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The right guy should make himself known —Nollywood


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Ex-ECOMOG boss Shagaya laments: I’m ashamed that the peace I worked for in other lands eludes 46-47 my home state Pages

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VOL.07 N0. 2291




Aftermath of plane crash

Thugs storm Govt House, sack deputy governor SSS probes invasion Senator to be quizzed Injured governor moved to National Hospital in oxygen mask ... bandaged head to toe Page2

Gov. Suntai

Sallah: PDP supporters, transport Page 7 workers in free for all in Ibadan

President Goodluck Jonathan (right, in white attire) with the Chief Medical Director, National Hospital, Prof. Bello Bala Shehu during the president's visit to the injured Taraba State Governor, Danbaba Suntai, at the National Hospital… yesterday PHOTO: Akin OLADOKUN.


Thousands stranded as trailer blocks Lagos-Ibadan Expressway





•The State House ambulance that took Taraba State Governor, Danbaba Suntai, to the National Hospital, Abuja yesterday.

•Medical personnel with medical equipment used to assist the governor from the Nnamdi Azikwe PHOTOS: AKIN OLADOKUN. International Airport to the National Hospital, Abuja yesterday.

Plane crash: Thugs storm Govt House, sack Deputy Governor A

S doctors at the Yola Specialist Hospital battled on Thursday to save the life of Governor Danbaba Suntai of Taraba State after he was involved in a plane crash, a band of thugs invaded Government House, Jalingo and chased out his deputy, Alhaji Garba Umar. The invasion, which is now being probed by the State Security Service (SSS), is strongly suspected to be part of a plot to stop Umar from succeeding Suntai in the event that the governor did not survive. At the centre of the SSS probe is a senator said to have instigated the attack. Governor Suntai was widely rumoured to have died in the crash until the Presidency and the Ministry of Aviation, in separate statements, said he did not. Umar, who was only sworn-in on October 5, was forced out of the Government House by thugs allegedly acting on the orders of the Senator. Umar’s predecessor, Alhaji Sani Abubakar, was himself stopped from seeing the governor in the hospital by security agents. Governor Suntai was transferred from Yola to the National Hospital, Abuja yesterday, wearing an oxygen mask. He was heavily bandaged. A highly placed source who spoke on the Government House invasion, said: “Following the rumoured death of the governor, some thugs loyal to a serving senator invaded the Government House at about 11pm and unconstitutionally ejected the Deputy Governor from the place. “They were shouting that under no condition would they allow the Deputy Governor to succeed Suntai who was presumed dead. “Worried by the threat to his life, the Deputy Governor was ferried by security aides to the state office of the SSS in Jalingo. “He slept at the SSS office overnight to avoid being killed. But a reinforcement of security around the Deputy Governor was effected on Friday to prevent further harassment against him.” The source added: “We are investigating the alleged involvement of a serving senator in the illegal attack on the Deputy Governor. “If the senator’s culpability is established, we will effect his arrest and trial.

•SSS probes action • Senator to be quizzed •Injured governor moved to National Hospital on oxygen mask Yusuf ALLI, Managing Editor, Northern Operation and Augustine EHIKIOYA, Abuja “So far, it has been established that the senator has been at loggerheads with the governor. The suspect was opposed to how the immediate past Deputy Governor, Alhaji Sani Abubakar, was impeached by the Taraba State House of Assembly based on ‘cooked up’ allegations of gross misconduct levelled against him by the state lawmakers.” Suntai was moved to the National Hospital, Abuja at about 2.08 p.m yesterday under tight security. He was driven into the hospital premises in a State House Medical Centre Ambulance with registration number SH 576. He was bandaged from head to toe and had an oxygen mask on his face. He sat on a reclining chair in the ambulance. A total of seven vehicles were in the convoy, many of them occupied by security operatives. By then, reporters and photographers had positioned themselves at the entrance of the Accident and Emergency Unit. But as soon as the security operatives sighted the newsmen, they diverted the ambu-


lance to the back of the hospital. At about 3.10 pm, President Goodluck Jonathan arrived the hospital to personally assess the governor’s condition. He told reporters as he departed that the governor’s condition had stabilised. He said: “First and foremost, we have to thank God for what has happened. Plane crash is not something you can just wave off. We are quite happy that the Governor is still stable and feeling well.” “The doctors are working very hard on him. I believe that by God’s will, he will soon come out of it. But he is still in the hospital. No doubt about that. And the professor/ CMD is here. He can just say one or two things. Being a Governor, people are worried. They want to know his state of health.” The Chief Medical Director of the National Hospital, Prof. Bala Shehu, said: “Just like the President said, he is very stable. Obviously, in the first 24 hours of any injuries, there are worries. There are very few worries. There are very few. So, we will continue to observe him for the first 24 hours. “There is no need to do any operation on him. He is very stable. Given what happened, we are actually satisfied with the situation at the moment.” However, a source in the

hospital said the governor had neurological disorder from the crash. It was gathered that four neuro surgeons were mobilised to assist Prof. Bala Shehu who is also a neuro surgeon to treat the governor. Throwing light on neurological disorder, a neuro surgeon at the Cedarcrest Hospital, Abuja, Dr Biodun Ogungbo, said: “Neuro trauma indicates mostly brain or spinal cord injury and is often associated with lifetime morbidity. So, early active management is crucial. “The initial care of patients with acute brain or acute traumatic lesions of the neck (cervical spine) is of paramount importance. Neurologic function of the brain and cord levels can be adversely affected by excessive motion. Ideally, treatment should start at the site of trauma. “Safe and careful extrication, safe transportation and immobilisation in solid neck braces are crucial. Safe transportation is essential. These patients cannot and should not be moved without adequate protection and care. Airway management and maintenance of spinal immobilization are important factors in limiting the risk of secondary neurological injury. “Patients with brain or spinal cord injuries may have difficulty with breathing due

to this and other injuries such as chest trauma. Early effective and efficient management is crucial to survival. “Transporting patients to hospitals with the capability to manage these cases is vital and information about these hospitals should be widely available. “Early diagnostic and clinical evaluations are important in determining the severity of the injury and making plans for subsequent management. “Timely and appropriate imaging studies using x-rays, CT and MRI scans are essential. Hospitals must be able to offer early neurological evaluation, investigation, diagnosis and surgical management to the majority of patients. “Prolonged survival has resulted from better understanding of the pathophysiology of cord damage, as well as from the advances in antibiotic and ventilatory therapy.” On the availability of such surgeons in Nigeria, he said: “We have only about 30 neuro surgeons in Nigeria, which means one neuro surgeon is responsible for treating any epilepsy occurring in 5 million people.” Journalists were not allowed close to the private ward of the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) of the Hospital where the governor was taken to. Security operatives shoved and pushed the reporters and told them to steer clear of the ward. One of them even threatened to “spoil” a reporter’s legs if he took any photograph.

...Bamanga Tukur, others pray for Suntai’s quick recovery

HE National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Dr. Bamanga Tukur, and the Senator representing Taraba South, Emmanuel Bwacha, yesterday joined millions of Nigerians in prayers for quick recovery of Taraba State Governor, Danbaba Suntai, who was involved in a plane crash on Thursday. Suntai survived the mishap but sustained injuries, said the doctor who was treating him at the German Medical Diagnostic Section of the Specialist Hospital, Yola. The governor was on board the plane with his ADC and four other persons. They all survived, although each

Fanen IHYONGO, Jalingo, Barnabas MANYAM, Yola with varying degrees of injury. Prayer messages sent through calls or SMS yesterday flooded the mobile phones of The Nation correspondent in Taraba State. Bamanga Tukur also prayed for the speedy recovery of the governor. He spoke in his village, Mayo Kalaye, Jade Local Government Area of Adamawa State, while Bwacha spoke in Abuja. Tukur described Suntai as a

"peaceful and courageous man, good administrator and God-fearing personality. The ruling party would not want to lose him. I pray he should recover quickly," he said. Bwacha said: "The Holy Spirit of God Almighty will go with him (Suntai) to where he would be treated. God had spoken before the accident that the governor would always be protected even in the valley of the shadow of death." He said God showed His divinity in the crash to shame

the devil and mischief makers who hastened to peddle the rumour that the governor died. "He would recover quickly and live long to complete the good works he has started in Taraba State." Taraba State commissioners, led by the Commissioner of Information, Emmanuel Bello; advisers and Chairmen of local government councils as well as market women were also in prayers for the quick recovery of the governor.

Flood: Jonathan allays fears of farming after floods •Akinjide leads FCT residents, clerics to pay Sallah homage to President, Vice-President Bukola AMUSAN, Abuja


RESIDENT Goodluck Ebele Jonathan yesterday urged Nigerians not to be afraid over threats of inadequate food supply arising from the recent flood disaster which affected many states of the federation. He gave this assurance when the Minister of State for Federal Capital Territory, Oloye Olajumoke Akinjide, led a delegation of FCT residents and clerics to pay Sallah homage to the President and Vice President Namadi Sambo at the Presidential Villa. The President stated that the Federal Government had enough grains in the National Strategic Reserve which would be released into the system. He said: "Nigerians should not be afraid that there may be hunger in the land or shortage in food supply as a result of the flood incident. We have enough grains in our strategic reserves. The percentage of the farmlands that have been affected by the recent flood is not so high. "We have enough grains in the National Strategic Reserves that we will release if the nation is threatened by food shortage. But we are not threatened. The people hoarding grains are doing so at their risks and not in the best interest of the country." He encouraged Nigerians to continue to pray for the peace and unity of the nation, saying that the administration was working hard to overcome its present challenges, including security. On the plane crash in Yola, Adamawa State on Thursday evening involving Governor Dambaba Suntai of Taraba State, Jonathan disclosed that necessary arrangements would be made to get the governor proper medical care. "Arrangements are being made and if it is necessary to fly him out to get more medical treatment, we shall do so," the President noted. He assured Muslim pilgrims that the incident that led to the deportation of Nigerian female pilgrims would not be repeated.



A celebration of sacrifice and obedience S

OME of my fondest memories as a child were always that of the Eid Al-Adha Sallah celebration. During those earlier years of my life, it was custom for the children in my family to wake up very early in the morning, get dressed in our very best attire and anticipate the family activities that were to take place on that day. After my siblings and myself finish contemplating who looked best, we would all go outside and wait for the males in the family to come back from attending the morning prayer. When the men folk got back, we would all wait till the Sallah ram had been slaughtered before proceeding to the slaughter area to watch the distribution of the meat to our neighbours, friends, family and the poor. As soon as the distribution is done, all the children in the house would go for visits to friends and family and exchange greetings and gifts. After the euphoria of the day, my family would settle down to play indoor games in the evening. At the end of each Sallah period, I was always very sad as a young girl because I never wanted the day that I appreciated for all its charity, fun, and harmony to end. Now, as a grown up, I appreciate the day for something much more profound. I appreciate it as a time to show respect for sacrifice and to reflect on our obligations to the people we know. It is also a time to demonstrate charity, community, commitment, cooperation and compassion and a sense of unity and oneness. It is a time to celebrate the principles, meaning and essence of Islam. Eid Al-Adha contains many wonderful messages including the fact that it is an external expression of the testimony of faith. Every year, at the end of the Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca, Muslims throughout the world celebrate and commemorate this glorious and holy day that derives its message from the remarkable trials, triumphs and the unwavering faith of Prophet Ibrahim. And it is in the extraordinary story of Prophet Ibrahim and his love for the Almighty that many faiths throughout the world, learn about obedience and submission to the Almighty. For every Muslim, at this time of year we are obliged to remember the acts of obedience and submission performed by Prophet Ibrahim and his family when he was commanded to take Hajara and their son Ismail to a desolate, remote land as a sacrifice and symbol of his love for his Creator. In what seemed an almost impossible feat, Prophet Ibraham submitted and obeyed the command from God. At the realisation of the ordeal to befall them, Hajara queried Prophet Ibrahim as to whether he intended to leave them as sacrifice in the valley, to which Prophet Ibrahim didn’t answer. Contemplating his silence, she went ahead to ask if the Prophet was ordered by Allah to sacrifice her and her son, to which he replied in

“Surely Ibraham was an example, obedient to Allah, by nature upright, and he was not of the polytheists. He was grateful for Our bounties. We chose him and guided him unto a right path. We gave him good in this world, and in the next he will most surely be among the righteous.” (Qur’an 16:120-121)

the affirmative. In response to this final answer, Hajara submitted to Allah’s will because she knew that God would never let her and Ismail perish. In addition, when Ismail grew up, the Prophet was again commanded by the Almighty to sacrifice him. Upon hearing this command, he prepared to submit to Allah’s will. When he was all prepared to do it, God revealed to him that his sacrifice had already been fulfilled. He had shown that his love for his Lord superseded all others to the extent that he was prepared to lay down his own life or the lives of those dear to him in order to submit to God. There is no doubt that throughout history, the family of Prophet Ibrahim was a family that demonstrated the profundity of obedience and submission like no other. Time and again their faith and will has been tested and each time, they exhibited resilience in patience, submission and obedience. Just as Prophet Ibrahim was tested throughout his life to see if he would submit or not, so will we be tested to see whether we submit to the Almighty’s rules and regulations. Just as the people of other faiths practice at various times of the religious calendar, there is no better time than now for Muslims to realise that every strain, drudgery and adversity we suffer compliments our pursuit to be obedient. If we all obey the tenants of our religion, we may be in the company of the likes of Prophet Ibrahim and his family in Paradise. We should always take action toward improving our obedience and submission to God in the short space of time we have in this world. We must always recall that a great number of people who celebrated Eid with us in the years gone by have now become the residents of the graveyard. We are sure to join them at a time unknown to us and best known to God. Eid is about having an attitude and willingness to make

sacrifices in our lives in order to adhere to compassion and righteousness. And that can only be a good thing because we each should make the small sacrifices that entail us to give up things that are fun or important to us. A Muslim who truly submits themselves completely will always be willing to follow the Lord’s commands completely and obediently. It is this strength of heart, purity in faith, and willing obedience that our Lord desires from us. When we share meat during Eid al-Adha, we share it mostly with immediate family, relatives, friends and the poor. The act symbolizes our willingness to give up things that are of benefit to us or close to our hearts, in order to follow Allah’s commands. It also symbolizes our willingness to give up some of our own bounties, in order to strengthen ties of friendship and help those who are in need. We recognize that all blessings come from Allah, and we should open our hearts and share with others. Part of the messages of Eid is that we are one people with one destiny and as we gather together for the prayer and share in the blessings of the Eid, no matter which faith we practice, we must try very hard to reinforce our humanity, unity and mend our differences upon truth, fairness and justice. Even when the Eid passes, the meat has all been eaten and the Barka Da Sallah’s have been exhausted, our obedience and submission must be constant and continuous. Let’s all endeavour to do good deeds because we must remember that no one has an agreement with the Angel of Death to delay their death until the time they choose to submit and obey to their Lord. We know of the example of this submission from Prophet Ibrahim, Hajara and their son Ismail. As another Eid Al-Adha approaches, I remember, with nostalgia, those my beautiful early years during the celebrations of the festival. And although I may not be as ecstatic about the slaughtering of ram as I was when I was a young girl, I still love and appreciate this time of year, albeit for a different reason. I hope Eid touches families throughout Nigeria and the world, the way it has touched mine. During this beautiful time, I would like to send my best wishes to all Nigerians celebrating Sallah and those across the world who observe the festival as they celebrate Eid alAdha.

Nigerian couple tricked into believing they had given birth granted custody of baby A London High Court judge has raised con cerns about “desperate childless parents” being caught up in “strange” babyselling scams in Africa. Mr Justice Coleridge said there was evidence that women were going to Nigeria seeking fertility treatment then being sold unwanted babies “for very substantial sums of money” after fraudsters had tricked them into thinking they had become pregnant and given birth. He said there was more than one case “featuring almost identical facts” before English courts, described the situation as “very serious” and questioned the “lack of involvement” of Nigerian authorities. The judge raised concerns after awarding one couple who had fallen victim to such a scam, custody of the baby they had believed was theirs. Mr Justice Coleridge, sitting in the Family Division of the High Court, said the case - involving a Nigerian couple from London - was “very worrying” and gave rise to “very real public interest”. “This is a very serious situation,” he said. “It is not the only case, on almost identical facts, before the courts at the moment. It certainly gives rise to very real public interest, particularly the lack of involvement by the Nigerian authorities.” He went on: “The circumstances in this case are completely unusual, very bizarre and truly worrying.”

The court heard that the London couple, who cannot be named for legal reasons, had fallen victim to an elaborate scam and tricked into paying £6,000 for so-called fertility treatment. The case reached the courts when social services became suspicious that they were not the baby’s biological parents and took her into care. When a DNA test revealed the truth, the woman insisted that she had been drugged while undergoing a process that she thought was a genuine birth and believed that the child was hers. Mr Justice Coleridge concluded that she and her husband were unwitting participants caught up in “the most appalling” scam and that the baby should be returned to them as “special guardians”. The court heard that the couple, identified only as Mr S, 51, and his wife Mrs S, a 50-yearold teacher, had been “desperate” for a baby. They travelled to the God’s Gift Maternity Clinic in Port Harcourt, Nigeria, in 2009 to undergo fertility treatment after failing to conceive at home. A doctor gave Mrs S “a number of injections and tablets and capsules” and in April 2010, she started to feel the “symptoms of being pregnant” including a bloated stomach and weight gain. That September, a scan at a UK hospital could detect no pulse or heartbeat from a baby. But Mrs S said her doctor in Nigeria “assured” her

that it was not unusual for the baby not to show up on the scan. “Also, I was reassured by the testimonies of others who had had the treatment before (my sister and a friend),” she added. The baby was “born” in January 2011. But on the family’s return to the UK and following a visit to their local GP, suspicions were raised and the local authority alerted. DNA tests confirmed that

Mr and Mrs S were not the baby’s biological parents and the mother was left “stunned”, the judge said. It emerged that the “birth” had been “staged” in Nigeria and that the child had been stolen or bought from unknown parents. Social services then took the baby, identified only as O, into care. In a statement Mrs S told the court: “In January 2011 during what I perceived to be the birth of O, I recall a doctor inducing

labour through intravenous drip and I experienced what was labour, a very traumatic delivery and a baby was presented to me covered in blood as would have been normal in a delivery room. “I felt all the natural manifestations of labour and delivery and my baby, O, was presented to me in the manner described.” She added that when O was taken from her, her “whole life was shattered”.

“In short, I have been depressed and traumatised. We have struggled to maintain any level of sanity as I am now convinced that I have been a victim of a very serious fraud by those who have exploited my vulnerability and infertility for their own financial gain,” she said. The little girl who will be two in January has remained with foster parents ever since. Now after 18 months she will be returned to the couple.

5,000 Jehovah's witnesses to attend convention in Osun


O fewer than 5,000 Jehovah's Witnesses will attend this year’s 3-day annual district convention of the congregation, holding in Ilesa, Osun State, from Friday, November 2. According to a statement by the local media contact of the Christian Congration of Jehovah's Witnesses for the convention, Mr. Paul Ajibola Oyebisi, members and their invited guests would benefit from the positive message and practical suggestions that will be highlighted at the convention, with the theme: "Safeguard Your Heart!" Oyebisi, who said the convention will hold for three successive weekends from November 2, at the IlerinIlesha Assembly Hall, disclosed that there would be 250 of such conventions in 32 cities across Nigeria this year. He noted that, worldwide, there are over 7.6 million Jehovah's witnesses in more

than 109, 000 congregations. He said: "The witnesses' convention programme promises a fresh examination of Biblical references to the figurative heart. Through

lively discourses, dramtic Bible readings and presentations, and even a live play, programme parts will emphasize how protecting the figurative heart will enhance

one's spiritual well-being, take wise decisions, improve family life, strenghten their relationship with God and find true hapiness."

Fuel scarcity bites harder on Sallah day


he persisting fuel scar city became more no ticeable in Lagos State on Eid-ek Kabir day, as many filling stations were either without petroleum products or suspected to be hoarding. Long queues were noticed at the few filling stations that were selling the products. The queues of vehicles at the filling stations led to heavy traffic in some areas of the metropolis, forcing commercial vehicles to increase fares. Many major and independent petroleum marketers claimed that the scarcity resulted from their inability to get the products from depots.

In Epe, a Lagos suburb, petrol price has gone up to N120 per litre in some filling stations, against the official N97 per litre. Black market sale of the product has continued to thrive as young men sell 10 litres of petrol for between N1, 500 and N2, 000. Some of them display gallons of petrol in front of filling stations on Ikorodu Road. A taxi driver, Mr Kasali Jimoh, said that the scarcity was worsening and, “No government official has so far given any explanation on the matter; this is regrettable”. A commercial bus driver,

Mr Tunde Sanni, said, ‘’transport fare for the “Lagos-Epe route increased from N500 to N1,500”. Meanwhile, commuters in Lagos, on Friday, enjoyed free ride on the state-owned LAGBUS and the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) vehicles to mark the Eid-el-Kabir celebration. Lagos State government provided about 600 hundred of the buses to convey the residents on various routes. Some of the residents who benefitted from the free ride thanked the government for the gesture which, they said, relieved them of the burden of fuel scarcity.



Sallah bomb blast kills 41 worshippers A T least 41 Muslim worshippers lay dead yesterday in Afghanistan’s northern province of Faryab after a suicide bomber attacked a mosque during Eid prayers . Fifty-one others were injured, local officials said. The suicide bomber was said to have detonated explosives that he was carrying outside the mosque in Maymana, the capital of Faryab province. Witnesses said the attacker wore a police uniform as he passed through four security checkpoints. He blew himself up at the entrance to the city’s packed Eid Gah mosque, deputy provincial governor Abdul Satar Barez said. “Our latest death toll shows 41 deaths, and that might rise,” he said. “Nineteen were members of the security forces, including police, army and intelligence agents. Seventeen were civilians and five children are also

among the dead.” The 41 victims were a mixture of civilians and members of the Afghan National Security Forces. The bulk of those killed were outside the mosque at the time of the attack. The provincial police chief sustained some injury. Barez, like many other provincial officials, was at the scene at the time of the bombing and described the horror of the blast in the midst of a religious celebration. “We had just finished Eid alAdha prayers and we were congratulating and hugging each other,” Barez said. “Suddenly a big explosion took place and the area was full of dust and smoke and body parts of police and civilians were all over the place. It was a very powerful explosion.” No group has claimed responsibility for the attack. ‘Pieces of bodies’ One eyewitness, Sayed Moqeed, described the bomber

as appearing to be in his early teens. “Suddenly I heard a very big explosion,” he said. “Everywhere were pieces of bodies, hands and limbs. The suicide attacker was in police uniform, he looked to be around 14 or 15 years old.” Hamid Karzai, the Afghan president, strongly condemned the attack, calling the perpetrators “the enemies of Islam and humanity”. “Those who take the happiness of Muslims during Eid days cannot be called human and Muslim,” he said. The United States embassy in Kabul also “strongly” condemned the attack saying: “this attack against innocent worshippers further demonstrates the insurgency’s lack of respect for religion, faith and its disregard for the safety and security of the Afghan people ... Our sympathies go out to those affected by today’s bombing, and we wish a speedy recovery to the wounded”.

. • From Left: Vice President Namadi Sambo; his son, Mannir; Minister Of Transport, Idris Umar; and Chief of Defence Staff, Vice Admiral Ola Ibrahim, during the Eid-elkabir prayers in Abuja on Friday

Fashola to Nigerians: Let’s continue to co-exist in peace, harmony •Governor says movement of goods, people for Sallah, fuel scarcity, not restriction on Okada responsible for heavy traffic


AGOS State Governor, Mr Babatunde Fashola (SAN) and other eminent personalities including former Governor, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, and the Oba of Lagos, Oba Rilwan Akiolu I yesterday observed the Eid – el-Kabir prayers at the Dodan Barracks Praying Ground, Ikoyi with the Governor appealing to all Nigerians to continue to co-exist in peace. Governor Fashola who spoke with newsmen after the prayers, led by the Chief Imam of Lagos, Alhaji Garba Akinola Ibrahim, said all Nigerians particularly those in Lagos should continue to be tolerant of one another with love and understanding. He said more importantly people should show restraint for the diversities that exist in the country and have an understanding that from the diversities emanate the strength and harmony with which the society can progress. He re-iterated the Sallah message of “sacrifice for reward and to appeal to all Nigerians particularly those of us in Lagos to continue to coexist in peace, in tolerance with love, understanding and importantly restraint for our diversities and understanding that from those diversities come really the strength

and harmony from which we can proceed forward as a people”. On insinuations that the restricted operation of commercial motorcycles (okadas) is responsible for the gridlock experienced in Lagos in the last three days, he said it does not make any logical progression to attribute the restriction of motorcycles to heavy traffic in a festive season. “What has happened is that there is high movement of goods and people, two, three days before Eid. People are travelling out, people are coming in, we have imported rice, we are moving rams, groundnut oil and all sorts of things. We are distributing gifts and it is on these same roads”. “The roads will not expand for the season and coupled with that, there hasbeen fuel scarcity, so people have queued in lanes and streets and highways where there are petrol stations restricting other commuters to either one lane or almost no lane at all and these are the things that our traffic officials have been managing”, Governor Fashola explained. The Governor added that if anyone goes out today when many woulf have gone out to celebrate Sallah in their states, it will be ob-

served that the gridlock has disappeared; stressing that it requires management, sacrifice and restraint for everyone to use the joint asset together. “The roads are assets that we must share and if we restrain ourselves, they will serve our purpose,” he said. In his goodwill message , the Chief Imam of Lagos, Alhaji Garba Akinola Ibrahim said there is no compulsion in religion in Nigeria as the country is a secular State where major religions are tolerated, saying the people should not take those killing in the name of Islam as members of the same religion. He also urged the adherents to remember the plight of all those that are in flood ravaged areas across the country to pray for them and sympathize with them. Notable among those who also observed the Eid prayers were members of the State Executive Council including the Commissioner for Works and Infrastructure, Dr Obafemi Hamzat;Special Duties, Dr Wale Ahmed ;a former Federal Commissioner for Works, Alhaji Femi Okunnu (SAN) and National Legal Adviser of the Action Congress of Nigeria, Dr Muiz Banire.

. From left: Emir of Ilorin, Alhaji Ibrahim Sulu-Gambari; Gov. Abdulfatah Ahmed of Kwara; his predecessor, Sen. Bukola Saraki; and former Acting National Chairman of PDP, Alhaji Kawu Baraje, during the Eid-el-kabir prayers in Ilorin

Oyo Govt warns Muslims against drunkenness, others


S Muslims all over the world celebrate this years Eid-el- Kabir, the Oyo State Government has cautioned all Muslims to avoid intake of alcohol and other social vices that may contradict the reason for the celebration. Secretary to the Oyo State Government, Mr Waheed Olajide gave this warning in Ibadan yesterday at the commissioning of Tiamy Guest House and Lawras digital colour lab owned by an Ibadan business mogul, Chief Olawore Omookuorun. Olajide noted that it has been the notion of some Muslims to celebrate Eid -El-Kabir consuming alcohol and involving themselves in illicit affairs, which are against the will of Allah. On the lessons to be learnt during the festival, the SSG explained that a man’s authority over his family should not be questioned, adding that all

Sallah: Nigerians must come together to move the nation forward, says Ikuforiji A S Muslims celebrate Eid-el-Kabir, Speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly, Hon. Adeyemi Ikuforiji has called on all Nigerians, to come together to move the nation forward. Ikuforiji gave the advice while answering reporters’ questions after the Eid prayers at the 1st Epe praying ground, Oke-Balogun in Epe yesterday. Referring to the sacrifice

Oziegbe OKOEKI

made by Prophet Ibrahim, the speaker said: “we should be prepared to make whatever sacrifice required of us by Almighty Allah, especially the leaders who should see themselves as servants”. “We should all come together, reason together to move this nation forward; as a nation, as a people, there is

need to re-assess ourselves and our values and what we stand for as a society because it is disheartening that many years after independence we are still at the stage that we are today” Ikuforiji said. He stressed the need for everybody including the leaders “to change our attitude and retrace our steps; we need to go back to where we were few years ago

because our values have changed drastically from what they used to be and it has not done us any good”. Commenting on the Senators who are being accused of allegedly sponsoring members of the Boko Haram, Ikuforiji said, if the allegation turns out to be true then it leaves much to be desired that elected representatives are enemies of the people.

Tayo JOHNSON, Ibadan Muslims n should learn to be patient and trust in God. “Muslims should show more love to others most especially the needy as we celebrate Eid el Kabir. Muslims and non Muslims in the state should pray for Oyo State and the administration of Governor Abiola Ajimobi,” he said He commended Chief Omookuorun for establishing the edifice, which Olajide said will to reduce insecurity and provide employment for the teeming unemployed youths in the state. Chief Omookuorun said the

establishment of the business outfit was bourne out of his intention to improve the standard of photography in Nigeria and support government policy on poverty eradication and create jobs for the masses. 0 unemployed youths in the state. Dignitaries at the occasion included, former military Governor of Lagos and Ogun States, Gen. Raji Rasaki; an Ibadan industrialist, Chief Lamidi Ajadi; Otun Olubadan, Chief Omowale Kuye ;and Oyo State Commissioner for Establishment and Training, Barr. Lowo Obisesan.

Emir of Ilorin urges religious leaders to preach peace Adekunle JIMOH, Ilorin HE Emir of Ilorin, Alhaji Ibrahim Sulu-Gambari yesterday urged religious leaders in the country to preach peace to their congregation. The Emir spoke at the Ilorin Eid praying ground during the celebration of the Eid-el-Kabir, saying religious leaders are duty bound to preach and propagate peace. The state government in collaboration with security agencies in the state ensured adequate security measures in and around the Ilorin Eid praying ground, where Governor AbdulFatah Ahmed and his predecessor, Senator Bukola Saraki joined other worshipers to offer the two-rakah naflah. He said the much desired growth and development would continue to be elusive unless the country is able to tackle headlong the security challenges facing it. Sulu-Gambari enjoined his subjects to continue to live in peace and harmony with other members of the society while seeking God’s guidance for political office holders at all level. In his sermon, the Chief Imam of Ilorin, Alhaji Mohammed Bashir Salihu admonished Muslims to imbibe the virtue of perseverance. He said if Nigerians imbibe virtues of perseverance, patience and love, the nation would be a good place for all to live in.




Sallah: Sultan, Wamakko call for sustained peace, security, development


•From left: Gov. Babatunde Fashola of Lagos State; Asiwaju Bola Tinubu; and Alhaji Usman Awelenje, during the Eid-el-kabir prayers in Lagos

ULTAN of Sokoto and National Amirul Hajj, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar III yesterday urged the three tiers of government to be steadfast in ensuring security and other developmental strides at their respective levels. He said they should channel their human efforts for the sustenance of the needed enabling opportunities that would enhance peaceful co-existence among the Nigerians. Governor Aliyu Wamakko of Sokoto state reminded Nigerians of the need to continue to pray for sustained peace and progress in the nation and the world . In a statement signed by the Special Assisitant to Governor

Adamu SULEIMAN, Sokoto Wamakko on Press Affairs,Abubakar Dangusau, the governor said Nigerians should be steadfast in” the worship of Allah so as to reap His blessings abaundantly. “ The Muslim ummah should also strengthen the ties of kinship and imbibe the spirit of sacrifice that Eid el kabir symbolises ,” he added. Wamakko prayed to God to accept the Hajj of the nation’s pilgrims and bring them back safely. Sultan Abubakar III, represented by the Magajin Rafin Sokoto, Alhaji Rilwanu Bello, stressed that the issues of ensuring peace, unity and security

should not be left to the three tiers of government alone. Abubakar commended the federal government for its ongoing programmes aimed at ensuring even national development. He also appealed to Nigerians not to waste their abundant farm produce harvested this year , even as he advised farmers against selling them to middlle men. “ We should pay zakat appropriately and duly . Farmers should also intensify efforts on massive dry season farming . “ As the harmattan season is also approaching we should exercise caution in the usage of fire and protect ourselves and our children,” Abubakar sai.

2015: Leave everything to God, Aliyu advises politicians IGER state governor Dr. Mu’azu Babangida Aliyu yesterday drew attention to the tension being generated by those seeking political offices in 2015 and advised them to leave the future to Allah who determines who gets what at any particular time. He gave this advice in a Sallah message to the people of the state before he joined thousands of other Muslim faithful in Minna, the state capital to observe the two rakat prayer to mark the Eid el-Kabir festival. Aliyu noted that those who are engaging in rumour mongering, wishful thinking and politicization of every issue in order to gain cheap political point because of 2015


•Muslim faithful praying at the Lagos praying ground

Eid prayers held amidst tight security in Damaturu Gaidam sues for love, sharing


T was a tough day yesterday for worshippers in Yobe State as security operatives imposed strict measures to keep terrorists at bay. Worshippers were only let into the Central Mosque,Damaturu after thorough checks by security men.Only one of the four gates leading into the mosque was opened. Many worshippers were forced to pray outside the mosque such as the Kano/ Maiduguri high way.They could not gain entry into the grounds before the commencement of the prayers at 9am. Gov. Ibrahim Gaidam who observed his first ever Sallah in Damaturu since his ascension to power arrived the Central Mosque at exactly 9.00am amidst tight security. Gaidam, his deputy Abubakar Aliyu and other members of the state executive council drove in a Coaster Civilian bus surrounded by security operatives. Many worshippers praised the security measures taken by the JTF during the prayers but some were quick to highlight the hardship the worshippers underwent. For the first time, the Eid prayers were said outside the traditional Eid ground on Gashu road.

Duku JOEL, Damaturu

A top security operative said: “ we cannot guarantee lives at the Gashua Eid praying ground at Gashua road where these boys behave any how. Meanwhile, Governor, Ibrahim Gaidam in a state broadcast in his Sallah message asked Muslims in the State and around the country to imbibe the lessons of the festival of sacrifice by helping others in need for a better society. “The act of sacrifice should symbolize our willingness to give up things that are of benefit to us or close to our hearts for the sake of others…We must imbibe from the Eid-ElAdha the spirit to share with and support our neighbours, the poor and the needy. This will strengthen our collective will to attain and sustain a peaceful and prosperous society”, he said. Gaidam also spoke on the need for religious tolerance and mutual respect between Muslims and followers of other faiths, saying Muslims “should always be good and show compassion, respect, kindness, love, generosity and faithfulness to all fellow human beings”. Speaking on the security challenges facing the State, Governor Gaidam reiterated the commitment of his ad-

ministration to partner the security agencies to bring about lasting peace. “Our number one priority is ensuring security of life and property and sustaining the peace and normalcy that have been attained in Damaturu and extending same to other places like Potiskum”, Gaidam said. The Governor extended his heartfelt condolences to the families of those who lost their lives as a result of unfortunate encounters between members of the Boko Haram and security agents. He also called on people in the State to continue to pray to the Almighty for the restoration of peace and security in the State and the nation in general. The Governor added that despite the challenges, his administration has kept faith with its pledge to improve the living conditions of the people and would remain committed to working with the people toward a wealthier, healthier and happier Yobe. Gaidam also appealed to those who have relocated from the State capital and other places as a result of the security challenges to return and continue with normal life, assuring that “everything possible is being done to ensure their safety, relieve their hardship and contain the situation”.

Jide ORINTUNSIN Minna should be mindful that their actions are detrimental to the peaceful and harmonious coexistence of the country. ‘’We believe infinitely that Allah’s will on ‘2015’ and indeed every issue will come to pass,’’ Aliyu maintained. He warned that ‘’we should therefore avoid utterances and actions that will only create unnecessary rancour and animosity between us. Let us leave the future to Allah (SWT)’’. He urged everyone to give peace a chance in the spirit of this season, and devote this period to extra-ordinary prayers for the peace, security and prosperity of our dear State and the country.

Assuring the people of his determination ‘to run an inclusive, transparent and accountable administration’, Aliyu reaffirmed his comittment towards achieving more prosperous Niger state that will be home of pride, happiness and fulfilment for present and future generations. He also sympathized with flood victims across the country, pointing out that government feels the pains of those who lost their lives and property to the disaster. He pledged that government will ensure that all relief materials and financial resources released to cushion the effects of the floods by the state and federal government as well as other concerned individuals and organizations get to the victims directly.

Eid-el-Kabir, beyond slaughtering of rams –Aregbesola


HE Governor of Osun State, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola yesterday admonished Muslims to see Eid-El-Kabir beyond slaughtering of rams but use the festive period to reflect on attitudes that may cast aspersions on Islam as a religion. The Governor, who spoke shortly after observing the two-rakat prayer at the Oke Bale Eid Praying Ground in Osogbo called for tolerance and piety among various religious groups in the state and the country at large. Aregbesola held that Islam is a religion that preaches peace, tolerance, love, brotherliness and honesty, and that the faith abhors violence, crisis and killings. According to him, “as we slaughter rams in remembrance of obedience of Prophet Ibrahim to Allah, let bad behaviours and manners be slaughtered. “Allah does not need blood nor does he want to eat meat, but as Muslims we should be good and exemplary examples to others always, the lesson of total obedience to the commandments of God which the season preaches is what should be our guiding principle always.” Governor Aregbesola told the gathering. Earlier, the Naib-l-Imam Alhaji Musa

Animasahun who represented the Chief Imam of Osogbo and President, League of Imams and Alfas in the South-West, Edo and Delta states appealed to those at the helms of affairs to fulfil promises between them and the people as exemplified by Prophet Ibrahim. Alhaji Animashaun urged the Muslims at the Eid praying ground to fear God and His commandments, adding that the congregation and other Muslims in Nigeria should always pray for leaders and the people at the helms of affairs. He asked Nigerians to see this period as an opportunity to “renew our spiritual commitment as we continue to fear God in all that we do, and always offer prayers for government at all levels.” Dignitaries at the Oke Baale Eid praying ground included the wife of the State governor, Alhaja Sherifat Aregbesola;the Ataoja of Osogbo, Oba Jimoh Oyetunji Olanipekun; the Asiwaju Musulumi of Yorubaland, Khamis Olatunde Badmus,Islamic scholars, members of the state Executive Council and political leaders of the Action Congress of Nigeria and many others.

Imoke felicitates with Muslims at Eid-el Kabir


HE Cross River State Governor, Senator Liyel Imoke has congratulated Muslims on the celebration of the Eid-el Kabir. In a press statement issued in Calabar by the Chief Press Secretary/S. A Media, Mr. Christian Ita, Imoke urged Muslims to use the period to rededicate their lives to the service of Allah. He assured them that his administration will

continue to foster religious harmony and peaceful co-existence among the various religious organizations in the state. According to the Governor, his administration desire to attain religious harmony informed the appointment of a Special Adviser on Religious Matters to forge a synergy to develop the state as one body.



Impeached deputy gov stopped from seeing Suntai in hospital •PDP calls for prayers T

HE impeached deputy governor of Taraba State, Alhaji Sani Abubakar Danladi, was prevented by security men from seeing his former boss, Governor Danbaba Suntai, in the hospital in Yola. Suntai was rushed to the hospital for treatment after his plane crashed in the Adamawa State capital on Thursday evening. Danladi had rushed to the hospital on seeing the governor’s condition only for the security operatives who had been mobilised there to stop him from doing so. A security operative who recognised the former deputy governor asked him to go back. An embarrassed Danladi

Gbade OGUNWALE, Assistant Editor, Abuja, Fanen IHYONGO, Jalingo and Barnabas MANYAM, Yola

moved away, muttering to himself in Hausa. However, Governor Murtala Nayako of Adamawa State, who is a very close friend of Suntai, spent several hours by his bed. He looked very much disturbed. An eyewitness at the scene of the crash said at a point during the plane’s abrupt descent, it headed towards a nearby maize farm but soon afterward hit a tree and came down. Witness said no one watching the unfolding accident would ever have thought there would be a survivor. This was responsible for the initial report about the governor having died in the crash with some witnesses sending text messages about his death. The governor reportedly

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had a fractured arm and received injuries to his head and abdomen. Once the plane and the victims were located, they were driven to the German Medical Diagnostic Section of the Specialist Hospital, Yola. The other victims, including a white man, were taken to the FMC Yola. Jalingo, the Taraba State capital, was generally calm yesterday. Residents were seen in groups discussing the development. Many others stayed glued to television and radio sets to monitor development. The Commissioner of Police, Ibrahim Maishanu, who is in Saudi Arabia for the hajj, was also said to have been misinformed through an SMS that the governor had died. The hospital was cordoned off by soldiers. The Secretary to the Taraba State Government (SSG), Ambassador Emmanuel Njiwah, and some of the commissioners were also sighted at the hospital. Meanwhile, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has called on its members nationwide to observe moments of prayers today for the speedy recovery of the governor and his aides who were involved in the crash. A statement by the party’s National Publicity Secretary, Chief Olisa Metuh, yesterday

expressed gratitude to God for sparing the lives of the governor and his aides who were on board the crashed aircraft. The statement reads: “Our National Chairman, Dr. Bamanga Tukur, on behalf of the National Executive Committee, wishes to call on all our members to observe minutes of prayers tomorrow, Saturday, 27th of October, 2012 for the speedy recovery of our dear Governor Suntai and his aides. “Very few, very very few has God been so merciful to in a similar circumstance. We are overwhelmed with joy over this act of boundless mercy from God Almighty. “While praying for their speedy recovery, the party also urged them not to allow the pains of the moment to shake their faith in the Almighty God.”

Achebe: Ifeajuna lied, says Nzeogwu



POTENTIAL controversy has been averted by the failure of novelist Chinua Achebe to publish the manuscript from Emmanuel Ifeajuna, one of the masterminds of the January 15, 1966 coup d’état. Kaduna Nzeogwu, the most vocal leader of the putsch, dismissed the contents of the manuscripts as “lies,” according to the civil war memoirs of Achebe entitled, There Was A Country. According to Achebe, Ifeajuna presented himself as the leader of the coup while the

National Kindergarten Conference: Jonathan, Amaechi, Ezekwesili, others declare support for early childhood education


RESIDENT Goodluck Jonathan and former Vice President of World Bank, Dr. Oby Ezekwesili; Cross River State Governor, Liyel Imoke; Chairman Empowerment Support Initiative (ESI), Hon Dakuku Adol Peterside; wives of state governors and well-meaning Nigerians have joined the Founder of ESI, Dame Judith Amaechi, to champion the cause of proper legislation and implementation of investment in early childhood education in the country. Declaring open the 3rd National Conference on Kindergarten Education in Port Harcourt yesterday, President Goodluck Jonathan said sound education, application of knowledge and policy implementation of early childhood education were key in promoting speedy development in the country. President Jonathan, represented by the Minister of Youth Development, Alhaji Inumo Abdul Kadir, said: "Education is not a privilege but an inalienable right of every child. We must make appropriate investments in early childhood education to achieve our lofty goals," Jonathan said. In her lead paper, former World Bank Vice-President, Oby Ezekwesili, said the importance of education in any economy is the vehicle through which societal development can be achieved. Ezekwesili listed six core areas of development that can enhance the educational system in the country, namely early childhood education, basic education, secondary education, tertiary education, special education, as well as informal or adult education. She stressed that early childhood education would address the problems of inequality and societal dislocation, explaining that the review of National Policy on Education was on course. She urged public and private sectors, including nongovernmental organisations, stakeholders and community leaders to take kindergarten education seriously. Ezekwesili also urged the federal and state governments to make early childhood education accessible as practised in Finland which has the best early child education in the world. Also speaking, Chairman Board of Trustees, Empowerment Support Initiative (ESI) and Member Representing Opobo/Nkoro Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives, Hon Dakuku Adol Peterside, said the event would provide the forum the opportunity to examine the role of early childhood education in the development cycle of a child. "If Nigeria is to fulfil its potential, we must unlock the potentials of our children and give them a great head start in life and limitless opportunities. This requires more than the conventional education and industry. It requires systematic planning and early preparation", Dakuku said. Dakuku also commended Governor Chibuike Amaechi on his support for ESI explaining that "the conference will generate new ideas towards creating a new generation of leaders from diverse background equipped to catalyze development, fight poverty and to live a cherished values of integrity, enterprises and excellence". On his part, the Rivers State Governor, Rt. Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi said he would forward a bill to the Rivers State House of Assembly to make education compulsory at all levels. Amaechi said, the move would compel parents to send their children to school from their childhood as offenders would be made to face the full wrath of the law.

other soldiers in the conspiracy followed his bidding. “For one, the manuscript claimed that the entire coup was his show, that he was the chief strategist, complete mastermind, and executer, not just one of several,” wrote Achebe, who was not impressed with the account. The manuscript was submitted to himself and the late poet Christopher Okigbo during the Nigerian civil war. They ran a publishing house called Citadel Press. “I hear that you and Achebe are trying to publish Emma’s (Ifeajuna) lies,” was the comment Okigbo attributed to Nzeogwu when the soldier learnt the famous writers were reviewing the manuscript. Achebe lost the manuscript to the pandemonium of the war and regrets not publishing, not because it was credible but because it was a version of the story. “Ifeajuna and Nzeogwu are both dead, robbing us of all the opportunity of reading two competing versions of what transpired,” he noted. Both men died during the civil war, Ifeajuna by execution by Biafran leader Odumegwu Ojukwu, and Nzeogwu by enemy fire in the heat of battle. “My private conclusion was that Ifeajuna’s manuascript was an important document, but it was not a responsible document. I believed Nzeogwu was right,” he explained. Achebe wrote that Okigbo agreed with him but said, “I thought it was lyrical.” Achebe explained that he Ifeajuna’s account made light of the execution of the Prime Minister Tafawa Belewa. “Ifeajuna’s manuscript passed off the assassination of the prime minister as light fare, as if it was all in good sport, almost as if he was saying to his readers, “I did this and I was right. I am a hero,” revealed Achebe. He called a portion of the book where the coup plotters met in a chalet at a catering guest house in Enugu at night. “Despite the darkness,” Ifeajuna, our narrator, goes on to say: “I stood up and addressed them while watching their faces and noting their reactions,” he wrote. Achebe, who claimed to have read the manuscript quickly, said he was “disappointed as I went along.”

Ihedioha felicitates with Onaiyekan DEPUTY Speaker, House of Representatives, Hon. Emeka Ihedioha has expressed delight at the elevation of the Archbishop of the Abuja Diocese, John Olorunfemi Onaiyekan to the position of Cardinal by Pope Benedict XVI. Ihedioha described the promotion as a reward for hard work, integrity and piety as well as a further confirmation of his peaceful nature and excellence of spirit. He enjoined the new Cardinal to stay steadfast to the virtues that have brought him thus far in life and deploy the good offices of his new position to further promote peaceful coexistence among all Nigerians as well as religious harmony between the different faiths in the country.



Lagos-Ibadan Expressway blocked


HOUSANDS of passen gers and motorists ply ing the Lagos-Ibadan expressway were on Friday stranded for several hours, as a tanker carrying petroleum product fell on one part

Group flays attack on Oba’s palace AKEREDOLU Campaign Organisation (ACO) yesterday alleged what it called an irrational attack on the palace of the Owa of Ogbagi Akoko in Ondo State,Oba Victor Adetona by alleged thugs of Labour Party (LP) and the state government. The traditional ruler narrowly escaped being killed in the attack, the campaign office said. It said the attack could only have been a fallout of the recent governorship election in the state won by Governor Olusegun Mimiko, especially because “the Action Congress of Nigeria(ACN) polled the highest number of votes” in Oba Adrtona’s domain. The invading thugs “completely vandalized his palace and pulled down his personal building still under construction,” Mr. Idowu Ajanaku, the Director of Media, Publicity and Strategy of ACO said in a statement. “Supporters of ACN have been attacked in various parts of Ondo State since the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) announced Mimiko as the winner of the governorship election held on October 20. These unprovoked attacks on ACN supporters in Igbotako, Ilu titun, Okitipupa, Akure, Akoko land, among others are not only crude but barbaric,” he said. “This is a reflection of what happened on election day when LP thugs chased away our agents and supporters in several places in Idanre communities and has revealed what the LP has in store for the people of the state.

Ekiti Methodist Diocese honours Esan Ogunleye


HE Ekiti Methodist Diocesan Award 2012 has been awarded to Mr Esan Ogunleye FCIB, a Lagos-based Ilupeju-Ekiti son and a professional banker. According to the Diocesan Bishop Rt. Revd Sunday Aluko, the award is in recognition of Mr. Ogunleye’s various and immense philanthropic and developmental contributions to humanity in general, especially to the cause of Methodist Church advancement, work of God in Nigeria, particularly within Ekiti Diocese. The event will hold at the Methodist Cathedral, Ilogbe, Ifaki-Ekiti on Saturday 28 October 2012. The event is expected to draw dignitaries from all walks of life across Nigeria and beyond.

•Thousands stranded of the road. The tanker, filled with Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) was reportedly travelling from Lagos towards Ibadan at about 11:30pm on Thursday when it accidentally fell, blocking the expressway. Motorists travelling out of Lagos were redirected to a

single lane by officials of the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA), the Ogun State Traffic Compliance and Enforcement Corps, and the police. An official of the FRSC said a bad portion of the road around the Berger Bus Stop

was the cause of the accident. According to the FRSC official, “There is a pothole there, maybe the driver enter it and couldn’t control and then rammed into the median.” He said security operatives were around to chase anyone that would attempt to scoop fuel from the fallen tanker. Passengers spent hours trekking from the old toll gate to Berger Bus Stop.

Light rail project: Lagos to divert traffic on Ijora, Apapa Expressway Miriam NDIKANWU


N its commitment to ensuring the construction of the first of its Light Rail System, the Lagos State Government has said that there would be a partial diversion of traffic on Ijora/Apapa Expressway on Saturday 27 and Sunday, 28 October, 2012 from 8.00am to 11am. The state Commissioner for Transportation, Comrade Kayode Opeifa, who spoke to journalists after a meeting with stakeholders in his Alausa office, said that the diversion was to enable the Lagos Metropolitan Area Transport Authority (LAMATA) commence the erection of pre-stressed beams across Ijora/Apapa-Oshodi Expressway by Iganmu Bridge. Opeifa, who said that the diversion/partial closure of the road would take place on Ijora/Apapa expressway inward Ijora just before Iganmu Bridge and on Iganmu Bridge inward Ijora, added that vehicles from Funsho Williams Avenue, Apapa Road and Costain area, as well as those from Orile Iganmu, approaching Ijora, should use Eko Bridge to link Ijora and Apapa. He added that movement from Apapa and Ijora towards Costain will not be affected. The Commissioner enjoined motorists to bear with the state government during the diversion by driving carefully, and ensure the safety of others. He implored road users to take cognisance of informative signs which had been strategically erected at Orile Iganmu, Eric Moore junction, Doyin junction, Costain, Breweries and Apapa Road, in order to further educate them on the construction work. He advised motorists to follow diversion signs and instructions from men of the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA) who had been deployed to the axis to manage the situation and give assistance to the people. It will be recalled that the Lagos State Government, in order to ensure mass movement of people, goods and services, decongest the road and reduce traffic gridlock, embarked on the construction of the 27 Kilometer Blue Line Rail project from Okokomaiko to Marina.

Tax expert seeks vibrant tax policies •Ogun State Commissioner for Information & Strategy, Alh. Yusuph Olaniyonu, AbdulRahmon Amosun, Ogun State Governor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun, at Lantoro Prayer Ground, Abeokuta... yesterday

Kidnapped Rep’s mother released


LHAJA Obedatu Balogun, the mother of Mr. Abudu Balogun, a member of House of Representatives, who was kidnapped by gunmen on Monday night, has been released. Abudu, an ACN member representing Ogun Water side, confirmed the release of his mother in an electronic press release made available to journalists yesterday. It will be recalled that the mother of the lawmaker was kidnapped on Monday at her residence in Ita-otu in IjebuWater side Local Government Area. Abudu, who is the Deputy Chairman, House Committee

on internal security, said he was thankful to God for bringing his mother back home safely. He said his mother was released on Friday morning. “I want to thank the Ogun State Governor, Speaker of the House of Representatives, National Assembly, security agencies, religious organisations, leaders of ACN and the good people of the state for their prayers. “I also want to thank the members of the press for their support.” The lawmaker also congratulated Muslims on the celebration of the Eid-el-Kabir. “I also wish to use this op-

portunity to felicitate with our Muslim brothers and sisters on the celebration of the Eid-elKabir. “My prayer is that we continue to witness more peace and harmony.” It was, however, not known whether any ransom was paid to the kidnappers by the lawmaker to secure the release of his mother. When contacted on phone, the lawmaker refused to say whether any ransom was paid to the kidnappers or not. A police source, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the lawmaker’s mother was released with the help of the State Security Service.

May God forgive those behind my rumoured death —Awujale


BA Sikiru Adetona, the Awujale and Para mount ruler of Ijebuland, on Friday said those who spread rumours of his death while he was on medical trip abroad should ask God for forgiveness. Oba Adetona, who stated this during his Eid-el-Kabir message at Idobi praying ground in Ijebu-Ode, Ogun State, said despite the rumour, God saved his life. It would be recalled that Adetona was flown abroad in June for medical treatment and returned on Oct. 22 to IjebuOde. During his medical sojourn abroad, there were rumours of his death. The Awujale wondered why people were in a hurry for him to die before his time. Adetona, who explained that he was rushed abroad after he fell in his residence in Lagos,

said the prayers of those who loved him saved his life. “Many people spread the news of my death while I was abroad for medical treatment, but I thank God that I am alive. “I wonder why people are in a hurry for me to die. Those who spread the news should go and ask God for forgiveness. “It is only God that can determine when a man will die. Moreover, I don’t fear death because death is a debt that everybody must pay. “I thank God that I am hale and healthy.“ On the forthcoming OjudeOde Festival, Awujale said it would be the best ever celebrated. Oba Adetona added that Senate President, David mark would be the special guest of honour. Earlier in his message, Alhaji Abdulrasak Salaudeen, the Deputy Chief Imam of Ijebu-

Ode Central Mosque, appealed to government to improve health care delivery in the country. Salaudeen said that most of the hospitals in the country were in bad shape with no modern equipment to work with and attributed it as the reason for the mass exodus of people abroad for treatment. The Imam also urged government to create jobs for the youth and improve security in the country. Also speaking, Mr Rasak Daddah, the Chairman of IjebuOde Local Government Area, said the people of Ijebuland were happy that the Oba was alive to celebrate Sallah with them. “Awujale is a symbol of authority and culture for the Ijebus and for the country at large and we are happy that he came back from his medical trip.”


tax expert, Mr Taiwo Oyedele, on Friday called on the Federal Government to evolve policies that would en courage the growth of the taxation industry. Oyedele told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos that such policies would boost Nigeria’s revenue and strengthen the economy. He said that Nigeria had not done enough in terms of revenue generation, adding that the government needed to invest more in the sub-sector to enable it function efficiently. “We are just scratching the surface; an economy of the size of Nigeria should be generating a lot in terms of tax revenue. “In most countries, when they calculate tax revenue as a percentage of the gross domestic product, it is almost as high as 20 per cent. “But in Nigeria, it is not up to 5 per cent, which means there is still a lot to be done,” Oyedele said. He said that one of the policies should aim at spending of taxes on projects that would benefit the taxpayers. According to him, this will encourage them to pay more. If the government can do this, then, the sky is the starting point for Nigeria.

PDP, NURTW in free for all


HERE was a bloody postSallah prayer clash be tween members of the National Union of Road Transport Workers {NURTW} and some members of the Peoples’ Democratic Party {PDP} in Ibadan yesterday. It was gathered that the fracas took the intervention of the Aare Musulumi of Yorubaland, Alhaji AbdulAzeez Arisekola in whose private residence the fracas ensued. Sources hinted that pandemonium broke out when the PDP stalwarts in company of the former Senate Leader, Teslim Folarin and Azeem Gbolarunmi stormed the Islamic chief’s residence after the Sallah prayers at the Agodi Eid praying ground singing the praises of their party while the state governor, Abiola Ajimobi was still in his office. It was learnt that one of the promoters of the pro-PDP song who sat behind the chairman of the NURTW, Taofeek Ayorinde Fele was told to stop the song as it was politically offensive, but the advice was spurned. Fele who became infuriated by the action was reported to have hit the PDP stalwart on the chest, prompting his

NURTW members who were at the residence to pounce on the PDP stalwarts beating and clubbing them out of the place. Arisekola who was not happy with the trend reportedly mounted one of the tables in his sitting room to call the warring mob to order and directed them to leave his house. In the ensuing fisticuffs, no fewer than twenty persons were injured, while all the PDP supporters were allegedly beaten blue/black by the NURTW boys Shortly after the incident, the caretaker chairman of the NURTW led his boys to the Agodi Government House, where Ajimobi counselled them against taking laws into their own hands and vowed that he would not hesitate to ban the union if they would engage in street fight. In his reaction, Folarin denied that his party men precipitated the crisis, clarifying that his supporters were at Arisekola’s residence to felicitate with him on Sallah. “Naturally, they were singing PDP songs when the NURTW men at the place became uncomfortable and beat the hell out of them. It is the height of political intolerance,” he said.



Incumbency, performance and elections C HEST beating is a natural human impulse when evi dence shows that a leader has performed well in his appointed or elected role. You would expect admission of failure too would be a normal reaction when performance is proven to have fallen short of expectation for any leader. This however is not always the case as failure is always treated like an orphan by world leaders. How leaders in various political and economic systems perceive and react to failure and success as incumbents is our focus today. In addition we look at the role of coming elections in some polities to see what type of shadow they cast on the performance of these incumbents as they try to implement policies they promised in their election campaigns. Lastly we examine how incumbents view criticism of their policies especially when they think they have paid their dues to those criticizing them. It is not very difficult to decipher what I have in mind if you followed the global network news closely in the last one week. In Britain the main economic news was that the Olympics and Para Olympics that the nation hosted recently had helped it to achieve a growth rate of 1% which means it is at last getting out of the recession; a fact which made Prime Minister David Cameron to quip quite wisely that ‘we are on the right track ‘. In Nigeria the main political event this week was the Ondo State gubernatorial elections won by incumbent Governor Olusegun Mimiko of the Labor party who gave the elections a pass mark as free and fair because it was an isolated event while the party that came second the ruling party - PDP - has sworn it is going to court to contest the validity of the results. In the US, last Monday night,

President Barak Obama was hard put to defend his performance before his rival, Mitt Romney of the Republican Party, who switched positions on most issues on debate night, to the consternation of the incumbent president of the US, who many thought did enough to defend his policies especially the foreign one with regard to global security in the third and last debate before the US presidential election of November 6. In S Africa an Inquiry on the 34 miners shot at Marakana Platinum mine was told that it would receive evidence that 14 of them were shot in the back by the Police - a development that could jeorpadise the relection next year of S African President Jacob Zuma who was also criticized recently for using state funds to renovate his village house. Aside from elections the use of poison to truncate presidential incumbency was enacted in the Benin Republic where AU President Boni Yayi escaped assassination by poisoning involving his niece and his doctor at the behest of an aggrieved business man who nursed a grudge over a lost cotton import license. To round up we look at the threat of the incumbent President of Uganda, the long serving Yoweri Museveni to pull Ugandan troops out of the UN contingent serving in Somalia be-

cause of a UN report that criticized Uganda’s role as supporting rebels in the upheaval in the Democratic Republic of Congo DRC. In terms of size and length therefore we have a big menu list for consumption, but the ingredients that grill and combine them into a delicious mix of analysis are simple enough. David Cameron and Segun Mimiko fall into the same category in terms of chest beating over unexpected economic growth by the former and an election victory by the latter. In the US, Obama is fighting for his political life and performance in office and has had to amass and flaunt the whole weight of his incumbency before a dogged and determined challenger - Mitt Romney – who is said to be one of the few presidential candidates to have made a presidential debate matter in the race for the US presidency reaching a climax just less than two weeks away. In S Africa the application of apartheid- like violence on miners in a post apartheid S Africa with the ANC in power is simply outrageous and unacceptable. Just as the shooting of the miners in the back is a horrendous shot in the back for S Africa’s democracy and a betrayal of trust of the people of S Africa by the leadership of that nation. Boni Yayi’s

escape of assassination from poison shows the vulnerability of security arrangements that thrive on nepotism and cronyism in high places given the personal relationship of the Benin Republic president with those who would have had him for dinner had their plot been successful. Similarly Yoweri Museveni’s threat or blackmail of the UN on Somalia is no more than a fake indignation that should be ignored by the world body because it is no more than a mark of aaffliction of power and sheer tenacity of office . Let me now dilate at length on each event. Really no one can blame David Cameron for being happy with the growth figures from the National Office of Statistics in the UK. Coming at time of government spending cuts, high school fees and withdrawal of benefits for the British masses by the government, it has provided a much needed staff of support for the ruling government coalition on the slippery path of rapid erosion of public support that got the coalition parties into power in the first instance. In addition some have argued that life in Britain is so difficult today that the growth means nothing to the common man in terms of bread and butter as well as an improved quality of life. Yet, whether one likes the Coalition or not, one cannot take away the fact that it has the admiration of a global audience not to talk of that of a passionate and patriotic British one, for the way it conducted a flawless Olympics that can now be aptly dubbed a beneficial and growth inducing one . I grudgingly agree that David Cameron’s incumbency is in its finest hour and it is difficult to argue when he said – we are on the right track! In similar vein the Ondo State newly elected governor can be

congratulated on his reelection given the fact that he admitted that the isolation of the election made it successful. But would he have said that if he had lost? The isolation of the election gave a boost to his incumbency and candidacy as the Chief Security Officer of the State in charge of the elections and to whom all federal officers must pay obeisance. Could that swayed events and voters in his direction? Certainly performance as incumbent played a major part in his relection but he will be the first to admit he met first rate competition for power that must have taxed the immense aura of his incumbency tremendously. Given the fact that the PDP has threatened to go to court it may be too early to celebrate victory yet because of the experience of recent guber elections in neighboring states where incumbencies have been overturned by court decisions based on fresh facts as expected in any democracy. I think I have really said enough on the US presidential elections for now as well as on the poison issue in Benin Republic. I will therefore go to the S African police shooting next. At a government hearing on the Lonmin Marikana Platinum massacre of August 6 this year lawyers of the victims claimed that there was no evidence that any police officer was killed although there was evidence that 14 miners were shot in the back. The Police had said in their opening statement that the miners were planning a bloodbath. Initially after the shooting prosecutors charged about 300 miners that survived the attack to court in a bizarre application of an apartheid law based on a purported ‘common law‘ that seemed crazily to charge the miners for surviving police shooting on the day in question. Although President Zuma sympathized with the miners family after the shootings, he was slow in ordering government investigation of the killings. He faces a reelection bid as President of the ANC later this year and the miners shootings could cost him the presidency of the ANC meaning he would not be eligible to contest for reelection as President of S Africa in next year’s presidential elections. Whether Zuma loses his incumbency or not the shooting of black miners by a pack of white gun totting white policemen is a racist issue that is repugnant in any nation especially one liberated from such oppression recently and being ruled by blacks who were imprisoned before by such racist policemen. It is very disgusting. Lastly, Yoweri Museveni’s threat to the UN on withdrawing his troops from the UN Somali contingent is not diplomacy but banal horse trading. Is the Ugandan strongman saying that because he has been a good man in Somalia, the UN should turn a blind eye to his disruptive behavior in the DRC where thousands are being slaughtered by the rebels, said to be supported by Uganda and Rwanda? Is Museveni not reading the same script drafted in Kigali, the capital of Uganda which has made a similar threat on contribution to regional security, when similarly indicted by a UN report on the DRC? The UN should stick to its guns and ignore Uganda’s bluster as there are enough nations in the world willing to ignore sit tight bullies like him who have mastered the art of using democracy and elections to perpetuate their incumbency. Since they are mortal, there is no need to lose any sleep on when their incumbency will inevitably end, which invariably, is sooner than later.





Okada riders’ suicide mission in Lagos


HERE was but little difference in the ways taxis and commercial buses operated in Lagos in the 1980s. Like their commercial bus counterparts, taxi operators drove from one bus stop to another picking and dropping off passengers. This mode of operation prevailed until some residents decided to live up to the city’s tag of showmanship. They suddenly decided that they would no longer share taxi seats with other passengers. That was how the idea of ‘taxi drop’ was born. By this, an individual who boards a taxi does not expect the driver to pick any other passenger until he or she has alighted. Such an individual must be prepared to pay highly for the service. He or she could pay as much as 10 times the fare he would have paid if he were to share the seats with other passengers. For obvious reasons, it was an idea taxi drivers also relished. With a ‘drop’ passenger, the taxi driver is saved the stress of moving from bus stop to bus stop in search of passengers. It also means he would make more money carrying fewer passengers and thus reduce the pressure on his cab. In fewer hours, taxi drivers began to make more money than they did in the ‘pre-drop’ era. However, less fortunate commuters who did not have the wherewithal to carry drops found themselves at the receiving end. Because they could no longer enjoy the luxury of a taxi, they had to settle for danfo or molue buses. Happily for this category of commuters, commercial motorcycles appeared on the scene as they bemoaned their fate. The motorcycle, popularly called okada, became a faster and more comfortable option.

Before long, there was an avalanche of okada on Lagos streets. It soon became a more popular mode of transportation than buses and taxis. But its use was restricted to neighbourhood streets. But as time went by, okada riders in the city became more and more daring as their rank swelled with the nation’s army of unemployed youths. Even stark illiterates found in it an opportunity to earn a living because they needed no certificate or formal training to engage in the business. As competition in the business became keener, okada riders began to explore new routes until they started plying the city’s highways they had previously dreaded because of the danger of being knocked down in the deluge of vehicles on such roads. Thus, Agege Motor Road, Ikorodu Road and LagosAbeokuta Expressway and other highways in the city came under the patronage of okada riders. They rode with suicidal brashness, overtaking vehicles on the highways in the most reckless manner and generally exposing their lives and those of their passengers and other road users to serious danger. They had no regard for the traffic control mechanisms put in place by the state government and ignored the highway codes and traffic rules that seek to put accidents in check. They even disregarded government’s directive to ride their motorcycle with crash helmets. The dangers posed by the new line of business would later be compounded with the security threats it constituted. Its swift nature soon made it a potent tool for smuggling, armed robbery, assassination and other social vices. Realising these threats, the government decided that the time had come to restrict the activities of okada riders to neighbourhood streets where they operated originally. It made it an offence to ply about 500 of the close to 5,000 roads and streets around the city. But protests have since greeted the new law. The protests, which started on a peaceful note, assumed a violent dimension early in the week

From the perspective of public interest, the decision of the state government to crush some motorcycles that had been confiscated from errant okada riders stands more justifiable than the defiant heartlessness with which okada riders went about vandalising public property

as some okada riders in the city went on the rampage, destroying many of the BRT (Bus Rapid Transport) buses with which the state government has considerably eased transportation problems in the city. To be sure, the attacks on government-owned buses were intended as reprisals against the seizure and destruction of many motorcycles whose owners were caught violating the new traffic rules. Of course, one could argue that the manner in which the Lagos State Government has destroyed many of the confiscated motorcycles bordered on heartlessness. What, one would ask, does the state government stand to gain from destroying the motorcycles when their owners could be asked to retrieve them with sums that are huge enough to make them not to contemplate plying the highways again. In the alternative, the confiscated motorcycles could be auctioned if they are not claimed by their owners after a specified number of days. Millions of farmers in the rural areas are in need of motorcycles to move their crops to the market. If they have no way of coming to Lagos to buy, their children or relations in the city can buy and send to the village. Yet, the attacks on buses that had eased the pains

of commuters in the state were ill-informed. With the attacks, the okada riders have inadvertently pitted themselves against the remaining members of the public. From the underdogs, they have become the aggressors. To win a battle of this nature, they need a lot of public sympathy. Unfortunately, whatever public sympathy they had enjoyed would appear to have been squandered with the senseless attacks on public buses. Now their case is not anything better than that of a man slated for incineration robbing his body with oil. From the perspective of public interest, the decision of the state government to crush some motorcycles that had been confiscated from errant okada riders stands more justifiable than the defiant heartlessness with which okada riders went about vandalising public property. While the government’s action can simply be defended as an exercise carried out in public interest, the latter would only be viewed from the prism of selfishness on the part of the okada riders. Many, who before now had condemned government’s onslaught against okada riders as a wicked attempt to rob them of their only source of income after failing to provide jobs for teeming youths in the state would now readily endorse an outright ban on okada business. From the image of a brute it had borne since it started destroying seized motorcycles, the state government is now perceived as overwhelmingly generous to allow continued operation of okada business even in the city’s neighbourhoods. Even the argument that the state government could inadvertently be encouraging okada riders dispossessed of their motorcycles to go into such crimes as armed robbery and assassination has been reduced to the debate on the older creature between the hen and the egg. The voices of those who say okada business is a booster and not an inhibitor of these vices now appear to be louder.

Constitutionalism, NASS and the ‘we’ question Knucklehead


EYOND the countless flaws that have been identified in the 1999 Constitution, most Nigerians still believe that the document – in spite of its dubious populist posturing - cannot be said to represent the aggregate opinion of the people regarding how they should be governed. In fact, its opening statement—-‘we the people’—has been described as not only deceptive but also an abnormality since the document was hastily put together and condescendingly handed down by the military in the hurried steps to return to the barracks in 1999. As a matter of fact, ”We, the people” is no mere opening statement in the American constitution; it forever affirms credibility, people-power and commitment to the ideals of democracy and freedom for all Americans. Ironically, for us in Nigeria, our military era fabrication of “We, the people” has continued to reflect the mindless and shortsighted official manipulation of the people by their socalled ‘leaders’. With the advent of representative democracy, many stakeholders in the Nigerian project stepped up the clamour for a people-driven constitution. Among the strong voices in this league were those who insist on the convocation of a sovereign national conference where selected representatives from the divergent political divide would converge to discourse the basis of our existence as a nation. However, questions have been raised about the legality of such a body when the National Assembly is constitutionally empowered to amend the constitution if need be. In addition, a relatively tempered school of thought argued that a painstaking amendment of the constitution by members of the National Assembly is all that is needed to engender a people-oriented constitution. The idea of national conference was put to the test under former President Olusegun Obasanjo in an experiment where several influential Nigerians were brought to Abuja for a discourse on the national question. This gathering of the wise, which lasted for more than three months with huge financial burden on the national budget, turned out to be an exercise in futility as the reports and recommendations made neither carry any weight of law nor were they taken into cognisance. The apathy in the constitution amendment process lasted for a while until the 5th session of the National Assembly took the bold step to amend the constitution and the Electoral Act sometimes in 2006. Unfortunately, this otherwise noble effort at constitutional review was bungled when extraneous factors like the issue of tenure extension for Obasanjo and allegations of hi-wired politicking including multi-million naira bribe scandal crept in. And so, rather than attend to the issue of constitutional reform, the 5th Assembly ended up playing a significant part in halting Obasanjo’s third term agenda which was eventually crushed on the floor of the Senate after months of intrigues. Conscious of the Nigerian public’s waning confidence in the ability of a highly-partisan nay a genuflecting National Assembly to evolve the kind of constitution being clamoured for, the 6th session of the Assembly did more than enough to

revive that public trust when it carried out some fundamental amendments in the 1999 Constituents and rectified major lapses noticed in the Electoral Act. Yet, the changes made are still considered today to be nothing more than a drop in the ocean considering the barrage of proposals that have been tendered before the National Assembly in yet another fresh effort to give the nation a truly people-oriented constitution. Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Emeka Ihedioha, at a meeting with key stakeholders in Abuja last week, hinted of an all-inclusive programme that would involve the grassroots unlike the previous sessions that were restricted to the elite and a few other persons. If Ihedioha’s words are anything to go by, then one can safely assume that this is the first time a conscious effort is being made to engage the people in fashioning out a constitution that ought to bind us together. Dubbed the ‘Peoples’ Public Session’, Ihedioha explained that the strategy would enable the committee collate a wide-ranging views on the templates that would subsequently be tabled before the House to deliberate on. His words: “As representatives of the people, it is our desire to ensure the participation of all our people wherever they may live. We are interested in the views of market women, traders, artisans, youths, students, religious organisations, labour and media. We are interested in the views of the poor, the downtrodden, and the unemployed as well as the view of the rich and well-to-do. Indeed, the private sector, academia and the public sector all have a stake in the stability of our nation. We should hear them. We need to hear also the views of all ethnic nationalities that are also represented in all the Federal constituencies. The proposed People’s public sessions are aimed at responding to the demand of Nigerians for a bottom up approach to constitution making. The intention of the House is to bequeath to Nigerians a truly peoples’ constitution.” Like the respected columnist, Olusegun Adeniyi, pointed out during the session, it will be interesting to see how the members of the Ihedioha committee react to the contributions of these persons during the village square gathering where tempers are definitely expected to flare. Would they, for example, exhibit a high level of comportment that would be greatly required when participants veer off the tracks of constitutionalism and demand for food and shelter instead? Would they understand the psychological trauma that could force the unemployed to unleash a barrage of verbal attacks against the system when speaking at the peoples’ session? Do they have the temperament to handle the religious slant and the outright unabashed ethnic bias? And how do they sift the diverse opinions in such a way that the import of the message is not lost on the leadership? Be that as it may, it is important to note that the templates highlighted by Ihedioha, if properly handled, should significantly take care of the flaws that this latest effort aims to achieve. For a document that has continued to attract jeers for varied reasons, it promises to be an intriguing session when stakeholders debate on such templates as the controversies sur-


Yomi Odunuga E-mail:yomi.odunuga SMS only: 07028006913 rounding the proposal for state police; single tenure of 5, 6, 7 years for president and governors, rotation of the president office between the North and the South; creation of one new state from each of the nation’s six geopolitical zones; state police; inclusion of the six geopolitical zones in the constitution, independent candidacy, tenure for local government chairmen, 50 per cent control of resources by states; possibility of a unicameral legislature, and abolition of State, Local Government Joint Account. One is also anxious to know how the pendulum swings when the discourse shifts to such issues as whether Nigeria should continue with presidential system or return to the parliamentary system; abolish the State Independent Electoral Commission(SIEC); fund Local Government Authorities from either the Federation Account or by the states from their allocations; abolish indigeneship or citizenship for residency; amend Section 308 to limit immunity for President, Vice-President, Governor or Deputy Governor to cover only civil proceedings; legalise the rotation of governorship among the three senatorial districts in each of the 36 states; reserve certain percentage of elective offices for women; lower the qualifying age for contesting various elective offices; and effect judicial reforms as proposed by the Chief Justice of Nigeria among others. As things stand today, these issues are quite germane in the fresh march to constitutionalism. However, we do not delude ourselves by assuming that a perfect document would come out of these interventions by both chambers of the National Assembly. The institutions cannot but live by the promise to be fair to all in the collation of all shades of opinion. Those involved must also be wary of falling into the trap of political manipulations which made nonsense of past attempts to inject the “we” factor into the amendment processes. If they eschew graft and, for once, focus on the need to set Nigeria on the path of truth and justice, the 7th National Assembly may jolly well etch the names of its members in gold. But then, that is a big ‘if’ in a society where primordial interest often takes precedence over and above national ethos. Can this 7th Assembly break this seeming ancestral curse and end the jinx? We, the people, await the verdict of history over them as they take the plunge to reflect what we truly crave for in that all-important article of faith!

—Nollywood actress

Belinda Effah


‘My husband went to university for master's degree but got me also’



The right guy should make himself known



Relat io


Sheila Solarin's last words: 'I want to go home; I want to see Tai'




•A cross section of sympathisers

•Her home

•Barr. Segun Odubela


HEILA Solarin, humanist and wife of late educationist, Tai Solarin, knew her time on earth was up and prepared for her eventual transition. As she prepared to breathe her last, the words on her lips were: “I want to go home. I want to seeTai.” Sheila, who died on Sunday, October 21, 2012 at the age of 88, according to her daughter, Corin Solarin, lived for humanity. “I was with her when she went home. And the last thing Mama said was: ‘I want to go home. I want to see Tai.’ She knew she was going, and she prepared herself.” Corins said witnessing her mother’s transition had further strengthened her resolve to live life like her and makes her (Corins) bold to face her last moments gracefully the way she did. “We’ll all get old someday. I hope that I can face it with as much courage and grace as she did,” she said. Indeed, since she passed on, her home, located inside the premises of Mayflower Schools, Ikenne, Ogun State, has continued to receive visitors who troop there to pay their last respects to a woman acknowledged by many to be passionate about education. Speaking with The Nation, Corin said

•Dr. Wale Omole

Segun AJIBOYE although her mother’s death was painful, she and the rest of the family were happy that she lived a “Christ-like life” because of her untainted love for children. And it was for her love of children that the Scripture Union (SU), Remo, Ogun State, stated in the condolence register: “Adieu Mama. Your love for children and youths brought us together to camp our youths for annual long vacation camp.” The SU was not alone in the outpouring of emotions since news of her death broke. For Corin, the comments and outpouring of emotions were testimonies that “Mama has gone to be with the Lord.” She added: “What I’d miss most about her is her hard work and her love for the people around her. She was an inspiration to everyone, especially me. She was a dynamo. I have been in this house receiving guests, and it is a sign that she was widely loved. I don’t think she had any enemy. You can imagine, the governor of the state, Ibikunle Amosun, was among the very first set of people to visit the hospital. The students have been here to show how much they will miss her. That shows you how the people viewed her.” Corin is also not unaware that she can-

•Condolence register

not fill the vacuum created by the death of Mama. “She is one in a million and I will never be Mama, though I share the same DNA with her. I hope for my own sake that there is a lot of Mama in me, though I know that there is a lot of independence in me because I have been told that. I try to be as upright and caring as Mama was, but there was only one Mama.” Talking about the legacies of Mama, Corin said they were never in fancy buildings or in wealth. And sure enough, you need not be told about this aspect of Mama’s life. Her living room remains Spartan, austere and devoid of the type of splendour and ambience you would expect to find in the home of a woman of her stature. The most conspicuous treasures on the wall were two paintings of Tai and Sheila. In another corner was a rich library of National Geography magazines. Among the other things that make Corin proud of Mama’s legacies is her love for humanity. “I am humbled to be the child

of a woman who lived her life for the people. All the people who have come to pay condolences have not come to see me. They came to see Mama. I am very proud to be the daughter of somebody who, as simple as she and Papa were, have continued to command the respect of the people.” Corin is not alone in this outpouring of emotions for a woman who viewed education as the only way to set oneself free from poverty. Eleven-year-old Oso Aramide is a JSS student of Mayflower Junior School. She was among the many students who broke down in tears when news of the death of the woman they had all come to regard as Mama filtered into the school last Monday. Oso, who started her education from the Mayflower Kindergarten, had hoped to benefit from Mama’s scholarship any time soon. But her death has robbed her of that dream. “I knew Mama very well. We all loved



•A herd of cattle at the home of Solarins

•Oso Aramide

•Corin Solarin


I knew Mama very well. We all loved her because she loved all of us. She gave scholarships to students whose parents could not pay their school fees. She even sent people overseas to study. I cried when I heard that she was dead. This is because I had hoped that one day she would give me a scholarship

her because she loved all of us. She gave scholarships to students whose parents could not pay their school fees. She even sent people overseas to study. I cried when I heard that she was dead. This is because I had hoped that one day she would give me a scholarship.” Her friend and classmate, Elizabeth Ajabu, felt sad that Sheila was dead. Her

death, she said, would rob the younger generation of students at the school the chance to benefit from her wealth of experience. “As children, we heard a lot about Mama. She was loved by all of us because she showed concern for all of us. If she noticed anything about you, she would call you to find out. She was a mother to all of

us.” It was the same story for Farouk Olasunkanmi. A lively boy, Farouk said he and his friends were sad that death had taken away “our mummy.” The Vice Principal of the school, Mrs. Kemi Yussuf, believed the teachers would miss the late educationist more than the children. According to her, Mrs. Solarin was a mother figure to the entire population of the school. “Would you believe she still came to school till last July before we went on vacation? She was the Head of Department of the English Language. She took special interest in all the teachers and students. She taught letter writing and essay writing. She was too good. We will all miss her.” The children are not the only ones that will miss Sheila Solarin. This was the message of the Ogun State Commissioner for Education, Olusegun Odubela. Speaking with The Nation when he paid a condolence visit to the home of the Solarins in Ikenne, Odubela described Sheila as a pillar of education. “You know Mama was a pillar when you talk of education in Ogun State. She was a woman of substance. She dedicated almost her entire life to the development of education. For us as a government, particularly in the education sector, if you talk about education in Ogun State and Nigeria, you must mention her name. For our governor in particular, he really cherished her. You know for him, education is key.” Interestingly, Odubela’s first official function as a commissioner was a visit to Sheila. “My first official function after being sworn in as a commissioner was a visit to Mama. The governor had only administered the oath of office on us when he called me and said I would accompany him to Ikenne,” he recalled. He also expressed optimism that the state government would do something to immortalise her. “Though it is too early for me to talk on that now, knowing our governor for who he is, I am sure he will do something to immortalise Mama.” With her funeral fixed for November 8 and 9, 2012, her burial plans have no doubt eclipsed that of her husband who was buried in a simple grave a few hours after he passed on, in respect to his request. But Corin explained that her mother’s funeral plans will not take anything away from her simple lifestyle. “Mama did not make any request on how she should be buried. But if you look at her very well,

Mama was a simple woman. You wouldn’t catch her in lace material or gele (head gear). She was a very simple woman, and we will make the burial ceremony in keeping with what she would have wanted. “We also want to ensure that the community of Ikenne and every other person who had contact with her are given the opportunity to pay their last respects to her. Mama had many children, though she had just two (biological) children. So, all of these people would be given the opportunity to say goodbye to her. But I can assure you that it will be devoid of any form of ostentation.” While it is true that Mama had only two biological children, there are thousands of others who regard themselves as her children. Bonded together by their Alma Mata, Mayflower Schools, they all regard and address themselves as ‘Ex-May’. One of them is Dr. Wale Omole, the Chief Medical Director of T&S Hospital, Mushin, Lagos. Young Omole first met Tai and Sheila Solarin sometime in 1973 when he arrived at Mayflower Schools for his secondary education. The son of a farmer and a petty trader, Omole went to Mayflower, courtesy of an elder brother. But within a short time, the young boy had drawn the attention of Tai and his wife. “My first encounter with Mama occurred sometime in 1973. I wanted to travel, so I needed permission to enable me travel. I went to see Papa to request for an exit but he wanted to know why I wanted to travel and I told him I wanted to go and see my brother for my school fees. He simply refused to let me go because, according to him, the roads were bad and I was too precious to the school. There and then, he offered me a scholarship.” But Omole would end up not using the scholarship. He said: “One day, I was in the classroom when I received a note from Madam (that was what I called Mama then) that I should see her. When I arrived at her office, she simply smiled and gave me a strong handshake. She told me that I had won the Western State scholarship.” From that point, he became a kind of unofficially adopted son of the Solarins. “I stopped going home for holidays. It really surprised me that people who didn’t know my parents would decide to take me as their own child. We were many like that who found home with them.” The late Sheila was born in Carnforth, Lancs, England in 1924. She came to Nigeria in 1952 when she joined her husband to work at the famous Molusi College, Ijebu Igbo, Ogun State. She left three years after to become the principal of Ijebu Igbo Girls’ School. She would move again to team up with her husband to establish the famous Mayflower School, Ikenne, in 1956. Her love and dedication to children made her a toast of the students who found a mother figure in her. She was also appointed the founding principal of Ikenne Community High School in 1980. Four years after, she retired to oversee her pet school, the Mayflower Junior School. Funny enough, the history of the pet school is tied to that of Corin. “Mama started that school with me and a few other children of our neigbours. When it was time for me to start school, she discovered that there were no schools around, so she decided to teach me and others. That was how the school started. As the November burial date for Sheila draws near, her home continues to attract sympathisers who want to celebrate a woman who lived her life to ensure that as many children as possible get education.



Otulu: Imo community at the mercy of robbers, kidnappers, rapists O

TULU, a sleepy community in Oru West Council Area of Imo State, is just about 15 minutes drive from Owerri, the Imo State capital. It has the trappings of a quiet Igbo village with all the endowments of nature complemented by a hospitable and cheerful people. Sandwiched between the popular Mgbidi town and Awo-Omama community, Otulu community, made up of Umuhu and Umuezem autonomous community, is inhabited predominantly by petty traders, artisans and peasant farmers. The only snag is that despite the beauty and allure of Otulu community, it has become a hotbed of heinous crimes. The community has come under siege by suspected armed robbers, kidnappers, serial rapists and ritual killers. The troubled residents, who narrated their ordeal to The Nation during a visit to the community, lamented that incidents of armed robbery and rape are now common place, while ritually killing and kidnapping are equally assuming a dangerous dimension. The hapless villagers disclosed that nightfall instills a ghostly fear in the heart of even the bravest as they abandon the comfort of their homes to take refuge in churches and other public places to escape from the rampaging marauders, who sometimes defy the sanctity of the churches and launch their attacks. Giving graphic details of his encounter with the men of the underworld, Ikeakam said his heart stopped as he watched helplessly while his two under aged daughters were raped to coma by a 10-man gang that stormed his house after midnight. Ikeakam, who spoke amidst tears, said one of the abused minors who planned to become a Catholic nun was brutally defiled and has not recovered from the shock. According to him, “It was obvious that their mission was to rape all the women in my house, but for my wife who was shouting that she was not well, she could have equally been abused. I was held at gunpoint while my wife was tied up and the bandits took turns to rape my daughters. Even now, their cry still echoes in my head. But we have since put the horrific experience behind us and pray that God will bring the culprits to book.” Asked if he reported the matter to the police, he answered: “The police have done little or nothing to save Otulu community from the hands of these devils. So, even though I made a formal report at Mgbidi Police Station, I was not expecting much.” Another victim, Athanasius, did not only lose huge amount of money to the armed robbers but equally had a sordid story to tell. Athanasius, a retired civil servant, narrated that he was celebrating the release of his daughter who was earlier kidnapped in Lagos when suddenly he had a big bang on his door at about 12.30 am and five heavily armed men rushed in and grabbed him by the throat. He said: “They forced me to lie down on my face and they led my daughter to an uncompleted building within the compound while others took my wife into one of the

•The road to Otulu

Okodili NDIDI, Owerri rooms. I felt like exploding, but was restrained by the fear that they might kill my wife and daughter if I made any move.” Athanasius stated that apart from the money amounting to N100, 000, the bandits also made away with other valuable items including expensive mobile phones. “My brother, we are in serious trouble. Otulu is now the home of hoodlums and every other night, people are dispossessed of their valuables while women, both young and old, were raped and sometimes strangled to death if they put up any form of resistance. He continued: “After the attack, I reported the matter to the police, but up till now, no arrest has been made or any explanation given by the police. I was only told that the matter has been transferred to Owerri as usual.” Most pathetic was the case of 60-year-old Mrs. Beatrice Ozokwere, a meat seller, who was stabbed severally in the stomach by the hoodlums after she was robbed of a huge sum of money, just as her three months old grandchild was abducted. When our reporter visited the home of the victim, who was rushed to the Federal Medical Centre (FMC),Owerri, after the

They forced me to lie down on my face and they led my daughter to an uncompleted building within the compound while others took my wife into one of the rooms. I felt like exploding, but was restrained by the fear that they might kill my wife and daughter if I made any move

attack, neighbours confirmed that she had been discharged from the hospital, but could not, however, disclose her new location for obvious security reasons. It was said that the family was yet to recover from the trauma of the attack. Speaking on condition of anonymity, one of the maids explained: “The first time they attacked us, some of the girls were raped and a three-month-old baby was carried away and about one week later, they ambushed mama and forced her into the bush and molested her after stabbing her with knives.” Sylveria, a patent medicine dealer, equally had her own tale to tell about her encounter with the men of the underworld. Reliving her own ordeal, she said: “On that fateful day, I had counted the money that I set aside to go to Onitsha to buy drugs when armed robbers broke into my house and carted away the entire sum after beating a living hell out of me and my daughter. “I lost close to N300, 000 in that single attack and I have not fully recovered from the beating which left me shattered. Initially, I fought with them and seized the one closer to me but they poured a liquid substance on my face and I lost consciousness and thereafter they broke into my shop and swept everything away.” Bemoaning the mounting insecurity, a community chairman, who did not want his name in print, said that the crime rate in the community has forced some of the residents to abandon their businesses and relocated to other safer communities, while the indigenes who live outside the community can no longer visit home for fear of being attacked. The source disclosed that there is an average of four robbery incidents a week in the community, noting that the hoodlums carry on with impunity and often times boast openly that no one can dare them. “We are afraid to talk about them openly because when you do, they will visit you in the night and rape your wife and little daughters.”

Continuing, he appealed to the state government to provide adequate security for the people to stem the tide of robbery, kidnapping and rape in the community, adding that the police have not done enough to protect the people.” Another community leader lamented that the continued insecurity had torn the community apart with the monarch allegedly doing nothing to help out his confused subjects. He disclosed that earlier in one of the interactive sessions with the state governor, Owelle Rochas Okorocha, the issue of the increasing insecurity in the community was raised but the monarch, Eze Sunday Basil Nnabue, allegedly debunked it and the matter was waved aside. However, when contacted, the monarch said that the reported crime rate was exaggerated, adding that “anyone who claims to have been attacked or raped by the hoodlums should report to the police. Some of them are lying, they are just trying to paint a picture of insecurity in the community for their own interest. I know of one woman who was stabbed but she is not from my village.” When our reporter went round the village, the mood of the people was that of trepidation as they were scared to speak, while some of them who were bold enough to respond to questions chorused: “We don’t know if you are here to help us or you are gathering information to use against us.” Our investigation revealed that some of the rape victims were shy to speak with the press or report to the police station for fear of stigmatisation. The Imo State Police Public Relations Officer, Vitalis Onugu, a Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP), however, said that the police were not aware of the development in the community, adding that “the police cannot act when an incident is not properly reported. The victims should come up with credible information that will assist the police in their investigations.”





Behind the glitter‌ Sad, pitiful world of Nigeria's pioneer artistes A glance behind the glitter usually reveals something more than a colourful paradise. It invalidates the deceptions of fame. It is akin to what Saul Bellow likened to picking up a dangerous wire fatal to ordinary folk or rattlesnakes handled by hillbillies in a state of religious exaltation, in his novel, Humboldt's Gift. Many who grasped these super-charged wires and serpents have been found to incandesce in acclaim for a little while and then they wink out which leads to a more profound suspicion of celebrity and acclaim, writes OLATUNJI OLOLADE, Assistant Editor‌ SEE STORY ON PAGES 20-22



•Artistes at Late James Iroha a.k.a Gringory’s burial. Inset:Late Gringory.

Sad, pitiful world of Nigeria’s pioneer artistes E

VERYBODY knew Joe Layode. Then everybody hated Joe Layode, and loved him, just as his characters demanded. Either as the ambitious upstart alongside American movie greats, Humphrey Bogart and Katherine Hepburn in the 1951 epic, The African Queen; or Teacher Garuba, the enfant terrible character in rested family soap, The Village Headmaster, Layode captured the subtleties of fiction effortlessly and quite impressively, thus making his simplest interpretations memorable. Like pieces of a shared life, an intimacy between him and whoever cares to remember and appreciate. No eulogy would perhaps depict the essence of the actor whose latter interpretations coincidentally mirrored his shattered end. Perhaps he dreamt a better fate; that, no one would ever know. Critics and movie enthusiasts can only admire what was seen of him and imagine what might have been of the foremost actor whose existence and demise still implores the passing tribute of a sigh. Layode, for all his artistry and renown, died wretched at 87. Following a protracted ailment that left him virtually blind and sapped of strength, Layode cut a sorry picture of lack and unappreciated talent often eliciting sympathetic gasps from visitors and neighbours in his Iba Housing Estate neighbourhood. Layode was practically living from hand to mouth as he could barely raise enough money to feed and maintain himself. At his death, he was almost denied a decent burial as he was initially buried in a shallow grave, because there wasn’t enough money to buy him a decent resting place. Late Dejumo Lewis, one of his colleagues on The Village Headmaster set, was furious over what he termed shabby treatment of Layode’s body at the supposed venue for the lying in state. Layode’s body was allegedly rejected by the National Theatre.

It was also reportedly taken to the Actors Guild of Nigeria (AGN) office at the National Council for Arts and Culture (NCAC) but it was also rejected. Eventually, his casket was returned to the ambulance and taken to the Atan Cemetery, Yaba, where he was buried. But for his daughter, Sade Aladejuwon; veteran artistes, Eddie Ugboma, Elsie Olusola, the Late Dejumo Lewis and National Association of Nigerian Theatre Arts Practitioners (NANTAP) Lagos chapter, the seasoned actor might have suffered a raw deal, even in death. And then there was Ahmed Oduola. Popularly known as Dento, Oduola died a few days ago at 66, after suffering a debilitating stroke and tuberculosis. The ailment which left him emaciated inflicted upon him partial paralysis; at some point he was also bedridden and unable to talk. The late actor and his family could not raise the sum of N250, 000 reportedly needed to get him proper medical treatment, thus they had to seek financial assistance from the public. Expectedly, well-meaning Nigerians responded to calls for assistance for the late actor. He eventually passed away even though his condition was said to be improving steadily. Oduola hailed from Olusunle compound in the Idi-Arere area of Ibadan in Oyo State. Although he brought smiles and laughter to many homes, courtesy his trademark comic character, Dento, he departed the world in a very sad state, dying impoverished in his father’s house despite his long years of service and devotion to Nigerian television and film acting. Oduola began his acting career performing with Lere Paimo’s Eda Onileola Theatre Group, where he acted the role of Aderinto – from where his popular sobriquet, Dento evolved. However, due to lack of fulfillment and stark impoverishment by his chosen profession, Oduola quit acting in his later years to survive by his other skill: tailoring. Unfortunately, he died just before

he could chance on survival. He left behind, six wives and eight children, although none of the wives was living with him at the time of his death. Although, he passed away before Oduola, the case of James Akwari Iroha a.k.a Gringory, actor and creator of the rested Nigerian Television Authority (N.T.A) family sitcom, The New Masquerade fame, also incites pity and disillusionment in the Nigerian entertainment industry. Iroha gave 40 years of his life to acting. But at 70, he died with very little to show for years of dedication to the field. Although newspaper reports alleged that he lived and died in penury, his family members have since mounted vehement protests denouncing the reports as untrue and unfair to a man who contributed so much to Nigeria’s entertainment industry. More saddening, however, was the fact that Iroha battled an affliction of the deadly glaucoma his eyes, for which he had undergone several operations both at home and abroad with no success. He later developed high blood pressure and other undisclosed ailments in the course of treating the ailment. The 1966 graduate of University of Ibadan spent four days in the hospital in his final battle with an ailment he had been battling for about a decade. No doubt, the fate of Nigeria’s pioneer artistes oftentimes provokes feelings of disillusionment in both the government and the arts industry. A careful perusal of Late Iroha’s disclosure about the state in which they were forced to work emphasizes the desolation that characterizes the world of Nigerian actors, particularly the pioneer generation. According to the late actor, “Government, ab initio, was projecting us and said we ought to have been paying them. According to them, that they gave us a medium to express ourselves was good enough; so they were even asking us to pay. They were paying us N250 per episode of The New Masquerade.

Some of us got N2; others received N10 only, and even at that we kept praying and hoping that we would appear the next week. So unlike now, we were not paid any professional fees. “A time came when I thought the government discovered that they had skeletons in their cupboard. They thought, perhaps, we were going places and at the end of the day we may end up destroying them, exposing them too much in The New Masquerade. “That’s why they supported our being yanked off the air. That was how we were rested. I’m sure Nigerians still want the programme, even till tomorrow. If we start it again, it would still be as wholesome and entertaining as it was in the beginning. Even in Nollywood, we have seen all sorts of video productions, but we have not seen anything better than The New Masquerade.” Despite inspiring reports about the rising fortunes of the Nigerian film industry – according to CNN and industry statistics, the industry is the second highest revenue earner in Nigeria today with a revenue figure of N9 billion – the lives of many Nigerian actors and actresses contrast negatively with any such phenomenon. Reality unarguably dispels claims to riches and stardom perpetuated by many Nigerian actors according to numerous stakeholders. “Most of them earn far little than they claim to earn. If any actor or actress tells you that he or she earns as much as N1.7 million or N2 million per flick, that person is a liar,” claimed a costumier and make-up artist who simply identified herself as Preye. Corroborating her, Afolabi Odunjo, a movie producer and editor, disclosed: “Many of them (artistes), in abject desperation to measure up to the hype and expectations of affluence that comes with their fame, influence the media to misinform the public by spreading tales of their mindblowing salaries and wealth,” he claimed.


THE NATION, SATURDAY, OCTOBER 27, 2012 in a society increasingly characterised by stark inequalities of wealth and power. Poverty and the Nigerian artiste Some artistes simply choose to remain poor or live within their modest means rather than soil their name and reputation that they have painstakingly built over the years. Think Joe Layode and other pioneers in the field. In fact, the poverty of the Nigerian artiste is an undeniable phenomenon; with numbers increasing dramatically among Nigeria’s surviving generation of pioneer artistes. Those who are not impoverished keep a virtually modest lifestyle. Scared of ending up by their financially disadvantaged predecessors, many contemporary artistes resort to keeping second jobs, particularly those who are too principled to grovel before politicians and criminal masterminds or resort to crime. In economic terms, this suggests an oversupply of artists, but unlike other sectors of the economy, artistes hardly quit. That they seemingly “cannot do otherwise”, leads to the notion that the economy of the arts is exceptional. In the sector, the usual mechanisms of supply and demand suffer a dysfunction, according Prince Emeka Nnaji, a lecturer in Film Studies and self-acclaimed movie entrepreneur.

•Late Layode acting alongside Humphrey Bogart and Katherine Hepburn in The African Queen.

They did not have time for a second job. They did not get any endorsements or have enough money to set up major business ventures. Their names were praised but hardly paid for...Actually, most of these artistes were barely paid their salary, yet they continued to be in the entertainment world due to their love of it, and when the salaries ended, they found nothing to live upon

The Nation findings revealed that while artistes in hot demand earn between N500,000 and N300,000, seasoned actors earn a paltry N200,000 or thereabouts for appearances in traditional epics and between N100, 000 and N150, 000 for appearances in contemporary-themed movies. Surprisingly, many notable actors earn between N50, 000 and N100, 000 for movie appearances. That is why many of them seek appearances in as much movies as possible – the idea is to improve their net-income per month. If an artiste features in four movies at N80, 000 per flick, there is the likelihood that he or she would earn as much as N320, 000 in a month. However, despite the likelihood of recording such earnings, not a few artistes groan over inability to receive their fees in full, even after fulfilling their part of the contractual obligation. Many artistes have been known to storm movie locations to demand their outstanding fees from movie makers. And then many more artistes are forced to barter their appearances in movies for fellow artistes’ appearances in their own movies. This practice is sustained by an unwritten rule of engagement that makes an artiste beholden and morally bound to reciprocate gestures of free appearances in his or her flick by fellow artistes. This professional barter system is blamed for the stark impoverishment of numerous artistes and their inability to measure up to expectations of fame and affluence that they enjoy by their numerous appearances in various movies. The deceptions and grand delusions of artistes laying indefensible claims to wealth

The problem It has become a source of major concern that Nigeria’s artistic heritage is under pressure because most artistes and entertainers end up destitute after they have spent considerable time of their lives entertaining their people. Consequently, many talented artistes are quitting the industry after years of unfulfilled service to practise other vocations as illustrated by the case of Oduola who quit acting to practise tailoring at some point. This is thus leading to the extinction of African Artistic heritage. Because of the lack suffered by the passing generation of pioneers, many contemporary artistes are today motivated by the commercial gains derivable from the expression of their talents rather than the love it. Moguls and selfstyled godfathers of the entertainment industry who have the power and money to make things happen are beginning to influence the message of the African movie or social documentary. And producers, writers, and directors to mention a few are finding themselves in situations where they sacrifice or substitute the true substance of African cultural heritage with commercial and oftentimes, Western-themed messages aimed at appealing to vanities and making quick money. The common excuse for this new age money driven motivation of some African artistes is that they have to make a living and acquire riches in order not to end up destitute after the fame departs and they are left at the mercy of feeble old age and posterity.

and breathtaking fees is as prevalent in a particular movie sector. Many artistes in that film industry like their other counterparts, derive satisfaction in faking reality. In fact, the delusion is even more prevalent in the sector as not a few artistes have been known to plummet to obscurity in the wake of their crass showiness and desperate claims to affluence. Many actors, according to movie pundits, have plunged to infamy in their desperate bids to keep up appearances and sustain a larger-than-life reputation. “That is why many of them resort to even more desperate measures like serving as drug mules for crime syndicates. That is why certain artistes who dominated the news in the past have dissolved into obscurity despite their numerous appearances in movies today,” according to movie critic and photo-journalist, Olajumoke Ayinde. Stories of artistes behaving badly have become almost a sub-field of journalism. However, decorum was preserved by presenting these as having genuine “human interest,” a euphemism for voyeuristic appeal. Till date, many artistes desperately seek to scandalise themselves in a frantic bid to accommodate the demands of fame. The mission to illuminate and expose the “real self” behind the screen or stage façade, meanwhile, galvanised journalists. One of the effects of the ever-more intrusive media’s reportage of the private lives of the famous was in promoting the notion that success, happiness and self-fulfillment had little to do with material goods or social status – a comforting thought for people to embrace

Unappreciated old glories Joe Layode, Hubert Ogunde, Eddie Ugboma, veteran movie maker and one of the first African international actors/directors, among many others helped to put Nigeria and Africa on the world map of artistic reckoning. However, many of these artistic gurus are yet to be appropriately appreciated and institutionalised in the annals of the country’s artistic greats, according to Oliver Mbamara, a United States-based actor/producer and lawyer. “Worse still, it is very disheartening to note that such great talents like the famous Claude Eke a.k.a. Cief Jegede Shokoya of The New Masquerade fame did not get any befitting assistance from the people and government of the country when they retired or began their descent from the hill of popularity…Entertainers like these invested all their time and life into entertaining their people. They did not have time for a second job. They did not get any endorsements or have enough money to set up major business ventures. Their names were praised but hardly paid for. No brand name companies that brought returns for using their names in businesses like designer shoes, clothing, cologne, etc. Actually, most of these artistes were barely paid their salaries, yet they continued to be in the entertainment world due to their love of it, and when the salaries ended, they found nothing to live upon,” he lamented Lust for the American dream “It is no secret that most contemporary Nigerian artistes would die to play the role of a minor or extra in a Hollywood flick. The situation has currently degenerated to the extent star actors and actresses in Nige-

ria oftentimes reveal, albeit shamelessly, their dreams of acting alongside prominent Hollywood actors. But how would this translate to better fortunes for the Nigerian film industry and better fate for the Nigerian artiste?” wondered Theophilus Onimise, a video store owner and movie enthusiast. However, Oyindamola Oluyinka, an actress, disagreed with him. According to Oluyinka, acting alongside prominent Hollywood actors will give Nigerian artistes better exposure and favourably position local talents to a greater world audience. Indeed, the United States of America (USA) remains the dream country mostly because many individuals eventually get to realise their aspirations in the American environment but this is mostly with the help of the socio-cultural and economic structure of the society, which strongly rest on the theories, and practices of capitalism. Successful artistes of Nigerian parenthood currently making waves in US and the United Kingdom include Sophie Okonedo of the Hotel Rwanda fame, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje a.k.a Mr. Eko of the Oz and Lost, H.B.O series fame, Caroline Chikezie of the Supernatural fame, Tunde Adebimpe, Chiwetel Ejiofor of the Amistad, American Gangster and Dirty Pretty Things fame. Beyond talk… “We may write as many essays and deliver as many papers, but one sure way to go beyond theory,” according to Mbamara, “is for the heads of African government to appoint ministers and commissioners from established and experienced artistes who have the love of the arts and the interest of the culture at heart”. Many more pundits have made a case for direct grants to artistes. According to them, such grants must be made truly available to the actual stakeholders in the nation’s film industry – unlike the mythical $200 million largesse President Goodluck Jonathan claimed to have given to the local film industry. According to many artistes, they are yet to receive or benefit from any such money. Direct grants or subsidies to artistes are expected to make it possible for an artiste, at a particular point in his or her career, to devote every available time to the production of excellent art work. It is expected to remove the necessity to maintain a day job and assist an artiste in acquiring a critical resource or asset that has longer term returns such as a marketable artistic output, knowledge and skills, marketing and promotion, staff, representation, a piece of equipment, a studio, state of the art gadgets, among many other things. And often direct grants, particularly if competitive or associated with awards, send a signal to other gatekeepers, that is, funders, donors, producers, and the press that a particular artiste is worthy of time and support and may result in more resources and attention flowing to that artiste. It may be worth noting, however, that this ‘signalling’ effect can contribute to the ‘winner-takes-all’ phenomenon that sometimes exists in the arts and entertainment sector and thereby make it even more difficult for new entrants to emerge and find resources. Notwithstanding its likely gains and demerits, government grants and direct subsidies to artistes simply constitute a measure among many others required to salvage the local film industry and fashion a better fate and work atmosphere for Nigeria’s league of extraordinary artistes. The government and stakeholders need to go back to the drawing board to devise viable and sustainable means to resolve the problems of the local film industry and institutionalise a culture of appreciation of Nigeria’s old glories, stated Idris Shomide, a film critic and script writer. Until then, Nigeria will continue to rue the disappearance of its league of extraordinary artistes. That has to be saddening. It is. Even at the verge of obscurity and feeble old age, seasoned artistes like Layode and Iroha still managed to skim that dazzling trope of individuality and excellence that is the soul of acting. Whether as minor and major characters, these Nigerian ambassadors of art told the story fluently, sharing different degrees of intimacies with their fans and critics, with numerous beginnings and ends; a sense of birth and death, while their heartfelt interpretations cheat their fast-dwindling fans of a sigh and charm them to a tear.



•Some of the suspects

I got half a million naira on each baby I helped people to steal from hospital, says cleric CLERIC accused of belonging to a 12-man robbery gang who operated in two banks in Lagos recently, Muktar (42), has confessed that the gang paid him N307, 000 for praying for them to be successful in the robbery operations they carried out on the banks. In a chat with our correspondent, Muktar, an indigene of Ibadan, Oyo State, who said he was married with five children, said: “I am an Alfa based in Lagos. I pray for barren women to become pregnant. I pray for impotent men or those with low sperm count to become complete men. I organised the disappearance or sale of babies aged between one and two years from hospitals and maternity homes in Lagos and got N500,000 per baby. “I also helped poor people to become rich and struggling men and women to become successful. I prayed for the sick to recover quickly. I prayed for civil servants, policemen, customs officers and soldiers for rapid promotion. I prayed for politicians for landslide victory. I also empowered fraudsters to successfully obtain money from their victims. “My customers paid me handsomely and I was very popular in Lagos. I made good money from my work as a cleric. But trouble started when Taiwo (fellow suspect) came to me and asked me to pray for a business he planned to do in a bank to be successful. I asked him the type of business he wanted to do in the bank and he said that he and his gang members had



planned to carry out robbery operations in two banks (names withheld) and that they would reward me handsomely if my prayers made them to succeed. I agreed and prayed for them. They succeeded in the first operation and gave me N307,000 from the N8 million they carted away. “Unfortunately, the second operation failed. Aremu was arrested by the police and he led the police to my prayer room to also arrest me. They also arrested my younger brother, Shuaib because both of us did the prayers together.” Shuaib (38) said he was a cobbler. “My only offence was that I followed my spiritual brother, Alfa Muktar, to pray for the gang. At the end of a successful operation, he gave me N15,000 from his share of the loot. It was a single day prayer,” he said. Aremu (26) said he finished secondary school before he secured an employment with a commercial bank as a driver and was placed on a monthly salary of N30,000. He said: “It is my friend, Ramon, a panel beater, who put me in this mess. The whole thing started when he came to our office in Lagos to check one of our official vehicles. As I was discussing with him, he asked me to furnish him with information on the bank vault, security, the position of the CCTV, alarm signal and other vital information. He said he planned to bring his boys to attack the bank and promised to give me the lion’s share of the loot. I ac-

•Some of the arms, ammunition and tools recovered from the suspects

cepted. “He later introduced me to one Ahmed and we fixed May 25 for the operation. I left the bank the moment they entered and pretended that I was running away from the gang. The following day, we gathered at Ladipo Canal and they gave me N900,000. They also gave me N307,000 to give to Alfa Muktar for his wonderful prayers and another N150,000 for Idowu for participating.” Asked why he aided armed robbers to rob his own organisation, he said: “I needed money to buy a bus which I intended to use for transportation. When I regain my freedom, I will become a commercial

bus driver because I know the bank would not take me back after what has happened.” Ahmed, another suspected member of the gang who hails from Ayetoro village in Ogun State, said: “I am here because I committed armed robbery with the other guys. It was my friend, Taiwo , a driver with a commercial bank, who asked me to meet him at a Lagos street on September 26, 2012 at about 7.30 pm. He was with one Saheed when I got to the bank. We were six in number, namely Saheed, Ramon, Lukmon, Kola, Ahmed and Congo. “It was only Saheed who entered. Within two minutes, somebody hit

I pray for barren women to become pregnant. I pray for impotent men or those with low sperm count to become complete men. I organised the disappearance or sale of babies aged between one and two years from hospitals and maternity homes in Lagos and got N500,000 per baby...


him with a stick, disarmed him and started shouting. His cry attracted the police from Area D who stormed the bank immediately and arrested Saheed and myself. The other four ran into Ladipo Canal and escaped. “Saheed and I were later trans-



•Other sets of suspects

pital for the final operation.” Another suspect, 24-year-old Adedokun, who claimed to be a 400level Business Management student of Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ayetoro Campus, said he was a member of a cult group called the Aye Fraternity. He said: “I am a Fraternity member. Ahmed is also an Aye member. They knew that I was the armourer for my Fraternity. So, they begged me to bring one of the guns for the bank robbery operation. Therefore, I was the one who supplied the gun we used for the job.” The ninth suspect, Kola (26), said: “I am an Okada (commercial motorcycle) rider. Taiwo contracted me to be carrying the gang members to any bank they wanted to rob. First, Taiwo asked me to carry them in twos. I first took Ahmed and Saheed to one of the banks. We robbed the bank of N8 million.” The 10th suspect, Saheed (24), said: “I went to visit my friend, Ahmed, at Ifo town in Ogun State. There I met Ahmed who begged me to accompany them to somewhere in Lagos. When we reached there, it turned out to be a bank. That was how I followed them to rob.” The 11th suspect, Lukeman (26), a commercial motorcycle rider, said: “Taiwo called me to assist him in carry his gang members to the bank they intended to rob. Initially, I told them to pay me N1,500 for each trip. But when I realised that the money they wanted to cart away from the bank was in millions, I changed my mind and told them that the money would be shared 50-50 because it was the same risk that everybody was taking. They accepted.” The 12th suspect, Abdullahi’s whereabouts were not known as he was not among the suspects our correspondent interviewed. Commenting on the arrest of the suspects, the Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Umar Manko, recalled that on September 26, 2012, at about 6pm, one Ahmed and Saheed were arrested by the Area D Command Headquarters, Mushin at a bank in Mushin, Lagos, after a shootout when the gang went to rob at the bank. “Consequently, Ahmed and Saheed made confessional statements which led to the arrest of eight others and the recovery of one locally made pistol with one live cartridge. The case was subsequently transferred to SARS Ikeja for further investigation on October 2, 2012. “When they were further interrogated, they confessed that their


ferred to the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS). When they brought us before Abba Kyari, Superintendent of Police in charge of SARS, he told us that we were at SARS’ Scorpion House where suspects don’t tell lies. We assisted him to arrest Luko, Kola and Taiwo.” On why he joined the gang, he said: “I finished secondary school and passed all my subjects but I had no money or someone to sponsor my university education. I later learnt to trade in electronics items but I had no shop of my own. One day, I met a friend at a joint and told him about my intention to save money for my university education. He told me that the quickest way to get money was to join a powerful robbery gang. He assured me of being protected from the police. He even showed me a policeman who was coming to smoke with them at the joint.” Another suspect, Idowu (32), an indigene of Okeho town, Oyo State, said: “I trained as a glass cutter. Aremu is my friend. One day, he called me and told me that he would like us to be business partners in the building of skin doors. He said he would provide the capital and my own role would be to build the doors and sell them, after which we would share the profits on 50-50 basis.” Asked how he would raise the capital, he told me he had planned to rob his bank and was sure of getting a reasonable amount for the business. After the operation, he gave me N150,000 to use as capital for our business. I built and supplied doors to some people, but they have not paid me.” How was he arrested? He said: “I went for vigil in my church. When I returned, they told me that policemen came to look for me. I went to Area D to ask why policemen were looking for me. I was handcuffed and handed over to SARS.” The sixth suspect, Ahmed (26) from Ayetoro, Yewa North, Ogun State, who said he was a phone accessories seller, said: “I only participated in the robbery of one of the banks. The operation at the other bank failed. “It was Ramon and Azeez my friend who came to tell me that they wanted to rob the bank and that they needed one locally made gun. I asked Yusuf how the loot would be shared and he said 50-50. They asked me to follow the gang to the operation so that I would know the exact amount they would collect in the bank so that they would not be cheated. They gave me N900,000 as my own share and I was arrested at my uncle’s house where I was hiding.” The seventh suspect, Rasheed (27), a driver with one of the banks, said: “I had been driving for the bank for two years and four months. My mother had an eye problem which needed to be operated upon. One had already been operated upon and there was no money to do the operation on the second eye. “In my desperation to get my mother cured, I met my friend called Emma. He later introduced me to Alfa Muktar to pray for me to find a solution to my mother’s eye. The first week, Alfa asked me what I was doing for a living and I told him that I was a driver with a bank. “He told me that for being a driver with a bank, my problem was almost solved. He advised me to go and come back the following day to enable him consult the gods about my problem. When I came back the following day, he asked me to bring my photograph. Later, he asked me to follow others to the bank to collect money. It was when they started operation in the bank that I realised that they were armed robbers. But there was no going back because the operation had started and I was expecting big money. Unfortunately, the operation failed and we were arrested. My mother has not gone to the hos-

But trouble started when Taiwo (fellow suspect) came to me and asked me to pray for a business he planned to do in a bank to be successful... he said he and his gang members had planned to carry out robbery operations in two banks (names withheld) and that they would reward me handsomely if my prayers made them to succeed. I agreed and prayed for them. They succeeded in the first operation and gave me N307,000 from the N8 million they carted away...


armourer and the gang leader, Adedokun and Ahmed , were in Ayetoro in Ogun State. Consequently, they led SARS operatives to Aiyetoro in Ogun State where the two were arrested and two locally made pistols with four live cartridges were recovered. “The suspects, who normally operated with the aid of insiders, confessed to have robbed a bank in Mushin, Lagos on 25th May, 2012 where they carted away N8 million and another bank at Isolo on 29th August 2012.” Manko said the suspects would be charged to court at the end of investigation.

•Muktar, the cleric

THE NATION, Saturday, October 27, 2012


The dilemma of couple •I was worried about the outcome –wife Down Syndrome is a common medical condition in Nigeria, yet unknown by many, experts say. As the Down Syndrome Foundation of Nigeria (DSFN) ended its awareness week last Sunday, EVELYN OSAGIE writes of the trying experience of a couple whose baby has just returned from India after successfully undergoing surgery. “Something was not quite right,” Mrs Asmau Ibrahim thought, as she looked at her son Hayyatudeen hours after he was born. Little did she know that the anomaly she noticed at birth would change the course of her life and one day lead her to travel to India. The couple, Mr and Mrs Nasiru Ibrahim, was ecstatically overwhelmed when their son Hayyatudeen arrived. But their joy was doused almost immediately as they discovered that he was not breathing normally. Being a nurse, Mrs Ibrahim was able to detect the anomaly in his breathing; but still, at that time they could not pinpoint what exactly it was. “I thought it was because they did not suck out the blood from his nostrils properly,” Mrs Ibrahim said. Not until they saw the family paediatrician who admitted him, firstly, for Jaundice, and after further observation and an ECO Scan, diagnosed that Hayyatudeen not only had Down Syndrome (DS) but a hole in his small heart. “I felt very bad,” Mr Ibrahim said, an Air Force Officer from Gombe, said. That was last year and the first time, the couple, both in their 30s, first learnt of •Mrs. Ibrahim(left) with her baby the health condition called Down Syndrome (DS), a chromosomal disorder arising at the time of conception. Hayyatudeen, as other children with DS, was born with an extra chromosome (Trisomy 21), which usually comes with certain medical complications such as congenital heart defect known popularly as ‘hole-in-the-heart’ which occurs in 40 to 50 per cent of people with DS, hearing and visual problems and others, according to experts. They also say women over 35 are at a higher risk of having a child with DS. Nevertheless, more than 80 per cent of children with DS are currently being born to mothers under the age of 35, health reports say.


The condition, experts also say, usually causes delays in physical and intellectual development. And so, Hayyatudeen’s experience is no different. And as the days turned into months, Mrs Ibrahim also noticed other health complications. In her words: “Aside his breathing being unstable, his temperature was always very high, he found it hard to eat without vomiting, his development was sort of stunted and his neck and legs were not very firm.” Health experts also say an early detection of the condition and its health complications would go a long way to ease its management and boost the development of the child. According to the couple, discovering and understanding the condition early has saved the life of their child. “He was barely a

outside the state.” However, in spite of the challenges, Mr Ibrahim made some sacrifices, and took steps to ensure his child leads a normal life. He sought more medical advice and information on the condition. He said: “I felt bad at the beginning, but I braced myself up to be there for my wife and child and give them all the support I can. My wife does not like having an air conditioner in the house but his temperature was always very high. So, I bought AC to keep his temperature stable. And I started asking questions and seeking medical help about the condition.” However, his quest for information opened a can of worms on the low level of awareness on the condition, particularly in the North. “When we were told of the condition, that was when we realised there were so many people with it over here and so little information available about it. We were referred to Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria and also found many people there did not know about the condition. A lot of children have it in the North without people knowing what it is about,” he said. After seeking the support of his superiors at the Air Force Base, the above revelation led him to the Down Syndrome Foundation of Nigeria (DSFN). He said: “We learnt of the foundation through our doctor. This was after I had contacted my office and they asked us to write to the Chief of Air Staff at Abuja, which I did. And they offered to help. I then contacted DSFN for the costing and how to go about it. They were very helpful and gave an estimate of about

•Mr. Ibrahim with the baby

I was worried about the outcome. They took him in by 8:45 and brought him out by past one o’clock. It was not easy for me to wait. But my husband was calling and encouraging me through it all, asking me to pray when I said I was very worried.


month old when he was diagnosed of DS at 345 AeroMedical Hospital. And that has helped the treatment and management of the condition and ultimately led to our saving his life because we would not have known he had a hole in his heart. We were told he needed a corrective heart surgery fast or it would keep expanding,” they said. And so began the one-year trying journey into correcting the heart anomaly that cumulated in a trip to India. Mr Ibrahim recounted: “Not long before he was born, I was posted to Abuja and my family was in Kaduna. But for the past one year, I have not spent a weekend in Abuja. Once it was Friday, even if it is midnight, I would travel to Kaduna to be with my family because they needed me. The recommended drugs were usually very expensive and difficult to find. Sometimes we had to check with several pharmacists in the town, and oftentimes, when we still couldn’t find them, we would solicit the doctor’s help to order for them

Mother- of- fi Why would a man severe the body of another? Where did the killers keep the severed body? These are the questions bothering the minds of members of the family of the late Mrs. Helen Abinu Longe, a 49-year-old primary health care coordinator in Obanliku Local Government Area, Cross Rivers State before she was gruesomely murdered on September 25, about four weeks to her 49th birthday. A member of the family of the late widow and mother of six, who identified himself simply as Mr. Joseph Abanka, said the deceased woman did not have the slightest premonition of the fate that befell her. According to him, she was hale and hearty before she joined her fellow primary health care coordinators in a workshop at Ugep in Biase Local Government Area, Cross River State. Thereafter, she proceeded to Evangel Camp at Okpoto in Abakaliki, Ebonyi State for a church programme organised by the Assemblies of God Church where she partook in the Holy Communion service. Abanka said: “After the programme, she left Abakaliki for her station, Bekwarra. While journeying back, she received calls demanding her whereabouts and she was busy giving out the information, not knowing that the callers she had

THE NATION, Saturday, October 27, 2012


with Down Syndrome child •I had a sleepless night –husband

•The baby after the operation

Facts to note about Down Syndrome • DS is not a disease but a chromosomal disorder arising at the time of conception. • It is the one of the most frequently occurring chromosomal disorders yet the exact cause of DS is currently unknown, according to Down Syndrome Foundation of Nigeria (DSFN) • DS is caused by an excess of genetic material. The genetic material is present in every human body cell and is arranged in tiny structures called chromosomes. • They are the building blocks which gives us our individual characteristics. They determine the colour of our hair, our eyes and many other characteristic • The incidence of DS is

estimated at one in every 1000 live births in developed countries and one in every 650 live births in developing countries such as Nigeria, experts say. Women over age 35 are at a higher risk of having a child with DS, nevertheless, more than 80 per cent of children with DS are currently being born to mothers under the age 35. • Due to advanced medical care, the majority of people born with DS today have a life expectancy of approximately fifty-five years. • Majority of people with DS are classified under mild to moderate range of intellectual disability. Intellectual disability cannot be accessed by the number

N1.5 million. My office paid for the operation. But after all our expenses, the whole amount has come to about N1.8 million. I have had to add an extra N300, 000 on my own to make it a smooth ride for my family.” So, Mrs Ibrahim flew with her son to India on August 24 and spent over five weeks for the surgery which was successful. But the night of the operation was the longest for

of clinical signs and symptoms present. • Early medical, educational intervention and social integration will aid the all-round development of the child • Like all children, children with DS resemble their parents. However, babies, experts say, babies with DS in most cases look slightly different to other babies and can usually be identified by certain mentioned below • Short stature • Hyper flexibility – an excessive ability to extend the joints (double jointed) • Epicanthal folds – small skin folds on the inner corner of the eyes • Flat facial profile – somewhat depressed nasal bridge and a small nose • Muscle hypotonia – low muscle tone • The hands tend to be broad with short fingers. Simian line – single crease on the palm of the hand. The small finger may tend to curve inward • Hearing may be affected in up to 65 per cent of people with DS • It is advisable to have the child ear tested at least every six months • Vision problems occur in 50 per cent of people with DS. • It is advisable to have the child eyes tested bi-annually • Congenital heart defects in 40 to 50 per cent of people with DS. • Eight to 12 per cent have gastrointestinal tract abnormalities present at birth. Most of these defects are now correctable surgery

the couple. Hear Mrs Ibrahim: “I was worried about the outcome. They took him in by 8:45 and brought him out by past one o’clock. It was not easy for me to wait. But my husband was calling and encouraging me through it all, asking me to pray when I said I was very worried. After the operation, I was still troubled because there were usually unforeseen complications. Not until two days after when he opened his eyes and smiled at me that my heart

came down.” On his part, Mr Ibrahim recounted: “On the day of the operation, I stopped everything at work to keep a tab on my family. I had a sleepless night and kept calling my wife till the next day. I can now sleep better.” The mother and child arrived Lagos last Tuesday. Since after surgery, the couple said, there had been a lot of changes. “His breathing has calmed down, his temperature is normal and his neck is firmer. He is eating better and doesn’t vomit. Now that the main thing has been done, we the parents will give him our support,” they said. With the baby out of crisis, Mr Ibrahim is calling for more awareness about the condition. He urged the DSFN to replicate the foundation across the country, particularly in the North. He said: “The government should create more awareness about the condition. They should establish specialised hospitals to care for children with DS. DSFN should reproduce itself across the country, especially in the North and particularly in Kaduna.” Due to the limited awareness available on the condition, the DSFN National President, Mrs Rose Mordi, said the foundation established the DS awareness week celebrated every September, yearly. According to her, the foundation’s major challenge is bringing the condition and issues related to people with DS to the national front-burner. The awareness campaigns, she said, should be the concern of everyone. She said: “Through our publicity, Mr Ibrahim was able to know about our organisation and was, thereby, able to save the life of his child. A lot still has to be done to educate Nigerians, especially those in the grassroots about the condition. As an organisation caring for people living with DS, the challenges have been enormous. One of our major challenges is bringing them and their issues to the national front-burner, and educating people about the condition. And that is why the awareness week was established. And we are trying our best but how far can one foundation go. There is need for government and corporate partnership for us to be able reach to more people. But there are many who do not have his kind of opportunity.” This edition year’s DSFN awareness week began with a charity walk at Festac and ended last Sunday with the family funfair at the Union Bank Sport Complex, Lagos. It also held a two-day seminar on educational, medical and socio-economic issues related to condition that featured a 2012 Olympic torchbearer and Director, Down’s Heart Group (UK), Mrs Penelope Green, among others. Also, DSFN held its annual fundraising dinner at the Golden Gate Restaurant last Thursday where awards were given to four state governors (Akwa Ibom, Rivers, Imo and Nassarawa) and the Deputy Governor Mrs Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire, among others. She said the awardees were given the award because of their efforts in identifying with the persons with disabilities (PWDs) and disability issues.

ve widow beheaded a month to birthday n Gbenga ADERANTI n taken for friends were planning to kill her. ”The syndicate strategically positioned themselves at Abakpa Junction and Nyanya-Obudu Road, Abochiche, based on the information they had on her movement. She was said to have boarded a motorcycle to Abochiche where she was abducted by her suspected killers, bundled into their waiting car and ferried to Ukpe, a community between Mbok Junction and Abakpa Junction in Ogoja Local Government Area, where she was beheaded and her body sliced into pieces.” The late widow was said to have scheduled a journey to Japan and had just completed the building of her house which she was planning to move into before the unfortunate incident. Abanka said police have arrested about seven suspects. He said it was from the confessions of the suspects that they got the information on how the woman was murdered and cut into pieces. Investigation revealed that it is not uncommon for people to disappear between Mbok Junction, Ukpe, popular Abakpa Junction and the environs of Ogoja Local Government Area. The wife of one of the major suspects, according

to Abanka, said she had several times raised the alarm on the activities of her husband. Only recently, three ladies’ bodies were found lifeless with missing parts. So also was the body of a Reverend’s daughter. A young man was said to have been killed alongside Longe. “The heartless evil doers saw this widow with a Bible, some Christian literatures, Christian cassettes, bags of clothes, handsets and other materials, and were not afraid,” Amanka wondered. While commending the police for the job they have done in the matter so far, members of the deceased woman’s family said the perpetrators of the heinous crime should be brought to book. Seven suspects were being held by the police. “The police must not relent until they pick the masterminds of these unimaginable and unacceptable crimes. The architects of these unholy acts against widows, orphans and humanity must be brought to book. “The body of this widow, which the suspects admitted to have abducted, must be brought out from wherever they have hidden it for proper burial by her community.”

•The late Mrs. Longe



•The babalawo (right) and kidnapping gang members

•Kidnapping suspect

Horror as kidnap suspect slashes own throat in bid to escape I

T WAS a gory sight recently in Benin, capital of Edo State, when an attempt by a kidnap suspect, Moses Otoro, to escape from detention through diabolical means went awry, leaving him battling for life, almost bleeding to death. According to reports, Otoro had slashed his throat as instructed by a witchdoctor to enable him disappear. But rather than disappear, as promised by the witchdoctor, Otoro was left bleeding profusely from the selfinflicted cut on his throat. The suspect was arrested by soldiers at Ughelli after he was named as a member of a notorious kidnapping gang by another member of the gang who had earlier been arrested. Speaking with newsmen, Otoro said he participated in the

Osagie OTABOR, Benin abduction of five people last year and had received sums ranging from N50, 000 to N150, 000. Otoro said it was the leader of his gang, whose name he gave as Anthony, that gave him the charm and told him that if he cut his throat, he would disappear. He said: “I started kidnapping last year. We have kidnapped five persons but I don’t know them. It was Anthony that brought the connection. My own is to drive the vehicle. “Anthony always collected money for the babalawo (witchdoctor) and the gun we used for the operations. He brought the charm and told me to cut my throat. He said I would disappear the moment my blood touched the ground. It was after

•Suspected cultists

I cut my throat that I remembered the babalawo that gave the charm to us.” Otoro was one of the kidnapping suspects and cultists arrested by men of the 4 Brigade of the Nigerian Army in the last one month. Also speaking, the witchdoctor, who gave his name as Akugbe Ugbo, aged 75, said Anthony was like a son to him. He declined comment when asked why the charm failed to work. Ugbo said Anthony went to Port Harcourt and came back with money with which he (Anthony) bought a land and started a building. According to him, “Anthony lived in my house for more than one year and I was feeding him. He left and came back with money. He said I should pray for him. I even bought the land he wanted to build his house on.” Another member of the gang, Jacob Umoru, said he was paid N600, 000 from a ransom of N6

million paid to the gang by a female victim. Other members of the kidnapping gang paraded were Ogue Micheal, Osas Omoh, Osato Ogiraka and Ahomafan Lucky. They had abducted their female victim at Ugbioyoko, but luck ran out on them when vigilant neighbours raised the alarm and called soldiers on patrol. Narrating her ordeal, the victim, Mrs. Bridget Ize-Iyamu, expressed shock and disappointment over the revelation that her neighbour arranged her kidnapping. Mrs. Bridget said the kidnappers came in the afternoon and jumped into her car. She said she pleaded with them but they would not listen. “I was crying and begging them to allow me go and get my children from school. It was while we were going that some youths blocked the road. One of them told the one with the gun to shoot. But when they saw soldiers, they opened the door

Anthony always collected money for the babalawo (witchdoctor) and the gun we used for the operations. He brought the charm and told me to cut my throat. He said I would disappear the moment my blood touched the ground


and ran away. That was how I came out and ran to the soldiers.” Two students of the Ambrose Alli University, Ekpoma identified as Eseni Christian and Osazuwa Evbimarumwen, were also arrested for attempted murder. Osazuwa said they were on a revenge mission to kill a member of a rival cult group when their shot missed their target and hit a commercial cyclist. He said their target killed a member of their cult called Livinus. Also arrested were six students of the College of Education, Ekiadolor for wearing military uniforms within the campus. The students said they were members of Man O’ War, and that they wore the military uniforms for their handing over ceremony. A notorious female drug dealer, Mabel Nze, who was arrested by soldiers in August this year and handed over to the NDLEA, was arrested again with substance suspected to be Indian hemp. The Commander of 4 Brigade, Brigadier-General Abel Umahi, said the breakthrough arrests were due to the use of tracking devices. Umahi said they were after the leaders of the cult group. He said the command had destroyed more than 15 illegal refineries and arrested four tankers within the last one month, adding that the suspects would be handed over to relevant authorities for prosecution.








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

Shan George does it again

Re: NCC, MCSN, COSON triangle


have followed your two-part dialogue on the above subject, which was very interesting and confirms once again that most ordinary Nigerians are very discerning, intelligent and know the rudiments of a just society, contrary to Tony Okoroji's allegory and apparent insult on you and your colleagues' literary profundity. No reasonable person can say that the operations of copyright and CMOs are not businesses. Any activity that involves consideration and offer, paying and receiving money under whatever guise, contractual obligations and rights, is a business. CMO or copyright is therefore a business; the way it is done may be different from the way the business of buying and selling or banking is done. The business of copyright, (which is classified as property under the Copyright Act and the Constitution) and CMO is just like the business of a property owner, his agent and those interested in the buying or use of the property, for example between a landlord, estate agent and tenant. We do not know from where Okoroji got his authority that CMO's should operate as a monopoly, especially in a constitutional democracy under which Nigeria is governed. Britain which he cited in his comment does not operate a compulsory monopoly; not minding that he wanted to confuse his readers by saying that Performing Rights Society, PRS, is a de facto monopoly. The fact remains that PRS is not a de jure monopoly for performing rights. It is not even a monopoly going by the very recent example when creators (artistes) from Wales formed a new society to look after their performing rights in concerts. Okoroji also fails to let his readers know that there still exists Mechanical-Copyright Protection Society (MCPS) which administers mechanical rights in musical and other related works. There is equally a Performers' Right Society which broke out from Phonograph Performance Limited (PPL), aside from other societies such as Video Performance Limited operating in the United Kingdom within the music sphere. It should be underscored that “monopoly” in collective administration of copyright evolves voluntarily and is never forced. PRS, ASCAP, BMI and other big societies across the world have variously been investigated by their various authorities to find out if they operate as monopoly or abuse their strong status. It is not true that Musical Copyright Society Nigeria, MCSN, prevented other societies from emerging when it was the only one operating. Thank God, Moses Ekpo, the first Director General of Nigerian Copyright Commission, NCC, is still alive and can confirm or deny the fact that MCSN wrote a proposal asking the then Director General to allow as many societies as possible to emerge, concluding that not more than one or at most two would survive at the end of the day, and it would be along specific interests. That was in 1991 or thereabout. MCSN cautioned then of the consequences of trying to legislate into existence a monopoly organisation as those which are already in existence, like MCSN, will definitely refuse to be legislated out of existence for any new organisation which the NCC may want to

midwife. That advice was thrown overboard and we all know what happened when Performing Mechanical Rights Society, PMRS, was midwifed by Okoroji and the cabal in the NCC, when he (Okoroji) was a member of the Governing Board of NCC. That recommendation and prediction of MCSN is still valid till today and would be till tomorrow as COSON is certainly living on borrowed time just like its predecessor, PMRS. Coming to the Copyright Act and judgments of the courts; any neophyte in the Nigerian Law School in a democracy knows that any Act of Parliament and judgment obtained in relation to it are subject to the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. Likewise, a law becomes ultimate only when it passes judicial test or interpretation. In September 2004, MCSN secured a Court of Appeal judgment in the case of Musical Copyright Society Nigeria Limited vs Adeokin Records Co. & Another, Appeal No. CA/L/498/97, which affirms its locus standi to sue for the infringement and enforcement of its copyright against the defendants. Considering all aspects of the copyright law including the amendments to it, the Court of Appeal then declared that MCSN for all times has the full rights as an owner, assignee and exclusive licensee of copyright to protect its vested rights. It went on to dismiss the preliminary objection brought against MCSN's case by the Defendants. In March 2010, the same Court of Appeal considered only Sections 17 and 39 of the Copyright Act 2004 and concluded that MCSN should secure the approval or exemption of the NCC as a collecting society before it can sue and went on to uphold the preliminary objection of Compact Discs Technologies & Ors. On July 1, 2011, the same Court of Appeal considered yet another preliminary objection brought by Visafone Limited in Appeal No. CA/L/494/09 between Visafone Limited vs. Musical Copyright Society Nig. Ltd., relying heavily and solely on the judgment of the Court of Appeal in the Compact Discs' case, but the Court of Appeal dismissed the preliminary objection and returned Visafone to face trial for the infringement of MCSN's copyright and determine the constitutional issues raised therein. From the above sequence, it is clear that MCSN's rights and locus stand intact but not to the jaundiced understanding and interpretation of Okoroji. Just on Monday, October 8, 2012, the Federal High Court dismissed a preliminary objection brought by Multichoice Nigeria Limited against a N5.2 Billion counterclaim instituted by MCSN after considering the same Compact

We do not know from where Okoroji got his authority that CMO's should operate as a monopoly, especially in a constitutional democracy under which Nigeria is governed

Discs' judgment which Okoroji is still celebrating. I hope he would have by now woken up from his pipe dream and faced reality that MCSN is talking law and facts, not fantasies. It's so funny that Okoroji is comparing the charade happening in NCC with what is happening in NAFDAC, NBC, CBN and other regulatory agencies. First thing to note is that no serious and reasonable regulatory agency would make it its target to eliminate organisations which were already existing and on ground in order to bring in new ones into existence; rather they would work with the existing ones to strengthen their regulatory powers. When the National Broadcasting Corporation (NBC) came, it met NTA, FRCN and states' broadcasting organisations on ground; what it did was to harmonise its regulations to make these existing organisations continue under its regulatory influence. The same applied to NAFDAC and other agencies. The moment the NCC chose to toe the path of eliminating MCSN for a yet-to-be-formed collecting society, which later became PMRS and now COSON, it started to toe the path of its own elimination. No wonder the NCC has been listed as one of the parastatals to be rationalised by the Oransanye's Commission. Incidentally the judgment of the Federal High Court in the case MCSN & 5 Ors vs. NCC & 5 Ors, Suit No. FHC/L/CS/35/08, described NCC as an obstacle to the enjoyment of copyright, a fundamental human right, by copyright owners. Okoroji stated that MCSN went alone to apply for approval from NCC instead of joining COSON. If the NCC knew that it would not follow the law and its own regulations, why did it publish the regulations calling for applications from interested organisations willing to be approved as collecting societies? Why did it collect whopping application fee of N250,000 in the first instance from MCSN? Why did it send a verification team to verify MCSN's claim? Why did it not just tell the world that it was forming an all embracing organisation and direct everyone having interest to dissolve into or join hands in forming the organisation, which would be clearly understood to be state-owned or a government parastatal? Is Okoroji now saying that COSON is created and owned by the Federal Government or NCC? It is also false to say that the Honourable Attorney General of the Federation asked MCSN and its members to integrate or dissolve into COSON. The AGF clearly directed all parties to seek judicial resolution to the problem and advised all parties to respect judicial decisions and obey the rule of law. The letter from the NCC containing the AGF's directive th dated 10 August 2011 is herewith attached. What qualifies Okoroji to pontificate on copyright laws and practice, particularly on collective administration? Was he trained in any institution on the subject? Has he ever successfully managed any collective administration institution? Did he go to any academic institution to study copyright? If yes, to any of the questions, where and when? I challenge him to truthfully answer these questions. Soon, very soon, the chicken would come home to roost. We ponder the fate of Okoroji on that day of reckoning... -Orits Williki is Chairman, MCSN

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


HE is better known for delivering her roles on screen so when few years ago, Shan George released her debut single which announced her arrival into the music industry from the movie world, she didn't receive the critical acclaim she probably expected. Undaunted by the bleak success her song made in the market, the controversial actress has, once again, gone back to the studio to try her hands on something different. This time around,

that Shan employed the services of a co-controversial producer, K-Solo to make a beat for her new single, Ababa. That is not all for the divorcee actress as she also featured ace musician, Sunny Nneji in the song. The single was released last week almost at the same time Tonto Dikeh and Stella Damasus released theirs but the buzz Tonto's singles generated has overshadowed her own release.


Nollywood welcomes

Linda Ejiofor

ROM serenading her fans in popular TV series, Tinsel, Linda Ihuoma Ejiofor has gradually painted a big picture in her career as she finds her way into the Nigerian movie industry via the flick, The Meeting. Better known for her role as Bimpe on MNET Africa's weekly soap Opera, the actress who also doubles as a model says that she is not one to leave her options closed Armed with a Sociology degree from the University of Port Harcourt and a determination to work in the advertising sector, fate handed Linda a chance at acting via the Mnet series. In 2008, Ejiofor went on to launch as “Bimpe” on Tinsel, and gradually became a darling amongst TV fans. Since launching on our TV screens, Linda has made it her business to improve her art, gradually rising from an insignificant role to a major role on Tinsel. It is no wonder she was contacted to play the role of Ejura in Rita Dominic's debut production, The Meeting.




•Wale Adenuga

•Opa Williams

•Bimbo Akintola







HE Civic Centre, Benin-City played host to the best of the best of Nigeria's Entertainment heavy weights as comedian cum musician, Maleke released his much talked about album titled On the Run on Saturday, 20th October. Arguably the biggest event in BeninCity in recent times, A-list artistes including 2face Idibia, Harrysong, Timaya, Eedris Abdulkareem, May D and comedians such as Alibaba, I go Dye, Clint da Drunk and I go save where all on ground to show support to their friend and colleague with exciting performances and comedy. Also present at the concert was the CEO of 911 Entertainment, Chief Ayiri Emami, representatives of the Edo state government and guests from within and outside the state. An overly excited Maleke trilled the audience with tunes from his album with so much energy and eccentricity as never been seen before in Benin-City. Maleke also used the forum as the President of Concerned Entertainers of Edo State to raise six million naira for a fellow Edo State Born artiste, Miss Eseohe Sarah Osagiede who is currently admitted at the University of Benin Teaching Hospital and in urgent need of a Kidney Transplant in India. He called on more public spirited Nigerians to come to the aid of the talented singer to help raise the remaining two million.


Tymeout with Tee A in special live edition •WizKid


•Tee A







‘Working with Majid Michel was a revelation’


S a graduate of Genetics and Bio-Technology, how did you end up in the arts? What I studied has nothing to do with acting though for me it is passion. I have always had the passion for acting from time immem orial. In


Calabar, there aren't enough platforms for actors because Lagos is more the place. They only do bits of shootings in some parts of Asaba, Onitsha and the other towns. Calabar was not part of it. I had the passion, but then how to showcase it was the issue. When the opportunity came forth, I decided to use it. Before the opportunity came, I had to do something with my life; I had to get an education to please my parents because they wanted me educated. I am happy that I went to school and got out with good grades. But what I studied has nothing to do with acting How did the opportunity come? While still in school, I decide to come visit my sister in Lagos. I went to the salon to make my hair on that particular day and met an agent who came to the same salon to make hair for some ladies who were suppose to model for a particular product. He saw me and introduced himself and his job to me and asked me if I want to be a part of it. That was how the opportunity came. I didn't even think about it. They fixed my hair immediately and took me for a photo session. I was at Ikeja and the studio was somewhere in Surulere. We worked deep into the night and my sister got worried. Eventually we finished and the man took me home to explain to my sister. She refused because I was supposed to go back the next day for another photo session. I had to plead and talk to her, before she allowed me and said I had to come back at a certain time. For me that was an opening. How did you handle that with school? Each time we are on break I come to Lagos, to do that and try to indulge in one or two things. While in Lagos I saw this advert on air for a TV series and they wanted a fresh cast, so I got the for m, went for the audition and got picked. That


was how the opportunities kept coming. Though it was not easy, I did not just fold my hands for the opportunity to fall on my laps. While on break, I would come to Lagos, walking the streets to look for opportunities. At school a friend of mine, told me about The Next Movie Star reality show. I was in my final year then. I called and I was told that I had to come to pick up the form. I did and I was told the audition was taking place in PortHarcourt. I went for it and scaled through. This is the little girl from Calabar, but I made it into the house and made it to the end, that was in 2006. Did that open doors for you? I thought the doors were just going to open just like that. I had just finished the Next Movie Star, but the industry told me “shut up”. It is not easy like that; you have to come pay your dues. I had to continue my struggle and search; the doors were just not opening. I was just doing more of soaps and for me I wanted to be an accomplished actor. I needed money, I had bills to pay and the money wasn't coming, so I decided to take up a job, and was just passive in the industry for two years. I left in 2008-2009 and came back 2011. Along the line, one producer sent me a message on Facebook, because I post pictures of the works that I have done, to say that they were casting for a particular Soap asking if I would like to be a part of it. He left a number so I thought to myself that he cannot kill me through my phone. So I called him and he asked if I could come to Egbeda for audition. I then called up a friend and ask him to accompany me so that he can save me if they wanted to kill me. We found out it was legitimate. I did the audition and eventually got the role. That was how I ended up playing the lead of that soap Tales of Eve, which has given me a lot of rave


reviews and exposure too. Is it that you didn't find your job fulfilling? I was good at what I was doing. When I put in my resignation letter, my boss refused to sign it but I was just tired of going to work in the morning and coming back in the evening. It was the same routine over and over again. My boss said I could work parttime but I had to make him understand that acting is either you are fully into it or you are not. What are the names of the moves you have featured in? In 2011, I featured in Avina and Encore. I have also featured in Ude me mi and Kokoma, both Royal Art Academy productions. Kokoma has been nominated for several awards. I went to Houston to receive an award for Best New Actress. There are others movies which I have featured in but do not know what they are titled. I also played the lead role in Brother's Keeper, Casket and Mama Africa. Presently I just finished Wide Awak. It is also a Royal Art Academy Production. I have done about 20 productions out of which I played the lead role in 15. I really had the vision and I stayed tuned to my vision and made sure that I pursued it. Was there a time you felt tempted to give up the struggle? I hate to be in an industry where I have nothing to offer and just be struggling, knowing that I cannot cope and nothing is forthcoming. Eventually, people would know that you are no good. I notice I was good at acting and I was ready to do everything to position myself as one of the best actresses. I kept pursuing my dream, even when the opportunity was not given to me. When the door started opening, people could see that this girl had something to offer. I didn't have to go for the open audition for most of the jobs I did. I just got calls to go for the closed auditions because they had seen what I had done. So for people who go begging, their time would come when people would be begging them with scripts. My story cannot be complete if I don't mention the Royal Art Academy; they have given me a huge platform. If I am recognised today, it is because of them. The very first movie I did with them was Ude me mi, an Emem Isong movie, and she just gave me a lead. And people were like are you serious? She didn't know me from nowhere. Someone just refer me to her and she said I should just come and she gave me her lead role. And subsequently she has been given me substantial roles and I had to register with her school. There I got

ntertainment some training. And they give preference to their students. So for me I would like to give credit to aunty Emem Isong and aunty Uduak Isong Ogunanam Those two women have given a good platform, that thank you is not enough. Do you work for Royal Art Academy alone? I have only done three movies with them. I work with other production outfits. I work with just about anybody. If you have a job for me and I like the script, I will come work with you. What I am saying is the Royal Art Academy encourages their own. They give preference to their own. In the movie we just finished, Wide Awake, they used me with a couple of students. What was it like working with A-List actors? It gives me goose pimples. I have work with Majid Michel in Java's House. He played the male lead while I played the female lead. It was a huge experience for me because he is one of the intense actors I know. I had to bring my ace game; I had to bring in all my training that I had gotten in this life to make sure that I was not subdued. And Majid is an actor that gives, so he was able to help me. Working with him was a revelation. What steps are you taking to ensure that your career stays scandal free? To me, scandal is relative. What you see as scandal might not be to me. I am a very free thinker and believe in live-and-let-live. I live my life to please myself. I put other people into consideration too, because I love helping people. I am in this world to serve people. I want to please myself as well as try to please others in the little way I can. If I do something to upset you, I expect you to come to me and tell me. People are always looking for something to talk about so if they want to talk, they can go ahead. Do you still model? I do modeling when I have the time. I did one recently, with a new hair braid Lolia. I am representing them. Do you still live with your sister? (Laughs) That is private. I will be giving out too much. I live in Lagos that is all. What is your favourite wear? I love short skirts, because I have got good legs. Are there plans on the way to settle down? It is every ladies dream to get married someday. So if you are the right guy and you are out there, make yourself known (laughs).


Gulder Ultimate Search 9

Ayo Ojueromi: A cheap way to exit


NTRIGUES are beginning to rear their faces in the ongoing Gulder Ultimate Search, showing on the family belt hours on AIT, African Magic World (DSTV) and Real Star (Star Times). The Gatekeepers' Fortune as the ninth edition is dubbed, already has two contestants booted out of the show, with the remaining 10 battling for the top prize. It would be recalled that Kofya Brown, the 25 year old Computer Science undergraduate, was shown the door (or was it the gate) Wednesday after she failed the first test by Gatekeeper Christopher Okagbue. But the case of Ayo Ojueromi, the second victim who was sacked from the Usaka forest gives a little concern considering the manner in which she lost her Golden Key. Could she have been so nonchalant towards her Golden Key; the singular most important item handed to each of the contestant, to have bagged an eviction? Or was somebody just being smart? She just couldn't find it as they prepared for their first assembly at The Place of The Talking Drum. She was obviously livid at the development and even the consolation from her fellow competitors would do nothing to assure her. She lost out; not to a major task, but for being careless. Chidi Mokeme, the Anchor man, had warned all the contestants about the importance of the keys during a surprise visit to their camp. He had told them that the keys represent the symbol of their participation in the search and that losing it signified eviction. Ironically, Ayo's key was found the next day by Bonford Patience on her way to the stream. If only some of the contenders had agreed that they should check for Ayo's key by the stream, maybe she would still be in contention for the Ultimate Prize. Earlier in the day, Uzor Osimpka and Nuhu Zigwayi were ordered to do 50 push ups each for not keeping their Golden Keys on the totem overnight, as instructed by Chidi Mokeme. According to Uzor, her decision to keep her key closely to her chest was the fall out of a subtle threat by Ogbuefi Michael that her key would get missing. The challenge of the day was “Climb and Dunk.” It involved the contenders picking up oranges, climbing up trees with the aid of ropes, and 'dunking' the oranges in the nets. Adah James finished first. His reward comprised a pair of clean stockings and an orange. Ezeh Priscillia emerged last. Her punishment was washing the clothes of fellow contenders. The night ended on a bright note for the contenders. Uzor was praised for her honesty while the Council of Elders sent a congratulatory message to them, through Chidi, for retrieving Ayo's lost Golden Key.



URS is a society where leaders including those who stole votes claim superior knowledge in everything even when they don’t have the faintest clue or handle on specific issues. I admired the tenacity and courage that Mr. Rotimi Amaechi deployed to wrestle his mandate to govern Rivers State at a time the former President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo displayed crass impunity in approaching his political party’s primary elections. Amaechi was ready to lay down his life to fend off the fiendish use of power by Obasanjo and was at the end adjudged the victor by the Supreme Court. Strangely, Amaechi has been going about the business of governance wearing the toga of Alfa and Omega, the one whose opinion begins and ends every argument. Amaechi is a Lawyer and we all know how they want their view points to dominate in other to secure favourable judgment, but it is high time he realized that government business is not court processes. It is not a plaintiff and defendant affair but a relationship in which the

Governor Amaechi’s wrong footing at Presidential Retreat best interest of the greater majority must be served by the decisions we make. From the news excerpts emanating from the recent Presidential Retreat on Sports, it appears that the erudite governor merely reduced all issues affecting sports (in his instance, football) administration to corruption in the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) just because he didn’t have his way with an obnoxious recommendation to dissolve the football body in 2010 following a poor outing at the World Cup and which preparations were supervised by a Task Force he superintended. In addition to stating that most governors are not funding football because of the corruption in the administration, he went on


Harry Iwuala to advocate the revival of primary school sports as the way to return Nigeria to glory years. While the governor’s paper should not becloud contributions made by other delegates at the retreat, it is imperative to correct some of his generalizations that are neither necessarily the truth nor scientifically verifiable. As a Lawyer, the governor knows that it is only the courts of competent jurisdiction that

can declare anyone corrupt for it to stand. It will be interesting to let the governor know that apart from those in power and their close family and friends, every politician and civil servant in Nigeria is perceived to be corrupt. If this generalization was to hold, then there will also be a general advocacy for the dissolution of governments at all levels in the same simplistic approach he chose to thread. It is surprising that the governor is still

holding on to that ill-informed and jaundiced advice that impacted negatively on the rating of President Goodluck Jonathan. The only persons who applauded that decision were people who are either detached from football or those who were trying to ride on Amaechi’s Task Force to claim what they couldn’t secure through the electoral process. He didn’t realize then that he was just a pawn in the ever intriguing football chess game where some persons who consider themselves the anointed ones tried every means possible to helm-lock football. The very learned governor says he is not funding football because of corruption at the center and one shudders to note that his state remains one

Usain Bolt to begin Man Utd career after 2016 Olympics W

ORLD’s fastest man Usain Bolt Tuesday hinted at plans to start his football career after he retires from athletics after the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics. The 100m and 200m record holder is an ardent fan of Manchester United and has never hidden his love to lace boots for the Red Devils after calling time on his athletics career. "I would love to play," Bolt said. "I've played football. I've played charity matches. Something I really want to try. "And after Rio, I'll just retire and just try and see if I'm any good in soccer, but I think I'd be pretty good because I play with my friends. I've played charity matches in Jamaica. I



BINNA Obiefule's Mosta struggled for most part of last season and had to wait until their final match before they were guaranteed Premier League survival. In the 2012 - 2013 campaign, Tar-Rotunda have started on a bright note, winning four of their last five matches. And this means the team are in contention for a place in Europe if they keep the momentum going. ''I would say we find ourselves in this position because the team made some signings in the summer transfer market, and the players were very

think I'm pretty good." If he does make a leap onto the pitch, his signature "lightning Bolt" stance could serve as a stellar goal celebration move. After winning Olympic gold at Beijing in 2008 and London this past August, Bolt will try to "three-peat" at Rio in the 100, 200 and with the Jamaican 4x100m relay. Even Bolt at age 26 must fight to keep Father Time at bay for four more years. "Depends on how I manage these four years," Bolt said. "I'm thinking that if I do my time; try not to work too hard... I can work over those four years. "It should be OK. I'm not really worried."

Obiefule sets 25-goal target good reinforcements. I am one of the few old players left in the team. ''Now, we don't just want to make up the numbers in the Premier League, we should be able to compete for the title and play in Europe next season. On a personal note, I have set for myself a target of 25 goals this season,'' Obiefule told Obiefule, the record goalscorer in the history of the Maltese championship, is 19 goals short of the target he has set for himself after eight rounds of matches played.


of the few that are running two football clubs in the Premier League. It simply does not make business sense since as we know it; football hasn’t become the commercial success we seek from the industry in Nigeria. Who are the Board of Directors of Sharks and Dolphins FC and what are their business antecedents? For a governor who swore to protect the interests of the people of Rivers State, it is my considered opinion that he has been misapplying state fund in a venture that is of little benefit to the people. Is it possible that the governor would have spent his personal money to maintain two nonproductive organizations that could have been better off merged as one? It explains why Sharks and Dolphins were among the clubs that embarked on strike a number of times in the last season to protest non-payment of entitlements. Remember at one point, the governor had to belatedly redeem a promise he voluntarily made to Dolphins some clear 12 months after the promise was made. It shows the weighting he allocates to football and other sports. My free advice to the governor is that he should create a model football club for Rivers State that will become the reference point for others in the Nigeria Premier League (NPL) so that the state will in the long run reap dividends of investing in club business as well as providing jobs not just for players but those who operate football allied businesses. Don’t tell me it cannot be done because at some point before they derailed, Enyimba International FC of Aba was approaching that threshold. It requires the right kind management, funding and guidelines rather than the political patronage-approach of appointments. And as one of the governors adjudged to be performing very well in the development of infrastructure and raising the benchmark for governance, Amaechi should lend that Midas wand to sports beyond hosting and winning the National Sports Festival. The suggestion to return to school sports is one of those clichés that have dogged the industry but which on closer examination lacks any fundamentals. Government doesn’t need to revive sports in schools but is required to provide the processes and facilities needed for schools’ authorities to make sports part of the pupils’ curricular. A situation where basic teaching aids such as conducive classrooms are not being provided across the states, it sounds utopian to talk of school sports revival. For those who have been championing the school sports revival campaign, it is unfortunate they view it only from the prism of organizing competitions. How many of the private schools operating in Rivers State own play grounds? This is not an Amaechi-specific problem but since he is the one advocating this move, he should as well lead the way. One only hopes that those beautiful facilities used for the 17th National Sports Festival are still recognizable and that they are lying idle waiting to be renovated for another championship. We will return next week with a look at the President’s mandate of 37 medals.



QUATORIAL Guinea steps forward once more to host an African tournament finals and it will be quite a lovely one with the women in town in full force. Earlier in the year, the Guineans played co-host to the 28th African Cup of Nations finals alongside Gabon, and it was an incomplete party, what with the Super Eagles of Nigeria and a number of top African nations absent from the houseparty. However, the setting for the 8th African Women Championship is every bit more convincing with the Super Falcons of Nigeria and the Women National Teams of Cameroon, South Africa, Equatorial Guinea, Senegal, Democratic Republic of Congo, Cote d’Ivoire and Ethiopia set to light up the firmament in Bata and Malabo for the next two weeks, starting tomorrow. Ethiopia’s football is in a euphoric state with the senior men’s team having also just qualified for the 29th African Cup of Nations taking place in the Republic of South Africa early next year. As I said at the opening ceremony of the FIFA Women Football Coaching Course in Abuja on Tuesday, the women’s teams have continued to do exceptionally well for the country and the least we can do as a Federation and as a people is to always encourage them.


UPER Eagles’ coach Stephen Keshi is looking for what he cannot get from abroad to shore up the senior national team. The former international, who coached Togo and Mali, wants to convince Nigerianborn Sydney Sam and Nedum Onuoha to don the colours of Nigeria in South Africa in the African Cup of Nations finals holding in January. Germany-based Sydney has just recovered from an injury which had sidelined him for months while Onuoha is of Queen’s Park Rangers in the English Premiership. The Bundesliga striker has turned Nigeria down twice and there are no new facts on ground to indicate that he will not turn Keshi down again. The blood running in his vein is more of German. His body, soul, spirit is German and he has nothing Nigerian in him as we speak except the fact that one of his parents is Nigerian. He speaks German and no Nigerian language though the language of football is universal. I would be surprised if he speaks English fluently which would make him feel at home in the camp of the senior national team. Sydney’s body language suggests that he would prefer to play for the former World champions where grass is greener rather than the two time African champions who are struggling to find their bearing in international football. Onuoha’s fortune in the English Premiership has nose-dived since he failed to make the grade in the current champions, Manchester City. The defender is struggling to make the grade in his new club and has continued to dip in form. He has expressed his preference for England several times and there is no point in convincing him further to embrace his father land which he never knew. If the half back cannot make the Three Lions’ squad, then he

Inside The


The 8th African Women Championship The Super Falcons will enter the fray as undisputed hot favourites having won SIX of the SEVEN editions that have been held, and with further intimidating credentials in fly Africa’s flag at every FIFA Women’s World Cup since the inaugural edition in 1991, playing at the Olympic Games in 2000, 2004 and 2008 and winning the gold medal at the All-Africa Games in 2003 and 2007. The setting in Bata on Monday, when the Falcons take on the Lionesses of Cameroon, will bear semblance of a revenge forum as the Nigeria team will be determined to avenge their Olympic Games qualifying defeat at the hands of the Cameroonian maidens. In October last year, only two weeks after the Super Eagles failed to qualify for the 2012 African Cup of Nations,

the Lionesses ambushed the Falcons in Yaounde, winning 2-1 for a 3-3 aggregate and then prevailed on penalties. The pain of that particular month has only just reduced but the Falcons can heal it completely by taming the Lionesses with ease at the Nkoantoma Stadium in Bata on Monday afternoon. The Lionesses went to the Olympic Games Women’s Football Tournament in London but were far from impressive. However, that is not to say that the Falcons should under-rate them when the two teams clash for the first three points of Group B. So many exciting matches are expected at Africa’s top women football party but the clash between Nigeria and Cameroon should rank as the choice of the group stage. The clash between

Equatorial Guinea and South Africa should also provide a lot of spark given the pedigree of the two teams – Equatorial Guinea won the only title that has eluded Nigeria in the 14-year history of the championship, when they hosted at home in 2008, and South Africa should be respected with a string of runner-up positions mostly behind Nigeria. It is a delight that we can talk about Africa’s women football in the same breath as the men’s, less than two-and-half decades after it was considered a pure joke to have a Women National Team. The reactions and gestures that followed the decision of then Nigeria Football Association to form a Women National Team in 1990 can still be recalled. But the team went ahead to qualify for the inaugural FIFA Women’s World Cup in a flourish, with some astounding scorelines somewhat solidifying the

position of the conservatives that the African continent was not ready for women’s football. The Falcons were brought down to earth against Germany, China and Italy at that World Cup but the team improved in USA in 1999 and did not do too badly at the last edition in Germany. Women’s football has indeed come to stay, with some of the conservatives among the game’s top backers today. Certainly, Nigerian ball fans will expect to see their Falcons lift the African Women Championship trophy in Malabo on 11th November, with the rocking drums of the ubiquitous Nigeria Football Supporters Club providing background music. The Falcons will be expected to pay back the Lionesses in shining coins in Bata on Monday, and then to defeat Ethiopia inside the same Stadium on Thursday, 1st November. The last game in the group will involve the clash with the Ivorians (who humiliated Mozambique in the qualifying series) in Malabo and it should provide some good test for the Falcons ahead of the semi finals, which may take them back to Bata. The truth is, while Cameroon (which eliminated Ghana), Equatorial Guinea, South Africa and Democratic Republic of Congo may flex muscles, Nigeria still remain the ultimate powerhouse of

Eagles: Making do with what we have has no business donning the colours of Nigeria in international football. We should not settle for second grade materials in the name of wanting to build a strong national team that can hold its own in international football. Onuoha and Sydney have not really proved themselves in Europe to warrant the attention of the national selectors. Invitation to the national camp should continue to be based on current form and both players currently do not have the credentials to make the national team of Nigeria. Keshi should look beyond the facts that they are Nigerians in Diaspora and that they were born abroad as yardsticks to pursue them for the national team. The history of their birth and their exposure to better facilities and trainers ought to make them better materials for the national team than those who started here, but these have not worked in their favour, based on their output in their various clubs. Presently, they have nothing to contribute to the national team of Nigeria, which is thickened with players of average disposition. That aside, they are unwilling horses and; therefore, should not be flogged like Balaam’s donkey to do our bidding. The players should be left alone to pursue their fancies and live their dreams in Europe. If they are top acts in their clubs, the Nigerian system of use-and-discard will not encourage them to shun better opportunities abroad to come home and play for the Super Eagles. The treatment meted out to players of Nigerian origin who had played for the country in the past will not work in our favour. Those who came in past after persuasions were dumped after playing few matches for the country and were left cursing the day



08050246155 they decided to come home. A good example in modern memory is that of Everton’s Victor Anichebe. The young striker was convinced to come home during Samson Siasia’s era as Eagles’ minder. He worked his socks out and showed great commitment while playing for Nigeria. He was a shade different from other foreign legion who never applied themselves fully while representing the country in games. They always play safe to avoid injury which could set them back in their chosen career. Anichebe never played safe and got injured in the process of giving his all for the country. The power-playing player has just returned to football after several months on the sideline and yet to convince David Moyes to start him in games. Nigeria never identified with him in his travails beyond a letter of sympathy from the desk of the Secretary General of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF). Anichebe was left alone to bear the brunt of the injury copped on international duty. Everton bore the cost of treatment which nursed him back to health. You can only learn from such lessons as human, and that is why the bully striker stated recently in an interview that he was not thinking of Nigeria. Onuoha and Sydney are not unaware of how Anichebe was left alone in one of his darkest days in football and that would weigh heavily in their decision to give Keshi a cold shoulder. The focus of the country should change from that of qualification to that of winning

the gong in South Africa. This is why the rebuilding process should wind down for serious work to begin on raising a credible team for the tournament. A house can be built in three months if money, materials and personnel are available. A sky scrapper is not being built so emphasis should now be on how to make the team gel and play as a team with mission. The Liberians had more possession of play in the last match in Calabar while we did the scoring. They play more as a team which had gone through the rudiments of training while the Eagles could not string passes together for a long spell. Keshi should have confidence in the array of players he has and re-mix them for greater effect. Aside the right back which was shaky in the game against the Lone Stars, the country should make do with the players that are available in other positions. They are the best the country can have at the moment. The fact that the country has hundreds of players plying their trade abroad and on home soil should not bring out the greed in the big boss. Going on another round of talent hunt by throwing the camp open would not add value and make the team player better. I disagree with Dan Amokachi that Shola Ameobi has something to contribute to the national team. The Newcastle striker has passed his prime. When he was much younger, he never impressed and showed nothing out of the ordinary to be considered for the Eagles. The burly forward

has been an average player all his football life and not in the same class with Emmanuel Emenike and Brown Ideye in terms of quality and result. There is no Nigerian striker in the business in Europe he can bench if they happen to be playing for the same club. As a coach, I would rather play without a striker if he were the only available option. Ameobi has turned down Nigeria in the past. He had his gaze fixed on playing for the English national team when he was much younger.

African women football, and will prove that beyond any reasonable doubt in Equatorial Guinea. The First-Ever FIFA Women Football Coaching Seminar... The first-ever FIFA Women Football Coaching Seminar ended on a happy note in Abuja on Wednesday, with the FIFA Instructor Fran HiltonSmith from South Africa paying her respects to the abundance of women football Coaches in Nigeria and the country’s position as a pioneer and powerhouse of the African game. At the opening ceremony on Tuesday, which I attended with a number of members of the NFF Executive Committee and Management, Fran Hilton-Smith, who is a member of the Organizing Committee of FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup, applauded the role of Nigeria as a pioneer of women football in Africa, and praised the tenacity that has gone into retaining the powerhouse status despite other countries also investing well in the women’s game. There were 25 women Coaches in all and they included Ann Chiejine and Okunwa Igunbor, two unforgetable members of the pioneer Senior Women Team of Nigeria. I believe the women Coaches have learnt a lot from this programme and this will definitely reflect in their approach to their jobs henceforth. The NFF will continue to encourage and support ‘Train-The-Trainers’ programmes for men and women, which is the only way to ensure real growth for the Nigeria game. Eaglets Have To Sustain... Tomorrow, inside the September 28 Stadium in Conakry, Guinea, the Nigeria Golden Eaglets trade tackles with their Guinean counterparts in the second leg of their 2013 African U-17 Championship second round fixture. The Eaglets must sustain the momentum after a 3-0 whiplash of the Guineans in Calabar two weeks ago that followed a 10-1 aggregate dismissal of Niger Republic in the first round.





Mercy Aigbe, Femi Adebayo in Ogbe

O'jez hosts Ikeja Club president, Oluwanishola

•Scene of the video

Hollywood Film Awards draw big stars

•Katy Perry





Are Jackie Appiah and Nadia Buari feuding?

•Jackie Appiah with Nadia Buari




Society Profile

THE NATION, Saturday, OCTOBER 27, 2012

STYLE Gossip Interviews


My husband went to university for master's degree but got me also

-Ekiti State First Lady Bisi Fayemi

SEE PAGES 44 & 45






Society Profile

Gossip Interviews


savours freedom

on course



Skinmatter D

O you care for a smooth, rich and vibrant skin? You need three basic things for this: Moisturising, cleansing and toning. While it is true that you really cannot stop the ageing process, but you can slow it down a bit and make your skin look its best all the time. Steps to follow: •Mix two tablespoons of potato flour with two tablespoons of glycerin and half cup of water. Fill up a pot with water; put the mixture in a pan and cook over the pot with the water. Make sure it’s not boiling. Cool and apply on the face as a face wash. •Mash and strain cucumbers. Smear the juice on clean skin and leave it for 10-15 minutes, then rinse with water. •Form a paste with fresh tomatoes and honey; apply the concoction on face for 20 minutes and wash off with water. The result will be a cleaner complexion with improved skin tone. •Melt some yeast in water and apply on face once a week. •Dry skin moisturizer: Mix the fleshy part of an avocado pear with one tablespoon of honey. Grind the mixture until it becomes smooth, apply the solution on the skin and leave for 20 minutes, then wash it off. •Oily skin moisturizer: For oily skin, squeeze the gel from one clove or leaf of Aloe Vera; mash it and mix with one tablespoon of olive oil. •Exfoliant. Simply mix finely ground oats and almonds or almond oil with enough extra virgin olive oil, for the mixture to fuse without crumbling. •Banana facial mask for dry skin: Crush a quarter of a ripe banana and mix with half a cup of natural yogurt and one tablespoon of honey. Apply the mixture on the face and neck and leave for 20 minutes, and then wash with water. •Velvety cleanser: Mix equal amounts of jojoba oil and coconut oil, and then double the mixture with water. Shake thoroughly before use. The cleanser will emulsify the dirt without stripping your face’s oils. * Egg yolk and honey mask. Mix one tablespoon of almond oil, one tablespoon yogurt and one egg yolk and apply on the face.




•Jojoba oil

•Aloe Vera



•Banana •Moet Abebe

•Adesuwa Onyenokwe



Perfect earrings for every hairstyle Ibironke ARIYO


EING an accessory, earrings radiates elegance and adds attraction to any look. So, it’s important to pick the right pair of earrings that will flatter your hairstyle, makeup and dress. Here are a few tips to help you pick the right earrings for your hairstyle: Medium to long length hair- Choose hoop-style earrings with caution. Hoop-style earrings add weight and curves to your face, making your face look round. For a round face, you should pick earrings of oval shape instead of going for circles. Choosing rectangular or square styled hoops is another way of adding dimension to your round face, paired with long hair. Other styles that will work best with long hair are elongated and oblong-shaped earrings. You can also choose to experiment with long danglers and chandelier style of earrings. Up-do style- Pick a dimensional earring, such as squares, diamond or gold drops. With an up-do, you can emphasize your neck area. And for that, long beaded earrings or chandelier earrings can be your pick. Teardrop earrings would also be a good option for an up-do hairstyle. Short hair- Short hairs are just perfect for showing off your earrings. You don’t have to worry about your earrings being hidden by your hair. With short hairs, you can pick anything from a plain button earring to stylish hoop or dangle. However, before making choices, keep in mind the overall look. If you have super short hair, then big hoops or dangle might look overwhelming. So, it’s important to choose the earrings, which complement your hair cut. Pony-tailed hair- Choose drop earrings in bright colours. You can also look for earrings in earthly materials like bamboo, wood and cork. These great choices will grab the attention of all and you will surely steal the show. •Garnet •Feather diamond earrings earrings

•Susan Peters

•Tesse Onokala

•Blue sapphire earrings

•Gold and Silver Double Hoop Diamondcut Earrings

•Rita Dominic

•Violin earrings silver

Miami Fashion Week 2013: W-Art & Design to sponsor 3 Designers


OR the first time ever since the fashion event started 14 years ago, African fashion designers are set to feature on the runway of the prestigious Miami Fashion Week, holding at the Maimi Beach Convention Centre, Maimi, Florida, United States of America, from Wednesday, March 20 to Sunday, March 24, 2013. W-Art and Design Ltd., a Lagos-based fashion and art consulting company, is the authorized African regional representative of Sobol-Perry Fashion Productions Inc., owners of the Miami Fashion Week. According to Mrs. Wunmi Oluwadare, the president of the fashion consulting outfit, W-Art and Design Company has lined up some activities here in Nigeria at the Nike Art Gallery Lekki, leading up to the fashion week in Miami, to ensure that the African segment of the show is impressive and even profitable. The first leg of the event •Mrs. Wunmi kicks-off with a Fashion Business Educative Oluwadare Seminar on November 3, 2012.

•Topaz leverback earrings

•Ogechukwu Osih

Final audition for Oreke Ibadan beauty pageant


he eleven local government councils that constituted Ibadanland will today, Saturday, October 27, 2012, at Omo Ajorosun Club House, along Total Garden Road, Ibadan, know who will eventually represent them at the grand finale of Oreke Ibadan Beauty Pageant Competition, billed to hold on Sunday, November 18, 2012 at Ibadan Civic Centre, Idi-Ape Road, Ibadan, Oyo State.The beauty pageant is part of activities marking this year’s Ibadan Week Festival 2012, organized by Central Council of Ibadan Indigenes (CCII) and marketed by Kingsize Entertainment and Capitech Consulting Ltd.At the first audition, held at the same venue on Saturday October 20, 2012, all the contestants from the eleven local government councils gave good account of themselves, via various display of cultural value, integrity, fashion parade and songs, to the delight of audience who witnessed the audition. Lanre Alabi, the official marketing consultant to Ibadan Week Festival 2012, said: “From all indications, it is going to be a keenly-contested beauty pageant competition among the eleven local government councils in Ibadanland. All the representatives are determined to make it to the grand finale because Ibadan Week Festival 2012 is unique, glamorous and fully-supported by all sundry. Also, this is the maiden edition, andthey want to make history.”



The First Lady of Ekiti State and Founder of Ekiti Development Foundation (EDF), Erelu Bisi Fayemi is reputed as one of the busiest Nigerian first ladies on account of her tight schedules. That much was confirmed by our correspondent, KUNLE AKINRINADE, who had a 16-hour encounter with her in Ado-Ekiti a few days ago. She also opened up on her life as the wife of the Governor of Ekiti State and a gender activist.


IKE others before it, October 9 was a busy day for the wife of Ekiti State Governor, Erelu Olabisi Fayemi. The previous day, she had been in Lagos for a meeting with some of her colleagues and had hardly closed her eyes for three hours as she spent the night putting finishing touches to an 18-page speech she was to deliver at the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Osun State. For the reporter, the opportunity to witness the itinerary of the famous rights activist came on a rather short notice. Her Special Assistant on Media, Akin Oyedele, had sent a text message inviting the reporter to be on the entourage of the First Lady of Ekiti State. “I have the instruction of Her Excellency to have you on her entourage today,” the message read in part. The reporter arrived the agreed meeting point at about 7.15 am and was briefly introduced to her media team by Oyedele. By 7.30 am, Erelu Fayemi, looking elegant in a black skirt-suit and a pair of red shoes, emerged from her room, signalling the commencement of the journey. Her convoy, made up of eight vehicles, arrived at the Ogere end of the LagosIbadan Expressway at about 9.15 am. At Ogere, there was a light traffic that lasted about 10 minutes. After about two hours, Erelu Fayemi and her entourage arrived at the OAU into the waiting hands of some alumni of the institution. She was immediately ushered into the Vice-Chancellor’s office where the VC, Prof. Tale Omole, eulogised her for her outstanding contributions to the university. “We want to commend you for your passion and interest in this school. We want to appreciate your effort for sparing your time to interface with the university,” Omole said. He then went on to intimate Fayemi with some of the activities lined up for her visit. He said: “We have a three-pronged programme for you. You are to deliver a lecture, lay the foundation for the Centre for Gender Studies and we are also hosting you to a lunch.” Erelu Fayemi signed the visitors’ register at about 11.20 am, after which Omole presented her with a gift. Her next port of call was the main auditorium, venue of the lecture, where she shone like a star. The programme commenced with a short poetry performance by Prof. Lere Oladitan. Oladitan rendered two poems, namely Eko and Mount of Pounded Yam. The performance, which lighted up the auditorium, ended at 12.20 pm and was immediately followed by Erelu Fayemi’s citation by Dr. E.T Babalola at 12.22 pm. Fayemi made her way to the dias at 12.30pm to deliver the institution’s Faculty of Arts Annual Conference Lecture entitled: “Re-enacting Leadership in Nigeria: The Place and Role of Humanities.” She held the audience spell-bound with her nearly two hours of eloquent presentation. So forceful was her presentation that at a point, she lifted one of her legs to drive home a point. One of her aides had to intermittently offer her a handkerchief to mop the beads of sweat that lined her beautiful face.

In the middle of the lecture, she noticed a member of the audience in the front row whose GSM phone had rung noisily. The Ekiti amazon politely asked him to step outside to answer his call in order not to disturb the rest of the audience. Condemning gender-based violence in her speech, she said: “Women in positions of influence should advance policies and laws that will protect women, provide for their needs and guarantee their wellbeing. “We need identities that affirm our rights as full citizens, with rights of participation, engagement and protest. We also need to assert our rights; to use the power of our numbers as a critical voting mass and bring to power men and women who will truly transform our societies and create the enabling environment for all marginalised people to thrive.” She did not end the lecture without sounding a note of warning to male undergraduates who are in the habit of abusing their female counterparts, saying that grave consequences await such errant students. Although the lecture ended at 1.32 pm, another 20 minutes was spared for a question-andanswer session. Thereafter, Fayemi was presented with the Ori Olokun bronze as a mark of appreciation by the Dean of the Faculty of Arts, Prof. Oladipo Salami at 2 pm. At about 2.15 pm, she left for the venue of a foundation laying ceremony of a building she intended to donate to the school as part of activities marking the institution’s 50th anniversary. After a brief ceremony, she was again presented with a gift of her life-size portrait. She turned the sod of the building of OAU Centre for Gender Studies at 3.15 pm, urging other old students of the insti-

‘No chemical has touched my hair in the last 20 years’

My husband went to Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), IleIfe, for master’s degree but got something more than that (laughter). We met in the classroom but got talking at Prof. Oluwasanmi Library. He was the one I was referring to in a joke earlier today, about someone who got more than he went to do at OAU...

•Erelu Bisi Fayemi

tution to contribute towards the infrastructural development of the school. She was subsequently hosted to a reception at the OAU Staff Club where Prof. Omole again showered praises on her for giving back to her alma mater among the over 80,000 other former students of the institution. The ceremony ended at 4.25. But just as the elegant Ekiti First Lady was about to step out of the hall, she was ‘hijacked’ by former members of the school’s Kegite Club for another round of discussion that lasted till about 4.55 pm. The journey to Ado-Ekiti thus began at 5.10 pm.The trip took the convoy through Erinmo-Ijesha and other communities along the axis. The convoy ran into a procession mounted by a group of jubilant supporters of local masquerades at Igede-Ekiti. Her train finally arrived in Government House, Ado-Ekiti at 6.50 pm, but the reporter’s hope of getting her for a chat took more than one hour to materialise. The chat eventually took place in an expansive living room that bore a life-size portrait of Governor Kayode Fayemi. Excerpts: Would you say that your life as a woman rights activist and gender advocate was by accident or a result of your academic background? I think my interest and passion for women’s



Oh, my hair-do? I am not going to tell you the reason (laughter)... Chemicals have not touched my hair in the last 20 years. I hate putting chemicals in my hair... So, I am comfortable wearing Afro because it is natural. But there is a secret about my hair I won’t let you into because I don’t want it for public consumption

•Erelu Bisi Fayemi rights started when I was doing my first master’s degree at the University of Ife now Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), IleIfe, Osun State. A very good friend of mine who had just returned from Canada suggested that I should write my thesis on women issues because she thought that I sounded like someone who should be interested in women’s issues. And at that time, I had no understanding of women’s movement and right issues. But this friend of mine gave me a copy of a book by Jemmy Griffin titled The Female Eunuch and the book completely changed my life and perspective. That gave me the courage to go to my professors to say that I would like to write something about women in Yorubaland, their history and their contributions to the socio-political development of the society. I met a lot of fantastic women in the course of the project because I travelled wide to places like Ondo, Akure and different parts of Ekiti. Those women I mentioned were not even major political figures, and that was where my passion for gender activism started. I later left for England to further my education and earned another master’s degree in Gender Studies because I wanted to acquaint myself with gender issues. I subsequently worked with various gender organisations and I decided to spend the rest of my life working as a women’s rights

activist. But apart from academic background, what other things influenced your life of activism? Did you experience cases of rights abuse while growing up? When people ask me why I do what I do, I tell people that it is because I always believe that women have choices on issues of concern to them. My father brought me up to know that I could do anything I wanted to do in life; that I could have my own opinion; that I could speak out my mind. He also brought me up to know the value of service to the society. So, with these values that I have learnt from my father, I find it strange when people say that women don’t have a right and that they cannot have the same advantage as men in our society. There was this lady who was like a big sister to me when I was growing up. We lived on the same street and she was into a violent relationship. Every other night, she got beaten up by her husband and he would lock her out. She would run to my father to help her talk to her husband. One night, when she ran to our house, my father was already in bed. My mother asked me to tell her husband that my father would see him the next day. I was shocked at what I saw when I got to their house. The man just barked at the lady. He was so rude to his wife even in my presence, saying: “Is that how you’ll talk to your husband? Put your

hands beside you and stand straight!” Then I said to myself, if this is what marriage is all about, I don’t think I’ll want to get married. In the five years that the lady was striving to earn a Higher National Diploma (HND), she gave birth to three children such that she could not focus well on her studies. This kind of situation encouraged my passion to fight women marginalisation and for the rights of women to have or make choices on issues affecting their lives. Your official project, the Ekiti Development Foundation (EDF), has succeeded in making a case for women through the enactment of gender-based laws which protect women from all kinds of abuses. But there are cases of men who suffer abuses from women too. What is the fate of such men in Ekiti State? Although, the law seeks to protect women’s rights from being violated, if there are men whose rights have been violently violated, they are free to come forward and their rights will also be protected by the law because it is all encompassing. But you know cases like that are in the minority, and that is why the vast majority of those who the law seeks to protect are women. Apart from the gender-based violence laws, what other things have you done to better the lots of people, particularly in the area of education? I am happy to say that the girl-child education is a source of pride in Ekiti State because we have more girls enrolled in schools than boys. And we have free education and child rights law which prevent parents from keeping their children at home in order to engage them in trading when they should be in school. The challenge we have is keeping girls in school, because they face a lot of issues. They are compelled to do some activities like cooking and selling while the boys while away their time. In the course of engaging them in trading activities or other things, they are molested by all kinds of people including their guardians, and they get pregnant and this stops them from continuing with their education. However, we are working with the Ministry of Education in order to embark on a sensitisation and awareness programme to highlight the implication of this and its effect on the education of girls and their future. Given the agrarian nature of Ekiti State, what have the women benefited from your project? Truly, Ekiti is largely agrarian and government is investing a lot in agriculture. But Ekiti Development Foundation (EDF) is focused on women development and empowerment. A lot of women are as well into subsistence farming and other activities like trading. And during my tour of council areas in January, we were able to provide women farmers with fertilisers. But it is not farming alone that women engage in. There are other activities that women do to earn a living; like trading, arts and crafts. We are funding them as well as assisting cooperative organisations with funds. Basically, what we are doing is to help them in order to ensure gender balancing in the distribution of wealth. It has been two years now that you became the Ekiti First Lady. Tell me about your greatest achievements so far? My greatest achievement in the last two years is the support I have given to my husband. Others include the enactment of the gender violence prohibition law, the Mul-

tiple Birth Trust Fund, creation of awareness for increase in women participation in government which occasioned the Ekiti Women Leadership Forum, and the organisation of Ekiti State Festival of Arts and Culture, etc. You and your husband had been into activism for some time before he became the Ekiti State governor. Now that he is a politician, do you have any particular line of disagreement on issues? I am someone who usually wants to get results on time. So, when situations like that occur, he would ask me to be a bit patient and that we would get the desired results soon. Therefore, we really don’t have disagreement because my husband is my best friend and we understand each other very well. How did you meet him? My husband went to Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile-Ife, for master’s degree but got something more than that (laughter). We met in the classroom but got talking at Prof. Oluwasanmi Library. He was the one I was referring to in a joke earlier today, about someone who got more than he went to do at OAU. What kinds of book do you read? I love biographies. And there are a couple of books I have read and still do. I have read books written by feminist writers like Alice Walker, Amina Mamah and Mayah Angelo, among others. I also like reading general literatures written by Wole Soyinka, Ben Okri, Chimamanda Adichie and a lot of literatures in the development world on women’s rights and gender issues. Which book are you currently reading? I am currently reading The Nomad by Aayah Helis and Omoluabi 2.0 written by a very good friend of mine, Wale Ajadi. What’s the attraction to your trademark Afro hair? Oh, my hair-do? I am not going to tell you the reason (laughter). But, to be honest with you, I like looking natural. Chemicals have not touched my hair in the last 20 years. I hate putting chemicals in my hair and I don’t buy the idea of African women looking like Caucasian ladies. So, I am comfortable wearing Afro because it is natural. But there is a secret about my hair I won’t let you into because I don’t want it for public consumption. What is your typical day like? My day starts early and ends late. But more than any other thing, I take proper care of my health. I go to the gym and I eat well. Because if you are not careful, your body may not be able to take you any further in your activities as you advance in age. I believe that the greatest asset any human being can have is good health and not material acquisitions. What should the people of Ekiti expect from you in the next two years? As part of the vision behind the establishment of EDF, we are embarking on the first ever Ekiti Food Bank that would cater to the needs of orphans, widows and People Living With HIV (PLWH).To this end, we have been registering people across the 16 local government areas of the state and to create employment for the people as well, particularly in the area of farming. Let me state that we are poised to consolidate on our success so far so that when next we ask for people’s votes, we can justify what we have achieved in the past four years.

46 After a glittering military career spanning over 30 years, Gen. John Shagaya (rtd) made his foray into politics as a senator representing Plateau Central Senatorial District of Plateau State from 2007 to 2011. A one-time ECOMOG Commander, and variously head of peace keeping operations in troubled parts of Africa and Asia, Gen. Shagaya ensured that peace was restored in war-torn Liberia, Sierra Leone, Angola, among others. An emblematic troubleshooter that he was in his days as a soldier, his home state of Plateau is encased in intractable crises of bleeding proportion with none able to guarantee peace. Senator Shagaya speaks about the trouble in Plateau, the collapse of the ‘monolithic North, his botched attempt to return to the Senate, among other issues, in an interview with the Assistant Editor, LINUS OBOGO. Excerpts:


NE would have expected that you would have made it back to the Senate, but that was not to be. What would you say went wrong? What I believe went wrong as at the time was the forcible nomination of a candidate by the governor of Plateau State under whose rule the state lost more lives and property since its creation in 1967. Some of us at that time thought that the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) would have allowed all the candidates of the party to emerge and go through the primaries for the people to choose whom they wanted to represent them. I lost hope in the democratic practice where someone else will be selected over the choice of the people, so I quit PDP and decided to just stay quiet. The convener of the North East Forum for Unity and Development (NEFUD), Alhaji Bello Kirfi, was reported to have called for the secession of the North from Nigeria, although some others elders disagreed with him. What do you make of this call, especially when considered against the background of the reported American Central Intelligence Agency´s (CIA’s) report predicting that there might be no country called Nigeria by 2015? Let me say that you have raised two issues and that is the so-called prediction by an American Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and secondly, the content of the outcome of the North East geo-political zone of the Northern Elders summit in Bauchi. For the latter issue, I want to say that I was not part of that meeting and I have not read the content or communiqué from the meeting and so, I cannot hold brief for the conveners of the conference. But suffice it to say that some


It’s a shame that I ensured peace in Liberia, Angola, Sierra Leone, yet no peace in my home state —Sen. John Shagaya •Sen. Shagaya

youths of the Southern part of Nigeria have irresponsibly raised the issue of the Delta region seceding from the rest of Nigeria. So, if there is any truth in the report of the Northern Elders summit, it might be in response to the reckless comment of the Niger Delta youths. And I believe that it is as a result of that reckless comment that must have given vent to whatever might be coming from the North. The President has consistently in the last nine months, in every address of his, maintained that nothing will cause Nigeria to break up. And if nothing else, he cannot be the variable at this point in the country’s history to be used to cause the break up of Nigeria. There have been those comments all over the place and anybody is free to want to make his comment heard. With regards to comments from America, I addressed a conference of the armed forces about two years ago on the issue. It was just about the time President Olusegun Obasanjo was leaving office and the late President Umaru Yar’Adua was involved in his electioneering, when suddenly, there was an outburst of a prediction allegedly by the CIA that Nigeria would break up in 2015. Following the frenzy, I went to America to do an investigation and it has since revealed that there was no such prediction by the CIA. What emanated from the so-called CIA prediction could have been a sponsored research. There was a young man, an American student, who was working on his PhD programme. The research had to do with global peace, global economy, crises, diseases and global everything. In his research paper, a copy of which I obtained from the university and which I have in my library, he touched on America and a host of countries and continents.

What did he say about America? He said America would soon be destroyed by cancer because of the concentration of chemicals in their diets. Most of what the Americans eat synthetic-based food like vegetables, meats and other dairy products. For instance, it is no longer a thing of surprise to find that a two-month-old broiler being consumed. Eggs are no longer naturally laid by chickens but genetically modified. So, that was that young man’s research on America. When it was the turn of Africa, the young man decided to narrow his research down to Nigeria and Kenya, but with emphasis more on Nigeria. What he set out to say is almost coming to pass with regards to the US and China. China today may be pretending to be feeding themselves, but in actual sense, they cannot feed themselves. They are all over the continent of Africa today looking for farmlands to farm and ship back to their people. And that was exactly what the young PhD student was saying in his thesis. In the case of Nigeria, all he was saying was that the country was a very powerful sub-regional country in west of Africa. He said Nigeria has managed to take up the responsibility of the security of the sub-region in the ECOWAS and the ECOMOG. And next to Nigeria would have been Egypt, but it has been bastardised because of its involvement in the Middle East crises. Next to Nigeria also, as an emerging power is South Africa. On Nigeria, he tried to publish from the result of the World Health Organisation research on HIV/AIDS epidemic and concluded that if we did not do anything about it to control the scourge and its spread, the country will lose so much of its population. And if Nigeria loses so much of its population, then the Nigerian armed forces would

also be depleted and so, by a certain period, if the situation is not properly handled, the country will not be able to perform the subregional watch-dog it is known for today. He also dealt with corruption and so many things that had to do with Nigeria. But some mischievous Nigerians just took one line from the thesis and went to town with it. It is akin to those who never read Salman Rushdie’s The Satanic Verses, only to be the first to go to the streets in protest against the book. I have read the book three times and I can tell you that unless you studied English or literature, you cannot understand what the author is talking about. Yet people who never went to school started carrying placards on the streets. Unfortunately, our politicians decided to just pick up one line from the thesis and went to town that the CIA predicted that there will be no country called Nigeria by 2015. It was purely an outcome of a research work by a university student. The CIA never predicted anything of that kind. What will make Nigeria to be no more is the inability of our leaders to handle some of the security issues and other challenges confronting us as a nation and blaming them on others. That is why when a man has a problem in Kano, he blames it on the President. When there is a problem in Jos, he blames it on religion and when there is a problem in the Delta region, it is blamed on Abuja. There is a growing tendency that when something happens in your state, you look for a scapegoat somewhere to hang it on. With due respect to the Yoruba, they have the most learned Islamic clerics in West Africa today. Do you find any religious crisis in the region? My answer is no! The reason why there is no religious tension in the



I share in the shame of Plateau... having served my country and other parts of Africa all my life, ensuring that there was peace in Liberia, Rwanda, Angola, there is no peace in my own home, which is Plateau State. It is quite a shame

South West is because of the high degree of literacy. The Yoruba respect each other’s right to religion. That explains why they inter-marry and still practise their different religions. While the Yoruba can fight and set themselves ablaze if it has to do politics, they will definitely not disagree and go to war on the basis of religion. That says a lot about their level of sophistication. The North is not more Islamic than the Yoruba. Whenever there are Christian festivities like Christmas or Easter, you will find their Moslem brothers and sisters celebrating with them and vice versa. Why is this not obtained in the North? The reason is simple, illiteracy. The crisis in the Northern Nigeria today is illiteracy. This has fuelled much of the trouble plaguing the region. As we speak, I am yet to find a professor of Islamic Religion from the North. There is none. Knowledge is grossly lacking and illiteracy stalks the region like an incubus. There is one Bishop Josiah Fairon of the Anglican Communion, Lokoja, an ex-military school boy. He was my junior in the military school. He holds PhDs in different areas of studies including Islamic religion. Yet he is a Christian cleric. He can discuss the Koran with the Sultan of Sokoto on an equal footing and knowledge. The Catholics also have a man who is well learned in Islamic knowledge in the person of Bishop Mathew Hassan Kukah, the Bishop of Sokoto. He is a Master’s degree holder in Islamic Religion. This is an addition to the PhD he holds. The truth is that once Nigerians realise that there is value in education and pursue it vigorously, we will understand ourselves better. The North is today believed to be at cross purposes with one another or a region of a babel of voices, leading to the argument whether there still exists what was once a

monolithic North. Was there ever such a bloc and if so, what may have gone wrong? I am now 70 years old. And I am old enough to be able to understand and to have seen the politics of Nigeria, the politics of the North and other parts of the country. By 1960, I was already a young man standing on a parade ground to be part of the Nigerian armed forces that ushered in Nigerian independence on October 1, 1960. So, one has seen and heard a little bit of what it used to be. There is one question we need to ask ourselves and that is, why is it that from 1953 till date, the Middle Belt decided to have a voting relationship, a political relationship with the South West? There was the United Middle Belt Congress/Action Group, a relationship which started in 1953, yet there was Northern Nigeria. The situation will be likened to what I described earlier in the Delta region, the Isaac Boro uprising of 1964. The youths of the Middle Belt of the early 40s and 50s believed that they were not being adequately carried along in terms of involvement in the administration. So, they discovered that in the South West, there was value, knowledge and understanding. But in the late 50s and early 60s, when Sarduana discovered the move by that geo-political zone, what he did was to get closer to the Middle Belt and he found out what was likely to be a revolution that would take part of the North to align with either the South West or the South East. When he discovered what the problem was, he drew the leadership of the Middle Belt in people like the late Joseph Tarkar, Paul Unongo, the late Sunday Awoniyi, Abdulraman Okene, among others, closer to him. Having brought them closer to himself, he decided to send them to universities outside Nigeria to acquire more education and come back to form a very good link between

their communities and the administration of Northern Nigeria. That was how he handled the issue and that was why a lot of the Middle Belters respected the late Sarduana. Even though he was a Moslem, he was the leader of the North who respected everybody and treated everyone equally until the coup of 1966 consumed him. His most trusted person was his principal private secretary, the late Sunday Awoniyi, a Christian. Each time the late Sarduana travelled to Israel, he would buy the latest version of the Bible for Awoniyi. He would tell Awoniyi: ‘Your God is a good God. Stay close to Him’. There was nothing people didn’t do for Sarduana to sack Awoniyi because he was not following him to the mosque on Fridays. But the Sarduana said no, because he felt there was one God and there is still one God and there shall be one God. So, when I hear people speak about monolithic North, I come to the conclusion that it is used for cheap acceptability. Since 1967, when Gowon decided to break northern Nigeria into six states with six more from the South, bringing it to 12 states and subsequent state creation, each state has been ruling itself. So, the so-called monolithic North will not arise again. Only leaders who lack the initiative will want to go on hanging onto something which no longer exists. Even though others may think differently, that is what I think. I was a Minister for Internal Affairs for five years and I was the first Christian to be in that ministry for five years. The point I am making is that for those five years, I was the chairman of the interreligious committee and I made sure that through dialogue and understanding, the North and the South West observed Sallah on the same day. Until 1985, the North would not accept the sighting of the moon of the South West. So, there were two Sallahs and different Sallah holidays. It took a lot of understanding to manage the situation. We need that kind of understanding today. When Izalla Moslem sect wanted to create problems in 1982/83/84, no one knew who they were and the only way we could destroy the Maitasine sect was to acknowledge that there was a sect called Izalla. We recognised Izalla and we gave them a certificate and told them that they could practise but they should make sure that JNI and CAN knew who they were. When we did that, Maitasine disappeared. The Izalla was fighting for recognition and as soon as they did that, they sheathed their sword. They have their headquarters in Jos which is a Christian state. So there is value in respecting people and knowing their worth. Again when in 1987, there was this big religious crisis in Northern Nigeria and I was made the chairman of Organisation of Islamic Conference (OIC), I had the responsibility to handle the issue and I worked with people from other religions. I remember then that we were desirous to be in the OIC, but the timing was wrong. We said since we were still suspicious of one another, it was better we pulled out and return to the status quo as an observer country. That was the decision at the time. But the question is, who launched Nigeria into an observer status of the OIC? It was General Yakubu Gowon (rtd), who was a Christian head of state and I saw nothing wrong with it because as human beings, we must recognise the existence of each other. If OIC was handled the way you explained it, why was it alleged to have caused the resignation of the former Chief of General Staff, Commodore Ebitu Ukiwe (rtd), from the IBB-led military junta? What happened then was high level politics which I am incompetent to speak on. That was not the reason. Unfortunately, Gen. Sani Abacha is now late, but if he were still alive, then he could contradict me. What happened was that there was conflict as to who truly should be number two and it had nothing to do with the OIC. Ukiwe, as the Chief of General Staff, was the number two, that is second in command to Babangida, but Sani Abacha would never recognise him as number two. He believed that as the Chief of Defence Staff, he should have been number two. So that was the high level politics that was going on then. Ukiwe lost out because something happened, and it is that something that you should investigate. Was that what obtained in previous military regimes before your time, lack of respect for hierarchy? The answer is no, which was why I said that at that time, there was crisis of leadership. You can go as far back to Gowon’s regime. He had just spent a few hundred days then and there was confusion as to whether his regime would survive or not, because of

the killings in the North and part of the West, so there was that lack of confidence. When Gen. Gowon was in the saddle, the number two man would have been Brig. Ogundipe. But he gave an order to a corporal to do something and the corporal told him that he could not take orders from him. Immediately he told Gowon that he could not be his number two, since an ordinary corporal could tell him that he could not take orders from him. So Gowon sent him as High Commissioner to London. Again, when the cloud surrounding that administration settled, Gowon then took the next most senior military officer, Admiral Akinwale Wei. So, there was respect for hierarchy. When the late Gen. Murtala Muhammed took over as head of state, he took the most senior military officer as his deputy, that was Gen. Olusegun Obasanjo. When Murtala was assassinated and Obasanjo took over, the next most senior was not Shehu Musa Yar’Adua. It was Theophilus Danjuma. But Theophilus said since Murtala was assassinated, it would be better to give the position of number two to someone from the region where Murtala came from to assure them that the administration meant no harm. That was why I said that Abacha and Ukiwe’s situation was peculiar. Ukiwe is alive, so he can speak for himself. The highest sense of discipline was observed throughout the military administration and especially under IBB. If there was none, there would have been no way that IBB would have dismissed a colonel for refusing to account for N300,000 travelling allowance that he collected. The North appears to be opposed to the inclusion of the six geo-political zonal structure in the constitution. Is there anything the region is afraid of? Unfortunately for the North, the six geo-political zonal structure is in the military decree. It will be interesting to know the particular individuals that are sharing these extremist views. You can’t say that all the 19 Northern governors will be speaking with one voice. It is not true. Plateau State may not share in that. If the Delta region fought for self-governance to the extent that they carried arms in 1964 and today they have three states, Delta, Bayelsa and Rivers, why should someone wake up and say that they must go back to former Eastern Nigeria? Is it possible? If the Middle Belt, the United Middle Belt Front and the Borno Youth Movement which did not also want to believe that they belonged to the Hausa/ Fulani groups, because the Borno Empire believes that they are more Muslims to the core than the Hausa/Fulani who were conquered by Usman Dan Fodio. That problem still exists; hence the Shehu of Borno would not accept 100 per cent the authority of the Sultan over him. Is the person advocating for a return to the old regional structure speaking the minds of everyone? These are conflicting issues. That is why we have to understand the standpoint of whoever is commenting on an issue. As former ECOWAS Commander, you put your life on the line to bring about peace in the West Africa sub-regionLiberia, Sierra Leone, Ivory Coast and other troubled spots in Africa. How does it make you feel to be described as a commander who ensured peace for others but has no peace in his own homestead? Well, I have always admitted before the media that I share in the shame of Plateau for three reasons: having served my country and other parts of Africa all my live, ensuring that there was peace in Liberia, Rwanda, Angola, there is no peace in my own home, which is Plateau State. It is quite a shame. The second reason is that the man who administers the state today, Governor Jonah Jang is a retired colleague of mine in the armed forces where you would think the highest discipline and respect for human lives should be sacred and therefore would have been called to order by his GOC or the president, were he still in the armed forces, yet he appears clueless and helpless and cannot be called to order. It is a thing of shame. The third reason is, as a Christian who is God-fearing and who believes in the faith I uphold, that human live is sacred, and yet I see lives and property being destroyed and I cannot do anything about it, all in the name of democracy. So I also share in the shame.



Why purported removal of Kogi Speaker can’t stand —Chairman, House Committee on Information Hon. Saidu Akawu Salihu is the Chairman, House Committee on Information and Public Enlightenment of the Kogi State House of Assembly. In this interview with SANNI ONOGU, he described the recent removal of the Speaker, Hon Abdullahi Bello, and other principal officers of the House by 12 out of the 25 members of the legislature as a rape on democracy, an invitation to anarchy and a ploy to further polarise the people of Kogi Central. Excerpts:

•Hon. Salihu


HE peace in Kogi was recently shattered with the purported removal of the Speaker and the principal officers of the House. Do you think the new leadership has come to stay? Certainly, it cannot stay based on the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. Things have to be done orderly. Things have to be done in line with the Constitution of Nigeria. So, what we have been hearing about the purported impeachment is null and void because you need two-thirds of the members of the Assembly to be able to remove the Speaker even if you have a reason to do so.

But here we are. Some dissident legislators, about 12 of them, convened the House illegally because we had been on budget appraisal and had been out of plenary. We were supposed to resume on the 18th of October, 2012. Two days to resumption, they came up with this kangaroo sitting. Now, they don’t have the power to proclaim the House. The procedure for proclaiming the House is very clear. It has to be proclaimed by the Speaker of the House based on request from majority or minority leader jointly for the consideration of the Speaker. On that note, the Speaker has the discretion to call back the House. The dis-

sident legislators broke into the House and, of course, it is illegal. Secondly, we are 25 members and 12 people sat and said they had impeached the Speaker and have sacked all the principal officers. They did not even have simple majority let alone two-thirds which is 17 of 25. So, they are just jokers and should not be taken seriously. They are just tools in the hands of the executive to destabilise the House. Honestly, this is unfortunate for Kogi because it is a state that is yearning for development and we should not suffer this distraction at this time. The 12 legislators you just talked about alleged that they removed the Speaker be-

cause of his high-handedness. How do you respond to this? Honestly, this is totally false, and I am saying it from the bottom of my heart that the Speaker is an epitome of humility. He has handled the House with absolute sense of responsibility and with respect to every member. So, that high-handedness is neither here nor there. They are all lies. How would you describe the relationship between the Speaker and the governor before the alleged impeachment? The Speaker as a person and the Speaker as the leader of the parliament has really been friendly with the Governor and the executive in general. Virtually all the bills that have come from the executive he has really urged members to give it accelerated passage. Everything he has done is to promote good governance in Kogi State. Before this time, we never had any particular problem. The one I can vividly remember, which was not the fault of anyone, was the swearing-in of the Speaker as Acting Governor in January, based on the directive from the Supreme Court. Collectively, 25 of us sat and reviewed the situation; the implication of any prevarication on the peace and good governance of Kogi State, and we all resolved that he should be sworn in. Of course, when it was later decided that Wada should be sworn in, we called him back and went back to our legislative duties. That is about what I can remember as a difference between us and the executive. And, of course, when the liaison officers were appointed to handle the affairs of local governments, based on the spirit of the Constitution, the House unanimously signed that it was illegal and that the government should not take that direction and urged the state government to conduct election. Again, my suspicion of this latest assault on the legislature stemmed from our resolve to go on oversight to appraise the budget. I think somehow wrongly, they got it by the executive as if we are trying to be inquisitive and probe the executive. Of course, if we have the reason to, we will. But this was an exercise that was carried out in line with our duty. Each time, a new budget is coming up, we take appraisal of the current one and see the performance so that we can be well informed and handle the incoming one on the basis of the input we have generated from the budget appraisal. Somehow I think some people misadvised him to see this as an affront. Do you think all the things you have mentioned are what some people in the executive have labelled insubordination on the part of the Speaker? They can explain the insubordination. I just told you this is in line with our call. So, insubordination is neither here nor there. We were just doing our job. But if this is what they referred to as insubordination, I think it is unfortunate. They said the House and by extension did not rise up to the occasion when about 20 people were killed at a Deeper Life Church in Okene and later two soldiers were also killed barely a day after. How do you want to respond to this? This cannot be true. As you know people try to pander to sentiments. These are emotional issues. They even also included that of flood because they it is highly emotional and they want to weep up sentiments for their


THE NATION, SATURDAY, OCTOBER 27, 2012 nefarious act. On the issue of the killing in Okene, the Speaker was even in Saudi Arabia and on the very day he came back he called us and we paid visits to the army commandant and other security outfits in Kogi to commiserate with them on the loss of their soldiers and to thank them for taking control of the situation. We had an executive session with all the security chiefs in Kogi State and we tried to appraise the situation. Of course, we rubbed minds and made inputs. The Commissioner of Police publicly acknowledged that of all the state functionaries, it was even the Speaker that showed concern about the situation. So, wherein lay their claim of insensitivity to the plight of the people? These people are trying to be crafty and to play on sentiments. They know that these are highly emotional issues and could weep up sentiments so that Kogites will accept them and throw their faces away from the illegality and unconstitutionality of their action and just act on emotion and sentiments. But there is no room for emotion and sentiments here. On the issue of flood, of course, I told you we were on budget appraisal and that there was no plenary. So, there could not have been a resolution on that. But as the Chairman, House Committee on Information, I issued a statement on behalf of the House. In that statement, we commended the Federal Government, the state government and even agencies that had come to sympathise with us and donate to the victims. We went ahead to issue a statement that as we resumed plenary, we were prepared to even approve a supplementary budget for the state to be able to cope with this unforeseen natural disaster. This is to prevent the state from being caught in a budgetary lacuna that they cannot act. We have shown good faith. And, of course, when we resumed on the 18th, one of the first motions we took was on the floods. We went through our promise that we were ready to accept any supplementary budget from them so that the state could cope with problems arising from the floods. Of course, the Speaker too has made a visit to the Adankolo camp to sympathise with the victims. So, I don’t know what they are talking about flood and this illegality except to deceive the public and to sound populist so that the people would think they mean well. You can see somebody parading himself as the Speaker, visiting camps and donating money. I think Kogites should ask where that money is coming from. Of course, we are all members and we know the finances of the House. We know our individual finances. They should ask him who gave him the money. What we are seeing is the voice of Jacob and the hand of Esau. So, Kogites should shine their eyes and see that what is happening in Kogi State. It is a dictatorship and, of course, the House will resist it democratically and legally. You would recall that during the administration of former President Olusegun Obasanjo this kind of scenario played out and aggrieved members were able to take legal action to recover their mandate. What steps do you hope to take to correct the present abnormality? We are law abiding citizens of Nigeria. We are lawmakers. We won’t break the law. We will first of all call on the security agencies to get their act together and give us the enabling environment for us to perform our duty. If we are allowed to perform our duty under our legitimate Speaker, then the matter ends. But if not, of course, we will have a recourse to legal action because what happened is a rape on the Constitution and a travesty of the rule of law. If we don’t fight it now, we will be establishing a precedent in Kogi State and, by extension; Nigeria where anybody can just wake up on the wrong side and think of shutting down the parliament We will take all legitimate action available to us. We are also appealing to wellmeaning Nigerians and Kogites in particular; this is the time to show leadership. Let our leaders come out and take interest in what is happening in Kogi State. We have eminent leaders. We have former national chairman of the party. We have former senators. We have retired generals. Those who fought for the creation of the state, they must not allow the state to slip into anarchy. After the purported sack, have you met with the national leadership of the PDP at the level of the party hierarchy and the Presidency? If yes, what are they doing to ensure that the matter is amicably resolved? Of course, we have written to the party at the national level to let them know what is

•Hon. Salihu

happening. We have written to our eminent leaders in the National Assembly. We have also written to the Federal Ministry of Justice that the rule of law is on trial in Kogi State and that they must all wake up to their responsibilities and stop this rape on democracy. We have written to the Inspector General of Police particularly about our security because on the night of the day this happened, at an ungodly hour of 2 am, the police went and withdrew the security detail of the Speaker. The message is clear to us that all of us in that line are not safe in Kogi State. I am using this medium to call on the IGP, the Director General of the State Security Service and every person concerned with security to take special interest in what is happening in Kogi State and give us the enabling environment to go back and perform our duties. We hear that some of the 13 members presently supporting the Speaker are being intimidated and induced to dump the cause. Is that true? Of course, it is true. But what I can say is that individual members will speak out at the appropriate time. But there are members who have rejected inducements on the principle that they have no basis to remove the Speaker

because he has not committed any offence. Of course if he has, I can assure you that even I will be at the vanguard of his removal. But I have not seen any. Our relationship with the executive has been normal. Like I said earlier, all the executive bills, the budget and the commissioners’ list sailed through. In fact the commissioners’ screening went in a manner that we nearly caught the wrath of Kogites. But we said we had wasted much time before the list came up, hence we should give the approval and let the government start implementing its programmes. Unfortunately, we are nine months into this administration and I don’t think the executive can point to any single project it has done. I mean, you cannot even point to an ongoing one. Do you see any bearing between this impeachment and the cases against the Governor in court? As per the case he has in court, we are equally concerned. I am a PDP man. The Speaker is a PDP man. Nobody will wish him to lose his case because if we lose it, it is setting us back. I am not from the opposition. But what is central here is good governance and Kogi State. For the government to veer off and start thinking of influencing the leadership of another arm of government, for me it is a distraction

If we are allowed to perform our duty under our legitimate Speaker, then the matter ends. But if not, of course, we will have a recourse to legal action because what happened is a rape on the Constitution and a travesty of the rule of law. If we don’t fight it now, we will be establishing a precedent in Kogi State and, by extension Nigeria where anybody can just wake up on the wrong side and think of shutting down the parliament...


that is unnecessary. For an arm of government that has cooperated with you all the while; that has attended to your bills promptly; that has screened your commissioners without asking questions. I mean we have no reason to be in this situation except somebody is not telling us what he feels. But what I am saying is that Kogi deserves good governance. Kogi deserves to be a model in rule of law because in Northern Nigeria it has been said that in First Republic, Kogi was the model. Majority of the personnel that held sway then were from Kogi and, of course, today, Kogi is taking a place that is undesirable. So, let us all join hands to enable Kogi take its rightful place in the comity of states. We are aware that the House of Representatives and the Conference of Nigeria Speakers have set up a committee to look into this matter. Have they met you or have you made any presentation to them? They are yet to. But let me say that we are happy with their intervention and I do hope that it will yield the desired result; that is for them to at the end of the day establish the legality, constitutionalism and obedience to the rule of law. Honestly, that was the point I made that we have eminent leaders. We have people who have been national chairman of our party before. We have people who have retired as generals. We have people who have served as senators and former attorney general of the federation. We have them in Kogi State and they should speak out on this matter. They should rescue Kogi because what is happening is going to precipitate a major political crisis. Look at Kogi Central for instance, we are beginning to be happy that situation has calmed down there and now you are setting up a fight between two brothers. That is unwarranted. Obviously, their supporters will be bitter with themselves and we may be regressing into the past which we are all happy that we have left. So, anybody who is going to really govern Kogi must be very sensitive to some of these realities and that is the point we are making. There are insinuations that the problem the leadership of the House is facing is a fall back to January 27 when the Supreme Court ruled that five governors who earlier had their tenure elongated should step aside for the Speakers to take over. Secondly, they also accused the Speaker of not being present when President Goodluck Jonathan and David Mark visited Kogi State to commiserate with the flood victims. How do you want to respond to this? Like I said before on the issue of swearingin, it was not our own design. It was the position of the Supreme Court and in deference to that we all met as a House, including those who are fanning these allegations of insubordination or whatever. I mean those who are plotting against the leadership of Bello that we had no other option than to obey the rule of law. We urged him to step forward and be sworn-in and he was duly sworn-in by the Chief Judge of the state, having explained the position of the law and the order he too got from the Supreme Court. Since then, we have noticed that this thing has not got off the mind of the executive. But again, I think it will amount to just causing unnecessary friction because since the centre reversed the situation as it were, we told the Speaker that is the end of the road. We went back to our legislative duties and since then we have been cooperating with the executive. We have not had any cause to reject anything sent by the executive. On the visit of the President, one, the House was not even formally invited. But that is not even the main reason for the absence of the Speaker. Before then, he had travelled to Abuja to attend the public hearing on constitutional amendment under the auspices of the conference of speakers to present the position of the State House of Assembly. So he was not even in the state. And like I said, there was no formal invitation to the House as a body. So, it was not deliberate. Like I told you, what these people are doing is to weep up sentiment and to set us up as people who are rude and cocky, especially to Mr. President who we all love and respect for his transformation agenda. As a matter of fact, we have declared on the floor of the House several times our association with his transformation agenda. So, it would have been a golden opportunity for our Speaker to be there. It is unfortunate that our members are trying to weep up sentiments; our own members who never had a formal invitation from the state government to join her in receiving the President.



My husband wants us to have a threesome Dear Adeola, I have been reading your column for a while now and I am most of the time pleased with your responses. Now, please attend to my case. My husband and I are happily married, my husband has wanted to give me threesomes (MALE-FEMALE-MALE) and it just really makes me hot to think about giving me that. I am really nervous about this and also very uncomfortable with the thought of being naked in front of anyone else. However, I have to admit that the hottest sex we have ever had, has been when we fantasized during sex about it. We had made some contacts with some guys and couples thru Nigerian Adult sites on the net but have not invited any one yet. Any one reading this my case ever been in this spot and how did it turn out? Please don’t get religion involved. Yours, Yinka. Dear Yinka, sex in marriage is one of the greatest gifts God, the Maker of mankind gave to us to enjoy. In fact, more than all games in the home, sex comes first. I am one of the supporters of anythinggoes in the bedroom so far it is with your husband alone. Now, the word ALONE does not include other people – men or women. I’m sorry, I’m a deeply spiritual person, and so, even if you won’t want me to talk about the position of religions as they relate to sex, I will talk about the spiritual implications of engaging in negative acts. Twosome, threesome and all other sexual acts are satanic practices that allow negative energies to come into our lives and our homes.

We form soul ties when we go into sex with people. It is okay if those people are our married partners. But the moment we engage with people outside marriage, we are linked to them and we may continue to long for them. That, I can say will destroy the very happy marriage you claim to have now. Yinka, don’t be deceived that your kinky husband will stop at bringing another man to your bed. In truth, no sane man would want to see another man do it with his wife. So, if your husband wants to see you being made love to by another man, he wouldn’t think twice before he starts bringing other women to sleep with in your presence – whether you participate or not. Would you like that? There are so many foreign practices we try to copy, but those who have done it before will tell you that it comes with pains and regrets. Nothing will ever be the same again after that. After a threesome, especially one which you exhibit pleasure, you will not be a real wife to your husband again. You will become a sex toy. I know a society lady who allowed her ex-husband to do that in their marriage years ago. She eventually lost the man to an innocent girl living with them. There are many tips on enjoying a great sex with your husband and remove boredom., have you thought about doing it in the kitchen when you are sure you have sent the kids away for the weekend? You can pretend to be doing the dishes while he comes from behind to kiss and hold you. You can even do it anywhere when you’re sure no one is watching. There are so many sex toys I can even bring for you as I’m on holiday in the UK at the moment and I bet, you will both have sex like never before – ALONE! Please, don’t do it with other people.

He wants us to be seen together but I don’t want to Hi sister, great job so far, I love your column. I’m a girl of 19 and in a relationship. I love my guy so much but d problem is he thinks am not proud of him on account that I don’t and wouldn’t want anyone from the church to see us together. I admit to that because I’m afraid of how my mum will feel when she gets to know that I’m dating someone in church. Although I’ve tried explaining things to him but he wouldn’t listen. As a matter of fact, he wants us seen together. Please help me out, I love him so much and I really want to eraze that thought from his mind. Betty. Dear Betty, there are dangers in dating a guy and hiding it for whatever reason. Even in relationships obvious to the world, you still see people trying to make passes at one or both of the partners in that relationship. So what do you think would happen to both of you when people don’t even know you’re dating? Fine girls from the church will be giving your guy the come-on signs and praying he notices them. A lot of these girls wouldn’t wait to be noticed by him before they announce it to the pastor that they are in courtship. A friend of ours who is recently divorced started getting friendly with two girls who were both co-workers with him on the same church unit. In his mind, he was just being friendly and would occasionally drop one of them who didn’t have a car off. He got an invitation by the church pastor one day and to his astonishment, the pastor told

him he should chose just one out of the two sisters and not confuse them by proposing to the two of them. The sisters had had an open fight over him in the church. That is how desperate women

have become now. So when you have your own, make it known that he has a ‘mark’ and save him from other girls. If your guy is god enough for you to love and date then, it

shouldn’t be a problem to let mummy know about him. As a matter of fact, it is even better for him to meet your mum properly as your boyfriend. That could set the pace for a happy and decent relationship.

How can I continue my relationship with these three guys without having sex with any of them? My dearest and sweetest Mummy Adeola, it's your daughter Ndifreke (I'll never forget). I'm 19 years and I'm about starting university. I have three close friends, they're all graduates, so intelligent, courageous and altruistic, also they're my mentors and I learn a lot of things from them being intelligent and I wouldn't like losing them as well. So please mummy, how can I continue my relationship with them without one disclosing I have an affair with the other and also without having sex with any of them, mum please help me, I love you so much. Dear daughter, I'm sure I didn't quite get your message about one not disclosing to the others that he's having an affair with you. Are you having an affair with one of them? If you are, then, it may be a good idea to let the others know. This will forestall the incidence of any of the other guys coming to ask you out. Below are tips on maintaining a platonic relationship with your male friends:

"Do not give your friendship any sexual meaning. If you want to be only friends, keep it that way. Do not touch or talk to the guys inappropriately. Do not use words with sexual connotations if you do not want the friendship to delve into another territory. "Keep your feelings in check when people constantly try to imply that the platonic friendship is more that what it seems. Do not let others ruin the relationship that you have with their awkward questions and hidden expectations. Instead, define your own world with your platonic friends. "Avoid discussing feminine related matters with your male platonic friends. Do not treat them as your other girlfriends

and reserve your judgment until asked. Spend time with them whetgher together or apart from each other but do not take them to for a little shopping spree. Keep that reserved for your girlfriends. "Maintain a high opinion of your platonic friends. Do not undermine their intelligence and let them participate in general conversational topics. Do not mock other men in front of them. "Be respectful of each other. Avoid being in a situation or a position which can compromise your friendship later on. Do not use unorthodox methods to test your friendship. Appreciate what you have as any such false move can push the limits and destroy the beautiful bond.

Lost contacts The Esans, Tayo Uyin wants to reach you! Hi Adeola, kindly publish this in your column- Funmilayo, Funke and the twins Seyi and Seye Esan, we were childhood pals when their mum was the principal of XT Girls Ado to Methodist Girls Ifaki all in Ekiti and their dad Prof Olanipekun Esan was at Adeyemi Coll of Educ. Ondo all in the eighties. Please contact me on: 08028805163/08133725258 if you have information about any of them. - Adeniyi Tayo.

Hearts With Adeola Agoro E-mail: Tel: 08023162609

From London with love In the past, I wouldn’t think twice before packing a bag to go abroad on holiday. Holiday for me could be just anytime in the year I needed a more clement weather. The good thing about all those years was the fact that I could do my journalistic job from any part of the world. And with the internet, my stories never failed to get to my editor’s table right on time. I was nicknamed the ‘visiting editor’ while I served as Society Editor of The Nation. My overseas trips were so regular even I could not predict when I would take off again. Of course I was five to six years younger then and even though I was focused, I still had some excesses. All that has changed. The last holiday I took was last year. I have learnt that as we grow older, many things change naturally and we have to be more grounded to handle life. It’s been an eventful period for me between last year and now. All in all, my Maker has not left my matters in my hands. I have seen my Feranmi become a freshman at Babcock University at his very young

Matchmakers Females for love •A widow aged 45 and a teacher by profession needs a Godfearing Christian man, preferably a widower from the South-West aged btw 50 to 60. Contact: 07067989910. •Shade, 30, a divorcee who lives at Ibadan is interested in meeting anybody from anywhere. Contact: 07053621388. •Ginny, 26, resides in Abuja, B.Sc. graduate, self-employed, needs a working class man aged 32 and 40 for a serious relationship. Contact: 08060270630. •Sole, a single girl of 35 years, a graduate and a believer who is into cloth selling wants a working class guy of about 40 years or over for marriage. She promises to be honest. Contact: 08023842253.

Males for Love •Bukola, 47, civil servant widower, base in Lagos, need

From you to me Your column has been the one I found interesting and worthy of commendation. Can you therefore think of floating a club, on weekly or monthly basis within Lagos, where “bad girls”, frustrated, divorced and the widows could meet, share experiences, possibly make amends and perhaps make new friends among their male counterparts? I bet it will pay off. From Kevin-Bee phone:.08159852726. P.S: Dear Kevin, yes, I’m thinking of starting an online Hearts club and you will be one of the first to know. However, I don’t understand your meaning of bad girl.

•Prof. E. P. Oaikhinan, MD/CEO, Epina Technologies Limited, Lagos; Dr. N. V Ozobia, President/CEO, Le Patriac Limited; Willie Maritz, MD, Kalleo People Group, South Africa and Prof David Esezobor, University of Lagos at the Business Forum Roundtable Luncheon on Global Learning and Talent Management Trends

•I refer to your article “Is he being unfaithful?” In Most of the marriages cheating is vice -versa but the moment people say ‘yes I do’, it ends there. But if a Christian cheats it means that person

age. When you send teenagers well under 18 off to university, it takes all your strength in prayers and counselling to do that. You constantly need God and the workings of angels. God help us. I have also had to watch my business and endeavours rise, dwindle and rise again. The good thing is my ability to plan ahead and have a Plan B in case of business disasters. Thank God for my plan Bs. Maintaining a happy home and a life and striking a balance are things we all continually have to work hard at. The last few months have seen me putting my all into the homefront and working on the challenges. So when the pull to take a holiday to London via France came this week, I felt I truly deserve it. So here I am, sending love to you all as I stretch my legs and savour my sweet cup of hot chocolate. God knows I need this one break. Happy Sallah to you all. Sen. Umaru Dahiru, thanks for the big ram they just informed me you have sent my way again. My Allah bless you.

is not a real Christian. Some churches are misleading their members. There are some numerous factors that may lead to cheating in marriages but the most important thing is to follow the commandment of God in the Bible like Ephesians 5:2233, Proverbs: 6:20-35, Proverbs: 7:6-27.and Ecclesiastes 4:9-12. God will help us, amen. Thanks .Mr A .O. Bamowo. *Abbey, 27 years, unemployed graduate based in Lagos needs help from both male and female in getting employment. 08066488287; 07085205859. P.S: Abbey, you did not give information about your area(s) of specialization. This would have helped those willing to help you to know where they can come in from. Please update your request and send to my email.

a divorcee or widow to be his wife. Contact: 08135796241. •Richard needs a beautiful lady who is a graduate or a finalist as his future partner. She should be a Yoruba from a Christian family, light in complexion and between ages 25 and 32. Contact: 08182251947, 08166066155 •Alabi, 28, needs a Yoruba lady aged between 20 and 28 for marriage; she must be busty and Christian. Call: 07068900001. •Ade, 37, civil servant from Ondo State, genotype AA, blood group O negative needs a woman btw 30 and 57 for romantic relationship. Call: 08022070384. •Dr. Adelana, 38, reside in Abeokuta, AA, O+ with sound health would like to meet professional working class colleague above 35 for courtship. Contact: 08164178084. •Ade, 28, needs a soul mate lady aged between 20 and 28 for marriage. She must be Yoruba. Call: 08153978891.

Why do I ejaculate early during first round? Good morning madam, I’m Kennedy by name. Please there something I want to to ask ma; I always have early discharge and after that, i can stay longer, please I want to know if it is a disease and what can be done about it. You surely must be a very young man, and this is typical of your age grope. When some time passes you will have far better control and be able to delay your climax. My advice is really that you should relax and always keep in mind we have all night to enjoy this.



Grappling with insecurity in Delta hope that it would forestall the possibility of the state experiencing the ugly incident in Abia State where 15 school children were kidnapped.Inaugurating the squad at Government House Annex, Warri, Uduaghan warned that hoodlums planning to use the state as a safe haven to carry out their criminal activities would face the full weight of the law. In his words: “The way Nigeria is, once something happens elsewhere, people tend to copy it in other places. This is a state that has zero tolerance for kidnapping. We have done it before and we can do it again. We achieved near zero tolerance but right now, it is like some persons outside the state who are into kidnapping have sneaked into the state and we are determined to fish them out, whether from this state or outside the state.” He went on to promise that the security Joint Patrol Teams will drive kidnappers and other criminals out of the state and promised to keep the state relatively peaceful so that investors will have the conducive environment they so earnestly crave to do their business. •Some of the vehicles donated to the police at Asaba, Delta State


HERE was spontaneous joy on Tuesday as the news of the release of kidnapped Commissioner for Higher Education in Delta State , Prof Hope Eghagha spread across the state and country. It had been an agonising and harrowing experience that was just few days shy of three weeks. He was not the first in the state to be a victim of insecurity in the state or the country. It only highlights, rather graphically, the dangerous height and the unscrupulous dimension the challenges of insecurity have attained in Nigeria and how insecurity has managed to dwarf all efforts to curtail it and establish a saner society for all. Dr. Emmanuel Ewetan Uduaghan, the Governor of Delta State, came into office fully prepared to tackle the security challenges facing the state. Indeed, the first of his Three Point Agenda on which he rolled into office in 2007 is Peace and Security. The other two are Human Capital and Infrastructure Development. Before he was elected in April 2007 as governor, Uduaghan had had the privilege of being in government since 1999, holding various top positions. He had witnessed the systematic movement of vital companies, especially in the oil and gas sector, to neighbouring states on account of the spiraling insecurity situation in Delta State. As a matter of fact, when he was sworn in on May 29, 2007, the state was on the international news radar on account of four American oil expatriates held by a militant group in the riverine axis of the state. Providence, however, smiled on him as the American hostages were released 24 hours or thereabout after he assumed office.And without any waste of time, he proceeded to set up the Delta Waterways Security Committee (DWSC), a novelty which worked and helped in stemming the activities of militants along the state waterways. It restored security in a way many never thought could happen. At the state level, the DWSC could be said to be a forerunner of the Federal Government-initiated Amnesty

•From left, Governor Uduaghan; IGP, MD Abubakar; Deputy Governor, Prof. Amos Utuama and Commissioner of Police, Mr. Ikechukwu Aduba, during the handing of 60 operations vehicles and security equipment to the police

Augustine AVWODE, Assistant Editor Programme. It engaged some of the activists involved in the struggle in the state and other professionals, saddling them with the security of the waterways. It paid off because it provided job opportunities for them. The DWSC as a government policy was an instant hit with the business community as about 28 oil, gas and shipping companies, operators and or investors in the Niger Delta region, led by the Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) and Chevron-Texaco, expressed their approval of the security measure by Governor

Uduaghan in the state. This was more so as it drastically reduced the incidences of hostage taking and other criminal activities by militants in the state. At a meeting he had with the oil companies in the state and other captains of industry at Government House Annex, Warri, barely 10 months into his administration, the then General Manager of the SPDC, West, Mr. Cor Zegelaar, admitted that there was indeed a time when staying in Warri was scary for investors but that the governor had done well, such that the SPDC had no plans to leave Warri. But it has not been a win-win situation for the governor in his bid to tackle the scourge of insecurity in the

state. Like every other state in the country, insecurity has burgeoned almost beyond everyone’s expectations. There has been astronomical upsurge in cases of armed robbery, kidnapping, gruesome killings for alleged ritual purposes, rape and all sorts of violent crimes across the country with Delta State having her fair share. And like many a state executive also, Uduaghan has thrown virtually everything he is capable of into curtailing the scourge and creating an environment where lives and property are secured and where the pursuit of legitimate businesses are possible. Two years ago, Uduaghan set up an anti-kidnapping task force in the

Investment in security But in the last two years, notwithstanding the immense investment in security, insecurity has continued to be a major cause for concern. Governor Uduaghan’s response has been to re-double government’s support through the provision of essential logistics to security agencies in the state. In July this year, the state government donated 60 patrol vehicles and communication gadgets to the State Police Command. This brings the number of donated vehicles to security agencies to 150 Hilux patrol vehicles, including Armoured Personnel Carriers (APC) since 2007. Indeed, the state government has consistently assisted the security agencies in the state. And the government made it clear that the pick-up vans it was giving to the security operatives was to enable them effectively tackle security challenges in the state. It was a follow-up on its resolve to give maximum support to the security agencies in the state. Governor Uduaghan, who made the presentation, said his administration was doing all within its capacity to curb the incessant security challenges in the state and ensure that lives and properties are secure. The governor explained that in like manner, vehicles had been provided to the Army, Immigration, State Security Service (SSS) and the Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC), to meet their requests to enable them function more effectively in the state. ”We will not give criminals breathing space in this state. We are fighting them from the grassroots. This is to ensure that lives and property are protected in our communities”, he stated.Governor Uduaghan disclosed that the state government is expecting more Armoured Personnel Carrier (APC), adding that once they are available, they would be distributed to security agencies in the bid to build a crime-free state. Yet, investing in security in Nigeria has come to be an exercise akin to the proverbial act of pouring water into a basket. The state has witnessed an upsurge in kidnapping activities. Some of the high profile victims of kidnap in the state include Nigeria international, Christian Obodo; a High Court judge and lately, the Commissioner for Higher Education, just to mention a few. •Continued on Page 53



Keys to a lasting marriage (3)


ear Reader, I thank God for the opportunity He has given me to bring His Word to you again. This week, we shall be expounding on the benefits of a lasting marriage. God marriagecarries to involve the spirit, soul and body. So, thedesigned blessing marriage is expected to affect your spirit, soul and body. When God blesses the union of the man and woman, certain things follow. These include: Spiritual strength God expects the married couple to become stronger spiritually, than when they were both single. Two of them brought together in the warfare against the devil will cause 10,000 devils to flee. Deuteronomy 32:30 says: How should one chase a thousand, and two put ten thousand to flight, except their Rock had sold them, and the LORD had shut them up? Thus, they become a greater terror to the devil than they were before marriage. However, many people (women in particular) complain of not being as active as they were before marriage. Some claim it is because they are faced with greater responsibilities (a husband and children to look after, meals to cook, and general household chores), particularly if they are also employed outside the home. However, this does not negate God’s Word which declares that: Two are better than one (Ecclesiastes 4:9). The blessing of


HE normal menstrual pattern in women of re productive age(usually 15 -49 years) is characterized by regular predictable monthly bleeding periods lasting 2-5 days The menopausal transition is a progressive decline in this pattern to a final period when menstrual periods no longer occur. The average age at the onset of menopausal transition is 47 years, and in most women it develops over a period of 4 to 7 years. At the early stage the menstrual cycles may remain regular, but the interval between cycles may be altered by 7 or more days Women passing through the menopausal transition often find them selves with many concerns and issues which require long and short term solutions. The problems associated with this period and the ways and means of handling them depend on which part of the word a woman comes from, her family medical history with regards to susceptibility to illness, diseases, and causes of death. It also depends on her own health status, in terms of how often she falls ill, whether or not she had had acute, chronic, or acute on chronic disease conditions. Beyond that and for those who are surrounded by friends, family members, are active socially, go to church, or mosque, the period and even in the post menopausal period is less stormy In developed countries, the internet is a regular source of information for over 90% of the female population. More than 50% have an idea what to expect, but not so in low income countries where symptoms associated with the transitional menopause can be mistaken for others like fibroids, going crazy or husband bringing imagined diseases from prostitutes. First we distinguish between premature ovarian failure which comes with more aggressive symptoms and natural menopause. The former can occur before the


a husband and children should not be used as an excuse not to stay in touch with God; otherwise you’re opening up for the blessing to be turned into a curse. All you need to do is to believe God for better time management, so that nothing suffers – not your walk with God or your family. Divine Favour Another benefit of marriage is divine favour. Favour of God elevates you to such greater heights that men begin to envy you. You become a reference point of a good marriage. When you step out hand in hand with your partner, people will begin to whisper, “See those two. You will think they only got married yesterday.” Marriage then becomes desirous, which is what it should be. God’s favour also secures for you a lifting and promotion in status, often bringing about increase in material possessions, finances, etc. Taking a look at the first family (Adam and Eve), one discovers that even after the fall, Adam’s family still enjoyed God’s favour. They had sewed fig leaves together and made aprons to cover their nakedness. But because of the special favour God reserved for the family, God overlooked their betrayal and clothed them with animal skin. He clothed their nakedness, and thus removed shame from them. Also in spite of the fact that Eve was the one deceived, and the primary cause of the fall, out of favour, God made her a promise in Genesis 3:15: And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel. Divine Security God, the husband and wife form a three-fold cord that is not quickly broken. As man co-operates with God and establishes His purpose for marriage in the home, He honours that family by ensuring that nothing prevails against it. They (the man and his wife) are equipped to withstand, with the help of the Lord, all demonic forces and pressures of the secular world. Physical Fulfilment

God honours the physical union of a man and his wife, by ensuring that they find pleasure and fulfillment in each other’s body. Apart from preventing temptation, both husband and wife satisfy their sexual urge. They are provided with legitimate avenues to release their sexual desires. This is why God frowns at adultery, because your partner should be enough to satisfy you. I often say humorously, that there is nothing another man or woman has that your partner doesn’t have. All you need is to be content with your spouse, and then you will enjoy the blessing of marriage. Fruit of the Womb The marriage union is expected to produce children. That was God’s plan from the beginning (Genesis 1:26-28). If it doesn’t, grief and frustration often set in. The fall of Adam and Eve was what opened the door to barrenness, but God sent Jesus to redeem mankind from every curse of the law. Now, if you are born again, you are exempted from barrenness! Therefore, see your griefs and frustrations ending right now. Children are your entitlement, if you’re serving the Lord. To enjoy the benefits of marriage, you have to first be in a oneness relationship with God. You secure this oneness relationship with Him, by confessing your sins and accepting Him as your Lord and personal Saviour. If you are set for this, please say this prayer of faith: Dear Lord, I come to You today. I am a sinner. Forgive me my sins. Cleanse me with Your precious Blood. I accept You as my Lord and Saviour. Now I know I am born again! Congratulations! Till I come your way again next week, please call or write, and share your testimonies with me through: E-mail: Tel. No: 234-17747546-8; 07026385437, 07094254102 For more insight, these books authored by me are available at the Dominion Bookstores in all the Living Faith Churches, and other leading Christian bookstores: Marriage Covenant, Making Marriage Work and Building a Successful Family.

Health of women Health Matters Menopause transitional and natural menopause With DR MIKE OYAKHIRE 08170268670


age of 40 and inability to achieve pregnancy is one of the issues that will bring the patient to the Gynecologist The average age of the final menstrual period(FMP) has been put at 51 years, and the term menopause usually refers to one time in the downward trend of declining ovarian function when there are not enough mature ovarian follicles to produce the two main female hormones, estrogen and progesterone. This usually takes place 12 months after a woman has observed she is no longer menstruating. Premature ovarian failure is usually suspected when cessation of menses occurs in a woman who is generally below 40 years of age. Though scientists have not yet come to agreement that African women are going into menopause earlier, some studies have reported

such findings. However women aged 37 or 38 whose husbands are biologically functional going to see a Gynecologist for fertility issues may may feel disappointed with the Surgeons lack of enthusiasm He may not be in a hurry to suggest a battery of tests and subject exhausted ovarian follicles to fruitless hormonal challenges Some authors have provided evidence linking malnutrition and low socioeconomic status with early menopause, while in some texts nulliparity as opposed to multiparity is associated with early menopause Clinical anatomy Methods using autoradiography, immune histochemistry and others have demonstrated that the events leading to the menopause are orchestrated along t h e hypothalomohypophyseal

•A woman at her menopause

gonadal axis, and centered around the anteroventral aspects of three nuclei may be more; the Peri ventricular nucleus, the Preoptic and Arcuate nuclei. The mechanism involves molecular signalling along the axis with Kisspeptin acting via the G-coupled GPR54 receptor to act directly on the Ggonadotropin releasing hormone(GnRH) neurones to cause release of luteinizing hormone(LH) and follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) Kiss Peptin is a metastasis surpressor protein product of the Kiss-1 Peptin gene. Current knowledge is that kisspeptin fibers which express estrogen receptors are anatomically located close to the GnRH neurons. Absence of ovarian follicles /low or no estrogen causes much hypertrophy of these neuronal fibers. Evidence that the human ovary will function normally occurs between 6 to 8 weeks of intra uterine life by rapid(mitotic) multiplication of germ cells, this reaches a maximum 0f 67million oogonia (ovarian egg cells before the oocytes) by 20 weeks. From about 15 weeks of gestation, in the life of a woman, the number of these eggs will continue to reduce without replacement; in fact, a new born female begins her life in the world with a loss of about 80%of her egg cells until about 50 years when oogonia will be finally exhausted. At approximately age 38-45, the ovarian follicles which will by this period have diminished response to gonadotropins and ovulation begins to appear less frequently. With time these follicles are unable to grow to maturity and produce estrogen which in

turn fail to support growth of endometrium (womb lining) and so menstruation ceases Further consequent diminution and depletion in the level of circulating estrogen and progesterone is responsible for the anatomical features associated with the menopause During the perimenopausal stage, Stress induced production of androstenedione may explain some of the masculine features and the regression of typical female ones Increase in peripheral conversion of androgens to estrogens is in direct proportion to age and weight. Thin women are more likely to surfer more estrogen deprivation symptoms than women who are obese. Large and obese women on the other hand are more likely to surfer abnormal uterine bleeding due to dysfunctional conversion of non ovarian steroids to estrogen in the setting of no or low amounts of protective progesterone MANIFESTITATION Changes in the menstrual cycle involving the length, number of days bleeding occurs , regularity, quantity of blood loss, changes in the color and presence of clots are the hallmarks. Some patients may experience menstrual patterns similar to what it was before, during and after their first ever menstrual flow(menarche). Also in some women this pattern may be followed by complete cessation, only to be followed by one isolated episode of menstrual bleeding, in which case your gynecologist or family physician should be consulted to avoid among other issues, unwanted pregnancy, and

cancer. The experience of hot flushes is common, but the percentage of women in the illness continuum reporting this symptom has been variously reported to range from 15% to 75%. Studies on African women shows they are less likely to make sense out of it and characterize it compared with American and European women. Described as sudden sensation of loss of strength, hotness of the face, head, neck, chest hands and legs, feeling of impending collapse, dizziness, cold about three minutes and as many as 30 times a day. There is usually a remarkable increase in body temperature, followed by increase in basal metabolic rate; patients becomes aware of heart beating faster than usual (palpitations), sweats pour out all over the body and will be accompanied by coldness chills. Studies utilizing brain amines have confirmed that these events have their origin in the thermo and chemo regulatory centers of the brain involving nor epinephrine, and not a peripheral vasoconstrictor affair as was initially thought .Hot flushes usually lasts from 1 -3 minutes, and may occur as many as 30 times a day making some women feel something terrible could be developing .They should be taken seriously in the late reproductive years as they have been known to occur in concert with ovulation and unwanted pregnancies . Hot flushes in the presence of thyroid disorders can be very challenging and as such women with thyroid problems are advised to get regular with their medical exams as they approach menopause. Hot flushes may also appear before true menopause, with ovulation and unwanted pregnancy



Control of emotions is possible and healthy

Coping with diseases with Prof. Dayo Oyekole


E often think of health at the level of the physical body. This would be sufficient if the body was never affected by the mind or the spirit. The truth is that the three parts of us are inseparable and interdependent. In fact, many diseases of the physical body are actually psychosomatic, arising from disorders of the mind. Our state of mind can precipitate some forms of hypertension, nervosa, neurodegenerative disorders, etc. The spirit may be even more powerful in determining our state of health by harnessing good or evil principles and incorporating their powers within our physical being. Our mental and bodily activities are actually constantly affected by our spirit which harbors the power to love and hate, to will good and to will evil. The love and hate is manifested in the good and evil released in our emotions. A new born babe knows little and therefore does not harbour much love or hate. As a child grows, with experience of various aspects of life, he or she develops the capacity to love or hate and begins to harbour love and hate for respective aspects of life including persons and things. Eventually, the child develops a characteristic personality with virtues and vices, i.e. actions brought about by repetitions of particular emotions. A person may turn out right or turn out wrong (in personality) depending on how his or her emotions relate him or her to other people and to his or her environment. Some scientists believe that some people are “born bad”, i.e. they have genetic dispositions that determine that they will do bad things in life, becoming criminals, rapists, serial killers, arsonists, rebels, oppressors, etc. Even if such a “born bad” phenomenon is real, a person “born bad” still has a possibility to turn out right through effective management of emotions. We are able to love and hate things and to love and hate people. The love and hate becomes actualized in our emotions. As we mature, we observe how emo-


tions relate people with one another and relate people with their environment. We all love and we all hate. What each person loves and hates are unique to that person. A person may love his father but hate his brother, for example. We release emotions selectively based on who and what we love or hate. Within society, this determines such principles as fairness, justice, harmony, and peace or the lack of such principles and bias, prejudice, discord, and strife. You know if someone loves you because you feel good about his or her emotions towards you (interest, attention, concern, responsiveness, generosity, humor, cheer, etc.). On the contrary, you know if someone hates you because you feel bad about his or her emotions towards you (apathy, coldness, disgust, rudeness, meanness, vengeance, etc.). Control and balancing of the emotions cannot be done without relating the effort to the love and hate within us. We tend to love things that we consider are good for us and hate things that we consider are evil for us. Our judgment of good and evil may be correct, incorrect, or imperfect. Nevertheless, emotional control relates to controlling and balancing the love for the good and the hate for the evils in life. When a material is placed on fire it gains heat and becomes full of heat, or hot. Away from the source of heat, it loses heat, cools and becomes cold. Our states of love and hate are analogous. Some theologians of various faith traditions believe that the human spirit, connected with our origin, or God, gains Godliness, or love, or capacity to love. When we gain or develop our capacity to love and will to do good, we keep expressing the positive emotions that are characteristically good habits or virtues. On the other hand, as believed, the absence of love yields hate and incapacity to do good; or rather, it yields evil by default. In another analogy, there will remain darkness when we do not turn on a light. If we want a healthy family life, we need to encourage good habits amongst the family members. Good habits belong to emotions that emanate from love. The more love we get or gain, the better the chances that good emotions will be coming out of us. Dr. ’Bola John is a biomedical scientist based in Nigeria and in the USA. For any comments or questions on this column, please Email or call 07028338910

Grappling with insecurity in Delta Continued from Page 51

The sabotage theory The deficit the state recorded in the effort to tackle the scourge of insecurity in the state has not been because the government lacked ideas as to what to do or have played the ostrich in matters of securing the lives and property of the people of the state. The theory of sabotage has been bandied about in the state. It is not a secret that at a point, top officers of the squad saddled with the sensitive job of preventing kidnapping in the state were fingered as actually aiding and abetting the dastardly act. Those so accused were not only arrested but kept in detention pending thorough investigation. But the same people were released to the consternation of the governor and well-meaning citizens of the state. Not long ago, Governor Uduaghan had to openly express his concern over the release from custody of the police officers allegedly linked to the incidence of kidnapping in the state. The governor, who voiced his concern when the Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Mr. Mohammed Abubakar, paid a courtesy visit to him in Asaba, said his worry became necessary because their release coincided with the resurgence of kidnapping in the state. According to him, there was a drastic reduction in the incidence of kidnapping during the absence of the police officers when they were apprehended and taken to Abuja , but stressed that soon after their release, the crime has peaked.He said that Deltans have been agitated by the development and were requesting that the matter be re-visited and thoroughly investigated to ensure that justice was done.


It is laughable for one to say that the governor is the chief security officer of the state. But what we can do is to provide them with logistics, and you remember, recently that the governor gave the police vehicles and that is just in addition to those given to the Army which is over 25...


”The people of Delta State want me to send a message to you on the recent happening in the state and even the State House of Assembly deliberated on it. Few days ago, some persons, your police officers, suspected to be involved in kidnapping who were earlier apprehended, were released. “What is bothering us is that their release coincided with the recent upsurge in kidnap cases in the state. So we want you to have a second look at that issue”, he had complained to the IGP.Without doubt, Governor Uduaghan has made tremendous investment in ensuring the safety and

security of Deltans and other investors in the state. But can the state say it has had commensurate dividend from its investment in security? The answer is in the negative and naturally, critics would follow it up with the why question. In an attempt to answer the question, an obviously equally concerned Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Comrade Macaulay Ovuzorie, put it in perspective thus: “We are investing in security. But the governor does not have a troop of his own. The SSS is not under the governor, the army is not, the police are not. “And, so, it is laughable for one to say that the governor is the chief security officer of the state. But what we can do is to provide them with logistics, and you remember, recently that the governor gave the police vehicles and that is just in addition to those given to the Army which is over 25. The SSS got theirs and generally we have been investing heavily in security matters, rendering sundry logistics assistance. “For us, we have done what is expected of us. But to answer your question, we expect more reward for our investment in security. We want a state where if you are driving along the road and your car develops a fault and you can’t fix it, you should be able to park it and come back the following day and find it in the right spot and as you left it. “We want a state where I can wake up at about 1 am and drive to any place for my engagement without the fear of night marauders. That is our goal and the government will continue to work at that till we achieve it”. Perhaps, state police is the answer.

Male Infertility

NFERTILITY is a condition in which a man and woman try to have children but the woman does not become pregnant. Primarily, infertility affects 15% to 20% of couples who wish to conceive. Approximately one-third of cases result from male factors, one-third from female factors, and one-third from combined factors. It is therefore crucial to evaluate both partners before deciding on any form of natural or artificial intervention. Such evaluation is warranted if there is no pregnancy after 6 months of regular, unprotected intercourse. Hormonal profiles and detailed semen analysis are the cornerstones of laboratory investigations after the history and physical examination. Investigations for causes in the male are safer and simpler; consequently, they are normally performed first to save cost and to save the woman a series of tests, if a cause can be found in the male. Unfortunately, most men do not submit themselves to fertility tests. Rather, they ascribe the shortcomings to their wife’s conditions only. Men are sometimes unable to make their women pregnant because they have fewer sperm than is normal. This condition, scientifically called Oligospermia, is the presence of less than 20 million sperms per milliliter in the ejaculate; while Azoospermia is the total absence of sperm cells. Causes of male infertility include testicular abnormalities, chronic infections such as Gonorrhoea, Chlamydia, Herpes, Staphylococcus, Trichomoniasis, Candidiasis, etc., as well as environmental factors (such as irradiation), nutritional imbalance, drugs, sexual habits, etc. In trying to solve the problem of male infertility, it should be understood that spermatogenesis, that is, the process from sperm formation to maturation takes approximately 74 days. It is therefore necessary to go back to nature and observe events while exercising patience over a period of about three (3) months, before drawing conclusion on viability or efficacy of bio-medical intervention. Thus, a repeat sperm analysis is only meaningful after three (3) months of intervention. It is also important to note that hormones and other medicines commonly given to men who cannot have babies almost never do any good; magic cures are not likely to help either. Unfortunately, most men with problem of infertility would want it solved overnight; thereby patronizing phony, unscientific and self-acclaimed instant healers! Be careful not to waste your money on things that will not help. Education, with respect to the proper timing for intercourse in relation to the female’s ovulatory cycle as well as the avoidance of spermicidal lubricants is very important. In cases of toxic exposure or medication-related factors, the offending agent should be removed. Patients with active genitourinary tract infections should be treated appropriately. Oligospermic and Azoospermic patients will benefit immensely from the holistic natural remedies scientifically formulated from herbal extracts of local plants such as Bombax buonopozense, Triumfetta cordifolia, Momordica charantia and Musa paradisiaca. For further information and consultation on Holistic Lifecare research and services, especially on Blood Infections, Infertility, Sexually Transmitted Diseases, Chronic Debilitating Conditions as well as mental and social problems, please call on: 0803-330-3897 or visit: Mosebolatan Holistic Lifecare Centre, Adeyalo Layout, Ogbere-Tioya, Off Olorunsogo Express Bridge, Ibadan. Website: Distance is no barrier, we can send remedies by courier if need be. We also have facilities for accommodation, admission and hospitalization in a serene and homely environment.



United Arab Emirates (UAE) and many other countries. It is the gathering of tourism practitioners to do business. The Akwaaba Travel Market has become a landmark in the annual tourism calendar of West Africa. It has become a barometer to access the tourism market in Nigeria. One of the high points of this year’s event was the presence of an American based tourism marketing expert, Mr. Paul Cohen. He came at the invitation of the Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation (NTDC) to help in capacity building for tourism practitioners. He talked about how Nigeria could reap tremendously from the American travel market by understanding it and creating the product that American tourists desire. This is in line with the theme of the fair: Showcasing the tourism and cultural potentials of Nigeria. Speaking on why Paul Cohen was invited to deliver the lecture at the fair, the NTDC Director General, Otunba Segun Runsewe, said it was in line with his effort to move the the industry beyond

•The Gambia stand at the fair

Akwaaba is the marketing platform for travel companies in the region. It provides a unique opportunity for those in the travel and tourism business, helping travel companies to establish a presence in the market..

the realms of indoor discussion and give the private operators practical guides on how they can packageand market their tourism products in Nigeria. He said knowing the multiplier effect of tourism, this will also impact on a large number of Nigerians who will make their live-

Akwaaba: World tourism managers meet in Nigeria


N Ghana, when an Ashanti person says Akwaaba, he is simply welcoming you to his home or country. This normally comes with a broad smile that lights up his whole face. This friendliness and warm welcome are common features in every West African country. It has become an important tool with which the region woos visiting in-bound and local tourists. The essence of

this key feature in West Africa is what has been captured to create the West Africa Travel Market, also known also Akwaaba. It is the only international travel fair in West Africa. For a region with a population of 270 million people and 15 countries, numerous airports and the largest number of travellers, it is not a small achievement for the country. Akwaaba is the market-

ing platform for travel companies in the region. It provides a unique opportunity for those in the travel and tourism business. It also helps travel companies to establish a presence in the market, maintain existing sales and also offers the opportunity to promote the products ,increase market share of products, reach a set number of new customers, assess the competition, foster relationships with ex-

isting clients, extend brand reach and grow corporate image. It is also a positioning platform and a feedback mechanism. It has become a yardstick to feel the pulse and to measure the industry in West Africa. This year’s fair has companies and governments from Nigeria, South Africa, Ethiopia, Zimbabwe, Ghana, the Gambia, the United States of America, the United Kingdom,

Tourism News Sheraton Abuja holds Check-out for Children challenge


HERATON Abuja Hotel recently hosted over 1, 000 participants at the annual UNICEF ‘Road to awareness walk’ for 2012. The event is a 5km Walk interspersed with motivational music and dance from various bands. An aspect of the event was held at the Ladi Kwali Conference Centre of the hotel and had participants drawn from various organizations, government bodies, schools and orphanages. The wife of the Nigeria’s Vice President, Hajia Amina Mohammed Namadi Sambo was the special guest of honour. She was represented by the Minister for State for FCT, Mrs. Olajumoke Akinjide and a host of other dignitaries and family

•Participants during the walk

members. Top officials from the Airfrance KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, Signature Holidays, Dufil Prima Foods, makers of Indomie noodles, Nigerian Bottling Company Plc (Coca Cola), National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking

in Persons and Other Related Matters (NAPTIP), Capital Hotels plc, owners of Sheraton Abuja Hotel, True Expressions, NIPOST, Measure Evaluation Nigeria, Federal Road Safety Corps, European Union representatives, major Corporate, public and private organiza-

tions, the management of Sheraton Abuja Hotel and the UNICEF country Representative for Nigeria, Dr. Ibrahim Fall, were present to grace the event. In her address, Hajia Namadi Sambo, thanked Starwood Hotels and Resorts World Wide and the Management of Sheraton Abuja Hotel for the initiative. She also appreciated the efforts of all the sponsors. The Check of Children Challenge heart is a Starwood programme devoted to achieving the UNICEF Road to awareness target for 2012, which aims to facilitate the construction of pre-schools and help 50,000 children under the age of 6 to get ready for primary education in Africa.

•NTDC stand

NANTA generates N125b fo


HE National Association of Nigerian Travel Agencies (NANTA) said its members have generated more than 125 billion naira in the volume of business for the airlines in 2012. This was disclosed by the association’s president, Alhaji Aminu Agoha, in a paper, titled ‘The Role of NANTA in Aviation and Tourism business’, at the just-concluded African Travel Market (Akwaaba). He said the huge volume of business transacted by the agency has made it mandatory that the activities of travel agencies be properly regulated and controlled. He said this would ensure that the business is conducted within the confines of the law. One of the key roles that the association can play in the

development of tourism in Nigeria, he said is to encourage airlines to promote Nigeria as a destination, as is done by the airlines for other countries. The NANTA president said there was an impression that air fares in Nigeria were among the highest in the world. According to him, “The general perception, according to him, was that the air fares to Nigeria from the rest of the world were the highest in terms of flights time and rates, thereby creating a disincentive to potential tourists.” He said NANTA, as an association maintains a comprehensive data of the travel agencies in Nigeria to effectively regulate the activities of the agencies and



2012 Christian pilgrimage flagged off


•A stand at the fair

lihood from such visits. Otunba re-emphasised his parastatal’s desire to continue to partner with credible tourism practitioners that would impact positively on the tourism fortune of the country like the Akwaaba. The fair also saw large presence of the aviation sub-sector of the travel industry with top airlines like the Emirates, Delta Airline, Ethiopia Airline, South Af-

rica Airline leading the aviation industry. He said that the fair seeks to provide marketing and networking platform for the practitioners. Unlike in the past whereby the fair’s participants are drawn from only tourism, hospitality, aviation industry and the parks, the insurance industry, as part of the ancillary service needed in the industry, also showed their presence. The fair has in the past

had its share of top personalities who have contributed in no small measures to the development of tourism in Africa. Among these are former President Dauda Jawara, General Olusegun Obadanjo, Danny Jordan of South Africa and many others. This year was not different. Chinyere Kalu, Nigeria’s first female pilot and the Rector of Nigerian College of Aviation Tech-

•Prssentation of the Best Tourism State to Crosas River State

N125b for airlines in 2012

•American tourism expert, Paul Cohen on a visit to Nike Art Gallery law, NANTA seats on the board of the Nigerian Tourism see to it that they operate Development Corporation within the ambit of the law. (NTDC) by virtue of which it is Agoha said it is important put in a vantage position to that both the government and contribute to the growth of the public understand the role and development of the of of NANTA as critical in the tourism industry in Nigeria. development of the travel NANTA also enjoys a robust industry. He spoke further: “By

relationship with the ever supportive Director General of the Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation (NTDC), Otunba Segun Runsewe, who is committed to promoting tourism in Nigeria, inspite of all the obstacles and challenges. The NTDC’s participates and showcases Nigeria in some of the major international trade shows, such as the ITB-Berlin, Arabian Travel Market and other. This has created a great deal of awareness, but is yet to translate to boom for our tourism sector.” Agoha encouraged his members to attend trade shows and promote Nigeria with the NTDC telling them the the NTDC has offered to sponsor willing NANTA members to such events. He said there was no one in better to market Nigeria as a tourism destination than the travel agents.

nology, Zaria, along with Captain Desta Zera of Ethiopian Airways the first African to fly a Boeing 787 Dreamliner was honoured with Legend of Africa award. Cross River State for the third consecutive year won the Outstanding Tourism State of the Year. Delivering a paper, titled, Training future aviators, Mrs. Kalu saw the training of future aviators as paramount in the development of aviation in Africa. She said the development of Africa’s economy is tied to the development of the transportation system, especially air transportation. Using statistics, she explained that about 99 per cent of investors that come to Africa came through the airport. She continued: “the state of aviation secftor of Africa is almost moribund due to dearth and declining manpower development in Africa. Although Africa is the second largest continent and home to over 17 per cent of the world population, it has the least developed transport system, including air transportation.” She said to train future aviators, government must see the need to make policies that position the aviation industry as a top priority area of development. Such policies should be developmentally biased than merely utilitarian or service driven,” she said.

HE airlifting of the 2012 Christian pilgrims was flagged off last Thursday by President Goodluck Jonathan, who was represented by the Deputy Senate President, Mr. Ike Ekwerenmadu. Flagging off the pilgrimage, the President commended the board of the Nigerian Pilgrims Commission (NCPC) for bringing cohesion and competence into Christian pilgrims airlifting. He said he was happy the airlifting has moved from the period of uncertainty when states’ contingents were not sure when they were going to be airlifted to the current situation where there is cohesion and adherence to the trime-table. The President expressed happiness that the airlifting started early and that the pilgrimage would be completed before Christmas He advised the intending pilgrims to be good ambassadors of the country, and admonished them that the exercise should be spiritual so that the positives from the pilgrimage would impact positively on the polity. He decried the current situation in the country where there is too much religion, and yet the society is getting the benefit. In his speech at the occasion, the Executive Secretary of the NCPC, Mr. John Kennedy Opara, said it was a dream come true for the commission that it was able to flag off the airlifting on schedule. He said: “Since the inception of this commission, we have kept faith with our programme. Christians can now plan and embark on pilgrimages with little or no hitch.” He said the commission was indebted to President Goodluck Jonathan who made it possible for the exercise to be ‘safer and more respected.’ He said the commitment of the commission to excellent pilgrimage would not waver. On the theme for the 2012 pilgrimage, ‘Pilgrimage as a tool for moral transformation and spiritual rebirth’, Kennedy said the commission believes that ‘if our pilgrims are spiritually transformed, they can help in our nation- building; they will pursue peace and reconciliation until the enemies of peace are defeated. It is this spirit that defines us, ours is a great future, filled with hope. We must use pilgrimage as a tool to improve human development and spiritual sustenance. Only a morally sound mind is able to live a transformed life.’ Prayers for a successful pilgrimage were offered by the President, Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Pastor Ayo Oritsejeafor, who prayed for the intending pilgrims and for a successful airlifting of pilgrims. The first contingents for this year’s pilgrimage are from Lagos State. After the flagging off the 2012 pilgrimage, Senator Ekwerenmadu, the Minister of State for External Affairs Prof. Viola Onwuliri, Dr. Serah Ochekpa, Minister of Water Resources and other dignitaries took an inspection round the aircraft for the pilgrimage.

•CAN President Pastor Ayo Oritsejeafor, Minister of Water Resources, Dr. Serah Ochekpa and Prof. Viola Onwuliri at the event

Sustainable tourism key to the future of Africa’s Parks OURISM is one of the most effective ways


to preserve Africa’s national parks and protected areas, while creating jobs and income for local communities. This was one of the main conclusions of the First Pan-African Conference on Sustainable Tourism in African National Parks, organized by UNWTO and the Government of Tanzania (recently. “Nature is one of Africa’s greatest assets,” Opening the conference, UNWTO Secretary-General, Taleb Rifai, said: “Many of the 50 million international tourists visiting Africa each year are driven by the continent’s unparalleled wildlife and natural scenery. These tourists spend in the local economy, sustain

jobs and provide an incentive for conservation, making tourism a powerful engine for sustainable development.” The importance of sustainable tourism development for national parks and the people living in and around them was echoed in the Arusha Declaration, adopted by attending tourism ministers, tourism private sector representatives and conservation officials. Signatories to the Declaration underlined the importance of good governance in managing park tourism, calling for collaborative action

among the relevant stakeholders, particularly between public authorities and the private sector. The Declaration further stressed “the need to directly involve local communities in the management of parks and protected areas to ensure they gain concrete benefits in terms of employment and income generation”. Knowledge exchange between African countries should be prioritized, agreed signatories, given the potential for countries with more limited experience in park tourism to benefit from best practices elsewhere in Africa.





Cross River unveils new tourism brand A

S part of strategy to launch Cross River State into a global tourism map and demonstrate government’s commitment to harness its vast tourism potentials, Governor Liyel Imoke has flagged off what he called a ‘Strategic Tourism Marketing Campaign’ with the unveiling of the new Cross River State Tourism Brand. At the unveiling ceremony in Lagos Thursday, two months to the annual ´Calabar Carnival’, Governor Imoke said Cross River State wants to be

Jonathan commissions governor’s office in Uyo today


known and recognised as a tourism product and fly with it, not just as a destination, but as a brand. The focus of the gathering which attracted a large turnout of investors and media executive, as well as Guiness Nigeria Plc., First Bank and Dangote Group, sponsors of the Calabar Carnival, Imoke hinted that Cross River State government was deeply committed in its drive to properly situate tourism as a major economic plank in the state’s developmental drive, adding that ´´ That is why the cam-

paign is the first step we are taking at ensuring that tourism takes the centre stage in Cross River State. The government has commenced a strategic marketing campaign and we are doing it in earnest. What we unveiled today is government’s bold statement on promoting tourism as a major revenue earner for the state.´´ According to the governor, ´´our government is packaging the state as a tourism destination, a brand new image that relates specifically to tourism.” He added that “Cross River State government’s commitment has moved from potential to action.´´

Justifying government’s heavy investment on infrastructure in the state, Imoke said: ´´We have decided to make tourism the key pillar upon which we will build our economic development drive, which is why we continue to invest heavily on tourism infrastructure. A lot of tourism potentials have been discovered in Cross River State and by implication Nigeria.´´ While soliciting partnership of the private sector, Imoke enlisted: ´´Today, we launch a strategic tourism marketing campaign and unveil the new Cross River State Tourism plan. This launching is to demonstrate the commitment of

the state government and further showcase that we mean business by inviting you to join hands with us as partners. ´´The state is poised to tap into one per cent of the country’s teeming population of 167,0000000 people. And what this means is that at the end of the day, Cross River State will be playing host to 1.67 million people yearly who will come for leisure and relaxation. This will positively impact on our overall GDP. ´´We have moved from selling the yearly Calabar Festival to selling the state as a destination for leisure and relaxation and promoting tourism as the mainstay of the state’s


RESIDENT Goodluck Jonathan will today undertake a one-day official visit to Akwa Ibom State to commission the new governor’s office and as well as an international stadium in the state. Governor Godswill Akpabio disclosed this to Government House correspondents in Uyo after his return from official trip to an international Telecommunications Union meeting in Dubai. Governor Akpabio remarked: “The new governor’s office is to be commissioned by President Jonathan on Saturday (today) as part of the uncommon transformation agenda in the state. The office was an old structure, even before my administration.” He said: ‘’So, there was need for a massive renovation and expansion of the structure of the state, which is a call point for visitors and investors. Therefore, the governor’s office is an ICT compliant, reflecting the personality of an Akwa Ibom child, which is a massive infrastructural turn-around in the last six years.” On the the international stadium in the state, Chief Akpabio hinted: “The international stadium would be of an international standard with a VIP section, banquet hall, etc, which is going to led to revenue generating and be a part of the future of the country. In Akwa Ibom State, the concept is ‘build, they would come’, so we are going to put in the right policies to utilize the infrastructure we are putting on ground and bring back sports to our schools in catching our children young and winning medals for the country.” He commended the Secretary to the State Government, Mr. Umana O. Umana for supervising the project undertaken by Julius Berger Plc. The project will be completed in eighth months instead of the 18 months that was initially planned’’. The governor also applauded the state House of Assembly in approving the needed funds to provide infrastructure in the state like the international stadium, the international cargo wing of Akwa Ibom International Airport etc, disclosing that the state has received an approval from the Federal Government to dualise Uyo-Ikot Ekpene- Aba Road in Abia State, which project money would be refunded to the state by the Federal Government.

•From left: Governor Liyel Imoke of Cross River; his wife, Obioma; and wife of Lagos State governor, Mrs Abimbola Fashola, at the "Ensure 2012 Calabar Carnival" in Lagos. PHOTO: NAN

Retired Supreme Court Justice chairs N500m Delta Flood Fund Committee


12-member committee chaired by a retired Supreme Court Judge, Justice Francis Tabai, has been constituted by the Delta State Government to manage the 500million naira flood fund released to it by the Federal Government. According to an approval given by Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan, the committee would oversee the flood disaster and the post-flooding rehabilitation of victims. Specifically, the committee will advise the government on the judicious utilization of the funds provided by the Federal Government for the

rehabilitation of persons displaced by the flood in the state and undertake the management of the funds. Besides, the committee is expected to co-ordinate with other persons, organizations and donor agencies to raise additional funds to provide urgent relief for victims of the recent flood disaster across the state. Other terms of reference of the committee are: (1) To put in place structures, support facilities and systems to bring succor to the flood victims in the state; and

(2) To plan and implement long term programmes for the rehabilitation of victims and manage the Post-Impact Resettlement of the affected persons and communities. Other members of the committee include Professor Pat Utomi, the chairman of Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) South South, Archbishop God-Do-Well Awomakpa, an educationst, Mrs. Florence Ehinlaye, Dr Thomas Okpaku and Paul Enebeli. Also on the committee are: Dr Asanuvwie S. Oberheri, representing Nigerian Bar

Association; Dr. M. O. Osarenkhoe, representing Nigeria Medical Association; and Engr. Owen Mordi, representing Nigerian Society of Engineers. The rest are: Mr. Olisa Ifeajika, representing Nigeria Union of Journalists; Barrister Oghenejabor Ikimi of the Forum for Justice and Human Rights Defence, Warri and Mr. O. Onyeisi Nkenchor of the office of the Secretary to the State Government serving as the secretary. The Committee will be inaugurated on Monday (Oct. 29, 2012) at the Government House, Asaba.

...monarch hails group, as construction firm, NDDC HE Odio-Ologbo of sion was monitoring the donate to victims Ununurhie community, flood situation in all the


His Royal Highness, Ebruphiyo Egbejemra, whose palace was also submerged by flood has commended the Urhobo Political Movement headed by Mr. Chris Ominimini Obiuwevbi and Dr. (Mrs.) Ngozi Olejeme, a philanthropist for donating food items to flood victims in Delta Central. The monarch gave this commendation when the Urhobo Political Movement and Dr. Ngozi Olejeme came to sympathize with the flood victims and the monarch. Those that benefitted from the relief materials as distributed by the Urhobo Political Movement in Ewu camp were 4,500 displaced persons from

Polycarp OROSEVWOTU, Warri

Ogoda, Asa, Etefe, Orherhe, Omafuvwe, Olodiama, Edjeko, lwrekoko and lwremoto communities while in Oharisi Primary School camp were 6000 displaced persons from various communities from Ughelli North and Patani Local Government Area. The Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, has also donated trucks load of food items and other relief materials worth millions of naira to flood victims in Delta State. The items presented included one hundred and fifty

bags of Rice, bags of Beans, garri, cartons of tin tomatoes, gallons of palm oil, bags of salt, two thousand litres of kerosene, two hundred lanterns, one thousand mosquito nets, insecticides spray, two hundred blankets, bathing and washing soap, plastic buckets and one thousand bottled water. While presenting the items at the Oleh camp, the Commissioner representing Delta State on the board of the commission, Mr. Solomon Ogba said the donation was to alleviate the sufferings of the victims and assured that NDDC would live up to its corporate responsibilities. Ogba said that the Commis-

states affected by the flood disaster including, Delta, Bayelsa, Rivers and AkwaIbom, pointing out that the flood disaster took everybody by surprise. The State Commissioner for Women Affairs, Mrs. Betty Efekoda who received the items as the coordinator of the Oleh camp thanked the NDDC for the donation of the relief materials. Similarly, a construction firm, Levant Construction Company has donated food items and other relief materials worth millions of naira to flood victims in Bomadi, Burutu and Warri South West Local Government Areas of the state.

income earner. Everything that has been showcased from the presentation was wholly Cross River State. There was no exaggeration of the vast tourism potentials abundant in the state. ´´As a state, we want to be known and recognised as a tourism product and fly with it, not just as a destination, but as a brand. We are deeply committed to creating value for investors whom we are challenging to come and invest their resources in what the state is offering as a tourist haven. I know a lot of people will say that government has no business doing business that should have been done by the private sector or businessmen, but we want to again restate our position that as a responsible and committed government, we really have business to create the enabling environment and infrastructure for private sector to key into and drive the state as a tourist destination. ´´We now have a brand that has attracted interest from giants in the private sector like Guiness, First Bank and Dangote Group, which is very unusual to see a product that is promoted by public sector being invested in by the private sector. That is why we make bold to say that we have come of age. And the question is, with the involvement of Guiness, First Bank and Dangote Group, what are the rest of other investors waiting for?´´ Earlier at a session with sponsors and would-be-investors, First Bank Plc Group Managing Director, Mr Bisi Onasanya charged investors to take advantage of the huge investment opportunities in Cross River State and tag along with it to maximise their bottomline.

Two dead, several injured over land dispute Osagie OTABOR, Benin


WO persons were reportedly killed while several others were injured over a landed dispute between two communities in Ikpoba-Okha Local Government Area of Edo State. The two communities are Okha and Uroho. Those dead were identified as Prince Bernard Eweka and a certain as Bruno. Spokesman for Okha community, Osaze Idemudia told The Nation that gunmen invaded their community on Thursday in a commando style operation and beganshooting sporadically. Osaze said several women and children were taken by the attackers from Uroho community. He said those hit by bullets were rushed to hospital. Osaze said the corpse of Bruno was recovered from the bush on Friday. He said the attack on their community was over a land dispute. Policemen drafted to the area was said to have arrested one of the attackers. The leadership of Uroho community could not be reached for comments while the state police spokesman, DSP Anthony Airhouyo said he was yet to be officially informed by the police in charge of the area.



Food security: Govt’s inconsistent policies blamed

PDP destroyed ANPP, says Onu


• ‘How Sherif emerged as BOT chair’


HE National Chairman of All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP), Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu, yesterday explained why his party has lost power. Onu accused the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) government of being responsible for ANPP’s misfortune in the past years. PDP, Onu said, almost succeeded in turning Nigeria into a one-party system, which affected the party in the past due to the actions of some party members. Onu, who vowed to ensure that ANPP wins the presidential election and capture more states in 2015 said: “The problems in ANPP are so many and it will take time to effect change.” In an exclusive interview with our correspondent in Abuja, the ANPP boss said the PDP government had run out of ideas to deal with the security and fuel scarcity situation troubling the country. Nigerians, he suggested, should have a change of mind and vote out the PDP in 2015. His words: “We have tried to keep to our constitution. We believe that the constitution of the party is supposed to be supreme and we also believe that we in the leadership must not be above our constitution. All those overbearing actions that used to take place in the party are no longer there.

Gbenga OMOKHUNU, Abuja “There are so many reasons why ANPP lost its relevance as an opposition party in the past. The ruling party, PDP, wanted to turn Nigeria into a one-party system. You know what happened to the Alliance for Democracy (AD) and some opposition parties. If our party had not been very experienced, perhaps we would have been bought over. “Secondly, elections were really not free and fair. So, the results you get cannot be said to be a true measure of the performance in various parties. All these contributed to the ANPP losing influence from controlling nine states to three. “We are very hopeful that the future belongs to ANPP and other major opposition political parties to defeat PDP in 2015 to effect change in Nigeria for Nigerians. “We want to be in government in 2015 to help solve many of the problems confronting our nation. When that trust is there, it would be easy for us to win future elections. “Top members of the party have personally told me that they are working in the best interest of the party. “Security of lives and property is the responsibility of any government. The idea of fuel scarcity is sad and the


way out is to build refineries. There is no reason why refineries can work in other countries and it cannot work in Nigeria.” Onu explained how the former Governor of Borno State, Senator Ali-Modu Sherif, was picked as the party’s BOT chairman following alleged complains by party members that he would not give the party credibility. He said: “In ANPP, we believe in zoning. So, the position of the BoT chairman of the party was zoned to the North East and we got a letter from the North East where all our key members recommended Ali-Modu Sherif. And when we were inaugurating the Board of Trustees (BOT), he was the only candidate. “So, if there were other candidates, there would have been an election. Those complaining of Sherriff being the BoT chairman could have provided an alternative. All organs of the party are working and we are interested in winning the election.”

HE inconsistent government policies on agriculture, among others, have been identified as the major challenge militating against food security in Nigeria. Government policies on agriculture has failed to recognise the peasant farmers. Most of the financial programmes for agriculture are cornered by fake city farmers who only collect money and use them for other purposes. Making this assertion in Lagos on Sunday at the Ecumenical World Food Day service organised by Christian Council of Nigeria (CCN) the General Secretary of the Council, Rev. Yusuf Wushishi, urged the Federal Government to address the situation by ensuring that Nigerian farmers have access to financial resources to buy improved agricultural imports and farm implement so

that they can increase their output and income level. He lamented that poor implementation of policies on importation of some food products also pose a challenge to food security. The CCN General Secretary noted also that the Land Use Decree of 1978 has been poorly implemented and thereby discouraged farmers from acquiring land for large scale farming, adding that "the land tenure system in Nigeria and the sub-region did not help matters. He described the low-level of education of Nigerian farmers as a challenge to food security. His word: "Majority of the farmers are illiterate and therefore lack technical know-how to apply modern farm inputs provided for them." He went on: "Illiterate farmers most often find it difficult to accept new innovations developed by research

institutions to boost efficiency and productivity in agriculture that will ensure food security." He announced that the church has set up a programme titled: Ecumenical Food Security and Peace Building Advocacy Programme aimed at fighting hunger, poverty and food insecurity that has become a menace, especially to the rural communities. He appealed to member churches of the Council and religious leaders to actively lobby for coherence in government policies to effectively address hunger and poverty in the country by speaking when they should. He also suggested, among others, that the church should promote the concept of "eat what you grow and grow what you eat" adding that the church should support small scale farmers in Nigeria to boost local food production.

Italy’s former PM Berlusconi sentenced to jail for tax fraud


ILAN - An Italian court yesterday sentenced former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi to four years in jail for tax fraud in connection with the purchase of broadcasting rights by his Mediasettelevision company. Berlusconi has the right to appeal the ruling two more times before the sentence becomes definitive and will not be jailed unless the final appeal is upheld. Prosecutors had asked for a jail sentence of three years and eight months. The court also ordered damages provisionally set at 10 million euros ($12.96 million) to be paid by Berlusconi and his co-defendants to tax authorities. The ruling came two days after Berlusconi, 76, confirmed he would not run in next year’s elec-

tions as the leader of his center-right People of Freedom (PDL) party. A separate trial over accusations that Berlusconi paid for sex with an underaged prostitute is currently being heard in Milan. He denies all charges against him. The four-time prime minister and other Mediaset executives stood accused of inflating the price paid for TV rights via offshore companies controlled by Berlusconi, and skimming off part of the money to create illegal slush funds. The investigation focused on television and cinema rights that Berlusconi’s holding company Fininvest bought via offshore companies from U.S. groups for 470 million euros between 1994 and 1999.




20 killed in Kwara auto crash

BOUT 20 people were killed in multiple auto accidents in Kwara State between Wednesday and yesterday. Seventeen people died on Wednesday evening at the Osin River, Ilorin East Local Government Area of the state, in an accident involving five vehicles, including an 18seater commercial bus coming from Niger State. A trailer loaded with bags of beans was said to have rammed into the commercial bus at the bad portion of the road. One of the survivors of the accident was a 10-year old boy who was brought out from the wreckage. Another set of three people were killed yesterday when their car burst into flame, after it was hit by a trailer. The Kwara State Sector Commander of the Federal Road Safety Corps, Chris Ademoluti confirmed the incident to The Nation at the scene of the accident. Ademoluto said, “the first one happened on the 24th of this month and we recovered 17 bodies. 16 from the bus and one from the trailer, they all perished there.”

Akume donates relief materials to victims of Benue flood disaster Uja EMMANUEL, Makurdi


HE Senate Minority Leader, Senator George Akume has donated relief material worth N4.2 million to victims of flood disaster in Makurdi, Benue State. A chieftain of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) Mr. Akange Audu led other prominent members of the party to present the materials to the Camp Commandant of the LGEA Primary School Camp, Mr. Terumbur Alabam. The materials include 200 bags of 50 kg MIVA rice, 200 cartons of noodles, 200 cartons of Duck soap, 300 package of toilet rolls, 50 bags of sugar and 100 pure water bags, to be shared among the three camps. Presenting the materials, Senator Akume , who was represented by Akange Audu, said the materials were his modest contribution to alleviate the sufferings of the people affected by the flood. Senator Akume lamented the hardship confronting the people in the displaced camps, and appealed to them to exhibit good conduct and endure any hardship, promising that they would soon return to their permanent homes. He equally charged those responsible for welfare in the camps to ensure that the relief materials are used for the purpose which they are meant to serve. While receiving the materials, the Camp Commandant, Terumbur Alabam, described Senator Akume as a kind politician. Also on the entourage were Chief Emmanuel Viashima; Awuese Torhee; Edwin Jando; ACN State Director of Publicity, Titus Zam and Mathias Mtserikyaa.

Adekunle JIMOH, Ilorin Speaking further on how the accident happened, Ademotu said: “I learnt the bus with the 16 passengers was coming from Niger State, carrying

goods and women. In an attempt to reduce his speed at the bad portion of the road, a trailer coming from behind rammed into the vehicle and fell on it. Sixteen people died in that commercial, while only one person survived. One per-

son also died in the trailer. “On Friday, three people were burnt to death in an accident involving a taxi cab and a trailer. The trailer lost control and rammed into the cab and other vehicles on the road before one the vehicles burst into

flame. “We have engaged the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Federal Roads Maintenance Agency (FERMA), Federal Controller of works and Kwara State Roads Transport Management

Agency (KWARTMA) to clear the vehicles from the road, so as not to cause another accident. I am using this opportunity to appeal to our government to effect repairs on this portion of the road.”

Council chairman assures of completion of projects


•President Goodluck Jonathan (centre) listening to explanations of DG (NAFDAC), Dr Paul Orhii (right) on NAFDAC's scratch and text to check drug counterfeiting while Hon. Minister of state for Health, Dr Mohammed Ali Pate (left) watches with keen interest during the presidential launch of "save one Million lives" in Abuja...recently


Flood: Epidemic looms in communities

FTER what appeared like an endless wait for the Imo State gov-

Emir warns citizens on immunisation


HE Emir of Gwandu in Kebbi, Alhaji Muhammad Bashar, has warned parents in his domain against preventing their children from immunisation against Polio and Measles. Alhaji Bashar gave the warning in Birnin Kebbi on Friday, as part of his address to the people to mark the Eid-ElKabir. He said that allowing children to participate in immunisation was part of efforts to reduce child mortality and prevent permanent deformity. The royal father said two cases of measles outbreak were recorded in the state and called for cautionary measures to prevent further spread of the disease especially considering change in weather. “The change in weather calls for proper environmental sanitation and personal hygiene.” Bashar used the occasion to also call on victims of flood disaster “to take heart as it was an act of God”. He however, commended the state authorities, individuals and groups for assisting the victims. Bashar advised the farmers to engage in vigorous dry season farming. He commended security agencies in the state on the low level of crime and advised people to always assist the agencies with information on criminal activities. Bashar prayed for continued peace and unity of the nation and safe return of Nigerian pilgrims from Saudi Arabia. In his sermon during the EidEl-Kabir prayers, the Chief Imam of the state, Alhaji Liman Mukhtar, enjoined Muslims to embrace the teachings of Islam, considering the fact that the religion preaches peace.

… as Imo flood victims return to submerged homes Okodili NDIDI, Owerri ernment to provide temporary camps for the victims of the flood disaster, some of the displaced people have ignored the dangers of a looming epidemic to return to their homes. The victims of the floods, who have been roaming the streets and sleeping in every available space, were reported to have commenced repair works on their homes in areas where the flood had subsided. Speaking with The Nation, some of the victims noted that they could no longer continue to wait for the state government to provide them with temporary homes, adding that the decision to return to their homes was taken as the only alternative open to them. They argued that the inability of the state govern-

ment to coordinate its intervention programme was responsible for the poor flow of aids to the victims, insisting that the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) failed to live up to its responsibility to the victims. According to them, “we have waited endlessly to no avail and the government doesn’t seem to be coming. We have been sleeping in any available space and with relatives, but we can’t continue any more, we will return to our homes and expect whatever comes our way. “We are disappointed with what is happening to us. They have been collecting money on our behalf and none of it gets to us, even the relief materials that were brought was diverted by the politicians and given to their supporters. This is not how victims in other states are treated by

their state governments.” When our reporter visited Oguta, the country home of Senator Arthur Nzeribe, the victims who had earlier clustered in a room provided for them by a public spirited indigene, have left for their homes. A resident, Mr. Ikem Okuonu, told The Nation that the people had resigned to fate, “I don’t blame them for returning to their homes. How can you explain it that after about one month, the state government is yet to provide any form of accommodation for the victims.” However, when contacted, the member representing Ohaji/Egbema state constituency, Hon Luke Chukwu, said that four camps have been approved for the victims by the Lawmakers and that construction will soon commence in the two affected council areas.

HE Chairman, Gwagwalada Area Council in the FCT, Alhaji Zakari Angulu, yesterday, pledged his administration’s commitment to the completion of ongoing projects in the area. He said in a Sallah message that ongoing projects in the area council would be completed before the end of his tenure in 2013. Angulu urged the Muslim faithful to take advantage of the Ed-el-Kabir celebration to strengthen the peaceful coexistence of people in the area council. He attributed the success recorded by the council, particularly in the area of infrastructure development, to the peaceful environment in the area. The council boss, therefore, called on youths to remain law abiding and urged them to imbibe the culture of tolerance in line with the teachings of the prophet. “Gwagwalada Area council is known for its peaceful coexistence, so, I encourage every resident particularly the Muslims to strengthen the peace by emulating the teachings of Prophet Mohammed.” Angulu commended the staff and political office holders in the council for their support in ensuring that dividends of democracy were delivered to residents of the council. “Leaders do not make themselves, they are made by the people and when you are opportuned to be at the top, you must have the people at the back of your mind. “It is true that Area Councils in the FCT are faced with serious challenges of inadequate funding but we have been able to carry our staff along.”

Governor Obi denies rift with Okorocha


NAMBRA State governor, Dr Peter Obi, yesterday, said that he does not have any disagreement with his Imo State counterpart, Governor Owelle Rochas Okorocha, over the purported harassment of his aide who tried to reserve a seat for him at last Saturday’s 80th birthday celebration for former vice president Dr Alex Ekwueme In Enugu. Obi, who spoke in an interview at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Ikeja, Lagos, while traveling out of the country, explained that those trying to make issues out of the matter should preoccupy themselves with activities that are productive. He explained that himself and Okorocha, being the two

Kelvin OSA OKUNBOR governors elected under the platform of the All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA), remain brothers and good friends, and wondered why mischief makers will want to make an issue over the struggle for a seat by his aide at the Enugu event. Obi said, he was to yet to arrive the venue of the event when the alleged scuffle for a seat happened, saying, “I do not think we need to give that event the prominence that people are giving it. I do not think there is any need to look at that issue. Do not mind people who are trying to make an issue out of that event. Do not even listen to them, or the stories they are peddling.

“You see, myself and Governor Rochas Okorocha remain the two APGA governors. We remain as brothers and friends. So, people should not take such stories of disagreement seriously. I was not there when the alleged scuffle for a seat happened. Why then should I be losing sleep over such issue.” Speaking on the performance of governors from the South East region, Obi said all the governors were living up to expectations. “All the governors, in my estimation are doing well. Through the peer review mechanism, everybody is doing well, based on the available resources at their disposal. It must be stated clearly that the ability to perform is subject to the available resources

accruing to the respective state governments. When you talk about doing well, it has to do with the available resources.” Governor Obi, however, commended the Federal Government and the Minister of Aviation, Princess Stella Oduah, for the airports remodeling projects across the country, affirming that it is a testimony of the wonderful job going on at eleven airports across the country. On the effect of flooding on Anambra indigenes, Obi said the state government, in collaboration with the Federal Government, is trying its best to ensure that the burden of the victims devastated by the flood is mitigated, and to ensure that the victims are assisted to relocate to their homes after the water has receded.




IFC acquires 8.6% equity stake in Ecobank I NTERNATIONAL Finance Corporation (IFC), the private sector investment unit of the World Bank Group, has acquired 8.63 per cent equity stake in Ecobank Transnational Incorporated (ETI) Plc. ETI is the parent company of all Ecobank banks including Ecobank Nigeria. IFC acquired 1.25 billion ordinary shares at agreed price of 8.0 cents per share, totaling $100 million, about N15.6 billion. ETI currently has 13.24 billion ordinary shares. The supplementary listing of the additional shares already issued to IFC would increase total outstanding shares to 14.49 billion shares, giving IFC 8.63 per cent post-listing. The equity investment was made through IFC’s managed funds including IFC Capitalisation (Equity Fund) LP, Africa Capitalisation Fund Limited and the IFC ALAC Holding Company II. According to the details of the acquisition, IFC Capitalisation (Equity Fund) LP purchased 596.59 million ordinary shares for $47.73 million; Africa Capitalisation Fund Limited acquired

By Taofik Salako and Tonia Osundolire

340.91 million ordinary shares for $27.27 million while IFC ALAC Holding Company II acquired 312.5 million ordinary shares for $25 million. The investment followed the signing of share subscription agreements in July 2012 between IFC and ETI (International Finance Corporation) IFC invested USD 100 million by way of common equity in ETI. The transaction is expected to strengthen Ecobank’s tier one capital and further enhance its ability to grow its business across the African continent. The Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) indicated that it has been notified of the acquisition as multi-listing ETI has initiated appropriate steps for the listing of the shares on the NSE, Ghana Stock Exchange and the BRVM (Abidjan). The acquisition came just as ETI released third quarter report showing appreciable growths in top-line and

profitability. Interim report for the nine months ended September 30, 2012 showed that gross earnings increased to N254.38 billion as against N155.9 billion in corresponding period of 2011. Profit before tax increased from N27.5 billion to N30.5 billion. Profit after tax also rose from N19.11 billion to N24.09 billion. IFC had invested $12.5 million in Custodian and Allied Insurance Plc, according to investors’ notice made available by the company. The IFC’s investment was through a 4.5 per cent convertible loan stock, an approximately N1.95 billion deal that allows IFC to convert the debt stock into equities upon the terms of the agreement. The funding from the IFC would be used by Custodian and Allied Insurance to finance its growth and expansion plans, especially through mergers and acquisitions. The deal signals the readiness of Custodian and Allied Insurance to explore opportunities created by threatened low and middle-level insurance companies as well as the divestments by banks from insurance businesses. The board of the insurance company had said it considered the loan deal, which carries interest rate of 4.5 per cent, as a beneficial agreement to the company and its shareholders.





Falcons rues poor treatment in E/Guinea

NFF moves Eagles’ camp to Portugal N N IGERIA will now prepare for the African Cup of Nations (AFCON) in Faro, Portugal, after a proposal to train in Zimbabwe was dropped for lack of facilities. Coach Stephen Keshi proposed for his team to train in Zimbabwe prior to the 2013 Nations Cup in South Africa. However, top officials of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) have now said the team will train in Portugal because the facilities there are better. NFF president Aminu Maigari said Keshi has been informed about the choice of Portugal.

“We will camp in Portugal. We have told the coach of the change of plans because we want the best for our national team. We want them to be in the best condition to fight for the trophy.” The Eagles also trained in Faro for the 2004 and 2006 AFCONs in Tunisia and Egypt, respectively. The country’s U20, the Flying Eagles, also prepared for the 2011 FIFA U20 World Cup as well as the national team for beach soccer. The NFF boss said that it has been a long time since Nigeria won the Nations Cup and as such

everything has to be done to redress this. “We feel we have a team that can win the Cup again,” he said. “Though we are not putting


Mikel: Chelsea shakes off Shakhtar loss for Man Utd


IKEL ObihassaidChelsea have got over the loss at Shakhtar Donetsk and so will beat Manchester United on Sunday to stay top of the EPL. "We lost to Shakthar in the Champions League and we are not happy, but that is behind us now,” he told “All we are thinking about now is the game against Manchester United at home. That loss in Ukraine is in the past and we are totally ready for United." The European champions have not lost a game in EPL this season, winning all but one game. They lead the table on 22 points, four points clear of United. Six years ago, Mikel agreed to join United, before he eventually opted for Chelsea and he said he expects a tough battle against the

Red Devils after ‘The Blues’ have seen off Arsenal and Spurs recently. "I am looking forward to the game against Manchester United with great expectations. It is going to be tough we all know, but we want to maintain our position at the top so we know winning will do that for us,” he told “We improve game after game, we have played two tough away games at Arsenal and Tottenham and we won. Now is another big game against Manchester United at home, I am targeting victory. “I am sure we will get it, but not in an easy way. They are second and eyeing our position, but we want to remain at the top of the table."

pressure on them to deliver, they know what joy they would give Nigerians if they won.” Nigeria have won the competition twice, in 1980 and 1994.

•Begins title defence

IGERIA’s Super Falcons have arrived Equatorial Guinea ahead of the 2012 African Women’s Championship (AWC). The Falcons, who are the defending champions, left Accra, Ghana on a 5pm flight on Wednesday and arrived at the Malabo International Airport at 8.30pm local time. The Nigerian Ambassador to Equatorial Guinea, Ambassador Benjamin Sunday Bassey alongside other officials from the nation's embassy were on ground to receive the delegation of 21 players and 13 technical and administrative staff, at the airport. In a statement made available to by the media chief of the Super Falcons, Chisom Mbonu, there was no official from the Local Organising Committee (LOC) on ground to receive the Nigerian delegation. This proved to be a very difficult situation as no arrangements had been made for accommodation in Malabo or transportation to Bata, for the team. There had been an initial plan to accommodate the players and their officials in Malabo on Thursday night, to proceed to Bata on Friday, but the LOC changed the arrangements without informing the Nigerian High Commission who had been li-

aising with the local organisers. But for the presence of Ambassador Bassey, and Ambassador Job Obiang Esono Mbengono who made urgent phone calls to ensure that the team got on a flight to Bata, the team would have had to spend the night at the airport or, at best, try to secure accommodation in Malabo for Thursday night. The team waited for three hours at the Malabo International Airport before boarding another Ceiba International Airlines flight to Bata. They finally touched down at the Bata International Airport at 11.55 pm where the LOC officials and Ibrahim Umar, the Consular-General, Nigeria Consulate in Bata, met the team and proceeded to escort them to their Villa Celotti lodge, where they spent the night. Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) Director of Competitions, Dr. Mohammed Sanusi lamented the treatment meted out to the Nigerian delegation. “The treatment given to us was unprofessional and negates the spirit of sportsmanship. “Our accommodation is not befitting of competitions practices. And therefore we have rejected it. We are insisting that they change our accommodation or we secure accommodation ourselves.

A rescue mission for sports Efe Ambrose delighted to make CL Team Of The Week


LASGOW Celtic defender Efe Ambrose has been rewarded

for his stand - out performance against Barcelona in the Champions League, with UEFA naming the Nigeria international in its prestigious Team of the Week which was announced on Thursday. Had it not been for Jordi Alba's, late winner, the Scottish powerhouse would have left the Nou Camp with a memorable draw. Ambrose, a versatile player, did his best in neutralizing Barca's attacking threat spearheaded by Argentina superstar Lionel Messi. Speaking on making the UEFA Champions League Team of the Week, Ambrose told ''When I started playing professionally, I had ambitions of playing in the Champions League. I am elated to be chosen in the Team of the Week especially as it was picked by professionals. It's a recognition of our good team work against Barcelona and the whole team deserves this nomination. The 24 - year -old has acknowledged the support the team received from the Celtic faithfuls in the unforgettable clash against Barcelona. ''I am short of words to describe the feeling of the fans when we conceded that late goal against Barcelona. But I believe it is the will of God and we pray the reverse fixture will be in our favor. ''The Celtic fans were amazing, supporting the team from the beginning of the game until the end, and that's what differentiate these supporters from other clubs' supporters. They are very passionate about Celtic,'' says Ambrose. Efe Ambrose has suited two times for Glasgow Celtic in Europe's premier club competition.

• Countinued from Back Equally, important is the President’s acceptance that there was the need to create enabling environment for business concerns to key into sport patronage, first to change the way it is run in Nigeria and then to get Nigerians to know that sports help increase the country’s GDP as seen in other climes. The exhaustive evaluation of what models in achieving climes such as the US, Asia, Britain etc, exposed the essence of getting government less involved in sports in Nigeria. Interestingly, the retreat underlined the essence of sports as a viable socio-economic tool for youth development, nation building and instilling the core value of social justice. The President disclosed his resolve for Nigeria to rule the sports world based on hard work, greater sense of purpose and dedication, adding that: “If we must achieve excellence and meet the objective requirement for the rapid development of our sport industry, then we must broaden the finance base of the industry and create the right conditions for private sector funding and investment in sports.” What then is the trouble with sports? Participants identified poor management, much to the consternation of the Finance Minister, Dr. Ngozi OkonjoIweala. And Mr. President buttressed the voting pattern when he said: “Adequate funding of sport is very crucial to this endeavour but efficient and transparent management of resources is key.” Is sport all about funding and administration? Not exactly. Without the athletes and the coaches, no sports events can hold. Athletes and coaches form the fulcrum on which sports thrive. It was very pleasing to this writer’s ears hearing the participants pass a vote of no confidence on Nigerian coaches for lacking the technical savvy to propel our athletes to attain their zenith. Although it was agreed that they would be trained and retrained, the general consensus was that we need

to bring foreign coaches to train our talents at the grassroots. Participants agreed that our athletes have the wrong approach to details of their sport at the early stages. They submitted that governors pay sufficient attention to sports development at the grassroots. Much as the Rivers State governor identified with this grassroots sports development, he hastened to add sports takes the backstage in state governments’ quest to deliver the dividends of democracy to the electorate. Of course, many frowned at the levity with which we handle maintenance of facilities. It was also agreed that there was the need to concession edifices to the private sector to take care of them. It must be said that much as the participants nursed hopes that a new dawn beckoned after the retreat, yet when the question was put to them, shortly before Jonathan’s closing remarks, the conveners of the retreat were shocked to see the biggest percentage of votes read: “Doubtful but hopeful.” Will you blame the participants for their damning verdict? Not with the avalanche of such retreat reports on the dusty shelves at the National Sports Commission (NSC). The biggest fillip for sports development in Nigeria, in my opinion, arose when Jonathan promised to give executive seal to the NSC Bill, which, when passed into law, will make the body to be run by professionals and technocrats and not administrative staff, Sports Minister Bolaji Abdullahi told President Jonathan this accounted for the NSC’s workforce. NSC’s bill will ensure that those who formulate policies don’t execute them. That way, we will be able to identify who to hold responsible if things go awry. There would be a board that will churn out policies, which the NSC eggheads will implement. The present Jack-of-all-trades scenario at the NSC makes it impossible for new suggestions outside those of its hierarchy that the present order, has forced on us.





An anatomy of the Ondo gubernatorial polls Continued from Back Page

democracy struggle that led to the exit of the military and the current democratic dispensation that the likes of Niyi Akinoso is no doubt enjoying. In any case, if Tinubu had taken the electorate for granted or held the people in contempt, he would certainly not lead his party’s campaign in Ondo so vigorously. Akinoso indicts Tinubu for not heeding requests that the ACN should not field any candidate against Mimiko. But is this not a democracy? Is democracy not about competitive elections? Could Tinubu overrule the Ondo State ACN if they decided to challenge the incumbent? This is sheer bumkum. What the Akinosos of this world do not realize is that if Tinubu put in so much zeal and energy into the campaign at 60, it is because of his demonstrated passionate commitment over the last two decades to any cause he believes in. The way he campaigned in Ondo was the same way he campaigned for his party across the country in the 2011 elections. Tinubu had become financially secure for life as Treasurer of Mobil Oil. He could have easily chosen a private life unconcerned with the fate of Nigeria. Yes, he has his own weaknesses but he deserves commendation not blackmail for choosing the path of service and sacrifice. According to INEC, the ACN candidate, Mr. Rotimi Akeredolu (SAN), came third in the election. Yet the party really ought to be happy with its performance. Its precursor, the Action Congress (AC) scored just 33,510 votes in the 2007 election as against 128,669 votes recorded by the PDP and 198,269 votes scored by Dr. Mimiko to win the election. Following the reclamation of his mandate by Dr. Mimiko, the ACN, due to a reported agreement assumed that the governor would cross over to the party. The ACN thus left its structure to grow moribund. When it discovered almost too late that Mimiko had no plans to leave the LP, the ACN clearly found itself in a dilemma. This was probably why in the run up to the governorship election, the party encouraged the emergence of a multitude of aspirants believing that their campaigns would revive and galvanize the party at the grassroots towards the election. This later became a problem as the emergence of a candidate brewed an inevitable crisis that tasked the ingenuity of the party leadership. In the choice of a candidate, the ACN leadership was obviously swayed by Akeredolu’s towering professional and human rights antecedents. They probably saw him in the mould of Governor Babatunde Fashola – his fellow SAN. For them, integrity, character and competence superseded geo-ethnic and other primordial calculations. Is that not too

The votes purportedly cast in many polling units are statistically unattainable within the legal time frame permitted for voting unless votes were being cast every second! But should aggrieved parties go to court? I do not think so. Rather, let the parties play their opposition role effectively so that the battle for 2016 can commence immediately

idealistic a stance given the realities of Nigerian politics? Mimiko is a wily and shrewd political tactician. Akeredolu plays politics as if he is in a law court. For instance, I am told that on election day, the ACN candidate was informed that a political party was paying each voter N3000 to defeat and embarrass him in his own polling unit. It was suggested that he should also make necessary financial provision to checkmate this move. What was Akeredolu’s reaction? He most solemnly and gravely announced that such conduct contravened the Electoral Act and he would not indulge in it. Haba! Just imagine!! In Nigerian politics!!! By placing premium in its campaigns on Mimiko’s alleged failure to join its ranks as initially agreed, the ACN leadership created the impression that was why it was so vehemently against his re-election rather than non performance. This then helped reinforce the LP’s contention that all the talk of regional integration was nothing but Tinubu’s attempt to ‘colonize’ Ondo State just as he had purportedly done in other ACN states. A more effective propagation of the accomplishments of the ACN states would have helped contain this brilliant but misleading propaganda. In any case, if anybody wanted to colonize Ondo, Akeredolu would most certainly not have been the candidate. Like Tinubu himself, Akeredolu is a veritable study in stubbornness and fierce independence of mind. What the Ondo State governorship election has shown is that the ACN states must go beyond rhetoric and immediately begin to practically demonstrate the benefits of eco-

nomic integration through concrete joint developmental projects. They must not assume that the populace will automatically buy into the idea of regional economic integration, which has become imperative not just in the SouthWest but in all geographically contiguous zones of Nigeria. Yes, all states in a region must not necessarily belong to the same party for integration to be achieved. But the perceived lukewarm disposition of Mimiko to the idea was probably one reason why the ACN mounted such a fierce challenge against his re-election. On its part, the Ondo State chapter of the PDP wanted to have its cake and eat it. The party probably reckoned that the ACN and LP would battle each other to a standstill making it possible for it to steal the show and spring a surprise. It did not envisage that the presidency would rather throw its full weight behind an incumbent Mimiko as the best bet to checkmate a rampaging ACN. What was the motive behind the unprecedented militarization of Ondo State by the presidency during the October 20 election? Why was there so much violence in many parts of the state despite the heavy presence of soldiers and policemen? The Ondo governorship election effectively marked the commencement of the battle for President Goodluck Jonathan’s second term bid. Even as the Ondo State PDP is still questioning the credibility of the election, the national PDP and the presidency rushed to congratulate Mimiko. In the same vein, without waiting for his party’s position on the election, Governor Adams Oshiomhole endorsed the election and congratulated Mimiko. One wonders how the comrade governor would have felt if his party had rushed to congratulate Professor Oserheimen Osunbor in 2007, even as he battled to retrieve his mandate in court. What roles will Governors Oshiomhole and Mimiko play in the strategic calculations of President Jonathan’s second term Think Tank? Time will tell. Can a viable legal challenge be launched against the outcome of the Ondo State governorship election? Absolutely yes. For instance, some of the incredibly high votes recorded in many polling units are unlikely to stand close legal scrutiny. The votes purportedly cast in many polling units are statistically unattainable within the legal time frame permitted for voting unless votes were being cast every second! But should aggrieved parties go to court? I do not think so. Rather, let the parties play their opposition role effectively so that the battle for 2016 can commence immediately. Even then, I congratulate Governor Mimiko on his victory. He should enjoy his electoral triumph for as long as it stands legally. Above all, he should re-dedicate himself in selfless service to the people. That ultimately is what politics is about.





If the current effort at constitutional amendment achieves nothing more, it must, at least, legislate for fiscal federalism and ensure that the federal government no longer has a stranglehold on the federating units —Femi Orebe


HESE are indeed most interesting times to be alive in Nigeria. There is a grim battle on for the very soul of the country. Things are clearly falling apart. Bombs boom in the North. Armed robbers and kidnappers are universally on rampage. Corruption is endemic. Education has virtually collapsed. The health sector is comatose. Wealthy Nigerians routinely travel abroad to die. It has become the most fashionable way to transit to eternity. Unemployment wastes millions of young lives. Public infrastructure is in a calamitous state. The Nigerian state totters on the verge of collapse. Can things continue this way? The PDP, the ruling party at the centre since 1999, says yes. It is the party of continuity. The ACN, the leading opposition party, is at the vanguard of the advocacy for fundamental structural change. Each election is a veritable battle in an ongoing war for either continuity or change in Nigeria. Battles are bitterly fought, won or lost but the war continues - ferociously. The ACN won a marvelous victory in the July 14 Edo State governorship election, a victory that fired it up to fight earnestly for a repeat performance in Ondo State on October 21. But the forces of continuity staged a come back and won a tactical victory. That is the beauty of democracy – the suspense, the unpredictability. For the avoidance of doubt, the Labour Party (LP) in Ondo State shares ideological and philosophical affinity with the PDP. Any difference between the local Ondo PDP and the LP is due to ego and personal rivalry, not a fundamental divergence of principles. That is why the presidency was so obviously relieved at the victory of Governor Olusegun Mimiko and was quick to congratulate him even as the local PDP is still licking its wounds. A repeat of the Edo scenario would have sent disturbing signals towards the very crucial 2015 elections. I give full marks to the Governor Olusegun Mimiko administration’s information machinery, led by the experienced and versatile Kayode Akinmade. Through deft dissemination of information, they most effectively marketed the perceived achievements of the Mimiko Administration. The opposition disagreed vigorously, contending that the governor’s first term performance was dismal. Given the substantial resources available to Ondo as an oil producing state and Dr. Mimiko’s own rich political and managerial experience, I am inclined to believe his administration ought to have performed better. I was personally in Akure, Ondo, Ore and Ikare, among others and

An anatomy of the Ondo gubernatorial polls


strongly believe that the Sunshine state is in need of radical redemption. Governor Olusegun Mimiko has a second chance. He must immediately commence the radical and aggressive modernization of the state’s infrastructure. The administration must re-think the whole concept of mega schools. Ondo State has a population of 3,440,000. In Lagos, Alimosho Local Government alone has a population of 2,047,028. Yet, Lagos had to abandon the concept of millen-

For instance, I am told that on election day, the ACN candidate was informed that a political party was paying each voter N3000 to defeat and embarrass him in his own polling unit. It was suggested that he should also make necessary financial provision to checkmate this move. What was Akeredolu’s reaction? He most solemnly and gravely announced that such conduct contravened the Electoral Act and he would not indulge in it. Haba! Just imagine!! In Nigerian politics!!!

nium mega schools after building four of such massive structures. These structures are difficult and expensive to maintain. Maintaining discipline among such a large concentration of children is a challenge. It also makes proper psychological bonding among the students virtually impossible. The

money can be better spent rehabilitating dilapidated classrooms across the state and building more compact, functional and costeffective schools. In the health sector, the idea of the Child and Maternal Care Centre in Akure is good but this is grossly insufficient. General Hospitals must be built in local governments and health centers at ward level. The Mimiko administration may quite naturally feel that its first term performance has received the electorate’s stamp of approval with the outcome of this election. But if it does not significantly improve on its performance, Governor Mimiko’s candidate will face an even fiercer and more vigorous challenge in 2016. It is pertinent for the administration to note in this regard that it scored a minority of votes cast in the October 20 election (41.6%) as against 57% of the votes recorded by the opposition. This narrow escape should spur it to hit the ground running in its second term. One good thing about the Ondo gubernatorial polls just like the preceding one in Edo is that it is becoming increasingly difficult to take the electorate for granted. The debates among the candidates were vigorous. The campaigns were intensive. In particular, the ACN campaigned strenuously throughout the length and breadth of the state. Some contend that the passion and determination with which the ACN national leader, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, led and invigorated his party’s campaign is indicative of a personal expansionist hegemonic agenda. The respected columnist of The Punch newspaper, Professor Niyi Akinoso, even insinuated that Tinubu has his eyes on controlling the oil resources of Ondo State. This is scandalous and reckless blackmail not supported by the slightest scintilla of evidence. As far back as the 80s, Tinubu was a key financier and leading strategist of the Dapo Sarumi-led PRIMROSE group of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) that shook the foundation of Lagos politics in the aborted third republic. At the historic National Convention of the SDP at the Jos Township Stadium in 1993, the then Senator Tinubu hardly had any sleep for three nights as he vigorously lobbied delegates to help ensure Chief Abiola’s narrow victory over the mercurial Babagana Kingibe in the keen contest for the SDP presidential ticket. Thereafter, he was a key figure in Abiola’s nationwide campaign. Tinubu was one of the key financiers and frontline activists of the NADECO pro•Continued on Page 63

Ade Ojeikere on Saturday

A rescue mission for sports


dislike flying on the domestic route. I always have this sneaky feeling about the maintenance culture of our airlines. So, I decline invitations to sporting events around the country, except it is extremely important. One of such expedient sporting events was the late invitation to attend Monday’s Presidential Sport Retreat at the State House in Abuja. My first thought when I got the late invitation was to pretend that I didn’t see the e-mail. But, my dad had pleaded with me not to decline any presidential invitation. And I had to respect his order. Dad’s directive is law. Getting a ticket at the Lagos airport was a challenge. Yet I was pleasantly surprised by the attention I got from the ticket office. I stood, hands akimbo, wondering where to go. In this transfixed state, someone walked up to me, asking for my travel details. I hesitated, but he knew so much about me that I accepted his assistance. When he returned my ticket, I was ushered through the congested entrance like a king. I was stunned, but on reflection inside the aircraft, I appreciated the impact of working for a

renowned newspaper, such as The Nation, and the power of the television (appearances on Silverbird, among others). I thought that people would have protested as I strolled past. What I heard were complementary remarks that bowled me over. Inside the aircraft on Sunday, I prayed for a smooth flight to Abuja. When the aircraft landed, my plan was to sleep off till the next day. I achieved this objective because I kept my phones inside my bag. On Monday, with an open mind, I attended the retreat. What struck me was the presence of senior government officials, captains of industry, the financial institutions, governors, National Assembly members, the VicePresident and President Goodluck Jonathan. It was a mixed grill of the serious issues and the hilarious revelations from the presidents of the Paralympics and Wrestling Federations. The Paralympics Federation boss rocked the hall with laughter when he informed President Jonathan that the Federal Government’s resolve to eradicate polio by 2015 is the death knell for Nigeria at the 2016 Paralympics in Rio d’ Jameiro, Brazil. Dr. Frank Thrope told everyone that till date, Nigeria has won 51 medals; 49 of them

were won by paralympians with polio cases. He was the only serious looking person. Will you blame him? But he did say that there were areas in the physically-challenged sports for impaired persons, amputees, etc. For several minutes, the hall, the President inclusive rocked with laughter. But, Jonathan, in his closing remarks, stuck to his wipe-out-polio mandate, with a promise to the federation chief that money will be released on time in subsequent sporting competitions. Indeed, when the Wrestling Federation President informed his audience that everyone partook in wrestling daily, even at homes, it took close to three minutes to stop the laughter. In fact, the President broke from a smile to serious laughter, after listening to what the Adamawa State governor whispered into his ears. Trust Nigerian men with their pranks as they visualised wrestling from another prism, forgetting that the wrestling the federation boss referred to is an Olympic sport, which is displayed in the open and watched by all; not involving two opposite sexes in pitch darkness. President Jonathan again showed his humorous side when, in his closing remarks,

he told the audience that the Adamawa governor confided in him that the wrestling in the homes was won overwhelmingly by the women. Everyone laughed. Mr. President, was telling the truth, they must have felt. So much for the rib crackers. The first lesson from the retreat is the political will to make sports a big business, which inevitably will create the platforms for employment. The second lesson is the need to cultivate business concerns to embrace sports, but with a caveat -transparency and accountability. It was quite commendable listening to the President pour cold water on Rivers State Governor Rotimi Chibuike Amaechi’s assertion that the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) is the most corrupt organisation in Nigeria. In another remark, Jonathan said: “I don’t think the essence of what we are doing is to apportion blames. What I can see is that our penchant for releasing funds close to competitions provides people with the conduit to ‘chop the money!” My President, you bowled this writer over when you acknowledged that sport is the biggest mobiliser of people. You admitted that the only time when Nigerians forget creed, religion, political divide and the infamous federal character is during sports competitions, especially soccer. •Continued on Page 61

Published and printed by Vintage Press Limited. Corporate Office: 27B Fatai Atere Way, Matori, Lagos. P.M.B. 1025, Oshodi, Lagos. Telephone: Switch Board: 01-8168361. Editor-08094000052, Marketing: 01-8155547, Abuja Office: Plot 5, Nanka Close AMAC Commercial Complex, Wuse Zone 3, Abuja, E-mail: Tel/07028105302 Port Harcourt Office: 12/14, Njemanze Street, Mile 1, Diobu, PH. 08023595790 `Website: ISSN: 115-5302 Editor: DELE ADEOSUN

Saturday October 27, 2012  

Saturday October 27, 2012

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