking as of today, because I

• Abiola family house at Abeokuta, Ogun State

don’t know what will happen tomorrow. Why is it that it is only few of the children that are interested in politics? See what they did to our bread winner who went into politics. If Abiola had not joined politics, he would still be around and alive. He was killed. The way they killed him is what we don’t know yet, but he was killed by the government of General Sani Abacha. I don’t even advice anyone of them to go into politics. Gen Ibrahim Babangida is not the one that killed MKO. He may have been the one that annulled the election, but it was not his fault. It was the Yoruba people that compelled him to annul the election. And that is the honest truth. The Hausa people voted for him. He was voted for in the east and in the west, but most of the Yoruba leaders did not vote for him. They were the people behind his death. There is a Yoruba proverb that says that, Ti iku ile o ba pa eniyan, iku ode o le pa eni na. So it is Yoruba people that killed him. However, we don’t owe the Yoruba people any grudge over it. Here in this family, we believe in God, and we put everything to God to judge. Though we will like to see the six states in the western part of Nigeria do something for Abiola’s family. Apart from Lagos and Ogun States, no other state has made effort to identify with the family. Abiola identified with everybody. He did not limit himself to Lagos and Ogun States alone. Chief MKO Abiola was a man of wealth. Fourteen years after, will you say that the wealth has continued in the family? I can’t say yes, I must confess to you. It is not so all right and it is not so convenient. That much I must tell

you. But Kola is doing well and trying his best to keep some element of wealth going on. Most of the businesses he left behind are down. However, we have individuals within the family, who God is also blessing, even among his children. Then also, the wives. That woman I mentioned to you earlier, Alhaja Adebisi Abiola, may God bless her, she is a business woman and a very strong member of this family. Once she hears of anything concerning the Abiola family, she throws her full weight behind the matter. Some of the wives are lawyers too. How about the DNA issue? In fact, that DNA test to acknowledge the paternity of all the children was instructed by MKO Abiola. And it was done by most of the children that were around. However, not all the children took part in that exercise because not all of them were around. Some were abroad and there were even those that reside in Nigeria, who were unavoidably absent. As an African, isn’t there other ways apart from DNA that we can use to tell or identify a man’s children? In fact, as far as I am concerned, I don’t fully believe in DNA. I didn’t believe in the exercise because there ought to have been an elder from the family to take part in the verification exercise. Not that they will just go and then come back with the result. No, it shouldn’t be done in that way. We don’t do things like that in Africa. There has to be a reliable elder from the family who is mature to be part of the verification exercise, not for us to just depend on DNA test. I am not saying it is not good but this is Africa. If some people are saying that they are the true sons or daughters of this family, allow them, let them say it. They could be right.

“Gen Ibrahim Babangida is not the one that killed MKO. He may have been the one that annulled the election, but it was not his fault. It was the Yoruba people that compelled him to annul the election. And that is the honest truth. The Hausa people voted for him. He was voted for in the east and in the west, but most of the Yoruba leaders did not vote for him. They were the people behind his death.”

We were not there; we were not witnesses of such relationships. So it needs the maturity of family elders. How can you just do DNA test without family elders and then publish it in newspapers. That is bad and not acceptable. That is too bad. Who in Africa has ever done that before? I don’t know of anybody. As Africans, we wash our dirty pants in our house and not in the general public. That is why I stand against it. If anyone comes round to us and says I am the daughter of MKO, of course, we will admit him or her. The man said something like that before he died that if anyone comes after he dies and says he or she is a son or daughter, that I, his younger brother, should be called to confirm if it’s true or not. And anywhere I see the Abiola sign I will know. We have a sign in this family. If I see the sign, I will admit the person immediately. But has there been a situation where you admitted someone into the family after seeing such a sign? Yes. And that is why I don’t believe in DNA, this is Africa; anybody can do anything with the result of a supposed DNA test. As a matter of fact, for a man, you will be lucky if you don’t have a bastard child. But at the same time, if he was to be alive, he will know better. For instance, it will be wrong for anyone of my own direct children to come out and say the other one is a bastard. He can’t do that: one child telling another child that? How can you call another child a bastard? What about you? How are you so sure that you are not a bastard yourself? What would you say is your present concern about the family right now? I will like to see the government assist us by paying the debt that the federal government owes our late bread winner. They owe him a very huge amount and they could start by paying us gradually. How much is it? The federal government knows how much it is. It is about N33 billion. Let them pay some of the money or give contracts that can help people in this family. I have four children who have been looking for employment now and they are even depending on me now even when they have completed their education. Government has to come to our aid.



Homemade tummy upset remedies


Stopping a running tummy H

AVING an upset stomach is not only uncomfortable, it can also be downright embarrassing. With the stressful lifestyle, unhealthy eating habits and rising trend in patronising fast food eateries, many are faced with the challenge of resisting a running stomach. As the rainy season draws to a dramatic end, with its unending downpour and resulting floods in most parts of the country, it is observed that the contamination of food from water sources is on the increase. This in turn gives bacteria direct access to the stomachs of its victims through the foods they ingest. However, this health condition can be averted if people would be a bit more cautious and cleaner. According to Dr. Charity Onabolu, “Stomach upsets is an issue that a lot of people have to deal with on a regular

By Rita Ohai

basis in our part of the world because of the poor health habits some Nigerians practice. The quality of meat we buy from the market is sometimes filled with all kinds of worms because it is always exposed to flies and dust and the people who buy the meat do not wash it as properly as they should. In the long run, people fall ill.” In cases where very high hygiene standards are practised, the culprit can be as simple as eating too much too fast or an unexplainable case called the irritable bowel syndrome according to experts. While the discomfort from a stomach upset can be agonising, Dr. Onabolu states that it is important for the right symptom to be identified to avoid wrong drug prescription: “When we address stomach upset cases, there can be a wide range of causative factors. Most times, each causative factor might present a

Tips for a healthy tummy


AT healthily and regularly. It is easy to spend our working lives gulping down food between meetings and then sitting in front of the TV with a takeaway in the evenings, but eating this way can cause problems with your digestive system. Stop smoking. Smoking can weaken the muscle that controls the lower end of the oesophagus (gullet), c a u s i n g heartburn and acid reflux. Lose excess weight and e x e r c i s e regularly. If you are overweight, your tummy fat p u t s pressure on your stomach and can

cause heartburn. Do not binge drink. This increases acid production in your stomach and can cause heartburn, as well as making other digestive disorders worse. Beat stress. Anxiety and worry can upset the delicate balance of digestion and worsen digestive conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome.

similar symptom and if care is not taken, the patient might end up ingesting a drug that will worsen the condition or do absolutely nothing to solve the problem. “We regularly see this kind of scenario in places where people want to selfmedicate. The feel funny in their belly for a while and they jump to the nearest chemist to buy an over the counter drug like Flagyl or Thalazole when sometimes all they need is sugar solution or a glass of mint tea and some rest.” Where nausea, vomiting containing blood, unintentional weight loss, paleness and fatigue are experienced, Dr. Charity insists that the patient is immediately rushed to the hospital for intense medical check-up and treatment. Some foods that have been identified to worsen stomach problems by health practitioners are coffee, citrus fruits, fatty foods, onions, alcohol and chocolate. The most common causes of sudden, severe abdominal pain include: a perforated peptic ulcer an open sore that develops on the inside lining of your stomach that has broken through the lining gallstones small stones that form in the gallbladder appendicitis- this is a medical emergency where the pain will be agonising and your appendix may need to be removed an infection of the stomach and bowel most people get better without treatment after a few days kidney stones small stones may be passed out in your urine, but larger stones may block the kidney tubes and you will need to go to hospital to have these broken up irritable bowel syndrome a common condition where the muscle in the bowel wall tends to go into spasm and tightens but the pain is often relieved when you go to the toilet a urinary tract infection that keeps returning- the patient usually feels a burning sensation when they urinate a long-term peptic ulcer an open sore that develops on the inside lining of the stomach constipation heartburn and acid reflux stomach acid leaks from the stomach and u p i n t o t h e oesophagus, the tube that runs from the mouth to the stomach.

T some point or another it seems that everyone has experienced an upset stomach, vomiting or diarrhea. Whether a side effect of a medical treatment or medication-or a symptom of an illness or virus, stomach upset and gastrointestinal distress stops you in your tracks. Stocking a cupboard with a few home remedies for nausea can get you and your tummy back on track and back into your busy schedule. Give ginger a try to alleviate nausea. Ginger has been used for centuries for the treatment of a number of ailments ranging from nausea and vomiting to congestion. For those suffering from an upset stomach, ginger is a favourite at-home treatment. Making a ginger tea from the natural root is a more direct, soothing method of treatment. Simply combine two inches of ginger root, cut into thin slices, with 4-6 cups of boiling water and allow the tea to simmer over low heat for 15-20 minutes. Strain out the ginger pieces, sweeten with lemon and honey if desired and sip slowly. Mints offer upset stomach relief. The power of mint as a digestion aid is well known. The aroma alone seems to settle a queasy stomach. Peppermint is often more commonly recommended but, milder mints such as spearmint may be less pungent and overpowering for younger tummies. Sweeten mint teas with a little honey if desired for taste. Chamomile tea soothes the tummy. For centuries, teas of chamomile have been used to treat ailments ranging from stress and anxiety to digestive ailments and even rheumatoid arthritis. While the many medicinal claims are not easy to prove, the use of chamomile to soothe and calm is widely accepted and those soothing effects seem to extend to the digestive system. Either purchasing a pre-packaged herbal chamomile tea or making your own from steeping leaves, serves to help a tensed nausea patient relax-which may contribute to the stomach easing properties of the herb. Charcoal Although it sounds odd, charcoal may play a role in soothing an upset stomach. Manage your diet well during times of digestive issue. If vomiting or diarrhea is intense, it is important to stay hydrated with the proper liquids. Try sipping clear, liquid which is high in sodium to replenish that electrolyte. Once the diarrhea or vomiting has subsided, it is wise to begin solid foods with Bananas, Rice, Apples, and Toast bread as a diet to offer the body some much needed fiber and nutrients while keeping the flavours bland. Nibbling on high fibre foods helps rebuild energy levels, restore balance in the digestive system and gets you back on your feet.




•L-R: Dr Victor Omololu Olunloyo, former Executive Governor of old Oyo State, Ade Adefeko, Head Corporate; Olam Nigeria Limited - Ambassador H. Sona Ebai, during International Cocoa Conference organized by Cocoa Association of Nigeria in Ibadan

•From left: Austin Ufomba ( Marketing Director),Seni Adetu (Managing Director/Chief Executive)and Lisa Nichols (Commercial Director)all of Guinness Nigeria Plc during the launch of SNAPP in Lagos recently

Dangote sets to invest in Sudan C

HAIRMAN, Dangote Group, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, has indicated his readiness to explore business opportunities in Sudan. The business mogul disclosed this while playing host to the new Sudanese Ambassador to Nigeria, Dr. Tagelsir Mahgoub Ali, who paid him a courtesy call at his Lagos office. Dangote commended the historic relationship between Nigeria and Sudan, which has spanned several decades, adding that the Dangote Group as part of its long term business strategy will, in the very near future, register its presence in Su-

By Remi Adelowo

dan as it has done in countries which include Senegal and Zambia. At the request of the ambassador, Dangote accepted the invitation of the Sudanese government to visit the country very soon, while wishing Ali a fruitful tenure in Nigeria. Earlier, the new ambassador commended Dangote for his giant strides in business and also believing in the African continent by establishing multi-million dollar cement manufacturing companies in Africa. He revealed that his mission in Nigeria is to foster the historic relationship

Lagos applauds Red Star Express Cooperative


HE Lagos State Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperative has adjudged Red Star Express Cooperative Society as the most outstanding cooperative society in Lagos, applauding it for its numerous grassroot-oriented and impactful projects and schemes, including the Red Star Estate. Commenting on the development, Red Star Express, Marketing Manager, Ngozi Ochokwu expressed gratitude for the commendation from the state government. She said, ‘over the years, the society has embarked on minor and major projects to benefit its members, such as the sale of electronics, bulk purchase of food items and the Magboro Estate Development named the “Red Star Express Estate.’ Red Star Express Cooperative Multipurpose Society was founded in 1997 and was registered as FedEx Red Star Express Co-Operative Thrift and Credit Society (RSE CTCS). The cooperative soci-

ety has 483 members and is still thriving to reach its goal by embarking on other housing projects. One of its flagship projects, Red Star Express Estate, was established in 2006, accommodating 40 houses and 20 occupants. The estate has elicited commendation from notable organisations including the River State Co-operative Federation and Lagos State Government. Currently, Red Star Express Cooperative Multipurpose Society has membership strength of 483 and is still thriving to reach its goal by embarking on other housing projects. Red Star Express Cooperative Multipurpose Society was founded in 1997 and was registered as FedEx Red Star Express Co-Operative Thrift and Credit Society (RSE CTCS). Red Star Cooperative is an arm of Red Star Express Plc, licensee of the globally acclaimed Federal Express (FEDEX) and a foremost onestop logistics firm in Nigeria.

between Nigeria and Sudan in the areas of business investments, culture, sports, amongst others. Ali further disclosed as part of moves to enhance bilateral relationship between both countries, a biennial commission to be headed by the vice-presidents of both countries, would soon be established to formulate a framework, which will guide prospective investors in both countries. Describing his country as one of the biggest producers of cotton in the world, Ali also stated that opportunities also exist for investors in oil and gas and products derivable from sugar, as Sudan boasts one of the biggest sugar plantations not only in Africa but the whole world.


ASTERCARD has announced its first collaborative relationship with a local Nigerian retailer, Flying Dove Limited, authorised distributors for Sony Corporation and owners and operators of Sony Centres in Nigeria. Through the collaboration, MasterCard will incentivise its cardholders to make use of electronic payment solutions, thus supporting the Central Bank of Nigeria’s (CBN) move towards a cashless economy. The joint venture between MasterCard and Flying Dove Limited, signals the first cashless initiative of its nature in Nigeria for MasterCard. The collaboration supports MasterCard’s vision to accelerate the move towards more convenient and safer payment methods for consumers, and to then showcase the success of the collaboration to the wider Nigerian business sector. O m o k e h i n d e Ojomuyide, country man-


•Dr. Ali.


MasterCard announces first retail collaboration with Flying Dove ager, West Africa, MasterCard Worldwide commented, “MasterCard cardholders will quality for a 5% discount on the purchase of any item at Sony Centers across Nigeria. In addition, and as part of the alliance with MasterCard, Sony Centre staff will undergo card acceptance and fraud prevention training. We will also be supporting Flying Dove by marketing the discount offer, further showcasing the benefits of moving towards electronic payments to our cardholders.” Ashok Jain, Managing Director of Flying Dove Limited, added, “Working alongside MasterCard has allowed us, as a retail leader in Nigeria, to further solidify our position in the local market.Our vision is to help make payments in all of the Sony Centres more conven-

ient, easierand safer for customers and the Sony Centre staff.” Ojomuyide commented that the key stakeholders in the success of the cashless initiative are the financial sector, consumers and businesses. “Strategic initiatives such as our collaboration with Flying Dove Limited will assist each stakeholder to better supportthe CBN, in its quest to drive the development and modernization of the Nigerian payment system.” Ojomuyide provided further insight: “The CBN’s cashless policy aims to curb the increasing cost of cash, including handling and production costs. It was forecasted by the CBN in 2011 that the direct cost of cash management in Nigeria would increase substantially

to N192billion by 2012, impacting economic efficiency and the efficiency of all financial systems in the country. The CBN further noted that the reduction of cash will assist in curbing the impact of corruption and other criminal behaviour, which will have a positive impact on all Nigerian citizens.” “MasterCard will continue to work with Nigerian banks and retailers to facilitate the reduction of cash within their payment systems by offering innovative, safe and convenient payment alternatives to their customers. We look forward to achieving our shared goal of a cashless Nigeria, where our dependency on cash transactions will be significantly reduced,” concluded Ojomuyide.





NCE upon a time they were the beautiful brides of the Nigerian telecommunications sector. This was when the now moribund Nigeria Telecommunications Limited, NITEL, was going through its death pangs. It was also when the cell phone companies using the GSM technology were trying to find their feet. But all that seems like ages ago. After seeming to prosper for a season, fixed wireless operators using the CDMA technology are now on the verge of extinction. Their precarious situation is not unconnected with the overwhelming dominance of GSM companies whose operations in the Nigerian market in the last 11 years have experienced phenomenal growth. Available statistics from the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), testifies to the diminished fortunes of landline companies. In the first six months of this year, firms in this segment lost a combined 868, 786 active lines. A breakdown shows that in January 2012, CDMA operators had 4.41 million lines, declining to 4.01 million by February. In April, May and June, the number of active lines declined steadily to 3.9 million, 3.7 million and 3.5 million respectively. The dire straits in which the fixed wireless operators find themselves did not happen overnight. The decline has been noticeable over the past few years, and prompted experts to recommend mergers, acquisitions or consolidation as some of the viable ways to save them from total extinction. Once such voice was Ernest Ndukwe, former Executive Vice Chairman of NCC, who long ago admonished them to come together as one. He recommended mergers for them to be able to compete favourably in the tough Nigerian telecoms industry. “I think the way forward and what I will recommend is the consolidation of those companies. I think some of them should merge and make a bigger cake rather than the segmented way they are today. And I think, as an industry, there is a move towards that direction. Some call it consolidation in the industry. When that happens, I suspect you will see better days for CDMA in the country,” he said. Now, three operators in the segment- Multilinks, Starcomms and MTS, are set to merge. The merger, if consummated, would result in a new entity to be known as CAPCOM - making it the largest CDMA network operator in the country. Helios Investment Partners will hold 11 percent, while MBC will have 53 percent and Middle East Capital Group 25 percent in the new entity. Other shareholders in the new company include Oldonyo Laro Estate, five per cent; Bridgehouse Capital Limited, three per cent; Asset Management Company of Nigeria, AMCON, two per cent; and private equity investors, one per cent. The deal would see the new core investors injecting about $200 million, and a further N31.1 billion into CAPCOM. This is expected to spark a turnaround in the fortunes of the company and, to a reasonable extent, tackle the challenge of perennial lack of access to local and offshore funding identified as one of the fundamental hurdles holding back CDMA operators. Before now, CDMA operators had always complained about lack of funding which hindered their expansion capabilities even

Lifeline for the landline After losing their pride of place in the nation’s telecommunications sector, fixed wireless operators using the Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA) technology appear set for a rebound with the planned merger of three leading operators in the sector. Bukola Afolabi reports

with the unified license granted them by the NCC. This development is causing stakeholders to be upbeat. One of those excited by the development is Titi Omo-Ettu, Managing Partner, Telecom Answers Associates. According to him, the merger arrangement is an indication that the problem of the subsector is not technology as earlier identified by some people because if it were so, then the new investors would not even come near CDMA. The national president, National Association of Telecommunications Subscribers, NATCOMS, Deolu Ogunbanjo, sees the merger as an indication that the battle to

return fixed wireless operators to the path of profitability has begun. Besides, he believes it is an opportunity for more competition in the telecoms industry, in which the customers would be the eventual beneficiaries in terms of better quality of service and cheaper call tariff. Indeed, if the merger sails through, it would provide second wind for Starcomms, which has been struggling with its operations after losing significant market share to Visafone. In spite of being the pioneer of the CDMA regime in the country back in 1996, and commencing operation on July 8, 1997, the in-

Notwithstanding the mergers of the CDMA firms, the trend of GSM leadership may not be reversed, basically due to funding. Those who have big money own the business. The GSM operators started big while the CDMA operators started small. The Nigerian market does not favour the ‘start-small’ model’

ability of Multilinks to make profit, even after it was acquired by South Africa’s Telkom, at a cost of $410 million in 2009, led to its sale to Starcomms. Sources say the South African firm was tired of injecting funds constantly into the business. In March 2010, Telkom had to underwrite a $1.2 billion loss for Multilinks. Though Multilinks made efforts to re-strategise for profitability - including reducing its call rate - it was unable to break even as it still had the problem of an underutilisation. It had 2.6 million subscribers, whereas its network had capacity for 10 million subscribers. The Telkom Group had acquired 75percent of Multi-links Nigeria first in 2007 for $276 million, before taking over the remaining 25 percent in 2009 for $125 million, giving it 100 percent ownership of the firm. While the nascent CAPCOM initiative has been lauded, Starcomms, one of the parties in the arrangement, has also not been healthy. For instance, in September 2010, an earlier proposal for the merger of Multi-Links with Starcomms did not see the light of the day as the Telkom board rejected it on the premise that the merger, at that time, would not reduce Telkom’s exposure in Nigeria

but increase it as Starcomms was about $130 million in debt. MTS is also virtually dead, as many of its subscribers have since abandoned their lines. For now, industry watchers say that a minimum of $200 million investment is required to make the merger efficient when finally consummated. Seun Ogundero, a telecommunication expert, explains that the amount would just be sufficient for the acquisition of Multi-Links and MTS, recapitalise Starcomms and provide it with sufficient capital and liquidity to finance its existing creditors and working capital. It would also enable it to expand its existing network through the introduction of 4G/LTE technology to become a major provider of broadband services to Nigeria’s increasingly sophisticated market. That said, several factors continue to hobble the growth of the fixed wireless sector, one of which is the global economic meltdown that has reduced the inflow of foreign investment to a trickle. The impact is especially noticeable in the case of NITEL which has slid completely into oblivion after several unsuccessful efforts to revive Continued on page 61




Australian tycoon makes waves mining iron ore in Nigeria






Lifeline for the landline Continued from page 60

it through privatisation. It has been unable to attract fresh investment from within and without Nigeria. Also, the aggressiveness of GSM operators has negatively impacted on the fortunes of CDMA companies. In spite of coming into the market earlier, the CDMA sector now has less than 10 percent share of the telecoms market which is dominated by GSM operators, who hold more than 90 percent of market share. These brutal facts have forced many CDMA firms to shut down their operations. With the exception of Visafone, which can be said to be providing services on a competitive scale, virtually all the other operators in this segment have either disappeared or are struggling to survive. Operators like Intercellular, ZOOMmobile, and NITEL, are either dead or struggling. Several years after the acquisition of Intercellular by Sudatel, which paid $50 million for 70 percent equity in the firm, the Sudanese national telecoms service provider is yet to restore life to the company. This is, however, not surpris-

ing considering that only $10 million of the acquisition money has been paid. Sudatel also reneged on its promise to invest $500 million over five years to enable Intercellular finance its network expansion, improve its services nationwide as well as compete effectively in the post-unified license era. The implication of all of this is that with the big GSM operators as the only dominant players, the growth of the sector in terms of investments, competition and more choice for consumers has been hampered. This is a sharp contrast to what obtains in other countries where fixed wireless services complement GSM. Omo-Ettu says notwithstanding the mergers of the CDMA firms, the trend of GSM leadership may not be reversed, basically due to funding. “Those who have big money own the business. The GSM operators started big while the CDMA operators started small. The Nigerian market does not favour the ‘start-small’ model,” he says. Would this planned merger signal the return of good fortune for the fixed wireless operators in the competitive Nigerian market? How well the segment gets funded, and how it is able to inject more modern technology, would determine whether this is a turning point or a one-off phenomenon.

AN Burston was almost killed when his parachute failed to open during national service in 1956. He walked away unharmed when taken hostage by gunmen in Istanbul in 2001. And he emerged from a prostate cancer scare two years ago with renewed verve. Now the great survivor of the Australian mining industry is pioneering a bold push into iron ore mining in Nigeria at a time when many are jittery about the volatile price of the commodity and the hazards of doing business in Africa. While many of his peers are content to stroll around the golf course, 77-year-old Burston is embarking on one final corporate play that will easily see him through to his 80th birthday. “I’m having a bloody marvellous time — I might stick around doing this until I’m 85,” he laughs over lunch at his favourite Perth restaurant next to the glistening Swan River. Burston isn’t overly concerned about the dramatic fall in the iron ore price — to below $US90 at one particularly nervy moment last month — that has forced some big miners in Australia to scale back their expansion plans. He predicts the price will stabilise at around $US120 a tonne, though he admits this could take some time. And even if it drops to $US80 a tonne, as some predict, he insists he won’t be worried because his planned Agbaja iron ore mine in Nigeria will still make a very handy profit at that price. Last week, Burston’s new listed vehicle, Energio, announced a maiden Joint Ore Reserves Committee (JORC) resource of 448 million tonnes at Agbaja after drilling about 15 per cent of its tenements over the past year. It was the first JORC iron ore resource ever reported in Nigeria, which has long been dominated by the oil industry. In a career spanning several decades, Burston has run Rio

At 77, Ian Burston is pursuing ambitious iron ore projects in Nigeria that might make others nervous. Andrew Burrell reports Tinto’s Hamersley Iron division and held senior executive roles at Portman Mining, Aurora Gold, Aztec Mining and Kalgoorlie Consolidated Gold Mines. He also served as a non-executive director of Fortescue Metals Group and Cape Lambert. His most recent company, African Iron, which was focused on iron ore in the West African nation of Congo, was this year taken over by South Africa’s Exxaro Resources for $338 million, just 12 months after it listed in Australia. Burston says he feels more comfortable these days doing business in West Africa, despite the risks of bribery and corruption there, than in the high-cost environment of Australia. “It’s getting bloody hard to compete in Western Australia now for two reasons — your infrastructure is so tight, you haven’t got enough ports to get it out, and we are doing some queer things about what we expect operators to cough up to establish their business,” he says. “I think we’re being very clumsy. And I think by the time we find out how clumsy we’ve been, these other places will be up and going.” Foster Stockbroking analyst Mark Hinsley wrote in a research note this week that Energio’s Agbaja project was shaping up as a “multibillion-tonne iron ore play” given its higher than expected maiden resource estimate. He cites the project’s proximity to rail and port infrastructure and Nigeria’s stable government and Western-friendly mining laws as reasons for confidence. Burston says China has actively encouraged the development of a West African iron ore industry as it seeks to bring more balance to the market after years of paying what Beijing considers to be exorbitant prices for the

steelmaking ingredient. But he is not worried that China’s bid to import 400 million tonnes of iron ore a year from West Africa will drive down prices so much that it will damage the viabilty of Energio’s project, which is aiming to start producing 20 million tonnes a year by 2014. “I’ve done my figures on (the cost of) getting it onto the ship and it’s less than $US50 a tonne,” he says. “If the iron ore price goes down to $US80 a tonne, that’s not going to worry me. “Twenty million tonnes a year at $US30 a tonne is a profit of $US600m a year. “The biggest problem we’ve got is every bastard who doesn’t know how to spell iron ore is telling us how to do it. “Once we are successful, then the floodgates (in Nigeria) will open, because there’s so much iron there you can’t ignore it.” Burston says that unlike in Australia, miners are being welcomed into West Africa through lower taxes and stable royalty rates. “The Nigerian government is backing us to the hilt,” he says. “We sit within 70km of an established heavy-haul railway line which has never been used and which goes straight down to the port — what a break that is. “And the local community can see jobs — everybody wants to work. We advertised for a couple of field hands and at 4am we had a couple of hundred guys out the front, all with their own shovels and all trying to be first interviewed. We nearly had to get the police in to send them home.” Burston entered the mining industry after what he terms his Sliding Doors moment while training as a paratrooper in 1956. Source: The Australian



Meet the World’s longest serving President MANPOUR: Tell me what oil has meant to your country. Billions of dollars have been pouring in to Equatorial Guinea since about 12 or 13 years now, and once you described it as like the manna from heaven that sustained the Jews in the desert, an Old Testament referral (sic). OBIANG (through translator): First of all, I would like to thank you. You're a very, very prestigious reporter. Your question is very important to me because oil has actually been a blessing to our nation because Equatorial Guinea was one of the poorest nations in the whole continent. Because we discovered oil, today we are now the third or fourth richest nation on the African continent and around the world. AMANPOUR: Well, thank you for your explanation. And thank you for your compliment. But you know I'm a Western reporter, and I'm going to ask you some pesky questions. So if you say that oil has benefited your country so much, how, then, do you account for the fact that some 80 percent of your country people are still in dire, dire poverty? They don't have access, many of them, to clean water. They make perhaps $2 a day. They don't all have electricity. And it's still very poor for the vast majority of your people in this tiny little country. So why are people still so poor? OBIANG (through translator): Those who do criticize us are basing their judgment on outdated information. And certainly haven't visited Equatorial Guinea for themselves to find out about all the good things that are there. For example, the information that the population of Equatorial Guinea is living below $1 a day, that's not true. AMANPOUR: I said $2. OBIANG (through translator): It's completely fabricated. AMANPOUR: All right. So that is what you say as the president. But many independent organizations and independent diplomats say what I just said. And the question is why is so much


Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, the world’s longest serving leader, became the president of Equatorial Guinea after he seized power from his uncle back in 1979. Since then, he’s been re-elected several times, in polls that were roundly derided by critics. CNN’s Christiane Amanpour interviewed President Mbasogo when he attended the UN General Assembly in New York recently. money going into your account? Some $600 million according to -according to independent organizations and observers. OBIANG (through translator): The critics who are saying these things cannot show that I have so much money in my account. And just what accounts are they referring to? I don't have any special or private accounts. All this is false. It's completely invented. AMANPOUR: How do you account for Equatorial Guinea being somewhere towards the very end of the list, in other words, the -- one of the most corrupt countries in the world, according to Transparency International? It's somewhere around 172 out of 183 countries. OBIANG (through translator): I'll keep saying the same thing: critics are referring to the past. I can assure you that today, Equatorial Guinea has actually improved on political liberties, on economic development and infrastructure. AMANPOUR: Well, again, let me continue on this money situation. Your son, Teodorin, has been accused of corruption, embezzlement, extortion and money laundering. And the French authorities have issued an international arrest warrant for him on these money laundering charges. OBIANG (through translator): I believe this is all the work of our enemies. First of all, my son, even before he became a politician, he's always been a businessman. He has his own private business activities. But when he became a politician and entered into government, he produced an accounting of all of his properties, both here in the States as well as in France, all of which was actually acquired long before he got into government. AMANPOUR: Well, then, the

question is how does your son in Equatorial Guinea have a $180 million mansion -- this is in France - 11 luxury cars - - Bugattis, Ferraris, Rolls-Royce, Maserati -- a $3 million clock and a lot of things in the United States adding up to about $315 million, mansions, jets, Ferraris, Michael Jackson memorabilia. I mean, how does your son get that much money just as a minister? OBIANG (through translator): I will say it again; he did not achieve all this as a minister. He was a businessman before he became a minister. He has his own businesses in Equatorial Guinea. And he has some companies in Malaysia as well. He has his personal finances that he manages, but there are signs, or any proof that he had actually embezzled any in government property or government money. The moment he became minister he contributed a great deal into the coffers of the government's administration. AMANPOUR: Do you think corruption is a problem in your country? OBIANG (through translator): The government has actually established laws that prohibit corruption and I believe that in Equatorial Guinea we are very serious about prosecuting anyone involved in corruption. So, no, it's not a problem in Equatorial Guinea. AMANPOUR: All right. Well, I've allowed you to give your say and you've seen all the evidence that we have presented from the other side. Now let me ask you about political situation there. You are, I believe now, in your fourth term. Correct? OBIANG (through translator): Possibly. AMANPOUR: That's a long time.

You've introduced yourself constitutional reforms and referendum which made a maximum of two 7-year terms. Under that equation, you should end your term by 2016. That will have left you in power by -- for about 30 years or so. Will you step down when the constitutionally mandated time is up? Will you step down in 2016? OBIANG (through translator): First of all, Western democratic nations cannot understand circumstances where someone stays in power for a long time. But in Africa, there exists what we call a person's charisma, because when I took power, it was in order to face a very difficult situation which was on the brink of exterminating the country. The transformations I carried out were by consensus of all political forces in the country. They weren't laws I imposed, but decisions based on consensus with all the political parties in the nation and their leaders. Therefore as regards the problem of what the new constitution provides, which is only two terms, that's a reality that will be carried out at this time. But, of course, because the law is the law, therefore, there are those who practice law and they will know exactly whether I should continue into the next phase or not, because the law may not take effect retroactively. AMANPOUR: Oh, my goodness. You're raising the possibility of running again. But you yourself have got this -- have got this -- you just mentioned -(CROSSTALK) AMANPOUR: -- two 7-year -and you're thinking of a fourth term? OBIANG (through translator): It

is not me. It's the people. The people decide. AMANPOUR: Mr. President. There's a constitutional referendum, two 7-year terms. Will you step down in 2016? OBIANG (through translator): That's why I say it depends on the people. AMANPOUR: How can it depend on the people? It's the law. OBIANG (through translator): Because it's not a personal problem of my will, because we work based on the will of the people. The people decide. The people have approved the constitution, which determines the two terms. But you have to take into account that the law does not keep effect retroactively. Nevertheless, if the people decide that I can present myself in the next stage, in order to fulfill what the law says, that's the people's will. AMANPOUR: Wow. Well, you're presenting a scenario where you could be in power forever. OBIANG (through translator): I am not the one. It is the people. AMANPOUR: Do you think the people want you to be in power for longer? OBIANG (through translator): That's what the people will have to decide in the future. AMANPOUR: Once upon a time, one of your ministers on one of the television stations that you run likened you to God, basically said our president is God. Do you agree? OBIANG (through translator): I can never present myself as God. I am a human being, a very modest one. And therefore, if a minister says I am God, how can a human being liken himself to God? These are things people express sometimes with no grounds. AMANPOUR: Well, you know, I've been covering elections all over the world for a long time. And from what I gather from Equatorial Guinea, certainly what many of the independent observers say, is that, frankly, there isn't democracy in your country, even though you promised it back in 1991. And that all the opposition members, parties, the ones you talk about are either in jail during the elections or tortured or, you know, filling up the prisons, basically unable to mount any kind of credible political campaign. Does that bother you? OBIANG (through translator): Well, I don't have any proof that there is a single political leader of the opposition group in jail. Those who are in jail are not there for political crimes. They are in jail for petty crimes. There is no persecution whatsoever of political leaders except for those who are actually involved in attempted coups to assassinate the president or to create the kind of problem that might upset constitutional bodies, because we believe in justice, which is impartial. AMANPOUR: You may be one of the only ones who believe that, Mr. President. Let me ask you, would you hand over power to your son? Is he your designated successor, Teodorin? OBIANG (through translator): I will say to you that Equatorial Guinea is a democratic nation. It's not a monarchy. It is a republic. Therefore, if my son, if he aspires to become president, he will have to carry out his own campaign and win victory over the leaders of other political parties. AMANPOUR: If you had a genuinely free and fair election, do you think you would win? OBIANG (through translator): That doesn't depend on what I think. AMANPOUR: I'm just asking you. You're a politician. I know it's upset people (ph). OBIANG (through translator): It

Contd. on page 63


World News


Pope's butler convicted, given 18 months T HE pope's butler was convicted yesterday of stealing the pontiff's private documents and leaking them to a journalist in the gravest Vatican security breach in recent memory. He was sentenced to 18 months in prison, but the Vatican said a papal pardon was likely. Judge Giuseppe Dalla Torre read the verdict aloud two hours after the three-judge Vatican panel began deliberating Paolo Gabriele's fate. Gabriele stood impassively as it was read out in the tiny wood-paneled tribunal tucked behind St. Peter's Basilica. The sentence was reduced in half to 18 months from three years because of a series of mitigating circumstances, including that Gabriele had no previous record, had acknowledged that he had betrayed the pope and was convinced, "albeit erroneously" that he was doing the right thing, Dalla Torre said. For now, he is serving his sentence under house arrest. Gabriele was accused of stealing the pope's private correspondence and passing it on to journalist Gianluigi Nuzzi, whose book revealed the intrigue, petty infighting and allegations of corruption and homosexual liaisons that plague the leadership of the Roman Catholic Church. He has said he leaked the documents because he felt the pope wasn't being informed of the "evil and corruption" in the Vatican, and that exposing the problems publicly would put the church back on the right track. In his final appeal to the court Saturday morning, Gabriele insisted he was no thief. "The thing I feel strongly in me is the conviction that I acted out of exclusive love, I would say visceral love, for the church of Christ and its visible head," Gabriele told the court in a steady voice. "I do not feel like a thief." Gabriele's attorney, Cristiana Arru, said the sentence was "good, balanced" and said she was awaiting the judges' written reasoning before deciding whether to appeal. Nuzzi's book, "His Holiness: Pope Benedict XVI's Secret Papers" convulsed the Vatican for months and prompted an unprecedented response, with the pope naming a commission of cardinals to investigate the origin of the leaks alongside Vatican magistrates. Arru said Gabriele would return to his Vatican City apartment to begin serving his sentence. He

has been held on house arrest there since July after spending his first two months in a Vatican detention room. Gabriele was also ordered to pay court costs. Vatican spokesman the Rev. Federico Lombardi said the possibility of a papal pardon was "concrete, likely" and that the pope would now study the court file and decide. He said there was no way to know when a papal pardon might be announced. In something of a novelty in jurisprudence, the pope was both victim and supreme judge in this case. As an absolute monarch of the tiny Vatican City state, Benedict wields full executive, legislative and judicial power. He delegates that power, though, and Lombardi said the trial showed the complete independence of the Vatican judiciary. In reading the sentence, however, in a courtroom decorated with a photograph of Benedict on the wall opposite Gabriele, Dalla Torre began: "In the name of His Holiness Benedict XVI, gloriously reigning, the tribunal invoking the Holy Trinity pronounces the following sentence..." In her closing arguments, Arru insisted that only photocopies, not original documents, were taken from the Apostolic Palace, disputing testimony from the pope's secretary who said he saw original letters in the evidence seized from Gabriele's home. She admitted Gabriele's gesture was "condemnable" but said it was a misappropriation of documents, not theft, and that as a result Gabriele should serve no time for the lesser crime. With the trial over, several questions still remain about the leaks, most importantly whether Gabriele acted alone. In his testimony this week, Gabriele insisted "in the most absolute way" that he had no accomplices. But in earlier statements to prosecutors, he named a half-dozen people including cardinals and monsignors with whom he spoke and said he received "suggestions" from the general environment in which he lived. He even identified one layman as the source of a segment of Nuzzi's book detailing some conflicts of interest of some Vatican police officers. But in his closing arguments, prosecutor Nicola Picardi said the investigation turned up no proof of any complicity in Gabriele's plot.

•Palestinians and foreign visitors gather at the 2012 Taybeh Oktoberfest beer festival in the West Bank Christian village of Taybeh, near Ramallah, yesterday. The annual beer festival is put on by the Taybeh brewery, the only such establishment in the predominantly Muslim Palestinian territories. AFP PHOTO/MARCO LONGARI

Obama raises record $181m in September


.S. President Barack Obama's campaign and its Democratic allies raised a record $181 million in September for the president's re-election effort, adding to a fundraising haul that could prove crucial in the final stretch of the White House race. Obama's campaign said via Twitter on yesterday that 1,825,813 people donated to the campaign last month. Of that, 567,000 were new donors. A vast majority of the donations — 98 percent - were $250 or less. The average contribution was $53. “That's by far our biggest month yet,” campaign manager Jim Messina said in an email to supporters, urging them to chip in even more as the Nov. 6 election draws near. Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney's campaign has not yet released its September fundraising figures, which are also expected to be high. A spokeswoman declined to say when the results would be made public. Obama's campaign and the Democratic National Committee raised more than $114 million in August, just beating Romney's $111 million. That followed three months when Romney out-raised the incumbent. The big number is another piece of good news for Obama after a jobs report on Friday

showed unemployment had dipped to 7.8 percent. The campaign hoped that jobs report and its fundraising success would shift attention from the president's lackluster debate performance Wednesday against Romney, whose aggressive showing gave his own campaign a boost. A Romney spokeswoman said his team had raised $12 million online after the debate in less than 48 hours, with 60 percent of the money from first-time donors. Obama's September haul was his biggest of this election cycle, but slightly lower than four years ago, when his campaign and the DNC together brought in $193 million in September. Obama advisers are proud of his campaign's base of low-dollar donors, believing that gives the president an advantage, especially at the end of the election cycle when supporters can keep giving even if they have donated before. Since the campaign officially kicked off in April 2011, 3.9 million people have donated, it said. Obama's muted debate performance may increase the need for infusions of cash to fund ads in swing states such as Ohio, Florida, and Iowa. Both candidates continue to raise money even in the final month of the campaign, reflecting the importance of deep coffers to fund the last flurry of expensive advertising.

The World’s longest serving President

Contd. from page 62

depends on the people. AMANPOUR: Mr. President, I wonder if you're afraid of the popular will? And I ask you that because, in Equatorial Guinea, during the Arab Spring, during the uprisings which overthrew dictators north of your country -Egypt, Libya, Tunisia, et cetera -- in Equatorial Guinea, it was banned on the state-controlled media, which is all the media. OBIANG (through translator): Madam, that is false from our detractors, because there is no banning of the press in Equatorial Guinea. The international press, radio, television and the Internet are free in Equatorial Guinea. Therefore, everyone in Equatorial Guinea is following current events around the world. There has been no prohibition. AMANPOUR: Well, that's definitely not what we hear from people who are on the ground and people who are observing. So we exist in a parallel reality, you and me (sic). I'm asking questions and you're telling me that everything I say is wrong and false. Who are these critics who you think are telling us falsehoods? OBIANG (through translator): These are foreign critics, because I say those foreign critics have to come -AMANPOUR: They do -OBIANG (through translator): -- to Equatorial Guinea to talk to the people, to the population, to political party leaders. There is no prohibition on them having contact with political parties. Therefore, I say that these criticisms from abroad do not coincide with the reality in Equatorial Guinea. AMANPOUR: Mr. President, have you heard of Aung San Suu Kyi? Do you know who she is? OBIANG: No. AMANPOUR: You've never heard of

Aung San Suu Kyi? OBIANG: No. AMANPOUR: You told me you get all the news in Equatorial Guinea. She is the famous -OBIANG (through translator): I have all the news, all the news. AMANPOUR: She is the famous Burmese dissident from Myanmar, who was under house arrest for 15 of the last 20 years, now elected to her country's parliament, because the old dictatorship is moving towards democracy. There's a famous saying that power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. But she said that it's not power that corrupts, it's the fear of losing power that corrupts. Are you afraid of losing power? OBIANG (through translator): I can never have fear of losing power. Take Syria for example. If there were to be an uprising against me, as a matter of course, I would never oppose the people's decision. I would not defend myself to stay in power. That's my belief, my own decision. That's my way of being. AMANPOUR: Well, you've agreed to come to us and have this great interview, so why don't I give you the opportunity to then tell your people that, at the end of this two -- at the end of this 7-year term, which will have been your fourth term, you will step down and you will allow your country a real chance at democracy? OBIANG (through translator): I have been elected by the people. Therefore, I cannot betray the people's will. But the people must express themselves against me for me to step down. But I say that the fact that I established two terms in the constitution, that was my will, because you can't stay in power forever. And if I did that, it's because I do believe that one day I will have to step down. I will

have to step down some day. I believe this sincerely. AMANPOUR: And presumably you were sincere when you made this popular referendum. The people must have voted for this. It was a referendum. Or somebody must have voted for this. So -OBIANG (through translator): Yes, of course. AMANPOUR: So we're talking in circles, because the people have already ratified your referendum. They've already said that two 7year terms. So why not say that you'll abide by that -- by that law, by the popular will? OBIANG (through translator): That's what I'm saying. The people have ratified the constitution. The people have to amend the laws in order to confirm that the president cannot continue, because the law is not retroactive. AMANPOUR: What is your relationship with the United States? There are lots of oil companies coming to Equatorial Guinea. You have met President and Ms. Obama. What is your relationship with the United States and how dependent is the U.S. on Equatorial Guinea's oil? OBIANG (through translator): I am an admirer of the United States because of its liberties. I remember that one American ambassador was actually ejected from my country. But I was the one who negotiated the return of the American embassy to Equatorial Guinea. So thanks to U.S. investment, Equatorial Guinea today is a benchmark nation. The American investment in my country does not have any hidden agenda like the ones I've seen from other nations. These are very transparent investments. That's why I believe that the United States can save a lot of other African nations who suffer from dire poverty, because Equatorial Guinea has actually overcome the situation

of dire poverty thanks to the investment of the American companies. That's why I not only admire the freedom of the American people, but also the determination of its business people when they decide to invest. AMANPOUR: The statistic for the GDP per capita for Equatorial Guinea is exactly the same as it is in Great Britain, around $35,000 per person per year. That's a lot, because especially you don't have very many people in your country. So presumably everybody could be really well off and rich. But they're not. They're not. They're poor. OBIANG (through translator): We cannot use money from the natural resources as a Christmas gift to the people. The government offers the people credit. It builds public housing, hospitals, schools, roads and airports to transform the country. Therefore, there is a sector of the population that has entered the business world and the government is promoting the national businesses to transform the country in order to avoid monopolies by foreign companies. I think this is a task that government is working on right now. At the end of this week, we'll be holding a conference to address the labour issue. Why? Because there is a sector of the population that doesn't have work, because foreign companies intend to introduce foreign workers. And we want all people from Equatorial Guinea to be hired at these companies and not foreign workers. AMANPOUR: President Obiang, thank you very much for joining me. OBIANG (through translator): Gracias. AMANPOUR: Who is the fellow world leader who you admire the most? OBIANG (through translator): In Africa, I admire Nelson Mandela, because he has carried out very important work. I admire leaders who have stood out in the world and who have worked for world development.


World News


N October 3, the most dramatic event in the presidential campaign took place: the first debate between President Obama and former Governor Romney. With the President’s lead in the polls steadily increasing, a fine debate performance by Obama could have made victory in November a near fait accompli. Staggering out of a barren Republican convention and guilty of serial verbal gaffes that called his abilities into question, Romney seemed tethered to impending meltdown. Without a curative debate performance, his campaign would be diagnosed as fatally infirmed. The debate turned out to be an unfair contest pitting half an Obama against multiple Romneys. Unaccustomed to being directly challenged about the underwhelming nature of his achievements, President Obama wilted, doing a lackadaisical impression of a statesman but fine mimicry of a delicate flower shriveling under immense heat. Before a global audience of millions, Obama shrank into a miniature of himself. Meanwhile, Romney had a night his descendents will commemorate for years to come. Feeling no cognizable link to the truth, the debate was a lark for the Republican. He contradicted long-held campaign positions more blithely than a weatherman changes forecasts. Worse, he advanced proposals that were abjectly implausible. While Obama was hounded by painful fact, Romney draped himself in unctuous fiction then declared it to be truer than fact. The candidate should have been pilloried for turning a solemn event into something that had all the fidelity of a nightlit, roadside auction of used cars. Instead, he was crowned the debate winner. With this verdict, the dynamics of the election pivoted as if turned by a gale. In less than a day, President Obama lost almost half of a five-point lead in the polls. In reality, the debate had no winner because it had degenerated into a farce of subtle yet illiberal proportions. We all lost. After the successful Democratic convention last month, observers commented the election was Obama’s to lose. His fumbling debate performance proved them right. Obama’s debate unpreparedness was more psychological than intellectual. There were several contributing factors, some pedestrian and inherent in his position. Others were more dark and cavernous, thus they were more obscure but more telling. The president’s heart was not in the fight. Faced with the incompleteness of his accomplished, he chose to retreat from instead of vigorously defend what has been done. Faced with the obvious fabrications of his meretricious opponent, Obama demurred, letting lies pass as truth. He did so not out of ignorance but due to a certain weakness. Long ago, the president concluded he would never openly confront a white opponent, particularly a white conservative. Obama is bound to a dreadful fear of appearing “too black, too aggressive and too radical” to moderate whites whom he believes are critical to victory. If forced to elect between standing for what is right by publicly denouncing a prevaricator who is white or to maintain his image as a “quasi-white black man,” Obama’s predilection is to safeguard his milquetoast, milk-chocolate image by refusing to defend what is right. However, the president overestimated the uniqueness of his own intelligence. This passive strategy is nothing new. Intelligent racists are keenly aware that many ambitious blacks make this trade-off. This same mindset led Colin Powell to defame himself and his reputation by standing before the world to proclaim war and reasons for it that did not exist. He went along with the false program because he did not want to be seen as a rebellious black man. In the process, he sold a goodly portion of his soul to those who did not deserve its purchase. Years later, Powell is still looking to repurchase what he lost. On October 3, President Obama did much the same thing by making himself easy prey to Romney. With his head bowed like a lamb’s


Presidential Debate: Obama limps, Romney lies •Alas, the crown will fall upon either the false or the faint. The poor shall be left to their weak devices.

•Obama and Romney exchanging pleasantries at the debate

By Brian Browne in the driving rain, President silently suffered through Romney’s fabrications. Throughout the debate, Obama carried the pained expression of a man trying to stand at attention although his undergarments troubled him with an insatiable itch. Romney and his team realized Obama’s electoral strategy boiled down to depicting his family as the wholesome, nonthreatening “Cosby Show Comes to the White House.” Romney also realized the flaw in Obama’s strategy. Thus, a few days before the debate, the Republicans released a tape of a 2007 Obama address before a black audience. Criticizing Obama’s address as stirring fear and racial hatred, they did not make the release to shade the public mind but to unsettle the president’s. They knew it would render him contrite and defensive, reminding him of the need to keep himself in his diffident place. As such, the debate revealed breaks in the character of both men. In success, Romney showed himself to be without conscience or compass. His one principle is that there is no principle except winning. Without an inkling of shame, Romney lent himself to saying anything and rebuking major planks of his policies in order to ingratiate himself to the undecided independent voter. Believing success is his right by birth, Romney painted over with an arrogant wave of hand the factual realities that could hamper his escalation. Seeing himself as part of a moneyed aristocracy, Romney genuinely feels his self-appointed rights are more important than the truth. On the other hand, President Obama is the outsider, allowed partially in, who has yet to become fully comfortable with that unique role. As much as he wants to be a leader, he also wants to be accepted by the establishment as fullfledged member. He will endure almost any indignity in this futile pursuit. It is more likely that the establishment will mistake mud for milk than to fulfill Obama’s quixotic dream of becoming a full-fledged member of the club. In order to get elected, the plutocratic Romney jettisoned propriety regarding what he said during the debate. In hope of offending no one and thus keep his hind in the presidential chair, the parvenu Obama took no offense regarding what he heard. In the context of American politics, the two men represent the flip sides of the same flawed coin. Ironically, Obama came into the debate riding the crest of the most successful political convention in modern

times. Since then, he had traipsed the nation waxing eloquent to adoring crowds. As such, he has been cocooned in good tidings and the giddiness of impending victory. This atmosphere was not conducive to the painstaking work of debate preparation. In hindsight, President Obama forfeited this debate upon t success of the Democratic convention. While incumbency fills the presidential quiver with many arrows, it comes with an important handicap. Obama cannot fully devote himself to the campaign as can his opponent. Obama must divide his attention between the jobs, those of commanderin-chief and campaigner, while Romney need bother with one. Still, there was something more amiss than just lack of preparation. Obama made the strategic decision to avoid confrontation and Romney understood Obama would moonwalk the entire evening, giving Romney a virtual free pass. Ever the opportunist, the Republican took full advantage of the presidential largesse. Romney was less statesman and more a salesman intent on closing the deal. Whatever needed to be said to sway the undecided voter (most of whom are white, moderates) he would say. On the eve of the debate, Romney went to bed a fire-in-the-gut conservative. By the time he stepped to the podium, he had transformed into a bornagain moderate. Romney’s protean manner defenestrated Obama’s passive strategy. Dumbfounded by Romney metamorphosis, Obama lost composure. He suddenly saw multiple Romneys and could not identify the real one. Bewildered by the wizardry, all Obama could do to keep from being further confused was dip his head, feign like he was jotting notes and endure the barrage being tossed his way. Having outfoxed Obama, Romney went on a rampage unprecedented in presidential debates. Had the man been hooked to a lie detector, the machine would have given way to exhaustion long before the debate reached midcourse. Of the many lies Romney told, the most egregious was that he entered the race to end the suffering of the poor and unemployed. It was Romney who recently complained 47 percent of Americans were unproductive leeches using government as a spoon to feed off the affluent. Romney also had previously spouted he was running to “take America back.” Had Obama merely reminded people that, until the hour of the debate, Romney firmly believed 47 percent of the people had no right to participate in governance

or lay any claim upon government. Obama should have said Romney believed fully half of Americans ought to be invisible and behave as the rich and powerful ought them to behave and that there was no amount of political make-up and stagecraft that could mask this dangerous snobbery. Had Obama said such a thing, it would have been Romney not Obama with the troubling sense that the debate was getting beyond him because it was turning out to be more about him than he would like. Romney asserted a new found opposition to tax cuts for the rich and that his tax-cutting policies would not reduce government revenue but increase it. The first part was a bald lie; the second was pure claptrap. Romney has frequently proposed reductions on capital gains and estate taxes. These are all vehicles to increase the retentions of the rich. Payment of capital gains and estate taxes by the working class are as infrequent as a rabbi at an AlQaeda convention. This brings us to perhaps the essential point in all of this. Romney seeks to reduce government expenditures when the economy is weak. He posited his policy would produce 12 million jobs. Call it by any other name, this is fiscal austerity. Yet, Obama never bothered to describe Romney as the high priest of austerity trying to deceive Americans into making a needless sacrifice of their fledgling economic recovery n order to satisfy the gods of antiquated economics. All Obama had to do was point out that everywhere austerity has been employed, calamity has followed. Spain and Greek are sunk in depression. The United Kingdom is the most fortunate of the guinea pigs injected with austerity. It is only mired in recession. In these nations, government deficits and unemployment are growing. The only things shrinking are people’s hopes and the middle class. Romney’s prescriptions will do the opposite of his claims. That Obama did not reveal this is baffling. Romney went so far as to assert a fondness for financial regulation but that the Dodd-Frank Act signed by the president had protected big banks while causing over 100 small banks to fold. This was so outlandish as to be worse than a lie. It was large slice of calumny with a generous topping of slander. During the heat of the financial crisis, Romney defended the large banks and their institutional combination of retail banking and investment banking. The blending of both forms of banking contributed to the crisis. Romney has ardently defended

the excess that reduced the global economy to its knees. As such, his complaint about Obama’s tepid financial reform is akin to a carjacker defending his actions by contending that his victim should be jailed for having an attractive vehicle. Regarding health care, Romney’s proposal is a mere voucher that will not give poor and working class people enough to purchase decent coverage. On education, Romney solution is to privatize schools and give people vouchers to defray the costs. Sounds good but the math does not work. The vouchers will be insufficient for the most people to send their children to decent schools. Education will diminish not improve. In both health care and education, Romney’s answer is to exile struggling Americans to “voucherland,” a place where government will provide with only a small portion of the funds needed for adequate health care and education. Unless working class people can magically acquire the remaining funds needed which will often amount to more than they net incomes, they will discover the vouchers are worthless paper, like half-paid tickets for a oneway sea voyage. Like a rat trap, voucherland will be a place many enter but few escape. In the end, Romney’s performance was a stroke of cynical acumen. He detoured from the conservative path than won him the party’s nomination, turning himself into a moderate overnight. So desperate to unseat Obama and feeling the chance slipping away, Republicans will not begrudge Romney this public departure from the faith. They were buoyed by his performance and still feel comfortable with him. Compared to Obama, Romney remains sufficiently conservative for their liking. Meanwhile, President Obama has soul searching to do. For some reason, he presented no overarching theme at the debate. Although I am not an avid fan, I offer him one gratis. While painting Romney as the high priest of austerity economics, Obama should portray himself as the guardian of the Rooseveltian New Deal that saves capitalism from itself by lending a social safety net while also expanding private sector opportunity for all from the farmer, to the single parent raising several children, to the sheet metalworker, to the day laborer, to the teacher, the doctor, and even the banker. In the coming debates, Obama needs to persuade people that he is trying to reshape the economy into one that keeps open the door of opportunity and fair chance to all Americans regardless of social status or race and all people shall have a seat at the table of empowerment, participation and governance of the nation. Conversely, Romney’s America is one where social class determines one’s participation and access to government, to opportunity, to justice and to dignity. For Obama to make this turn he will have to shed his conformist disposition. He must be ready to attack conservatives face-to-face and not wait like he did until the day after the debate. Then, he attacked Romney only from the friendly confines of a partisan audience. Coming after Romney had already left the battlefield in victorious fashion, his critique seemed poltroon and juvenile. Yet, this has been Obama’s modus operandi with aggressive Republicans throughout his first time. He caved on health care, on financial reform, on fiscal stimulus, on taxes, on the deficit reduction. Only after caving and giving the Republican most of what they want, would he complain about Republican obduracy. Though he is still leading in the polls, if he surrenders the next two debates, he might find that he is putting something dear to him – his presidency – in steep jeopardy. Obama must understand that in a contest for the remaining undecided white moderates, he cannot play it too safely. If he fails to draw a distinction between himself and Romney so that this small but decisive bloc comes to view Romney as equally competent, then Obama will lose them. With this group, a tie between the candidates will be resolved in favor of the white one.




WORDSWORTH 08055001948

‘Woefully failed’ is wrong


ROM the front and inside pages of The Guardian of October 2 come the following infelicities: “In just 4 years, etisalat has become the fastest growing (fastest-growing) network with over 14 million subscribers nationwide.” Almost all the networks are making this same claim! Can the Nigerian Communications Commission give us the authentic data on this and other issues and stop the fraudulent ascriptions by GSM companies? “Delta may relocate residents of flood prone areas” What about this: flood-prone areas? “Four officers charged for (with) killing Cote d’Ivoire’s exleader” “Ford workers’ union in Canada approve (approves) four-year contract” Lastly from THE GUARDIAN under review: “Once an action is statute barred, right to institute same (the same) elapses” NATIONAL MIRROR Editorial of September 27 goofed: “It’s shameful that African leaders have woefully (sic!) failed to find a remedy to malaria which kills over one million victims yearly in (on) the continent….” Yank off ‘woefully’ for ‘terribly’/‘abysmally’. Let us do an unprecedented didactic work here: synonyms for ‘woe’ (evil/bane/sorrow—all nouns); ‘woebegone’ (suffering/unhappy/melancholic/lamenting—all adjectives); ‘woe betide’ (curse—an interjection); and ‘woeful’ (suffering/distressing/melancholic/lamenting—all adjectives). Obviously, ‘woefully failed’ is incorrect by any stretch. Source: Penguin (The authorized Roget’s Thesaurus of English Words and Phrases— one of the great reference books of all time). In the same breath, ‘woeful failure’ is faulty, too. “However, while these arguments are going on, a dubious precedence has been set with the arrest of a former.…” No round-up yet: a precedent (not precedence). “Here in Nigeria, there have (had) been instances where people have (had) supported coup d’états....” Never again: coups d’état. “As if reading the terribly terrified minds, the organisers distributed condoms to the invitees (guests).” “The institutionaliza-

tion of these aberrations are (is) even more worrisome.” “To her greatest surprise, she caught her husband, red handed, making love with their landlord’s daughter, on their matrimonial bed.” Better than with a housemaid: in (not on) the bed, contextually speaking. “The cost of petroleum products affect (affects) virtually the cost of every activity in the economy.” “It afforded participants the opportunity to rub minds (converse, discuss or exchange ideas) and keep a tab on developments in various economies....” “It will present events in the two chambers, record achievements, gossips and behind the scene (no hyphenation?) moves of the assembly men.” ‘Gossip,’ as a pastime, is non-count, but count when it refers to persons who gossip. For instance, Bola and Ahmed are gossips. “Like water and oil, they can never mix, talkless (let alone) blend.” “Meanwhile, the university’s senate, ASUU and NASU have passed a vote of no confidence on (in) the VC.” “It seems the bickering between the two unions is deepening?” Between the unions (without ‘two’) confirms class, even as the excerpt is correct. “They are little aware that our great men of yesteryears were able to achieve.…” Again, ‘yesteryear’ does not admit any inflexion. “This is the reason we see the oil industry as the life wire (livewire) of the Nigerian nation.” “Contrary to apprehensions making (doing or going) the rounds, an open disclosure of the sordid deeds of the past will see Nigeria emerge a stronger and more united nation.” “The issue has become such a grassroot (grassroots) topic….” “They simply do it to add to their casualties and to wreck (rake) in something for themselves in return.” “Those of us in prison then unable to witness the madness of the million matchers (marchers) have the opportunity to witness a re-enactment.” “In our confused state, people who can afford it give their money, wisdom and sometimes influence to organize vigilante groups, con-

struct street gates” We need a new police force: vigilance groups. “In fact, health officials would seem to be in a dire strait about how to check the menace.” The AIDS debacle: in dire straits (plural); not in a dire strait. “In passing, please note that we, Northerners, believe in true justice and not double standards.” Advertorial: double standard. “The carnage occurred after the Afenifere leader gave a fake shoot-at-sight order on Boko Haram.” Get it right: shoot-on-sight. “Arms and ammunitions have been moved to Lagos and Ondo ahead of this month’s governorship election. “ ‘Ammunition’ is uncountable. “The uncontrolled disposal of raw sewage in the lagoon and rivers poses a serious threat of epidemics on (to) the residents.” “The chairman of the bank…at (on) the occasion” “…they demanded for the key to his Mercedes Benz car.” Yank of ‘for’ in the interest of exactitude. “So, what’s the big fun about crazy convoys if they only leave tears and woes in (on) their trail?” “LAUTECH re-opens (reopens) with prayer” “Usually as early as 5. a.m. in the morning.…” What then is a.m.? “…many of them already have subsidiaries that are engaged in some of the anciliary services available under the universal banking…” The 2012 CBN policy guidelines: ancillary services. “…the agriculture sector did not fully succeed because the banks were not committed to the principle.” Get it right: agricultural sector, Noun: agriculture; adjective: agricultural. “The trio of…added additional feathers to (in) their caps recently.” “…how the white elephant project will impact positively on the economy”. Simply delete ‘project’ which is implied in ‘white elephant’. “Police lied in its (their) report (a comma) says….” “In the past, one has (had) tried the path of objective and constructive criticism....” “We should be thanking God that armed bandits…” Remove the needless ‘armed’.






End of the fatwa and new life, new rules Contd. from page 53

again, as the song had it, taking a chance on love. He was working in his study when he heard a very, very loud noise and ran downstairs to find all the protection team in the entrance hall looking shocked and, it had to be said, guilty. One of the nicest of the present bunch of prot officers, Mike Merrill, had fired his gun by mistake. He had been cleaning the weapon and hadn't noticed that there was a bullet in the magazine. THE BULLET BLASTED A HOLE, ROCKETING ACROSS THE HALL The bullet had crossed the police living room, blasted a hole in the closed door, rocketed across the entrance hall and made quite a mess of the wall on the far side. It was the purest good luck that nobody had been there at the time. What if Elizabeth or Zafar had been passing by? There was going to be a new baby in this house in a few months and there were bullets flying around it. 'These guns,' he said aloud, 'have to get out of my house.' The Branch was sympathetic to his request for armed personnel to be withdrawn from the property. He had a proposal to make. If you were prepared to hire a retiring Branch officer or driver to work with you, maybe even one of the officers you have come to know, we might perhaps withdraw from the house and allow that person to be in charge of all your private movements, and offer you protection only when you move into public spaces. Yes! He thought at once. Yes, please. He spoke to Frank Bishop, the kindly protection officer with whom Elizabeth and he had forged the closest relationship. Frank was on the verge of retiring and was 'up' for this new job. Dennis the Horse, also close to retirement, could be paid an additional retainer as a 'backup man,' to stand in for Frank when he was unwell or on holiday. A few days later Elizabeth did what people always did and read his journal when he wasn't there and found out about his day in Paris with Caroline Lang and then they had the painful conversation people always had and Elizabeth was the one feeling wretched and unsafe and it was his fault. They talked for the next two days and slowly, with setbacks, she began to be able to put it away. 'Once I felt so confident with you,' she said, 'I felt nothing could come between us.' And, at another time, 'I don't want any more trouble in our relationship. I think it would kill me.' And, later still, 'It's become really important to me to be married, because then you won't have been unfaithful.' 'You mean, in our marriage?' 'Yes.' On Tuesday, May 27, 1997, Elizabeth went to see her gynaecologist, Mr Smith, at 4pm. As soon as she got home, around a quarter past six in the evening, very rapid contractions began. WAS HE REGAINING HIS FREEDOM OR SIGNING EVERYBODY'S DEATH WARRANT? He alerted the protection team and grabbed the bag that had been packed and ready in their bedroom for over a week and they were driven to the Lindo Wing of St Mary's Hospital, Paddington, where they were given an empty corner room, Room 407, which was, they were told, where Princess Diana had had both her babies. At eight minutes to midnight Milan Luca West Rushdie was born, 7lb 9oz, with huge feet and hands, and a full head of hair. His father took off his shirt and held him against his chest. Welcome, Milan, he told his son. This is the world, with all its joy and horror, and it waits for you. Be happy in it. Be lucky. You are our new love. The Special Branch officers were excited, too. 'It's our first baby,' they said. Nobody had ever become a parent before while under their protection. On Father's Day he was given a card: an outline of Zafar's hand, 18 years old, and inside it an outline of Milan's hand, aged 18 days. It became one of his most prized possessions. Zafar was 18 years old. 'My pride in this young fellow is absolute,' he wrote in his journal. 'He has grown into a fine, honest, brave young man. And we still have a relationship good enough for him to trust me with his private feelings an intimacy my father and I failed to maintain. At least he

Rushdie and Bono

Rushdie takes a call at press conference celebrating the end of the fatwa knows, has always known, that he is deeply loved. My adult son.' He had an excellent meeting with Derek Fatchett, now Robin Cook's understudy at the Foreign Office, and there was a big difference in mood from the old Tory days. 'We will push the case hard,' Fatchett promised. Suddenly he felt the Government was on his side. The new regime in Iran wasn't making promising noises. A birthday message came in from the new 'moderate' president, Khatami: 'Salman Rushdie will die soon.' Summer in America! As soon as Milan was old enough to fly they travelled to their annual weeks of summer freedom on a British airline this time, a direct flight, and the three of them together! A brick fell out of the prison wall. They went to the East Hampton town hall and got a wedding licence. He bought himself a new suit. They rejoiced that night in their seven years of improbable happiness, these two who had found each other in the middle of a hurricane and had clung to each other, not in fear of the storm but in delight at the finding. Her smile had brightened his days and her love his nights, and her courage and care had given him strength. THE DAY CAME WHEN THEY FINALLY SLEPT ALONE He, and Elizabeth and Milan, were about to have a private life in England, for the first time. When he closed the door for the last time on the four policemen who had lived with him under many different names and in many different places for the previous nine years, and thus brought to a close the period of round-theclock protection he asked himself if he was regaining freedom for himself and his family or signing everyone's death warrant. The day came, on Monday, January 26, 1998, when they slept alone in their home, and instead of being scared by the silence around them, by the lack of security technology and the absence of large sleeping policemen, they could not stop smiling and went to bed early

Rushdie and Elisabeth West and slept like the dead; no, not the dead, like the happy, unencumbered living. And then at 3.45am. he woke up and couldn't go back to sleep. Elizabeth wanted another child, and she wanted it right away. His heart sank. Milan was such a great gift, such a great joy, but he did not want to take any more spins on the roulette wheel of genetics. But Elizabeth was a determined woman when there was something she really wanted and he feared he would lose her, and with her Milan, if he refused. His own need was not for another baby. It was for freedom. That need might never be met. This time she conceived quickly. But this time they were not lucky. Two weeks after the pregnancy was confirmed the chromosomal tragedy of the early miscarriage occurred. After the miscarriage Elizabeth turned away from him and devoted herself exclusively to little Milan. Their lives became very separate. She didn't even want to travel in the same car as him, preferring to be in her own car with the baby. He hardly saw her during the day and in the big empty house he felt his life becoming empty too. She didn't want to go anywhere with him, do anything with him, spend the evening with him, and she grew resentful if he suggested going out without her. So the imprisonmentby-baby continued. On September 22, 1998, he went to first wife Clarissa's house. Zafar was having a party to celebrate the imminent beginning of his life as a university student at Exeter. And then, that evening, the television, radio and telephone all went insane. CNN broke the story. President Khatami of Iran had declared the death threat over. Robin Cook called him at 9am on the 24th 4am in New York! and told him what he thought could be achieved. 'We'll get a guarantee, but the fatwa will not be formally revoked, because they say it can't be now that Khomeini is dead. There seems to be no hardliner activity in Iran. This is the best deal we're likely to get. This is the strongest

language we've ever heard from them.' That afternoon he went to the Foreign Office to meet Fatchett. 'The deal is genuine,' Fatchett was saying, 'the Iranians are committed, all segments of the leadership have agreed' Suddenly something opened up inside him, a great emotion welled up, and he said: 'OK.' He said, 'In that case, hurray, and thank you, thank you all, from the bottom of my heart.' The tears rose and the huge emotion silenced him. The TV was turned on and there were Cook and Kharrazi (the Iranian Foreign Minister) side by side in New York, live on Sky News, announcing the fatwa's end. Even the police were moved. 'It's very exciting,' said Bob Lowe. 'A historic moment.' At home it took Elizabeth time to believe it but gradually the mood of rejoicing grew. And Zafar was there, more visibly moved than his father had ever seen him. And there was the phone, the phone. So many friends and wellwishers. The day he had never expected had come. And yes, it was a victory, it had been about something important, not just his life. It had been a fight for things that mattered and they had prevailed, all of them, together. He had to take his life back into his own hands. But when he spoke to Elizabeth about America she wasn't listening. Her antagonism to his New York dream was growing. Sometimes love was not enough. It was his mother's 82nd birthday. When he told her on the phone that he had a new book due out in 1999 she said, in Urdu, Is dafa koi achchhi si kitab likhna. 'This time, write a nice book.’

Courtesy: The Mail on Sunday. Joseph Anton by Salman Rushdie is published by Jonathan Cape.




XPERIENCE working with younger generation One of the things that give me motivation is the passion that the younger generation holds for the future if they are well mentored. Some of the things that we try to promote is leadership. We help students to develop the right attitude towards leadership in life. So, we are into training to help them realise that they represent a new thinking for the liberation of Africa. If you look at the African nations making waves like Ghana and Botswana, you will realise these change agents came from the campus. I believe Africa can change if we get it right with the young people. Many of the Christian students are burdened and angry with what is happening in Africa. For me, that is the right attitude and the way to start. But when they graduate and become confronted with situations in the real world, they become frustrated and disillusioned. Many of them give up and compromise and we keep telling them never to give up. That is why we need Christians making a difference in Nigeria and Africa. We need to hold them up and connect them with these students for mentorship. They need to encourage the younger generation not to give up. However, some of those students who are not Christians are waiting to take over from corrupt older Africans. I will tell you two stories. There is a 25-year-old daughter of a Christian leader in this country. She decided to go into politics but when she saw the rot there, she was shocked. She realised her contemporaries

‘Vested interests behind Jos crisis’ are waiting in the wings to outdo our current corrupt officials. The second person happens to be my son. He studied in the UK with some children of the rich and powerful Nigerians. He said they way they talk is disturbing. He said ‘I fear for this country the way these guys are talking’. Those are things we need to work deliberately to change. That is why we are doing mentoring for transformation project across the continent. Schism among campus fellowships Yes, we have proliferation of church-based student ministries and groups on campuses. It mirrors the fragmentation going on in the church and the larger society. It is sad that our campuses are becoming more loyal to churches than God. It is all about the drive for money and crowd. Churches reason that when these students graduate, they will swell their ranks with finances. So, it is really a sad chapter in campus ministry. Many churches feel they cannot entrust their members to the Navigators, Scripture Union (SU), Christian Union (CU), NIFES and other tested campus fellowships. That influences why they start their own and break the unity in the body. So, we are taking steps to reverse this trend. I started talking with the former African Primate, Most Rev. Jasper Akinola and we are looking into it. I can confirm that. Beyond that, we are planning a

The International Fellowship of Evangelical Students in English and Portuguese Speaking Africa (IFES-EPSA) and Lausanne International Deputy Director for the EPSA Region, Rev. Gideon Para-Mallam, works with millions of students in Africa. He spoke with Sunday Oguntola on how to save the future of Africa and why the Jos crisis remains intractable. Excerpts:



conference by CU, SU, Campus Crusade for Christ (CFC), The Navigators and others. It is called the Congress 2012. It is holding at the NIFES Conference Centre, Lokoja.

Parlous state of the church I honestly would have thought that the church should offer an alternative of change in the country. But I

am not exactly sure that is happening. The church is eager to talk about numbers and mass growth as well as thousands attending meetings. We talk about millions attending prayer meetings but the truth is how many of them are genuinely saved? What is the impact of this huge attendance on the society, on Nigeria? My understanding is that the church should play a prophetic role in the life of a nation. I am not sure the Nigerian church is doing that. What we are just doing is more chasing of the naira than anything. That cannot be denied. The liberation of the nation is dependant on the liberation of the church. The emphasis of making money through the church is a cancer that is destroying the nation. The church is basically toothless and powerless. We see miracles and proclaim that is power, but if you study the Bible, you will notice power is essentially about change of attitude and nature. It is not just about miracles and healing. What I see more is people talking about the miracles in the church without considering how much change is not happening. Why Jos crisis is protracted

I believe it has remained protracted because there are vested interests internally and externally. It is up to our security forces to find out these vested interests. Two, I believe some people are benefiting from the crisis. They are people who thrive only when there are crises. The more crises we have, the richer and more relevant they are. These people will never want the Jos crisis to end. They are fuelling it and instigating people to fester the situation. The consistent attacks on Christians are worrisome and as long as the crisis is on, it will be protracted. Christians are at a point why we will not give up the faith. We will not stop proclaiming Christ as the Lord over our lives and the nation. So, I believe the crisis is both religious and political. I want to encourage Christians to demonstrate the love of Christ. We have to continue to demonstrate the true love of Christ no matter how hard it is. We also have to look for ways of promoting deliberate peaceful coexistence among Christians and Muslims. The more we do it, the more those against the move will be exposed.


Abina marks 50 years in full-time ministry •As GOFAMINT commissions micro-finance bank


T was double celebrations for members and well-wishers of the Gospel Faith Mission International (GOFAMINT) last week. The church commissioned Chronicles Micro-Finance Bank conceived to improve the financial status of members and stakeholders at its camp ground on LagosIbadan Expressway. The commissioning took place on the same day the General Overseer of the church, Pastor Elijah Abina, celebrated his 50th anniversary in full-time ministry. Abina said the bank is a dream come true, acknowledging the church has been nursing the idea for some time. He expressed optimism that the bank will soon operate branches and empower the church financially. The cleric called for the support of members to make the project a success by operating accounts with the in-

By Sunday Oguntola

stitution. The church’s senior accountant, Pastor (Dr) Johnnie Udofia, said the institution is affiliated to Zenith Bank and urged members not to consider Chronicles’ assets ‘national cake’ to be shared. Abina attributed his 50th anniversary in full-time ministry to the grace of God. He said the anniversary was not about him but God’s faithfulness, stressing he couldn’t have ministered for so long without Him. He chronicled the numerous challenges he faced as a minister, saying he took faith to step out in faith 50 years ago when it was not fashionable to be a full-time pastor. He advised up-coming ministers to depend on God, saying “if God could be so faithful to me, He can do the same to anybody who will be faithful and dedicated to Him.”

•L-R: Odufuwa with Ajayi, Bishops Olaolu Akiode and Adekunle Dawodu after the installation… last Sunday

Odufuwa is Vice-Lay President of The African Church


HE President of Lagos City Polytechnic, Engr. Babatunde Odufuwa, has been installed as the 4th Honorary Vice Lay President, Lagos Mainland Diocese of The African Church, Ebute Metta. The installation ceremony, which took place last Sunday, coincided with the fund raising of N100million endowment fund for evange-

By Sunday Oguntola

lism in the church. The Diocesan Bishop, Rt. Rev. Ola Ade Ajayi, described Odufuwa as worthy of the office, having proven to be a willing tool in the hands of God. Ajayi charged him to consider his installation as a call to higher responsibilities, urging him to strive to serve others always.

He said: “You are to serve and not be served. Be humble enough to serve others. Let the interest of the Diocese be paramount in your heart”. The cleric listed the massive contributions of the Founder of Southwestern University, Okun Owa, Ogun State, to the church, stressing he is eminently qualified for the elevation.

Odufuwa “joyfully accepted to serve in the vineyard of God.” Admitting the challenges are enormous, he pledged to overcome them with faith, saying “I am a man of faith and I believe everything is possible with God.” He offered to utilise his contacts and resources to uplift the church’s mission projects.


Power to set free (3) Pastor Amanda Ogunro



EAR readers, people runaway from deliverance as a result of past failed deliverance experiences or as a result of what they have heard. As a result of this, they are still in bondage. If you have been following this series you will know about what God says about deliverance Obadiah 17. Last month I taught on Power to Set Free (2). Satan also has a fake type of deliverance in order to oppose God and his righteousness. It is the word of God that casts out devils and not any magical demonstration or movements Zechariah 4:6b. I told you last month that Jesus is the only true deliverer. The Almighty God is in charge. This month I will be continuing the teaching on the Power to Set Free (3). Today I want to talk to you about “How does God execute deliverance?” Do you know you can minister effective deliverance on yourself? Yes, depending on the nature of bondage and your attitude to God and his word. What does it take to do this? 1. Faith in Christ 2. Obedience to God and his word 3. Ability to speak to the problem 4. Belief in your prayers to God 5. Ability to receive your desire as you pray This is what I call self deliverance. It works! I am a living witness and others too.

Now, how does God execute deliverance? God can effect deliverance in the following ways: 1. By his servants 2. By ambushment 3. By the principle of substitution 4. By righteousness 1. By his servants: God can deliver you through his servants as seen in Acts 16:16-18. Paul cast out the demons by force. I want you to know that deliverance is not by might or by power but by the spirit of God. Demons are cast out by the word of God. Mathew 8:16. He sent his word and healed them and delivered them from their destruction. Psalm 107:20. 2. By ambushment: When the Lord sees the enemies are stronger than you and there is no way you can defeat them, He will set them up against themselves until they absolutely destroy themselves. 2 Chronicles 20: 22-23, Proverbs 11:8. 3. By the principle of substitution: You may be thinking, I can never be delivered because I sold myself to the devil, either through the process of looking for the fruit of the womb, a crave to be rich, through inherited covenants, etc. Isaiah 49:2426 is the best example of how God can execute deliverance particularly in a situation where before you became born again you went into captivity or into the camp of the enemy voluntarily. Above all, perhaps you joined a secret society and now you are born again. You want to be free and they have refused. You are a lawful captive, because you entered into a covenant. They have threatened to kill you because you are part of them. According to Isaiah 49:24-26, God said if they will not let you go he will allow them to feed on their own flesh and drink their own blood. In cases where the captive is legally bound to the captor, and


Worship for God who is a just God to execute deliverance to such a captive, he will have to give the captor an alternative, “Let go or your life for his life”. For example Shedrach, Meshach and Abednego were substituted with those heating up the fire Daniel 3:22. Daniel was substituted with the family of his accusers Daniel 6:24. So shall it be in your case if the enemy refuses to let you go. Their lives for yours in Jesus name. Isaiah 43:4. 4. By righteousness: God can also deliver by righteousness. No matter the power of the enemies and their terrible weapons against you, you will be delivered by righteousness. Righteousness means- doing what is right in the sight of God, Ezekiel 14:14. Psalm 18:19-24. God has promised deliverance as seen in Obadiah 17, Joel 2:32 etc. He cannot lie. Believe and hold firm to your faith in Christ, and as you read this message today, pray earnestly for your deliverance and it shall be yours in Jesus name, Amen. Next month I will be teaching on Power to Set Free (4). Salvation is the greatest miracle on earth. If you are not yet born again, pray this prayer of salvation. Dear Jesus, I am a sinner. I come to you. Forgive my sins. Wash me with your blood. Deliver me from sin and satan. I accept you as my Lord and personal saviour. Thank you Jesus for saving me, write my name in the Lamb’s book of life. Now I know that I am born again. I know you have been blessed by this teaching. Write and share your testimony with Pastor Amanda Ogunro. Rivers of Living Water Ministries, P.M.B 2854 Surulere, Lagos or call 018401701, or . Visit our website on

Cherish the teaching of His word

Bishop Wale-Oke



S your words are taught, they give light; even the simple can understand them (Psalm 119:130, NLT). There is nothing in this world that is as precious as the word of the Lord. It is the light to our path and the lamp to our feet. It is by the word of the Lord that we walk in the light. It is the food that nourishes our souls; it is the water of life that refreshes our spirit. Job declared that he esteemed the words that came out of the mouth of God more than his necessary food. Jeremiah summed up what should be the attitude of every believer in Christ to the word of the Lord, when he said “thy words were found, and I did eat them, and thy word was the joy and rejoicing of my heart, for I am called by thy name, O Lord God of hosts” (Jeremiah 15:16).

We are to search out the word of God until we find, or discover or get to know, and understand it. When we do, we will find the strength we need to run the race set before us, victoriously. When the word of the Lord is revealed to us, the joy of the Lord will fill our hearts. This is why it is important for you to locate yourself in a Church where the word of God is being faithfully expounded and taught everyday. A Church like that will do you a wealth of good and help you to connect a glorious destiny in Christ. Whenever you sit under the teaching of the word of God, you should open up your heart to absorb the light that the word is bringing. You should open up your Bible to follow through with what is being taught, and you should open up your notes to write down whatever insight, understanding, direction, or instruction that is coming to you from the word of the Lord. Never should you be casual in your approach to the word of God. It is the food by which you live. The teachings of the word that you are receiving is not a vain thing, it is your life (Deut. 32:46-47). By them, you discover the precious promises of God by which you connect with your inheritance in

Christ. Child of God, your regular attendance in the house of God where you are fed with God’s word should be a top priority in your agenda. Make sure you are consistent and regular, receiving daily the word of the Lord. Make sure you rejoice to receive God’s word and to apply them in your daily life. And make sure you support that Church where you are fed with the word of God with your prayers, your service, your tithe, your offerings and your goodwill. If you exalt the word of the Lord in your life and walk in the light it brings, you will prosper in all your ways. Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night (Ps. 1:1-2). For further information, counseling and prayer, please contact me on telephone number: +234 816 308 7780, +234 816 363 6364 or send an email to You may also write to P.M.B 60, Agodi Post Office, Ibadan.


Akiniyi chairs laity council


RINCE Clement Akiniyi has emerged unopposed as chairman of St. Patrick’s Catholic Church, Ipaja, Lagos. He will lead an 18-man executive committee for another two years. Akiniyi was elected during an exercise conducted under the auspices of the officials from the Agege Dean-

ery Laity council of the Catholic Archdiocese of Lagos. He thanked the councillors and delegates for giving him the opportunity to serve the church again. He expressed determination to foster peace, unity, love and inter-relationship among all societies and associations in the parish,

Kudos as Methodist Church clocks 170

promising to also give a resounding support to the clergies. Inaugurating the new executives, the parish priest, Very Rev. Fr Daniel Adayi, who doubled as the Episcopal Vicar for the Religious of the Catholic Archdiocese of Lagos, urged them to consolidate on the gains of the past administration. Other officers elected include: Carol Ehiogue, Vice Chairman; Tony Akinbolaji, Secretary; Emmanuel Ntewo Treasurer and Moses Uvietevsimi Financial Secretary. Others were Clementina Akiniyi, Social Secretary; Agatha Osinde, PRO and a one- time Vice Chairman, Mrs. M.K Bamidele as ex-officio.

WHAT AND WHERE? Jehovah Witnesses hold convention

O •Makinde with Archbishops and Bishops of the church sporting the anniversary vestment


AGOS State governor, Mr. Raji Fashola and his Ogun counterpart, Senator Ibikunle Amosun, have hailed the contributions of the church to nation-building. The Church, they said, has done so much to elevate the nation’s spiritual and moral standards. The governors spoke last week during the formal opening of a 3-day Sports Festival and other activities organised to celebrate the 170

By Sunday Oguntola

years of Methodism in Nigeria and 50 years of autonomy. Fashola, who was represented by the Special Adviser on Religious Matters, Rev. Sam Ogedengbe, said: “Methodist Church Nigeria has been a reliable partner in the building of a prosperous and spiritually healthy Nigeria. “As the first Church to come into Nigeria,

Methodism has impacted the lives of many through socially responsible programmes, policies and actions. “The Church is a pioneer in providing quality healthcare services, good, sound and quality education and community-friendly welfare projects which have in many ways transformed the lives of many across the country.” Amosun, who was repre-

sented by his deputy, Prince Segun Adesegun, said: “there is no denying the fact that the Church has played a great role to play in the moral rebirth, value re-orientation and character modification which we so much desire in Nigeria today.” The Prelate of MCN, His Eminence Dr. Sunday Makinde, noted the church boasts of 95 nursery and primary schools and 72 secondary schools contributing to

educational development in different parts of the nation. He said the Wesley University of Science and Technology (WUSTO) Ondo State, is also making a mark in the sector. In health, he said there are hundreds of hospitals in Nigeria, helping to safeguard well-being of Nigerians. He said the church will not relent in making Nigeria a better nation in every way possible

TA Assembly Hall of Jehovah’s Witnesses will host no fewer than 5,000 participants at this year’s convention of the church with the theme, safeguard your heart. The convention will feature lively Bible discourses, interviews and full costume drama. A statement from the church said “the convention programme will focus on the Bible statements that reveal how protecting one’s figurative heart will enhance the quality of his life now and preserve the prospects for life in the future.”




Man City fire three past Sunderland


HAMPIONS Manchester City recovered some of their swagger as Aleksandar Kolarov, Sergio Aguero and James Milner fired them to a convincing Barclays Premier League win over Sunderland. The scoreline barely reflected the hosts' dominance as they comfortably recorded their first clean sheet of the season in a one-sided contest at the Etihad Stadium. RESULTS ENGLAND Man City 3-0 Sunderland Chelsea 4 - 1 Norwich C. Swansea 2 - 2 Reading West Brom 3 - 2 QPR. Wigan 2 - 2 Everton West Ham 1 -3 Arsenal GERMANY Bayern 2-0 Freiburg 3 - 0 Greuther 0 - 1 Mainz 1-0 Schalke 3-0 ITALY Chievo

Hoffenheim Nurnberg Hamburger Fortuna Wolfsburg

2 - 1 Sampdoria

SPAIN Rayo 2 - 1 Deportivo Zaragoza 0 - 1 Getafe FIXTURES ENGLAND Southampton V Fulham Liverpool V Stoke C. Tottenham H. V Aston Villa Newcastle U. V Manchester U. SPAIN Levante Mallorca Bilbao Barcelona Atletico


GERMANY M’gladbach Hannover Stuttgart

V Frankfurt V Dortmund V Leverkusen

Valencia Granada Osasuna Real Madrid Malaga

Chelsea thrash Norwich to stay on top C

HELSEA cemented top spot in the Premier League with an attacking masterclass, romping to a 4-1 win over Norwich at Stamford Bridge. Grant Holt gave struggling Norwich an early lead against the run of play after 11 minutes, but Fernando Torres levelled three minutes later, before Frank Lampard and Eden Hazard scored delightful goals to put the Blues comfortably ahead after half an hour. In the second half it might easily have been a rout as Oscar, Juan Mata and Hazard took centrestage, but in the end Chelsea managed only one more, a sumptuous volley from Branislav Ivanovic 76 minutes in. The Blues will finish the weekend four points clear at the top of the table, while Norwich remain stranded near the foot of the league. Roberto di Matteo's decision to include both Ashley Cole and John Terry stole the headlines, but it was his attacking combination which had more of an impact on the

match. With the unbeaten league leaders hosting the winless Canaries, only one result looked likely, but Holt's early strike gave the Blues an early scare. It was a well-worked move Wes Hoolahan running unchecked before picking out Sebastian Bassong in the box, who nodded down for Holt to rifle past Petr Cech. But the lead was short-lived. Torres, who had spurned an early chance with hesitancy after being played in over the top, got on the end of a cross from Ivanovic and glanced past John Ruddy to level. Chelsea kept attacking, and the second came after Torres attempted an overhead kick. It was blocked but straight into the path of Lampard, whose finish was clinical. The Blues were not watertight at the back and Norwich did have their chances Alexander Tettey had got into a great position up front only to completely misjudge his header.

Chelsea players celebrate their victory against Norwich

El Clasico

Odemwingie returns in West Brom's win Xavi dreams Real thrashing


IGERIAN West Brom attacker returned to help his side to a thrilling 3-2 defeat of Queens Park Rangers (QPR) yesterday, as Jose Bosingwa missed a golden chance to rescue a point for QPR. He missed from five yards out in West Brom's victory at The Hawthorns. With four minutes of added time up, the ball broke kindly for the former Chelsea man in the home area from a corner, but he somehow lifted the ball miles over with just goalkeeper Ben Foster to beat.

QPR remain moored to the foot of the Premier League table with just two points from seven games while West Brom are up to the lofty heights of fourth on 14 points from seven games behind Everton on goal difference. They were perhaps fortunate to get out of this one with all three points having been dominant in the first period but indifferent in the second half. Odemwingie contributed immensely in the slim win but was replaced in the 62nd minute by Rosenberg.


ARCELONA have a big opportunity to go 11 points ahead of fierce rivals Real Madrid in today's Clasico clash at Camp Nou. The Blaugrana have taken a maximum 18 points from their opening six matches, while Madrid lies eight points adrift, after picking up only four points in its first four fixtures. The Catalan midfielder Xavi told reporters outright win is what they are gunning for; "It would be a very important victory, which would

calm nerves and leave our main rivals 11 points behind us,It's a big opportunity but nothing decisive. There's still plenty of life left in the league whatever happens. We'll try to enjoy it and make the public enjoy it too. We're arriving in good shape, despite [Carles] Puyol's injury." Barca's captain will miss the tie on Sunday after suffering a dislocated elbow in Tuesday's Champions League victory over Benfica, and is now set to spend two months on the sidelines.




Opabunmi gets N.5m lifeline


YO State Government has given ex-Shooting Stars and Super Eagles winger, Femi Opabunmi, lifeline worth N500,000 as part of its plan to lift past and present sportsmen and women who are facing challenges. Oyo State Commissioner for Youths and Sports Lam-Adesina presented the cheque to Opabunmi in his office on behalf of the state government. Opabunmi was a member of the silver medal winning Golden Eaglets to the FIFA Under-17 championship in Trinidad and Tobago in 2001 and was part of the Super Eagles team to the Japan/Korea 2002 FIFA World Cup. He had problem with his sight which forced him to quit the game of football at the time he was still very active and plying his trade with Grasshopper FC of Switzerland.

Skydiver Baumgartner attempts record space jump


KYDIVER, Felix Baumgartner will tomorrow attempt to a record breaking jump from 36,576 metres above the earth's surface. Baumgartner, backed by a team of world-leading scientists, will take a stratospheric balloon flight to 120,000 feet/36,576 before taking his jump. The mission dubbed, 'Red Bull Stratos' will attempt to transcend human limits that have existed for 50 years. Baumgartner plans to ascend to 120,000 feet in a stratospheric balloon and make a freefall jump rushing toward earth at supersonic speeds before parachuting to the ground. His attempt to dare atmospheric limits holds the potential to provide valuable medical and scientific research data for future pioneers. Baumgartner would have special help from retired United States Air Force Colonel Joseph Kittinger, who holds three of the records Felix will strive to break. Joe's record jump from 102,800 ft in 1960 was during a time when no one knew if a human could survive a jump from the edge of space. Joe took a balloon to 97,000 feet in Project ManHigh and survived a drogue mishap during a jump from 76,400 feet in Excelsior I. The Excelsior III mission was his 33rd parachute jump. Felix could potentially break four world records: - Reaching supersonic speed in freefall (breaking the sound barrier); Highest manned balloon flight; Longest freefall, and Freefall from highest altitude, if the jump is successfully done.

Lagos wins Fashola Open Judo Championship


HE maiden Babatunde Raji Fashola National Open Judo Championship organised by the Nigeria Judo Federation in conjunction with the Lagos State Judo Association was concluded Friday with Lagos State emerging winner. The three- day event, which took place at the at the multi-purpose hall of the University of Lagos Sports Centre, Yaba had eight states and two institutions competing in both the senior, Junior, and cadet categories began on Wednesday. Aside Lagos state, others that competed included: Nasarawa, Jigawa,Ogun, Oyo, Benue, Akwa Ibom and Imo States. Nasarawa came second while civil defence placed third at the end of the competiton. In a chat with journalist in Lagos, Chairman of the Lagos State Judo Association, Mutiu Are said aside using the tourney as a build up to the National Sport Festival (NSF), the organisers and sponsor wish to make it a yearly event.

Keshi names seven home-based against Liberia


UPER Eagles boss, Stephen Okechukwu Keshi, has kept to his promise of naming his home-based professionals that will join their foreign counterpart for the weekend's Nations Cup final round qualifier against the Leone Stars of Liberia in Calabar. The list was announced to the players at lunch time after they were again held to a 1-1 draw in a second tune game against Pro League side FC Abuja, in a match played at the practice pitch of the Abuja National Stadium. The lucky seven are home-based Eagles skipper, Chigozie Agbim of Warri Wolves and his teammate, gangling Azubuike Egwueke, Sunshine Stars skipper, Godfrey Oboabona, also made the cut, same for Enyimba's Henry Uche, Benjamin Francis of Heartland , hardworking Kano Pillars central defender, Umar Zango and daredevil Rangers winger Ejike Uzoenyi. It leaves 15 home based players stranded and they have since left camp, but Keshi made them a firm promise even as he questioned their fitness as a result of the break of the Nigeria Premier League; “keep yourself busy and fit football wise because we have a friendly soon and we have other qualifiers that you will again be called upon to come and fight for a shirts. Before the announcement, the players showed some lethargy when they took on a more forceful FC Abuja, Saturday morning in a game that spoils were evenly shared, which led the technical crew to order for training after the game to jerk up the players' fitness level. After near misses by Saviour Fidelis-header, Sanni Sanusi-over the bar and Philip Asuquo's miskick, Tony Okpotu finally rose to the occassion when he nodded

home a well taken angular from Asuquo in the 37th minute of the game. FC Abuja responded through Awolo Shuaibu and midfield anchor, Peter Adah, but the half ended 1-0, in favour of the Eagles. The Eagles continued their wastefulness in front of goal when centre referee Aniete Okoh, restarted the game with Ejike Uzoenyi, Brendon Ogbu and Sunday Mba, the fresh culprits. It was no surprise when rampaging Awolo of the Abuja side connected an Adah cross with his head to even scores in the 80th minute. The scoreline stood like that till the referee's final whistle. Keshi said he was not surprised at his side's display, as most of them were called back from holidays but advised them as professional footballers they must never play with their level of fitness. The team will depart for Calabar, venue of the match on Monday.

Emenike eyes derby victory S By Taiwo Alimi

PARTAK Moscow striker Emmanuel Emenike is looking forward to derby victory as his club Spartak Moscow file out against CSKA Moscow today in the star match of the Russian League. Emenike who bagged a brace as Spartak Moscow fell to Celtic in the UEFA Champions League match over the week days, they have put Celtic defeat behind them and looking forward to the derby game against CSKA Moscow which parades Ahmed Musa. "We have put Celtic defeat behind us, CSKA Moscow is a

F/Eagles, South Africa battle for AYC glory ...As Ubah dangles $15.000 reward



IGERIA Under-20 will on Sunday in Ilorin battle their South African counterparts for a ticket to the 2013 African Youth Championship. Both teams played out a 1-1 draw in the first leg a fortnight ago in Nelspruit. Reigning African champions Flying Eagles will be the favourites to qualify for next year's AYC in Algeria as they already have an away goal in the bag and will be playing in front of their fans at the Kwara State Stadium from 2pm local time on Sunday. However, experienced coach John Obuh has insisted they are not leaving anything to chance in their quest to advance to Algeria 2013. “South Africa have an excellent team and they gave us a good fight in the first game. They would have been disappointed with the result from that game, but still we cannot take anything for granted because we want to qualify for the AYC again,” said Obuh. “We have prepared very well for this game and we believe our hard work will be rewarded on match day.” Obuh has picked Europe-based pros Kenneth Omeruo and Aliyu Mohammed Goyi to fortify his defence with Sunshine Stars striker Harrison Egbune the only other addition to the squad from the first meeting in South Africa. Enugu Rangers striker Alhaji Gero is the team's leading scorer in the qualifiers with three goals thus far. However, the big centre-forward

was shut out by big Amajita central defender Ishmael Mngonyama, who would bag a booking in the process. The South Africa U20s arrived Ilorin Friday morning with five changes from the squad last month. Meanwhile, Oil tycoon Ifeanyi Ubah has promised the Flying Eagles cash reward of $15,000 if they qualify for next year's AYC.

tough team too and we have to be focused. I know it is not going to be an easy game, coupled with the fact that we denied them the Champions league ticket last season." He added that his brace against Celtic is also a good omen coming into this clash. “It was nice that I

scored in the Champions League match and it would be a boost for me in this weekend’s clash.” Emenike added:"I want victory, I want maximum point for my club and we are ready to fight for it. Scoring goal is all about dedication.”

Sunshine, Ahly draw in six-goal thriller


IGERIA'S Sunshine Stars drew 3-3 with Al Ahly of Egypt in a CAF Champions League first leg semi-final on Saturday in Ijebu-Ode. Ahly enjoy the advantage going Caroll into second leg in Cairo in two weeks as they have scored three goals away from home. However, a defiant Sunshine coach Gbenga Ogunbote told that his team are not out of reckoning for a place in the final against the winners of the other semi-final between defending champions Esperance and TP Mazembe from DR Congo. "It is not over. We will go to Cairo for our result to take us to final,” said Ogunbote. “If we get the kind of officiating that we had here in Cairo, we will get to final.” Record winners Ahly looked like they had got the game in the bag after they took a 2-0 lead after half

an hour as their hosts showed them too much respect. The Egyptian champions went in front in the 18th minute through striker Mohamed 'Geddo' Nagy, whose shot from outside the box beat Sunshine goalkeeper Moses Ocheje. Ahly doubled their advantage through Mahdy El Sayed in the 30th minute when he squeezed the ball home from an acute angle. Sunshine reduced the deficit in the 40th minute, when Cameroonian midfielder Tamen Medrano’s curler from the edge of the box flew beyond Ahly goalkeeper Sherif Elkramy. The home team restored parity in the 73rd minute from the penalty spot through Dele Olorundare after a goal-bound Ajani Ibrahim was upended by Mohamed Nagy.

Ahead U-17 qualifier against Guinea

Golden Eaglets savour 4-1 win against Leopards


OLDEN Eaglets' head coach, Manu Garba (MFR), is upbeat about the chances of his wards in next week's second round, first leg African Under-17 qualifier against Guinea after the National Under-17 team handed a 4-1 defeat to Leopards Football Club of Calabar on Saturday. “The team we played today could easily be regarded as the toughest local team since we started camping here in Calabar but you could see that our boys rose to the challenge and we are very happy about this,” Garba said afterwards.” It was a good test for us ahead of the game against Guinea next week and we are looking forward to our next game in the qualifiers with a great hope.” Leopards FC, a former

National Division Two campaigner, provided one of the stiffest tests yet but they eventually crumbled to the superior power of the Golden Eaglets. The Golden Eaglets started on the offensive from the blast of the whistle and would have been rewarded as early as the fourth minute of the match when Musa Yahaya and Kelechi Iheanacho exchanged sweet double passes only for Success Isaac to nod wide off the goal post. Four minutes later, the Golden Eaglets took the lead when Yahaya, who’s fondly called Kaka, after that gifted Brazilian and Real Madrid striker, nodded home a precise pullout from Kelechi Iheanacho. Leopards that were Cross River State's Governors Cup winners in 2005 and 2009, responded well and

immediately following a defensive error between goalkeeper Adamu Abubakar and defender Wilfred Ndidi, for the prowling Ukeme Isaiah to strike from 20 metres and the ball helplessly hits the post before resting into the net! The goal did not dampen the morale of the Golden Eaglets as they turned on the heat against their opponents. Leopards soon suffered another setback when Isaac was brought down in the box for a penalty. Ifeanyi Matthew's kick was parried by Leopards goalkeeper for lurking Isaac to finish up for the Eaglets' second goal in the 14th minute. Then the game turned to a ding-dong affair but the Eaglets rallied by borrowing a leaf from the animal kingdom video shown to them at the outset of their camping here in Calabar.

QUOTABLE “We will make sure that we have only competent companies to run the unbundled PHCN power plants. They must have the financial capacity and show commitment that they will not dump their Nigerians partners and send us back to the previous situation of irregular power supply.”


—Chairman, National Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), Dr. Sam Amadi giving an assurance that companies which won bids for state-owned power generation assets would still undergo a thorough screening


ROFESSOR Chinua Achebe’s latest book, There Was A Country, A Personal History of Biafra, is bound to engender stormy controversies all over the country and perhaps beyond, for its candour, its controversial allotment of motives to the principal actors of the Nigerian civil war, and the author’s unrepentant and undisguised partisanship. The book is yet to be released to the Nigerian market, but the Guardian of London last week excerpted a short but very poignant part of the book to whet readers’ appetite and for analysts to have an idea of the book’s potency. This piece will look at that excerpt and attempt a brief foray into the eminent writer’s mind. No review of the book will be attempted until it is available. First, here is what the publishers have to say of the book: “The defining experience of Chinua Achebe’s life was the Nigerian civil war, also known as the Biafran War, of 1967–1970. The conflict was infamous for its savage impact on the Biafran people, Chinua Achebe’s people, many of whom were starved to death after the Nigerian government blockaded their borders. By then, Chinua Achebe was already a world-renowned novelist, with a young family to protect. He took the Biafran side in the conflict and served his government as a roving cultural ambassador, from which vantage he absorbed the war’s full horror. Immediately after, Achebe took refuge in an academic post in the United States, and for more than forty years he has maintained a considered silence on the events of those terrible years, addressing them only obliquely through his poetry. Now, decades in the making, comes a towering reckoning with one of modern Africa’s most fateful events, from a writer whose words and courage have left an enduring stamp on world literature. “Achebe masterfully relates his experience, both as he lived it and how he has come to understand it. He begins his story with Nigeria’s birth pangs and the story of his own upbringing as a man and as a writer so that we might come to understand the country’s promise, which turned to horror when the hot winds of hatred began to stir. To read There Was a Country is to be powerfully reminded that artists have a particular obligation, especially during a time of war. All writers, Achebe argues, should be committed writers—they should speak for their history, their beliefs, and their people. Marrying history and memoir, poetry and prose, There Was a Country is a distillation of vivid firsthand observation and forty years of research and reflection. Wise, humane, and authoritative, it will stand as definitive and reinforce Achebe’s place as one of the most vital literary and moral voices of our age.” It is unlikely anyone will question Achebe’s literary astuteness, especially knowing that he is a towering literary per-

Achebe: Some things are better left unsaid


• Bromide of book

sonality of the 20th Century. No one will also question his freedom to say the things he has just said in the book, for he felt the torment of the civil war as keenly as the worst victim, just as the publishers indicated. What with his young family that needed his protection during the war, and his involvement as a roving cultural ambassador of the shortlived Biafra Republic. In general too, Achebe was impeccable in counselling writers to take a stand on the great moral issues of the day, as he apparently did during the war, and has now done again more than four decades after. What remains to be seen, however, is to what extent he could take liberty with his understanding of the issues surrounding the war, his interpretations, his conclusions, and the underlying emotions that obviously coloured both his own worldview and his paranoid perception of the country vis-à-vis the Igbo people. After reading the Guardian (London) excerpt of the book, I concluded this was a book he should not have written, for sometimes, the merit of a book is compromised by just one page, one paragraph, even one sentence.

Because of the sentiments contained in the excerpt, which sentiments I think vitiate the force of his lofty intellect, Achebe should have left unsaid many of the things he wrote in the book. His reputation as a world-renowned writer was already secure, having written one of the 50 most influential books of all time. Why did he feel impelled to write this fateful book, one which doubtless reinforces the suspicion many hold about his private and public animosities? Achebe is a courageous writer and a principled Nigerian who felt no qualms twice spurning the honours bestowed on him by the Nigerian government. A disreputable government could not give honour to one so morally superior, he snorted. Yet, the book contains sentiments that appear unworthy of both the fame he has acquired by dint of his unequalled genius and the high pedestal upon which Nigeria, nay, the world has thrust him. Most of the criticisms levelled against Achebe come from the Southwest. The critics seek to defend Chief Obafemi Awolowo against the motives ascribed to him by the author. I do not intend to join forces with

Jonathan can do it alone, so to speak


N less than a week, President Goodluck Jonathan managed both by his blandness and by his irrepressible extemporaneousness to stoke three fierce storms. On Thursday, he announced the appointment of new service chiefs, and as if justifying the suspicion in the Southwest that he was indifferent to the sensibilities of the zone, no one from the zone was appointed to that exalted hierarchy. The implication, say analysts from that zone, is that when the president takes top level security decisions, he will have to assume he knows what the zone thinks. The second storm was the declaration in his Independence Day speech that Nigeria’s rating in the anti-graft war had improved to number three in terms of real efforts to combat corruption. He ascribed the improvement to a study said to have been carried out by Transparency International (TI). But the global corruption watchdog said it carried out no such study, while presidential aides glumly explained they took the information from a newspaper.

Before Independence Day celebration, the president, at a church service, argued that no one person could save a nation. Comparing himself to the biblical Nehemiah, the president suggested that only the cooperation of the people could make a leader achieve feats. Not so, said analysts. The president must first show the way, offer brilliant and principled leadership, and then persuade the people and mobilise them to achieve the impossible. The president is unlikely to be persuaded by such analysis, for he summarily jettisons anything that does not fit into his worldview. He wants cooperation first; he wants critics, whom he sighed always abused him, to sheathe their swords first; and he wants the snobbish Southwest to drop its political and media opposition to his government first. That, to him, is the only way the virtues of Nehemiah can be brought out. It is certainly not the fault of Jonathan that the quality of leadership in Nigeria has fallen. It has been falling since independence, not only in Nigeria but elsewhere in Africa, and

indeed all over the world. In the turbulent decades of the mid-20th Century, it was rare to hear the president of a great nation plaintively declare he could not do great things alone. Great leaders have the capacity to walk alone, look only to their inside even if they take advice on the outside, judge right, take bold decisions, and swaddle their policies, which are often prescient, with messianic conviction. Somebody must persuade the Nigerian president to talk right, speak more persuasively and inspiringly about his visions, and believe implacably in himself. Somebody must tell him that by his endless waffle he communicates his hesitations to the whole country. Last Sunday, the president told the church congregation in Abuja he alone could not do the job of taking Nigeria to great heights. He is absolutely wrong. He alone can do it if he puts his mind to it. The rest of us are available to be mobilised and led, since we must, for the sake of democracy, endure the remaining years of his first term as best as we can.

those critics. It is enough to say that writing interpretative historical works and psychoanalysing historical personalities are not Achebe’s forte. Perhaps if he were detached from the Biafran debacle he would have been able to do a greater work. For now I am uncomfortable with a few issues raised in the excerpt. First is the fact that the eminent author showed a disturbing streak of extreme traumatisation. Forty-two years after the civil war, the bitterness Achebe nursed against both the federal side and a few of the dramatis personae in the war are still very fresh and potent. He has allowed that bitterness to endure, to retain its potency, and to colour his perception of Nigerian (ethnic) politics. I doubt whether the great Dr Nnamdi Azikiwe, who was ambivalent towards Biafra, nor the man who led Biafra itself, Dim Emeka Ojukwu, retained such vitriol against the rest of Nigeria as Achebe. Second, it is hard to know where Achebe got the statistics upon which he built his insupportable conclusions. He claims the principal targets of the war, a war he insinuates was genocidal, were two million mothers, children, babies – all civilians, apparently in contradistinction to military casualties. He inexplicably ignores the losses suffered by World War II combatants. The former Soviet Union alone lost over 16 million civilians and about eight million troops. China lost more than 10 million civilians and just over one million armed men. Poland lost about six million civilians and over 800,000 armed men. Germany, where the final battles of the war were fought, lost seven million people, about half of whom were civilians. In all, WWII cost between 60 to 70 million lives of which some 40 to 50 million were civilians. Civilians often bear the brunt of wars. The Nigerian civil war was fought mostly in the Southeast, yet the author queries the preponderance of war dead on the Biafran side. Where does Achebe expect most of the casualties to come from? He also said the small arms deployed in the constricted Southeast region during the less than three years the civil war lasted were more than the quantity deployed in the entire WWII, which lasted over six years and was fought across vast territories. Even without counting, and looking at the scale and scope of WWII losses, it would be far-fetched to come to Achebe’s conclusions. Except the author could convince us that the more than 40 million soldiers who fought in WWII shared weapons or fought barehanded, and the soldiers who fought in the Nigerian civil war used more than 40 guns each, he could never persuade anyone that more small arms were used in the Southeast during the war. After all, Nigerian Army strength rose to only 120,000 by the end of that war. It is doubtful that Biafran troops exceeded federal troops in number. Achebe’s latest book is unlikely to be of much value. It will be regarded as a bitter account by a traumatised man who has found it difficult to overcome the effects of the civil war. He considers as diabolical the use of starvation as a weapon of war, as if he never read any history of warfare, where sieges were designed to starve the enemy into submission. He glosses over the fact that Igbo people lived in the Southwest during the war; yet he yielded to paranoia by concluding that the purpose and methods of the war were designed to exterminate the Igbo. He connects those execrable methods, such as starvation, to Awolowo’s ambitious design for power and northern jihadist inclinations. This is guesswork. The Guardian (London) newspaper excerpt illustrates how difficult it is for many Nigerian intellectuals to overcome the stereotypes that hamstring objective discussions of national affairs. So, who will write the history of that period, let alone teach it, when even Achebe could not overcome stereotypes nor bury the bitterness of four decades past? The great roles played by many Igbo personalities during the war are being highlighted, and many of them, including the great Zik and the charismatic Ojukwu, are being canonised. We must hope that Achebe does not take us back to our ignoble past where heroic deeds are acknowledged through ethnic prism.

Published by Vintage Press Limited. Corporate Office: 27B Fatai Atere Way, Matori, Lagos. P.M.B. 1025, Oshodi, Lagos. Telephone: Switch Board: 01-8168361. Marketing: 4520939, Abuja Office: Plot 5, Nanka Close AMAC Commercial Complex, Wuse Zone 3, Abuja. Telephone: 07028105302 Website: ISSN: 115-5302 E-mail: Editor: FESTUS ERIYE

The Nation October 07, 2012  
The Nation October 07, 2012  

The Nation October 07, 2012