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Nigeria’s widest circulating newspaper

20 soldiers killed in Boko Haram battle •Sect leader, others also dead

Senate backs call for national confab


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•Mark: ASUU strike must end now

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VOL. 8, NO. 2610 WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 18, 2013




PDP crises: Reps exchange blows over Tukur, Baraje Stop Jonathan from back door third term, says factional chair

From Victor Oluwasegun and Dele Anofi


AWMAKERS had a violent return to work yesterday, after a long break. The crises rocking the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) spilled over to the House of Representatives, with Abubakar Baraje and Bamanga Tukur factions of the party clashing. Room 0.28 where a delegation of the Baraje faction was slated to meet with the leadership of the green chamber and brief its loyalists in the new PDP soon became a churning mass of struggling bodies and ripping fabric. The G-7 governors watched in awe as blows flew and clothes were torn. Members climbed on chairs and jumped on tables. Tempers ran riot as the hall erupted in violence. Lawmakers from the two factions launched at one another’s throats in an attempt to establish dominance in the hall. The white flowing robe (Agbada) of Hon. Afees Adelowo (PDP Oyo) was torn into Continued on page 4 •Lawmakers slugging it out during the meeting...yesterday

WHAT BARAJE’S FACTION WANT •Amaechi’s recall from suspension and his recognition as NGF chair •Reversal of the dissolution of the party executives in Rivers and Adamawa states •Conduct of a fresh convention •Removal of Bamanga Tukur as chairman •Strict adherence to party constitution •Total objection to third term for President Goodluck Jonathan from the back door

•Another scene of the fracas...yesterday


•Lawmakers shoving and pushing one another ...yesterday

Presidency launches plot to remove Tambuwal, others •Tambuwal

Plan will fail, say speaker’s supporters






Senate: it’s A

•Country President, Schneider Electric Nigeria Marcel Hochet (left) exchanging a document with the Chairman, Mikano International Limited Mofid Karameh (second right)during the signing of electrical distribution agreement between Schneider Electric and Mikano in Lagos...yesterday. With them are French Minister of Foreign Trade Nicole Bricq (second left)and French Ambassador to Nigeria, Jacques Champagne De Labriolle.

•From left: Vice-President, Africa & Middle East, International Air Transport Association Mr Hossein Dabbas, Director-General Mr Tony Tyler And Regional Head, Africa & Middle East Mrs Adefunke Adeyemi at a news conference on Aviation Day Africa in Lagos...yesterday.

•Chief Executive / President, General Electric (GE )Dr Lazarus Angbazo (left), United States Africa Development Foundation Economic Adviser Douglas Climan and Communication Manager Osagie Ogunbor during a news conference to announce the call for entries for the Power Africa Off-Grid Energy Challenge in Abuja... yesterday. PHOTO ABAYOMI FAYESE

• From left: President, Zonta International Club of Lagos Shade Bembatoum-Young, Marketing Service Director, Nestle Nigeria Mrs. Iquo Ukoh, Carteir Women’s Initiative Awards winner Bilikiss Adebiyi and Engagement and Communicaion Manager, Glaxo Smithklime Bolaji Sanyaolu at a news conference to unveil Adebiyi in Lagos...yesterday. PHOTO: JOHN EBHOTA

DVOCATES of a national conference got a major boost yesterday. The Senate said steps should be taken to convene a national conference of ethnic nationalities. The upper chamber also lamented that those it described as political jobbers, sycophants, and hustlers have seized the country’s political space, and are being allowed to set the tone of national discourse ahead of 2015 general elections. Senate President David Mark spoke in an address to flag off a new session for the Senate. Though he counselled that Nigerians should make haste slowly and operate strictly within the parameters of the Constitution in discussion of the national question, Mark agreed that time has come for the country to confront alleged structural distortions in the polity. Such a conference, he said, can find accommodation in the extant provisions of the 1999 Constitution, which guarantee freedom of expression, and of association. The only no-go area at the conference, the Senate President noted, should be dismemberment of the country. He, however, cautioned that it would be unconstitutional to clothe such a conference with constituent or sovereign powers. He said, “We live in very precarious times, and in a world increasingly made fluid and toxic by strange ideologies and violent tendencies, all of which presently conspire to question the very idea of the nation state. “But that is not to say that the nation should, like the proverbial ostrich, continue to bury its head in the sand and refuse to confront the perceived or alleged structural distortions which have bred discontentment and alienation in some quarters. “This sense of discontentment and alienation has fueled extremism, apathy and even predictions of catastrophy for our dear nation. “A conference of Nigeria’s ethnic nationalities, called to foster frank and open discussions of the national question, can certainly find accommodation in the extant provisions of the 1999 Constitution, which guarantee freedom of expression, and of association. “To that extent, it is welcome. Nonetheless, the idea of a National Conference is not without inherent and fundamental difficulties. “Problems of its structure and composition will stretch the letters and spirit of the Constitution and severely task the ingenuity of our constitutionalists. “Be that as it may, such a conference, if and whenever convened, should have only few red lines, chief among which would be the dismemberment of the country. Beyond that, every other question should be open to deliberations. “However, I hasten to add that it would be unconstitutional to clothe such a conference with constituent or sovereign powers! “But the resolutions of a national conference, consisting of Nigeria’s ethnic nationalities, and called under the auspices of the Government of the Federation, will indeed carry tremendous weight. “And the National Assembly, consisting of the elected representatives of the Nigerian people, though not constitutionally bound by such resolutions, will be hard put to ignore them in the continuing task of constitution review. “But to circumvent the Constitution, and its provisions on how to amend it, and repose sovereignty in an unpredictable mass will be too

•Mark and NdomaEgba being led into the senate by the sergeantat-arm... yesterday

From Onyedi Ojiabor and Sanni Onogu, Abuja

risky a gamble and may ultimately do great disservice to the idea of one Nigeria. “That is not to say that a Constitutional Conference, whether sovereign or not, is a magic wand. “The task of nation building requires patience, faith, scrupulous honesty, diligence, dedication, sacrifice, toil, labour, assiduous application and massive investments in our future. “The heights attained by great nations were not made by sudden flights.” Mark said that parliamentarians would have discovered that the vast majority of Nigerians wanted a united, peaceful and prosperous Nigeria. According to him, Nigerians long for a country in which “our tremendous potentials as a nation are transparently and equitably nurtured and realised; a country in which law reigns supreme, and is applied evenly and equally to all, high and low.” “For our constituents, there is no alternative to the democratic project. What they dread, and will never want, is a nation trammeled by impunity, brigandage, banditry, insurgency, rampant corruption, and misgovernance. “These expectations perfectly dovetail into our core constitutional mandate of making laws for the good government of our federation, and all of its parts,” he said. Mark charged the lawmakers to continue the session with a solemn determination to deepen good governance, and to enthrone the legitimate expectations of the people, saying “the legislature remains the driving force of our constitutional democracy, and an indispensable block in the arduous task of nation building”. He insisted that more than ever before, “our countrymen and women are looking up to us for leadership, redemption and stability”. The Senate President maintained that in the chamber, “we are first and foremost Senators of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, and though not impervious to the present centrifugal political pulls, we must put the interest of Nigeria above every other consideration. “We must not only rise above narrow, parochial and partisan considerations, we must also very elo-




time for national conference

•Speaker Aminu Tambuwal and other principal officers being led into the House by the sergeant-at-arm... yesterday PHOTO: ABAYOMI FAYESE

quently, by deeds and words, demonstrate the capacity and willingness to moderate national discourse, and balance the polity. “This we can only do by always standing with the people and on the side of truth, and by painstakingly striving at all times to do what is legally and constitutionally right and morally justifiable.” On the alleged activities of political jobbers and war mongers, Mark lamented that it is disheartening that even though the general elections of 2015 are two years away, “political jobbers, sycophants, and hustlers have prematurely seized the political space, and are being allowed to set the tone of national discourse”. The unfolding scenario, he said, “is an unnecessary and avoidable distraction by characters or hirelings who are desperately in search of relevance”. “They are only out to feather their own nests and in the process, unduly overheat the polity.” According Mark those involved employ every weapon, including threats of war, and open saber rattling, to advance their partisan causes. He said: “I am therefore, compelled to urge restraint and to call on all putative contestants to various political positions in 2015 to advise themselves and call their

various supporters to order. “My prayer is to see our democracy advance to a level where those who lose elections would stoically accept the verdict of the electorate, congratulate the winners, and forge ahead.” Beating the drums of war, chanting war songs and blackmailing the nation with fire and brimstone, he said, are outdated and unacceptable tools of political brinksmanship. To him, political jobbers and war mongers do not serve anybody’s interests, but theirs as “they exploit our collective fears and fan the embers of hatred, acrimony and division”. “But, like I have said in the past, Nigeria is greater than any of its parts, and it is in our collective interest to promote her unity, based on the ideals of love, peace, patriotism, faith, compromise and sacrifice. “And Nigeria is certainly greater than any position any politician will ever occupy. “I, therefore, strongly advise the security agencies to take any threat bordering on treason very seriously and to thoroughly investigate such and take appropriate measures, irrespective of who the culprits are. “The greatest legacy we can bequeath to posterity is to collectively build a Nigeria that is more functional, more united, more dynamic,

more peaceful and more democratic. “Our objective should be to build a nation whose unity is an article of faith based on equity, fairness, justice and equal opportunity; a nation where injustice to one is injustice to all. “I know it is a herculean task, but it is one that can be attained by steely resolve. “As Senators of the Federal Republic and as stabilizers of the polity, we must sound it loud and clear to all our elected and appointed officials, and indeed to every politician, that to divert attention from the core task of governance to desperate political permutations, is a great disservice to our nation. “National redemption requires renewed and concerted focus on governance at all levels, in every tier. “Concerted focus on governance entails keen and constructive engagement between all the arms of government. “To collaborate with, and engage the other arms of government in the interest of good governance, is neither to surrender our mandate as the gatekeepers to the realm of the public good, nor is it to compromise our ability to serve as a check on the other arms of government. “Rather, collaboration simply

implies that when we as a legislature discharge our constitutional functions with faith, commitment and patriotism, we will insist that the other arms do likewise. “All are critical institutions in a country very much in a hurry to develop, a country whose citizens yearn for, and deserve much more from her public officers. “Collaboration or engagement also calls for a strict and more imaginative commitment to our constitutional oversight responsibilities. “It is only by so doing that we can help upgrade the quality of life in our country, and reward our peoples’ unflagging faith in democracy. “We resume plenary to be confronted with a legislative agenda filled to the brim with crucial activities. “Soon to be dealt with are the 2014 budget, the Petroleum Industry Bill, Customs (Amendment) Bill, Pensions Reforms (Amendment) Bill, Further Review of the Electoral Act, and harmonization of the Senate and House positions on the amendment of the 1999 Constitution (as amended),” Mark said. He recalled that the 2013 budget estimates were laid before the National Assembly in October, last year and urged the Executive to improve on that record this year.

According to him, “Because the 2013 budget estimates was laid early enough, we not only scrupulously, meticulously and robustly debated it, we also ensured that it was passed before the commencement of its operative financial year.” On the ongoing strike by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), Mark urged the lawmakers to spare a thought “for the plight of our youths who are idling away because of the closure of our universities due to the ASUU strike”. He said, “The morass in the education sector is deeply troubling, not only because it is retarding the educational progress of millions of our children, but also because it arrests the intellectual development of our nation, with grave consequences for the future. “While appreciating the tremendous merit in the case put forth by ASUU, we call on its leaders to return to class, while pragmatic negotiations to address their grievances continue. “The Senate will invest the full weight of its moral and constitutional authority to nudge both the Federal Government and ASUU towards a comprehensive settlement that addresses, in a realistic manner, the problems afflicting tertiary education in our country.”

Why Chevron, Shell quit OKLNG project, by Amosun


GUN State Governor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun has shed light on why two oil giants, Chevron and Shell Petroleum, pulled out of the Olokola Liquefied Natural Gas (OKLNG) Project. Amosun, who addressed reporters in Abeokuta after a meeting with members of the Ogun Elders’ Consultative Forum that visited him on Monday, said both firms must have pulled out of the multi-billion dollar project apparently due to the expertise and quantum of investments the Dangote Group and other indigenous entrepreneurs are bringing into the Olokola Free Trade Zone (OKFTZ). The massive investment and

From Ernest Nwokolo, Abeokuta

expertise which the indigenous investors, such as Aliko Dangote, Jim Ovia and others, are planning for Olokola FTZ sent away the foreign investors away, he stressed, adding that the Refinery and Petrol-Chemical project would soon start operation in full force. He said other local investors, are planning to build fertiliser and amonia plants in the area, stating that about 90 per cent of what is being done in Olokola FTZ, falls within the jurisdiction of Ogun State, just as neighbouring Ondo State is also playing a role in the project. He said: “May be you don’t understand this, it’s not only Chevron, there are about four, or

five parties and because they have realised that nothing was happening then, and now, they’ve realised, yes Alhaji Aliko Dangote and us as a state that some of the people that are there have actually been bought over, that I can confirm to you. “And what will Chevron be doing there when of course, there are big players as well, the gentleman that is building the Refinery is not a novice; he will get the best in the world to come and build it and it’s like what he is doing is a direct competition with Chevron, so if he is doing it, so how?” He continued: “Look at the quantum of money being invested there; it is even far more than, probably more than ten times what Chevron wanted to

invest there. “Let me even be modest and say that almost all 90 per cent of what is being done now in Olokola falls directly within Ogun state. If you look at the bigger picture, it is between Ogun and Ondo states, but not that probably we will still not go and may be do phase two with Ondo state. “But as we speak today, the deep seaport, the fertiliser and amonia, everything that Dangote wants to do is in Ogun State and I’m sure by October, we should be there and the Refinery will commence. Dangote is partnering with us, but it is not Dangote alone, I am aware that Mr Jim Ovia is bringing in amonia to the site, fertiliser is

coming, some people are building; it is a whole lot of things that are coming.” Earlier, the state’s Elders Consultative Forum lauded the efforts of Senator Amosun at rebuilding the state through urban renewal projects, clean environment, infrastructural developments and security of lives and property among others. Former World Court Judge, Prince Bola Ajibola, who spoke for the group, described Amosun as “hardworking, effective and performing Governor” whose “concern for Ogun State very much at his heart,” said the Governor’s “diligence” would surely enable him to be counted at surely end of the day among “kings and not among mere men.”



NEWS Jonathan wants a third term from back door, says Baraje group

20 soldiers die in gunfight with Boko Haram


O fewer than 20 soldiers have died in a clash between troops and Boko Haram members in Kafia Forest in Nganzai Local Government Area of Borno State. The clash, which occurred between Friday and the early hours of Saturday, allegedly led to the death of one of the wanted leaders of the sect, Abba Goroma. Two other commanders of the sect were allegedly arrested by the troops. The alleged killing of Goroma and arrest of two commanders could not be independently con-

From Yusuf Alli, Abuja

firmed as the Boko Haram leadership was yet to issue an official statement as at press time on the encounter. A military source, who spoke in confidence with our correspondent, said the incident followed a raid of a Boko Haram camp by troops. The source said: “The Boko Haram terrorists were known to be regrouping in large numbers in Kafia Forest. When we secured a report on the newly found camp, the troops stormed the place. “The storming of the camp

was complemented with air raid. Following heavy air assault, the terrorists were forced to relocate. But with sophisticated weapons, the terrorists started fighting troops as they were escaping. “So, there were casualties on both sides. In the process of the raid, one of the wanted Boko Haram leaders, Abba Gurama, was reportedly killed. “Two other commanders were arrested. We are still combing Kafia Forest to get at the insurgents who might still be hiding there. We will also use the opContinued on page 57



Presidency launches plot to remove Tambuwal, others


HERE are plans to remove House of Representatives Speaker Aminu Tambuwal, source said yesterday. The Presidency believes the House has been infiltrated by the G-7 governors and the Kawu Baraje faction of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). It has launched a countermove to remove Tambuwal and other principal officers, The Nation learnt. The Presidency stepped in following alleged moves to sack the House Leader, Mrs. Mulikat Adeola, who is pro-President Goodluck Jonathan. Also, as part of the plot, the Bamanga Tukur-led PDP National Working

From Yusuf Alli, Abuja

Committee(NWC) yesterday called off its proposed meeting with the Speaker and the PDP caucus in the House at the last minute. According to sources, the Presidency was uncomfortable with the alleged romance between the Speaker and the G-7 governors/ Kawu Baraje faction. It was gathered that the Presidency suspected that the G-7 and the Kawu Baraje faction planned to join forces with the opposition to reduce PDP into the minority party in the House. It was learnt that the Presidency is acting on security reports on covert plan by the House to impeach President Goodluck Jonathan or make governance

difficult for him because of the 2015 election. The Presidency alleged that the initial bend of the suspected move against Jonathan was the removal of the Leader of the House. Based on what a source described as “false alarm”, the Presidency has also decided to move against Tambuwal. It was gathered that a key official of the Pan-African Parliament is the arrowhead of lobbying House members to ease out Tambuwal and other antiJonathan principal officers. A member of the House from North-Central was being co-opted last night to assist the official. Besides meeting with some members at the Presidential Vil-

la, the anti-Tambuwal forces also met at Apo Legislative Quarters and at Bolingo Hotel, Abuja yesterday on how to effect changes in the House. The meeting was across party lines as it was attended by some PDP, APGA, Labour and a few elements in APC. A principal officer of the House said: “What is happening is that they have fears in the Villa but nobody is moving towards the impeachment of the President. “They do not know that we have decided that the leadership will remain but should the G-7 governors defect to APC, the House Leader, Hon. Mulikat Adeola-Akande will seamlessly Continued on page 57

ESPITE desperate moves to find peace, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) seems to be sinking deeper into crises. It is all about the 2015 presidential race – going by the position of the party’s Kawu Baraje faction, which said yesterday that President Goodluck Jonathan should be stopped from getting a third term in office. This was one of the issues tabled by the faction when Baraje and his team visited Senate President David Mark at the National Assembly. Baraje was accompanied by Governors Musa Kwankwaso (Kano), Abdulfatah Ahmed (Kwara), Sule Lamido (Jigawa), Aliyu Wamakko (Sokoto), Babangida Aliyu (Niger) , Murtala Nyako (Adamawa) and Rotimi Amaechi (Rivers). Others in the delegation were factional National Secretary Olagunsoye Oyinlola, Deputy National Chairman Sam Sam Jaja and National Youth Leader Timi Frank, among others. The group was first received by the 22 Senators supporting the New PDP and then Mark. Baraje urged Mark and the Senate to help find solution to the logjam in the party. He demanded, among other things, Amaechi’s recall from suspension and his recognition as the elected chairman of the Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF).

From Onyedi Ojiabor and Sanni Onogu Abuja

He also demanded “the reversal of the dissolution of the party executives in Rivers and Adamawa states, conduct of a fresh convention by the PDP due to the lapses in the recent one, removal of Alhaji Bamanga Tukur as National Chairman of the party, strict adherence to party constitution and total objection to third term for President Goodluck Jonathan from the back door”. President Jonathan was sworn in on May 6, 2010 to complete the tenure of the late President Umaru Yar’Adua. Jonathan won his election in 2011 and took an oath of office on May 29, 2011. There have been arguments over Dr. Jonathan’s eligibility for another term, with some saying since he has been sworn in twice, he can no longer run. Others say the President only completed the late President Yar’Adua’s tenure in the first instance. President Jonathan is yet to speak openly on his political future. He says he is concentrating on his current mandate. Baraje said: “I call on you and the Senate to look at all the steps we have taken with the aim of finding solution to the problems of impunity and injustice in the PDP. Continued on page 57

•Tambuwal (seventh left) recieving the Baraje group...yesterday. With him (from left) are: Senator Danjuma Goje, Senator Bukola Saraki, Nyako, Lamido, Wamakko, Aliyu, Kwankwaso, Amaechi, Baraje andDeputy House Speaker Emeka Ihedioha PHOTO: ABAYOMI FAYESE

PDP crises: Reps exchange blows over Tukur, Baraje Continued from page 1

shreds by a former member of the House, Binta Masi Garba and now Women Leader for the Baraje faction, as she sought to stop him from his anti- Baraje chants. On the right side of the packed hall, a group of proBaraje lawmakers exchanged blows with Hon. Henry Ofongo ( PDP Bayelsa). Ofongo was disrupting the session with his attitude as he shouted: “ Point of Order! Point of Order!” . Soon, there were pockets of fights in various parts of the hall. Baraje’s speech was subsequently made inaudible by the incessant chants of the members of the PDP . They initially began “no! no! no!”, then changed to “Bamanga! Bamanga! “ and “ Tukur! Tukur!” But the hall became silent when Speaker Aminu Tambuwal took the stand. Members honoured him, giving him an enabling atmosphere to deliver his speech. Tambuwal said the situation

House renews confidence in Tambuwal


HE House of Representatives returned yesterday from a long recess to a rowdy session. A letter by the Baraje’s faction of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) requesting to visit the House exploded like a time bomb on the floor of the House. The reading of the New PDP’s letter which was signed by its secretary Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola, disrupted proceedings end and sparked a shouting match that halted proceedings for almost 30 minutes. Members were screaming party slogans and the chamber resonated with screams of “no, yes, no, yes”. They gathered in groups, discussing in loud voices and making passionate gesticulations. The Speaker’s chair was surrounded by scores of members suggesting ways out of the row. Many were speaking at the same time. The Sergeants- at- arms formed a wall of protection around the mace. Yesterday’s session mirrored the polarity between members of the “old” and the “new” PDP.

in the PDP puts democracy at risk. His words: “As politicians and leaders, we’re deeply concerned about developments in the country in recent weeks, especially the face-off within our Party.

From Victor Oluwasegun and Dele Anofi, Abuja

Normalcy returned to the floor when Speaker Aminu Tambuwal revealed that a letter requesting a scheduled visit to meet with the leadership of the House and the PDP Caucus, written by PDP Chairman Bamanga Tukur, was also received but withdrawn early yesterday morning. “There was a communication from our leader, Bamanga Tukur, to address the PDP caucus, but he withdrew his letter this morning and that was why I couldn’t read it,” Tambuwal said. If Tukur had not withdrawn the letter, both factions would have been meeting with the lawmakers about the same time. As the uproar subsided, Kingsley Chinda (PDP, Rivers), moved a motion titled “The recent development in the country and the need to remain focused” under Point of Order According to him, members of the constituencies watching the proceedings might

“This development, once again, exposed our vulnerability and the status of the culture of inter-party democracy and tolerance. Political parties and the political infrastructure mean that democracy can only flour-

misconstrue it to mean there was division in the House. “We are united. People watching what happened on the floor will misinterpret it to mean that we are divided,” he said. The lawmaker said various publications in recent times were meant to cause ill feelings among members. He moved that a vote of confidence be passed “on the Speaker and the members of the leadership as presently constituted”, adding that this would, to a large extent, show that the members of the House are united and have faith in the leadership. The motion passed with overwhelming support. Femi Gbajabiamila, speaking under Order of Privilege informed the House of the birth of the All Progressives Congress (APC) during the recess. “I do this for the sake of formality and in recognition of the fact that scores of our members walked into the chamber and there was no register with APC,” Gbajabi-

ish when there are strong political parties and well developed institutions and firmly entrenched democratic culture. “It is important, as politicians, to constantly remind ourselves that the democracy we have be-

Continued on page 57

long to entire Nigerians and not politicians alone. “Indeed, all Nigerians fought to install this democracy and many paid the supreme price in the process. Therefore, we must not by our actions thwart the su-


preme sacrifices by our heroes past with levity. “While acknowledging that Continued on page 57

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NEWS Mark decries paucity of funds at foreign missions From Onyedi Ojiabor, Assistant Editor and Sanni Onogu, Abuja


ENATE President David Mark yesterday decried the paucity of funds for the country’s foreign missions. Mark spoke in Abuja when the Senate confirmed eight ambassadorial nominees. The Senate president noted that the present state of the nation’s foreign missions does not befit Nigeria’s status as the giant of Africa. He said: “No doubt, for all those who travel out often, you will notice that the foreign missions have not been properly equipped and sufficiently funded to represent our giant status in Africa. “I hope the Ministries of Finance and Foreign Affairs will work together to ensure that our embassies are properly funded so that they can represent the status that we assume or that we have in Africa. “I want to remind those we have confirmed today as ambassadors that they represent Nigeria in every respect - in their behaviour, attitude to work, their approach to the way they handle issues affecting Nigerians wherever they are posted to - must be that of the true representation of Nigeria as we want it.” The ambassadorial nominees confirmed yesterday included Mr O. F. Muoh (Imo State); Mrs. T. J. ChinwubaAkabogu (Anambra); Mr. Adamu Emozozo (Edo); Mr A. Echi (Benue); Mrs. G. M. QuistAdebiyi (Lagos); Mr M. Dauda (Borno); Mr Hakeem O. Sulaiman (Ogun) and Dr. Bolere Ketebu (Bayelsa). President Goodluck Jonathan yesterday forwarded the name of Mr. S. U. Ahmed, from Gombe State, to the Senate for consideration and approval as an ambassador.

‘Senators, Reps must respect contract with Nigerians’


HE Presidency yesterday urged members of the National Assembly to honour their social contract with Nigerians to enable the nation enjoy good governance. It said President Goodluck Jonathan was committed to his promise to ensure that budget estimates are submitted and passed early to make implementation begin at the beginning of the New Year. The Special Adviser to the President on National Assembly Affairs, Senator Joy Emodi, said the National Assembly members should be focused on their duties to the nation. She spoke yesterday in Abuja when she welcomed senators and House of Representatives’ members back to the National Assembly after about eight weeks’ recess. Mrs Emodi said: “Importantly, distinguished senators and honourable members should hold fast to their mindset that they have a social contract with Nigerians to deliver on good governance and partner Mr President to transform Nigeria... “This social contract transcends partisanship. Therefore, party politics and intrigues should not be allowed to creep in to blemish the great work they have done so far.


Stop celebrating ill-gotten wealth, Jonathan urges Nigerians

RESIDENT Goodluck Jonathan has urged Nigerians to stop celebrating ill-gotten wealth to discourage corrupt practices. The President spoke yesterday at the 54th annual conference of the Nigeria Economic Society in Abuja. He said: "For us as a nation to bring corruption down in Nigeria, it's not just blaming the government or blaming the police. But all individuals must frown at people who have what they are not supposed to have; those who live in houses they are not supposed to live in; those who drive cars they are not supposed to drive and wear suits more expensive than they can afford." Until Nigerians are able to

From Nduka Chiejina, Assistant Editor

do this, Jonathan said, the nation's journey to greatness would be hampered. He said: "Invariably, we are all rewarding corruption. And until we stop that, I don't think we will get to where we want to go. "If a young man, who just started a job and within six months or a year comes up with a car of N7 million to N15 million and you clap for him, then you are rewarding corruption." The President stressed that if Nigerians collectively refuse to reward corruption and frown at it, "people would not be attracted to corrupt practices; but when we

all reward corruption, then of course we will be tempted to go in that direction". Jonathan said he desired a Nigerian society "where all of us will frown against people who come up with what they are not supposed to have". According to him, his administration's approach to fighting corruption includes building institutions with the capacity to overcome corrupt influences. "This approach uses the rule of law as a framework to fight corruption," he said. His administration, Jonathan said, has repositioned the leadership of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the Independent Corrupt

Practices and Other Related Offences (ICPC) to ensure more effective, efficient and transparent ways of managing corruption and corrupt practices. The government's effort at strengthening the capacity of state institutions at fighting corruption, the President said, "is not limited to granting independence to EFCC and other anti-corruption agencies". He added: "It extends to developing affordable finance for housing, car ownership, among others, as we believe that taking measures to help realise aspirations to own their homes and fund those things that make life easier can also aid the fight against corruption."

•From left: Edo State Governor Adams Oshiomhole; His Royal Highness Dekhe Kanoba, Eghiegbai of Ekperi, the Chairman Edo State Muslim Pilgrims’ Board and Mallam Abdul Fattah Enabulele, the Amirul-Hajj, during the send-forth of Edo Muslim Pilgrims to Saudi Arabia, at the Government House, Benin City...yesterday.

Jonathan submits 2014-2016 MTEF, FSP to Senate


RESIDENT Goodluck Jonathan yesterday submitted the 2014-2016 Medium-Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) and the Fiscal Strategy Paper (FSP) to the Senate for consideration and approval. Senate President David Mark read both documents yesterday. Jonathan, in a letter attached to the documents, noted that the submission of the MTEF and FSP was in line with the

From Onyedi Ojiabor, Assistant Editor and Sanni Onogu, Abuja

provisions of the Fiscal Responsibility Act, 2007. He said the development towards the preparation of the 2014 budget culminated in the 2014-2016 MTEF and FSP. Jonathan said: “Prepared against the backdrop of global economic uncertainty, the 2014-2016 MTEF and FSP reflect

the reality of our circumstance. We will ensure that planned spending is set at prudent and sustainable levels consistent with government’s overall medium-term developmental objectives.” The President hailed the Senate for the cordial relationship between the Legislature and the Executive “in our collective efforts to transform the economy of our dear country”.

ASUU berates Okoh for comment on strike •BSU lecturers call Suswam’s bluff


HE Academic Staff of Union of Universities (ASUU) yesterday berated the former Primate of the Church of Nigeria, Anglican Communion, Rev. Nicholas Okoh, on his call that the national body of the union be disbanded. It described the cleric’s call as “ungodly and unholy”. ASUU said such utterances were least expected from “a religious leader who is supposed to integrate warring factions and not aggravate conflict”. In a statement by the Chairman of the University of Ibadan (UI) chapter of the union, Dr Olusegun Ajiboye, titled: Primate Okoh Goofed, ASUU ‘said it was surprised at the compromising comment credited to the Bishop. Dr Ajiboye said Okoh demonstrated the greatest ignorance about the union’s numerous achievements. The union leader averred that Nigerian universities

Yobe youths seek end to ASUU’s strike


From Duku Joel, Damaturu

OBE State youths have urged concerned authorities to immediately address the lingering face-off between the Federal Government and the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU). The Coordinator of the Yobe Youth Students’ Peace Conference, Comrade Dauda Mohammed Gombe, spoke at a peace conference in Damaturu, the state capital. He said the prolonged ASUU strike was compounding the problems of youths, especially in the North, where insurgency and what he called “under-education” are prevalent. Gombe stressed that the Federal Government and ASUU needed to show more seriousness to resolve the crisis, especially at this time that youths are vulnerable to several vices. According to him, the strike portends a great danger to the country, if it is not resolved in time. From Oseheye Okwuofu, Ibadan and Uja Emmanuel, Makurdi

would have totally collapsed without the constant agitation of the union. Okoh spoke last Thursday in Yenagoa, the Bayelsa State capital, during the Standing Committee’s meeting of the Bishops’ Conference of the church. He said: “The government should find a way either to privatise the universities or

get ASUU to be limited to individual universities such that there will be no national ASUU body mandating, even institutions without grievances, to go on strike...” But Dr Ajiboye said: “As a revered man of God, it is expected that he should guard his mouth and not allow his mouth to run diarrhoea on issues as important as education, which concerns the teeming youths of our country. Primate Okoh should stop playing politics with ASUU.

He should face squarely the work of his ministry and get busy with it, if he cannot be part of the solution to the logjam created by the Nigerian government in the education sector.” The Chairman of the Benue State University (BSU) branch of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), Mr. David Ikoni, has said threat by Governor Gabriel Suswam not to pay the striking lecturers of the institution is a propaganda. Ikoni told reporters on phone yesterday in Makurdi, the state capital, that there was a huge lack of amenities in the university. He decried the lack of attention by the Suswam administration for the university. The ASUU chairman warned that if the governor implements his threat, the university teachers would begin a “no pay, no work” strike. He said the university’s lecturers cannot call off the strike without a directive from ASUU’s National Executive Council (NEC).

Governors to Okonjo-Iweala: resign or manage economy well • Pro-Jang governors shun NGF meeting From Augustine Ehikioya,



HE Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF), led by Rivers State Governor Rotimi Amaechi, yesterday urged Finance Minister and Coordinating Minister for the Economy, Dr. Ngozi OkonjoIweala, to resign or manage the economy well. The forum said her non-compliance with the revenue projection of this year’s budget was a direct breach of the Appropriation Act. The governors noted that the National Economic Council (NEC) is the right body to manage the economy and not the Economic Management Team (EMT). Reading the communique at the end of the NGF’s meeting yesterday, Amaechi said: "The non-compliance with the revenue projections of the Federal Government for the 2013 budget is a direct breach of the provisions of the Appropriation Act 2013. Members expressed concern on the management of the economy by the Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister for the Economy and called for a strict adherence to the Appropriation Act 2013, failing which she should resign. "The forum observed that the National Economic Council (NEC) is constitutionally responsible for the management of the economy and should be used for that purpose, as opposed to the Economic Management Team (EMT), constituted by the Presidency. "We reiterate our earlier call to the National Assembly for the separation of the Office of the Accountant-General of the Federation (AGF) from that of the Accountant-General of the Federal Government for accountability and better management of the economy.” He added: "After a review of the polio situation in the country, members recognised that some progress has been made in 2013, compared to 2012. The forum urged governors to remain focused and continue to drive the programme in their states until polio is completely eradicated. "Members expressed condolence to Dame Patience Jonathan on the death of her mother; Lagos State Governor Babatunde Fashola on the death of his father and the family of the late Dr. Olusegun Agagu, former Governor of Ondo State. "Finally, it was resolved that the forum will hold a Nigeria Governors' Forum Retreat in November." But indications emerged last night that reconciliatory efforts to resolve the crisis in the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) was not yielding results. Governors loyal to Plateau State Governor Jonah Jang's led faction stayed away from the NGF meeting, chaired by Amaechi. The governors at yesterday’s meeting included Aliyu Wamako (Sokoto), Rabiu Kwankwaso (Kano), Abdulaziz Yari (Zamfara), Abdulafatah Ahmed (Kwara). Others include Babangida Aliyu (Niger), Abiola Ajimobi (Oyo), Rotimi Amaechi (Rivers), Babatunde Fashola (Lagos), Ibikunle Amosun (Ogun), Sule Lamido (Jigawa).



NEWS Jonathan’s aide cautions youths From Bukola Amusan, Abuja


HE Senior Special Assistant to President Goodluck Jonathan on Youths and Student Matters, Jude Imagwe, yesterday cautioned youths against making inflammatory statements about the Federal Government on the social media. Imagwe, who received a cross section of Nigerian Youth Group leaders in his office, said youths should make use of the social media for constructive activities rather than things that could derail the transformation agenda of the government. He said using abusive words on the President on the social media does not portray youths as responsible. “There is no basis for criticising the President. We are bound to protect the integrity of the President as youths. We should desist from selling our conscience,” Imagwe said. Addressing youth groups, which included the Southeast Youth Assembly (SEYA), the Youth Success Institute, among others, he said President Jonathan is working hard to make the transformation agenda work. SEYA leader Comrade Nwokoro Simon, who lauded the efforts of the Federal Government on the conversion of the Akanu Ibiam Airport to an international one and the award of a contract for the second Niger Bridge, urged the rehabilitation of the Nkalagu Cement Industry.

Tukur: at 78, I’m not a spent force From Gbade Ogunwale, Assistant Editor, Abuja


HE National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Bamanga Tukur, has said despite his age, he is not a spent force. He turned 78 last Sunday. Contrary to insinuations in certain quarters that age-induced senility may have been taking a toll on him, Tukur said he remained a force to reckon with in partisan politics. In a statement by his media aide, Oliver Okpala, yesterday, Tukur enjoined younger politicians to show older ones the deserved respect. Said he: “We the older politicians should not be written off yet, or regarded as spent political forces. We are still relevant to the nation and the younger politicians will benefit from our experience, wise counsel, guidance and discipline. “At my age, I feel obliged at this point to give back to the society the benefit of my experience. Experience, they say, is the best teacher and experience is a commodity of inherently high value. “Our country will progress more rapidly with the right blend of old and young politicians. This will facilitate cross-fertilisation of ideas and frank exchange of views on how to move the country forward. No young generation that treats its old and experienced statesmen without respect and decorum ever succeeds.” In a subtle admonishment to the politicians, the chairman said they should see politics as an avenue and opportunity to offer selfless and meaningful services to the people. He urged them to conduct themselves responsibly and be discreet in their actions and utterances so as not to overheat the polity. Politics, Tukur said, is a noble process and that it would be nobler if politicians play the game in line with the rules, party constitutions and the country’s constitution.

Police warn vehicle owners


HE Lagos State Police Command has warned owners of accidented and abandoned vehicles parked at Zone 2 and Ketu divisions to remove them or lose them to the public through auction after 14 days of this publication. They are Man Diesel truck UR259XH and Toyota Corolla car SN627KJA.

•Osun State Governor Rauf Aregbesola (middle); Secretary to Osun State Government, Alhaji Moshood Adeoti (left); National Executive Secretary and Chief Executive Officer; National Women Right Commission, Prof Bem Angwe (second left); Coordinator, Abuja Metropolitan Office, Mrs. Yetunde Hastrup (second right); and a member of the commission, Mr. Harry Obe, during a visit to the governor in his office at Abere, Osogbo.


Minimum wage: NLC, TUC storm Senate

OLLOWING the Senate’s vote to move the minimum wage from the exclusive list to the concurrent list, the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) will today storm the National Assembly to protest the proposal. The Senate, during the recent constitution amendment exercise, voted for the decentralisation of negotiations on the National Minimum Wage Act, while the House of Representatives overwhelmingly turned down the proposal. Although the proposal is currently awaiting the harmonisation of the National Assembly, the leadership of both the NLC and TUC, at a meeting with the principal officers of the House of Representatives yesterday in Abuja, rolled out plans to stage a protest to the Senate today to register their displeasure over the proposal. According to the NLC President, Comrade Abdulwahed Omar, the protest would take off at 9am from the Labour House at the Central Business District and end at the Senate where the unions are expected to present a protest letter to the Senate President David Mark. Omar, who described the decision of the Senate to undermine the popular wishes of the Nigerian workers as unfortunate, however, praised the House of Representatives for stand-

From John Ofikhenua, Abuja

ing for the masses. He said although the House of Representatives displayed a high sense of responsibility in throwing away the proposal, they should resist any overture that would make them succumb to the whims and caprices of a few individuals driven by self motives. Omar warned that the House of Representatives should be wary of some people, who would want to exploit the avenue of the joint harmonisation session of both chambers to push through what they could not achieve earlier. He said: “We are very happy to note that the House did not even consider the removal of the minimum wage law from the exclusive legislative list to the concurrent legislative list because of your belief that the Nigerian workers deserve a very proper place. As our logo depicts, it is the Nigerian workers that turn the wheels that generate the wealth of the nation and therefore it would be a disservice to undermine the workers and relegate them to the background.” However, there is still much to be done because, if we understand the working of the National Assembly, it will still have to move to the concurrent before being passed to the Houses

‘Perhaps some people may still want to achieve what they could not hitherto achieve, at the joint harmonisation level. That is why Nigerian workers are very concerned and we say we need to come on solidarity to you to keep faith with the promise you have made to Nigerians’ of Assembly. This is a very major concern. The Nigerian workers have great fear that the hands that have been working behind the scene to influence some people elsewhere can still highjack the process. “Perhaps some people may still want to achieve what they could not hitherto achieve, at the joint harmonisation level. That is why Nigerian workers are very concerned and we say we need to come on solidarity to you to keep faith with the promise you have made to Nigeri-

ans. The Speaker Aminu Tambuwa said the House decided not to tamper with the Minimum Wage Act in line with the promise it made to the Nigerian people to always be committed to their cause. He noted that it was the Nigerian people that rejected the removal, stressing that all that the House did was to uphold the popular wishes of the people. He said: “We have come under severe pressure to come to where we have got today. All we did was to work on the agenda of the interest of Nigerians. It was the public that rejected the transfer. We only came here and upheld it.” While promising to continue to do the bidding of the Nigerian masses, he admonished the leadership of the two unions to extend their campaigns to the Houses of Assembly, who would also be required to vote on it. Reacting to the unions’ demand for the House of Representatives to intervene in the lingering face-off between the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) and the Federal Government to end the ongoing strike, Tambuwa said the House would table it for discussion tomorrow(today). He said one of the House members has already moved a motion on the strike.

Utomi denies taking loan from Bank PHB By Adebisi Onanuga



ENOWNED political economist, Prof. Pat Utomi, yesterday told a Lagos High Court, Ikeja he did not obtain any loan from the defunct Bank PHB to fund his presidential campaign between 2006 and 2007. Utomi, who contested the 2007


presidential election on the platform of the African Democratic Party (ADP), told the court presided over by Justice Lateefat Okunnu that he spent about N30 million on the campaign. He made the clarification when being cross-examined by the counsel to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mr. Kemi Pinheiro, in a matter brought against the bank’s former Managing Director, Mr. Francis Atuche. He said his presidential campaign did not gulp N2 billion as alleged by the prosecutor, Mr. Pinheiro. Pinheiro alleged that Utomi’s campaign was funded by the bank when cross-examining him as the defence witness. The EFCC sued Atuche, his wife, Elizabeth and the bank’s former

chief operating officer, Ugo Anyanwu, for alleged theft of the bank’s N27.5 billion. Counsel to the EFCC Mr. Pinheiro alleged that the bank advanced a N2 billion credit facility to Baywood Continental Limited, a company whose board was chaired by Utomi. He claimed that the loan was secured from Bank PHB about the same time Utomi was going round the country soliciting votes from Nigerians for his presidential ambition. But Utomi, a former chairman of Bank PHB Corporate Governance Committee, denied the allegation, saying Baywood Continental never collected any loan from the bank. He said the company was only indebted to Spring Bank Plc long before he became the chairman of

the company and the eventual acquisition of Spring Bank by Bank PHB. According to Utomi, it was public knowledge that he never exceeded N30 million during his campaign. He said it would amount to a misconception if the indebtedness of Baywood to Spring Bank Plc, before its acquisition by Bank PHB, could be linked to his presidential campaign. The renowned economist also reiterated his earlier views made before the court that Bank PHB was stolen from the owners by the powers that be. He said bank loans could be domiciled in neighbour banks pending when they could be expended on the purpose of the credit facility.

Why Oghiadomhe voted at PDP convention, by Metuh

HE Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) yesterday justified the presence of the Chief of Staff to the President, Chief Mike Oghiadomhe, at its recent convention in Abuja. The party said he was qualified to vote at the event as a delegate. The PDP regretted that critics had attempted to discredit the presidential aide and malign his personality out of ignorance. The party’s National Publicity Secretary, Chief Olisa Metuh, said Oghiadomhe was duly elected

By Emmanuel Oladesu, Group Political Editor

as a delegate and participated in that capacity at the convention. He said: “It is the height of mischief for any person or group of persons to, under any guise whatsoever, allude that Chief Oghiadomhe, a two-time deputy governor and one of the leaders of the PDP, was not eligible to vote in the 2013 Special National Convention.”

Metuh warned those peddling rumours against the party’s chieftain to desist or face the consequence. He added: “The PDP cautions those behind the peddling of this wicked falsehood to stop wasting their time, as it cannot, in any way, yield their expected dividend which is to drag the name and office of the Chief of Staff to the President in the mud and discredit the August 31 Special National Convention.”



NEWS ‘Nigeria has 15,000MW hydropower potential’ • Targets small hydropower plants


IGERIA is endowed with hydropower po tential of about 15,000mega watts(mw) unit of which 23 per cent is small Hydropower, the DirectorGeneral (DG), Energy Commission of Nigeria (ECN), Prof. Eli Jidere Bala, has said. He spoke in Abuja during the five-day training course on conducting feasibility studies on Small Hydro Plants by renewables academy (RENAC), Germany. According to him, “small hydropower schemes of capacities of less than 30mw are known to be environmentally friendly and contributes less to Green House emissions, a major cause of climate change. “SmallHydropower potentials are also available in many parts of rural com-

From Chioma Onyia, Abuja

munities , where majority of the population reside.” The DG, who attributed the training to this situation, noted that the training would focus on small hydropower plants feasibility studies to enable the country to have personnel that will identify potentials in suitable sites that can be used to set up the Small Hydropower Power (SHP) plants in virtually any part of Nigeria. He said their suitability for stand-alone utilisation in the rural parts of Nigeria can be further justified by noting that many viable mini plants (less than 100kw) are actually ‘run -of- the river’ schemes that require a minimal amount of civil works.

SON declares war on substandard bulbs, lamps


HE Standard Organisa tion of Nigeria (SON) has started enforcement and seizure of substandard electrical bulbs and lamps in the markets. Speaking during a meeting with dealers of electrical bulbs and lamps at SON’s Lekki office in Lagos, its Director-General, Dr Joseph Odumodu said the agency will henceforth go to the various markets and seize any sub-standard bulbs or lamps found in the markets, adding that any product found below standard will be seize and destroy immediately. He directed that the lamps and bulbs sold in the marked must be registered with immediate effect. He added that the electrical and electronics market in Nigeria has been a source of serious concern to the organisation due to the high rate of importation of substandard and counterfeited products, which must be checked to give citizens value for their money. According to him, the electric light market in Nigeria today is filled with more of substandard products especially lamps of different types. He said a normal incandescent lamp was expected to have a minimum life of 1000 hours but stressed that according to

lab results, the measured life of these lamps averages between 200 to 480 hours. He pointed out that 80 per cent of the energy saving lamps had failed the life performance test, saying that the cap of some of the lamps break off from the shell after the burn out time, making it difficult to remove such lamp holder. Odumodu said tests carried out on 72 lamps of 34 brands revealed that 44 out of 72 failed efficacy test, while three out of 72 failed initial torson test ”Nigerians are losing a lot of money replacing burnt out lamps too often than necessary. “Over 80 per cent of lamp tested did not declare he power factor of the lamp. Consumers are being short changed through the sales of substandard lamp thereby denying them value for money.” The need o sanitise the electric lamp market cannot be over emphasised considering the cost of replacing substandard lamp and the need to ensure that consumers are not expose o danger of exposure to intolerable level of mercury after use and disposal , this measure you will agree with me also is in your interest as a consumer of he product, I solicit your support o achieve SON policy on zero tolerance for substandard product in Nigeria,” he said.

Nigeria, France trade hits 5.7b euro yearly • Schneider Electric, Mikano sign MoU


HE volume of trade be tween Nigeria and France has hit 5.7 billion euro (that is, about N1.236 trillion), the France Ambassador to Nigeria, Jacques Champagne de Labriolle, has said. He spoke to reporters in Lagos yesterday during the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) between Schneider Electric and Mikano International Limited on the distribution of Schneider’s electrical products and solutions. The deal covers the sale and distribution of Schneider Electric’s low voltage products and equipment in electrical distribution to enhance the accessibility of these products to Nigerians and

By Emeka Ugwuanyi

support local firms. The French envoy said Franch imports from Nigeria is 4 billion euro while exports from France to Nigeria is between 1.2 billion euro and 1.7 billion euro yearly. France imports from Nigeria include crude oil and other raw materials. Country President, Schneider Electric, Marcel Hochet described the agreement as an opportunity for both companies to collaborate and leverage their strength to improve local access to Schneider Electric’s products. He said the agreement also demonstrates Schneider Electric’s commitment to support indigenous.

Ibori still lives lavish lifestyle, says UK prosecutor J AILED former Delta State Governor James Ibori still lives a lavish lifestyle, a prosecutor told a British court yesterday. Prosecutor Sasha Wass told Southwark Crown Court said despite Ibori’s assets being restrained in 2008, he continued to live a lavish lifestyle, travel and pay fees to the English boarding school where his three children are being educated. She quoted Ibori as telling a Swiss private bank in 2004 that he owned 30 per cent of oil firm Oando , which paid $1.2 million into his account that year. The court also heard that PKB Privatbank had in an internal document likened Ibori, who governed oilproducing Delta State from 1999 to 2007 to a scion of the Kennedy dynasty in the United States. Ibori was jailed for 13 years in Britain after pleading guilty in February last year to 10 counts of fraud and money-laundering worth 50 million pounds ($79.5 million). Prosecutors say his

total wealth was likely to be far greater than that. Details of Ibori’s assets and how he kept them hidden from the public gaze through a web of shell companies and foreign bank accounts are being disclosed as part of a threeweek confiscation hearing which began in London on Monday. One of the biggest embezzlement cases seen in Britain, Ibori’s is also a rare example of a senior Nigerian politician being held to account for the corruption that has held back Africa’s most populous nation and top oil producer. Wass told the Court that in 2004, Ibori opened an account at Lugano-based PKB in the name of a shell company called Stanhope Investments. Quoting from internal PKB documents, Wass told the court that Ibori presented himself to the bank as the owner of an insurance company, half of a bank and 30 per cent of Oando.

She said a total of $1.2 million flowed into the PKB account from Oando in three payments that year which had later been channelled to other accounts and were part of funds intended for the purchase of a $20 million private jet. Oando said on Monday that Ibori had only an “insignificant” holding in the firm and also said it had sold $2.7 million of its foreign exchange earnings for naira in 2004 to a company that later turned out to be controlled by Ibori, but it did not know that at the time. Combined with Ibori’s track record of hiding his assets, this led to the “irresistible inference” that Ibori had further hidden assets which investigators had not yet uncovered, she said, adding that one option of where these might be was Oando. Wass also quoted from an internal PKB report from 2004 which said Ibori came from one of a few Nigerian families which had for dec-

ades developed the oil industry in that country. “We could compare these families with the Kennedy dynasty which also mixed business and politics,” the bank document said. Another excerpt said Ibori was “an extremely rich man as he was doing a lot of business before becoming governor”. PKB, which is fully owned by the Luxembourglisted Compagnie de l’Occident pour la Finance et l’Industrie did not immediately respond to a request for comment. In the early 1990s, Ibori worked as a cashier at Wickes, a home improvement chainstore in London. He was convicted of theft in 1991 after being caught taking money from the till. A property he and his wife bought in a London suburb was repossessed as the couple could not meet mortgage payments. During his time as governor, however, he amassed a property portfolio worth at least $6.9 million as well as a fleet of luxury cars, including a Bentley and a Maybach 62.

• From left: Indian High Commissioner to Nigeria, Mr Mahesh Sachdeva; Chief Executive Officer, Stanbic IBTC Bank, Mrs Sola DavidBorha; and Executive Director, Tata Africa, Mr Xavier Gobille, at the launch of Tata Africa Services and John Deere Financial in Abuja...yesterday.

Jonathan submits 2014-2016 MTEF, FSP to Senate


RESIDENT Goodluck Jonathan yesterday submitted the 20142016 Medium-Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) and the Fiscal Strategy Paper (FSP) to the Senate for consideration and approval. The MTEF/FSP was read by Senate President, David Mark.

From Onyedi Ojiabor, (Asst. Editor) and Sanni Onogu, Abuja

Jonathan in the letter to the Senate noted that the submission of the MTEF and FSP was in line with the provisions of the Fiscal Responsibility Act, 2007. He added that the development towards the prepara-

tion of the 2014 budget culminated in the 2014-2016 MTEF and FSP. Jonathan said: “Prepared against the backdrop of global economic uncertainty, the 2014-2016 MTEF and FSP reflect the reality of our circumstance; and we will ensure that planned spending is set at prudent and sustain-

able levels consistent with Government’s overall medium-term developmental objectives.” He lauded the Senate for the enduring partnership between the legislative and executive arms of government “in our collective efforts to transform the economy of our dear country.”

Govt gets $300m World Bank loan for youth employment


HE Federal Govern ment has obtained a $300million loan from the World Bank to support the Youth Employment and Social Support Operations (YESSO). YESSO is meant to provide opportunities for employment and social service delivery and harmonise social protection interventions. The National Project Coordinator of the Graduate Internship Scheme of the Subsidy Reinvestment and Empowerment Programme (SURE-P), Mr Peter Papka, spoke yesterday at the training for delegates of the seven states that have met the con-

From Nduka Chiejina (Asst. Editor), Abuja

ditions stipulated for participation in Abuja. He said the objective of this support is to increase access of poor citizens to youth employment opportunities, social services, and strengthened safety net systems in participating states. At the federal level, a Federal Operation Coordinating Unit (FOCU) based at the Federal Ministry of Finance would coordinate YESSO with other agencies involved in implemention under the operations such as, the National Planning Commission (NPC), the National Directo-

rate of Employment (NDE), National Poverty Eradication Programme (NAPEP) and the Millennium Development Goals Office (MDGs). The operation is to be managed at the state level by a designated State Operation Coordinating Unit (SOCU). The SOCU, Papka said, is responsible for the establishment of the central safety net coordination system including the targeting system and the unified registry of beneficiaries. SOCU, he said, “is accountable to the state government and FOCU while the project implementation units (PIUs) are responsible for imple-

menting the three components of YESSO at the state level.” There are three components of the support operation. These include: The public workfare component which will enhance the capacity of participating unemployed young people, create and improve basic social and economic infrastructure in communities. It is expected to increase the income and consumption of young participants and their households, increase effective demand in local markets, and increase household asset ownership, savings, and investments.



NEWS Envoy hails Lagos Assembly By Oziegbe Okoeki

DEPUTY British High Commissioner in Nigeria Peter Carter has said the Lagos State House of Assembly is the best in the country. He spoke yesterday at the Assembly Complex in Ikeja during a visit to Speaker Adeyemi Ikuforiji. Carter said: “This Assembly is in the forefront of good governance in Nigeria. Its commitment to democracy sends a powerful message to the electorate.” He urged the Assembly to always put the people first in its action. Ikuforiji said: “It is a great joy for me to receive you here today because of the cordial relationship between our countries. The United Kingdom (UK) is the only country that can claim to be the mother of all parliaments in the world. So your commendation of the Lagos Assembly as being in the forefront of good governance is greatly appreciated. We are humbled to be so described.”

Man, 70, commits suicide in Ibadan From Tayo Johnson and Diamond Adebowale, Ibadan

A 70-year-old driver, Pa Ogunmodede Ojo, has committed suicide in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital. He hanged himself in his room at Yemetu Aladorin last Friday. Police spokesman Olabisi Ilobanafor said the police visited the scene of the incident and no foul play was suspected. She said the family had been given the go-ahead to bury their dead. Ilobanafor said two suspected kidnappers, Kehinde Yinus (20) and Jimoh Idowu (20), were arrested in Ibadan yesterday while trying to collect N50,000 ransom from their victim’s family. She said the case had been transferred to the State Criminal Investigation Department (SCID) .

Lagos APGA suspends three members By Musa Odoshimokhe

THREE members of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) in Lagos State have been suspended for “antiparty” activities. They are Prince Adesina Olayokun, Mrs. Oby Ezenma and Mrs. Funmilayo Onwubiko. In a statement by its Publicity Secretary, Mr. Sanya Olawuyi, APGA said their suspension would not affect its aspiration in the state. It said the offences of the suspended members would be made public soon. Reaffirming its loyalty to the national leadership, Lagos APGA said: “We have confidence in and are loyal to the National Chairman, Sir Victor Umeh, and the National Secretary, Dr. Abdulahi Shikafi.” It urged members who left the party because of internal rancour to return.

•Oyo State Governor Abiola Ajimobi addressing residents under the Molete bridge in Ibadan, the state capital...yesterday.

‘How contractor got billions illegally’


FEDERAL High Court in Abuja yesterday heard how the Federal Ministry of Works allegedly paid billions of naira to a contractor illegally. The court, presided over by Justice Adamu Bello, was told how the ministry “side-stepped provisions in an agreement to accommodate an incompetent concessioneer”. The ministry’s Deputy Director, Highways, Dominic Tarzaa Abishigh, made the disclosure in his testimony as the second prosecution witness in the trial of former Minister of Works Hassan Muhammed Lawal and nine others. The others are Adeogba Ademola; his company, Digital Toll Company Lim-

From Eric Ikhilae, Abuja

ited; Dave Enejoh; Okala Yakubu; Thahal Paul; Swede Control Intertek Ltd; Promon Vital Ventures Ltd; Wise Health Services Ltd and Abbey Building Society. The defendants are on trial for alleged irregularities in the award of the N24.36 billion contract for the construction of a bridge across the Benue River from Buto (Nasarawa State) to Bagana (Kogi State). Lawal is accused of authorising the payment of about N3 billion to the contractor, Digital Toll, an act said to be in breach of the contract agreement. Abishigh, who was led in evidence by prosecution lawyer Wahab Shittu, said

the concessionaire was expected to contribute 60 per cent of the contract sum; the Federal Government 20 per cent; Nasarawa and Kogi states 10 per cent each. The witness, who said he had been a deputy director in the ministry for eight years, said the Federal Government, Nasarawa and Kogi states contributed about N6.4 billion in May, but the concessionaire made no contribution. He said in view of Digital Toll’s failure to meet its obligation, parties reached a compromise to pay contractors and consultants engaged for the projects from funds contributed by public partners. The witness said the compromise agreement, reached at a July 6, 2010,

meeting presided over by Lawal, was in breach of the contract since it (the contract) was not amended. Abishigh said: “It was because of the concessionaire’s failure to perform his obligation that the compromise decision was taken, with a caveat that the concessioneer should pay up within a given time. “From the progress report made by the ministry’s Public Private Partnership (PPP) Unit, I am not aware of any payment made by the private partner into the Joint Account” The witness said the public partners were wrong to have paid the concessionaire and consultants without its contribution. The case was adjourned to October 21.

Child rescued from ‘kidnapper’ in Oyo


VIGILANCE group in Oyo town has rescued a seven-year-old girl from a suspected kidnapper. The victim and her elder sister were running an errand for their mother around 8pm when the suspect snatched her. It was learnt that the elder


From Bode Durojaiye, Oyo

sister screamed for help but no one responded. She ran home to tell their parents and the Commandant of the Vigilance Group of Nigeria (VGN) in-charge of the local government, Mr. Akeem Lukman, was noti-

fied. Lukman reported the matter to the police and mobilised a search party. It was learnt that the suspect was apprehended in Oroki around 10pm and taken to the Ojongbodu Police Station.

The suspect said he was not a kidnapper and he “only came to take his daughter away”. Asked to show proof that she was his daughter and why he decided to take the child away at night without her mother’s concent, the suspect kept mute.

LUTH to pay striking doctors

HE Chief Medical Director (CMD) of the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH), Idi Araba, Prof. Akin Osibogun, has assured the 277 striking interns in the hospital that their two months’ salary arrears will be paid by the end of the month. He said the government had given the hospital money to pay the arrears. In an exclusive interview with The Nation, the CMD said only two of the interns were owed about seven months’ salary because they

By Oyeyemi Gbenga-Mustapha

were not on the pay roll. He said: “One is pregnant and did not go for a chest xray. The second did not complete the medical clearance as well. They cannot be captured on the payroll, if they do not complete the medical clearance. About 75 interns were paid till August because they completed the requirements and were captured biometrically. Others were not because there were teething problems in the ex-

ercise, such as irregular electricity supply and faulty data capturing machines.” On the joining of the strike by the Association of Resident Doctors (ARD) since last week Monday, Osibogun said: “That was needless. ARD members knew it was not a local problem but a federal one. They did it probably to show solidarity, but all these will be resolved between today and Monday. “The strike definitely put a strain on the hospital as regards patients’ care, but thankfully

the hospital did not shut down because consultants, nurses and other professionals are working.” ARD President in LUTH Dr. Ugwu Iziga said: “The association is more interested in discussing the training of doctors and other developments in the health sector, but in a situation where professionals cannot dispense their services because they have no money for transportation to the hospital or even feed, there is need to urgently address the situation.”

Lagos decentralises housing loan By Miriam Ekene-Okoro


HE Lagos State Local Government Service Commission (LGSC) has decentralised housing loan for workers in 20 local governments and 37 local council development authorities (LCDA). This is to make it accessible to workers. One of the LGSC’s Commissioners, Otunba Oshibodu, spoke during a tour of councils and LCDAs to educate workers on the importance of quality service delivery. Amuwo-Odofin Local Government Chairman Ayodele Adewale urged the commission to instill discipline in workers as obtains in the state civil service and cited cases of misconduct by junior council workers.

‘Microfinance banks must be restructured’ From Tayo Johnson, Ibadan


N economist, Mrs. Sade Taiwo, has urged the government to restructure microfinance banks to meet the challenges of rising poverty. Mrs. Taiwo spoke yesterday at a monthly lecture series organised by the Nigeria Institute of Social and Economic Research (NISER), Ibadan, on the topic:”Can Microfinance Reduce Poverty in Nigeria? The Imperative of A Policy Revisit.” She said from her findings, the contribution of microfinance to poverty reduction was questionable in Nigeria, adding that: “The reach of microfinance institutions in the country is limited and microfinance banks are found to be averse to dealing with the poor, due to the urge of the institutions to maximise profit and their limited experience in dealing with this group”.





CITYBEATS Agent arrested as Customs intercepts arms T HE PTML Command of the Customs has intercepted some arms and ammunition at Apapa, Lagos. The vehicles, arms and ammunition were imported from the United States of America. The Customs Area Comptroller, command’s Tajudeen Olanrewaju, told reporters yesterday that the arms were "intelligently" concealed in a Sports Utility Vehicle (SUV) imported into the country. He said: "At about 14.20 hours on September 16, examination officers conducted a 100 per cent examination on container number PONU 8071809 said to contain one used 1999 GMC vehicle with chassis number 764750 and one used 2004 Chrysler model with chassis number 629127. In the course of the examination, they discovered undeclared items which turned out to be arms and ammunition." Olanrewaju gave the details of the


CITYBEATS LINE: 08023247888

By Uyoatta Eshiet

seized arms as: One SmithWesson short gun, one Revolver and one Bushneil Sniper rifle 710 model; 52 rounds of 38mm calibre; 48 rounds of 9mm calibre and 38 rounds of 9.0mm calibre and two empty cartridges." He said the agent in charge of the clearing had been arrested and detained, while the importer was yet to show up. Olanrewaju said importation of arms and ammunition falls under Absolute Prohibition List, adding that "in Customs circles, these are restricted items which require permits." "We are in a period of securing Nigeria; so, all arms and ammunition coming into the country will be of importance to border officials," he said. The comptroller said the arrest

• The weapons. Inset: Olanrewaju

came as a result of the synergy between the diligent efforts of the Intelligence Unit of the Service and the professional efforts of the

examination officers. He said the Customs men were are on the alert and would continue to detect such concealments in

'I'm being left to die in pains'

HIRTY-six-year-old Joseph Omeh is pining away, three years after his encounter with armed robbers while on duty. He is traumatised by the alleged unfair treatment by his employer. Until his ordeal on November 16, 2010, Omeh worked as a guard with Pahek Security Services Limited in Yaba, Lagos Mainland from 2007. On that fateful day, he was shot at China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC), Wharf, Apapa, where he was posted to. Omeh resumed at 6pm the previous day, but his joy ended when the armed robbers struck, riddling his body with bullets. Omeh told The Nation that he had since remained in anguish as Pahek allegedly refused to cater for him. The victim said all efforts made by concerned individuals including the Office of Public Defender (OPD), an arm of the Lagos State Ministry of Justice, to make his boss, Chief Patrick Keku, pay him his entitlement, failed. He said: "I had not spent a month with CCECC when the unfortunate incident occurred. Pahek deployed me to the construction company on October 28, through a letter signed by the Human Resources Officer, Tony Onyesom. "On November 16, at about 3am, I was on duty when I suddenly heard a gunshot and unfortunately, that bullet hit me. I rushed to the office

Legal Aid Council holds talk

•Three years after robbery attack, guard yet to find succour

‘I am experiencing ... weight loss, constant bodily pains and memory failure’ By Precious Igbonwelundu

and met the Chief Security Officer (CSO), Mr Daniel, who informed the head office, but it was not until about 5am that a Hilux Pick-up van took me to St. Mills Hospital, Apapa. After a treatment, I was referred to another hospital. I waited for the company for further action in vain. "I called my supervisor, Mr Ogbotiti, who assured me that the company would get to me. While I was waiting, the hospital threatened to send me away. I was eventually discharged. My old parents, for lack of money, resorted to traditional means to extract the bullet. Today, I still feel pains on my chest." The medical report from St. Mills Hospital showed that the bullet entered from the posterior part of his right chest causing "associated bleeding." He also got another report from Osede Medical Services, Delta State, dated February 14, 2011. Omeh said he spent N126, 490 on medical bills and N468,000 on native treatment.

He said after his discharge from the hospital, the injury festered. "I was taken for traditional treatment and I spent four months before it was finally extracted," he said, adding: "It is sad that despite the huge amount of money spent by my family (N1.4million), the company did not care about me. I am experiencing severe pains from the bullet wound. I have been experiencing weight loss, constant bodily pains and memory failure, among others." Omeh said: Pahek has neither relieved me of my job nor paid me my monthly salary of N23, 000 since October 2010. My salary from then till date will be N621,000. I called them last week and my boss said they did not pay me because I was stubborn. He said after all, he offered to pay me N500,000 and I refused. Yes, I did not take the money then because my lawyer was not around. "Even when my lawyer came, we told him that if I should take the N500, 000, he would still have to offset my hospital bills and salary but they refused. We arrived at a stalemate since then," he said. He spoke further: "We wrote to the Commissioner of Police in a letter dated November 29, 2012, and up till now, that is yet to yield result. We wrote to my company on July

• Scene of an accident involving two commercial vehicles and a private car at Mangoro Bus Stop, Lagos ... yesterday

future, adding: "If the importer is genuine, he will show up with appropriate documents and clear his imports."

T • Omeh

24, 2012; we were ignored. Someone called to tell me that my former boss claimed I had HIV. I did another blood test at the General Hospital Ajegunle, where I was certified negative (showing the result). I have written the company, demanding N10million as compensation for the injury I sustained as well as for my salary areas. The letter was dated July 2012." Yesterday, Chief Keku denied all the allegations, claiming that Omeh absconded from the hospital the same day he was rushed there. On the issue of HIV/AIDS, he said Omeh had, at the point of employment, stated in his form that he was HIV/AIDS-positive, an allegation the victim denied outright.


O discharge its mandate of helping indigent Nigerians with free legal services, the Legal Aid Council of Nigeria will tomorrow hold a conference titled "Access to Justice: Advancing the Frontiers of Pro Bono." The conference scheduled to hold at the City Hall in Lagos Island will be an avenue to encourage legal practitioners to offer pro bono services and increase the general awareness of pro-bono services. It will also be an avenue for legal practitioners to showcase their willingness and ability to contribute towards the development of access to justice in Nigeria. In a statement, a member of Governing Board and Chairman of Media and Awareness Committee of the Council, Alhaji Abdulkadir Ahmed Ibrahim, stated that the conference is aimed at sensitising government, non-governmental agencies and the public on the importance and benefits of pro bono services to the society. Pro bono services, he said, are requisite tools in relieving the burden on the state and Federal Government in providing legal services to indigent Nigerians and in tackling the insurgencies arising in Nigerian prisons due to the high number of "awaiting trial" inmates. All the 36 state governors, the Attorneys-General and Commissioners of Justice, he said, are expected at the conference, which will be hosted by the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr Mohammed Bello Adoke.

• Ibrahim




CITYBEATS LINE: 08023247888

Counsel's illness stalls Arowolo's trial


HE trial of Akolade Arowolo, who allegedly murdered his banker wife, Titilayo, yesterday suffered a setback at an Ikeja High Court in Lagos State. The defence counsel, Mr Olanrewaju Ajanaku, was said to be ill. Ajanaku failed to file his final written address before Justice Lateefat Okunnu because of his health. He told the court that he had been “very ill.” He sought a short adjournment to enable him recover and file the application. Justice Okunnu granted his prayer, but directed him to regularise his position. Arowolo, in his defence

By Adebisi Onanuga

as the sixth defence witness in the case instituted against him by the Lagos State Government, said he did all he could to save his wife's life, adding: "I did not kill my wife; I never thought of it, I would never have done that as I am not that kind of person. I loved my wife so much to want to see her hurt. And that's why I did all I could to ensure we stayed together. I loved my wife and my daughter, Olamide so much." Thirty-year-old Arowolo was charged to court on June 24, 2011 for allegedly stabbing his wife to death

Demolition renders hundreds homeless


A L U A B L E S estimated at millions of naira were lost and hundreds of residents rendered homeless in Orile Iganmu Local Council Development Area of Lagos State, when six buildings were demolished. It was like a carnival of tears when The Nation visited the scenes at about 2:30pm. The displaced residents stared at the remains of their valuables in hopelessness. A sympathiser trying to recover some items from the debris from the demolished site of a two-storey building on Baale Street, said: "Many of the residents of this house have not returned from their places of work and nobody among them had the slightest idea of this demolition; some of them could not be reached on phone. So, we are only helping out." It was gathered that some storey buildings had earlier been demolished on nearby Salvage, Coker and Lasisi Giwa roads "without notifying the residents." Eyewitnesses said that the bulldozer that pulled down the buildings was accompanied by sternlooking riot policemen who did not allow occupants to move out their belongings before the demolition. Most residents alleged that the Ojora of Ijora, Oba Abdulfatai Oyeyinka Aremu Aromire, ordered the


‘I don’t have any contest over the Alhaji Adebowale property ... I could not have sponsored a demolition where I do not have any interest, whether in contest or not’ By Paul Oluwakoya

demolition, adding that such an occurrence was not new in the community. A landlord who preferred anonymity said the demolished buildings were a subject of litigation between the landlords, residents and the Ojora Chieftaincy Family over land issue. "Just a few months back, on Alhaji Adebowale Street, Orile-Iganmu, a storey building was demolished among other several others. Go and look at what Ojora Royal Family did to people on Coker Road without any notice. We want the Federal Government to look into this issue," said a resident. But a palace source quoted the monarch as saying: "I do not have any contest over the Alhaji Adebowale property or anyone belonging to any group or individual. Therefore, I could not have sponsored a demolition where I do not have any interest, whether in contest or not."

Macaulay goes home

HE death has been announced of Mr. Frank Olusola Macaulay, who passed on at St. Nicholas Hospital, Lagos, on August 22. He was 83. He was the grandson of Frank Gurney Venn Macaulay, younger brother of the late Herbert Macaulay, the famous Nigerian nationalist. His great grandfather was Revd Thomas Babington Macaulay, founder and first principal of the CMS Grammar School, Lagos. His great grandmother, Abigail Macaulay, was the daughter of Rt. Revd Samuel Ajayi Crowther, the acclaimed first African Bishop of the Church of England, and the first to translate the Bible into Yoruba.

Macaulay joined Shell in 1958, and retired after 30 years of meritorious service. He will be buried at Ikoyi Cemetery, Lagos, on September 27, after a funeral service at the First Baptist Church, Broadstreet, Lagos.

• The late Macauley

'Police need be strengthened' By Uyoatta Eshiet

‘Ajanaku told the court that he had not been able to file his final address because he had been very sick’ at their 8, Akindeinde Street, Isolo, Lagos home. Justice Okunnu adjourned the matter till October 2 for the defence to file their written addresses.

• The couple ... before the incident

A pressure group under the aegis, 'Zero Corruption Coalition' has said that the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) and not the Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC) should be saddled with the responsibility of handling the digital Biometric Central Motor Registration (BCMR) system for vehicle owners in the country. At a media parley yesterday in Lagos, the group's secretary for the Southwest region, Comrade Mark Adebayo, who is also the convener of 'Pay Police Well Campaign,' said the attempt by the FRSC to take charge of the digital biometric registration is not in the best interest of Nigeria as the agency is not qualified and equipped to do so.




•Lagos State Governor Babatunde Fashola (fifth left); Minister of Foreign Trade for France Mrs. Nicole Bricg (fourth left); Senateur de la Seino-Maritime Charles Revet (third left) and other members of the delegation from the Ministry of Trade for France at the Lagos House, Marina...yesterday. PHOTO BY OMOSEHIN MOSES

Lagos retrains 65,000 drivers


HE Lagos State government has retrained over 65,000 drivers to curb road accidents. Chief Executive Officer of the Lagos State Drivers' Institute (LASDRI) Mr. Ayodeji Oyedokun told reporters that the training involved commercial and corporate drivers. Oyedokun said: "There are three main factors at play on the highway - the driver, the road and the vehicle. It is the human factor (driver) that determines the severity or fatality of road crashes. "Therefore, human beings need to be worked on in terms of competence, fitness, mental alertness and eye sight, because driving is about seeing and being seen. That is why the government set up LASDRI. "Many people out there have driver's licence, but they should not be driving because they lack formal training. Their presence on roads has caused a lot of carnage and

By Miriam Ekene-Okoro

traffic jam on highways, with the resultant effect of gaseous emission into the atmosphere, which ultimately leads to health hazards and loss of man hours, because they do not know the rules guiding the use of highways." He said between August 25, 2009, to last July, 65,000 drivers were retrained at the institute, adding that 22 per cent of them (over 14,000) had eye defects. Oyedokun said the institute was working with the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) to convince commercial drivers to come for the training. He said: "Danfo drivers are recalcitrant, but we are getting them batch by batch. All NURTW executive members have been trained. Drivers of the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) and Rapid Response Squad (RRS) are being retrained at the centres."

Probe Ondo REC, lawyer urges IGP


KURE lawyer and activist Victor Olatoyegun has urged the Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Mohammed Abubakar, to prosecute those behind the illegal injection of names into the Voters' Register used for last year's governorship election in Ondo State. Olatoyegun urged the IGP to set up a panel to probe the culpability of the Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) and other Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) workers within 14 days. In a three-page petition dated September 12, Olatoyegun said as a registered voter and counsel to the defunct Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), he feels "the illegality must be checked to prevent a recurrence in future elections". He said: "On May 3, the Election Petition Tribunal held that the register contained the injections complained of by the petitioners. The illegal injections were also confirmed by the Court of Appeal, which put the number at 100,723. "These facts were not disputed by the Supreme Court, which struck out all the

From Damisi Ojo, Akure

appeals before it" Olatoyegun said though the INEC had the power to continuously update the voters' register, it must be done in accordance with the law. He said no such review took place between 2010 and 2012, adding that the REC was the custodian of the voters' register before the election. The lawyer said: "The illegal injection of names into the voters' register is an infraction of the law that is too serious to be overlooked or politicised. "A crime has been committed by virtue of the provisions of sections 17 and 24 (E) of the Electoral Act, 2010 and sections 104, 473 and 477 of the Criminal Code with regard to falsification of the public register, which the IGP is statutorily empowered to investigate. "This is a novel way of rigging from the source and must be nipped in the bud before it becomes a cankerworm in our electoral process. A similar incident was uncovered recently in Anambra State."

'Aregbesola is not acting for Tinubu'


HE All Progressives Congress (APC) in Osun State has condemned the newspaper report that Governor Rauf Aregbesola has taken over the party's national leadership in the absence of Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, who is abroad for medical treatment. In a story, titled: “Aregbesola takes over as APC leader...Osun gov in charge in Tinubu's absence”, The Sun yesterday said Aregbesola would act for

Lawyer kicks against amnesty for kidnappers By Miriam Ekene-Okoro


AGOS Lawyer Norrison Quakers (SAN) yesterday opposed the recommendation that kidnappers be granted amnesty. Chief Mike Ozekhome (SAN) made the recommendation after his release by kidnappers last week. The recommendation generated criticisms from the public, who said it would promote kidnapping. Quakers said it would amount to treating the symptoms with palliatives. He said: "I do not believe granting amnesty to kidnappers will stem the tide. As a country, we must address the cause of kidnapping and take decisive steps against it, rather than treat the symptom or apply a temporary palliative. "There is so much hunger in the land. People are living far below the poverty line. Many unemployed graduates and youths are frustrated. Many are angry with the apparent divide between the few haves and the several have-nots. "The government must make a conscious effort to bridge the gap by creating an enabling environment for Nigerians in terms of jobs, skill acquisition, self-actualisation and entrepreneurial development. "The wanton and incessant display of affluence by past and present government officials must be discouraged. Let us redirect our values and educational system."

From Adesoji Adeniyi, Osogbo

Tinubu. In a statement by its Media Director Mr. Kunle Oyatomi, APC said it was surprised by "such a wild and baseless speculation, which is aimed at causing acrimony and tension in the APC". The party said: "We are miffed by this totally wild speculative report, especially by a paper of The Sun's standing. It is baseless and uncalled for. We do not know

how Tinubu's absence could cause any vacuum in the APC's leadership. "With the current communication technology in the world, how does Tinubu's physical absence at meetings inhibit his contributions to the affairs of the party? And if they must know, Asiwaju is not in any way incapacitated. He never hid the fact of his knee injury, for which he has sought adequate medical attention. "We challenge those behind

the report to ask themselves where they would place other party leaders, like Chief Bisi Akande, Chief Audu Ogbe, General Muhammadu Buhari (rtd) and other governors. "The speculation about Aregbesola becoming the APC's leader cannot be taken seriously by discerning minds. It is the handiwork of mischief makers bent on causing disaffection in the party, knowing that APC is the party to beat in the next general election."


Sultan urges peace, standards Sokoto




N164m for students

Boost for community relations






Page 13


Kaduna revives stries industries


OMATOSE and ailing industries in Kaduna State are coming back to life, thanks to the collaborative effort of the state government and foreign industrialists. The plan is certain to provide jobs for the teeming unemployed youths in the state, apart from shoring up its finances. Kaduna textile industry, for instance, which once employed over 300,000 people, is sure to start absorbing the unemployed in the state once again. Other job providers, such as the flour mills, are also being primed to resume their erstwhile duties. Indeed, Kaduna used to be an industrial state, boasting the Kakuri and Kudenda industrial estates. It also played host to such companies as Peugeot Automobile Nigeria (PAN), Seven-Up Bottling Company, Nigeria Bottling Company, United Nigeria Textiles Limited, Nigeria Breweries Plc, Flour Mill of Nigeria and a host of others. These factories made Kaduna tick. But eventually, the industries began to run aground, a few only managing to offer skeletal services. In time, the factories gave way to street corner shops and shopping malls all over the city. The state capital lost its shine consequently. Efforts of the Mukhtar Yero administration are yielding fruit and changing the picture. Indian and Chinese investors were the first to indicate interest in reviving the state’s industries. The Kaduna Textiles Limited, owned by the 19 northern states, and which was closed down, has got a look-in by visiting Pakistani investors who have

•One of the industries to come alive

Jobs coming for youths From Tony Akowe, Kaduna

been exploring the possibility of taking it over. It is not clear, though, if they will be able to do that considering the huge debts the company owes both workers and creditors. The visit of the Pakistanis was as a result of several investment discussions held by the Yero-led government with investors across the world as well

as the state moves to restore peace and confidence in the minds of the people. Over the years, subsequent governments failed to halt the industrial slide but the Yero administration is making some inroads. Pakistanis have shown interest in investing in the state in order to revive its ailing industries including textile, surgical equipments, agriculture, rail

transportation, pharmaceuticals, tricycle production, leather, sportswear and poverty alleviation. A delegation of the investors was led to the state by the Zafar Mahmood and the Nigeria High Commissioner to Pakistan, Ambassador Dauda Danladi. They told Governor Yero that they were willing to partner with the state government in the various sectors. Mahmood said they were in the state to open bilateral relations between the two countries and particularly with Lagos, Kaduna and Kano

Jobs for 1200 farmers in Ogun


•Governor Amosun

HE Ogun State government is upbeat that its plans to curb unempoyment are on course. Its 100-hectare Ofada rice farm will provide jobs for no fewer than 1200 local farmers, the government said. The farm is located in Shagbon village, Eguua in Yewa-North Local Government Area of the state. Commissioner for Agriculture, Mrs. Ronke Sokefun, who said this during an inspection visit to the farmland, pointed out that it is expected to attract 200 farmers and at least 1000 farm hands. Mrs. Sokefun disclosed that apart from providing land for the farmers, government will also provide farming inputs such as rice seeds and fertilizers needed and

buy back the produce after harvest. “Government will not only be providing you land for the planting of the rice, but we will also be responsible for providing viable rice seeds and other inputs needed to ensure a bumper harvest,” she said.

Mrs. Sokefun noted that the 100 hectares of land earmarked for the project is a veritable attempt by government to overcome challenges of land clearing usually encountered by farmers, saying the Ministry had already begun the clearing and ploughing of the

Government will not only be providing you land for the planting of the rice, but we will also be responsible for providing viable rice seeds and other inputs needed to ensure a bumper harvest

states. He said Pakistan is number one in pharmaceutical sector in Asia, with interests in textiles, surgical and other medical equipments, agricultural machinery, implements, fertiliser and pesticides. He said: “We have certain technology and technical expertise that we export to various countries. We are ready to transfer the technology and expertise to Nigeria and to Kaduna State. We have been to •Continued on Page 48 land. The Commissioner said the gesture would enable farmers to plant larger land sizes and thereby enhance production of Ofada rice, but added that the land would first be used for planting late maize and short-term Nerica rice to ensure optimal use. A representative of the farmers, Mr. Azeez Adeniji, expressed appreciation of farmers in the area to government for the project and assured of their commitment to ensure its success. Also speaking, a resident in Shagbon village, Mr. Onifade Oladehinde, lauded the government for making use of the land that had been acquired over three decades and solicited for the provision of potable water, access roads and medical staff for the provision of a maternity clinic in the village.




Council immunises 140,000 kids


ORE than 140,000 children were immunised against poliomyelitis in the ongoing September round of polio vaccination in Hadejia Health District of Jigawa State . The Zonal Director, Gunduma Health System, Malam Muhammad Shahada, announced this to journalists in Hadejia. He said that the children were administered with Oral Polio Vaccines (OPV) in Hadejia, Kaugama and Malamadori local government areas.

Hajj: Niger stops six expectant mothers

T •Wife of the late Justice Muri Okunola, Alhaja Ramdat Okunola (left) chatting with Chairman, Iru-Victoria Island Local Council Development Area of Lagos, Prince Muideen Daramola and his wife, Alhaja Funmilayo during the inauguration of Maroko Customary Court built by the council

Council calls for peaceful co-existence


HE Chairman of Irepodun Local Government Area of Kwara State, Mrs Bashirat Mohammed, has called for peaceful co-existence among communities in the area. Mohammed made the call at a stakeholder’s forum organised by the PDP in Omu-Aran. She said that mutual relationship by the indigenes would assist the government to develop the communities. Mohammed urged the community leaders to close ranks in their efforts to raise the standard of living of people in the communities. According to Mohammed, no meaningful development could take place in an atmosphere of violence and rancour. “The desired growth and development can only thrive where peace, love, concord and harmony exist, especially within the party hierarchy,’’ she said. She said that her administration had pro-

vided a template which the incoming council executive could build on for the betterment of the people. “My administration has provided a good template for my successor in all ramifications to excel, ‘’she said. Mohammed said the achievements recorded by the administration in improving the economy of the communities was made possible through the prayers and assistance of traditional rulers. She said that the areas of achievements included youth empowerment and provision of infrastructure to boost the economy of the communities. “This great feat cannot be recorded without the fatherly support and prayers of the council’s traditional institution. “Our royal fathers have stood by the administration these three years and I am grateful while I pray to God to be with each of them,’’ Mohammed said.

HE Niger State government said it barred six female intending pilgrims from performing the 2013 Hajj because they were pregnant. The state Commissioner for Health, Dr Ibrahim Sule, made this public in Minna at the flag-off of the inoculation of intending pilgrims against yellow fever, polio and cerebrospinal meningitis. He said the medical team for the Hajj exercise advised that the six pregnant women be barred in line with the directive of the National Hajj Commission. Sule said the six women were discovered to be pregnant during the screening of intending pilgrims across the state. He said the medical team also seized the travelling documents of the affected women in a bid to ensure that the ban was enforced.


He said the agency had deployed about 800 personnel to the 33 wards for house-to-house immunisation against the dreaded disease. Shahada said the National Primary Healthcare Development Agency (NPHCDA) provided adequate doses of vaccines to facilitate smooth conduct of the exercise in the wards. According to him, the agency has recorded more than 100 per cent coverage in the July and August round of the exercise. “The feat was achieved through serious commitments demonstrated by community and religious leaders in mobilising for participation in the exercise.” The director praised the state and local governments for their commitment to total polio eradication in the state.


Group lauds power privatisation moves


HE Federal Government moves to privatize the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) for stable electricity supply in the country has been lauded by the Chief Operating Officer of Shoreline Group of Companies, Mr Phil Wharton. Wharton stated that the move will work if the government continuously monitors from the supply stage to the end users. “The government move to privatise the electricity sector will succeed if the entire system is constantly monitored and upgraded from supply stage to delivery to ensure adequate and reliable delivery to the end user,” he said. He stated this in Lagos during the unveiling of the company’s rebranding efforts in helping the power sector to get better. He said the nation is faced with different problems on the electricity on the power

•Co-ordinator, Oshodi Noble Heritage, Mr Abdul Hakeem Ishola (right); Secretary of Destitute Home, Oko Baba, Yaba Lagos, Malam Yaro Muhammed; Pioneer Cordinator of Oshodi Noble Heritage, Mr AbdulHakeem Opedijo during the groups’s donation of food and other items to the home as part of its humanitarian service to the less-privileged.

Makura disclosed this during a meeting with the contractors in Lafia. Mohammed said the e-libraries would be located in Lafia, Doma, Akwanga, Keffi, Nasarawa and Karu. He said three science laboratories at Government Science School, Lafia and Nasarawa Eggon as well as Government College, Keffi would be renovated and equipped. The governor’s aide said the projects were part of efforts to boost the education sector and revive reading habit in students. Mohammed, who said the projects would be completed within 16 weeks, warned the contractors against violating the contract agreement. “We are aware that some of the contractors may have even sold the contracts out before getting the award documents. “I can assure you that the government will not hesitate to sanction anyone found to be engaging in sharp practices that would jeopardise our aim,” he said. One of the contractors, Alhaji Abubakar Aruwa, assured that they would deliver the projects on time and according to specification.

OKOTO State government said that it has voted about N164 million for the sponsorship of 64 youths in the state for undergraduate and post-graduate studies abroad. This is contained in a statement by the Information Officer of the state’s Scholarship Board, Isa Shuni in Sokoto. The statement said that about N100 million would be used for the payment of tuition fees, air fares and upkeep allowances for 32 postgraduate students in various universities in the United Kingdom. “These institutions include Universities of Sussex, East London and London Metropolitan. “These students transferred their studies to the Universities of Dundee, Brunel, Durham and BedFordshire. “They were accepted for Masters of Science studies in pharmacy and public health in the health sector,” the statement explained. It added that the remaining N64 million was being used to sponsor another set of 32


HE lawmaker representing Epe Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives,Hon Lanre Odubote, has tremendous development for residents of his constituency,since it is only under under All Progressives Congress (APC) that this can happen. According to him, it is the only party that caters and gives hope to those at the grassroots. He spoke to Newsextra during the Ijebu Muslim College Old Students’ Association (IMCOSA) 2013 Award ceremony held at Lagos Airport Hotel, Ikeja, Lagos. Odubote said that residents of Epe Constitu-

Sokoto’s N164m for students’ sponsorship students for undergraduate and post graduate studies in medical and para-medical courses in other countries. The statement said the Chairman of the board, Alhaji Jelani Kalgo, appealed to the students to reciprocate the gesture by being committed to their studies. Kalgo urged them to shun acts capable of truncating their studies. By Musa Odoshimokhe

ency are now enjoying the benefits of Information Technology (IT), one of the major projects that will lead to economic transformation. He said: “It is our resolve to equip our people through IT, which is why I am exposing my community to IT, so in the next few months we are going to have not less than six centres where IT would be dispensed to my people. We already have one in Ilara Civic Centre, we have one in my constituency office, we have one at Okemagba High

•Former Chief of General Staff, Lt-Gen Oladipo Diya (rtd) flanked by Public Relations Consultant, Mr Aramide Tolu (left) and Chief Akin Omojola at the Southern Nigeria People Assembly Conference of Elders and Leaders at Eko Hotels and Suites, Lagos.

‘We’ve justified creation of more councils’


HAIRMAN of Orile Agege Local Council Development Area, LCDA, Taofeek Adaranijo, has said that the council has justified the pains the former governor of Lagos State, Asiwaju Ahmed Tinubu passed through in creating local council development areas in the state before leaving office. Adaranijo said the purpose of the creation was to spread development across the nooks and crannies of Lagos State, adding that a visitor to Orile Agege and its environs will see how his administration has transformed the council in to the mega city vision of the Lagos State government under Mr. Babatunde Raji Fashola. “In a short period of time, we have been able to put in place human-face projects as dividends of democracy for our people. Through the assistance of the World Bank facilitated by the state government,rapid infrastructural development is going on with projects in road network, mini canal, maternity centre, PAC were constructed. We also constructed a modern secretariat and motor parks for the use of our people,” the chairman said. He said residents of his council made up of of different ethnic live in peace while youths have been encouraged to go to schools with bursary and scholarship awards. On sports he said: “We have never lacked behind in sports in the state. We won medals in the state’s sports festival. Our standing team in the Lagos Junior League were the third best team last season. We also have many of our teams taking part in the MTN Lagos Street Soccer and they are doing well. “Orile Agege remains the LCDA where our Super Eagles’ defender, Taye Taiwo who is plying his trade abroad, was discovered and

groomed to stardom. It’s on record that Togolese Seyi Adebayor was also discovered at our popular playground, Ile Pako before he moved to Togo.

Olori Adetule passes on THE death has been announced of Olori Famoyo Adetule. She passed on at the General Hospital, Aramoko-Ekiti,Ekiti State on August 29 at the age of 91. The first Speaker of the old Ondo State, Hon Bola Akingbade, was one of the early callers on condolence visit. He described the woman as a unifying factor, unparalleled philanthropist and defender of the less-privileged. He said she would be remembered for her sincerity and frankness. In his remark, the Head of Oba Amolose Royal Dynasty of Erijiyan Ekiti, Prince Majasan Adetule, described the late Olori as a renowned custodian of traditional songs of the Royal Olohan family. The Oloris in a condolence visit to her son, Prince Sola Adetule, said the woman contributed immensely to the unity and progress of the Oloris in the palace. They added that the entire Oloris, princes and chiefs will miss her dexterity in the drumming of Agere, the Olori drums. Other callers include Chief Jude Awe Chief J.O. Olawunmi, Chief Oluwatayo, Elder G.O. Ayorinde, among others. She is survived by Prince Sola Adetule, Managing Director/Editor-in-Chief, The X-Ray Newspaper, many grand and great grand children. Burial arrangements will be announced later.


By Jeremiah Oke

HE Chief Imam of Oriwu Ikorodu Central Mosque Alhaji Ashamadini Yahya Oshoala has urged islamic youths in the country to seek knowledge and use it to develop humanity the glory of God. The Islamic Cleric said tha is the only way the youth can contribute meaningfuly to the development of the religion. Oshoala who spoke at a book launch based on Islamic and Ikorodu history entitled: Islam in Ikorodu and its Environs and the first walimatul-qur’an in the mosque, hailed the author of the book for his effort to ensure that Islam and Ikorodu history remain documented. He said the author is the first Ikorodu indegene to write a book in the same language with Quran. The Clergyman, therefore, urged youths to use their knowledge to know God rather than engaging in criminal activities. He maintained that he had made several efforts to ensure that he wrote a book on Islam and Ikorodu but all to no avail. In his own contribution, the Chairman of Lagos State Electoral Commission (LASIEC) Chief Abdlefatai Adeyinka, said the mosque had taken a giant stride by establishing a Quranic school in Lagos State. He said no mosque in the state has ever organised such school, adding that the first walimatul-qur’an is a landmark achievement in the history of the Ikorodu. In his own remark, the lecturer at the event, Alh Thaoban Adam Al-Ilory, said the only legacy any parent can give to their children is to inculcate the word of God in them. He admonished youths across the country to use their time judiciously and contribute meaningfully to the development of the country.

•Governor Wamakko School.” He added that Epe being a remote area positions it as the future of Lagos State and therefore promised to do all within his power to make catch up with the right development that will make take it take rightful place. He said: “For us to be properly developed economically, the National Commission for the Internet and Database Cable is coming to Epe through my intervention. Epe must be properly captured and will now be opened for commerce and industry, have access to good navigation through water, Epe international Airport, Lekki Free Trade route, all these will bring Epe out from that notion that it is a rural area.” He stated that efforts would not be spared to ensure that the people get the right education in very conducive environment. “The MTN programme has delivered customized furniture to some schools in Epe. Being a member of the Committee on Communication, I initiated the programme for my people. Epe deserves it and I thank God and the management of MTN for choosing Agbowa Community Grammar School, where the available seats will accommodate 400 pupils.There are also 20 customized benches for teachers.”

Church programme

Cleric urges youths to seek knowledge

By Amidu Arije and Monsurat Ajao

plants. He said another challenge confronting the power sector is finance and lack of proper gas flaring. “Gas flaring has not been adequately tackled since 2009,” he said. Speaking on the essence of the company’s rebranding efforts,Wharton said it was to ensure better and efficient delivery of service to its numerous customers. “The essence of our rebranding is to improve on our methods for better service delivery of electrical panels to our numerous customers,” he said. The company which produces and installs electrical panels for its customers promised to deliver 18 megawatts at the end of this year to its customers.

•Governor Sule Lamido

Nasarawa to spend N447m on e-libraries, laboratories

HE Nasarawa State Government said it has awarded contract for the construction of six e-libraries and three laboratories in the state at the cost of over N447 million. Dr Salisu Mohammed, the Senior Special Assistant on Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) to Governor Umaru Al-


•From left: Hon Victor Ogere, Odubite, Hon. Jide Jomon and General Idowu Adebanjo (rtd) presenting the award.

Cleric advocates integrity for leaders


OTAL commitment to a lifestyle guided by the word of God has been adduced as the solution to the integrity question surrounding leadership in Nigeria. Also, the challenge of leadership and the prevailing moral excesses of those in government in Nigeria could be traced partly to the insincerity of the followers. Speaking at the induction service of five new ministers of The King’s Chamber, Ilupeju, the Senior Pastor of the church, Rev. Samuel Afolabi Coker, said the performance of any leader whether in church or secular setting is traceable to quality of the followers. In a message entitled: God’s Call to Honour, he said followers owe the leaders the responsibility to pray for them to succeed. According to him, in Nigeria, leaders in government are generally victims of criticism, a scenario he viewed as inappropriate. Rev. Coker said the punishment of leaders should be left in God’s hand who has the prerogative for appointing them . At the Sunday’s service which was well attended by families and friends of the inductees, he cited several biblical examples to encourage church members to honour and pray for the new ministers. Speaking on the blessings that go with diligence and faithfulness in leadership, he said every deed attracts a reward. He advised every leader to invest in the progress and advancement of Nigeria, as the reward will surely come whether in their lifetime or hereafter. The highpoint of the service was soul-lifting rendition by the church choir and induction of ministers. The Senior Pastor admonished the new inductees and indeed all heaven-bound saints to be committed to the

divine assignment of kingdom building and live for righteousness and integrity. Five members of the church; Mrs Ibitayo Famiditi, Mrs Titilayo Dawodu, Mr Olumide Olubajo, Mr Rotimi Kareem and Mr Chuks Uzorka were ordained as ministers in a prayer-soaked atmosphere.

THE weeklong programme of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, City of Joy Parish, Victory Model Area, Zone 5, LP 28, tagged: A city set on a Hill has begun on Monday. It continues with specific event each day. From September 17 to 19, there will be motivational talk and Friday will feature the Praise Night. There will be thanksgiving service on Sunday. Ministers such as Pastor S. Ogunsheinde, Pastor George Balogun, Deacon Wole Ojo, Pastor Johnson Adekunle among others, will minister. The venue is 42, Adisa Akintoye Street, Off Tipper Bus-Stop, Adenola Junction, Ketu in Agboyi Ketu Local Council of Lagos State.

• Former Senate Leader, Chief Teslim Kolawole Folarin (middle) flanked by wife, Angela and Delta state Commissioner for Special Duties, Mr. Timi Tonye shortly after Folarin was promoted as Lagunna Olubadan of Ibadanland




Baraje’s suit against Tukur re-assigned to another judge


SUIT filed by Alhaji Kawu Baraje’s faction of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) seeking to stop Alhaji Bamanga Tukur from parading himself as the national chairman, has been transferred to another judge. The Chief Judge of Lagos State, Justice Ayotunde Phillips, has assigned the matter to a new judge, Justice Oludotun AdefowopeOkojie. The change in judges followed the withdrawal of the former judge, Justice Ganiyu Safari, who was a vacation judge. Although all parties were present at the resumed trial yesterday, the suit failed to proceed as scheduled because the case file had been returned to the Office of the Chief Judge. Justice Safari was handling the matter as a vacation judge when the Lagos judiciary was on vacation, which lasted two months. At the last hearing, the Alhaji Baraje faction failed to convince the court to order the police to reopen its Abuja national secretariat, which was sealed off. Counsel to the Baraje faction, Mr. Robert Emukpaero, made an oral application in which he prayed the court to order the reopening of the new PDP secretariat in Abuja shut by the police two weeks ago. Ruling on the matter, the judge ordered the claimants to file a different application joining the Inspector General of Police (IGP) as a defendant. Emukpaeruo also accused the defendants of allegedly violating the court’s previous order to maintain the status quo pending the determination of the suit. He urged the court to order the police to remove their

‘Although all parties were present at the resumed trial yesterday, the suit failed to proceed as scheduled because the case file had been returned to the Office of the Chief Judge’ By Adebisi Onanuga

armoured personnel carriers from the secretariat and allow his clients access to their offices. But defence counsel Ajibola Oluyede urged the court to dismiss the claimant’s claim as a “mere say” and that which cannot be relied upon by the court. Oluyede argued that the claimant did not file any affidavit and documentary evidence to support his claims that his clients are behind the closing of their secretariat. Oluyede also argued that the claimants, having admitted that their office was closed by the police, should not assume that the police were carrying out the orders of the defendant. “The Nigeria Police is a statutory organisation that has discretionary powers that cannot be usurped by anyone, not even the court”, he said. He said it is only the police that can respond to the application of the claimants. Justice Safari held that there was no evidence linking the defendants to the closure of the Baraje-led PDP secretariat. The judge said while the defendants were high-ranking members of the PDP, they had no power to order the police to seal off the secretariat or deploy security

Nigerian appointed IT prof


R. Olufeyisan Taiwo Feyi-Sobanjo has been confirmed as a professor of Information Technology and Telecommunications Law and director of Information Technology and Telecommunications Law Programmes, at the International Centre for Technology & Contemporary Laws (ICTCL) of the IPE-Management School-Paris, France. The Senate of the IPE Management School, Paris, France confirmed the appointment, with effect from July. The International Centre for Technology & Contemporary Laws (ICTCL) is the independent, non-partisan collaborative research centre of the IPE and PPA Management Schools in France, dedicated to examining the legal and policy dimensions of national and global issues in Technology & Contemporary Laws. Prof. Feyi-Sobanjo is a renowned legal academic and an international expert researcher in Information Technology & Telecommunications Law. He holds an LLM in Information Technology & Telecommunications Law


from the University of Strathclyde, UK and a Doctorate in E-Commerce and Telecommunications Law from Thomas Jefferson School of Law in the USA. Prof. Feyi-Sobanjo is a member of the International Association of IT Lawyers, Denmark, a member of the Institute of Arbitration & Mediation of Australia, a Fellow of Technology Law Society of Nigeria, a former member of the International Technology Lawyers Association-USA and a Member of its e-commerce and data protection committees. He established the first International Research and Training Centre for Information Technology & Contemporary Laws (IRTC-ITCL) in Africa in Lagos, Nigeria in 2005. He is also a co-founder of the Technology Law Society of Nigeria.

agents in the area. He, however, reiterated his previous order that both parties should maintain the status quo pending the determination of the matter. The new judge to be assigned the case file is expected to fix a new date for the trial of the matter. Baraje and four others sued

FCT NANS threatens protest over strike

T •Tukur

the Tukur-led PDP, asking the court to restrain the embattled chairman and his codefendants from parading themselves as PDP NEC members. Other claimants are Dr. Sam Jaja and Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola. Joined as defendants with Tukur are Mr. Uche Secondus, Deputy National Chairman; Dr. Kema Chikwe, Women Leader and Mr. Olisa Metuh, National Publicity Secretary.

From John Ofikhenua, Abuja

HE Zuba Federal Capital Territory (FCT) chapter of the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) has threatened a peaceful protest over the warning strike, which the Colleges of Education Academic Staff Union (COEASU) has embarked upon. Speaking with The Nation, the Chairman, Comrade Adediwura Ismaeel Adesina, urged the Federal Government to meet the demands of their lecturers before Monday or else they would protest. According to him, members of the FCT chapter of NANS would not hesitate to join their colleagues at the national level to protest the prolonged industrial action by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU). The union enjoined the Federal Government to resolve the crisis with ASUU, adding that the striking Colleges of Education lecturers should be called for renegotiation. Adesina said: “The Office of the Chairman of the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) FCT chapter received a letter from the University of Abuja last week. We wrote our own letter, submitted it to the security agencies and gave an ultimatum to the Federal Government that between the date we received the letter and next Monday, they should meet ASUU and COEASU and resolve the crises. If they refuse to do this, students will protest.” He advised the Federal Government to declare a state of emergency in the education sector.






How to treat Erectile Dysfunction Erectile Dysfunction (ED), known as impotence, is a man’s inability to attain sufficient erection for sexual intercourse. OYEYEMI GBENGA-MUSTAPHA writes on its causes and cure.


T is a burden that some men carry about. Many do not like to talk about it because they are ashame. But, according to doctors there is nothing to be ashamed about Erectile Dysfunction (ED) because the condition can be treated. ED is a condition that leaves a man not to attain sufficient erection for sexual intercourse. Experts say many reasons are responsible, for it. Most cases are caused by the narrowing of the arteries that take blood to the penis. The most important ones are cardiovascular disease and diabetes, and neurological problems, such as, trauma from prostatectomy surgery. Surgical intervention for some conditions may remove anatomical structures necessary to erection, damage nerves, or impair blood supply; cause hormonal insufficiencies (hypogonadism) and drug side effects. It is simply called Impotence or Erectile dysfunction (ED). According to an Andrologist, Dr Emmanuel Audu Obe, about 50 per cent of men in their 60s have erectile dysfunction (ED). Fourteen per cent of younger men (around their 40s) are also affected. He said ED could be a sign of health problems. It may mean your blood vessels are clogged. It may mean you have nerve damage from diabetes. Impotence is also related to general poor physical health, poor dietary habits, obesity, and most specifically, cardiovascular disease such as coronary artery disease and peripheral vascular disease. Your doctor can offer several new treatments for ED. For many men, the answer is as simple as taking a pill. Getting more exercises, losing weight, changes in lifestyles such as stopping smoking. He said: “Impotence is a medical condition, in which the erection of the penis is not of sufficient quality for the certain interval of time required to have normal, full sexual intercourse. When erectile dysfunction occurs, a man cannot fully satisfy both himself and his partner.”

Causes Obe said: “There could be underlying causes such as potassium deficiency or arsenic contamination of drinking water. Impotence may develop due to hormonal deficiency, disorders of the neural system, lack

•Dr Obe

tion is an ongoing problem, it may cause stress, cause relationship problems or affect your self-confidence. We can say if it is Psychological impotence; priapsim or Peyroniedisease impotence.”

Types •Causes of impotence

of adequate penile blood supply or psychological problems. Restriction of blood flow can arise from impaired endothelial function due to the usual causes associated with coronary artery disease, but can also be caused by prolonged exposure to bright light. Drugs, especially anti-depressants and nicotine are most common, neurogenic disorders, cavernosal disorders (Peyronie’s disease). “Psychological causes, i.e performance anxiety, stress, mental disorders, psychological problems and negative feelings. Surgery. Age inducing impotence is four times higher in men in their 60s than in men in their 40s; kidney failure; at least one paper has suggested that arsenic poisoning from contaminated well water may be a cause in some regions, perhaps by alteration of voltage gated potassium channels; and lifestyle such as smoking is a key cause of erectile dysfunction. Smoking causes impotence because it promotes arterial narrowing. ED can also be associated with bicycling due to both neurological and vascular problems due to compression. The increase risk appears to be about 1.7 fold,” he said. Obe, added: “The experience can be frustrating for both parties, when a man has trouble getting or keeping an erection. As we understood the mechanisms of a normal erection, we can deduce when a man is impotent. ED occours when a man can no longer get or keep an erection firm enough for sexual intercourse. Having erection trouble from time to time isn’t necessarily a cause for concern. But if erectile dysfunc-

“Psychological impotence is where erection or penetration fails due to thoughts or feelings (psychological reasons) rather than physical impossibility; this is somewhat less frequent but often can be helped. Notably in psychological impotence, there is a strong response to placebo treatment. Erectile dysfunction can have severe psychological consequences as it can be tied to relationship difficulties and masculine self image generally. Priapism is a persistent, usually painful, erection that lasts for more than four hours and occours without sexual stimulation. Peyronie’s disease is caused by scar tissue, called plaque, which forms along the length of the penis in the corpora cavernosa.

Diagnosis The Urologist said: “There are no formal tests to diagnose erectile dysfunction. Some blood tests are generally done to exclude underlying disease, such as hypogonadism and prolactinoma. A useful and simple way to distinguish between physiological and psychological impotence is to determine whether the patient ever has an erection. If never, the problem is likely to be physiological; if sometimes (however rarely), it could be physiological or psychological. Psychological impotence is where erection or penetration fails due to thoughts or feelings (psychological reasons) rather than physical impossibility; this is somewhat less frequent but often can be helped. Notably in psychological impotence, there is a strong response to placebo treatment. Erectile dysfunction, can have severe psychological consequences as it can be tied to relationship difficulties and masculine self image generally.

Treatment Obe said treatment depends on the cause. Exercise, particularly aerobic exercise is an effective treatment for impotence. “When pharmacological methods fail, a purpose-designed external vacuum pump can be used to attain erection, with a separate compression ring fitted to the penis to maintain it. These pumps should be distinguished from other penis pumps (supplied without compression rings) which, rather than being used for temporary treatment of impotence, are claimed to increase penis length if used frequently, or vibrate as an aid to masturbation. More drastically, inflatable or rigid penile implants may be fitted surgically. Medications carry risk of priapism.All these mechanical methods are based on simple principles of hydraulics and mechanics and are quite reliable, but have their disadvantages. Often, as a last resort if other treatments have failed, the most common procedure is prosthetic implants which involve the insertion of artificial rods into the penis.

Devices •Nigerian High Commissioner to Australia, Ambassador Ayo Olukanni (Second right) flanked by a member of Paediatric Association of Nigeria (PAN), Prof Joshua Owa (left) president, Prof Adebiyi Olowu (second left) and secretary Dr Jerome Elusiyan during a Town Hall meeting with the Ambassador in Melbourne, Australia.

The device helps draw blood into the penis by applying negative pressure. This type of device is sometimes referred to as penis pump and may be used just prior to sexual intercourse.

Alternative medicine Many products are advertised as “herbal viagra” or “natural” sexual enhancement products, but no clinical trials or scientific studies support the effectiveness of these products for the treatment of erectile dysfunction, and synthetic chemical compounds similar to sildenafil have been found as adulterants in many of these products. The diagnostic and statistical manual of mental diseases has included a listing for impotence. Duplex ultrasound: Duplex ultrasound is used to evaluate blood flow, venous leak, signs of atherosclerosis, and scarring or calcification of erectile tissue. Injecting prostaglandin, a hormone-like stimulator produced in the body, induces erection. Ultrasound is then used to see vascular dilation and measure penile blood pressure. Penile nerves function: Tests such as the bulbocavernosus reflex test are used to determine if there is sufficient nerve sensation in the penis. The physician squeezes the glans (head) of the penis, which immediately causes the anus to contract if nerve function is normal. A physician measures the latency between squeeze and contraction by observing the anal sphincter or by feeling it with a gloved finger inserted past the anus. Nocturnal penile tumescence (NPT): It is normal for a man to have five to six erections during sleep, especially during rapid eye movement (REM). Their absence may indicate a problem with nerve function or blood supply in the penis. There are two methods for measuring changes in penile rigidity and circumference during nocturnal erection: snap gauge and strain gauge. A significant proportion of men who have no sexual dysfunction nonetheless do not have regular nocturnal erections. Penile biothesiometry: This test uses electromagnetic vibration to evaluate sensitivity and nerve function in the glans and shaft of the penis. Dynamic infusion cavernosometry (DICC): Technique in which fluid is pumped into the penis at a known rate and pressure. It gives a measurement of the vascular pressure in the corpus cavernosum during an erection. Corpus cavernosometry: Cavernosography measurement of the vascular pressure in the corpus cavernosum. Saline is infused under pressure into the corpus cavernosum with a butterfly needle, and the flow rate needed to maintain an erection indicates the degree of venous leakage. The leaking veins responsible may be visualised by infusing a mixture of saline and x ray contrast medium and performing a cavernosogram.; (20) Digital Subtraction Angiography (DSA): In DSA, the images are acquired digitally. Magnetic resonance angiography (MRA): This is similar to magnetic resonance imaging. Magnetic resonance angiography uses magnetic fields and radio waves to provide detailed images of the blood vessels. Doctors may inject a “contrast agent” into the patient’s bloodstream that causes vascular tissues to stand out against other tissues. The contrast agent provides for enhanced information regarding blood supply and vascular anomalies. The medication and surgery are determined by the doctor.

Lagos holds Mental Week Oct. 10


HE Lagos State Government will hold this year’s World Mental Health Day on October 10. The focus is on the care of the elderly. The Permanent Secretary Ministry of Health, Dr Femi Olugbile said: “Here in Lagos, our hope is that all stakeholders in mental health and issues pertaining to the health of the elderly will come together to have a joint programme, in order to maximise the public impact of the celebration. ‘’The key focus areas are aware: Establishment of mental health care at primary health care level; developing structures and capabilities to meet the growing needs for services for the elderly in our community. “Mental Health Desk Officer, Ministry of Health, Dr Dolapo Fasawe and Consultant Psychiatrist, LASUTH, Dr Biodun Adewuya will be getting in touch with stakeholders to arrange meetings and coordinate all necessary actions for this purpose. ‘’They will also be giving information about our ‘Livable City’ project coming up in November, in which our stakeholders will be invited to participate.”




‘Instability, obsolete infrastructure threaten health care’


HAT are the challenges to qualitative healthcare delivery? Some of the challenges are inadequate infrastucture, according to the Director, Management Science for Health, Dr. James Rice, who spoke at this year’s edition of the West African Health (WAH) Conference and Exhibition in Lagos. The theme was: Nigeria’s health care infrastructure challenges and way forward. The United States-based Rice said the health sector had the potential to improve the economy of the country, increase the employment base and by implication make the voting population strong. “If you have a strong voting population, it means you are going to have a more stable political situation and a much more secured country,” Rice said. He called on international and indigenous stakeholders to lead infrastructure improvement across the regions. Lagos State Commissioner for Health Dr. Jide Idris , in his opening address, said governance, In-

By Oyeyemi Gbenga-Mustapha and Seyi Ijibayiwa

formation Communication Technology (ICT) and human resources were some key components of the soft aspect of infrastructure that must be enhanced for better health for all Nigerians and Africans as a whole. His Ogun State counterpart Dr. Olaokun Soyinka said high-tech solutions to health care problems could only work if lower-tech options were maximised. He said focusing on high-tech health care solutions without giving similar attention to low-tech options could be counter-productive, adding that there was every need to also look at possible ways of balancing the two ends. Soyinka said: “Health care is expensive but it is important. As we spend on technological improvement, we should also take training and capacity building very important.” Human rights crusader Dr. Joe Okei-Odumakin noted that good

He said focusing on high-tech health care solutions without giving similar attention to low-tech options could be counter-productive, adding that there was every need to also look at possible ways of balancing the two ends. health meant that poverty would have been reduced, adding that the incidence of crises that relate to it should also be minimised. “As you are aware, health and poverty are directly related, so if poverty is reduced there would be better health, which can also be enhanced by improved infrastructure,” she said. The Chairman, Association of Medical Laboratory Scientists, Lagos State, Mr Olawale Olabudu,

said the expo provides a good opportunity for stakeholders and other sectors to cross fertilise ideas that could lead to improved health for all. He said the event was positioned as a regional healthcare platform for the development of the health sector through the promotion of healthcare business and opportunities. Chief Executive Officer, Global Resources and Projects ( organisers

HIV/AIDS is still on the front burner. An Administrator, Lolade Abioye and Project Officer, Olayinka Babafemi, both of Hope for HIV/AIDS International tell OYEYEMI GBENGA-MUSTAPHA some of the reasons for this.

‘Many are still naïve about HIV/AIDS’


ESPITE its prevalence many people are still ignorant about the danger of HIV/AIDS, the Administrator, Hope for HIV/AIDS International, Lolade Abioye has said. During an interview with The Nation, she said: “Do you know that people still have lots of questions about the ways one can get HIV. Discrimination and stigmatisation still abound in the country. There is a high prevalence of people living in denial. Even when people are counselled and they opt for voluntary testing, and per chance their results are positive, you find out that they won’t want others to know their status. And one can deduce that people are not coming out to avail themselves of the free VCT again. Though the prevalence of the disease is stable in the country at the moment, “But discrimination is still rampant. And that is part of the reasons I wont support self screening kit for HIV. If people are given a device to test for HIV won’t they hide away and spread same, or do those persons even have the expertise to screen for HIV? She added: “HIV causes AIDS. HIV stands for human immunodeficiency virus. It breaks down the immune system — our body’s protection against disease. HIV causes people to become sick with infections that normally wouldn’t affect them. AIDS is short for acquired immune deficiency syndrome. It is the most advanced stage of HIV disease.” On the symptoms of the disease, she said: “Some people develop HIV symptoms shortly after being infected. But it usually takes more than 10 years. There are several stages of HIV disease. The first HIV symptoms may include swollen glands in the throat, armpit, or groin. Other early HIV symptoms include slight fever, headaches, fatigue, and muscle aches. These symptoms may last for only a few weeks. Then there are usually no HIV symptoms for many years. That is why it can be hard to know if you have HIV. The best way to know if one has HIV is to test. You cannot know for sure if you have HIV until you get tested. About one out of five people with HIV don’t know they are infected, so testing is very important. “You don’t have to wait for AIDS symptoms to appear, if they appear, it means one is in the most advanced stage of HIV disease. In addition to a badly damaged immune system, a

•Mrs Abioye

person with AIDS may also have “But there are many ways you can protect yourself from HIV. The surest way is to abstain from sexual intercourse and from sharing needles and “works” if you use steroids, hormones, or other drugs. Many people have been infected with HIV by sharing needles. If you are using needles for steroids, hormones, or other drugs be sure to disinfect the needles you use. Never share needles. Get into a needle-exchange programme. Don’t share personal items that may have blood on them. This includes toothbrushes, razors, needles for piercing or tattooing, and blades for cutting or scarring. If you choose to have sex, have safer sex to reduce the risk of exchanging blood, semen, or vaginal fluids with your sex partner/s.” The administrator wants the government to look at the management of HIV/AIDS in pediatrics. Her reasons? “Nutrition wise most pediatrics are not well fed, they are under nourished. Government should provide free infant feeds to help parents who are poor.Also, pediatrics’ presciptions should be adapted to syrup and be flavoured with gummit, vannila or fruity flavour to enhance easy intake and compliance. “Though there is a Guideline which


is very comprehensive and provides guide on the standard processes and methods for conduct of service provision at facilities that offer care for management and prevention of pediatrics HIV and AIDS including as-


sociated conditions such as tuberculosis (TB) co-infections, Provider-Initiated Testing and Counselling (PITC) in children and adolescents and Antiretroviral therapy in infants and children, still the implementation aspect call for more action. “I will make case for positive mothers as well. More centres of Prevention of Mother to Child Transmission of HIV (PMTCTC) should be equipped appropriately. UNICEF is trying but Government should improve on the centres.” On mode of transmission of HIV, Project Officer, Olayinka Babafemi said, “HIV is transmitted through blood, semen, vaginal fluids, and breast milk. “The most common ways HIV is spread are by having vaginal or anal intercourse without a condom with someone who has HIV/AIDS; sharing needles or syringes with someone who has HIV/AIDS; being deeply punctured with a needle or surgical instrument contaminated with HIV; getting HIV-infected blood, semen, or vaginal secretions into open wounds or sores; babies born to women with HIV/AIDS can get HIV from their mothers during birth or from breastfeeding. HIV is not transmitted by simple casual contact such as kissing, sharing drinking glasses, or hugging.”

of WAH), Dr. Wale Alabi, while lamenting on state of health in Nigeria, said: “Fifty years after independence, Nigeria is still struggling with provision of basic health services for its teeming population, now estimated at over 170 million.” He added that the country’s health sector is still labour intensive, in spite of advances in medical technology. Alabi noted that health care provision has become more complicated than what it was in the past as common strategies to tackle development in the healthcare sector include improved access to primary healthcare, strategic and purposeful leadership in health delivery services and increased funding. He urged the Federal and other state governments to emulate the Lagos State health sector reform that has transformed healthcare delivery in the state through the introduction of ambulatory and emergency care services, maternal and child care centre and other specialist care facilities.

Rotary gives free eye treatment


By Seyi Ijibayiwa

HE Rotary Club of Lagos Palmgrove Estate has begun a free eye screening and surgery exercise for patients with cataract and pterygium. Pterygium is a common eye condition that affects people who spend a lot of time outdoors. People with pterygium have a growth of pink, fleshy tissue on the white of the eye. It usually forms on the side closest to the nose. Pterygium is also known as surfer’s eye because it often affects surfers. The exercise, according to the president, Venugopal Jajoo, is part of the organisation’s effort to lift the less privileged and the needy in the society. Jajoo estimated that about one million Nigerians are affected by cataract and pterygium while 42 out of every 1000 adults are living with blindness.”Eye is the most important organ. Over one million people are suffering from eye-related problem.” The exercise which is supported by Indoor Healthcare Foundation and Indian community in Nigeria; has screened over 600 people during the exercise which kicked off over the weekend. Jajoo urged residents to access the free screening and exercise so as to reduce the rate of blindness in the country. The exercise continues at the Club’s secretariat, September 21 to 30; while surgery takes place at Marina General Hospital, on October 1.

‘Physiotherapy can reduce NCDs’

HE Federal Government has been called upon to put the right policies in place to help the citizens benefit from regular exercises and to reduce the incidences of noncommunicable diseases. According to an Intern p h y s i o t h e r ap i s t w i t h t h e National Hospital, Abuja, Timothy Ishaku,, “a healthy city is an active city. September 8 every year marks World Physiotherapy Day. This year, the profession moves to enlighten the general public with a topic- Fit for the future with regular physical activity. This is good because we can through the programme prevent sudden the death syndrome as a result of non communicable diseases. “According to World Health

By Oyeyemi Gbenga-mustapha

Organisation (WHO), more than 35 million people died of noncommunicable diseases such as stroke, obesity, diabetes, hypertension, sudden death etc in 2005. This represented 60 per cent of all deaths worldwide. 80 per cent of these deaths occur in low and middle income countries and all these are attributed to physical inactivity or lack of regular exercise of which each year at least 1.9 million people die as a result of that. “Physiotherapists work with a wide range of people to optimise their physical activity, from elite athletes to older people seeking to remain active as they age. More than any other profession, they prevent chronic disease by

h elping people become more active. The health benefits of physical activity include primary and secondary prevention of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, specific cancers, in particular breast and colon cancer and osteoporosis. “Physical activities do not only prevent disease conditions but also affect our life such as sleeping, mental health as well as help us to age gracefully. The effects of aging, unfortunately begin in our 30s and our ability to fight off diseases appear to be inextricably linked to our levels of physical activity and fitness of which recent findings suggest that exercises can increase active life expectancy by limiting the development and progression of chronic diseases and disabling conditions.”





Lawmakers, not contractors

•Constituency projects have not advanced the cause of development. Lawmakers should revert to their traditional roles


HE introduction of the concept of constituency projects shortly after the civilians were restored to power in 1999 has been a source of constant criticism of the 469 federal lawmakers and a source of friction between the legislative and executive arms of government. The revelation, last week, by the Minister for Special Duties and Intergovernmental Affairs, Alhaji Tanimu Turaki, that about N900 billion had been committed to constituency projects in the past nine years has further illustrated the mind-boggling level of misplacement of priorities in the country. The constitution is very clear on the roles of the various arms and institutions of government. The legislature is tasked with making good laws to enhance the welfare of the greatest numbers of Nigerians, while the executive is legally bound to execute such laws. In addition, the lawmakers are required, in the spirit of checks

‘We call for an immediate end to the institutionalisation of corruption of the process that constituency projects represent. Lawmakers should revert to the performance of their statutory responsibility of checking on executive implementation of projects, programmes and schemes’

and balances, to monitor the execution of the laws and policies of government. In particular, section 80 of the 1999 Constitution gives power to the National Assembly to appropriate fund for government programmes, schemes and projects every year. But, the normal course was perverted when the lawmakers twisted the arm of the Obasanjo administration to get them involved in the choice of projects to be implemented in their various constituencies. The development was said to have stemmed from a need to satisfy public yearnings for justification of the votes cast for the lawmakers. The legislators have been vilified for misappropriating such fund. However, this has been denied by the legislators who insist that the Office of the Special Assistant on Millennium Development Goals in the Presidency is the one awarding the contracts and supervising them. Recently, the duty has been transferred to the Ministry of Special Duties and Intergovernmental Affairs. Yet, we find it difficult and odd that lawmakers who should be concerned with improving on the corpus of national laws, supervising the ministries and agencies of government with the aim of ensuring that the people get value for their money is now drawn into identifying and locating projects. It has also been established that, in many cases, the lawmakers have influenced the choice of contractors for the projects. All these have led to distortion in the design and implementation of projects. All projects that the Federal Ministry of Works has the capacity and duty to deliver should be handled by it. The recent involvement of the special duties ministry has not in any way helped mat-

ters since the ministry lacks the capacity, too. As Alhaji Turaki pointed out at last week’s stakeholders meeting, abandoned projects litter the landscape, as many of the contractors to whom the projects were awarded lack the competence and financial muscle to pull through with them. The lawmakers who stepped in, too, did not know what to watch out for, therefore, in the few cases that the projects were delivered, they fell short of standards. We call for an immediate end to the institutionalisation of corruption of the process that constituency projects represent. Lawmakers should revert to the performance of their statutory responsibility of checking on executive implementation of projects, programmes and schemes. Those handed the trust of the public have a duty to ensure that the standard of living in Nigeria improves, to accord with the size and status of the country in the comity of nations, especially as a major oil-producing country. It is shocking to learn, as Senator Mohammed Ndume who chairs the Senate Committee on the MDGs pointed out, that all previous allocations for constituencies had been done without legal backing. How could lawmakers be involved in getting acts performed that were not covered under the law? For this year, the 2,399 projects that have been captured in the budget should be fully taken over by the executive arm and, where necessary, adjustments made. Nigeria needs vibrant legislators who would clinically assess budget proposals and performance of agencies and officials of government, not contractors.

Softly, softly, Borno


•We commend the governor for initiating a big housing project, but not at the expense of churches and schools

IKE other states in the federation, the Borno State government has some responsibilities to citizens in the state, irrespective of race, tribe or creed. And how to go about such responsibilities is the government’s prerogative. To this extent therefore, no one can grudge the state government for its plan to build a 1,000-unit housing project in the state. A leaflet said to have emanated from the state Ministry of Lands and Survey, dated August 20 and signed by Musa Ummate, the officer in-charge of lands administration on behalf of the commissioner, and made available to journalists, said some parcels of land would be acquired for the housing project. This should ordinarily have been cheerful news to people in the state because housing is one of the basic needs of life. Others are food and provision of security. Government therefore has a responsibility to ensure that people can either build or, at least, acquire their own houses either by getting involved in this kind of project or by ensuring a conducive atmosphere for the private sector to do it. We do not know the model the state government wants to adopt in building these houses. But that is not an issue at the moment. What bothers us is the protest that has greeted the announcement of such a laudable project. In the vanguard of the protest is the state’s chapter of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), the Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria as well as owners of farmlands in the state who are likely to be affected by

the proposed housing project. The Christian community in the state is unhappy not necessarily because the government wants to ameliorate the housing needs of its citizens but because of the structures that have to be pulled down for the houses to stand. Bluntly put, the Christians in the state feel the planned housing project is targeted against them as a result of their faith. According to it, “Over 20 churches and many schools will be affected. The lands on which the churches were built were bought from farmers and have the authority and certificate of the District Head in Maiduguri, popularly called ‘Bulama’. It is in view of this protest that we think the state government should make concerted efforts to carry everyone along. No doubt Borno State needs good houses; but the state also needs schools as well as the churches, despite the fact that it has a predominantly Moslem population. The fact is that matters of religion are too sensitive to be toyed with. This is the more reason why the government should be somewhat more accommodating in its bid to acquire lands for public good. The impression being given by CAN is that the government is unwilling to even hear them out, let alone see if they have any grievance at all. For instance, the association alleged that “The Christians went for the meeting called by the governor and for several hours, the governor didn’t come out to see them. “It is always difficult for Christians to get a land in Maiduguri. Even after get-

ting the land, the government won’t give you Certificate of Occupancy”. These are serious issues that the state government should not ignore. We therefore implore it to consider other areas where the housing project could be sited; Borno is a vast state, so, getting a suitable alternative to the present site should not be difficult. Yes, the people need houses, but they also need peace which can only be guaranteed when all segments of the population see that the government has their interest at heart. The matter is beyond mere compensation; especially so for people who have been on the lands, in some cases, for years. The state deserves peace and a break from religious crisis to accelerate its economic development.

‘We therefore implore it to consider other areas where the housing project could be sited; Borno is a vast state, so, getting a suitable alternative to the present site should not be difficult. Yes, the people need houses, but they also need peace which can only be guaranteed when all segments of the population see that the government has their interest at heart’

Iran’s new mood

– Washington should seize chance for nuclear talks


ITH the agreement to place Syria’s chemical weapons under international control, Barack Obama has chosen to defend his red line on weapons of mass destruction with diplomacy rather than military intervention. There is no guarantee this will succeed. But his choice opens up an opportunity to engage Tehran, Syria’s closest regional ally, in a deeper dialogue over the urgent question of Iran’s nuclear capability. President Obama revealed on Sunday that he had been in direct contact with Hassan Rouhani, the new Iranian president who has signalled he wants a more moderate tone than his predecessor in negotiations with the west. Mr Rouhani will be in New York next week for the UN General Assembly. A meeting with William Hague, Britain’s foreign secretary, is being mooted, which would be significant enough. But some US officials have speculated about a chance meeting between Mr Obama and Mr Rouhani in the UN’s corridors. No US president is thought to have met an Iranian leader since Jimmy Carter met Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi in 1977. Whether or not the two leaders meet, the mood is changing and the prospect for a new push to resolve tensions over Iran’s nuclear ambitions looks hopeful. Yet there are still significant difficulties. New talks will require concessions. Tehran will have to accept international inspection without condition, stop high-grade enrichment, and respond fully to questions over potential weaponisation. The west will have to accept Iranian rights to limited low-grade enrichment. Politically this will be challenging. Mr Obama will be taking a big gamble should the US enter direct talks with the Iranian regime. Even if meaningful gestures are made, he does not have the power to relax sanctions. That right resides with a Congress deeply suspicious of Tehran’s good faith. For Mr Rouhani, too, there are risks. It is still not clear whether he has the backing of the Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei to make concessions. Failure to secure alleviation of the sanctions crippling the Iranian economy will strengthen the hand of hardliners. Both sides should seize the chance to revive talks on Iran’s nuclear programme. Direct US engagement with Iran is a risk worth taking, though it need not start at the highest level. Soon it will be too late to stop Tehran producing a bomb should it decide to do so. That is an even more terrible prospect than Syria’s arsenal of chemical weapons. – Financial Times TRUTH IN DEFENCE OF FREEDOM Managing Director/Editor-in-Chief Victor Ifijeh

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IR: Nigeria is in a chaotic situation now. Almost everything is topsy- turvy. Nothing works here. There is pervasive insecurity of lives and property as armed robbers and kidnappers carry out their nefarious activities in broad daylight. Our educational system has collapsed; our crater-marked roads are death traps; and, corruption has been firmly entrenched as part of our culture. Is Nigeria not in chaos? Although the Jonathan administration has published articles in national newspapers to show that our economy is growing, there is a palpable feeling of discontent among the populace. Our leaders’ postulation that our economy is growing in leaps and bounds is stranger than fiction. Nothing can be further from the



A country in chaos truth. Nothing advertises our leaders’ incompetence and poor performance more than the millions of unemployed graduates that roam our streets daily searching for jobs. In addition to this regime’s poor performance, the ruling party has imploded. The PDP is now factionalized, and members of the two factions are engaged in a bitter battle of supremacy that portends grave danger to the indivisibility of

Nigeria. State PDP chapters across the country are sundered into factions. In Anambra State, the PDP conducted two parallel governorship primaries; consequently, two people are laying claim to the party’s governorship ticket ahead of the November 16, governorship election. In Rivers, the crisis snow-balled into a free-forall fight on the floor of the state Assembly, leaving some law-makers

with deep injuries. The President’s plan to seek reelection in 2015 has polarized the party. The PDP, as a party, has not enunciated great policies and executed them, which will lead to the positive transformation of Nigeria. It is a party of selfish and thieving politicians. And, sadly, the party’s strangle-hold on power for 14 years has brought us hardship instead of improved standards of living.

has the courage to thrive in stormy weather. All these qualities he has demonstrated all through his career as a politician from 1999 till he became President. If Jonathan has achieved being president through the demonstration of all these characteristics, why don’t we as his kinsmen encourage him in that path rather than pushing him to war? Are we trying to say luck has eluded him? Or has he lost that confidence that has driven him this far? We should understand that we are building more fences than bridges as a people. We as a people also need other Nigerians so I suggest we should bring down all these fences we are building all over and rather build more bridges for the generation behind us. Ijaws should be reminded that another four years of presidency,

cannot address all the injustice and deprivation our people have suffered since 1956 to date and let us not use our actions of today to mortgage the future of the generation behind us by sowing seed of discord . Yes, Jonathan should contest for 2015 because that is his right and our right as a people, but that does not mean he will be the last Ijaw man to be president of Nigeria. If we cannot properly negotiate ourselves back to power and rather choose the option of threat, then we might be reminded tomorrow of how we were ungrateful as a people. Politics is all about negotiation and interest. Whoever interest that does not align with ours, should be negotiated and not threatened. As much as I do not also support threat from some northern elders, we must not play into their

hands because their opinion may not represent the entire northern interest. After all, these threats were there in 2011 and yet the North voted massively for Jonathan. More importantly we cannot go into any election with a divided house. Today, it is very obvious that we are divided and those who are benefiting from this division do not see any need for us to be united believing they alone can handle issues. Let us not be deceived that if we go into election today, we are going to get that bulk vote we got in 2011. We can see these divisions in IYC and INC that’s why they can’t speak for us anymore in unity. Rather, ex militants are now our mouthpieces.

for it. The sum of N750 was deducted from my available credit after sending G750 to 131. I was told I could now enjoy the package for a validity period of 30 days which include 150 minutes of free MTN to MTN calls, 200free sms messages to other MTN lines and more. Alas, I never enjoyed such goodies. After calling for free within two days and a cumulative 69 minutes used, MTN started deducting from my normal available credit whenever I called. I made several frantic efforts to call

the customer care but on five different occasions within three days, their personnel were always telling me that they were trying to fix the problem and will get back within 24hours which they never did. One of them (Bukola) even told me to sum up my last call duration for the previous three days that it should be up to the 150 minutes but as luck would have it, I use an android mobile phone so I was able to calculate it from my call logs and told her it was just 69mins in total. She

Ijaws should build bridges, not fences

IR: I have observed with keen interest, comments and opinions from my fellow Ijaw brothers and elders as regards the 2015 general elections and as it affects the interest of our president and the Ijaw nation at large. An Ijaw president, I believe is the best thing that has happened to Ijaws as one of the minority ethnic groups in Nigeria. When Jonathan emerged as president, it gave hope to Nigeria as a dawn of a new beginning to strengthen our unity as a nation. The minorities had hope and confidence in the nation called Nigeria. However, this feat was not achieved through guns, threats, fighting and clamour for war. Rather, it was achieved through Divine intervention and consensus among political leaders and maybe the luck in Goodluck. Today I hear my brothers spitting fire, threatening all sorts and even insulting those who in one way or the other supported us in the process to achieve the success in Goodluck Jonathan. I think this is a very wrong approach towards achieving our goal of retaining power because the antecedents of the President do not support this approach. The Goodluck I know believes that no man’s blood is worth his success. The Goodluck I know believes in stooping to conquer; he has shown so much strength in weakness. The Goodluck I know has a large heart to carry both supporters and antagonists. The Goodluck I know


IR: Ever since I have been hearing of GSM operators in Nigeria illegally deducting charges and different network issues from subscribers, I have never been a part to such fraud until last week Friday, September 13. On that day, I called MTN customer care (180) from my MTN line and the voice at the other end that introduced herself as Amaka introduced a package to me called “MTN GOODY BAG”. She convinced me about the package and immediately, I opted

• Samuel Ogbuku

NCC must hear this!

Now, we have the old PDP and the New PDP. The New PDP led by Kawu Baraje is composed of Governor Rabiu Kwakwanso of Kano, Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers, Aliyu Babangida Muazu of Niger and Murtala Nyako, the Adamawa State governor. Their major grouse is about President Jonathan’s intention to run for the President in 2015. But, why the governors chose not to form a new party and seek for its registration baffles me. Members of a party who feel dissatisfied with how their party is run should defect to another party or form their own party. Rather, the new PDP is setting up new parallel offices across the country, thereby causing chaos. We are not unconscious of the stark fact that the PDP’s internal war is not about our welfare. Neither of the two PDPS can produce a visionary and incorruptible leader for us. We know the life-stories and antecedents of people who occupy the party’s top echelons. I would like the warring politicians to know that Nigeria is on the precipice now. So, we should not engage in acts that will make our country bowl over. The angry unemployed university graduates, the militants, kidnappers and the Boko Haram insurgents constitute combustible entity, whose anger can be sparked off by our leaders’ selfish acts. Do we know the anger of youth? Can we control it? An act of self-immolation by a poor deprived vegetable seller caused the Tunisian political upheaval. Instead of bickering and fighting over the 2015 general elections, our leaders should return to the business of governing this country. • Chiedu Uche Okoye Uruowulu-Obosi, Anambra State.

promised to call back and lodged the complaint on my behalf but she never did. I call on the appropriate authorities on behalf of other subscribers that are victims of such fraudulent acts by our GSM operators to please look into this matter as a matter of urgency even as I seek immediate reversal of my N750 credit by MTN as soon as possible. It was indeed MTN “Bad Bag” for me! • Bayo Eniasoro Ibadan




Lagos-Ibadan is a failed road; Dead Police; Air Force Museum; UNESCO Education; CBN


FTER five and half hours trying to get from Ibadan to Lagos on Saturday September 14, I can declare on behalf of travelling Nigerians that Tony the LAGOS IBADAN Marinho ROAD IS A FAILED ROAD and deserves EMERGENCY ONE WEEK REHABILITATION. Even though most Presidency bigwigs and National Assembly (NASS) members use helicopters and planes, the millions of fellow citizens who use the LagosIbadan road daily demand emergency repairs to their cars and the road. A powerful, good government can cause Julius Berger and RCC to employ thousands of unemployed Nigerians to fill the potholes on the road in one or two weeks if they have any love for Nigerians and sense of national pride and urgency. October 1, Nigeria@53 is around the corner. Government should make this an EMERGENCY GIFT to Nigeria. The Lagos-Ibadan former expressway is to be fully refurbished in 24-30 months with an Infrastructure Bank loan of N167b for the 127km road. Still too long, too slow. Intelligent advisers should advise the President that accolades come from opening the completed road. The President should further reduce this contract to six or 12 months to be completed in his present term to attract political kudos and paparazzi. After all, who knows tomorrow or 2015? Even politicians do not live forever and must act positively when they hold power. Already Governor Segun Agagu has sadly gone, may he Rest In Peace; who next? The President should care about the millions of citizens and 100,000 vehicles suffering on the former expressway daily? The celebrated release of human rights lawyer, Mike Ozekhome and the explanations of the motivation of the captors do not justify the execution of FOUR living souls from worth but not rich families, the police men! The released lawyer should attend the funerals of each dead policeman. He should then fight for better pay and conditions for police and better compensation for victims’ families. We, SAN lawyer and policemen are all equal in the sight of God. RACKING news and reporting or investigating them in Nigeria is fast becoming a cumbersome affair in a country where scandals unfold in unimaginable proportion every passing moment of the day. Once there is a news break, before you settle down to look carefully at the issues involved, another news break comes in to unsettle you. With the frequency and rapidity of news breaks in the country, the media world is facing a deluge of news items. The screaming headlines in our daily newspapers attest to this fact, as journalists engage in a rat race to undo one another in news coverage. Last Monday, a good number of senior journalists attended a oneday workshop on reporting financial crimes. The event took place in Abuja under the auspices of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC. Ibrahim Lamorde, the humble chairman of the EFCC, was on hand to declare the workshop open. So also were some of his henchmen-Osita Nwaja, deputy director, public affairs, and Wilson Uwujaren, acting head of media affairs unit, as well as many other operatives of the commission. Almost all the nation’s media houses newspapers, magazines, radio, TV were represented at the event. Papers were presented by eminent journalists in core areas of ethics, news reporting and investigations. Thereafter, the floor was thrown open for participants to ask questions. A number of issues bordering on free flow of information between the commission and news hunters were raised. While the journalists believed they were not getting enough, the commission explained that, in some cases, news is deliberately held back so as not to jeopardize their investigations. According to the commission, once the

Life is serious. Twenty-three killed in bridge disaster. Who will investigate the contractor and the ministry to exonerate them of corruption and incompetence in design and planning for flooding –it is, after all, a bridge? Which body will pay compensation to the victims? Folajomo Agunbiade, a student of Adekunle Ajasin University was shot in the head, for praying to God in tongues during an armed robbery that was not being resisted in her family home in Ibadan. Her mother is abroad trying to cater for her children. God knows that Folajomo is in heaven now but will that explanation comfort the family? A five-year old Nigerian had a limb amputated abroad because of bone cancer. I saw two children with sightless eyes from beatings in school and home. Another 10 killed this week in the ongoing Plateau Tiv and Berom farmFulani herder war, and we all still eat cow meat. Meanwhile politics seems more important. Shame! The proposed Air Force museum is better late than never, good. Ditto for museums for all other areas e.g. transport, and academic subjects. What happened to the Army museum? We know about the Yar’Adua Museum. Where is the Aviation Museum which we begged for as the aviation authorities destroyed old planes for teaspoons and petty cash instead of giving them to the top technology universities and polytechnics and to science and aeronautical support for education, people’s museums and exhibitions? The Air Force should involve ministries of education, technology and the sciences. So we need UNESCO and Gordon Brown to repeat what ASUU and all Education NGOs and unions and student bodies have been saying for 40 years, before government will listen at all levels? Gordon Brown offers more money to empower wayward corrupt governments; the same governments happily divert to corruption or other projects considered more important than children’s welfare and education. Again foreign money, like DFID’s, will help bail out corrupt Nigerian leadership. The less aid we get, the more Nigerian money will be spent correctly. Aid should be in the form of software, short stay, 1-3month scholarships and equipment. Another 23 killed at a collapsed bridge in Katsina. No different from the thousands killed in the North this year by cow-farm violence, ‘no western book’ violence, kidnap and

vehicle violence etc. Sorry, as you grieve, but look at the picture of the bridge disaster. Increasingly in the North, when we see pictures of collapsed roads, railways and bridges we see red laterite earth sometimes 20 feet deep but we see no stones, boulders, cement or iron rods supporting the laterite road. So once again the contractor, the supervising engineers, the ministries of works and finance must answer questions of culpability in these and other deaths. Rains sweep away weak, un-reinforced infrastructure. Who under-planned, underbudgeted, under-built the bridge and under-built the coupling to the immediate access structures which were dislocated from the bridge? Who has the names on the signatures on the documents? The COREN and the Nigerian Society of Civil Engineers and NGO civil rights groups need to do evaluation and soil checks just as forensic investigation is done with an air crash. Was the bridge poorly constructed for the expected rainfall? CBN boasts that Nigeria has the second highest African reserves. This is being economical with the truth or using creative financial accounting procedures. Did he tell you the population to funds ratio in the other countries ahead of Nigeria? Nigerians are being slapped and punched repeatedly.

‘Where is the Aviation Museum which we begged for as the aviation authorities destroyed old planes for teaspoons and petty cash instead of giving them to the top technology universities and polytechnics and to science and aeronautical support for education, people’s museums and exhibitions? The Air Force should involve ministries of education, technology and the sciences’

EFCC and other stories news gets to the public domain, those who could be targets of arrests easily go underground, while witnesses also get scared and may be unwilling to volunteer information to the agency. The decision of the commission to host the workshop underscores the importance which it attaches to the role of the media in the fight against corruption and economic crimes in the country. Just as Lamorde puts it, “Without a doubt, the media is a critical stakeholder in the anti-graft war. With your pen, you could make or (break) the fight against economic crimes and corruption … We need the media to help sensitize the people to the ills of corruption and economic crimes”. The chairman of the EFCC then used the occasion to correct the “notion that the commission is selective in investigating persons suspected of committing economic crimes; that only those who have fallen out of favour with the powers that be are touched by the commission; that the commission has gone to sleep” and all that. The chairman then went on to say that “even in the midst of contrary evidence, a section of the press has been so swayed by this stereotype that they are unwilling to shift their gaze”. “This”, according to him, “is sad”. “Corruption “, he said, “threatens all sectors, including the media. I expect the media to lend its investigative skills to helping the EFCC fight corruption and not allow itself to be sucked in by the corrupt and become a pawn in their hands to undermine the commission”. The take-home from the workshop is the fact that the media should exercise its constitutional mandate

‘Perhaps, it is not inappropriate to refer to the splinter group as rascals because what Nigeria needs now is the emergence of some rascals in the polity’

as the fourth estate of the realm with the highest sense of modesty and responsibility. All the speakers at the parley seemed to have agreed that to make meaningful impact on the anti-graft war in the country, the media must be very cautious in their coverage of economic crimes matters and ensure they verify their facts before publication. A number of publications on the war against corruption were freely given out by the EFCC at the workshop. One of them was a bulky magazine titled Zero Tolerance. Two days after the workshop, some of the contents of the magazine went viral in the media. As usual, former President Olusegun Obasanjo was widely quoted as throwing jabs at his former deputy, Atiku Abubakar, and the immediate past EFCC chairman, Farida Waziri. These have elicited serious controversy and debate in the polity. With both Atiku and Waziri up in arms against Obasanjo, the public is, once more, being treated to another season of accusations and counter-accusations, all bordering on corruption by major actors in our nation’s political history. As it is, the last may not have been heard in the last few years about what transpired in the corridors of power in the war on corruption and official sleaze. On the political turf itself, all is not well with our politicians, especially among the ranks of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party, PDP. A splinter group among the PDP, with about seven governors as arrowheads, now known as the New PDP or NPDP, is doing all that is possible to assert themselves in the political space. It is now a war between the old and the new PDP as the struggle for power in 2015 assumes a frightening dimension. In the meantime, all efforts by the NPDP to open offices in Abuja and the states have met with stiff resistance with the old PDP using the police as veritable weapons against

its perceived opponents. Offices have been barricaded by the police in Abuja and Port Harcourt. The climax was the prevention of Chibuike Amaechi and his guests from accessing the Government House in Port Harcourt last Thursday. In the meantime, Bamanga Tukur, the chairman of the old PDP, has continued to spit fire by referring to the members of the splinter group as rascals. Tukur is at the epicentre of the ongoing controversy over his style of leadership of the party since he took over as chairman. Perhaps, it is not inappropriate to refer to the splinter group as rascals because what Nigeria needs now is the emergence of some rascals in the polity. This is to invigorate the process of governance in the country. The political temperature in the country was further heightened in Warri, Delta State as the Itsekiri people gave their monarch, the Olu of Warri, an ultimatum to vacate the throne. This was predicated on the recent proclamation of the monarch renouncing the Ogiame title and other traditional rites being practised by the Itsekiri nation. The renunciation sparked off several protests with the indigenes barricading the palace of the monarch for several days. Not even the timely interventions of Emmanuel Uduaghan, the state governor, could sway the people. After four days of protest, the monarch capitulated, and rescinded his earlier decision to renounce the title. That is the triumph of people’s power and an indication that the people can no longer be trampled upon. This is a signal for people who are holding positions of authority either at the community, local government, state or national level to understand that they are doing so on behalf of the people and not vice-versa. Sovereignty belongs to the people and these powers must be exercised in conformity with the wishes of the

Dele Agekameh people. Not to terrorise them or impoverish them. Last Thursday, Mike Ozekhome, Senior Advocate of Nigeria who had been in kidnappers’ den for about 20 days, was set free. But this was not without paying a ransom, the value of which has not been properly laid in the public domain. It is indeed a sad commentary in our national life that a flourishing kidnap industry has taken over everywhere with people’s lives being endangered every day. Not only this. Millions of hard-earned money is also involved in the thriving and criminally lucrative business. It is sad that the country’s security agencies have not found an enduring solution to this epidemic, which is why many people tend to accuse some of them of connivance. However, the week ended on a sadder note as Olusegun Agagu, former governor of Ondo State, died in Lagos last Friday night. May the Lord grant Olufunke, his wife of many years, his children, family, his colony of friends and admirers the fortitude to bear this irreparable loss. His sudden death, once more, underscores the transience of life. May he find solace in the bosom of His creator. Amen. Send reactions to: 08058354382 (SMS only)



COMMENTS ‘The president is playing politics of reprisal, which is very dangerous to the survival of our democracy. Politics is about persuasion, not vengeance. There is no amount of explanation that will make the world believe the president about the sacked ministers. He fired them because they are loyal to the ‘New PDP’. If that is how the president plays his own politics, he should prepare for battle. The president has played into the hands of his enemies by listening to those sycophants around him. From Hamza Ozi Momoh, Apapa, Lagos’


Segun Gbadegesin The war within is a mere strategy by Atiku Abubakar and six or seven Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governors to get Jonathan out of the way for 2015 presidency. Whose interest is Atiku serving? The interest of the masses he failed, with Obasanjo for eight fruitless years. Atiku can fight the war within and destroy PDP, without realising that a parasite that thrives within a system and fights for the demise of that system, dies with the system. Of what good is it, if he wins the war within and loses the one outside? Nigerians are awaiting his account of stewardship as Vice President. A bad follower cannot and will never be a good leader. From Emma, Awka Nigerians are doomed if the faction called the New PDP takes over power to form government because it has nothing to offer. Look at its demands: 1. Mr. President should not recontest in 2015; meaning disregard constitutional principles. 2. EFCC should stop investigating us; meaning forget about good governance which strives on accountability. 3. Restore PDP structures in our states to us. 4. Remove PDP National Chairman; just for them to have more say and control in the party. It is all self-interest and nothing for Nigerians. From Evangelist Ubi Etowa, Director-General, Door to Door Group, CRS Thanks for that wonderful article. I commend you for that. But I think that some of our so-called politicians are not patrotic. I also think it goes beyond PDP or APC. What Nigeria needs is a good leader. Thanks! Anonymous Re: “The war within.” You have said it all. The crisis within the PDP should not be our problem except that since the war started, all governmental activities have suffered. Look at the plight of ordinary citizens who cannot make ends meet. They do not have access to potable water. There is no electricity to light up their homes. No decent educational facilities for their wards. Those in the rural areas are still defecating in the bush and, for the party in power, these do not bother them except infightings and intrigues. The Yoruba says: To be greater than someone is not a matter of quarelling; supremacy fight cannot be easily obliterated. So, let them continue to fight one another. APC is standing by to rescue Nigerians from the claws of wolves. What a shame! From Prince Adewumi Agunloye “The war within”. Well said! A party whose members are governed by the principle of personal gaim and egoism. If the party leader, President Goodluck Jonathan, had placed priority on PDP members over service to Nigerians, it may have been war outside; primarily, war with human rights activist. It is time for the media to welcome more comments as The Nation had done. The centre in PDP close circuit politics cannot hold, the egoism imploded and exploded, and now they have fallen apart, courtesy to Chinua Achebe of blessed memory. From Dickson Unogu, Warri I agree with you; they are warring only for their personal interests. I cannot wait for a revolution against this undemocratic democracy in Nigeria. From Opde Emmanuel, Port Harcourt “The war within” is highly informative. From Barr. Azikiwe O“The war within” is fantastic. PDP is a party for rascals. They lack radicals with good leadership endowment. A house divided

among itself must fall. From Chinedu, Delta State Segun, answer the Obasanjo’s question: Who is Boko Haram? (A) New PDP (B) Old PDP (C) Elderly Mediators (D) All of the above? From Ichie Uche I am really worried because Odili used our money to campaign in his attempt to become the President and now Amaechi from the same state within just 14 years and nobody is talking . Will anything be left for our kids? From Igonikon Just as you mentioned, the group has no intrest of the masses at heart. They are self seeking individuals whom on given circumstances would not be able to agree among themselves. Anonymous For Olatunji Dare “As the PDP implodes” is another phrase to proclaim the implosion of the presidency. The party preludes the presidency, which gives birth to the presidency. Without the party, the government cannot survive. From Alhaj Hon. ADEYCorsim, Oshodi, Lagos I want to ask: Is it the old or new PDP that will rule the country for 60 years? Anonymous Indeed, “The war within” is a fact. Tell them more. Anonymous You guys in the media are trying; calling a spade a spade. The dust is, indeed, gathering. Sooner or later it will spew emissions the effect of which can be disastrous. Woe unto them whose evil designs would wreak havoc. From Nse It is a pity that Jonathan has been unable to read between lines that Tukur, Asari Dokubo, Patience and hordes of others are doing more harm to his ego than good. I expected a wellread person like him to have a mind of his own. Jonathan, at times, blows hot, and in another fraction of a second he blows cold. How can a Ph.D holder continue to behave like that? He cannot call his wife to order nor help Tukur rein his tap-like tongue. Does he take Baraje and Oyinlola to be his school boys? He is hardening their hearts the more by his outbursts. Well, my prayer is that Jonathan should continue in this manner as Pharaoh did before his final fall. From F. T. Babatope, State Of Osun PDP is gone for good and the burial will hold soon, just watch out. Lastly, there’s a need for total cleansing of our country. From Noble, PortHarcourt Many thanks for your very articulate and research-oriented weekly column “At Home Abroad”. The article on PDP implosion is superlative and incomparable. Sir, do us an article on the criminal charges hanging on the necks of all PDP ex-governors, members of the National Assembly (NASS), Farouk Lawan, Hembe, ministersb and others now strutting about. I hope I am not asking too much. Regards. From Aghaobodo Oyem Esq, Asaba. You always speak my mind. I have no doubt Jonathan will be disgraced out of office. Remember what he did to Hon. Justice Salami? Keep up the goodwork. From Dan, Esq. Abuja In fact, the man saw defeat a long time ago. He is only looking for a scapegoat for his fall. He has forgotten the law of Karma. Anonymous I read your piece on Mr. President and his crew which I must say is the first and vivid comment on this show of shame and disgrace the so-called biggest party in Africa is going through. It proves right the saying that the people around a man make or mar him. The people around Jonathan are his curse and they will eventually bring him doom and put his name on the blacklist of Nigeria’s history. From Agu Daniel You are a prophet; all these will come to pass. Comparing the happenings now in Nigeria and the Bible is a good way of avoiding the impending disgrace that awaits

Jonathan in 2015. Those of us that suported him then will reject him vehemently. Anonymous I must concur with you but, it is rather unfortunate that ignorant fellows run political parties here. The conclusions of these struggles are certain: the PDP would be denied oxygen and Jonathan would have no platform to contest in 2015. Knowledgeable leaders must come to these conclusions also because with the general resentments against Jonathan and PDP— the people see Jonthan as Judas and Baraje group as the messiah. Nigerians should prepare for the emergence of a new president before 2015. These are the destinations of the present chaos. From Akin Malaolu Thanks for your article. Never mind, those who fail to learn from the lessons of history will live to regret it! They should be directed to read the book tiltled “The House Has Fallen” by Meyer. From Chris, Ilesa, Osun State The implosion of PDP as a party was long overdue. The party is made up of so many strange bedfellows. People who are selfish and self-centred. What we are witnessing is their lack of internal democracy, party discipline, and cohesion. But other political parties should be on the alert because they may bounce back and do what they know best – rigging. From Ojo A. Ayodele, Emure Ekiti When the horse has lost the will to move, the rider does not force a mechanical move. Of all the registered political parties in Nigeria, the one which came closest to fulfilling its promises - or lack of it – is the Peoples Democratic Party. The party had promised nothing. And that pretty much was what it delivered. Is Bamanga Tukur aware that a threat is merely a promisory note of retaliation, to be paid at some future date when one has the capability? Where is Vincent Ogbulafor, today? Despite its attractions to a ruthless leader, war has an obvious disadvantage: one side is liable to be utterly defeated and it might be his. The implosion of PDP was timely. From O. O. Adegoke, Ikhin, Edo State He who says injustice is his daily food will surely dwell in the cloud of injustice. Oyinlola connived with the presidency and removed Ayo Salami because he stood on justice. Now Oyinlola is crying wolf over the sealing off of their factional secretariat, do me I do you man no go vex. Both old and new PDP are birds of a feather. Tukur is talking from both sides of his mouth, believing that that the President loves him. The President will disgrace him even more than his predecessors. The president said no PDP no Nigeria, he is still living in the past. He will be disappointed unceremoneuosly. He is a day dreamer. From Hamza Ozi Momoh, Apapa, Lagos In 1975 at the peak of Gowon’s misrule, several writers offered free constructive advice to him but all fell on deaf ears. A lot has been said to Jonathan in the past one year but his wife and self conceited loyalists will not let him listen nor hear. Another begining of the end? From Tunde Opada, Eruku, Kwara State For Olakunle Abimbola I doubt it so much whether the political nincompoops go through these golden articles. Anyhow, history and posterity will vindicate you, with the unfolding turn of events. From Prince Sina Agunlejika The fear of APC is the beginning of crisis in PDP. From Gordon Chika Nnorom Re: “Of Rehoboam and Jonathan.” You are a very brilliant and loaded writer. I thirst after The Nation on Tuesdays. I just cannot stop reading this piece over and over. It is complete. But a prayer: PDP must ‘kaput’; whether Wike ‘wikes’, or Jang ‘jangles’. From Jimo Akeran, Igbesa, Ogun State Re:“Of Rehoboam And Jonathan”. I laughed

Strike Syria or preserve Assad so that he can hand in his weapon? Which one is for the interest of the people? Anonymous

•Obasanjo when I read that ‘...Jonathan appears to be the first Nigerian President voted out of power’. Sir, without mincing words, President Jonathan is not a wise ruler like the biblical Solomon. He is simply a disappointment. Unlike Ojukwu’s comment when the late sage, Chief Obafemi Awolowo passed on, Goodluck Jonathan would be the worst president Nigeria ever had. Watch it; he will soon be politically irrelevant. From Lekan Ajayi, Ibadan For Tunji Adegboyega Reacting to your piece in The Nation newspaper of September 17 on page 17, which you titled ‘The King’s goats’, particularly the aspect having to do with denying Governor Rotimi Amaechi access to Government House in Port Harcourt,, I want to advise you spend time and money to get the facts so as to avoid misinforming the public. Anonymous, Port Harcourt. Re: The king’s goats. The end remains the termination of a cinema show!. Whether the King’s goats or sheep, good governance is our requirement from the ‘king’. I am bothered less about the motive of relieving the nine ministers of their job. To me, that was a routine by all Nigerian previous leaders in the 36 states and the 774 local governments, including those that are yet to govern. Why? Changing or reshuffling in Nigeria is an erroneous index of performance. No matter the number of times reshuffle is done, and no matter for how long some ‘goats’ are kept or retained by the ‘king’, ‘We the people’ will eventually mark the scripts to determine his/their continued existence. From Lanre Oseni. Please tell me in which country has political party members asked the president not to run for a second term. Your paper should leave the president alone. Anonymous. The president is playing politics of reprisal, which is very dangerous to the survival of our democracy. Politics is about persuasion, not vengeance. There is no amount of explanation that will make the world believe the president about the sacked ministers. He fired them because they are loyal to the ‘New PDP’. If that is how the president plays his own politics, he should prepare for battle. The president has played into the hands of his enemies by listening to those sycophants around him. From Hamza Ozi Momoh, Apapa, Lagos. The cabinet reshuffle was long overdue, but was it done based on non-performance or as an agenda for 2015? I asked this question because some of the sacked ministers had performed so well to remain in office. They were taken out because of their association with the so-called ‘disloyal’ governors. There are some ministers that need to be sacked for not living up to expectations in spite of the resources at their disposal. We have taken it as a good step in the right direction for the president to take bold steps in his actions for cabinet reshuffle. From Gordon Chika Nnorom, Umukabia, Abia State. Tunji, the fact is that Jonathan has respected the ‘rebels’ so much. Atiku should know that he is under Jonathan today just as Jonathan was under him when he was vice president. Everybody in Nigeria is under him (Jonathan) today. All oracles, witches, wizards, marine powers, all are under him. So, they should allow him do his job. If they are fighting Mr. President, let him fight back, and stop siddon look’. Atiku could not control PDP in his ward. Anonymous.




Saro, the Musical going places

The Midweek Magazine E-mail:-

Text only: 08023058761

‘It’s tragic doctors are not taught traditional medicine’

– Page 27

Foundation lifts Lagos community – Page 28

‘Theatre redevelopment should be transparent’ – Page 38

•Prof Okpako




The Midweek Magazine


Renowned professor of Pharmacology Prof David Okpako is an ardent advocate of African culture and tradition. He believes that a return to Africa’s traditional philosophies is one sure solution to health challenges in Africa. In this interview with EVELYN OSAGIE, the don, who retired from the University of Ibadan (UI), speaks about his passion, how culture can stop infant mortality, save doctors and more.

‘It’s tragic doctors are not taught traditional medicine’


S a professor of pharmacology, why the advocacy on culture? Because I am, firstly, an African. And I believe Africa is blessed with rich cultural heritage that should not be relegated to background despite civilisation. There is the fear that with the current global ideological movement christened “globalisation”, if concrete action towards cultural preservation is not done, African traditional beliefs, including some languages, would go extinct… Completely! And that is the danger. What it means is that Africa would not have anything to contribute to world civilisation in years to come. Civilisation of the world, also known as globalisation, would only be seen in the eyes of the Europe and America; and theirs would be the only ones that would be important. That is the meaning of globalisation. Whereas we have very important ideas and concepts imbedded in our traditional beliefs and practices that should be explored for the world’s benefit. But that is not the case for long time now. See what the Asians are doing with their traditional beliefs and ideas: so much so that the world powers are going there for ideas. And this has been possible because such beliefs have been adopted into their national constitution and made into policies, and has become part of the national consciousness. Meanwhile, we, Africans whose culture and tradition are blessed with lots of scientific and philosophical ideologies that would benefit the world are relegating them to the background due to indoctrination, coupled with the current curriculum that have kept us down. These will continue to keep us from developing. What are you doing to change that? At the moment I am working on a book on Traditional African Medicine. In it, I am advocating for the promotion and scientific research and development of the Traditional African Medicine, which is my concern. And one of the very important things that would be coming out of that book is the way we are made to understand malaria disease and what it really is. Could you share a little of your thought with us with regards to culture? Culture is a body of knowledge. It is all encompassing, covering the total well-being of the African: body, mind and socially. And from it springs the Traditional African Medicine (TAM) that embodies a great wealth of knowledge of cures to many health problems. ‘Culture is a body of knowledge. It is all encompassing, covering the total well-being of the African: body, mind and socially. And from it springs the Traditional African Medicine (TAM) that embodies a wealth of knowledge of cures to many health problems. It is a tragedy that African doctors who are studying Modern Medicine are not taught anything about TAM. Whereas that ought to be the foundation of Medicine in Africa, because it evolves in Africa’s ecological, geographical and cultural area; so it is very relevant to the health of the Africans. But we ignore it. I once spoke with professors and advocates of Oral tradition, particularly oral literature, under the auspices of the Nigerian Oral Literature Association (NOLA). I said they must find a way to orientate the policymakers through their organisation, teaching and thinking to include this body of knowledge (culture) because it is very relevant to oral literature. It has all the complex ideas such as beliefs. Take divination for example, people who have not thought seriously about divination would think that it was nonsense or a demonic thing; whereas divination in TAM is very similar to diagnosis in Modern Medicine. Divination is a diagnostic mechanism just like diagnosis is: it is a way of finding out what is wrong with a patient just like you now find some computers screening the body. In Medicine, they are using Science and Technology to do diagnosis, but in TAM, they are using divination. It is a complex process, but it is trying to find out the same thing: you are going beyond what common sense can deduce to something that is beyond common sense. So, in both systems, they are doing the same thing. But people who do not understand divination would turn round and say it is demonic, irrational and superstitious. Does such attitude have any effect on development? It is this misunderstanding that we must conquer because these things are very relevant to the self-knowledge and self-worth of the African. If what our ancestor, ancestors

•From left: Prof Okpako, Emeritus Prof Ebiegberi Alagoa of University of Port Harcourt (UNIPORT) and President of

NOLA, Prof G. G. Darah

handed to us is relegated as rubbish, it means we are not worth much. How can such misconceptions be changed? There is need for a re-orientation at all spheres. And the onus is on scholars, beyond those lecturing or researching into oral literature or cultural studies, to put these philosophies and belief systems into practical terms and theories that would give for intellectual exercise. What I have said on Africa’s self-worth and TAM are reflections of what I have been thinking all these years as I taught Pharmacology. I think they should go beyond their current and curricular dictate to researching and producing intellectual materials from the African perspective that would promote this ancient medical knowledge; because oftentimes we are driven to look at ourselves from the Europeans perspective. They came here, saw what we were doing and couldn’t understand it and then, labelled it “superstition” and “irrational”. And nowadays, they say it is “demonic”. So, it is really up to us as scholars and government to turn this clock around and re-orientate ourselves. So that we are proud of what we have and do not just follow what others have said about us. The African thoughts and beliefs do not separate religion from science, in this case, medicine. You cannot talk about somebody’s health without involving religion or religious beliefs. And Western Science and Medicine tries to dichotomies and separate religion from science; whereas in TAM, both are combined. And that is why they say it is demonic because there is religion in African Thought when talking about Medicine. In fact, Western Medicine is now coming round to the idea that the mind and the body are linked and what goes on in the mind (your emotions) can affect your health which is what TAM is all about. It posits that when you have a serious illness, the origin is in the emotion and that is why they have all these rituals, incantations and divinations, etc. which are meant to diffuse emotional stress. It is very meaningful, rational and very important and Western Medicine is coming round to it now. What can the government do to re-orientate the masses? Firstly and most importantly, they should change the National Curriculum. In fact, our whole Educational Curriculum must be changed – from primary school to university –

‘Culture is a body of knowledge. It is all encompassing, covering the total well-being of the African: body, mind and socially. And from it springs the Traditional African Medicine (TAM) that embodies a wealth of knowledge of cures to many health problems. It is a tragedy that African doctors who are studying Modern Medicine are not taught anything about TAM’

so that these indoctrinations that we have suffered from the colonial period which is still part of our educational system today should be done away with. That would help to release people, starting from an early age, so that they know that our past as Africans was honourable and rational. You would notice that some of the ideas that now form Modern Medicine and those that constitute some of the religions that they have brought back to us originated from Africa. Like which one? Let’s not go into that. That is a very big subject. The whole curriculum should be changed. At the moment our children go to school is as if their brains are blank – like a blank slate. This is because the knowledge they first acquired at home is ignored. Aside the government the onus is also on parents and guardians to return to their roots. Most Africans are no longer of the traditional stock, that is to say, second, third generation are thoroughly Christians or thoroughly Muslims and they teach their children such. But we have to go beyond that. Even though you may be Christians or Muslims, it doesn’t mean that the remnants of traditional African culture are not in your system. You may fight every inch of the way to say that you are now a Christian or Muslim and that you are saved by “Jesus Christ” or “Mohammed”, but deep down the remnants of African culture and the beliefs are there. Sometimes, one is forced to think that the beliefs in the existence of the devil, witchcraft are also what drive some Christianity and Islam. So, what religion do you practise? Are you still a Christian or Muslim? Laughs (Silence) it is not about my religion. What I am saying is we should re-orientate ourselves. The change must come through the curriculum, if we must carry the young along in this move of self-realisation since it is what they used to indoctrinate us. And with regards to Medicine, my area of interest, they should change the Medical Curriculum so that it would include elements of TAM for doctors, pharmacists and nurses. And there are two main reasons for doing it. One, today, many hospital patients are traditional Africans with the beliefs that we are talking about. If something is wrong with an African, there is the idea that either somebody else is responsible, witchcraft or ancestors who are angry with them and so on. They may say you do not belieVE in such but in reality they do. And they come into hospitals with those ideas at the back of their mind. I think it would be better for the doctors, pharmacists and nurses to understand where the patient is coming from in order to be able to help them; even if it is just to be able to communicate with them, but we ignore it. So, the patients come, and in some cases, while the patient is in the hospital, his/her relative(s) are consulting diviners and babalawos. Sometimes, they even smuggle such medicines into hospital without the doctors knowing. So in order to bring everything into the open, the TAM should be included in the curriculum. You mentioned that your book would change the way we understand malaria; how so? We are told that the only way to deal with malaria which we suffer from time to time, is the prescription handed •Continued on page 27



The Midweek Magazine


Oyadiran is dead


ENOWNED artist and one of the doyens of indigenous modern art, Mr Benjamin Olabode Oyadiran, 83, is dead. Pa Oyadirna, who died on July 16, was among the first set trained graduate artists at the Ahmadu Bello University (UBA), Zaria. He was born to the late Pastor Afolabi and late Eesuola Oyadiran, on June 18, 1930, in Fiditi, Oyo State. He graduated from ABU in 1963 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Fine Arts, before he got his Postgraduate Certificate in Art Education in 1964. He taught at the Ogbomosho Grammar School, Ogbomosho. He is survived by his beloved wife, Ebunlomo, five children and grandchildren. Oyadiran, a consummate artist, passionate Africanist and a seasoned art teacher taught his children, nephews and nieces how to live a Christian life by example. Even after his retirement from teaching, he was not tired of his first love-fine art-given the frenetic pace of his drawings, paintings, exhibitions and essays in his last days. He made a big difference in the lives of his students. He will be missed by all who met and knew him. Besides teaching, he was an active member of Zion Baptist Church, Sagbe, Ibadan and Ebenezer Baptist Church, Fiditi. He was the first president of Fiditi Students Union. He was also a member of the Esquire Club and Oredegbe Clubs, Fiditi, Oyo State. His remains will buried at 10am Friday, September 20 at his hometown.

•Cast of Saro in a performance at Terra Kulture

Saro, the Musical going places


OME prominent arts enthusiasts has been treated to an exciting preview of Nigeria’s first indigenous music drama, Saro, the Musical at Terra Kulture, Victoria Island, Lagos. Leading the pack was Lagos State Commissioner f or Culture and Inter-Governmental Affairs, Mr. Disu Holloway, renowned actress, Taiwo Ajayi-Lycett, Joke Silver, culture advocate, journalist and impresario, Mr Ben Tomoloju, Tuface Idibia, and Prof. Ahmed Yerima of the Redeemer University. Saro is a story of four young men who came to Lagos in search of a better life. It is a story of hope. It is also a story about love and jealousy.There is a 75-man cast composed of a 25-man orchestra and other actors. The first three scenes depict a typical example of what a non-Lagosian experiences when he arrives in the city. Executive producer of Saro, The Musical Mrs Bolanle AustenPeters who envisioned the project said that until recently, music drama has been imported to Nigeria. She said that the play is created to cause an effectively music drama revolution in a production accompanied with a lot of effects that is conceived to compete favourably with America’s Broadway Musicals. She said the production of the play started in the last three months, and she wrote the story with the help of two script writers. She said that she was amazed at the quality of people that came forth after the audition. Mrs Austen-Peters said she and some organsations like Terra culture were able to pull the project through. She said that because she realised that when she called for sponsorship from corperate bodies, they hesitated but these organsations will pay one million dollars to bring a foreign act. “Every day we gather to rehearse, about 70 people have to be catered for; from feeding to transport fair. Theatre performances cannot go far if you do not have the right facilities in place,” she said. She said that corporate organisations need to support the

By Chinasa Ekekwe

PHILANTROPY project so that at one point, the play would be shown outside the country. Prof. Yerima said while watching the play, he remebered when he was still performing on stage, adding that it was a wondeful piece. Mr Holloway disclosed that the Lagos State government is doing its best to support the art. He said the play was well timed, noting that Lagosians are too busy running after so many things thereby forgetting that they needed to contribute to the growth of the city by supporting projects like this. Mrs Ajai-Lycett, who lamented the poor funding of art described the project as a welcome development. In her words, “I hope that Nigerians are going to have more of this. Africa culture is very large and it makes Africans have a lot of story to tell.Nigeria taught the world how to dance. This drama will help the audience to have a re-think about the happenings in the society.The government and the people will have to do something about it. After showing Lagosians the mirror of their lives, we should ask these questions of how can we take a step forward. How can we support more of the art?” she said. Founder of EbonyTV, Mosunmola Abudu said the play is a reflection of the society, noting that it shows that a lot of work needs to be done to change the ills in the society. The two directors of the play are Gbenga Yusuf and Kenneth Uphophoso. Technical Director (Lights and Sound), Teju Kareem (Zmirage) and Music Director, Ayo Ajayi (MUSON Centre). The cast parades other reputable names including Kemi Lala Akindoju, Paul Alumona, Linda Anumba Nwanneka, Eferoghene Awusa, William Benson, Okafor Francis Chibuzor, Awele Dekpe, Patrick Diabuah, Adesuwa Etomi and Anthony Offiong Edet, among others.

‘It’s tragic doctors are not taught traditional medicine’ •Continued from page 26

down by World Health Organisation (WHO): take powerful drugs to kill the parasite and sleep under an insecticide net. The question we should be asking ourselves is: “How did Africa people survive Malaria” from the beginning of time before the coming of the Europeans only about 500 years ago. When they came, Africans were bubbling with humanity. And it was because of this fact that they began the slave trade. If Africa was devastated by malaria, they would not have started the slave trade that went on for over 300 years. So, how did we survive? We survived it because we have protective adaptation against malaria parasite. We have the genetic adaptation: this means that most adult Africans have either the AS or AA or they have the Glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase deficiency (G6PD), an enzyme, in which if it is not in your system then you are protected from malaria. If you combine those elements, you will find why a large number of Africans do not die of malaria. They would suffer from it but it would be like fever. But experts say malaria is one of the major causes of child mortality in children below five years… Yes, if we come to children, it is a separate issue which I

would come back to later. But still on the adults, there are also herbs that protect them from malaria. You’ll notice I did not say “were” because the herbs still exist today. If a person is already partially immune to malaria and get the fever, you can treat him/her with herbal remedy. The remedy doesn’t kill the parasite but cures the fever. When you cure the fever, the person recovers and that is how we survived malaria. When it comes to children, traditional African children were fed entirely on breast milk continuously, sometimes for more than a year; there was no formula. And that was how the children survived because if you feed your infants entirely on breast milk, they would not get malaria. They may get the bite but the parasite would not grow and would not survive. You can take my word for it because there is a lot of scientific evidence to this. But WHO comes along and does not refer to any of this. It just says: “buy the drug, buy the insecticideimpregnated net”, which they sell to us and we buy at great cost. Now they have terrified Nigerians to the extent that if people have fever, without even finding out if it is malaria, they rush to buy artemisinin-based combination therapy (ACT). It is very expensive and very difficult to take. This is why I say there must be a re-orientation where we are allowed to look inward at solving our own problems, especially medically, from indigenous knowledge and traditional point of view.


Excitement greets NNLG’s shortlist By Evelyn Osagie


HREE authors have been shortlisted for the Nigeria Prize for Literature. The authors are Tade Ipadeola (The Sahara Testaments), Amu Nnadi (Through the Window of a Sandcastle) and Promise Ogochukwu (Wild Letters). According to a statement signed by Nigeria LNG Limited, General Manager, External Relations, Kudo Eresia-Eke, the three have been approved by the Advisory Board. They were drawn from the initial shortlist of 11 that the works included the Association of Nigerian Authors (ANA), Prof Remi Raji and Iquo Eke, among others. The announcement by the prize’s sponsor, the Nigeria LNG Limited, on Monday has further heightened the excitement of book lovers given the no-winner history of the poetry category. The Nigeria Prize for Literature rotates yearly among four literary genres: prose fiction, poetry, drama and children’s literature. This year’s prize is for poetry and comes with a prize of $100, 000. Next year is drama. A total of 201 books were submitted this year for the prize. According to the Chairman of the Advisory Board, Emeritus Prof Ayo Banjo, the eventual winner of the competition will be announced at a World Press Conference on October 9. This year’s panel of judges is chaired by former president of the Nigerian Academy of Letters Prof Romanus Egudu. Other members of the panel are Prof. Omolara Ogundipe of the Department of English, University of Port Harcourt, Rivers State and Dr. Andrew Aba of the Department of English, Benue State University, Makurdi, Benue State.



The Midweek Magazine


•From left: Mrs Oguchi, Tolu, Adesida and Mrs Olukoju

•The new toilet by LOTS and Sahara Group Limited

Foundation lifts Lagos community


HE sun shone brightly in the morning sky over Ajegunle, a Lagos suburb. The weather was just right for celebration. All roads led to an area in Ajegunle, popularly christened “Dustbin Estate”. It was day the first modern public convience in the community, donated by LOTS Charity Foundation under the sponsorship of Sahara Group Limited, was unveiled. It came as a welcome development by residents. As visitors rode into the community, the sights and smell of stench hit hard at their noses. Kids scampered into the streets unhindered not minding the horns of bikes and cars passing by. As the visitors went deeper into the place, they met other shockers. It was not only littered with refuse, the debris seems to form a major building component in the area. Behind the community is an array of makeshift toilets made from zinc and wood (without any roofing), line-up along the canal. As bizarre as they seem, those structures serve as bathroom and toilet to more than 10,000 families, it was learnt. For years, most residents, like Godwin James, who live there with his parents and siblings, resulted to free-ranged system where human wastes were disposed indiscriminately - oftentimes into the canal. And because the place is set on filth, contractorsobserved that it is hard to sink a water system convenience. Hence, it is expensive to build. Scared of the cost, despite it is unhygienic, the makeshift structures came as an easy way out for landlords and tenants in the area. “Although we have some block houses with toilets that have water-system, they are few. Even though people may not like it, they have no choice, that is why they, including myself, bath and ease ourselves there,” Godwin, who has lived all his life in the place, said. Given the chance, he said, he would have


•Donate toilet to Dustbin Estate By Evelyn Osagie

PHILANTROPHY wished it away. However, like a large cross, hanging on his neck and threatening to suffocate him, he is struggling to survive amid abject poverty and squalor. “We are really suffering here. Everywhere you turn is poverty. From the day one is born, it has been struggle all the way,” Godwin, who is in his 20s, lamented. His tale of woe is the same with many at an area in Ajegunle, popularly christened “Dustbin Estate”, where debris forms a major building component. But Godwin has remained undaunted. The vagaries of life have not only made him street-wise but also creative. “We may be poor but we are not thieves,” he said. “We have talents but nobody to sponsor us. The challenges of life have made us wise; and because we have nobody to turn to we devise creative ways of doing things. Although there might be some who are not decent here, it should not be used to qualify us because you have bad people everywhere, including in VGC. If we have help we would do better,” he added. Despite growing up in heart of “Dustbin Estate”, Godwin is determined to make something out of life. Hence, he is finding creative ways of surviving. To make his life better, sometimes he is into bricklaying; at other times he works as a labourer or as a clearing and forwarding agent. His being creative soon paid off. He was one of the local hands used to build the modern public toilet, consisting of five toilets and five bathrooms. In fact, he was the one that dug out the debries to give room for the foundation, he told The Nation with pride, alongside other jobs.

Aside Godwin, the leaders and other residents said it came as a welcome development for the community. While noting that there has never been any like it before, the Chairman, Community Landlord Association, Raufu Olaiya, said it is an eyeopener to the leaders on what ought to have been done. He said: “This toilet has brought progress to this community because it is the first of its kind. Now, it has set an example for us leaders in the community, which we also need to build such in our homes. We would call a general meeting of tenants and landlords on its maintenance. We would teach our people how to use it. There would be strict monitoring by the community because if the builders/sponsor sees that after two/three years the community is still maintaining it they would want to do more. We would ensure we keep the environment clean and facility safe. We thank LOTS and its sponsors for their efforts.” The project took three years to plan and a month and some weeks to build, according to LOTS. According to LOTS founder, Miss Tolu Sangosanya, it was inspired by the complaints of the children the foundation is caring for in the area. Ironically, it was initially opposed by some members of the community. “Ï found that the problem of Nigeria is not just the leadership but the people. I learnt that for change to happen, everything that people do not understand, they would fight - even if it is for their own good. It took some convincing through creating awareness on the benefits of using water system as against using chamber pots, paper or nylon and throwing it into the canal,” she said. Although it was challenging putting the project together, LOTS founder, Miss Tolu

Jonathan approves National Parks Service as para-military organisation

RESIDENT Goodluck Jonathan has approved the classification of National Parks Service as a para-military organisation with effect from January next year. By this approval, Nigeria’s National Park Service will now be at par with global practise. Disclosing this to journalits in Oyo town, the Director and Conservator of Old Oyo National Park, Mallam Ibrahim Goni said the move is a giant stride in the transformation agenda of President Jonathanled administration in the area of environment by placing premium on it at the front burner. ‘’ It is also an impetus to wildlife conservation and ecology tourism in the country. The approval involves the implementation of the consolidated para-military salary structure for staff, the uniforms, ranks, and structure of staff of the Service.’’ Goni explained that as in most other African countries, the foremost threat to the

From Bode Durojaiye, Oyo

TOURISM continued survival and development of National Parks in Nigeria is adverse human factors. These factors, according to him range from poaching, cattle-grazing and encroachments for farming to policy flipflops by policy makers. ‘’ Starting from their origins as games reserves, these National Parks have experienced intense tug of war with hunters and other violators who have been determined to have their way in these protected sites. For instance, between January to date at Old Oyo National Park alone, a total of eighty suspects were arrested. They included fifty- four grazers, seventeen hunters, four timber- loggers, four charcoal extractors, and one honey tapper.’’ The first National Park ever created in

Nigeria under the provision of the Act of 1979 was Kainji Lake in Niger State. Following the footsteps of former Military Head of State, rtd General Olusegun Obasanjo, his successor, Ibrahim Babangida’s administration revoked Kainji Lake National Park’s law and replaced it with Decree 36 of 1991, establishing five National Parks, Chad- Basin, Cross-River, Gashaka- Gunti, Kainji Lake and Old Oyo National Parks. In 1993, Bauchi State Government created a games reserve known as Yankari, but was later upgrade to National Park status by the then Federal Military Government with Decree 36 of 1993. The National parks Service saw an appreciation in their budget that year and was directed by the government to recommend two additional conservation sites for funding. Thus, Kamuku and Okomu were added to the six existing ones, bringing the number of National Parka in the country to eight.

Sangosanya said, it was a long-awaited dream, adding that it is in line with LOTS treasure housing project meant to give the people in the area a better lease of life. “We dreamt about it and it is done through the help of Sahara Group, sponsors of the project. Now our children at LOTS and their parents who live in the area can have a hygienic start off the day. This shows we can change the face of this country if we put our hearts to it. We hold development in our hands and we can make it happen at LOTS. However, it was not easy. Even with what we've provided right now, which is five toilets and five bathrooms, it cannot cater for all the community because you have over 10000 people living here. Most of the structures accommodate 10 families with about five people in each, so in a building you have about 50 people. If you multiply that by the number of house which is more than 200, using 200 as a peg you would have about 10,000 people already so, you are talking about over 100000 families would need to have water system toilet build for them which would need a lot of funds and commitment. But as I have always said: Start where your hand is and continue to build. LOTS can only do the best that we can with the help of Sahara Group Limited; but there is room for others, including individuals, charities, corporate organisation and, especially the government to do more. ” According to Corporate and Social Responsibility (CSR) Manager, Sahara Group Limited, Mr Babatomiwa Adesida, the project is part of its CSR. He said the firm has been in partnership with foundation for a long time, adding that they are happy to put smiles on the faces of the people in the community. At the event were Financial Controller Sahara Energy Resource Ltd, Mrs Olubunmi Olukoju and Corporate and Social Responsibility (CSR) supervisors Mr Olasoji Fagbola and Mrs Nkemdilim Oguchi, among others.


Piano and Drums By Felicia Onah

When at break of day at a riverside, I hear jungle drums, Telegraphing the mystic rhythm, Urgent, raw like bleeding flesh, Speaking of primal youth and the beginning, I see the panther ready to pounce, The leopard snarling about to lead, And the hunters crouch with spears poised.





Forecasts Niger Insurance Gross Premium - N2.73b Profit after tax - N212.95m Mutual Benefits Gross Premium - N2b Profit - N885.633m Regency Alliance Gross Premium – N812.596m Profit after tax – N256.437m Learn Africa Turnover - N1.06b Profit after tax - N58.336m Total Nigeria Turnover - N46.676 b Profit after tax - N942.1m MRS Oil Nigeria Turnover - N51.20b Profit after tax - N712 m Eterna Turnover - N27.64b Profit after tax - N563.834m Okomu Oil Palm Turnover - N2.667b Profit after tax - N1.044b Stanbic/IBTC Bank Net operating income N16.805b Profit after tax - N2.737b ASL Turnover - N1.084b Profit after tax - N101.355m GT Assurance Gross Premium - N3.892b Profit after tax - N710.62m Cornerstone Insurance Gross Premium - N1.223b Profit after tax - N80.01m Oasis Insurance Gross Premium N562.500m Profit after tax - N79.868m African Alliance INS Gross Premium - N1.215b Profit after tax - N107.213m Berger Paints Turnover - N976.303m Profit after tax - N88.258m SCOA Nigeria Turnover - N835.0m Profit after tax - N18.200m Dangote Sugar Refinery Turnover - N38.251b Profit after tax - N3.49b Studio Press Nig. Turnover - N3.375b Profit after tax - N20.422m Julius Berger Nig. Turnover - N80.125b Profit after tax - N2.55b Intercontinental Wapic Ins Gross Premium - N1.41b Profit after tax - N250.450m Equity Assurance Gross Premium - N2.45b Profit after tax - N287.283m Standard Alliance Insurance Gross Premium - N2.142b Profit after tax - N475.964m Continental Reinsurance Gross Premium - N6.917b Profit after tax - N805m PRESCO Turnover - N2.60b Profit after tax - N800.9m RT Briscoe Turnover - N4.553b

29 NLNG is one of the biggest success stories in our country. From what I am told, the company has invested $13 billion so far since inception, and has become a pacesetter in terms of revenue generation for the government. -Minister of Trade and Investment, Dr Olusegun Aganga

Banks groan under regulatory costs, B tight cost-income ratio ANKS’ profits may decline and investors’ returns on banking stocks may shrink as banks struggle to cope with increasing regulatory costs and cost-to-income ratio. Highly placed banking sources said the pronounced industry-wide decline in profitability of banks was due to cost headwinds due to the twin factors of high regulatory costs and diminishing incomes from constrained loan assets. The sources said regulatory costs will spiral further in the months ahead, raising further limitation against banks’ profits. Half-year reports of banks for the period ended June 30, 2013 showed generally growths in incomes and profits, with significant declines in margins across the tiers. Guaranty Trust Bank recorded 9.4 per cent increase in gross earnings while profit

By Taofik Salako

before tax inched up by 7.0 per cent. Zenith Bank recorded pre-tax profit growth of 8.0 per cent on 13 per cent increase in total income. In one of the worst performances, Access Bank’s gross earnings dropped by five per cent while profit before tax declined by 14 per cent. A management source in a first-tier bank said the industry’s performance was constrained by cost push due to increase in regulatory costs related to the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) and Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC). The sources agreed that the

operating environment for banks has become tough with high costs amidst streamlined income streams forcing banks to fall back on internal cost management to sustain modest profit. Another source said banks’ margins were also under regulatory pressures due to recent policy changes by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) with a cautionary note that the possibility is that the operating environment would become tougher all through the remaining months of the year and beyond. The source said regulatory costs could rise further with the apex bank’s expansion of the 0.5 per cent levy payable

to AMCON to cover 33 per cent of off balance sheet items, with effect from January 2014. In one of the banks’ reports, regulatory costs were reported to have grown by about 45 per cent to become more dominant in the total operating expenses. According to a report, AMCON levy particularly rose by more than 77 per cent while the NDIC’s increased by 17.0 per cent. Besides, banks are faced with cumulated effect of reductions in several income streams. With the onset of CBN’s Revised Guide to bank Charges, banks can only charge a maximum of N3 per mille as Commission on

Turnover (COT) as against N5 per mille banks used to charge. Under the guide, the COT is expected to be reduced to N2 per mille in 2014, N1 per mille in 2-015 and then in 2016, COT will be removed. The apex bank has also removed charges on Automated Teller Machine (ATM) transactions. Besides, the new guide to bank charges now requires fees previously charged periodically over the life of a loan transaction to be charged as a one-off cost throughout the life of the facility, subject to the terms of agreement. This implies that banks will only be able to charge management fees only on new loans created during a period unlike in previous scenario where they used to charge fees periodically on subsisting transactions.

NAICOM okays UBA, others 2012 result By Omobola Tolu-Kusimo


OUR insurance firms have met the requirement of the International Financial Reporting Standard on their 2012 financial result and have got approval of the regulatory authority, the National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) on the result. The firms are Crusader General Insurance Ltd, Crusader Life Insurance Ltd, UBA Metropolitan Life Insurance Company and Zenith Insurance Company Ltd. This was revealed in the Submission Status of 2012 Financial Statement of Insurance Companies as at September 12, 2013 by NAICOM and obtained by The Nation over the weekend. The underwriting firms joined the league of nine companies that have crossed the regulatory hurdle and are IFRS compliant. According to the report, 22 out of the 57 insurance companies are yet to submit while 22 have submitted and are at various levels of getting the commission’s approval. The defaulting firms that are yet to submit their report risk cancellation of their operating licences,according to Section 26 of the Insurance Act, 2003. Earlier, Crusader General Insurance and Crusader Life merged with Custodian and Allied Insurance.

•From left: National President, Nigerian Institute of Management (NIM), Dr Michael Adewale-Cole, welcoming Head of Civil Service of the Federation, Alhaji Bukar Aji, at yearly National Management conference of NIM in Uyo, the Akwa Ibom State capital ... on Monday.

Cleared cheques in Lagos drop by 10.33% to N2tr


HE volume of cheques cleared in Lagos dropped by 10.33 per cent to N2.17 trillion in August. This is against the N2.42 trillion recorded in July, the Managing Director, Financial Derivatives Company (FDC) Limited, Bismarck Rewane, has said. Rewane, who disclosed this at this month’s Business Breakfast Meeting of the Lagos Business School, attributed the decline to Central Bank of Nigeria’s (CBN’s) N150,000 restriction on third party cheques. He said the policy has an impact on transactional trend, adding that further decline is expected in future. The policy, which became ef-

• CRR impact to wear off by Q3 By Collins Nweze

fective from June 1, 2013, places a N150,000 limit on all over-the-counter cheque withdrawals involving third parties in commercial banks, microfinance banks and Primary Mortgage Institutions (PMIs) nationwide. Before that date, the policy was only applicable to Lagos. Rewane also said the impact of the Cash Reserve Ratio (CRR) on public sector funds will begin to wane in the third quarter, adding that the Federation allocation fund disbursed remained relatively unchanged at N715 billion, but N240 billion was sterilised at the CBN due to

Banks to grow lending Industrial, ethical stocks lead by 20% market returns - P 30 - P32

the CRR policy which took effect from August 7. The implication, he said, was that only N478 billion was actually shared among the three tiers of government, while money supply declined to N14.81 trillion, which is five per cent lower than the N15.59 trillion recorded in previous month. Rewane said the figure is the lowest this year, with the decline attributed to the 1.2 per cent and 10 per cent decline in net foreign assets and net domestic credit respectively. He said the monetary policy is expected to remain contractionary when the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meets this month,

stressing that the CBN Governor, Sanusi Lamido is committed to protecting the value of the naira. “There is no going back for Sanusi in his resolve to maintain the value of the naira. He has resisted the urge to devalue the naira despite the exchange rate trading outside the CBN’s target band of N150 to N160 to a dollar,” he said, adding that the management of monetary policy will remain a major subject of discussion as Sanusi leaves in 2014. However, interest rates have remained high and volatile, even as the MPC is expected to keep all rates and variables unchanged. He sees a further drop in external reserves to $44 billion.

Shippers, terminal operators resolve feud - P34




MasterCard, Visa bicker over control of M e-payment market ASTERCARD and Visa, globally acclaimed payment solutions firms, are at war over which of them controls Nigeria’s e-payment market. The third operator, Interswitch, a local card firm and owner of Verve cards, is seen as the underdog, The Nation has learnt. The Middle East and Africa region, which includes Nigeria, remains one of the world’s fastest growing e-payment markets, especially after the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) introduced cash-less banking, a policy that has increased the volume of e-transactions in the country. To gain upper-hand in the market share, both firms have engaged in high-level staff poaching, including incursion into top management positions. MasterCard and Visa have also established their Nigerian offices, and engaged in direct marketing of their products. This contradicted earlier strategy when both depended more on their competitors, such as Interswitch and Unified Payments (formerly ValuCard) to act as processor for their respective cards. MasterCard has also set ambitious targets for Nigeria, including a planned issuance of 13 million cards, which would also act as identity documents. Also, the firm has appointment Aaron Oliver as Head of Emerging

Stories by Collins Nweze

Payments for the Middle East and Africa (MEA). Oliver joined MasterCard from Visa where he was Senior Business Leader, Mobile Money – Asia Pacific, and was responsible for securing key customers for mobile money projects, besides leading the integration of Fundamo with CyberSource. MasterCard said he will be responsible for introducing and managing Emerging Payment products to meet the evolving needs of consumers and effectively support its future growth in the region. Oliver’s appointment is coming at a time that Kamran Siddiqi, Visa’s Group Executive, Central and Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa, is in Nigeria meeting with key operators in the e-payment market, especially banks and other financial institutions, including agents. “Nigeria is a very important market for us. It is exciting for me to be here to support the progress Visa has made in driving financial inclusion and making e-payments more accessible to everyone everywhere,” Siddiqi said. Head,Group Marketing Interswitch Nigeria, Enyioma

Anaba admitted in a telephone interview that competition in the sector is fierce, but said her firm is competing favourably. Acording to her, Interswitch remains a dorminant player in the Nigerian card market, having issued more than 20 million cards. But analysts said the firm needs to do more work to remain relevant with the coming of MasterCard and Visa. The Nation’s findings showed that MasterCard’s plans to capture a greater market share in Nigeria may have affected its partnership deal with Interswitch on a strategic co-brand debit card. Although Anaba said the partnership is working, findings showed that only two banks, Skye Bank and Unity Bank, are issuing the joint MasterCard Verve card to their customers. The plan was that MasterCard Verve project would enable cardholders to enjoy combined benefits of both products. However, Interswitch said it has struck a fresh deal with China UnionPay International. The firm said it has also completed an acceptance and is acquiring third

party payment processing integration with the Chinese firm. The deal will allow UnionPay cardholders to use their cards at more than 70,000 merchants, make payments and withdraw cash from more than 11,000 Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) across Interswitch partner banks in Nigeria, Uganda and very soon, in The Gambia. “The agreement marks the start of a strategic partnership between Interswitch and UnionPay and opens an e-payments corridor linking Nigeria and China,” Interswitch said in a statement on its website. Group Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Interswitch Transnational, Mr Mitchell Elegbe, said UnionPay cardholders have more convenient access to their money through the Interswitch network when they visit Nigeria. “Nigerian banks will benefit from


increased transactions from UnionPay cardholders using their ATMs and Point of Sale (PoS) infrastructure, while merchants will benefit from increased sales from a larger pool of cardholders,” he added.

Nigeria leads South Africa, Angola on $40.6b FDI


OREIGN Direct Investment (FDI) inflows to Nigeria, South Africa and Angola may average $40.6 billion yearly over the next five years, a report by Ernst & Young, global accounting firm has said. It polled 505 global executives, and 60 per cent said their perception of Africa as a business destination had improved over the past three years. Nearly three quarters said they believed Africa would become more attractive to potential investors over the next three years. A report on global capital inflows, said as African oil and mineral reserves draw investors from emerging and developed markets. Around a quarter of a million new jobs are likely to be created in the three countries as a result. It was noted that majority of the foreign investors are targeting the Nigerian bond market where there is sovereign guarantee and improved returns compared to other developed countries. There has also been a strong portfolio inflow to the high yields on local-currency

debt, including 91-day Treasury bill which was 14 to 15 per cent. Intra-African investment has also been a significant driver of growth, with Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa among the top investors into the rest of the continent. Nigeria topped the list of countries expected to draw significant funds over the next five years, with the report forecasting an average of $23 billion per year in FDI inflows and around 95,000 new jobs. But recent militant attacks in the continent’s top oil producer, which has been the largest African recipient of FDI over the last decade, could deter some investors, it added. FDI inflows to South Africa were projected to average $10 billion a year, generating up to 125,000 new jobs, compared with $7.6 billion a year and 30,000 new jobs in Angola. Ernst & Young said more regional integration and increased investment to close an infrastructure gap, which will require an estimated $90 billion yearly, would boost Africa’s standing among investors.

Stanbic IBTC is Best Investment Management Company

• From left: Deputy Governor (Financial System Stability), Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Dr Kingsley Moghalu; Deputy Governor (Economic Policy), Dr Sarah Alade and CBN Governor Sanusi Lamido Sanusi at the opening of an international conference on Payment System in Abuja ... on Monday.


Banks to grow lending by 20%

ANK loans are expected to rise by 20 per cent within the year, Renaissance Capital (RenCap), an investment and research firm has said. In a report, it noted that the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) is not in a hurry to ease monetary policy, and its primary concern is to achieve lower inflation and forex stability. “Our read of this is that the monetary policy rate (MPR) is unlikely to be reduced by much, while the cash reserve ratio (CRR) is unlikely to be reduced at all,” it said. It said about 20 per cent loan


growth is consensus guidance for the year, with very few banks anticipating power projects funding. RenCap said Nigerian banks excite it most within the Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) banks context in the year. According to the firm, its growth expectations for Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of 6.7 per cent, the Nigeria market should benefit from accelerating top-down trends. It also said the West to East African banks are also viable performers within the year, with the Kenyan elections a potential headwind. RenCap said Equity bank re-

mains its pick of the bunch on a relative basis. “Within the liquid space, this could be Russian banks’ year. Although we are more conservative with our outlook for the sector at the start of 2013 than we were throughout 2012, market appetite has begun to rise for risk assets,” it said. For South Africa, it said that with GDP growth near three per cent, credit growth slowing to high single digits and margins expected to be stable on flat interest rates big-four South African banks could deliver 10 to 15 per cent Earning Per Share (EPS) growth in the year.

Nigeria, Tanzania T-Bills top Africa yields

IELDS are rising on Tanzania’s and Nigeria’s Treasury Bills, although demand continues strong, according data posted on the website of the Central Bank of Tanzania and Central Bank of Nigeria. The average yield-to-maturity for Tanzania was 13.43 per cent on

the 364-days bills, 12.86 per cent on the 182-days paper, 11.76 per cent on 91-days and 7.25 per cent on 35 days. For Nigeria, it is 12.5 per cent on the 364-days bills, 11.75 per cent on the 182-days paper, 11.6 per cent on 91-days. The main investors in govern-

ment securities in both markets are pension Funds and commercial banks who took more than 60 per cent of the market, followed by insurance funds and a few microfinance institutions. Treasury bills are issued regularly as part of monetary control measures to help lenders manage their liquidity.


TANBIC IBTC Asset Management, a subsidiary of Stanbic IBTC Holdings, has been named the Best Investment Management Company in Nigeria of the year by the World Finance magazine. The award was given in recognition of the company’s pedigree in asset management, part of which includes management of Nigeria’s three biggest mutual funds. The company is also the preferred investment firm by discerning institutional and sophisticated high networth Individuals. Stanbic IBTC Asset Management, he said, has over 50 portfolios and composite assets worth more than $800 million as at June this year, under management. In a statement, the firm said the awards, based on voter participation, recognise and promote industry leaders and projects that represent the benchmark of achievement and best practice in various fields. Winners are selected on country basis adjudged by criteria such as performance, service, leadership, consistency, targets and objectives. The three firms with the highest number of votes qualify as the finalists. The winner for each country is then decided by the award’s panel. In clinching the award, which was presented at a ceremony in London recently, Stanbic IBTC Asset Management has once again

demonstrated its leadership position in fund performance and customer service. It has also demonstrated a strong innovative culture in bringing relevant investment solutions to clients. Chief Executive Officer of Stanbic IBTC Holdings, Mrs. Sola DavidBorha said the recognition is heartwarming as it demonstrates the growing capacity and appetite of Nigerian financial institutions to provide very robust services across all market segments. “We are particularly elated at Stanbic IBTC to receive this recognition for our efforts in the important field of asset management. It also reflects our unrelenting commitment to deliver very credible performances across all business segments,” Mrs. David-Borha said. Chief Executive Officer of Stanbic IBTC Asset Management, Mr Olumide Oyetan, said following the market crash some years ago, which impacted adversely on investors’ confidence, the company’s objective subsequently shifted to devising ways of first restoring confidence in the capital market. This it did by ensuring that customers’ funds/portfolios achieved positive returns as much as it was possible. This approach proved quite successful as assets under management recorded growth in line with the company’s growth aspirations.



AVIATION ‘Industry’s major challenge’ NON-COMPLIANCE with aviation rules by operators is a major challenge facing the industry, the Director-General of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), Capt. Fola Akinkuotu, has said. He spoke in Lagos at the opening of a two-day seminar on Aviation Law and Regulation, organised for judges and other stakeholders, in collaboration with Socio-Economic Rights Initiative, a civil society organisation. He said the sector does not suffer from a dearth of laws and regulations to check operators but that players were reluctant to comply with prescribed standards and practices, adding that the NCAA would ensure compliance to standards and recommended practises of the International Civil Aviation Organisation ( ICAO). He said the essence of the event was to educate participants on the intricacies of industry practices, saying once issues are brought to them, they would have fuller understanding of how to handle them without violating the internationally set standards. Akinkuotu said the seminar would provide the result to propel the sector, noting that industry as an international business without domestic standards, requires standard legal framework to function properly.

•Joseph Cinque, President and CEO of the AAHS (second from right) celebrating the award handover with Lufthansa’s CCO, Jens Bischof (second from left) and two Lufthansa First Class Personal Assistants at a ceremony in Germany.

Private jet owners now to undergo airport checks


HERE will no longer be free entry and exit for users of private and chartered jets at the airports, Comptroller-General of the Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS) David Paradang has said. Such passengers, he said, would henceforth, go through immigration checks before boarding and after alighting from their jest. He said the measure was introduced because of the prevailing security challenge in the country. Last April 26, Rivers State Governor Rotimi Amaechi’s private, jets was stopped at the Akure Airport in Ondo State over the pilot’s alleged refusal to file a flight plan. Some analysts, however, said the development had political undertone because it occurred in the heat of the rift between product Goodluck Jonathan and Amaechi. Paradang said private jets owners and chartered operators who do no submit themselves to checks would face the consequences of their action. He said compliance with immigration regulations was not negotiable at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Ikeja, Lagos, warned his men to desist from ex-


Stories by Kelvin Osa-Okunbor Aviation Correspondent

torting passengers. All passengers, he said, must comply with the regulation as part of the security requirements for travelling out of the airports. He said the NIS would will ease out any officer found to be involved in any corrupt practice, which tarnishes the image of the country. He bemoaned a situation where security agencies at airports engage in extortion of passengers, saying an internal mechanism was being put in place to identify such bag eggs, who do not have any business working at the airport. Paradang said the NIS would collaborate with other agencies, including the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria ( FAAN), to provide more facilities to ease passenger facilitation after many hours of flight, as well as deploy facilities at the airport counters to aid smooth processing of passengers through a database. He said: ”There is need to provide more facilities so that when more aircraft arrive at the terminal about the same time, Immigration officials could do their work without much rigours. We all know the rule,

it is wrong for anybody to go and receive any passenger at the foot of the aircraft at the private terminal. Government has already given a directive to that effect. The whole idea is to ensure that no category of passenger could escape security checks at the airport. “We are going to stop a situation where people alight from the aircraft and get into the car. The security arrangement requires that such passengers must submit themselves to immigration checks. We are reinforcing our personnel at such private terminals to ensure total compliance with all security requirements at the airport.” The NIS boss said the Service is pursuing a system that would ensure that the processing of passengers at the airport is done through a central database, saying that the provision of 18 additional check in counters for passenger profiling, was a welcome developmet. ”We have developed a system where our database would capture all information about the passenger that travels through Nigerian airports,” he said, urging FAAN to expedite action on the on-going structural work at the airport to ensure passengers have a good travel experience.

NAMA begins calibration of Navaids

HE Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) has begun calibration of navigational equipment at some airports and en route stations to enhance air safety. Its Managing Director Mr Nnamdi Udoh, said the agency spends about N200million yearly to calibrate navigational aids at the 26 airports. Calibration means the flight checking of navigational equipment to ascertain their accuracy and efficiency. The exercise, Udoh said, would last for 14 days, explaining that the calibration of the navaids would assist in putting the aids in proper


shape at these airports and enroute stations. Udoh appealed to airlines to support the agency in its safety drive by clearing their outstanding debts. The calibration, which kicked off in Lagos with the routine calibration of the two Instrument Landing Systems (ILS), Very High Omni-directional Radio Range/ Distance Measuring Equipment (VOR/DME) and the Path Approach Precision Indicator (PAPI) of the airport. Equipment being calibrated include- the recently installed ILS/ DME,CVOR/DME at Enugu airport,Makurdi and Kanji.

The newly installed air field lighting system at Makurdi will equally be flight- checked by Flight Calibration Services of the United Kingdom using DA42 multi-purpose platform aircraft. Other navigational aids being calibrated are Conventional OmniDirectional Radio Frequency (CVOR), Instrument Landing System (ILS), Distance Measuring Equipment (DME) Very High Omni-Directional Radio Frequency (VOR) all located in ,Uyo Abuja, Kano and Portharcourt. Similarly ,Communication radio coverage check for Lagos and Kano area control centres will be undertaken during the calibration exercise.

Delta orders 40 Airbus

ELTA Airlines is to buy 40 Airbus to be delivered between 2015 and 2017. The deal, which comprises 10 wide body A330-300 and 30 large domestic narrow body A321 jets, is the latest step in Delta’s prudent fleet renewal to enhance profitability. “This Airbus agreement is another opportunistic fleet transaction for

Delta in which we acquire economically efficient, proven-technology aircraft,” said Richard Anderson, Delta’s chief executive officer. “These A330s and A321s will provide tremendous flexibility for Delta to optimally manage our capacity over the next five years while further improving the flight experience for our customers and returns for our

shareholders. “Disciplined capital deployment is a cornerstone of Delta’s comprehensive financial plan,” said Paul Jacobson, Delta’s chief financial officer. “These Airbus aircraft will generate free cash flow and improve our return on invested capital from the time they enter service,” he added.

British Airways increases African flights BRITISH Airways is growing its African frequencies, improving connectivity through London Heathrow and introducing its latest products. In West Africa, it will increase its daily services to Ghana by three a week from next month, using Boeing 767s to complement Boeing 777 flights, bringing the total number of weekly services to 10. From Summer 2014, a larger four-cabin Boeing 747 aircraft will replace one of the Boeing 777s on the route. It will also add a fourth weekly service to Sierra Leone and Liberia. In East Africa, it will add an additional frequency to Uganda to offer four weekly flights. The schedule will be amended to offer better connections to other international services though Terminal 5. North African services have been bolstered by a fourth weekly flight to Tripoli. South African customers are already able to make bookings for the A380, the airline’s largest and most modern aircraft, which begins flying to Johannesburg on February 12, 2014. This is only the third A380 route to be announced after Los Angeles and Hong Kong. Services to Cape Town will double from the current daily service to a double-daily operation over the busy South African summer season. British Airways is the only airline which flies directly from Cape Town to London year round. It is also investing in its lounges and by the end of the year the Cape Town and Johannesburg facilities will be upgraded to reflect the customer experience at in the Terraces lounges in the award-winning Terminal 5.

Arik Air’s mobile booking berths

ARIK Air has introduced a mobile booking service to boost passenger experience. It partnered a mobile commerce firm, SlimTrader, to provide the service. It is one of a raft of changes expected to take place in future. The service is aimed at revamping its technology offering and enhancing customer experience. It is a convenient way for customers to book and pay for flights, including having access to important information through phones and tablets. The flight booking service is available to anyone with a Nigerian bank card. Arik Air’s Global Chief Executive Officer, Dr Michael Arumemi-Ikhide, said: “The popularity of mobile commerce has increased massively in Africa of late and we decided to introduce the service to empower our customers. “Mobile penetration far exceeds the reach of the internet in Nigeria and West Africa and this new mobile gateway enhances our customers’ ability to search, select, book and pay for our services. The adoption of such innovations positions us as a 21st Century operator, using cutting edge technology to improve ease of service and customer interaction. “We will be making a number of additional upgrades to our technology offering over the coming months in a bid to further enhance the service we offer travellers who fly with us.”

‘African airlines record rise in passenger traffic’ AFRICAN airlines grew passenger traffic by 7.5 per cent in the second quarter of the year as against the 2012 figures, the Director-General of the International Air Transport Association (IATA), Tony Tyler, has said. Tyler said African airlines recorded an increase of 5.6 per cent in capacity to become the second region with load factor averaging 1.3 percentage points. He alligned the increase to expansion in trade, which, he said, is driving the rise in air travel in the continent. He said: ”African airlines’ traffic climbed 7.5 per cent compared to July 2012, representing the second best among the regions, while capacity rose 5.6 per cent, and boosting load factor by 1.3 percentage points to 73.6 per cent. He said expansion in trade is driving the healthy rise in demand for air travel on the continent, adding that overall, revenue per passenger kilometers (RPKs) went up by five per cent, compared to July 2012. All regions were up year-on-year, with emerging markets recording the strongest increases. He said: ”Capacity rose 5.5 per cent on the previous July, ahead of demand, and industry load factor dropped 0.4 percentage points to 82.4 per cent Although July’s five per cent performance was not as strong as June’s. This likely reflects both a market correction in line with prevailing economic conditions as well as the impact of reduced travel in markets.” “Passenger demand continues to be strong. But the story of emerging markets driving growth as developed economies stagnate could be shifting. We are still expecting growth of five per cent this year. How that growth is achieved, however, appears to be at a turning point.”





Equities look to Q3 earnings for renewed rally

NVESTMENT managers and market pundits have predicted a renewed rally in the stock market in the weeks ahead on the back of third-quarter earnings reports by quoted companies. As companies round off their operations for the third quarter, market is already expectant of the ninemonth operational results, which most analysts take as windows for preview of full-year earnings and returns. Early filers are expected to turn in their interim results for the ninemonth period ended September 30, this year in October while all quoted companies are generally required to turn in their interim results for the third quarter on or before November 15. The regulatory filing calendar of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) stipulates November 15 as the mandatory due date for final submission of third quarter earnings reports, although the Exchange may in its discretion grant an extension till December 14.

Stories by Taofik Salako

Post-listing rules of the NSE requires that audited annual accounts of companies should be submitted within three months after the year end while quarterly financial statements are expected to be made available 45 days after the end of the quarter. Investment analysts at Morgan Capital Group said increasing positioning for the third quarter earnings would trigger bullish rally as investors seek to evaluate the dividend potential of the stocks. According to analysts, with the sustained bearishness in recent weeks, investors have largely adopted a wait and see approach with low risk appetites for perceived as the apathy for the perceived volatile banking stocks persist. Analysts noted most investors have chosen the safety of regular dividend paying stocks notwithstanding that some of these regular dividend-paying stock are currently trading at high price-earn-

ings multiples with low dividend yields at current prices. Analysts urged investors to remain focused on stocks with good fundamentals that have the capacity to retain value noting that even when their prices crash, they are the quickest off the mark in price appreciation when the market sentiment becomes bullish. Managing Director, GTI Securities, Mr Tunde Oyekunle, said third quarter earnings reports could provide impetus for a new round of rally as investors anticipate returns by the year-end. According to him, early results for the nine-month period would wet investors’ appetite and enhance the prospects of market’s recovery. The stock market opened this week with a 15-day negative return of -0.42 per cent, showing no letdown in the bearishness that had shaved off about N510 billion in equities’ values in August. The reversal in August had reduced average year-to-date capital gains at the

Nigerian equities market from about N3.03 trillion by the end of July to N2.52 trillion by the end of August. Average returns at the market, as indicated by the All Share Index (ASI) of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), shrank to 29.10 per cent by the end of August as against 35.03 per cent recorded by the end of July. Average year-to-date return opened this week at 28.56 per cent after it lost 0.84 per cent last week. Nigerian equities had consolidated their bullish rally in July as market capitalisation added N581 billion to throttle back to N12 trillion. Aggregate year-to-date return improved from six-month value of N2.45 trillion to N3.03 trillion by the end of July. After the downtrend in June, the market was particularly spectacular in July with a month-onmonth average return of 5.08 per cent. Aggregate market value of all equities closed July at N12.007 trillion as against its opening value of

N11.426 trillion for the month. The ASI also rose from month’s opening index of 36,164.31 points to close at 37,914.33 points. The stock market had closed the first half with average return of about 28.8 per cent, equivalent to N2.45 trillion in capital gains. Aggregate market value of all equities on the NSE had closed the first half at N11.426 trillion as against its valueon-board of N8.974 trillion that started the year, representing an increase of 27.3 per cent. The ASI had risen from 2013’s opening index of 28,078.81 points to close the first half at 36,164.31 points. The first half performance was moderated by the downtrend in the latter half of June, which saw the month closing as the most bearish month with a loss of N649 billion. Equities had shown brighter performance in the first five months with whooping capital gains of N3.10 trillion. Aggregate market capitalisation of all equities had closed May at N12.075 trillion while the ASI had indicated a five-month average return of 34.6 per cent.

Shareholders to deduct infraction costs from directors’ fees


•From left: Executive Commissioner, Finance and Administration, Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Zakawanu Garuba, Director-General, Ms. Arunma Oteh; Managing Director, Nigerian Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA), Mr Uche Orji and Non-Executive Commissioner, SEC, Olufunke Abiodun during the SEC Learning Series in Abuja.


HAREHOLDERS would seek to deduct infraction costs from the fees payable to directors of their companies where such infractions border on clearly outlined rules and regulations. Founding member, Nigeria Shareholders Solidarity Association, Alhaji Gbadebo Olatokunbo, who spoke to The Nation, said they would start to consider carefully the reasons for infractions and the costs related to such infractions at the annual general meeting, decrying what they described as needless infractions. He spoke against the background of report by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) that banks were violating credit reporting rules and the decision of the apex bank to meet any further violations after the reminder and warning with severe sanctions. He said shareholders would hold the directors to account for any violation, especially where it was discovered that existing rules were

Industrial, ethical stocks lead stock market’s returns

NVESTORS who staked their funds on industrial goods and ethical stocks have made almost a double of average return by other investors as non-financial stocks strengthen their increasing dominance at the Nigerian stock market. Year-to-date return analysis at the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) showed that investors in industrial goods stocks and selected stocks that complied with non-interest, low gearing standards of Islamic investments have the highest returns in the stock market. Market’s opening data provided by the NSE on Monday showed that companies that engage in manufacturing of industrial goods such as cement and paints have generated the highest returns for investors. Investors in industrial goods stocks have earned twice the returns in the banking, oil and gas, insurance and consumer goods sectors and they are leading market’s overall average return by some 25 percentage points. The NSE Industrial Goods Index is the benchmark for four subgroups including building materials, electronic and electrical products, packaging and containers and tools and machinery. However, it is dominated by building material stocks, especially cement and paints manufacturing companies. The NSE Industrial Goods Index

consisted of 10 leading stocks out of the 26 companies listed in the sector. The representative stocks were selected based on their market capitalisation and liquidity. The benchmarked stocks included Ashaka Cement, Lafarge Cement Wapco Nigeria, Dangote Cement, CAP, Cement Company of Northern Nigeria (CCNN), Berger Paints, Cutix, Portland Paints & Products Nigeria, Beta Glass, and Paints and Coating Manufacturing Company. The NSE Industrial Goods Index showed a year-to-date return of 53.99 per cent, according to the values-on-board at the start of the market on Monday. Ethical stocks under the NSE-Lotus Islamic Index (NSE-Lotus II) trailed with a yearto-date return of 43.81 per cent, more than a triple of return in the financial services sector. The NSE Lotus II is the first index created to track the performance of Shari’ah compliant equities on the NSE and also the first index to be developed in collaboration with local partners. It was developed by the NSE in conjunction with Lotus Capital Limited. The NSE Lotus II excludes stocks in industries such as alcohol, interest-based financial services, tobacco, arms and ammunitions, gambling, piggery and other businesses regarded by Muslims’ laws as unlawful. The NSE Lotus II is constituted by 15 stocks, screened and selected by

a Shari’ah advisory board. Five of the stocks that constituted industrial index- Ashaka Cement, CAP, CCNN, Dangote Cement and Lafarge Cement also formed part of the benchmarked stocks under the ethical index stock. Others included Cadbury Nigeria, Julius Berger Nigeria, GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Nigeria, National Salt Company of Nigeria, Nestle Nigeria, Nigerian Aviation Handling Company (Nahco), Okomu Oil Palm, PZ Cussons Nigeria and Unilever Nigeria Plc. The All Share Index (ASI), the common value-based index that tracks all equities on the NSE, posted a year-to-date return of 28.56 per cent. The NSE 30 Index, which tracks the 30 most capitalised stocks, has returned 26.23 per cent so far this year. The NSE Consumer Goods Index, which tracks mostly fast moving consumer goods companies, indicated average return of 220.43 per cent while the NSE Oil and Gas Index, which serves as benchmark for the downstream oil sector, recorded a year-to-date return of 23.48 per cent. Financial services indices showed the least returns among the main indices. The NSE Banking index indicated the lowest return of 13.74 per cent while the NSE Insurance Index has returned 13.98 per cent. The report underlined growing concerns about diminishing influ-

ence of banking stocks, which hitherto have domineering influence on the overall market situation at the Exchange. The NSE Lotus II was by introduced by the NSE to increase the breadth of the market and create an important benchmark for investments as the alternative noninterest investment space widens. The NSE had reasoned that NSE Lotus II would serve as an important diversification tool for ethically minded investors and portfolio managers both locally and from around the world, who seek to profitably invest in emerging African equities market. It is also expected to serve as a general benchmark for ‘ethical’ funds and also basis for creating Mirror Funds, Index Funds, Exchange Traded Funds, Index options and other instruments, which would broaden the range of financial instruments being traded on the NSE.

explicit. According to him, the board and management are appointed by the shareholders to ensure that their companies are run under best practices and in compliance with rules. He pointed out that since the shareholders have the statutory mandate to fix directors’ fees at the annual general meeting, shareholders would use their votes to reduce the fees payable to directors in proportion to the infractions during the year under consideration. He said shareholders were aware that regulators usually issue warnings to companies before applying sanctions on subsequent defaults. The CBN had last week warned banks against violation of the Credit Risk Management System (CRMS), which requires all banks to report credit facilities availed to their board members and staff in the CRMS. The CRMS, a central database for credit information on borrowers established by the CBN Act No. 24 of 1991 (Sections 28 and 52) as amended, makes it mandatory for all banks to render returns to it in respect of all credit facilities of N1 million and above. The apex bank said credit facilities availed to board members and staff of banks are not exempted from the CRMS noting that the provisions of Sections 3.4 and 3.5 of the Prudential Guideline for Deposit Money Banks in Nigeria, July 2010 does not preclude banks from reporting credit facilities availed to its board members and staff in the CRMS. In the circular signed by Director, Banking Supervision, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mrs Tokunbo Martis, the apex banks stated that banks are required to report all credit facilities including principal and interest of N1million and above granted to their board members and staff in the CRMS as well as regularly update these credit facilities monthly. The apex bank stated that it henceforth, any observed breach will attract severe sanctions.

ICSAN holds conference Nov. 5


HE Institute of Chartered of Secretaries and Administrators of Nigeria (ICSAN) will hold its 37 th yearly conference between November 5 and 6 at the Lagos Sheraton Hotel, Ikeja. According to the Registrar of the institute, ‘Dele Togunde, the

theme of the conference is, The interplay of risk managers and compliance issues in corporate governance. Expected at the event are chartered secretaries and administrators, accountants, lawyers, public servants, and bankers, among others.




‘New Pension Act will enhance capital formation’ T HE amendment of the Pension Act 2004 will lead to greater pool of investable capital that would further enhance the long-term capital formation necessary for the development of critical national infrastructures and ensure better returns for all stakeholders. Stakeholders in the capital market and pension management said various amendments being proposed to the Pension Act would enhance the capacity and efficiency of pension regulation, broaden investment horizon of pension fund management, increase returns to pensioners and enlarge the coverage to the contributory pension scheme to millions of new contributors. Stakeholders who made representations against the background of the ongoing review of the Pension Reform Act 2004 by the National Assembly said proposed amendments under the Pension Reform Act (PRA) 2013 Bill would benefit all stakeholders. They noted that the passage of the Bill will create new impetus for capital formation and help to address the challenges being faced by the National Pension Commission (Pencom) and other operators in the implementation of the Pension Reform Act 2004. In a memorandum on the Pension Reform Act (PRA) 2013 Bill, Pencom outlined that the principal thrusts of the amendments are to enhance regulatory and enforcement activities, protection of pension fund assets, unlock the opportunities for the deployment of pension assets for national development, review the sanctions regime to reflect current realities, provide for the participation of the informal sector and also provide the framework for the adoption of the Contributory Pension Scheme (CPS) by States and Local Governments. Deputy Group Managing Director, BGL Plc, Mr. Chibundu Edozie, noted that the amendments to the Pension Act 2004 will address the loopholes in the current Act, such as nonremittance of pension contributions to the Pension Fund Administrators, especially by Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) while it will also provide an enhanced coverage, especially in the informal sector participation in the pension scheme by introducing a minimum guaranteed pension to all covered persons. He said the amendment will lead to a significant increase in investable pension assets which would benefit the capital market pointing out that Nigeria’s pension asset, currently at N3.3 trillion, is estimated to grow to N7.1 trillion by the end of 2015; an estimated increase of about N4 trillion in 27 months. “Since most of the expected fund would be invested in equities and fixed income instruments, this would lead to a significant boost in capital market activities. The provision for the utilisation of pension funds for national development would also help capital market activities as several investment vehicles are created to meet the investment guidelines for Pension Funds,” Edozie said in response to a media enquiry by The Nation. According to him, capital market operators and investment managers would like to see a pension sector that is creative and more amenable to more exotic assets to meet the market’s needs. While the guarded approach by Pencom saved the industry from the market meltdown of 2008-2010, the industry is ripe now to start allowing more innovation and skilful management expertise from the fund managers. “We may start this by allowing investment according to the demography of beneficiaries where funds with more young contributors are allowed more investment in equities than funds with older contributors. We may also allow fund managers to invest in some private products such as infrastructure funds and other development-focused products and funds which may not fulfill all the current investment guidelines by the Pencom as long as the fund manager is convinced that it is a beneficial investment to the fund contributors,” Edozie said. President, Chartered Institute of Stockbrokers (CIS), Mr. Ariyo Olushekun, said there should be flexible in pension fund investment and management in line with the structures and classes of the contributors. Olushekun, who is also the managing director, Capital Assets Limited, a leading investment services firm, noted that increased pool of capital and flexible investment rules would allow aggressive fund managers to play in the equities market without violat-

‘Since most of the expected fund would be invested in equities and fixed income instruments, this would lead to a significant boost in capital market activities. The provision for the utilisation of pension funds for national development would also help capital market activities as several investment vehicles are created to meet the investment guidelines for Pension Funds’

•Minister of Finance, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala By Taofik Salako

ing any rule. He noted that pension funds as collective assets of the Nigerian people should be used as catalyst for the Nigerian capital market, which would in turn impact on the nation’s economic development. Analysts at FirstBank of Nigeria said the PRA 2013 portends some key fundamental changes that would enhance the pool and efficiency of the pension industry. According to FirstBank, if the National Assembly passed the bill, it will drive increased inflows of pension contribution from employers and employees, which will increase the pension assets under custody and, ultimately, positively impact profitability. If passed into law, the PRA 2013 will allow for a wider decree of transparency in the pension industry as the regulatory commission will be able to exercise more powers to discharge its regulatory functions. One of the major highlights that seek to remove the bottlenecks around pension claim and payment is the proposal by the Pencom that payment of pensions would be made by the Accountant General of the Federation (AGF) directly into beneficiaries (pensioners’) bank accounts rather than through the usual long processes during which the monies disappears in transit. To capture a wider number of employees in the informal sector which unarguably constitute the greater chunk of the country’s economy, the PRA 2013 Bill seeks to change initial provision of minimum requirement of five employees for organisations to participate in the scheme to three employees to allow small businesses, especially the Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (SMEs) to partake in the scheme. Most analysts agreed that SMEs form the largest segment of most economies, including Nigeria. Data supplied by the Small and Medium Enterprise Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN) showed that more than 12 million firms, including partnerships and micro enterprises, that normally have less than five employees are registered in Nigeria. Analysts at BGL Group noted that with about 10 per cent of estimated working population now in the pension system, the notable gap between contributors and potential contributors can be explained mainly by the high percentage of Nigeria’s working population operating in the informal sector of the economy. Beyond helping Nigerian workers to secure their future, the new Act would catalyse

•Acting DG, Pencom, Chinelo Amazu-Anohu

the formation of larger and long-tenored capital that could assist Nigeria in its quest for rapid transformation and infrastructural development. The PRA 2013 Bill seeks to expand the sphere of permissible investment instruments to accommodate initiatives for national development which include among others investment of the pension funds in the real sector. This will focus on infrastructure and housing development while at the same time not unnecessarily endangering the pension fund assets. These changes will also foster the development of the Nigerian capital market. Sectoral review by BGL Group shows that contributors within the 40 years bracket account for more than 60 per cent of pension contributions, which implies that a large portion of contributors would not withdraw their retirement accounts until after 10 to 20 years. Under amenable amendments, this structure of contributors should give the pension fund administrators the liberty to invest the pension assets in relatively longterm investments with strong growth potential and moderate risk. Analysts at BGL pointed out that the concentration of pension investment assets in low-yield debt investments may be limiting the growth potential of the retirement fund for young pension contributors with longterm investment horizon. The pension regulator was also said to be considering the prospects of securities lending and amendments to existing legislation to allow securities lending in the pension industry. The market making and securities lending initiatives took off at the Nigerian capital market on September 18, 2012. Rule 350 of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the operating guidelines on securities lending by the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) jointly allow pension fund administrators and custodians to engage in securities lending. Besides, the PRA 2013 Bill also seeks to align with the requests from workers through various labour unions that the waiting period for accessing benefits in the event of loss of job be reduced from six months to four months. Also, to ensure strict operational discipline by operators in the pension industry, the bill seeks to create new offences and provide for stiffer penalties that will serve as deterrence against mismanagement or diversion of pension funds assets under any guise, as well as other infractions of the provisions of the Act. This becomes very expedient as Pencom

‘...various amendments being proposed to the Pension Act would enhance the capacity and efficiency of pension regulation, broaden investment horizon of pension fund management, increase returns to pensioners and enlarge the coverage to the contributory pension scheme to millions of new contributors’

has observed that sanctions currently provided under the PRA 2004 are no longer sufficient deterrents against infractions that operators currently commit under the PRA 2004 Act. Another major issue among the 23 loopholes identified with the PRA 2004 which the Commission seeks to address through the PRA 2013 Bill is that the fund set aside by the Government to pay the accrued rights for past service under the Contributory Pension System is hardly sufficient. To this effect, the Bill seeks to amend Section 29(2) of the PRA 2004 to indicate that the five per cent deduction of monthly Federal Government wage bill should rather be a minimum amount and the Commission should determine and advise the Federal Government as well as the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Administration, on appropriate rates, from time to time, that is sufficient to address the projected yearly pension liability of the Government. If the National Assembly eventually approves the PRA 2013 Bill, workers under the Contributory Pension Scheme will definitely get richer at retirement. In line with aspirations of stakeholders in the pension industry, Pencom has recommended that more money be contributed on behalf of the employees by the employers to the scheme. Hence, rather than the 15 per cent remittance jointly shared by both employer and employee on a monthly basis, it will move up to 20 per cent. The PRA 2013 Bill when passed will increase employers’ contribution for the employee to 12 per cent while the employee will only remit eight per cent. In addition to the 33.3 percent increase in joint contribution by employer and employee, employers will also be persuaded under the new Bill to pay gratuity as additional benefit to their workers at retirement. The PRA 2013 also highlights the importance of qualification of staff to occupy certain positions within the pension regulatory system. Whereas the PRA 2004 Act did not permit anybody who does not have more than 20 years working experience to be either the Chairman or Director General of the Commission, PRA 2013 Bill is recommending 20-year and 15-year work experience for Chairman and Director General respectively. Given similar provisions relating to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC) where no emphasis is laid on the number of years one has worked but on competence, stakeholders believe the same consideration should be given to pension regulation. Alternatively, some stakeholders have argued that in the case when experience is linked to the number of years one had worked, the provisions relating to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) and the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC), should be a yardstick to set a standard for Pencom. Investment and Securities Act (ISA) allows 15-year work experience for the position of Director General and 12-year experience for Executive Directors. Similarly, Section 10(2) of the National Insurance Commission Act 1997 also stipulates 15-year experience for appointment as Commissioner of Insurance. The Companies and Allied Matters Act (CAMA) 1990 stipulates 10 years experience for appointment as Registrar-General of the CAC.




Badagry under ocean threat, says monarch • Illegal dredgers’activities cited


HE Akran of Badagry, an ancient city in Lagos, De Wheno Aholu Menu Toyi 1,has raised the alarm over the threat of the Atlantic Ocean to his domain. He blamed illegal dredgers for the ocean threat, warning that if their activities along the creeks were not checked it would spell disaster for Badagry. He spoke at the Seventh National Dredging Summit and Exhibition in Badagry. He said unlawful dredging was impacting negatively on the environment, citing two peninsula communities in Badagry - Ajido and Okogbado – where illegal dredgers activities have reduced the distance between the sea and the communities to about 50 metres. The monarch also decried the activities of sand miners whose jobs, he said, were also threatening some parts of the Mile 2-Badagry Expressway, noting that such activities have formed artificial lakes. When such artificial lakes are formed, they (sand miners) will abandon there and relocate to another area. He cited an area where sand mining has created a big gully that is threatening to break a major road into two. If these illegal activities are allowed to continue unchecked, he said, the proposed road construc-

Stories by Emeka Ugwuanyi, Asst. Editor

tion from Takwa Bay to Badagry might be stalled. He praised the Lagos State Government for its intervention in fighting illegal dredging and surface mining. He said Governor Babatunde Fashola visited the areas and directed that the activities be stopped, warning that whoever is caught would be jailed. Besides keeping security personnel to watch out for offenders, he said helicopters also conduct aerial survey from time to time, adding that he gave approval to legitimate dredging firms to provide sand to meet the needs of the people of Badagry. According to him, there are legal dredgers on the stretch from Topo to Marina, that pump sand from the river to serve the needs of the people as a measure to discourage illegal dredging. He noted that if not for the efforts of the Lagos State government in controlling the activities of illegal dredgers that part of the state might have sunk by now. The summit Coordinator, Mr Edmund Chilaka, said the programme was a yearly gathering of dredging, maritime and marine sector operators and stakeholders to deliberate on the state of the

• Mrs Gunwa (left), Mr. Chilaka and Assistant Director, Nigerian Institute for Oceanography, Dr Regina Folorunsho at the summit.

• De Wheno Aholu Menu Toyi 1

industry to improve services, expanding the knowledge base of practitioners and contributing to the growth of indigenous operators. He stressed the need for improvement and development of

Shippers, terminal operators resolve feud over service quality


HE Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC) has resolved the dispute between the Lagos Shippers’Association (LSA) and operators at Tin Can Island Container Terminal (TICT) over the quality of service at TICT. The parties resolved that, henceforth, all fast-track containers should be delivered direct; rent on containers to begin after vessel has sailed and container identified; constant interaction between shippers and terminal operators. The council’s intervention followed the shippers’complaint that the terminal operators were not providing quality service. Some of their complaints included “undue delay” in examination of goods; upfront payment of storage charges and delay in positioning containers for examination. Others include transfer of containers to off-dock terminals without shippers’consent, transfer of containers to off-dock terminals without prior notice, causing delay in the delivery process, and N10,000 as charge for issuance of identification cards to agents. Speaking at the meeting, the Council’s Executive Secretary Mr Hassan Bello, urged the parties to comply with the law or be sanctioned by the Shippers Council. He said: “ It is all about the law, the law establishing this Council gives it power to weild the big stick, but we are not doing that now, we want the operators to use their tongues to count their teeth. But if things continue like this af-

• Bello By Emeka Ugwuanyi and John Austin Unachukwu

ter this meeting, we shall invoke the provisions of the law and the economy will be better for it. “This meeting is in continuation of our statutory role to intervene in areas of tariffs and other impediments of trade in the country. We have been engaging terminal operators severally on these issues. We have specific complaints from shippers and other users of the ports about issues which we are discussing now. “The Tin Island Terminal Company Limited is one of the concessionaires and we have the shippers complaining about examination period spanning seven to nine days even after payment of invoice. “The second complaint is that

physical examination takes four to five days for positioning of containers for customs examination. Also, we have the problem of transfer of containers to off dock terminals without shippers consent. Containers stationed for ports clearance transferred to offdock terminals without notice, making delivery impossible as at when due. “The purpose of this meeting is to find solution to these and other problems and that is how we are going to approach it. For every terminal we have problems, we are going to summon, because not all the terminals are like this, we will discuss all these issues and issue appropriate directives towards the resolution of the issues.” Contacted, the Council’s Deputy Director, Public Relations, Ignatius Nweke, said the meeting was convened at the Council’s instance to ensure smooth operations at the ports and cordial relationship among importers, operators and other stakeholders. Nweke said: “The Shippers’ Council is here to protect the interest of shippers. We got complaint from Lagos Shippers from TICT. They complained about the unsatisfactory quality of services from the operators of the terminal. The complaints include unwarranted period spent on stacking of containers for inspection, and the delay, which consequently result in more demurrage. “In view of this, we decided to bring together the Lagos shippers and the TICT operators, to sort out the differences.”

indigenous dredging firms, saying that most of them are not properly managed and lack the right calibre of personnel. Chilaka said: “The observation over the years is that Nigerian dredging outfits managed by Nigerians are constantly run as one-man family ventures, which struggle from project to the next in spasms of neither poverty nor affluence, with staff salaries and debts to service providers not regularly paid, while the managing director or chairman is busy flying from Europe to America usually with the first advance payment. “You constantly find that in many of these companies, essential staff like accountants, clerical officers, site engineers and supervisors are not officially employed. Rather the owners would deploy family members to man these and any position at will.” The Nigerian Maritime Adminis-

tration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) Executive Director, Maritime Labour and Cabotage Services, Mr Nwabueze Calistus Obi, represented by the Head of Department, Maritime Labour Services, Mrs. Juliana Gunwa, stressed the importance of dredging to the maritime sector and the economy. She said: “Dredging is used for port developments all over the world because it enhances shipping routes and depth of water for vessels to avoid grounding and accidents. It is also serves as a big source of employer for both skilled and unskilled workers. It boosts import and export trade, and used to shorten navigational distances for ships, thereby saving cost and time for ship owners as in Panama Canal, Kiel Canal and Suez Canal, just to mention a few, for without dredging activities, this could have been very difficult to achieve.”

Policies that will shape maritime coming


HE policies that will boost the ongoing port reforms are on the way and expected to be passed into law before end of this year or early next year, it was learnt. According to reports from Who’s Who Legal, the policies will enhance the progressive activities in development of the Greenfield deep seaports, and other projects that will make the ports better. The report said: “There is some legislation, expected to be enacted into law in the coming year that should impact positively on the maritime industry. They include the Petroleum Industry Bill, Ports and Harbours Bill, and Customs, National Transport Commission Bill, and Exercise Management Bill, among others.” Petroleum Industry Bill: This is being progressed at the National Assembly and aims to provide checks and balances on the petroleum industries in Nigeria with regard to their operations in both the upstream and downstream sectors. A critical component of the Bill is in the area of maritime transportation concerning the importation and exportation of oil by sea. Ports and Harbours Bill: This will likely be passed into law in the coming year. It is envisaged that technical supervision of the port and terminal operations will remain under the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) while economic supervision of the terminals will be regulated under the anticipated National Transport Commission. Customs and Exercise Management Bill: The Bill has been passed by the Lower House of the National Assembly, but due to the outcry from many operators in the maritime sector, its passage by the Senate is being delayed in order to address areas of concern, including the perceived infraction into the powers of other government agencies with statutory functions in the port, as well as the rights of port terminal operators pursuant to their concession agreements with the Federal Government. National Transport Commission Bill: This is a proposed enactment to designate an independent commission to regulate economic operations and operators, not only at the sea ports but also in all other transportation sectors of the economy. There has been a steady build-up in capacity for many segments of the maritime sector over the last decade as capital investment by operators flowed in. This trend is bound to continue as more investment, favourable policies and laws continue to be enacted. The report further said that the most discussed development in the maritime sector over the year is the prospect of realising the development of Greenfield deep sea ports in order to support the existing port infrastructure in Nigeria, which by many maritime operators’ accounts is overstretched and inadequate to meet the increasing volume of trade and cargo. The envisaged development of deep sea ports, with draughts in excess of 14 metres, is bound to reduce freight costs and enhance shipping operations. In view of the development, the Federal Government in Nigeria is encouraging public private partnership (PPP) arrangements towards developing deep sea ports as part of the plan to address the insufficiency of capacity in Nigerian ports.





From adversity to prosperity

OR ELDER Obiora Onwo,Chief Executive, Grace FMCS Limited, an entrepreneur harnessing opportunities in the catfish business, it has been a long journey. He started as a dealer in spare parts. He shut it when it was no more profitable. Not one to give up easily, Onwo decided to shift to catfish business in 2005 after he attended a training conducted by the National Directorate for Employment in Enugu. He started with N25,000. He bought a pumping machine; some fishes and mobile tanks. Misfortune struck. He lost 5000 fishes in one fell swoop. He was demoralised by the loss of a fortune he has built over many years. Starting all over again was not quite easy. He had to bor-

Elder Obiora Onwo, Chief Executive, Grace FMCS Limited has experienced both highs and lows in business to emerge successful in raising catfish for a living. row money to restock. However, it took a while before the business took off. His challenge was the high mortality rate of the fishes until he was introduced to biodisc. With biodisc producing energised water to the pool, the mortality rate reduced drastically. Since then he said, he has been able to achieve outstanding result. He has not only succeeded in the business, but has also created employment opportunities for others. He has five people in his employment. The skills he learned from his travails have proved priceless. He is making great strides at a

rapid rate. He has 10,000 fishes now. Today , the business has gotten him so much. It’s now a source of livelihood and store of value for the future. For him, catfish farming remains significantly untapped and unexplored. He is practically involved in every aspect of fishery, fish propagation, fingerlings production, sales and training, among other things. He said there is opportunity to produce fingerlings. His significant success thus far has been built on the enterprising and flexible nature of his operating model and the value-adding characteristics of

his service offering. He began learning more about the market and quickly worked out that he cannot do the business without adequate knowledge. There are so many external factors one can’t control. The major challenge the business faces is the pricing of the key raw materials. The other issue is good source of water . According to him, one needs good water supply to rear fish. For a beginner, the initial costs include money to buy fish, feed, fuel for the pumping machine, fee for electricity, among others. According to him,the market


is opening up opportunities for processed fish. As Nigerians eat more catfish, the demand for it will grow.

Custard powder processing for cash


•From left: Mentor, Youth Enterprise with Innovation in Nigeria (You WiN!), Prof. Olufunmilayo Sotonade; Programme Manager, YouWiN!, Muyi Aina and Project Lead for YouWin! Women and Mentoring Programme, Mrs. Snow Ogunjimi and mentor, Mrs. Mojisola Animashaun, during final on-boarding programme for new mentors for the youth enterprise in Lagos.

The growing demand for food supplies and other things to crews on board ships has inspired Mrs Esther Ekpo to become a chandler. DANIEL ESSIET reports.

‘No failure no success’


RS EstherEkpo, Managing Director, Hadassah Global Resources Limited, knew that ships that harboured need some supplies for the vessel and the crew members. Such supplies include, foodstuff, oil, water, spare parts and whatever the captain of the ship might require. She made enquiries and was told such opportunities exist. Thus began a journey into the business of ship chandling. She started small and the upsurge in business has been a real boost. She supplies food to some vessels. For her, operating in Lagos, a city with a strong heritage of making things well, is a low risk, high reward opportunity for any business. When did she start nurturing the dream? ”I have always thought of owning a business. I actually worked for someone in the industry and at some point, I realised I needed to be on my own and actualise my dreams. She started the business with N80,000. Her words: “I remember I had to sell some of my gold jewellery for about N80,000 so I could raise money for the necessary registra-

•Mrs Ekpo

tion to get started. But eventually I got funding from my spouse. Today, the business is worth about N5 million.” She said the business is capital intensive. “Yes, it is expensive to start. Apart from getting the necessary documentations, such as registering with Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC), Directorate of Petroleum Resources (DPR), Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA ) and also Nigerian Customs for the chandlling licence, you need to have food processing equipment, cold and dry reefer containers for offshore delivery, and a delivery van for prompt delivery at the port.You need to have a sizeable stock to ensure prompt delivery on order. “As the business grows, there is a gain in knowledge of the customers’ request. This helps in determin-

ing the min-max stock for the items we deal on. You also, get loyal suppliers that will respond promptly,”she added. She works seven days a week. Her targets are local and international vessel owners that are operating in ports. Right now, she said her company is a vendor for a leading vessel owner in Onne. From her experience, what does it take to run a successful business? “For me, it has always been persistence and I ask lots of questions. I think for a business to succeed, you need to study and understand your business and then focus on what you have chosen to do. You cannot be successful without failure. Embrace it, learn from it and move on. Also surround yourself with knowledgeable people who will take you higher, call them mentors, or advisers. Finally, do not underestimate the power of networking, your contact today can be your contract tomorrow,”she said. She still has problems with accessing loans. “The banks will expect you to provide collateral and or a valid contract with principal, which may not be possible as start ups. Small businesses need to be encouraged and I think banks should look into the potential growth of the business, bearing in mind that this will also create employment for others,”she said. She is on scholarship awarded by Goldman Sach for 10,000 women at EDC (Enterprise Development Centre) Pan Atlantic University .

USTARD powder is a powdery meal for Nigerians especially those in the urban areas. Due to its aesthetic look, good taste and short time of preparation, the product has found place on many breakfast tables. As a result of the continuous rural – urban drift and the eating habits of most urban dwellers in Nigeria, this product will continue to command high demand. An investment into this line of production is a step in the right direction that is definite to yield great returns. The raw materials for processing custard powder are – corn flour, arrow root starch, food colours and essence. The raw materials are available and can be obtained 100 per cent from our local market. A small scale plant envisaged for this project consist of the following machinery and equipment – electric oven, milling/ grinding machines, mixers, dryers, weighing instruments, etc. All the machines and equipment can be procured from our local fabricators. Production of custard powder takes the following stages: drying – the ingredients for the custard powder are dried in a drier. The electric oven is used for the drying process. The dried ingredients are then poured into the milling machine for grinding into powdered form as finished products. The products are measured and package in either a 450 gramme plastic / tin containers or packed into polythene bags of


By Edwin Agbaike (Projects/ Financial Consultant)

various sizes and sealed, before sending to the market. The project can be located in any part of the country where there are abundant supply of corn and the other raw materials. The required accommodation is a two bedroom flat for a start. The environment should be healthy and free from any form of pollution. Investment cost for setting up this project is estimated at about N700,000. This amount can be scaled down or increased, depending on the financial position of the promoters. The machinery in consideration has a capacity of producing 250,000 units of the 450 grams/ annum, working at 8 hours per shift of 250 working days. Assuming a wholesaler price of N35 per unit, this will give revenue of N8.75 million/ annum. A conservative pre-tax profit of 35 per cent or N3.06 million is realisable in the first year of operation. The viability of this project is not in doubt considering its high turnover and envisaged profit margin. Sales outlet for this product include supermarket, catering outfits, the open market and appointment of sales agents. A high standard of hygiene and good packaging makes the product sell fast. For more information contact or call 08023381900.

‘Poor funding stifling SMEs’

HE President, Association of Microentrepreneurs of Nigeria (AMEN), Prince Saviour Iche, said micro enterprises are not creating new jobs because business conditions have deteriorated in the last 12 months. He said many firms are still struggling as a result. According to him, funding remains a major obstacle to firms wishing to consolidate and grow . He explained that the general business conditions are considered tough are caused by the inability to raise capital and lack of government’s support. According to him, optimism for the future among small and medium scale enterprises(SMEs) yearly is still a concern. He said small businesses are adapting and responding to the changing business environment with determination and inventiveness – launching new products or services that put them ahead of the competition. He said access to finance remains a problem encountered by small business owners. The other is access to markets. In fact, even those who make it struggle with cash flows as a

result of bank management or poor debtors’ control. According to him, the high level of uncertainty is beginning to have a negative effect on the failure rate for small businesses, adding that micro enterprises which seemed to be in healthy positions and flourishing a year ago, are now experiencing difficulties and even collapsing as a result of the economic pressure. “This raises a red flag in terms of job creation,” he said. However, as a result of the slowing economy, deals have begun to fail, which combined with slower or negative growth in core operations, have left many business owners with high levels of debts which they are unable to service. He said most businesses face significant cash flow and operational challenges at the moment, noting that as economic constraints seem to be more systemic than sector specific, government and big business need to co-operate more to get the economy moving in the right direction. “There is still an appetite from SMEs to invest in the country, but they are looking for funding for new projects or opportunities,”she added.




Important minutes in a leader’s day BOOK REVIEW Author: John Maxwell BOOK REVIEW Publisher: Thomas Nelson Reviewer: Goke Ilesanmi



F you want to become a leader, do not wait for the fancy title before you act. You can begin to act, think and communicate like a leader long before your promotion. Even if you are still several levels down and someone else is calling all the shots, there are numerous ways to demonstrate your potential and carve your path to the role you want, advises Amy Gallo, a contributing editor at Harvard Business Review. That is why we are reviewing this book titled: The 21 Most Powerful Minutes in a Leader’s Day this week. John Maxwell, author of this book is the founder of INJOY, a leadership development institute. Maxwell says it takes time to become a leader and stresses that while a few people appear to be born leaders, the ability to lead is actually a collection of skills, nearly all of which can be learnt and sharpened. This text is divided into twenty-one chapters spread over twenty-one weeks. Each week is further segmented into five days. Chapter one is based on the subject matter of “the law of the lid”. Extracting from “the law of the lid” in “The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership”, Maxwell says success is within the reach of just about everyone and personal success without leadership ability brings only limited effectiveness. He expatiates that leadership ability is the lid that determines a person’s level of effec-

tiveness and the lower an individual’s ability to lead, the lower the lid on his potential. Chapter two is based on the thematic focus of the law of influence. Here, this expert says leadership is influence. Maxwell adds that when you become a student of leaders, you begin to recognise people’s level of influence in everyday situations all around you. He says leaders do not possess influence in every area as our influence is either positive or negative. The author stresses that faithful leaders use their influence to add value and with influence comes responsibility. In chapters three to six, this author analytically X-rays concepts such as the laws of process, navigation, E.F. Hutton and solid ground. Maxwell educates that becoming a leader is a lot like investing successfully in the stock market. That is, if your hope is to make a fortune in a day, you are not going to be successful. In his words, “Leaders who navigate do even more than control the direction in which they and their people travel. They see the whole trip in their minds before they leave the dock.” In chapters seven to 12, Maxwell examines the concepts of the laws of respect, intuition, magnetism, connection, the inner circle and empowerment. He says people do not just follow others by accident, but follow individuals whose leadership they respect. “Only empowered people can reach their potential. When a leader can’t or won’t empower others, he creates barriers within the organisation that people cannot overcome,” stresses Maxwell. In chapter thirteen of this text, he examines the law of reproduction. Here, Maxwell submits that it takes a leader to raise a leader. In his words, “It’s true that a few people step into leadership because their organisation experiences a crisis, and they are compelled to do something about it. Another small group is comprised of people with such great natural gifting and instincts that they are able to navigate their way into leadership on their own. But more than four out of five of all the lead-

ers that you ever meet will have emerged as leaders because of the impact made on them by established leaders who mentored them.” Maxwell stresses that it all starts at the top because only leaders are capable of developing leaders and followers cannot do it. “Neither can institutional programmes…If a company has poor leaders, what little leadership it has will only get worse. If a company has strong leaders – and they are reproducing themselves – then the leadership just keeps getting better and better…,” submits this leadership expert. In chapters 14 to 18, Maxwell beams his analytical searchlight on the laws of buy-in, victory, the Big Mo, priorities and sacrifice. In chapter nineteen, he examines the law of timing, stressing that when to lead is as important as what to do and where to go. According to him, “When leaders do the right

things at the right time, success is almost inevitable.” In chapters twenty and twenty-one, the laws of explosive growth and legacy are discussed. Maxwell educates that leaders who develop followers grow their organisations only one person at a time, while leaders that develop leaders multiply their growth because for every leader they develop, they also receive all of that leader’s followers. He stresses that a leader’s lasting value is measured by succession. Conceptually, Maxwell’s efforts in this book deserve commendation. He establishes an analogical interface between the process of becoming a leader and investing successfully in the stock market. That is, if your hope is to make a fortune in a day, you are not going to be successful. By stressing that only empowered people can reach their potential and when a leader refuses to empower others, he creates barriers within the organisation that people cannot overcome, the author is able to inject real consciousness for right leadership in people. The language of the text is simple and the presentation very fantastic. For instance, Maxwell generously employs biblical and literary/classical allusions as well as illuminating illustrations to achieve conceptual amplification and ensure concrete conviction on readers’ part. This author displays temporal stylistic creativity by segmenting the text into 21 chapters spread over 21 weeks. Each week is further sub-divided into five days, while every day focuses on one predominant leadership thought, lesson, etc, for easy and memorable study. However, on Page 206, an error is noticed. Here, Maxwell says “… what little leadership it has will only get worse…” instead of “… whatever little leadership it has will only get worse…” Finally, this text is a compendium of insightful leadership tips. It is highly recommended to everybody, especially Nigerian politicians, civil servants, entrepreneurs, etc. PS: For those making inquiries about our ongoing Public Speaking and Business Presentation training programme, please visit the website indicated on this page for details. We are here to satisfy you. Till we meet on Monday.



More tips on mastering essentials of public speaking

OST of the time, your nervousness does not show at all. If you do not say anything about it, nobody will notice. If you mention your nervousness or apologise for any problem you think you have with your speech, you will only be drawing unnecessary attention to it. So just keep quiet about your nervousness or speech problem. Let your concentration be on your message, and not the medium: Your nervousness will disappear if you focus your attention away from your anxiety and concentrate on your message and your audience, not yourself. Experience is very critical to your success. Experience builds confidence, which is the key to effective speaking. Most beginning speakers find their nervousness decrease after each speech they give. If the fear of public speaking causes you to prepare more, then the fear of speaking serves as its own best antidote. Remember, he who fails to prepare is preparing for failure. Therefore, prepare.

Speaking enthusiastically

You need to speak enthusiastically in any speech situation. To speak enthusiastically, you need to do the following: Speak loudly: This is particularly necessary if you are emotionally upset, if you are shaking inside when you stand before an audience, or if you have ‘butterflies in your stomach’. Speak rapidly: Your mind functions more quickly when you do. You can read two books with greater understanding in the time you spend reading one if you concentrate and read with rapidity. But talking rapidly is not good for those who have natural speech challenges. Smile: In talking loudly and rapidly, you eliminate gruffness. You can put a smile in your voice by putting a smile on your face, a smile in your eyes. Modulate: This is important if you are speaking for a long period. You can speak loudly and intermittently change to a conversational tone and a lower pitch if you wish.

By Goke Ilesanmi

Academic public speaking

Another area worthy of discussion as regards public speaking and presentation is the academic type. This type of public speaking and presentation needs to change. In this type of public speaking and presentation, the speaker begins to read from the paper and speak in a soft monotone. Sentences are long, complex and filled with jargon. This type of delivery is common in the academic as well as corporate environment. As Paul Edwards, a professional speaker puts it, the speaker emphasises complicated details and with five minutes left in the session, he or she suddenly looks at his/her watch and announces that he or she will have to omit the most important points because time is running out. He or she drones on and even fifteen minutes after the scheduled end of the talk, the host reminds the speaker to finish for the third time. The speaker trails off inconclusively and asks for questions.

Stage fright

The question that readily comes to mind is: Why do otherwise brilliant people give such boring talks? To this question, Edwards has this to say: “One reason is stage fright. It’s easier to hide behind the armour of a written paper, which you’ve had plenty of time to work through, than simply to talk. This is a perfectly understandable reaction, and in some circumstances, it’s still the best thing to do.” But a much more important reason is that this kind of boring, incomprehensible talk has somehow become a part of academic culture. Communication experts also attribute the presentation style in academic public speaking to the dominance of written language in academic culture. Although writing and public speaking are two very different arts, it has become acceptable to treat public speaking

as the mere reading of written text.


It is ironical that rhetoric, the skill of persuasive argumentation is one of the most ancient academic disciplines, dating back to Plato’s Dialogues. Why then are academics delivering in a very boring way today? The current culture of academic public speaking and presentation is something that can be eradicated through public speaking and presentation training. It should be noted that for any presentation to be effective, it must: (1) communicate your arguments and ideas; (2) persuade your audience that your arguments and ideas true; and (3) be interesting and entertaining.

Discarding flexibility

In a bid to display in-depth skill of persuasive argumentation, academics sometimes forget about making their presentation interesting and entertaining. Some people think it follows naturally from the first two. But it does not. Some even deliberately avoid making their presentation entertaining on the grounds that if it is so, it simply means that it is not very deep. It is difficult, if not impossible, to achieve effective communication and persuasion without entertaining your audience. Keeping your audience interested and involved by entertaining them is essential because you need their full attention to be able to disseminate your information. Listening is hard work, especially at conferences, where people attend seminars lasting many hours. People therefore need the speaker’s help to maintain their focus. This is the true meaning of entertainment. In academic presentation, entertainment does not mean making your audience laugh or distracting them from their troubles.

Solutions to academic presentation

(1) Talk rather than read. It will be easier to understand you, and you will be better able

to make genuine contact with your audience. Furthermore, ultimately talking will help you think more clearly by forcing you to communicate your points in ordinary language. (2) Stand up. This is better for two reasons. First, people can see you better. Second, standing puts you in a physically dominant position. Though this sounds politically incorrect, in this context it is correct because you should remember that you are the focus. By standing up, you accept this invitation. (3) Move around/manage stage. Moving around or effective stage management is another solution. It is easier to keep focus on someone who is moving than on a stationary speaker. Hand gestures are also good. It is possible to over-use these devices, of course. Simply crossing from one side of the room to the other every three or four minutes is probably enough. (4) Face the audience and make eye contact with the audience. If this is anxiety-inducing, at least pretend to do this by casting your gaze towards the back and sides of the room. Be careful not to ignore one side of the audience. PS: For those making inquiries about our ongoing Public Speaking and Business Presentation training programme, please visit the website indicated on this page for details. Till we meet on Monday. •To be continued. •GOKE ILESANMI, Managing Consultant/CEO of Gokmar Communication Consulting, is an International Platinum Columnist, Certified Public Speaker/MC, Communication Specialist, Motivational Speaker and Career Management Coach. He is also a Book Reviewer, Biographer and Editorial Consultant. Tel: 08055068773; 08187499425 Email: Website:



The Midweek Magazine When dancing takes centre stage


The Maltina Dance All (MDA) season seven will climax with a spectacular live show at Eko Hotel and Suites, Victoria Island, Lagos on Sunday, reports CHINASA EKEKWE.


IGERIANS are being treated to some of the finest dance steps as season seven of the popular Maltina Dance All (MDA) family television show progresses. The show, which is sponsored by Maltina, a premium non-alcoholic malt brand from the stable of Nigerian Breweries Plc, has in the last seven years been providing the platform to train youths and families in the art of dancing. One unique feature of this year’s edition is the introduction of dance styles from the 1960s to date hence the theme, The Evolution of dance. Season Seven of the competition opened with regional auditions in Abuja, Port Harcourt, and Lagos. The first day of the two day auditions were used to reward consumers from ages five to 60, while the second day is usually set aside to select individual family representatives who will perform with his family, and if they meet all the necessary medical requirements of fitness are admitted into the Maltina Academy where they will compete with ten other families for the grand prize. The essence of the show is to lay credence on the creative and intellectual bent of the art of dancing. To this end, the brand goes the extra mile to bring both local and foreign based professional and intellectual dance instructors to train the ten families that make it into the academy every year. They attend lectures and are taken through dance courses in the “Art of Choreography” classes where they learn Our own, Wazobia, Pantomime and Hip-Hop dance styles to sharpen their dancing and intellectual capabilities. Senior Brand Manager, Maltina Mrs. Ngozi Nkwoji, said they undertook the journey because the brand’s story has always been the story of “sharing happiness” to various categories of consumers; this time around through the Nigerian family. Here, values such as friendship, trust, togetherness, and faithfulness can be discerned. “It is all about bringing the entire family together in an atmosphere of friendship and bonding with other families so that as units they can share common problems and ideas effectively throughout their time at the academy and beyond. We are very passionate about our youths and the family institution and we will do the best we can as a responsible corporate entity to ensure that the institution continues to remain relevant because a healthy and sound family system will resonate on the Nation as a whole, the youth and the family unit are the bedrock of any society.” She stressed that Maltina is interested in equipping both the youths and their parents to be relevant to the society. “Our motive is to equip them effectively to confront and proffer solutions to some of the everyday challenges we face in life and for them to use what they garner in the academy to help other families in the society and what better way to do it than through dance which is a concept that transcends tribe, religion, culture and what have you. Dancing has the capacity of drawing people together,” she added. The MDA, which is the foremost experiential and sponsorship platform of the Maltina brand, is renowned for promoting and enhancing family values and bonding between different families from different cultures across the country. On why the brand chose dance as its consumer engagement platform, Mrs. Nkwoji said dancing is a creative form of expression that transcends boundaries and it is also an art that almost everybody enjoys. She stated that this was the main reason the recently concluded auditions was done in such a way that all consumers of the brand benefited through winning prizes or making it into the academy. “Whatever we do is based on consumer research, it is what the consumers want that they get, we are very passionate about our consumers and we want them to have unlimited fun at every consumer touch point possible.” Mrs. Nkwoji added that the overall prize for this year’s edition of dance is N6 million, a brand new car. The first and second runners-up will go home with N1million and N500,000.” After the regional auditions and series of screening, which preceded the show proper, twenty five family representative qualified, but the number was whittled down to thirteen who were eventually invited to an intense and grueling Grand Audition Show where the number was further scaled down to ten that finally gained admission into the academy. The 10 lucky families are: the Ebute, Ebenezer, Dosa, Briggs, Ibrahim, Clement, Asiyefia, Ekado, Enweribe and Ikumoinein families. The Tom, Ibeatuche and Idundun families failed to convince the judges that they have what it takes to enter the academy. After the first and second eviction showdowns, the number was reduced to seven with the eviction of Dosa, Clement and Asiyefia families in the race to the final showdown on September 21. Maltina has over the years assembled some of the best dance instructors to train the families each year. The 2012

•Maltina Ebute Family on stage

•Maltina Ibrahim Family at the contest

PERFORMANCE instructors – who are presently training the current crop of dancers - include Victor Phullu, an expert in Nigerian dances, Gbenga Yusuf and Lillian Yeri, experts in Salsa, Janell Burgess, performing artist, choreographer, instructor and dancer and Muyiwa Oshinaike, a 30-year-veteran of dance and culture. In one of the dances, they were introduced to the art of choreography classes taken by Bimbo Obafunwa, the dance director. He explained that the art of choreography was about how to put on a dance face regardless of the dance styles performing and learn how to work with dance, space, precision and so many other elements that make up a fantastic and exceptional dance routine. Speaking on what they were taught, Patience Ebute of the Ebute family, said she learnt the six basic principles of dance, which involves actions, body parts, presence, dynamics, relationships and space. Chukwuebuka Enweribe said would use what he learnt in class to improve his family’s performance in the run-up to the final showdown. At the Pantomime - the act of using movement and facial expression rather than primarily spoken words to communicate – performance, the families entertained Nigerians through what they learnt from the instructor, Paolo Sisiano, by performing an emotional pantomime dance. The Ikumoinein family performed to the song Unstoppable

by ES Posthmus with the theme ‘The Beast Within’; then the Briggs family choreographed to Read all about it by Emeli Sande with the theme ‘My courthouse Confession’, where they showed a guy who received his sentence and how it affected his loved ones; the Ekado family danced to Khona by Mafikizolo with the theme ‘My African Pride’ and the Enweribe family performed to Architect of the mind by Kerry with the theme ‘Mad Scientist’, where a scientist lost his mind because he wasn’t getting to the solutions to his research. Victor Phullu, a veteran dancer and trainer, later introduced the families to three Wazobia dance styles, Sato dance style from Badagry, Lagos State, Uyai dance style from Akwa Ibom State, and Sharo dance style from Sokoto state. Some past winners have benefited from the MDA platform and have proceeded to excel in dancing as a career. A case in point is Ukalina Opuwari of the Opuwari family that won the 2008 edition of the show. Ukalina, with the assistance of Maltina enlisted at the Society for the Performing Arts in Nigeria (SPAN) and has become the First female Nigerian to be certified in Latin/Ballroom by the IDSF/IDAT in Beirut, Lebanon. Such is the importance that the brand attaches to the development of dancing in Nigeria using the family system as an avenue to achieve this noble objective. The MDA Season Seven will climax with a spectacular live show at Eko Hotel and Suites in Lagos on September 21; it will be beamed through Africa Independent Television (AIT) and Africa Magic on DSTV.

‘It is all about bringing the entire family together in an atmosphere of friendship and bonding with other families so that as units they can share common problems and ideas effectively throughout their time at the academy and beyond. We are very passionate about our youths and the family institution and we will do the best we can as a responsible corporate entity to ensure that the institution continues to remain relevant because a healthy and sound family system will resonate on the nation as a whole, the youth and the family unit are the bedrock of any society’



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ITH over 50 statistical tables and graphs from all over the world and running into approximately 600 pages divided into 12 chapters, Professor Eskor Toyo’s book, Economics of Structural Adjustment, is a magisterial study of the Nigerian economy from a world renowned Nigerian political economist who has well thought out alternative perspectives and ideas on the path to the country’s economic liberation and development. This book was first published by First Academic Publishers in 2002. Yet, it remains of enduring relevance to the contemporary understanding and management of the Nigerian economy. This is because nearly three decades after the introduction of the IMF/World Bank inspired Structural Adjustment Programme (SAP) by the Babangida administration, the management of the country’s economy is still informed by the neo-liberal conceptual and philosophical underpinnings of SAP. I must confess that the mid-1980s was a period of deep mental anguish and psychological frustration for people of my ideological persuasion that had deep suspicions of imperialism and believed in a radical, socialist path out of poverty and underdevelopment for former neo-colonies like African countries that had been victims of the slave trade, colonialism and neo-colonialism. Not only had the socialist economies of the East unravelled, the ascendancy of Reaganite and Thacherite neo-liberalism in the West had led to the forced embrace by impoverished African countries of SAPs to which it was said there was no alternative. Thus, one after the other African countries, under the tutelage of the International Financial Institutions, adopted such policies as massive currency devaluation, trade liberalisation, removal of subsidies, privatisation, deregulation of the economy and rolling back of the frontiers of the developmental state. Eskor Toyo’s book is thus a refreshing appraisal of SAP and a withering critique of its fundamental philosophical and intellectual foundations. Incidentally, I remember that the no less brilliant but more conservative political economist, Prof Pat Utomi, once criticised Eskor Toyo as a table thumping, sloganeering Marxist whose contributions to public discourse were less illuminating than the equally radical but more restrained Claude Ake. In this book, Toyo demonstrates that he is a deeply knowledgable economist well versed in the theories and tenets of the neo-classical economics of which he is so vehemently critical. He is, therefore, eminently qualified to offer the kind of penetrating and incisive critique of SAP and by

Segun Ayobolu

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Eskor Toyo and the economics of Neo-Liberalism (1) implication the neo-liberal policies across Africa, which we find in this book. In the first three chapters of the book, Eskor Toyo examines the fundamental characteristics of any economy generally and the peculiar problems of the Nigerian economy; the nature of short and medium term crises and how they are inherent in capitalist economies as well as the prospects for growth, development and stability in Third World economies within the context of long term growth prospects in the contemporary global capitalist economy. He thus situates the problems and challenges that led to the adoption of SAP within the context of the immersion of Third World economies into the international capitalist system on a dependent and unequal basis. Examining the class dimension of the Nigerian economic crisis that led to the adoption of SAP, Eskor Toyo contends that, contrary to the assumptions of the pro-SAP advocates, it was not all segments of the Nigerian community that mismanaged the country’s petroleum resources during the so-called oil boom period. According to him, it was neither the workers nor the farmers or peasants who were enriched in the petroleum boom years, made money from import licences trade or built large houses with imported material. Furthermore, the expenditure of a large part of the petroleum revenue on ‘frivolous imports’, so vehemently condemned by SAP advocates, was the function of the habits and pretensions of the parasitic Nigerian class in power who expended the money on trading and implementation of inflated government contracts. Eskor Toyo explodes the notion propounded by some Nigerian experts that SAP was a home grown programme. The practice he points out

is for the IMF to spell out only broad outlines of policy that must be adopted by those seeking its loans or support while local government economists work out the details. He argues, contrary to the proponents of SAP, that the decline of the Nigerian economy in the eighties cannot be attributed simply to the fall in petroleum revenues or ‘structural defects’ in agriculture or industry. In the first place, he contends, all capitalist economies were depressed in 1980 and thereafter. Thus, decline in the Nigerian economy could not be delinked or dissociated from the stagnation in the global capitalist economy. As he explains it, “During a depression in the leading capitalist countries, the agricultural and mineral raw material exports of a neo-colonial country closely yoked to them are bound to decline sharply. During a Kondratieff deceleration, the terms of trade will move more seriously against raw material exporters”. Another major point of disagreement between Eskor Toyo and the SAP advocates is his contention that Agriculture was never a vibrant ‘engine of economic growth’, which was undermined by the discovery of ‘unearned’ oil wealth. It is thus a myth that agriculture was neglected due to the discovery of oil. According to him, agriculture was allocated 13.5 per cent of the total public sector expenditure programme in the 1962 – 1968 plan; 13.8 per cent in the 1970- 1974 plan and 18.5 per cent in the 1975-1980 Plan. This was in addition to the creation of such institutions as the Nigerian Agricultural Cooperative Bank (NACB) with an equity capital of N150 million and the Agricultural Credit Guarantee Scheme which guaranteed up to 75 per cent loans given by any commercial bank

to farmers. Furthermore, in 1977, a rural banking scheme was introduced in which commercial banks were compelled to establish rural branches and some regulations were relaxed for this purpose. 201 of such branches were established between 1980 and the end of 1982. What then went wrong with Nigeria’s agriculture in the pre-SAP era despite all these initiatives? In the words of Eskor Toyo, “…the basic things necessary for agricultural transformation, namely, a planned irrigation system, planned long term research, transformation in peasant production organisation, the mechanization of agriculture to solve the acute problem of labour scarcity, systematic chemicalisation of agriculture, the development of agro-based industries, and the solution of extension, service, storage and transportation problems, were never done or put on a new basis…The ideas of the government have been limited improvements in colonial agriculture”. Again, advocates of SAP claimed that preceding governments had embarked on the indiscriminate expansion of the state sector – on investments in fields other than public utilities, on state enterprise in the realms of industry and agriculture, on the wrong choice of projects or on inefficiently managed projects”. Eskor Toyo however stresses that there was nothing inherently wrong in massive investment in the state sector. This policy was not some arbitrary whim but was indeed a key component of the Third National Development Plan (1975-1980) which states, for instance, that “the overall strategy of the plan is simple. Due to development in the oil sector, substantial resources are becoming available to Nigeria by way of government revenue, private income, foreign exchange etc. Since oil is a wasting asset, it is the development strategy of the government to utilise the resources from oil to develop the productive capacity of the economy and thus permanently improve the standard of living of the people”. The radical political economist makes the further crucial points that the economy today would not necessarily have been better without the government-pioneered enterprises and that “the private non-oil sector in Nigeria depends very much for its take off or expansion on the money spent by the government…” He contends that the crisis of industrialisation in pre-SAP Nigeria was largely a function of the bankrupt neo-colonial Import-Substitution-Industrialisation strategy which was at some point stridently advocated by the same forces that later turned around to strongly propound the SAP-led ‘Export-PushStrategy’.

‘Theatre redevelopment should be transparent’ The Federal Government’s proposed redevelopment of the landed properties around the National Theatre, Iganmu, Lagos is one issue that continues to attract reactions from stakeholders, reports Assistant Editor (Arts) OZOLUA UHAKHEME.


GROUP of concerned stakeholders and culture activists rose from a crucial meeting in Lagos backing the revitalisation of the 37-year-old National Theatre, Iganmu, Lagos will enable the monument to fulfill its role as a place for Nigerians to consume art and culture as well as propagate our cultural identity. It said the Theatre as the apex cultural institution in the country should play a more significant role in propagating our culture and well-being. In a communiqué at the end of the meeting, the group led by Prince Yemisi Shyllon urged the Federal Government to among others, select partners under the public private partnership (PPP) arrangement that should be made public and transparent, and in line with the highest standards of global best practice. The group recommended a well-planned public-private-partnership (PPP) model for the re-development of the theatre complex, which would involve and accommodate the contributions of culture and art stakeholders. It also added that the redevelopment of the National Theatre should go hand-in-hand with the final passage of a revised National Policy on Culture and the setting up of the National Endowment for the Arts. “The National Theatre is not culture content-driven with due regard to its role as the centre of culture production but merely remains a cosmetic showpiece. All the cultural agencies and parastatals operating within the precincts of the NAT can continue to be accommodated under the proposed PPP arrangement, since these agencies represent the custodians of our national cultural interests, patrimony and heritage as a people,” it said. But it wondered what has happened to the inconclusive arrangement by Bureau of Public Enterprise (BPE) to concession the National Theatre, an exercise

•National Threatre, Iganmu, Lagos

MONUMENTS that started in 2007. The Chief Executive Officer Jadeas Trust, an educational and cultural foundation, Mrs Yetunde Aina who are the promoters of the consortium that emerged as the reserve bidders at the public opening of the transaction bids in 2007, recalled that the BPE process was quite clear, and that following the failure of the preferred bidder to conclude on any particular transaction, a reserve bidder was automatically invited to conclude on the said transaction. “It is only following the incapacity of the reserve bidder to conclude on the process that the transaction can be deemed to have been aborted. We therefore trust that the

Federal Government will adhere to the rule of law, due process and demonstrate transparency by bringing this process to a logical conclusion,” she noted. The August 27 meeting held at Terra Kulture Lagos, was attended by Dr. Ola Balogun, Ben Tomoloju, Odia Ofeimun, Deji Toye, Mrs Yetunde Aina and Ayo Arigbabu. The National Theatre was built in 1976 ahead of the Second Black and African Festival of Arts and Culture held the following year, The main complex, built in the shape of a hat on 23,000 square metres and standing over 31 metres high, has a 5,000-seater main hall with a collapsible stage, two 700-seater cinema halls •Continued on page 40



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Some students of Maryland Comprehensive Secondary School, Lagos, were at this year’s Albert Schweitzer Leadership for Life (ASLFL) Conference in Dublin, Ireland, reports ESTHER ADE-ADELEYE.

An experience to remember

Settling in


N Wednesday, July 24 this year, some minutes past nine in the night, the nine-man delegation from Maryland Comprehensive Secondary School (MCSS), Maryland, Lagos boarded a Lufthansa plane to Dublin via Frankfurt, excited but almost clueless about what to expect from a place over 5,000 miles away. We were to participate in the Albert Schweitzer Leadership for Life (ASLFL) conference holding at the National University of Ireland, Maynooth, Dublin. The plane took off by 9:50pm and was soon over the clouds. It took about eight hours to get to Dublin, Ireland. We arrived the next day after a stopover in Frankfurt. We left Nigeria with the school administrator, Rev. Sister Esther Edeko, OLA, Junior School Sectional Head, Mr Lawrence A. Oigbochie, and seven students. I remember looking through the window before we landed in Dublin and admiring how beautiful the country is. Once on ground, there were no exhaust fumes or noise or loud sirens to welcome us. The city’s tranquillity and beauty simply made it alluring and friendly. At 9pm, it was surprising to see it was still daylight at that time, but that was just another Ireland factor we had to get used to.

•Ade-Adeleye (standing second left, on second row) with her group members and facilitators at the conference

ASLFL and I This year’s ASLFL conference brought students from different parts of the world, namely Canada, United States, Ireland, Northern Ireland, England, Palestine, India, South Korea, Nigeria and Kenya from July 27 to August 3. That alone was an enriching encounter. Our quest ‘to Live, to Love, to Lead and to Learn’ commenced as we arrived for the programme. Each participant was given a room and after lunch we were taken on a tour of the South Campus of the university. The next five days were filled with much more fun and learning. The conference started fully on Monday, July 29. The international students from America, United Kingdom, Palestine, India and South Korea had arrived the same day with us, while the Irish delegates arrived on Monday. At the opening, I met Mr Matt McCoy, the ASLFL ambassador. Mr McCoy is a popular actor who has acted in many movies and series such as Police Academy 5 and 6, The Hand that Rocks the Cradle, and National Security to mention but a few. I was truly thrilled to meet an international movie star. Afterwards, the delegates were divided into different workshop groups. I made more friends, met more people, learnt about different cultures and, more importantly, appreciate people and work well with them. Each group formed a group name, made mascots and banners and this was a great way to mix with everyone and share ideas. I had the scavenger hunt after dinner and I definitely did some brain cudgelling and clues finding. The whole ASLFL programme remains an experience to remember, yet several moments stand out for me. The Human Bingo activity, for instance, got me talking and made me more open. I also had the team scavenger hunt and I enjoyed mixing with my group members. Karaoke was in the evening of the first day and I remember being so excited before it took place. I wanted to sing but I was so scared. Then came this huge conviction to do it, and the only song that came to my mind was Blessings, a Christian song I like for obvious reasons. I remember walking up to the podium and taking a deep breath. The rest, as they say, is history! So, that was my first real personal challenge; doing things even though I was so scared! That was basically what the conference was about; taking-up challenges and overcoming fears. The rousing applause that followed my performance was so encouraging and I realised that people actually appreciated virtually everything one did. There was nothing to be scared of after all. That was the beginning! The rest of the week saw me getting better at communicating, being less timid, taking up challenges, voicing out my opinions and learning about different cultures. I improved in my communication and presentation skills. I learnt how to be reflective and what I would like to do for my community. I became more aware of my personal and leadership goals. The programme was not ‘all work and no play...’ I had a scavenger hunt, Human Bingo activity, as well as a ‘Novelty Olympic Games’. There was also a quiz night, and like most of what I have been doing, it was fun! Different speakers were invited to speak at the conference and it was great learning from them. Some of them were: Ms. Louise Phelan, Vice President-Global Affairs, Pay Pal Inc., Dr. Mary Redmond, Mr Dominic Jude who had taken the challenge of climbing the famous Mount Everest, and Kenneth Egan, an Olympic medallist. There was the graduation gala on the August 1 and representatives of each country gave wonderful speeches. Everyone had a good time.

•From left: Rev. Sister Edeko, Oigbochie (extreme right), and students at the Our Lady of Apostles (OLA) convent in Cork City, Ireland

TRAVELOGUE The tour of Ireland Something I concluded during my stay in Ireland was that Ireland had a rich culture and history. These are well preserved and definitely attracted a lot of tourists from different parts of the world. On Sunday, July 28, the day began with a tour of Dublin. The international students were taken round Dublin and we visited many places and historic sites. The first place we visited was the Phoenix Park, which I learnt was established in 1662. At the park, we saw many important places: The Criminal Courts of Justice, the Duke of Wellington Monument, the Dublin zoo, which is about the fifth largest in Europe, the private Residence of the American Ambassador and the house of the President of Ireland. After touring the Phoenix Park, we went to St. Patrick Cathedral where I saw many statues and bought a lot of souvenirs. I took more pictures and enjoyed the beautiful scenery. We also visited the Oscar Wilde Park, named after the famous Irish wit, satirist and literary giant, which was also very beautiful. We had lunch at McDonalds with fellow schoolmates and chaperone, did more window shopping and then returned to Trinity College for a tour of the library. This was where I saw the Book of Kells, which is widely regarded as Ireland’s finest national treasure, and I took some pictures. Dinner was at the National concert hall after a brief history of the hall was told to us. We later watched the World Choral Festival that evening. It was an incredible experience. While some of us enjoyed most of the songs performed, some could hardly stay awake! I was particularly fascinated throughout the performance as I listened to Leonardo dreams of his flying machine for the first time. It was a great piece. Other songs performed were My dear sweetheart, Adieu; the Hallelujah Chorus, and the Funk. We woke up early on Saturday, the August 3 to make the trip to Galway from the university at Maynooth. Again, the international students were treated to a tour of the western part of Ireland. We passed through Moneygall, President Obama’s ancestral home, then visited the Bunratty castle, which was built in 1425, and the Cliff of Moher. It was very beautiful and a great way to end the conference for the international students.

At Cork City On August 4, after the conference ended, together with our school administrator, chaperone and fellow students, we embarked on a trip to Cork City, south of Dublin, five

hours away. The day after, we went to Our Lady of Apostles (OLA) convent, which was considerably close to the hotel we lodged in. From the moment we entered the convent, an unearthly peacefulness and purity enveloped us and I imagined what it would feel like to live in such an environment. It was very beautiful, and what is more, the sisters who lived in the convent were extremely friendly and loving and gave us the warmest welcome. It was with great happiness that we played Nigerian musical instruments for them and they greatly appreciated it. Then we had a sumptuous lunch thereafter. Earlier, we visited the graves of some reverend sisters who had a lot to do with the history of our school, Maryland Comprehensive Secondary School. I saw the graves of Sis Arcade who gave Maryland its name, and Sister Kathleen O’ Reagan who was the first principal of the school. We met many reverend sisters who had been to Nigeria for one missionary work or the other. We also met Sister Mary Crowley who was the first principal of the school after the Lagos State Government returned former mission schools to the original owners. We went shopping in the city centre and also had a great time bowling. Better still, we visited McDonalds, for a great after-dinner snack!

Conclusion Our stay in Ireland, and most importantly, the Albert Schweitzer Leadership for Life Conference, is one we will never forget. It had a very huge impact on us. I met the friendliest people I had ever known. Not only did I have fun, I also met people who made me realise that we are all unique and gifted in so many ways. I met people who told me good things about myself that I never knew, who cheered me on when it was time to speak and who told me, in the words of Brian, one of my group members, that “You will be a great doctor.” I met people who helped me boost my confidence. I was engaged in activities which made me a better person all round and which taught me how to be a good leader, that I could be a good leader, I should be a good leader, and that I would be a great leader. ASLFL programme has made a positive impact on me and I am more aware that “the very essence of leadership is that you have to have a vision. You can’t blow an uncertain trumpet.” (Rev. Theodore M. Hesburgh). So there, it was two wonderful weeks in Ireland. Two great and memorable weeks that will continue to linger in my memory throughout my lifetime. More importantly, I learnt from my peers, how to live, to love, to lead and to learn. •Esther Ade-Adeleye has just passed out from Maryland Comprehensive Secondary School, Lagos.



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‘Invest in literacy’ • Over 773 million youths/adults, 250 million primary-school-age children can’t read, says UN chief


N an era when knowledge is highly celebrated and priced, over 773 million people across the world are still unable to read a story aloud to their children, it was said. And two out of three are women. The United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon made the revelation in statement to marke this year’s World Literacy Day. This year, the focus was on the need for investing in learning and literacy level. He urged urging countries to invest in learning and literacy. He noted that literacy is a foundation for a more just, inclusive and sustainable world that can help in the advancement of all the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), He said: “Literacy enables people to gain access to information to improve their health and nutrition, widen their livelihood options, cope with environmental change and make informed choices. “More than 773 million young people and adults around the world cannot read this message (his message for the commemoration of the Day). They are among the ranks of our fellow citizens who have not yet gained full literacy skills. They may not be able to fill out a job application, decipher a bus timetable or read a story aloud to their children. Two out of three

How to overcome challenges in marriages A

are women who are denied this essential ingredient to full participation in society.” While lamenting of the number of children of primary-school–age and adolescent that still cannot read, he urged: “Make education and literacy national priorities and to work with partners across society to advance these goals. By promoting literacy, we can help millions of people write their own chapter of opportunity in their lives and our common future. “When we invest in learning and literacy, we invest in human dignity, development and peace. That is why I launched the Global Education First Initiative, which focuses on ensuring that every child can go to school. Worldwide at least 250 million primary-schools-age children cannot read, write or count. Half of these girls and boys never make it to school or are pushed out before their fourth year. Another 200 million adolescents, including those who completed secondary school, do not have basic literacy skills — and so our initiative also focuses on improving the quality of education as well as fostering global citizenship.”

BUDDING author Bukola Oyetunji has said “problems are bound to occur in marriages, and it is left for us to know them and learn the tactics in solving such problems”. She noted that any marriage or relationship is prone to face a challenge if they are allowed to overpower the relationship, which would lead to breakdown. She said in such instance, the break down may be called divorce or breakup in some cases. He spoke at the launch of her new book One Good Spouse Deserves Another in Lagos. The book, which was reviewed by Olufolakemi Amosu, has a very rich content of preparing people mind towards marriage and also those already married. She described the content of the book as an eye-opener to such problem and how they can be tackled. It identifies problems that might occur when people are in relationship. According to Olufolakemi, “the author has done a great job in making this book. It is an expression of great courage and

commitment by the author and is also an extent of sacrifice because the book will transform lives and impact on people.” The 18-chapter-book has 130 pages filled with inspiring content to help maintain a good relationship. Marriage is all about life experience, once there is the absence of such experience, the marriage might crumble, but the book content as a lot of experience to teach couples, and even teenagers. She added the book is an inspirational book that explains how married couples can overcome marriage problems and explain what marriage entails to teenagers. The author goes further apart from making a book; she made it accessible online in order to encourage the habit of reading which is gradually diminishing. No doubt, the book is recommended to anyone looking forward to marry and those who are married.

Development Company and the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry, were among the 25 organisations bidding for the purchase of the National Arts Theatre, the Lagos International Trade Fair Complex and the Tafawa Balewa Complex, Lagos. To qualify for the data room inspection, each firm paid $10,000. The data room exercise, which began on April 24, 2007, was expected to be concluded on April 30. Infrastructica, UACN Property Development Company, XL Management, BHI Ventures, Jadeas Trust, Lloyd Anderson, Dolphin Proper-

ties, Zillenium Limited and BEPONG were among the bidders. But in September, last year, Chief Duke said a committee was set up to look into the possibility of a Public Private Partnership (PPP) in the management of the facility. “The committee consists of representatives of the Federal Ministry of Housing, Infrastructural Regulations Committee and Surveyor General,” he said. He added that the committee engaged BGL Consultants, a foreign consulting firm, to look into ways of turning around the surroundings of the theatre. The

minister said the theatre ground had empty space with smelly water, which should be rehabilitated and the land turned into a five-star hotel, a shopping mall, offices, leisure spots and car parks. “This was designed 37 years ago, when the theatre was built but because of lack of funds, the plan did not come up. We issued a quit notice to National Gallery of Arts (NGA), National Council for Arts and Culture (NCAC) and the National Troupe of Nigeria (NTN) so that the plan can be materialised,” Mr Duke said.

By Evelyn Osagie


By Latifat Runsewe


‘Theatre redevelopment should be transparent’

•Continued from page 38

equipped with simultaneous translation facilities for eight languages and conference/banqueting halls. The complex until recent quit notice by the minister of Tourism Culture and National Orientation, Chief Edem Duke, houses the National Council for Arts and Culture, Nigeria Gallery of Arts, National Troupe of Nigeria, News Agency of Nigeria and numerous restaurants and petty trade outlets. It would be recalled that the UACN Property






Anambra State Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) may be weakened by internal strife and rancor, ahead of the November 16 governorship election, as the party is polarised by the bitter struggle for its ticket by Andy Uba and Tony Nwoye. Assistant Editor ONYEDI OJIABOR reports

PDP at crossroads in Anambra


HE future of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Anambra State seems to be hang ing in the balance as the governorship election draws near. The political gladiators in the party are fuelling the crisis rocking the troubled chapter. But after sowing the wind, they may to reap the whirlwind. Though the party has always contended with discordant views on issues of who gets what, the intrigues have moved up several notches. To observers, the plots, conspiracies, manipulations and deception trailing the emergence of the flag bearer for the November 16 governorship election are worrisome. Other political parties have elected their governorship candidates for the election with minimal crises. However, claims and counter-claims by the PDP gladiators have not permitted the party to prepare for the November 16 contest as a united fold. The All Progressives Congress (APC) has elected Senator Chris Ngige as its flag bear; the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) chose Chief Willy Obiano, who was said to have been anointed by Governor Peter Obi while Mr. Ifeanyi Ubah, the oil magnate, emerged from the Labour Party (LP). Analysts agree that, in the 2007 and 2011 elections, internal strife, bitter wrangling and endless bickering robbed the PDP cost the party a lot of misfortune. Senator Andy Uba and Prince Nicholas Ukachukwu have gone back to the trenches. The duo have found a common enemy in an emerging political force, Comrade Tony Nwoye. Observers say that, in the political calculus of Anambra State, Uba and Ukachukwu were political foes. The struggle for power may have forced a marriage of convenience between them to fight Nwoye. Uba and Ukachukwu have oiled and aligned their political machinery for the common objective of frustrating Nwoye’s election as the PDP flag bearer. Ukachukwu believes that it is better for him to be beaten by Uba than for a “small boy not known in the political calculus of the state” to send him to early political retirement. Observers say that Uba also believes that, in a worst case scenario, rather than suffer defeat in

• Nwoye

• Mba

the hands of Nwoye, Ukachukwu should clinch the party’s ticket. Both Ukachukwu and Uba, erstwhile political foes, now share a common ground. With Nwoye holding on tenaciously against the duo, Anambra PDP is far from being at ease. If the crisis is not resolved, the war of attrition may mar the chance of the PDP at the poll. The PDP primary election was the bone of contention. While the PDP National Executive Committee (NEC) commissioned Governor Ibrahim Shema of Katsina State and his team to conduct the party’s primary election a claimant to the office of PDP chairman, Chief Mike Oguebego, held another primary. Observers say that the PDP constitution is clear on who should conduct the party’s primary elections. There is no provision in the party’s constitution,that confers authority on the party executive to conduct a governorship primary. “According to the Supreme Court and by virtue of Article 17.1 of the PDP Constitution, it is the National Executive Committee of PDP that has the power to conduct party primaries and submit the result of such exercise to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC),” a party chieftain at the National Secretariat said. A party faithful in Abuja also stressed that the conduct of the party primaries has nothing to do with the state executive. He opined that the party officials that conduct primaries are commis-

sioned by the National Headquarters of the party. In the case of Anambra State, he insisted that, since the gubernatorial primary is a national assignment, the question of whether Oguebego or Ken Emeakayi is the authentic PDP chairman does not really matter. Before the congresses were held, the party leaders called the party faithfuls, including the aspirants, to agree on the modalities for free, fair and transparent congress. In an unprecedented bid to ensure transparency, the national leadership of the party also published the names of delegates. On the day of the election, aspirants, including Nwoye, Uba, Senator Emma Anosike and Ambassador Jerry Ugokwe, were met the Commissioner of Police to reaffirm their faith in the exercise. Uba walked out of the meeting and headed for Emmaus House, where he organised and held a parallel shadow poll under the chairmanship of Oguebego, which has the recognition of the electoral commission, while PDP officials led by Governor Shema conducted another primaries at Alex Ekwueme Square, Awka. A senator, who was a member of the member of the Shema Committee expressed disgust over the way and manner Uba walked out on them. The PDP leadership believed that Shema would conduct a free, fair, and transparent primary elec-

tion. The shadow poll conducted by him produced Comrade Tony Nwoye the candidate. Uba also emerged at the primaries conducted by Oguebego. No fewer than 23 aspirants signified their interest under the PDP, but the number was reduced to 12, following high nomination fee. Ukachukwu, Dr. Alex Obiogbolu, Barrister Mike Okoye, Chief Ugochukwu Okeke, Mrs Josephine Anenih, Walter Okeke and Nwoye participated at the primaries monitored by Shema. Many factors led to Nwoye’s emergence. Observers said that, since the party jettisoned zoning, Anambra North Senatorial zone where Nwoye hails from resolved to take its fate in its hands. Traditional rulers from the zone built support for Nwoye.met several times and took a decision to launch out to other zones to seek support for Nwoye. But the youth activist also reached out to other parts of the state for support. When Nwoye emerged, Mrs Anenih congratulated him on behalf of other aspirants. After the primaries, the party set up an ‘Appeal Committee’ to enable the aspirants ventilate their grievances. The party did not immediately give Nwoye the certificate of return at the Alex Ekwueme Square. “The party allowed the Appeal Panel to do its work and, satisfied that Shema did the right thing, it invited Nwoye and issued him with a certificate”, said a chieftain. A party chieftain, Jude-Kingsley Onyeka, said: “the issue of a parallel primary election does not arise because it is a settled matter that no state chapter of any party has the power to conduct party congress.” According to him, there was only one congress, which enjoyed the support of the National Working Committee and the National Executive Council. “It is the duty of the National Executive Council of the PDP to organise a congress and the party has done that and produced a candidate”, he added. The PDP stalwart recalled that the Supreme Court had dismissed the appeal filed by Prince John Emeka . He said: “ Justice Rhodes-Vivour J.S.C categorically stated that “any primaries conducted by the state chapter of PDP is no primary; It is an illegal contraction that carries with it no legal right. It is a complete nullity.” He stressed: “You can only say something is parallel when it is legitimate. The court called the so-called primary organised by the then Executive of the party a nullity. The same nullity applies in this case because the state executive does not have the power to conduct a congress.” The gladiators are still locked in battle for the soulmof the PDP in Anambra. Manmy fear that the protracted crises may weaken the party, ahead of the governorship poll.

In the last 10 years, the Uba family has dominated the political space in Anambra State. But its influence seems to be waning. NWANOSIKE ONU reports.

Is it end of road for Uba dynasty?

• Chris Uba


HE Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) crisis in Anambra State has taken a toll on some persons and their political careers. Anambra parades politicians who have carved a niche for themselves at the state and federal levels. They have influence, they have money and some of them are considered as people who influence major decisions. Some of them include former

vice president of Nigeria , Dr. Alex Ekwueme, the oil magnate, Prince Arthur Eze, former presidential aide to President Olusegun Obasanjo, Senator Andy Uba. Then, of course, there is the man referred to as the course the enfant terrible of Anambra politics, Chief Chris Uba. The list is endless. But, since the return to civilian government in 1999, one family has dictated the pace of political events in the state. It is the Uba family from Uga, Aguata Local Government Area. When Senator Uba was former President Olusegun Obasanjo, he empowered Chris his younger sibling politically. Also, during the time, another older Ugochukwu Uba, was the senator representing Anambra South Zone. He was the man Prince Nicholas Ukachukwu could not unseat. However, the Uba dynasty built over the years seems to be crashing,

despite the coming together of the trio of Andy, Ugochukwu and Chris. Before now, they were working at cross purposes, especially, Andy and Chris, who everybody referred to as the political godfather. In 2003, he was the person who brought in Dr. Chris Ngige for the governorship under the PDP. But few months after the senator fell apart with his godfather. Allegations and counter allegations were heaped against one another, but Ngige extricated himself from the clutches. This led to the series of crisies which befell the administration. It climaxed when on July 10, 2004, the state went up in flames that was tagged Anambra Mayhem. Buildings were burnt, properties destroyed, including the materials for the December 4th, 2004 proposed local government elections in the state. But in 2007, the Uba dynasty was almost in tatters as Chris nursed the

ambition of contesting for the governorship of the state, while the elder brother, Andy, equally had the same ambition. The interest of the two almost tore the political dynasty apart. Chris was talked into submission by their late mother. His withdrawal paved the way for Andy to become the Governor of the state in 2007, which, however, lasted for only 17 days. The current marriage between the brothers to ensure that Andy wins the governorship election on November 16 has not gone down well with some leaders of the PDP. They have brought out former President of the National Association of Nigeria Students (NANS), Dr. Tony Nwoye, as the party’s flag bearer to counter the ambition of the Ubas. Since the primaries of the party in Awka, where two factions held separate primaries, all had not been well with the party. Both Uba and Nwoye

have been laying claim to the ticket. The enlarged party house converged at Dr. Alex Ekwueme Square during the primaries, where Nwoye emerged, defeating Prince Ukachukwu, Akachukwu Nwankpo, Obinna Uzor and the like to the ticket. The faction of the party was led by Prince Kenneth Emeakayi, while at Emmaus House, Uba picked the ticket as he defeated Emma Anosike and others in a primary that was conducted by Ejike Oguebego’s faction. The PDP house is in disarray. The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) declared a faction not recognised by the party as the authentic one. INEC has continued to maintain that Uba remains the candidate of the party, while the national and state leadership of the party is in support of Nwoye despite court rulings on the issue.




PDP can’t bounce back in Southwest, says APC chieftain

Former federal legislator Chief Segun Taiwo was the Special Adviser on Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs in Oyo State. He spoke with BODE DUROJAIYE on the recent defection of prominent Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) chieftains to the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Oyo State and other partisan issues.

Oyo State All Progressives Congress (APC) chieftain Alhaji Abass Oloko spoke Correspondent TAYO JOHNSON on his defection from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), the Ajimobi Administration and the governor’s endorsement for a second term by stakeholders.

‘APC has better plans for Oyo’


HY did you defect from the PDP to the defunct ACN in Oyo State? I have to defect to the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) because the former governor, Otunba Adebayo Alao-Akala, does not listen to correction. It was during the chairmanship tussle among the monarchs in the state. I went to him and complained that he should settle the crisis and make the Alaafin of Oyo the permanent chairman, but he objected to my advice. Alaafin does not joke with history. He is a very thorough person and even, the ancient history of Yoruba supports his claim as the head of the race. But former Governor Akala went to the extent of trying to divide Oyo. Alaafin is the father of the Yorubas, from here to Dahomey and Benin Republic. Akala lifted the ban on the activities of the National Union of Road Transport Workers(NURTW) in the state and wanted the chairmanship of the traditional council to be given to the Olubadan of Ibadanland, when he lost the election, so that there wiill be crisis for Governor Abiola Ajimobi. ButAjimobi applied wisdom and the state has been peaceful. Akala is the main problem in the PDP in Oyo State and he was the one that brought about factions in the party, which started when he opposed the former Senate Leader, Senator Teslim Folarin, to return back to the Senate. He only managed to return one House of Representatives member, which is Olunloyo. And that is why I resigned and defected to the ACN. Even, if the PDP in Oyo State resolves all its internal wrangling, it can not beat the ACN in the general elections in 2015 because the Yoruba people are tired of them. Their crisis is from the top. Somebody will say there is no executive of the party in the state; another person will want to be the governor, senator, and another person will want to be the party chairman. Imagine what is happening at the national level of the party. A house that is divided against itself will not stand. I warned former Governor Adebayo Alao-Akala not to venture into something, but he refused to yield to my advice. Imagine, we went to a meeting in Lagos State with President Goodluck Jonathan, and you should come and see how rude Akala was to the President when he started banging the table on him, and said to his face that, without him, he will win his election and that was how the meeting ended, and we all defected to ACN. I can never return to the PDP because I am loyal to ACN. Do you have any regret leaving the PDP? I do not have any regret at all because I am living a peaceful life now in the All Progressives Congress (APC), unlike before when I was still with them. The crisis and trouble here and there will make them to lose elections in the Southwest. If PDP and Accord Party (AP) team up against the APC, will APC still retain the state? I am telling you confidently that the PDP cannot win the election in Ibadan and other towns. Accord Party is a worthless party. All the noise about the reconciliation in the PDP will not work because there are some greedy people in the party who do not want peace to reign. Senator Teslim Folarin wants to be the leader, Alhaji Gbolarunmi wants to be the leader, Elder Wole Oyelese wants to be the leader and Senator Lekan Balogun said he is their father. Ihey can not settle. The entire Yoruba race is tired of PDP and their problems. For instance, look at the way Governor Ajimobi settled the NURTW dispute without assault, murder, riot or crisis. Can any PDP governor do the same? Instead, it is always trouble and problem as usual in any state they govern. PDP can never win in Oyo State in 2015 because Governor Abiola Ajimobi will return back by the grace of God. He has performed well in all the sectors. Look at the standard of education, security, and infrastructural development now in the state and compare it to the one in PDP administration. How do you rate the governor, in terms of performance? Governor Ajimobi is performing beyond expectation. He will break the jinx that Ibadan people doesn’t serve a governor twice. Since the administration of the late Chief Kolapo Ishola in Oyo State, we have had three democratically elected governors and none of them have performed like him. In the past look, Ibadan and the state were dirty and unorganised. If you enter the state from Lagos or Osun State, you will be disturbed by the insanity. In Ibadan people dropped refuse everywhere; shops, at the middle of the road. Imagine people building shops under a high tension wire, which is very bad and they kept critisising him when he embarked on the demolition of the illegal structures. In two years, Governor Ajimobi has returned the state to its glory. He employed 20,000 youths, spending N3.6 billion on them annually, constructed the Mokola flyover bridge, rehabilitated over 100 roads and dualised over five roads within Ibadan. Is that why people are defecting from the PDP to the APC? They are defecting because they have seen the difference and also because of the crisis in the PDP. So, they all want peace. The progress recorded so far in the Southwest by the defunct ACN governors is a testimonial to convince them to join our great party. Do you have any political ambition in mind? My political ambition is to see Governor Ajimobi returning back to the Agodi Government House as the elected governor of Oyo State in 2015. • Oloko


HAT informed your decision to defect from the PDP to the APC? The decision was informed by the senseless crises, egoistic desires, undue favouritisms that remain predominant in the self-acclaimed largest political party in Africa, the PDP. Imagine the national shame and embarrassment the PDP is giving to the country as a result of the executive arrogance and power drunkenness by both the National Chairman and the Presidency. Is it not irritating and ridiculous to hear that 36 governors find it difficult to conduct election among themselves without any rancour and ill-feeling. After all, majority of them belong to the same political party. What does this portends for democracy and future elections in this country? That is to say the the PDP cannot put its house in order. Already, it is a divided house. Consequently, we need an alternative avenue that will rescue power from these self-centred and never-dowell leaders in the PDP. The alternative is the merger of all the political parties, and that is the APC. APC should expect more defections from the PDP. Interestingly, look at the calibre of distinguished, highly respected and eminent personalities that are in the APC. They include Chief Bisi Akande, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, General Muhammadu Buhari (rtd), Chief Tom Ikimi, Chief Audu Ogbeh, Alhaji Ibrahim Shekarau, Alhaji Aminu Masari, Mallam Nasir el-Rufai, Mallam Nuhu Ribadu, Aremo Segun Osoba, Rochas Okorocha, committed governors of Oyo, Osun, Ogun, Ekiti and Lagos states, among others. We discovered that they are the people that can move the country to the promise land. They have been tested and trusted and, if given the mantle of leadership, power outage, Boko Haram insurgency, unemployment and others will not only be forgone issues, the rating of Nigeria, in terms of corruption, in the comity of nations will disappear. APC has politicians with good conscience that will provide the platform for alternative governance. Sincerely yours, with the formidable composition of the APC and, coupled with the sufferings and frustrations of the teeming Nigerians in tfe hands of the PDP-


led autocratic federal government, it will not be too difficult to dislodge the PDP from power. What is more, Asiwaiu Bola Tinubu, today, without sentiments, remains not only a factor, but a politician of note that cannot be ignored. He could best be described as the successor to the late sage, Chief Obafemi Awolowo. Tinubu is not only an issue in Nigerian politics, he has become an institution and authority that can be referred to. His untiring efforts towards ensuring that Yorubas are not relegated in the political mainstream stands him unique among the present crop of Nigerian leaders. Tinubu remains the only leader championing the emancipation of the masses, which the late chief Awolowo stood for. Tinubu has become the Generalisimo of politics in Nigeria.The National leader of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) and the APC is not only a distinguished and redoubtable personality, but an experienced financial expert, maverick politician and mentor, whose lifestyles and leadership qualities have been quite inspiring, supportive and encouraging to the downtrodden. If mentoring is a structured and trusting relationship that brings young people together with caring individuals who offer guidance, support and encouragement aimed at developing the competence and character of the people, then, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu is indeed, a locus parentis. As

a detribalised and versatile leader with a wide range of experience, the former Lagos State governor is a good listener, always caring, and even ready to support the young ones, by bringing out their inherent talents. You served under former Governor Adebayo Alao-Akala, as a Special Adviser. How would you assess and compare the past administration with the present one? What Alao-Akala could not achieve in four years as the governor, and another two years after the impeachment of Ladoja, was achieved within two years by the present administration in the state. Anytime I travel to Ilorin and, on getting to Ogbomoso, I almost weep and lose concentration because of the grave injustice the former governor meted to the people of Oyo town, where I come from. The LAUTECH Teaching Hospital in Ogbomoso was originally situated in Oyo town , but out of greed and avarice, the multi-billion naira project was secretly and selfishly relocated to Ogbomoso, the home town of Alao-Akala. But you were part of the government. Why didn’t you raise objection when the injustice was observed? As I said earlier on, the relocation was secretly planned and executed by few people in government. But when I got to know of it, I objected to the secret decision and confronted the governor with my protest. I stand to be challenged by the Oyo indegenes who served in the last administration. But can a tree make a forest? Honestly, we must commend Governor Abiola Ajimobi for his unprecedented governance has brought rapid developments to all the nooks and crannies of the state. These include the Ajumose Free Bus Shuttle, provision of tractors to each of the 33 local governments, massive reconstruction of roads across the state, employment of about 20,000 youths under the Youth Employment Scheme [YESO], and the restoration of peace and tranquillity, especially among the road transport workers. Take a trip round Ibadan, the state capital, and see the wonders of Ajimobi. What of the recently commissioned Mokola Roundabout Flyover Bridge, which is first of its kind in thirty-five years. I I am happy to witness these unprecedented developments in the history of Oyo State.

How democracy can survive, by activist


UMAN rights activist Comrade Linus Okoroji has reflected on the 14 years of civil rule, lamenting that the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has ruined the country. He urged Nigerians to embrace the All Progressives Congress (APC) and vote for its candidates in the 2015 elections. Okoroji spoke with reporters on the threat possed to democracy and stability by the crisis rocking the ruling party. He said that a party that cannot protect internal democracy will jeopardise popular rule and cripple the institutions of democracy. Okoroji, who is the former Deputy President of National Union of Banks Insurance Financial Institutions (NUBIFE), maintained that PDP is a liability. He said: “The PDP comprises a gang of people who want to share the resources of this country among themselves. It has no interest in developing the country or moving it away from the precipice .” The National Democratic Coalition (NADECO) chieftain stressed that the hope of the masses lies in the enthronment of a progressive government in 2015.

By Chinaka Okoro

The activist called for the restructuring of the country along the preexisting ethnic nationalities. He complained against the monetisation of politics, saying that money bags and retired soldiers have hijacked the process. Okoroji added: “The masses have been alienated from governance and lost hope in the socio-economic and political future of the country.” He, however, said that the APC has come to rekindle their hope about the future. their hopes seem to have been rekindled by the coming on board of the APC, adding that Nigerians will fare better under APC-led government because it comprised of individuals who serve genuinely. Okoroji said: “People should believe in what the APC stands for, which is advancing the cause of the common man. This is so because the promoters of the party are perceived to have the interest of the masses at heart.” The governors, who are doing well in their states, are among the promoters of the APC. They have been agitating for true federalism. They have been in the vanguard of power devolution to the federating states which will enable them to con-

trol their God-given resources. “I feel very strongly that, if Nigerians vote for the PDP again in 2015, all hopes for the future are lost. No matter how ignorant and gullible Nigerians may be, they should understand that the APC is a party that will cause some positive changes in the affairs of this country. “Therefore, we should believe and vote for it in 2015 general elections. It is important that Nigerians should embrace change which APC will usher in. “If the APC wins the 2015 elections, there is no way it would not try its best to justify the confidence reposed in it by the electorate; by making life worth living for the people. “To bring about positive changes in governance and the well-being of Nigerians is what the APC stands for now. I urge Nigerians to give the APC the maximum co-operation and vote for it massively during the 2015 general elections.” He also urged that the Igbo should forget about mainstream politics and have serious interest in APC so that when, at the end PDP loses, they will be part of a political party that means well for them in particular and Nigerians in general.






Agagu, an exemplary leader, says Fayemi

KITI State Governor Dr. Kayode Fayemi has condoled with the family of the late former Governor of Ondo State, Dr. Olusegun Agagu. He said the ex-governor, who passed on last Friday, was an exemplary leader, who would be missed. Governor Fayemi, who was received at the Ibadan home of the late governor by his widow, Olufunke and two of his children, Feyi and Solape, described the late Agagu as an advisor, mentor and a committed political leader, who operated in a manner that was above board. The governor added that the deceased was not a political bigot as he lived above pettiness, rancour and the usual acrimony that is pervasive in the nation’s political system. “He was an advisor, a mentor, a committed political leader and operated in a manner that was above board. He was above pettiness, above rancour, above the usual acrimony that is pervasive. In all of this, he did it with grace, civility and panache, compassion and commitment to the people of Ondo State of which we were once a part in Ekiti. Many might say he belonged to the other side, but for Agagu, there was no other side. There was no enemy in politics. He was a quintessential gentleman,” Fayemi said.

‘I read his plan before he became governor, he knew what he was going to do in six months, 12 months, there was an 18 months plan, 24 months plan and that guided me when I was running for office in Ekiti’ Asserting that Agagu was supportive of the Fayemi-led administration in Ekiti, the governor said he conceived the eight-point agenda, which has received encomiums from far and wide from Agagu’s plan while running for office in 2003, and how he organised his government when he eventually emerged governor. He added that he read the late governor’s plans and what he was to achieve at intervals. Fayemi said the deceased was a different breed from other politicians, perhaps because of his antecedents in the academic world. Agagu, according to the governor, was an “intellectual giant, who left that comfortable world of academics into the murky waters of poli-

tics” in order to serve the people of his state. The governor, however, urged people, who see the late governor as a true leader, to play politics in an aboveboard manner, a corruptionfree manner. “In all my opportunities to discuss life, politics and academics with him, he always had something to teach me at every point in time and for me, there was another dimension to the loss. He was the intellectual giant, who left that comfortable world of academics into the murky waters of politics. He was a pioneer in the field, he was one of the very early generation of politicians from the academic world. Maybe that was why he was different. For him, it was about the work. “I read his plan before he became governor, he knew what he was going to do in six months and 12 months. There was an 18 months plan, 24-month plan and that guided me when I was running for office in Ekiti. That’s where a lot of what people now associate with us in the eight-point agenda came from. I learned a great deal from the way he organised government, the lean manner, the focus on people rather than on politicians. He was a kindred spirit in many ways and we shall sorely miss him,” Fayemi said.

•Wife of the former Ekiti State governor, Mrs. Feyi Fayose (left), during a condolence visit to the PHOTO: FEMI ILESANMI family of the late Dr. Agagu at New Bodija, Ibadan... yesterday

Lagos State Governor Mr. Babatunde Fashola, signing a condolence register at the late Dr. Agagu’s Ikoyi, Lagos, home. With him is the deaceased’s daughter, Abisoye ... yesterday. PHOTO: OMOSEHIN MOSES

Agagu’s death sad, says Aregbesola


SUN State Governor Rauf Aregbesola has described the death of former Ondo State Governor Dr. Olusegun Kokumo Agagu as unfortunate, sudden and sad. In a statement by his Director of Communications and Strategy, Mr. Semiu Okanlawon, the governor said Agagu’s death was a big loss to his state and the nation. Aregbesola said the former governor made his


From Adesoji Adeniyi, Osogbo

mark as a scholar before venturing into politics. According to him, Agagu also displayed knowledge, versatility and ingenuity in the art and dynamics of politics. Aregbesola said: “He was a lecturer, one-time minister of Aviation and governor of Ondo State. Agagu contributed his quota to the country’s development. “I say it with all sense of modesty that the late Dr.

Agagu came, saw and left fulfilled. He made his mark and left his footprints in the sands of history as a leader of men, who also impacted positively on his people, state and country. “On behalf of myself and the people of Osun State, I offer our condolences to the family of Dr. Agagu, Governor Olusegun Mimiko and the people of Ondo State. We pray that Almighty God should grant his soul repose in paradise.”

Boroffice eulogises Agagu

CHIEFTAIN of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Ondo State, Senator Ajayi Boroffice, has eulogised the late Dr. Olusegun Agagu. He said: “I received with shock, the news of the sudden death of Dr Olusegun Agagu. I have known Dr. Agagu for over 40 years, first as a classmate and as an academic colleague in the Faculty of Science, University of Ibadan. “He was a brilliant student and an inspiring teacher. He left his footprints wherever he had the opportunity to serve. In the university, he was an innovative researcher, in the Federal Ministry of Power, he demonstrated his versatility in combining technocracy with bureaucracy to re-engineer the power sector.

As the governor of Ondo State, he demonstrated integrity in governance. He conceived and started the implementation of the Olokola project, which those who betrayed him are claiming credit for. “Dr Agagu never left nor be-

trayed his friends. Ondo State will miss him but will always remember him as the governor that touched the lives of the people in every community through his development- oriented programmes. Although his sun set too soon, he lives on in our hearts.”

Oyebola pays tribute


RENOWNED author and economist, Chief Areoye Oyebola, has paid tribute to the late Dr. Olusegun Agagu. He said: “The untimely death of Dr. Olusegun Agagu, who was one of the brightest students I taught Economics at the Higher School Certificate classes at Ibadan Grammar School was a great shock and pain to me. “The late Dr. Agagu was a goal-getter, hard-working, respectful, humble and humane. “The Yoruba race and Nigeria will miss a great man, who contributed immensely to the development of the country during his life. May his soul rest in peace and may God grant his family the fortitude to bear the irreparable loss.”

•From left: Daughter of the deceased, Solape Hammond; son, Mr. Feyi Agagu; Ekiti State Governor Dr. Kayode Fayemi; and the deceased’s wife, Olufunke, during a condolence visit to the Ibadan home of the former Ondo State governor... yesterday.

•Former Ambassador, Republic of Togo, Mr. Bayo Yusuf (right), consoling the deceased’s son, Mr. Feyi Agagu.

•Former Oyo State Governor Senator Rasidi Adewolu Ladoja signing the condolence register at Dr Agagu’s New Bodija, Ibadan, home... yesterday. PHOTO: FEMI ILESANMI







•Continued from Page 13 Lagos and we are here with 46 businessmen and politicians. We have discussed with KADCCIMA (Kaduna Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture) and we would sign MoU with them.” A textile industrialist, Muhammad Sandal told the governor that they have visited two of the textile’s factories in the state, saying “we visited two textile companies (KTL and Finetex) we have seen the machineries and the technology is older, we can bring our technicians here to introduce new technology and new machineries. More than 20,000 people can be involved in that (textile) industry.” Yero assured them that the state would partner with the Pakistani industrialists in the area of agriculture, education, rail transport, solid minerals, textile, poverty alleviation and pharmaceutics. He said the 19 northern governors would also partner with the industrialists to revive the moribund Kaduna Textile Limited to boost the economy and enable the country export textile materials. He said: “Kaduna is an industrial town, a textile town, most of the companies in the late 60s and early 70s are textile. KTL belongs to the 19 northern states and it is our desire to revive it, the 19 states governors will be interested in partnering with anybody to revive the company.” He noted that the collaboration is vital as Kaduna State is former capital of the north with population of about seven million and being the focal point of all the northern state, it has most of the available potentials needed for investment, particularly in tourism, water resources, education and real estate. He assured the delegates on the availability of land in the old and new industrial estates for establishment of companies, security and electricity, adding that efforts were in place to address the epileptic power supply to help revive the comatose existing industries and

By providing scholarship schemes for indigenes, the United Cement Company of Nigeria Limited believes it will communicate effectively with its host communities, reports NICHOLAS KALU


O fewer than 475 indigenous residents of the host communities of the United Cement Company of Nigeria (UniCem) in Cross River State are being trained at the primary, secondary and tertiary levels, according to the Corporate Affairs Director of the company, Mr. Ayi Ita-Ayi. UniCem said it had problems communicating effectively with key members of its host communities when it started operations in 2008 due to the challenges of communication owing to illteracy. Apart from its three host communities within the Calabar metropolis whose literacy level were adjudged to be above 50 per cent, only 31 per cent of residents of six other host communities namely Mfamosing, Akansoko, Mbobui, Abiati, Ekong-Anaku and Akwa-IkotEfanga are literate, according to a survey carried out by the company. In order to address this chal-

•Another factory to be revived

Kaduna revives industries

promote the establishment of other business ventures. Yero also urged the delegates to visit the Tomato Processing Company in Ikara, Sugar Company in Makarfi and Kachia Ginger Company as they also have high potentials for investment. Despite efforts by the present government in the state to attract investors to the state, there are those who believe that the government has not been serious about reviving the state owned industries. The state has abundant raw materials to service these factories when put into operational use. Ginger for example is grown in commercial quantity throughout the southern part of Kaduna. But the products have not been harnessed for the use of the factory in spite of what the state stands to gain from it. The same applies to the Ikara food processing

factory. Sources close to the government told Newsextra that Governor Yero has been talking with investors with a view to taking over these industries. He told the visiting Pakistani investors to take a look some of these industries with a view to partnering with the state government in reviving them. Yero is quoted to have told them

that raw materials to operate these factories will not be a problem as the state produces enough tomatoes and sugar cane to operate the moribound Ikara Tomatoes factory and the Makarfi sugar factory respectively. The search for investor also receive a boost with the state government announcing tax holiday for potential investors in

We are also providing tax holidays for businesses to thrive, while avoiding multiple taxations. We are happy to report that Kaduna is fast turning into investors’ heaven

the state. Speaking at the 34th Kaduna International Trade Fair earlier in the year, Governor Yero assured investors that apart from the tax holiday, the government will make efforts to discourage multiple taxation which has been a major problem of the few industries operating in the state. According to Governor Yero, “in our bid to continue to woo investors to our state, my administration will also improve on business and industrial districts through provision of basic infrastructures such as access roads, water and security. We are also providing tax holidays for businesses to thrive, while avoiding multiple taxations. We are happy to report that Kaduna is fast turning into investors’ heaven, for example; recently the largest noodles manufacturing factory in the country, was opened in Kaduna. We therefore call on investors from all over the world to come and enjoy the friendly business environment that exists in all parts of Kaduna State.”

Scholarship boosts community relations in Cross River

lenge, the company deemed it necessary to sponsor various educational programmes and schemes that would have ripple effects on the literacy levels of the host communities. The company was of the view that its strategies would not only bridge the communication gap but also attempt to reduce the level of poverty at the grassroots. A breakdown of beneficiaries under the company’s educational scholarship showed that 25 students in the tertiary institutions are given yearly scholarships amounting to N3.5m. At the secondary school level, 150 pupils get N3.2m annually, while 300 adult education candidates are being sponsored with N6.8m. For mentorship and training support, the company expends N1.5m per annum while a School Based Management Committee put in place in primary and secondary schools costs N300,000. At a town hall meeting organised by the company with stakeholders in Calabar, the capital of Cross River State, one of the beneficiaries, Belief Francis, who is a 400-level student in the Department of Economic, University of Calabar, said the N100, 000 given to him per session has boosted his academics in no small measure. Francis, who is from Abi-Iti community in Akamkpa Local Government Area, urged UniCem to en-

gage the beneficiaries in other areas of services after completing their tertiary education in order to tap from their wealth of experiences. “I have been a beneficiary since 2009. This fund goes a long way to aid us in furthering our educational activities. They should have a package for the beneficiaries after graduation by so doing we would be giving back to them,” he said. Another 400-level student in the Department of Nursing Science, Sylvia Asuquo, from Mfamosing in Akamkpa LGA, said the N100, 000 annual aid has helped to ameliorate her financial constraints. She challenged other compa-

nies that had been operating in the area to also introduce scholarship schemes, adding that the level of literacy in the hither communities were alarming. “Other companies operating in these areas have really not done anything. Our people are educationally backward, so, education should top the priorities of companies operating in this area,” she added. But a beneficiary from AkwaIkot-Efanga community in Akpabuyo LGA, Saviour Inyang, said companies should go beyond scholarship schemes by engaging the youths in the areas of skills acquisition. He said by engaging the minds of the youths towards skilful ven-

I have been a beneficiary since 2009. This fund goes a long way to aid us in furthering our educational activities. They should have a package for the beneficiaries after graduation by so doing we would be giving back to them

tures, the problem of youth restiveness in the communities would have been addressed. Inyang, who is a 300-level student in the Department of Chemical Engineering, Cross River University of Technology, said they had formed a group that would teach basic science subjects to SS3 pupils during the summer holidays. “By September 2013, we will be teaching SS3 pupils in basic science subject to prepare them for external examinations. We would also be willing to contribute our quota in whatever way the company deems necessary,” Inyang said. Explaining the various steps taken to address the communication challenges, Mr. Ayi Ita-Ayi, said three key approaches were adopted to ensure good relationship with its host communities. He listed the approaches as education, health and capacity building. Ita-Ayi said the company believed that communicating effectively with host communities would reduce conflicts. He noted that the company initially had problems communicating with the hosts communities but had to device a way of breaking the jinx. •Continued on Page 52




•Oyo State Deputy Governor Otunba Moses Alake (second left) discussing with the Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi (second right); the Orangun of Ila, Oba Abdul-Wahab Oyedotun (right) and the Aare Musulumi of Yorubaland, Alhaji Abdul Azeez Arisekola-Alao, during the second Oranyan festival at the Alaafin’s Palace, Oyo. PHOTO: FEMI ILESANMI

•From left: Guest Speaker, Mr Femi Falana; Dr Tunji Braithwaite and Prof Humphrey Assisi PHOTO: DAYO ADEWUNMI Asobie at the Tunji Braithwaite 80th Birthday symposium in Lagos. •Raymond Enogieru, an Edo State APC chieftain (left), receiving an “Humanitarian Personality of the Year Award” presented by Hakkeem Rahman, a Nollywood actor, at the Second Annual Awards of NewsThumb magazine, held at DeHall Event Centre, Obafemi Awolowo way, Ikeja. PHOTO: RAHMAN SANUSI

From left: Speaker, House of Representatives, Hon Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, Nigerian Ambassador to the United States, Prof Adebowale Adefuye and Chairman of the House of Reps’ committee on Foreign Affairs, Hon Nnenna Ukeje at the Nigerian Embassy in Washington.

•Lagos State Governor Babatunde Fashola (right) chatting with Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC), Corps Marshal Osita Chidoka during a visit to the governor.

From left: District Governor, Rotary International District 9110, Nigeria, Olugbemiga Olowu; past President, Rotary Club of Gbagada, Bayo Windapo; newly installed President, Tayo Adelaja; his wife, Funke and Dr Shade Akintunde during the investiture of Adelaja as President of Rotary Club of Gbagada in Lagos. PHOTO: MUYIWA HASSAN

•Brigadier-General Adeniyi Oyebade of the Ikeja Cantonment (right) chatting with the Chairman of OshodiIsolo Local Government, Idris Bolaji Muse-Ariyoh during his familiarisation visit to the council.

•Intending pilgrims queue to board flight to Saudi Arabia during the flag off of this year’s Hajj at the Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Ikeja, Lagos.

•Managing Director, MedView Airline, Alhaji Muneer Bankole speaking with Journalists during the flag off of Med-View airlifting of intending pilgrims to Saudi Arabia at the Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Ikeja, Lagos. With him is Capt. G. Ogbogu.

•Managing Director/CEO, CoreMedia Services Limited, Jide Adediran (second left) shaking hands with General Manager, NTA-Star Television Network Limited, Liu Liang (second right) during the signing of channel distribution agreement between CoreMedia and NTA-StarTimes to signal the birth of Core Television Station on StarTimes Platform. With them are Manager, Contact and Advertising, NTA-Star Television Network Limited, Zhu Zi Yu (left) and Executive Director, Finance and Administration, CoreMedia Services Limited, Mr. Akeem Yusuf in Lagos.




Sultan urges peace, standards

ULTAN Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar has urged administrators of tertiary institutions to ensure standard and quality education. Abubakar stated this in his palace in Sokoto while receiving a delegation of management staff of the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria led by the Vice Chancellor, Professor Abdullahi Mustapha. He pointed out that education is a sine qua non for the attainment of development. “We cannot compromise standard and quality in seeking knowledge,” he said. “We are optimistic that the country’s education sector will take better shape.” The revered leader, who is also the Chancellor of the university, advised


GUN State Governor Ibikunle Amosun has approved the promotion of 2,142 civil servants who took this year’s promotion examination in the state. The Chairman, Civil Service Commission, Mrs. Aderonke Folarin made this known in a statement in Abeokuta. Folarin gave the breakdown

‘Illiteracy rate a worry’


EPRODUCTION Rights Society of Nigeria (REPRONIG) has raised the alarm over the rate of illiteracy in the country. Nigeria is lagging behind globally in literacy as the level of those who cannot read and write continues to increase. REPRONIG expressed its worry at a four-day international conference of African Rights Organisations

From Adamu Suleiman, Sokoto

management of the institution to continue to promote and sustain the peaceful coexistence within the university community. Speaking to newsmen shortly after, Professor Abdullahi Mustapha appealed to the

Sultan for his intervention towards resolving the current Government/ASUU crisis. He said: ”I am appealing to the Sultan and eminent Nigerians to use their position to speak to government and ASUU. “We want the two sides to sit and finalise the issues at stake

We cannot compromise standard and quality in seeking knowledge. We are optimistic that the country’s education sector will take a better shape

concerning our institutions and education as a whole,” he called. Professor Mustapha said: “Once this is achieved mutually, it will fast track sustenance and promote academic stability as well discourage similar crisis in future.” He observed that since the strike started, quality and standard in universities have dropped, adding that” if it continues, we will lose academic standards, morals and quality. “There should be continuity in learning especially in a knowledge driven institution like the university which is sensitive in the education sector,” he said. He maintained that” we pray

•Sultan Abubakar

and hope this will be the last time universities will go on strike once it is resolved.

Amosun promotes 2,142 civil servants of the promoted civil servants to include 1,411 senior officers on Grade Levels 06-17, 618 junior officers on Grade Levels 1-5, adding that the promotion cuts across all cadres. Another 139 junior officers By Evelyn Osagie

that which opened on Monday, September 16. While blaming the sorry state of literacy on bad leadership, according to its chairman, Professor Olu Obafemi, said this year’s

who were upgraded to the senior cadre also benefited from the promotion exercise. She therefore enjoined the beneficiaries and the entire workforce to reciprocate World Literacy Day has raised the dust over the need for government to pay serious attention to formulating policies that would better address the decay. He maintained that the consistent underfunding of education and the near

Year in, year out, Nigerian governments have shown that they do not believe that education is the key to any meaningful future anywhere in the world today

government’s good gesture by making meaningful contributions to the mission to rebuild the state, assuring that on its part, government would continue to provide an enabling environment for them

to perform. It would recalled that yesterday, Governor Amosun also gave a similar approval for the promotion of 3,272 teaching and non- teaching staff in the state.

contemptuous attitude of government to education “portray it as an entity that does not realise that only education holds the key to the future. “Year in, year out, Nigerian governments have shown that they do not believe that education is the key to any meaningful future anywhere in the world today,” he observed. It raised concerns over the government’s role in the ongoing strike action by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) which has grounded the many tertiary institutions, saying it is regrettable. “For about 80 days now, education has totally stopped in the 71 federal universities in the country with the threat by lecturers in the Polytechnics “to resume the strike action they suspended earlier on.” Repronig also urged the government to start implementing the minimum 26 per cent of the annual budget funding requirement for education as prescribed by the United Nations Educational Scientific Cultural Organisation (UNESCO). Education funding in Nigeria has always oscillated between six and

nine per cent. The highest it has ever gone was 12 per cent. “In this year’s budget, only eight per cent was allocated to education. And as information from various ministries and government agencies has revealed, even the amount budgeted was not released either on time and/or in the quantum intended… For how long are we going to continue like this? Governments should change their attitude towards educational policies, education funding and the curriculum of education that their schools run More importantly, policies should be drawn up that emphasis people-oriented, technologyaware and knowledge enticing activities.” In attendance were participants from the United States of America, United Kingdom, Belgium, Norway, South Africa, Ghana, Zimbabwe, Mauritius, Kenya, Tanzania and Nigeria, including the representatives of the International Federation of Reproduction Rights Organisations (IFRRO), World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), African Regional Intellectual Property Organization (ARIPO) and the Nigerian Copyright Commission (NCC).


and Olabisi Onabanjo University Teaching Hospital (OOUTH). The Commissioner who stated that the surgery would be performed for patients with cataract and pterygium pointed out that the free expedition is in collaboration with the Indo-Eye Care Foundation and Rotary International. He noted that the two nongovernmental organisations have been partnering with government to save the sight of its people, urging residents to seize the opportunity and benefit from the once-in-ayear programme.

Ogun free eye surgery coming

• Participants at a builders’ conference in Abuja

ESIDENTS of Ogun State who have any eye defects have been enjoined to visit the nearest state hospital to get screened to enable them benefit from the forthcoming free surgical expedition which holds at the State Hospital, Ijaiye, Abeokuta. A statement by the State Commissioner for Health, Dr. Olaokun Soyinka indicated that the annual eye surgical expedition would hold from October 9 to 15, while the screening is on-going at the state hospitals Abeokuta, Ijebu-Ode, Ota, Sagamu, Ilaro



We identified that we needed to address education right from the secondary school to higher institution so that they can pass JAMB and WAEC •Continued from Page 48 The corporate affairs director said: “Apart from our empirical understanding of the challenges of communities in terms of literacy, we enlisted the services of a non-governmental organisation that have the capacity of identifying the metrics. “The NGO analysed the demographic profile that showed that less than 31 per cent of the people in the host communities are literate. If we compare this figure with that of Calabar which is far above that there is deficiency. “We identified the reasons for this and focused on how to address them. We need to constantly inform the environment in order to make communication easy. We identified that we needed to address education right from the secondary school to higher institution so that they can pass JAMB and WAEC. “At the primary school level, we are also supporting in the payment of fees while at the same time discouraging hawking by pupils.” Explaining other steps, Ita-Ayi said the School-Based Management Committees became an essential link between schools and the communities they serve. According to him, the SBMCs are voluntary groups made up of people who represent the school community and may include pupils, teachers, parents, community leaders as well as other community-based groups interested

•Some beneficiaries of the scholarship scheme...Kalu Unicem

Scholarship boosts community relations in Cross River in education. He said, “A major plank in the global reform process in education is the concept of decentralisation whereby education authorities devolve some responsibilities to authorities closer to schools. School-Based Management (SBM) systems reflect this

decentralisation process whereby community members are given responsibilities in school governance. SBMCs work to increase communities’ involvement with education and to help improve the quality and effectiveness of schools. They provide a way of

helping the education authorities to listen to what adults and children want from schools and a way of increasing the contributions of everyone in the local area to making education work well. Ita-Ayi said the company was beginning to feel the impulse of its investments in the key strate-

Employers urged to ensure workers mandatory deductions


HE Minister of Labour and Productivity, Emeka Wogu has appealed to employers of labour to comply with the provisions of the Employees Compensation Act (ECA) in order to protect their workers in the event of workplace injuries. Wogu made the appeal in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital, during the secnd price-giving and award ceremony of the Nigeria Employers Consultative Association (NECA), National Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF) for companies operating in the Southsouth.

From Rosemary Nwisi, Port Harcourt

He said the aspect of the Act which provides for a mandatory deduction of a certain percentage of workers’ monthly salary for the Employers Compensation Scheme (ECS), was necessary to both private and public employers. He said compliance would ensure workers compensation in the event of injuries at the workplace. The Minister said NSITF, the operators of the Employees Compensation Scheme (ECS), in partnership with NECA and the

Federal Ministry of Labour and Productivity were making efforts to ensure the scheme was efficient and injured employees at workplaces receive their due compensation. He also said that NECA, NSITF and Ministry of Labour were more interested in promoting safety of workers at the workplace to ensure injury-free productivity, rather than compensation. Wogu said: ”Employers of labour both private and Public, should ensure that the mandatory deductions in respect of employees who work under them is being

•Daughter of the deceased and Secretary to the Lagos State Government Dr Idiat Adebule flanked by member, Lagos State House of Assembly Hon Ramota Akinola-Hassan and former Lagos State Independent Electoral Commissioner Alhaji Musibau Oyefeso during a prayer for Alhaja Asia Alape-Idowu in Lagos

done, to ensure that workers under them would be compensated for injuries sustained at workplaces. “For this reason it is the role of the employers to make sure that their workers are protected under the terms of the ECA; and that is why you see active participation of NECA, in this project. “These are incentives that will encourage both the workers and their employers that they are compensated in the event of any injury in their work places “and I am sure the Labour unions who are the representatives of the employees are happy that ECA under the current administration of NSITF is living up to expectation.” The Minister explained the reason for instituting awards ceremonies into the Scheme, “We know we can through NSITF as a scheme pay compensation on injuries but the basic thing is to try to reduce high occurrence of injuries at workplaces. ”The prices and awards given out were meant to encourage and reward companies and their staff that have worked safely where there is high level of safety, to encourage other companies that are yet to key into the policy to being to do it. By next year, we will go to the next level of

gic areas as the people are beginning appreciate the role of effective communication. “So, far, in our stakeholders’ meetings with them, there had been that ambience and understanding due to increased literacy level,” he said. rewarding those that have perfected their high standard of safety in workplace,” he promised. The Director-General, NECA, Olusegun Osinowo explained the role of NECA. He said: “What we are doing is to bring out companies that were hiding to the world to show what they have been able to do to ensuring that safety of their workers comes first. “This is because safety has a connection to productivity and we are expecting other employers out there emulate this best practice to ensure safety in their workplaces is improved. That is the overview of what we have gathered here to do today. “The best practice to us is, rather than place emphasis on compensation, no worker wants to come to the workplace and get injured, our focus should be more on improving the infrastructure at the workplace that will grantee safety of workers. “Moving forward we expect compliance level with the employee compensation Act to improve, on account of some of the initiatives which we have done.” Five brand new Toyota Hiace ambulance buses and two Peugeot ambulance vehicles were given out to companies in the Southsouth which met the criteria for safety at the workplace campaign this year.

It is the role of the employers to make sure that their workers are protected under the terms of the ECA; and that is why you see active participation of NECA, in this project




Anambra PDP: Court voids T Nwoye’s candidacy


HE crisis over who represents the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the November 16 governorship election in Anambra State has taken a new twist. A Federal High Court in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, has voided the candidacy of Tony Nwoye, who emerged winner of the August 14 primary election conducted by the Ken Emeakayi-led faction. The suit was filed by one of the PDP aspirants, Prince Nicholas Ukachukwu, on August 28. Ukachukwu, through his lead counsel, Rickey Tarfa (SAN), had sought the court’s leave to void Nwoye’s candidature as declared by the PDP and accepted by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). In a certified true copy of the judgment delivered by Justice S.A Aliyu yesterday, the court held that Nwoye was not eligible to participate in the August 24 primary election conducted under the supervision of Governor Ibrahim Shema of Katsina State. The judge declared Ukachukwu the PDP candidate on the grounds that he was the only qualified aspirant in the said primary election. According to Justice Aliyu, Ukachukwu scored the highest number of votes cast at the election. He restrained Nwoye from parading himself as the PDP candidate for the election. The judge also restrained the PDP National Chairman,

Court refuses to hear suit by Nwoye


USTICE Elvis Chukwu of the Federal High Court, Abuja, yesterday refused to hear a suit by Tony Nwoye, who is laying claim to being the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the November 16 governorship election in Anambra State. The judge’s decision to delay proceedings in the case resulted from information that another Federal High Court in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, delivered judgment earlier yesterday in a similar suit. Justice Chukwu told parties yesterday that he would not take any further steps in the case until he has seen and read the judgment delivered by Justice S. A. Aliyu of Court Two, Federal High Court, Port-Harcourt. Nwoye sued the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the PDP, urging the court to, among others, direct INEC to recognise him as the party’s candidate for the election. The plaintiff’s lawyer, Yusuf Ali (SAN), told the court about pending applications including those by some individuals seeking to be From Gbade Ogunwale, Assistant Editor, Abuja

Bamanga Tukur, leadership of the party and INEC from presenting Nwoye as the PDP candidate. “It is hereby declared that based on the dictates of paragraph 4(a) of Part IV of the Electoral Guidelines for Primary Elections 2010 of the Peoples Democratic Party, the first defendant (Tony Nwoye) was not eligible to participate and or take part in the primary election conducted on the August 24 by the second defendant (PDP) for the selection of its candidate for the Anambra State governorship

From Eric Ikhilae, Abuja

made parties in the suit. They include another contender to the PDP candidateship, Nicholas Ukachukwu; Ejike Oguebego (PDP Chairman, Anambra) state Secretary, Gilbert Okoye and state Legal Adviser, Chuks Okoye. While the lawyers were still considering how the court should proceed, in view of the number of pending application, Ukachukwu’s lawyer Orji Nwafor-Orizu told the court about the judgment by the Port Harcourt court. He said the court in Port Harcourt had given judgment in another case involving Ukachukwu and Nwoye. The lawyer said the PortHarcourt court had decided the case against Nwoye and disqualified him. Nwafor-Orizu promised to supply a certified true copy of the judgment to the court today. At that point, the judge elected to first see and read the judgment before deciding on what further steps to take in the case. He consequently adjourned till September 20.

election scheduled to hold on November 16 or another date. “An order of mandatory injunction is hereby made compelling the fourth defendant (INEC) to recognise, screen the plaintiff (Ukachukwu), publish and put his name on the ballot paper as the authentic candidate of the second defendant (PDP) for the Anambra State governorship election,” Justice Aliyu ruled. The judgment is coming on the heels of the expiration of the INEC deadline for the submission of candidates’ names in the election. The PDP had submitted Nwoye’s name to the INEC

N500m for Bayelsa retirees From Mike Odiegwu, Yenagoa

HE Bayelsa State government has approved N500million to offset retirement benefits of pen-

sioners. The government said it had also approved the payment of five months’ arrears of N18,000 minimum wage it owed to workers. Governor Seriake Dickson announced this yesterday when he met with the leadership of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress (TUC) at the Executive Chambers of Government House, Yenagoa. But he said payment of the arrears would take effect from next January because they were not covered by the current budget. He praised the workers for supporting government policies and programmes. The governor praised them for supporting the enforcement of the Personal Income Tax Act (PITA). He said: “Let me praise all the workers both in the public and private sectors for their dedication and for keying into the restoration agenda of government. “Government has no problems with labour and will not have any; we exist to serve you and the people. “We will, however, not shy away from taking decisions that are in the best overall interest of the state. “Going forward, I can only assure you of a cordial working relationship as I have always assured other segments of the Bayelsa population.”



I, PRINCE JUDE NWABUEZE IWUALA wish to inform the general public that I have applied to Isolo Local Council Development Area, that the street lying infront of my house, off DE- FIRE NANKA STREET,Greenfield Estate,Ago-Palace way be named in my favour as PRINCE JUDE NWABUEZE STREET. This is for the information of Isolo Local Council Development Area and general public.

I, Mr. JOSEPH ASUQUO EKPEYONG of No 4, Fola Ojikutu Street, Ago-Okota, wish to inform the general public that I have applied to Isolo Local Council Development Area, that the street lying off OHAFIA STREET, Ago okota (second street by the left) be named in my favour as JOSEPH EKPEYONG STREET. This is for the information of Isolo Local Council Development Area and general public.


as the party’s candidate, ahead of the deadline, which expired yesterday.

Group insists on Southeast Presidency in 2015


HE South East Forum (SEF) yesterday advocated a Southeast presidency in 2015. It insisted that the only credible group that should

Anambra to employ 6,000 From Nwanosike Onu,



HE Anambra State government has announced the recruitment of 2,000 civil servants and 4,000 primary and secondary school teachers. The decision, approved by the State Executive Council (EXCO), was announced yesterday by the Commissioner for Information, Culture and Tourism, Joe Martins Uzodike. Ten thousand applicants have stormed the State Civil Service Commission, leading to a stampede but there were no casualties. Uzodike said the government had extended the date of collection and submission of forms from September 18-26. The jobs, according to him, were for only the indigenes. The commissioner said: “We want to make it clear that 2,000 civil servants will be employed in this exercise and only those who have relevant qualifications should apply.”

From Augustine Ehikioya, Abuja

talk of producing the next president is the Southeast people. In a statement in Abuja yesterday by its Chairman, Louis Olube, the group said it would be a waste of time for anybody or group outside the Southeast to dream of producing the next president. Olube said it was only the

Igbo that have not got their share in the affairs of the country, including leadership position. He said over the years all the Southeast got from successive administrations were nothing but promises. “We the Igbo insist that come 2015, we must produce the next president because as one of the largest group in Nigeria, we are yet to have that sense of belonging.

“The time is now for the Southeast to produce the next president because already we are aware that there are moves for the presidency to move to other parts other than the Southeast after Jonathan. “We will not allow it as our people are being sensitised not to vote for any party that fails to present an Igbo as its candidate in 2015,” he stated.

Drunken soldier ‘kills’ three


SOLDIER, identified as Corporal Agbo, attached to the Brigadier Ally Military Brigade, Ogoja, Cross River State on Sunday allegedly knocked down two persons with his vehicle. His girlfriend, who was in the vehicle, died in the accident. Eyewitnesses said the soldier was believed to be drunk. It was gathered that Agbo had carried his girlfriend, Christiana Michael Imo to Okuku, the town close to the Brigade to attend the Yala New Yam festival celebration, got drunk and


From Nicholas Kalu, Calabar

decided to drive back, against the advice of his friends. His friend, Owonye, said: “He was drunk and we advised him to allow someone drive the car to the barracks for him but he refused; it was while he was going back on top speed that he hit an Okada and the car ran into a tree killing the two boys on the Okada and his girlfriend.” It was learnt the girl was a mother of two.

Enugu begins demolition

HE Enugu State government has begun the demolition of illegal buildings and structures in the Enugu metropolis. The Commissioner in charge of the Enugu Capital Development Authority (ECDA), Ike Ugwuegede, said the exercise was ongoing and notices have been issued to affected owners. According to Ugwuegede,

From Chris Oji, Enugu

the exercise was aimed at giving the Enugu capital territory a befitting facelift. Among the areas to be affected are the City Layout, illegal mechanic villages and structures built on rail tracks and designated pathways. “Notices were copiously given to the affected for

more than 12 months and there have been a series of dialogue between government and owners of illegal structures but each time they will ask for time,” hinted the commissioner. He referred to the demolition of the 829 stalls at the Old Park which displaced over 3,000 traders as an example of government’s determination to restructure Enugu for good.

LOSS OF DOCUMENT The Contract Award Letter issued by Lagos State Government State Tender's Board with reference no. CON.28/0FMM/EDUC/2013/206 dated 27 March, 2012 to the Managing Director, Knight Crown Nigeria Limited was discovered missing after boarding a public transport by one of the staff. The publication is for the attention of the Lagos State Tenders Board and the general public.





Equities’ return drops to 27.68% •Access Bank, Zenith, Guinness lead bearish stocks


osses by a handful of highly capitalised stocks yesterday overwhelmed seemingly broad price rally at the Nigerian stock market, leading to a marginal decline of 0.03 per cent in overall market value. Notwithstanding the preponderance of advancers to decliners at 28 to 20 and gains by the stock market’s two most capitalised companiesDangote Cement and Nigerian Breweries, significant losses by several highly capitalised stocks dimmed the overall market situation. The All Share Index (ASI), the main valuebased index that tracks all equities on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), slipped by 0.03 per cent from 35,861.88 points to 35,851.38 points. Aggregate market value of all equities

By Taofik Salako

dropped marginally from N11.418 trillion to N11.415 trillion, a loss of N3 trillion. The year-todate return at the stock market depressed to 27.68 per cent. Market analysts at GTI Capital, FSDH Merchant Bank and Afrinvest West Africa among others said the market position was weighed on by losses by Zenith Bank, FBN Holdings, Ecobank Transnational Incorporated (ETI, Guinness Nigeria and Access Bank. Many other stocks fell relating to the downtrend at the market. Access Bank’s share price dropped by 9.95 per cent with a loss of N1.04 to close at N9.41. Vono Products lost 9.78 per cent to close at N1.66. IHS declined by 9.73 per cent with a loss

of 29 kobo to close at N2.69. Nigerian Aviation Handling Company dropped by 9.46 per cent to N5.55. International Energy Insurance’s market price dropped by 8.33 per cent to close at 55 kobo while Wapic Insurance declined by 7.41 per cent to close at 75 kobo. Guinness Nigeria, which declared a dividend of N7 on Monday, lost N1 or 0.40 per cent to close at N249. Zenith Bank dropped by 26 kobo or 1.33 per cent to close at N19.35. ETI slipped by 0.51 per cent or 7.0 kobo to close at N13.68 while FBN Holdings declined by 10 kobo or 0.64 per cent to close at N15.50. Total turnover stood at 184.74 million shares valued at N1.94 billion in 5,885 deals. Banking subgroup accounted for 101.41 million shares worth N863.07 million in 2,155 deals. United Bank for Africa was the most active stock with a turnover of 25.29 million shares valued at N179.22 million in 402 deals.





Investors eye Unity Bank as CEO retires By Collins Nweze

• Wanka


HE performance of Unity Bank in the last few years is attracting keen investors’ interest. In what financial analysts see as an impressive leap, within a slow moving economic environment, Unity Bank recorded 24 per cent increase in its 2013 half-year pre-tax profit.

In a statement, the bank said the result is coming after 130 per cent increase in Profit After Tax at the end of 2012. It said there are strong indications that its performance, despite increasing regulatory pressure and significant local and international economic slow-down, may have attracted the attention of foreign and domestic venture capitalists keen on investing in high potential financial service operators in Nigeria. “Aside the strong corporate governance culture which Unity Bank is reputed to have, the positive picture of its bottom-line has been found to be encouraging to inves-

CBN launches consumer protection campaign


N its bid to promote stable financial system in the country, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has commenced a weeklong campaign in Kano geared towards ensuring protection of consumer rights and encourage trust and confidence in the nation’s banking industry. Briefing reporters yesterday in Kano, the Head, Consumer Education Division (CED) of the Consumer Protection Department (CPD) of CBN, Khadijah Kasim, said all were set to sensitize consumers in Kano on their rights and privileges as well as the responsibilities of their respective banks to ensure that transactions are carried out without hitches. “In line with the mandate of the CBN to promote a sound and stable financial system as enshrined in the CBN Act, the CPD, was saddled with the responsibility of regulating conduct of financial service providers so as to engender trust

From Kolade Adeyemi, Kano

and confidence in the financial system. This would complement traditional prudential regulations in promoting a safe, sound and stable financial system in Nigeria,” Khadijah noted. According to her, a study conducted by the CED revealed that lack of consumer sophistication amongst many was responsible for the leakages in financial services, adding that the sensitization programme was designed to address the anomaly. The CPD, she noted, is saddled with the responsibility of enhancing consumer financial capability through consumer education, ensuring fair and responsible market and as well as enshrining business conduct through the development of consultation and feedback mechanism that will enable the market work properly for consumers.

based Verod Capital Management, Development Partners International – based in the UK, and Bank of Africa, an intercontinental banking and investment conglomerate. Reports indicate that the investors are looking to partner with Unity Bank, which is currently expanding its business reach and growing its market share in Nigeria’s under-exploited, yet lucrative retail banking sector. Also, checks suggest that Development Partners International (DPI), which was established in London in 2007, has indicated willingness to make a commitment of up to $200 million in Unity Bank plc, even as the investor currently manages a $400 million private investment fund and is in the process of raising a further $500 million in investment funds. With an investment portfolio cutting across several sectors pan-Africa, there is high level optimism among finance analysts that DPI’s entry into Nigeria’s banking industry through Unity Bank will redefine the retail

tors as well. Gross earnings at the end of 2012 increased by 16 per cent while total operating expenses declined by eight per cent and interest and similar income grew by 30 per cent impacting positively on its cost to income ratio, a development, industry watchers say, investors are salivating over,” it said. Analysts said the flurry of investors’ interest in the bank is coming on the heels of the departure of Alhaji Ado Yakubu Wanka. His voluntary retirement was disclosed to newsmen by the Nigerian Stock Exchange penultimate week. Wanka joined Unity Bank in 2008 as its Group Executive Director, Risk Management and Controls but began his banking career in 1988 with the then Nigerian International Bank (Citibank Nigeria) as a Deputy Manager before moving to the then FSB International Bank Plc (1991-1997) where he rose to become an Executive Director. Investigations have revealed that top contenders include the Lagos-

UBA introduces debit card PIN mgt NITED Bank for Africa (UBA) system has introduced an innovation


in card Personal Identification Numbers (PIN) management which allows its customers select PINs for their debit cards. This eliminates the current process of handing out PINs in sealed mailers. In a statement, the bank said the development underscores its commitment to enhancing customer experience without compromising security. Also, with this development, it added, customers would be able to receive their cards and activate them immediately. “The new UBA Instant PIN initiative allows customers of the bank to select a PIN of their choice using a

specialised Point of Sale (PoS) at any UBA business office or Automated Teller Machines (ATMs),” it said. Explaining the benefits of the new PIN selection process, Divisional Head, e-Banking, Yinka Adedeji, said it is safe and more efficient. “As long as the customer has a UBA debit card, PIN change can be done at anytime. Also, the process is safer because the customer is physically present and the code is sent via SMS to the registered mobile phone number,” he said. Adedeji said the bank is already in the process of implementing the instant PIN solution across all 19African countries where UBA is present.


Rate %


3-Year 5-Year 5-Year

35m 35m 35m

11.039 12.23 13.19

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

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

Price Loss 2754.67 447.80

INTERBANK RATES 7.9-10% 10-11%

PRIMARY MARKET AUCTION (T-BILLS) Tenor 91-Day 182-Day 1-Year

Amount 30m 46.7m 50m

Rate % 10.96 9.62 12.34

Date 28-04-2012 “ 14-04-2012

GAINERS AS AT 17-09-13


O/PRICE 8.27 1.16 4.02 15.55 0.79 0.60 3.74 5.45 0.79 0.53

C/PRICE 9.09 1.27 4.40 16.99 0.86 0.65 4.00 5.80 0.84 0.56

CHANGE 0.82 0.11 0.38 1.44 0.07 0.05 0.26 0.35 0.05 0.03


O/PRICE 11.50 10.45 1.84 2.98 6.13 0.60 0.81 2.80 1.15 2.54

C/PRICE 10.35 9.41 1.66 2.69 5.55 0.55 0.75 2.61 1.12 2.50

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

Current Before

C u r r e n t CUV Start After %

147.6000 239.4810 212.4997

149.7100 244.0123 207.9023

150.7100 245.6422 209.2910

-2.11 -2.57 -1.51














July ’11





Standing Lending Rate ,, Deposit Rate ,, Liquidity Ratio

8.50% 4.50% 25.00%

8.50% 4.50% 25.00%

9.50% 5.50% 30.00%

Cash Return Rate Inflation Rate

1.00% 12.10%

2.00% 12.10%

2.00% 11.8%

July ’12

NIBOR Tenor 7 Days 30 Days 60 Days 150 Days


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

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

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

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


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

% Change -1.44% -1.44%


CHANGE 1.15 1.04 0.18 0.29 0.58 0.05 0.06 0.19 0.03 0.04

Exchange Rate (N) 155.2 155.8 155.7


LOSERS AS AT 17-09-13


Amount Sold ($) 150m 138m 113m

EXHANGE RATE 6-03-12 Currency

OBB Rate Call Rate


ITIGROUP Inc, the US lender with a presence in 16 African countries, appointed Ade Ayeyemi as chief executive officer for sub-Saharan Africa. Ayeyemi, who was Head of Transaction Services in Africa, has been with the bank for 25 years, the Johannesburgbased unit of Citigroup said in an emailed statement to Bloomberg. Ayeyemi, who worked for the bank in Nigeria before taking up regional roles, will be based in Johannesburg.




Citigroup appoints Ayeyemi Sub-Saharan Africa chief



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

market segment and hike the stakes in terms of competition. The bank said more revelations have also emerged that one of DPI’s most recent equity investments was the 67 per cent stake it acquired in one of GT Bank’s former subsidiaries Guaranty Trust Assurance, which is now Nigeria’s third largest insurance companies has changed its corporate identity to Mansard Insurance. Meanwhile, Verod Capital Management, which was established in Lagos in 2008, has in its investment portfolio interests ranging from financial services, through consumer products and agribusiness to real estate and civil engineering and has indicated interest in investing as much as $160 million in Unity Bank, checks have revealed. Further investigations indicate that Verod is focused on acquiring majority or minority equity stakes in businesses with strong market position, free cash flow potential and substantial value creation through growth and operational improvement. They consider Unity Bank to be the appropriate channel through which to inject their capital.

Offer Price

Bid Price


Bank P/Court

Previous 04 July, 2012

Current 07, Aug, 2012

8.5000 8.0833

8.5000 8.0833





Over 7,000 Nasarawa crisis victims relocate to Plateau


VER 7,000 Nasarawa State residents have relocated to Plateau State for refuge following the crisis in their state. The displaced persons are taking refuge in Namu, a boundary town with Nasarawa

From Yusufu Aminu Idegu, Jos

State, in Quan Pan Local Government of Plateau State. Most of the victims said they were from Obi, Alakyo, both Lafia communities of Nasarawa State where there

are ethno-communal clashes between the Eggon and Alogo people. One of the victims, Dauda Malafia, who is from Namu, had five members of his family at Namu. He said the conflict persisted

for five days because the police were afraid that the warring ethnic groups would use charms and other cultic powers. Nasarawa State Commissioner for Information, Alhaji Hamza

Elayo said: “Right now, I am a member of the state government’s delegation heading to Namu to ascertain the number of displaced people there. I can’t tell you the figure now until we get there and count them physically.”

•Lagos State Governor Babatunde Fashola (SAN) (right) discussing with Interim State Chairman, All Progressives Congress (APC), Otunba Henry Oladele Ajomale (second right); former State Chairman, Congress for Progressive Change (CPC), Mr. Ajibade Emiabata (left) and former State Chairman, All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP), Mr. Kabiru Oriowo, during a meeting with the governor at Lagos House, Ikeja...yesterday.

Gunmen kidnap Suleja businessman


Suleja-based businessman, Alhaji Umar Maikoriya, was on Sunday night kidnapped by gunmen when he was returning home after his Ishai (night) prayers on the SulejaKaduna Road. It was learnt that his assailants shot into the air to scare the people around. A man near the businessman was said to have been hit by a stray bullet. The gunmen reportedly

From Jide Orintunsin, Minna

bundled Maikoriya into a car and drove him to an unknown destination. An eyewitness and a neighbour of the businessman, Mallam Mohammed Sani said the injured man was rushed to Gwagwalada Specialist Hospital for treatment. A family source said efforts to link up with the businessman have been

futile because his captors may have collected and switched off his phones. The source said: “We have not heard from him since he was abducted. His captors have not even communicated or place any ransom on him. We are confused; the family is confused. “Unlike the other time, when he was kidnapped, a ransom was demanded. But now, we have not been able to establish any contact with

him.” The Divisional Police Officer (DPO) in charge of Suleja, Eze Nneka, a Superintendent of Police (SP), said this was the second kidnap involving the businessman in recent times. Police spokesman, Richard Oguche, an Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP), said the command was on top of the situation. He added that investigation on the matter has begun.

Offa rerun: Activists hail Jimoh for honesty


group of activists, the Coalition Against Corrupt Leaders (CACOL), has hailed the councillorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Shawo Southwest Ward in Offa Local Government Area of Kwara State, Mr. Afolabi Olawole Jimoh, for rejecting the false victory awarded him in the rerun in the local government. Jimoh was declared the winner by the Kwara State Independent Electoral Commission (KWSIEC) but he publicly said he did not win in the election. A statement yesterday by the coalition’s Media Officer, Abimbola Adegoke, quoted its

Executive Chairman, Debo Adeniran, as reacting to Jimoh’s exemplary action. It urged other politicians to emulate the Offa politician’s honesty. Adeniran said: “It has become traditional for all the results declared by any state’s Independent Electoral Commission, particularly in local government elections, to be in favour of the ruling party, irrespective of the strength of any other opposing party in the affected area. So, the action of Mr Jimoh is not only commendable but also worthy of emulation for our leaders. He is a model of what our political class should be.

Suntai-Speaker tussle: Court fixes September 30 for hearing


Taraba High Court sitting in Jalingo, the state capital, has fixed September 30 for the ruling on the suit filed by Governor Danbaba Danfulani Suntai against the House of Assembly Speaker Haruna Tsokwa and 15 other lawmakers for stopping him from resuming duty after transmitting a letter to the Assembly. Suntai returned to the country on August 25 after a 10month medical trip in German and the United States. The judge, Justice Ali Ibrahim Andeyangtso, will determine whether the court can entertain the matter or has to refer it to the Court of

From Fanen Ihyongo, Jalingo

Appeal. Counsel to the governor, Alex Izinyon (SAN), in his originating summons, is praying the court to interpret Section 190(2) of the 1999 Constitution with regards to Suntai’s letter to the Assembly on August 26. During yesterday’s proceedings, defence counsel Yusufu Akirikwen and counsel to the Assembly, Yusuf Ali (SAN), argued that the plaintiff was not supposed to file his case via an originating summons. They also said the signature on the letter was not Suntai’s but a forgery.

“What is the essence of sitting tight in government when your people have voted you out? Why won’t our politicians take a cue from this and shun every form of electoral corruption?” The activists advised the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to probe the veracity of Jimoh’s claim and prosecute anyone found to have aided and abetted the electoral heist. “This development, like others, is no doubt sending a dangerous signal to the general elections billed for 2015. INEC should, therefore, as a matter of expediency, carry out a thorough investigation into the



HE 1983 set of Baptist High School (BHS), Iwo, Old Students’ Association will begin its 30 years’ anniversary reunion tomorrow. A statement by its General Secretary, Mr. Dele Oyadotun, said the three–day anniversary will start with a devotion with pupils of the school and a classroom instruction by members of the set. A novelty match between the school’s team and the Class of ‘83 will hold later in the day. A carrier talk, recognition and presentation of award/ gifts to former teachers, a Jumat service and gala nite will hold on Friday. The anniversary will end on Saturday with a thanksgiving service at the school’s church. It will be followed by the presentation of the renovated and rehabilitated school’s library by the Class of ‘83. The cutting of the anniversary cake will also hold on Saturday as well as the national body’s general meeting.

Suspected Ombatse leader killed


suspected leader of the Ombatse militia in Nasarawa State has been reportedly killed by the military. He was said to have led a group to attack the people of Obiam. Ombatse is the dreaded militia group which allegedly killed 73 security personnel in the state recently. Although the group has been outlawed, it still operates in the state. Neither the police nor other security agencies could confirm the name of the victim. But an eyewitness said his body and three other persons arrested over the incident have been taken to an unknown location for investigation. Police spokesman, Cornelius Ocholi, an Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP), told reporters that three unidentified assailants were killed in the crisis. Ocholi said four other people, who were injured, had been taken to Dahaltu Specialist Hospital (DASH) for treatmnet. There have been repeated clashes between Eggon youths, who have been linked to the Ombaste cult group, and Alago people of Obi Local Government Area.

Gynaecologist for church’s anniversary sermon



councillor’s claim with a view to unearthing the dirty deals and compromise beneath the controversy surrounding the whole incident. It is only by so doing that INEC would be able to restore people’s confidence in its ability to conduct credible elections in 2015.”

FCT probes killing of twins HE Federal Capital T e r r i t o r y Administration (FCTA) has set up a committee to probe the killing of twins by some communities in the Federal Capital Territory. This followed reports that twins were being sacrificed to the gods. The Minister of State for the Federal Capital Territory, Oloye Olajumoke Akinjide, inaugurated the committee in Abuja. She said the alleged practice was of national and humanitarian concerns to the administration. Ms Akinjide said: “The FCT Administration received

BHS Iwo ‘83 set celebrates 30th anniversary

From Gbenga Omokhunu and Grace Obike, Abuja

the report of such primordial cultural practices with serious concern and considers the development unacceptable and totally reprehensible, considering the time and age in which we are. “After preliminary investigations, we came to the conclusion that the report may not be altogether unfounded. In the same vein, we became apprehensive that besides the communities already reported on, there might still be others whose cultural practices, in so far as the welfare of the child is concerned, have not kept pace with civilised standards.”

ENOWNED gynaecologist and church elder, Prof Joseph A. M. Otubu, will deliver a sermon at this year’s adoption service of Motailatu Church Cherubim and Seraphim Wordwide in Lagos. The service will hold at the international sub-headquarters of the church at Alakuko, Lagos State. It will be presided over by the church’s primate and founder, Archbishop Motailatu Akinadewo. Prof Otubu, a top medical consultant, specialises in reproductive endocrinology and infertility. A statement by the Supervising Head of the church, Elder Israel Akinadewo said the theme of the anniversary is: Celebration of Spiritual Rebirth: The Future of Aladura Churches. Eminent religious leaders in Nigeria and overseas are expected to attend the celebration.

Police parade fake doctor in Ilorin From Adekunle Jimoh, Ilorin


HE Kwara State Police Command yesterday paraded a 31-year old “fake doctor” in Ilorin, the state capital. The police gave the suspect’s name as Oroware Omololu Adebayo, from Owo, Ondo State. Police spokesperson, Femi Fabode, a Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP), alleged that the man had been parading himself as a doctor in Tanke area of the metropolis since last year. The police and some members of the state branch of the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA), arrested the suspect last Friday in Ilorin. Fabode said: “He has been parading himself as a trained medical practitioner. When he was arrested, he presented some forged University of Ilorin (UNILORIN) certificates. He confessed to the police that he is a fake doctor but that HE has been attending to patients since last year somewhere in Tanke area of Ilorin. He will be prosecuted according to the law. “I urge people to look for lawful means of livelihood rather than feigning to be what they are not. Only God knows the number of people who have fallen victims of this man.” The Kwara State branch of the NMA informed the police about the activities of this man, to avoid spoiling the name of the association...”




Over 7,000 Nasarawa crisis victims relocate to Plateau


VER 7,000 Nasarawa State residents have relocated to Plateau State for refuge following the crisis in their state. The displaced persons are taking refuge in Namu, a boundary town with Nasarawa

From Yusufu Aminu Idegu, Jos

State, in Quan Pan Local Government of Plateau State. Most of the victims said they were from Obi, Alakyo, both Lafia communities of Nasarawa State where there

are ethno-communal clashes between the Eggon and Alogo people. One of the victims, Dauda Malafia, who is from Namu, had five members of his family at Namu. He said the conflict persisted

for five days because the police were afraid that the warring ethnic groups would use charms and other cultic powers. Nasarawa State Commissioner for Information, Alhaji Hamza

Elayo said: “Right now, I am a member of the state government’s delegation heading to Namu to ascertain the number of displaced people there. I can’t tell you the figure now until we get there and count them physically.”

•Lagos State Governor Babatunde Fashola (SAN) (right) discussing with Interim State Chairman, All Progressives Congress (APC), Otunba Henry Oladele Ajomale (second right); former State Chairman, Congress for Progressive Change (CPC), Mr. Ajibade Emiabata (left) and former State Chairman, All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP), Mr. Kabiru Oriowo, during a meeting with the governor at Lagos House, Ikeja...yesterday.

Gunmen kidnap Suleja businessman


Suleja-based businessman, Alhaji Umar Maikoriya, was on Sunday night kidnapped by gunmen when he was returning home after his Ishai (night) prayers on the SulejaKaduna Road. It was learnt that his assailants shot into the air to scare the people around. A man near the businessman was said to have been hit by a stray bullet. The gunmen reportedly

From Jide Orintunsin, Minna

bundled Maikoriya into a car and drove him to an unknown destination. An eyewitness and a neighbour of the businessman, Mallam Mohammed Sani said the injured man was rushed to Gwagwalada Specialist Hospital for treatment. A family source said efforts to link up with the businessman have been

futile because his captors may have collected and switched off his phones. The source said: “We have not heard from him since he was abducted. His captors have not even communicated or place any ransom on him. We are confused; the family is confused. “Unlike the other time, when he was kidnapped, a ransom was demanded. But now, we have not been able to establish any contact with

him.” The Divisional Police Officer (DPO) in charge of Suleja, Eze Nneka, a Superintendent of Police (SP), said this was the second kidnap involving the businessman in recent times. Police spokesman, Richard Oguche, an Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP), said the command was on top of the situation. He added that investigation on the matter has begun.

Offa rerun: Activists hail Jimoh for honesty


group of activists, the Coalition Against Corrupt Leaders (CACOL), has hailed the councillorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Shawo Southwest Ward in Offa Local Government Area of Kwara State, Mr. Afolabi Olawole Jimoh, for rejecting the false victory awarded him in the rerun in the local government. Jimoh was declared the winner by the Kwara State Independent Electoral Commission (KWSIEC) but he publicly said he did not win in the election. A statement yesterday by the coalition’s Media Officer, Abimbola Adegoke, quoted its

Executive Chairman, Debo Adeniran, as reacting to Jimoh’s exemplary action. It urged other politicians to emulate the Offa politician’s honesty. Adeniran said: “It has become traditional for all the results declared by any state’s Independent Electoral Commission, particularly in local government elections, to be in favour of the ruling party, irrespective of the strength of any other opposing party in the affected area. So, the action of Mr Jimoh is not only commendable but also worthy of emulation for our leaders. He is a model of what our political class should be.

Suntai-Speaker tussle: Court fixes September 30 for hearing


Taraba High Court sitting in Jalingo, the state capital, has fixed September 30 for the ruling on the suit filed by Governor Danbaba Danfulani Suntai against the House of Assembly Speaker Haruna Tsokwa and 15 other lawmakers for stopping him from resuming duty after transmitting a letter to the Assembly. Suntai returned to the country on August 25 after a 10month medical trip in German and the United States. The judge, Justice Ali Ibrahim Andeyangtso, will determine whether the court can entertain the matter or has to refer it to the Court of

From Fanen Ihyongo, Jalingo

Appeal. Counsel to the governor, Alex Izinyon (SAN), in his originating summons, is praying the court to interpret Section 190(2) of the 1999 Constitution with regards to Suntai’s letter to the Assembly on August 26. During yesterday’s proceedings, defence counsel Yusufu Akirikwen and counsel to the Assembly, Yusuf Ali (SAN), argued that the plaintiff was not supposed to file his case via an originating summons. They also said the signature on the letter was not Suntai’s but a forgery.

“What is the essence of sitting tight in government when your people have voted you out? Why won’t our politicians take a cue from this and shun every form of electoral corruption?” The activists advised the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to probe the veracity of Jimoh’s claim and prosecute anyone found to have aided and abetted the electoral heist. “This development, like others, is no doubt sending a dangerous signal to the general elections billed for 2015. INEC should, therefore, as a matter of expediency, carry out a thorough investigation into the



HE 1983 set of Baptist High School (BHS), Iwo, Old Students’ Association will begin its 30 years’ anniversary reunion tomorrow. A statement by its General Secretary, Mr. Dele Oyadotun, said the three–day anniversary will start with a devotion with pupils of the school and a classroom instruction by members of the set. A novelty match between the school’s team and the Class of ‘83 will hold later in the day. A carrier talk, recognition and presentation of award/ gifts to former teachers, a Jumat service and gala nite will hold on Friday. The anniversary will end on Saturday with a thanksgiving service at the school’s church. It will be followed by the presentation of the renovated and rehabilitated school’s library by the Class of ‘83. The cutting of the anniversary cake will also hold on Saturday as well as the national body’s general meeting.

Suspected Ombatse leader killed


suspected leader of the Ombatse militia in Nasarawa State has been reportedly killed by the military. He was said to have led a group to attack the people of Obiam. Ombatse is the dreaded militia group which allegedly killed 73 security personnel in the state recently. Although the group has been outlawed, it still operates in the state. Neither the police nor other security agencies could confirm the name of the victim. But an eyewitness said his body and three other persons arrested over the incident have been taken to an unknown location for investigation. Police spokesman, Cornelius Ocholi, an Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP), told reporters that three unidentified assailants were killed in the crisis. Ocholi said four other people, who were injured, had been taken to Dahaltu Specialist Hospital (DASH) for treatmnet. There have been repeated clashes between Eggon youths, who have been linked to the Ombaste cult group, and Alago people of Obi Local Government Area.

Gynaecologist for church’s anniversary sermon



councillor’s claim with a view to unearthing the dirty deals and compromise beneath the controversy surrounding the whole incident. It is only by so doing that INEC would be able to restore people’s confidence in its ability to conduct credible elections in 2015.”

FCT probes killing of twins HE Federal Capital T e r r i t o r y Administration (FCTA) has set up a committee to probe the killing of twins by some communities in the Federal Capital Territory. This followed reports that twins were being sacrificed to the gods. The Minister of State for the Federal Capital Territory, Oloye Olajumoke Akinjide, inaugurated the committee in Abuja. She said the alleged practice was of national and humanitarian concerns to the administration. Ms Akinjide said: “The FCT Administration received

BHS Iwo ‘83 set celebrates 30th anniversary

From Gbenga Omokhunu and Grace Obike, Abuja

the report of such primordial cultural practices with serious concern and considers the development unacceptable and totally reprehensible, considering the time and age in which we are. “After preliminary investigations, we came to the conclusion that the report may not be altogether unfounded. In the same vein, we became apprehensive that besides the communities already reported on, there might still be others whose cultural practices, in so far as the welfare of the child is concerned, have not kept pace with civilised standards.”

ENOWNED gynaecologist and church elder, Prof Joseph A. M. Otubu, will deliver a sermon at this year’s adoption service of Motailatu Church Cherubim and Seraphim Wordwide in Lagos. The service will hold at the international sub-headquarters of the church at Alakuko, Lagos State. It will be presided over by the church’s primate and founder, Archbishop Motailatu Akinadewo. Prof Otubu, a top medical consultant, specialises in reproductive endocrinology and infertility. A statement by the Supervising Head of the church, Elder Israel Akinadewo said the theme of the anniversary is: Celebration of Spiritual Rebirth: The Future of Aladura Churches. Eminent religious leaders in Nigeria and overseas are expected to attend the celebration.

Police parade fake doctor in Ilorin


From Adekunle Jimoh, Ilorin

HE Kwara State Police Command yesterday paraded a 31-year old “fake doctor” in Ilorin, the state capital. The police gave the suspect’s name as Oroware Omololu Adebayo, from Owo, Ondo State. Police spokesperson, Femi Fabode, a Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP), alleged that the man had been parading himself as a doctor in Tanke area of the metropolis since last year. The police and some members of the state branch of the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA), arrested the suspect last Friday in Ilorin. Fabode said: “He has been parading himself as a trained medical practitioner. When he was arrested, he presented some forged University of Ilorin (UNILORIN) certificates. He confessed to the police that he is a fake doctor but that HE has been attending to patients since last year somewhere in Tanke area of Ilorin. He will be prosecuted according to the law. “I urge people to look for lawful means of livelihood rather than feigning to be what they are not. Only God knows the number of people who have fallen victims of this man.” The Kwara State branch of the NMA informed the police about the activities of this man, to avoid spoiling the name of the association...”



NEWS Jonathan wants a third term from back door, says Baraje group Continued from page 4

“We call on you and the Senate, as members of the ruling party that the issue of Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has gone beyond the ordinary man on the street. “All the negotiations that have been carried out by ASUU and the Federal Government have yielded no result. Our students and our children are at home exposed to all sorts of dangers. “ I call on you and the Senate to please quickly intervene and ensure that our universities are reopened. “We can no longer keep these children at home. I also call on you and the Senate to ensure that the 2013 budget is faithfully implemented.” Mark told the group that he would continue to stand for justice, fairness and equity, notwithstanding the circumstances. He said: “Even if you have a knife to my head, I will stand for justice, fairness and equity.” He urged the warring groups to come together and uphold a strong and united party.

Mark promised to remain in the PDP, saying he would not live to see a fallen Party. He pleaded with the group not to defect to another party. He said: “We are stronger and better as one big , strong and united party . We need to work together and make our democracy sustainable.” He urged the opposing groups to lay the cards on the table honestly and objectively to help find solution to the crisis rocking the party. Mark promised that the lawmakers elected on the platform of the party would remain united and cohesive. He said what makes for the good of the nation and her citizens would be their watchword. He stressed that the leadership of the National Assembly has no intention to declare the seats of Senators or House of Representatives members vacant on account of the crises. He expressed the hope that the issues would be resolved amicably soon. Mark said: “I will remain in PDP. All of us collectively,

whether it is Baraje led or Bamanga led want to see our house stand and stand erect and stand in such a way so that it can stand the test of time. “The obvious problems that you have raised here have all been in the newspapers. I have had occasions to plead with our elders. You have also met with our elders led by former President Olusegun Obasanjo. “Both parties have presented their cases and I believe that the elders’ committee has also made a submission to Mr. President. “Subsequently, you have also met with Mr. President and from what I gathered there is progress. It is slow but the progress in any peace move is better than no progress at all. As long as there is dialogue, there must be progress. “The essence of our meeting from time to time is to exchange ideas, look at the areas where we have differences and try to iron them out. “My position on the crisis in the PDP has always been that whatever happens, we must keep the members of the PDP in the Na-

tional Assembly united because that is the only thing that can stand the test of time. “Yes, we are a large family, there will be crisis but we should not translate that crisis to the floor of the Senate because once you do that then we are divided in the Senate. “The Senate remains one united family and I have not declared anybody’s seat vacant. I have no intention whatsoever of doing that because this is a crisis that we are working on and trying to resolve. “As long as we are trying to resolve this crisis, all the sides to it must be prepared o give and take.” Mark said: Having spoken with you, I am also going to discuss with the Bamanga group and we will all be very frank because if we don’t put all the cards on the table, then we are not going to find a solution. “We agree that there was a problem but it is a family problem and we will solve it. When we solve it, we will be stronger when we come out of it.”

20 soldiers die in gunfight with Boko Haram Continued from page 4

portunity to take stock of the casualty figures.” Asked if the troops were actually ambushed, the source said: “From field report at our dispos-

al, the soldiers were not ambushed. The raid was at the instance of the troops following intelligence report.” The Defence Spokesman, BrigGen. Chris Olukolade, who spoke with our correspondent,

said: “So far, the casualty figure of troops is less than 20. Many terrorists were also killed by troops. “We are still combing the forest to ascertain if there were more deaths. You should expect

more update.” The defunct Joint Task Force in Borno had on November 23, 2012 placed a N10million ransom on Abba Goroma, who was feared killed in the clash at Kafia Forest.

House renews confidence in Tambuwal Continued from page 4

amila said. He urged the Speaker to directs the Clerk to register the APC. There were shouts of “APC!” as all members of the party stood and applauded. The Speaker directed the Clerk to “do the needful and within the confines of the law”. Tambuwal, in his resumption speech, titled: “We must remain focused”, said there was more to be done to bring the dividends of democracy to Nigerians. “Most of our people still can’t afford to live decently. They still can’t afford quality education for their children or good healthcare for their families. They still don’t have those basic needs of life - from clean water to adequate security and regular power supply - that other nations take for granted. This means there remains a whole lot more to be done. “Recently, the polity has witnessed sustained heat generated by both inter-party and in-

tra-party squabbles. This is not all together unexpected, given the approach of 2015. What is worrisome, however, is that these squabbles have further exposed the weaknesses of internal party democratic culture and inter-party intolerance. These are viruses that we must resolve to dispense with in order to sanitise the political space. “I wish to caution that we exercise the highest restraint to the obvious distractions that the approaching 2015 is bound to bring so that we do not lose our focus in the diligent pursuit of our mandate. The proper timing for 2015 will surely come and at that time, we shall do the needful.” While thanking members for their efforts in the Constitution Amendment, Tambuwal said there were still areas to attend to. “We also hope to amend the Electoral Act again to see how we can ensure that no one takes unfair advantage of the existing

loopholes to rig elections. The fact is that until we can ensure that each vote counts in this country, the people will always be taken for granted by their leaders. We, therefore, want to produce a solid Electoral Act, comparable to any in the world and able to stand the test of time. “Budget implementation still remains a sore point of governance. The level of implementation of the 2013 capital appropriation is way below expectation, given the early submission by the Executive and equally early passage by the Legislature. We have consistently advised that the procurement process be employed in a value added manner rather than the slavish adherence to and unproductive worship of procedures. It would appear that not much progress has been made in that regard. “So far, by the information and statistics at our disposal, there would appear to be no justification for this state of af-

fairs. However, in order to be comprehensively guided, all the Committees of the House will proceed on one week of oversight to Ministries, Departments and Agencies at the end of which they shall submit their reports to the Committees on Legislative Budget and Research and that of Legislative Compliance. The two Committees will collate same and submit a joint report to plenary for consideration. This report will guide the House in the consideration of the 2014 budget proposals. “In an Interim Report to Leadership, the Ad hoc Committee on the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) has reported that public hearings on the bill have been successfully conducted in the six geo political zones and Abuja. The importance of this bill to the economy cannot be overemphasized, accordingly the committee is hereby directed to expedite work and submit its report to the House soonest”

PDP crises: Reps exchange blows over Tukur, Baraje Continued from page 4

political parties are vehicles through which we pursue our ambitions and aspirations, we must all conduct ourselves strictly within the confines of our Constitution. “I wish to caution that Nigerians need peaceful atmosphere to conduct their lives and business endeavours, I make bold to say that we, card-carrying members of political parties, contribute not more than 25 per cent of the population of this country. “We must, therefore, abstain from heating up the polity unnecessarily; we must not take Nigerians for granted, we must not overreach our goodwill and we must not over task the goodwill of Nigerians. “Let us, therefore, take conscious effort to allow national interest take the driving seat and not our personal ambitions. The new PDP members, at a briefing led by Hon. Andrew Uchendu (PDP Rivers), said the action of the PDP members in the House shows the level of lawlessness, impunity and intolerance in the party. According to Uchendu, who claimed that the New PDP has

108 members and still counting, the action of the G7 was based on the fact that if Nigeria must have direction, the party in power must have direction. “They formed the New PDP so that Nigerians can heave a sigh of relief,” he said. On the need for the meeting with the Baraje-led executive, Uchendu said it was for a fuller briefing since most of the drama occurred when the House was on recess. “What happened today at this meeting was what our leaders have been complaining about reign of impunity, lawlessness, intolerance and lack of courage to agree and disagree. “Since all of us can’t sit to arrive at the same conclusion, it will make greater sense to have allowed the Baraje-led executive to brief those who are loyal to them. “But, in their character and in condemnation of all of us, they came in to disrupt the meeting, unfortunately for them, Baraje still went ahead and briefed us,” Uchendu said. He went on: “This just showed the reign of impunity that has pervaded the entire fabric of our

polity and this can’t be allowed to continue. This country belongs to all of us and there must be a new direction, which is what the Baraje-led National Working Committee is out to achieve.” Asked why he was raising a Point of Order that started the fracas, Henry Daniel-Ofongo said he explained that he only wanted to tell the gathering that the meeting was supposed to be with the Caucus of the House and not for everybody. “There is freedom of speech; why would they not allow me

to air my my opinion. This meeting is supposed to be with the Caucus of the House and for everybody; so why come with a crowd? “Even those that were not part of the caucus or the executive were there” A member who pleaded not to be named said the reason for the open forum was to allow for everyone to air their view. “The Speaker was not ready to gag anybody or bar anyone from attending the meeting, which is what democracy is all about,” Daniel-Ofongo said.

Plot against Tambuwal Continued from page 4

transform into a minority leader. The Deputy Chairman of the House Committee on Media and Public Affairs, Chief Victor Ogene, confirmed the plot. He said House members had been called to meetings at the Presidential Villa and outside the seat of power. He said: “Well, what I do know is that members have been meeting in various caucuses, including state and party caucuses. As parliamentarians, we will not stop our members from attending meetings. “The unity of the House of Representatives is sancrosanct but any member who goes ahead to attend a meeting that is injurious to our unity will only

put himself or herself up for sanctions. “We have been hearing rumours of attempt by different interest groups to sway members one way or the other but I wish to say that the leadership of the House is up to the task of keeping the House as one whole unit. “We know that some members have been called to meetings in the Presidential Villa or outside the Villa but where the inducement is coming from, we do not want to speculate. Responding to a question, Ogene said: “The Speaker and his team are not shaken in any way; they are not threatened. “You could see this from the rousing welcome given to the Speaker on the floor of the House today.”

Rumpus threatens Jonathan, G-7 talks


HE rumpus in the House of Representatives may threaten the reconvening of peace talks between President Goodluck Jonathan and the G-7 governors/Kawu Baraje faction, it was learnt last night. It was also learnt that the Presidency opted for October 7 to resume talks with the aggrieved governors to buy time on its next line of action. Besides the booing of the governors and the factional National Chairman of PDP, Kawu Baraje, the Presidency might use the ceasefire period to deal with those behind the factionalisation of the Peoples Democratic Party(PDP). A source, who pleaded not to be named, said: “The rumpus in the House is a setback for peace talks between the President and the aggrieved governors. The G7 /Kawu Baraje faction may not return to the peace table. “The crisis has also shown that the President and his team were not committed to the pact reached at the conciliatory talks on Sunday. They had been using the meetings to buy time to gauge the feelings of the governors and design the next line of action. “You will recall that barely 12

hours after the Sunday meeting, the Bamanga Tukur-led PDP raised a caretaker committee for PDP in Kano State. “The signs are there that the peace talks might be as good as dead. The reconvening on October 7 for further talks is slim.” CHANGE OF NAME OYEKANMI I, formerly known and addressed as Miss ‘Kemi Elizabeth Oyekanmi, now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs ‘Kemi Elizabeth Akinbolade. All former documents remain valid. General public please take note.

PUBLIC NOTICE CHIKEZIE I formerly known and addressed as Chikezie Ikechukwu Okwunwanne, now wish to be known as Ita St Laurence. All former documents remain valid. General public please take note. CHANGE OF NAME OKECHUKWU I, formerly known and addressed as MRS. OKECHUKWU ANGELA ONYEKACHI, now wish to be known and addressed as MRS. ADETUNJIAFOLABI ANGELA ONYEKACHI. All former documents remain valid. University of Calabar and Union Bank Nig. PLC and general public please take note.

PUBLIC NOTICE GOLDEN STEEL ESTATE LANDLORDS’ ASSOCIATION ORHUWHORUN The general public is hereby notify that the above named association with its Headquarter in Delta State has applied to the corporate Affairs Commission Abuja for registration in accordance with part C of the Companies and allied Matters Act.1990. THE 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8.

TRUSTEES ARE: Engr. Ademola akande Mr. Abosco ifebhor Mr. Richardson osifo Bola Omoyeni ESq Mr. Idowu ramoni Mr. Eddy itama Dr Brown .K. Adasen Ayo Asala ESQ

AIM AND OBJECTIVE OF THE ASSOCIATION 1) To enhance, project and preserve the well being of members residing within the Estate 2) To initiate, execute and/or promote the execution of project which shall benefit the landlords and residents of the Estate 3) To encourage environmental protection and security awareness within the estate 4) To preserve the unity and oneness of person residing within the Estate 5) To cater for the welfare, interest and the general wellbeing of residents of the Estate. Any objection to the registration should be forwarded to the Registrar General, Corporate Affairs Commission P.M.B 198, Plot 420, Tigirs Cresent, off Aguyi Ironsi street, Maitama, Abuja within 28 days of this publication. SIGNED AYO ASALA ESQ PRIME CHAMBERS 4 OLD UJEVWU ROAD, OPP DELTA CLINIC ESTATE UDU-UGHELLI ROAD, OVWIAN-WARRI, DELTA STATE 08054444891




Navy Yard killer had mental health issues

AU to debate ICC exit

HE ex-U.S. Navy reservist who killed 12 people and wounded eight at a Washington DC Navy installation on Monday had received treatment for mental health issues, US media have reported. Aaron Alexis, 34, was treated for paranoia, trouble sleeping and hearing voices, the Associated Press reported. Before Monday’s shooting at the Washington Navy Yard he was employed as a technical contractor there. He was shot and killed by police during the attack. A Washington Nationals baseball game originally scheduled for Monday night was rescheduled to Tuesday afternoon - the baseball stadium is just blocks from the Navy Yard. The flag flew at half-mast over the White House, where hours after the shooting President Barack Obama had mourned “yet another mass shooting”. No motive is known for the attack. The victims ranged in age from 46 to 73, and details about their identities and lives have just begun to emerge. The shooting began about 8:20 local time (12:20 GMT) on Monday, when a gunman apparently shot his way into the heavily guarded Building 197, headquarters for Naval Sea Systems Command, which builds and maintains ships and submarines for the Navy. As an employee of an IT contractor, Alexis apparently had a card granting him access to the building - even though he had had several run-ins with the law and had been discharged from the Navy under a cloud, authorities said. “It really is hard to believe that someone with a record as

N upcoming summit of the African Union will debate the possible exit of some African countries from the International Criminal Court, Uganda’s deputy foreign minister said Tuesday as the trial of Kenya’s deputy president proceeded at The Hague. Okello Oryem said that Uganda, whose president has questioned the ICC’s credibility, would be compelled to quit the Rome Statute that created the court if a “summitlevel” recommendation is made in solidarity with the leaders of Kenya who face criminal charges at The Hague over their alleged roles in postelection violence that killed more than 1,000 people in 2007-08. They face charges of crimes against humanity, which they deny having committed. The ICC has come under strong criticism from some African leaders who say it disproportionately targets Africans. The international court has indicted only Africans so far. Oryem cited concerns about the credibility of the witnesses in the trials of Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy, William Ruto He said Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni “is doing everything possible” to stop the criminal trials in Europe of Kenya’s leaders. An African Union summit next month in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia “will decide this matter” of a possible mass exit from the ICC, he said.


chequered as this man could conceivably get, you know, clearance to get... credentials to be able to get on the base,” Washington DC Mayor Vincent Gray told CNN. Witnesses said the suspect sprayed bullets in a hallway and fired from a balcony down on to workers in an atrium at the heavily secured installation in the US capital. He was reportedly armed with an AR-15 semi-automatic rifle, a shotgun and a handgun that he took from a police officer at the scene. Police initially responded to reports of two other armed suspects, but after exhaustive searches authorities said they were all but certain that Alexis was the only gunman. Washington Police Chief Cathy Lanier told reporters the gunman “was engaged in shooting with police officers” when he died. “There is no

question he would have kept shooting,” she added. Anthony Little says his brother-in-law Aaron Alexis had “shown no sign” that he could carry out a shooting Alexis was formerly a petty officer 3rd class who served full-time in the naval reserve from 2007-11, said the US Navy. He received two routine medals for his service in the Navy: the National Defense Service Medal and the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal. Alexis separated from the Navy reserves under what is called a general discharge, a status that suggests misconduct. It was not immediately clear why he left the military, but unnamed military officers told US media there had been a series of issues during his service. According to media reports, Alexis was a Buddhist convert

who had had two previous gun-related brushes with the law. In 2004 he was arrested in Seattle for shooting a construction worker’s car tyres, in what he described as an enraged “black-out”. And Alexis was questioned by Fort Worth police in 2010 after firing his gun through the floor of an upstairs apartment. He said it was an accidental discharge. Also, in August 2008 he was arrested for disorderly conduct in the state of Georgia, according to the Smoking Gun, a website that collects police and court documents. Details on the incident were not available.In addition to those killed in Monday’s rampage, one police officer was shot in the legs, a female civilian was shot in the head and hand, and another woman was treated for a shoulder wound.



All three were expected to recover. Five others required medical treatment, mostly for minor injuries, said Washington DC Mayor Vincent Gray. Were you in the area at the time of the shooting? Have you been affected by this story? Please get in touch using the form below.

Miss Cultural Heritage beauty pageant. The winner will be announced on September 28. The king has come under fire for his household’s lavish lifestyle while the tiny mountain kingdom’s 1.2 million people struggle to make a living. Mswati reportedly has a personal fortune of around $200 million (152 euros) and the UN estimates that 70 percent of his 1.2 million subjects live below the poverty line. He has steadfastly resisted reforms. The new engagement was announced at a festival which also counted regional delegates who will observe parliamentary elections on Friday. Critics have slammed the polls as a sham, partly because political parties are banned and candidates are

hand-picked by traditional leaders. The weekend’s celebrations were a smaller repeat of last month’s official annual Reed Dance, where young virgins from across the kingdom gather and dance for the king. “It just happened that the international community was there to witness the event,” said Mtetwa. The wedding only takes place once the fiancee falls pregnant. Dlamini will then become Mswati’s 14th wife. The monarch’s colourful private life is off-limits in local media, but has drawn a lot of international interest. Three wives left the household in recent years. The latest, Queen LaGija, fled the palace in 2012 claiming years of physical and emotional abuse.

Brotherhood spokesman ‘held’ in Egypt


•Mswati III

Another queen, LaDube, was reportedly abused after she was caught in bed with the justice minister, a close friend of the king. Mswati had kidnapped and married the queen when she was 16 in 2005.

Iran confirms letters with U.S.

RAN said yesterday that President Hassan Rouhani had exchanged letters with U.S. President Barack Obama, confirming a rare contact between leaders of the two nations at loggerheads over Iran’s nuclear program, the Syrian war and other issues. The United States and Iran cut diplomatic relations in 1980, after students and Islamic militants stormed the U.S. Embassy in Tehran and took American diplomats


•In a rare engineering feat, the ship-wrecked Costa Concordia after it was successfully rotated off the Italian reef ... yesterday. PHOTO: REUTERS It capsized on January 2012.

Swazi monarch gets 14th wife

WAZILAND’s King Mswati III has chosen an 18-year-old beauty pageant contestant as his 14th wife, a palace spokesman said yesterday, days before a much-criticised parliamentary vote. “I can confirm that the king has introduced to the nation a new liphovela (royal fiancee),” said Ludzidzini palace governor Timothy Mtetwa. Mswati, a 45-year-old who is sub-Saharan Africa’s last absolute monarch, introduced Sindiswa Dlamini at a Reed Dance celebration over the weekend, Mtetwa told AFP. She wore red feathers on her head — a sign of royalty. The young woman graduated from Mbabane’s St. Francis High School last year and is a finalist in the


hostage. But since the surprise election of Rouhani, a centrist cleric who defeated more conservative candidates, in June, officials from both countries have made increasing hints that they are open to direct talks to seek an end to the decade-long nuclear dispute. Iranian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Marzieh Afkham said yesterday that Obama had sent Rouhani a message of congratulations

on the occasion of his election. “This letter has been exchanged,” Afkham said, according to the ISNA news agency. “The mechanism for exchanging these letters is through current diplomatic channels.” Though rare, it is not the first time letters have been exchanged. Rouhani’s predecessor, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, wrote one to Obama three years ago, and Obama wrote twice directly to Supreme Leader

Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, in 2009 and 2012. Obama said in an interview broadcast on Sunday he had exchanged letters with Rouhani. The two men will speak on the same day at the U.N. General Assembly next week, though there are currently no plans for them to meet. Rouhani has said he wants to pursue “constructive interaction” with the world, raising hopes for a negotiated settlement to the nuclear dispute.

GYPTIAN police have arrested the Muslim Brotherhood’s main English-language spokesman, state media reports. Gehad al-Haddad was reportedly found with at least one other Brotherhood official in a flat in Cairo. Mr Haddad had served as chief of staff of the Brotherhood’s deputy general guide, Khairat al-Shater, and often spoke to Englishlanguage media. There has been a crackdown on Islamist groups since the military ousted President Mohammed Morsi in July. Earlier, the Cairo Criminal Court upheld an order to freeze the assets of senior figures in the Brotherhood and the former militant group Gamaa Islamiya, state media said. Prosecutors imposed the restrictions on the Brotherhood’s general guide, Mohammed Badie, Mr Shater and about a dozen others in July. Most have been detained over allegations of inciting violence and murder. Hundreds of people demanding Mr Morsi’s reinstatement, most of them Brotherhood members, were also killed in clashes when security forces stormed two protest camps in Cairo last

month.The state-run newspaper, al-Ahram, said Mr Haddad had been arrested on Tuesday along with the former governor of Qalyubia province, Hossam Abu alBakr, in a flat in the eastern Cairo suburb of Nasr City. Security sources told the Reuters news agency that a third Brotherhood official had also been detained. State television did not say what charges Mr Haddad faced, but alAhram reported that he was suspected of inciting violence and murder. He had been transferred to Tora prison on the outskirts of the capital, it added. The son of Mr Morsi’s former foreign affairs adviser Essam al-Haddad, Mr Haddad is a senior adviser and media spokesman for the Brotherhood. He studied at De Montfort University in the UK and is fluent in English. Mr Haddad served as media strategist for Mr Morsi’s presidential campaign in 2011, and was interviewed frequently by foreign media both before and after the military deposed the president following mass protests. He was also active on social media, tweeting as @gelhaddad.




Russia against use of force in Syria


OSCOW insisted yesterday that a new Security Council resolution on Syria not allow the use of force, while the Arab country’s main opposition group demanded a swift international response following the U.N. report that confirmed chemical weapons were used outside Damascus last month. In Moscow, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said Russia “spoke clearly” about rejecting the use of force when the agreement on Syria abandoning its chemical weapons was worked out in Geneva between U.S. and Russian envoys. But if signs emerge that



UDAN’s President Omar al-Bashir, being sought to answer charges of war crimes, has asked for a U.S. visa ahead of next week’s UN General Assembly. The International Crimi-

Syria is not fulfilling the agreement or there are reports of further chemical weapons use, “then the Security Council will examine the situation,” Lavrov said, suggesting the issue could be reconsidered. He spoke at a news conference with French counterpart Laurent Fabius. France and the United States say a military option remains on the table and are pushing for the U.N. resolution to reflect that. The meeting in Moscow came a day after U.N. inspectors submitted their report on the Aug. 21 chemical weapons attack that precipitated the heightened tensions over Syria. It was the

first official confirmation by impartial experts that chemical weapons were used in the attack near Damascus, which killed hundreds. Although the report confirmed chemical weapons were used, it did not say who used them - and Lavrov and Fabius differed sharply on their interpretations. “The report exposes the regime,” Fabius said. “On the basis of the information of our external agents, we consider that the report proves the responsibility of the regime for the chemical weapons attack of Aug. 21.” The U.S., Britain and France jumped on evidence in the report - especially the type of rockets, the compo-

Sudan’s President Omar al-Bashir seeks visa for UN meet

nal Court (ICC) wants Mr Bashir tried on charges of directing genocide and taking part in war crimes in the Darfur region. State media had said Sudanese Foreign Minister Ali Karti would be leading the country’s delegation to the meeting at UN headquarters in New York. Mr Bashir last visited the US in 2006. Warrants for his arrest were issued in March 2009 and July 2010. The ICC charged him with 10 counts of war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide in connection with the conflict in the western region of Darfur. The US ambassador to the United Nations, Samantha

Power, confirmed that Washington had received a visa application from President Bashir. She described the move as “deplorable”, “cynical” and “hugely inappropriate”. UN peacekeepers were sent to help end years of warfare in Darfur A spokeswoman for the US State Department, Marie Harf, said: “We condemn any potential effort by President Bashir to travel to New York.” “Before presenting himself to UN headquarters,” Ms Harf said, “President Bashir should present himself to the ICC in The Hague to answer for the crimes of which he’s been accused.” Ms Harf did not say

Zimbabwe: Opposition boycotts Mugabe’s speech


IMBABWE’s main opposition party has boycotted the opening of parliament by President Robert Mugabe following its defeat in the 31 July elections. Mr Mugabe’s election was not legitimate, said the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC). The party says its candidate, Morgan Tsvangirai, was cheated of victory, which Mr Mugabe denies. The election ended the coalition the two leaders formed after disputed elections in 2008. ‘Renewed vigour’ The July poll went off peacefully, in contrast to the previous election that was marred by violence and intimidation. Mr Mugabe, 89, won with 61% of the presidential vote against 34% for Mr Tsvangirai on 31 July. We stand ready to work with with even those who before were at odds with us” His Zanu-PF party clinched a two-thirds majority in the parliamentary vote. The MDC rejected the result, saying the election had been marred by widespread rigging. “He has no right to open parliament and we can’t participate in the ceremony presided over by him,” said MDC chief whip Innocent Gonese, AFP news agency reports. Mr Mugabe made no reference to the MDC in his parliamentary address, reports the BBC’s Brian Hungwe from the capital, Harare. The president said he would

sition of the sarin agent, and trajectory of the missiles - to declare that President Bashar Assad’s government was responsible. Russia, a staunch ally of the Syrian regime, disagreed. The main Syrian opposition group, the Westernbacked Syrian National Coalition, said the U.N. report offered “damning and irrefutable evidence” and clearly shows that only the Syrian regime could have carried out the attack, which U.N. chief Ban Ki-moon denounced as a “war crime.” The SNC said there must be a swift response and called on the U.N. to refer Syria to the International Criminal Court.

pursue with “renewed vigour” policies aimed at forcing foreign firms to cede majority control to local partners. Zimbabweans could not be “mere bystanders” in the economy, he said. The controversial indigenisation law came into force in 2010. It has so far been applied to mines. Mr Mugabe said he was ready to rebuild relations with Western powers. “We stand ready to work with even those who before were at odds with us,” he added. “On the other hand, we will continue to demand the immediate and unconditional removal of sanctions imposed by some arrogant Western countries.”. In March, the European Union (EU) suspended sanctions against 81 officials and eight firms in Zimbabwe. The decision followed a peaceful referendum on a new constitution which expands civil liberties in Zimbabwe, Sanctions are still in force against 10 people, including President Mugabe.

whether Mr Bashir’s visa application had been rejected. The US has made legal commitments to grant visas to officials seeking to take part in activities of the UN, the Sudan Tribune newspaper reports. One scenario is that the Sudanese leader could be arrested if he sets foot on US soil whilst en route to the UN headquarters. The site itself is regarded as extranational territory, the AFP news agency reports. Last month, Saudi Arabia refused permission for a plane carrying the Sudanese president to cross its airspace, as Mr Bashir travelled to Iran to see the inauguration of the new Iranian president.

Ethiopian lion kills keeper



The EU first imposed sanctions, including a travel ban, on Zimbabwean officials and firms in 2002. It said it was in response to human rights abuses and political violence under Mr Mugabe’s rule. The US also has a travel ban on Mr Mugabe and other top Zanu-PF officials, and has blacklisted companies linked to them from doing business with US companies. Mr Mugabe has been in power since independence in 1980.

LION has mauled to death a keeper at a zoo in Ethiopia’s capital, Addis Ababa, after he forgot to close the door to the inner cage where the animal sleeps, officials say. The lion, named Kenenisa after the famous Ethiopian athlete Kenenisa Bekele, bit Abera Silsay, 51, in the neck, they said. The attack is said to have lasted for 15-20 minutes. The zoo was opened in 1948 for the pet lions of former emperor Haile Selassie. The zoo was closed to the public. Officials say about 2,000 people visit it daily. Guards tried to scare off the lion by firing shots into the air, but to no avail, our reporter says. Mr Abera was attacked as he was cleaning the lion’s cage. “He entered cage number 10 where Kenenisa lives and he forgot to close the door [to the lion’s sleeping chamber],” the zoo’s director general Musie Kiflom told AFP news agency.

Bangladesh: Islamist leader to face death


ANGLADESH’s Supreme Court sentenced an Islamist leader to death for war crimes yesterday, overturning a life sentence imposed by a tribunal, triggering outrage from his lawyers and protests from his supporters. The war crimes tribunal back in February found Abdul Quader Mollah, assistant secretary general of the outlawed Jamaat-e-Islami party, guilty of murder, rape and torture during the 1971 war of independence from Pakistan.

The life sentence imposed at the time also triggered protests by people hoping he would get the death penalty. In response, parliament amended a law to allow the state to appeal against any verdict or sentence passed by the tribunal. Bangladesh has been hit in recent months by a wave of violent protests over war crimes convictions, presenting the government with a security and credibility challenge ahead of polls early next year.




Medical council seals off clinic in Akwa Ibom


AHAF Eye Specialist Clinic in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, was yesterday sealed off, following complaints by a patient who became blind after receiving treatment from the hospital. A combined team from the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria (MDCN) and operatives of the State Security Service (SSS) stormed 20 Afaha Ube Street, Uyo, and arrested the operator, Dr. A.M. Arugaya. Investigations by The Nation showed that the clinic was sealed off by the Ministry of Health in 2009 but the operator allegedly reopened it. A patient, Mrs. Cecilia Edet, who paid N1,500 for a clinic card, was about to begin treatment when the teams of MDCN and the SSS stormed the clinic. The MDCN Head of Department, Inspectorate, Dr. Henry Okwuokenye, said: “But what gave him the impunity to reopen the hospital or the clinic after it was sealed off is still a shock to me. “Through intelligence network, we have been able to discover that Arugaya has specific days that he runs these clinics. These make him to be very elusive. “We have been around for almost five days trying to pin him

•The clinic’s signpost . INSET Arugaya From Kazeem Ibrahym, Uyo

down to this place, but this morning with the SSS we have been able to clamp down on him.” The Director, Medical Services, Ministry of Health, Dr. Comfort Archibong, said the clinic was sealed off in 2009 with the sign-

NAFEST begins in Yenagoa


By Ozolua Uhakheme

RESIDENT Goodluck Jonathan has urged political leaders to explore the platform of the National Festival of Arts and culture (NAFEST) to tap virtues of cultural heritage for development. Represented by Bayelsa State Governor Seriake Dickson, who was chief host of the on-going NAFEST in Yenagoa, the Bayelsa State capital, the President said development could only be attained through hard work, peaceful coexistence and national integration. He said the proper grasp of culture enhances understanding and smooth administration at all levels. “We also believe that for tourism to make significant contribution to the economy, it must be driven by the people’s culture and heritage. “We are happy to note that the success of Nollywood that is giving Nigeria a good image in the international arena has also become a potent tool of national rebranding.”

Anambra APGA gets campaign director


NAMBRA State Commissioner for Information Joe Martins Uzodike has been appointed as the campaign director for the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) candidate, William Obiano. APGA National Chairman Victor Umeh and Governor Peter Obi picked Uzodike at a meeting on Sunday but Obi announced the decision at the Executive Council Meeting on Monday. Billboards of governorship candidates are being pulled down as a result of non-payment by the candidates. It was gathered that the billboards of the All

From Nwanosike Onu, Awka

Progressives Congress (APC) candidate, Chris Ngige, had been dismantled. But Uzodike said it was not targeted at any individual. He said every candidate, including Obiano, must pay between N150,000 to N250,000 per billboard depending on the size. “If a person can pay N11 million for a nomination form, then what is N150,000 or N250,000 for billboards. We want to stop this nuisance. Some of the billboards are causing accidents, politicians should pay,” Uzodike said.


post removed to the store in the ministry. Archibong, who spoke on behalf of the Commissioner of Health, Dr Ememabasi Bassey, said the victim located the clinic through advertisement in a local radio station. She urged media houses in the


all health advertisements be screened by the ministry. “And what is wholesome, the media houses will be informed for airing and those that are not good enough, they also will be informed not to air.” Arugaya blamed his enemies for the sealing off of his business.

One killed in Ebonyi building collapse

NE person was killed yesterday in Amasiri Afikpo North Local Government Area of Ebonyi State when a three-storey building under construction collapsed. The victim, whose identity could not been ascertained, was said to be working in the building when it caved in about 8.35am. Police spokesman Sylvester Igbo confirmed the incident. He said when the police


From Ogochukwu Anioke, Abakaliki

received the information, officers mobilised to the scene. But efforts made by the police to rescue the trapped person, who was alive when they first arrived at the scene, proved abortive as they lacked the necessary equipment for the rescue. Igbo said before the police could get to the trapped man, he had died.

His words: “About 8.35am yesterday, information was received that a-three storey building under construction collapsed. The building was beside NNPC’s mega filling station at Amasiri in Afikpo North. “The police immediately mobilised to the scene. The officers saw a hand raised under the debris. “They tried to rescue him but it was impossible, they ran to construction companies looking for excavator

that will assist them to do the work. They were able to secure a chain excavator but there was no vehicle to convey the equipment to the scene. “The police mobilised youths who came with hammers, by the time they got to the scene, the victim was dead. “The assistant site manager was arrested by the police but the site engineer was not available but efforts are on to arrest him.”

Thugs attack Edo community

HREE buildings in Okomu community in Ovia South West Local Government Area of Edo State were yesterday razed by thugs suspected to be exmilitants. They were allegedly protesting the sharing of empowerment materials donated by Okomu Oil Palm Company. The youths were said to have

From Osagie Otabor, Benin

fired sporadically and set the buildings ablaze when they discovered that some community leaders have escaped. A building belonging to the head teacher of Okomu Primary School was affected. One of the victims, Rickson Nanagha, said the youths stormed his house, demanding the skill acquisition ma-

terials donated by the company. He said: “These boys started this problem in 2011 when we asked them to disarm and accept amnesty. “Last week, Okomu Oil Palm Company gave our people bursary and skill acquisition materials, I was directed to give the materials to the community which I did. “But they came to my house

demanding the materials, I escaped from the community and went to report the matter to the police. When they heard I reported the matter they set my house and others ablaze.” Police Commissioner Funso Adebanjo promised to investigate the matter and take necessary action. “We will not tolerate any form of violence in this state.”

Legacy parties insist on Keyamo By Augustine Avwode

Ex-councillors demand allowances From Nwanosike Onu, Awka

ORMER councillors in Anambra State yesterday stormed the state secretariat in Awka to demand the payment of their N3 billion allowances. The allowances, according to the leaders of the State Councillors Forum (ASCOF), Donatus Okeke and Ifeanyi Obi, were severance, accommodation and furniture. The councillors, who served in the Chinwoke Mbadinuju administration, are to receive over N3 million each.

state to pass health advertisements through the ministry for vetting before publication. Her words: “I am appealing to media houses to work with the ministry. We had sent letters to all media houses in the state when the clinic was closed down requesting that



HE leaders of the legacy parties in Delta Central Senatorial District have reiterated their adoption of Festus Keyamo

as their candidate in the expected by-election for the vacant senatorial seat. This followed the announcement by the Southsouth leadership of the All Progressives Congress (APC), rejecting Keyamo’s adoption. The party’s National ViceChairman (Southsouth), Tom Ikimi, had rejected the adoption, describing the claim as false and unauthorised.

Ikimi said: “For the avoidance of doubt and the benefit of all Nigerians, the said reports and publications are neither true nor authorised. They should therefore be disregarded completely.” The leadership of the legacy parties in the zone insisted that they stand by their adoption of Keyamo as the would-be candidate of the party. Rising from an emergency meeting on Monday, the leaders declared their stand in a communiqué, which was

made available to The Nation. They argued that there was nothing wrong in their adoption of Keyamo. “We see nothing wrong in giving our support to one aspirant over another. “We are not saying this is the final outcome of the party primaries or selection process, but an internal political choice.” The legacy parties are the defunct Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) and the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC).










•Casillas •Yaya Toure celebrate with Nasri

Rooney nets 200th United goal W

AYNE Rooney netted his 200th goal for Manchester United after scoring twice to help his side to a 4-2 win over Bayer Leverkusen in their Champions League opener. Rooney opened the scoring in the first half with a volley from Patrice Evra's cross, but turned from hero to villain

Bayern opens title defence with comfortable win BAYERN Munich opened the defence of their Champions League title with an emphatic 3-0 win over CSKA Moscow. The impressive David Alaba opened the scoring in the fourth minute with a brilliant free kick, raising the roof on a cold night in Munich. Mario Mandzukic was desperately unlucky not to add a second when his header crashed back off the inside of the far post, but Bayern were playing with a swagger and the second was only a matter of time. It came moments later through Mandzukic, who buried his header from Arjen Robben’s whipped free-kick, despite a strong suggestion of offside. Robben wrapped up the win, drilling in from 12 yards after Alaba’s disguised lofted pass fooled the CSKA defence.

when he spurned a golden opportunity to double United's lead soon after the restart. Having rounded Leverkusen keeper Bernd Leno, he failed to find either the open net or the waiting Robin van Persie. Leverkusen then profited from Rooney's wastefulness, with Simon Rolfes curling the ball home - via a deflection off


Man Utd 4-2 Leverkusen Sociedad 0 - 2 Shakhtar Galatasaray 1-6 R. Madrid København 1 - 1 Juventus Benfica 2 - 0 Anderlecht Olympiakos 1-4 PSG Bayern 3 -0 CSKA Moskva Viktoria 0-3 Man City

Rooney then fed Valencia after a flowing team move, with the Ecuadorian powering home for 4-1, though Leverkusen netted a consolation with two minutes to go. De Gea came for the ball at a corner but missed it completely with Omer Toprak scoring in the ensuing scramble.

competitive Real Madrid appearance for 238 days, having ironically been laid low last season by another collision with a teammate. On that occasion, Álvaro Arbeloa inadvertently kicked the goalkeeper in the hand during a 'Copa del Rey' game in Valencia. Lady luck has not been smiling on Iker recently, at least at club level. The shotstopper

has suffered not one, but two unusual injuries and has found himself on the bench for practically the last year. However, Cristiano Ronaldo inspired the Spainish to an opening-day triumph as they beat Galatasaray 6-1 in Istanbul. The Portugal international scored a second-half hat-trick to seal an emphatic win, with Isco and a Karim Benzema double sealing the three points.

Casillas injured in Gala clash


EAL MADRID coach Carlo Ancelotti was forced to make an early change in the first half of his side's Champions League clash against Galatasaray in Istanbul. Just 14 minutes into his big return and Iker Casillas was forced off through injury, making way for Diego López after Sergio Ramos accidentally elbowed him in the ribs. This was Casillas' first

Man City cruises to opening win


ANCHESTER City opened their Champions League campaign in fine style with a 30 win at Viktoria Plzen. City should have been ahead at the break, as barring a couple of minor scares they dominated at the Doosan Arena but three goals early in the second-half

saw Manuel Pellegrini's men home in comfortable fashion. The opener came on 48minutes when Sergio Aguero's break teed up Edin Dzeko to slot home before Yaya Toure scored a brilliant curling effort just moments later to double their lead. The third came just before the

hour and it was a deserved goal for Aguero as he turned just inside the box before firing into the corner. After a dismal Champions League campaign last term, which saw them fail to register a win, City will be delighted to begin in such comfortable fashion.

PSG hammers Olympiacos 4-1


Michael Carrick - past a stranded David de Gea. However, just before the hour Van Persie put United back in front from Antonio Valencia's cutback. Rooney then atoned for his earlier miss by making it 3-1, profiting from a poor Leverkusen defensive mix-up to slot home past the advancing Leno.

ARIS Saint-Germain rode their luck but came out as solid winners against Olympiacos of Greece. The home side nearly took the lead in the first minute when former Manchester City winger Vladimír Weiss cut in towards the edge of the box before hitting a brilliant shot onto the bar. Then on 15 minute mark, Spaniard David Fuster hit the woodwork again, this time from a classy half-volley from the edge of the box PSG were lucky to be in the game and so it one felt for the Greeks when a beautiful pass from Swede Zlatan Ibrahimovic set Maxwell free, before the Brazilian knocked it sideways for Uruguayan Edinson Cavani to tap in. Olympiacos were not to be

outdone, however, as Weiss picked picked the ball out on the right touchline before opting to head down the byline. He nutmegged Marquinhos with ease, before knocking it past Thiago Silva and then finished it beyond Salvatore Sirigu. Pure class and game on. If the home side deserved to go into the break in front PSG certainly started the second-half better and in the 49th minute Ibrahimovic saw an acrobatic backheel hit the side-netting at the far post following Marquinhos' diving header. Italian Thiago Motta then scored a brace in five minutes to kill the game. In the 68th minute, Ezequiel Lavezzi's corner was met by with Motta's diving header. Then, after 73 minutes, Lavezzi and Motta combined to score an identical goal - again

nobody picked up the Italian. Ibrahimovic won a penalty in the 81st minute but Roberto Jimenez not only save it, he stopped the Swede's follow up chip. However, it was not long until PSG added a fourth, when debutant Marquinhos nodded in Motta's cross.



Panel advocates anticorruption law for football


PORTS Minister, and chairman Nigeria Sports Commission (NSC) Bolaji Abdullahi has been advised to push for anti-corruption law for football issues in Nigeria. The committee set up to curb the menace of match- fixing in Nigerian football has made this request in its report submitted to the Minister. The Sports Minister had set up a Nine-Man Panel headed by a Board of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), Barrister Christopher Green on July 17, 2013 to look into the menace of match-fixing in the country. Green, who read the committee's report, listed ten recommendations which will address the problem of referees'

From Segun Ogunjimi, Abuja poor performance in Nigeria. Some of the recommendations include; reduction of number referees in the league to 40 and assistants to 80. It also asked the Inspector General of Police to set up a Special Task Force for the remainder of the season to include the Nigerian Civil Defence Corps and Federal Road Safety Commission. In addition it proposed a 20 per cent increase in match indemnity while NFF is to design a referee manual as required by FIFA as done in other countries.

Pillars studying LMC decisions


HE management of Kano Pillars has said the club is studying carefully the League Management Company (LMC) decisions on the side's inconclusive Glo Premier League Matchday 31 tie in Kano against Enyimba. The LMC on Monday wielded the big stick against the Pyramid City side, banishing them to Kaduna for their remaining home matches of the season, slammed the side with a N5 million fine as well as a replay of the Week 31 game at the Teslim Balogun Stadium in Lagos. The domestic champions were one goal up in the 83rd minute when crowd encroached the field of play and made it impossible for the match to continue thereby ending abruptly. An official of Kano Pillars, Idris Malikawa said the management just got hold of the

LMC decisions and is already studying the decisions to help management determine the next line of action. "We've received the LMC decisions and we're going to study it thoroughly to help us take an informed firm stand as well as determine the next step to take. "Our stand will be made public shortly but right now we're focused on the mid-week matchday 32 at Nembe City in Yenagoa. "We won't allow the LMC decisions affect our resolve towards picking a good result that will assist us stay at the top of the log," Malikawa said to The LMC decisions have seen the reigning Nigerian champions stand down from their hitherto exalted number one position to the third spot on 51 points one point behind leaders, Bayelsa United.

Abuja stadium’s renovation completed OOD days are back in Abuja as football is


concerned as Julius Berger yesterday handed over the refurbished Abuja National Stadium to the National Sports Commission. The Sports Minister Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi and the Director General of the National Sports Commission ensured pockets of fans that came for the Golden Eaglets versus had a good Abuja really enjoed their time despite the heavy down pour that made the first half very difficult for

From Segun Ogunjimi, Abuja good football. The National Sports Commission brought in popular pop Music stars like Ice Prince Zamani and Olamide to thrill the pocket of fans in the Stadium. The Eaglets team that was a goal down in the first half due to the heavy downpour, suddenly came back into the game and replied with four goals to win the match 6-1.


‘Perhaps, it is not inappropriate to refer to the splinter group as rascals because what Nigeria needs now is the emergence of some rascals in the polity’ WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 18, 2013 TRUTH IN DEFENCE OF FREEDOM


VOL.8 NO.2,610



T seems like only yesterday when Alhaji Yahaya Abubakar, CFR, was sworn in as the 13th Etsu Nupe on September 11th, 2003, barely a day shy of his 51st birthday. As a birthday gift of sorts, the then colonel in the country’s armoured corps - he was promoted brigadier-general in arrears after becoming emir couldn’t have wished for better. When his highly experienced and widely respected maternal uncle, Alhaji Umaru Sanda Ndayako, died on September 1, 2003 as the 12th Etsu Nupe, Alhaji Yahaya was not initially in serious contention as a possible successor even though it was the turn of Usman Zaki ruling house to which he belonged to produce the next Etsu. The last time it was the house’s turn to do so in 1962 when Alhaji Muhammadu Ndayako who had ruled for 27 years, died, the rotational sequence among the emirate’s three ruling houses – Usman Zaki, Muhammadu Masaba and Umaru Majigi in that order – was disrupted when Alhaji Yahaya’s father, Nakordi Abubakar, lost the struggle for the throne to Alhaji Usman Sarki, then the country’s minister of Internal Affairs and a member of Masaba. Zaki, Masaba and Majigi were sons of Malam Dendo, the leading flag bearer of Shehu Usman bin Fodio in Nupeland during the latter’s late 19th century jihad. Ten years ago it looked like History was going to repeat itself once more following the death of Alhaji Umaru Sanda after he’d ruled for 28 years, a year longer than his father; for a brief while it looked like the succession would be a free for all among interested candidates from all the three ruling houses. However, a piece of paper which confirmed that with Etsu Umaru Sanda the rotation among the three houses had come full circle with the houses producing four Etsus each and therefore the rotation should start all over again in the event of his death saved the day for the Usman Zaki ruling house. Even then Alhaji Yahaya was initially not the unanimous choice of his ruling house, especially as he had spent most of his adult life as a soldier away from home. But then with the support of his uncle and titular head of the house, Alhaji Halilu Kafa, one time company secretary of the New Nigerian Development Company in its heydays, he became the nominee of the House of Usman Zaki. The Niger State governor at the time, Engineer Abdulkadir Kure, accepted the nomination without hesitation and discountenanced the candidates from the other houses. And so on September 11, 2003 Alhaji Yahaya received his staff of office from Governor Kure as the 13th Etsu Nupe. For the man, the day must’ve been possibly the happiest in his life and the clearest manifestation of the fact that in the end God alone gives and withholds power. This seemed pretty obvious from his choice of Chapter 3, Verse 26 of the Holy Qur’an as the opening remarks of his coronation speech. “Say: O Allah, Master of the Kingdom!” he quoted from the Qur’an in Arabic. “Though gives the kingdom to whomsoever Thou pleases and takes away the kingdom from whomsoever Thou pleases, and Thou exalts whom Thou pleases and abases whom Thou pleases; in Your hand is the good; surely Thou hast power over all things.” The kingdom that God gave Alhaji Yahaya that beautiful Thursday morning ten years ago has had a very proud History. A measure of its historical importance lies in the position of the Etsu in the order of protocol of the emirs and


Jonathan to governors: I DIDN’T PROMISE ONE TERM

...any EYEWITNESS, sir?

People and Politics By


Ten years of the 13th Etsu Nupe

•Abubakar chiefs in the North. According to the authoritative 2006 book, Emirs and Politicians: Reform, Reaction and Recrimination in Northern Nigeria, 1950-1966 by Professor Alhaji Mahmood Yakubu, erstwhile Executive Secretary of Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFUND), there were 119 gazetted emirs and chiefs in the North by the end of the First Republic in 1966. Sixteen of these were first class, 31 second, another 31 third, seven fourth, an odd one fifth and 33 ungraded. The Etsu Nupe was the ninth among the first class emirs after the Sultan of Sokoto, the Shehu of Borno, the Emirs of Gwandu, Kano and Bauchi, the Lamido of Adamawa and the Emirs of Katsina and Zaria, in that order. Today, the Etsu Nupe is the permanent chairman of the Niger State council of traditional rulers. And in the Gwandu western half of the historical Sokoto Caliphate, he has been second only to the Emir of Gwandu, ahead of the Emir of Ilorin and the Etsus of Agai’e, Lapai, Lafiagi, Tsonga and Tsaragi, not necessarily in that order. Historically, the kingdom Alhaji Yahaya’s


O, it is not Hardball laughing over the miseries bedeviling the ruling party, far from it. One is just conjecturing what former President Olusegun Obasanjo (Baba) would say if you asked his comment about the rapprochement (or is it ceasefire) recently reached in his fractious party. “Jonah, I dey laugh o!” his trademark salvo which he popularised during his eight-year reign, would no doubt be his off-hand retort. A man steeped in guiles and most versed in pernicious political intrigues, Hardball can see his face mildly twisted by a wry smile, deeply enjoying the moment, he would be sure to add to the retort, a knowing roadside wisecrack. Hardball again wagers that Baba would drill in his message with something like: “the pikin wey say him papa no sabi settle matter, wey say na him go settle am by himself, eh, I dey laugh o!” We all must be conversant with the long-running sad tale of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and how its umbrella was rent in two at its last convention, giving rise to a virile splinter group known as the new PDP. At the August 31 meeting to select new national officials of the party, former vice president, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar had sprung a shocker when he led a group to form a parallel executive of the party complete with a chairman and all the other positions that make up a new party. Since then

great grandfathers and grand uncles presided over first from Rabah- not the Sokoto Rabah and finally from Bida served as an important bridge between the Sokoto Caliphate and Yorubaland and Benin Kingdom. This has led to many similarities between Nupe and Yoruba languages and cultures, itself a subject matter all of its own. Alhaji Yahaya has good reason to celebrate his ten years on the throne of his forefathers. First, of the five Etsus from his ruling house he has ruled longest. Second, his initiation three years ago of an annual Nupe Day for the celebration of the unity, culture and the political-economy of the Nupe at home and in the Diaspora on June 26 of every year has a potential for restoring Nupeland to its old glory of being one of the most important political entities in the West African sub-region. June 26, 1896 was the day the Bida army under Makun Muhammadu defeated the Royal Niger Company Constabulary at Ogidi, in the outlaying Yoruba regions of the then vast Nupe Kingdom, when the British commenced their attempt at replacing Nupe hegemony in those areas with their own hegemony. Bida eventually fell to the British on January 27, 1897, but not before giving the British a bloody nose for months. However, once Bida fell the collapse of the rest of the caliphate all the way to Sokoto proved more or less a piece of cake for the British. Beyond sustaining the rich and proud legacy of his forebears, Alhaji Yahaya has served as an effective chairman of the National Mosque, Abuja, in maintaining and sustaining it as an architectural landmark and a leading centre of religious and intellectual activities in the country’s federal capital. Ten years is just about one third the number of years his maternal uncle who he succeeded served as Etsu with distinction. In those ten years Alhaji Yahaya has achieved a lot but


PDP’s ceasefire: I dey laugh o ! things have not been the same for the party and of course, for Nigeria. Morning, noon and night, the ruling party has served us a repast of crises – for breakfast, for lunch and for dinner, it has been calamity a la carte. A torrent of activities followed immediately with professional mediators stepping out to seize the moment. Former President Obasanjo soon rallied a group with the fatuous title, PDP elders committee to reconcile the objectors made up mainly of just over half a dozen governors and their supporters. But Obasanjo was soon branded ori na crisis i.e. he who enjoys the odious duality of inciting a crisis and benefitting from settling it. He was shooed away and he has since retired quietly to his corner. Of course he is sulking, if Hardball knows him at all and so long as he remains Baba, he would vow that this matter can never be put over him. No goat would chew grass on Baba’s head while he still breathes, to corrupt a local saying. But Jonathan chose to face his ‘aggressors’ eye-ball-to-eye-ball, shoving aside the par-

being only human he has also made his mistakes. Many of his subjects including this reporter, for example, believe he has been too liberal in awarding his emirate’s traditional titles to those he believes are deserving of those titles. At any rate many of these titles lack historical and cultural basis. Again, as with so many traditional rulers in the country, those in the North in particular, there was popular anger that he became too close to the political authorities at the state and federal levels in the run-up to the 2011 elections. Baagandozhi! May you reign for long and may your achievements surpass those of your illustrious forebears.



IR, Your piece, “Between Senator Anyim and Hon. Bala” last week, places me in a confusing scenario. While all you said are verifiable and may to a large extent be factual, I still do not believe that you are just waking up to the reality that the entire Nigerian project is a bitter contest for the control of resources especially among the major tribes of Nigeria. Although your bitterness cannot be said to be misplaced, it is too skewed to a section to make the desired impact. We all know that the ‘turn by turn’ syndrome which we all consciously instituted and inflicted on ourselves through zoning, federal character, power sharing etc have turned the country into a fertile ground for crass nepotism and tribalism which you are now bitter about. But the North which you feel so grossly short changed by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation has itself in recent times been unmindful of its diversity and especially the need for cohesion being a region with a multiplicity of ethnic tribes and religion. Ask the minorities of the North and you will understand how painful it can be to be marginalized. Little wonder, some sections of the North are trying to redefine the concept of Northern Nigeria rightly or wrongly as clearly reflected in the unending ethnic and sectarian clashes. Before we can overcome issues like the ones you raised, charity must begin at home and we must accept that diversity is strength especially when we all understand what we commonly stand for and that an injustice to one is an injustice to all. While it is proper for any individual to blow the whistle when injustice is perceived, this must always be done irrespective of who is involved otherwise it will end up as a nice story badly told. As the saying goes, a truth told with a bad intent is worst than a lie. However, we must keep talking until we get to a point of common understanding. Emmanuel – 08050813181 •For comments, send SMS to 08059100107

•Hardball is not the opinion of the columnist featured above ty’s ‘professional’ mediators, including the wily Chairman of the Board of Trustees, Chief Tony Anenih who obviously ‘blinked’ in the heat of the battle and ordered his principal to bite the bullet by declaring ‘now’, his intention for 2015. A major condition given by the ‘rebel’ PDP is that Jonathan must denounce his quest for a second term in office. It was at this juncture that Jonathan took over the negotiations personally. He segregated the recalcitrant governors and took them into the inner recesses of the entrancing Aso Rock and wringed out a deal from them. It was deft of him, Hardball must concede, to have deferred the touchiest matter of 2nd term in 2015 while he made concession on all other small matters. Of course the governors hold all the aces in the party’s scheme of things and if they have been ‘talked’ (not bribed, mind you) into a deal then one can begin to moot a ceasefire. Part of the package is that they would ‘help’ select new ministers and heavens knows what other blocks of concessions would have been thrown in to oil the deal. It is the way of the PDP world; it is all about deals, deals and more personal deals. When they quarrel, it is hardly about the people but about their pockets and positions. But has Jonathan killed the snake of rebellion in the house or has he just scorched it? While we wait and watch, as for Hardball, I dey chuckle o!

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

The Nation Sep 18, 2013  

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