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My staff call me a

Me, ‘Go slow’?

slave driver

–Mo Abudu –PAGE 32


Perish the thought! –Babatunde Fashola –PAGE9


October 9, 2011

Nigeria’s widest circulating newspaper

Vol.06, No. 1907


EFCC bars ex-governors, ministers from visiting Daniel, others Secures arrest warrant for Goje Jacobs, Pinheiro to prosecute former governors FROM: Yusuf Alli, Managing Editor, Northern Operation

Continued on Page 4

Fans on rampage as Guinea cage Eagles Demand Siasia’s sack Osaze blames TB Joshua –PAGE 2

Former President Shehu Usman Shagari with Sarkin Mafaran Shagari, Alhaji Mohammad Bala Shagari at the Murtala Muhammed Airport, Ikeja on his way to Abeokuta, Ogun State yesterday . Photo : ISAAC AYODELE




Fans on rampage, demand Siasia’s sack H

ELL was let loose at the Abuja National Stadium immediately after the Guineans scored the equalising goal which leveled the score at 2-2 although it effectively threw Nigeria’s out of the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations. Aggrieved fans who had been monitoring reports from other match centres took the law into their hands terrifying innocent Nigerians who were on their way out of the premises. The fans, angry that Nigeria may have been eliminated from the competitions threw water bottles which most of them had urinated into, stones, broken arm of chairs and pure water sachets unto the pitch in the area where Super Eagles players had converged to pray. A few others who sat close to the dressing room’s entrance where the players were walking towards booed them and continued to pelt them with anything that they could lay their hands on. The security operatives rallied to usher the players into the dressing room and spent time dispersing the irate crowd that had assembled in front of the door where the players were expected to enter their bus. For those who had been driven away, they laid ambush besides the road and the stadium’s exit gate where they held all manner of objects as they awaited the team’s bus. The security operatives did their job when they apprehended one of the fans who threw a stone at the bus whilst it was moving out of the stadium. As the bus carrying the

From Ade Ojeikere, Andrew Abah and Patrick Ngwogu in Abuja

players drove out of the premises, the fans booed them and rained abuses at them and Samson Siasia. One of the team officials inside the bus disclosed to The Nation on condition of anonymity stated that: “It was like driving through hell. We were afraid of the worse although credit must go to the security operatives who gave us enough protective cover as we drove out of the place. They even caught one fellow who threw the first stone. As we drove through the streets, the distraught fans booed us. We were felt for them having disappointed them. But that is football for you. Such results do happen.” “As I speak to you, we are in the hotel. Everyone is unhappy. It is l looking like a dream. It is really terrible, he said. Inside the stadium, over 20 fans carrying the Nigeria flag called for the sack of the Eagles chief coach Samson Siasia blaming him for the team’s shambolic showing during the match. They sang war songs which attracted other fans who then threw stones that shattered any glass object in sight. They destroyed the media centre’s sliding doors before the police could get to the place. The fans wanted to burst into the media centre to vent their anger on Siasia in an anticipated post-match conference. But the security men sensing danger to the coach’s life ordered that it shouldn’t hold much to the relief of journalists inside the room. For distinguished Nigerians who came to the

•Pelt team bus with stones •Scores in stampede; shoes, belongings litter stadium country’s football 25 years backward, so there is nothing again he can do than to resign. Nigeria failed to qualify last for the Nations cup in 1986, since then we have been to all the championship, even when we went with Coaches we believed are not worth the salt. Now that we all called for the employment of Siasia, thinking he is the messiah we are looking, but it had dawn on us that he is, so he should resign immediately.” The former member of the House of Representative said no one should blame the players but the Coach who fielded them. “He should take all the responsibility and allow us try other coaches,” he fumed. CAF and FIFA’s technical committee •Osaze Odemwingie in action against Guinea at the National Stamember Adegboye dium, Abuja, yesterday. PHOTO: Onigbinde told The stadium to watch the game, General of the then NFA Nation that exthey scampered into the Ahmed Sani Toro has internationals who want to executive suites inside the advised the Head Coach of administer football at all cost stadium where they the Super Eagles Samson should be held responsible watched how the security Siasia to take a way of for the uneventful outing honour by resigning from adding that: “they are the operatives quelled the riot. They later drove out in the position immediately. problem of our football by Reacting to the causing batches whilst journalists unnecessary scandalous result recorded who had been held hostage distractions. When I was the due to the bombardment of by the Super Eagles in the eagles coach, these so-called the press zone walked out last qualifying match ex-internationals cried that against Guinea at the Abuja I didn’t play the game to the towards their cars. Scores of innocent National Stadium, the highest level. Tell me, where people were injured with former scribe of the Nation’s did Jose Mourinho play his heaps of shoes, slippers and football body said football? Is he not one of the “Siasia should be able to personal belongings of best coaches in the world? people who had run for their accept responsibilities for Former Golden Eaglets the poor outing today. He lives littered the premises. and Super Falcons chief In a post-match should not wait for anyone coach Godwin Izilien said: comment, former Secretary to advice him, should resign “When one of The Nation immediately. Because he has succeeded in taking the newspaper’s columnists

Have Your Say How do you view the decision of the Federal Government to remove the subsidy on petroleum products beginning from January next year? — Send SMS with full name and location before Wednesday to 08074473182 Responses to previous week’s question are on pages 48 & 52

educated us on the reason why we shouldn’t have picked Siasia for the Eagles job, Nigerians abused him. He was called names. Now we can see that he has been vindicated. “It is a different bal game from being a very good player and being a coach. Siasia lacks the experience to train the Super Eagles. He is changes were terrible. How could he have removed Joel Obi, who was doing better than anyone else in the midfield and kept a very tired Mikel Obi on the pitch? Siasia has not done anything with the Eagles since he took charge. When he is not fighting the players, he is flexing muscles with his employers. He has no programme and he cannot point at any player that he has discovered. He promised to rebuild using home-based players. Where are they? How many homebased players has he introduced to the Eagles? He is too immature for the Eagles job. Does he have a coaching certificate? Where did he coach before taking the Eagles job? Nigerians rooted for him, so we must stomach the pains of our exit and never interfere in football matters especially the technical areas like picking a coach for any team. Meanwhile, Super Eagles striker Osaze Odemwingie has blamed the prediction of Prophet TB Joshua for Nigeria’s failure to qualify for next year’s Nations Cup. In a chat with reporters at the reception hall of the Transcorp Hilton shortly after the match, Osaze agreed that he did not play to expectations in the match but said the prediction of Prophet Joshua also put pressure on the team. “Yes, I would say I am sorry to Nigerians for not playing according to expectation and I believe I did not play well in the match. But the prediction of Prophet TB Joshua really affected us. “We thought we could see him and see how he could overturn the negative prediction but the officials came with another prophet who prayed for us and told us that all was well. “But in all we did not do our own bit of the job well as players and we are not happy that we won’t play at the forthcoming Nations Cup.” “My hope was high before the kick-off. We are really sorry for disappointing Nigerians. It is a sad day for me and my colleagues. “The coach has done his best but we the players really messed up.”



A summit of extremists


XTREMISTS cannot have a summit. A summit is a gathering of rational and clear-headed people. A summit is a talking shop, all right, but it is a talking shop of sane people. This is part of the multiple contradictions rocking contemporary Nigeria. Those who believe that a Sovereign National Conference is the cure-all panacea for our current woes have their work cut out for them. In a whirlpool of irrationality, how do you determine when sovereignty has finally slipped from a postcolonial state fundamentally rigged against rationality? But extremists can actually have a summit, that is as a culmination of irrationality, and of the madness of extremism in a multi-ethnic and multi-purpose nation without core values. In such a summit, it is fists that talk, and autistic fury reigns supreme. Have bombs and will travel. This is the summit we are more likely to have if care is not taken. The summit of extremists may well be at hand. Fifty-one years after flag independence from Britain and almost a hundred years after amalgamation, the nation remains a notion; a fictive possibility in the imagination of the Black behemoth, while the state is put on permanent notice by centrifugal forces bent on having their way. A national and nationalist elite remains largely absent in the face of unsympathetic undertakers. Meanwhile, what we must fear most, a coalescence of extremism, appears more and more inevitable. How did we dribble our way to this historic cul de sac? This is not mere hysterical scaremongering or an unwarranted peep into the horoscope of disaster. Last year on the fiftieth anniversary of the nation, the Nigerian bomb purportedly procured on the order of dissident insurgency, made its way to the Eagle Pavillion in Abuja with dire consequences. This year, the fear of the Boko Haram bomb sent the Nigerian state hiding in the innermost sanctuary of Aso Rock. The state fled from its persecutors. It doesn’t get more state-disabling and sovereignty-dissolving than that. A feisty Commander-inChief with the necessary nous and the critical awareness of the immense symbolic possibilities of such an occasion would have deployed all the awesome capacities of the modern Nigerian state to face down its tormentors. This has nothing to do with being a lion or a leopard. For these things have their inflationary logic. The more you give, the more it demands until you give up yourself. As a piece of icing on the cake and in the most extreme and daring

• Eagle Square, Abuja act of state-subversion, Boko Haram actually declared the head of the state internal security wanted and placed a huge price on his head. If this were to be some bizarre lore out of the rarified stratosphere of magical realism, even Gabriel Garcia Marquez would have been humbled. But it is not. Since something new always comes out of Africa, welcome to the first multi-state nation. Yet as if nothing has happened, President Goodluck Jonathan, with his trademark cheery countenance and amiable insouciance , showed up a few days later in Kigali with a rumoured oversized human luggage. But since the time of extremism is also involuntarily accompanied by much laughter and forgetting, there is nothing anybody can do about that one. Give this one to Jonathan. There is something truly chilling and unnerving about his unflappable composure. The legendarily lucky man probably knows something that is beyond the comprehension of us lesser mortals. What remains is for us to bring up for dishonorable mention, the forces of extremism that are bent on taking Nigeria to the cleaners, and their mutually reinforcing momentum. As citizens of an ethnically cleaved and religiously divided nation, Nigerians may be powerless in the face of their evil machinations. There may as yet be no critical mass or the pan-Nigerian multitude to put them where they properly belong in the dustbin of history. But this must not stop us from showing them up in the gallery of villains. First are the ethnic extremists. They are those who believe that Nigeria is the estate of their ancestors and must be permanently misruled by them. They have never reconciled with reality and the stark actuality of a Jonathan presidency. Bitterly and deviously engaged in a proxy war of state destabilization, they are bent on teaching Jonathan a lesson by making life impossible for him. Since power is the only industry they

know, this has been their modus operandi whenever the power equation slips from their hands. Unfortunately, they represent no one but their own vested and entrenched economic interests. It is a sublime irony that blinded by sheer greed and gluttony, they cannot even realize that to all intents and purposes, and given his political and ideological inclination, Jonathan ought to be their blue-eyed boy. There is nothing in Jonathan to suggest even remotely that he would disturb or disrupt the status quo. But then, there are status quos and there is ethnic status quorum and a tree trunk does not become a crocodile simply because it has spent some time in water. The second group of extremists are those who believe that Nigeria should be ruled forever and in luckless perpetuity by a single party no matter its ideological and political bankruptcy. These are the apostles of the Third Reich. Fortunately or unfortunately, this is not an ethnic coalition but a pan-Nigerian congregation of bandits and buccaneers. Looting is their motto and rigging the motor of all activities. It does not matter to them if Nigeria and its accursed electorate are abolished in the process of disreputable elections. Tragically and happily, the law and logic of state banditry has introduced a sharp division and bitter rancour in their fold and the falcon can no longer hear the falconer. But this sharp division and bitter disaffection has also introduced a sense of panic and desperation into the ascendant faction. It has made it to resort to self-help and vote-grabbing even in circumstances where it didn’t need to. You can only get away with this kind of electoral larceny in a tame and colluding environment. It is this reality that has goaded and panicked poor Jonathan into adding the scalp of the judiciary to the morgue of institutional casualties. This is like shooting one’s self in the foot as pending and future electoral disputes will strive in vain for credibility and legitimacy. In a bitterly divided polity, this is akin to deliberately courting anarchy and chaos. The anarchy and chaos may well be with us if we are to go by the menace of the third group of extremists. These are the religious extremists who are bent on imposing their vision of paradise or the righteous so-

Okon takes small chop to Abuja


O man, they say, is a hero to his valet. So it has been with snooper and Okon Anthony Okon. As his service years lengthen, Okon has transformed from cook to companion and from servant to local savant. The crazy boy’s awful temerity grows by leap and bound. On Saturday as snooper lounged in bed after a night of torrential downpour, Okon shambled in carrying a huge serving basket containing a smaller one. Before snooper could ask any question, the mad boy had launched into a destabilizing offensive. “Oga, I dey smell dem rat for this una room,” the boy opened with a straight face. As snooper made a frantic gesture to get up, the mad boy gestured to him to calm down. “No be dat kind rat. Na woman I dey smell and na Yoruba woman. You no say I sabi dem Sosorebia oil.” “Okon, you will please leave this room at once,” snooper screamed at the crazy boy. “Haba oga, as mama don vamoose, I know say madu no be wood,

even Tiger Wood sef no be wood,” the mad boy crowed with a sly wink. “Shut up,” snooper screamed as he sprang up to throw the boy out. Startled by the forceful reaction, Okon had to hold on firmly to his strange basket. “In fact are you not taking my food to those vagabonds again?” snooper angrily queried. “No oga no be dat. I wan reach Abuja quick quick.” The crazy boy offered with a smirk on his face. “To do what?”, snooper growled but mightily relieved that Okon was up to his usual pranks. “I wan go give Gbenga Daniel small chop for EFCC Kirikiri. Dem say him send one Ibo boy go buy am water and bread from Lugbe and dat one come vamoose into dem Okija forest,” the mad boy drawled. “I see. And what is in the other basket?” snooper demanded hiding his mirth. “Na pepper soup for Joe boy. I come put plenty efinrin for dat one. As dem Boko Haram come drive dat one inside Patience him room, I say

man pikin be man pikin,” the mad boy drawled with satanic relish. “But Jonathan is in Kigali,” snooper noted. “Ha oga dat one na America wonder, na him double. Him dey for bedroom,” Okon submitted only to resume his wild, subversive commentary. “Oga dem say baba come go near dem Daniel window for night and him come dey sing, “Ori okere konko l’awo. Oga wetin be dat?” “It means the stupid squirrel’s skull is inside the plate,” snooper offered. “Kai, kai, dis ogbologbo Baba sef,” Okon noted with wary admiration. “Okon, what did baba say about Alao Akala?” snooper asked, succumbing to mischief. “Dem say after dem come remove dem yeye bangle and dem goldsmith jagajaga from dat one, Baba come dey murmur, ‘Alao s’enia, Alao s’enia’ and dem Farina woman come ask Baba to shut up”. On that note, snooper drove out the mad boy.



nooping around With

Tatalo Alamu ciety on all irrespective of faith. Suddenly, Nigeria is crawling with fanatics and fundamentalists of all hues. In a fundamental sense, their yearnings are a sad reminder of the failure of earthly authorities to deliver. Let us get this clear. The argument about whether Nigeria is a multi-religious state is nonsense and bunkum. The modern nation-state is a secular proposition and derives its grundnorm from its secularity. All theocratic nations exist in gross violation and grand contradiction of the imperative of the modern nation. This is why theocracy is incompatible with liberal democracy which is the greatest by-product of the imperative of the modern nation. The infamous picture of Jonathan in abject supplication before a religious authority ought to have been seen as a dangerous threat to the secularity of the state. The beauty of a functioning democracy however lies in the fact that the electorate are left to deliver the final judgment on the wisdom or otherwise of such pentecostal posturing. The Boko Haram is altogether a different proposition. Without any apology, its proponents and adherents seek to impose a theocratic order on a multi-religious nation. This is a fundamental assault on the very basis of the nation. Unlike all other insurgencies which seek a political solution to our endemic crisis of nationhood, the Boko Haram seeks a religious solution which abolishes the dynamic differences and diversities of the multi-national nation. If they succeed, it is goodbye to liberal democracy and indeed the nation as we know it. This is a more potent mutant of the sharia gambit. But there is a class basis to this revolt of the northern underclass which cannot be ignored by the rest of the country and which ought to be viewed with the empathy and sensitivity it deserves. In philosophy, this is called overdetermination, a situation in which multiple contradictions jostle for contention without the benefit of monocausal complacency. While the Boko Haram sect is against the Nigerian state as religiously constituted, it is also against the northern ruling class as politically constituted. Over the years, the northern multitude have watched as the so-called Westernization and selective education have brought nothing but further immiseration and pauperization. The economic injustice in the north cries to high heavens. The tiny feudal elite have fed fat on the toil and misery of their people without being able to provide any justification for secular governance. The social brutalization and dehumanization are such that they provide an ideal and idyllic habitat and a fertile breeding ground for messianic suicide bombers who have nothing to lose but their shabby and miserable existence. After all, in their toxic indoctrination, the world beyond is a moveable feast of wine, women and plentiful venison. Tragically enough, rather than coming up with a serious road map for the emancipation of the Nigerian underclass, rather than furnishing the nation with a massive Marshal plan for the amelioration of the plight of the Nigerian people and the northern masses in particular, Jonathan has been persuaded to buy into an economic regimen that can only compound and worsen the woes of the underclass. This is why and where the fourth group of extremists, the eco-

nomic extremists, represent the clearest danger to Nigeria as it is currently constituted. If the government lacks the will to go after economic saboteurs and all those who have contributed to the economic adversity of the nation, it has no moral justification to pass the bill of inefficiency to the people. The petroleum subsidy argument is a violent fraud perpetrated against the Nigerian populace since the military inquisition of General Ibrahim Babangida. The fact that they are still talking about a phantom subsidy twenty five years after ought to have alerted Jonathan that he was in for a massive heist. The idea of a permanent subsidy to be removed at will when the wages of corruption and state prodigality come calling does not do justice to economic literacy or social justice. And when the removal of non-existent subsidy becomes the cure-all economic orthodoxy of succeeding governments, we might as well wonder aloud with General Babangida as to why the economy has not collapsed. This subsidy palaver may well provide the necessary spark and the tipping point into anarchy and social chaos. For years we have argued that subsidy only exists in the malarial imagination of World Bank economic hit-men and hatchetwomen. It is a permanent trap for irresponsive and irresponsible governments. The massive largesse accruing will end up in private pockets which in turn will fuel inflation which in turn will lead to involuntary devaluation of the currency and which will lead to strident calls for another round of subsidy removal. Meanwhile, underdevelopment and further miseries will proceed apace. The already de-industrialised and economically depressed North will suffer worse, fuelling the emergence of more violent anti-secular sects. It is clear that for our economic experts sexing up the balance sheet of fiscal mendacity is more important than actual growth and the well-being of the populace. At first, they came with the argument that a bottle of coke was more expensive than a bottle of petrol, as if that was a crime in an oil producing country. Why don’t they remove the subsidy on water and air? When Ghana unilaterally decreed that the new cedi would be at par with the dollar, nothing happened. Except that inflationary pressures on the Ghanaian economy virtually disappeared overnight. Today, the new cedi is holding up very well against the dollar and Ghana is yet to go into full-scale petroleum exporting. It is the difference between a patriotic national elite and a gangster cartel. Ghana has gone indeed. Nigeria is totally at the mercy of extremist forces with Jonathan a witting and willing pawn. When you factor the Boko Haram threat into economic ,political and ethnic extremism, the situation is very dire indeed. Many voted for Jonathan in the belief that he possesses the calm equanimity to prepare Nigeria for a major surgery even as he stabilizes the patient. If he does not want to be the last president of Nigeria, let him place a moratorium on this subsidy project and prepare instead for an economic and political summit that will furnish a genuine roadmap for the redemption of the country. The alternatives are too scary to contemplate.




2015: Sambo supporters kickstart campaign T

HE 2015 presidential race appears to have got under way after supporters of Vice President Namadi Sambo yesterday in Kaduna besieged the North West Zonal meeting of the PDP, carrying posters with the inscription “The promise, Namadi project.” The Vice President was at the meeting. His supporters also distributed pamphlets highlighting his contributions to the success of the Jonathan administration. The PDP zoning arrangement favours the North for the presidency after the tenure of Jonathan Sources at the meeting said the Vice President is determined to succeed President Jonathan However, the Vice President at the meeting stressed the need for the party to reach out to the people to reclaim the seats it lost in the last elections and expressed satisfaction with the performance of election tribunals across the country so far. According to him, It is heartwarming to note that the Election Petitions Tribunal have had cause to determine election petitions under a conducive atmosphere and delivered judgments reflective of the true wishes and aspirations of the people. He said:”Our great Party, the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) has recorded great milestone in these petitions where the tribunals ordered for re-elections having found irregularities, malpractices, manipulations and other negative vices perpetrated by our opponents to get a favourable outcome of such elections, even in areas that were adjudged not to be our strongholds or domain”. “The Senatorial as well as Representative re-runs in Katsina State as well as

Tony Akowe, Kaduna

some parts of the country attest to this claims. We should muster enough strength to reclaim what rightly belongs to us by effectively sensitizing our people on the need to vote for the Party that will transform Nigeria through the provision of various infrastructural facilities such as power, water, roads, bridges and other streamlined programmes such as good healthcare delivery system, education for all and provision of the good things of life that our people earnestly so desire to improve our overall socio-economic status. “The presence of peace is a sine-qua-non for any meaningful development to take place, until and unless we partner with each other, as well as Government to expose perpetrators of these dastardly acts so that the hitherto relative peaceful situation that have existed overtime is fully restored. “As a Party that is fully organized and vibrant, well noted for its adoption of Rule of Law and Natural Justice in the discharge of its activities, the decision to hold Party congresses and national convention to properly position the Party to face the future challenges that lay ahead is paramount. “Accordingly, our zone, which co-incidentally is the largest in terms of number of states, requires our full participation and articulation in our strategic approaches in ensuring that the forthcoming congresses and conventions are peacefully conducted and successful in the long run. The assembly of the cream of our Party faithfuls at this meeting only signals and lends credence to our desire to ensure that we develop new ideas, initiatives and innovations that will further solidify the Party

• One of the surpporters campaign vans and move it forward. “I therefore call on us to approach today’s meeting with a clear mind and conscience and to develop more pragmatic ways that will consolidate the strength of our Party by embarking on people-oriented projects and programmes in each tier of Government that will not only improve the lives of our people but will banish poverty amongst our citizens. “We must shun all overtures by those who are bent on destroying the Party through anti-Party activities and be unified in our quest to strengthen a Party that has made its mark and improved the lives and wellbeing of our citizens. We must be unified and steadfast for the growth and strength of our great party and in the interest of our dear citizens”.

Sources told The Nation that the VP is encouraged in his bid following agitation by some Northern power brokers in the belief that the President will not run for a second term. Yesterday’s meeting was attended by four of the six PDP governors in the North West, and two Deputy governors. The Governors of Kaduna, Patrick Ibrahim Yakowa, Kebbi’s Usman Dakangari, Kano’s Musa Kwankwaso and Katsina’s, Ibrahim Shema were in attendance while Jigawa and Sokoto States sent in their respective Deputy Governors. Others who attended the meeting were the Defence Minister, Mohammed Haliru Bello, former Speaker, House of Repre-

EFCC bars ex-governors, ministers •Continued from Page 1 In the case of ex-Governor Danjuma Goje (Gombe), his days in hiding are numbered as the EFCC has obtained a court warrant to arrest him in any part of the world. Goje was also watchlisted on Saturday by the commission meaning that he could be arrested on behalf of the EFCC by the International Police (INTERPOL) or other international security agencies in the UK, United States, France, Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates(UAE). Investigation by our correspondent confirmed that some highbrow visitors, including ex-governors and ministers, were disallowed from seeing the three detained former state Executives on security ground. A top source in the commission, who spoke in con-

fidence, said: “We had a deluge of visitors who came to sympathize with these exgovernors but we disallowed them because of security implications. “The EFCC decided to bar the visitors till 9am on Monday because the number of officers on duty is limited. We wanted to avoid a situation whereby someone will hurt them under the guise of paying a visit. “For their own safety, we have to restrict visitors to only their spouses or those who bring their meals to them. Even at that, whoever brings meals must taste it to avoid any recourse to poisoning. “We also do not want some of these visitors to turn EFCC’s custody into political arena. Whoever wants to pay a solidarity visit should wait till we charge them to court next week.” A former Minister, who

sought to meet with one of the governors, said: “I was told to come back on Monday by 9am.” Responding to a question, the source said: “The charges against the ex-governors are ready, we are set for their trial. “We have also secured the services of tested lawyers who will prosecute them. Some of the prosecutors are Mr. Kemi Pinheiro (SAN), Rotimi Jacobs, Wahab Shittu, Godwin Obla and a former top official of the MBA. Each of these senior legal hands may head different teams.” Another source in EFCC, however, said some of the ex-governors are pushing for their trial in Abuja for strategic reasons. “They believe that their opponents may turn their trial into political carnival,” the source said At press time, findings

confirmed that the EFCC had obtained a court warrant to arrest ex-Governor Danjuma Goje, who was declared wanted on Friday for allegedly mismanaging N52.9billion loan and security votes. The EFCC source said: “We have an order from a court in Abuja to arrest Goje in any part of the world. We have sent his names to INTERPOL and other security agencies at home and abroad to watch-list him. “Although he wrote a letter to the EFCC through a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Chief Niyi Akintola, that he would report to the commission on Monday, we decided not to take things for granted. The Head of Media and Publicity of the EFCC, Mr. Femi Babafemi, said: “It is true that we have watchlisted Goje as part of steps to arrest him.”

sentatives, Ghali Umar Na’aba among others. In a communiqué, the meeting called on all party members across the zone to take advantage of the current party’s constitutional amendment and emphasized the need for discipline among party members and direct the formation of disciplinary committees at all levels of the party as provided for in the party’s constitu-

tion. They also formed the zonal election committee to work with the party in Sokoto and Katsina states to ensure the success in the forthcoming elections in the states and congratulated President Goodluck Jonathan and Vice President Mohammed Namadi Sambo as well as the governors for the victories at the April general elections.

Nigeria, Ghana to strengthen trade relationships


IGERIA and Ghana are to work together for the good of both nations, it was agreed yesterday. P r e s i d e n t Goodluck Jonathan who is in Accra, Ghana to conclude 3- nation working visits to Rwanda, Ethiopia and Ghana, said both countries will continue to strengthen economic and trade relations for the benefit of the African continent. He also called on citizens and investors in both countries to explore and maximise the relationship. Jonathan spoke yesterday at the State Banquet hosted in his honour by President John Evans AttaMills at the State House, Accra, Ghana. He said, “Nigeria and Ghana have lot to do together and have been playing key roles as members of ECOWAS, the cooperation between both countries will move the continent forward”. He also expressed hope of Africa becoming the hub of international market like Dubai in the nearest future because of her enormous

From Vincent Ikuomola, Abuja

economic and trade windows. President Jonathan said his visit was to cement the existing cordial relationship of both countries as well as strengthen the ties. He therefore urged Ghanaian businessmen and investors to take advantage and “massively invest” in Nigeria. He extolled the virtue of one of Ghana’s founding fathers, the Late Kwame Nkrumah for his resilience in the struggle for Africa’s independence which saw Ghana attain independence early. Attah-Mills thanked President Jonathan for honouring his invitation to attend the 50th Golden Jubilee Graduation ceremony of the Ghana Institute for Management and Public Administration (GIMPA). He praised Jonathan for fulfilling his promise to conduct free and fair elections in Nigeria, saying it has sent the “right signal to the world that Africa is ready to develop democracy”.



S part of preparation for a water-tight trial in South Africa of the leader of the Movement for the Emancipation of Niger Delta, Henry Okah for terrorism, a team of investigators from that country is due in Nigeria soon to collate more evidence against the accused. While here the South Africans will interact with their Nigerian counterparts on Okah and his group. The State Security Service(SSS) is said to have uncovered the masterminds of last year’s independence day bomb blast in Abuja. A Johannesburg High Court had in August fixed the trial of Okah for January 2012. It was learnt that South Africa was encouraged by the recent breakthrough recorded by the SSS in uncovering the masterminds of the blast, including a banker. A top source, who spoke in confidence, said: “South Africa is tidying up for the trial of Okah and his accomplices . Some crack investigators are likely to visit Nigeria any moment from now for



Okah: South African investigators set to visit Nigeria • SSS uncovers masterminds of Independence Day blast From: Yusuf Alli, Managing Editor, Northern Operation

data update and latest on the investigations by the SSS. “The recent uncovering of most of the masterminds of the October 1 blast has enhanced prosecution process of Okah by the South African government. “The investigators are coming to fill a few gaps in their findings. There is no place to hide for the MEND leader. “Although the SSS is yet to fully brief the nation on the masterminds, the report of its investigation is assisting exchange of intelligence by international security

• Okah

agencies, including South African agencies. “They are likely to adopt the SSS report on the blast for the trial of Okah. The same South African investigators have also got some dossiers on Okah from Angola.” It could not be determined how long the investigators will stay in Nigeria but a source said: “We are expecting them for collaboration.”

Okah is facing a five-count charge bordering on terrorism against the state. While the prosecution is contemplating 55 witnesses, Okah is said to have lined up about 103 The charges are as follows: Engaging in terrorist activity. Conspiracy to engage in terrorist activities. Conspiracy to deliver, place and-or detonate an explosive device; Causing death and serious bodily injury. Attempt to cause harm to an internationally protected person relates to the

Kenyans bid farewell to Wangari Maathai K

ENYANS yesterday bade farewell to the first African woman to win the Nobel Peace Prize in a colourful state funeral marked with prayers, praises and tree planting. Thousands of Kenyans, including President Mwai Kibaki and Prime Minister Raila Odinga, amassed at a landmark park in Kenya’s capital, Nairobi, to attend prayers held for the late Wangari Maathai. Maathai, who won the Nobel in 2004 for her work in conservation and women’s rights, resisted a government plan to build a complex at Uhuru Park, where the funeral took place yesterday. “Wangari’s legacy goes beyond Kenya — all over the world,” said Odinga. “We have lost a dedicated selfless Kenyan patriot,” and her work will continue to inspire the rest of the world. Rev. Phyliss Ochillo who prayed for Maathai yesterday said the laureate was concerned about the environment when he visited her in hospital only a day before her death. “She did not respond to anything but when I talked about the environment that’s when she responded,” Ochillo said. Maathai was seen as a threat to the rich and powerful. She was beaten, arrested and vilified for the simple act of planting a tree, a natural wonder she believed could reduce poverty and conflict. Maathai, best known as the

‘Tree Mother of Africa,’ believed that a healthy environment helped improve lives by providing clean water and firewood for cooking, thereby decreasing conflict. The Kenyan organization she founded planted 30 million trees in hopes of improving the chances for peace, a triumph for nature that inspired the U.N. to launch a worldwide campaign that resulted in 11 billion trees planted. Maathai died late last month after a long battle with cancer. She was 71. “The best way we can honour her is to carry on the great work she started especially in the fields of environmental conservation, social justice, human rights and democracy,” President Kibaki said. Maathai asked to be cremated because burying her in a wooden coffin would mean that a tree was cut, even though cremation defies Kenya’s tradition of a burial. The casket carrying her body to be cremated yesterday was bambooframed, made of water hyacinth and papyrus reeds and draped with a Kenyan flag. Although the family announced days earlier that the cremation would be private, thousands of Kenyans followed the ceremony up to the gate of the crematorium to try and catch a glimpse of the moments before she was reduced to ashes. But hundreds of police kept guard and pushed the crowd back from getting too close.

• The funeral prossession in Nairobi yesterday

More than 5,000 tree seedlings are expected to be planted in her honour yesterday. Maathai was the first African woman to receive the Nobel Peace Prize. But on Friday three champions of women’s rights in Africa and the Middle East were also awarded the prize. The Norwegian Nobel Committee split the prize between Tawakkul Karman, a leader of anti-government protests in Yemen; Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, the first woman to win a free presidential election in Africa; and Leymah Gbowee of Liberia, who campaigned against the use of rape as a weapon in her country’s brutal civil war. Maathai said during her 2004

Peace Prize acceptance speech that the inspiration for her life’s work came from her childhood experiences in rural Kenya. There she witnessed forests being cleared and replaced by commercial plantations, which destroyed biodiversity and the capacity of forests to conserve water. After Kenya’s former President Daniel Arap Moi left government, Maathai served as an assistant minister for the environment and natural resources ministry. Although the tree-planting campaign launched by her group, the Green Belt Movement, did not initially address the issues of peace and democracy, Maathai said it became clear over time that responsible governance of the

environment was not possible without democracy. Maathai’s work was quickly recognized by groups and governments the world over, winning awards, accolades and partnerships with powerful organizations. Maathai was the first woman to earn a doctorate in East Africa — in 1971 from the University of Nairobi, where she later was an associate professor in the department of veterinary anatomy. She previously earned degrees from Mount St. Scholastica College — now Benedictine College — in Atchison, Kansas, and the University of Pittsburgh. Maathai is survived by three children.

• Speaker of the House of Representatives, Aminu Tambuwal {right} with the Chief Executive Officer of Landover Aviation and Allied Company, Captain Edward Boyo on his way back to Abuja after a private visit to Lagos at the weekend.. Photo: Isaac Ayodele




Gunmen kill PDP chairman From Chris Oji, Enugu


HAIRMAN of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Enugu South Local Government Area, Mr. Steve Ani, was shot dead on Friday night by suspected assassins. Ani, eyewitnesses said, was driving into his country home at Amechi Awkunanaw when two young men on a motorcycle double crossed him and pointed guns at him.They reportedly shot him at close range before he could make any move. Caught by the hail of bullets, Ani lost control of the vehicle, which ran into a ditch.Witnesses said the shot politician screamed for help as the gunmen drew closer and aimed more bullets at him. The sound of gunfire forced everybody within the vicinity to scamper for safety, leaving the victim in a pool of his own blood inside the car.The gunmen were said to have escaped through the Amechi axis of The Enugu-PortHarcourt expressway while policemen later recovered Ani’s lifeless body and his gun- riddled car from the scene.Commissioner for Police, Enugu State, Job Doma confirmed the incident. Doma said: “The incident occurred on Friday. He was driving to his house when suddenly people waylaid his vehicle and immediately opened fire. They killed him on the spot. I don’t understand why people should be killing other people like rats. But we have this feeling that his death may be related to cultism and cult violence”.Doma added that three suspects have so far been arrested by the police in connection with the killing. He said they will be charged to court soon.


VER 51 illegal orphanages were discovered yesterday in Nkpor and Awada in the commercial city of Onitsha, Anambra State. The discovery followed a raid by the Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development in collaboration with the State Police Command. The task force also foiled the sale of a baby girl with forged court orders. Six persons suspected of involvement in the planned sale were also arrested and detained. Commissioner for Women Affairs and Social Development, Dr Ego Uzoezie, said the surveillance followed an alert by a couple seeking to adopt a baby by going through due process. The couple, she said, had already paid over N600, 000 to fraudsters before realising the court document presented was forged. The chief suspect, one Mr. Onuorah, said he was forced into the illicit act to keep body and soul together. On sighting the task force, 65year-old Onuorah, a retired Chief Social Officer said, ‘’I am owing up to this crime because I prepared the order .It is a mistake. The document is the previous document we did but they said they wanted local. “Don’t jail me because I am already an old man. Why did you come with full squad? Take me to Abuja to die. Grace gave me the document through the husband to do an adoption order and my financial benefit is only N20, 000 from Grace.” ‘’As a man with family and who has not been paid since two years, that’s why I am doing some illegal jobs to survive. The Child is from Concord hospital and Maternity Onitsha, then to Crowther Motherless Babies home Onitsha. My offence is the court order for adoption I forged, nothing else

One killed as poor turn out, violence mar Niger LG polls


OW turn -out, short supply of ballot papers, malpractices and violence yesterday marred local government elections in Niger State. One person was killed in Kontagora local government leading to indefinite suspension of voting in the council. The incident followed a violent protest during distribution of electoral materials.Unknown gunmen shot into the air to scare away voters. One man was found dead and several others injured after the melee. Governor Babangida Aliyu and former head of state, General Abdulsalami Abubakar, expressed concerns over the poor turn out. While Aliyu blamed it on poor mobilisation of the electorate, Abubakar

Donations for Lagos schools


GEGE Local Government Education Authority yesterday donated elearning equipment and instructional materials to some schools in the council. The agency also donated a mobility aid to Master Tobilola Ebofin, a physically challenged student of Amosun Primary School, Agege. Education Secretary of the council, Hon. Olamilekan Majiyagbe, pleased that the agency will continue to contribute to the attainment of academic excellence.

From Jide Orintunsin, Minna

attributed it to voters’ apathy. Some chairmanship candidates of Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) withdrew from the race at the last minute, citing absence of level playing ground. They alleged that electoral officers and ad hoc staff were sympathisers of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).Voters stayed away from most polling stations visited by our correspondent. Some of them include Chanchaga, Paikoro and Bosso, Suleja, Bida, Mokwa and Gurara local governments. State Chairman of CPC, Mallam Shuaibu Umar, stated that elections were marred in all the 25 local government areas. He alleged that the state Independent Electoral Commission contravened the electoral act by deliberately shielding names of electoral officers engaged for the elections.He further complained that stakeholders were denied opportunity to raise objection on any suspected officer.Umar said “the electoral process did not provide a level playing ground, coupled with the fact that all the Electoral officers are PDP agents, some of our chairmanship candidates pulled out in protest.”Commissioner in charge of Information in the State Independent Electoral Commission, Alhaji Mahmud Mohammed, said that all political parties were involved in the distribution of the materials, which he said were adequately provided for electoral officers.

51 illegal motherless homes discovered in Anambra •Police, ministry foil sale of baby with forged court order From Nwanosike Onu, Awka

please.” Mrs. Grace Esebameh, a nurse at Crowther Motherless Babies Home through which the Medical Director of Concord Hospital and Maternity, Onitsha, Dr Odili Ossai, allegedly trafficked babies claimed ignorance of the dealings. She said she only noticed movement of three babies in and

out of the Motherless Babies home from the same hospital in three months. The movements, she said, followed a similar pattern. She later confessed at the hospital Ossai trafficked babies but denied involvement. Esebameh said her duty was to keep babies in the home for him. She admitted knowing the couple paid Ossai N380, 000.

Security agents swooped on Concord Hospital and Maternity, Onitsha where four newly delivered teenage mothers were arrested. The teenage mothers allegedly gave up their new babies for undisclosed amounts of money. But they claimed their babies died immediately after birth. The medical doctor escaped arrest by the whiskers.

• Aliyu voting at Umar Musa ward in Tunga, Tundun Wada South, Minna yesterday


Pan-Yoruba conference: A flop foretold


ANY saw it coming. They predicted the Pan-Yoruba conference, which held last Thursday in Ikenne, Ogun State would flop. Conceived to foster unity among professionals and politicians of Yoruba extraction on national issues, the event failed to attract major political players in the South West. All six incumbent South West governors stayed away. But Ondo State Governor, Dr Olusegun Mimiko, sent his deputy to stand in. There was no senator or member of the House of Representatives in attendance. Many prominent traditional rulers were not there. Some famous political figures from the past showed up, but the absentees stole the show. Before it held, there were already discordant tunes. The Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi queried the need for the meeting – calling it illtimed considering the nation’s current security challenges. Yorubas in other parts of the country, he warned, might be exposed to needless security threats. He also complained that the conference called by Mama H.I.D. Awolowo and the Ooni of Ife, Oba Okunade Sijuwade, was not preceded by adequate consultations. He questioned the motive of the conveners, saying their intention was to achieve personal objectives at the expense of the general interest of Yorubaland. “Those masquerading as Yoruba

By Sunday Oguntola

leaders are the permanent government contractors whose influence is waning politically and who now want to use this kind of conference as leverage to continue their politics of the stomach,” he said. Adeyemi’s hard-hitting rejection of the gathering was not the only piece of bad news for the conveners. Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) chairman, Chief Bisi Akande, also dismissed the meeting as needless. He said the South West did not need unity of politics. Yorubas, he argued, decided their political leaders at the last general elections. Akande, whose party controls five of the six South West states, asked: “Are they saying I should drop my vision for others? My vision is different from yours and that is why we are politicians. In the US, UK, France or many advanced democracies, there is nothing like politics of unity, except among a group of imbeciles. But the direction of the thinking of the Yoruba can only be realized when there is free and fair elections.’’ He said those who championed the conference were looking for a platform through which they could get access to President Goodluck Jonathan and secure favour for contracts. The conference brought to the fore the age-long ideological divide in Yoruba politics. The Yorubas

have always pulled in different political directions from pre-Independence days. Even when the late Chief Obafemi Awolowo was alive, many were courageous enough to disagree with his political affiliations. When the North conceded the Presidency to the South West in 1999, the Yorubas remained polarised. Few favoured mainstream politics while many wanted consolidation of regional autonomy. The level of sophistication and enlightenment in the region would always create such a divide, analysts say. This is why seeking to create a common political front in the region will remain a mirage.

Party picks guber aspirant From Adamu Suleiman, Sokoto


LHAJI Mua’azu Abubakar yesterday emerged the flag bearer of the Fresh Democratic Party (FDP) for Sokoto governorship election scheduled for next March. Mu’azu, the party’s past chairman in the state, secured 37 votes at the primaries. He said, ‘’ I have a dream for the state and want to guarantee people of their hope and integrity for the prosperity of the state’’.




Jang on leave, hands over to deputy

FG will support private varsities-Sambo V P ICE President Namadi Sambo yesterday hinted that the 45 private universities operating in the country may soon enjoy financial support from the Federal Government through the Education Trust Fund [ETF]. Sambo said the Federal Government’s intervention using the ETF would help cushion the impact of “grappling with issues of funding,” by proprietors of private universities. He said the universities are playing complementary roles in “education and national development.” The vice president spoke at the third convoca-

Ernest Nwokolo, Abeokuta

tion of Crescent University, Abeokuta, Ogun State, shortly after being conferred with the honorary doctorate degree in Political Science and International Relations. “I know for instance that a lot of the private tertiary institutions, particularly, the universities, still grapple a lot with the issues of funding and are clamouring for consideration with regard to the tertiary education fund. “The Government will as a matter of responsibility, look at this issue on its

own merit and advise on ways and means by which all the necessary support will be rendered,” he said. Sambo who was represented at the occasion by the Minister of State for Education, Mr. Augustine Nyesom Wike, noted that most of the private universities in the country were “being promoted by faith based organisations,” and said they “can only serve to better the moral rectitude of their products.” One hundred and eighteen students graduated yesterday with seven of them graduating with first Class honours while 37 of others went home

with Second Class Upper Division. Also, seven eminent citizens, including former President, Alhaji Shehu Shagari; Vice President Sambo, the Sultan of Sokoto, Alh. Sa’ad Abubakar; the Emir of Kano, Alhaji Ado Bayero and Alhaji Aliko Dangote were conferred with honorary degrees. Others were Governor of Zamfara State, Abdulaziz Yari, and his Sokoto State counterpart, Alhaji Aliyu Wamako. All the recipients except Ado Bayero, were personally present. Sambo admitted that the Federal Government cannot adequately cater for

the burgeoning number of Nigerians desirous of acquiring university education hence the need not only to expand infrastructure in the existing institutions but also allow new ones to come up either private or public. He said, “We are in support of the opening of private universities which is in support of what the Federal government is doing to give access to university education to the people. For example, every year there are over 1.2million youths seeking admission and only 300,000 will be admitted. Where will the remaining be absorbed?”

Aregbesola terminates Oyinlola’s contracts


SUN State Governor, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, has terminated a contract awarded by the immediate past administration for the supply, installation and test running of equipment at the Drug Manufacturing Company.He also approved termination of another contract in respect of a consultant to the Free Trade Zone. Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr. Sunday Akere, told reporters after the 7th State Executive

From Adesoji Adeniyi, Osogbo

Council (SEC) meeting at Governor’s Office in Osogbo, that the state government will soon initiate civil prosecution of those involved in shady deals associated with the project.He said the government will also inaugurate a board to run the affairs of the Drug Manufacturing Company for effective production.Akere said Aregbesola will soon appoint

Trailer crushes two in Lagos


COMMERCIAL motorcyclist and his passenger were crushed to death yesterday by a trailer in Lagos. The incident occurred around 2.30pm at Mobolaji Bank Anthony Road, Ikeja. Eyewitnesses said the motorcycle was on full speed when its front tyre burst. Unable to control the speed, the trailer driver overran the cyclist and the passenger. Both bodies were mutilated beyond recognition. The bodies were taken to the nearby Lagos State University Teaching Hospital

Tribunal orders recount of ballot papers From Tony Akowe, Kaduna


EMPERS rose yesterday at the Legislative Elections Petitions Tribunal sitting in Kaduna when counsel to the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) Kaduna North Senatorial candidate in the, Abbas Ibrahim accused the Tribunal of shutting him from being heard. This led to a shouting match between the Tribunal Chairman, Justice Daniel Kailo and Ibrahim. Ibrahim later apologised before proceedings resumed. The Tribunal ordered a recount of ballot papers used for the election in the senatorial district. Counting was still in progress as at the time of filing this report.

By Sunday Oguntola

chairman for the company while the ministries of Health, Finance, Justice will have representatives on the board.The decisions, he said, were part of recommendations of the Contracts Review Committee set up by the Government.Akere, who noted the government’s interest in the Drug Manufacturing Company because of its implication on the health of the people, disclosed that the State Investments Company Limited will henceforth cease to run the affairs of the company.He said: “The State EXCO also reviewed the recommendation of the Contracts Review Committee in

respect of upgrading the nine Government Technical Colleges for which Oyinlola’s administration spent over N4 billion instead of the budgetary allocation of N217 million without any input from the Secretary of the Board for Technical and Vocational Education.”The state government has accepted the recommendation that the scope of Osogbo Stadium should be reduced while the cost of upgrading the volleyball and Badminton courts should be adjusted accordingly.”As for the stadia in Ilesa, Ile-Ife, Ede, Ikirun and Iwo, the council agreed that the scope of work on them should be brought

down to a level that the cost of finishing work on all of them will not be more than what have been paid on them as mobilization”.Akere added that the council approved the creation of Osun State Road Maintenance Agency (ORMA) and the Rural Access Mobility Project (RAMP) for mass food production. On UNIOSUN, the council accepted the recommendation for restoration of payment of five percent deduction from the monthly statutory allocation of each local government in line with section 4 of the Osun State University Development (Establishment) Fund Law 2007.

(LASUTH). When our correspondent visited, there were blood stains on the highway. Shoes belonging to the deceased were also on the walkway. Doctors on duty at LASUTH refused to respond to enquiries on the deceased.

LATEAU State Governor, Jonah Jang, has proceeded on annual leave.He handed over affairs of the state to his deputy Ignatius Longjan. A statement by his director of press affairs, James Manok, said “Plateau State Governor would proceed on leave andin his absence the state deputy governor Mr Ignatius Longjan will act. The leave commence from Monday 10th of October 2011.”

Foundation to give scholarships, vehicles


WENTY secondary school students will receive scholarships next Wednesday from the Sina Awelewa Foundation. A student of the Nigerian Law School and a final year student of Mass Communication will also benefit from the scheme. The event holds at Training School, Ilawe-Ekiti, Ekiti. Executive director of the foundation, Barrister Sina Awelewa, said two vehicles, two motorcycles, three sewing machines, clothes, shoes, barbing saloon equipment and other materials will also be given out at the occasion. He said branded exercise books will be donated to mark the first anniversary of good governance in Ekiti State. The First lady, Erelu Bisi Fayemi will present the awards.

STF gets Deputy Commander From Yusufu Aminu Idegu, Jos


DEPUTY Commander has been appointed for the Special Task Force on Jos crisis code named ‘Operation Safe Haven.’ The command has been without a deputy since 2010 when it was set up. A statement from the STF spokesman, Captain Charles Ekeocha said, “Thenew deputy commander is Assistant Commissioner of Police Bello Ahmed, who until his appointment was the Police Mobile Force Assistant Commissioner of Police at the Force Headquarters, Abuja.’’

Applause for Jonathan on new INEC commissioner From Chris Oji, Enugu


R E S I D E N T Goodluck Jonathan has been applauded by leaders of the South East geo political zone for appointing Ambassador Lawrence Nwuruku as the National Commissioner representing the zone at the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). Nwuruku, from Ebonyi State, replaces Mr. Philip Umeadi, whose tenure expired recently. He was the Nigerian Ambassador to Mexico with concurrent accreditation to the Republic of Panama, Republic of Costa Rica and Republic of Guatemala. Political and community leaders in the zone praised the appointment and described Nwuruku as a dependable character.

From Yesufu Aminu Idegu, Jos

Professor buries father

• The suspects yesterday

Abducted Saudi rescued in Ogun


HE Police yesterday paraded four suspected kidnappers for allegedly holding a 42-year-old Saudi, Alshmin Hadden Saleh, hostage since October 2 in Atiba, a remote village in Odogbolu local government area of Ogun State. Funmilola Felix, Lucky Felix, Endurance and Chika Nwogwugwo allegedly lured Saleh to the village on arrival for a business trip facilitated by one

By Kelvin Osa-Okunbor

Steven, a self- acclaimed businessman. Commissioner of Murtala Muhammed Airport Police Command, Akila Usman Gwari said the suspects demanded 150 million euros from the Saudi’s family before he could be released. Gwari explained that the police traced the suspects to their hide-out where a Barretal Pistol with 29 mm life ammunition was recovered from

them. The police commissioner warned foreigners to report business visits to either their embassy or security agencies before falling into the hands of criminals bent on extorting them. He explained that the police are still on the trail of the business man who invited the Saudi to Nigeria. The suspects, he said, will be charged to court after conclusion of investigations.


HE father of Professor Kayode Abiodun Olotua of the Architecture Department, Federal University of Technology, Akure, (FUTA) who died on May 25, 2011 will be buried next Saturday. Pa (Chief) Adejumola Olotua who was the Oludaye of Iyere land- Owo, Ondo state died at 101. A service of songs holds at his residence, No 11, Irogun street, Ujima Quarters , Iyere – Owo , Owo Local Government, Ondo state. Lying in state is for Friday while the burial and outing services hold at St John’s Anglican Church , Iyere –Owo.




Political Politics turf

with Bolade Omonijo

Tackling corruption the Nigerian way


•People at a demonstration called by Turkish civil servants, students and journalists unions to protest against the government’s economic and labour policies on October 8, 2011 in Ankara, Turkey. PHOTOS: AFP

Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, Archbishop Desmond Tutu (R), and a group of children blow out the candles on a giant birthday cake at Tutu’s 80th birthday celebrations at Waterford Estate in Stellenbosch, South Africa.

•Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir (C-L) reviews an honour guard with his South Sudanese counterpart Salva Kiir (C-R) on October 8, 2011 upon the latter’s arrival in Khartoum, Sudan for his first visit since southern secession to discuss key unresolved issues, including Abyei and oil, that have undermined north-south relations. AFP PHOTO/EBRAHIM HAMID

Former Beatle, Paul McCartney is seen with partner, Nancy Shevell during his fashion designer daughter Stella McCartney’s Spring/Summer 2012 ready-to-wear collection show, on October 3 in Paris.

E are at it again. All motion, no movement. Just last Thursday, the immediate past governors of Ogun, Oyo and Nasarawa States were picked up and detained by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). Another, former Governor Danjuma Goje of Gombe, was declared wanted when he allegedly failed to make himself available to the commission. More, we are told, would soon follow suit. Ordinarily, this is commendable. Various studies and investigations have shown that leakages in the system largely account for Nigeria’s underdevelopment. In the Second Republic, there was a seminal study by the late Dr. Bala Usman on inflation of contract. There were stories of people who imported sand in place of rice. Members of the ruling National Party of Nigeria (NPN) were empowered ahead of the 1983 elections through illegal funneling of public fund. No one could do anything about it until the military struck and herded all, sinners and saints, into jail. Even in the First Republic when, looking back now, it appears that saints walked the corridors of power, the life of that experiment was terminated by starry-eyed soldiers on the excuse that ten per centers had taken over public office. No one accused the Prime Minister, Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa of personally siphoning the public wealth, but he appeared to have been too weak to take full charge and check the excesses of some of his corrupt ministers. Almost all the functionaries of the central government were drunk on power which eventually consumed all, including the Republic. Under the military, stories are told of the Scannia Bus Scandal. All those indicted are still holding, directly or indirectly, positions of authority in the country. Some of them who have retired have since propped up their children to take over. It is the tragedy of a raped country. All governments so far have pledged single minded commitment to fight the cancer. The Fourth Republic started with the first President, General Olusegun Obasanjo, sounding very tough. He said he would do anything to exterminate the scourge. Immediately, believing that the institutions and infrastructure in place could not get the job done, he established the Independent Corrupt Practices (and Other Related Offences) Commission (ICPC). Twelve years after, what has the commission achieved? How many corrupt officers have been brought to book? How much of the looted funds has been recovered? The commission over the years, though headed by eminent jurists Mustapha Akanbi and Emmanuel Ayoola, has contributed very little to promoting morality in public affairs. Corruption is alive in Nigeria. It is thriving. The ICPC has merely joined the league of existing weak institutions saddled with the task of fighting corruption. Then, perhaps realising that ICPC had failed, the Obasanjo administration came up with the EFCC, led at inception by Malam Nuhu Ribadu, a Police officer. Ribadu threw himself into the job, but was soon swallowed by the prevailing circumstances of the government. Ribadu became a battle axe in the hands of a President who had no respect for the Rule of Law. Obasanjo could not draw a distinction between the military regime he had headed 20 years earlier and the democratically elected government put in place in 1999. The EFCC was soon seen not as an anti corruption agency, but a tool to fight the enemies of his administration. Now that Daniel, Alao-Akala and Akwe Doma have been picked up, what next? They would not be the first set of public officers to be arrested and taken through the motion of detention and arraignment in court. Saminu Turaki was taken through the same route. He consequently served in the Senate to make laws for a sane society for four years. No one knows the status of the case against him. Chimaroke Nnamani is familiar with the route, just as Orji Kalu, Joshua Dariye, among others. The Odili case stands out. He was to be prosecuted for converting public fund to private use. The former governor of Rivers State was very smart. He knew the right buttons to press in the judiciary and, in no time, a judge granted him extension of immunity from arrest, detention and trial. There was outrage in the public square, but till date, even the EFCC has not deemed it fit to appeal that obnoxious judgment. If the EFCC and the judiciary, either acting separately or jointly, have conspired to frustrate the war against corruption in high places so far, choosing rather to chase shadows, why should anyone trust that they would deliver justice in this matter? There have been many cases of corruption involving the National Assembly. At a point in 2003, Malam Nasir el-Rufai, then Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, alleged that some Senators wanted bribe to approve his nomination as minister. Of course, Senators Ibrahim Mantu and Jonathan Zwingina denied. Nothing became of the allegation. There was the scandal involving the late Senate President Chuba Okadigbo. All he suffered was removal from office. More recently, Madam Olubunmi Etteh was removed from the high office of Speaker on allegations of tampering with contract award process. She was pardoned on the last day of the 6th National Assembly. How then do we convince ourselves and the international community that we mean to defeat the scourge. What will become of the arrest of Daniel and co? After arraignment, what next? The war continues.




Me, go slow? Perish the thought! In his first term in office, Lagos State Governor, Babatunde Raji Fashola, (SAN) established a reputation as a pacesetting performer. Since being re-elected, however, some critics have charged that he has slowed down somewhat. Recently Sam Omatseye, chairman of the Editorial Board and Sanya Oni, Editorial Page Editor, spoke with the governor on issues ranging from the pace of governance, to federalism, and the challenge of the environment in Lagos State.

Babatunde Fashola W

hat areas would you consider as priority in your second term? For me the areas of priority are those that form the basis of my campaign. For me if we must have real value for democracy, electoral promises must be taken very seriously. Just like during the first term we tried to stick to the promises that we made. We intend to do the same this term. This is important because the wish of the people will never really be fully satisfied. That is why principle for decision making will always be the greatest good for the greatest number. If you seek public office, the important thing is to understand the environment, and assess the basket of needs to see which of them are uppermost in the expectations of the people. Given the equivalent economic circumstance, the skill that you think you have and the knowledge available, what you need is set the points on the table. These are do-able things and I commit to do them. That was one of the things we did after the elections, I believe, in 2007. Then I commissioned a poll, sampled the opinions of the people and found out what the expectations of the people were. Not

that we did not have an idea but we wanted to validate the people’s expectations. What came back to us informed us that the promises we made, substantially approximated these expectations and they relate to housing, employment, roads, particularly also suburbs – what you can call greater Lagos – those you call the suburban Lagos who felt that we had neglected them. First is, we told them we did not neglect them. Then we concentrated on some part; the feedback therefore validate that our strategy and anticipations were correct. We used the old 20 local government structure to do our plan. If we spread ourselves over 20 local governments we will not end, so we decided we would concentrate on 10 and in those places where most impact would be felt. We are now spreading out to the remaining 10. The strategy was to maintain substantially what we have done and concentrate on those places where we were not as active as we were expected to be. We think it is in that way that we can bring development across. So housing, waste water management there is a huge deficit; we will be focusing more on them in this dispensation. We

will also be focusing on our mortgage policies to provide access to housing, focusing more on education quality. I think we have done a lot on construction. We are focusing more on inside the classroom. The classrooms, no matter how beautiful, won’t teach. We are focusing now more on standards and what is going on inside. We have done teachers training; we are now looking at teacher-student relationships. How are they being assessed? How are they moving on? The issue of how to get better grades in their terminal examinations … those are the areas we are focusing on. There are perceptions that the rate at which you started in 2007 is not the rate at which you started now in your second term. Perceptions will be there, opinions will be free, facts will be sacred. I think also that there is a temptation to jump to the conclusion that the governor that you see running around is the action governor. Those who hold the opinion must be respected. But I disagree with it. I respect it because I understand why it is like that. There is a deficit of infrastructure and it speaks to that. And if they don’t see you running around commissioning and building things, they feel that nothing is happening, but the perception is wrong. And I will tell you why. People probably should pay more attention when we are presenting our budget. We are still operating the 2011 budget, and the thrust of that budget was that we will try to complete as many on-going projects as we could. And we will start only few new projects that we thought was compelling and we are able to harvest. Now we are running a budget that is finishing up and that is why you will see that in the last few days, we’ve started handing over those projects – housing, roads, rounding up waste management projects. So work is rounding off now. If you go to places like Idi Araba, you will see what we are doing there. The roads are finishing up - Mabo Road leading to LUTH, Akanro, leading to Ilasa. If you go to the other side of Mushin, you will recall that the progress of work there was obstructed by the police station. I have just acquired land to relocate that police station so that they can finish the work. I have been to Surulere, to inspect the progress on Akerele, which will finish at the end of October. Adelakun Road should finish, Bode Thomas Road is making progress, the interchange we are doing at Ogudu is almost completed. We are going to pour the asphalt. On the Falomo ramp, they are pouring the asphalt as I speak to you. So work is going on. Instead of me to go and sit down at projects where the contractors are clearly able to do their work, let me use my time more effectively to begin to do serious policy work. We just completed the consideration of the visitation report from LASU, the panel I inaugurated. It took us three days of regular executive council meeting on Monday from 9am- 8pm, and two emergency sessions to go through. Roughly we must have spent about 36 hours for detailed examination because those are the things that will endure. The buildings will come down in 20 years’

time or 30 years’ time. It is the institution, the policy underlining it that will remain and once those policies are there, whoever is there in future can erect another building. We passed series of laws to attend to issues that many people have neglected. We complain about security, but we are using a 97- year-old law to administer criminal justice administration. We are the only state that has reviewed the laws inherited from the colonial government for criminal law giving protection now to women advancing the frontiers of the law on rape and all of those things. We have carried on as if all of us are able bodies but there are physically challenged people in our society. We’ve passed that law again. And now, our work is to set up that agency, begin to establish the quota of the physically challenged people who I’m already employing. I challenge any government who has done that to produce the result. We are tasking our people, saying okay this was good but we didn’t like this, we are not getting enough of this. So it is taking us back to the table. What should we do more? What should we discard? So that what is we are doing. Apart from this, mile to mile, pound for pound, this government is quicker that the last government. The last time we were unknown so they expected nothing from us. With the support of the people of Lagos, we’ve been able to demonstrate that given half a chance we could work with the people of Lagos to make things better. And of course that has raised the bar of expectations. We are flattered by that expectation. It is a belief in our ability and we continue to do our best. If we look at it pound for pound, at this time 2007 I was in New York still setting out my plans; because I remember it coincided with the United Nations General Assembly meeting. I have been here working. So when you look at the pace from when I inaugurated the House of Assembly in 2007 to this time, this term was quicker. Look at the time it took to constitute the cabinet, the cabinet is quicker this time. We settled down to work very quickly but the work we are doing now is probably not typical of what people expect. We did not participate in the 100 days syndrome because we saw ourselves as a continuing government. Our 1600 days accounting period will come in October and we will explain what we have been doing since then. There are two sides to it; our strategy must change. We know now which contractor will deliver. We have been evaluating contractors who haven’t done well either in the quality of their jobs or in the timing of their delivery. And we are saying, look, we probably have to take you off our list and stay with those who are trusted and reliable. As at October- November 2007, we were still doing local government tour, familiarising people with the places they had to work. Now this team had a head-start. Then (2007) I spent two months meeting with the permanent secretaries at the time. That is not necessary now. It was necessary for me then but even more compelling for my deputy and Continued on page 70







Ndigbo, Festus Eriye and the limits of sophistry Festus Eriye 08052135878 (SMS only)

RIGHT OF REPLY My column last week, “Uche Chukwumerije and the uses of militancy” provoked the usual interesting mix of responses. The vast majority agreed with my position. A passionate minority disagreed. In order not to be further accused of intellectual tyranny for not allowing those who disagree to vent their feelings. I reproduce once of the strongest reactions sent in by a journalist and author, Chuks Iloegbunam – invective and all.


ESTUS Eriye’s reaction (The Nation on Sunday; October 2, 2011) to Senator Uche Chukwumerije’s keynote address at this year’s Igbo Day celebration was unfortunate. Sensationally entitled “Uche Chukwumerije and the uses of militancy”, the article threw up the writer in bold, fraudulent relief. Mr. Eriye deliberately confused militancy with militarism in order to devalue Chukwumerije’s clarion call to his people, and divert attention from the thrust of his representation. He failed woefully because whoever reads the Senator’s paper and Eriye’s “response” will quickly and rightly conclude that the columnist misappropriated his column simply to do a hatchet job. Is Uche Chukwumerije the devil or a saint? Whatever he is – and Ndigbo, his own people, as well as broad swathes of rationale people throughout Nigeria, believe that he is a true and patriotic citizen – the very words he uttered should form the rubric of his judgment, not the biases and prejudices of any writer who confuses the ownership of a column with the license to manufacture mendacity and utilize same for the obfuscation of the unwary. It is dishonest to deny a striker’s goal because he is k-legged, just as it is wrong to insist, as some misguided people have been doing, that President Goodluck Jonathan lacks the dominant infrastructures of leadership simply because he comes from a minority ethnic group! For those yet to get thelowdown on Chukwumerije’s Igbo Day speech, a recapitulation is apposite. The Senator’s address, entitled Wake-Up Call: Path to Igbo Self-Rehabilitation, explained its essence in the opening paragraph thus: “The dialectical flow of Nigerian’s history has now swept Ndigbo to what Zik once described as the brink of an open grave. Ndigbo must today –not tomorrow –regain themselves and re-assert their corporate personality in our multi-ethnic federation or diffuse into isolated individual entities in the anonymity of Nigeria’s multitude. The purpose of this brief address is to draw our attention to this threat and offer suggestions on a mode of urgent redemptive positive action.” Chukwumerije’s suggestions for salvaging Ndigbo were enunciated on a three-pronged praxis: the Economic, the


Cultural and the Political. He detailed the systematic relegation of the Southeast, not only through negative federal policies and actions but also by regrettable diffidence among Ndigbo themselves. Witness: “Today, Southeast zone still carries the open wounds of a savage genocidal war. She is the backwater of Nigeria, scoring low in economic, political and social indices. On the economic front, the fact that an indisputably major national project, Second Onitsha Bridge, has been abandoned by Federal Government to Southeast self-help through the euphemism of Public Private Partnership while similar mega national projects in other states or zones receive full federal funding is an eloquent statement on Nigeria’s attitude to the challenge of repair of our war-destroyed economy. In the quest for political leverage, our loud deadlines and projections on the election of a Nigerian President of Igbo extraction have been mocked by the Nigerian system. Our place on the rung of federation’s power ladder has slid to 5th or 6th level, yet we are the largest single ethnic group in the country. On the social front, the Igbo cultural personality is treated with as much respect by the rest of Nigeria as the regard which animals of the forest reserve for the once-respected red crest of the cock!” Senator Chukwumerije’s proposal for halting and reversing the slide of Ndigbo was three-sided: 1. Functional unity anchored on a core group. 2. Launch of a ‘Marshal Plan’ to the rehabilitation of our war-shattered economy. 3. Recovery of our group cultural personality. It was on Chukwumerije’s salvage blueprint that Eriye brazenly performed distortions. This is what the Senator said [the italicized and capitalized words being his]: “In increased effort to optimally realise the potentials of its grass roots-oriented republican constitution, Ohanaeze needs to do

more to reach three groups. One is the large reservoir of elders and statesmen in our large family to enrich and strengthen Ime-Obi. The second is the youths. Youths are the teeth or the fangs of any disadvantaged group struggling for redress. Distancing ourselves from our main youth organizations like MASSOB will cost us the leverage necessary to re-direct their energies to constructive ends WITHIN THE AMBIT OF THE LAW. The causal relationship between OPC/June 12 and Southwest access to the Presidency for twelve years, or between youth militancy and Niger Delta’s current access to Presidency, or between a politicized Boko Haram and North’s determination to win the next round of Presidential election points to the fact that youth militancy has become an effective weapon in the armoury of group struggle. It is the fatherly duty of Ohanaeze to devise means of constructive engagement with our youth bodies as members of our large family.” It was from the quote above that Eriye fraudulently devised paragraphs 7 and 8 of his article which he put in quotation marks and credited to Senator Chukwumerije, thus: “It was the Niger Delta militancy that ensured that President Goodluck Jonathan became President of Nigeria while the Boko Haram sect is being used by the North to achieve its presidency bid in 2015. The Igbos should therefore incorporate the Movement for the Actualisation of Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB) into its system to ensure that an Igbo emerges as President of Nigeria [in 2015].” Now, this amounts to intellectual dishonesty. MASSOB hasn’t ever tossed bombs into police stations, public squares, offices and places of worship. MASSOB has never carried out assassinations. MASSOB has never been propounding violence. Above all, Senator Chukwumerije’s advocacy is the re-directionof the energies of Igbo youth organizations “to constructive ends WITHIN THE AMBIT OF THE LAW.” Eriye obviously has an ax to grind with Chukwumerije. That is his entitlement. But he does not need to tell lies in order to slake his thirst. Chukwumerije, widely regarded as the conscience of the National Assembly, led the dismantling of Chief Obasanjo’s unfortunate Third Term project. His Igbo Day address went down well with Ndigbo. Only those who would advocate disunity among – and marginalization of – their own people will disagree with his position. The swipe against Senator Chukwumerije is down to his call for an Igbo President of Nigeria in 2015. Such unjustified criticisms will heighten, of course. But the Senator’s address contained this: “The unanimous support given by Ndigbo everywhere to President Jonathan’s presidential bid underscores the communality of our pan-Igbo family.” To this extent, the intervention of Festus Eriye, a Southsoutherner, is perverse. Iloegbunam is the author of ‘The Case for an Igbo President of Nigeria.’

“Chukwumerije, widely regarded as the conscience of the National Assembly, led the dismantling of Chief Obasanjo’s unfortunate Third Term project. His Igbo Day address went down well with Ndigbo. Only those who would advocate disunity among – and marginalization of – their own people will disagree with his position”

Lekan Otufodunrin 08050498530 (SMS only)

The power of a dream


ASED on Yoruba tradition, Ambassador Olusegun Olusola who is over seventy years should not have attended the fifth memorial event in honour of the late founding Executive Director of Journalists Against AIDS (JAAIDS), Omololu Falobi who was 35 when he was killed by unknown gunmen on October 5, 2006, in Lagos. However, he opted to attend the programme last Thursday in Lagos based on what he had heard about the exploits of the deceased. Halfway into the programme when he spoke, Ambassador Olusola was so overwhelmed by Omololu’s accomplishments captured in a documentary entitled The Power of a Dream that he said he was no longer afraid of the future of the country and would not mind if his time on earth was up. Indeed, the life and times of Omololu area testimony to the fact that life is not about how long but how well. Falobi was a multiple – award winning journalist and HIV/AIDS activist who, along with some colleagues, was inspired by the death of Fela Anikulapo Kuti to establish JAAIDS as a media response to the pandemic. It was very fitting that the theme of the Public Lecture/ Testimonial was “Building an Enduring Legacy”. Falobi was a peculiar journalist who moved from being a reporter to becoming an advocate. For the late former Features Editor of The Punch, journalism was not only about writing stories and complaining about what is not working but also a tool for advocacy backed by concrete actions like he did by having an organisation that can do more than the average media establishment. Unlike many whose organisations die even in their lifetime, JAAIDS still remains very formidable in the anti-HIV/AIDS crusade not only in Nigeria but also globally. Last Thursday, five years after his death, it was still tributes galore as his family members, former staff, colleagues, friends and some who never met him testified to the short but impactful life Falobi lived. Princess Olufemi- Kayode, Executive Director of Media Concern for Children and Women (MEDIACON), the first staff of JAAIDS, spoke of how focused and transparent Falobi was with his vision, while Dr Morenike Ukpong of New HIV Vaccine and Microbicide Advocacy Society (NHVMAS) who was represented at the event recalled Falobi’s role co-founding the organisation and providing necessary support for its take-off and development. Chief Executive Officer of O’ Femi Kolawole Posterity Media, another former staff of JAAIDS, spoke on how Falobi inspired him to appreciate the need to always add value to whatever endeavour he is involved in. The Executive Director of JAAIDS, Ms Laide Akanni, a former staff of The Punch, like Falobi, explained that the organisation has survived based on the sound foundation the founder laid. Falobi’s widow, Aderonke who was at the programme with her three children, was glad that her late husband was being remembered for the good things he did while alive. “ I miss him every moment but I thank God that his good works have continued to live after him. If I had another opportunity to marry Omololu, I would do so a thousand times”. She is very grateful to the Falobi family for standing by her and not subjecting her to the ordeals other widows go through when they lose their husbands. I can never forget Omololu whose life for me remains a study in steadfastness, honesty, humility and many more. My consolation has always been as someone once said, “good people will die, but their good works will remain forever”.



Comment & Analysis

Not a matter of cash Ogochukwu Ikeje 08084235961 (SMS only)


F all the tragedies that have befallen this country, none is as damaging as the line about the fuel subsidy. Niger Delta militancy, to mention a recent calamity, bled the country exceedingly and caused everyone tremendous grief. But it was essentially a violent reaction of a small, youthful segment of a larger but neglect and mistreated regional people. It was, in the main, a protest against the failure of government. Armed robbery, another catastrophe, nearly wrecked banking and other businesses in parts of the Southeast, and continues to pose great danger in other parts of the country. But, again, it is largely the consequence of government’s failure to profitably engage the abounding energies of youth through job creation. Boko Haram, the terrorist sect in the Northeast of the country, continues to soar from height to height because government has remained clueless in containing it. What about failed infrastructure? That, too, is a national tragedy but it is more tolerable because we have been living with it for decades. Over the years, our leaders have proved incapable of fixing roads, providing water, basic healthcare facilities, or strengthening public institutions. And there seems to be little

There is something wrong about the official oil subsidy argument we can do about it beyond grinding our teeth, swallowing hard, praying harder and forgiving our leaders because what they don’t have, they can’t give. What then do you say about the government’s line on fuel subsidy? The official position is that petroleum products are subsidised with trillions of naira, and that the subsidy is bleeding the country to death, and that the only wise thing to do is stop the bleeding and recoup the subsidy cash. With trillions of cash in hand, as the argument goes, governments across the board will deliver what we have been calling dividends of democracy to the good people of Nigeria. Our insufferable roads will be paved and commuters can travel in bliss. Water pipes will be laid across the length and breadth of the country and our taps will start running again. With such cash available, government will provide health facilities and our people will begin to bounce in wellness. Even our schools will have a new lease of life. So

say the proponents of fuel removal. By this line of argument, it is very clear that the government believes the so-called subsidy on petroleum products robs us of cash needed for development. In other words, our roads are bad because there is no money to repair them or build new ones. There is no water or electricity because oil subsidy has taken all the money away. Our communities lack hospital, and where they exist, are decrepit because subsidy has sucked off all the cash needed to make the health sector work. That argument has been running for decades. And for decades the argument has been false and sickening. But last week President Goodluck Jonathan repeated it before the lawmakers. In the paper he presented to them, the President spoke about “Government’s intent to phase out the fuel subsidy beginning from the 2012 fiscal year.” Let’s quote him a little. “This (that is, the subsidy withdrawal) will free up

“As the fifth largest oil producer in the world, Nigeria lacks no funds to move forward. Millions of barrels of crude are pumped out everyday, translating to millions of dollars everyday, but everyday Nigeria proves that it is not what you have that makes you rich but what you can do with it. We have oil as well as the money that it brings but neither has built our nation. Rather, oil money continues to pad up the leaders’ pockets”

about N1.2 trillion in savings, part of which can be deployed into providing safety nets for poor segments of the society…[The] withdrawal of the fuel subsidy will also augment funds for critical infrastructure..” There it is, but the argument is unlikely to win the Jonathan administration any plaudits. The reason is simple. The fact that Nigeria has yet to join the league of developed nations is not because of paucity of cash. Money is not the problem. The poor infrastructural profile of the country today is not a result of scarcity of funds. It is the will to deliver and make a difference that is lacking. The roads are bad not because of insufficient cash. They are bad because our leaders have little interest in fixing them. You can say the same for every public infrastructure lying comatose today. As the fifth largest oil producer in the world, Nigeria lacks no funds to move forward. Millions of barrels of crude are pumped out everyday, translating to millions of dollars everyday, but everyday Nigeria proves that it is not what you have that makes you rich but what you can do with it. We have oil as well as the money that it brings but neither has built our nation. Rather, oil money continues to pad up the leaders’ pockets. The other day, an informed foreigner told us that our politicians are the highest paid in the world. Why then is our infrastructure among the least developed in the world? Why are the refineries not working? Certainly, it is not because oil subsidy, if it exists, has been denying us of cash. Trillions of cash recouped from removed subsidy will not in itself make the difference.


Comment & Analysis


Obasanjo’s bluff W

HEN the “Third Term” gambit collapsed, he not only denied any culpability on his account, he told a stunned nation that should he indeed have craved “third term”, he would have asked his God; and his God would have given it to him. Proof? Obasanjo’s God never denied Obasanjo anything he asked of Him! When Goodluck Jonathan wanted to run for full term as president, Obasanjo was quite oracular in his trenchant disavowal of the zoning formula, allegedly adopted by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). But when the speakership and the South West issue cropped up, the same Obasanjo who claimed zoning never existed warned of the dire danger for the party, if zoning was allowed to die! But pray, how could something that never existed die? The former president was galloping from bluff to bluster when he pulled short in his latest controversy. The Nation, on October 4 had, in a front page lead, reported that Obasanjo had written a “secret” letter to President Jonathan, asking that chief executives of five key federal parastatals be axed for alleged nonperformance, and be replaced by fresh nominees, which the report claimed were Obasanjo’s men. In that The Nation report, Obasanjo claimed some of the five chief executives involved were allegedly being probed by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), thus making their continued occupation of their seats morally untenable. As chairman of the PDP Board of Trustees (BOT), the newspaper report claimed, paraphrasing the “secret” letter, the PDP “leadership” had mandated Obasanjo to urgently raise the matter with the president, if President Jonathan’s transformational agenda was to stand a chance against galloping corruption, the letter appears to hint. The unsaid bit was that Obasanjo, as PDP BOT chair, was the custodian of the conscience of the party. But as it turned out, only one of the five was under any probe. When confronted by airport correspondents in Lagos, a travelling Obasanjo uttered a flat denial, aside from doubting the sanity of the newspaper and its editors, for allegedly fabricating what, in his words, are “a figment of their imagination”. “I have not written to the president since his inauguration,” he emphatically declared. He then threatened that the newspaper and its editors would hear from his lawyers


ESIDES the obvious misrepresentation of facts, a national newspaper’s (not The Nation) editorial of September 29, 2011 appears ill-motivated and in bad taste. Its tone was unnecessarily harsh; the choice of words incredibly impolite and inappropriate. And it was indeed unprofessional for the editorial writers to substitute cold analysis for name calling and cheap insults. The temper of the leader indeed fuels suspicion that its authors have an axe to grind with the Minister of Youth Development, Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi. But even then the offensive piece disguised as editorial would have been pardonable if it had an iota of truth in it. It did not. It is quite unfortunate that a newspaper with that kind of age and experience would base its editorial on an issue it obviously had no knowledge about and did not bother to find out. It is therefore not surprising that it had nothing to say about the wholesome plan to reform the National Youth Service Corps other than to describe it as ‘an inexcusable banditry of the worst kind.’ Apart from the fact that the paper drew its conclusion from the wrong premise, pray, what has banditry got to do with the proposal to reform the NYSC? The minister only proposed reforms that will bring value to corps members and the society at large. Is this banditry? This raises the question about the quality of the paper’s editorial writers. Are they rookie reporters

Former President’s penchant for crude language and bluster is a poor reflection on Nigeria’s most hallowed job As it turned out, it was mere bluff. The next day, The Nation published, on the same front page, the bromide of the letter. It was dated “September 16, 2011” – which put a lie to Obasanjo’s claim that he had not written President Jonathan since his inauguration of 29 May 2011. Besides, the letter was on an “Olusegun Obasanjo” letterhead, complete with his Abeokuta, Ogun State address of “Agbe L’oba House, Quarry Road, Ibara, Abeokuta.” Besides, Obasanjo personally signed the letter. It was published under the caption: “The letter Obasanjo denied”! Since this expose, it has been a loud silence from the Obasanjo camp, although it may well be that since the former president has travelled out of the country, the fireworks will start when he returns. Before then, however, a few observations. It is scandalous that after a cumulative 11 years at the helm of Nigeria (eight as two-term elected president and three as military head of state), Obasanjo still cannot outlive his instinctive coarseness, particularly in his free deployment of vulgar abuse, when studied refinement and decorum will do for a person of his standing and calibre. Witness the verbal tussle between him and Gen. Ibrahim Babangida, after calling the former “military president” a fool at 70, for daring to criticise Obasanjo’s tenure as two-term president. He could still have made his point, even if the story was indeed “invented”, without dis-


•Editor Festus Eriye

•Managing Director/ Editor-in-Chief Victor Ifijeh

•Deputy Editor Olayinka Oyegbile •Associate Editor Taiwo Ogundipe

•Chairman, Editorial Board Sam Omatseye •General Editor Kunle Fagbemi

missing the newspaper and its editors as “insane”. Then, there is the all-important question of untruth. The published bromide, except if it is a forgery, conclusively shows the former president did not tell the truth, since it would be impolitic to categorically say a former president and an old man to boot, lied. Also needing some explanation is the concluding paragraph of the letter: “Below are the names of the nominated person(s) and the Agencies recommended for them in line with their experiences; the names were carefully selected by the PDP leadership and given to me as Chairman of PDP BOT.” (italics ours). Who constitute this “PDP leadership”? Could the former president give specific names? But it is not impossible the “leadership” is no more than Obasanjo himself! Except that is not so, Obasanjo would appear fairly charged with cronyism – for by what motive might one person draw up a shortlist to himself, and present same to the president? But it is possible there was indeed a “leadership”; and by what process they forwarded the list to the BOT chairman. That is why Obasanjo should name names. But though the letter shows Obasanjo is probably meddlesome, nobody can accuse him of tribalism – for no Yoruba name is on the list. Still, is cronyism driven by ethnic affinity alone, in a federation? Are not prebendal cells spread all over the country, regardless of tribe and creed? By his sweeping generalisation that the chief executives Obasanjo wants changed are facing EFCC probe, the former president only echoed anti-corruption war as executive blackmail, for which his presidency earned deserved notoriety. Former President Obasanjo could well be entitled to rehabilitating himself, after spectacularly blowing a chance of greatness, after eight years as president. But he is using the same tactics that got him into the ditch in the first instance. For the collective sanity of Nigerians and for the integrity of the Nigerian Presidency, true friends of Obasanjo should intervene fast to save the former president from himself.


Understanding NYSC reforms who need to be schooled in the fine art of writing and the meaning of words? Do they need to take classes in elementary logic and learn that ad hominem, personal attack, is one of the oldest fallacies in logic and argument? But to set the records straight, there is need to explain what the Minister actually said during the Media Briefing to mark the 100 Days of the Administration of President Goodluck Jonathan. Among other intervention programmes, the Minister explained that time was ripe for the overhaul of the NYSC, from that of national integration to that of national transformation. This, according to him, meant that national integration was not enough justification for the existence of the

scheme today; that in addition, the NYSC should address the concerns and challenges of today. Mallam Abdullahi disclosed that to make the scheme more relevant, he was considering several proposal, which will emphasize the S (service) in the NYSC. The central idea is that corps members should serve where the nation has critical needs such as education, health, infrastructure and agriculture. For instance, young graduates could learn and participate in large scale mechanized farming during service year and later encouraged to become agro-entrepreneurs. The thinking is that with the presence of rich arable land in all parts of the country, the corps members would be contributing to feeding the nation and

meet the gap in our food production cycle. Another idea is to use the NYSC as a finishing school, where corps members would spend considerable time of the service year learning valuable life and enterprise skills. This would ideally bridge whatever educational gap they might have and provide them with market-ready skills. It is in line with this, that the Minister mentioned in passing that if this idea takes off, corps members would not be posted to banks and other private institutions, except there is a commitment by such companies to absorb the corps members after service. At the briefing in Abuja, the Minister decried the current situa-

Delayed payment of salaries in Oyo and Kano


URRENTLY, civil servants in Kano State and teachers in Oyo State have been denied their salaries. Although the government of these states may be able to justify the reasons for this, it should be said that it is not proper for a person to work and then beg for his pay. At least, the holy book says that a labourer is worthy of his hire (Luke 10:17).

A worker’s wage is not a gift but his right. It was reported recently in the newspapers that the Kano government allegedly delayed the salary of civil servants in order to check mate the proposed strike; while in Oyo State it was reported that the commissioner for Education and Finance are to appear before the state house of assembly over persistent delay in

the payment of salaries. Workers should be treated as workers and not slaves. The states should consider the plight of teachers who are bread winners and those who have no alternative source of income. Olubusayo Abiola, Dept. Mass Communication, University of Lagos

tion in which private institutions go ‘round tripping’ by engaging numerous corps members, pay them peanuts and not retain them after service. They do this year in, year out since there is no short supply of ‘cheap corpers’. Banks mostly use corps members as marketers to mobilize resources for them, if they are pretty girls; and as tellers if they are young males. This situation unwittingly contributes to high youth unemployment as these companies lack the incentive to employ real workers. This situation must change; the NYSC must add value to corps members and to the society. It should not be a source of cheap labour to companies that can afford to engage full time workers. The Ministry is consulting widely and has not decided on a specific plan or action regarding the scheme. When we are ready, the public can be sure of getting good returns on the huge funds invested in the NYSC. Finally, the Minister is not afraid of being criticized but expects this to be done with decorum based on facts and reason. As a former Commissioner of Education in Kwara Statethe minister understands the value and gains of constructive feedback. But said editorial displayed malice and ignorance. We hope this will set the records straight. Julius Ogunro, Special Assistant on Media to the Minister of Youth Development, wrote from Abuja.



Ropo Sekoni ropo.sekoni


N his Path to Nigerian Freedom, Chief Obafemi Awolowo charted a course for sustainable democracy in Nigeria. He said that the best form of government for Nigeria is federalism, a system of government that can elicit the trust of members of a multiethnic nation-state. Today, a new path to Yoruba unity came into being at the instance of the widow of Chief Awolowo, Mama H.I.D. Awolowo and the Ooni of Ife. By the time this piece comes out, the communiqué of the maiden meeting of what promises to be a series of Pan-Yoruba Conference will also be available to readers of this column. But today’s piece has no intention to compete with the communiqué of the Ikenne search for Yoruba unity for reader’s attention. I did not know of the meeting until I saw the announcement of the meeting in the Tribune of Monday October 3. But I strongly believe that the Ikenne path to Yoruba unity is unsafe for the political health of the Yoruba nation. Do the conveners of this meeting have a right to act as stakeholders in Yoruba civilization as part of the Nigerian project? Yes, to the extent that the Ooni of Ife currently sits on the throne of Oduduwa, the founder of the Yoruba nation and Chief Mrs Awolowo currently sleeps on the bed of Chief Obafemi Awolowo, the builder of modern Yoruba nation. Should they have initiated a meeting at Ikenne at this troubling time

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Comment & Analysis

HE Yoruba people are not willing at this point in her history to surrender what she has toiled for over the years for a mess of porridge. Those masquerading as Yoruba leaders are the permanent government contractors whose influence are waning politically and who now want to use this kind of conference as leverage to continue their politics of the stomach - The Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi. COMMENT: The Iku Baba Yeye has said it all. Most of those championing the meeting are those whose time in Yoruba leadership is over. I know at least two of the prospective attendees who are vigorously campaigning to be PDP Secretary. These people should continue ‘their politics of the stomach’ without attempting to use us. After all, the meeting is at best an expanded version of that group in which yesterday’s SouthWest rigged-in PDP governors held commanding heights trying their ‘military’ tactics to use our highly revered Mama’s good name to re-new their stolen mandates come the 2011 general elections. The mainstream Yoruba political group, without the slightest intent to disrespect Mama, cannot be part of this chicanery whose sole purpose is to pressure President Jonathan into giving them jobs. They have been advised to, first of all, go work at reconciling our respected, but feuding royalties, whose unity of purpose is an inescapable desideratum for Yoruba unity. As I did in the first part, the DAWN document will, again sub-

The Ikenne path to Yoruba unity By way of precedents, no Yoruba Oba has the right to unilaterally call a pan-Yoruba meeting in the history of Nigeria? Yes. No other time is more suitable for Yoruba people to discuss the kind of Nigeria in which they believe their civilization can survive than now, when Boko Haram is not only threatening the collective security of Nigeria but also challenging the core value of the Yoruba, acquisition of any form of knowledge that is capable of improving the life chances of the people. Why is the meeting, despite the fact that the conveners are stakeholders in Yoruba civilization, may not be acceptable to many of those whose civilization the conveners are purportedly advancing by summoning Yoruba leaders and very important citizens to Ikenne? First, the meeting was not properly called. Second, the agenda of the meeting was shrouded in secrecy. Third, the invitation to the meeting was not inclusive. Fourth, the goal of the meeting does not seem to have derived from wide consultations with the sub-ethnic groups that constitute the Yoruba federation. By way of precedents, no Yoruba Oba (apart from Oduduwa in his time as the father of all the Yoruba monarchs) has the right to unilaterally call a pan-Yoruba meeting. The Ikenne meeting was summoned by two major members of the Ife monarchy: the Ooni and one of his chiefs, Mama Hannah Awolowo. During the time of Pelupelu, the traditional panYoruba summit, Yoruba traditional rulers had to consult their citizens well in advance about time, place, and agenda of meetings of Yoruba mon-

archs. To do this was in consonance with the pre-colonial federal character of the Yoruba City-states at that time. Not even during the decade before independence when Sir Adesoji Aderemi served as chairman of the House of Chiefs and later when he replaced Sir John Rankin as governor did any Yoruba monarch call a unilateral meeting of the sub-nationalities of the Yoruba nation. Even on the two occasions when panYoruba conferences took place to nominate candidates to lead the Yoruba people, such meetings were summoned after wide consultations. When Chief Awolowo was asked to serve as the leader of the Yoruba shortly after he was released from prison and before the outbreak of the Nigeria-Biafra war, the military governor of Western Region at that time, Major-General Adeyinka Adebayo did not call the first panYoruba conference without consulting with Yoruba monarchs and other stakeholders. Similarly, when representatives of the Yoruba federation was called at the peak of the struggle for restoration of the presidential mandate of Chief MKO Abiola, the meeting came into being after due consultations with stakeholders across the Yoruba region. The Ikenne meeting appears to have been called by two culturally important personalities that act on behalf of vested interests, rather than on the wishes of Yoruba people on the whole. No known agenda was circulated to the invitees to the meeting. Bits of information about the conference’s agenda emphasized the desire of a

few stakeholders to nudge the Yoruba in the direction of Nigeria’s political mainstream. This smacks of intention to subvert electoral democracy in the Yoruba region. Just a few months after an election in which Yoruba voters chose the candidates of the party of their choice to lead them and negotiate on their behalf with other regions of Nigeria, any conference without a known text but with a loud sub-text to help get the Yoruba back into the political mainstream cannot but leave a bad taste in the mouth of believers in democracy. Many Yoruba patriots are likely to stay away from a conference with such sub-text, for fear that General Olusegun Obasanjo, the person who claims to have single-handedly coopted the Yoruba into what he called the mainstream must have his hands and heart in the conference. Furthermore, the invitation sent out to Yoruba leaders for the meeting was not inclusive enough to suggest any commitment on the part of the conveners to a truly pan-Yoruba deliberation on any issue of interest to the Yoruba. Any invitation that leaves out Yoruba citizens and members of the houses of assembly of Yoruba states does not indicate any willingness on the part of the conveners to hear the voice of majority of Yoruba people who do not consider themselves important personalities. Such a meeting cannot in moral terms replace the respect given to the voice and choice of ordinary Yoruba men and women in the recent election in the region. Finally, the meeting’s shrouded agenda that leaves return of the Yoruba states to the PDP fold or mainstream is an affront on the po-

DAWN: Development Agenda for Western Nigeria (2) Collectively, therefore, the governors must work hard together to make poverty history in our land stantially be allowed to speak for itself. It is, in the words of our chairman, Hon. Olawale Oshun, aimed at putting a stop to the cyclical governance scenario that sees us through a shot spell of progress under progressive governments, followed by a very long spell of regression under retrogressive governments. The document draws attention to the potentials the region must harness in a creative manner to drive the welfare, well-being and progress of the Yoruba people within a larger Nigerian nation and global context. It is a document, and a process which has also developed a roadmap for achieving the stated aspirations. The document says unequivocally that the political leadership in our region will have to provide the leadership, chart the course and rally our people around defined aspirations, create the enabling environment, leverage the human and material resources and deliver high standards of public service that will increase the competitiveness of our region while situating the welfare of our people at the centre of all development plans and strategies. The process therefore includes ‘marketing’ the framework to all segments of the Yoruba society, securing their understanding , and, buy-in, and creating the platform for interactions that will advance the critical deliverables and demanding that every one of us play a role in enabling its success However, first things first. As I indicated above, it is the state governors, as our mandate holders that

will drive the entire process and because the Afenifere Renewal Group is only now just going the rounds presenting the DAWN document to these most critical individuals, it will be premature to go into the meat of the document as it relates to the fine details of the targeted areas, first as they concern the whole region and regarding what specific recommendations are made in respect of each state on what areas to concentrate development so as to be able to leverage on, and enjoy economy of scale. For instance, some states may be more suitable to aquaculture while in others it may be sericulture. The final part of these series, whenever it comes, will conclude with some of the details. ,But why a South-West integrated development perspective? The integrated development paradigm is a product of the following factors: In a multi-ethnic country like Nigeria, differences in economic development across regional/ethnic divides are common place. This has been accentuated in our own case by the differences in the exposure to, and engagement with western education which has created varying levels of definition, modernisation and development amongst the various nationalities. Also the concentration of legislative power and fiscal muscle at the centre has made regional integration a smart desideratum given that the lopsidedness of Nigerian politics has succeeded beyond description in reducing the dominant groups in government to no more than eth-

nic champions; a situation which in turn has rendered others not so powerful immensely vulnerable. Equally it is an open secret that in many instances, development in the South-West, for instance in education, has been deliberately arrested as a ploy to play catch up by the so-called educationally ‘disadvantaged’ areas. Additionally, rapid economic development in the South-West as a way of creating employment opportunities for its huge army of unemployed young graduates, without a glass ceiling, is absolutely contingent upon our frontally and seriously mobilising capital for economic activities in Yoruba land to accentuate competitiveness. This has become the case since revenue allocation, as a sharing of spoils so to say is, and will always be suboptimal and totally insufficient to create the volume of economic activities to provide a modicum of livelihood to that critical sector of our society which incidentally looks up to government for succour, being basically helpless. Finally the increasing marginalisation of the Yoruba from the core or commanding heights of the economy, especially in the regulatory agencies and in banks, finance and telecoms where we used to predominate but which deliberate federal policies, being driven by elements from the other nationalities, had rendered otiose, means that we have to either start out ‘de novo’ or fashion out cooperative ways in which our various states can leverage on their commonalities for a rounded economic development. The story is told of a delegation

litical sensibilities of the people. Electoral politics is, much more than culture, about ideological struggle and rivalry among parties. If the people of the Yoruba region did not return their representatives to the PDP fold that controls the central government in Abuja, leaders of thought in the region are duty bound to respect the choice of the people. Therefore, any conference that sets out to look for ways to return Yoruba states to the PDP fold and in the name of pan or the whole Yoruba nation is a wrongheaded venture. While waiting for the communiqué of the conference, it will not be surprising if the meeting was too poorly attended to make any communiqué credible. The reason for poor attendance may not be the partisanship of the conveners as much as it may be the appearance given by the conveners of commitment to a supra-partisan pan-Yoruba agenda in the invitation to the conference. It will not be surprising if most Yoruba people feel offended that the Ikenne pan-Yoruba conference assaults the core values of Yoruba culture: non-negotiable commitment to tolerance of difference and promotion of plurality of perspective. Summoning the entire Yoruba nation to discuss how to move from one political party to another violates the Yoruba belief that Omode gbon agba gbon ni a fi da ile Ife (it is the wisdom of the young and the old that made the creation and sustainability of the source of Yoruba civilization possible) or Eyi wu mi ko wu o ni omo iya meji fi n jeun ninu awo oto (it is the desire to respect the preference of the other that makes it acceptable for two siblings to eat separately). of senior Yoruba citizens which visited with a president of Northern extraction to complain about marginalisation. Mr President was said to have looked his visitors straight in the face and asked what exactly the Yoruba want again. He was reported to have then reeled out a list of the things which , mostly private capital and entrepreneurship had brought about in the South-West, and asked his visitors to name comparable institutions or infrastructure, in his own part of the country. His petrified visitors returned home with their tails behind their backs. Such is the total misconception of the place of the South-West in the Nigerian economy today, that a friend of mine could still write to me only this past week to say he believes, even in our beleaguered status, that the Yoruba are, and I quote, ‘the most educationally and economically empowered in the land and so should, in his considered view, use these advantages and act as a lodestar or bellwether for the rest of the country. My friend was certainly not making a cruel cut. However, if eminently enlightened citizens of other parts of the country will dress us, unknowingly, in these borrowed robes, the Yoruba who knows he is no longer where on the economic plane he/she used to be had better learn to rethink his place. These and more, especially the excruciating unemployment situation in a highly educated South-West makes it imperative that our governments must co-operate and birth a developmental paradigm that will ensure immediate employment of huge numbers of this army of highly educated but jobless young men and women who are the future of our race. Collectively, therefore, the governors as our genuine mandate keepers, as opposed to rigged -in, mandate-less pretender governors of the ancien regimes in the geo-political zone, must work hard together to make poverty history in our land.



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RESIDENT Goodluck Jonathan has not known rest since October 1 when he decided to mark the country’s 51st independence anniversary on a low-key in Aso Rock Villa. Critics have been battering him left, right and centre. They say he is a coward and that he should have celebrated the event at the usual venue, the Eagle Square in Abuja. For sure, Jonathan did not invent the word ‘low-key’, so it is not a word that Nigerians are unfamiliar with. Many administrations had told us in the past that they were going to celebrate one event or the other ‘lowkey’ and our interpretation of that has always had to do with the cost; it was all about how our leaders want to spoil themselves: whether a little or aplenty. The cost (then) in terms of the kind of drinks to serve those invited to the cocktail circuits, should it be rum or champagne; or the class of exotic cars in which to chauffeur-drive the special invitees, and in which of the five-star hotels to keep them, etc. By celebrating the independence anniversary in the presidential villa, Jonathan has only added a new dimension to the concept of ‘low-key’. Which was why the explanation on why the change of venue by Labaran Maku, his information minister, fell on deaf ears. Maku had said the government decided not to dance itself lame on the occasion when the actual dance was yet to come. He was making allusion to the country’s centenary as a nation, which is due in 2014. Nigeria, if we must remind ourselves, was amalgamated by Lord

Postscript, Unlimited! By

Oyinkan Medubi 08187172799 (SMS only)


HE security situation in Nigeria at present is clearly desperate. And how do I know? I’ll tell you. Sometime last week, we woke up to find someone or something had made a mound under the orange tree in our garden. The maker looked like it had fingers; it also looked like there was something like poop within the mound. Being rather timid in such things, I didn’t look too closely, of course, but my mate did. Anyone astute enough to discover mounds should be given the duty to investigate them thoroughly. Anyway, thinking he had a first class case of an attempted break-in on his hands, my mate went at the job with a sleuth’s weapons of mass destruction: twitching nose, flexing muscles, suspicious eyes, even when they lighted on family members. I suspect he was not prompted by pleasure; it seems his FQ (Fear Quotient) was a bit high. After searching in vain for marks – foot, tyre, claws, anything, and finding nothing more incriminating than a mother bird that had lost her nest containing two wee babies, he was forced to come to the conclusion that no human had deigned to honour our little haven with any nocturnal visit. Much to his chagrin, he found that the mound had probably been made by no more than a cat needing to borrow the spot for a

Comment & Analysis


Who wants Jonathan dead? The president simply refused to stand in front of a moving train by not daring Boko Haram Lugard in 1914. Maku also said there was no point for the government to spend heavily on this year’s ceremony, having spent billions to host the event last year. He also referred to the heavy costs incurred to install the governors and other elected officers in the spate of one year. Aren’t these genuine reasons to justify the government’s position, even if we have not known the Jonathan administration to be particular about cost? But, rather than take Maku’s reasons as the gospel lie that they were, Nigerians began to dig deep (not what you think) into the real reason why Jonathan decided to celebrate our collective anniversary in his fortress, where ‘we’, the people, could not join in the celebration. They insist our president and commander-in-chief ran for dear life because of the threat by the Boko Haram to disrupt the independence celebrations (that is if there is anything to celebrate). So, for Jonathan, the fear of Boko Haram is the beginning of wisdom. I wonder why Nigerians expected the president to dare Boko Haram. To start with, the man has told us he is neither Pharaoh, nor Goliath. Even though he is supposed to be com-

mander-in-chief, he says he is not a general. He is also not Nebuchadnezzar. Although tongues are wagging, I know our president’s ‘cutlass’ has only one sharp side (Dame is the word); so he is not Samson either. Yet, it is only one of these men made up of sterner stuff that can confront the Boko Haram. Since Jonathan has denounced being Pharaoh, Goliath, Nebuchadnezzar, etc, Nigerians have been working hard, trying to come up with an idea of what manner of man the president is. We need no one to tell us he is not a lion; otherwise, he would have dared Boko Haram. Did his critics then expect him to be a lamb? Did they expect him to act like the gentle lamb that walks gullibly to the slaughter slab? Anyway, one person who would not have supported such bravado is Dame Patience Jonathan, the First Lady. I remember she was quoted to have addressed some widows at a function as ‘my fellow widows’. I wonder how the President felt when the matter was reported in the media. But I know for sure that that was a slip of tongue on her part. No one in her position would be in a hurry to join the widow’s league. As a Christian, she must have rejected that, pleading the blood

“It was better the President avoided the Boko Haram by celebrating in Aso Rock than for the world to be treated to the more embarrassing spectacle of seeing him and his aides, the police, State Security Service (SSS) and all run in different directions, with the caps and shoes of some of them falling off without any of them having the courage to pick them up”

of Jesus when the import of her statement dawned on her. Nine days since the independence celebrations, she still has her husband by her side. That is enough joy for her. If Nigerians like, they should call her husband a coward, that na their toro (to paraphrase Jonathan’s benefactor). Which president would not catch cold when Boko Haram sneezes? Boko? Haram? Which of the two words does not invoke fear? These are the same people that their governors fear so much that Governor of Bauchi State, Mallam Isa Yuguda, had to tender a public apology to the group for “…perceived injustices caused them as they have the full rights to be protected by law”. The governor was referring to the extra-judicial murder of the Boko Haram leader, Ustaz Yusuf Mohammed, by security agents in 2009. Even the National Assembly members did not wait for Haram to be mentioned over Boko Haram bomb scare a few days ago. The point is that President Jonathan may understand his brothers in the creeks, but Boko Haram is a different kettle of fish altogether. Poor Dame would have told her husband to be careful; that many have gone reviewing parades in some other countries. In spite of whatever the government says, Jonathan opted for lowkey celebration in Aso Rock apparently because he understands the limits of good luck. Even if Boko Haram had made up its mind to kill him, he would make himself unavailable for their bomb blast. This is a man who has told us what and what he is not. What he has

not told us is what he is. Given what he has told us about what he is not, it would be fool-hardy to expect him to face Boko Haram fire for fire. Jonathan only refused to stand in the front of a moving train. Rather, he beat a retreat by celebrating the independence within. That way, he had only acted according to the proverb, ‘he who fights and runs away, lives to fight another day’. After all, a charging ram that beats a retreat has only gone for more power. That was what the president did on October 1. When a man runs, holding his ears, he is pursuing something if something is not pursuing him. What is befitting is what is befitting; tying a rope on a fowl’s neck is everything but befitting. It was better the President avoided the Boko Haram by celebrating in Aso Rock than for the world to be treated to the more embarrassing spectacle of seeing him and his aides, the police, State Security Service (SSS) and all run in different directions, with the caps and shoes of some of them falling off without any of them having the courage to pick them up. When elderly people run from snakes, they do so with style. It is only kids who run from snakes without making any pretensions about it; they run with their tails behind their legs! Only Jonathan’s enemies would want him to emulate the Daniel who was torn to pieces at the University of Ibadan zoo when he emulated the biblical Daniel. Jonathan may be a Christian, but he knows when not to take faith too far; he knows when not to tempt God. His first name may be Goodluck, but the man knows the limit of good luck too.

The clear and present danger was just a cat needing a toilet toilet. The cat could not ask because, well, we were asleep. Obviously, any number of things can generate fear. The most universally famous sources of course are creaky stairs and window lattices swinging in a storm. Hollywood uses that a lot but luckily for you and I, our houses do not come in many stories, nor are we so enamoured of wood that we would make stair-cases from them. Around here, what tends to creep people out is often traceable to the village witch and witchdoctor. So, once the reigning king or queen of a village in the old west had had successful consultations with all the witchdoctors in his fiefdom, he actually could fear nothing. Nobody was called Kurumi, Ozidi, Ovomranwen, etc., for nothing. They moved around like people with zero FQ, never mind that they all winded up dead, perhaps, mainly because they lost their capacity to fear. I once heard the story of a very powerful village king who had more confidence than could be found in Solomon’s wisdom. He felt so untouchable that he ‘did and undid’ in his village, and anyone who opposed him saw hell. Literally. All the witchdoctors got together to try their hands at unseating him with no luck. He was so powerful he laughed them all to scorn and became even more wicked to his subjects. So, one witchdoctor (again, you don’t call them that for nothing!) hit on a perfect idea. The next morning, the king woke up to find a beautiful mound of poop in front of his palace. Incensed, he went in and brought out

his powerful rhinoceros horn, spoke many words of power into it, and then splayed the contents over the strange poop. Not many days after, the king died. It turned out that the clever witchdoctors had simply scooped up the king’s own poop from the bush, placed it in front of the palace, and let the king believe it belonged to his enemy. Fear does things to people. In Nigeria, fear has led to a relatively new housing culture where everyone shuts himself/ herself rigidly in behind metal burglary proofs, electrified barbed wires and severelooking padlocks that Old Bailey in London never saw. Fear has turned the world-famous African hospitality on its head. All kinsmen in Nigeria now have to identify themselves at people’s gates since people can no longer just walk into their brothers’ houses and demand a bed. Fear has turned Africans against Africans. Yet, a high FQ does not necessarily open university doors to anyone since it cannot be mistaken for a sign of the presence of genius-ness. It may not even open the highway of security since it is said that a drowning man is very likely to drown with him anyone attempting to pull him out. I know, however, that just as a high IQ can intoxicate, so also can a high FQ. So, when I learnt during the week that the Independence Day celebrations were not held at Eagle Square but at Aso Rock, I really became intoxicated with fear. I thought of two things. First, I thought that, perhaps,

the Nigerian government had been contaminated by the high FQ going around the country right now. If that was the case, I thought, why did it take so long to notice what was going on? Did it have to take the series of bombs thrown around by boys, whom the country refused to assist to be useful to themselves and the country, to notice that Nigeria has no security system to speak of? Many newspapers have dutifully reported the worrisome cases of unlawful abductions, senseless killings and irreverent political thugs catching too many unwary passers-by between their combined teeth, but the government has consistently pretended to be deaf. The papers even reported the case of a woman released by kidnappers to go and scout around for ransom to buy her husband back but by the time she returned, the said husband had been killed; and many more. The government simply assisted some concerned families to buy back victims, rather than treat the disease, refusing to know that diseases grow. What further increased my intoxication was the suspicion that, perhaps, the government had finally joined the populace in realizing that there is no confidence to be had in the country’s security apparatuses. We all know many jokes about the national security system, so I will not repeat any here. However, it is enough that almost everyone is aware of how insecure these systems are. They act only when they are affronted. And this is exactly what I suspect prompted the decision to celebrate the Independ-

ence Day ceremony in an untoward place. The last series of bombings were personal affronts on the systems. Listen. The forefathers of what we regard today as the First World were stricken early with extremely high FQ. They were afraid of what would happen to the society if too much power fell into private hands, so they moved quickly to make it impossible. They moved to make sure that everyone had the basics – an open, sufficient and efficient transportation system, access to amenities, and an open, lawful and efficient economic system from which anyone could legally eke out a reasonable living for himself. More importantly, they moved to make sure that no one, absolutely no one, had more wealth than he could account for to use against the people. They had no ‘Big Men’. But not so in Nigeria; a land flowing with milk, honey, and extremely rich people whose combined wealth is now a source of concern to all. We cannot account for ‘them wealth’, and they ‘be now funding our fear’. The whole essence of government is to regulate people’s passions, and work to isolate those with criminal instincts, cage them and then ensure the compliance of the living free. However, the Nigerian government has been known to isolate the people with criminal instincts, befriend them, and then call them ‘Big Men.’ These have been known to use their bigness against the entire country to do and undo, while the rest of us have been ordered to comply with their wishes. We need to get them, so that we can celebrate again, in Eagle Square.





OCTOBER 9, 2011

Nigeria: Structured to fail? O

NCE upon a time, Nigeria was peaceful and prosperous. Its citizens walked with their heads tall everywhere in the globe. They travelled overseas without hassles. They schooled abroad and returned home immediately. There was nothing like visa scam and there was no Boko Haram. There were no bomb explosions. Nigeria had money. There was cocoa, hides and skin. Cotton was in abundance. There was groundnut, palm oil, and other agricultural products, all of which made the country one of the richest in the world. In short, Nigeria worked. And life was good. But with the discovery of black gold, otherwise called crude oil, things have taken a full cycle. Nigerians are poorer. There is political tension. There are more bombs than foods. Nigerians fear Boko Haram more than the federal government. There is intense rivalry among the ethnic nationalities. Nigerians are fleeing the country as desperate passengers seek to get off a sinking boat. They make news for the wrong reasons everywhere in the world. No part of the country is secure and safe. The nation appears heading to disintegration. Nothing is working again. The problem with Nigeria, political experts agree, is its faulty federal structure. Until the military struck in 1966, the na-

The nation’s current political structure appears doomed and needs rethinking, writes Sunday Oguntola tion operated a regional structure. The regions were viable. The Western region thrived on cocoa. Proceeds from its export built skyscrapers. The region offered universal free education and built the first TV station in Africa. The Eastern region worked wonders with palm oil. The North relied on groundnut and its vast agricultural products, which bought prosperity and contentment. The premiers avoided the centre. The late Alhaji Ahmadu Bello was reported to have once wondered what he was going to do in Lagos, the nation’s capital then. But now, the centre has become the centre of attraction. This, according to Senator Chris Ngige, is because “it is the only place

where there is money’’. The federal government currently takes 52% of the nation’s resources. States settle for 26.72% while the local councils make do with only 20.62%. Insolvent states This, Ngige said, is killing the states. “Most of our states are not viable at all,’’ he stated last week at a public lecture in Lagos. “Without the federal allocation, they cannot survive. They rely on the crumbs from the federal government’’. Aliyu Musa, a human rights activist concurs. “States are nowhere to be found financially. All that accrues to them from the federal government goes to overheads and recurrent expenditures. If you minus

“Insolvent states and crippled councils make delivery of democratic dividends almost impossible. Nigerians continue to feel alienated from governments. Failing infrastructures and worsening standards of living make them restless and disillusioned”

these from what most of the governors pocket, there is little or nothing left for developmental projects’’. This is why borrowing has become the order of the day in many states. Investigations revealed most states in the federation are heavily indebted to banks and other financial institutions. These loans come at heavy interest rates, which leave many states stranded financially. A top official in one of the affected states confided last week that allocation from the federation account is emptied as soon as it comes every month. “Before it even comes, the money is finished. That is why we are not doing much now in terms of infrastructural and developmental projects’’. Our correspondent observed that project execution has been dismal across the states in the last few months. This, sources said, is due to cash squeeze. Senator Ngige declared, “Our states are broke.’’ According to him, this is because most of them rely on federal allocations. “They have abandoned manufacturing and agricultural sectors. All they wait on is what comes from Abuja,’’ he added. Internal revenue generation has been anything but impressive in many states. Continued on page 18




Structured to fail? Continued from page 17

This is not helped by the closing down of the few operating companies and industries. Oversized civil service made up mainly of party faithful further complicate the situation. Moses Ogunleti, a financial expert, said “once you generate income from one source, you are bound to be broke and needy. And that is what we are witnessing in many states’’. Their lean resources are expended among the army of ever increasing political appointees. From commissioners to special assistants and advisers, government officials continue to increase even when resources are dwindling. Crippled councils Things are worse off in the nation’s 774 local government councils. Most of them only appear in paper. There are nowhere in terms of impact and effectiveness. Funding has been at the whims and caprices of governors, some of whom behave like some imperial lords. What the local councils get depends on the mood and needs of their governors. “Personally, I don’t believe they (local governments) exist at all. Yes, you see their signpost and vehicles but what do they do? They only collect market and shop rents. When all is said and done, they contribute nothing to people at the grassroots,’’ Razak Baruwa, a community leader said. Investigations revealed that the allocations of most local governments are deducted by states. “By the time, they deduct whatever they want, we are barely existing again,’’ one aggrieved chairman said. He disclosed that aside from the deductions, most of them are mandated to make monthly contributions in support of party activities. He added: “You have to give a determined amount to your party otherwise you are disloyal. You have to give whatever the governor or commissioners demand for. If you subtract these from what we get, there is nothing again for governance. You only pay salaries and wait till the following month, hoping there is a little left over for one or two projects’’. This perception is reinforced by the fact that most residents appeal to state governments to mend some roads that are the responsibility of local councils. More states, more developments? Insolvent states and crippled councils make delivery of democratic dividends almost impossible. Nigerians continue to feel alienated from governments. Failing infrastructures and worsening standards of living make them restless and disillusioned. Disenchantment sets in, forcing many to agitate for more states. Most minority groups in the country have inundated the National Assembly with demand for their own states. This stems from fear of domination by major ethnic nationalities. In 1963, there were only four regions. Twelve states were created in 1967. They increased to 19 in 1976; and grew to 21 in 1987; and by 1991 it blew up to 30 states and 36 in 1994. Of recent, demands for new states have resurfaced. Some of the proposed new states include

Ibadan and Oke Ogun states (from present Oyo); Yewa (from Ogun); Adada (from Enugu); Orashi (from Anambra/Rivers). Others are Aba (from Abia); Njaba (from Imo/Anambra) and Igboezuo (from each of the existing states in the South East) and Apa (from Benue). Senate President, David Mark, said the demand for new states is “right, legitimate and desirable.’’ Last year he promised that new states will be created. Already the National Assembly has constituted a joint committee for constitutional amendment. State creation is expected to be a key component of the exercise. Mark said at the inauguration of the committee “should we allow state police? Will it enhance policing duties and reduce criminality in the country? “Is the current revenue formula equitable? Will a change in favour of the States enhance the deliverables to the people? “Should power distribution be on the exclusive legislative list? Shouldn’t states that invest in power generation be allowed to distribute? Is it necessary to create new states? Will it bring government nearer to the people and address cries of marginalisation? “How effective are the local governments? Should they be made to function independently of the states? Is the Joint State/ Local Governments Account still necessary?” But development experts agree that creation of new states will not necessarily lead to real development. They said new states will not eliminate fear of domination. Rather, new minorities will emerge from the new states. Few connected politicians will pocket the states and call the shots, thereby replicating the current scenario. The restructuring Nigeria needs According to Ngige, the way forward is true federalism through restructuring. Nigeria, he said, must rethink its current structure. He said the federal government is too powerful. “We need devolution of power because the centre is too strong,’’ he reiterated. Auwal Raffayani, Executive Director of New Nigeria Front, Abuja, agrees. “We need to restructure. We have not moved forward with what we have so we must rethink our federation,’’ he restated. He called for regional autonomy as expected in a true federation. This, he said, will create healthy competition and make the federating units viable. Ngige said the current revenue formula is not developmentfriendly. “Allow the states to retain 50% of whatever they make and contribute 50% to the centre. You will find out they will become viable and prosperous’’. He said the exclusive list is currently too strong, wondering why states cannot operate their own police and generate power. According to him, “The federating units should be equal partners with the centre. To diffuse power in the centre, there should be rotation of the Presidency among the six geo-political zones with two vice presidents, one from the zone of the incumbent who can take over in case of death, impeachment or incapacitation’’.



Anambra politics is peculiar-REC


XPERIENCES so far as Anambra State REC I have been in Anambra State for more than a year now and being the person on ground incharge of INEC affairs, I have discovered that the academic world from which I emerged to this steamy political forum that characterises INEC is a little different. But in a way I found out that the experiences I acquired from the academic world have been very vital indeed, very critical to enabling me perform my functions as the Anambra State Resident Electoral Commissioner. For one thing, it has given me a wide perspective of how to treat issues. It has also enabled me to know how to treat and handle human beings. It has given me the opportunity to contribute to the well-being of the nation and also understand better the political terrain of the state. And so, I find that my place in Anambra State is unique and outstanding. It has given me the opportunity to serve the nation in a way I least thought of. I find it very exciting, very interesting… For instance, if you go back to our history, you find out that over the years the enthronement of credible and viable election had always eluded us. Even the 1959 elections conducted by the British government were flawed. It seems from available facts that the British government deliberately cornered the elections to favour those who would support her roles in Nigeria. Subsequent elections also had been conducted in such ways that those in power had always manipulated elections to suit their whims and caprices. In other words, it has not been possible for Nigerians to actually have their say on who should or should not be elected. But I found the 2011 elections very instructive and interesting. For the first time in the history of Nigeria we were able to show the outside world that we can conduct credible elections where votes count. On people’s participation in the electoral process The elections in Anambra State came on well and we did our possible best to ensure that equity prevailed. Before the elections came, political parties were busy campaigning. Each time I saw APGA or ACN or PDP, Accord or Labour Party on their campaign train, I

Chukwuemeka Onukaogu is a Professor of English at the Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile-Ife, Osun State and currently the Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) in Anambra State. He told Edozie Udeze why Anambra politics is different


was totally amazed because these were people who were desirous of change and who did what was possible to have clean elections. Now I feel fulfilled that all these parties won seats in Anambra elections. It is about the only state where a number of political parties had such opportunity. They realised that for the first time, we were prepared to provide a level playing ground for all. That it was not business as usual and we even let them know that. No one would be allowed to come and cheat and garner the whole votes to the detriments of others. They knew they could not buy our officials. They could not buy any of us in the state. We were determined to usher in a new era of change in Anambra State. The politicians therefore campaigned vigorously; they worked hard in Anambra State. So, this was why I said I feel fulfilled. Lessons on conducting elections Yes I have learnt a lot. In fact, when the conflict between ACN and APGA erupted during the Senatorial election, my chairman Professor Jega was by my side. The national commissioner was by my side. They set up a committee to help me. The committee investigated and discovered no flaws and I felt fulfilled. It showed I was not sent to the field and abandoned. The Lord of the land was behind me. That is why I keep saying that Anambra State is an icon. But you find out that it is one state in the country where all five political parties won elections – at least one seat

at Federal and Local levels. At the state level, for instance, the PDP won some seats, APGA won some seats, ACN too won some seats. Even Accord party and Labour won seats. It was so because I had military support, I had police support. The people were ready and eager to make it work. Also, I had enough funding. I had enough materials to conduct the election and indeed the morale of my staff was quite high. What am I saying in effect? We have demonstrated to Nigerians and to the outside world that if given the goodwill we will have fair election. And then too, the President himself was committed to giving the nation a credible election. You could see therefore that at the end of the day, what happened in Ivory Coast didn’t happen here. What happened in Sudan didn’t happen here. At least we have shown everybody that we have the capacity to conduct free and fair election. All these also have shown me that the electoral process is the gamut of democracy. Without the electoral process, you do not have democracy and so for you to have democracy the electoral process has to be seen to be clean. It is the electoral process that will determine whether your democracy will take the pattern of Britain or Russia or China or the pattern of the US. So from what we have done and the type of people at the helms of affairs, we are sure we have quality people who can lead this nation. At least, they can make it an improvement of what either happens in the US, Russia or in the UK. In the process too, our leaders can learn. Again, electoral process is like a garment. You wear and it protects you from adverse weather. This is what the electoral process has done for us and we can then move on ahead with our democracy. Now that we have this firmly in place, the issue of a military coup is absolutely impossible because any soldier who tries to rear his ugly head now will be totally rejected by the people.




Revenue formula due for review - Okowa O

N pre-occupation of the Senate Let me say this with all sense of responsibility, that what the agenda has shown, to me, is that we have a senate president that is very serious minded. He understands the issues in Nigeria and wants to approach everything in a pragmatic manner. I must tell you that all the people who were in the chamber, senators and all, who listened to that speech were very encouraged that we still have people who care about the country and who are very much interested, not only in good governance but to ensure that everybody is carried along. Look at the issues that are on the table now as the agenda. You would have thought that at such a high level in government, he would not mention such things as state police, devolution of power and a new revenue formula and further amendment of the Electoral Act so that the experiences of the last elections can be dealt with. These are thorny issues and you would think that at his level, he would play politics with them. But these are now on the fore of discussion in the country and I dare say that I sincerely hope that at the end of the day Nigeria will be the better for it. In all, the significance of the agenda as set by the senate is simply that it is people oriented. Case for a new revenue allocation formula I think we actually need to review the revenue allocation formula. Ordinarilly, it is a thing that should be looked into every five to 10 years. What we have at present was handed over to us by the military and nothing substantial has been done ever since apart from some adjustment done during the administration of Chief Olusegun Obasanjo. We need to have an Act of the Parliament on this. It is long over due because the situation on ground today is totally different from what it used to be. It has also become imperative because we are asking if we should devolve more power to states, if yes, then we need to give more money. Look at primary school education, look at the burden being borne by local government areas. After paying primary school teachers’ salaries alone, then staff salaries what is left for capital project at that tiers of government? These are the issues and I want to believe that the Revenue Mobilization and Fiscal Commission would be able to put all these things in proper perspective such that in early 2012, it should be able to bring a proposal to the National Assembly which would be looked into. Investigation of private and commercial enterprises We know the challenges being faced before we went into the privatisation of some of the enterprises. Many of the organisations that were concerned were not doing well. And those into manufacturing were also not productive and government was spending huge amount of money paying salaries for jobs not done because the factories were not running. These were some of the reasons why the pri-

Dr Ifeanyi Okowa represents Delta North Senatorial District. He is the vice chairman, Committee on Health as well as a member of the 7-man ad hoc committee investigating the privatisation and commercialisation policy of government. In this interview with Assistant Editor, Augustine Avwode, the former Secretary to Delta State Government assures that the Senate would not disappoint on the on-going investigation into government’s privatiSation policy

• Okowa

vatisation became necessary because it wouldn’t have been too long before government closed shop and people thrown into the labour market. The policy was to improve efficiency and guarantee employment. We are still conducting our investigation that is the most I want to say now so as not to prejudice anything. I thank God that the seven-man committee that was constituted has a lot of credibility and I want to believe, too, that Mr. Senate President made a fantastic choice. We have visited some places, we are still looking around, we have been to the South-South, we were in Kaduna and now we are in Lagos. Yes, we are encouraged by what we have seen in some places, like the ports. We are encouraged by what we have seen but that does not mean that there is no more room for improvement. And I know that when we come out with our report of what we have seen on ground, it will be a reflection of a thorough

job and I know that the senate will take appropriate resolution and pass such recommendation to the executive arm of government for implementation. I want to believe that on the long run it will be a report and a job that Nigerians would be proud of and will not be disappointed. And I also want to believe that President Goodluck Jonathan will personally be interested in the implementation of the recommendation that will come finally from the Senate. My hope is that we would, at the end of the day, come out with far reaching recommendations that will improve the state of the enterprises that are under consideration and importantly, help in shaping the future of privatization exercises in the country. Delta at 20 I want to believe that we have grown as a state both in development of infrastructure and human capital development as well. And, as a state, we have stabilised much more as the various ethnic groups in the state live

in harmony at the moment which is very key harmony at the moment which is very key for the development of the state. The peace process in Delta State has really grown and developed to the extent that we are now one people despite the divergence in ethnic groups that make up the state. That is quite an achievement. In terms of development of infrastructure, we have done well in the transport sector, the state is highly connected with road network and I do believe that all the local government headquarters are connected now, except the riverine axis of Burutu and Ndokwa East where construction work is still on going. So we have done largely well in the transport sector and that is good for us because we are able to interconnect with each other and that has also helped in the movement of goods and produce around the state. If you look at the health sector, we have one of the largest numbers of hospitals distributed into various communities in the state well over 60 hospitals being handled by the state government and many of them are in good shape. We have also, a tertiary hospital at Oghara that is very well equipped and it’s is gradually coming into focus and that is quite good. A lot has been said about the education sector because of the high number of schools that we have both primary and secondary, we have over 1000 primary schools. And in terms of secondary schools, with this junior and senior classification, we have over 700 secondary schools in the state. And so a lot of money and development have gone into that sector. And very importantly, the state government is putting a lot of money over N7b this year into the infrastructure development of schools in the state. Apart from primary and secondary schools, a lot of money is also being sunk into tertiary institutions, which are polytechnics and university. Delta state is one of the states with three campuses of its own university at Abraka, Oleh and Asaba. We run four polytechnics and they are all in good shape. The state has grown, we now have a functional international Airport at Asaba, apart from Osubi and we hope that the next two months the remaining things will be put in place. As at today, local flights are already coming in, but the real intention is for it to function as an international airport that will carry both cargo and persons and I think that is good for the state.

Lawmaker seeks help for constituents v


HIEF Whip of the Lagos House of Assembly, Hon. Razzaq Balogun, has called on the state government to come to the aid of his constituents. He spoke last week when he led party leaders and other stakeholders on a twoday visit to Deputy Governor, Mrs. Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire and four ministries. The ministries are: Health; Youth, Sport and Social Development; Works and Infrastructure and Education. The Representative of Surulere 11 appealed to the key ministries to bring about infrastructural, human capital development, social amenities and empowerment to his constituents. Speaking with Adefulire who presides over the Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation Ministry, Balogun said, ”Our visit is to familiarise with you and discuss ways and means Surulere constituency II can benefit in some of your laudable programmes which your office oversees. We want to benefit from small and medium

By Oziegbe Okoeki

scale entrepreneurship schemes, Health Sector, Micro Credit Scheme and Poverty Alleviation,” he said At the ministry of works and Infrastructure, Balogun told the Commissioner, Mr. Obafemi Amzat to urgently embark on road rehabilitation and construction as well as drainage in some areas in Coker Aguda and its environs. He said Adetola, Orile Iganmu and Baale Streets need urgent attention. At the health ministry, he requested Dr Jide Idris, the commissioner, to provide ambulance points, Health Mission and assist indigent and elderly people with healthcare. The Chief Whip asked Mr. Enitan Oshodi, Commissioner for Youth, Sport and Social development to among other things provide a recreation and skills acquisition centre for youths in the constituency. While at the education ministry, he told

•Hon. Balogun (on suit), Oladunjoye with other members of the delegation

the commissioner Barrister Saidat Olayinka Oladunjoye to resuscitate Alara and Akande Primary Schools which have been off the academic calendar for two sessions in the area. He appealed that quick attention be given to the schools.

Adefulire promised that WAPA Ministry would do everything humanly possible to cater for some of the needs. She also advised that they should asses the fund in the Micro-finance scheme as it was readily available and needs no collateral.




Nigeria still not a flourishing democracy F

IRST, let me place on record on behalf of the government and the good people of Edo State, our gratitude and appreciation to the leadership of the Nigerian Guild of Editors (NGE) in choosing to come to Edo State for the purpose of this conference. For us, you have done us great honour and personally, you have afforded me the opportunity to meet with a lot of people whom I have met over the years when I was at the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC). I enjoyed tremendous, generous and very helpful support of the media while I was at the Nigerian Labour Congress. When I was drafted, that is putting it in the Nigerian way; but when I resolved to go into partisan politics, again the media was there for me and when those who fix rigging, fixed me out, the media was there to help to unfix them and so, if I am here today as the Governor of Edo State, it is largely in part because the media kept my case on the front burner and reminded the judiciary that there was need to do justice in Edo State. There were many people who were rigged out in 2007 but only a few were able to regain their mandate. I happen to be one of those very few and I also believe it is largely because the media saw and helped to make a case that Oshiomhole’s case is different and should be treated in the manner that it was treated. So I can never thank you enough. So when I was informed of your proposal to come to Edo State, I naturally thought that this is something that we should not only support but we’ll do everything to encourage you to be here, because, for us, it is a rare opportunity to be able to meet the drivers and managers of the Fourth Estate of the realm. So I want to thank you so much for coming to Edo and I do hope that you will find time not only to reflect on the topic of this conference but to go round the city and enjoy yourselves. In the state we do not have kidnappers. However, we have had some cases of kidnapping perpetrated by migrant kidnappers. That in itself is a fact that we have created such a liberal environment that even kidnappers think that they can come and take advantage of our hospitality, but we are dealing with it and we are making some progress. So I really cannot thank you enough for coming to Edo State and I’m sure you will enjoy your stay while you are here. Let me also appreciate the representative of Prof Attahiru Jega here. The 2011 Election I believe that the last election reflected the qualities of two main characters, that of the President and Commander-in-Chief, President Goodluck Jonathan and that of Chairman, Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Attahiru Jega. I believe that these two personalities can jolly well claim the credit for the substantial improvement in the conduct of the last election compared to the ones before them. Like Jega said in his address, those elections were not perfect, we still have problems of rigging, but it won’t be right to suggest that those rigging were ordered from Abuja the way, they were done in 2007. So I’ll like to use this opportunity to ask you to convey to Comrade Jega our appreciation of the leadership he has provided, but also to remind him as I have done before that we still do have a lot of crooks, in the INEC system and they are still at work and so he must watch and continue to identify them and take steps where he cannot fire them on the account of law but to expose them for the public to know who they are. The theme of this conference Deeping Democracy, the Role of the Editor, I thought is very interesting. When I was in the NLC a couple of times or on May Days and several other times we talked about deepening democracy, and for me this is in appreciation of the fact that merely to have elections and people vote is not enough for us to beat our chests and say that Nigeria is a flourishing democracy. I think we have started the process but there is a lot we still all need to do not only to deepen it but also to internalize the core values of democracy and to ensure that it grows from strength to strength. As I was making my notes here, because I was asking my Commissioner for Information because when I was in the NLC, when we invite Governors to come and address us or even Ministers, sometimes to my embarrassment, they would ask us to prepare the speech and send to them and I used to

Speech of Edo State Governor, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole during the opening of the 7th Annual Editors Conference (ANEC) of the Nigerian Guild of Editors (NGE) which held in Benin City, recently


wonder why do I have to write speeches for you to read back to me. I should be curious as to what you want to say. But I know that they used to write speeches for governors and I thought as I had become governor they would also write speeches for me. So today, I asked the Commissioner for Information and I said where is my own speech, because you as an editor should know what editors want to hear and then write me something that would attract as much applause as possible. As you can see, he left me on my own and when I saw that two people would speak before me. I used the opportunity to draft a few notes. Meaning of Democracy I think first, in talking about democracy, it seems to me that in the real world this seemingly simple word, democracy when you break it down you’ll find that it has different meanings to different people. There are people in Nigeria who believe that democracy means one man can fix election result and announce them and if you protest, he locks you up, for him that is democracy, and everyday he sharpens his tools of rigging. He identifies the thugs to be deployed and assembles a few sums of money to service the process. When he has succeeded in fixing his people he talks about democracy dividends when he should be talking about rigging dividends. But I think it seems to me that around the world, the most common definition that everybody, seems to use from the lowest to the professor, they all talk about democracy as “the government of the people by the people, for the people. But then on the surface, it seems clear it’s all about the people. That feature: “government of the people, by the people, for the people’ Again I believe that at the level of definition, what some people regard as people may be different from some other

persons, because if we all accept that we have a common definition of the word “people, then some of the contradictions we see will be avoided. So, I think that this is a theme that allows for analytical evaluation and we must try to conceptualise some of the concepts that we seem to uncritically accept as if they have universal meaning, I do not think so. So I ask the question “whose people, which people”? For many, if a government is elected for example and you define the people as meaning himself, his wife and his children and he proceeds to use his instrument of power to deliver to these members of his household, in his opinion, the government has delivered to the people. The problem is that his own idea of the people, are those within his own household, that is why sometimes we do need to be sure that when we say people, that we all have the same appreciation of the word “people”. The New INEC under Jega In proceeding with this discussion, we must first look at the institutions that shape the character and even determine the outcome of an election. First, you have the body formally set up for that purpose which is INEC here represented by the man in white babanriga is deliberate, to show that INEC under you is a bit more transparent. I think the other one before you used to be more of grey suit and sometimes dark suit, that is the man who was your boss before and your choice of cap red, points to some attempt at revolutionary changes in INEC. I say we also have the media, we have the Police, SSS, the Army and all of that can be classified as security. Then we have the selfless group of Nigerians, the Civil Society. I qualify them as the selfless group because they are often visited with all kinds of humiliation and har-

“There are people in Nigeria who believe that democracy means one man can fix election result and announce them and if you protest, he locks you up, for him that is democracy, and everyday he sharpens his tools of rigging.”

assment and they ask for no reward for their contribution in the process of democratization. And then we have the government as represented by the President. Now because this script is not written, it’s not going to have a particular flow. De-emphasising the trappings of power I think the President of Nigeria, who some prefer to emphasise and to always remind us that he is the “Commander-in-Chief” with the emphasis on “of the Armed Forces” the forces that are armed. I think that when any Nigerian stands to talk about the President and he proceeds to also add all the other ones as “Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces”, there is a veiled threat that we should be warned that this man commands all the men that are legally armed. This might look straight forward, but I think that it is not for nothing that in Nigeria that this is often emphasized, and even when you get to the gate, in the visitors’ register, some simply put President, but you’ll find that some put C-in-C. You should know those who prefer to use Cin-C and those who prefer President. It would reveal the character of those who use these words. But for me they are important, because in the rest of democracy around the world, from the most powerful President on the planet, the President of the United States of America, I have never heard, you guys have travelled more often than me, some of you have probably accompanied Presidents to visit foreign Presidents. I have never heard whether CNN, BBC, VOA or whatever describing any of their Presidents as Commander-in-Chief. Mr. President”, “President Obama”, even his wife simply says “Barrack” and when you say President, of course we know that, that is the person who can order that somebody in Iraq be smoked out of Government House, but you don’t need to emphasize it. But in Nigeria, we want to remind everybody that this man is the “Commander-in-Chief” of the Armed Forces. So I think that we must begin to ask questions about even those little details. This is already explicitly clear, they hardly need to remind us, or even remind him, that he is in charge of the Armed Forces. So, I think for me we have the non state institutions like the civil society and you have on the other hand the President, INEC and the security agencies. Why do I classify them together”? As it is today, the President appoints both the INEC chairman and all the INEC functionaries including Resident Electoral Commissioners and even the Non-Resident and so the character of INEC must substantially reflects the character of the appointing authority. Attitude of two Presidents I believe that on reflection, the attitude to his job reflected the character of the man who gave him the job. The media is also part of the non-state actors, particularly if you like to make a distinction between state-owned and private-owned media whether electronic or print. I had argued in the past and I still do believe now, that whether we have free and fair election in the first place depends on the character and the attitude of the President. If we have a president who sees himself simply as a party man, whose business is to ensure that his party governs forever, of course I read from the newspapers that PDP intends to govern forever and ever. It used to be fifty years and now they say it’s forever and ever until death do us part. Now, if you are the President that buys into that logic, then it would be do-or-die and if it is do-or-die and that must be pronounced by the President who is also the Commander-in-Chief, then the men and women under legal arms are by implication being commanded to do what the President wants. But on the other hand, if you have a President who appreciates that whereas he’s a President but for the purpose of the election, he is a candidate and that the people have a right to choose him and that they also have a right to reject him, and he accordingly gives the proper signals to the men and women under arms, the character of the election will reflect those values. And that is why in trying to understand what is different in the last election, you must try and understand the difference between former President Olusegun Obasanjo and current President Goodluck Jonathan. To be continued




‘It has crossed my mind to commit suicide over this issue’ —Charles Osuji, Nasir El-Rufai’s BPE accuser Charles Osuji, a former deputy director at the Bureau for Public Enterprises (BPE), in this interview with Remi Adelowo and Joe Agbro Jr., speaks about his relationship with former BPE DirectorGeneral and Minister for Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Nasir El-Rufai, his role in the BPE saga and other issues.


HEN and how did you join BPE? I joined on June 5, 1990 when it was known as Technical Committee on Privatisation and Commercialisation (TCPC). Dr. Hamzat Zayyad was the chairman while the current Minister of National Planning, Dr. Shamsudeen Usman, was director general. He recruited me as a senior executive and I got promoted to the level of deputy director between 1990 and 1997. Mallam Nasir El-Rufai met me there as a deputy director in 1999. He was appointed on November 2, 1999. He resumed on the 3rd. Between the time he joined and when he left, what was the relationship you had with him? I had had some skirmishes with him outside the BPE before he was appointed. Before he came in as DG, he was always saying derogatory things about Dr. Hamzat Zayyad. How did you get to know him before then? One of my friends, Ibrahim Jiba, was his close friend. That was how we met. When El-Rufai resumed as Director General, my first reaction was to resign. I just didn’t think he was going to keep me. But something happened. He got to the BPE and found me extremely intelligent. We became close. It was not a boss-staff relationship. We had relationship that bordered on friendship. So, at what point did the relationship snap? It never snapped. Until I left the BPE, that relationship did not

“He (El-Rufai) called me to his office on May 21, 2001to tell me that the Vice President (Atiku Abubakar) said I should resign. And I said, ‘for what?’ He didn’t give me any reason. I said ‘no,’ I must have reason for resigning.”

snap. And that is why when he said I should leave, I kept quiet because I just felt two friends were having problems. Unbeknownst to me, he was the one that caused this problem at BPE. What was the problem as at the time you left? He (El-Rufai) called me to his office on May 21, 2001to tell me that the Vice President (Atiku Abubakar) said I should resign. And I said, ‘for what?’ He didn’t give me any reason. I said ‘no,’ I must have reason for resigning. BPE then was under the supervision of the Vice-president? The Vice President was the chairman of what we call the NCP (National Council of Privatisation). So, the Vice President is the head of NCP. I refused and then the next day, he practically threw me out of the office. That was what happened You must have done some background investigation ... what did you find out? According to him, he said I took money from Dr. Mike Adenuga. And that is not true. On the sale of National Oil which is now Conoil? Yes. And that is not true. Dr. Adenuga came into BPE one Saturday morning when we were in NDIC building. We went to work that day - sometime in August 2000. El-Rufai had resumed the year before in August 1999. He (Adenuga) showed interest in buying National Oil. He came himself. The DG didn’t see him. He said he should wait until I returned because I had just stepped out for lunch. It was when I came that he now saw him. It was that period that this whole thing happened. This was in 2001... Yes. And he (Adenuga) successfully bought National Oil in November 2000. Between that November 2000 and May 2001, we were all still in BPE and El-Rufai was still seeing Dr. Adenuga all this while. He didn’t give anybody any money. Are you sure of your facts? I’m very sure of my facts. He Continue on page 22






All I want is justice

Continue from page 21

“I should have gone to court and that is the gospel truth. My lawyer said we should go to court. In fact, I had two sets of lawyers. The one in Abuja was already in court. ElRufai called me on phone and begged me after I had left. He was still the DG. He called me and begged me that he was going to give me back my job, that I should relax. I said okay. He should take me to court so that the mistake of 2001 would be corrected. He should sue me, I would answer him, and I will counter-sue him. We’ll prove to him that he does not have the right to do what he did. He should take me to court.” didn’t give anybody money. On January 7, 2001, we (BPE) had just finished a retreat in Kaduna - the entire BPE senior management. The Saturday before that meeting ended, El-Rufai asked me to fix a meeting with Gen. Babangida. So I called him up. Why you? Well, he (El-Rufai) assumed I knew him. Why me? I had helped his friend’s child get admission into El Amin. He even told me it was something he could never have done. His own children were to go to El Amin but nobody gave them admission. So, I called the late madam (Maryam Babangida). Madam obliged them. Later he now said I should book an appointment with Babangida, which I did. So, we went to see Babangida from Kaduna. El-Rufai’s wife was with us that day. When we got to Gen. Babangida’s house, we met Gen. Abdusalami Abubakar. As soon as Gen. Abdulsalami saw us, he stood up and left. It was later I got to know the reason why he left so suddenly. El-Rufai had betrayed him before. So, his sight was very disgusting to him. I know Nasir worked under Gen. Abdusalami Yes, in PIMCO. They had an organisation called PIMCO (Project Implementation and Monitoring Committee). You’re alleging that the man betrayed him and that was why the man stood up? Well, it was what I was told. Anyway, we went to see Babangida. You know what ElRufai went to do in Minna? He went to report that Dr. Mike Adenuga who had taken over National Oil was not working according to the terms of agreement, that within the two to three months that he had taken over, he had sent away the board of National Oil headed by Gen. Yakubu Gowon. He said Adenuga was not supposed to have done that. You were there when he was saying all these? We were all there together. I’m telling you the reason why he went to Minna. Did he brief you on your way to Kaduna that that was his mission? He told me that was his mission. We were close. We were


friends. Essentially, he was going to report Dr. Adenuga for not bringing the money they had agreed on. Which money was that? That is the post-privatisation money they had agreed on. He went there to report him Was that legal? It wasn’t legal. So, what is meant by postprivatisation money? I don’t know what it was Was it a bribe? I don’t know about that. When you get him, you ask him what it (post-privatisation money) was. There was this money he was supposed to pay which he did not months after he bought National Oil and took over. Two months after our first visit to Minna, he (ElRufai) asked me to book another appointment with Gen. Babangida. We left our offices in Abuja and drove to Minna. This time, he was going to brief Gen. Babangida on the activities of BPE for that year. Between January and that period, he had drawn up a road map of the companies that were going to be sold under BPE. So, he was going there to ask Gen. Babangida to choose which companies he was interested in. This is a man that just a few weeks before, under oath swore at the Senate hearing that nobody knew who was going to buy what. This is the second time I am saying this openly. I said it at the Senate hearing that I knew who was going to buy what. Can you recollect some of the companies he mentioned to Babangida? No, if you bring the BPE programme for that year, the companies should be there. But Babangida never said he was interested in buying anything. Gen. Babangida has never applied as far as I know to buy any company in this country. He started privatisation. It was his programme, and to the best of my knowledge, on that occasion he didn’t choose anything. He just said thank you. Again, El-Rufai reminded him that Dr. Adenuga had not paid any money.

How much was it? I don’t know. Now, back to that issue of money, did Dr. Adenuga give the money directly to El-Rufai or through you because I recall that at the Senate hearing, he said Adenuga gave you money. It was me he sent to go and collect the money. That is the money you are referring to now? Yes. It was not that Dr. Adenuga came to your office or you went to meet him... No, I didn’t meet him. He sent the money through his emissary. Adenuga is not somebody you can see anytime. I am too small to see Adenuga. When El-Rufai was looking for him, he was no longer available. There was a time for two weeks, he asked me to leave the office and go and look for Adenuga. Everybody who knows him (Dr. Adenuga) knows that you cannot see him unless he wants to see you. So, how could I have gone to him? How does that happen? Where do I go to? Which door do I have to break to see him? How come Adenuga singled you out? Dr. Adenuga is someone that I know. That’s all. I know him one on one. But, I also told you that in August 2001 when he came to the BPE office, the DG refused to see him until I came because I went out for lunch. From that period in August until the following year, even after the sale, El-Rufai knew that I knew Dr. Adenuga, that’s why. How would you describe the deals that were going during your time at BPE? There were no deals. I don’t lie and I would never lie. There were no deals. You talked about the postprivatisation ... where does that fit into what you were supposed to do? Did it go on with all the different transactions of BPE? Number one, I wasn’t in operations in BPE at this time. Number two, I did not privatise this National Oil. It was out of my own area. I was in what was called

advisory services. Advisory services is where you recruit privatisation advisers and people who help to do privatisation. When you finish you turn it over to operations people. But, you must have had insider knowledge? Actually, I had worked in Operations before. All through my life in BPE, I was in operations but when El-Rufai came, I was removed from operations and put in advisory services with a different directorate. So, if you talk about when El-Rufai came, I can only tell you about my own experience. Why is this coming up at this point? The wrong man was given the right job. You have to study the job and do it properly. I will give you another example. Between 1999 and 2003 when he left, he said he made a total of N57b for the coffers of government. I have said it before and I’ll say it again. If you take the real value of each of these companies that he sold and put them together, take the transaction value and add them to these transactions, they far outweigh this N57b. What I am saying is that ElRufai was not a success in BPE. For one transaction Nasir did in NITEL, this country was left with a deficit of N100b. This is certified; a committee of the National Assembly certified it. It’s not hear-say. If I accuse you of corruption, there are things you have to do. You have to take me to court. Why is he not taking me to court? He should take me to court and clear his name because it is a direct accusation. When we get to court, we will now talk about the details of the things we know. When you collected that money from Adenuga’s emissary, you took it to El-Rufai. Did he collect? He didn’t collect it. He said I should keep it. Those were his words?. Those were his words. What did you then do? The money was small. That was why El-Rufai didn’t collect it. He mentioned the figure to you? Yes. How much was it?

I can’t tell you how much it was. Now, he started looking for Dr. Adenuga. When he eventually saw Adenuga, he now brought another money which I took again to ElRufai. At that time I said I was going to keep the money and return it. Did you return the money? Of course, I was under oath when I said it at the National Assembly. But I recall some of the senators were saying that you should be charged to court for collecting that money. What is your take on that? If you charge me to court with El-Rufai, we’ll go. Was it right for you to have collected that money? Very wrong. With hindsight, I feel very bad. My entire life has been centred on this thing. I feel horrible and I feel so bad. In fact, it has gotten to a level that sometimes it has crossed my mind to commit suicide over this issue. That’s how bad I feel. It should not have happened. No matter how close I was to ElRufai, I should not have allowed this thing to happen. I have never had a query in BPE. No disciplinary action was taken against me. After El-Rufai asked you to resign, did you resign? I did not. He forced me out of the office. He practically threw me out So, you didn’t offer a formal resignation? No. And what steps did you take? I went to National Assembly and the Committee on Public Petition said they should reinstate me. At one point, BPE said they didn’t see the letter, they just muddled it up. Dr. Julius Bala was DG then. Whether he saw it and kept it, I don’t know, but he said he didn’t see it. Why didn’t you go to court? I should have gone to court and that is the gospel truth. My lawyer said we should go to court. In fact, I had two sets of lawyers. The one in Abuja was already in court. ElRufai called me on phone and begged me after I had left. He was still the DG. He called me and begged me that he was going to give me back my job, that I should relax. I said okay. He should take me to court so that the mistake of 2001 would be corrected. He should sue me, I would answer him, and I will counter-sue him. We’ll prove to him that he does not have the right to do what he did. He should take me to court. Ten years have gone and ordinarily people expected that the matter should have ended. Why are you still agitating? What do you want? I want justice from Nigeria, from that office. What would you count as justice? I lost my job. I want my job back. Bolanle Onagoruwa, the DG was just talking at the Senate committee. She could not answer one question at that committee but when it came to Charles Osuji, she was singing. Everything she said was what ElRufai had told her. Why have you not gone to court all this while? You know we were waiting for Senate report. Between Senate hearing and now, I’ve been expecting El-Rufai to take me to court. He has kept quiet. I don’t want to run this thing on the pages of newspapers. He has not called you personally? No, he has not. His friends have called. But why shouldn’t I talk? This is my life.


Strange dances of freedom Last weekend, National Troupe of Nigeria created and staged Akpaturo Summary to hold the audience spellbound for the 51st anniversary of the nation’s independence. Edozie Udeze was there


KPATURO Summary, a strange name given to a set of six dances created by Arnold Udoka, foremost Nigerian choreographer and director of dance of the National Troupe of Nigeria, for the 51st independence anniversary of the country hit the stage at the National Theatre, Lagos, last weekend. For the first time in recent memory, Nigerians were privileged to watch new patterns of dances anchored on abstract dance – drama depicting the many funny and important happenings in human existence. Satires, innuendoes and all, dominated the dances. Udoka purposely created those abstract traditional dances to draw attention to the issues that define the country at 51. The first sign to show that the nation’s many socio-political and economic problems would dominate the dances was the presence of 51 large petroleum drums used to decorate the stage. The drums were symbolic; on top of the last one was boldly written 51, not only to show that Nigeria was 51, but also to demonstrate the fact that oil products, found in large quantum in the Niger Delta have not given enough respite to the nation. What then is the future of the country? Decorated in the national colours of green – white – green, the drums gave a defined focus to the dances and the audience were compelled to cast their minds back to those olden days when Nigeria was proud to be a leading oil producing nation. Then life was better. But then, Udoka’s dances revolved around those ironies of a big – for – nothing leadership that filtered away those rare moments to make the desired change necessary for development. As the drums beat away, the dancers silently sneaked into the stage from various points. Silently they mimicked the problems of the society with electrifying dance steps. The first dance tagged arbiter dwelt on the various political conflicts that confront the nation. With colourful costumes to define the rich nature of the Nigerian nation, the dancers demonstrated the dances of violence, chaos and hatred in different forms that pay no one any good. In the cutthroat competitive nature of life, where no one knows any moment of respite, who wins this battle of political and economic wits? That was the question embedded therein, as the drums rose and fell in steady tempos giving every movement on the stage the re-

quired blend to make the abstract dances more provocative and soul-searching. After many years of total gloom in a society where many are almost on the brink, the legendary Hogan Bassey, the pugilist whose boxing exploits placed Nigeria on world map was brought onto the stage in form of dance. Dressed in his boxing attire with over –sized hand gloves, the boxer mesmerized the audience with his antics on stage. The sole dancer was Aba Onnoghen whose physical build matched that of Hogan. As he pranced about on stage, demonstrating his many daring moves to rhyme with the piercing sounds of the drums, the audience watched with rapt attention and followed every of his movement. This dance showed how a choreographer can use every event in human history to create fun and give life to dance patterns. Entitled the kid, Udoka simply said, “This is the fear of the pugilist, Hogan kid Bassey which is an example of an individual’s courage in the blossoming of national pride”. With his kind of courage imbued with self-pride and the love for what is good, Nigerians can go places by making the society habitable for all. The energy exhibited by the kid pugilist shows that the youths of the nation can rise to points of stardom if given the necessary ingredients of life to move on. The ability of the dancer to sway the audience with his numerous movements created moments of applause and excitements. It was indeed vintage Udoka whose weird ideas about dance-drama are often legendary and profoundly unfathomable. There was no doubt that Akpaturo Summary was a unique experiment designed to move away from the usual norm. The dances gave a lot of food for thought to thespians and re-engineered in their minds new ideas to help make revolutions possible. The dances practically moved from one stage of societal problem to the other, saying, in other words that Nigerians have been too complacent in the face of inept leadership, rudderless government policies, disasters caused by human mis-adventures, environmental degradation, pollution, cheating in all ramifications and all. What then must be done? In the midst of all these, the dances provided a rallying point for the down trodden whose every day prayer is to find food to eat. Using sports, with all the trappings of the good and the ugly, Udoka created a scenario where the participants and

•National Troupe artistes demonstrating Akpaturo

•Musa and Adejumo on stage

their umpire gave out intrigues that entertained the audience. The umpire used the power entrusted to her to issue out both red and yellow cards at random. Those who did not meet her ‘conditions’, were promptly sanctioned and made to suffer. At every point, she would create her own scene to make the event interesting and this equally kept the audience on their toes. However, with the kola nut dance, the Akpaturo outing was almost complete. At all times, kola nut has served as a symbol of unity, commerce, religion and social issues. It was used to bring love to the troubled hearts of the people that sooner or later, peace, and prosperity will reign supreme in the land. As consoling as the dance steps depicted the scenes of the moment, one could see the twisting nature of kola nut as it ushered in progress and bound people of different origins together in one fold. Nevertheless, Akpaturo dances were too long. At a stage, people began to leave the hall. Not only that the scenes were repetitive, each dragged on for too long so that the programme itself tasked people’s patience. These set of dances should not last more than an hour and a half. Udoka needs to rework and reappraise the scenes to establish the proper sequences.

•Lawrence and Gyang peeping into the future. PHOTOS: SOIBIFA DOKUBO




Posthumous honour for Twins Seven Seven A symposium in honour and recognition of the life and art of the multi-talented artiste, the late Chief Taiwo Olaniyi Oyewole, known as Twins Seven Seven, was organised last week by the Institute of Cultural Studies, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Osun State. Ademola Adesola reports


OR those who converged on the Pit Theatre of Obafemi Awolowo University last week, the life and arts of the personable artiste, Twins Seven Seven, are continuously worthy of celebration. Such celebration, it was established, would avail emerging young artistes the opportunity to value originality, and help government and Non-Governmental Organisations to reflect deeply on the state of arts and culture in the country with a view to significantly improving on them. The programme which was anchored by the vibrant Public Relations Officer of the institution, Mr Olanrewaju Abiodun, started with an art exhibition which brought to remembrance the artistic genius of the weird Twins Seven Seven. On hand to regale the audience with infallible stories about all that the man being honoured represented were his contemporaries in the arts as well as scholars of visual and performing arts, including Chief Muraina Oyelami, Chief Jimoh Buraimoh, Chief Yemi Elebuibon, Jimi Solanke, Prof. Eben Sheba, Prof. Bade Ajuwon, Prof. Foluke Ogunleye, Prof. Muis Opeloye and Margaret Oyin Adejobi, wife of the late iconic dramatist, Oyin Adejobi. Biodun and Bunmi, children of the deceased artiste, and some family members, also attended the event. In his welcome address, the Acting Director of the Institute of Cultural Studies (ICS), Gbemisola Adeoti, an associate Professor noted that the one-day symposium was organised in order to acknowledge Twins Seven Seven’s “contributions to the world of culture as a painter, sculptor, dramatist, poet, dancer and magician. For us at the Institute of Cultural Studies, it is an opportunity to pay tribute to one of the great talents in popular culture, whose works

•A cross section of participants at the symposium (inset) Twins Seven Seven.

derive its eternal freshness from a deep exploration of myth, cultural motifs and the unbroken chain between the realm of the living, the dead and the unborn; the world of the human and the superhuman. … It is not surprising that UNESCO appointed him as one of its Cultural Ambassadors in 2005.” From the time of his birth, Twins Seven Seven attracted special attention – he was the only survivor of seven sets of twins born by his mother. And as he grew up, he began to recognize and demonstrate his incurable affection for the arts. The German scholar and artist, Ulli Beier, his supportive wife, Georgina, and the late legendary Duro

Ladipo – all of the Mbari Mbayo Group and later the Osogbo School of Arts – were uncompromisingly instrumental to his eventual emergence as a successful artiste whose works were greatly influenced by traditional Yoruba mythology and culture, foregrounded by a seamless blend of the Yoruba pantheon with the human world as well as the flora and fauna. He was among the gifted trio of Muraina Oyelami, Jimoh Buraimoh, and Adebisi Fabunmi who were discovered during the workshop conducted by the German couple in the 1960s. As a strong figure in the Osogbo Arts Commune, he through his versatility influenced many

Creating more super stars With the success of the first and second editions of its talent hunt, Peak has taken the show to a greater height. Janice Nkoli Ifeme reports.


HE place was the Martinos Hall Jobi Fele Way, Ikeja Lagos. Several artists performed on the scintillating stage. It was just a tip of the iceberg, giving the audience a clue to what to expect during the competition. The acts were discovered during the search for participants for the show. They all displayed their skills in the acts they were skilled in such as singing, dancing and comedy. They would all have the opportunity to participate in the talent Show Season three. An initiative of Friesland Campina Wamco, it is a platform where young Nigerians could discover and develop their diverse talents in music, dancing, comedy or any amazing talent with entertainment value. It is a brand activation platform that strengthens emotional connection with consumers and further amplifies the. ‘It’s in you’ campaign. On a special performance was Kida Kudz, winner of last year’s second edition of the Show. The teenage rapper performed his latest album, ‘So ti gbo’ to the delight of guests. The album was launched on his return

from the United Kingdom after series of training on talent development. On his experience, he said: “I just came back from London. It is awesomeIt has changed my life. Before, I was just Kayode Odesanya but now when people see me, they shout in excitement. That’s Kida Kudz. I’m happy for the fame. I still remain humble. I’m keeping it normal; I’m keeping it calm. I still have all my friends around me”. Elated at the success of the previous editions of the show, the Managing Director of the dairy company, Mr Bob Statescamp said: The show brings out the talent in the Nigerian and Nigerians now know that talent show is a serious business”. The Senior Brand Manager, Mr Jide Olorunfemi highlighted the process leading to the making of the next super star. Auditions have been concluded in 11 cities around the country namely: Abuja, Makurdi, Enugu, Owerri, Benin, Asaba, Calarbar, Uyo, Akure, Ibadan and Lagos.

•Artistes performing during the show. PHOTO: NIYI ADENIRAN


Osogbo artists. Twins Seven Seven who died of stroke at age 67 last June. Speaking in his capacity as the Chairman of the symposium, Chief Muraina Oyelami observed that it was the unbridled interest of Twins Seven Seven in originality that distinguished him. He recalled that the confidence the late visual artist had in himself made him to gatecrash an event put together by the Beiers. “He was a good dancer. After watching him, Ulli decided that he should be in our group. We bought all the necessary instruments in order to make him stay. His works were unique. Even his pseudonym was a product of his resourcefulness. He was a born storyteller. Ulli and Georgina did not regret that they chose him,” he said. He regaled the audience with tales of the industry, affability, and expertise of the iconic painter whose ingenuity was appreciated by folks of the towns he did his performances. He, therefore, called on young people to privilege creativity and originality far above crass and blind imitations of other people’s works. In his address, the Vice-Chancellor of OAU, Prof. Tale Omole, who was represented by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Administration, Prof. Adejimi Adesanya, eulogised Twins Seven Seven, saying “the university will continue to recognise his contributions to the arts”. The Royal Father of the Day, Oba Dokun Abolarin, the Orangun of Oke Ila, in his remarks also reiterated the dire need for cultural and value-laden education, which was what stood Twins Seven Seven out. “We remember him today only through his enduring works, not by his wealth. We should all strive to work for ennobling things so that we may also be good points of reference like him even when we are no longer alive,” he encouraged. While Chiefs Elebuibon, Buraimoh and Mrs Oyin Adejobi thanked the ICS for the honour accorded one of their colleagues, Prof. Sheba assured that the Department of Fine and Applied Arts would continue to make use of Twins Seven Seven’s works and those of others.



HE sizeable gathering was made up of souls besotted with the enduring values of mind-shaping literary works. Many of those in the audience had come with the expectation that the evening’s reading would be better than the previous one. Not one given to the commonplace boring suspense, the compere, Tayo Olofinluwa, declared the event open on a note that assured the audience that their thirst for a memorable performance would be sufficiently slaked. By the end of the three-hour event, virtually all those in attendance were unanimous on the fact that what they were treated to was the stuff from which enduring memories are made. That was the fourth edition of the germinating Book n Gauge, a monthly reading organized by Pulpfaction Book Club in conjunction with Wordsmithy Media and Debonair Bookstore. The book club is devoted to the promotion of the arts and the resuscitation of the much benefitting reading culture. Since the debut of the reading programme last June, the organizers have remained consistent in announcing the book that participants are to read in preparation for subsequent readings. They call it “The Book of the Month”. Biographical details of the author so chosen are published on the club’s website and other social networks, while those who have read the book are encouraged to come up with reviews, or share with others what they consider fascinating in the work. The club hosted the vivacious author of The Secret Lives of Baba Segi’s Wives, Lola Shoneyin, the unassuming professor of



An evening of excitement READING By Ademola Adesola

Literature and author of Roses and Bullets, Akachi Adimra-Ezeigbo, and two other female authors during its August reading, which could be aptly described as an allwomen book reading. The fourth edition which was held on the last Saturday of September was tagged “Musing en Male” It was a complete obverse of what transpired in August – all the authors were males. The four authors – Chimeka Garricks, Eghosa Imasuen, Samuel Kolawole, and Charles Ayo Dada – all read from their published and soon-to-be-published works to the delight of the audience. Just before the reading begun properly, the authors regaled the gathering with different stories about their choice of writing and the rationale behind the titles of their works. Not a few of those who had read Eghosa Imasuen’s first novel, To Saint Patrick (2008), were anxious to know what his soonto-be-published second novel entitled Fine Boys has for their literary minds. Thus, as the active medical doctor read excerpts of the novel to be published by Farafina Ltd sometime in November this year, many members of the audience were absolutely riveted by the hilarious yarn. While his first novel details the horrendous episodes of the Nigerian Civil War, Fine Boys examines the decapitating economic policy of

• L-R Samuel Kolawole, Ayo Dada, Eghosa Imasuen, and Chimeka Garricks during the reading. PHOTO: ADEMOLA ADESOLA

the post-Civil War era as championed by the much detested International Monetary Fund (IMF). Imasuen is also the author of many short stories which have been published in different magazines. He revealed that his mother, and the Amazon of enriching and revealing fiction, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, were in no forgettable ways instrumental to his emergence as a creative writer. The readings were not just mainly about novels and short stories. Charles Ayo Dada took the audience on a journey through the swathe of his deceptively easy collection of poems entitled The

Ghost of Zina. The Belgium-born poet, playwright and novelist funnily entertained the audience with the titillating tale of what informed the writing of the poem, revealing that it was not unconnected with a painful disappointment that a particular daughter of mother Eve unkindly treated him to. The collection was nominated for The Pat Utomi Literary Award. Samuel Kolawole’s The Book of M’s, a collection of short stories with titles starting with letter “m”, was another point of attraction during the reading. Writing, according to him, is something which he considers inexorable. The

encouragement he received from the Socialist-Marxist writer from Kenya, Ngugi wa Thiong’o, played a very great role in the birth of his first work published in 2010. Among other literary journals, his short stories have appeared in Jungle Jim, Eastownfiction, Translitmag, Superstition review, and Sentinel Literary Quarterly. Some of his stories have been slated for publication in ISFN anthology, an American-based magazine. His writing career will also be featured in the same publication. The author is a recipient of the Reading Bridges fellowship. He is currently working on a novel entitled Olivia of Hustle House. Within the hours that the reading lasted, boredom was alien to the lively and attentive audience, who from time to time were entertained with soul-lifting and melodious tunes from the engaging guitar maestros, Ese Peters, Isebiama; and bitingly satiric poetic renditions from the inimitable Efe Paul. It is doubtful whether the members of the audience who got overly electrified when Paul was performing his searing, revolutioninspiring and thought-provoking “This is not a Political Poem” and “In Fellowship with the Masses” would forget the fourth Book n Gauge reading, as they called for encores from him and the other artists. Paul who is widely regarded “as one of Nigeria’s leading Spoken Word Poets” maintains a regular presence at local and international seminars, workshops, conferences, tertiary institutions, and community development fora.


A peep into Accounting

Udenwa’s war testament


CHIKE Udenwa, a former governor of Imo State (1999- 2007), is no stranger to the Nigerian turbulent political terrain. But then not many politicians and political observers are aware that Udenwa fought in the Nigeria/Biafra civil war as a captain. His latest book, entitled Nigeria/Biafra Civil War, My experience, gives graphic account of how he rose to become a captain in the Biafran Army. More so, he took his time to trace the history of the creation of Nigeria as a nation by the British colonialists who deliberately foisted together different ethnic groups to create an entity called Nigeria. Udenwa gave the background of the Nigerian political development and the various stages of military coups and counter coups in order to lead readers to the core reason why the civil war erupted in the first place. Nigeria, had from the beginning, been a nation of strange bed follows where the distribution of wealth and political offices have been done to favour the North. When the counter military coup of July 1966 happened and it was obvious the North wanted to remain in power, the fate of the country called Nigeria hung in the balance. By then Udenwa and some other close compatriots of his were students of Government College, Umuahia and as the war raged on, their propensity to join the army and defend their fatherland was upper most


By Edozie Udeze

in their minds. “By then I used to follow up most of the current events of the time. I also happened to be a cadet. In my own school, Government College, Umuahia, we had a cadet unit which was a paramilitary organization. So, students who wanted to be members indicated and attended interviews and were selected to become members of the cadet unit… The presence of a cadet unit in my school was responsible for many old boys of the school being among the first generation of army officers in Nigeria,” he wrote. Beyond this, Udenwa had wanted to be a soldier, for, in his own words, “by 1967, I had taken the entrance examination to the Nigeria, Defence Academy and was only prevented from joining the course no 3 by the outbreak of the civil war. My colleagues then would have been officers like Major-General Tunde Ogbeha, MajorGeneral Abdul-kareem Adisa, Major-General Abudu Garba, Brigadier Raji Razaki, Brigadier David Mark, Admiral Mike Ahigbe, Admiral Festus Porbeni and others, some of whom later in life, became my friends”. With the ups and downs of the fortunes of the war on the side of Biafra, Udenwa found himself in a very uncertain and critical situation where the war was not only severe, but too hot for his young mind to contend with. Yet, he followed the warfronts and zones

from the beginning in 1967, till it ended in 1970. He fought with the whole strength in him to defend his people and liberate the many souls hounded due to the irrepressible attitude of the North towards the South. When he joined the 11th Battalion Training Depot at Nkpor Girls’ Secondary School, Anambra State in 1967, little did he know he would be wounded severally, but also promoted to the rank of a captain within the same period. His numerous encounters in the warfront thought him a lot of lessons about the spirit of an average Igbo man. But above all, Udenwa used the occasion of the book to ponder on the myriad of problems confronting Nigeria and what needs to be done to make it a better society based on equity and love.

T is not for a mean reason that the new book on government accounting by Professor Eddy Omolehinwa and Mr. J. K. Naiyeju has been drawing positive comments from professional accountants and public administrator since few weeks ago that the book was officially released. Practitioners had longed for a standard textbook that would be a work-tool for accountants in government in their efforts to bring greater discipline in the management of public assets, income and expenditure. Apart from educating the reader (students or practicing accountants or even public administrators), this book is also a solid reference material for public sector accounting in Nigeria. Tables, figures and data were drawn by the authors from true accounts of local, state or federal government or their parastatals and various documents, laws, commissions; position papers and harnessed to illuminate the simple, beautiful prose adopted by the authors. For instance, the book has at least 19 of such tables, nine exhibits; and three figures. The figures include: budget planning range, stages of budget formulation and authorization and summary of sources of revenue into the federal account. More than 75 acronyms are fully translated to assist the reader understand the basic concepts and principles taught in the book. Besides, current rates, surcharges and levies are used in explaining the numerous principles taught in the book. It would have been a grave error on

By Bolu John Folayan

the part of the authors, should they have used anything else. At least, that would have reduced the quality of the book as a handbook or quick reference material. The simplicity of language of the book commends it to both undergraduate and post-graduate students, depending on the curriculum of each educational institution, but in my own view, practitioners, especially civil and public servants, will find the book much more valuable. Don’t mind the ‘theory’ in the title of the book; this book is virtually the report of the authors’ practical’ experiences as outstanding teachers, international consultants, in-season resource person/trainers and unblemished public servants in the area of government accounting. It is a very commendable scholarly and professional work.




1st Chapter

What a holocaust! A

UGUST 7, 1942 – Konstantinowka, Ukraine It is fourteen hours and fifteen minutes (2:15 p.m), and we were just loaded on the train! My God – this is not what we thought it would be like to make this journey! We are packed like sardines in a can into the cattle car of the train. The German soldiers with their rifles are with us and Mama is scared. (I know that she is.) Mama still thinks we can get off the train and leave our luggage behind and walk home. There is Grandmother standing, about twenty feet away, looking so shocked and in dismay – she is crying – with the tears running down her face as she waves good-bye. Somehow, I know that we will never see her again. As the train starts to move, Mama and I just look at Grandmother until she is out of sight. At the hour of 1600 (4:00 p.m.) everyone inside our car is very quiet and nobody is talking. Some are crying quietly – and I am glad that I have my diary and two pencils. I got into the corner as far as I could so I would have some room to write. Now the door of our car is open, but I can hear some noises from the top of the roof. The German soldiers had positioned

The Secret holocaust Diaries is a haunting eyewitness account of Nonna Lisowskaja Bannister, a remarkable Russian-American woman who saw and survived unspeakable evils as a young girl themselves on the top of the train, and they are talking and singing – I think they are drinking – they sound drunk to me. It is almost midnight – the moon is so full – and we are crossing large fields. I need to get closer to the door so I can get some fresh air. As I approach the open door, I see a pair of legs in black boots dangling right above the door – then this face leans down and the soldier yells, “Hi, pretty one!” and I get away from the door very quickly. Mama pulls me closer to herself, and I think I am getting sleepy. August 8, 1942 When we wake up, we can look into the horizon and see the sun rising from the edges of the biggest fields that I have ever seen – it is a beautiful sunrise! Where are we? How close are we to Kiev? The train is slowing down, and it looks as though we will stop moving. August 9, 1942 We are in Kiev, but the train stopped at least a block away from the large train station. The Germans jumped

down, and I could see how many of them there were – we were surrounded. They were telling us to get out – “Raus, raus.” We saw trucks approaching the train, loaded with German soldiers and German shepherd dogs (lots of dogs). There was a truck loaded with food (soup made with cabbage and potatoes, and there was black bread). They passed out some bowl to us, and as we walked to the food truck, I looked to the back of the train and I saw two cars loaded with Jews. They were not allowed to get out – the doors of their cars were barred with heavy metal bars, and the German soldiers were guarding them. I saw old men, women, children, and even some babies. They were begging us to give them some of our bread with their thin (almost skeletonlike) hands struck out through the bars. I started to go there with my food, but just as I got close to them, a German soldier shouted at me and commanded me to get back or he would shoot me if I dared

come any closer. SEPARATE CARS. The Jewish prisoners, headed for concentration “death” camps, were in the same transport but rode in separate train cars from the Russian women, who were headed for the labour camps. The Nazis allowed the Russian women to leave their cars, go into the woods to relieve themselves, and eat. But they allowed no such privileges to the Jews. August 9, 1942 – late evening When we got back into the car of the train (Car 8) and the train started to move, we thought that we were on the way again. But in fifteen minutes, our train came to a stop. Three trucks loaded with Jews approached our train, and the Germans loaded them into the first two cars of our train. It was close enough for us to hear the screams of the children, the wailings and moaning of the women. There were shots fired frequently. Oh! Those screams and cries! And the dogs – there were so many of them.

It was mass confusion, and I became aware that we, too, were prisoners and that there was absolutely no way to escape as Mama had planned to do when we got to Kiev. August 10, 1942 We are leaving the Ukraine now, and the train is moving fast. I will never forget the sight of the last sunset as we were leaving Kiev. The sun looked like a huge ball of red and orange fire, and it was moving down slowly against the horizon at the end of the

endless fields. Almost it was as though the sun were saying, “Farewell, my dear – we shall never meet on this soil again!” As I stood there near the door of our train car, I kept looking at the sun until it had completely disappeared. Then I suddenly felt very sad and lonely. It was a “farewell” that made me feel that a part of me had died. Many sunsets and sunrises were thereafter, but never was one so beautiful as the sunset that I saw at Kiev.

Nobel Greats

John M. Coetzee

Winner of Nobel Prize in Literature 2003

“Who in innumerable guises portrays the surprising involvement of the outsider"


Born:9 February 1940, Cape Town, South Africa Residence at the time of the award: South Africa | Language: English

OHN Maxwell Coetzee was born in Cape Town, South Africa, on 9 February 1940, the elder of two children. His mother was a primary school teacher. His father was trained as an attorney, but practiced as such only intermittently; during the years 1941–45 he served with the South African forces in North Africa and Italy. Though Coetzee's parents were not of British descent, the language spoken at home was English. Coetzee received his primary schooling in Cape Town and in the nearby town of Worcester. For his secondary education he attended a school in Cape Town run by a Catholic order, the Marist Brothers. He matriculated in 1956. Coetzee entered the University of Cape Town in 1957, and in 1960 and 1961 graduated successively with honours degrees in English and mathematics. He spent the years 1962–

65 in England, working as a computer programmer while doing research for a thesis on the English novelist Ford Madox Ford. In 1963 he married Philippa Jubber (1939– 1991). They had two children, Nicolas (1966–1989) and Gisela (b. 1968). In 1965 Coetzee entered the graduate school of the University of Texas at Austin, and in 1968 graduated with a PhD in English, linguistics, and Germanic languages. His doctoral dissertation was on the early fiction of Samuel Beckett. For three years (1968– 71) Coetzee was assistant professor of English at the State University of New York in Buffalo. After an application for permanent residence in the United States was denied, he returned to South Africa. From 1972 until 2000 he held a series of positions at the University of Cape Town, the last of them as

Distinguished Professor of Literature. Between 1984 and 2003 he also taught frequently in the United States: at the State University of New York, Johns Hopkins University, Harvard University, Stanford University, and the University of Chicago, where for six years he was a member of the Committee on Social Thought. Coetzee began writing fiction in 1969. His first book, Dusklands, was published in South Africa in 1974. In the Heart of the Country (1977) won South Africa's then principal literary award, the CNA Prize, and was published in Britain and the USA. Waiting for the Barbarians (1980) received international notice. His reputation was confirmed by Life & Times of Michael K (1983), which won Britain's Booker Prize. It was followed by Foe (1986), Age of Iron (1990), The Master of Petersburg (1994), and Dis-

grace (1999), which again won the Booker Prize. Coetzee also wrote two fictionalized memoirs, Boyhood (1997) and Youth (2002). The Lives of Animals (1999) is a fictionalized lecture, later absorbed into Elizabeth Costello (2003). White Writing (1988) is a set of essays on South African literature and culture. Doubling the Point (1992) consists of essays and interviews with David Attwell. Giving Offense (1996) is a study of literary censorship. Stranger Shores (2001) collects his later literary essays. Coetzee has also been active as a translator of Dutch and Afrikaans literature. In 2002 Coetzee emigrated to Australia. He lives with his partner Dorothy Driver in Adelaide, South Australia, where he holds an honorary position at the University of Adelaide.

I almost quit badminton Special athletes have more medal potential —Deborah —Grace Daniel

Pg. 28

Pg. 45

Nation PAGE 27

Sunday, October 9, 2011


Dream Team resumes second phase camping Players expected Monday Useni, Udoh, Ajiboye jet in


ATIONSPORT can exclusively revealed that the technical crew of the Nigeria's national U-23 team, also known as the Dream Team V, have announced that the second phase of camping will commence tomorrow. This is coming on the heels of the first phase camping that ended on Friday ahead of preparations for the Eight-Nations Tournament which will serve as qualifiers for the London 2012 Olympics . Though as at press time, the list of players retained from the first phase of camping was not available, but information reaching NationSport indicate that some of the regular foreign-based players invited will be joining the team at their Genesis Hotel camp in Ibadan, Oyo State. It was further revealed that the likes of Ganiyu Oseni of Esperance, currently on

By Innocent Amomoh loan to Nguyen Hoang Kiên Giang in Vietnam, Kingsley Udoh, and Oladele Ajiboye of Pontevedra CF in Spain, who are already in town, will be leading others expected from their clubs all around Europe. According to sources close to the team, home-based players will get the opportunity to fight for a place in the team as an array of them have been penciled down for the next batch of invited players. However, players with Enyimba Football Club of Aba will be excused to feature in their crucial Confederation of African Football (CAF), semi final second leg Champions League match against Wydad Casablanca of Morocco in Aba, come October 16, after which they will be expected to join the team

•Oseni Ganiyu





I almost quit badminton —Grace Daniel

Special athletes have more medal potential—Deborah Three gold medallist at the just concluded 10th All Africa Games, Maputo 2011, Adewale Deborah believes special athletes could give Nigeria more medals at international championship if given more attention. In this chat with the duo of Akeem Lawal and Stella Bamawo in Maputo, Deborah, a 200 level, Leeds University student, who won gold in the 100m, 200m and 400m Women Para athletics race also shared her experience in Mozambique.

• Adewale Adewunmi, 3 gold medalist


AN we meet you? I am Adewale Deborah, I won three gold medals in 100m, 200m and 400m at the All Africa Games. So how do you feel winning three gold medals in this edition? I’m very glad and happy and grateful to God for giving me all the strength to be able to exhibit my given talents at the games. How was your preparation for the games? I started preparing about two years ago just because of the All Africa Games. The reason for starting earlier was that I believe if you fail to prepare, you are preparing to fail and that was my watchword. I don’t like failure and that was why I had to start at that time. From the buildup, to the speed endurance, to the competition proper, we attended some competitions just to get prepared for this games, to know our level of fitness. What are the competitions you participated in? I was at the last National Sports Festival that was held in Port Harcourt where I represented Oyo State and I won two gold medals, in 100m and 200m race. There was no 400m in our category at the festival, but it was here at the All Africa Games and that was why I competed in the 400m here. Who discovered you?

Well I could say coach Akpan because when I was in secondary school, he was in the Federal College of Education and I school at Olivet Baptist High School Oyo. So he always organize sports competitions that includes all secondary schools, it’s just like All Secondary Schools Games and students used to participate in the competition. That time I took 3rd position and it was there another coach handled me and that is Coach Wunmi Omofoye in Oyo. It was from there coach Wunmi transferred me to my present handler, Coach Akinade Peter, who is coach nationally and at the state level. Coach Akinade really tried for me and I don’t know how to express my gratitude to him. He is more than a coach, he’s my manager, he’s my dad, though I have my biological father, he is my second dad. Can we delve into your background experience? I’m from a nuclear family. I’m the first born out of two in my family. My younger sister is still in secondary school now. My parents are at home in Oyo. My father is a retiree and now a pastor and my mother too is a retiree but now she’s into trading. I schooled at Oyo, both my primary and secondary school. I attended Federal College of Education Special, Oyo, for my

nursery and primary school. Then I crossed to Olivet Baptist School for my secondary school education. Presently I’m in 200 level at Leeds City University, where I’m studying Sports and Recreational Management. But how do you combine studies and sporting activities? I have to give thanks to God for helping me. It’s not by my wisdom, strength or power but by His grace because I cannot do it only, even with my coach, I can’t do it but I know it’s God who has helped me so much to exhibit the talent he has given to me. Running the two programmes at the same time is not very easy, but I just give God the glory. How do you think government can assist you? I will be very glad if government can assist me in my education line because it is not an easy thing for me. If they can help me to even school abroad in form of scholarship, I will appreciate it more and will still cope with my sporting activities. I will have enough space to train and at the same time go to school, unlike here in Nigeria. How have you been able to cope with the discrimination of being a special athlete? Well, all I can say is that if you are not exposed, you would not know what is going on the other advanced countries, but being exposed helps a lot. There is nothing like discrimination here in sports, we are all the same, be it able or disabled. Even if you are able, you are disable in another aspect because in any aspect that you are not good at, you are disable there. So it’s not that when you are imbecile, or without one leg or you have a tight problem that is when you are disable, that is not right. Here the rapour between the able ones and the Para athletes is very mutual; there is no form of discrimination. We

all talk together, chat together, encourage ourselves on how to improve in our lives, education line and sporting activities. But most of you do complain of discrimination while in Nigeria, why is that? Yes you are right. In Nigeria people do look down at disable athletes saying, who are you, you can’t be more than you are right now and all those negative talks. Not knowing that God has a purpose of making one to be deformed in a certain area. I really appreciate this sport area that has exposed us very well. I also thank the federation for helping the special people to be able to compete for the country. We can even do much better than the able ones if we are given more attention. Here when in one of the TP event (featuring imbecile athlete), the 400m, the time they returned beat the able female, can you imagine that. That is the level of the pace they have. So it’s just for the country to concentrate more on us, we can do much more than what we are doing here. Apart from athletics, what else do you do? If I’m not busy with studies or doing sports, I’m always busy online, chatting with friends. I love sharing experience with people. How do you cope in terms of feeding here in Maputo? Food ah! We are only managing here. It got to the extent that I don’t have the strength to pull out of the block until the president of Para athletics hustle to bring some Nigerian food. There is a woman that prepares Nigerian food, though it was very far from the hostel. It was then I was able to get myself. Even in the last race I ran, I could only thank God because the strength was not there again. We were not used to their food here. Had it been we here before the

“Well, all I can say is that if you are not exposed, you would not know what is going on the other advanced countries, but being exposed helps a lot. There is nothing like discrimination here in sports, we are all the same, be it able or disabled.”

competition, we would have been used to it. But we thank God we were able to get over it. What is your next plan? When I get back home, I will continue to work hard for the

Olympics because this is just a qualifying state of the Para athletics for the Olympics. Now, I’ve known my standard in African rate, now I’m looking towards the world ranking. So I’ll

go home to prepare very very hard to make my country, state, coaches and my family proud. How do you see yourself in the next five years? In the next five years, I’ll loved to see myself in a good form financially okay, and in my academics, I want to be one of be okay in my field because my aim is to be a professor. I’m my sport, I want to be one of the legend that Nigeria will be talking about. I want to be a good example for others.

• Grace Daniel


ORMER African and National badminton champion, Grace Daniel has revealed how she was able to recover from an accident and compete at this year’s edition of the All Africa Games in Maputo Daniel’s ordeal began late last year when she was involved in a ghastly automobile accident in Jos, Plateau State that saw her suffering fractures to her legs as well as several cuts and bruises. As a result of the injuries she suffered, she spent over two months, including the Christmas and New Year holidays, under the care of doctors at the Jos University Teaching Hospital (JUTH) who battled to save her legs, as well as family members. By the end of January, Daniel was out of hospital and returned to her base in Abuja but could only go about with the aid of a pair of crutches as she set about the task of regaining proper use of her legs through regular therapy sessions at the National Sports Commission’s medical centre situated within the National Stadium complex. In this chat with Akeem Lawal and Stella Bamawo in Maputo, despite not able to defend her Ladies Singles title at Maputo 2011, Daniel, however, expressed happiness of winning gold medal in the Team’s event and two bronze in the Mixed Doubles and Ladies Doubles.

• Adewale Deborah (R) with her gold and Mary Awase, bronze in the Women 400m Para-athletics race.


I am Grace Daniel, Badminton player. How do you describe your experience in Maputo 2011? So far so good everything is ok. This is my third All Africa Games, it’s a good experience. The other countries have stronger teams in this particular Games and it was a good fight all through. This is your third appearance so far, what were the differences between this edition compared to others? The difference is that this time around I didn’t play Singles, I’m

only here for the doubles and the mixed doubles and the accommodation is different. It is better compared to other ones but the feeding aspect of it is not too good. How were you able to cope with the problem? Luckily for us, we came with some few things that we can help ourselves with. like normal Nigeria foods like gari, and our federation normally get us some food to support us. But the lunch is not really that good, we just manage it sometimes. The last edition in Algiers, Nigeria won 2gold, 2silver and 3bronze medals Right now we have won 3gold, 1silver and 5bronze in Badminton which is more improvement than in 2007. So are you satisfied with that? Yes, at least it’s one step ahead of the other one. For now we say thank God that we have won three gold medals even though we are not really okay with it, but we just have to accept it the way it is.

As the defending Ladies Singles champion, you were not able to defend your title, how do you feel about that? I’m ok because if I was really ok to play the Singles, definitely I know I’m going to defend it. But because of the accident I had, I had to stay away from Singles because it’s too strenuous and other things. However I’m happy that the Singles still come back to Nigeria, its one of us that won it and I’m ok with it. So any time for retirement? Yes, sure, but not now. It will come to a time that I had to retire, just to rest the body. How long have you been into badminton? 17 years now What is your next target? There is a tournament which I’ve not played in badminton which is Yoba Cup. It’s a team game where women play their own team and the male play their own team. That is the competition I’ve not played in badminton which I’m looking forward to play in by next year. Where is that? We have the qualification in Egypt next year February. So by the grace of God when we qualify we will know which country will go for the final competition. After your accident did you nurse a comeback bid? I wasn’t too sure. I was having doubt and praying for God to survive me, to keep me alive, make me strong to come back to the game and play. On the other hand, I was like can I do it, can I make it? But thank God I have some people around me, who encourage me and tell me that I can still do it if I want to. Who are those people that are worthy of your appreciation? My federation, ministry of sport, because they supported me during the accident. They really supported me and my partner. My family member and my friends. When was the accident? I had a car accident two years ago. I just resumed playing badminton this year. So what are your records at the Games this year? I was able to win gold in the team event, in the mixed doubles, I lost in the semi final and I was able to win bronze and I also have bronze in the Ladies Doubles. Is Grace married now? No, but about to. When should we expect invitation card? Don’t worry, when the time comes, I will let you know.

•Grace Daniel and Fatimah in action at the Women Singles event at the 10th All Africa Games in Maputo, Mozambique


Style Watch 29 In-Vogue Social Circuit Oops & Kudos Parade Well-being Entertainment plus

My staff call me a slave driver –Mo Abudu –PAGE 32





ROM tuxedo suits to natty c o l o u r blocking assembly, menswear is a big trend this season. So, why not go for colour –blocking outfits, easy-towear matched pantsuits, double-breasted jackets, blazers and simple shirts (preferably white). You can also ginger the look with wide-leg trousers and bold-face and straps wristwatches. Ties, especially bow ties, are another hot trend that it adds a bit of excellence to everything. And the favourite men’s foot wears are the bold colour sneakers/trainers (red, green, black and plaid pattern) and, evergreen cute oxfords (lace-up men’s shoes) that add a little bit of debonair style to everything. You can further a more hip look by topping it up with big framed sunglasses.


•Atafo Ami looked cute in a nude jacket, white shirt, jeans and colourblocking lace-up shoes! •Backless tuxedo

tian •Chrisutin o b u Lo xford black o shoes d studde

•Joseph Benjamin looked sleek and sophisticated in this ouftit.

•Femi Arogundade

•Pu bow rple by T tie ian a

wows in this floral pattern Tuxedo jacket






ai Tr




Q & A

e h t g n i o G r way e t h a le

Hi Kenny Thanks for the wonderful job you are rendering to humanity, may the Lord bless you ma. Kindly tell me what I can use for my oily face. 0802773 Oily skin and hair are a source of great anxiety for many. First and foremost, buy a PH balanced water soluble cleanser or you could use a cleansing bar. The use of plain Milk of Magnesia for absorbing skin oil some expert says is one of the simplest treatments for oily skin. Simply rub onto the skin lightly and let it dry. Once dry, rinse off with warm water and pat dry with a clean towel. Make a mixture of apple juice and lime juice, placed on the skin for 15 minutes and then rinsed off with cool water. Cucumber facial mask-Take one cucumber and peel it. Blend the cucumber and strain the pulp. Take the liquid and combine it with ½ teaspoon of lemon juice, one teaspoon of witch hazel, and one egg white that has been beaten until fluffy. Apply to the skin and leave on the face for 15 to 25 minutes and then rinse off. Lastly do away with toner or astringent, as they will only stimulate the production of oil. Good luck.


EATHER is everywhere! From little shift dresses, pants, skinny leggings to jacket, leather is sure ruling the scene this season. But whatever you do, limit your look to one piece of leather! In other words, don’t wear a leather dress with leather boots and accessories. You will find everything from classic black to soft neutrals like beige, nude and off-white. Make sure you add a touch of this season’s favorite to your collections.


•Chioma Amaewhule •Chioma Amaewhule •Her leather •Banky W

pants knock ‘em out

Even, if you have your own style, let it reach out so that there is purpose in that style. Style is personal, it must have meaning and it must speak-Air hostess & fashion designer, – Ifeyinwa Odo






–an eye on celebrities and society people

08023201831(sms only)

Artistes celebrate with

Joke Silva at

50 By Patience Saduwa

Joke Silva

The actress with husband, Olu Jacobs




Social Vigold boss, Wura Adepoju, steps up the game

About Senator Obadara's new look


HARMING power dresser and delectable fashionista, Wura Adepoju, popularly called Vigold, knows just the right time to step up her game. Once again, she has achieved it with perfection. Numbered amongst the top most fashionable women of our time, the dark-skinned Ekiti Stateborn socialite has risen to the very top of the fashion industry, a major feat by every standard considering the many icons in the industry. A few years ago, she floated a fashion school in Okota, and that move was indeed a breath of fresh air to all who had been begging to learn from the fashion guru. With a number of awards to her name, Vigold has steadily become a fixture on the social scene due to her inimitable sense of style. And to further meet with the demands of her fans and admirers, Adepoju has embarked on a new project that would hold true to her slogan that Vigold is for everyone. In a chat with SC, she revealed her latest venture, which had been kept under wraps for a while. A new outlet of the fashion house is to be opened at 5th Avenue, Festac Town this coming week. She went further to express that the new outlet was borne out of a need to bring her services closer to the reach of people.

Kunle Afolayan marks birthday in style


Bola Shagaya

celebrates C

OME October 10, Hajia Bola Shagaya, the respected businesswoman with interests in oil, photography materials and laboratories, banking and property, will be 52. Though plans to celebrate the milestone are not public yet, we hear friends and family members, business associates and peers are planning to celebrate with her on that day. Champagne would be popped and glasses clinked in honour of a woman who has made good on all fronts. The billionaire, who is very close to the corridors of power at 52, is beauty-personified .Her beauty flows from within and it is reflected in her manner as well. However, the personality of this charming woman is not all about beauty and glamour. She has a razor sharp intellect too. While most birthdays are observed in various ways, the mother of five boys and the owner of PRACTOIL will do things differently, as she would be displaying her philanthropic flair visiting people and children who need love most on that day.

S weeks roll into months, Senator Gbenga Obadara never disappoints. Neat and extremely conscious of his garbs, his style shines through always. Since he became the Senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Gbenga Obadara has become a bona fide member of that class of gentlemen, who dictate the pace in civility and dress code. The latest style in the choicest of fabrics regularly decorates his frame, and with ramrod gait, he saunters majestically to the admiration of those who know a thing or two about the regalia of the A-listers. Today, he is one of the very few who top the best dressed list in the National Assembly. Despite his busy schedule, Obadara carries everything with a swagger only the cultivated are accustomed to. When he makes an entrance, no one needs to announce him before you look his way. He draws stares and nods from those who know the difference between dressed and well dressed. SC sighted him penultimate Saturday in IjebuOde, Ogun State at Senator Lekan Mustapa's party. Obadara was looking very good in his cream coloured native. We also ran into him at a wedding in Lagos looking spectacular in his all white caftan. He was a hot favourite at the party as everybody wanted to have a word with him.

Omolewa Ahmed turns new bride


HE authentic personality of an individual is hardly known when he or she has not come in close contact with comfort or money. The mere sight of Kwara State First Lady, Omolewa Ahmed, these days will give graphic explanation to the notion above. For many who had the opportunity to cross Omolewa's path prior to her becoming Kwara State First Lady, she was then another wife of a prominent politician who preferred to operate from the sidelines and keep a low profile. She was what could be referred to as the epitome of humility, gentleness and meekness. She was extremely strict when it came to material adornments and splendid extravagance.


Prior to her husband's upward surge on the political playing field, Omolewa was one lady who, accessories and ornaments were anathema to. On rare occasions, when it was utterly expedient for her to use them or else be labeled a pariah, she indulged in moderation. The story seems to be different today, as the same ornaments which were once an anathema to her is her latest emblem. Since the achievement of her new status, she has begun to embrace the sensational life of a celebrity and accessorizes to match her status. Presently, it is no longer a shocker to see Omolewa Ahmed dressed alluringly with liberal application of the jewelry she once shunned. How times change‌ or in this case, how people change.

(E-mail:, Tel: 08035733605, 08099400057)



–Anita Yesufu






3 1 5 4 2






Glorious home call for Juliana, Ebenezer Obey's wife By Remi Adelowo Photos: Olusegun Rapheal


L-R: Bukky Obe-Fabiyi, Shina Obey-Fabiyi and Rotimi Obey-Fabiyi

L-R: Elder Wole Oyelese and Jagun Lekan Alabi


L-R: Alhaji Buhari Oloto and Prince Adelagun Adesanya

In our last week’s edition, we erroneously referred to Otunba Sunday Babatunde Oyepitan and his wife, Bola as the Otunba and Yeye Otunba of Akokoland. We have since found out that Oyepitan is the Otun Maiyegun of Ikaleland, while his wife is the Yeye Otun Maiyegun.

The error is regretted.

L-R: Mrs Bukky Obey, Jumoke and Adesola Obey, wives to Obey’s sons


L-R:Aare Azeez Arisekola Alao, Aremo Olusegun Oshoba and Evang. Ebenezer Obey-Fabiyi

L-R:Lanre Obey, Tolu Obey and Evang. Folarin Obey

L-R: Oba Adedapo Tejuosho's Olori's: Labisi, Yetunde and Omolara

Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor

Ogun State Governor Sen. Ibikunle Amosu

Chief Tunde Ponnle and wife, Olufunke


Glamour Lifestyle Health Nutrition Fitness


Modern lifestyle and rise in asthma cases (2)

HERE's no special asthma diet. We don't know of any foods that reduce the airway inflammation of asthma. Beverages that contain caffeine provide a slight amount of bronchodilation for an hour or two, but taking a rescue inhaler is much more effective for the temporary relief of asthma symptoms. However, a good diet is an important part of your overall asthma treatment plan. Just like regular exercise, a healthy diet is good for everyone. That goes for people with asthma, too. Obesity is associated with more severe asthma. What's more, many doctors suspect that the specific foods you eat might have a direct impact on your asthma. But further research needs to be done before we understand the exact

connection between asthma and diet. Asthma and Nutrition The incidence of asthma has risen globally during the past three decades, and many researchers believe that our changing diets have something to do with it. As people eat fewer and fewer fruits and vegetables and more processed foods, could it be that we're bumping up our risk of developing asthma? There's evidence that people who eat diets higher in vitamins C and E, beta-carotene, flavonoids, magnesium, selenium, and omega-3 fatty acids have lower rates of asthma. Many of these substances are antioxidants, which protect cells from damage. One recent study of asthma and diet showed that teens with poor

nutrition were more likely to have asthma symptoms. Those who didn't get enough fruits and foods with vitamins C and E and omega-3 fatty acids were the most likely to have poor lung function. Regardless of the specific link between asthma and diet, we do know that good nutrition is important for anyone, and especially people with chronic diseases. If you're not getting the right nutrients, your body may be more susceptible to illness and have a harder time fighting the respiratory viruses that often trigger an asthma attack or severe asthma emergency.

Asthma home remedies


LTHOUGH many people with asthma rely on medications to prevent and relieve symptoms, you can do several things on your own to maintain your health and lessen the possibility of asthma attacks. Avoid your triggers: Taking steps to reduce your exposure to things that trigger asthma symptoms is a key part of asthma control. Here are some things that may help: Use your air conditioner: Air conditioning reduces the amount of airborne pollen from trees, grasses and weeds that get indoors.

Air conditioning also lowers indoor humidity and can reduce your exposure to dust mites. If you don't have air conditioning, try to keep your windows closed during pollen season. Decontaminate your décor: Minimize dust that may worsen nighttime symptoms by replacing certain items in your bedroom. For example, encase pillows, mattresses and box springs in dust-proof covers. Remove carpeting and install hardwood or linoleum flooring. Use washable curtains and blinds. Clean regularly: Clean your home at least once a week. If you're likely to stir up dust, have someone else do the

•Dust-free home: Reduce asthma attacks by keeping the home clean and free of dust

cleaning. Stay healthy: Taking care of yourself and treating other conditions linked to asthma will help keep your symptoms under control. A few things you can do include: * Get regular exercise: Having asthma doesn't mean you have to be less active. * Being overweight can worsen asthma symptoms, and it puts you at higher risk of other health problems like diabetes and cardiovascular diseases. * Eat fruits and vegetables. Eating plenty of fruits and vegetables may increase lung function and reduce asthma symptoms. These foods are rich in protective nutrients (antioxidants) that boost the immune system.


with Patience Saduwa

08023201831 (sms only)

Bereej bump treatment debuts in Nigeria

•Clean shave: Using the right skin care products can help one attain smooth, bump-free skin


NE of the most prevalent skin care problems among men and even women are severe shaving bumps, ingrown hairs and damaged skin resulting from barbing and shaving the hair. More and more people are now prone to this skin care ailment which has in the past defied solution. Men are most affected by bumps for the simple reason that they seem to pay less attention to their skin. Many have been disfigured by the bumps with the consequence of being isolated by people who are irritated to see the skin in such bad shape. This often leads to depression and a feeling of rejection. However, reprieve seems to have come the way of bumps sufferers and rashes as Bereej, the World's most advanced shaving bumps system, has made its debuts in the country. Bereej bump terminator is an effective and revolutionary remedy to the scourge of bumps with time tested bump terminator that comes in lotions. The United States of America-based company has been in business since 1999, and prides itself for providing customers with the best-quality products and excellent service. According to the Marketing Representative in Nigeria Mr. Cosmas Chinedu, Chief Operating Officer, Orangila Integrated Services, representatives of Bereej in Nigeria, who spoke to journalists on the effectiveness of the Bereej formula in Lagos noted that the products can be used on existing bumps and applied after getting a hair cut or shaving to prevent the development of new bumps or ingrown hairs. “Our advanced and fast acting Bump Terminator was carefully formulated with multi-active natural extracts for the fast resolution of 'Back of Head' bumps, bumps on the head as well as facial bumps and ingrown hairs. We take enormous pride in creating our products even as we welcome you to a new shaving experience with our fantastic product” he said. Shaving Bumps, also referred to as ingrown hairs, pseudofolliculitis barbae or pfb, plague over two million black men and women in the UK and over 300 million black people worldwide. Shaving bumps, including the very difficult to treat back-of-thehead/neck bumps, represent a very significant issue for black people.




Why most relationships don’t last S

ANDRA hardly concentrates during lectures because her fiancé has just broken up with her. When asked, she lamented and said, “Tony left me after everything I’ve done for him. He simply told me it was over! Four years of courtship crashing into rubbles before my very eyes. All it took him was to say he just could not continue with the affair.” Relationships are sometimes usually the game of luck. Some are lucky while others are not. And the end of it is most times happily ever after or the reverse of the case, happily never after. Nevertheless, one cannot admit the fact that too long or too short relationships must always result into marriage. For instanc, people tend to most times admit that because may be two persons have been in a relationship for a very long period, therefore it should result into marriage. There are different cases related to this matter to the extent that some even get engaged and at the very end break up from such relationship. For example, there are situations whereby some people get hooked in ten, twelve years of headache relationship but easily collapse because of one reason or the other. What then are the causes of break ups or what is the effect of broken heart. The answer is very simple, there are many things that can cause broken relationship and the effects thereafter would have effect on the affected person that is , the person who was dumped. The effect is just that the affected person would long be freed from the shock and might not trust anyone who is affectionately connected to him or her again. Every relationship should be cherished and respected. It is important to note that cohabitation does not increase a lasting relationship. In other words dignity and integrity should be encouraged in order not to indulge in abuse and other sort of indecent affections and attitudes in relationship. Relationship could be abused when it lacks discipline,

By Oluwabukola Adenekan


AVE you asked yourself endlessly if that guy or girl is the person for you? Or you’re uncertain about your ability to commit yourself to your partner? After reading this article, you should be able to decide whether you’re in the right kind of relationship or not. Finding love is one thing, knowing if it’s the right person is another. Love at times could seem like an endless search and once it’s finally found, different questions like ‘Is this the right time or person?’ start to spring up. That’s why there’s a great need for us to discuss this as extensively as possible. The backbone of every relationship is Trust. The feasibility of building a long lasting relationship is based on the level of trust you both have for each other. And of course, trust is a two-way item and not one sided. You might trust your partner but it doesn’t mean it will be reciprocated in turn. If you find it hard to trust him/her now, what then will you expect in marriage? If trust is deficient in your relationship, then you should end it. Although trust is key in the success of any relationship, let’s not forget the indispensable role of communication. Researches have shown that a major cause of divorces and relationship break-ups is lack of communication. Communication in relationships involves creating time to pour your hearts to your partners as well as discuss issues when the need may arise. However, when the communication line between partners is damaged or entirely broken, they become isolated from each other and become strangers despite being close. This leads to a build-up of unexpressed emotions, anger and frustration. In the long run, these feelings, because they are denied attention, end up ruining the relationship. You may ask why communication is important. Expressing your feelings and emotions to your partner/spouse helps tighten the bond. And of course, ladies love men who are not afraid to show they love and cares for them. With a breakdown in communication, the relationship could be at the verge of a break-up. If you feel uncomfortable sharing your emotions with your spouse, it’s time you let go and put yourself out in the market of love. If you feel uncertain about the feelings you have towards your partner, try weighing your dislikes in ratio to the things you love about him or her. If you find out you’re often nagging and irritated by the actions of your partner, it’s high time you accepted you two aren’t meant to be. The same applies to a situation where your boyfriend or girlfriend shows little or no respect for your decisions and opinions. Although, it’s emotionally depressing to leave someone you’ve willingly given your all to, but leaving at the earliest stage is the best so you could avoid getting badly hurt.


Taiwo Adeosun

in the sense that it could change the vision or innovation which is based on such relationship. Two persons might agree for instance to be in a relationship may be to help and build each other’s strength, but immediately they (the partners) start visiting each other either in the guy or lady’s house, then there will be problem because they will assume they are married without possessing marriage qualities and most end up in conflict. But it is a pity that this act is most times often practiced by the youth especially, the issue of the lady already living with her spouse assuming to be his wife and performing the wifely duties (washing, cooking cleaning his room and so on) However, the virtues that sustain and keep relationship should be based on faith, trust, understanding and tolerance/

endurance. But it seems the reserve is the case in most relationships these days. Therefore, some of the causes of broken relationships could be as a result of the following effects. LACK OF UNDERSTANDING: understanding should be the solid foundation of every relationship because its absence will only cause distraction and quarrels. Understanding basically entails learning and realizing how she/he feels and why she behaved in the way she did. It is very important not to forget the place of trust when talking of understanding. Understand your spouse; know her likes/dislikes, favourites, including her moody times and best times or moments. INFIDELITY: This could be seen as one of the major issues in broken relationships. Some give excuses of financial incapability of their spouse for cheating

Trust after infidelity EALING with infidelity in a relationship is everyone’s worst nightmare. After trust has been broken, it can be very difficult for a relationship to move forward. In fact, many couples never recover from this mistake and separate for good. However, if two people are committed to saving their relationship, the trust after infidelity is possible. Dealing with it takes time, patience and dedication. First off, both parties need to be interested in saving their relationship. If one person isn’t as dedicated, the relationship may not recover. Think long and hard about the relationship and whether it’s something you want to save. Forgive The first step to building trust is learning forgiveness. This goes for both parties. The cheater may have cheated because of past slights and the other person will have to learn to see the affair for what it was: a mistake. If the person who had the affair has apologized and is truly sorry, the first step to any sort of trust is to learn

Are you in the right relationship?

By Christiana Idu

how to forgive this breach. Take time to see it from your loved one’s eyes, and take the time to think about mistakes and forgiveness. It may take a lot of talking and thinking before you are able to forgive your partner, and this is more than normal. Open up Take the time to talk to your partner. Explain what you want from this relationship and ask your partner the same things. Now that the worst is over, the two of you can be completely honest about the relationship’s flaws and what you need from one another. Be brutally honest with one another: trust is developed through communication and honesty. Once the two of you have talked about the relationship, the affair and your wishes for the future don’t look back. Don’t bring up the affair if you can help it - unless there’s something the two of you didn’t discuss about it. And try not to think that every single time your

loved one is late that they are cheating again. Trust is a twoway street. You can’t allow the past infidelity to rule your lives. Plan for the future Make plans for the future. Once you and your loved one have dedicated yourselves to saving the relationship, keep your heads faced forward. Make plans together and keep them. The more time that passes and the more work you put into your relationship, the stronger trust will be.

(sleeping around for money) and this is mostly common among the ladies. Honesty and loyalty should be encouraged so as to have a lasting relationship instead of broken ones. OVERPOSSESSIVENESS: This occurs when someone always tends to be the controller, commander and the supervisor or over-seer of the relationship. He is always wanting to be in charge and dictating the rules of the relationship rather than sharing ideas with the other party. An example of this kind of relationship is a situation whereby the guy or lady is not free to do anything he wants. INCOMPATIBILITY: this most times occurs when two persons are not compatible with each other. That is they have a lot of differences and can’t stand each other for long periods without quarrelling or having misunderstanding.






Tel: 08077408676






Tonto Dikeh may not have spent half a decade in the Nigerian movie industry, but her name sure rings a bell. Known for her daring roles, Tonto has evolved amidst controversies to become one of the most sought-after thespians in the industry. The petty actress, who hugged the screens after her impressive outing in popular reality TV show, Next Movie Star, reacted to a couple of questions regarding her personality. In this interview with MERCY MICHAEL, Tonto opens up on fame, controversies, family, among other things. Excerpts

Smoking is a terrible habit I’m hooked on—Tonto Dikeh


NE thing a lot of people cannot take away from you is the fact that you're good at what you do. What has been the most daring role you've played so far? Dirty Secret has been the most daring role I have played. Emotionally, it was strenuous because I had to do a lot of putting aside who Tonto was, taking on this character and I had to do it intensely. I think it's the most challenging so far. But I know I've not played any challenging role, I don't think I have. I'm still waiting for that wow role. Do you think you've paid your dues in this industry to earn you the kind of fame you have in the industry? Some people say I don't deserve it. Well, coming from them? I would say who will blame them. But maybe I didn't get to pay my dues like every other person did but hey! I'm here and I'm here and there is nothing anyone can do about it, so let's just move on (laughs). Would you say you've been lucky?


No I'm not lucky. My pastor never let me use the word lucky, I'm blessed. Which church do you attend? I attend Christ Embassy. After Dirty Secret, you seem to have been typecast… I've not been typecast because as much as I have done glamour and romance movies, I have also done epic movies, village movies. But it's just that my glamour and romance movies is what people choose to talk about. Most of your colleagues have veered into movie production I've actually done one already. I coproduced with someone else. Definitely I'm going to do mine. I'm just waiting for the right script. But that is not my focus. My focus is actually acting and cameras. I want to be one of the best DOP's. I want to go back to school and read on how to handle the camera. After acting, that's the next thing that comes to mind. I want to be able to produce very good pictures. Endorsements have not really been coming your way, why? I'm just like four years and half in the industry; I don't really expect all the endorsements coming. Of course it will be appreciated. But I think I won't say I'm being sidelined considering the amount of years I've put in the industry. All the Next Movie Star contestants who went into the Big Brother House have all emerged winners; do you see yourself participating in the reality TV show? I think it's a beautiful show but I've gone way above that standard. It's not time for me to go and lock myself up in a house and let people watch me all around Africa. I think I've got the fame, the popularity so I don't need that. But I appreciate it, it keeps me company sometimes. But unless there is a celebrity edition of Big Brother that is the only reason I could go there. Tell us about your experience on the Next Movie Star reality show and how you were evicted I was never evicted. I came out the 1st runner up. So I was the second. It was fun. It was my first

exposure. I liked it. All my mistakes I love them so much. It just made me a better person. Back in Port-Harcourt, we never really knew that celebrities really existed in Nigeria. Coming from there, my orientation was very poor about celebrities so that show brought out a lot. It taught us a lot of things. That was where I got my first lesson in acting. That was where I actually decided that I wanted to really do this. That show actually was like the starting point for me. How did you get to be a part of it? Like I said, I always stand out from the crowd. My name means eagle. You will always pick out an eagle from every other bird because it's an excellent bird. Really, I think that is who I am. I went swimming with my girlfriends and I was called and asked if I wanted to check this out and I was like hmmm, I don't want to, because I didn't actually see the fact that I could actualize my dream as an artiste. So it didn't occur to me there is going to be one way I could do that. Reluctantly, I went. They asked me to do something, I blinked and blinked and tears just came out and they screamed 'yeah! That is an actress'. I went through the first and second stages and just like that, it happened. So it wasn't a childhood dream? No, I didn't start acting as a child but I've always appreciated good movies. I wouldn't say ever since I was a child I had wanted to act, no. If you were not a thespian what would you be doing? I would have been an engineer. I am an engineer. I would have been working as an engineer. And I look forward to doing it someday. That's my first passion. I'm not like your proper girl, I'm not a tomboy either, I just want to feel comfortable with myself anytime, any day so I just chose the best course. How did your family take it when you decided to embrace acting? My father was so furious. He was just being a father. He was afraid. He didn't know what it was. He couldn't understand why I was just going to leave a beautiful course behind and everything. But my mother, she encouraged me a lot. She talked to him and I made sure I came back to school every now and then until I graduated and when he saw my result, he was happy. I'm happy, he's happy, the whole family is happy now. When they get to read some of those negative stories about you, how do they react? Yes, my parents talk to me a lot but they don't talk to me unnecessarily. There are some things that they read and they just ignore but what they know I could do, they will just call me and say, girl I know you did this, or if you did that…but they don't just pick up their phones and call me when they --Continued on Pg 42

Wizkid nicks MOBO award


ME's cash cow, Wizkid, emerged winner in the Best African Act category of this year's edition of the MOBO (Music of Black Origin) awards held recently in Scotland. The hot-in-demand artiste emerged winner in a category that also had fellow compatriots such as D'Banj and Seun Kuti in contention. This award is coming after the artiste was embroiled in a sex tape that was well followed by his fans and close watchers alike who to an extent could not reconcile his boyish mien to the purported sex tape ascribed to him.

Chika Ike is thankful


HIKA Ike, Nollywood actress who has been looking forward to this new project of hers, Fancy Nancy, a fashion Accessories shop, located at A18 Valley Mall, opposite Ecobank by AP Plaza Wuse Zone 2 in Abuja was all smiles last weekend as friends and colleagues came in numbers to show their support. The launch of the outfit had Mike Ezuronye, Emeka Ike, Queen Nwokoye, Ada Ukoh, Jim Iyke, Eniola Badmus, Goldie, Mercy Johnson Okojie and others in attendance. The peak of the day for the lucky actress was when top comedians, who where in Abuja for different events, decided to honour her. They included Tee A, Mc Abbey and Ay. With the formal opening of the outfit, artistes present agreed that Chika Ike has worked hard to achieve her dream project.





Afeni Shakur, vows to stop Tupac’s sex tape sale


HE newly unearthed 1991 Tupac sex tape will never hit the market. That's the definitive stance of the late rapper's family, which vows it will sue anyone who attempts to distribute the footage of Pac getting serviced at a party. A spokesperson for 2Pac's estate said, "We will sue anyone who tries to sell a Tupac tape, because only the estate has the power to

Shakira to serve on Presidential Education Advisory Council


HAKIRA and the Obama Administration have announced that she will be a member of the President's Advisory Commission on Educational Excellence for Hispanics. In a statement passed by the White House, it said, “I'm grateful that these impressive individuals have chosen to dedicate their talents to serving the American people at this important time for our country ... I look forward to working with them in the months and years ahead.” More than a wildly successful singer and celebrity news staple, Shakira’s list of accomplishments include: Founding the Barefoot Foundation in 1995, which operates schools & educational projects for over 6,000 children in Colombia, South Africa, and Haiti, Collaborating with the World Bank and the Barefoot Foundation to craft initiatives to distribute Latin American educational and developmental programmes, Becoming a founding member of

Latin America in Solidarity Action, a coalition of artists and business leaders seeking to promote early childhood policies, Serving as Honorary Chair of Global Campaign for Education Global Action Week, and Serving as U.N. Goodwill Ambassador for the Children's Emergency Fund.

authorize the use of Tupac Shakur's image for commercial use, the source says, and it's not about to give green light on that. Tupac's mother, Afeni Shakur, is aware of the sex tape (we've seen a photo from it that proves it's real), and is already gearing up for a court battle, saying: "Get the legal team ready because [we] will not allow someone to put it out," she said.

•Tupac with Afeni Shakur

Is Kate Winslet madly in Love?


Crane over Ghollywood

Majid Michel’s movie fee leaks

Eddie Nartey still a Virgin at 27!



‘Smoking is a terrible habit I’m hooked on’ --Continued from Pg 41

read things because they know it's very hurting. But I'm a strong person and they are also very strong for me too. I think I've got the best family. If you get a chance to change something about yourself, what would that be? Hmmm, Oh yes! I will say I'm very hot tempered. I have a terrible temper. It doesn't always come but when it comes I can do anything. I think if I have a chance, I will change that. I hardly ever get upset or pissed but those little times when I show it, it's bad. You sound vicious That's who I am. But I'm not a bad person. What would you do if a man raises his hands on you? I don't think any man would have the guts to do that. Honestly, if I get angry, you wouldn't know it's this small person. But I don't think anybody will actually have the gut to, but even if he does, I will just make sure he suffers for it. How long ago have you had this tattoo on your neck? I can't really remember but I didn't have one when I came into the industry. I can't really remember but maybe after my second year in the industry. From all the movies you featured in, which one would you say is most memorable? I have a lot of them that can be regarded as memorable. I can't just pick one. How long now have you been smoking and does it bother you what people think or say about it? I've been smoking since I was 13. It's not that I'm not bothered about what people think about my smoking habit. I sit down and listen to advice when it's sincerely given but when you write about it, it's like you want to diss me so I'm going to put it in your face that I'm a smoker! That's it. You started quite early so who influenced you? Nobody, it just happened. But I don't think anybody should venture into it. It is not good. It's not fashionable, it's just a very terrible, terrible, terrible habit that I'm hooked on to and I don't know how long I'm going to be here. But I don't just think anybody should venture into it because they think it's cool. It is not cool to your system. What fashion accessories are you most crazy about? I'm a freelance designer collector but I'm passionate about Louis Vuitton. Louis Vuitton is like good sex. They just keep surprising us. They just keep making us spend money.




Sequel to the appointment of Charles Oputa (Charly Boy) as one of the judges of Nigerian Idols, a musical reality show, the issue of criteria for selecting judges of reality TV arose in a section of the entertainment industry. The argument veered into who is really a musician and whether being a mere singer with a popular face is all that is required to judge other music talents. On Wednesday September 28 @ 13:46, A asked: I folks. Can anybody tell me the criteria that TV musical reality shows organisers use in selecting their judges? I ask this because here in Nigeria, some people that have never had anything to do with talent discovery or nurturing have been appointed as judges leaving out those who have excelled in music production and those who have not only discovered talents but nurtured such to stardom. B: It is only in Nigeria that you see radio presenters playing the role of judges in talent hunt shows… C: Justin Akpovi-Esade: I feel most music reality show organisers rely more on the facial popularity of the judges rather than competence on the issue at hand. For instance, a Frank Edoho could be appointed a judge in Celebrity Takes 2 not because he had any knowledge of dance but simply because he is Edoho. But A, something must have prompted your raising this issue; what is that really? A: The appointment of CB (Charly Boy) as judge in the season two of Nigerian Idols C: Well, CB could claim to have developed some talents by commission or omission. After all, Gloria Anozie, Vivian Anani, Fowl Leg, Madam Ebeano, Xtranger, KC Presh, etc all attended the Charly Boy Show. A: @C No! KC Presh was discovered and led to CB by Julius Agwu, Xtranger is never a success musically and that alone has disqualified CB from sitting in judgment over young talents. The rest you mentioned are Nollywood people and I doubt if CB had a hand in their successes in that sector. You know that too well. C: No. KC Presh was with CB before Julius met them. I will agree with you a bit on the Nollywood guys but not on Xtranger being a failure. He was a good singer, his stagecraft was fantastic. He was not just lucky. However, he is a successful boy in Abuja now. A: Yes, but even at that I do not think that he was discovered by CB. The young man wanted to use CB's aura to rise but that did not work. And as for KC Presh, their 'fame' did not start until after their success as the pioneer winners of Star Quest. C: But the bottom-line is that they learnt some stuff from CB A: Anyway that is not the line of my poser. I want to know what qualifies one to be a judge in musical talent hunt like Nigerian Idols, Project Fame et al. Let's not detour into CB issue. C: I think knowledge of music first should be taken into consideration. I feel CB is qualified to be judge in a music talent show having been around for quite sometime. He may not be a talented artiste, but he should be able to recognise talent A: If you say so; but I would prefer producers and A and R managers who have discovered and nurtured talents.


Who is a musician?


•What is Joke Silva's business in music reality shows? •If you call Charly Boy a musician, then what is Sunny Ade or •Charly Boy Victor Uwaifo? •Dede Mabiaku is simply a showman like Daddy Showkey!

only be youthful. E: What makes CB a musician; because he dropped two albums? D: @ C what do you mean by You may also say Terry G is a saying that CB is not a talented musician too. That's how we gave artiste? The fact that he has not Dede Mabiaku the impression that made it through music doesn't he was a musician mean he isn't talented. A: @E, You don dey take this matta A: I said he may not be, it was to the next level o! I no know book o! not a categorical statement. But is Dede not a musician? No be D: Anyway, CB is a wizard, na for XYZ (newspaper) dey call am Fela him tortoise-like habit no dey let protégé? And this man never people see him good side. I think he is performed behind Fela and is yet qualified to be a judge of a music to make his debut 14 years after his talent show. You need to see how master's death. Ha ha ha ha. shallow some of the guys that are E: A man runs commentary on used for similar shows are... sound tracks like Peterside Ottong Imagine Joke Silva in Project Fame for example, it doesn't matter what used to do, and you call him a musician? I reckon with CB as a role she was meant to play. But musical artiste and not a musician. such is a serious business and not Like A said, na producers like Odion one for the role of a mother hen. Irouje, Loalu Akins and AR Managers A: Guys, I think that we are for good… a mixture of the young derailing from the question I and old. raised. Please let us not make it D: In every sense of the word, look as if it is a campaign against CB is a musician. I didn't use the CB or any person for that matter. word carelessly. We may need That was why I did not want to another day to define who is and mention names initially. So @D tell who is not a musician. us what you think is the quality F: Interesting discourse here on one must have before being made whether CB is qualified to be a a judge. judge on any musical show. Truly, C: @D, I agree with you that CB he may not be a successful is qualified to be judge. @A, it's not musician, but you cannot take a campaign against CB either. You away his experience in the music raised the issue which is vital because many misfits populate ...Dictionary defines similar panels. D: I just stated two examples of musicianship as ‘a personalities used for reality person's skill in shows. One of them sure fits in better. CB is a musician and he playing a musical didn't just start today. It shouldn't instrument or singing’. be too difficult for someone like CB So, pray, is Daddy to make decisions over these school girls and boys in Showkey a musician? competition. In the second Or is Julius De Genius example, I don't know what formal knowledge of music Joke Silva has. Agwu a musician? At C: Joke Silva is something else least he has three on any panel. She over acts and albums like CB. exhibits some exuberance that can Victor Akande Entertainment Editor


industry having been around for a long time. Unlike aunty Joke Silva who, according to C, turns every reality show into ‘comedy with her exuberance, flattery words due to inexperience in music.’ Certainly, @A/E: A and R managers are best fit as judges in these shows. What do you expect in Nigeria, a nation where abracadabra (the more you look, the less you see) reigns? E: Oh certainly, I have no qualms with CB's inclusion. In fact he has been around to qualify. But the debate for me is why he is dubbed a ‘musician’. @ A, yes Dede was dubbed Fela's protégé because he lived and breathed Fela and was almost cloning Fela facially and otherwise. The point for me is that those we hail as musicians are not musicians in the real sense of the word. But CB is eminently qualified to be on the panel! A: @E, I agree with you that most people we call musicians here are nothing but singers. How many of them can play any instrument or read a musical note or key? How many of them have the stage showmanship of KSA, Fela and co. However, folks what I want to know is what qualifies one to be a judge? Is there a universally-accepted criterion? That is what I want to know, not whether a CB is a musician or a successful one at that. Please someone should answer my question and spare me this controversy over CB. C: On the 'allegation' levelled against XYZ for making Dede feel he is a musician, according to A, I quite AGREE. I don't want to mention names but the newspaper should apologise to Nigerians for allowing Dede to get away with his pranks. Na joke o. But sebi Dede was judge in the same Project Fame abi na Idol West Africa sef in the past?

If Dede could make a judge, CB is more than qualified to be. A: @E, you can ask me that again who has won several awards with it when awards event was credible in Nigeria and not a conduit pipe with which brand managers of blue chips companies use the few ones around to siphon money from their companies. E: Here is how the Cambridge dictionary defines a musician; ‘someone who is skilled in playing music; usually as their job’. So, pray, is Skid Ikemefuna a musician? The same dictionary defines musicianship as ‘a person's skill in playing a musical instrument or singing’. So, pray, is Daddy Showkey a musician? Or is Julius De Genius Agwu a musician? At least he has three albums like CB. A: @E, Daddy Showkey is an acrobat (jokes). C: Well, Julius never claims to be one anyway. He says he is a 'Musicomedian'. A: But Julius once won award as the best new artiste of AMEN award. D: @E, how does your Cambridge dictionary definition of a musician invalidate CB? Let us bear in mind that this discussion is meant to educate and not to advance fanatical or ego-driven Man U/Chelsea-like tavern arguments. Here, we should be able to own up to new knowledge. Any one who knows CB well would tell you that not only is he knowledgeable in musical instruments, he invests in them and plays the instrument with the same passion with which he rides his Power Bike. One does not even need to know how to sing to be a musician. Lastly, being a musician doesn't necessarily have to be a profession.



All set for 2011 Nigerian UK Carnival


N what has been termed the largest customized celebration of Nigerians and friends of Nigeria, in the UK in recent times, the 2011 Nigerian Carnival takes place Saturday, the October 15. With Nigeria's First Lady, Dame Patience Jonathan billed to flag off the historical event at Leyton Marsh Fields in East London from 10.00am, the carnival is set to become part of an annual calendar of events for Nigerians worldwide as thousands of Nigerians and their colleagues are expected to attend this mega occasion showcasing the very best of Nigeria. Doing a review of the carnival, BBC reports that this year's event is set to be even more exciting, informative and educative. “The rich diversity of Nigeria, said by many to be made up of various nations, will be reflected in enriching cultural troupes' performances. Complemented by various artistes doing their “thing”, and with various sporting activities going on, it is a day every member of the Nigerian family will not forget soon,” the report adds. A focused activity to educate and enlighten people about Nigerians and to showcase the culture and commercial vibrancy of the country, organizers say that the carnival is held in a bid to further launch the country into international mainstream and defeat negative stereotypes. Put together by Nigerians Carnival UK Ltd (NCUK), an event management corporation, Founder and Chairman of the outfit, Mr. Kashif Jones-Laguda, said the body is simply overwhelmed by the incredible support received everywhere. “Support from The Nigerian community, the Nigeria High Commission in London, the Office of the First Lady of Nigeria, our corporate sponsors particularly Arik Air all go to confirm that Nigerians are indeed uniting for the future,” he adds. Chairman of the Central Association of Nigerians in the UK (CANUK), Bimbo Robert Folayan, affirmed the support of the group to the carnival when he confirmed that “CANUK's mission is to protect, unite and empower Nigerians and Nigeriarelated organizations in the UK. We have succeeded in ensuring that for first time the corporate world, the community, and the government of Nigeria (through the Nigeria High Commission and the office of the First Lady), come together as one in delivering this important event to our host country, Britain.” On Friday, the 14th of October, Andrew Rosindell MP, on behalf of NCUK at the House of Commons, will host the precarnival press conference sponsored by ARIK AIR, the largest corporate supporter of the Nigerian community in the United Kingdom while on Saturday, 15th of October, the Nigerian carnival will be hosted by His Excellency, Dr Sarki Dalhatu Tafida OFR.



UJU music maestro, King Sunny Ade was 65 a few weeks back, but it was not to be celebrated in his usual style because of the marriage of his daughter, Ruth, which was also billed to hold about the same period. But these were not just the two ceremonies that the ace musician had on his hands, as the one year remembrance of his mother's death was also around this time. “I didn't see how I would have called people to come and celebrate my birthday today and in another week's time I am calling them again for my mother's one year remembrance anniversary, and yet again for my daughter's wedding when I am not the only person in town,” he said. For this reason, KSA decided to give it all for his daughter's wedding, and it was as usual a classy ceremony that had Dele Taiwo on the band stand. However, his birthday will not go uncelebrated as news from the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG)says the musician will enjoy a thanksgiving service at the church today. Parish Pastor, Throne of Grace,

Why KSA marks birthday thanksgiving at RCCG

Down Your Glory will hold at the RCCG Headquarters in EbutteMr. Goke Aniyeloye, said there Metta, Lagos. The service is will be a special thanksgiving expected to be attended by other service to celebrate King Sunny notable artistes, friends and well Ade's birthday. The thanksgiving wishers of KSA as well as other service which is tagged: Send notable Nigerians. Adeola Ogunlade

Music wannabes prepare for Nigerian Idol Season 2 the sponsorship of Etisalat, in association with Sony and Pepsi. That much and more was revealed at a media and VIP launch on the 28th of September, 2011 at the Oriental Hotel in Lagos. "Nigerian Idol will be an even more exciting television experience this season," said Rotimi Pedro. The cycle of the show remains the same, spanning seven months, the producers have confirmed. The season kicks off with auditions in four Nigerian cities - Abuja, Port Hacourt, Enugu and Lagos, where auditions end in November. "Based on audience feedback and to enhance the unique Idol •Chichi Nwoko, Project Manager experience this season, we've made EASON II of Nigerian Idol a few major changes. These reality TV show begins soon exciting new changes include a as the global music new judge in the person of former phenomenon returns to Nigeria for PMAN president, Charles Oputa, a second season. The music contest fondly known as Charlyboy. produced by the Optima Media The judges' line up however Group (OMG) continues to enjoy retains songstress Yinka Davies



and international choreographer and musician, Jeffrey Daniels who has returned this season. After hotly-contested auditions that featured the brightest across the media and entertainment sectors, new hosts have also been announced and they are rave-ofthe-moment singer Tiwa Savage, and VeeJay, Ill Rhymz. The winner of this year's edition of the show will get N2. 5 million, a Galaxy Tab, a Blackberry, an iPod and a car. The first runner up gets N1.5 million, a Galaxy Tab, Blackberry and iPod; while the 2nd runner up will receive N1million, a Galaxy Tab, a Blackberry and an iPod. Finalists from 4th to 10th place will each receive, N100, 000, a Galaxy Tab, a Blackberry and an iPod. The show begins airing December 4, until the winner is announced at a grand gala in April, 2012.

MultiChoice gets new MD

ULTICHOICE has announced the appointment of Mr. John Ugbe as its new Managing Director. Mr. Ugbe’s appointment which marks the first Nigerian executive to be appointed to this senior position takes effect from next month. According to Chairman of MultiChoice Nigeria, Adewunmi Ogunsanya, “We believe that John is an experienced executive who will be able to lead the company into a new period of growth and expansion. As technology evolves, the traditional pay television model is changing and the industry is becoming more complex. Just over 15 years ago we set out to deliver the best

home television entertainment in Nigeria our mission now is to deliver the best digital entertainment and information any time, on any platform and anywhere in Nigeria. Hence, we are delighted to have a candidate who has a solid understanding of technology as well as operations who will take MultiChoice Nigeria into the future.” John joins MultiChoice from iWay Africa Nigeria. He had joined MultiChoice in 1998 as the IT manager. When MWeb Nigeria was created in 2003 John moved over to take up the position of IT manager, and three years later was promoted to General Manager (MWeb Nigeria). In 2007, M-Web was sold and John

moved over to the new company iWay Africa Nigeria Limited as General Manager and took over responsibility for management of all business functions. John's appointment follows the resignation of Joseph Hundah who has left MultiChoice to follow other business interests.

•Mr. Ugbe

Afro Hollywood Award nominees AFRICAN ACTOR OF THE YEAR (African Film category) Saheed Balogun (Nigeria) Majid Michael (Ghana) Presley Chweneyagae (South Africa) (Nollywood Film category) Best Actor (English language film) Femi Brainard Joseph Benjamin Yemi Blaq Best Actress (English language film) Susan Peters Chika Ike Tonto Dike Best Actress (Supporting Role in an English language film) Rukky Sandy Halima Abubakar Nkiru Sylvanus Best Actress (Yoruba language film) Simeon Doris Toyin Aimaku Ayo Adesanya Best Actress (Supporting Role in a Yoruba language film) Toyin Oladiran (Abeni Agbon) Laide Bakare Funke Adesiyan Best Actor (Yoruba language film) Odunlade Adekola Muyiwa Adegoke Yomi Fash-Lanso Best Actor (Supporting Role in a Yoruba language film) Muka Ray Lekan Oladiipo Tayo Adeleye Best Actor (Hausa language film) Aminu Sherif Momoh Ibrahim Maishunku Babelle Hayatu Best Actress (Hausa language film) Sadiya Mohammed Mayam Booth Jamila Umar Nagudu Veteran Actor Tafa Oloyede Kayode Olasehinde Gbolagade Akinpelu Veteran Actress Grace Oyin Adejobi (Iya Osogbo) Lanre Hassan (Iya Awero) Iyabo Ogunsola Best Director (English film) Kingsley Omo Efe Teco Benson Chidi Nwakobia Best Director (Yoruba film) Abbey Lanre Antar Laniya Bayo Tijani Television Soap Actress (Nigeria) Yinka Olukunga Bukky Ogunnote-Ogunade Bola Sowunmi New Acting Talent Bukola Awoyemi Mayowa Atanda Funke Etti Entertainment Journalist (Print) Ayo Lawal (PM News) Amatus Arinze (Sun Newspaper) Bayo Adeoye (Weekend Life) Entertainment Journalist (Broadcast) Tolulope Olusola Lamidi (TV Continental) Jacqueline (AIT) Michael Nwadibe (Silverbird TV) Photo - Journalist (Print) Femi Adaguodo Taofiq Adejare Adekunle Ajayi New Comedy Talent Ahmed Basheer Adekunle Bernard Babatunde Tayo (Baba Tee) Okoh Solomon Special Awards category Kunle Ayeyoola (Soul Searcher), the Elagimo Posthumous Sam Loco - Efe Special Contributions to the development of films Hon. Rotimi Makinde Special Arts Personality of the Year & Custodian of Culture HRH, Oba Olasunkami Gbolagade, Olojo of Ojo Special Contributions to the development of Arts & Culture Chief Yemi Elebubon Other awardees are in the tourism categories.

FROM THE CAMPUS PAGE 46 By Bunmi Ashebu HE threat of the lockout in the National Football League (NFL) last season would have resulted in a long-lasting effect on several business sectors in the United States of America. “The NFL was expected to account for 40 percent of the $20.3 billion sports franchising industry in 2010, reaching $8.2 billion. Having experienced tremendous growth over the past five years, increasing at an average annual rate of 7.5 percent since 2005, the league would have suffered a colossal revenue loss of roughly $7.6 billion if a lockout occurred…..” My focus today is on the business aspect of sports after seeing the mind-blowing figures involved in one sport. Do you know that the Nigerian Premier League (NPL) has been valued by a South African Sports Marketing firm to be worth (N8,000,000,000) Eight Billion Naira annual turn-over money spinner (taking into consideration our football patronage and culture, population and geographic spread of the teams)? The first question is how do we key into this and get our sports leagues, especially NPL to become a self-sustaining league? There are “smaller” footballing nations that have gotten it right. Why not Nigeria? The biggest problem is that everything in Nigeria’s sports space revolves around government, as all facilities, officials, and organizations tasked with sports development are all owned/ operated by the government. As with most problems in Nigeria, government is largely responsible and do not appear to have the capacity to resolve them, as is the case with any policy issue. The next question is how do we get government and other stake holders to have the same objectives? Do we go through the ministry and or the NFF to get to the federal government? Like I said last week, I believe that privatisation of clubs and ownership of stadia is a big step to achieving the milestone because honestly, I don’t think the Nigerian government can, or will do anything. Like I said earlier, our problems today are linked to government’s involvement in providing services – power, infrastructure, transportation, water, education, health etc. However, brilliant my privatisation idea sounds, I have also heard brilliant arguments from others who are “unconvinced that privatisation (though an important component to any strategy) is a silver bullet or panacea to the problems of Nigerian sports. Administration and management are key - and there is a public service component to administration. So more public private partnerships (PPP) than just private sector. The FA, for instance, is not a private sector organisation”. It is an argument that also makes a lot of sense to me and at this point, all I ask for is


With Prof. Emmanuel Ojeme


Football as a money-spinner in Nigeria • 3SC player, Owolabi Raheem (right) battles with Bukola Babes’ Kingsley Salami in a Nigeria Premier League match.

progress. It doesn’t matter what form or who it takes to get it done. Now, how do we ‘sell’ the benefits of better management & administration to all stake holders - sports admin, government and private sector? In other words, how do we get all our ships sailing smoothly in the same direction (if we all have to work together) knowing that government can provide a legislative and regulatory environment. At this point we have established that as much as we know the problem lies with the government, we will need to work with them to make progress. First things first, we need to reform the sector itself. The private sector would not invest in any government business without the requisite framework for the reform. The laws and institutional structures will have to change to create the enabling environment for the investment and expertise that we know resides in the private sector to flourish. The private sector should be left to develop the innovative solutions to improve the studio that will boost attendance and sales. Make it more competitive so clubs will have to strategize to “stay at

the top”. Manchester United came to Nigeria to sell their global brand and realised they had a huge following in Nigeria, caused by our vacuum. Luckily, the global recession (credit crunch) has had a minimal impact on the Nigerian economy, apart from the self-inflicted problems created by greed within the banking system. What is happening in Europe and America cannot be compared to what we are going through in Nigeria today. We continuously underestimate the hidden wealth that exists in our country as we rely on previous studies conducted by the international community that conclude that the average Nigerian lives on less than a dollar a day. The telecom sector has wiped out that myth. Based on available studies it was predicted that we would only sell about 300,000 lines in the first year, we exceeded that target in the first three months and with results showing we had one of the highest talk time in the world. What I want us to have is the vision that sports especially football has tremendous potential in Nigeria, with the ability to attract an average attendance in the top league of 30,000 fans per game.

That Nigeria football requires an immediate attention is a basic truth known to everybody but I think it is a true reflection of the level of decay all facets of the country are going through right now. The shocking thing is why it has taken us too long to realise this. I have taken time to study the major problems with Nigeria football. I think it has to do with poverty mentality (at various levels) among Nigerians. Can you imagine a country where representatives of big multinationals sell complementary tickets given to them by NFF, and policemen coming to the stadium so as to collect money from fans and let them into the stadium and you have no one to complain to because the boss at the office is expecting them to make “returns”. Bottom line is that the problem is a collective one and it is our responsibility as a people to solve it and we can make the best out of it with a lot of hard work. I have a lot of respect for the Nigerian private sector and believe we can compete with the world’s best! Sahara, Globacom, Guaranty Trust Bank, Zenith Bank, Oando, Dangote, LCC, ARM to name a few! I know people who are ready and determined to make it happen, so let’s go! Let’s open up soccer!!!!

Nigeria at 51: Sports and competitive governance


HE 51st anniversary celebration of Nigeria’s birthday, provided a nascent opportunity for joy, introspection and renewal of the motional spirit. There have been several view points about the journey so far in national development. Some are to the left and others to the right of the development continuum. This paper attempts to add a voice and perspective to the continuous quest by our people to seek ways of moving the nation forward, using sports as a paradigm. My assessment of Nigeria at 51 is that some progress in development has been recorded but it would have been much better than its current status. One of the problems that I have identified is that governance in Nigeria has not been as competitive as it should be. Governance has also lacked sufficient competitiveness because it has been seemingly bogged down by ethnic and religious factors, among others. As a competitive social institution, sports is rated as providing a productive framework as it is indifferent to Nigeria’s nemesis of ethnicity and religion in achieving its normative objectives. What is competitive governance? This is a competitive leadership process which aims at delivering governance goals to all as its sole criteria for legitimacy and acceptance. Governance has only one goal and that is service to the people. It gains competitive strength and momentum when it fields its first eleven in the governance team as well as performance standards to be accomplished. Competitive governance is disciplined, dispassionately punishes corruption, accountable, immuned to the excesses of religion and ethnicity, goal driven and stubborn in defending the national interest. Competitive governance is visionary and ideologically – driven.

The left sided development status of Nigeria as many people seem to be pointing could be partly due to insufficient ascendancy of competitive governance and apparent unlimited vulnerability of nonproductive excesses of religion and ethnicity. Nigeria’s leaders must tackle this twin malaise to unchain itself, in order, to ride on the hypothenus of nation building and so that it can achieve its potential. A few months before the 51st birthday, the British Prime Minister visited and said that Nigeria is a dream waiting to happen. This is not a good assessment of our Nation of 51st years of age. We must now live out this dream and Nigeria must live upto its expectations by being more competitive. I do not go along with those who argue that the British Government created a country that would be perpetually in conflict. We now have our country and our role is to make it what it should be – a great nation. My position is that sports provides a paradigm for the promotion of competitive governance. The sporting process is indifferent to religion and ethnicity as a sports team accommodates both variables in its integrated and harmonious social system with the team’s shared vision of attaining optimum athletic performance. Sports are goal – directed and possess unity of purpose. It does not compromise excellence, punishes indiscipline and truancy. It recruits team members only on the basis of performance ability. It is an objectified social institution, not bogged down by distractive sentiments and no human being within its organized system is above its established rules. A sports team’s leadership holds the team firmly together and makes it functional and competitive. These attributes are workable for competitive governance which Nigeria desperately needs as it moves forward to its future in the next 49 years.

• President, Jonathan Goodluck



Have Your Say A

MONGST the recommendations contained in the report handed in on Monday 27 September by the Ambassador Usman Galtimari-led Presidential Panel on Boko Haram is the need for dialogue as a means of addressing the security challenges constituted by the Islamic group. However, it is the view of some respondents that President Goodluck Jonathan’s other foot on how to resolve the Boko Haram conundrum is still invisible. But, according to them, the only foot he has thus far shown indicates that he is hard pressed waiving a red rag in front of the sect’s bull. This group of individual poohpoohs the tacit readiness of the President to embrace dialogue with the sect in spite of its well-reported disgust at such initiative. Flipside, some still argue that the panel’s recommendation is in order. They are of the conviction that if the right attitude is maintained, the dialogue may yield the desired result. I will never consider such a recommendation to dialogue with illegality! The very day such a recommendation is implemented, that government is finished! Another sect, either Boko Haram or militant, will again spring up – an endless cycle. Combat illegality with force. Treat peaceful protests with dialogue! Wahab Lanre Oseni, Lagos State. Our leaders (politicians) have thrown us into this trash. Therefore, we should tow the path of dialogue, more so that there are no security plans to combat the sect and save the nation. Thanks to poor leadership and lack of will power. Adi Emma .A, Minna, Niger State. I totally disagree with the decision of the Presidential Panel on Boko Haram. Dialoguing with Boko Haram is not so difficult, but what it means is that the Federal Government should be ready for more dialogues with other violent sects in the country. If these activities are not stopped, it may lead to one antagonistic song by one musician: “if you box me, I will box you”. Muoneke John Chukwumaijem, Nanka, Anambra State. The recommendation of the Ambassador Usman Galtimari-led panel is of a biased mind. It does not help the image of Nigerians, and does not reflect the minds of the people of Nigeria. If Mr President will go by the panel’s recommendations, we the people of Nigeria will be disappointed in him. Chibuike Chigaramnobi, PHC, Rivers State. Boko Haram is an albatross to peace. The attempt of the FGN to stoop to conquer it is a desideratum for achieving relative peace. Prostrating to tame a dwarf does not reduce one’s height. If the Niger Delta militants could be given amnesty, placed on monthly salary and even enjoy local and foreign trainings sequel to a reported discovery of a list of names of their patrons who are PDP stalwarts, then it isn’t wrong if the Boko Haram people are dialogued with for peace to reign. The group is a baby of political gangsterism. So, we need political stratagem to douse its catastrophic flame. Bayo Alimi, Lagos State. Nigeria is an impossible country. The rulers, perhaps, know what we [the lesser mortals] do not know. What is the rationale behind negotiating with terrorists? Where in the world is this done? Nigeria is a country where injustice is celebrated with gusto. We

The Presidential Panel on Boko Haram headed by Ambassador Usman Galtimari has recommended dialogue with the violent Islamic sect, Boko Haram, as a means of addressing the security problems its activities constitute to the country. How do you view this recommendation? can understand our differences and respect one another’s views, cultures and beliefs. We are on the precipice of total decay and no sacrifice will be too much for the sake of human safety and national cohesion. Boko is good, but I have my problem with the Haram. Engr A.C. Anthony, Jos, Plateau State.

eat and live injustice. If we want to dialogue with dacoits, it should be extended to other aggrieved though perverse groups. The recommendation is looking at the effect not the cause. Too bad. Akinduro, H.O, Okitipupa, Ondo State. No reasonable government will down play the quality of dialogue in conflict resolution. However, the FGN can only embark on dialogue with the Boko Haram sect if the later makes overt the underpinning philosophies of its agitation. The FGN should examine whether these principles do not challenge the essence of the constitution. And if they do, the contents of the constitution should not be traded off without the due process of amendment. John Otaru, Lokoja, Kogi State.

Dialogue is good and can be fruitful subject to the parties’ appreciation of their principal differences, admitting their errors and misdeeds – and either party to bear due responsibility and be honest to God about it. Engr D.B. Usman, Jalingo, Taraba State.

•The late Boko Haram leader, Yusuf

Dialogue is the best form of conflict resolution, but I do not subscribe to the idea of amnesty for a terrorist group like the Boko Haram. If the FG does that, then it should be prepared for other groups. Alfred Egbegi, Yenagoa, Bayelsa State. If President Obama had opted for dialogue with Osama Bin Ladin and his murderous outfit, it would have kept the hydra-headed monster producing equally destructive offspring. The Boko Haram sect should be given the Osama treatment. Remi Adegbola, Ibadan, Oyo State. Dialogue with Boko Haram means Nigeria government will soon invite armed robbers, kidnappers and hired assassins for dialogue. Joe Ehalaiye, Lokoja, Kogi State. I’m a practising Muslim, and I can tell that our Quran never supports shedding of innocent blood. The cause of the crises in the North remains pure politics. So, calling for dialogue may be the best option. But the fact remains that our so-called leaders do not have our interest in mind. Don’t be surprised by tomorrow if OPC starts its own problems. PEACE will never stay in a nation that trades always in INJUSTICE. Call it any names, Nigerians need to meet and talk. Hamis F.A Balogun, Akure, Ondo State. In my view, the issue of dialogue is like negotiating with terrorists. Negotiating those lives that were lost and trading them for cash? After all, at the end it will become monetary dialogue. This shows weakness on the part of our leaders and security operatives. This notorious sect should be smoked out of its hiding places and its godfathers dealt with. Obembe Olasope, Ado-Ekiti, Ekiti State. Peaceful approach is always the best option to resolution of every crisis. I don’t wish them what this country did to the Southeast. The resolution of the Jos and the Boko Haram problems will result in the germination of the seed of peace for this country. Ezeofoebuka Nze, Enugu State.

It is cowardly and absolutely repugnant for the Presidential Panel to have recommended dialogue as a way out of the Boko Haram debacle. Any difference from suggesting ceding the sovereignty of the nation to the misguided and deadly sect? Quite expectedly, the terrorist body had poured cold water on the jejune recommendations! A more serious Federal Government would decisively hunt down the patently anarchist and murderous Islamic sect, identify its source of internal funding and seek international cooperation to neutralize its external connections. Ayo Aregbesola, ljesa-lsu, Ekiti State. The recommendation of the Amb. Usman Galtimari-led panel that the government should enter into dialogue with the violent Islamic sect as a way of achieving peace should be supported because we need peace in Nigeria, especially now that Nigeria is 51. I will also urge the government to speedily prosecute those who planned and executed terror attacks since 2009. Hon. Leke Ogunsola, Ayedire, Osun State. Well, we need to know what the terms of the dialogue will be. Let Nigerians not entertain murderers in the name of agitating for peace. Let the government act on the judgement of the court that ordered compensation for the families of the slain Boko Haram leaders and others killed in the mayhem. Then let us go back to the drawing board and call a genuine national conference that will pass a vote of confidence in our being together as one entity with true federalism. Prince Ibrahim Taiwo Olugbani, Abuja. Boko Haram is purely a criminal group. You don’t dialogue with criminals. Let’s wake up our security intelligence. But if government chooses to adopt the dialogue option, it should be ready to dialogue with MASSOB too when it takes up arms. Emeka Obiesie, Enugu State. Above all considerations, dialogue is a vital instrument of democracy, which opens the vista for freedom of speech, self-expression and refined logic, and conflict resolution. Nigerians should be encouraged to imbibe the culture of dialoguing with one another. It is in so doing that we

Dialogue with Boko Haram which has rejected it blindly is dialogue with the deaf. Fruitful and lasting co-operation can never be coerced. It must be of a mutual disposition. Boko Haram wants conflict and/or war. Give it to them. Marcel Nwobodo, Awo-Omamma There is this saying that it is easy to dodge your responsibilities, but it is not always easy to dodge the consequence of dodging your responsibilities. The leaders in this country hold on to power without responsibility, while the masses suffer oppression without redress hence the present insecurity in the country. They should dialogue with them, create employment, and reduce poverty in the country. Abdullahi Musa Uke, Ede, Osun State. It’s unfortunate that Nigeria is heading towards being a failed state where government must negotiate with terrorists for security to prevail. If this dialogue will bring the desired peace, let’s go head, after all we dialogued with the Niger Delta militants. We should be ready to do same for any revolutionary group that emerges to threaten our internal security as a nation. The trend will continue unless there is a paradigm shift. Dom Ogbeche, Yala LGA, Cross River State. Boko Haram’s action is an ill wind that will blow nobody any good. The recommendation of dialogue with the sect by the Presidential Panel is welcomed. We want peace so that Nigeria can move forward. Gordon Nnorom, Umukabia, Abia State. The recommendation is in the right direction considering the day-to-day Boko Haram senseless consistent but ungodly mayhem it throws Nigerians into. In fact, it is a welcomed development. Alh. Samanja Awodi, Ilorin, Kwara State. Negotiating with a terrorist group is a sign of failure. Nigerian leaders have lost their power and ability to guaranty security. What will happen if there is an external attack on Nigeria? The Chief Security Adviser to Mr President, the Director-General of the State Security Service, Police Chiefs and all armed forces chiefs should humbly resign for failing the country. Gimbason, J.H. Kaduna State. Continue on page 52


By Jennifer Ehidiamen 08054503875 (Sms only)

Youth leadership and YLEAD empowerment program Guest Writer: Grace Ihejiamaizu


HAT young people constitute the majority of the Nation’s population is a well known fact. There is no doubt also that the future of the nation rests on the shoulders of the youths. Without youths, the nation’s future and existence is threatened. Youths are like the catalysts that will lead to progress and change especially in the economy of the nation. They are the hub of the nation and the agents that will foster development. Their concerns and needs must therefore be taken care of if we must have sustainable development in Nigeria. It is however overwhelming that most of our youths do not have the necessary leadership skills to serve as agents of change in Nigeria. The value system and principles of ethics seem to have been swept down. Recognizing these challenges, RYPE Initiative has introduced the “Youth-Leadership, Entrepreneurship and Academic Development (YLEAD)” program supported by the Michelle Obama’s Young African Women Leader’s Forum. YLEAD begins with a 5-day intensive training program for 1524 year old secondary school leavers who are awaiting admission or JAMB examination. YLEAD goes beyond the training program to provide mentoring and place these young people on internship programs to learn various skills. YLEAD also creates the platform for them to develop and start their own small businesses. It is positively aimed at engaging young people and helping them develop their personal, leadership and entrepreneurial skills for positive engagement. We want to help them utilize the one year period that they have to stay at home before enrolling in a University Program. The essence of this program is to infuse independence, selfawareness, ethical values, leadership and entrepreneurial skills into young people. Instilling these values and skills in them at a young age would help them recognize the challenges we face and develop problem-solving ideas to make a difference in Nigeria. In the long term, it would curb youth restiveness and unemployment. Rather than engage in criminal activities, idleness and other unproductive activities, we want young people to use their inherent talents and leadership capabilities to initiate innovative ideas that will develop into small sustainable businesses in Nigeria. Entrepreneurship is key in the growth of any nation’s economy and must be encouraged. Since the youths are the ones who would meet the specific manpower needs of the nation, then they must be inspired, empowered and prepared to become leaders, movers and shakers of Nigeria and the world at large. Bio: Grace Ihejiamaizu is the founding coordinator of Y-LEAD, a youth empowerment program for young people in Calabar. For more information on how to get involved, please visit: http:/ /





Meet class of 2011

The annual speculation was spectacular as usual this year with some even suggesting that folkrock legend, Bob Dylan, could be awarded the Peace Prize this year. In the end the Nobel Academy came up with the most stunning and unexpected winners. Meet the Nobel class of 2011 PEACE PRIZE IBERIAN President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, Africa’s first elected female head of state, is known as the “Iron Lady” by her supporters. She was elected in 2005. She is standing for re-election on Tuesday, despite promising she would only seek one term. While out campaigning, the diminutive 72-year-old is often dwarfed by her party officials and bodyguards but over a political career spanning almost 30 years she has earned her steely nickname. She was imprisoned in the 1980s for criticising the military regime of Samuel Doe - and then backed Charles Taylor’s rebellion before falling out with him and being charged with treason after he became president. In 2009, Liberia’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission recommended that she be barred from office for 30 years for her role in backing Mr Taylor, who is currently on trial for war crimes in The Hague. She won the 2005 election run-off even though she faced probably the best known Liberian - former football star George Weah.




Despite the popular appeal of her opponent, analysts say she won because of background as a development economist. Mrs Sirleaf has held a string of international financial positions, from minister of finance in the late 1970s to Africa director at the United Na-


tions Development Programme. So many people felt she was well placed to rebuild Liberia’s shattered economy. Since becoming president, she has cancelled and renegotiated a $1bn contract with the world’s largest steel company, Arcelor Mittal, which has since started


iron ore production in the north east. Another $2.6bn iron ore concession agreement was entered into between the government and China Union, a consortium of Chinese companies. But she says that her work has not finished, which is why

she changed her mind and decided to seek re-election. “When the plane hasn’t landed yet, don’t change the pilots”, her posters say. Mrs Sirleaf, a divorcee •Continued on page 49




•Continued from page 48


whose ex-husband died a few years ago, is the mother of four sons and has six grandchildren. Leymah Gbowee She is famous in Liberia for mobilising women against war. The Nobel Committee declared that Leymah Gbowee “mobilised and organised women across ethnic and religious dividing lines to bring an end to the long war in Liberia, and to ensure women’s participation in elections. She has since worked to enhance the influence of women in West Africa during and after war”. She is credited with organising a group of Liberian women in 2002 to put pressure on then-President Charles Taylor to end the country’s brutal civil war. They were the mothers, wives and sisters of the men doing the fighting and their victims. Ms Gbowee is less well known outside Liberia than President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf but is famous inside the country for mobilising the women peace protesters ahead of the war’s end in 2003. One of the most visible protests was an almost permanent prayer meeting on a football field on the edge of Liberia’s capital, Monrovia, our correspondent says. The women, dressed in white T-shirts, would sign and pray in the hot sun and through heavy rain, he adds. After the war Ms Gbowee organised hundreds of female Christian and Muslim activists in nine of Liberia’s 15 provinces to help Ellen JohnsonSirleaf’s successful campaign for the presidency in 2005. Then in 2006 she cofounded the Women Peace and Security Network Africa, based in Accra, Ghana. It works with women in West African countries with a history of conflict. Tawakul Karman The 32-year-old mother of three founded Women Journalists Without Chains in 2005. She has been a prominent activist and advocate of human rights and freedom of expression for the last five years. She has led regular protests and sit-ins calling for the release of political prisoners. Ms Karman has led rallies in the continuing protests against the rule of President Ali-Abdullah Saleh. In a recent interview Ms Karman said she was astonished at the protests: “I could never imagine this. In Yemen, women are not allowed out of the house after 7pm, now they are sleeping here. This goes beyond the wildest dream I have ever dreamt, I am so proud of our women.” She is a member of Yemen’s leading Islamist opposition party, the Islah - a conservative, religious movement that calls for reform in accordance with Islamic principles. She has campaigned to raise the minimum age at which women can marry in Yemen. She has been jailed several times for her activism, pilloried in the official media and attacked. Unusually for a woman in Yemen, Ms Kamran wears a headscarf, not a full veil.


CHEMISTRY PRIZE Dan Shechtman Dan Shechtman, 70, of the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology in Haifa, won the 10 million-kronor ($1.4 million) award this year. Shechtman persevered in the face of doubt and ridicule in describing a form of crystal whose patterns are regular but never repeat, a notion that shattered scientists’ belief that all crystals consist of recurring patterns. The structure endows quasicrystals with unique properties that may lead to better frying pans, LED lights and diesel engines, the academy said. “His discovery of quasicrystals revealed a new principle for packing of atoms and molecules,” said Lars Thelander, who leads the Nobel Committee for Chemistry at academy. “This led to a paradigm shift within chemistry.” Quasicrystals look like the aperiodic mosaics found on the walls of the Alhambra Palace near Granada, Spain. They are hard but fracture easily, like glass, and have non-stick surfaces. Shechtman was working at the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology when he made his initial discovery. He had rapidly chilled a molten mixture of aluminum and manganese on the morning of April 8, 1982. It seemed strange, and when he examined it with his electron microscope, he couldn’t believe what he saw: concentric circles, each made of 10 dots at the same distance from each other. The atoms were arranged in a way that flouted the laws of nature, the Nobel committee wrote in a document describing Shechtman’s achievements.

Tomas Transtroemer Tomas Transtroemer, 80, was announced the winner of the Nobel Prize in literature after the Swedish Academy praised him for “his condensed, translucent images” that gave “fresh access to reality”. The poet, who lost the use of his right arm after the stroke in 1990, is a keen pianist. Swedish musicians have adapted for him compositions designed to be played with one hand. Neil Astley, the poet’s friend and the founding editor of Bloodaxe, Transtroemer’s British publisher, said the Swede often expressed himself through music and anticipated a performance at the Nobel ceremony. “I imagine he’ll be in a wheelchair and he will speak to people through the piano,” he said. Astley said Transtroemer’s latest poetry collection had sold out within hours of the announcement. More than 300 orders were placed straightaway.

Saul Perlmutter, Brian P. Schmidt and Adam G. Riess Saul Perlmutter, Brian P. Schmidt and Adam G. Riess won the Nobel Prize in Physics this year for discovering that the universe’s expansion is accelerating, shattering their own expectations and raising questions about the dark energy behind the surge. Perlmutter, 52, a professor of physics at the University of California, Berkeley, and a faculty senior scientist at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL), led the Supernova Cosmology Project that, in 1998, discovered that galaxies are receding from one another faster now than they were billions of years ago. He will share the prize with Adam G. Riess, 41, of The Johns Hopkins University and Brian Schmidt, 44, of Australian National University’s Mount Stromlo and Siding Spring Observatories, two members of the competing High-Z Supernova Search team. When the discovery was made, Riess was a postdoctoral fellow at UC Berkeley working with astronomer Alex Filippenko, who at different times was a member of both teams.

The writer had previously sold only about 4000 copies of poetry collections in the past 25 years in Britain. As Sweden’s most famous poet, Transtroemer has often been named among the favourites for the 10 million kronor ($1.9 million) Nobel Prize. Swedish press have often camped outside his apartment in Stockholm, hours before the Nobel announcement, in anticipation of a domestic victory. Peter Englund, permanent secretary of the Swedish Academy, said the academy had been wary of accusations of favouritism. “I think we’ve been quite thoughtful and haven’t been rash ... he’s writing about big questions. He’s writing about death, he’s writing about history and memory and nature.” Born in Stockholm in 1931, Transtroemer was raised alone by his mother, a teacher. He started writing poetry while studying and debuted with the collection Seven-

teen Poems at 23. As a psychologist, he divided his time between poetry and work in institutions for juvenile offenders, the disabled and drug addicts. His love for nature and music has guided his writing and his poems have, over the decades, became darker, filled with existential questions, death and disease.






MEDICINE PRIZE Bruce A. Beutler, Jules A. Hoffmann and Ralph M. Steinman Beutler and Hoffmann were honoured for “their discoveries concerning the activation of innate immunity”, while the other half of the prize was given to Steinman for “his discovery of the dendritic cell and its role in adaptive immunity”. “This year’s Nobel Laureates have revolutionized our understanding of the immune system by discovering key principles for its activation,” the Nobel summary said. Beutler works at the Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, California. Hoffmann was formerly director of the Institute for Molecular Cell Biology in Strasbourg. Steinman is a professor at Rockefeller University in New York. Steinman died just before the announcement. Nobel prizes cannot be awarded posthumously and the Nobel statutes state, “Work produced by a person since deceased

• Beutler

shall not be considered for an award. If, however, a prize winner dies before he has received the prize, then the prize may be presented.” This happened in 1996 with economist William Vickrey. A spokeswomen for the Nobel office said that the committee awarding the medicine prize was


unaware that Steinman had died. The Nobel Assembly has since announced that Steinman’s Nobel will stand. Although the Nobel Foundation rules prohibit posthumous awards, the Assembly decided that the spirit of that rule was intended to prevent awards given long after someone has died.


“However, the decision to award the Nobel Prize to Ralph Steinman was made in good faith, based on the assumption that the Nobel Laureate was alive. This was true – though not at the time of the decision – only a day or so previously,” the assembly said in a statement.



Arts & Life



By Olubanwo Fagbemi 08060343214 (SMS only)


Penultimate dash



THE GReggs

Who will tell whether one happy moment of love or the joy of breathing or walking on a bright morning and smelling the fresh air, is not worth all the suffering and effort which life implies. —Erich Fromm A CHAMPION among peers, Benjamin Tanko, a.k.a. ‘Motion’, found himself contemplating the unusual appellation of underdog before the men’s 100 meters final of the sports festival. It was an unnerving experience, one accompanied by a great deal of sweating and trembling on a windy October afternoon. He hoped his discomfiture was not too evident, for that would hand his opponents the psychological weapon to dominate. He couldn’t afford to lose, not after working so hard. To get into necessary shape, he trained harder than any athlete he knew before the competition. Under an impressive track and gymnasium regimen designed by Coach Adio, he managed to channel incredible talent into a physical build of frightening potential. Nearly six feet tall and possessing long, willing limbs, Motion was considered something of a cross between Carl Lewis and Ben Johnson, sprints legends of his time. If Motion doubted the reach of his ability or widespread advertisement as the “next sprints wonder”, supporters thought otherwise, faithfully joining handlers in the hype. Approaching the festival, he still had to slow down a bit on his coach’s advice, but knew better than to lose focus. Now, with the adrenaline coursing through his system, he began to observe pre-race ritual. Taking off his tracksuit and putting on his favourite yellow puma spike shoes, first on the left foot and then the right, before hopping onto the tartan track, he tried to ease off tension as he habitually did before a big race. He knew he produced his best under pressure and couldn’t help thinking about the time he went visiting a girlfriend with his best pal, Timo. The events that followed had nothing to do with racing but everything to do with ability. It was a tale Timo recounted with relish, even when he was the more offended party. “There we were on a rainy night like two of the most unfortunate Romeos you ever saw,” he loved to begin. Behind the bungalow in which lived the subject of his affection, Manira, with her parents and two siblings in devout seclusion, Motion whistled a subdued significant tune. On the scene by coercion rather than conviction, Timo shifted uneasily. The girl’s father was a stern, quick-tempered figure who spurned impudence, and Timo shuddered at the event of an embarrassing outcome. But being completely taken by Manira’s subtle charms, Motion considered himself able to withstand resistance, familial or not. He clearly underestimated the father’s extreme disposition. Instead of Manira’s slim, soft-treading figure at the end of the veiled call emanated the old man’s hefty form. He came upon both boys so suddenly that they were rendered fairly immobile. He lunged at Motion, but as if reacting to an imaginary starter’s gun, ‘loverboy’ instinctively slipped the hold, crouched, and swivelled round for instant getaway. Never one to tarry at the start, he was off like a shot only to pause at some safe distance. Seizing Timo instead, the father shook him violently as he spat the inevitable question, “Who gave you permission to approach my daughter in my house at this hour? Are you the so-called Motion?” and without waiting for an answer – logical or otherwise – landed a slap on the unfortunate fellow’s cheek with resounding effect. Driven by a sense of preservation, Timo broke free to join his fleeing partner, thus avoiding the blow that was sure to follow. With threat of arrest by the police and other perils hurled after them, the browbeaten pair licked their wounds – one, of the face, and the other, of the heart.

QUOTE Turn your wounds into wisdom.

Jokes Humour THREE friends are at a bar. James and William are arguing about the amount of control they have over their wives, while the third, Fred, says nothing. After a while, William turns to Fred and says, “Well, what about you? What sort of control have you got?” “I’ll tell you,” Fred replies. “Just the

Control over Wives other night my woman came crawling to me on her hands and knees.” The other two were absolutely amazed. “What happened then?” Joe asked. “She said, ‘Get out from under the bed and fight like a man!’”

•Culled from the Internet

Skill Workshop 8 Basics of Creative Writing, or ‘Creative Writing 101’, by Kurt Vonnegut •Use the time of a total stranger in such a way that he or she will not feel the time was wasted. •Give the reader at least one character he or she can root for. •Every character should want something, even if it is only a glass of water. •Every sentence must do one of two things—reveal character or advance the action. •Start as close to the end as possible. •Be a sadist. No matter how sweet and innocent your leading characters, make awful things happen to them—in order that the reader may see what they are made of. •Write to please just one person. If you open a window and make love to the world, so to speak, your story will get pneumonia. •Give your readers as much information as possible as soon as possible. To heck with suspense. Readers should have such complete understanding of what is going on, where and why, that they could finish the story themselves, should cockroaches eat the last few pages.

—Oprah Winfrey



has a 6 —in cell Ha, the only space available 1ST STEP IN SOLVING PUZZLE: (342) to accommodate 6 in the bottom box is cell Look at the 3 middle vertical (def) 3x3 Gd. boxes. The top box has 6 in cell Ff. The Reasoning along these lines, try and fill in bottom box must, therefore, have its own 6 all the other vacant cells. in column d, where there are 2 vacant spaces —cells Gd and Hd. But, since row H already Solution on SATURDAY. Happy Puzzling!


A 7 3 B 3 6 7 C 4 2 9 5 D 9 8 4 6 E 7 9 3 F 6 4 G 3 5 H 6 9 8 5 1 4 I 8 1 a










9 4 6 3 7 8 2 5 1

8 7 5 4 2 1 3 9 6

1 3 2 9 5 6 8 4 7

2 5 1 6 8 3 9 7 4

3 8 7 5 4 9 6 1 2

4 6 9 7 1 2 5 3 8

5 2 8 1 3 7 4 6 9

7 9 3 2 6 4 1 8 5

6 1 4 8 9 5 7 2 3


51 With Joe Agbro Jr. 08056745268

Hello children, Hope you are settling down to school work. Interested in writing for Young Nation. Do send your stories to us to get published

WORD WHEEL This is an open ended puzzle. How many words of three or more letters, each including the letter at centre of the wheel, can you make from this diagram? We’ve found 19, including one nine-letter word. Can you do better?

Why you shouldn’t take alcohol ALCOHOL interferes with a person’s perception of reality and ability to make good decisions. This can be particularly hazardous for kids and teens who have less problem-solving and decision-making experience.

Short-term effects of drinking include: •distorted vision, hearing, and coordination •altered perceptions and emotions •impaired judgment, which can lead to accidents, drowning, and other risky behaviors like unsafe sex and drug use •bad breath •hangovers

Riddles with Bisoye Ajayi 1. I am something, if I am not around, human beings cannot survive, what am I? 2. I am a name of a girl, when you remove the first two letters; I become a material used for fishing. What am I?

Long-term effects include: •cirrhosis and cancer of the liver •loss of appetite •serious vitamin deficiencies •stomach ailments •heart and central nervous system damage •memory loss •an increased risk of impotence •high risk for overdosing

Miss Ajayi is a JSS 1 student of Queens College, Yaba, Lagos.


Books of the Bible BIRTHDAY



VILLAGE man came for an occasion in the city. After his meal, he was served a bottle of fanta and a bottle of coke. He drank the fanta and decided to take the coke back to the village so that it would become ripe like the fanta. Lawal Hellen Oluwatobi. Primary 1, Olusanjo Int’l School, Ibadan, .

The Bible is the collections of the primary religious texts of Judaism and Christianity. There is no common version of the Bible, as the individual books, their contents and their order vary among denominations. It contains many books that are arranged in groups. The Christian Bible is divided into two parts. The first is called the Old Testament, containing the 39 books of Hebrew Scripture, and the second portion is called the New Testament, containing a set of 27 books. The first four books of the New Testament form the Canonical gospels which recount the life of Jesus Christ and are central to the Christian faith. Christian Bibles include the books of the Hebrew Bible, but arranged in a different order: Jewish Scripture ends with the people of Israel restored to Jerusalem and the temple, whereas the Christian arrangement ends with the book of the prophet Malachi. The oldest surviving Christian Bibles are Greek manuscripts. The oldest complete manuscripts of the Hebrew Bible date from the middle Ages. The New Testament is composed of the Gospels (good news), the Acts of the Apostles, the Epistles (letters), and the Book of Revelation. Find some of the books of the Bible in the wordsearch below:

•Master Moses Olaniyi clocked one year old on 18th October, 2011

Nine-letter word hindering Other words: heir, hen, her, herd, herding, hid, hide, hider, hiding, hind, hinder, hinge, hinged, hire, hired, hiring, neigh, nigh ACTS EXODUS GALATIANS GENESIS HEBREWS JAMES JOHN



Word search created by Ifeoluwa Onifade Answer to Riddle 1. Oxygen.

2. Janet

Send in your stories, poems, articles, games, puzzles, riddles and jokes to

THE NATION ON SUNDAY OCTOBER 9, 2011 Continue from page 47 Dialogue as a means of resolving differences is accepted in international relations, but I beg to hold a contrary slant vis-a-vis the Boko Haram morass in view of the potential this may have on nugatory agitations by other zealots. To dialogue with Boko Haram is the veritable leverage others of their ilk will harness to cause further mayhem and wanton destruction. You only dialogue with somebody who has genuine grievance, not murderers and criminals. The Boko Haram issue understands only one language: Brute force, which the adherents have so far applied with impunity. Justin Lar, Jos, Plateau State. Dialogue with Boko Haram is not only haramful but also an exercise in degradation. Prince Olanrewaju S.O, Kwara State. Nigeria has not attained the sophistication needed to fight terrorism. For now peace and amnesty remain the best options to tackling the problem posed by Boko Haram. Ken Nwachuk, Owerri, Imo State. Boko Haram is a creation of injustice and a reflection of high level of corruption among the elites just like the emergence of Niger Delta militants. To resolve the impasse, the FG must adopt diplomacy, dialogue and constructive engagement. By this means, government will closely analyse their grievances and evolve strategies to address them. Brute force can never conquer Boko Haram because they appear equally brutal with heinous guerrilla tactics and capacity to beat security at will. Elite injustice and unwarranted manipulation must stop. Government should redouble effort to fix the society. This is a positive


Have Your Say The Presidential Panel on Boko Haram headed by Ambassador Usman Galtimari has recommended dialogue with the violent Islamic sect, Boko Haram, as a means of addressing the security problems its activities constitute to the country. How do you view this recommendation? step to suppress more ‘’Boko Haram’’ insurgency. Bala-Rex Ahmed ll, Keffi, Nasarawa State. As a responsible leader that he is, President Jonathan will always look for peaceful ways of addressing serious national issues as against violence and brigandage which some religious bigots see as a way of intimidating people to accept their faith. The issue at stake is fundamentally that of senseless religious ideology. There is no amount of dialogue or entreaties that will make Boko Haram sect change its rigid religious ideology that has brought untold hardships, tears and sorrow to many families in Nigeria. The sect’s disregard and intolerance of other faiths has no reasonable limits. If we are seeking peace through dialogue with the sect that has infinite appetite for murder, what of those whose relatives have been sent prematurely to the world beyond by the dastardly activities of the sect? Olaniran Afolabi A., Benin City, Edo State. The “carrot and stick” measure is the best option to curb the Boko Haram menace, since police and military appear to be labouring without success Please Mr President try the recommendation of the panel. Umar Fagge, Kano State.

With any dialogue with the Boko Haram, I’m convinced that we will destroy the peace of this country. Nasema Ettels, Kaduna State. This recommendation is totally wrong and should be condemned in all its ramifications. A group that does not believe in dialogue cannot embrace it. How I wish all this nonsense happened during Obasanjo’s regime! He would have used Odi’s theory. Ojo H O., Ijebu-Ode, Ogun State. The Federal Government should be realistic to Nigerians. The issue of dialogue should arise when Boko Haram becomes known. Or could it be that the FG Know them all the while and refused to act because of the untouchables, above-the-laws masterminds? There is no smoke without fire, extinguish the fire to stop the smoke. Boko Haram had been in existence but became a real national issue with the advent of this administration because of some people and for some people. The FG should stop the hide and seek game and unmask the masquerade. Nnaemeka Achebe, Abuja. Dialogue with Boko Haram is like having a dialogue with terrorists and mad persons. One, they are anti

civilization. They should be treated as terrorists. Before this sect disintegrates our dear nation, it should be wiped out. Amire Oluwatoyin, Lagos State. If dialogue to place them on monthly pay like the MEND will end the killings, fine. Gradually all Nigerians will be placed on monthly pay through violence and dialogue. It is the responsibilities of government to reduce poverty among the youths. Ogah Salisu, Lagos State. I don’t think any sane leader or committee will recommend counter violence rather than dialogue. But in addition government must address the problem of poverty and unemployment. Onov Philip, Makurdi, Benue State. In my view, the recommendation is CAPITAL NO. How can you dialogue with faceless terrorists who see nothing good in the corporate existence of Nigeria as an entity? What is the relationship between light and darkness? How on earth can you dialogue with murderers and blood suckers who want Sharia or Islamic laws to be imposed on non-Moslems and adherents of other religions in the 19 northern states? Please Mr President, we have had too much of their excesses. They contribute nothing to the growth

of the economy of this country and yet they want to be recognised. Let their sponsors be arrested and prosecuted in accordance with the law of the land to serve as deterrents to others. Samuel Ishaya Shammang, Mangun Town, Plateau State. People should not have some erroneous misconceptions about Boko Haram. They are fighting against the injustice in the land. And until all the armed robbers in the PDP-led government repent and start to do the right thing, Boko Haram will never stop bombing and fighting. They are trying to free their people from the shackles of oppression and suppression occasioned by visionless and focuslacking PDP-led government. Tayo Tola Agbaje, Garki, Abuja. The recommendation for dialogue with the Boko Haram sect is not a problem. Rather, the sticking point lies in the crass dilly-dallying and apparent indecisiveness of President Goodluck Jonathan on whether Government should adopt the carrot or stick approach. Brief history has shown that Jonathan is more adept at taking hasty decision when the matter has to do with tenure elongation or Justice Salami, but lacks initiative when it comes to tackling more germane issues. This President should remember that history will not only judge him by where he stood in periods of comfort and convenience, but also what he did or didn’t in times of trial and tribulation. As long as Jonathan persists in this state of indecision, Boko Haram, like the proverbial sword of Damocles, will continue to hang over his head. Barr S.E. Irabor, Makurdi, Benue State. Continue on The Nation website:, click on Sunday Magazine, then Have Your Say





Hong Kong student’s Apple tribute is Internet hit


WORDSWORTH A 08055001948

Contradictory, ungodly verbiage


I G E R I A N Compass Opinion Page of October 5 holds the key to the Hall of Lexical Shame this week: “Research reveals that when sexual and other crimes against young and under-aged girls happen, the victims are shy or scared to speak.” Still on Abia gang rape saga: underage girls. Three additional errors from the above edition: “Strike actions as albatross of education system” (Headline) A rewrite: Strikes/Work stoppages/ Industrial actions as albatross around educational system Now, the last entry from Nigerian Compass: “…in addition to the lost (loss) of millions of naira….” “…it behoves on President Goodluck Jonathan to initiate an executive….” (THISDAY EDITORIAL, October 5) This way: it behoves President….” “Police foils (foil) bank robbery” (THISDAY Headline, October 4) Birds of a feather: “Police declares (declare) Zamfara CSO missing” (Vanguard Headline, October 5) “Education standard: Examining the examiner” (THE GUARDIAN Opinion Page Headline, October 5) Examining the medium: Educational standard “Customs score (scores) scanner providers high” (Nigerian Tribune Headline, 5 October) “And no fewer than 17,164 of the affected ATM, according to the NPS boss, had spent between five to 17 years….” (THISDAY EDITORIAL, October 4) Between five and 17. And this from the headline: prisoners’ swap (not prisoners swap)! Still on THISDAY: “Army: The pledge to stamp-out Boko Haram” (FEATURES Headline) We must stamp out media gaffes. Lastly: “…they turned off the lights while we were all still in (on) the premises.” DAILY SUN of October 4 dimmed three headlines: “Police arrest 7 over (for) killings in Zamfara” “The only language FG understands is strike, says ASUU chairmen (chairman)” “NCC seals off Cobranet, confiscates equipments” ‘Equipment’ is uncountable. “Sanusi approves rescued banks recapitalization” (Nigerian Compass Money Market Headline, October 4) Get it right: banks’ recapitalization THE NATION Special Projects (Nigeria at 51):

“Plateau State Polytechnic matches on” No wonder there is a crash in educational rating: the poly marches on “Federal College of Education (Technical) Umunze…growth is continious” (Source: as above) Spell-check: continuous Guest contribution from Sonde Abbah: “Living at (on) the fringes” (THE NATION ON SUNDAY Headline, October 2) “Supplement on Ondo State Education sector” (THE GUARDIAN Life, October 2) For the state in Nigeria with the highest number of professors: educational sector “The family of…announces with deep sorrow but gratitude to Almighty God the death of our son…following a ghastly road accident….” (Full Page Advert, THISDAY, October 2) My sympathies quite all right, but the English language cannot die: a fatal (not ghastly) vehicular accident. And for the second time round, ‘sorrow but gratitude to Almighty God’ cannot—and will never as long as there is seed time and harvest time—co-function in any circumstance. What is amiss with our spirituality? Our God does not inhabit in sorrowful environments. So, as His children, let us give thanks to Him in all situations. He knows best why tragedies befall us. Even in the face of fatalities, announce obituaries or related issues with cheerfulness/joy/ happiness/satisfaction/ angelic punctuation/ h e a v e n l y intervention…and (not but) gratitude to God, w e … . S o u n d s eschatological? Reactions are welcome to this lexicos p i r i t u a l intellectualization of Christianity. I insist that this is a contradictory and blasphemous obituary announcement! “The CBN said that (sic) plans are (sic) underway to….” (Vanguard, September 30) A rewrite: The CBN said plans were underway to…. “Risk managers…to forestall a reoccurrence of issues that led to the crisis in the financial sector.” BUSINESS/MONEY GUIDE: recurrence. “ D A I L Y INDEPENDENT of September 29 issued three goofs: “Oshiomhole swears-in Head of Service” Why not HoS for clinical headline purposes? And this: swears in. “Proper funding, panacea to housing deficit—Experts” Mortgage Finance: panacea

for (not to) housing deficit “Agriculture which used to be the lifeblood of the economy through products like….” Get it right: livewire (not lifeblood)! The next two contributions are from Nigerian Compass of September 29: “It has performed creditably well….” Compass Law: Let us end it at ‘creditably.’ “Brandy, The Game, others kick-off Project Fame 4 with concert” Rhythm & Reels Banner: kick off (phrasal verb—neither noun nor adjective, in this context). “Despite price losses that outweighed gains…result to (in) a slight increase in market capitalization by N5 billion.” (THE GUARDIAN, September 29) DAILY SUN of September 29 served three infelicities: “C’River guber polls: CAN passes vote of no confidence on (in) state exco” “Africans converge in Gambia to discuss security challenges” Crime watch: converge on Gambia. “My dear and beloved Speaker, youthful brethren and compatriot….” The Turf Game: youthful brother. ‘Brethren’ (plural): members of a religious group, among other collective meanings. “Where else does he expect public officers to feed if not on the poor masses who have refused to die?” (TRIBUNE EDITORIAL, 29 September) Are there rich masses (ordinary people)? No! Simply the masses. “Nigeria’s rotten education (educational) system” (Newswatch Cover Headline, October 3) “Other guests expected at (on) the occasion include….” Alternatively: at the ceremony/event, but on the occasion. “What about the students you don’t see who in (on) numerous Nigerian campuses swap novels or even recall the stories they read late into the night before bedtime?” “In fact, he was one of the respected brains in the heydays of Action Group....” Exit this environment: ‘heyday’ is uncountable. “It is not impossible for a cow that died on its way to the abattoir to still find its way to the market without the authorities raising an eyebrow or bringing the culprits to book.” Fixed expression: raise one’s eyebrows—not an eyebrow—which, of course, would be supernatural!

HONG Kong design student said on Friday he was overwhelmed and felt “unreal” after his sombre logo in tribute to Apple founder Steve Jobs caused a worldwide Internet sensation. The design, featuring Jobs’s silhouette incorporated into the bite of a white Apple logo on a black background, has gone viral on the Internet since news of his death. “I feel so unreal,” Jonathan Mak, a second year graphic design student at Hong Kong Polytechnic University, told AFP, after he was inundated with tens of thousands of emails and messages on his Twitter account. “You don’t get to 180 thousands notes without feeling slightly insane,” the 19-year-old posted on another microblogging site Tumblr Friday, referring to the messages he has received. Mak said newspapers in the United States and Germany have contacted him about buying the copyright to use his logo and had received job

offers. “I am flattered by the attention but I would like to focus on my study before taking on any full-time job,” said the bespectacled student, adding that he was trying to cope with his new-found fame. “I’m quite busy now actually as I’m trying to finish a school project.” When asked about whether he would be targeting commercial opportunities, Mak said he was considering contacting Apple on copyright issues because his design is based on Apple’s

own logo. Some merchandisers have reportedly used his logo for commemorative memorabilia for Jobs such as t-shirts and caps that are being sold on the Internet. “I will consider using any proceeds I make from the copyright for cancer research, as suggested by some people to me on the Internet,” he said. Jobs died at 56 of pancreatic cancer. Mak said he first came up with the design after Jobs announced his resignation in late August, but the logo received little atten

Safety and Security Alert! Robbery threats and safety measures (2)


AST week we started a series on robbery threats. We looked into the meaning, types and features. This week we shall discuss the safety measures of various aspects of robbery. Safety Measures of Robbery threats: Before Robbery 1. Ensure your home and office are designed in a way that passers-by or security agents can easily notice from a distance that you are experiencing robbery attack. 2. Always avoid keeping large sums of money at home or in the office if your organisation is not a financial institution. 3. Install intrusion detection devices such as surveillance cameras and Closed Circuit Televisions (CCTVs) as a proven tool in curbing the incidence of robbery. Benefits: •Detect the presence of robbers •Monitor movement and activities of people in and around our premises •Promptly seek the intervention of law enforcement agents immediately for intervention, interrogation, investigation and prosecution. 4. Initiate effective intelligence-gathering methods which are vital to prevent the incidence of robbery. 5. Discourage the use of many entrances in your home or office. Robbers may sneak in through one

of the many doors unnoticed and vulnerable. 6. Use security instruments like metal detector, security door, x-ray machines and alarm systems. 7. Install levels of security lights to see anybody gaining entry into the premises. During Robbery 1. Remain calm. Do not make any unexpected movement to infuriate the robbers.’ 2. Activate the panic or burglar alarm immediately you sense intruders. 3. If you don’t have an alarm, secretly call some of your neighbours or relatives. 4. Shorten the stay of robber(s) by saying that a visitor will soon arrive. 5. Notice the mannerism, speeches, dialects, etc and watch when they are leaving to know the direction they take. 6. Don’t look at their faces to avoid the issue of threat of personal recognition. 7. Cooperate with them and avoid acting as a hero. 8. If security agent, promptly dispose off your identification card. Hide your ID card in the car or leave it at the office and put it on in the office or on assignment 9. Don’t be aggressive. Lie down to avoid bullet(s) and fold your arms over your head. After the Robbery 1. Call the police as they leave. 2. Ensure you discretely study or take note of the discussions, attitude, mannerism, dresses and physical features of the robbers. 3. Cordon off the robbery scene. 4. Avoid discussing the robbery incident in public.

5. Persuade people present to serve as witnesses to be interviewed by the police. 6. Refer the media to police. 7. Remain quiet and calm too. Safety Measures for CarSnatching Car –Snatching is forcefully taking possession of victims’ vehicle in motion using dangerous weapons. Before: 1. Install anti-hijack systems 2. Obtain comprehensive insurance policy 3. Always use the security locks in motion 4. Avoid loud sound system. 5. Always alight when vehicle is stationary 6. Ensure your parking area is well secured. During: 1. If you are sure you can escape, surrender without being hurt. 2. Be composed, if they ask you of the security device. Tell them it has been deactivated due to stress of cutting –off ignition. After: 1. Seek medical care 2. Inform the police and provide necessary details. 3. Inform your insurer

Please, send comments, responses and contact the undersigned for security and safety challenges by sms or e-mail. By: Mr. Timilehin Ajayi (Safety and Security Consultant) E-mail: 08095683454, 08075518732



•LASTMA officials at work


OHN Akinyemi, a salesman based in Lagos, is always on the road. Though, he says he enjoys his job which entails driving across the state, the part he hates is what he calls “the overzealous attitudes” of the police and Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA) officials. “I don’t like LASTMA at all,” said Akinyemi. “I am happy because they (LASTMA officials) are just out to satisfy themselves and care little about traffic.” Akinyemi was reacting to the judgment handed down by Justice Okon Abang of a Federal High Court in Lagos a fortnight ago. The judgment had declared it illegal for LASTMA to impose fines on traffic offenders. According to the judge, sections 9, 11, 12, and 13 of the LASTMA were unconstitutional contrary to section 36 of the constitution, which gives the right of fair hearing to every Nigerian. The judge also awarded the sum of N500, 000 against LASTMA to Jonathan Odutola. At the pronouncement, the judge had castigated LASTMA for “being a judge” in its own case. Odutola in March had been driving on the Third Mainland Bridge when his car developed mechanical problems. According to him, his car did not obstruct the flow of traffic and he had even called a towing van and his mechanic to get it off the bridge. He added that without asking any questions, some patrolling policemen who arrived at the scene had beaten and harassed him and the mechanic. They then called LASTMA officials at Sura, Lagos Island, who consequently towed his car to their office and slammed a fine on him. Odutola, through his lawyer, King Ola Wilson, had sued LASTMA for unlawfully impounding his car, imposing and slamming an illegal



Clipping the wings of LASTMA fine on him. Reacting to the judgment, Ade Ipaye, Lagos State AttorneyGeneral had said, “Lagos State, the federal government, and other jurisdictions have laws that validly impose fines in the same way as the LASTMA Law, so we are certainly not satisfied with the judgement.” At the moment, fines charged by LASTMA range from N1,000 for smoking while driving and driving a motorcycle without a crash helmet to N50,000 for driving in a direction prohibited by traffic law. But, it stands to wonder if LASTMA can get documentary evidence to seek out a motorists who overtake other vehicles wrongly, an offence which carries a N20,000 fine. Contentious ruling Though, the Lagos State government is poised to challenge the ruling, many motorists are happy with the ruling. Seun Alalade, who complained about the highhandedness of LASTMA officials said: “They just look for any excuse to extort money and would jump into your car even when you want to ask for directions or if you missed your way,” he said. “Many of them are no different than touts.” “Dem be thief,” said John, a commercial driver who plies the

A cross section of residents feel the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA) has outlived its usefulness, while others feel otherwise. In the wake of the agency’s recent legal setback, Joe Agbro Jr. gauges feelings of Lagosians in this report Agege/Oshodi route in Lagos. He recalled he had paid N4, 000 as bribe to a LASTMA official when he had stopped at a non-designated bus-stop, an offence which earns a penalty of having the vehicle involved impounded or a fine of N20,000. However, not everyone thinks they are bad. One of such is Kate Bassey. “LASTMA really has its excesses but at least they have made traffic flow a lot better. On days they are not around, there is just madness on the roads,” she said. Bassey is of the opinion that should LASTMA be removed from Lagos roads, there will be much pandemonium. While the Public Relations Officer of LASTMA, Richard Omolase, acknowledged that there are errant officials in the agency, he also observed, “We have about 5,

000 personnel in Lagos and you cannot rule out the possibility of having bad eggs.” He said a department headed by a Provost Marshall arrests and deals with errant officials. “We had about 158 officers that were dismissed in the last one year due to complaints from people.” He also attributed Lagos’ perennial traffic headaches to motorists, especially commercial bus drivers who don’t obey traffic laws. But, according to a recent report, Jonas Agwu, the Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC) Lagos Sector Commander, also identified military and paramilitary officers as major traffic violators. But some residents think the arrests and prosecution of these military men has not been commensurate. Omolase however said,

“LASTMA has no respect for law defaulters.” Not everyone thinks so. “They (military men) usually go scot-free. That is why many of them are bold enough to continue committing traffic offences,” said Odiri Akpedeyi. “The LASTMA people fear them (men and women in uniform).” Previously, the Nigeria Police was in charge of traffic management. But presently, the police work in tandem with LASTMA and it is not strange to see both of them at major junctions in their different uniforms. “We have a harmonious relationship with the police,” said Omolase. In the meantime, this love/hate relationship continues as Lagos state governor, Babatunde Raji Fashola (SAN) has said road traffic is a municipal matter which the state government could legislate on. He described LASTMA as a “local solution to a unique traffic problem,” and said it was subject to improvement. LASTMA was formed on July 15th, 2000 by then Governor Bola Ahmed Tinubu to combat the chaotic vehicular traffic the state was noted for. Governor Fashola has however said the state is going to appeal the judgment which fined the agency N500,000 and declared it power to arrest and imposed fines as illegal.




The ‘sons’ of LASTMA

Many states have copied the LASTMA model. Here is a status report on similar agencies across the country EDO


HILE many complain of LASTMA’s excesses, there is no gainsaying that its operations have brought sanity to Lagos roads, a sanity which is being replicated in other states. Governor Adams Oshiomhole of Edo State only last week launched the Edo State Traffic Management Agency (EDSTMA) to help reduce the carnage caused by reckless driving in the state. Perhaps, following the hiccup which the court judgment threw up, Oshiomhole implored the agency to be civil in dealing with the public. “Even when an offence has been committed, such as wrong parking we must be civil in our methods,” the governor said. Oshiomhole also asked the agency to shun corruption. “We are going to install monitors with secret cameras to monitor the on-goings. If you are caught extorting money, we will take you to court and ensure that the rule of law prevails and you are brought to justice,” he said. State Commissioner for Transport, Mr. Victor Enoghama said the EDSTMA officials were trained by officials of Lagos State Transport Management Agency (LASTMA) on how to face traffic challenges. He also attributed lack of coherent policy as challenges to addressing transport problems in the state. ANAMBRA Also, in Anambra State, the Anambra State Traffic Agency (ASTA) which was recently created to decongest traffic was involved in a brash with an agency called

By Joe Agbro Jr., Osagie Otabor and Bisi Olaniyi

Mpiawazu which reportedly supervises parks and markets. Many people were injured and properties worth millions of naira were destroyed. The ASTA boss, Commissioner for Special Duties, Robert Okonkwo said, “there is a law that, on May 17, 2011 fully established ASTA, Anambra State Traffic Agency, duly signed by His Excellency.” But, following the experience penultimate Friday, it is not clear whether ASTA officials will get back to work. Okonkwo said, “right now, it’s impossible for them to actually work without fear of being attacked by other people.” OGUN In Ogun, Traffic Compliance and Enforcement Corps (TRACE) was also established in 2005 and has arrested 16,000 drivers and cyclists for various traffic offences since then. With 617 staff in five zones in the state, its operations is divided into four departments; Special Squad, Lion Squad, Rescue Operation and Enlightenment. Its activities have been largely criticised by motorists in Ogun State who feel it is just another way of extortion. OYO The former governor of Oyo State, Adebayo Alao-Akala before leaving office had established the Oyo State Road and Traffic Management Authority, ORTMA. But, the new governor, Abiola Ajimobi, with effect

•Oshiomhole at the launch of EDSTMA

from June 30, had sacked ORTMA workers “to correct perceived irregularities in their employment.” Though, the governor said there was need for such an agency and that plans for a similar organisation was in the pipeline, the one set up by his predecessor had to be disbanded to reorganise it. RIVERS Also, in 2010, Governor Rotimi Amaechi established the Rivers State Road Traffic Management Authority (TIMA---RIV), with Mr. Nelson Jaja as the pioneer Controller-General. It duty is to ensure free flow of traffic, especially in Port Harcourt and its environs. However, this is yet to be achieved. Besides the attitude of the drivers, particularly those driving commercial vehicles, who either park

indiscriminately or convert junctions, roundabouts or most parts of the roads to illegal parks, bad roads as a result of construction activities is also a contributory factor to the traffic snarl. Also, the TIMA-RIV officials also have to battle with harassment from security personnel, especially soldiers and policemen of escort duties, who will not want to obey traffic rules and regulations, with some of the officials regularly being beaten up and landing in hospitals, or their vehicles vandalised or even shot at. The Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), Rivers State chapter, through its Publicity Secretary, Mr. Jerry Needam, however, frowned at the “indiscriminate” towing of vehicles and imposition of “unjustifiable” fines by officials of

TIMA-RIV, while asking Amaechi to call them to order. The opposition party admonished officials of the traffic management authority to do their works with human face and stop harassing innocent members of the public, in their “desperation” to make money for the outfit. Mr. Patrick Naagbanton, the Coordinator of Eleme, Rivers statebased Centre for Environment, Human Rights and Development (CEHRD), said TIMA-RIV’s officials should be more serious with their duties. Naagbanton also admonished the leadership of TIMA-RIV to adequately address the issues of extortion, bribery and corruption among its officials, in order to earn the respect of members of the public.

‘We have been shot at on many occasions’ The Controller-General of the Rivers State Road Traffic Management Authority (TIMA---RIV), Mr. Nelson Jaja, spoke to Bisi Olaniyi on the activities of his agency How has it been in the last one year, as the pioneer ControllerGeneral of TIMA-RIV, especially the challenges? The challenges are enormous. Initially, there was anarchy. In Rivers State we have a lot of security personnel as escorts, following people, especially the expatriates and workers of oil companies up and down in convoys. They were mostly conducting themselves lawlessly. What suffered was law and order. While escorting the expatriates to the Port Harcourt International Airport or Air force Base in Port Harcourt, used by some airlines, they were always on military alert and hardly obeyed civil rules and regulations. Also, some of the ex-militants and people who fought for freedom in the Niger Delta also see themselves as above certain levels of control. When we came, we had to get people to change the way they think and the way they approach their businesses, especially to obey traffic laws and conducting their affairs in civil manner. Our biggest challenge is to get the people to obey rules and regulations. Can you compare TIMA-RIV with the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority

(LASTMA), in terms of efficiency, provision of needed equipment and curbing motorists’ excesses? I do not like making such comparison. We do not have the kind of resources that LASTMA has, in terms of number, logistics and parking. The danger in making such comparison is that the environment and what happen in Port Harcourt and Lagos are different. Port Harcourt environment has a lot of military personnel and a lot of oil companies and expatriates and we need to protect their movements. There are lots of ex-militants and amnesty people in Rivers state, which is not the case with Lagos. In terms of the problems, it is not easy to compare, but I admire the results that LASTMA has achieved. I am also aware that they (LASTMA officials) were given a lot of resources. We are still praying and hopeful that Rivers State government will upgrade the assistance to TIMA-RIV. Is it not surprising that you are complaining of inadequate resources? The state does not have everything it needs. Nobody actually has everything he needs. It is the prerogative of the governor to disburse the resources the way

he deems fit. He has been supporting us, but with the enormity of the problems that we face. We are actually not in some parts of Port Harcourt, because we still need to employ more people. We are just 413 people and 390 field staff. We need 1,500 field staff. Some motorists complain of highhandedness of your officials and allegations of bribery and corruption. How are you checking these? We have so far dismissed 42 officials, for unwholesome acts, insubordination, misconduct, bribery and corruption. We have a process of internal cleansing. It is instant dismissal for any member of staff found guilty. Only the people who take pride in what they do, will be allowed to remain and work for TIMA-RIV. We have over ten thousand applicants, mostly graduates, waiting to join TIMARIV. The present officials must always bear in mind that they are privileged to wear the uniforms. It is also forbidden for any member of the public to pay any money to any TIMA-RIV official. We do not collect money. Offenders are given bank tellers to go and pay to the bank or the person is prosecuted at the court. If you commit an offence, your


offence is read to you. You are given a card, behind it is a schedule of fines and the various fines will be given to you in bank tellers. In spite of the activities of the officials of TIMA-RIV, Port Harcourt’s traffic is still horrible. What is responsible? In Port Harcourt, construction works are going on. With about eight serious construction activities, they are bound to affect flow of traffic. Some of the people come to do business and they do not have the facilities to do business. We have thousands of people coming to the city with Ghana-Must-Go (jute) bags to trade and they convert every available space to a market and you have more cars coming to the

state capital. We are trying our best to enforce the rules, but because we do not have all the resources we need, we cannot be everywhere. TIMA-RIV’s officials controlling traffic work between 6 am and 9 pm, while the security personnel attached to us, close at 5 pm. We run two shifts. Some security personnel, especially those on escort duties and other motorists, still prefer to drive against traffic (one way), harass other road users and still blow siren. Driving against traffic is the most serious offence. Anybody caught will be made to take psychiatric and driving tests, with information about the person stored in our data bank, besides paying fines and being prosecuted. Thousands of vehicles have been impounded in the last one year of our operation. We currently have 570 cars in our various parking lots. We have obtained court order to sell 41 of the cars, which have stayed with us for more than three months. Impounded vehicles must not stay with TIMA-RIV for more than three months. What advice do you have for road users in Rivers state? Once you contravene the traffic laws, your vehicle will be towed and you will pay the fine. If you refuse to claim your vehicle after three months, it will be sold. Nobody is above the law.



Festival of love —PAGE 58

New face of drinking joints

Drinking joints are booming and taking over expanses of land in many parts of Lagos, reports Sunday Oguntola


HE discussion was as animated as hearty. Raised voices sought for listeners. Hands went up, seeking for recognition. The atmosphere was lively and inviting. The group of young, upwardly mobile men seemed to care less about anything else in life. Occasionally, some received calls and returned to the group. It’s been hours since they came but no one seemed to be in a hurry to go. There was no doubt they were enjoying themselves. The bottles on the tables; the dishful of ‘suya’ meats and the relief on their faces accentuate this. Ayodeji Johnson has always been part of the group for the past three years. He said being there remains the happiest moments of his life. Once it’s 5pm, he starts counting down to being there. By 7.30pm, the advert executive is already setting into a reserved corner of the sprawling compound, housing a joint somewhere in Ogba. ‘’This is what I do everybody,’’ he began. ‘’I am the happiest man when I am here. It’s like being in paradise,’’ he reiterated. For them, being in the joint everyday is not negotiable. ‘’I wouldn’t trade being here for anything else,’’ Johnson said. Fresh attractions This is the ritual for working men in most commercial cities. Meeting their need to unwind are the ever increasing drinking joints around. Investigations revealed most of them have repackaged to cope with modern realities. In Lagos, these joints have become constant features in most developing areas. They acquire large, fenced plots to provide security and parking space. There are security guards, controlling traffic and frisking visitors. All of these assure ‘clients’ as they are described of adequate security. Service delivery inside the joints is impec-

cably excellent. Well-dressed, good-looking female hostess smile effortlessly at clients. They take orders briskly and ensure instant delivery. On offer are drinks of all kinds ranging from beer to wines and water. But there are also ‘suya’ meats spiced with onions and pepper. One could also get continental delicacies such as shawarma and others. Streaming pepper soups are also available. Most of the joints have open space while some erect covers of various shapes. There is always also a large TV screen visible to all from any corner. The screen broadcasts live football matches, which many patrons enjoy with relish. Some offer live bands on certain days and dancing damsels. This way, modern drinking joints have broken away from the rowdiness and disorderliness that bedevil older ones. A potpourri of gains ‘’It is part of the new marketing drive,’’ explains Gbenga Oyebanji, owner of a joint in Ikeja. ‘’You have to do something new to get people coming. That is why there is security, parking space, TV screen and a general atmosphere of comfort. If you cannot provide all of these then you have no part in this business’’. This new atmosphere has been irresistible to many. They keep flocking to these joints every day, especially on weekends. Different reasons account for why many young men spend their leisure time at drinking joints. For Johnson, the attraction is the lively discussion with friends. ‘’This is where to be my brother,’’ he said. ‘’You hear people analyse issues in ways you have not seen before. So for me, the intellectual attraction is hard to resist’’. But Wale Bankole, a Lagos-based journalist, said he frequents joints to source for news. He said: ‘’I hear things here that form

the bulk of my stories every week. You will be amazed with the calibre of new sources here. There are top government officials, bankers, marketers and professionals everyday. Since I get news here, I will keep coming’’. It costs him three bottles of beer and ‘suya’ everyday. He is not perturbed by the hole it digs in his pocket. As far as he is concerned, it is a win-win situation. ‘’I pay for the drinks but also get news, which is what I want,’’ he stressed. Our correspondent ran into the Managing Director of a leading beer company in Ogba recently. He was seen in simple clothes, marketing patrons. A middle-aged man who simply identified himself as Bayo said a joint is a mining ground for him. ‘’I close business deals here,’’ he declared without mincing words. ‘’As a bank marketer, I realised many big guys hang around here and so I simply approach them for business,’’ he stated. For Barrister Tunji Oyelakin, who is a regular patron at the popular Lascofis Bar on Wempco Road, Ogba, it is all about unwinding and interacting. A day is not complete without him touching base at his favourite hangout. He said, ’’You know boys would always behave like boys; once I close from office latest 6.30pm, I head straight to Lascofis because I just can’t imagine going home at that time of the day. The few times I had gone home at 6pm it was because I was really ill. My wife and kids couldn’t but ask if there was a problem. I didn’t bother to respond to their question and just went straight to my room.’’ Oyelakin vehemently disagreed with the notion that only irresponsible men patronise drinking bars. ’’Who is acting the saint here? ‘’Look, many of those who are pointing fingers at people like us are nothing but hypocrites. The truth is that it’s not everybody who come to joints is a skirt chaser.

Not everybody takes drink alcohol too. Look around here, do you see anyone who look like a miscreant?’’ On gains, Oyelakin’s response was quick. ’’I can’t recount the many business deals I’d closed from friends and other people that were introduced to me here (Lascofis). I won’t make money sitting at home chatting with my wife. Don’t get me wrong, I love my wife and kids so much, but woe betide any man who can’t take care of his family. That is when you’ll know the true colour of your wife.’’ Engineer Laolu Ogunniyi is a die-hard patron of Feminar Café on the premises of the Lagos Television, Ikeja. He said he patronises the joint to beat boredom at home. ‘’I’ve heard people ask me why I can’t go home after the close of work and my response is always simple. What would I be discussing with my wife at home? Some of the things that interests me like football are turn-offs for her. The few times I reluctantly went home early just to spend some time with her we ended up arguing over frivolous issues. In fact, I had to apologise to her for coming home early.” Sola Akinyemi, Managing Director of Bloomfield Oil, said the convivial atmosphere is his greatest attraction. He said chatting with friends and colleagues over issues on all facets of life from music, politics, women, sex and all sorts makes his day. ‘’My wife always wonder why I can’t stay at home to drink my beer but I don’t blame her. She just can’t understand. Personally, I can’t take more than a bottle of beer and there are days I don’t even drink at all, but I just love been around my guys gisting away.” •Continued on Page 60




Festival of love Olowo of Owo and his people celebrate annual Igogo festival Taiwo Abiodun was there


•The Olowo of Owo leading his chiefs and other dignitaries in celebration


IS ankles, wrists and neck were adorned with special coral beads meant for his status as a royal father. Attached to his head are three beautiful white peacock feathers called urere okin which are as white as snow while the hair on his head glitter like silver . The monarch, His Royal Majesty Oba David Victor Folagbade Olateru – Olagbegi III, the Olowo of Owo was dressed in his traditional regalia known as ewu okun made of royal ornamental beads . The traditional ruler who was the chief celebrant was the cynosure of all eyes. He rested his stretched beaded hands on two of his chiefs and would once in a while bring out his own special iron metal gong, beat it and then recite some words. He would then be greeted with loud ovation. The retinue of his chiefs would shower praises and prayers on him in total respect. They would ecstatically cry : Ologho Baba O! Waa rehin odi , Orisa ma dimi se Ologho![Our Great monarch , may you conquer your enemies]. This drama was enacted during the Igogo festival which was held in the ancient town of Owo in Ondo State penultimate week. As the monarch walked majestically out from the inner chamber of the palace , a specially designed beautiful big umbrella was hoisted to cover him from the sun. He was in the company of a retinue of chiefs and female priests, all dressed in immaculate white. The male chiefs were variously dressed in female clothes of tied wrappers, skirts and blouses. The hair on their heads were either permed, plaited or weaved in Bob Marley’s style. They padded their buttocks, making them rotund like a woman’s .They also decorated their bodies -necks, ankles and wrists - with different shapes of ornamental coral beads. The beads shimmer and make rhythmic sounds as the men danced along . Children were not left out as they used sticks as drums, singing and dancing along with the

elders. The Olowo of Owo, radiating the radiance of a great monarch, paid obeisance to his subjects at the King’s Market [Oja Oba]. He led a moving traditional song, exhibited a powerful oratorical skill expected of a king and offered prayers for the progress of the community. The mammoth crowd went into a state of frenzy, dancing and jubilant. The mammoth crowd seemed to have come in their number for a number of reasons: Many came to see the monarch who was rumoured to have joined his ancestors while some believed he had abandoned culture and tradition as the royal father and had become a staunch Christian .The ever smiling and soft spoken royal father warmed up to his people and dished out gifts to a number of them. The Igogo festival started over 600 years ago. The story of the festival started with a powerful king- Olowo Rengenjen who was reigning then. He innocently married a goddess Moore Oronshen. The Queen who was suspected to have supernatural power, was loved by the King for her beauty and for the development and cultural contributions she brought to the town during the monarch’s glorious reign . Her behaviour was strange and as a stranger, and a woman with supernatural power, she demanded for privacy and it was granted her.

The strange woman , Oronshen later confided in the king that she was not an ordinary human being and would find it difficult to live among the people. She then pleaded with him not to violate her taboos which included: no firewood should be thrown down in her presence , water should not be splashed and spices must not be cut in her presence. These instructions were kept secret from the other wives. And for the love the monarch had for her, a special room was given to her within the palace. What surprised the king ever more was that each time the woman passed excreta there would come expensive coral beads that made the king rich and prosperous. That was how she brought development and wealth to the town and the king. Thus she became the king’s favourite the more. However, out of hatred and jealousy, the other wives of the Olowo Rengenjen on discovering that the love he had for the strange woman superseded theirs, one day conspired to set a trap for their husband. They made him drink wine into stupor and asked him many questions, probing into his favourite’s wife’s secrets. He revealed everything to them in his drunken state. One day, when the monarch went on hunting expedition, the wives collaborated and broke the taboos of his favourite wife in

“The mammoth crowd seemed to have come in their number for a number of reasons: Many came to see the monarch who was rumoured to have joined his ancestors while some believed he had abandoned culture and tradition as the royal father and had become a staunch Christian .The ever smiling and soft spoken royal father warmed up to his people and dished out gifts to a number of them.”

her presence .The queen was angered and she fled from the palace into Igbo Ulaja [Ulaja Bush] where she disappeared till this day. The story had it that when the king arrived and discovered what had happened, he instructed his palace guards [ayoyo] to go out with him and search for her. In the course of searching only her head tie was found. However, her voice was heard, crying. She narrated to the king all that happened. The monarch pleaded with her to return but she made him realise that it was too late as her taboos had been broken. However, in return for the love the monarch had for her, she asked him to be observing Igogo festival by mimicking her feminine dressing style and looks. She, however, warned that during the festival there should not be booming of guns, beating of leather drums and wearing of caps and head ties by men and women of the town during the annual celebration. She assured him that if all these were observed the town would make progress. The palace guards brought the woman’s head tie home and armed themselves with canes with the intention of punishing the jealous queens. Thus, today we see the ayoyos, the palace guards and the Iloros, the chiefs holding canes during the festival. Speaking to The Nation on Sunday during the event, he said the festival is “a celebration of love” and it is intertwined with the age grade festival[Ero] which is celebrated every nine years. Commenting on the fetish aspect of the festival, the monarch said ‘’ it is a tradition and part of our culture. The town has its chief priest, Adelanke Ajana who does the necessary rites .We have to respect our tradition and culture.” If you have a story contact TAIWO ABIODUN on 08034157684





Keeping tabs on people and events in cyber space


N52B Fraud: EFCC declares Goje, Gombe State ex-governor, wanted


CCORDING to Sahara Reporters, Alhaji Danjuma Goje, who parlayed eight years as governor of Gombe State into the Senate last April, was today declared wanted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on allegations of mismanagement and diversion of state funds of over N52 billion. “Patriotic Nigerians who may have useful information on the wherea...bouts of the wanted person are urged to kindly send same to any of the EFCC’s offices across the country or the nearest police station,” the Commission said in a statement signed by Femi Babafemi, its Head of Media and Publicity. The EFCC explained that it took the decision to declare Alhaji Goje wanted following “an endless search.” It said a written deadline given to the former governor to appear for interrogation expired at 12noon on Friday.

• School children trekking home after the after a heavy downpour in Lagos. SOURCE: WWW.FACEBOOK.COM


Man drives dead friend around in car •The four wanted ex-Governors

Comment: Nasir Abdulkarim We are fed up with EFCC‘s rhetorics nd public stunt. Just saw Goje on a bike near federal secretariat. Newton Ikire The beginning and end of the story. They’re trying to shore up their image by playing to the gallery. Cheap publicity, this. EFCC

doesn’t have the clout to bring this case to a conclusive end. We’re watching and waiting. Prince Abraham Yalaju EFCC: Stop deceiving Nigeria. We are tired of EFCC arresting people without trying n sentencing them. The poor citizen does not have hope or confidence in you.



INAPA Lakeside Hotel is currently recruiting personnel for these positions: Maintenance Manager, Rooms Divisions Manager, Front Office Manager, Food Beverage Manager, Executive Sous Cef and Financial Controller. Details of job requirements and academic qualification can be found at Interested applicants may send their CVs to: Mr. Marcel Brekelmans, General Manager, Tinapa Lakeside Hotel or M . b r e k e l m a n s @tinapalakeside Application letters and C.V’s are to reach him before the 20th of October, 2011 Deloitte has begun its Graduate Trainee Programme for an Audit Asso-

ciate who will be stationed in Port Harcourt. Applicants must meet the following minimum requirements: Assist with internal and external quality assurance, ensuring any actions are completed in line with the firm’s and professional standards, strong analytical and presentation skills, strong team spirit, ability to pay attention to details, strong creative and innovative skills, Bachelor’s degree with a minimum of second class upper division (or equivalent) and must not be more than 26 years old by 31 May 2012. Deadline for applying is the 17th of October, 2011. If you meet the above requirements and are interested in any of the position, please send your detailed CV. to recruitmentng @

or apply o n l i n e through com/ng/careers Please note that applications received after October 17, 2011 will not be processed and only shortlisted candidates will be contacted. Civil / Structural Engineers are needed at Adkan Services Nigeria Limited. The ideal applicant should be a graduate of Civil Engineering or Building Technology (Bsc./HND), posses a minimum of 5 years working experience with practical skills, ability to work without supervision and have the ability to use AutoCAD in Structural and Building designs. COREN registration is an added advantage. Qualified candidates should send their applications, a passport photograph and detailed CV latest October 18 2011 to: The Human Resource Manager, P.M.B 603 Garki, Abuja. Or visit


OBERT Young leaving the Court room A man accused of driving around Denver with a dead friend in the back of a car and running up a bar tab on the friend’s account says he thought the man was drunk, not deceased. Robert Young, 43, faces charges including abusing a corpse. He spoke before a court hearing Thursday in Denver. Investigators allege Young and Mark Rubinson, 25, drove around with the body of their 43-year-old friend Jeffrey Jarrett in their car in August. “In my mind, I wanted to believe he was passed out. I didn’t want to call 911,” Young said Thursday. “I didn’t want to believe he was dead.” According to police reports, the night on the town started when Young went to Jarrett’s home and found him unresponsive. But rather than call the authorities, police say, Young went to find Rubinson. The duo returned to Jarrett’s home and put him into Rubinson’s SUV and headed to a nightspot where they spent more than an hour drinking, leaving Jarrett’s body in the vehicle, according to police records. Police say the two men used Jarrett’s card to pay for the drinks on Aug. 27, noting “they did not have Jarrett’s consent.” Young said he realized Jarrett was dead while leaving the bar and the two men took him back to his home after notifying police. They then went to a strip joint, where Young took $400 from an ATM, police said. Young said Jarrett owed him money and gave him his credit card. Young rejected comparisons to the plot of the 1989 movie “Weekend at Bernie’s.” He said the ordeal only lasted four hours, and insisted there was no comparison

•Robert Young leaving the court room

to the movie. “It’s not a joking matter. He deserves better than that,” Young said. In the 1989 Hollywood comedy, two ne’er-dowells find their boss dead at his ritzy beachfront home and escort his body around town, attempting to save the weekend of luxury they had planned Rubinson and Young aren’t charged in Jarrett’s death. Young was scheduled to be arraigned Thursday, but his attorney was granted an extension to Nov. 3 after she told the judge authorities are still waiting for the results of an autopsy to determine

how and when Jarrett died. Source:

DID YOU KNOW... ...THAT generally, a dog’s mouth has fewer germs and bacteria than a human’s mouth ...that the number of births in India each year is greater than the entire population of Australia ...that you can’t kill yourself by holding your breath ...that bullet proof vests, fire escapes, windscreen wipers and laser printers were all invented by women.



Life Extra

Sweet home-coming After years of living in the United States, a Nigerian returns home for farming, reports Sunday Oguntola


ER name is Chief Temitope Labinjo Ajayi. But everyone calls her Mama Diaspora. During the 1993 June 12 crisis, Ajayi lost everything she ever worked for. She was Personal Assistant (PA) to former Lagos Deputy Governor, Alhaja Sinatu Ojikutu. Threats on her life sent her to self-exile in the United States. To be rudely uprooted from her base without preparations left her shattered. But Ajayi became an instant hit in the US. She became a community leader and mobilised Nigerians to access US government officials. She galvanised them for community projects. She rose to become President of All Nigerians in America Congress (ANAC), a position that earned her the nickname Mama Diaspora. But she got much more. Ajayi received many awards from mayors and senators. She went on to receive the key to the city of Dyersville, Iowa- USA from the Mayor of the city, James Heavens. The presentation led to the proclamation of every 16th July as ‘’Nigerian Friendship Day.” The climax was a service award from President George Bush for her community efforts. She was literally soaring away, amassing honours and awards. But her mind was always in Nigeria. In 2008, she was invited as a guest by the six South South governors. She came with her American partners. Since then, Nigeria regained her. ‘’I saw so many unemployed, • Ajayi

New face of drinking joints •Continued from Page 57 Brisk business These men willingly give away thousands everyday without as much as blinking. For them, the cost is incomparable to the gains. Most owners who spoke said business couldn’t have been better. Oyebanji disclosed that he makes an average of N300, 000 everyday. ‘’That is even when business is low. On many good days, you make half a million,’’ he stated. Emeka, a manager of a joint somewhere in Surulere, said they do not record less than N250, 000 daily. The profit margin, investigations revealed, is about half of the generated income. ‘’This business is a good one my brother,’’ Emeka stated. He said this is why many people are coming into it. Aware of the huge profits in the business, many banks and corporate organisations are beginning to set up joints in Lagos. A new generation bank has just purchased a joint somewhere in Fagba Lagos. Sources said the move is in realisation of the fact that its staff spends a fortune hanging out. ‘’If they spend as much as that, what stops us from tapping into the business opportunities,’’ a manager privy to the move asked. The coming of banks and other corporate organisa-

tions into the business, stakeholders said will inject more funds and upgrade existing facilities in joints. Troubled neighbourhoods Joint owners may be smiling to the banks but residents in neighbourhoods where they exist are distressed. Ikechi Uma, a resident of Sanni Balogun in Abule Egba Lagos, bemoaned the proliferation of joints in the neigbourhood. He said they cause traffic gridlocks, especially on weekends. ‘’If you come here from 5pm on weekends, you find it impossible to drive through this road. Cars by people coming to the joint fill the road and block everybody. This is a menace that we should not be subjected to,’’ he said. Investigations revealed that many Community Development Associations (CDAs) in Abule Egba, Fagba and New Oko-Oba have approached the police to help curb the menace of joints in the neighbourhoods. Landlords who spoke under strict anonymity complained bitterly that security has become a big challenge since the joints commenced operations. ‘’They attract undesirable elements. If you come here from 9pm, you would be surprised the kind of peo-

ple you see loafing around,’’ one of the pointed out. A resident of Social Club Road, Abule Egba said it was high time the police shut joints in the area. He said many girls have been lured into prostitution by money-bags patronizing joints in the area. He also claimed that armed robbery has been on the rise because of the presence of the joints. ‘’This place is always something else from 8pm. You see young girls parading everywhere. Lately, robbers have been terriorising us. They are coming because they see many rich people coming,’’ he lamented. He said internet scammers and 419 guys also find comfort in the area at nights. But Oyebanji disputes the fact that joints are havens for criminals. ‘’We take extra cautions to provide adequate security. Some of us even get police protection to reassure residents and clients that this is just about unwinding,’’ he countered. Many landlords admitted joints cannot be totally outlawed but called for strict regulation to safeguard people. ‘’The government must look into their operations. They must be able to provide security and parking space. They don’t have to disturb residents with their blaring music. They cannot be wished away but there must be stringent conditions for operations,’’ he advised.

qualified youths and realised they should be helped,’’ she pointed out last Tuesday. Thankfully, she had been nursing an idea for a while. Shortly before receiving the key to the city of Dyersville, Ajayi went on a tour of mechanised farms in the city. She saw the corn fields. She saw soya beans fields. She saw their ranches. She saw their chicken farms. Everything was cultivated on hectares of land. “I was intrigued and wondered why Nigeria cannot replicate the same considering our human and land resources,’’ she recalled. She couldn’t help asking the farmers to come over to Nigeria for training on mechanised, digitalised farming. That idea gave birth to Nigeria American Agricultural Empowerment Programme (NAAEP). The scheme, Ajayi said, is conceived as a mutual fund for farmers. “We pull resources together to plant and nurture produce. Then, we harvest, sell and share the profits among ourselves,’’ she disclosed. Ajayi owns a 100 hectare land in Abapawa Igbonla, Epe. NAAEP Agric City has become a Mecca of a sort for young, viable men and women. Last Tuesday, they were in their hundreds, working on the farm. While some tilled the land, others were busy harvesting cassava. Already, cassava has been cultivated on 40 hectares of the land. The group has started producing organic wheat cereal, garri, beans and others for public

consumption. Plans have reached advanced stages to export the products. The dream, according to Ajayi, is to attract young people to farming. “All over the world farming is about young people and that is what should happen here,’’ she stated. She also said the initiative is empowering young people and providing them the much-needed livelihood. “It’s criminal to have an army of unengaged young people. Here, they are engaged and earning a living.” She said she is proud to be a farmer despite her endowed background. Ajayi, the fourth generation daughter of Chief Labinjo of Itagarawu, Lagos, stated that she is a “blessed farmer.” Nigeria, she said, stands to gain a lot from investment in farming. “There would be food security and empowerment for our people,’’ she assured. She lamented the unwillingness of commercial banks to offer farming loans. “Banks are killing farming here. You provide all the collaterals and they will still refuse to grant you loans. This is a shame and government should look into this,’’ she tasked. She said she would not trade the fulfillment she derives from empowering Nigerian farmers for anything in this world. ‘’I am glad and fulfilled. I had a good life in America but I believe this is where I belong. This is what God destined me to do’.”





My BPE story, by Chris Anyanwu — Page 63

Boardroom politics takes its toll

•A typical boardroom

The media has been awash with reports about the gale of sackings in the public and the organised private sectors, where management boards are being dissolved and reconstituted in rather controversial circumstances. Ibrahim Apekhade Yusuf probes the intrigues behind the changes


XPERIENCE has shown that apart from financial crisis, unhealthy political rivalry fueled by the absence of good corporate governance procedures, to mention just a few, ultimately leads to crisis whether in the public or the organised private sector. Events unfolding in the nation’s corporate landscape in recent times, especially the rapidity with which management boards of public and private organisations are being dissolved, point to one fact: change. But this change, some analysts have argued, may have been stagedmanaged instead of allowing situations follow the normal cause of events. It is however, instructive to note that unlike in the organised private sector, government parastatals have been badly affected.

Roll-call of organisations with new boards and heads According to analysts, intrigues and large scale politicking may have led to the dissolution of boards and sacking of topflight chief executives of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), the Bureau for Public Enterprises (BPE) and lately the CEOs of the Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), Nigeria Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) and the Nigerian College of Aviation Technology (NCAT). President Goodluck Jonathan had in mid September removed the Managing Director of the NDDC, Mr. Chibuzor Ugwoha, along with the board of the commission. The dissolved board was headed by Air Vice Marshal Larry Koinyan. Beside, Ugwoha, all the Executive Directors of the commission also got the boot. The President reportedly took the decision after receiving the report of the

Presidential Committee on NDDC, headed by a former Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, Mr. Steve Oronsaye. While announcing the dissolution, the Secretary to the Federal Government, Senator Anyim Pius Anyim said: “Following the conclusion of the assignment of the Presidential Committee to look into the problems facing the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) and subsequent submission of the report of the committee, the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, after due consideration of the report has approved the dissolution of the Board of the NDDC.” From available information, it was learnt that what led to the removal of the former NDDC boss was as a result of a disagreement between the NDDC Managing Director and the board over management of the N69billion projects

being executed by the commission. The alleged transfer of $20million belonging to the NDDC from the Union Bank in the United Kingdom to First Bank (UK) Plc, was said to be another issue which created a board crisis. The MD reportedly got approval from the Office of the Accountant-General of the Federation to save the commission from losing its funds to distress in Nigerian banks, but the board denied giving any approval. The disagreement led to the setting up of Oronsaye’s Administrative Panel. Though the Presidency came under pressure to suspend the Managing Director, the President resisted it based on “the need for fair hearing.” Expectedly, the news of the sacking of NDDC board was lauded by some discerning members of the public. One of those who should know better, Mr. Anthony Orubu, an NDDC commissioner in Bayelsa state, told newsmen that the treasury of the commission was looted by the board. He also called on the Federal Government to order the anti-graft agencies to go after those responsible for looting the commission’s treasury. This is not the first time the NDDC •Continued on page 62




Any end to boardroom politics? •Continued from page 61

will be caught in the web of scandal. From inception, the commission’s bosses have had the bad misfortune of being removed in questionable circumstances, thereby giving the impression that it is a jinxed organisation. Experience in the OPS Like the public sector, the organised private sector has equally had a fair share

of what sudden boardroom changes look like. Topflight executives of corporate organisations in the financial service sector, manufacturing among other allied sectors have tasted the bitter pills. A case in point is Bunmi Oni, exManaging Director of Cadbury, who few years ago was summarily sacked by his board for committing alleged financial infractions and cooking the books. The

Photo Shop

R-L: Mr. Declan Mberede, Team lead, POS Channels Service, First Bank Plc, CBN introduces the new cashless economy policy to the stakeholders, Mr. Albert Ikusuedun Deputy Director, CBN and Mr. Ibrahim Musa of CBN at the stakeholders forum held in Lagos recently.

L-R: Patron, Agbekoya Farmers Association, Col. F. O. Meghoma (rtd); Information Co-ordinator, Nigerian Red Cross Society, Chief Tunji Bamidele and President-General of the Association, Chief Kamorudeen Aremu Okikiola at the First Farmers’ National Conference held in Lagos recently.

•L-R: Chief launcher, Apostle Alex Bamgbola; Author, Mrs. Dupe Aguda; Chief Host, Mr. Fola Aguda during the presentation and launch of Prim and Proper etiquette manners and poise in Lagos recently. PHOTOS: BADE DARAMOLA

case made headlines. But the court finally ruled that he was removed in error and asked the company to pay him damages. A verisimilitude also played out in the case former Group Managing Director of First Bank, Benard Longe. The court granted him similar reprieve. Ditto for the former Director-General of the Nigeria Stock Exchange, Professor Ndi OkerekeOnyuike, where the Federal High Court judgment ruled in her favour. Onyiuke was removed on August 5, 2010 by Arunma Oteh, the DirectorGeneral of the Security and Exchange Commission (SEC) over allegations of financial impropriety. The apex market regulator also removed Aliko Dangote as the president of the NSE during the period. The court not only nullified the sack of Onyiuke but had awarded her the sum of N500 million as exemplary and aggravated damages. The Transcorp story The Transnational Corporation, otherwise known as Transcorp has had a rather chequered existence. From inception, the rapidity with which the management board was being dissolved and replaced gave the impression that the owners were merely interested in watching the musical chairs roll by literarily. For instance, a former Managing Director of the Transcorp, Mr. Fola Adeola was removed after he publicly made statements opposing a presidential third term and also hinted at running for a senate seat in Ogun State - the same seat President Obasanjo’s daughter wanted. Others who succeeded him didn’t fair any better either. They were removed as fast as they came in. However, indications are that with the appointment of the immediate past Group Managing Director of the United Bank for Africa (UBA), Mr. Tony Elumelu as the new Chairman of Transnational Corporation of Nigeria Plc, its fortunes will change for good. Elumelu was appointed by the shareholders of the company at their 5th Annual General Meeting (AGM) in Abuja, thus ending the reign of Professor Ndi Okereke-Onyuike as chairman of the company. Shareholders’ perspectives In the view of Chief Timothy Adesiyan, one of the leading lights in the shareholders’ forum, the composition of board members of a company or otherwise, especially in publicly quoted companies, should be subjected to the due process. Adesiyan, in an interview with The Nation said there are laid down criteria for the change of board. According to him, “There must be tenure system so that after serving your tenure you go. But it is so unfortunate that people are staying put. It is not the best.” He said: “In life change is the most essential thing that can bring progress because absolute power corrupts absolutely. So, when you have served your time, it is best for you to exit rather just sitting there and being recycled.” Expatiating, he said: “The tenet of corporate governance presupposes that once you have served your tenure you leave to allow for the injection of fresh impetus and ideas.” He however, regretted that it was the flouting of corporate governance procedures as it happened in the banks, which made the CBN wield the big stick to save the investing public in the hands

•Ugwoha, removed as NDDC boss over alleged financial impropriety

•Adesiyan believes composition and removal of management board should follow due process

of dubious management. Although Adesiyan speaks on the inevitability of change, not a few will swallow his submission hook, line and sinker. Take the case of some minority shareholders of Longman Nigeria Plc, now LearnAfrica Plc, who have been at loggerheads with the Chief Emeke Felix Iwerebon-led board of the company over alleged high-handedness and breach of due process. To these aggrieved shareholders, the change at company, where they have controlling shares as minority shareholders, is not the kind of change they seek. The shareholders, namely Anthony Olunwa, Mrs. Stella Ugboma, Mrs. Sarah Gyang and Bello AbdulWahab Gbolade, had last Wednesday, through their lawyers, filed a law suit at the Federal High Court, Ikeja, Lagos, with the management of Longman Plc including Chief Emeke Felix Iwerebon (Board Chair) and Ayo Grillo (Acting Managing Director) as defendants. Though a senior management staff of the company who would not be named had told The Nation that the company was not aware of any lawsuit instituted against it, the petitioners have prayed the court to grant them reliefs from the Iwerebon-led board, a development, analysts believe is the many undercurrents of boardroom politics.




My BPE story, by Chris Anyanwu Dr. Chris Anyanwu, a law lecturer at the University of Nigeria, Enugu campus was among the past Directors-General of the Bureau for Public Enterprises (BPE) summoned by the Senate to give account of their stewardship. He was unceremoniously removed from office as Director-General of the Bureau. He spoke with journalists in Enugu recently. Chris Oji Enugu bureau was there.


INCE the BPE scandal blew open, fingers are being pointed at former President Olusegun Obasanjo and the then Vice President Atiku Abubakar. Does it mean that President Goodluck Jonathan who was vice president to the late President Musa Yar’Adua never knew anything about the rot that went on in BPE? Almost all government companies had been sold under ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo. His government virtually privatised everything. In fact, there was one minister under the late President Musa Yar’Adua that told me he thinks BPE should close shop because everything had been sold. So it doesn’t mean also that the current President who was Vice then, and as Chairman of NCP didn’t have opportunity of looking at certain things. For instance, I privatized Skypower Aviation Handling Company (SAHCOL) under him and you can see, that it was a different ball game because the SAHCOL was valued at less than N2billion and we privatised it for N5.6billion, which is about 300 per cent, so that’s a success. And another one is the NITEL that was sold to TRANSCORP for N500million under Obasanjo. But under Jonathan it was sold for N2.5billion when it was dead, except that I don’t know what factors played out and the president was told all sorts of lies which he probably believed that led to my stopping the good work that I was doing. But don’t forget that one and half years before I came on board there was no privatisation at BPE; it was all politics; the place was factionalized. Now one and half years after I had exited none had happened, and so it tells a lot of stories


N its desire to curtail the influx of substandard products into the Nigerian market, the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) has began moves aimed at building a synergy of cooperation with the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI). The decision was taken at a recent stakeholders meeting held at LCCI office on Victoria Island attended by SON Director-General, Dr Joseph Odumodu and

INTERVIEW about what was happening there. I think it was under Obasanjo mainly that all actions took place and with what is coming out now, you can see that there is every need for a second look to be taken at those things. For instance, privatising NAFCON that was built with $3.2billion dollars for $130million is madness. Hence no country will sit idly by and watch her •Anyanwu resources being dealt •Anyanwu with in that way. Privatisation is always the last resort for a country during times of economic crisis. If you see what is happening in Greece and Eurozone now; the ground that Eurozone wants to bail out Greece is that they will do privatization and then shore up their economy. So if we fritter away all our resources like the prodigal son, where will we fall back on when the time comes...when

“For instance, privatizing NAFCON that was built with $3.2billion dollars for $130million is madness, hence no country will sit idly by and watch her resources being dealt with in that way”

SON, chamber to tackle substandard products Stories by Ibrahim Apekhade Yusuf

Otunba Femi Deru, president of LCCI. Deru who welcomed to initiative by the SON, stated that it would be easier to build a synergy between SON and the organised private sector in the overall interest of Nigeria economy He urged the Federal

Government to adequately fund the operation of SON to effectively discharge its responsibilities. Deru said that there’s no way SON could effectively enforce its policy of zero tolerance for substandard products without sufficient fund at its disposal due to the paltry annual allocation from the government to the organisation.

Senate Committee assures on FDI


HE Chairman, Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs, Senator Matthew Ifeanyi Nwagwu has hinted of plans by his committee to be at the forefront of foreign direct investment as well as ensure the rapid socioeconomic development of the country. Nwagwu spoke at the inauguration of the committee at the National Assembly Complex, Abuja, recently. While acknowledging the onerous tasks ahead of the committee, he assured that the

oil will dry up? Very soon there will be need for us to look at what we have. It was under Obasanjo that everything happened and if you know, Obasanjo’s presidency was more or less a continuation of military rule because like I use to tell my students in the class that the laws we operate presently under a democracy are dictatorial laws because Obasanjo passed an executive

order converting all military decrees into Acts of National Assembly. So the question is: when did you and I, and when did the legislature pass those things into laws? They did not and they have continued in ignorance to apply these laws. That is why the president’s office will determine what happens to our enterprises. Even though there’s a law in place, the law takes its cause but somebody emerges winner in an election, and if the president doesn’t like the face of that person, he will say no, give the position to another person. That is military mentality; that is dictatorship. From your explanations, are you saying that Nigerians should expect more revelations or surprises from the BPE saga? Yes. For instance, the memo I filed there to the National Assembly was not made public but I wouldn’t make it public myself because I gave it to them and then many individuals, many companies filed memoranda, and they have huge documents to pour over and then bring out the facts. So many more revelations are coming and we are going to be surprised. Do you think President Jonathan can stop the rot going on at the PBE? Well, is not him alone. Now that the Senate has taken the gauntlet, I think the president will, with all the facts coming out; he will be forced to act because I mean history will judge him and his presidency by what he has been able to do. Right now nobody is probably giving him a bad name but after he’s gone people will start checking what he did and what he did not do and that will determine his place in history. So I think he will not keep quiet. I have the belief that he supports the work the committee is doing in the Senate because I know where he will probably part ways with the committee is if the committee decides to compromise. But if they go ahead and unearth everything, I think Jonathan will be happy with them.

Committee shall in the weeks and months ahead ensure that Nigeria has the legislative support to continue to meet her international commitments and fulfill bilateral and multilateral obligations. “We will re-examine existing foreign policy legislations and bilateral as well as multilateral agreements to fill up any lacuna and update present arrangements in order to meet the vastly dynamic challenges and globalised opportunities of 21st century

diplomacy”, he stressed. Expatiating, Nwagwu said: “In order to meet the yearnings and aspirations of the Nigerian people for rapid industrial growth and economic development, this Committee will work to improve Nigeria’s capacity for economic diplomacy. We will encourage Foreign Direct Investment, Joint-Ventures, Public-Private Partnerships, promotion of made-in Nigeria products, securing the most-favoured-nation status with trading partners and the structured acquisition of much needed technology.”

“The Federal Government needs to equip and fund SON to enable it continue to do what they are doing. The function of the organization is very vital inbounding the economy in line with the transformation agenda of President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration”, he said. Other members of LCCI suggested the way forward was to enhance the SME capacity building programmes on standards as a way of improving their products competitiveness. Mr. Babatunde Runsewe, a member of LCCI said it would be useful to assist the SMEs to improve on quality and standards, rather than just banning the products. “Many consumers will rather opt for low quality and cheap products rather than something of high quality that is slightly more costly”, he said. Mr. Adam Idufueko called for the need to intensify the level of awareness of the activities and campaigns of the SON to adequately educate the people and to also ensure the success of its

•Femi Deru

programmes. Mrs. Shade DembasinYoung submitted that although products could be cheaply bought, but that if substandard, they turn out more expensive on the long run. Odumodu commended Deru and the chamber members for the warm reception, adding that one reality that had come to the fore in the course of the campaign was that the

country was under siege from substandard products. He said: “The challenge is that if you go to the market today and pick a product there are chances that the first product you would pick is substandard product. “And these things are not being done by spirits, but by Nigerians with foreign collaborators. Over 80 per cent of the products in the market are products that can fail test.” Alluding to the renewed vigour at the SON as well as the accompanying criticism from some quarters, he said the truth is that the agency had not made any new laws, but only ensuring implementation of the laws that had already been made. It would be recalled that Federal Government introduce SON Conformity Assessment Programme (SONCAP) to tackle the influx of substandard products into the country.





VOL 1 NO. 029


RESIDENT Goodluck Jonathan has committed to job creation as a primary growth driver, and vigorously started working to actualize set-objectives in this regard. Interestingly, he has also identified the most critical work-mates towards achieving success in this noble cause among the youths of this country. This is a clarion call from a leadership determined to drive change through an all-inclusive engagement, propelled by commitment to industry, creativity, innovation and entrepreneurial spirit. To this end, the President is set to launch a special program targeted at increasing youth employment, tagged YOUTH ENTERPRISE WITH INNOVATION YouWIN. YouWIN is about the power of positive thinking and a determination to propel success by working up inner strength; it's about keeping up hope in the face of manifest constraints. It is a commitment to an enduring solution for sustained national development. It is about waking the consciousness of a people towards greatness. YouWIN is about inviting the youths in Nigeria to the task of building a wealthier Nigerian nation, breaking down forces that contrive impossibility in the magnitude that threatens call to duty. Essentially, Youth Enterprise With Innovation (YouWIN) Program is a Federal Government initiative designed to help generate employment for Nigerians by encouraging and supporting her aspiring entrepreneurial youths develop and execute business ideas that will lead to job creation. It is designed to provide aspiring youths with a platform to showcase their business acumen, skills and aspirations to business leaders, investors and mentors in Nigeria. This is certainly a propelling force that connects with every well-meaning Nigerian as the country move forward to greatness from her 51years anniversary. Within the context of global outlook as a member of the world committee of nations, Nigeria plays as a brand, and that is the perspective from which we at MC&A Digest like to look at the whole issue of employment and the government's efforts. As a nation, Nigeria contributes to global trend in macro-economic growth consideration and employment and gross domestic product. So if we must rebrand, these are some of the very important performance indicators that will speak for us, loudest. As a brand, therefore, Nigeria must be competitive among committee of nations in the area of total equity and image perception. Gradation of nation-states in global reckoning derives from such considerations. Nigeria must, therefore, concern herself with deliberate efforts to properly position her as a successful nation (brand) among others, by driving over-all economic growth, with measurable contribution from a productive and gainfully engaged labor force. Economic growth is best defined as a long term expansion of the productive potential of the economy. Sustained economic growth, following from the above, therefore, should in turn lead to higher real living standards and rising employment. In addition, sustained economic growth propels fiscal dividend, investment acceleration and growth & business confidence. It is this belief that is driving the President's total commitment to job creation. To him, there is no alternative to creating jobs for the ever-growing working population in Nigeria, especially the youths, if the country must record sustainable economic growth. According to the President, YouWIN is all about tackling unemployment by stimulating the vanguard for regeneration. Rather than look for job openings, YouWIN will help the youth create jobs for themselves while the government provide all the key components of funding,



YouWIN equals jobs for Nigerian Youths training, supervision and encouragement, such that will see the youth open up the nation's economy. YouWIN exactly identifies access to finance as one of the major challenges facing the Nigerian enterprises, while businesses owned by the young people under 30 as more severely affected. Add to that is the issue of capacity building, training and retraining. To address these needs, therefore, the Youth Enterprise Support and Innovation program as a collaboration of the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry for Information and Communication Technology and the Ministry of Youth Development, will holistically address all of these needs to provide a safe environ-


ment for the enterprising youth to drive their vision. The modalities for youth engagement include free entry for youths in Nigeria, with a clear indication of innovation, creativity, industry and sense of purpose. For effectiveness, the core component of the YouWIN program is a nation-wide Business Plan Competition that will be implemented in the six geo-political zones of Nigeria, with the following objectives in focus: • Attract ideas and innovations from young entrepreneurial aspirants from Universities, Polytechnics, Technical Colleges and other post- Secondary institutions in Nigeria. • Provide funds for 1,200 selected aspiring entrepreneurs to start or expand their business concepts and mitigate start-up risks. • To generate 40,000 to 50,000 new jobs for currently unemployed Nigerian youth over the next three years • Provide business training for 6,000 aspiring youth entrepreneurs spread access all geo-political zones in Nigeria. • Encourage expansion, specialization and spin-offs of existing businesses in Nigeria. • Enable young entrepreneurs to access a wide business

professional network and improve their visibility. According to an International Labor Organization ILO - document published in October 2010, unemployment remains elevated globally. Many economies are simply not generating sufficient employment opportunities to absorb growth in working age population. Going by the strategic direction of the nation's Vision 2020, the Nigerian labor management relations environment should provide for higher employment, job protection and greater productivity in line with the International Labor Organization standards. Somewhere in the Vision 2020 documents states “Targets set for the different eighteen sectors of the Nigerian economy … project that an estimated 11,260,000 additional jobs could be created in 2011; 18,670,000 in 2015 and 20,250,000 in 2020”. These are given as safe scientific growth projections based on set-targets. However, the ILO document on world trend in economic growth and sustainable employment seem to be a bit more cautious on such ambitious projections. Going by the ILO report, large decent labor work deficits continue to characterize the lab our market in Sub-Saharan Africa. Therefore, better employment policies are needed (focusing on expanding productive employment opportunities and improving social protection), to drive real growth in this sector of our national economy. Perhaps that is the reason for Ghana's National Social Protection Strategy project; a 5yr US$91 million project, designed to achieve capacity building, support her ongoing Livelihood Empowerment Against Poverty (LEAP) program and drive Labor Intensive Public Works. Back home in Nigeria, President Jonathan has crystalised a vision focused on the critical mass the youthful of creativity, energy and vision to do the seemingly impossible (see the Vision 2020 employment generation growth projection). It is therefore just apt that the program is coined YouWIN - YOUTH ENTERPRISE With INNOVATION. Everything about this program that is all set to take off is geared towards the unusual. The most important assignment of a leader is leadership, and a people must begin to see the quality and discharge of such function in the vision of their leader. The design and intent of the YouWIN initiative portrays the President's commitment to positively impacting on the economic growth of Nigeria. Barring all unforeseen circumstances, the youth should rise up to the challenge at this point in time. Together, we shall all win in this task of creating more jobs for Nigerians, even beyond the Vision 2020 projection.




The hope of austerity Few things are as ruinous as stubborn adherence to trite economic theory


SMALL fragment of Athens or Tahrir Square landed on Wall

Street as economic protests finally arrived in America. This happened earlier than expected. My prediction had America experiencing significant protests in 2012 as people began to twitch under the pinch of harsh policy decisions taken this year. There are two interconnected reasons for the earlier agitation, one negative and the other positive. First, the American and global economies have weakened faster than contemplated. Second, an increasing number of Americans sense unorthodox political activism is required to stave economic and monetary policies that suffocate the middle class while padding the lairs of the flagrantly wealthy and their political stevedores in Washington. Beginning a few weeks ago under the sobriquet “Occupy Wall Street,” the protests were initially peopled by several hundred demonstrators who were mainly white, young, college educated urbanites. Most Americans dismissed this effort as a transient curio because they were told by mainstream media to see it in this mercurial light. Media’s corporate sponsors hoped that portraying the group as a gypsy encampment would cause the public to turn its head and ignore the motley assemblage. That numerous buskers, street bards and pantomimes could be found on the fringes of the protest grounds gave media the ammunition needed to mischaracterize the protest as a bohemian outing. While the media was dismissive, the New York police department paid a strict and mean attention to the group. The police acted their reactionary worse. Although protestors were peaceful, the police aggressed against them. Police conducted mass arrests, apprehending journalists and nonparticipant gawkers in their indiscriminate dragnets. The police hoped to nip the protest by locking up so many that the residual would disperse. Police resorted to pepperspraying and wielding batons in the face of nonresistant protesters. This was not a fine moment for New York’s Finest. How could it be? The informal command the street police received was not to maintain the peace but to corral the protest before it called greater attention to itself and Wall Street. The Police Department is among the rare arms of government that Wall Street likes; the policemen’s union is perhaps the only labor union Wall Street supports. Wall Street has given handsomely, above and beyond the taxed requirement, to the police department in order to finance enhanced protection of its highbrow dominion. Firms have also given to the policemen’s union albeit with no explicit strings attached. However, the implicit message is clear: The average person’s taxes pay the police but Wall Street’s power can buy them. Consequently, the police acted not as a neutral law enforcement body. They have behaved like a private security firm for hire. Still, the jaundiced power of money and media are not always enough to keep a good story down. In fact, there has been a negative public reaction to the elite’s negative reaction to the protest. As news of the protest and the attempts to squelch it gradually eked out, millions came to sympathize with it. Thousands actually joined. Other protests emerged in numerous major cities. From a few hundred, numbers increased into the several thousands. The ranks swelled with students, teachers, housewives, professionals, laborers and the unemployed. They were white, black, brown, yellow and red. The group

• Obama

This inequality does not sit well. Americans can endure hard times but they start to question why their situations grow harder while the banks’ get softer. The people protest for economic justice but have no present clue how to achieve it. By Brian Browne

reflected the cosmopolitan face of America. In fact, it began to look like the world. One protester nicknamed the mass, “the Wall Street General Assembly.” This perhaps was more profound than the speaker intended. In its diversity, the group resembles the UN General Assembly. As with the UN, the General Assembly is where the greater mass of people aggregate in noisy democracy; yet the veto power lies elsewhere; it resides in the closet of the small group of powerful nations, the Security Council. Like the UN, the elite Wall Street firms and the government they suborn hold the real power. For them, the protests are nothing but the irksome gurgles of a directionless rabble. In despising the group, the elite make the mistake that elites always make; they believe that people not of their status are dumb and can always be snookered. This is false. The truth is most people are ignorant about the political economy and thus are frequently fooled. However, the clang of impending economic calamity focuses the mind as few things can. While the 2008 recession surprised the many, they have lived the rough life since. Distress tends to arrest slumber and rally the senses like the sudden inhalation of smelling salts. Many people have been thinking and learning in the intervening three years. They have pledged to themselves not to be duped again. People understand the American economy is going through more than a rough moment. If only a rough patch, they would patiently wait for the nation to emerge from the storm. This was what they were told in 2008. They believed and waited. They have waited over two years only to see conditions return to what they were on the eve of 2008’s Great Recession. Some have christened the protests the

liberal equivalent of the Tea Party. Cute, but not so. Tea Party momentum ran on three legs: 1. Opposition to the massive financial sector bailout, the fiscal stimulus and the increased federal deficit the stimulus produced, 2. Shrinkage of the federal government and 3. Unalloyed hatred for their nation’s first Black President who perfectly filled the dual role of villain and scapegoat. In all of this, Tea Party members were well indoctrinated with conservative economic and political dogma about the evils of government, the perfection of the marketplace and the need for government austerity come hell or high water. However, a predictable thing happened to the Tea Party. Rightwing multimillionaires, most notably the Koch Brothers, came to finance the movement, meaning they now define it. They have integrated the movement with the extremist wing of the Republican Party. With their money, they also reversed the movement’s anti-bank outcry. While the Tea Party remains anti-government and the raciallytinged group’ animus for President Obama stands unabated, the group now ranks as pro-bank as any chamber of commerce. The Tea Party traded one of its legs for a bag of money. It still has two angry legs and will continue running for some time before extremism leads it into a narrow culde-sac from which there is no escape except to refute its own economic ideas. The anti-Wall Street movement has but one leg. It opposes the skewed political economy and the decadent power the large financial houses hold over government. Typical Americans are interested in fair play. The Wall Street protestors are of this breed. They do not begrudge Wall Street its bailout; they are miffed the average American did not get equivalent relief. Now, they sense that Wall Street continues to enjoy special treatment from government while the common person is asked

to walk the plank. This inequality does not sit well. Americans can endure hard times but they start to question why their situations grow harder while the banks’ get softer. The people protest for economic justice but have no present clue how to achieve it. How could they? They have been fed a diet of conservative ideological rot for over a generation. They now understand they have ingested stale tripe. Yet, they are far from coalescing around an alternative economic perspective that provides intellectual underpinning for their budding rejection of conservative orthodoxy. Neither mainstream political party can guide them from the bog because the parties are deeper in the thicket than the protesters. After protracted silence, all President Obama could offer was the anodyne comment that the protests show the people are frustrated with the financial system. This was an insightful as saying people tend to get wet in the rain. Did we need this false profundity which stated nothing but the obvious? What other broad reason is there to protest on Wall Street? For electoral reasons, President Obama dare not speak for or against the protests. In speaking adversely, he would anger the vast swath of Democrats who support this action. If he speaks supportively, he waves good-bye to the fat campaign contributions from large firms needed to fuel his reelection. Stuck between fire and quicksand, he feebly tried to steer clear of both by asserting the financial reform legislation he passed had solved the problems with the banking sector. Evidently, someone forgot to tell the people they had been delivered from the pestilence and their groping for a cure was stupidly ex post facto. His explanation does not stand. The President, as a man of substance, evaporates before our very eyes. If he keeps at it, he will be reduced to a nimble yet surreal electoral figment much like the nursery rhyme character who vaulted the candlestick. The Republicans fare even worse. They were completely devoid of any meaningful comment about the protests. The Republicans abhor the insult against the banks because it has a leftist tint. However, they find it hard to criticize the protest because the Tea Party shares a similar origin. They also sense the protests are popular and thus fear alienating the public as the nation veers into election season. Republicans have been reduced to charactering the protests are a decoy invented by stealthy Obama operatives to deflect attention away from the President’s failed policies. In biting the President every time they open their mouths, Republicans may do themselves greater damage than merely dislocating their mandibles. There is credence in the observation that people protest failed economic policies. However, Republicans err in attributing blame. The President is at fault but they are triply so. President Obama has been an ambivalent, sometimes bashful apostle of financialist policy. The Republicans have been outright bacchanalian in their lust to impose financialism’s prescriptions of a deregulated financial sector and shrunken government expenditures. They have boorishly tossed America’s future to the workings of an uneven market where the individual citizen must wrestle the vast combine of corporate and financial power. Less of a marketplace, this represents an uneven battlefield where one party is armed with a cat-o’-nine-tails and battleaxe while the other is blindfolded, immersed to his knees in cement, and equipped with but a teaspoon. This brings us to the major gap in the protest thus far. It is the right demonstration but wrong city. The financial system failed and is infested with institutional fraud. History’s largest volume of financial fraud has taken place without a single indictment of a leading player or firm. • Continued on Page 67 08101159783 (Sms only)





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The hope of austerity • Continued from Page 66

Although the system altered materially, ideas remained static. Thus, the old saw of balancing the federal government’s budget lasts as a false virtue. This gives rise to the need to cut the budget and compress social services in order to reduce the federal debt. Budgetary austerity is seen as a positive good in all instances and for all times. Balanced or surplus budgets were of suspect utility even under the gold standard. In the current regime, they are unnecessarily masochistic for nations that issue their own currency. No nation of any significant size has ever prospered by running government budgetary surpluses for a prolonged period. Every major economy has reached that point by operating budgetary deficits. The same is true today. While America runs a budget deficit of roughly 10 percent of GDP, China operates a deficit exceeding 20 percent. Guess which nation’s GDP is growing faster? This is a matter of economic accounting not moral judgment. Neither deficit nor surplus is inherently good or bad. Both are mere tools to get to the objective of full employment of labor and resources while maintaining overall price stability (manageable inflation). When an economy stagnates, deficit spending is warranted to spur private sector activity. A deficit means more resources are given to the private sector than government takes from it. Conversely, when government moves toward surplus, it takes more from the private sector than it gives. A surplus or reduction in deficit spending is warranted if the economy is humming at full throttle and high inflation rears its head. It is counterproductive for nations with deflating economies to talk austerity. They entrap themselves the

illogic of bad economics but this tide is predominant because rich men fear inflation more than deflation. Yet, rich men can also do great foul to their nations. Britain’s austerity program has not produced economic growth or reduced the deficit. It has the opposite effect in both categories. The economy has fallen into recession to the extent the central bank is injecting 75 billion pounds into the economy to counteract the fiscal contraction. Despite the budget cuts, the deficit has grown! This demonstrates a principle orthodox economist would ignore. Budget cuts in deflationary conditions worsen deficits by reinforcing the recessionary pressure on the taxpaying private sector. In the end, the American protesters have come upon a historic moment. They question economic orthodoxy just as that orthodoxy is being put to the test and is found wanting. For now, the only answer the protesters have is that mainstream economics provides no answer. This provides progressive economics its best chance in the last forty years to rede-

fine the American political economy. The individuals and institutions that may lead this charge are yet to be known. None of the currently known leaders in either party appear up to the task. Should new leaders fail to appear, America will suffer a lost decade. Much of the world will suffer with it. Thus, the world should happily greet the Wall Street protests and hope that it graduates to a much more potent phase. (Bernie Maddoff is but a minnow to a whale compared to what the others have done.) Literally trillions of dollars are involved and this massive wrongdoing brought the economy to its knees. But people actually expect selfishness from banks. When the gate is left open at the zoo, we don’t blame the lion for going on the prowl. We blame the zookeeper for neglecting his duty. Here, the betrayal lies with elected officials who forfeited their duty to the general populace in order to legislate a system that encouraged the financial sector’s worst behavior. They then financed the errant banks back to health but chastised the rest of the

economy. The federal government opened the door to the zoo then went to sleep as the lions ransacked the village. Now the very government that left its citizens to the merciless wants to further reduce the services it provides because it went into debt refinancing the banks. This is tantamount to the zookeeper claiming he hasn’t time to catch the beast because he is too busy selecting the choicest meat to feed it. How all this happened is a complex narrative. Distilled to its essence, it is a study in ignorance masked as knowledge. Those in control of policy are wedded to view of economics based on a model that does not exist. Most extant ideas and theories of economic prudence are geared for a system founded on the gold standard. However, the world left the gold standard forty years ago, replacing it with a regime of fiat currencies with floating exchange rates. This departure was the financial equivalent of the invention of the wheel or to the Copernican confirmation that our physical reality was more heliocentric than geocentric.

Dalai Lama slams China’s censorship


HE Dalai Lama yesterday slammed censorship in China as “immoral” and poked fun at denunciations of himself in a video chat with Desmond Tutu after he was not granted a visa in time to travel to South Africa. The exiled Tibetan spiritual leader’s absence was symbolised by an empty chair at the event at the University of the Western Cape where he was meant to deliver an inaugural peace lecture to wrap Tutu’s 80th birthday celebrations. “Some Chinese officials describe me as a demon so naturally some fear about the demon,” the Dalai Lama told Tutu via a laughterfilled live video link when asked why the Chinese feared him. “First I’m hurt... (Now) I feel laughing, so I immediately respond yes I have horn,” he added, miming horns on his head with his fingers. The furore over the visa

overshadowed the run-up to Tutu’s birthday with the former antiapartheid activist launching a virulent attack on President Jacob Zuma’s administration for kowtowing to its biggest trade partner China. The Dalai Lama said hypocrisy and telling lies had unfortunately become part of life in “the communist totalitarian system” and people who spoke truthfully and honestly sparked discomfort. “I often tell him (Tutu) 1.3 billion Chinese people should have every right to know ... reality, then 1.3 billion Chinese people also have the ability to judge what’s right, what wrong, so therefore censorship is immoral.” He also urged China to raise its judicial system up to international law standards. China clearly had the potential to take “a constructive role” in the world, he said. “Respect, trust from the rest of the world is very necessary. For that

reason, transparency is very essential,” he added. The discussion between the two Nobel Peace Prize laureates who are close friends was filled with banter, after a last ditch attempt by Tutu’s office urging the government to grant the Dalai Lama a visa failed. “As a man of truth, man of God, please live long,” the Dalai Lama told Tutu. “Your 90th birthday, I’m looking forward. At that time, don’t forget send me (an) invitation. Then we can test your government.” In turn, Tutu admitted to a “mutual admiration society” and praised the Tibetan as a person who “makes holiness so attractive” and “a bundle of joy” despite being in exile for more than 50 years. “He is in fact quite mischievous. I have to warn him sometimes and say ‘hey, hey, hey, look here, the cameras are on us, you need to try and behave like a holy man’,” he said. China has always sought to curb the Dalai Lama’s overseas travels, warning host governments that any visit would harm ties, especially if he is met by state officials. The Tibetan has lived in India since 1959 since fleeing an abortive uprising against Chinese rule. Describing the previous century as a century of violence, he urged talk to solve problems and urged compassion. “This century should be (the) century of dialogue,” he said. The talk wrapped a three-day celebration for Tutu which included a book launch of a new biography and a church service in the cathedral where he fought the white minority regime. South Africa’s Desmond Tutu celebrated his 80th birthday Friday at St George’s Cathedral, where he served as theAnglican archbishop of Cape Town until 1996. The Cathedral was filled with family and well-wishers from U2 frontman and campaigner Bono to Graca Machel, the wife of Nelson Mandela.


Living Faith By David Oyedepo

Covenant steps to your next level!




OU don’t keep doing the wrong thing and expect to get the right result. You must do something right to get the right result you desire in life. It is true that this year has been declared your year of breakthrough unlimited. Note that breakthrough won’t drop on your laps just like that! There are what you must do practically and consciously to provoke unlimited breakthroughs in your career, business, family, pursuits and personal endeavours. That is why, this week, I will be showing you some vital steps to take so you can secure and enjoy a glorious future. Let us look at some of those steps briefly: 1. Keep blessing the name of the Lord: Psalm 103:1 says: Bless the Lord, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name. Psalm 34:1 says: I will bless the Lord at all times: his praise shall continually be in my mouth. When God heard this, He said to David in 2 Samuel 7:16: Thine house and thy kingdom shall be established for ever…This way, David moved to his next level. 2. Never forget God’s benefits: It is essential for us never to forget what God has done for us. Whatever we are today is by the grace of God alone. So, we must never forget His benefits. Psalm 103:2 says: Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits… 3. You must use the same weapon again and again: The weapon that gave you victory is the weapon you must treasure. When the children of Israel had no water to drink, they cried unto Moses, and Moses cried unto God. God told him to use the same rod he used to divide the Red Sea, to strike the rock. He did it and water was available for the people (Exodus 17:1-6). 4. You must remain humble: The lower you take yourself, the higher God will manifest His glory in your life (John 3:30). The more He takes you higher, the humbler you must become, because the way down is the way up. No wonder, James 4:10 says: Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up. 5. You must remain holy: You must remain holy, because God alone is the Promoter (Psalms 75:5-7). If you know that He is the only Promoter, then you must know that He is the One you must never offend! Joseph purposed not to sin against God in Genesis 39:9. If you are to reach the level that God has planned for you, you must never offend Him. You must remain holy, if you must enjoy a glorious future. 6. Crave God’s presence: Second Thessalonians 2:13 says: He has chosen us unto salvation. So, you are chosen unto salvation, but you are to crave God’s presence. How do you access God’s presence? Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name (Psalms 100:4). So, when you gain access to His presence, He changes your level again. 7. Thanksgiving: This is your covenant flight to the next level any day, anytime, anywhere. No one ever changes level without engaging and boarding the flight of thanksgiving. It is an attitude of appreciation and gratitude to God for something received from Him or for what He has done. In Luke 17:15-19, we saw the leper who returned to give thanks, and his healing was perfected. Thanksgiving is your flight to the next level! 8. Praise: Praise is another covenant step to your next level. The more praiseful you are, the more thankful you are, and the greater your access to revelation. Praise is your access to unending breakthrough. No matter the problem confronting you, when you gain access to the presence of God via praise, you gain access to unending supplies. For things that have happened, we give God thanks. For things that are yet to happen that we believe, we give Him praise. As we praise Him, He raises our level. The more you praise Him, the more He raises you. Every time you complain, you complicate your matter. Every time you murmur, you murder your destiny. Friend, the power to engage these covenant steps is the exclusive preserve of those who are redeemed. You are redeemed by confessing your sins and accepting Jesus as Lord and Saviour of your life and family. You can do so now if you haven’t, as you say this prayer: Lord Jesus, I come to You today. I am a sinner. I cannot help myself. Forgive me my sins. Cleanse me with Your precious Blood. Deliver me from sin and satan to serve the Living God. From today, I accept You as my Lord and Saviour. Now I know I am a child of God. Next week, I will show you another thing it takes to fly higher in life. May the Almighty God bless you! Our Ministry is getting set for SHILOH 2011, which will hold at Faith Tabernacle Canaan Land, Idiroko Road, Ota from December 6-10. Among the highlights of the event with the theme, Waves Of Glory!, are specialized healing services. Come for a destiny turnaround! Every exploit in life is a product of knowledge. For further reading, please get my books — Walking In Wisdom, Wisdom Strategies and Exploring The Secrets Of Success. I know this teaching has blessed you. Write and share your testimony with me through: BISHOP DAVID OYEDEPO, Faith Tabernacle, Canaan Land, Ota, P.M.B. 21688, Ikeja, Lagos, Nigeria; or call 7747546-8; or E-mail:


‘Our ups and downs in 25 years’


T’S been 25 years of ministry works. How has it been? It’s been interesting and challenging. It’s been interesting in the sense that we have seen God working among us. His promises have come to pass in my life and ministry. We have seen lives changed. People heading to the path of destruction are now leading life of godliness. For me, it’s awesome. Notwithstanding, we have seen disappointments and the worst of human weakness. People we trusted so much have disappointed us so much. But in all, we are celebrating the faithfulness of God. Did you know you were going to come this far when you started? I will be honest enough to admit that I did not even know where we were going when we started. I just knew God asked me to start a church in my house and we did. As we remained faithful to Him, He kept opening the doors. I wouldn’t say I saw this far when we started. What would you have done differently if you were to start all over again today? If I were to start all over, I would emphasise more of trainings. I’d do discipleship training, business training, entrepreneur training and the likes. Church services have their roles but training keeps people. It changes their orientation and makes them mature. Two, I would do more of media works. I have always known that media have a role to play in the work we are doing but I have been shying away because of the costs. But now, I think I’d rather go hungry and do media works than otherwise. But I am fulfilled. I am not moving as I would love but there is progress everyday. We are not where we want to be but we are not where we used to be. Few years ago, you left your big cathedral in Jos to start from ground zero in Lagos. Why that radical relocation? The truth is that we are a household name in Jos

General Overseer of Elshaddai Covenant Ministries, New Oko Oba, Lagos, Dr James Iruobe, spoke with Sunday Oguntola on the church’s 25th anniversary. Extracts:


but it got to a point I became jobless in Jos. I had trained people in ministry works and had nothing else to do. The church was running without me. All I did was to preach on Sundays. So, I felt I needed fresh challenges. Since the church was airborne in Jos, I felt I should replicate what I had done elsewhere. The more I thought and prayed

about it, the more assured I became. I thought of PortHarcourt and Abuja but decided for Lagos. But I underrated Lagos. I thought things would work in Lagos like in Jos. In the North, you could easily trust people. I thought the same of Lagos but received many knocks before I came to my senses. In the North, people go to church to help out but here people

“I thought things would work in Lagos like in Jos. In the North, you could easily trust people. I thought the same of Lagos but received many knocks before I came to my senses. In the North, people go to church to help out but here people want to get from the church. It took me several years to learn to live with these”

want to get from the church. It took me several years to learn to live with these. When are you likely to leave Lagos for somewhere else? There is still so much to do here so I don’t see myself leaving now. I want to resign myself to training as against pastoral works. I believe 80% of what I’d do between now and when I die or retire will be done by people so I want to train them. Jesus started with 12, then 70. That is the model I want to follow now. I cannot do everything again because of age and strength. But If God wants me to leave Lagos, I am ready to move. But I have not received such signals now. What is your next move? Training like I said. Then I want to set up secondary schools in Lagos. We have Emmanuel International College in Jos through which we have affected lives. If God gives me the grace to do university, I will. But I will concentrate more on medical sciences if I were to do a university. And I want to write books. I want to own my TV and radio stations. I want to concentrate on these. What would you be doing in the next 25 years? I will be 85 then if God keeps me alive. But I honestly don’t know what I would be doing then. I’d probably be doing more trainings and discipleship. Can you advise upcoming ministers? I’d tell them to be faithful and focused. Don’t just copy people but be yourself. Stay on whatever God asked you to do. They must be open to learning because nobody knows it all. Nigerian ministers believe they should not listen to others but that is wrong because there is so much to learn from others.


Okonkwo calls for sports evangelism


HURCH leaders have been advised to embrace sport evan-

gelism. Presiding Bishop of The Redeemed Evangelical Mission (TREM), Mike Okonkwu who gave the advice last Sunday, said sport remains a unifying factor that can win more souls for Christ. He spoke at the opening ceremony of Believers’ Champion League at Onikan

By Tosin Adesile and Nonso Obiajuru

Stadium, Lagos. Mountain of Fire and Miracles Ministries (MFM) and Daystar Christian Centre played the opening match. MFM won 2-1. Okonkwo said: ‘Christians should rise up and be involved in every aspect of the society.

“Sport is one of the things God has ordained because for too long believers have left that aspect to the society and that has not been God’s plan.’’ He went on: ‘’What you abandon, others would take. Every aspect of the society must be seen to have influence of Christianity.” He noted that football has become a big industry with potential for evangelism in the world, calling on churches to

consider the sector a mission field. President of Soccer fest International, organisers of the event, Pastor Adeolu Adeyemo, said the initiative is to foster unity in the body of Christ. He called for the support of all and sundry to strengthen the annual soccer competition among churches, which is in its fourth edition.




Making Sense of Life with adeWale Adefuye

Isn’t Goliath’s forehead exposed enough?

“M •Ideh (centre) flanked by popular musician, Onyeka Onwenu and others during the service

‘Nigeria will shine again’ H

UNDREDS of Christians gathered last Monday at Allen Avenue junction, Ikeja Lagos, to pray over the nation’s flag for the emergence of a new Nigeria. The prayer walk, which commenced as early as 9am, was powered by Partnership for a New Nigeria (PFANN). PFANN’s President, Evangelist Elishamma Ideh,

By Sunday Oguntola

said the walk was necessitated by the nation’s huge challenges. She lamented that 51 years after independence, Nigeria is lagging behind and not making giant strides. According to her, ‘’we cannot tolerate this any longer. We must rise in prayer to usher in a new

dawn. ‘’We must confront all the monsters contending against this nation and prove to them that Nigeria is of God.’’ Ministers at the convocation took turn to declare peace, progress and development over the nation. There was also representation for the six geo-political zones in prayers. Ideh later put on what she described as ‘’the light of

righteousness’’ to a thunderous shout of a ‘’new dawn’’ at the junction. She assured that Nigeria will never be the same again ‘’because we have risen as children of light to take control.’’ She said seemingly intractable challenges such as Boko Haram, idolatry, insecurity, power outage and others would henceforth bow to the ‘’forces of God’’.

CCN seeks greater evangelical zeal


ATIONAL President of the Christian Council of Nigeria (CCN),

Rev Emmanuel Udofia, has challenged Christians to remain committed to evangelising the word for God. He said the socio-economic challenge in the society is a call on churches to roll their sleeves and introduce God to dying souls. Udofia acknowledged that Christ has bought victory, freedom and salvation from sin and sickness but said ‘’the people can only appreciate the power of the cross if we tell them.’’ He spoke last week during a 2-day workshop for church leaders from across the nation in Lagos. The event also featured award presentation and appreciation of immediate officers of the Council. The theme was ‘’ Effective visionary leadership’’. Udofia urged church leaders to develop vision to fulfill God’s call. According to him, ‘’A life without a vision is a life of complaints and sorrow.’’ ‘’It is a life without direction and purpose. Vision is a motivator because it motivates a man into action and as a result of this, man becomes industrious and fulfill his purpose in life.” Udofia, who is also Prelate of the African Church Worldwide, lamented the spate of religious rites among Christians without effective representation of the life of Christ. Secretary of the Lagos Central Baptist Conference, Dr Kehinde Babarinde, emphasised the importance of effective leadership.

• Honours governors By Vincent Nzemeke and Adeola Ogunlade

He listed right relationships, attitude, language and vision as basic prerequisites for lasting impact. He said: “Leaders cannot afford to be complacent because we are representatives

of God on earth. We must strive at all times to be good leaders.’’ Some governors received awards from the organisation. They include Lagos Governor Raji Fashola(Good governance); Kaduna Governor Ibrahim

Yakowa(Ambassador of Unity); Akwa Ibom Governor Godswill Akpabio( Pillar of transformation); Imo Governor Rochas Okorocha(Humanitarian); Plateau Governor Jonah Jang( Exemplary Leadership) and Rivers Governor Chibuike Amaechi (Good Governance).

•R-L: Former Edo governor, Prof. Oserheimen A.Osunbor; Patron Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Kosofe chapter Lagos Dr. Chris E. Kwakpovwe and his wife during their investiture recently

Boko Haram: Service chiefs to go-Ayodele


OUNDER of Inri Evangelical Spiritual Church, Oke-Afa Lagos, Primate Elijah Ayodele, has predicted the removal of service chiefs over the nation’s precarious security situations. He also warned the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) of explosions during its national convention slated for February 25th 2012. Ayodele tasked the federal government to tackle insecurity to save the nation from disintegration. He spoke last Thursday

By Sunday Oguntola

with reporters in Lagos. Ayodele said: ‘’The service chiefs will surely go because of their inability to address insecurity. Many heads are bound to roll. ‘’It is unfortunate that they are allowing Boko Haram to outrun the country.’’ On the proposed single term tenure, he advised President Goodluck Jonathan not to contemplate benefiting from it. Ayodele said the nation will never recover from the

attendant challenges should Jonathan choose to run again in 2015. He urged the federal government to empower farmers and ensure food security to avert looming famine any moment from now. The cleric said the last has not been heard from election tribunals as some incumbent governors may lose their seats. He called for intense prayers to save the nation from forces of destruction and retrogression.

R President’s speech at the service at the National Christian Centre, Abuja, to mark the 51st anniversary of Nigeria’s flag independence has brought the story of David and Goliath into current national discourse on leadership styles.” “I hope he’s not counting on luck, like David, to bring Goliath down.” “What do you mean that David was lucky to defeat Goliath? The only ‘luck’ David had was being in the right place at the right time. Goliath came out twice a day to threaten Israel and David happened to be there on one such occasion. According to Seneca, the Roman philosopher, ‘Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.’ David was one prepared man. Fearless and very skilful in the use of slings like some of his forebears—” “...forebears? “In an earlier generation (Judges 20:16), ancient Israel boasted of super marksmen who were ambidextrous—they could sling a stone at a strand of hair and not miss. Think of Diego Maradona, or David Beckham, curving a free kick round a wall of defence. It requires skill and practice and probably more than raw talent. Left by himself, at the backside of the desert, to protect the family’s sheep from desert beasts, David took to slings and clubs. Competence and personal strength involve behaviour patterns, which must be ingrained in the brain through substantial repetition.” “The 10,000-hour rule...” “Oh, yes! You have read of Malcolm Gladwell’s 10,000hour rule – it takes the equivalent of about 40 hours of practice every week for 5 years – to achieve mastery. It takes tons of practice to establish and ingrain neural pathways related to specific skills. David was a great leader who cared for his nation ‘with a true heart and led them with skilful hands’” Psalms 78:72(NLT). “Which is what Mr President needs so badly and urgently too, right?” “Nigeria is faced with many goliaths: poverty, poor governance and collapsed infrastructure in education, health, security and aviation. If you ask me, the biggest is Corruption: a giant that openly defies our sense of value and mocks our church attendance!” “But Mr President is not a general; neither is he a Pharaoh. Is he likely to be a David?” “At least he listens to sermons and one of his favourites is Ayo’s ‘Every Goliath Has an Exposed Forehead.’” “But does our own Goliath have an exposed forehead?” “Sure does but takes courage and skill to hurl a carefully selected rock at it. The Yoruba say ‘A man who cracks groundnuts for the blind must be prepared to keep whistling lest the blind fellow thinks the nut cracker is helping himself to the pile.’ Past rulers have pilfered us blind and we do not trust anyone holding any public office, especially Aso Rock. Mr President should have been whistling since his inauguration. Cynics, who are partially blind, are telling the rest, who are totally blind, that they notice Mr President’s moving lips. They cannot keep from asking, ‘Is Barjona chewing our groundnuts?’ “How can Mr President whistle while cracking groundnuts?” “A public declaration of his assets will be loud and deafening like the South African vuvuzela. Second, the biblical Goliath had his home in Gath. NNPC seems to be our own chief Gath. Gath should be made more transparent. Her streets should be clearly laid out, signposted and digitally strung to make them accessible by satellite navigation (satnav). The rubbish should be cleared away to make the place inhospitable to giants. Due Diligence should be active in the administration. EFCC should not only bark but be able and seen to bite. These are low hanging fruits for Mr President to pluck; he should encourage bounty hunting.” “What’s that?” “The government should offer generous rewards to people who report crimes. Snitching for pay has become popular in Korea where the fines imposed on offenders generally outstrip the rewards paid to informers.” “But Mr President believes in institutions and not strong men.” “Giant-killing can be institutionalised but requires a man of steel to begin the process. Let us read from 2 Samuel 21:18-22 (TLB): Later, during a war with the Philistines at Gob, Sibbecai the Hushathite killed Saph, another giant. At still another time and at the same place, Elhanan killed the brother of Goliath the Gittite, whose spear-handle was as huge as a weaver’s beam! And once when the Philistines and the Israelis were fighting at Gath, a giant with six fingers on each hand and six toes on each foot defied Israel, and David’s nephew Jonathan—the son of David’s brother Shimei—killed him. These four were from the tribe of giants in Gath and were killed by David’s troops.” “So, a Jonathan can be a giant killer if he so wishes.” Next week: If I were Mr President’s Vicar...




‘We are changing our strategy’ my Chief of Staff, because I have four years head-start ahead of them. If I took off without them behind me I will run into trouble. So we spent about two months touring Alausa, but now I have a deputy governor, who is eight years old in the saddle. So I delegate so much to her to do, and you see that she’s been very active and visible. That is the essence of this partnership and team work. But that tells you that people are sensitive to what they see. For instance, people say the pace of fixing potholes – especially the inner roads – was different between then and now. Again there is a sequence in that, even when we handle those potholes, we didn’t cover the distance of pothole margins in 2007, than we have covered in the last one year. What that says is that we have now institutionalized the capacity. Public Works Corporation is now up to its responsibility, it set up its own communication strategy, it is communicating with the people. It has its own telephone line and e-mail, to entertain complaints from the public. It has its own direct budget now from council, so it sequences its work and goes on with little supervision. At that time (first term), I needed to be there, but now some of those operations are running almost semiautomated and which is what is important. Earlier you mentioned the issue of housing … how far has the state government gone to institutionalize the capacity in terms of creating the mortgage institution to help in the delivery of houses? The plan for housing was made in the course of campaign in 2007. At that time, what I felt the solution would be is the development of a mortgage institution where people can pay for their houses over their working life whether self-employed or in paid employment. But it has been a challenging experience given the variables that we do not control. We do not control the money market, interest rate and the exchange rate. We do not control the turnaround period at the port. All of these exacerbate the price of houses but I was convinced that with continuous thinking and probing, we would find something. Where we are now is that we would soon flag off the detailed policy. It is called “The Lagos Home Ownership Scheme”. We’ve developed an acronym for it called “Lagos Homes” spelled “HOMS”. We’ve opened the website where all of the materials, information of where houses are, how to calculate your mortgage, applied details of your salary and all the facts are already on-line. There are so many components and layers beyond just building houses. If you build houses and you don’t do some of the things we are doing, the people you are targeting to own the homes would end up as tenants in their houses. So the website is part the process to open it up. You don’t have to know anybody. If they have 10 houses available, on the basis of first come first served, we assess your ability to pay and you win. You pay 30 percent of the price of the house that you choose, take your keys and pay your monthly mortgage payment until you finish paying. We are starting on the floor of 10-year repayment, hoping to graduate to as much 20 or 25 years later as we go ahead. That will be dictated by the energy we can inject and the dynamics of the financing options that emerge as we go on. But we think we have found the basis to start. We have also evolved a standard type housing model. It is a four-floor design, three floors plus the ground floor. Each block will have 12 flats. On each floor there will be three flats: a one bedroom, a two bedroom and a three bedroom. The reason we settled for that

is we see that our society is being stratified along class lines and it’s dangerous. We wanted people – slightly privileged, not too privileged, and senior civil servants – to raise their children together. That was how we were raised. So it was important we make it spacious with standardize space designs, for twobedroom flat, one bedroom with standard space so that is how it will be built and that is what will be seen when it is built. Government will provide soft subsides as we go on; the ‘t’s and ‘i’s are being dotted; the scheme is already on its way. You will see that in the last few days I have been handing over completed houses and I will continue to do that. We have already also started some schemes. We are now going to start another round of houses fitting those models wherever we can find land. We have also introduced arbitration into dispute resolution because that is the biggest disincentives to investors. It is difficult for them to re-possess houses when people default, so beneficiaries are going to sign that they may not go to regular courts. If there is a dispute you go to arbitration, you will share the cost of arbitration which I think will not exceed 20% of the profit. So it is going to be commercially responsive. So we think that by that there is going to be much more investment of private sector building houses because government alone cannot build all houses. We have also agreed on some other policies aimed at inducing private partnership and investment. We are talking to some banks as well as gradually working through all of the hurdles. You are going to swear that you do not own any other property in Lagos to benefit because we are targeting firsthome owners. If we find out at any period at all that you own any property, you lose the house. That’s why it has taken about three years of working quietly within government, outside government in partnership – long lines of meetings but right now we are very close. That’s why we intervened in the tenancy and landlord relationship and people misunderstood, but I think the response speaks to the currency of the issue. Not everybody likes every policy. It will favour some people and leave some out. For example, as we are all unhappy that we don’t have electricity, some people are happy and will become unhappy when we have electricity. The point is that even for the landlord, I can say confidently, that this law is also in their interest. I know some properties that are empty today because people cannot accumulate two years rent. So you have wasting assets that are not earning income. Even some new highbrow houses wait on the shelf for two years which shouldn’t be the case. Part of the problem is that it also compounds the difficulty of evicting defaulting tenants because it is not that the defaulting tenant does not want to leave but because he/ she will be thinking of how to get so much money to pay for two years rent to take a new house. There are intrinsic benefits if we allow the law to work. This system where you ask people who earn their income in arrears on a monthly basis, to come and pay rent in advance on a three-year basis … the truth is that we are all bearing that cost. If you don’t have something and you suddenly produce it you must have got it from somewhere and you have to replace it. Its replacement cost comes in high cost of transport, high cost of garri and high cost of tomatoes; so what the landlord gains on the straight road, he loses at the bend. We are not in any way regulating prices. We know that it is a demandand-supply issue. The landlord and tenancy law is not a substitute for us to

do what we need to do which is to provide houses for the people at affordable prices. There is this perception that the security situation in Lagos has relapsed after what was noticeably massive improvement. Do you agree with the observation? To be honest, your observations are right. You cannot be a perpetual oasis success amidst despair. We are interwoven part of this federation. Our successes compound our challenges. I know thousands of people who have relocated from other states because of security. They add to the number that those successful policemen now have to police. If you have to look after 10 children as a father, and then your cousins and your brothers come and dump all their children in your house, your responsibility is increased, your margin of efficiency thins out. Of course, we also saw during the electoral period – some of the fallout of our electoral style is that people hired thugs; some gave money, some guns. The people who got money used it to buy a gun. Now the electoral period is over, the regular allowance that kept them in form is gone. Elections have been won and lost, so the guns must be used. We are mopping up those guns now. It was the same thing in 2007 but the escalation this time is not as high as 2007. We anticipated all of these so we are mopping up. The potency of our security system has also increased. A few things have been done – the Inspector General of Police has also responded to our appeals – but it’s not all of these things that we discuss. Today we have five additional area commands as against eight, so we are going to take policing closer to the people. They have put five area commands for us. Alimoso will have its own command now. It used to take police from Ogba, Ibeju Lekki, all the way to Epe was being police for Lion Building. Ikorodu was being policed from Ogudu; Ikorodu will now have its own area command. There will be a new area command at Elemoro in Ibeju Lekki area that will stand between Victoria Island and Epe. There will be one now in Ilase for the riverine communities. We need money now to build the area command but we’ve already started working with whatever we have. We’ve provided vehicles and this has partly begun to show us that we are on the right path. We will be re-equipping some of the vehicles, we need to replace for patrol, again the cost of fuel. That is why one wonders when oil worker say they are going on strike. They are shutting security against themselves because without fuel, police men can’t go out, without fuel we can’t carry refuse. Let’s look at the issue of federal infrastructure in Lagos. How are you contending with this because it also affects your assessment at the end of the day. Some people don’t know the difference between what is federal and what is state. Let me disagree with you there, our people are sufficiently knowledgeable to know that the airport road belongs to the Federal Government. I am telling them now that Apapa – OshodiOworonsoki expressway belongs to them. Lagos Badagry express road that I am fixing belongs to them (Federal) and so many others. Ejigbo road is their project. That is where they take the bulk of petroleum products. It is a shared responsibility, and I am doing a lot to discharge my share because when we build the road they will come and put their FRSC vehicle there, but they will never bring the money to refund what we have done. Currently, they are assessing and we hope that this assessment will lead to reform so that we can do more. But essentially, it is a shared responsibility; we dare not to drop

•Babatunde Fashola

I think that there is a temptation to jump to the conclusion that the governor that you see running around is the action governor

Continued from page 9

the ball in those places where we have sole responsibility. Let’s move to transportation matters. Here, we have in mind, the Lagos light rail project. Can you give us a progress report? Well it was a dream and the reality of that dream are manifesting. The project is within touching distance. The only thing that stands in the way of that dream now is money. The more money I get, the quicker the project. Our concession operators and partners are doing their work. They are backed by some of the biggest trustees in the business. Our responsibility to provide the hardware and their responsibility is to provide concession and the rolling stock and management. So everybody is in it. Contractors are fully mobilized; they are working seven days a week, but if they get more money I assure you they will work 24 hours. Most of the materials are in stock. Every day you go there, you see progress. Out of the basket that I have, I still have to deal with inner roads, hospitals, build roads, etc. What are your reflections on the recent flood and the future status of Lagos? When I became governor, one of my greatest fears was the risk of Lagos being submerged by water because I saw what was going on in other parts of the world. The commitment I made at the time was to pay more attention to the environment. That led me to put in a strategy. Unfortunately not many people listened, because we sometimes learn the hard way. The interest in climate change since July has risen no doubt. The pain the people suffered on July 10 would have been minimal had the people listened to us. In 2008, we built a resettlement centre in the event of flood because it is a natural disaster you can’t stop. But your responsibility will be what you do when it happens. Can you save lives? I’m proud to say that we did. When Ajegunle got flooded in 2010 toward Ikorodu, we didn’t lose any life; we evacuated all of the people. The children went to school. Parents went to

work. Children were born there and for one year we kept them in the camp. It was a product of visionary thinking and plan. We are building another centre in Alimosho, and we chose the location strategically. We chose high ground. I listened recently to a religious programme where a religious leader claimed that climate change is a problem of the Europeans. Nothing can be farther from the truth. When you calculate the number of lives that have been lost globally in the past one year without war, it speaks to the seriousness of the issue. In the context of Lagos, we had 16 hours of rain that did not stop and delivered at least 240 litres of rain in one day. While all of that was going on, drainage was working. Before the rain stopped after 10pm, I was managing the situation, giving direction that students should not come to school the next day. But by 7 am next day, Lagos was back to normal. New York did not have as much rain, they didn’t return to work in 24 hours, and I think that my predecessors – those who planned the state deserve some credit. I didn’t start the master plan for the drainage, it started since 1974. Time after time we’ve implemented those plans and we are still going on. Now, we are not out of the woods and when there is rain we are grieved. We should be careful of the aftermath and so we should stop building on drainage lines, stop throwing our dirt in the drainage, because if water can’t go it will burst out. So people should listen to us. We gave three months notice of the risk but people chose to experience it first to learn. So really I hope that when we make announcement next time people will take it seriously. Lagos is a city state on the move, competing globally. The character of the economy of the state will continue to change. I know a number of new businesses that have emerged, we should know that Lagos may lose the character of one business, but it will gain the character of another business because of technology. It remains attractive for innovation, high tech, finance trade and services.


Sport Extra

Nigeriacrashesout of Nations Cup N

IGERIA’s Super Eagles are out of the Africa Cup of Nations after being held to a 2-2 draw by the Syli Nationale of Guinea in Abuja. This means Guinea go through as Group B winners. After Ismael Bangoura gave the visitors a second-half lead, Nigeria seemed to have turned it around with goals from Obinna Nsofor and Ikechukwu Uche. But Ibrahima Traore’s goal deep into stoppage time ensured Guinea’s progress and meant Nigeria failed to qualify for the first time since 1986. They will be absent from the competition for the first time since 1996, however, having quit those finals for political

reasons. The Super Eagles went into the match needing to win 1-0, or by two clear goals should Guinea have scored, to book their place in Equatorial Guinea and Gabon. Nigeria’s plight was not helped when Ethiopia beat Madagascar 4-2 in Addis Adaba on Saturday. With results against the bottom side in the group not being taken into account, Nigeria’s two wins over Madagascar are no longer relevant. This means the Super Eagles’ points tally from their game against Guinea and Ethiopia total just five points - trailing Sudan (seven) and Libya (eight). “This was a very big

surprise - and I must confess that the team was very nervous - the pressure was just too much,” former Nigeria international Sunday Oliseh

told BBC Sport. “Things have been going wrong for us since 2002 there’s a lack of consistency, we are not that well-rounded and there are too many lapses. “Not qualifying for a World Cup is one thing but when we don’t qualify for a Nations Cup, that hurts as it means we don’t belong to the best teams in the continent.” After the match, a number of Nigerian fans reacted angrily to the defeat - attacking the media tribune at the Abuja National Stadium while also damaging its infrastructure.


game, we created chances, but we failed to take our chances and we gave up a last minute goal. “We understand the frustration of the fans because they love their team so much. But sometimes, football can be cruel.” Nigeria finished on 11 points, which was not enough to finish as one of two best runners up.

Kano soccer fans weep over Eagles painful exit


OCCER fans in the ancient city of Kano were disappointed and despondent over the 2-2 draw of the Super Eagles against the Guinean National team played at the National Stadium Abuja yesterday. The elimination of the Super Eagles from the Nation’s Cup has put Nigeria’s football in a precarious situation. Kano football fans, who watched the match, expressed disappointment at the performance of the players in this crucial Nation’s cup qualifier tie. Some of the fans, who spoke to the NationSports in Kano yesterday, were particularly disappointed with the poor performance of the West Brom Striker, Osaze Odewinge, who failed to convert the golden opportunities he had to put Nigeria ahead of the Guinean visitors. Also, the football fans alleged that Odewinge may have sabotaged the country, following his lackluster performance at the field of play, thereby dampened the

From Kolade Adeyemi, Kano morale of his teammates. A football fan, Emmanuel Johnson, said the Super Eagles failed to exhibit superior skills against the Guineans, who capitalised on Nigeria’s defensive blunder from the right back to allow the visitors to level up scores. “The problem with Nigeria’s football is that our players are not committed and determined, knowing fully well that the Nation’s image is at stake. All we need to do for now is to go back to the drawing board.” Also, the president of the Sports Writers Association of Nigeria (SWAN), Mallam Saidu Abubakar, while reacting to the outcome of the match in a telephone chat said that: “It is quite unfortunate. I could not believe what has happened. All along, I was optimistic that Nigeria will qualify but at the end of the day Nigeria has shot itself in the foot, following her painful exit from the Nation’s Cup.

Sani Toro calls for Siasia’s resignation


ORMER Secretary General of the then NFA Ahmed Sani Toro has advised the head coach of the Super Eagles Samson Siasia to tread a path of honour by resigning from the position immediately. Reacting to the scandalous result recorded by the Super Eagles in the last qualifying match against Guinea at the Abuja National Stadium, the former scribe of the Nation’s football body said “Siasia should be able to take responsibilities. He should not wait for anyone to advice him, should resign immediately. Because he has succeeded in taking the country’s football 25 years backward, so there is nothing again he can do than to resign. Nigeria failed

From Patrick Ngwaogu and Andrew Abah, Abuja to qualify last for the Nations cup in 1986, since then we have been to all the championships, even when we went with Coaches we believed were not worth the salt. Now that we all called for the employment of Siasia, thinking he was the messiah we are looking, but it has now dawned on us that he is not, so he should resign immediately”. The former member of the House of Representatives said no one should blame the players but the Coach who fielded them. “He should take sole responsibility and allow us try other coaches”he fumed

Nsofor is TomTom MVP •Eagles earn $2,500 for shots-on-target

Siasia apologises for Nations Cup exit IGERIA coach Samson Siasia has issued an apology to Nigerians after the Super Eagles drew 2-2 against Guinea to miss out on the 2012 African Nations Cup. “We want to apologise to all Nigerians. “We have not qualified for the Nations Cup and we take responsibility as a team,” Siasia said. “We did our best, we dominated the



•Emmanuel Emenike in action aganist Guinea on Saturday

Ike Uche gets $3,000, winsMan-of-the-Match


KECHUKWU Uche, who restored qualification hope momentarily for the Super Eagles in yesterday’s crucial Africa Cup of Nations qualifier with the team’s second goal, has been rewarded by Samsung, the Official Electronics of the Nigeria national football teams. Uche, who signs for Spanish La Liga side Granada this season, won $3,000 (about N485,000) and was presented with his prize shortly after the match. To ensure that the Super Eagles were not lacking support of any kind, Samsung, the Number One Fan of the Super Eagles, also sponsored hundreds of secondary students to watch

CUP OF NATIONS RESULTS Cape Verde 2 - 1 Zimbabwe Liberia 2 - 2 Mali Ethiopia 4 - 2 Madagascar Nigeria 2 - 2 Guinea Mozambique 3 - 0 Comoros Zambia 0 - 0 Libya Gambia 1 - 1 Burkina Faso Egypt 3 - 0 Niger South Africa 0 - 0 Sierra Leone Sudan 0 - 2 Ghana Swaziland 0 - 1 Congo Guinea-Bissau 0 - 2 Angola Uganda 0 - 0 Kenya Chad 2 - 2 Malawi Tunisia 2 - 0 Togo

and cheer their darling team to victory at the National Stadium, Abuja. Although Nigerians at the stadium and the fans were disappointed by the outcome of the game, Samsung urged that they should not give up on the squad. Mr Idorenyen Enang, Managing Director, Samsung Nigeria, encouraged Nigerians and other supporters of the Super Eagles, not to be despondent but to brace up for future challenges. He further said: “We must not dwell too long on our loss but rather learn from the experience of this qualifying series. We must henceforth set sail at dawn and avoid the frustration of last minute expectation. Samsung will continue to support the Super Eagles and all other national football teams to achieve the results that will gladden the hearts of Nigerians who are passionate about their teams.” Since Samsung became the official sponsor the country’s national football teams, it has left no one in doubt that it is out to inspire the national teams to win laurels and bring glory to the country. During the 2011 FIFA U-20 World Cup in Columbia, the brand galvanised support for the Nigeria’s U-20 team and also hosted the team to a rousing reception when it returned from Columbia.

C Lokomotiv Moscow’s winger Victor Obinna Nsofor emerged the Most Valuable Player (MVP) in yesterday’s Africa Cup of Nations final qualifying game between Nigeria and Guinea and earned $3,000 (about N485,000), courtesy of TomTom, the Official Candy of the Nigeria national football teams. The Super Eagles also won $2,500 (about N403,000) for producing five shots on target in the match which ended 22. The Syli Nationale of Guinea, who won the group ticket to next January’s championship in Gabon and Equatorial Guinea, recorded seven shots on target. For every shot on target by the Super Eagles, TomTom, the “True Fan” of the Nigeria national football teams, rewarded the team with $500 (about (N81,000). Although Nigerians and lovers of African football were disappointed by the outcome of the decisive match, TomTom urged Nigerians not to waver in their support as this is the time the team

require true fans to stand by them. “Nigerians are justified to feel outraged by the result of the all important match, but we must not abandon the squad at this hour of need. At this particular time, we need to stand by the team and encourage the players to put the game behind and prepare for the future challenges,” Bimbo Alabi, Senior Brand Manager (Candy), Cadbury Nigeria Plc, said. She expressed confidence that the team would regain their composure and bounce back to prominence. She assured members of the Super Eagles and Nigerians that TomTom would continue to motivate all national teams to win their matches and deliver trophies. Over the years, TomTom had rallied behind the various national teams through several initiatives. In addition to motivating the fans to cheer the teams to win, the brand introduced the TomTom Shoton-Target initiative which had spurred the teams to go for goals during competitions.

Black Stars qualify for AFCON 2012


HANA is through to the finals of the 2012 African Cup of Nations thanks to first half goals from Asamoah Gyan and John Mensah. The Black Stars maintained their unbeaten record throughout the qualifying campaign to finish on 16 points ahead of Sudan in Group I. A very packed Omdurman Stadium in Khartoum was forced into silence when Al Ain’s most talked about Ghanaian signing Asamoah Gyan capitalised on a goalmouth make in the Nile Crocodiles’ box to slot in the Black Stars first goal. Lyon defender and Ghanaian

captain Mensah added to his account at the national side when he doubled the four-time African champions’ lead after 21 minutes. Sudan was resilient and maintained possession in most parts of the game, but was unable to push further into the Black Stars final half to threaten goalkeeper Adam Kwarasey, who spent more time watching the game as a spectator. A very relaxed Ghana team had to soak the pressure from its Sudanese counterparts until referee Eddy Mallet blasted his whistle for the end of the game, signaling Ghana had gained a slot at the 2012 continental showpiece.

QUOTABLE “Some people are saying that the refineries should be fiscal before the removal of subsidy, but the question is, where is the government going to get the money to keep fixing the refineries when it is spending the same money on fuel subsidy?”


— NNPC Group General Manager, Public Affairs, Dr Livi Ajuonuma, defending the proposed removal of petroleum subsidy.


HERE was never a time in recent history when the Yoruba were united. Not under the Alafin, when many Yoruba kingdoms were outside the suzerainty of the Oyo Empire; not under the mercurial sage, Obafemi Awolowo, whose admirable force of character, intellect and ideological rectitude suffused the Western Region; and not under any other person, including the Teflon president, Olusegun Obasanjo, whose legendary ineffectiveness is overshadowed by his abrasiveness and incredible indifference to civilised standards of governance. It is a dangerous misreading of history to suggest that the old political North achieved whatever successes it can lay claim to as a result of unity, or that whatever impact the Southeast and Southwest have had on the country came out of any type of unity. So, why, in this period of Yoruba humbling, do the Yoruba people seek this chimerical unity – something they never had, and do not even need? Only those who convened the panYoruba conference last week at the Ikenne, Ogun State, home of Chief Obafemi Awolowo can explain this quixotic search for unity. Jointly inspired by Yeye Oodua, Mama HID Awolowo, and the Ooni of Ife, Oba Okunade Sijuwade, the conference sought to explore ways to bring the Yoruba together to confront what they believed were the common threats the ethnic group faced in Nigeria. The motive of advancing the interest of the Yoruba in a highly competitive country, where resources are limited and ethnic groups struggle for control and attention, is a sound one. Even Obasanjo, who is sometimes torn between his pretentious nationalism and his secret longing to lead the Yoruba through upstaging the place of Awolowo in Yoruba history, has tried to settle the irreconcilability of his wishes by running with the Yoruba unity hares and hunting with the federal hounds in Abuja. The conveners tendentiously reported what they believed was a successful conference, given the packed hall and representatives of Yoruba people that attended from far and near. On the other hand, their detractors put emphasis on the low calibre of attendees, suggesting that no significant office holder in the Southwest dignified the conference with his presence. This, of course, illustrates the dichotomy existing between the Yoruba, and is apparent proof why unity is thought to be needed among them. Why the conference organisers think the dichotomy can be bridged by fair or scary words, especially when principally only one political persuasion attended the parley, is hard to say. They, however, hoped that by painting a harrowing picture of ethnic marginalisation, or even persecution, the Yoruba could be unified to work for the tribe’s common good. After deliberations, the conference resolved in its communique that the “insult to the integrity of the Yoruba nation” must be redressed to check its “isolation from national leadership.” And in a move quite atypical to the indomitable and proud spirit of the Yoruba, the conference also resolved to raise a delegation to meet with President Goodluck Jonathan “on the plight of the Yoruba nation.” Their bête noire, it seems – and this is where they were heading all along – was “injustice in the distribution of political offices in Nigeria.” The idea of a Yoruba unity conference, of course, predated the loss of the Speaker’s position, but the motivators of the conference seized upon the defeat of Hon Mulikat Akande-Adeola in the struggle for the House of Representatives leadership as an example of the marginalisation of the Yoruba, a defeat they blamed on a faction of the Yoruba political elite. I have thrice written in this place on the battle for the hearts and minds of the Yoruba. I have also discoursed upon the ideas that are shaping that struggle, and concluded that whether it sounded nice to the ears of the Yoruba or not, the struggle in the Southwest would remain deeply ideological. I in-

Yoruba’s quixotic search for unity

• Obafemi Awolowo

• Ahmadu Bello

• Okunade Sijuwade

• Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar

dicated in those articles published between last year and now that the Yoruba were essentially progressive, could even yield to conservatism, but were unrepentantly and often violently opposed to reactionary politics. However, I also suggested that the Yoruba were not as progressive as they hoped or imagined, for sometimes, their primordial instinct and interests got in the way of their objective assessment of national and regional issues. In one of those articles I pointed out that the Yoruba unwisely supported Obasanjo in 2003, a man so implacably reactionary that even conservatives, let alone progressives, shudder to think of him as a politician or leader. It is one of the distressing paradoxes of modern Yoruba history that a people who aspire to national leadership, and love to project their sons to lofty heights, can at the same time indulge in narrow-minded politics. Why it has not occurred to them that the two Yoruba sons who won national mandates – Obasanjo and MKO Abiola – were precisely those who flaunted pan-Nigerian credentials, is difficult to fathom. If any Yoruba son is to make any significant mark in national politics today, he will have to watch his ethnic credential carefully while adroitly projecting his national reach. Shortly after the presidential election of April, I wrote that the dynamics and struc-

ture of the Jonathan victory suggested that the next president, whether he came from the North, West or East, would have to appeal to at least four geopolitical zones to clinch victory. There will never be a time again when the zones gladly and willingly surrender the top prize to someone simply because of his origin, or because he or she is marginalised. I recall warning the Igbo to take special note of the new structure of presidential politics, and to groom someone who can reach out to other zones and convince them that he is not trapped in the schizoid politics of our ethnic fouling. It, therefore, beggars belief that the Yoruba, who are generally regarded as politically sophisticated, are still torn between the ideological politics that served them well over the centuries and the now overwhelming insular inclination undermining politics in most parts of the country. It was precisely this pernicious use of politics to secure positions that Awolowo fought against with the tools of his unbending fidelity to principles, democracy and the rule of law. Though he was wrongly and unfortunately cast as a tribal champion, he was in fact blind to tribe particularly when it came to advancing the principles of democracy. The shifting dichotomy of Southwest politics is troubling enough, with those who should support the progressive forces now supporting reactionary forces, and with

“The picture the pan-Yoruba conference painted of the Yoruba people last week is unflattering. They canvassed unity. But unity of what? There cannot be ideological unity for obvious reasons; indeed there is no such unity anywhere in the world, not even in seemingly homogenous civic cultures like Britain and US. They want top national positions, obviously in the presidency, parastatals and National Assembly. But for whom and to what end? And since when did the Yoruba begin to beg for positions or take their plight anywhere?”

those who were only yesterday worsted by Obasanjo now convening conferences that indirectly lend support to his reactionary cause. But what is even more disturbing is the total abnegation of the guiding principles of Yoruba worldview and politics. The Yoruba are not known to suffer fools gladly. They now do. They are not known to supplicate before the high and mighty. They now do so with aplomb. Their leaders are known to have great character, of which Awolowo was himself an exemplar who suffered untold privations and endured sacrifices that would have killed most other people. But they have now become an undistinguished bunch of snivelling and supplicating ethnic and materialist politicians. The picture the pan-Yoruba conference painted of the Yoruba people last week is unflattering. They canvassed unity. But unity of what? There cannot be ideological unity for obvious reasons; indeed there is no such unity anywhere in the world, not even in seemingly homogenous civic cultures like Britain and US. They want top national positions, obviously in the presidency, parastatals and National Assembly. But for whom and to what end? And since when did the Yoruba begin to beg for positions or take their plight anywhere? As eminent lawyer, Femi Falana, put it succinctly while explaining his decision to stay away from the conference, when Yoruba sons occupied top positions, they feathered only their own nests. Awolowo lived, fought and died for ideas, not for positions or servile mainstreaming. He knew that ideas propelled development and the future. By studying other peoples, cultures and leaders, he understood the impregnability of ideas as the dark energy in human history. He knew that Greece, Ottomans, Britain, America, China and Russia, among others, underpinned their global influence by exporting ideas, sometimes peacefully, and at other times forcefully. But the prerequisite was always ideas; otherwise there would be nothing to export, and no greatness to be acclaimed. The power and position the old political North enjoys today is not unconnected with the legacy of the Sokoto Caliphate, a legacy that transcends the mere act of northerners occupying or begging for plum national positions. The heirs of the caliphate know what a proud history is worth, and why their interests are not achieved by number but by a few men of character who stay true to the credo their ancestors hoisted loftily. The Yoruba have so much to be proud of, so much to project— a proud history of democracy comparable in the 19th Century to the best anywhere in the world, and a rich social, cultural and economic superstructure which even the internecine wars of the 19th Century could not destroy. But here they are today, repudiating the history and ideas that made them a great people, and substituting these for nugatory conferences designed to haggle over transitory and trivial positions and benefits. The progressive cause of today’s Southwest is in tandem with the zone’s history. More importantly, it is where the future of a crises-ridden Nigeria would find solace. Let the region sharpen and modernise its progressive ideology, and imbue be it with the solid principles and character that Awolowo so nobly sacrificed his immediate happiness to sustain. Awolowo was his family’s gift to the Yoruba and Nigeria. Progressives have no reason to be uneasy that they have singled him out for canonisation, nor be dismayed by vague notions of the great man and the Yoruba requiring conferences to remind the world of their son’s imperishable legacies or what they deserve as a people. The Yoruba know how to fight for their place in the sun, and they have always done it without denigrating their history or self-respect. If anyone goes to Jonathan to ask for anything, it is not on behalf of the Southwest. After all, the nemesis of Southwest unity has always been the hostile Federal Government.

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The Nation October 9, 2011