Kidnapped Osun Speaker’s wife freed in Ogun State –Page 2
Three abductors held, one killed
Nigerian doctor sacked for bringing HIV-infected blood into UK –Page 7
Nigeria’s widest circulating newspaper
Vol.06, No. 2278
TRUTH IN DEFENCE OF FREEDOM
OCTOBER 14, 2012
Tinubu, Akande, ACN govs for Akure rally ‘Mimiko spends N6.8bn to power empty park’ Jonathan warns against violence –Pages 4 & 5
Confusion at Northern leaders summit over secession call –PAGE 2
Govs boycott meeting over political undertone Danjuma, Ciroma demand withdrawal of remark PLATEAU In fact we must as matter of obligation carry it out to its logical conclusion: I dare say that if need be by pulling out of Nigeria. We must take our destiny into our hands.
Four killed in Berom, Fulani clash –Page 6
–Alhaji Bello Kirfi Convener, Northeast Forum for Unity and Development (NEFUD)
Reps won’t rubberstamp 2013 budget –Tambuwal
Nigeria's Mikel Obi jumps from a tackle by Liberian skipper Gebro Duncan during the 2013 African Cup of Nations second leg qualifying match between the two countries at Calabar on October 13, 2012. Nigeria defeated Liberia 6 -1 to qualify for the tournament to be held in South Africa next year. Photo: AFP
State creation: Kwankwaso is confused –Ekweremadu
AND WIN A BRAND NEW CAR SEE PAGE 70 FOR DETAILS
Denies disloyalty charge
Constitution review panel gets 240 memos
NEWS Kidnapped wife of Osun Speaker rescued in Ogun From Adesoji Adeniyi, Osogbo
HE wife of the Speaker of the Osun State House of Assembly, Alhaja Muibat Salaam, who was kidnapped last Tuesday in Ejigbo, Osun State, was yesterday rescued from her captors in Ilaro, Ogun State. She was set free by a vigilance group while her kidnappers were making effort apparently to take her across the border to the neighbouring Benin Republic. It was gathered that the vigilance group became suspicious of the presence of the lone woman in the midst of nine tough men. They soon engaged the kidnappers in an argument and then a gun duel ensued. One of the suspects was killed, three were apprehended while the rest escaped. The woman was said to have given the vigilance men her husband’s cell phone number to speak with him. It was gathered that after the discussion between the Speaker and his wife, he called the Osun State Commissioner of Police, Mrs. Kalafite Adeyemi, who in turn alerted her counterparts in Oyo and Ogun States. The Osun State police boss was said to have gone to Ogun State with some of her men to bring back the Speaker’s wife to reunite with her family in the state. Meanwhile, on receiving the information, the immediate family of the Speaker as well as the people across the state went into jubilation. Alhaja Salaam was abducted after closing from her shop in Ejigbo, Osun State where she sells foodstuff.
ONFUSION broke out yesterday at a meeting of eminent North East geo-political zone in Bauchi after the convener of the summit asked that the North should pull out of Nigeria ‘if need be’ to take ‘our destiny in our hands’. Alhaji Bello Kirfi, a retired Federal Permanent Secretary spoke at what was scheduled to be the inauguration of North East Forum for Unity and Development (NEFUD), which he is promoting to address the peculiar socio-economic problems facing Adamawa, Bauchi, Borno, Gombe, Taraba and Yobe States, which constitute the zone. He was, however, called to order by former Chief of Army Staff and ex-defence minister, General Theophilus Danjuma, who first dissociated himself from Kirfi’s position and then asked him to withdraw the statement immediately. He said he would not be a party to any move to dismember Nigeria having fought for its unity in the Civil War. Gen. Danjuma described Kirfi’s statement as weighty. “As someone who went
THE NATION ON SUNDAY OCTOBER 14, 2012
Confusion at Northern leaders summit over secession call • Govs boycott meeting over political undertone • Danjuma, Ciroma demand withdrawal of remark By Austine Tsenzughul, Bauchi
to the war front and survived it, I must warn that this statement be withdrawn immediately,” he declared. He got a supporter in former Finance Minister, Mallam Adamu Ciroma, who was the Chairman of the occasion. The veteran politician and one time governor of the Central Bank announced the withdrawal of the offending statement contained in paragraph 15 at page 9 of Kirfi’s speech. The crowd in the 5000 capacity Sports Hall, Bauchi applauded the decision. Kirfi then formally withdrew the sentence although he
said it was for the “meantime.” The summit itself appeared doomed from the beginning following its boycott by Governors Murtala Nyako (Adamawa), Isa Yuguda (Bauchi), Kashim Shettima (Borno), Ibrahim Dankwambo (Gombe), Danjuma Suntai (Taraba) and Ibrahim Gaidam (Yobe), for ‘political reasons.’ They were primed as the key drivers of the forum but opted out on the suspicion that the organisers had not revealed their true intentions. Gen. Danjuma himself was not comfortable with the governors’ absence and called for the postponement of the summit until the governors would be able to attend.
As the programme was about to get under way he drew attention to their nonparticipation and recalled that just a few days ago, one of the governors told him they had all agreed to stay away because they suspected there was a hidden agenda. He said: “ one of the governors told me that all of them had resolved not to come and even advised me to stay away, that there’s a hidden agenda.” Gen. Danjuma said based on this advice, he went back to read the minutes of the forum’s previous meetings, saying “I am not in a position to pass judgment but this development has created doubt in my mind regarding the motive of the forum. I therefore suggest that this meeting be
•L-R: Former Commissioner of Police, Alhaji Usman Faruk; Deputy Governor of Bauchi State, Alhaji Sagir Saleh; Special Guest of Honour, Retired Gen. T.Y. Danjuma; chairman of the occasion, Malam Adamu Ciroma, and Prof. Ango Abdullahi, at the inuaguration of Action Committees of the North-East Forum for Unity and Development (NEFUD) in Bauchi yesterday Photo: NAN
adjourned immediately and reconvene at a later date when we would have been able to persuade the governors to join us in this noble undertaking.” He said the inauguration of all the action committees save that of security be shelved. “I suggest that the security committee when inaugurated should approach and persuade the governors and in fact should be the conveners of the meeting,” he added. He volunteered to be a member of the security committee, which he suggested should meet the state governors. Others at the meeting were former Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Alhaji Yayale Ahmed, Professor Jubril Aminu, Mallam Nuhu Ribadu, former Presidential Adviser on Food security, Professor Ango Abdullahi, Alhaji Adamu Maina Waiziri, Gen Timothy Shelpidi (rtd), Alhaji Bunu Sheriff, and Alhaji Aliyu B. Modibbo. Also in attendance were: General Yakubu Usman; Deputy Senate Leader, Sen. Abdul Ningi; Senator Aisha Alhassan; former Minister of Women Affairs, Hajiya Inna Ciroma; and former Education Minister, Alhaji Dauda Brima. The Nation recalled that the Forum’s first meeting was held on June 13, 2012 under the aegis of North East Forum of Concerned Leaders before it transformed into North East Forum for Unity and Development (NEFUD). The Forum according to its founders is concerned about the ongoing insecurity, unemployment and economic underdevelopment, marginalisation, and corruption challenges in the six states of the region.
Alleged militia training: Akeredolu’s group reports LP to NSA
ELYING on intelligence reports, the Akeredolu Campaign Organisation (ACO) yesterday claimed it has uncovered a plot by the ruling Labour Party (LP) in Ondo State to attack stalwarts of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) in the state using Israeli-trained militia. The organisation – the political platform of the ACN standard bearer in the governorship election billed for October 20, Olurotimi Aredolu (SAN), accused Governor Olusegun Mimiko of funding the training in Israel. In a petition to the National Security Adviser (NSA) to the President, Major Sambo Dasuki (rtd), by its DirectorGeneral, Chief Tayo Alasoadura, ACO named NIRTA Limited as the security outfit training the militia. According to the organisa-
tion, no fewer than 50 members of the LP had sharpened their skills in the art of weapon handling and bomb making, all which ACO alleged the ruling party plans to use to manipulate the election on Saturday. It urged the NSA to direct concerned agencies to swing into action to avert lawlessness, saying the ACN members have been at the receiving end of the terror being perpetrated in the Sunshine State. The petition reads: “There are clear indications that things may get worse in the days ahead. At present, a group of people from Ondo State are undergoing training in a security company in Israel known as NIRTAL Limited. “They are believed to be sponsored by Dr. Olusegun Mimiko, Ondo State Governor and candidate of the Labour
Party in the October 20 governorship election. “The scope of the training, according to our discovery, includes, offensive, tactical training, shooting AK-47 live ammunitions in a shooting range and in dedicated facility. We are also aware that this special squad has been trained
in the act of bomb making. “According to our findings, about 50 members of the Labour Party have undergone this dastardly training. Many more are said to be there at present. “The returnees (Israelitrained militia) are believed to be strategically distributed
in different parts of the state ahead of elections. The predictable consequence of this terrorist tutelage is better imagined.” The ACO traced the ownership of NIRTAL Limited to a highly-experienced Israeli ex-military personnel that specialises in security train-
ing. It said: “We, therefore, appeal to you to direct the appropriate agencies of the state to commence full and fast investigation into this looming threat with a view to averting a major security breach in our state and potentially in the country.”
Catholics condemn promiscuity; insist on sanctity of human life
ATHOLIC faithful have been admonished to always pray against abortion and for the removal of the veil of deceit which Satan has placed over people’s hearts which then portrays promiscuity as a freedom. In a sermon at a special vigil on Reparation For Abortion organised by the Marriage, Family And Hu-
man Life Unit (MFHLU) of the Catholic Archdiocese of Lagos in collaboration with the Order of the Knights of Saint Mulumba Lagos Metropolitan Council at the Archdiocesan Marian Shrine, Maryland, Lagos, Mr. Egbert Imomoh, Deputy Metropolitan Grand Knight of the Order of the Knights of Saint Mulumba, Lagos Metropolitan Council, enjoined Catho-
lics to help “place over the world a renewed respect for life at the moment of conception.” He condemned the practice of procuring abortion in its entirety, insisting on the sanctity of human life since human life is sacred. He further urged Catholic faithful and all people of goodwill to “raise the awareness of the men and women of our coun-
try about the fact that killing the defenceless unborn child is a sin against God and against humanity”. Imomoh said more than 60 million unborn babies are killed each year by surgical abortion in hospitals, clinics and private homes which ,according to him, is the equivalent of one-third the population of Nigeria or four times the population of Lagos.
THE NATION ON SUNDAY, OCTOBER 14, 2012
Why we seek total integration (II)
S the din of political battle reaches its crescendo in the rump of the old Ondo province, there is a creeping feeling of Déjà vu. Already, political violence, threats of assassination, accusations of prefabricated rigging have engulfed the state. This high-voltage political atmosphere may be a reflection of the stakes. But it may also presage something darker and far more sinister. Will the west unravel from Ondo this time around? Can an Iroko take the entire Yoruba forest with it? As we have said in the first instalment, the main purpose of this twopart series is to identify with the currents of regional integration such as they are sweeping the old western region .There can be no equivocation about this. A man is entitled to his partiality and political preferences. But once again, we have found it necessary to caution some of our numerous readers that the kind of engagement with a traumatised postcolonial society that we mainly undertake in this column is often very difficult to press into immediate political service, and deliberately so. There is a distinction between the political writer and the writing politician. Snooper is too much aware of the complexities and complications of contemporary politics to be swayed into easy agitprop. In the heat of political battle, the unhurried reflection, the stout and stoic refusal to be panicked into sheer name-calling may often appear like an abdication of responsibility; a pact with the devil himself. In such agonistic contentions where body bags cannot be confused with lap top cases, it is felt that writing must not just be a passion of the mind but the mind of passion itself, with due apologies to Karl Marx. But it was the same great philosopher who also advises that history must be read with its grand nuances, its delicate ironies, its perplexing paradox and great ambiguities. It is not the columnist that created what is known as the cunning of history. Yes the cunning of history must never prevent us from making a clear choice when the chips are down. Neither must it prevent us from being clamorously partisan when we have to be. For many of our readers, a continuing problem with this column is the very structure of dialectical writing and the writer’s insistence on applying its cardinal principles to journalism. It is a stylistic battle that predates this column and one that has been going on for almost 30 years. We cannot afford to inherit the intellectual shortcomings of our colonial masters. Unlike the canons of easy clarity and lucidity emanating from the Anglo-American schools of journalism, dialectical writing often subverts or contradicts its own initial premises in order to gain superior insight. Those who hold on to the initial argument find themselves devastatingly wrong-footed and dramatically upended. This is not just mere writing about political drama, but the drama of political writing as a private theatre enacted wholly within itself. The writer listens in to his own argument and the murmurs of internal dissension, disagreement and outright disputation. The writing involves a constant shifting and shuffling of the dialectical gears with the writer himself as embattled protagonist. Let us then begin our concluding remarks about the Ondo imbroglio with a dialectical conceit. Powerful political figures often stamp the badge of their personality on the outcome of a political struggle. But a political struggle cannot and must not be reduced to personalities. As Karl Marx famously noted, men make history, but not under the circumstances of their choice. In other words, no matter how powerful a personality may be the outcome of a political conflict may be determined by material, intellectual
nooping around With
and historical circumstances beyond his control. In the Battle of Waterloo, it was the lesser genius that triumphed. But it was Napoleon’s more egalitarian vision that eventually carried the day, and in spite of himself too.. In our concluding paragraph last week, we cautioned against framing the unfolding political drama in Ondo State as a personal duel unto death, but as a battle of ideas about the future of the Yoruba race and the destiny of Nigeria. It is important to deepen this perspective in order to understand just what is going on and how we got to where we are. Contrary to blackmail and propaganda, regional integration is not a neo-colonial or imperialising venture. It is not about an emperor and his viceroys sent to predate on hapless captive communities. In a godforsaken federation it is about maximising opportunities for maximal development in an ethnically unified region and its culturally compatible adjoining communities. Neither is the inevitable political centralisation that goes with this an attempt to ride roughshod over subethnic sensitivities as they may exist in the larger Yoruba society. It is not an attempt to instutionalise or consecrate a political overlordship in Yoruba land. Neither is it a ploy to grind the subtle cultural differentiations in Yoruba land into a conforming homogeneity. As their history has consistently demonstrated, the Yoruba do not transit from one empire to another empire. Centralisation often comes with mass mobilisation and a unified and disciplined society. Of course, like many old concepts imposed on new realities, regional integration and centralisation are bound to come with a lot of local impurities and vexatious crudities but these imperfections can only be defined and refined in dynamic collision with reality and other visions and ideas of societies. It is not enough to pooh-pooh the idea of integration without coming up with other alternative visions of the society. It is intellectually lazy and mischievous to dismiss regionalism as a new form of :”Lagos imperialism”. That this pernicious propaganda is coming from what we thought were progressive quarters shows that something indeed is going on. But it should be noted that even the old progressive tendency did not gain complete ascendancy over the entire Yoruba geo-political space in one fell swoop. It was an epic slog. The astute and discerning Yoruba electorate have often proved to be veritable masters of their electoral destiny. In 1954, the Action Group lost a general election to the NCNC as a result of venal propaganda. The Yoruba urban dwellers and city denizens were beginning to feel the pinch of what they thought was punitive and unjust taxation in the
name of free primary education and other ameliorative schemes. Overwhelmed and demoralised by the visionary thrust of Awolowo’s policies, the Action Group competitors could only carp and sniff. It worked, but only briefly. The Action Group and its storied strategists rolled up their sleeves and went back to the people, painstakingly explaining to the populace why tribal marks even though accompanied by great pains and distress often result in greater beauty. By then the gains of the visionary programme were beginning to trickle in. The Yoruba society was rapidly modernising, transiting from farm to the factory and superlative modernity in a Great Leap Forward unknown to tropical Africa. Ascendancy was restored to the Action Group. But there were still pockets of resistance, particularly in the royalist cities and some other subethnic enclaves suffering from postempire hang-over. Paradoxically, it was in 1959 at the height of its glory and grandeur that the Action Group began to unravel. In a bid to capture power at the centre, Awolowo took a sharp ideological lurch to the left, embracing the full socialism which had always been implicit in his grand envisioning of human society. At its best, the Action Group was an unstable ensemble of royalists, monarchists, conservatives and progressives. It proved a Potemkin bridge too far. All that was solid began to melt into thin air. By 1962, as a result of internal disaffection and external infiltration, the Action Group had fractured irreversibly. The split degenerated into a lowintensity Yoruba civil war which only ended with a military take over in 1966. It was the dawn of darkness as Awolowo himself almost put it. The late sage spent four years in jail. 1979 and the advent of civilian rule restored the total dominance of Awolowo and his party over the Yoruba race. Combining the authority of personal suffering and his by then larger than life status as the undeniable champion and standard bearer of the race, the late sage and his party romped home in the entire Yoruba landscape. By then it was AWO or AWOL. But by 1982, the wheels had begun to come off the train once again. Chief Bola Ige, then Governor of old Oyo State and one of Awolowo’s most gifted lieutenants, survived a motion to expel him from the party for fraternising with General Obasanjo by the whiskers in what was dubbed the Yola night of long knives. But by then the demon of self-destruction had berthed once again. By 1983, it was being rumoured that one or two of Awolowo’s most trusted loyalists were beginning to hint that the unyielding old man had become a veritable albatross on the Yoruba race. After he was so egregiously
rigged out of contention in the 1983 presidential election, a humiliated and deeply affronted Awo took a final bow from Nigerian politics. In a vote of no confidence in democracy, Awolowo vowed never to seek electoral office again and darkly added that if Nigerians needed his services, they knew where to find him. Awolowo also famously predicted that generations of Nigerians to come may never know real democracy. Yet the old man was not done. In a famous parting shot at his shellshocked party faithful at the UPN Congress later that year and as a befitting riposte to the obtuse gloating of the likes of Umaru Dikko about a Third Reich, Awolowo espoused the famous Hegelian dialectic of a coming reconfiguration which would combine the best parts of thesis and antithesis in a new synthesis. This was dialectical thinking at its most sublime and majestic. Ten years later in 1993, Awo was already six years in his final resting place, but his prophecy came to fruition. It was M.K.O Abiola, a former unreconstructed apostate, who became the standard bearer of the progressives. Those of Awo’s surviving lieutenants who could not read the historical signals correctly and who could not abide the new developments found themselves politically excommunicated forever. In 1999 at the new dawn of civilian rule, it was the NADECO chieftains who had fought heroically to redeem Abiola’s mandate and who had borne the brunt of Abacha’s tyranny that were handsomely rewarded by the Yoruba electorate. Their suzerainty extended over the entire Yoruba landscape. But trouble began almost immediately as a result of external destabilisation by the PDP and the nuclear fallout of the AD’s presidential primaries. Somebody was misreading the historical signals once again. After the 2003 elections, the AD fragmented irretrievably. Although the Yoruba electorate did not mind Obasanjo returning to the misbegotten centre, they frowned at the nicking what did not belong to his party under the even more misbegotten slogan of mainstreaming. After the electoral debacle of their favourite sons, the Yoruba seem to abhor being corralled into the so called unitarist mainstream of stifling suffocation. It was then left to the lone survivor, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, to begin the process of heroic retrieval of the electoral patrimony of a race. The recovery and recuperation of stolen electoral goods is a hard slog indeed. Bola Tinubu’s titanic exertions in this regard have already passed into Yoruba and Nigeria political folklore. It is said by Unamuno that under tyranny men seek liberty but under liberty they also seek tyranny. The entire Yoruba political elite ought to be grateful to this man and his associates for rescuing them from the jaws of internal slavery. From the beach head of Lagos, the ACN began to claw and muscle its way into the Yoruba interior. In 2007, the PDP compounded the original electoral larceny with a more blatant perfidy. But the ACN rollercoaster was unstoppable. It had locked into the dominant mood and aspirations of the Yoruba people. In 2011 and in a telling historic rebuff, the Yoruba electorate gave General Obasanjo a sensational shellacking in his own local polling booth. As it was in the beginning in 1979, so it has been at the end. This, ironically, was the momentum and goodwill Rahman Olusegun
Mimiko tapped into when his own mandate was ostentatiously pilfered. Snooper was physically present at the Marina when his defence team was being constituted even before the beleaguered politico had physically shown up. As a party, the ACN is not perfect. There have been loud and legitimate complaints. But we cannot throw away the baby with the bathwater. The hideous scars of the lineage of the Fourth Republic in military autocracy are here for all to see. This translates into the militarisation of the polity, the monetisation of politics and the regimentation of parties as if they are fighting formations. Politics is the continuation of war by other means. It is better to fight for the deepening of democracy in a party with possibilities than to indulge in the proliferation of political platform for the sake of ego and ambition. Snooper has not been able to sit down with the Ondo State governor since his memorable reinstatement. Given their noble antecedents and reputation for radical integrity, there is nothing on ground to suggest that the good people of Ondo State are not in tune with the dominant aspirations of the Yoruba race. Unfortunately, this is where Mimiko’s gravitational odyssey through all the parties irrespective of ideology constitutes a setback for progressive consciousness. It is a measure of Yoruba tolerance and liberality that these gyrations in the shuttle spacecraft of ambition have not earned him a severe censure. Other people have not been so lucky. But the question must now be asked in the larger interest of the race and the nation. What does Mimiko really want, and is he in tune with the larger Yoruba aspiration? It is not enough to slam ad hoc and haphazard developmental projects on a state without articulating these to a grander vision of regionalism or a deep integrative base which reflects the dominant mood of the people. These are just token tidal twitches in a mighty ocean. The Lagos State miracle is not a happenstance but the result of deep strategic thinking in which the megalopolis is envisioned as a developmental hub in the manner of Hong Kong, California, Taipei, Singapore and other emerging state-cities and city-states. As it is, Mimiko is propelled along by a folksy populism without any deep intellectual content or serious integrative and theoretical base. His party, the so called Labour Party, is a vexatious and pernicious nuisance emptied of all radical contents and without any links to real labour; a mere opportunistic decoy and doppelganger of the ruling party. It will not take Mimiko beyond Ode Ondo. Even the fabled timber merchants of that district will tell you that an iroko does not make a forest. Is Mimiko content to remain a local champion and a political warlord in a provincial laager? That question will be answered on Saturday. Win or lose, Mimiko would have exhausted the political and historic possibilities of his gambit. By trapping himself in a sub-ethnic cocoon, he has foreclosed further development either horizontal or vertical. It doesn’t get more politically suicidal than that. The Yoruba tend to reward patience, honesty, integrity and perseverance in aspiring leaders. Pa Ajasin who never aspired to be Yoruba leader but who became one in spite of himself would be smiling in his grave.
THE NATION ON SUNDAY OCTOBER 14, 2012
ONDO 2012 NACOMYO seeks Muslim participation in guber poll From Damisi Ojo Akure
HE Ondo State Chapter of the National Council of Muslim Youth Organisation (NACOMYO), an umbrella body for all Muslim youth organisations, yesterday urged Muslims in the state to approach the governorship election in the state with the collective interest of the state and the development of Islam in particular. The Council, comprising 350 registered organisations through its political awareness committee in Akure, reviewed all its activities and workings since it was constituted and promised to update the entire Muslims in the state about their findings on each of the political parties and their candidates. The committee was put in place early this year to address the marginalisation of Muslims in the state and to work towards improving on the existing status of the Muslims representation and relevance in government. At the end of its meeting in Akure, the Committee in a communiqué signed by its Chairman, Imam Ismail Ododoloto and Secretary, Olukayode Rasaq Adesuyi, resolved to mobilise all its affiliate organisations across the 18 local government council areas to work and vote for the political party that meets its considerations as contained in the letter sent to each of the candidates through their party secretariat. Addressing the meeting, Ododoloto said necessary modalities have been worked out to reach the entire Muslims when the time comes, adding that, the committee would be fair to all candidates and parties while presenting its report. The Committee Chairman explained further that all the considerations would be summed up before the endorsement of a candidate.
Jonathan warns politicians against promoting violence P
RESIDENT Goodluck Jonathan yesterday warned politicians against the use of political hoodlums to ferment violence in the next Saturday gubernatorial poll in Ondo State. The President said he was ready to provide adequate security to ensure that electorate are allowed to exercise their franchise without any fear. Jonathan who gave this warning at the Peoples Democratic Party [PDP] governorship Candidate’s, Chief Olusola Oke, Grand Finale Rally held at Democracy Park in Akure, the state capital, said those who are planning to use thugs during the poll are only wasting their resources on projects that would never see the light of the day. His words, “I was told that some politicians in the state are mobilising thugs to rig the election in favour of their party, they are only wasting their time because on that election day, those hoodlums will not be useful to them. “This election will be free and fair, there will be enough security personnel that will man all the various polling units. PDP does not promote thuggery, and we are warning some desperate
From Damisi Ojo and Leke Akeredolu, Akure
politicians who are planning to cause mayhem during the poll to desist from this.” Jonathan urged the electorate to vote massively for PDP candidate, saying he had seen that the people are agitating for a change in government. He described the state as one of the blessed states that has enough resources to make the people live a comfortable life. His words, “Ondo state is blessed, this state is one of the luckiest states in Nigeria, the state is blessed for farming, and also as one of the oil producing states in the country. My administration has already concluded the plans to encourage farmers in the state. Ondo State farmers will soon be rich, the farmers will soon be smiling, but we are urging them to vote for PDP. “PDP love Ondo State, and we want to rule this state in order to ensure its grows like other states, we have presented a credible candidate for you, a man of integrity, a man who will bring rapid developments to the state.” The National Chairman of PDP Bamanga Tukur, who led the National Working Committee of the party to the rally, said
they are in the state to support the PDP candidate, and to dispel the rumours that they were not supporting Oke’s candidature. Tukur, who presented the PDP flag to Oke and his running mate, Hon. Saka Lawal, said they are assured that PDP would win the gubernatorial election. Also at the rally, the VicePresident, Namadi Sambo who is also the Chairman Presidential Campaign Committee for Oke, Senate President, David Mark, and Rivers State Governor, Rotimi Amaechi all promised that there will be free and fair poll in the state. Mark particularly said that what PDP is giving to the country is an environment to conduct a free and fair poll. The Senate President said: “After voting, wait patiently to ensure that your votes are safe. Already we are aware the plans by some desperate politicians to rig the poll, but they are being shouting in the media that it was our party that is planning to rig, we don’t rig poll and we will never allow them to rig election.” Amaechi, who is the Chairman of Governors Forum, appealed to the people to support the PDP leaders in their bid to
return to power in the state, saying that was the only way the people can benefit from the sympathetic gestures which other PDP states get from presidency. Oke, shortly after receiving the party flag vowed that PDP would win the coming gubernatorial election, saying that the people had known the difference between the previous PDP led government and the present ruling Labour Party [LP]. “We will make the people smile again, in our government there will not be room for suffering, we will run a government that is transparent, we will improved the people standard of living. We will encourage industrialization; we will reduce the high rate of unemployment” Oke promised. Dignitaries, at the event were, Governor of Bayelsa Dickson Seriake, former Governor, Olusegun Agagu, National Vice Chairman of PDP, Dr. Sam Sam Jaja, National Secretary, Olagunsoye Oyinlola, South West Deputy Chairman, Segun Oni, Women Leader, Ambassador, Kema Chikwe Senators, Bode Olajumoke, Hosea Agboola, Hosea Ehinlanwo, Dr. Olaiya Oni among others.
ACN youths call for police, SSS bosses’ removal From Adesoji Adeniyi, Osogbo
WEEK to the October 20 Governorship election in Ondo State, the Forum of Youths Leaders of the Action Congress of Nigeria has called for the removal of the state Police Commissioner and the Director of State Security Service. Rising from a two -day meeting of the forum during the weekend in Osogbo, its National Co-coordinator, Mr. Okonkwo Oliver, who read the communiqué issued at the end of the meeting at the state secretariat of the party in Osogbo, said the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) could not conduct or hold a free and fair poll in the state with the two officers around. He, therefore, called on the Inspector General of Police, Mr. Mohammed Abubakar, to transfer the Police and the SSS bosses out of the state and should not be allowed to supervise the forthcoming election.
•R-L: Ondo State Governor, Dr Olusegun Mimiko (right) receiving President Goodluck Jonathan at his arrival for the PDP Governorship rally, at the Akure Airport, on Saturday.
Mimiko spends N6.8b to power empty industrial park
RESH facts on funds authorised for release by the administration of Governor Rahman Mimiko in the past six months indicate that the government put down a whopping N6.8billion ostensibly to provide funds for an Independent Power Project to service the empty Omotosho Industrial Park. According to the schedule of disbursements, N5, 863,706,323.20 was released for the provision of gas turbine for Omotosho Industrial park, N880, 000, 000.00 was released for the cost of gas pipeline and N59, and 700,000,000.00 went to the cost of engineering design and of the pipe-
line. When our reporter visited the Omotosho Industrial Park in Ore, Ondo State, yesterday, the site was covered with bush and no visible activity was going on. Residents and passersby interviewed said there has been no activity in the area in the last one year and wondered why such a huge amount for the development of the industrial park had no impact on the life of the citizens. The Mimiko administration had rationalised the release of the funds with the need to provide two tri-fuel brand new 130 Gas Turbine Generator sets, each with 15 megawatts generating
capacity at the cost of $17 million each and a cost of balance of plant for turnkey, delivery and commissioning at a cost of $21,348,164.52.The state based the conversion on the exchange rate of N160 to the dollar. The decision to commit so many billions to the project in the last year of the administration was perceived by top civil servants as a ploy to raise money for the elections because the administration had more than enough time to embark on and complete the project. A resident said the situation was double jeopardy for the people as there was neither power nor a park to
give evidence to the huge money. “I used to believe that Governor Mimiko meant well for the people of Ore. But this revelation has finally exposed the lies and deceit with which he has ruled us. We voted for him because he promised to uplift Ore. Instead, he is using us to divert money for elections. We have no Independent Power project to give us electricity. We have no industrial park for companies to provide jobs for our people. We cannot vote for him again. This expenditure must be probed” said Mr. Ayo Akinjofe, a retired teacher.
Ondo CPC blasts Bakare over endorsement of Mimiko From Damisi Ojo Akure
HE Ondo State chapter of the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) has berated the Senior Pastor of the Latter Rain Assembly and Vice-Presidential candidate of the party in the 2011 general elections, Pastor Tunde Bakare, for endorsing the second term bid of Governor Olusegun Mimiko. In a statement issued yesterday, the party said Bakare’s opinion contradicts the views of the majority of the people of the state, including the party’s members, “who are longing to be freed from the reckless and rudderless government that has presided over the affairs of the state in the last three and a half years.” The statement signed by the Director- General of the party’s governorship candidate, Soji Ehinlanwo Campaign Organisation (SECO), Yomi Adetimehin, noted that the endorsement of Mimiko by Bakare reflected a detachment from the realities in Ondo. It said, ‘’From Akoko to Ondo to Ilaje, most people wonder where the vast portion of the huge allocation of over N600 billion from the federation account to the state has gone in view of what is actually on the ground. “We are inclined to also wonder whether the endorsement given by the Pastor takes into account that many in Ondo State are embarrassed by the recklessness that has now come to be associated with OSOPADEC and which is even a subject of investigation by the EFCC. “Out of a huge total of over N61 billion that has accrued to the commission in the last three and a half years, no one conversant with the mandate areas of this commission can say he has seen any evidence of even one billion naira spent in the specified areas. “Like many in the mandate areas who have therefore been short-changed by the mega looting at this commission under the watch of the incumbent governor, we find disappointing such endorsement of an individual that has so blatantly underperformed and betrayed the trust of the people “After three and a half years, many of the industries in Ondo State remain moribund in spite of initial promises by the governor to resuscitate them. Oluwa Glass, Okitipupa Oil Pam Company, NIROWI, IFON Ceramics etc have all been neglected. “In addition, there has been lacking a clear vision to stimulate small and medium scale enterprises able to provide jobs for the teeming array of unemployed youths in Ondo State. “The result is that after over three and a half years, the ranks of the unemployed in Ondo State are growing and we have a government without a clear and effective response to the problem. “How the head of such an obviously under- performing government can be endorsed by anyone is beyond our imagination and that of millions of Ondo indigenes who are on ground.”
THE NATION ON SUNDAY OCTOBER 14, 2012
ONDO 2012 Akande, Tinubu, Ribadu, ACN governors for Akure rally
HE National Chairman of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), Chief Bisi Akande, the National Leader, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, and the party’s Presidential candidate in the 2011 election, Mallam Nuhu Ribadu, are to attend the party’s Redemption Rally. According to Akeredolu Campaign Organisation (ACO), the rally is to be attended by ACN governors-Comrade Adams Oshiomhole (Edo), Mr. Babatunde Raji Fashola (Lagos), Senator Ibikunle Amosun (Ogun), Senator Abiola Ajimobi (Oyo) and Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola (Osun).
Chevron assures on community development From Okodili Ndidi, Owerri
HEVRON Nigeria Ltd (CNL) has restated its commitment in building a robust relationship with communities around its areas of operation to address community development issues. The resolution, according to the General Manager, Policy, Government and Public Affairs, Mr. Deji Haastrup, led to the establishment of the Global Memorandum of Understanding (GMoU) in 2005. Haastrup explained that the GMoU had become a model of community engagement for communitydevelopmentorganisation all over the country. The Chevron boss stated this at the third Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the Jisike Regional Development Foundation held in Owerri. Through the GMoU, he said that the Regional Development Committees had implemented numerous projects and programmes that had brought joy and relief to communities across the Niger Delta, urging the Jisike Regional Development Foundation to continue to abide by the principle of the GMOU in order to ensure more success in the years ahead.
Lotto firm opens shop in Ore By Adeola Ogunlade
ESCO Pool and Lottery Limited has concluded plans to commission a branch office in Ore, Ondo State. Its Chief Executive Officer, Otunba Osinubi Adewale, made this known in a release made available to The Nation yesterday in Lagos. According to him, the commissioning of the new office is to further ensure the delivery of pool and lottery business in Nigeria. Among the guests expected to grace the occasion are Olore of Ore Kingdom, Oba Johnson Olatomide and the Resident Pastor, Living Faith Church International, Winners Chapel, Ore, Pastor Olasukami Moses.
A statement by Mr. Idowu Ajanaku, Director of Media, Publicity and Strategy of ACO, the redemption rally is to hold tomorrow (Monday 15, October) at the Democracy Park Akure by 9.am. He said “the rally will afford the people of Ondo State the opportunity to hear again the plan of ACN to transform Ondo State if the flag berarer of the party in the October 20 election, Mr. Rotimi Akeredolu (SAN), is elected governor.” He added “For us at ACO, we know that Akeredolu is a man of proven integrity and pedigree who can be trusted by the people of Ondo State.”
•L-R: PDP’s candidate, Olusola Oke, Gov. Olusegun Mimiko of Labour Party, and Rotimi Akeredolu of ACN, exchanging pleasantaries after the governorship debate, in Akure, Ondo State, during the week.
Lagos Speaker, SSG, others for Africa award
Flood: Ex-lawmaker faults FG’s N17bn release to states T
By Yinka Aderibigbe
former member of the House of Representatives, Chief Ralph Okeke, yesterday, faulted the Federal Government’s decision to channel the N17.6 billion flood disaster relief fund through the governments of the affected states. According to Okeke, the bureaucracy in government would eventually reduce the fund by 50 percent before it gets
From Chris Oji, Enugu
down to the victims. While commending President Goodluck Jonathan’s quick response by mapping out fund to assist the flood victims in 35 states, the former lawmaker, however, expressed fears that victims of the natural disaster now in various refugee camps might not get the benefits for which the fund was
intended. “My problem is the channel through which this assistance will get to the victims. Sending the fund through so many Ministries, Agencies, Departments and a Presidential Committee, will eventually reduce the fund to about 50 percent before the assistance arrives its destinations not because anybody is a thief but because of government bureaucracy,” he said.
NANS condemns Mubi, PH students’ killing
HE leadership of the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) has added its voice to the condemnation of last week’s mass killings of students of Mubi Polytechnic and University of Port Harcourt. Comrade Ken Okorodas, Vice President (Special Duties) of the association, in a statement in Yenagoa expressed deep sadness over the killing
From Isaac Ombe, Yenagoa
of harmless students in Mubi and Port Harcourt, while advising the government to always put on standby armed security personnel to protect all institutions of higher learning in the country. Describing the killings as the height of evil, NANS advised the governments of Adamawa and Rivers States to
take proactive steps without delay to bring the perpetrators to book. While enjoining students all over the country to observe a period of mourning for the murdered students, Okorodas added, “We should coordinate ourselves in the most peaceful manner possible, and await further directives from the central body of the association.”
FRSC makes case for physically-challenged
HE Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) has emphasised the need to have a 100% concentration and all the five senses at work while driving. According to the Corps, this need has become more necessary due to the usage of Nigerian roads by the physically challenged. Speaking through its RS 2.19, Oshodi Unit commander, Samuel Aderemi Ogundayo, over the weekend at a safety campaign seminar organised in conjunction with Golden Penny Foods for the physically challenged in Lagos, the Corps observed that most motorists drive without bearing in mind that there are physically-challenged ones on the road. He, therefore, called on motorists to always watch out for the visually-impaired, who cannot see an oncoming vehicle and the hearing-impaired who cannot hear the hooting sounds
By Biodun-Thomas Davids
from vehicles while using the road. He particularly called motorists’ attention to reflexive “white or guide or canes” being held by the visually-impaired. According to the Head of Training, Vocational Training Centre for the Blind, Oshodi, Nicholas Obot, another item motorists need to watch out
for is the help sticker that is normally pasted to the rear of the vehicle being driven by a physically- challenged person, in case of a deflated tyre, or any other mechanical breakdown. Obot lamented the situation whereby the physicallychallenged are avoided by coroad users, thereby causing them to spend hours on the road while waiting for assistance.
Noting that the government does not know what the flood victims need at this point in time, Okeke added, “this money (N17.6bn) may be wasted on things that the direct victims will not need and appreciate, and the result is that we shall keep hearing of billions and more billions but in the end, nobody will see anything and therefore no assistance as usual.” He said that as an indigene of the most affected area in the country (Anambra West LGA of Anambra State), “I know what would be meaningful to these suffering flood victims; what they really want is direct financial assistance.” “The little money they will get individually will enable them survive the impending hunger throughout next year’s farming season. It will also enable them buy seed yams and other seedlings for next year’s farming season which starts from December. “As we speak, there is an impending problem for the nation, which is hunger for the whole of next year, not only to the flood victims, but the nation at large because the flood washed away all the seed yams, seedlings of other crops harvested and un-harvested crops, including their properties which some of them acquired since the past 20 years.”
State creation: Igbo leaders urged to put their house in order
S controversy over the approval of one additional state to be created in the south-east to balance it with the other geo political zones in the country rages on, Ohanaeze Media Forum (OMF) has called on Igbo leaders to put their house in order or they would lose the state. According to the forum, “Ndigbo would come out with compensation list for
By Emmanuel Udodinma
the injustices that the Nigerian state has meted to them,” adding that “the list must be addressed before this country would move forward.” In a statement signed by Peter Anosike and Ngozi Emedoluibe, President and Secretary respectively, the forum said what should be of paramount importance
to every Igbo man or woman is for the additional state to be created in Igbo land and not from which state it would be carved out. They said that if they continue to insist on the area the new state would come from, they would lose the state. According to them, if that happens, Igbos should have themselves to blame.
HE Speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly, Adeyemi Ikuforiji, Deputy Chairman of Action Congress (ACN) in the state, Cardinal (Dr) James Odunmbaku, and Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Mrs. Oluranti Adebule, have been nominated for the COPA Africa Award for Leadership excellence. They are to join 25 other top flight personalities that cut across the academia, public service, politics, and the private sector to receive their awards at a ceremony slated for the African Regent Hotel, Accra, the Ghanaian capital next Saturday. The organisers, Visionfort Media Ltd and Benjas Productions Ltd, an Accra-based media productions outfit yesterday, said the award is a reward for the sterling contributions of the awardees to the promotion of peace and improved conditions of living of the people. Benjas Promotions Chief Executive Officer Mr. Anthony Iwa-Eni said the awardees were picked from votes collated through SMS from targeted members of the public and residents over a period of time. He said: “A number of these awardees were picked because of the way they have affected people and residents of their various communities. While some are still serving, others have continued to empower hundreds of people, including youths and women through various programmes like youth development, empowerment and poverty alleviation and education support.” The awardees Iwa Eni said include: Vice-Chancellor IBB University, Niger State, Prof. Kola Ibrahim, and Chief Executive Officer of Skye Bank Trustees Mrs. Funmi Ekundayo, Deputy Speaker Lagos State House of Assembly Hon. Kolawole Taiwo, and a federal lawmaker Hon. Isiaka Oluwatoyin Suarau (Ojo Federal Constituency).
THE NATION ON SUNDAY OCTOBER 14, 2012
Plateau: Four killed in Berom, Fulani clash From Yusufu Aminu Idegu, Jos
OUR persons were killed yesterday in three villages in Riyom Local Government area of Plateau State, five days into the latest round of conflict between the Berom and Fulani. Several houses were also burnt after gunmen suspected to be Fulani invaded the villages and launched an attack. However, Ardo Fulani Bachi, Ardo Muhammad Bello told THE NATION that unknown gunmen attacked and killed one Fulani boy while grazing cows. Six of his cows were also killed, he said. Mallam Bello said, “Surprisingly, while we were mourning of our member, security men came to arrest our people. Our major problem is the attitude of the security agencies. We are the ones being attacked but the security men came here and arrested 10 of our boys. They are biased against us” Similar confrontation has reduced in Barkin Ladi local government area following the imposition of a curfew. Some residents want a similar curfew imposed in Riyom. Over 5,000 women and children have fled their homes and are taking refuge in public schools and open markets in Riyom. More than 25 people have been killed since last Tuesday. Saturday killings came on the heels of heightening tension in Riyom on Friday when more than 2000 women of Berom extraction took to the streets to protest the killing of a woman by gunmen suspected to be Fulani herdsmen. The woman was allegedly waylaid and killed on her way to the farm. Her death was said to be a reprisal for Wednesday’s killing of a Fulani man by suspected Berom youths.
Task force arrests ‘notorious’ pirate in Lagos
SUSPECTED kingpin of pirates linked to the hijack of oil vessels on the West African coast has been arrested in Lagos by a joint task force of the navy NIMASA and Global West. The suspect who has reportedly made useful confessional statement to security agencies described himself as commander of ‘ship hijackers in the country. “If you call me commander of ship hijackers in the country, you might be right because I am the leader,” he was quoted as saying. He confessed to have been part of the recent hijacking of the vessel MT Energy Centurion, for which he got N10million as his own share of the proceed of the operation.
DEPUTY Senate President Ike Ekweremadu yesterday said Governor Rabiu Kwankwaso of Kano State is confused for accusing the Constitution Review Committee of a hidden agenda to create a state for the South East. He asked the governor to withdraw the statement. Ekweremadu who doubles as Chairman of the Committee said the governor ought to know that no individual can amend the constitution. He spoke to newsmen in Abuja. He said, “My friend, Governor Rabiu Kwankwaso, has accused me twice in that direction. My first attitude was simply to ignore him and focus on what I am doing because I believe he was mistaken in the accusation. Secondly, I believe two wrongs do not make a right. We are public servants; we cannot be joining words on the pages of newspapers. And as I said, he is my friend. As the late Chief Awolowo said, if we are related, we would always meet. I am going to meet with him some time and we will be able to talk it over one to one. “But on a serious note, we have to understand how things work. This is a civilian regime, this is a democracy. Creation of state is one that requires every hand to be on the deck; it requires the votes of Senators, House of Representatives members and we also have to take it to the states. “So, any person who believes that he would sit in one place and decide on any issue, including state creation, does not seem to understand how these things work in the first place. “I think my friend Kwankwaso seems not to understand clearly how states are being created. For him to send signal that any person could sit in one place and ensure that states are created. That is the way military created their own states. I am surprised that Kwankwaso does not know that things have changed. This is a civilian regime where nobody will stay in one place and then decide the states to be created.
State creation: Kwankwaso is confused –Ekweremadu •Constitution review panel gets 240 memos FROM: Yusuf Alli and Bolade Omonijo, Abuja
“Everybody, every state will be involved in the creation of states no matter where the states will be created, including Kano State. Kano State will also be involved. “So, it is unfair to accuse any person, including myself, of having a position on the matter already because mine is to guide the process. The determination of what will happen ultimately is left to the parliamentarians at the national and state levels, not a single person will take that decision. “I believe he was completely mistaken in that direction. There is no mindset on any issue. And I have made it clear severally that we do not have any position on anything, our position will be dependent on what Nigerians think about any issue. “I have nothing to lose or gain from any of these things, except in my position as a public servant who has been
given an assignment and I have to do that assignment as diligently as possible. So, that is just my commitment on that. Beyond that, I do not think that I have any personal interest to pursue a particular agenda.” “I consider it as an unfair comment, I should expect him he should have withdrawn that comment by now. But I am sure some day; we will
meet and talk things over.” He said the National Assembly Constitution Review Committee has received 240 memoranda outside 56 dealing with specific demands on state creation. He also said that the committee has no any hidden agenda. He expressed confidence that the proposed amendments to the constitution will
be ready by July 2013. He however added that Bakassi Peninsula matter has not been concluded as issues surrounding the ceding of the place night still be addressed by the Constitution Review Committee. Ekweremadu said: “At the last count, I think we have received about 240 memoranda outside the ones dealing with specific state demands which is about 56. We have as much as possible acknowledged these submissions.
PHCN stakeholders kick over transfer of N1 billion
TAKEHOLDERS in the Power Holding Company of Nigeria Plc (PHCN), are questioning the depletion of the company’s account to the tune of N1billion in the first quarter of this year alone through what they see as curious requests from the supervising ministry- Power. They are worried by the
•Kubwa, Abuja after a downpour yesterday.
By Akin Orimolade, Abuja
frequency of the requests and the true intentions. Documents on to the transfer of funds obtained by The Nation revealed that on December 20, 2011, a PHCN executive director and a senior manager, in a memo to the Manager, Access Bank Plc Aminu Kano Street Wuse II,
Photo: YOMI ODUNUGA
Abuja asked that “the Current Account of our station specified below be funded from our outstanding Debt Account No 0430010004816 with you”. They specifically asked that N180 million be transferred to the Federal Ministry of Power (Project) Account in Zenith Bank Plc, Maitama branch and another N50 million transferred to the Industrial Training Fund at Keystone Bank Ltd, Wuse II, Abuja. This was preceded by a December 9,2011 transfer of N395, 281, 000 from the company’s outstanding Debt Account 0430010004816 on 9th December 2011. In a letter marked ED-MOTCN/002-003-1706-2011, the same PHCN executive director and an assistant general manager asked Access Bank Plc, Aminu Kano Street, Wuse II, Abuja to transfer the sum to the Federal Ministry of Power (Project) at Zenith Bank Plc, Maitama branch, Abuja. A note attached to the letter suggested that the request was approved by the top management of the ministry. The request came via a letter FMP/PPRU/163/VOL.11/ 6 of December 8, 2011 and was tagged ‘media budget’.
Reps won’t rubberstamp 2013 budget –Tambuwal
HE office of the Speaker of the House of Representatives yesterday insisted that the National Assembly and not the executive arm, has the final say on the budget. In the latest of the broadsides exchanged by both sides since the Wednesday presentation of the 2013 budget proposals to the legislative arm by President Goodluck Jonathan, the Special Adviser on Media to Speaker Aminu Tambuwal, Mallam Imam Imam hoped that the President does not “share the overzealous and rather morbid views and sentiments of Dr. Doyin Okupe and some of his co-travellers in the President’s media office” on the power of the National Assembly on the budget. Dr. Okupe, the Presidential Special Adviser on Communication had, in a statement, dismissed the positions of Senate President David Mark and Speaker Tambuwal on the insistence of the Presidency that
• Denies disloyalty charge By Our Reporter
the federal legislators should pass the proposals the way they were presented as wrong. The two presiding officers immediately replied him as playing to the gallery and striving to justify his pay. But in an update yesterday, Imam said: “Since the presentation of the 2013 budget by President Goodluck Jonathan to the joint sitting of the National Assembly last Wednesday, some members of the President’s media team have come up with what can best be described as hysterical responses to the remarks made by Senate President, Senator David Mark and Speaker of the House of Representatives, Aminu Waziri Tambuwal. “From innuendos to outright insults, the President’s media managers, led by Dr. Doyin Okupe, sought to denigrate the submissions of the two leaders of the National
Assembly who in their estimation, had the temerity to tell their guests gathered at the Green Chamber that fateful Wednesday that not all things were right with past budgets and that more was expected from the Executive arm of government in the future. “It is worth mentioning here that Mark and Tambuwal’s speeches were made with the best of intentions aimed at finding lasting solutions to the myriad of socio-economic problems confronting the nation. “Speaker Tambuwal, who gave the vote of thanks in his capacity as the Deputy Chairman of the National Assembly, toed the line of the Senate President and Chairman of the National Assembly, Senator Mark, to lay on the table, the fears of Nigerians and how the National Assembly thinks those fears can be better allayed.
“The Speaker rightly asserted that as elected representatives of the people, the legislators, representing 469 federal constituencies and senatorial districts of the country, have closer interaction with the nooks and crannies of the nation. In essence, the legislature, more than any arm of government, is privileged to feel the people’s pulse more intensely and feel same on behalf and for the benefit and guidance of all the other arms of government. “It is therefore highly incongruous to now turn around and say such views showed disrespect to the person and office of the President. “It is appropriate to state here that section 81 (1), (4) as well as section 83 (2) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended) classify the proposed budget documents by the President as mere ‘estimate’ and therefore only a constitutional amendment can alter this. The phrase ‘mere’ as used by Senator Mark was not
intended to demean, rather it only distinguishes between a document of finality and a proposal. It is therefore mischievous to read meanings other than those intended. “On the oil benchmark which the House made it clear it will set at $80 per barrel, all variables were considered in arriving at the figure. The chairman of the House Committee on Finance, Abdulmumini Jibrin, has since availed the public such superior variables which apparently may not have been countenanced by those who drafted the estimate. “As for the poor implementation of the capital budget for 2012 which Dr. Okupe brazenly attributed to non-utilization of already released votes, there could be no better selfindictment, as all the Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) that ought to execute these projects are all under the Executive watch and control.”
THE NATION ON SUNDAY OCTOBER 14 , 2012
‘2012 budget poorly implemented’ From Ugochukwu Ugoji-Eke, Umuahia HE member representing Isiala Ngwa North/South federal constituency in the House of Representatives, Hon. Chinenye Ike, has decried the inability of the executive arm of government to successfully implement the 2012 budget. Ike, who is a member of the House Committee on Constituency Outreach, has been mandated by his colleagues from Abia State to tour all the constituency project sites and report back to them, noted that none of the projects had been kick started in any part of the state. Speaking in Umuahia, Ike said that members of the House have done their job to ensure that the projects are properly captured in the current budget, while it is the executive that should execute them, however, lamented, “nothing has been done in all the places I visited.” Ike said, “We have made proposals on rural electricity, water supply, education, ICT, health care and poverty alleviation/ youth empowerment in the budget which amounts to over N2 billion, but I want to announce that these projects are nowhere to be seen”. Ike explained that the capital figure for the 2012 budget is N3 trillion, adding, “but only N500 billion has been released as at September this year; this shows that something is wrong somewhere and we need to correct that before it becomes too late. Capital expenditure affects the people more than recurrent expenditure”. The legislator said that if the executive fails to implement the 2012 budget and show meaningful implementation as the House had directed, the House would have no option than to commence impeachment process against the president. The legislator also faulted the 2013 budget, which he noted did not make any provision to address youth unemployment in the country.
Nigerian consultant sacked for bringing HIV infected blood into Britain •Genito-urinary specialist Tubonye Harry breached regulations preventing spread of infections
NIGERIAN consultant has lost his job at a National Health Service (NHS) hospital in Britain after carrying a sample of HIV-infected blood in his hand luggage while flying from Lagos to the UK, a High Court judge heard. Tubonye Harry - who was a genito-urinary specialist at the James Paget Hospital in Gorleston, Norfolk - was returning from Nigeria, where he did private work, Mr Justice Burnett was told. The judge said the sample should have been packed in the aircraft's hold and Dr Harry had breached regulations designed to prevent passengers being exposed to infection. Dr Harry had also bro-
ken rules by opening a package containing the sample at home instead of in a laboratory, the judge added. He was dismissed by James Paget bosses earlier this year. 'The transportation of human blood is governed by strict regulations,' said Mr Justice Burnett. He added: 'On a return journey from Nigeria in December 2010, Dr Harry accepted that he carried two samples of blood, one infected with HIV, in his hand luggage. 'He said that they were appropriately packed in accordance with the regulations, but agreed that the regulations required them to go in the hold. He said that he had been unaware of this. 'The second aspect is that he opened the package
in which the samples had been transported at home. He then took them to the laboratory. The regulations require that samples be opened in the laboratory. 'The rationale behind these strictures is not difficult to divine. Should an incident occur in which a phial of infected blood is broken there is a risk that people might inadvertently come into contact with it and be exposed to infection.” Details of the case emerged as Mr Justice Burnett ruled on a dispute between Dr Harry and the General Medical Council (GMC) - which registers doctors - at a High Court hearing in London. Dr Harry, who also faced a number of other allegations relating to his
work, has been suspended pending the outcome of GMC disciplinary proceedings, the judge was told. But he argued that the GMC's 18-month interim suspension was unfair and unnecessary - and the judge agreed. Mr Justice Burnett terminated the suspension, which prevented Harry from seeking alternative work, saying it was 'disproportionate'. Dr Harry qualified as a doctor in 1979 and had been a consultant since 1996. He carried the infected blood from Nigeria in 2010 and lost his job at the James Paget in January. Hospital bosses had then referred the case to the GMC, the judge was told. Courtesy: The Mail of London
From left: Chief Ikem W. Agbasi, Deputy Consul General of the People's of Republic of China to Nigeria, Mr Jian Qiu, and Eze Ndi Igbo of Lagos, Eze H.I. Ohazulike, Dr Felix Onyimadu, During the annual new yam festival in Lagos at the weeend. PHOTO: MUYIWA HASAN.
Govt to punish truant teachers at unity colleges
HE Minister of State for Education, Ezenwo Nyesom Wike, has declared strict disciplinary measures will be taken against teachers and administrators of Federal unity colleges who play truancy. The Minister spoke in Owerri while paying an unscheduled visit to Federal Government Girls College, Owerri. He noted that the ministry was committed to curbing indiscipline amongst staff of the schools. Wike was visibly disturbed by the absence of teachers in most classes that he visited in the school. He randomly visited five classes cutting across the different arms of the school, without finding classroom teachers in four classes, even though they had scheduled classes on their time-table. He said: "We will not allow a situation where teachers and administrators are not at their duty posts. These teachers are paid as at when due and the Nigerian child must get value for the investment of government. "More heads will roll. We
will not tolerate any form of truancy and lack of commitment to duty on the part of teachers and administrators of Federal Unity Colleges".
He directed the director, basic and secondary education, to issue query letters to the absentee teachers. He also summoned the prin-
cipal to Abuja to explain why she was not in the school at the time of the visit. Wike inspected the library project being constructed for the
Junior Secondary School of the school. He charged the contractor to maintain the tempo and work in line with approved specifications.
HE settlement reached by the oil tycoon, Mr. Femi Otedola with the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) on his N141 billion debt to banks had nothing to do with the Central Bank’s directive cutting off credit facilities to some categories of individuals and companies, AMCON Managing Director/Chief Executive, Mr. Mustafa Chike-Obi, has said. The CBN had directed the banks to desist from giving further loans to 139 companies and 419 directors indebted to them until they liquidate such debts. But soon after the directive came a report that Mr. Otedola had reached a settlement with AMCON
By Ibrahim Apekhade Yusuf
on his debt by transferring his assets worth the amount to the corporation, prompting the House of Representatives to threaten to probe the deal. Speaking in an interview with The Nation on Sunday, Mr. Chike-Obi said the deal with Otedola was concluded before the CBN’s directive. He said it was just a coincidence that the transaction became public knowledge shortly after the apex bank’s announcement. The House of Representatives on Thursday set up a nine-member committee to investigate the alleged payment of N140 billion outstanding debts owed the
AMCON by Zenon Petroleum and Gas Limited and Forte Oil Plc, owned Otedola. The committee which is headed by Femi Gbajabiamila, the Minority Leader of the House, has other members like Sani Kalgo, Uzor Azubuike, Idris Wase, Jerry Manwe, Pally Iriase, Evelyn Ojakavo and Muraina Ajibola. The committee is expected to report back to the House in four weeks. The resolution emanated from a motion moved by Bimbo Daramola (ACNEkiti), which was unanimously adopted without debate. According to Chike-Obi, “This settlement with Femi
Otedola had nothing to do with the CBN directive. We have been engaging with him for at least nine months. We had to value the assets and that takes time. But it is just unfortunate that people are insinuating that these settlements had something to do with the CBN announcement. “There are people who have now approached us because of the CBN directive and that process will take anywhere from three months to six months. I wish it was that easy to recover debts. He had court injunctions, we had to negotiate. So, it is a complicated matter.” He is happy that a lot of those on the debtors’ list have been making efforts for settlements.
Lawmaker tackles FG on insecurity From Bode Durojaiye, Oyo HE unabated crimes and criminal activities being perpetrated across the country is a clear indication that the present administration lacks any sense of accountability. This view was expressed by a member of the House of Representatives representing Iseyin/Itesiwaju/Kajola/ Iwajowa Federal Constituency, Prince Oyekola Olabiyi. In a press statement made available to The Nation, the lawmaker commiserated with the people of Iseyin Town and relations of victims, who were attacked and killed in a recent robbery attack, which claimed about three lives. The federal legislator commended the local government caretaker chairman and the Divisional Police Officer in the area for their sense of commitment and diligence in ensuring that some members of the robbery gang were apprehended. While urging the police not to rest on its oars in ensuring that other fleeing members of the gang are arrested and brought to justice, Olabiyi also called for more concerted efforts on the part of security agencies to forestall a future occurrence. Hon. Olabiyi, who attributed unemployment, injustice, bribery and corruption, executive arrogance, lack of sincerity of purpose and absence of a cohesive national security policy as responsible for the insecurity situation in the country, added, “it is unfortunate that in spite of colossal allocation by the National Assembly to national security, the people have continued to live in trepidation, fear and restlessness as a result of insecurity to lives and property by criminals, who unleash terror with sophisticated weapons, even more powerful than the ones being used by our security agencies.”
Deeper Life massacre: Association commends security agencies From Muhammad Bashir, Lokoja
OLLOWING the brutal killing of worshippers of the Deeper Life Church in August this year, the Ezi-Ogu Youth Association has commended the Nigerian Police and other relevant security agencies for carrying out thorough investigations leading to the arrest of the alleged killers. The association in a press statement, a copy of which was made available to The Nation, also praised the police for finding out the truth and subsequent release of former chairman of Okene Local Government Area, Alhaji Yahaya Abubakar Karaku, from detention. Karaku was arrested by the police over his alleged involvement in the incident. The association urged security agencies not to spare anyone involved in the killing.
Lagos coastal erosion will threaten national security, FG told By Segun Balogun
HE president of Nigerian Conservation Foundation (NCF), Philip Asiodu (CON), has warned the federal government that coastal erosion problem in Lagos State is the nation’s “most urgent environmental challenge.” He said this at the 4th annual Walk for Nature event, organised by the NCF in collaboration with the Lagos State Government to raise awareness about environmental issues through a short walk around Lagos Island. Though, “sustainable energy for all” was the theme of this year’s commemoration, the urgency of coastal erosion and the threat it portends imposed a detour on Asiodu, who called on the federal government to take “timely bold preventive action” to prevent “this extremely dangerous threat.” In recent weeks, flood has caused tremendous damage in some Nigerian states, raising fears of food scarcity as major link roads between the northern and southern parts of the country became inaccessible. But while the flooding still takes its toll on internally displaced people, Asiodu said the entire nation’s economy risks paralysis with the impending threat posed by coastal erosion.
THE NATION ON SUNDAY OCTOBER 14, 2012 Ex-militants threaten fresh violence over amnesty
‘Africa needs infrastructure to develop’
HEpresident of the Africa Export-Import Bank (AFREXIM), Mr. JeanLouis Ekra, has identified infrastructure inadequacy in Africa as an impediment to growth of the continent, saying it is responsible for industries operating on the continent not beeing able to compete with the industries in other parts of the world. He added, while speaking at a workshop at the Annual Meetings of the World Bank /International Monetary Fund, in Tokyo, Japan, that concrete steps must be taken to address the problem if the continent was not to be left behind. Ekra lamented that even
From Bukola Afolabi, Tokyo within the continent, it had been extremely difficult to trade among member states due to lack of transport facilities such as good roads, rail and effective flights. The AFREXIM boss lamented that Africa “has the highest cost of transport in the world”, which he noted was impacting negatively on the cost of goods and services even among neighbouring countries. Ekra said, “In the whole of Africa, no single kilometre of rail has been added since independence”, adding, we must act fast.” He said that in the face of
the enormous challenges, “innovation in financing instrument is key” and that pension funds should be deployed to provide long-term infrastructure funding as was the case in the United States of America and elsewhere in the world. Ekra revealed that annual financing requests to the bank had grown as high as $25bn per annum and pledged to focus on value addition in the consideration of loan requests by private sector operators in the region. “We will focus on value addition, not on duplication. We will not want to repeat what other banks are already doing. We want to add value
to exports”, he stressed. Ekra advocated the use of some of the Africa’s $468bn foreign reserves, now sitting in European and American banks, to provide the longterm financing required for infrastructure development on the continent. He said that the position of the bank was informed by the fact that the continent, which currently suffered a wide gap in infrastructure development, could put some of its reserves to better use, rather than allow them idle away in foreign regions. Nigeria currently has over $ 41bn in foreign reserves and targets $50bn in the months ahead.
FAAN targets 8.5 million passengers by 2016 By Kelvin Osa Okunbor
S part of the new business plan by the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), passenger movement at the Murtala Muhammed Airport, Ikeja, Lagos, is projected to increase from 6.7 million passengers in 2011 to about 8.5 million in 2016, which is a fall out of many factors including ongoing airport remodelling projects as well as the expected increase in the number of domestic airlines. According to the regional manager of the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, IKeja, Lagos, Mr. Edward Adedamola Olarerin, the airport authority will embark on a continuous programme of infrastructure upgrade, as well innovation and customer focused service delivery, which are expected to drive the development and growth of the sector. Olarerin explained that with the anticipated increase in the number of domestic airlines, which will operate into the Murtala Muhammed Airport, the 8.5 million passengers mark will be realisable as government remains focused on improving operational infrastructure at the airport. He explained that the airport authority is anticipating increase in its revenue stream from aeronautical sources including retail outlets and other sources, which is a fall out of the ongoing improvement in infrastructure and services. He said government remains committed to ensuring that the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Ikeja, Lagos is expected to be not only an investor/tourist destination, but also a key player in the nation’s economic development.
•Senate president, David Mark (second left), acknowledging cheers during his visit to flood victims at Agatu in Benue South constituency yesterday. Photo: NAN.
Delta ACN crisis: Group lashes impostors, reaffirms Ogbuagu’s leadership
OLLOWING the lingering crisis that has trailed the Delta State Chapter of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) state executive, a group, Urhobo Young Generation for Change (UYGC), yesterday lashed impostors in the party and reaffirmed the leadership of former Commissioner for Education, Dr.
From Polycarp Orosevwotu, Warri
(Mrs.) Veronica Ogbuagu, former Senator (Prof) Adego Eferakeya and others. In a statement by the National President of the Urhobo Young Generation for Change (UYGC), Comrade Wilson Akpos, who alleged the state executive of the Action Congress of Ni-
geria (ACN) and its cohorts are impostors, said they were sent to the party to upturn its activities in favour of the ruling party. Akpos said, “We know those impostors in the ACN and it is for this reason we are making this issue public because of their antecedent in the 2011 general election and they are still the same people
Rector foresees educational decline
HE Rector, Abia State Polytechnic, Aba, Elder Allwell Onukaogu has warned that the present decadence in the nation’s education sector is capable of truncating the future of Nigerian youths if the Ministries of Education fail to set standards for which schools should operate. The rector made this submission while presenting a paper tagged: ‘Re-Inventing Yesterday’s Educational Practices Today for a Better Tomorrow’, in Aba during the maiden edition of a public lecture organised by Believers’ Loveworld (Aka Christ Embassy) as part of its programmes to
From Sunny Nwankwo, Aba
mark the 52nd anniversary of Nigeria Independence in the city of Aba. According to him, academic successes of coming generations will suffer greatly if the standard of education in Nigeria is not properly repositioned to address the fallen standard of education as witnessed in recent times in the country. “The rot we see and smell of today will be far better than the decadence, irreversible decadence putrefying decadence which will be the fate of our children tomorrow”, he said. Onukaogu, while reeling out the successes recorded during the early
post-colonial days in Nigeria when primary and secondary schools were still managed by missionaries, blamed the then Ukpabi Asika administration for taking away schools from people who held morality and good virtue as their watchword, adding that the worsening learning environment many public schools today have has contributed to the decline in Nigerian educational standard. He, however, frowned at what he described as the exorbitant fees charged by mission schools, saying this is to the detriment of poor members of the society who cannot afford to pay such fees.
piloting the affairs of the party in the state, so we are calling on the national body to come fish them out if the party must forge ahead.” “We only have confidence on the leadership of Dr. (Mrs.) Veronica Ogbuagu, Senator (Prof) Adego Eferakeya and Hon. Harvest lgben as pillars of the party in the state, and in a strong term l will say these are the only dedicated and committed leaders the party has of this moment.” Comrade Akpos, Personal Assistant to late Chief Ogbe Onokpite said this while reacting to a publication in one of the national dailies accusing Dr. (Mrs.) Veronica Ogbuagu as a woman being used to destabilise the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) in favour of the PDP as claimed by a forum of Urhobo Political Agenda. He alleged that it was noticed that the Adolor-led state executive and cohorts had bargained and sold ACN out to PDP before the 2011 elections and betrayed the party and that there is likelihood that history might repeat it self.
From Shola O’Neil, Port Harcourt
ORMER armed youths of Urhobo extraction in Delta State have threatened fresh round of violence in the Niger Delta region if they do not get “fair share” of the 3,642 slots recently approved for the 3rd phase of the Federal Government’s amnesty programme. The Acting Chairman of the Urhobo unit (ex-freedom fighters) in Delta State, Great Godwin Anuke, in a statement yesterday, said a rehash of the phases 1 and 2 of the programme, which saw the alleged marginalisation of his kinsmen, would not be tolerated. He advised the Special Adviser on Amnesty to the President, Hon. Kingsley Kuku, to ensure that there is justice to the Urhobo ethnic group to avert violence. He said it was unfair that the group, which is host to over 653 oil wells, is subjected to such treatment by the amnesty office. “Mr. President Goodluck Jonathan knows what we can do, if the amnesty programme refuses to put Urhobo youths that are in the 3rd phase into the programme. We will cause crisis in the region and bad things will happen,” he said in statement issued after a meeting of the Urhobo Youths, in Ughelli. Anukwe further stated that “Mr. Goodluck is not helping the youths of Urhobo. 500 youths were taken from the Itsekiri National Youth Council, 100 from the groups led by the Late John Togo and 200 slots from Lato group in the Bakassi Peninsula while others are from groups of 200 slot and 842 for oil communities and Urhobo, that has oil producing communities, are being neglected.” However, Mr. Daniel Alabrah, amnesty office spokesperson, allayed the fears of marginalisation raised by the Urhobo ethnic group, stressing that the amnesty programme is not based on ethnicity but on those who played one role or the other during the armed agitation. Alabrah, who was contacted on telephone, said there was no need for the group to make threats, stressing that there are 2,000 slots available for sundry groups that they could fit into “if they present their cases well and it is verified.”
Lawmakers task council bosses on development From Ernest Nwokolo, Abeokuta
GUN State House of Assembly (OGHA) has urged the elected chairmen of the 20 local government councils in the state to pay more attention to the socio- economic development and empowerment of the rural areas in the respective jurisdiction. OGHA said given the peculiar status of the councils as government at the grassroots, those at the position of leadership there should take cognisance of the fact that the rural-folks need potable water, healthcare centres, feeder roads, decent markets and schools for their wards and strive to provide such amenities.
THE NATION ON SUNDAY, OCTOBER 14, 2012
Soldier kills student over quarrel with girlfriend E
MMANUEL Papa Ebonyi dreamt of a great future. A future where he would pass his examinations in flying colours, have a great job and support his siblings who had always been there for him. Unfortunately, all these dreams were terminated when a soldier snuffed life out of him just because he tried to be a Good Samaritan. His sister Felicia Samuel Ebonyi tells the story in tears. “The unfortunate incident happened in the early hours of 9th August (2012). On that day, my brother, a Higher National Diploma I (HND I) student of Nuhu Bamali Polytechnic, Zaria, Kaduna State met his untimely death in the hands of one Captain Olufela Doyin Erizia.” Like so many other people, she just could not believe that it was true. So did it happen? you ask. “My brother was in the company of his friends and they visited Mate Bar Night Club, PZ Sabongari area of Zaria on the night of the previous day to celebrate the birthday of a friend. That was where he met Captain Olufela D. Erizia and his friends.” Peace maker bears the brunt Everything went well for a while. But suddenly there was a quarrel between Erizia and his girlfriend. Ebonyi intervened warning Erizia against fighting with his girlfriend. That unfortunately turned out to be a grievous offence in Erizia’s dictionary. Infuriated, he took the laws into his hands beating Ebonyi black and blue. “He beat up my brother until he was half dead. Along the line his friends rescued him from the soldier and were trying to leave the premises in the vehicle in which they came, but he (Erizia) still chased them and was struggling with the driver of the vehicle. If Ebonyi had known the calamity that would befall him, he would
•Emmanuel By Yetunde Oladeinde
not stop Erizia from fighting his girlfriend, but his sympathy for the womenfolk landed him in an unexpected grave.” Sadly, she continues her story: “When the incident happened, one of my brother’s friends called me on phone and asked me to come over. They took us to the barracks and I met another eye witness. It was not the soldier’s girlfriend, it was another girl. The girlfriend actually ran away and I have been trying to get her to come and tell her side of the story.”
What about her parents and the other siblings? How are they taking the news of her brother’s demise? “My parents are both late. I have four other siblings and they are all very sad about the development. He is the second to the last born in the family. We used to have an elder sister who died in 2007. She was ill and initially the ailment was diagnosed as typhoid. It was later discovered that it was hepatitis and her death was quite painful.” Erizia was apprehended, taken for questioning and interrogations after which he was taken to the
Area Command Police Station, Zaria. “However nothing has been heard ever since. We have been kept in the dark on this issue because not only did they refuse to hand over the man to the police authorities but also did not have courtesy to say a word. Sources at the barracks were even saying that he had been posted to another duty beat. It is on this basis that we are calling on the Military HQ, well-meaning Nigerians, human rights activists to see to this matter and make sure that Erizia is brought to book.” According to Sadau Garba of the Kaduna Human Rights Association “The offence of the late Ebonyi was that he pleaded with Capt Erizia not to manhandle a lady he jerked up and molested. After mercilessly beating Ebonyi a friend, one Femi David, rushed him to Salama Hospital, Sabongari, Zaria and they directed that he should be taken to Shika Teaching Hospital due to the critical condition. It was on the way to Shika that Emmanuel gave up the ghost.” He added that “the family members of the late Ebonyi have made several visits to the Kaduna State Police Command headquarters but the authorities of the Army Barracks Zaria, are not willing to release the said Captain Erizia to the police to investigate this inhuman, barbaric and dastardly act.” The Nation also spoke with DSP Aminu Lawal, the Police Public Relations Officer in Kaduna and he confirmed the case saying investigation was in progress. He also said, “The authorities of the Nuhu Bamali Polytechnic, Zaria could not ascertain if Ebonyi was a student of the institution.” How is the culprit going to be brought to book is what the Ebonyi family is asking.
Nicki Minaj won't headline this year's Calabar festival
ULTIPLE-award winning American super star, NIcki Minaj, would not be headlining this year's Calabar Festival, organisers have said. The media, particularly the online media, had been awash with reports that the songstress would be storming Calabar, the Cross River State capital, for the festival. But a statement issued by the organisers said though Nicki, like many other worldacclaimed musicians, was under consideration, a deal with her was never reached owing to her asking price. The online media had also claimed that the super star was paid about 200,000 dollars to perform at the festival. But the organisers said to bring the pop sensation to Calabar would cost at least one million dollars. The organisers, however, assured of a fun-filled festival that would offer unrivalled entertainment.
Faithful Friends applaud FG's response to flood victims RESIDENT of the Faithful Friends Association of Nigeria, Mr. Samuel Oku, has hailed the recent decision by President Goodluck Jonathan to release the sum of N17billion naira to victims of the recent flood that ravaged some states in the country. Oku, who also doubles as the President General of Obiaruku community in Lagos, further called on the government and people of Delta State to make judicious use of the funds towards ameliorating the suffering of the flood victims. While acknowledging then timely intervention of some Ndokwa indigenes to mitigate the suffering caused by the flood, Oku particularly commended the Chairman of Obielum Foundation, Chief Godswill Obielum for donating relief items to the flood victims.
UNIPORT Four: Human rights groups, ACN call for LG chairman’s reinstatement of don aide shot H UMAN rights groups and the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) have called on the authorities of the University of Port Harcourt (UNIPORT), Rivers State, to reinstate a former Chairman of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), UNIPORT chapter, Dr. Andrew Efemini, as the Head of Department of Philosophy. Efemini was removed as the HOD, shortly after participating in Tuesday's protest at Choba
Ex-MILAD urges Kastina Gov to showcase giant strides By ADETUTU AUDU
former military administrator, Colonel John Yahaya Madaki, retd, has advised Katsina State governor, Alhaji Ibrahim Shehu Shema, to embrace the media more so that his government's laudable achievements can be projected to the public. Unlike his predecessor, the late President Umaru Musa
From Bisi Olaniyi, Port Harcourt
Junction on the East-West Road, against the murder of four UNIPORT students at OmuokiriAluu in Ikwerre Local Government Area on October 5. The four male victims were Biringa Chiadika Lordson, Year Two, Theatre Arts, U2010/ 1805036; Ugonna Kelechi Obuzor, Year Two, Geology,
Yar'Adua, who, according to Madaki, was never bothered about media perception of him and his government, Shema should endeavor to cultivate the media so that majority of what he is doing can be more known to the Nigerian public. Madaki said this during Katsina State's silver jubilee dinner and inspection of the Shema administration's projects. Also at the event, Captain Acholonu, retd, another former military administrator of the state, noted that given all that he saw in Katsina, the governor had surpassed all the former governors achievements put together.
U2010/5565149 and Mike Lloyd Toku, Year Two, Civil Engineering, U2010/3010094 and Tekena Erikena, a certificate student in the Faculty of Education, who had not completed his registration before the gruesome murder. The Centre for Environment, Human Rights and Development (CEHRD), through its Director of
Operations, Styvn Obodoekwe, yesterday in Port Harcourt, condemned the removal of the activist lecturer, which it said was unjust. ACN on its part said: "We demand the immediate reversal of the removal of Dr. Efemini as the HOD, Philosophy of UNIPORT. The vice-chancellor's decision to remove him for participating in last Tuesday's protest is condemnable, irrational, unlawful, ungodly and provocative."
13% derivation: Group threatens court action against Amaechi
HE Association of Ogba/ Egbema /Ndoni, (ONELGA), communities, in Rivers State, has threatened to institute a legal action against the executive governor of Rivers State, Hon. Rotimi Amaechi, if he continues to play down on the issue of setting up Rivers State Oil Producing Commission in the state. The group made the threat in Port Harcourt recently, saying that the process for the action has already been set in motion, and that after exploring all necessary avenues, and he remained resolute
By Rosemary Nwisi, Port Harcourt
to his resolve, they would take him to court. The president of the association, Dr. Innocent Masi, a onetime senatorial candidate in the state, noted that the directive for the establishment of the commission was given by the federal government in 1999, to ensure that the 13% derivation accruable to oil bearing communities would be properly managed and accounted for.
From, Osemwengie Ben Ogbemudia, Benin
HE Special Assistant to the Transition Chairman of Etsako Central Local Government Area, Mr. Alfred Nyamanli ,was shot yesterday by unknown gunmen in his compound at Fugar in Edo North.. According to source, the hoodlums who laid an ambush at his compound launched the attack on him at about 9.30 pm and shot him on his buttocks. The Nation learnt that he was immediately rushed to Ogar hospital in Fugar by neighbours who heard him screaming. He is presently receiving treatment in the hospital. Speaking on the incident, the chairman of the council, Comrade Suleman Bagudu ,said Mr. Alfred has been transferred to central hospital for proper medication. While calling on the security agencies to carry out painstaking investigation about the attack, Bagudu said his aide was ambushed at the gate of his house in Fugar. Edo State commissioner of Police, Alhija Olayinka Balogun, confirmed the incident. The commissioner said that the people that shot Alfred are suspected to be cult boys and the command are doing everything possible to get them.
THE NATION ON SUNDAY, OCTOBER 14, 2012
THE NATION ON SUNDAY, OCTOBER 14, 2012
THE NATION ON SUNDAY, OCTOBER 14, 2012
COMMENT and ANALYSIS THE NATION ON SUNDAY, OCTOBER 14, 2012
Sultan, the Archbishop and the Nobel Festus Eriye
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Media women of substance
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T is the Nobel season once again. This time Nigerian names are in the frame more than at any time in recent memory. Already, perennial favourite, Chinua Achebe, has lost out in the literature stakes to the Chinese writer, Mo Yan. This year, in one of the more curious nominations, the shortlist for the Peace Prize has thrown up the names of the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Muhammed Sa’ad Abubakar III, and the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Abuja, John Onaiyekan. Ordinarily, the prospect of two of our countrymen picking up the coveted prize is something that should fill Nigerians with a sense of pride. Such an honour would be a welcome bit of good news amidst an unrelenting deluge of the bad stuff. But coming at a time when the brutal actions of the fundamentalist Islamic sect, Boko Haram, are threatening to tear the country apart, this ranks as another in the long line of controversial nominations for the Peace Prize. Without question the insurgency in large parts of northern Nigeria is the greatest challenge to peaceful coexistence this country has faced since the Civil War. The Niger-Delta insurgency was limited in scope to targeting Nigeria’s economic interests and making it impossible for multinational oil firms to operate. But Boko Haram, combining the incendiary mix of politics and religion, has set as its goal the toppling of the current constitutional order, and replacing it with a theocracy where Sharia law will be the law of the land. Such is the level of brutality deployed by Boko Haram in its campaign, that it has been cited – along with military agents of government – as committing possible crimes against humanity in the present theatre of conflict in the North-East. Human Rights Watch (HRW) estimates that in the last three years the intense war between the sect and Nigerian security forces might have claimed at least 2,800 lives. With their use of crude IEDs for mass killing, we can credit the bulk of that body count to the terrorists. A new report by HRW says some of these attacks were “deliberate acts leading to population ‘cleansing’ based on religion or ethnicity”. These are very grave charges indeed. They hold out the prospect that those being accused – whether on the side of the extremists or the government – could one day find themselves facing justice at the International Criminal Court (ICC) at The Hague. Despite its deployment of military force as the sect’s attacks became more brazen and catastrophic, the government has not been able to crush it. But many argue that this failure is also down to collusion on the part of local communities and their leadership who have shielded known elements of Boko Haram for years. This protective cover has made it almost impossible for security forces to get quality intelligence in their fight against the
•Alhaji Muhammed Sa’ad Abubakar III
group. Of course, Boko Haram has been able to cow large sections of the North – both ordinary people and elite – by showing potential collaborators with the Federal Government that they and their families could only expect sudden, brutal death for their folly. A little over a year ago former President Olusegun Obasanjo embarked on a peace mission to Maiduguri to meet Babakura Fugu , the representative of the late Boko Haram leader, Mohammed Yusuf’s family. A few days later he was shot dead by assailants suspected to be from a faction of the sect. Little wonder that such collaboration has been few and far between, and over the last few years a blanket of silence has descended upon the entire region. It is hard to get any major regional leader to publicly denounce the actions of the sect with the kind of trenchant rhetoric they deserve. Where they have been forced to comment, such statements have been embarrassing balancing acts that in one breath offered anodyne words of condemnation while at the same time making excuses for the killers – or finding fault with the actions of the security agencies. There is no question that in the North the Sultan remains the most influential and powerful traditional-cum-religious leader. But beyond making the usual bland, politicallycorrect statements, I cannot recall when he ever denounced the activities of Boko Haram with force that they deserve. We do know that the sect are not exactly enamoured with him. If anything they hold defenders of traditional Islamic orthodoxy like him in great contempt, and would do anything to destroy his influence and all he represents. So it is a mystery that he has not come out as hard as he could have on the issue of Boko Haram. As for his fellow nominee – the archbishop, I have no doubt that as a man of the cloth he is equally committed to peaceful coexistence of the two major faiths in Nigeria. I recall seeing a picture of him serving fruit to some Muslims at a gathering he organised to help them break their fast during the last Ramadan.
Still I am not convinced that such gestures alone, or offering the right platitudes after some terrorist outrage, qualify one to receive the Nobel Peace Prize. But again, stranger things have happened. After all United States President, Barack Obama, while still trying to find his feet in office was handed the Peace prize on a platter less than one year after he was elected. In one of the most embarrassing chapters for the Nobel Academy in recent times, they strained for a reason for giving the prize to a president who at that point was superintending wars in two different theatres outside the American mainland. The best that apologists could offer was that the prize was to encourage the ‘apostle of hope’ to work toward global peace in the future – ‘a call to action’ they said it was. How I wish the Sultan and the archbishop will win. What I am not sure of is whether Boko Haram insurgents who have not responded to the deadly persuasion of Joint Task Force (JTF) bullets, would be impressed by some shiny medals minted in Sweden.
“How I wish the Sultan and the Archbishop will win. What I am not sure of is whether Boko Haram insurgents who have not responded to the deadly persuasion of Joint Task Force (JTF) bullets, would be impressed by some shiny medals minted in Sweden”
On the Port Harcourt horror show
AST week, a mob descended on four undergraduates of the University of Port Harcourt – beat them to death and burnt their bodies. They allegedly stole some cell phones. The lynching in the Aluu community of Port Harcourt was said to have been overseen by the traditional ruler who in a moment of madness appointed him not as only as judge and juror, but must have so fancied his own eminence he was deluded into thinking he had the power to take life. This act of impunity which has filled the entire country with revulsion is just a mirror of how we take the law into our hands in this country. In Nigeria, every man is a law unto himself. As though that was not bad enough, we are reveling in new levels of bestiality that it is amazing some us still have the capacity to be shocked. Last week, unknown gunmen slaughtered over 40 students in Mubi. Shortly after this new outrage at Aluu. Add all of that to the regular diet about ritual killings in the newspapers. Surely, Nigeria is very sick. A society where a baying mob can gleefully burn four youngsters who have not committed murder, but may or may not have stolen cell phones, needs urgent self examination. Aluu shows us how low we have fallen. The question this morning is we can we descend any lower? I answer with trepidation: in present day Nigeria anything is possible.
HERE are not many women who have made it to the top of the media profession in Nigeria like in other parts of the world. It is not for want of trying but journalism is very ‘masculine’ in many ways, making it difficult for many women to stay long enough to excel and prove that what a man can do, a woman can do better. There are, however, a few who have overcome the gender limitation in the media industry. One of them is Mrs. Oluremi Oyo, Managing Director of the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) who clocked 60 last week. To her credit she had also served creditably as the Special Adviser on Media to President Olusegun Obansanjo and was the first female President of Nigeria Guild of Editors. Under her leadership, the NAN has regained its lost glories as a foremost news agency in the continent. Her commitment to the development of the media profession which she has demonstrated over the years in the various positions she has served is very commendable. Honourable Abike Dabiri- Erewa of the House of Representative who also clocked 50 last week is another female journalist of note who should be celebrated for being a pride of the profession. From being an outstanding broadcast journalist in her days at the Nigerian Television Authority, NTA, Abike has moved on to becoming a notable legislator. She has done very well to earn a two-term tenure during which she has served as Chairman of the Media Committee and now Diaspora Committee. I congratulate these two women of substance and wish them many years of service to not only the media but the nation and humanity at large. Season of anomie The gruesome killing of four students of the University of Port Harcourt in the Aluu community in Rivers State last week is yet another indication of the kind of times we live in. I managed to look at some of the pictures of the victims before and after they were killed but I have refused to watch the video recording of the incident. The agony on the face of one of the victims in one of the pictures I saw online has stuck in my memory that I am sure that watching the video will leave me too heartbroken. The killing of the students further confirms how cheap death has become in our society. I still shudder to think of the ease with which those who committed the savage act and their collaborators who cheered them carried on without any fear that the law would catch up with them. The various versions of the circumstances that led to the arrest of the students suggest that some of the villagers were just determined to kill the boys for whatever personal reasons. Whatever offence they might have committed, if indeed they did, does not justify the jungle justice they were subjected to. In the attempt to get even with criminals, some communities in the county have resorted to taking the law into their hands, and like in this case, innocent people have been killed. I would rather prefer that a criminal escape than for an innocent person to be killed. Sooner or later, the law will catch up with the criminals and they will be made to pay for their evil deeds. This particular case should be thoroughly investigated and all the perpetrators of the dastardly act brought to book to serve as a deterrent for others who have indulged in this kind of miscarriage of justice. Some security personnel were said to have witnessed the killing, they should not be spared as they could have called the killers to order if they really knew their duty. If they feared that they could be overwhelmed, they could have called for reinforcement instead of being onlookers like other civilians.
Ogochukwu Ikeje email@example.com 08084235961 (SMS only)
THE NATION ON SUNDAY OCTOBER 14, 2012
Comment & Analysis
HE two killing incidents, set apart by just four days, were as horrifying as the word can be. The one took place in the night when the day’s work was done and many had retired to bed; the other happened in broad daylight. On Independence Day, in Mubi, the second biggest town in Adamawa State, and its commercial nerve, students of the Federal Polytechnic sited there were in their hostel when guns began to boom. They sounded near at first, said one student; soon the gunmen drew nearer, still shooting. Panic gripped the hostel community. Everyone hurried into their rooms and locked their doors. But the visitors were on a mission they must accomplish. They kicked the doors open, shot and killed one student after another. At the end of the operation, over 40 students, according to some accounts, lay dead. The incident threw the polytechnic community into imaginable trauma. Friends and families of the dead were left in the deepest grief. The nation was in a daze, while the entire world stood stupefied. That was one wild night in the Northeast of the country. Four days later, and down south in Aluu, where the University of Port Harcourt, Rivers State, is located, four students of the institution faced the grimmest ordeal of their lives, none of them surviving to relive it. They were stripped naked and beaten until there was no life left in them. Finally, their bodies were burnt. That was another wild outing. Some reports blamed the Mubi attack on fundamentalists, while in Aluu, residents were said to have done the job. Both incidents, not forgetting the killings
Wild, wild country We must make life count in a Kano school within the same period, have sharpened up a whole new, horrifying angle in the country’s insecurity challenges. Schools have been attacked before, only now, there seems to be more boldness in taking on larger numbers of Nigeria’s young people secluded for the purpose of study. We must worry about the ease with which assailants invade our schools and kill young people being groomed for leadership. Our educational profile may not lift our spirits but we must worry when students are wasted. More fundamentally, we must worry when lives are wasted by people who neither have the sanction of the creator to do so nor the authority of the law of man. We must worry when mobs become accusers, prosecutors, judges and executioners in one fell swoop, as in the case of the Uniport Four, who were reportedly accused of stealing laptop com-
puters and mobile phones. Reports said a crowd watched with interest, even applauding, as the four, all below 22, were tortured to death and their corpses set ablaze. What do you make of such a scene and such an act? Such brutalities attack every claim we make to civility, and rebrand us a wild, wild nation. Mob action or jungle justice did not start in Aluu, to be sure. All over the country, people have faced instant death at the hands of streetwalkers and bystanders, and for even the pettiest of offences. But for me, one nasty thing about such brand of justice is that the people dispensing it may be woefully unqualified for the job. Some who clobber mob victims to death may actually be thieves themselves. We can tell from the mob which was eager to slay a certain adulteress caught in the act.
“It is safe to say that unlawful killings, of which Nigeria has quite a pile, if not punished, pave the way for more of such barbaric illegalities. Heaps of files of unsolved murders are still with the police, as are bunches of reports on bloody communal and sectarian crises with government. Hope may have died out on those files being reopened or the murderers being brought to justice, and it is just this sort of profile that helps to reduce the value for life in the populace. In time, people with propensity to kill, begin to do so knowing that, as in the past, there is little or no chance of ever being caught and punished. Such scenarios make life seem worthless”
But there are weightier concerns about jungle justice. It questions the character and professionalism of the police, the outfit whose responsibility it is to sort out civil disorders. How was it that a mob tortured and killed four undergraduates, then set their corpses on fire, an operation that must have lasted hours, without the police getting any wind of it? What do you make of such police? Again, why are people better disposed to taking the law into their own hands rather than reporting their concerns to law enforcers? Why has confidence in the police waned? It is perhaps naive to conclude that the Aluu executioners were inspired by the assailants in Mubi simply because of the short space of time between them, but it is safe to say that unlawful killings, of which Nigeria has quite a pile, if not punished, pave the way for more of such barbaric illegalities. Heaps of files of unsolved murders are still with the police, as are bunches of reports on bloody communal and sectarian crises with government. Hope may have died out on those files being reopened or the murderers being brought to justice, and it is just this sort of profile that helps to reduce the value for life in the populace. In time, people with propensity to kill, begin to do so knowing that, as in the past, there is little or no chance of ever being caught and punished. Such scenarios make life seem worthless. Everyone has a role to make things better, but people in authority have a bigger responsibility. You can tell if life matters in a local council if the chairman defends one threatened resident with all his soul. It is easy to see if a state or federal government cares for its people if a small endangered community is given the best possible attention. Let’s make life count otherwise we are just one wild, wild bunch.
THE NATION ON SUNDAY OCTOBER 14, 2012
Comment & Analysis
Greedy parliamentarians Like Nigeria, like Kenya; but the Kenyans are protesting while Nigerians are not
HE malaise of outlandish perquisites of office for elected public officials is not peculiar to Nigeria. The avaricious scourge reverberates round the African continent. The latest act of this insensate pecuniary bug is Kenya where parliamentarians surreptitiously inserted an amendment clause to the Finance Act, giving each of them $110, 800 remuneration increment tagged ‘gratuity bonus’. This coincides with increased taxes to meet salary increment demands by civil servants. Among others, government now puts 10 percent excise duty on mobile money transfers and financial services. What an incongruous move at this period of serious discontent within the Kenyan polity? However, the Kenyans unlike their complacent Nigerian counterparts took the bold steps of fighting against this self-serving and cynical act of public profligacy to be implemented at their expense. Kenyan civil society groups and human rights activists were joined on the streets by ordinary folks to rebuff this bogus bonus by marching to parliament, including their President and Prime Minister’s offices singing inflammatory songs. Through this unacceptable increment, the parliament has increased allowances of members for a record second time in six months. Just last April, the lawmakers increased their winding up allowance from $23,000 to $43, 500 per lawmaker. This is aside from their monthly tax-free salary of about $11, 000. The President and Prime Minister, as well as members of parliament, also legalised additional bonuses for themselves every five years. Unfortunately, citizens of that country will now be coerced to pay more burdened taxes to meet up with their legislators’ annual total package that has increased to $24.7 billion. This is happening in a country where teachers went on strike when their demand for 300 percent increment agreed upon over a decade ago was not met. Also, doctors in Kenya just reticently resumed work after three
HE recurring flood disaster along the coastal communities in the country has left no fewer than 25 million people displaced and devastated. Those living along the coastal communities of Rivers, Niger, Benue, Sokoto, Katsina, Lagos, Ondo, Bayelsa, Delta, Akwa Ibom, Anambra, and Cross River states are gravely affected by the incessant flood menace which has made the governors to direct victims to leave their communities and providing makeshift relief for them. It is sad that the federal government has abysmally failed to explore proactive measures in tackling perennial flood in some disaster –prone northern states and blocked drains and water channels in the South- East and some states in the Niger- Delta region which has equally rendered many Nigerians homeless and helpless. No matter how government will provide relief materials cannot salvage the suffering dwellers of these affected communities. The worst is that property worth billions of naira has been destroyed by the flood. Although the warnings of climate change on flood disaster were issued to Nigerians by experts, our government never provided solutions. The continuous ravaging flood has put many Nigerians into untold hardship in which those in the coastal communities are grossly affected while the relief materials provided by some of the affected state governors are not adequately enough to cater for the people. Since the upsurge of the flood challenge, economic
weeks of strike that paralysed public hospitals in that country. Yet, Kenyans would be expected to come out and vote in the March 2013 elections, the first elections since the 2007 elections marred by violence, for most of these politicians that are busy emptying the public till so that they can amass warchest with which to prosecute the coming elections. It is sad that the security and welfare of the Kenyan populace no longer mean anything to them again, in so far as their self-aggrandisement is satisfied. Where politicians turn primitively greedy by appropriating collective wealth for personal end is not only bad but too devastating for that economy. The important pointer from this dismissible act is that public officers, not just in Kenya but in Nigeria and other countries on the continent, are retarding and gradually killing Africa. More significantly, Kenyans have shown through this protest against official gluttony, even by moving as far as getting to the precinct of their leaders’ dreaded offices, that the level of awareness among them is very high. We doubt if that had happened in Nigeria for citizens to move in protest, chanting derisive songs towards the Aso Rock offices of the
TRUTH IN DEFENCE OF FREEDOM
•Editor Festus Eriye •Deputy Editor Olayinka Oyegbile •Associate Editors Taiwo Ogundipe Sam Egburonu
•Managing Director/ Editor-in-Chief Victor Ifijeh •Chairman, Editorial Board Sam Omatseye •General Editor Kunle Fagbemi
President and his deputy, whether anti-riot policemen would not have been deployed to disperse and probably kill them. The irony is that Nigerians have not shown such audacious move in the past despite persistent affronts of fraud and greed by those elected by them, even in the face of provocative poverty and hardship. Even by Nigerian standards, earning of $11,000 (about N1.7million) per month by a legislator is very high. It shows crass insensitivity even when such has become routine not only among Nigerian legislators but in the country’s executive arm of government too. Ordinary Nigerians on the streets, like in Kenya, were made to pay for the luxury and ostentatious lifestyles of their elected representatives in these two arms of government. More deplorable is the fact that this mundane act cuts across political party divides. No exception! The Kenyan parliamentarians, like their Nigerian counterparts, earn so much for doing little or nothing. Too bad! We call for a retrace of their odious steps because, for instance in Kenya, the mounting level of disillusionment is responsible for ordinary Kenyans’ demand for ‘ballot revolution’ before the 2013 elections in that country. For us, those that make bad governance loom large might overtly be inviting the wrath of the people on themselves. Nigerians, on their part, must be ready to come out boldly to challenge this legislative outrage. We look complacent apparently because we assume we are now in a democratic setting and this is what our legislators and other public officials are exploiting. The opposition parties and the civil and human rights groups should do more than issuing press releases condemning this action. They should do more by way of enlightenment and sensitisation to the evils in high places and how to put a stop to them. But, in doing that, they too must, like Caesar’s wife, be without blemish.
Many pains, few solutions to flood disaster activities have been totally grounded without immediate solutions to it. Even some of the highland communities are gradually taken by the flood while death casualties have increased to 95 percent. The prices of goods and services and transportation are at geometrical progression. Torrential rains have caused havoc in some states of the federation, most especially
in the North and Niger-Delta region. The problem with this mordant and corrosive flood disaster is that Nigerian leaders do not know how to contain disasters. The fact remains that the flood is rising on daily basis while the state governors of these affected regions are overstretched. The flood has brought the invasion of dangerous reptiles including crocodiles and snakes in many communities.
The Presidential committee on flood led by Hadiza Mailafiya, Minister for Environment is yet to provide any panacea to the situation. The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) and some of the state ones are overstretched while the absence of surface drains and blockage of existing drains with municipal waste, refuse and eroded the soil sediments are the major cause of the dreaded flood.
This flood is a Tsunami. Although the Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NIMET) had alerted that there would be an above normal rainfall in strategic parts of the country which might lead to flooding incidents in 12 states of the federation, yet nobody gave consent to that instruction. The menace of this incessant flood indicates the natural disaster which cannot be controlled
In praise of Senator Victor Ndoma-Egba
ATELY, the profile of Senator Victor Ndoma- Egba, the Senate Leader rose again with the conferment of another national award of Commander of the Order of the Niger (CON) after having had the Order of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (OFR). However, not that his profile ever went down, it is just that within the Nigerian political class, people have come to acknowledge him as the life and soul of the Senate. Indeed, he is regarded as the most visible among his colleagues. What’s more, he is the most regularly seen lawmaker at the complex of the National Assembly. The Senate Leader is a rare breed, a patriotic silent achiever and one who believes in Nigeria’s potential and greatness. This seasoned lawyer believes in loyalty and has always guided his path in his endeavour, setting the pace for his extraordinary greatness. Senator Ndoma- Egba has
assumed a well-deserved seat and a front player position and has developed to a strong legislative brand name that has made him a reference point. No doubt, his outstanding record of uncommon achievements continues to endear him to his constituents, Cross Riverians and most Nigerians regardless of the senatorial district he represents. He is a lover of people; he is always very passionate about the plight of his people and enjoys solving all problems. For him, the passion that drives a man defines his focus and agenda for life. He is driven by a well-defined passion to elevate the human condition of his constituents and many times he has spoken and done things in affirmation of his drive. For the Senate Leader, governance is steward for God; it is serious business and not for personal aggrandisement. It is also not for pleasing a group of friends at the
expense of the people. His representation has always shown empathy for the plight of the people. According to his philosophy, political virtue must be inextricably bound up with the good of the whole community and cannot be reduced to individual’s success in gaining office and power. He believes that all men are equal by nature and should be so in society. Perhaps that is what defines his approach to governance and in public service. There are leaders who are utterly self-impressed, who regard political office as the pathway to a frontier where will and ego can proceed virtually unbounded. There are leaders who foot-loose in search of opportunity for self aggrandisement. There are leaders who are not noted for any strong passion or ideological direction. Senator Ndoma-Egba is a mobiliser and a motivational speaker, who has not for once wavered despite the many
struggles he gets confronted with. He is likeable, amiable but blunt. He is a stickler for time, accountability and transparency. You will always be struck by his extraordinary warmth and kind disposition evident in his life through the great man who brought him up in the finest tradition of Christian charity, discipline and fear of God. Though in his 50s, the Senate leader does not look his age one bit. The only thing that could easily give him away is his grownup children. Although he could be jovial, he is a no nonsense man when it comes to assignments and delivery on deadlines. But underlining his playful disposition is a seriousness that nobody dares take for granted. He is so good natured that the welfare of his constituents remains his primary duty. By Peter Willie Abuja
by any government. For President Goodluck Jonathan to submit a supplementary budget to address the current plaguing flood disaster and victims of the affected states is a welcome development. The National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA) must take steps to clear waterways and tributaries which are silted and taken over by shrubs to allow for channels and easy flow of water to contain the ravaging flood in coastal communities. This flood has created untold poverty for many affected communities thus invariably sending wrong signals of hunger and strife in the next two years together as well as high profile criminal activities, if the government does not take urgent steps to avert the situation. Even wild animals are chasing away people from their homes while the rescue centres provided by the government are not adequate enough to cater for the flood victims. Deaths are being recorded in the so-called rescue centres while some flood victims who refuse to vacate their communities are being invaded by criminals. The only means of transportation in those affected flood communities is speed boats and local canoes. Lastly, only God can avert this unbearable and inevitable flood. The federal government must collaborate with other relevant agencies and international communities to initiate proactive and preventive measures to fight against future recurrence of flood disasters in the country. By Godday Odidi Apapa, Lagos.
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THE NATION ON SUNDAY, OCTOBER 14, 2012
Comment & Analysis
Ropo Sekoni ropo.sekoni @thenationonlineng.net
N the last 14 years of post-military rule, very little has been done (apart from restoration of election as a means of selecting members of the power elite in executive and legislative branches of government) to de-militarise the polity that has been shaped or distorted by decades of military dictatorship. Beyond civilianising governance, very little effort has been made from the administration of Obasanjo to that of Jonathan to democratise governance fully by subjecting decrees, policies, and constitution inherited from military rulers to scrutiny and transformation. Nowhere is the fear of interrogating military legacy in the governance of the country more evident than in efforts by postmilitary rulers to argue that there is nothing wrong with the constitution, laws, and policies inherited since 1999 from military dictators. We argued in the last three weeks that many of the policies created by military regimes have become anachronistic and of little value to the promotion of unity of purpose in the country, stating that no matter how wellmeaning the military regimes were in making policies such as centralised police force, unity schools, national youth service
Revisiting our unification policies (4) Negotiated constitution is imperative for unity corps, the reality today is that there is no evidence that these policies have worked. Nothing in the situation of general security in the country or in the culture of cooperation across ethnic groups has indicated that efforts to unite the country through policies created without thorough debate by citizens have worked. The bellicosity that attended rotation of the presidency or zoning is an illustration of how little the country has been united since 1966. Ethnicisation and regionalisation of power in 2011 is cruder than what it was before the first the coup. Had the country gotten a truly democratic government in 1999, perhaps, it would have produced government leaders that would have the courage to re-examine pre-1999 policies and jettison any of them that has ceased to be useful. Those who created many of the policies under discussion in the last three weeks and those that believe such policies were made to promote their interests thought more proactively than those who spent their life and resources to struggle for an end to military rule. They quickly organised to bring one of the authors of de-federalization of the country to power after the death of Abacha and at the end of Abubakar’s transition programme. General Obasanjo came into power and spent eight years
scheming about how to defuse the struggle for a people’s constitution. He quickly labeled those calling for national conference secessionists. At the end of his two terms, he also picked his successor, Umaru Yar’Adua, in a way similar to how he was picked to succeed Abdusalaam Abubakar, and the rest is history. Fourteen years after the exit of the military from direct governance, the country is still saddled with a president who does not think that there is anything seriously wrong with a constitution without any input from citizens, a constitution that was invisible until after the election that brought the first post-military government to power in 1999. Just like Obasanjo before him, President Jonathan also attempts to preach to citizens that there is nothing substantially wrong with the 1999 Constitution. To President Jonathan, nothing is too wrong for ad hoc committee members not to have the wisdom to rectify without any input from the citizenry. If anything, the fear of civilian presidents to support those calling for a constitutional conference to produce a democratic constitution has encouraged those who see themselves as the policemen of Nigeria’s unity to seize media space to warn that any attempt to change most of the policies and laws created by mili-
tary dictators (including the 1999 Constitution) is capable of destroying the country’s unity. Several northern leaders including elected governors have said pontifically that any attempt to move away from the system of federal monopoly of law enforcement is synonymous with plans to break the country. Only recently, the Arewa Consultative Forum said that any call for people’s constitution is tantamount to casting a vote of no confidence in the country’s democracy. President Jonathan himself appears confused about what the country needs to do with a constitution that has been taken to court as a fraudulent document in its claim to have been written by the people of Nigeria. He even says without any empirical evidence that the country is not ready for state police, despite the fact that under his watch, police work is contracted out to private citizens like Tompolo. He is even now in the process of sending a bill to the national assembly to detach local governments from the states that house them, seeing local governments solely as a receiver of federal grants, rather than as cultural and political units within states which constitutionally have governors and legislators to govern them. It must, however, be remembered that it was first under military dictatorship that the idea of
three tiers of government came into the nation’s political space and lexicon. Most federations in the world have two tiers of government—federal and state or provincial. Ironically, the axe to destroy the federalist origin of independent Nigeria has since 1999 been getting sharper in the hands of postmilitary civilian rulers. Consequently, citizens calling for restoration of federalism in the country are seen as forces of distraction and secession by spokesmen for federal power and sectional cultural leaders who see themselves as enforcers of national unity. The current constitution and many policies inherited from military dictatorship in 1999 have not enhanced national unity, despite repeated claims by those who believe the current unitary current system is the best way to guarantee the country’s unity. The unity that exists in Nigeria today is not an outcome of any constitution or policy. It is a sign that citizens from different sections of the country believe that the country has tremendous economic potential as one country, particularly the huge manna from oil and gas. It is more of unity of economic purpose than anything else. To turn the country into a union of affection, leaders will do well to listen to citizens calling for a negotiated constitution through the mechanism of constitutional conference, rather than relying on policies crafted by few soldiers and sustained by few civilian rulers to confuse homogenisation with unity.
Fayemi : How the past molded a peoples’ governor Femi Orebe femi.orebe @thenationonlineng.net 08056504626 (sms only)
IME was about 11.45 pm in the sprawling Ekiti state governor’s office, which he derisively calls a football field, which he does not require to function effectively or efficiently, and quipped his friend of many years, the witheringly brilliant political scientist, Dr Abubakar Momoh: “Kayode, little did we know that God was preparing you for these days when we would, during our activist days in London , work until the wee hours of the following morning, quaffing coffee like it was going out of fashion.” I remembered Abubakar’s words sometime later after observing at close range, Dr Fayemi’s methodical and focused approach to governance, electing completely, not to be bothered with what the Yoruba would call the suffocating ‘ariwo oja’ –the market place noise, that the political opposition was spewing. How miraculously God restored his Ekiti peoples’ mandate back to him, whilst the Obasanjos of this world were breathing down on all institutions of state, elicited indescribable joy, not only in the state, but across the length and breadth of Nigeria. But without a doubt, it equally brewed bitterness among the little colony of poll robbers who never thought the day would ever come when his man-
Fayemi is fundamentally changing the face of Ekiti date would be restored. Thus began a massive campaign of calumny, not much initiated by his main opponent at that election, but by a coterie of hangers-on, who, for reasons singularly unconnected with the welfare of our people, but their belly, embarked upon a proxy war to which the governor, characteristically, refused to invest even the minutest notice. The war has become largely muted today even though there was a time it looked like the demagogues were going to have it their way, given their cacophony and dexterity at concocting and weaving all manner of lies, even going as far as masterminding workers’ union revolts as we recently saw in the arrest of a lout who doubles as Press Secretary. Thanks largely to the incomparable, multi-sectoral achievements that have earned Dr Fayemi the prestigious ‘Leadership Governor of the Year’ award, an award for which many a state governor would have declared a state holiday to celebrate. And they have not seen anything yet. Back then to how his past, his multi-dimensional experiences, have served as the linchpin, the furnace and the crucible through which the peoples’ governor, was prepared for today. And there is no better place to go than OUT OF THE SHADOW’S, Dr Kayode Fayemi’s own book; his testimony and elegant historical capture of the events which shaped him at various stages of life up until he threw his cap into the political ring in his native Ekiti State. The intention here is not to re-write a book in which you have the author ‘writ
large’ by our one and only Nobel Laureate, Professor Wole Soyinka. Rather, it is to showcase how very small, almost insignificant events, a nice word here from a father when merited, a flagellation by mum when necessary and the whole idea of not sparing the rod, if that is what the moment deserved, as happened when his father gave him 12 strokes of the cane for not meeting him doing his home work, all cumulatively molding the total person; one who from the unsparing but loving hands of Pa and Mama Fayemi of Isan –Ekiti, would later be divinely thrown into public service to make life meaningful and better for the greater majority of Ekiti people. Had I, indeed, been minded, to rewrite the book, this entire newspaper would hardly provide the space. OUT OF THE SHADOWS, a book which in the hands of Bishop Felix Ajakaiye, the Catholic Bishop of Ekiti, has since become, besides the bible, a standard reference book for sermons about sacrifice, hard work, the value of education, perseverance, the role of parents and calls to service, among many other lessons, is replete with examples of how the governor’s home training, in a committed Christian family, - his own father had barely missed being a Catholic priest - his education and background in general, taught Dr Fayemi great lessons on how to be prepared to stand up, stand firm and control his own destiny. I recall for instance an occasion well ahead of the serially rigged Ekiti gubernatorial elections, when three of us, in company of Dr
Fayemi visited a distinguished Lagos-based Medical Doctor of Ijesha extraction who truly loves the candidate and was willing to be part of his preparations. The host decided to first treat his visitors to dinner at a high end Chinese Restaurant. In the course of dinner, and knowing the PDP as I do, I chipped in by predicting that they would rig the election and ask us to go to court as the ‘one-minute heroine and next-minute villain’ of a onetime Ekiti INEC Commissioner, would later contemptuously advise. The candidate’s short response was: “Then they will come to know that I am a long distance runner.” I soon got confirmation of how the governor’s past must have informed this response when, in his Foreword to OUT OF THE SHADOWS, Professor Wole Soyinka wrote as follows about the monumental struggle in which he had Fayemi as one of his most trusted young intellectual combatants, I quote him: “It is my hope that this –the book –has opened the way to the records of infamy that internal democratic movement had to overcome in its pivotal struggle –the betrayals, repeated and repeated betrayals (note the repetitions by the master), campaigns of discouragement and so on – by some of those who supposedly occupy leadership positions in society, be they crowned heads, prelates, business moguls, professionals, politicians, intellectuals or whatever.” Fayemi’s own list of caterwaulers will include even a head of state and judges who were bought for nothing more than mere pittance. But he was completely unfazed, and from court to court,
from one tribunal to another and from there to the Appeal Court, he went serially and when ignoramuses sang songs to the effect that he should be going to court while they govern, he still treated them with benign disdain, paying them no attention, whatever. For the umpteenth time, many have had running bellies over my writings on Dr Kayode Fayemi but not only has he justified my implicit confidence in his ability to run an efficient government, I can say proudly that in all that I write, I testify only to the evidences of my very eyes. The entire Ekiti road network may not have all been paved yet –he has done two years of only a first four - and you may actually not be picking money on Ekiti streets, but for a fact, Fayemi is fundamentally changing the face of Ekiti. No longer do you have T V pictures of a hungry-looking people at state events, surrounded every inch of the way by gun-totting police and soldiers in defence of a stolen mandate, nor do you any longer have un-cared for elderly citizens who haven’t the slightest idea where help will come from since Fayemi’s monthly social security money will come as certainly as morning follows the night. Today, work is going on at a frenetic pace on the Rehabilitate All Ekiti Schools Project which saw 100 schools rehabilitated in the first phase as well as on roads – both by state and local governments, water projects, re-industialisation i.e resuscitating dead and moribund industries and enterprises like the Ire Burnt Bricks industry, Continued on page 67
Comment & Analysis
THE NATION ON SUNDAY OCTOBER 14, 2012
Adegboyega email@example.com 08054503906 (sms only)
OVERNOR Rochas Okorocha of Imo State has been in the news again of late. As usual with people who would not give the governor a breather, it is for the wrong reasons. The bile this time is the governor’s 50th birthday, which ought to have been marked on September 28, but was postponed to October 8 to coincide with the 10th anniversary of the governor’s foundation and schools. This is where the critics first got it all wrong. If Governor Okorocha had been as flamboyant and wasteful as he is portrayed, he would have celebrated the two ceremonies differently. Because both were landmarks in their individual rights would have called for double celebration. The birthday would have been marked on September 28 and the foundation and schools that clocked 10 would also have had their day on October 8. Apparently, Governor Okorocha knew that armchair critics would take him to task if he did that; so, he decided to collapse the two ceremonies into one, thus killing two birds with one stone. Some savings had been made from this decision; obviously, from whichever coffers the money for the celebrations came. Not a few had speculated it must have come from the public till; some were even so categorical that the money spent on the ceremonies was from the government coffers as if the state’s accountant-general has furnished them with the necessary papers to make such a categorical assertion. Now, even if that were
Postscript, Unlimited! By
Oyinkan Medubi 08187172799 (SMS only) firstname.lastname@example.org
ID you hear the one about a mentally unstable man who was released from an institution for good behaviour? Well, his doctors felt he was sufficiently healed to be let into the society so he got out and went on the streets. Two hours later, he was back at the institution. What was the problem? He said that while he stood by the road side, he saw a man wearing thick glasses riding a commercial motorcycle and carrying a pregnant woman who had a child on her back, and another one who carried three passengers on his motor cycle. He also saw a taxi driver who had carried seven passengers in his four-seat vehicle and a policeman who only laughed and collected some money from him. Then he thought, ‘the people out there in the world are all madder than me, and I am the one committed!’ So, to avoid being contaminated, he went back. This last week, I listened in on a radio programme celebrating World Mental Health day. And I thought, ah, mental health! That is the inability of the mind to distinguish between what is socially acceptable and what is not. For example, since most husbands have not been able to distinguish between what is
Happy birthday, jare, Gov Okorocha How can anyone accuse the governor of extravagant celebration? so, people still have to realise that money had been saved all the same because money would still have had to come from wherever if the governor had not been considerate enough to collapse his twin celebration into one. I can smell two rats in all these criticisms: poverty and envy. The problem is that many of those complaining that the governor is extravagant did so because they did not know how it feels to be 50, especially so when one has the deep pocket to let the invitees eat and drink to their full and still have more than enough to take away. Many of the critics must have matched the array of personalities at the ceremony: former (selfstyled) President Ibrahim Babangida, former Prime Minister of Zimbabwe, Mr. Morgan Tsvangirai, governors of Anambra State, Mr. Peter Obi; Rivers, Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi; Delta, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan; Katsina, Alhaji Shehu Shema, and Bauchi, Mallam Isa Yuguda with what these and other dignitaries consumed, and the exotic wines that they would have used to flush down the small chops and sumptuous meals, and concluded that it must have cost a fortune to put together such an event. That is poverty at work. Or is it at play? As ‘King Sunny Ade once sang, when the poor gets to the mansion of
the rich, as he is cursing God, so would he be speaking so disdainfully of Him, wondering why He should create some people tall and others short; they would be wondering whether it was not the same God that created the rich who is spending so lavishly, and the poor who like Lazarus must wait to feed from the crumbs falling under the tables of the rich. The interesting thing is that Imo people did not behave like that, at least not the hoi polloi, which really is soullifting. That is to say that those protesting the governor’s ‘extravagant spending’ on the occasion of his Golden Jubilee are essentially busy bodies who delight in their fantasy that no good can ever come of the ‘Okorocha Nazareth’. Now, how do I know? A commentator’s ‘notorious fact’ revealed this in his description of the arrival of Babangida to the Heroes Square, venue of the celebration: “Gen. Ibrahim Babangida, who in company with the governor, rode into the square with some streak of a triumphant entry, as the mass of the people who had gathered at the square since 8.00 a.m. rose in loud ovation on sighting their governor and his array of important guests”. Pray, how does this show disapproval with the governor’s ceremony? I am sure they must have sung ‘Happy birthday’ for the gover-
“The problem with the critics is that they cannot see the larger picture that the governor is seeing. Governor Okorocha at the occasion restated his vow to put Imo in the map of the fastest developing states by executing only people-oriented programmes. That is to say more holidays are coming … Even on auto-pilot, Imo Ebeano”
nor. Their representative/s must have joined in cutting the birthday cake, etc. How could people in this felicitation mood complain about the economy of the state shut down for just one day to mark the governor’s 50th birthday? Now, when these critics got to their wits’ end, they even contradicted themselves by saying the governor shut down the entire economy in the state by approving the holiday, when time and again, these same critics have always reminded whoever cares to listen that the state is predominantly a civil servant state. So, which businesses must have lost colossal amounts due to the declaration of a day holiday? Which man-hours could have been lost? If the major source of sustenance is the monthly federal allocation, how did the holiday affect the state’s share? Those who say basic infrastructure is weak if not non-existent in the state; and those who say the schools are dilapidated, that the people have no potable water and that healthcare facilities are inadequate, in short those who say Imo State is backward, thus trying to give the impression that the governor has not been working would see how little they are when they hear what some of the invited eminent persons said of the governor at the ceremony. Tsvangirai, in his remarks charged African leaders to look inwards by delivering those promises they made during their electioneering campaign, adding that the electorate expected more from them. He commended Okorocha for his milestone in ensuring that his people benefit from democracy dividends. General Babangida on his part extolled
the virtues of Okorocha for his achievements in education, philanthropy and governance. He called on other leaders to assist the special citizens by providing for them at all times. What he did not add is that they should emulate Governor Okorocha. When these gods who have seen it all in public office have spoken, who are people who do not know how hot the seats on which the governor and other highly placed people are sitting (or once sat) to contradict them? What other testimonial could have been greater than these? All those who have been condemning this wise and prudent decision from an equally wise and prudent governor should ask for asagafurulahi so that God can forgive them. The governor’s ears must be full by now over this storm in a teacup. I plead with him not to let this stop the good works he has been doing in the state since his election in May, last year. That is the way it is. I am sure he must have heard of the wise saying that ‘uneasy lies the head that wears the crown’. The governor should not forget that when his predecessor was there, the people complained; they said he was present more on billboards than on ground. The problem with the critics is that they cannot see the larger picture that the governor is seeing. Governor Okorocha at the occasion restated his vow to put Imo in the map of the fastest developing states by executing only people-oriented programmes. That is to say more holidays are coming. Isn’t this one sure way to make that happen? Happy birthday, jare, your Excellency. Even on auto-pilot, Imo Ebeano!
Happy Birthday, dear ol’ girl! There is so much madness in the land domestically acceptable (such as leaving all their month’s pay in the pockets of their pants for their wives to find) from what is not (such as leaving those pants on the kitchen table), we can assume that their mental health is challenged. There’s someone else whose mental health is challenged: my dog. For reasons best known to him, he thinks barking is beneath him. Do what you like, he just won’t bark. To harass visitors therefore, he simply, err, licks their feet. Grrr! That dog is so in need of a specialist. Obviously, then, anyone whose mental health is challenged needs help. I can count the people who need help. All taxi drivers need help. All Lagos bus drivers need help. All okada riders need help. Believe me, all husbands need help. How else can you classify a husband who sells his wife for a sum of money if not someone in need of help? No, that happened in literature. But I know one who nearly sold his wife because she was costing him too much to feed. Really, what constitutes mental health is a matter of perspective. After all, I once drove the car into one of the walls of the house. No, no one pushed me; I just thought the road extended there. Of course, need you ask? Those around me went, ‘But, were you mad?!’ So, like everyone else, I interpreted the mental health day to mean the day we pause in our respective tasks, think for a moment about any mad person we
know, say a little prayer for them, and then move on to choose what we are going to have for dinner. Not so, explained the resource person, it means the day we examine our mind and clear it of debris such as excessive love of money, excessive hatred of our noisy neighbour and too many death wishes such as driving the car at one hundred and forty kilometres an hour on Nigeria’s rough roads. Or, we can just use the day to think about those who appear well on the surface but are really sick beneath, like Nigeria. Reader, pause awhile and say a prayer for Nigeria for we have, by our behaviour, converted it into a mental institution. Seriously. The poor thing thinks it is well but it is really, really sick. Just think about the antics of her citizens. Where else in the world can you find a people so cheerfully bizarre, yet uncompromisingly devilish? Where else can you find a people so nice and yet so wicked to each other all at once? I say, where else can you find a people so artful at biting each other and so equally artful at blowing palliative air to soothe the pain? Where else but in this your good ol’ country can you find people perpetually screaming at each other ‘You hit my car, are you mad?! You beat my son, are you mad?! You stole my prayer, are you mad?! You stole my future, are you mad?! You stole all the meat in the pot, you this stupid child, are you
mad?!!! When we think of the fact that what peoples the walls of this country is a veritable mix of schizophrenics, psychosomatics, psychopaths, sociopaths, sociogoths and psychogoths (if you know what those are cause I don’t), repressed and depressed joy killers, quarter-mad, halfmad and fully-mad individuals, and all in need of specialists, then we know we need to tread a little. If you don’t believe me, just take a look at the Lagos traffic and transport system. That is pure madness. Whoever contrived that system should be hung up for the world to behold as the example of a mad man. Or, you might look at Abuja driving. For exercise, drive to and from Abuja and you will see what I mean. Clearly, every driver along that route needs a specialist. The ones inside the city itself appear to be beyond redemption, so the government appears to have left them alone to finish one another off. When they finish getting rid of one another, to the last one of them, then we can claim the city back from madness. Right now, it is on the brink. When we think of the mad things we have done to this country, then we would agree that it is all but hanging on a thread, or just hanging. And it all began when we stood the country on its head, much like when you stand logic on its head. Again, pause a while and let us go over the facts together.
Is it not in this country that people who have been convicted or are under suspicion are also ‘elected’ into political office? Is it not in this country that people who say they are trying to salvage the country’s economy ask to be paid in foreign currencies? Don’t these things boggle your mind? They do mine. Sadly, it is also in this country that people go out to kill in the name of God and still preach that that God, in whose name they have killed others, stands for love. Hmm. Strange love. Anyway, this is also the country that houses the highest number of people who steal from the government so that they and their children will never be poor again. Yet another kind of strange love. So, with so much strange love going around, are you surprised that there is so much madness in the land, and we are all ensconced in this giant mental institution? The World Mental Health day came and went without too many people noticing it. Perhaps, those who did were the only sane ones among us. I dare say the rest of us were too busy displaying our mental instability to notice. So it comes down to this. The mental health of this country is in your hands. Stop screaming at others; stop driving recklessly; stop embezzling recklessly; stop killing in the name of God, and begin now to take care of yourself and others in this mental institution. Who knows, if we begin to behave ourselves we might be let off, and be allowed to join the comity of sane nations soon, real soon.
THE NATION ON SUNDAY, OCTOBER 14, 2012
Comment & Analysis
New leadership paradigms to achieve strategic transformation
T the risk of stating the obvious, the easiest means to become a leader is by inheritance - as a prince or princess already adorned with the title of “Crown Prince” or “Crown Princess”. A variant of this is in the political arena where following the demise (or incapacitation) of the President, the Vice-President automatically becomes the new leader as was the case in Ghana where late President Attah Mills was promptly replaced by his Vice-President and in Malawi where late President Bingu wa Matharika was similarly replaced by his VicePresident, the formidable and feisty Mrs Joyce Banda. However, it is instructive that within a few days of becoming President, Mrs Banda has not only reversed a significant number of policies which her predecessor held sacrosanct e.g. the prohibition of the President of Sudan from attending the meeting of the African Union held in Addis Ababa. The International Criminal Court had issued a warrant for the arrest of the Sudanese President but Matharika had assured him that he would be welcome regardless of the threat by major aid donors such as the United States of America; Britain; France etc to withhold badly needed funds meant to sustain debt-ridden and landlocked Malawi. Transformational leadership theories emphasize the task and organizational integrity and this helps focus one’s attention to more appropriately defining a task. The trans-
formational theories emphasize cooperation, ethics and community in addition to the higher human values. Long-range goals are emphasized which leads to increasing the survivability of a system. It has been showed in studies, such as in gaming theory, that cooperation, as opposed to competition, is more successful in achieving goals. Transformational leadership theories are adaptive and can be tailored to support the fulfillment of the most pressing of needs in people. There is greater stability of a leader’s position, as there is greater support by those who are being led. Transformational leadership theories can bring harmony to a situation that could otherwise be exacerbated by a quarrelsome organization. If one has an educated population, transformational leadership theories are more likely to work.” Even more startling was the revelation by Mrs. Banda that on assuming office she was shocked to discover secret files that left no doubt that her predecessor was actively enmeshed in the plan to assassinate her by sending a rogue lorry to ram into her convoy. Her salvation was that at the last minute, she had changed the car in which she was to travel while returning from an official engagement. Nearer home, there were allegations that the late General Sani Abacha the “maximum ruler” of Nigeria was neck deep in the plan to blow up a plane in which his second-in-command, General
By Bashorun J.k. Randle
Oladipo Diya was expected to travel. Apparently, it was a sudden bout of “running stomach” that delayed General Diya from being on the plane to keep the appointment with certain death. Shortly afterwards, the tale developed a new twist. General Abacha charged General Diya and others with plotting a coup d’état. All alleged coup plotters were subsequently sentenced to death. It was only the sudden death of Abacha that saved them from the waiting bullets of the firing squad. In war-torn Ethiopia, the late Prime Minister Meles Zenawi who ruled from 1995 to 2012 took ill and died at the relatively young age of 57 years in a Belgian hospital on Monday 20th August 2012. He has been immediately replaced by the Deputy Prime Minister, Hailemarian Dasalegn who is expected to hold office until 2015 when the next elections are due. We should also reflect on the upheaval over change of leadership in Togo; Cote D’Ivoire; Senegal; South Africa; Democratic Republic of the Congo; as well as the trenchant cases of “Arab Spring In Africa” – Tunisia; Egypt and Libya. Of course we cannot ignore the marathoners – Robert Mugabe [Zimbabwe]; Angola, Teodoro Mbasogo (Equatorial Guinea); Yoweri Museveni (Uganda) who rule by fear and intimidation, combined with ut-
ter ruthlessness in eliminating opponents, rivals, potential successors or whoever is perceived to challenge their supremacy. They have no intention whatever of surrendering power under any circumstances!! Hence, the “Strategic Transformation” component in the title of my address is totally alien to this crop of dictators. “Of course, any thinking underpinning a system can be excessive and transformational leadership theories aren’t an exception to the rule. Whereas it can be argued that more can be accompanied through a collective action and this is justification for totalitarian states and one can also argue that any individual development, necessary for social competence, is reason to have a participatory society, such as a cooperative. Aristotle argued in his Politics that a society is strengthened with diversity in ideals and capabilities and as a result, democracy was a better form of authority. Game theory, as exemplified in the Prisoner’s Dilemma, supports the view that cooperation produces more results than competition and that the strength of the cooperation is enhanced when people of diverse backgrounds and capabilities are encouraged to participate in achieving the common goals and to make decisions collectively. The simple truth is that if everyone is involved in decision-making, they will be more committed to working to achieve making the ideal goal a reality.
A test of the efficacy of transformational leadership theories could be how a group of island survivors fare. It is clear that if there is no cooperation, the chances of survival are greatly diminished. On the other hand, if the necessary tasks are of an urgent nature, there may be a need for a commanding person. William Golding’s Lord of the Flies is an excellent scenario from which to draw lessons such as this. Transformational leadership theories could have brought harmony to this situation that ultimately turned out with the characters fighting each other to the point that some lost their lives because of the turmoil. The leader strives to exhibit the qualities of a good role model – must be paradigm of good character. S/he is the personification of the ideals of the system, its ethos and motivations driving the organization. The manner in which s/he leads is imbued with desirable human qualities, such as intelligence, compassion, noble ethics and exemplary courage. The leader is a counsel to the rest, lending his/her support to enhance the wellbeing of each essential member of the organization.” Regardless, we are obliged to deliberate on the profound issue of the search for “New Leadership Paradigms” which to my mind suggests that we need to define leadership and rise to the challenge of crafting a fresh road map that would hopefully lead to the emergence of new leaders who are distinctly different from mere rulers.
The Governor as public intellectual
N states with a history of display of intellect by their leadership, there is the tendency to dismiss the current leadership of Oyo State’s new-found romance with display of the cerebrum as a non-issue. In Oyo, renowned for its acronym as a Pacesetter but which had, over the years, lost both the pace and the setting potentials, as intangible as it may sound that its governor arrests national and international audiences with impeccable intellectual delivery, this is a major celebration for the people of Oyo State. In the recent past, Oyo State suffered terribly in the estimation of the world as one administered by a leadership that was everything but deep. Every antiintellectual story that filtered from the state to the world then stuck as emerging from a familiar terrain. When miscreants of the National Union of Road Transport Workers, (NURTW) reported to have permanent chalets inside the Government House, had their villainy and spillage of blood abetted by the state, this cohered with the perception of Oyo State as a state run by everything but intellectual leadership. But Oyo had not always been like that. For a state once run by geniuses like Bola Ige and Omololu Olunloyo to have relapsed that irretrievably became a song on the lips of dirge-crooners. Many analysts bemoaned the fate of Oyo, once administered by Ige, poet and literary icon and Olunloyo, mathematical genius and wizard of polemics, falling into the hands of such a vacantminded leadership. Doubtless, this nostalgia to reconnect with a deep-minded past recommended the election of Abiola Ajimobi at the April, 2011 polls. Engaging polemicist and a man who can answer to a description of French author, Voltaire as one unusual brain homed in a human skull, his rich credentials as Managing Director of a multinational oil corporation persuaded the electorate that his could not be a replay of the vacuity of Oyo’s recent past. Having set on an even keel the construction of 199 roads, about 20 fallen bridges in the state, mobile health to the nooks and crannies of the state, treating almost half a million people in
the process, Ajimobi, On September 20, 2011 set the ball rolling. His unspoken intention, no doubt, was to rebrand Oyo State as the intellectual capital of South West Nigeria that it had always been. Sitting on the same seat where Obafemi Awolowo sat to proffer those intellectual responses to the post-colony of Nigeria, it would be uncharitable of Ajimobi not to rekindle the flame of an intellectual incubator which Oyo had always been. So to Igbinedion University, Okada, Edo State, Ajimobi moored the intellectual boat. The hall was filled to the brim. Could anything good come out of Nazareth, the audience seemed to be asking. From an Oyo State said to be possessed of a leadership that valued necklace and bleaching cream? Decked in the academic hood and gown of a Guest Lecturer, the Oyo Governor went on an academic journey that struck his audience as unique and scintillating. Speaking to the topic, Challenge of Progress In The Midst Of Plenty, Ajimobi pleasantly shocked the institution’s Vice Chancellor, himself a foremost scholar on federalism, Eghosa Osaghae, who listened as the governor cited his journal articles of yore with astonishing rapidity. Then Ajimobi went into the nittygritty of the topic, dissecting it as a cheetah would an impala. He dissected the concept of crisis, submitting that it is at the core of the Nigerian nation and that it is impossible to take a shuttle into the Nigerian past without giving an ample space to its conflictual background. Indeed, while summarizing the Nigerian situation, Ajimobi said that the country’s post-independence situation was a long drawn-out decay or decline, whose empirical features are political instability, a low level of national cohesion and economic crisis, stating that all these indices, as far as Nigeria was concerned, are mutually reinforcing. He went into the post-independence Nigerian situation, especially during the First Republic where crises among the political class tore the republic apart. Thereafter, he went comparative on African experience of crises and expatiating on the interwoven nature of crises in Africa. “What makes
By Festus Adedayo
conflict or a conflicting situation at the core of today’s globalized world’s concern” he began, “is its tendency to leave its border, making an internal conflict to burst out of its seams, and refusing to be confined within the borders of a single country... A good example of this could be found in the recent conflict situation that sprung up in Liberia in the 1990s. This Liberian crisis sowed the seeds of conflicts that eventually spread to countries like Sierra Leone, Cote D’Ivoire and Guinea.” The audience was enthused. And he drew the crises situation home, to the Oyo State example. At this stage, the university audience could not hide its delight at the depth of his analysis. Encouraged by the enraptured silence of the audience, Ajimobi went on: “You will recall the periodic violent skirmishes that our state was renowned for under this regime. Blood was shed at will as if in appeasement of some blood-sucking deities. Politicians became indistinguishable from thugs and motor-park kingpins. Inside this vortex was the state government which was said to be in cahoots with the motorpark kingpins. The very sad episode of the death of a notorious NURTW kingpin, who, with the support of the state godfather, took over our State Assembly in 2006, is still very fresh in our memory. .. Indeed, an NURTW thug moved the motion for the impeachment of the then state governor, hitting the gavel on the table in a manner reminiscent of how it is done in a sane legislative House. And rather than pronouncing the governor, who was the target of his patrons, he “the Speaker is hereby impeached”. The rest, as they say, is history.” By the time the governor finished delivering the lecture, the audience gave him a standing ovation. No doubt due to the news of his intellectual intervention, Ajimobi was again invited to deliver a keynote address at the Town Hall meeting held at the Dusable Museum of the AfricanAmerican history, Chicago, United States. “The Need for True Federalism in Nigeria: The Oyo State Example” was
the topic he had to do justice to. Ajimobi first went into the history of the contiguous territories of Nigeria’s 350 ethnic groups and the constitutional history of Nigeria, from Clifford, Macpherson to the current effort at constitutional amendments. He itemized the four phases of the attempt at federalism in Nigeria which he named to be, one, under colonial rule when Nigerian nationalists struggled for the enthronement of a federal system as an integral part of the political independence agenda; the post-independence era when the political class debated the political architecture bequeathed by the departing colonial power; the third being under military rule when Nigerians rose against elements of military unitary system that ran contrary to their federalist expectations and final phase which began immediately the present democratic dispensation started in 1999. The governor then went into the anti-federal nature of the Nigerian federal practice. “Extant laws that are antifederal include the Land Use Act; the Laws on Petroleum and Gas that give these resources to the federal government; the Federal Inland Revenue Act of 2007 which empowers the Federal Inland Revenue Service to collect revenue for the three tiers of government, the Monitoring of Revenue Allocation to Local Government Act of 2005, which compels states to set up joint local government account committees and empowers the federal government to deduct from funds allocated to States money they failed to pay to local governments in the previous year.” He also went experiential in his governance of Oyo State. “From my experience as a Senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria between 2003 – 2007 and governor of Oyo State since last year, I make bold to say that there are too many responsibilities and resources at the federal level to allow for efficiency. The federal government has become so big that it is theoretically and practically impossible to guarantee efficiency… There is no way, given the capacity of the bureaucracy at the federal level, that efficiency can be guaranteed in the deployment of resources in this circumstance.”
By the time he ended the address, he had succeeded in drawing the attention of the foreign audience to the wonky federal practice in Nigeria, especially through his conclusion that, “For me, the federal government should be limited to setting policies – after consultations with the states – on areas like road, agriculture, sports, etc. while the states are granted the powers and resources to manage these responsibilities that affect the lives of our people at the grassroots.” It was apparent now that Ajimobi’s renown as a public intellectual had reached a crescendo. This must have informed the London Chamber of Commerce and Industries’ (LCCI) invitation to him to address it on the business potentials in Oyo State. Held at the…., the governor, speaking through a powerpoint presentation, took his audience on a shuttle into the historical greatness of his state, the stasis it relapsed into and the promise it holds for investors. As usual, at the end of the presentation, the audience, which comprised white investors and friends of Nigeria, gave him a resounding applause for his mastery of the turf and his exhibition of high mental acuity. Two days after, Ajimobi was at the prestigious Chatham House. Asked to discuss, extempore, the topic, “Review and Reform: Key Elements and Implications of Nigeria’s Constitution Review Process,’’ again, he received a standing ovation of his deep understanding of the issues under reference. By the time, the second day, the governor arrived at the University of Oxford to talk on “Federalism and the Imperatives of Political Restructuring for the Development of Nigeria,” the audience had been convinced that in its midst was an emerging public intellectual who, at lecture podia, theoretically dissects knotty issues, while at home, in his Oyo State enclave, he brings solutions to a people who still have nostalgia for a state that was a complete package of a performer and one they could be proud of his élan. Adedayo is Special Adviser (Media) to Governor Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo State.
THE NATION ON SUNDAY OCTOBER 14, 2012
Niger 2015: Battle to succeed Aliyu Babangida begins F
OR Mohammed Babangida, the eldest son of former military president, Gen. Ibrahim Babangida, it is not a matter of if, but rather when he would announce his intention to contest for the Niger State governorship seat come 2015. In the last few months, the political circles in the North Central state has been agog with the alleged ambition of the 42-year-old businessman to succeed the incumbent governor, Dr. Aliyu Muazu Babangida, whose second term in office will lapse in 2015. This would not be the first time that the young man’s name has been mentioned in the rundown to a general election. Early in 2011, speculations were rife that Mohammed was keen to battle Aliyu Babangida for the PDP governorship ticket. Unconfirmed reports had it that an alleged frosty relationship between the governor and some influential stakeholders in Niger State, most particularly two former Heads of State, who hail from the state, (Generals Ibrahim Babangida and Abdulsalami Abubakar) had given Mohammed the impetus to stake a claim to the exalted seat. The governor, it was alleged, incurred the wrath of the retired generals due to his consistent refusal to listen to ‘wise counsels’ in the running of the state. For Aliyu Babangida, his election as governor was as dramatic, as it was thorny. Sources revealed that he was not the first choice of major political stakeholders to succeed the then governor, Abdulkadir Kure, in 2007. Babangida had just retired from the Federal Civil Service as a permanent secretary and reportedly had no desire to plunge into politics just immediately. But as fate would have it, a bitter acrimony generated in the aftermath of the primary election to elect the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governorship candidate in 2007, prompted the national headquarters of the party to
The speculated entry of Mohammed Babangida, son of former military ruler, Gen. Ibrahim Babangida, into the 2015 governorship race in Niger State, is generating heated discussions among stakeholders. In this report, Remi Adelowo analyses the chances of the younger Babangida and other governorship hopefuls intervene. The outcome of the intervention, allegedly instigated by the then President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, was the choice of Babangida, who in his eventful civil service career, served as permanent secretary in the ministries of Federal Capital Territory (FCT), national planning, industries, to mention but a few. And ever since he became governor, Babangida has grown in stature and political influence, culminating in his current position as the Chairman of the Northern Governors Forum (NGF). Known for his outspokenness on issues of national importance and independent mindedness, these traits, it was learnt, had allegedly put him on a collision course with some powerful forces in his state in the last five years. A source close to Mohammed Babangida, however, disclosed to The Nation that talks about his father’s cold war with the governor was a figment of the imagination of some unnamed politicians in the state. “My father is on good terms with the governor, so am I,” Mohammed was quoted as telling a friend at a polo tournament held in Malaysia a few years ago. As a proof that all is well between the governor and the Babangidas, The Nation gathered that Mohammed had, early in 2007, been offered the position of a commissioner by the governor, but the former politely declined the offer for ‘personal reasons.’ How prepared is Mohammed? To his critics, Mohammed Babangida appears too young to shoulder the responsibility of governing a state. His relative political inexperience, the critics further alleged, may also turn out as his Achilles’ heel in the battle to succeed the incumbent governor. But those rooting for the young man re-
vealed that contrary to widespread notion that he is inexperienced, Mohammed has, in the last few years, prepared himself for the task ahead. A source told The Nation, “In spite of what anyone might say, he (Mohammed) has acquitted himself both in his private and business lives, but unfortunately, his critics still look at him in the shadows of his father. Though he is quiet, he is very intelligent.” While pooh-poohing the argument that Mohammed is too young to be a governor, the source continued, “this argument is not only laughable but ridiculous; here is a man who is 42-years-old, far older than the age many of the present governors were elected. Add that to the fact that for over 15 years now, Mohammed has been the CEO of his company, Profile Group, which is into oil and gas, properties and security consultancy.” The Nation gathered that preparatory to his joining the governorship race sometime next year, the scion of the Babangida dynasty has, in the last one year, been holding consultations with opinion leaders on his alleged ambition. “This is asides his various empowerment programmes in the grassroots, which he has been doing quietly without much fanfare,” added another source. Other likely contenders Though difficult to read his body language regarding his choice on who succeeds him in 2015, an unconfirmed speculation that Governor Babangida may have zeroed in on his Chief of Staff, Professor Yahaya Abubakar, has refused to die down. Believed to be the most powerful man after the governor in the state executive council, Abubakar had previously served as the Secretary to the Government before he was redeployed as COS due to what a source
said was for ‘strategic reasons’. In the words of an aide to the governor who prefers not to be named, “Abubakar largely determines who gets what, when and how in Niger State. The governor reposes too much confidence in him. That is how powerful he is.” What may prove a stumbling block to the alleged desire of the governor to handover to Abubakar, is the resolve of the ‘Minna Generals’ to determine who governs the state in 2015. The Nation gathered that another option before the governor if the Abubakar ticket does not fly is to support his deputy, Ahmed Ibeto, who has reportedly enjoyed a warm relationship with his principal. Abu Sani-Bello joins the race Full name Abubakar Sani-Bello, this young man is the son of Col. Sani Bello (retd), a wealthy businessman and ViceChairman, MTN, with major stakes in other key sectors of the economy. The younger Sani Bello, who is married to one of Gen. Abdulsalami Abubakar’s daughters, is also alleged to be working behind the scene to contest the governorship in 2015. The entry of Sani-Bello into the race is expected to bring fresh permutations in what promises to be a dicey succession battle. Observers are already pondering what the outcome of a contest between Mohammed Babangida and Abu SaniBello would be based on the long standing friendship between their fathers and Gen. Abdulsalami Abubakar, who is anlaw to the Sani-Bellos. With the governorship hopefuls likely to contest the governorship race on the platform of the PDP, it remains to be seen how the battle to succeed Aliyu Muazu Babangida pans out.
THE NATION ON SUNDAY OCTOBER 14, 2012
‘Orji is building enduring legacy for Abia judiciary’ Abia State Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Chief Umeh Kalu, recently conducted newsmen round the Ministry of Justice and the Judiciary to showcase the achievements of Orji administration. He spoke of plans to leave behind an enduring legacy for in-coming administrations after 2015. Excerpts
N 2009 when Abia State Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Umeh Kalu, first mounted the saddle of office, he was confronted with the usual problem private sector players experience when recruited to drive another sector populated by technocrats. Living in Lagos where private and public sector people hit the road to beat traffic as early as 4 am was a huge contrast to life in a state capital where workers even with minimum or no traffic congestion to battle with, still stroll to work as late as 10 am with offices embracing empty seats. Add this to decaying infrastructure and a total lack of goaldriven work ethic, then the challenges become obvious for a political appointee and thorough bred professional, who wants to make a difference and justify the relevance behind his choice in the midst of the multitude chasing the same job. That was the scenario painted by the AG on his first day in office. So, how did he go about setting his goals for a purpose driven ministry of justice in Abia State? “I introduced innovations after an open discussion with the staff. I put regulations in place and while some staff were hostile, some showed commitment from the beginning but within a given time frame, everyone adjusted and we turned on to the same page. Our achievements now speak eloquently of the right decisions made at the time.” Kalu moved on, and went on to identify the basic needs of the ministry-tables, chairs and computers in the short run and turning around the internal and external environments in tandem with what is expected of a modern office complex in a 21st century setting. Says Kalu: “What was on ground was not edifying
enough. For that reason, I approached His Excellency Governor Theodore Orji; he listened and we started addressing the issues.” Kalu’s first priority was the library, which needed an update of law reports, referral text books, encyclopedias and compendiums as well as research materials and publications by legal luminaries. He also proposed a befitting structure for the Ministry of Justice office complex with state of the art offices completely equipped with IT centred network and a new conference hall. By year end, he, adds, a brand new Ministry of Justice was in place. What about the men manning the materials, the legal minds as well as their support staff? Kalu points to salary harmonisation, adding that staff of the ministry, in addition to their basic salaries, earn allowances for wardrobes and hazards with staff and pool vehicles that define a status way ahead those of similar ministries in other states. Of course the Judiciary was a major challenge to him. Kalu explains he met a judiciary that was derelict in form and content. There were no basic working tools; a judiciary that relied heavily on type writers presented a picture of a quaint old man living in an 18th century medieval life style and this was unacceptable in the land of God’s people. Again, he got the nod of His Excellency and the turn around that took place came with an impressive transformation of members of the judiciary at the work place. Today, judges and magistrates have been upgraded with an NJC consolidated salary structure, with new cars such as Toyota Corolla and Camry with back up vehicles and modern offices equipped with IT compliant staff. In the past, judges could not attend conferences abroad and so
were not globally updated regarding new lines of thoughts and ways of doing things The Honorable Attorney-General points at massive renovation and restructuring of court halls as work in progress that will mature and be commissioned in a matter of months. The Umuahia High Court with six court halls and the Customary Court of Appeal are witnessing state of the art technology restructuring. In Aba Judicial Division, four court halls are under construction fenced with new gates and landscaping on all sides and these extend to the Aba Magistrate Court as well as the Umuahia High Court, down to Ohafia, Obingwa and Ukwa judicial districts. “The Governor has always been the arrow head; in the last four years, he has provided this ministry with a supplementary budget of one billion naira from which most of these projects are being funded. The idea is to provide a cosy and ideal environment. It was really bad before now.” Kalu says what is going on is a revolution in the justice delivery system. In the past, laymen manned the customary courts and it was only natural that what you expected was commensurate with the principle of garbage in and garbage out because this affected the quality of judgment coming from those courts. The House of Assembly passed a law insisting that only lawyers would be recruited to take charge of these courts. So, today we have over 66 lawyers who have been appointed chairmen of these customary courts. The state government has also employed over 36 magistrates driving the magistrate courts provided with vehicles and facilities needed to do their work. Kalu adds: “The governor has our pass mark for this
great turn around which was not there before now... We may not have achieved maximum success but we are moving to a point where the Judiciary will be self accounting. Kalu explains further: “The Judiciary in Abia stands above average when it comes to the dispensation of justice. Till date it has not been indicted in any way by the National Judicial Council. When you look at the outcome of appeals that go to the Court of Appeal, it has often happened they were neither accompanied by scandals nor were there spectacular cases of corruption while the three arms of government work independently but mutually exlusive of each other.” On the legacy he is leaving behind, Kalu said: “The Theodore Orji administration will go down in the history of Abia as a revolutionary government on account of the set goals that are people oriented. What is happening is a revolution, especially if you remember where we were, where we are and where we are headed for. Our vision in terms of our intellectual property, structure, and generally our facilities which also include IT, has presented a package or basket of superior objectives that will be comparable to Abuja. Our legacy will remain a challenge to successful governments in terms of putting structures that have an enduring value. “The governor has an uninterrupted tenure of four years. He has spent one year plus now and we have less than three more years of serious issues of governance to contend with in actualizing the Ochendo vision and foundation for a future Abia. Indeed, the people of Abia should look forward to greater things from the governor. If you go to Abia State, you will see what is happening with gigantic projects such as the new Umuahia or state capital laid out with the new conference hall, secretariat, Government House and Governor’s Lodge. These are enduring legacies that
“What is going on is a revolution in the justice delivery system. In the past, laymen manned the customary courts and it was only natural that what you expected was commensurate with the principle of garbage in and garbage out because this affected the quality of judgment coming from those courts.”
will outlive the Orji Administration, the justice and judiciary complexes inclusive.” He added, “Therefore, in the spirit of this unfolding new Abia State, I want to leave this ministry better than I met it; those who come here will tell you that so much is happening; it is not only for me leaving a legacy but for the governor, because if you look at Chief Theodore Orji, he is a product of the rule of law; his emergence as governor was only possible because due process was adhered to in spite of the efforts to truncate his victory at the polls; that is why I tell you he has so much passion for the happenings in the judiciary and he is doing so much in that direction. Each time I proffer advice, he is always willing to listen. “For me the emphasis is the Judiciary and the Ministry of Justice. I must leave the ministry better than I met it, such that no one will come here to reverse the hand of the clock. I am boosting the morale of lawyers. What is being designed is one of the best working environments you can think of, and they can compete favorably with any such environment elsewhere whether in Nigeria or abroad because the tendency or the belief is that lawyers in state ministries don’t put in much effort in terms of work rate like those outside because they practice as if they have nothing at stake. We set to change that mentality and today I can tell you we rank above average. Asked to comment on the current controversy regarding the property demolition in Aba and its environs, he said, “The ongoing demolitions in Aba and its environs are aimed at restoring the commercial city otherwise known as Enyimba to its original master plan which has suffered a lot of abuse in the hands of inordinate businessmen who have turned every space in that town to either a shop or market place in vagrant disregard of town planning regulations. You will be amazed at the quantum of Government resources that goes into Aba in an attempt to fix the roads and provide basic infrastructures but because of the disregard for planning regulations, drainages are blocked by unauthorised structures resulting to constant damage to existing roads thereby negating Government’s determination to fix the roads in Aba.”
THE NATION ON SUNDAY OCTOBER 14, 2012
Why due process must be followed in Kebbi State Aminu Usman, who is both the Solicitor-General and Chairman Bureau for Due Process, Kebbi State, tells Adetutu Audu in this interview how the due process office is saving the state millions of naira that would have been otherwise unchecked
HE due process you chaired, what is it all about and how has it been helping the government? Due process is a mechanism put in place to facilitate the procurement process in the state. This is to ensure that whatever is done in procurement is done in compliance with all the processes that has been put in place, whether they are financial or administrative. And for this purpose, a strict legislation was enacted by the Kebbi State Assembly. The first legislation is the one establishing the due process mechanism itself and the title of the legislation Kebbi State Bureau on Price Intelligence which is the bureau I am chairing, which is responsible for ensuring compliance in the system and the budget in construction of works goods and services in Kebbi State. So, the bureau is to ensure that all ministries, departments and agencies of the government of Kebbi State in under taking procurement of work and service comply with the law. Basically that is what we do at the due process office. How has it helped the effective running of the government? If I am to respond to that question, I will have to use a before and after for it to be a little bit clear. Before the coming of the two legislations that govern how the due process mechanism operates in Kebbi State, the scenario can be described as one in which for instance, decision could be taken to award a contract for the purchase of goods and materials where for instance, no appropriation has been made by the government to undertake that procurement so, when you pick the budget, you find out that there are no funds appropriated by the House of Assemble for that procurement but a decision will be taken to undertake procurement where a budgetary allocation is not provided. So, what the due process mechanism is saying is that you can not take a decision to procure work, goods and services without any enabling appropria-
tion. So, with the due process mechanism in place, immediately a procurement decision is taken, we will need to ascertain that there is a budgetary provision for that, if there is no provision, there will be no procurement. So, in other words, we are looking for budget discipline. Since you came in, what would you say are the milestones? In a nutshell, for me milestone has been the fact that now, you find that there is a tremendous improvement in terms of matching procurement decision with the budget. In the sense that if the budget has been said to be implemented, it is not just that billions have been earmarked; you could see it on ground. Projects for which public funds have been used to pay for. For example, in the health sector, when the government budgeted for the upgrade of hospitals, if you go round the state,
you will find a lot of hospitals that have been upgraded from primary health care centres to general hospitals in Kebbi state. Here in Benin Kebbi, there was an appropriation to construct from scratch a 200 bed hospital on the road to Kalgo, you will see that edifice that was constructed for about N3 billion. So, those are the things that I can point to as an improvement in the implementation of the budget. Something that has been earmarked and can be seen on the ground. There are so many other examples to cite. In education sector, more than 60 new schools have been constructed across Kebbi state and most of them will be coming on stream to admitting new students this September or October. I think the state government is involved in the process of putting furniture, books and other items in the place for the enabling environment for them to admit students. What have been the challenges of your office? The challenges are enormous. First of all, there is the paradigm shift because the business as usual has stopped and it is an uphill task for somebody to appreciate the position you are coming from that what you are doing is not against the interest of that person but in his interest. When you look at the due process mechanism in essence, you can reduce whatever it is doing to accountability. All we are trying to do is to say that take X Y decision into a path that will lead to Z. They don’t want to take that fact into consideration but will rather continue doing things the way they know how. You need to tailor all your resources to what positive it is going to deliver to the people and therefore it is an uphill task not only within the confines of government but even out there with the people themselves for them to understand.
ripples Sharon Ikeazor remains loyal to CPC
HE fits the description of a woman blessed with the twin gifts of beauty and brain. Another stunning thing about Sharon Ikeazor is that she loves to be a lone ranger even if it amounts to •Ikeazor her disadvantage. That is the depth of her conviction, but sometimes it makes her subject of intense criticism. For example, her friends and close associates are currently worried because of the way the National Woman Leader of the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC), Ikeazor, has been spending huge personal resources to fuel her current political train.
North West governors and 2015 presidency
NDIVIDUAL ambition of some northern governors may scuttle the desire of the zone to produce a successor to President Goodluck Jonathan, sources have revealed. In the last few weeks, several news reports have indicated that the Governor of Jigawa State, Sule Lamido, may contest the 2015 presidency. But Ripples can reveal that aside Lamido, about four other governors in the North-West zone, who are presently serving a second term in office, are also alleged to be interested in the nation’s number one seat. The list: Ibrahim Shema of Katsina; Rabiu Musa Kwakwanso of Kano; Aliyu Wammako of Sokoto and Saidu Dakingari of Kebbi State.
Political Politics turf
with Bolade Omonijo email@example.com
National Honours: My nominations
WOKE up too late to realise that the list of those on whom national honours would be conferred for the current year had been compiled. In any case, there is no room for citizen participation in the exercise. I later saw that it was a mix of the deserving and those who could only have brought the nation to disrepute. I do not want to go into an analysis on the quality of the minds that produced the list. I am not in the mood for discussing the President, his men or policies today. Rather, I prefer to be charitable. I have come up with some names that I think deserved the presidential handshake more than those assembled for the purpose. Chief Onanefe Ibori He could be described as the lion of Delta State. For the eight years that he ruled, no one was in doubt he was fully in charge. Anyone who fails to realize his contribution to the development of the state should fix a visit to Oghara, Ibori’s town, on his holiday plan and see the transformation he succeeded in achieving. In fact, President Goodluck Jonathan and the Akwa Ibom State Governor Godswill Akpabio should ask Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan to facilitate a tour of Oghara to learn how to give meaning to their agenda. Since the terms of qualification for the Grand Commander of the Order of the Niger have been liberalized, I suggest Ibori be handed the diadem. Cecilia Ibru Just a few months in the wilderness, many have forgotten this captain of industry who gave a new meaning to entrepreneurship. The Amazon, as managing director of an indigenous bank, showed leadership. She might have landed in trouble by being ingenious in coming up with her own code of corporate governance, but she showed that she could not be held down by any structure in achieving her personal ambition. Till date, she holds the record at showing that someone in the private sector could acquire more than an enterprising player in the public sector. Since she was unfairly dragged before a court of law to answer some charges for which she plea-bargained, the socialite in her has taken the back seat. No longer is her name mentioned around events organized in churches along the Lagos-Ibadan expressway. A CFR would boost her confidence to do more for our dear nation.. Farouk Lawan He is a man in the eye of the storm. He still has charges hanging round his neck in court. Therefore, it may be sub judice discussing this mighty man who meant so much in Kano and the National Assembly prior to the Lawangate. I know many would argue that Lawan ought to be excluded from such awards until his case in court has been laid to rest and he is cleared of the charges. But, is that the trend? Wasn’t madam Etteh handed the award after she had been impeached on grounds of misdemeanor, if not crime against the state? Lawan is a titan at home. He needs something to keep alive his hope of running affairs of Kano in 2015. Ayoka Adebayo Remember the old woman? She was handed the difficult and thankless job of conducting the Ekiti State rerun election. Many have said she did not conduct herself in a way befitting an old woman with a Christian spirit. But, I disagree. At that age, she sat through the night and, when she discovered that things might have gone wrong with her conduct in halting the process, she retraced her steps and obeyed orders from above. After all, as a public servant, she is expected to be a team player. She deserved the third highest honour-CFR. Igbinedion, Dariye, Turaki, Alamieyeseigha These are some of the greatest strategist-politicians ever produced in the land. Lucy, Joshua and Saminu could have established a good law firm had they been lawyers. They were governors of their states for eight years during which they showed all what power should mean in an underdeveloped country. Their conducts compelled men to worship the ground they trod. Any sincere political scientist would have leant a lot to boost his theoretical appreciation of power from the services rendered by these former governors of Edo, Plateau and Jigawa States. To the credit of Dariye and Turaki, they won elections to represent their districts in the Senate. Diepreye Alamieyeseigha was dethroned, say impeached. He was also convicted, just like Igbinedion. But, what does that mean. The Ijaw Governor General has made efforts to bounce back to reckoning. He is today one of the leaders backing President Goodluck Jonathan. He deserves to be honoured for his contribution to the development of his motherland. Besides, the fact that his deep knowledge of the Niger Delta and charisma would be needed for the 2015 campaigns, makes it necessary to confer honour on him ahead of the all-important crusade. Alao-Akala, Daniel Those who cannot think deep would think that these former governors of Oyo and Ogun States have faded away. This is not really true. Akala, despite the charges filed against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), has since moved on to greater heights. From serving as governor of the pace setter state for four years, he has stepped up as President. He is now President of Ogbomoso Recreation Club. This is a good pedestal to enable him prepare to take a shot at the presidency in future. The list is by no means exhaustive. I would have nominated Aare Musulumi Arisekola Alao, Senator Ali Modu Sheriff and his compatriot, Senator Alli Ndume. Former Governor Ayo Fayose who just retraced his steps to the PDP also deserves honour. Over to you, Minister of Special Duties in preparing the list for 2013, It will aid us in the dream of joining the club of 20 most developed economies by 2020.
THE NATION ON SUNDAY OCTOBER 14, 2012
My life experience shaped my leadership style —Okorocha The leadership style of Governor Rochas Okorocha and his love for philanthropy have been subjects of controversy over the years. But the governor, who celebrated his 50th birthday last Monday, October 8, 2012, told Sam Egburonu, shortly after the grand birthday ceremonies and the 10th anniversary of Rochas Okorocha Foundation Colleges, that his actions are shaped by the bitter experiences he had as a child from a poor family. He told his passionate story:
WAS born into a home that is relatively poor from all the definitions of poverty. So, I understand from the onset that I have a task ahead of me and the name of the game is survival. I have to work extra hard to make both ends meet by combining my education with street trading business. So, I didn’t have a straight school experience. While growing up I was involved in street trading business at one point in time or the other. Honestly, there has never been a dull moment in my life. In fact, I engaged in too many things just for the sole purpose of survival. I broke even in two stages. The first one was at a very tender age of my life when I was selling used clothes. Then, I was in secondary school. I can say I broke even because I was able to buy a bus. I was able to buy a bus in secondary school and I bought television set in primary school as small as I was from the sale of oranges, coconuts and used clothes. What I do is that if I sell, I post some of the profits and at the end of the year, I buy something with it. So, it has been a worthwhile experience but where I would say I made the first one million dollars, was as a commission agent from the sale of used equipment in Bauchi State where Balfour Beatty was constructing the Balanga Dam. When the company was winding up, I was one of the agents that sold used equipment and I made N1.1 million when it was equivalent to $1 million dollars. I would say that was what saw me through my first break even. And I put the entire money into the business of used cars, then later graduated to the sale of new cars to what they called ‘Rochas Motors” but what made me really rich was top real estate business. I was able to cross over from the sale of used clothes, oranges to used cars, new cars, real estate and so on because I don’t miss opportunity in life. When I was selling oranges, I was able to save some money from the sale of oranges. Take for instance, when you sell a bag of orange you use the money to buy four bags of oranges and if you sell another four bags you can now buy 12 bags of oranges. That was how I was able to buy television set in primary school. In secondary school, I started selling Okrika (used clothes). I was virtually going to all the village markets in Plateau State
and I am very popular in those markets even today. For any market I go to, I found out that all my goods are sold and some people thought it’s a gift from God. So, I have this power of conviction, to convince my customers to buy things from me. One whiteman once told me that I can sell ice to Eskimos. I have done the investigation really and it was quite an interesting part of my life because the stages of development were quite sequential. At the age of nine I bought a television set, at the age of 14 I bought a bus, at the age of 19/20 I became head of a commercial school, at the age 22/23 I became a proprietor of a school and I went into cement business (BBC) in Gboko, Benue State. And at the age of 24 plus, I got married, at the age of 29 I became a member of National Constitutional Conference. I became a member of Federal Character Commission thereafter, then I went to contest for governor which failed and shortly after that I ran for presidency. I became a presidential adviser and I ran for presidency again. You see, I moved on and on in life with hard work and challenges. Today at 50, I have told the world during the celebrations that I am no longer a boy. I say so because at 50, you should be able to take responsibilities for whatever action you take in life and there is this notion by elders that young ones never grow. In the Nigerian context or in Igbo land, some would say ‘Obi is a boy’, Eze goes to school but Eze must one day be a graduate and Obi must one day stop being a boy. I am emphasizing it because I suffered that all my life; this small boy, why would he want to be governor? This small boy, why would he want to be president? He is over ambitious! So, I am no longer a small boy now. I am now qualified to do any business in Nigeria or run for any office in the Federal Republic and I am qualified to take decisions that can affect my people positively. Plane crashes: I had been involved in two plane crashes. One, I narrowly escaped, which was the Belview airline that I was about to board and later turned back because I was feeling dizzy and I was not feeling very good. I was very sick instantly and I was wondering if I was going to make the flight. I hope I was not going to run into problems either fainting in the
plane; it has never happened to me before. That was how I got out of that plane. The one of Nigerian Airways was a messy one because we saw the plane crash. It landed and caught into flames in the bush and many people died. That was in Kaduna and it was a big experience. We boarded the plane and I took the second row of the seat. The plane was too full that the air hostess had to give up her seat to use the captain’s cockpit seat. And one lady came in and in the attempt for the air hostess to give her a seat, she said she was not going to go and she worked back. Then I said to myself if something happens to this plane then this girl will say she knows God more than myself. And it was during the period Saro-Wiwa (Ken) was hanged in Port Harcourt Prison. I saw it on the news that Saro-Wiwa had just been hanged and I felt very bad. Because anything about death is really worrisome to me and somehow I prayed that God should be with the plane. But few minutes after, the plane had problems and smokes were coming out of the aircraft everywhere and some people knew there was danger. The captain didn’t say anything to us but all we heard was the noise from the cockpit and we knew there was confusion and we found ourselves hitting the ground at an unusual speed almost at the end of the one way. There was smoke from all parts of the aircraft and people were dying and I noticed that those who were with me forgot to remove their seat belts and had all turned their heads to death. So, I was hypnotised somehow; I didn’t know what was happening and the doors refused to open for the few that were alive to come out. At a point I heard a voice say ‘Jesus Christ’ and my faith was rekindled and I remembered that I had seat belt on and I removed my seat belt. I went to the door and hit the door, miraculously that door opened and I cannot take the credit because I know that it was God’s doing. So, I was the first actually to open the door but instead of me going down I felt I could render help so I started throwing people that are still living out of the door. But there was this young lady who looked at the depth of the aircraft and could not jump and she held the two doors so I had to hit her to create space for others. It was a messy situation. Eventually, a feeling came to my mind. There was this chemistry teacher that I had, who taught us
about the combustibility of gas especially the oxygen used by the plane. So, I remembered and I said to myself ‘this might be serious,’ so, I jumped out and when I jumped out the fire service brigade vehicle that was rushing to save lives, in an attempt to reverse, crushed two persons lying down already who were still alive and they died. When the fire got to the fuel tank the aircraft blew up and what we saw was blood and smoke. There are some other ugly experiences that I have had. I had been involved in car crash severally and I had my leg almost amputated for car crashes, so, it has been life from challenges and progress. So, for me, life is nothing; life is meaningless. The only thing that makes it worthwhile is what you are able to do for others. My happiness is what I am able to do for other people not in what I have because life is really worthless if you look at it deeply. So, what I celebrated actually was what God has used me to do for the poor people because if I achieved nothing at 50, it’s not worth celebrating. This is why I believe that in Imo State, there is no going back on the issue of education and if it means making further sacrifice to make sure education is free for primary, secondary and university, we have to do it. It’s not a convenient thing to do. That means that for everything that I have to do, even the fuelling of vehicles in the Government House, I have to be careful. This is also true of the food that I eat, the water that I drink and so on. Everyday I do that, I remember I have responsibility to offer free education to people. So, with education Imo will be transformed. Infrastructurally, Imo has to be repackaged to make it so beautiful that the foreigners can look at it and want to partner the state. So, what I am doing now is repackaging the entire state such that people can be happy with it. So, when I leave here, I want people to remember me as the one that came and impacted on the world and the society. I want to change the world for better, I don’t want to leave the world the way I met it. So for me the world must be better and that is why I said Imo must be better. Let me start with Imo first, Imo must be better and must leave a mark that will be an envy of the whole world. That is my joy. It’s no longer in the primitive accumulation of wealth. I am not excited about cars, I am not excited about houses, I am not excited about champaign and drinks. Those for me are old fashion; they are old model. The new model is impacting on the life of others because I thank God Almighty that I lack none of this. So, I am not excited by houses any more, neither am I excited by cars. I am not excited by big living. I am not excited by being called a millionaire. Those things don’t excite me any more. I am not excited by being observed by protocol as number one citizen or a man who must take a front seat any time. I am not excited at all. What excites me now is to see the poor people have a smile, kindly reach out to have a handshake with them. Can I embrace them? That is my joy and especially children because I weep for our children if you don’t have future. I have passed through the situation where my nation could not help me, my state could help me, my local government would not help me. My parents did a little they did but they couldn’t help me that much other than birth. So, the Nigerian nation rarely provided scholarship and virtually everything, I had to struggle to do. I would not want our children to go through what some of us have gone through. My nation owes me a duty of care, my state holds me a duty of care, my local government owes me a duty of care, my community owes me a duty of care for as long as I surrendered my power to their leadership. But we are not getting that, that is why I don’t want the future generation to go through what some of us have gone through. If you say I am a citizen, citizenship means that you can claim some rights but we couldn’t get it. So, I want a situation where our children who are coming should not go to war like we went to. Let children not suffer what their parents suffered. It’s only a foolish man that allows his children to go through the pains he went through.
THE NATION ON SUNDAY, OCTOBER 14, 2012
In Ondo, the die is cast B
Y this week’s Saturday, electorate in Ondo State will be exercising their franchise as they elect a new governor that will take over power in the state for the next four years. Out of 63 political parties in the country, only 13 have shown interest and have been screened by the Independent National Electoral Commission [INEC] for the polls in the state. The Action Congress of Nigeria [ACN] will be represented by the former President of the Nigeria Bar Association [NBA], Mr. Rotimi Akeredolu [SAN], the incumbent governor, Olusegun Mimiko is the standard bearer of Labour Party (LP), the Peoples Democratic Party [PDP], candidate is Chief Olusola Oke, and the Congress for Progressive Change [CPC] flagbearer is Mr. Soji Ehinlanwo. Others are, Oladipo Bolade, National Conscience Party (NCP), Abikanlu James Olusola, National Solidarity Democratic Party (NSDP, Victor Oluwaremi Adetunsin, People for Democratic Change (PDC), Omoregha Olatunji, Progressive People’s Alliance (PPA), Adeyemi Bolarinwa, All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP), Omoleye Afolabi Olorunwa, and Change Advocacy Party (CAP) Omoregha Olatunji. Already, for the past three months, since the electoral body gave the marching order to political parties to commence their political campaigns, these parties and their candidates had been selling their agenda to the electorate on the need to vote for them. But, since the commencement of the election process in the state, it is now clear to all stakeholders that the gubernatorial battle is primarily between three major political parties namely ACN, LP and the PDP. Stakeholders came into such conclusion because the three parties, more than the rest, are solidly on ground. The ACN and PDP chieftains have how-
Six days to Ondo State’s governorship election, Damisi Ojo, in Akure, takes a close look at the final preparations, the battle zones, the leading candidates, their chances and the top politicians that can make the difference. ever resolved to send the ruling LP’s government away in the state, while Governor Mimiko believes he will score the majority votes to retain his exalted seat. On several rallies attended by Mimiko, the LP flagbearer had told the electorate, particularly members of the party, that he would defeat his opponents with landslide margin, stressing that he had touched all sectors in the state. But, Akeredolu and Oke have insisted that Mimiko had failed in all his electioneering promises. For example, Akeredolu, who was one of the legal team that reclaimed Mimiko’s mandate at the tribunal in 2009, have criticized Mimiko’s administration at several occasions, saying the state needs a change of leadership and a leader that would allow the state to key into the proposed South-West economic integration. As the D-day draws near, there is palpable fear that the election may not be violent free. The ACN and PDP, for example, had always accused the LP of using thugs to disrupt their rallies. ACN candidate’s Akeredolu campaign team had been reportedly attacked on most of its rallies in rural communities in the state. Also, thebMimiko Campaign Organisation [ACO] Director of Publicity and Media Relations, Mr. Kolawole Olabisi, recently alleged that the Osun State Governor, Rauf Aregbesola, had concluded plan to fill the state with hoodlums. Also, Olabisi raised an alarm recently that ACN national leadership had imported the factional leader of the Oyo State National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW), Lateef Akinsola, to cause mayhem during the election.
Shortly after the three major contenders got their various political party tickets; different groups had been endorsing the candidates. For instance, Governor Mimiko before his declaration was endorsed by leaders of Nigeria Labour Congress [NLC] in the state for second term, but this had been generally condemned by stakeholders in the state. Their chances: It is not yet clear who may likely emerge as the next governor of the state, particularly because ACN, PDP and LP have strategically elected their candidates from the three senatorial areas of the state. ACN flagbearer is from Owo Local Government Area in the Northern senatorial area of the state, where many have argued that it is their turn to produce the next governor of the state, because of the zoning system. The LP adopted Mimiko for second term. The governor is from Ondo in the Central senatorial district, while PDP who had witnessed political crisis in the state believed that the only way to return to power in the state is by picking its candidate, Chief Olusola Oke, an indigene of Ilaje local government, an oil producing community in the Southern senatorial district. The leadership of the party took this decision because they believed the poor masses in the oil producing communities will accept and vote for a party that picks their kinsman as a standard bearer due to the general belief of the stakeholders in the area that they have not felt the impact of the present administration of the ruling LP. With this, Oke, Akeredolu and Mimiko may be relying on catchment advantage from the three senatorial districts. But investiga-
tions show that due to the agitation of the people from the northern district areas of the state to produce the next governor, most prominent politicians from the six local governments have decided to back ACN in order to achieve this unifying objective. ACN, it would be recalled became the most popular opposition party, particularly in the state immediately after the last 2011 general elections, following the defection of notable politicians from the LP and PDP. Among eminent politicians in the northern district who defected to ACN were, a serving Senator, Ajayi Boroffice, the State Chairman of LP, Dr. Olaiya Oni, former Commissioner in Mimiko’s government, Prince Sola Amodeni, Hon. Saka Lawal, who was a former governorship aspirant of ACN but left after Akeredolu was picked and among others As demonstration of ACN’s popularity in the district, majority of the governorship aspirants of the party were from the North. Not only this, the two governors that have been produced by the progressive party in the past, were also from the northern district. Despite, the defection of few politicians, most especially governorship aspirants to other parties, ACN still remains relevant in the northern district. The serving senator, Boroffice, who was among leading governorship aspirants, had ordered his political supporters to work for Akeredolu and ACN to ensure the party takes of the leadership of the state. •Continued on Page 26
THE NATION ON SUNDAY, OCTOBER 14, 2012
THE SUNDAY INTERVIEW
‘I wept when a woman asked me for N10,000’
time, the University was polarised due to series of factors including the Korean Outreach, when the Vice Chancellor then established a branch of University of Lagos in Korea. This was awarded without the approval of Senate and the whole University became polarised. I took over, conducted enquiries and at the end of the day, we were able to solve the problems. Later, I found that there were many other problems facing the university which included cultism, they strike almost all the time. Others were corruption, poor infrastructure including the lack of teaching aids. The laboratories were already in poor condition, the libraries were not good enough and the structures were in bad shape. I called my clients, raised about N3 billion for the university and carried out some repairs. The university under me then was rated as number one. However, I found that I could not achieve my objective then, making the university one of the best in the world. When my tenure expired, I left. From my experience, it showed that somebody had to do something about education, someone had to redefine education, somebody had to reform it. Hitherto, I had made 22 donations in terms of buildings, hospitals, equipment and scholarships all around the country. So, it occurred to me that, instead of giving the donations, I could establish a university and pursue my goals. That was after I left the university. I said there was an urgent need for someone to establish a modern university which would be a reference point for others. Not only for others, but for government to follow, I saw that the quality of education was going down. People thought that it was too late in my life. I am over eighty years and the dream started in 2008, about four years ago. It looked a bit too late in my life and some people told me to forget it. However, I decided to put everything I had into this dream. One of the best ways to do it is to be personally involved in the planning, construction, supervision and execution of establishing my dream university. I can proudly say that our university is one where all the 36 states have children. The Yoruba are not up to ten per cent of the population. Ekiti is landlocked; no rail line, which is the best form of transportation in the world today. You mentioned in the course of your discussion
•Continued on Page 25
I came back to the first and asked how much she wanted and she said N10, 000 and they all said almost the same thing. The first said she wanted to buy plantain to sell boli, the second wanted to sell maize, third wanted to sell yam. I burst into tears and ran away from them to my toilet. It reminded me of how poor this country was, how a person can ask for N10,000 to trade! What kind of trade? You can see the level of poverty.
OW and when did the vision for ABUAD start? I was Pro-Chancellor, University of Lagos from 2002 to 2008. At that
Aare Afe Babalola (SAN), 83, is a man of many parts. He is a senior frontline lawyer, founder of Afe Babalola University, AdoEkiti (ABUAD), and much more. Yetunde Oladeinde recently met him in his office at Ado- Ekiti
earlier that determination was a factor in achieving success. Let’s look at you as an example of determination, and are people really determined in our society today? I was born into a generation where my parents, though peasants farmers, were determined to lead honest and decent lives. Maybe its hereditary, but to a large extent was made possible by my parents. As early as 4.30 am, the first cock crows you wake up as small children ,we followed our parents to the farm as far as five miles, towards the hill, narrow paths and start work almost immediately after the long walk. I learnt that very early. Even though my education was limited to standard six, that determination made it possible for me to overcome all the initial problems of life, reading on my own for Cambridge, GCE Ordinary Level, Advance Level, BSc Econ, LLB by A University private study. We that certificate given by had you all universities are determination, don’t have that for two reasons: anymore. The only academic thing they want is make money performance and to without working character, but how for it. They would many universities inflate prices, in of that, they in Nigeria can talk spite would do bad jobs about character? A and would not university which keep to time. Something has to has 40,000 happen. Linked to this is students, which the at has facility for the corruption higher level. 4,000 and allows How can we 32,000 to live overcome this? outside? e nWed e mhave i c corruption. The Nigerian factor now has affected almost all spheres of life. Whether it is in the civil service or the judiciary, all strata of life. My answer is, is it redeemable? Yes we can certainly redeem the situation. One of the ways we can do it is the way we are doing it here. We conducted screening exercise from registry to medical, to colleges, bursary to screen out those who are not likely to be amenable. We have to start from somewhere. This university put premium on character. A University certificate given by all universities are for two reasons: academic performance and character, but how many universities in Nigeria can talk about character? A university which has 40,000 students, which has facility for 4,000 and allows 32,000 to live outside? How much of character monitoring can that do? Those living outside would now come and pollute those in the school. So there is no character moulding. That is what we are doing here. All students live on campus, all teachers live on campus and there are rules and regulations. When these students leave there would be a new generation of well behaved and well tutored students. They would now be legends of change.What is happening here is already having a ripple effect on other universities. One other problem that is on the front
THE NATION ON SUNDAY, OCTOBER 14, 2012
THE SUNDAY INTERVIEW
burner is the issue of insecurity and Boko Haram? Is there a solution in sight? I am the President of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators in Nigeria, a very important organisation where you have chief justices and other personalities including the president of this country. We had our last anniversary about three months ago, and one of the awardees, a Supreme Court justice said that there are different geo political zones and he said if the leaders can be like Afe Babalola there would be no Boko Haram. He explained why. That Boko Haram arose because of poverty; all those in Boko Haram are doing that because they are poor. He said poverty is at the root. What exactly do they want? If a person is very educated, you cannot say you don’t want education, after all I was on the farm when my father brought me into education. I didn’t like it but now I know what I have gained. Our political leaders have a lot to do. Those who have access to them must let them know the damage that they are
If you are given national honour and you are convicted, then you lose that honour automatically. It is given to people who have honour, a convict has no honour. National Honour should be for achievements not just only in politics.
•Continued from Page 24
doing, talk to them and make them change. We also need to sympathise with them rather than criticise them. You can only cure a disease if you know what caused it. We must identify the cause and treat it. If it is leprosy, you know what to do, if it is scabies you know what to do. You cannot use the drug for scabies for leprosy and vice versa. There wasn’t Boko Haram 20 or 30 years ago. So why is it now? There is no disease in the world that has no cure. Kidnapping is another menace that is affecting the society today. Was it a trend in your days? Kidnapping, Boko Haram, robbery of all types only existed in the dictionary when I was growing up. At that time, when they did not exist man was contented. Life was sweet, the needs were very small and the name of the father or the mother was more important than wealth. You work hard and get money. But now the song writers are singing and composing something different, the message now is small work, big money.
There is the new one which says ‘Awon kon waye wa sise, awon kon waye wa jaiye’ (some came to the world to work, some came for enjoyment). The philosophy of life has changed; we must go back to what we inherited from our parents. If we do that we can be sure that peace can come back to this country. Otherwise, a man who rented a room and parlour, campaigns to be a Senator or a member of the House and he becomes a billionaire one year after. Politics has become so lucrative that people think it is the only way to make it in life. That is why I am adjudicating: Let us go back to the old constitution that our forefathers drafted for us and worked for ten years in the Lancaster House in London, appreciating our diversity, religion, culture, tradition and everything and the contribution to the federal government. No development that is why people are kidnapping because they are poor. Let me tell you a personal example, four women had been looking for me in my office in Ibadan for about four months. They kept on coming and going because there are so many people. One day, I came late to the office and I saw them downstairs and they rushed towards me. They all knelt down, one had a baby, one was pregnant, the other two were much older they were all looking wretched. I asked the first one for her problem and she said the person who impregnated her had absconded. The other said the father of the child was dead and the other two also had poverty related problems. Then I came back to the first and asked how much she wanted and she said N10, 000 and they all said almost the same thing. The first said she wanted to buy plantain to sell boli, the second wanted to sell maize, third wanted to sell yam. I burst into tears and ran away from them to my toilet. It reminded me of how poor this country was, how a person can ask for N10,000 to trade! What kind of trade? You can see the level of poverty. What are the challenges of running the University? People do not understand that I do not have all the money. When we wanted to mould blocks we assembled a number of workers and agreed on N25 per block. They agreed to start work and we bought sand, cement and other materials. I left for Ibadan and when I came back I discovered that they had left. They met and said that the money was not good and they were not going to work. I then went to a friend in Lagos and contacted some people in Cotonou and Togo who agreed to charge N22 per block. When they realised that the Togolese were doing it, they came back and said they were very sorry. They were ready to do it for N25 now but I said I did not need them anymore. Again, there are very fetish people around here who were not happy that we were establishing the university here. What is your view about the National Honours and what do you think about those who have it and have been convicted for one crime or another? If you are given national honour and you are convicted, then you lose that honour automatically. It is given to people who have honour, a convict has no honour. Secondly, I think the number is getting too large. However, something nice which I saw is this last one is that for a long time, national honours were given to politicians who were in the good book of government and a few offices, once you are there you would get it. National Honour should be for achievements not just only in politics. This is the only way they know now. That is why I thank President Jonathan for honouring Aliko Dangote and Mike Adenuga Jnr. because these are businessmen. When I got an award from Oxford, the Queen’s Memorial Commemorative Award by the European Business Assembly based in Oxford, their motto is that we recognize achievement and celebrate it. So, Nigerians should celebrate achievements, it encourages those who merit it and inspires others to do well. Of course, such a person deserves National Honour. Not because you are holding political office then you get OFR, GCON.
THE NATION ON SUNDAY, OCTOBER 14, 2012
INSIGHT ONDO 2012 •Continued from Page 23
Another politician who is likely to help decide election in Akoko area, Prince Solagbade Amodeni, has also supported ACN national leadership’s decision in picking Akeredolu. Amodeni, who served under Mimiko as a commissioner and also as a chairman of Akoko South-East for two terms, is known to be a strong politician, enjoying enormous political loyalty in the local government. It is on record that he has never lost any election in his community, Ipesi Akoko. Besides, Akokos are clamouring for a change of government due to what they described as total neglect by the present administration. Also, some indigenes of Owo are now leaving their political parties to support the candidature of their kinsman, Akeredolu. One of the politicians, who recently joined ACN is Dr. Bode Ayorinde, a ProChancellor of Achievers Private University in Owo. Ayorinde was a former aspirant for Owo/Ose federal constituency under the platform of LP. Another great politician working for the success of ACN in Owo is a businessman, and chieftain of the party, Chief Femi Adekanmbi. Adekanmbi was a former member of LP but left the party after he was dropped for the incumbent lawmaker representing Owo/Ose Federal constituency, Hon. Olorunda Omosule. In order to test his popularity, Adekanmbi joined the ACN and he was picked as the party’s candidate but lost the election to Omosule. Just of recent, four Mimiko’s aides from the Northern Senatorial District resigned their appointment and joined the ACN. They are Messers Kayode Agunloye [aka K.K] Soji Ojomo, Chris Anota and the aides to the Deputy Governor of Ondo State, Mr. Opeyemi Igbede. ACN chances in claiming majority votes from Northern senatorial district, also received a major boost when a former LP House of Assembly aspirant from Owo Local Government, Hon. Kehinde Bello [aka HK] led thousands of LP members, including the party’s executives, to ACN fold. Bello, known as a strong grassroots politician in Owo, also ordered his group, Movement for Good Governance and Ethical Leadership [MGGEL], which has over 3,000 members, to work for Akeredolu. However, the ruling LP and PDP may not allow the ACN to have an easy ride during the election because of some prominent politicians who still remain loyal to either LP or PDP. For Instance, the former State Chairman, Olaiya Oni and his political son, Hon Saka Lawal, who were known as election strategists, decided to leave the ACN following the emergence of Akeredolu and for the reason that Akoko man was not endorsed by the ACN national leadership as the party flagbearer. Oni and Saka was lured by PDP chieftains to their fold with a promise that Saka, who was a former Special Adviser to Governor Mimiko, will be picked as the running mate of the party candidate and by 2017 power will return to the northern district. Also, former Minister for Defence, Tokunbo Kayode, two former State House of Assembly Speakers, Victor Olabimtan and Taofeek Abdulsalam, are politicians who may spring surprises Olabimtan, who was one of the PDP governorship aspirants came from a community, Supare, in Akoko South West, where it is reported that he has never lost election to any political party despite the fact that the present Deputy Governor, Alli Olanusi is from the same community. However, it is not clear, if the three immediate past National Assembly lawmakers, Senator Bode Olajumoke and a former House of Representatives Lawmaker representing Owo/Ose Federal Constituenacy, Dr. Lad Ojomo and Hon. Gbenga Elegbeleye, who represented Akoko North East/West in the lower chamber, will work for the party in the October 20, poll. Despite reconciliation meetings organised by the leadership of PDP, these three leaders from the northern part of the state had refused to show up in its political meetings.
The die is cast
During the recent visit of former President, Olusegun Obasanjo, in Akure, the state capital, with some national leaders of PDP for a rally to endorse their party candidate, Oke, the three former lawmakers who are still members of the party did not attend the political event. Obasanjo had to appeal to the aggrieved members to sheathe their swords and work for the party. He described those who are working against the progress of the party as dishonest people. In Owo, Otunba Oyewole Fasawe, a chieftain of PDP was one of the aggrieved members of the party that had publicly declared his intention to work for Oke, who was described as his political son. Fawase hails from the same town where ACN candidate, Akeredolu came from. As part of his commitment to PDP, Fasawe, who was a close political associate of Obasanjo, have been working to strenghten PDP in Owo. In the LP’s camp, the party may be relying on the incumbent Deputy Governor, Alli Olanusi, Deputy Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Emiola Dare, and a former governorship aspirant of ACN, who recently returned to LP after his ambition to emerge as the governorship candidate of the party failed.
Agunloye retraced his step back to the ruling LP where he left after the party leaders decided to drop him for Prof. Ajayi Boroffice as the party’s candidate for the senatorial seat in the last year’s general election. Agunloye, who pursued his governorship ambition through a political platform “Omoluabi,” left for LP after he lost the ACN’s ticket. He criticised ACN’s leadership. But, the National Chairman of the party, Chief Bisi Akande, described Agunloye as a mole in the party. Akande alleged that the aspirant, who is from Erusu in Akoko South West Local Government is Mimiko’s agent, saying he had gone back to his master who sent him to destroy the party. Akande noted that reports from members of the party in the state and investigations conducted by the party confirmed that Agunloye was an agent of LP in ACN. With this development, several politicians who were received into the fold of ACN through “Omoluabi Platform,” like Femi Johnson, who is now the Deputy Director of Aketi Campaign in the Southern Senatorial District, Adewale Omojuwa, one of the leading aspirants for the Deputy Governorship slot, among others, refused to defect along with Agunloye. Looking at the Central Senatorial District, many political observers are of the opinion
that Ondo Central has not got its fair share in power rotation of the state. Ondo Central District is made up of six local government areas, including Akure South, Akure North, Ifedore, Ondo East, Ondo West and Idanre. It is the district that houses Akure, the state capital, which many believed has the largest number of electorate because of its urbanisation. Our investigation however shows that the three major political parties, namely the Labour Party (LP), Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) are on ground in the district. As things are, the ruling LP relies much on the district to garner majority votes that would catapult it into power for the second term Investigations also show that Ondo North has sympathy for Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN). Electorates in the area, particularly the Akokos, are aggrieved over complete neglect of the area by the present Mimiko’s administration. It is believed that this is one of the reasons ACN leadership zoned its governorship ticket to Ondo North, where Akoko land is a major stakeholder. Also because of the dwindling popularity of LP, unlike in 2007, many prominent politicians in Ondo Central, particularly Akure South/North Federal Constituency, had dumped the ruling party either to ACN or PDP. One important politician here is the former commissioner and chieftain of the PDP, Chief Tayo Alasoadura, from Akure North. He joined ACN as a governorship aspirant, but because of the zoning formula, which did not favour Ondo Central, the leadership of ACN have him the arduous task of coordinating the October 20 elections for ACN. Alasoadura is presently the National Director of Planning and Strategy of the party. He is a grassroots politician who exerts a lot of influence. Another notable politician in Akure South is the incumbent lawmaker representing Akure North/South Federal Constituency at the National Assembly, Hon. Ifedayo Sunday Abegunde. He recently defected from the ruling LP at the floor of the House of Representatives to join ACN ‘Abena’. Within the same constituency, we have the likes of the former Secretary to the State Government (SSG) under late Adefarati’s regime, Chief Wunmi Adegbonwure, a.k.a Omo Ekun, a prominent son of Akure, and a follower of the late sage, Chief Obafemi Awolowo. He has been so committed to the cause of ACN and leads its Elders Forum. Equally influential is the former commissioner for information in the late Adebayo Adefarati’s administration, Prince Olu Adegboro, who is mobilising his people for ACN. Others in the progressive party within the same Central District are Chief Akin Olokunboro, a former member of the House of Representatives in the second republic who was then elected on the platform of the defunct Unity Party of Nigeria (UPN). Dr. Akerele Adu, an Ijare politician of note in Ifedore Local Government, was a former Commissioner for Agriculture and Natural Resources. Insiders said he commands enormous respect in the communities. There is also Prof. Olu Aderounmu, a former provost of the Ondo State College of Education,Ikere-Ekiti, Engineer Ade Adetimehin, the Director of ACN Campaign Organisation in Ondo central senatorial district, who is from Idanre. He, apart from being the state Treasurer of ACN, is assigned to head the contact and mobilization committee of the party. In Ondo West, the home of the incumbent governor, Dr. Olusegun Mimiko, also another seasoned politician and Special Adviser to Osun State Governor, Hon. Bola Ilori. He was a former Chairman of Alimosho local government in Lagos state, a former senior special assistant to Governor Mimiko and a mass mobiliser for ACN in Ondo State and particularly Ondo West. Also in Ondo West, the former PDP State Women’s Leader, Mrs Folake AkinjokoOmojuwa, is now a chieftain of ACN, who is ready to tacke Mimiko in his ward during
•Continued on Page 67
THE NATION ON SUNDAY, OCTOBER 14, 2012
Marriage y m t c i r t s e r doesn’t e y n o i h s A g n i act –PAGE 43
THE NATION ON SUNDAY OCTOBER 14, 2012
Kehinde Falode Tel: 08023689894 (sms)
How to rock the look
T might be the most tried-and-true colour combination, but the sharp punch of ebony and ivory is ever modern. Turn formality on its head in graphically-minded pieces. Or use it to give geometric motifs new class. The perfect accessory: an elegant touch of silver.
•Ronke Ladipo •Black and white striped twofer dress
Black and white is huge this season!
ESPITE the array of colourful designs on the fashion scene, black and white has been one of the biggest trends on the red carpet this season. Whether it is colourful or subtle, there are plenty of ladies who love this look. Black and white dress is a fashion trend that you wouldn't want to miss, it is
classy and sexy! Since the beginning of the second quarter of this year, the whole world has hopped on board the black and white madness train! Pants, shorts, tops, shirts, full-on dresses, all made of black and white! Sometimes it is the skirt or parts of the sleeve or perfectly colour of the two.
•Christian-Louboutin -woman-Diamond -black-suede-head-shoes
THE NATION ON SUNDAY OCTOBER 14, 2012
•Foot scrubbing takes you less than a minute every morning
foot this rainy season
AINY season takes a particular toll on the feet. Many problems may occur with feet such as blisters, heel pains, moles, cracked heel and particularly bad odour. Foot problems especially bad odour and infection are big risks during the rainy season. And while you might think that covering them up protects them from the rain, the fact is that the damp weather combined with cold temperatur es are a potentially hazardous combinatio n for the feet. People, and women i n •Eku Edeowor particular, do not give m u c h thought to preventive f o o t wellness, only taking c a r e o f unsightly foot problems after they develop. With just a little bit of care and caution, you can keep your feet in top shape. You should monitor your feet; they need more care in the rainy season.
•Foot care in the rain
Tips on how to help your feet survive the rains
• A f t e r walking through murky water, wash your feet with medicated soap, rinse with water and later soak in warm salt water solution. •Always keep your feet warm, don't get your feet wet in the rain and if such happens, follow the procedure above. •Spray your feet with antiseptic foot spray for protection against bad odour: odour occurs from bacteria and sweat glands' reaction, especially if your shoes are damp or airless shoes. •Use quality lotion to keep the skin of your feet soft and moist, but don't put any lotion in between your toes. •Smoking decreases blood supply to your feet. •Never walk barefoot or in extremely flat shoes. •Soak your feet in warm water for about twenty minutes at least once a week. It is helpful for blood circulation to the feet, feet relaxation and tenderness after long walk. •For protection against callous dead cells under the foot, scrub your heels once a week or when having your bath. •To prevent fungal and parasitic infections, keep feet clean and dry, and do not walk barefooted on sand. •Keep your nails trimmed, whether artificial or not. •Do not tear your cuticles, this will break the layer of the skin and cause injury. Instead look for cuticle remover cream or cuticle clip.
•Med hive foot spray
•Foot massage ease blood flow
THE NATION ON SUNDAY OCTOBER 14, 2012
Glamour •J-Jaz Silver Cocktail Ring
•Bronze Tone Pearl Fashion CZ Bangle Watch •Natural black pearl diamond silver gold drop-earrings
Steal her style
•Christian Louboutin Un Bout PVC Pumps Black
HE organiser of the Elite model look Nigeria, Elohor Aisien, looks chic in this stunning Herve Leger by Max Azria sleeveless bandage dress in nude and pastel tones creation that show off her fabulous fair skin tone, and silver heels. Elohor continued her fabulous fashion run at the Elite model look Nigeria event 2012 which took place at the Federal Palace Hotel, V.I., a fortnight ago. She favoured simple accessories, adding a pretty wrist watch and cute Christian Louboutin cap-toe heels. Meanwhile, her infectious smile provided the real wow factor.
THE NATION ON SUNDAY OCTOBER 14, 2012
Sexy Nollywood actress, Ebube Nwagbo, reveals her favourite things to Kehinde Falode.
Favourite bag designer Prada
Favourite shoes designer Giuseppe Zanotti
Favourite watch designer Patek Phillipe
Favourite Nigerian designer Tiffany Amber
Favourite book read lately Become a better you, by Joel Osteen 6
Favourite perfume Boadecia the Victorious. It's a London-based luxury brand of perfume. It's exquisite!
Favourite skirt Short skirt.
p o t
Favourite TV programme Fashion Police with Joan Rivers. It's hilarious
Favourite quote ...‘Work Hard, Ball Hard’.
Favourite car The G Guard. It's the latest G.wagon jeep by Mercedes.
THE NATION ON SUNDAY OCTOBER 14, 2012
EXICAN A Bounce is your new single. What can we expect from the new track? If you made a cocktail of African dance rhythms, a couple measures of guitar riffage, shot of electronic fun, shaken with a Paul Simon like melody and poured over ice then that's the sort of thing. Ha ha! This is soulful pop kind of tune but how would you describe the sound of the track for anyone who hasn't heard it yet? To me African music is dance music. All those rhythms whether made electronically or recorded organically make you want to move. Putting my pop feel on top of that makes it into a summer, afro pop dance tune, the kind I hope everyone likes This single comes hot off the heels of White Noise so is there an album on the horizon and if so how do these two tracks introduce us to it? Yes there is an album being cooked up as we speak, no release date yet but I'll be shouting from the roof tops as soon as it's set. These tunes are good introductions because they have the concentrated contents of my album in two songs. They have guitars, electronic instruments, real instruments, dance feels, African melodies and grooves and me singing my little heart out on top. The album will pull in different directions, some faster, some slower, some out and out ravers and some more chilled BUT in essence these start you off nicely. As I said Mexicana Bounce is an uplifting pop song so are we doing to see this sound continued on the album or are you going to surprise us with something else? The album is full of surprises. I'm a happy kind of person so in general my songs are optimistic and more upbeat but that doesn't mean that's all I have in the tank, after all some of my favourite song writers ever (like Ryan Adams and Jeff Buckley for example) are master of slower songs that are powerful, so I'm going to make sure that element is represented on the album You have played a whole host of festivals this summer in and around the UK so how have you found your time on the road? I've loved every show and every touring experience. It's one of my favourite things to do. I've been touring playing with people like Paloma Faith since I was 18 so it's a familiar feeling being a nomad. Plus just playing live anywhere to any amount of people is a buzz And how have you found the tracks coming down with a live audience? They have been going down really well. I play a mixture of shows on my own and with band and they give people different perspectives on me and my songs. I love the lack of disconnect when playing solo because I can really chat to people and see their faces
Next big thing out of Nigeria Nigerian-born Seye Adelekan, has been hailed as one of the most exciting young talents currently making music in the United kingdom. The 22-year old singer and guitarist comes from a musically-inclined family. His mother sang along with him, and his father taught him his first chords on the guitar. His older brother, Gbenga Adelekan, is bassist with the group Metronomy. In this interview he speaks on his new album and career highlights. He spoke with Helen Earnshaw. and get stuck in after I play. They get to know more of my personality. Then on the flip side I love playing with my band because you get the full impact of the songs more like the records. Plus it's a good hang. When I tour alone it can be a wee bit lonely. Y o u h a v e a l s o supported the likes of Lana D e l Rey and
Emeli Sande in the last year so what did you take away from touring with them? Mainly great times. Their fans are great and were open to what I was doing. The ladies themselves are sweethearts too so I guess I also took away "wow you can be extremely beautiful and an uber success and not be a dooshbag" they were big highlights of the year And you are about to hit the road with Aiden Grimshaw so what can we expect anyone who has a ticket expect from the show? Hopefully something you haven't really heard before. I'm going out on my own except for some shows so people can expect to know me pretty well. I like going into the crowd and meeting people after shows and i know Aiden will be great so it should
be a well worth it kinda ticket You have an ever growing fan base so for any of the fans who will be reading this interview do you have a message for them? Rock.Roll.Sleep.Repeat How did you get into music in the first place? Has it always been a major passion of yours? Yes I have been around creative people at home and at school my short life so it's always been in me. I'm the youngest of six kids in my family so have basically had musical hand-me-downs while growing up. We are not all musicians but everyone is musical in a way. We all sang as a family in church for instance. If I wasn't going to be a musician or actor I'd probably be a writer....or habberdasher...er Finally what is next for you? Literally I have soundcheck now, ha ha, but on a grander scale getting the album ready is my major focus and doing as many shows as possible before chrimbo!
With VICTOR AKANDE
Durella, Denrele, W4, Basorge, Waje others speak on concert others for for Youths and Orphans The Meeting premiere C HANNEL O presenter, Denrele Edun, Kontrol crooner, W4 and the King of the Zanga, Durella, have opened up on the upcoming 2-in-1 musical concert for youths and orphans scheduled for Sunday, November 18, 2012 at the popular Fountain Hall, Surulere, Lagos. Denrele said of the upcoming event; “I will be there to entertain people as usual, these people need our love and care, let's not deny them.'' Adding his voice to his fellow entertainer's, Durella went on to say that “the Zanga will be hot that day as I intend rocking the stage for all the youths present.'' In the words of
W4 ''I will be there to give my all as usual and also to show love.'' Other stars billed to perform at the concert include Rayce, Tipsy, AY.com, Jboy, and Mudina. The concert is being packaged by Kittens Promotions in conjunction with Ozone 03 Media. Kittens Promotion is managed by Damilola Adegbuyi, a graduate of Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ogun State. As part of activities designed for the event, Kittens Promotion, it is said, will visit some of the orphanage homes and present gift items to them. The kids with talent in entertainment will be put on scholarship to further harness their skills. Organisations that have thrown their weight behind the concert include Soundcity, City People, Ozone 03 Media and others.
Chidi Mokeme returns as GUS anchor
N what may have come to many as a pleasant surprise, actor Chidi Mokeme has reportedly made a stunning comeback as he is once more being lined up to anchor the Gulder Ultimate Search reality TV show which he was part of in the first and second seasons. This is coming seven years after he left the show with fans of the actor craving for his return as other hosts in the persons of Tintin and Bob Manuel Ndokwu were largely not living up to the expectations of scores of viewers of the reality TV show. Now, the organisers of the show have returned Chidi amidst a reported drop in the viewership of the programme. This year's edition is being held at the Usaka Forest in Obot Akara, Akwa Ibom State and rumours are making the rounds that Chidi will be part of this year's edition.
Waje, famed for her 3-octave voice, who recently released brand new single Oko Mi and the previously leaked heartbreaker I Wish off her upcoming self-titled album, Waje. A Mord Pictures production for Audrey Silva Company, the flick was directed by Mildred Okwo and produced by Rita Dominic and Mildred Okwo. Co-written by Tunde Babalola and Mildred Okwo, The Meeting is a romantic comedy set in Abuja. It tells of the travails of a Lagos-based corporate executive, Makinde Esho, who finds himself at the mercy of political patronage, bureaucratic red tape and cupid's arrow while in hot pursuit of a 'meeting' to secure a government contract.
Azeezat grabs the Mic
AIDEN winner of the first ever Amstel Malta Box Office reality TV show (AMBO), Azizat Sadiq, otherwise known as Zeeza, is now back on the scene but this time as a musician. After winning the first ever Amstel Malta Box Office show, she got a lead role in the movie Sitanda and she also had a slight romance with media powerhouses like BBC World Service Trust and MNET Africa. Now back after completing a course in music in the UK, Zeeza has plunged headlong onto the music scene with three new singles. The most prominent of the songs is titled 'Laulau' and it features One Lyf. Zeeza is currently working on a musical movie titled Urban Rhythm where she plays the role of a dogged artiste. She is also rounding up production for her debut album.
Tonto Dike drops singles eculations FTER months of sp ring actress, da and expectations, finally released s ha h, ke Tonto Di her debut singles. who was seriously The sultry actress when she made her attacked by her fanspublic is about to musical intentionsartiste on the music become the latest es titled “Itz ova” and scene as her singl en slated for online “hi” have both be release. the song titled “hi” Tonto revealed thatKhalifa. The track is iz was inspired by W rsial and is strewn ve ro nt co t ha somew ve been making with lyrics that ha recent times. tongues to wag in
NE of the most anticipated productions of 2012, The Meeting, is set to stage a superlative premiere at the Lagos Oriental Hotel come Friday 19, October. The event, put together by one of the leading event planning companies in the country, Elizabeth R, will not only showcase the stellar cast of the movie but also the glitterati of Nigerian cinema, entertainment and fashion. Tipped to grace the occasion, are government officials, dignitaries, as well as leading business men and women. The premiere which will kick off with a red carpet at 5pm prompt has Basorge Tariah as host while the guests will be serenaded by Nigerian singer
Sport&Style THE NATION
SUNDAY, OCTOBER 14, 2012
FROM SOCCER PITCH TO COURT ROOM
Leo Moffi speaks on how Odegbami, Adokie inspired his soccer career
Djibril Cissé set to quit seven-year marriage
OK COMPUTER CEO, REMI OLUKOYA ADMITS
I’m passionate about keeping fit
DOW N Ronaldo shows off results of weight loss programme
z e p o L r e f i n
O T A V I D M O M
C O S
O M R E C
NATION SPORT & STYLE SUNDAY, October 14, 2012
NATION SPORT & STYLE
NATION SPORT & STYLE
FROM DIVA TO
Jennifer Lopez steps out with her children wearing Real Madrid top
ENNIFER Lopez has scored a brand new look after she was spotted wearing a football top. The superstar diva ditched her trademark racy gowns for a Real Madrid T-shirt as she left her hotel in the Spanish city. Lopez, 43, is playing a concert in Madrid, and she seems she's doing her best to make sure she's winning support from the locals. The singer and her two children two-year-old twins Emme and Max all sported the Spanish team's tops, while her boyfriend Casper Smart wore a black top and sunglasses instead. Real Madrid are the current Spanish champions, and their team includes the super striker Cristiano Ronaldo. Wearing her hair in a ponytail and sporting sunglasses, Lopez looked to be enjoying her Spanish stay. She waved happily to fans and photographer, and even blew them kisses. Lopez made sure she didn't forget her adorable children however cuddling them as they left the hotel. However, she made sure she gave one more wave to her fans. The actress/singer is playing at the Palacio de Deportes de la Comunidad de Madrid on Sunday, but we expect she will be swapping her football top for something more glamorous. Lopez is currently on the European leg of her whirlwind tour, but rather
Ronaldo shows off results of weight loss programme
than have a night in on Saturday, she was showing off a saucy dress alongside Karl Lagerfeld on a prime time German talk show. The US singer showed off her trademark curves in a skin-tight, sheer dress for the Wetten Dass TV show. The knee-length nude dress, which accentuate her toned body, was matched with a pair of nude skycraper heels.
URING his career heyday as one of the world's biggest football stars Ronaldo was fit and lean. But after quitting the sport the Brazilian piled on the pounds and was seen sporting a bulging waistline and double chin. But after vowing to battle the bulge it seems the 36-year-old football star is enjoying some success and showed off his weight loss heading out to dinner at Nobu in London. Earlier this year Ronaldo vowed to lose weight ahead of a charity football match where he will play against Zinedine Didane, later this year. And judging from his new slimmer
FASHION FAUX PAUS Daughter of F1 boss Tamara Ecclestone models unflattering sequin jumpsuit
HE may be the heiress to a billionaire, but Tamara Ecclestone proved that money can't buy taste. The 28-year-old socialite(and daughter of F1 boss, Ecclestone) proved that she doesn't always get it right when it comes to her style, so perhaps Istanbul Fashion Week was the wrong place to be. As she took to the catwalk at
SEPARATE LIVES QPR footballer Djibril Cissé and wife Jude to divorce after seven years of marriage
UEEN'S Park Rangers striker Djibril Cissé and his wife of seven years, Jude are to divorce after seven years of marriage. The couple reportedly separated a few
months ago. The couple have three children together, while Jude has a son Liam, 18, from a previous relationship. The football player has been seen hitting the town solo since the split,
shape the diet programme is already working. But it is clear that the former soccer ace is struggling to tip the scales in his favour. In the 90s and early 2000s he was the star of his national side, winning two World Cups. But Ronaldo suffered a series of knee injuries before enduring thyroid problems. Both of these issues led to him piling on the pounds and in February 2011 he retired from professional football. The upcoming charity match, scheduled for December, will raise money and awareness about poverty that affects millions across the world, reports Brazilian media.
including celebrating his 31st birthday in August without his estranged wife by his side. Jude is currently in Los Angeles and has been spending time with her celebrity friends as the story of their divorce breaks. She was spotted at the weekend with The Saturdays' Frankie Sandford, 23, and exHollyoaks star Ricky Whittle, 30, who she counts as one of her best friends. Djibril and his wife met in a Liverpool nightclub and later wed in 2005 at Bodelwyddan Castle in Wales, with the sports star wearing a Liverpool red tuxedo. The couple had a lavish £100,000 ceremony which was attended by Queen's Park Rangers player Shaun WrightPhillips and Cissé's French national teammates Louis Saha and Sylvain Wiltord.
the event, Tamara modelled a rather unflattering ensemble that definitely won't be popular with fashion lovers across the world. The blue all-over-sequin jumpsuit featured cut-out detailing at the side, as well as a large slash at the chest which revealed Tamara's cleavage. The brunette wore the hideous garment with a pair of black strapped heels and dark nail varnish as she strutted down the runway. As she posed with her hand on her hip, Tamara really did seem to be oblivious to the garish outfit that she was wearing. Her long hair was left down but had been slicked back on top, and she was also modelling some dodgy eye make-up. Tamara was joined be a female model, who was sporting a floorlength dress made of the exact same material and colour. The pair were seen cuddling up to designer Atil Kutoglu after helping him showcase his Spring Summer 2013 collection. Tamara was clearly looking forward to taking her place on the catwalk, as she tweeted earlier on in the day: 'Time to get ready opening Atil Kutoglu show tonight in Istanbul,' which was followed by: 'Day of press today in Istanbul then very excited to be opening Atil Kutoglu show tonight.
Alexandra Burke enjoys romantic break with new footballer boyfriend
T appears Alexandra Burke is developing a 'type'. The pop star seems to be off the market again as she's been spotted on a romantic break in Milan, Italy with footballer Dominique Jean-Zephirin. Burke, who recently split from another soccer player, Jermain Defoe, looked like she was smitten as she held hands with the French-born Haitian footballer. The pair even wore coordinating ensembles as they walked around the streets of the Italian city. While Alexandra was seen in an off red
leather jacket with skinny jeans and skyhigh Louboutin heels, her rumoured new man wore a matching get-up. Dominique wore his own scarlet leather jacket with jeans and matching red shoes. On another day of their trip they both mimicked each other's style in casual ensembles. The former X Factor star went for baggy ripped jeans, unlike her usual glammed up style, while she went for a baggy T-shirt. And they seem to be so in sync with each other they even wore matching black leather jackets for the outing - as well as exactly the same white and red trainers.
OK COMPUTER CEO, REMI OLUKOYA ADMITS
I’m passionate about keeping fit
To call Remi Olukoya, CEO of OK Computer, a fitness freak is to put it mildly. Speaking with TAIWO ALIMI, at Ikoyi Golf Section, Lagos recently, the chief executive of CMCL Golf Tour Limited says he is lucky to start keeping fit at a tender age.
HEN did you start taking fitness very seriously?
Fitness for me started from quite an early age because l come from a family that has a tendency to blow up. If you meet my brothers you’ll probably know what l am talking about. I started by playing tennis, and then moved on to squash. I played that for many years and by 2002 l got on to golf and have been playing it since then. I started playing tennis right from my third year in the secondary school and up to the fourth year in the university, but because of the harsh weather l had to move on to squash, which is played indoor. So that gave me the chance to play squash actively till 2002 when l started playing golf. At first l was playing squash and golf together between 2002 and 2004 but one is not getting any younger and it was obvious that l could not keep up with the pace of the game of squash so l decided to stick with golf. Rather than play squash, l now work out in the gym to complement golf. l also use the gym once or twice in a week. When l can, l take brisk walk now and then. How fit are you? Those who are familiar with golf know that there is front nine and back nine and when most golfers are getting tired in the back nine, that is when l am fit and ready to come back stronger. I've been fortunate to win many tournaments because l am stronger on back nine. So l am very fit. Basically, anyone with a background in any one of the racquet games would do well in golf. Because you already have your eye to hand coordination, so it would be easy. Besides, l played competitive squash up to national level, so my progress in golf was expected. Within two years of playing golf l was already a single handicapper. It is an interesting game and you cannot be perfect. It is the only game that you are playing against the element; you are not playing against anybody but against the course. Your performance is based on your state of mind, your fitness level and the weather condition, which can affect your game. There is always room for improvement because if you play well today, you may not play well tomorrow. So you have to keep on practising. What are the benefits of keeping fit to you? On the issue of weight and sport, l have always been sceptical. Definitely if you do sport regularly, you would keep your wei? In golf, there is always a half way mark, where you are permitted to take snack and drink. Then when you are through at what is called Hole 19, you can spend more time to drink
whatever you desire and eat more. So the issue is this, after golf, what happens? That is what bothers me. It is difficult to drop weight, but you can be fit. I don't look at my weight but my fitness level. What is more important is that I am able to take a long walk, run and jump. It is about how fit you are, weight loss depends on the kind of concentration you put into your fitness, if you do enough, you would definitely drop weight. I am not doing it to lose weight but to be fit. Most certainly, fitness also keeps me healthy. It baffles me when some people say golf is expensive because what you stand to pay in hospital when you fall sick often is nothing compared to what you spend to play golf regularly. I can't remember when last l broke down, those are the things we take for granted. If you keep fit regularly your system would be fine, digestion would improve as well as your eating habit. So l can't imagine myself not keeping fit. People s a y l a m competitive, yes l am because it is the only way to be fit. So l want to be the best in everything l do. I want to play scratch (zero handicap) one day, right now l play off 4, and know l can do even better. As a CEO of a leading computer outfit, how has keeping fit helped you? It has in many ways. That is why l can go on working for several hours. It keeps the mind sharp. It keeps you able to withstand pressure. In my line of work, you are mostly under pressure from clients, they want deadlines met and so you must be able to cope. A lot of things that l do, a lot of meetings that l attend, l do them effortlessly. I love to drive, l drive myself and I'm yet to miss any important meeting or get there late. What is your fitness routine? I get up 6.30AM, go to the gym and do one hour to one and a half hours, depending on my schedule for the day. I use the treadmill, l skip the rope and do some cardiovascular exercise and lift weight to keep my arms strong for the game of golf. If l have the time to spare l go to the range to shoot some balls before proceeding to the office around 9AM. When l can't get to the range in the morning, l go in the evening and see if l can hit a hundred balls. I play golf all weekend too and there is no time for social activities for me. Except if the person is very close to me. I make sure l play golf every weekend. Diet and fitness I don't have a strict diet, l eat whatever is good and well too. l enjoy good food. Whatever is perfect and nice l eat. How do you preach the gospel of fitness? For my children I have been able to do that well by introducing them to sport at a very early stage. By five years old, they had known how to swim and as they got on l introduced them to squash, which they learned properly and then to tennis and then golf. So whatever they want to do, l have equipped them to do it. I also encourage them to join me at the gym.
Sport&Style SUNDAY, OCTOBER 14, 2012
FROM SOCCER PITCH TO COURT ROOM
Leo Moffi speaks on how Odegbami, Adokie inspired his soccer career
ORMER Rangers International of Enugu goaltender, now president of YSFON in Cross River State, Leo Moffi, is a household name among players and close watchers of the Nigerian league in the 1980s. And Moffi has told the extraordinary story of how the duo of ‘Mathematical’ Segun Odegbami and ‘Chief Justice’ Adokie Amasiemaka influenced his career as a footballer. Odegbami and Adokie were pacesetters of some sort for being able to marry education and their football career with relative ease which saw them playing pivotal roles when the Green Eagles won the African Cup of Nations on home soil in 1980. “I think it's better to start with what actually gave me inspiration as a youth who started playing football right from my primary school days through my secondary education at Mary Knoll College in Ogoja,” Moffi who celebrated his 50th birthday on June 2nd stated in his frankest interview ever with The Nation Sport & Style. “Somebody like Segun Odegbami was a student while playing football for IICC (now known as 3SC) Shooting Stars Football Club of Ibadan and Adokie Amasiemaka was also a lawyer by the time he was playing for Nigeria. “There was another person, Remi Oguntimoju (I hope that is correct), who came to do his youth service here in Cross River State and was already a lawyer playing for the then Housing Corporation of Akure. I found myself in the university reading law and being good in the game; and I thought I could model myself after the likes of Adokie Amasiemaka who was a lawyer while playing football,” he revealed. It is said that whatever a man put his mind to he can achieve it. Moffi eventually earned a degree and became a Barrister at Law without neglecting his first love of being a footballer. “Today, I'm a lawyer and I have been a lawyer for the past 26 years but I'm more of a football man and this has always been in my spirit,” he explained as his wife of 22 years simply nodded with some sense of satisfaction. “My interest for the game dates back to some 40 years ago when I was in the primary school. “Virtually, I have lived my life through football and people know me today because of my involvement with football than through legal practice. When I step in to Enugu for instance, people would be shouting my name and I would be wondering if they were my classmates at the University of Nigeria because I was at their Enugu campus during my undergraduate days. But they were always reminding me of my days with Vasco Da Gama and Rangers. That was a part of my life that has refused to fade away,” Moffi stated, amongst sundry details. Excerpts... For younger minds reading this interview, the name Leo Moffi might sound strange, tell us a bit about yourself.. I actually played for Rangers after my university education. For most of us who grew in the East, the South Eastern and South-South, I mean the Ibo-speaking areas as well as Rivers, Cross River and Akwa Ibom in the 1970s, we look at Enugu Rangers as the model. It was a dream of every child to play for Rangers. But I never dreamt of playing for Rangers because I was already a star with Vasco and the rivalry between the two clubs was intense. So playing for Rangers was really out of it for me but the trajectory that my life took changed all that. I left UNN in 1985 and during my service year, I played for El-Kanemi Warriors Football Club of Maiduguri. That was another exciting moment I couldn't forget because we really had a good time then. As a youth corper, I had a car playing for El-Kanemi Warriors and we had everything in terms of welfare. I'd forgotten about the dream of playing for Rangers when Coach Mathias Obianika brought Rangers to play against my club, Calabar Rovers,in 1989. After that match, Obianika who was my coach at Rangers called me and said, 'Moffi, you still play and you are still good, Come with me to Rangers.' It was unbelievable, though I was already a state counsel in Cross River State and still playing for Calabar Rovers, I had to dump my wig and move over to Rangers. I played for Rangers for two years and it was fulfilling for me. What happened after you left Rangers International Football Club? By the time I played for Rangers I was already 30 years old and I could still have played for few more years. In fact, my
By Morakinyo Abodunrin mind was made up to play for Nigeria at the USA'94 World Cup but one thing led to another and I had to dump football to pick up my wig and gown. There were so many things happening then and I was not particularly happy about some few things that were happening in the national camp. I never played for Nigeria but I knew I stood a chance if I really put my hands to it because the time I quit the game around 1992 was the time there was this frenzy about qualifying for the World Cup in the USA but I was not happy about the way things were being done. It was an easy decision for me to make but I felt then that Nigerian football did not hold such an attraction to keep playing. Do you have any regret for taking such a hasty decision with Nigeria's superlative performance at the USA'94 World Cup and subsequent boom in the football industry? Not much, because by the time I left the game, I was already 30 years old and I had fulfilled my childhood dream of playing for Rangers International Football Club of Enugu. Maybe I could still have played for some few more years but I didn't want to hang around for so long because I felt not many clubs would want to take a gamble on me again. I had to be realistic because I never cut my age while playing. In any case, that would have been difficult because I already had a degree in law in 1985 and how would it have been possible to say that I was 22 or 25 in 1992? That means, I wanted to ridicule myself and I never wanted to do that. You are one of few examples in Nigerian football who were able to combine education with football, what would you recommend for the younger ones who are still having divided opinions on whether to stick with football or education? I think it's better to start with what actually gave me inspiration as a youth who started playing football right from my primary school days through my secondary
education at Mary Knoll College in Ogoja. In our time, every school had a sports curriculum and right from when you were in Class 1, there were some seniors you wanted to model your life after. In fact, seeing some of them become doctors, lawyers, engineers and all that gave us some inspiration and even at the national level, there were some who were role models. Somebody like Segun Odegbami was an engineering student while playing football for IICC (now known as 3SC) Shooting Stars Football Club of Ibadan and Adokie Amasiemaka was also a lawyer by the time he was playing for Nigeria. There was another person, Remi Oguntimoju (I hope that is correct), who came to do his youth service here in Cross River State and was already a lawyer playing for the then Housing Corporation of Akure. I found myself in the university reading law and being good in the game; and I thought I could model myself after the likes of Adokie Amasiemaka who was a lawyer while playing football. I told myself 'if they could do it, I could do it.' There were a couple of friends too who inspired me; there was Paul Odama who was my classmate and a handball player while we were in the secondary school. He went to the university (Ahmadu Bello University in Zaria) before me. He was admitted to ABU in 1980 while I got to UNN in 1981. Fortunately for us, ABU was to host the 1982 NUGA Games and he told me that 'he would not be happy to see me as a second choice goalkeeper if my school came for the Games and that it was quite easy to combine education and sport.' There was one Edwin Eze who read accountancy, who played for Rangers too and I went to watch their game against New Nigeria bank which was played on our campus. NNB had the likes of Henry Nwosu, Stephen Keshi, and Moses Effiong. To come back to your question, I'll advise our youngsters that they can combine education with sport if they can manage their time well. I was never distracted because I apportioned my time appropriately, two weeks to my degree examinations I went to Gboko to play for Vasco Da Gama and my classmates thought I was crazy. But I was not missing anything because I was always with my books while travelling for matches, if I could do it then, they can do it now. If you look at your own generation and the present one, do they have the same passion for sport or education? I don't think so for the simple reason that values have changed. In our own time, parents would dissuade you from pursuing a career in sport but the reverse is the case today. Parents now push their children to play football even when they don't have the talents to do so because they realise that there is money in it. That is why we don't see such passion in the game. If the players today have the same commitment as the older generation, they would go places. The driving force today is all about money. When are we likely to see a Leo Moffi jnr. playing for Nigeria? I have four boys. The first two are already in the university and schooling abroad. For the first two, they are already studying abroad in the university and already in their twenties. Although they are quite good because they are playing regularly for their school but I have my doubts whether they would be able to play at the top level, particularly with the one who is in the medical school, but who knows? I started playing when I was already over 20, maybe they can take after me in that regard. But I think my third son could go all the way and play for Nigeria. I don't really like saying this before them but I think the boy is a bit special. I have already enrolled him in a good academy and we see how things will go. How did you meet your wife? Was it during your time at Rangers? It is a long story, but I actually met her when I was in my third year in the university. I actually went on holidays in Ogoja when she came to our compound to make her hair by a cousin of mine. I made enquiry and was told she just moved in to our neighbourhood with her parents. The first time, she wasn't ready to talk to me but overtime, she relaxed and I told her promptly that I wanted to marry her! She was a young girl then of about 18 years but she has all the attributes I wanted in a woman. Eventually she was admitted into the university and we got married while she was doing her National Youth Service Corps because I couldn't afford to lose her to another person. We were quite young when we married in 1990 but we thank God that we have still remained in perfect love. As the president of YSFON in Cross River State, what are your plans? As you know, YSFON has come a long way and we are trying to see if we can bring back some of the good old days of the past when it was synonymous with youth development. YSFON is bankrolled through donations from government, individuals and corporate support and we are trying to ensure that we get funds to execute some of the programmes we have on hand. I have this idea of setting up sports centre within the neighbourhoods so that youths can be engaged and kept out of the streets. I would be fulfilled if we can do this because our youths need direction and guidance so that they can be kept out of vile practices.
Pomp as Anambra bestows Pillar of Sports on NEROS boss
EPTEMBER 28, 2012 was a significant day in the sporting life of Anambra State when distinguished indigenes of the state were bestowed with awards for their distinct accomplishments in the area of sports. For the first time since the state was created, the state government through the sports ministry came up with this initiative, anchored by the Sports Commissioner, Dr Edozie Okay Aroh, to honour and appreciate the worthy sons and daughters of the state that have brought glory to the state in the past and now. And top on the roll of honours, are Chief Poly Emenike (MON), Rommy Ezeonwuka (Rojenny) and Late Mike Okpala (Power Mike). Others are Emmanuel Okala, Mary Onyali Omagbemi, late Ernest Okonkwo and late Godwin Achebe. They were all appreciated for their individual efforts towards putting Anambra in the world map in the area of sports. Chief Emenike, CEO of NEROS Pharmaceuticals Limited was deservedly awarded with the Pillar of Sports for transforming the neglected sector of the state's rich potential. Chief Emenike stood out for so many reasons, among them is the fact that since March 20, 2007, he has single
handedly picked up the responsibility of sponsoring Anambra State FA for an initial 4-year period (2007-2011) He, however, continued the sponsorship from 2012 and it is expected to run for an appreciable length of time. For his efforts, Anambra State FA has produced quality players like Uche Nwofor, formerly of Enugu Rangers but now with VVV Venlo of Holland. Nwofor is also the highest goal scorer at 2011 African Youth Championship in South Africa. The state FA Cup has also been transformed into the biggest cash in, in the country, with winners going home with N2m the first and second runners-up getting N1m and N500,000.00 respectively. It now implies that NEROS Pharmaceuticals Ltd has spent a whooping N21.1m on prize money asides the organisational, media and publicity for the sponsorship of Anambra State FA Cup. On July 15, 2012 at Sheraton Hotel, Ikeja, Lagos State, he was rewarded as the best sponsor of state FA Cup in Nigeria by Sports Brands of Nigeria. Furthermore, Chief Emenike has sponsored Nanka Champions League (for his home town) for more than 25 years. Not done yet, on May 26, 2012, the first phase of NEROS Sports Stadium, Nanka was commissioned with a landmark match between Nigeria's Golden Eaglets and Nanka Eleven tagged Supa Copa NEROS. The game was made possible by the sports loving NEROS boss, to inject champions' mentality into the new Golden Eaglets' team.
THE NATION ON SUNDAY OCTOBER 14, 2012
n o s a e r MI: A e v e i l e b to a c i r f A n i
video set for release
ILLED to drop on Thursday th October 18 is the video of the new single titled African Skank, by artiste cum director and producer Abdul Rasheed Bello, aka JJCSkillz. With a flash mob concept, directed by Skillz and co-directed by Abiodun Adeyinka, aka Gini, the video boasts the presence of Nigerian A-list stars like Alibaba, Kate Henshaw, Omalicha, DJ Sose, Weird MC, Denrele Edun, Capital FM, Gbenro Ajibade (Tinsel), Goldie, MC Fricker as well as Tunde Ednut According to the Director of the video, African Skank is guaranteed to get you up and dancing before you know it. “Asides enjoying airplay on radio, it is a great dance companion to get you rock on even during work out routines,” he said. African Skank, produced by Time Takers, is an eclectic blend/mix of Afro rhythm, techno, dirty Dutch and pop beats, all tuned to popular African dance like the Azonto, Etigi, Alanta and others. •MI
HERE was a time when African rap artists did not get the recognition they craved or the big record deals their counterparts in America got. Today, celebrated young rappers like Sauce Kid, Skales and Ice Prince have one man to thank for weathering the storm and making rap a big part of the pop culture in Nigeria and Africa. That man is Jude Abaga, better known as MI (Mr. Incredible). MI arrived in Lagos five years ago, clutching his back pack and the stub of the bus ticket that brought him from the dusty hills of Jos, the capital of Plateau State. Back then, MI was just a meaningless two-lettered word; or at best, a musical note on a guitar. Today, few young and upwardly mobile Nigerians do not know MI, who has gone on to emerge as undisputable Nigerian hip-hop legend. This is a man who, within a short time, has won several awards including the MTV Africa Music Awards in 2009 and was nominated for the BET 2010 Awards for the Best International Act Category. When you consider he has only two albums to his name, the first released in December 0f 2008, you should be amazed at his accomplishments. Like most successful people, MI has come a long way, resisting all temptations to quit his dream of making it in the big league. He refused to succumb to the temptation of making money through devious means but instead, spent good time perfecting his craft. Today, he is a living legend, a pride to Nigeria, and one of the billion reasons to believe in Africa. After giving an epic performance of some of his greatest hits at the official launch of A Billion Reasons to Believe in Africa campaign championed by The CocaCola Company, MI was quick to tell the world how proud he is of his
heritage. “I personally believe in Africa because my story says it all. I was told I would not make it and warned to stop trying to change how music was being consumed in the industry. I remained focused and would not be beaten. I worked hard, slept on the rug, sometimes went to bed hungry but I kept going. I came from nowhere. My parents are not rich but here I am today doing what I love and performing on the stage for one of the greatest brands of all times. One must believe in Africa. It is such an amazing continent with amazing people and the potential is awesome, not only in music, but also in sports, technology, fashion, manufacturing and so on.” Despite the many years of strife and problems, Africa has in the last two decades begun to take advantage of its strengths and success stories have begun to be told of the exploits of its people. To further shine a light on these giant strides and celebrate positivity in Africa, A Billion Reasons to Believe campaign seeks to get young Africans to be inspired by the good things that happen around them. MI says that he is particularly happy to be a part of what The Coca-Cola Company is doing. “So many brands are afraid to come to Africa or even associate with Africa but Coca-Cola is the biggest and the best in the whole world and they are here making a bold statement about this great continent. I think it's really amazing. I was one of those who bought into that dream that you could only make it outside this continent. I went there and saw things for myself. At the end, Africa is home. It is lovely here, full of hopes and dreams; and the will to win is undeniable. It is the place to be, not just for Africans, but for anyone who wants
to make it their home. I think CocaCola realises this and that is why they are here and celebrating the great youths of Africa through this unbelievable campaign.” For a man who inspires millions, MI is also inspired by other Africans. “I think the most inspiring act for me in Africa is Tuface Idibia. He is arguably the greatest Nigerian and African act. The guys that are in his calibre are DBanj and P-Square. Those guys are at a level that you cannot but be inspired. And there are those young guys, who are becoming legends, like WizKid and Ice Prince. It is not just in Nigeria. There is Sakordie from Ghana, Nameless from Kenya, WHP, Proverb and so on. They are doing great. We meet each other at international events all over the world and we are accepted on a personal level and given our respect. Everywhere we go, the response is overwhelming. They treat us like superstars. That is encouraging.” What does a man who has achieved most of what he dreamt of doing right now? Well, he says that he is dreaming some more. MI's desire to be the greatest rapper ever is like the African unquenchable spirit . Asked who he would like to collaborate with, he said: “Probably with Kanye (West), Drake or any of the big guys. I believe Nigerian hip-hop is at a level where we can compete and stand toe-to-toe with America's greatest. I can't wait for my opportunity to show the entire planet what we are made of. We are ready for whatever the world throws at us. We are Champions!” Not bad for a man who arrived in the big city with nothing but his dreams. Watch out Jay Z; Africa's Rapper Number One is coming for your crown!
Ijeoma drops new single
OLLOWING her nomination in the Best Vocal Performance (Female category) for her 2011 debut single ‘Oloomi’ at the prestigious music award in Nigeria, The Headies, Ijeoma Okwara has dropped a new single and video titled Won 'Yo Si meaning Spice Up Our Love. The video, which was shot by Dudutoonz Studios, features Ijeoma's Project Fame counterpart, Praiz. Won 'Yo Si, she said, is a song about love; a subject that the beautiful singer seems to enjoy singing about, considering her other renditions like Love In The Air, featuring Vector and Take My Hand released February 2012. The singer who is set to embark on a media tour to promote the new song which was co-written by Sound Sultan and produced by Spax, talks about her recent and first nomination at the Headies. She said, “I must confess that I didn't see it coming but I am grateful to God, the Headies, the fans and the media for the exposure and support since Project Fame till date.” The video for Won 'Yo Si, according to the songstress, will be released on all online platforms, radio and TV. From finding, this may be the singer's last single before the release of her debut album.
THE NATION ON SUNDAY OCTOBER 14, 2012
Airtel backs sixcity tour of AMAA 2012 winning films
FRICAN Movie Academy Award (AMAA) has made a debut with a new platform, “AMAA Film Screening & Party”. Set up to show and screen the winning films of the immediate past edition of the AMAAs across six selected Nigerian Cities, Airtel Nigeria in collaboration with the award organisers will commence a six-city tour of the top films that were in competition at the last award ceremony. It would be recalled that the 8th edition of the widely popular continental reward scheme for motion picture practitioners in Africa took place on 22nd April, 2012 at Eko Hotel & Suites, Victoria Island, Lagos with top celebrities, captains of industries, business moguls and filmmakers across the world in attendance. The second phase of the 2012 Africa Movie Academy Awards (AMAA) project is taking on a new platform called the AMAA Film Screening & Party and it's the first time to be held since its inception and this is supported by Airtel Nigeria the major sponsor of the 2012 awards. 'We want Nigerians to see for themselves some of the top films in AMAA and we hope this will lay to rest some of the assumptions by certain people who feel they must win even when there are better or stronger films in competition as far as the eminent jurors are concerned. This is the first time we are taking this initiative and it will become part of AMAA going forward,'' said Tony Anih, Director of Administration of the award body. The AMAA screening party will berth at Benin this weekend, Saturday October 13 as a curtain raiser before moving to Ibadan, Lagos, Enugu, Port Harcourt and finally Abuja with a Gala Night on the 6th of December, 2012. The Lagos leg of the screening will take place twice, according to Tony Anih. ''We will have media screening mainly for journalists October 30 and another one for the general public in Lagos again on December 1, 2012.
Empraiz set to release debut album
FTER two decades on the Nigerian gospel terrain, high praise minister and multilingual musician, Empraiz, is set to drop his debut album titled Identity. The Port-Harcourt based multiinstrumentalist whose music has reached people across boundaries for over 25 years has finally decided to launch his longawaited album. Although he released the new album July 2012 and has sold thousands of copies, according to Empraiz, his desire to take the gospel of Christ through music to every nook and cranny of the country led to his decision to officially launch the album. Speaking on the new album, Empraiz said; “I'm glad this album is finally out. People have often asked me why it had to take this long. The truth is that I am a perfectionist and if it took me longer time to release my first album I will wait even more to get a masterpiece out there. This is all about soul winning and the message and the material I want to put out there must be good enough to win as many souls as possible.” The artiste added that those who have listened already can attest to the fact that the album is a collector's item. “However, we have decided to officially launch it so that more people can benefit from this great work.” While all is set for the launch of Identity, according to Empraiz, what is however not known for now is the venue and the date of the launch which he said will be disclosed soon.
Mike Abiola is the Publisher of African Voice Newspapers UK and the Convener of the Afro Hollywood Awards recently rechristened African Film Awards, an award ceremony that seeks to celebrate and reward artistes who have distinguished themselves in their fields. With 17 editions on the tow, he speaks with Entertainment Editor, VICTOR AKANDE on Nollywood and its attendant issues, among other
Nollywood films have no y r a d n u o b t e k r ma —Mike Abiola W
African Film Awards visited the famous HAT are the goals of the Afro foreign market for Nigerian films. If Nigeria had an astute government Erin-Ijesha Waterfalls and recorded a Hollywood Awards that have agency, Nollywood would by now be documentary for international been accomplished? earning more foreign exchange for broadcast. This year, Ondo State hosted From the inception of the awards in Nigeria. People talk about Nollywood the official Nomination Awards. the UK, one of its aims as an being the greatest Nigerian export today A number of awards celebrating organisation has been to contribute to but agencies like the NFVCB have not Nollywood are held in the UK these the global growth of film and arts in tried hard enough to promote Nigerian days. What does this portend for the Nigeria by giving international films or support the international industry? exposure to the talent that abounds in distribution of films made in Nigeria. A lot of copycat awards have sprung the industry. The Afro Hollywood Are there prospects of having actors up all over Europe and America since Awards serves to promote and advance from the mainstream British film the inauguration and success of the the dynamic growth of African film and industry take part in Nollywood Afro Hollywood Awards in the UK. arts in Europe, especially in the United movies, especially those of Nigerian One organisation even went as far as far Kingdom. With the popularity of descent? as naming theirs 'Afro Hollywood Nollywood in the world currently, it Collaboration work between British Awards in America' without clearance would not be immodest to claim that Nigerian producers and actors from from the original copyright owners. Afro Hollywood has played a both countries has great potential. This Quite a number of them have not been significant role to the growth of the has started happening with the recently consistent and some have fallen by the Nigerian movie industry. The concluded film based on wayside. Obviously those organisation has played a major role in Chimamanda Adichie's Half of People talk without a genuine purpose promoting Nigeria's film industry and a Yellow Sun. More will happen or original ideas will not last its practitioners in Europe. about in the very near future as the However, on the other How much impact would you say Nollywood long. industry continues to grow. hand, additional awards the award has had on the industry? being the International producers are with a genuine purpose will Since 1996, when the maiden event monitoring developments in help the Nigerian film greatest was hosted in the UK, the Afro Nollywood and, once the right industry grow in bounds. Hollywood Awards, which we have Nigerian framework is in place, more What would you say has now rechristened African Film Awards, export today kept cross country production will the African Film has unarguably remained the most happen. but agencies Awards going outside prestigious recognition of the African Nigeria since its inception? How were you able to get like the film industry. To the industry state governments in Nigeria The African Film Awards practitioners, receiving our award is a NFVCB have event to key into the awards by or Afro Hollywood true reflection of hard work, dedication hosting the nominees' night? not tried hard Awards as it was formerly and exceptional performance among Any Nigerian state with enough to known has grown due to its Nigerians and other African artistes. A genuine interest in promoting credibility and reputation large number of the recipients have promote its tourism can leverage on the over the years for delivering ended up as ambassadors for corporate Nigerian global acceptance of on what it promises to its brands, some of them have earned Nollywood and the popularity films ever growing audience of international roles while others have of Afro Hollywood to film and arts enthusiasts. At found family commitment in Europe. market the state as a a time when many did not Considering the new fad where tourist destination. This is recognise the potential of the film movies shot in Nigeria are because the Afro Hollywood industry in Nigeria at the beginning in being premiered and shown in Awards has served very 1992, Afro Hollywood started a London cinemas, would you well as an effective platform magazine dedicated to what became say there is a market for for companies seeking to known as Nollywood. Nigerian Videos sales and distribution of deepen relations and gain was first published in 1993 and gave Nigerian films in UK? greater exposure for their birth to the Awards in 1996. Just like music, films have products with British What are your expectations for the no market boundary. A good Africans and friends of next Awards? movie will succeed Africa. The 17th annual African Film anywhere in the world, if So far, where have you Awards, which will be celebrating made professionally and received support from? excellence in Nollywood and the best of backed with an adequate The Government of Osun African cinema, will be held in London marketing budget. Recently, State played a pioneering on Saturday 3rd November at the Tango with Me by Mahmud role when the state's Ministry historic Old Stratford Town Hall. It is Balogun opened in of Tourism and Culture expected to be the largest gathering of cinemas around the hosted the official influential British Africans yet. The United Kingdom and Nomination Awards awards event usually attracts high net it is expected to last October. worth British Africans with an interest make good box Nigerian in encouraging the growth of Africa's office returns. The recipients of film industry. UK is the biggest •Mike Abiola
THE NATION ON SUNDAY OCTOBER 14, 2012
Supported by: SILVERBIRD CINEMAS
Mirror Mirror: An evil queen runs riot
EATURING Julia Roberts, Lily Collins and Armie Hammer among others, Mirror Mirror, is a family fantasy comedy from director Tarsem Singh, and the first of two
reworking s of the Snow White story. It is fascinating as Julia Roberts plays the evil queen in a version of the story told from her character's point of view. Living large in her grand castle on a rocky promontory while the commoners starve to pay her taxes, the queen is a gold-digger looking to replenish the royal fortune. She sees a solution to her financial woes when wealthy Prince Alcott (Armie Hammer) stumbles into her kingdom. At first the queen is merely irked by her stepdaughter, but when Snow White catches the Prince's eye, irritation turns to rage, and
she orders her to be removed to the forest and executed. But unknown to the queen, Snow White is spared and taken in by seven bandit dwarfs, who teach her fighting skills. Thus, the queen dip into her dwindling reserves of magic- which she accessed by stepping through her mirror portal to what looks mystifyingly like Tahitian thatched huts built on water-to enslave the prince and eliminate Snow White. There are stunning elements, chief among them is the magnificent costume of singh's regular collaborator, the late Eiko Ishioke, to whom the film is dedicated.
Ice Age 4 Featured Actors: Ray Romano, Denis Leary and John Leguizamo Genre: Action/Adventure Running Time: 94 min Ice Age 4 (3D) Featured Actors: Ray Romano, Denis Leary and John Leguizamo Genre: Action/Adventure Running Time: 94 min Madagascar 3D Featured Featured: Actors Ray Romano, Denis Leary and John Leguizamo Genre: Action/Adventure Running Time: 94 min Snow White Featured Actors: Kristen Stewart, Chris Hemsworth and Charlize Theron Genre Action/Adventure Running Time 127 min Bol Bachchan (Indian) Featured Actors: Ajay Devgan,Abhishek Bachchan,Asin Thottumkal Genre: Comedy Running Time: 150mins The Amazing Spider-Man 3D Featured Actors: Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone and Rhys Ifans Genre: Action/Adventure Running Time: 136 Mins The Amazing Spider-Man (Rating: 15) Featured Actors: Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone and Rhys Ifans
Genre: Action/Adventure Running Time: 136 Mins The Past Came Calling Featured Actors Chioma Chukwuka Akpotha, John Dumelo, Marie Gomez, Oliver Jolliffer, Penelope Bouchot Humbart Genre Drama Running Time 110mins Think Like A Man Featured Actors: Chris Brown, Gabrielle Union and Kevin Hart Genre :Romance Running Time: 122 min Madagascar 3D Featured Actors: Ben Stiller, Jada Pinkett Smith and Chris Rock Genre Action/Adventure Running Time 93 min Men In Black Featured Actors Will Smith,
The Amazing Spider-Man Featured Actors: Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone and Rhys Ifans Genre: Action/Adventure Married but Living Single Featured Actors: Funke Akindele, Joke Silva, Joseph
Benjamin, Tina Mba, Femi Brainard, Kiki Omeili, Yemi Remi Genre: Action/Adventure Men in Black III Featured Featured Actors: Will Smith, Tommy Lee Jones and Josh Brolin Genre: Action/Adventure Dark Shadows Featured Featured Actors: Johnny Depp, Michelle Pfeiffer and Eva Green Genre: Action/Adventure Running Time: 113 min The Avengers Featured Featured Actors: Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans and Scarlett Johansson Genre Action/Adventure Running Time 142 min The Hunger Games Featured Featured Actors: Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson and Liam Hemsworth Genre: Action/Adventure Running Time: 142Mins
HE sequence begins in the late 18th century, as handsome socialite Barnabas Collins (Depp) has an affair with a housemaid called Angelique (Eva Green). But because of class divisions, he despises her in favour of a beautiful young virgin (Bella Heathcote). The housemaid turns out to be not just a woman scorned but a vengeful witch, making Barnabas's inamoratas throw herself off a cliff and sentencing him to endless suffering as a vampire. As if that's not enough, she also has him buried alive.
Dark Shadows was a longrunning soap on American daytime TV between 1966 and 1971, and now Tim Burton has made an expensive, specialeffects-strewn homage to the old series, building up the comic elements and turning it into a star vehicle for Johnny Depp. The movie starts out as if the young governess will be the heroine, but forgets her as soon as Barnabas wakes from the dead. There's no satisfactory explanation of her relationship to the 18th century, and her love affair with Barnabas must be somewhere on the cutting-room floor.
Ice Age: Continental Drift Featured Actors: Ray Romano, Denis Leary and John Leguizamo Genre: Action/Adventure Running Time: 94 Mins Snow White and the Huntsman (Rating: 15) Featured Actors: Kristen Stewart, Chris Hemsworth and Charlize Theron Genre: Action/Adventure Running Time: 127 Mins Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted Featured Actors: Ben Stiller, Jada Pinkett Smith and Chris Rock Genre: Action/Adventure Running Time: 93 Mins The past came calling (Rating: 18) Featured Actors: Chioma Chukwuka-Akpota, John Dumelo, Nigerian actors, Nigerian actresses, nigerian movie directors, Nigerian movie producers, Nigerian movies, Ruke Amata Genre: Drama Running Time: 110 Mins The Amazing Spider-Man (Rating: 15 )
Featured Actors: Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone and Rhys Ifans Genre: Action/Adventure Running Time: 136 Mins Think Like a Man (Rating: 18) Featured Actors: Chris Brown, Gabrielle Union and Kevin Hart Genre Comedy Running Time122 Mins Ties That Binds (Rating: 18) Genre: Drama Running Time: 92 Mins
THE NATION ON SUNDAY OCTOBER 14, 2012
‘Marriage doesn’t restrict my acting’ W
HAT has been happening to you? I run a company called Alleykat Media which worked with Fressia Entertainment to produce the movie, Journey to self. Basically, I wrote and produced the film, while the executive producer is Fressia Entertainment. It is my first screen play and I also featured in it with Katherine Obiang, Nse Ikpe Etim, Dakore Akande and Tosin Sido. Of course, there are other support and cameo appearances. It is an intense story of friendship, sacrifice, empowerment and selfrespect. Four childhood friends, Regina, Nse, Rume and Alex, get the news that another long time friend of theirs, Uche, has died. Uche was the magnet that pulled her friends together and over the years had become their shoulder to cry on, so much so that she never felt she could tell them about her own problems. As part of her last request, the ladies travel to Uche's home in Abuja for her funeral. The four ladies, on arriving at Uche's house, find that she has left a series of letters in which she speaks to them from beyond the grave. The letters provoke her friends to open up on emotional baggage, as secrets and fears are revealed, leading to a journey of self discovery. For Regina, Nse, Rume and Alex, the weekend they spend in Uche's house becomes an emotional roller coaster as individual characters are tested. Why are you interested in doing this? Basically, I have been interested in empowerment. If you look at my journey so far in entertainment, you would see that I am passionate about women and children. When I was writing the screenplay, I was interested in the happenings about a year ago. The stories of the women in Journey to Self are actually the stories that I Ashionye Michelle read about. Raccah is a lady with Personally, I felt there was a an infectious smile; an need to read affirmation that she is about their stories. enjoying a great As you're balance with her p r o b a b l y aware, I've career, family and always been a social life. She shared proponent of women's rights with YETUNDE and female OLADEINDE her empowerment in the past, the achievements, 'Girlpower' challenges and plans series being one of my initiafor the future, tives. It was natural, therefore, including the launch as I set my mind of her new movie, to writing scripts, that one Journey to self. of the first I wrote would deal with some of the issues women face in their relationships both with men and in there friendships with other women. Are the stories positive or negative? They are positive stories and it is a
family movie. It is basically talking about the problems of five friends. It is a journey of struggles; things they go through are things that affect other people in their lives. It could be their children or their husbands. I believe that it is a story real people would like to watch. These are real issues that affect real women not just in Nigeria but all over the world. Talking about family and friendship, many believe that it is difficult sustaining marriages these days. Those who are married are not sure of what to expect. What do you think of the trend? I played the role of a character who is married to a banker, played by Kalu Ikeagwu, with two children. She is in an abusive relationship. A lot of women today in Nigeria and in the world can relate with that. Basically, we are using the movie to send out a message, that whatever the situation you are in you can find a solution. If you have been in an abusive relationship for years, you don't necessarily have to be there suffering in silence. There is someone out there who is ready to listen to your story. Personally, you are married. How has it been like? It's been fantastic, my husband and I are like friends; we are like brother and sister more than being husband and wife. We don't have secrets, we share everything together. I believe that is what has been keeping the marriage going, So far we have been married for three years plus and we have a son who is two years plus as well. We thank God for the journey so far, and we are praying to be together till we are grey and old. What about the challenge for women having to drop their jobs or identity after marriage; what advise do you have for men? I don't think marriage should change that aspect of a woman's life. For a man, you are dating a woman, and if she is an actress, you met her in that career or job, you should let her keep that job. Fine, you can have restrictions. You could give restriction, like no kissing on set or doing certain things on set. Restrictions of that sort, I say restrictions for a better choice of words. This, because I know men are jealous, African men. Nigerian men are jealous. But it does not mean that you can limit your wife and ask her to stop the job she loves. Yet the men do all kinds of things….. Well that is another topic for another day. From my angle, I am lucky to be married to someone who is also in the business, who enjoys it. There are no restrictions he believes in professionalism. If he calls for whatever, I have to do it but we sit down and discuss it. And if I personally feel that I can't do what I am asked to do on set, then I have to let the director know that we have to twist this thing a bit and find a way around it. We did that on the set of Journey to Self for Dakore Akande. When was the turning point in your career? In my career there have been lots of turning points. I have been doing this for about twelve years and it is what I have always wanted to do. I am happy that I am using being a celebrity to touch people's lives. Are you going to be doing this for ever? Or do you have other dreams like moving into public life? Politics? No, not at all. For now I am not thinking about it. Maybe, never say never. But right now there is no politics on my agenda. Yes I want to do this for the rest of my life. I want to do music, I want to do acting and want to do more of production. As I said before, I have a production company called Alleykat Media. I want to do more of this, for film and for television. This would be the very first of loads of things to come. Talking about women's empowerment, do you think we have gone far since Beijing? Yes, we have gone far but I think there is still a lot more to be done. There are loads of areas that need to be touched but I believe it should start from home. I think charity should begin from home. I believe every woman should build a happy home and spread out. I think there are lots of women that go through battering in their homes. I don't think any woman should go through battering in her home.
THE NATION ON SUNDAY, OCTOBER 14, 2012
ADETUTU AUDU (E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org, Tel: 08023849036)
Caroline Danjuma’s one good turn
Kemi Asemota shuns marriage
EMI Asemota is the eldest daughter of one of Nigeria's renowned auto magnates, Chief Sonny Asemota. She used to be married to Lagos socialite Biyi Blaise before they got separated. Though she has a reputation of being tough, she is happily single and not searching. Her former hubby has outgrown his fear of getting married again and settled down with Yinka, his lover of many years and mother of his son. Kemi seems to have given marriage a wide berth.
EFORE she got married, Caroline's style could be described as “the girl next door” look. There were lots of t-shirts, jeans and minis in her wardrobe. After her wedding and babies, her style became sophisticated, though a little mature for someone in her 20s. Caroline seems to have found the perfect balance, and has been spotted looking good courtesy of her shipping magnate hubby, Musa Danjuma, younger brother of exdefence minister, General T.Y Danjuma (retd). She played host to the crème-de-la-creme who attended the wedding of her stepdaughter, Mary, in Lagos last week. Not only did she perform her role as a step-mum, the mother of two made sure everything was perfect to make the day grand for the bride. And trust the bride's father, Musa, who has enough bucks to throw around. Insider revealed that the former Delta girl's gesture towards Mary is like a case of one good turn that deserves another. In the heat of marital challenge that the former a c t r e s s encountered i n t h e Danjuma home, we learnt it was Mary that prevailed on her father from sending the mother of two out of h e r matrimonial home.
Yinka Taiga moves on
AVING survived the battle with her hubby, Olorogun Moses Taiga and his former wife, Mercy, and her 10-year 'waiting room' experience before she was blessed with a set of quadruplets, Yinka Taiga has become one of Nigeria's most celebrated society ladies, and is currently busy with her upscale children store located on Victoria Island. Since the store was opened few years ago, it has become a Mecca of sort for most shoppers.
Between Jenkins Alumona and Calixthus Okoruwa
F information available is anything to go by, cold war may be brewing between two marketing communication giants - Jenkins Alumona of Strategic Outcomes Limited and Calixthus Okoruwa of XLR8. Those in the know squealed that Alumona's outfit is trying to take over one of the juicy accounts that are being managed by Okoruwa's XLR8. Alumona was at one time Manager, Events and Sponsorships at Celtel Nigeria (formerly Econet Wireless Nigeria), Events, Sponsorships and Marketing PR Manager at Econet Wireless Nigeria, before he moved to Globacom as Head, Sponsored Assets. He later established his marketing communication company, Strategic Outcomes. On the other side, Calixthus Okoruwa has a multidisciplinary background that spans sales management, social health advocacy, journalism, advertising management and public relations in industries that include pharmaceuticals, public health, print media, international air express and logistics as well as telecommunications. He has been described as a huge reservoir of ideas and respected for his professionalism and hands-on expertise at his job.
THE NATION ON SUNDAY, OCTOBER 14, 2012
Glamour 45 Bisola Kola-Daisi makes waves
Oyin Adenugaâ€™s past time
YIN Emelia Adenuga is one of the pretty daughters of billionaire businessman and head honcho at Globacom, Otunba Mike Adenuga Jnr. But one thing that you don't know is that the founder and CEO of Imaginative Buying Services has an undying love for Yoruba movies. When not working, inside sources revealed, she relaxes by watching Yoruba movies. The Adenuga belle is a graduate of University of Maryland with a B.A. in Sociology. She returned to Nigeria and began a career in the banking industry, working various positions at Equitorial Trust Bank until she earned the position of senior manager, followed by an executive director position at Consolidated Oil before she started her own business, Imaginative Buying Services, LLC.
HEN the beautiful daughter of Oyo State Governor, Bisola Kola Daisi, announced her plan to open a stop shoe store, Florence H on the Island, many did not expect less from her, having been known to have frolicked with the superstars of Hollywood, before coming to Nigeria from her US base. The Musa Yar'adua location of the store has been playing host to those who have a knack and taste for good shoes.
Bukky Osunkeye's rising profile
UN-LOVING Bukky Osunkeye is the daughter of astute businessman, Chief Segun Osunkeye. She has run Azaria since 2003 when she launched her label, churning out leather accessories. The long-awaited Buki de l'Azaria clothing collections also berth early this year. Bukky is one friendly lady who finds it easy to fraternise with people irrespective of their class. Though still single, she has not let her single status deter her from making success out of her career.
Big Chi retired but not tired
HINYERE Ngonadi is one of the most celebrated female personalities within the Nigerian social circuit. Fondly called Big Chi by friends, she was a top official in the Nigeria Custom and Excise. For many years, she held sway in Tin Can, Apapa, Lagos. Her closeness to another society woman, Kofo Olugbesan, also a former top official in the Custom, who, we learnt, is her god mother, helped to accelerate her rise within the force. But before one could say Jack, she had voluntarily retired and taken a break from the social scene, though she appears to be enjoying her life in retirement. She was one of the guests at the 50th birthday of Bisi Awoniyi, the acting Chief Operating Officer, Bi-Courtney Aviation Services.
Toyin Fagbayi out of business
T is no longer business as usual for society lady, Toyin Fagbayi, since the demise of President Umar Yar'adua and subsequent evacuation of his family from Aso-Rock. Informants say the elegant society lady who had been linked at one time with a Kano State-born billionaire and another politician may have withdrawn into her shell. The socialite cum business woman was the one given the task to make success of the superlative weddings of Ya'radua's daughters, Zainab and Nafisah, to Kebbi and Bauchi States governors respectively. Not only this, we gathered that she also consulted for the erstwhile first lady on fashion matters. Fagbayi, a one-time staunch member of the Alliance for Democracy (AD), managed the launch of Hajia Turai Ya'radua's pet project, International Cancer Centre, Abuja. She enjoys good contacts with those who matter in the corridors of power and the social circuit. She is a member of Polo Club which membership registration, we gathered, cost about $4,200.
THE NATION ON SUNDAY, OCTOBER 14, 2012
OLUSEGUN RAPHEAL (08033572821) email@example.com
Island Club holds Independence Dance
L-R: Representative of Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, Dr. Leke Pitan and Prince Demola Dada
L-R: Dr. Sulaiman Yerima and Gen. Gbenga Shobanjo
RIDAY, 5 October, 2012 will not be forgotten in a hurry for those who attended the 2012 Independence Dance of Island Club. Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu was the special Guest of Honour. He was represented by the former Lagos State Commissioner for Health, Dr. Leke Pitan. Chairman, Island Club Prince Ademola Dada, led the guests to the dance floor dance to King Sunny Ade's Music . By OLUSEGUN RAPHEAL
Chief Olusola Faleye and wife, Fadeke
Majour General AbdulMalik Halidu-Giwa and wife
L-R: Sen. Gbenga Obadara and Sen. Gbenga Ashafa
Aare Hakeem and Erelu Yemisi Awe
L-R: Jide Winsala, Aare Kamorudeen Danjuma and Jide Odekunle
Diamond Special Recognition Award holds in Lagos
HE much talked about Diamond Special Recognition Award holds its first Nigeria edition in Lagos. The event has been holding in United Kingdom for the past four years, according to the CEO, Bustline Media Initiate, Yetunde Oduwole, The award is to honour Nigerians who distinguish themselves in their various professions, Among those who were honoured are, Ogun State First Lady, Mrs. Folusho Amosun, Chief Jimi Sholanke, Adebayo Salami, Yinka Ayefele, Sir. Shina Peters among others. The event was held at the prestigious Anchor Event Centre Agidingbi, Ikeja, Lagos By OLUSEGUN RAPHEAL L-R: Babatunde Benard, (Baba Tee) and Yetunde Oduwole
L-R:Adebayo Salami, Sir Shina Peters and Jimi Solanke
L-R: Aisha Abimbola and Jaiye Kuti
L-R: Segun Arinze and Shan George
L-R: Ronke Adesiyan and Toyin Kolade
THE NATION ON SUNDAY OCTOBER 14, 2012
VOL 1 NO. 037
Advertising insurance brand B
...Client's Brief and Effective Advertising
RANDS management is a knowledge-based profession. Its effectiveness or otherwise, therefore, is a direct function of the quality and quantity of information available on the one hand and the quality of interpretation of available information, on the other. In some respect, therefore, advertising shares similar character traits with the information management system that says “garbage in, garbage out”. The importance of very good quality information gathering and processing to effective brands management and advertising can hardly be over emphasized. Contemporary advertising in today's local environment posts compromised quality version principally because compromised information gathering and interpretation. For a fact, both Client contact(s) and consultants post quality compromise, hence prevalence of not too effective (we are running aware from mentioning “brilliant”) advertising. Looking deeper into quality of advertising today, most advert messages are empty in focus, essence and execution only because of the reasons mentioned above. Appreciation of client's brief was one of the hard lessons we learnt as rookies in brands management in the INSIGHT SCHOOL, when it all began. The creative process starts with the client's brief. We were not even permitted to run with a verbal brief from the client. Therefore, the client deliberately captured what the assignment was, supplying necessary information to include brand characteristics, present market performance, competitive analysis of market situation, some derivatives from SWOT consideration and the marketing or advertising objective. Taking on Clint's assignment armed with good quality information as listed above, became fun. Then-on, the creative process gets interestingly logical, systematic and scientific. Among other things, what the client's brief does is provide industry and brand information that aids the agency strategic planning process towards robust information gathering and processing. When agencies churn out good adverts, it is not due to superior knowledge of given market, versus the client, but only as a result of professional and scientific processing of information provided by the client. So, it all starts with the client and the client's brief. We once mentioned on this page that advertising serves as change agent and growth catalyst. So its importance is not parochial to meeting the advertiser's need only, but also stimulate better living standard among targeted segment in the larger society by reason of its function of information and awareness generation. So, practitioners and brand owners should begin to appreciate advertising quality as a service to society and contribution to economic growth. A good advert message helps the target audience towards making safe and beneficial choice at the market place. The import of such good decision automatically impact on financially rewarding buying decision, appropriate deployment of scarce resources, etc. Unfortunately, today's experience with brands management practice and appreciation is one of compromise. More and more, quality of input from the client's and agency is consistently suspect in quality, in more ways than one. Brand or marketing managers do not even write briefs anymore. Even among brand managers trained in brief generation, some of them are now too lazy to so-practice. Writing a brief draws a lot on intellectual discipline and exercise. It requires deliberate efforts at critical thinking, information gathering, generation and analysis. It requires having a working knowledge of the brand in question, the market, competition and setting the right marketing objective. We agree proper brief writing is one very tasking assignment. It is only when all of the mentions above are professionally handled that good results are posted. Such good results manifests in successful and profitable brands management, loyal consumers, market leadership and all the other plusses. Hence successful brands will not compromise in their quality of human resource. They will consistently train and retrain their process managers to keep up with set professional standards and philosophy. By extension, therefore, the quality of input in the generation of information for mass consumption, the better the
impact of such input to the over-all good of the related public. So, if for instance the banking public is fed inadequate information on banking services on offer and their value essence, that public will be compromised on the benefits of such information towards optimizing options in engaging banking services and products. On the aggregate many sectors of our macro-economic environment have been suffering from improper professional handling over the years, and of interest to us at this point is the insurance industry. As mentioned some where above, particular industry
•Pa Arhewo Goes Home owe most benefits to the recipient public than the operators, and insurance is one of them unfortunately, however, the insurance industry is one very important offer of direct positive impact on economic growth with immense value on the individual and the public which value has not been adequately tapped, only because the industry players have not been quite responsible in managing the offer and valueessence (with all due respect). Perhaps owing to the historical perspective, insurance products and services are generally sold on the basis of compulsion, such as non-life penetration in the area of vehicle insurance, marine insurance and such various other commercial engagements the law has made to purchase relevant insurance products by force. And because such businesses pull huge earnings for industry players, laxity replaced professionalism, drive and innovation in our local market. In fact the introduction of health insurance added to the must-buys, so much so, industry players might as well go to sleep at the acquisition of operating license. The public is the looser. Because the industry players are not challenged, supposed brand managers do not even bother to generate process and disseminate information to enlighten the public on the various advantages in engaging insurance. Empirical studies have proven insurance to be materially instrumental to macro-economic growth. It improves investment climate and promote a more efficient
mix of activities than would have been undertaken in the absence of risk management instruments. In aggregating the sectorby-sector contribution to societal macro-economic growth, insurance leads in comparison to the contribution on of banks and securities trading. Unfortunately, banking and stock trading that are only marginally complementary to the leadership role of insurance star in glamour and appreciation because insurance has not been well sold and presented to the public. The public is loosing. The average man and woman in Nigeria foes not know insurance as the most reliable means to prosperity. Among other benefits, insurance enables the following, exclusively: 1. Indemnification and risk pooling facilitates commercial transactions, provides credit, measures and manages non-diversifiable risk. 2. Insurance enables risk averse individuals and entrepreneurs undertake higher risk and higher return activities. 3. Insurance promotes higher productivity a n d growth 4. Insurers are institutional investors positioned to provide capital infrastructures and other long term investments 5. Insurers provide very safe investment advisory services for optimal return on investment best investment decision-making process management. 6. To a great extent, insurance supports healthy and happy living. The list goes on. But the public's knowledge of the benefits of insurance is near zero. The average individual in Nigeria runs with the top-of-mind reference to insurance as a fraudulent engagement forced on people by statutory regulation. Vehicle insurance is taken up just to fulfill all righteousness. The scope of any economy's insurance market directly impact on the range of available risk management alternatives, and the quality of information available to guide investors in the process of deciding on which alternative to stay with. Therefore, the deliberate effort by macroeconomic policies in support of insurance penetration in any economy is a very strong stimulant for improved productivity, investment and over-all economic growth. The scenario in our local market is quite sad: while the macro-economic policies have set the stage for a vibrant insurance market, the industry is peopled by those not equally driven in enthusiasm. If only efficient brand managers are driving the industry inside-out, our macroeconomy would have been better for it. In conclusion, therefore, we like to state that managing insurance brand is requiring of dedicated professionals from among industry players and brands management consultants, to help one and all draw from the enormous growth potentials on offer by INSURANCE. It requires professionalism, commitment, dedication and hard work from us all. My friend and brother, Tony Ojeme Esq, the Head Corporate Planning & Media Affair, Niger Insurance Plc is bereaved of his father In-law, Pa Pius Erazua Arhewoh. He was aged 82. Strategizing for Niger Insurance brand and planning for the burial of his late father in-law has taken its toll on him, as he runs around ensuring the imperatives are in place for both responsibilities. Late Pa Arhewoh was a devout Christian and a trained educationist who committed all to raising future leaders in his days as a teacher. As a seasoned school administrator, he impacted on key educational institutions in Esan district and its environs in the old Bendel State. Till his death, Pa Arhewoh ensured the transfer of good values to the next generation, all around him. Pa Arhewoh is survived by his wife, 12 children and many grand-children, including Mrs Beatrice Ojeme, the wife of Tony Ojeme. Burial arrangement is as announced by the family. The activities starts August 30 till September 2, 2012, in Irrua, Esan Central LGA. May his gentle soul rest in peace.
THE NATION ON SUNDAY OCTOBER 14, 2012
Bukola Smith , n a m o w e n o â€Ś many hats Y
OU started out your career in the banking sector, why did you leave?
My mother was a banker for thirty-three years and she was gone almost all the time. She would leave first thing in the morning and come back late at night. I can actually remember all the times they changed the currency note because she would return home very late at 11 or 12 pm on many days. For that reason, I didn't feel inclined to work there even though my mom really wanted my brother and I to end up in the bank. After spending a year in the mortgage bank, I knew I had to leave. From your experience in law, are female practitioners given a fair hearing in court or is there some gender bias? Oh no! I do not think there is any bias at all. Once you know your onions and who you are, you will always be able to push your case. Luckily, there is a saying that goes 'There is no woman at the bar, only gentlemen'. A woman who knows her stuff will not be intimidated except they want to be. Law is clear, once the facts are there and they can be presented, you win a case and even if you lose, it is not the end of the world. Thankfully, there are appeal options which are ongoing till the case is proven beyond reasonable doubt. There is a general perception that marrying a spouse in the same profession can pose marital challenges, what has your journey been like? For me, it has been good. My husband and I laugh because we always have to present reasons till we argue to a point of conclusion. Interestingly, when we worked together, we complimented each other. He was good at litigation and I was better at corporate governance and so we merged forces. Right
She started her career at a mortgage bank but chose to follow her passion for law. Now a managing partner at Law City Partners, a vibrant legal firm, consultant for the social enterprise sector, and fashion designer, Bukola Smith has become a force to reckon with. With twenty years of legal and entrepreneurial experience in her kitty, Smith bares her mind on some issues. She spoke with Rita Ohai. now he has moved into the entertainment industry with event planning and public relations while I attend to the legal practice, but when we were together, we found a balance. In 2005, when you decided to start your own business, what were the steps you took to set yourself up? There was something we used to say in school and it was 'Others are educated, Lawyers are learned'. We are able to flow into any field we enter. I first of all didn't know what to do. So I decided to take a month off to plan because I knew that if I did not leave that job and take time off, I would not be able to plan. It was sudden but I had to do it. However, it was not up to one month after that I was approached to consult for This Present House. For a woman who multitasks, how do you handle all these businesses and try to succeed at the all of them? First of all, it
is God's grace. I find myself doing it without understanding that I even have the capacity. When it comes to taking up an assignment, I do it with my all and I see that I am able to accomplish more. I take on what I can handle at a time, so that I do not become a 'Jack of all trades and master of none'. I take a day off from my job as a consultant so that I can attend to all my other businesses. I sit down and run through a whole week with my staff and then I am able to disengage and move on to other things. When I get home at the end of a work day, I still pay attention to the business. Somehow, there has been a synergy and I am able to flow but on days that I feel distracted or scattered, I just shut down until I am able to take on the day again. As an entrepreneur, what is the issue with getting qualified staff in Nigeria? It has been frustrating to say the least. I have had three managers in the space of three months. It has been challenging getting the right people for the tasks. They all seem to want to work but cannot do the job well. We have half-baked graduates who studied Mass Communication but cannot write a correct sentence. It is very scary! When you try to explain this to them, they give you a sour attitude which means they have shut the door to learn. It shows the kind of learning that goes on in our universities. To circumvent this challenge, don't expect too much so that your expectations do not get dashed or you train them. There's widespread assumption that the social sector is marred by financial irregularities such as the misappropriation of funds, how can this be addressed? The state of the nation shows that corruption is rife. If Nigeria will redeem
itself, starting from each individual, corruption will be diminished. Then it will transmit to all parastatals including the nongovernmental organisations, NGO's. Apart from that, accessing international funds has been very difficult and the organisations try to have a face that people can trust. Law can be an engaging profession, how do you create time to relax and have fun? Having worked with law firms, I saw that it was demanding, almost as much as banking. I remember days when I would be at the office till 10 pm as a nursing mother and that made me take a break in 2005. I knew that if I wanted to practice and have my own time, I would have to set up my own law firm. Leaving my job at that time was painful because I loved the job and it was a passion but I knew that if I left, I would have options and the opportunity to multitask effectively from home and set up other businesses. I go on retreats at IITA or I might decide to go to Dubai or South Africa with my family. Relaxing is something I long to do a lot more often now. What is the one unconventional thing you would want to do before you die? If I could conquer my fear of heights, I would like to do some sky-gliding and jump out of a plane. I went to the Table Mountains in South Africa and I had to hold on to somebody because I was so scared. Besides that, customer service has been very bad in this country. It is something I feel God is probably calling me to do. So I have said I am going to have an academy where people would have customer service training, because there is something lacking in that field in this country.
THE NATION ON SUNDAY OCTOBER 14 , 2012
Self-Care tips for working moms
F all the tips for working moms, top of the list has to be taking care of yourself. Mom's needs often seem to come last. After your kids, their dad, your job, the pets, and endless errands, that is. There's just not enough time in the day to get everything done, so your running shoes or novel or bath salts or strappy sandals just gather dust. But you can't always stay on the back burner. Here are four reasons it's important for working moms to take care of ourselves: Tip 1: If Mama Ain't Happy, Ain't
Nobody Happy When mom's stressed or burnt out, everyone in the house suffers. Even a baby gets fussy when his mother is upset. Older children may respond to a tense mom by acting out. If you take an hour or two to yourself, for whatever nourishes you, the rest of the day (or week) will be easier and more fun. Your family will enjoy having an energetic and
Ministry of Trade invests in Finima women
refreshed mom, even if they complain about your absence. Bottom line: by paying attention to your own needs, you'll actually be better at meeting everyone else's. Tip 2: Stress and Sleep Deprivation Make You Fat Stress and sleep deprivation release cortisol into your bloodstream, which triggers fat storage around your waist. No wonder it's so hard to lose that pregnancy weight while getting up every three hours with a new baby! Not only is it demoralising to carry more weight than your ideal, it increases your risk of developing heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and arthritis, among other conditions. And we all want to live long enough to play with our grandkids, maybe even see them get married, right? So the next time you're tempted to stay up until midnight sorting, folding, and putting away everyone's laundry, go to sleep instead. You can just dress the kids out of baskets of clean laundry. Similarly, taking your work lunch break to exercise can actually give you a burst of energy and make the afternoon more productive. Tip 3: Other People Are Capable, Too So many working moms fall into the Superwoman trap, thinking we have to be in charge of everything because we're the only one who will do it right. That mentality not only overloads you with work, it doesn't give enough credit to your other family members. Even worse, it prevents them from learning skills that can lighten your load and make them feel more capable. Try leaving the kids with their dad or grandfather for a Saturday morning while you have brunch with your girlfriends. He may not change the diapers as often as you would, or feed them perfectly balanced meals, but I bet they'll have fun. And not only will he feel rightly proud of his caregiving ability, your children will develop independence, seeing that they're all right without mom hovering nearby all weekend. At work, see if there's a junior employee looking to advance to whom you can delegate some tasks. Again, they won't be completed the way you would, but you'll have more free time for yourself. You'll also be mentoring someone who could use the experience. Tip 4: Life Is for Living This is your life, right now. Would you rather spend it rushing around to finish your to-do list, or actually enjoying yourself? Don't fall into the trap of thinking you'll relax once you reach the bottom of the list there will always be something more to do. Instead, ruthlessly prioritise and eliminate tasks that don't absolutely have to get done. If you've having trouble carving out time for yourself, start small. Say you always wanted to meditate: wake up five minutes early for some deep breathing and visualisation. Or if you miss exercising regularly, schedule a once-a-week power walk during lunch. If it's on your calendar, you can plan work around it. And the next time you have some breathing space, don't fill it with errands. Instead, just breathe.
N a bid to promote development and growth in the riverine area of Rivers State, the Ministry of Trade and Investment has set up a bread-making factory for members of the Finima Women Association (FIWA). The bakery which has the capacity of churning out over 380 loaves of bread was commissioned by Dr. Olusegun Aganga. It is the first automated bread factory in the oil and gas dominated environment and has provided jobs for at least fifty workers. FIWA bakery, according to the body's president, Dr. (Mrs), Ibimina
By Rosemary Nwisi
Victor-Akan, is aimed at “improving the general wellbeing of the members of the community, especially those from the Brown, Tobin and Attoni Houses, who are the three main founders of Finima community.” FIWA was formed on the 27th of September 1997, with the aim of affording the women a common platform to harness their hidden talents to foster sustainable development in Finima Community. The bakery will also undertake other brands of snacks[p when fully operational.
Time to show affection the love door
T was one of the best parties Rebecca had attended in a long while. The serene environment had transported her into another world entirely and was basking in the love euphoria, a sweetness she never imagined existed. Pretty faces, handsome dudes wearing outfits that could be described as a collector's delight made it a very memorable event, indeed. The chandeliers and other lightening effect as well as the nice presentation of exotic drinks and good food all swept her off her feet. It could actually be compared to a love feast and everyone appeared to be having some fun. Physically, she looked good too and no one would imagine that her heart which had been battered thrice was still in an awful state. Interestingly, she had a companion, someone she met about two weeks ago. It looked too good to be true, and while rationalising, she came to the fact that it was too early to count any blessings. “Men get so carried away when you first meet them. At this point, they would behave as if you are the best thing that ever happened to them. Then just when you think you have found what you have been looking for, he would drop a bombshell.'' She adds: “If he doesn't drop a bombshell, then you would begin to notice some differences in his attitude. At this point, he is already getting tired of you. If he does not have the guts to look at your face and tell you then he would drop the hints in style. One important thing you need to do is to lay a strong emotional foundation of love in your relationship if you want it to work. It is crucial because it is this foundation that your partner builds upon to constantly get connected to you. Once you have done the basics, you can be sure to have established a stable and loving environment, something that can be cherished forever. Of course, a lot of people don't believe that you need to work on the building blocks of their relationship, especially at the early stage. So, they do it their own way and sometimes they are lucky things work out fine, and they move on. Most times, like a moving bus they jump in and it is likely that the lovebirds would jump out in a short while. Naturally, the man or woman in their lives therefore starts pulling away emotionally. It can be worse especially when you are faced with other battles and it is a phase when you just need your partner's affection most. At this point, it is almost too late to revert to status quo. There won't ever be that safe stable heart to run to anymore. It is almost like an elusive search: searching for a heart among other likeminded hearts. A heart that would make you feel comfortable and supported in love. That you just cannot find your missing rib does not mean that you are bad or that you have failed emotionally. It may just be that you fell for the wrong person, someone who never really cared, someone who did not share your dreams. Sadly, you got mid way only to realise that it was not what you thought it was. Sometimes, the person we really want to be with may not fit into our dreams. If this is the case then you can be sure that things would certainly fall apart sooner than expected. Sometimes, we try our best to make it work but no matter how hard we try, such calculations just do not work out right. At this point the basic question would be where do we go from here? Can we make amends and rediscover affection here or elsewhere? Can love be transferred to another? Of course, we know that we can shift our affection elsewhere if the person we admire is not budging. But is it really possible to shift love around? Well, scientifically, maybe we could do a love transplant. Here, all the emotions would have been uprooted from the one who does not merit or deserve such attention and then you can transfer to one who would appreciate your love currency and make it worth the while. One interesting fact that women need to know is that men communicate differently. It's therefore important to understand and decode the message that he is trying to send across. Unfortunately, if you do not know how to do this, then you would always be at the crossroads. For a number of women, the major problem is that they do not know how to communicate with a man in a relationship, and they haven't been able to do so with men in their past relationships. So, if this is the case in your relationship, then you won't be able to create the critical foundation in your relationship. Once you are in this stage you'll never experience the kind of stable support system that a relationship can experience or what should be for you and your feelings. You are always at an advantage if you have learnt how to handle each of the moments that are sure to come up with your man, especially those issues that are most likely to break up or pull your relationship apart.
THE NATION ON SUNDAY OCTOBER 14, 2012
By Olubanwo Fagbemi
firstname.lastname@example.org 08060343214 (SMS only)
SOME said the rough, resilient terrain of Jibowu Street typified the character of the residents. Steep, stony and winding for the most parts, it was a challenge in all weather. It was tricky to negotiate at a stroll as it was difficult to traverse on a trot. None but the stranger risked brisk movement on the slippery, twisting surface when it rained, for residents would readily regale the listener with tales of spectacular stumble. From the aged to the young and from the able male to the fragile female, none was spared an awkward tumble. Yet, oblivious to the treachery of nature, a class of inhabitants thrived. The street urchins were not in the majority, but as they were louder and more exuberant, their voices carried the most. Their more engaging moments were spent at either of the two bars on the street, and every excuse was found to organise ‘carnivals’ where uncouth youths assaulted the ethics of communal existence with wholesale vending and consumption of illicit stuff. The least faithful to civic duty, the rascals were ironically sensitive to inadequate provision of social services, especially electricity supply. A delayed power failure was often countered by fiddling with electric poles and lines or, in drastic cases, transformers. Hapless residents lost count of periods of extended outage from an exploded transformer resulting from unprofessional meddling by the urchins or electricity company workers’ vindictive neglect. Mindful of courting harm, and given the benefit of a weak police force, some concerned residents accosted the rogues with tact; to live unmolested on Jibowu was to pretend all was well. Nonetheless, occasional comic situations brightened general outlook on the street. One incident enthusiastically recalled by the average longterm resident was a refuse cart operator’s antic from the days when state refuse dispersal activities were muted. On a bright morning, a cart pusher emerged at the top of the street and began to collect refuse as usual. Ignored at first, he gained notice when he began to fight for control of his cart. It probably rolled away as he turned to collect some refuse but he could shortly be seen bounding after the wayward cart. He managed to place one hand on the contraption’s handle but couldn’t bring the other to bear because something else demanded critical attention. The fellow’s trousers had fallen from his waist and one arm battled to hold it up. Try as he might to straighten the event, the more complicated it got. Now he was hopping after the flying cart with trousers at knee level and perspiring heavily as can be imagined. From isolated giggling, the whole street howled in unison. The laughter reached a crescendo as cart and man finally bounced to a stop at the level end of the street. Exhausted, the cart pusher sank to his knees and mopped beads of sweat from his brow before wheeling his recalcitrant equipment off the street and out of sight.
Misnomers and modern life
CHEEK BY JOWL
A MISNOMER – a word or term which suggests a meaning that is known to be wrong – often arises because the thing named received its name long before its true nature was known. A misnomer may also be simply a word that is used incorrectly or in a misleading manner. For example: Blackboards can be black, green, red or blue. And the sticks of chalk are no longer made of chalk, but of gypsum. Telephone numbers are usually referred to as being dialled although rotary phones are now rare. When a computer program is electronically transferred from disk to memory, this is referred to as loading the program. “Load” is a holdover term from the mid-twentieth century, when programs were created on punched cards and then loaded into a hopper for automated processing. In logic, begging the question is a type of fallacy occurring in deductive reasoning in which the proposition to be proved is assumed implicitly or explicitly in one of the premises. However, more recently, “begs the question” has been used as a synonym for “raises the question”.
Jokes Humour Football Irony THE following statements were overheard at a recent women’s football tournament: Soccer pundit: Sure there have been injuries, and even some deaths on the pitch, but none of them really that serious. Football commentator: If history repeats itself, I should think we can expect the same thing again. Football analyst: She dribbles a lot and the opposition doesn’t like it. In fact you can see it all over their faces. Subtle Cracks •CHINA has a population of a billion people. Everyone may think Chang a onein-a-million kind of guy, but there are still a thousand others exactly like him. •THEY say animal behaviour can warn you when an earthquake is coming. The night before the last great California earthquake, the Williams’ family dog took the car keys and drove away to a safer state. •MARY was married to Bill for three months
and didn’t know he drank until one night he came home sober. •A BOY and girl octopus out on a date walked down the street arm in arm in arm in arm ... Appropriate Punishment TWO burglars broke into a building and stole an expensive calendar. They were caught and arraigned in court. The sentencing was swift and brief. They both got six months. Drunk’s Prayer JUDE was staggering home with a bottle of bear in his back pocket when he slipped and fell heavily. Struggling to his feet, he felt something wet running down his leg. “Please, God,” he prayed, “let it be blood!”
QUOTE There are two types of people in this world, good and bad. The good sleep better, but the bad seem to enjoy the waking hours much more. —Woody Allen •Culled from the Internet
OMMON Writer ’s Fountain mistakes to way or concept. Do not try to take up the same avoid in short story writing: Don’t add old boring ideas used by almost all writers. Be details and make it too long. If there are too innovative, let your imagination fly and write many sub-plots and too much information, too something different, but get your facts straight. many characters find their way into the story There shouldn’t be confusion. Having the and the length moves from short story to mechanics correct is a must. Mixing format, novella or novel. The writer needs to decide construction, structure, or points of view results on one plot, one major conflict, and the details in the reader being confused. Also not following that are absolutely necessary. the guidelines for the genre can result in readers Attract the reader’s attention within the first who expect certain elements finding that they three or four paragraphs. Starting with some that are missing or misused. action is a good technique. If action can’t be Research and make sure that you write used at the very beginning, then have some correct information. Even stories need to have within the first three paragraphs. correct information. Ensure credibility of Short stories require originality. While it examples or instances. is true that there are no new basic ideas left, Try using a single word for a group of each idea can be addressed differently. A writer words. It would be a good idea to take help should be able to “twist” the old idea in a new from the Thesaurus, because in writing, finding Life notes: the perfect word is important. Although it may •Fingernails grow faster on the hand you appear confusing, you should not concentrate favour. on your word count after you write each •The attachment of the human skin to sentence. When you are writing your first draft, muscles is what causes dimples. do not focus entirely on your word count. Look •A group of people that are hired to clap at your word count only after your first draft is at a performance are called a claque. finished and you’re ready to edit. Remember •A person’s nose and ears continue to that all stories need a beginning, middle and grow throughout his or her life. end. Keep equal space for each part.
THE NATION ON SUNDAY, OCTOBER 14, 2012
As the 26th edition of the National Festival of Arts and C u l t u r e (NAFEST) kicks off in Ilorin, Kwara State, the need to use it to cement love and unity among Nigerians becomes pivotal. Edozie Udeze reports
ERHAPS not many Nigerians are aware that the National Festival of Arts and Culture (NAFEST) organiaed yearly by the National Council for Arts and Culture (NCAC) predates Nigerian Independence in 1960. Before Nigeria got her freedom from Britain, this festival had already been instituted, to harness, celebrate and promote arts in Nigeria. According to M. M. Maidugu, the Executive Director of NCAC, the idea was essentially to incorporate all aspects of the Arts into one to be able to give the nation a defined focus. When it began in the late 1950s, the total concept was to have a national unity forum to harness and update creativity in all fields of the arts, science, and technology. In an interview, Maidugu who has consistently held the festival in the past seven years explained that when the civil war ended in 1970, the federal government mandated NCAC to organise the celebration to reintegrate parts of the country involved in the war. In his words, “although there was the festival of unity to mark the reintegration of the Eastern states after the Nigerian civil war in 1970, what would be regarded as the first Nigerian Festival of Arts and Culture actually took place in Lagos in 1970.” Every year since then, each state of the federation opts to host the festival. This is to show that it is a cel-
•Art and Crafts on display at the festival
Festival of empowerment ebration meant to cement love and unity in the country. This year’s celebration which began in Ilorin, Kwara State yesterday, has as its theme: Culture, Peace and Economic Empowerment. The Kwara State government is not only hosting it for the first time, but the governor, Abdulfatah Ahmed, said it is for the state to contribute its quota to the unity of the nation. In an earlier statement, he told culture eggheads who converged in Ilorin that Kwara State was poised to prove to the world that it can be a rallying point for the progress of the nation. Addressing arts reporters in Abuja, the Minister of Tourism and Culture, Chief Edem Duke, reiterated the need for artistes and culture technocrats to use the opportunity of the festival to further advance the transformation programme of the federal government. He said: “NAFEST is being reorganised to
serve as the preferred sector for the nation’s transformation goals. It will further help in the area of job creation, especially for our rural dwellers. We need to empower our youths economically and this is why we have chosen to harness all the creative arts in the rural areas to showcase them at the event.” He went on: “If the rural dwellers who form the bulk of the population of the nation are given the required attention to perfect their skills and creativity and then bring them to national lime light, we would have succeeded in keeping them busy. It is our primary focus to ensure that culture and tourism are properly used to create huge entrepreneurial spirit among our teeming youths.”. “Beyond this,” Duke said, “our heritage is a gift from age to age. These heritage abound in all crannies of the nation and therefore it is
our responsibility to ensure that we empower ourselves with what we have. So, this is time for us to talk about peace, rediscover our love for one another and then use that to give ourselves economic power and reduce social vices.” Maidugu equally restated that this year’s festival is estimated to attract over 6,000 participants who would be involved in one programme or the other. “Our concern this year,” he said, “is to rediscover new talents in the intermediate category of traditional wrestling. After that, we will continue to promote and expose them to more competitions nationally and globally. This will also help to galvanise our wrestlers into action in future outings.” In the painting and drawing category, Maidugu, drew attention to secondary school students whom he said are the focus of this year’s edition. “We have told them to work
Art of recycling
RT comes with diversity of concepts and for celebrated bone collage artist Godwin Archie-Abia, visual artists owe it to themselves to be versatile. From recycling bones for his artworks, he says that his new method gives the concept of mixed media a new fell. According to the artist, on a visit to his studio, “life is all about recycling and if we as a nation recycle waste, we will be better off.” He talks about the piece God’s Last Card which he says should serve as a wakeup call for sleeping Christians. Away from the endtime, doom prophecy message which rend the atmosphere these days, Archi-Abia says that the first coming of Christ signifies God’s last card to the world. He explains that the blood of Jesus Christ is the one atoning for sins as it is the stronghold of every Christian. “Anything that confronts you, if you plead the blood of Jesus Christ, you will have express deliverance
By Ovwe Medeme
that is why as Christians, we need to be on the alert. Adorned with biblical quotations to back up his message, Abia exploits mixed media in the form of chipboard, colours and other waste materials. “If you go open the bible and read those scriptures passages on the piece, you will really understand what I am talking about. Christians don’t need to go from one church to the other. Stay where you are and get the mysteries of what you have as a bornagain Christian to get triumph of every situation of your life,” he explains. In the same spiritual vein, Abia comes up with the work, Our Manual. Just as electronic and other device manufacturers attach manuals to their products, the artiste says, God who created us has given us a manual. “From all the things we are looking for, have we as in-
dividuals gone back to the manual that God gives us to look into it and read and know what is wrong in our life?” he asks. Much unlike the purported connotation of the Holy Bible as a mystical object, Abia portrays it as a manual for our day to day study. He further strengthens this by the choice of colours, Black and White. “The bible says that righteousness exalts the nation, sin is a reproach. We should go to the manual and
read what God tells us on how to move our lives forward. Until we go back to the manual, we would not be able to move forward,” he further adds. On the social scene, Archie paints a picture of class struggle as a mon-
on the theme of the festival. The idea is that once that is done, the kid artist would appreciate why unity and love are essential for the nation and the people. We will take the winners up and expose them the more,” he said. The event which began on the 13th of this month will end on 20th. Some of the events in the festival are visual art, dance, food fair, music, crafts, literary arts, children’s essay and so on. In the end, all the participating states are expected to use the opportunity of the event to fish out local talents in their areas. This is why too, the role of the local governments was emphasised by Duke who advised them to be more proactive in this wise. “The local people look up to them and they need to sit up,” he said. ster choking the average Nigerian. Titled Class Struggle and aptly so, he breaks the norm of the regular media using used wood comb, plywood, rope and all manner of was to send home his message. “Away from all this syndrome of pulling down people, the basic thing we need is food and shelter. When God gives us food and shelter, we should not play the politics of pulling down one another because the light, posited at the middle of the painting, shines on everybody that looks up to him,” he says of the work.
THE NATION ON SUNDAY, OCTOBER 14, 2012
Using beauty to find peace
•Miss Peace Baylsa 2012
AYELSA is becoming more peaceful by the day. At least, from watching beautiful young ladies strutting to compete in this year’s edition of Miss Peace Bayelsa in Yenagoa recently, it was very easy to relate to the peace and tranquillity which the state has been enjoying. The contest was held at the Government House Banquet Hall Yenagoa on Saturday 22nd of September and saw the emergence of a new queen, Gabriel Annie, Miss Peace Bayelsa 2012. The maiden edition was held on the 22nd of August 2011 in collaboration with the Bayelsa State Government and managed by Providence Global Resources (PGR) Entertainment Limited to commemorate the Bayelsa
By Joe Agbro Jr.
Peace Day. In 2001, the United Nations General Assembly declared 21 st September of each year as the International Day of Peace. According to the resolution, ‘the International Day of Peace shall henceforth be observed as a day of global ceasefire and non violence.’ The director of the Pageant, Seleipre Tonbie, said that the idea of Miss Peace Bayelsa Pageant is to commemorate the international day of peace to promote peace in Bayelsa State and Niger Delta region. “The Beauty Pageant,” he said, “is aimed at creating new role models that will serve as an ambassador of peace in the
region.” The Niger Delta region was engulfed with hostilities induced by decades of official neglect despite its oil-wealth. This led to arms struggle in the region. Consequently, the agitation in the region took a violent dimension with the proliferation of armed groups all over the region. Organised crimes which involved kidnapping and vandalisation of oil installations continually choked the nation’s economy. It would take the granting of amnesty by the late President Umaru Yar’Adua, for a new chapter of dialogue to emerge. Tonbie emphasised the essence of peace for accelerated development in Bayelsa State. Peace could be promoted, said Tonbie, “through the acceptable character representation becomes pertinent via pageantry which showcases young, intelligent, talented, creative and beautiful females, who believe in their contributions to societal awakening and growth.” “Women and children have become the unfortunates in these conflicts because of circumstances beyond their control. The best way to prevent them is to promote healthy and balanced economic and social development in an atmosphere of peace. However, a complete success and sustainable peace building is a function of youth participation – the seeds of tolerance must first be sown right into the minds of children as they grow.”
Telling children stories with Ranga
HE setting, that Saturday afternoon at W, GRA Ikeja, was grandiose. And for Ms. Yetunde Fawehinmi, who celebrated her 40th birthday last month on the same day she launched Ranga, it was fulfilling time. Rather than the milestone celebration of her birthday, it was the public presentation of Ranga, a beautifully illustrated children’s book which tells of the adventures of Ranga, the rabbit, that stole the show. Trained as an Economist in England after her primary and secondary school in Nigeria, Fawehinmi found herself working in nursery schools in England rising to become a nursery school manager. Believing she could also bring her expertise to benefit her country folks, she returned back to establish LeavesGreen Nursery and Primary school, which is located in Magodo, Lagos. Though, having lived overseas for 16 years, Fawehinmi isn’t one to forget her roots. In fact, she emphasises on the gradually eroding local cultures, hence, she said she decided to tell local stories. “I am proud of my culture,” the lady who hails from Ondo State, beamed. And Ranga is an adventure-based children series which has settings and activities revolving around the state. There is the Owena farms, there is the Idanre Hills, and of course, the Mare festival. Fawehinmi said the dearth of quality local reading material was what motivated her to write Ranga, which according to her is just the first in a series
of other Ranga stories. “I felt it was high time,” she said, “Nigerian authors told children stories from the Nigerian perspective.” Advocating for a review in the public school curriculum, Fawehinmi said, “schools should focus more on how to teach students to read and write.” Then, she said it would be easier to learn other subjects well. She emphasised on the training of teachers and the need to dedicate greater resources to e d u c a t i o n a l development. She also harped that teachers must strive to teach children Nigerian culture. The event was attended by friends and well-wishers including Hon. Toyin Hamzat, who represented Senator Gbenga Ashafa, Mrs. Oluremi Fawehinmi, Mr. Mohammed Fawehinmi, Mr. Olumide Fawehinmi and Mr. Saheed
Fawehinmi. Pupils from her school were also on hand to entertain guests with readings from the book as well as dance performances.
NLNG shortlist out THREE novelists have been shortlisted for the NLNG Nigeria Literature Prize. The shortlist was made known to the public last weekend after a protracted consideration of the 10 names in the long list. The following are the novelists. Chika Unigwe (On Black Sister’s Street), Olusola Olugbesan (Only A Canvas),
Ngozi Achebe (Onaedo, The Blacksmith’s Daughter). The final list will be made known to the public first week of next month. Thereafter, a ceremony will be held to honour the winner of the one hundred thousand dollars literary prize. The award was instituted in 2006 in the four genres of literature.
NICO locates culture at the grassroots T
HE Executive Secretary of the National Institute for Culture Orientation (NICO), Dr. Backlays Ayakoroma, has said that the third tier of government has a lot to do to keep the rural people busy with cultural activities. He made this declaration while declaring open a two-day workshop with the theme: Culture and the Socio-economic transformation of local governments in Nigeria: Setting an agenda for development. In the view of Ayakoroma who has been in the forefront of organising workshops and seminars to point a way forward for the various local languages of the nation, “our focus here is to constantly use culture for national orientation and education. This nation is a nation of diverse cultures and we have traditional values and norms that are important to us. Our traditional rulers should be in the forefront of the promotion of those essential ingredients of tradition to make us a better society, a better people.” Ayakoroma further stated that the aim of the workshop was to remind the local government administrators how important they are to the advancement of the
By Edozie Udeze nation. “You people are very close to the grassroots. You know the importance of culture at the rudimental level . In fact the local government is designed to work very closely with the local dwellers using what is essential to them to cement love. This is why you need to propel development and encourage versatility in all spheres,” he asserted. The workshop which explored other sub-themes in the areas of socio-cultural and economic spheres tackled the problems of constitutional democracy and the role of local government system, promoting cultural industries and the imperatives of local government, and strategies for development, among other themes. The Minister of Culture, Chief Edem Duke, told the gathering that time had come when culture should be given its due place as a critical response to our contemporary challenges. “Culture should therefore be integrated into national development plans, policies and programmes. For me, it is of utmost necessity for the local government chairmen and top officials of the system to appreciate the critical
role they have to play in the socio-economic and political transformation of the nation,” he said. Professor Olu Obafemi of the National Institute for Strategic Studies, Jos, Plateau State, called on the people to be custodians of their culture. “People should also identify with what is their own. Culture makes you who you are and so you need to constantly help to keep it alive. Moreover, let us all respect each others cultural values and norms,” he advised. Obafemi, a professor of English and Literary Studies, said that all his life he has been advocating the need for people to keep what they cherish most. “This, to me, will help the people to develop at their own pace.” The theme of his lecture which looked holistically at the local government system in terms of the promotion of the historical heritage of the people, called on governments to make the local areas more habitable for the people. “This will encourage a lot of people to have value for life and be busy too,” he enthused. Present at the occasion were traditional rulers, local government administrators,
•NICO Troupe dancing on stage
scholars, culture administrators, artistes and stakeholders in the culture sector. In the end, it was agreed that the symbiotic nature of the local
government administration and the rural people can be effectively achieved if their monthly allocation is given to them directly. There is no
need for the state to keep the money meant to the local people, thereby denying them of genuine democracy dividends.
THE NATION ON SUNDAY OCTOBER 14, 2012
Achebe, Soyinka inspired me -Sudanese Ambassador
HAT is the present state of the bilateral relationship between Nigeria and Sudan? The two countries have shared a warm and historic relationship that has spanned several decades. Nigeria is a very good friend of Sudan bearing in mind that she has the biggest community outside Nigeria; we are talking about millions of Nigerians who are living in Sudan and enjoy all the privileges of citizenship. In almost every town in Sudan, you will find a Nigerian community. They have co-existed very peacefully with their hosts in the Sudan and there has not been any kind of conflict between Sudanese and Nigerians. About a year ago, the South of Sudan gained independence, but her problem with the North seems to linger on. What is the situation of things now? The problem has lingered for almost about 50 years causing a lot of bloodshed, before it was decided by the current government that there must be an end to the conflict. And therefore, they engaged in negotiations, and Nigeria hosted the first peace meeting between the North and South Sudan. Thereafter, it went to Kenya where further negotiations were carried out. And by the year 2005, an agreement was reached between the North and South. At the end, it was decided that the North should be given the chance for self determination through a public referendum. And that was done, with the people opting for secession to have their own country, which was granted to them. Then other issues were settled which include wealth sharing, security and so on. But there were also outstanding issues, which were unresolved and somehow created some conflicts. But thank God, the two countries decided to go back to the negotiating table with a mediator from South Africa and Gen. Abdulsalami Abubakar from Nigeria. These were the people who engineered the peace talks in Addis Ababa in Ethiopia, which was convened recently. Now, a final agreement has been reached between the North and
Dr. Tagelsir Mahgoub Ali is the new Sudanese Ambassador to Nigeria, who assumed duties some days ago. In this interview with Remi Adelowo, he spoke about the bilateral relationship between Nigeria and Sudan, the situation in the Dafur region, among other issues the South whereby things will go back to normal. Of course, the oil production was stopped due to this misunderstanding, which affected both countries economically. But now that peace has been restored, oil will flow again. Also, there will be a no-fly zone where people will enjoy some form of security. We look forward to a more stable relationship between the two countries. The control over the Abiye region appears to be a contentious issue between the two nations. What really is the bone of contention? Abiye is an area which has a large concentration of oil that people of both countries have historic links with. For a long time, nobody has been talking about the ownership of this area. As far as the oil in the area is concerned, in the agreement reached by both countries, any oil produced in the area, the region gets two percent of the proceeds, apart from the overall sharing of oil revenue. Now, the interim arrangement for Abiye is to have a common administration between the two parties under the observation of the international community or the African Union (AU). This, I believe, is a temporary solution before a final solution is found. But for now, all precautions have been taken to prevent the outbreak of conflicts in the region. Sometime ago, the International Criminal Court (ICC) issued an arrest warrant for the Sudanese Head of State, Omar al Bashir. What is the position of the Sudanese government on this? The position of our government is that
Sudan has never been part of the Rome statues, so we completely disagree with the decision of the ICC, because the indictment of President al Bashir is something that was framed up. No doubt about it! Why can't the ICC indict George Bush for what he did in Iraq. He said there were weapons of destruction in that country, but nothing was eventually found. In the process, millions of people were killed. ICC is for Africa and its leaders! President al Bashir is a man of peace and has nothing to do with the accusations levelled against him. The West is afraid of this continent and I urge Africans to be proud of their identity and the continent. Some days ago, six Nigerian peace keepers were killed in the Darfur region. What is being done to prevent a reccurrence? What happened, though unfortunate, was an isolated case. For a long time now, peace has been restored in the Darfur with the help of Nigerian soldiers and those from other African countries. However, you will agree with me that even in the most secured places on earth, there are still security breaches that happen once in a while. The killing of the Nigerian peacekeepers should be seen as such and not a degeneration of security in the area. There should be no cause for concern. What measures or policies are being put in place to strengthen the relationship between Nigeria and Sudan? Like I said earlier, the two nations have a historic relationship, because all the pilgrims to Saudi Arabia from Nigeria and West Africa must go through Sudan. And
usually most of them on their way back settle in Sudan and start to live normal lives. And in term of economic relationship and social relationship, the two countries share a lot in common. Presently, there is a plan to establish a bi-national commission between Nigeria and Sudan to be chaired by the vicepresidents of both countries. We are working with the Nigerian authorities to ensure that the commission is put in place before the end of the year. Ministries and the private sector in both countries will meet and start to develop protocols in the areas of planning, culture, foreign affairs, youth, agriculture, education and so on. But we believe the economic relationship between the two nations should be further strengthened particularly in the area of agriculture. In Sudan, we have suffered from what we call the oil curse; once oil was discovered, everybody became obsessed with it. But when we had this problem with South Sudan and oil production stopped, that period became the moment of truth. The lesson for us is that we should not rely on oil as our only resource. That is why we want to look into other areas like agriculture, mining, and so on. These are the sectors that are growing in Sudan now, which is why we want to develop a good, strategic relationship with Nigeria on these fronts. What are the memories you have about Nigeria before and after you got posted here? My first impression about Nigeria was when I was an instructor of English Language and Literature at the Somali National University in 1970. Of course I enjoyed reading and teaching the works of Chinua Achebe, Cyprian Ekwensi, Wole Soyinka; these are great and prolific writers who captured the attention of people not only in Africa but the entire world. As a young man, they inspired me a lot. I also enjoyed the interaction with Nigerians in Sudan, most of whom we grew up with. And when I arrived here, I was amazed by the attitude of the people; their decency. People are so decent and so polite.
THE NATION ON SUNDAY OCTOBER 14, 2012
Riding on the governor's name S
CORCHING sun, milling voices, and brimming with people with a never-ending energy, it's just a usual Friday afternoon at the Delta City Bus motor park in Abraka, the university town in Delta State. Outside, some men sold barbecued chicken, commercial motor cycle riders beckoned aggressively as passengers and luggage thronged in and out. Inside the lounge designed with glass and brick, people waited, seating on leather chairs. The crowd mainly comprised young Delta State University (Delsu) students, most likely off for the weekend. Regularly, a man with a microphone announces departures, telling passengers to board buses to Agbor, Ughellli, Oleh, Ozoro, Sapele, and Warri - different destinations in Delta State. While the cluttering park seems chaotic with huge passenger turn-out, things are actually orderly. Each passenger simply has to go to pay at a designated stand, depending on his or her destination. After paying the fares, which, when compared to the private commercial cabs and buses, is cheap, the passenger fills a manifest and waits for the bus to fill. Upon filling, it is time to board. From investigations, this time may range from five minutes to as much as two hours, depending on the number of passengers or buses on ground. Or both. However, with cheap and comfortable buses, safety, not to mention the beautiful waiting lounges sprouting at different parks, these buses have become a darling to travellers in Delta. Right from the days of trekking, human beings have always moved, though not very far. However, hitherto great distances have been further shortened, with the advent of motor vehicles, making movement also faster. In Delta State, stress of movement of persons and goods seems to be easing. As it is now, apart from islands and creeks, a
seven people - a driver and six passengers, yet Rushdie and Bonois charged N300. The each passenger
The Uduaghan buses By Joe Agbro Jr. visitor to the state would not help but notice the ubiquitous blue and white Toyota Hiace buses on intercity highways, traversing dutifully like ants. The transport service, actually, the state's initiative in the transportation sector is called Delta City Bus Service, but more popularly known as 'Uduaghan Bus' after the state governor, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan. “Since de bus start to run, if I wan go village, na 'Uduaghan' I dey enter,” Kevwe Amraibure, said in pidgin English, referring to the Delta City buses. For her, home is Sapele, a town which is about two hours away from where she makes a living by selling clothes in Agbor. She is not alone. Isaiah Gladwell, who was coming from Oleh to visit his friend, a student at the Delta State
University, Abraka Campus, was also in praise. “If it is only this one,” he said, “the governor has tried. But, there are still things that can be improved upon. For instance, the queue at times is too much.” In addition to conveying passengers, the company also operates a courier service, delivering letters and parcels across the state daily. And due to the influx of these buses on the different routes, the population of the rickety buses and cabs is also dwindling. Indeed, all of a sudden, Delta State has a transport service that virtually connects it to its cities, towns, and villages. From and to Asaba, Ogwashukwu, Oleh, Warri, Sapele, Koko, Warri, Patani, Ughelli, Agbor, Ozoro, Abraka, Eku, transportation had never been so good. It is also cheap. For instance, the cabs that ply Warri and Abraka and designed for five people - a driver and four passengers, actually convey
'Uduaghan' bus, however, comfortably seats its 14 or 15 passengers for the same trip at the cost of N150. Since the regular intercity bus service took off, the company has attracted a lot of customers and some other commercial vehicle operators are not happy. One of them is Odokun who thinks the state government wants to rob them of their livelihood. Reacting to a jab about the good work of the Delta City Bus Service, Odokun said, “what is he (Uduaghan) doing telling us to paint our cars? Where would we see the money?” “Not many people enter those cars again,” Patricia, who lives in Warri but schools at the Delta State Polytechnic, Ozoro, said. “I'm happy it is not on my route.” Though exemplary and gaining ground among many Deltans, the transport service still faces some challenges. Perhaps, reducing passengers' waiting time, especially at peak periods is the trickiest. Douglas Onyekachi, a regular traveller on the Abraka/Warri route says. “Though, I know the buses are cheaper and more comfortable, I would rather avoid it than waiting for more than two hours because I want to travel to Warri which is 30 minutes away.” A passenger, Victor Nwafor, on a ride from Agbor to Warri opined about making the ticketing operations easier. He said, “I should be able to buy my tickets online and just come and board.” However, sitting squashed in the back seat of Odokun's Volkswagen Passat wagon and racing at about 100km/hr on the Abraka/Eku expressway, I figured the wait might have been better. Odokun never reacted when it was pointed out to him that in the light of the 'Uduaghan' buses, he was not only exploiting his passengers, he was also sacrificing their comfort and risking their lives by overloading and over-speeding. He probably was more concerned with the profit of doing as many runs as possible.
'How to curb societal violence’
Dr. Soji Oni is a lecturer in the Dept of Educational Foundation, University of Lagos and Chairman of the Local Organising Committee of the 6th Annual Conference of the National Association of Sociologists of Education of Nigeria (ASEN), holding from October 16-19. He spoke with Musa Odoshimokhe on the conference and other issues.
hat is the conference about? Sociologists of education across the country normally have an annual conference that brainstorms on topical issues in education. This year, we are trying to look at education and social violence. We are looking at school-based violence; we are looking at the historical antecedent and solution to violence. We are looking at organised violence, family and counselling, physical and sexual violence. This is the first time we are introducing academics for budding scholars in Sociology of Education, particularly those who are still developing their writing skills in education. Our colleagues particularly the younger generation that are coming to participate would have lots to gain from the conference. We want to look at how to make sure they have acceptable publication in local and international journals. The conference will look at violence on campuses and the larger society, is your topic influenced by recent development in the country? I think what is happening in the country is very topical. Look at the wave of violence. And if you look at it critically, education is
an important social institution in any society or community. There is a national policy on education; it says education has been adopted as an instrument for effective national development. So, without education there is not likely going to be any type of development whatsoever and it can also be explained that most of these problems facing Nigeria today are products of education. In the sense that all the bombing, all the improvised devices are used for bombing came out of laboratory experiment. I want to think that education should be a solution to this kind of problems. That is why we want to sit down in our conference this time around to look at how we can use education as a panacea to solving different problems. The problem of violence is not restricted to the outside community. We have such violence like riots, cult activities and lot of things going on in the school. We want to look at the way education can be tailored towards finding a permanent solution to all this kind of problems facing Nigeria as a nation. What additional benefits will participants derive from the conference?
At the end of the day much is expected and normally when we call a conference like this, after the opening session and when we go into plenary session, into syndicate session, people will be organised into groups to discuss based on topics allotted them. At this syndicate session, we have a repertoire who will take important things that have been discussed at the session. A communiqué will be issued after the conference which would be published in newspapers and at the same time prepared in a booklet and sent to the Federal Government. And that is to make the government see the position of ASEN, what we have unravelled and how we think these things can be ironed out to benefit the country. It does not end there, all these papers that are presented are also published in the ASEN's journals. What role have sociologists of education played in improving the falling social values? As sociologists of education what we do is that all the principles of sociology are applied into education and we sit down in our conferences and other workshops to see how we can help the curriculum planners in designing good and appropriate curriculum for education. I have said we reach out through our lectures to students on how they can make better impact on the society. It is not a matter of just sitting in the classrooms but because the essence of sociology is not only to write on the board but to be able to make a good teacher. When the students are being trained, they are being taught to interact with students and are being exposed to lot of things
about socialisation. They interact well and know how they can identify social problems that the students have. As sociologists, they can bring social order into any environment they found themselves. Looking at the funding of education, are you comfortable with the level of things? If you look at the current situation of things, I must be sincere with you that things have not improved. When you talk about funding, a lot of people misinterpret it, when they hear about funding they think it is restricted to the issue of salary. They think it is because we want increment in our salaries. This is not the case; a lot of things need to be put in place so that the teaching /learning process will be easy. For instance, I have been opportune to travel to give lectures, attending conferences and I see what is obtainable in most of the classrooms I entered. So, if the facilities are not there how do you teach? When you are employed at the university, you are expected to do three things, to teach, research and to give to community service. Not just to teach but to teach research knowledge. And how do you teach research knowledge when the libraries are empty? When you are dealing with moribund facilities in the laboratories, when your students are sitting on pebbles and bricks in the classrooms, when the lecturers do not even have offices to sit down to research. So, when you look at the situation you will quite agree that the university education is still under funded, compared with what is obtainable in some other African countries.
THE NATION ON SUNDAY, OCTOBER 14, 2012
End of road for grave raiders —PAGE 56
Painful price of peacekeeping P
EACEFUL community and nation is desired by all and sundry. But conflict is inevitable and this brings wars and wartorn zones to every part of the world. Peacemaking, peacekeeping and peace building are therefore very important concepts which experts have had to grapple with over the years. At the centre of all these are the personnel which include soldiers and the other volunteers who put in their best to bring about lasting peace. For every soldier, therefore, protecting the lives of others naturally comes first. So as peacekeepers, the urge to be their brother’s keeper is a sacrifice that has been made and they will continue to make. Unfortunately, the news of the death of four Nigerian soldiers belonging to the United Nations- African Union Peacekeeping Mission in Darfur during the week came as a big blow to many. “They were killed last night some 2km from our regional headquarters in El Geneina. They came under fire from all sides,” a spokesman for UNAMID said. It was not the first attack and there was outrage. About two months ago there were renewed fighting between the Sudanese government and rebels from the Darfur region’s Justice and Equality Movement (JEM). Both sides confirmed that there had been clashes, but gave conflicting versions of events. Sudan’s army said more than 50 rebels had been killed as they were driven out two areas of East Darfur, while the JEM said it had taken control of three towns near the Abu Jabra oilfield. Col Khalid Sawarmi from the Sudanese army then issued a statement saying that 50 of the rebels were killed in the clashes, and many
Four Nigerian peacekeepers were killed in Darfur recently, Yetunde Oladinde looks at the issues around the recent killings, the controversies in Sudan and more
others were wounded. He alleged that the remaining rebels had attacked the town of Tabun and fled in the direction of South Sudan after being pushed out of East Darfur state. But the rebels told a different story, alleging that they took Tabun and two other towns near the Abu Jabra oilfield. The oilfield is in the disputed region of South Kordofan, just over the state border from East
Darfur. The apparent fighting in South Kordofan highlights the extent to which JEM operated outside its original Darfuri bases. The group recently signed an agreement with other Darfuri rebels as well as fighters from SPLMNorth, which operate in the South Kordofan and Blue Nile border states. When South Sudan seceded from the north last year, rebels in those states found themselves stranded on the north side of the border in Sudan. Experts believe that the attacks were meant to intimidate and block the Mission as well as expel it from Darfur. They also described it as a criminal act and it was denounced by all the displaced. The leaders and displaced also blamed the government of Sudan and its militias for being behind the attack and of similar incidents involving UNAMID and other humanitarian organisations. While Nigerians, residents of Darfur and people from around the world condemned the attack, the big question on the lips of many, however, is would this crisis ever end? Interestingly, the peacekeeping troops have been in Darfur since 2007. Some 16,000 troops, mostly from African nations, are currently based in the region; 78 have died. War broke out in Darfur in 2003, when rebel groups took up arms against the central government. According to the United Nations, 300,000 people have died because of the war. The Sudanese government says 10,000 have died. A peace agree-
ment was signed between the government and one rebel group in 2011, but three other rebel groups have refused to sign. UNAMID, the world’s largest peacekeeping mission, was deployed by the United Nations and the African Union in the arid western territory after fierce fighting in 2003 which forced hundreds of thousands of people to flee their homes. Violence in Darfur, where mostly non-Arab rebels took up arms against the government in Khartoum, has ebbed from a 2003-04 peak but international efforts to broker peace have failed to end the conflict. The International Criminal Court has issued arrest warrants for Sudan’s President Omar Hassan al-Bashir and other officials to face charges of masterminding atrocities in the region where Sudanese troops and allied Arab militias have sought to crush the rebellion. Sudan’s government has also signed a Qatarsponsored peace deal with an umbrella organisation of smaller rebel groups last year, but the major factions refused to join. Most of the international peace operations are established and implemented by the United Nations itself, with troops serving under UN operational control. In these cases, peacekeepers remain members of their respective armed forces, and do not constitute an independent “UN army”, as the UN does not have such a force. Of course, there are also cases where direct UN involvement is not considered appropriate or feasible. Here, the Council may consider authorising regional organisations such as the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) and the Economic Community of West African States to step and help secure peace.
THE NATION ON SUNDAY, OCTOBER 14, 2012
ASIU Bakare never imagined that the slight sickness that took his wife, Monsurat, to the Federal Medical Centre, Idi-aba, Abeokuta, Ogun State would alter the course of his life. He was optimistic for a happy reunion with her in a matter of days, especially given the sign that her condition was improving by the day. But this never was! Monsurat, on October 23, 2009, breathed her last. Bakare was shattered. The shock was too overwhelming for him to bear even two years after the tragedy. When he was gradually picking himself up and facing the onerous task of meeting another responsible wife, one Mattew Akiode brought another round of sorrow to him and his children. Akiode, in the most callous manner, went to the burial site of Bakare’s late wife, dug the grave and severed the head. He alleged that he was contracted by one Micheal Oyewole, an Abeokutabased Pastor of a white garment church to supply the human skull. Bizarre trade Bakare nearly passed out when he was told of the odd incident which had attracted the residents of Orelope village, Sabo where he was developing the property on which he buried his wife. The 45-year-old recalled: “It sounded like I was not the person concerned. This is because I never ever thought that such a thing could happen to anybody I know, talk less of me. I did not know that what I read in the newspapers about these heartless people is true until this happened.” According to him, he had no reason to doubt the character of Akiode whom he could easily vouch for as hardworking young man. This is the image with which many other people in Sabo area and even beyond also know Akiode that they regularly contracted him to do one job or the other for them, particularly when he is off his bricklaying vocation. It is for this reason that made Bakare asked him to clear his site being threatened by wild plants. He had earlier tried his hand on the job but found it too heavy to confront. Hence his resort to Akiode on August 28, 2012 with a belief that he would in no time give value for the N2000 he was to offer him. The money meant so much to Akiode considering that he was passing through a hard time occasioned by lack of job at hand. So, the job brought the much needed relief to him and he quickly went to the site with his tools. While he was busy with cutting the plants, a thought suddenly flashed through his mind, reminding him of another contract Oyewole had earlier given him, which, according to him, he declined because of the danger associated with it. His fear, however, evaporated into thin air the moment he remembered that N6000 awaited him if he could do Oyewole’s bidding. He roared within and made for the grave of Bakare’s wife. “I did not spend much time to dig and remove the skull I needed. I quickly kept it inside a black nylon I found in the bush. Then I made some attempt to call Pastor to tell him that I had got what he had asked me to get to make N6000,”he said. To Akioye, the act was a fait accompli and in a record time too. However, one man was some metres away on an elevated plat-
End of road for grave raiders Exhuming corpses to make money is becoming a booming trade in Ogun State. But the Police insist the illicit trade won’t subsist with the arrest of three suspects, including a Pastor. Tunde Busari reports
•Jimoh Ago-Iwoye form watching him with disbelief. The man identified as Olalekan Azeez, was trimming fronds on palm tree in an adjoining compound. The fear-stricken Azeez could not shout but found his way down and thought of what to do. The thought that a man who could open a grave could crush any obstacle on his way sent jitters down his spine, yet Azeez was determined to expose Akiode. Not long afterwards, a group of men emerged on the way from their union gathering held in the area. Azeez ran to them and quickly alerted them of the incident. They rushed to the scene but Akiode was smart enough to have refilled the grave and covered it with grass to give a false look. “At first, I was confused because the whole thing did not appear as if he was the one I saw. There was no trace that the grave had been tampered with. But suddenly I came to my sense and insisted that we should search everywhere. “We removed the grass from the grave’s surface and saw a fresh earth. This first reassured me. Other people were also searching the surrounding while two of them held Akiode. After some effort we saw the black nylon inside which the skull was kept and we shouted. That was how we caught him and alerted other neighbours in the area,” Azeez said. Akiode instantly lost his early confidence and owned up to the crime. While he was frantically pleading for clemency, the people headed for the Ilupeju Divisional Police Headquarters. Akiode be-
•Oyewole came a celebrity of sorts at the Division as everyone who heard his alleged crime rushed to catch a glimpse of a man who desecrated another person’s tomb. He was transferred to the Homicide section at the State Criminal Investigation Department (SCID), Eleweeran, Abeokuta. It was during interrogation that he spilled the beans. He pointedly named Oyewole as the brain behind his sacrilegious act. “The Pastor also gives me jobs to do like other people. One day as I was doing a job for him he asked for how long would I do the menial job to make good money. He said if I could get him human skull I would make something
better than was I was earning from the menial job I was doing. I was scared when I heard this. “I was scared because I did not expect such a thing from the man who has a church. I did not give him an answer on that day. I just laughed and continued with my work. So when the thought came to me again on the day I was broke I said to myself that I would do it if I see any grave in inconspicuous area. I said doing this is better than taking gun to kill,” Akiode said. Some policemen who were familiar with Oyewole’s name first cast a doubt on the allegation but further probings, especially on the telephone conversation between
him and Akiode after the act melted the doubt. In a jiffy, a team stormed the town in search of Oyewole. The effort paid off as he was brought to Eleweeran. Oyewole would later deny the allegation Akiode made against him. Although he admitted a relationship with Akiode as he had earlier stated, he took an exemption on the role Akiode alleged he played in hunting for human skull. “I would not know why this man is making this allegation against me. I would not know the wrong I have done him to punish me with this allegation. I am a man of God in the service of God. I am satisfied with what God has done for me so far. Then why should I involve myself in this type of dirty thing? I know my God is there watching all over what is hidden to man,” he said as if he were before his congregation during a service. Oyewole’s claim of innocence could not bail him out of the mess as he was detained and charged to the Magistrate Court 1 at Isabo on September 5. Both Oyewole and Akioye were charged for Conspiracy and Unlawful possession of human skull. The case was adjourned to October 10 after which it was further adjournment till November 21. Police Public Relations Officer of Ogun State Command, Muyiwa Adejobi, an Assistant Superintendent of Police confirmed the ongoing prosecution of the suspects but declined further comment on the matter. Adejobi, however, commended the effort of the investigating team which handled the matter to the conclusive end, thereby necessitating the prosecution devoid of delay. He said it took meticulousness of his men to establish a strong link between the suspects to the crime. “From our end here, we have done what was expected of us in a matter like this and we do hope that the Court also will do justice to the matter when it finally rules,” the PPRO said. While Akiode and Oyewole are battling with sleepless nights over the likely punishment awaiting them in the court, one Olorunwa Jimoh is also in trouble for a similar offence. Like Akiode, Jimoh also confessed that his business albeit illegitimate is to search for graveyards from which he exhumes corpses in Ago-Iwoye. It was gathered that one Otunba Adekoya, a resident of Adekoya Street in the town, caught him in the act on September 17 after which he raised alarm, culminating in his arrest and detention at the Ago-Iwoye Divisional Police Headquarters. The unusual confidence which Jimoh exuded in the presence of policemen painted a picture of an unrepentant man. He even justified his act as a means to survive what he called the hard time. “What everybody is looking for is what to eat. This is my own means of making money to feed myself. Abore is the one who buys any part I take to him,” he said defiantly. The Police have since commenced a search for Abore who is said to have fled Ago-Iwoye soon after the news of Jimoh’s arrest broke. The Police, however, have decided to keep sealed lips on the update of the search. “We cannot tell you how far we have gone so that it won’t affect our job. But I can assure you that he would be fished out to confirm or deny the allegation,” the PPRO said.
THE NATION ON SUNDAY, OCTOBER 14, 2012
T was Sunday, October 7th. At first I couldn’t think of any other alternative but to travel to Abuja from my Ikorodu, Lagos, base by road. In the past three years, I had not been to Abuja by road. This was essentially due to many ugly and horrifying tales told by travelers who did so. The Abuja – Lokoja – Abaji road is bad. In fact, it is hell on earth. You can’t travel up to ten meters without seeing or witnessing one scene of accident or the other. There are so many of such frightening stories, that I was often flustered to contemplate about embarking on any journey to the Federal Capital Territory by road. The road to Golgotha But this time was different. One, the aviation sector is in tatters. There had been stories of travellers who had slept from many days at the local airport because their flights were either delayed or cancelled. That, indeed, put me off and I felt it would be better if I was disappointed on the road, because then, it would be easier to find an alternative. That was basically why I chose to embark on the trip by road. Unfortunately, my nightmares began even before the vehicle (a Toyota Sienna) took off from Ikorodu. After waiting for about two hours for the vehicle to load, the driver, a hungry, skinny and cranky looking fellow probably in his mid-twenties, suddenly opened the bonnet of the car. All he did was to remove the car battery. Hissing severally in the process, he said; “Oh, I hope this battery will make it to Abuja!” Instantly, another awful looking fellow who seemed not to be in a hurry for anything scampered around and bellowed into the air, “Take the other battery jo. Abi that one too no good?” he asked. The driver immediately folded his shirt sleeves, peered into the vehicle to see our reaction. He then opened the engine of another Sienna, a moribund car that seemed to have been abandoned for months to replace the battery. After a while, the car roared into life and we became assured that the vehicle was in good order for the long journey. The journey began by 8:10a.m. Instead of taking Ikorodu – Sagamu road through Ogijo and Odongunyan, we veered into Ikorodu – Epe – Ijebu road. The driver and some other passengers who were familiar with the terrain quickly explained that that road has been impassable in the past one year. Even the one we took was no better. The road is so bad that the driver never sped beyond 60km. A little before Ore, the vehicle began to groan, emitting all kinds of noises. The driver hurriedly parked and all of us immediately jumped out in fear and trepidation. The water in the radiator had suddenly dried up. The fan had stopped working, and the car engine had begun to emit smoke. While on it, a vehicle towing van arrived. We were provided water from the jerry can. After an intermittent hour or so, we took off again, breaking the journey briefly at Ore for refreshment. The journey from Ore to Akure proved most traumatic. There were road blocks right from Ondo town into Akure, manned by heavily armed soldiers. The road blocks are more like blockades because the soldiers only allowed the use of one lane which they also made into a zig-
ABUJA: The road to Golgotha Edozie Udeze recounts his traumatic journey from Lagos to Abuja by road saying it’s like a journey to Golgotha. zag form. The idea, I was told, was to slow travellers down considerably and then make them submit psychologically to the intimidating presence of the soldiers. And this tactics worked, for no driver in his right senses ever does the wrong thing once he is approaching the road blockade. You either smiled mechanically or pretended to love the soldier attending to you. You can spend up to twenty minutes at one road blockade waiting for the soldiers to wave you through. All a soldier would do was to peer sternly and threateningly at the faces of the passengers. Then he would raise his left hand with some level of arrogance while fiddling with the butt of the gun. All these were deliberately done to frighten the daylight out of you. Then he would contort his face and bark with some bottled up venom: ‘move on!’ A praise gone awry At Owo, a few students were seen clearing a bush by the road side with shovels. A soldier had overheard one of them chattering away that these soldiers are too slow. The students’ punishment was to clear the road and fill one of the sack bags with sand. The students were sweating and carrying out their punishment under the scorching sun when we drove past. The same soldier who inflicted the corporal punishment is very notorious on that axis. He his nick named ‘Terror number one’ by commuters. Our driver told us about a certain driver who saluted the soldier one day by calling him Onye isi, meaning the leader, but the soldier claimed he called him Onye ohi, a thief. No amount of plea or explanation from the passengers could assuage the soldier. Consequently, he delayed them for three hours
and asked the errant driver to frogjump from one end of the road blockade to the other for one hour. It was when the driver collapsed as if he would give up the ghost that he pardoned him. But then, he had warned: “Next time, I go rake you die, bloody foolish man. God punish your generation.” At Akoko, in Ondo State, the problem with the vehicle again resurfaced. This time there was a more durable solution. The water hose from where the water was leaking was discovered. After refilling the radiator and fixing the hose, we took off again. By then it was a little past three o’clock in the afternoon. There was grave fear in our minds; everybody was sceptical about how we could manage the situation at Lokoja. “Ah Lokoja,” one of the female passengers who passed through the route two days earlier, yelled, “We spent five hours there three days ago.” This revelation further dampened our spirits. And truly the Lokoja situation was horrific; it was so harrowing that right from Okene, the nature of the bad road and the number of broken down trucks and accidented vehicles naturally frightened us. Lokoja indeed looked like a ghost town, sort of a war zone, long abandoned; a place where the relics of the past stared one in the face. Some houses, filling stations, eateries, motor parks, village settlements, markets were still submerged by flood water. People wore long and sad faces, frowning intermittently to register their agonies. Business had come to a standstill. Social life was zero and non-existent. Women sloshed around with their babies and wore their faces in tattered gloom. The little spaces on the road sides served as both home and market stalls for many of them who could still gather some energy to hustle for a living. The whole atmosphere was horrendous and the people did not seem to find hope in their present
circumstance. The man sitting behind me then said, “This is small now. Last week, we diverted into Lokoja to Makurdi. The whole town was under water. Inside Lokoja alone, we spent ten hours and later got to Lagos two days after. People were crying and begging for food and water.” Cursing the leaders The long stretch of vehicles from Okene to the end of Lokoja towards Abuja covered over ten kilometers. Many passengers disembarked and began to trek to wait for their vehicles on the Abuja end of the road. Here there was no hurry. All you needed do was to hang on in clusters of groups, discussing Nigeria’s problems. The long stretch brought out the worst in the soldiers as people kicked, caused and hissed endlessly. “E no go better for our leaders,” many people caused. “Dis government na yeye. If na abroad, them for don do an emergency bridge for this small portion of the road,” one Charles travelling from Warri, offered. Actually as at that Sunday, the portion of the road still submerged by flood was not up to five yards. This was what could have been properly fixed and managed either by filling it with granite or building an emergency bridge to ease off the tension on the road. Many passengers saw the diversion as unnecessary and inconsequential since the terrain was marshy and hazardous. Vehicles found it near impossible to manoeuvre and meander through. Not only that its slippery nature was too cumbersome. The road itself was waterlogged and clumsy at a point and therefore difficult to drive through. So with the deliberate presence of soldiers and the long stretch of impatient drivers and their vehicles and tired passengers, both from Lokoja end to Abuja, the
journey amounted to a trip to Golgotha. At Lokoja we spent three hours to reach Abuja by 11p.m. Before we got to Abuja however, the vehicle again cracked. The bolts and nuts of the tyres due to constant wear and tear on the roads began to cringe with deafening sounds. This was a little before Gwagwalada. With the help of a torch light from one of the passengers, we fixed it and then continued. The passenger thereafter boasted thus: “Ah I am a professional traveller. There is always a torch-light in my pocket and in all my travelling bags.” The man said he is a staff of the Federal Ministry of Agriculture, Abuja. Darkness in the federal capital Abuja town was a different experience entirely. Half of the city was in total darkness on arrival. Then being a Sunday, it was difficult to get a vacant room in a hotel. After visiting four hotels, I finally got a guest house on Moses Majekodunmi Street, in Utako area of the city for the night. By then it was well past midnight for a journey that began by 8:10a.m. Before now, the journey from Lagos to Abuja usually lasted for 10 hours. Nowadays, it is no longer the same. Passengers see and encounter hell on the roads. Drivers cannot wait to fix their vehicles because of the hurry to make money and also because of the speed with which the bad roads affect and destroy their vehicles endlessly. The soldiers on the road, are they for security? If they are, what are they securing? Are they really there to safe guard Nigerians on the roads and make Abuja safer for all of us? I am damned if this is really the correct situation. Abuja itself is not safe, for no one is inside the city to subject you to thorough searches as they do on the roads. There must be a better way to secure a city and arrive there without hassles.
Your HEALTH THE NATION ON SUNDAY, OCTOBER 14, 2012
Natural ways to get rid of a headache
Keeping headaches at bay
In our part of the world, headaches are very common. Rita Ohai writes on the ways it can be avoided or treated naturally.
OMETIMES, the thought of living in Nigeria alone can hit a person with a searing wave of pain all over the body, with the central throbbing spot at the head. The constant bane called fuel scarcity in a land where this natural resource abounds, the resulting hike in the price of goods and services and the never-ending struggle to pay for quality education do not make the
lives of many any easier. While most headaches disappear on their own or with the help of mild pain relievers, others are so severe that they alter the lifestyle of the affected person temporarily or permanently. Explaining the health condition, Dr. Eunice Alegbe says, “A headache, just as the name implies, is a pain in the head. It usually
Diet tips I
N spite of the harsh conditions most Nigerians are forced to survive in, the proper lifestyle and diet can play a role in keeping headaches at bay or getting rid of them. 1. Limit alcohol. Alcohol acts as a diuretic, drawing fluids out of the body, which is the perfect set up for the serious hangover headache and dehydration. 2. Drink plenty of water: Drinking 3 to 4 glasses of water before sleeping, after a long nap, can prevent the dreaded morningafter headache. Even if you don't drink alcohol, drinking water regularly reduces the chances of getting headaches related to dehydration. 3. Limit red wine: Some women, and probably men, say they get headaches from red wine. This could be either psychosomatic or due to the increased blood pressure sometimes triggered by the amines present in red wine. 4. Limit coffee: An extra cup of coffee on a sluggish morning may not be the best choice. Coffee contains caffeine, which is a diuretic and can contribute to headaches associated with dehydration. 5. Limit chocolate: While rumoured by
some people to be better than sex, chocolate can contribute to headaches, due to the presence of caffeine. 6. Eat properly and regularly: A diet lacking in the proper nutrients can cause headaches. Lack of protein for breakfast, for example, can contribute to headaches later in the day. Also, try to eat regularly, with more whole foods and reduce the amount of processed/ convenience foods consumed, as these tend to lack valuable nutrients. Finally, eat regularly. 7. Reduce fried foods. Fried foods can serve as a trigger for certain types of headaches. However, reducing fried foods is a good idea for improving over-all health, as well. Better nutrition and health in general can serve to decrease the number and severity of many types of headache. 8. Lemon juice. Used both internally and externally, lemon juice can be an effective means of dealing with a headache. Some remedies suggest drinking a bit of lemon juice and water, possibly with freshly grated ginger root. Externally, the clean citrus scent of lemon juice and lemon skins applied to the temples can clear the mind and ease a headache away.
arises when there are stressors within or outside the body that cause the blood vessels to reduce in size such that the blood will have to force its way through the vessels or to expand in such a way that it puts pressure on other organs around it.” According to medical experts, headaches come in various forms which could be tension, migraine, sinus, and cluster headaches. Shedding light on each of these types of pain, Dr. Alegbe states, “Headaches can be triggered by a variety of factors. The most common cause of headaches is prolonged tension or stress. This arises when the muscles in the scalp, neck, and face tighten, causing spasms and pain. Cases of anxiety or working on a computer for a long period of time can lead to it. “Migraines are generally more severe and it can totally render the patient weak to the point where they cannot even move. The cause of migraine is not known but some women complain that they experience it during their menstrual cycle, others say that when they eat certain foods like chocolate or red wine.” Continuing, she said, “Sinus or nasal headaches are also now common because of the rainy season and cold, and they usually happen to people who have a runny or stuffy nose, while cluster headaches mostly happen to alcoholics.” Research shows that before puberty, headaches are more common in boys, but that trend is reversed after puberty. Adult women experience more headaches than adult men, and they're often linked to a woman's menstrual cycle. With advancing age, both women and men tend to have fewer, less severe headaches. For patients who are prone to have headaches that are frequent and severe, medical practitioners advice that they try to identify the factor that trigger this condition. Many patients have identified alcohol, meats, hunger, poor posture, stress and the lack of sleep as causative agents. However, according to the Medical Association of Nigeria, it is critical that the affected person seeks emergency medical care if the headache; •gets worse over days or weeks •is accompanied by impaired neurological function (e.g., loss of balance, weakness, numbness, or speech disturbance) and double vision (could signal a stroke) •is accompanied by persistent nausea and vomiting is accompanied by seizures, mental disturbances, and loss of consciousness •is associated with a fever or stiff neck (could signal meningitis) •is different than the usual pattern of headaches you have experienced •strikes suddenly with great intensity •wakes you from sleep or is worse when you lie down.
HE pain of headaches can range from mild and annoying to severe and debilitating. Fortunately, there are a number of ways to get rid of a headache without medicine. Here they are: Step 1 Control the stress in your life and engage in relaxing activities to ease muscle tension and get rid of a headache without medicine. Yoga, meditation, aromatherapy and tai chi are excellent methods of reducing stress levels and easing muscle tension. Step 2 Massage your neck, shoulders and head using the tips of your fingers to relieve muscle tension and get rid of a headache. If possible, enlist a friend or partner to massage your muscles for you. For frequent headaches, you might want to visit a licensed massage therapist. Step 3 Watch your posture. According to the Mayo Clinic, proper posture can both prevent and treat headaches by supporting your body and preventing strain on your muscles, tendons, ligaments and joints. Hold your head high and shoulders back when standing, and make certain to keep your thighs parallel to the ground when sitting. Avoid slumping and slouching. Step 4 Apply ice to your neck, forehead or scalp to get rid of a headache without medicine. You can also try alternating hot and cold. Take a long hot shower, and then follow it with an application of cold compresses to the back of your neck. Step 5 Avoid environmental triggers for your headaches, such as bright lights, loud sounds and hot or cold weather. These triggers can make existing headaches worse in some people and can cause new headaches to develop in others. Step 6 Slow down and cool off. Some people develop headaches after physical activity. This is often caused by overheating, dehydration or low blood sugar. Drinking fluids, eating a snack and cooling off will generally get rid of a headache in these cases. Step 7 Take a nap if you wake in the mornings feeling tired. Even if you are sleeping a sufficient number of hours, the quality of your sleep might be affected by sleep disorders, medications or other health conditions. Lack of sleep is one of the primary causes of headaches, and it is also one of the easiest to fix. Step 8 Get fresh air. Besides escaping a co-worker's overwhelming perfume/cologne, fresh air can help a headache fade. Just getting out of a stuffy room, thanks to the change in air pressure, can reduce headache pain. Step 9 Exercise gently. A brisk walk can clear the head and relieve a headache. Any regular work-out programme improves health and decreases stress, which increases blood flow and oxygen distribution. Step 10 Finally, take a hot shower. A cold bath causes the veins and arteries to constrict in a process called 'vaso-constriction' causing the blood pressure to increase and the pain to worsen. The warmth and steam of a hot shower relaxes muscle tension, thus easing headaches.
THE NATION ON SUNDAY, OCTOBER 14, 2012
•From left: Head of Marketing, Samsung Electronics, West Africa, Mr. Abiodun Odejayi, Ms Olajumoke Okikiolu, Head of Sales, Mr. Olumide Ojo, Digital and Content Manager, Mr. Bolade Oyekanmi, all of Samsung Electronics West Africa, at the media launch of Samsung’s PHOTO: JOHN EBHOTA Galaxy Note 10.1 in Lagos recently.
•From left: Grant Auditor, TY Danjuma Foundation (TYDF), Mr. Peter S. Ndochi, Programme Assistant, TYDF Edo State Office, Mr. Wale Aladejana, Head TYDF Edo State Office Ms. Tomi Ajayi and Secretary to the Edo Sate Government, B.I. Emoedume (Esq.) and the presentation of relief materials to flood victims at Etsako East, Etsako Central and Esan North-East Local Government areas by the TY Danjuma Foundation
•From left: Managing Director/Chief Executive, MultiTrex Integrated Group, Mr. Dimeji Owofemi, Oyo State Commissioner for Agriculture, Mr. Kolade Abimbola, Executive Director, Mrs. Sade Obafunso and Commissioner for Trade and Investment, Mr. Kassim Adedeji during the introduction of a new cocoa product to Oyo State Government at the Governor’s Office, Ibadan, recently.
•From left: Head, Business Advisory Unit, Human Capital Management and Development, FirstBank of Nigeria Plc, Mrs. Kofoworola Adebayo (left), Head, FirstAcademy, Mr. Oshiomha Irumhekha, Head, Human Capital Management and Development, FirstBank, Mrs. Ayodele Jaiyesimi and Head, HR Support Unit, FirstBank, Ms. Babara Harper showcasing the Chartered Institute of Personnel Management of Nigeria's awards for Overall Best Winner for Best HR Practice 2012 and Winner HR Best Practice for Banking and Insurance Sector won by FirstBank …recently
N its quest to grow additional streams of income for the country, the Federal Government has hinted of plans to diversify the economy towards non-oil exports. This, the government said, is to reduce Nigeria’s over dependence on oil for substantial percentages of the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and foreign exchange. The Director, Special Duties Olajide Mohammed, the Nigeria Export Promotion Council (NEPC), noted that product diversification is the key to Nigeria’s sustained economic development; hence the continued dependence on crude oil as Nigeria’s main foreign exchange earner must be discouraged given that it was an exhaustible commodity characterised by price fluctuation. He said, “This brings to fore
Fed Govt to diversify from oil to non-oil export
Nigeria’s abounding potentials in human and natural resources including solid minerals, agricultural commodities and manufacturing were highlighted as veritable areas of investment, which would guarantee sustainable
From Franca Ochigbo, Abuja
development, since they would provide wealth, create jobs and alleviate poverty. “Based on this an appeal is being made to the govern-
country’s export trade, this is to intensify public private partnership and ensure the realisation of national economic and industrial growth.” Expatiating, he said:
“There is also need to explore more creative ways of attracting funding to the non-oil sector develop and implement a new Nigeria non-oil export development strategy by ensuring consistency.”
P/Harcourt refinery records rising incidents of vandalism
VER 199 incidence of pipeline vandalism has been recorded by Port Harcourt Refining Company Limited (PHRC) between January and September. The Managing Director PHRC, Engineer Sylvester Idemudia made this revelation while fielding questions from the members of House Committee on Petroleum Resources (Downstream sector)
who were on oversight visit to the office complex, in Port Harcourt. According to him, “The crude supplied is not regular due to vandal’s activities along the pipeline right of ways in Bonny and Port Harcourt.” For the Nigerian refineries to function effectively, Idemudia stressed the need for complete overhauling of the refineries as most of the
SON’s maiden quality summit debuts in Lagos HE Standards Organisation of Nigeria, SON, is set to host the first Nigeria Quality Summit at the Transcorp Hilton hotel, Abuja, this Thursday. Tagged: “Less waste, better result: standards increase efficiency”, the one day event will attract captains of industries and agencies as well as
ment to address the infrastructural deficiencies that challenged Nigeria’s growth in these areas. Continually negotiate bilateral, regional and multilateral agreement in relation to the
quality control directors for the purpose of learning first hand from global authorities and quality assurance leaders from emerging markets. According to Mr. Abiola Komolafe, chairman, planning committee, global authorities including the standards bureau chiefs of Canada, Malaysia and
Egypt will present papers. Discussants will also include Nigeria’s best minds in the various sectors of the economy. The summit, Komolafe further stressed, is coming against the urgent need of developing Nigerian brands that can compete effectively on the global markets.
processing equipments are obsolete. In his remark, the Chairman of the 42 member Committee, Hon. Dakuku Peterside lamented that even the TAM was done last 12
years ago; this calls for the need to get approval from federal government to execute TAM/Rehabilitation of all the refineries. “If refineries are functioning optimally, we’ll not
be in this mess. TAM then was not done with seriousness but we hope the money to be spent this time around will add value to the economy of the nation,” said Peterside.
Commission boosts SMEs with over N12bn
O fewer than 100,000 women in small and medium scale agricbusiness and allied sectors across the South West of Nigeria are beneficiaries of over N12bn revolving loans disbursed by the Justice, Peace and Development Commission(JPDC), a nongovernmental organisation wing of the Ijebu Diocese of the Catholic. The amount which was disbursed over a period of 10 years was designed to assist the beneficiaries, especially women start small and
From Ernest Nwokolo, Abeokuta
medium enterprises in agroproduce or expand existing ones. Mrs Florence Ogunnupebi, the coordinator of JDPC microfinance institution, Centre for Grassroots Economic Empowerment (CGEE), made this known to reporters during award giving ceremony to 80 beneficiaries of the credit facility and who had been adjudged faithful to the scheme. Ogunupebi said the N12 billion loans were given to
women since the establishment of the Commission in year 2000 till date. “Since the inception of this scheme, we realised that we have some people that remained committed and stead fast to the programme with their performances outstanding. While presenting the cheque, Rev. Fr. John Patrick Ngoyi, JDPC Director, said the loan assist the beneficiaries who are into Agric business and produce to boost food production, income and job creation in the state.
THE NATION ON SUNDAY OCTOBER 14, 2012
• Fake products
E sat down, weeping uncontrollably. In his forlorn state, he could not help but curse the retail store from which he had purchased a certain drug to combat the asthma attacks suffered by his younger brother. In the end, he had lost his brother to the cold hands of death. This could have been prevented if some unscrupulous Nigerians had not sold substandard drugs to him. “It is a big shame that this could happen; this is man’s cruelty to another man all in the name of money. How can anybody sell fake drugs without bothering about the repercussion?” Uche Ekene, an artisan in Awka, asked. Dora Akunyili, former Director General of National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC). would also not forget in a lifetime how she lost her sister many years ago after she used fake drugs. And when Akunyili had the opportunity to serve as the watchdog against fake drugs, the ferocity with which she tackled the task was quite understandable. The epidemic of fakes has long spread beyond drugs. In practically every sector of the economy, counterfeit products now reign supreme. Dr. Joseph Odumodu, Director-General, Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON), recently confirmed the fears of Nigerians in this regard when he disclosed that over 85 per cent of products in the country are substandard, making the country the highest among those patronising substandard products. According to an evaluation conducted in 2008 by the World Health Organisation (WHO) on the quality of anti-malarial drugs in circulation in 14 African countries, it was discovered that Nigeria had the worst situation among all the countries that were evaluated, with 64 per cent of the anti-malarial drugs in the country at that time were either fake or substandard. Products targeted by the faker cut across items like drugs, tyres, household utensils, phones, electronics, clothing materials, IT equipment, as well as food items like beverages, milk, canned foods, toys,
An epidemic of fake products Nigeria’s economy continues to suffer huge losses owing to the preponderance of fake products in the market. The government seems to have stepped up its war against the fakers. But Bukola Afolabi wonders whether enough is being done to stem the tide cables, automatic voltage regulators, amongst several others. It is estimated that Nigeria loses about N50 billion annually to importation of fake and substandard products. Of this figure, trade in substandard auto spare parts accounts for about N20 billion. Especially startling is the fact that the fake auto parts market is dominated by adulterated parts of a popular Japanese product with large market in Nigeria. “We have a crisis situation. We now insist on certificate of free trade,” says Odumodu who declared that the agency would go beyond seizure of substandard goods and embark on re-export of such goods. Apparently, in response to the
devastating effect of the trade, SON launched its zero tolerance campaign against fake products last year. The regulator claims it had removed about N3 billion worth of substandard products from circulation. In the area of substandard tyres alone, over five million have been confiscated and destroyed. But that remains a far cry from the over forty million tyres that should not be in use. It is estimated that 20 per cent of road accidents are caused by expired and substandard tyres. SON also recently destroyed substandard cables worth over N2.2billion and sealed off over 50 companies indulging in the illegal businesses. Last February in Awka,
Dr. Joseph Odumodu, Director-General, Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON), recently confirmed the fears of Nigerians in this regard when he disclosed that over 85 per cent of products in the country are substandard, making the country the highest among those patronising substandard products
NAFDAC destroyed fake, counterfeit, substandard, expired and unwholesome regulated products worth N279.74 million. The products were impounded from Anambra, Ebonyi, Enugu and Imo States. Among the fake drugs destroyed were Cipromed eye and ear drops, injection needles, Augmentin, Artesunat, Cubit vitamin tablets, Zentel Visita, Besure, Boonfit, Aldomet and Paracetamol which had Reagan Remedies as its manufacturers. According to the Comptroller of Nigerian Custom Services, Abdullahi Dikko, the high volume of fake products coming into the country is the product of the porous nature of the country’s borders. Nigeria is bordered by Republic of Benin, Cameroon, Chad and Niger Republic. Statistics show that there are over 200 border points, both legal and illegal, between Nigeria and neighbouring countries. Samson Udoma, an entrepreneur, reasons that foreign countries have turned Nigeria into a dumping ground because they can easily bring in their goods through the neighbouring countries due to the poorly manned borders. He advises that if urgent steps are not taken by the government to secure our borders, the country’s struggling economy will crumble. “In my opinion, if government
wants to tackle the problem of fake products, they must first do something about our borders. They are so porous that anything can come into the country. All these businessmen make use of the borders. They bribe their way into the country. Concrete barricades or walls should be built so that Customs will be able to search whatever goods come into the country,” he says. The primary source of these dodgy products, according to SON, remains the Republic of China. It is said to account for over 80 per cent of such items being dumped on Nigerian markets. When SON held a meeting with the Chinese standards organisation, a body that supervises imports and exports, they were not very supportive. “In fact, they were very hostile to us because at the end of the day what we were asking for was not what they were saying. At a time they pretended that they no longer understood English language just to make sure that that discussion was terminated. But we made our point clear that we have the right to fight for the safety and performance of products that are brought to Nigeria,” Odumodu said. He, however, carpets Nigerian importers and businessmen whom he accused of dumping substandard products in the country as they often tell foreign manufacturers to lower the quality in order to cut cost and maximise their gains. Managing Director of Blueshield Limited, a Lagos based IT firm, Chidi Ugwu, agrees with Odumodu, that the rate at which Nigerians patronise fake products has given a boost to the menace. For instance, in the area of IT products, he said Nigerians are being shortchanged by manufacturers because they lack the right information to choose the right product when faced with genuine and fake brands in the market. “The first way to identify the authenticity of a product is by the source. If the source is not genuine, there is no way the product will be original. A genuine source has a name and integrity to protect; they Continued on page 61
THE NATION ON SUNDAY, OCTOBER 14, 2012
•Dr Joseph Odumodu, Director-General, Standard Organisation of Nigeria
Robert Orya, Managing Director/CEO, NEXIM Bank
NEXIM’s three years scorecard E •Abdullahi Dikko, Comptroller-General of Nigeria Customs Services
•Dr. Paul Orhii, Director-General, NAFDAC
Continued from page 60
An epidemic of fake products will not want to rubbish what they have built over the years in a moment because of proceeds from fake products.” But the task of reducing substandard products to about 40 per cent - an initial 60 per cent reduction in the first quarter of 2012 - may have begun. As part of the campaign to rid the Nigerian market of substandard products, SON is partnering with originating countries of the products. Similarly, the House of Representatives will soon pass a bill that empowers the organisation to prosecute importers or manufacturers of fake and substandard goods. This much was disclosed recently by Mohammed Onawo, chairman, House Committee on Industries, while leading members of the committee to SON’s office in Lagos. Onawo charged SON to embark on awareness campaigns that will educate people on the implications of purchasing substandard products. To position the agency for greater efficiency, SON will acquire the required anti-counterfeiting and cutting-edge technology that will assist in the identification of products that do not meet specification. Besides, the
organisation says it has commenced a new programme that will enforce conformity of products that are being imported into the country from their countries of origin. This will enable SON work with regulatory bodies of the exporting countries to enforce adherence to Nigerian standard. SON is also seeking the cooperation and assistance of international bilateral institutions that are involved in standardisation. Beyond these, the organisation is moving into the local markets, enlisting the support of market associations. The Auto Spare Parts and Machinery Dealers Association, ASPAMDA, located within the International Trade Fare Complex in Lagos and the Alaba International Market as the first port of call. Similar market associations across the country are also being targeted. In all, developing the competitiveness of locally made goods and reducing to the barest minimum, the influx of fake and substandard products into the country is the greatest challenge before SON. This is especially so now with the Federal Government directing all regulatory agencies saddled with maintaining standards to synchronise their activities with those of the federal standard regulatory agencies in other to tackle the menace. This is to be backed by an executive bill which seeks stiffer penalty for organisations and individuals who deal in counterfeit drugs and substandard products in the country.
RASTUS Okorodudu works as a farm supervisor at the a rubber plantation in Ughelli, Delta, which he joined fresh from the university after several attempts to secure a job at different multinationals oil companies yielded no positive results But four years down the line, he has not looked back. Like most of his contemporaries working in oil companies, today, Okorodudu is also living the good life and can easily afford any luxury money can buy, all thanks to the lifeline his employers secured from NEXIM in 2010, which literally opened floodgates of opportunities, including exposure to emerging markets, to mention but a few. The foregoing anecdote, if you may, is one of many testimonies which many of the beneficiaries of NEXIM’s export grant have been reeling out at any given opportunity. One of such foras was the interface and discussion sessions with prospective investors facilitated by NEXIM in Lagos late last year. For an organisation which suffered an eclipse as a result of its run of misfortunes some years ago, the sudden change of fortune coupled with its impressive fundamentals within a space of three years, analysts argue, speaks to the competence and ability of its current management team led by Robert Orya. NEXIM’s dark days Investigation revealed that the state of affairs of the bank at the time of the assumption of duty of the new executive management in August 2009 was such that the financial and operational performance of the bank had deteriorated to an alarming level, in addition to a myriad of other problems, chief among which was alarming decline in the quality of risk assets as the bank’s total loan portfolio as at 20th August 2009 was N14.6 billion with over 72% being non performing, N10.03 billion or 69.05 classified as completely lost; resulting in decline in the bank’s income, thus leaving the bank with a debt overhang of N32.74 billion coupled with depletion of the bank’s shareholders funds as a result of accumulated losses to mention but a few. Mandate to Robert Orya-led management Given the parlous state of the bank, the focus of the Robert Oryaled executive management team was to help turn around the fortunes of the bank as well as ensure that NEXIM is able to contribute significantly to the economic development of Nigeria. Thus with the Board of Directors under the dynamic leadership of Dr. Kingsley C. Moghalu, Deputy Governor Financial System Stability Central Bank of Nigeria [CBN], in 2010 approved the strategic repositioning of the bank to effectively deliver on
Three years in the saddle as the Managing Director/Chief Executive of the Nigerian Export Import Bank, NEXIM, analysts hold the view and very strongly too that the Robert Orya-led management team has helped to turn around the fortunes of the once moribund bank, reports Ibrahim Apekhade Yusuf into billions of naira as at August 2009, the bank has been able to achieve a cumulative loan recovery of N1.3billion so far with a promise of better days ahead. The bank has also supported the entertainment industry with over N700 million and N536 million disbursed amounts to six beneficiary clients In furtherance of the bank’s support for the arts, it engaged in strategic partnerships/sponsorship supports of some creative and entertainment industry events for marketing, advocacy and capacity building programmes, which were intended to create awareness, build capacities, facilitate monetization of intellectual property/proprietary assets as well as showcase Nigerian talents. These events/programmes include among others the following: the Zuma Film Festival, the 10th Nigerian Video Music Awards, 9th African Film & TV Programme EXPO, Nigerian Booth at the Cannes International Film Festival 2012, African International Film Festival, 1st National Policy Dialogue on the Development of the creative/ entertainment industries in Nigeria, to mention but a few. Apart from making inroads in the nation’s fledging entertainment sector with the disbursement of the $200million loan, the bank has facilitated the establishment of the regional sealink project, which has the propensity to save Nigeria about N800 billion ($5 billion) annually. According to the NEXIM boss, the project, which is being sponsored by the Federation of West African Chambers of Commerce and Industry, FEWACCI and endorsed by both the ECOWAS Commission and the Maritime Organisation of West and Central Africa, MOWCA, will also help facilitate the realisation of the various maritime-related laws like the Cabotage and MIMASA Acts and the implementation of the National Shipping Policy. While the jury may still be out on what should be the proper measure of success or otherwise of an organisation of NEXIM’s status, expert opinNEXIM sector intervention ions seem to be in from August 2009 till date its favour, which is salutary enough. (N’000) %) But will NEXIM get rather Manufacturing 11,343,824.34 48.6% complacent and be Agro – Processing 5,033,267.00 21.6% carried away by its Solid Minerals 2,069,200.00 8.9% momentary sucServices 4,879,614.42 20.9% cess? Time, will Total 23,325,905.76 100.0% tell.
its statutory mandate and become an effective enabler of Nigeria’ economic transformation. Accordingly, the management undertook a corporate transformation exercise centred on the key perspectives of strategy, risk management and corporate governance, financial performance, operations, organisation and people, with assistance from KPMG Professional Services. Expectedly, this corporate transformation project tagged: “Project Spring” led to the re-definition of the bank’s mission, vision and strategic objectives, with the intention of channelling its resources into the development of four sectors namely: manufacturing, agro- processing, solid minerals and services, which have high amount of employment and foreign exchange earning potentials in the non-oil sector for the economy. Performance scorecard In three years, the management team has been able to transform the bank, thus delivering on its mandate through a robust strategy, efficient operations and highly skilled and motivated personnel. There have been fresh capital injection from the shareholders as well as other institutional support through supervisory and regulatory oversight and guidance from the CBN and Federal Ministry of Finance, thus it has increased the bank’s capacity to support the growth of the non-oil exports and complement the export credit support of the commercial banks. Besides, the bank has supported Nigerian exporters especially the small and medium enterprises (SME’s) with some engaged in Greenfield projects, to the tune of N23.33billion and issued guarantees valued at $27.3million between 2009 and August 2012. The bank through its various operational interventions generated/ sustained direct jobs of over 14,358 as at August 31, 2012 even as it has helped to facilitate the generation of estimated foreign exchange earnings of US$189.20 million to date. From a debt overhang running
HAT is your assessment of the insurance industry? My assessment is that there are still a lot more to be done by the industry itself, there are still a lot more to be done by the institute where I happen to be the Director General. I will say the Chartered Insurance Institute of Nigeria (CIIN), which is the body that has been given the statutory powers to train and retrain insurance professional and persons in Nigeria, is doing its best to ensure that those who will hold themselves high as professionals are well trained before they are certified. That is, for you to become an insurance professional, you must have gone through some prescribed examinations, which the institute conducts. And the examination is in three parts, we have the certificate, the diploma and advanced diploma stage. If any one hopes to hold himself high as a professional, he must go through these examinations. The institute provides different services to enable us prepare the students for examination. We also have a college that has been put in place to ensure that we train those who would take the examinations and those that will come in for refresher courses. The institute has also some examination programmes that it conducts on regular basis, some on annual bases and regular intervals. For example, the conferences, seminars, in house programmes and Mandatory Continuing Professional Development (MCPD) training programme. In all that I have said concerning the efforts of the institute, I think the insurance education in the country is not doing badly. I can say members of the industry are getting the best on training. We have also encouraged that education is not something you get from a particular source like the CIIN; we also encourage students and our members to develop and re-develop themselves. The MDCP programme for example ensures that students write, carry out research, and attend programmes that can broaden their knowledge about the practice of insurance. I can say the insurance in Nigeria is gathering momentum. What are the challenges confronting the institute? There are a lot of challenges; of course finance is the major issue, whether for the institute or the corporate bodies that would send their staff for programmes. Over the years, I want to suspect, that the budget for training has being falling, I do not have the figures, but I suspect, that there might be some scaling down of budget for training, this is a major challenge. This is because no matter how good and elaborate a training programme is, if we do not have more of our members attending there is a challenge. It is no longer fashionable for a practitioner to just have one certificate in the present dispensation. Professions have intertwined that somebody must have a bit of what is obtainable in other professions. The knowledge that was impacted 10 years ago may not be sufficient to drive the busi-
THE NATION ON SUNDAY OCTOBER 14, 2012
‘Insurers need to Beyond reinvent themselves’ Talent
By Adetayo Okusanya
Mr. Adegboyega Adepegba, Director, General, Chartered Insurance Institute of Nigeria (CIIN), in this in- EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATION 101: terview with Ibrahim Apekhade Yusuf, reflects on the Are you a communicator or just a talker? theory and practice of insurance in Nigeria “The problem with communication ... is the illusion that Email: email@example.com
it has been accomplished.” -George B. Shaw
ness of today. Therefore, there is the challenge for our people to change in learning new things and asking more questions. There is also the challenge on research, raising qualified people who can impact knowledge on young practitioners. Our professionals are very busy people, but the time has come for them to give back something to those that are coming up. The challenge we have here is that the professionals have their primary duties and must meet certain targets in their officers. We have been trying to encourage the professionals, but it has not been easy. We try to encourage people to have mentors and build relationships, but we still have some challenges. We hope that so many good hands we have in industry, which may not be getting younger, there is need for us to begin to ask them to impact on others. How has the institute fared in encouraging intake of fresh hands to replace aging practitioners? Most professionals have continued to age and we have continued to educate young people to take our examination to boost their performance. We have improved on our awareness drive and there are more people coming in to register for our examination, but there is still the need to fast track it. I believe we must be able to match the number of people coming in two times over and above those going out. That we have not been able to achieve. There is a danger if we have for an example 30 people retiring every year and we cannot find
INTERVIEW about 40 or 50 people replacing them by way of qualification. Exit can be as a result of death, retirement, loss of jobs and other factors, whereas, the only entrance into the profession is the CIIN which monitors those who come into the industry. When we did the last count, we observed that we have average of 60 people joining the profession every year. I do not want to go into the number of people that leave the industry for I do not have the figure, but we know that people are leaving due to age and other reasons. I believe there has been some improvement in the number of people coming in; for we are working seriously to get more people into the profession through National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) orientations campaigns, visit to tertiary institutions, Catch Them Young Programmes, our Operation 5000 Graduate Scheme and others. What is the state of the insurance college? The college of insurance and financial management is evolving; its blue print is ready. I do tell people that the college is not the building – the number of classes we have, but the blue print which we have been able to develop and where the blue print is taking us to is that within the next few months, we would be admitting students. Whether we admit them in the permanent site or somewhere else, would not be the most important thing now, but the important thing is that we have a blue print
and we are bringing in people that would run the college. We would be bringing experts from the industry that would form the faculties of the college. Presently, the administration block of the college is completed, the restaurant 90 per cent completed, we have seven chalets that have also been completed. With the complement of buildings we have in there, we can start. We have made tremendous progress on the college. We have completed the administration block that houses the class rooms and can sit about 2000 students. We have admin offices for the college rector and other staff. We have a restaurant and seven chalets for people who may want to stay overnight. The next stage is for us to build the halls for presidents and that I think before the end of the year, we shall lay the foundation for that. As a non professional, how have you been able to cope with the administration of the institute? While I would not unduly justify that a non professional can run this place, I want to say that what is required to run this place successfully is a good knowledge of management. Other things required to run the institute are deep managerial skill, ability to wed people together, ability to win the support of the industry, ability to meet the needs of members, cutting down one’s excesses. The work here is like that of a judge. In the years I have been here, I have lost many friends and cut down many because if one is running an institution like ours, he must be above board.
OMMUNICATION is inevitable. Whether you like it or not, or want it or not, something is always being communicated to people around you through your words or your actions or lack of both. The question, therefore, is never “what should I communicate today” but rather “what and how am I communicating today”. What is communication? Dictionary.com defines “Communication” as the interchange of thoughts, opinions, ideas or information through words or images between speaker/sender and listener/ receiver that (i) leaves both parties with the SAME understanding of the message that was exchanged and (ii) has the POTENTIAL to change or reinforce behavior. What is not communication? First, communication is not monologue. Jeff Daly said two monologues do not make a dialogue. Dialoguing requires an exchange of ideas, through speaking, listening and giving of feedback, between two or more parties. Second, communicating is not the same thing as informating. Sydney J. Harris said informating is giving out; communicating is getting through. In the former, the flow of ideas is one-way, whilst in the latter the flow of ideas is two-way. Third, communication does not mean agreement. It is about achieving mutual understanding, not consensus. The fact that your lips are moving and words are coming out of your mouth does not mean that you are communicating with your listener. Rudyard Kipling said words are, of course, the most powerful drug used by mankind. Obama, with the simple words “Yes, We Can” and “Change You Can Believe In” won the heart of a nation and became the first African American president of the United States. With words and actions, legends like Jesus, Mohammed, Martin Luther King, Mahatma Ghandi, Mother Teresa, Mandela, Jack Welch, Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, etc. impacted generations and created lasting change in the world. In the words of Oliver Wendell Holmes, “speak clearly, if you speak at all; carve every word before you let it fall. Communication is a transaction. It is the buying and selling of ideas using words and images as currency. Every time you communicate you are transacting with others. It is a transaction that has the power to build or destroy trust, goodwill and name recognition. Communication can be in writing, verbal or non-verbal (body language and behavior). Effective communication is an essential requirement for individual, team and organizational success. It is the right message, delivered by the right messenger, in the right manner, at the right time, to the right audience, who understand it in the right way and act upon it in the right manner. Effective communication is the lifeblood of successful teams. It delivers necessary information, ideas, thoughts and expectations (like nutrients and oxygen) to the members of the team (body’s cells) for performance, health and vitality. It is through communication that people are able to share information, make decisions, solve problems and execute their daily responsibilities to achieve success. Effective team communication should necessarily involve the sharing of goals, norms, roles, responsibilities, performance standards, expectations, plans, strategies, performance feedback, issues, problems, decisions, interests, needs, business results (successes and failures), values, priorities, procedures and processes, boundaries, consequences, ideas, etc with team members. It is a useful process for creating alignment, focus, integrity and accountability within teams. It takes effective team communication to transform a group of individuals into a collective and dynamic force that gets the right things done in the right way, and at the right time. An effective team communication strategy can eliminate distractions like office “politics”, distrust, fear, personal agendas, etc. It is like oil in your team engine. When it is high in quantity and quality, team effectiveness and performance will be greatly enhanced. The outcome of effective communication is to enable individuals and teams achieve set goals, and create value for their organization. Additionally, effective communication can be used to make team members feel valued for their contributions. Team members create value by becoming more motivated, productive, efficient, effective and innovative. They feel valued when they experience praise, recognition, career development opportunities, as well as other monetary and non-monetary rewards. Poor communication can lead to waste, rework, duplication, missed deadlines, customer dissatisfaction, apathy, conflict, resistance, rebellion, attrition, employee dissatisfaction, and ultimately loss of market share and market value. When at its best, communication can minimize misconceptions, and promote mutual understanding, mutual valuing and trust.
• Okusanya is CEO of ReadinessEdge
WORLD NEWS THE NATION ON SUNDAY OCTOBER 14, 2012
Tibetan man sets himself on fire to protest China
HE grandfather of a revered Tibetan Buddhist figure died yesterday after setting himself on fire in protest of Chinese rule, the London-based rights group Free Tibet said. The incident is the latest of dozens of self-immolations by Tibetans since 2009. Free Tibet said 52-year-old Tamdrin Dorjee died at the scene near Tsoe Monastery in northwestern China’s Gansu province. It said the man is the grandfather of the 7th Gungthang Rinpoche, believed by Tibetan Buddhists to be the reincarnation of an important religious figure. Dorjee’s body was taken to his home village, Free Tibet said. Photos said to be from the scene show dozens of villagers and monks gathered around a body in smoke.
We will defeat enemy plots -Iran’s leader
RAN’S supreme leader said yesterday that his country will defeat a combination of sanctions, military threats and “soft wars” launched by enemies trying to weaken Iran and force it to back down over its nuclear program. Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s remarks, his third public speech in a week, came as tensions rise in the standoff between Iran and the West over Tehran’s nuclear program. They follow a precipitous
decline in Iran’s currency linked to economic sanctions imposed by the West, as well as remarks by Defense Secretary Leon Panetta highlighting the possibility of a cyberwar between Iran and the United States. “We should not neglect the enemy. The enemy enters through various ways. One day it’s talk of sanctions. Another day it’s talk of military aggression. And one day, it’s talk of soft war ... We have to be vigilant,” state TV quoted
Khamenei as saying during a speech in northeast Iran yesterday. “But they should rest assured that ... our enemies will fail in all their conspiracies and tricks.” The U.S. and its allies accuse Iran of using its civilian nuclear program as a cover to develop nuclear weapons. Tehran has denied the charges, saying its program is peaceful and geared toward generating electricity and producing radioisotopes to treat cancer patients.
The West are pursuing a two-pronged strategy that includes a mix of sanctions and diplomacy to try to force Tehran to halt uranium enrichment, a technology that can be used to produce nuclear fuel or materials for use in a warhead. But the West has not ruled out the possibility of military strikes against Iranian nuclear facilities, and Panetta made a pointed warning on Thursday that the U.S. will strike back against a cyberattack, under-
Al-Qaida leader urges holy war over Prophet film
HE leader of Al-Qaida has urged Muslims to wage holy war against the United States and Israel over a film that insulted Islam’s Prophet Muhammad. Ayman al-Zawahri praised as “honest and zealous” demonstrators who breached the U.S Embassy in Cairo and attackers who stormed the U.S. “embassy” in Benghazi in violence linked to the film. The American ambassador and three others died in the Sept. 11 attack on the U.S. Consulate in the Libyan city. The amateur film “Innocence of Muslims” was made by an Egyptian-born American citizen. In an audio message released by al-Qaida’s media arm As-Sahab and posted on militant websites early yesterday, al-Zawahri claimed Washington allowed the film’s production under the pretext of freedom of expression, “but this freedom did not prevent them from torturing Muslim prisoners.”
French president lands in Congo after Senegal stop
RENCH President Francois Hollande landed early yesterday in Congo, where he is to take part in a summit of French-speaking countries, after months of controversy surrounding his visit to the vast Central African nation. Organised for the first time in a Central African country, this year’s summit is taking place in the Congolese capital but the botched presidential and legislative elections of November 2011 have jeopardized its organization. “I want to declare here my willingness to renew the relationship between France and Africa. The era of Franceafrique is over. There is now a France and there is an Africa. And there is a partnership between France and Africa, based on relationships that are founded on respect,” Hollande said on Friday.
scoring the Obama administration’s growing concern that Iran could be the first country to unleash cyberterrorism on America. Tehran for its part announces the discovery of computer viruses at nuclear, industrial and government sites. It blames the West and Israel. Israel has said little to deflect suspicion that it tries to infect some Iranian systems. Iranian leaders have been consistently defiant, announcing measures they say the Islamic Republic is taking to evade sanctions, defeat cyberattacks, and prepare to repulse or retaliate for a military strike. “Many politicians ... in the U.S., Britain and other countries ... employed all their might and designs with the assumption they could bring the Islamic Republic and the Iranian nation to its knees. They are gone and even their names are forgotten but the Iranian nation is present by the grace of God,” Khamenei said. Iranian leaders have also argued that it can always find customers for its oil and that the West is hurting itself, more than Iran, by cutting itself off from Iranian crude exports. Khamenei said Wednesday that European countries are
Car bomb kills 17 people in northwestern Pakistan
•Afghan students pray for the early recovery of Pakistani child activist Malala Yousafzai, who was shot in the head in a Taliban assassination attempt, during a rally in Jalalabad yesterday. Schools in Afghanistan opened with special prayers for the quick recovery of Yousafzai, in a move officials said was to show solidarity with her. AFP PHOTO
Romney: ‘We need to win Ohio’ R EPUBLICAN presidential nominee Mitt Romney emphasised the importance of the battleground state of Ohio at a Friday evening rally, telling the crowd that the state is vital for him to secure the presidency. “We need your help. We need to win Ohio,” Romney said in his closing remarks. “You’ve got to get your friends to help us win Ohio. If we win Ohio, we take back America, we keep this country the hope of the Earth.” With 18 Electoral College votes, Ohio is indeed a crucial part of the path to victory for both the Republican and Democratic candidates. The state supported President Barack Obama in 2008, President George W. Bush in 2004 and 2000 and former President Bill Clinton in 1996. No Republican presidential candidate has lost the state and gone
on to win the election. Romney and Obama are pouring significant resources into Ohio and spending a lot of time campaigning here. Standing in front of an American flag draped over Lancaster City Hall, Romney joined his running mate, Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan, on stage for what was their first public appearance since Ryan’s debate on Thursday with Vice
President Joe Biden in Danville, Ky. Romney praised Ryan for his performance during the debate, in which Ryan faced an aggressive Biden through most of the night. “There was one person on the stage with thoughtfulness, who was respectful, who was steady and poised. There’s one person on that stage you would want to be with if there
was a crisis, that’s this man right here,” he said, pointing to Ryan. During his speech, Romney appeared emboldened by recent polling that shows him leading Obama nationally and in key states. In his remarks, in which he focused heavily on increasing military spending if elected, Romney predicted victory over Obama in November.
Obama trumpets rebound of US auto industry
RESIDENT Barack Obama is hailing the rebound of the U.S. auto industry, pointing to progress since his administration rescued General Motors and Chrysler. Obama says in his weekly radio and Internet address that auto sales are the highest they’ve been in more than four years and the in-
dustry has created nearly a quarter of a million new jobs. Obama frequently cites GM and Chrysler as a success story for his campaign. Automakers are large employers in Ohio, one of the key battleground states being contested by Obama and Republican Mitt Romney.
Markwayne Mullin, an Oklahoma Republican running for Congress, says in the GOP address that the Obama administration has pushed regulations that make it difficult for businesses. He says the economy “doesn’t need more meddling — it needs more certainty.”
car bomb tore through a crowded
bazaar outside an office for anti-Taliban tribal elders yesterday in northwestern Pakistan, killing at least 17 people, officials said. The blast in the town of Darra Adam Khel was the latest to strike the troubled area near the Afghan border, showing militants still pose a threat to the stability of key U.S. ally Pakistan despite government offensives against the Taliban and their supporters. No group immediately claimed responsibility, but the Pakistani Taliban have staged similar attacks in the tribal region of Darra Adam Khel to punish elders for backing security forces in offensives against militants. The explosives-laden car was parked near the office of one of the so-called peace committees that have been formed by local elders trying to rid the area of militants, regional government administrator Fakhruddin Khan said. It was unclear how many people were in the office at the time, but Khan said those killed included tribal elders and passers-by. He said 40 people also were wounded and the attack destroyed 35 shops and eight vehicles. The dead and wounded, including some in critical condition, had been transported to hospitals in the northwestern city of Peshawar. The region, which is in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, is famous for its weapons market selling guns made by local craftsmen.
AST week may have been President Obama’s most painful as a politician. After a brittle debate performance, his election campaign fell into a tailspin. Voters abandoned him as if he were leprosy stricken. The noticeable lead enjoyed over his opponent was erased simply due to one uninspiring performance. In one national poll, Obama suffered over a ten percentage point dip, going from a six-seven point lead to a five-point arrearage. After the debate, a greater number of people opined that Governor Romney would more skillfully handle the economy than the president could. His electoral advantage among women evaporated as had much of his “likeability” advantage over his opponent. The implausible suddenly loomed real: he could lose. Never before had one debate so altered the political landscape. For one so confident in his ability to communicate and also as sensitive as Obama, this unexpected rejection by a large segment of the electorate must have been numbing blow, the political equivalent of a concussion. President Obama had built his political strategy on a surplus of goodwill among the electorate. He entered the debate cockily assured all he needed was to make a passive appearance devoid of monumental error and all go well for him. When the crunch came, his vaunted goodwill with the public deserted him like a freeloader leaving a party once the punchbowl had gone dry and the hors d’oeuvres were finished. What he thought was a rock-solid political asset proved to be shifting sand. Although the president’s debate outing was tedious, it did not warrant such a public reaction. An unnamed force was in operation. Obama’s diminution in the polls was half his fault. The other half was attributable to the voter’s biased perception of the debate. A reasonable hypothesis is that at least 90 percent of those who have turned toward Romney in the debate’s aftermath are white, independent moderates. Obama’s performance finally gave them a defensible excuse to do what their biased hearts had wanted them to do: ditch the president. Prior to the debate, Obama seemed visibly better than Romney. Yet, these people remained undecided or only begrudgingly for Obama because Romney had not achieved the minimum threshold he needed to be considered a credible alternative. Romney had gone too far right and was forever stumbling during this course of this conservative migration. Still, these voters held out for the slightest excuse to kick Obama down the stairs. When Romney veered back to center and away from the Republican extreme and Obama stammered through the debate, the desired excuse had finally presented itself. With this, many whites happily flocked Romney’s way; supporting him felt more in keeping with the traditional order of things. It was a restoration. The move away from Obama constituted a form of white flight. It also signaled that he has yet to understand the racial outlook of much of white America. His objective to be one of the guys, to be the great black moderate, continues to elude him for it is a mirage. America has not yet reached the stage where elite black mediocrity will be as richly rewarded as its white counterpart. Obama was elected in 2008 because enough white people saw him as a rare leader, one who was clearly superior to his rival. Unless he proves himself demonstrably superior to Romney, Obama will forfeit the larger slice of the heretofore undecided portion of the electorate. The election could lean in the balance. Obama’s post-debate conduct did little to stem his decline in the polls. He rationalised his flat debate performance by claiming his mistake was being “too polite” to his
THE NATION ON SUNDAY, OCTOBER 14, 2012
Vice presidential debate: Obama gets a temporary balm •Political Campaigns can be distilled to the practice of turning your lies into truth and your opponent’s truth into lies.
•UNITED STATES, Danville: US Vice President Joe Biden (R) and Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan depart the stage following their vice presidential debate at Centre College in Danville, Kentucky, at the weekend. AFP PHOTO. tive, ceding the moderate ground to Democrats worried about the elecBy Brian Browne tion had Obama replacing Biden with Obama. Obama established homeopponent. The president remarked Hillary Clinton. Today, those same stead in this centrist position but that repetitively pointing out Democrats are celebrating that their failed to erect strong defenses against Romney’s many untruths might have hopes went unrequited. Biden has trespass because he thought Romney come across as offensive. This remark something Obama does not. Biden would continue to tack sharp right. was beneath the man and the mo- has fight in him. Where Obama is At their debate, Romney invaded the ment. Taking his rival to task would cerebral and emotionally aloof, Biden middle ground but Obama failed to not have been half as unsettling as is a combative, sometimes evict him. The Republican underPresident Obama’s passively taking combustible, man who wears his stood the closer he drew his positions in Romney’s ballooning fabrications. emotions openly. Obama painstak- to Obama’s, the more undecided With this post-debate excuse, Obama ingly measures his words as if on white voters would tilt his way. showed that he was as capable of the trial. Biden has the tongue of a care- Given a choice between a white man brazen lie as Romney had been free raconteur. Obama is a rapier and black man signing essentially during the debate. Unless he knew while Biden is a broadsword. Where the same tune, these voters would beforehand that Romney would Obama flinches from confrontation, be pulled to the white man as if by engage in serial prevarication, the Biden relishes the hurly burly. magnet. Credit goes to Romney; he president’s excuse defies logic. When Obama views debates as drudgery has played the race card as subtly as confronted by Romney’s first lie, the that he might lose. Biden sees them it can be played, so subtly that few president could not be sure more as a game he can win. Moreover, observers will dare mention it. Against this backdrop, Biden’s untruths would come or how many Biden epitomises Main Street there might be. At that moment, the America. Born to a working-class performance must be measured. question of repeatedly confronting family in a working- class town, Garrulous and interrupting his opRomney could not have weighed Biden talks for the common man. ponent every time Congressman down the president’s mind; he only More than Obama because of his race Ryan spoke an untruth, Biden had the had sure evidence of the first lie. At or Romney because of his money, expression of a lion uncaged. By conthat point, he should have confronted Biden can relate to working class trast, Ryan hoped to repeat the his opponent. If he had, this might white America. He comes from them strategy that proved successful for have disturbed the Republican’s and it is the undecided voters within Romney in his debate where stride, perhaps deterring many of the this group who will decide the fate Romney proved to be a master of the lie, sincerely told. Where Obama of this election. untruths that were to come. Additionally, Biden is as loyal a gave Romney a free pass, Biden Some things came to help the president even when he was doing subordinate as can be found in this pounced on Ryan like a weightlifter poorly helping himself. Unemploy- day and age. Coming into the debate, on a scrawny thief. When Ryan claimed the Obama ment figures for September showed he knew he had to rally the considerable improvement, Democratic Party. As a result of the fiscal stimulus was an inefficient dropping from 8.1 to 7.8 per cent. drop in the polls following the presi- waste that burdened the economy, Harangue from conservatives that dential debate, Democrats were “fuss and guts” Biden exploded that the jobless figures had been downcast. Their enthusiasm had Ryan had glued himself to hypocrisy. manipulated to promote the presi- been doused by gloom. Meanwhile, Saying Ryan had written for stimudent’s reelection served to remind the the Republicans, who were almost lus funds for projects in his state, more thoughtful moderates that the ready to mail their concession speech Biden reminded the Congressman Republican Party had become the two weeks ago, had renewed vigor. that his request letter said the garrison of rightist zealots possessed Suddenly, a victory that seemed as stimulus money would create jobs by an ideological perspective at distant as a star now appeared close and help the state economy. Biden variance with the interests of the enough to grasp. Biden’s objectives asked the man how he could write a middle class. The unemployment for the debate were two-fold. First, formal letter asserting that the stimunumbers and the crass Republican he had to stop his own party’s retreat. lus funds were condign then lie to reaction to them stemmed some of Second, he had to expose Republican the entire nation that the stimulus policy inconsistencies. Biden failed. Ryan could do nothing but the Democratic bleeding. The most effective curative for undertook these tasks with the alac- tender a nearly unintelligible reply. Ryan cited the unemployment what ailed the Democrats was Vice rity of a junk-yard dog gnawing a rate in Biden’s hometown of Scranton President Biden’s debate perform- moist bone. At the presidential debate, had risen during the past four years. ance. Biden was an unlikely hero. Prone to the verbal gaffe, the im- Romney had executed a policy shift Then he tried a cheap trick by promptu Biden is the opposite of his of exquisite cynicism. To clinch the asserting Scranton’s increase was reptightly-scripted boss. Months ago, Republican nomination, Romney resentative of the national trend. wishful speculation among campaigned as a staunch conserva- Before he could complete the false-
hood, Biden snapped Ryan was misleading the public and that unemployment was going down throughout the nation. When Ryan tried to blame Obama for the lagging economy, Biden retorted Ryan’s culpability exceeded the president’s because Ryan had supported all the Bush-era policies of waging two wars while simultaneously executing a steep tax cut for the wealthy. On health care, Biden chastised Ryan for offering a voucher plan that would not give the poor and elderly enough money to afford decent insurance coverage. Biden reminded the audience Ryan had been a long-time proponent of privatising Social Security. Had Social Security been privatised during the 2009 recession, the life-savings and retirement nest eggs of millions of American would have evaporated due to the greedy speculation that Republican policies had encouraged in the financial system. Time and time again, Biden returned to the theme that the Republicans had a long history of attacking vital social programs. Thus, the Republican ticket’s sudden, late-hour support of these programs was more than suspicious. It was an attempt to win the contest by hoodwinking the public. A passionate Biden emphasised that Obama had always championed the middle class and thus was more trustworthy than these recent converts. On foreign policy, Biden claimed Ryan and Romney were engaged in empty posturing. While claiming that Obama’s foreign policy was weak, Ryan and Romney could not offer any concrete ideas of what they would do differently in foreign policy, Biden complained. The Vice President said his opponents were silent on alternatives because they had none. Again, Ryan’s reply was feeble and unpersuasive. Sadly, on the most important foreign policy matter Biden did not adequately dog Ryan and his dangerous logic. Ryan alleged the Iranian “Ayatollahs” were intent on acquiring a nuclear weapon; that current sanctions and negotiations would not dissuade them. He then echoed the vague and frightening postulate that Iran should be stopped before it acquired “the capability” to create a nuclear weapon. Advanced to their logical conclusion, these statements basically mean that Ryan has determined that war is inevitable. If this reflects Romney’s thinking, America will likely be at war with Iran within a year should a Romney Administration be inaugurated. Biden was not perfect and made a few misstatements including one about the Libyan consultant attack. Still, in winning the debate, Biden achieved his primary goal. The Democrats are revived and no longer despondent. He also showed his boss how to handle the chameleonic Romney. As good as Biden performed, the effects of his labor will not live beyond the next presidential debate on October 16. This one will be telling. After the first encounter, Romney demonstrated he had the ability to embrace multiple positions on one issue. As such, he showed himself to be a wolf in sheep’s clothing pretending to be a sheep in wolf’s clothing pretending to be a wolf in sheep’s clothing. On the other hand, Obama has simply been a sheep in sheep’s clothing. If he keeps at this defenseless posture, he will be badly hit. October 16 might be night of the most momentous debate in the last fifty years. Despite his failings, Obama is a safer bet than Romney. If Ryan spoke the truth about his boss’s Iranian policy, they will ignite another war in a region already beset by too many conflicts; they will rush to war without compelling reason. One dares not underestimate the dangerous consequences of their coarse aversion to diplomacy and decadent affection for pummeling weaker, rival nations.
THE NATION ON SUNDAY OCTOBER 14, 2012
Runny, not running, stomach
AILY SUN of October 11 abused two headlines: “UNIPORT alumni condemns killing” No news: alumni (plural); alumnus (singular). The confusion usually arises from ‘alumni association’ which takes a singular verb. “Blood thirsty cannibals?” Beyond bloodthirsty (take note of the hyphen) cannibals, are their cannibals that are not blood thirsty? Flesh is intertwined with blood. From National Mirror of October 11 come the following lexical tragedies: “Jonathan tours flood ravaged (flood-ravaged) states today” “FG sets up committee on teachers (teachers’) housing projects” “TDNA: Ekiti secondary schools’ teachers dump ASUSS” Get it right: school teachers. This personalisation of collocation is wrong because teachers teach students—not schools! “…the outcome of the investigation by the police of (into) the contentious SSS report….” “…they will be further emboldened to create even greater harm to our fledging democratic experiment.” Is our democracy still fledgling (note the spelling)? Still on National Mirror under review: “…were wasted by yet to be identified gunmen.” Gripping fear, gaping security deficit: yet-to-beidentified gunmen. “Like (As) before, a major scarcity of petrol is being currently experienced….” ‘Is currently being’ is antithetical to existential humanism! Yank off ‘is’ and ‘currently’. “…who recently offered a clue on (to) the issue….” “The NNPC is known to have imported more fuel into the country….” Where else would it have imported it into? Delete ‘into the country’! “…re-channel same (the same) through uninhabited areas?” “Education Minister threatens contractors’ revocation” Contract revocation is not the same thing as contractors’ revocation. In other words, the minister threatened contractors—not revocation! “Ghana: Groups call for scraping of study leave” Spell-check: scrapping. Lastly from National Mirror: “… while Nokia, Blackberry rating drop (drops).” The Guardian of October 9, starting from its front page sub-headline,
nurtured copious flaws: “Northern Christians reject govs (governors’) peace forum” Apart from the lack of a basic stress mark (an apostrophe) after the word in question, there are standard abbreviations in English language—‘gov’ is certainly not one of them. It is just like writing ‘Pres’ for ‘President. Such careless writing highlights journalistic ignorance and laziness under the cover of house style! “NEMA alerts on (to) fresh plans to release water from Camerounian (Cameroonian preferably) dams” Alert by/to or simply alert, depending on context—not ‘alert on’. “Meanwhile, the Lagos League of Political Parties (LLPP) has congratulated…for (on/ upon) his victory at the tribunal….” Still on THE GUARDIAN of October 9: “Akpabio worries (worried) over rot in judiciary” Except if the reporter is imputing that the governor—not the NBA president!—will keep worrying, which I contest! “We have had a useful business to business (business-to-business) roundtable, which is a follow up (follow-up) to the meeting between….” Still on the preceding affliction: “NDE, Ondo to partner on job creation initiatives” Adjectival appointment: job-creation initiatives Lastly from Rutam House as I welcome Martins Oloja, an urbane friend of mine, to the noble editorship of THE GUARDIAN. “Lagos Police Command reads riot act to criminals, seizes (arrests/apprehends/ rounds up/picks up…) 130 hoodlums that rape, rob victims” Do we need ‘victims’ here? It is implied! And ‘seize’ is contextually wrong in this lexical environment because it lacks expressive technicality. Last week’s edition of this medium offered its numerous readers a few school-boy howlers: “2014: Battle for Anambra governorship race begins” ‘Battle’ and ‘race’ cannot co-occur in the same space. So, it is either the battle or the race that has begun. Therefore, 2014: Battle for Anambra governorship begins or Race for Anambra governorship begins or, preferably, Anambra governorship battle (race) begins. “My ordeal at the hands of Abacha— Aborisade” Let bygones be bygones: in (not at) the hands of Abacha. “…ready to be de-
ported back to Nigeria….” Yank off ‘back’ in defence of our lexical freedom! “…formerly (formally) flags off (sic) an intensive search for Igbo unity over 2015 presidential election….” “Dangote sets (set) to invest in Sudan” Lastly from THE NATION ON SUNDAY under review: “Stopping a running stomach” Your health: a runny, not running, stomach! “As Gofamint commissions (launches) micro-finance bank” “Lagos alerts public over (to) Boko Haram crises” “Oyo SSG escapes assassination attempt” ‘Attempt’ is clearly redundant here. If the man escaped assassination, it means it was an attempt on his life. “Now she (no to gender insensitivity!) has joined (climbed or jumped on/aboard) the bandwagon of states worldwide which (why the pronoun deviation?) recognize....” “…the lawmaker took a wholistic assessment of active governance in the country.…” No parley: holistic assessment. “The Ministry of Finance performed creditably well….” Still keeping track: The ministry performed creditably or well; both words cannot co-function. “In this exclusive chat, the group talked about their musical carrier (career) and their relationship with other hip-hop groups in the country.” “It takes sometime (some time) to build a road.” There is a clear distinction between ‘sometime’ and sometime’. “…for the new thing God has in stock (store) for them.” “Resting in the bossom of God” An improvement: Resting in God’s bosom (note the spelling). “Okupe was not happy because the governor complained against (about/of) the criminal neglect of federal infrastructures in his state.” “In his interview with our reporter, he touched on many issues that bother (border) on the nation’s economy.” “The high population of students in (on) these campuses....” “There were instances where legislators and other party leaders threw decorum to the dogs and engaged in abusing themselves (one another) and challenging the authority of the Federal Government.”
‘My alleged removal, travesty of justice’ E
ARLY in the week, there was an order from an Enugu High Court against you, restraining you from parading yourself as the National Chairman of APGA. Is that the end of the matter? No ofcourse. The Chief Judge of Enugu State granted an interlocutory injunction against me as the National Chairman of APGA. The injunction was to restrain me from parading myself as the National Chairman of APGA until he delivers judgement on the main suit. Of course, this suit has been very controversial from the onset. If you have followed our responses over time, you will see that we have been working very hard to stop the man from the set mission which he was procured to accomplish by some people. The Chief Judge of Enugu State threw caution to the wind and departed from normal judicial process in conducting the matters before him. One was that on the 25th of July, he restrained me from convening the executive meetings of APGA at all levels-national, state, local government and wards. He based his exparte order on an application brought before him by one Jude Okuli, who claimed to be a former local government chairman of APGA in Udi Local Government Area of Enugu State. In that suit, Jude Okuli sued me as Chief Victor Umeh. The suit is therefore, Jude Ejike Okuli vs Chief Victor Umeh. Nothing more! In the relief he sought in the case, he asked the court to declare that my tenure as the chairman has expired since 2010. The fact that he sued me as Chief Victor Umeh, without joining APGA, has made this suit incurably defective. When that exparte was served on me, we filed a process of preliminary objection to the suit, based on four principal grounds. One was that the fact that APGA was not joined in the suit made the suit incompetent. The judge made an order restraining me from convening meetings of APGA and APGA was not a party to the suit. You know a preliminary objection is a challenge of the rights of the court. On the 31st of July when we came, the judge accepted to hear our preliminary objection and he said that if the court accepts any ground upon which the objection was predicated, the case legitimately comes to an end and therefore, he would take the preliminary objection first. That arguement was made by both sides and he adjourned the matter to 17th of September for ruling on the preliminary objection. Strangely too, he refused to vacate the exparte order and extended it to September 17 against the High Court rules of Enugu State which makes it mandatory that the life span of an exparte order shall
Last Monday, an Enugu State Chief Judge granted an interlocutory order restraining Chief Victor Umeh from parading himself as the National Chairman of APGA. In this brief encounter with Sam Egburonu, Umeh vows to upturn the order, which he described as a mockery of judicial process
be 14 days, first seven days, renewable for•Umeh another seven days. He now extended it without any application from either of the parties which is a requirement for such an extension. He gave another 48 days. We put a notice of Appeal against the unlawful extension of that order. That notice of appeal was properly filed but the courts were on vacation. On September 17, we came to court for the ruling on the preliminary objection. But he said he would not deliver judgement on the preliminary objection, that he would take the main suit and deliver the judgement on the main suit and preliminary objection together. In all consultations I have made, if a judge makes an order to deliver judgement on a preliminary objection, he is bound to deliver judgement on that either in favour or against any of the parties. He cannot arrest the ruling. That is the practice. After reviewing what he had done, I decided to write him a letter, requesting him to transfer the matter to another judge because it was obvious that he has taken sides in the matter. I followed it up with a petition to the National Judicial Council on two principal grounds. He had no right to extend the life span of the exparte order and he has no right to refuse to deliver judgement on the preliminary objection already argued before him. One thing that is important to bring to notice here is that on September 17, he refused to vacate the exparte order, giving reason that since it was a matter of appeal, it was the Court of Appeal that could vacate it. That he doesn’t want to be seen as locking horns with the Court of Appeal. We wrote him a letter and wrote to the NJC and he was adamant. Knowing
that he was bent on continuing to do damage, we filed a motion asking him to withdraw himself from the case. That motion came up for hearing on October 8 and he refused to take the motion and shouted the lawyer down that he would not take the motion. That he would want to take pending applications and the main suit and asked the other counsel to move his motions. Of course, the motions are for interlocutory injunction and to prevent me from expelling anybody from APGA. After carefully looking at all the issues, I consider this a mockery of the judicial process and a grave travesty of justice. I am going to challenge it through lawful means. The good thing about judicial process is that three levels of courts are established- the High Court, the Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court. So, the decision of any judge is subject to review. It seems the the Judge is acting a script to decimate APGA. He has grounded the operations of APGA for three months now; yet APGA is not a party to the suit before him. APGA is not Victor Umeh. If you want APGA Constitution to be interpreted, you must make APGA a party in the suit. The order he made that I should not expel anybody is also laughable. I have no constitutional authority to expel anybody. The various organs of the party at different levels have that responsibility. He is just chasing me and destroying APGA that is not before him in the court. You are alleging that somebody, perhaps a political opponent, was behind the ruling. Who do you have in mind? There are other people who have interest in the matter but are hiding themselves. At the appropriate time, they will be unmasked. There is no doubt that as the National Chairman of APGA, I am stepping on very big toes by the pronouncements I have been making. I have continued to renew that call on the need for APGA to contest for Presidency in 2015. In APGA as constituted presently, some people that are highly placed are working for President Goodluck Jonathan of the PDP. They feel that what I am saying is an affront on their master. I don’t care about that.
THE NATION ON SUNDAY, OCTOBER 14, 2012
THE NATION ON SUNDAY OCTOBER 14, 2012
ONDO 2012 Continued from page 26 the October 20 election In PDP, in spite of its internal crisis occasioned by fractionalisation, we gathered that its leaders and followers in Ondo Central senatorial district are ready to work assiduously to regain the seat they lost to Mimiko and LP in February 2009 following the verdict of Appeal Court in Benin. It has also been rumoured that Mimiko is allegedly behind the wrangling within the PDP where a faction had publicly resolved not to work for the victory of its candidate, Chief Olusola Oke. It was also alleged that notable politicians like Prof. Olu Agbi, Segun Adegoke, and others are against Hon. Ebenezer Alabi’s executive commitee of the party. However, it has been observed that the present PDP leadership in the state has the support of former governor Olusegun Agagu. In the Central District, the former Deputy Governor, under Agagu, Chief Omolade Oluwateru, who is now the present Nigeria’s Ambassador to Uganda, is working in tandem with Alabi’s committee to ensure Oke’s victory We also have Hon Adedayo Omolafe, a former Akure South Local Government, former chairman of ALGON in the state and former aspirant, House of Representatives for Akure North/ South under the platform of PDP. There are also Chief Bisi Johnson, the former Chairman of Ondo West Local Government and Ondo State Local Government Service Commission (OSLGSC) who has sworn to tackle Mimiko in his home town. Other PDP top shots in the politics of Ondo Central are the immediate past Chairman of the party in the state, Dr. Tayo Dairo, Engr. Dele Osakuade from Ilara-mokin in ifedore local government. Others, like Prof. Olu Agbi, Senator Gbenga Ogunniya from Ondo West, Ademola Adegoroye and Segun Adegoke, who still claim they are in PDP but are alleged to be working for Mimiko secretly. The LP and its candidate, Governor Mimiko, in spite of the criticisms against the current administration, still have confidence in springing surprises that will enable them retain the seat beyond February 2013.
The ruling party still relies on few chieftains in the party like commissioner for Works from Ilara Mokin who handles one of the juicy ministeries, Engr, Gboye Adegbenro, his counterpart from the same Ifedore Local Government, Engr. Clement, who is in charge of ministry of community development and hails from IgbaraOke. There is also Hon. Abiodun Adesida, the former member, House of Representative, who recently decamped from PDP to LP, Mr. Sanya Oyinsan, incumbent Senator, Ayo Akinyelure, Chief of Staff (COS), Dr. Kola Ademujimi and Yele Ogundipe, a Mimiko’s Kinsman, who is presently the commissioner for finance. Our investigation shows that Ondo Central is very crucial to the three major political parties and their candidates, Dr Mimiko, Mr Akeredolu(SAN) and Chief Olusola Oke because of its bulk votes. Ondo South is believed to be the strongest among the three districts in Ondo State because of its strength which spread to the Atlantic Ocean. The area is dominated by prominent political leaders with vast experiences in politics. The district comprises six Local Government Areas which include Irele, Ilaje, Odigbo, Ile-Oluji/ Okegbo, Ese-Odo and Okitipupa. Apart from the political strength of the district, the area is also believed to be the economic pillar of the state because of the deposit of oil minerals, particularly in Ilaje Local Government. Aside this, the area is blessed with Bitumen deposits which is rated as the second largest in the world with 42 billion barrel of Bitumen deposit located in Irele and Agbabu. The area has become permanent abode for politicians who are also professionals in different areas of economic and social development. However, Ondo South is also seen as determinant factor to decide the fate and chances of any governorship candidate in the gubernatorial election because of the caliber of politicians and the political value of the area. In recent times, the area has produced sons and daughters that occupy various political appointments like federal ministers, deputy governors, senators, federal com-
In Ondo, the die is cast
•L-R: Candidates Olushola Oke (PDP), Segun Mimiko (LP) and Rotimi Akeredolu (ACN) at the gubernatorial debate in Akure...recently.
missioners, presidential aides and ambassadors. Between 1991 to1993, Dr Olusegun Agagu from Okitipupa Local Government was elected the Deputy Governor of Ondo State under Evang. Bamidele Olumiluas’ administration. Also,between 1999 and 2003, Late Barrister Afolabi Iyantan also from Okitipupa Local Government was elected as the Deputy Governor of the state during Late Chief Adebayo Adefaratis’ government. In 1999 , Dr Olusegun who contested the governorship election along with Late Chief Adebayo Adefarati was after his defeat appointed as a Federal Minster of various ministries under Chief Olusegun Obasanjos’ government, a position he occupied until 2003 when he later came back to contest against Chief Adebayo Adefarati in 2003 governorship election. As fate would have it, Agagu defeated Late Chief Adebayo Adefarati and in the process became the governor of the State. He governed the state from 2003 to 2009 when his government was sacked by court of appeal in Benin City. Agagu who is a leader in the PDP has control in South senatorial District and is desperate in sending the incumbent, Dr Olusegun
Mimiko packing after october 20,election. His desperation, according to insiders, is to avenge the humiliation he suffered in February 2009, when the Court of Appeal in Benin City ordered him to vacate the office for Mimiko. Others include, Chief Mrs Osomo from Ese-Odo Local Government, who was appointed in 2003 as a Minister of Housing and Urban Development (2003 and 2005), Chief Olu Mafo from Ilaje Local Government, who was appointed a Special Adviser to President Olusegun Obasanjo between 2003 to 2007. PDP governorship candidate, Chief Olusola Oke who hails from Ilaje Local Government is the immediate past National Legal Adviser to PDP and once a Commisioner Representing Ondo State on the Governing Board of NDDC from 2000 to 2004. He is now the gubernatorial candidate for PDP, and will put all arsenals together to secure majority votes from the District. However, ACN is no push over in the area with its aggressive campaigns particularly in Ilaje and Eseodo axis. ACN governorship Candidate, Rotimi Akeredolu [SAN] is from Ese-Odo and may spring suprises in the area.
Already, commoners in the riverine area who are aggrieved of the neglect of the area by Mimiko’s administration have been warning the ruling LP leaders against coming for campaigns in the area. In the District,there is also the incumbent Resident Electoral Commmissioner in Ogun State, Mr Sam Olumekun from Okitipupa Local Government. Also, the former REC commissioner in Abia and Ekiti State,Chief Akintade hails from Irele Local Government. Besides Hon. Abayomi Sheba from Irele Local Government, was a former member of House of Representatives between 1999 to 2003 and now Commisioner Representing Ondo State on the Board of Federal Character Commission. The Special Adviser to President Goodluck Jonathan on Niger Delta, Hon Kingsley Kuku is from Ese Odo Local Government. Kuku was a former member of Ondo State House of Assembly between 2003 to 2007. Mr. Benson Enikuomehin an Abuja based legal practitioner, was a former commisioner representing Ondo State on the Board of NDDC 2009 to 2011. Mr Enikuomehin is a renowned politician from Ilaje Local Government. The former Special Assistant
to President Olusegun Obasanjo on Students Matters, Mr Kolade Akinjo is from Ilaje Local Government also, the Special Adviser to President Goodluck Jonathan on Multi-lateral, Dr Pius Osunyikanmi is from Ile-Oluji Local Government in the same District. Interestingly, all the politicians metioned above are notable members of PDP and ACN in Ondo State except the former, Special Assistant to Chief Olusegun Obasanjo on student Affairs ,Mr Kolade Akinjo and Dr Pius Osunyikanmi who are members of LP in the State. Other notable politicians in the area are: Senator Onukun, Sen.Hosea Ehinlanwo, Sen. Omololu Meroyi, Sen. Boluwaji Kunlere, former Commisioner for works in the State, Mr. Yele Omogunwa, Commissioner for Commerce and Industry,Tayo Akinjomo, former Chairman of Okitipupa Local Government, Chief Festus Obamoyegun. In the past two weeks, the campaign for the three major political parties has been very rigorous. The national leadership of ACN, led by former Lagos state governor, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu and the party’s national chairman, Chief Bisi Akande, were in Ikare Akoko, Ondo and Ore for the campaigns. Similarly, the Vice President, Alhaji Namadi Sambo, the PDP National Chairman, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur and other chieftains of PDP were also in Akure, the state capital, to sell their programmes to the electorate. The ruling Labour Party (LP) which has only Mimiko as a state governor, has also intensified its campaign strategy. From the look of things, the next Saturday’s election will be tough. Some analysts said it will be a straight battle between Tinubu, Mimiko and Jonathan. Some political analysts, taking cognizance of the strength of the three leading parties, have even predicted that they may tie and at the end of the day, the election may be decided through run-off. This remains to be seen but no matter the outcome of the election, Ondo state residents are evidently ready to go to the poll to elect their new helmsman on Saturday.
How the past moulded a peoples’ governor Continued from page 16 ROMACO which is about being concessioned and the Farm Settlement at Orin which is now a beehive of activity after decades of total abandonment. The educated youth are aggressively being introduced into commercial agriculture through the Y-CAD programme which combines training with financial mobilization through the provision of seed money, farm implements and agrochemicals. Even with all the opposition-induced teachers’ intransigence, revitalizing the state education system remains a core area of Dr Fayemi’s programmes. Only this past week, the SUBEB Model Nursery and Primary School, Ado-Ekiti was rated as the best school nationwide in the year’s 2012 President Teachers and Schools’ Excellence Awards just as Mrs Oluwafemi Olusola of St John’s Primary School, Erinmope-Ekiti won the 3rd best teacher in the country. His love of education and single minded determination to leave it better than he met it in Ekiti derives from his home background where his parents taught him the value of
education and sent him to the best schools. That will subsequently influence his own choice of higher institutions to attend. At his present duty post, this arduous, work-in-progress of taking Ekiti out of the shadows, his past has been a constant companion. He had, in fact, been born during the tumultuous NNDP’s short-lived ascendancy in the Western Region, a period which so presaged the PDP days that the governor has very readily acknowledged a causality between the events leading to and during the year of his birth - 1965 -and the subsequent trajectory of Nigerian politics which has since been dominated by those the Nobel Laureate describes as ‘brigands, parasites and unworthy custodians of power and authority.’ At age 5, the young Olukayode made his first ‘political outing’, joining in welcoming General Yakubu Gowon to Ibadan and the fact of his father being an Information officer in government soon exposed him at a very early stage in life to newspapers, many of which he read daily, thus imperceptibly learning and internalizing lessons in current
and public affairs, especially politics that today stand him in good stead as they all combined to shape his career choices. Parental guidance and early public awareness together with sound religious upbringing combined to inculcate in him discipline ,steadfastness ,compassion, vision, and focus. However, while the place of home training may have been totally incomparable in this discuss, the role of education peerless, and his entirely risky RADIO KUDIRAT exertions occupy a pride of place, what seems to me to have best prepared the governor for today was his matchless experiences in the UK, especially as a young, newly married man, studying and working; a period that left him with multiple life experiences not available in white collar jobs or acquired through reading books. This period saw him exposed to the variegated danger workers, especially blacks, got exposed to in what he describes as ‘the London underground job market, as typified by his two robbery attacks at dagger point by purported passengers and to one of which he lost, not only money but his wedding ring. In terms of developing
empathy, love and compassion for the other person, indeed for humanity, the leitmotif for his social security policy to cater for elderly citizens in the state, I do not think that anything, apart from his wife’s towering and ever constant positive influence, would compare in the governor’s past to the experience he garnered in the course of his active engagement, during this period, in local political organisation and, particularly, his involvement in the regeneration of the then completely run down Milton Court Estate and the entire Deptford area in South-East, London. Of the people living in the area, wrote Dr Fayemi in OUT OF THE SHADOWS, ’ close to 60 percent were on housing benefits from the government and over 50npercent of school age kids were on meal subsidy in schools. Drug abuse was rife and crime among the idle youth was commonplace; deprivation, he wrote, was simply staggering. So touched, and concerned was he that he immediately joined a minority of individuals working towards ameliorating these extant conditions and ended up serving as Chair of the neighbourhood
tenants and residents’ association whose duty it was to tackle the social, economic, environmental and physical problems through not just improving physical conditions but also ensuring improving housing management, diversifying tenure, attracting private investment and creating opportunities for training and enterprise. Without a doubt, all the experiences gained in that project must have coalesced in all we see today in his midterm report card as governor of Ekiti. Not just in Ekiti, but all those who followed from far and wide on television networks, online and through newspapers, must have marveled all this past week, watching governor Fayemi commission one project after the other. He inaugurated ten major roads spread all over the state as well as five water treatment plants just as he laid the foundations of truly millennial projects such as the Samsung I C T Centre, the new Government House and governor’s office, the State Pavilion amongst many others. He also did not only sign the Memorandum of Understanding with the Grand Towers Group of Companies but presented to its Chairman,
the company’s Certificate of Occupancy at the signing ceremony. Among the enterprises the company will bring into Ekiti is the popular Shoprite Shopping Mall. He exuded such unbelievable vigor that all Chief Dele Falegan, a distinguished Ekiti elder and Chair of the state’s SURE-P Committee could do was pray that the good Lord ill continue to renew him. I simply crumbled, the only day I was on his all-week frenetic tour and that was when he visited my 2part Local Government Area, having to address an appreciative and hugely turned out crowd at both Igede and Igbemo. As should be expected, both sides of the Local Government Area pleaded with the governor to split us into two local government areas. This profile is, at best, a miniscule part of how Dr Fayemi’s past has shaped his persona; a decent, disciplined, caring, calm, focused and highly organized personality that Ekiti state could not have asked for more. It is the reason he has aptly been named ‘THE ILUFEMILOYE 1’ -the chosen one -of Ekiti.
THE NATION ON SUNDAY OCTOBER 14, 2012
Between Tambuwal and the President’s media men
INCE the presentation of the 2013 budget by President Goodluck Jonathan to the joint sitting of the National Assembly last Wednesday, some members of the President’s media team have come up with what can best be described as hysterical responses to the remarks made by Senate President, Senator David Mark and Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon Aminu Waziri Tambuwal. From innuendos to outright insults, the President’s media managers, led by Dr. Doyin Okupe, sought to denigrate the submissions of the two leaders of the National Assembly who in their estimation, had the temerity to tell their guests gathered at the hallowed Green Chamber that fateful Wednesday that not all things were right with past budgets and that more was expected from the Executive arm of government in the future. It worth mentioning here that Mark and Tambuwal’s speeches were made with the best of intentions aimed at finding lasting solutions to the myriad of socio-economic problems confronting the nation. Speaker Tambuwal, who gave the vote of thanks in his capacity as the Deputy Chairman of the National Assembly, toed the line of the Senate President and Chairman of the National Assembly, Senator Mark, to lay on the table, the fears of Nigerians and how the National Assembly thinks those fears can be better allayed. The Speaker rightly asserted that as elected representatives of the people, the legislators, representing 469 federal constituencies and
By Imam Imam
senatorial districts of the country, have closer interaction with the nooks and crannies of the nation. In essence, the legislature, more than any arm of government, is privileged to feel the people’s pulse more intensely and feel same on behalf and for the benefit and guidance of all the other arms of government. It is, therefore, highly incongruous to now turn around and say such views showed disrespect to the person and office of the President. It is appropriate to state here that section 81 (1), (4) as well as section 83 (2) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended) classify the proposed budget documents by the President as mere ‘estimate’ and therefore only a constitutional amendment can alter this. The phrase ‘mere’ as used by Senator Mark was not intended to demean, rather it only distinguishes between a document of finality and a proposal. It is therefore mischievous to read meanings other than those intended. On the oil benchmark which the House made it clear it will set at $80 per barrel, all variables were considered in arriving at the figures. The chairman of the House Committee on Finance, Hon Abdulmumini Jibrin, has since availed the public such superior variables which apparently may not have been countenanced by those who drafted the estimate. As for the poor implementation of the capital budget for 2012 which Dr. Okupe brazenly attributed to non-utilisation of already released votes, there could be no better self-indictment, as all the Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) that ought to execute
these projects are all under the Executive watch and control. The assertion that the National Assembly will not rubber stamp the estimates as stated by the Senate President was intended to clear the erroneous impression created in the minds of the public by military apologists in the corridors of power that the laying of the estimate by the President is akin to budget broadcast by a military dictator which is only a notice and to enlighten the people. But for the avoidance of doubt, by the clear provisions of section 59 subsection 4 of the constitution, the legislature has the FINAL say on the budget document. I am sure President Jonathan does not share the overzealous and rather morbid views and sentiments of Dr. Okupe and some of his cotravellers in the President’s
media office. If they had cared to carefully study the President’s transformation agenda as it affects the kind of legislature the Number One citizen desires, they will certainly discover their errors. As clearly stated in the past and for the avoidance of any doubt, Speaker Tambuwal is not on a popularity contest with any official of government. Instead, he embodies the wishes and aspiration of the Nigerian people, and expresses, at every point, only the position of the members of the House of Representatives. On the rather funny issue of alleged Tambuwal’s disloyalty to the PDP which one of the aides raised in a newspaper article, nothing can be farther from the truth. It is safe to say here that Nigerians are tired of worn out sentiments dished out to them at every
given opportunity in order to justify unnecessary attacks on the person of the Number Four Citizen of Nigeria. As seen during the budget presentation, of all those who spoke at the event, only the Speaker recognised the presence of the PDP National Chairman in his order of protocol while delivering his vote of thanks. As a matter of fact, this loyal gesture to the largest political party in Africa drew the ire of opposition lawmakers who shouted ‘Nay’ repeatedly to show their disapproval at the Speaker’s recognition of his party chairman. In conclusion, let me state here that the level of discourse emanating from the President’s public affairs managers is not only unbecoming of the requirement of the highest office in the land, it shows lack of depth in the understanding of public issues and governance generally including even the rudiments of democracy and the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. Dr. Okupe especially is proving to have learnt nothing and forgotten nothing from his days of political participation during transition of military dictatorships and into civilian democracy. With due respect, we call on Dr. Okupe and his other attack dogs to change their orientation, they can do this by making friends with the copy of the constitution. In the event they feel that this is cumbersome, they should, in the alternative, subject their opinions to vetting by those who are more conversant with the hallowed document. •Imam is the Special Adviser on Media and Public Affairs to Speaker Tambuwal
HIV positive woman wins 12-year-old case
FTER waiting 12 years for justice, reprieve finally came the way of Georgina Ahamefule on 27th September, 2012 at a Lagos State High Court. Ahamefule is a woman living with the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV), whose employment as an auxiliary nurse at the Imperial Medical Centre was terminated in October 1995. Efforts by her, through the
By Fredrick Adegboye
Social Economic Rights Action Center (SERAC), to obtain redress received an initial jolt when the HIV-positive woman was barred from entering the courtroom, due to her medical status, by a judge of a Lagos High Court, where her case was to be heard. The judge said she needed “satisfactory expert evidence” to convince her that the judge and others would not become infected with the vi-
rus as a result of Ahamefule’s physical presence in the courtroom. SERAC appealed the decision at the Court of Appeal, where it was remitted back to the High Court for trial. The suit commenced by a writ of summons filed at the High Court of Lagos State, Ikeja Judicial Division, (General Civil Division) on 14th July, 2012. The 27th September, 2012 judgment delivered by Justice
Y.O. Idowu, the court made four declarations, and ordered that; 1) Five million naira be paid to the plaintiff for the wrongful termination of her employment, and 2) Two million naira be paid her, being compensation for unlawful conduct of HIV testing without the plaintiff’s informed consent and for the defendants’ negligence. Speaking with reporters, Ahamefule, a native of Mbaise,
Imo State, said she had to relocate to Port Harcourt while awaiting the outcome of the case. According to her, she knew that justice would surely come her way, especially considering the resilience with which SERAC pursued the case. Before she relocated to Port Harcourt, she had worked with Centre for the Right to Health (CRH) and a medical facility briefly as an HIV counselor. She is currently without a job.
Flood: Rotary Club to complement FG’s efforts
HE Rotary Club International will today meet to discuss the recent flood incident that has ravaged some states in the country. A Past District Governor (PDG) of the club, Prince Julius Adelusi-Adeluyi, disclosed this at the ongoing project fair organised by the club, which was geared towards alleviating the suffering of the less privileged people in Africa. At the fair, which is the 8TH edition, Adeluyi disclosed that members of the club would extensively discuss the flood issue with its international partners and come up with initiatives to complement the efforts of government towards finding a lasting solution to the problem. Four districts of the Rotary
By Wale Ajetunmobi
Club International (RCI) in Africa are hosting members of the club from various countries in the ongoing West Africa Project Fair (WAFP) being held in Lagos. Also speaking yesterday during a press conference with the theme: Peace Through Service by the organising committee chaired by the Past District Governor (PDG) Deinde Shoga, he said the club would have the opportunity to showcase its various developmental projects to its international partners who were in Nigeria for the event. Other members of the club present at the press conference included the Senator representing Lagos West Senatorial Zone in the National Assembly, Ganiyu Solomon.
CHANGE OF NAME CHIKA I, formerly known and addressed as Miss Chika Ijeoma Favour, now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs. Enaibre Ijeoma Favour. All former documents remain valid. General public please take note.
WILLIAMS I, formerly known and addressed as Miss Williams Funmilayo Lydia, now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs. Adetayo Funmilayo Lydia. All former documents remain valid. General public please take note.
I, formerly known and addressed asMiss Haruna Raliat, now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs. Lawal Raliat. All former documents remain valid. General public please take note.
ADELEYE I, formerly known and addressed as Miss Adeleye Yetunde Abidemi, now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs. Adekunle Yetunde Abidemi. All former documents remain valid. General public please take note.
I, formerly known and addressed as Miss Semiu Olamiji Sarah Sakirat, now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs. Asafa Olamiji Sarah Sakirat. All former documents remain valid. General public please take note.
OGUNNIRAN I, formerly known and addressed as Mrs. Ogunniran Veronica Adeola, now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs. Olabode Veronica Adeola. All former documents remain valid. General public please take note.
I, formerly known and addressed as Miss. Ogechukwu Queengertrude Nnabugwu , now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs. Ogechukwu Queengertrude Akintade.. All former documents remain valid. Prima Corporation LTD and general public please take note.
ALABA I, formerly known and addressed as Alaba Folashade Agbabiaka , now wish to be known and addressed as Alaba Folashade Agbabikia. All former documents remain valid. GTBank and general public please take note.
OKEDAIRO I, formerly known and addressed as Miss Okedairo Seyi Esther , now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs. Olorunsogo Seyi Esther. All former documents remain valid. Nigeria Police Force and general public please take note.
I, formerly known and addressed as Miss Ibipeju Abiodun Fasiku, now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs. Adewuyi Abiodun Abigail.. All former documents remain valid. General public please take note.
OGUNLEYE I, formerly known and addressed as Miss Ogunleye Oluwaseun Funmilayo, now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs. Olaosegba Oluwaseun Funmilayo. All former documents remain valid. NYSC, Rufus Giwa Poly and general public please take note.
I, formerly known and addressed as Miss Umeibe Adaobi Florence, now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs. Ofosata Adaobi Florence. All former documents remain valid. Teaching Service Commission, Ogun State, RCCG and general public please take note.
I, formerly known and addressed as Mr. Ogunniran Augustine Olusola, now wish to be known and addressed as Mr. Olabode Augustine Olusola. All former documents remain valid. Teaching Service Commission, Ogun State, RCCG and general public please take note.
OGUNSEITAN I, formerly known and addressed as Sola Abiodun Ogunseitan, now wish to be known and addressed as Sola Abiodun Oluseitan. All former documents remain valid. General public please take note.
USIDAMEN I, formerly known and addressed as Miss Usidamen Sylvia Agbonmenre, now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs. Iyamah Sylvia Agbonmenre. All former documents remain valid. General public please take note.
•From left: Ahmed, Shoga, Adeluyi-Adelusi and Peiper.
Soaga said the aim of the projects was to address the needs of communities in West Africa through six areas of focus of the club, which included
maternal and child health, education and literacy, disease prevention and treatment, water and sanitation, economic and community development,
PHOTO: DAVID ADEJO
peace and conflict resolution. The four districts of the Rotary Club that organised the project fair were Districts 9100, 9110, 9125 and 9140.
ILELABOYE I, formerly known and addressed as Miss Oluwarantimi Temitope Ilelaboye, now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs. Abimbola Oluwarantimi Temitope. All former documents remain valid. General public please take note.
THE NATION ON SUNDAY, OCTOBER 14, 2012
THE NATION SPORT SUNDAY, OCTOBER 14, 2012
Zambia break Ugandans' hearts
GANDA beat Zambia 1-0 in normal time but succumbed to the African champions in postmatch penalties by 9-8 to crush out of the road to South Africa 2013. Geoffrey Massa scored Uganda's goal on 27 minutes as the Cranes held out throughout the 90 minutes. Coach Bobby Williamson's side will now have another attempt in the 2015 edition but for now, they can continue counting into the 37th year then without gracing Africa's football bonanza. For Zambia coach Herve Renard, it was relief as the Chipolopolo will now be able to defend their title next year. The 1-0 meant spot kicks would decide the tie after the first leg ended in a similar scoreline in Ndola. Both teams scored four of the five kicks before going on a scoring spree. Onyango saved Chris Katongo's for Zambia, while Emmanuel Mayuka, Isaac Chansa, Nathan Sinkala, Felix Katongo, goalkeeper Kennedy Mweene, Jonas Sakuwawa, Hichani Himande, Stophila Sunzu and Davies Nkausu scored. Godfrey Walusimbi, Simeon Masaba, Onyango, Emmanuel Okwi, Hamis Kiiza, Tonny Mawejje, Moses Oloya, Geoffrey Kizito scored for Uganda while Mwesigwa missed. Uganda dominated the game with Mawejje, Wasswa and Kizito dictating play.
Cameroon highlight Sunday's ANC qualifiers Cameroon v Cape Verde
Cameroon will be delighted that striker Samuel Eto'o is back in the squad after missing the first leg in protest at the national team's set-up, as they seek to overturn a two-goal deficit. Cape Verde are on the verge of a stunning achievement, particularly when you consider their population totals about 500,000 people. But football in the islands has been rapidly improving over the last decade. They have risen from 182 in Fifa's world rankings to their current position of 51. A large part of the reason for that is the fact that nearly all the Blue Sharks squad are now regularly experiencing high-level, competitive football.
Equatorial Guinea v DR Congo
After taking a hammering in the first leg, Equatorial Guinea may see this second leg as purely an exercise in damage limitation. Their Brazilian coach Gilson Paulo took over the reins in January and steered them to the quarter-finals of the Cup of Nations earlier this year. However, it is unlikely they will not get the chance to emulate that result in South Africa. DR Congo are a team in form, with the two-time African champions enjoying a resurgence that is in part led by a group of Belgium-based players.
Angola v Zimbabwe
Zimbabwe will be strengthened with the availability of Sudan-based striker Edward Sadomba, who was cleared this week of match-fixing. Also available will be two in-form South Africa-based forwards, Cuthbert Malajila and Kingstone Nkatha, as well as goalkeeper Energy Murambadoro. The Warriors will be glad to have Murambadoro back in the squad, with first-choice keeper and captain, Tapuwa Kapini, out injured for several months. Coach Rahman Gumbo has also drafted in stopper Ephraim Mazarura.
Niger v Guinea
Niger will hope to overturn a 1-0 deficit from the first leg to qualify for only their second appearance at a Cup of Nations tournament. New coach Gernot Rohr coached co-hosts Gabon at the tournament finals earlier this year. Meanwhile, Guinea are aiming for a 12th appearance at the continental showpiece. They finished third in their group in this year's tournament held in Equatorial Guinea and Gabon.
Super Eagles outshine Lone Stars …Qualify for ANC 2013
Stories by Segun Ogunjimi, Tunde Liadi & Andrew Abah, Calabar
Nigerian midfielder Obiora Nwankwo (R) hugs scorer of fourth goal Mikel Obi during the 2013 African Cup of Nations second leg qualifying match between Nigeria and Liberia at Calabar on October 13, 2012. Nigeria defeated Liberia 6 - 1 to qualify for the tournament to be held in South Africa next year. AFP PHOTO/PIUS UTOMI EKPEI
UPER Eagles yesterday silenced the boastful and cocky Lone Stars of Liberia with a 6-1 annihilation and picked the automatic ticket for the 2013 Africa Nations Cup (ANC) slated for South Africa in the highly entertaining match decided at the U.J. Esuene Stadium, Calabar. The man saddled with the responsibility of leading the Nigerian team to the ANC finals in South Africa, team's Chief Coach, Stephen Okechukwu Keshi was a happy man at the end of the proceedings, confessed that he did not expect such pounding of the boastful Liberians in the hands of his players who went all out to teach the Liberians football soccer lessons. “I'm pleased with the victory and the scoreline. To be frank with you, I wasn't expecting this kind of scoreline but I had an inkling something like that was in the offing with the amount of hard work and dedication put into the practice sessions we had prior to the game. “I thank the people of Calabar and the Cross River State government for making our stay in the state very eventful and on behalf of the team all appreciate our esteemed supporters and fans for their show of love and support. We need to move to the next segment of the assignment, having qualified for the Nations Cup. We are not yet there but we promise to bring succour to Nigerians by the time we commence our full preparation. For the first time in 20 years, the Super Eagles scored six goals in a single match as they defeated Liberia 6-1 in grand style to qualify for the Nations Cup. The last time that happened was in 1993 during the qualifier for the 1994 Nations Cup when the Eagles inspired by the goals of Rasheed Yekini and the wonder pin point cross of then emerging Eagles star, Sunday Oliseh, drowned Ethiopia 6-0 at the National Stadium, Lagos.
Ambrose bags $3,000, MVP
UPER Eagles defender, Efe Ambrose, has emerged as the Most Valuable Player (MVP) of the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier between Nigeria and Liberia played at the U J Esuene Stadium, Calabar. Ambrose carted away the $3,000 earmarked for the award and was also another $1000 richer after opening the floodgate of goals for the Eagles in the 6-1 victory over the Lone Stars. It was the redeem of the pledge made by Padmodzi's owner Mike Iteamugbor who promised to dole out a thousand dollars each for every goal netted by the Eagles.
Mikel scores first Eagles goal in four years
UPER Eagles and Chelsea midfielder, Mikel Obi, has broken his goal drought for the Super Eagles for the first time in four years after the Chelsea of England midfielder netted in the 51st minute from the penalty spot for the Eagles 4th goal in their 6-1 whitewash of the Lone Stars of Liberia. The goal against Liberia scored at the U.J. Esuene Stadium, Calabar yesterday marked Mikel”s 3rd goal for the Eagles. He got his first goal at the 2006 Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt when he was introduced in place of Wilson Oruma in the Eagles 2-0 victory Zimbabwe. He waited for about two years before adding his second when he Africa Cup of Nations Results Malawi 0 - 1 Ghana Botswana 1 - 4 Mali Uganda 1 - 0 Zambia Nigeria 6 - 1 Liberia Tunisia 0-0 Sierra leone Senegal 0-2 Cote d’Ivore Sunday Fixtures Ethiopia v Sudan Cameroon v Cape Verde Angola v Zimbabwe Niger v Guinea Togo v Gabon B/Faso v CAR
got another goal at the 2008 Africa Cup of Nations held in Ghana in Eagles 2-0 win over Benin Republic before his third against Liberia yesterday. In a chat with SportingLife after the match, Mikel was elated over his goal for the Eagles but played down the importance of the strike, adding that he was happier the team won the match and was not seeking
personal prominence. “I am thrilled to have scored another goal and it was another wonderful display by the team. We got what we wanted and we are now at the next Nations Cup. I I am not going to be carried away with the fact that I scored but I will like to dedicate it to the entire team for the work done today (yesterday). We are in South Africa, 2013 and the journey has just begun,” Mikel said
Keshi: Eagles surprised me
HE man saddled with the responsibility of leading the Nigerian team to the ANC finals in South Africa, team's Chief Coach, Stephen Okechukwu Keshi was a happy man at the end of the proceedings confessed that he did not expect such pounding of the boastful Liberians in the hands of his players who went all out to teach the Liberians football soccer lessons. “I'm pleased with the victory and the scoreline. To be frank with you I wasn't expecting this kind of scoreline but I had an inkling something like that was in the offing with the amount of hard work and dedication put into the practice sessions we had prior to the game. “I thank the people of Calabar and the Cross River government for making our stay in the state very eventful and on behalf of the
team all appreciate our esteemed supporters and fans for their show of love and support. We need to move to the next segment of the assignment having qualified for the Nations Cup. We are not yet there but we promise to bring succour to Nigerians by the time we commence our full preparation. “ For the first time in 20 years, the Super Eagles scored 6 goals in a single match as they defeated Liberia 6-1 in grand style to qualify for the Nations Cup. The last time that happened was in 1993 during the qualifier for the 1994 Nations Cup when the Eagles inspired by the goals of Rasheed Yekini and the wonder pin point cross of then emerging Eagles star, Sunday 0liseh drown Ethiopia 6-0 at the National Stadium, Lagos.
Ghana, Mali qualify for ANC finals ...Drogba fires Cote d'Ivoire to finals G hana became the first country to qualify to the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations after beating Malawi 1-0 in Lilongwe on Saturday. Italy-based youngster Afriyie Acquah, who was handed his first senior start, scored on four minutes to ensure the Black Stars sealed a 3-0 aggregate win. Acquah turned in from close range on Andre Ayew's powerful shot at goal which beat goalkeeper Simplex Nthara . Ghana threatened to double the lead from another corner kick but Gyan's header went wide to
the relief of the Malawi defence on 12 minutes. Two minutes later, James Chimango takes a shot inside the Ghana penalty area but his strike goes horribly wide. Sudanese referee Abdulrahman Khalid ignored a penalty call from Ghana after Ghana captain Gyan was whacked down inside the box. On the hour mark, Joseph Kamwendo burrowed the Ghana defence but his delivery was poor.
After the break, the Black Stars settled down and took control of the game especially in midfield with Anthony Annan, Afriyie Acquah and Christian Atsu in control. FC Porto whiz kid Atsu came close to increasing the lead in the 47th minute. He cut in neatly from the left after whisking past his marker but his curling effort went wide. in related development, this year's African Cup of Nations debutants, Botswana, failed to
make it two years running in the tournament when they were annihilated 4-1 by Mali on their home turf. The result was all in favour of Mali when they arrived in Lobatse with a 3-0 lead putting them in the driving seat for next year's tournament. Mali's lead left them with little urgency to go out in all attack and the game got off to a rather subdued start. Didier Drogba scored twice to take Cote d’Ivore beyond Senegal, yesterday, in Dakar. The match was however suspended in the 22nd minutes due to local fans unruly behavior.
THE NATION SPORT SUNDAY, OCTOBER 14, 2012
U-!7 Women: France beat Korea DPR to title
RANCE won the FIFA U-17 Women's World Cup on penalties against Korea DPR following a 11 draw at the Tofig Bahramov Stadium in Baku. The French became the first European side to be crowned champions at the competition after a 76 shoot-out victory, with Ri Un Yong of Korea DPR the unfortunate person to miss the crucial spot-kick. Lea Declercq had put France ahead in the first half, before a late equaliser from Ri Un Sim forced penalties in the showpiece, and after a long shoot-out which also saw Kim Un Hwa and Marion Romanelli fail from 12 yards, Ri Un Yong's miss allowed the French to celebrate. France had perhaps settled the quicker in the match, passing the ball crisply across the field, and it was Guy Ferrier's side who created the first genuine chance after 11 minutes. Racing onto a through ball down the right hand side, captain Sandie Toletti picked out Declercq on the opposite flank but, after taking a touch, the forward sent her attempt far too high. In the third place match, a solitary Priscilla Okyere goal proved enough for Ghana to overcome a numerical disadvantage and beat Germany in the match for third place at the FIFA U-17 World Cup Azerbaijan 2012. Just two minutes were on the clock when Vivien Beil found herself in space in the Africans' box, but her shot was well parried by Victoria Agyei. Thereafter, though, there was little noteworthy action until just after the half-hour, when Fatima Alhassan picked up her second yellow card within four minutes and, consequently, a red. Despite being a player down, it was Ghana who took the lead seven minutes before the break.
Manu dismisses Guinea fears ... As Eaglets tackle Junior Syli Stars G UINEA'S junior Syli Stars would certainly meet their waterloo on Sunday when they meet the Golden Eaglets of Nigeria at the U.J Esuene Sports Stadium in Calabar. The match which expectedly would kick off at 2:00 pm Nigerian time is a second round-first leg game in the 2003 African Under-17 qualifier towards participating at the forthcoming African Youth Championship to be hosted by Morocco. Speaking ahead of the game during a media session at the University of Calabar's Abraham Ordia Sports Stadium, the Golden
Eaglets' Head coach, Manu Garba (MFR), said he is confident that his team would win. " P r e s s u r e ? W h a t pressure?"Garba asked rhetorically."I don't know anything about pressure despite the fact that we know little about the Guinean team." Unlike the Golden Eaglets, this is Guinea's fist game in the 2013 Under-17 qualifier after enjoying a bye into the second round. " I don't agree with you that we are under any pressure simply because we beat Niger on a 10-1 aggregate in the first round rather, we are at an advantage to continue from where we stopped last time, “
Garba, a gifted midfielder in his heyday with El-Kanemi Warriors of Maiduguri said. “We duly respect our opponents and even if we are playing Chad, we are going to respect them. We are ready for Guinea and we are going to force them to play to our rhythm because we have a good team. “Since we started this campaign, we have shown that we are a high scoring side and we are going to continue in that tradition against Guinea on Sunday. “We want to score as many goals as possible without conceding any at home so that the job would be easier when we go for the return leg match in Conakry,” he added.
Sand Eagles' captain commends organisers, sponsors
SIAKA Olawale, Captain of Nigeria's Beach Soccer team, believes that the Copa Lagos Beach Soccer tournament could be the driving force towards the growth of Beach Soccer on the continent. Olawale captained the Sand Eagle's to glory in last year's edition when they overcame former World Champions, Brazil in a final day showdown emerging with a 9-4 score line. “Playing in the Copa Lagos last year really helped the team a lot especially in getting exposure for Beach Soccer,” Olawale who was amongst the goal in the final game against Brazil said. “Nobody believed Nigeria could host and win the tournament, this has given us great confidence. A lot of people now have an interest in
Beach Soccer, especially after we defeated Brazil in the final,” he noted. Kinetic Sports, organisers of Copa Lagos, have reportedly said that they plan to expand the tournament by integrating sponsors such as FCMB. “I believe if we can start a league in Nigeria it will help the country a lot, it will help to discover new talent and it will also help us to get sponsorship to improve our training,”Olawale said about the efforts of the organisers. The 3-day tournament would kick off on the 14th December and ends on the 16th. Three teams have been confirmed, Nigeria, Argentina and Lebanon. Excitement continues to surround the confirmation of the final team for this announcement.
‘Birthday boy’ Abubakar begs Eaglets' mates
OLDEN Eaglets agile goalkeeper, Adamu Abubakar, has made a clarion call to his teammates not to mess up his birthday by beating Guinea in Sunday's African Under-17 qualifier. Abubakar marks his birthday every October 15th which coincidentally comes up on Monday-a day after the Golden Eaglets' second round-first leg home match against their Guinean counterparts. “I'm optimistic about our chances against Guinea and I have told my teammates to beat them silly when we play against them on Sunday,” stated Abubakar who made his maiden Golden Eaglets' appearance in the 6-0 defeat of Niger last month.
QUOTABLE “It is clear now that the Federal Government is not interested in solving this problem (Boko Haram insurgency), for there is no part of the world where the use of force crushes an insurgency like this.”
SUNDAY, OCTOBER 14, 2012 TRUTH IN DEFENCE OF FREEDOM VOL. 7, NO. 2278 NY deep thinking person who had followed up on the reactions of some Nigerians to Chinua Achebe’s latest book, There was a Country, would easily come to a conclusion that ethnic bigotry has remained the fundamental problem this country is yet to sincerely engage. The unintellectual and jingoistic dismissal of Achebe’s book by many a Yoruba Nigerian was as disappointing as it was laughably sad. Prominent among these sentimentalist criticisms of Achebe’s book was the one written by Mr. Idowu Akinlotan. Mr Akinlotan’s grouse with Achebe’s book is what he calls the “author’s unrepentant and undisguised partisanship.” He writes thus: “After reading the Guardian (London) excerpt of the book, I concluded this was a book he [Achebe] should not have written, for sometimes, the merit of a book is compromised by just one page, one paragraph, even one sentence. …Achebe should have left unsaid many of the things he wrote in the book. His reputation as a world-renowned writer was already secure, having written one of the 50 most influential books of all time. Why did he feel impelled to write this [fated] book, one which doubtless reinforces the suspicion many hold about his private and public animosities?” Interestingly, Mr Akinlotan had earlier informed the reader of his column that he had not read the book and would refrain from doing a review of the book. What do we call what he has written above: a prereview, the type that comes with presumptions, assumptions and illogical judgements perhaps? The sharp-witted columnist was quick to “conclude” that Achebe’s memoir will be of little “value” and perhaps should be disregarded. Achebe’s only crime in the excerpt is that he dared accuse Chief Obafemi Awolowo of genocidal intents against the Igbo through his blockade policies that led to the deaths of many Igbo civilians during the Civil War. Most Yoruba in Nigeria are often quick to throw reason and caution into the air to defend the person and deeds of Awolowo. Mr. Akinlotan should have waited to read the book before jabbering. In this same book which Awolowo only got about two paragraphs of deserved criticisms that seem to have upset some Yoruba to frenzy, the likes of Ojukwu and Gowon have pages of criticisms on the egotistical roles they played during the Nigerian Civil War. But the typical “unreading” Nigerian who becomes an authority on hearsay would like Palladium shout abuses only to realise they have misjudged their target. Ethnicity blinds us! I felt my sensibilities assaulted when I read Mr. Akinlotan’s rationalisations of war crimes. All wars have moral question marks on them and I am yet to see a just war. But in his defence of Awolowo, Mr. Akinlotan struggles in vain to rationalise the moral questions he himself found as problems in the excerpt from Achebe’s book. For one, he sees nothing
—Secretary of the Borno Elders Forum, Alhaji Bulama Mali Gubio condemning the killing of 35 residents of Maiduguri allegedly by JTF soldiers
DO not agree with most of the things Mr Arthur Anyaduba said or implied in his rejoinder to last week’s Palladium, and particularly the ferocity and emotionality of his arguments; but he couched his unpersuasive intervention in brilliant prose deserving publication. I also recognise that the Achebe book has evoked critical and even bitter reviews, excerpt of which book I took up here last week. It would, therefore, be unfair if I debarred others from having their say. I think it is proper to discharge my obligation to my readers by publishing the rejoinder above. Anyaduba is free to interpret my “prereview” as he deems sensible, but he exaggeratedly rebutted positions I did not take and inferences I did not make. He thought me a reader of motives, and he used that as licence to ascribe motives to things I did not, and probably will never, say. Mind reading, I am sure he knows, is a perilous exercise the best of us sometimes miscarry very badly. I am not sure by describing Achebe as traumatised by the war I said anything extraordinarily
Achebe: Some things are better left unsaid – A rejoinder
• Bromide of book By Arthur Anyaduba
wrong in having millions of Igbo civilians killed in a war the Federal forces claimed was a “police action” intended to keep the country together. Starvation for the columnist suddenly becomes a lofty weapon of war without any “diabolical” intent. Mr. Akinlotan sees nothing morally wicked in a rehabilitation and reconciliation process that saw the Federal Government give £20 to Igbos wanting to convert their Biafran currency back into the Nigerian pounds irrespective of whatever amount of money they had deposited into the banks. Nor did Akinlotan say anything about the policy of indigenisation which at the instigation of Chief Awolowo the Federal Government introduced after the war to further deplete the economic base of the Igbo who mostly relied on the commerce of imported secondhand wares to survive. For the columnist, to maintain the saintly and heroic qualities most Yoruba have constructed and attributed to Awolowo, the aggrieved Igbo and other minority groups in Nigeria must be hushed to silence. Awolowo’s villainous roles during the war, for him, are at best mere “guesswork” and cannot be validated by any form of historical reflection. Sud-
denly, Ojukwu and Azikiwe have become canonised for their villainies too, all to ensure that Awo’s false reputations are not stained. Not until we come together as a people to acknowledge the heroic as well as villainous deeds of our so-called past heroes, not until we come to terms with the fact that we are not happy with one another, that we are living a lie, we will remain in the doldrums. For a columnist who is known for his deft analyses of socio-political and historical happenings in Nigeria and beyond to lose his sense of moderation and restraint in discrediting a book he knows nothing about simply because few lines supposedly put Awo (his tribal hero) in a bad light means that ethnicity should be the first of the problems we must engage should we want to be a country. For Akinlotan, the few lines Achebe penned, justified and historically valid indictments on Awolowo’s roles during the war, necessarily mar his book. And since, for him, Achebe lacks the intellectual acumen to interpret human motives and actions, not minding the fact that he (Achebe) has written one of the “50 most influential books of all times,” we should dismiss the old writer as “paranoid”.
But let’s humour Mr. Akinlotan a bit since he is a master of human motives: How does one explain that a federal troop that mostly consisted of Northerners, who had earlier carried out a genocidal butchery of the Igbo, would now engage the Igbo in a brotherly and humane war? Or that the great Awolowo whose undisguised ethnic politics and sentiments would be so humane in prosecuting a war against a people whose political representatives proved to stand between him and his ambitions of ruling the country? Why is it so difficult for many Yoruba to accept faults in Awo? Does Palladium expect Achebe to praise Awo for initiating a harsh policy that led to the deaths of his tribesmen? If after 40 years Achebe still manifests “a disturbing streak of extreme traumatisation” as Mr. Akinlotan would have us believe, it only means that the scars of the war are anything but healed. It means that many more Achebes and other vicarious victims of the war are still pining in the injustices done to them by their fellow compatriots. It means that we are yet to become a country. Palladium believes Achebe has written the book for fame. He writes: “[Achebe’s] reputation as a world-renowned writer was already secure, having written one of the 50 most influential books of all time. Why did he feel impelled to write this [fated] book, one which doubtless reinforces the suspicion many hold about his private and public animosities?” It is only people of little minds and meagre ambitions that will think that a man in the twilight of his life, a man who has won all the fames deserving of his name, would release a book at 81 for fame and reputation. Achebe must remain silent in the face of historical injustice simply because he wants to keep his reputation intact. If Achebe had only blamed Ojukwu or Gowon, the Yoruba critics may not have been enraged this much. But now, his genius is challenged for daring to accuse Awo of genocide. Mr. Akinlotan must understand that Achebe was only trying to call the attention of the country to the massive injustice it has done to some of its citizens. It is a cautionary book which in my own opinion seeks to draw our attention to the fact that a man who chooses to forget where the rain has begun to beat him will never know when and where it stops. Why do we shy away from our history and yet hope to progress? For Palladium to dismiss Achebe’s call for the Civil War to be included in the teaching curriculum of schools in Nigeria is sad. For us to grow as a nation, we have to be more cautious and tolerant of others’ feelings and opinions. We have to be fair and courageous enough to see faults and strengths alike in the people we uphold as heroes and villains. Nothing should be “left unsaid” if truly we desire reconciliation and progress. • Anyaduba is a graduate student of Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife
Better still leave many things unsaid unobvious. Importantly, Anyaduba felt I was also an ethnic jingoist by appearing to defend Awolowo, a problem he thought afflicted many in the Southwest, but which the nation must honestly grapple with for progress and reconciliation to occur. He said so many other things that were clearly either wrongly inferred from my essay or wrongly attributed. I regret I do not have the space to go into all these. Perhaps we should first review the book before consenting to a meaningful exchange on what Achebe said, thought or implied. But I thought I made it clear Achebe could not mean the book to be taken as a historical work in the sense of historiography. When the book is finally reviewed, that unsettling objective should come out in bold relief, just as it should also be indisputable that it is unlikely to fall below the literary standards we are used to. If at all I betrayed ethnic jingoism, as Anyaduba claimed, I think he did much worse. But I
believe it is always helpful to first focus on the integrity, or lack of it, of a writer’s logic than to fish for his backgrounds, be it religious, cultural or ideological. The danger in not drawing the line in the right place is to fall into the error of controversially charging a critic with influences that are inapplicable to his work. Let me restate once again the two reasons that informed my contribution to the Achebe excerpt. After observing the Rwandan genocide, I appreciated better the fearsome capacity writers, musicians, media professionals and other sundry artists have to instigate either genuine change or genocide. I do not think that even in the name of candour or of coming to terms with our infamous past we should fail to summon the circumspection required for peaceful coexistence. History by all means; literature by all means; but peace without doubt. Otherwise, we would, after the damage is done and depending on whether we are on the
winning or losing side, begin to nonsensically romanticise war and suggest that one form of killing – by sword or by hunger, or whether the dead are soldiers or children – is preferable. The second reason I commented on the excerpt is valid for all ages – the virtue of sometimes maintaining dignified taciturnity, not silence, as Anyaduba wrongly interpreted, especially decades after an event. I do not know whether Anyaduba is married. If he is, does he tell his wife everything about herself – maybe her plain looks, her awkward gait, her repulsively broad smile, etc. – especially when there is disagreement between the two of them? Yes, I love candour with all my heart, but if I want peace, I had better leave some things, indeed nearly all things, unsaid. If Anyaduba has not learnt this lesson, it is probably because he is not yet married. • Palladium
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