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Nigeria’s widest circulating newspaper

House pegs oil benchmark at $80

Senators hail Osun on education


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•Chukwumerije gives state kudos

•Jonathan presents budget today

VOL. 7, NO. 2274 WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 10, 2012


ONDO 2012


•Akeredolu to voters: don’t sell your cards •Voter cards ‘theft’: Court to rule Oct. 22 •Poll ‘ll be free, fair, says INEC chief


Adenuga, Dangote, Elumelu, others to help flood victims Row grows over Achebe’s attack on Awo

Jonathan okays N17.6b for states

By Bolade Omonijo, Austin Avwode, Dada Aladelokun, Adesoji Adeniyi, Nwanosike Onu, and Chris Oji

From Vincent Ikuomola, Abuja


ELP is on the way for flood victims, with the President approving yesterday a committee of eminent citizens to raise funds for their needs. Dr. Goodluck Jonathan announced yesterday that the Committee on Flood Relief and Rehabilitation will join forces with the government to provide urgent relief for flood victims. Frontline businessman Alhaji Aliko Dangote is co-chairman of the committee. The President of commodities giant Dangote Group has already given N430 million to some of the victims. Right activist and respected lawyer Olisa Agbakoba is co-chairman of the 43-member committee. Chairman of mobile giant Globacom Dr. Mike Adenuga Jnr. is chief fund mobiliser. The others are: Alhaji Karami Isiaku Rabiu (member), Alhaji Mohammed Indimi (member), Ngo Hannatu Cholum (member), Mrs. Folorunsho Alakija (member), former minister Prof. Dora Akunyili (member) and prominent banker and Heir Holdings chair Tony Elumelu (member). Also in the committee are: Secretary-General, Nigerian Red Cross, representatives of the Christian Association of Nigeria(CAN), the Nigeria Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the European Union (EU), DFID and USAID. There are also permanent secretaries of the following ministries: Environment, Water Resources, Works, Agriculture, Health, Finance, National Planning and Director-General, NEMA. Other members are: Ag. Commissioner, National Commission for Refugees, Perm. Sec., Ecological Funds Office, Chairman, Senate Committee on Special Duties, Chairman, House Committee on Environment, Nigeri-










an Union of Journalists (NUJ), National Council of Women’s Societies (NCWS), Tunde Lemo (Representing the Central Bank), Fatima Wali, Frank Nweke Jnr. and Senator Florence Ita-Giwa. The President announced the committee in a national broadcast yesterday. The Committee is to raise funds to complement the government’s

resources for the provision of relief to flood victims and the post-impact rehabilitation of affected persons and communities, according to presidential spokesman Reuben Abati. The Committee, which is also expected to advise the government on the judicious utilisation of funds raised, “has been authorised by President Jonathan to co-opt any


other persons or organisations that it may find useful in carrying out its assignment.” It has one year to conclude its task. The government has already voted N17.6billion for the affected states and government agencies involved in tackling the effects of the disaster. The breakdown shows that Continued on page 8

HE row over literary giant Chinua Achebe’s memoirs, There was a country, grew yesterday, with leaders supporting or opposing the position of the celebrated writer. Achebe, in his just released Civil War memoirs, accuses the leaders of the then Federal Government, particularly Gen. Yakubu Gowon, who was the Head of State, and the Vice Chairman of the Federal Executive Council (FEC), the late Chief Obafemi Awolowo, of committing genocide against the Igbo. Achebe said the late Chief Awolowo inspired “starvation of the Igbo” as a weapon in the war. In a statement yesterday, an associate of the late Chief Awolowo, Chief Ayo Adebanjo, said: “I am sad and distressed that a literary giant and an elder statesman such as Professor Chinua Achebe could be credited with the statement attributed to him in his latest book on the Nigerian Civil War at this time in Nigeria’s political history, over 40 years after the end of the Nigeria Civil War. “Fair minded persons cannot accuse Chief Awolowo Continued on page 8

Protesters burn houses over slain UNIPORT students


MASSIVE protest rocked Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital, yesterday over the murder of four students. University of Port Harcourt (UNIPORT) lecturers, students and members of the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) from the Southsouth and Southeast zones

•My agony, by mum of lynched student From Bisi Olaniyi, Port Harcourt

blocked the ever-busy East-West Road at Choba Junction, beside the university. Twelve houses belonging to suspected killers of the UNIPORT stu-

dents were yesterday razed at Aluu. The burnt houses included that of the Head of Aluu, Chief Hassan Walewa, who is detained by the police, along with 12 others. The students – Biringa, Chiadika

Lordson (Year Two Theatre Arts), Ugonna kelechi, Year Two, Geology, Wike Lyod Loku (Year Two, Civil Engineering) and Tekena Erikena - were lynched last Friday for allegedly stealing mobile phones and laptops. UNIPORT’s Deputy Registrar (InContinued on page 8









Akeredolu to electorate: don’t sell your voter cards


HE campaign train of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) moved to Ikaleland yesterday where the standard bearer, Mr. Rotimi Akeredolu (SAN), enjoined the electorate to resist overtures to sell their voter’s cards to desperate politicians. Urging the people to treasure the voter’s cards as their licence to a prosperous future, Akeredolu also advised them not to yield to the violent antics of the ruling party. He advised the electorate to shun violence, adding that ACN members would gain a lot from

•Alleges plot by LP to disrupt election in ACN’s strongholds By Emmanuel Oladesu Deputy Political Editor

persuading and convincing more Labour Party (LP) and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) supporters to vote for ACN on the election day. Akeredolu stormed Okitipupa, the headquarters of the Ondo South Senatorial District about 2:50pm, after visiting Ode-Irele, where he assured the people that ACN government would fight the infrastructure battle in the area.

He addressed party supporters in the front of the ACN office, at Broad Street, after alighting from a chopper. A large crowd of party faithful swarmed him and his running mate, Dr. Paul Akintelure, dancing and waving brooms. Shouts of “Aketi” and “ACN” filled the air as Akeredolu was introduced by a party chieftain, Mr. Femi Johnson, the deputy director of his campaign organisation in the senatorial district. Johnson, an acclaimed youth leader, said: “Aketi is our cho-

sen governor who will liberate Ondo State from slavery.” Akeredolu, who was accompanied by party leaders, including Comrade Sola Iji and Mrs. Lola Akinseloyin, told the crowd that a new lease of life was on the way, urging them to stand firm. He said: “This is the last time Labour Party will feature in Ondo State election. Don’t sell your voter’s cards. It is the future of your children. It remains 12 days. Let each of us mobilise 10 people. One of them may be

a traitor like Mimiko. The other nine will be for us. “We will win. They say they will disrupt voting in our strongholds. They will fail. But ACN will not spill blood. Just use your votes to chase them away. Don’t fight LP and PDP supporters. Woo them. Convince them to vote for us.” The ACN candidate reiterated his determination to create 30,000 jobs for the youth, if elected as a governor. He stressed: “Our youths have suffered. Your future is our

concern. We will employ 30,000 youths. It will be more than that. Ondo State has the money to do it. Let our women go and join cooperative societies. We will empower you because you have laboured much. We will give you loans without interest. “There will be a security trust for the elderly and women. They will get monthly stipends so that they will enjoy in their old age. They must enjoy the dividends of democracy from the government they vote into office. “Okitipupa is the headquarters of the South District.

ACN is a democratic party, says ACO •Mimiko’s statement is untrue


HE Akeredolu Campaign Organisation (ACO) has described the statement credited to Governor Olusegun Mimiko that the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) is undemocratic because of an alleged abandonment of Mallam Nuhu Ribadu during the last presidential election, as not only untrue, but that it exists in his imagination. The organisation’s Director of Media and Publicity, Mr. Idowu Ajanaku, said: “For us in ACO, this is a further confirmation of the arrow of confusion in the drowning Labour Party. “How does he think that the ACN leadership will conspire against its presidential candidate after spending human and material resources campaigning for him across the country? “The fact that Nigerians voted for their choice in the last presidential election does not make ACN undemocratic. Rather, it has confirmed the liberal nature of ACN as a party. “If there is any party that has deceived the people, it is the LP. Despite that eminent Nigerians including Dele Momodu, the publisher of Ovation magazine, showed interest in becoming the presidential standard bearer of the party in 2011, Governor Mimiko and the National Chairman of the party, Dan Nwayawu, did not only scheme them out but supported President Goodluck Jonathan after they had been ‘settled’ by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). “It is a fact that the federal appointments in Ondo have gone to LP. Dr. Pius Osunyikanmi, who was a Commissioner for Education, is now the Special Adviser on International Relations to the President. Col. Tunde Omowa, a chieftain of LP, is now an ambassador. Even the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) member representing Ondo State was nominated by Mimiko. “This confirms former president Olusegun Obasanjo’s statement, when he visited Ondo that Governor Mimiko is only in LP physically, but his spirit is in PDP and Mimiko has not denied this. “ACN is a democratic party. We will not induce anybody to vote for us. “The last presidential election was polarised along ethnic and religious divides. The majority of the people in Southwest voted for President Goodluck Jonathan in person because they wanted to give South-South, a minority zone, a chance to rule the country.”

•Mr. Akeredolu (in an open roof SUV) addressing supporters at the rally....yesterday. With him is his running mate, Dr. Akintelure . PHOTO: NIYI ADENIRAN

INEC ‘ll conduct free, fair poll, says REC


NDO State Resident Electoral Commissioner, Akin Orebiyi, has assured stakeholders that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) will conduct a free and fair election on October 20. He urged the political class and voters to show patriotism and commitment by cooperating with the electoral body and law enforcement agencies to ensure the success of the exercise in the 18 local governments. Orebiyi spoke with our correspondent in Akure on the preparations for the exercise. He described the poll as a joint responsibility involving INEC, political parties, candidates, voters, security agents and other stakeholders, adding that success can only be achieved if they work together in harmony. The REC said INEC would conduct a free, fair and credible election by avoiding the mistakes of the past, stressing that security agents would be on ground to maintain law and order at every polling unit. Orebiyi said: “We can say that INEC is prepared for the governorship election. As we speak, we have been receiving non-sensitive materials from INEC headquarters. We have also held quite a number of meetings with stake-

Jega to visit Ondo Tuesday AHEAD of the October 20 governorship election in Ondo State, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Chairman, Prof. Attihuru Jega, will arrive the state next Tuesday, the Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Mr. Akin Orebiyi, said yesterday. According to him, the INEC chairman is expected to attend a stakeholders’ meeting that will be attended by the 13 governorship candidates. Orebiyi, who spoke during a stakeholders’ meeting at the INEC headquarters in Akure, said Prof. Jega is expected to leave the state on Wednesday after the meeting. He said: “The INEC Chairman has asked me to commend the political parties that will participate in the election for displaying maturity. He urged them to continue to embrace peace. Jega said he would be in the state next week to meet stakeholders, in order to conduct a free and fair election.” The REC said over 1,000 students of the Adeyemi College of Education, Ondo are expected to work as assistant presiding officers during the poll. Orebiyi, who highlighted some of the INEC activities towards the preparation for the election, said voting materials would arrive on OcBy Emmanuel Oladesu Deputy Political Editor

holders. We have finished the voter education forum at the local government level. “The essence of the forum is to educate the voters on their responsibilities, their duties and

From Leke Akeredolu, Akure

tober 18, adding that party agents are expected to be in attendance. He said the electoral body would on that day begin the distribution of the materials to the two riverine local government areas. “The election will be a benchmark for future polls in the country. Voting on October 20 must begin at 8am. We will move the election materials to the riverine areas two days to the election so that voting will start at the appropriate time. “Party agents are expected to monitor the materials from the INEC office to Igbokoda, headquarters of Ilaje Local Government, where materials for the elections in the two local governments will be kept. They will be kept at the Naval Base Office till Saturday morning. Materials for election in Ese-Odo Local Government will be moved that morning to Igbekebo, the headquarters of the council, which is about 30 minutes to Ilaje. “The electoral body will start the distribution of the election materials on the eve of the election day. All the materials must arrive various wards that night so that before 8am on election day, materials must have been at all the units,” Orebiyi said.

also the procedures for the conduct of the election and the election process on the election day. It has been a useful experience and a unique one. This effort is being sponsored by the International Federation of Electoral System (IFES), a partner of INEC in the last 13 years.

“The voter education forum involves two major activities. One, there is a stakeholders’ meeting at the local government level, which runs for three hours. There, the electoral process is explained to the stakeholders, political parties, members of the civil society organisations

•INEC chair, Jega

and officials of the National Orientation Agency and INEC officials in the local government. Questions are taken and answers are provided by INEC. After that, we did a road show and distributed flyers and posters. IFES provided 540,000 flyers and nearly 200,000 posters in English, Yoruba and Ijaw languages for the benefit of the electorate. We have been distributing them at the forum and various religious worship centres. “We have presented to the political parties and electorate, soft copies of the voters’ register. We have explained to them what to find inside the voters’ register and how the information could help them to muster greater efforts in canvassing for votes in the 18 local governments, 203 wards and 309 polling units across the state. We have trained the party agents, 334 agents of 13 political parties.




How Ondo govt ‘bought seven tractors at N594m’


NDO State Government has been accused of acting in a questionable manner in the execution of a project conceived in 2010 with the aim of enhancing the state’s agricultural capacity. The government is accused of acquiring seven out of the 100 units of 72HP Massey Ferguson Tractors initially intended and at the same cost of N594, 819,915.60. It was also said to have insured the 100 tractors with an insurance company at N25 million when only seven were supplied. These allegations are contained in an article titled: “Ondo 2012: Before the voters decide”,

By Eric Ikhilae

written by the Special Adviser to the Lagos State Government on Information, Lateef Raji. Raji, who observed that the Ondo State governorship campaign has not been issue-based, said the Olusegun Mimiko administration needed to be made to address some strange decisions it took and explain why it so acted. He noted that at one of the exco meetings held sometime in early 2010, the executive council agreed to enhance agricultural produce by purchasing 100 units of 72HP Massey Ferguson Trac-

LP thugs unleash violence on ACN supporters in Okitipupa


HE campaign of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) in Okitipupa yesterday turned bloody as thugs of the Labour Party (LP) attacked ACN supporters. An eyewitness said the rally, which was attended by a massive crowd, was on when the LP thugs came from different directions and attacked ACN supporters with machetes and other weapons. The source said many ACN members were injured, adding that they have been taken to hospitals. The Director of Media, Publicity and Strategy, Akeredolu Campaign Organisation (ACO), Mr. Idowu Ajanaku, said: “This is to confirm the position of the Akeredolu Campaign Organisation that the LP and Governor Olusegun Mimiko have brought in thugs to Ondo State in the last three days to intimidate, harass and rig the

election. “ACN supporters were restrained from retaliating as a result of the intervention of the party’s standard bearer, Mr. Rotimi Akeredolu (SAN) and other leaders. The party urges the Commissioner of Police and other security agents to be alive to their responsibilities by protecting not only ACN members but the entire citizens of the state. “We are not weaklings. If the police and other security agents shy away from their duties, ACN members will have no choice than to device other means of defending themselves. “If the late General Sani Abacha could not cow the late Pa Michael Adekunle Ajasin, the leader of the National Democratic Coalition (NADECO) and the people of Ondo State, Mimiko and his cotravellers can not cow the ACN as the party is poised to win the October 20 election.”

•Unsupplied 100 tractors insured tors. He said the then Commissioner for Agriculture, Chief J.A. Akinnigbagbe, Secretary to the State Government, Dr. Rotimi Adelola and Commissioner for Finance, Yele Ogundipe, were, at the meeting, mandated to source for viable banks that could purchase the items on lease finance loan for a good period of time before the expiration of the government’s first term in office. “Also at the meeting, Dynamic Agrosol Limited was consulted to supply the tractors. The negotiation with Dynamic Agrosol Limited for the 100 units and the implements of the 72HP Massey Ferguson Tractors was negotiated and reported to cost N594,819,915.60. “However, at another meeting, the bank and the government officials agreed to reduce the 100 unit of Massey Ferguson Tractors to 62 units at the same cost of N594,819,915.60 kobo. Furtherance to actualising the deal and the willingness of First Bank to formalize financing of the 62 units of tractors, the bank sent a Product of Offer letter to the government through the office of Dr. Adelola. The letter dated April 12, 2012 with reference number Aku 121395/L/ was sent from the bank’s Alagbaka branch office. The bank agreed to provide finance lease with payment tenor spread across 33 months. It was billed to commence in April 2010 and expire this month, October. “Surprisingly, while negotiation with the First Bank was ongoing, another was initiated by the governor’s kitchen cabinet with another bank. The deal, with the same proposal of 100 units of same 72HP Massey Ferguson Tractors with the same implements, was being negotiated. “The kitchen cabinet at a meeting in July 2010, mandated Akinnigbagbe and Ogundipe, the state Commissioners for Agri-

LP chair seeks support for Mimiko who declared a public holiday for Mimiko by closing markets and shops to give him a rousing welcome. The LP National Chairman debunked the allegations by the ACN leadership that Mimiko promised to join the party, adding that it was not only untrue but that they also never gave the governor any money. He said: “Governor Mimiko never promised to join their party. It is also untrue that Mimiko collected money from them. As the National Chairman of LP, I was on top of the party’s activities in 2007. I have the register of the party and we have the lists of those who gave us financial support.”

‘Exhibition of lawlessness by governor is embarrassing’


N Akure lawyer and human rights activist, Mr. Morakinyo Ogele, has alleged that the exhibition of lawlessness by the Ondo State Government through its killer squad and hooligans is embarrassing. He added that it is sad that the security agents have closed their eyes to the atrocities of the Labour Party (LP). Ogele, who spoke with The Nation yesterday, said the state government is on the rampage through its thugs, while opposition parties are crying out everyday over how the LP is stockpiling arms to deal with its perceived enemies. According to him, Governor Olusegun Mimiko has adopted a desperate tactic and has complied a list of people to be eliminated so they he could realise his second term ambition. He urged the Inspector-General of Police Mohammed Abubakar to act quickly by removing the Police Commissioner and the Director-General of the State Security Service (SSS), as they are allegedly working within the script of the governor.

‘Why Akure indigenes will vote for Akeredolu’



HE National Chairman of the Labour Party (LP), Chief Dan Nwayanwu, has predicted victory for the party’s candidate, Dr. Olusegun Mimiko, based on his record in his three and a half years in office. Nwayanwu, who spoke in Ondo town during the election campaign of Mimiko, urged the electorate to vote for LP in the October 20 poll. He said the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) had no chance of winning the election, adding that the performance of Governor Mimiko had placed him above his opponents. The LP boss was full of appreciation to the Ondo people

culture and Finance, to reach out to Fidelity Bank Plc and discuss the financing through the same process like the one Adelola had successfully struck with First Bank,” he said. He said owing to the delay in the execution of the project and upon a directive by the governor, the Agriculture Ministry, on November 19, 2010, wrote another letter to Dynamic Agrosol Limited, giving the approval to supply Ondo State Government the 100 of Massey Ferguson tractors with reference number AEH11851259. “Having equipped themselves with information from Adelola, an erstwhile banker, Akingbagbe and Ogundipe subsequently wrote to Fidelity Bank’s Managing Director through the Ondo State Ministry of Finance letter head, requesting the bank to finance purchase of 100 units of 72HP Massey Ferguson Tractors with the following set of implements; Ton Hydraulic Tipping Trailer, Disc Ridger, Disc Harrow and Disc plough. The response from Fidelity Bank Plc on the request was not, however, encouraging as evident in a letter the bank sent on November 25, 2010. Left with that situation, Akingbagbe and Ogundipe jointly wrote and signed another letter to Fidelity Bank on December 2, 2010 with reference number SCF 29/28, requesting the bank to now finance the same tractors and implements for N954,819,915.60 Kobo, however, for 62 units of the same 72HP Massey Ferguson Tractors with same sets of implements attached. The attention of one Dr. Musa was drawn in the reconfirmation letter, while the supplier, Dynamic Agrosol Limited, was copied that a full Advance Payment Guarantee (APG) was still required in the transaction. “With the fresh negotiation still ongoing, it is worthy of note

that only seven units of tractors and equipment sets were supplied to the state government at the cost of N594,819,915.60 kobo, as against the 100 units proposed at inception with First Bank. Since April 2010, “First Bank has been collecting repayment for the entire transaction from the government. Unfortunately for government, Fidelity Bank has discovered the trick being played on the banks. “I can reliably inform that even the seven tractors supplied to government in 2011 were manufactured in 2009. The seven tractors were supplied with implements’ set that included Alico-Disc plough 3 Discs, AlicoDisc Harrow-16Discs (Disc 2411) and Alico Rigger-3 Furrow through Mac Tonnel Nigeria Limited, Apapa, in Lagos State. All these were at the cost of N594,819,915.60kobo. “This somewhat shoddy transaction soon took another turn, when the state government allegedly went ahead to insure the 100 units of the tractors with an insurance company (name withheld) at the cost of N25 million and yet, under-paid for the insurance. “Coming from the analysis above, much as it appears more like a fraud being perpetrated by government, it is imperative to accord government some degree of response before conclusions are drawn. “But the questions are: Why would government agree to buy 62 tractors for the initial negotiation of 100 at the same amount? Why does it have just seven since supplied despite the fact that repayment for full purchase is still ongoing? Of what basis was the need to involve Fidelity Bank when the deal had been signed, sealed and delivered with the First Bank arrangement? These and more, the Ondo State Government must answer as we engage it further in the ensuing debate,” Raji said.

Mimiko promised to turn Akure into a millennium city, but if you drive round, you will see that we are nowhere •Akeredolu


former member of the Ondo State House of Assembly, Mr. Tayo Abidakun, yesterday said Akure indigenes have resolved to vote for the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) governorship candidate, Mr. Rotimi Akeredolu SAN. He added that this is contrary to the belief that the Labour Party (LP) candidate, Governor Olusegun Mimiko, will sweep the poll in Akure South. Abidakun, who joined ACN last week, said LP has failed Akure people. The ex-LP lawmaker spoke with reporters in Akure after visiting the ACN secretariat in Akure South Local Government where he integrated with


From Damisi Ojo, Akure

the members and empowered them ahead of the election. Abidakun recalled that Mimiko, while campaigning in 2009, promised to turn Akure to a millennium city. He said he has not fulfilled his promise. According to Abidakun, who was the Chairman, House Committee on Information, Governor Mimiko has denied Akure the dividends of democracy. He said: “Mimiko promised to turn Akure into a millennium city, but if you drive round, you will see that we are nowhere. We are still behind. The town is not in good shape, the roads are bad, the youths

are jobless and there is no development. Our people are not empowered. We are suffering in Akure.” Abidakun, who represented Akure South Constituency 1, said many areas have been abandoned by the Mimiko administration, adding that the people are living in abject poverty. He said: “Go to Abusoro, Ilotin, Esure, Moferere, Afeolowokere, Ijoka Extension and other areas in Akure, the roads are bad. Go to Isolo and Obanla, the roads are in a terrible condition. I’m sure Governor Mimiko does not have a plan to give these roads a facelift.” Abidakun said he admired ACN’s manifestos and its standard bearer in the October 20 governorship poll, Akeredolu. “I like what is going on in Lagos, Osun, Ekiti, Edo, Oyo and Ogun states. I admire the idea of Southwest economic integration. It is unmatchable,” he added. Abidakun enjoined Akure indigenes to work for the victory of ACN because it is a party that will recognise the citizens and provide infrastructures.

PDP to Mimiko: don’t deride Fed Govt projects From Damisi Ojo,Akure

BARELY 11 days to the governorship election in Ondo State, the standard bearer of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Chief Olusola Oke, has warned Governor Olusegun Mimiko through his campaign organisation, the Olusola Oke Campaign Organisation (OOCO), not to deride Federal Government projects. Speaking with reporters in Akure, the Director-General of OOCO, Dr. Dare Bada, said the frustration of Mimiko is understood as his attempts to rig the election are on a daily basis being uncovered. Bada said the governor has engaged mercenaries who will disrupt election in the areas where he is not popular. He said the targeted areas are Ondo North and Ondo South. Bada alleged: “Mimiko has been lobbying the Presidency to disorganise our party. He has bribed a lot of people with the state money. The bribes are given out in hard currencies. “We have it on good authority that some thugs have been hired by the LP. Also, Toyota Hilux Sport Utility Vehicles (SUVs) have been purchased and branded in security colour to be used by the hoodlums. “Security uniform to be used by the thugs have also been sewn. “The coming of Vice-President Namadi Sambo has deflated his bubbles of lies in the minds of our loyal party members and the people of Ondo State. “His latest attempt is the dragging of the amnesty programme of the Federal Government into his dirty politics. I think it is a disservice to play politics with the amnesty programme of the government, considering its level of success and advantages.”

Voter cards: Court reserves ruling till Oct 22 From Damisi Ojo,Akure

AN Akure Chief Magistrate’s Court, presided over by Magistrate J. O. Adelegan, yesterday reserved ruling till October 22 in an application for bail brought by Labour Party (LP) chieftains, Mr. Olaolu Oladipo and Omolade Raphael. They were charged to court on Monday for conspiracy and unlawful possession of 1,123 voter’s cards. The offence was allegedly committed on October 5 about 4:30pm at the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) office in Ondo West Local Government. At the resumed hearing of the case yesterday, the police prosecutor objected to the bail application of the accused on the grounds that by virtue of Section 150(2), it is only INEC or its lawyer that can prosecute an electoral offender under the Electoral Act. The prosecutor noted that he could not under the law respond to the bail application. He sought for an adjournment to contact (INEC) to take over the case or appoint a prosecutor.




Bayelsa closes schools T

•Vice President Namadi Sambo being welcomed by Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni to Uganda’s Golden Jubilee celebration in Kampala...yesterday

•Ogun State Governor Ibikunle Amosun flanked on the left by acting Vice Chancellor, Olabisi Onabanjo University (OOU) Prof Saburi Adejimi Adesanya and Pro-Chancellor, Dr Segun Oshin during the 17th to 21st combined Convocation of the institution at Ago Iwoye... yesterday

HE rising water level in most parts of the flood-ravaged communities in Bayelsa State has forced the government to declare emergency holiday in schools. The indefinite closure of all schools in the state was announced yesterday in a statement by Governor Seriake Dickson’s Chief Press Secretary (CPS), Daniel IworisoMackson. The governor’s spokesman said the decision was taken to safeguard the lives of pupils and to keep them away from possible dangers that could arise from the flood. The statement appealed to parents and guardians to accept the decision as it was taken in the interest of all. It reads: “We want to assure you that normal academic activities will resume as soon as the situation is brought under control.” The statement assured the people of the Dickson-led administration’s commitment to “the welfare and well-being of Bayelsans of all ages, especially at these trying times.” The Commissioner for information, Mr. Mackson Faafegha, said on the telephone the government was brazing to the challenges in all the 17 camps it established for flood victims in its domain. Some of the camps are at the Sports Complex, Igbogene Helipat, Demiari Grammar School and Tombia among others. The challenges being faced by inmates range from lack of toilets, food, electricity, fear of epidemic and more. But the commissioner, who is a member of the emergency flood committee, said the government is up to the task, pointing out that a major challenge is that of the metropolitan nature of the camps’ location. According to him, many residents, who are not flood victims, have been trooping into the camps for free meals and other daily needs. He said: “It is a metropolitan area, especially that at the Sports Com-

plex. So, everyone including the disabled are going there to get relief items.” The commissioner listed the items provided for the victims to include rice and garri. “The government is very conscious of the supply of essential food items, water and medication to avoid cholera or epidemics”, said Faafegha, who announced the provision of customised toilets. Accusing political detractors of using the inmates to foment troubles, Faafegha said the protests over congestion and lack of light in some camps have been nipped in the bud. He said the government has been trying its best to provide necessary comfort for the victims. He advised them against yielding to incitement from any quarters. On the closure of schools, the commissioner explained that it became necessary. Besides the desire to avoid loss of lives, the schools in affected areas would not be left behind since the state operate uniform syllabus. Dickson had at the weekend expanded and inaugurated the flood management Committee. The 20-member committee chaired by Dicksons’ deputy Rear Admiral Gboribiogha John Jonah (rtd) has the Secretary to the State Government(SSG) Prof. Edmund Allison Oguru as its secretary. Members include: commissioners, special advisers, all special representatives of local government areas, as well as a representative of the State Commissioner of Police. Others are special adviser on security to the governor, House of Assembly Committee Chairman on the Environment, Chief of Staff and the Deputy Chief of Staff (Government House). Council helmsmen are expected to serve as chairmen of their respective local Flood Relief Sub-Committees as well as Commandants of their various camps. Dickson, who gave the committee a five-point reference, directed the establishment of emergency relief camps in strategic locations.

Uduaghan orders free medical services in affected communities


•From left: Bayelsa State Governor Seriake Dickson, Oba Otudeko and Dickson’s deputy, Rear Admiral Gboribiogha John Jonah (rtd) during a visit by Otudeko to the Government House in Yenagoa....yesterday

•Author of the book "The Great Fall" , Chinyere Obi Obasi (right) addressing pupils at Government Secondary School, Wuse during a Literacy Campaign Workshop organised by Julius Berger Nigeria Plc in Abuja...yesterday . PHOTO ABAYOMI FAYESE

ELTA State Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan yesterday ordered the provision of free medical services for residents of all the affected communities in the state. He gave the other at a meeting with political appointees in Asaba, where he said all the hospitals in the state as well as mobile clinics have been instructed to provide free medical services to the victims. According to him, his government would bear the burden of medical treatment because the flood has exposed victims to shock and other health hazards they could not cope with. His words: “Some of the victims are in a state of shock and they have lost almost everything. The situation has put them into critical health conditions and we have elected to foot the bill of their medical treatment to relieve them of tension. The doctors and nurses have been instructed to treat patients free. The hospitals have been adequately stocked with drugs.” Uduaghan directed the committee managing the flood situation to take proper statistics of victims, their locations and properties to guide the government in post-flood

From Okungbowa Aiwerie, Asaba planning. Saying that accurate data would aid planning, the governor described what has been done so far as fire brigade approach to provide as much succor as possible to the victims. He said: “Data is important for planning and we should not toy with it. Let us get the proper statistics of men and materials displaced to enable us plan for future. We need it to guide us even now especially for the provision of relief materials.” He spoke of his administration’s plan to approach the House of Assembly for budgetary provisions for flood control and relief materials. According to him, the government has not released any special fund for the management of the situation. Uduaghan expressed the fear that the flood disaster would be longer than expected and predicted that it could go beyond November, as he appealed to residents to prepare for more floods. He appealed for donation from public-spirited individuals, corporate bodies and multinational oil companies to enable the state cope with the increasing crowd that have been displaced.




•Victims waiting to collect relief matrials at the Sports Complex in Yenagoa last weekend

• Some victims queue for registration in Bayelsa..yesterday

• National Environmental Standard Regulation And Enforcement Agency (NESREA) on a street-to-street campaign on • Children stranded flooding in Port Harcourt...yesterday

SOS as Anambra community caves in to erosion


ESIDENTS of Uruokpala village in Abagana, Njikoka Local Government Area of Anambra State yesterday sent a Save our Soul (SOS) message to the government over erosion menace threatening to swallow the community. They said the erosion has swallowed their buildings, submerged roads as well as farmlands after destroying lives and property. The community raised the alarm that the Girls Secondary School, Abagana could be cut off and swept away by the gully. A community leader Chief Ezike Okafor, said that the erosion has completely cut some roads linking them with neighboring communities like Nimo, Enugwu-ukwu, Idemmili among others. He maintained that the collapse of the culvert which has worsened the situation in Uruokpala and Umudunu villages would also affect agricultural production in the areas. Lamenting the effects of the gully erosion, Okafor warned that erosion could sweep-off Girls Secondary School, Abagana, unless something was urgently done. Another stakeholder in the community, Elder Pius Chukwumelu, described the gully as a great threat to socio-economic development of the area. He


INEC may review voting rules

HE widespread flooding that has ravaged many states and communities in the country may force the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to review its voting rules in the country. The hint was dropped yesterday in Awka, the Anambra State capital, during a one-day interactive session for senior staff of the Commission drawn from Anambra, Abia and Benue states. The interactive session by INEC was on its strategic plan for 2012–2016. It was attended by more than 140 senior officials of the commission. The output of the plan would be used to conduct the elections during the strategic plan period. The flood has submerged thousands of communities and innumerable houses across the country and rendered over 10 million Nigerians homeless. INEC’s Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) for Anambra State Prof. Chukwuemeka Onukaogu said the need for a review of the rules governing voting in elections has become imperative because a sizable number of voters had lost their voter cards. He said that INEC’s documents in the local government areas submerged by the floods had From Odogwu Emeka Odogwu, Nnewi

pointed out also that it has affected the implementation of ongoing electrification project in the community and as well reduced the agricultural

From Nwanosike Onu, Awka

equally been destroyed. Onukaogu said: “I will enjoin you as you go on to draw a strategic plan for 2012 – 2016 to focus your mind on how elections would be administered in these areas with our offices submerged by water, with the residents fleeing and their belongings, including voters’ cards destroyed or washed away by the flood.” He wondered whether INEC could still stick to the rules that said it was the voters’ cards only that could admit a prospective voter to the polling stations when for no fault of theirs, they had lost their voters’ cards. He also expressed fears that with the poverty the floods might have inflicted on voters in the affected areas, they might fall victims to vote buyers if proper voter education was not given to them on their rights and duties to the state during elections. Onukaogu said the government would need to move in immediately to alleviate poverty among the flood ravaged communities. He said: “We cannot run a credible and sustainable operational strategic plan in a socially depraved and economically threatened environment.”

potential of the town. Chukwumelu lamented that nothing has been done despite several visitations by government officials. He pleaded for government’s speedy intervention to save the situation.

The gully which the community said has gone beyond their control was so devastating that most preventive measures earlier taken such as culverts and bamboo trees have been washed away.

Ex-Delta SSG Omo-Agege donates rice, other items to victims


ORMER Secretary to Delta State Government (SSG) and governorship candidate of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) in 2011, Ovie Omo-Agege, has donated 100 bags of rice, salt, indomie noodles and other food items to flood victims in Uwheru, in Ughelli North Local Government Area.

From Polycarp Orosevwotu, Warri

The affected communities are: lwhreana, lwhruche, lwhregbo, Ohoro, Agadama, Owarovwo, Ogode, Ophororo, Iwhreure and Ophororo, all in Uwheru. More than 3,000 residents have been sacked from their homes in

the submerged communities. Omo-Agage, who described the flood as a natural disaster, said it has affected the socio-economic psyche of the people. He commended the prompt intervention of the state government.

Sympathising with the victims, he urged them to move into the camp established in Uwheru for their safety. He said storm water was not good for human consumption and their health, even as he appealed to well-meaning Nigerians to come to the aid of flood victims.

Woman, 38, attacked by ‘shark’ in Forcados River From Polycarp Orosevwotu, Warri

IT was narrow escape for 33-yearold Mrs. Torugbene-ere Aboh. But for Providence, she would have been attacked by a Shark in Forcados River where she was having her bath in Burutu Local Government Area of Delta State. She was said to have gone for a three-day religious programme at the Holy Zion Church, Oboro and decided to have her bath at the Focardos River when she escaped the attack. Narrating the ordeal to reporters, Mrs. Aboh said she had a deep cut on her right leg shortly after entering the river. According to her, she screamed for help and that she was saved by the quick intervention of brethren who pulled her out of the water. She was rushed to a nearby a patent medicine store at the Oboro community for first aid before she was taken by her husband, Mr. Patrick Aboh to a private clinic at Bomadi for further treatment. Mr Aboh told reporters that her wife, the mother of five was lying critically ill due to the attack, which she blamed on the ravaging floods. A community leader in Bomadi, Chief Godspower Oporomo, warned residents against going near the fast flowing current of the Forcados River. He specifically cautioned parents and guardians to keep an eye on the children.



NEWS Row grows over Achebe’s attack on Awo Continued from page 1

•Governor State of Osun, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola (fourth right); Deputy Governor, Mrs Titi-Laoye Tomori (third right); Chairman, Senate Committee on Education, Senator Uche Chukwumerije (3rd right); Senator Oluremi Tinubu (second right); Vice Chairman, Senate Committee on Education, Senator Olusola Adeyeye (2nd left); Senator Sunny Ogbuoji (right) and Senator Atiku Bagudu (left), during a courtesy visit to the Governor…yesterday

Adenuga, Dangote, Elumelu, others to help flood victims Continued from page 1

N13.3billion will go to states affected by flood and N4.3billion will be for government agencies. The affected states have been categorised into four groups, based on the present assessment, Category A states will receive N500 million each. Category B states, N400 million each; Category C states N300 million each and Category D states, N250 million each. Category A states are: Oyo, Kogi, Benue, Plateau, Adamawa, Delta, Bayelsa and Anambra. Category B states are: Jigawa, Kano, Bauchi, Kaduna, Niger, Nasarawa, Taraba, Cross River, Edo, Lagos and Imo. In Category C are: Kwara, Katsina, Gombe, Ogun, Ondo, Ebonyi, Abia and Rivers.

Sokoto, Kebbi, Zamfara, Yobe, Enugu, Ekiti, Osun, Akwa Ibom, Borno and Federal Capital Territory are in Category D. The Ministry of Works is to get N2.6 billion, NEMA N1.1 billion, Ministry of the Environment N350 million, National Commission for Refugees N150 million and technical committee on flood’s impact assessment N100 million. The allocation to the government agencies, according to the President, is to further intensify their intervention. The president commiserated with all those who lost loved ones, properties as well as all the affected communities and institutions. He noted that over the past few weeks, unprecedented floods have ravaged many parts of the country rendering tens of thousands of fellow Nigerians homeless and causing

massive destruction of property, farmland and infrastructure across the country. “It is sad that this global phenomenon of devasting flood has come to Nigeria at this time. I want to reassure all Nigerians that the Federal Government is prepared to do everything possible to mitigate the impact of this natural disaster,” he added. The president also noted that the interim report of the presidential technical committee which assessed the impact of the floods has been presented to key stakeholders, including the leadership of the National Assembly and governors of of the affected states. The report, according to him, contained some recommendations. “The technical committee will continue to go around the country while the Vice

President and I will also visit some of the affected communities. “When we receive the committee’s final report, the Federal Government will further initiate medium and long term measures to check future flood disasters.” He went on: “In the main time, relevant government agencies have intervened to provide relief to the affected persons in collaboration with the state governments. The National Management Emergency Agency, NEMA, has so far spent N1.314 billion to provide mediate relief material. The Minister of Works has spent 556 million on the repair of collapsed bridges and the construction of by-passes while the Minster of Environment has spent N95 million on sundry relief measures. “

of being part of the intellectual arm of a cabinet that intentionally initiated the pogrom of the Igbo, when in fact the record shows he took positive steps to persuade Ojukwu to avoid the conflict. “Whilst the war was raging, Chief Awolowo visited Enugu and Port Harcourt where he saw Kwashiorkor (malnourished) victims for the first time. He wondered how this could happen in view of the quantity of food items sent through international agencies to the civilians in these areas. He was then informed that the food never got to the civilians, the food items were cornered by the soldiers who were feeding to the detriment of the civilians. One can imagine such a report being provided to a cabinet filled with military officers conducting a war. “It should not be surprising that to avoid feeding enemy soldiers, the federal government at the time put a stop to the delivery of food meant for the civilian population that was being hijacked by Biafran soldiers. This is what Achebe mischievously called the deliberate starvation of the Igbos… “If it is true that Chief Awolowo was such an architect of pogrom and genocide against the Igbos, how would Professor Achebe explain the fact that there were no incidents of pogrom or genocide against the Igbo in any part of the then Western Region composed mainly of the Yorubas, and Chief Awolowo’s primary sphere of influence. Rather, the Igbos who fled the West on the clarion call of Ojukwu for them to return to the East had their properties kept safe for them, with the rents collected on the properties duly accounted for at the end of the civil war and paid to such Igbo owners. It should be noted that no incidents of “abandoned property” occurred in the

Western Region - Chief Awolowo’s zone.” Another associate of the late Leader of the Yoruba, Chief Ayo Fasanmi, is worried over the statement credited to Achebe on the late sage. Speaking in a telephone interview, Fasanmi described Achebe’s comment as a plot to pitch the Igbo against the Yoruba. The Second Republic Senator said that without Awolowo’s understanding of the country’s situation and sound judgement at the time, there would not have been Nigeria today. He said: “It is unfortunate that somebody of Achebe’s intellectual capacity could be bringing up issues about the war fought and forgone many years back. What is the rationale behind Achebe’s action and what does he want to achieve?” “When the nation’s major challenge is how to bring various ethnic nationalities together in the interest of everybody and for the unity of all sections of the country, somebody from the blues is just gathering his thoughts and fanning embers of disunity. “What is far more important Continued on page 58


Protesters burn houses over slain UNIPORT students Continued from page 1

formation) Dr. Williams Wodi, yesterday, announced the indefinite closure of the university, the students to vacate the hostels. The angry members of NANS, Zone B, comprising universities in the 11 states in the Southsouth and the Southeast, who came in two buses, described the murder of the youths as “barbaric” and “shocking”. The Executive Secretary of the National Human Rights Commission, Prof. Ben Angwe, and his team visited the Rivers Police Commissioner, Mohammed Indabawa, in Port Harcourt, to be properly briefed on the murder. Eleven of the 13 suspects arrested at Omuokiri-Aluu, beside UNIPORT, where the four students were stripped, murdered and set ablaze, after putting car tyres on their necks and drenching them with petrol, have been arraigned at a High Court in Port Harcourt. The protesters in their thousands, were armed with placards, bearing various inscriptions and singing war songs. They vowed not to open the East-West Road, unless the Vice-Chancellor of UNIPORT, Prof. Joseph Ajienka, addressed them. The protest brought traffic on the only link road to a standstill from around 11 am, when the protest started, with commuters, especially people trav-

My agony, by mum of lynched student


O waylay them and beat them with planks until they died like chicken is the most savage thing one can witness in Nigeria of 2012” the aggrieved mother of one of the four University of Port Harcourt students killed in Aluu Community, last Friday laments in a petition to the Senate. Mrs. Chinwe Biringa, mother of Chiadika Biringa. He ordered in the petition dated October 9, 2012, prayed the Senate to ensure that those who killed her son did not escape the law. The petition, addressed to Senate President, David Mark, is entitled, “Gruesome murder of my son at Aluu, University of Port Harcourt host community.” She said her family wanted only two things namely: To clear the name of Chiadika (of stealing); and justice (for his murder) The petition read: “My name is Mrs. Chin-

elling to Lagos, Abuja and other places, lamenting the development. The East-West Road starts from Oron in Akwa Ibom State and passes through Ogoniland in Rivers State to Bayelsa, Delta, Edo, Ondo and Ogun. It terminates in Lagos State. The protest paralysed commercial activities, as traders hurriedly closed their shops to prevent looting. Banks locked their premises. Some motorists quickly returned to their homes, their vehicles are not vandalised. Chief Security Officer (CSO) Lt.-Col. Reginald Isiguzo (rtd.); soldiers and policemen in over

From Onyedi Ojiabor, and Sanni Onogu, Abuja

we BIRINGA. I am the mother of Mr. Chiadika BIRINGA, a second year student of Theatre Arts at the University of Port Harcourt (UNIPORT). “My husband is a senior officer at the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC. “My son turned 20 years this week and we gave him pocket money to celebrate it with his friends. “On Friday morning, we were called by my second son, also a UNIPORT student that all was not well and he was hearing bad rumours that villagers at ALUU, the host community of UNIPORT had murdered four students. “I immediately rushed to the scene only to see my son’s dead body being taken away naked to a mortuary in UNIPORT Teach-

30 patrol vehicles were overwhelmed for some hours. Military helicopters were overflying the area. Some of the placards carried by the protesters read: “You cannot kill Nigerian students and go scot free”; “We want justice”; “Murdered students are not armed robbers, cultists or criminals”; “This is the beginning of revolution in Nigeria”; “Aluu people must pay with their blood”; and “Students in Aluu should immediately relocate”. Others are: “Painful murder”; “Provide the killers of four innocent UNIPORT students”; “No seven days pro-

ing Hospital. “I could not believe my eyes and I collapsed. “What did my son do? What did the other three young men who died with him do? “First, we heard that the four students were alleged to have stolen a Blackberry phone and a laptop computer. “This could not be further from the truth. My son had a Blackberry phone and in fact a laptop computer since he was in primary school. “No way could my son steal such a common thing as a cell phone which every village woman now owns. “We have been subjected to several gory videos and pictures on the internet. “This shows that someone filmed the whole barbarism from beginning to the end.

test, no dialogue”; “The murder is inhuman”; “Aluu natives must be taught bitter lessons”; and “Where were policemen, soldiers on Friday?” The murder took place at Omuokiri-Aluu in Obio/Akpor Local Government Area, beside UNIPORT. Residents and students of UNIPORT are now fleeing Aluu, to avoid being arrested by security personnel and not to be caught in crossfire, in case of reprisal by the angry protesters. Speaking on behalf of the protesting lecturers, a former Chairman of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU),

Continued on page 58

UNIPORT chapter, Dr. Andrew Efemini, described the murder of the four students as inhuman and very sad. Efemini said: “We prefer to die at Choba Junction on EastWest Road. We will not leave, until justice is done. We are ready to continue protesting till tomorrow (today) morning. We are fully prepared. “We adequately mobilised to be part of the protest, for people all over the world to know what is happening at Aluu. The vice-chancellor of UNIPORT must come and address us at this (Choba) junction. Otherwise, we will not open the EastWest Road. The travellers

should bear with us. Prof. Ajienka (vice-chancellor of UNIPORT), political and community leaders, heads of security agencies and other major stakeholders must assure us that people of the host communities will no longer touch the students, much less killing them.” The ex-ASUU chairman also asked the security agencies to be alive to their responsibilities, declaring that the murder must not be swept under the carpet, with the 13 arrested persons and others still to be apprehended made to face the law. The leader of the protesting students, Prosper Iyere, said the students from the 11 states joined the protest to express their displeasure with the murder of the four students. Iyere, who is also the Treasurer of NANS in Zone B, said: “All the universities in the Southsouth and Southeast are represented in this protest. Most of the protesters are students of UNIPORT, who are shocked over the killing of the four young men. “

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NEWS Chukwumerije hails Osun’s education policies


HE Senate yesterday hailed the educational policies of the Osun State Government. It said other states should take a cue from it. The Chairman, Senate Committee on Education, Uche Chukwumerijie, said this while on an oversight visit to the state. He said others must drop their party affiliations and sentiments because what is happening in Osun is capable of rescuing the country’s rotten education sector. “The states and the country owe Governor Rauf Aregbesola a lot of gratitude for promptly laying a formidable foundation for education in the state. I will like to use this opportunity to advise other states, irrespective of your political affiliation. You must drop your ego and learn from the people-oriented projects and programmes of Governor Aregbesola.” Aregbesola said for the country to progress, the interest of the people must be considered before any decision is taken. He said parliamentary system of government is the essence of democracy. He said: “The best form of political activity is in the parliament, our nation will not make appreciable progress if it focuses only on the executive, at least the parliament is where ideas are generated, they have the total support of the people. "Parliamentary system is the essence of democracy. The assembly of the people must not be an expression but it must be put into practice. “For a country to have meaningful development, it must not be a one-sided means of power." Speaking on education, Aregbesola said when he assumed office, his intention was to close down schools for about a year because of what he met. "What was on ground was dilapidated school buildings not fit for human habitation. The conditions of teachers were nothing to write home about plus the condition of other infrastructure."

Tough bail conditions for eight oil marketers

‘Export can boost economy’


AN export consultant, Olufemi Boyede, has said non-oil export conferences have boosted Nigeria’s economy. In an interview on the upcoming Nigerian Non-Oil Export Conference, Exhibition and Awards, Boyede said past experiences have shown that without these conferences Nigeria would just be groping in the dark. “It is true we have the resources and products that people outside the country need, but if we do not make the outside world know what we have, the resources will amount to nothing for us economically.” The third edition of the conference, which is holding from November 4-6, has been designed to look at the issues of quality, marketing and branding in the non-oil sector of Nigeria.

IGHT of the 13 oil marketers arraigned for the alleged N4.6 billion fuel subsidy fraud have been granted bail by a Lagos High Court, Ikeja. Justices Lateefa Okunnu and Habeeb Abiru yesterday granted bail to eight of the indicted marketers in the fuel subsidy scam probe, who were on Friday arraigned by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). All the eight accused were given tough bail conditions by the court. Justice Abiru granted bail to six of them. The first three, Ifeanyi Anosike, Emeka Chukwu and Ngozi Ikeoma, were each granted bail for N75 million and two sureties. Abiru ordered that the sureties must have landed property in Lagos and they must be employed. He ordered that the sureties must show evidence of tax payment for the last three years and that all the documents must be verified by an EFCC operative while their international passports must be deposited with the court. The oil marketers were arraigned by the EFCC on charges bordering on con-

Abuja hearing stalled


HE arraignment of four suspects over their alleged involvement in the fuel subsidy fraud before an Abuja High Court was yesterday stalled. The four, facing a 17 count charge preferred against them by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), are Saminu Rabiu, Jubril Rowaye, Alminnur Resources Limited and Brila Energy Limited. They allegedly conspired and fraudulently obtained N1,051,030,434.63 from the Petroleum Support Fund as payment for the purported importation of 10,000 metric tonnes of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), otherwise By Adebisi Onanuga

spiracy to obtain by false pretence; forgery and altering false documents to the tune of N1,537,278,880.82, being payments fraudulently received from the Petroleum Support Fund. The judge also granted bail to Adamu Aliyu Maula, George Ogbonna and Emmanuel Morah for N50 million with two sureties. He stated that the sureties must be resident in Lagos, show evidence for tax payment for the last three years and must have landed property not less than N50 million. These second set of oil marketers were arraigned by the

From Kamarudeen Ogundele, Abuja

known as petrol. When the matter was mentioned yesterday, counsel to Rabiu and Alminnur Resources Limited, Blessing I. Onwaghe informed the court that Rabiu has hearing challenge and needs a specialist to define means of communication with him. She prayed the court for a short adjournment to enable her make arrangement for a hearing aid before her client could take his plea. Justice Adebukola Banjoko adjourned arraignment till October 17.

EFCC on an eight count charge also bordering on conspiracy to obtain property by false pretence; conspiracy to forge documents, forgery and altering false documents to the tune of N789,648,329.25 from Petroleum subsidy fund. Justice Abiru adjourned hearing till November 26. On the other hand, Justice Okunnu granted Aro Samuel Bamidele and Abiodun Kayode Bankole bail for N100 million each with three sureties. This followed an application by the defence counsel, Anthony Idigbe (SAN). Justice Okunnu ordered that the sureties must swear an affi-

davit indicating their financial details and that they can pay the bail bond. The sureties, she said, must be resident in Lagos and that two of them must have landed property in Lagos while the third must be a director in a public or private registered company operating in Nigeria. The three sureties must show evidence of tax payment for three years preceding the year of trial. She further ordered that an official of the EFCC shall within 72 hours of submission verify all particulars and thereafter swear to an affidavit to this while the court registrar must also verify all particulars.

•General Manager, Corporate Affairs, MTN, Funmi Omogbemigun flanked by General Manager, Customer Relations Andrew Esemezie (left) and Customer Relations Executive Akinwunmi Braithwaite at the launching of MTN Security Number held at Protea Hotel, Ikoyi Lagos...yesterday PHOTO: JOHN EHBOTA

ACN criticises First Family’s video clip in Germany


HE Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) yesterday described the President’s decision to show the video clip of President Goodluck Jonathan‘s visit to his wife‘s hospital bed in Germany on the Nigeria Television Authority (NTA) as a belated attempt at damage control. The party said the video has not addressed the demand for full disclosure on the First Lady’s seven-week disappear-

ance. In a statement in Lagos yesterday by its National Publicity Secretary, Lai Mohammed, the party said the comments attributed to presidential spokesman Reuben Abati concerning the video also showed that the Presidency either does not understand the issues at stake, or is deliberately playing the ostrich. It said: “There is nothing to be ashamed of if someone’s been sick. Afterall, we are all

human and anyone can fall ill at any time. “In particular, people occupying the public space, including the First Lady, who take ill deserve nothing but our prayers and sympathy. ‘’However, where information about such persons are withheld or deliberately distorted, people tend to shift their focus to unravelling the truth about the situation, which is the case with our First Lady.” ACN said Jonathan is aware

that poor management of information on the illness of his predecessor, President Umaru Yar’Adua, contributed to the erosion of public sympathy for the late President and instead swung in his favour. ‘’Had the information managers at the Presidency lived up to their billing, there would have been a full disclosure immediately the First Lady took ill, and instead of the unnecessary controversy over her whereabouts, the people

would have prayed for her and her family. ‘’Now making it look like the First Lady went to Germany on holiday ‘to rest’ or she is on a pilgrimage of sorts when indeed she is recuperating is another testimony to the increasingly legendary incompetence and cluelessness that permeate this Presidency, and we expect all those involved in this amateurish attempt at cover-up to be ashamed of themselves,’’ the party said.

Atuche calls for security for witness By Adebisi Onanuga



HE defence counsel in the trial of the former Managing Director of

Bank PHB (now Keystone Bank), Francis Atuche, Anthony Idigbe, has asked a Lagos High Court, Ikeja, to rule that security be provided for a prosecution witness in the case of alleged stealing of N27.5 billion against his client. Idigbe yesterday asked the court presided over by Justice Lateefa Okunnu to make the order for the provision of security for the witness to avoid delay in the trial. Atuche, his wife Elizabeth

and the former chief financial officer of the bank, Ugo Anyanwu were arraigned by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for allegedly stealing N27.5 billion belonging to the bank. At the resumed hearing, the EFCC counsel, Kemi Pinheiro (SAN), told the court for the second time that because of the alleged threat on the witness, they could not present him in court. Pinheiro asked the court for an adjournment. At the last sitting, the pros-

ecution informed the court that its witness, Bolaji Ogunsola, a former Managing Director of Mortgage Bank PHB(a subsidiary of the bank) could not appear in court owing to allegations of threat to his life and had consequently sought for an adjournment to enable them make arrangement for his security. Yesterday, Pinheiro said they were seeking an adjournment to strengthen security for the witness. “By the end of this week, we will be meeting with the EFCC

for security arrangements. I can confirm that once security is provided, our witness will come out of hiding as he is petrified and fearful for his life.” “The witness alleged that a person purportedly from Delta State threatened to deal with him the Delta way as he has eaten with lions and they will devour him. “They even added that they know his children and how to get to them. These are the areas the EFCC investigators are trying to unravel,” Pinheiro said.

World Bank hails FRSC THE World Bank Country Director, Ms Marrie Nelly Francoise, has advocated improved collaboration between the Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC), police and other relevant agencies for effective road traffic management through information sharing. A statement by Deputy Corps Public Education Officer Bisi Kazeem said the World Bank director spoke when she visited the FRSC management at its national headquarters, Abuja. Ms Francoise hailed the FRSC for working to reduce road crashes and said improved collaboration among the relevant agencies would ensure effective traffic management system and boost the bank’s initiatives towards a safe road use in Nigeria. The Corps Marshall, Osita Chidoka, lauded the World Bank for its steadfastness in realising the goals for safer road use in Nigeria.

Nigeria to improve relations From Onyedi Ojiabor, Assistant Editor and Sanni Onogu, Abuja

SENATE President David Mark yesterday reiterated Nigeria’s commitment towards enhanced bilateral relationship with Sudan, Iran and Zambia. Mark, in a statement by his media aide, Paul Mumeh, in Abuja spoke with the Ambassadors of Sudan, Iran and Zambia. He said Nigeria was opening its doors for friendship across the globe, to attract investments. The statement reads: “He told the ambassadors that the emerging trend in the world calls for global cooperation between and among nations to combat challenges of development as well as insecurity. Mark told the Sudanese Ambassador, Dr. Tagelsir Mahgroub Ali to relate to his home people and government to cooperate with United Nations peace mission which included Nigerians in the troubled territory on need to bring lasting peace in the area.” Sudan Ambassador, Ali expressed appreciation to Nigeria in the process of bringing peace to the crisis ridden nation.




Ajimobi seeks increase in Oyo’s education intervention fund


YO State Governor Abiola Ajimobi yesterday urged the Federal Government to increase the state’s education intervention fund. He said this would help his administration actualise its education agenda. Ajimobi spoke in his office in Ibadan, the state capital, while receiving members of the Senate Committee on Education, led by the Chairman, Mr. Uche Chukwumerije. The governor, who was represented by his deputy, Chief Moses Alake Adeyemo, said a huge amount was required to reposition the education sector. He said Oyo was one of the states with the highest number of public schools in the country, hence the need for an increase in the intervention fund. Ajimobi described education as the bedrock of mean-

ingful development in any society. Chukwumerije said the visit was in fulfilment of his committee’s oversight function, aimed at ensuring the judicious use of intervention fund by various educational institutions in the state. He hailed the visionary leadership of the governor and the achievements recorded by his administration. Chukwumerije said: “We are visiting a distinguished senator, who, when he was in the Senate, was very popular. Ajimobi left an indelible mark in the Senate and we are happy with his visionary leadership. We are very happy with the execution of projects in Oyo State, particularly in the education sector.” He regretted that Oyo State had not accessed the 2011/ 2012 intervention fund and said the committee would help the state actualise this.

Ekiti withdraws recognition of NUT


HE Ekiti State Government has withdrawn its recognition of the Nigerian Union of Teachers (NUT). In a statement by the Commissioner for Information and Civic Orientation, Mr. Funminiyi Afuye, the government said henceforth, it would deal directly with teachers in its employment and not through the NUT. The government said: “This decision becomes imperative following the inability of the NUT to provide the right leadership for teachers in the state, leading to incessant breakdown of law and order, which has a negative impact on education. “Teachers are advised to go about their responsibilities as enshrined in their letters of appointment and scheme of service.

Three CAC pastors re-arraigned HREE pastors of the for forgery


Christ Apostolic Church (CAC) were yesterday re-arraigned for forgery at the Federal High Court, sitting in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital. The development followed the transfer of the judge handling the case, Justice Jonathan Shakharo, from Ibadan. The pastors-Elijah Olusheye, Johnson Olabisi and Gideon Okegwemehand a worker at the Corporate Affairs Commission, Abdul-Hakeem Mohammed, reappeared before before Justice A. O. ObasekiAdejumo.

From Tayo Johnson, Ibadan

They were accused of deceiving the government with forged documents to obtain a new Certificate of Registration for the church. The suspects pleaded not guilty to the charges. Justice Obaseki-Adejumo upheld the bail earlier granted the accused persons and adjourned hearing till November 12 and 18. Justice Shakharo had granted them bail in the sum of N100,000 each and one surety each in like sum.

Group clamours for new state By Seyi Odewale


GROUP, the Lagoon State Movement, has joined those clamouring for the creation of new states in the country. It said a new state to be called Lagoon State should be carved out of the present Lagos State. The agitation, according to the group, was an initiative of concerned 5.4 million citizens in different communities within the existing state of about 19 million people. Speaking yesterday in Ikorodu, a Lagos suburb, at a press briefing, Chairman of the movement, Chief Babatunde Olusola Benson (SAN), said the initiative was similar to the creation of Lagos State from the defunct Western Region by carving out Ikeja, Badagry, Epe and Ikorodu and merging them with the then Federal Capital Territory of Lagos to form Lagos State and other states created in the Federation. Benson, who is the Asiwaju of Ikorodu, said the demand arose from the structural imbalance in the nation’s federal arrangement. He said no state has been carved out of Lagos, while the old Kano, which has similar characteristics in terms of population, commerce and industrial activities, has had Jigawa State carved out of it and had its local councils increased from 20 to 70. Benson said: “The number of local governments in Lagos State, which remain at 20, have serious adverse effects on the rural areas, which have remained backward.”

•Fayemi (second right); his deputy, Mrs. Funmi Olayinka (second left); the Chief Executive Officer, Tianjin Yuyang Construction Company, China, Mr. Hu Fang (left) and Project Architect Sola Oyelade at the foundation-laying ceremony of the Civic Centre... yesterday.

Fayemi lays foundation of ‘legacy projects’


KITI State Governor Kayode Fayemi yesterday laid the foundation of five “legacy projects” in commemoration of his second anniversary in office. The projects are the new Government House; the Governor’s Office; the State Pavilion, the Samsung Engineering Academy and the Civic Centre. Four of them will be funded through the N20 billion Bond obtained by the state from the capital market earlier in the year and would be completed by end of next year. Fayemi said his administration is committed to transforming the state, so that it can become a choice destination for all. Justifying the new Governor’s Of-

From Sulaiman Salawudeen, Ado-Ekiti

fice, Fayemi said the current Governor’s Office was originally designed as a hotel by the administration of former Governor Niyi Adebayo. He said the office is far from the State Secretariat and the distance affects communication in governance. Fayemi said the legacy projects were envisioned to be “timeless”, both in concept and aesthetic. He said the old Ado-Ekiti Prison site was chosen as the location of the 7000 sq metre Civic Centre and Museum to preserve the remains of the old prison, which was demolished in April. The Civic Centre will house a museum, amphi-theatre, events centre and library. Fayemi said it would attract tourists and create jobs.

At the Government Technical College, Ado-Ekiti, where the foundation of the Samsung Engineering Academy was laid, the governor said the gesture was the manifestation of the Memorandum of Understanding between his administration and Samsung in Seoul, South Korea. He said the academy, which will be wholly funded by Samsung, would promote e-learning in schools, as well as repair and maintain computers. Fayemi said the Academy would train students and interested persons. Managing Director, Samsung West Africa, Mr. Brovo Kim praised the achievements of the Fayemi-led administration, especially in education. Kim said the academy will create jobs and empower youths.

Nigeria’s future is in your hands, Aregbesola tells youths


SUN State Governor Rauf Aregbesola has said the country’s future lies in the hands of youths. Aregbesola spoke on Monday in Osogbo, the state capital, while receiving the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) youth leaders from the 36 states of the federation. The youths, led by the ACN National Youth Leader, Mr. Miriki Ebikibina, were in the state for the party’s Third Annual National Conference. Aregbesola urged youths to be the vanguard of democracy and good governance. He said youths are the future of the country and they must be agents of change. The governor urged the youth leaders to reflect on the fortune and future of the country with a view to offering good leadership. He said youths cannot afford to resign to fate in the face of bad governance as the present

From Okodili Ndidi, Owerri

and past depend very much on them. Aregbesola said: “We look up to you as the fighting arm of the party. You are the most vibrant, dynamic, dependable and resilient of any political party. “The present and the future depend on you. How you understand your roles in the party goes a long way in shaping the future of our party and the country. “This is with a view to promoting the cause of democracy and wrestling power from those misgoverning us, so as to guarantee effective and good leadership, as well as freedom for all.” The youths and some government officials accompanied the governor on the inspection

of the Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC) station in Osogbo and the Model Middle School in Alekuwodo. Aregbesola hailed the level of work done at both sites. He said the administration is living up to its promise to improve the state. The governor said: “We will build 50 of these model middle schools, 100 elementary schools and 20 high schools across the state. These schools, when completed, will be such that can stand the test of time. Our students will have the opportunity of having qualitative education in a conducive environment.” At the railway station, the Special Adviser to the Governor on Works and Transport, Mr. Oladepo Amuda, said: “This government is trying to use railway for the movement of raw materials from Osogbo

to Lagos and finished products from Lagos to Osogbo. A cement company partnering the state has agreed to be bringing in cement at factory price to Osogbo from its plant.” Commissioner for Land and Urban Planning Muyiwa Ige said: “The train station will be an epic centre where people can come to relax and recreate. The plaza will complement the on-going beautification of the state. The park to be built at the station is fashioned after Kings Park in the United Kingdom.” Deputy Governor Mrs. Titilayo Laoye-Tomori; Secretary to the State Government Moshood Adeoti; the Chief of Staff to the Governor, Mr. Gboyega Oyetola; Acting ACN State Chairman Adelowo Adebiyi; ACN Gboyega Famodun and members of the State Executive Council were on the governor’s entourage.

Court remands Oni’s aide in police custody


N aide of ousted Ekiti State “Governor” Segun Oni, Mr. Lere Olayinka, was yesterday remanded in police custody by a Chief Magistrate’s Court, sitting in Ado-Ekiti, the state capital. Olayinka was arrested on Monday for allegedly leading a group of thugs, who threw stones at teachers writing the Teachers Development Needs

Assessment (TDNA) test at the Ola-Oluwa Muslim Grammar School centre in Ado-Ekiti. He was arraigned on a four count charge of sponsoring a seditious publication against the Ekiti State Governor; engaging in conducts likely to cause a breach of the peace; promoting feelings of ill will and hostility between teachers and the government and inciting teachers against writing

the test. Olayinka pleaded not guilty to all the charges. Prosecution counsel Joseph Onaji urged the court to adjourn the case pending the conclusion of ongoing investigation. The three-man defence team, led by Sule Longe, prayed the court to grant the accused bail, arguing that the charges were not criminal.

Other members of the team are Bunmi Olugbade and Stephen Obamuagun. Chief Magistrate Soji Adegboye refused the accused bail on the grounds that it was made orally. He advised the defence to tender a written application and and ordered that Olayinka be kept in police custody. The case was adjourned till Monday.




Customs, NCC impound books By Amidu Arije

THE Nigerian Copyright Commission (NCC) has impounded three containers of 3000 cartons of pirated books at the Lagos Port. Three persons were arrested in connection with the cargoes. NCC’s Deputy Director/ Lagos Zone Manager, Chris Nkwocha said the books, which included, Bibles, educational and inspirational books were worth over N1 billion. The books belonged to publishers such as Learn Africa (Longman), Macmillan, University Press, Africana First, Heinemann, among others. Nwkocha said the books were declared by their owners as Christian books, but on critical examination by the commission and the Customs they were found to be educational books. He said the commission would not relent in ensuring that the right owners and publishers made profit from their works. “The Nigerian Copyright Commission in furtherance of its policy of zero tolerance to piracy is poised not to give room for pirates of any kind to thrive, rather the right owners will have adequate grounds to flourish,” he said.

10,000 to get free health care

ACN appeals verdict on Ikoyi/Obalende council polls T HE Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) has appealed the judgment of the Local Government Election Petition Tribunal that nullified the election of Chairman, Ikoyi/Obalende Local Council Development Area (LCDA) of Lagos State, Adewale Adeniji. The respondents are Ibrahim Obanikoro of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), who was declared

By Adebisi Onanuga

winner, Lagos State Independent Electoral Commission (LASIEC) and 160 others. In the appeal filed by its counsel, Yinka Okudara, the party cited four reasons for disagreeing with the October 4 verdict. The party complained that the judgment is

against the weight of evidence given at the proceedings. The tribunal, ACN said, erred when it held that the second respondent’s final address and reply were not properly filed; that the ward collation results tendered by the respondents lacked credible evidence

and could not be ascribed any value; and that the uncontroverted evidence of the respondents/witnesses could not be ascribed any probative value. The party is praying for an order setting aside the judgment. It also asked for an order setting aside the order of the lower tribunal which struck out the final written address of the second respondent.

Other reliefs sought include an order upholding the declaration of the appellants as the winners of the election of October 22, 2011 conducted by LASIEC. In the alternative, the party is asking for a retrial of the petition, describing the first trial as a miscarriage of justice. ACN is also praying the court for an order that the petition be heard and determined by another panel.

•From left: Lagos State Sector Commander, Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC), Charles Akpabio; Zonal Commander, Ademola Kabir Lawal; Unit Commander RS 219, Samuel Aderemi Ogunday (standing), Ogun State Sector Commander, Ayobami Omiyale during the Zonal Operation’s meeting hosted by Oshodi Unit...yesterday

By Miriam Ndikanwu

NO fewer than 1,700 persons have enjoyed free medical services at the ongoing medical mission in Lagos Island sponsored by Eko Club International. The club’s president, Alhaji Zairindeen Popoola, said at the commissioning of the five-day free health services that 10,000 persons would benefit from the scheme. Popoola said the initiative, which was inspired by Lagosians in the Diaspora, is the club’s contribution towards the state’s development. “This is our fourth mission in the state. We started the process about nine months ago and because of the background work done, every individual that visits here will be attended to by a team of professionals that came from different countries,” he said. He said the medical team members were volunteers who left their families to come and contribute their quota to well-being of the people. “What we have accomplished is what we believe we should do for the people of Lagos State,” he added. The bi-annual free health mission covers diagnosis and treatment of high blood pressure, diabetes, HIV, malaria, eye problems and others. “We plan to see as many patients as are able to come and a lot of medical information will also be made available to them,” he said. Representative of the state government, Dr Dapo Fasawe said the free mission would hold at five areas including Isolo, Ketu, Ejinrin, Ikorodu and Agbowa.

08033054340, 08034699757 E-mail:-


Task force crushes 3000 seized motorcycles

AGOS State Task Force on Environmental and Other Special Offences has begun the crushing of over 3000 commercial motorcycles seized for violation of traffic laws. Its chairman, Bayo Sulaimon, a Superintendent of Police (SP), who supervised the exercise at the Task Force Yard in Alausa, Ikeja, said the motorcycles were seized between August and last month. Government, he said, was determined to ensure that motorcycle operators complied with the law.

By Miriam Ndikanwu

Sulaimon said the offences committed included riding on kerbs, driving against traffic and on restricted routes, operating beyond stipulated operating hours. He said: “This is to inform the operators that the enforcement of the law has started and there is no going back. The law has been passed, signed and gazetted and we are going to crush all the crushable at our crushing plant in Oshodi to show our seriousness about

enforcing the law. The ones that cannot be crushed will be auctioned, but not in the state, so that they don’t constitute nuisance again. “The Task Force has commenced gradual enforcement; we have not even enforced it fully. But this should serve as a warning to them because we won’t hesitate to impound any Okada”. Operators of the seized motorcycles, he said, were not arrested because they fled on sighting law enforcers, abandoning their ma-

Lagos warns against destruction of road signs


HE Lagos State Government will prosecute any individual or group caught destroying road signs, Commissioner for Transportation, Kayode Opeifa has said. Opeifa gave the warning at a press conference held to launch the Road Safety Week and a home video by ace actor, Adebayo Salami, popularly known as Oga Bello. Entitled: “Aiye Olokada,” the video is a docudrama that exposes how the monetary gains of commercial motorcycle transport pales into insignificance when accident in which people are killed or maimed occurs. Opeifa said the government would distribute the video to the public for free after which the enforcement of the Traffic Law would begin on all routes in the


function. An Okada operator, Ugochukwu Okoli, pleaded for extension of the enforcement date and a review of the restricted routes. “We are in full support of the law. We know that change is inevitable and we believe that we can’t remain the same. The law will take some time to be fully complied with and we plead that government should give us more time,” Okoli said.

commercial motorcycles, but only restricted them from plying highways, bridges and some selected roads. Sulaimon said tricycles, popularly known as Keke Marwa, were restricted from operating in certain areas, warning operators to comply. He said government enforcement team would continue to clamp down on street urchins, called Agbero in local parlance.

Igbo raise panel to fight crime


By Miriam Ndikanwu

state. He warned that no business interest would be allowed to override government’s most paramount interest in safety, security, law and order. He advised Okada riders to stay off all restricted routes or be penalised. Oga Bello said: “The movie has a motive of entertaining, informing and educating, but the idea is to expose the menace of okada operations and why they should not ply some roads.” Responding to Monday’s protest by some Okada operators against the route restriction provision in the Traffic Law, chairman of Motorcycle Operators Association of Lagos State (MOALS) Tijani Pekis said he did not sell out by appearing at a government

chines. On Monday’s protest by some okada riders at the Governor’s Office, Sulaimon said: “They have the right to protest, but the government will be firm on what they do. It doesn’t in any way stop our job, those who intend not to obey the law, we are coming after them. They will be arrested one after the other and we will be out there on a daily basis”. He said the Traffic Law did not ban the operation of

O protect their integrity, the Igbo in Lagos State have raised a special committee to investigate activities of suspected criminals. Eze Ndigbo of Lagos State Igwe Hycinth Ohazuluike told reporters in his palace yesterday that the need for the committee became imperative following the alleged involvement of an Igbo chieftain in a dubious deal that prompted security agents to declare him wanted. He said a henceforth, no Igbo son would be allowed to tarnish the image of the group in the state. According to Ohazuluike, the Igbo were shocked to hear that the chieftain, who is now at large, was implicated in a dubious deal that culminated in the imprisonment of his accomplices. “While I commend the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for the good job done, I would like to inform

By Jude Isiguzo

them that the suspect they said was at large is freely moving all over Ikeja and should immediately be arrested. “As a royal father, I cannot allow evil to triumph. That was why I set up the committee to fish out people with criminal records in our midst and take appropriate action to not only sanction them but expose their criminal records and if possible hand them over to security agencies for prosecution. “Such criminal elements are the people fomenting trouble in Igbo organisations like Ohaneze by making frivolous allegations of disintegration while they are busy tarnishing the good image of our hardworking brothers and sisters in Lagos. My happiness is that we now have a police boss with royalty in his blood, Umaru Manko and he is making the state hot for criminals.”



NEWS Oshiomhole sacks 20 teachers


DO State Governor Adams Oshiomhole yesterday dismissed 20 teachers, who were absent from their duty posts, when he paid an unscheduled visit to three schools. At Asoro Primary School, Emokpae Model Primary School, Western Boys High School, George Idah Model School and Esonere Primary School in Benin, Oshiomhole ordered that teachers who resumed late be surcharged. Frowning at the lackadaisical attitude of some teachers, he said: “The government has provided a suitable environment in schools and teachers are paid good wages and inducement allowances. These beautiful classrooms are useless, if teachers do not teach the students.”

PUBLIC NOTICE CHRIST GLORIOUS PARADISE PROCLAMATION MINISTRY This is to inform the general public that the above named organization has applied to the corporate Affairs Commission for registration under part C of the Companies and allied Matters Act. BOARD TRUSTEES ARE 1. Pastor (prof) Dominic A. Badaiki. 2. Evangelist (Mrs) christiana E. Badaiki. 3. Barrister Blessing E. Badaiki. THE AIMS AND OBJECTIVES 1. To disseminate the gospel of jesus christ for the salvation of man 2. To render social, guidance and counseling service for moral and educational advancement, 3. To engage in charitable activities Any objection to the registration should be forwarded to the Registrar General, Corporate Affairs Commission,Maitama, Abuja within 28 days of this publication. SIGNED: Prof A.D. Badaiki's


AJETUNMOBI YUSUF ODUWOLE GRANDCHILDREN ASSOCIATION This is to inform the general public that the above named organization has applied to the Corporate Affairs Commission for registration under Part C of the Companies and Allied Matters Act, Laws of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1990. THE TRUSTEES ARE: (1) OLUSOLA ODUWOLE (2) OLUMIDE ODUWOLE (3) OLUSOJI ODUWOLE (4) ODUFOLABI ODUWOLE (5) OLUSEYE ODUWOLE (6) OLATUNDE ODUWOLE (7) OLUTAYO ODUWOLE THE AIMS AND OBJECTIVES ARE: (1) To promote education and training (qualitative and functional education, technical or vocational skills and competence), good health, development and welfare of the orphans, destitute and less privileged and vulnerable people in the society. (2) To promote and engender peace, common goodness, common interest and co operation of the members of the ASSOCIATION (3) To promote sound and good morals in the society and in the general public especially among the less privileged and the youth in the society. Any objection thereto should be directed to the Registrar General, Corporate Affairs Commission, Plot 420, Tigris Crescent, Off Aguyi Ironsi Street, Maitama, Abuja, within 28 days of this publication. SIGNED: SEGUN ADEPOJU & COMPANY 9, ODUYEMI STREET, ANIFOWOSHE, IKEJA, LAGOS.

Bakassi: Cross River Assembly protests


HE Cross River State House of Assembly yesterday accused the Federal Government of being part of an international conspiracy to frustrate Cross River and Bakassi people. It asked the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Mohammed Adoke, to resign. This follows the government’s position not to seek a review of the 2002 International Court of Justice (ICJ) judgment, which ceded Bakassi to Cameroon. The 25 members of the Assembly marched in protest from the Assembly Complex to the Governor’s Office to register their grouse. Speaker Larry Odey, who led the protest, was diplomatic. Odey said they only came to find out from the governor, if there was any positive development in the direction of the review, but other members were more direct in expressing their bitterness. Mr. Saviour Nyong (Bakassi Constituency) said: “We are very perplexed that the Federal Government, with the mandate of Nigerians and by extension, the mandate of the people of Cross River State and Bakassi, to defend us, has only played politics with the people of Bakassi. “One therefore wonders if Nigeria is an independent nation, because no nation in the history of the world has given out its own territory

•Imoke: Justice can still be done From Nicholas Kalu, Calabar

on a platter of gold. “We have heard of other ICJ judgments that have been given more than three to four decades ago, yet, no Green Tree Agreement has been reached, talkless of its implementation. “So one wonders the haste in the ceding of Bakassi. In my own words, I term it to be an international conspiracy against the people of Bakassi and Cross River State, which was made possible because our leadership was part of it.” Mr. John Gaul Lebo (Abi Constituency) said: “This shows clearly that there is a conspiracy by the Federal Government. First by the President’s setting up of a shadow presidential committee less than three days to the expiration of the 10 years we had to seek a review. “Two, it is not for the AGF to say that documents presented before him are no fresh and credible facts. He is not the court. The ICJ provision under Article 33 provides that every new evidence must be presented before the ICJ. The ICJ has the jurisdiction to determine whether that evidence is credible or not. As AGF, it is a conspiracy against the people of Nigeria for him to say to the press that that evidence is not a fresh and veri-

‘We have heard of other ICJ judgments that have been given more than three to four decades ago, yet, no Green Tree Agreement has been reached, talkless of its implementation.’ fiable evidence. “It is not the business of Cross River State or the people of Bakassi because we are only a part of the Federation. We have no locus standi to go to the ICJ.” Mr Agbiji Agbiji (Ikom 1) said: “Nigerians have called for a review. If the president fails to carry out the mandate of the people, the constitution says no treaty can be implemented without the resolution of the National Assembly. So the question is which constitution is the president upholding? Which constitution is he operating?” Mr. Jake Enya (Boki 2) said: “The Federal Government should listen to the voice of the majority of the people which says that this ICJ judgment must be reviewed.

Mr. Joseph Bassey (Calabar South 2) said the legislators will embark on a hunger strike and prayers, so that everyone involved in the ceding of Bakassi should die. Governor Liyel Imoke said: “The very intractable problem of Bakassi is a problem which I have been careful to manage, so we do not politicise it because there are a number of humanitarian considerations, security issues and of course being a part of a country, Cross River State on its own has no locus to file an action at the ICJ. “So what is important is that the authorities at the federal level understand the pain the people here feel and the consequences of the judgment on the people. “There are a lot of grievances, pain and hurt, and we can only appeal to everyone at this time to remain calm and understand that there are processes and procedures that are followed in cases of this nature. “All hope is not lost. We may have reached the end of one stage of this struggle but I believe there is still an opportunity to address some of the real challenges that the ceding of Bakassi has brought upon the people. So, yes, we may not meet the deadline for a review. I hope we do and we still have a few hours to be considered, but in the event that we do not, I believe very strongly that there are still other opportunities which we will pursue to ensure that justice is done.”


CHRIST DELIVERANCE MINISTRY BORI The general public is hereby notified that the above named Ministry has applied to the Corporate Affairs Commission for registration under Part “C” of Companies and Allied Matters Decree No.1 of 2009. THE TRUSTEES ARE: 1. Apostle Wednesday Abue Mbarawii 2. Rev. Dumnamene Godstime Neemaa 3. Elder Kaananwi Gbarakoro 4. Elder David Sikom 5. Elder Saturday Uebo 6. Elder Nsuke Nwibugor 7. Decon. Rose Mbarawii

--- Chairman --- Vice Chairman --- Secretary --- Member --- Member --- Member --- Member

AIMS AND OBJECTIVES 1) To propagate the gospel of Jesus Christ. 2) To build believers to be matured in the faith, prepare them for the rapture and helping them to be doer of the word of God. 3) To improve the capabilities of those whom the Lord has given to us to be light in darkness, provoke their capabilities with determination to raise others to be kingdom experts and capacity of excellence. Any Objection to the registration should be addressed to the Registrar General, Corporate Affairs Commission, Wuse Zone 5 Abuja, within 28 days from the date of this publication. Signed: ELDER KAANANWI GBARAKORO (Secretary)


GENERAL GOODS TRANSPORTERS ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA The general public is hereby notified that the above named association registered under part “C” of Companies and Allied Matters Act has applied to Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) to alter the following Articles in its constitution, appointment of new trustees and removal of Trustees. ARTICLE 3: AIMS AND OBJECTIVES. b) To provide an avenue for self-expression and discussion of matters affecting members in Cargo Haulage contracts and General Goods Transporting. c) To make contributions for the promotion of and/or advancement of cargo haulage and Transporting Business. e) To promote and encourage participation of Nigeria in the contract and Transportation of General Goods. L) To influence the award of haulage and transporting contract to members. ARTICLE 4: NATURE OF THE ASSOCIATION b) A member must be a functional haulage contractor with at least one Bulk grain/Cargo import company whose consignments enters through Nigerian Ports Authority. ARTICLE 6: COMMITTEE A. The affairs of the Association shall be directed and managed by the National and State Executive Committee. i. The National Executive Committee. The National Executive committee shall be made of the following officers: a. The president b. The Vice president. ii. The State Executive Committee. The State Executive Committee shall be made up of the following officers. a) The Chairman. b)The Vice Chairman c) The Secretary d) Assistant Secretary e)Financial Secretary f) The Treasurer g) Publicity Secretary h) The Provost ARTICLE 8: RESPONSIBILITIES OF THE COMMITTEE 2 a) The State Executive Committee shall transact the business of GGTA t state levels under the guidance of the National Executive Committee. b) The State Executive Committee shall monitor all industrial developments that concern the business of the members of GGTA. c) Shall serve as a link between the association and its’ clients in the state. d) The State Executive Committee shall perform such other functions as may assigned to it by the National Executive Committee. ARTICLE 15: FUNDS OF THE ASSOCIATION. f) Funds of the association shall be for the upkeep and maintenance of the Association and shall be allocated as follows. National Secretariat 70% State Councils 20% Compulsory saving 10% THE NEW TRUSTEES ARE: 1) Yauza Ibrahim 2) Charles Obasi 3) Ayodele Williams 4) Snr Pastor Emmanuel. 5) Ebere Chukwu. REMOVED TRUSTEE: Chief M.O Olaniran Any objection to the alteration of the Constitution should be forwarded to the Registration General Corporate Affairs Commission, Wuse Zone 5 Abuja within 28 days. N.J ASOH ESQ. EMEKA ETIABA & CO (ETIABA CHAMBERS) 65 EVO ROAD, GRA PHASE 2 PH, RIVERS STATE.

•The Assembly members in Calabar...yesterday.


Airhiavbere loses bid to call more witnesses


HE Edo State Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal yesterday rejected the application of the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the July 14 governorship election. Maj.-Gen. Charles Airhiavbere of the PDP is seeking to present more witnesses. Ruling on the application filed by Airhiavbere’s counsel, Efe Akpofure, the tribu-

From Osagie Otabor, Benin

nal said calling witnesses on the issue of qualification was no longer tenable because of its ruling on September 27. Chairman of the tribunal Justice Ambrusa Suleiman said the petitioner should bring witnesses but not those of the PDP, because the PDP has been struck out as a party in the suit. Justice Suleiman said the witnesses should be on the

issue of electoral malpractices and not on qualification. Ruling on Governor Adams Oshiomhole’s application seeking the dismissal of Airhiavbere’s petition, Justice Ambrusa granted parts of the application and struck out other parts. Yesterday’s ruling brought the pre-trial conference of the tribunal to an end and one issue was agreed on for determination by the tri-

bunal. The issue is “whether the petitioner’s allegation that the election was marred by corrrupt practices and noncompliance with the Electoral Act 2010 ought to be sustained as regards evidence adduced in the remaining paragraphs of the petition and the surviving relief.” The case was adjourned till October 23 for trial.

Two persons drown in Ovia River


HE bodies of two persons, who fell into the Ovia River, Edo State, last Friday have been recovered. It was learnt that the victims fell into the river while running away from robbers on the Benin-Lagos Expressway.

From Osagie Otabor, Benin

Sources said the driver of a commercial bus abandoned his vehicle on the Ovia Bridge when he spotted the robbers and some of his passengers fell into the river while trying to escape. The bodies were recovered by fishermen three days later.

Unit Commander of the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) Mr. Adewale Ameen confirmed the incident. It was learnt that the bodies of four others are yet to be recovered. Edo State lawmakers recently passed a resolution calling on relevant authorities to repair the Ovia River Bridge and build concrete railings on it.












Youths partner Yakowa on jobs

50,000 youths trained

Shema transforms Qu’ranic education








Page 17


Wamakko strengthens infrastructure



EVERAL projects are afoot in Sokoto State as the Aliyu Wamakko administration continues its infrastructural renewal plan. As part of this plan, the governor directed the state task force on water supply to ensure sufficient distribution of the utility, saying people in position of authority owe a lot to the people. “It is only when we appreciate our responsibilities to the people that we value and cherish legacies with direct impact on the people,” he said. He also announced that the state executive council has revoked the

From Adamu Suleiman, Sokoto

N1.15b contract on water and primary health centres. Wamakko disclosed this at the state executive council meeting at the Council Chambers in Government House, Sokoto. He said: “Governance is a systemic line of action plan to sustain policies and programmes directed at improving the lot of people.” Briefing newsmen after the meeting, Commissioner for Information Nasiru Danladi Bako and his counterpart in Health, Ahmed

Aliyu, said the council revoked three major water and health-related contracts, re-awarding them to new contractors at over N1.15b. The health commissioner said 22 solar-powered boreholes in both Shagari and Tambuwal local governments would be completed in six months at the cost of N198m. Aliyu also said the construction and drilling of 15 water borehole schemes at the cost of N135m has been approved. He maintained that 89 solarpowered boreholes across the state would soon be completed, adding that “water is an impor-

tant ingredient to survival and we need to ensure adequate supply and distribution of the utility across the state.” He further disclosed that the state government has approved the purchase of furniture and medical equipment at the cost of N83.9m to ensure that Noma Children Hospital in the state capital is fully equipped to discharge its services. Danladi Bako disclosed that the state government has approved the purchase of 10 units of haulage trucks at the cost of N82.2m. He said the essence is to boost the fleet of vehicles of the state transport company in order to improve on, and spread, its services to the public.



EAPS of sand and laterite dot the roads. Caterpillars are excavating sand. Trucks are loading it. Construction workers are busy trying to meet the deadline. Everywhere you turn, one major construction or the other is being undertaken. The heavy work comes with pain. Traffic is heavy. And more man-hours are wasted on the road than before. Welcome to Ado-Ekiti, the capital of Ekiti State, where everything seems upside down now so that it can truly live up to the billing as a befitting state capital. Someone who has not been to the town in a while is bound to be taken aback. From the most popular road in the capital, Ajilosun Road, to OjumoseFajuyi-Basiri Road, Ijigbo-Ilawe Road, Old Garage-OkeyinmiOjumose Road, Old Garage-Ikere Road and Fajuyi-Teaching Hospital Road, men are literally working themselves out to renew Ado and make the roads form an impeccable network. Sixteen link roads, such as Mobil-Irona Road, Ben Folarin– Isato- Oke Ori Omi Road, Old Governor’s Office –Okesa Road, Ola Oluwa-Omisanjana Road, Housing Corporation Road, Oke Ila- Stadium Road, Okeyinmi- St. Andrews-Oke Ila Road, OkesaStaduim- Oremeji Road and Oke Ori Omi- Aremu Road, are experiencing total makeover. Not left out of the race to make the landscapes of Ado posh are Adebayo-Olora-Hosuing Road, Ile Abiye-GRA Road, Egbewa– NTA Road, Adekaitan–GRA, Oke Ila internal roads, Oke Ila– Idolofin Road and MugbagbaSt. Pauls–Odo Ado Road. In Ado, it is not all about roads. Lush green vegetation is finding space. Interlocking stones are marking walkways apart. Medians are wearing glowing shades. Drainage channels are

•Fayemi (in glasses) inspecting a drainage work in Ado-Ekiti

Ado-Ekiti transforms By Olukorede Yishau, Asst. Editor

being opened. The dredging of River Ofin has commenced to prevent flooding, which may result in the loss of lives and property of citizens. Really, years of urban planning errors are being corrected. But, like the saying that there is no creation without destruction, many a structure has given way for decades of haphazard development to be rec-

Capital city in renewal

tified. More are to follow. The firstever petrol station in the town has become history for Ado to be renewed. Structures that made the state capital to be smeared with buildings without lay-out, plans or certificates of occupancy are giving way. But, efforts have been made to ensure sacred places and local monuments in the ancient city are preserved.

Demolition with human face

Unlike the usual practice, the Dr. Kayode Fayemi administration has given new meaning to government’s demolition of structures for developmental purposes. The administration has ensured that no single structure has been pulled down without the owner first receiving compensa-

tion. The Chairman, Ekiti State Urban Renewal Agency, Mr. Babatunde Fakoyede, said the decision to pay compensation before demolition is to ensure proper valuation of property. “Or, how do you value a property after demolishing it?” asked Fakoyede. He added that the administration, even after paying the compensation, still gives enough time for evacuation. Fayemi has presented cheques of N190, 860, 923 as compensation to people whose structures •Continued on Page 45



Zamfara trains 50,000 youths

Kwankwaso condemns corruption in immunisation



ANO State Governor Rabi’u Musa Kwankwaso said he directed the replacement of all managerial officers involved in polio immunisation in the state because alleged corruption was retarding the progress expected in the exercise. The governor said he personally directed that officials involved in the exercise from the level of state director downwards and immunisation officials of the 44 local government areas of the state be replaced, as they seemed to turn the exercise into a money making venture. Speaking during the launch of the fifth round of polio immunisation at the Govern-

Adamawa to begin health insurance scheme


HE Executive Secretary of the newly established Adamawa State Health Insurance Scheme (AHIS), Malam Saleh Shelleng, says that preparation has reached advanced stage to kick start the programme in the state. Shelleng told journalists in an interview in Yola that the bill to empower the scheme, which was passed into law last year by the state House of Assembly, had since been gazetted. He attributed the delay in the scheme’s take off to the ongoing training of staff. “That we have taken much long is because we are preparing our house, trying to see that our officers are trained and that we have put in place everything required for the success of the scheme.’’ Shelleng urged for support and cooperation of stakeholders, particularly workers under the state and local governments, to get set and register with the scheme, which is expected to begin very soon.

Adamawa “Very soon, we are going to commence registration and I want to advise the state civil servants as well as local government employees, who are the first people we are going to involve in the scheme, to make sure they are registered to enjoy the services.” The chief executive also advised the Service Providers and Health Management Organizations (HMOs) in the state to also prepare themselves to work with AHIS for the successful take off of the health insurance programme in the state. Shelleng lauded the support and cooperation which AHIS was receiving from the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) in its preparations to ensure a hitch free take-off.

From Kolade Adeyemi Kano

• Yari Aliko Dangote for their contribution in the antiPolio strides. According to him, it has been scientifically established that polio is linked to poor sanitation habits, lamenting that Nigeria is still among the three polio endemic countries in the world. In his remarks, the Commissioner for Health, Dr. Abubakar Labaran Yusuf revealed that 19 cases of polio were recorded in Kano this year, stressing that the government is concentrating on efforts to reverse the trend.


By Adeola Ogunlade

ence. “It is intriguing that while Africa boasts of about 10 per cent of world populatio, about 40 per cent of childhood death is from Afica. A good number of their survivors are ophaned by Human Deficency Virus. Malara, diarrhoea are still a great threat to the survival of many Nigerian child”, she said. She asserted that the menace of child labour and abuse has been a recurring decimal in the Nigerian equation and continues to permeate the polity. Government efforts at eliminating child labour, through making an impact, is as yet unsatisfactory. This, she said, requires strong institution building in both pubic and private sector in addressing the challenges facing the chldren which would ultimately help in putting smiles on the faces of these various catergories of children who are our leaders of tomorow. “Nigeria Lion Club wants to make significant impact on the Nigeran child through the development of effective service projects and activities that will not only benefit those children in our community but also create that awareness on the needs of the Nigerian child”, she said. In her words, the National President of the

•From left: Mr Kamoru Bakare; Mr Adebisi Mustapha; Mr Adunfe Adunola; Mrs Abraham Onu; Engr Taiwo Giwa and Mr Abiodun Mustapha at the foundation laying ceremony of the Lagos State Transport Management Authority (LASTMA) Cooperatives Housing Estate Project at Ikana, Owode, Ogun State

‘Build pilgrims’camp near airport’


Group urges support for youths HE District Governor of Lion Club International, Nigeria, Lion Stella Agbogun has called for the need to build strong supportive institution that will address the problems of the Nigerian Child. Agbogun made this known at the formal launch of Hope For the Nigerian Child Project For the 2012-2013 Lion’s year held recently at the Opening Field of the Arch Bishop Vinning, Ikeja, Lagos. The programme brought together thousands of students drawn from Lagos and Ogun states with various projects exhibited on food and shelther, skill aquisition, health care services in the rural areas, education/ literacy development, school rehabilitation by the five zones within the distict in Nigeria. According to her, there is no doubt that the right of the Nigerian child to life is most threathened and breached of all right imaginable with domestic and public violence, lack of educational infrastructure, life threatening environment. He or she is at the receving end of such abuses that combine to virtually make him or her endangered species. She said that despie the fact that Nigeria is a signatory to the adoption of the child right by the United Nations, the Nigerian child has been a victim of dehumanising deprivation, in all spheres of human exist-

HE Zamfara State government says it has trained 50,000 youths under its agro-business skill acquisition programme to enhance self-employment in the state. Governor Abdulaziz Yari announced this at the flag-off of this year’s training programme, tagged “Youths In Agro Business” in Gwashi Village, Bukuyyum Local Government of Zamfara State. Yari said that the government had provided the youth with start-up capital and machines to enable them establish their own businesses and provide jobs for others. The governor, who was represented by his deputy, Alhaji Ibrahim Wakkala, said that the state government would focus on fighting poverty through skill acquisition in all spheres of human endeavour. He explained that the programme was integrated into the state government’s agricultural activities to boost the sector.


Kano ment House in Kano, Governor Kwankwaso explained that the activities of some immunisation officials leave much to be desired, hence the efforts to eradicate polio once and for all are not yielding the desired success. He, therefore, maintained that the government would not tolerate corruption in ithe programme or any of its activities, pointing out that more proactive measures are being adopted to make sure that Kano is polio-free as soon as possible. The governor also said his administration is not happy with pockets of immunisation rejection in parts of Kano, warning that he will not hesitate to enforce the exercise in order to secure the future of children in the state. Kwankwaso stressed the need for collaborative effort between civic, political and religious leaders in the state to eradicate the disease, and thanked the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation as well as Alhaji

• From left: Senator Gbenga Obadara, Prince Ademola Dada, Island Club President and Senator Gbenga Ashafa during the Independence Day dinner at Island Club, Onikan, Lagos.

Cleric decries rate of corruption


HE General Overseer of Kings in Christ International Ministries, Dr Chidi Innocent Anthony, has condemned the high rate of corruption in the country, saying it has become endemic in the system. Pastor Anthony, who was speaking with journalists recently in Lagos said: “We need to tackle the monster headlong and it must be from the top”. The man of God who answered the call in 1997 and established his ministry in 2005 in Lagos, said the present approach to tackle corruption is too cosmetic to make any appreciable impact. He suggested that all culprits found culpable must be sanctioned heavily to serve as deterrent to others. This is the only way, according to him, that others can learn and refrain from committing the crime, because “corruption has ruined the economy, affected moral fibre and dislocated our social values.” The minister, who said the focus of his ministry is salvation , noted that it is regrettable t h a t lesbiamsm, corruption and other vices are rearing their ugly heads in the church today. As a way out, he said the church needs an urgent spiritual revival where values of the •Pastor Anthony


early church are preached and adhered to. He advised government to seek God’s wisdom to pilot the affairs of the country as “from the look of things, man’s wisdom has failed us’’ He said President Goodluck Jonathan should to constitute a body of sincere men of God that would advise him. He said men of God should participate rin governance in advisory capacities because they are “natural king makers.” He said his church is deeply invloved in prophetic healing and economic empowerment of members as that is the import of the vision God showed him at the beginning of his ministry.

HE Senior Special Adviser to Governor Isa Yuguda on Pilgrims Affairs,Alhaji Sanusi Sarkin-aska has solicited the establishment of a pilgrims’ camp near the Bauchi International Airport, currently under construction. He made the call in Bauchi while speaking at a farewell ceremony organised for intending pilgrims from Bauchi State. Sarkin-aska said that if the pilgrims’ camp was close to the airport, it would make things easier for pilgrims and officials during hajj operations. He, however, praised the state governor for aiding the Muslim Pilgrims Welfare Board to discharge its duties effectively. Sarkin-aska called on the intending pilgrims to reciprocate the governor’s goodwill by exhibiting good manners during their pilgrimage in Saudi Arabia. In his message, the Emir of Bauchi, Alhaji Rilwanu Adamu, urged the intending pilgrims to be mindful of the fact they were travelling to Saudi Arabia purposely to perform their religious obligations. The emir, who is also the Amirul Hajj, urged the prospective pilgrims to respect the laws of Saudi Arabia, while refraining from any act that


Yari said that the government established 21 skill acquisition centres across the 14 local governments. Similarly, he said that four farm training centres had been established in Gwashi, Damba, Eka and Maradun, all in the state. “The aim of establishing this wide range of programmes is to provide opportunities for skill acquisition towards self-reliance and engaging youths meaningfully,’’ he said. The governor also disclosed that his administration sponsored the fabrication of 100 units of corn grinding machines for distribution to the youths under the programme. He also praised the Federal Government for approving the training of 276 and providing them with soft loans.

•From left: Dr Paul Orhii, Director-General, National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC); Mrs Shonell Oushun, General Manager, Orange Drugs Ltd and Pharma Mrs Ebele Ojukwu, Superintendent/Regulatory Affairs Manager, during the presentation of Toyota Hilux donated by Orange Drugs Ltd to NAFDAC at Oshodi PHOTO: ABIODUN WILLIAM

Bauchi was capable of tarnishing the image of Bauchi State and Nigeria as a whole. The Deputy Governor, Alhaji Sagir Saleh, who represented Yuguda, also underscored the need for the intending pilgrims to conduct themselves well in Saudi Arabia. He urged the prospective pilgrims to pray for peace to reign in Bauchi State and Nigeria at large, considering the enormous security challenges currently facing the country. Saleh also urged the medical team to take care of the pilgrims’ healthcare needs in Saudi Arabia. About 3,378 pilgrims from Bauchi State are expected to be transported from the Gombe International Airport.

Council stresses need to invest in youth

HE Chairman of Apapa Local Government Mr. Ayodeji Joseph has stressed the need to invest in the youth in order to prepare them for leadership position in the future. He made the call during the country’s Independence celebration at the secretariat of the council in Apapa. The chairman, who was represented by his deputy,Mrs Bola Dada, noted that no amount invested in the youth is wasted because they will drive the affairs of country in future. Joseph said: “In the light of this I am glad to inform you that the trio of Jessica Gabriel, Joseph George and Saliu Al-Mustapha who


Conference THE Redeemed Christian Church of God School of Disciples, Lagos Province 21 will hold a conference with the theme: God’s Battle Axe on October 12 and 13 at 4.30pm and 9am respectively. The venue is RCCG Victory Chaptel, Magodo in Ikosi/Isheri Local Council Development Area of Lagos State. Speaking on the conference, the coordinator, Pastor (Mrs) M.O. Abiodun assured guests of God’s intervention in their problem areas. Other ministers of God expected are: Pastor Egho PICP, Pastor Goddy Ikpai, Rev Sunday Awe and Pastor Bisi Olowoyo, among others.

Farmers urged to utilise technology HE Lagos State Commissioner for Agriculture and Cooperatives, Prince Gbolahan Lawal, has urged farmers to utilise the 2012 Technology Transfer programme organised by the government to update their knowledge and familiarise with modern agricultural equipment. Lawal, who was speaking at the opening ceremony of the Technology Transfer programme organised by the Lagos State Agricultural Development Authority (LSADA) in collaboration with the Commercial Agriculture Development Project and Fadama III at Oko-Oba, Lagos, said:” We cannot continue to import rice, wheat and other foodstuffs from USA, China, India and other countries “Our farmers should strive to update their knowledge so that they will produce food in abundance, which will enable us export foodstuffs. “Technology transfer is a fast growing activity in most developed economies like the United States of America. It involves some sources of technology with specialised technical skills targeted at a group of recipients (farmers) who do not possess those specialised technical skills and who cannot create the tools themselves. Like


By Tokunbo Ogunsami

other economic sectors, agriculture productivity cannot be raised without better technologies. “In recognition of the above facts, the Federal Government established the National Office for Technology Acquisition and Promotion (NOTAP) in 1979 for the acquisition, promotion and development of technology. “The fact that Nigeria is richly blessed with human and natural resources is no longer in dispute. So, in this present era of globalisation and economic challenges, Lagos State is striving to harness her ideas, activities and creative works towards technology advancement and global competitiveness. To nurture these potentials, the state requires the creation of an enabling environment that will stimulate the stakeholder’s interest and inspire innovation aimed at boosting agricultural production”. “In furtherance of the knowledge policy of the Lagos State Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives and due to the public goods nature of knowledge, there is always a challenge in the generation of new knowledge through the private sector.

` •From left: Council Manager, Lagos Mainland Local Govt, Mr Anibaba, Head Teacher Ansaur-deen Primary School, Odunfa Ebue Metta mrs Felicia Ajibade, the council chairman, Mr Oladele Adekanye handing over the key of the new contructed school to the head Teacher while the Executive Secretary of the Lagos Mainland Education Authroity, Mr Bisi Lawrence Adetona cooks

Firm rewards customers CHINESE traditional herbal medicine company based in Lagos, Crystal Life Resource Solution Limited, has given out 20 Hyndai Accent brand new cars and one SUV Jeep to its distributors. The event held at Scopio Hall-All Seasons Plaza, Agidingbi, Lagos, was graced by dignitaries amid pomp and pageantry. With over 21 distributors as beneficiaries, a total of 120 others were given free international trips to China, Dubai and South Africa. Representative of the company, Shadad Khan said it was their little way of showing appreciation for a work well done. Expressing her delight, topmost distributor and one of the nominees, Dr. Favour Ijeoma said: “As you can see today by the grace of God we are having our first car award. The company is giving out 21 cars to our outstanding distributors and I happen to be the number one distributor here in Nigeria as you can see. I will be going home with cars today including my SUV Jeep. You can also see that our distributors are happy. “Especially at this time of economic meltdown, a business like this called multi-level marketing comes to the aid of any one willing to take advantage of it. It is a case of using what you have to get what you want by making money. Apart from the award given, most of us earn good money monthly, it depends on how large your network is. You can see


By Innocent Amomoh

how excited we are looking”. On how it all started she continued: “Crystal Life came into Nigeria in the month of April, 2012. They invited me and other women showed us the

By Musa Odoshimokhe

excelled in their academic performance and were sponsored for overseas trip are now back for the United Kingdom.” The chairman maintained that the trip was in fulfilment of international exposure promised made to outstanding pupils of primary schools in the council, as this would afford them the ample opportunity to interact with their counterparts overseas and learn new things they could not acquire locally. He said: “I promised that we shall continue to stand by our promise throughout the remaining period of our administration. Similarly, our administration is constructing a storey building of classroom made up of 12 classrooms.” Joseph stressed that government will continue to assist pupils of post-primary schools with free G.C.E forms, J.A.M.B and a scholarship to prepare them for future challenges through sound education. The council had equally not taken the health issue with kid gloves as it had embarked on the rehabilitation of the Primary Healthcare Centre at Ijora which is now functioning optimally. He said: “Very soon our health centre at Nanti village will be commissioned for the use of our riverine dwellers. We have conducted many rounds of immunisation aimed at stemming the problem of infants’ mortality.” He further thanked members of the council’s legislative body for their forthright and constant collaboration in ensuring that the council lives above board in the discharge of its duties to the people. marketing plan and it was okay. It is not just about the cars but certificates are also given and we will travel to China by next month. You register with N2500 and need N40, 000 to start and you become a distributor. At a time when 70 percent of Nigerians are suffering from ailments, this company comes with solutions to many of these health problems”.

• Dr Favour Ijeoma,topmost distributor flanked by one of the beneficiaries Ikechuchukwu Elechi (left) and a guest at the event





Alien torts in America’s courts •Should foreign human rights abuses be adjudicated in this country? A 1789 law is at issue.

Like Noah’s flood •The president’s speech is welcome, but should have declared emergency


RESIDENT Goodluck Jonathan yesterday addressed Nigerians on the rampaging floods that have lain the country prostrate, with hardest hit states like Kogi, Anambra, Benue, Bayelsa, Delta, Adamawa, Plateau and, to some extent, Oyo literally buried under water. Though a bit late, the president’s speech is welcome. It at least reassures a hurting nation and a forlorn citizenry that they are not without some help. The president’s pledge, too, that himself and Vice President Namadi Sambo would start a sortie of visits to affected areas would resonate well with the victims, though there is also a clear feeling that the visits ought to have commenced in earnest. The president ought to have, first hand, spoken from the disaster areas, empathising and comforting; and followed it up with a formal speech of concrete action as he did yesterday. But be that as it may, it is better late than never. His dilatoriness, however, reflects a government without instinctive understanding of its responsibility as well as the redemptive impulse to act. Now, flooding is a natural disaster; and no one would blame the president and his officials for this tragic turn of event. Still, it is clear also that the response has been rather tardy. It is doubtful if the flooding would have been avoided if the various state governments had taken proactive measures after the dire meteorological forecasts and warnings. It is, after all, the worst flooding crisis in Nigeria’s contemporary history. But it is clear proactive actions would have greatly reduced

the present level of national anguish – and the situation in Lagos and Osun states, two flood-prone areas, which have nevertheless managed the perennial crisis this year, is a case in point. The overall moral: prevention is better than cure. That brings the matter to the presidential action plan, rolled out in the president’s speech. Grouping the 36 states and Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory into four, according to the severity of the flooding, the president announced that Category A states would receive a federal grant of N500 million; Category B: N400 million; Category C: N300 million and Category D: N250 million. The grant is meant to fight the scourge and bring comfort to those affected. This is part of what the president called immediate N17.6 billion “in direct financial assistance to the affected states and federal agencies”, with the states getting N13.3 billion and federal agencies N4.3 billion. As far as positive reaction to a serious disaster goes, that is welcome. The president fell short of declaring a state of emergency on those communities. Such a declaration would give the special status of national anxiety and focus. But there is always the sickening poser as to the percentage of the grant that would go into solving the flooding problem and preventing future occurrence; and the percentage that would fuel corruption in private pockets. Pardon the seeming cynicism, but corruption is such a monster now that we will pretend otherwise at our own collective peril; and at a risk of even more serious flooding disasters. That is why the authorities must closely

monitor the grant and ensure it is spent on the cause for which it is released. Besides, with all the 36 states getting a handout, it must be clearly made to all that it is not free money to be spent at the whims and caprices of the governing lords and their cronies. It is money to solve a pressing ecological disaster. For states least affected, it is to avert a future disaster. For those affected, it is to ensure such never happens again. That is the only way this payout can be justified. It is also the only way the gesture, no matter how well meaning, would not appear as a mere throwing of money at a problem not well defined. The flooding problems appear a political Flood of Noah, come to remind all that we have all gone astray in governance. We must make amends and survive; or continue in the old ways and perish.

‘Though a bit late, the president’s speech is welcome. It at least reassures a hurting nation and a forlorn citizenry that they are not without some help. The president’s pledge, too, that himself and Vice President Namadi Sambo would start a sortie of visits to affected areas would resonate well with the victims, though there is also a clear feeling that the visits ought to have commenced in earnest’

The Mandarins •Will it help our pupils if introduced into the curriculum? T is regrettable that members of the Lagos State House of Assembly (LSHA) were as much in the dark as the general public over the decision of the state government to introduce the teaching of Chinese language into the state’s school curriculum. There was thus a heated debate on the floor of the House last Tuesday on the desirability or otherwise of the policy initiative. Leading the opposition to the teaching of Chinese language in Lagos State public schools, the member representing Ajeromi-Ifelodun constituency, Mr. Abdulbak Balogun, questioned the necessity of the policy and suggested instead that students inclined to learn Chinese could do so as part of linguistics courses at the university level. Another law maker doubted the rel-


‘But then, will the adoption of Chinese language necessarily empower us to follow China’s geometric developmental trajectory? We think not. If China could attain her socio-economic and technological feats within the framework of her own indigenous languages, why can’t our own native languages in Nigeria be the fulcrum for our own progress? ... Should this be our priority given the poor record of our children in even our local languages and key subjects like English and Mathematics?’

evance of Chinese language to the socioeconomic development of the country and would rather prefer that Yoruba, Hausa and Igbo be made compulsory in the state’s schools. Supporting the initiative, however, another legislator, Mrs. Lola Akande, said the policy would strengthen the relationship between Nigeria and China, noting that the latter is an emergent global economic and technological power. On his part, the Speaker of the assembly, Adeyemi Ikuforiji, also saw nothing wrong with the policy stressing, not only that the introduction of Chinese would have no negative impact on the students but that “Most of the countries I have visited, you see a child of less than 15 years speaking about three or more languages and that has not prevented them from learning their local languages as well.” We commend the vigour and rigour with which the assembly debated this important policy issue. The invitation of the House to the state commissioner for education, Mrs. Olayinka Oladunjoye, to throw light on the matter before the House this week will hopefully enrich further discussion of the issue by the House. The important thing to note now is that the assembly, at least in this instance, has effectively played its role as an autonomous arm of government rather than simply acting as a rubber stamp. Of course, no one can question the pivotal role of China in today’s global political economy as the facts speak for themselves. China is the world’s second largest economy after the United States. With

a growth rate of at least over 10 percent in the last 30 years, China has been rated as the largest exporter and second largest importer of goods in the world. In the same vein, China is the largest creditor nation today and it has been estimated that she could become the world’s largest economy as early as year 2020. As her economic and technological influence has grown, it is only natural that Chinese language has also acquired greater clout. Over one billon people, an estimated one-fifth of the world’s population, are reported to speak one variety of Chinese or the other as their native language. By far the most widely spoken of the Chinese group of languages is Mandarin with about 850 million speakers and we presume this is the variety Lagos State wants to introduce into its school curriculum. But then, will the adoption of Chinese language necessarily empower us to follow China’s geometric developmental trajectory? We think not. If China could attain her socio-economic and technological feats within the framework of her own indigenous languages, why can’t our own native languages in Nigeria be the fulcrum for our own progress? Will this policy imply the employment of more teachers of the Chinese language? Should this be our priority given the poor record of our children in even our local languages and key subjects like English and Mathematics? These are questions we would want the state government to seriously consider before making up its mind on the matter.


S it wise to allow foreign victims of human rights violations that take place outside the United States to sue their persecutors in U.S. courts? That question loomed over arguments in the Supreme Court last week in a case involving allegations that Shell Oil Co., a British-Dutch company, colluded in violent attacks on Nigerians opposed to oil drilling in that country. Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr. put it bluntly when he asked the plaintiffs’ lawyer: “Why does this case belong in the courts of the United States when it has nothing to do with the United States other than the fact that a subsidiary of the defendant has a big operation here?” But the issue before the court isn’t whether such lawsuits are a good idea. (Alito clearly thinks they aren’t.) It’s whether they were authorized by Congress in a 1789 law known as the Alien Tort Statute. The answer to that question is yes, and that is how the court should rule. If Congress in the future concludes that American courts are being burdened by human rights lawsuits originating abroad— or that such suits complicate U.S. foreign policy — it can revise or repeal the law. In the Shell case, the Nigerian plaintiffs argue that in the 1990s, the oil company “aided and abetted” a brutal government crackdown on opponents of oil drilling by providing food, money and transportation to Nigerian armed forces and by allowing company property to be used as a staging ground for attacks. The plaintiffs, now living in the United States, brought suit under the 223-year-old statute, which gives federal courts jurisdiction over “any civil action by an alien for a tort committed in violation of the law of nations or a treaty of the United States.” In 2004, the Supreme Court ruled that the longignored statute did, in fact, authorize lawsuits by foreign nationals for violations of international norms — such as blocking the movement of ships in international waters or denying safe passage to diplomats — that were as “specific, universal and obligatory” as the ones Congress sought to shore up in 1789. Other courts have interpreted “violation of the law of nations” to encompass torture, arbitrary detention and genocide. In February, the justices heard arguments on whether corporations, as well as individuals, could be sued under the Alien Tort Statute. It then ordered last week’s additional argument on whether the statute applies to conduct occurring outside the United States. The first issue should be resolved in the plaintiffs’ favor because Congress didn’t limit the law’s application to individuals. A corporation like Shell, which has operations and offices in the United States, clearly should be covered by the law. As for whether the law applies to abuses that occur outside the United States, the court in 2004 suggested that it covered piracy, which obviously doesn’t occur on U.S. soil. Applying the law to cover wrongdoing in other countries is a logical extension of that policy. Is it a wise one? Allowing U.S. courts to resolve claims arising in other countries could create problems not only for the orderly administration of justice in this country but also for U.S. foreign policy, even though judges in particular cases might choose to stop proceedings in deference to concern about diplomatic consequences. (A previous Nigerian government lodged a protest with the U.S. about the Shell lawsuit.) But a strong case can be made that U.S. courts should be available to victims of extreme human rights violations abroad when redress is impossible in foreign courts. Even if the Nigerians prevail at the Supreme Court, their suit could be sidetracked by other objections. For example, Shell could argue that it doesn’t have a sufficient presence in the United States to trigger federal jurisdiction. But if this and similar cases do go forward, Congress will be able to judge whether they pose an undue burden on either the workings of the judicial system or the conduct of U.S. diplomacy. The court shouldn’t short-circuit that decision. • Los Angeles Times

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IR: Yesterday October 10, was World Mental Health Day. The Nigerian Survey of Mental Health and Wellbeing conducted between 2001 and 2003 found that about 12 percent of adults in the population have had at least one episode of mental illness in their lifetime, while about six percent have had it over the last one year. These are relatively low rates, reflecting the considerably high level of stigma-induced denial in these climes (The World Health Organization estimates that one in every four persons will be affected by a mental disorder at some stage of his or her life). Nevertheless the reported 12 percent rate corresponds to a whopping 20million Nigerians, and among those of them who had seriously disabling illness, only about eight percent had received treatment in the preceding year. Given that the majority of mental disorders (77%



Reflections on mental health day in the Nigerian survey) occur in mild forms, most cases go undetected for years. Millions are burdened by distressing anxiety, obsessions, mood disorders, paranoia and other internal difficulties, and they must devote considerable mental energy toward maintaining a semblance of normalcy while trying to cope with the pressures of everyday living. In a society like ours, “keeping it all together” becomes a compelling distraction on which affected persons must expend precious innate

reserves of resilience, which insidiously takes its toll in the form of declining work performance, strained inter-personal relationships and compromised physical health. Eventually, one final misfortune like loss of a job, a divorce or maybe an armed robbery attack – all traumatic events from which most healthy people will get over–tips over an already crumbling psyche. Before they tear their clothes and run out naked into the streets, these troubled minds have expended

concern for many. Report of skirmishes and violent acts have trailed many elections in many campuses. Student-politicians as they are called go to any length to acquire power. Some kill, some maim while others soil their hands. In some instances, authorities of the institutions influence the elections. A begging question is – what did the authorities in the Federal Polytechnic, Mubi do when they learnt of a possible attack on the students? This question has become necessary as a report claimed that the management of the institution was forewarned. What is the relationship between our institutions of higher learning and the security agencies? If indeed

the authorities in the polytechnic were warned before the dastardly act, then we should expect answers. At a time the nation is facing grave security challenges, when people live in fear, security agencies must gear up and save us from further tragic stories. We cannot blame it all on the security agencies. It is a communal approach. The government must go beyond issuing statements. The lawmakers must also go beyond observing a one minute- silence. It’s time we reclaimed our land. We cannot continue to be at the mercy of men who do not value the sanctity of human lives. There should be a better understanding on the politicking on campuses. The level of relationship

great effort concealing internal distress. And unlike most physical illnesses for which a relatively brief period of medical or surgical treatment could restore the individual to normal functioning, mental illnesses tend to be chronic and run a protracted course that takes enormous toll on the emotional and socioeconomic well being of the both the sufferers and the family members caring for them. It’s a suffering that might have been prevented by timely recognition and intervention in the early stages of illness, instead

The Mubi Polytechnic massacre

IR: This year’s independence celebration has come and gone, perhaps the memories may have gone for most of us but certainly not for the relatives of the over 40 students murdered in cold blood that Monday. According to reports, unknown gunmen went from room to room in Mubi, Adamawa State slaughtering students like goats while some others were sent to their early graves with gun shots. Asides the students, three other persons, including a retired soldier, a guard and father of a student, were reportedly killed as well. There has been outrage and condemnation since the tragic incident occurred. The executive roared in anger describing the act as barbaric, sad, tragic and shocking. From the Senate came a flurry of anger with some the members seeking to pass a vote of no confidence on the executive. It is not clear yet on the motives of the assailants or even who they are. One fact we must get correctly is that no reason is justifiable for this heinous crime. One of the leads being pointed at as to the possible cause of the butchery is the recently conducted student union election. Some officials believe that there were unresolved issues. If this case is a possibility, then it’s time we considered the dirty side of campus politics. Over the years, activities of students and sometimes managements of the institutions on campuses as regards student politics have been a source

between higher institutions and security agencies must be raised. Perhaps what might be a little consolation is to bring the murderers to book and take adequate measures toward forestalling future occurrences. The government with the help of the students must cooperate in the area of security. These mindless killings no matter the reason must stop. We certainly cannot continue to watch while we are being reduced in numbers unjustifiably. Showing our indignation and anger aren’t enough. Let our actions match our tears; it’s our obligation to save lives. • Stanley Ibeku, Abuja.

we end up paying a costly price for denial and wilful ignorance. The federal government espouses a noble vision of Nigeria becoming one of the 20 leading global economies by the year 2020. Whether such a lofty target is achieved or not, continued economic growth will eventually see us make the transition to at least a middle income country. WHO estimates suggest that depressive illness will become the leading cause of disease burden at the time, exceeding Malaria, HIV/AIDS and the like. Already, mental illness is responsible for the most years of healthy living lost due to disease and premature mortality in the developed world. We must begin to face up to the reality of an increasing burden of mental illness in the populace. It tends to occur in varying shades and degrees, and already is far more prevalent than is immediately apparent. The milder forms though ubiquitous mostly go unrecognized, yet constitute fault-lines of the mind which compromise personal productivity and social harmony. Those moderately affected live and work amongst us all, perpetually labouring under a defect of reason. Alarmingly, a good number make it into political office and their distorted cognition is a mist that beclouds sane judgment. Call this deformation professionelle or what you will, but the jeopardized ability to love and to work is the elephant in the room whose inevitable growth may choke our forward march as a nation. • Dr. Walter Nzeakah Neuro Psychiatric Hospital Aro, Abeokuta

Mimiko’s politics of mischief


IR: The overwhelming Yoruba majority recognized and appreciated Pa (Chief) Obafemi Awolowo, but not all of the Yoruba people. Similarly, I am not surprised that the current Yoruba leader, Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu, in spite of his efforts to unite the Yoruba race, has his own detractors. For a long time, the current Governor of Ondo State, Dr. Olusegun Mimiko, pretended to appreciate Tinubu and that he was a friend of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN). The text messages from the Labour Party (LP) during the 2011 elections, painting the ACN and

Governor Babatunde Fashola in black and red colours suggests otherwise. Although, the text messages did not bear the name of Mimiko, his current approach to politicking is revealing. That is not surprising; what is surprising is the attempt of Mimiko to create a bad blood between Tinubu and Fashola, by saying to the whole world that Fashola is a better administrator than Tinubu. I think the unsuspecting Ondo people should now see Mimiko for who he is - a confusionist. I don’t know the criteria used by Mimiko, but even if Fashola were a

better administrator than Tinubu, was it not Tinubu who nominated and supported Fashola to be where he is? Thus, the emergence and success of Fashola cannot be divorced from Tinubu’s leadership qualities and vision. Mimiko is as confused as those who attribute all the achievements of General Muhammadu Buhari’s administration to General Babatunde Idiagbon. I always ask whether, as the Head of State, Buhari could not have frustrated Idiagbon if he was not party to the policy and its exercise. Similarly, Tinubu has more than what it takes to frustrate Fashola if he is not party to what he is doing.

Was it not Tinubu who created the new local government areas, opposed by the former President Olusegun Obasanjo on political grounds, and the money he (Obasanjo) seized, released by President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua, and used by the Fashola administration to transform Lagos State? Beyond that, if Mimiko loves Fashola so much, why did he allow his LP to campaign against him so viciously in 2011, with the aim of blocking his re-election? • Pius Oyeniran Abioje, Ph. D, University of Ilorin.




Hail to the pothole; the beatification of the pothole in Nigeria; GCFR Pothole


SK politicians if they know that o n e potholeincreases travel time, causes accidents with injuries and death and creates orphans and Tony widows. Ask what the Marinho 500,000,000 to a billion potholes cause economically and mentally in Nigeria? It is official, we have been mis-led. The old colonial and then early republic efficient army of pothole fighters, aka PWD, was defeated and disbanded by the military probably simply because they both wore khaki. PWD refers to the defunct dead and executed Public Works Department charged with road maintenance and anti-pothole activities which are not nuclear physics but have a 100 year history. The PWD does this through its foot-soldiers armed with a wheelbarrow, shovels, head pan, a pick, a watering-can for pouring tar, a stove for tar in the watering can, a road beater and sometimes even a small roller all under a tripod of sticks with a red flag to warn road users that important government work - pothole filling – was taking place. They wore khaki -shirt, canvas shorts and a straw hat. This PWD army successfully fought potholes countrywide. So why change a winning team? What happened to that legacy causing the present pothole virus? This in spite of billion-billions declared as spent and the ineffective ‘over 400 engineers’ retrained by FERMA. No Nigerians escapes the dreaded ‘potholeitis’ of FERMA and stateERMA and LGAERMA. The military abandoned professionalism and failed to recognize the PWD as a most effective weapon of mass destruction of potholes in the war on potholes. Potholes grew wild. No one could combat them. The military was interrupted by an epidemic of coups, corruption and incompetence and the terrorist potholes mutated into many shapes and sizes. The military announcing a strategy to wipe out the terrorist potholes which had nearly ground the country to a halt and claimed many lives. It was a new secret weapon – ‘the contractor’ to kill potholes in their thousands overnight. ‘The contractor’ was a monumental failure and contractor status

was rubbished, associated with quick wealth for no work. Contractors were defeated and blamed the rainy season for failure as if Nigeria has the highest rainfall in the world. It soon became obvious that pothole fighting required a new weapon. The contractor was replaced by ‘the mega-contractor’ attracting multiple billions of naira presumably to fight billions of potholes all at once. This was another failure. Both the contractor and mega-contractor blamed everyone except themselves for failure of ‘The Pothole War’. The professionals are there providing power and pothole filling around the world. Empower them or else face destruction of the nation. Why should Nigeria be the pothole of the world? There are needless potholes all around and all governments’ attempts at billion naira beautification projects and also ‘job creation’ road cleaning teams are rubbished because the nation’s 100m+ citizens are stuck in a ‘billion potholes’ watching the absurdity as road sweepers sweep around potholes and the cement for pothole filling is diverted to flowerpots and roadside decorations. Simple politics: Fix potholes, clean gutters, do beautification! They do not go hand in hand, they go in sequence. A pothole is a sign of abject failure of government and is unacceptable. It is not to be ‘managed’ or endured. A government Council in the UK paid out £750,000 as fines for axel, tyre and break damage to cars. Our neighbourhood watches, NGOs need to make pothole awareness a national clarion call. Governments should heed the warning. When Obasanjo was stuck in potholes near his home he was booed and ‘stoned’ with pure water. Politicians may be ‘stoned’ with shoes or actual stones. Only politicians, not the people, will prevent this by their good works. Roman road exist today without potholes 2000 years later. What type of idiot cannot build a road that will survive rainy seasons? Such a person does not deserve to be an engineer or politician in a ‘great’ country like Nigeria. Fast forward to today 2012. Today, is it not true that National Assembly members take N35-45 million/quarter or $2-4,000/day while Indians make $3,000/month and Obama earns $300,000/year? Is it not true that Nigerian government contracts are 30% more in dollar terms than anywhere in the world while we get 100% less delivery on contracts? The failure of the pothole to be filled

is judgment and massive failure of politics, politicians and civil service. A failure to prioritize the needs people using the road daily. We require a planning loving pothole filling government before potholes get ‘GCFRPothole’ as having most effect nationwide. Retribution, restitution, revenge describe politicians’ actions to each other and the nation. One day we must be prepared for the revenge of the people especially if Ghana streaks ahead with petrodollars. ‘Ghana’s Peaceful Evolution’ will contrast with ‘Nigeria’ Coming Violent Revolution’ and our politicians will be to blame, not the Nigerian revolutionaries. The children of those denied pensioners will wake up annoyed enough one day to take the enforce the law. Governance is not a joke about how much tax Nigerians can endure for no services. Power, potholes all need fixing by December not an illusionary promise for 2020. We know the figures. We know there is money. What is missing is political and professional competence and love. If not let us ‘beatify and beautify the pothole’ in Nigeria and raise it to Sacred Pothole’ status, making it untouchable while we die!

‘The military abandoned professionalism and failed to recognize the PWD as a most effective weapon of mass destruction of potholes in the war on potholes. Potholes grew wild. No one could combat them. The military was interrupted by an epidemic of coups, corruption and incompetence and the terrorist potholes mutated into many shapes and sizes. The military announcing a strategy to wipe out the terrorist potholes which had nearly ground the country to a halt and claimed many lives’

Independence without celebration


COULD have written this piece earlier but waited to appropriately gauge the mood of Nigerians last Monday, October 1, the nd 52 Independence anniversary of the country. On the eve of that day, Ayo, a young Customs officer in Lagos had called me to wish me happy Independence Anniversary in advance. Soon after this, he added a caveat! “Sir, is it true that prices of petrol might be hiked tomorrow?” Initially, I was speechless. Then I quickly put myself together and replied: “I don’t think so. No sane person would do such a thing on Independence Day of all days.” “But remember sir that the last fuel price hike was on New Year Day, January 1, and people are already doing panic buying”. In spite of this, I stood my ground and asked him to perish the thought. That is the extent of the mortal fear that has been etched into the sub-consciousness of the average Nigerian. Anyway, the following day, October 1, I listened to the President’s broadcast that morning as he reeled out his achievements so far. It was reassuring though. But statistics aside, what Nigerians actually need this time is to measure the quality of their life. Has there been any improvement in the last 13 years of democratic governance? I say this because I share the admission of the President that he alone and not one man alone can change the fortunes of Nigeria. We have passed through decades of decay, decadence, indiscipline, corruption, embezzlement of public funds and all that. That Nigeria

is still standing as one nation today is probably due to the benevolence of the Almighty God. Every sector, every section, and every age bracket have contributed to the morass of underdevelopment the country has been grappling with. Under the military interregnum, there was a common enemy, as various aspersions were cast on the military as if they were some foreign elements or strangers who had cornered the reins of power to foster a selfish agenda. We never took cognisance of the fact that, except for the head of state, military governors or military administrators of each state and a few aides, all other members of the cabinet were civilians. Even the civil service, the engine room of government, was run solely by civil servants. Not one of them was a military man. So, if the military rulers stole money, they did not perpetrate the looting alone. They were aided or, even in many instances, goaded by the civilians in high places. It was the civilians in sensitive places who taught them how to steal and what to steal. Today, the civilian collaborators of the military are walking freely and causing problems everywhere with their ill-gotten wealth, but nobody is talking. That brings me back to 1999. We all know what we passed through to achieve democratic governance. Many precious souls were lost in the titanic struggle to ease off the military from power. But how many of those who stood before the barrels of the guns are in power today? The political firmament is being dominated by the offspring of those who

“In the rat race to empty the treasury, strange bedfellows are now cohabiting. It is no longer “what we can offer, but what we can get”

brought the country to its knees prior to the events of January and July 1966. Many of the political parties, that is, if they can be called as such, are populated by crooks and known criminals. Their agenda: to loot the public till in order to oil their selfish and extravagant lifestyles. In the rat race to empty the treasury, strange bedfellows are now cohabiting. It is no longer “what we can offer, but what we can get”. That is the reason why there is a permanent fratricidal war going on in most of the political parties. When elephants fight, it is the grass that suffers. As our politicians are embroiled in an open war of attrition, it is the people and the development of the nation that bear the brunt. No other time in Nigeria has the drums of war by ethnic nationalities been so high than today. Those who have been schemed out of the political equations in the country have resorted to championing the parochial interests of their ethnic and sectional groups. This, they intend to use, as bargaining chips for political ascendency. To achieve this, they must heat up the polity to breaking point. While the ethnic jingoists are doing their own, others are using religion and other pretences to conceal their real intentions. Besides, all the present form of criminality - kidnapping, violent robberies, internet fraud and social media crimes - are the manifestation of a society where the craze for materialism at all costs has reached an alarming crescendo. It is like those who cannot join the politicians to loot have devised their own ‘ingenious’ means to amass wealth even if it means that blood must flow freely. Look at Boko Haram or whatever it is called. Though the lethargic security system in the country could be blamed for not nipping this nonsense in the bud, the increasing

number of new converts to the rapacious and rampaging gang is worrisome. It means some people are profiting from the entire brigandage. In a country where religious pluralism holds sway, is it not pure eccentricity to assume that a rudderless group of people could foster a particular religion or doctrine on the country? Now, it is getting increasingly clear that the gang of marauders has the blessing and active connivance of some unscrupulous security agents, which is why their activities have been proving intractable. Yet, what is really at stake is the struggle for the control of the levers of power. All is about power, not to change or improve on the destiny of the country but to rape it ceaselessly and mercilessly. As I write, I can imagine the life of squalor and destitution the victims of the recent flood disaster in the country are facing. Do the politicians care if they are washed away by the surging flood? As people are driven out of their places of abode, petty thieves and robbers are all over the place making away with any property they could lay their hands on. The government that should have provided the needed succour seems to have no solution to the problem. Consequently, many of the displaced Nigerians are now left entirely to the vagaries of hunger, disease and untimely death. That is why I see this year’s independence anniversary as a contradiction of what I witnessed in the United States of America, USA, on June 4. That day was America’s Independence Anniversary. Independence Day in America is always a huge celebration. You could smell the festivities before the D-Day. Various manufacturers and shopping outlets unleash a deluge of promos, discounts and lotteries on the public, while people scramble to arrange for barbeque

Dele Agekameh all over the place. People travel far and wide for revelry. In the afternoon of that day, I accompanied my friend to their church - a newly commissioned Redeemed Church of God at Richmond area of Houston, Texas. The place was packed full with picnickers who were all Nigerians. Apart from a cow on a barbecue, sausages, corn and every item of merriment were also in abundance. As I watched the joyous multitude, what ran through my mind was: “Here are Nigerians celebrating the independence of another country almost 7,000 kilometres away from home with such élan and excitement. Even though many of them could hardly live above subsistence level, they were sure that their conditions can only improve, not get worse like that of their fellow men back home. The lesson from this is that we must wake up from our deep slumber, eschew all forms of unhealthy rivalries - ethnic, religious or political - bury our parochial interests and join hands to move this country forward. Send reactions to: 08058354382 (SMS only)



COMMENTS Re: Politicising justice: The case of Justice Salami is a monumental shame and a mockery of Nigeria’s judiciary! The acting PCA who himself knows his position is illegal cannot step down, the NJC that has the power to remove him and re-instate Justice Salami under the law, just cannot summon the courage to do what is right and the President just doesn’t give a damn! If this is happening in the hallowed chambers of justice to a respected and upright justice, it then means whoever goes to seek justice from these people must speak the ‘language’ they understand! As it is, I’m ashamed of people who cannot defend themselves in the face of unmerited provocation! They should all bury their heads in shame and await Karma. From Kayode A., Abeokuta.

•Justice Salami

For Olatunji Dare The International Institute of Tropical Agriculture and its partners in June 2012 announced a $12 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, for a yam improvement project to enhance the incomes of three million yam farmers in West Africa. Its initial focus was on 200,000 smallholder farm families in Nigeria and Ghana, 90 percent of whom cultivate less than two acres-The Nation Friday, June 22, 2012 page 17. It is time to ask from the programme coordinators, the catchment areas in Nigeria this project will target and whether the project has taken off already and who are the beneficiaries, and how were they selected, and the information supplied to the public as well as the channel used. The word is “transparency”. The lesson the rampaging floods should teach us is that there will be lean years and prosperous years in the output of foodstuffs. Are our planners listening? From John Jimoh, Ijebu-Ode If the governors had been proactive in matters of channelisation of our water ways, the disasters we are witnessing would have been averted. In this regard, Governor Aregbesola of Osun State merits not only a credit but a distinction. From Barr. Moronkeji Re: A nation under water. I think whatever Vice President Sambo does must be taken as being done by Mr President. The public must be educated/enlightened. Sambo’s sympathy and empathy should be taken as the President’s! However, why did we have all these agencies for emergencies? The government should have a speedy emergency response arrangement and implementation. Water, fire, as good as they are, are too destructive, hence, faster response level. Those negatively affected should urgently be rehabilitated and given good livelihood. Neighbouring nations should cooperate. From Lanre Oseni. In addition to your write-up on the floods, what can non-governmental organisations and individuals do? Is there a central place to donate clothes, food items, money, and other things for the flood victims? From Nkiru The picture used in your article of 2/10/ 2012 is a scene in Makurdi. Anonymous Dare, you are such a thoughtful and wonderful writer! From Ihemeje, Abuja My name is Prince Hassan. I enjoy reading your piece and I thought it is wise to draw your attention to this; your piece entitled A nation under water had a photograph with a wrong caption. That area is in Makurdi and not Lokoja. Stay blessed. Anonymous What can political opportunists foraging for the next meal do to genuinely assist the “communities of the beleaguered across the nation”? Nothing reasonable, except to exploit the victims further. All the victims of flood should know that adversity is a great teacher. Men who travel on a smooth road all their lives do not develop strength. May God touch the hearts of our “leaders” for good. From Adegoke O. O. Ikhin, Edo State. Again, you have spoken my mind. Kudos, and read me in The Africa magazine every month. From Julius Thanks so much for your beautiful piece A nation under water. The flooding and its attendant loss of lives and property is a clear

manifestation of how unprepared and insensitive our leaders are to the plight of their citizens; like all other problems they have been caught napping. From Ojo A. Ayodele, Emure Ekiti I read with trembling heart your piece A nation under water. Dr Jonathan needed a Godly direction and not manly direction. In years past, our president was usually being pushed around all because of second term. He knows what he is doing. Let us continue praying for a revolution and not a leader. Revolution will bring about a dynamic and sound leader and not a leader that will be dancing even to ant’s tune because he wants a second term. From Ms Elegbede, Lagos Still on Ideas that live: I wonder what kind of history the present generation of leaders read. Can’t they take a cue from past cruel events to right the present ones? Indeed, humanity will remain cruel to each other till eternity, especially the black race. I love your writings. From Olumuyiwa The present administration is made up of people that never take matters of the state seriously. Indeed, they are all sleeping ministers, legislatures, ministries and agencies. No little preparation for a disaster that was so clearly foretold. God help Nigeria. Anonymous Before Katrina, New Orleans had defensive levees; it is just that the levees which had worked well in the past failed. This means they had preventive measures in place. We on the other hand are only talking about contingency planning and clearing of drains without considering real defensive measures as well. It appears anything that starts in cosmopolitan Jos seems to spread. The large-scale ethno-religious crises started in Jos, this year flooding also started there. Bombing in states also started there. Someone has even suggested that world war three may start in Jos. The picture in the comment A nation under water is the golf club at the golf course at north bank, Makurdi in Benue State and not a flooded area in Lokoja. Anonymous For Segun Gbadegesin Sir, in Nigeria, politics and politicians are above the law. But what is the role of the NJC, NBA in this? Even the Senate and Reps fix their own law, contrary to law and reason. The press can only expose the evil in the society. The people will one day rise up to defend their constitution. From Remi, Ikorodu You inspire us with your incisive and prolific writing. Justice Salami’s continuous suspension has shown that the President is a pretender. Those who perpetrate injustice will sooner or later become victim of same. It is a question of time. From Onobhamioya, Abuja Re: Politicising justice. Please, I do not know the type of President we have in this country, Jonathan is the worst President we have ever had. May God Almighty save us from his hand! Anonymous Nigerians do not need (TI) to gauge whether Nigeria is fighting corruption or not. All we need is one high profile conviction, be it a plea bargain conviction or full sentence conviction. Just one. A situation where lesser sentences are earmarked for confirmed killers who are terrorists while armed robbers who may not have killed are given the death penalty, says a lot about our justice system. Very soon, robbers will start claiming they are terrorists. Anonymous Your write-up was very interesting. My

question now is: what will happen to any judgment given by the impostor, at the end of the day? From Paul Imadoemu. Benin City Do you know the meaning of insubordination and its consequences? From Don Akagbusi, Ibadan. Thank you for your piece: Politicising justice. I do not know when discipline will return to our national life. From A.T. Mozie, University of Nigeria, Nsukka On Reps to probe Otedola: They are idle illiterates and have nothing to offer Nigerians. Farouk and Hembe are yet to clear themselves. Please, ignore them. From Ezenwa Onyire. Your article Politicising Justice is marvelous, well articulated and precise to the point. Is there any integrity left in this government? None. It is very sad and unfortunate that Jonathan all pleas and representations made to him to reinstate Justice Salami fell on deaf ears. One definite thing is that no condition is permanent and the only permanent thing is change. All the bad advisers and hypocrites surrounding him will have their nemesis waiting for them. From Ayo Apelogun, Ilesha. Re: Politicising justice: The case of Justice Salami is a monumental shame and a mockery of Nigeria’s judiciary! The acting PCA who himself knows his position is illegal cannot step down, the NJC that has the power to remove him and re-instate Justice Salami under the law, just cannot summon the courage to do what is right and the President just doesn’t give a damn! If this is happening in the hallowed chambers of justice to a respected and upright justice, it then means whoever goes to seek justice from these people must speak the ‘language’ they understand! As it is, I’m ashamed of people who cannot defend themselves in the face of unmerited provocation! They should all bury their heads in shame and await Karma. From Kayode A., Abeokuta. Re: Politicising justice. Many times, governments or institutions see what individual citizens do not see, to act! Other times, citizens see what governments do not see. Why don’t we wait and see the end of the whole drama. Is it not in this country that somebody would not win a primary of a political party yet he is declared the winner and becomes a tin god todate? Is it not in this country that an opponent won a local government area election and was upturned by the ruling party although, out of providence, he won it back after 11 months? Write on those issues. Your write-up is politicised. From Lanre O. For Gbenga Omotoso Sir, instead of tackling Niger problem of insecurity they want to pull down Otedola by all means. God is watching them for whatever a person or group sows they must reap, if not now then later. From Ita Basi, Uyo. Every time I read your article Of terrorism and terrorists, I come to one conclusion; that the President is protecting his political interest in the North at the expense of the wellbeing of Nigerians, including the northerners themselves. Running away from the truth will not make anyone more popular. By Biblical principle, any practice you support (in this case, defend), you are part of the proponents of that practice. Thanks. Anonymous I am shocked that the presidency did not verify the claim that Nigeria is the second most improved country in fighting corruption before blowing its trumpet on the roof

• Femi Otedola top. Would the presidency have equally rushed to believe the report, if any news magazine, no matter how credible the magazine is, reports Nigeria as slowest in tackling corruption without proper verification? These are the problems with us: selecting which news to believe and which not to, which law to obey and which not. We sincerely need to grow beyond this level of reasoning. Long live Nigeria. From Mandy A. Abuja It is very important that Nigerians should know if Femi Otedola actually paid the said money or whether his friendship with the President is at work. It is equally good to know how he raised the money. From Dykecee Once again Gbenga the Nation man of the year. The President said he cannot change Nigeria alone that shows his incompetence, what does he expect from his subjects? An incompetent leader will automatically lead in a disorganised system. The presidential speech has raised a lot of dust. He said there are many Nehemiahs in the National Assembly, Judiciary, but he has forgotten that he is the Commander-in-Chief. The President has belittled himself and his office. Since he cannot do it alone, he should resign and allow competent hands who can lead the country to the promised land. From Hamza Ozi Momoh Dockyard, Apapa Lagos We are living in a country where men are beasts who feed on rots and maggots like hens. Anonymous You should have known where the ‘interest’ is pointing at! Help me ask them If ‘they’ want the money? Let our Reps do what we voted them for. Lives are gone. From Favour I wonder how some of these people think. They just want to give a dog a bad name, nothing more. From Awe, Osogbo Otedola is one of the rogues we have in this country. If he could afford to pay off his huge debt just like that, why did he wait this long before paying, if not for selfish reason? I am in support of the House probing the authenticity of his payment. Enough of using high connection to defraud the society. Thanks! From Comrade Suleiman Olusegun Adeterigbade, Kaduna I hope your idea on the proposed payment of Otedola’s debt is not founded on the “Parapo” syndrome. N140 billion cannot be procured in a jiffy by just anybody. Let the truth about the deal be known; whether it is for Farouk’s sake or not. Anonymous Re: When the President speaks. I think Nigerians are not patient enough to see the rapid transformation that has taken place in Aso Villa (A mini Nigeria) for those statistics are realistically logical only in Aso Rock! In the larger Nigeria, where we have majority of Nigerians domiciled, those statements are neither realistic nor logical which is why the President did all the celebrations in Aso Villa, even in an army general’s gear. The larger Nigeria should patiently await the transformation train. Until then, it is every man for himself and God for us all. From Kayode A., Abeokuta House of ‘Representathieves’, this is what the seventh house is, a house that has abandoned its primary assignment and is busy with oversight function, defrauding and extorting money from innocent Nigerians. The Speaker is DIG, all the committee chairmen are CPD. Anonymous.

Mikel to join team late Pg. 41

Ahmed Musa 'begs'Keshi for striking role against Liberia

Pg. 41


Wednesday, October 10, 2012


Mutiu Adepoju quits 3SC •Claims personal reasons for action •Travels to Spain Thursday for UEFA Pro 3 License Course


HOOTING Stars Football Club Manager, Mutiu Adepoju has resigned his post citing personal reasons for tendering his resignation letter yesterday at the Akinola Maja, Jericho Reservation Area, Ibadan Club Office. In a chat with NationSport last night, the former Super Eagles' Captain disclosed that he had to take this action after due consultation with members of his family and in the best interest of the club. “I cannot say publicly the major reasons why I decided to tender my resignation letter to the club but I would say it was for personal reasons. So I am using this opportunity to thank Almighty Allah for seeing me through in my sojourn in this club for the past five years. “My sincere appreciation also goes to the Executive Governor of Oyo State for supporting this club in all its endeavours. I also thank the Honourable Commissioner of Sports Dapo Lam Adesina, the management of the club and most importantly the fans of this club that have always stood behind the club. I wish the club future successes”,

Nigeria wins gold, silver medals in 2012 Chess Olympiad Pg. 41

From Segun Ogunjimi, Abuja “My immediate plans now is to travel to Spain on Thursday to attend a UEFA Pro 3 License Course. It’s a two-week course which is meant to re-validate the license I got some years back. When I return I will then decide what to do next”, Adepoju told NationSport on telephone yesterday shortly after tendering his resignation letter. NationSport, however, scooped that the former Super Eagles' midfielder did not quit on his own volition but as a result of the way he was badly treated by the management Board of the club. A very close source to the club Board confided in NationSport, “Let me tell you the fact behind Mutiu’s resignation, it was because they asked him to re-apply for a position he held for about five years and they made him look very ridiculous by asking him to apply like a new applicant. Mutiu considered this very insultive, a reason why he promptly tendered his resignation instead of taking the insult from the management Board”, the impeccable source disclosed.

Liberia dribbles NFF

Pg. 24






Kanu to be honoured for his 'heart of gold' Manu Boys pray for Super Eagles

•Kanu •Enyeama

10 Eagles train in Calabar



IKEL Obi will be the last player to join the Eagles for this weekend’s AFCON clash against Liberia as he is not expected until Wednesday.

Ahmed Musa 'begs' Keshi for striking role against Liberia

Liberia dribbles NFF •No word yet on arrival date


Youths jostle for registration •Ahmed Musa

•Musa From Patrick Ngwaogu, Abuja

•Nigeria Super Eagles' players in training

•Victor Moses





The Midweek Magazine E-mail:-

Text only: 08023058761

Akinyemi: The unsung hero – Page 27

Osazuwa returns with Views in colours – Page 39

Amila painting challenge: Reawakening creative minds – Page 40

For orphans, widows, she gives her all •STORY ON PAGE 26



The Midweek Magazine E-mail:-

In a world where selfpreservation is the order, she stands out. Where others hold on to what they have, she gives out. Dr Precious Onwuzurike is not tired of giving – which many believe, this is her weakness. Through the Save the Child of Destiny Foundation, this evangelist is caring for over 200 widows and 50 orphans. She shares her passion with EVELYN OSAGIE.


HE is an evangelist with a large heart. Dr Precious Onwuzurike is on a mission to provide succour to the less-privileged, especially orphans and widows through her non-governmental organisation (NGO) – the Save the Child of Destiny Foundation. Through this foundation, she has established a school that gives scholarship to over 50 orphans and cares for 200 widows.

My ‘crazy’ passion On meeting her, she made an unusual confession, “I am what people may call a ‘crazy giver. I love giving and helping people when the need arises. I took after my parents who were ardent givers. My appearance is deceptive. People think I am not compassionate, maybe because of my size. But, deep down, I am a very soft-hearted person and cannot bear to see people suffer. Who knows, maybe, that is why God chose to give me this vision to which He backed with a word from Isaiah 49 – He will make me a covenant unto the people.” But initially, she did not want to toe this path. She said: “At that time, the vision was too heavy for me. At a point I tried to travel abroad. A pastor I met before travelling told me God said there is no place to run to; he advised me to do what God wants of me. I was a bit confused and felt I could do it my way. So, I started going to orphanages to give things. But God said that is not what He wanted.” Her stubbornness cost her. She recalls: “There was a sacrifice at the altar. I was obeying and withdrawing because the burden was much. I lost three children (two male and one female) in the process. Until, I had to surrender and do what God wanted me to do, which was reaching out completely without holding back.”

•Mrs Onwuzurike and some orphans

My world as a capitalist Before finally heeding the call, Mrs Onwuzurike was an accountant and a businesswoman who ran her own businesses Precious Ventures and Frontline Construction Limited. “I believe in entrepreneurship,” she said. She also worked in an oil subsidiary firm in Port Harcourt. She is married with three kids. “My father, Sir Dennis Amaechi Echefu, inspired me. He was a civil engineer with Shell; he resigned and opened his own contracting firm. I am from a comfortable home and was very comfortable when I got the call. My husband and I left Abuja where we were living and came to Lagos. And you know the rest.”

My journey into philanthropy The foundation was established in 2005. It was initially called the Save the Child of Destiny Ministry. And if you hear her saying ‘Wonderful Destinies’ or ‘Jesus Wives’, these are simply her special names for orphans and widows. “I called it ministry because of my calling as an evangelist. The foundation seeks to transform and empower the less-privileged: children who are motherless, fatherless or orphans. I call them Wonderful Destinies; I call widows Jesus Wives because that is who they are; and the disabled, helping them fulfil their God-given purpose. I also give practical help to the troubled girl-child,” she said. How has the journey been, she was asked. “Who says giving is easy if not by the grace of God. Indeed, it has not been easy but God has been faithful. It is a full-time commitment, but I still run my businesses alongside it. When I get to a crossroad on what to do with the children or women, He urges and leads me on. He is using me as a pencil in His hands to write the lives of others better. I pray He keeps writing and I’ll keep moving as He leads.” But as the days go by, funding is becoming a major challenge for the foundation. “Life is churnning out Wonderful Destinies by the day. With crises in the North, children are the most hit. Our greatest desire is to ultimately establish a home to house the children. We seek to give the children succour, scholarships, clothing, and a sense of belonging and parental care. Right now, we have over 200 Jesus Wives and over 50 Wonderful Destinies in our care; and the number is increasing by the day. This is our challenge. “I fund the foundation (through my businesses) and my husband. My husband is all out to support it – “anything for God”, she said. But the burden is increasing. Like I said, God has been our strength. We have just established the Save the Child of

•Mrs Onwuzurike and some widows during an empowerment programme

For orphans, widows, she gives her all PHILANTROPY Destiny Foundation Schools because we saw we were paying heavily for their schooling. Now, we offer them the best of education and feeding in a godly and conducive environment at zero prize,” Mrs Onwuzurike said.

‘I am what people may call a ‘crazy giver. I love giving and helping people when the need arises. I took after my parents who were ardent givers. My appearance is deceptive. People think I am not compassionate, maybe because of my size. But, deep down, I am a very softhearted person and cannot bear to see people suffer’

Her philanthropy does not end with the children. The foundation also empowers widows through vocational training on making of soap, Izal, disinfectants, air freshener. Sometimes, we give financial support and pay their rent. Because of these, she said, “some usually come claiming what they are not. So, before we take anybody in, we first investigate their claims. Everyone has a file here.”

My advocacy Mrs Onwuzurike is also an advocate against the stigmatisation of the less-privileged, particularly widows and orphans. “People don’t like seeing them at all. Even in the churches, they are usually segregated and maltreated. Once you say that woman is a widow – all the women will hold tight to their husbands. And if the man tries to help out, the wife would say Ehen! So na widow own you want to dey do now? The discrimination does not end with the women, their children also suffer it. “Widowhood is not planned for. Being a widow or an orphan does not mean he/she has done something wrong. No •Continued on page 28



The Midweek Magazine


•Continued from last week

‘Major Akinyemi was reputed for being an officer who saw tomorrow. He was one of the few officers that had strong premonitions about the dangers that would accompany the exploitation of a country’s national security agencies by a cabal of senior army officers for their own political-economic ends’

The self-sacrifice


NKNOWN to most of us Nigerians is the fact that Major Akinyemi made numerous sacrifices for the freedom we are now enjoying. This includes sacrificing every material thing he cherished. Major Akinyemi was twice incarcerated by two different rogue military regimes. These were juntas led by politicians-in-uniforms who saw the Nigerian armed forces as tools to serve their selfish interests.

Jailed for being a conscientious objector Major Akinyemi’s first incarceration was for being a conscientious objector. An objector to the then growing mis-use of our armed forces by some of our army bosses for their political and financial self aggrandizement. The epitome of an officer and gentleman detested military officers with vaulting political ambition while still in service. The Major shared this objection with one of his best pals and course-mates, Major Gideon Orkar, and of course with this writer. Major Orkar is another of Nigeria’s unsung heroes. His selfless service we saw in action on April 22, 1990 pro-democracy putsch against an unelected military government. Majors Akinyemi and Orkar were my younger friends. The trio of us could be described as being part of a cadre of rising star officers close to the then Military President. We were, however, clear headed, and loved God enough not to allow ourselves to be pulled down into the dungeon of misguided marabout-led circles. We refused to mortgage our good consciences. The three of us, including a brilliant infantry officer of mixed Ondo (Yoruba) and Igbo extraction, Major Daniel Bamidele, and other officers who it may not be wise to mention now, expected a lot from General Ibrahim Babangida. Major Bamidele was another fine officer whose body was unnecessarily wasted. This was for accusations, which were not proved beyond reasonable doubt of involvement in a coup attempt. IBB, as he became well known, was urbane, a wa-zo-bia man, brilliant, hardworking, generous and very friendly. More than any other Nigeria Commander-in-Chief he attracted to his government the best resource persons a country can boast. The amiable General is ever in his elements when in company of other stars. This is very much unlike a certain President who had a complex, and thus had an attitude problem. This we saw in the rudeness of the language of the President when not in his comfort zone. General Babangida had all the makings to have transformed Nigeria for good, as Generals Mustapha Kemal Ataturk did in Turkey and Park Chung-Lee did for South Koreans. The General started well until he allowed himself to be derailed by a combination of unrighteous influences, one of which Aso Rock exudes. Some of us IBB’s close advisers were hurt by the missed opportunity. Thus the rest is now history. It is important that note is taken of our conscientious objection, as our fears were in fact proved right by the annulment of Nigeria’s freest and fairest elections. There was indeed, a direct causative linkage between the abuses of military powers which we opposed, and the June 12, 1993, Presidential election annulment.

Akinyemi, an officer who predicted the future Major Akinyemi was reputed for being an officer who saw tomorrow. He was one of the few officers that had strong premonitions about the dangers that would accompany the exploitation of a country’s national security agencies by a cabal of senior army officers for their own political-economic ends. As he had foreseen, the armed forces had, by the beginning of the 90s been taken hostage by a conspiratorial group of coup plotters. I knew this as I was also a plotter, however a plotter not against a democratically elected government but against a regime of unelected military rulers who wanted to perpetuate themselves, or their agents, in power forever. At the background of all these unwelcome developments was Major Akinyemi, a consummate military officer. His passion for soldiering had no bounds. This may account for why his nickname in his Government College, Ibadan days’ Carter, become Sergeant

•The late Akinyemi

Akinyemi: The unsung hero By Tony Nyiam

TRIBUTE Carter. Major Akinyemi was also passionate about how the armed forces should be used in support of duly elected civilian authority. This was especially for a democratically elected government which realises that its primary mission is for the betterment of the lives of ordinary Nigerians.

Incarcerated for his struggle against Abacha’s dictatorial rule Major Akinyemi’s second incarceration, alongside General Olusegun Obasanjo, was by the most authoritarian of Nigeria’s dictators, General Sanni Abacha. It was during this incarceration that Akin’s tall and good looking body was literally sacrificed for his consistent stance against oppressive rule. Akin’s body was, like that of General Shehu Musa Yar’Adua, injected with a poisonous virus.

Injection of Akin with a chronic diseasecausing virus Major Akinyemi was held in captivity in the most unpleasant prison in Nigeria. This was because the prison location, Bama, is in one of the hottest and driest parts of Nigeria. One can only imagine what the son of the rich green Ifewara noble family would have first felt in this semi desert north-easternmost town. It was in Bama Prison that the notorious Doctor Death, Colonel Ibrahim Yakassai and his sadistic medical team, forcefully injected Major Akinyemi with a chronic disease-causing virus. The evil team’s first approach was under the pretext of injecting prisoners against communicable diseases, which were common in prisons. Major Akinyemi did approach at least one member of the Justice Chukwudife Oputa Panel to lay his complaint. I am informed that His Eminence, Bishop Hassan Kukah did at the time counsel Akinloye. I do pray to confirm this meeting between the two wise-men when again I see the man of God.

Shell-shocked from excruciating torture Prior to the injection of Major Akinloye Akinyemi’s body with the poisonous virus,

he was many times subjected to terrible sessions of excruciating torture. He occasionally after such terrible sessions of torture, became shell-shocked. It was these occasions of looking confused that led a few superficial observers to think my dear comrade was, at times, of unsound mind. Such was the price Akinloye paid for you and me. Major Akinloye Akinyemi was not subjected to any undue torture in his first incarceration during General Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida’s regime. Thanks to General Tanko Ayuba, and even General Babangida, who ensured that the kind of inhuman experiences the Abacha regime’s goons subjected officers to did not take place. General Sanni Abacha was, at a point, isolated from knowing what was going on in the prisons and detention centres, in his name. General Musa Shehu Yar’Adua and Major Akinloye Akinyemi were tortured so many times for information. Being unable to break the spirit of these two fine officers, the goons then decided to finish them off by poisoning them. Both General Shehu Yar’ Adua and Major Akinyemi were used as guinea pigs of the Abacha regime’s biological warfare experiments. The difference between the two victims of the sadistic trials was that Akin’s body survived longer. Pastor Akinyemi’s faith in Christ Jesus, and the putting of the faith into action, enabled him to live for over 10 years after the poisoning of his physiological system. There are some similarities of faith-in-action between the experiences of Akin and another hero, the late publisher of The Guardian Newspaper, Alex Ibru. He too, because of his strong faith, endured for over 10 years after the trauma of being shot by Abacha’s boys. It was during the extra years added to Akin’s terrestrial existence that he had the fortune of reaching a better understanding of Jesus’ teaching. Credit for this must go to the Redeemed Christian Church, under the able and humble shepherd, General Overseer Enoch Adejare Adeboye. Why, it may be asked, was Akinloye Akinyemi jailed for a second time even when he had been retired from military service? Akin was incarcerated for being part of an underground special forces’ cell which operated within Nigeria. The operational efforts of Major Akinyemi, and other pro-democracy forces who operated covertly in Nigeria, were of immense importance. Their guerrilla war efforts complemented those of us in the unconventional military wing of the National Democratic Coalition (NADECO) operating from abroad.

Remembering others who fought alongside Akinyemi Let me use this opportunity to remember others who directly or indirectly contributed to the guerrilla operations against General Sanni Abacha and his goons. The contributors could be categorised as follows:

The home front Major Akinloye Akinyemi, Lt Col M. A.

‘Majors Akinyemi and Orkar were my younger friends. The trio of us could be described as being part of a cadre of rising star officers close to the then Military President’

Ajayi and the likes of the late Kudirat Abiola, late David Falaye, the Chairman of Shell Production workers who was murdered by Abacha’s boys, President and Secretary of NUPENG, late Kojo Aganmene and Chief Frank Kokori respectively, Gani Fawehinmi, Femi Falana (SAN), Barrister Debo Adeleke, Mr Martin Egbejule, the veteran journalists: Bayo Onanuga, Senator Babafemi Ojudu, Dele Alake, Professor G. G. Darah, Osa Director, Pini Jason, Alfred Lanre, Dare Babarinsa, Nosa Igiebor, Dapo Olorunyomi, Kunle Ajibade, Obiora Chukwumba, Chris Anyanwu, Tunji Bello, Ben Charles-Obi, Segun Adeniyi, George Mbah, Yemi Ogunbiyi, Sunday Dare, Seyi Kehinde, Soji Omotunde, Ohi Alegbe, etc, and the civil society activist, Mallam Shehu Sanni. The home front participants list goes on to include Brigadier Raji (a former Corps Commander of the Army Engineers), Lt Col Okiki, Engineer Rauf Aregbesola, Olisa Agbakoba (SAN), Mrs Ayo Obe, Pat Utomi, Abdul Oroh, Prof Itse Sagay, Olusegun Maiyegun, Barrister Femi Fani Kayode, Dr Frederick Faseun, Prince Rotimi Obadofin, Otunba Gani Adams, Wale Adeoye, Debo Adeniran, Colonels R. S. B. Bello Fadile and Olu Craig, Dr. Amos Akingba, Asiwaju Tinubu’s long time driver Alhaji Mustapha and the late Chief M.K.O’s driver, who also drove Chief Anthony Enahoro when he returned from exile, (nicknamed June 12) who, with many others, operated underground in Nigeria. Dr. Akingba and his lovely family, it should be noted, offered their palatial mansion in Ikeja to be the headquarters of one of the most effective cells of the covert operations. There was the indirect support of the likes of former Governor Gbenga Daniel, General Zamani Lekwot; the late former Military Governor of Adamawa State, Colonel Yohanna Madaki; Colonel Dangiwa Umar and the former elected Governor of Kaduna State, Alhaji Balarabe Musa.

From abroad The late Chief Aka Bashorun, Senator Bola Tinubu, Professor Bolaji Akinyemi, Hon Wale Osun, Olorogun Great Ogboru, Dr Kayode Fayemi and his able wife, now the First Lady of Ekiti State, Bisi Fayemi; Dr John Filani, the veteran journalists: Chuks Iloegbunam, Dele Momodu, Dr Femi Folorunsho, Patrick Smith of African Confidential, William Keeling (Financial Times, London), Ike Okonta, Patrick Wilmot, Odia Ofeimun, Doyin Iyiola, cartoonist Bisi Ogunbadejo, Dayo Richie Johnson and George Noah; Senators Tokunbo Afikuyomi and Musa Adede; Mr Bolu Atijosan, Dr Olaokun Soyinka, Comrades Oluwide Baba Omojola and Biodun Sowemimo Anthony Akinola, Idowu Babatunde, the beautiful and intelligent Miss Edenma Udoh, Senator Rasheed Ladoja, etc, operated from the United Kingdom as a base. Senate President David Mark, Senator Tunde Ogbeha, and a former senior officer of the Directorate of Military Intelligence, Colonel (Dr) Isaac Nnonah, also played their parts in their own ways. What was, however, most ironic about the case of General David Mark was that his personal experience, immediately after Abacha took over power, could (if one allegation were true) be likened to the case of a hunter becoming himself the hunted. Let us see if there is any lesson to be learnt from this figurative-analogy. This is important, as Major Akinyemi’s second and most disastrous incarceration would have most likely not taken place if Chief MKO had been allowed to govern. The allegation is that General David Mark was indeed one of the key members of the caucus (what in Yoruba may be described as egbe ke gbe) who prevailed on IBB to annul the presidential election victory of one of his best buddies’, Chief MKO Abiola. The episode is reminiscent of a Fulani adage that when digging a grave in a far and deserted place to bury someone you have murdered, do not make the grave too deep. This is just in case you fall into it yourself, after you have managed to finish digging. From the United States of America were the useful contributions of Professors Segun Gbadegesin, Niyi Osundare and Bayo Williams, Major Debo Bashorun, the wife of Professor Wole Soyinka, Adefolake, the wife of Senator Bola Tinubu, the now deservedly distinguished Senator Oluremi Tinubu; the present National Security Adviser (NSA), Col Sambo Dasuki and Chief Ralph Obiora. •Nyiam is a retired Colonel. •To be continued



The Midweek Magazine Tate/GTBank’s Across the board for launch



HE art project, the brainchild of GTBank and Tate Modern, London will launch Across the board: Politics of Representation, Tate Modern in London, on November 24. It will feature a day of performances by Nigeria’s Otobong Nkanga and Angola’s Nastio Mosquito. Deputy Director of Tate Modern Mr Alex Beard, who was in the country with the Marketing Director, Mr Marc Sands, said in Lagos last weekend that the project would be taken to Accra, Douala and Lagos. It will run till 2014. He said next month, the event, which will include discussion session, is expected to attract contributors who would examine issues of cultural identity. He noted that in Douala, Cameroon, the event would hold next year and focus on public space/public sphere in the Spring, next year, the Accra leg of the event is expected to address issues such as institution building. Beard said interdisciplinary practice would

•Sands, Beard and Odedina By Ozolua Uhakheme Assistant Editor (Arts)

LAUNCH be the theme of discussion at the Lagos event holding in 2014. He stressed that each city would determine the format of presentation

but that formats such as dialogue, debate and social media would be considered. Across the board is an extended collaboration and experimental platform featuring African artists and exploring recent practices in the continent. It constitutes a pioneering and challenging approach to cultural partnership whilst complimenting Tate’s collect-

ing activities. General Manager and Head, Communication and External Affairs of GT Bank, Lola Odedina said the three main purposes of the projects are the creation of a platform to engage with local art scenes and its protagonists, curators, artists, scholars and institutions; enhancement of Tate’s collecting activities and to generate new dynamic and experimental types of programming at Tate. On the need to support art schools, Odedina said the bank would need the assistance and guidance of the artists’ body in determining the collective needs of the artists. Last year, GT Bank announced a partnership between it and Tate, which includes the creation of a dedicated curatorial post at Tate Modern to focus on African art, an Acquisition Fund to enable the gallery enhance its holdings of work by African artists and an annual project. Consequently, a curator, Elvira Dyangani Ose was appointed early last November curating the GT Bank project for Tate as well as contributing towards building the collection and the Tate programmes. Also, Contested Terrains, the first exhibition project from the partnership was held between July and November last year at Tate featuring four artists working in Africa exploring and subverting narratives about the past and present. Nigeria’s Adolphus Okpara, Kader Attia, Sammy Baloji and Michael MacGary were the exhibiting artists.

A concert for national peace


HE atmosphere was tense. There was pin-drop silence as tears rolled down the cheeks of guests. Some shook their heads in grief as they listened and watched. It was no funeral but the presentation of the album, A Cry for Peace, by the group, Wonderful Destinies, at the Golden Tulip, FESTAC, Lagos. “The album is a message of peace, inspired by God and written by our Mama, Dr Precious Onwuzurike, the founder of Save the Child of Destiny Foundation. Through it, we are crying to God to heal our land and give us peace. It is also for everybody because we need peace in this nation and as children for us to survive,” said the group leader, Joy Ochanya (12). The five-track album, currently available in video format only, is a cultural cum political album. The group features orphans aged between seven and 12 years. The peace album was born under the auspices of Save the Child of Destiny Foundation. The event was chaired by the ace filmmaker Amayo Uzo Philip. It was also attended by the Assistant Director, Programmes, NTA, Mrs Helen Oduleye; the founder/ former National President, Association of Movie Journalists (AMF), Mr Stanley Okoronkwo and Nollywood actress, Chioma Okoye, among others. The children treated guests to several heartrending songs from their album. The performance of the hit track, Heal our land was particularly touching. It was so emotive that Amayo recounted: “I wept in my hotel room •Continued from page 26

•The Wonderful Destinies on stage By Evelyn Osagie

LAUNCH the first time I watched it. Watching them perform live has brought tears to my eyes, seeing these talents with such a deep message shows there is hope for our great nation. It is a song that has come at a time in our

nation because we need peace. People call them orphans, others say they are the dreg of the society; but I have never heard a more inspirational album like the one recorded by these children,” he said. And so, in the spirit of Nigeria’s independence, while acting on stage some scenes from the album, the group cried to the almighty God and Nigerians for peace in the land.

For orphans, widows, she gives her all

woman knows if, when or how she would become a widow. They do not demand for much. Once a woman has what it takes to feed, clothe and send the children to school, she is satisfied. And any little help you can give them would go a long way. The government should reach out more to these people and structures to really cater for them in a more practical sense,” she said. And so, the foundation also works on their psyche, educating and encouraging them to come out of their shells and face life as they should, according to her. She is also against the exploitation of others under the guise of ‘NGO’. She said: “Because of people faking to care for others while exploiting them, others are finding it hard to trust and support NGOs. But there are still good and dedicated ones committed to God and the cause of humanity. I have always said anyone who cheats these ones would have to answer to God Himself. Let the partners come! My greatest desire is that to see my people (widows and children) needs met.”

My experience Behind her keen campaign is a personal experience. “As a young widow, my mother-inlaw also suffered hardship, ill-treatment and discrimination. My husband trained himself to secondary school and high school. That is why he does not like seeing people cry, especially from hunger because he also suffered as a child growing up without his father. It has made him a calm and easy-going person,” she said.

Discovering talents Oftentimes great talents, according to Mrs Onwuzurike, hide under the skins of the dregs of society. “From afar off, some people often think orphans lack ambition. When one is hungry, he/she is angry. Go closer, you will find the children have great talents and potentials. Those in the foundation are examples of many out there. At their ages, they

know what’s right. And by the grace of God, we have discovered some inborn talents in them like singing. And so, the group, Wonderful Destines, was born. They are out with a video-album. It was launched recently. Watching the video and listening to them perform; you won’t believe they have never been in showbiz before. They have been very committed and disciplined. They learnt the songs and dance steps here for weeks. “They understand the spirit behind the album – peace. They saw it as an opportunity to cry to God for the peace of the nation and have since taken it a burden believing peace would reign through their songs. That is what actually gave birth to the theme song, The Cry for Peace. When we came up with the prayer-song Heal Our Land, they suggested the crying aspect, saying “we are going to cry”. And they did it without faking it. Through these songs, we are calling for peace. Those who missed the album-launch will have an opportunity to watch them perform live in December during the Save Child Foundation Christmas Party,” she said.

Moved by the constant bloodshed and chaotic situation across the country, the children chose to add their voice to the national peace campaign, according to the project initiator, Dr. Precious Onwuzuruike. But the presentation was not all an emotional affair. Decked in colourful traditional attires, the Wonderful Destinies also thrilled guests to patriotic songs like Nigeria Must Survive, God has Blessed Nigeria and others. Others alongside members of the foundation came dressed in the colour of the Nigerian flag – green white green. They also treated guests to dramatic performances entitled: No More Tears and… Okoye praised the children, saying: “It is a laudable project that is why I am identifying and endorsing it. It is not every day you see children like these who are ready to inspire people.” According to Mrs Onwuzuruike, the album is meant to showcase the talent of the children. The videos, she said, would soon hit the screens across the land. “My dream is that these children would become a national phenomenon and that this message of peace will reach every home and place. It is no more news that Nigeria is in dire need for peace not with all the violent killings and bombings going on. “And because we, at Save the Child of Destiny Foundation, understand what it means to lose a parent or both or loved ones, we believe that if peace is to be achieved all hands must be on deck. Have we in anyway encouraged, stirred or sponsored violence, the Wonderful Destinies are saying STOP! It is time to make a U-TURN to the way of peace. Whether you are a leader or a follower, it begins with you: PLAY your role well.”


THE NATION WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 10, 2012 NLNG is one of the biggest success stories in our country. From what I am told, the company has invested $13 billion so far since inception, and has become a pacesetter in terms of revenue generation for the government. -Minister of Trade and Investment, Dr Olusegun Aganga



Forecasts Profit after tax N590.797m NIGER INSURANCE Gross Premium N2.73b Profit after tax N212.95m MUTUAL BENEFITS Gross Premium N2b Profit N885.633m REGENCY ALLIANCE Gross Premium N812.596m Profit after tax N256.437m LEARN AFRICA Turnover N1.06b Profit after tax N58.336m TOTAL Nigeria Turnover N46.676 b Profit after tax N942.1m MRS OIL Nigeria Turnover N51.20b Profit after tax N712 m ETERNA Turnover N27.64b Profit after tax N563.834m OKOMU OIL PALM Turnover N2.667b Profit after tax N1.044b STANBIC IBTC BANK Net Operating Income N16.805b Profit after tax N2.737b ASL Turnover N1.084b Profit after tax N101.355m GT ASSURANCE Gross Premium N3.892b Profit after tax N710.62m CORNERSTONE INS Gross Premium N1.223b Profit after tax N80.01m OASIS INS Gross Premium N562.500m Profit after tax N79.868m AFRICAN ALLIANCE INS Gross Premium N1.215b Profit after tax N107.213m BERGER PAINTS Turnover N976.303m Profit after tax N88.258m SCOA Nigeria Turnover N835.0m Profit after tax N18.200m DANGOTE SUGAR REFINERY Turnover N38.251b Profit after tax N3.49b STUDIO PRESS NIG Turnover N3.375b Profit after tax N20.422m JULIUS BERGER NIG Turnover N80.125b Profit after tax N2.55b INTERCONTINENTAL WAPIC INS Gross Premium N1.41b Profit after tax N250.450m EQUITY ASSURANCE Gross Premium N2.45b Profit after tax N287.283m STANDARD ALLIANCE INS Gross Premium N2.142b Profit after tax N475.964m C O N T I N E N T A L REINSURANCE Gross Premium N6.917b Profit after tax N805m PRESCO Turnover N2.60b Profit after tax N800.9m RT BRISCOE Turnover N4.553b

‘SMS lottery can generate N150b yearly’

F properly harnessed, lotteries promoted through the short message service (SMS) sector could generate about N150 billion annually as revenue, while the point of sale (PoS) lottery, could add N161 billion to the coffers of the Federal Government annually, the National Lottery Regulatory Commission (NLRC), has said. NLRC’sDirector-Genera, Peter Igho, who dicsclosed this in Lagos, however, lamented that telecoms operators, over the years, hide under the licence issued by the telecoms sector regulator, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) to engage in lottery under the guise of doing promo. He said the end has finally come for such practices as the two regulatory bodies have closed ranks and recently signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to synergise their activities. He said the NLRC which commissioned a study into the potential of the lottery sub-sector, discovered that it was one big goldmine that has yet to be tapped, stressing that over the next five years, the use of mobile phones to play lottery will increase tremen-


By Lucas Ajanaku

dously, while more operators will conduct SMS-based lotteryies. “In Nigeria, the full potential of lottery is yet to be appreciated, let alone tapped. Recently, the NLRC commissioned experts to study the business of lottery and the submission of the survey is as incredible as it is intimidating. If properly explored and prudently managed, lottery can fetch a princely N350 billion annually to the coffers of the federal government…From SMS lottery alone, we can generate as much as N150billion. Then, regular lottery itself, I mean the point of sale lottery, if fully developed, has the

potential of about N161 billion annually,” Igho said. At a Mobile Marketing Conference convened in Lagos last year, it was revealed that 91 per cent of mobile phone owners keep the device within one metre 24 hours daily and 365 days per year while 60 per cent take them to bed. It was also discovered that it takes an average of 68 minutes to report the loss of a phone while, according to Nokia survey of 5500 people in eleven countries, 33 per cent of users would rather lose their wallet than lose their phones. In yet another global survey, 20 per cent of phone users would prefer losing a wedding ring to losing their while it was discovered

that phone users look at the phone more than 150 times a day. With this power of the mobile phone, he said SMS-based lottery would be encouraged because partcipiants can stay in the comfort their homes and play without being streotyped, ensure security and confidentiality of players, payments are not publicised while it ensures a new revenue stream to operators and ensures servie innovation. He said if the lottery sector is well developed, its impact will be felt in the area of reduction in unemployment, significant increase in gross domestic product (GDP), enhancement and creation of social amenities and improvement of existing infrastructure.

Institute seeks EIA on Eko Atlantic City By Okwy Iroegbu-Chikezie Asst Editor


HE Nigeria Institute of Town Planners (NITP) has criticised the lack of openness surrounding the report of Environmental impact Assessment (EIA) on Eko Atlantic City. The Chairman of NITP, Mr. Makinde Ogunleye, who spoke with The Nation in Lagos, criticised the secrecy surrounding the Environmental impact Assessment (EIA) report on Eko Atlantic City. The Lagos State Government has been under fire from environmentalists, other experts and stakeholders. They attribute the recent flooding at Kuramo Beach to the ongoing construction of Eko Atlantic City, a city built on water. The antagonists of the city berated the government for failing to prepare the EIA in the country and also for not displaying report of the EIA for relevant stakeholders to study and make contributions in line with relevant environment regulations and laws. Ogunleye said: “As an institute, we ask that the environmental impact statement (EIS) and the environmental impact assessment (EIA) for the Eko Atlantic City be made available to us to be able to determine the probable impact of the new city on the surrounding areas and the metropolis and offer mitigation.” He noted that it was unfair for such vital information to be withheld from relevant stakeholders who might need to process it for the use of the public.

Banks raise daily ATM withdrawal limit - P 30

• From left: Former Chair, Section Business NBA, George Etomi; CEO, Financial Derivatives Nigeria Limited, Bismark Rewane; Senior Payment Systems Expert in the payment systems development group of the World Bank, Ceu Pereira, at the Nigeria Transiting to a Cashless society posibilities and challenges conference held at Lagos Oriental Hotel, Lekki.


Inadequate funding stalls gas projects, says NNPC boss


HE Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Andrew Yakubu, has said that inadequate allocation of funds to the corporation stalled the execution of eight gas projects it proposed to be accomplished this year. He said in 2012, a budget request proposal of $1.05 billion was made to facilitate the construction of some gas infrastructure; however, an appropriation of $490 million was finally made by the National Assembly, an amount which is less than 50 per cent of the request. Yakubu spoke when the Senate Committee on Gas Resources visited the corporation on an oversight function. He said despite the paucity of funds, the corporation was able to implement nine key gas infrastructure projects through 2011/12. “Due to funding shortfall, an additional eight projects remain unfunded. These will be the focus for 2013 budget,” he added. He said as part of a creative strategy to accelerate these projects, a pub-

•Senate applauds corporation By Emeka Ugwuanyi

lic private partnership is being developed to augment the envisaged funding from the Federal Government. According to the Acting Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division, NNPC, Mr Fidel Pepple, the Senate Committee gave high marks to the management of the NNPC for its effort at implementing key gas infrastructure projects across the country, which has witnessed a significant leap in power supply due to the availability of gas supply to power plants. He said the chairman and leader of the delegation, Senator Nkechi Nwaogu, expressed satisfaction with the contributions of the corporation in ensuring adequate gas supply to power plants as well as to industries. She said: “On the whole and in general I think the 2012 budget of the NNPC has been reasonably complied with and implemented. We saw the

Q4: Capital gains may increase by N1tr, say experts - P32

documentation. From what I saw today and what we saw as a committee, we are encouraged. We are impressed and we are delighted. What we need to do is to consistently follow-up to ensure that they do not start on a good note and derail partway, which is the function of the National Assembly oversight activities.” In his presentation, Yakubu stated that within the appropriation period of 2011/12, gas infrastructure focus has been prioritised around critical pipeline expansions and additions to serve stranded power plants, especially along the Escravos Lagos Pipelines (ELPS). “Very significant progress was made with these projects leading to gas deliverability improvement to Geregu, Olorunshogo, Omotosho and Sapele power plants. In total, an addition of about 250mmscf/d of gas has been enabled towards improved power generation over the period as a result of infrastructure development,” he said.

‘Insurance contributes only 0.7% to GDP’ - P 34




Banks raise daily ATM withdrawal limit S

OME banks have increased the limit of cash withdrawals from their Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) from N100,000 to N150,000 daily, The Nation has learnt. Their action may not be unconnected with the confidence gained on sucurity of the platform. Diamond Bank informed its customers that it has increased the withdrawal limit, but did not give reasons for its action. Findings showed that other banks, including GTBank and United Bank for Africa (UBA) and implement the new benchmark, sometimes on request. Many bank customers wel-

Stories by Collins Nweze

comed the move, saying it would not only save them time from visiting ATMs’ frequently, but also reduce the commission they pay for cash withdrawals, which is tied to the number of transactions. Some said they believed that banks should set even higher withdrawal limits. A customer, Michael Obinna, said the increased limit gives him more opportunity not to queue in banking halls trying to withdraw huge cash, adding that banks can actually raise the limits further, as security of the device is improving. Another customer, Biodun

Aremu, said ATM has reduced the cost of banking operations, urging banks to drop the N100 charge by some banks on other lenders’ cards. He said deducting excessive charges on use of ATMs diminishes the gains of the device. Findings showed that the action, became exigent after the introduction of chip and pin payment cards which drastically reduced fraud in electronic payments. The cards, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) said, have led to 99 per cent drop in ATM card related fraud. The CBN said it has assisted in the building secured technology that makes it difficult for fraudsters to hack into customers’ transac-

‘Credit bureaux ’ll reduce loan default’


HE services of credit bureaux are central to reducing the rate of non-performing loans, the Bank Director Associaton of Nigeria (BDAN) has said. BDAN’s President, Sonny Kuku, said the bureaux would complement the on-going banking reforms of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), adding that the increased use of services of credit bureaux will enable banks to create cleaner balance sheets. He said: “We have devoted the 2012 edition of the annual BDAN Stakeholders Forum to examine the linkage between credit bureaux and the banking industry, thus we have chosen the theme of the 2012 edition to be, ‘How Banks can leverage on Credit Bureax Services to accelerate growth.’ Kuku said experiences of other countries showed that credit bureaux offer services, which if properly harnessed, can reduce banking sector crisis and facilitate industry growth. Banks, he said, should also tap into the opportunities offered by

credit bureaux by ensuring that top decision makers are acquainted with them opportunities, thereby promoting the use of credit bureaux services. The association’s scribe, Yemi Idowu, said banks’ primary focus is growth, having overcome the challenges of the global financial crises, that led to the liquidation of some of their counterparts across the world. He said the group’s focus is not only how to achieve growth, but sustainable growth, assisted by services of credit bureaux. Idowu said the prevalence of non-performing loans constitute a major setback for banks, which could be addressed by the use of credit bureaux. “There is the need for industry mechanism to address this problem. With credit bureaus, the problem of non-performing loans will be minimised and nipped in the bud,” he said, adding that while the role of the Asset Management Company of Nigeria (AMCON) is critical in taking over non-performing loans of banks, the

tions, especially with the migration to EMV (Europay, MasterCard and VISA) which are more secured platform needed to prevent frauds. Its Deputy Governor, Operations, Tunde Lemo, who spoke on the sideline at a seminar organised by the Committee of E-Banking Industry Heads (CeBIH) in Lagos, said the bank and other relevant institutions have been able to reduce card fraud drastically. “The ATM Fraud Prevention Group convened earlier this year, has successfully driven down ATM fraud incidences by 99 per cent. It has enabled the introduction of the more secure chip and pin cards, versus the magnetic

stripe cards that were formerly used in the industry. The success of this group, has demonstrated practically what can be achieved as an industry when we work together to address issues, for the good of the system and the public at large,” he said. ATM, which was introduced into Nigeria in 1989, has changed the face of electronic payment. The first ATM was installed by the National Cash Registers (NCR) that for the defunct Societe Generale Bank Nigeria (SGBN) in 1989. There is hardly any bank that has not adopted today technology because of its cost effectiveness.

Revenue chief advocates harmonisation of tax laws

A •Kuku

services of credit bureaux will however, ensure that the level of loan default is reduced. He explained that while AMCON is curative, the credit bureaux subsector is preventative, stating that BDAN wants banks to focus more on the services of credit bureaux, so as to achieve an improved credit culture in the country. The Forum, which is scheduled to hold in November, will feature a keynote address by the CBN Governor, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi.

Director at the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Samuel Ogungbesan, has called for the harmonisation and coordination of all tax legislations and their codification into one supreme document. Doing so, he said, means putting all tax issues on the same page. “Without this, there will always be uncertainty in the law and the implementation thereof. When a country has clear laws, it makes it easier for companies to want to come and invest because they know that there is certainty, fairness and trust between themselves and the law,’ Ogungbesan said at the Ernst & Young tax conference, held in South Africa. He said large multinational companies contribute 80 per cent to the country’s revenue and occupy only three per cent of the existing business space. This, he said, emphasises the need to strengthen the Transfer Pricing (TP) laws, as tax administrations are aware that effective transfer pricing rules are key to ensuring that multinationals report and pay tax on the correct proportion of profits they make. He disclosed that Nigeria has released the TP regulations and would soon be signed off by the Federal Minister of Finance and the Attorney-General for it to become law. The FIRS Director, also called for reforms in the Nigerian tax system to enhance stability of the sector. He said the FIRS is re-engineering Nigeria’s tax systems to ensure there is transparency, understanding and certainty on legislation and practice when doing business

in the country. He explained that tax matters need to be made easy to administer, given the important role they play in the economic and national development of the country. “We need to increase our tax base and have an extensively high measure of predictability in order to attract investments,’ he said, in a statement. He said Nigeria, with its 37 state tax authorities, still has a lot to learn on taxation. However, he explained that Nigerian tax system has undergone significant changes in recent times, with the laws being reviewed for simplicity. He said a new National Tax policy has been drafted, awaiting government’s approval. “The policy, which will be enforced by the Federal Ministry of Finance, calls for standardisation between tax law and practice across all tiers of government. It also provides for exchange of information and statistics across all spheres in order to keep tabs on taxpayers, “he said. The policy, he stated, will facilitate coordination between all agencies of government and harmonise the laws and practices across State Internal Revenue Boards. On the rationale for the conference, Abass Adeniji, Partner, Tax, Ernst & Young, said the annual event was designed to showcase the firm’s strength and expertise as well as integration to its existing and potential clients, globally. According to him, Africa Tax Conference provides an opportunity to demonstrate how connected Ernst & Young is as a single firm through- out the sub area.

CIBN, regulators collaborate •From left: President, Association of Asset Custodians of Nigeria, Segun Sanni; Vice-President, Kemi Adewole and Publicity Secretary, Toyin Sanni at the Annual General Meeting of the association in Lagos.

LCCI worries about influx of short-term investors


HE increasing number of short-term investors bringing in “hot money” is a risk for exchange rate volatility, the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) has said. In a statement, LCCI President Goodie Ibru said the risk of sudden reversal or pull-out of such funds would adversely affect price and financial market stability. “Hot money” refers to funds that are controlled by investors who actively seek short-term returns. Ibru said there has been a steady

decline in aggregate credit to the economy and the private sector, adding that the aggregate net credit by banks to the domestic economy fell by 2.7 per cent and 0.1 per cent in the first and second quarters of the year. This, he said, was largely due to the sustained monetary tightening, significant rise in government domestic borrowing, attractive yield of government bonds and treasury bills. “The tight monetary policy stance continues to keep funds out

of the reach of the private sector. With the planned issue of Treasury Bills to absorb all maturing securities in the fourth quarter, liquidity is expected to remain tighter with the private sector at the receiving end,” he said, adding that in the last nine months, industrialists have seen a steady decline in discretionary spending by households and firms, weaker uptake from suppliers and distributors and softer operating performance, among consumer goods companies.


HE Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN) is partnering with key stakeholders and institutions to ensure that the banking sector attains the highest level of professionalism. A statement from the Institute said it would continue to partner with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), and Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to ensure that bankers do their work diligently. The Institute also said it was partnering with Unity Bank Plc and other government and private bodies within and outside the country to take the Institute and the banking profession to greater heights. The President/Chairman of Council of the Institute, Mr Segun Aina, stressed the need to partner

with relevant stakeholders on capacity building and training of staff in the banking industry as well as other sectors of the economy in order to enable the country realise her millennium goals aspiration. Aina spoke during the Institute’s dialogue with key stakeholders in Abuja. He urged EFCC, CBN and Unity Bank to engage the services of the CIBN Practice Licence holders and other well experienced professional bankers for their consultancy services, debt recovery, forensic audit, training and other services. Aina asked EFCC to support the establishment of commercial courts to fast-track cases involving banks and their customers as well as enforce the Dud Cheque Offences Act to checkmate dud cheque crimes.




PMIs in merger bids to beat Fed Govt’s claims on GDP faulted recapitalisation deadline T P RIMARY Mortgage Institutions (PMIs) are considering mergers and acquisitions to beat the April 2013 deadline to recapitalise their operations, The Nation has learnt. Other plans include approaching the capital market for funds to execute capital projects and for recapitalisation. The development is necessary to enable PMIs that wish to operate at the national level raise their capital base from N100 million to N5 billion; those seeking to play at the states’ level must have N2.5 billion before the deadline expires. According to operators, the step will enable the banks consolidate their businesses, compete favourably, and avoid being axed by CBN. Managing Director, Skyfield Savings & Loans Limited Mr Kola Abdul said mergers and acquisitions have become necessary to enable the PMIs get fresh capital for their operations. Abdul said mortgage banks can only work efficiently when they have enough capital at their disposal, adding that negotiations are on-going among the banks to merge their operations and get the needed capital before 2013. Mortgage banks, he said, are not looking at their sizes with regards

Stories by Akinola Ajibade

to mergers and acquisitions, arguing that the ultimate is meeting the deadline. He said: “The smaller mortgage banks need to merge with the bigger ones, in view of the recapitalisation deadline. The CBN has provided a flexible recapitalisation regime by directing the firms to either play at the state or national level. Therefore, the issue of merger is a welcome development that would foster the growth of the sub-sector. There is no way mergers and acquisitions would not take place under the present dispensation.” According to him, the issue of continuous devaluation of the naira has watered down the local currency and the operational capital of the mortgage institutions. “The required capital to set up a mortgage firm has become low due to the instability of the foreign exchange market. What a mortgage firm is holding in its vault to meet operational demands is nothing now. N200 million is nothing when the sub-sector is expected to finance big-ticket transactions for the growth of the economy. Often times, when you finance mortgages, you get locked to bad foreign exchange regime. To finance another one becomes a problem.“

He said mortgage banks are contributing less than one per cent to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), adding that its contributions would increase after the banks have pooled their capital base in the name of mergers and acquisitions. Abdul said PMIs would become functional at the secondary market in line with the CBN’s recapitalisation order. The Executive Secretary of Mortgage Banking Association of Nigeria (MBAN), Mr Kayode Omotoso, said mortgage institutions would approach the capital market to source for funds. Omotoso said apart from raising funds from the capital market, there would be mergers and acquisitions as well as takeovers in the mortgage banking sector in the coming months. “There would be mergers, there would be acquisitions, there would be takeovers, there would be strategic investments and there would be efforts to go to the capital market for the mortgage banks to meet up with the recapitalisation deadline. More mortgage banks will approach the capital market to raise equity while the sector itself will approach the capital market to raise equity, hybrid and long term debt instrument to finance home ownership,” he added.

HE Federal Government's claims that the Gross Domestic Product(GDP is growing at seven per cent has been faulted by an economist, Mr Wale Oluwo. Oluwo, in an interview, said the figure is contestable, considering the unfavourable indices obtained from certain sectors of the economy. He said the rate of unemployment is high, coupled with the fact that the manufacturing sector is a dire state. Oluwo, who is also a capital market operator, said China in spite of its role as the economic nerve centre of the world, has grown by only 10 per cent. He said: ''I do not trust those numbers. The reason is because if you look at the whole world, you are not likely going to find more than 10 countries growing at seven percent. Even, China that is being celebrated today grows its economy at about 10 per cent." He argued that any country that is growing at seven per cent would be importing employment from other parts of the world because they must have sucked all the employable hands." "Any country that can grow at five per cent for the past five or six years that they said we are growing at seven per cent, that country will even be looking for people to employ from other countries because that country would have sucked all employable people. Then, we will be telling Ghanaians to come and work,'' he added.

‘Credit bureaux facing crisis’


HE Chief Executive Officer, CR Services (Credit Bureau) Plc, Mr Taiwo Ayedun, said problems, such as lack of unique identity cards for borrowers, mistrust, among others, are facing the operations of credit bureaux. Ayedun said the Know Your Customer (KYC) process is a bit expensive for banks to put in place, adding that the development hinder the administration of loans in the industry. He said some banks wanted to give loans to the Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (SMEs) but could not do so because they cannot get information about those borrowers. He said Nigeria needs customer credit, and small business credit, and on top of that the credit bureau system to achieve growth. He said: “I think banks are willing to increase their loan portfolios; they are desirous of lending to small businesses. The problem is that of trust. Lack of unique identity cards for borrower is another problem. The Know Your Customer (KYC) process is a bit expensive for banks.In a recent analysis we compared banks in indonesia, Brazil and South Africa with Nigerian banks in terms of their lending basis and diversification. In Nigeria about 71 per cent of their income comes from lending to corporate organisations. If you are in business and the significant part of your profit is coming from one person that is a big risk. A mono product company is a risky product.”

FirstBank emphasises customers’ welfare


HE Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, FirstBank of Nigeria Plc, Mr Bisi Onasanya, has expressed the bank's readiness to partner with its customers in order to grow their businesses. Speaking at the weekend at a 'Customers Engagement Forum' lined up to celebrate this year’s Customer Service Week, Onasanya said the bank is passionate about its customers progress. He said every successful organisation owes their success to its customers’ patronage and loyalty. He said: "We are keen on getting feedback from them on how to delight them, how we can improve their businesses, how we can partner with them to grow their businesses and make life better for them and made banking fun for them." He said the bank as a pan Nigerian financial institution, saw the need to interact with its customers irrespective of their class, location or vocation, adding that the bank would not have been where it is today without the patronage of its customers. The event saw the bank treating its customers to presentations that highlight new products/services, alternative service delivery channels among others.

Ecobank fetes UNILAG staff By Joseph Eshanokpe •From left: Intel Nigeria Business Development Director, Stanley Muoneke; Country Manager, Olubunmi Ekundare; Channel Marketing Manager, Babajide Olufemi and Chief Operating Officer of Cosse Marketing, Onuora Molokwu, at the launch of Intel’s ‘Create Your Tomorrow’ campaign in Lagos.

Experts hail CBN on banks’ foreign subsidiaries financing


OME financial experts have praised the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) for stopping banks from using their funds to finance foreign subsidiaries. The step, they said, would checkmate fraudulent practices and enhance sanity in the financial system. According to them, the banking sector is overheated and it needs effective measure to restore investors’ confidence in it. Former President, Finance Houses Association of Nigeria, Eddie Osarenkhoe, said the initiative was welcome because it would make credit facilities available in the economy. He said it was regrettable that banks mobilised money from the public and diverted it to run subsidi-

aries at the expense of giving loans to customers. According to him, the funding of bank subsidiaries with public fund has made the financial sector incapable of discharging its financial obligations to the customers. Osarenkhoe said many banks had been hiding under the universal banking system to siphon money for personal use and negatively affected the industry. He said that corruption in the banking sector led to the financial crises in the banks. “The CBN’s ability to implement and enforce the directive will bring sanity and reduce capital flight out of the country,” he said. Also, the President, Associa-

tion of National Accountants of Nigeria (ANAN), Dr Samuel Nzekwesaid the move by CBN would curb money laundering. “The collapse of the capital market was due to actions of the bank executives to divert money and buy shares in the same bank to finance their subsidiaries,” Nzekwe said. He said many bank managers borrowed money from the banks and used them to buy stocks of their subsidiaries and converted them to personal use. Nzekwe said many banks in the country failed to become mega banks because of the lack of capacity to give long term loans to customers and failure to finance their foreign subsidiaries effectively.


HE Ecobank branch of the University of Lagos (UNILAG) has hosted members of the institution’s Staff Club. The branch Manager, Tunji Jayeola, said the bank sponsored the event to socialise with the varsity’s community and use the opportunity to showcase its products. “We should encourage the varsity community to partner with us. We are ever ready to provide excellent services to them. The UNILAG community is very friendly. They should patronise us. We assure them of better services,” he said. Product Manager of the bank, Bayo Osikomaya, introduced some of the bank’s products and services. They include mortgage loan, employee credit and loan for land acquisition and house construction. Prof Azenabor Godwin of the Philosophy Department and, a member of the staff club, praised the bank for its gesture. ”The bank is trying, though it is new in UNILAG. “I see them not as a commercial body, but as a social organisation. Its products touch lives in different ways,” he said, adding that banks should relate with the environment if they want to have impact on the people. President of the club, Dr Alabi Soneye, said though the bank is not the only one on campus, it is trying comparatively. He commended the effort of Ecobank’s branch Manager Jayeola and his staff, adding: “And I say more power to their elbow”. He said the forum gives the club’s members the opportunity to unwind from the pressure of academic work. He welcomed new members. “Our membership is also open to outsiders, once they follow due process. “So, I invite politicians, mass communicators etc to the club,” he said. The Deputy Director, UNILAG’s Distance Learning Centre, Dr Minasu Kuton, said the bank’s gesture was of great support for the club. “They have some of the best services. They are among the best with their good customer relations, friendliness etc. I wish them well. Because they are doing well,” he added. Also at the event were Ecobank’s Area Manager, Mainland 1, Chima Nwafor, senior officials of the bank and Wema Bank as well as dons of the university.




Q4: Capital gains may increase by N1tr, say experts


MPROVED third quarter earnings and expectations of better performance by most quoted companies in the fourth quarter would tickle the stock market to new heights and add almost a trillion naira to investors’ value over the next three months. Investment managers, analysts and market pundits agree the stock market would see a strong consolidation of its continuing recovery in this quarter, with secondary market gains driven by better corporate earnings reports and prospects of higher dividends for 2012. The positive preview for the fourth quarter came on the heels of the market’s most impressive recent quarterly performance in the third quarter, where investors pocketed about N1.4 trillion in capital gains. Aggregate market capitalisation of all equities, which had opened the third quarter at

Stories by Taofik Salako

N6.895 trillion, closed the period at N8.282 trillion. This represented an increase of N1.39 trillion. The All Share Index (ASI)- the benchmark index at the NSE which tracks changes in prices of all equities, jumped from its index on board of 21,599.57 points to end the threemonth period ended September 30, 2012 at 26,011.64 points, an increase of 20.43 per cent. Leading investment and research pundits said while the prospects of profit-taking transactions and the tough macroeconomic environment may fluctuate market pattern; the stock market is skewed for substantial gains during this quarter. Such strong showing will see Nigerian stock market closing 2012 with real inflation adjusted return of nearly 20, per cent, making it the most attractive investment in the securities market for the year. In-

flation rate is currently at 11.7 per cent and many analysts did not expect fluctuation range of more than two per cent. Managing Director, Capital Assets Limited, Mr Ariyo Olushekun, said there would be sustained recovery through the year as demand for Nigerian stocks by foreign investors and discerning Nigerian investors continues to grow. According to him, the general outlook for the market is that of optimism as market operators expect to see more gains by the end of the year. Olushekun, who is also the President of the Chartered Institute of Stockbrokers (CIS), however, stressed the importance of intelligent investing advising investors to seek adequate information before making investment decisions or alternatively invest through mutual funds. Managing Director, Financial

Derivatives Company (FDC) Limited, Mr Bismarck Rewane, said the stock market could gain as much as 10 per cent between October and November as investors shift positions in lower-return fixed-income securities to equities. He pointed out that average stock market liquidity could increase to N3 billion per day with institutional investors rebalancing their portfolios with larger percentages for equities. According to him, fund managers are buying stocks to increase equity exposure in portfolio as yields in fixed income fall and most still see the market as attractive as share prices had been hugely discounted in the past in spite of improvement in corporate earnings. Rewane said corporate earnings projections were indicative of improved results noting that increased efficiency and productivity in the fast moving consumer goods industry and industrial sec-

tors are driving growths. Managing Director, GTI Securities, Mr Tunde Oyekunle, also expressed optimism on the prospects of the market citing concerted efforts by stakeholders. He however cautioned that market performance might be moderated by the general economic outlook of the country. He urged government to pay closer attention to the development of the capital market by providing fiscal and legislative incentives while also using the market as a platform for its cardinal economic programmes such as privatisation and infrastructural financing. In his preview, Managing Director, MBC Securities, Mr Toyin Ayoade, said equities’prices would rise further on the back of third quarter earnings. He said generally positive corporate earnings would further highlight the attractiveness of equities as several equities are still trading below or around their book values.

Indian firm eyes 51% stake in energy sector •To invest N140b


•From left: Executive Director, Citi Bank, Omar Hafeez; President, Africa Export Import Bank, Mr Jean Loius Ekra, Chief Executive Officer, Skye Bank, Mr Kehinde Durosinmi-Etti and Chief Executive Officer, Stanbic IBTC Bank, Mrs. Sola David-Borha, at the signing ceremony for a loan facility for Skye Bank in Lagos.

Global securities regulators move to forestall HE board of the Internacross-border issues associated with tional Organisation of Se- emerging risks Over the Counter (OTC) deriva-


curities Commissions (IOSCO) has stepped up efforts to strengthen the global reform agenda and forestall emerging risks to investors and securities markets. The new constituted board held its maiden meeting last week to assess the progress report on ongoing initiatives and strategise on new initiatives. IOSCO is the umbrella body for securities regulators and it is recognised as the global standard setter for securities regulation. The organisation’s membership regulates more than 95 per cent of the world’s securities markets in 115 jurisdictions. The board of IOSCO consists of 32 securities regulators including securities regulatory authorities of Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Chile, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Italy, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Mexico, Morocco, the Netherlands, Nigeria, Ontario, Pakistan, Portugal, Quebec, Romania, Singapore, South Africa, Spain, Switzerland, Trinidad and Tobago, Turkey, United Kingdom and the United States. Mr. Masamichi Kono, Vice-Commissioner for International Affairs at the Financial Services Agency of Japan (JFSA), chairs the board. IOSCO in a statement said the meeting underscored its commit-

ment to tackling emerging risks to investors and securities markets in a proactive and forward looking way. The meeting also highlighted the benefits of early engagement with stakeholders to provide strategic input for IOSCO’s key role, and underscored the progress IOSCO is making on enhancing cross border co-operation. The board reassured on IOSCO‘s commitment to meet deadlines on work mandated by the G20 Leaders and the Financial Stability Board (FSB) on regulatory reform and also took a number of key decisions on work in a number of areas. The meeting approved recommendations on the regulation of Money Market Funds and Oil Price Reporting Agencies while agreement was also reached on next steps regarding IOSCO’s Report on the Credit Default Swap Market. It was also agreed that IOSCO’s work in relation to identifying systemically important hedge funds, collective investments and market intermediaries would be coordinated with a view to meeting G20 deadlines set for joint work by FSB and IOSCO later this year. The meeting underscored the importance of cooperation among member jurisdictions to address

tives regulatory reforms in key jurisdictions and noted the importance of IOSCO’s role in monitoring implementation of OTC Derivatives Reforms and the recently approved Principles on Financial Market Infrastructure. IOSCO’s Standing Committee on Risk and Research and the Research Department updated the board on efforts to produce a practical methodology for recognising and measuring systemic risk in securities markets as well as identifying emerging risks. The board also discussed the future role of the Emerging Market Committee (EMC) under the new organisational structure that was introduced in May 2012, noting that the EMC should focus on the specific needs of its members, including market development and capacity building, technical assistance, identification of emerging risks and education and training. The EMC comprises 86 members including Nigeria, which constitute more than 80 per cent of IOSCO’s ordinary membership and represent some of the world’s fastest growing economies. Of the 20 members of the G20, 10 are IOSCO EMC members. Mr Masamichi Kono said the meeting’s decisions would strengthen IOSCO and further the global reform agenda.

NDIAN leading power distribution company, Tata Power Delhi Distribution Limited(TPDDL) could acquire up to 51 per cent in three consortiums shortlisted for further consideration for power distribution companies being privatised by Nigeria. TPDDL is bidding for three power distribution companies in Nigeria by forming two separate consortiums with two leading Nigerian companies - Oando and Vigeo Holding Limited. TPDDL is bidding for Eko and Ikeja Distribution Companies as a member of Oando consortium and for Benin Distribution Company in conjunction with Vigeo Holding Limited. Senior General Manager, Tata Power Delhi Distribution Limited, (TPDDL), Vivek Singla, in a report by The Economic Times, said the company has understanding with its Nigerian partners to acquire as much as 51 per cent equity stake over a period of time. He estimated that TPDDL would invest $900 million, about N140

billion, in the three distribution companies (discos), which have all scaled the technical evaluation stage. The winners of the discos are expected to be announced next week’s Tuesday. If TPDDL, a subsidiary of Tata Power, wins the bids, it will be the first Indian disco to get involved in power distribution in a foreign country. Singla said Tata Power will arrange the funds through equity investments if it wins the bids. Nigeria is privatising 11 stateowned distribution companies as part of the power sector reform. A total of 54 companies had bid for the discos out of which 21 firms including TPDDL have cleared the technical evaluation process. TPDDL sees itself as eminently placed to manage the Nigerian electricity system more efficiently given its experience in similar roles in India. The Delhi government had privatised power distribution in 2002 and handed over electricity distribution to three private entities. TPDDL is Delhi’s premier disco.

FBN Heritage Fund targets above-average return


BN Heritage Fund has restructured its portfolio to harness emerging opportunities in the securities market and ensure above-average returns to investors in the years ahead. Fund Manager, FBN Heritage Fund, Mr Michael Oyebola, said the mutual fund was focused on ensuring further reward for investors as funds freed up in recent portfolio restructuring are being invested to create stable and better long-term returns. FBN Heritage Fund, which is managed by FBN Capital, is an open-ended mutual fund registered by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Its portfolio allocation ranges between 20 and 65 per cent investments in equities, 10 to 25 per cent in bonds, 10 to 75 per cent stakes in money market instruments and maximum of 10 per cent investments in real estate. Oyebola said the fund has been positioned to take advantage of the high interest rates on both ten-

ured deposits as well as treasury bills in the money market while continuing to target best possible return on investments within the confines of the asset allocation as prescribed by the Trust deed and the investment policy of the fund. “Our promise is to ensure above benchmark returns for investors in the years ahead,” Oyebola said. He reiterated that the fund manager would work to reward investors who had remained loyal to the fund by preserving their capital and ensuring good return on their monies. A review of the fund’s price movement in 2011 showed that it outperformed the NSE All-Share Index by about 6.1 per cent generating a return of 0.92 per cent as opposed to the NSE ASI, which declined by 5.18 per cent. Also, a review of its second quarter performance, showed that the fund had a positive return of 4.02 per cent during the quarter ended June 30, 2012 as against the 4.59 per cent return of the NSE.




PZ Cussons shows early gains from restructuring •Grows net profit by 50%


Z Cussons (Nigeria) Plc appears to be benefitting from extensive cost restructuring and internal efficiency management as the conglomerate pulled through slow turnover with higher profitability. Interim report and accounts of PZ Cussons (Nigeria) for the threemonth period ended August 31, 2012 showed that net profit rose by about 50 per cent in spite of marginal decline in sales. The report indicated that net profit after tax rose to N672.39 million in 2012 as against N448.30 million in comparable period of 2011. Turnover however slipped by 8.4 per cent from N15.72 billion to N14.40 billion. Net assets improved from N41.72 billion recorded as at May 2012 to N42.40 billion in August 2012. With costs constraints and efficiency issues becoming evident in its performance, the global conglomerate has started global restructuring of its operations including closure of manufacturing operations in several countries and concentration in some countries including Nigeria.

By Taofik Salako

The global restructuring project was sequel to high costs of operations that have increasingly impacted on the global profitability of the conglomerate. According to a document on the global restructuring operations with details for West Africa, PZ Cussons group developed the global restructuring programmes to ensure that its supply chain cost base remains at a competitive level given sustained rise in raw material costs together with significant wage inflation in emerging markets. The report indicated that PZ Cussons, which holds 66.81 per cent in PZ Cussons (Nigeria) Plc, plans to close down its manufacturing facilities in Ghana and concentrate manufacturing operations in Nigeria. With the impending closure of the Ghanaian manufacturing facilities, Nigeria and other unidentified third parties will provide supply to Ghana, a major win for Nigeria. Manufacturing operations create better employment opportunities, and will further complement the

•From right: Head, Legal and PR, Promasidor Nigeria, Mr Andrew Enahoro; Coordinator, Corporate Affairs, Mr Ayodele Oguntubi, and Coordinator, Corporate Communication, Mr Isiaka Lawal, at the press conference to call for entries for the ‘Promasidor Quill Awards’ in Lagos.

growing human resources for marketing activities. “We will use the opportunity to make Nigeria a centre of excellence in Africa,” the document indicated. The group will also focus on reducing significantly its overhead at a number of other manufacturing facilities. “We believe the benefits of this project will be seen in the new financial year through lower supply

•From Left: Hon. Bamisayemi Oladoyin, Chairman, House Committee on Education, Osun State; Mrs. Titi LaoyeTomori, Deputy Governor/Commissioner for Education; Hon. Najeem Salam, Speaker, state House of Assembly and Hon. Timothy Owoeye, Leader of the House, at a session where the Deputy Governor briefed the House on progress made in the past 22 months in the state’s education sector.

‘Integrate capacity development in transformation agenda’ UMAN resource practitioners have called for continuous and quality capacity human capacity development programmes to be embedded in the national transformation agenda to foster sustainable growth. President, Chartered Institute of Personnel Management of Nigeria (CIPM), Mr Abiola Popoola, at the closing ceremony of the 44th Annual National Conference of the institute in Abuja, emphasised the importance of human capital to the national development. According to him, government


needs to grow the human capital to jumpstart national economic growth. “No matter the agenda you have, without appropriate value, you cannot achieve anything; you must have the right attitude, right frame of mind to be able to make the agenda work. “So, this particular theme for this year’s conference is actually keying into the transformation agenda of the present government, saying let us grow our people so that they will grow our country,” Popoola said on the conference’s theme of “Restoration of values for

national development.” According to him, no agenda could work well if the human element was not of good quality and for people to be relevant in the society, professionals must always upgrade their knowledge and skills. The CIPM boss advocated shaping of youthful values from primary school level and not only when they get to the place of work. He pointed out that orientation of teachers at primary school level and parents is important in determining how they bring up the children.

Cadbury Nigeria retains name in global restructuring ADBURY Nigeria Plc would retain its historic domestic name after its majority core investor changed its name to Mondelçz International. Kraft Foods Inc, the global parent company of Cadbury Nigeria, changed its name to Mondelçz International Inc after spinning-off its North American grocery business on October 1. Managing Director, Cadbury Nigeria, Emil Moskofian, said the company will retain its present name for its Ni-


gerian business citing the historical heritage of the 54-year-old confectioner. He noted that the emergence of Mondelçz International marked the start of an exciting future. Cadbury Nigeria has done business in Nigeria since 1958. Its largest-selling products in Nigeria include Cadbury Bournvita and TomTom. The company has its manufacturing facilities in Agidingbi, Ikeja, Lagos and Ondo, Ondo State where it operates one of Nigeria’s the longest run-

ning cocoa processing companies. With the spin-off and renaming, Mondelez International owns 74.99 per cent in Cadbury Nigeria. Cadbury Nigeria owns 99 per cent equity stake in Stanmark Cocoa Processing Company Limited (SCPC). SCPC is located in Ondo, Ondo State and operates a 12,500 ton capacity plant, which processes cocoa beans into a range of intermediate products including cocoa butter, cocoa liquor and cocoa powder for export and local customers.

chain overheads, wage inflation mitigation as well as reduction in high capital maintenance cost that would have been associated to the closed or restructured facilities. It will, ultimately, show an improved performance and higher returns on investments,” the document indicated. Besides, the global restructuring would see the group close down its manufacturing facilities in Australia and restructure that of Poland as it seeks to move to a variable cost model for its developed market homecare businesses. Just like the emerging markets,supplies will be outsourced to third parties. PZ Cussons has manufacturing plants in Ilupeju, Ikorodu; both in Lagos State and Aba, in Abia State. The Nigerian operations include manufacturing and marketing of soaps, detergents, health and beauty products, electrical goods and nutritional products. More than 77,000 Nigerian individual and institutional investors hold equity stakes in the conglomerate. Recent audited reports and accounts of PZ Cussons (Nigeria) Plc had underlined the global worries about rising costs and depleting returns. While the conglomerate increased sales by 9.5 per cent and 5.1 percent in 2012 and 2011 respectively, the bottom-line has worsened over the years. As against modest increase of 6.7 per cent in 2011, gross profit

dropped by 12.3 per cent in 2012. This further magnified into a drop of 46.3 per cent in pre-tax profit, eroding negligible increase of 1.3 per cent in 2011. Net earnings position worsened from a decline of 1.5 per cent in 2011 to drop of 55.4 per cent in 2012. PZ Cussons’ gross profit margin had dropped from 28 per cent in 2011 to 22.4 per cent in 2012. Pre-tax profit margin halved from 12.1 per cent in 2011 to 6.0 per cent in 2012. Also, return on total assets dropped from 8.3 per cent in 2011 to 3.9 per cent in 2012. Return on equity also shrank to 5.9 per cent in 2012 as against 13.2 per cent recorded in 2011. Audited report and accounts for the year ended May 31, 2012 showed turnover of N72.16 billion as against N65.9 billion in 2011.Gross profit however dropped to N16.18 billion as against N18.45 billion. Profit before tax also halved to N4.31 billion compared with N8.03 billion in 2011 just as profit after tax dwindled from N5.7 billion to N2.5 billion. With adjusted net earnings per share at 61 kobo in 2012 as against N1.31 in 2011, the company has proposed a dividend payout of 43 kobo per share. The company had in the previous year distributed more than N2.3 billion as cash dividends, representing a dividend per share of 86 kobo.Also, it capitalised N397.05 million to distribute bonus share of one for four shares.

Academy Press laments harsh operating environment •Increases dividends by 25%


CADEMY Press Plc witnessed slight decrease in its performance in the immediate past year ended March 31, 2012 as the company struggled against inclement operating environment and low patronage. Chairman, Academy Press, Mr Babs Idris-Animashaun, told shareholders at the company’s Annual General Meeting that the declines in sales and profit were due to a host of harsh macroeconomic conditions. Academy Press’s turnover dropped to N2.294 billion in 2012 as against N2.315 billion in 2011 while profit before tax also decreased by six per cent from N165.321 million in 2011 to N156.124 million in 2012. However, the company increased cash payouts by 25 per cent from N30.24 million to N37.8 million, representing dividend per share of 7.5 kobo. Animashaun attributed the overall result to high level of inflation, rising interest and exchange rates, corruption and wastages of national resources and the situation in the Northern, which has become inaccessible for business due to ter-

By Uyoatta Eshiet

rorist, tribal and religious unrest. He urged the Federal Government to implement measures to discourage the importation of Universal Basic Education (UBE) books and domicile its production with local printers. According to him, the continuous importation of UBE books is having negative impacts on the operations of local printers. He noted that Academy Press is equipped to print and bound volume of educational books at short notice. He, however, commended the management of the company pointing out that the 2012 results were indication of the staff skills and capacity of the management to reposition the company for more profits and dividend. He outlined that Academy Press Business Forms Limited, a sister company, is being re-tooled and upgraded to make it become more efficient. Animashaun projected that with all hands on deck, the company would record N5 billion total turnover in the near future.




‘Insurance contributes only 0.7% to GDP’ T

HE insurace sector contributes 0.7 per cent to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), a Consultant to the World Bank, Vyasa Krishna Burugupalli, has said. Burugupalli, who spoke at a forum organised by NCHOR Insurance Company Limited,in Lagos, said the Nigerian insurance market is largely untapped, adding that with over 150 million people, Nigeria has an insurance density of just about five to 10 per cent. He said in some other developing countries, insurance density is 40 -50 per cent; in the developed economies, it is as high as 90 - 98 per cent. Insurance, he said, can contribute significantly to the economic development of Nigeria as it is being witnessed in the developed world, if practitioners will lay emphasis on customer service delivery. Burugupalli, who is Country Director, Micro Ensure, India, and Consultant to Price Waterhouse Coopers in Sri Lanka for a World Bank/IFC project, was presented

Stories by Essiet Uyoatta

by Kunle Aduloju, a Senior Lecturer, Department of Actuarial Science and Insurance, University of Lagos. He said in the lecture, entitled: “Agriculture and micro insurance: A new vista for deepening insurance penetration in Sub-Saharan Africa,’’ despite the effort of the National Insurance Commission (NAICOM), insurance penetration in Nigeria remains one of the lowest in the world. He said exploring micro agric insurance remains about the best option if Nigeria is to record any appreciable level of insurance penetration soon, adding that agriculture, as the mainstay of the economy, contributes about 45 per cent of GDP. He stated that the agric sector employs about two-thirds of the country’s total labour force and provides a livelihood for about 90 per cent of the rural population. He said 75 per cent of Nigerians live in rural and semi-urban area, a

ready-made market for micro insurance to thrive, so with 150 million people, the largest in Africa, and a fast-growing economy, taking insurance to them is the right way to go, he said. “Microinsurance simply put is a low premium approach to insurance for those at the bottom of the pyramid, that is the poor. The innovative part of microinsurance is that it reaches an area of the population that is still deemed ‘unbankable’ or physically unreachable to the normal banking or conventional insurance activities. “Micro-insurance is the ‘protection of low-income people against specific perils in exchange for regular premium payments proportionate to the likelihood and cost of the risk involved. The guest lecturer said development institutions, such as the World Bank and the United Nations, see in it a potential to secure poverty reduction. He listed risks covered by micro-insurance to include: crop micro insurance, livestock micro

insurance, life micro insurance and health micro insurance. Others are disability micro insurance, property micro insurance and health micro insurance. Comparing the traditional with the micro insurance, Burugupalli, said: “In equivalence with regular insurance, the central underlying principle is the pooling of risks, which implies that financial contributions are collected from the members of an insurance scheme, and the loss of one individual is spread among all members in case of risk occurrence.” The main difference between micro insurance and regular insurance, he explained, was that the former isw targeted at lowincome people, who have limited financial resources and often irregular income flow. He said the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) has indicated that five billion people live in developing countries, out of which 57 per cent live in rural areas, adding that

49 per cent of these rural dwellers are employed in agriculture. He said the number of microinsured people was estimated at 78 million, which is not a particularly high number, given that China and India are both among the 77 countries. The lecturer explained that due to the high population numbers in these two countries, the Asian region accounts for 86 per cent of the global outreach of micro-insurance. He said only 2.7 per cent of the poor population in Asia was covered by micro-insurance, while the coverage of the poor in Africa and Latin America was 0.3 per cent and 7.8 per cent. This low coverage is reflected in the level of penetration (premiums in per cent of GDP) and density (premiums per capita). He said in a world survey of insurance density, out of 78 countries analysed, South Africa ranked 32, Namibia ranked 44, Angola ranked 74, Kenya ranked 82, while Nigeria ranked 86.

NCRIB to partner NAICOM on debt validation


H E Nigerian Council of Registered Insurance Brokers (NCRIB) will partner with the National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) on its planned validation of debts allegedly owed by brokers, NCRIB Prresident Mrs laide Osijo has said. Mrs Osijo told The Nation that the council suggested the idea to validate the debts to NAICOM, adding that brokers are striving to be ethical and professional and would never engage in anything that would attract sanction. She said: “We suggested the idea to validate acclaimed debts to NAICOM. The underwriters have been accusing brokers of withholding premium which is not true. The underwriter often claim that the premiums has been paid and that brokers are with-holding them. But the truth is that most of the premiums are receivables that are not yet collected, especially government accounts, adding that because the debit notes are written by brokers, it is assumed that the money is with brokers. “The allegation is unfounded. We have asked underwriters that have documentary evidence to bring them out, so that we can do reconciliation. That was the advice

we also gave NAICOM.The commission wrote us and we replied by telling them to ask underwriters to show evidences of premiums with-held by brokers. I would not say that brokers do not err, but brokers in the past are different from those practising now. ‘’ She further stated that brokers of these days are afraid of being sanctioned, hence, they abide by rules. ‘’So we are trying to practice professionally and ethically these days, and I can boldly boast of that. Why would anybody accuse somebody for no just cause? It is unfair. If it is possible underwriters can go to the insured to confirm if the premiums have been paid, instead of accusing brokers unjustly. But that may be going to the extreme for there is no contract between the insured and the underwriter. Since we bring the business, we should be allowed the freedom of contract,” she said. She said NCRIB would collaborate with NAICOM to validate the claims of underwriters to stem the allegation that brokers hold back underwriters’ premiums, stressing that there should be proper documentation before laying accusation on the brokers.

Firm’s profit grows by 17%


RESTIGE Assurance Plc has recorded a 17 per cent rise in its underwriting business for 2011. . The Chairman, Dr. Charles S. Sankey, stated this in his statement to the shareholders during the Company’s 42nd Annual General Meeting (AGM), which took place in Lagos last week. Sankey said: “Despite the challenging environment, I am happy to report another year of good performance by our company. Underwriting profit grew by 17 per cent from 2010, with the company earning N1.07 billion against the preceding year’s N912.3 million”. He also told the shareholders that the net operating income which stood at N1.7 billion for the reviewed year was also six per cent higher than the 2010 position which was N1.6 billion. Further analysis of the firm’s accounts shows that the company

recorded a total of N4.273 billion as gross premium for in 2011 as against N3.874 billion recorded in 1010, giving an increase of N398.933 million or 10 per cent growth. However, the firm recorded decrease in profit before and after tax, divided, shareholders fund, earnings per share as well as net assets per share within the year under review. The profit before tax decreased from N830.869 million recorded in 2010 to N419.868 million in 2011, a decrease of N411.001 million or 49.47 per cent. Profit after tax stood at N255.990 million, down from N487.698 million in 2010, giving a decrease of 47.51 per cent or N231.708 million. Amount set aside for payment of dividend decreased from N128.999 million in 2010 to N50.166 million in the reviewed year, a decreased of 61.11 per cent or N78.833 million.

• From left: Dr Anand Mittal, MD/CEO, Prestige Assurance Plc; Dr Sankey; Mr Abayomi Odulana, Company Secretary during the AGM.

Customers get N1b claims


RYSTALIFE Assurance Plc paid over N1 billion as claims to its customers at the end of the third quarter of the year. This is contained in a statement made available to The Nation by the Head, Corporate Development and Strategies, Titilope Oguntuga, after a presentation of the company’s financial statements for the third quarter of the year.

The company’s management also declared that it has taken steps to reposition its operations in line with international best practices. The company’s Chief Finance Officer, Mr Wale Oketola, stated that the company had within the period paid a dividend of N0.02kobo for each N0.50kobo ordinary share held in the company. As part of its welfare-based objective, the company, also paid performance bonus to her staff, the

statement, added. The company in the statement also said:” As an organisation that is committed to excellence and global best practices, we have successfully concluded the transition of our financial reporting from the Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) portals to the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS), the financial reports for the third quarter will be presented in the IFRS format”.

Milliman: Pension plans up $45billion


ILLIMAN, a premier global consulting and actuarial firm, has released the results of its latest Pension Funding Index, which consists of 100 of the nation’s largest defined benefit pension plans. In September, these pensions experienced a $45 billion increase in funded status based on a $30 billion reduction in the pension benefit obligation (PBO) and a $15 billion asset improvement. The $45 billion increase in funded status means these pensions have reduced their cumulative funding deficit by $80 billion in the last two

months, following a four-month slide of $304 billion. “It may be too late in the year to call it a comeback—the funding deficit for these 100 pensions has grown by more than $100 billion in 2012,” said John Ehrhardt, coauthor of the Milliman Pension Funding Study. “But two months in a row of funded status improvement is still welcome news. Not surprisingly, the recent deficit reduction was driven in large part by cooperative interest rate movement.” In September, the discount rate used to calculate pension liabilities

increased from 3.99per cent to 4.08 per cent, reducing the PBO to $1.778 trillion at the end of the month. The overall asset value for these 100 pensions increased from $1.309 trillion to $1.324 trillion. Looking forward, if these 100 pensions were to achieve their expected 7.8 per cent median asset return and if the current discount rate of 4.08 per cent were to be maintained throughout 2012 and 2013, these pensions would improve the pension funded ratio from 74.5 per cent to 75.4 per cent by the end of 2012 and to 79.9 per cent by the end of 2013.




• Mrs Odutola

-Adebola Orolugbagbe

Entrepreneurship: The road to success T HE fear of starting one’s own business, with its challenges and unseen hurdles, has stopped many from taking the leap. While Nigeria boasts of one of the world’s largest female populations, only a few of them are coming forward to take on the entrepreneurship challenge. Mrs. Temitope Adeoti, founder, Exploits Entrepreneurial and Crafts Academy, a training institute, is one of those who overcame the challenges by growing a successful multi-serving business. Moved by the passion to be a job creator and not a job seeker, she established J2V5 Craftsworld International in 2003, a name she coined from the scripture John 2 verse 5, which says: “whatever the spirit of God tells you to do, do it”. Exploits Entrepreneurial & Crafts Academy is a baby of J2VS Craftsworld International which handles trainings. A graduate of the Lagos State University and the University of Ibadan where she obtained Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts in Philosophy, Mrs. Adeoti looked for jobs in many places after graduation. The offers she had were not encouraging. She thought if she could do something for herself, she would earn more. Having gained new confidence in her abilities and potential, she built a ‘Start

By Daniel Essiet

Your Business’ curriculum to attain her goal. When The Nation visited her training school, she demonstrated bags designs and other work of craft. Her business covers but not limited to entrepreneurial and small business training, catering and hotel management, cake making and sugar artistry, bead craft, make up artistry, wired jewelry crafting, event planning and decorations, small chops, cocktails , sharwama and pizza,chinese cuisines ,shoe , belts and bag production with fabrics, such as ankara, leather and suede. In 1999, she did a six-month diploma course in computer studies at the Citadel Institute of Computer Studies, Lagos. In 2002, she enrolled for a cake decorating and designing course at a Catering and Hotel Management Institute. She has attended Nigeria Employers Consultative Association’s (NECA’s) Network of Entrepreneurial Women (NNEW), an International Labour Organisation training group on “start and manage your business”. She also received training in events decoration and other practical skills, management courses, marketing courses and more. She said she be-

came more confident on what she wanted to do after acquiring several trainings on different skill areas. At the moment, she is happy. This is because her income is more than what she would have got if she was employed after her masters. J2V5 Craftsworld has organised training both within and outside Lagos since its establishment. In 2010, Exploits Academy was selected as one of the training institutes to teach trainees of the National Directorate of Employment (NDE) in different skills, such as events decoration, bead making, make up artistry and others. Also, from October to December 2010, she was one of the resource persons selected to participate at a post-amnesty programme organised by the Federal Government for Niger Delta militants. She taught them entrepreneurship in one of the camps based in outside Lagos. Among the courses she taught were “how to develop an entrepreneurial mindset”, “How to make your business survive in a troubled economic environment like Nigeria”, “Service processes” “production processes just to mention a few”. She is a resource person with Success Attitude Development Centre (SADC), Publishers of Success Digest

Magazine. Over the years, about 1,000 enterprising individuals have started their own service businesses after graduating from the institute. She said entrepreneurial training is central to the social reintegration and self-sufficiency of young people. Since founding Exploits Entrepreneurial and Crafts Academy, Mrs Adeoti has become one of the wellknown and respected names in entrepreneurship training. Mrs Adeoti said the goal of the institute is to assist young entrepreneurs to get reliable performance, regardless of the varying demands of the local marketplaces. With greater self-confidence, she has bigger dreams to succeed. In the future she would like to expand her business to target the higher-end market. She said the lack of startup capital, experience, and fear of failing should not stop people from realising these dreams. For young graduates, she said there are opportunities in the food business. She said they can train and take advantage of the great market opportunity in food and snack products. At present, Mrs Adeoti said the institute is running culinary classes for people who are eager to learn different cuisines. She said crafts are big money spinners and that they can make a profit if they

•Mrs Adeoti

make designs that are wonderful. On sewing, Mrs Adeoti said young Nigerians can create a lucrative business offering customised services to different clients. According to her, tailors, dressmakers and custom sewers work behind the scenes fashioning different types of fabrics, textiles and cloths into industrial goods, household goods, consumer fashions, accessories, costumes and other wearable goods used by businesses and consumers. She said there are opportunities for housewives to create customised pieces of apparel, make alterations and repairs to clothing as required by customers.

How to create multiple income streams

•Mrs Aina


MALL, independent tax and accounting shops are everywhere, following the layoff of workers in the finance sector. Having quit banking, Mrs Olubunmi Aina, Chief Executive Officer, Multiple Streams Consulting told The Nations she wanted to establish her own business. Public accounting was the area that ap-

pealed to her. But there was a problem. The small practitioners were not thriving because of competition from the bigger firms. The Internet and cheap professional tax software has lowered the overhead cost of maintaining an independent practice. Big firms see little value in small accounting firms. The other challenge was that she didn’t have a strong clientele base. Amid these problems, Mrs Aina got an offer to supply diesel to an organisation. She saw this as an opportunity and she grabbed it with both hands. She started without sales expertise. Aina, a chartered accountant, said she was successful in selling the product for a commission. She sold diesel from her home using her telephone to make contacts. She also had more contacts in the industry. These helped to get buyers for her. She also had more businesses on her own—through cold calling. This boosted her revenue. At a point, she had problems reaching sales targets. She had to rely on third

parties to assist her. With the support of her husband, she started buying the product herself and selling it. The strategy increased returns on investment. With this approach, the business earned hefty profits for her. Big jobs came. To ensure success, she created a good business plan. With time, Mrs Aina said she could sell the diesel easily and generate trust/ confidence from customers. Since customers prefer to do business with those who are experts, she did some research to learn more about the industry. She became open to sellers within the network and made more contacts. But she found that it was crucial for entrepreneurs to have multiple streams of income. According to her, businessmen and women need to look at different ways of earning income. This, she explained, make independent businesses more stable in future. Having more than one stream of income not only increases one’s profit faster, it also increases secu-

rity. And the best thing about multiple streams of income, according to her, is that every business owner can create them. As an accountant, Mrs Aina now shares knowledge, experience and information by consulting with people one-on-one. To make a reasonable living from business coaching, she strives to add real value to the lives of her clients. To this end, she now specialises in financial forensics, business valuation, information technology and personal financial planning. With her experience, Mrs Aina teaches skills in business planning and financial management, and helped people write business plans. She had built up a client base, providing them with advice on tax submissions and cash flow management.

Group canvasses ICT skills for youths


•From left: Chairman, Board of Fellows, Institute of Researchers and Administrators of Nigeria (IARN), Dr Don Okpara; Guest Speaker, Dr Peter Ekong and Director-General, IARN, Prof Jacob Etinagbedia, at the institute’s awards at University of Lagos(UNILAG) Conference Centre.

Her business continues to expand. She was wise to consider not giving up her steady income before launching out on her own. To stay on top of competition, she said a business should be based on an innovative idea—a new or creative way to solve a need. According to her, providing a familiar product or service in the community, reduces the need for local customers to travel a long distance or pay someone else to get the product or service for them. While in the bank,Mrs Aina said she was making beads. Because of the state of the economy,she said people can use their hobbies and talents to make a living. For most practitioners, beading is just an enjoyable hobby. However, she added that people are making thousands of naira a month from beads making.

HE Association of Telecommunications Companies of Nigeria (ATCON) has urged the Federal Government to renew its commitment to empowering the youth through Information and Communication Technology (ICT) skills. The ATCON President, Mr Lanre Ajayi, said in Lagos, that empowering youths through ICT would make the country a knowledge economy by 2015. According to him, many youths lack modern ICT skills to enable them to compete favourably with their counterparts across the globe. “Only a deliberate and systemic empowerment of the youth can ensure that the country participates gainfully in the unfolding knowledge economy through the ICT. “Such investment in youths that have interest in ICT will yield more dividends to the country in the area of ICT,” he said. Ajayi said the Vision 20:2020 could only be realised through accelerated efforts to build and unlock the innovative capabilities of the youth. “The youth have propelled Nigeria in just four years to become

the 10th largest Internet user-base in the world,” he observed. According to him, China and India have joined the list of world powers after investing heavily in the development of ICT. “Today, China has become the workshop of the world not necessarily because labour is cheap but because it has a well-trained and knowledgeable work force. “Seventy-five per cent of the world’s software businesses are outsourced to Indian companies because her citizenry have been motivated to control the production of software globally,” he said. Ajayi said the deployment of modern ICT infrastructure would harness the potential of young and intelligent minds in the nation’s institutions. He urged governments to search for indigenous software development talents and make them ready for entrepreneurship and global competitiveness in ICT. He urged the government to also create solid foundations for education by providing appropriate ICT infrastructure in public schools in order to catch them young.



MARITIME Terminal gets cargo handlers Stories by Oluwakemi Dauda, Maritime Correspondent


HE Port and Cargo Handling Services Limited, a member of the Sifax Group, has acquired new cargo handlers to boost its operations at the ports. Speaking at the inauguration of five Rubber Tyre Gantry (RTG) and two harbour cranes at its terminal in Lagos, its Chairman, Maj.-Gen. John Shagaya (rtd), said since the company started operations in 2006, it has been investing in facilities to ensure efficiency in service delivery. Shagaya said the contributions of the Port and Cargo Handling Service and its parent company, Sifax Group, would make the ports a continental hub for shipping and maritime activities. The firm’s Managing Director, Mr John Jerkins, said each of the RTG cost the company $1.5 million. Jerkins said the equipment would improve storage facilities and benefit shipping lines and other stakeholders who use the terminal. He said the equipment would serve the clients faster and loading of trucks would be easier. Also, the General Manager, Western port of the Nigeria Port Authority (NPA), Alhaji Mohammed Bulangu, who represented his Managing Director, Malam Habib Abdulahi, said the concessioning of the nation’s ports has brought tremendous changes in the terminals and in cargo handling and delivery.

Minister intervenes in ports fee crisis • From left: General Manager, Western Port, Nigeria Ports Authority (NPA), Alhaji Mohammed Bulangu; Shagaya and Jerkins, at the event. PHOTO: OLUWAKEMI DAUDA

NPA’s marine unit is weak, says MD


HE Managing Director of Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Mallam Habib Abdullahi, has decried the dearth of manpower in the marine unit of the authority. He said he was prepared to partner with the Society of Nigerian Mariners to enhance the department’s capability. Abdullahi spoke when executive members of the association, led by its Chairman, Capt Cosmas Niagwan, visited him in his office in Lagos. Urging the group to assist in building the department to international standard, Abdullahi said he was happy to receive the delegation of master mariners, marine en-

Stories by Oluwakemi Dauda, Maritime Correspondent

gineers and retired senior Navy officers. “I need your assistance please. I need you to come in and assist in the best way to move forward the marine division. I don’t know how you are going to do it,” he said. He expressed the desire to move NPA marine activities back to its old days. He challenged mariners to come forward with suggestions and action plans that would enhance the activities of NPA. He added that if it required appointing a consultant from the association to revitalise the agency’s marine department, he would do it. Earlier, Niagwan, who is

also a master mariner, said the association is aimed at bringing mariners under one umbrella and that it is willing to partner with the NPA to ensure that the organisation fulfills its objectives and responds more appropriately to the needs of stakeholders. Also speaking, the association’s Secretary-General, Greg Ogbeifun promised that the association would work with the agency, adding that for the association to assist Abdulahi, it must understand what the managing director desires. “For us to come up with ideas, we will need to know what is on ground; we will like to do a bit of due diligence, but more importantly, we will like to know what is

Govt urged on tax harmonisation


in your heart, so that we will be able to articulate a process of taking the situation from where it is to where it’s going,” he said.

Govt okays vessels for Customs patrol


HE Federal Government has approved two vessels for the Customs to tackle sea pirates. Sources told The Nation that the Federal Executive Council (FEC) gave approval for the vessels’ acquisition at its meeting in Abuja. Controller of the Western Marine Command, Apapa, Lagos, Mr Zakka Audu, said the Command would restructure as soon as the vessels arrive. “Our jurisdiction is purely on water and creeks. In the past, we have not been able to reach the high seas. But with the vessels approved

by the Federal Government, our Command will become more effective in monitoring the high seas. “All the seizures we have been making so far have been in the creeks and rivers, while the smugglers bring in ships which they anchor on the high seas where we are unable to reach,’’ he said. He said an Assistant Comptroller-General had been assigned by the ComptrollerGeneral of Customs to inspect facilities at the command to upgrade them. Audu said the command’s officers and men were being trained on the use of weap-

ons, swimming and others. The Public Relations Officer Command, Mr Zakari Chado, said the command recorded six seizures valued at over N3 million last month. The items, he said, were abandoned by smugglers on sighting customs patrol boats. The seizures, he said, were made at Idiroko, Yekeme and Badagry. The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) at Seme border has arrested a couple for allegedly importing 30kg of Cannabis (Indian hemp) worth N3.2 million into the country.

The Area Comptroller, Mr Othman Salleh, said the couple was arrested with the drug in a KIA saloon car with registration number KST 160 AG at Gbaji-Yeke checkpoint. The female suspect, he said, was arrested with a baby on her back; the husband was partially disabled. According to the customs boss, the hard drug was concealed in the engine and back seat compartments of the car. The suspects, the exhibits and the car, he said, had been handed over to narcotic officials at the border.

‘Importers, agents against Cabotage Act’s implementation’


HE implementation of the Cabotage Act is being sabotaged by agents, importers and other maritime operators, a university teacher has said. Mr Dipo Alaka of the Lagos State University (LASU) said the law could easily be implemented if the agency saddled with enforcing it, musters the political will to do so. “This is the time for the government to buckle-up and see to the implementation of the Cabotage law. But

we need to understand the problems confronting the agency before we can say yes, maybe some individuals in government are trying to frustrate the implementation. “My thinking is that every ship that calls at our port should first declare arrival to the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), NIMASA and the Navy. By doing so, it would become easy to implement the law,” he said. Alaka said the execution of the law should not be a

problem. “The agency saddled with the responsibility of enforcing the law does not even need to get to the jetty to arrest a vessel; she can ask a vessel to tell her its point of loading. So, if it is offshore Lagos or offshore Cotonou, the agency can then verify if it is on the list of Cabotage registered vessels. “Therefore, implementation should not be a major issue. From all indications there must be a kind of conspiracy between the opera-

THE Minister of Transport, Senator Idris Umar, has met with leaders of the National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF),Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA) and others over the ports fee crisis. The Council for the Regulation of Freight Forwarding in Nigeria (CRFFN). The meeting is at the centre of the crisis. Its approval to collect the fee withdrawn following protest by the Customs, sources said, was attended by the leaders of the groups involved in the crisis. Despite the meeting, sources said the embargo placed on the collection of the port transaction fee by the CRFFN is yet to be lifted by the government. CRFFN, sources said, was urged to fix a date for the next election to the council as part of the measures to resolve the crisis. Source told The Nation that the minister was happy over the resolution of the meeting.

tors and people that grant approval for foreign vessels to come into the country.” He said Nigerian ship owners must be supported by the government and banks to buy sufficient vessels to adequately carry out coastal trade. The Coastal and Inland Shipping Act, 2003, he said, is a protectionist law enacted to create exclusive areas of operations in the coastal trade for indigenous operators.

THE Federal Government has been urged to harmonise duties and levies collected by agencies at the ports to make them attractive for business. The tax identification number is a continuation of the Automated System of Customs Data method of clearing cargoes in the ports. Speaking at a stakeholders’meeting on the new importers’ Tax Identification Number (TIN) organised by the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) in collaboration with the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) in Lagos, stakeholders canvassed a one-stop-shop structure for the payment of levies and duties that are related to the clearing of goods from the ports. The President, Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA), Alhaji Olayiwola Shittu, said the Federal Government needs to harmonise the various classifications of tax payments in the country into a one-stop-shop structure to make clearing of goods easy at the ports. Shittu complained that the system of tax payments in the country is unco-ordinated, disorderly, noting that a onestop-shop platform will ensure tax payment compliance by individuals and corporate bodies in Nigeria. “The tax system in Nigeria is disjointed. We have federal tax, state tax, local government and several other taxes. Is there no way the government can harmonise all these taxes and have a one stop shop? One-stop-shop, in a sense, that whatever is liable to a person as tax can be paid once. Government and FIRS should come to our aid in this direction,” Shittu said.

NCDMB warns operators THE Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) has warned against indiscriminate acquisition of vessels without specification by indigenous ship operators in the oil and gas industry. Speaking in Lagos, its Executive Secretary, Mr Ernest Nwapa, said the development was giving the board some challenges. Nwapa warned that indigenous companies wishing to benefit from the opportunities in the sector must exercise diligence to ensure that vessels procured meet the requirements. He said the Federal Government would not permit a situation where Nigerians who invest in marine vessels that meet set technical requirements stay without work while foreignowned vessels are engaged by the industry. “It is, therefore, imperative that assets procured by Nigerians in this way must be put to work so as to guarantee the viability of the investments. Anything less than this will not only kill the Nigerian companies, which are exposed to the loans, but also threaten the local banks that funded the assets,” Nwapa said. He noted that there has been unprecedented interest from banks seeking to understand the opportunities in marine vessel financing. He added that there is evidence that banks have participated in funding over $1 billion assets in this short period. Nwapa said the government must ascertain that vessels claimed to have been acquired by Nigerians are actually owned by them. He added that the vessels should also be given contracts that would boost employment for Nigerians and keep money earned in the economy.



The Midweek Magazine


Mrs Patricia Otuedon Arawore is passionate about the country and its people. She has demonstrated this in the last 16 years through her Hallmark of Labour Foundation.Through this intiative, she is rewarding excellence, re-discovering the nation’s lost values and showcasing role models for the young. SEYI ODEWALE met her.

MUSON festival opens Oct 18



ALLMARK of Labour Foundation is an NGO founded in 1997. It was inaugurated in 1998, when Nigeria was at its lowest political ebb. We were just not under the military, but under what everyone would describe as a dictatorial rule and, all over the world, Nigeria was looked at as a country on its own; a failed state. At that time, when Ken Saro-Wiwa was killed, the nation was looked at with scorn. We were looked at as drug peddlers, stripped from top to bottom because they thought that every Nigerian was carrying one form of drug or the other. We lost our respect. House boys were automatically getting rich. A house boy of today will be driving a Hummer Jeep after successfully peddling drugs. If you look at the other hand, professors who have been in the university for so many years, have nothing to show for it. We then faced a situation where it became difficult to measure success. Why does anyone want to go to school, considering the rigours of going from kindergarten to the university to end up in penury? Why would anyone want to go to school when they could see the next door neighbour who was so poor yesterday and has suddenly become a rich man today? The wrong role models were being made. So, we thought in Hallmark of Labour Foundation that it was not a good thing for Nigeria. We believe that our children needed a good role model; they needed to know that there were men and women in Nigeria who could match their contemporaries anywhere in the world. Men and women, who can be celebrated 20 times more than their contemporaries in the world. And we had and still have such men and women. So, we felt that we should, at least, parade them so that our younger generation can know that success can come through hard work. That there are two ways to go, while we as a foundation cannot control the ills of the society, we can, at least, tell our children that there is another path to success. Hallmark of Labour started in that way to bring out role models for the younger generation to follow. To tell them that success through hard work and labour is more fulfilling and rewarding. To tell them that they may not have so much bags of money to show for it, but they will have a lot of respect and dignity around them. We also want to tell the world that Nigeria is not a lost case, we are not at all drug barons; we are not all armed robbers; that we have people in this country too, who not only will match anyone, but even outmatch them. That was how Hallmark of Labour came about. Measuring achievement in the last 16 years

As an NGO, like I said earlier, our primary objective is to build role models for the younger generation to follow I think we have done very well, if you look at the list of role models you would find out that there is no one wanting; that indeed, if you put them side by side with national honours and tell us which one is better or more dignified or what side you would want to be. So, as far as that is concerned, we have done that. We have paraded role models for younger generations to follow. We have shown that we are not all about money. If you notice, our kinds of role models are the type you will beg to follow them and persuade them. In persuading them I don’t think asking for money will come into play. So, really and truly, we have been on the straight and narrow path. We have been able to build that reputation for the foundation. We have come to be taken seriously because we have shown that we are serious people. We have come to also show that money is not all, that dignity and honour is a lot more rewarding. We have also been able to put out the stories of these people for younger generation to emulate. We were on television for a long time we will still be back on television. We have been able to publish books. We are doing our seventh book now and that means that seven times three, that is, three personalities per page. It means we have done at least, biographies of 21 personalities and we are still doing more. We have been able to branch out and catch them young and give one scholarship. Today, I will say that we have over 90 students enjoying the foundation’s scholarship scheme. The first set of students enjoying this are now in SS 2. We started with them when they were in JSS 1. We also believe that as the older generation of role models are leaving the stage, we now need to focus on the younger generation to begin to

•Mrs Arawore

Creating role models INTERVIEW give them confidence to step into the shoes of those they are leaving the stage. We also have widows’ empowerment scheme. Every year all our beneficiaries are from indigent homes. Every year we take at least 10 people (widows), give them equipment to start something, give them capitals to start off (cash) their businesses. We have had symposiums all over the place in the universities at the national level. Criteria for choosing beneficiaries We know them because we do it at the community level. If we are trying to empower widows, we do it right in their local government. Not just their local government, but their towns. That is not all because we do it at the community level we also ask their leaders question about these people. Their leaders sign their forms for them to know that they can be vouched for. We also do community Dew schemes from time to time Her inspiration and passion for the project What propelled me is my desire not to be like everybody. But everybody seemed to be doing one NGO or the other, perhaps, for certain altruistic motive. It could be for political recognition or others. The way you sounded, none of those things are noticeable Let me tell you, only last year did we start asking for funds from coporate organisations. That will surprise you. When we submit our proposals do you know what they say to us? They said it’s amazing the kind of money we were asking for. To them, it makes us look serious. Once you have the proposal of somebody who wants to make money you will know. The same goes for somebody who is serious. If you say you want to sponsor secondary education up to the university and you are asking for millions for a child, of course, people will know that you are a thief. At best, if you want to sponsor a student through the university especially, privately owned ones, you may not spend more than three to four hundred thousand Naira per annum. Otherwise, in

public universities #100,000 is enough to take care of a child per session. Let me put it this way, one who does something or who is into charity for monetary gains will not go too far. That we have been around for 16 years shows you that we are definitely not for money; something else is propelling us. The passion is the desire to be different, to make a difference in people’s lives. To put our foot prints on the sands of time. Once you have that desire to leave your environment better than you met it, people will always remember you. It does not matter how much money you have, once you are gone, you are gone. What you will leave behind is your memory, either good or bad. Once you have the desire to make the difference you will scale all odds. If we have the desire to make money in Hallmark of labour Foundations, we will be looking for governors and politicians to give awards to. These are people willing to pay so much to be added to the list that we have. If money is our objective we will have no problem at all. Our list of awardees in 16 years rather than being over 30 people, up till last year, was 27. So what pushes me is my passion and I find out that the more I am into it, the more I would want to be there. Sustainability Last year when we opened up, looking for funding, we were able to get just enough to see the project through. This year because we are dealing with children, we have decided not to use a hotel, but the NIIA (Nigeria Institute of International Affairs). We have decided to make it an afternoon event. As you know, the economy is not as buoyant as one would have thought. We also can not justify looking for #50,000 per child and spending all that. We have got some funding, but its not enough for our needs. How we make our money The foundation has a book series. We write the books and sell them. We write to people to launch them and when we do this, we put the money realised in the bank and when we have an event we use the money. However, we are open for support from coporate organisations because we want to have many more children in our list. We want to complete all the projects embarked upon.

Stories by Ekekwe Chinasa

HE Musical Society of Nigeria (MUSON) has unveiled the line-up of events to mark the 2012 edition of its annual festival. Its Vice Chairman, who is also the chairman of the festival planning committee, Mr Kitoyi Ibare, said the festival would run from October 18 to November 28. He said seven events have been lined up to mark the festival. They are: My kind of Music, Jazz festival, classical and youth concert, drama and an opera. The first event, My Kind of Music, will hold at Agip Recital Hall at 6pm on October 18. It will feature four accomplished Nigerians who will share their passion for music. They include Lagos State Chief Judge Justice Ayo Philips; award-winning playwright and novelist Seffi Atta, and the Managing Director of Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Company, Mr Chike Onyejekwe. The programme is sponsored by Shell Nigeria. This will be followed by the Jazz fest on October 20 at the Shell Nigeria Hall. The event focuses exclusively on Nigeria Jazz proponents in Nigeria and abroad such as Dapo Dina (Gremany), Mike ‘Bere (South Africa), Ayodele (South Africa), Agboola Shadare (US). Home-based artistes include Imole Afrika, Adesua,Victor Ademofe and Saxtee. There will be two shows by 3pm and 7pm and it is sponsored by Midwestern Oil and Gas Limited. ‘Classical Concert’, sponsored by Etisalat, wil hold on October 21. It will feature the MUSON Artistic Director,Thomas Kantiz, accompanied by other classical musical experts and the MUSON Diploma school choir conducted by Emeka Nwokedi. On October 24, at the Shell Nigeria Hall is the Youth Concert. It is a solo competition for the youths from ages 14 to 21. The competition will be in three categories namely voice, instrument and piano. This year’s MUSON Day, an event designed to mark the anniversary of the founding of MUSON holds on October 25 at Agip Recital Hal and will feature performances by Ayo Bankole Jnr. an acclaimed pianist and MUSON’s artistic director, Thomas Kanitz. The drama programme will feature a play, for the first time on stage titled An Ordinary Legacy, a play written by award winning writer, Sefi Atta. The premiere will have some leading actors and actresses on stage.

LagosPhoto begins Friday


HE third Lagos Photo festival entitled: 7 Days in the Life of Lagos, featur ing 30 local and international photographers, will open with a VIP preview at the Eko Hotel & Suites, Victoria Island, Lagos on Friday. The opening will hold on October 13 at the Eko Hotel & Suites; receptions hold at nine satellite venues during the opening week. The exhibition spaces include the African Artists’ Foundation, Nimbus Gallery, A White Space, Omenka Gallery, The Federal Printing Press, The Kalakuta Fela Museum, Muri Okunola Park, the University of Lagos, and the Falomo Roundabout. This year’s LagosPhoto is directed by Stanley Greene, Azu Nwagbogu and Caline Chagoury, and is co-curated by Medina Dugger and Joseph Gergel. LagosPhoto is sponsored by Etisalat, Eko Hotel & Suites, and Arts Collaboratory. Partners include Samsung, Kis, Konica, Skysnap, Universal Furniture, Ltd, Lagos State Ministry of Environment and Lagos State Parks and Gardens Agency (LASPARK), and Studio 24. Supporters include Goethe-Institut, Spéos Photography Institute, Air France, Martini, Bacardi, Grey Goose, and Porsche. LagosPhoto, launched in 2010, is an annual photography festival in Lagos featuring workshops, exhibitions of large-scale outdoor prints held throughout the city with the aim of reclaiming public spaces and engaging the general public with multifaceted stories of Africa. LagosPhoto presents a contemporary and historical visual essay of the continent to both a local and global audience.



The Midweek Magazine End-time deception exposed


WANT to say straightaway without any equivocation that this is a good book--- a very good book that is written about perhaps the most urgent issue in our lives today – the issue of Heaven and Hell and what we all need to do to overcome the deception of Satan. Of the many books in the market right now on the end time and I have read not a few, quite frankly, there is none that I have found that has handled the subject with informed expertise and fluency as the author. He shows, a complete understanding of the subject and the issues involved and he has also looked at it from several interesting perspectives that many contemporary writers have not looked at yet. It is not hauntingly condemnatory and frightening as most books on the same subject in the market. He treats the subject and his readers with love, consideration and intimacy. The author shows that he is ardent of the bible and exhibits a total and complete understanding of the issues involved. As he makes very clear to all – we are not just living at the end times, but indeed, to use the imagery of a football match – we are living in “injury time”. This is because, practically all or almost all the scriptures say that will happen before the world come to an end have happened. That the world is still an on-going project is simply a work of grace.


Overcoming the endtime deception Author: Pastor Remi Oluboba Reviewer: Gbolabo Ogunsanwo As the author says in the introduction: “One of the objectives of the book is to sound the alarm that the return of Jesus is more imminent now than at any other time in the history of mankind and to warn that the devil is doing his best using the instrument of deception to throw the church off track and she remains constantly unprepared for the great return”. The author confirms what I consider an on-going tragedy in the world today – which is that the devil “has continued to effectively sway man from the path of truth using lying as a strategy”. The chief of the lies is that even though for over 2,000 years, the bible has said that the return of Jesus


was imminent, yet it has not happened in over 20 centuries. This event has not happened. Will it ever happen? The author exposes that Satan uses this to misinform the world, because even though in the calendar of human years. 2,000 years is a lot years, but according to the calendar of God, where a thousand years equal one day with God , where have just completed the second day since Christ ascension into heaven. The favorite passage that the devil uses in his deception is in Matthew 24:34-35 which says: “Verily, I say unto you this generation shall pass till all these things are fulfilled. Heaven and earth shall pass away but my words shall not pass away”. In my days as a Christian ,I used to wonder at the truth of this passage – because the generation that saw Jesus physically had all died and gone away. This is until I understand that “a thousand years before God is just like one day”. Some of the other favorite lies of the devil exposed in the book include the following: •Hell is real •There is no literal hell. •The concept of a good and holy God excludes that that will throw the creatures of His own hand into a lake of everlasting fire. •That the biblical standards and conditions to make heaven are so hard and difficult to attain that no human befhg can make it. What for example do we make of forgiving somebody that offends us 70 x 7 in one single day? What do we make of the warning that whoever ordinarily looks on another woman with a desire in his heart has committed adultery already? What do we make of Matthew 5:46. ‘’Love your enemies. Bless them that curse you. Do good to them that hate you. And pray for them which

despitefully use you and persecute you”. •Hell is a creation of the church. • God did not talk to Adam and Eve about Hell. • Moses did not talk about hell in the 10 Commandments. •Jesus teachings on hell were directed to the Jews t alone and not to the Gentiles. •Jesus principle apostle –Paul – barely referred to hell fire but it will not be forever in other words, there is no such thing as everlasting fire and punishment. Possibly, the wicked will suffer for a period of time thereafter God will destroy them and they will simply be no longer in existence. Pastor Oluboba treats and answer all the above questions in great detail, and at times in a conversationalist or interrogatory style that even the most hardened unbeliever in the gospel of the end times will have no ground to stand one.

Holiness This is not “politically correct” subject on many pulpits these days. In connection with this, I recall a conversation I had only few days ago with a Pastor friend of mine who recalled that on a recent trip to somewhere in Europe where he had been invited as a guest minister, as he tore into holiness during his message, the host pastor sent a note to him that he had exceeded his time limit – only for the next 20 minutes. Holiness. Holiness. Holiness. Without it everything else is a sham. Why do you want to receive healing if you are not going to heaven? Why do you want to prosper like the rich fool if you are not going to heaven? Pastor Oluboba gave justice to this subject. What is the point of mastering Matthew 24 and memorizing 2,000 scriptures, if James 2:10 i is going to waylay you?

ONA bounces back


FTER last year’s controversy that trailed the origin of the ONA Art Movement, a group art exhibition featuring members of the movement is being organised as a reunion. It will open on October 27 at Nike Gallery and Watersworth Gallery both in Lekki, Lagos. According to a statement by one of the members, Tola Wewe, the exhibition has given rise to a solidified group of artists. He said the founders of ONA include Bolaji Campbell, Kunle Filani, Tunde Nasiru, Moyo Okediji and Tola Wewe who have all agreed to creatively harmonise and re-position ONA Art Movement through exhibitions, workshops, seminars, conferences and lectures. He disclosed that the group exhibition will feature huge works and installations, drawings and miniatures at both galleries. “From October 27, the founding members will be exhibiting their recent works. The exhibition is aimed at re-inventing the philosophy of ONA by the founding members. Consequently, the exhibition will feature mainly and strictly the five founding members only. Subsequent ONA shows will hold annually and in different parts of the world where other members are expected to participate,” Wewe added.





The Midweek Magazine



HEN his classic, ‘How Europe Underdeveloped Africa’ was first published in 1972, the Guyanese scholar and activist, Dr. Walter Rodney, became an instant publishing and intellectual phenomenon. Over a decade later, when I was a student at the Faculty of Social Sciences at the University of Ibadan, Walter Rodney’s bomb of a book was required reading for all students in the Arts and Social Sciences. I remember an anecdote back then about one of our greatest poets and scholars who entered his class one day and asked his students why that day was a very significant one. He was absolutely disappointed that none of them remembered it was Walter Rodney’s birthday! That only illustrates in what great esteem one of the most profound thinkers of our time was and continues to be held. You can, therefore, understand my elation several years later in coming across a 2009 edition of the book, with a new introduction by one of Rodney’s scholar-comrades, Vincent Harding. In approximately 400 pages, including a postscript by the no less illustrious Abdul Raman Babu, incisive Marxist scholar and author of the hugely influential ‘African socialism or Socialist Africa’, Walter Rodney traces the historical and socioeconomic context of Africa’s underdevelopment. He thoroughly tears apart the erroneous, a-historical and racist, perceptions of African underdevelopment either as a natural, original condition or a function of the black man’s genetic inferiority relative to the more advanced peoples of the world. In the first largely theoretical chapter of the book, Rodney discusses in general terms the concepts of development and underdevelopment and makes the critical point that “Every people have shown a capacity for independently increasing their ability to live a more satisfactory life through exploiting the resources of nature.” In other words, every people across space and time have always shown a capacity to master the laws of nature (science) and to apply these laws towards extracting a higher standard of living from nature (technology).

Segun Ayobolu sms to 07032777778

Walter Rodney’s enduring relevance Examining in detail, in the second chapter, such concrete historical case studies as ancient Egypt, Ethiopia, Nubia, Zimbabwe, the kingdoms of the Western Sudan, the Maghreb of North Africa and the interlacustrine zones of East Africa, Rodney shows that these societies were already at rudimentary levels of development not too dissimilar from other parts of the world at that stage of history. Thus, there were elements of state formation, emergent class stratification, elementary means of exchange, iron smelting and working, domestication of animals, cultivation of crops and creation of intricate works of artistic beauty in these societies. Of course, Rodney was no starry-eyed idealist. Although the socio-economic and technological gap between Africa and Europe in the 15 th century was not as disparate as what obtains in the contemporary world, he admits that the latter still had an edge. In Rodney’s words, “…it would be self delusion to imagine that all things were exactly equal in Benin and Holland. European society was already more aggressive, more expansionist and more dynamic in producing new forms…When Europe and Africa established close relations

through trade, there was therefore already a slight edge in Europe’s favour – an edge representing the difference between a fledgling capitalist society and one that was still emerging from communalism.” In the rest of the book, Rodney proves that the current underdevelopment of Africa cannot be dissociated from the exploitative relationship between Africa and Europe as from the 15th century. He demonstrates his case with scientific rigour by looking at how Africa contributed to European capitalist development in the pre-colonial era, the European slave trade and Africa’s underdevelopment up to 1885, Africa’s contribution to the capitalist development of Europe in the colonial period and colonialism as a system for underdeveloping Africa. Now, how relevant is Rodney’s perception and vision to the contemporary realities of our world? Has the world not changed fundamentally since the publication of his path-breaking book and then his gruesome and tragic assassination by the forces of imperialism in 1980? Yes, the communist bloc has collapsed. Neo-liberal capitalism has celebrated its triumph for much of the period even as the gap between the rich and

Osazuwa returns with Views in colours

expectation of Edo indigenes who savour the annual festivity in the month of December when the monarch makes his only public appearance in full regalia. Unity orchestra captures the three music makers from the major ethnic groupsYoruba, Hausa and Ibo, showing their traditional instruments such as flute, talking drum and Goje. The harmony from such rendition is what the artist finds very significant as the nation faces many challenges of insecurity and violence. And in the spirit of equity, the artist presents the figures in equal height and size, which is in tandem with the provisions of the 1999 Constitution. But how far has this taken the country 52 years on?


IKE writers, most visual artists express their views on national issues. Though through different medium, their messages are not only visually arresting but colourful. One of such artists is Osagie Osazuwa, a fine art graduate of the Auchi Polytechnic, Auchi, Edo State, who recently participated in a group art exhibition in Ghana to mark Nigeria’s 52nd independence anniversary. Back home, he will on October 27 open his solo art exhibition, Views in colours, at the National Museum, Onikan, Lagos. The exhibition, which will run till November 4, will feature about 40 artworks, ranging from large and medium size works in oil on canvas to acrylic on paper. The collection is an aggregation of the artist’s views about goings on in the society, especially issues that affect children, individual rights among others. But the show is a retrospective outing as a new chapter in the professional career of the artist will be winding down. Yet, the collection is objective in terms of message and style. “But the next stage of my career will reflect paintings that are subjective to an extent. That is the progression,” Osazuwa hinted during a preview session. Expectedly, Views in colours will feature both old and new artworks that capture the stage, which the artist has been very objective in his presentation of works. Some of the artworks selected for showing include Unity orchestra, Royal dancers, Horns men, Goje players, Durbar procession, Mai Suya, Mama put, Body No be firewood, Ogoro bar, Man must wack, Akosobo 1 and 11, and Destitute. Osazuwa, a product of the Auchi colour masters, said the exhibition is not organised primarily to make money but to provide the wider public the opportunity of savouring his creative works. According to him, many of the works for exhibition have been with him for many years and are very precious. “The joy I get from finishing a painting is unquantifiable. So, I am fulfilled

poor within and between nations has widened. Many scholars, including African intellectuals have wondered if we are justified in lamenting how external forces underdeveloped Africa over five decades after independence. Indeed, President Barrack Obama made this point during a visit to Ghana in the early days of his administration. Incidentally, Rodney himself answers this question in his book when he says “None of these remarks are intended to remove the ultimate responsibility for development from the shoulders of Africans. Not only are there African accomplices inside the imperialist system, but every African has a responsibility to understand the system and work for its overthrow.” Yes, the massive corruption by venal African elite that has contributed to the impoverishment of the continent cannot be blamed on slavery and colonialism. Yet, these historical phenomena – slavery, colonialism, neocolonialism – inflicted such deep wounds on our psyches that they continue, directly and indirectly, to obstruct our attempts at development. Let us give the last word to our own Claude Ake, who, incidentally taught alongside Walter Rodney at the University of Dar es Salam in the 1970s. Referring to slavery and colonialism, Ake observes, sadly, “On account of these circumstances, we live in a cultural wasteland and we have been badly scarred psychologically. We have been dislodged from our traditional culture, and yet we cannot feel at home in Western culture. This intolerable situation is compounded by our affinity to the West. It makes them more aware of Africa’s humiliations and disabilities and demoralizes us. In short, because of historical circumstances, most of us do not know who they are, where they are coming from or where they are going.” How can any meaningful development take place within this context? Surely, understanding Walter Rodney’s thought is crucial to appreciating the roots of underdevelopment in Africa and empowering us to chart a way out of the miry clay of protracted backwardness.

Kakaki on parade By Udemma Chukwuma


•Royal Dancers By Ozolua Uhakheme Assistant Editor (Arts)

VISUAL ART with every painting that I finished,” he said. Royal dancers, (oil on canvas), is symbolic of the festive mood that characterises the palace of a Benin monarch during the annual Igue festival. The colourful piece shows six

women dressed in the red wrapper, beads on wrist and neck, and as part of hair-do, in a singing session for the royalty. The foreground of the work reveals lots of action from the movement of legs and hands, while the orange and red colours in the background contrast the black figures arranged in a frontal roll. Royal dancers is a reminder of the

S part of activities marking Niger ia’s 52nd independence anniversary, V14 Venture, an event planner showcased four traditional wedding attires tagged Kakaki…Shades of Culture, at Xover Lunge, Lekki, Lagos. The show was also to promote Nigerian culture, local fabric, and accessories while encouraging upcoming designers such as Cheche Clothing, Sunny Stitches, Charles Martin, Trixies Beauty, and Fanny designs, who major in designing traditional wedding wares and accessories. It showcased four traditional and white wedding with a touch of native fabric made by them. Organiser of the event, Valentina Chimon-Ezendigbo said ‘Kakaki is a wedding show where four traditional weddings are showcased, Hausa, Igbo, Yoruba and Edo, and also a class of people who make weddings happen to showcase their skills’. Unlike most events, which normally start with red carpet, Kakaki kicked off with native brown mart carpet to usher in the event which reviewed the stages of how the Edos, Igbos, Hausas and Yorubas conduct their traditional marriage, starting from the introduction to the payment of bride price.



The Midweek Magazine


Monarch backs Life In My City Art Festival

Amila painting challenge: Reawakening creative minds



MILA painting challenge is all about promoting art, especially painting among primary school

pupils in Lagos State. It is also to engender bonds between children and parents using painting exercises. Who knows, we can discover another Picasso from this project,” according to the Marketing Director, Promasidor Nigeria Limited, Mr Kachi Onubogu. He spoke at the launching of an art competition, tagged; Amila Painting challenge organised by Promasidor Nigeria Limited for primary school pupils in the state. He said that the exercise is not a competition per se, but a platform to encourage the kids to paint and have fun while at it. Onuogu observed that art is a field that the company intends investing in because the environment is developing, adding that the cognitive, social and arts skills would contribute to the total development of the child. He stressed that the project is to reawaken interest in arts subjects at the primary school level. “Growing up, I can remember how we used to love to paint and then we were all encouraged to participate in arts from primary one to three. Art is important in a child’s development. A lot of people think that Mathematics and English are what kids need in primary and nursery schools but they fail to realise that the cognitive skills, social skills and arts skills will go a long way for the child,” he said, adding that the Amila Painting challenge is open to 200 private and public schools as a pilot project and would run from October to November. Pupils will compete on the basis of painting different things. We want to encourage the kids to paint and most especially to have fun. If there’s one thing I want the school to do is to allow the kids to have fun while they paint.”

• From left: Onubogu, Mrs Abiola Inawo at the event By Ozolua Uhakheme Assistant Editor (Arts)

VISUAL ART Manager, Brands Group (Food Enhancement and Beverages) of Promasidor Nigeria, Mrs Abiola Inawo said the competition would encourage schools to give more attention to arts and that the competition would be in three stages. “We are looking at 200 schools across 20 local government areas in Lagos. The competition will be in three stages, the first stage is at the school level where pupils will paint any art of their choice and the winner will represent the school at the local government area for the second stage. At the second stage, the overall winner from the local government level will get a branded Amila Bicycle and Promasidor goodie bags. Then the 20 finalist at the local government level will compete for the overall winner who will walk away with N250,000, first runner up will get N150,000, and the second

runner up will get N100,000 while there will be consolation prizes of N30,000 each for the other 17 contestants,” Inawo said. Representing the Executive Chairman, Lagos State Universal Basic Education Board, Mr Alabi Adaramaja praised the Promasidor team saying, “We will like to commend Promasidor Nigeria for the initiative because they have been very supportive in education, through the Cowbell National Secondary School Mathematics Competition (NASSMAC). Though we had doubts initially when they came to us but coming here now and seeing this, I want to assure you that we will support you in every way we can. Once again Promasidor on behalf of my executive chairman, Thank you and we encourage you not to relent in your efforts in helping the educational sector.” Amila powder soft drink was launched into the Nigerian market in March 2009. Launched in four flavours, Orange, Apple Pear, Mango Appricot and Strawberry Banana, Amila is targeted at kids but ideal for sharing by all members of the family. Amila sponsors the ‘Amila Spelling Bee’ on Cool FM 95.9 anchored by Mannie.

HE Obi of Onitsha, Igwe Nnaemeka Achebe, has praised the concept and objectives of the Life In My City Art Festival (LIMCAF). He also accepted to be the special guest at the grand finale and award night of the festival holding in Enugu on October 27. Igwe Achebe gave his blessings to the objectives of the festival, which promotes art tourism destination in Enugu State in particular and Nigeria in general. He praised the founder of the festival, Chief Robert Oji and members of the board for sustaining the festival all these years. He noted that effort is not just to provide space through art for the youth of Nigeria to make meaningful statements about their environment but also to empower them through the exhibition and sale of their creative productions. The monarch, who promised to be at the award night, called on all those who mean well for the Nigerian youths to rally to the support of the festival. Igwe Achebe spoke in his palace in Onitsha during a recent visit by delegation of the board of trustees of the Life In My City Art festival led by the former Chairman of Union Bank. Elder Kalu Uke Kalu, Some of the members of the board who accompanied the chairman included the art director of the festival, Mr Ayo Adewunmi, Director Alliance Francaise, Enugu, Mr Dominique Fancelli and the executive director of the festival Mr Kevin Ejiofor. The delegation also included Mr Bona Ezeudu of the famous Bona’s Gallery, Enugu. A statement by Ejiofor said the delegation had come to congratulate the Igwe on the occasion of the 10th anniversary of his coronation and wished him a successful and memorable Ofala festival.

•Elder Kalu making a presentation to Obi of Onitsha on behalf of LIMCAF.

Bariga ablaze with arts


N the heat of a typical Lagos day, young talents treated a curious crowd eager to watch their performance. They danced and sang at the Bariga Market during the BornTroWay Creative Arts Project workshop. Kasali Aduragbami was one of the talents. He has always been fascinated with the art of putting words together creatively. But as a young man growing up in the denselypopulated Lagos suburb, Bariga, he had dreamt of mastering the art someday. Today, Aduragbami is living his dream. Five days as a participant in the BornTroWay Creative Arts Project, Aduragbami can now put rhymes together. The project is a community development programme that seeks to inspire talented youths in marginalised areas in Nigeria through arts, empowering them with artistic tools to express their voices and skills. It aspires to partner with local organisations and artists to set up community centers, where motivated youth can meet to create, share and make their ideas a reality. Initiated by a musician, Ade Bantu, one of the judge in the ongoing MTNPROJECT FAME reality TV show, BornTroWay has held workshops at Ajegunle, Oshodi, Port Harcourt and Durban (South Africa. Bantu is ever so proud of the talents locked up in the nooks and cranes of the country. “We believe in these children, we believe in their future and what we are doing is re-negotiating it, through arts that reflects their stories. I cannot tell you just how proud I am of these youths; they have shown courage, focus and dogged determination all through the workshop

and today they are taking back their streets,” he says. He calls for more volunteers, saying: “I am a very busy man; I am a judge on the project fame show and currently promoting my latest single ‘Oya Oya’, every one of the instructors is tied up with projects, but that cannot be an excuse. The BorntTroway project is a movement and we need more people to step up and be a part of it.” Aduragbami was not the only one with a life-changing story to tell. For Temitope Lasisi ignited in her the passion for dancing. “I have gained a lot in this workshop. I will like to be a professional dancer in future.” The experience, Sunday Eberechukwu says, has exposed the hidden talents within, and believes his “tomorrow will be bright and different”. “It has impacted a lot in me; like how to be focused, to have tolerance, to concentrate and be humble,” he says. Like in other places, beginning with Ajegunle, the project organisers held its fifth edition in the heart of Bariga at the Ade Ife Memorial primary school. The four-day workshop in dance, drama, spoken word and music culminated in two energetic public performances at the fifth day. The first was before a crowd at the Bariga Market. The second performance saw participants thrilling their audience at the busy Bariga roundabout, which like the first was engaging, so much so that the men of the Nigeria Police had to ensure the steady flow of traffic. The performances highlighted the nega-

• Participants performing at Bariga By Evelyn Osagie

ARTS tive effects of unlawful waste disposal, and called for its proper deposal and management. It also touched on education, child abuse, talent and youth support and development. For a place notable for producing talents such as Sunny Ade, Salawa Abeni, 9ice and DaGrin and housing The Crown Troupe Of Africa, pioneered by Segun Adefila, the people of Bariga were sure

alive to their appreciation of arts. Reacting to how he felts about the Project coming to Bariga, Adefila, who is one of the BornTroway Arts Project instructors, said that Bariga has always had a vibrant theatre community, with lots of talented youths, adding that the project was a platform for showcasing those talents. Other instructors include, Ilaria Chassa, Producer, an economist with a passion for arts and entertainment in Africa; AJ Dagga Tolar, a spoken word poet, writer, frontline social crusader taught spoken word and music.

“Owen poured his heart and soul into the job, both on and off the pitch, and he led our club with great dignity during some very challenging times. It is the right time for a change. We set a target at the beginning of the season and want to get back on track. I would like to place on record our sincere thanks to Owen, Sandy Stewart and Steve Davis for all their hard work during their time at Bolton Wanderer's”

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Chairman of Bolton Wanderers, Phil Gartside, explaining why manager, Owen Coyle was relieved of his job.


•Jamaica’s Usain Bolt celebrates with Britain's Mo Farah

Bolt, Farah nominated for Athletics Award


OUBLE London 2012 gold medalists Usain Bolt and Mo Farah are among the Olympic track and field stars nominated Tuesday for the World Athlete of the Year Award. The sport’s governing body, the IAAF, announced 10 nominees for each of the men’s and women’s categories, with every one of them having won gold in London. In addition to 100 and 200 meter winner Bolt and endurance champion Farah, the men’s list includes David Rudisha, who shattered the 800m world record in the final in London. If Bolt wins, it would be the fourth time he has won the award in five years, while Rudisha could regain the title he won in 2010. American runner Allyson Felix takes her place among the nominees for the women’s award after becoming the first female track athlete to win three gold medals at a single Olympics since 1988. Australian hurdler Sally Pearson could retain the award she won last year, while American runner Sanya Richards-Ross was Athlete of the Year in 2006 and 2009. Eight of the athletes are world record holders in a total of 10 events. The United States accounts for six of the 20 athletes nominated, while three Jamaicans made the lists.


Khan survives armed gang ambush

A •Owen Coyle

MIR KHAN was forced to call upon the skills that make him a former world champion after an armed gang ambushed the British boxer. It's been reported that the 25-year old and his brother Haroon, 20, were caught up in a street brawl in the early hours of Monday morning as up to six armed gang members attempted to steal Khan's £100,000 Range Rover. And despite trying to block the duo's path by using a 4x4, Khan and his brother fought back before fleeing from the scene in Birmignham. An onlooker is quoted in The Sun as saying: 'These guys tried to jump Amir and his brother but they picked on the wrong blokes. 'They parked their car in front of the Range Rover. At least one had a cosh. One slapped Amir and clipped him on the lip but Amir pulled back and knocked him out cold. 'Then five of them went for Amir and Haroon - but they stood their ground and these guys got dropped one by one. They left these men with cuts and bruises but all they were doing was defending their •Khan property.’





Gyang Shom Nyam Pwajok is former Chief of Staff to Governor Jonah Jang of Plateau State. A political scientist, he was elected to replace the late Senator Gyang Dantong in last Saturday’s by- election. YUSUFU AMINU IDEGU reviews the basic factors that ensured his victory over five other candidates.

How Pwajok won Plateau senatorial by-election


HE race to fill the seats made vacant by the sudden death of late Senator Gyang Dalyop Dantong , who represented Plateau North in the National Assembly, began almost immediately after his death. The nation’s electoral law stipulates that such vacant seat be filled up within the first ninety days. The seat became vacant on July 8, when the legislator met his sudden death at the mass grave site where hundreds of mourners had gathered for a mass burial of about 50 victims of a mid-night attack by unknown gunmen in Maseh village, Riyom Local Government Area of Plateau State. Before you mention the word ‘senate’, seven political parties had lined up their respective candidates for the contest. Three candidates came up to contest that of the state House of Assembly. Many aspirants came out and indicated interest to run for the seat, but few were chosen by their respective political parties. The selective processes were done in accordance to each party’s guidelines. The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) sped up the whole process when it announced October 6, as date for the by-elections based on agreement with stakeholders. The flag bearer for Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) was Jonathan Yusufu Pam; All Nigeria People’s Party (ANPP) had Dr. Danladi Atu while Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) had Tonny Aganga Yunana as its flag bearer. The Democratic People’s Party (DPP) cleared Col. John David Dung (rtd) o fl is flag; All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) cleared Chris Giwa, while the Labor Party (LP) cleared Hon. Lumumba Dah Adeh and the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) settled for Gyang Nyam Shom Pwajok. More than any other party, the ruling PDP took the race for the bye-election as its biggest challenge ever. For obvious reason, the ruling party was on the verge of losing its relevance in the state and the bye election was an opportunity to re-launch itself into relevance or be reduced into a minority party in the state. In the 2011 general election, the ruling party lost one of the senate seats to an opposition party, the Labour Party. It was the former governor of the state Senator Joshua Dariye who made it to the Senate at the expense of his former party, the PDP. This left the ruling party with two senators; Senator Victor Lar from Plateau South and late Senator Gyang Dantong from Plateau North. So, PDP received the death of one of its senator from the zone as another challenge threatening its vantage position on the Plateau. It was also another moment for Governor Jonah Jang to prove his political relevance in the state as he was about to lose his own zone to another party. Jang hails from Jos South, one of the six local governments that make up Plateau North. These were the basic factors that determined the activities and political build up before the election. Being the leader of the party in the state, Governor Jang moved out in full force to defend the interest of the party in the state. He was quite at the initial stage as to the choice of who should fly the party’s flag. But as soon as the party came up with its candidate after the primaries, Jang and the party leadership set up a high powered campaign team led by no less a person than the state deputy governor Ambassador Ignatius Longjan as the campaign director general. The campaign train took the party and its candidate from one corner of the zone

•Governor Jang

•Senator-elect Pwajok

‘This has passed as the most peaceful election in the state, it was free and fair, it shows all of us in the zone won because it was a collective effort including that of the candidates of other parties. If there is any victory at all, it is victory for all, and I don’t think there is any loser in this election because all of us worked for its success including candidates of other parties’ to another. Prior to this time, the party almost broke up during its primary election held at Treasure Inn Jos. It was a battle between a 2nd republic deputy senate president Senator John Wash Pam and Pwajok. Both aspirants for the PDP primaries were some of the best hands for the position and the decision was tough for the party. The heat of what was happening in Jos was felt at the PDP national secretariat in Abuja and Aso Rock. The petitions going from Jos to national chairman of the party Alhaji Bamanga Tukur in Wadata House, Abuja were enough to force the national executive to seek the face of God Almighty. The party leadership at the state and national level only heave a sigh of relief when the primary was over, which Pwajok won. The end of the primaries set the tone for the election proper as other political parties had already lined up their flag bearers using the consensus formula in their respective primaries. Late Senator Dantong hails from Riyom Local Government; Jonathan Yusufu Pam hails from Jos South local government area; Col. David Dung is from Riyom local government while Jonathan Yusufu Pam is from Jos South. Chris Giwa is also from Jos South; Honourable Lumumba Da Adeh is a native of Bassa local government. Similarly, the PDP candidate, Gyang Pwajok is a native of Jos North local government area. The seven political parties contested the bye-election almost acted like multi-national

marketing companies competing with one another for the sales of their products. The campaign slogan of the ruling party in the state, PDP, for instance, was based on quality representation, ability to deliver and capacity to beat any other party candidate, hence the emergence of GNS Pwajok. The Labor Party also insisted that it required an experienced candidate like Hon Lumumba Dah Adeh, who was in the House of Representatives in 1999. DPP held the belief that their candidate for the bye election must come from Riyom, home of late Senator Dantong and they arrived at picking Chief John Dung (rtd). The ACN preferred a candidate like Jonathan Yusufu Pam, a professional lawyer to be the best candidate considering that such people know the technicalities of law making. The same reason CPC went for a lawyer, Tonny Aganga Yunana as their candidate. Chris Giwa, the candidate for APGA emerged because the party saw in him a man of the people and a grassroots mobiliser. ANPP went for Dr. Danladi Atu because they believed that he is the most popular politician in the zone. However, the most interesting aspect of the election was the idea of fielding a consensus candidate against the ruling party because it was clear to all in the state that PDP was far ahead in opinion polls. Hence, all the opposition parties on the Plateau, under the umbrella of Conference for All Nigerian Political Parties (CNPP) came up with a consensus candidate in the

person of Chris Giwa, candidate of APGA. Chairman of all opposition parties in the state Alhaji Muhammed Kanam presented the consensus candidate in a press conference in Jos. According to the chairman, CNPP had five candidates for this election and we have resolved that it is wise to collapse them into one consensus candidate. The CNPP under very difficult conditions had to come up with a formula to present just one candidate to face the PDP because our goal is to win not to attempt to win. Kanam said: “A committee was set by the whole house to speak to our five candidates, a task which was not easy to handle. But since we have to come up with just but one candidate, the committee recommended Ambassador Chris Giwa of APGA to be the candidate to be supported by all members of CNPP”. When all was set for the main election, the state police command declared two days curfew to ensure the election was peaceful. It was indeed peaceful as there was total compliance with the no movement order. After collating all the results of the election from the six local governments of the zone, the PDP candidate, Pwajok, emerged winner. Announcing the final result at the zonal collation center in Jos, the Returning Officer, Prof. Fatima Sawa of the Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University of Technology (ATBU), Bauchi said, “from the result collated from the six local governments within the zone, GNS Pwajok of the PDP has won the majority vote and is duly elected as senator representing Plateau North senatorial zone” According to the announced results based on scores by each party candidate, GNS Pwajok led the pack with a total of 195,349 votes, Jonathan Yusufu Pam of ACN, 27,609; Dr. Danladi Atu of ANPP, 30,132; Chris Giwa of APGA, 36,245; Col David Dung of DPP, 38,847 and Hon. Lumumba Dah Ade of the LP, 25,527. The Plateau North senatorial district Senator-elect, Gyang Nyam Shom Pwajok has said there is neither winner nor loser in the last Saturday election. Pwajok in a statement in Jos said, “This has passed as the most peaceful election in the state, it was free and fair, it show all of us in the zone won because it was a collective effort including that of candidate of other parties. “If there is any victory at all, it is victory for all, and I don’t think there is any loser in this election because all of us work for its success including candidates of other parties”. Pwajok who paid glowing tribute to his predecessor, late Senator Gyang Dantong said, “I therefore wish to call the entire people of the zone including all aspirants and candidates to make sure I complete the good work started by late senator Dantong” Pwajok said: “The immediate challenge before me as the senator-elect is the issue of how to redeem the battered image of the zone. Plateau North has in recent times became famous for violence of all sort, we need to redeem this image, this is not what only me as the senator can achieve. The former Chief of Staff to Jang said: “I need all stakeholders on board, especially, all those that came out to contest this election, all the parties candidate know well that the crises is affecting all of us and I need them to come together and find a way out irrespective of ethnic and political affiliation. With the emergence of Pwajok in the Saturday election, the people of the zone have now found a replacement for late Senator Gyang Dantong.




Senate and the challenges of insecurity


EDNESDAY October 3, was another day of grief and lamentation in the Senate. It was a replica of the session on August 18, when the lawmakers took turns to mourn one of their own, Senator Gyang Dantong, who died fleeing from trigger happy invaders at a burial ceremony in Barkin Ladi, Plateau State . This time around senators grieved over the reprehensible murder of 46 students of the Federal Polytechnic Mubi, Adamawa State by yet to be identified gunmen. As it was in the case of Senator Dantong, some senators struggled to hold back tears, while others felt the time is ripe for stringent measures to be invited on those who have elected to make human life worth less than a kobo in the country. Some of the lawmakers could not comprehend how a group of blood thirsty individuals could invade a higher institution of learning in the dead of the night, call students by their names and slaughter them like rams taken to the slaughter. The federal lawmakers kicked and cursed those behind the senseless killing. Some demanded instant justice, few of them were lost in thought while others were tongue-tied apparently thinking of the demon that has taken over the nation. Senate President, Senator David Mark, was one of those sufficiently angered by the manner the Mubi students were killed. Mark, known for straight talk, especially, at times of national emergency could not hide his indignation over the horrific incident. His body language and what he said was enough to fire the chamber. He posited that the perpetrators of the heinous crime should be used to test the capital punishment when they are apprehended. Some senators doubted if the real perpetrators of the crime would ever be found. Senator Bindowo Mohammed Jibrilla, who brought the incident to the attention of the Senate through a motion of national urgent importance, did not say much. Jibrilla may have been battling with heavy heart due to the unfortunate incident or he lacked words to describe the death of 46 students in his sleepy constituency of Adamawa North. He simply said that the wanton killing of innocent students in Federal Polytechnic, Mubi is unacceptable and prayed the Senate to set machinery in motion to ensure that those behind the killings are brought to book. Immediately Jibrilla took his seat, other senators bared their mind over the unfortunate incident. Many of them raised their hands to contribute to the motion. It was an expression fury and anger over what they described as the abysmal failure of the Federal Government to protect lives in the country. They wondered the essence of power if it will not be used for the good of the greatest number of people. The lawmakers were unanimous in insisting that the government should be made to wake up and be responsive to its responsibilities especially provision of security. Some prayed the chamber to pass a vote of no

From Onyedi Ojiabor, Assistant Editor

confidence on the government for its inability to secure lives and property in the country. Senator Mark said government must do what is needful - fish out the perpetrators of the act and punish them according to the law of the land. For the Benue South lawmaker, when those responsible for the heinous crime in Mubi are apprehended, they should be used to test the law on capital punishment. Mark said, “These students and people killed did not happen as a result of their own fault. “Every state government today in this country has some responsibility towards providing security to those who live in that state. “The Federal Government also has responsibility. We all have responsibility including the local governments. “People are not killing in the United States because of unemployment. People are not killing in Norway where a man went berserk and killed so many holiday makers, people are not killing because of unemployment or desertification or flooding. Mark stressed that the challege before the country in terms of security is serious and it must be tackled headlong. He described the manner of the Mubi killing as unacceptable. “The security challenges before us in this country are grievous, and we have to tackle them headlong. On the specific issue of these Mubi killings, I think it is a pity that people will move from one room to the other calling names, dragging them out and killing them; slaughtering them. This is totally unacceptable. Even if it just attacking the symptoms now, those involved must be arrested and brought to book. He canvassed capital punishment for those who did it if they are caught and convicted by a competent court of law as a deterence. “I know that this is a democracy and with due respect to all of us, capital punishment is still in our statute. This is an opportunity for us to test it and use it as deterrence to others and that has to be done as fast and as speedy as possible”. He lamented that whereas such crimes happen in other crimes band the perpetrators are quickly arrested, here the oppositie is the case. “It is not that crimes don’t take place in other countries. They do. But it is the reaction of government. The speed with which those who are involved are arrested is instructive. I think we have gone beyond the time for us to sing these songs of lamentation every now and again. We should not be lamenting. I think we should be able to act. “Government needs to act as quickly and as fast as possible. Terrorists will succeed once they can stop government from doing what government want to do. “Now Nigerians are being scared of sending their children to polytechnics and universities because today it is in Mubi, who knows where it is going to happen in the next town”, he stated. Deputy Senate President, Senator Ike Ekweremadu ( Enugu South), in his contribution noted that it was a sad day for Nigeria as a

• Mark

• Ekweremadu

country and that he sympathised with the whole country. He said, “Let us imagine that we are the parents of those people killed. Some are the only child, some are the hopes of their families while others are investments. You can imagine the pains to these families. “This is not an isolated case, it is everywhere in the South East. It is evil, uncalled for and totally condemnable. What happened in Mubi is a failure of security. Whether it is robbery or Boko Haram, it is the inability of security agents to secure the people”. Next to speak was Senator Bello Mohammed Tukur (Adamawa Central). He said what happened in Mubi should be a matter of serious concern to every Nigerian. Bello said that nobody could say exactly what led to the mayhem. The lawmaker said that he is aware that people are leaving Mubi in large number moving towards Yola, the state capital. He lamented that some people are saying that similar incident is happening in Gumbi, a town between Mubi and Yola. “One cannot say exactly who they are but the security agents should be in a position to tell us. About a month ago, there was increase in security agents in the area and they were engaged in house to house search. Mubi was closed down for three days, nobody was coming in or going out of the house. “As a result 156 people were arrested and brought to barracks in Yola. All these brought about a lot of tension in Mubi town. Some of those arrested were not members of Boko Haram, some are not natives. “This is beginning to be worrisome. Every day, urban settlement is being affected. If care is not taken, it may get to Yola and Jalingo and before we know it, the whole north may be consumed.” Also contributing, Senator Dahiru Kuta ( Niger East) said that he is saddened by the atrocious happening in Mubi. His concern, he said, is that higher institutions are now the target.

The Niger State lawmaker insisted that more should be done than what is currently going on because the country may be headed in the direction of anarchy. “We should do more than what we are doing now because Nigeria is moving to anarchy and nobody has solution to what is happening. What started as armed robbery have now graduated to anarchy. In the whole of the North East, the economy is grinding to a halt. “I have said that the advance of the desert, about 5km annually is putting so many people out of job. Unless something is done, more will happen because many have lost their jobs and will use Boko Haram as cover to cause mayhem. He lamented that despite the huge amount spent on security annually, Nigeria is still faced with insecurity as its major challenge. “This is no longer a religious matter. Up till now, the security agencies, in spite of all the money spent annually on security, , have no solution to this problem. It is important to look at the security agencies again, let them say why they are failing and if there is need to look for other solutions”. Senator Mathew Nwagwu (Imo North) in his contribution asked how long Nigerian will continue to watch helplessly while innocent people are killed. He said, “When all the churches are burnt down, it will be mosques and when students are finished, it may be the Senate. Mr President should take more proactive measures. It was unbecoming of Nigerians to take reappraisal attacks. He called on the Senate to condemn the killing and asked that the President be made to do some clarifications on the security situation in the country. “The Senate should condemn the killing and send a strong message to the President to clear the air on the issue. We are under siege and something should be done fast.” Senator Oluremi Tinubu (Lagos Central) in her contribution noted that the nation is under siege. She lamented that the country has never experienced the level of insecurity being witness now. For the Lagos State lawmaker “even during the Abacha regime it was not like this. Everyone will notice that the rate of unemployment and poverty are high and for me, the present administration has not delivered the dividend of democracy to the people. For me, it is high time we declared a vote of no confidence on the President”. Senator Olubunmi Adetunmi, (Ekiti North) in his contribution noted that the nation expects so much from its youths. He said, “If we were cut down in our youth, most of us would not have been here. What happened in Mubi is the destruction of our future. “My contribution is not so much to the perpetrators of the crime but to speak the truth to those in authority. Power is supposed to provide security of lives and property and this is where the government has failed. “We are all parents and we have children in school locally and internationally. The question we should ask ourselves is where is safe in Nigeria . “Police barracks that are fortified have been attacked, emirs, churches and mosques have been attacked. People have been attacked on the streets, now it is the turn of students who represent the future of the country. The Senate later observed one minute silence in honour of victims of the mayhem.

• From right: Delta State Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan (CON) Senator Sylvester Ayanwu, Imo State Governor Rochas Okorocha and his wife, Nkechi, and former Head of State General Ibrahim Babangida (rtd) during Governor Okorocha’s 50th birthday celebration in Owerri.



Ado-Ekiti transforms •Continued from Page 17

hinder the dualisation of New Garage-Ojumose-Okeyinmi-Baptist Church Road and AtikankanIgbehin Road. Another N83,679,627 has also been spent paying compensation to “ameliorate the pains of our people arising from these projects”. Significantly too, even owners of structures without certificates of occupancy are not being denied compensation. The governor explains his approach to urban renewal: “If anyone had described this government as do-nothing, I guess they do not understand the processes involved in ensuring that you take the people along with you even if you have a vision and a plan. That is what we have consistently demonstrated; we wanted to ensure that those affected by the changes that are going to occur are not treated shabbily; we wanted them to be paid adequate compensation for the properties that are bound to be removed for the dualisation process and do it in accordance to due process. ”That is what we have done; we have allowed people to complain about issues relating to their compensation. We have allowed others to raise issues concerning the legality or otherwise of what we are doing but I am happy that this has happened. You can see that people are overjoyed by at least clearly that there is a direction and the plan that we put in place clearly stated what we will do in 2012.”

Demolition without discrimination

One striking discovery about the demolition exercise is that the administration has tried not to be


HE unprecedented flood ravaging parts of the country has sacked over 20 coastal and inland communities along Ase River, in Delta State, leaving the victims in grief and counting their losses. Among the communities that suffered the most devastation are Asafo, Asaba-Ase, Egbeme, Ibedeni, Ase, Ivrogbo and Iyede-Ame and environs. Added to these are other numer-

partial. As the Bafon of Ado Ekiti, Chief Olu Ogunremi is a man of no mean influence. He has the ears of the Ewi of Ado-Ekiti, Oba Rufus Adejugbe. For someone with such a clout, not many expect that his property would be one of those to give way for the renewal of the capital of Ekiti State. In an interesting twist, Ogunremi and many other influential sons and daughters of the ancient city have willingly allowed their property to go down for Ado-Ekiti to rank among the best capital cities in the country. The respected Ekiti chief and others have also commended Fayemi for paying their compensation before their buildings were demolished. They believe this underscores the fact that the governor has the welfare of the people at heart. Fayemi believes Oba Adejugbe has been instrumental in ensuring that the people understand what the government is doing and complying with the quit notice given them. So thrilled is Oba Adejugbe that he is planning a thank-you visit to the governor.

A matter of cash

But such massive work as being undertaken comes at a huge cost. Aside the N275 million spent on paying compensation, the construction and rehabilitation that have turned Ado into a huge construction site is moneyguzzling. The 16 township roads in the capital city alone are to gulp N1,790,578,794. Commissioner for Information and Civic Orientation Funminiyi Afuye said the administration decided to spend this much to make Ado Ekiti a befitting state capital. The cost of the dualisation of Old Garage-Ojumose Road,

•Dual-carriage work on Fajuyi Road, by Police Headquarters

dualisation of Atikankan- Post Office- First Baptist Church Road, re-asphalting of Fajuyi-Police Headquarters Road, FajuyiTeaching Hospital Road and Old Garage- Ajilosun Road is about N5billion. The governor believes that at the completion of the road projects , the urban renewal and beautification project, investors would be attracted. In the beginning It became a state capital in 1996. At that time, there were only two major roads there, with Ajilosun Road being the more popular. Now, things have really changed and will continue to change, said Afuye.

Vision 2014

Fayemi has promised that his administration would leave no stone unturned in ensuring that the vision of making all major roads in Ekiti State motorable by 2014. He said when this vision is actualised, Ekiti would have the best road networks in the Southwest. By then too, Deputy Governor Funmi Olayinka believes the pains that are being experienced as a result of ongoing construction work would soon give way to pleasure and sublime standard of living that are unprecedented in the state. The Ministry of Physical, Urban and Regional Planning said it has now become a sin not to comply with Urban Planning regulations.

Delta communities battle floods By Seun Olalude

ous towns and villages along the River Niger. As of the last count, more than twenty towns and several villages have fallen prey to the flood, a development that has no history of its kind known to any of its victims.

Some displaced residents of the communities, told The Nation over the phone, that all the people have fled the areas, except a few community leaders, living in canoes, who opted to stay just to monitor the situation. A fleeing resident, Mr. Sam

•From left: Prof Sola Akinrinade, Former VC Osun State University; Prof Samuel Bandele, Former VC University of Science and Technology Ifaki Ekiti; Mrs Ajoke Ogunsan,CEO Executive Trainers; Prof Leonard Basil, University of Stellenbosch South Africa, Prof Godwin Onu, Rector, Federal Polytechnic Oko Anambra State and Dr Ayo Ogunsan, Chairman, Executive Trainers ltd at the ongoing Tertiary Institutions Leadership Program in New York, United States of America

Odiebara Miller, said what has happened is a complete disaster, adding that the situation is getting worse. “Nobody has a clue as to what to do next, or the way out of this. We are so confused, we don’t even know how to respond. All we have to do is gather the family together, take to the hired speed boats and outboard engines and flee,” he stated. On government’s response to their plight, he said the intervention is slow and far between. He said nearly all the people that have relocated did so on their own sponsorship, adding that no assistance came from the government. He said however, that he understood the state government arranged for the rescue of inhabitants of Iyede-Ame and other surrounding settlements whose conditions, deteriorated, adding that other areas along the River Niger have been included in the rescue effort. At Asaba-Ase, the Youth President, Nosike Anagbogu, said the situation has reached an alarming rate, with over 4,000 people squatting in the only landed portion, with virtually no means of sustenance. He said the Governor, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan,

All building plans of newly developed property henceforth must carry the seal and signature of a professionally qualified architect in order to qualify it for government’s approval. Property developers are to observe the minimum setback as prescribed in the Urban and Regional Planning Law of the State, which is 20ft (6m) from the edge of the road for developed areas, 30m for state roads and 50m for federal roads. All property developers are to strictly observe all building codes and regulations. Owners of properties whose construction, are not in compliance with the Urban Renewal Law are to regularise them.

A community youth president, Nosike Anagbogu, said the situation has reached an alarming rate, with over 4,000 people squatting in the only landed portion, with virtually no means of sustenance sent a monitoring team to the town, promising that relief materials would be sent at a later date. At Asafo and Egbeme axis, only a few individuals are left, with the majority relocated to Irri, Oleh and other places in Isoko South and Isoko North Local Government Areas, where relief centres have been established, while others with means and family assistance, have secured temporary accommodation.



•Members of the group ADUNA State Governor Patrick Yakowa has received a delegation of youths willing to partner the state in the provision of jobs. The youths, drawn from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) visited him seeking to help bring down unemployment in the state by engaging the unemployed in what they called Youth-2-Farm Project. The visitors called PDP Youth Reap, also commended the governor for his efforts in protecting life and property in the state. The National Coordinator of the group, Solomon Godwin who led the team, stated that the group is a


Youths partner Kaduna on jobs From Bukola Amusan, Abuja

well structured organisation, determined to champion progressive ideas and policies as well as engage members to galvanize support for the present administration. The group also expressed their sympathy with the state on the security challenges it has faced, involving loss of life and destruction of properties.

“As part of the core objectives of the Youth Reap to promote peaceful coexistence, the leadership and members sincerely sympathise with you and the good people of Kaduna State over the recent and multiple loss of lives accredited to the recent security threat in the country; it is our solemn belief that this [terror] will definitely come to an end.” He told the Kaduna State government that the group has established

an agreement with the Isreali embassy and other organisations to help train young Nigerians on improved agricultural practices. He said 37 youths from across the states and FCT will be trained in Isreal and deployed to priority areas. Solomon also disclosed plans of establishing model youth farm settlements and catchments across the federation through a strategic partnership with the federal, state and local government.

Yakowa who received a delegation of the PDP Youth Reap in the state recently said he has the responsibility of protecting his citizens and will never look back. The governor who was represented by his Chief of Staff, Abokie Galadima, praised the agricultural development concept of the PDP, lauding its developmental inputs in the development of the nation and ensuring food security.

Group lifts the needy


EMBERS of St Peter’s Society of Saints Joachim and Anne Catholic Church Ijegun, Ikotun in Igando/Ikotun Local Council Development Area of Lagos State empowered six widows, three indigent students and one unemployed graduate. This was part of activities marking the commemoration of the Feast Day of their Patron Saint (St Peter) which they marked penultimate Sunday. The event, which held at the church premises, was preceded by days of prayers and public lectures on issues of faith and the nation. However, the occasion was not all about prayers and lectures as the group took time to consider the physical well-being of select members of the church. This year, the society focused on widows and indigent students in the church. Each of the widows received cash donation of N50, 000. The group secured employment for one of the beneficiaries; Mr Okechukwu Nnoli who had been unemployed since graduation some years back at Patrician Group of Schools; one of the best private schools in Lagos State. Other beneficiaries were Master Chukwuemeka Madu who is on scholarship in Patrician Group of Schools, Ijegun. The scholarship covers the period from JSS1 to SS3, Master Uche Eresaba whose scholarship covers from SS2 to SS3 at Fidel Madonna College of Excellence Iba New Site and Miss Ekene Rita Kanu whose scholarship runs from primary two to SS3 at Holy Family School, Ijegun. Presenting the gifts to the beneficiaries at the main auditorium of the church, the Parish Priest Rev. Fr Gasper Olanrewaju praised the efforts of St Peter’s Society towards contributing to the growth and development of the Church and their decision to assist the less-privileged in the church

By Chinaka Okoro

which, he said, is part of the larger society. “The Church is saddled with the responsibilities of caring for the spiritual and physical well-being of the faithful. However, the Church may not be able to do all these alone as its main concern is the spiritual aspect of life. This though does not indicate that the Church shies away from responding to the physical aspects of our being. “In the circumstances, therefore, it becomes necessary for individuals and groups within and outside the church to complement the efforts of the Church in carrying out its statutory responsibilities. This is what St Peter’s Society is doing today which is both service to God and humanity. Note that the beneficiaries are not only members of St Peter’s Society; members of other societies and ethnic groups make up the list of beneficiaries. “I commend their efforts, even as I enjoin other societies in the church to emulate what St Peter’s Society has done. Through concerted efforts, our society will be a better place to live in,” Fr Olanrewaju said. In a chat with Newsextra after the event, the Secretary-General of St Peter’s Society Bro. Fabian E. Ewendu (KSM) explained the rationale behind the empowerment programme. He said: “We have been enjoined by our Lord Jesus Christ to be our brothers’ keepers and to remember the poor and needy in our midst. What we did today is in line with the tenets of Christianity.” Ewendu noted that the society was moved by the poverty level of some people in the church, adding: “We considered the plight of members of the larger society which the church is part of. We decided to, within the limits of our financial strength, empower six widows, three indigent students and an unemployed

•Rev Fr Olanrewaju presenting cash gift of N50, 000 to Mrs Omotayo. With them are Sir Ewendu (with microphone), Mr Damian Onuoha, some members of the Empowerment Committee and some of the recipients graduate. “These people were picked after serious and thorough screening exercise by the Empowerment Committee of St Peter’s Society. We believe that helping the needy is part of worshipping God.” One of the widows Mrs Helena Omotayo, who spoke to Newsextra through an interpreter, expressed her gratitude to St Peter’s Society for the gesture, adding that the donation would go a long way in improving her well-being. “I never expected to be so favoured by a group I don’t belong to. The gesture from St Peter’s Society is a manifestation of practical Christianity. May God bless them,”

she said. Miss Ekene Rita Kanu said she was happy with the society’s kindness,

even as she said that the group has given her hope of completing her primary and secondary education.



Government has selected 70 Qur’anic schools as pilot programme which we will carry out in the next six months to see how we can include more of similar schools in the state


HE Katsina State government has taken steps towards transforming the state’s Qur’anic education with a view to ending the Almajiri phenomenon. One of the steps it has taken is to improve the scheme by introducing vocational training (skills acquisition) among Almajiri so that they would be better citizens. Governor Ibrahim Shehu Shema disclosed this during the flag-off of the distribution of food items and clothing materials to pupils of Qur’anic schools in Daura. Experts in Qur’anic education have alleged that the current methodology employed in imparting Qur’anic knowledge to pupils by learned Islamic clerics in some parts of the northern region is somewhat wrong. They maintain that it has posed some moral challenges. The multiple effects of this Almajiri phenomenon, a name that has become synonymous with street begging among youths has recently attracted the attention of policy makers who seek solution to this social problem. The Federal Government had launched an Almajiri Integrated Boarding School Programme at Sokoto. The programme is designed to integrate western education into Qur’anic education, even as it has directed that the programme be replicated in all northern states. Governor Shema, in his educational policy in the state in the last five years and in line with Federal Government initiative, has taken the bull by the horns in finding a lasting solution to the menace through the introduction of vocational training and skill acquisition, free feeding and clothing of pupils of the Qur’anic school education in the state. The modified vocational and feed Qur’anic education, the first of its kind in the country, has been introduced in Katsina State as a pilot programme in a carefully selected 70 local Qur’anic schools. The pilot programme is, however, not infused with western education. The success of the scheme may determine the introduction of western education in school curriculum in the state. Governor Shema, while flagging off the pragramme at Alarama Mallam Bello Qur’anic School, in Daura said: “The scheme has been on

•Governor Shema addresses recipients of food and clothing items at a Qu’ranic school in Daura

Katsina transforms Qu’ranic education From Isah Idris, Katsina

government’s education drawing board since the inception of this administration in 2007. It has successfully gone through various assessment tests before taking off.” He further explained that “it would take time before government could effectively execute a programme of this nature. It has to draw out its programme, assess its workability and sustainability by taking into account the financial implications that will effectively assist the Almajiri, the teachers and also meet the basic re-

quirements of the schools. “The sum of N36m will be required for the programme monthly during the first phase that would last for six months. The programme will then be assessed for possible expansion to other schools in the state,” he added. Continuing, Shema said: “Realising the holiness of the month of Ramadan, we have decided to choose today being the first day of Ramadan and also a holy Friday to launch an important programme like Almajiri education that is intended to change things and make life meaningful for our children. “Our intention is that we should be able to promote effective teaching and practice of Islamic knowledge among

the youth to inculcate the fear of God in the children. “You are aware that this administration prioritises education and acquisition of knowledge. That is why we will never stop propagating western education and Islamic education as both can always go together. “Government has selected 70 Qur’anic schools as pilot programme which we will carry out in the next six months to see how we can include more of similar schools in the state. “We will carry out the programme which will involve feeding and clothing the pupils, paying allowances to

teachers (clerics), paying allowances to recruited trainers that will train the pupils in various skills. As part of the programme, we will provide ambulances to attend to emergences, to convey the children to hospitals as they will always access free medical treatment.” “I also want to state that parents, teachers, pupil (Almajiri), the local government authorities, wealthy individuals and Islamic organisations have some roles to plat in ensuring that the programme succeeds.” Governor Shema therefore urged Muslim Ummah to support Almajiri schools for the programme to record appreciable success.

Lawmakers partner civil society


•From left: Mr Ayo Adebusoye, Coordinator, Lagos Civil Society Partnership (LACSOP); Hon. Adefunmilayo Tejuoso; Hon Abdoulbaq Ladi Balogun and SAVI Lagos Team Leader, Felix Obanubi during the visit

N it quest to ensure accountability and efficiency in the system, the Lagos State House of Assembly has hinted of plans to involve the public in capital project execution and budget implementation process. The House Committees on finance and business which have already declared their readiness to spearhead this drive, said the civil society community in the state would now work in partnership with the legislature to observe key processes involved in budget formulation and implementation in recognition of its oversight functions. Chairman, House Committee on Finance, Hon Adefunmilayo Tejuoso, while receiving a coalition of civil society organisations (CSO’s) led by the Coordinator of Lagos State Civil Society Partnership (LACSOP), by Mr Ayo Adebusoye and State team leader of State Accountability and Voice Initiative (SAVI), Obanubi Felix, during a courtesy visit in her office, expressed her committee members’ commitment to collaborate with CSO’s in order to deliver efficient services to the citizens. Tejuoso, who earlier frowned at the uncoordinated posture of CSO’s in the state, said with the proposal for close partnership initiated by LACSOP, a platform under which key civil soci-

By Ibrahim Yusuf

ety organisations in Lagos State operate, would go a long way to harmonise the relation-ship between the government and the people. She said the new working relationship would further enable both parties track the numerous World Bank grants meant for development of critical sectors of the economy and ensure the funds were judiciously utilised. According to her, the tripartite proposition of LACSOP, which will include the media, was essentially designed to produce the desired result as the public wold be adequately acquainted with governance. Before now, the state legislature has been inundated with avalanche of self serving requests from unknown groups claiming to be CSO’s despite the austere nature of the House, the chairman complained. Also, Honourable Ladi Balogun, Vice Chairman, Committee on Rural Development and Agricultural Cooperation, and a member of the Finance Committee, expressed deep concern over the pattern of expenditure with regard to various World Bank loan to the state. Balogun tasked the coalition to ex-

ert more energy under the new partnership arrangement to monitor how the funds had been put into use as well as challenge the state on budget appropriation. In another development, Chairman House Committee on Business, Honourable Adeyeye while receiving the team said the proposal was a paradigm which the committee would sustain. Adeyeye expressed hope that the new partnership would bring about sustainable development in the state. In his opening remark, Ayo Adebusoye of LACSOP asserted that the partnership would radiate confidence and optimism. Adebusoye said with the CSO’s involved in budget appropriation and implementation and in the process of law making, every aspect of decisions taken would be promptly remitted to the people for their input to erase suspicion over sincerity of government. Earlier, State team leader of SAVI, Mr Obanubi Felix, informed the committee that assessment carried out by the coalition recently observed a major disconnect between the government and the people which informed the proposal seeking for a harmonised CSO, media and government cooperation.












Jonathan presents 2013 budget today


RESIDENT Goodluck Jonathan is to present the 2013 budget to the joint session of the National Assembly today. This is coming six days after the initial scheduled date of October 4. The shift in date was agreed upon to allow the House of Representatives analyse the 2013-2015 Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) and the Fiscal Strategy Paper (FSP) in order to take a proper position on the projections and assumptions on which the 2013 budget was based. The presentation, which is slated for 10am, is coming on the heels of the simmering friction between the House and the Executive over the slow implementation of the 2012 budget. Also, the proposed $75 benchmark per barrel of crude in the 2013 budget, it is argued, would create a further ground for disagreement, as the House has underlined its resolve to jerk the figure by $5, raising the new benchmark for the 2013 appropriation to $80. The House agreed to admit the President into the Green Chamber via a joint sitting with the Senate, sequel to a motion by the House Leader, Mulikat Akande-Adeola, yesterday. On the eve of the budget presentation, the House yesterday admitted, debated and adopted the report of the Hon. Jubrin Abdulmumin Joint Committee on Finance, Legislative Budget & Research, National Planning & Economic Development, and Aids, Loans and Debt Management on the 2013-2015 MTEF and FSP. The Committee of Whole House adopted the recommendations of

Some of the key recommendations • THE revenue target of the Nigeria Customs Service should be increased to N1, 018 trillion, N1,155.700 trillion and N1,388.345 trillion in 2013, 2014 and 2015. • Accruals for the sharing of the Stabilisation Fund Account (ECA) should be estimated, as the Fiscal Strategy Paper (FSP) did not project the medium Term accruals. • The sustenance of peace in the Niger Delta should be given priority, attention and prominence, in order to guarantee uninterrupted production of crude oil • Government should demonstrate fiscal discipline by limiting spending to the level of its resources. The proposed deficit of N1, 037.19 trillion should be further reduced to N663.328 billion by using the earnings resulting from the increase in the crude oil benchmark, privatisation proceeds and Nigeria Customs Service. This should reduce domestic borrowing from the proposed N727.19 billion to N243.33 billion. From Victor Oluwasegun and Dele Anofi, Abuja

the report of the joint committee, wholesale. In the report, the lawmakers accused the Executive of overstating its expenditure profile and understating its revenue projection in an attempt to hoodwink the National Assembly. “It is observed that Non- debt recurrent expenditure of N2,411.486 trillion for 2013 is overstated by N166.695 billion in 2013 and N146.696 billion in each of 2014 and 2015. The projected capital spending of the Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) is also overstated by N20.0 billion in 2013, 2014 and 2015,” the adopted document alleged. The joint committee’s report covered most of the assumptions on which the President’s 2013-2015 MTEF and FSP is based, signalling that a re-enactment of the imbroglio that characterised the implementation of the 2012 budget may

snowball into the 2013 budget as well. The lawmakers took on the Executive in the areas of debt profile/ debt sustainability, budget deficit financing, projected revenue/aggregate expenditure (especially non-oil revenue projections) benchmark, daily production of crude oil and the Excess Crude Account The report observed that “Nigeria total external debt stock rose from an average of $3.639 billion in 20062008 to $6.0 billion in June 2012. Of this, the federal government’s share was $3.8 billion (68.3 percent) while the 36 states and FCT accounted for the balance of $2.2 billion (36.7 percent). Similarly, domestic debt for the same period stood at N6.15 trillion bringing the total debt to N7.11 trillion, which is 17 percent of GDP. “The increasing trend in total debt is increasingly becoming worrisome as it imposes a heavy burden on the government. This is against government’s position that the debt burden is sustainable, being below

IMF hinges Nigeria’s 7% growth on oil output


HE International Mon etary Fund (IMF) yes terday hinged Nigeria’s ability to achieve an overall Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth rate of seven per cent in 2012, on a rebound in its oil output. “In Nigeria, non-oil GDP growth will moderate with the softer external environment and tighter macroeconomic policies. But a slight rebound in oil output will keep overall GDP growth at 7 per cent, “ the Fund stated in its October 2012 World Economic Outlook released yesterday in Tokyo, Japan, venue of the on-going World Bank/IMF Annual Meetings. The latest forecast by the IMF, is in line with the Central Bank of Nigeria’s (CBN’s) projection that Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is expected to grow by around seven per cent this year. The CBN Governor, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi had said Nigeria now has the right policy makers pushing forward reforms, which would ensure Nigeria achieved a significant rise in growth in the coming years. The real risk in Nigeria is that of policy, adding that we have achieved an average of seven per cent growth for the last decade, and this is without steady electricity supply or adequate infrastructure,” Sanusi said early this year. “GDP can easily move into double-digits If we implement all the things planned. There will be a major step change in growth rates in the next two to three years,” he added. Driven by non-oil sector growth, Nigeria’s economy

• Forecasts 5% for Sub-Saharan Africa From Ayodele Aminu in Tokyo, Japan

grew 6.28 per cent in the second quarter of this year, up slightly from 6.17 per cent in the first quarter. Historically, from 2005 until 2012, Nigeria’s GDP growth rate averaged 6.8 per cent, reaching an all time high of 8.6 per cent in December of 2010 and a record low of 4.5 percent in March of 2009. The GDP growth rate provides an aggregated measure of changes in value of the goods and services produced by an economy. Average daily crude oil output from the country also rose marginally to 2.38 million barrels per day (bpd) in the second quarter from 2.35 million bpd in the first quarter. Christened, “Coping with high debt and sluggish growth,” the IMF said growth in the oil-exporting economies is projected to remain high, near six per cent in 2012, adding that increased oil production in Angola will expand its GDP by close to 6¾ per cent this year. “In the baseline scenario, under which strains in the euro area remain contained and the global economy expands by 3¼ to 3½ per cent this year and next, growth in Sub-Sahara Africa, will continue above five per cent during 2012–13,” the Fund said. Noting that external

shocks remain elevated, the IMF advised policy makers in the region to use the window provided by strong growth to rebuild budgetary space and normalize monetary conditions to be better prepared for downside risks. “Economic activity in subSaharan Africa (SSA) has expanded by more than 5 per cent in each of the past three years -continuing a decadelong run of strong performance that was only briefly interrupted by the global downturn in 2009. Most SSA economies are participating in this solid expansion, with the notable exception of South Africa, which has been hampered by its strong linkages with Europe, as well as some countries in western Africa affected by drought and civil conflict. “ More recently, some food importers in the region have also been hit by the sharp increase in global food prices for a few major crops -leading to higher headline inflation and widening trade imbalances - although so far with less severe effects than during the 2007 -08 food price shocks. The region’s recent growth has occurred against abackdrop of difficult external conditions, including the escalation of the euro area crisis. “But apart from South Africa, financial spillovers from Europe to the region have been modest. Export diversification has reduced exposure to weak demand from advanced economies, and high commodity prices have supported the region’s commodity exporters and boosted investment in resource extraction.

the international threshold of 40percent of GDP.” The Chairman of the joint committee Jubrin Abdulmumin while briefing the House at the committee of whole accused the Executive of lack of transparency in the preparation of the document, adding that the intent of those that prepared the document was meant to deceive the National Assembly. He said the argument of the Executive that an increase in benchmark is detrimental to the economy of the country and will cause inflation as well as put pressure on the exchange rate does not hold water. According to the committee’s report “many submissions from various government agencies were at variance with estimates in the 20132015 MTEF and FSP implying that the process of,preparation may not have been all inclusive as it ought to be in line with Section 13 (2 b) of the FRA 2007.’ Abdulmumin said: “The MTEF is not a document of all inclusive consultation, a few people in the Ministry of Finance, the office of the DG Budget and a few personalities sat down and wrote the MTEF.” He further stated: “One of the biggest issues in the daily production of oil. For all the decades that we’ve been producing oil, no one knows the amount of our daily production. We asked the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, he said he doesn’t know, the Mininstrymof a finance does not know and the NNPC does not know. “In this era of technological development, we don’t know the volume of oil we produce, what kind of country are we running?’ The lawmaker told his colleagues that contrary to the usual impres-

• Jonathan

sion given by the executive that oil accounts for 90 per cent of the nation’s income, “oil accounts for 68 per cent and non oil accounts for 32 per cent of our income. By 2015, non oil will be accounting for 50 per cent.” He said it was unacceptable that people will be using arguments of Foreign analyst who have no idea of the realities in the country to project the nation’s budget. “It is when some people claim a monopoly of of knowledge that we will have problems. If we take the assumptions in the MTEF presented by the President the way it is, we will continue to have problems. But if we want a different result from what obtained in 2011 and this year, we need to do things differently. “Why are they against an increase in the benchmark. They painted a gloomy picture in the MTEF. The MTEF took it to the extreme. But they will not tell you there is volatility in the Middle East and Sudan and that the American economy is improving and this drive up oil prices. It does not hold water for them to say there is crisis in the Euro zone”, he said.




NSE hits 20-month high



HE benchmark index at the Nigerian stock market rallied to its highest point in the 20 months yesterday as improved activities from financial services, consumers’ goods and conglomerates sectors sustained the bullish trend at the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE). The All Share Index (ASI)the common value-based index that tracks all quoted equities, chalked up 0.83 per cent to peak at 26,840.87 points as against its opening index of 26,618.70 points. The rally yesterday pushed the index within the range of its performance on February 4, 2011. It also nudged the yearto-date return at the NSE to 29.47 per cent. Reflecting the gains, aggregate market value of all eq-

By Taofik Salako and Tonia Osundolire

uities added N70 billion to N8.546 trillion compared with opening value of N8.476 trillion. Also, turnover picked up to 426.05 million valued at N3.05 billion in 5,669 deals compared with 208.56 million shares worth N1.67 billion traded in 4,271 deals on Monday. Both volume and value grew by 104.3 per cent and 100.83 per cent respectively. Skye Bank emerged the most actively traded stock with 47.55 million shares valued at N166.68 million traded in 119 deals. Transnational Corporation of Nigeria followed with a turnover of 39.28 million shares valued at N44.82 mil-

lion in 210 deals. Access Bank recorded a turnover of 38.88 million shares worth N35.19 million in 424 deals. The Banking sub-sector was the most active with a turnover of 269.06 million shares valued at N2.11 billion in 3,085 deals. Insurance subgroup followed with a turnover of 70.07 million shares worth N54.16 million in 242 deals. Conglomerates recorded a turnover of 39.45 million shares valued at N48.46 million in 250 deals. Cadbury Nigeria topped the gainers’ list with a gain of N1.37 to close at N29.37. First Bank followed with a gain of N1.02 to close at N16.88. Ashaka Cement gathered 84 kobo to close at N17.80. Lafarge Wapco Cement Nigeria added 74 kobo to close at N57. On the other hand, Unilever Nigeria lost the highest value of 90 kobo to close at N43. GlaxoSmithKline Consumer dropped by 65 kobo to N38.05 while Union Bank of Nigeria lost 64 kobo to close at N8.35 per share.





Jonathan inaugurates Sovereign Wealth Fund board


RESIDENT Goodluck Jonathan has again insisted on the need for the three tiers of government to work together for the preservation of the country’s commonwealth. He spoke against the background of disagreements that trailed the establishment of the Sovereign Wealth Fund, which was created to replace the Excess Crude Account (ECA). The president, who recognised the federal system of government, however, noted that the Sovereign Wealth Fund belongs to Nigerians.

From Vincent Ikuomola, Abuja

He said all tiers of government must work to preserve the commonwealth and guarantee the prosperity of the nation. The president spoke yesterday when he inaugurated the management board of the Sovereign Wealth Fund. One billion dollar take off seed grant was okayed by the three tries of government from the the excess crude account. The Board of the Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA) is headed by Mahey Rasheed, a former Deputy Gov-

be made up of people with integrity. Besides, it said the team would be drawn from outside the government. Jonathan said it was for this reason that the Federal Government considered it imperative to assemble the group of credible citizens to manage the Fund. According to the president, “Today’s ceremony ushers in a new era of Financial responsibility as we provide the fiscal cushion in this uncertain economic times and protect our national savings for future generation of Nigerians. “Let me state unequivocally,

ernor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). The management of the fund has been a contention between the Federal Government and the states. The governors had raised concerns about the management of the fund. They feared that it would be manipulated by the executive arm which is the custodian of the fund. Besides, the governors had also nursed the fear of arbitrary use of the fund by the Federal Government. But Federal Government dispelled the fear, saying that the management of the fund would

UBA offers free MasterCards in promo


customers to use debit cards. Divisional Head, e-Banking, UBA Plc, Dr. Adeyinka Adedeji, said the promo is open to customers who “have not had or used debit cards in the last two years.” He said the promo is available to customers opening new accounts, active customers without debit cards and dormant customers who want to activate their accounts. To qualify for the free UBA Debit MasterCard, he said eligible customers are expected to apply for debit card and the bank

NITED Bank for Africa (UBA) is giving out free debit MasterCards to its first 100,000 new debit card customers. The cards are being given out to customers in a promo tagged ‘Celebrating Freedom with MasterCard’. The bank said, in a statement, that the gesture was spurred by the commitment to drive the cashless initiative and need to provide value added services to its customers. The promo, which started on Monday, is meant to encourage the bank’s

will waive the N750 card enrolment fee when the card is activated. “Though there will be an initial charge of N750, the amount will be credited back to the customer upon activating the card. It is on first come first served for the first 100,000 customer,” he added. This gesture is, however, only open to UBA Debit MasterCard. According to Head, Debit Cards, UBA Plc, Mr. Deji Olówè, “Verve, Visa Classic, Visa Dual Currency Debit Card (DCDC), Gold MasterCard are excluded, but

still available at the usual rates but Platinum and World MasterCard are available by invitation only”. The UBA Debit MasterCard is a debit card issued on customers naira account. It provides the customer with ease of use and security by combining the global acceptance and benefits of a MasterCard. The card, which is denominated in Naira can be used for both local and international transactions on ATMs, Web and POS and is highly secured with the best card technology.

Fashola tasks ANAN on budget performance


OVERNOR Babatunde Fashola of Lagos State has urged the Association of National Accountants of Nigeria (ANAN) to ask why Nigeria has been recording poor performance in its budget. Fashola stated this yesterday in a message to the 17th Annual Conference of the as-

sociation. He spoke on theme: “Challenges of governance: The need for transformational leadership’’. The Governor, who was represented by the state Commissioner for Finance, Adetokunbo Abiru, said ANAN should be asking

questions yearly on the matter. According to him, the association should be concerned about the state of the economy. “How serious are you as a body in playing your auditing role? There is need for ANAN to be ques-

tioning government’s fiscal policy,’’ he said. He added: “What is ANAN input in the 2013 budget. Were your input sought into the budget? “Can there be proper accountability in the management of the nation’s account?“


Rate %


3-Year 5-Year 5-Year

35m 35m 35m

11.039 12.23 13.19

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

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

Price Loss 2754.67 447.80

INTERBANK RATES 7.9-10% 10-11%


Rate % 10.96 9.62 12.34

Date 28-04-2012 “ 14-04-2012




3.70 2.13 2.04 1.39 15.86 0.74 5.40 16.96 3.24 1.42

O/PRICE 8.99 1.51 0.52 1.87 1.85 43.90 38.70 2.23 17.98 1.71


COBANK Nigeria Plc yesterday rewarded its customers in the ongoing Win Big Promo. Bashir Musa Bashir, a customer of the bank, won a brand new car. Other winners are Kareem Ismail Adeleke, Okpala Chineyere, Abere Stella among others. They won different prizes ranging from generators, plasma television sets and mobile phones. The winners emerged after the customers were pooled in an electronic draw monitored by Consumer Protection Council (CPC), National Lottery Regulatory Commission (NLRC), the media and members of staff of the bank. Ecobank’s Head Domestic Bank Products, Funwa Akinmade, said the promo, which started last month, has already started producing winners, even before the end of the promo in December. “Nigerians who are yet to open ac-

counts or increase their deposits to the required monthly N20,000 can still do so and qualify for a chance to win in any of three draws that will come after this,” he said. According to him, the draws will offer customers opportunity to win more products and cars, adding that the bank’s customers should encourage their friends and relations to take advantage of the opportunity. He said the promo would contribute to the growth of the economy by providing the bank’s customers with convenient, accessible and reliable financial products and services. He said the bank has continued to expand its products and services which currently includes current accounts, savings accounts, cards, remittances, consumer finance, loans and advances, investment banking, asset management and regional and international trade support among others.


4.07 2.34 2.24 1.52 16.88 0.78 5.67 17.80 3.40 1.49


0.37 0.21 0.20 0.13 1.02 0.04 0.27 0.84 0.16 0.07

C/PRICE 8.35 1.44 0.507 1.80 1.80 43.00 38.05 2.20 17.79 1.70

CHANGE 0.64 0.07 0.02 0.07 0.05 0.90 0.65 0.03 0.19 0.01

Amount Sold ($) 150m 138m 113m

Exchange Rate (N) 155.2 155.8 155.7

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


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

Current Before

C u r r e n t CUV Start After %

147.6000 239.4810 212.4997

149.7100 244.0123 207.9023

150.7100 245.6422 209.2910

-2.11 -2.57 -1.51














July ’11

July ’12





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

8.50% 4.50% 25.00% 1.00% 12.10%

8.50% 4.50% 25.00% 2.00% 12.10%

9.50% 5.50% 30.00% 2.00% 11.8%

NIBOR Tenor 7 Days 30 Days 60 Days 150 Days


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

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

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

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

% Change -1.44% -1.44%


LOSERS AS AT 9-10-12


Ecobank grows deposit base, rewards customers

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


Tenor 91-Day 182-Day 1-Year

group of credible citizens to manage the Sovereign Wealth Fund.



OBB Rate Call Rate

•President Jonathan




that the Sovereign Wealth Fund belongs to all Nigerians represented through the Federal, states and local governments. While recorgnising the administrative reality of federal system of government, the administration believes that all tiers of government must work to preserve the commonwealth and thereby guarantying the future prosperity of our nation. “It is for this reason that the federal government considered it imperative to assemble the

Offer Price

Bid Price


9.08 1.00 124.96 116.90 0.76 1.10 0.91 1,721.97 9.94 1.33 1.80 8,411.80 191.08 1.62



Bank P/Court

Previous 04 July, 2012

Current 07, Aug, 2012

8.5000 8.0833

8.5000 8.0833




NEWS Herdsman jailed for chopping off farmer’s fingers

Kwankwaso sacks ‘corrupt’ polio officers

From Austin Tsenzughul, Bauchi

From Kolade Adeyemi Kano

A BAUCHI State Chief Magistrate’s Court, presided over by Hajia Shafau Ladan Yusuf, has sentenced a 20-year-old Fulani herdsman, Abdul Fari, of Kwabi village, Bauchi Local Government Area of Bauchi State, to a year imprisonment. Fari was found guilty of chopping off three fingers of a farmer, Danmaliki Ibrahim, of Gwaskwaram village, Bauchi Local Government Area. The prosecutor said the herdsman’s cattle had entered Ibrahim’s farm and eaten his crops. When the farmer complained to the herdsman, Fari was said to have used a machete to chop off the farmer’s three fingers. The prosecutor said Fari also stabbed Ibrahim on the right leg. The farmer’s shout for help attracted people near his farm. The incident was reported to police and Fari was arrested and charged to court for criminal mischief and causing harm, contrary to Sections 326, and 241 of the Penal Code.

ANO State Governor Rabi’u Musa Kwankwaso yesterday said he has ordered the replacement of managerial officers involved in the polio immunisation because of alleged corruption. The governor said the alleged corruption among the officers was retarding the progress of the exercise. He said he directed that officials hitherto involved in the immunisation from the State Director down to immunisation officials in the 44 local government areas be replaced. Kwankwaso said they seemed to have turned the exercise into a money-making venture. Speaking at the launch of the fifth round of polio immunisation at the Government House, Kwankwaso explained that the activities of some immunisation officials had become a source of concern to his administration. According to him, efforts to eradicate polio fr4om the state are not yielding the desired success. The governor stressed that the government would not tolerate corruption in immunisation or any of its activities, adding that more proactive measures were being adopted to ensure that Kano becomes polio-free soon. He also said his administration was not happy with pockets of immunisation rejection in Kano. The governor warned that his administration might enforce the exercise to secure the future of the children.

Saraki, CPC urge probe of Kwara burglary From Adekunle Jimoh, Ilorin

FORMER Kwara State Governor Bukola Saraki and the state chapter of the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) have called for a probe of the burglary at the Ministry of Finance. The former governor said it is callous to link him to the incident. Saraki, who is the senator representing Kwara Central, was reacting to the incident in a statement by his media aide, Akintoba Fatigun. He described the incident “as a serious crime against the state and the people of Kwara”. The statement said: “The incident is a dastardly act that must be condemned in its entirety...” The senator representing Kwara Central at the National Assembly condemned the burglary. The statement added: “It is more worrisome that a group of people with vested interest, yet undefined, can attach such act to Dr Abubakar Bukola Saraki. “This attempt is mischievous, callous, and inhuman. We see the comment trying to link this unfortunate situation to Saraki as an attempt to derail the public from seeking the truth to get to the bottom of the matter.” The CP Chairman, Alhaji Buhari Suleiman, demanded an investigation into the matter to “determine the level of damage done, the amount of money and documents carted away, the culpability of any present and former public servants of the state.” He added: “The CPC also demands a public apology on behalf of the good people of Kwara State from the government for keeping the public, without whose legitimacy the government could not be operating in the first instance, in the dark about an incident...”


•The Minister of State for Education, Mr Ezenwo Nyesom Wike (left) with the Director of Finance and Accounts, Ministry of Education, Mr. Peter Momodu, during the minister’s Budget Performance Assessment meeting with principals of Federal Government Colleges in Abuja..yesterday.

Gunmen kill three in Plateau attacks T

HREE residents of Barkin Ladi Local Government Area of Plateau State have been killed. Another person was injured in fresh attacks by unknown gunmen in the area. Daniel Alamba and Joseph Luka were killed by unknown gunmen on Monday morning in Sho village of Barkin Ladi. Another man was killed a few hours later as Berom youths and Fulani regrouped for a reprisal attacks. The fresh killings came two days after another senator was elected to replace the late Senator Gyang Dantong, who was killed in an attack two months ago. The lawmaker representing Barkin Ladi in the House of Assembly, Gyang Fulani, was killed by unknown gunmen in a similar attack. He was replaced by his wife in last week’s by-election. An eyewitness, who spoke in confidence, said: “Three people on a motorcycle on the road between Sho village

•Council imposes curfew From Yusufu Aminu Idegu, Jos

and Barkin Ladi at 7am on Tuesday morning were ambushed and killed. Two of them died instantly while the third one escaped with bullet wounds.” The injured was identified as Solomon Yusuf. He is said to be receiving treatment at the Barkin Ladi General Hospital. Suspecting that the attackers were Fulani, some Berom youths, the local ethnic group, launched a reprisal in which they allegedly killed a Fulani. The eyewitness added: “As armed Berom youths in Sho village prepared to do battle, a group of Fulani youths also mobilised and attempted to demolish the only bridge linking Sho village with Barkin Ladi. The intention to destroy

the bridge was to prevent any intruder into the village and deprive security agencies from entering the area. Then, they would have gone back to the village for a battle with the Berom youths. “But while attempting to bring down the bridge, security agencies moved in to safe the situation. The attackers fled on sighting security vehicles.” To prevent any attack at night, the Chairman of Barkin Ladi Local Government Area, Emmanuel Loman, has imposed a curfew on the affected villages. The curfew is between 8pm and 5am, beginning from yesterday. It is expected to continue indefinitely until normalcy is restored. Police spokesman Emmanuel Abuh, an Assistant


Superintendent (ASP), confirmed the incident. He said the police had not arrested any suspect on the incident. Abuh said the command has begun investigations into the attacks and has also deployed armed policemen to secure the areas. The SpecialTask Force (STF) on Jos Crises, code named OperationSafe Haven, last month, midwifed a reconciliation meeting between Berom and Fulani community leaders. It said this was to stop further bloodshed among the two ethnic groups. They reached an agreement to end hostility in the area and embrace peace.

Two policemen killed in Kano


UNMEN, suspected to be members of the Boko Haram sect, yesterday in Kano killed two police officers. They also injured a woman, who was said to be an official of the Polio Immunisation team. Four suspected members of the sect reportedly ambushed the two officials, who were responding to a distress call, and shot them. The police officers were said to be on a supportive mission with the immunisation team. The incident occurred at 1pm at Kofar Dawanau, near

From Kolade Adeyemi, Kano

the popular Dawanau Grains Market in Dala Local Government Area. Police Commissioner Ibrahim Idris confirmed the incident to The Nation on phone. He described it as unfortunate. The sect members reportedly disappeared into the crowd as they dispossessed the policemen of their rifles. Idris said: “It was in response to the distress call that they were ambushed by their attackers, who shot and killed

the two policemen instantly. A woman, identified as a member of the immunisation team, sustained gunshot injuries and is receiving treatment.” The Nation learnt that the Joint Task Force (JTF) and other police anti-terrorism squad were mobilised to the scene of the incident. The area has been cordoned off and the police have spread their dragnet to track down the perpetrators. It was also gathered that following the attack, security personnel have started combing some flashpoints suspect-

ed to be hideouts of the sect members. Our correspondent noticed some Armoured Personnel Carriers (APCs) and plain clothes detectives in sensitive areas. These include the university community in Kabuga, the Federal College of Education, Kano; the Federal College of Education in Bichi; the Kano State University of Science and Technology in Wudil; the state Polytechnic in the heart of the city. The measure, it was learnt, was to forestall a replay of the Mubi massacre of students.

ACN donates materials to Kogi flood victims From Muhammed Bashir, Lokoja


HE Kogi State Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) yesterday donated materials to victims of recent floods. The items, which were said to have cost N500,000, were presented to displaced persons at Adankolo, Lokoja, the state capital. ACN Chairman Mallam Haddy Ametuo presented the items. He said the party shared gifts during campaigns and presented materials to people in their moments of joy and grief. Ametuo said: “Though we are not in government, but as an organised political party, we are very responsible. That’s why we’ve come to the aid of our people. These items were donated because of the party’s policy of assisting the less privileged, not necessarily during electioneering campaigns.”

Kwara council workers protest non-payment of salaries


CORES of Ilorin South Local Government Area workers of Kwara State yesterday marched on the streets of Ilorin, the state capital. They were protesting the non-payment of their three months’ salary arrears. The protestors marched from the council secretariat at Pake, passing through Pata

From Adekunle Jimoh, Ilorin

Market via the popular Muritala Mohammed Road and berthed at the Kwara State Government House. They passed a vote of no confidence on the National Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE) executive for its alleged inactivity.

Some of the placards they carried read: We no go gree; No salary no screening; No retreat, no surrender and A hungry man is an angry man. The spokesperson of the protesters, Habib Bolaji said: “We condemn the council’s NULGE for being passive. In fact, we have passed a vote of no confidence on the executive members. That is why we pro-

testing. Our three months’ salaries have not been paid; that is August, September and this month. We are not even talking about the leave bonus and other entitlements in arrears. “To add insult on injury, they slated a screening for today. Without payment, none of us will participate in the screening. We expect them to pay us

our salary arrears so that the screening will be for October salary...” But in a statement Governor AbdulFatah Ahmed’s Chief Press Secretary, Abdulwahab Oba, attributed the delay in the payment of workers’ salaries to efforts to block loopholes in the wage bills of some councils.



NEWS Fed Govt begins repairs on Port Harcourt/Enugu Expressway


HE Federal Government has begun repairs on the Port Harcourt/Enugu Expressway in Abia State. Members of the House of Assembly had decried the state of the road. The Nation correspondent, who travelled on the road yesterday, said the Federal Road Emergency Maintenance Agency (FERMA) and some construction firms were working on the Port Harcourt and Enugu end. The portions had caused many deaths. The Abia portion, which is the worst, runs through five states in the Southeast. It had several heaps of crushed stones were deposited by the road side. Work is ongoing at Alaoji and Osisioma, both in Aba. Mr Nasiru Bello, the Federal Controller of Works in Abia State, told reporters yesterday in Umuahia, the state capital, that the Federal Government would repair the failed portions on the road before the Christ-

From Ugochukwu Ugoji-Eke, Umuahia

mas and New Year festivities. He said the damaged spots would be repaired while the entire road would be rebuilt next year. The Works Controller urged road users to be patient with the agency during the period of repairs. Bello said the repairs on other federal roads in Abia were also receiving attention, adding that the Federal Government would live up to its responsibility. He said: “Rehabilitation of the Umuahia/Ohafia Road was recently completed. Works are ongoing on the Olokoro/Ikwuano, Calabar/ Aba, Umuahia/Ubakala and Nkporo/Ohafia, among other federal roads in the state.” The Works Controller said the slow pace of work in some areas was caused by persistent rains. According to him, once the rains stop, the pace of work would increase so that a lot can be done before the Christmas and New Year celebrations.

Obi hails Glo for helping to revamp Nigeria


NAMBRA State Governor Peter Obi has hailed telecommunications giant Globacom for initiating projects that will help to build a better nation. The governor spoke in Onitsha at the inauguration of a block of classrooms which the company built at the Metropolitan College. The project is part of the company’s sponsorship of the Ofala Festival, a popular yearly event in the town. Obi said Globacom has demonstrated that “it is a company that truly cares about the future of this great country”. The governor noted that the burden would be less on government, “if corporate organisations can do what Globacom is doing and partner the people and the government to bring about a better society”.

After inspecting the facilities in the classrooms, he said: “I must confess that this structure and the facilities therein show the passion Globacom has for this country. This is because when you train the young ones and give them a solid foundation, you can have a better future and society. The facilities in this block are world-class and we sincerely commend Globacom for bringing this to Onitsha.” The governor was in company of Igwe Nnaemeka Alfred Achebe, the Obi of Onitsha. The monarch said it was heart-warming to note that Globacom kept the promise it made a year ago at the foundation-laying ceremony of the block of classrooms. He said most schools in Nigeria have “become dilapidated and have become relics of their past ”.

ACF parleys with Ohanaeze


EMBERS of the Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) yesterday stormed Enugu, the Enugu State capital, to parley with the pan-Igbo group, Ohanaeze Ndigbo for the inauguration of the Enugu, Anambra and Ebonyi state chapters of the forum. They also planned to rub minds with the Ohanaeze on how to resolve several national issues on Nigeria. The meeting with Ohanaeze leadership will hold today. The inauguration of the chapters held yesterday evening at the Universal Hotel, Enugu. At the head of the delegation were Chairman of the National Executive Council, Alhaji Aliko Mohamed, and the Secretary-General of the organisation, Col. Musa Shehu (rtd). Others in the entourage included the Deputy Chairman,

From Chris Oji, Enugu

Alhaji Saidu Barda; Assistant Chairman, Joseph Kennedy Waku; Maj.-Gen. Lawrence Onoja (rtd); Ambassador Adamu Mohamed; Hajia Halima Alfa; Ibrahim Mai Sule and Alhaji Ladan Shinnu. There were also the Legal Adviser, Mr. Bitrus Gada; the Publicity Secretary, Anthony Sani; the Treasurer, Ismaila Zarma; Amina Ladan Baike and Col. Mohamed Abdu. The leaders spoke on the legacies of the late Sardauna of Sokoto, Sir Ahmadu Bello, who they said never discriminated between Christians and Muslims. Onoja and Waku who spoke on the late northern leader asked those in attendance to emulate him. “Sardauna never distinguished between Christians and Muslims but saw everyone of us northerners,” they said.

• Anambra State Governor Peter Obi (second right) with Enugu State Acting Governor Sunday Onyebuchi (left); Ebonyi State Governor Martin Elechi (second left) and Abia State Governor Theodore Orji, after the Southeast Political Elders’ Forum in Enugu PHOTO: OBI CLETUS

Police arrest seven ‘kidnappers’ in Enugu


HE Enugu State Police Command has arrested seven suspected kidnappers for allegedly kidnapping a woman, Roseline Nwokolo, at Oji River last month. The victim was allegedly abducted and taken into a forest for a ransom. Police spokesman Ebere

From Chris Oji, Enugu

Amaraizu said when security agents from the command were alerted, they found out the suspects’ hideout. He said the police arrested one of the suspects, James Afamuefuna Agu, at Madoti Estate in Lagos State, following a tip-off. Following Agwu’s alleged

confession, the woman was rescued unhurt and Uchenna Nze (aka Akwaeke Junior), Olisa Nze (aka Mistake), Benjamin Mmuodebelu (aka Jack), Igwe Obinna, Kingsley Eze and Ekene Ani (aka Dada) were arrested over the matter. Amaraizu said the suspects are assisting the police in their investigation.

Police Commissioner Musa Daura hailed his men for their doggedness. He praised other security agencies and the public for giving the police credible information on crime prevention and detection. The suspects, according to Amaraizu, promised to turn a new leaf, if they are released.

NIPOST chief urges Abia ministries, others to settle debts HE Abia State Area Postal Manager of the Nigeria Postal Service (NIPOST), Ignatius Umeadi, has urged ministries and parastatals in the state to settle their debts to the agency to enable it perform its duties effectively. Addressing stakeholders in Umuahia, the state capital, during this year’s World Postal Day, Umeadi noted that though the ministries and parastatals are willing to pay their debts, they do not have the funds to do so. He urged the government to release money for the “debtors” to pay up. The NIPOST chief said the ministries’ and parastatals’ debts piled up from EMS services, post office boxes and bags. He said NIPOST remains


•Agency marks World Postal Day From Ugochukwu Ugoji-Eke, Umuahia

the best handlers of letter and parcels in Nigeria. Umeadi said the agency has 35 functional post offices in the state, adding: “Though they are not being patronised because of the modern-day GSM, which has made texting of messages through phone easier. “Parents and education authorities should encourage their children to write letters to them as often as possible to help improve their spelling. This has gone as a result of telephone texting, by which they shorten their words while writing.” The NIPOST chief noted that when letter writing was fashionable, spellings and writing

of good English grammar were better. According to him, the reverse is now the case as many students no longer write good sentences because of text messages. Umeadi said the conventional postal services still accounts for major postal revenue. He said: “But post can still benefit from the globalisation of mail exchange in other ways, especially in the area of parcel delivery. We (NIPOST) are still the best in the country.” The NIPOST chief urged those who order for their goods online to use the agency because “the delivery of their goods and services, such as parcels to customers, are bet-

ter delivered through post than any other means”. Umeadi urged NIPOST workers to prevent the agency from collapse, like the Nigerian Telecommunications Limted (NITEL) and the Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC). He noted that this year’s event, with the theme: A new strategy for a new world, was apt in repositioning the agency for future challenges. According to him, NIPOST has the mandate to provide efficient, reliable and affordable service for Nigeria. Umeadi said: “We currently deliver inter-state mails within 72 hours and this feat is achieved as a result of NIPOST’s collaboration with private vehicle owners who have never disappointed us since we started partnering them.”

Capital Oil boss Uba arrested for alleged N22.4b subsidy scam By Jude Isiguzo



PERATIVES of the Special Fraud Unit (SFU) yesterday arrested the Managing Director of Capital Oil and Gas, Mr. Ifeanyi Uba, over his alleged involvement in a N22.4billion subsidy scam The Commissioner of Police, in charge SFU, Mr.

Tunde Ogunsakin, led operatives to arrest the Uba at about 2.30pm. As at press time, Uba was still being interrogated by a crack team of detectives at SFU office at Milverton Road, Ikoyi. SFU spokesperson, Ngozi Isintume, an Assistant Superintendent confirmed Uba’s arrrest on telephone. She said the suspect is still being interrogated but did not say if he would be detained or allowed to go home on bail. She said, “I cannot really say much for now because

he is currently being interrogated by SFU detectives. Ifeanyi Uba was arrested because of his alleged involvement in the fuel subsidy scam. “We are still investigating the case so I cannot say if he would be released at the end of today (yesterday). He was indicted by the presidential committee on fuel subsidy verification. “Our job is to thoroughly investigate the matter and then prosecute if it comes to that. We don’t want to preempt investigation by commenting on everything. As you are aware, investigation is still on. “But be rest assured that

the Commissioner of Police, Tunde Ogunsakin, would in line with his mantra of zero tolerance to corruption see this case to a logical end.” She added, “Remember the law says one is innocent until otherwise proven guilty. That is the line we are towing until investigations are over.” However, one of his Uba’s Aids who spoke on the condition of anonymity, confirmed that his boss was arrested early in the day but that he was later released. “He was invited by thr police but he is back. He was in the office after he got back from SFU”, the source said.




Govt ‘ll mitigate impact of floods, says Jonathan

ELLOW Nigerians, Over the past few weeks, unprecedented floods have ravaged many parts of our country, rendering tens of thousands of fellow Nigerians homeless, and causing massive destruction of property, farmlands, and infrastructure across the country. I wish to express our deep commiseration with all those who have lost loved ones; those who have lost their property; as well as all the affected communities and institutions. It is sad that this global phenomenon of devastating floods has come to Nigeria at this time. I want to reassure all Nigerians that the Federal Government is prepared to do everything possible to mitigate the impact of this natural disaster. I had earlier set up a Presidential Technical Committee to visit all affected areas with a view to properly assessing the impact of the floods. The Committee has since submitted an interim Report.

The Report, which contained a number of recommendations, was presented to key stakeholders including the leadership of the National Assembly and Governors of the affected States. The Technical Committee will continue to go round the country while the Vice President and I will also visit some of the affected communities. When we receive the Committee’s final Report, the Federal Government will further initiate medium and long-term measures to check future flood disasters. In the meantime, relevant government agencies have intervened to provide relief to the affected persons in collaboration with the State governments. The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) has so far spent N1.314 billion to provide immediate relief materials. The Ministry of Works has spent N556 million on the repair of collapsed

bridges and the construction of bye-passes; while the Ministry of Environment has spent N95 million on sundry relief measures. In addition to this, the Federal Government has decided on a number of measures to further ameliorate the situation. These include the immediate provision of a total of N17.6 billion in direct financial assistance to the affected States and some Federal Government Agencies responsible for disaster management. The States will receive a total of N13.3 billion while the Federal Agencies will receive N4.3 billion. Based on the present assessment, the States have been categorized into four groups: A to D. All Category A States will receive N500 million each; Category B States, N400 million each; Category C States, N300 million each; and Category D States, N250 million each. Category A States: Oyo, Kogi, Benue, Plateau,

Adamawa, Delta, Bayelsa and Anambra. Category B: Jigawa, Kano, Bauchi, Kaduna, Niger, Nasarawa, Taraba, CrossRiver, Edo, Lagos and Imo. Category C: Kwara, Katsina, Gombe, Ogun, Ondo, Ebonyi, Abia and Rivers. Category D: Sokoto, Kebbi, Zamfara, Yobe, Enugu, Ekiti, Osun, Akwa-Ibom, Borno and FCT. To further intensify their intervention activities, the following agencies of the Federal Government have also been allocated funds as follows: Ministry of Works – N2.6 billion· National Emergency Management Agency N1.1 billion· Ministry of Environment - N350 million· National Commission for Refugees – N150m· Technical Committee on Floods Impact Assessment - N100 million I have also set up a National Committee on Flood Relief and Rehabilitation to assist the

Federal Government to raise funds to mitigate the pains and ensure the effective postimpact rehabilitation of victims. This Committee will be co-chaired by Alhaji Aliko Dangote and Mr. Olisa Agbakoba, while Dr. Mike Adenuga, Jr. will serve as the Chief Funds Mobiliser. The full membership of the Committee will be announced immediately after this broadcast. Fellow Nigerians, let me use this opportunity to thank State Governments, members of the National Assembly, private individuals, agencies of government, private sector institutions, NGOs, faith-based organizations, and philanthropic groups who individually and collectively have risen to the aid of persons and communities affected by the floods. This humanitarian and compassionate spirit that has been on display in the past few weeks reassures us that, at

critical moments, Nigerians are able to come together in pursuit of a common My Fellow Compatriots, let me once again reassure you that this Administration remains fully committed to the welfare and well being of all Nigerians at all times. May God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria. I thank you all. •Being text of the President’s broadcast

My agony, by mum of lynched student Continued from page 8

•Chairman, Bi-Coutney Ltd. Dr. Wale Babalakin (middle), flanked by his deputy, Chief Kola Akinbami (on his left), Managing Director IRS Airlines Mr. Yemi Dada on his right and others cutting the cake to mark the 5th year anniversary and raffle draw of the Murtala Mohammed Airport-2 (MMA-2) at the Murtala Mohammed Airport, Ikeja, Lagos…yesterday. PHOTO: ISAAC JIMOH AYODELE

•Dr. Jonathan

“My son and his friends were savagely beaten and burnt to death while villagers at Aluu watched. “All this has been caught on film! “The video shows that all this was filmed in broad day light which suggests that they were killed after 7.30 am. “Further investigation has revealed that they left their friend’s house at ALUU at about 7 am to go and prepare for lectures. “To waylay them and beat them with planks until they died like chicken is the most savage thing one can witness in Nigeria of 2012. “First they were stripped naked, marched around like frogs and then beaten to death. What savagery and bestiality. My husband and I want only two things, namely: a) To clear

the name of Chiadika, b) justice. “Your Excellency, every responsible parent knows what I, my husband, and the entire family are passing through over this beastly murder. “We do not want this thing to be swept under the rug like most Nigerian investigations. “We seek the help and intervention of the Senate to ensure that justice is done. “Justice is the only thing that can assuage the pains and emotional traumas consuming us and clear the name of our son so that he can rest in peace. “Again, and for emphasis, the film shows everything in clear view and all the perpetrators must answer for their crimes. “We want justice. Those who murdered my son must face the wrath of the law.” “Heartbroken mother, Mrs. Chinwe, BIRINGA BI.”

Row grows over Achebe’s attack on Awolowo Continued from page 8

is for the Igbo to join the rest of the nation to build a common front for the nation’s unity. No one should be happy with the way things are in the country today. There are corruption, energy problem, social infrastructural decay, security challenges and many others for all of us to come together and fight.” Fasanmi insisted that no one could rubbish the late Chief Awolowo and his legacies. The late sage, Fasanmi said, was a great detribalised Nigerian, who should be praised rather than condemned by anybody. Chief Reuben Fasoranti, who spoke from Akure, said: “Prof Achebe and his people have been unfair to Awo. Awo was fair to them because he gave them jobs and other benefits of governance, especially in the West. It is not true that Awo was fighting for his selfish ends with his role during the war. In fact, Awo believed that the war was unnecessary. “All through his life, Awo believed in the indivisible corporate existence of Nigeria, which was what informed the role he played during the war. Awo was a man who fought for, and believed firmly in, the unity of the country, even to a fault.”

Chief Ebenezer Babatope, who was the Director of Organisation of the Awo-led Unity Party of Nigeria (UPN) in the Second Republic, said the attack on the late sage by Achebe is “condemnable and uncalled for”. He said he was still trying to come to terms with the motives behind the constant attacks on Awo by the novelist. “The attack is condemnable and uncalled for. I am still wondering what Achebe’s motives could be because 30 years ago, he wrote a book titled The trouble with Nigeria in which he attacked Papa Awo. “I have not read the new book, but after reading it, I will give a detailed response to all the diatribe against Papa Awo. Some of Papa Awo’s associates were pro-Biafra during the war. Take the case of the late Ayo Ojewunmi, who was the Editor of Nigerian Tribune; he was arrested and detained severally on account of his stance on the war. “But let me state that Yoruba and Igbo will not quarrel over this, but we will trash it out intellectually so that we can forge a more united country out of the present,” he said. Mr Odia Ofeimum, a former private secretary to the late Chief Awolowo, said he was yet to read the book and so

would not comment comprehensively on it. Nevertheless, he added, “the genocide in Biafra was largely created by those who insisted on going to war even when they did not have the guns to prosecute the war”. “ It cannot be blamed on Chief Awolowo. The outcome (of the war) was predictable, “ the poet-critic said. Senator Olufemi Lanlehin described as mischievous Achebe’s views. He said: “He has not been able to explain his role in the war. He was a Cultural Ambassador and contributed to the declaration of the war. “Chief Awolowo’s denial of enunciating anti-Igbo policies is well-advertised. The newspapers just recently published an interview on the issues that Achebe has just raised. On the currency, the exchange of loads of Biafran pounds for 20 Nigerian Pounds, it is clear that it was for the purpose of saving the Nigerian economy. It is what any Finance Minister worth his salt would have done. I do not think that he did anything against international best practices. “The professor has been very uncharitable to Chief Awlowo and the Yoruba by those comments. The records are, in any case, available for anybody to

see.” The spokesman of the Afenifere Renewal Group, Mr. Kunle Famoriyo, called on the Igbo to be discerning in evaluating the submission of Prof Achebe. He said: “If the Igbo are discerning enough, they should by now know their enemies, and they include Achebe. Otherwise, why is he peddling at this point in time what did not happen?” Famoriyo said what should concern all patriots and progressives, at this juncture in the history of the country, is how to achieve a common front against reactionary forces. He said the ARG has been working towards ensuring a united front in the South just like the North has a Forum to aggregate and push its position. “What we want now is a united Southern Forum to canvass regionalism and restructuring of the country. It is the only way forward, and throwing us back to issues that kept us divided in ages past, even when the contentions lack foundation, is quite unfortunate.” Delving into history, the ARG spokesman said: “Anyone who has a sense of history would easily recollect that the pogrom stemmed from a contention between Ojukwu

and Gowon over who should be the Head of State. Ojukwu would not accept Gowon as Commander-in-Chief and thus decided to resist the decision. What had that to do with Awolowo or the Yoruba? “Achebe should at least have been honest enough to admit that the Yoruba were not fully drawn into the war, until an attempt was made to overrun Yorubaland through Ore. In that case, what did Achebe expect?” Famoriyo said genuine progressives should move beyond the controversy and think of how to overcome the current challenges facing the country. But the former President General of the apex Igbo sociocultural organisation, Ohaneze Ndigbo, Dr Dozie Ikedife, said nobody should crucify Achebe for his comment because “the truth must be told”. Ikedife said the genocide happened because people were hungry; children, mothers and fathers died, adding that what Ndigbo needed was for somebody to apologise to the people by saying “gentlemen, I’m sorry”. This, according to him, would solve the matter once and for all. “Let no one fool any person,” he said, adding that the genesis of the crisis is well known.

He said some Yoruba admitted that the strongest weapon used against Igbo during the war was hunger and starvation, the rest of Nigerians owe Ndigbo an apology, Ikedife said. “I do not see the reason why all these venoms should be pouring on Achebe for saying the truth. Let the truth be said and let the devil be damned. A social critic and leader of Transform Nigeria Movement (TNM), Comrade Obi Ochije, said people should mind what they say against Ndigbo because of Achebe’s book, adding that they are aware that the author of the classic, Things fall apart, spoke the truth. He said: “I believe that one day, may be not in our life time again, the truth of what happened during the evil war would be told. “It is not only Achebe that saw that happened; all of us did, but because he is the only person who has the courage to say it has made it as if he has committed a treasonable felony. “This attack on Achebe is improper and will not solve any problem, but let no one provoke Ndigbo again in this country; let bygone be bygone. People should apologise to Ndigbo for the genocide that happened.”




Anger in Senate over lynching of four students


HERE was anger in the Senate yesterday over the killings of four students of the University of Port Harcourt , Rivers State . This followed the adoption of a: “Motion condemning the murder of students of the University of Port Harcourt and one other person at Omuakiri Village, Aluu, Rivers State’’. It was sponsored by Senator Ayogu Eze (Enugu North) and supported by 90 others. On October 3, the Senate decried what it called the reprehensible murder of 46 students of the Federal Polytechnic, Mubi, Adamawa State . Senate President David Mark, described the ‘gory incident’ especially as posted on social network as totally condemnable and atrocious. He noted that the manner of the students’ death has brought to the fore the urgent need for state police. The Senate President deplored the inability of security agents to apprehend perpetrators of crime in the country. But he insisted that Nigeria should not be classified as a failed state, saying that the existence of the legislature, judiciary and executive arms of government clearly show that the country is not a failed state. He said: “There is no doubt that this act is condemnable. We feel for the students who have lost their lives, we feel for their parents, but there is a local saying that when you point a finger to someone else, four others are pointing at you. “So, we all have a share in ensuring that there is safety of lives and property in this country. “It is not that crimes don’t happen else where, but the difference between crimes else where and crimes in Nigeria is that outside this country, the perpetrators are arrested as quickly as possible and brought to book. “The reason why people don’t want to commit crime is the fear of punishment that is the consequences of it. “Here if you commit crime and you think you can go scot free, then it is jungle justice. “I must also emphasise that the legislature exist in this country, the judiciary is there and the executive and this clearly are not signs of a failed state. “If we have not reached where we ought to reach and

From Onyedi Ojiabor, Assistant Editor and Sanni Onogu, Abuja

where we want to be that doesn’t make us a failed state. I must emphases that. “The mere fact that we can sit down here and debate issues is a clear indication of democracy at work. “In a failed state, you will never have an institution like the Senate, every one will be out on the street with guns and machetes and knives.” Mark said what happened in Aluu community and the way it was posted on the social media show the merit and demerit of the social media. “One thing that has come out of it is that those who were at the scene of the incident can easily be arrested by the police. “The video is there and they can easily be identified and so they should as quickly as possible bring them to book as a lesson for others. “I think the police truly is being challenged and there cannot be police everywhere but the moment it happens and they get a report they should be able to bring those involved to book “I have said this before that

•Mark backs state police I was against state police but I have since changed my mind. “I said so the other day, because the actions, the frequency with which so many crimes are being committed in this country and the difficulty the police have in carrying out their investigation means that there are real security challenges that we need to address. “To address them realistically, we must make sure that there are enough police men that can police this country. “Those who are against state police of course they have their good reasons but the benefits far outweigh the disadvantages at the moment. Senator Eze lamented the lynching and burning on October 5 of the three 200-level students, Chiakika Lordson (Theatre Arts), Ugonna Kelechi Obuzor (Geology), Mike Lioyd Toku (Civil Engineering) and their friend, Tekena Erikena, all below the age of 22 years. He urged the Senate to condemn the dehumanising manner in which “the four students were stripped naked, marched along like common criminals, battered into stupor and eventually coma in a most horrify-

ing display of callousness ever captured on celluloid before setting them ablaze in the full glare of cheering and enthusiastic spectators and traducers.” The Enugu State lawmaker said he was appalled by “the flimsy and yet-to-be substantiated allegation of theft of laptops and blackberry phones.” He quoted a Student Union activist Rhino Owhorkire, who is an indigene of Aluu, as saying that “till date the laptop and blackberry phone have not been produced as evidence of the trumped-up robbery tale.” Senator Eze said all the theories adduced as the reason for the crime, including allegations that the killing was masterminded to cover up the brutalisation the deceased suffered in trying to recover a debt owed them by an indigene of Aluu as well as that the deceased and one other person allegedly at large were conducting cult rites when they were caught, “be thoroughly investigated for a clue to this descent into barbarism.” He said the Senate should be worried that the UNIPORT incident is coming one week

after another systematic murder of over 40 persons, majority of them students in another institution of higher learning in Mubi, Adamawa State and less than two weeks after another shooting within the University of Jos. He cautioned that the situation could flare up across the country and escalate out of control if not properly diagnosed, treated and curtailed. The Senate, he said, should equally be worried by “the cold attitude of leaders of Aluu community who allegedly gave approval for this extra judicial killing after keeping the victims between 5.30 am and the time they were eventually hounded into death in a most gruesome torture known to modernity.” Eze agreed with the spokesmen of the Police in Rivers State, Ben Ugwuegbulem, Vice Chancellor of the university , Prof. Joseph Ajienka and the Rivers State Government that the community had no right to take the law into its hands or to indulge in self help in dealing with the students. He described the arrest of the traditional ruler of Aluu, Alhaji Hassan Walewa and 12 members of the community as a good step but “a little too

•UNIPORT lecturers, students and members of the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) in Southsouth and Southeast zones (Zone B of NANS) protesting the students murder on Eastwest Road at Choba Junction...yesterday. PHOTO: BISI OLANIYI.

Students were likely killed in error over unpaid debt, says ex-minister


HE four students of the University of Port Harcourt lynched on Friday at Omuokiri-Aluu in Obio/Akpor Local Government may have been killed in error, it emerged yesterday. It was learnt that the students were killed following a false alarm by another student who was owing one of the four victims some money. According to a former minister, who spoke with our correspondent in confidence, it would be necessary for the government to look into this error angle. The ex-minister said: “From the account of one of my relations, who is a student in UNIPORT, the four students were killed in error.

From Yusuf Alli, Abuja

“She alleged that another student living at OmuokiriAluu had borrowed unspecified cash from one of the four victims and appeared unwilling to pay. “The four slain students decided to meet with the student-debtor to persuade him to repay the soft loan given to him by one of them. “My relation claimed that when the student-debtor was adamant, these four innocent victims offered to seize his laptop and a few other computer accessories in his room. “Determined to take a pound of flesh over the seizure of his items, the student-debtor raised a false robbery alarm which caused

•CPC: killing barbaric panic in the area. “The mob did not give the students a chance before descending on them and burning them to death. “I want to appeal to the Nigeria Police to look at this angle in its ongoing investigation of the killing of these innocent souls. “What we can do now is to get justice for these four students even in death. It is so sad that innocent people could be burnt to death just like that.” The Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) yesterday described the killing of the students as barbaric. The party made the condemnation in a statement in Abuja by its National Pub-

licity, Rotimi Fashakin. The statement said: “The Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) condemns, without any reservation, the gruesome killing of four University of Port-Harcourt (UNIPORT) students in Aluu community of Rivers State. “This, coming so soon after another brutal cutting down of scores of students in Mubi, Adamawa state, is one killing too many! Unconfirmed preliminary reports had it that the students- Ugonna, IIyod, Tekana, Chidiaka- were embroiled in an argument with a man from the community over money owed. Rather than settling amicably, the man in question called a lo-

cal vigilante group that came instantly. “The students, first stripped naked, were beaten into pulp before being burnt to death. The footage of this act of untrammeled barbarism reveals a sad commentary that in the current Nigerian state: death is cheap and ubiquitous! It also reveals that studentship in Nigeria is fraught with inherent danger because of the near absence of governance in the Country. “The question is: where was the Nigeria Police while this fire of primitive justice raged? Indeed, the Police was nowhere! The defective organizational, crime-fighting thrust of the Nigeria Police is seen in its reactivity rather than pro-activity.


late in the day given that a police station is allegedly located within a shouting distance of the scene where the killing took place, yet the noise that attended the spectacle did not attract the attention of the police till after the boys had been liquidated.”

Reps invite IGP over Mubi, Rivers killings From Victor Oluwasegun and Dele Anofi, Abuja

THE House of Representatives yesterday condemned the recent attack on students of the Federal Polytechnic, Mubi, Adamawa State and last weekend’s mob killing of four students of the University of Port Harcourt. It invited the Inspector General of Police, (IGP), Mohammed Abubakar over the killings. The police chief is to brief the House committee on Police Affairs. No date has been fixed for the IG’s appearance. Members also observed a minute silence in honour of the dead students and resolved to send a delegation to Mubi and Port Harcourt to commiserate with the government and families of the slain students. The team will also visit Maiduguri, where over 30 people, including soldiers were killed on Monday. The IG is to brief the House Committee on the inability of the police to prevent or intervene while the attacks lasted. He is also to explain the absence of the police and security agencies within the vicinity of the attacks. The resolution was sequel to the adoption of the prayers of motion by a lawmaker, Abubakar Wamba, who wondered at the motive behind the killing of over 40 students of the Polytechnic in Mubi, Adamawa State, Mrs. Abike Dabiri-Erewa, Chairperson of the House Committee on the Diaspora, noted that the actions of both Port Harcourt and Mubi attackers had gone far to demonstrating the fast degenerating level of our value system, According to her, the security service were to blame mainly for their non-responsive attitude during such emergencies. “When we look at what happened in Mubi and Port Harcourt, especially, you can see we have lost our moral values. In view of all the killings that happened, the House should ensure that it is not business as usual,” she said.



FOREIGN NEWS ICC holds hearing for Gaddafi’s son


HE International Criminal Court (ICC) is holding its first public hearing in the case of one of the sons of Libyan leader Col Gaddafi, Saif al-Islam. He is accused of committing war crimes against the rebels who overthrew his father last year. His ICC lawyers have argued he will not receive a fair trial in Libya, where he is currently held. But the Libyan authorities say he should be tried in the country where he is accused of committing crimes. At the beginning of the two-day hearing, Libyan lawyer Ahmed al-Jehani called for the international community to “be patient”, telling ICC judges the Libyan authorities “needed time” to organise a fair trial for Saif Gaddafi. Jehani told the judges they had not ruled out some level of ICC involvement. But lawyers for the ICC defence team have accused the Libyan authorities of “empty rhetoric” and of having “aspirations divorced from reality” with regards to holding Saif Gaddafi’s trial in Tripoli. Lawyer Melinda Taylor - who spent nearly a month in detention after she and three other members of the defence team were arrested in Libya after visiting Gaddafi in June - say

Libya’s lawyers are misleading the ICC, for instance by saying a possible death sentence for Saif Gaddafi could be commuted. She cited a law passed by Libya’s post-revolutionary National Transitional Council which said “no child of Gaddafi will ever benefit from leniency”, the AFP news agency reports. This is the first time the ICC defence team has come face to face with the Libyan lawyers in court, says the BBC’s Anna Holligan in The Hague. The Libyan authorities have made no secret of the fact that they have absolutely no intention of handing Saif Gaddafi over to the ICC, our correspondent says. If they do want to play by the rules and win the right to try Saif Gaddafi at home, they must convince the judges they can do the job and that Gaddafi will face a fair hearing at home. They must show they are conducting their own investigations, and are willing to prosecute Mr Gaddafi for the same alleged crimes that are listed on the ICC’s arrest warrant. One of the lawyers representing Libya, Philippe Sands, has confirmed Mr Gaddafi is still being held by the Zintan Brigade in Libya, adding he will be transferred to a secure detention facility in Tripoli before trial.

Nobel prize for quantum pioneers


HIS year’s Nobel prize in physics has been awarded to two researchers for their work with light and matter at the most fundamental level. Serge Haroche of France and David Wineland of the US will share the prize, worth 8m Swedish kronor (£750,000; $1.2m). Their “quantum optics” work deals with single photons and ions, the basic units of light and matter. It could lead to advanced modes of communication and computation. The Nobel citation said the award was for “groundbreaking experimental methods that enable measuring and manipulation of individual quantum systems”. Light and matter, when the minuscule scales of single particles are reached, behave in surprising ways in a part of physics known as quantum mechanics. Working with light and matter on this level would have been unthinkable before the pair developed solutions to pick, manipulate and measure photons and ions indi-



vidually, allowing an insight into a microscopic world that was once just the province of scientific theory. Their work has implications for light-based clocks far more precise than the atomic clocks at the heart of the world’s business systems, and quantum computing, which may - or may not - revolutionise desktop computing as we know it. But for physicists, the import of the pair’s techniques is outlined in a layman’s summary on the Nobel site: they preserve the delicate quantum mechanical states of the pho-

tons and ions - states that theorists had for decades hoped to measure in the laboratory, putting the ideas of quantum mechanics on a solid experimental footing. Those include the slippery quantum mechanical ideas of “entanglement” - the seemingly ethereal connection between two distant particles that underpins much work on the “uncrackable codes” of quantum cryptography - and of “decoherence”, in which the quantum nature of a particle slowly slips away through its interactions with other matter.

NEWS ‘School heads responsible for project said: “As principals, you INISTER of State for execution’ areHedirectly responsible for the Education Nyesom


Wike has said the Federal Government will hold principals accountable for the management of special interventionist funds for the revival of infrastructures in the federal unity colleges. The minister spoke in Abuja at a budget performance meeting with principals of the colleges. He said the execution of projects in all the schools must be done transparently and in

line with approved regulations. Wike said the principals were granted automony to prevent unnecessary bureaucratic bottlenecks. He warned them against using funds earmarked for the development of classrooms, hostels and laboratories for other purposes. The minister said most schools have received over 60percent of their allocations.

development of our federal unity colleges. We, on our part, are resolved to to achieve the desired results. “As drivers of the transformation agenda in the education sector, I urge you to be professional and justify the confidence reposed on you”. On admission, Wike advised the principals to ensure that only qualified candidates are admitted in line with approved guidelines from the ministry.

Former ILO Chairman dies at 87


IONEER judge of the National Industrial Court , Simeon Olujimi Koku, is dead He died at his Surulere residence yesterday. He was 87. The late Koku attended the CMS Grammar School Lagos and Leeds University in the UK. He was appointed permanent secretary in the Ministry of Labour in 1968. He joined the Department of Labour in 1949 rising to become permanent secretary in 1977 and was appointed a pioneer judge of the National Industrial Court in 1988.

He was seconded to the Government of the Gambia as a Labour Adviser from October 1960 to April 1961 and later as Commissioner of Labour/Secretary to The Gambia’s Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare from September 1961 to October 1963. In June 1970, he was elected as the Chairman of the Governing Body of the International Labour Organisation (ILO). A practising Anglican, he was a parishioner of the Cathedral of St. Jude, Ebute Meta. He is survived by his wife, Victoria , and four children, including Foluso Koku of Globacom Foundation and Jide Koku (SAN).




Taliban shoots teenager-activist


N attack by Taliban gunmen in north-west Pakistan that wounded a 14-year-old who campaigned for girls’ rights has caused an outcry in the country. Malala Yousafzai was shot in the head on her way home from school in Mingora, the main town in the Swat Valley. The president and prime minister have led condemnation of the attack. Initial reports suggested she was out of danger, but there is growing concern over her condition with some reports saying she may need treatment abroad. A Pakistani Taliban spokesman told the BBC they carried out the attack. Ehsanullah Ehsan told BBC Urdu that they attacked her because she was anti-Taliban and secular, adding that she would not be spared.

•Pakistan, world furious

Malala Yousafzai came to public attention in 2009 by writing a diary for BBC Urdu about life under Taliban militants who had taken control of the valley. Almost immediately afterwards, the attack was condemned by politicians and media personalities. President Asif Ali Zardari said yesterday’s attack would not shake Pakistan’s resolve to fight Islamist militants or the government’s determination to support women’s education. He said that the aim of the “terrorists” who carried it out was to weaken the resolve of the nation - but the country would continue its fight against militants “until its logical conclusion”. In a statement about the at-

tack, Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf said: “We have to fight the mindset that is involved in this. We have to condemn it... Malala is like my daughter, and yours too. If that mindset prevails, then whose daughter would be safe?” The attack has also been condemned by most of Pakistan’s major political parties, TV celebrities and human rights groups including the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) and Amnesty International. HRCP senior official Kamila Hayat praised Malala Yousafzai for standing up to the militants and sending a message across the world that Pakistani girls had the courage to fight for their rights. But she also worried that

yesterday’s shooting would prevent other parents from letting their children speak out against the Taliban. “This is an attack to silence courage through a bullet,” Ms Hayat said. “These are the forces who want to take us to the dark ages.” Taliban spokesman Ehsanullah Ehsan told BBC Urdu that they attacked the teenager because she was anti-Taliban and secular, adding that she would not be spared. Malala Yousafzai was travelling with at least one other girl when she was shot, but there are differing accounts of how events unfolded. One report, citing local sources, says a bearded gunman stopped a car full of schoolgirls, and asked for Malala Yousafzai by name, before opening fire.

Netanyahu calls early Israeli poll


SRAEL’S prime minister has called an early general election, which could come as soon as January - nine months ahead of schedule. Benjamin Netanyahu said the new elections for the 120member Knesset - the Israeli parliament - would take place “as soon as possible.” His right-wing coalition government has been in power since 2009. Although he remains a popular leader, he has been unable to agree the annual budget with his coalition partners. The BBC’s Wyre Davies in Jerusalem says that although Netanyahu is facing many tricky policy situations - including the collapse of peace talks with the Palestinians and how to respond to Iran’s nuclear programme - it is the failure to agree a budget with other coaltion parties that brought about this decision. In particular, small religious parties are accused of refusing to agree on cuts to welfare programmes and government benefits. With his high personal approval ratings, Netanyahu will be hoping to increase his own party’s current allocation of Knesset seats. But, even if he wins he will almost certainly have to form another coalition, given the proportional nature of Israel’s voting system, our correspondent says.


Australian Speaker resigns

USTRALIA’S parliament Speaker Peter Slipper has resigned amid a continuing sex scandal, dealing a blow to Prime Minister Julia Gillard’s government. He quit despite surviving a vote on an opposition motion to remove him. Slipper is accused of sexual harassment by a former staff member, and of sending lurid text messages, now revealed in court documents. His resignation could harm Ms Gillard’s slender majority, which relies on votes from independent MPs. Slipper defected from opposition leader Tony Abbot’s Liberal Party last year, becoming an independent. He was swiftly promoted to the non-voting role of Speaker, freeing up his predecessor - Labour member Harry Jenkins and effectively giving Ms Gillard a two-seat majority in the House. His resignation now means Ms Gillard is dependent on Slipper as an independent to help pass legislation. Slipper appeared to fight back tears in an emotional return to the House to announce his decision to resign, saying it was made with “great sadness” and regret. His resignation followed a heated debate between Ms Gillard and Abbot yesterday, with Abbot accusing Slipper of not being a “fit and proper” person for position of Speaker.

Terror suspect denies charges


•The demonstrators outside the parliament in Nairobi ... yesterday


Protest in Kenya over MPs’ bonus pay


NGRY demonstrators in Kenya have marched to parliament to protest about a huge bonus MPs have voted to award themselves. Lawmakers in Kenya are among the highest paid MPs in Africa, receiving a salary of about $10,000 (£6,200) a month. The bonus of more than $105,000 each is to be paid when parliament breaks up ahead of elections due in March 2013. Analysts says tax increases are likely in order to foot the $23m bill. The BBC’s Frenny Jowi in the capital, Nairobi, says the revelation about the send-off bonus for the 222 MPs has angered many people, coming as it does after strikes in the public sector. It was passed late on Thursday night as part of a last-minute amendment to


the Finance Act, she says. In September all schools were closed for three weeks and public hospitals only took emergencies as demands were made for better pay and working conditions. According to the AFP news agency, someone earning the minimum wage in Kenya would have to work for 61 years to earn the equivalent of an MP’s proposed bonus. Our reporter says a large crowd stopped traffic on the main road outside President Mwai Kibaki’s office in Nairobi. They then marched towards parliament and have camped outside, chanting “mwizi”, which means thief in KiSwahili, when any MP drives by. “When you look at the situation the

country is in right now, we have problems with teachers, we have problems in the health care sector. It is just selfish, it is unpatriotic and plain stupid,” one woman at the demonstration told the BBC. Boniface Mwangi, one of the organisers of the march who earlier this year joined activists to paint murals in the city portraying MPs as vultures, called for a “ballot revolution” to get rid of avaricious politicians at the next election. He told the BBC the send-off package was “like a thank you token for doing nothing”. The change to the Finance Act still needs to be signed into law by Mr Kibaki - who stands down as president next year after two terms in office.

UN revises ‘wrong hunger figure’

HE UN has been forced to revise its 2009 figures that one billion people worldwide were hungry, saying the number was closer to 870 million. In its new annual report, the UN Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO) blamed flawed methodology and poor data for the erroneous assessment. But the FAO head said that, while the revised figures indicated progress, the numbers were still unacceptable. He said that the goal of halv-

ing hunger by 2015 was “still within reach”. The UN defines hunger as the consumption of fewer than 1,800 kilocalories a day - the minimum required to live a healthy and productive life. Speaking at a conference in Rome, the FAO’s Graziano da Silva said the 2012 report on food insecurity showed results over the past two decades were “better than previously believed”. “We have good news, we have made some progress in reducing hunger,” he said.

The revised figures indicate the global number of chronically hungry people has actually declined by 128 million since 1990, falling from 980 million people to 868 million, with a majority living in developing countries. This means that 12.5% of the world’s population, or one in eight people, remains undernourished. However, Silva said “most of the progress was achieved before 2007-08”. He said “twin-track action” based on economic growth and

safety nets for the most vulnerable was needed to meet the Millennium Development Goal of halving hunger by 2015. The slowdown was partially due to the global recession, rising food prices, growing demand for bio-fuels and climate change. The new report revealed Africa was the only region where the number of hungry has grown - from 175 million to 239 million over the last two decades, with nearly 20 million added in the past four years alone.

ADICAL Islamist cleric Abu Hamza has pleaded not guilty to terror charges in a New York court. He told a judge that he denied charges that he conspired with US nationals to set up a terrorist training camp in the state of Oregon. District Judge Katherine Forrest set a date of August 26 2013 for Abu Hamza’s trial, at which he will also face charges of abducting tourists in Yemen. Earlier, two men extradited from the UK with Abu Hamza also appeared in court. Khaled al-Fawwaz and Adel Abdul Bary are charged with participating in the bombings of embassies in Tanzania and Kenya in August 1998. They will face trial in October 2013, reports say. The three men were extradited from the UK last week along with another pair, Babar Ahmad and Talha Ahsan, following a long legal battle. Abu Hamza al-Masri faces 11 charges in the US relating to hostage-taking, conspiracy to establish a militant training camp in the US and calling for holy war in Afghanistan. He is being tried under the name Mustafa Kamel Mustafa, and the trial is expected to take six to eight weeks.

‘Killers’ of Nigerian troops held


UDANESE authorities have detained suspects in the killings of four Nigerian peacekeepers in Darfur, state radio said yesterday, after United Nations chief Ban Ki-moon urged swift justice. “The authorities arrested those who are involved in the attack on UNAMID (the UN-African Union Mission in Darfur) near ElGeneina, in West Darfur,” Radio Omdurman reported in an SMS news alert which gave no more details. The Sudanese Media Centre, which is close to the security apparatus, issued a similar brief report. UN sources say the attack on October 2 was the deadliest in UNAMID’s nearly five-year history. Ban was “appalled and deeply saddened” by the ambush, his spokesman Martin Nesirky said last week. “The secretary general urges the government of the Sudan to conduct a full investigation and to ensure that the perpetrators are swiftly brought to justice,” Nesirky said. The UN has regularly made such calls after the deaths of peacekeepers in Darfur, and has called such attacks a war crime. But UN sources told AFP earlier yesterday that they were unaware of anybody being brought to justice in Sudan for killing a peacekeeper. The deaths of the Nigerians brought to 42 the number of UNAMID members killed in hostile action. Nine other peacekeepers were wounded in the ambush, UNAMID said, revising an earlier toll of eight wounded. The mission has said the Nigerian patrol was attacked about two kilometres (just over a mile) from its regional headquarters.






Wikki Tourists’ Bebeto is dead


ORMER Wikki Tourists Football Club of Bauchi midfield liberator Yakubu Hassan alias "Bebeto"is dead. Bebeto passed on at weekend after a protracted illness. He died at Gombe Referral Hospital while receiving medical treatment at the age of 42 years. Nicknamed Bebeto, after the Brazilian skillful maestro and variously known as engine room operator of Wikki Tourists midfield, Yakubu played for Bauchi Wunti F.C. in the amateur team before he moved to Gombe United. He, however, returned to Bauchi Wikki Tourists, the Bauchi state government owned football team in 1999 where he immensely assisted Wikki, now in Premier league. Bebeto, as he was fondly called by his supporters, was involved in an accident on July 2nd , 1999 with his Wikki teammates on their way to honour a Division one professional League match with the then Katsina United. The deceased, who sustained severe spinal cord injury at the Kano-Katsina ghastly road accident, and was bed-ridden for over 12years, has been battling with the injury from one hospital to another in search of medical treatment. Meanwhile, Bauchi state chapter of Sports Writers Association of Nigeria (SWAN) in a statement yesterday by its secretary, Nasiru Abdullahi Kobi described the death of Bebeto as “a great loss, not only to his immedi-

From Austine Tsenzughul, Bauchi ate family, football family, but the state and the nation”. SWAN prayed God Almighty to grant the family of the deceased the fortitude to bear the irreparable lose. In his remark, SWAN National Auditor, Alhaji Abbas Usman aka Osculator, said of the late Wikki player “Bebeto was a disciplined player, com-

mitted and very enduring and focused in all the games he played and is greatly missed”. While other Wikki fans mourn the demise of the player, most of them asked the management of Wikki Tourists to immortalize the player who gave his all for the team to get to its present stage. But when contacted Alhaji Sule Chindo, the current

Wikki Tourists Chairman said” Iam shocked at his death and can say anything for now but I will talk to you later please.” “The management of Wikki Tourists will make a statement to that effect at the appropriate time which will be very soon. But I urge all Wikki Tourists supporters to pray for the soul of the deceased.”

Baribote urges clubs to step up preparations C

HAIRMAN of the Nigeria Premier League (NPL), Chief Rumson Victor Baribote has urged Management of the clubs to continue with their preparations for the 2012/ 2013 league season assuring them the Board is working with concerned stakeholders to resolve the lingering title sponsorship dispute. According to a press release by the NPL Media Officer, Emmanuel Njoku, the NPL Board will meet today to appraise the extent of progress made by the parties to the sponsorship dispute and decide possible date for the league kick-off. “There has been a misconception that the Honourable Sports Minister, Alhaji Bolaji Abdullahi has suspended the league till next year but

our understanding of the Minister’s pronouncement is that the league will start as soon as the dispute is amicably resolved”, explained the NPL Chairman. He reminded the clubs that they have a responsibility to prepare their players even during off-season period and added that “we cannot fold our arms and allow the players to grow rusty because the league hasn’t kicked off. We are confident that with the intervention of the Minister, the sponsorship crisis will soon be a thing of the past”. The NPL Chairman expressed gratitude to the Minister and the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) Board for their concern and constant interest in the affairs of the league. “The Sports Commission is the body set

up by government to regulate the affairs of sports in the country while the NFF is saddled with the direct responsibility of regulating football. We appreciate the fact that they have been sufficiently concerned on the matter of sponsorship and we look forward to their continued support in the days ahead as we engage our corporate partners to build a big, strong and virile league in the coming season”, remarked Baribote. A meeting between Globacom Limited and Total Promotions, the two parties to the sponsorship dispute is believed to have been scheduled for Wednesday in Lagos. The outcome will be communicated to the NPL Board for possible ratification.

19 Eagles battle for shirts against Lone Star


ALPABLE excitement enveloped the Super Eagles Metropolitan Hotel camp Tuesday afternoon ahead of the crucial Nations Cup qualifier against Liberia on Saturday as foreign based players invited arrived in droves ahead of the tie. And when the team trained at the UJ Esuene Stadium in Calabar, which will host the encounter 19 players sweated it out to battle for first team shirts. The other three players were expected before dinner time Tuesday on time for Wednesday’s double header training. The 10 foreign based players who joined the seven homebased for Tuesday’s evening training are Austin Ejide, Vincent Enyeama, Nosa Igiebor, Ikechukwu Uche, Elderson Echejile, Ahmed Musa, Obiora Nwankwo, Efe Ambrose, Brown Ideye, and the three exciting youngsters, Ogenyi Onazi of Lazio of Italy, Inter Milan’s Joel Obi and Chelsea’s new ac-

quisition, Victor Moses, whose girlfriend recently put to bed a bouncing baby boy in London. It was obvious on the faces the technical crew that they were delighted at the responses of the players to the job at hand, as Stephen Keshi and his crew now have the full compliments of players to pick from for Saturday’s game. The way and manner the players were welcomed showed that they know exactly what is at stake come Saturday and Keshi startled Moses during lunch time when he first asked how is his girlfriend and his bouncing baby boy were fairing. He replied that they are both fine and in very good condition. “Does the boy look like you or like the Mother”?. Keshi pressed on, and Moses replied, “Coach, he looked pretty much like me”, and the dinning hall erupted in laughter. That underlines the relaxed spirit in the Super Eagles camp at the moment ahead of Saturday’s crunch tie.


Guinea storms Nigeria on Friday


25-man delegation of the U-17 National Team of Guinea will arrive in Lagos on Friday morning, for Sunday’s 2013 African U-17 Championship qualifying match against Nigeria’s Golden Eaglets. The contingent will fly into Lagos aboard an Arik Air flight and be flown into Calabar the same day, also aboard an Arik Air flight.

Sunday’s match at the U. J. Esuene Stadium, Calabar is the first leg of a second round fixture in the race for qualification for next year’s continental finals in Morocco. To reach this stage, the Golden Eaglets dismissed their counterparts 10-1 on aggregate, winning 4-1 in Niamey and 6-0 in Calabar. The Guineans drew a bye to this stage.



VOL.7 NO.2,274

‘The military abandoned professionalism and failed to recognize the PWD as a most effective weapon of mass destruction of potholes in the war on potholes. Potholes grew wild.’ TONY MARINHO



MONG the usual mixed reactions this column gets, that from one, Mike Oyeleke, to last week’s piece on what I obviously considered our wrong-headed belief that the sure-fire solution to the country’s problems is to fix its Constitution, looked like a most logical rebuttal of my thesis. For Oyeleke, whose reaction is reproduced below, I was obviously wrong to blame Nigerian politicians for quarrelling with our Constitution. They are, he says, right to do so because the country’s Constitution as the principal tool for its development is defective and in dire need of fixing. The gentleman’s point of view is likely to resonate well with advocates of Sovereign National Conference; they seem to believe convoking an SNC to fix our Constitution is the panacea to our problems. It is hard, I believe, to find a more simplistic thinking on how to solve Nigeria’s problems. True, our Constitution is defective and in need of fixing; it is a wrong reading of my piece last week to assume I did not think it is defective. After all, nothing man-made is, by definition, perfect because Man himself is imperfect. My argument was simple; warts and all, if Nigerians had kept faith with their Constitution their country would never have been in the terrible mess in which it is. To quote one of the respondents to my article in question whose response I did not reproduce here, one, Ogbuba Gabriel who said he is an engineer, “A good worker can mend a crack with a bad tool to some extent.” I, for one, couldn’t agree more. By the same token, even with the best tool available, no positive result can ever be achieved with the kind of bad faith Nigerian politicians have demonstrated in upholding the country’s Constitution in their politics. The monumental corruption and waste that have been exposed in the country’s oil subsidy regime is, for example, not the fault of the country’s Constitution. Neither is the Constitution to blame for the monumental “mismanagement and misapplication” of the country’s ecological fund – to use the words of the Senate Public Accounts Committee which recently said it has discovered N400 billion of the fund had been used in the last 10 years to buy such creature comforts like presumably expensive vehicles for public officials rather than for protecting and improving our environment. No doubt if half, or even less, of this huge amount – and chances are the corruption and waste was understated - had been spent on dredging our rivers and streams and generally on safeguarding our environment, the flood disaster we have witnessed this year all over the country, which has claimed hundreds of lives and thousands of livelihoods, would have been avoided.



People and Politics By MOHAMMED H ARUNA

Still on the Constitution and bad workmen

•Senate President David Mark

Again, it is not the fault of the Constitution that, as one of my respondents said, our presidential system has proved prohibitively expensive. The Constitution is not to blame, for instance, for the decision by our federal legislators to fix their own wages and allowances and keep us totally in the dark about the size of those wages and allowances. On the contrary, the Constitution couldn’t have been more explicit than it was about the conflict of interest in allowing public servants to fix their own remuneration. In these and all other cases of corruption and waste, there are sufficient Constitutional guidelines to stop abuse. There are also sufficient guidelines on how to punish abuse – and reward compliance. The problem for our country is that these guidelines have mostly been observed only in the breach. The problem is also that hardly does anyone get punished when the guidelines are breached. In-

stead our reward and punishment system seems to put a high premium on wrong doing and on self-service, as has been glaringly demonstrated by the country’s thoroughly discredited National Honours awards. By all means let us correct the flaws in our Constitution. But if we truly want our country to develop we must approach its amendment with the full knowledge of, and respect for, the fact that a rule is not worth the paper it is written on if, as is obviously the case in Nigeria, it can be disregarded with impunity, especially by those entrusted with the power and authority to ensure compliance with it. Talking about the importance of our politicians leading by example as the way out of our national decay, I witnessed a small but symbolically mighty example of it last week in Ekiti State when, on a visit to its governor, the youthful John Kayode Fayemi with my publisher friend, Chief Ikechi Emenike, he asked us to join his convoy on a trip from Ado-Ekiti, the state capital, to Ekiti East Local Government for a town square meeting with its people on next year’s budget. The first thing that struck me was that his convoy was a short five or six vehicle long, with himself and his commissioners and aides that accompanied him in a bus. That was a far cry from your typical governor’s convoy. However, what struck me even more was that the convoy actually obeyed traffic lights within the town, had no siren and did not disrupt the traffic on the highway all the way to its destination. It is small examples of leadership by example like this, much more than our proclivity in amending our Constitution at the drop of the hat, that will make the big difference in our struggle to become a peaceful,



stable and prosperous nation.

FEEDBACK Re Constitutional amendment: a bad workman... Sir, The tools the Nigerian politicians work with are not original tools. Rather they are working with corrupted tools. Whereas in America the senate president is the vice president, in Nigeria we have a vice president separate from the senate president. Since the tool is corrupted so will there be complaints by those who use the tools. Shouldn’t the office of the attorney general be separated from that of the minister of justice? Shouldn’t each federating state have its own constitution and its own police? Should the National Assembly members determine their pay? Bad workmen, bad tools. Mike Oyeleke, +2348162441631 Sir, Thank you for your very interesting article: Constitutional amendments: A bad workman... This is just to correct a small mistake. You stated that Major-General Aguiyi Ironsi abolished the Independence Constitution. That assertion is factually incorrect. The Independence Constitution is the 1960 constitution. But there was another constitution in 1963. It is called the Republican constitution. It was the one abolished by Major-General Ironsi. Hon Samaila Mohammed, Jos Sir, I agree with you that the constitution do not constitute far greater problem in Nigerian affairs than the behaviour of our politicians. However, there is no doubting the fact that some sections of the present constitution need to be amended. And while the paramount condition for our national progress is change in attitude and behaviour, I also think that there is need to jettison this costly presidential system for a more cost effective parliamentary one. Unfortunately our legislators won’t support such move because they are only interested in feathering their nests with our collective wealth. Kingley Aduga, 08133071697 Sir. Amend the constitution of Nigeria one million times it will not solve our problems. This is because those who are to protect and enforce will be ones that will work against it. Dr. John Ogbadu •For comments, send SMS to 08023211188

•Hardball is not the opinion of the columnist featured above

National broadcast? Press release would have been sufficient


OME five or so weeks after many communities across the country were overwhelmed by flood, President Goodluck Jonathan has finally taken what seems to his government urgent steps in ameliorating the effects of the unprecedented disaster. He had earlier sent a technical committee to assess the damage and to prepare an interim report. After deliberating on the report and having presented it to those he described as stakeholders, the president yesterday morning announced through a national broadcast the provision of N17.6 billion to tackle the problem. The money is to be shared among the 36 states and a few relevant federal agencies involved in disaster management. In the broadcast, the president sent word he would be visiting some of the affected communities, while a team of financial heavyweights has also been constituted to raise more money for the purpose. It is not exactly clear why the president felt a national broadcast was in order merely to announce the provision of N17.6bn to the 36 states. Was it to lend seriousness to the disaster or to give an impression that the problem required such attention that only a broadcast could convey? If the president thought the problem grave enough, should

he not have visited a few of the ravaged communities immediately he returned from addressing the 67th General Assembly of the United Nations late September? The president is of course at liberty to apportion his time as he deems fit, but there are not many Nigerians who would have objected to their president visiting some of the flood-ravaged states. And judging from the enormity of the problem and its urgency, and the rather disproportionately niggardly sum the president has set aside for the task, a common press release announcing the federal government’s contribution would have been more than sufficient. In the 20 paragraphs broadcast, the president said virtually nothing about the even more frightening cataclysm of impending food shortages, nor of how it would be mitigated both in the medium run and in the next planting season. It is bad enough that weeks after the flood, he is still proposing a visit to affected communities. But his refusal to say something concrete about what he intends to do both to tackle a possible food crisis and to ensure the availability and distribution of seedlings for the next farming season, and his inability to acknowledge the

threat food shortages could pose to national security at a time of sundry and ubiquitous terrorist threats, is truly befuddling. The president is probably unable to gauge when a national broadcast is appropriate. Yes, he was expected to let his countrymen know what he wanted to do on the flood problem, but if he must make a broadcast, they also expected him to talk stirringly about the October 1 massacre of some 40 students at the Federal Polytechnic, Mubi, Adamawa State, and to also visit the school and the host community. Nigerians also hoped he would say something quite deep about the University of Port Harcourt students who were lynched near their school, and then pay the four grieving families a visit and swear that such would never happen again under his watch. Instead, Dr Jonathan has offered us an unappealing and needless broadcast, and has found it difficult to correctly judge when to stir himself sufficiently to hit the road. He is a top politician, and he is president of the country upon whose shoulders all our troubles, hopes and disappointments rest. He should not be told how to discharge the responsibilities of that great office or when to mollify the pains and sorrows of his people.

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The Nation October 10, 2012  

The Nation October 10, 2012