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VOL. 7, NO. 2282 THURSDAY, OCTOBER 18, 2012

ONDO 2012


•Speak out on observers, ACN tells INEC •Police to close boundary roads today •CNPP urges support for Akeredolu


Senate: we won’t consider Budget 2013 details now House to scrap Excess Crude Account


ILL Budget 2013 get an early passage at the National Assembly? This remained doubtful yesterday, despite the budget’s early presentation by President Goodluck Jonathan. The Senate has joined the House of Representatives to denounce the poor implementation of this year’s budget. Its Appropriation Committee Chair, Senator Ahmed Maccido, put the implementation level at a mere 30 per cent. Speaker Aminu Tambuwal had, during President Goodluck Jonathan’s budget presentation, said the discovery of the House is that Budget 2012 is poorly implemented. But Finance Minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala and presidential aide Dr. Doyin Okupe have denied the claim. Yesterday, the Senate said it would not consider the details of the fiscal policy, until its standing committee concludes its oversight functions on Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs). The House, also yesterday, declared the excess

I believe even the Executive would agree with the fact that the budget has not reached more than 30 per cent implementation

From Onyedi Ojiabor, Victor Oluwasegun and Dele Anofi, Abuja

Crude Account illegal and announced its plan to get it scrapped. It also vowed to review the recurrent expenditure in next year’s budget in favour of capital expenditure. President Jonathan presented a budget estimate of the N4.92 trillion to a joint session of the National Assembly on October 10. Maccido said: “I believe even the Executive would agree with the fact that the budget has not reached more than 30 per cent implementation. The figure was collated from documents given to us by the office of the Accountant General of the Federation. There were releases, there are

cash-backings, there is the actual budget itself and, based on all these, that was where we got the 30 per cent budget implementation figure from. “So, based on those figures, we made our deductions and arrived at that figure. The onus rests on the Senate to verify that because, as it is now, we are going on oversight functions to the MDAs and not just sitting in minister’s office and bringing documents for us to look at. We will go out to the field to see what is happening. “If, for instance, N1 billion has been earmarked for a particular project, a road project for instance, we want to go to the site to see for ourselves the level of work that has been done on that particular road. “Is the work on that road commensurate with the N1 billion budgeted? If not, we will come back and report to the Senate that the road is not up to the amount earmarked for it. “We will make our own deductions and conclusions and pass them onto the Senate. From there, we will know what to do. As I said earlier, it is not a matter of agreeing with the House or the Executive, but actually, we have the same stand.

•WEL COME KISS: President Jonathan welcoming back the First Lady...yesterday •WELCOME PHOTO: AKIN OLADOKUN

Continued on page 63

First Lady: God has given me a second chance

13 remanded for UNIPORT killings From Bisi Olaniyi and Shola O’Neil, Port Harcourt



MAGISTRATE’s Court sitting in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, yesterday ordered 13 persons, including the traditional ruler of Aluu community, Alhaji Hassan Welewa, to be remanded in prison custody for the murder of four University of Port Harcourt (UNIPORT) students. The accused are standing trial for the murder of Tuko Lloyd, Continued on page 2


IRST Lady Patience Jonathan yesterday returned to a tumultous welcome in Abuja, after a six-week stay in Germa-

ny. There was a burst of excitement at the Nnamdi Azikwe International Airport, Abuja where the presidential jet that brought her back landed at about 4pm. Dame Patience threw her two hands up in the air as the crowd of government officials, governors’ wives, politicians and women

I have to explain what God has done for me. I do not have a terminal illness. I did not undergo cosmetic surgery, let alone a tummy tuck

groups hailed her arrival. She looked smart in a multi-colour, bright boubou and headgear. Continued on page 2




NEWS First Lady returns •Award winners Senator Oluremi Tinubu (second left) and Hon Abike DabiriErewa (second right) with their plaques during the Excellence Award 2012 and Faculty of Science Lecture at the Obafemi Awolowo University, IleIfe...yesterday. With them are wife of Osun State Governor, Alhaja Serifat Aregbesola and Senator Olugbenga Obadara

NJC sits today on Justice Salami, others


OLLOWING the weight of issues before it, the National Judicial Council (NJC) yesterday gave its members a 24-hour allowance to consult and digest documents given to them. The council will reconvene today for an extensive discussion on all the issues on its agenda and take some decisions. Also, there were indications last night that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) rounding off its investigation in connection with alleged corrupt practices against two Chief Judges and three Federal High Court judges It was gathered that when NJC members met yesterday, they were served many documents to guide the agenda of their session. A source said: “Following the heap of documents, we felt we can only do justice to all issues if they were taken home to study and make relevant legal consultations. “We have decided to reconvene on Thursday(today) to consider the matters and take a definite action on some of the issues. “I think one of the challenges we are facing is how to assert the constitutional powers of the NJC without having any face-off with the Executive. “You know, the suspension

From Yusuf Alli, Abuja

of the President of the Court of Appeal, Justice Isa Ayo Salami and the continuous renewal of the appointment of the acting PCA, Justice Dalhatu Adamu, have created some legal challenges for the Judiciary. “Yet, the NJC is out to put an end to this crisis without rancour with the Executive. This is why the ongoing session is crucial.” But a source in government, who spoke with our correspondent, said: “I think some NJC members are mixing up issues. It was the NJC itself that wrote a letter to Mr. President recommending Justice Salami’s suspension or retirement from service. “Why are these members just waking up to realise that they conceded NJC powers to the President? The President is not usurping NJC powers.” A senior member of the bar, who spoke in confidence with our correspondent last night, said: “We are all looking forward to how the NJC will address the alleged usurpation of its powers by President Goodluck Jonathan, especially on Justice Salami and the renewal of the appointment of the acting PCA. “Some of us have been advising the NJC to stick to its position that it does not need the approval of the President to

reinstate Justice Salami or any judicial officer. “The NJC should look at sections 153, 158 (1) and paragraph 21 (9) of the third schedule to the 1999 Constitution and section 238 (5).” Through its lawyer, Usman Isa Kana, the NJC had a few weeks ago, told a Federal High Court that President Goodluck Jonathan has no disciplinary power over any Justice of the Court of Appeal or its President. In a written address presented to Justice Adamu Bello, the NJC counsel said: “By the combined provisions of sections 153, 158 (1) of the Constitution, and the National Judicial Council’s power to exercise disciplinary control over Judicial officers contained in paragraph 21 (1) of the part 1, third schedule of the Constitution, the 3rd Defendant is to unilaterally and exclusively exercise disciplinary control over the Judicial officers which we submit include the taking of any disciplinary measures by way of punishment for instance in the form of suspension, and lifting the disciplinary measure taken, for instance in the form of recalling and reinstating the disciplined officer back to his position without recourse of any sort to the president. “The only instances the 3rd

Defendant exercises its powers in conjunction with the President is in appointment and removal of judicial officers and do not extend to the 3rd Defendant’s disciplinary control over the Judicial officers and reinstatement/recalling of suspended judicial officers; these we submit, are residual powers exercisable by the 3rd Defendant exclusively. The foregoing submission is strengthened by section 158 of the Constitution as amended which states that the 3rd Defendant “shall not be subject to the direction or control of any other authority or person.” There were indications last night that the EFCC has concluded its ongoing investigation of allegation of corrupt practices against two Chief Judges and three judges of the Federal High Court. A source in the commission said: “We have almost concluded investigation into the activities of these judges. I think by next week, there should be substantial information for the public. “The affected judges know themselves, we won’t disclose their identities until we have completed investigation. “In fact, a petition has been outstanding against one of the affected judges since 2009 or 2010.”

Continued from page 1

Her face wreathed in smiles, glittering white beads dangling from her robust neck, the First Lady spoke of her joy to be back home. She was last seen in public on August 28, except for the footage of President Goodluck Jonathan’s visit to her on the Nigeria Television Authority (NTA). Believed to have gone on a medical trip, Mrs. Jonathan denied visiting any hospital. She was received with more tumult at the Presidential Villa. At the head of the reception party was President Jonathan, with whom the First Lady was locked in a long embrace. All smiles, Dr. Jonathan planted a kiss on his wife’s face. The crowd cheered. In the crowd were her friends, family members and top government functionaries. Helen, wife of Senate President David Mark, was there. Members of the presidential household, including the President’s mother Eunice and Mrs Jonathan’s children, wore tee shirts with images of the First Lady. There were various inscription, such as “We love you” “We miss you” Welcome back”; “May you live long, written on the shirts. Mrs Jonathan spoke to reporters at the airport. She said: “I am happy to be back in Nigeria. “There are a few Nigerians that are saying whatever they like, not what God planned because God has a plan for all of us. “God has said it all, that when two or three are gathered in His name, that He will be with them. And Nigerians gathered and prayed for me and God listened and heard their prayers, so I thank God for that. “At the same time, I will use this opportunity to speak to those few ones saying that anybody that goes to the Villa or Aso Rock will die. “They mentioned the late Gen. Sani Abacha, they mentioned the late Stella Obasanjo, they mentioned the late President Umar Yar’Adua and other people. But why didn’t they mention those ones that went there with their families and succeeded and they still came

13 remanded in police custody for UNIPORT Four killings Continued from page 1

Ugonna Obuzor, Tekena Elkanah and Chidiaka Biringa, who were believed to have been framed up as robbers and lynched in Omiakiri–Aluu, Rivers State, on October 5. The charge sheet indicated that the accused faced a fivecount charge of murder, felony, conspiracy, lynching and burning. They included Lucky Orji, a 43-year-old former police sergeant who reportedly partook in the murder. He is listed as the third accused. Rivers State Commissioner of Police Mohammed Ndabawa, who is the plaintiff, was represented by Adiari Idafi, a sergeant. Idafi told Magistrate Emmanuel C. Woke that the suspects allegedly killed the four UNIPORT students. He identified the accused as Hassan Welewa (59), Lawal Segun (28), Cynthia Chinwo (24), George Nwadei (20), Ekpe Daniel (30) listed as 1st, 2nd, 4th - 6th accused respectively. Others are Okoghiroh Endur-

ance (24), Gabriel Oche (33), Ozioma Abajuo (23), Endurance Edet (27), Ikechukwu Louis Amadi (aka Kapoon) (32), David Chinasa Ugbaje (30) and Chigozie Evans Samuel, listed as 7th - 13th accused in that order. The offence is punishable under Section 314 of the Criminal Code Cap 37 Laws of Rivers State, Nigeria, 1999 and Section 319 of the Criminal Code Cap 37 Vol. III laws of Rivers state, Nigeria, 1999. Although the charges were read to the 13 accused persons, who said they understood the crimes they were standing trial for, their pleas were not taken. Woke ordered that the accused be remanded in police custody for further investigation and adjourned the case till December 20. The suspected killers are facing a five-count charge, including conspiracy and murder. Count one reads: “That the 13 accused persons and others at large, on October 5, 2012, at Omuokiri-Aluu community in the Port Harcourt Magisterial

District, did conspire among yourselves to commit felony to wit: murder and thereby committed an offence punishable under Section 324 of the Criminal Code Cap 37 Laws of Rivers State, 1999. Count two: “That the accused persons and others at large, on the same date and place, in the aforesaid Magisterial District, did murder one Ugonna Obuzor by lynching and burnt him to death and thereby committed an offence punishable under Section 319 of the Criminal Code Cap 37, Volume 111 Laws of Rivers State, 1999. UNIPORT Vice-Chancellor Prof. Joseph Ajienka said only justice will satisfy the bereaved families and members of the public that watched the gory lynching of the students. Prof. Ajienka said staff and students of UNIPORT, who live off-campus in Aluu, no longer feel safe in the neighbourhood. He said the authorities of the university were still monitoring the situation and would meet “at the right time”

to decide on resumption date. He noted that the removal of a former Chairman of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), UNIPORT chapter, Dr. Andrew Efemini, as the Acting Head of Department of Philosophy, for participating in the October 9 protest, was being looked into by a committee. The vice-chancellor spoke at the Council Chambers of the university while giving an update on the murder. The VC added: “The barbaric killing of four students of UNIPORT enraged the world and affected the sensibility of all reasonable people, who cherish the sanctity of human life and the universal brotherhood of all humanity. It diminished our common humanity. “I need not recall the global outrage, which the gory incident ignited around the world, when it was first reported in the popular press. We have reached out to the families of the bereaved and consoled them on their irreparable losses, which are also our own losses.

“Many of our staff and students no longer feel safe in the Aluu neighbourhood. I have a responsibility to all of them,” he said. The VC said: “The HOD is a statutory member of the university administration, who is responsible to the vice-chancellor, through the dean of the faculty, in the discharge of his or her duties. “One level of leadership or authority does not undermine a higher level of leadership, in the pursuit of personal principles or ideological differences, let alone make inciting public statements on a very delicate situation that is capable of engineering a mob action. “Dr. Efemini is perfectly free to exercise his freewill as he considers necessary, as guaranteed him by the relevant sections of the Nigerian Constitution. Nobody challenged Dr. Efemini’s democratic right to advertise his grievances the way he deems fit and proper, as a free citizen of Nigeria and an academic.”

out alive? “We should remember that Aso Rock is the seat of power and that is where God has ordained for Nigerians that our leaders should rule from and to rule us right. “At the same time, I read in the media where they said I was in the hospital. God Almighty knows I have never been to that hospital. I don’t even know the hospital they mentioned. “I have to explain what God has done for me. I do not have a terminal illness. I did not undergo cosmetic surgery, let alone a tummy tuck. “My husband loves me as I am and I am pleased with how God created me, I cannot add to it. “But at the same time, I will use this opportunity to thank my beloved husband and my children, my staff in general and all Nigerians for standing by me during my trying time. “God has given me a second chance to come and work with women of Nigeria, children and the less privileged. I have come to serve Nigeria. I have come to work with Nigerians, I am there for them. “Once more, I am pleased to be back. I love Nigerians; they are my family.” The joyful situation was the same at the residence of the President inside the Presidential Villa. Authorities have refused to say publicly why Mrs Jonathan left the country. But an official said she fell ill with “food poisoning” and needed to be hospitalised in Germany This was followed by various speculations about all kinds of ailments she was believed to be suffering from. She was said to be undergoing treatment at Horst Schmidt Klinic in Wiesbanden, Germany. This she denied yesterday. Her staff sang songs of joy in Ijaw dialect, clapping and dancing. The song, translated, means “Thank you God. You have done us good. Thank God. Lord you have done us good. Thank you.” Some of the dignitaries there to receive her were Bayelsa State Governor, Seriake Dickson, women ministers and some of their male counterparts like Culture and Tourism, Minister of State for Education, the Chief of Staff, State House Chief of Protocol (SCOPE), Special Advisers, Chief Personal Physician and others working in the Presidency.

Six Russian sailors, Estonian kidnapped in Bayelsa From Isaac Ombe, Yenagoa


UNMEN have attacked a ship operated by a French oil and gas services company in Bayelsa State. They kidnapped six Russian sailors and an Estonian in the assault, the firm said. Paris-based Bourbon SA offered only a tersely worded statement on its website about the attack. The incident which occurred at the Pennington oil platform belonging to Chevron multiContinued on page 63

ADVERT HOTLINES: 08023006969, 08052592524 NEWSROOM: LAGOS – 01-8962807, ABUJA – 07028105302 COMPLAINTS: 01-8930678





NEWS ONDO 2012 CNPP boosts Akeredolu’s candidature


HE candidature of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN)standard bearer in Saturday’s election, Mr. Rotimi Akeredolu (SAN) has received a boost from the Conference of Nigerian Political Parties(CNPP), as its Publicity Secretary, Chief Osita Okechukwu, has said their members have been directed to support Akeredolu. He said this is the position of the national leadership of the CNPP. Okechukwu disowned the local chapter of CNPP for endorsing Governor Olusegun Mimiko and working against the interest of the national body, adding that the state chapter does not have the power to support anybody without the approval of the national leadership. The CNPP Publicity Secretary called for regime change in Ondo State. He said: “Edo people were in slavery before Governor Adams Oshiomhole liberated them. Ondo people’s call for regime change due to Mimiko’s failure to meet their expectations is welcome and justifiable. Akeredolu, like Oshiomhole, has the pedigree to turn things around for good. We have advised our

Akeredolu will not disappoint the people, as he is committed to pursuing a well-thought programme for the sustainable development and transformation of the state. We urge the people to carry out their resolve by sending Governor Mimiko packing from the Alagbaka Government House on Saturday. Akeredolu is a man of honour and pedigree, he deserves your votes

members to support regime change in the state, given the track record of ACN governors. “Akeredolu will not disappoint the people, as he is committed to pursuing a wellthought programme for the sustainable development and transformation of the state. We urge the people to carry out their resolve by sending Governor Mimiko packing from the Alagbaka Government House on Saturday. Akeredolu is a man of honour and pedigree, he deserves your votes.”

•Ondo State Resident Electoral Commissioner, Mr . Akin Orebiyi (left), IG Abubakar and Jega...yesterday. PHOTO: NIYI ADENIRAN

Party group alleges Mimiko operates secret accounts


HREE secret accounts, allegedly opened and operated by the Governor Olusegun Mimiko administration, have been discovered by a political group within the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN). The group, Independent Campaign Network (ICN), yesterday alleged that the bank accounts were opened between 2009 and 2010 to siphon public funds. Speaking at a press conference at the group’s secretariat in Akure, ICN’s Director of Communication and Strategy, Mr. Bosun Oladimeji, challenged Governor Mimiko to respond to the allegation.

From Leke Akeredolu, Akure

According to him, “we have relevant documents to substantiate our allegation.” Oladimeji alleged that the accounts were clandestinely operated by the government in three banks. He said: “Mimiko in his first broadcast introduced secret account into the lexicon of Ondo State politics when he accused former governor, Olusegun Agagu and the late Obolo, a Special Assistant to Agagu on Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) projects of operating a secret account.

“No sooner he came on board than he opened the accounts secretly to indulge in the same act he accused his predecessor of. “The accounts were operated between February 2009 and January 2010. Through these accounts, recurrent expenditure and security votes were carried out. N100 million was withdrawn from a bank by a Government House official on the eve of the public declaration of Mimiko for a second term, held on July 25.” According to the ICN spokesman, a source provided the information with enough documents. He added: “Before the ad-

vent of the Mimiko administration, the immediate past government operated an Intercontinental Bank account for capital projects, but immediately Mimiko came on board, a new account was opened with the influence of an accounting officer. “The account is used for the collecting of the monthly VAT from the Federation Account. The monthly VAT accruable in the account is in excess of N15 billion as deposit. The monthly VAT accruable in the account is in excess of N653 million. “The former Intercontinental Bank account is being used for the draw-down of the N50 billion secret bond secured

from the capital market. “As at now, N7 billion has been released to the state government, while another N10 billion was also released to the Ministry of Works. Yet no road has been inaugurated by the government since 2009.” Oladimeji also revealed the alleged fraud behind the Direct Labour Agency introduced to the state by the Mimiko administration. He alleged that a senior special assistant to Mimiko has mismanaged over N75 million on the two abandoned road projects. The projects, he said, had no bill of quantity, architectural drawing and approval.

“Mimiko claimed that he renovated Odopetu, Okelisa and Isolo markets, built during Agagu’s administration, with N100 million. You can check the 2010 and 2011 budgets published by the Ministry of Budget and Planning,” he said. Oladimeji alleged that the N400 million budgeted for the revitalisation of the Arigidi Tomatoe Company was embezzled by some political appointees. He urged the electorate to vote out the Mimiko administration to save the state from financial recklessness.

Police to close Ondo boundary roads today, says IG

Akeredolu urges military •20 armoured vehicles deployed in riverine areas •Jega urges corps members to shun bribery chiefs to stop By Emanuel Oladesu Akeredolu sought to ‘LP’s criminal OLICE Inspector-Gendum the electoral commission body on the water in the rivDeputy Political Editor and know who would be the chief activity’ eral (IG) Mohammed has added to the computer- erine areas. There will be no Leke Akeredolu,Akure security officer of the state Abubakar yesterday


said the roads leading to Ondo State would be closed from today’s evening, preparatory to Saturday’s election. He warned trouble makers, saying they should either flee or face the wrath of the law. Also, Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Attahiru Jega, assured that the electoral agency would conduct a free and fair poll in the interest of democracy. He warned National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) members recruited as ad hoc electoral workers to shun bribery and corruption, adding that they would not be spared from punishment if they indulge in electoral malpractices. The police boss and INEC chairman spoke at the 2012 Governorship Election stakeholders’ meeting held in Akure to discuss with the top security hierarchy, INEC, representatives of the political parties, traditional rulers, electoral monitors and civil society groups. It was hosted by the Resident Electoral Commissioner Akin

Orebiyi. The meeting was attended by the governorship candidates, including Governor Olusegun Mimiko and Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) standard bearer, Rotimi Akeredolu (SAN); Tayo Alasoadura, Wale Akinterinwa, Ifedayo Abegunde, Osemawe of Ondo Kingdom, Oba Victor Kiladejo, Jegun of Ile-Oluji, Oba Sulade Adedugbe, Ondo ACN Chairman Akin Adesoji and National Chairman of the Labour Party (LP), Dan Nwayanwu. At the forum, opposition party leaders complained to the Inspector-General about alleged plans by the LP to use the police to harass, intimidate and oppress them, thereby diverting their attention from last minute’s preparations for the poll. The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Chairman, Ogundele, urged the police boss to ensure security for stakeholders. Others raised an eyebrow about the contentious adden-

ised voters’ register. Some stakeholders wanted INEC to shed light on the movement of election materials. They alleged that the state has been flooded with fake voter cards and that thugs have been mobilised to invade the state as mercenaries to disrupt election in the strongholds of the opposition. Abubakar, whose speech lasted for about five minutes, said that security agents would guarantee safety throughout the state, warning that unruly behaviour would not be condoned before, during and after the poll. He ruled out escort for any party bigwig on election day. The IG said: “All routes leading to Ondo State should be closed as from 6 pm tomorrow (today). We are ready with the terms of providing security and safety. In each of the senatorial districts, five units of policemen shall be deployed to check violence and enforce the restriction of movement during the election. “We don’t want to see any-

fishing on that day. Whatever fish you have on that day, stay at home and eat it. If you go to the polling unit, shouting and disturbing the election, you will be arrested.” The Inspector-General of Police warned politicians against inflammatory statements at campaigns, threatening to arrest violators. He said such statements have security implications, adding that those aspiring to rule the state should respect the law and leave behind a good legacy. Also, Abubakar said 20 armoured patrol security personnel and marine police patrol men will be provided at the riverine areas. According to him, nobody except security personnel and INEC officials are expected to be seen on the water, noting that there must not be any fishing activity in the riverine areas on Saturday. He said political office holders and other personalities are not expected to move around with security men on the election day.

during the election. He said the issue of any governor or police commissioner surrounding himself with policemen and terrorising other people should be addressed. The ACN candidate also said the directive that people’s movement should be restricted should be adhered to on the election day, irrespective of people’s positions. Akeredolu also suggested that corps members on electoral duty should be given their allowances by INEC so that they would be able to shun bribes on the poll day. Mimiko said he would insist on his rights and responsibilities as the governor during the election. He said a credible register is the foundation of a credible election, adding that political parties should have access to certified copies of the voters’ register. He also said the photographs of the electoral officers and party agents should be pasted at the polling units so that they would be identified .


HE Akeredolu Campaign Organisation (ACO) has enjoined the Chief of Defence Staff and Chief of Army Staff to stop the criminal activities of the Labour Party (LP). It alleged that the party has given its thugs military uniforms and boots, especially in the riverine areas, to rig Saturday’s poll. The Director of Media, Publicity and Strategy of the organisation, Mr. Idowu Ajanaku, said in a statement that the LP, having failed to convince the electorate why they should vote for its standard bearer, Dr. Olusegun Mimiko, has resorted to criminality and violent tactics to rig Saturday’s election. He added: “This last minute’s criminal act of kitting thugs in military uniform by the Labour Party in the riverine areas is reprehensible and should be condemned by Nigerians. “We also call on the Inspector-General of Police to act fast by assuring the electorate that they can trust the police to provide security.”




Don’t denigrate Tinubu, PPA candidate warns


HE Progressive Peoples Alliance (PPA) governorship candidate in Ondo State, Mr. Tunji Omoregha, yesterday warned Governor Olusegun Mimiko and former ACN governorship aspirant, Mr. Segun Ojo, to stop making inflammatory statements about the National Leader of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), Asiwaju Bola Tinubu. He decried Ojo and Mimiko for verbal attacks on the former Lagos State governor whom he described as a leader with unmatchable cultural pedigree and heri-

From Damisi Ojo,Akure

tage. The politician said the fact that ACN did not pick Ojo as its standard bearer did not warrant his unguarded outburst against Asiwaju Tinubu. Omoregha said Mimiko is guilty of his utterances since he is a product of Tinubu’s political struggle, considering the assistance he enjoyed during his travail. He described Tinubu as a symbol of Oduduwa and other past Yoruba heroes that represented the collective interest of the Yoruba race.

Boroffice canvasses votes for Akeredolu From Damisi Ojo,Akure HE senator representing Ondo North Senatorial District, Prof. Ajayi Boroffice, yesterday canvassed Akoko votes for the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) candidate, Mr. Rotimi Akeredolu (SAN). Boroffice, the Asiwaju of Akoko land, urged his people to vote out Labour Party (LP) candidate, Dr. Olusegun Mimiko, on Saturday. He said Akoko indigenes at home and in the Diaspora have resolved to vote for a credible candidate that would assist them. The Akoko leader, addressing ACN members at a reception organised for a London lawyer, Mr. Nat Adojuteleghon, in Arigidi Akoko, said Mimiko should forget about the possibility of being re-elected as the governor of the state.


•ACN supporters at a rally.

ACN urges INEC to speak out on accreditation of partisan groups


HE Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) has called on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to speak out on the decision by the commission’s Election Monitoring and Observation Unit to register glaringly-partisan groups as observers for Saturday’s election. In a statement issued in Abuja yesterday by its National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the party said if INEC fails to speak out on the issue, it means it is not serious about organising a free, fair and credible poll on Saturday. It said the general perception is that at least two of the groups that have been accredited to monitor the election, Women Arise and Rights Monitoring Group (RMG), are partisan and should not have been accredited to observe the election. ACN reiterated its earlier

statement that the fact that the President of Women Arise, Dr. Joe OkeiOdumakin, is the wife of Mr. Yinka Odumakin, who has publicly declared his support for one of the contestants in the election, Dr. Olusegun Mimiko, has raised the red flag over the group’s neutrality - a pre-requisite for any group observing an election. Also, the party said the fact that Femi Aduwo of the RMG is a known supporter of Governor Mimiko should automatically rule the group out of being accredited as an observer of the poll. It said to date, Aduwo is yet to deny being a supporter of Dr. Mimiko, or that his group has been inexplicably issued with 1,500 tags instead of the 100 given to other groups, with the alleged plan to give some of the tags to Labour Party (LP) thugs on Saturday. “The issues we have raised are key to the success or oth-

erwise of the election, and none of the groups has faulted us. Women Arise, whose President has reacted to our statement, has only engaged in personal attacks than substance. The group has not told Nigerians how it can be expected to be neutral despite the marital links of its President to an acknowledged supporter of one of the contestants,” ACN said. It said apart from the virulent attacks mounted by Dr. Okei-Odumakin, it is obvious that Women Arise is not a respectable, neutral and an allembracing group it has made itself to be. “No self-respecting women’s group will denigrate women, whether or not they are in purdah or eleha as the group said. No group that calls itself an independent organisation with a board made up of eminent Nigerians and thousands of members across the country will

cast aspersion on the religion of many of its members. Or does Women Arise not represent the interest of Muslim women? “If it does, how can it so impugn on their religion and selfdignity by casting aspersion on them? Does Dr. OkeiOdumakin not realise that being in purdah does not mean a woman is not well educated or cannot hold her own anywhere? The truth is that unless and until high-stake issues like this come to the fore, one does not realise that some of those looming so large in the public space are not who they are made out to be. “Apart from its glaring partisanship, it is now clear that a group like Women Arise, which can so openly discriminate against some women on the basis of their religion or practices related to it, is not fit to observe an election in which such women will also be voters,” ACN said.

ACN promises to create new council in Ose


N Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) chieftain, Alhaji Lateef Raji, has asked the electorate to reject Ondo State Governor Olusegun Mimiko on Saturday because he has not lived up to expectation. He said the state deserves to have a better captain to steer its ship and fulfill the wish of the people. Raji, who is the Lagos State Special Adviser on Information and Strategy, is currently leading a door-to-door cam-

By Emanuel Oladesu Deputy Political Editor

paign on the Ire-Akari axis in Ose Local Government Area of Ondo State. The politician, who hails from Ido-Ani, lamented the dearth of infrastructural facilities in the town, Idogun, Imeri and Afo, saying their labour has been in vain under the Labour Party (LP) government. He assured that ACN would create a new local gov-

ernment out of Ose council to be called Ire-Akari Local Government in fulfillment of the

INEC commissioner not a politician, says Jega The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Chairman, Prof. Attahiru Jega, yesterday said the Labour Party’s (LP’s) allegation that its National Commissioner, Prof. Lai Olurode, is a member of a political party is untrue.

CJN orders Appeal Court to respond to allegation THE Chief Justice of Nigeria and Chairman, National Judicial Council (NJC), Justice Aloma Marian Mukhtar, has directed three justices of the Court of Appeal sitting in Akure to respond to the allegation of violating the constitution in their handling of the election petition appeal filed by

the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) and its candidate in Owo Constituency 1, Princess Ogunoye Folashade Fabuluje, against the Labour Party (LP) and Mr. Samuel Arowele. The CJN directed Justice Chikwe R. Agbo, Chinwe E. Iyizoba and Moore A. A. Adumein to within two weeks

grassroots yearning of the people, for easy administration and development.

of receipt of the CJN letter respond to the petition, which is self-explanatory. ACN on August 27, through its counsel, Titiloye Charles, requested the NJC to investigate the dismissal of ACN election petition appeal by the Court of Appeal on August 25, 2011 without giving any reason for its dismissal.

Speaking in Akure during a stakeholders’ meeting, Jega said INEC had found out that the allegation was meant to smear the commissioner’s integrity. He stressed that none of INEC’s workers had affiliation with any party. Jega said:” Your allegation is spurious. No member of INEC is a member of any party. If you have any evidence to buttress your allegation, provide it. We will do the right thing. “Our investigation has shown that your claim is spurious. We don’t take any allegation as spurious immediately it is made. We investigate every allegation.”

ACN chiefs cry out over assassination attempt


WO chieftains of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) in Owo Local Government, Kehinde Bello and Mrs. Enuogbope Oyekorede, yesterday raised the alarm over a plot by some suspected Labour Party (LP) leaders to assassinate them before Saturday. Bello, a former LP House

From Leke Akeredolu, Akure

of Assembly aspirant, who recently defected to the ACN with over 3,000 members, alleged that LP chieftains had been trailing them with thugs. He said he had reported the matter to the Divisional Police Officer (DPO) in Owo for investigation.

‘Movement to be restricted’


S part of efforts to ensure security during Saturday’s election, Inspector-General of Police Mohammed Abubakar has ordered restriction of movement in and around the state. According to him, starting from today till tomorrow, there will be restriction of movement in and out of Akure, between 6pm and 6am. He said there would be total restriction of movement in and out of the state from 6pm to-

From Gbade Ogunwale, Assistant Editor, Abuja

morrow till 8pm on Saturday, “except those on essential duties or such degree of movement is necessary for citizens to exercise their franchise on the election day.” A statement by the Deputy Force Public Relations Officer, Mr. Frank Mba, urged travellers and citizens intending to use roads in and out of Ondo State to divert to alternative routes.

‘Mimiko spends N600b to under-develop state’


HE Chairman of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) in Akure North, Chief Alasoadua, has described Dr. Olusegun Mimiko as the worst Ondo State governor. Alasoadura, who said that the governor has received over N600 billion as revenue from several sources, including the federation account, noted that he wasted all, building nothing, affecting nothing and effecting nothing. He said the Labour Party (LP) administration has not implemented any people-oriented or grassroots project. Said he: “Mimiko established an Iya Abiye Hospital where you will not get a cotton wool free. If your pregnant wife has to be operated before

delivery, you will pay N75,000 when private hospitals charge N50,000.” Alasoadua, a former Commissioner for Finance, noted that the Mimiko administration has failed in all aspects of governance, adding that “it is a government of no vision. Its mission is to impoverish its own kith and kin.” Urging ACN supporters to come out en masse and vote for the party’s standard bearer Mr. Rotimi Akeredolu on Saturday, Alasoadua said Mimiko nursed and implemented the agenda of underdeveloping the Sunshine State in his three and a half years rule, adding: “Unfortunately, he has not allowed the sun of progress and development to shine on the state.”




Six victims have died in Edo camp, says ex-NMA chair •We’re suffering, lament flood victims •Presidency: we may not meet food target


IX of the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in a camp in Edo State have died, a former chairman of the Edo State chapter of the Nigeria Medical Association (NMA), Dr. Philip Ugbodagha, said yesterday. Ugboadagha said the deceased were in Ekperi camp. The ex-NMA boss said government cannot carry alone the burden. He said: “Certainly, government alone cannot do it and we recognise that the bureaucracy associated with government activities is beginning to show in health status of victims of flood and, therefore, health support initiatives in conjunction with Nigeria Medical Association, Edo North zone decided to offer free medical services. We expect that if we get needed support, we can extend it to all the camps. When we visited Ekperi camp for example, we discovered that six persons have died in that camp and six children have been delivered since they moved into the camp and as at the time we visited, not one of those kids has had any form of vaccination or immunisation.”

From Osemwengie Ben Ogbemdia, Benin and Olugbenga Adanikin, Abuja

Also, IDPs in camps in Edo State are complaining of inadequate supply of food and other relief materials. The victims, who accused government officials of diverting the materials meant for them, said many of their children are now malnourished. An IDP, who identified himself as Malam Oseni, said: “Just take a look at this camp here in Fugar. We are so overcrowded in this camp with no proper hygiene. Most of our children have taken ill with symptoms of runny stomach. Some of them have been taken to hospital on admission. “I hear that this is also happening in other camps, but my question now is that what has happened to the money that the Comrade Governor released to this committee?” The Chairman, Committee on Relief for Displaced Persons, Hadjia Mamunetu Momodu, said government was taking steps to alleviate their plight. She told The Nation at Etsako Central Skills Acquisition Centre in Fugar:

“I do know that the state government has provided adequate drugs to be given to the victims. However, like the commissioner said, I do know that a couple of time they have sent medical personnel and all that and like I have always said, we want to appeal to the local government affected, they should also bring in their doctors, get helping hands to join what the state government has provided so that we get the best out of this situation.” On alleged inadequate supply of relief materials, she said: “But you know, even in a family, it is difficult for you to say you can satisfy everybody 100 per cent. But people should know that in a situation like this, you don’t expect the same conditions you have when you are in your private houses. I have seen a couple of them, when you give them things; as soon as you turn back suddenly, they start to complain. I have told them ‘don’t use this situation to raise false alarm’. And those people that make noise a lot are the people that are not really affected. Some of them just take the advantage that the camp is within our area, they just go there and they are

the ones raising issues that are not on ground.” The Special Assistant to the President on Social Development and Special Duties, Mrs. Sarah Pane, has said the country may not meet its food sufficiency target in rice production. She blamed this on the flooding being experienced in parts of the country. The presidential aide spoke yesterday at the opening of the Regional Dialogue on Renewable Energy Technology for Improved Agricultural Productivity and Sustainable Development in Abuja. Mrs. Pane said: “Right now, I cannot say the extent but thank God this year, the harvest was much, especially rice. We had expected that we want to be able to achieve one milestone. I think that really in terms of yearly production, the quantity will not come below what we produced in previous years only that the target we wanted to achieve may not be achieved because some have been destroyed but the level of agriculture has practically improved this year.”

1 million people displaced in Northcentral, says NEMA


HE floods which devastated most parts of the Northcentral displaced more than one million people, Malam Mohammed Abdulsalami, the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) Zonal Coordinator, has said. Abdulsalami told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Jos yesterday that the agency had established 36 camps to accommodate such Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs). “The camps are spread among the six states of the Northcentral,’’ he said, adding that the worst-hit was Kogi, closely followed by Benue. “The two states had the worst cases because of their positioning along the River Niger and River Benue. “In fact, in the case of Kogi, many people have even fled to parts of

Anambra but we have followed them and established camps there,’’ he said. Abdulsalami said, however, that many IDPs were not in the camps, preferring to live with neighbours, relations, family friends and clergymen. “Many IDPs have complained of the inconvenience, regimented life and poor sanitation in the usually crowded camps and have opted to stay away. “For such people, usually referred to as Non-camped IDPs, who are even more in number, we register them and give them some succour pending when we shall make a more permanent arrangement. “We usually ask them to stand in front of the houses into which they are accommodated where we get their pictures and the other details to help

us to sort them out,’’ he said. The official described the effect of the flood as “very, very colossal’’. He said 300 people were confirmed killed in the floods, while farmlands, houses, roads and bridges were destroyed, in addition to numerous livestock that were killed. “As I speak, many people are still missing and we still receive distress calls from communities in danger of being submerged,’’ he said. Abdulsalami commended the respective state governments for working with NEMA to assist the affected persons, and particularly lauded prominent citizens of Benue, who directly assisted victims. “In Benue, prominent indigenes like Senate President David Mark, NAFDAC Director-General Paul

Orhii and Senator Barnabas Gemade have offered lots of assistance to the victims by bringing all kinds of relief materials,’’ he said. He said that to ensure that the relief materials reached victims, the distribution was being done directly unlike in the past when the items were routed through traditional rulers and community leaders. “We have often been inundated with complaints that some leaders were diverting the items. “We have, therefore, changed the mode of distribution to ensure that the relief materials were not cornered by people who did not suffer any damage,’’ he said. Other states in the zone affected by the floods are Plateau, Nasarawa, Kwara, and Niger.

2013 Budget proposal didn’t consider flooding, says ANPP


HE All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) has accused President Goodluck Jonathan of not taking the menace of flooding in the country into consideration before drawing next year’s Budget. The party questioned the N81.41 billion voted for agriculture and rural development. The ANPP, in a statement, said: “Last week, President Goodluck Jonathan presented the 2013 budget proposal to the joint session of the Senate and House of Representatives, where he submitted that the budget gives priority to food security. Con-

From Gbenga Omokhunu, Abuja

sidering that a relatively meagre N81.41 billion was budgeted for agriculture and rural development, the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) believes that it is either not fair to the sector. “Every Nigerian is affected by the current environmental hazard pummelling the nation, but more affected are the coastal and rural dwellers, the petty agriculturalists and subsistence farming-dependent citizens who can barely survive outside their familiar rural territory. “In fact, the Minister of Environment, Hajiya Mailafiya, recently stated

that the country faced imminent food crisis, as more than 5,000 farmlands in many states had been washed away and there could be food shortage. We see no other way of addressing the looming danger apart from concerted, strategic and broad intervention based on a budgetary blueprint for next year in the agricultural and rural development sector, which underpin the affected areas. However, looking at provisions for these sectors in the 2013 budget proposal, we can only see the handwriting of a government that is not prepared to face this manifest challenge.”


geria (NAN) in Yenagoa yesterday. Iyamah said: “The passing-out which is scheduled to hold on October 18, 2012 without the usual ceremony. “We will assemble them at the secretariat and call out their names to receive their certificates due to the situation in the state occasioned by the flood disaster.”

Iyamah disclosed that the ongoing distribution of relief materials to flood victims had compelled the NYSC to shelve the ceremony. The Yenagoa City Hall normally used for the passing out ceremony by the NYSC has been turned to a storage centre for relief materials, he said. The flood has also affected social

Ahmadu Bello Foundation donates relief materials to Benue •How to curb disasters From Uja Emmanuel, Makurdi and Yusuf Aminu Idegu, Jos

AHMADU Bello Foundation (ABF) has donated relief materials to victims of Benue flood disasters. The materials were presented by the foundation’s Chairman Advisory Council (CAC), Justice Mamman Nasir yesterday. They were received by Governor Gabriel Suswam and his deputy, Chef Steven Lawani. Justice Nasir said the materials were part of efforts by the foundation to ameliorate the hardship face by those affected by the floods. Justice Nasir advised that rivers in Cameroon should be diverted to Lake Chad to avoid destruction of lives and farmlands to flood. He said if Sir Ahmadu Bello was alive, he would have personally brought the relief materials because of his concern for the welfare of the

Fed Govt •N40m for Anambra victims

A •Dr. Jonathan

Flooding forces NYSC to cancel passing-out ceremony in Bayelsa HE National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) in Bayelsa will not conduct a passingout ceremony for 2011 Batch ‘C’ corps members because of the flood disaster in the state, an official said. The NYSC Public Relations Officer in Bayelsa, Mr Pius Iyamah, spoke to the News Agency of Ni-

•A flooded road in Jos...yesterday

and economic activities in Yenagoa, as almost every available space has been taken over by flood victims. The victims are currently camped at the Indoor halls of Samson Siasia Sports Stadium, Bishop Dimeri Grammar School, and the premises of Community Primary School in Ovom, among others.

N Ado-Ekiti indigene, who just returned from Bayelsa State, Mrs. Olusola Ayodele, has urged the Federal Government to evacuate flood victims trapped in Bayelsa. Mrs. Ayodele, who runs a chain of private schools in Yenagoa, the Bayelsa State capital, said she had lived there for over 14 years. She said many victims cannot access the relief materials provided by the Federal Government because they cannot come out of their homes. Mrs. Ayodele added: “Ogbia Local Government Area is submerged. The President’s hometown, Otueke; Emea 1 and the Federal Medical Centre (FMC) in Yenagoa are all covered with



NEWS RAGE OF FLOODS Delta appoints Commandants in Relief Camps DELTA State government will appoint camp commandants in relief camps for victims of flood. Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan spoke with reporters. The governor said the appointment of commandants would streamline activities and ensure orderliness. The governor promised that he would continue to improve facilities in the camps to ensure that the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) enjoy the basic necessities of life. Promising to provide three square meals a day for the victims, Uduaghan condemned the attitude of some Deltans who infiltrate the camps to feed whenever it was time for food. The governor said: “The medical team knows what to do if there is shortage of drugs. They should use their professional intelligence to move to the next level because they know how to get drugs. They should not at any time allow patients to go outside the camps to buy drugs with their own money.” Uduaghan said the challenge his government was facing was that of post-camp resettlement. PHOTO: NAN

•Suswam (second right), Justice Nasir (second left) and other members of the foundation during the presentation of the relief materials...yesterday

people. Suswam praised the foundation for the gesture. The Director, National Center for Remote Sensing (NCRS), Efron Gajere, has said the proper use of the environ-

ment would help curb flooding and other disasters. Gajere spoke in Jos as part of the activities marking the world space week. He said: “The Nigerian popula-

tion is completely ignorant of the best way to make use of our environments, we are using the environment negatively and the consequence is heavy on Nigerians and the Federal Government.

“If the society is adequately informed and enlightened on best practices of managing our environments, we will not have natural disaster like flooding and desertification. “All the disaster we called natural disasters are man-made and this is largely due to our ignorance of how to use this free gift from God. “So, flooding and desertification can be prevented if we are equipped with adequate knowledge of usage of our environment and this is where the Ministry of Environment should come in and put up serious public enlightenment, educate our children in schools so that we can all together have a better use of our environment. “We owe it to our children a befitting environment, if we destroy it now what are they going to inherit tomorrow. The director NCRS advised Nigerians living on water ways to vacate before the rain set in next year, those living by drainage channels should clear them as this is the only way to avoid another flooding in the next rainy season. “Our negative attitude against the environment should change so that we can enjoy this environment.”

NDDC donates N6m to flood victims in Cross River From Nicholas Kalu, Calabar

THE Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) has presented a cheque of N6, 062,000 to the Cross River State government for the procurement of relief materials for victims of flood disaster. The cheque was presented to the Special Adviser to the Governor on Special Duties, Mr. Fabian Okpa by the state Representative of the NDDC Governing Board, Mr. Dominic Aqua Edem. Edem said the delegation from the NDDC were in the State to express their concern for the unfortunate development. Okpa hailed the NDDC for the prompt response to the plight of the displaced. He assured the NDDC that the funds would be used judiciously to give hope to the victims.

Tension in victim’s camp From Okungbowa Aiwerie, Asaba

urged to evacuate Bayelsa residents From Sulaiman Salawudeen, Ado-Ekiti

water. “The government is trying to assist people, but the assistance is not getting to those trapped in their houses. The only vehicles that can get into Bayelsa now are trucks, because they are very high. “The water level has continued to rise and many people cannot come out of their homes. As I speak, my younger sister, Mrs. Olubukola Ake, is among those trapped in their homes.” Mrs. Ayodele said the cost of food in Bayelsa State has sky rocketed. She said a sachet of water now costs between N20 and N30. She said the whole state is flooded and the only way to save the people would be to take them out before the situation gets worse.

Mrs. Ayodele said: “I am saying all these because I have come to see Bayelsans as my extended family and their condition has been giving me sleepless nights. Although I am back in Ado-Ekiti, my roots, I am concerned about them.” The Governor Peter Obi Administration in Anambra State has spent N40 million to assist victims of flood disaster. Commissioner for Economic Planning and Budget Prof. Stella Okunna spoke at a news conference in Awka yesterday. According to Okunna, the 21 camps created by the state government for the displaced persons in different parts of the state are properly planned to take care of the victims.

She dismissed any fear of epidemics in the camps, saying that health workers had been engaged and mobilised to provide health care services to the displaced people. The commissioner said all children of school age whose parents were displaced had been enrolled into various schools within the camps to prevent disruption of their academic calendar. Okunna also spoke on plans by the government to constitute a flood disaster relief coordinating committee to be headed by the Secretary to the State Government, Mr Oseloka Obaze. She said government had opened accounts in Diamond Bank and Fidelity Bank for people wishing to donate to the victims.

• Obi

THERE is tension in Uzere, Isoko South, Delta State following alleged plans by the police to arrest some Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in camps. The President-General of the community, Chief Owhe Emiakpor and the Chairman, Mr. Believe Odhungo, were arrested at the Oleh High Court. The police declared the duo wanted for alleged breach of public peace. The community has been in crisis over rivalry between the deposed monarch, Isaac Udogri, and newly installed, Henry Etuwede 111. Some of the victims of the flood refused to go to the camp because they accused the state government of supporting the estranged ruler. Counsel to the duo, Victor Otomieowo, accused the the state government of fueling the crisis in Uzere.



NEWS October 26 is Eid-el-Kabir


HE Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar, yesterday declared next Friday as Eid-el-Kabir, following the sighting of the new crescent on Tuesday. A statement by the Chairman, Advisory Committee on Religious Affairs to the Sultanate Council, Prof. Sambo Junaid said:”The Sultanate Council Advisory Committee at its meeting on Tuesday, reviewed reports received from various moon sighting committees across the country. “They have duly confirmed the birth of the new moon of Zulhijja, 1433 after Hijra of the Holy Prophet with effect from yesterday, which is the first day of Zulhijja. “Friday, October 26, is the 10th day of Zulhijja, 1433 AH, which is the Ed-el-Kabir day. “His Eminence, the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar, wishes all Muslims a happy Eid-el-Kabir.”

Omatseye, others for debate By Adeola Ogunlade


HE Chairman, Editorial Board of The Nation, Sam Omatseye, the Special Adviser to the Ogun State Governor on Millennium Development Goals, Mrs. Hafsat Abiola-Costello, the Officer-in-Charge of the United Nations Information Centre are billed to attend the finale of a school debate tomorrow. The topic of the debate is ‘Who Should Teach Peace Education to Young People’. It will hold at the conference hall of Television Continental (TVC) Premises, Ketu, Lagos.

Civil servants blamed for nation’s woes


RESIDENT Goodluck Jonathan has warned that the civil service cannot continue to be a clog in the wheel of development in the country. The President warned that bureaucracy should not be a stumbling block to progress and development He urged the civil service to reduce its mistakes, because it will be very costly if government makes silly mistakes. Jonathan spoke yesterday during the swearing in of five permanent secretaries and the Chairman of the Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), Okon Ekpo. He pleaded with civil servants to work with political office holders to change the country for good. “The greatest problem we have in terms of managing the civil service is the rela-

From Vincent Ikuomola, Abuja

tionship between permanent secretaries and their ministers. “Though I have not heard many complaints within this period but a number of people within and outside government believe that the civil service must begin to function like the private sector. “It is extremely difficult because they must be some elements of bureaucracy in the civil service because the service is meant to look at things critically and to reduce mistakes. “I plead with permanent secretaries and all civil servants to work with us so that we will change this country. “This country belongs to all Nigerians and we must make sure that we get to where our contemporaries are.

Arisekola-Alao’s son gets N75m bail


USTICE Lateefat Okunnu of an Ikeja High Court, Lagos, yesterday granted bail to an oil marketer, Abdullahi Alao, accused of conspiring with others to commit N1.1 billion fuel subsidy fraud. Abdullahi, son of a prominent businessman, Alhaji Abdullazeez ArisekolaAlao, was granted N75 million bail with two sureties in like sum. Justice Okunnu also granted N100 million bail to Abdullahi’s co-defendant, Olarenwaju Olalusi, a Sterling Bank Plc official. The judge did not order Olalusi to produce a surety. She directed that Abdullahi’s sureties must be resident in Lagos State and must be employed. They must also depose to an affidavit of means. She added that one of the sureties must own a property in Lagos State. The other must be a director in a public or private organisation in Nigeria. Justice Okunnu said the sureties must produce three years’ tax clearance and that their documents should be verified by an officer of the Economic and Financial

EFCC arraigns four for N1.05 b subsidy fraud


HE Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) yesterday arraigned four suspects for alleged N1.05billion fuel subsidy fraud. Saminu Rabiu, Jubril Rowaye, Alminnur Resources Limited and Brila Energy Limited were arraigned before Justice Adebukola Banjoko of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja on a 17-criminal count charge of conspiracy, forgery and obtaining N1.05billion under false pretence. A statement by EFCC’s Head of Media and Publicity, Wilson Uwujaren, said the accused were arraigned for allegedly defrauding the Federal Government. The statement said the suspects allegedly submitted some forged documents and obtained the sum from the Petroleum Support Fund as subsidy for the importation of 10,000 metric tonnes of Premium Motor Spirit (petrol). “When the charges were read to the accused, they all pleaded not guilty. Barristers R.O. Unnah

Crimes Commission (EFCC). The judge ordered Abdulahi to deposit his international passport and other travelling documents with the court’s chief registrar. He must not travel without the court’s permission. The judge also directed him to report monthly to

From Yusuf Alli, Abuja

(Counsel for first and third accused) and Ajibola Oluyede (Counsel for second and fourth accused) prayed the court to grant them bail. “The prosecution counsel, Sylvanus Tahir, did not oppose the application but urged the court to impose stringent conditions ,which will ensure that the accused are available for trial. “Justice Banjoko granted bail of N10million and two sureties. “One of the sureties must be a director in the Civil Service. Both sureties, who must be resident in Abuja, are to swear an affidavit of means and produce evidence of tax payment in the past three years. “In addition, the accused must deposit their international passports and three passport photographs each with the court. “She adjourned the case till November 29 and 30 f and ordered that the accused be remanded in custody until they meet their bail conditions.”

the EFCC office throughout the duration of his trial. Justice Okunnu said Olalusi would be granted bail on the condition that his employers would provide a N100 million bail bond. The judge said: “The bond should be backed up with a bank guarantee, which is to be deposited with the chief registrar of the court.”

She also directed Olalusi to deposit his international passport and other travelling documents with the chief registrar, adding that he should not travel without the court’s permission. Justice Okunnu said Olalusi should also report monthly to the EFCC office throughout the duration of the trial.

Jonathan for Niamey From Vincent Ikuomola, Abuja


RESIDENT Goodluck Jonathan will today visit Niamey, the Niger Republic capital, where he is expected to join President Issoufou Mohammadou in presiding over a scheduled meeting of the High Authority of the Nigeria-Niger Joint Commission for Cooperation. The President and his Nigerien counterpart are working to revitalise and reposition the 41-year old commission as a primary platform for effectively addressing emerging crossborder challenges in the areas of security, bilateral trade, health, energy and communications.

CNPP to NOA DG: you lied From Gbenga Omokhunu, Abuja


HE Conference of Nigeria Political Parties (CNPP) yesterday said the Director-General (DG) of the National Orientation Agency (NOA), Mike Omeri, lied when he said he consulted the CNPP leadership about the controversial and divisive summit he is planning. CNPP Chairman Alhaji Balarabe Musa and Secretary-General Willy Ezugwu, said in a statement that Omeri should details of his consultations with the group. The CNPP said: “The earlier statement warning NOA and Omeri not to foment political crisis was issued by us. When he went about town saying he consulted with CNPP, which CNPP did he consult? “Has he already started his mission of sowing discord among those he perceived as threat to the agenda he is working towards in 2015? “He must do more than just name-dropping and provide details because a man who is supposed to be in charge of realigning national thinking should not engage in such lies.” The statement re-stated an earlier position that “parties that attend the summit do so at their own risk. It is glaring that the Omeri-led NOA is only out to recruit hungry people for President Goodluck Jonathan’s 2015 ambition. This is what Omeri is trying to rope us into in the name of a summit.” “For the avoidance of doubt, CNPP has nothing against a genuine gathering of serious parties to discuss how to strengthen Nigeria 's democracy. The conference must, however, not be part of an attempt to convert parties into a paid choir for some hidden agenda.”

•Bishop Oyedepo speaking at the event. With him are Prof Obayan and Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Prof Charles Ogbologo (left).

Our mandate for CU fulfilled, says Oyedepo


OVENANT University (CU) Chancellor Bishop David Oyedepo has presented the university’s 10-year scorecard. At a briefing on the campus in Ota, Ogun State, Bishop Oyedepo said the university now ranks among the first 100 in Africa and one of the best 10 in Nigeria. The cleric announced that the Faculty of Law would start in 2014, adding that plans are also on to set up the College of Medicine soon. Accompanied by the Vice-Chancellor, Prof Aize Obayan and other principal officials, Dr. Oyedepo said the institution has continued to fulfil the purpose for which it was set up. “We are reacting to the deterioration in the educational system; we are reacting to the mental poverty and moral degeneration that the fallen standards has institutionalised. “We are reacting to many years of neglect that now enslaves the future of the next generation. “We are reacting to negative forces that have destabilised our quest for nationhood; we are reacting to failure of leadership in all government structures in Nigeria,” he said. In his view, what gives CU an edge is a commitment to its core values—sacri-

Adegunle Olugbamila

fice, spirituality, diligence; responsibility, integrity, capacity building and possibility mentality. Dr. Oyedepo lamented that nationhood is being threatened because Nigeria’s value system has disappeared while its citizens are unwilling to make sacrifices for the nation. “The value system of this nation is so full of virus that it will require a spiritual formatting across board. In the past, when a person was given a political appointment, his family would be the first to warn him to live an exemplary life so as not to disgrace them. “But today, if a person is appointed, his family would say ‘your time has come. God has answered our prayer. It is now our time to make money. Please, steal as much as you can because you might not be reappointed.’ That is the pitiable level to which our moral values has fallen” He said the CU’s vision is anchored on exemplary leadership for the African and global community, with its refined curriculum and introduction of courses such as the Total Man Concept (TTC), Towards a Total Graduate (TTG) and the establishment of the Entrepreneurship Develop-

ment Studies (EDS) Centre toward attaining a total and self-reliant graduate. Over the years, Dr Oyedepo said CU has blazed the trail in quality teaching, research, conferences and workshops, innovations and community service with various awards for staff and students. Dr Oyedepo said the university has signed more MoUs than any institution in Nigeria. “As at the last count, the university has recorded 52 faculty awards/recognition and 36 students’ awards/ recognition. “Covenant University also believes that a world-class university can only be possible by a world-class faculty. “So, it will continue to recruit aggressively from anywhere in the world where the best are found. “From six professors in 2002, the university can boast of 42 professors in different fields of learning today. “The university is also working to make the international faculty representation at its base towards various incentives given to them. “It is also attracting Nigerian academics in the diaspora to come back home to develop the base. “






Ekiti pioneers food bank for indigent citizens By Sulaiman Salawudeen, Akure


NDIGENT families in Ekiti State have been given a new lease of life with the introduction of a Food Bank. It will provide food for widows, the elderly, orphans and the vulnerable monthly. The Food Bank is an initiative of two Non-Government Organisations (NGOs) – the Ekiti Development Foundation (EDF), founded by the Governor’s wife, Erelu Bisi Fayemi, and the Centre for Reproductive and Family Health Initiative (CRFHI). Mrs. Deborah Owoseni (80) shed tears of joy when Governor Kayode Fayemi presented some foodstuff to her. Over 100 families from the 16 local government areas benefited from the gesture. Items distributed included bags of rice, gari, beans, wheat powder, tubers of yam, tin tomato, seasoning cubes, noodles, salt, semovita, frozen fish, frozen chicken, palm oil, vegetable oil, dried pepper, crayfish and fresh fish. Other beneficiaries will be fed once daily in the proposed second phase of the project. Fayemi restated his administration’s resolve to eradicate poverty through interventions and collaborations with individuals, NGOs and corporate bodies. He said: “The more people we have on the streets with begging bowls, the more obvious it is that we are not doing enough as

•Fayemi presenting food items to a beneficiary. With him is his wife, Bisi (second left); his deputy, Mrs. Funmilayo Olayinka (left) and others...yesterday.

Fayemi revives bricks factory after 21 years


HE Ire Burnt Bricks Industry in Ire-Ekiti yesterday began operations, after being moribund for 21 years. Inaugurating the industry, Governor Kayode Fayemi described the revival as “a promise kept”. The ceremony was the climax of several months of strategic planning, re-development and re-equipping of the moribund industry. Fayemi said the resuscitation of the industry and the Odua Enterprise Centre (formerly Odu’a Textiles, which was comatose for 23 years) would create jobs, encourage skill acquisition and improve the standard of living. He said the government would patronise the bricks industry. Equipment worth N400 million were delivered to

a government to alleviate poverty. “If people come to our state and they do not see anyone

3,500 benefit from Osun’s free eye treatment From Adesoji Adeniyi, Osogbo

BOUT 3,500 people have benefited from the Osun State Government’s free eye treatment. Governor Rauf Aregbesola spoke on Tuesday at the State Hospital, Iwo, at the opening of another phase of the free medical mission. Aregbesola, represented by his deputy, Mrs. Titi Laoye-Tomori, pledged to overhaul the health sector. He said the government has bought drugs worth N220 million for use in state-owned health facilities. Aregbesola said nine health facilities are undergoing renovation. He said 19 ambulances have been bought and deployed in strategic locations across the state for emergencies. The governor said over 1,000 residents benefited from the free surgeries offered by the Nigeria Medical Association (NMA) and Concerned Nigerians. He said the government now provides free health care services for the elderly under the Agba Osun Programme. Commissioner for Health Mrs. Temitope Ilori said the maiden edition of the free eye treatment was inaugurated within the administration’s first six months in office and has been replicated across the state. Mrs. Ilori hailed the governor for paying attention to the health sector, which she said is “strategically linked” to others sectors.


By Sulaiman Salawudeen, Akure

the factory a few weeks ago. The industry was resuscitated through a partnership between the state government and the Odua Investment Group. Fayemi, who was accompanied by House of Assembly Speaker Adewale Omirin, Secretary to the State Government Ganiyu Owolabi and other top government officials, later inaugurated an Enterprise Development Centre at Ilupeju-Ekiti and three Rural Electrification Projects at Iyemero, Oke Ako and Ilemeso. The governor said the electrification projects are a fulfilment of his electioneering promise to connect all parts of the state to the national grid. He also inaugurated the new Ewu Bridge, which replaced the old one that was built in 1934.

begging for alms, they would realise how far we have gone in creating a relatively level-playing soci-

ety.” He praised his wife and CFRHI President Dr. Richie Adewusi for sparing a thought

Osun ACN slams PDP for attack on Aregbesola


HE Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) in Osun State yesterday justified Governor Rauf Aregbesola’s participation in the party’s governorship election rallies in Ondo State. It was reacting to criticisms by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) that Aregbesola abandoned his primary function in Osogbo to champion what the PDP called “Operation capture Ondo State at all cost”. In a statement by its Publicity Director, Mr. Kunle Oyatomi, ACN said it was in the PDP’s character to twist facts to score cheap political goals. It wondered why the party looked the other way when President Goodluck

From Tayo Johnson, Ibadan

Jonathan led PDP leaders to Ondo State to campaign for their standard bearer in Saturday’s governorship election, Mr. Olusola Oke. The statement reads: “We are not bothered by what the PDP is saying because everything they have said now and in the past are fabrications intended only to smear Aregbesola’s person and administration. “What the PDP is not conscious of is that it is developing for itself notoriety for lying and trying to confuse issues. “If Mr. President, the Senate President and other PDP leaders created time to campaign for their candidate in Ondo, regardless of the flooding across the country,

PHCN official electrocuted in Ado-Ekiti


N official of the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN), Mr. Samuel Isaac, was yesterday electrocuted in Ado-Ekiti, the Ekiti State capital. Isaac was working on an electric cable at Satellite Junction on NTA Road when the incident occurred. Residents wept at the sight of the body, which was stuck on the high tension pole.

From Sulaiman Salawudeen, Ado-Ekiti

It was learnt that the deceased, who appeared to be middle-aged, was a graduate of Electrical/Electronics Engineering from the Osun State College of Technology, Esa-Oke. An eyewitness said a cable got detached while Isaac was working on a 33KVA high tension cable and it fell on him, killing him instantly. His charred remains were

for the indigent. The governor pledged 10 per cent of his farm produce as his personal contribution to the project and urged individuals and organisations to support the initiative. Erelu Fayemi said Ekiti is the first state in the country to have a structured programme for feeding its indigent at no cost to the beneficiaries. She said the Ministry of Agriculture had liaised with 10 top commercial farmers in the state to contribute some of their output to the food bank. Erelu Fayemi warned the beneficiaries against selling the items given to them. Adewusi thanked the state government for supporting the initiative.

deposited at the mortuary of the Ekiti State University Teaching Hospital, AdoEkiti. Ekiti PHCN spokesman Mr. Kayode Brown said the victim and other PHCN staff were in the area to correct some faults that had caused power outage. Brown said he was shocked by the incident because the late Isaac was experienced in the job and had been working with the company since for years.

He said: “We have to get to the root of this matter because back-feeding cases are very rare while working on high tension cables. Nobody uses generator that could warrant such situation, so we are at a loss about the cause of his death.” Ado-Ekiti Local Government Chairman Sunday Ibitoye, who was one of the early callers at the scene of the incident, described the situation as unfortunate.

it suggests to any reasonable person that there is an awful lot at stake in the Ondo election. Only stupid people would not know why Aregbesola is campaigning for the ACN candidate in Ondo.” In a statement by its spokesman, Prince Diran Odeyemi, the PDP had cautioned Aregbesola against abandoning his duty post, a development it claimed was taking a toll on governance in the state. Also yesterday a group within ACN, the Asiwaju Leadership Forum (ALF), criticised the “claim” by a former Secretary to the Osun State Government, Alhaji Fatai Akinbade, that the ACN administrations in the Southwest are not performing. Akinbade was quoted as criticising the ACN during an interview with a national newspaper. In a statement, ALF Publicity Director Sikiru Akinola described Akinbade as “a frustrated politician, whose ambition to govern Osun State was permanently laid to rest by the Court of Appeal, Ibadan, on November 26, 2011, when Aregbesola was declared winner of the 2007 governorship election”. The group said: “Only the likes of Akinbade can say the ACN is not performing. Un-

fortunately, he was part of the locust administration, which milked the treasury into a state of coma. His yet to be completed hotel located at Oyediji in Ibadan is evident of the colossal fraud. “As SSG, he was part of the failed administration of Brig. Olagunsoye Oyinlola. There was no record of employing, at least, 5000 people during their 90-month lack-luster regime in Osun. Instead of praising the Aregbesola administration for employing 20,000 youths in three months, he resorted to propaganda. “If he says the amount paid beneficiaries of the Osun State Youth Employment Scheme (O-YES) is meagre, what did they do with the N18 billion they got in their 90 months in office? “What did Akinbade do for his people when he was in office? As SSG, he could not even influence Oyinlola to repair the road that leads to his house in Ogbagba. “If the ACN was not performing, it would not have swept the polls in the Southwest in the last general election. We advise Akinbade to shut his mouth, if he has nothing reasonable to say.” The group urged the people of the zone to remain steadfast and continue to pray for the leadership of their respective states.





We will make sure that there is a transparent process that every Nigeria will look at and say we have done fairly. We don’t want anybody to think that these banks were taken over and handed over to special interests. It must be a very transparent process. - Mr Mustapha Chike-Obi, CEO, AMCON

Nigeria to sell N111b in T-bills

Oando spuds oil well in OML 56


• Naira pressured by strong dollar demand


IGERIA will auction N111.26 billion ($706.41m) of treasury bills with maturities ranging from three-months to one-year at its regular bimonthly debt auction on October 25, the Central Bank of Nigeria said yesterday. The CBN said it will issue N34.88 billion in 91-day paper, N45 billion in 182-day bills and N31.38 billion in the 364-day paper. Africa’s biggest oil producer issues treasury bills regularly to reduce money supply, curb inflation and help lenders manage their liquidity. Also, the naira closed flat against the dollar in the interbank market, and weakened slightly on the official foreign exchange window yesterday as strong dollar demand kept pressure on the local currency, traders said. The naira closed at N157.60 to the dollar at the interbank market, the same as the previous day. It hit a three week low of N157.55 on Monday. On the bi-weekly forex auction, the CBN sold all the $150 million it offered at N155.76 to the dollar, compared with $162.2 million sold at N155.65 to the dollar on Monday. Traders said units of Shell and Addax sold an undisclosed amount of dollars in the market, helping to stabilise the naira. “The naira should trade within the present band because of a bit of dollar liquidity in the market, which should keep the market in check for the rest of the week and we also see more inflows from some offshore investors in bonds,” one dealer said.

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

-N6.503 trillion -Z5.112trillion -$10.84 trillion -£61.67 trillion RATES Inflation -10.5% Treasury Bills -7.08% Maximum lending-22.42% Prime lending -15.87% Savings rate -2% 91-day NTB -15% Time Deposit -5.49% MPR -12% Foreign Reserve $35.8b FOREX CFA 0.2958 EUR 206.9 £ 242.1 $ 156 ¥ 1.9179 SDR 238 RIYAL 40.472

•From left: Company Secretary, Chidi Okezie; Chairman, Yinka Sanni and Managing Director, Olumide Oyetan, all of Stanbic IBTC Asset Management Limited, at the annual general meeting of Stanbic IBTC Asset Management Limited mutual funds in Lagos ... on Tuesday.

Stakeholders to BPE: can winners of PHCN firms deliver? S TAKEHOLDERS in the power sector have called on the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) and the National Council on Privatisation (NCP) to ensure that bidders who emerged winners in the power sector privatisation process are able to deliver electricity to Nigerians. The stakeholders, said it is not enough to emerge a winner, stressing that what is needed is the capacity to deliver uninterrupted power supply to Nigerians. “We are sure that any credible bidder will be pleased to present its plans on how it intends to achieve the promise it has made in its proposals. This is very important. What Nigerians want is available power on a consistent basis, not unachievable plans designed only to win competitive bids that result in no change,” a major player in the power sector whose campany lost out in the bid process said. “It is also important that the Nigeria Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) discharges its statutory duties

By Simeon Ebulu,

Deputy Business Editor

to ensure that the distribution companies are financeable and financially stable on a sustainable basis,” he added. Another active private sector player, who also pleaded not to be named, declared: “As was indicated by the Chairman of the NCP Technical Sub-committee, this is not the end of the process. Commercial offers of bidder must be feasible based on the Technical Proposal submitted. This must ensure that the bidders are being consistent and that they can deliver their proposals.” The way to determine this, he stated, is by looking at the pedigree of firms that submitted bids and not necessarily the figures quoted by them. They also urged the Federal Government and BPE to ensure that the bids announcing the winners are consistent with the business plans submitted by bidders and that they are feasible, so that investors and lenders would be able to commit their capital to the Distribution Companies (DisCos) with confidence.

The concerned stakeholders cautioned that Nigerians would not be happy if poorly performing publicly owned utilities, become poorly managed privately owned companies, neither will it be desirable that a few years down the line, these successor private sector companies run into financial bad weather or are used to fleece power consumers through higher chargeout rates beyond the MultiYear Tariff Order (MYTO) tariffs. However, the stakeholders commended the transparent and professional manner the exercise was conducted, saying the process has inspired confidence in investors and the public alike. The 10 electricity distribution companies that were sold include Abuja, Benin, Eko, Enugu, Ibadan, Ikeja, Jos, Kano, Port Harcourt, and Yola. The Kaduna Electricity Distribution Company couldn’t get a qualified bidder. For the other companies that have more than a bidder, the bidders with the highest Aggregate Tecnical Commercial and Collection

(ATC&C) loss reduction levels, stand a better chance of emerging preferred bidder, except if other factors are considered, the Chairman, Technical Committee, National Council on Privatization (NCP), Mr. Atedo Peterside said. The companies selected for the four Discos with single bidders, are Aura Energy Limited, Sahelian Power SPV Limited, 4Power Consortium and Integrated Energy Distribution & Marketing Limited. Except otherwise indicated, companies with the highest percentage ATC&C losses reduction will emerge preferred bidders. If this happens, Integrated Energy Distribution & Marketing Limited, will emerge preferred bidder for four distribution companies – Eko, Ibadan, Ikeja and Yola, while Emeka Ofor’s Interstate Electrics Limited will emerge the buyer of Enugu and Abuja Electricity Distribution Company and Gbolade Osibodu’s Vigeo Power Consortium, could clinch Benin Distribution Company.

Reps summon Conoil, Obat, Oando, others over fuel subsidy T HE House of Repre sentatives has sum moned 42 oil marketing firms to explain how they managed the fuel subsidy’s bridging fund. The House, through its Committee on Petroleum Resources (Downstream), is investigating the activities of Petroleum Equalisation Fund (PEF) Management Board. Those invited are: A. A. Rano Nig. Limited, ACORN, AITEO Energy Resources Ltd, CEOTI Ltd, Channel Oil & Petroleum Ltd, Dee Jones Petroleum & Gas Ltd, IMAD Oil & Gas

By Olukorede Yishau

Ltd, Knight Bridge, LUBCON Ltd and Masters Energy Ltd. Others are: MOB Integrated Ltd, MRS Oil Nig. Ltd, Northwest Petroleum & Gas Company, OBAT Oil Petroleum & Gas Ltd, Pinnacle Contractors Ltd, Pinnacle Oil & Gas Ltd, Rahamaniyya, Sahara Energy Resources Ltd, Venro Energy Ltd and Vivendi Energy Nig. Ltd. Also expected are: Oando, Conoil, Honeywell Energy,

Britania U. Nig. Ltd, Caades Oil & Gas, Carnival Energy Oil & Gas, Fargo Petroleum Ltd, Momats Oil & Gas Ltd, Zalon Petroleum Ltd and Zalex Energy Resources Ltd. Others include: Zamson Global Resources Ltd, Canan Energy, Bestaf, SomersetUniversal, Ultramat, Stallionaire, Phoenix Steel Co. c/o Phoenix Oil & Gas, Suncore Energy, Serl Collections Port & Cargo, Lingo Oil & Gas and African Petroleum/Forte Oil & Gas Ltd.

A statement by the committee signed by its chairman, Dakuku Peterside, said the probe is “to ascertain the management of bridging fund under the subsidy regime. This is with a view to ensuring that Nigerians get value for monies spent for bridging and equalisation in the Petroleum (Downstream) sector.” They are to appear before the Committee on Thursday, November 8 at at Committee Room 028, New Building, House of Representatives, National Assembly Complex, Three Arms Zone, Abuja.

ANDO Energy Re sources Inc. (OER), a subsidiary of Oando Plc, said it has spud the EB-5 well in the Ebendo Field (OML 56), located onshore Nigeria. A statement issued by the company’s Head, Corporate Communications, Meka Olowola, said OER has commenced drilling operations and has reached a depth of 4,000 ft. It said EB-5 is an appraisal well, targeted at evaluating the medium sands encountered during the recently-concluded EB-4 well drilling programme. EB-5 is expected to reach a target depth of 10,000 ft and will enable the appraisal of any reserves that may be present in the five-hydrocarbon bearing sands that were encountered while drilling the EB-4 well. The sands’ fluid contents were not conclusively determined during the drilling of EB-4, as they were not the primary targets of that drilling programme. OER owns a 42.75 per cent non-operating interest in the Ebendo (OML-56) field. OER currently has a broad suite of production, development and exploration properties in the Gulf of Guinea, with current production of approximately 4,500 barrels of oil per day. OER has been specifically structured to take advantage of current opportunities for indigenous companies in Nigeria, which currently has the largest population in Africa, and one of the largest oil and gas resources in Africa.

‘NNPC, unions partners in progress’ From John Ofikhenua, Abuja


HE Group Managing Director of the Nige rian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Andrew Yakubu yesterday described oil related trade unions as partners in progress. Yakubu, spoke during a visit by the National Executive Council (NEC) of the Petroleum & Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN) in his office at the NNPC Towers, in Abuja. He words: “One of our greatest gifts as NNPC Management, is the presence of a strong workforce and supportive in-house unions. In particular, I commend your level of maturity and counsel and I must say without any fear of contradiction that you are partners in progress.” He commended the unions for their role during the recent challenge of fuel scarcity witnessed in some major cities of the country, stressing that such understanding was necessary towards achieving the Corporation’s set objectives. “We must sustain this cordial relationship for us to be able to deliver on our mandate and to a larger extent for the benefit of our country,’’ he stated.




Commission blames ministry for poor budget implementation


ISCAL Responsibility Commission (FRC) yesterday blamed the Ministry of Finance for the poor performance of the 2012 budget. According to Commission, the Ministry of Finance and the Budget Office have been acting in breach of the FRA, 2007 in its presentation of the budget over the years. The House of Representatives has been at loggerheads over the poor implementation of the 2012 budget. The allegation from the Commission came as the House of Representatives began debate on the N4.92 trillion 2013 budget proposal yesterday. Dr. Sylvanus Mordi, FRC’s Commissioner, Policy and

From Victor Oluwasegun and Dele Anofi, Abuja

Standards, who represented chairman of the Commission, Alhaji Aliyu Yelwa, before the House of Representatives’ committee on Finance, said his commission was always frustrated by the activities of the Ministry of Finance. Such frustrations, he said, included sourcing copies of the Appropriation Bill, to delays in presenting quarterly reports. He said: “Ministry of Finance doesn’t keep to time. Tell them to bring something in August, they do it in November. We have not seen the first, second and third quarterly reports on 2012. without these reports there is nothing to work with.”

He said the Fommission had written several reminders to the ministry, but they have consistently failed to respond. “I don’t know why,” he stressed. Mordi also complained of the attitude of the ministry over attempts to source copies of the 2012 Appropriation Act, adding that the commission has to resort to photocopies from the National Assem-

bly. He also blamed the Ministry for denying the commission information on the Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF), saying such an act violated the Fiscal Responsibility Act, 2007, as well. The FRC blamed poor implementation of capital budget on late passage of appropriation Acts and poor

project conceptualisation, as well as funding constraints. Mordi said the Federal Governent has systematically starved the Commission of funds by slashing its budget from over N900 million in 2008, to N592 million for 2012. He said the FRC recovered over N64 billion operating surplus from certain corporations, for 2011. He pleaded with the law-

makers for partnership in making the commission effective. Abdulmumin Jubrin, Chairman of the committee in his response, asked for documents that would provide details of the operating surpluses of all agencies, assuring that the National Assembly will always give the commission support in any ways possible.

Pension assets hit N2.94tr


HE total assets of the Contributory Pension Fund (CPF) as at September 2012, was N2.94trillion, the DirectorGeneral, National Pension Commission, Mr. Muhammad Ahmad, has said. Ahmad who yesterday at a Workshop in Abuja, said the industry has continued to advance in its modest achievements as 5.28million Nigerians have registered on the Scheme as at September this year. The theme of the workshop was “ Effective Administration of Benefits under the Pension Reform Act 2004”. He said: “There are currently about 54,558 retirees from the public and private sectors under the Contributory Pension Scheme that have collected over N151.52billion as lump sum and are collecting N1.77billion as monthly pension.” In terms of consolidation efforts in the year under consideration, the Pencom boss said the recapitalisation exercise which required Pension Fund Administrators (PFAs) to raise their shareholders fund from N150million to N1billion has been successfully completed . Ahmad said the Commission has intensified its compliance efforts by pursuing. Legal action against defaulting employers, adding that compliance by the informal sector also received a major boost during the year with the appointment of Recov-

From Dupe Olaoye Osinkolu and John Ofikhenua, Abuja

ery Agents. Ahmad said the Retirement Savings Account Transfer Clearing System Application which will be used to coordinate all the tested processes relating to the transfer of RSAs is being developed and tested to ensure that it meets the capacity and robustness required. He said as part of the implementation of opening the transfer window, the PFAs and PFCs as key stakeholders on the pension industry, will participate in various workshops geared towards ensuring their full understanding and participation in the transfer process before the window opens, in December. He said the commission has continued to collaborate and engage state governments in the implementation of the Contributory Pension Scheme in the State. Ahmad, solicited the support of the Debt Management Office to ensure that state government desirous in obtaining bonds, key-into the Contributory Pension Scheme. He praised the Debt Management Office, Central Bank of Nigeria, Securities and Exchange Commission, National Insurance Commission , Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation, Federal Inland Revenue Service and the Bureau for Public Procurement for their support in actualising the ideals of pension reform in the country.

• Director General , Bureau of Public Enterprises, Ms Bolanle Onagoruwa (left) and Chairman, Vigeo Power Consortium, Mr. Victor Gbolade Osibodu, shortly after the company emerged the preferred bidder for the Benin distribution company in Abuja ... on Tuesday.

MDGs office, states commit N10b on hunger


N its bid to mitigate pov erty, the Millennium De velopment Goals’ office (MDG) in partnership with 24 states, have unveiled plans to spend N10 billion on rural families that are worst hit by hunger. The MDGs office is to provide N5 billion, while participating states would raise N5 billion for the 56, 250 estimated households earmarked for the scheme. The Senior Special Assistant to the President (SSAP) on MDGs, Dr. Precious Gbeneol, disclosed this at a training workshop for the Scale-up of MDGs Condi-

From Olugbenga Adanikin, Abuja

tional Cash Transfer (CCT) Scheme held in Abuja, yesterday. Gbeneol said: “This year, my office is committing N5 billion to the CCT scale-up from the debt relief gains which will be matched by an equal sum by all participating states for the generation of N10 billion. “This will enable interventions in about 56, 250 households within the year. Each of the households will be entitled to a monthly grant of N5,000 and N100,000 in lump

sum.” The SSAP-MDG, explained that her office is partnering Ecobank Plc to ensure transparency and direct payment of monthly allowances to the benefiting households. Addressing the state focal leaders, she emphasised that the selection process should target local governments and wards, mostly hit by hunger, low literacy, and especially families that can hardly afford N200 per day. “The scheme will deploy biometric data capturing devices to help minimise leakages as well as prevent duplication of participant reg-

istration,” she added. According to her, the CCT scheme is capable of reducing crime, promoting high literacy in rural communities as well as tackling hunger in the country. The benefiting states, said to be selected based on human capital development include: Ebonyi, Enugu, Anambra, Abia in the SouthEast; Oyo, Osun, Ogun and Ekiti in the South-West; FCT, Niger, Plateau, Nassarawa in the North-Central; Kebbi, Jigawa, Sokoto, Kano in the North-West and Borno, Bauchi, Yobe, Adamawa in the South-East.

‘Dependence on oil responsible for unemployment’


HE Chief Executive Officer, koinonia Ventures Limited Femi Boyede, has said over dependence on crude oil is the main reason for unemployment, poverty, Kidnapping, militancy and terrorism in the country. Boyede, who spoke during the press briefing on the 3rd Nigerian Non-Oil Export Conference, Exhibition and Awards (NNECEA), 2012 in Abuja, with the theme, ‘Enhancing Nigeria’s Non-Oil

From Franca Ochigbo, Abuja

Export Opportunities: Strategic Imperatives,’ said the discovery of crude oil in commercial quantity has been a curse rather blessing to the country. He saidL“There is need for diversification from oil to the non-oil sector. Let us focus our attention more on the non-oil sector. Crude oil is a wasting resource which we can’t control or determine its increase, neither can we in-

fluence its price in the international market. It has killed our creative thinking which we have to go back to now. “The non-oil sector, if properly harnessed by government and the private sector, is capable of creating jobs, enhancing rural development, boosting real sector growth and contributing significantly to the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP). “NNECEA’s focus is on branding, packing and incentives, particularly the Export

Expansion Grant EEG. That is why NNECEA is doing all it can, in partnership with NEPC to move the non-oil sector forward,” he stated,” he said. Also speaking, the chairman of the joint planning committee and Director of Special Services in the Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC), Olajide Ibrahim, said, key issues to be discussed at the next forum will be quality, packaging, branding and incentives.

NAMA boss stresses need for industrial harmony


HE Managing Director of the Nigerian Air space Management Agency (NAMA) Nnamdi Udoh has called for team work between the unions and the management of the airspace agency to move the industry forward. Speaking at the summit meeting of the National Union of Air Transport Employees (NUATE), NAMA Branch Chairmen /Secretaries, in Lagos, said, NAMA has continued to forge

By kelvin Osa Okunbor

ahead inspite of all criticisms based on solid foundation and focused management. Udoh explained that the era of unions banging tables to settle issues was over, adding that issues were settled at the table strategically and urged them to embrace technology. He called on the unions to wade into the wages dispute with commission in order to

give workers a sense of direction, adding that the only way forward is to find alternative sources of funding of NAMA. He explained that workers will get their salaries as at when due as it was the right of the workers to get their dues. Udoh reiterated that automation will never lead to job losses in his agency, adding that he would not be party to signing any dismissal letter of any of his workers.

He said N34 million was set aside every month to meet workers pressing needs, as a result of the management response to workers plight and warned against frivolous requests from workers. The President of NUATE, Comrade Safiyanu Mohammed, said the union is not having any misunderstanding with the management of NAMA, adding that there was a break in communication between the duo.

















Mr. Obama comes back

Ondo’s day of decision • Let the best man for the job win; but let there be free, fair and transparent election


FTER the governorship election in Ondo State on October 20, the basic winner must be the process. Let the people vote without let or hindrance. Let the vote be free, fair and transparent. Let there be no rigging of any manner. We must warn against any form of rigging. Previous rigging efforts, right from the First Republic, had ended up underdeveloping the Ondo/Ekiti axis: for that part of the South West is where anti-rigging resistance is most passionate: from the Demo crisis of the First Republic, to the Akin Omoboriowo/ Adekunle Ajasin in the Second Republic and even the Olusegun Agagu/Olusegun Mimiko faceoff in 2007. So, let every of the contending parties learn from history. But aside from the contestants, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) must up its game. Less

‘It is this bouquet of personal integrity and proven performance by his party that we endorse Mr. Akeredolu. But of course, it is left to the Ondo voters to vote their next governor. Let them therefore think hard and vote right. By their vote, they would be shaping the destiny of the next generation’

should be seen of its traditional glitches of late voting arising from shortage of electoral materials. After such routine glitches, it must put its acts together this time round. Also, all the security agencies must be absolutely neutral. Otherwise, they would stand legitimately charged with having wilfully contributed to a flawed election and all its dire consequences. After an inviolate voting process, however, let the best candidate win. With due respect to all the contenders, the leading three are clearly Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN’s Rotimi Akeredolu, SAN, Labour Party, LP’s Olusegun Mimiko and Peoples Democratic Party, PDP’s Olusola Oke. Who among these three might the best candidate be? Mr. Oke, the PDP candidate, has proved himself a brilliant debater. In the two pre-election debates, he won the hearts of many by his oratory and logic; and the forceful manner in which he marshalled his points; and canvassed his programmes. But his Achilles’ heel is the perceived patented non-performance of his party, which has been in power at the centre since 1999, and under which the country is virtually grinding to a halt. To Governor Mimiko’s friends, his tenure has been “brilliant”. But to his foes, it has been three-and-a-half years of vacuous hype. On the balance of scale, there is certainly, on his part, gross under-performance, tantamount to betrayal of hope, contrary to the mood that heralded him into power. Though the governor has earned some N600 billion in less than four years from

the Federation Account, there certainly are not groundbreaking achievements to justify this cash. Outside Akure, no notable road network is visible. Even in Ondo, the governor’s hometown, the main artery that runs through the town remains pathetically uncompleted. Major trunks: Akure-Ikere Ekiti Road, Akure-Ore Road and Ondo-Akure Road, to mention a few, are all in scandalous states. The governor’s Motherand-Child Abiye hospital in Akure; and the Gani Fawehinmi Diagnostic Centre in Ondo have received their share of media acclaim. But really, for a government that pocketed that sort of cash, Ondo should by now be a vast construction site. That regretfully is not the case. That leaves ACN’s Rotimi Akeredolu, SAN. Mr. Akeredolu was President of Nigerian Bar Association (NBA). He made his mark so well the NBA House in Abuja is named after him. He combines that profile with the profile of a party that is a reference point in Lagos, and is duplicating that record in other states like Edo and the other states in the South West. Aside, he comes with a solid programme on South West integration, which is the future of the former Western Region, in a restructured federal Nigeria. It is this bouquet of personal integrity and proven performance by his party that we endorse Mr. Akeredolu. But of course, it is left to the Ondo voters to vote their next governor. Let them therefore think hard and vote right. By their vote, they would be shaping the destiny of the next generation.

Unlicensed vehicle trackers •They should take advantage of NCC’s ultimatum to regularise their operations


PERATORS of unregistered vehicle tracking outfits in the country have two weeks to get their businesses licensed or face a clampdown by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC). NCC’s director, legal and regulatory services, Ms. Josephine Amuwa said in spite of not getting licence, the firms have been placing advertisements in the media. According to her: “The provision of any communications service(s) by any person howsoever without the requisite authorisation by the commission is an offence punishable under S31 of the Nigerian Communications Act, 2003.” This is quite thoughtful of the commission. Ordinarily, what these firms have done contravenes the law and the NCC would not have been accused of breaking any law if it had swooped on their business premises without indulging them any benefit of an ultimatum. The kind of business that the companies are into has a lot of security implications. They collect other people’s vital information which ordinarily they could not have got if they had not been engaged in vehicle tracking. All over the world, such data is of concern to governments, hence, the need to have some form of hold on the firms handling them. This, the operators ought to have known. But the NCC has acted wisely by giving them the benefit of an ultimatum. With 175 of them doing the business illegally, as it were; as against 17

licensed operators, closing down the companies would have meant throwing their employees into the already saturated labour market. This could compound the problem of unemployment that has reached a breaking point in the country. This comes with its social consequences. We should be seen to be encouraging entrepreneurship and not discouraging it, which is what would have resulted if the NCC had stuck to the dictates of the law. Moreover, the security situation in the country as well as the large number of vehicles requiring vehicle tracking provide a huge market for the services of the companies. They are sought after by individuals and organisations desirous of giving extra protection to their vehicles. In spite of their imperfections, some of the companies have proved useful in the recovery of many vehicles stolen or snatched at gunpoint. In addition, many establishments have engaged the services of the vehicle trackers to monitor the movements of their vehicles and do sundry other monitoring activities. In essence, the firms are providing invaluable services to the public and the more of them we have in the country, the better. That would even afford their customers more choices and engender competition which will further lead to reduction of the fees charged for their services. But they must regularise their operations. If the problem is the N500,000 that the NCC re-

quires them to pay for the licence, there can be a way this can be addressed. For now, that is what the requirement is and it has to be complied with. By the time they obtain their licence, they can join their licensed colleagues to put pressure on the commission to review the fees. So, the unlicensed vehicle tracking companies should take advantage of the two-week ultimatum given by the NCC to obtain their licence. The industry they operate in has a lot of power, and it should not be found in the wrong hands. Nothing short of international best practices is good for the industry, and this cannot be achieved when operators are operating outside of the law.

‘In essence, the firms are providing invaluable services to the public and the more of them we have in the country, the better. That would even afford their customers more choices and engender competition which will further lead to reduction of the fees charged for their services. But they must first regularise their operations’


HERE is a price to pay when a president appears disengaged, and President Obama obviously learned how much his diffidence cost him in the first debate this month. On Tuesday night, in the second debate, he regained full command of his vision and his legacy, leaving Mitt Romney sputtering with half-answers, deceptions and one memorable error. Instead of windy and lethargic answers, the president was crisp in reciting his accomplishments and persuasive in explaining how he has restarted economic growth. Instead of letting Mr. Romney get away with a parade of falsehoods and unworkable promises, he regularly and forcefully called his opponent wrong. Having left many supporters wondering after the first debate whether he really wanted another four years, he finally seemed like a man who was ready to fight for another term. What he did not do was describe how a second term would be more successful than his first has been, and, in particular, show how he would cut through the thicket of Republican opposition if re-elected. He missed opportunities to call for a more forceful opposition to assault weapons in another term, and to put forward a clear immigration policy. But the contrast with the weak and failed ideas that Mr. Romney proposed could not have been clearer. The president noted that he had signed legislation that increased pay equity for women; Mr. Romney not only refused to say whether he would have done so, but condescendingly said he had hired many women when he was the governor of Massachusetts and had given them flexible schedules. Mr. Obama pointed out that Mr. Romney’s tax numbers did not add up, and called the plan a “sketchy deal”; Mr. Romney responded in a huff. “Of course they add up,” he said. “I was someone who ran businesses for 25 years and balanced the budget.” Apparently he thinks it should be self-evident that a private equity mogul knows how to cut taxes drastically and still balance the budget, but it is not evident to any of the independent experts who have looked at his plan, as Mr. Obama icily pointed out. The president reminded listeners that Mr. Romney’s immigration adviser was the author of Arizona’s radical, unconstitutional immigration law. And Mr. Romney himself repeated his cruel prescription to have undocumented immigrants “self-deport” by making it impossible for them to find work and aggressively demanding their identification papers. Mr. Obama offered the better, broader view on fixing immigration, though his own administration has also deported tens of thousands of noncriminals through a crackdown similar to Arizona’s law. The president even got off a few good lines, pointing out that his pension was considerably smaller than Mr. Romney’s, and that his opponent was far more extreme than President George W. Bush in proposing to turn Medicare into a voucher system and to eliminate financing for Planned Parenthood. He finally took the opportunity to bring up Mr. Romney’s dismissal of 47 percent of the country as people who consider themselves victims and do not take personal responsibility for their lives. But the most devastating moment for Mr. Romney was self-inflicted. Continuing his irresponsible campaign to politicize the death of the American ambassador to Libya, he said it took two weeks for the president to acknowledge that it was the result of an act of terror. As the moderator, Candy Crowley of CNN, quickly pointed out, the president referred to it as an act of terror the next day, in the Rose Garden. “Can you say that a little louder, Candy?” asked Mr. Obama, having fully regained his stride and confidence. Voters who watched the first debate might have been left with an impression that Mr. Romney was the candidate of ideas and that Mr. Obama’s reserves of energy and seriousness had been tapped out. On Tuesday night, those roles were reversed. – New York Times

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IR: Having been opportune to be at the world food day lecture and exhibition organized by the Oyo State Government under the Oyo State agricultural development programme (OYSSADEP), one cannot but say how richly blessed we are in this nation if only we would concentrate more on agriculture. The attention that our government has given to crude oil as been over whelming it is time to face agriculture. After all, food is a primary and basic need of man. Government should look more into funding and allocating land to farmers, provide them with fertilizers, and modern machines for efficient production of food and other agricultural output. Nigeria is a country known for large production of cassava, and from my observation, it is difficult to see a household that owns a farmland without cultivating cassava. While at the Oyo State exhibition, I could not but marvel at size of some of the crops that were brought for exhibition, and the willingness of farmers to produce even better crops if only, the much needed support they seek from government would be given. If only agriculture were crude oil?



Let us face agriculture, now Think again! The excitement grew even more when getting to a stand occupied by a team, Harvestplus. There, I saw yellow cassava (which I was later told had that colour because it has been fortified with Vitamin A). That same cassava was used in making eba, fufu, African salad, and cassava

salad while on the other hand its leaf was used in making a nice soup. Also on display at other stands where cakes, bread, and chips all made from cassava. Is it not time we concentrate more on agriculture? It is rather scary to think of what the future holds for food production in this country

considering her ever growing population. Should a nation so richly blessed with good climatic condition and a simple topography die of hunger? I mean is it okay for Nigerians to go hungry because both the government and the people of Nigeria are yet to rediscover the “messiah”.

Imoke’s undignified view of women


IR: After the victory of the Super Eagles over their Liberian counterparts which guaranteed them a place in next year’s African Nations Cup in South Africa, The Guardian of October 16, quoted Liyel Imoke, Governor of Cross River state who hosted the Eagles to a dinner after the match as saying: “I had my initial fear for the players the moment the NFF picked Calabar

as venue for Eagles matches. As you are aware, Calabar is home for good food as pounded yam, edikang ikon and afang soup. We also have the best of tourism sites in the country and above all, Calabar is well known for its beautiful women. My biggest fear initially was that the players might not do well on the pitch after enjoying all those special ‘delicacies’.

Imoke brandishes women as his state’s tourism asset. According to him, women are special delicacies. Indeed sexism has different tones. It is men like Imoke who think of women as nothing more than an object of sexual gratification. In a world that has been increasingly moving for women empowerment and gender equality, it is unfortunate that there are still those who are taking

Attention PHCN, Ogbomoso

IR: Generally speaking, electricity supply to Ogbomoso city has improved greatly in relation to some years ago when socio-economic activities of the city were comatose due to epileptic power supply. Therefore, management of the Power Holding Company of Nigeria, Ogbomoso deserves commendation for this improvement. However, I will like to draw the attention of the company to low current experiencing in some

Let agriculture be taught in schools with more emphasis on the practical aspects. Let the children who are the leaders of tomorrow know that farming is not a “dirty job” rather a noble profession. Our youths should cease that desperate search for white collar jobs where there might none, and go to the farm. With adequate and prompt assistance from the government, we would be able to make good contributions not only to ourselves but to our country Nigeria and invariably the world at large. Agriculture is like a pot of hidden treasure, waiting to be discovered. • Okonkwo Ifeoma Pricillia. Ibadan, Oyo State

parts of the city. Current being supplied areas like Agbala Daniel, Iwagba, Oke Anu, Papa Adeyemo, Stadium area, Odokoto, Caretaker, part of Randa among others, is too low and could not be useful for any socio-economic activities. Aside, the PHCN is short changed because pre-paid meters do not read under that condition. Equally, those with old meters or direct lines are being short-changed because they are pay-

ing for darkness. I implore the management of PHCN to find solution to this problem for the sake of the users and of course, income of PHCN. Enough transformers were provided for the city by the immediate past government in Oyo State. The two local governments in Ogbomoso metropolis that is, Ogbomoso North Local Government and Ogbomoso South should be made to account for distribution of the transform-

ers. Equally, there are some idle transformers in some areas of the town like Oke Afin, Aislaff area, Apake and so on. There are also some transformers in the city that are as old as the city itself. PHCN should please replace these moribund transformers for the sake of the socio-economic activities of Ogbomoso city. Adewuyi Adegbite Apake, Ogbomoso.

us back to the dark. Happily though, President Goodluck Jonathan knows that women, in their position as mothers, play vital roles in nation building. That is why he has accorded them a special role in his government. Out of the 42 members of the Federal Executive Council 13 are women. Today we have the first female Chairman of the Federal Civil Service Commission. There are female cadets in the Nigerian Defence Academy, (NDA), and for the first time the Chief Justice of Nigeria is a woman. There are only two people in the world: a man and woman. Fifty percent of the time men are dealing with women. Men, in their words and actions with women, should be tactful. They should treat women with dignity and respect. Protective paternalism should be the ideal. • Dr Cosmas Odoemena Lagos.




Lord have mercy


SOMETIMES ask myself what exactly is going on in this country. Why are things so bad and why have the roads in the country collapsed suddenly? Why do we budget trillions of naira every year and there is no noticeable change in our lives? Why are most of the industries closing down and their premises converted to churches? Why is there so much insecurity in the land? Apart from the Boko Haram phenomenon, students are killing fellow students and at every little provocation, people are pouncing on each other and beating each other to death and people are burning each other alive because of petty thievery. We are suffering as a people in the midst of plenty. The insecurity in this country has become a fundamental issue that government must tackle. The situation has gotten so bad that when burglars visit your house in the night and they try to force their way into your house and you shout at them asking who they are, instead of them taking to their feet and running away, they would unashamedly announce that they are burglars and would ask you to open your door before they force their ways in. Things are that bad that when you go to bed nowadays, you sleep with one eye open. Our houses are like fortresses surrounded with high walls and barbed wires on top of them and burglary iron bars across the windows. We are just lucky in this country that the incidence of fire is not as frequent as it is in other parts of the world because escape from an inferno would be near impossible. Our electricity supply is terrible and irregular. We are in the rainy season when the demand is not so high because of the cold weather condition, we are being told that the dams are full; the fullest in 29 years and that they may collapse. When the dry season sets in, we will be told that there is no water in the dam which is why there is irregular supply of electricity. There is no aspect of our lives as a nation that one can celebrate right now. I do not blame President Jonathan for all the ills of our society, our problems started a long time ago and they seem to be culminating to the present chaos our country is in. But there is a need to demonstrate leadership because it seems the federal government is biting more than it can chew and it seems to me that there is a need for devolution of power and responsibilities. This is what the so called constitutional review should be about. It should not be about creation of states because we cannot afford additional states. At present, the cost of the huge bureaucracy that we have at all levels is 80% of our budget while sometimes less than 20% is used for capital development. This should be the other


NLESS you have lived it you don’t know it. Unless you have visited you can’t begin to understand the human suffering coming from an oil spill impacted site especially the ones in the Niger Delta. The impact is total it is colossal. It is almost unbelievable that people are subjected to live with it. That the problem is growing alarmingly is firmly established. The problem is that there is nothing there to show we are ready to deal with it. Much of the interrogation on this issue has been deliberate skewed to make the human suffering secondary and the environmental impact of little consequence. We are fed to believe that oil spill is inevitable. Therefore, nobody takes responsibility and nobody is punished. Businesses and individuals who perpetrate this evil have nothing to lose, nothing to fear we have as law or regulation on the issue can barely impact. This impunity is worsened by the fact that the Joint Venture arrangement we have in the oil industry which has made the ministry (the regulator) a necessary operator (through NNPC) which is the government vehicle for its JV an impediment to a lasting solution. This is why commendation must go to the Senate for passing through second reading the initiative of Senator Bukola Saraki to amend the NOSDRA Act 2006. This legislation holds the key to dealing with oil spill management in Nigeria today. It will be recalled that on September 19, Senator Saraki the Senate Committee Chair on Environment and Ecology led debate on the General Principle of this all-important Bill. According to the distinguished senator, oil spillage has devastated the entire environment of the oil producing areas. And of the over 13 million barrels of oil spilled into the Niger Delta ecosystem over the past 50 years, which compares to about 50 times the estimated volume spilled in the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill in Alaska in 1989, no responsible party or business has been penalized, and no compensation whatsoever has been

way round because no developing country can survive under this heavy over bureaucratization and governance cost. One sometimes wonders why in spite of close to 60 billion dollars of crude oil export and growing GDP, at about 7% per annum, our infrastructure seems to have collapsed. In all my life, I have never seen the network of roads in Nigeria being this bad. When we did not have oil, we were able to travel from the North to the South, from the East to the West on motorable roads. Those who did not want to use the roads had the alternative of railways. However, since the so called “oil wealth”, it seems as if everything has gone to the dogs. The collapse of the roads started with Obasanjo’s government when substantial amount of the country’s wealth was used to pay off Paris and London Clubs’ debt. At that time, we all thought this was a good idea but it should not have been at the total neglect of the country’s physical infrastructure. I also remember Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, then Minister of Finance and current Minister of Finance telling us in a closed door meeting that after the debts had been paid, one billion dollars out of what would have been part of the debt repayment would be used for roads rehabilitation and reconstruction annually. Now, what has happened to this promise and where is the money? There are so many questions to ask but space would not permit us. Our government needs to know that we need to change course. People want to see roads being rehabilitated and if needs be, being reconstructed. We have the people; we have young engineers coming out of universities and polytechnics. These people need to be engaged and we also have the resources. We need a Marshall plan in this country to keep everybody working and to keep the country developing. We need to depart from orthodox economics to Keynesian economics. This is not far from what the Chinese did and today everybody is running to China for foreign investment and technical assistance. In all my life, I have never seen Nigerians this despondent. It is even affecting our profile abroad. I was so angry with the international media that did not show our President attending the funeral of the late Ethiopian Prime Minister who died recently. It was so infuriating seeing only South African President and the President of Rwanda and even Thabo Mbeki, a former South African President being given media coverage than our own sitting President. During the last Olympics, every country was excited about winning medals; we were the only large country which did not win any single medal. This general decline of our country is affecting us in every respect. We used to be a proud people but what can we be

proud of now? We are a giant with clay feet and we are gradually becoming the laughing stock of Africa. We are largely irrelevant globally and being an oil-producing country is no longer a ticket to ride because all the countries in West Africa now have discovered oil in their territories. Is it not ironical that Nigeria is now importing Jide diesel from Niger, Osuntokun our northern neighbour which has discovered crude oil and which now has a functioning refinery as contrasted with our moribund four refineries necessitating our corrupt importation of refined petroleum? I am calling on President Jonathan to summon a national conference on national moral rearmament and strategies for future development. If we do not do this, this country will either implode or explode. There is no time to waste. May God have mercy on our country. Everything should be put on the discussion agenda. One hears the statements by some not well-informed persons saying national unity is non-negotiable. What is the meaning of this? Was Nigeria not made by man? All human institutions are of necessity imperfect and our national unity is not an exception. If not negotiated as had been the case since 1914, 1946, 1953, 1957, 1959, then we are heading for a national precipice. It is only the living that can enjoy whatever advantages national unity confers on Nigerians. In a situation where people are being killed because of where they come from or their different faiths, it behoves upon us to discuss and establish a constitutional modus Vivendiand a structural architecture within which hands and limbs will be preserved while we live together and if this cannot be negotiated, then unto thy tents o Israel may be the only way out as was the case in Yugoslavia, and the former Soviet Union.

Taming the ravage of oil spill paid to those whose lives and livelihood has been destroyed by this devastation. This state of affair is irresponsible and it is not in the economic interest of the country. But this is where we are and we are here because we do not have the requisite legal and regulatory framework to effectively deal with this menace. Changing this scenario is the core objective of this amendment. As chairman of the Senate Committee on Environment and Ecology, the senator recognized early that oil spillage is not an oil business but a massive environmental problem with high ranging impact capacity. It is simply irresponsible environmental behaviour, the connection to oil business notwithstanding. Nigeria may have lost over 13million barrels of oil to preventable spills. As bad as that sounds, it is not the entire story. The real story is that of the over 30 million Nigerians in this region struggling to make ends meet; whose livelihood continue to be significantly altered by oil spills. The impact of oil spill can be directly connected to the rate of criminalization of lives in this area, as people have nowhere to turn to. The story is the destruction of the right of communities to decent lives, to safe environment, and the lost opportunity to feed their families from their toil and be in good health. The full story is that we have all now become victims of our own blessing because the cost on our people is no longer about economics, now it’s about living or dying in instalments. For those impacted their lives are upside down. No money can successfully deal with the idea of living in an environment where you cannot eat what it produces as everything has become deeply saturated with carcinogenic elements and metals from hydrocarbons. So the distinguished senator reckons that there is something fundamentally wrong with a law, which for

By Kingsley Amaku e.g. stipulates a fine of not more than one million naira for oil spill, irrespective of the dimension and scope and no remedy for people whose lives are literally turned upside down by oil spills. The bill attempts to change this under the proposed amendment and makes it more economical to respect the environment than degrade it. It has been acknowledged by several reports including the UNEP Report that fifty 50% of oil spills in Nigeria has been due to corrosion of oil infrastructure (negligence), 28% to sabotage and 21 percent to oil production operations (negligence). One percent of oil spills are due to engineering drills, inability to effectively control oil wells, failure of machines, and inadequate care in loading and unloading oil vessels. It is the responsibility of the spiller to rehabilitate spill sites. It is as simple as that. But in Nigeria it is the government, using our people’s money. According to NOSDRA the number of identified sites is over 2,000. The majority of these sites are sites with identified spillers. This gives an indication of the problem we already have in our hands. The analogy of the Wall Street Journal Blog about an oil company operating in Nigeria tells the grim story, the real dimension of this problem. The blog had this to say: “Thursday after the Anglo-Dutch oil giant said it was taking a closer look at an oil sheen near two of its offshore platforms in the Gulf of Mexico. (Immediately the company lost significantly its shares value). Later (on the same day) its shares rose and reversed most of the day’s losses after the company said the sheen (earlier notice) didn’t stem from its two nearby platforms, and that the amount of oil was small. Meanwhile, the company’s admission that its facilities in Nigeria

spilled some 5,300 tons of crude last year up from 700 tons the year before didn’t seem to merit a drag on its stock. While it would be easy to explain the apparent contradiction by pointing to investors unconcerned at the suffering of people thousands of miles away, their rationale in this case that even one spill in the U.S. could cost billions while many spills in Nigeria probably won’t is hard to fault.” Among the several reasons adduced by this Wall Street blogger for this state of affairs is the fact that the U.S. boasts one of the strictest regulatory regimes in the world when it comes to offshore drilling, while Nigeria does not. Shell executives and investors needn’t look far to see the consequences of an error in U.S. waters. In the United States for instance, it is criminal to be responsible for oil spill and more criminal to have even tried to falsify the records. The Deepwater Horizon is a case in point where although it may have cost BP a total of over $40bn still has its employees charged for criminal liability over the spill. BP shareholders are still counting the costs of the Deepwater Horizon disaster. The cost of spilling oil in Nigeria may be a stain on the company’s reputation but not on its profit margins. This brings us to the issue of compensation for spills. As noted earlier the issue of compensating for damage the attitude of the average spiller to compensation is that of unwanted irritation because there is no specific framework for compensation for oil spillage. Instead of receiving adequate compensation, in most cases (if the people even get what is derogatorily termed palliative- that’s rice and blankets. For the spill along the Gulf of Mexico, before claims for compensation even started BP contributed $15bn to a joint fund with the US government of about $20bn

and it has so far paid out over $13bn to individuals for loss of profits etc. $1.3bn to government and government agencies for lost of revenue. In total it cost BP over $40bn. BP continue to face ongoing cleanup charges under the Oil Pollution Act, compensation claims, and probably a multi-billion dollar fine from the US government. Some might say this is America. But in Nigeria for a spill of same magnitude or worse, the affected individuals and families will get bags of rice, beans, and blankets and bread. The other issue is the interest conflicts arising from the fragmented regulatory structure of the industry and government position as a quasi operator and regulator of the industry. One of the biggest hurdles to environmental protection in areas affected by oil spill in the country is the fact that the same people whose interest is simply expansion and profit also regulate the environment in this industry. Your guess is as good as mine as to why we are where we are. In this context it is noteworthy to mention that after the 2010 Deepwater Horizon incident, it came to light that the US Offshore Energy & Minerals Management Office (under the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement) responsible for the development of the offshore oilfield was also the body that issued environmental approvals. President Obama called this a “cozy relationship between the oil companies and the federal agency that permits them to drill”. Consequently, a new Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement, under the US Department of the Interior, was created, which is independent from the department of Energy Resources and answerable to the state department of environment. There is today no genuine reason to continue this ineffective approach as it has only exacerbated the problem than solve it. •Amaku is a legislative aide to Senator Saraki





SSAILED and buffeted by myriad of problems, the nation’s nightmare continues. For two weeks, Lagos, the economic nerve centre of the nation has been brought to its knees by traffic grid lock created by long queues of motorists searching for fuel in a nation recognized as the sixth biggest oil producer in the world. Those who fought their ways into the filling stations after hours on the line are confronted by an insolent petrol attendant who dictates the gratification he wants before selling to you. A trip between Lagos and Ibadan on the broken express road , a distance of a little over a hundred kilometers take about three hours or sometimes 13 hours as it happened last week Wednesday when the unruly tanker drivers that the government has not been able to tame for 13 years once again closed the road to traffic. They only agreed to liberate their victims who slept on the road after government had begged them. The chaos and anarchy in Ogere is worse than it was 13 years ago. The dangerously packed trailers now stretched for about five kilometres. We also now have an army of Road Traffic Safety personnel paid by taxpayers to merely monitor the unruly activities of those who have repeatedly demonstrated they are above laws. The cumulative amount of taxpayer’s money government waste on this type of unproductive endeavour would be enough to rehabilitate the broken rail lines. But such an option is unattractive to government that has in its economic team some who own as many as 8,000 trailers. As we move towards South-south and South-east, the two zones responsible for about 75% of foreign earnings, the people’s nightmare increases. Kidnapping and ransom-taking which started with PDP ascension to power in 1999, initially limited to expatriate oil workers has become a very lucrative trade extended to politicians, babies, indigenes visiting homes from Lagos and abroad and university teachers. Only last week, Professor Hope Eghagha, once a member of editorial board at The Guardian and a teacher at the University of Lagos who took time off to serve his Delta State as Commissioner for Higher Education was taken away in a broad day light by hoodlums who slain his police orderly and shot his driver. He was only released yesterday. And it is business as usual in Abuja where the debate has always been about contracts. The north eastern part of Nigeria has been made ungovernable for about two years. Only last Sunday, hoodlums carried out a It is bad enough that a man be ignorant, for he is cut off from the commerce of men’s minds. It is perhaps worse that he be poor, for he is condemned to a life of stint and scheming in which there is no respite for his weariness and not time for dreams. But what surely is worst is that he be ill, for he can do nothing much about his poverty or his ignorance… G. H. T. Kimble, 1957.


CCORDING to economists, Human Capital is a means of production into which additional investment yields additional output. It was Gary Becker of the Chicago School of Economics in 1964 who first gave prominence to the phrase. Human Capital was described, in a scholarly work published in 2003, Economics Principles in Action by Arthur Sullivan et al, as the stock of competencies, knowledge and personality attributes embodied in the ability to perform labour and produce economic value. It is the attributes gained by a worker through education and experience.” Human Capital is generally seen as the most important of all factors of economic production. Development of or investment in Human capital is, therefore, the most important step usually taken by any government towards achievement of the state development objectives and the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). A government invests in human capital through education, training and medical treatment. A state’s output depends largely on the rate of the state of return on the human capital owned by the state. The Delta State government under the leadership of Governor Emmanuel Eweta Uduaghan has been taking remarkable steps towards the attainment of these objectives. The government is giving priority attention to matters of health care in its human capital Development agenda. The government through its health programmes is substantially reducing mortality and morbidity in the state through

Is anyone really in charge? pre-dawn murder of about 24 people returning from early hour worship in Dogon Daewa village, Birmin Gwari Local Council area of Kaduna State. The hoodlums thereafter, walked leisurely to the house of a man they suspected could identify them, shot him along with his two children in the presence of his wife. The wife, they left a living dead after cutting off one of her hands. A few days earlier in Aluu, university town in Rivers State, hoodlums and traditional rulers supervised the brutal murder of four university students and set their bodies ablaze causing universal outrages. Two weeks earlier, it was the turn of Mubi in Adamawa state. There, hoodlums murdered about 40 students of higher institutions in the state. Their assailants armed with their names moved from room to room, calling each by name before the execution. The killing spree went on for two hours, enough time to deploy fighter jets from any part of the country to Mubi to confront the hoodlums. But for the two hours the nightmare lasted, there was no policeman in sight. Leadership is about vision and the capacity to motivate people to be part of that vision. Hoodlums have taken over our land because of the quality of leadership provided by President Jonathan and PDP. An overwhelmed President Jonathan who secured a pan Nigerian mandate less than two years back, instead of confronting the problems has been lamenting about being the most criticized president in the world. And to wade off criticism of his lack-lustre performance, he had said with innocence of a child, ‘it is not as if there were roads, electricity…and Jonathan brought hurricane to destroy them’. On the other hand, Obama emerged as president when America was under siege. He inherited two wars, massive unemployment

and collapsing economy. Obama instead of engaging in blame game with his defeated Republicans reminded his sympathizers that he was elected to fix those problems. Obama in spite of sabotage by the defeated Republicans, and betrayals by members of his own party who only front for big corporations, has confronted those problems headlong sometimes taking some unpopular decisions. Our pre-independence years remain the golden age of Nigeria on account of quality leadership provided by representatives of the dominant ethnic nationalities – Awo, Ahmadu Bello and Zik. Murtala Mohammed with quality leadership in six months secured more mileage in terms of national pride and international recognition whereas all the billions wasted on fraudulent rebranding by Yar’ Adua, Jonathan and Akunyili only further consolidated our position as one of the most corrupt nations in the world. Buhari, in eight months, with his crude economic ‘barter arrangement’, saved the nation billions that would have gone into importation of petroleum products and grains which, with quality leadership, we produced in abundance, giving in the process, the West that survives only on our mystery, a bloody nose. It is inconceivable that the nightmare of motorists in Ogere that has lasted this past 13 years because of lawlessness of hoodlums would have survived Muhammed’s mercurial temper or Buhari’s zero tolerance for indiscipline for a month. For those who have said our founding fathers operated under a different milieu and that Murtala Mohammed and Buhari operated as dictators, both Tinubu and Fashola have demonstrated in Lagos that what our nation needs to move forward is quality leadership. Oyinlola in Lagos was a disaster, un-

able to mend pot holes, clear refuse that was choking Lagos or guaranteed security of life and property. Marwa shamed him with quality leadership. Tinubu left enduring legacies through quality leadership and today as we can see Fashola has taken the state to a new height making it a state to beat in terms of quality leadership. He has effortlessly tamed the traders’ anarchies in Mushin, Oshodi, Mile Two, Ikotun and other parts of Lagos. He has, with confidence, asked those who are not ready to comply with the laws of his state to go elsewhere. In Oyo State, we have seen evidence of resourceful leadership. The whole stretch of less than 10 kilometres portion of the express road from the Old Toll Gate to Ife By-pass that used to take motorists sometimes up to two hours under successive PDP governors today take less than 10 minutes. The Ife Bypass has been rid of anarchists as traders. If we need any proof that there is really no one in control, the ongoing haggling over the proposed expenditure of N5.8b for new quarters and offices for lawmakers, Senate President and the Speaker, the proposed N2.8b for the rehabilitation and repair of residential buildings for the president and vice president and the proposed N5.6bn to provide water for the residents of FCT is all that is required. If indeed there is someone in charge, those in Abuja serving none but themselves would have been wary of this type of scandalous proposed expenditure in the face of collapsed Lagos-Ibadan Express road and others in the country that are vital to our economic development.

‘Two weeks earlier, it was the turn of Mubi in Adamawa state. There, hoodlums murdered about 40 students of higher institutions in the state. Their assailants armed with their names moved from room to room, calling each by name before the execution. The killing spree went on for two hours, enough time to deploy fighter jets from any part of the country to Mubi to confront the hoodlums. But for the two hours the nightmare lasted, there was no policeman in sight’

Uduaghan’s human capital development agenda By Victor Tobi the provision of quality, accessible and affordable health care services to the generality of Deltans. A survey of the terrain of the state indicates that every local government headquarters is being made to have a functional general hospital in its domain. And at every kilometers radius of the state, a primary health care centre is being set up. The government is making efforts to provide adequate infrastructure, modern equipment as well as recruitment and motivation of health personnel at all levels of health care. The government has also introduced a number of programmes which include: (1) Free Rural Health Scheme (2) Free Maternal Health Care (3) Free Under -5 Health Care. The Free Rural Health Scheme was introduced in 2005 as an interventionist programme designed to meet the health care needs of all Deltans, especially the rural poor. This programme has been bringing to the doorsteps of ordinary Deltans rural communities and difficult terrains curative, primary and secondary preventive health care free of charge. The programme achieves this by getting beneficiaries screened for the purpose of early detection and preventive treatment of common diseases. It also offers curative care to those diagnosed with surgical or non-surgical diseases. The free maternal health programme was instituted on November 27, 2007. The programme has now run for about five years. From the time a woman is pregnant to six weeks after delivery, all medical attentions, treatments and laboratory investigations, if she patronises government

hospital, are free of charge. Government is responsible for the payment of all these fees. When a patient registers, she is given a card free of charge; she goes to see the nurses that take all the vital signs, which is also free of charge; she also sees a doctor who attends to her free of charge; if the doctor recommends a laboratory investigation such as blood test, ultra-sound scan; she also does it for free. And at delivery, whether caesarian section or normal delivery, it is also free. Also about two years ago, the government also launched the free under-five health programme. The programmes are focused on reducing maternal and under- five mortalities. According to experts both mortalities are economic indicators of how well a nation or state is doing. And as part of the global community, Delta State is assiduously working towards achieving the global world’s focus reducing maternal mortality by 3/4 and under-five mortality by 2/3 by the year 2015. The government is also making efforts to reduce the incidences of malaria and prevalence of HIV through these programmes. The government is squarely tackling the twin problem of sicknesses and death by focusing on both financial and geographical access of health care for the people. In most disadvantaged countries of the world, it is either a government is unable to build sufficient hospitals for the patients to go to when they are ill or the hospitals are available but the people cannot afford to pay for the services. However, in Delta State, the situation is different with what the government has been doing with the strategic proliferation of health institutions in the state such as the numerous health centres. And in every local government head-

quarter there is at least a general or a government hospital. Today, the state has 460 primary health care centres, over 60 government hospitals – general or central hospitals and the tertiary hospital which is the renowned teaching hospital in Oghara. So, within a radius of five kilometres, as directed by the World Health Organisation (WHO), there is a health centre or government general hospital, all geared toward satisfying the condition of geographical access to hospital. With the introduction of both the free maternal and under-five health programmes, the government is making sure that the hindrance to financial access is removed. So far, over 230,000 patients have benefited from these programmes. Currently, in the state the maternal mortality rate, that is, the number of women that die during pregnancy or delivery has drastically reduced. Shortly before the programme was started, the maternal mortality rate, recorded per every 100,000 delivery was 456. As at last year November, the figure had come down to 221, going past half the previous year’s number. It is expected that this year November or December, when the anniversary of the programme will be marked,the figure will go down considerably further to about a hundred or less. Over all, the impressive results being recorded by the Delta State government under Governor Uduaghan are not comparable or at par with any state in the federation. Delta State has the best maternal mortality figure in Nigeria compared, for example, to the much ballyhooed Abiye programme of the Ondo State government with just one central point for its similar programme. • Tobi writes from Asaba

Eagles resume camp November 4 Pg. 24

Mikel predicts crunch London derby Pg. 24

Sport Thursday, October 18, 2012



to auction assets to cut £10m debt


IVE-TIME heavyweight world champion Evander Holyfield is selling some of his most prized possessions in a desperate bid to slash his £10million

debt. The American, who celebrates his 50th birthday next week, has frittered away his £350m fortune earned during a career that has so far spanned 28 years. But while Holyfield still retains hope of fighting one of the Klitschko brothers in one final bumper pay day, more

pressingly he must come to terms with the problems in his personal life. Much of his money is spent on maintenance for the 11 children he has to five different mothers. His lavish 109-room, 17-bathroom mansion on the outskirts of Atlanta has had to be sold for £5m to ensure it’s not repossessed. And in what has been touted as one of the greatest sales of sporting memorabilia in history, Holyfield will part

with 20 pairs of gloves, the robes, trunks and boots he wore in his major fights. Also up for grabs will be gold and diamond watches, WBC, WBA and IBF championship belts plus several luxury vehicles including his vintage 1962 red Chevrolet Corvette. “These days right now are the most difficult, dealing with all the mothers of my kids,” he said.






Mikel predicts crunch London derby


IKEL OBI has told he expects a tough derby for Chelsea against Spurs on Saturday coming soon after the international break. Chelsea are top of the EPL with 19


points from seven matches, five points clear of fifth-placed Spurs. The London derby will take an extra dimension as Chelsea will be up against their former manager Andre Villas-Boas. Mikel, who at the weekend was on international duty for Nigeria against Liberia in a 2013 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier, said it will be a daunting task at lunch time at White Hart Lane. “Any game after the international break is always difficult, playing against Tottenham will always be tough, and now that they have our former manager, it may be even tougher,” Mikel told “We know what we expect from them and we will neutralise them and get victory so we can remain in the top position. “It is also an opportunity for us to widen the gap at the top, and I know we can do it.” Andre Villas-Boas will face his former employers for the first time since he was dismissed in March and he will also square up against his assistant while he was in charge of ‘The Blues’, Roberto Di Matteo. Chelsea do not have the best of records following internationals and have only won three of their last seven matches after such a break, with their most recent result being a goalless draw with Queens Park Rangers at Loftus Road earlier this season.

NFF wishes Rufai quick recovery

Eagles resume camp November 4



of followership they had in the past is to finish the competition decently,” observed the NTDC director general who stormed Calabar with several bags of branded t-shirts, mufflers, jackets, pins and pens for the fans at the UJ Esuene Stadium. “What you have seen here is nothing compared to the plan we have for the competition proper in South Africa next year. We are going to make sure that Nigerians stand out of the crowd with our green and white colours. We did it at the World Cup in South Africa and also repeated it at the last Olympic Games in London where we used the opportunities to market Nigeria to the world as choice tourism destination,” stressed the sports loving director general. Runsewe however called for adequate preparation of the Super Eagles by the Nigerian Football Federation and the National Sports Commission. “Nothing should be spared to ensure that the Super Eagles lack nothing in their preparations to go and make a statement at the Nations Cup. Thereafter, we can then begin to look forward to also qualifying for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil,” concludes the tourism chief.

up matches planned for the Eagles ahead of next year's Africa Cup of Nations in South Africa. In the meantime, the country's team to the African Women's Championship in Equatorial Guinea will leave for a training camp in Ghana on Thursday. The Super Falcons are the defending champions.

They are drawn in Group B along with Cameroon, Ethiopia and Cote d'Ivoire. The AWC kicks off on October 28 with the Falcons beginning their title defence the following day against Cameroon.

Why Keshi jettisoned

Home-Eagles decision M

ORE facts have continued to emerge as to why Coach Stephen Okechukwu Keshi decided to jettison his concept of introducing higher percentage of home based players in his team match since taking over as the Head Coach of the senior national team. According to a member of the backroom staff who decided to remain anonymous for now, 'Coach Stephen Keshi was not happy with the form of the home based players before that match. He described the players as unprofessional, and expressed his disappointment on their attitude. It was unbelievable that the players who are supposed to be professionals in their calibre decided to exhaust themselves within few

AFCON 2013: NTDC drums up support for Eagles UPER EAGLES’ players have been assured of massive support at next year’s 2013 Africa Cup of Nations in South Africa following their superlative 6-1 demolition of the Lone Star of Liberia in Calabar last Saturday. Director General of the Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation (NTDC), Chief Segun Runsewe who was present in Calabar at the weekend to support the Eagles in the quest to beat Liberia to the AFCON 2013 ticket, said that it was time that Nigeria returned to the top of African football. “We at NTDC came here (Calabar) fully loaded to support the Super Eagles in the quest for the ticket to the Nations Cup next year. We are happy that all our effort did not go down as a waste as the boys have made us all proud,” observed Chief Runsewe. He, however, ever noted that the real task of getting Nigerian soccer back to the top of Africa begins with the qualification to the AFCON 2013. “This is the time for the players and coaches to redouble their efforts. After we missed the last edition jointly hosted by Gabon and Equatorial Guinea, the only way the Super Eagles can rekindle the kind

AFCON target for Eagles


only recently lost his father in-law; Bartholomew Ibenegbu down with typhoid fever and; Ogbonnaya Okemiri excused to attend a screening exercise with Akwa United FC. The team, under the watchful eyes of Coach Adamu Audu Ejo, now trains twice a day after maintaining once-a-day training for the past few days. Nigeria's Supersand Eagles reached the quarter finals at last year's FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup in Ravenna, Italy and won the Four-Nation Invitational Tournament held in Lagos, styled COPA Lagos, in December 2011, mauling four-time world champions Brazil, England and South Africa on their way to glory. The tournament in Dubai is expected to put the Nigeria team in great shape for the defence of their title at this year's COPA Lagos, set for 14th 16th December.


From Patrick Ngwaogu, Abuja weeks that the local league went on break. Their for member was nothing to write home about. The coach was not happy with them, that were the major reason why he invited fifteen foreign based Players by, and allowing only two home based player to start the game, instead of the normal four. If not for the last minute injury that ruled out Joseph Yobo, only one home based player would have made the team'. Continuing, the source said that the coach was not happy with Ejike Uzoenyi who had started all his matches, but was a shadow of himself all through the period. ‘ The two friendly matches the team played against an amateur club (Water FC) and FC Abuja laid credence to these,


Eagles under pressure before Liberia game—Attah •Says Liberia never showed respect


NLIKE what it was made to believe that there was no pressure on the Super Eagles prior to the all important Africa Nations Cup decider against the Lone Stars Liberia which ended 61 in Eagles' favour on Saturday in Calabar and qualify Nigeria for the finals of the competition slated for South Africa in January, the Coordinator of the team, Emmanuel Attah has confessed that there was a lot of pressure on the team to beat Liberia and pick the 2013 ANC ticket.

From Segun Ogunjimi, Abuja “First of all we have to give God the glory that we won this match convincingly and to me the victory is dedicated to God. I must confess to you that we were under pressure before this match was played because the whole nation focused on this match but I am happy that we were victorious at the end of the match”, the Eagles Coordinator revealed. Attah also hinted that the failure of the

Amadu added: “We are very concerned about Peter's situation. He did so much for our dear country as a player and remains one of the true legends of the Nigeria game. He is also the Coordinator of our U-23 National Team. “The NFF was in touch with Peter to console him on the death of his mother when this incident happened.” Rufai, who won 62 caps for the Nigeria senior team, was first choice when the Super Eagles lifted the African Cup of Nations for the first time on away soil (Tunisia, 1994) and was also first choice at the 1994 and 1998 FIFA World Cup finals.

Okocha won't set

HE Super Eagles are expected to resume America slated for November 14. training camp in Abuja on November 4, Officials also informed that the Nigeria Premier League (NPL) officials have Eagles invitees from abroad will join up directly disclosed. with the rest of the squad in Miami. The camp is preparatory to their friendly against This will be one of several warmVenezuela in Miami, Florida, in the United States of

Nigeria, Brazil, Russia slug it out in Dubai HE Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) has announced that the Beach Soccer National Team, otherwise known as Supersand Eagles, will take part in the EightNation Samsung Beach Soccer Intercontinental Cup competition in Dubai, United Arab Emirates between 30th October 3rd November. The tournament will also feature four-time world champions Brazil, reigning world champions Russia, host United Arab Emirates, next year's FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup host Tahiti, United States of America, Japan and Switzerland. Already, the participating teams have been drawn into two groups of four teams each, with UAE, Russia, Tahiti and USA in Group A and Nigeria, Brazil, Japan and Switzerland in Group B. Participating teams are expected to arrive in Dubai on Sunday, 28th October. Only three of the invited 18 players are yet to report to the Supersand Eagles' training camp in Badagry, with Abdul Haruna having


HE Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) has remained in touch with former international goalkeeper Peter Rufai, who slumped on Monday night and was hospitalized in Lagos. Bruce Rufai, brother of the two-time FIFA World Cup star, told NFF General Secretary, Barrister Musa Amadu on Wednesday morning that Dodo Manyana 'had regained consciousness and returned home from hospital. “We wish to, on behalf of the entire Nigeria football family, wish Peter a very quick recovery so that he can get back on his feet and return to a normal life,” said Barrister Amadu.

Liberian team to give the Eagles the respect they deserve also cost the visiting team a great deal. “Liberia never gave us any respect prior to this match. But we knew what we were going to do and that is why we never made noise. Another important fact is that the boys were angry for this disrespect from the Liberian team and wanted to prove a point. The boys were also ready to appease Nigerians and bring back the confidence that should be reposed in them by Nigerians”, he disclosed

to NationSport. The former FCT Football Association Chairman also said that the Nigerian team did not plan or expect goals' harvest prior to the match. “We actually planned to score three or four goals in the match. We could have even scored 10 goals against them but we are happier and thank God that we not only won the match convincingly but also book our ticket to the 2013 Africa Nations Cup holding in South Africa next year January”, he further disclosed. He also used the medium to thank President Goodluck Jonathan for his support

as these players were shadows of themselves. This situation made the coach to have a rethink'. The source also inform us that this may have made it impossible for the technical crew to change Efe Ambrose when it was obvious that new was having a quiet game after scoring that first minute goal 'what actually happened was that Efe Ambrose twisted his ankle when he somersaulted after scoring that opening goal. That really slowed him down, and gave the Liberians the opportunity to be running rings around him. The coach did considered replacing him, but when you look at the bench, those coming in for him were not better off, so they have to leave him on the pitch, while instructing other players to provide cover for him' our source concluded.

to the team and Cross River Governor Liyel Imoke who according to him did everything humanly possible to ensure Nigeria qualifies for the Nations Cup. “I on behalf of the team thank Mr. President who gave us the inspiration to win this match as well as qualify for the competition. His support to the team has been massive. Mr. President asked us to beat Liberia and pick the ANC ticket which we have done now. I believe he would be in South Africa to continue to support the team. Also the Cross River State Governor has made Calabar Eagles' fortress and we are most grateful to him for all he has done for us. I can only say here that the Super Eagles have more surprises for Nigeria when we the battle commences in South Africa come January”, Attah summed up.


IGERIAN football legend, Austin 'Jay jay' Okocha has voiced his opinion following the Super Eagles' qualification for the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations. Okocha was at the UJ Esuene Stadium to cheer the Eagles to a 6-1 victory over Liberia's Lone Star in the final round of qualifying for the 2013 AFCON. The emphatic win which capped off a fine 8-3 aggregate success for Nigeria had Okocha beaming and he was quick to praise the boys for their "outstanding feat." “I want to commend the players for this outstanding feat (of beating Liberia 6-1). I am very happy that we have made it to the Nations Cup. That was our main target and I am sure that every Nigerian is happy that we have qualified for the competition,” Okocha exclusively told Okocha, a member of arguably Nigeria's finest football side that won the Africa Cup of Nations in 1994, will however not set targets for the current side ahead of the 2013 AFCON. “It would be unfair for me to set a target for the team because we have been struggling recently. “We have taken a huge step (by qualifying for the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations) in making sure we get to where we want to be,” he said. The 2013 Africa Cup of Nations will kick off on January 19 and Okocha believes the Nigeria team will have adequate time to complete

preparations for the tournament. “Three months is enough time for us to prepare for the competition. We will go there and try to do our best but like I said earlier, it would be unfair of me to set a target for the team,” he stated. Okocha made his debut for Nigeria in 1993; scoring 14 goals in 73 international appearances.


Copa Lagos volunteer process due to Open


HE volunteer scheme for the next edition of Copa Lagos is due to be launched in a weeks time. The Beach Soccer tournament, which has banking giants FCMB as one of its sponsors, will be recruiting a new batch of volunteers for the 2nd edition. Last year Copa Lagos managed to attract in excess of 100 volunteers through the duration of the event. Last year volunteers were able to gain valuable work experience in the sports industry. Positions volunteered for included, § player's assistant, media staff, Usher, concert staff, ticketing and others. In addition to the work experience volunteers were also granted access to back stage areas with their accreditation, they also got to meet the players, watch the action live, take pictures with the international cheerleaders, and were presented with certificates to commemorate their achievements. The volunteer process is due to be officially opened in a weeks' time an announcement is due to be made on the

Copa Lagos Twitter page @CopaLagosBs, on the website and o n F a c e b o o k Kinetic Sports officials have indicated that a significant amount of resources have been used to improve the volunteer scheme for this year. The improvements are intended to make the process much smoother and organised. Commenting on the volunteer scheme Media and Public Relation Officer Steven Apampa said, “The volunteers last year were fantastic and key figures spoke very highly of them. It is well known that you can't have a successful tournament without great volunteers that is why we are determined to make improvements for them this year.” The tournament begins on the 14th December and will feature 4 teams; so far Nigeria, Argentina and Lebanon have been confirmed. Everyone is waiting and speculating on the identity of the final team a separate announcement is expected.






UNIPORT killings: Rivers NBA to monitor case


On Sunday, October 21, Covenant University Ota, Ogun State, will clock 10. ADEGUNLE OLUGBAMILA reports on how the university achieved the monumental strides that have set it apart from other public and private universities in Nigeria.

-Page 37

Govt, NUT disagree on return of mission schools THE Federal Government has said there is no going back on the return of mission schools to their original owners even as it •Wike revealed plans to intervene in secondary school development through the Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC).

-Page 39

CAMPUS LIFE •An eight-page section on campus news, people etc

Gunmen unleash terror on UNIJOS

Protest rocks Benue varsity •Medical College yet to be accredited, nine years after NINE years after the College of Health Sciences of the Benue State University (BSU) took off, the College of Medicine is yet to be accredited by the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria (MDCN). The Teaching Hospital is still under construction.

-Page 29

•Covenant University entrance. Inset: Prof Obayan


RECISELY on October 21, 2002, the Covenant University (CU) in Ota, Ogun State, opened its gates to 1,500 pioneer students admitted to pursue programmes in three colleges, — Business and Social Sciences (CBS), Human Development (CHD), and Science and Technology (CST). In 2009, the CHD and CBS were merged into an entity – the College of Development Studies. Now, unlike some private universities, CU no longer woos students. It strives to select the best from the legion of candidates seeking places annually. Its student population stands at about 7,000, managed by 912 academic and non-academic members of staff. The Chancellor and founder of the university, Bishop David Oyedepo, a renowned evangelist, has a big vision to make the institution rank among world-class universities within the shortest possible time. It only took him a few years of starting out to turn the university into an architectural masterpiece that sits on about 300 of 530 acres of land acquired by the Living Faith Church, owners of the university. It is perhaps the only university in Nigeria to welcome its pioneer students to purpose-built facilities at its permanent site. Covenant University was ranked the best Private University in Nigeria in the July 2012 edition of the World Universities Web Ranking. It is also ranked the best private university by the National Universities Commission (NUC). Bishop Oyedepo’s plans for the university are encapsulated in the

Covenant University: A trail-blazer at 10 CU’s mission and vision. Its vision is: “To be a leading world-class Christian mission university, committed to raising a new generation of leaders in all fields of human endeavour.” The mission is to “create knowledge and restore the dignity of the black man via a human development and total man concept-driven curriculum employing innovative, leading edge, teaching and learning methods, research and professional services that promote integrated, lifeapplicable, life-transforming education relevant to the context of Science, Technology and Human Capacity Building.” A decade down the line, doubting thomases are convinced that CU is not merely a vision but a reality, and

that the university has lived and is living up to its commitment, with its core values - ‘Spirituality’ ‘Possibility Mentality’ ‘Capacity Building’ ‘Integrity’ and ‘Responsibility’ being displayed by its products and staff. On the driver’s seat is the ViceChancellor, Prof Aize Obayan, who took over from the Acting ViceChancellor, Dr Jonathan Aremu, in February 2005. A professor of Counseling Psychology, Prof Obayan is one indefatigable scholar, who successfully mapped out strategies to actualise the founder’s vision. Through thick and thin, Prof Obayan has remained focused. One anthem she keeps singing is that CU will be a catalyst for social

Here, at the Covenant University, we ‘want to remain at the cutting-edge of excellence and innovation. We are creating a leverage whereby we look into issues in any facet afflicting the black continent socially, economically, spiritually or otherwise

and economic transformation on the black continent. Little wonder the university hardly concludes one local or international seminar, conference or workshop before coming up with another. This, Prof Obayan said, keeps the school relevant to the needs of the society. “Here, at the Covenant University, we want to remain at the cutting-edge of excellence and innovation. We are creating a leverage whereby we look into issues in any facet afflicting the black continent socially, economically, spiritually or otherwise, and come up with a platform to address such issues with eminent resource persons seeking lasting solutions. And because we have a Chancellor who is ready to accommodate good ideas, he gives his approval and the thing gets done.” On the conference and workshop front, the university has scored many firsts in organising or hosting countless local and international events. Last year, CU became the first private university to host the Association of ViceChancellors of Nigerian Universities (AVCNU) Conference. Last month, it hosted the Fulbright Alumni Association annual summit. It is the first private university • Continued on page 26



EDUCATION In this interview, Chancellor of Covenant University, Ota, Dr David Oyedepo, shares his thoughts on the foundational philosophies and accomplishments of the university in the past one decade.

‘Covenant varsity’s mandate is divine’

•Bishop Oyedepo


AN you recall how the vision for Covenant University (CU) was delivered? We had in our hands 530 acres of property. And the first thing that occurred to me was to give the land out for farming, pending when we would need it. But God put out the master plan before my eyes. Within five days, I had a detailed master plan of those facilities which was divided into three main components: Moriah was to be our secondary school, the altar of sacrifice for the future we desire. Shiloh is the place for the church. And Hebron was the place for the mak-

ing of kings and that is the university. And, interestingly, there was no professional engagement in the master plan for this place. It was absolutely divine, and this was in May 1998; and by August 29, same year, we had the ground-breaking service here where we pasted on the board the components that make up Canaan Land. So, it was clear that by His design, God had commissioned us to engage in birthing a university revolution. The word revolution came along with it, from the outset. After we dedicated the church in September 1999, we inaugurated a consortium in November for the setting up of Covenant University and we began planning, documenting, preparing to apply for licence until August 2002 when the NUC came for their verification visit. By December, it went to the National Executive Council and by February 2002, we got the licence. In March, construction started, and by October 21, our pioneer students re-

sumed. What were the immediate steps taken to ensure the university’s vision was realised? The moment you have an established goal, it’s easier to design the process. If you must have a highly disciplined ambience, then there must be specific rules in areas of you concern, and that was what evolved the student handbook. The student handbook is the constitution of this university ‘nation’. When you are in this nation, you are guided by this constitution, and if you break the constitution, you should be ready for the sanctions, as dictated in the handbook. This is because until you change the man, he cannot change his world. What is our objective? Repackaging of the graduates universities turn out today. How do we repackage? Establishing lines of discipline, that will help them know how to behave in the society; how to relate by looking at issues that are of importance to us, for instance, moral decadence,

and examination malpractice. So, from the outset, we said any act of examination malpractice equals to expulsion. We reasoned that anyone who indulges in it here today, if he finds him/herself anywhere tomorrow, would do the same, being used to it, already. And when we talk of personality traits, how do you get people to be acceptable, when they go seeking for employment? Here, the dress code comes in, and we agreed they have to be corporate. Why? You cannot tell when you would be called upon. The faculty and staff have rules that guide them. If you feel you cannot be governed, you can excuse us and go somewhere else. So, our core values are the mainstay of our production line and these core values include spirituality. What are the unique programmes in CU? We have three specialised programmes that are unique to us. The Total Man Concept (TMC), for example, is about going through things that make a man. Imagine if

I go through a university system, up to the Ph.D level without knowing anything about marriage, and yet I am going to be married; or you know next to nothing about financial management, and yet you are going to be dealing with money all the days of your life. We try to address these things with the TMC programme. We introduced the Entrepreneurial Development Studies aimed at equipping them to recognise opportunities around and how to buy into them even when in school. As a result, we have students who are paying their fees. We also have what we call Towards a Total Graduate. What that does is to package them for the world of work. We think: As our student out there, what do you need to maximise your learning? That is why our core leadership programmes take place, so that they leave here knowing where they are going and not guessing. • Interview conducted by the Information Unit, Covenant University, Ota.

‘Covenant outperformed from inception’ Prof Peter Okebukola was the Executive Secretary of the National Universities Commission (NUC) when Covenant University (CU) got its operating licence in 2002. In this interview with ADEGUNLE OLUGBAMILA, Okebukola recounts what qualified CU then.


EETING NUC approval for licence In 2002 when its operating licence was issued, Covenant University was the most outstanding in terms of meeting the very stringent conditions of government in setting up a private university. It had over 10 times the minimum land area specified by government, it had academic, administrative and hostel facilities as well as staff housing that shamed many public universities. It had a good academic brief and physical master-plan. The draft university law was also in place. On the NUC check-

list, the then proposed Covenant University scored positive tick marks on all items. It was eminently qualified for being licensed and a license was issued. More importantly for us at NUC is that since it was okayed to fly, the university has been soaring very high and delivering on its promise of producing a new generation of young leaders for Nigeria, Africa and the rest of the world. Rating CU after 10 years? CU is one of the most decorated universities in Nigeria today. Decorated means, earning academic laurels and being well ranked among

other universities in Nigeria, indeed Africa. I recently had a glimpse of a compilation of its academic laurels and was filled with admiration and awe. One of the indicators of performance of a university is the quality of its graduates. CU graduates are reputed for their professionalism, exemplary work ethics and Christian values. Another indicator is the quality of its academic programmes measured by the number of programmes with full accreditation. All CU pogrammes are accredited by NUC and relevant professional bodies. What distinguishes CU from oth-

ers? I am able to quickly identify five attributes. The first is putting God first. Second is focused vision. The vision of the university has remained the lodestone guiding every action, big or small, in a consistent, methodical manner. Third is strong leadership. The leadership of the university at all levels is very strong. Fourth is funding. The funding level at CU is huge and this has helped to significantly address infrastructural and welfare needs. Fifth is staff and

•Prof Okebukola

student discipline. The CU community presents one of the best-case scenarios of staff and student discipline in the Nigerian university system.

CU: A trail-blazer at 10 • Continued from page 25

to do so. One of the cornerstones of the university, from the outset, is the use of an innovative curriculum. Echoing Bishop Oyedepo, Prof Obayan said no institution could sustain relevance while operating an obsolete curriculum, hence, the need for a complete overhaul of existing curricula in tertiary institutions. She said this belief informed the introduction of the Total Man Concept (TMC) and Towards a Total Graduate (TTG) programmes into CU’s curriculum. Its Entrepreneurship Development Studies (EDS) was rated the best and recommended as a template for other institutions by the NUC. Prof Obayan said every student must take up one entrepreneurship trade from 300-Level. “Today, EDS has raised a lot of graduates who have established several businesses, raising giants in industry. Our counterparts in Asia have not done more than what we are doing in driving human capacity,” said Prof Obayan. Further, she said CU believes in capacity building of all workers, especially teaching staff, to drive innovation and research. She added that

•A cross section of Covenant University graduands

CU has enjoyed a string of successes because of coordination. Her words: “CU is being driven on the wheels of vision. We have been able to engage, think and plan the vision through our graduates. And then, there is active engagement be-

tween the visioner, the principal officers, the church, the proprietor base and even membership of the church.” Since inception, accolades for the school, from within and outside the country, have not ceased.

At the maiden convocation of the university in 2006, former Minister of Education under President Olusegun Obasanjo, Mrs Chinwe Obaji praised the institution for doing better than older universities. She said: “As you graduate from

Covenant University today, you are graduating from possibly the best tertiary institution in Nigeria. I say this with every sense of responsibility because, during my very brief stint • Continued on page 27




Abuja private schools owners cry for bailout


HE National Association of Proprietors of Private Schools (NAPPS) in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) has cried out to the Minister of the FCT, Senator Bala Mohammed, to save members from arbitrary charges they are made to pay government agencies in the city. The association wants the minister to relieve them of the burden of buying plots of land at exorbitant rates and the high taxes imposed

From Bukola Amusan and Kate Donald, Abuja

on private schools, among others. The President, Mr Bukola Dosunmu, while outlining the challenges they face on Monday in Abuja, said the heavy charges they pay necessitated the high fees charged by private schools. “The high cost of providing infrastructure in our schools, due to the decay of infrastructure in the

city —poor power supply, high water board rates, and lack of access to loans from commercial banks — pose a great challenge to our operation. “Private school owners should be given land allocation as new districts are being opened up.” she added. She said annual dues and other accreditation charges imposed on private schools have gone up by

over 1,000 percent. Lamenting the plight of parents as they are made to pay parking fees to pick and drop their children in schools, the association said private schools should be exempted from such payments since parents don’t spend more than five minutes. Dosunmu said NAPPS has attracted many foreign students into the city to receive education in traditional African roots.

CU: A trail-blazer at 10 • Continued from page 26

as the Minister of Education, I was very surprised that the NUC had not only accredited all the programmes of Covenant University but it had also ranked the university and most of its programmes better in performance than the older generation universities, including the University of Lagos, University of Ibadan, Ahmadu Bello University and Obafemi Awolowo University. I say this with great authority because the Chief Executive of the NUC is here.” At its second convocation, the NUC Executive Secretary, Prof Julius Okojie, shared his experience of visiting CU: “What I see here are possibilities driven by vision and supported by exemplary leadership; and this shows me what this country can be if we could replicate this in every nook and corner of this country. Covenant University: thank you for bringing hope to Nigeria.” When CU hosted the AVCNU Conference in June, last year, its chairman, Prof Ishaq Oloyede, could not hide his feeling. “I believe this is a well-planned university; a university that is based on a vision and mission that is really very strong. I believe that the Chancellor and the Vice-Chancellor are doing a wonderful job,” he said. CU may have achieved so much but its founder says there is much more to come. In an interview with the Information Unit of the university, Bishop Oyedepo said CU would make Africa proud in 10 years. He said: “In the next 10 years, there will be more than enough to produce for the world to see, from the student platform, alumni platform, the faculty platform and from every platform. This is a new generation Harvard. My understanding is that in 10 years from today, it will be very clear that Covenant University has achieved a worldclass rank in the first 10 in the world. In the next 10 years, we are going to make Africa proud because we will be sitting side by side with the top-most of universities. In 1986, Harvard celebrated 350 years. As at that time, they had 1.3 million titles in their library. They have been working hard and it will not take us anything to get there.”

•Pupils of Lagoon Secondary School, Lekki presenting the Bini cultural dance during their Cultural Day.

Public school pupil wins Felabration debate


IS victory was simply to demonstrate that products of public schools in Lagos can match their counterparts in private schools. And it was endless applause for Temitope Ejide of Oriwu Senior Model College, Ikorodu, who beat nine other contestants in a debate tagged: Social Media in Africa: Is it good or evil? organised by the family of the late music maestro, Fela Anikulapo Kuti, at the Freedom Park, Lagos Island, last Tuesday. Ejide won with 68 points ahead of Kemi Adeyemi of Vivian Fowler Memorial College for Girls, Ikeja, the first runner-up (58), and John Okorie of Army Children Senior High School, Ikeja Cantonment who placed third with 55. The schools of the top three winners were rewarded with a plasma television each. Felabration competition is an annual event put together by the family of the late Fela Anikulapo Kuti in their father’s honour. Ejide’s feat hasb reaffirmed the Lagos First Lady Dame Abimbola Fashola’s confidence in public school products. Represented by a Director at the Ministry of Education, Mrs Mercy

By Seun Olalude

Olaoye, dame Fashola said: “I was so excited by the way the pupils spoke, especially the boy from Oriwu College. You can see that he was prepared, he had gone through a lot of research. I’m so happy that the state schools pupils are improving which means that there is a better future for the public schools.” Daughter to the late Fela Ms Yeni Anikulapo-Kuti said the competition, among other things, aims at building the young ones to become better leaders. Her words: “Felabration is a one-week event but we have included the young ones to bring them up to be better leaders instead of being corrupt. I’m happy a public school emerged winner this year and this shows that the government is doing well in education.” One of the judges, Mr Adebola Williams, said the debate was to

display the innate creativity of the participants. “We have considered many things to pick the winners. To be sincere, the winners show all the required skills. This will help them to be orators. The debate will give these young ones the boldness to present issues and challenge issues as Fela used to when he was alive,” he said. Also a son to the late Fela, Mr Dotun Kuti urged the pupils to always give their best. Ejide who was rewarded with a capsule cell phone thanked his creator that his many years of burning midnight candles never went in vain. “Immediately I received the topic, I went in research of materials which could be of help. I consulted the Internet and some others useful materials. My daddy supported me. He explained many things to me and corrected my grammatical mistakes,” he said.

ACE FILE Workers celebrate Teachers Day AS teachers across the globe celebrated their dedication to their profession on October 5, the teaching staff of the Adeyemi College of Education (ACE), Ondo, Adeyemi Demonstration Secondary School and Adeyemi Nursery and Primary School, marked the day in grand style last Friday. The management of the college, in conjunction with the Colleges of Education Academic Staff Union (COEASU), Ondo Chapter, marked the 2012 World Teachers Day with a lecture and conferment of Distinguished Leadership in Education Award. Delivering the lecture titled Education, Culture and Sustainable Development in Nigeria, Prof Tunde Babawale, said culture is transmitted through education for sustainable national development. “There is no doubt that a strong relationship exists between education, culture and development. Irrespective of the system we operate, education maintains a dynamic interrelationship with culture. In order for it to perform its role effectively and efficiently as an agent of development that prepare people for successful life in a culturally-diverse society, education needs freedom of expression... scientific knowledge and cultural creativity,” he said. The Provost, Prof Adeyemi Idowu, urged teachers not just to impart knowledge but to mould the students/pupils in character.

Union lays foundation THE Senior Staff Union of Colleges of Education of Nigeria (SSUCOEN), ACE Chapter has laid the foundation for its secretariat. The event, which took place at the site of the proposed secretariat on the college premises, last Monday, had the Provost, Prof Idowu, Deputy Provost, Dr Femi Olajuyigbe; Registrar, Mr Felix Aderinboye; College Librarian, Dr. Rotimi Eegunjobi; the Acting Bursar, Mr Abdul Ganiyu; and other members of the College Management and the Executive members of SSUCOEN in attendance. Idowu expressed his joy at the stride of the union. He advised the group to manage their funds. He also pledged financial support to ensure the completion of the project. The SSUCOEN Chairman, Dr Ladenika, thanked Idowu for his unflinching support that gave rise to the foundation laying and expressed optimism that the building will be completed in a short time.

Philosophers honour Anyiam-Osigwe


HE Association of Nigerian Philosophers has awarded the Professor Odera Oruka

Award to Emmanuel Onyechere Osigwe Anyiam-Osigwe posthumously. The award, which is conferred by the Nigeria Philosophical Association, acknowledges the works of the late Emmanuel Onyechere Osigwe Anyiam-Osigwe and the intellectual appraisals they have attracted from scholars across the world. In the award letter dated September 25, 2012, the association stated: “The numerous works on the thoughts of Emmanuel Onyechere

Osigwe Anyiam-Osigwe show he was a deep thinker. We are thus pleased to present him with the Odera Oruka Award for Sage Philosophy.” The award will be conferred during the biennial convention of the Nigeria Philosophical Association, which will hold at the University of Abuja from October 23 to 25, 2012. The works of Anyiam-Osigwe have received wide intellectual appraisals, featuring three major national seminars and workshops coordinated by the University of Ibadan and an international conference in 2010.

•Some members of the Ballet Club of Mind Builders School, CBD, Alausa, Ikeja exhibiting their skills at an event



EDUCATION IBBUL FILE Abdulsalami to raise funds FORMER military Head of State General Abdulsalami Abubakar (Rtd) has promised to mobilise funds that will be used to improve the facilities of the Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida University, Lapai (IBBUL). Abdulsalami, who chairs the Endowment Fund Board of Trustees (EFBT) of the university, said at its maiden meeting that the board would marshal out plans to attract funds that would make the environment conducive for teaching, learning and research. He said government alone can no longer fund education to the desired level because of demands from other sectors, hence the need for alternative sources of funding. In his presentation, the Vice Chancellor, Prof Ibrahim Adamu Kolo appealed to the trustee members to support the growth and development of the university and appreciated their acceptance to serve on the Board.

Confab discusses best practices

Ekiti SUBEB Model School emerges best primary school S UBEB Model Nursery and Primary School, Ado-Ekiti has been rated the best in the country. The school was adjudged best in the primary school category by the award committee of the 2012 President’s Teachers and Schools’ Excellence Award during the World Teachers’ Day celebration held at the Eagle’s Square, Abuja. A statement by the Chief Press Secretary to the Ekiti State Governor, Olayinka Oyebode, said the Minister of Education, Prof. Rukayat Rufai, who presented the

award to the head teacher of the school, Mrs Taiwo Ala, showered praises on the state and challenged other schools to brace up in their academic pursuit. Also, a teacher of St. John’s Primary School, Erinmope- Ekiti, Mrs Oluwafemi Olusola, was awarded the third best primary school teacher in the teachers category of the award. Speaking on the award, in her office in Ado-Ekiti, the Executive Chairman, State Universal Basic

Education Board (SUBEB), Prof Modupe Adelabu, attributed the achievement to God and the commitment of the present administration to revamping the lost glory of education through aggressive upgrading of school infrastructure as well as the provision of instructional materials in schools. The Head teacher of SUBEB Model School, Ado-Ekiti , Mrs Ala, said she was fulfilled as an educationist whose school was recognised by the Federal Government as the best in the country.

•Prof Adelabu

Lantern Books launches piracy campaign


ITERAMED Publications Nigeria Ltd, publishers of Lantern Books, has launched a “Do Not Buy Pirated Books” campaign to discourage parents, schools and bookshops from patronising pirated books. A statement issued by the organisation said the campaign will involve the distribution of posters, radio jingles and print adverts to

persuade the target audience to boycott books pirated from its stable. According to the statement, the continuous patronage of pirated texts, comic and storybook titles published by the 43-year-old organisation, kills the economy. The statement reads: “We have observed that some parents, school administrators, bookshops and other

relevant stakeholders in the book publishing market who should be our partners in progress have joined in the onslaught against our hard earned reputation and pedigree by unwittingly or deliberately buying and circulating pirated Lantern books. “This is why Lantern Books have embarked on “Do not Buy Pirated Books” Campaign” to discourage people from buying pirated books

because such act does not only discourage creativity but also kills the economy, breed criminals and make people lose jobs. “It is common knowledge that when you knowingly or unintentionally purchase pirated books, you encourage pirates to stay in business and also deprive authors and publishers of genuine book of their benefits.”

THE Minister of Education, Prof Ruqqayat Ahmed Rufa’i, has underscored the importance of collaboration in improving the quality of education in the West African sub-region. Speaking while declaring open the third International Conference of Collaboration of Education Faculties in West Africa (CEFWA) with the theme: Global Best Practices in Teacher Education hosted by IBBUL, she said the challenges in the education system could only be overcome if there are collaborative efforts by various organs managing the sector. The Minister, who was represented by the Director, Policy Planning, Research and Management of Federal Ministry of Education, Dr Kalamatu Lawal, enjoined CEFWA to make concerted efforts toward ensuring that all faculties of education become part of its annual events.

Council visits Emir IN its determination to strengthen the gown/town relationship, the Governing Council of IBBUL has visited the Emir of Lapai, His Royal Highness, Alhaji Umaru Bago III. Speaking during the visit, the Pro-Chancellor and Chairman Governing Council, Mallam Sulayman Abdul Ndanusa, stated that the world-class vision of the university would only be a mirage if a peaceful atmosphere is not provided by the host community. He disclosed that the authorities of the university would continue to collaborate with the host Emirate towards ensuring that the needed condusive environment for learning, teaching and research activities is guaranteed on the campus. Ndanusa expressed appreciation with the level of harmonious relationship that has been existing between the Emirate and university and called for its sustainability.


HE Veritas University, Abuja with its take-off campus in Obehie, Ukwa West Local Government Area of Abia State, is set to graduate its first set of students this year. The 95 pioneer students, who have written their final examinations and completed all requirements for graduation, are waiting for their convocation. Speaking with journalists at the tem-

•Mrs Ogunde and Mr Agbaje with the pupils


UPILS from select secondary schools in Lagos State interested in Medicine and Pharmacy visited the JayKay Pharmacy owned by Jimi Agbaje, former Lagos governorship aspirant, to learn about careers in the sciences last Thursday. They belong to the We Are the Future of Nigeria (WATFON) Club, an initiative of Mrs Yinka Ogunde, CEO of Edumark Consult, which actively engages teenagers in nation building by stimulating them to discuss and proffer solutions to Nigeria’s problems through essay writing and other activities. Through WATFON, the pupils also get to meet with mentors, exemplary Nigerian professionals, who counsel them on values that aid development and guide their career choices. However, they got much more than career guidance during the mentoring session with Mr Agbaje,

Be patriotic Nigerians, pupils told By Kofoworola Belo-Osagie

a pharmacist-cum politician. During the session, the pupils, some of who made oral presentations of winning essays they had written on “If I were to be the President of Nigeria”, shared their views about problems facing the country including insecurity, corruption, the murder UNIPORT students, and the like with Agbaje, who counseled them about leadership and responsible followership. However, perhaps the most poignant lesson for them was the need to be proud and patriotic Nigerians. Responding to the declaration by some of the pupils that they were not proud to be Nigerians, Agbaje told them they can only feel superior in their own country and counseled them to make Nigeria the coun-

try of their dreams. “I am proud to be a Nigerian. Would you rather be a Somalian? So you believe you are better than them? Would you rather be an American? Those who built America worked hard. You should work hard to make Nigeria better. You can decide to throw away your Nigerian passport to become an American but I have a friend who is a Neuro Surgeon in America who wants to come back to Nigeria but there is no work for him. He trains many doctors in Neuro Surgery but no matter how good he is, the white man will prefer the white student he trained to him,” he said. Commenting on the murder of the four UNIPORT students penultimate week, Agbaje counseled the pupils to keep good company and pursue the right channels when grieved.

“I don’t know about the UNIPORT students but it is about the company you keep. For some of them, it was being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Beware of those that you move with. If you move with questionable characters, you stand a risk,” he said. Assessing the session, Mrs Ogunde said she was impressed with the level of awareness of the pupils as well as their analysis of national issues. She urged them to proffer creative solutions to challenges the country is facing. “You must be a problem solving generation. You must be thinkers, not just people who are reacting to the problem. This programme is focused on the SS3 class because you are the ones leaving parental control for the larger society. You must choose to be responsible,” she said.

Veritas Varsity to graduate first set From Ugochukwu Ugoji-Eke, Umuahia

porary campus, its Vice-Chancellor, Prof. David Ker said the university was established by the Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria in response to the need for a university that will provide high quality tertiary education, according to the noble tradition of the Catholic Church.

The VC said the university, which was granted provisional licence by the National Universities Commission (NUC) in 2007, has 332 students with the intention to take more once it relocates to its permanent site in Bwari area council in Abuja next academic session. He said the first set of students who are due for graduation this year were admitted in 2008 at the take-off campus in Obehie, pointing out that the

institution was proud of the graduating class regarded as the university’s torch bearers. Ker is also glad about the accreditation of the nine programmes offered by the university by the NUC, “The record is unprecedented as no university in Nigeria has ever gotten full accreditation in all its programmes at the first NUC visit,” he said. However, he observed that the feat

will not make them relax but spur them to do more, as there are plans to include new courses which will allow the university admit more students. He reiterated the resolve of the university authorities and its owners to ensure that it becomes one of the top 10 universities in the country. The VC said the university’s strength is its ICT programmes, adding that laptops are compulsory for all students.


For *CAMPUSES Ridding *NEWS justice *PEOPLE Awka *KUDOS& of dirt Last week, all hell was let looseon KNOCKS at the Ekiti State University (EKSU) following the death campus of a final year student of Accounting, Teslim Adebola Ibrahim. OLATUNJI AWE reports. *GRANTS Page 31

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CAMPUS LIFE 0802-4550-354 email: THURSDAY, OCTOBER 18, 2012



Out of frustration over the non-accreditation of their programmes, medical students of Benue State University (BSU), who have spent several years in the College of Medicine, have demonstrated against the development. MSONTER ANZAA (200-Level Medicine) reports.

•The medical students protesting at the College of Medicine last week

Protest rocks Benue varsity •Medical College yet to be accredited, nine years after


INE years after the College of Health Sciences of the Benue State University (BSU) took off, the College of Medicine is yet to be accredited by the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria (MDCN). The Teaching Hospital is still under construction. Although medical programmes were introduced in 2003, the university managed to get the accreditation for pre-clinical courses two years later. The MDCN has threatened to close down the college if it is not invited by BSU management for accreditation. There has been a series of protests by medical students over the

issue. CAMPUSLIFE gathered that the development has delayed the graduation of pioneer students, and has kept others in the college without promotion to another level of study. Also, it was learnt that the authorities of the college, while trying to get accreditation, had to merge students in higher levels in order to admit fresh ones. In February, the aggrieved medical students besieged the Benue State Government House to register their frustration over the inability of the government to prevail on the accreditation body to certify the programmes. Clad in their white medical

laboratory coats, the students, who were led by the immediate past president of Benue State University Medical Students’ Association (BESUMSA), Innocent Abah, blocked various entrances to the Government House. The Chief Security Officer (CSO) to Governor Gabriel Suswam, who met the students, said the governor was not in town. He advised the students to return to the college, promising to notify them whenever the governor returned. The students were adamant, insisting on waiting at the entrances for as long as it took the governor to return. Later, the CSO returned and led the students into the Banquet Hall

‘Christians and Muslims must live peacefully’ Peter Oko is a 400Level Biochemistry student of Moddibo Adama University of Technology (MAUTECH), Yola. Aside being the president of Nigerian Federation of Catholic Students (NFCS), Ecclesiastical Province, he is also a catechist of St. Vincent De Paul Chaplaincy, MAUTECH. He spoke on security challenges facing Christian students in the North when PHILIPS OGBAJE (400-Level Information Technology) met him.

of the Government House where the Deputy Governor, Chief Steven Lawani, spoke to them on behalf of Suswam. Abah told the deputy governor that his colleagues were “depressed, unfocused and frustrated” over the inability of the university to get accreditation for its medical programmes. Responding, Lawani told the students that the government was aware of what could happen if the Teaching Hospital was not ready on time and, had, therefore, given more attention to the project. He said no one was more anxious to see the Teaching Hospital •Continued on page 30

•Peter •Continued on page 30

•Campus journalists honour Tinubu-P36• Economics students visit EFCC, ministry-P36




Aluu, Mubi Pushing and off-campus Out residences with


N the early 90s, I watched a report on the brutal Liberian civil war by ace NTA reporter Godfrey Odu. In that report he recounted the story of two Liberian rebel fighters arguing about the position of a baby in the womb; the argument got heated and the only way it could be “resolved” was to get a pregnant woman, rip her womb open and find the “true position” of a baby in the womb! The rebels eventually did that as relayed by Odu in his bid to drive home the point of how brutal and senseless that civil war was. So when on Friday, October 5, 2012, I read, and later watched four undergraduates from the University of Port-Harcourt, Biringa Chiadika Lordson, Ugonna Kelechi Obusor, Mike Lloyd Toku and Tekena Erikena being murdered in cold blood by some inhabitants of Omuokiri village in Aluu community of Ikwere Local Government Area of Rivers State, about three kilometers to the institution’s main campus over an alleged theft of a laptop computer and Blackberry phone. As I watched the video clip against my will, the question that popped into my mind was which of them “stole” the laptop and phone? Or was it the four of them that jointly “stole” the gadgets? These questions were necessary because listening to the background conversation points to the notion that it may be something other than the “stealing” of a laptop and phone. It was therefore not out of place that I feel what I felt when I first saw the Liberian report; horror. I was actually writing my piece on the Mubi massacre last week when the news broke. What makes this story unbelievable and shocking was the fact that it was filmed; some of the “spectators” that witnessed the gory incident can be seen with their mobile phones recording every bit of the spectacle. In a premeditated and calculated act, the Aluu 4, as they are now known, were

Agbo Agbo 08052959489 (SMS only)

• stripped naked, marched through town, beaten to a pulp and set ablaze by the “mob.” As expected, reactions was swift and damning, compelling the Senate president, Senator David Mark to have a rethink on a very thorny issue in political discourse, the need for a State police in the country. I later read an account of the sister of one of the victims which I found instructive; she alleged that while her brother and his friends were being killed, three policemen had reportedly arrived and had, instead of intervening to save the lives of the “accused persons” and subsequently bring them to justice, they were alleged to have urged the mob to, “burn them alive”. There was obviously nothing that the mob, the policemen and those filming with their mobile phone saw as untoward or dastardly in taking away lives which they could never give. It must have appeared very “normal” to all that people jeered, ululated and savoured what they had seen and regarded as a good spectacle to spice the start of their weekend! This is nothing short of the collective loss of our common humanity. This barbaric and highly condemnable act that is reminiscent of the Stone Age came only a few days after Mubi and has raised serious concerns over off-campus residences for undergraduates. Would these undergraduates have been so gruesomely murdered if they had residences within the four walls of the ivory tower? The emergence and growth of commercial off-campus students’ housing across mainly Nigerian public universities towns are recent but significant phenomena stimulated

by student population explosion and prevailing lull in on-campus Students’ housing development. In the past, students’ housing was traditionally and almost exclusively oncampus. With time, however, student population explosion and paradigm shift in university on-campus accommodation policy combined to give rise to spontaneous development of commercial off-campus Students’ housing (hostel) in university towns across the country. This development was further compounded by the growing shortage of funds in the university system at a time when there was an increase in the proportion of total expenditure devoted to education. The government, over the years, has not been meeting the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) recommendation of 26% of the total budget allocation to education sector. The paucity of fund available to the university system has been responsible for declining library, accommodation, social and laboratory facilities in recent years. This in no small way makes the governance of the university system a herculean task. This was when private developers and home owners in university towns rose to the occasion and started providing houses to fill the shortfall with its attendant repercussions. Since almost all of the off-campus residences are not seen as the extension of the universities, most became safe haven for criminal activities both from undergraduates and those associated with them. Some of the incidences of cult activities that take place emanates from such off-campus residences where security is often lax. In addition to the question I posed earlier, I’d like to add: Given our present predicament of shortage of on-campus residences, is there anything university authorities can do to closely monitor these off-campus residences and see how they can be viewed as an unofficial extension of the campus? I strongly believe that the probability of the incidences happening on any campus in Nigeria is really slim. No matter the gravity of the “crime” one or two voices of reason would have been able to calm the nerves of any blood thirsty mob on campus. I would

Protest rocks Benue varsity

‘Christians and Muslims must live peacefully’ •Continued from page 29


•Continued from page 29

completed than Suswam. He assured the students that the government would not rest on its oars until the hospital was completed. However, about eight months after, the Teaching Hospital is yet to be accredited. The development made the medical students to troop out last Wednesday to protest the inability of the state government and university authorities to fulfil their promises. The students barricaded the two entrances into the college, insisting they must have collective audience with the Vice-Chancellor, the Provost of the college, the Chief Medical Director of the Teaching Hospital and Suswam. A drama ensued when the VC, Prof Charity Angya, came to address the students. She was ignored by the students. She left and later came with the Provost, Prof Shima Gyoh, Chief Medical Director, Prof Orkurga Malu, and the Secretary to the State Government, Dr David Salifu. The officials were booed by the aggrieved students, who insisted on seeing either Suswam or his deputy in person. The blockade continued on Thursday, paralysing activities in the college. Arising from an emergency meeting last weekend, the univer-

like to see a situation where Vice Chancellors take it upon themselves to open constant channels of communication with communities that host a large proportion of their students. Measures should also be put in place to regularly gauge the student-host community relationship to nib similar incident in the bud. But in the midst of this, we should not be lost in the fact that what we read and watched penultimate is not an isolated incident. I have heard stories of six-inch nails being driven into the head of thieves caught in action; I’ve also heard from witnesses how thieves and pick pockets were summarily executed in major cities in Nigeria. So, rather than crucify the entire Aluu community, it cannot be said that extrajudicial executions are the cultural or behavioural preserve of any part of this country. There are still good people in Aluu. This notwithstanding, the horrible video of the killing in a country with a government and security agencies is a big shame to Nigeria. It is the latest confirmation that human life is of little or no value in the country. It also shows that all those responsible for security and administration of that area did not play the role expected of them. The excuse given by IGP Abubakar that “Attempts made by the police patrol team to take over the suspects were met with stiff opposition from the mob, who chased the team with stones” is both absurd and preposterous and thus cannot hold water. This latest incident is probably the effect of the frequent killings going on in the country. It would appear that people no longer think anything of the taking of life. Life has simply lost its sanctity. Unfortunately, this is the sad lesson that Nigerians, including the youths, are taking away from the mindless killings going on in the country. This type of barefaced, extra-judicial murder will not happen in any country with a responsible government, and in which lawbreakers are sure to be brought to justice. But, in a country where people know that they can get away with any crime, no matter how serious, dastardly incidents such as these are bound to occur. it is high time that those who wish to see the good of this country and stem the steady slide toward bestiality stand up and be counted.

•The students blocking the entrance to the Benue State Government House last February

sity Senate directed the medical students to proceed on two weeks break to enable the management “sort out the problems.” Addressing the students, shortly after the meeting, Gyoh assured them that the management would do everything needed to enable it secure accreditation for the Teaching Hospital. He said the state government had provided resources to get the hospital ready. Speaking on the development, Usha Anenga, a 400-Level student, who claimed to have been in the college for nine years, criticised the management for not sympathising with the students. He said students had always foreseen the failure of past accreditation visits. He accused the authorities of ignoring warnings by students in the past over the noncompletion of the hospital for accreditation. BESUMSA president Kawen Pededo, a 400-Level student, said his colleagues demanded to have audience with the governor because of the need to ensure the hos-

pital did not fail the accreditation when the officials of MDCN visit the college again. The College of Health Sciences, since inception, has only been able to secure the accreditation of a course — preclinical course. The failure of subsequent accreditation exercises led to the accumulation of batches of students in 400-Level. The MDCN officials visited the college in June but they were not satisfied with what they saw. The body gave the college six months to fix some areas it found lacking. The deadline is approaching, and the fear of what might happen if the college fails again gripped the students. This made them to embark on the protest. Following the directive that students should proceed on a break, the university authorities invited policemen to ensure compliance. At the time of filing this report, however, students were still in the hostels, insisting nobody could force them to leave during the break.

HAT inspired you to become a catechist, a role dominated by older men? I became a catechist not because I wanted to. So, I may not be able to speak of what inspired me to become a catechist but what inspired and still inspires me to remain one. I see the office as a calling, which comes with challenges and exposure because, as a catechist, the primary responsibility is to support the chaplain in fostering the liturgical life of the catholic community. I love adventures, especially in matters of religion and spiritualism. I love the church with a passion. It is all of these that keep me going. Though it is dominated by old men, the position is accommodates all, irrespective of the age of the occupant. I feel a sense of belonging. What are the challenges of being a catechist? The challenges of my office are many because the chaplaincy is still evolving. Personally, the office demands me to love and care for people. I face the need to learn more about the church and life. Also, there is the challenge to live reflective of the Christian faith. What is the role of the Nigerian Federation of Catholic Students (NFCS) in the life of students in tertiary institutions? The responsibility of NFCS is to help its members live according to Catholic principles and also to offer an alternative model to the society. Jesus Christ is the standard so, we preach against social vices, such as cultism, examination malpractices and hooliganism. What have been the major chal-

lenges of your office? There were times I really wished I was not a student so I could give all my time to the work. The biggest challenge is time and resources, especially finance to run the many programmes that keep coming up. NFCS recently hosted its members to a five-day convention in Jos. how did you ensure their safety? Security belongs to God. Notwithstanding, we made a very solid arrangement with security agencies to ensure participants were secured. With God and the efforts of the security forces, we had a hitch-free convention. How do you combine the work with your studies? Though it has not been easy but the grace of God has been sufficient. I don’t know exactly how but I find myself coping. Christians in the North face serious hostility from a certain sect that has extreme views on religious matters. What can you say about this? We should all be worried by the incessant attacks on Christians in northern Nigeria. Attacks on churches and other religious temples is very inhuman. The question I keep asking is: What have Christians done wrong? We must pray fervently and draw closer to God. No matter how badly wounded we have been, we must subscribe to peaceful coexistence. I use this opportunity to call on those behind the violence to have a rethink. Human life is sacred. Christian or Muslim, God created them all, and no man has the right to fight for the supreme God.



CAMPUS LIFE After their three-day conference, Corps members under the banner of the Nigeria Christian Corpers’ Fellowship (NCCF), Anambra State chapter, proceeded to clear dirt from the streets of Awka. AYODEJI ADESINA reports.

•Corps members assigned to clean Ukwoji road during the exercise


T was a very busy weekend for female Corps members in Anambra State. First, they held their annual Sisters’ Conference, which was tagged Until I Arose. The programme, which attracted over 150 participants from the local government areas of the state, was held at the secretariat of the Nigeria Christian Corpers’ Fellowship (NCCF), Umuike, Awka. They also held a cleaning exercise on the streets of Awka. Speakers were selected from within and outside the state to deliver lectures aimed at urging the Corps members to brace up for the task of community and national development. Participants were taken through various sessions of inspirational/motivational talks, worship, praise and prayers. The event also focused on preparing the women for the chal-

•The youth during the Sisters State Conference

Ridding Awka of dirt lenges outside service, especially motherhood and skill acquisition. In her welcome address, the state’s NCCF Sisters’ Coordinator, Blessing Dzawua, said: “Now is the time for women to rise and take responsibility of careers, marriages and every aspect of life and make impact that will last.” She assured them that victory was certain in all challenges of life if they could dare to rise and make things happen for themselves. The Co-ordinator of Onitsha zone, Rose Eiyonoria, said the programme was timely because it came at the time there is a loud voice for women participation in governance. She expressed confi-

dence that a new class of women leaders would emerge in Nigeria. Angela Ekong from Abagana zone thanked the organisers, promising to apply the pieces of advice given by various speakers at the event. The programme climaxed on Sunday with a picnic and talks on how to handle in-laws, stress and time management. Many participants shared their testimonies. The following day, the Corps members gathered outside the secretariat and moved to the streets of Awka with brooms, rakes, cutlasses, hoes, wheel barrows, jiggers and other tools to rid the town of dirt.

The Corps members were divided into two teams. One carried out the exercise in Eze-Awka, a suburb in Agulu-Awka and the other headed for Ukwoji Road, off Zik Avenue, Awka. They packed dirt, cleared the drainages and uprooted weeds. Some of them also filled the ditches that caused traffic gridlocks. They sensitised the locals on the importance of hygiene and sanitation. At Ukwoji Junction, many indigenes trooped out to praise the Corps members, thanking them for a job well done. Some motorists and commuters plying the route during the exercise stopped to praise them for the initiative. The situation for

The University of Calabar (UNICAL) was agog last week when Blackberry held its Campus Super Crew show. ISAAC MENSAH (500-Level Medical Laboratory Science) was there.

Blackberry thrills students


UN-LOVING students had a field day last week when Blackberry hosted its show, Campus Super Crew, at the University of Calabar (UNICAL). In their numbers, the students filed into the Chinua Achebe Art Theatre (CAAT), venue of the show. Adorning all shades of casual wears, the students filled the 5,000capacity lecture theatre. The show had earlier been held at three universities - University of Port Harcourt (UNIPORT), University of Lagos (UNILAG) and University of Abuja (UNIABUJA). UNICAL’s programme was anchored by Andre Blaze, a radio and television presenter. There was also a raffle draw that had a student smiling home with a Blackberry smart phone. A day earlier, there was an audition for 47 groups of students, who displayed their skills in music. Ten crews scaled the audition for the stage performance contest during the show. The crews were Black Diamond, One Bowl, Fresh House, TGC, DNAK, Reflex, Porsche, Day Walkers, Crack Boss and Black Owl. The show started at about 4pm. A student with the stage name MC Koboko held the audience spellbound as he dished out jokes immediately the show began. Afterward, a Calabar-based choreography group, The Savages, entertained the students with their astonishing performance. Speaking, the Product Manager,

Blackberry Campus Tour, Alex Jang, said the show was being used by the mobile phone giant to engender socialisation among the youth; a move he said would foster youth development. He said: “The programme is aimed at engaging Nigerian youths by harnessing their talents as well as exposing them to something bigger. Blackberry is committed to more than selling devices.” He said winners of UNICAL zone would face winners from other zones at the grand finale where they would stand a chance of winning a scholarship to attend the London School of Music for two weeks, feature in Y Magazine, Blackberry Nigeria Top 10 Radio Show and perform at the youth award event. Jang said as part of measures to facilitate the programme on hosting campuses, the mobile brand recruited Blackberry Campus Ambassadors in universities where the show was held. In UNICAL, ambassadors are Nkemjika Okorafor, 300Level Animal Science, Blessing Thomas, 400-Level Electronics and Com-

puter Technology and Cyril Okoi, 200-Level Marine Biology. The stage performance contest, which was divided into rounds, had the selected 10 musical groups slugging it out to qualify for the second round. Each contesting group had a singer, rapper and an instrumentalist and performed the remix version of any Nigerian hit songs. Some of the contestants were cheered by the audience, while others got booed out of stage. Five groups moved on to the next stage. When the contest came to an end, Black Diamond emerged winner while Fresh House came second and Day Walkers, third. The winning group had Victor Edoja, 400-Level Marine Geology, Williams Usese, 200-Level Curriculum and Teaching and David Evare, 200-Level Curriculum and Teaching. They were presented with prizes. David told CAMPUSLIFE: “I’m very excited and grateful to God for the victory. I started singing while I was in primary school, but my skills were honed when I got to secondary school where I joined the school choir. I promise to make UNICAL proud at the grand finale.”

•The Black Diamond crew

‘The programme is aimed at engaging Nigerian youths by harnessing their talents as well as exposing them to something bigger. Blackberry is committed to more than selling devices’ •Students dancing at the show

the Eze-Awka team was not different. They were also warmly received. The co-ordinator of the initiative, Bola Oluwagbohun, a Batch A Corps member, while addressing participants before the exercise, cautioned them to see the exercise as a service to God and humanity. She urged them to put in their best. “See this undertaking as a service to God and mankind. Put in your best. If the environment is clean, it will be beneficial to the community and the Corps members. It is our collective responsibility to ensure the neatness of our environment,” she charged her colleagues. After they ended the exercise, the Corps members returned to their respective houses to prepare for a match pass at Alex Ekwueme Square, Aroma.







For justice on campus The judicial arm of the Students’ Union Government (SUG) of the Federal University of Technology (FUTO) has trained and inducted new members into the union’s Bar Association. FRANCIS EGWUATU (300-Level Mechanical Engineering) reports.


S they filed into the hall, the students were taken for lawyers moving into a court chamber. But they were engineering students attending an oath-taking ceremony. They were all “called to the Bar”. The event took place at the School of Agriculture and Agricultural Technology, Federal University of Technology, Owerri (FUTO). It was organised by the judicial arm of the Students’ Union Government (SUG). The FUTO Bar Association (FBA) is a body under the SUG’s judiciary, which is responsible for its legal process in running the affairs of students. A six-week training at the SUG’s School of Paralegal Studies (SSPS) is a criterion for students who want to be inducted into the FBA to become barristers on campus. At the end of training, the prospective barristers write exams to test their knowledge in para-legal studies. After the test, the successful students will be “called to Bar”. The association inducted students who passed the exams penultimate week. It awarded some of them doctorate degrees and made others senior advocates. Their senior colleagues in the association graced the event, which was held amid razzmatazz. With their black robes and grey wigs, the inductees were all

smiles as they took the oath. The event started with an opening prayer after which a kolanut was broken to commence the programme. The Chief Judge of the SUG, Victor Osigwe; his predecessor, Smart Aniekwe; President of the association Vitus Chikelu and a host of other past members graced the ceremony. Prof G.F. Okoroafor, FUTO’s SIWES Co-ordinator, in his lecture, advised the barristers against delivering wrong judgment among themselves. He said as student judges, they should avoid being sentimental in decision-making and pronouncement. Afterwards, the inductees were “called to bar”. They were called one after the other to receive certificates in character and learning. Every inductee swore an oath to always place the general interest above their personal gain. One of the inductees, Frank Osueke, 300-Level Petroleum Engineering, told CAMPUSLIFE that he was pleased with the outcome of the event, and he praised the executive arm of the union for supporting the initiative. Aloysius Nwokedi, 200-Level Electrical Engineering, expressed joy after his formal recognition as a member of the barristers association. He said his reason for becoming a student barrister was to defend the defenseless and pledged to use the knowledge he acquired to uplift the students of the school.

•The Chief Judge and other members during the oath taking

•Cross section of inductees at the programme

Participants at the programme organised by I-Create Initiative in Minna, Niger State, were told how to change the image of Nigeria through their creativity and behaviour. TOLULOPE AJOBIEWE (400Level Urban and Regional Planning, Federal University of Technology, Minna) writes.

Preparing youths for the future


O build a responsible youth population in Nigeria, I-Create Initiative, a youth development organisation, organised a youth summit in Minna, Niger State. The event, held at the Ahmadu Bahago Secondary School Hall, was in commemoration of the Independence anniversary. Participants came from the Federal University of Technology,

•Participants with the resource persons after the event

Minna (FUT MINNA), College of Education (COE), Minna and Ibrahim Babangida University (IBBU), Lapai. Also, some Corps members serving in the capital city graced the event with the theme Youth and nation building. In his address, the guest speaker, Mr Olamide Adeoye, said nation building was used in the past by nations that had just assumed full sovereignty. He said nation building has gone beyond that, adding: “Youths are the nation that need to be built.” Adeoye said the energy in today’s youth should be channelled towards engendering development in the nation, saying Martin Luther King Jnr was youthful when he started his struggle in the United States. He charged the participants to be open to change, courageous, idealistic and innovative. Another resource person and The Nation’s correspondent in Niger State, Mr. Jide Orintunsin, went down memory lane when a secondary

school leaver chose from the options of either proceeding to the university or accepting the offer of employment by the government or multinational companies. He said the challenges facing the youth of the period were nothing compared to the problem facing today’s youth. He advised the participants to dream big and to never allow any obstacle that would make their vision unrealisable. Miss Faith Aminu, another speaker, said: “Nigeria we celebrated on Independence Day is in disarray, but we are out to make a statement that pointing fingers and apportioning blames will not solve the mess the country is in today.” She told the participants that they were the change Nigeria needed to toe the path of development. Pastor Emmanuel Ohere of the Transformation Chapel, Minna, pleaded with the participants not to follow the footsteps of their forebears, saying a country where a citizen would vote and be voted for regardless of religion, background and tribe

should be their agenda. A participant, Perfect Pius, 300-Level student of FUT MINNA, told CAMPUSLIFE: “I learned a lot from the statement of the keynote speaker. Our leaders should not prepare the future for the youths but rather prepare the youths for the future.” Another participant, Kevin Chukwuyem, a Corps member, stressed the need for unity in Nigeria before the issue of development could be addressed. He said the youth were the stock of a nation’s potentials and charged his colleagues to erase ethnic and religious differences and forge a common front to build the nation. The brain behind the initiative, Faith Olaniran, who is a CAMPUSLIFE reporter, gave the closing remarks. He thanked the invited guests and the participants. He, also charged the audience to always contribute their quota in the journey of building Nigeria.

•Faith delivering his speech




No to jungle justice

By Omolara Omoniyi


HE gruesome killing of four students of the University of Port Harcourt (UNIPORT) Chidiaka Lawson, lloyd Toku, Tekena Erikena, Chidiaka Biringa - is no longer news. This barbaric act by the locals of Aluu Community in Riv-


OR sometimes, I have tried not to comment on happenings in Nigeria, preferring to toe the line of Pastor Elijah Kumuyi of the Deeper Life Bible Church, who declared a well publicised two-day national prayer and fasting with the hope that everything would fall back to normal as soon as possible, and engender the Nigeria of our dream. However, certain events have attracted my attention to which I must comment as a Nigerian. The precarious nature of the Nigerian State has made her vulnerable to many social vices and left her at the mercy of selfcentred individuals who choose to enrich their pocket and watch our beloved country plunge into tribulation. Because I’m a Nigerian, I cannot pretend not to see the effect of social network on the youth of today. Science and technology has taken man to heights never imagined; and, in the process, man has exploited such opportunities. The effect of social network on the youth of today cannot be over-emphasised. Since the evolution of social networking sites in 1999, overzealous youths (and in some cases adults) who, rather than embrace technology for betterment of all, are busy extorting innocent people of their hard-earned resources. The celebrated case of Cynthia Osukogu, the young business

ers State has attracted criticisms from far and near. Whether the slain young men were guilty of the offence for which they were roasted is yet unknown. But the question that people keep asking is: Why would a sane community inhabited by rational human lynch their fellow men in such a cruel manner? Can human life be equated with material things,s such as laptops and phones? There is also another side to the sad story. There were reports that the lynched students visited the community to ask for money one of them lent his friend. Unknown to them, the lender had something else in mind for them. After the victims confiscated the lender’s phones and laptop, the fellow then raised a false alarm that he was being robbed. Of course, there is yet another angle but the bitter truth is that the slain students are no more alive to say their own side of the story. The boys were beaten to a pulp with various objects, bleeding from all part of their bodies. Afterwards, somebody brought petrol and another lit

the match. The sight was too unkind. The villagers gathered as though it was a primeval village square, where thieves are guillotined. It seems it is no longer crime in Nigeria to take lives of others. There is a constituted authority in the country. Anybody that alleges must be able to prove in the law court. But the people of Aluu community took law into their hands; they are the judges and the accuser. They killed their victims over an allegation. Where are the items the slain students stole? Whatever the crime of the students were, who made the killers judges? Don’t we have courts in this country again? What stopped the “jungle judges” from handling the “robbers” over to the police? They would have played a commendable role if they had done so. Alas, they acted barbarism in broad day light and even had the courage to film the incident. The lynched students were upcoming musical artists in their life time. I carefully listened to the lyrics of one

of their songs. It was as if they knew they were going to die by the sword of those who did not have respect for human lives. A refrain in the said song says: “There’s no love in the heart of the city.” And truly, there is no love in Aluu city. If there was love, the students would not have been and roasted as if they did not deserve to live. An emotional person would shed tears if he listens to the statement of Lloyd’s mother. She said Lloyd was a God fearing young man, who wouldn’t even hurt a fly. A day before the killing was his father’s birthday, his father called him and asked him to come over and celebrate it with him. Unknown to him, his son would be killed the day after his birthday. It was a very pathetic idea. Tekena Elkannah was buried in a forest in conformance to the custom of his hometown, which says that anybody who endures brutality, injuries and violence, would not be buried in the town. This handsome boy slept in the forest. No thanks to the Aluu community.


ANY youths are faced with the challenge of not knowing the right time to engage in courtship. I mean a healthy relationship that is lawful before God. Some criteria that should be considered before getting into any relationship are: spiritual, emotional and mental maturity. I will vividly elaborate on this point in subsequent paragraphs. Spiritual maturity is the most important criterion that should be considered before going into any rela-

Omolara, HND 1 Mass Comm., YABATECH

Because I’m a Nigerian woman, killed in a hotel in Lagos, is a good case study here. When the perpetrators of these evil are caught, as usual, the blame goes to the devil but when the evil act is successful, it is a good business. As I write this piece, the number of social networking sites is growing at an alarming rate; there are over 200 social networking sites worldwide most of which have become an avenue for crimes. If Cynthia had known that her Blackberry friends would snuff life out of her, she definitely would not have joined any group on social media. I will not, unlike my President Jonathan, complain of criticisms. I would rather see it as the beauty of democratic governance and the freedom of expression and simply tell myself: I dey kampe. Instead of picking offences in the words of citizens who voted me into power, I would resolve to surprise them by surpassing the achievement of any president before me and tackle the issues of terrorism, corruption and unemployment to the fullest. Because I’m a Nigerian, I cannot pretend not to see our shoddy preparation before major sporting events across the globe. Spending over N2 billion in less than three months for a

contest that comes up every four years is profligacy of the highest order. While other countries like China are already preparing for the Olympic Games in 2016, my dearest country would wait till three months before the kick off and expect its athletes to perform wonders and win gold medals. It is high time that well meaning Nigerians who are not biased lent their voice to the clamour for state police. The media has been awash with arguments for or against the creation of state police most of which are geared towards their own personal objective. Some governors backed the idea because of their selfish agenda. However, there are Nigerians who are well grounded on the issues of state policing who can give us their unbiased point of view. The hope of regaining the Bakassi peninsula has been lost forever. The International Court of justice (ICJ) had in its ruling of October 10, 2002, ceded the oil rich region to Cameroun and in 2008, the region was formally handed to Cameroun by the Nigerian government even though the citizens of Bakassi are Nigerians. Reader, imagine your hometown where you were born and where you grew up suddenly being taken away

from you. Will it be possible for you to see another place where you are relocated as your hometown? Would it be wrong if we ask the ICJ to revisit its decision? Because I’m a Nigerian, I will not fail to appreciate the doggedness and the fighting spirit of the Nigerian junior national female football team, the falconets and the disabled athletes during the Junior World Cup and Paralympics games for putting in their all to make sure that despite all the challenges, they still put smiles on the faces of Nigerians with their scintillating performance and setting of world records. Dearest falconets and ‘wonder athletes’, you have shown the true Nigerian spirit by putting aside all forms of social, cultural and religious differences and working together as a team to make Nigerians proud and put our country on the medals table, may all those in positions of authority borrow a leaf from you to take our country to its rightful place. Yes, because I’m a Nigerian, I will emulate our elder statesman and former president, General Yakubu Gowon to continue to pray for the unity of Nigeria. Like him, I will ask God to allow us to ‘go on with one Nigeria’. I may not have the resources

When dating is right

By Juliet Austin

I will not justify the action of the UNIPORT students, who went to burn houses and vandalising property in the village, but I believe no sane human being will be calm after viewing the video of how the victims were lynched. The village head and the 12 others, who were detained, should also face the music. They should be made to see the full wrath of the law. We all know this is not the first time such a situation is coming up, it occurs frequently. If not for the video by individual who should have made effort to call the police, all of us would have been in darkness. It is so unfortunate this ugly incidence occurred the same week Nigeria celebrated her 52 independence anniversary. May I use this opportunity to appeal to my fellow youth: it is high time we stopped this mob action against our fellow men. The government should also strengthen security in the country. Let us all join hands to say no to jungle justice. If we respect humanity, we will have a peaceful country. Jungle justice must stop.

tionship. As a youth, you have to first take a stand with God, develop yourself spiritually with the word of God. It may be too late when one waits until he or she is in a dating situation before deciding what is right or wrong or what one will or will not do. Unless one settles this matter in his heart, there will be little protection against temptation. If one does not know what God’s characteristics are for a balanced spiritual person, then one is not ready for dating. When you are single, you have all the time to study the word of God, which will give you the right and strong foundation and the strength needed to make any relationship a successful one. Emotional Development: Before getting into any relationship, one must be emotionally mature. The best relationship is the intra-personal relationship. Developing self intra-personal relationship has to do with loving every single bit of oneself, even without compliments from people. If you don’t love yourself, you cannot get to love someone else. Nobody needs someone without self care. The truth is, we cannot give what we don’t have .When we love ourselves, we get to love whoever

with whom we go into relationship. If you feel you need to date in order to be complete or fulfilled personally, you are not ready for dating. You are ready to date only to the extent that you feel whole and complete within yourself, apart from any other person (God). When you regard dating as a matter of choice rather than necessity, you are ready. It is a matter of your ability to be happy and content whether you are with someone or not. On mental development, age does not qualify you to date, rather knowledge does. The key to any successful relationship is knowledge. Knowledge on relationship can be gotten by reading books, listening to messages on healthy relationship and getting to hear experiences from other good people. You are not ready to date until you are fully aware of the benefits and dangers of dating. In conclusion, my advice to the youth is to use single days to fulfill God’s purpose for our lives. That is, we should build a strong foundation for our future relationship and marriage. Juliet, 300-Level Mechanical Engineering, FUTO

By Philip Okorodudu

to form a non-governmental organisation called ‘Nigeria prays’ like him, but I do have my knees and my closet to quietly pray for the peaceful coexistence of Nigeria and I enjoin all of us to do the same. Pray, Nigeria, pray. Philip, 400-Level Electrical, Electronics and Computer Engineering, DELSU

Dept gets female president From Sikiru Akinola and Jane Ariyibi OAU



HERE was a spontaneous jubilation by female students in the department of Political Science of Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU) last week following the suspension of the president of the department and immediate ascension of one of them, Shakirat Adesina, as the acting president of the National Association of Political Science Students, (NAPSS). The president, Charles Aiyedun, who is in 400-Level, was allegedly suspended indefinitely for failing to honour invitations by legislative arms of the association. The Speaker

of the parliament, Adeniyi Adediran, 300-Level student, said the suspended president was invited three times by the parliament to ascertain the state of the association but Charles did not honour the invitations. “In view of that, the honourable members, after due deliberations, found it expedient to suspend the president because we believe in accountability,” Adeniyi said. He added: “The Vice President has been asked to take over in acting capacity in order to continue the administration pending the time the suspended president will present himself before the parliament of NAPSS.” He advised the students and outsiders to refrain from relating to Charles as president as such relationship would be at their own risk. Shakirat said she accepted the offer because of the department’s constitution and not in act of betrayal.




•Omatseye receiving the plaque on behalf of Asiwaju Tinubu


ARTICIPANTS at the Conference of Campus Journalists, which was held for a week at the Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), honoured the National Leader of Action Congress of Nigerian (ACN), Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, for his contribution to the promotion of freedom in Nigeria. The programme, hosted by the university’s chapter of the Association of Campus Journalists (ACJ), was held at the Oduduwa Hall. A welcoming programme was held the first day for participants and the invited guests. They were taken

•Cross section of students at the conference

Campus journalists honour Tinubu From Wilberforce Arevore and Oluwafemi Ogunjobi AOU

round the campus on a tour of places such as the new museum. Mr Sunday Akere, Osun State Commissioner for Information and Strategy, gave the opening address. In her address, Mrs Tosin Dokpesi, of African Independent Television (AIT), who was represented by Don Pedro Obaseki, counseled the audi-

ence on the ethics of journalism. “Journalists are the very few ones who are being persecuted for what they do. Those of you present here, today, note that journalism is not an interesting profession where you will relax and fold your arms as things unfold,” he said. Seye Kehinde, the publisher of City People magazine, who spoke on social aspect of journalism and its effect on the society, described journalists as less-social individuals but key instruments of the society.

The Special Guest of Honour, former Governor of Lagos State, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, was represented by Mr Sam Omatseye, the Chairman of The Nation’s Editorial Board. In his address, Omatseye narrated how he started as a campus journalist in his undergraduate days at OAU. The ACJ Staff Adviser, Dr. Funsho Adesola, presented the Man of the Year Award to Tinubu. The plaque

Poly elects union leaders HE students of Osun State Polytechnic (OSPOLY), Iree, have elected new leaders into the offices of the Students’ Union Government (SUG). The election was held for over three hours in the six faculties of the polytechnic. About 1,300 students participated in the exercise. Of the 12 vacant positions, seven were contested while three had unopposed candidates. Two had no candidates. The position of president was keenly contested between Abiodun Osin and Olasanmi Fasakin. At the end, the results were compiled by the members of the Independent Students Electoral Commission (ISEC) led by Jonathan Adeyanju, HND 1 Electrical and Electronics Engineering. Abiodun was returned as the president-elect, having polled 1,212 votes as against Olasanmi, who had 556. Other elected officers included Taiwo Ogunlade, Vice President, Kehinde Raji, General Secretary, Adeniran Babatunde, Assistant General Secretary, Adewale Salawudeen, Treasurer, Adeniyi Adetayo, Auditor-General. Others are Tijani Abdullahi, Financial Secretary, Azeez Mudasiru, Public Relations Officer) and Samuel Folorunso, Welfare Director. A student, Sunday Abioye, HND II Mass Communication, said the election was fair and credible. Abiodun thanked his supporters and promised to deliver on his programmes. In a related development, the National Association of Osun State Students (NAOSS), Osun State Polytech-


•The students at the EFCC Headquarters in Abuja

Economics students visit EFCC, ministry


BOUT 60 students of Economics of Ekiti State University (EKSU) visited Abuja on a four-day educational excursion last week. The students were accompanied by two of their lecturers, Dr J.O. Tawose and Mr S.O. Mojeed. The students, who were billed to visit the Abuja branch of the World Bank, could not embark on the trip due to the journey stress. However, about 25 of them visited the bank. They were received by the bank’s officials, who conducted them round the premises. Folakemi Alomilagba, 100-Level student, said: “It is my first visit to

From Olatunji Awe EKSU

the northern part of the country. I am looking forward to a memorable visit to the designated offices.” The following day, all roads led to the Federal Ministry of Finance on a courtesy call on the minister. They were, however, received by a senior Director in the ministry, Hajia Binta Bello. The students had two hours session with the official, who briefed them on the fiscal policy of the Federal Government. On the same day, the students stopped at headquarters of the Economic and Financial Crime Com-

mission (EFCC), where they were received by the officials in the Public Relations department. The students were told the modus operandi of the commission. They were given branded souvenirs of the commission. The students also visited Kubwa camp of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) and the headquarters of the Central Bank of Nigeria before they returned to Ekiti. The President of the Economic Students’ Association, Adewale Adeyemo, thanked his colleagues for their cooperation during the trip. He also appreciated the management of the university for its support.

was received by Omatseye, who thanked the association for the honour bestowed on the ACN leader. Tunji Awe, president of the ACJ, Ekiti State University, told CAMPUSLIFE that the conference, though the first of its kind, was a success. He hoped the agenda of the congress would be achieved through consistency of the programme. Also at the event were campus journalists from the University of Ilorin (UNILORIN), University of Ibadan (UI) and Lagos State University (LASU).

•Osun students too From Olumuyiwa Ogunleye OSPOLY

nic (OSPOLY), Iree chapter, held its election last weekend, to usher in new leaders. The election was held at the Baptist High School, Iree. The exercise began around 11:45am and ended by 1:55pm. Seventy-one voted in the exercise. They cut across the three senatorial districts and 30 local governments areas of the state. The office of the president was contested by Gafar Usman and Lateefa Ajayi. When the results were declared by the National Association of Osun State Students Independent Electoral Commission (NAOSSIEC), led by Monsuru Durodola, HND II Applied Chemistry, Gafar, from Boripe Local Government, was declared the president-elect having polled 43 votes against Lateef’s 25. Others elected included Abolore Ogundapo, Vice President, Olumuyiwa Ogunleye, General Secretary, Muibat Mohammed, Assistant General Secretary, Kazeem Alade, Financial Secretary, Ayomikun Adesogbon, Treasurer and Jonathan Adeyanju, Auditor-General. Others were Idowu Olapade, Public Relations Officer 1, Habeeb Mustapha, Social Director, Taiwo Lawal, Welfare Director and Sakiru Okiki, Chief Whip. Gafar praised the electoral officers for creating a level playing field for all the contestants.




UNIPORT killings: Rivers NBA to monitor case


HE Human Right Committee of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) Rivers State Branch has assured families of the four students of the University of Port- Harcourt (UNIPORT) murdered in Aluu community that it will monitor the investigation of the case. The NBA, in a statement after their visit to UNIPORT where they condemned the gruesome murder of four undergraduates, vowed to pursue the case to ensure that noth-

From Precious Dikewoha, Port Harcourt

ing jeopardises the investigation. This is in response to concerns by the parents’ victims voiced in a petition to the Inspect or General of Police IGP that he should take over the case because they no longer trust those handling the matter. Speaking with The Nation at the Law Centre in Port Harcourt, the Chairman of the committee and Vice Chairman NBA Rivers State

Mr Augustine ‘Efe Ojekudo said: “The human Right Committee of NBA has always maintained its standard in the pursue of justice, we are not sleeping that is why we are asking the parents of the victims that we are monitoring the investigation. Even the police is aware that we are involved. “All we are pleading is that they should not take the law into their hands because the Human Right Committee of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Port Harcourt Branch is gravely disturbed by the

gruesome murder of four future leaders. We are not going to allow any politics in the investigation of the matter. “Chapter 4 of the 1999 Constitution and the African Chapter on Human and People’ Right provide that every citizen shall be entitled to be treated with dignity. The stripping naked, torture, brutalization, roasting alive and killing of the said undergraduates and citizens in Aluu community is inhuman, barbaric and condemnable,” he said.

Don seeks repeal of anti-women laws From Osagie Otabor, Benin


CTING Vice-Chancellor of the Ambrose Alli University (AAU), Ekpoma, Prof Cordelia Agbebaku, has advocated the repeal of legislations that discriminate against women, such as the laws on inheritance and divorce under customary law, among others. Prof. Agbebaku stated this while delivering the 44th Inaugural Lecture of AAU titled Women’s Rights and Gender Equality: A Case of Universalism or Cultural Relativism. She said stoppage of all forms of cultural and traditional discrimination against women was key to the realisation of Vision 20:2020. The VC said customs and practices negate human rights of women while customary and religious laws which engender gender inequality should be abolished via legislation. She called on government at all levels to fully implement the National Gender Policy and advocated for the enactment of specific laws to ensure women protection. According to her, “No nation desirous of achieving meaningful development can afford any shade of gender imbalance in the management of its public affairs. “Therefore, if Nigeria is genuinely committed to developing its economy as one of the top 20 economies of the world by 2020, all existing forms of cultural and traditional discrimination against women must stop.” She contended that woman’s gender rights as enshrined in local and international instruments were inalienable, hence should not be denied of them on account of cultural relativism. She said protection is not as a result of a dearth of legislations geared towards redressing gender inequality and observed that gender equality continues to be central themes in global treaties, conventions and declarations. The VC added that gender discrimination against women still loom large

•Chinenye (left) and Mr James Moolom, Cultural Specialists, US Embassy (right), with some of the scholars.

Fulbright scholars urged to impact Nigeria


HE Consular-General of the United States Embassy in Nigeria, Mr Jeffrey Hawkins, has charged Fulbright scholars from the Uinted States in Nigeria on exchange programme in teaching and research to enrich the lives of their hosts. Speaking during the in-country orientation programme for the scholars held at the Colonades Hotels, Ikoyi, Hawkins urged the scholars to build a store of knowledge, which would contribute to the healthy growth of Nigeria and the United States. “In doing so, you will build mutual understanding between the United States and Nigeria – the fundamental mission of the Fulbright programme,” the envoy said. The scholars were orientated by five Nigerian academics, who had participated in the Fulbright programmes to the United States. They were: Abubakar Momoh, a professor of Political Science at the Lagos State University (LASU; Osita Ezenwanebe, an associate professor of Theatre Arts at the University of Lagos (UNILAG); Dr Benson Nsikak, a lecturer at Crescent University, Abeokuta; Dr Lateef Adetona, an Islamic Religious Study lecturer at LASU and Ms Folake

By Wale Ajetunmobi

Oyedepo, a language teacher. They also heard from officials of the Nigerian Immigration Service, who spoke about visa status and resident permit. Momoh, who spoke on Politics and security issues in Nigeria, noted that, despite the challenges, Nigerians are friendly people who treat visitors with courtesy and dignity. Corroborating Momoh, Adetona said the menace of Boko Haram was caused by poverty, citing his personal contact with Almajiri kids in the North. He said: “The contention of Boko Haram members is that if our leaders have acquired Western education and there is still no development in the country, then we should reject such education.” In her lecture titled Adjusting to the social and cultural life in Nigeria: Tips for settling in quickly, Ezenwanebe introduced the scholars to the ethnic composition and cultural configuration in Nigeria. She also lectured the researchers on African codes of respect and etiquette, noting that a typical Nigerian combines the identities of all black Africans and west-

ern natives. On the question of gender inequalities, Ezenwanebe said Africa remains a male-dominated society with all traditional values intact. “Feminism is not much alive in Nigeria. We believe our clear-cut policy ommunal existence would not be complete if men are distant from societal issues. But criminal act against women is not tolerated in Nigeria,” she said. Nsikak noted that the main factor militating against scientific and educational research in Nigeria was the lack of clear-cut policy of government to assist researchers in their investigation of events and materials. He advised the scholars to get their research materials ahead of time, adding that electricity, which is a critical ingredient in research work, was not always available in the country. The Cultural Assistant, US Consulate General Office in Lagos, Chinenye Uwadilike, said the orientation was to make the scholars adapt to the “new environment they are in.” She thanked the Fulbright alumni, who lectured the scholars on the challenges they may face in Nigeria.

•Seeks reconstitution of Governing Council


First Bank donates N20m FIRSTBank Nigeria Plc has donated N20 million to the Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria, as part of its contribution to its Golden Jubilee celebrations slated for November 23 to 24. Presenting a cheque to the Vice-Chancellor, Prof Abdullahi Mustapha, last Friday, in his office, the Executive Director, Public Sector, North, Malam Dauda Lawal, said the donation was necessitated by the age-long partnership between the bank and the university. A statement signed by the media adviser to the Vice-Chancellor, Mallam Waziri Isa Gwantu, said Lawal commended the Vice-Chancellor for successfully steering ABU to greater heights and promised the bank’s continuous support. Thanking the bank for the gesture, Mustapha called on all other institutions doing business with ABU, especially banks and contractors, to do same.

VC seeks support for 50th anniversary

Lawyer gives scholarship to UNIBEN students IGHT students of the Faculty of Law of the University of Benin (UNIBEN) have been awarded scholarships for their Nigerian Law School programme. The scholarship was announced by the Chairman of Conference of Alumni Associations of Nigerian Universities, Chief Richard Oma Ahonaruogho, during the launch of the book, The making of an Ambassador: Legal Essays in Honour of Chief Richard Ahonaruogho. The book was published by the Law Students’ Association of UNIBEN. The students are Charles Iheanachor, Ikhuenbor Vikram Osarumen, Mayor Ernest Ogbonna, Obijeko Festus, Ojeaga Okhai, Ojo


From Osagie Otabor, Benin

Oluwafemi, David Omiunu and Talabi Adetayo Oluwafemi. Speaking at the book launch, Ahonaruogho said two of the beneficiaries, who are undergraduates, would be given the cash equivalent as capital for whatever businesses they wish to undertake. He said: “I will finance any entrepreneurship idea. You have shown enterprise by writing this book. This will boost my support for young leaders.” He, however, expressed dismay over the non-constitution of a Governing Council for the university. Ahonaruogho said he decided not

to redeem his N10million pledge for the UNIBEN law faculty in protest of the absence of a governing board for the institution. He said the money would be redeemed when a council has been constituted for UNIBEN. The book reviewer, Prof. Ernest Ojukwu said the books touched on economy, political, legal topics that are crucial to moving Nigeria forward. He noted that articles contained in the book were of high standard. President of the Law Student Association Mayor Ogbonna thanked Ahonaruogho for the gesture and sponsorship of projects associated with the law faculty.


The ABU Vice-Chancellor has charged the alumni, stakeholders, friends and members of the university to donate generously towards realising the N50 billion endowment fund to be launched during the Golden Jubilee. Briefing congregation members of the university on the level of preparation, Mustapha said the launch of the fund would be one of the central events of the event. He said the funds will be channelled to address key needs of the university that include commencement of work on the institution’s site II campus to decongest the Samaru site I of the campus. “We are determined to open new sites, not far from the Main Campus, in line with our future development plan and coupled with the lack of available space for expansion at the present site” he said. Already, he said the Acting Chairman and Pro-Chancellor of the university, Arc Muhammed Dewu has mobilised a consortium of architectural/building firms owned by ABU alumni to produce an updated master plan for the university as well as a site plan for the new site II. He said the consortium will also produce proto-type designs for Faculties of Science and Architecture, School of Business Studies, hostels and recreational facilities to be sited at the new site II across the university dam.

City Club hosts lecture PROFESSOR of Political Science, University of Lagos, Adele Jinadu, is to deliver the 2012 Annual Public Lecture of the City Club today at the Club’s House in Surulere, Lagos. The Governor of Lagos State, Babatunde Raji Fashola (SAN), will chair the lecture titled, Governance and Development: Whither Nigeria? The annual public lecture is part of the Corporate Social Responsibility (CRS) of the club to sensitise members of the public on national topical issues. The club, founded in 1963, comprises professionals who have made their marks in the field of Medicine, Law, Insurance, Business Administration, Accounting, Engineering and Architecture.




FUNAAB FILE Institute building nears completion THE Institute for Food Security, Environmental Resouces and Agricultural Research (IFSERAR) building, on Mawuko Road, is 95 per cent completed, according to its Director, Prof Segun Osinowo. He said: “The only thing I will say is that the IFSERAR building is 95 per cent completed. The landscaping has not been done but we are aware of the fact that it is not part of the original plan. As far as we are concerned, the project is a major achievement for the university because, for the first time, we have a fairly well completed research building that has facilities for our research programmes.” Osinowo’s assessment corroborated the Deputy Director, Directorate of Physical Planning (DPP), Babatunde Anasanwo, who earlier stated that “IFSERAR Building is as good as completed.”

APPROACHING DEADLINES 2013-2014 SEAMEO SEARCA Graduate o Kasetsart University, Thailand o University of the Philippines (UP) Los Baños, Scholarship Programme Graduate Scholarship in the field of Natural Philippines Other reputable universities outside Resources Management and Agricultural the University Consortium but within the Competitiveness, 2013/14 Indonesia, Malaysia, Southeast Asian region may also serve as study posts of scholars under special arrangements and Thailand, Philippines Study Subject(s):Natural Resources project agreements. Management and Agricultural Competitiveness How to Apply: By Post Scholarship Application Deadline: Not later Course Level:Graduate than 30 July 2012 Scholarship Provider: SEARCA Scholarship can be taken at: Indonesia, END Malaysia, Thailand, Philippines Eligibility:-Th e SEARCA Graduate Scholarship 2012 TWAS-CNPq Postdoctoral Fellowship for is open to nationals of Brunei Darussalam, Developing Countries, Brazil Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Postdoctoral Fellowship in Natural Sciences for Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Th ailand, Young Scientists from Developing Countries, Timor-Leste, and Vietnam who are regular Brazil 2012 employees of academic, research or government Study Subject(s):Natural Sciences institutions and not more than 35 years old at Course Level:Postdoctoral Fellowship Scholarship Provider: National Council for the time of application. Scholarship Open for International Students: Scientific and Technological Development and TWAS Yes Scholarship Open for Students of Following Scholarship can be taken at: Brazil Countries: Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Eligibility: Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, the -Be a maximum age of 45 years on 31 December Philippines, Singapore, Th ailand, Timor-Leste, of the application year. -Be permanent residents in a developing and Vietnam Scholarship Description: SEARCA scholars country (other than Brazil). may study at any of the following universities: -Hold a Ph.D degree in a field of the natural sciences. o Institut Pertanian Bogor, Indonesia -Be a regular employee in a developing country o Universitas Gadjah Mada, Indonesia (other than Brazil) and hold a research assignment o Universiti Putra Malaysia, Malaysia

there. -Provide evidence that s/he will return to her/ his home country on completion of the fellowship. -Not take up other assignments during the period of her/his fellowship. Scholarship Open for International Students: Yes Scholarship Open for Students of Following Countries: Developing Countries (other than Brazil) Scholarship Description: The following is additional information concerning the TWASCNPq Postdoctoral Fellowship Programme tenable in Brazil. It is an integral part of the information given here: TWAS Fellowships for Postdoctoral Research.TWAS-CNPq Postdoctoral Fellowships are tenable at research institutions in Brazil for a minimum period of six months to a maximum period of twelve months. They are awarded to scientists from developing countries (other than Brazil) to enable them to pursue postdoctoral research in the natural sciences.CNPq will provide a standard monthly allowance which should be used to cover living costs, such as accommodation, food and health insurance. The monthly stipend will not be convertible into foreign currency. How to Apply: Online Scholarship Application Deadline: 20 July of each year

NASS urges govt to increase funding for ASCON


•Prof Oyewole

VC harps on concerted efforts THE Vice-Chancellor, Prof Olusola Bandele Oyewole, has told the university community that leadership does not depend on him or the top management alone, but a collective responsibility of all. Declaring open a two-day training workshop for Heads of Departments (HODs) at the International Scholar and Resource Centre, the VC said every staff and student has some roles to play in the onerous task of making FUNAAB a world-class institution. Oyewole said: “The management will succeed only if leadership at departmental level succeeds and that is why we need your support and your cooperation.The strength of leadership, depends on the quality of leadership at all levels. Leadership needs those at the top hierarchy and those at the grassroots to be responsive and play their positive roles at their various levels, for the leadership to succeed.”

HE House of Representative Committee on Establishment and Public Service Matters has urged the Federal Government and its agencies to, as a matter of policy, use the Administrative Staff College of Nigeria (ASCON), Topo, Badagry, for all training programmes for civil servants and administrative workers. The committee was on a fact finding mission to the college to evaluate the level of performance of the 2012 budget by the executive, agencies and parastatals. The committee also urged the presidency to cut the over N5 billion budgeted for foreign training yearly by about 50 per cent, and use the excess to fund ASCON and other local training establishments. Led by its Chairman, Andrew Uchendu, Aminu Ribadu (Deputy) Kayode Busari, Sani Aliya and Abdul Balarabe (members), the committee praised the college leadership for good governance, transparency and judicious use of resources. The House members also advised the college leadership to keep its vision and mission on track as it has been doing, particularly, in areas, such as intensive curriculum, maintenance of clean environment and decent facilities. Uchendu said: “My committee is greatly worried that, every year, this government spends well over N5 billion in the budget for training of staff of virtually all the ministries and parastatals. “Why should we have an institution like ASCON, and we are spending N5 billion every year for training outside the country. It

•From Left: Dr Abdulrahim Balarabe, Aminu Ribadu, Mr Peters, Mr Uchendu, Mr Kayode Busari and Mr Kano during the visit. By Adegunle Olugbamila

does not make sense to us. Why should we have public service training institute in Nigeria and we spend huge sums of money to send to overseas those who could be trained in Nigeria, he queried. “With the facilities we have seen in ASCON and other places, there is no reason why we should continue to do that. My committee is, therefore, calling on the Federal Government to cut by, at least, 50 per cent the 2013 budget for train-

ing abroad, and provide that fund to strengthen our local training institutions.” Uchendu said the visit was to find out how much was allocated, how much has been released and how much has been used; and the specific projects the money released was used for. He advised the management not to rest on its oars, but to embark on aggressive marketing of its services, which, he described, as world standard. Uchendu also promised to submit a report that would convince

the leadership of the National Assembly to pass a resolution that would make it mandatory for the training of its officers, government agencies and parastatals, at ASCO N, while urging governments at all levels to look inward for their staff training needs. Earlier in his welcome address, ASCON Director-General Ajibade Peters said since the ASCON was established by Decree 39 of 1973, as the apex management development institute in Africa, it has carried out its mandate, despite challenges.

AOCOED signs MoU with Georgia, Madison varsities


HE Adeniran Ogunsanya College of Education (AOCOED), Otto/Ijanikin and the University of Georgia, Athens, United States (US) has agreed to establish distant learning degree programmes. This was part of the agreement reached when the Provost, Mr Wasiu Olalekan Bashorun, accompanied by the Registrar, Mr Bola Disu, visited the two universities in the US to cement earlier agreements that suffered implementation setbacks. The two universities visited are the - University of Georgia, Athens and University of Madison, Wisconsin Mr Disu had, last week, briefed the

college community, saying the visit was designed to “re-energise the implementation of the contents of the Memoranda of Understanding (MoU) signed with the University of Georgia four years ago, precisely September 23, 2008. In the course of deliberation and negotiation with officials of the two universities, Bashorun said the agreement, though “well conceived and properly articulated in principle in the MoU, has been allowed to suffer inadequate implementation, if not outright neglect in terms of implementation.” He added: “This is neither right nor

fair. It should be corrected.” Bashorun further suggested a yearly rotational summit of heads of the two institutions with a view to exploring areas of further cooperation and to maintain adequate commitment to the agreement. Another bright side of the visit was the opportunities for AOCOED International School (AIS) pupils to be offered admission into the University of Georgia for first degree programmes, subject to such students’ interest and qualification. The meeting mapped out 15 ways forward in the implementation of the collaborative agreement.

The meeting also agreed that representatives of the two institutions should meet yearly or every other year to review the extent of implementation of the agreement. The agreement also seeks mutual cooperation in the areas of joint research programmes, sabbatical leave, students and faculty exchange programme, as well as running a post-graduate diploma in education. It is anticipated that come February 13, next year, a senior academic member of the University of Georgia will deliver a public lecture under the AOCOED distinguished lecture series.





Govt, NUT disagree on return of mission schools


HE Federal Government has said there is no going back on the return of mission schools to their original owners even as it revealed plans to intervene in secondary school development through the Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC). The government’s position was made known by the Minister of State for Education, Nyesom Wike, last week when he appeared at a House of Representatives’ public hearing on two bills on the amendment of the Universal Basic Education Commission (2004) Act. The Nigerian Union of Teachers (NUT), in its presentation at the hearing, by its General Secretary, Ikpe Obong, accused the Federal Government of contravening the Constitution by returning the schools to their former owners. Stakeholders were, however, of

From Victor Oluwasegun and Dele Anofi, Abuja

divergent views on how to strengthen secondary education. While some advocated for the Federal Government’s intervention in the development of the sector through UBEC, others proposed the establishment of a separate agency to take charge of government’s intervention programmes in secondary schools. Speaking on the return of schools to their original owners, Obong said the government has acted contrary to the provision of the Constitution by no longer making education at primary and secondary level free in the affected schools. Wike disagreed saying government has not violated the Constitution. “The children in those schools

would not be denied of rights and privileges enjoyed by others in public schools. Government has made provisions for a certain moratorium to be given to the affected schools so that they will not charge school fees for a certain period,” he said. Besides, he said in the proposed amendment, the Federal Government is advocating for an increment of two per cent of the Consolidated Revenue given to UBEC to five per cent for the agency to be able to meet the additional responsibility of the secondary school intervention. According to him, the intervention would address the issue of quality in the secondary school sector. Earlier, while declaring open the public hearing, Speaker, House of Representatives Aminu Tambuwal pointed out that the expansion of

the scope of the UBEC Bill was the most important programme in the educational curricula of the House that has helped in making basic education a reality for most Nigerians. Tambuwal, who was represented by the Chief Whip, Mohammed Bawa, also suggested that government’s programme on Almajiri school be brought under the supervision of UBEC, so that a staggering 10 million children that are out of school would be saved. “Government’s determination to provide assistance to states and local governments for the purposes of uniform and qualitative education will be more fully realised if the new Almajiri schools are made part of these efforts,” he said. In her opening remarks, the Acting Chairman of the Committee on Education, Rose Oko, said the es-


sence of the public hearing which was one of the stages of law-making, was to get the inputs of stakeholders before the bills are finally passed by the House.

‘It’s detrimental for pupils not to finish Primary Six’ It’s a fad for parents these days to withdraw their wards from Primary Five to sit entrance examinations to transit to secondary schools. But the proprietor, Carol School, Agidingbi, Ikeja, Mrs Caroline Akintunji, believes otherwise. She told ADEGUNLE OLUGBAMILA of the danger in such practice and why it is a policy in the school that every child must read Primary Six otherwise, parents are free to withdraw their wards

•Mrs Akintunji


HOUGH pupils are meant to spend six years in primary school, many private schools allow them to leave from Primary Five. Why is this so? Here (Carol), it is a policy that every child must proceed to Primary Six. It is now left to you as a parent. When a child is in Primary Four, as a parent, you may decide to take her, but I will not sign any papers for you. The only thing you

are entitled to here is the testimonial which will, of course, indicate what class the child left. But, for you to bring a form and say my child wants to write an entrance exam to secondary school, I won’t sign that. Some parents, because of that, move their children away, but I am not bothered. Why do you insist? As a passionate educationist, we will not be helping these children. As parents, we send them into a secondary school which to me is a mini society when they are not yet mature. There is this fear that the more mature ones will intimidate or bully them, so they want to look for protection. In the process, the

bad guys lure them into bad companies leading to cultism in secondary schools these days and in the tertiary institutions by extension. But why are parents in a hurry to take their children away from Primary Five? I don’t even know. Worse still, some even take their children from Primary Four, but I keep telling them to look at many children who roam our streets today; it is because most cannot pass any exam, even if they were able to cheat all through their high school and university days; but when it gets to being employed, that is where the problem awaits them because they have got no skills and therefore unem-

ployable. So we advise parents to let the children go the whole hog to be able to acquire the skills that needed to be imparted in them. Unfortunately, many private schools don’t allow this foundation to be properly laid. Don’t you think the government should legislate this? Recently, I read in a magazine where the Lagos State commissioner (for Education) said the ministry is making moves to stop children transiting to secondary school from Primary 5, I just wrote a letter to her that these days, it’s not only Primary Five but Primary Four. I suggested that she put the Inspectorate Division of the ministry more on their toes. For instance, when we are asked to submit our Continuous Assessment from Primary One to Primary Six, some schools will even tell you they don’t read Primary Six that everything terminates at Primary Five. That simply means schools that don’t have Primary Six must have cooked up something. That also means the start of the life of these children were being built on fraud. So, I urge the commissioner to find out from the exams board where those schools are getting their Continuous Assessment, and I’m happy the ministry replied me that they are working on it. As an educationist, if a child misses Primary five or primary six, what is that child missing?

Lots! First when you take the curriculum, the scheme has been arranged such that you have what to do at each level. So when a child leaves in Primary Four what happens to contents of primary five or six? By the time they get to secondary school, they start off very weak because they will be doing between 17 to 18 subjects in JSS1. How do you expect a child who at that age is between nine or 10-year old cope? They are always lagging behind in note writing, assignment, and they end up struggling with learning throughout their secondary school year and beyond. This breeds exam malpractices because these children know they cannot pass exam, so they take shortcuts. Unfortunately, most parents don’t listen even when we cite example of children who had done it before and are regretting it. They have forgotten that these children are not the same. We have some children who have mature faster than their ages and are quite intelligent, but they are few. Another thing is when these children take entrance examination, especially the private schools, they (school management) will tell you your child passed even though your child failed because these secondary schools are looking for money and children to fill in the classes. As a parent, why don’t you demand for the script to be sure your child passed?

NMC trains primary Maths teachers •Mr Ogazi (middle) flanked by Anatune (left) and Boniface Nkemakolam, chairman, Organising Committee, at the briefing

Alumni to honour Imo Deputy Governor


LD boys of Emekuku High School, Owerri, will honour the Deputy Governor of Imo State, Sir Jude Agbaso, on Saturday on the school premises. In addition to celebrating Agbaso’s success in business and public life since graduating from the school in 1972, the alumni association is hoping the event will draw the attention of the Imo State Governor, Mr Rochas Okorocha and other old students to the dilapidated infrastructure of the school with a bid to stimulating a change. Addressing journalists at a briefing ahead of the event in Lagos last Tuesday, President of the association Mr Paul Ogazi expressed hopes that old boys will be moved to give

By Kofoworola Belo-Osagie

back to their alma mater through the event. He said: “Emekuku High School is in dire need of resource transfusion and infrastructure transformation. The buildings in the school and the laboratories and library they shelter are in heart-breaking throes of decay. When you see the refectory and what used to be the lawns, and staff quarters, your heart will ache and tears will fill your eyes. “I wonder what thoughts go through the minds of the current teachers and students when they are told that this ruin is what remains of a school that was the pride of Owerri in the East-Central State. Our choice of the school premises

for venue of Garlands for Our Own is to draw the attention of stakeholders to the plight of this school that many capable and eminent men call their alma mater.” Vice-President of the association, Mr Joe Anatune also said the homecoming programme is expected to inspire present pupils of the school to strive for greatness. “The essence is also to encourage the young ones that if you work very hard you can get anywhere,” he said in an interview with The Nation. Emekuku High School, which clocks 50 in two years, was established as a private school called Sebastine Academy in 1964. It was given its present name when the defunct East Central Government took over the school.

•Distributes Mathematics aids


N recognition of the importance of learning mathematics from the foundation, the National Mathematical Centre (NMC) has embarked on training for primary school teachers. Speaking at a workshop for primary school teachers in the Southsouth held in Benin, the Acting Director-General, Prof Adewale Solarin, noted that teachers remain the key in changing the way Mathematics is taught and learnt in schools. He attributed the low achievement of learners in Mathematics to ineffective instructional skills and methodologies by teachers. He said: “The primary level is the key to the success or failure of the educational system. What the primary school teacher knows and can do would make the future of the pupils; but what he does not know and cannot do

From Osagie Otabor, Benin

will be an irreparable loss to the pupils. “The primary teacher is expected to shoulder the responsibility of producing children who have well formed basic concepts in mathematics and who are able to use these concepts to further their knowledge in Mathematics.” The NMC also distributed instructional materials at the end of the five-day NMC/MDG workshop. In their communiqué, the participating teachers identified poor administration of schools by head teachers, lack of mathematical laboratories for practicals and non-availability of mathematics kits as factors militating against teaching of mathematics in schools.





Arise O compatriots!


ONLY had to read a friend’s notes on a presentation by a secondary school pupil about

the practices in his sister’s school to be filled with indignation. The teenager said in the school, the pupils are taught about the history of Great Britain, its leaders, currency, culture and way of life. However, they do not know how to recite the Nigerian national anthem and it is a taboo to speak our local languages. I have witnessed a competition where the contestants of certain

•Mrs Kalu (in pink), the pupils with their uniforms and some corps member after the presentation

Corps members distribute uniforms


HE Skills Acquisition and Entrepreneurship Development (SAED) Community Development (CD) group of the National Youth Service Corps Batch ‘C’ Lagos State has donated 52 uniforms to pupils of Jinadu Nursery and Primary School, Surulere. The service to humanity project was embarked upon by the group to impact positively on the lives of less-privileged pupils. Most of the uniforms were sown by some Corps members who acquired tailoring skills as members of the CD Group. The uniforms were distributed to pupils with tattered uniforms by the group last Monday.

By Ramat Musa

Corps members moved from class to class identifying the pupils with tattered uniforms. Thanking the Corps members, the head teacher, Mrs Christiana Kalu, praised them for fulfilling their promise to the school when they first visited a month ago to inform her of the project. “This will be a memorable thing and it will be recorded in our log book as you have promised and fulfilled it, unlike many of your predecessors who made promises in the past but failed,’’ she said . Assistant head teacher Mr Olaniyi Adeala said many of the pupils got their clothes torn while

playing and not that their parents don’t cater for their children. One of the beneficiaries, 10-yearold Deji Adajayan in Primary Five said: ‘’I am really happy and grateful that people who are not my family helped my parents in changing my tattered uniform and I am sure my parents will be so glad to see this when I get home.’’ Kaosara Raheem said she was happy with the new uniform as she had been disturbing her parents to get her a new one before. The SAED group tutor, Mrs Folashade Ogoji, praised the corps members for the project which she said was enough to refer the corps members as Non Governmental Organisation (NGO) members.

•Odubela handing over the keys of the new buses to Prof Adesanya while Dr Abimbola (left) and Alhaji Ishola (in native) and some students watch.


Belo-Osagie 08054503077 (SMS only)

international schools were asked to solve Mathematics sums based on British currency. How far will some private schools go in the name of offering socalled first class education? It is a thing of pride for some elite schools to boast of running the British and American curriculums yet they are grooming pupils expected to function in the Nigerian society. Some claim they do so because their pupils travel frequently on holidays and may end up studying there at higher levels. However, that does not change the fact that they are Nigerians. It is sad that some schools are teaching their pupils that they should aspire to be like citizens of western countries. In other words, they are telling the children that Nigeria is not good enough and that being black or African is inferior. However, though they may change their passports, they cannot change the colour of their skin. Unfortunately, this desire to be like the oyinbos does not end with elite schools. Increasingly, even barely literate parents on the lower rungs of the socio-economic ladder insist on speaking English to their wards at home premised on the erroneous thinking that the children will be superior. On several occasions, I have witnessed conversations between parent and child that demonstrate the parents only succeed in teaching them to speak bad English. Once, I overhead a mother telling her son while hurrying him to school that: “You late to school yesterday; you must not late tomorrow.” She would have fared better speaking her mother tongue but is likely determined to enthrone English as the Lingua Franca in her family. It seems we need to learn patriotism from Nigerians abroad – some of whom may have fled the country for greener pastures. I was impressed by a parade I watched on TV that took place in the United States to celebrate Nigeria’s independence. The turn out for the parade was huge. I could see Nigerians gathered at the venue as far as the camera lens could capture. Surprisingly, there were many young people in the procession, most of them waving the Nigerian flag as they danced to popular songs by our local musicians. Some groups presented local dances, while there were also live performances by young Nigerian musicians who seem to be popular in the US. These people are aware of the negative image Nigeria has abroad. They know about the insecurity, corruption, poverty and infrastructural decay, but they chose to stand for their country and celebrate her 52nd Independence in a way that even those of us at home did not. That is the spirit. Like Mr Jimi Agbaje, former governorship aspirant for Lagos State, told some pupils that visited his pharmacy last week, we need to be proud of our country and teach our wards same. Nigeria is not perfect, neither are the countries we long to be like. However, we can strive for perfection by identifying what pulls us down and dealing with them according – as is done in those countries.

‘These people are aware of the negative image Nigeria has abroad. They know about the insecurity, corruption, poverty and infrastructural decay, but they chose to stand for their country and celebrate her 52nd Independence in a way that even those of us at home did not. That is the spirit’

Ogun donates buses to OOU


HE Ogun State government has donated two 43-seater luxury buses to students of the Olabisi Onabanjo University (OOU), Ago-Iwoye, to ease transportation challenges to and from the school. Handing over the buses to officials of the Students’ Union Government (SUG) during the university’s convocation last week, Governor Ibikunle Amosun noted that the step was one of his administration’s measures to enhance their welfare and a demonstration of his commit-

ment to repositioning the education sector. Represented by the Commissioner for Education, Science and Technology, Mr Segun Odubela, Amosun implored the students to reciprocate the government’s gesture by being alive to their responsibilities and focused on their books. The Acting Vice-Chancellor, Prof Saburi Adejimi Adesanya, thanked Amosun for the donation and promised that the students will reciprocate the gesture by being peaceful at all times.

The President of the SUG, Comrade Omojola Ayokunle, expressed appreciation to the government, describing the gesture as a welcome relief. He pledged that the students would continue to give their unalloyed support to the state government and maintain peace in and outside the institution. Special Adviser to the Governor on Education, Dr. Tunji Abimbola and the Permanent Secretary, Ogun State Ministry of Education, Alhaji Ambali Ishola, witnessed the handover.

From my Inbox Re: On UNIPORT, Mubi killings (published Thursday, October 11, 2012) Miss Kofo, I really thank God for your life for your thought provoking write ups. I wish the perpetrators of the UNIPORT and Mubi killings are silenced in the manner they have killed their victims. It is better they too experience that nasty agony they’ve inflicted on those departed ones especially those four promising young boys of UNIPORT. Remain blessed. Mr M.O. Olagookun. Your caption above refers. Couldn’t it have been more appropriate to have captioned your write up as “on mubi uniport killings” because both in terms of precedence and scale the Mubi tragedy comes first. Remain blessed







Hon Chibudom Nwuche is a former Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives. He speaks on many national issues, including the vexed issues of restructuring the federation, constitutional amendment, size of the National Assembly and offshore/onshore controversy. Assistant Editor ONYEDI OJIABOR met him.

Restructuring of Nigeria inevitable, says Nwuche N IGERIA recently celebrated her 52nd anniversary. What do you consider its significance? Nigeria is still in the process of developing as a nation and defining its priorities. It has been a long and tortuous journey for Nigerians. We are still battling with many problems, including the lack of infrastructure and viable businesses that can employ our teeming youths; we are still battling with underdeveloped agriculture, poor health care, and lately, insecurity. But then, we are a resilient people and I know that in spite of all this, if we put our minds to it as always, we will overcome. We are still one united country. People feel that the unity can be strengthened if we redefine the structure and I share that view. Those calling for restructuring would one day be seen as nationalists because what they want to do is to cement the country in a way that allows the constituent parts to express themselves and free their creative potential as opposed to the current structure that has undermined our growth and made our country a laughing stock amongst the comity of nations. And to avoid us getting to the point where we would disintegrate violently, restructuring is the answer. So, I see the people calling for restructuring of the country as real nationalists. They understand the issues to the extent that if Nigeria is fine-tuned, we will make much greater progress, perhaps, than we have done in the past 50 years. We can achieve a lot more in the next 25 years, if the structure is right. When you talk of restructuring, what exactly do you mean? If you look carefully at the progress that we were able to record, that were outstanding, they were made during the times when we had the regions. The northern region had groundnut pyramids, the west had cocoa and built the Cocoa House and the east and south had palm oil. At that time we developed faster. When I see people clamouring for states, I wonder what is the point of the clamour when many of the states are not viable and only serve to further disunite us. Many states that we have are not viable, for instance after paying salaries some have nothing left in their purse for development. Their budget is almost 80 per cent recurrent. Rather, we should be clamouring to go back to regionalism of six regions with the centre handling issues like foreign affairs, defence, currency and immigration. People should keep their resources and pay taxes to the centre, that should be done so that each region can develop at their own pace and unlock their creativity. So, even though the country is wobbling, it can be arrested if we agree to face the fact that we need to restructure the country and that is the challenge before the National Assembly. How should the country approach the restructuring? The National Assembly must take the lead in this regard by amending the constitution in a way that will reflect the yearnings of Nigerians. What the socio-cultural groups are saying is not their opinion it is the opinion of Nigerians. The Assembly must take the lead and collate their views even without the so called sovereign national conference. In our country we have over centralized governance and we must decentralize it. I don’t believe that the current existing structure is viable. I think that we should go back to the regions. Do you think the talk about 2015 is auspicious at this time? Talk of new election in 2015 should be discouraged to enable the various governments, both at the federal and state levels, to focus on delivering their electoral promises and party manifesto to Nigerians. We cannot start talking about elections in 2015 when we have had just one year of governance .We should allow the President to deliver on his promises to

• Nwuche

Nigerians. This is exactly why many have advocated, with good reasons, for a single tenure of between 6 to seven years so that we can stop the colossal waste of resources involved in frequent elections, without substantial change, as most incumbents are ultimately returned in spite of their performance. Indeed the defeat of an incumbent is the exception and not the rule and takes incredible material and human resources that it is often not worth the trouble and trauma for the political process. I hope the National Assembly will revisit this proposal in the ongoing constitution review. The celebration was low key. What does this say about us? It was time for reflection and I commend the government for adopting the low keyed style this time around. We need to reflect on many issues like the Constitution Amendment that will give Nigeria a balanced federation; that will be based on true fiscal federalism, and restructuring. The National Assembly must find the courage to do what is right. Each time we have tended to look at issues from the perspective of where we come from, say north or south. We should stop such thinking. We need to think as Nigerians because all parts of the country suffer our current difficulties in more or less equal proportion. No part of this country, in the past 50 years, in spite of the tricks of the various power blocks from the two regions - the north and the south, is really at advantage. Only a few elite, perhaps, have gained materially or so from this process. Even then, they, too, are victims of the larger malaise of lack of security caused by youth unemployment, lack of infrastructure and social services. If you are rich in your small enclave and the people around you are all poor, then you are not rich. You must therefore build high walls to keep the thieves away because you are not safe. You are also liable to be attacked by armed robbers on the roads because the youths are unemployed. Nobody has been a victor

because even those who think they have won, have actually lost, if you understand what I mean. We have come to the point where we cannot gloss over these issues anymore. It is no longer a case of I am a northerner or a southerner. No, that is not it. Some stakeholders believe the only way out is convocation of a sovereign national conference ... I think that a conference of some sort may be productive, to collate the views of the constituent parts of the country, and these views are known to all. What they are asking for is fiscal federalism, a return to regionalism, to parliamentary system of governance because they believe that it is cheaper to run and that it also allows for less friction between the different arms of government. To be a minister you must first of all run for an election and be elected into parliament. So you find that between the arms of government there is less friction and it is better for developing countries that require consensus for urgent national issues. It will also put a final lie to what I call “pseudo technocracy,” where people fold their arms and watch others campaign to enthrone governments and they go and shamelessly take portfolios on the grounds of being so called “technocrats.” What makes them technocrats? Is it the first class degrees, which some politicians also have? Why can’t they go and campaign and get to interact with those they want to rule and understand their needs and be accessible to them. I think the conference is necessary to collate these views formally; it may not be sovereign because there is already a parliament in place. What to do is to take on board the recommendations of the confab and reflect them in the constitution amendment process. That is what parliament should do. If you begin to think of protecting advantages, maybe for instance the current constitution favours certain sections of the country and they may want to protect it, but why protect something that will be worth nothing. If our country fails under this structure, whatever you have protected or benefits that you have derived will be meaningless. If we are able to unlock our potentials by amending the constitution in a way that is balanced and fair to the constituent parts, we shall all be better for it. Luckily the vexed issue of resources control should no longer be significant as every part of this country has resources. So there is no fear of being left with nothing and we should use the money from oil to develop agriculture and solid minerals. That is what needs to be done. So, nobody needs to be afraid. When the country is restructured we may need to provide some common pool to see that Nigerians all over the country feel a sense of belonging and equity. Luckily, oil is being found in other parts of the country now like in Anambra, Benue and the north like the Lake Chad basin. So oil is no longer the preserve of the South-South or South-East. The issue of state police is one of the topical issues before the constitution review committee. What is your position on the agitation its introduction? I don’t believe that the states are viable structures. I think that if we revert to regionalism then regional governments can have a police force. There must be some central control

‘Those calling for restructuring would one day be seen as nationalist because what they want to do is to cement the country in a way that allows the constituent parts to express themselves and free their creative potential as opposed to the current structure that has undermined our growth and made our country a laughing stock in the comity of nations’

mechanism so that we can prevent abuse. The fears people have is that some governors who do not have the right temperament, and are not democrats, may use the state police as a private army against their opponents. That is the main fear. If you have police forces at regional government levels it is difficult to manipulate the regional police even if you are the premier of the region because in regions we have different ethnic groups. It is a much bigger geographical entity and it is more difficult to corner and put in your pocket. They will not create tension because it will be a robust structure, with different ethnic nationalities. For a start you can have a strong central oversight on the police force. So I would rather advocate for regional policing. Remuneration of members of the National Assembly and the size of the legislature came under scrutiny recently. Do you think we need to keep the bicameral structure and current size? I think Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu meant well by his statement on the size of the National Assembly, but perhaps, he was not properly reported. I think what he meant is, perhaps, that Nigeria having a bicameral legislature will not be the best for these times. First of all, it is very cumbersome, the numbers are many. May be these are coming to the fore because of the lack of resources. For now, many people feel that a unicameral legislature may be better in the sense that decisions are easy to make and then it may not be that expensive. So in terms of cost there is a clear case for parliamentary system of government. The cost and possibility of reducing friction as well. So I think that he meant well. This should be part of the constitutional review process; that we should look at the possibility of adopting the system that appears to have worked in the past for us and that may be more in keeping with the financial and developmental realities of our country. America is a very wealthy and productive nation and can readily afford the presidential system of government with a bicameral legislature. I think Nigeria doesn’t have the same resources currently. Nigeria ’s budget may not be up to that of a state like California . So, to practice the American system the way it is done in the USA may not be good for us in Nigeria and so we need to look at it more carefully. What is your view on the call by the Kano State governor for review of the onshore/offshore oil dichotomy? First, when you talk about offshore oil or offshore resources, there are states or areas that border the oceans and the rivers. In those areas, their livelihood depends on the rivers because they don’t have farmlands. In terms of oil production, whenever there is oil spillage deep offshore the communities that border the bank of the river are impacted negatively and they suffer grave consequences from oil pollution. The marine life that they depend on may not be available to fish, they contract diseases from oil pollution, it affects the drinking water and there is likelihood of acid rain. To attempt to argue that the littoral states should not have the benefit of the offshore oil does not make sense. I think that the governor who called for that should take a closer look at the issue and advise himself. There is no point trying to overheat the polity. He doesn’t know what it means to be from the Niger Delta where we come from. If he did he would not say what he was saying. What we must do is to grow our economy, develop other minerals, luckily his own state has many minerals and he should make efforts to develop them. I want to see them making efforts and demanding from the Federal Government matching grants to develop agriculture and solid minerals in their states, instead of us fighting over the crumbs from a mere 2.5m barrels per day of oil for a population of over 160 million people.




Pwajok: The journey, challenges, victory By Chris Gyang


• Leader of Oodua Self-Determination Alliance (OSEDA), Mr Popoola Ajayi (2nd left); Mr Olalekan Agbana (Secretary) (1st right); Mr Taye Naibi Disu (Coordinator, Yoruba groups in South-South) and Mr Kunle Olajide at the pan-Yoruba Press Conference adopting Rotimi Akeredolu in Akure... yesterday

Yoruba groups, youths rally support for Akeredolu A

HEAD of the Saturday governorship election in Ondo State, the aspiration of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) candidate, Mr Rotimi Akeredolu, got a boost yesterday as over 200 representatives of Yoruba self-determination groups, youth and women associations spoke with one voice, seeking massive turn-out of voters in his support. They spoke at a media conference where the representatives came from all the South West states including Edo and Delta States. Leaders of Yoruba people in Northern Nigeria and representatives from Togo and Benin Republics were also at the crowded conference which held at Akure, the state capital. The groups were unanimous in their resolution that state must return into what they referred to as the “greater Yoruba family.” The group accused the state governor of consciously working against Yoruba unity saying that his allegations some ACN leaders want to collect ‘rent’ from his is cheap and full of base instinct. “The retrieval of the mandate from the Peoples Democratic Party, (PDP) was a battle fought and won by the Yoruba people in Ondo state and beyond. Ondo is an integral part of the Yoruba culture and history,” they said. The groups’ leader, Mr Popoola

By Dada Aladelokun, Assistant Editor

Ajayi said that no one should be allowed to rewrite out history. Mimiko wants a small enclave where he can do anything without question. Where he will not be accountable to the Yoruba people, where he will lord himself over a small population and bully the rest of the Yoruba nation. This is unacceptable to the Yoruba nation. We must all come together to stop him.” Ajayi added that the election should be used to affirm the commitment of the people of Ondo to the ideals of the late Chief Obafemi Awolowo whom the people gave their 90 percent support in his lifetime. He warned that allowing Mimiko to retain the seat will undermine the political security in the entire South West region. The groups at the event included the Oodua Self Determination Alliance (OSEDA) which comprises of over 26 pan-Yoruba groups, South West Youth Coalition, with a list of over 60 affiliates and a host of other women and youth groups drawn from across Yoruba land. Popoola said: ‘We the representatives of Yoruba people from across the world are here with our own people in Ondo State. This event is to send a strong signal that the Yoruba people must act to-

gether. We have shared dreams, shared dreams and shared aspirations. We must not allow the Labour Party (LP) to destroy the Yoruba family. “It is unfortunate that the LP candidate, Dr. Olusegun Mimiko is bent on setting the Yoruba people against each other. This is compounded by the fact that he has no good plans, he is full of deceit. He has spent 25 years in government in Ondo State. As the governor, he collects the highest security vote in the South West. With 500 million in his kitty as security vote, yet life and properties remain unsafe in Ondo State. We must act together and bring down the tree of mischief, the tree of discord and the tree of underdevelopment. The group stated further that unless the people speak with one voice, “the Labour Party has the potential to turn Ondo into a patriarch state in the comity of Yoruba states. The whole world is working on integration - the European Union (EU), the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), the SouthSouth of Nigeria, the North, the Eastern Nigerian states. In the case of Ondo state, entreaties were made to Labour Party and Mimiko, but he remains adamant. He said her did not want anything to do with the greater Yoruba family which in the long run will undermine our age-long history of collaboration and unity which is needed to strengthen the Yoruba nation in the face of internal and external threats.”

CNPP backs Fashola’s policy


HE Conference of Nigerian Political Parties (CNPP) has thrown its full weight behind the policy of Lagos State government under Governor Babatunde Fashola, especially its traffic laws, saying that they would enable the state catch up with advanced cities of the world. Addressing journalists at the Excellence Hotel, Ogba, Lagos yesterday, its State Chairman, Hon Akinola Obadia said he would continue to engage the government objectively whenever policies that will make the state progress are being implemented. Obadia who spoke in the company of other leaders of the CNPP noted that the laws which were signed recently by the government should be commended. “For this will make us catch up with rest of civilised world and stop the chaotic culture in our system.” He said: “The CNPP will like to state categorically here that this new law, like the amended tax laws, will

By Musa Odoshimokhe

bring sanity and orderliness to the community. You can see that most states in the country are now executing and emulating the Lagos State tax drive.” The conference maintained that in other climes like America and Europe where citizens pay their taxes without fail things are moving favourably over there. The governments are able to provide the basic necessities for the comfort of the people. “In the same vein, we know that we are careless on the usage of our roads in Nigeria especially in Lagos State - both driver and pedestrians alike. Our only prayer is that with the cooperation of Lagosians.” Stressing further, CNPP urged Nigerians to obey the laws particularly those how were not resident in Lagos as ignorance of the law cannot be an excuse. “We are facing reality; it is reasonable and responsible for any law-

• Obadia

abiding citizens to back the government on this new law,” it said. The chairman explained that though some motorists, particularly commercial motorbike riders complained about the law, what government did is in their interest: “It is not that they have not complained but they should allow the law to take its course first.”

N October 6, 2012, voters in Plateau North senatorial zone filed out to fill the huge vacuum left by the tragic death of Senator Gyang Dantong, which occurred on July 8, while in the line of duty. Events in the run-up to the by-election generated a lot of interest both within and outside the state; even internationally. This is because Plateau North, and Jos in particular, have in the past ten years witnessed series of crises that attracted world attention. Therefore, the election was seen as a litmus test for the prevailing peace in the state. It was also keenly watched by the entire world to see if an election could be held in this area following the violence that greeted the 2008 Jos North local government election. Quite interestingly, the short campaigns were largely peaceful and issues-driven, although not lacking in the usual pettiness and mud-slinging that most times go with politicking in Nigeria. However, the overriding concern was how the in-coming senator would use his office to contribute towards bringing lasting peace to the area and state as a whole. Clearly, the most focused candidates such as the ultimate winner believed in the urgent need for a return to permanent peace, from which meeting all other needs of the people would naturally flow. In view of this, there is no doubt that the challenges before Senator-elect Gyang Pwajok will be relatively above those of most of his other colleagues. Not only will he be contending with the peculiar problems that the cosmopolitan nature of the area pose, he must be able to withstand the pressures that will come from the different interests that are ever struggling for dominance, which is one of the causes of the crises in Jos especially. While doing all these, he must also work hard to unite the people and lobby for development to be brought to this area. Obviously, the task ahead is enormous and seemingly insurmountable. But, thank God, Gyang Pwajok knows his way round the very circuitous ethno-religious and political terrain of Plateau North, especially. Above all, his greatest asset is that he is vibrant, bold and articulate; he is one that can stand tall on the floor of the Senate and tell the true story of Plateau North while at the same time winning the hearts, support and respect of fellow senators. Surely, Plateau North Senatorial Zone deserves no less a personality as its voice in the hallowed halls of the Red Chamber. It is therefore commendable that the voters and other citizens obeyed both electoral and other laws set out by law enforcement agents which ensured a free, fair and peaceful conduct of the election. No doubt, this conferred on Plateau State and its people as a whole a very positive image in the eyes of the world, enhanced the process of peace building and went a long way in enhancing the growth and quality of our democracy. It is noteworthy that, for the first time in about ten years, the people used that senatorial by-election to tell Nigerians and the world at large that, indeed, mutual love and respect, irrespective of ethnic, religious and political differences, are still very possible here; that we are gradually moving towards reclaiming our near lost glory of being the true Home of Peace and Tourism. Most Plateau people celebrated that victory of Gyang Pwajok of the PDP so profusely for the deeper meaning it holds for the much sought after peace, unity and well-being of the senatorial zone and, by extension, Nigeria as a whole considering the nature, consequences and ripple effects of the Jos crises. This is because the outcome of the election broke all preexisting barriers of mutual suspicion, hatred and distrust, based on religion and tribe, in the hearts of the various communities in Jos North most especially, which have always served as some of the catalysts for conflicts in the area. For instance, it was inconceivable only a few months ago for a Christian to even attempt to campaign in a Muslim dominated part of Jos North, and vice versa, not to talk of even winning an election there. But that is what exactly happened in the run-up to the elections and the election proper as the PDP candidate, Gyang Pwajok, a Christian, and Berom for that matter, secured a convincing win in wards such as Gangare, Ali Kazaure, Ungwan Rogo, etc. To those well aware of the deep political, religious and ethnic divides that have polarized Jos North in the last decade, this is nothing short of a miracle. And we must never allow the significance of this be lost on us. As such, we must work together with open minds and, mark this, without extraneous influences, towards entrenching sustainable peace in Plateau North Senatorial Zone. This window of rare opportunity and hope for peace building must be consolidated upon without delay by both the senator-elect and all groups and individuals of good will. Herein lies the greatest challenge for Senator-Elect, Gyang Pwajok. Fortunately, as an indigene of Jos North who possesses a practical understanding of the social, ethnic and religious mix of the area, he is well equipped to consolidate on the present move towards unity and peace. As a matter of fact, being the man on whose behest this new quest for peace has been ignited, he must seize the moment by, first, building bridges of understanding and trust among the Jos North communities. Second, he must provide a platform for both Christians and Muslims, irrespective of political differences, for them to continuously dialogue on ways to further strengthen the present move towards peace. In addition, because of the diversity of Jos North and the senatorial district as a whole, the senator-elect must give all peoples a sense of belonging by carrying them along in all he does as politician and their representative. Lastly, the victory of Senator-Elect, Gyang Pwajok, was obviously a victory for democracy. In which case we call on those who contested along with him and their followers to dissolve their differences and support him as he confronts the onerous challenges ahead. This is very necessary because Gyang Pwajok’s victory was also an unequivocal vote for peaceful co-existence and a rejection of the odious tendencies that tended to divide and cause conflicts amongst the people of Jos North and the northern senatorial zone as a whole. • Chris Gyang is the Personal Assistant to the Plateau State Governor.

• Pwajok




Herbal remedy for staphylococcus aureus


NATUROPATH and Managing Director, LamboDebs Nature Clinic, Lagos, Dr Lambo Adebisi, has said staphylococcus aureus can be cured with herbs made from ginseng and other preparations. According to him, ginseng has anti-microbial properties. He said tea tree oil is also useful in the treatment of many skin ailments. This herb, he noted, may also prove effective in the treatment of staph infections, according to the University of Maryland Medical Centre in the United States (US).

Tea tree oil may be especially helpful in relieving staph infections that are the result of an initial fungal infection such as athlete’s foot, he added. “Due to its strong odor and the intense nature of this volatile oil, some people may develop skin rashes. A reaction may be prevented by first mixing tea tree oil with a base oil like almond or olive oil to dilute it. Patients are advised to stop using it if symptoms persist,” he said. Adebisi said staphylococcus aureus bacteria live on the skin and are the source of staph infections.

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Vegetable is rich in nutrients


EOPLE who eat fruit and vegetables as part of an overall healthy diet generally have a reduced risk of chronic diseases. Vegetables are important sources of many nutrients, including potassium, fiber, folate (folic acid) and vitamins A, E and C. Potassium may help to maintain healthy blood pressure. Dietary fiber from vegetables helps reduce blood cholesterol levels and may lower risk of heart disease. Folate (folic acid) helps the body form red blood cells. Women of childbearing age who may become pregnant and those in the first trimester of pregnancy need adequate folate to reduce the risk of neural tube defects and spina bifida during fetal development.

Health benefits The nutrients in vegetables are vital for health and maintenance of your body. Eating a diet rich in vegetables may reduce risk for stroke, other cardiovascular diseases and type-2 diabetes. Eating a diet rich in vegetables as part of an overall healthy diet may also protect against certain cancers. The high levels of potassium in vegetables may reduce the risk of developing kidney stones and help to decrease bone loss. One and one-half to two and one-half cups of vegetables are recommended each day. •Culled from

Firm organises wellness festival AGOSIANS will have an opportunity to learn more about natural ways to stay healthy on Saturday at the Jhalobia Gardens, Murtala Muhammed Road, Ikeja. This is courtesy of a wellness and advocacy company, Indulge Nigeria Limited. Its Managing Director, Dr Bisi Abiola said about 5,000 people are expected to participate in the event tagged the ‘Feel good


festival.’ She said positive lifestyle and the objective of reigniting family relaxation culture of the 80s for the purpose of well being and family cohesion, among others, will take the front burner. Also, she said, information promoting regular medical checks, among other health issues will be discussed.

The bacteria can invade the surrounding tissue of an open wound thereby creating pusfilled lesions causing folliculitis, abscesses, boils, cellulitis and systemic toxic shock. Herbal remedies, he added, may be helpful in the treatment of the infections. “However, herbs can produce side effects. This is why we often ask patients to consult their practitioner before using herbs to treat any staph infection,” he said. He said certain types of staph infections, specifically those caused by staphylococcus aureus and MRSA, can become life-


threatening. “If you suspect you have a staph infection, even a small skin lesion, ask your health provider to test for methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) to rule it out. Although antibiotics may help relieve most staph infections, they are not effective in all cases. Supplemental treatment with herbs may alleviate certain symptoms. However, herbs may also cause serious side effects, so always seek expert advice in the case of a staph infection and do not self-treat your symptoms with herbs,” he added.

Healing supplement to be unveiled

RESIDENT, Hallelujah Acres, United States, Dr Paul Malkmus, is to officially introduce his healing supplement to Nigerians. Malkmus will lead a team to the country next month for the four-week-long programme to enlighten the poor on the importance of the product. The product is based on the physical nourishment as intended by God in Gen.1:29 where He said, “I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of the earth for food”. The diet includes eating more fruits and vegetables, drinking more water, eating less saturated fats and hydrogenated oils, consuming fibres, getting more exercise and assonating stress. Malkmus said: “This is not just a business transaction where money only exchange hands; no, it is about God and life; so we go the extra mile of sharing based on Genesis 1:29 which has the potency to reverse life threatening diseases, such as cancer, diabetes, stroke, high blood pressure, asthma, arthritis, etc. It is a relationship transaction, and our result is almost 100 per cent positive”. According to him, the superiority of Hallelujah Acres over other products is its

Stories by Wale Adepoju

commitment to professionalism by disseminating information on wellness and healthy living and training of ministers, who personally minister to clients. He said: “It is our mission to help people everywhere experience vibrant health by empowering the self-healing body God created with the original diet described in the Bible.” A healing supplement, Hallelujah Diet, which is manufactured by his company, he noted, will be presented and inaugurated in Abuja, Port Harcourt, and Lagos, among other cities in Nigeria. Executive Chairman, Hallelujah Acres Nigeria, Sir Godfrey Ohuabunwa, said the product is already known in Nigeria, but its manufacturer and other products from the company are relatively unknown. This, however, is about to change soon with the visit, he added. “Founded in 1992, Hallelujah Acres is a Christian organisation dedicated to helping others discover how they can live healthy lives free from sickness; achieve transformation from chronic diseases and experience wellness by simply changing their diet.”


Remedies for chronic constipation • Take about 400 mg of magnesium every day, better in divided doses (i.e., spread throughout the day). Use an organic form (magnesium citrate, magnesium acsorbate, magnesium aspartate, amino acid chelate, and so forth). • Take one tablespoon of raw honey twice daily, in the morning and evening. • Dissolve one tablespoon of psyllium husk powder in 250-300 ml of water and drink quickly, twice every day. • Finally, here is the simplest and fastest natural home remedy among all known constipation remedies. It addresses the ultimate cause of this symptom - low levels of oxygen in the body, spasm in the muscles of the digestive tract and reduced perfusion (blood supply) of body cells. The exercise can be used for severe chronic constipation, during pregnancy, for constipation pain, for children, and in many other situations. Breathing exercise (relief in 2-3 min) This natural and easy breathing exercise to relieve constipation (and even its pain) was invented by Soviet medical doctors. Hundreds of Russian and Soviet doctors have taught this breathing remedy to thousands of their patients with chronic constipation, including pregnant women and children. • Do this exercise when you sit on the toilet, while squatting, using strictly nasal breathing. (Patients with hypertension and those at risk of stroke should avoid squatting and urge their physicians to check squatting-blood pressure while monitoring anti-hypertensive therapy, before trying this exercise. Furthermore, these patients should avoid long breath holds due to rise in blood pressure. Their instruction is provided below.) • Take a slow inhalation using your abdominal

muscles or belly (as if filling your belly with air) and exhale by relaxing your diaphragm. (This slow and deep breath increases blood oxygen levels since people with constipation are usually chest breathers.) • At the end of this slow relaxed exhalation, pinch the nose and hold your breath until you experience strong-air hunger. (People with heart disease, seizures, panic attacks and frequent migraines should avoid extended breath holding and use the easier version provided below.) • When you release the nose, instead of following your natural desire to take a deep inhalation, take a shorter inhalation using your diaphragm and then immediately relax it. Your goal is to maintain strong-air hunger for 1-2 minutes, while having this reduced breathing with total relaxation of all body muscles. If you do this exercise, increased O2 and CO2 concentrations will bring quick relief from constipation and possible pain. For people with heart disease and panic attacks These groups of people require a different version of the breathing exercise to relieve constipation. They should use a different approach with more gentle changes in CO2 and O2 in the lungs and blood. Instead of a sudden CO2 surge (as during breath holding), these people start with step 4 above: only reduced breathing while gradually increasing air hunger level. Permanent and natural chronic-constipation remedy To get rid of severe or chronic constipation, you should slow down your automatic breathing and increase your body-oxygen levels to at least 25 seconds 24/7. Normal body oxygenation (40 s) is the medical norm for this test and the ultimate cure for all problems with chronic constipation. Culled from




How to defeat 50 trillion mouth odour bacteria E

VERY generation defines its lifestyle and goals… and charts its course. And that’s why parents and children hardly understand each other. One generation got tired of nomadic life, hunting for food, settled down and began farming. So, the Agrarian Age was born. The Industrial Age in which machines took over human labour overcame the Agrarian Age, putting farmers in the background, only to find itself displaced by the Information Age…the world of computers and information systems. That’s why some of us old parents don’t understand why our children will starve to own “big” cell phones, simply because many of us do nothing with phones except to make and to receive calls! The expensive “big” phones have capacity for many applications which “old people know little or nothing about, have no need for, and which are daily giving way to newer and none sophisticated applications, a reason why phone makers keep making “bigger” and more complex cell phones.” THE DAWN of yet a NEW AGE has broken in the prime of the Information Age. It is the AGE OF PERSONAL CARE, a major player in the economy of many countries. Everyone wishes to look not just good, but his or her best, and to tell other people so, not in spoken but body language. So, we all wish to make a hyperbolic positive statement about Self through body shape, carriage and adornment. Thus, almost every woman you meet on the street today is a physical hit. You learn to know how empty many are only when you start a conversation and they cannot follow the tracks. In many cases, also, mouth odour makes nonsense of the body “power” they laboriously try every day to build and maintain. In the DOCTOR’S BOOK OF HOME REMEDIES, I found the following interesting preamble to a discussion of mouth odour problems: “It’s just after lunch and you are in the middle of an important job interview. You’re sailing along, doing everything right. Answers to the interviewer’s questions trip lightly from your tongue. You laugh together. You smile at each other. Your body language says you are at ease, selfassured. You have got the job, you think. “So, you stand up, shake hands, and say, “I’v enjoyed talking to you and I’ll look forward to hearing from you. “Uh-oh “Your interviewer grimaces just a little. His upper lip wrinkles. He smiles. You can see something just went wrong. He’s been bush whacked by you. “Not exactly the lasting impression you wanted to leave. Was it your hunch? Couldn’t be. But it could also be the lunch you ate yesterday.” O be honest, almost all of us take our mouth for granted until we run into one problem or the other with it. We don’t always take signs of bleeding gums seriously, especially when we toothbrush. And that most probably is because we do not wish to spend money on the mouth. Yet, as the above quoted preamble to an article suggests, the mouth, fresh or odorous, is the “wedding gown” or “front office” of that hyper personality we laboriously arm the body to give us. I was down emotionally for some days last week after receiving the news of the passage of the carpenter who has helped me with woodwork matters around the house for about 10 years. Like all masons, he hardly ate good food. His favourites were bread and fries. His breadth was so bad that, every time he had to speak with me, I held my breadth and, to answer him, moved away one or two metres, pretending to do something, and then release my breathing. Not many people will tell you your mouth smells. But I told him, and related the condition of his mouth to his terribly arthritic knees which made his walk swagger. It took him about one minute to walk five metres. He was knocked down by a motor cyclist about two weeks ago, and did not have the energy for recovery from the trauma. I receive enquiries regularly from people whose cases may not be as bad as my carpenter’s. But, in each enquiry, I see despair and loss of self-esteem. One man told me he was fed up with foul smell from the mouth and anus. One preacher said he produced abnormal high quantum of saliva which “sprays” while he preached and it unnerved him as it did the congregation. One may, indeed, lose one’s balance psychologically for a short while, if not for long, if, as one speaks, one’s listeners have to duck or mop saliva from their faces or even lips. The enquirer who got me to think of this column said her halitosis, the medical name for bad breadth, rocked her marriage for more than 20 years before finally breaking it.


Bacteria at work The beginning of the mouth odour is often the thin film of food left over on the gums and teeth after a meal. Bacteria feed on this film to degrade it, forming a plague which may damage the gums, cause bleeding, and pave the way for infections in the mouth. Dr. Eric Shapira, D.D.S., and one-time Assistant Clinical Professor and lecturer at the University of Pacific School of Dentistry, is reported by the Doctor’s Book of Home Remedies as saying that there are about “fifty trillion” bacteria “loitering in our mouth”. That’s a whopping population considering that there are just about 100 trillion cells in the adult’s human body. Says the book: “They sit in every dark corner, eating every morsel of food that passed through your lips, collecting little

And that is probably why, through folk medicine, we were taught as children to bathe any skin break, cut or stings or bites with saliva. The trouble is that some people do not produce enough saliva to maintain the right balance of these immune factors with wholesome diet. These immune factors help to kill bacteria in food and in the mouth, which may explain why some people keep all their teeth in good condition till ripe old age – the 90s and some others do not. R. Shapira suggests that, if you cannot take your toothbrush and toothpaste along with you wherever you go, you can at least sip some wine or water at the table, excuse yourself to a private corner and swish the wine or water around your gum and teeth with your tongue, to clean out waste food and prevent that dangerous film from forming. I learned other tricks after I learned my lessons from a bad toothache in the dead of the night. Very often during the day, when I am alone, I run my tongue over my gums and teeth as if toothbrushing. Besides, I carry in my bag a decanted bottle of any antibiotic herbal medicine of my choice and lick it as a sweet. My choices are (1) Kyolic Garlic which is said to be 50 times more powerful than natural garlic and is odourless (2) Grape Seed Extract (3) Pycmogenol (4) Parashied, a proprietary blend of six major antibiotic herbs from DaVinci’s Laboratories and (5) Probiotic. I lick any of them and let saliva mix well with it. Then, for about five or 10 minutes, I swirl the saliva around in the mouth. Using any of these herbs this way offers the user double-shield protection. The gums and teeth are protected, as are the intestines when the saliva is swallowed. At home after breakfast or dinner, and sometimes in the office, I use Sage oil or Lemongrass oil or Baking soda solution as mouth wash. And when it suits me, I never forget to take the biochemic cell dalts of Calcium phosphate and Calcium fluoride for the protection of gums and teeth. My first experience with baking soda was with a product named ECODENT, a mint and baking soda product, which is said to harden teeth without fluoride. The mouth is naturally alkaline because of the saliva bathing it. Food leftovers and bacteria acidify it. ECODENT is said to neutralise these acids without the abrasiveness of some chemical-laden toothpastes and yet leaves a fresher breath. The beauty of it all is that baking soda can be taken internally to kill germs. In fact, I’ve heard of a doctor who injects baking soda solution directly into cancer cells to kill them after first injecting them with glucose. Because cancer cells contain candida, aureus, other yeast, viruses and bacteria, all of which thrive on glucose, they open their receptors to glutinously consume the injected glucose. Immediately they absorb it, and before the receptors close, he injects them with baking soda. It is the extra oxygen atom in baking soda which actually burns them to death in the baking soda alkaline environment. Cancer loves acidic and oxygendeficient environment. Thus, baking soda, oxygen loaded like 35 percent Home Grade Hydrogen Peroxide (not the hydrogen peroxide sold as mouth wash in pharmacies), is their enemy. I suggest anyone who has just pulled a tooth or just been through scaling and polishing to decant some baking soda powder in a small bottle of water for mouth rinses as many times as possible a day. Getting back home close to midnight, I hardly have the time to start brushing off all the bacteria. I either rinse with baking soda powder solution or I open one or two capsules of Kyolic Garlic or Grape Seed Extract or friendly bacteria (Probiotic) in my mouth and tongue-swirl them on the gum or teeth. For this purpose, I sometimes prefer the Kyolic Garlic designed for Candida and digestion. In the book NATURAL HEALTH SECRETS FROM AROUND THE WORLD, more recipes are provided. The GREEKS chew or suck on ANISE seeds to freshen up. The PORTUGUESE chew BASIL to end a spicy meal. In India, Guatemala and the Orient, CARDAMON is it. INDIANS freshen up with FENNEL, the Greeks go for FENUGREEK which is good anti-diabetes high. The Greeks love, also, the GRAPEFRUIT which, from today’s knowledge of Grape Seed Extract as an antioxidant, antibiotic, and antiviral, gives it the mouth freshener potential. The Chinese are the PARSELY people. Parsley chewed after the consumption of raw garlic immediately takes the offensive odour out. And SAGE? Arabs and Indians rub their teeth with Sage leaves. Traditionally, Sage tea is taken in the Western world for cough and bronchial troubles. With all these done in mouth odour situations, the toothbrush should be changed from hard to soft as hard brush damages the gums. But, many brushes sold as soft brushes are hard. Happily, some health food companies in Nigeria have now begun to sell real soft brushes. They also sell natural antibiotic toothpastes. But they cost much more than the chemical brands. Anyone who hasn’t taken some of these steps hasn’t packaged the mouth for good breath which, in my view, should go before all else in the BODY CARE AGE. Who wishes to employ a manager whose bad breath would make the customers flee? Or who wants to kiss a damn pretty, well packaged woman with a tongue filled with several layers of thrush carpet, or whose breath, like my carpenter’s, makes the suitor or “toaster” hold his breath?


smell and producing little odour of their own. As you exhale, the bacteria exhale. So, brush away the plague after each meal and get rid of the breadth problem.” But that is just about where the problem grows bigger. For how many people have the time to brush after a luncheon or after snacking on, say, meat pie or a bottle of Coke? So, as these bacteria wear out the gums, pockets form between gums and teeth in which food particles lodge. I, too, used to use toothpicks to pick out the debris. Some tooth picks are so crude that they puncture holes on the gums. And if your healing process is too slow or outright inadequate, tooth picking may create more living apartments in the mouth for bacteria than is desirable. The consequences are many odour-forming mouth diseases. Bacteria from the mouth may infect the throat, causing diseases such as tonsillitis, for example, or hit at the sinuses as the Sinusitis. Similarly, throat and sinus ailments may expand their territories to the mouth, all things being equal. These germs may make the root canals of the teeth their houses. From here, their poison, end products of their own living processes, migrate to other parts of the body, especially the joints in some kinds of arthritis, to cause havocs which some doctors may not relate to the teeth and, so, mistreat. In many cases, digestive troubles in the stomach and intestines are the causes of bad breath. Constipation (fewer than two or three bowel movements a day where three “square meals” are eaten) causes food and fecal decay, mucus build-up, proliferation of bacteria, blood poisoning and enormous gas output. The gas escapes analy through fartiny, or the mouth through belching, or the skin via body odour or the lungs as bad breath. Treatment


EATH begins slowly but surely in the intestines, this column once said, quoting the British Royal Society of Surgeons which linked many deaths to all kinds of intestinal diseases. So, I’d advise that the intestines be cleaned up by aiding the various digestive organs with nutritional supplements heedful for their functions. For the STOMACH, Apple Cider Vinegar, Silica Complex, and Betaine hydrochloride, among many others, may be considered. The LIVER does well on Milk thistle, Carqueja, Dandelion, Licorice DGL, Gentian, Maria Treben’s Bitters etc. As for the PANCREAS, Pancreatic Enzymes (All- enzyme, for example), Papaya Enzymes et.c. are good. A supplement which supports insulin utilisation and effectiveness is good as well. And there is quite a large army of them which includes Chromium piclinate, fenugreek, Bitter melon, Moringa Oloifera; et.c. Moving the intestines requires Calcium and Magnesium for contraction and relaxation of soft muscles of the intestines, respectively. The B-Vitamins are also needed for stress reduction and digestion. Chlorophyll, especially from Chlorella, Spirulina or Alfalfa, helps to deodorise and supply some magnesium. The diet of many people is fibre deficient. Yet fibre is required to stimulate the flagellation motion of hair-like structures in the lumen known as cilia which knock against one another upon one being sensitised by fibre, to create peristaltic motion, that snake motionlike wave which moves food along. The colon, where large deposits of unevaluated stool may form, causing a breeding ground for germs, or infect the prostate gland if it leaks does well on fibre as well as friendly bacteria (PROBIOTIC). Probiotic prevents overgrowth of the unfriendly bacteria, especially candida, staphylococcus aureus, E. coli etc. For fibre, vegetables are a king. Fibre supplements may include Flax Seed hull (Fortflax is a proprietary blend), and Psyllam husk. The Mouth Mother Nature blesses the mouth with natural immune protection through some immunoglobins in the saliva.

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Tel: 08034004247, 07025077303




e-Business To woo subscribers to their network, operators are offering different mouthwatering give-aways, including free airtime. But these are causing congestion in the system, reports LUCAS AJANAKU

How promos, others affect networks’performance G EORGE Apkan, a petroleum engineer and resident of Egbeda, a Lagos suburb, is not happy about the quality of services he gets from his service providers. Forced to use three different Global System for Mobile (GSM) communications lines, he is still not happy as, according to him, neither of the three service providers has been able to live up to his expectation. “Because of the challenges I used to face when making calls, I decided to buy three lines in the hope that on net calls will be hitch-free, but the situation has not improved. At one time, I tried to call a number, the response from the answering machine was ‘the number you have dialled is not available at the moment, please, try again later’ and at other times, it is ‘the number you have dialled is switched off’ even when the cellphone is on,” Apkan lamented. Another subscriber, who gave his name simply as Ikechukwu, a spare parts dealer in Alagutan area of IyanaIpaja, has a sad tale to tell. According to him, his pregnant wife recently travelled to the East to attend a wedding and was expected back Monday morning. As he dropped her off at Jibowu, Yaba area, he waited till the bus was filled and left the park. His nightmare began three hours later. “I started calling her but no success. I was so furstrated, especially when you consider the condition of the roads. All the roads are at best, highways to the grave. Every time I called, it is either it was switched off or there is no response at all. At other times, it is ‘emergency calls only’ that will appear on the screen of the phone,” he recalled. When the call finally sailed through, eight hours later, it was a temporary relief as his wife could only hear his voice, he could not hear her’s. “I told myself: ‘At least, I have heard her voice, I can go to bed.’ ‘’ These are some of the daily experiences of the more than 100million telecoms subscribers in the country. They pay through the nose to buy recharge cards for which they never get the value because of poor quality service. The situation has further been worsened by the cut-throat competition the operators are engaged in. Most of their promos promise almost 500 per cent free talk time. This has inadvertenetly led to congestion of the network and routing calls into voice mails and outright diversion of calls without the authorisation of subscribers. According to telecoms sector experts, network congestion causes poor reception, drop calls, poor voice signal as well as blocking of interconnect routes between networks. “GSM technology is time division access, so when one person is talking on the networks and there is no space for another call to enter, the call will just be aborted,”an official of the Digital Bridge Institute (DBI), said on condition of anonymity. Speaking on the problem of endless low telecoms service quality, Bayo Banjo, who is the president of the Nigeria Internet Group (NIG) and Chief Executive Officer, Disc Communication, blamed the development on the era of weak regulation. According to him, the regulator, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), had become a toothless bulldog that only bark. Banjo, who is the immediate past vice-president, Association of Telecommunications Companies of Nigeria (ATCON), argued that the practice in civilised countries is that the government approaches the issue wielding a stick in one hand and carrot on the other. He said like the financial sector, any erring chief executive of the telcos should be shown the way out. He identified promos and other mouth-watering offers used to tantalise subscribers as one reason for the unwitting congestion of the network. Dr Emmanuel Ekuwem, the Executive Officer, Teledon Group, said the situation was capable of truncating the Vision 20: 2020 programme of the Federal Government. Ekuwem, who is the former president of ATCON, lamented that as we are in the information age, anything that will hinder the free flow of information and spread of knowledge will have a collateral damage on the national economy. To him, the worsening quality of service is an impediment to the growth of the country. He blamed the problem on “low capacity”and the refusal of the operators to plough back substantial part of their mega profits into expanding the networks. Added to this is

•A mast

‘Network congestion causes poor reception, drop calls, poor voice signal as well as blocking of interconnect routes between networks. GSM technology is time division access, so when one person is talking on the network and there is no space for another call to enter, the call will just be aborted ...The situation has become terrible among all the networks. It is embarrassing and as soon as the NCC team returns from the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) conference in Dubai, I will lodge a complaint’ the fact that the operators engaged in one promo or the other while rolling out packages that allow users to talk for free all in an attempt to get more subscribers into their networks.

Deolu Ogunbanjo, the President, National Association of Telecom Subscribers (NATCOMS), decried the worsening quality of service, arguing that after almost a decade of trial, the operators should be getting it right now. According to him, the NCC should not hesitate to sanction any erring operator in the industry. “The situation has become terrible among all the networks. It is embarrassing and as soon as the NCC team returns from the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) conference in Dubai, I will lodge a complaint,” he told The Nation. Early in the year, the NCC had imposed a fine of N1.17billion on GSM operators for failing to comply with the minimum standard of quality of service. While MTN and Etisalat coughed out N360 million each, Airtel and Glo paid N270 million and N180 million to the Federal Government as fine. But Banjo said the fine was a slap on the wrists of the operators who, he said had enormous financial power. He added that it is the subscribers that will pay at the end of the day. But operators have consistently blamed the development on persistent disruption to operation by unscrupulous elements in the society whose stock in trade is fibre cuts. Oyeronke Oyetunde, general manager, Regulatory Affairs, beleives most of the issues concerned with service quality cannot be divorced from the incident of fibre cuts. According to her, MTN alone suffers a minimum of 70 fibre cuts monthly. She said the ‘emergency calls only’that appears when a subscriber is trying to make calls is also a function of network problem. She said that the telco was undertaking equipment swap to make the network more resilient. The equipment swap will see the telco replace “obsolete” equipment with modern ones. Akinwale Goodluck, corporate services executive, MTN, says the telco will continue to do its best to overcome the challenges arising from quality services. “MTN continues to employ the greatest effort to overcome the infrastructural and environmental challenges that impede the delivery of consistently good quality of service,” Goodluck said. He disclosed that 80 per cent of the telco’s power requirements is self-generated while less than 20 per cent is comes Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN). Operators also argue that armed men usually break into base transmission stations (BTS) carting away generators and diesel and sometimes, killing the security who guard them. When the operators began, dearth of infrastructure was a major challenge, but more than one decade after, the story ought to have changed. Rajan Swaroop, managing director, Airtel Nigeria, said the telco has increased the capacity of the network in the last two years, adding that it even currently has redundant capacity. “We have doubled the capacity of our network in the last two years. Our customers are happy because we do quarterly customers assessment,” he said. Like Goodluck, Swaroop says the telco depends virtually on generators to run its numerous BTS across the country. As declining telecoms services continue to be an issue in the telecoms industry in Nigeria, NCC says operators have built a capacity to accomodate 211 million lines while active subscriber base as at August climbed to 105 million. According to the latest industry data released by the NCC, the installed capacity of the telecoms networks in Nigeria increased from 199.63 million lines in April, 2012 to 208.65 million at the end of August 2012. Installed capacity is the total number of telephone lines, which telecoms operators have built their networks’ capacity to accommodate at a particular period of time. The NCC statistics indicated that the consistent investments in massive network expansion embarked upon by telecoms firms, especially the GSM communications operators, such as MTN, Globacom, Airtel and Etisalat, has resulted in increased capacity on their networks. Tony Ojobo, director, Public Affairs at the NCC, who spoke in Lagos recently, said the NCC was monitoring the performance of the operators. According to him, the operators and the regulator have jointly agreed on key performance indicators (KPIs), which they must adopt religiously. But these investments have not translated to seamless communication among subscribers.




Telcos to lose billions as SMS gives way to social messaging B

Y 2016, telecommunications carriers globally will lose $54 billion in revenue accruing from the use of the short message service (SMS) due to the increasing popularity of social messaging services - messaging within social networks - on smartphones. This is a threat to the revenue of telcos in Nigeria too. According to the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), 45 per cent of teens in the country own a mobile phone. This youth segment makes use of the social messaging platforms. WhatsApp, one of the more prominent social messaging brands, has seen its levels of penetration increase in markets such as Nigeria, Singapore and the Netherlands. Ovum says this level of growth will continue as smartphone

Stories by Lucas Ajanaku

and mobile broadband penetration increases, and expects smaller players such as textPlus, Pinterest, and fring to cause further disruption in the messaging space. Ovum notes that the $54billion is more than double the $23 billion they are expected to have lost by the end of 2012, adding that collaboration with handset manufacturers is imperative if operators are to remain relevant and competitive in the instant messaging industry. The new report which addresses how operators can counteract the so-

cial messaging threat from over-thetop (OTT) players, also highlights the rapid increase in the number of such players, and demonstrates that social messaging is not a short-term trend, but a shift in communication patterns. Operators in Europe and AsiaPacific will be affected the most, and should be vigilant with respect to OTT messaging activity. Said Neha Dharia, “Social messaging is becoming more pervasive, and operators are coming under increased pressure to drive revenues from the messaging component of their communications businesses.

“Operators need to understand the impact of social messaging apps on consumer behaviour, both in terms of changing communication patterns and the impact on SMS revenues, and offer services to suit. OTT players are changing consumers' messaging preferences, and the pressure they are exerting on operators’ messaging services is forcing them to offer increased SMS bundles and to experiment with messaging pricing models, further dampening revenue growth,” says Dharia. According to Ovum, the importance of industry-wide collaboration

cannot be underestimated as operators look to a Rich Communication Suite (RCS) platform to provide consumers with features such as file sharing, video calls, and IP-based messaging. But RCS is not expected to reach the mass market before 2014, so for the time being operators will have to rely on innovative pricing strategies, partnerships, and launching operator-branded IP messaging services to keep up with the changing demand. “In order to take advantage of RCS when the time comes, operators will have to have a strong market presence. This means that they need to move to social messaging now in order to make sure OTT players are not in a better position to take advantage of future opportunities,” says Dharia.

MTN, CWG seal microfinance deal


N furtherance of efforts to improve the operations of microfinance banking in Nigeria, MTN Nigeria has partnered with the Computer Warehouse Group (CWG) to introduce MTN XaaS, a micro-banking software as a service platform. The application is managed by MTN Business, the business-to-business division of MTN Nigeria, under the MTN Cloud Services platform. MTN XaaS Micro-banking software as a service platform has been designed to enable micro-finance banks (MFBs) carry out banking operations without having to pay so much in licensing, storage and implementation costs required for typical banking applications. Speaking at the sealing of the deal in Lagos on Monday, Brett Goschen, CEO, MTN Nigeria reiterated MTN Nigeria’s commitment to delivering solutions that will make Nigerian businesses more productive and ultimately more profitable. According to Babatunde Osho, Chief Enterprise Solutions Officers (CESO), MTN Nigeria, MTN XaaS Micro-banking software as a service is just one of a number of cloud services MTN Business is launching in the Nigerian market. “Technology, has made it possible for us to deliver robust cloud services direct to our customers via public or private connections without their need for storage, licensing and infrastructural concerns,” he said. He explained that micro-finance banks can access these services from anywhere via a secure private or

public connection. The banking platform, he noted is actually hosted in MTN’s state-of-the-art data centre so the only investment the bank makes in the form of hardware are the laptops and desktops that will be used to access the platform. Osho remarked that MTN understands the need for MFBs to remain cost- effective while delivering innovative services to the nation’s unbanked poor and financially underserved. MTN believes this new service platform will save microfinance banks up to 70 percent of the traditional costs involved in procuring, hosting and implementing typical banking software today, he noted. MTN XaaS, the CESO reiterated, by design, can be implemented within a short period of time and without attendant costs, such as OS/application license fees, data centre setup, servers as well as extensive in-house IT expertise. Austin Okere, Group Managing Director, CWG, stated that it is a pleasure partnering with MTN Business to deliver this service that will enable microfinance banks increase productivity, and improve customer service while remaining cost-effective. “MTN is committed to adding value to the lives and businesses of Nigerians, through delivering tailor-made, productivity-enhancing solutions to every part of this vast country. We will continue to do our best to stimulate economic growth and development in our great country, Osho stated.

Left:Mr. Adedayo P.S. Arogundade, Mr. Mike A. Olajide and Mr. Chijioke A. Eke, all Executive Directors of Sidmach Technologies Nigeria Limited at the launch of WAEC’s e-Results Verification Portal powered by Sidmach Technologies Nigeria Limited in Lagos.

Samsung to open engineering academy in Ado-Ekiti


LECTRONICS giants, Samsung Electronics West Af rica, has commenced the construction of its second Engineering Academy in Nigeria in Ado-Ekiti, Ekiti State, in line with its commitment to the development of Nigeria’s information technology sector. Launched in South Africa in March 2011, the initiative premiered in Nigeria with the opening of the first Samsung Electronics Engineering Academy at Government Technical College, Ikeja in Lagos State. According to the firm, the capacity-building programme is an integral part of

Samsung’s vision to fast-track the entry of African youths into the electronics job market, with a view to developing 10,000 electronics engineers across the continent by 2015. Speaking at the academy’s groundbreaking ceremony in Ado-Ekiti, Governor of the state, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, commended Samsung’s efforts and commitment towards facilitating youth empowerment in Nigeria. “Our dear friend and partner, Samsung, has decided to honour our state with a world-class learning facility that will empower our youth. Today, we are laying the foundation for the facility.

Students at Vodacom’s data centre, excited


S part of its commitment to youth empowerment and development through ICT, Vodacom Business Nigeria hosted the ICT Club members of Grace High School on a one day ICT tour at its Lagos, Nigeria office. According to a statement from the firm, the tour, which included a visit to the company’s data centre, was aimed at giving these tech-savvy students exposure to the technology behind the gadgets and applications they use on a daily basis. “For these youngsters, devices like the iPad, Smartphones and video games are fast becoming a way of life. Children are fascinated by pressing buttons and making things work. By taking them behind the scenes we’re giving them a better understanding of the industry, how it works and showing them where they can one day make a difference,” said Vernon Van Rooyen, Executive Head, Network Operations Vodacom Business Nigeria. While the tour touched on a number of areas from the devel-

opment of the Nigerian ICT industry to back up and security solutions, the students were particularly interested in Vodacom’s Cloud Services. Questions relating to this were around how Vodacom provides and manages its customers’ software and hardware without being physically present at customer locations. “The Cloud is awesome; today’s visit explained how Iam able download music from iTunes without cables or an internet dongle.

What I find most interesting is how Credit card companies use the Cloud to detect fraud faster and how Energy companies monitor faraway pipelines with cloud services” said the Grace School ICT Club Captain. The ICT Coordinator of Grace High School, Mrs. Funmilola Omojola thanked the management of Vodacom Business Nigeria for the opportunity given to the students to gain more ICT knowledge from the organization. She said,

“Children’s confidence to try new things increases as they gain new knowledge and skills; at Grace School we are now challenged to make better use of technologies across all areas of learning and really ensure ICT becomes embedded in everyday practice” The tour of its facilities follows on the back of the Vodacom Business Nigeria three day ICT workshop for the Mathematics/Computer Science students of Benue State University in June this year.

In 2006, we promised to offer a laptop per child but it seemed impossible, today it is a reality; this initiative is another promise fulfilled and we will not relent on our effort to bring back the glory of Ekiti State,” he said. The Samsung Electronics Engineering Academy provides youths participating in the scheme with free handson, vocational training. Students undergo a one-year programme comprising basic, intermediate and advanced engineering skills and are introduced to industry appropriate practices, tools and equipment. In addition to ensuring that Africa develops an adequate pool of engineering skills, the academy also provides learners with well-paying job opportunities, a commitment that supports the Nigerian government’s drive to address the issue of youth unemployment. On his part, Managing Director, Samsung Electronics West Africa, Mr. Bravo Kim reiterated Samsung’s interest and commitment to facilitating a better future for Nigeria by training a skilled workforce of technicians who will become service experts empowered to create wealth. “At Samsung, we understand the importance of investment in quality education and its role in youth empowerment.

Group hosts information management, security expo in Lagos


NON-government organisation (NGO) that seeks to promote proper management and security of records and information in Nigeria and Africa, Records and Information Management Awareness Foundation (RIMA Foundation) has concluded plans to host the 8th edition of its annual workshop, exhibition and awards tagged Records and Infor-

mation Management Awareness Workshop, Awards and Exposition (RIMAW & RIMA Awards 2012). The event is billed to hold at the Lagos Sheraton Hotel, Ikeja Lagos, between November 2 and 3. The theme of this year’s workshop is, ”Freedom of Information: Enhancing democratic engagement, building confidence in government

institutions and strengthening credibility and effectiveness ” will be presented at RIMAW 2012 by - by the Hon. Minister of Information Mr. Labaran Maku. A statement by the organisers of the event noted that other issues like Cashless Society: Social Consequences, Emerging Technologies and Security Issues (Integrity and Privacy) by - Hafedh BEN

HAMIDA, CISSP, 27001LA, CEH, Security+, Computer Hacking and Cyber Crime Forensic Investigations Specialist, Vancouver, Canada, will be attended to at the forum. Other records and information management related papers including SharePoint and information management will also be presented at the event.










•Secretary to the Lagos State Government (SSG) Mrs. Oluranti Adebule (left); Dean, Faculty of Education, Lagos State University (LASU), Prof. Rabiu Okuneye (fifth right); and others when a delegation from the faculty visited the SSG, who recently got a doctorate degree from the institution

•Ekiti State Governor Dr. Kayode Fayemi (left) presenting a cheque to a visually-challenged beneficiary, Mr. Ezekiel Abosede, while distributing cheques to beneficiaries of the Health Intervention Fund as part of activities marking the second anniverary of the governor’s administration in Ado-Ekiti... on Tuesday. With them is Deputy Governor Mrs. Funmilayo Olayinka.

•Senators Bello Tukur (left) Gbenga Ashafa, Vice-Chairman, Committee on Gas; Ahmed Zannah, Chairman, Committee on Gas; Senator Nkechi Nwaogwu; and Director, Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), Austen Olorunsola, during an oversight visit to the DPR in Lagos by the Senate Committee on Gas...on Tuesday.

•President, Nigeria Guild of Editors Mr. Gbenga Adefaye (left); former Director-General, Nigeria Television Authority (NTA), Mr. Tony Iredia); and Dr. Reuben Abati, Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity at the Media Dialogue with Editors on the Constitution Amendment Process, supported by Democratic Governance for Development Project at the Lagos PHOTO: ABIODUN WILLIAMS Sheraton Hotel, Ikeja...on Tuesday.

•Osun State Governor’s wife Alhaja Sherifat Aregbesola (second left); her Oyo State counterpart Mrs. Florence Ajimobi (third left); Special Adviser to Osun State Governor on Women’s Affairs and Social Development, Mrs. Funmilayo Williams (left); and Oyo State Commissioner for Women’s Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, Mrs. Tinuke Osunkoya at the celebration of International Adoption of Children with Special Needs Day at Barnveld, Netherlands

•From left: Registrar, University of Ibadan, Prince Olujimi Olukoya (left); Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Science and Technology, Mrs. Rabi Jimeta; Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic), University of Ibadan, Prof. Idowu Olayinka; and Founding Dean, School of Pharmacy, University of Waterloo in Canada, Prof. Jake Thiessen, at a PHOTO: NAN training workshop on Harmonised Bio-pharmaceutical Curriculum in Ibadan...on Tuesday.

•Secretary to the Borno State Government Alhaji Baba Jidda (left); Governor Kashim Shettima and Commissioner for Works, Alhaji Ibrahim Bukar; during the inspection of facilities for mass production of interlock tiles in Maiduguri... on Tuesday.

•Minister of Women’s Affairs and Social Development Hajiya Zainab Maina addressing the Third Committee of the 67th Session of the United Nations General Assembly on “Advancement of Women” at the UN Headquarters in New York...on Monday. PHOTO: NAN






NSE adds UBA, ETI, Skye Bank to market-making stocks


The Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) would today add the trio of United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc, Ecobank Transnational Incorporated (ETI) Plc and Skye Bank Plc to the basket of stocks under the market making initiative, bringing total number of stocks under the initiative to 28. In a statement yesterday, the NSE stated that the addition of the three banks was in tandem with the promise that all quoted stocks that are trading above par value will be added to the market making programme over a period of six months. Market making kicked off in September 2012 with 16 stocks and nine other stocks were added two weeks later. The stocks covered by the initiative now include PZ Cussons Nigeria Plc; Nigerian Bag Manufacturing Company Plc; Presco Plc; International Breweries; Lafarge Wapco Cement Nigeria; Fidson Healthcare Plc; Redstar Express Plc; Zenith Bank Plc; Sterling Bank Plc; DN Meyer; Diamond Bank; First City Monument Bank; Fidelity Bank Plc; Nigerian

• Equities gain N27b By Taofik Salako and Tonia Osundolire

Breweries Plc; Guaranty Trust Bank Plc and UAC Nigeria Plc (UACN). Others are Access Bank; Academy Press; Custodian & Allied Insurance; First Bank of Nigeria Plc; Dangote Sugar Plc; Union Bank of Nigeria Plc, National Salt Company of Nigeria (Nascon), Nestle Nigeria Plc and AIICO Insurance Plc. Meanwhile, the positive overall market situation at the stock market improved yesterday with modest gain of 0.31 per cent as against 0.12 per cent recorded in previous day. Aggregate market capitalisation of all equities added N27 billion to close at N8.665 trillion as against its opening value of N8.638 trillion. The main index, the All Share Index (ASI), also inched up from 27,109.62 points to 27,194.13 points. The market outlook was boosted by the news of September inflation data and

increasing demand for highly capitalised stocks. National inflation figure released yesterday showed that inflation dropped to 11.3 per cent in September from 11.7 per cent posted in August. Nestle Nigeria led the advancers yesterday with a gain of N55 to close at N680. PZ Cussons Nigeria followed with a gain of N1.45 to close at N27.40. CAP added N1.30 to close at N28.30. On the other hand, Guinness Nigeria led the losers’ list with a drop of N13.67 to close at N266.33. International Breweries lost N1.27 to close at N12.73 while Okomu Oil Palm dropped by 98 kobo to close at N34.02 per share. Total turnover stood at 457.65 million shares valued at N4.9 billion in 5,767 deals. The financial services sector was the most active sector with a turnover of 358.524 million shares worth N2.699 billion in 3,800 deals. Other sectors with significant volume included construction and real estate, consumer goods, conglomerates, industrial goods, agriculture and information and communication technology with turnover of 27.709 million shares, 25.497 million shares, 14.655 million shares, 9.286 million shares, 6.057 million shares and 5.277 million shares respectively.





Inflation slide may trigger rate review


HE slide in Nigeria in flation for September is likely to force the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to review the Monetary Policy Rate (MPR), Head Africa Research at the Standard Chartered, Razia Khan, has said. Inflation rose 11.3 per cent year to year relative to the 10.6 per cent forecast. However, this still marks a deceleration from the August print of 11.7 per cent, and will give some encouragement to those expecting the eventual resumption of easing from the apex bank. Khan who disclosed this in an emailed report said the apex bank may recant its earlier postulation to keep MPR and Cash Reserve Ratio (CRR) unchanged at 12 per cent, until broad-based macroeconomic stability has been achieved. MPR is the benchmark rate by which the CBN determines interest rate while CRR is a por-

By Collins Nweze

tion of banks’ deposits kept by banks with the CBN. According to her, the seeming improvement in inflation following revisions to some of the back data, as well as recent naira strength, has given new impetus to calls for some easing. Khan saw a seasonal improvement in food prices around this time of the year, coinciding with the harvest, but regretted that recent instances of flooding are having some effect. Food inflation increased 1.1 per cent from August, to rise 10.2 per cent year to year. “Core inflation decelerated to 13.1 per cent year to year, from the 14.7 per cent recorded in August. However, this was largely attributed to the base effect, although given ongoing naira strength, and continued tight monetary policy, one would expect core inflation to decelerate further in the

cumulation will remain the overriding priority,” she said. Khan also said budget proposals for 2013 are not clear on fuel price deregulation. She said that although spending rises a modest five per cent overall, but the amount that has been set aside for fuel subsidy payments has not been made explicit. “Any new attempt to deregulate fuel prices would of course have implications for monetary policy, delaying any resumption of easing,” she said. Khan advised that the debate between the National Assembly and the executive over the budgeted price of oil must still be watched closely. She said the budget 2013 proposals may still be modified and that would have implications for monetary policy too.

months ahead,” she said. Kahn said that henceforth, a number of considerations will come into play. First, assuming nothing else changes, inflation is likely to continue to decelerate in the months ahead as tight money supply has more of an impact. Also, with official projections of only 6.5 per cent growth in 2013, hopes for counter-cyclical policy - specifically monetary easing may increase. She said Nigeria’s external vulnerability and dependence on oil earnings means that the overriding aim must still be to increase forex reserves, boosting external buffers. “If this can be done comfortably alongside monetary easing, so be it - but given the weakness of the monetary policy transmission, and the imperative to take action now in order to smooth future spending, naira stability, allowing for forex reserves ac-

15,000 recovery agents had been appointed by the commission to recover outstanding pension contributions with penalties. On the challenges facing the scheme, he identified lack of adequate knowledge of CPS, multiple registrations, delay in remittance of contributions, low level of monthly pension and periodic review of pension benefits among others.

adopted the Contributory Pension Scheme (CPS) after eight years of its inauguration in the country. Head, Research and Corporate Strategy of the National Pension Commission (PENCOM), Farouk Aminu, disclosed this yesterday at a one-day workshop organised for media in Abuja. According to him, 14 other states are at various levels of enacting the laws while


IGERIA’s foreign re serves soared to $41.9 billion on October 15, data from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) website released yesterday has shown. The reserves stood at $41 billion on September 10 and had maintained a steady rise to current status. Before now, the reserve was $36.35 billion on August 7; rose to $36.41 in August 8; $36.46 in August 9 and $36.51 in August 10. It had dropped to $36.36 billion in July 20, from $37.19 billion four weeks earlier, losing about $830 million within the pe-

ing retirement benefits, poor service delivery by Pension Fund Administrators and lack of support to contributors and retirees by pension desk officers. He added that pension funds had in the past eight years invested in various sectors of the Nigerian economy and provision had been made for investment in infrastructure development and real sector financing.


Rate %


3-Year 5-Year 5-Year

35m 35m 35m

11.039 12.23 13.19

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

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

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

Price Loss 2754.67 447.80

INTERBANK RATES 7.9-10% 10-11%


Rate % 10.96 9.62 12.34

Date 28-04-2012 “ 14-04-2012





5.61 2.67 0.71 680.00 3.50 1.49 27.40 4.25 3.62 28.30


0.51 0.24 0.06 55.00 0.24 0.09 1.45 0.20 0.17 1.30

O/PRICE 1.98 14.00 6.46 280.00 1.85 1.71 0.67 1.62 0.94 0.76

C/PRICE 1.79 12.73 6.14 266.33 1.76 1.63 0.64 1.55 0.90 0.73

CHANGE 0.19 1.27 0.32 13.67 0.09 0.08 0.03 0.07 0.04 0.03

Amount Sold ($) 150m 138m 113m

Exchange Rate (N) 155.2 155.8 155.7

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


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

Current Before

C u r r e n t CUV Start After %

147.6000 239.4810 212.4997

149.7100 244.0123 207.9023

150.7100 245.6422 209.2910

-2.11 -2.57 -1.51














July ’11

July ’12





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

8.50% 4.50% 25.00% 1.00% 12.10%

8.50% 4.50% 25.00% 2.00% 12.10%

9.50% 5.50% 30.00% 2.00% 11.8%

NIBOR Tenor 7 Days 30 Days 60 Days 150 Days


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

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

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

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

% Change -1.44% -1.44%


LOSERS AS AT 17-11-12


nomic activity. It will equally assist in conserving resources and withstanding external shocks. The apex bank has also said there was urgent need to pursue policies that would foster macro-economic stability, economic diversification as well as encouraging foreign capital inflows. It said a higher rate of retention of oil revenues should facilitate the efforts at maintaining exchange rate stability as an antidote to imported inflation without excessive reliance on monetary tightening measures.

EXHANGE RATE 6-03-12 Currency

Tenor 91-Day 182-Day 1-Year

riod. The foreign currency reserves were up to $68 billion in August 2008 before the global financial crises impacted negatively on it. The apex bank had consistently maintained that inflow into the reserves was not consistent with the oil prices and, this underscore the need for tighter fiscal controls around oil revenues. Analysts at Afrinvest said the CBN needs to build up adequate external reserves to satisfy the genuine needs for foreign exchange as such is consistent with the increase in the growth in eco-



OBB Rate Call Rate

a focus on promoting best practices, by leveraging the Bank’s knowledge and convening power and Korea’s expertise in areas such as economic development policy, information communications technology, infrastructure and the financial sector. “At a time of global uncertainty, there’s an even greater sense of urgency to help developing countries tackle their challenges to reduce poverty and create greater prosperity for their people,” Kim said. According to him, “South Korea’s experience in sustainable development, providing efficient infrastructure and services to improve the lives of its people, combined with its transition to a dynamic knowledge economy, provides lessons that can benefit many other developing countries”.





ORLD Bank Group President, Jim Yong Kim and South Korea’s Minister of Strategy and Finance, Jaewan Bahk, have announced the opening of a new World Bank Group Office in Korea in 2013, to deepen joint efforts to find sustainable development solutions for emerging countries around the globe. The World Bank said in a statement that the office will focus on infrastructure, information communications technology, the financial sector and knowledge sharing. Both parties have also announced the launch of a new $90 million to support developing countries, the KoreaWorld Bank Partnership Facility. The Facility will support a broad range of economic development opportunities with

Foreign reserves hits $41.9 billion

21 states adopt Contributory Pension WENTY one states of He also listed funding of Scheme public the federation have sector rights, access-


World Bank opens new office

Offer Price

Bid Price


9.08 1.00 124.96 119.60 0.76 1.10 0.91 1,726.86 9.94 1.33 1.80 8,411.80 191.08 1.62



Bank P/Court

Previous 04 July, 2012

Current 07, Aug, 2012

8.5000 8.0833

8.5000 8.0833






There was a Country: The pogroms, the Aburi accords and the nightmare



HERE was a country, Chinua Achebe’s narrative of the Biafra and the Nigerian crises of nationhood soon moves from a personal story of early beginnings to the Nigerian tale of elite redux, leadership failure, coup, killings, counter coup and war. Reading through his account, one is chilled to find that the conditions precedent to the calamities that befell the country, the grim precursors to Nigeria’s sad unravelling are also eerily present today. Though he has not said anything that had not been said in other Biafra books by Madiebo, Achuzie, Ademoyega andUwechue, it is easily discernible that Achebe’s narrative is nimbler, his insight deeper and perspective broader. For instance, contrary to the generally held view that Colonel Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu was driven by a vaulting ambition to rule a sovereign State of Biafra, thus declared war heedlessly, the decision was actually taken by the entire Igbo leaders, intelligentsia and the people after months of consultation and dithering by the Federal Government. Hear Achebe on this: “It is crucial to note that the decision of an entire people, the Igbo people to leave Nigeria, did not come from Ojukwu alone but was informed by the desire of the people and mandated by a body that contained some of the most distinguished Nigerians in history: Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe, Nigeria’s former Governor-General and first ceremonial President; Dr. Michael I. Okpara and Sir Francis Ibiam, former Premier and Governor of Eastern Nigeria, respectively; and Supreme Court Justice Sir Louis Mbanefo. Others included: Educationist Dr. Alvan Ikoku; First Republic minister, Mr. K. O. Mbadiwe as well as Mr. N. U. Akpan, Mr. Joseph Echeruo, Mr. Ekukinam-Bassey, Chief Samuel Mbakwe, Chief Jerome Udoji, and Chief Margaret Ekpo.” By late May of 1967, the battle line had been drawn between Eastern Nigeria and the Federal Republic of

The Igbo fled from across the country back home. There was suddenly a “refugee” crisis in the East as over a million returnees could not be managed. Meanwhile, the killings were not assuaged; they were not even discussed let alone the perpetrators being brought to justice.


•The late Chief Awolowo


By Steve Osuji

ANALYSIS Nigeria. Both sides were engrossed in what in today’s parlance, is called a strategic session, to contain the “enemy”. Earlier in April, frustrated that the Gen. Yakubu Gowon-led Federal Government would neither act on the Aburi agreements nor do something about the masterminds of the pogrom, Ojukwu began to sever ties with the centre. He froze official communication with Lagos and disconnected all administrative and revenue ties. In a speech to the nation on May 27, 1967, Gowon responded to what he described as Ojukwu’s assault on Nigeria’s unity and blatant revenue appropriation by declaring a state of emergency and dividing the nation into 12 states. This was a deadly blow to the Biafra move as the implications of this move were deep and devastating. The Igbo were isolated and all the surrounding ethnic minorities were ranged against them and most notably, they were excised from the major

oil wells. This singular move was to be decisive later when the war raged. All the minority states fought against Biafra and the foreign powers with their eyes trained on Nigeria’s crude oil, backed the federal side or looked the other way as the Igbo were being pummelled when hostilities raged. The die was cast. On May 30, 1967, Ojukwu bit the bullet. This is how Achebe recorded it: “Ojukwu, citing a variety of malevolent acts directed at the mainly Igbo Easterners - such as the pogrom that claimed over 30,000 lives; the Federal Government’s failure to ensure the safety of Easterners in the presence of organised genocide, the direct incrimination of the government in the murders of its own citizens – proclaimed the independence of the Republic of Biafra from Nigeria, with the full backing of the Eastern House Constituent Assembly.” The Biafran position, as Achebe sees it is that beginning with the January 15, 1966, coup d’etat, through the countercoup (staged mainly by Northern Nigerian officers, who murdered 185 Igbo officers) and the massacre of 30,000 Igbo and Easterners in pogroms that started in May 1966 and occurred

over four months – the events of those months left millions of other future Biafrans and me feeling terrified. As we fled “home” to Eastern Nigeria to escape all manner of atrocities that were being inflicted upon us and our families in different parts of Nigeria, we saw ourselves as victims. When we noticed that the Federal Government of Nigeria did not respond to our call to end the pogroms, we concluded that a government that failed to safeguard the lives of its citizens had no claim to their allegiance and must be ready to accept that the victims deserve the right to seek their safety in other ways – including secession.” The Nigerian position in the crisis as Achebe presents it, was hinged on the premise that if Biafra was allowed to secede, then a number of other ethnic nationalities within Nigeria would follow suit. The Nigeria government, therefore, had to block Biafra secession to prevent the dissolution of Nigeria. Tracing the origin of the crisis, Achebe noted that Nigeria’s leaders at the time were not quite ready to face up to the nation’s problems. He says: “If its leaders had approached their duty with humility, they all might

have realised long before the coup that the country was in deep trouble. Nigeria was rocked by one crisis after another in the years that followed independence. First, the Nigerian census crisis of 1963-’64 shook the nation, then the federal election crisis of 1964, which was followed by the Western Nigeria election crisis of 1965 – which threatened to split the country at its seams. At that point, most of us, the writers at least, knew that something was very wrong in Nigeria. A fix was long overdue.” Apart from the incompetence of the Nigerian ruling class to rise up to the occasion at this critical juncture, the author also delved at length into the supposed Igbo dominance of that era, how it fanned the embers of hatred and how the January 15, 1966 coup, which went awry, was twisted to be an Igbo coup, breeding the reprisal in July. If the Northerners had stopped at killing about 185 Igbo officers, it would have probably been allowed as a horrendous tit for tat. “But the Northerners turned on Igbo civilians living in the North and unleashed waves of brutal massacre that Colin Legum of The Observer (UK) was the first to describe as a pogrom.” The Igbo fled from across the country back home. There was suddenly a “refugee” crisis in the East as over a million returnees could not be managed. Meanwhile, the killings were not assuaged; they were not even discussed let alone the perpetrators being brought to justice. General Aguiyi- Ironsi, the Igbo officer who took over the reins of power after the first coup, was hunted down in a most horrific manner with his host, Colonel Adekunle Fajuyi, in Ibadan. When, therefore, attempts were made to repair all these at the Aburi Summit in Ghana, the sore had festered. •Tomorrow: Ojukwu and Gowon; The Asaba massacre and Ogbunigwe bomb.

NEWS Chukwumerije accuses higher institutions HE Chairman, Senate of corruption, mediocrity Committee on Educa-


tion, Uche Chukwumerije, yesterday accused some higher institutions of corruption and mediocrity. He said unless they turn a new leaf, they will rot away. The senator spoke at the Federal Polytechnic in Oko, Orumba North Local Government Area of Anambra State when he led his committee to the polytechnic as part of its oversight functions. Asked how heads of higher institutions were using the funds allocated to them, Chukwukerije said: “Some are running into brilliant cases of very, very imaginative devising of means of expanding the base of their Internally Generated Revenue (IGR). “Some others have gone into abject mediocrity and stealing. Of course, such areas will run into decay; they will run into stagnation; they will run into relegation. “So, I can say generally, it depends on one area to another. The critical difference is what factor of leadership. But from what I have seen at Federal Polytechnic in Oko today, this is the institution that has a human face, like the Federal Polytechnic in Nekede. “What we have seen here today is self-evident: the leadership of this institution, which is working with bare hands, has shown good qualities with its IGR.” He described the polytechnic as the fastest-growing in-

Landlord commits suicide HE body of a man, who was said to be a in Enugu landlord, has been


•Senate committee visits Okopoly, others •Promises to assist UNIZIK get take-off grant From Nwanosike Onu, Awka

stitution in Nigeria. The Senator said with additional support from the Federal Government, the Prof Godwin Onu-led administration would move mountains. He promised to make a strong recommendation for the take-off of the grant for the institution, which had been denied it since the Federal Government took it over in 1992. Chukwumerije said: “From what I have seen, in terms of infrastructural development, staff discipline and security, I am convinced that the Federal Polytechnic in Oko is the fastest-growing institution in the country. These were made possible by a committed leadership. “This is one of the few institutions that, apart from infrastructural development, instils discipline in the workers and also shows concern about secur i t y . “The take-off grant is selfevident. They have achieved so much through direct labour and their IGR is also high. So, if they had adopted another method, other than direct labour, they would have spent about four or five times that amount of money. “I think of the places I’ve been to. The polytechnic in Nekede, run by Mrs. Njoku, and this one,

have more than convinced me about what leadership can do in any situation: it can move mountains.” The Senator added that erosion threat at the permanent site of the school was evident. Chukwumerije yesterday promised to assist the management of the Nnamdi Azikiwe University (UNIZIK), Awka, Anambra State, to get its takeoff grant from the Federal Government. The grant was reportedly diverted to the University of Abuja. The senator spoke in Awka, the state capital, when he led members of the Senate Committee on Education to the university as part of their oversight functions. The committee was received by the Vice-Chancellor, Prof Boniface Egboka and top management officials of the university. Chukwumerije hailed Prof Egboka for developing the university, adding that he would ensure that the university gets the Special Projects Fund for its development. He urged those writing petitions against the Vice-Chancellor to stop doing so. According to him, Prof Egboka has done well with the small resources at his disposal and those writing against him


were distracting the attention of the management. The senator said the committee was impressed by what it saw at the university. He said: “Normally, I don’t start my speech this way except I’m breaking a kolanut. But I began it this way because I was moved and felt elated by what I saw when I moved around. I feel 10 feet tall, not just as a Nigerian but also, I’m sorry to say, as an Igbo man. This is because to me, this reflects the changes of a people and I’m moved by that. “I moved round and saw what the factor of leadership can be. I moved round and saw what a united people can do, if you are able to identify them and inspire them to come and do something for you. “I moved round and saw what prudent management of resources can do. This starts with a very clear vision of what you want; that you want to lead the society from a certain stage of development to a higher stage of development.”

found hanging in his room at New Haven, Enugu. The police identified him as Chinedu Eziobu of 67 Chime Avenue, New Haven, Enugu. A police bulletin by the spokesman of the command, Ebere Amaraizu, said one of the deceased’s tenants, Joseph Bassey, had complained that his landlord had not been seen since Saturday. The police broke open Eziobu’s door and found him hanging from the ceiling. The police said they found

From Chris Oji, Enugu

a suicide note in the room. It reads: “Ben, my brother, gave black plastic bag for Mr. Nwafor and the black plastic bag with its contents is to be handed over to his brother, Benjamin Eziobu.” Amaraizu said the police have begun investigation into the death, adding that the body has been deposited at the Eastern Medical Centre mortuary for autopsy.

Illegal levies: NULGE, MOAN sue groups


HE National Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE) and the Mobile Advert Agency of Nigeria (MOAN) have jointly sued the Mobile Advert Emblem Hackening Permit Producers Association of Nigeria, the Motor Vehicle Advert Association and the Mobile Advertisers Association of Nigeria, as well as their promoters, to a Federal High Court, sitting in Lagos. Besides the three associations, other defendants in the suit are: Chief Gabriel Ojoba, Suleman Nageem, Chief Bukola Oguntola, Prince Adeyemo Olumuyiwa, Mr. Tajudeen Olaoye and others. In the suit, filed on behalf of NULGE and MOAN by the chambers of M.O. Megele and Associates, the two groups are asking the court to stop the three associations and their promoters “from imposition and collection of unauthorised local government levies/taxes from motorists and other road users, as well as distribution and sales of illegal certificate such as Vehicle Incorporated Clearance in the name of Mobile Advert Hackening Permit Producers Association of Nigeria or any other revenue association”. No date has been fixed for the hearing of the matter.



NEWS Senate passes Anti-Terrorism, Money Laundering Bills From Onyedi Ojiabor, Assistant Editor and Sanni Onogu, Abuja


HE Senate yesterday passed the Terrorism Act Amendment Bill and the Money laundering Act 2011 Amendment Bill. The passage of the bills followed the consideration and adoption of the report of the Joint Committee on Drugs, Narcotics, Financial Crimes, Anti-corruption and Legal Matters; and that of the Joint Committee on Money Laundering Act. Highlight of the Terrorism Act amendment Bill is that anybody convicted of terrorism risks life jail term.

Funeral for TVC chief’s dad


HE remains of Pa Joshua Adeyemi Ogunleye, father of Mr. Gbemiga Ogunleye, of Television Continental ((TVC), who died in his Bodija, Ibadan, Oyo State home on September 10, will be buried in Ayere, Ijumu Local Government of Kogi State on November 9. A statement from the family states that Christian Wake will be held at his Bodija, Ibadan, home on November 7. The late Ogunleye, popularly called Lord Bishop, attended Ondo Boys High School and worked in the Premier’s office in the old Western Region as one of the confidential secretaries of the late Chief Obafemi Awolowo. He worked in the Western State Civil Service and was the confidential secretary to two attorney-generals: Dr. F.A Ajayi and Dr. Lateef Adegbite. Ogunleye was later transferred to the defunct Western State Court of Appeal as the personal

secretary to the court’s president, Justice Kayode Eso. When new states were created in 1976, the late Ogunleye was posted to the Ondo State judiciary, where he worked as the personal secretary to the state’s Chief Judge, Justice Akinola Aguda, before retiring voluntarily in 1977. He is survived by his wife, Ebunoluwa, children and grand-children.

•The late Ogunleye

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Cross River: Children’s kidnappers reduce ransom to N5m T HE two children, a boy and a girl, who were abducted in Calabar, the Cross River State capital, by masked gunmen on Tuesday morning, are still missing. Emmanuel (10) and Agbo (4) were snatched on the Murtala Mohammed Road while their mother, Mrs. Juliet Eko, was taking them to school. Their father, Mr. Johnson Eko, said: “My wife and our three children were driving out of our street into the highway when some people in a Vento salon car accosted her and used their car to block my wife’s car. “They came out and

From Nicholas Kalu, Calabar

pointed a gun at my wife. They asked for her phone and she gave it to them. Then they picked up our four-year old daughter. “The elder brother, Emmanuel, questioned why they were taking his sister away and they took him too. It was at that point that the third child, aged seven, ran out of the car and headed towards the house.” He said his wife begged the gunmen to take her car, a Toyota Sienna, and leave

her children, but they ignored her. Eko, a civil servant with the Cross River State Civil Service, said the kidnappers phoned on Tuesday afternoon and demanded N30 million ransom. The matter was reported at the Federal Housing Estate Police Station. A source close to the family said the kidnappers have reduced their demand to N5 million. The source said the kidnappers have been contacting the family on Mrs. Eko’s

phone. The source said Eko was allowed to speak with his son, Emmanuel, who said they were okay. It was learnt that the kidnappers said the children’s safety could not be guaranteed, if the ransom was not paid by yesterday evening. Police spokesman John Umoh said: “At this point, the information we have is not for the public. Making it public might hamper a lot of things.” He said they were on the kidnappers’ trail.

Aluu killings: Rep advocates state police


HE Chairman of the House of Representatives’ Committee on Petroleum (Downstream), Mr. Dakuku Peterside, has condemned the killing of four students of the University of Port Harcourt (UNIPORT) in Aluu, Rivers State. Dakuku, in a statement, said the killing showed that the country cannot continue to run away from state police. He said: “Whatever the reason, the truth is that the Uniport 4 represented hope and the future, not just for their respective families and communities, but for the entire country. So for whatever reason, these are needless deaths that could have been avoided and this sordid act should be condemned by all men of goodwill. “I understand Aluu and some neighbouring communities had been under siege for some time. In fact, the state of insecurity in the area had deteriorated so badly that the people had resorted to self-help. “Consequently, they formed vigilance groups with absolute powers and the death of these boys is a

•’Their deaths could have been avoided’ By Segun Balogun

direct consequence of that ill-advised move. Therefore, to all intent and purposes, Aluu was actually a disaster waiting to happen. But should this brand of jungle justice be visited on the Uniport 4 in the first instance? “Again, are we such a depraved people? Where are the good men of Aluu? This is definitely not what I know of Aluu, a once peaceful neighbourhood. Did they just watch while evil was perpetrated or were they simply intimidated? “Security is at the centre of this latest national calamity and we must not pretend about it. “The police failed to rise up to the occasion, even though the crime under consideration lasted about two hours. This failure drew substantially from the police’s obsolete communication gadgets and their slow response. These are issues we had raised severally, but no one listened. “If what happened in Aluu

‘The arguments against state police usually dissolve in the face of logic. Police cannot be a platform for national integration and this must be emphasised. Around the world, there are not too many examples...’ could happen in Rivers, a model state in terms of security, then there is cause for alarm. This is a warning sign we cannot afford to ignore. “Those opposed to state police for some reasons are beginning to see the need for further dialogue. The Aluu killings would not have happened, if there was state police. “The arguments against state police usually dissolve in the face of logic. Police cannot be a platform for national integration and this

must be emphasised. Around the world, there are not too many examples of successful policing in federal states. “Antagonists of state police are also quick to cite the concentration of power in one single man (the governor), discriminatory tendencies, interstate rivalry and even jungle justice like the macabre dance in Aluu as its disadvantages. “Strangely, the advantages of state police outweigh its disadvantages. The truth is that the federal police as constituted today lacks capacity and resources and is too bureaucratic. These explain why they are easily overwhelmed. “I think some Nigerians are beginning to appreciate the fact that state police would be well-funded. There is also the advantage of capacity-building. There will be enough manpower and this will engender healthy rivalry. “If we achieve the clamour for state police, a measure of frustration will leave our governors, who will then truly act as chief security officers.”

Oshiomhole sacks 41 school inspectors, perm sec


DO State Governor Adams Oshiomhole yesterday sacked 41 Zonal Inspectors/ Chief Inspectors of Education and Local Government Education officers for non-performance and negligence of duty. He demoted the deputy headteacher of New Era College, Mr. S.E Akhabue, from Grade Level 15 to 14 for “being a perpetual latecomer” to work. The governor said the decisions were the outcome of a performance assessment. He said the administrative details of the change in the school inspectorate would be made known soon. Oshiomhole had been paying surprise visits to public schools in the last two weeks and had complained of absenteeism and neglect of duty by teachers. Addressing the affected inspectors yesterday at the Government House, Oshiomhole said: “It is ob-

vious from what I have seen today and from what you have told me that you have all breached your basic duties, which is to monitor schools and file basic reports, which should include reports on those present and absent, so that the government can take steps to assist those who want to work to remain and those who do not want to work to go home. “The state government has lost millions of taxpayers’ money because of failure in your duties. You are guilty of negligence of duty and even abandonment of your duties. I believe that most times, you do not even go to work. We do not need this type of Zonal Inspectors of Education, Chief Inspectors of Education and Local Government Education Inspectors. “The days are gone when people do not do their jobs. It is shocking that you know you were supposed to write reports, yet failed to do so.

“I am happy that parents and guardians are returning their children and wards to public schools as a result of the massive investment we have made in the education sector, yet you, who should ensure that teachers work, do not do so. “Only those willing to work will keep their jobs. Everybody must be accountable. I am accountable to Edo people; the House of Assembly is accountable; so if we are accountable, who are you not to be accountable. “If teachers do not teach, we have no future. It is a new Edo and everyone must work to justify their pay. I have a duty to remind you that when you have abandoned your job, you have also lost it.” Akhabue, who was demoted by a Grade Level during an unscheduled visit to the school by the governor, was found guilty of perpetually getting to the office late. It was learnt that when the


governor visited New Era College, the attendance register showed that Akhabue often resumed at 9:55am. Also yesterday, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, Mrs Caro EdoOsagie, was sacked for negligence. In a statement by the Commissioner for Information, Mr. Louis Odion, she was directed to hand over government’s property in her care to her immediate subordinate within 24 hours.








Lawmaker laments state of Kirikiri Prisons

VICE chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Human Rights, Rotimi Makinde, has described as appalling the condition at the Kirikiri Maximum Prisons in Lagos. Makinde, who spoke with The Nation after the conclusion of his Committee’s annual prison audit, decried the nonconducive working conditions of the prisons’ staff and the lamentable welfare of the inmates. He said: “The structures there are dilapidated and the environment generally is in sorry state. We also interacted with some of the inmates and warders and discovered that something urgent needed to be done to improve the welfare of both the inmates and the warders for the system to truly serve its reformatory role. A situation whereby warders contribute money to feed the inmates out of their meagre salaries is unhealthy. “Most of the inmates have stopped their education at the National Open University (NOUN) because of funds. Why should they pay school fees in the same country where their counterparts who are free are being given scholarships and bursary awards? How can they be reformed in that situation? “We found out there are situations where inmates who had been condemned to death are still languishing in the prisons simply because the governor of the state would not sign their death warrant. Countless inmates are there awaiting trial.”

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Angry Okada riders besiege Police Area Command, attack buses


OME aggrieved commercial motorcyclists, known in Lagos parlance as Okada riders, yesterday, besieged the Area G Police Command, Ogba, Lagos, following the seizure of their motorcycles by the police. The riders, in their hundreds, decried what they called injustice, even as stranded commuters joined in condemning the action. A truck, marked XC208AKM parked inside the area command contained no fewer than 100 motorcycles when The Nation visited the station yesterday. Attempts to take photographs were rebuffed by officers who said the Area Commander was not available for comment. Most of the riders, who were visibly angry, declined comments, wondering why their motorcycles were impounded. They almost attacked a female journalist for attempted to take photographs.

By Miriam Ndikanwu and Precious Igbonwelundu

At Ipaja, a Lagos suburbs the riders were said to have attacked the Bus Franchise Scheme (BFS) buses, regulated by the Lagos Transport Management Authority (LAMATA). The large concentration of the riders created panic among residents. LAMATA’s spokesperson, Mr. Kolawole Ojelabi, confirmed the attack on the buses. He said the riders attacked the buses to vent their frustrations and protest the arrest of their bikes by the police. He said: “Yes, we heard of the attack on some of the BFS buses in some areas of the state, but the situation was quickly brought under control.” Some riders, who spoke with The Nation, said the police cited the new traffic laws that it was an offence for commercial motorcyclists to ply their trade on major highways.

One of them, who identified himself as Moshood Lanre, said he was a university graduate and chose to ride okada to make ends meet rather than indulge in crime. Lanre said: “I do not know why government has turned deaf ears to the plight of the masses. They have not provided jobs for us, neither have they provided the environment for entrepreneurship development. As a young man, I know the temptations of joblessness and idleness. It is very frustrating and can lead someone to committing crime. Then instead of sitting idle, I got an okada on hire purchase to sustain myself only for these people to come and seize it. “Very soon, they will say crime is on the increase. Why would it not increase when government chooses to frustrate young people and push them to the wall? “Those that can advice the governor should tell him that all fingers are not equal.

Even in America and Europe where they carter for their citizens, there are still poor people there. So, they should stop making it look like it is our fault that we do not have good jobs.” Another motorcyclist who pleaded for anonymity said he has been sustaining his family through his daily earnings. He said:”My wife just put to bed; it is through this Okada business that I fend for my family. I do not even know what they will eat today because my bike has been seized since morning. This is an unfair treatment. I thought they said laws are made to better the lives of the people. This new law that now makes police to torture us like this, is not a good law. “Governor Fashola should not allow us and our families to die of hunger. Everybody must not work in an office or own a company. Riding Okada is not a criminal activity so we should be allowed to do our business.”

Govt restates commitment to staff training By Yinka Aderibigbe

THE Director-General of the Lagos Public Service Staff Development Centre (PSSDC), Mrs Reginald Olubunmi Fabanwo has restated government’s commitment to workers’ training. Speaking at the opening of three workshops, organised for 110 workers drawn from the 57 local government areas in the state, Mrs Fabanwo, who was represented by her deputy, Mr. Ajose Harrison, said the programmes which was designed in collaboration with the office of Local Government Establishment and Pensions (LGEP), would boost participant’s potentials for excellent service delivery. The courses are contemporary human resource management, Minute/Report Writing for administrative officers, and communication, speech and report writing. Harrison said: “These courses have been conceived to refresh and strengthen the administrative and managerial processes in the councils as well as introduce them to new concepts in the various areas of coverage,” Harrison said.

You are idle liars, Igbokwe tells Lagos PDP


HROUGH its spokesman, Joe Igbokwe, the Lagos State chapter of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), has described the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) as a party benefit of ideas. Igbokwe, who reacted yesterday to a statement in which the PDP condemned Governor Babatunde Fashola for campaigning in Ondo State and allegedly funding the campaign of Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, asked the party to stop med-

By Seyi Odewale

dling in ACN affairs. The ACN spokesman noted that PDP is fast becoming a nuisance in the public domain in its belief that it could curry the people’s favour through falsehood and misinformation. Igbokwe said: “In the first place, we deem it as flawed and nonsensical for what passes as a political party to trade in lies, fabrications and innuendos just because it must make noise to get

the people’s confidence. For a party that should be pointing to its achievements at the federal level and the many states it controls for the past thirteen years to now indulge in reckless and jejune fantasies, awkward and fancy lies to deceive a sophisticated people like Lagosians marks the dead end of a party hungry for power without attendant responsibility. “We will not wander far to know where a party that celebrates treasury looting

and public stealing gets its allegation that Governor Fashola directed the 57 LCDA chairmen to contribute N25 million and mobilise their staff to Ondo to support Akeredolu. “We acknowledge that in its frustration, the Lagos PDP has turned its imagination into a huge industry where lies are concocted without shame. What remains of Lagos PDP is an idle clan of desperate members who long for their day with the Lagos treasury, in tradition

with the PDP as a party. “In this coven, fabrication of lies, marketing gossips and trading in mischief remain the main businesses of Lagos PDP. “It should, however, worry us that an opposition party that should be advancing ideas and contrary views to enrich governance has become a coven of idle clowns who indulge in the passion of celebrating its nuisance value since it has nothing to point to for its prodigal years in the governance.”



NEWS Kwankwaso approves N1.777b ram bonus for Kano workers

Okupe, Gulak are fifth columnists, says Mark S

ENATE President David Mark yesterday described the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Public Affairs, Doyin Okupe, and Special Adviser to the President on Political Matters, Ahmed Gulak, as fifth columnists working at cross purposes with President Goodluck Jonathan. Mark was reacting to a motion on alleged inflammatory statements against the National Assembly by ministers and aides of the President. The motion was sponsored by Deputy Majority Leader Abdul Ningi (Bauchi Central). Earlier this month, the Senate had descended on Minister of Information Labaran Maku for saying resolutions of the National Assembly were not binding on the President. Maku was invited by the Senator Enyinnaya Abaribeled Senate Committee on Information to explain himself. Maku recognised that he

PDP sacks Adamawa Exco

•Jonathan urged to caution aides •They spoke on their own, says Emodi

From Onyedi Ojiabor, Assistant Editor and Sanni Onogu, Abuja

might have misfired and apologised to the Senate. Ningi, in the motion, entitled: Inflammatory statements against the National Assembly by ministers and aides of the President, said he observed with dismay the regular attacks on the legislature by ministers and aides of the President. He said he was also “scandalised by the most recent one” in which the Adviser to the President on Political Matters, Alhaji Ahmed Gulak “threw all caution to the wind when he remarked that members of the National Assembly were “talking like illiterates” by saying that the President had failed to give assent to Bills passed by the legislature. He said he was provoked

that Gulak also stated that the National Assembly was “passing laws that were not implementable.” The lawmaker, however, said he was confident that those statements did not reflect the views of President Jonathan on the matter. In their contributions, Senators Ike Ekweremadu, Victor Ndoma-Egba, Ali Ndume, James Manager, Smart Adeyemi, Awaisu Kuta, Shola Adeyeye and others condemned the statements attributed to the Presidential aides saying they were a direct affront on the integrity of the National Assembly. Mark noted that it was sad that presidential aides are leading Jonathan on a collision course with the National Assembly. He said: “We all feel very

hurt and very bad about it. And we say this against the backdrop that the President as a person is a gentleman. Nobody can fault him. “They are clearly not on the same wavelength with the President. I am surprised that neither Doyin nor Gulak has retracted the statements that are attributed to them by the media. Certainly, they are operating on their own. “I think Victor hit it squarely on the head by saying they are fifth columnists who don’t want the President to succeed. “But on the other hand we will not allow detractors to force us away from the course that we set our radar. We mean well for this country.” Special Adviser to President on National Assembly Matters, Senator Joy Emodi, yesterday dissociated President Goodluck Jonathan from disparaging statements credited to some Presidential aides against the National Assembly. Mrs Emodi in a statement noted that the alleged unguard-

•Appoints caretaker committee •Ex-minister hails dissolution

T •Mark

ed comments by the Presidential aides neither reflected the views of President Jonathan on the National Assembly nor the enormous respect he has for the institution. “Let me state categorically that the alleged statements neither reflect the views of the President, President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan on the National Assembly nor the enormous respect he has for the institution and the cordial relationship he has encouraged between the Executive and the Legislature. “In other words, those to whom the statements were credited were on their own and never spoke the mind of the President. •Dr. Temitope Adeyemi (second left) receiving an award as the youngest PhD holder in Africa from former Military Governor of Lagos State, BrigGen. MObolaji Johnson (middle) on behalf Hallmark and Labour Foundation at the Nigerian Institute of International Affairs (NIIA), Lagos…yesterday. With them are Boardroom guru, Mr Ganalial Onosode (left) and the Foundation’s Executive Secretary, Mrs Patricia OtuedonArawore.

From Yusuf Alli and Gbade Ogunwale, Abuja


HE National Working Committee (NWC) of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) yesterday dissolved the Adamawa State Executive Committee of the party. A nine-member caretaker committee has been sworn in to replace the sacked Exco. The committee is expected to run the affairs of the chapter for three months, pending further directives from the national leadership. The caretaker committee is chaired by Alhaji Umar Damagun; Emmanuel Tsamdu is the Secretary. Others are: Mr. Eli Gamaliel, Mr Dahiru Shehu, Alhaji Sabo Mohammed, Mrs Grace Mamba, Mrs. Altine Inuwa, Adamu Wazirin Paka and Mr. Samuel Zadok. The party’s National Publicity Secretary, Chief Olisa Metuh, announced the dissolution yesterday. He said the dissolved exco had “flagrantly disregarded and shown serial disobedience to the decisions of the NWC”. The statement reads: “On behalf of the National Executive Committee (NEC) of our great party, the National Working Committee hereby dissolves the Adamawa State Executive Committee of the PDP. “This is in exercise of Article 31, Section 2(e) and 29, 2(b) of the 2012 amended constitution of our party and consequent on repeated breaches of the constitution by the Adamawa State chapter. A caretaker committee has been set up in its place.”

From Kolade Adeyemi, Kano


Reps raise panel on Kogi ex-Speaker’s removal


HE House of Representatives yesterday named a committee to mediate in the removal of the Speaker of the Kogi State House of Assembly. The House said the state is battling ecological problems caused by the recent floods and cannot afford a political crisis. Deputy Speaker Emeka Ihedioha announced the House’s decision at plenary yesterday. He named Deputy Chief Whip Ahmed Murktar Mohammed (Kaduna PDP) the leader of the mediation team.

•Ex-Speaker’s aides withdrawn From Victor Oluwasegun, Dele Anofi, Abuja and Muhammad Bashir, Lokoja

Other members are: Hassan Ibrahim El-Sudi, Sokonte Davis, Pally Iriase, Nkem Abonte, Ali Ahmad and Adams Jagaba. Members of the House of Assembly removed Abdullahi Bello and 10 other principal officers on Tuesday. A member of the House of Representatives, Osai Osai (Delta PDP), raised the matter

on the floor yesterday. He said members should condemn the action. Ihedioha agreed with the position of the members. The Speaker noted that it would be unjust to debate the issue without hearing from all parties in the impeachment. The Deputy Speaker said the committee would today unravel what led to the removal of the Speaker and other principal officers to enable the House to make an informed decision.

The security aides to the former Speaker of the Kogi State House Assembly, Abdullai Bello, were yesterday withdrawn. Bello was on Tuesday impeached by 17 members of the Assembly for alleged highhandedness. The impeached Speaker had said his impeachment was illegal and cannot stand. A senior police officer told The Nation that the action followed the receipt of an official letter of command by the Clark of the House on the changes in the Assembly.

HE Kano State Government yesterday approved N1.777 billion for civil servants in its ministries, department and agencies (MDAs) as Kwankwasiyya bonus or ram bonus. The release ended the controversy surrounding the matter. The Commissioner of Finance, Alhaji Abdullahi Mahmud Gaya, confirmed the release of the funds in a statement by the ministry’s Public Relations Officer (PRO), Malam Garba Inusa. He explained that Kano State workers would receive N520 million and local government employees would get N410 million. According to him, workers in the state’s Primary Education Board (SUPEB) would receive N847 million. The statement urged MDAs to ensure prompt payment of the bonus to their workers in compliance with the policy thrust of the Musa Rabiu Kwankwaso administration. The ram bonus had generated controversy and caused disaffection between the state government and some House of Assembly members, who kicked against the amendment of the law for the bonus to be optional.

Lawmakers, journalists urged to fight corruption From Kolade Adeyemi, Kano


IGERIAN lawmakers and journalists were yesterday urged to expose corrupt public officials to enable the nation enjoy good governance. The Deputy Minority Leader of the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) in the House of Representatives, Abdulrahman Suleiman Kawu, spoke in Kano when he presented 30 iPads to reporters. He noted that with the level of corruption in the country, there is need for lawmakers and journalists to fight the menace. According to him, lawmakers can only expose corruption but they are handicapped to prosecute perpetrators because “ours is to legislate”. The lawmaker said the panacea for ridding the nation of corruption is for both parties to work together in the fight against the menace.

Aliyu accuses ‘powerful clique’ of plot to destabilise Niger


IGER State Governor Babangida Aliyu has accused an unidentified “powerful clique” of making surreptitious moves to destabilise the state. The governor alleged that the clique was plotting to stop the progressive train of his administration. Aliyu’s allegation is coming

From Jide Orintunsin, Minna

on the heels of a joint media briefing addressed on Tuesday by the three major opposition parties in the state. The opposition accused the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) administration in the state of mismanagement and executing elitist projects.

Aliyu blamed the action of the opposition on some highly placed individuals in the state, who he said were using the opposition to misinform the public about his administration. In a statement in Minna, the state capital, by his Chief Press Secretary, Mallam Danladi Ndayebo, the governor said the attack on his administra-

tion was a reaction to the recent loss those who took undue advantage of the past administration suffered. According to him, his new approach to governance has scared them into seeking ways to make his administration ungovernable. Aliyu said negative publications and media briefings

were sponsored by those who he said were threatened by the achievements of his administration. The governor averred that such moves were aimed at damaging his reputation and the government. The statement reads: “We are astounded at how low some politicians can sink by

employing downright lies and irresponsible tactics just to create the impression that things are not working. “The Government of Niger State condemns this cheap blackmail, being used as a last joker by drowning politicians who will clutch at anything, including mere straws, to remain relevant.”



NEWS Senate: we won’t consider Budget 2013 details now Continued from page 1

“All we are going to do is to debate the budget estimates and after that, we will not touch the budget again, until such a time when we have finished with our oversight functions. These are issues we need to take up with the Executive this year. “As we go on, we make improvements on issues of our working on the budget, not just on gas. There are issues such as the way the Sovereign Wealth Fund and the Excess Crude Account are being managed. All these issues will be raised with the President this year. Maccido said the Senate was particularly interested in capital expenditure. The Senate is likely to begin the second reading of the 2013 budget today. House spokesman Zakari Mohammed expressed regret that patriotic moves by the House have always been misunderstood. He said Section 80 (1, 2, 3) is

explicit on the control of public funds, adding: “It is a creation of the Constitution that all revenues acruing to the Federation should go to the Consolidated Account. It is in the constitution; we are not making it up. “It would not be wrong to say that the essence of the Excess Crude Account is let’s share the money because the states and local governments that shared from the account have not been able to justify the usage of the money in relation to what they used it for. “ Mohammed said it had become expedient for Nigerians to critically view issues of contention between the legislators and the executive. “It is regrettable that for benchmarking, we are being blackmailed,” he said, adding: “If we talk about this, we will still be blackmailed, but we have got to let Nigerians see the reasons why we are taking these actions. We must all strive to strengthen our institutions because we cannot be

here forever. Institutions must be empowered to function; it should not be about the person running the institution. “But because the money from the excess crude is kept enblock in one account, where some interests are being made, maybe some people’s ego are being massaged from it or somebody somewhere is making profit from that arrangement, they will not want it to die.” Besides, the spokesman reiterated the determination of the lawmakers not to be deterred in their efforts aimed at making governance impactful. “On our part, we remain focused and we will keep fighting it. I must add that there are a number of our colleagues that are bringing in motions and bills to amend the constitution. We are going to seize the opportunity of the ammendment of the costituation to take care of some of these grey areas. “This is because we have sharing this money for about

13 years now but what can we point at as achievement from the excess crude account. That is the issue and it is illegal because all monies supposed to go to the Consolidated Account”. Another area of possible clash with the executive, according to Mohammed, is the recurrent expenditure in the 2013 budget proposal, which is much higher than the capital expenditure. He said the House was determined to adjust the capital expenditure upward for it to have a meaningful impact on the lives of Nigerians. He said the House Spokesman will kick-start consultation on constitution amendment on November 8 from the 360 constituencies where interactive session would be held with Civil Society Organizations (CSO), Non-Governmental Organisations (NGO), professionals, traders, youths and other stakeholders.

JTF, Boko Haram in gun duel in Potiskum •Explosion in Mubi


OTISKUM , the commercial centre of Yobe State, yesterday witnessed another gun battle following the explosion of a bomb believed to have been thrown at security forces by the Boko Haram. Reports said many people, including a policeman and a soldier may have died in the fighting which lasted over three hours. The Joint Task Force (JTF) could not confirm the number of casualties. In Mubi, the Adamawa State town where students were killed last month, there were massive explosions. The number of the dead could not be ascertained. All the major roads, including the Kano-Maiduguri highway, were cordoned off as motorists and passengers in luxury buses from Lagos, were compelled to suspend their movement for more than four hours. Joint Task Force (JTF) spokes-

Six Russian sailors, Estonian kidnapped in Bayelsa Continued from page 2

national oil Company in the Southern Ijaw LGA area off shore Bayelsa state. Information on the abduction was hazy last night, but Lt. Col Onyema Nwachukwu, the Joint Military Task Force Media Coordinator who confirmed it, said the Military High Command has directed the Forward Operating Base (FOB) to comb the waterways in search of the expatriates.

Another nine sailors onboard the vessel sailed safely away to the company’s port in Onne in Nigeria’s Rivers state, the company said. “The emergency unit set up immediately by Bourbon has been set up to aim at their rapid liberation under the safest security conditions,” the company said in its statement. A company spokesman reached in Paris declined to elaborate on the company’s

statement and did not say where the kidnapping actually took place. Foreign oil companies have pumped oil out of the Niger Delta, a region of mangroves and swamps the size of Portugal, for more than 50 years. Despite the billions of dollars flowing into Nigeria’s government, many in the delta remain desperately poor, living in polluted waters without access to proper medical care, education

or work. The poor conditions sparked an uprising in 2006 by militants and opportunistic criminals who blew up oil pipelines and kidnapped foreign workers. That violence ebbed in 2009 with a government-sponsored amnesty programme promising ex-fighters monthly payments and job training. However, few in the delta have seen the promised benefits and sporadic kidnappings

and attacks continue. The last major kidnapping happened in August, when gunmen attacked a vessel operated by Sea Trucks Group, another oil and gas contractor, and kidnapped four workers. The workers were later released unharmed. While kidnappings in the delta routinely involve violence, most hostages are released a few weeks later unharmed after their employers pay a ransom.

From From Duku Joel, Damaturu

man Lt. Eli Lazarus said it acted about an alleged plan of the Boko Haram (western education is a sin) sect to carry out coordinated attacks in Potiskum. Lt. Lazarus said in a statement: “In the early hours of today (Wednesday), men of JTF, acting on information, cordoned off a suspected terrorist hideout in Anguwan Jaji area of Potiskum town in Yobe State. In the process of searching the area, improvised explosive devices were thrown at our troops. “Exchange of fire between men of JTF and the suspected terrorists followed. Some arms were recovered and the search is still ongoing.” The statement listed some of the recovered items in the operation as follows: 2 AK 47 rifles, 3 AK 47 (burnt), 1 Rocket Propelled Grenade 7 (RPG 7), 3 RPG 7 chargers, 2 bullet proof jackets, 1,367 (7.62mm) ammunition, 10 unexploded IEDs, 42 assorted rifle magazines and one blue Honda Civic car. The others are: Two Toyota Hilux vans, one Motorcycle, two generating sets, six spare tyres, one VHS video cassette, one hard drive, one 1 laptop, several sim cards, one gas cylinder and four vehicle number plates. A resident of the area said: “I believ many lives were lost.” Men of the JTF with riffles and Armoured Personnel Carriers were seen coming out of the raided area but people were prevented





UST how much more can a country take? Furious floods washing away lives and property that represent so many years of sweating and toiling, sparing neither the weak nor the mighty. The President’s home in Otuoke is submerged. The once strange staccato sounds of guns firing bullets are now common. Streams of blood all over as more and more gangs of brutes and beasts stalk the land. Piles of natural and home-made disasters. Calamities upon calamities. Just how much more can Nigeria take? When Boko Haram, the insurgent group, murdered National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) members in Bauchi last year, we all vowed it would never happen again. Little did we know that the worst was on the way. On National Day in Mubi, Adamawa State, some unknown gunmen stormed a community hosting students and, in a most absurd manner, killed 40. They called out the victims’ names one after the other, shooting them dead as they showed up. Some had their doors smashed, dragged out and shot. Three University of Maiduguri students were also killed on that day. The motives for these killings remain unclear. From Mubi, the absurdity moved onto Aluu community in Rivers State where a mob lynched four University of Port Harcourt (UNIPORT) students for allegedly stealing mobile phones and laptops. The police alleged that the community’s chief supervised the savagery. The police got a distress call and stormed the scene only to beat a hasty retreat. One of the suspects said a policeman actually joined in beating up the boys; another was pleading that they should be spared, he claimed. It was a bad day. The police said reinforcements came too late and that they couldn’t save the “UNIPORT Four” because the mob pelted them with stones. Were they not armed? Couldn’t they have shot into the air to scare away the mob? Didn’t they carry tear gas? At what point did they call for help? Why was the community leader not allowed to speak at the press conference where the suspects were paraded? In Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, Itohowo Offiong Asuquo, a student of Uyo City Polytechnic, stabbed his cousin Uwana, whom he accused of stealing his phone. Asuquo found his phone, but the row that followed the incident turned bloody when he allegedly stabbed Uwana. He died. What is there in a telephone – or any material thing – to kill or die for? How will Asuquo be feeling now, assuming that he has some conscience? Before the Mubi and Aluu madness, there had been other exhibitions of pure insanity. Four NNPC engineers, who were sent to Arepo, Ogun State, to mend a vandalised pipeline from where thieves stole petrol, were murdered. This, the corporation said, is responsible for the shortage that has shot up price to between N100 and N110 in Lagos. Who killed the “NNPC Four”? Just last Sunday, it was the turn of a Kaduna State community to taste the wine of absurdity. Unknown gunmen killed 24 in Dogo Dawa in Gwari Local Government Area in what some believed was a reprisal for the losses suffered by a gang of robbers. A man, who is described as a “thief catcher”, and his two children were killed. The gunmen cut off his wife’s hand. The villagers had earlier organised a resistance





VOL. 7, NO. 2282

TODAY IN THE NATION ‘This general decline of our country is affecting us in every respect. We used to be a proud people but what can we be proud of now? We are a giant with clay feet and we are gradually becoming the laughing stock of Africa.’ JIDE OSUNTOKUN




Brutes, beasts and bullets

•THE UNIPORT FOUR: Tekena, Lloyd, Chidiaka, Ugonna

against the robbers whose operations were crippled for three months. They returned in fury to spill blood, the blood of innocent villagers said to be returning from a mosque. Where were the security agents? Is Dogo Dawa so far from where help could have come? Doesn’t this kind of horror strengthen the case for state police? Add these to the massive canvass of blood in Jos where whole families,including babies, have been murdered. Gradually, we are losing our claim to decency and respect for human life for a disgusting descent into savagery–the jungle world of animals. How do you explain the case of a 20-yearold girl who was raped and disfigured by her assailants. Ruth Simon was returning home in Jos on September 23, according to The Sun, when two depraved youths grabbed her, pinned her to the ground and raped her. Disturbed by her screaming, one of the youths whipped out a knife and slashed off her lower lip. The police are holding a welder, John Akwara, and searching for a man who is believed to be his accomplice, Ezra Dachalon. It will be nice to find out why the duo did this to a poor housemaid. But, what can we say in a season of absurdity? Amid the aberrations , two Ogun State traditional rulers dragged royalty into the gutter, brawling like “area boys” at a police station in Itori, Ewekoro Local Government. Oba Fatai Akamo, the Olu of Itori, was said to have slapped Oba Adisa Akinremi, the village head of Lapeleke, following a disagreement over

some traditional matters. What kind of royal anger led to this royal show of shame? Even nobility is not spared in this season of madness? In the flood victims’ camps, the depravities are hard to comprehend. Displaced women and girls are being raped in Benue. There are allegations that some of the officials whose job it is to cater for these traumatised people are the perpetrators of such unconscionable acts. Who will stop them? Even as the abnormalities go on, Nigeri-


As Ondo votes...

N two days, Ondo State residents will go to the poll to elect a governor. I have been following the hustings, talking to my friends and relations in the Sunshine State. They say of all the parties, three – Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) and Labour Party (LP) - are serious. PDP is wracked by a fratricidal war of attrition that has evoked the imagery of a torn umbrella. A torn umbrella is useless. It can’t provide shade against the sun or stop the rain from soaking its owner. Labour symbolises hard work and the dignity that goes with it. But, the popular thinking is that the labourers are weak and fagged out, having been poorly


compensated with poor service delivery. Who wants to labour in vain? LP is buffeted by internal rancour that has sent many of its leading lights fleeing the labour room. The party has promised to do all that it promised but failed to do in more than three years – roads, schools, hospitals and more. Will it get another chance? Doubtful. Why? Its account seems to have been overdrawn in the bank of credibility. It is in the red. ACN is offering action. And change. The template is ready – in Osun, Lagos, Oyo, Edo, Ogun and Ekiti– and working. If I had a vote in Ondo, I will surely cast it for Rotimi Akeredolu, a tested lawyer, a fighter and a great defender of the poor. He will not betray the trust. •For comments, send SMS to 08057634061

HARDBALL HE killing of 24 people in Dogon Dawa, a village in Birnin Gwari Local Government Area of Kaduna State, on Saturday was at first thought to have been motivated by sectarian reasons because it occurred near a mosque. A day after, however, the police suggested it was reprisal killings by a gang of robbers from the neighbouring Kuyallo community. But leaders of the Fulani herdsmen in Kuyallo dramatically showed up at the state police headquarters in Kaduna on Tuesday to claim responsibility for the killings. According to them, hostile communities such as Dogon Dawa routinely accuse herdsmen returning from long-distance grazing of robbery and then either murder them or rustle their cattle. The Dogon Dawa reprisal was to send a message that the herdsmen would not accept the affront. A day after the Dogon Dawa killings, another group of Fulani herdsmen swooped on Yogbo, a farming community in Guma Local Government Area of Benue State killing some 25 Tiv people, mainly women and children. Tiv farmers and Fulani herdsmen are reported to be locked in a bitter battle over food crops versus grazing land, leading to the killing of hundreds of people in the past few months. On Tuesday, too, the Joint Task Force (JTF) in

ans are seeing some comic relief in the tragedy. Aluu community has become the subject of jokes. Consider this sent to my mobile by a friend: “Here is the news…Boko Haram condemns Aluu killings. Spokesman Abu Qaqa says, ‘this is pure wickedness’.” And this on a friend’s telephone: ‘ If you’re my friend and you’re from Aluu, please, I know we haven’t quarrelled. Biko, just delete yourself before you say I stole your BB charger.” Then, there is this other one with the picture of two young lovers looking passionately into each other’s eyes. The man asks the woman: “Are you leaving me because I’m from Aluu?” The woman replies: “Yes, my love. The youths may say I stole your heart.” Philosophers are finding it difficult to explain what is going on in Nigeria. Neurologists, such as Dr. Njideka Okubadejo of the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH), say many Nigerians have mental disorders. Does this explain the hell we experienced? Social scientists ascribe it all to the effects of a collapsed system in which values have been killed and buried. Spiritualists, who see this life as a cycle, believe that the strange events we are witnessing are signs of a closing cycle, which they insist the holy books have predicted. In other words, in their view, the end of time is fast approaching. Political scientists are talking of a failure of an overwhelmed leadership that is swimming in a pool of social and economic challenges. They compare Nigeria to a car with an overheating engine, even as the radiator and the fans that keep the cooling system in place are functioning. The engine, they stress, will get knocked, if experts do not move fast. But the question remains, who will save Nigeria, the black man’s pride and hope? Who?

•Hardball is not the opinion of the columnist featured above

Sitting comfortably on a powder keg Maiduguri told the media that about 24 Boko Haram members were killed in a firefight between security men and Islamists, in a war that is proving interminable. Newspapers are filled with scary reports of murder, violence and threats of intercommunal and intracommunal wars. Nearly three weeks ago, more than 40 students of the Federal Polytechnic lost their lives in an attack by gunmen whose identities are yet to be determined. And in Port Harcourt, villagers at a community near the University of Port Harcourt lynched four students wrongly accused of robbery. The list of killings is endless and growing. Kidnapping is the order of the day, and highway robbery has made travelling by day or night an ordeal. The police are hardly able to compose themselves in the face of the massive lawlessness permeating the country; and in spite of the notable effort of the police leadership to inculcate discipline and higher degree of responsibility in policemen, officers have also affronted the law with embarrassing industriousness. What is obvious is that there are no realistic and practicable ideas from the federal government to arrest the danger-

ous lurch towards apocalypse. More than this, it is also indisputable that beyond general initiatives, which have neither been proffered nor tested, the structure of the country is simply too weak and even inoperable to stabilise a country of more than 250 cultures, rapidly expanding population, varying and competing religions, and intolerably high youth unemployment. Will something give? The country is not only in ferment, it is seething. It is time the government recognised that these problems will not go away on their own accord or succumb to exhaustion. It will have to be more proactive, imaginative and aggressive to arrest what seems like a looming apocalypse. Of all the problems besetting the country, from Boko Haram to police killings, and from herdsmen versus farmers’ deathly struggles to boundary conflicts, and from communal wars to the gory sport of indiscriminate lynching and kidnapping, the government has solved none. Worse, there is nothing to show that these problems are receiving the intelligent attention that gives hope the country would overcome its afflictions soon. This must be the worst powder keg any nation can sit on.

Published and printed by Vintage Press Limited. Corporate Office: 27B Fatai Atere Way, Matori, Lagos. P.M.B. 1025,Oshodi, Lagos. Telephone: Switch Board: 01-8168361. Editor Daily:01-8962807, Marketing: 01-8155547 . Abuja Office: Plot 5, Nanka Close AMAC Commercial Complex, Wuse Zone 3, Abuja. Tel: 07028105302. Port Harcourt Office: 12/14, Njemanze Street, Mila 1, Diobu, PH. 08023595790. WEBSITE: E-mail: ISSN: 115-5302 Editor: GBENGA OMOTOSO

The Nation October 18, 2012  

The Nation October 18, 2012

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