THE NATION, SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 14, 2013
THE NATION, SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 14, 2013
Patience SADUWA and Paul UKPABIO
THE NATION, SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 14, 2013
Cabinet shake-up: More ministers may go
TRONG indications emerged yesterday that a few ministers may still be dropped from the Federal Executive Council (FEC). Presidency sources told The Nation yesterday that
Ex-Ondo Gov Agagu is dead
•Oghiadhome’s fate shaky
Yusuf ALLI, Managing Editor, Northern Operation
President Goodluck Jonathan was still evaluating the
performance of ministers and would certainly ask those who are deemed to be performing below standard to go. The highly placed source
said contrary to the popular belief that Wednesday’s shake-up was informed by the crisis in the Peoples Democratic Party(PDP), the mid-term
Former Governor of Ondo State, Dr. Olusegun Kokumo Agagu, is dead. Agagu was governor between 2003 and 2009. He passed on in Lagos after he slumped while attending a meeting, which was believed to be political. His death was confirmed to The Nation last night by his younger brother, Femi Agagu, who also doubled as Chief of Staff to Dr. Agagu as governor. Details of how he died were, however, still sketchy last night, as the younger Agagu simply said: “Oga is gone”, when our correspondent called him last night. A source close to the family, told The Nation, last night that he had arrived from the US two days ago. Dr. Agagu was born on 16 February 1948. He was Governor of Ondo State from 29 May 2003 until February 18, 2009, when a court voided his re-election as governor. He had his secondary education at Ibadan Grammar School between January 1961 and 1967, where he passed his West African School Certificate and the Higher School Certificate examinations. He proceeded to the University of Ibadan in 1968 to study Botany, but later changed to Geology, in which he graduated with a B.Sc. (Hons) degree in Second Class Upper Division, in 1971. Agagu went to the University of Texas between 1973 and 1974 for his Masters degree in Geology. Returning to Nigeria, he obtained a Ph. D degree in Petroleum Geology from the University of Ibadan in 1978. Agagu was appointed by President Olusegun Obasanjo as his first Minister of Aviation in 1999 and later Minister of Power. Sources said before his death, there were moves to bring him into the integration drive of the South-West region. He was a member of the ruling People’s Democratic Party (PDP).
Minister warns medical practitioners
EDICAL practitioners in the country have been called upon to strictly adhere to the code of conduct of their profession, so as to ensure quality services and effective healthcare delivery to their patients. The Minister of Health, Prof. Onyebuch Chukwu, who gave the warning at the opening ceremony of the 31st Annual General Meeting and Scientific Conference of the National Association of Resident Doctors of Nigeria (NARD) in Kano yesterday challenged practitioners to strictly comply with the ethical standards of the profession in order not to allow it to suffer.
“You will do well therefore to
•Former Governor of Abia State, Dr. Orji Kalu, welcoming Kano State Governor, Dr. Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso in Lagos yesterday.
Army determined to tackle security challenges — Ihejirika
HE Chief of Army Staff (COAS) Gen. Onyeabor Azubike Ihejirika, has assured Nigerians that the army under his command will find solutions to the numerous security challenges facing the country. Ihejirika said the army had been working in conjunction with the civilians in the country for the security of the nation, adding that the security of life and property in any part of the country would never be compromised by the military. The COAS said, “The issue of kidnapping, armed robbery and Boko-Haram will soon be a thing of the past in any part of the country, as we are determined to help other security agencies to combat crimes in any part of the country at the shortest notice.” He described security as the basis for even development in the country, adding that the military would do everything within its powers to ensure the security of the country at all times, so that investors who have things to do in the country will find a conducive environment to operate.” Speaking in Umuahia during the 9th Biennial Training Conference 2013 for the Nigerian Army Finance Corps (NAFC), Ihejirika said that the conference will help the military to assess what they have done in the last one year and
Ugochukwu Ugoji-Eke, Umuahia also project into the future. Ihejirika, who was represented by the General Officer Commanding 82 Division Enugu, Gen. Adebayor Olaniyi, said that the conference with the theme, ‘Transforming the Nigerian Army towards Meeting Security Challenges and National Development: the Role of NAFC’, would help them to examine the army finance corps and also find ways to manage the scarce resources available to them. The COAS assured that the conference would also help them to find ways to finance their military operations in all their peace keeping missions, stressing that the army finance corps have shown transparency in their dealings through the use of SMS to alert members when they are paid. He commended the state governor, Chief Theodore Orji, for his support to the military formations in the state, which he said had led to reduction in kidnapping and other violent crimes in the states. In his speech, the state governor, Chief Theodore Orji, noted that the military has been partners of progress in the rebuilding of the state after the dark era of kidnappings and other violent crimes that ravaged the state
sometime in the past. Orji said that the military presence in the state has helped to to stabilise the security in the state and has “made us to have the courage to build all the legacy projects we have done across the length and breadth of the state within a short period.” He commended the army for choosing the state to hold their 9th biennial training conference, saying that it has gone a long way to tell the whole world that the state is peaceful and secured, “therefore making it one of the safest states in the country.” The governor assured the army of the readiness of his administration to come to their aid whenever it is called upon, stressing that whatever achievement his government had recorded was as result of the partnership with the military. In his welcome speech, the Chief of Accounts and Budget (Army), Gen. Abdullahi Muraina, said that the transformation agenda of the present administration has helped the military to transform itself to face the security challenges in the country in recent times. Gen. Muraina said the army is committed to helping the civilians to combat crimes in many states across the country, adding that the experience has not only been tasking but also very expensive despite the challenges of unqualified staff.
report on the performance of ministers accounted for the reshuffling. He said a few more ministers might be asked to go as “part of moves to retool the cabinet.” The source, who gave a rare insights into the cabinet shake-up, said: “Performance played a key role in the dropping of most of the nine ministers on Wednesday. The President did not lay much emphasis on partisan consideration. “Yes, there might be one or two whose loyalty is politically doubtful but Nigerians should appreciate that these ministers entered into a performance bond and the President decided to judge them by their targets. Do not forget, targets are measurable. “For instance, the former Minister of Science and Technology, Prof. Ewa Hensaw, is a personal or close friend of the President. But he went ahead to drop him. He did not allow their relationship to override his aim of injecting new blood into the cabinet.” The source also added that some of the sacked ministers were aware that they had issues with their targets. He said some also saw it coming because they have had time to raise the alarm to the President that their lines were being bugged by one of the security agencies. The source said: “At a point, some ministers complained to the President on why their lines were being bugged by one of the security agencies. “The President, who was transparent in handling the matter, asked a security chief if it was true that ministers were being monitored. The chief was quoted to have said: ‘Any minister who has nothing to hide should not fear.’ Responding to a question, the source said the performance appraisal “is ongoing, I am aware of this. More ministers, especially those perceived to be corrupt may go. “None of the nine sacked ministers is ranked among cabinet members perceived to be highly corrupt who are still in office. We have some ministers living in houses worth more than N1.5 billion or engaging in ostentatious lifestyle. Do
you think the President will turn a blind eye to reports on such ministers? “Based on security reports, some ministers might still go.” It was also learnt that the fate of some key personal aides of the President, including the Chief of Staff, Chief Mike Oghiadhome, was shaky last night. Some forces are said to be mounting pressure on the President to appoint a Chief of Staff with political mileage in view of the opposition against his reelection bid. The forces are pushing for the appointment of the Chairman of AIT/ Raypower, Chief Raymond Dokpesi, as the new Chief of Staff. In the last one month, Dokpesi has been shuttling from one Northern leader to another to reconcile Jonathan with the North. The AIT boss is said to have succeeded to the extent that sworn political ‘enemies’ of Jonathan in the North have started to give the President’s rapprochement a thought. This is why the forces believe that it is politically strategic to drag Dokpesi to the presidency as Chief of Staff, even if it is against the wish of the business mogul, The Nation learnt yesterday. They are proposing that Oghiadhome be made a minister. But some are opposed to ministerial appointment for him because of the cold war between him and his political ‘godfather’, Chief Tony Anenih. The cold war, it was further learnt, led to the exclusion of Oghiadhome’s name from the list of Edo delegates to the recently concluded PDP National Convention. Even at that, it was alleged that Oghiadhome allegedly found his way to the convention and voted. His alleged voting could invalidate the outcome of the convention if pursued by the aggrieved PDP members in court, a source said. He was emphatic that some aides who are not adding value to the President’s second term bid in 2015 might also be dropped. Oghiadhome is however not taking things for granted. He is reaching out to those perceived to have the President’s ears.
Madam Adedewe passes on
HE families of Oyedeji and Faniran of Otan Ayegbaju and the family of Adedewe of Ile-Ife have announced the passing to glory of of Chief (Mrs) Comfort Ajibola Adedewe. Chief Adedewe (nee Oyedeji) died on Wednesday at the age of 86. She was until her death a successful business woman, a community leader and a devout
Christian. She was the Otun Iya Ijo of African Church Cathedral of St Peters, Itakogun, Ile-Ife. She is survived by children and grandchildren, the eldest of whom is Prof. Funmi Togonu-Bickersteth, the immediate past Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) of Obafemi Awolowo University. The family says the burial arrangements will be announced at a later date.
THE NATION, SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 14, 2013
Outrage over police blockade of Rivers Govt House Road •Nigerians must rise against impunity —Amaechi •Ex-Speakers demand IG’s resignation
NGRY reactions have trailed Thursday’s blockade of the road to the Government House, Port Harcourt, which denied Rivers State Governor, Hon. Rotimi Amaechi, access to his residence. Individuals and groups, including Governor Amaechi and Former Speakers’ Forum, yesterday condemned the action, describing it as the height of impunity. Amaechi was said to be returning to the Government House with members of the Forum of Former Speakers of State Houses of Assembly in Nigeria at about 7 pm after an inspection of some projects executed by the governor, only to run into a roadblock mounted by the police at the junction of Port Harcourt Club on Forces Avenue. At a reception held for the forum’s members in Government House on Thursday night, Amaechi said: “All of you saw how the former speakers came down from the vehicle to tell them (police) where we were coming from, but the Police resisted. “It is for Nigerians to see that we no longer have democracy in this country. We are now in a regime where the law is no longer supreme. We must rise up against this impunity against our democracy.” The governor also took time to apologise to the ex-Speakers for the embarrassment caused them by the action of the Rivers State Police Command. “I
Bisi OLANIYI, Port Harcourt and Innocent DURU apologise for the embarrassment you suffered during our return from inspection to various projects,” he said He also said there was a need for the National Assembly and the various state houses of assembly to fashion out a legislative framework that would address retirement benefits of the ex-lawmakers and their welfare as former elected public officers who represented their people well and served the nation meritoriously. “The National Assembly and the various state houses of assembly should address the retirement and welfare of the exlawmakers. It is very important,” Amaechi said. Earlier, the Chairman of the Former Speakers’ Forum and ex-Speaker of the Plateau State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Simon Lalong, had called on the National Assembly to urgently call for the resignation of the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Abubakar, over what they described as police impunity in Rivers State. Lalong said the policemen who blocked the road might have acted on a directive from the state’s Commissioner of Police, Joseph Mbu, who takes his instructions from the Inspector General of Police. He, therefore, called for the IG’s resignation. He said: “I don’t think it is really about police
overzealousness. The police are controlled by higher authorities. So, if that is what is happening, I think people should collectively call for the resignation of the InspectorGeneral of Police. “He is the highest-ranking police officer. So, we should believe that the Police Commissioner (Joseph Mbu) is taking instructions from the Inspector General of Police. “For this level of impunity, I think the National Assembly should start calling for the resignation of the Inspector-General, not even the Commissioner of Police.” He described the action of the policemen as the height of impunity, stressing that if the police could act so unfairly where a governor is concerned, ordi-
nary Nigerians would not be safe. He said: “I was only watching these things on television and reading about them in the newspapers. But I saw what happened this evening as the highest level of impunity in Nigeria, for a governor who has immunity and everything to be stopped on the way blocked by policemen. “It means that they are in another way trying to remove his immunity unconstitutionally. So, it is really very unfortunate on the side of the police. We don’t have police protection again. “I think the international community should begin to look at this situation. It is no longer about the governor. What about the common man,
the ordinary person? “I think something must be done in respect of the Nigeria Police that we are funding with taxpayers’ money. And I think something needs to be done not only in this state, because many of us were afraid when we saw this kind of thing (roadblock). “So, if it is happening to the governor who has immunity, what about people who don’t have immunity? Maybe very soon, they will start arresting people in their houses. “I wonder what is really happening. I think the President should intervene in this issue.” Former Speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly and ex-Senator, Olorunimbe Mamora, also expressed sadness at the action of the police,
recalling that Governor Amaechi made the detour to get to the Government House with his guests because he is a responsible citizen. Senator Mamora said: “I think to say the least, that (roadblock) was quite unfortunate because we were coming from the inspection of projects. More than 70 former speakers were on the governor’s entourage. And on our way back to the Government House, we discovered that we just couldn’t pass because the road had been blocked and we were wondering what was happening only to discover that it was a group of policemen who claimed to be acting on the instruction of the Commissioner of Police here in Rivers State. And it was quite unfortunate. •Continued on Page 55
Blockade of Rivers Government House road, descent into anarchy —APC governors
LEVEN governors of the All Progressives Congress (APC) yesterday described Thursday’s blockade by the police of the road that leads to Government House, Port Harcourt as a sign of the nation’s descent into anarchy. In a statement issued by the governors under the aegis of Progressive Governors’ Forum (PGF), the governors said they received the news of the blockade mounted in front of Rivers Government House by the police with shock and disbelief. It noted that the Rivers State Governor, Rotimi Amaechi, was as a result of the blockade refused access to his own office “in a manner that only translates to illegal takeover of Rivers State Government by the police authorities and suspension of all relevant powers of the governor as the chief security officer of the state as provided by the 1999 Nigerian Constitution. “This action of the Rivers Police Command is an assault on constitutional rule and portends a descent into anarchy. “Since July 2013, the situation in Rivers continues to constitute a major threat to our democracy. “The inability of federal authorities to exercise all the necessary constitutional and moral authority to ensure speedy resolution of the crisis has remained a source of danger for our democracy and the life of Governor Amaechi and those of other public officers serving in the
state. “This is a bad precedent and we wonder if this is not a signal for a similar blockade to be mounted against the President at the Presidential Villa. “This is unfortunate and all Nigerians must rise to this challenge by calling on the Federal Government and all its agencies, including all arms of the security services, to respect the letter and spirit of the 1999 Nigerian Constitution. “In the specific case of Rivers State, provisions of Section 215(4) of the 1999 Constitution must be fully respected. This section provides that the Governor ‘may give to the Commissioner of Police of that state such lawful directions with respect to the maintenance and security of public safety and public order within the state as he may consider necessary, and the Commissioner of Police shall comply with those directions or cause them to be complied with.’ “A situation whereby the Federal Government will use powers vested in it under the constitution to bully and intimidate state governments is unacceptable and should be resisted by every democratic government. “As Governors, we view the events of September 12 in Rivers as a direct affront on constitutional order in the country. “We wish to unequivocally state our resolve to work with all democrats in the country to ensure adequate protection of democratic governance. Enough is Enough!”
•From left: Chairman, Board of Council, Tertiary Education Trust Fund, Musa Babayo; Executive Secretary, Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC), Prof. Charles Onocha; Chairman UBEC, King A. J. Turner; Provost, Federal College of Education (Special), FCE, Oyo, Dr Emmanuel Adeniyi and Chairman, Board of Council, FCE, Oyo, Dr Aderemi Akitoye during the inauguration of the boards in Abuja... yesterday. PHOTO: Abayomi FAYESE
...as Tukur-led PDP justifies action
•Governor is playing to the gallery - Rivers PDP
HE leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) yesterday justified police blockade of the road leading to Governor Rotimi Amaechi’s residence at the Rivers State Government house in Port Harcourt. In a statement by the party’s National Publicity Secretary, Chief Olisa Metuh, the PDP accused the governor of inciting the public against the Federal Government and the Rivers State Commissioner of Police, Mbu Joseph Mbu. “Of particular concern is the manipulation of the media by the Governor of Rivers State, His Excellency, Governor Chibuike Amaechi, to mislead Nigerians and create an impression that he was barred by the police and the Federal Government from entering the Rivers State Government House, Port Harcourt. “This distortion of facts is totally unacceptable and unbefitting of a state governor. It is indeed condemnable that Governor Amaechi has continued to distort facts and interfere in the lawful activities of the police and security operatives ensuring law and order in Rivers State only to manipulate the media and portray himself as
Gbade Ogunwale, Assistant Editor, Abuja and Bisi OLANIYI, Port Harcourt the victim,” the statement said. Metuh added that Amaechi was fully aware that based on the ruling of the courts, the police had sealed off a secretariat illegally opened by some individuals under the name, flag and colour of the PDP, consequent upon which the route leading to the structure and the Government House was also closed. He accused the governor of defying the closure by choosing to access the Government House through the same route in company with “unauthorised persons” who sought to beat security to access the sealed secretariat. “Governor Amaechi cannot feign ignorance of the fact that the route was closed, as he must have been fully informed by his security details, otherwise he is running an incompetent government that cannot guarantee the safety and welfare of his state. Governor Amaechi must understand that the Nigeria police is a sacred institution which should not in any way
be dragged into politics. In the same vein, he must understand that facts are sacred and should not be distorted under any guise,” Metuh further stated. In another statement issued by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Rivers State yesterday, the party also accused Governor Amaechi of playing to the gallery. The statement signed by the State Secretary of the party, Prince Ibibia O’Walter JP, reads in part: “Our attention has been drawn to the attempt by some misguided elements in the state to open a parallel secretariat of the party in the state; an action that portrays the lawless disposition of neophytes in politics. “The constitution of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) does not recognise the acronym ‘New PDP’ OR ‘NPDP’. So also does the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, as the registration certificate of the Peoples Democratic Party dated Monday 21st December 1998; which was given pursuant to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Establishment Decree 17 of 1998 also attests to this fact, and therefore the mere mention of a factional PDP is an illegality.”
The statement accused Amaechi of choosing the same day that President Jonathan was in Port Harcourt en route Bayalsa State on September 12, 2013 to open the New PDP office in Port Harcourt; an action it said was not only illegal but also ill-conceived, wrongly timed, provocative and poorly thought out. “It is an action that exhibits contemptuousness and we therefore insist that these contemnors should be brought to book,” the statement said.. It added: “It is disheartening to observe that a governor who some minutes ago was at the International Airport to receive Mr. President will suddenly accuse the same President of ordering the police to block the entrance to the Rivers State Government House. This statement is no doubt made to attract public sympathy. “In 2009 when a similar action was to be carried out, the same governor ordered the arrest of the perpetrators and charged them for cultism and illegal assemblage. “The PDP in Rivers State condemns in absolute terms this unwarranted and unacceptable contempt on the person and office of Mr. President.”
THE NATION, SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 14, 2013
Politics, impunity and deterrence T HE International Criminal Court - ICC - trial of Kenya’s Vice President William Ruto over crime against human ity in the post election violence that marked Kenya’s 2007 elections began at the Hague this week. Just as the US secretary of State John Kerry also met Russia’s Foreign Minster Sergei Lavrov in Geneva to sort out plans on how Syria will submit its nuclear arsenal to an international custody to avert Barak Obama’ s now sterile threat of the use of a limited attack to punish Syria over the use of chemical weapons against its people. These went on against a background of violent protests in Chile over the 40th anniversary of the coup that brought in former President Augusto Pinochet into power when he ousted President Salvadore Allende violently in 1973 and held on to power brutally for 17 years during which thousands of people disappeared in unmarked graves; and for which the Chilean Judiciary offered an unreserved apology to the Chilean people for its complicity in the Pinochet era, just last week. If you lace these events with the home based political skirmishes between New PDP Secretary former Governor Olagunsoye Oyinlola and embattled PDP Chairman Bamanga Tukur and their utterances over the split in Nigeria’s ruling party; as well as the verbal gymnastics between former EFCC boss Farida Waziri and the charge by former President Olusegun Obasanjo that she was recommended to her high profile anti- corruption job by a former governor of Delta State James Ibori now jailed for corruption overseas, then you know that we have very juicy cocktail for consumption and analysis on global politics and diplomacy today. First let me caution that we have grave issues to discuss today on which l have strong opinions which may rankle some bones but then that is the essence of political analysis and public discourse. I fire the first salvos by making some initial comments on the issues highlighted before going on to clarify extensively on these issues . On Kenya I agree with former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan who said that the trials of the two Kenyan leaders must go on even though some have charged the ICC of prosecuting only Africans, a charge that does not jell at all with me. On the meeting between John Kerry and Russia’s Sergei Lavrov in Geneva, I think it is a poor substitute for the deterrence an attack would have created over Syria. This has in turn unwittingly and diplomatically given great leverage to Russia in world affairs such that a dictator like Russia’s Vladmir Putin can, in an appeal to the American people in article in New York Times now write that the US is noted for ‘brute force’ globally in interfering in other nations internal affairs, and not democracy . Such a statement coming from a man with Putin’s repressive leadership credentials is just nauseating . But then that is the result of a drifting and rudderless US policy on Syria for now. It is with the likes of leaders like Vladmir Putin in mind that I sympathise with those who foment trouble in Chile when they see the beneficiaries of Augusto Pinochet’s dictatorship taking to the streets in Santiago to celebrate his 17 years of dictatorship which started in 1973 and ended in1990. Relatively Chile had political stability but the democratically elected Marxist leader that had mass appeal was slaughtered by Chile’s military to install their boss as president in that nation and the supporters of Allende still have painful memories of their political loss and the psychological trauma of living in fear under military rule. It was an era with arbitrary rules, insecurity, detention and torture aided by a judiciary that was too willing at the time to use the law to back and strengthen the
rotten government of the day In Nigeria the mudslinging between the New and Original PDP and that between Waziri and a former Nigerian dictator threw up some interesting vocabulary like ‘senility‘, dictator’, ’exposure’ and ‘respect‘ which I am sure make very interesting reading. Especially when we analyse their context, relevance and appropriateness by both the sender as well as the receivers of the verbal exchanges. Let us now go back to the trial of William Ruto Vice President of Kenya which has begun although the Kenyan Parliament has voted that Kenya should pull out of the ICC which has said the trial will continue any way. That the Kenyan VP is attending shows that in spite of Kenya’s pull out of the ICC that nation has respect for the rule of law and the international community. Again Kofi Annan who played a part in the investigations has affirmed that such trials are necessary to affirm the rule of law and show that no one is above the law any where in the modern world .President Uhuru Kenyatta’s trial is to start in November and he has said he would attend as long as both himself and his VP are not away on trial at the same time, a fact that the ICC has promised to respect. So impunity is on trial at the Hague in Kenya while politics and the threat of deterrence take a back seat and that is good for global democracy in my book. Again let us talk about the floundering US foreign policy on Syria which has subsituted deterrence with diplomacy . This was in the hope that threat of force will galvanise the use of diplomacy to achieve the objective of making the Assad regime pay for its use of chemical weapons , of which the US president said he had proof and with which the Russians said they disagreed. Now, speaking at home, the US president pleaded with Americans to give him permission to strike and he alerted his armed forces to prepare to strike any time and the law makers to give him a vote to strike. At the end these muscle flexing and diversionary press ups however, the US president did nothing because right from the outset he had no stomach for this or any fight whatsoever; and that is the grim truth that the international community must face during the remaining part of the presidency of Barak Obama. When even the UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon could exclaim and denounce what he called the ‘paralysing inaction‘ over the Syrian matter, then one can see how far the US president has led both admirers and critics down a blind alley over the deterrence option in calling the blood thirsty regime in Damascus to order, over the use of chemical weapons against children and innocent victims in Syria. Undoubtedly, the US president has been boxed into a corner by the strong anti war lobby in Europe and the US that heralded his assumption of office. They even gave him a Nobel Prize just because they hated those who carried out the invasion of Iraq on a false premise of availability of weapons of mass destruction. Now Obama’s albatross is in living up to his electoral promises as well as pleasing his admirers while forgetting those whose hope for freedom he ignited in the Arab world with his Cairo Speech and the support he gave to the Arab Spring street revolution together with France and Britain leading to the overthrow of dictators in Tunisia, Yemen, Egypt and Libya. In those heady days, David Cameron and France’s former President Nikola Sarkozy even visited the demonstrators in Cairo to offer support before using the No Fly Zone to scuttle the Muammar Gaddafi regime. Now, Britain has jumped ship in liberating the Arabs as
Parliament has handcuffed David Cameron on the matter and he can only bark and not bite but could shout only on humanitarian aid on Syria’s use of chemical weapons. I am sure Winston Churchill is turning in his grave at the impotence of his present replacement and his beloved Britain over the use of chemical weapons on thousands of innocent Syrians by their government. Only France’s new president is trying to do what he can to get the Americans who have developed political incontinence over Syria to do something at least similar to that which France did so well in driving the Tuaregs away from Mali so recently. One thing is clear. The American leader has allowed domestic politics to befuddle international diplomacy and he will pay a steep price for that eventually before the end of his presidency as history will attest. This was what Richard Nixon noted in his memoirs and he in spite of Watergate opened up US relations with China. Now the Americans have a man in charge who revels in gay rights and same sex marriages at home, and sells human freedom and liberty abroad. Yet, when it comes to the crunch when he should show a red card to a blood thirsty tyrant in Damascus, he chose to hobnob with the residue of the Red Army in the Kremlin and to sermonize his armed forces and legislators to a miserable state of inertia and hand wringing over the violation of their core ethical and cultural values, right before their eyes and with them in full control of their senses. Really , I do not know whether to cry or laugh at the impotence of US foreign policy over Syria and its consequences for global democracy, freedom and liberty in all ramifications. On the PDP spat and Farida’s tussle with Obasanjo, some things are clear. First it was wrong for Tukur and Oyinlola to be trading tackles while the elders have been called in to mediate in the crisis rocking the party. Secondly it was right of Tukur to see dictatorial tendencies in Oyinlola who served as a military governor of Lagos state before. But Oyinlola is now a lawyer and Tukur should beware. Just as it was in order for Oyinlola to use the word ‘senile’ on Tukur who has been in the public gaze for so long since his days as boss of the NPA that one was wondering if Oyinlola was not talking of another Tukur. Tenacity or longevity of office can more often than not induce unexpected senility sooner than later. That too can be a great political risk or hurdle for anybody or any political party. Similarly it was highly uncalled for for Obasanjo to mention the Ibori connection with Farida and to question Farida’s credentials the way Obasanjo has done in EFCC house magazine interview. Undoubtedly Farida has impeccable credentials for her job in spite of Obasanjo’s unexpected spite and hatred. In addition she operated under very difficult conditions and she could not have moved mountains alone in her anti corruption crusade. It was nice to hear that her successor Lamorde at a function asked the media to exercise restraint in reporting cases involving the EFCC to avoid media trial of suspects. That was rampant during Farida’s time and that could not have been her fault alone especially in a high tension democracy like Nigeria.
THE NATION, SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 14, 2013
Before Bianca, Fani-Kayode turn their feud into roforofo
S a primary school pupil, some of my best moments were the periods set aside for Bible Studies. I looked forward to them because of the interesting stories we were regaled with and because the handlers of the subject were not the regular teachers, but clergymen deployed from some of the surrounding churches. We were sure that even if we provoked them, the Bible Studies teachers would not deploy the cane like the other teachers did. The worst they would do was to tell us that we should not act like Satan's offspring so that we would not go into hell fire. It was a tension-free atmosphere we cherished and wished that the other teachers would emulate. My love for Bible Studies continued into my early years in secondary school, but I had a problem with the teacher after the first few classes in my first year. I had enjoyed the stories about creation and the activities of Adam and Eve in Eden up until the time they sinned and lost favour with God. But I became apprehensive the day the teacher told us that Adam knew Eve and Eve conceived and gave birth to Cain. In pristine innocence, I asked the teacher why it took Adam so long to know Eve when the two had lived together for years as husband and wife. And by what magic did a man and a woman simply knowing each other translate into conception and the birth of a baby? The teacher ignored the clarifications I sought, but I continued to chew on the issue until I realised that the word “know” in the context it was used meant more than the dictionary could explain. That probably informs the furore that was generated in the camp of former beauty queen and Nigerian Ambassador to Spain, Mrs. Bianca
Ojukwu, when former Aviation Minister, Femi Fani-Kayode, declared on his facebook account that he intimately knew Bianca, the widow of Dim Emeka Odumegwu-Ojukwu, former Biafran leader and Ikemba Nnewi, in her prime. For a woman that is quite familiar with the biblical story of Adam and Eve, it is discomforting enough that a man would claim to have known her, not to talk of doing so intimately. Fani-Kayode's seemingly innocuous claim, now labelled an outburst by Bianca and her supporters, had been made in the most innocent and fortuitous manner. Defending himself against some critics who had labelled him a tribalist and hater of the Igbo race, FaniKayode felt the need to highlight some past deeds he thought would hold him up as a shining example of a detribalised Nigerian. The deeds, according to the former Aviation Minister, include the long list of Igbo women he had dated and could have taken as wives if circumstances had permitted. In the piece titled ‘A Word for Those Who Call Me a Tribalist,’ Fani-Kayode wrote: "I was not a tribalist when I had a long-standing and intimate relationship with Miss Bianca Onoh, an Igbo lady who later married Colonel Emeka OdumegwuOjukwu, the leader of Biafra and who is now our Ambassador in Spain. I was not a tribalist when I had a long-standing and intimate relationship with Miss Chioma Anasoh, another
Igbo lady who I almost married. I was not a tribalist when I had a long-standing and intimate relationship with Miss Adaobi Uchegbu, another Igbo lady who was exceptionally close to me and who is now a leading figure at the National Headquarters of the ruling PDP." For understandable reasons, this portion of the piece has generated the most interest, particularly from Fani-Kayode's traducers who are not impressed with his definition of nationalism. They cannot understand why the virile ex-minister would glory in his exploits with women, while his contemporaries elsewhere are building castles in Mars. The more fastidious ones are even demanding the age at which he began to cast his nuptial net as to have caught such a long list of Igbo chicks. They are also eager to know how many Yoruba, Hausa, Ijaw, Efik, Idoma, Tiv, Ibibio, Kanuri, Fulani or Jukun women have profited from his patriotic and nationalistic zeal. Bianca, certainly, is not enjoying any of these. And in spite of the testimonies of Kemi, the controversial daughter of former civilian governor of Oyo State, Dr. Omololu Olunloyo, that she was an eye witness to Bianca and Fani-Kayode's intimate relationship as students in the UK, Bianca insists that Fani-Kayode is as strange as unicorn. She insists that she has never met him much less maintain a relationship, no matter how casual. And to strengthen her stance, she has threatened a legal action against Fani-Kayode unless he
For understandable reasons, this portion of the piece has generated the most interest, particularly from FaniKayode's traducers who are not impressed with his definition of nationalism. They cannot understand why the virile ex-minister would glory in his exploits with women, while his contemporaries elsewhere are building castles in Mars
Now, OBJ spits on own grave
HERE are a thousand and one reasons to dislike former President Olusegun Obasanjo. What one can’t help but admire is his infantile garrulousness. After close to 12 years in office at the highest level of governance, many had expected that Baba would gloriously retire to his Ota farms, tending his chickens and enjoying fresh palm wine away from Abuja’s intriguing politics. No one had thought he would still be that active to disturb a nation’s peace with scathing parodies. It turned out that we had placed too much value on a man who worships nothing but his own ego. We may not have a sense of history but we are not that dumb not to understand why an Obasanjo would forever find it convenient to run his mouth riot on his former deputy, AtikuAbubakar or anyone for that matter. This man sees himself as some kind of superhuman. And he may deny it till the end of life; Obasanjo knows that there is more to his sour relationship with Atiku than the allegations of corruption. Central to this pathological heckling of Atiku at any given opportunity is the ‘disloyal’ role Atiku played in frustrating the self-perpetuation agenda otherwise known as tenure elongation in the days of the long knives. Second was the humiliation that Obasanjo went through in the hands of Atiku before he was eventually given the green light to contest for a second term in office. Aside these two, all other things seem to exist in Obasanjo’s fantasies. Before I proceed, I hasten to make this clarification. Atiku does not, by any standard, come close to anyone’s definition of a man without blemish. Like Obasanjo, he is part of the Nigerian problem. He may be a dogged fighter for whatever reasons; he is clearly not doing that purely out of a patriotic calling. He may not have won the war against Obasanjo in the struggle to remain in power; Atiku should be given the credit for winning a battle aimed at consigning him to the dustbin of history. It is also to his credit that the sucker punch he delivered on Obasanjo’s jaws some seven years back has turned the retired Army General into something of the proverbial bird with the broken beak. Perhaps, Obasanjo would have looked elsewhere for a toothpick if Atiku had not chickened out when his lieutenants had expected him to pull the trigger. Today, he is the victim of that grave mistake of 2003 when General Obasanjo was seeking a lifeline on bended knees! And, in continuation of the cravings to hit Atiku with a sledgehammer, Obasanjo was offered yet another opportunity to voice out his frustrations in a recent interview with “Zero Tolerance”, the in-house publication of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission. It is amusing that an elder statesman so addressed does not see the joke in playing the judge and the jury in his own case. Besides, what sends Obasanjo on a binge of delirium is a delusional idea that he alone has the licence to label other politically-exposed persons as criminally corrupt. He alone, he also assumes, reserves the right to free others of the corruption tag. While it was easy for Mr. Squeaky Clean to dismiss his former deputy as an international money launderer frantically being sought by the government of the United States of America to answer to corruption charges, Obasanjo would be the first to plead with Nigerians to come up with evidence of official graft
against notable Nigerians including ex-military President Ibrahim BadamosiBabangida, to enable the EFCC discharge its responsibility! Curious? Very curious! In his latest diatribe, Obasanjo, as usual, threw caution to the wind and carelessly engaged his oral gear. The rage he feels against his estranged deputy is packaged in the bitterness of his language. He just can’t wait to see Atiku in prison - any prison! He is enraged that the EFCC has not arrested Atiku and put him on trial for corruption as demanded by the FBI. He is bitter that his arch enemy has not visited the US so that he could be put on trial for corruption and jailed just like James Ibori met his waterloo in the United Kingdom. He is flustered that Atiku only visits Dubai and sees him to be perennially running away from the law in other countries. Listen to him: “He travels? Travels to where? To Dubai? Let him go to America and return to Nigeria. Well, I don’t know what the EFCC has found out about him, but I don’t know if he can go to America. Do you know? I am asking you, do you know?” Question is: what bites Obasanjo? The answer is not that difficult after all. If he has not been tagged corrupt for the mere fact that he was mentioned in the Halliburton scam and several other deals perpetrated under his nose by some of his trusted aides, why this fixation on an Atiku-must-go-to-jail campaign? Besides, is it just a mere coincidence that the EFCC interview was released at a time Atiku regained some political relevance with the successful coup against Jonathan at the Peoples Democratic Party’s Special Convention a fortnight ago? Was Atiku the only politically-exposed person that was investigated and never tried by the EFCC? By now, it should be clear to Obasanjo that if Ibori could be arrested in Dubai and crated to the UK to face trial, it should not be difficult for the US government to arrest Atiku in the same place if it so desires. Or is it that Atiku travels to the country with fake identity? Now that Atiku has told the nation that his US visa has just been renewed, Obasanjo may need to write the US Ambassador to Nigeria, Terrence McCulley, to invalidate the visa! Interestingly, Obasanjo reserved some harsh words for the former chairman of the EFCC, Farida Waziri, in the controversial interview. He did not only pooh-pooh her for displaying crying incompetence but blurted that Farida facilitated Ibori’s escape to Dubai. In impugning the reputation of a woman who meritoriously served the Nigeria Police for 35 years, Obasanjo offered no convincing evidence other than the usual beer parlour rumour of Ibori playing
publishes a retraction in some national newspapers and tender unreserved apology for maligning her and defaming her character. But there is an impasse as Fani-Kayode stands by his words and threatens to also drag Bianca to court for presenting him as a liar in the public eye. "We will also be instigating (not just instituting) our own legal proceedings against her in due course for her barefaced and malicious lies and her consistent claims that she has not met Chief Fani-Kayode, all in an attempt to libel, defame, diminish and discredit him before the entire world," Fani-Kayode's media assistant said in a statement. The statement maintained that FaniKayode did not only have an intimate relationship with Bianca, he "knew her far better than she cares to publicly admit." In a veiled threat, the statement added: "The precise nature of that relationship will be explored and exposed in open court!" Considering that Bianca is still smarting from the death of her husband and the battles she is faced with on the home front over her late husband's will, a legal battle with Fani-Kayode over a relationship he claims is in the past is the least distraction the Nigerian Ambassador to Spain needs at this time. This is besides the blow that such a battle could deal on her image as an ambassador, a former beauty queen and widow of a highly respected Igbo leader. A Yoruba adage says that when a blind man threatens to throw a stone, it is either he has one in his hand or there is one under his foot. What if Fani-Kayode's threats are thought to be empty, but he comes up with disarming exhibits that would alarm even the presiding judge? It is also in the nation's interest that the dispute does not progress beyond the current level of grandstanding, considering the status of the two parties involved. Otherwise, the nation could be in for one of its most embarrassing moments as two national figures wash their dirty linens in the public. Our statesmen and other wellmeaning Nigerians should prevail on the warring parties to sue for peace, particularly Bianca who definitely has more to lose if the feud degenerates into roforofo.
Yomi Odunuga E-mail:yomi.odunuga @thenationonlineng.net SMS only: 07028006913 a major role in Farida’s appointment. As far as he is concerned, no other person can do a better job of the EFCC than NuhuRibadu, his chosen one. That, in my view, is pedestrian and jaundiced logic. Even Ribadu would readily admit that he bungled key cases and needlessly haunted some persons just to please Obasanjo. The Atiku’s case should still be fresh in the memory. In all this, there are some positives. At least we now know that Farida could be privy to certain hidden truth about Obasanjo which has been buried in the Official Secrets Act for long. Thanks to an ex-president’s indiscretion in opening his mouth too wide, we may soon be availed with the sordid details of what went down behind the scenes should Farida go ahead with her threat to “open up on him.” Here is Farida on the marble: “If Obasanjo’s real age has not blurred his memory, I will like to remind him that I was a Commissioner of Police, Admin Force CID, CP General Investigations, CP Anti-fraud, CP X Squad, CP Police Special Fraud Unit where I secured the first conviction in a case of Advance Fee Fraud in Nigerian history.To further expose the height of mischief in the allegations, the past and present chairmen of the EFCC have both worked under me, yet someone can open his mouth to say I am not qualified to head the same agency.This is in addition to my educational qualifications, such as a first degree in Law, a Master’s degree in Law and another Master’s degree in Strategic Studies. I doubt if Obasanjo himself can boast of this level of educational qualifications.I will like to warn that those who live in glass house don’t throw stones and, as such, Obasanjo should not allow me open up on him. Respectable elder statesmen act and speak with decorum.” Hell, they say, hath no fury like a woman scorned. The mystery of how a nearly broke OBJ and his troubled farming operations became overnight financial success after a period in power waits to be unravelled. OBJ’s latest indecorous outburst and opprobrious rant against Atiku and Farida may well be the starting point of spitting on his own grave of infamy. As a former crack detective in the anti-fraud unit of the police, Farida’s threat may be the beginning of the end for Obasanjo’s hollow triumphalism on corruption. Will Obasanjo dare Farida to lay it bare on the table or will he, in the twilight of his life, learn the wisdom in not throwing stones when living in a glass house of infamy? Time will tell.
Interestingly, Obasanjo reserved some harsh words for the former chairman of the EFCC, Farida Waziri, in the controversial interview. He did not only poohpooh her for displaying crying incompetence but blurted that Farida facilitated Ibori’s escape to Dubai
THE NATION, SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 14, 2013
To intervene in Syria or not…? BIRTHDAY TRIBUTE That is the question hould the U.S. intervene in Syria with Military Action or should it not…? That is the question. More than a year has passed since the start of the Syrian civil war and just as the violent crackdown on those who oppose the government of Bashar alAssad has become more intense, so has the pressure on America and the West to get directly involved with military action. But while the prospect of military action is easier said than done, a look back at the metamorphic disaster that the 2003 Iraq War was for America, the strategic catastrophe that is the invasion in Afghanistan and the cataclysmic misadventure of sending troops to Lebanon in 1982 under the Reagan administration, the last thing the United States needs to do is get involved in another Middle East war. The United States has, no doubt, had its fair share in its un-judicious Middle Eastern fiascos and for the most part, American military intervention in Syria, at this time, would be most unwise. Most would agree that some action needs to be taken in Syria. With as many as 8,000 civilians reported to have been killed since the start of the war and reports that chronicle an utmost level of brutality from both sides in the exchange, it would be unbecoming and immoral for the world to sit and just watch innocent civilians being slaughtered. Even on the scale of the most recent wars that the world has witnessed, namely during the Arab Spring, the present brutality in Syria surpasses all imagination. Every day, men, women, and children are imperilled with random bouts of artillery shelling, tanks in the streets and sniper bombardment. Now we are hearing of the use of chemical weapons. The number of people killed in Syria in this war is now five times the number of people killed in Libya in 2011 during the clampdown by the Muammar Gadaffi regime on the rebels during the Libyan revolution. So far, the United States has had limited involvement in Syria in the form of sanctions against the Assad regime. But even if the United States had hoped on putting more effort in the war and bringing in its outside military force, it was never going to be an easy task. Unlike Libya, Afghanistan and Iraq, toppling the Assad regime is somewhat more complicated. One the one hand, America’s arch nemesis, Iran is standing firm behind Syria with reported military assistance and soft landing mechanisms for some of the sanctions imposed on Syria. And on the other hand, the super significant powers of Russia and China have both exhibited their staunch disapproval of U.S efforts and their support of Syria, most recently through a rejection of a United Nations Security Council resolution on the matter. As of now, there is no international consensus for action in Syria at this time that the United States can actually act on. So given these state of facts and given the general belief that despite the state of facts, the United States has a moral imperative to step in to stop the escalating humanitarian crisis, what options are left for the United States in this sensitive situation? For decades, vital universal security questions have focused almost entirely on this one question; should the United States utilize its own military force to deal with similar problems that escalate throughout the world? This is a corollary of America’s unsurpassed military might in the world, America’s underinvestment of diplomatic and economic tools of power, and low expectations of other countries taking responsibility for their own security affairs and events in their immediate region. But even with the responsibility placed on America by virtue of its position as the world’s sole super power, why America always needs to answer the question of intervention with a strategy that includes fighter jets, boots on the ground and military might rather than alternative tools at America’s disposal, seems predictable to most spectators that have come to view America as a trigger happy nation with a gung-ho desire to intimidate its foes with its military might. Americans have George Bush to thank for this reputation. No matter how bad the situation is on ground, America has every reason to think twice about directly involving itself in military intervention in Syria or any other nation for that matter. If America must impose itself in the Syrian crisis, there are other options that they should consider before the prospect of an outside military force. The United States can arm the various opposition
groups in Syria and provide intelligence and logistic support for them in the war without going in them-selves. America can furthermore put more effort to reach out to these dissident and opposition groups in Syria and consider whether they will engage with them as the rightful representatives of the Syrian people, with a view towards getting international recognition; setting up a no-fly or no-tank zone of the type used in Iraq in the 1990s; and strengthening rebel forces with better resources, such as air support, intelligence, and special operations forces liaisons, which were used with great effectiveness to support anti-Taliban fighters during Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan. They can also encourage other concerned nations, especially those in the region, to strategically and financially support the democracy movements in Syria and to fund reconstruction in the nation should the Assad regime be eventually overthrown. America could also make use of the social network and encourage the departure of the Assad regime with a flood of pre-emptive campaigns, using social media and other available media. A major effort to try and come to some consensus between the Arab League, the major European governments, and the United States needs to be made in order to encourage Moscow and Beijing to step back from their current posture of supporting the Assad regime. America would have to continue working with key countries that have strong economic links to Syria and have the strongest potential to provide assistance and safe harbor to Syrians looking to leave the conflict zone. Courting countries such as Turkey and Iraq would be strategically beneficial to the America and the West in getting support to isolate the Assad regime in Syria. Other options could include the United States working diplomatically with the members of the Arab league that want to oust the Assad regime. Already, there has been a new Arab League proposal to send a UN peacekeeping force to Syria. And although the body proposed does not appear to have the authority or firepower to respond to any breaches of the peace with force, the inclusion of the Arab league in fast forwarding the end to the assault in Syria is paramount to any peace deal or end game that will eventually take place there. Rather than an outright military approach in Syria by the United States that is bound to end up inflaming the region’s sectarian divisions and remaking the mistakes that the Bush administration made in Iraq, the United States would be best advised to not engage their military in the conflict but to continue its intervention with a focus on diplomacy aimed at getting other countries to pull their weight and exert their influence to stop the violence in Syria. In his speech to the United Nations General Assembly in 2009, President Obama spoke of America’s new approach to foreign policy to be one that put greater emphasis on the responsibilities of other countries. In furtherance of that policy, the United States should strike a balance by offering support to Syrians seeking peaceful change and isolating the Assad government, with a strong focus on what other countries like Turkey and Iraq are willing and capable of doing on Syria. The civil war in Syria risks drawing regional actors into a wider battle and the greater responsibility for intervention and addressing the conflict should come from key regional actors not the United States…, not the West. Of course, the United States and the West have a role to play, but their role should remain engaged and be prepared to intervene using alternative measures rather than producing a military solution right here, right now. The revolution in Syria is part of the Arab Spring of which the foundation is for the benefit of the democracy movement. And even though the journey for the attainment of the democratic movement in Syria is cloaked in the garb of a bloody civil war and with each new civilian death a piece of our conscience is chipped away, the question of whether the U.S. should intervene in Syria with Military Action should be one that is replied with an unequivocal ‘Nay’… Yes, while the United states has a moral responsibility to support the Syrian people, that moral responsibility should come in the form of the super power doing everything short of direct military intervention to show their support.
Oba Adedotun Aremu Gbadebo IV @ 70
ODAY, a royal born, royal bred and paramount ruler of Egbaland, Oba Adedotun Gbadebo IV will turn 70 years. Oba Adedotun Gbadebo, whose pedigree as a distinguished administrator, a businessman, philanthropist and a devout Christian, has positively affected the socioeconomic landscape of the country. His dogged commitment towards a better Egbaland, has indeed opened a new vista of hope for a dynamic and vibrant generation of people who are now seriously involved in the nation’s building process. The grandson of Oba Gbadebo, the sixth Alake of • Alake Egbaland, who ruled from 1898 to 1920 and one of the six children of Omoba Adesanya Osolake Gbadebo and Madam Amoke Gbadebo, a distinguished Egba woman from the Ikopa area of Abeokuta. Oba Gbadebo birth was coincidental with the Centenary Celebration of Christianity in Egbaland, a faith and religion that carved out a niche for Egbaland, Egbaland was where the ﬁrst Church was erected not only in Nigeria but also in the entire West Africa. Providence could not have chosen a better place and time to locate the young prince. He too had the fruits of good Western education to which the Egbas had an edge in Nigeria due to the early exposure to Christianity. Adedotun Aremu Gbadebo IV was elected the Alake of Egbaland on 2 August 2005. He scored 15 out of 23 votes in an election conducted by the Egba kingmakers, defeating eight competitors including his younger brother, Adeleke. Gbadebo is from the Laarun Ruling House. He attended the Baptist Boys’ High School in Abeokuta, then went on the University of Ibadan in 1965, obtaining a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1969. He joined the army in 1969, and attended the Command and Staff College, Jaji from September 1978 to August 1979. Gbadebo eventually became a Principal Staff Ofﬁcer to Major-General Tunde Idiagbon, the Chief of Staff at the Supreme Headquarters, Dodan Barracks, from January 1984 to September 1985. He retired from the army as a Colonel. Gbadebo's election as Alake in August 2005 ended a sixmonth period of uncertainty about who would succeed the former Alake, Oba Oyebade Lipede, who died on 3 February 2005. In April 2010 a dispute between Gbadebo and the Olu of Igbein, Oba Festus Oluwole Makinde, was taken to the supreme court of Abeokuta. The Olu of Igbein was contesting an attempt by the Alake to change his title from Olu of Igbein to Olu of Mowe, a change which would affect his rights to use certain traditional symbols ncluding the Igbein stool. Fruitfully married to Dr. Tokunbo Gbadebo (nee Alawiye, daughter of the legendary Yoruba novelist and author of the popular Alawiye series, Chief J. F. Odunjo), Oba Gbadebo is a committed family man. Blessed with four sons, who are already distinguishing themselves in their various professional callings, Oba Gbadebo holds the family as the cradle and nurture of a better society.
• See pages 20 & 21 for a full interview with the Alake
Experts dissect ‘intimate’ relationship • Continued from page 4 whatever reason. And a lady, who has an affair with a man and then denies it only goes a long way to show that such a lady does not want to be identified with that particular man, who she had the affair with. She may not want people to identify them together.” When a man and a woman is said to be having an intimate relationship, in the view of Stella Monye, a musician, it is likely to have two meanings. The first is that, they are very close to the extent that, they have deep friendship, while the second means that they 'went out with each other.' I mean that they did romance, and they definitely had sex! “However, I agree that it is possible for a man and woman to go out for some time and not make love. That too is possible because personally, I have had friends that I went out with but we didn't make love. I even have friends that I can sleep on the same bed with and we do not do anything. Yes, it can go on and on, it depends on determination between the two of them, the two people involved, especially if they are determined to just remain good friends. It is not in every case of friendship that temptation creeps in. It really depends. “I have had a guy who has been toasting me for like 20 years now! Somewhere along the line, we lost contact; then we met again and that keeps happening, so we've become real good friends. Sometimes, midnight or even 2am, we are together, but
we don't do amorous affair! Meanwhile, people in my neighbourhood who see us regularly together could be thinking that we are doing everything. But the truth is that, we are nothing but just friends. It is also possible for a lady and a man to be hugging and kissing each other and not to do the actual sex. In most cases, the woman may decide that she doesn't want to do that because she has a reputation, or she may believe that the man just wants to sleep with her and go, so she will avoid sex. So at that point, she can tell the man, 'I will be your friend and go anywhere with you, but sex, let's rule it out.' She added: “And why would a man make love to a woman and then tell people about it? That is called 'kiss and tell.' A man would do that to boost his ego. If he slept with a pepper seller or a house maid, he won't readily say it (laughs), but if he sleeps with a recognised lady, he would say it, because the lady is huge. So the man would want to boost his ego that he has 'been there.' And a lot of girls make love to a man and then deny it. A lot of girls do that! That's because a lot of women want to assume innocence, some after coming out of the relationship, start regretting why they even did it in the first place. Maybe because it didn't turn out well as they wished. And sometimes, the lady's image becomes bigger and more huge than what she was before; her image has suddenly become larger. So she won't at that point admit that she has slept with that guy in the past.” For Tessy Yembra, a dancer cum socialite, when a man says he has had an intimate relationship with a woman, he most often may not be lying; the lady, however, may not want to identify
with such exposure. “Nevertheless, it is very possible that a man and woman will go out for a long period and not be intimate (She goes ahead to cite an example of lying down with friends in the same room but with nothing intimate taking place).” “A man is not supposed to be talking about his amorous or intimate affairs with a woman to any other person because what they had was between them. I have had people that I dated but that does not mean that a man should be running his mouth all over the place about our friendship. A lady will not even want that because it could disturb her other future relationships. We do not need to be talking about such things publicly or to other people's ears. It is not lady-like or good for the man to do so. “A woman can conveniently deny her having an intimate relationship with a man, especially if she knows that the man in question has no intention whatsoever to marry her. That is because a woman knows that if she admits to such, it could affect a future opportunity of another man, who may want to marry her. There are ladies who may have dated some particular guys that they did not marry and later in life, became best of friends, even sometimes like brother and sister. A woman can be in the company of a man regularly, it does not mean that they are having intimate relationship; they could just be mere friends. “In social scenes, we see all these because as a socialite, you have to be friendly and have a good body language, it doesn't mean
• Continued on page 55
THE NATION, SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 14, 2013
THE NATION, SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 14, 2013
THE NATION, SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 14, 2013
IS: S I R C E M E S
t o n s i n o s ‘My ’ r e l g g u a sm t bow to blackmail
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no •Customs: we’ll
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13 THE NATION, SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 14, 2013
FRACTURED LIVES •Sad tales of child-rape victims It’s easier to avoid questions about paedophilia, particularly when the victim is a loved one. The answers make you squirm and the import makes your skin crawl. Yet, almost daily, we see another poor child recount his or her story and weep, suddenly becoming the terrified prey he or she was at the time of the abuse. Unpalatable revelations spilling out all at once have created a fog: Why do some people relish in molesting children? How can they be stopped? OLATUNJI OLOLADE, Assistant Editor, writes Story on pages 14&15
THE NATION, SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 14, 2013
VERYBODY called him “Prince”, which was almost too far-fetched as Nonso Amaeze hails from a humble background. Fairy tale princes are born into privilege and affluence. Nonso doesn’t fit that bill: his father is a truck driver and his mother sells roasted corn and ugba (pear) at the neighbourhood junction. That Nonso had an enchanting aura was, however, not far-fetched. “He is very handsome pleasant and lively,” says a neighbour, describing the kid’s brilliant smile and flashing black eyes. “People loved him,” claims 41year old Margaret, his mother. “Everybody loves him,” she adds with conviction. Nonso probably got too much “love.” Two weeks ago, the 13-year old was caught squirming underneath his mother’s younger sister, Rachel. Writhing in pure ecstasy, he chanted obscenities delightedly in unison with his aunt as they sweated and romped on the latter’s conjugal bed few blocks away from his family residence in Mende, Maryland, Lagos. Nonso, 13, had been sleeping with his 38-year-old aunt few days before he clocked 11 on July 19, 2011. He calls her “Ada nma” (my wife) and loves to hang around her. “Truth be told, she loves having him around too,” discloses Margaret, his mother. Hence when Rachel, Margaret’s immediate younger sister, requested that she allow Nonso to come spend the night in her house whenever her husband, who worked late night shifts at an Ikeja, Lagos- based beverage company, was not around, she •An underaged victim of readily obliged. sexual violence shields her With his parents’ consent, Nonso face from the camera as she dutifully went to keep his aunt’s recuperates at the hospital company. “Even after she put to bed and our youngest cousin came from Awka (in Anambra) to live with her, she (Rachel) insisted that Nonso should keep sleeping at her place, claiming there is always work for him to do,” says Margaret. Today, Margaret has a clearer picture of how her son has been keeping her sister company. “It was Blessing (their cousin) that alerted me. If she had come alone, I wouldn’t have believed her but she came with one of my sister’s neighbours. They even had a recording of the two of them (Rachel n Olatunji OLOLADE, Asssistant Editor n and Nonso) groping each other in the kitchen. Blessing recorded the abomination on her phone,” says Margaret. But nobody thinks Nonso was abused. His father would a rustic village in Itori. Life with their father was supposed to have no say on the matter; Fidelis, a bachelor living next door, be secure for her and her sister, Preye, who was 14 at the peadmires him as a “rude boy” and “very sharp guy” and riod. But it wasn’t. From morning through noon, the sisters enamong his mates at school and in the neighbourhood, Nonso joyed a semblance of peace and normalcy. But the world turns has become a folk hero of sort. When the reporter sought to scary at night. At night, when the door creaks open, Ini starts speak with him, he politely declined. Donning a scowl, he exto snore. While she pretends to sleep, she hears their father plained that his mother has forbidden him from “talking feign his customary cough from the corridor and the blanket about it to anyone.” That scowl is now a permanent feature of loosens from her sister’s side of the bed. Preye’s side of the the teenager’s face. The once amiable and cheery “Prince” bed immediately feels lighter; at the same time, Ini nestles now spots an irritable demeanour, “Particularly when he is at deeper in bewilderment, her heart heavier under the weight home…He has become withdrawn and snaps at me and our of unanswered questions. neighbour’s kids at the slightest Of all the things she learnt in school, provocation…it’s only his father that curiosity seemed most germane. Thus he shows respect. It’s only his father she sought the truth and asked Preye that he discusses with now. And that why she rises from their bed every one is hardly at home most days. Tell night to meet with their father. Preye me, was I wrong in sounding the “snapped at me and said she did not alarm and barring him from seeing know what I was talking about. She my sister any further? He is just being threatened to tell daddy that I was childish,” says Margaret, his mother. spreading bad tales and that she Predictably, the incident has ruined would stop sharing lunch money with Rachel’s marriage and strained her reme. So I decided to stop asking queslationship with Margaret, her only tions or bothering about what was sibling. Twice, when the reporter going on,” reveals Ini. sought an interview with Rachel, she But it was too much for her to take threatened to unleash on him, Awka as a 10-year-old, hence on Thursday, venom (she hails from Awka, AnamJanuary 8,2009, nine days after her bra State). Rachel has gone on a trip resolution, Ini, at a neighbour’s adand her husband has deserted the vice, snuck after her sibling in the house, as she owns the apartment. darkness. There, on their living room Nonso, however, has been banned couch, she saw her sister being ravfrom visiting his aunt. Margaret, his aged by Raphael, their 36-year-old famother, swears by their late mother’s ther. grave never to forgive her sister for Stunned, she stole back into her what she did to her “innocent” son. room in horror. The following day, she Miles from the Amaezes’ Lagos resdisclosed her findings to their neighidence, Ini despises the man who took bour who promised to accompany her away her innocence. Four years after to make a report to the police. “But Ini The Nation newspaper reported 10lacked the will to expose her father year-old Ini and her sister’s ordeal in and sibling,” said the neighbour, a the hands of their father, the teenager, petty trader who pleaded anonymity. now 14-years old, is yet to get over the “She begged me to forget about it. Iniabuse that made them flee their Itori, tially, I refused, but later she came Ogun State abode. A great deal has with her sister to beg me. I pitied changed about Ini: her profound them because they said that since their crankiness, not just the sudden hate mother’s death, they had only their she developed for his father but the father to take care of them. Preye sunken chin, the indignant glare, promised it will never happen again.” tinted hair, hinted that all was not But it did happen again and this right with the girl. It is hard to imagtime, 10-year-old Ini was the victim. ine that Ini was once a girl with a bubOn a Sunday morning, their father bly laugh and serene bright eyes. asked her sister to proceed to church Her ordeal started four years ago, in without them. “He told me to wait,
Sad tales of
I stirred awake when a sharp pain tore through me. I wanted to shout but he covered my mouth. I cried all through as he raped me. The following day, I went to report him to my mother but she knelt down to beg me. She said I should save our faces from disgrace. She said if I told anyone else, she would become the laughing stock of my father’s other wives and the community. She said my friends would call me a prostitute and they would stop playing with me. So I didn’t talk
that both of us would join Preye later. He said I should come and fold his clothes into his wardrobe but when I entered, he covered my mouth and threw me on the bed. Then he did it,” recollects Ini. Raphael, now 40, an auto mechanic and native of Ubulu Uku, Delta State told his youngest daughter that such was the price she had to pay for being nosy. Two days afterwards, his neighbour eavesdropped as “he raped the 10year-old” again. Then she alerted their co-tenants. Raphael allegedly absconded for fear of being lynched. Subsequently, his daughters were taken away to live in Benin, Edo State, by a lady who claimed to be his sister and a widow of his late friend. Ini and Preye currently live in Edo although they come to Lagos occasionally to “visit friends and hustle.” But some pains run deeper than others. Ask Rosemary. During a sharp windstorm on July 8, the 54-year-old snuck from her mother’s room because “too much cold” was coming in through the windows. “Cold breeze blew in because some panes were missing from the window. We covered it with newspaper and nylon sheets but that couldn’t keep out the cold. I was feeling so feverish that I went to sleep in my uncle’s room. I stirred awake when a sharp pain tore through me. I wanted to shout but he covered my mouth. I cried all through as he raped me. The following day, I went to report him to my mother but she knelt down to beg me. She said I should save our faces from disgrace. She said if I told anyone else, she would become the laughing stock of my father’s other wives and the community. She said my friends will call me a prostitute and they will stop playing with me. So I didn’t talk,” she reveals. Rosemary just turned 13 at the time she was raped. Forty five years on, the grandmother still smarts with pain and hatred for her paternal uncle. “Most days, I find it difficult to recall my childhood. It brings me pain. Some nights, I remember what happened to me even in my dreams,” she laments. Nigeria’s paedophilia time bomb The Lagos State Police Command has revealed that the command recorded 678 cases of rape in the state. The statistics by the police shows that the number of rape cases was reported between March 2012 and March 2013. The statistics is
Rivers crisis: NARCHY is gradually creeping into Rivers, the once-peaceful and safe Niger Delta State, with suspected kidnappers, hired assassins, armed robbers and cultists, among other criminals, having a field
day. Many persons, including expatriates and Nigerians, had of recent been abducted in Rivers State, but the September 6 kidnap of the Second-in-Command to the Primate of the Anglican Church, Nigeria, Archbishop Ignatius Crosby Ogborun Kattey, and his wife, Beatrice, attracted global attention. Kattey, who is also the Dean and Archbishop/Bishop of the Niger Delta North of the Anglican Communion, and wife were on their way to Port Harcourt, when the kidnappers struck by the bridge at Aleto-Eleme, near the Rivers State capital, in Eleme Local Government Area. The gunmen seized the cleric, an indigene of Aleto-Eleme, and his wife around 10:50 pm, with Beatrice later abandoned with their car, while the kidnappers moved the Archbishop to an unknown destination, with his whereabouts remaining unknown, while no demand for ransom had been made. Less than 48 hours after Kattey’s kidnap, to confirm the deteriorating security situation in Rivers state, a middle-aged married woman (name withheld for security reason) narrowly escaped being abducted near her residence, off Olu Obasanjo Road in Port Harcourt, by hoodlums in “Army’’ uniform. The Christian was returning home from vigil at a pentecostal church in Mile Three, Diobu, in the Rivers State capital, when she walked into the hands of the suspected kidnappers, but was saved by providence. Vigil at the church was rounded off at 3 pm, and with the woman’s husband not in town, one of the male pastors (name withheld) assisted her in his car to her house’s junction on Olu Obasanjo Road and the pastor left for his house with his family, presuming that the woman was safe since
THE NATION, SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 14, 2013
•Not a girl, not yet a woman: This little girl was a victim of rape
released against the backdrop of rising incidences of rape of minors in Nigeria despite the country’s laws on rape. This ugly trend reported in the media and social media, however, does not depict the true statistics on rape as most rape victims would rather keep silent and therefore the rapists go scot free. The accounts are as gruesome as they are shocking. In March, a 47-year-old man was arrested in Lagos for serially raping his seven-year-old daughter and one-month-old granddaughter. The suspect identified as Sylvester, was exposed by his wife who noticed blood stains on the toddler’s thigh. The seven-year-old girl told the police that her father had raped her serially but the suspect blamed the devil for the crime. He has since been charged to court. Also, a seven-year-old girl serving as house help with a rich family in Magodo had to be whisked away from her employers before the end of her servitude by her “aunt” (broker) after being serially raped and abused by her mistress’ husband and child. Findings revealed that the victim, who was trafficked in from Cotonou, Republic of Benin, could not walk normally which aroused the suspicion of her boss. After further interrogation, the girl’s mistress discovered the truth but rather than protect the interest of the girl, she beat her severely, calling her a prostitute and home breaker. Consequently, she called on the girl’s aunt or broker to come take her away. Hardly will anyone forget so easily the case of Olalekan, who was arrested for causing the death of his friend’s nine- year-old daughter by raping her through the anus. Olalekan allegedly committed the offence right in his friend’s living room. Police reports revealed that the culprit visited the father of the child in his house at Yemetu area of Ibadan in his absence. Being a family friend, the culprit was left alone with the little child in the living room, while her mother was attending to something in the bedroom. The woman suddenly heard her child’s cry and rushed to the living room to find her daughter writhing in pain with a pool of blood on the floor. She allegedly discovered that the innocent girl had been penetrated through the anus by her father’s friend. The little girl was reportedly rushed to the University College Hospital (UCH) where she eventually bled to death.
He told me to wait, that both of us would join Preye later. He said I should come and fold his clothes into his wardrobe but when I entered, he covered my mouth and threw me on the bed. Then he did it
Cloak of silence There is a tendency to under-report the vice. Bodunde Akintonde, a clinical psychiatrist, argues that the age of the abused child at the time of the abuse, the relationship between the molester and the abused, gender of the abused, severity of the abuse, and the likely consequences of the disclosure often prevent victims and their guardians from coming out. Health experts and social workers agree that girls are
more likely to report sexual abuse than boys. However, when the perpetrator is a relative, there is less likelihood to report abuse. Others may choose not to report due to fear of negative consequence of the disclosure, which may range from more abuse and injury to fear of retribution or ridicule, stigmatisation and a lack of confidence in investigators, police and health workers. There is no perpetrator stereotype as sexual abuse offenders may come from all backgrounds, including the rich and poor, educated and uneducated, religious and non-religious and may be persons in positions of authority who are respected
and trusted. Children have been reported as perpetrators of sexual abuse. Generally, sexually abused children are often physically traumatised with increased risk of HIV and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs), unwanted pregnancy and psychological trauma. Recently, a study designed to evaluate the demographic features of individuals involved in sexual abuse and the pattern of presentation of cases at the General Hospital, Suleja, was conducted over an 18-month period. The research was carried out by Isa Abdulkadir and Ladi Okeniyi and their colleagues at the Department of Paediatrics, Ahmadu Bello University Teaching Hospital, Shika-Zaria, Kaduna State and Department of Paediatrics, General Hospital, Suleja, Niger State. Case notes of all patients who were presented and were diagnosed and managed as cases of sexual abuse between January 1,2007 and June 30, 2008 were manually retrieved from the Medical Record Unit of General Hospital Suleja, Niger State. A total of 81 cases of sexual abuse were recorded over the18-month period of review. Seventy seven (95.1%) of the 81 cases were children and all girls, while the remaining four (4.9%) cases were female adults over the age of 28 years. Of the 77 sexually abused children, all but one forced fellatio incidents were cases of penile-vaginal penetration. The age range of the victims was between three and 18 years and the average age of victims was nine years. The age group most affected was three to five years (35.1%), followed closely by adolescents aged between 11 to 15 years. All the perpetrators were males, known to their victims, and resident within their victim's neighborhood. Out of a total of 79 perpetrators of child sexual abuse, six (7.6%) were adolescents aged between 12 and 16 years. One of the cases was that of the gang rape of a 10-year-old girl by three adolescent boys aged 12, 13, and 15 years. The only case of forceful oral sexual abuse was perpetrated by a 16-year-old adolescent whose victim was a nine-year-old girl.
Social constructions of the paedophile When do we call a person a paedophile? At what point does he or she become a sexual predator? The definition of forcible sexual offences includes any sexual act directed against another person forcibly and/or against that person’s will or not forcibly or against the person’s will in which the injured party is incapable of giving consent. By diagnostic criteria of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition, a paedophile is an individual who fantasises about, is sexually aroused by, or experiences sexual urges toward prepubescent children (gen-
Continued on page 18
Garden City under siege •Emotions run high as Archbishop Kattey spends the nineth day with abductors n Bisi OLANIYI, Port Harcourt n where she was dropped was a walking distance to her husband’s house. As the innocent woman was trekking the short distance to her residence, she saw fully-armed supposedly “military” men with two steaming cars, a Sport Utility Vehicle (SUV) and a saloon, with the hefty men brandishing AK-47 rifles. The unmasked “uniformed” men, according to the woman, flashed a torch on her face thrice and she began to wonder why the “soldiers” could be doing that, rather than concentrating on their “patrol” or “arrest” of the “suspects” they came for in the highbrow neighbourhood. Upon getting to where the “soldiers” were with their cars, they asked her where she was coming from at that time and she said church, showing them her Bible as a proof and they quickly asked her: “Did you pray for us?” and she said yes, not knowing that they were kidnappers, waiting to pick one of the professionals residing in the area. Knowing full well that the woman would not be a hindrance to their mission, they allowed her to move to her house, where she immediately called one of the private security guards on duty, who opened the main gate for her, but she called the attention of the guard to the presence of the strange “military” men. Shortly after the gate of the woman’s house was locked, the kidnappers swung into action and picked
their target, one of the professionals, after overpowering the private security guard, who made efforts to prevent the abduction of their target. The woman later said if her husband was in town on the fateful day, they would have gone to vigil together in one of their cars and he would have confronted the kidnappers, who might have either shot both of them in anger or abducted them for ransom, making her to be grateful to God. Kattey’s kidnap occurred barely two weeks after the Rivers State Commissioner for Sports, Fred Igwe, was shot by suspected hired assassins at Akpajo-Eleme in the same Eleme LGA of Rivers State on August 25. The suspected hired killers aimed at Igwe’s head, but he narrowly escaped with injuries and he is still responding to treatment in an undisclosed hospital in the state. The Rivers sports commissioner, who was with two other persons in the Toyota Corolla saloon car, marked GCG 11, had the vehicle riddled with bullets, thereby creating deep holes on it during the attack around 8:15 pm. If not for providence, Igwe’s body would have either been in the mortuary by now or interred, while the suspected criminals are yet to be apprehended, in spite of the promises made by the Rivers Commissioner of Police, Mbu Joseph Mbu. The displeased Rivers Governor, Chibuike Rotimi
Continued on page 18
•Archbishop Kattey with wife
THE NATION, SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 14, 2013
Two weeks after social and business activities were crippled in the boisterous town of Seme, a border haven between Nigeria and Benin Republic, there has been a raging controversy over who shot Saturday Joel, a victim of the clash. INNOCENT DURU, who has been following the story, reports on the latest development in the area.
My son is not a smuggler, says Seme crisis victim’s father
•Customs: we’ll not bow to blackmail
RESTFALLEN! This is the mildest way to describe the mood of Mr Zofun Joel, father of Saturday, a victim of the recent bloody clash between officers of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) and suspected smugglers in Seme when our correspondent visited the area last Sunday. He sat dejectedly under a tree in front of his house where the son was allegedly shot. The manner with which he sipped from the bottle of herbal medicine placed in front of him showed that he was having health challenges. His head, beard and moustache were thoroughly shaved like somebody mourning a beloved one. In spite of his health challenge, he mustered some strength, and narrated the ordeal of the family since the incident. He said he has moved his son to Benin Republic since his health condition is not improving. He alleged that Nigeria Customs Service denied that his son was shot by its officers and berated them for the scathing remarks. He began by giving details of how the information about his son’s plight got to him. He said: “Saturday is my first child and I am always very proud of him because he is an easygoing young man. He is a tailor by profession. He is very good at sewing and has been the one sewing all my clothes for me. He is married with three children. We are natives of this land. We are from Kweme Kingdom that covers Seme and its environs. ‘’This tells you that it is not true that the victims’ names are fictitious. If the names are fictitious, are their photographs also fictitious? Is it
I have kept borrowing money from people and so far, I have spent over N500,000 on his treatment. I have moved him to Benin Republic for better medical attention when I saw that his condition was not improving in the former place he was getting treatment... I have not even been able to go to work since that day because of my health condition and the situation at hand. Somebody whose house is on fire doesn’t run after rats...
paper for using that report to assuage my further harassment and intimidation of our peopains.” ple.” He regretted that neither the NCS nor any Attempts to get the family of Lanre Femi, another government agencies have bothered to other victim who also died during the clash, give him financial help to pay his son’s hospital was fruitless. A resident, who identified himself bills. “Nobody has given me a dime to pay for as Bayo, said Lanre’s mother left for Porto Novo his hospital bills. Is it the Customs that denied after the incident. that they were responsible for his despicable “Lanre was a teenager and had just finished condition that would give me money? The Con- secondary school before he was untimely murtroller has not even visited me till today, but the dered. He was planning to go to the higher inDivisional Police Officer (DPO), Seme Comstitution for further studies without knowing mand, Mr Mohammed Mu’Azu, has visited me. that some people were waiting to spill his He is a wonderful man. He came here and blood. The mother could not bear the horror pleaded with me to be calm. He sent his men to after the incident and had relocated to Porto go to the hospital when Saturday was rushed Novo. Benin Republic is like a second home for down for treatment and assured me that my majority of us in the area “The government son was alive and that he would not die. If we must make sure that the Customs officers that have many police officers like him in this counkilled Lanre and others like Albert are arrested try, the security situation would not be this bad. and punished. They should also fish out the ofHe is a good crisis manager because his interficers that shot Saturday because that was the vention that fateful day saved the situation from genesis of this whole problem. If they had not escalating beyond what happened on that day. shot Saturday without any genuine reason, The police did not shoot a single bullet and yet, there wouldn’t have been any problem. they quenched the mayhem. However, reacting to a set of questions for“Like I said earlier, nobody till date has supwarded to the official mail address, the Public ported me. I have kept borrowing money from Relations Officer of Customs, Seme Command, people and so far, I have spent over N500,000 on Mr Ernest Olottah, declined knowledge of any his treatment. I have moved him to Benin Reinteraction between the Controller and any public for better medical attention when I saw monarch during which the issue of Saturday that his condition was not improving in the forwas discussed. mer place he was getting treatment. His wife He said: “My Controller holds meetings with and his children are also there but the mother is various stakeholders at the border including not at home right now. I have not even been monarchs under the aegis of Customs Commuable to go to work since that day because of my nity Relations. We do not have details of such health condition and the situation at hand. interactions with any monarch in our records. Somebody whose house is on fire doesn’t run Please, be reminded that investigation is ongoafter rat,” he said. ing in respect of happenings at the border, that He added: ‘’I want to plead for the interveninclude the killing of our colleague, destruction tion of the government both at the state and naof imported goods, burning of Federal Governtional levels in this matter. I want the Federal ment vehicles and other vehicles belonging to Government in particular to show serious conlaw-abiding businessmen amongst other acts of cern over the matter because the NCS is their arson. agency. They should probe the shooting of my “My Controller doesn't know the man you son by the officers of the NCS and also take a are talking about, let alone visiting him. After second look at their activities at the border. They the killing of our colleague and destruction of have made me to be carrying a heavy financial government vehicles by lawless persons susload that was not meant for me. I wouldn’t have pected to be smugglers and their collaborators, had any reason to borrow such huge sum of concerned citizens and groups have been visitmoney if they had not inflicted this gigantic ing the controller to commiserate with him over pain on my son. The the shocking incident, worry about how to pay which they unanimously back is also aggravating condemned. Be further After the killing of our my health condition beinformed that the Concolleague and destruccause my daily income is troller with the support tion of government vehiinconsequential and canof other security agencles by lawless persons not add up in a long time cies, including the police to defray the money that suspected to be smughave been working to enI have borrowed from sure that business activiglers and their collaboramany people for the ties are not stopped at tors, concerned citizens treatment of my son.” the border due to the unand groups have been Checks revealed that fortunate attack against the remains of Albert visiting the Controller to us. We will not bow to Olomitutu, another vicblackmail or slow down commiserate with him tim of the clash, is still in our anti-smuggling camover the shocking incia Benin Republic mortupaign due to some undent, which they unaniary. A relation of the dereasonable demands for mously condemned. Be ceased, who gave his visit premised on sentiname as Augustine, told further informed that the ments.” our correspondent that Asked if it is true that Controller with the supthey were yet to conclude the command has not port of other security plans for his burial. given any financial help agencies, including the “We are yet to bury Alto Saturday’ s father to bert. His remains are still police have been workassist in paying his bills, in a mortuary in Benin he replied: “We have no ing to ensure that busiRepublic. We would bury comment on this.” He ness activities are not him as soon as we consimply replied: “Wait for stopped at the border clude arrangements to do the outcome of ongoing due to the unfortunate so. The government investigation,” to other should help us to check attack against us... questions sent to him.
•Saturday before he was allegedly shot
also fictitious that I am the father of Saturday? “I was at work on that fateful day that he was shot. I am a member of the National Union Road Transport Workers (NURTW). I was busy doing my work when some members of the community ran down to inform me that a Customs officer had shot my son. I did not understand what they were saying initially because never in my wildest imagination did I think that such a cruel act would be visited on my son because his path and that of Customs had no point of crossing each other. I started asking rhetorical questions because I was confused. When they said my son was shot, I asked them which son? Where did they shoot him? why did they shoot him? You know, questions the people could not answer. “When my questions were becoming too much, they prevailed on me to come home with them to see what had happened to my son. It was at that point that it dawned on me that they were not joking and that I was not dreaming. Immediately, anxiety enveloped my whole being as my heart started beating faster than it should be. I left everything that I was doing that very moment and started running to the house in a manner that would make even a blind person to suspect that something had gone awry with me. Before I could reach home, I slumped and had to be revived by concerned members of the community. “When I regained consciousness and was taken to my house, the blood stains I saw on the floor confirmed what they said about Saturday. When I asked for his remains, they said he did not die and had been rushed to hospital for medical attention.” He debunked the allegation that his son is a smuggler and lamented the alleged denial of NCS that the dastardly act was committed by its officers. He said: “My son is not a smuggler. He is a God-fearing young man that would never have anything to do with ungodly activities. For no good reasons, the Customs officers tore his stomach with bullets and brought untold pains and sorrow to my family. They shot many people that day. Customs officers pointed guns at innocent people and shot them. Most of the victims were Beninioise. Though that was not the first time they would unleash terror on our people but it was the height of it all. Previous attacks were inconsequential compared to the recent one. “The pain that I am going through right now is not just because Saturday was shot. My agony has been aggravated by the denial of the Controller of the Nigeria Customs Service, Seme Command, that it was his officers that shot my son. One of our leading traditional rulers told me that the Controller denied that it was his men that shot my son when he spoke with him on the issue. Why would he continue to deny what is crystal clear to everybody? His failure to admit this simple fact has continued to pierce my heart (he sobs as he speaks). If not that God used you to give our side of the story in your paper (The Nation), they would have succeeded in deceiving members of the public that the clash was caused by smugglers who attacked them. The name and image of my son would have been damaged forever because some reports said he was shot in the course of smuggling rice. I must sincerely thank you and your
•His father, Mr Joel
THE NATION, SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 14, 2013
Emotions run high as Archbishop Kattey Continued from page 15 Amaechi, who had been at loggerheads with Mbu since his redeployment from the Oyo State Command in February this year, said the police boss should be held responsible for the spate of insecurity in the Niger Delta state. Amaechi, who is also the Chairman of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF), indicated that as the Chief Security Officer (CSO), he was ensuring the safety of lives and property of the people in the state before the redeployment of Mbu. The Rivers governor stated that since February this year, there had been an upsurge in kidnapping, armed robbery, cultism, militancy and other vices. He said the recent protest on the streets of Port Harcourt by ex-militants, allegedly allowed by the commissioner of police, emboldened criminals. Amaechi declared that Kattey’s kidnap was an indication that Rivers State was sinking into anarchy and a sad pointer to the deteriorating security situation in the state. The governor said: “It is very unimaginable that our Bishop, whose only asset is in Lord's vineyard, could be so abducted. The times are very challenging.” Amaechi had earlier called for Mbu’s immediate redeployment, which he described as the only condition for peace in its state, having accused the CP of taking sides in the deepening political crisis. The Senate and the House of Representatives, in separate resolutions, also called for the redeployment of Mbu for allegedly not acting as a professional police officer, but behaving like a politician. The Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Mohammed Abubakar, however, stated that the Rivers police commissioner had been told to be a professional police officer and declared that he would not be redeployed from the state. The National Assembly members are currently on recess and yet to take a decision on the IGP’s refusal to redeploy Mbu. The embattled police commissioner, however, maintained that he had been ensuring the protection of lives and property since his redeployment in the state, with many criminals apprehended and arms, ammunition as well as valuable property recovered and being handed over to their owners. Kattey, who was made the Dean of the Anglican Communion in Nigeria about a year ago, was described by the President of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor, as a very simple and easygoing cleric. Oritsejafor called for the unconditional release of the Archbishop unharmed as a means
Less than 48 hours after Kattey’s kidnap, to confirm the deteriorating security situation in Rivers state, a middle-aged married woman (name withheld for security reason) narrowly escaped being abducted near her residence, off Olu Obasanjo Road in Port Harcourt, by hoodlums in “Army’’ uniform...
of atoning for the sacrilege committed by the kidnappers, while calling on the Federal Government to treat kidnappers as armed robbers and terrorists in order to stop the menace. The CAN President said: “Giving the ferocious and violent manner these kidnappings are carried out, we are worried that if the crime is not matched with equally harsh or severe punishments, in circumstances where the kidnappers shoot and kill people before forcibly abducting their targets, nobody will be safe.” A Senior pastor (name withheld), who is based in Port Harcourt and very close to the Archbishop, said immediately after the kidnap, Kattey was forced into •An aerial view of the Garden City the boot of the car, while his wife was allowed to sit in the car, with the ransom and would not pay any. cleric begging the hoodlums not to hurt his The Prelate and Moderator of the General wife, but to release her unconditionally. Assembly of the Presbyterian Church of NigeAfter moving on the road for some minutes ria, Rev. Emele Mba Uka, also condemned the in the car, the kidnappers disembarked with kidnap of Kattey, while lamenting that the serthe two victims and began to trek into the forvants of God, who should be accorded reverest, with Kattey still pleading that his wife ence as spiritual leaders of the nation, were should be allowed to return home. rather being made kidnap victims. The abductors later gave a torch to Beatrice, Uka urged persons responsible for the act of asked to follow a footpath and she was diaffront against God to release the Archbishop rected to turn right to join another road that immediately and without any condition, while would take her to a point where she could asking the government to step up the delivery find help to get home still at night, but God of the dividends of democracy to create the enwas merciful to her; she got home unhurt. abling environment for the youths to engage The kidnapped cleric was expecting the Priin meaningful ventures, to curb crime and somate, Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communcial vices in Nigeria. ion), the Most Rev. Nicholas Okoh, in Port The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Harcourt on Saturday and decided to leave his through its Rivers State Chairman, Apostle house in Aleto-Eleme with his wife on Friday night, to sleep in Port Harcourt and put finish- David Zilly-Aggrey, described the seizing of Kattey as ungodly, while pleading with the ing touches to preparations to welcome him. In view of the ugly development, Okoh was unable to visit Rivers State. Anglican faithful and others are now praying fervently for the immediate release of the cleric unhurt. The Archbishop and his wife were driving to Port Harcourt late in the night to beat the traffic restrictions of Saturday morning, occasioned by the monthly environmental sanitation exercise, but unknown to them, the Sole Administrator of the authority, Ade Adeogun, Continued from page 15 earlier announced that there would be no restriction of movement, in view of the ongoing erally less than 13 years) for a period of at GCE/WAEC examinations. Aleto-Eleme, least six months. where the kidnap took place, is near the two In cases that involve adolescent offenders, Port Harcourt refineries in Eleme and the Infactors such as emotional and sexual matudorama-Eleme Petrochemical Company. rity may be taken into account before a diagThe very humble Kattey hated going about nosis of paedophilia is made. Paedophiles with police escorts or other security personnel usually report that their attraction to children and was always with his wife in their car. The begins around the time of their puberty or Archbishop, who operates from the St. Paul’s adolescence, but this sexual attraction to chilCathedral, Diobu, Port Harcourt, at the popudren can also develop later in life, according lar Garrison Bus Stop on the ever-busy Port to a recent clinical research. Harcourt-Aba-Enugu Expressway, preferred Shyness and sensitivity are two aspects of to reside in his personal house at Aleto-Eleme, introversion which might seem basic to the where he hails from, and shuttles on a daily problems of paedophiles. If they are unable to basis, in view of the short distance. approach adults as potential sex partners beIn the evening of Sunday, September 8, cause they lack the necessary social skills and members of the Councils of Clergy and the confidence, this might partly explain their Knights of the Niger Delta North were at the preference for children, according to Kabir St. Paul’s Cathedral, Diobu, where they Owokoniran, a social psychologist. prayed and pleaded with the kidnappers to Further findings reveal that some paeunconditionally release the Archbishop, calldophiles are sexually attracted only to chiling on the security agencies to expedite action. dren (exclusive type), whereas others are The members of the clergy were dressed in sometimes also attracted to adults (non-exblack, while the knights appeared in red and clusive type). Paedophiles can express their white to demonstrate their grief. sexual urges in different ways. They may The Chairman of the Council of Clergy, Ven. limit their activities to undressing the child Richard Okpara, said: “The news of the kidand looking, exposing themselves, masturnap came to us as a shock. The holy creed abbating in the presence of the child, or gentle hors kidnap and we condemn it. We are touching and fondling the child. Others perasking for the unconditional release of Rev. form fellatio or cunnilingus on the child, or Kattey.’’ penetrate the child's vagina, mouth or anus, The Chairman of the Knights, Sir Charles sometimes using varying degrees of force to Ogundu-Chukwu, stated: “The council is apdo so. Paedophile sexual activities, at least pealing seriously to his captors to please, in some forms of them, are sometimes dethe name of God, who created us all, to release fended, not only by paedophiles themselves the servant of God, who was on his way to but also by people in authority. carry out God’s work.” Perpetrators of sex with prepubescent chilThe Anglican Church also stated that the dren often justify or excuse their behaviour as kidnappers had not contacted the cleric’s famhaving "educational value" for the child, or ily, while declaring that as members of the that the child derives "sexual pleasure" from church, they did not believe in the payment of
kidnappers to quickly release the cleric. Zilly-Aggrey, who is also the Founder and General Overseer of the Royal House of Grace International Church, with headquarters in Port Harcourt, stated that Kattey could not hurt a fly and begged the kidnappers, in the name of God, to set the Archbishop free unhurt. The Chairman of the Rivers State Council of Traditional Rulers, King Godwin Gininwa, described the Archbishop’s kidnap as evil and shocking, while calling for his unconditional release. Kattey, a Justice of the Peace (JP), was born in the Nchia Town called Alode in Eleme LGA of Rivers state on August 23, 1948. The kidnapped cleric’s father was Chief Amos Kattey, who was himself a devout Christian, church leader, produce merchant, trader, farmer and government-recognised second class tradi-
Sex and violence them. Many more argue that the child was "sexually provocative." Related to the first justification is the assertion that one cherishes deep feelings of friendship for the still innocent child. However, clinical psychiatry disavows these justifications or vindications by calling them “rationalisations.” What the constitution says… According to the Nigerian Constitution, the crime of child defilement is punishable under Section 218 of the Criminal Code which states that “any person who has unlawful carnal knowledge of a girl under the age of 13 years is guilty of a felony and liable to imprisonment for life.’’ Also, Section 218 states that ‘’any person who attempts to have carnal knowledge of a girl under the age of 13 is guilty of a felony and liable to 14 years imprisonment.’’ But even though it is a serious offence under the law, the law has been known to let off established sex offenders almost too easily. For instance, while police officers have been known to collude with many perpetrators to pay off victims’ families and frustrate the latter’s case, the court has been found to let certain offenders off the hook with very mild punishments, particularly when they are influential. “Imagine sentencing a sex offender to two years imprisonment even after establishing that the offender defiled a minor. That is so outrageous. Every civil society group and parent needs to join the campaign to rid our society of the perverts within. They have made the society unsafe for our children,” said Bosede Otun, a child rights activist. Not a child, not yet an adult The impact of sexual abuse on the child is usually devastating to their psyche. Many
THE NATION, SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 14, 2013
spends the nineth day with abductors
•Archbishop Ignatius Katteyʼs wife, Beatrice (left) responding to the Secretary to the Rivers State Government (SSG), George Feyii, during his visit. tional ruler of Nchia Kingdom, while his mother was Mrs. Margaret Ada Kattey. For his primary school education, the kidnapped cleric attended St. Paul’s Catholic School Obigbo (now Oyigbo) in Oyigbo LGA of Rivers State from 1954 to 1959. For his secondary education, he attended the National High School, Aba, and graduated with a Grade One in the West African School Certificate Examination (WASCE). Kattey had his university education at the Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria, where he graduated in Mechanical Engineering in 1976. He did a Post-Graduate Diploma in Education (PGDE) at the University of Benin (UNIBEN) in 1986 and obtained a Master of Education Degree in Guidance and Counselling at the University of Port Harcourt (UNIPORT) in 1989. The Archbishop also attended the Trinity
Theological College, Umuahia in Abia State for his Certificate in Theology in 1983 and 1984. He has a Master’s Degree in Biblical Studies from the Christian International Graduate School of Theology, Florida, USA, through correspondence. Kattey became born again in 1971 through the ministry of the Scripture Union (SU) and he was ordained as a minister of the Anglican Communion in 1986. In 1996, he was made the Archdeacon of the newly-created Eleme Archdeaconry and Principal, School of Ordination, Diocese of the Niger Delta North, a year later. The Archbishop is also the Chairman, All Anglican Clergy Conference of the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) and the Chairman of Christian Council of Nigeria, South-South Area Council. Thousands of youths, under the aegis of the
Anglican Youth Fellowship (AYF), on September 9, staged a peaceful protest, by occupying for many hours, the bridge at Aleto-Eleme, where Kattey and his wife were kidnapped, with the protest spreading to other parts of Eleme. The protesting Anglican youths, who were calling for the unconditional release of the Archbishop, barricaded the ever-busy East-West Road, near the two Port Harcourt refineries and the Indorama Eleme Petrochemical Company, disrupting the free flow of traffic with motorists and pedestrians groaning. The youths said they would continue to cry to God, to ensure the immediate release of Kattey. Speaking on behalf of the protesting youths, Venerable Israel Omosioni, who is also the Archdeacon of Eleme Archdeaconry, described Kattey as a peace-loving man, stressing that the youth, clerics and other members of the church would take their bibles and move into the forest to secure the Archbishop’s release. While also speaking during the protest, the President of the Eleme Youth Council (EYC), Isaac Obe, described the kidnap as very sad and really unfortunate, urging the security agents to continue to comb the forest for Kattey to quickly regain his freedom and for the security men to be more proactive. The Chairman of the Niger Delta Civil Society Coalition (NDCSC), Anyakwee Nsirimovu, also drew the attention of President Goodluck Jonathan to the unacceptable increase in criminal activities in Rivers State, following the self-inflicted crisis in the PDP and tolerance of impunity at the highest level of
political authority. Nsirimovu said: “The most shocking kidnap of the Anglican Archbishop in Eleme is a clear indication that criminals are taking advantage of the vacuum yielded by the political crisis in the state, which has rendered the Police Command ineffectual in discharging its primary responsibility of crime prevention. NDCSC wishes to warn most sternly that the concentration of effort by the Commissioner of Police in the state on unprofessional political policing as primary concern is detrimental to the police institution, trust and confidence of the citizens, in spite of the short-term gains to its designers. Brigandage or uncivilised threats of violence by some Niger Delta region’s elements cannot and will not help progress.” The NDCSC’s chairman also pleaded for the quick release of Kattey without the payment of any ransom, with the security agents asked to be alive to their responsibilities. During a visit to the Aleto-Eleme residence of Kattey on September 10, Amaechi, who was represented by the Secretary to the Rivers State Government (SSG), George Feyii, enjoined Christian leaders to intensify prayers for the unconditional release of the Archbishop. The Rivers governor, who stated that his administration was doing everything humanly possible to ensure the unconditional release of the cleric, urged the members of Kattey’s family to remain strong in their prayer life and continue to trust in the Lord for His intervention and quick release of the Archbishop. Amaechi pleaded with the kidnappers to urgently release Kattey in order to enable him to continue with his ecclesiastical work in the service of God and humanity, for the benefit of all Nigerians and the betterment of the society. The Archbishop’s wife (Beatrice), in her response, expressed regrets over the security lapses in Rivers state, while calling for serious concern and attention to avert future re-occurrences. She said: “My husband is a man of God that preaches peace, he believes in God and wherever he is, God is with him, we are sure he will be well, but he should be released.” Beatrice, while thanking the Rivers governor and the SSG for the visit, prayed for God’s intervention and unconditional release of her husband by the kidnappers.
on the playground
•A little boy displays antibiotics recommended to him after being raped through his anus sexual predators, boys particularly, have often attempted to hinge their perversions on repressed trauma and memories of various forms of sexual violence or abuse they suffered in their childhood. Convenient as their excuses may seem, recent forays into the causes and implications of paedophilia endeavour to explore the anomaly from such excuses and perspectives advanced by sexual offenders. But no matter the degree of hurt anyone suffers, “it can never justify the savage lusts actualised by many paedophiles and sexual predators on poor innocent kids,” argued Meredith Obano, 56, a social health worker. A child-victim of sexual abuse is a child thrown into adulthood. “Her behaviour changes in relation to the change of her status
so that she becomes a woman with the mentality of a child, or a woman in some ways but a child in others,’’ says Gloria Odeyemi, a psychologist. “Her life becomes one of deprivation; she does not get to enjoy the games and fun that other children enjoy. She loses the label of ‘child’ while still psychologically and emotionally immature. Some observers call this a stage of being a ‘social misfit’ because she fits in neither with children nor with adult-women.’’ Sexual abuse often erodes the victim’s selfesteem and puts them at greater risk of a variety of mental health problems, including depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, phobia, suicide and alcohol and drug abuse, according to Alokan, Funmilola Bosede (Ph.D) of the Department of Guidance and
Counselling, Faculty of Education, Ekiti State University, Ado-Ekiti. A child’s experience of abuse or exploitation will differ depending on – amongst other factors – the age of the child, the relationship with the abuser, the type and length of abuse, the environment and the child’s own resilience. The range of emotional, psychological and behavioural problems widely documented for children experiencing sexual abuse include sexualised behaviour, symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, low self-esteem, eating disorders, suicide and substance misuse. In a number of cases, the abuse and suffering does not immediately mend once the child is taken out of, or escapes the abusive or exploitative condition. In many situations, a child often has to deal not only with internal struggles, but with an external hostile environment where they are judged, stigmatised and discriminated against. To save a child The child's physical and emotional wellbeing is, indeed, of primary concern. The child should be reassured that what happened was not his or her fault and that he or she did nothing wrong. Children in whom sexual abuse is confirmed or suspected should be referred to a mental health professional for evaluation and counselling. The family of the victim may also need treatment and support to cope with the emotional trauma of their child’s abuse, according to Owokoniran. Corroborating him, Obano also stressed that social support is one of the most important steps in the management of abused children. The case should be reported to the social services or child protective services after forensic investigation is completed. Ac-
cording to her, social support should be maintained to prevent further harm to children from sexual or other types of abuse or neglect. No doubt, government at all levels must demonstrate the political will to ensure that child rape and every other form of sexual abuse of the Nigerian child are eradicated. Nigeria cannot attain its full potentials when a sizable chunk of its future (the children) continues to live at the mercy of sexual predators thus substantiating widespread calls for aggressive enlightenment campaigns to push the issue into the front burner of national discourse. Until the government rises to the challenge, many Nigerian kids will continue to live terrified at the mercy of parents, aunts, uncles, siblings, in – laws and societal laws that ought to protect them. Particularly ravaged kids like Ini and Nonso. Ini, for instance, is a shell of who she used to be. Her once animated eyes are sallow and wry, affecting a jaded sullenness that struggles through shreds of disillusionment. When she speaks, there is a momentary glow that smoulders with the incense of a female brutally dispossessed of girlish innocence and feverishly thrust into womanhood. But womanhood, really, confounds Ini. She claims to be a “big girl now” even as she blatantly covets the attention of elderly males who are generous to a fault. “You know I can’t date my mates now. They are very small boys,” she says with a knowing glare. When the discussion segues to her father, Ini’s mood swings instantly from effervescence to disgust. “That man na bad news jo. Abeg, I no wan talk about am,” she says in the tenor of one who understands that grief may be borne with total submission and a contentment to loathe.
THE NATION, SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 14, 2013
Today, the Alake of Egbaland, Oba Michael Adedotun Gbadebo, clocks 70. In this interview with NNEKA NWANERI, he speaks about his childhood, his feelings as the paramount ruler of Egbaland, his regrets, how the social media have affected his job as a monarch and why he has refused to take more than one wife. Excerpts:
hat does it feel like to join the league of septuagenarians?
Everything about me still feels like it was 20 years ago. When people refer to me as Pa Alake or Pa Kabiyesi, they make it seem like I am very old. I have to be cautious in the sense that I am not as young as I used to be. My bones are no longer as strong as they used to be. Though I don’t feel them going brittle or dry, I get to do everything as if I am old. For example, I did a lot of jumping when I was younger. I used to jump from the first floor of this building. Now I can’t do all that without expecting some broken bones by the time I land. During my childhood days, I always jumped from mango trees and was never afraid of height. The worst that would happen was that I would land on my fore to avoid breaking my legs and back bones. What are some of the memorable experiences of your growingup days? Most of the things we enjoyed when we were younger are no longer there now. In every home now, we have water systems and not pit latrines. People no longer use night soil men who chased people around with brooms soaked in human excreta. We have no mad men to pursue anymore. I miss the fun we derived from people who had one form of deformity or the other. Those were people we should have sympathised with but never did. Instead, we taunted them and it made us feel good knowing they were chasing us around. I remember whenever we saw a deaf person, we would put a leaf in our mouth, a way of telling the deaf man that since he couldn’t talk, he is no better than an animal or a lower specie. That made the man really mad and he tried to beat us to a pulp. Such things no longer happen again. Our children are taken to and from schools in cars. They are conveyed to their lessons and other places in cars. Although they no longer have the kind of fun we had trekking together along bush paths, they are better off. Do you have any regrets in life or are there things
you think you are not okay with one, take a second one. If you are not okay with the second, you take the third. But I must say that in any home with more than one wife, there will be deceit and lies. The top to the bottom will be full of pretence. So, everybody has the right to choose. As you lay your bed, so you will lie on it. Some drivers have three wives, while the owner of the vehicles they drive, who gives them allowances and pays them salaries, has only one. So, it is a matter of choice. The Bible says God made them one man, one wife. How did you meet your wife? We were on holidays while I was in higher school. She was in the last year of her secondary school. She was on holiday in Abeokuta and I was always in Abeokuta during holidays. So, we met and from that very first day, I said to myself that I had met my wife. I was attracted by her very simple taste, brilliance, fantastic handwriting and good command of the English language. Above all, she came from a home where merely sitting down with her parents would tell you that there was happiness between them. I knew that if a child grew up under that condition, the child would cherish a very peaceful marriage. My wife, Tokunbo, and I have been married for 42 years, and we are so happy. How did you feel when you were told you were going to be king? The first thing I did was to thank God that I would be able to serve my people as I had always loved being an Egba. I thanked God that he gave me the opportunity to demonstrate this love, and I have never looked back. I get struck with the kind of support I receive from the Egba people. I could never have imagined that so many Egba sons and daughters all over the world would be calling to know what I want so they can meet my demands. When they begin to send me things, including two Rolls Royce cars, then you know that serving your people has a lot of blessings because you are not alone. God is with you and your people are backing you. What made the Egba such great people? It is God. We were not the ones who asked the white men to come here. We were not the ones who moved from our Egba forests and homesteads to come and found Abeokuta in 1830. It was God’s doing. We were not the one who embraced western education, culture, religion and Islam with open arms. In every family, we have Christians, Muslims and the African traditional religion, but we have never had a cause to fight ourselves. So, it is God’s own making that Egbaland is what it is: a place of peace, very fertile land where there is so much love and where people are eager to learn. My mother never went to any school, but she could count one to a million because she got the knowledge from her children. She went to the Quranic school and before she was 15 years, she had gone through the whole of the Quran. My mother said the Yasin prayer every day when she was alive. Even when I became a Christian, she didn’t stop me. She did not try to do
Why I’ve stuck to one wife
—Alake of Egba at 70 you would have done differently so the younger ones can learn from them? I insisted on going to the University of Ibadan when I wanted to study Law, but I never did because there was no Faculty of Law in the university then. Mr. Adegboyega Aderonmu was my brother-in-law, and he made me to fall in love with that university. That was when I made up my mind to attend the university. If I had another chance to go back in life, I would study Law at the University of Lagos where there was and still is a Faculty of Law. Why Law? If I had read Law, I would have done better as the Alake. If I had, I would have gone far in my present job and be my own adviser instead of seeking legal advice. Monarchs are known to have more than one wife. How have you managed to stay with one woman all these years? The number of wives one has is a matter of choice. If
THE NATION, SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 14, 2013 God’s work or fight God’s battle, if He hadn’t asked her to. You converse in French. How do you cope as a multi-linguist? The French I speak is just a smattering one. It is called une peu. It is my wife who has a first class degree in the French language. Some of her French rubbed off on me. Although I did two years of French in the university, I am not multilingual. I try to limit myself to English, Yoruba and a little of Arabic. What is your view on the proliferation of western culture at the expense of traditional culture? Is there a way the trend can be redressed? I see no regrets in the adoption of western ways. Instead, I see it as a challenge. We are talking about the world becoming a global village. No one can be an island unto himself. So, cultures must interact with cultures. It makes people change their ways of thinking, dressing, talking and have an opportunity of deemphasising those areas that would show them as being local and emphasise the ones that show them as an international man. It is not bad because it modifies primordial opinions about so many issues and makes you respect the rights of the next man to you. It gives you the best of what should be going on in the whole world. So when cultures rub off on other cultures, if it is strong enough, it will prevail. But all cultures are interwoven all around the world, and I do not think we should bother about these things, but see it as a challenge to promote our own culture and let our children know how our forefathers lived, greeted and related with one another, and the emphasis they placed on truth at all times. We should let our children imbibe the good part of our culture so that no matter what they do, if they get off through the wrong way, they will crash. But if they get up through hard work, sweat and sleepless nights, they will endure and stay right at the top. It is important we see western ways as a challenge and use them to promote our own culture. Monarchs are symbols and custodians of culture. Recent reports say some local languages, including Yoruba, is going into extinction, and soon, people will no longer be able to speak or write them. Does that bother you? I debunk those rumours on the eradication of our languages. I don’t believe those who say that. They are just alarmists. I have been hearing the very best of songs and discos and songs on radio in the Yoruba language. I have marvelled at what people have done with our own language. Disco music like Oruka ti dowo na; Awon kan waye wa sise… the Yoruba disco music I have been hearing these days are heart-warming and they can be rated all over the world. Even the one they sang about motherhood, saying that anyone who says a mother should not enjoy the fruit of her labour was cursed, is fantastic and can’t be compared with anything we heard 30 to 40 years ago. So, I do not share the thought that our language is going into extinction. How well are you and other traditional rulers coping with the fast pace of modernity, especially the use of social media like facebook and twitter and the use od Blackberry phone? Are you keying into it as a veritable means of keeping in touch with your subjects, especially the youth? These social networks have given us the advantage of reaching out to our people. But they have also opened us up to so much work and no rest. People reach out to me 24 hours of the day and it pains me that I can’t give individual response. It has got to the extent that I respond to some and ask subordinates to respond to others. I rather prefer to do that myself. So, there are advantages and disadvantages. Even with the telephones, so many people have collected my number from their friends and say, ‘Kabiyesi, I just want to say hello to you.’ When I ask who gave them my number, they will say one of my subjects gave it to them. If I ask them what they want to say, they will reply that they just want to greet me at 12 midnight. Some of these things can be overdone. Do you see a need for constitutional roles for traditional rulers? We used to have a time when traditional rulers kept people abreast of the goings on in government. This has been removed from the current constitution. What I will advocate is that the advisory role of traditional rulers be put in the constitution. Advisory means that it
may be taken or not. So, for the traditional rulers to feel wanted, that should be considered. What role should traditional rulers be playing in the face of the rising security challenges around the country? I have always told the traditional rulers in Egbaland, especially those who came on board in the last two to three years, that they should endear themselves to their people; that their people should come first and the role that is expected of them should not be assigned to any-
The number of wives one has is a matter of choice. If you think you are not okay with one, take a second one. If you are not okay with the second, you take the third. But I must say that in any home with more than one wife, there will be deceit and lies
one. They should be there for their people. For the security of our domain, traditional rulers should be at the forefront of ensuring that there is peace. If there is no peace, no traditional ruler can function well. And the government should be able to give the adequate support. Is there any remarkable difference in the process of ascendency to the throne in this domain now and the old days? The codification of the procedure was done in 1958. Prior to that, people just knew who would be king. But since 1958, there have been specific appointments of those that would be elevated as Alake. Being the Alake is not hereditary or passed from father to son. It is between from two ruling houses: the direct male descendants of one ruling house and those from the second ruling house. When both of them come before the kingmakers, one of them is picked by open election and not by secret ballot. The system has worked very well. On the sixth month of the demise of my revered predecessor, my election took place. While he died on February 3, I was elected on August 3. That the whole thing ended within six months, the credit goes to God and the wisdom of those who put together the order that we have been using. It is called ‘declaration’.
THE NATION, SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 14, 2013
Death of 27-yr-old commercial motorcycle rider sparks protests in Ogun community
The late Gbadamosi
What else can I do? The customsmen did not shoot the They have killed my son motorcyclist. It was just and left my heart to an accident involving a ache. I have left smuggler, who ran into everything to God a trailer while trying to because He is the avoid customs officers ultimate judge of man on patrol at Ihunbo, and He will judge his Ipokia Local killers â€” Mother of the Government deceased â€” Police Kunle AKINRINADE
TERRY hails Eto'o's arrival
FIXTURES Sat 14 Sept Inter Milan v Juventus Napoli v Atalanta Torino v AC Milan Sun15 Sept Fiorentina v Cagliari Udinese v Bologna Lazio v Chievo Verona v Sassuolo Livorno v Catania Sampdoria v Genoa Mon 16 Sept 2013 Parma v Roma
thanks Man Utd
THE NATION SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 14, 2013
With KAYODE ALFRED
THE NATION SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 14, 2013
THE NATION, SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 14, 2013
I’m August 8th and he is March 10th, please what can you tell me about my relationship?
Hi. I’ve read your page Hearts in The Nation newspaper. Please what can you tell me about my relationship? I’m August 8th and he is March 10th. Thanks.
Female Leo and male pieces compatibility
The relationship of leo and pisces can be simultaneously fascinating and frustrating! Leo is direct and generous with affections while pisces lover is probably just as generous, but the style, however, is different. Leo is personal, while Pisces’s loving nature is “universal” which makes the Leo feel insecure. The typical pisces male is often pulled in two different directions and as such may lack determination at times. He loves being in a cozy and secured environment. He is cool, calm, informal and caring. When he is cheerfully given all the freedom he needs, he is always a faithful lover and a loyal husband. But when his freedom is smothered, he feels nervous and restless, and begins to slip and
slide. Most reliable way to insure loyalty is to have complete faith in his integrity, to let him know his love and his support is needed and appreciated. A Leo woman is bright, cheery and most of the time, fun to be around. She loves challenges and takes them head-on. She is full of pride and elegance and doesn’t stand to any ridicule. She is compassionate and warm and has a forgiving heart for ones who really love her and sincerely ask for her forgiveness. The exception to this is when she goes through her times of self-interests and egoism. She melts to her lover’s poetic and romantic side and shows generosity and loyalty like no other if she has respect and admiration given by her man. Leo woman craves being the center of attention whether it is in a social group or in the company of her lover. Show her pisces man’s romantic side and he can win her heart. Show her his infidelity and she shows him a side of her that he just doesn’t want to experience. Leo woman turns her warmhearted and loving nature to a hardhearted evil woman that is not
Hearts Singles Club Females •Toyin needs a Yoruba man who is btw 36 and 38. He must be God-fearing and a civil servant or self-employed. •Elizabeth needs a man from ages 30 and 45. •A single mother of one needs a mature and caring man for marriage. •Favour, 35, fair, 5.6 tall, a based in Lagos and a businessman need a woman within ages 30 and 34 for marriage.
•Benson Emiator from Edo State, 30, 6ft tall based in Lagos, working with Cardinal Security, ND holder needs a wife. •ID, 33 from Ekiti, Engineering student needs a pretty Yoruba girl who is dark in complexion, holder of minimum BSc and not more than 30 years old and ready to assist him financially and assist him to greater height as a wife. •Segun, 32, hard of hearing and a businessman needs a good and beautiful Yoruba lady who is blessed with big chest and back. •Bola, 38, Yoruba, employed
and fair complexioned needs a slim Yoruba lady between 32 and 35, a Christian, chocolate complexioned and employed for marriage. 08094049838. •Gbenga, 47years old, c\servant, based in Lagos needs a God-fearing lady between 30 and 46 years old for a serious relationship. •I am Dawood (29) years, I need a matured Muslim lady btw 25-28yrs. •I’m Daniel, 29yrs, a graduate and working class, cute, caring and a Christian needs a decent girl between 23-28, who must be decent, godly and pretty and must be living around Ijebu Ode or Shagamu. •Friday, 33, a merchant wants a wife. •Eng. Ikenna, 42 years old, single, 6.3 feet tall, fair in complexion, from Anambra, electrical engineer based in Lagos is looking for a woman btw 33 and 40 for a relationship that can lead to marriage. •Mike, 35, 6 ft tall, chocolate complexioned and from Ondo needs a working class Christian from any tribe aged btw 25 and 35 for marriage. N.B: To get the contact details of the members above, call me for information about how to go about it.
•From left: Mr. Owolabi Teslim, Area Sales Manager, West 2, Mr. Femi Odusile, Regional Sales Manager, Lagos and Mr. Bolaji Lasisi, Area Sales Manager, West 1 all of Euro Global Foods and Distilleries Limited at the Osun Osogbo Festival in Osun State
so easily distinguished if her pisces man is not true to her. Loyalty is one of her finer virtues as long as her trust and faith is instilled into him. Little gifts for no reason at all, compliments to her, showing her that he desires and perhaps even needs her in his life, even a small hint of jealousy when she acquires the admiration of others can do miracles to their relationship and can show her that he is indeed the man for her. A Pisces man with his charming nature, mild kindness and passive resistance has the ability to calm his Leo woman. He is an avid listener and doesn’t mind stepping back. Since she loves a good listener, this works out perfectly in this relationship. He is known to stay somewhat in the background of things — so as long as he is not intimidated by Leo woman and her noble approach, he does not mind dealing with her dominance. She can lecture her Pisces lover on the need for him to praise her. As long as she does it subtly and not too excessively, he listens with a close ear and open heart. Too much of this sort of conversation and bounding, however, turns him off as fast as his infidelity would turn her off. Although they both have some common qualities they share, it is not enough to keep this relationship strong. They’d be much better bonded as friends than as lovers.
I’m scared of letting my husband have sex with me because... Good evening ma. I’m a married woman and I’ve been with my husband for over six years only for me to come across my old boyfriend whom I ended up sleeping with last weekend. Since then, I’ve not been myself. When can I go for HIV test? My husband is disturbing me for sex but I’m very scared. What can I do? It’s too early yet to take any test that is going to be very meaningful. Having said that, unless there was a particular reason to suspect your partner had HIV your chances of catching HIV may be low. The only way you’ll know your status is through a blood test. Any antibody test after 6 (or at most 8) weeks or 4th generation test after 4
weeks will be accurate enough to give you proof that you either have HIV or not. I hope you’ve learned your lesson in this – once you’re married, stay faithful. You’d be exposing not only yourself to risks but the poor man too. I have told you on a personal note to ask for forgiveness from God, run from the evil man who knew you were married, but still took you to bed. Be sure about your status before you allow your husband have sex with you again. I wonder how you’d even behave with me after this ugly experience. You have to be determined from now on to be Godly and good. Please and please, remember always that marriage is sacred. Be faithful.
Will there actually be a huge scarcity of husbands by 2023? Hello my dear Aunty. The Catholic Women Organization recently said that they are afraid that by 2023, there will be a huge scarcity of husbands, and to avert this impending crisis, please Ma, give a space in your column for matchmaking, even at least for the ladies. I am pleading. (08069404973). The SMS above came from Gabriel, Hearts No 1 fan and I couldn’t ignore it. I know for sure that there is a huge scarcity of husbands now the same way there is a huge scarcity of good wife materi-
als. So, it’s not one-sided. In order to be fair to all concerned, I’m publishing some names for matchmaking today, hoping that these are genuine people desirous of genuine relationships. It is however no longer open, so you have to come through the Hearts Singles Club before you can have access to people’s telephone numbers. Over to you singles, my line is open. Cheers!
At 20, I’m embarrassed that I don’t have a boyfriend I am a girl of 20 with an 0’level result and also a JAMBbite. I passed out from secondary school in 2009; I have never had a boyfriend all I do is procrastinating, telling myself I would say yes to a guy tomorrow. When my friends talk about theirs I pretend so as not to be embarrassed. I sincerely need your help Aunty because my story is just like 2face’s song titled “If love is a
crime”. - Olawunmi from Oke-Aro. Dear Olawunmi, I know a lot of people who are even older than you are and are in the same page as you. Yes, I know you may think you have need for companionship but there are things that you are not ready for and it’s worth
waiting for the right time. You need to experiment at least a kiss or holding hands with a person that you think at least loves you. I tell you, there’s someone out there who will come your way and be attracted to you at the right time and for the right reasons.
•The Predinet of the Polytechnic, Ife, Osun State, Dr. Raman Adedoyin (5th from right) with members of the Association of Private Polytechnic Proprietors in Nigeria, shortly after a meeting of the association at Oduduwa Plaza, Lagos
THE NATION, SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 14, 2013
The torn veil (2) D
ENNIS arrived my home that evening shortly before we were to have dinner. I was in my room still dressing up when Harry, one of my younger brothers called out to me that he had just driven into our compound. I quickly finished up and rushed out of the room. I met him outside in the courtyard where he was standing talking with Harry. He gave me a peck on the cheek and rubbing his hands together declared: “I can’t wait to taste those delicious dishes you’ve been preparing which you told me about on the phone.” Harry butted in. “It’s Mum that did most of the cooking o! All Sister Meg did was to taste them and...” “Shut up your mouth! Silly boy! What do you know about cooking?” I said sternly. Dennis laughed then said: “Then I will have to thank your Mum specially for all her effort.” “Don’t mind him. Let’s go jo!” and taking his hand, led him inside the house. My parents were sitting in our large parlour, waiting for us. As I did the introductions, I noticed a strange look appear on my Mum’s face. It was as if she had seen a ghost or something worse. It happened fleetingly for the next moment, she was all smiles and conviviality. I thought my eyes were deceiving me so I didn’t think much about it. That first meeting with my family went extremely well. My dad especially was really taken with Dennis and he spoke glowingly about him.
But I used to be worried that you might do something foolish. Like getting pregnant and ending up marrying one of those rascals. Imagine having a son-in-law who plaits his hair and wears earrings like a woman!
“I like that young man. You’ve picked the right one this time. At least he’s better than all those ‘Whaz up’ boys with their strange dress styles you used to hang out with when you were in school,” he said sometime later. I had just seen Dennis off and had returned to meet both of them talking about him. At least, my dad was for my Mum was surprisingly quiet. “That was years ago, Dad. I was much younger then,” I stated as I flopped down on the couch next to my Mum. “I know. But I used to be worried that you might do something foolish. Like getting pregnant and ending up marrying one of those rascals. Imagine having a sonin-law who plaits his hair and wears earrings like a woman!” he said in a jocular tone. Harry, who was hovering around whooped with laughter. I picked up a cushion and threw it at him... *** After that first day, Dennis became a regular visitor to my home. He got along well with all my family. Even my immediate younger brothers Joe and Paul who were often away from home, liked him when they eventually met him. Paul had just graduated from the Uni and was doing
his service year in Cross Rivers State, while Joe, an engineer worked on an oil-rig offshore. He only came home once in a while when he was off-duty. One Saturday, I arrived home from a shopping trip with my best friend, Pat when I saw Dennis’ car parked in the courtyard. Though I wasn’t expecting him, I was glad he had come to visit. There was nobody in the sitting room and when I peeped into the kitchen, my Mum was not there. I heard voices in the balcony at the back of the house so I climbed up. My Mum was with Dennis. They were talking earnestly together, a bit of their conversation drifting to me. “It’s only proper that we tell her.” “No, we can’t. The shock will be too much for her. Why bring up the past?” my Mum was saying. I wondered what it was all about as I stepped up to join them. “My dear, you are back,” my mother stated, looking a bit startled. I went up to Dennis and linked hands with him. “Honey, when did you arrive? And what were you both talking about so seriously? Hope there’s no prob-
lem?” I asked my Mum. “None, dear. Why don’t you get Dennis a drink while I start dinner,” she said. “So, how was your day?” Dennis asked after my Mum had left and we were alone. “Fine. Pat sends greetings. Guess who I saw today at the mall?” I said. “Who?” he asked with some interest as we headed towards the stairs on our way downstairs.
Opposition About two months later, I announced to my family that Dennis and I had fixed a date for our wedding. “It’s in six months time so we can have enough time to prepare,” I stated. My dad, who looked very pleased at the news, offered to contribute substantially to the ceremony. “This is the first wedding in this family. I want it to be a grand event,” he declared. “Thank you, Dad!” I said happily, going to hug him. But my Mum’s next words
deflated my happy mood. “Why so fast? Why don’t you wait a bit more, so you can study the man more, know him better,” she said. I turned to her surprised. “Mum! I’m surprised you could say this! Dennis and I have known each other for almost three years now. What more do I need to know about him?” I queried. “You can say that because you are still young. What experience do you have of men? I want the best for you and I don’t want you making any mistake by marrying the wrong person. Dennis might not be the one,” she said firmly. I shook my head. “I love Dennis. I believe he’s the right man for me. What I need now is your support to make our wedding a success,” I pointed out. I could not understand my Mum’s attitude which only reinforced the feeling I had that she did not like Dennis that much. It was strange because she was the one that had been so keen on meeting
Patience Edirin Saduwa Are we really that resilient? On Saturday 08023201831 (sms only)
OMETIMES, there are stories you hear or read about and your first reaction is,’This life na wa!’ I had that moment recently upon reading a story in one of these foreign papers we get regularly in the office. It’s a tragic tale of a family in Russia that lost four family members in one day in what can be referred to as a ‘domestic mishap.’ The story states that the four people- a father, mother, son and grandmother- had died after inhaling poisonous gases emanating from rotten potatoes. Only one family member, a young girl of eight survived the incident. The family members had died one by one after enter-
ing a cellar where they had stored potatoes for the harsh Russian winter. Unknown to the family, the potatoes had gone rotten. The father, a university professor first entered, fainted from the fumes and died soon after. The wife went to look for him and met the same fate. She was followed by her son, aged 18 and later his grandmother, 68 who all died from the poisonous gases. The little girl, out of curiosity, perhaps, had gone to look for her family and met four dead bodies instead. What a tragedy for a child to face so young. As a few colleagues of mine and I were discussing the incident, one of them said something that brought another dimension to the sad
tale. He stated that if those potatoes, rotten with poisonous gases had been eaten by Nigerians, ‘nothing would have happened. Nobody would have died.’ He buttressed his argument with the incident of the beached whale that had caused so much excitement in Lagos some years ago. “You remember that many residents swooped on the beach with knives, daggers, cutlasses, shovels and other sharp objects to get a piece of the whale for their soup pots,” he narrated. He added that this was despite warning from medical personnel, nutritionists and others in the health sector that people should not eat the whale, ‘as it could be poisoned thus not fit for human consumption.’ “Those who ate that whale are alive today to tell the tale,” he pointed out smugly. So, what is the point of his argument? Simply this, that Nigerians are so tough, so resilient they are immune to most things that can knock out people in other climes especially the oyibos. He could
be right considering the way we live as a people and the challenging environment we find ourselves. Life in this country is a challenge and a huge gamble. It’s a place where anomalies thrive with one of the most shambolic economic and socio-political systems in the world. Where in the world for instance do you find so many power generating sets? These days, due to the epileptic power supply, nearly every household particularly in urban areas have one or two. Come nighttime and this huge number of generators are switched on with the attendant noise and air pollution. Our air space must be one of the most polluted on earth with all these gen. sets. Add this to other pollutants like smoky fumes from exhausts of rickety vehicles that had seen better days, gas flares from oil fields in the Niger Delta as well as industrial pollution from the few industries still functioning and you will understand what I mean. It’s a miracle we have not all been struck with asthma,
whooping cough, TB and other respiratory and cardiovascular ailments. That is just a minute part of the challenges we face daily. And more are added regularly as if we don’t have enough to cope with already. For over a month now, for instance, students in higher institutions have been on a forced break from school because of the strike embarked upon by their teachers. Besides the disruption in the school calendar year, it places extra burden on already over stretched parents struggling to cope with school fees and other expenses of their wards. Sometimes, I wonder how we cope as a people trying to make a living in this sort of environment, one of the hardest, anti-people one I have ever seen. As my colleague noted, we are a tough people. But even the strongest man breaks down at the end of day. So, are there any long term effect- both on the physical and mental healthof this way of life on our people? That is a question experts need to look into. But from stories we often
him. I remembered the look on her face the first day I brought him home and her cool attitude towards him ever since. Now, from her comments, it was obvious she was not fully in support of my relationship with Dennis. What could be wrong? Did my fiancé do anything to offend her? I had a date with Dennis the following day, a Sunday. I made up my mind to sit him down and ask him some searching questions... •What could be responsible for Meg’s Mum’s attitude towards her fiancé? No need for the guessing game! Get the hot details in your favourite Nation on Saturday next week! •Names have been changed to protect the identities of the narrator and other individuals in the story. •Send comments/suggestions to 08023201831(sms only), email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org hear and other anecdotal sources, the effect of all the stress we go through daily is already showing. Check out the obituaries in many dailies and you will be amazed at the number of young people featured there. Some are said to have just slumped and died. Others are felled by ailments usually associated with the elderly like hypertension, high BP, stroke, cardiac arrest, organ failure and so on. We might be a resilient, strong-as-Olumo Rock people. But there is a limit to what the human body can cope with before it begins to protest and eventually break down. We have said this innumerable times but it is worth repeating here: the authorities, including our politicians, top civil servants who make decisions that affect millions and others in decision making need to ‘wake up’ and create a more humane, people-friendly country for the citizens to live well and thrive. The West did it for their people. The Asians are working night and day to catch up with the West. Why should our own case (in Nigeria and Africa) be different?
THE NATION, SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 14, 2013
•Entrance to the cave
•Entrance to the inner sanctum, the underground abode
GBALE Aiye in Yoruba means the cradle of hu manity. It sounds a little surreal, reminding one of the land of the spirits that we hear in African folk stories that children listen to under the sylvan shade of the moonlight. It also sparks interest and the desire to visit, most especially when the place is said to be about 450,000 years old. This means the place is much older than the pyramids of Egypt. Egypt is 5000 years. That makes Igbale Aiye a treasure trove for historians and a must visit for tourists. Igbale Aiye Apotoku is near Ketou in the Republic of Benin. To the locals, the place was a kind of forest of a thousand demons where
many had gone and disappeared, never to be seen again. A kind of an evil forest where mere mortal dared not dream of going until its conversion into the site for the proposed African City of Renaissance. The visit to the Igbale Aiye was a bit tedious due to wrong information. The initial impression was that it was somewhere, just a stone throw from Nigeria’s border town of Idiroko. On crossing into the Benin Republic from Idiroko, I was told I should take a vehicle to Ketou, and that Igbale Aiye was near Ketou. I ended up on a long journey that took almost half the day. Almost the distance from Seme, the border town of Benin Re-
public. I took a commercial motorcycle that passed through a jungle. We rode for about 30 minutes before we reached Sakete. At Sakete, there was no direct vehicle to Ketou. I boarded a car first to Pobe. From Pobe, I got a taxi to Ketou. Ketou is a modest town, small by Nigeria’s standard. It seemed to be an impotent point for those travelling to the Northen part of Benin Republic, including countries like Niger and Burkina Faso. Initially it was difficult getting information on how to get to Igbale Aiye. This was not helped by my inability to speak French. The Yoruba language came to my rescue. Although I am not fluent in Yoruba, I can engage in
a meaningful conversation in the language. That helped my course. Finally, I got a bike to take me there. In all, the journey took almost six hours. But it could be done for much less. From Port Novo, one could get a direct vehicle to Pobe, if not Ketou direct which would make the journey faster and less stressful. The place could also be accessed through Imeko in Ogun State. Igbale Aiye is currently a work in progress with the founder striving to add accommodation facilities and other amenities. On the right of the complex is a huge wall. The flags of dif-
ferent countries of Africa are hoisted on it. There is also the map of Africa and other things. The wall also has an entrance to a downward
slope. Following the entrance downward, one comes to the entrance to the ancient underground city called Igbale Aiye. It is an underground cave on the left hand side of the entrance. The cave has two openings. One serves as an entrance and the other an exit. The entrance is about four feet high, so one needs to stoop a little to enter. The cave is about five feet high. Before entering, I was told to remove my shoes in deference to the holy nature of the place. Inside the cave, there is another entrance that leads to the inner sanctum where the ancient town abode was. Igbale Aiye, as a modern city, is still at infancy. Currently there a few accommodation facilities being developed. There are some chalets built in form of huts, books and esoteric works of arts. It is a place one could stay and engage in intellectual work or simply relax and enjoy the peace of nature. If ancient people once lived in Igbale Aiye, then it must be at a period when men had not yet started building abodes. Igbale Aiye is said to be about 540,000 years old. The founder of Igbale Aiye, Olofindji Akande had this to say: “The city called African Centre of Renaissance is a place dedicated to our ancestors that were enslaved. For them to have a sense of belonging, even in death, there is a place that has been set aside for them, that is, Igbale Aiye. It is a place where all the blacks in the Diaspora could have a sense of belonging and get in touch with their roots. “We set out for such a lofty project to looking for a symbol of unity for Africa. You know when our forefathers were taken as slaves to different parts of the world, there was no one Africa. We decided that we would take a small land from the Benin Republic and a little portion from Nigeria and then call it African Renaissance City as a place to welcome our African brothers in the Diaspora. That informed the choice of the place. “When we began the search for where we would site the project, we thought
THE NATION, SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 14, 2013
•Igbale Aiye Complex
about different places. We toyed with the idea of locating the African Renaissance Centre in Bakkasi or Benin, but we wanted somewhere that is peaceful. We wanted a place where we would take a land from Benin Republic, Nigeria and Niger. “We later discovered we were not at the right place. We came back to Pobe, a town in Benin Republic closed to Nigeria. At Pobe,after building our huts, they were collapsing. So, we went to another place only to encounter other forms of difficulties. Some people from Igele came and told us to come over to their place. “When we wanted to hold our festivals, they advised us that we should not go to a particular area of the forest.They told us there were cemeteries there and people used to disappear at the place. We said we wanted to go there, but they explained their forefathers told them there was an underground city and the ancient people were living there. “So, we went there, saw the caves and some stone relics . We also saw the tunnel that led into the underground to the ancestral village underground. When we made our research, we discovered that the people that lived there were the first people. ” Inside the cave, there are two tunnels. You will see something like an altar for prayers and devotion. I understand there are 11 enterances to the underground village. The underground village must have been inhabited by so
many people because if they were few, you might just have about one or two entrances. To support this claim of being the cradle of humanity , Akande said: “Some archeologists from Nigeria wrote a book. They said the cradle of humanity is in West Africa and those people were living in an underground village for 50,000 years. But that they did not know where the village was. The book was presented to me in 2005.” There are so many claims about Igbale Aiye that has
not been subjected to the incontrovertible proof of science. Some, Akande said, is more spiritual than physical. It is still an exciting place to visit. The full dream of Igbale Aiye is not fully actualised, but for those in search of knowledge about ancient African civilisation, Igbale Aiye will prove to be an interesting port of call, so also for leisure and relaxation. Igbale Aiye has a spectacular view of the surrounding landscape. The lush landscape is a beautiful place to behold. It is worth visiting.
The MD HDV/ibis, Lagos, Mr. Femi Okenla and wife Modupe with the General Manager, Ibis Hotel, Mr. Abdul Razaq Mouafik watches as Deputy Governor of Lagos State, Mrs Orelope Adefulure unveiling 165-room Ibis Hotel in Lagos of mushroom hotels around. These are hotels you cannot stay. Locals can accept it, but for international standards, they are not just up to par. So, the demand is there for international brands not 20 or 30room hotels.” Okenla, who further disclosed that he was fascinated to enter into a frachise agreement with the Ibis Hotel brand after staying at the hotel in London during the 40th birthday party of his wife in 2006, added that his desire was reinforced after having a discussion with some friends which centred mainly on infrastructural deficit in Nigeria. Built in a record time of three years and four months, Okenla disclosed that some of the unique features of the hotel, which was declared open by the Deputy Governor of Lagos State, Mrs. Adejoke OrelopeAdefulire, includes boasting a
facility where the heat generated by its air conditioning chiller system which produces the hot water needed by the hotel. Okenla said with this in place, “the hotel is conserving energy and reducing the effect on the ozone layer.” Another notable feature of the hotel is its underground car park thereby, reducing the menace of traffic congestion which parking on the road by its guests would have caused.” Speaking on the long term plans for the hotel, Okenla said: “Discussions are on and plans are underway to build nine more Ibis hotels in various already indentified locations in Nigeria within the next 15years.” Okenla urged the state government to develop a “Land Bank” policy through which willing and credible investors can easily access land for commercial projects.
NCPC allots 400 seats to Ebonyi
•Wall hoisting flags of some African countries
Governor Wada to resuscitate Confluence Beach Hotel HE Kogi State Gover nor, Captain Imuwa Wada, has promised to revive the moribund Confluence Beach Hotel, Kogi. He made this promise during his speech at the opening ceremony of a workshop by the National Institute of Hospitality and Tourism (NIHOTOURS). Governor was responding to a plea by the Director-General of the institute Dr. Munzali Dantata, during his opening speech at the workshop of the institute held in Lokoja. Dantata, while making his speech, called on the
Ibis Hotel berths in Lagos
few weeks ago, it was indeed a dream come true for Otunba Olufemi Okenla, a UKbased real estate lawyer. Precisely on August 23, Okenla hosted the cream of top government players and big palyers in the private sector to the formal inauguration of a 165-room Ibis Hotel located in the Ikeja area of Lagos. In an interview, Okenla said his initiative was borne out of the need to contribute his quota to the emerging mega city status of Lagos which, he noted, has witnessed massive infrastructural renewal under the Governor Babatunde Fashola-led administration. Dismissing fears that the hospitality outfit is entering an already saturated market, Okenla said, “I don’t believe the sector is over saturated. Ibis does not have any competition because it’s a brand on its own. This hotel is what is called the business economy hotel. I can say categorically that at the moment, there is no other business economy hotel in Nigeria, except Ibis. “The unique feature of a business economy hotel is that it does not have presidential suites or VIP suites. What you find is the same standard double room. We are simply catering mainly for businessmen who come to Lagos and want a nice and decent place to stay without missing anything available in any fourstar hotel. This is our niche.” Giving an overview of the hospitality sector, particularly the hotel sub-sector in Lagos, Okenla said: “There are a lot
governor to resuscitate the hotel as the hotel had helped in the past to accommodate tourists on visit to the state. Governor Wada promised to resuscitate the hotel within a year and promised the NIHOTOURS boss that this would be done in the next one year. On the theme of the workshop which was: “Nigeria at 100: Transforming the Tourism Industry for National Development”, Governor Wada said the celebration of the centenary by the nation should be exploited for economic ben-
efit of the nation. His words: “It is my belief that in the celebration of our existence as a nation, we should explore and exploit every opportunity to venture into activities that will enhance the economic development of the state. “The state committee on centenary celebration was, therefore, directed to organise such events and and activities that will expose the economic potential of our state and attract investment to Kogi. We also invite or expect private sector partnership to promote friendly business environment”.
HE Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Christian Pilgrim Commission (NCPC), Mr. John Kennedy Opara, has allocated 400 seats to Ebonyi State for the 2013 Christian pilgrimage exercise. He disclosed this recently at Abakaliki while on a sensitization visit to Ebonyi State governor, Chief Martins Elechi, at the Government House. He said the president will be leading Christians in Nigeria on holy pilgrimage to Israel this year. He, therefore, appealed to the governors to join the president on this historic trip to Israel. In his words “Mr. President will be going to Israel this year, and this is the first time a serving Christian president will be going to Israel”. He maintained that pilgrimage would continue to serve as a tool for moral and spiritual transformation. According to him, “It is only people who are morally and spiritually sound that can maintain this legacy of government”. He explained that the federal government has approved
the exchange rate for this year pilgrimage exercise for both Christians and Muslims at the rate of one dollar to N146.This, he said, has brought a great reduction to the cost of pilgrimage from about 12 per cent to 20 per cent. Mr. Opara also used the opportunity of the visit to inform the governor that the NCPC now operates three pilgrimage exercises in a year. The latest being the family pilgrimage which gives parents the opportunity to pray with their Children. According to him, “For the first time, parents were able to travel with their children to Israel to go and pray”. He added that the first set of family pilgrims are back. The NCPC helmsman commended the governor for his achievements so far on the area of infrastructure and agriculture. According to him, “ What u are doing, u are lying a foundation for us and that foundation we promise that with people like you in power God Almighty will continue to use
you to encourage us to do better”. In his response, Governor Elechi commended the NCPC boss for his commitment towards Christian pilgrimage. He said: “Only people of strong faith like you can go through the hurdles of today to be here”. He assured the NCPC helmsman that he would continue to support the success of the Christian pilgrimage. He added that the local governments are also promoting the course of the Christian pilgrimage by sponsoring more Christians in addition to the numbers the state sponsors. His Excellency equally promised to join the president to the holy land for this year’s pilgrimage. In his words: “We will accompany the President to the holy land by the grace of God. We shall be there”. The governor was supported on the NCPC sensitization visit to his office by the Deputy Governor, Chief Dave Umahi, and members of the state executive council.
Rwanda, Namibia for Akwaaba
WANDA, the East African poster boy of emerging markets, will be showcasing its huge tourism products at Akwaaba African Travel Market. Recently Rwanda was rated as the most improved tourism destination in Africa. It is the first country to open its borders to other Africans, a milestone in tourism and intra, African relationship. With its resurgent Airline Rwandair positioning itself as one of the preffered airlines in Africa, Rwanda is set
to play among the big league in Africa. It is blessed with a wonderful environment. This year it hosted Nollywwod star, Ramsy Nouah, at its annual Gorrilla naming ceremony. Rwanda is open to both leisure and business travellers. Rwanda stand at Akwaaba will house the tourist board and the Airline Rwandair which already flies into Nigeria. Namibia will use Akwaaba to expand its appeal to more travellers this time in West Africa.
The Namibian Ministry of Tourism and Environment and the Namibian Film Commission will be showcasing at the only international tourism expo in West Africa that takes place in Lagos annually. Namibia, with its wild Skeleton beach, the famed national parks and picturesque city of Windhoek, offers a composite blend of attractions that appeal to the adventurous, the sedentary and the urbane shopaholic, the types that have been flying out of Nigeria in huge numbers recently.
THE NATION SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 14, 2013
FORTUNE& I Segun AJIBOYE
FAMIL Y HEAL TH AMILY HEALTH
THE NATION, SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 14, 2013
Why Success in the family
EAR Reader, You are welcome to Family Forum, where the ingredients for a successful home are practically delivered into your hand. You shall not miss your own portion, in Jesus’ name! I want you to know that success in anything in life, and particularly in marriage, is not accidental. It is a product of proper alignment with the truth of God’s Word. No accident is ever said to be successful. No one succeeds by chance. A successful marriage does not just happen; it is made to happen. A wise man said, “Many people dream of success, but others wake up and work at it!” So, the responsibility for the success of your family rests absolutely on you. This week, I want to share with you from God’s Word, Why Success In The Family. God Is Interested In The Success Of Your Home: One of the reasons why your marriage must succeed is that God has interest in your home. God was practically involved in the first wedding ceremony between Adam and Eve. He designed the home to succeed. The Word of God says: And the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof; And the rib, which the Lord God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man (Genesis 2:21-22). We can see in this scripture that God was fully involved in the first wedding. This is to say that, He designed marriage for success. God did not just speak marriage into existence like He did to the rest of creation, He made Adam. He caused him to sleep a deep sleep, and then took a rib from his side. Out of this rib, He formed the woman and brought her unto Adam. God Himself, therefore, was the Initiator. This means that marriage is rooted in divinity. Without any doubt, anything associated with God is meant to succeed. Marriage is associated with God, therefore, it is meant to be successful. Your marriage shall be successful, in Jesus’ name!
God Designed Your Marriage For All-Round Fruitfulness: The Word of God says: So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth (Genesis 1:2728). God began the human family by blessing, not cursing it. He said to Adam and Eve, “Be fruitful; multiply; replenish the earth; subdue it!” What wonderful words of blessing! It is interesting for you to know that fruitfulness goes beyond procreation; it includes success in all areas of life. It also means having many good results. The fact that God rained blessings on the first family is a clear indication that every family is meant to be successful. These blessings will answer for you, in Jesus’ name! God Established The Home For Dominion: Marriage was established to be in control of, and not under the control of circumstance and situations of life. This is a sign that it was established for success. The Word of God says: Have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth (Genesis 1:28). Dominion means to have control or exercise of control. The home, therefore, was designed to have dominion; that is, to have and exercise control. I want you to know that God has given you dominion to succeed in your marriage. God Designed Your Home To Be Like Eden: It is evident that God designed families for success, because of the place where God placed them. The Word of God says: And the Lord God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it (Genesis 2:15). If you have the description of Eden, you will appreciate the fact that Eden was no wilderness. In fact, it literally means delight, or great pleasure. God placed the first couple in a place of pleasure. His desire is that your family gives you pleasure. God designed the home for every member of the family to enjoy one another, experience fulfillment, laughter and excitement. He never intended the family to experience pressure, but pleasure. He designed the family to make life pleasurable. In case the situation in your home is far from being pleasant, as you read this article, believe God for a reversal, and it shall be so for you! Your Marriage Is Not Designed For Shame: One of many reasons God designed marriage is for success and to take shame
away from man. You shall not see shame in your home anymore! This year has been declared as our year of Double Portion, Next Levels. I see you moving from one level of glory to another in your home, business, health and finances. God instituted marriage to ensure that man never experience shame. Marriage brought man into a state of better living, glory and beauty. There was no cause for fear or regret. Your will not regret your marriage! Marriage Is The Beginning Of Miracle: It is absolutely awesome to discover that the first miracle ever performed by Jesus, during His earthly ministry, was at a wedding ceremony. God is a God of priorities, who would always put first things first. By this miracle, He put a stamp of approval on the need for success in the home. At the first wedding ceremony, the wine had finished. The wine, here, represents joy. Jesus then stepped in, instructed them on what to do, they obeyed and thus had more wine than at the onset of the wedding. The home is ordained of God to be a miracle centre! Many have and are still enjoying miracles in their marriages and families; yours will be the next! Success in the home begins by knowing God, the Creator of the universe. If you are not born again, you need to surrender your life to Christ. Surrendering your life to Christ entails confessing your sins and accepting Him as your Lord and Saviour. If you want to do that right now, you can please say this prayer: Dear Lord Jesus, I come to You today as a sinner. Forgive me of mu sins. I believe You died and rose on the third day for my sins. I accept You as my Lord and Saviour. Make me a child of God today. Congratulations, you are now born again! I believe that you will begin to experience the reality of the price that Jesus paid for your sins at Calvary. All-round rest and peace are guaranteed you, in Jesus’ Name! Call or write, and share your testimonies with me through: E-mail: email@example.com Tel. No: 08141320204; 07026385437; 07094254102 For more insight, these books authored by me are available at the Dominion Bookstores in all Living Faith Churches and other leading Christian bookstores: Marriage Covenant, Making Marriage Work, Single With A Difference, Building A Successful Family, and Success In Marriage (Co-Authored with Bishop David Oyedepo).
Benefits of good drinking water Weight Loss: Water helps you to lose weight in a fast and better manner. Water helps to flush out the by-products of fat. Also when you drink water, your stomach becomes full and you do not feel the tendency to eat more. And the most important thing about water is that it does not contain any calorie and it is also a great replacement for high-calorie drinks such as alcohol, sugary fizzy drinks and sodas that often cause weight gain. •Healthy Skin: Water keeps the body well hydrated which promotes healthier and younger looking skin. This happens because water helps to replenish skin tissues, moisturizes skin and increases the elasticity in your skin. When the body gets enough water, your skin will feel moisturized and it will look fresh, soft, glowing and smooth. Also your skin will not suffer from soft lines, scars, acne, wrinkles or other aging symptoms. •Headaches and migraines: In case of headache and migraine problem, the first thing that you can do to get some comfort is to drink plenty of water. In most cases, the main reason behind headaches and migraines is dehydration. So, when you drink water the body becomes hydrated and soon the problem of headache and migraine get resolved. •Relieves fatigue: If you always feel tired, then there is a high chance that it can be due to less consumption of water. Water is used by the body to help flush out toxins and waste products that the body does not need. When there is less water in the body, the heart needs to work more to pump out the oxygenated blood to all cells and at the same time other major body organs also become exhausted. All these factors make you feel tired always. •Improves mood: Water makes your body feel good and improves your energy level. When your body is active and in proper functioning state, then it gives positive signal to your brain which ultimately boosts your mood and helps you to feel happy from within. Good mood also has a direct impact on your productivity level whether at work or in doing other tasks. •Helps in Digestion and Constipation: Water also improves the functionality of gastrointestinal tract. This helps in digestion and prevents constipation. Less amount of water in the body often results in constipation. But when you drink adequate amount of water it boosts your metabolism rate and helps the food consumed by you to break down properly. This helps your digestive system to work properly.
•Regulates body temperature: Ample amount of water in the body also helps to regulate body temperature. The thermal properties of water and its ability to release heat from the body when sweat evaporates from the surface of skin help a lot in maintaining body temperature throughout the day. A well regulated body temperature will make you feel more energetic when performing exercises and at the same time it also helps to fuel your muscles. At the same time it also helps keep your joints and muscles lubricated, so that you do not have to suffer from cramps and sprains. •Reduces the Risk of Cancer: There are some studies that suggest that drinking a healthy amount of water also reduces the risks of bladder cancer and colon cancer. Water destroys the cancer-causing agents and reduces the risk of different types of cancer. •Improves the Immune System When the body gets adequate amount of water, it also improves your immune system and makes you less likely to get sick. Good immune system means your body can fight against ailments such as flu, kidney stones, and heart attack in a better manner. It will also help a lot to deal with health problems like rheumatism and arthritis etc. •Solves Bad Breath: Bad breath is a clear sign that your body needs more water. Your saliva helps your teeth free from bacteria and keeps our tongue hydrated. So, whenever you suffer from bad breath, the first thing that you need to do is drink plenty of water. Also you can use water to rinse your mouth properly to get rid of food particles and bacteria that may be stuck in between your teeth and gum line. To conclude, now as you know the importance of drinking more water, it is important to make necessary efforts to drink at least eight to ten glasses of water on a daily basis. Along with water, you also need to eat more fruits and vegetables that are high in water content. With adequate consumption of water, nothing can stop you from enjoying a healthy lifestyle. Source: Top10HomeRemedies
ERPES is a generic name for a group of viruses that cause a variety of diseases. The ailments people generally associate with herpes are those that produce small blisters on the skin, which open and are replaced by a crust before they heal completely. Genital herpes is caused by a virus called herpes simplex (HSV2), which causes crusted sores, commonly around the lips and mouth ("cold sores") and the genitalia. The infectious condition itself is also known as herpes simplex. The virus is intermittently present in the mouth of healthy carriers and is spread by personal contact; genital herpes is spread by sexual contact with an infected person and is a venereal disease. Although some forms can be transmitted through the air or by contact with infected articles (especially towels) used by someone with active herpes, infection usually occurs through direct physical contact. An attack begins with itching of the skin in the affected area, quickly followed by redness and swelling. Within a few hours fragile blisters (vesicles) appear and rupture to exude a sticky serum like fluid which rapidly crusts. Unless secondary infection with bacteria occurs, the lesions heal without scarring within about a week. Because herpes blisters individually are the size of a pinhead or smaller, they may not be easily visible. Generally, the affected area will be red, tender, and mildly to severely painful. Fever, headache, and general malaise may also be present. Genital herpes infections may cause a painful cervicitis (inflammation of the cervix) in women, with ulceration and a vaginal discharge. The results of recent research studies have suggested that women who develop herpes cervicitis may have an increased risk of developing cancer of the cervix in later years. The condition is now seen as a reason for regular screening by Pap smears, which can detect early cancerous changes at a stage when treatment is simple and curative. In men the genital infection is usually less severe. However, those whose immune response is impaired (such as cancer patients, HIV/AIDS sufferers or organ transplant recipients) can be very susceptible to herpes infection. Genital herpes may be passed from a pregnant woman to her baby during delivery. Babies infected during birth by their mothers' active genital herpes are very likely to die or suffer severe brain damage because they have little or no resistance to the virus. Once the virus enters the body, in stays there for the rest of the person's life, unless a natural remedy is applied. Recurrent attacks may occur, usually during periods when the person is
feeling run down, anxious, or depressed, before menstruation, or after sexual intercourse. In holistic lifecare, the best prospect of prevention and total cure of genital herpes is in going back to nature in terms of personal hygiene, protected sexual contact and use of potent herbal remedies. Also, a body kept healthy by proper nutrition and exercise has the best chance of keeping the virus under control. The holistic remedy being suggested for total cure of Genital Herpes is a combination of natural extracts of Eugenia caryophylatta, Citrus lemonis, Euphorbia unispina, Hypericum perforatum and Echinacea augustifolia. For further information and consultation on Holistic Lifecare research and services, especially on Blood Infections, Infertility, Sexually Transmitted Diseases, Chronic Debilitating Conditions as well as mental and social problems, please call on: 0803-330-3897 or visit: Mosebolatan Holistic Lifecare Centre, Adeyalo Layout, Ogbere-Tioya, Off Olorunsogo Express Bridge, Ibadan. Website: www.holisticlifecare.com. Distance is no barrier, we can send remedies by courier if need be. We also have facilities for accommodation, admission and hospitalization in a serene and homely environment.
THE NATION, SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 14, 2013
THE NATION, SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 14, 2013
THE NATION, SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 14, 2013
Outrage over police blockade of Rivers Govt House Road •Continued from Page 6 “Freedom of movement is guaranteed under the constitution. And in a situation where you are now compelled without any justifiable reason and then you are just not allowed to pass despite all entreaties, all our appeals made to that effect, and we thought that as responsible citizens of this country we needed to maintain peace. So, to that extent, we were forced at the end of the day to do a detour to find some other route to get to the Government House. “I was just wondering within me that, you know, how and when did we descend so low in this country to the point that we are beginning to witness this kind of thing? It is really sad. “I mean I feel so sad about the whole thing and I just hope that those concerned, particularly the police high command, would really ensure that this kind of thing doesn’t happen again. In his own reaction, a member of the House of Representatives, Hon. Dakuku Peterside, said the incident was an indication that “Nigeria is on a free fall to maximum dictatorship.” He accused CP Mbu and the police in Rivers State of being on a mission to destroy the last vestiges of civility and democratic spirit left in the land “in service of some indiscernible aspiration.” Peterside said in a statement: “Mbu has effectively turned the Nigeria Police into a political party. All men of goodwill must rise up and say enough is enough to this encir-
cling gloom, as this is not a challenge to Gov- Goodluck Jonathan should advise him prop“This is very dangerous for the peace and ernor Amaechi or the people of Rivers State erly, because he is not going to be on that unity of the whole nation. If the PDP actually but a clear affront on elected political author- seat forever. One day, he will leave that posisaid that the action was in order, then it ity and democracy itself. tion and what he is doing now will equally means that the police was acting on political “Worse still, the Obuah faction of PDP and be done to him.” instruction. The PDP must have given the their co-travellers have lost all sense of decoConstitutional lawyer, Prof. Itse Itse Sagay order for them to say that it was in order,” he rum and displayed their dullness of mind in said it was obvious that the police abused said. raining insult on Governor Amaechi. their power. “Obuah and the PDP in every step taken have shown that they lack the capacity to understand the rules of engagement in political discourse. Okodili NDIDI, Owerri he aspiration of members teed. “That the characters parading themof the Movement for the “Determined not to allow corporate existence of the Nigerselves as officers of PDP in Rivers State Actualization of Sovereign hawks and merchants of despair ian federation. are doing so reflects the decadence, imto use or manipulate us for the In a communiqué issued at punity and brazenness in the land, which State of Biafra (MASSOB) was gloomy yesterday as the leader sake of their self aggrandizethe end of the meeting which is most unfortunate. of the movement, Chief Ralph ments through causing maydealt a devastating blow to the “Obuah PDP has now assumed the role Uwazuruike, alongside other hem. struggle to divide Nigeria into of deciding who insulted the President of separatists backed the unity of “There are problems within manageable components held at the country as well as those to be persethe country as against the agitaand amongst our people but the home of the MASSOB cuted for exercising the right to freedom tion for a sovereign Biafran that these problems will be leader, the newly founded of association. This is definitely an ill State. treated within the context of group, stated in part as follows: wind that will not serve anybody any The National Unity Alliance Nigeria and the principles of “Conscious of the challenges good. (NUA), a coalition of ethnic naconflict resolution employed to facing us as a nation in the field “If anything, it confirms that our politionalities headed by the attain a solution. of unity and aware of the mistics is now a baazar.” founder of the Odua People’s “That from today, nobody guided efforts of some disgrunRetired Commissioner of Police, Congress (OPC), Dr. Fredrick tled, self-centred and unpatriotic would be allowed to use us to Abubakar Tsav also expressed his rage Fasheun, during a meeting cause disaffection or mayhem citizens to continue manipulatover the development in an interview which had Hamza Alamong innocent citizens of ing our polity to their advanwith our correspondent yesterday. He Mustapha; Asari Dokubo, Nigeria no matter how highly tage, through causing confusion wondered why the police would prevent founder of Niger Delta Volunplaced, influential or wealthy.’ and hoodwinking the public. a governor from entering the government teer Force (NDVF); Chief Ralph Meanwhile, scores of MAS“Desiring to right the wrong house. Uwazuruike; Mohammed and continue with our corporate SOB members who thronged He said: “It is not done. The governor is Abacha and Yerima Shetima , peaceful co existence as a nation, out to welcome the visitors yessupposed to be protected by the police leader of Arewa youths, in atterday expressed disappointwhere freedom of expression commissioner and not the other way tendance in Owerri, the Imo ment over the sudden change in and association can be guaranround.Those who are advising President State capital, canvassed for the their struggle for liberation.
Rumble in MASSOB as Uwazuruike backs Nigeria’s unity
What ‘intimate’ relationship means, by experts, celebrities • Continued from page 9 that the women are sleeping with the men they are friends with or sometime go out with.” A pastor and marriage counselor, Rev. Kunat Amos Achi, posits that the meaning of intimate relationship depends on the context. He says: “There can be an intimate relationship in a family; intimate relationship generally to me is a relationship that has a high degree of closeness, in which the two people involved are highly close with one another; you can find that in a family between a husband and a wife. They can be intimately close. Between a brother and a sister, they can be intimately close, between father and children, they can be intimately close and then between mother and children too.” He continues: “That is one context, and the other context could be between friends, friends of opposite sex, so if it is the opposite sex intimacy, that also needs to be defined. If it is a long relationship, that possibly would be a relationship aimed at marriage. Then that intimacy must be built and encouraged to become strong so that it will form a strong foundation for the marriage that will come thereafter. They should do everything to maintain the intimacy, so that third party does not come in between them. But if the relationship is not targeted at marriage, then that degree of relationship between a man and a woman is uncalled for. They must draw a clear line because if they do not, with such closeness, they can go into immorality. And that is not good to society, not good to
the word of God, and no religion accepts that, at least within the context of our country. “Yes, it is possible for a man and woman to date for long and not be in amorous, intimate relationship. I dated my wife for nine years before we got married in 1993 and we took a decision from day one that we would not have sexual relationship until we got married. We jointly agreed on that. It is very possible and it is even still being done by some people even at this time. As a marriage counsellor, I have seen young people dating for years who never have sex. I ask what the secret is and they tell me this same thing I did with my wife. They agree between themselves not to have sex until marriage.” How about a man that kisses and tells? He replies: “I do not advise that a man who has met a young lady should make such knowledge public. Is the motive to scandalise the lady? Because her credibility could be taken away; because there could be some man out there who may want to get married to her, so a man shouldn't stand in a woman's way from getting married. Such information to the public is not necessary. Confess it to God, confess it to one another and close that chapter.” Popular musician, Ara Ola, says: “Intimate relationship to me is something that is between two consenting adults. It is a relationship and they both have a right to keep quiet over it. It is very possible for them not to make love, but then, I do not think that it is possible that they will not express their emotions for one another in other ways. It is possible not to be involved sexually with somebody
that you may be intimate with for over a long period of time.” A relationship expert, Bunmi Sofola, says: “Intimate relationship is as simple as saying you had sex. If we are to quote from the context of male and female relationship, if you are intimate with somebody, it means you are having sex with the person; it is as simple as that. Except you want to be talking more, and dancing around the meaning of the word 'intimacy.' If a man and a woman are going out with one another, and they are not having sex, it means that they are mere friends. One cannot use intimate in that context. Simply said, they are good friends. Good friends could mean that you cannot do without seeing each other and so on, but intimate relationship, means a different thing. “When you want it to be a straight jacket thing, intimate relationship means sex, but if you saying intimate friendship, you are trying to make a wide statement to mean whatever you want it to mean. But if you want to say what intimate relationship is, then you have to say sex. You can also go into the dictionary and find out. “About kiss and tell, the best thing to do in such situation is to pretend it didn't happen because it will be too childish to start talking about it. If anybody has an intimate relationship with a house maid or a low-ranking person and comes out to say it, it is inappropriate. So with such things, you just pretend as if it did not happen and move on. It doesn't take anything from you and it doesn't add anything to you!”
Thank you Emenike •Continued from back page he needs to be worthy in character, based on his stay in Europe where he ought to have acculturised to the European ethos. As for Enyeama, it is about time he stayed off the team. When Samson Siasia wielded the big stick on Enyeama after a mutinous act in the Eagles, we cried foul and begged Siasia in vain. We can now appreciate what Siasia saw then when he tagged Enyeama as a very bad influence. Let me tender my apologies to Siasia for hitting him so hard for refusing to accept pleas from Nigerians to return Enyeama to the fold. I really don’t know where to start in explaining Ejide’s conduct. A good goalkeeper, no doubt, but I didn’t know him to be a disobedient player. His calm mien disarms you. But his recent role of spearheading protests is shocking. Enyeama, Ejide and Mikel are our potential captains. It says something about their protests. Read my lips. Don’t ask me how. Let me urge Maigari and his NFF men not to succumb to any threat on this bonus issue. We cannot pay players match bonuses for all the games, yet they will also insist on having a share of Nigeria’s share of the gate-takings accruing from matches played by the Eagles at the World Cup. It amounts to eating their cake and having it. In other climes, revenues from appearing at the World Cup are ploughed back towards developing the facilities
in their countries. But in Nigeria, our players share it. This dastardly act must stop. If the players want the revenue from our World Cup participation, they should forget about match bonuses. Thumbs up Jonathan President Goodluck Jonathan scored the bull’s eye in Abuja on Wednesday, when he decorated Africa’s speedster Blessing Okagbare with a national honour and gave her N3 million. It may be less than what the footballers got but the thought of rewarding her is commendable. Jonathan’s tall order to the sports administrators and athletes to win gold medals at the Brazil 2016 Olympic Games is good, except that the President ought to have told us how much his administration is pumping into the challenge. The President should also tell us when the cash will be released for the athletes because the task of winning any gold medals at the Olympics is a four-year project anchored on proper planning. As I have canvassed in this column in the past, the President needs to direct that a presidential dinner with Okagbare and the business community should be organised for our Olympic Games plans as envisioned by Jonathan be laid bare before these technocrats. Jonathan needs to ask what happened to the sports lottery projects in the past. Another sports lottery with a different organogram is required to lift our sports. The President must be commended for retaining Bolaji Abdullahi as the sports minister. The fillip in our sports
owes its course to Abdullahi’s transparent handling of issues bogging the industry. Adbullahi has plugged all the loopholes in our sports with his enduring policies. His unbiased approach to issues that have bedeviled the industry underlines the relative peace in the federations. This has indeed restored confidence in the athletes, knowing that their efforts would be recognised with every feat achieved. Take a bow Abdullahi, for wonderful job. Jonathan should challenge Abdullahi to fix the rot in our sports lottery scheme, if we hope to attain the heights befitting of our athletes’ stature. We should have a deliberate policy to support the athletes and safeguard their future. This must have a presidential backing for the blue-chip companies to identify with. Our administrators must learn how to account for the cash given to them. No company will want to tag its goods or services to any form of scam arising from the misappropriation of cash given to sports federations to organise competitions. Corruption has been the bane of sponsorship of sports. Okagbare as a Nigerian brand with any company will signpost the way forward for sports and the athletes. It could also resolve the problem of securing their future since most of them would be funded by these companies to combine sports and the acquisition of quality education.
THE NATION, SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 14, 2013
THE NATION, SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 14, 2013
Anambra poll: PDP, APC, APGA, others get deadline to finalise choice of candidates T
HE Independent Na tional Electoral Commis sion (INEC) has given the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) up till September 17 to submit its list of candidate for the Anambra Governorship poll in November. Two candidates-Tony Nwoye and Dr. Andy Ubahad emerged from parallel primaries conducted by two different state executive commit-
Yusuf Alli, Managing Editor, Northern Operation
tees of the party. While Uba emerged as the candidate of the INEC recognized Ejike Oguebego faction of the PDP in Anambra State,
Nwoye secured his ticket from Ken Emekayi’s faction which was endorsed by the National Secretariat of the party. Although the National Chairman of the PDP, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur, has, however, forwarded Nwoye’s name to the INEC on August
29th, the electoral agency has reservation in collecting his nomination form. But in a letter signed by the INEC Secretary, Mrs. Augusta C. Ogakwu, the INEC gave the PDP up till September 17 to resolve the stalemate. The letter was copied to other parties participating in the Anambra poll despite the fact that they have no issue with their candidates. The letter, which was exclusively obtained by our correspondent, reads: “Following the conclusion of party primaries on September 2, 2013, political parties are reminded on the following procedures for submission of the list of candi-
dates each political party proposes to sponsor at the election: “Every political party shall submit the list of the candidates the party proposes to sponsor in Form CF 002 duly signed by the National Chairman and National Secretary of the political party “The list should be accompanied with a covering letter duly signed by the National Chairman and National Secretary of the political party together with the affidavit of personal particulars of each candidate duly sworn before the prescribed Commissioner for Oaths. “All submissions to the commission shall first be made to
the Department of Elections and Party Monitoring for clearance at the headquarters of the commission at Maitama, Abuja, on or before September 17, 2013. “No submission made to the commission later than 6.00pm on September 17, 2013 shall be accepted. “Upon clearance, the submission shall thereafter be forwarded to the Legal Services Department where the submissions shall be acknowledged and copy of the acknowledgement issued to the political party. “Political parties are particularly advised to note that where there is a court order in respect of the nomination of any candidate the political party shall be guided by the order at the time of submission.”
PDP crisis: Jonathan’s impeachment ’ll be considered on merit — Reps spokesman
.Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan of Delta State(second left); Deputy Governor Amos Utuama (left); Speaker, Delta State House of Assembly, Hon Victor Ochei; and Blessing Okagbare PHOTO: Jibunor Samuel
House of Representatives spokesman, Hon Zakari Mohammed, said yesterday that the House would not rush into taking a decision on any motion on the impeachment of President Goodluck Jonathan over the ongoing PDP crisis. He disclosed this during a
N5.7b fraud: Why ex-IGP Tafa Balogun was arrested, jailed —Ribadu
HE pioneer Chairman of the Economic and Finan cial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mallam Nuhu Ribadu, has explained why he (as an Assistant Commissioner of Police) arrested a former Inspector General of Police, Tafa Balogun. He said since justice is blind, Balogun crossed the line and had to face trial for corruption. He also said there are smarter crooks than ex-Governor James Ibori in the country. The EFCC, under Ribadu, had arrested and put the former IGP on trial for about N5.7billion official corruption. Ribadu, who bared his mind on one of the most celebrated trials in the country in an interview with the EFCC magazine, Zero Tolerance, said the fear of God made him to arrest the then IGP instead of his status. He said: “Well, the point is that whoever crosses the line will be dealt with. Whether a constable or an IGP, it’s the same thing. The solution is not to cross the line. “When you execute your mandate honestly, you become blind to the position of individuals. Justice is blind. “So, Tafa Balogun was my boss as the Inspector-General of Police, but he crossed the
Yusuf Alli, Managing Editor, Northern Operation line. He did things that were wrong and was brought to our attention, and the law took its course. “To be honest, I thank God for having only one fear: that is the fear of God. It is not arrogance or anything, no it’s just that I feel what is right is right, and in doing what is right, I don’t fear any mortal. “I have never looked for anything in terms of benefit in any position I have occupied; even in the police, an IGP could not give me anything. “A President could not give me anything. Obasanjo never gave me an office pin-up till this very moment. Never! “A lot of people feel the EFCC broke a lot of laws or Obasanjo gave me everything. What did he give me? The entire budget of the EFCC from the beginning to the time I left was not up to N11billion! We never got anything extra, never! “The people we brought to justice were the closest people to him (Obasanjo). They were PDP men; but others will turn it upside down and lie. It’s really sad, and a lot of them got away with it.” On the corruption charges
against ex-Governor James Ibori, he said: “There are worse people than James Ibori in Nigeria. I think probably James was not the smartest one among them. There are some crooks worse than James, and I still see them. “Some of them are even being celebrated right now in our country. Some of them are trying to re-write history. James didn’t handle his own criminal affairs smartly, and he ended up paying dearly for it. “There are smarter crooks than James, who did more damage to the EFCC, but God will judge them. James is serving a jail term in the UK. “So it was not only James, and if we narrow it down to James alone, we are actually underestimating the way corruption fought back.” Responding to a question, Ribadu said the investigation of Ibori for fraud was not personal. He added: “Maybe if I meet James today, I will hug him and shake his hand like so many others that I’m doing daily now. It was never personal. “The attempt to destroy and mess up the EFCC was not James’ alone. It’s a conspiracy of so many people, including
Manna Mountain holds women’s convention
Women, Thou Art loosed” is the theme of the Women’s Convention 2013 to be hosted by Manna Prayer and Prophetic Mountain (Interdenominational), Ogudu Orioke, Lagos from Monday, September 16 to Friday, 20 2013. Leading the ministrations of the week-long event is the presiding Bishop, Dr. Chris Kwakpovwe, supported by his wife, Dr. (Mrs.) Pastor Flora Kwakpovwe, according to a statement by the church’s media department. Other anointed servants of
God are expected at the event which is expected to attract thousands of women to the ultramodern Manna Prayer Mountain auditorium. Dr. (Mrs.) Kwakpovwe said women are victims of attacks in the shape of domestic violence, rape, slavery and spiritual oppression, “that is why the theme; “Women, Thou Art Loosed” was chosen by the conference organizers. “As usual, we look forward to miracles, signs and wonders and the delivery of the word of God at another level from our Bishop.
Bishop Chris, author of the popular daily devotional, Our Daily Manna, also announced that the October edition of the booklet would be out next week. ODM is one of the leading Christian manuals which are sold in 210 countries. The Bishop also disclosed that the September 2013 Special Anointing Service will hold at the Manna Mountain on Saturday, September 21, 2013 as a climax of the Women’s Convention. The theme of the Anointing Service is “Dealing with Kidnappers.”
those who pretend to be honest or good people now; including those who made money from the EFCC work; and they are so many.”
Victor OLUWASEGUN and Dele ANOFI, Abuja media chat at the National Assembly where he added that any motion to that effect would be considered on its merits. He further stated: “Every issue will be looked at according to its merit. The floor will determine what happens. To now say we will impeach Mr. X means we have made up our minds on what we would do. “There must be issues that will generate impeachment, and it is the floor that will decide whether these issues are impeachable or not.” He explained that the argument that the matter was an
internal one that should be kept within the PDP and not taken to the National Assembly was faulty because the party is in the majority and what affects the PDP affects the entire House. “Whatever affects the PDP in the House will definitely affect the colouration of the House. With 208 members in the House, whatever affects members of the PDP will be felt by all of us”, he said. Mohammed urged the PDP to urgently resolve the crisis in order to avoid a situation where it will slide into the minority when 57 members of the New PDP join ranks with the APC which has 137 members.
GTBank MD bags 2013 African Banker of the Year Award
HE Managing Director/ CEO of Guaranty Trust Bank plc, Segun Agbaje, has just been announced the 2013 Banker of the Year – Africa by the World Finance Banking Awards. The World Finance Banker of the Year - Africa Award is conferred on outstanding bankers who have achieved the most with regards to innovation, profitability and sustainability of their organization. The award also takes into recognition an individual that
has been an influential and inspirational leader, has overseen strong financial performance for his organization and has successfully guided his institution to new heights in its industry. According to World Finance, Agbaje has won the coveted “Banker of the Year – Africa 2013.” This category was one of the most sought after categories in the 2013 Banking Awards, however someone has to win and the judging panel confirmed that Agbaje is at the vanguard of African
banking and has deservedly earned the reputation and recognition as a truly accomplished and highly respected banker locally and internationally. Commenting on his award, Agbaje said the award he received is in recognition of the hard work and dedication of the management and staff of the bank. He also thanked the bank customers for their trust and continued support and promised to continue to strive to deliver beyond their expectation.
Conference of Speakers of ECOWAS Parliament spoke on the Draft Supplemenbegins in Abuja Vincent IKUOMOLA, tary Act of the ECOWAS Par-
PEAKERS from the Eco nomic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) will gather in Abuja today and tomorrow for the Conference of Speakers of the Parliament. The Speaker of the ECOWAS Parliament and also the Deputy Senate President, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, said: “The Conference of Speakers of the sub-region will hold in Abuja today and tomorrow. Efforts have been made in the past to institutionalise this organisation. In fact, in 1999, on May 5, the speakers met in Accra, Ghana to create this body. “There were two subsequent sessions; they met in Nigeria, here in Abuja, in the year 2000 and in the year 2001, they met in Burkina Faso. And after that, they have not been able to meet again. But before the suspension or rather before they went into inactivity, the person that held the chairman-
ship of that body was from Benin, so we decided to appoint the present speaker of Benin to be the chairman of the organisation.” Ekweremadu, who also
liament on the enhancement of its powers, hinted that the Act may be endorsed by the end of the year when the Authority of Heads of State and Government of the regional body will be meeting.
President greets Alake at 70
RESIDENT Goodluck Jonathan yesterday con gratulated Alake of Egbaland, Oba Adedotun Gbadebo, on his 70th birthday. In a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Dr. Reuben Abati, the President extolled the exemplary dedication of the Alake to the promotion of peace, unity, equity, justice and positive development in his domain and the whole of Nigeria. According to a letter written to the Alake, the President praised him for upholding the highest ideals and virtues of traditional institutions in the country. He said: “I write on behalf of
my family, the government and people of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to express warm felicitations to Your Highness as you celebrate your landmark 70th birthday. “You have used your exalted throne to uphold the highest ideals of the traditional institution, steadfastly promoting peace, justice, harmony and positive development in Egbaland and beyond. “I pray that Almighty God continues to strengthen and prosper you even as He blesses you with many more years of fulfilment.” He wished Oba Gbadebo very happy 70th birthday celebrations.
THE NATION, SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 14, 2013
58 NEWS Boko Haram: Yobe schools reopen n Duku JOEL, Damaturu n OBE State government yesterday announced the re-opening of both public and private schools in the state. It will be recalled the school were closed as a result of attacks by the Boko Haram on two secondary schools that claimed the lives of 23 school children. The attacks compelled the Yobe State government to shut down all primary and secondary schools in the state for fear of further attacks by the insurgents. Speaking at a press brieﬁng in Damaturu, the state commissioner for lower education, Alhaji Mohammed Lamin, who made the announcement, disclosed that all schools, both public and private in the state, are expected to resume on Monday, September 15, 2013, and noted that the decision by government to reopen the schools follows the serious improvement of security in the state.
Kano stops seven pregnant women from pilgrimage
Flood cuts off Benue community n Uja EMMANUEL, Makurdi n ANY residents of O t u k p o , headquarters of Idoma people in Benue State, have been trapped in their homes, as their roads have been cut off by the ﬂood from last Wednesday’s torrential rain in the state. The rain, fall which lasted the whole day, kept several people indoors and disrupted the activities of the residents. The affected areas include, Captain SA Ode Avenue, at the Oweto area of the town, Alheri, Abuja and Jerusalem streets at Zone HB. A resident of Oweto, Chief Sunday Ekele, who spoke with The Nation, appealed to the authorities of Otukpo Local Government Area to urgently come to the aid of the victims. Chief Ekele said he feared that the houses in the area may collapse if nothing was done. Efforts to get the reaction of the chairman of the council, Dr Innocent Onuh, failed as his phone was switched off. But one of his aides, who pleaded anonymity, said efforts were on by the council to take appropriate action to address the problem of the residents.
Ogun promotes 3, 272 teachers GUN State Governor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun, has approved the promotion of 3,272 teaching and non teaching staff in public secondary schools in the state. They are those successful in the 2012 promotion exercise conducted by the state Teaching Service Commission (TESCOM). Chairman of the Commission, Ms Olubukunola Onabanjo, said in a statement issued in Abeokuta, that this is in line with the government's commitment to reward excellent performance and increase productivity. She said those promoted are made up of 743 teachers on grade levels 12 to 17, 1,604 on grade levels 07 to 10 and 926, who were in the junior cadre.
n Kolade ADEYEMI, Kano n EVEN pregnant female intending pilgrims have been banned by the Kano State Pilgrims Welfare Board from performing this year’s hajj to Saudi Arabia. The Public Relations Ofﬁcer of the Board, Alhaji Nuhu Badamasi, who disclosed this to The Nation, said the affected pilgrims were discovered to be pregnant during the screening exercise of intending female pilgrims in the state. Badamasi said during the course of the screening, seven female pilgrims were found to be pregnant, and explained that as a result of this development, the affected female pilgrims would not be allowed to be airlifted to the Holy land to perform the pilgrimage. According to him, the decision was part of the measures adopted by the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) to prevent intending female pilgrims from travelling to the Holy land. ‘’The measure is aimed at safeguarding the health of female pilgrims in view of the rigorous nature associated with hajj rites.
•A cross section of members of the Mission To Rebuild Ogun State (MITROS), Menʼs Wing, inaugurated by the Ogun State Governor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun at the MKO Abiola Stadium in Abeokuta…yesterday.
65 corps members feared trapped in fresh Nasarawa mayhem he violence that has gripped Nasarawa State reared its ugly head again yesterday, as suspected members of the Ombatse militia group allegedly attacked and burnt buildings in the state. The incident was said to have occurred in Tundun Adabu village in Obi Local Government Area of the state. Residents of the village were said to have been thrown into confusion, as people ran for safety. About 65 members of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) serving in the state were said to have been trapped at a police station in the village as a result of the crisis. The real cause of the crises was, however, not clear last
•Houses razed, casualty ﬁgure uncertain n Sanni ONOGU, Laﬁa n night as there were several accounts. One account said efforts by men of the Nigeria Police Force to arrest some Eggon youths sparked the violent clash. Our source said the police were in Tundun Adabu village to arrest some Eggon youths, but the youths resisted, leading to the violent protest. The protest, it was learnt, led to a violent clash between some youths, the police and the Alago youths, who were suspected to have tipped off the police. According to our source, the Eggon youths protested
the arrest because the police have allegedly been carrying out secret arrest of suspected Ombatse members, believed to have been involved in the killing of security personnel in Lakyo village on May 7. Sixty-three policemen and 10 State Security Service (SSS) operatives were allegedly ambushed and killed by suspected members of the Ombatse. The security agents were reportedly on their way to Lakyo village to arrest the chief priest of Ombatse, popularly called Baba Lakyo and to seal off his shrine. Another source, however, denied that the protest was as a result of police arrest. According the source,
Eggon youths in the village barricaded the roads to protest the alleged killing of one of their colleagues by Alago youths. The Alago youths were said to have severed the head of the slain youth. The source said the police only went to the scene of the protest to maintain peace because the youths blocked the access road to village. However, reports also have it that a vehicle conveyed Ombatse members was intercepted by the police, who also discovered some ﬁrearms in the vehicle. The Eggon youths were said to have blamed the arrest of the Ombatse members on the Alago youths, accusing them of blowing the whistle on them.
2015: APC is government-in-waiting –Fayemi, Aregbesola HE All Progressives Congress (APC) formally birthed in Ekiti State yesterday, as chairmen of the merged political parties in the state, lowered their ﬂags in acknowledgement of the emergence of the newlyformed APC. Speaking at the ﬂag off ceremony, held at the Oluyemi Kayode Stadium in Ado Ekiti, the State Governor, Dr Kayode Fayemi and his Osun State counterpart, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, assured the crowd of supporters that the APC is government-in-waiting at the federal level come 2015, adding that the new political party represented the much-awaited change that Nigerians desire. Fayemi said the APC has people-oriented developmental programmes that could meet the yearnings of Nigerians and wrest power from the ruling Peoples’ Democratic Party at the federal level.
He added that there is need for the transformative programmes in the 11 APC states to be replicated in all States of the federation hence the call for change at the federal level come 2015. While stating that the merger that saw to the emergence of the APC was a fulﬁllment of the prediction of the late sage and Premier of the Western Region, Chief Obafemi Awolowo that at a point in the history of Nigeria, progressives in the South and North would come together to chart a common goal of making fundamental difference in the lives of the ordinary citizens, the Ekiti State Governor stressed that the new party would rescue the country from its state of uncertainty. Fayemi said: “We have to rescue Nigeria and that’s why we formed this party. That’s why people of like minds, progressives from the North
and South honoured that pledge made long ago by the late sage Chief Obafemi Awolowo that at some points in the future, the progressives of the north are going to join the progressives of the south and will form a political party that would make a fundamental difference in the lives of Nigerians. We have done it in the form of alliance before; now we are moving from alliance to merger. “Everybody in this country is worried about the future of our country, about the uncertainty of the moment, everybody wants change at the centre, change that will make fundamental difference in the lives of ordinary Nigerians.” Aregbesola asserted that the APC has all it takes to transform Nigeria and bring the much-anticipated change in the various sectors of the nation’s economy, and assured that the new party
would make change in the areas of employment, education and power while also providing adequate security of lives and property for citizens wherever they might be in the country. Aregbesola also urged Ekiti people to rally support for Fayemi’s re-election come 2014; saying the positive change which Fayemi has been making in the State in the last three years must be sustained. Also speaking at the event, the National Vice Chairman of the defunct Congress for Progressive Change (CPC), Hon. Razaq Muse, and the chairmen of ACN, CPC and ANPP in the State, Chief Jide Awe, Chief Tunde Ajayi and Alhaji Azeez Awolokun respectively promised to work for the strengthening of the APC in the State and assured that the party would retain its seat at the Oke Bareke Government House in 2014.
Gombe signs N19bn road construction contract OMBE State government yesterday signed a N19 billion contract for the construction of about 200 kilometer roads across the state. Governor Ibrahim Hassan Dankwambo, who spoke during signing of the contract, said the gesture demonstrated his administration’s commitment
n Vincent OHONBAMU, Gombe n towards improving the living standard of the people. He said, “The provision of numerous urban and rural road networks throughout the state is to facilitate social linkage and enhance economic activities. This will promote the peaceful coexistence of our people and boost their socioeconomic
relationships.” The governor ascribed the performance of his administration to the harmonious and peaceful relationship among the citizenry of the state, and pledged commitment to the continued construction of many roads as possible to meet the yearnings and aspirations of the citizenry,
and to create conducive atmosphere for investors in the state. Some of the roads awarded are “42 km Ngalda – Maina Mahdi – Mada – Jolle – Takai – Jigawa road which costs N 3.8 billion. The rehabilitation and upgrading of 69 km Dukku – Wawa – Biri – Wuro Bapparu at the cost of N3.7 billion.
‘Shun all negative reports about Nigeria’ n Gbenga ADERANTI n HE Senior Pastor of Christ Chapel International Churches, (CCIC), Rev Dr. Tunde Joda, has urged Nigerians to shun all negative reports and evil forecast that have been spoken concerning the country. Joda, who was represented by the chairman of the Anniversary and Camp Meeting 2013 of Christ Chapel, Rev Mike Udoka, during a media brieﬁng, at the unveiling of the programme to mark 32nd anniversary of the ministry and the 2013 edition of the annual camp meeting, said the church decided to show gratitude to honour God with its worship by giving back to the Nigerian society. As part of the celebration, the church is planning to visit some orphanages in Lagos, make a worthy donation to a hospital, put together a medical outreach and feed the needy. The church is also planning to give one of the police stations in the vicinity a facelift, adding that it would also invest in the lives of the Nigerian quota by assist in the educational sector. Joda said the church was not unmindful of unpleasant happenings but, he assured that hope was not lost as “all the negative reports and evil reports and evil forecast that have been spoken concerning Nigeria will change and be turned around as we seek God earnestly in prayer, putting our trust in Him, doing what is right for the nation as we also resolve to build a strong nation together, a nation of progress and social justice, a nation where god enthroned and He is Lord.”
THE NATION, SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 14, 2013
Bishop opens information box against kidnappers, robbers in Onitsha s part of efforts to end the era of violent crimes, armed robbery and kidnapping in Onitsha, the Catholic Archbishop of Onitsha Archdiocese and Ecclesiastical Province, Most Rev. Dr. Valerian Maduka Okeke, yesterday opened an information box for members of public to help the police with useful information. Okeke urged the general public to feel free to expose kidnappers, armed robbers and other criminal elements in Onitsha by coming
n Odogwu Emeka ODOGWU, Onitsha n out to give information that could lead to their arrests. He urged them to write their information in a paper and drop it into the Archdiocesan information box for onward transmission to the appropriate government authorities for prompt action. The Archbishop, who spoke at the dedication service of St Alphonsus Catholic
Parish, Nkpor, Idemili North Local Government Area of Anambra State, advised the masses to shun acts of thuggery, kidnapping, robbery and other criminal activities that are inimical to God and humanity. Archbishop Okeke wondered why the criminals, majority of who are of Igbo extraction, have subjected their fellow Igbo to ridicule. According to the cleric, "In the North, there
is Boko Haram killing Ndigbo. In the West, there is deportation of Ndigbo. And in the South, there is abandoned property of Ndigbo. Here in the East, we are kidnapping ourselves, robbing ourselves and killing ourselves. We don't want it to continue that way. So, anyone who knows any of these kidnappers, armed robbers or killers should write a memo to me, send it to our information box and I will take it up from there to the appropriate authority, for prompt action."
Heavy rains kill ﬁve-year old, destroy 100 houses in Zamfara ﬁve-year-old girl died following heavy rains, which also destroyed not less than 100 houses, with many people injured at Magami-maitarko village in Gusau Local Government Area of Zamfara State, according to News Agency of Nigeria. One of the victims, Malam Adamu Sarkin-Fawa, who is also the father of the deceased, said that the incident occurred in the early hours of Wednesday. According to Sarkin-Fawa, farm produce, the value of which had yet to be determined, were destroyed in the downpour that lasted more than 10 hours. He said that the victims were currently squatting with relatives while those injured were receiving medical attention at various hospitals. Sarkin-Fawa, therefore, appealed to all tiers of government to provide assistance to the victims to give them succour and ensure quick recovery. When contacted, Alhaji Atiku Maradun, the Executive Secretary of the state's Emergency Management Agency (ZEMA), conﬁrmed the incident. Maradun said that the agency would soon embark on an assessment tour of the affected areas to determine the extent of the destruction as well as measures to assist the victims.
•Governor Peter Obi (left), making a presentation to Dr. Emmanuel Egbogah (right), during the 2013 Sustainable Good Governance Summit, organized by the League of Anambra Professionals, at the Women Development Centre, Awka... yesterday
Kidnapped monarch: Tension brews between Ijaw, Bini communities C RISIS may be brewing between Ijaws and Binis in Udo community in Ovia South West Local Government Area of Edo State, following Thursday’s abduction of Iyase N' Udo, HRH Patrick Igbinudu by four armed men. The gunmen were said to have arrived in an Audi car at about 8:15pm, abducted the monarch while he was playing draught with some of his chiefs in the palace. The abductors are yet to make contact with the family for ransom demand. Members of the community yesterday took to
Lagos community leader Folorunsho Oni dies at 73 community leader in Igando New Town area of Lagos, Pa Richard Folorunsho Oni, is dead. Pa Oni, a retired Army ofﬁcer, died on August 6, 2013, at the age of 73. He was buried yesterday after a solemn funeral service at the Redeemed Christians Church of God, Victorious Destiny Parish, Igando New Town. The funeral service was preceded by an emotionladen Christian wake-keep on Thursday evening at his 21, Kings Avenue, Igando New Town residence. Pa Oni, who hailed from Ilesa, Osun State, joined the Nigerian Army in 1970 and underwent many courses in Nigeria and abroad, before he retired in 2001. He is survived by wife, Mrs. Grace Oni, a dutiful woman, and many children. Encomiums have since been pouring in about his good times.
n Osagie OTABOR, Benin n the streets of Udo to protest the abduction of their traditional ruler. It was gathered that Governor Adams Oshiomholy summoned a meeting of Ijaw leaders from the area, and tasked them to ensure the release of the monarch. Earlier, leaders of Udo community had issued an ultimatum for the release of the monarch, but had to relax their demand due to intervention from what a source called 'high quarters'. Some of the community leaders, who pleaded anonymity, said they would not fold their hands and
watch youths take their community head for ransom. Son of the abducted monarch, Prince Anthony Osarense, said the family thought the kidnappers were usual visitors to the father's palace. The Prince said the abductors made the people in the palace to crawl on the mud during the operation. "We thought they were visitors. My brother was about leaving in his car when two of them came out with pump action gun. They told us to lie down. I tried to explain that this is the palace of the Iyase, but they threatened to shoot. They took our phones. One went to my brother and collected his
phones. They asked us to crawl on the mud to where they can see us properly. They said if we stood up, they would shoot. We never knew that two of them went directly to where my father was sitting outside with some of his chiefs. "They asked them to lie down. One of them asked about my father and the other pointed to my father. One took my father to the car and the other took others to my father's ofﬁce to lock them up. One ran away and he was pursued. The driver that brought the kidnappers did not come down from the vehicle. We are still praying that we hear from them. All the phones they took are switched off. They have not contacted us.’’
APGA lose more members to APC, LP in Anambra O fewer than three hundred ward and local government area chairmen of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) at the weekend joined the Labour Party in Anambra State. The other big beneﬁciary of the crisis in APGA is the All Progressives Congress (APC), with over 1,000 members of APGA defecting to the new mega party. The defection of APGA
n Nwanosike ONU, Awka n
members to LP took place during the party’s ﬂag off campaign at the Holy Trinity Arena in Onitsha. The APGA leaders included Chief Chris Ndigwe, the pioneer Chairman of the party in Anambra State and a member of the party’s National working Committee (NWC). Meanwhile, the APGA members who joined the
APC have said it was the only party that had the interest of the people at heart, adding that they would do everything in making sure that Sen. Chris Ngige wins the governorship election. The Interim Chairman of the party in the state, Barr Chuks Chinwuba, said the people would see what stuff the APC is made of during the launch of its campaign.
Group declares support for Ngige group, Anambra Maritime Practitioners Association (AMPA) has declared its support for Senator Chris Ngige, the governorship candidate of the All Progressives’ Congress (APC) in the November governorship election in the state. Senator Ngige, according
Emmanuel UDODINMA to the group, is the only person that can transform Anambra State. Speaking in Lagos, the president of the group, Chief Dom Obi, expressed concern over the current level of insecurity and infrastructural decay in the state, adding that security has degenerated
to a point where indigenes run to Lagos, Abuja, Port Harcourt and other places for safety. According to Obi, ''Prominent Anambra people have started having traditional marriages of their children in Lagos and other secured cities, which is an abomination.
THE NATION, SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 14, 2013
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TOMORROWPUNCHLINE IN THE NATION
SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 14, 2013 TRUTH IN DEFENCE OF FREEDOM VOL.7, NO. 2606
RE there any fundamental ideologi cal differences between the two feuding factions of the People’s Democratic Party? I do not think so. What is currently going on within the self-proclaimed largest party in Africa is a bitter family quarrel for supremacy with 2015 in view. The feud is not about ideology. It is not about principle. It is not about the people. The fundamental issue at stake are the 2015 elections particularly the presidential poll. There is a sitting President, Dr Goodluck Jonathan, who is obviously bent on securing a second term in office. There are also those within the party who are determined to thwart his ambition. Those forces have now crystalized in the Kawu Baraje faction of the party. Interestingly, this faction is not confronting Jonathan on the basis of his performance in office. This implies that they must be satisfied with or utterly indifferent to the question of the current standard of governance in the country. All the PDP want is internal democracy in the party and a level playing field to enhance their chances of assuming power come 2015 so as to continue to milk the Nigerian cow to their heart’s content. No matter how much anyone loathes the PDP, the party’s implosion will not be in the best interest of the development both of the country’s party system and democracy as a whole. The emergence of the All Peoples Congress (APC) raised high hopes that with a viable opposition and a more balanced party system, the prospects for democratic sustainability in the country had been enhanced. The implosion of the PDP will once again lead us in the direction of a one party dominant system particularly if the opposition remains cohesive and gets its act right. There is no doubt that PDP deserves to lose the next election at the centre. But this must be on the basis of its monumental failure in governance over the last 14 years and not because it has splintered into factions. It is only when parties begin to lose elections on the basis of non-performance that democracy will become a hand maiden for development in the country. How can we understand the raging crisis within the PDP? The party was conceived in 1998 as a pro-establishment party to help preserve both the status quo and the country’s unity. Seeing that the party was not committed to the fundamental structural changes needed in the country, the progressives pulled out of the nascent party and formed the defunct Alliance for Democ-
The import of what I am saying is that if she did not agree with the government’s position, she had a right to quit, citing irreconcilable differences, or even simply quitting without giving any reasons
— Tunji Adegboyega
PDP: Two sides of a coin The only source of grievance for both parties is the fierce and bitter struggle to control the levers of the party towards the 2015 election. It is so sad that this intra-party struggle and the attendant crisis have completely grounded governance in many PDP states whose governors are almost always in Abuja holding endless meetings
racy (AD). Since the PDP was so obviously the party of the establishment bent on maintaining the status quo, the most prominent and influential politicians from across the country flocked to the party. The party had a broad pan-Nigerian outlook. Its structure was centralized and reflected the unhealthy centralization of the country itself. Most unfortunately for the party, President Olusegun Obasanjo assumed leadership of the party even when its constitution provides for the office of National Chairman. Obasanjo ran the party like a military garrison removing and imposing party Chairmen and other officials as he pleased. The party could no longer hold its government to check. Under Obasanjo, the PDP could not be distinguished from a military organization.
Ironically, it was his stranglehold on the party that enabled Obasanjo to foist the late President Yar’Adua and Dr. Goodluck Jonathan respectively as the party’s presidential and vice presidential candidates for the horrendously rigged 2007 polls. Now, Jonathan is showing that he is a most faithful disciple and student of his godfather and benefactor. President Jonathan has now effectively taken charge of the PDP and is ruthlessly and brazenly manipulating his way towards 2015. Like OBJ he is running the party like his private fiefdom. With the obvious support of Jonathan, the National Chairman, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur, has been running the party like a tyrant. Executive committees in states are dissolved arbitrarily; governors are suspended while threats are made to declare seats of mem-
bers of the National Assembly vacant. There is no doubt that Tukur has become a huge liability to Jonathan if the President really wants a second term. Like I said earlier, there are really no fundamental ideological differences between the Tukur and Baraje factions of the PDP. Both groups believe in Nigeria as she is currently structured. They both believe in the retention of the country’s current obsolete security architecture. They do not see a national conference to re-define the terms of our continued co-habitation as a multi ethnic entity as imperative. In any case, neither has told us that. Beyond that, there is no reason to doubt that even if the arrow head of the nPDP, former vice president Atiku Abubakar, had the opportunity of wielding presidential power, he would not use it as ruthlessly and mindlessly as Jonathan and Obasanjo before him. However it must be admitted that Atiku is a far more accomplished and astute political actor than either. The only source of grievance for both parties is the fierce and bitter struggle to control the levers of the party towards the 2015 election. It is so sad that this intra-party struggle and the attendant crisis have completely grounded governance in many PDP states whose governors are almost always in Abuja holding endless meetings. I once said here that President Jonathan is distracted by his obsession for a second term in office. Now, it is the entire PDP that is hopelessly distracted. Is it a farewell to the transformation agenda? The possibility of a healing of the wounds afflicting the PDP appears very remote although it is not impossible. However, any resolution of the crisis can only be superficial, hypocritical and unsustainable. This is because Jonathan is as bent on serving a second term in office as the North is determined that power should return to the region. Thus, even if daggers are sheathed now, be assured, they will be drawn again sooner or later. The crisis within the PDP further boosts the electoral chances of the APC if the latter get its act right. Of course, the party will be eager to work with the aggrieved faction of the PDP if the latter do not go back to their party. While this might be politically pragmatic, the party will also have to decide how much of its core values it wants to trade-off for electoral success. If on the other hand, the nPDP decides to align with the newly registered PDM, the race for 2015 will become more complex and interesting.
Ade Ojeikere on Saturday firstname.lastname@example.org 08111813079 - sms only
MMANUEL Emenike showed that he is a true professional by insisting on collecting the $5,000 match -winning bonus for beating Malawi in Calabar last Saturday. Emenike hinged his decision on the fact that it was a privilege to play for Nigeria, with a population of close to 190 million people. He felt honoured to wear our colours and looked forward to subsequent appearances for the country, unlike John Mikel Obi, Vincent Enyeama and Austin Ejide, who were up in arms to fight for $10,000. Emenike’s decision quenched the fire in the troika, who were said to have had the coaches’ support. No one would say that Emenike is NFF’s lickspittle, not after his harsh words to the federation’s chiefs for failing to show concern about his welfare when he was injured playing for Nigeria. Emenike drew a parallel with his club by stating that he was satisfied with what he earned and would rather see playing for Nigeria as payback. This is not the first time that Emenike has shown love for a
Thank you Emenike
dear country, irrespective of what we say about NFF chiefs. He dumped playing for South Africa and a few other countries. Indeed, he pestered Joseph Yobo to convince Eagles coaches to invite him to prove his mettle. Little wonder Emenike doesn’t spare any moment to pour encomiums on Yobo. Interestingly, one former Eagles coach told me that the reason why our players insist on getting such ridiculous figures is because they are bench warmers in their European clubs. One is tempted to believe this coach, given Emenike’s, the late Rashidi Yekini’s and the late Samuel Sochukwuma Okwaraji’s commitment to Nigeria’s matches. It is absolutely ridiculous that some players could contemplate another bonus row on a day when they shared N25 million given to them by Cross River State Governor Liyel Imoke. Do the Eagles think that the money they received was the governor’s personal cash? Do the players not know that the N25 million came from taxpayers? I really cannot understand why Mikel
keeps spearheading revolts in the Eagles. He plays for one of the biggest clubs in Europe and should know how requests for changes are made. What Mikel and his ilk don’t understand is that they would have been languishing in one of these novelty football-playing nations but for the opportunities they got to play for Nigeria. I would have been excited to hear that Mikel, Enyeama and Ejide rejected theirs when the matter was resolved. That they took the $5,000 tells a lot about their character and it is rather unfortunate since they are our ambassadors in Europe. Wait a minute: Didn’t Mikel get Tom Tom’s Man of the Match award of $5,000? So, what does he really want? Or is playing for Nigeria another casino? Except for Victor Moses and, indeed, Shola Ameobi, every other person in the Eagles got to Europe playing for one of our national teams. It behoves on them, therefore, to play for Nigeria on grounds of loyalty and show understanding when there is cash crunch. Sadly, we don’t have the right leadership in the team to call Mikel’s, Enyeama’s and
Ejide’s bluff, largely because they also benefit from the increased largesse if their protests succeed. We are the laughing stock anytime issues such as bonuses, are discussed in the media. The big questions are - how do others do theirs without rancour? Is there no instrument in place to punish offenders? Will the trio say they are unaware of what has been said about the bonuses even after the show-of-shame in Namibia? Could this be the reason why Mikel feigned injury and headed straight to London, when his mates were busy playing for their countries in the European Group World Cup qualifiers? Mikel needs to exhibit the traits of a role model and desist from this despicable act whether or not he is being propelled by bigger forces in the squad. At this rate, it would be suicidal to make Mikel Eagles’ captain in sync with what is happening in other countries, such as Argentina where Lionel Messi is the captain. Mikel stands in good stead to become 2012/2013 Africa’s Footballer of the Year and •Continued on Page 55
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