Nigeria’s widest circulating newspaper
Police pension scam: News Five die in Ibadan road crash P9 EFCC seizes Sports Enyeama, Mikel in Eagles camp P23 director’s 46 assets Business SEC to okay takeover of Wema P29 NEW S Page 4 NEWS
VOL. 8, NO. 2596 WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 4, 2013
TR UTH IN DEFENCE OF FREEDOM TRUTH
Stowaway boy back in Benin
Suntai’s deputy to run Taraba
From Osagie Otabor and Osemwengie Ben Ogbemudia, Benin
OR the first time since August 24 when he made a daring flight in the tyre compartment of an Arik Air flight from Benin to Lagos, Daniel Ohikhena saw his mother, Evelyn yesterday. It was at the state headquarters of the Directorate of State Security Services (DSS). Daniel, a Junior Secondary School (JSS) I pupil in Benin City, the Edo State capital, was released from DSS custody yesterday morning to officials of the Ministry of Women’s Affairs and Social Development. Story on page 12
•Daniel’s dad Ohikhena speaking to reporters...yesterday
ARABA State Deputy Governor Garba Umar will continue to act as governor, it was resolved yesterday. Governor Danbaba will remain in the Government House. The state lapsed into a crisis following Suntai’s arrival from the United States where he was undergoing therapy. The governor, a pilot, was
From Fanen Ihyongo, Jalingo
injured on October 25, last year when a plane he flew crashed in Yola, Adamawa State. Suntai transmitted a letter to the House of Assembly and assumed office, but the acting governor and majority of the House of Assembly members rejected the letContinued on page 4
•ANGER IN KWARA: All Progressives Congress (APC) chieftains and ordinary folks protesting in Ilorin the “theft” of their mandate in the Offa Local Government election by the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)...yesterday. STORY ON PAGE 56
2015: Peace talks stuck as Jonathan won’t drop bid President under pressure to reject governors’ conditions
MID its desperate search for peace, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) seems to have remained struck in the mud of trouble. It suddenly put off yesterday a scheduled peace meeting between its leaders and its aggrieved governors. It emerged last night that the refusal of President Goodluck Jonathan to
From Yusuf Alli, Abuja
make any commitment on his perceived 2015 ambition and alleged investigation of governors by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) led to the abrupt postponement of the talks, which should have been a follow-up to the Sunday meeting at the Villa. Besides, a group loyal to the Presi-
dent, Media Network for Transformation (MNT), yesterday asked the Presidency to discontinue talks with the aggrieved PDP governors. In a statement by its Coordinator, Mr. Goodluck Ebelo, MNT said only Nigerians can determine the fate of Jonathan in 2015 and not a group of governors. Continued on page 4
INSIDE •57 Reps back Baraje •Can Jonathan defeat his super power enemies? •Baraje’s faction asks INEC to deregister Tukur’s PDP •President, governors meet •AND MORE ON PAGES 2,3,4&57
•SPORTS P23 •LIFE P25 •MONEY P30 •INVESTORS P32 •POLITICS P51
THE NATION WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 4, 2013
NEWS CRISIS IN PDP
•Vice-President Namadi Sambo (right) greeting the Chairman of Total Africa Overseas Momar Nguer during a visit of the top management of Total Plc to the Vice-President’s Office at the Presidential Villa... yesterday. With them is the company’s management consultant Onoche Haffner (left). PHOTO: AKIN OLADOKUN.
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has 74 members in the Senate. Two days ago, 22 of them declared loyalty to a faction of the party opposed to President Goodluck Jonathan. If this gang of 22 works out an alliance with the All Progressives Congress (APC), which has 31 members, they could shake the Presidency, the PDP and the Federal Government to its foundation, writes BOLADE OMONIJO, Editorial Board
T •Governor Kayode Fayemi (fourth left); his deputy Prof. Modupe Adelabu (third left); Group Managing Director/CEO, ipNX Nigeria Ltd Mr. Ejovi Aror (left); and Special Adviser, Bureau of Infrastructure and Public Utilities, Ekiti State Mr. Kayode Jegede (second left) listening to an engineer, Mr. Tunde Oluwatosin during the Ground Breaking of the Fibre-Optic Network Rollout (Phase 1A), in Ado-Ekiti...yesterday.
•From left: Production Manager, Multichoice Nigeria Mr Niyi Oyeleke; General Manager, Marketing and Sales Mr Martin Mabutho and President, Nigeria Basketball Federation Mr Tijani Umar at the Dstv Final Eight Basketball Premier League news conference in Lagos...yesterday. PHOTO: NAN
HESE are indeed difficult times for President Goodluck Jonathan, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the leadership of the Senate. When the crisis started, it was seen as a move by a group of disgruntled politicians that would peter out in no time. Many said Rivers State Governor Rotimi Amaechi could not sustain the “rebellion” and that he would soon discover how awesome presidential powers could be in an underdeveloped country. The events that culminated in a major crack of the ruling party at its mini-convention has shown that the PDP may be on the way to extinction as the leaders appear to have failed to handle the development with care. The matter has now got to a head. Now, there are two factions of the ruling party. The PDP-qua-PDP is headed by Alhaji Bamanga Tukur, the septuagenarian from Adamawa State, while the governors who sympathise with Amaechi have come up with Abubakar Kawu Baraje as national chairman. 2015 may still be about 21 months away, but the contention for the highest office the land is now here with us. Unlike 2011 when President Jonathan had his way despite stiff opposition from senior Northern politicians, he has to do a lot more to
clinch the post this time. One area we may begin to see real politick is in the Senate. While the House of Representatives had asserted its independence since inauguration, with the President’s choice for Speaker losing woefully in the first test of strength, the Senate has acted as a check on the bold moves by the House. It was to the Senate that the President turned when it appeared he was going to lose face during the LabourGovernment tussle on removal of fuel subsidy. Speaker Aminu Tambuwal, though a member of the PDP from Sokoto State, is seen as a ranking op-
57 PDP Reps F
•From left: BrandMasterClass Project Team Lead, Junior Chambers International Eko Wale Edalere; Head, Marketing, Nokia West Africa Deborah Shepard; President, Junior Chambers International Eko 'Jide Adeyemi and Project Vice President, Junior Chamber International Eko Kayode Ayedogbon at the third edition of BrandMasterClass sponsored by Nokia in Lagos.
IFTY-seven Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) members of the House of Representatives have pitched tent with the Abubakar Kawu Baraje faction. The lawmakers warned the ruling party against victimising them, threatening to use the law to check such moves. Security agencies were also advised not to allow themselves to be used to victimise them. In a statement yesterday, they expressed their support for former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar and congratulated him and seven governors on the faction’s emergence. It reads: “We, the members of the House of Representatives under the
From: Dele Anofi, Abuja
platform of the New PDP, hereby congratulate our leaders on the emergence of the new party. “Although a sizeable number of our members could not append their signatures because of their unavailability in the country, they will do so immediately on arrival. We the under signed salute and appreciate the courage, sacrifice and resilience and patriotism of our leaders namely: former Vice President Atiku Abubakar and Governors Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso (Kano), Aliyu Wamakko (Sokoto), Murtala Nyako (Adamawa), Sule Lamido
THE NATION WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 4, 2013
NEWS CRISIS IN PDP
defeat his ‘super power’ foes? ‘
position figure since he is regularly seen in the company of leaders of the opposition party. He was elected through an understanding between some members of the ruling party and leaders of the Action Congress of Nigeria, All Nigeria Peoples Party and Congress for Progressive Change, before the three fused into the All Progressives Congress (APC). Thus, under him, the House has stood solidly, on critical matters, on the side of the public. The House nearly threw out the 2013 Appropriation Bill on account of non-implementation of the 2012 Budget as passed by the legisla-
ture. Again, the President had to fall on the Senate leadership to save the day for him. Now, the composition of the Senate has changed, with the disaffection in the PDP that made 22 members of the party declare their allegiance to the Baraje leadership, seen as a decoy for a new political alignment that could see the faction team up with the Peoples Democratic Movement and ultimately ensuring that the opposition, including the APC work together to uproot Jonathan from office in 2015. Strategists and tacticians of the PDP are now jittery. A party comprising
three PDP governors from the Northwest, one from Northeast, two from the Northcentral and one from what may actually be the most strategic state in the Southsouth, cannot be ignored. By the declaration of “war”, the geo-political configuration of the country has become even more interesting. The Northwest could now be seen as fully anti Jonathan. Sokoto, Zamfara, Kano and Jigawa are now anti-Jonathan/PDP. In the Northeast, Adamawa, Borno and Yobe are ready to battle the Jonathan tendency, while Kwara and Niger have joined Nasarawa in the anti-Jonathan belt.
The geo-political configuration of the country has become even more interesting. The Northwest could now be seen as fully anti Jonathan. Sokoto, Zamfara, Kano and Jigawa are now antiJonathan/PDP. In the Northeast, Adamawa, Borno and Yobe are ready to battle the Jonathan tendency, while Kwara and Niger have joined Nasarawa in the anti-Jonathan belt
When it is realised that the entire Southwest is solidly under the opposition’s belt, the hitherto impregnable wall of the South South cracking and a foothold gained in the East through Governor Rochas Okorocha of Imo State, it is obvious that this is not a time for the PDP to repeat its boast that it would rule for 60 years. The prognosis is that more people who were disenchanted with the party but could not muster the courage for fear of being sidelined now have a choice. More are likely to identify with the new tendency. The
bold move in the Senate has created a new scenario. Prior to the disaffection, the ruling party had 74 members in the upper chamber of the National Assembly. Now that 22 Senators have pulled out of the confraternity, only 52 are left. It implies that the party cannot even muster the muscle to pass simple bills and crucial resolutions that may be required to make the federal government stable and comfortable. Even if the two Labour Party Senators from Ondo and one All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) Senator from Imo are ceded to the ruling party, the situation remains precarious. A united opposition, comprising ACN with 19, ANPP eight, CPC four and the Gang of 22 Senators from the “New PDP”, could shake the presidency, the PDP and the Federal Government to its foundation. On a number of occasions when the general public had called for a showdown with the government over the performance of key ministries, such as Petroleum and Finance, the lot always fell on the Senate and its leader, Senator David Mark to douse the fire. This may no longer be so as Mark himself will have to watch his back at all times as a freshly invigorated opposition could make a bold move to topple and replace the leadership. Mark who was recently embarrassed at his Benue District C base could also draw away from a President who is beloved to be in a hot political romance with his foe, General Lawrence Onoja. It may appear far-fetched at the moment that the President could be impeached. But, this could not be ruled out if only to shake him. All that is required under section 143 of the Constitution to kick-start the process of removing the President from office is a Notice of Impeachment signed by one-third of members of both Houses of the National Assembly. A lot now depends on the political sagacity of President Goodluck Jonathan to douse the raging political fire in the country, especially in the Senate. A group of Senators that includes former Governors Bukola Saraki, Danjuma Goje, Abdullahi Adamu and Shaaba Lafiagi can only be ignored at the peril of the political establishment. How would the President respond to this challenge? What would he do to check the turbulence? Can he ride the storm? A lot depends on him and his advisers. Unfortunately, the choice range is very narrow when a leader is surrounded by the likes of Edwin Clark, Tony Anenih, Jerry Gana and Ahmed Gulak, and confronted with the combined strength of former and serving governors, Senators and exVice President Atiku Abubakar. The die is cast.
pledge loyalty to Baraje’s group (Jigawa), Dr. Muazu Babangida Aliyu (Niger), AbdulFattah Ahmed (Kwara) and Chibuike Amaechi (Rivers) and other well-meaning and eminent Nigerians for leading the way for the emergence of the New PDP. “We are also using this opportunity to condemn in strong terms attempts by some agents of the Federal Government to use state apparatus to witch-hunt some of these patriots for taking this bold and courageous step. “As members of the House of Representatives, we call on the security agencies and other anti-graft bodies to be professional in their activities and not allow themselves
to be used by anybody no matter how highly placed for their political ambitions. Remember how you want history to judge your tenure. “We won’t hesitate, however, to use all instruments of law within our powers as provided by the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended), to stop this and bring anybody found wanting to book. “We wish to state that by this statement, we pledge our loyalty and support to the New PDP under the able chairmanship of Alhaji Abubakar Kawu Baraje, the Deputy Chairman, Dr Sam Sam Jaja, National Secretary, Prince Olagunsoye Oyinola and other members of the
National Executive Committee. “We congratulate them and wish them the very best as they steer the affairs of our party to provide a level-playing field for all Nigerians.” The lawmakers include: Abdulahi Balarabe (Sokoto), Abudulmumin Jibrin (Kano), Ali Ahmad (PDP, Kwara), Abdullahi Wamakko (Sokoto), Abdullahi Rico (Niger), Abdulmalik Cheche (Niger), Adamu Bashir (Jigawa), Aliyu Pategi (Kwara), Ahmed Zerewa, Aishatu Ahmed (Adamawa), Aiyedun Olayinka (Kwara), Alhassan Garba (Kano), Aliyu Madaki (Kano), Aliyu Shehu (Sokoto) and Aminu Shagari
(Sokoto). Others are Aminu Suleiman (Kano), Aminu Tukur (Adamawa), Andrew Uchendu (Rivers), Asita Honourable (Rivers), Bashir Babale (Kano), Blessing Usiegbe (Rivers), Dakuku Peterside (Rivers), Dawari George (Rivers), Farouk Lawan (Kano), Gibson Nathaniel (Adamawa), Gogo Bright Tamuno (Rivers), Haliru Jikantoro (Niger), Hassan Adamu (Jigawa), Hussain Namadi (Kogi), Ibrahim Ebbo (Niger), Ibrahim Tijjani Kiyawa (Jigawa), Isa Bashir (Sokoto), Kabiru Achida (Sokoto), Khabeeb Mustapha (Jigawa) and Maurice Pronen (Rivers). Also in the group are: Sabo
Mohammed (Jigawa), Mpigi Barinada (Rivers), Mohammed Mukhtar (Niger), Mohammed Ibrahim (Kogi), Mohammed Kutigi (Niger), Mukhtari Muhammad, Musa Ado (Kano), Musa SarkinAdar (Sokoto), Mustapha Dawaki (Kano), Mustapha Mashood (Kwara), Ogbonna Nwuke (Rivers), Rafiu Ibrahim (Kwara), Sa’ad Nabunkari (Sokoto), Sani Aliyu (Kano), Shuaibu Gobir (Sokoto), Sokonte Davies (Rivers), Sufiyanu Ubale (Jigawa), Umar Bature (Sokoto), Usman Wada (Jigawa), Yusuph Dunari Sule (Jigawa), Yusuph Galambi (Jigawa) and Zakari Mohammed (Kwara).
THE NATION WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 4, 2013
NEWS Alleged N32.8b police pension scam: Court seizes 46 assets from ex- director
•Brig Gen Austin Kalu Egwuagu reading a Funeral Oriation of the late Lance Corporal Sunday Igbinoba during his burial in his home town, Benin City
Baraje’s faction asks INEC to deregister Tukur’s PDP
BIG question mark is hanging on Bamanga Tukur’s membership of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), it emerged yesterday. The Alhaji Kawu Baraje faction is pleading with the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to deregister the Tukur faction for failing to comply with Section 222(D) of the Nigerian Constitution, which requires a political party to notify the electoral umpire about an alteration in its constitution. This is aprt of the statement of claims, which the Baraje faction is taking before the Lagos High Court. The PDP faction is also asking the court to declare Tukur an illegal chairman of the ruling party on account of the
claim that he was not appropriately accepted as a member of the party after his expulsion by the National Executive Council in 2001. The statement of claims reads: “It will be recalled that the 2009 PDP constitution was amended, which brought about the 2012 PDP constitution. “Evidence has surfaced to prove that strange clauses, which were not part of the proposed amendment were inserted into the original version of the 2012 constitution and those alterations were not approved by the party convention and the National Executive Committee, thereby making the document invalid. “The forged 2012 constitution was not equally filed before
INEC as required by the constitution, thereby making the PDP constitution upon which the 2013 convention was held an invalid document and the outcome of that convention invalid, as it was held without valid constitution. “These evidence can be seen in the approved memo by the PDP NEC upon which the amendment was done in the 2012 and the original version of the PDP constitution filed with INEC.” Stating the reasons why Tukur could not preside over the PDP convention, the statement noted: “Exactly on the 31 May, 2001, the PDP NEC, after its meeting held in Abuja, expelled eight members of the party in accordance with the PDP constitution,
which gives the NEC the powers to discipline NEC members who breach the constitution. “They were expelled after NEC considered and adopted the report of the Iro Dan Musaled PDP Disciplinary Committee. Alhaji Bamanga Tukur, Don Etiebet, Asheik Jarma, UmeEzeoke, Emmanuel Ibeshi, Harry Marshal and Gbenga Olawepo were the ones expelled from the PDP. “Note that Article 10(b) iii of the PDP 2009 constitution and Article 8(17) of the 2012 amended constitution, which holds that any member of the party who loses his membership by expulsion can only return to the party with the approval of the party executive at his ward, state and Continued on page 57
It is not impossible to remove Tukur, says Aliyu
HE battle for Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) chairman Bamanga Tukur’s removal seems to be getting bigger, with Niger State Governor Mu’azu Babangida Aliyu saying “it is not impossible to remove Tukur or any member of the party”. Fielding questions from reporters after a stakeholders’ meeting of the state Peoples
From Jide Orintunsin, Minna
Democratic Party (PDP) in Minna yesterday, Aliyu faulted the Special Adviser to the President on Politics, Alhaji Ahmed Gulak, who said the party chairman could not be removed. According to Aliyu, the party’s constitution clearly spells out how officials can be removed. “In the constitution of our party, there are ways of
removing people, so nobody can say it is impossible to remove anybody,” he said. The governor identified Gulak as one of the major problems of the party. According to Aliyu, instead of the adviser to gauge the mood of the people and feed his principal with their feelings, he went ahead to mislead his principal and abused perceived enemies.
Earlier at the meeting, Aliyu explained to party members that the G-7 PDP governors walked out of the national convention in Abuja because they were being systematically schemed out of the party. Aliyu said the action of the G7 PDP governors should not be seen as factionalising the party, but a move to show their displeasure on certain decisions. The group is open to reconciliation, he said.
HE Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) yesterday said it has received an interim order from Justice Sunday E. Aladetoyinbo of the Federal Capital Territory High Court, Abuja to take possession of 46 assets belonging to a former Assistant Director at the Police Pension Office, Mrs. Uzoma Cyril. Also, the court has seized a plot of land in Gudu District owned by pension fraud suspect, Atiku Abubakar Kigo, who was the Director of the Police Pension Office before being made a Permanent Secretary. Both Kigo and Mrs. Attang (the 2nd and 6th accused persons respectively) are facing trial for alleged N32.8 billion Police pension scam. According to a statement by the Head of Media and Publicity, Mr. Wilson Uwujaren, the court has also frozen 22 accounts in various banks purportedly used to launder stolen pension funds. The statement said: “The order given July 30, 2013 pursuant to Section 29 (a) and (b) of the EFCC Establishment Act 2004, also covers the freezing of the accounts of the suspects pending the hearing and final determination of the corruption case filed against them. “Both Mrs. Attang who was an Assistant Director at the Po-
From Yusuf Alli, Abuja
lice Pension Office between 2005 and 2008 and Kigo who was the Director of the Police Pension Office before being made Permanent Secretary, were first arraigned on March 29, 2012, on 16-count criminal charge bordering on conspiracy and criminal breach of trust before Justice Mohammed Talba of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, Gudu, Abuja alongside seven others. “Because of her absence during the first arraignment, Attang was later arraigned. “Forty Six ( 46) of the attached properties situated mostly in Lagos and Abuja belong to Attang while Kigo whose properties had earlier been attached had another of his plot of land at Gudu district attached. “Among properties belonging to Attang covered by the interim order are : a block of 4 flats at 3 Mama Ada Street, Alasia, Ajah, Lagos; a block of 4 flats at 33 Pamona Street, Sun City Estate, Abuja; Blocks of Flats at 71 Pamona Street, Sun City, Abuja; a Piece of Land and 3 Bedroom Duplex along Ajah- Epe Express Way, Alasia – Lagos; 2 blocks of 3 bedroom Duplex at 13 & 15 Adele Road, Apapa, Lagos; 2 Units of 2 bedroom Bungalow at Plot E148, Prince and Princess Estate, Abuja; 3 bedroom bungaContinued on page 57
Suntai’s deputy to run Taraba Continued from page 1
ter, which they claimed was not written by Suntai, who they alleged was unfit to take charge. But the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Fact-Finding Committee on Suntai’s health condition facilitated the peace yesterday. Members of the committee, headed by Senator Hope Uzodima, were in Jalingo, the state capital. Other members of the committee are: Political Adviser to the President Ahmed Gulak, new PDP National Treasurer Alhaji Buhari Bala; Special Adviser to PDP Chairman on INEC and Interparty Affairs, Kabir Mohammed; SSA to Tukur on Political Affairs Abubakar Dada; SSA on NDDC Richard King; and a member of the Advisory Committee of PDP and Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria (FRCN) board member, Mrs. Bolajoko Doherty. The committee visited the re-
cuperating governor. The team then held talks with key stakeholders at the Government House Executive Chambers. At the meeting were: Umar, the governor’s wife Hajiya Hauwa Suntai, Speaker Haruna Tsokwa, Senators Emmanuel Bwacha and Abubakar Tutare, members of House of Representatives - Ishaka Bawa, Aminu Male, Jerry Manwe, Ibrahim Elsudi Tukur and a former Minister of Youth Development, Mrs. Salome Jankada, among others. At the end of the meeting, the deputy governor was affirmed as the Acting Governor of the state. Uzodima said: “The political impasse has been resolved by all the stakeholders”. He said the acting governor will from time-to-time consult Governor Suntai on major political issues “while he (Suntai) recuperates”. Continued on page 57
2015: Peace talks stuck as Jonathan won’t drop bid Continued from page 1
According to a source in the Presidency, who gave an insight into why the peace talks were shifted, the aggrieved governors were not happy that they could not extract any commitment from the President on their demands that Jonathan should not contest in 2015 and the stoppage of investigation of governors by EFCC. The source said: “The aggrieved governors of the PDP decided to seek a postponement of the peace parley scheduled for Tuesday as a result of President Jonathan’s rejection of the suggestion that the government should put an immediate stop to probe of state governments’ accounts by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). “Some of the governors expressed disappointment with the way President Jonathan waved aside the request that he should put an end to the probe of governors by the EFCC.” They were also uncomfortable, it was learnt, that the President made no commitment on his 2015 plan.
PDP crisis: Governors keep President in suspense
TTEMPTS by the two factions of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to resume peace talks yesterday suffered a major setback as the aggrieved governors sought for more time to consult. The talks will now hold on Tuesday in Abuja. The Chairman of the Board of Trustees of PDP, Chief Tony Anenih, and one of the aggrieved governors confirmed the postponement last night. There were fears that the governors might not return to the negotiation table with President Goodluck Jonathan. The National Chairman of the New PDP faction, Alhaji Kawu Baraje, inspected yesterday the party’s secretariat in Abuja. But there were signs yesterday that Jonathan may have bowed to pressure from party chiefs to ease out a factional National Chairman of PDP, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur. Ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo is to meet
“This is purely a constitutional matter, not subject to the dictate of any individual or group. You cannot ask an individual to forego his right,” the source said. Unable to get any commitment, the governors told the PDP leadership that they needed further consultations before
From Yusuf Alli and Gbade Ogunwale, Abuja with some governors and party leaders on Friday on the way forward. According to one of the aggrieved governors, who spoke in confidence, there was need for “more consultations on issues raised on Sunday night at the Presidential Villa”. The governor said: “We succeeded in laying down all the grievances and issues behind the crisis in PDP on Sunday, but there was no commitment from either of the two factions. “We sought for more time to consult because we cannot trust Jonathan that he would honour our demands. We have to watch before we leap. “Our fears were informed by the fact that on the eve of the Special National Convention of the party, PDP governors had a meeting with the leadership of the party and the Presidency that party structures should be restored to governors in Adamawa and Rivers
attending the peace parley. The pro-Jonathan group asked the President to be courageous to discontinue negotiations with the aggrieved governors. The group, in a statement by Ebelo said to demand that the President should deny himself what the constitution affords him is intolerable hubris.
states. “In fact, at the meeting, we agreed that only delegates loyal to the Governor of Adamawa State, Admiral Murtala Nyako, should be accredited and allowed to vote. But, at the convention, Tukur reneged on the agreement and barred even statutory delegates from attending the convention. “If we give in to the President, how are we sure that he will not renege on the agreement? This is why we are consulting widely.” Anenih told reporters yesterday that the peace talks had been shifted at the prompting of the aggrieved governors. Anenih said the talks would resume on Tuesday. He said the resumption would be preceded by a meeting between Obasanjo and some governors on Friday as part of wider consultations being sought by parties to the crisis. He said the aggrieved governors told the
The statement said: “The Media Network for Transformation has observed with keen interest recent happenings in the ruling Peoples Democratic Party. “Of particular interest is the walkout masterminded by a former Vice President, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar and six gover-
Continued on page 57
nors during the party’s Special National Convention at the Eagle Square on Saturday. “While we appreciate the right of any person, including these feuding politicians, to aspire to any political office in the land, we denounce this glaring conspiracy to make President Good-
luck Jonathan a hostage of their individual ambitions. “ We wish to state that the preContinued on page 57
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THE NATION WEDNESDAY SEPTEMBER 4, 2013
NEWS Niger scores self high on budget
Dana crash: Land owners get N20m
From Jide Orintunsin,
By Miriam Ekene-Okoro
HE Lagos State government has disbursed over N20 million as compensation to five landlords whose lands were acquired by the government in the aftermath of the June 3, 2012 Dana Air crash at IjuIshaga, a Lagos suburb. The victims, who received their cheques yesterday in Alausa, Ikeja, are: Mr. Isaac Aduroja, Pastor Daniel Omowumi, Alhaja Ramota Akinwusi, Pastor Ezekiel Akin-Jesu and Alhaji Wahab Oshinaya. The Permanent Secretary, Lands Bureau Mr. Hakeem Muri-Okunola said between N4 million to N5 million was paid per plot of land, in accordance with the fair market value for land. He said only those with genuine documents were compensated. Muri-Okunola, who was represented by the Executive Secretary, Lands Bureau and Acting Permanent Secretary, Aina Salami, said after the Dana Air crash, the damaged buildings were demolished because they were no longer safe for human habitation. He added that Governor Babatunde Fashola directed that a cenotaph and epitaph be erected on the crash site as a memorial for the departed souls. According to him, the monument will also serve as a place where relations, friends and loved ones could visit to relive the pains associated with the mishap.
Health minister decries polio prevalence From Bisi Oladele, Ibadan
HE Minister of Health, Prof Onyebuchi Chukwu, has decried the prevalence of polio in Nigeria, despite the country’s success story in eradicating guinea worm. The minister said the World Health Organisation (WHO) would, in December, present a certificate to President Goodluck Jonathan for the success of guinea worm eradication in Nigeria. Chukwu spoke yesterday at the International Conference Centre of the University of Ibadan (UI) during a global symposium on: Global Perspective in Emerging Diseases, in honour of Prof Oladipo Olujimi Akinkugbe. He said: “For any country to be certified as guinea worm-free, you must not record any guinea worm for three consecutive years. So, we invited them to certify us, but it took them four years before they could come.”
•From right: Taraba Acting Governor Garba Umar; Head of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) delegation, Senator Hope Uzodima and wife of the governor, Mrs Hauwa Suntai, at the Exco Chambers of the Government House in Jalingo...yesterday
National conference is irreversible, says Nwabueze ARTICIPANTS at the National Political Summit in Uyo, the Akwa Ibom State capital, yesterday insisted that until the over 300 ethnic nationalities in Nigeria get together to discuss their future, the people within the country cannot be regarded as a nation. The stakeholders, who included elder statesmen, said peace and security may continue to elude the nation until the convocation of the national conference. The Coordinator of Nigeria Consensus Group, Prof. Ben Nwabueze (SAN), led the submissions in his keynote address yesterday at the summit, with the theme: Roadmap to Stability, Progress and Unity in Nigeria. Prof. Nwabueze argued that anybody who does not support the national conference - not sovereign national conference - does not believe in Nigeria’s unity. He said: “The critical problem of this country is insecurity and lack of progress. We are nowhere belonging to a nation; we are still a state. “The national conference
From Kazeem Ibrahym, Uyo
would, therefore, be a unique occasion - the first for the President - to speak directly to over 300 ethnic nationalities, comprising different peoples, to galvanise them into one people with one common destiny. “Any Nigerian who does not believe in the national conference does not believe in one Nigeria.” The constitutional lawyer explained that the conference would not be held for the disintegration of Nigeria but to cement the people as an indivisible nation. Prof Nwabueze said: “This meeting is not meant to break the county. The conference is meant for everybody. The President should convoke the conference, as a matter of urgency. He has the power to do so as the leader of the country. He represents the majesty and sovereignty of Nigeria. We have to press on him to do it. “We have been talking. The time has come to combine words with action.” The elder statesman, who was a minister under the late Head of State, General Sani
Abacha, noted that the concentration of power at the centre stifles fiscal federalism. He recalled that when he was the chairman of the subcommittee that produced Chapter Two (the Fundamental Objectives) on the drafting of 1979 Constitution, the choice was influenced by a strong centre as a factor to unite the country. Prof Nwabueze said: “We felt that by doing this, we were establishing unity. We did not stop at that. We looked at the residual matters. These are matters that are exclusive to the states. We took a large part of it - over 30 per cent and close to 50 per cent. We took it away from states and gave to the centre. “The result is the Almighty Federal Government. But what we discovered was that instead of producing unity, we produced disunity. That’s because of the intensity of the struggle to control the centre and the misuse or abuse of the power. “The intensity of the struggle and the abuse of the power is so much that it is not just the political power that was
concentrated at the centre; much of the money also went to the centre. So, by our action, we destroyed what is called fiscal federalism. Too much money at the centre increased the struggle for the control of the centre and the incidence of abuse. “So, when people struggle and agitate for true federalism, for fiscal federalism, they know what they are talking about. And they are right! That must be changed. Until it is changed, we might not achieve true unity, because the basis on which we did it has proved to be misguided. The unity we thought we would achieve and what we achieved was more disunity than unity, because of the struggle and the abuse.”
INEC denies alleged financial misdeed
HE Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has said there is no proof on the recent allegation of financial misdeed against the commission. In a statement yesterday by Mr Kayode Idowu, the chief press secretary to the INEC Chairman, Prof Attahiru Jega, the commission said the report was aimed at casting doubts on the reputation of the management. The statement reads: “The INEC has observed a recent campaign by partisan interests in the media to tar the
From Vincent Ikuomola, Abuja
reputation of its leadership, particularly the chairman, Prof Jega. “This campaign has so far been waged in the form of serial press reports of alleged financial misdeeds, either directly committed or approved by the chairman of the commission. Expectedly, the reports were no more than wild allegations, with no iota of proof or evidence to substantiate them. Few of these reports indeed crossed the line of journalistic decorum, and are accordingly being processed for
libel litigation. “But the commission also has information that the campaign will not be left at the level of press reports alone. There are reportedly designs to upscale the plot into public displays of hostility towards INEC, such as through rented street rallies against its present leadership, among other measures. “The whole point of this devious campaign, obviously, is to deflate the integrity of the commission and cast doubt on its credibility and ability to conduct the 2015 general election in accordance with inter-
national best standards. “The commission hereby reassures the public of its commitment to uphold its integrity, fairness and impartiality as an umpire of the electoral process. It will stay focused on its programmes to deliver elections that will be world class in fairness and credibility, come 2015, despite the daunting challenges. But the commission must here again restate, as it has always done, that it cannot do it alone. It therefore pleads with other stakeholders, especially politicians, to equally commit to this cause.”
Ex-governor Audu’s brother kidnapped
G •Prince Audu
UNMEN on Monday kidnapped Ibrahim Audu, younger brother of the former Kogi State governor and a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Prince Abubakar Audu. Ibrahim, 40, who operates a chain of filling stations in Kogi State, was reportedly abducted by five armed men at 7.30pm
from his home in Alloma, Ofu Local Government. It was learnt that the gunmen arrived the businessman’s home through the Ejule end of the road. Ibrahim was said to be sitting outside his home when the gunmen seized him. In a statement by his Media Assistant, Eleojo Abubakar, the former governor, who is on
holiday in the United States, confirmed the incident. But he explained that the family was yet to establish contact with the kidnappers. “Though it is too early to draw conclusions, we know this is politically-motivated. The ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) government in Kogi State is afraid of the tsunami that will be-
fall the party in the forthcoming elections with the successful registration of the APC. “They know they are doomed to fail at the polls in any election in the state. So, they have resorted to this criminal antic of intimidation. But we hope the security agencies will apprehend the perpetrators,” he said.
THE Niger State government yesterday said it attained 89.6 per cent implementation in the first half of this year on its N84.9 billion budget. The Commissioner of Planning and Economic Development, Alhaji Yahaya Dan’Salau, addressed reporters in Minna, the state capital, on the level of the state’s implementation of the budget. He said the state’s revenue from the statutory Federation Accounts, the Value Added Tax (VAT), the Subsidy Reinvestment Programme (SURE-P), the Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) and Bond was N37.7 billion, from January to June. The commissioner explained that the N27.4 billion earnings consist of N4.2 billion from VAT; N1.3 billion from SURE-P; N2 billion from IGR; N9 billion from bond and the balance from the statutory monthly allocations. Dan’Salau said the government, within the period, spent N11 billion on capital projects, including roads in the three senatorial districts. He said: “As part of our administration’s policy of embarking on accountable and transparent transactions, we have recorded 89.6 per cent implementation of the 2013 budget.”
Union seeks low number plates’ cost From Kolade Adeyemi, Kano
THE National Association of Road Transport Owners (NARTO) leadership has debunked the claim that the Subsidy Reinvestment Programme (SURE-P) is a mirage. It regretted the high cost of the new number plates, saying it is not affordable for the masses. The union urged the Federal Government to review the new policy to make it affordable to the masses. Addressing reporters at the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) Press Centre in Kano yesterday, its National President, Alhaji Kassim Ibrahim Bataiya, challenged those holding opposing views to substantiate their claims with direct, rather than circumstantial evidence.
Travellers stranded From Tony Akowe, Kaduna
TRAVELLERS on the Kaduna/Kafanchan Road were stranded yesterday for about six hours. The delay emanated from a protest by residents of Kajuru community, who barricaded the road during their protest of alleged indiscriminate arrests of their people by the police at what they called as “unholy hour” of the day. But the police denied any indiscriminate arrest, saying they were only investigating the recent attack on the Divisional Police Station. Three policemen were allegedly killed and suspected criminals detained in the cells released.
THE NATION WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 4, 2013
•Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Sen. Pius Anyim Pius (fifth left) and Head of Civil Service of the Federation, Alhaji Aji Goni (fifth right) with permanent secretaries, during the permanent secretaries’ peer review visit to SGF in Abuja... yesterday.
Govt begs NANS not to protest From John Ofikhenua, Abuja
HE Presidential Committee on the implementation of the Needs Assessment of Nigerian Universities yesterday begged the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) not to protest over the lecturers’ strike. The committee chairman, who is also the Benue State Governor, Gabriel Suswan, made the appeal when students visited him in Abuja. He said the AccountantGeneral of the Federation (AGF) yesterday disbursed N30 billion earned allowance to the lecturers. He added that the Federal Government has also released the N100 billion requested by the union for infrastructure in the universities. Suswan, who noted that the rejection of government’s offer and insistence on strike is unfair, urged Nigerians not to politicise the industrial action. The NANS President, Comrade Yinka Gbadebo, told the governor that the students were on a mission to ascertain who to blame for the prolonged strike. His words: “Students, let me appeal to you that nobody should either incite you to protest against the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) or protest against the Federal Government.
BoI, NAFDAC partner
HE Bank of Industry (BoI) is partnering the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) on free training of local producers on the specifics of regulatory requirements for exports to America. The training is under the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA). It was signed into law on May 18, 2000 as Title 1 of The Trade and Development Act of 2000. The Act offers incentives for African countries to continue their efforts to open their economies and build free markets. Speaking at a seminar organised for Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (SMEs) operators at the BOI corporate headquarters in Lagos, the Director, Food Safety and Applied Nutrition Directorate, NAFDAC, Mrs. Ogochukwu Mainasara, enjoined participants to comply with the regulatory standards. She said the only difference between Nigerian products and imported goods was on compliance with standards.
Aliyu to Fed Govt: honour agreement with ASUU •Govt urged to implement pact
HE Chairman of the Northern States Governors Forum (NSGF) and Niger State Governor, Dr. Mu'azu Babangida Aliyu, yesterday urged the Federal Government to honour the 2009 agreement reached with the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) in the interest of the students. He frowned at the annual nine per cent national budgetary allocation to the education sector as against the 26 per cent benchmark approved by the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF). Aliyu described the development as "unfortunate". Speaking after signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with UNICEF, he said: "We should not enter into an agreement we know we are incapable of fulfilling." Aliyu said the agreement was binding on the Federal Government and ASUU. According to him, "no matter the agreement, once it is signed, we must keep to it." He said it was sad that in the past, university students spent more time than necessary in school due to persistent strikes by lecturers, adding that this is not in the interest of the country. The governor appealed to the lecturers to reconsider their stand by going back into negotiation with the government in the interest of their students and the nation.
NLC enjoins Fed Govt, ASUU to resume talks
HE Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has promised to work hard to ensure that the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) and the Federal Government return to the negotiating table. The NLC President, Abdulwaheed Omar, said in Abuja yesterday that there was need to find a lasting solution to incessant strikes to ensure national development. He urged the Federal Government and the lecturers to resume negotiations, especially in the interest of the students and the country’s future. Omar went on: “We are going to approach ASUU and we are also going to approach the Federal Government to ensure that they resume negotiations. “If you look at the trend of the strikes so far, starting from the ASUU strike to the health workers strike and perhaps other strikes, they border on one thing, inability or refusal of the employers, especially in this case, the Federal Government and state governments to fulfil the pledges they made arising from the negotiations entered into and signed. “For example, since 2009, there has been a signed agreement between the Federal Government and ASUU. One would have expected that even by showing goodwill, perhaps the lecturers would have seen reason that okay, if From Jide Orintunsin, Minna and Adebisi Onanuga
The NSGF chair lamented that over the years, the country had not met the 26 per cent budgetary allocation to the education sector, rather a paltry nine per cent had been allocated to the sector. Said he: "With all our oil money, it is sad that education gets less than nine per cent of our national budget. It
the Federal Government agreed that it would be injecting N400 billion into universities every year; if in a year it puts N100 billion in the budget, ASUU would have seen that there is goodwill, government is determined, only that they don’t have sufficient fund to provide the N400 billion. They would have taken it.” Hailing the health workers for suspending their strike, he said the recent development, where striking lecturers withdrew from negotiations with the Federal Government, was not healthy for the country. “Lecturers have withdrawn from the negotiation. I think it’s not a good thing. “Luckily, the health sector has already agreed. They have come to terms and have suspended their strike. “My prayer is that the joint implementation committee will be allowed to work and ensure that whatever is agreed is implemented within the given time.” In 2001, the Federal Government and ASUU entered into an agreement, which created a room for re-negotiation every three years for impact assessment and implementation. The agreement was due for re-negotiation in 2004, but it didn’t take place until 2007 and lasted more than two years to produce the 2009 agreement, which was freely entered into by ASUU and the Federal Government.
is very sad and unfortunate that our university lecturers are on strike." Governor Aliyu said for the country to join the league of developed nations, education must be given priority. He described as unacceptable, a trend where 14 of 19 states in the North have over 70 per cent of their children out of school. He attributed the achievements in the Southwest to the vision of the late Chief
Obafemi Awolowo, who introduced free education in the defunct Western Region and allocated over 50 per cent of the region's resources to education. The UNICEF's Country Representative, Mrs. Jean Gough, said with the resources available in the country, there is no justification for any child to be out of school. She promised that UNICEF would support Niger State to realise its vision 3:2020, espe-
Fed Govt begins audit of N100b constituency projects
HE Federal Government has begun the audit of executed constituency projects in parts of the country, Minister of Special Duties and Inter-Governmental Affairs Alhaji Kabiru Turaki has said. The minister, who spoke at a news conference in Abuja, said the audit of the projects was in line with the Federal Government’s directive. It voted N100 billion for the constituency projects of members of the National Assembly in this year’s budget. Turaki said the verification of executed constituency projects was informed by the need to pay for the projects. He said in its determination to ensure effective execution of the constituency projects of members of the National Assembly, government has mandated his ministry to verify and recommend for pay-
From Onyedi Ojiabor, Assistant Editor
ment, the constituency projects executed by the Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) of the Federal Government. The minister said he had summoned a forum of the federal MDAs involved in the implementation of the National Assembly constituency projects to brief stakeholders on the critical and expected roles of the MDAs in actualising the successful implementation of constituency projects. He added that the forum would also afford him the opportunity to interact with stakeholders and MDAs on the issues emanating from the implementation of constituency projects, including the roles of the Federal Ministry of Special Duties and Inter-Governmental Affairs in the real-
isation of the government’s policy on constituency projects. Said he: “It is in the light of this that the ministry deemed it necessary to organise the stakeholders’ forum. “The Federal Government places priority on the execution of the constituency projects because it is convinced that it will drive the process of development. “As a matter of fact, the con-
stituency project model has the potential to transform the nation’s developmental drive by providing local and micro infrastructures for our people as well as the critically-needed social services. “As I have often said, I believe in constituency projects because they are quick win projects that bring quick intervention. These projects are very dear to the people.”
Jonathan appoints D-G ICRC
RESIDENT Goodluck Jonathan has appointed Mr. Aminu Diko as the Director-General of the Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC). A statement issued in Lagos by the Acting Head, Communication Department, ICRC, Mrs. Deborah Okafor, said Diko had since assumed of-
fice. “Diko, a seasoned corporate lawyer, was the executive director, Contract Compliance Centre of the commission. “His experience and expertise, spanning over 30 years, will be critical in steering the commission towards ensuring successes in using the Public Private Partnership (PPP) as a modern procurement option.”
cially in the area of education. Lagos lawyer and human rights activist, Mr. Bamidele Aturu, has said the only way to save higher education is for the Federal Government to implement the agreement it reached with ASUU in 2009. He said unless the agreement is respected, tertiary education is doomed. Aturu made the declaration in a statement he issued in Lagos yesterday, titled: "Implementation of FGN-ASUU agreement-the only way to save higher education in Nigeria". He noted: "We may have to return to the suggestion made by Prof. Wole Soyinka many years ago that we should close down the universities and declare a state of emergency. "When he first made that suggestion, it looked unrealistic and alarmist. Now, it is clear that we are pretending to have higher education. "What takes place in our dilapidated universities is a little better than kindergarten education, if we must be honest with ourselves." Aturu said it was unacceptable that the Federal Government should attempt to bully ASUU to renege on the agreement. He said the expenditure profile of the government and politicians does not show that it cannot meet the financial requirements of the agreement.
Police arrest 12 suspected cult members From Ernest Nwokolo, Abeokuta
WELVE suspected cult members were arrested yesterday following a pre- dawn raid carried out on the group’s den in Ogijo, a border community with Ikorodu in Lagos State. The Nation learnt that the suspects, taking advantage of the proximity of Ogijo to Ikorodu, had been terrorising residents and business operators, robbing them of cash and other valuables. A team of police detectives, led by the Divisional Police Officer, Ogijo Division, Mr. Toyin Afolaogun, swooped on the suspected cult members between 12:15am and 4:30am following to complaints from the public and intelligence report from the State Intelligence Bureau (SIB) of the Ogun State Police Command. Items recovered included guns, live cartridges, Indian hemp and charms.
THE NATION WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 4, 2013
NEWS Lagos partners Microsoft
AGOS State Govern ment is partnering the Microsoft Corporation of United States on new Information Technology (IT) solutions that would help improve government business transactions. Microsoft Senior Director Middle East/Africa, Yasser Elabd, led a team of the Corporation to a stakeholders’ meeting with heads of Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) yesterday in Alausa, to evaluate areas that assistance will be required. Addressing reporters after the meeting, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Science and Technology, Mrs Nike Animashaun, said the development would help the government improve on the quality of service it gives to the citizens. “We are having a meeting with the Microsoft team on the directive of the Governor, Babatunde Fashola, (SAN) to find ways we can collaborate and for them to advise us on IT solutions in line with our e-governance policy,” she said, adding that the partnership would have
By Miriam Ekene-Okoro
direct impact on residents as they can have direct access to government through mobile centres that would be establish across the state. She said residents could go on-line and have direct transaction with government agencies without going through the hurdles of coming to Alausa Secretariat to do so. She said this would help create employment and assist Small and Medium scale Enterprenuers to manage the various mobile centres that will be inter-phasing with the government. Mrs. Animashaun explained that the idea of inter-phasing with the government is such that you don’t have to come to government offices to transact with the government, adding that the vision of the government is to deliver service to the people of the state. She said e-governance is going to equip government with tools to achieve this effectively. This partnership is for us to take it to the next level, she added.
Fed Govt votes N16b for rural electrification
HE Federal Govern ment has set aside N16billion for funding of the Rural Electrification Agency (REA). The government appealed to the new Board not to interfere with the management of the agency. This is coming on the heels of the chequered management history of the agency which included an alleged N5.2 billion scam that led to its initial closure in 2009. Speaking at the inauguration of an 11-man Board yesterday, Minister of State for Power, Hajiya Zainab Kuchi said the government targets about 75 per cent rural electrification access by 2020, adding that it would not condone meddlesomeness of the new board in the affairs of agency. She told the board, chaired
• Urges independence of REA board on projects From John Ofikhenua, Abuja
by former deputy Senate leader, Senator Jonathan Zwingina that it is the responsibility of the management of the REA to handle its procurement without interference, adding that the rural economy needs electrification. She said: “There were backlogs of payments that needed to be addressed. Even though we are still battling with some of these payments, the government has budgeted N16 billion this year as funding for the REA. There is also a strategy plan for REA that is still awaiting the president’s approval. “As you take on your office today as members of the
board, let me make it clear that the board should realise that its function is advisory and that of monitoring and evaluation of projects in the various catchment areas to which you will be assigned. “The management of the REA under the managing director must be allowed to perform their day to day duties unencumbered by the board. However, members of the board must meet quarterly to review its state of implementation of projects by both the federal, state and other actors and bring up advise for the attention of the government through the ministry.” She continued: “Our target is to achieve 75 per cent rural electrification access by
2020. This is your charge. There should be unity and teamwork in your approach, while all procurement processes should be handled and managed by the agency transparently. The rural economy is so important to all Nigerians that we must ensure zero tolerance for corruption.” The minister noted that government will measure the success of the board with the number of rural communities that have access to electricity, number of investors attracted into the rural electrification subsector, extent of rural electrification technology garnered and applied as well as the number of jobs created from the activities of the REA.
Union Homes’ workers, customers urge govt to resolve strike
HE Association of Sen ior Staff of Banks of Union Homes Savings and Loans Plc, has called on the Federal Government to intervene in the on-going strike by workers of the bank. Also, a group of customers under the auspices of the Public Welfare Support Organisation, want the government to settle all outstanding issues so that the bank can reopen. The Coordinator of the Organisation, Kemi Komolafe, said the strike is affecting customers as their money is trapped. She lamented the inability of the management to resolve the crisis that led to the strike, bearing in mind that closing the bank for a day will affect its customers. She wondered why the bank could be shut for over a month without Nigerians talking about it, adding that if it were the conventional commercial banks that had been on strike since then, there would have
From Bukola Amusan, Abuja
been outcry. “We are losing our customers too because we cannot meet up with their demand for lack of fund, our families are suffering because our monies are trapped,” she said, adding that the Federal Government should intervene, as the management is unable to resolve the crisis. However, the management said most of the allegations of financial impropriety and anti-labour activities levelled against it are false. The workers under the aegis of ASSBIFI have been picketing the headquarters of the bank for about four weeks, alleging that it wrongfully terminated the appointment of 400 workers without paying gratuities, or severance packages. They also want the management to produce evidence of tax payments, as well as pension deposits.
FirstBank chief seeks collaboration for agric funding
O N T I N U O U S stakeholder engagements in agriculture would ensure sustained funding for the sector, Group Managing Director (GMD), FirstBank of Nigeria Ltd, Mr Bisi Onasanya has said. He spoke yesterday at the at the on-going Nigeria Economic Summit Group (NESG) forum in Abuja. Speaking on the theme Growing agriculture as a business to diversify Nigeria’s economy, Onasanya identified the need for industry operators and policy makers to improve on understanding the sector’s financing needs to facilitate effective funding. He explained that the sector needs more market of financiers, which include other sources of long term finance such as venture capital, private equity funds and the capital markets. “There is an urgent need to clearly identify the parties that would be most ideal in
From Olugbenga Adanikin, Abuja
managing the risks in the credit cycle, especially as it pertains to value chain financing,” he said. However, Onasanya canvassed mechanised farming and extension of credit to the agricultural community. He said developing structured products and complementary insurance covers would help identify, mitigate and allocate risks to relevant managers. He stressed that leveraging on the benefits of technology would reduce administrative costs and hasten the disbursement of funds to a large number of beneficiaries across the country. “The advent of credit bureaus if well integrated to the credit cycle would be invaluable as a key tool that can be deployed to mitigate risks. Financial institutions should enhance their risk profiling and management skills.
• From left: Group Executive Chairman, Peacock Aviation and Allied Services Limited, Chief Segun Phillips; Human Resources Manager, Mr. Aderemi Awolaiye’; Customer Relationship Manager (Africa) NAHCo Aviance, Mr Biodun Adewuni; Cronos Airline Chief Operating Officer, Mr Lambert Loko, during a meeting for the commencement of Crono’s Airline flights to Lagos. PHOTO: ISAAC AYODELE JIMOH
Fed Govt assures of lower interest for farmers, others
LANS are underway to ensure that farmers have access to cheaper funds from the banks, President Goodluck Jonathan has said. In his keynote address at the 19th Nigerian Economic Summit in Abuja, he said a Committee headed by the Coordinating Minister of the Economy and Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi OkonjoIweala, has been constituted to work out modalities on how banks can grant loans to farmers and other stakeholders at low interest rates. Responding to discussants during the Presidential Dialogue session of the summit, the President said: “A team headed by the Finance Min-
From Nduka Chiejina (Asst. Editor), Abuja
ister is talking about how the government will link up with the private sector to make sure that farmers get loans at very low interest rates. Probably, the Finance Minister would talk about this later to explain further on what government has done and what government is planning to do.” President charged the Organised Private Sector (OPS) to articulate and execute the transformation agenda of the agricultural programme, as a strategic option for attracting investments into the agricultural sector. This, he said, would complement the government’s efforts to make agriculture a
profitable business for investors and a major foreign exchange earner for the country. Jonathan said his government was using “the Agricultural Transformation Agenda (ATA) as the springboard for broad-based development of the economy,” adding that discussions were going on to ensure that farmers and others were availed the fiscal and other policy incentives that would help them boost their productivity and make Nigeria a net exporter of agricultural products. The President noted: “Importing of food makes our country vulnerable as any price shocks in the global market impacts on us and we
cannot depend on others to feed us our population is too big to depend on imported food.” The President said he was “convinced that agriculture as a business holds a bright future for Nigeria, particularly the youths. The time has come to create jobs and lay a new foundation for Nigeria’s economic growth, to get young farmers especially young graduates and school leavers to take up agriculture as a business’’. He added that the ongoing reforms at the Abuja Securities and Commodities Exchange would de-risk agricultural businesses in Nigeria and stimulate access to finance and stabilise prices.
NEITI wants transparency in award of oil, mining licences
HE Nigeria Extractive Industries Transpar ency Initiative (NEITI) has called for transparency in the acquisition and awards of oil prospecting licensces and mining leases. The Executive Secretary of NEITI Mrs Zainab Ahmed made the call at a workshop for awardees of oil prospecting licences organised by the Directorate of Petroleum Resources (DPR). Represented by the Team Leader Outreach Mrs Obiageli Onuorah, NEITI Executive Secretary, noted that the absence of transparency
From John Ofikhenua, Abuja
in the acquisition and awards of oil prospecting licences, mining leases, financing mechanisms, inappropriate disclosures of oil and gas production figures and revenues have characterised Nigeria’s extractive sector. In a statement yesterday, Mrs Zainab called on the management of the DPR to place licences and contracts in the public domain in conformity with global standards. “As you may be aware, during the recently con-
cluded global Conference of EITI in Australia, the global body formulated new standards. Publishing contracts helps citizens evaluate which benefits and protections their country receive in exchange for access to publicly owned natural resources.” Mrs Ahmed added that contract transparency also helps citizens monitor whether companies and Government live up to their obligations as contained in the agreements. She said making bidding processes transparent and
competitive would ensure that the right people with the requisite expertise get the operational licenses. The NEITI chief underscored the importance of adherence to due process, transparency and accountability in the management of extractive resource wealth which she says has become a global order. Citing various global initiatives in this direction, Mrs Ahmed pointed out that there is a coordinated international response against corruption and impunity in the management of revenues accruing from the extractive sector.
THE NATION WEDNESDAY SEPTEMBER 4, 2013
•Osun State Governor Rauf Aregbesola addressing Ila Orangun residents during an assessment programme, Gbangbadekun, at the Baptist Primary School, Ila-Orangun...yesterday.
Fashola congratulates Methodist Prelate
AGOS State Governor Babatunde Fashola has congratulated Most Rev. Samuel Uche on his election as the Prelate of the Methodist Church of Nigeria. He said he was confident that Rev. Uche would take the church to greater heights. Until his election at the 44th Special Conference of the Methodist Church of Nigeria at the Williams Memorial Methodist Cathedral, Ebute-Metta, Lagos at the weekend, Rev. Uche was the Archbishop of Enugu Diocese. He replaced Dr. Sunday Olatunji Makinde, who was elected in 2006. In his congratulatory letter to the Prelate, Fashola said: “The show of confidence in you by peers and the general congregation cannot but produce a most humbling experience, just as it engenders the somewhat daunting challenge of taking forward the educational and spiritual mission of the age-long institution, which the Methodist Church of Nigeria represents. “I have no doubt that this seamless, momentous torch-passing from Dr. Makinde, who has led the church in a most inspiring manner since 2006, to you will take the mission to new heights. “On behalf of my wife, Abimbola, the government and people of Lagos State, please accept my hearty congratulations on your election.” Fashola prayed God to continue to guide the Prelate in his duties.
Oil spill: Lagos moves to sue NSCDC for ‘illegal arrests’ L AGOS State Governor Babatunde Fashola has directed the Office of the Public Defender (OPD) to sue the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) for “illegally arresting” eight residents of Ejigbo, whose wells were polluted by petrol spillage. Eight residents of No.17 and 30, Aminatu Ilo Street, were arrested last week by NSCDC officials for allegedly digging their wells to the level of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) pipelines to steal petrol. OPD Director Mrs. Omotola
By Miriam Ekene-Okoro
Rotimi said owners of the wells claimed that they reported at the Ejigbo Police Station when they noticed petrol coming out of their wells. They claimed the police took them to NNPC to report the spillage, adding that NNPC officials took samples from the wells before sealing them, with a promise to return on August 26. Mrs. Rotimi said the residents were waiting for NNPC to address the problem when NSCDC officials stormed the place and arrested eight
•’PDP’s show of shame at convention sad’
Ondo gets two commissioners From Damisi Ojo, Akure
NDO State Governor Olusegun Mimiko yesterday swore in two commissioners. They are Mrs. Nike Ademujimi (Commerce and Industry) and Mr. Ogundeji Iroju (Employment and Productivity). This brings the number of commissioners in the state to 20. Mrs. Ademujimi, a former chairman of the State Microcredit Agency, is from Okitipupa Local Government. Iroju, a former senior special assistant to the governor on Project Monitoring, hails from Odigbo. Mimiko urged them to cooperate with their colleagues, avoid unhealthy competition and shun corruption.
criminalising eight people, including an expectant mother. “This is against jurisprudence and human rights justice. These people are the victims, whose homes, livestock and crops have been destroyed due to the pollution of their wells and environment. Their health is also at risk. “They should be the one heading to the court to enforce and exercise their fundamental rights, including claiming damages, rather than a law enforcement agency harassing them.”
‘Atiku, Amaechi welcome in APC’
Rotary Club identifies causes of societal ills
LECTURER in the Department of Estate Management, Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile Ife, Dr. Olatoye Ojo, has blamed societal ills on poor leadership, corruption and insecurity. Ojo spoke at the installation of Rotarian Niran Adewoyin as the ninth President of the Oyo Rotary Club while delivering a lecture, titled: “Ideals of Rotary as a Model for Societal Change”. He said: “The ills of the society are predicated on failed leadership and governance, corruption, educational decay, poverty, national insecurity, immorality and poor infrastructure.” Ojo said the Ideals of the Rotary Club, which is “Service Above Self” could help change the society for the better. Urging leaders to bridge the gap between the rich and the poor, he asked questions, such as: Why do Nigerian leaders fail? Why does almost every young hopeful end up being such a tawdry disappointment? The lecturer blamed incessant kidnappings outside the Niger Delta on greed. He urged Rotarians in positions of authority to shun corruption and lead by example.
people, including an expectant mother. She said Fashola and former Governor Bola Tinubu had written the Federal Government in the past to replace the pipelines to protect Ejigbo residents. Mrs. Rotimi said: “Despite these letters, nothing was done by NNPC or the Federal Government to alleviate the difficulties faced by the residents due to spillage. It would have been more appropriate for NSCDC to investigate the issue, instead of arresting, detaining, dehumanising and
ORMER Vice-President Atiku Abubakar and his associates have been urged to align with progressives in the All Progressives Congress (APC) to usher in a government that will be committed to the well-being of the masses. An APC chieftain in Oyo State, Mr. Akinrogun Taiwo, made the call yesterday while speaking with reporters in Oyo town.
From Bode Durojaiye, Oyo
He urged Nigerians not to despair because of the “show of shame, travesty of democracy and executive power drunkenness” exhibited by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) at its mini-convention, but to team up with the APC to get rid of the PDP. Taiwo said Nigerians have every reason to worry in the face of the “lawlessness, injustice, tensed calmness, fragile unity, suspicions and dire
want in the midst of plenty” that characterises the “self-acclaimed largest party in Africa and the President Goodluck Jonathan administration. The APC chieftain, who is the coordinator of the former Oyo PDP Members’ Forum and the Abiola Ajimobi Reelection Consultative Forum, saluted the “courage and sincerity of purpose” demonstrated by Atiku, Alhaji Usman Bugaje, former Osun State Governor Olagunsoye Oyinlola, Rivers State Governor Rotimi Amaechi and his allies for kicking against “injustice and the rape of democracy”. He said: “What happened
at the PDP mini-convention is a danger signal to democracy. It is sad that a party, which claims to have internal democracy, could not conduct free and fair elections. “The way Atiku, Amaechi, his allies and other notable party delegates walked out against the injustice perpetuated by President Jonathan indicated that he (the President) could no longer be relied on in steering the ship of the country. It also signified the beginning of the end of the PDP. Former PDP leaders and members now in the progressive fold have been vindicated.”
‘Boundary management critical to peace’
KITI State Deputy Governor Prof. Modupe Adelabu yesterday hailed members of the State Boundary Commission for preventing communal clashes through prompt resolution of intra-state land disputes. She spoke in her office in Ado-Ekiti, the state capital, while hosting officials of the commission. Mrs. Adelabu said the commission has helped the government sustain security and peaceful co-existence. Noting that territorial dis-
putes were not only sensitive but require diplomacy and historical facts to resolve, she urged members of the commission to be meticulous in their investigations. Mrs. Adelabu assured them of the government’s continued support. The Commission’s Chairman, Benjamin Onyeabo, said they had resolved many boundary disputes. Onyeabo said the National Boundary Commission (NBC) would be in Ekiti State on September 16 to address
inter-state boundary disputes between Ekiti, Kwara, Ondo and Osun states. Also yesterday, the deputy governor received officials of the Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC), led by the Ekiti Sector Commander, Rindom Kumven, in her office. She urged them to be incorruptible and diligent, adding that their intervention has reduced accidents. The deputy governor said the government was ready to partner the FRSC to form
Road Safety Clubs in primary and secondary schools to teach children road signs and safety rules. Mrs. Adelabu urged the FRSC to organise sensitisation programmes for drivers on traffic rules. Kumven hailed the government for repairing and building roads, saying it had reduced accidents and made traffic control easier. He urged the government to assist the command with vehicles for its new unit at Itawure.
THE NATION WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 4, 2013
Fayemi: digital networking’ll improve businesses
KITI State Governor Kayode Fayemi has said the fibre optics cables laid in the state will ease internet transactions and improve the quality of life. The governor spoke with reporters yesterday on the commencement of the Phase I of the Optical Fibre-Laying Project in Ado-Ekiti, the state capital. Fayemi said the project, which will last eight weeks, was the outcome of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed by the state
From Sulaiman Salawudeen, Ado-Ekiti
and ipNX Nigeria Ltd in June. He said the project would help Ekiti to actualise its digital transformation programme. The governor said: “Fibre optics cable is the fastest means of transmitting data. A single strand of fibre cable can transmit up to 100 gigabytes per second, making it possible to simultaneously carry video, Internet and telephone calls.
“Due to its capacity for almost limitless data speed, fibre optics is the true enabler of broadband services. With the infrastructure of fibre optics based broadband available in Ekiti State, the foundation is being laid for a transformation in the way Ekiti residents live, work, do business and play. “The first phase will cover about 8km from the Government Data Centre to Tantaliser, Fajuyi Park, Bank Road, State Secretariat,
GRA/Onigari and Christ’s School axis. “Essential services to be provided via the fibre cables include: high speed Internet access to home and offices at an affordable price; Wi-fi hotspot at Fajuyi Park; telephone call services; video conferencing; Cable TV on demand (with many channels); safe city security cameras; e-Education and eHealth.” Special Adviser to the Governor on Infrastructure Kayode Jegede said the
project was being done on a Public-Private-Partnership (PPP) basis. Jegede said it would curb crime and create jobs. The firm’s Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Ejovi Aror, said Ado-Ekiti would be the fourth city in Nigeria to have the fibre optics technology. He said improved Information and Communication Technology (ICT) would improve socio-economic activities.
Missing person From Bode Durojaiye, Oyo
MAN, Muyiwa Dunmade (31), is missing. He is dark in complexion and works at the Total Petrol Station on Station Road in Osogbo, the Osun State capital. Muyiwa was last seen around Fakunle on August 26 on his way to deposit some money in the bank for his employer. Anyone who knows his whereabouts should please contact the nearest police station or call Alhaja Adejoju Muritala on 08039128671.
Five die in Ibadan crash
IVE people have died in an accident in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital. The accident occurred on Monday night at Iyaganku on the Ibadan/Abeokuta Expressway. It involved two commercial motorcycles, marked OYO KNH 527708 and LAGOS GGE 7550c. They collided and burst into flames. The two motorcyclists and their three male passengers died on the spot. There was a traffic gridlock on the road as people struggled to put out the fire. The unidentified bodies were taken to the University College Hospital (UCH) morgue by a commercial bus driver. An eyewitness, Mr. Kehinde Omotoso, a lawyer, said the accident was caused by over-speeding. Omotoso said: “One of the motorcyclists, who was carrying two passengers and
From Oseheye Okwuofu, Ibadan
coming from Oda-Ona, was over-speeding. He attempted to overtake a vehicle without considering the other motorcyclist, who was coming from Iyaganku. “The one coming from Iyaganku had nowhere to turn to and they collided. Some of these commercial motorcyclists have no respect for human lives. It is a big problem and will continue to claim the lives of innocent citizens if left unchecked. “We have laws in this land that forbid motorcyclists from plying trunk A and B roads, that is federal and state roads, but this is a society where everything goes. The government must not fold its arms and continue to allow this senseless carnage on our roads. “It must put machinery in place to enforce these laws to the letter to save lives. People are dying everyday because of these irresponsible motorcyclists.”
•A truck blocking the road at Mazamaza Bus Stop in Lagos ... yesterday.
NMEC, UNESCO to tackle illiteracy
HE National Commission for Mass Education (NMEC) and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) have trained 111 adult literacy education facilitators in Oyo state. NMEC’s Executive Secre-
Alleged N6b fraud: Group wants Ladoja’s trial expedited
N interest group, the Oyo Development Initiative (ODI), has urged the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to expedite the trial of former Governor Rashidi Ladoja for allegedly stealing N6 billion shares. It said the money was enough to build two flyovers. In a statement by its Coordinator, Dr. Adesola Okanlawon, ODI said Ladoja’s criticisms of Governor Abiola Ajimobi on the construction of the Mokola flyover in Ibadan, the state capital, smacks of “destructive politics”. It said: “We want to remind Ladoja that if he had committed the N6 billion realised from the sale of Oyo State shares to the construction of flyovers, he would have built, at least, two,
•’Cash can build two flyovers’ From Bisi Oladele, Ibadan
the size of the Mokola bridge. “If he had done that, flyover construction would have been the least of Ajimobi’s concern. Ajimobi would have probably channelled the money spent on the Mokola flyover to other projects yearning for attention.” ODI advised Ladoja to stop “attacking” Ajimobi, noting that the former governor had a chance to improve the state. It said: “We have noticed in recent times that anywhere Ladoja finds himself, both within and outside Oyo State, he revels in launching verbal diatribes on Ajimobi. We advise him to concentrate his energy on freeing himself of
the N6 billion fraud charges hanging on his neck. “Ladoja had all the opportunity in the world to make an indelible mark in the state, but failed woefully. He is now portraying himself as the self-appointed defender of the same people, who suffered neglect as well as emotional and psychological instability during his tenure. “His recent activities portray him as a willing tool in the hands of the enemies of Oyo people, who are desirous of plunging the state into confusion and thwarting the developmental efforts of the Ajimobi administration. We urge the people to be wary of the antics of the former governor.”
From Tayo Johnson and Diamond Adebowale, Ibadan
tary Alhaji Jibrin Paiko spoke yesterday at the conference hall of the Oyo State Ministry of Education. Paiko, who was represented by Mr. John Edeh, said the training was aimed at revitalising the adult and youth literacy project. He said the Federal Government provided $6.43 million for the training. Paiko said the programme was to ensure the education of the 40 million illiterates in Nigeria to achieve the Education for All (EFA) goal
and education-related Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by 2015. He said in May, 433 facilitators were retrained at the universities of Ibadan, Maiduguri, Kano, Nigeria, Benin and the IBB University in Lapai to improve their skills. Paiko said there are about 4,107 facilitators across the country and an average of 111 facilitators per state. He said: “Nigeria, as other Sub-Saharan African countries, has a high number of illiterates, comprising children, youths and adults, who have never attended school. A large percentage of these are girls and young women. Hence,
the on-going Revitalising Adults and Youth Literacy project focuses on the promotion of access, equity, quality and innovations in non-formal education through the integration of functional, vocational, and entrepreneurial skills into basic literacy.” Paiko urged the resource persons and participants to justify the huge resources committed to the training. Commissioner for Education Adetokunbo Fayokun said the state government had released funds to the State Agency for Adult and Non-formal Education (Oyo AANFE) for its empowerment programmes.
Osun civil service mourns Tejumade Alakija
HE Osun State Civil Service has commiserated with the Alakija and Aderemi families on the death of the first female Head of Service in the old Oyo State and Nigeria, Princess Tejumade Alakija. In a statement, the Head of Service (HoS), Mr. Sunday Owoeye, described the late Princess Alakija as “an uncommon gift to the human race”. Owoeye said she was an “eru-
From Adesoji Adeniyi, Osogbo
dite” civil servant and “a trail blazer”. He said: “Mama fought a good fight, ran a fine race and departed with a sparkling crown befitting an authentic princess. Indeed, she came, she saw and she conquered to the glory of God. She was God’s uncommon gift to the human race. “We commiserate with the
Aderemi royal family and that of the Alakija. May God grant them the fortitude to bear the loss. We take solace in the fact that Mama would have good news to relay to the late Baba Adesoji Aderemi on the amazing renaissance and development in Osun State under the dynamic leadership of Governor Rauf Aregbesola, especially the on-going Oba Adesoji Aderemi Bye-Pass in Osogbo, the state capital.”
Fayemi, Ajimobi, Tinubu eulogise photojournalist Obe
KITI State Governor Kayode Fayemi, his Oyo State counterpart Abiola Ajimobi and leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Asiwaju Bola Tinubu have described the death of ace photojournalist, Mr. Peter Oyeyemi Obe (81), as “a huge loss”. In a statement Fayemi said the late Obe redefined photojournalism through his “adventurous and daring” coverage of the 30-month Nigerian civil war and turned what was hitherto regarded as a hobby to a dignified profession. He said the deceased brought
dignity to the photographic section of the media, which has grown tremendously. Fayemi described the late Obe as “a mobile museum of all the important historical events in the country”. He said Obe was “an authority on the socio-political history of Nigeria, who captured unforgettable landmarks”. Fayemi described the late Obe as a diligent professional, whose contributions would remain a reference point for generations unborn. He urged the deceased’s family to be consoled by his positive contributions to the
media and the good name he left behind. Ajimobi said Obe’s death marked the end of an era in photojournalism. He said the late Obe’s role during the civil war and other historical events stood him out as a core professional. Ajimobi said: “Although the ace photojournalist died at the ripe age of 81, his departure is shocking and painful. He used the power of pictures to contribute to Nigeria’s socio-political development. “Pa Obe was not only an icon, he was a master of his profession. At a time when not
many people were brave enough to take to photojournalism as a profession because of the risk associated with it, he put all hindrances aside and made a mark.” He hailed the deceased for compiling his photo collections into a book to educate the future generation. Ajimobi called for the celebration of the life and time of the late photojournalist, saying he lived a fulfilled life. Tinubu said the late Obe represented uncommon brilliance. He said: “Obe will never be forgotten. He was a photographer of excellence. He dis-
played rare commitment to his job. At a time when many saw being a photographer as a mere pastime or a job for non-starters, Obe took his job seriously and carved a niche for himself in the profession. “Through his numerous works, many came to realise that pictures are stories. Pictures tell stories. He was not just a photographer, he told stories through the pictures he took. He navigated rough terrains and faced danger to bring us full and true pictures of developments, whether good or bad.” The former Lagos State
governor said although the late Obe would be sorely missed, his works would stand the test of time. He urged the new generation of photojournalists to develop their minds beyond mere clicks and flashes and enrich their work. Tinubu said they must act responsibly and see their profession as a call to duty. He said: “Obe took photojournalism to a height hitherto unknown in our clime. I hope the room he left for advancement shall be filled by others in this noble profession.”
THE NATION WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 4, 2013
THE NATION WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 4, 2013
CITYBEATS LINE: 08023247888
Robbery suspects who use drugs on victims held
HE Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), Lagos State Police Command, has smashed an eight-man armed robbery gang that drugs its victims and security guards for hitfree operations. Parading the suspects yesterday, the Command's spokesperson, Ngozi Braide, a Deputy Superintendent (DSP), said they were arrested on Monday following hints by the Commissioner of Po-
By Ebele Boniface
lice Umar Manko that they were about to operate at May and Baker pharmaceutical company on Oba Akran Road in Ikeja, Lagos. Manko, it was learnt, directed the Officer-in-Charge of SARS, Abba Kyari, a Superintendent (SP), to foil the robbery. The suspects were arrested with their "client" and sponsor. Detectives also recovered a
• The suspects ... yesterday
bottle of the drug they used on victims and security guards, three baseball caps,
Monarch, four others released on bail
HE 81-year-old Baale of Kirikiri town in Lagos, Chief Waheed Sunmonu, who was remanded in Kirikiri prison last Friday by an Apapa Magistrate's Court, has been released from custody. The monarch and four other defendants regained freedom on Monday evening after perfecting the stringent bail conditions set for them by Magistrate Mrs. K.O. Shonubi. They spent three nights in prison. Others are: Chief Oseni Adewale,77; Kayode Ewarawon, 53; Julius Ajanlekoko, 69, and Adewale Ijaogbomo, 50. Magistrate Shonubi set bail conditions at N500,000 with two sureties in the like sum for each of the defendants. The magistrate excluded
By Adebisi Onanuga
teachers from the intending sureties, who must be civil servants on Grade Level 10 and above. Sunmonu and four others were arraigned by the police for allegedly threatening to kill a man, Babatunde Babalola. The police preferred a fivecount charge against the defendants. The first stated that the defendants "sometimes in 2013, on Karimu Street, Kirikiri town, Lagos, did threaten to kill one Babatunde Babalola." The police alleged that Ajanlekoko and one other at large, on the same date, time and place, assaulted Babalola "by strangling his neck." Ajanlekoko and another at
large, were alleged to have damaged a Canon camera valued at N175,000, a property of Mustapha Fatai. The police alleged that Ijaogbomo, on December 19, 2012, at Doctor Lucas Memorial College, Kirikiri town, Lagos, assaulted Babalola. It was further alleged that the defendants, sometimes in 2013 at Kirikiri town, conducted themselves in a manner likely to cause a breach of peace by granting media interview to disparage Babalola's person. The police said the offences are punishable under Sections 56, 171, 348 and 166(d) of the Lagos State Criminal Law 2011. The defendants pleaded not guilty. The Magistrate adjourned the matter till September 20, for hearing.
Shot Young Shall Grow Motors' boss flown abroad
N auto dealer may have been involved in the attempt on the life of seasoned transporter, Chief Vincent Obianodo, who has been flown abroad for further treatment. The dealer, it was learnt, may have been killed during the shootout between the police and the suspected assassins at the crime scene. Obianodo, the proprietor of Young Shall Grow Motors, was wounded during the gun duel. He was in an undisclosed Lagos hospital before he was transferred abroad. Police detectives are trying to unravel the motive behind the plot, but his relations and close associates, are alleging cover-up by the police. They are urging Commissioner of Police Umar Manko to transfer the case to another department for justice. On how Obianodo was saved during the incident, sources said the suspected assassins did not know that an armed Police Inspector, Samuel Ogbueshi, was with him in his Lexus Sports Utility Vehicle (SUV). It was gathered that immediately the gunmen blocked the vehicle, they opened fire and when they thought they had killed all the occupants, they shot at Obianodo's backup patrol vehicle conveying some policemen and his driver. Sources said after Obianodo was shot on the left shoulder, he shouted in pains, spurring Ogbueshi to fire back at the attackers. He was said to have been guarding the transporter
•Auto dealer 'linked to' attempt on transporter's life By Jude Isiguzo
for two years. A source said: "The Inspector also quickly used his body as a shield against for Chief Obianodo. He said he took that risk because he did not want the transporter to be killed like a chicken. The chief had already collapsed on the steering wheel after he was hit by bullets. After an exchange of fire with the gunmen, the Inspector feigned death and lay on the chief. "One of the attackers alighted
from their vehicle, but the gallant Inspector released several shots into his huge frame and he lay dead, clutching his AK 49 fully-loaded gun. His gang members tried to sustain the firing, but the Inspector quickly slipped out of the car, aimed at their driver and demobilised their vehicle. Unfortunately, as he was stepping out of the car, his legs slipped and he fell into a drain. However, he still sustained his efforts at sending the attackers packing." "The Police from Festac division only approached the scene after they saw the uniformed Inspector coming out of the ditch. They saw the dead bodies of two of the attackers and their loaded weapons. Six loaded magazines were seen inside the bag of one of them. While the policemen were going through the contents of his bag, his phone started ringing. It was recovered by the police," the source said. Close associates of Obianodo told The Nation that he was flown abroad last Monday in an air ambulance for treatment. The transporter reportedly asked his aides after he recovered from shock at a private hospital in Apapa: "Why did they want to kill a man like me that is feeding over 10,000 Nigerians? Would they be able to feed all these people?" The sources also said a top monarch in the Lagos State currently on holiday in London, played positive role in flying Obianodo out of the country to the United States.
PHOTO: EBELE BONIFACE
seven packs of Lucozade Boosts, five broken padlocks, a bundle of master keys, one knife, one saw with blade, two saw blades and two AK47 rifles. The first suspect, Simeon Olarewaju (24) said it was one Richard, still at large, that gave him the job, adding that when he accepted it, he contacted his second, simply called Mr James, a security man in the company. He said: "We were there between 6pm and 12 mid-night. Already, we had a buyer, Mr Ejike Ehirim. He asked me to bring two trucks. We had not poisoned any security man when SARS operatives spoiled our plan. We did not know that the man who pretended to be assisting us was a SARS operative. His men rounded us up and collected the two AK47 rifles we used for the operation. "It was my second, James, who specialised in drugging
suspects that failed to drug the SARS operative who sneaked into our gang to trap us. He was confused by the N1 million he was to get if the operation succeeded. We were loading 84 different products including Sofaterial and Talazole when another group drove in to load their vehicle. We did not know they were SARS operatives." Ehirim (62), who deals in drugs, said he was called to buy Sofaterial and Talazone. "I have been dealing with Olarewaju. I have a shop at Agege - Income Chemist. I don't follow them to rob. My role is to buy and I pay them," he said. Another suspect, Owode, Ogun State-born Sampson Oladipupo (43), said it was Olarewaju that recruited him. He admitted that they went for the robbery, but said it was his second time. Gboko, Benue State-born James Theimen (33), said he
was called to help as a security man with a promise of N1.5million. The fourth suspect, Ali Salisu (22), from Igala Mela, Kogi State, who said he was a security guard, said it was James who lured him into the gang. James Imoha (27), a student of Auchi Polytechnic and 26year-old Stephen Kadri from Agenebode, Edo State, who is a wielder, said they were engaged to help in loading the stolen goods. Thirty-one-year-old Innocent Okagu, a driver, also from Agenebode, also said he was a loader and that it was too late to back out when he realised that his "employers" were armed robbers. Benue State-born Enekela Abubakar (22) and Ali Salif (27) from Kogi State, claimed to be security men, adding that the millions of naira promised them after the operation attracted them to the gang.
THE NATION WEDNESDAY SEPTEMBER 4, 2013
NEWS Protest at UNICEM over levy hike
CTIVITIES at the United Cement Company (UNICEM) in Mfamosing, Akampka, Cross River State, were halted yesterday, following an alleged increase in levy from N500 to N12,800. It was gathered that the State Internal Revenue Service charged a truckload of cement N500 as road maintenance levy for each trip, but the amount was raised to N12,800. It was also learnt that as an incentive to its distributors, UNICEM usually paid the N500 levy, but stopped following the hike. As a result, the distributors protested that they would not go along with the new levy and have stopped lifting ce-
From Nicholas Kalu, Calabar
ment from the company. A distributor, Etim Okon of Etim E. Okon and Company Nigeria Ltd, said: “If we have to pay this N12, 800 with the current price of cement, we would not be able to meet up with our obligation.” Another distributor, Emmanuel Bassey, Manager of Ubotex Limited said: “The government has the upper hand in the affairs of the economy. But they should know that the challenge is that we may end up not buying from UNICEM again, if they try to enforce this on us.” Efforts to get UNICEM to comment on the matter proved abortive.
•Joint Task Force (JTF) officials dismantling an illegal refinery in Southern Ijaw Local Government Area of Bayelsa State...yesterday PHOTO:NAN
Stowaway teen returns to Edo
Delta favoured by God, says Uduaghan
ELTA State Governor E m m a n u e l Uduaghan has attributed the success of his administration to the faithfulness of God. A statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Sunny Ogefere, said the governor spoke during the Annual Thanksgiving, Praise and Worship Programme, tagged: “DELTA YADAH 2013-An Evening of Thanksgiving”, held in Asaba, the state capital. He urged people to continue to pray for the peace and unity of the state. Uduaghan explained that his administration has been able to achieve so much because the power of God was at work. “Delta State has gone through several phases since
From Shola O’Neil, Warri
creation; there has been challenges, crisis and violence, but in the midst of all these troubles, God listened and intervened. All that we have achieved so far is by the grace of God. “He is a God of peace; an unchanging God, he brought peace to Delta State, he listens to us in times of trouble and has continued to bind the state together as an indivisible entity. “I thank God for this and for all he has done for this administration to move the state forward.” The governor praised the special guest artiste, Lionel Peterson, an international gospel artiste from South Africa, for his inspirational songs.
OR the first time since August 24 when he made a daring flight in the tyre compartment of an Arik Air flight from Benin to Lagos, Daniel Oikhena, saw his mother, Evelyn, at the State headquarters of the Directorate of the State Security Services (DSS). Daniel, a Junior Secondary School (JSS) I pupil in Benin, Edo State capital, was released from DSS custody yesterday morning to officials of the Ministry of Women’s Affairs and Social Development. Mrs. Oikhena was informed of the processes her son would go through and later asked to go to the
•Correctional facility for Daniel •I thought my son was abducted, says dad From Osagie Otabor and Osemwengie Ben Ogbemudia, Benin
ministry for further briefing. It was gathered that the government planned to send Daniel to a correctional facility before being allowed to return to school. Several efforts to see him and his mother failed until information filtered in that Governor Adams Oshiomhole would meet with Daniel at 3:30pm. Daniel’s celebrity status was tested yesterday as government officials left their offices to catch a glimpse of the stowaway kid. He rode into the Government House in the same car with the DSS State Director, Bakori Tukur. Reporters were barred from recording Daniel’s entry as he was taken inside through a back door. Daniel’s father, Osaigbovo, made a surprise appearance at the Government House shortly after his son and wife were taken inside. He was not invited to join the meeting. Osaigbovo said he was a commercial bus driver and
that he was told about the scholarship offer by his wife. The father, who was accompanied by some of his relatives, denied allegations that they showed up because of the scholarship offer. He said he has been taking care of his children contrary to the uncaring attitude of his wife. Osaigbovo (44) said he had a problem with his wife to whom he had been married for the past 20 years. He displayed a photograph of himself and two of his children during a family outing. “I came to tell the world that I am Daniel’s father. His mother and I had a misunderstanding last year. I did not leave my home. I invited my wife to join me but she said where I was staying was too far and she decided to stay away. It is a lie that I have not been taking care of my four children. We are not divorced.” On why he has been quiet about his son’s predicament, Osaigbovo said his wife asked him to calm down that she would take care of everything.
“I went with her to the police station but she said I should keep quiet. “I was shocked when I heard the news. Initially, I thought my son was kidnapped but I thank God he is alive. I am here to make sure my son is really alive. I am not married to another woman. My wife refused to give my number to the DSS when they asked for it . “My son likes movies. He is quiet and easy going.” A volunteer group, De RAUFs, which had indicated interest in Daniel’s welfare was at the Government House. Represented by Yinka Muyiwa, head of its legal team, De RAUFs said it came to Edo State to reaffirm the scholarship it earlier gave the lad to continue his education up to university level. Muyiwa said: “The boy did not commit any offence and as such should not be detained any longer. “The boy had to do what he did because the system failed him. There was no crime involved in what he did as far as we are concerned.”
Rivers PDP blasts Amaechi over allegiance THE leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Rivers State has taken a swipe at Governor Rotimi Amaechi on his support for the breakaway faction of the party. The party in a statement by the Special Adviser on Media to the state Chairman, Jerry Needam, said open declaration and support for those that never wish the PDP and President Goodluck Jonathan well has left no one in doubt as to his real interest
and purpose. On the declaration of support of Magnus Abe, Wisdom Ake, Dakuku Peterside, Leyii Kwanee for the purported factional PDP, the party berated the lawmakers for following Amaechi. The party regrets that these lawmakers could be easily swayed like a pack of cards against the collective will of the state to satisfy the whims and caprices of their boss.
ADC a victim of politics, says lawyer
LAWYER, Morakinyo Ogele, yesterday said the Aide-de-Camp (ADC) to Rivers State Governor Rotimi Amaechi, Debeware Semeikumo, who was declared a deserter by the police on Monday, is a victim of the political crisis in the state. Police Commissioner Mbu Joseph Mbu said the ADC was declared a deserter, following his alleged failure to honour all lawful directives to see him and the Inspector-General of Police Mohammed Abubakar since July 10. The police chief said the decision, allegedly backed by
By Joseph Jibueze
Abubakar, was in line with Section 398 (1) of the Police Act. He said Semeikumo’s whereabouts remains unknown to the Force. But Ogele said the officer is innocent and was not expected to abandon a serving governor he was detailed to guard. According to him, Semeikumo did not violate any law. “The declaration of the police that the ADC to the governor is a deserter is nonsense.
“The innocent ADC is operating within the four corners (bounds) of the Police Act and the Constitution. “The police action can be termed another mischief, which further exposes the police as operating as a private security to the Presidency. “The police should be put on notice that historians are watching all their activities in the state and their role will soon be exposed to the world. “The conduct of the police is highly condemnable and history will declare them guilty,” Ogele said.
THE NATION WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 4, 2013
THE NATION WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 4, 2013
THE NATION WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 4, 2013
THE NATION WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 4, 2013
Residents protest stalled development
Shettima woos agric partners
WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 4, 2013
FIRM, ACCA Nigeria for Women in Finance, has trained women working in the financial sector, with a view to developing their skills and capabilities in a complex financial world. The women were trained at a one-day seminar, which held at the Eko Hotels, Lagos. It was attended by senior and junior women workers in the financial sector, including the Chief Executive Officer, ACCA, Helen Brand; Chairperson, Women in Management and Business (WIMBIZ), Mrs. Adeola Azeez and a banker, Aisha Ahmad. It was noted that although the future of finance is female, women account for only 20 per cent of the most senior posts held in the field.
Kano warns against building on waterways Kano
Firm trains working women By Precious Igbonwelundu
The participants agreed that there was so much work to do to enable the thousands of young women joining the profession fulfil their potentials and meet their aspirations. In her lecture, Brand said what the financial world needs to embrace is diversity, including gender, cultural, skills and experiences as well as ideas and business perspectives that help deliver enhanced business performance. She described the quota policy for women as tokenism, which leads to bitterness and makes organisations claim they are
ticking all the right boxes but serve no useful purpose. “We want to see businesses recognising the positive reasons for diversity. Diversity is a critical
component of capability. You want to employ the best people in finance and the best people simply are not defined along some set of homogenous criteria...
We want to see businesses recognising the positive reasons for diversity. Diversity is a critical component of capability. You want to employ the best people in finance and the best people simply are not defined along some set of homogenous criteria
“Research has suggested that companies with more women on their boards outperform rivals with a 42 per cent higher return in sales, 66 per cent higher on capital and 53 per cent return on equity,” she said. Brand said a research conducted by ACCA showed that although women have the necessary background and qualification to occupy top positions, they are limited by the “who you know” syndrome. She said diversity is important in finance because there is need to reduce cost, improve finance processing efficiency, ensure appropriate control and compliance to help drive and create value. •Continued on Page 48
OW do you care for people living with H I V / A I D S (PLWHA)? Give them their prescribed drugs and wave them off? The Benue State government gives them the required medications, all all right, but does not leave it there. It provides food also, especially for those who are financially weak to fend for themselves. The government equally provides counsel, a service that has been found to be just as important as food and drugs. The Benue State Aids Control Agency (BENSACA) which is providing the service believes that good food provides the PLWHA with necessary nutrition which in turn boosts the efficacy of their drugs and their health. BENSACA donated various items of foodstuff to over 200 of the PLWHA in Makurdi, the state capital. The food items included rice and beans, among others. Free retro-viral drugs and counseling services were also offered throughout the state. But the state government is not working alone. Its efforts are boosted by the federal government, nongovernmental organisations (NGO) and faith-based outfits. Inputs are equally coming from communitybased organisations (CBOs). The Executive Secretary, Benue State Aids Control Agency (BENSACA) Mrs. Grace Ashi Wende said giving out food to People Living with HIV/AIDS
• Mrs Wende at the food distribution in Makurdi
Benue feeds the weak .
PLWHA get food, drugs, counsel
From Uja Emmanuel, Makurdi
(PLWHIV) became necessary because the agency found out that some of them, especially women, had children to look
after, while others were widows and orphans. She said many of them were not well fed because they were poor, which has been adversely affecting their
medication. Mrs. Wende stated that so far the number of registered PLWHIV stood at 4800 as registered support groups (SG) have grown from 54 between
2008 and 2013 to 120. She advised the beneficiaries of the food programme not to sell the items on the way but eat them to stay healthy. S h e commended Governor Gabriel Suswam’s administration and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) for the special intervention food programme for the PLWHA in the state.
THE NATION WEDNESDAY, SEPTERMBER 4, 2013
Borno to partner Pakistan on agric, others T
Kano warns against building on waterways K
ANO State government has urged residents of the state to desist from erecting structures on waterways to avoid flooding. The Commissioner for Environment, Alhaji Abdullahi Abbas, made the call while speaking to newsmen in Kano shortly after the monthly environmental sanitation exercise. Abbas said the flood which occurred in many parts of the state was man-made and could have been prevented if people did not block waterways. According to him, “people erect structures on top of waterways and drains and when there is a down pour they experience flood
Council pays bursary grants
HE Chairman of Imeko-Afon Local Government Area in Ogun State, Hon. Tajudeen Ajani Ayilara, has called on students in institutions of higher learning to devote more time to their studies and shun partisan politics. He also charged them to avoid being used by politicians, most of who according to him, are only after their selfish interests. “When they use you to foment trouble, they leave you to bear the consequences without lifting a hand to help”. The Chairman gave the advice in a press statement issued on his behalf by the council’s Director of information. Mr. Segun Benco, on the occasion of disbursement of bursary payments to students of the local government origin in higher institutions for the current year. A total sum N1.7m was paid to 215 beneficiaries at N8000.00 each. Ayilara explained that he was extending dividends of democracy in the council to the students in fulfillment of his promise to cater for all categories of the residents irrespective of their age or calling. He told the students to see the gesture as his goodwill to them and a pointer to the fact they are recognised as future leaders. He said: “I urge you to comport yourselves and remember the sons and daughters of whom you are. You must shun thuggery, cultism and such other vices that not only degrade you but make you completely useless to the society. Please face your studies squarely to be well pre-
pared for your leadership role”. The council chief attributed the number of beneficiaries to the fund available, praying that when next opportunity comes around, the finances of the local government would have improved to cater for more applicants. The bursary is to commemorate the first year in office of the present administration in the council.
20 illegal hospitals shut in Niger HE Niger State Ministry of Health has ordered the closure of 20 private hospitals in the state for operating illegally and without following proper medical procedures. Dr Usman Baba-Agaie, Director, Private Hospitals and Laboratories, stated this in Minna in an interactive session with journalists. He stated that the action was because the hospitals operated beyond their mandate as contained in their operating licenses. He said that the hospitals were found to have contravened the guidelines set for their operations, adding that some of them conducted illegal abortions on pregnant women even when they did not have the equipment necessary for such operations.
HE Borno State government has said that it would partner with Pakistan to harness the full agricultural potential of the state. Governor Kashim Shettima made the statement while receiving a Pakistani trade delegation, led by the Nigerian High Commissioner to Pakistan, Alhaji Dauda Danladi, who paid him a courtesy visit at the Government House, Maiduguri. Shettima pointed out that the partnership would cover areas such as agriculture, pharmaceuticals, sports and gum Arabic among others. He said that government was also making
because the passages are blocked. “I want to commend the Governor Kwankwaso administration for its efforts to revert to Kano’s initial town plan. “That is the only solution to the current situation as some structures have been moved away to free the waterways.” On the sanitation exercise, the commissioner praised the efforts of residents, security agencies, staff of his ministry and the media for compliance with the exercise.
Church holds eigth convocation
• President, Inner Wheel Club of Lagos, Mrs Chidinma Ashimole (second left); Mrs Yemisi Alatise (third right); Mrs Karin Uwaje (second right) and Mrs Oluwatoyin Towobola during the club’s presentation of renovated toilets and materials to Falomo High School, Ikoyi, Lagos.
ALL is now set for the eigth district convocation of the Foursquare Gospel Church, Ketu Garden, from Thursday, September 12 to Sunday, September 15. The theme is: The Almighty God and venue, 1, Rashidi Oyekan Street, Off Adisa Akintoye Street, behind Tipper Garrage in Agboyi Ketu Local Council Development Area of Lagos State. Speaking onthe programme, the host, who is the District Overseer, Rev. Elkannah O.Oluwagbesan, said it would be a moment of fulfilment. Many ministers of God are expected including Rev. (Mrs) Yinka Badejo.
VER 4,000 residents of Eti-Osa 11 Constituency in Lagos State benefited from a free health screening programme at St George’s Boys/Girls School, Falomo conducted last week. The event, which was the second edition of the free health programme, was put together by the representative of the constituency in the Lagos State House of Assembly, Hon. Gbolahan Yishawu in conjunction with the state government. The screening was done by a team of experts from the state Ministry of Health headed by Abolaji Akolade Ibrahim and residents were screened and treated for hypertension, diabetes, eyes, HIV, cervical and breast cancer, and dental
Rotary empowers widows
OTARY Club of Isolo District 9110 has empowered some widows in the area while others have benefited from the de-worming programme organised by the club. The event which took place at the palace of the Osolo of Isolo, Oba Kabiru Alani Agbabiaka, was attended by both adults and children from the community, who came in droves to participate in the de-worming exercise. Six out of the proposed 20 grinding machines which cost about N1.5 million were giving out to widows from the community. Speaking at the event, the District Governor, Rotary International, District 9110 Nigeria, Rotn Olugbemiga Olowu said the gesture was borne out of service to humanity. He described the effort as an economic development programme which would assist widows in getting incomes for themselves. “The programme will help the women, you
know they are all widows, they have no husbands anymore, they need to take care of their children.From the grinding machine given to them, they will be able to earn some income for themselves and help their children,” he said. Olowu said the Isolo Rotary Club would also give out drugs and other medical needs to hospitals, saying maternity centres would also benefit from the gesture of the Rotary Club. The District Governor disclosed that plans were in top gear for the sinking of bore-holes for the community. Speaking at the de-worming programme, the Managing Director, Kateel Interpharma Limited (makers of albendazote tablets), Lagos, Mr. Biodun Ige, said it became necessary to de-worm because of the havoc worms have been causing, especially in children. He, therefore, encouraged other bodies to emulate Rotary by sponsoring de-worming exercise.
•From left: District Governor, Rotary Club of Isolo, Rotary International District 9110 Nigeria, Rotn Olugbemiga Olowu; Osolo of Isolo, Oba Kabiru Alani Adelaja Agbabiaka and some of the beneficiaries of the grinding machines donated by the Rotary Club of Isolo, Rotary International, District 9110 Nigeria
4,000 get free medicare By Oziegbe Okoeki
problem, among others. Over 4,000 residents were attended to, just as about 2,000 of them had eye problem went home with eye glasses free of charge. Speaking on why he undertook the programme, Yishau, who noted that health is wealth, pointed out that human resource remained the greatest asset of any nation. According to the lawmaker, it is important for people to take their health serious and know their status always through campaign and enlightenment programmes, adding: “We need to educate our people and beyond education, they need to stay healthy.” Yishau argued that it would be full hardy for people as well as government to invest in education and training and “at the end of the day, they (people) can’t function because of bad health. “So, it is very important that we ensure that people are in good health. And for them to be in good health, we need to imbibe a culture of regular check up and this is a way of inducing and stimulating them to do regular check up. “ By and large, the programme is to ensure that the greatest asset of our nation, that is human resource is in good health.” Beneficiaries of the programme, included a 60-year-old woman, Hajia Jumai Isa, who came for cervical cancer and eye screening; a 77-yearold woman, Ebun Ladelegun, who had her eye screened. They both went home with free eye glasses together with Hon Jamiu Ogundimu, who is a community leader.
Funeral for Madam Igwe
• From left: Vice-Chairman, Ikeja Local Government Area, Hon. Migeed Balogun; Hon Abiodun Faleke; Chairman, Hon Wale Odunlami, Mr A.B. Daniel and Madam Ogun at the inauguration of All Progressives Congress (APC) at the Ikeja party secretariat, Lagos.
Honour for police chief
HIS year’s Christian Lawyers Fellowship of Nigeria, CLASFON, national conference was the best in recent times going by the calibre of people that were honoured. The choice of recipients was based on their track record in their respective endeavours. Topping the list of achievers were Lagos State Governor, Babatunde Fashola,former NBA President, Chief Wole Olanipekun, Israeli Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr. Uriel Palti, and Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Umaru Manko,amongst others. Particularly outstanding is the recognition given to the Commissioner of Police in Lagos, Umaru Manko for his untiring efforts to curb crime and criminality. Going by the records created by the police boss since he assumed office two years ago, he was given the deserving honour. Manko, according to records, has distinguished himself “as a versatile and dedicated officer while discharging his duties since he resumed office as the police boss in Lagos State. Available records shows that Manko, did not just succeed in preventing and reducing crime in Lagos State, he also succeeded in solving major crimes in the state as well as rounding up many notorious armed robbers, kidnappers, fraudsters and other criminal elements who have been terrorising Lagos and other states within the country.
By Jude Isiguzo
Notable among his achievements were the arrest of a 14- man gang of deadly armed robbers who specialised in killing policemen and snatching their rifles within Lagos and Ogun States. Police recovered a total of nine police AK 47 rifles, two English pump action pistols, 37 magazines fully loaded with 30 rounds of ammunition and two cans filled with 750 rounds of 7.36mm live ammunition each. Eight vehicles were also recovered from them. Prior to that, Cp. Manko co-ordinated the arrest of a notorious arms dealer in the country, Tochukwu Nweke, who supplies arms and ammunition to major deadly gangs in the country. Fourteen Ak-47 rifles, one General Purpose Machine Gun, GPMG, 125 magazines, loaded with 6,672 rounds of 7.62mm ammunition, four GPMG chain bullets with 100 rounds of live ammunition fully loaded, and 180 rounds of 9 mm live ammunition, were recovered from the suspect. At the end of 2012, the Lagos State Police Command succeeded in arresting a total of 569 suspected armed robbers, while 140 of the dare-devils died during encounters with the police within that period. Three hundred and seventy one arms, including 39 AK47 rifles, three General Purpose Machine Gun, GPMG, one rocket launcher and two rockets, 26,058 ammunition, 12 dynamites and 954 vehicles were recovered under the same period.
HE Igwe family of Umuduru Egbelu Amaimo in Ikeduru Local Government Area of Imo State, has announced the funeral programmes for their wife and mother, the late Mrs Regina Remigius Igwe who died on August 8 at the age of 71 years. A statement signed by her husband, Mr Remigius Igwe, indicates that the funeral programmes will begin with a Christian wake in her compound, Umuduru Egbelu Amaimo on Thursday, September 5. This will be followed by funeral Mass at St Thomas Moore Catholic Church, Egbelu Amaimo and interment in her compound on Friday, September 6. On Sunday, September 8, there will be an outing/thanksgiving Mass for the family. A member of various church associations like the Catholic Women Organisation and St Jude’s Society, Mrs Igwe, a community leader was survived by her husband Mr Remigius Igwe, a retired agricultural expert with the Imo State Ministry of Agriculture, 10 children among whom is Mr Uchenna Igwe of Enterprise Bank Plc, Osolo Way branch, Lagos and numerous relations. •The late Mrs Igwe
Borno effort to revive the state’s education system through strengthening of science education. The governor said that the administration was also willing to partner with Pakistan in the area of training for science teachers and medical doctors. Speaking earlier, Danladi said that the visit was sequel to the governor’s visit to Pakistan last year, in search of investors.
Foundation donates to the needy
EMBERS of leader Mallam Iliasu Bello said. They made the promise when members of the Asiwaju Grassroots Foundation (AGF) visited them at their resident in Okobaba, Yaba Lagos to celebrate with them. Bello stated that their resolve to support the party is because it would care for their need and of the leaders Asiwaju Bola Tinubu has not abandoned them in time of need as he had always come to their rescue and always been lending help to beggars. Speaking at the occasion, the National Coordinator of AGF, Comrade Saheed Afonjo, stated
By Musa Odoshimokhe
that celebrating with the beggars is following the path of Tinubu who never discriminates no matter thesocial class. He said: The essence of coming here today is to felicitate with these people who are physically challenged. It is to let them know that Asiwaju is fully with them and was doing everything possible to make life better for them. “He is a leader who does not discriminate, he believes in everybody and while building on this philosophy which he dearly upholds, we are reminded that he is a leader who has en-
sured that what is due the downtrodden is not denied them. “We are equally using this opportunity to let these people know that the emergence of the All Progressives Congress will restore hope in them. This Zakat has been commanded from above and we believe in it and have to provide for these people who have been challenged by disabilities. “We have distributed food, drinks and others items, we want them to feel at home. We want them to know that some people who care for them. And that is what Asiwaju normally does.”
Fadama disburses N507m
HE Delta State Coordinator of FADAMA III,Mr Anthony Abanom, says the programme has disbursed more than N507 million to beneficiaries in 20 local government areas in the state. Abanom told journalists in Asaba that the funds were disbursed directly to 1,419 economic interest groups in 123 communities. The coordinator said that the state achieved 88 per cent success in its performance as at June, going by the World Bank standards, as against 55.7 per cent achieved in the same period last year. According to him, the N507m represented 50.3 per cent increase in the N252.3m disbursed to 67 communities in 15 councils in June 2012.
•Members of the foundation in a group photograph with the less-privileged
Philanthropist donates eyeglasses to the aged
PHILANTHROPIST, Dr. Michelle McCollins, has donated over 200 eye glasses and other valuable materials for the less-privileged in Oyo State. The associate Professor of Education in University of Slippery Rock in America, who donated the glasses to the Ministry of Health Oyo State, was received by the Director of Pharmaceutical Services, Mrs. O Adetoro. She praised the effort of McCollins, admonishing public-spirited people to emulate the generous nature. Adetoro, who received the glasses on behalf of the people, assured the donor that the glasses would be distributed among the aged who are less privileged without any prejudice or favouratism. She urged those in position to help to the poor particularly the aged so that life can be more meaningful to them. Replying, McCollins expressed happiness in giving to the poor in Africa especially in Nigeria. She said everybody must have it in mind that it is very paramount to assist other people who are in need. McCollins said she is not giving out to the people because she is financially buoyant but because she discovered that she came from Africa and there is a need to improve the standard of living of her people. The associate professor who was recently conferred with a chieftaincy title in Ibadan land, said she appreciated the effort of the state government in making the city of Ibadan a cleaner city compared to the last time she visited Nigeria. She called on the state government to invest more in improving the standard of life of a common man on the street so as to make Africa compete with the Western world, saying Africans are blessed with good culture and best brains.
She added: “Let me start by praising the state government for changing the face of the Oyo State capital to that of a beautiful city. It is now becoming a mega city. I could remember the last time I visited Nigeria, it was not this beautiful but now, I can see the great achievement of the government”.
THE CELESTIAL Church of Christ, Gloryvine Parish (Eyin Oju Oluwa) will hold her eigth annual harvest thanksgiving service on Sunday, September 8, at No 14, Taiwo Akinsanya Street, Okeafa, Ilamose Estate, Jakande Bus-stop, Ejigbo. The theme of the harvest is: Harvest of Joyfulness The shepherd in charge, Most Snr. Evangelist Duro Babayemi said after perfection comes the grace. “As we enter the ninth month, a new dawn shall be the portion of every soul that attends the harvest”. He prayed that “as we enter the “ember months,” the mercy of the Lord will come their ways”. Among the officiating ministers are Sup.Evang. I.O. Ajao, Sup.Evang A. Aderonmu, Sup. Evang S.K. Daniel, Sup Evang. Idowu Ajara, V/M/S/E Bathelomew Prophet Onisemo and Prophet Tunde Balogun.
•Dr. McCollins(left) presenting the glasses to Mrs. Adetoro.
THE NATION WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 4, 2013
FROM OTHER LANDS
Lagos and LCC •Politics is trumping economics of Lekki infrastructure concession
N the Lagos Lekki corridor, the economics of infrastructure concession appears giving way to its politics. In the short term, the consumer appears the winner and beneficiary. But that cannot be in the long term. This is because for a developing economy with terribly scarce capital chasing a mountain of pressing demands in social infrastructure (education and health) and physical infrastructure (roads, rail and housing), infrastructure concession, warts and all, remains a viable option. But that would dry up if the economics doesn’t add up. For now however, both the Lagos State executive and legislature deserve praise for the courage to promptly step in, to nip in the bud a short-term bomb, without necessarily throwing away a development instrument, which short-term tariff gluttony was set to consume its long-term
‘For now however, both the Lagos State executive and legislature deserve praise for the courage to promptly step in, to nip in the bud a short-term bomb, without necessarily throwing away a development instrument, which short-term tariff gluttony was set to consume its long-term benefits. That would appear the real story behind the state buying back the Lekki Concession Company Ltd (LCC) 30-year design, build, operate and transfer (DBOT) agreement, originally to lapse by 2038’
benefits. That would appear the real story behind the state buying back the Lekki Concession Company Ltd (LCC) 30-year design, build, operate and transfer (DBOT) agreement, originally to lapse by 2038. What that means, according to Ayo Gbeleyi, the Lagos State Commissioner for Finance, and Ade Ipaye, Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, is that whereas LCC remains an ongoing business concern, its ownership would revert to the state government, courtesy of N7.5 billion buy-back scheme, just approved by the Lagos State House of Assembly. That way, the state government would be in pole position to adopt a more pocketfriendly tariff policy. That is the easy end of the new deal. The more difficult part would be guaranteeing the integrity of collected tolls, given the proverbial basketleakage of revenue in previous government-run toll exercises. Indeed, the galloping tolls, not the quality and durability of the road, have been the bone of contention in the Lekki 50-kilometre road project (Phase 1) and the follow-up 20-kilometre stretch (Phase 2). The toll regime of N50 (motorcycles), N80 (commercial mini-buses) N120 (saloon cars), N150 (sports utility vehicles, private minibuses and pick-up trucks), N250 (light trucks) and N350 (heavy trucks and buses) was way too high for most commuters but came as a practical response to the economics of financing a gargantuan project. Yet, the economics of the concession was demanding even higher tolls (for instance, the saloon car segment rising from N120 to N144), citing the devaluation of the naira, high interest rates on locally sourced loans and the investors’ eagerness to pass any extra costs to the already screaming consumer, aside from opening up tolling at the second plaza, if they were to meet their
obligation to secure funds to deliver on the concession mandate. But while self-preservation and tariff review or tariff-freeze are no crime, the economics must still be right. That is the challenge now facing the Lagos State government. The original aim at the concession, it must be repeated, was to seek private capital to develop that crucial corridor, to conserve public capital for more pressing developmental matters. Even with tariff review, that goal must be kept in view. The government can do that by putting in place fraud-proof systems in the new LCC. The new managers must get a mandate of zero-tolerance for leakage. If that happens, the full development of the Lekki 70-kilometre road would still be on course, even if it is a bit slowed down, since downward review of tariff will, other things being equal, lead to less revenue. But aside from the business integrity of LCC, the Lagos State government must ramp up its mass enlightenment campaign on the project. Antagonists have gone on an emotional binge on high tolls. That is not illegitimate, particularly when it hurts the pocket. But the government has a duty to educate all about the long-term benefits of the project. With well-reasoned arguments, even those opposed will gradually buy into the project. It is only then that it would achieve its developmental goal. Whatever happens, the Lagos State Government must maintain investor confidence, to be able to enter into future infrastructure concessions. Therein might lay its infrastructure salvation, in a skewed federal Nigeria that lands Lagos with extra responsibilities, but not the cash to carry the burden.
The fish question •Banning food importation is a good goal but fails to tackle the basic problem of agriculture
EWS of an imminent ban on the importation of fish by the Federal Government has again exposed worrying policy issues in the country’s agricultural sector. The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr. Akinwunmi Adesina, represented by the Federal Director of Fisheries, Mrs. Foluke Areola, at the inauguration of the Special Growth Enhancement Support Scheme for Fisheries and the Aquaculture Value Chain, in Ado-Ekiti, Ekiti State, said the planned move was in line with the government’s Agricultural Transformation Agenda. It is precisely such appeal to authority, in this case the administration’s publicised programme, which is a cause for concern. Regrettably, there has been much talk about transformation, but little or nothing to show for it. According to the minister, the country has no business importing fish, given its vast natural and renewable resources. Interestingly, the issue of agricultural self-sufficiency is an old song, but words are simply not enough. It is noteworthy that a ban on importation of rice is also on the cards, and a director in the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Mr. Adebisi Buhari, was recently quoted as saying that this would happen next year to enhance local production. It is a shame that the country depends on others to feed its population, and government officials find it easier to speak of stopping food imports than taking concrete steps to address the question of poor agricultural production in a country that is richly endowed with land and water.
Only last week, a fascinating incident on Alpha Beach in Lagos perhaps mirrored the impoverishment of the people, not only in material terms, but also in a nutritional sense. A crowd descended on a dead whale that had been washed ashore, and many desperately cut pieces of the aquatic mammal, most likely for food. In another disturbing case that hinted at the local under-exploitation of water resources, the Federal Department of Fisheries (FDF) recently raised an alarm over the planned illegal introduction of “a strange fish species” into the country by an Asian firm. The logical conclusion here is that the unidentified company saw a business opportunity, in the light of fish demand and supply in the country. Who is to blame for the lacuna? It was evidence of this deficiency that the agriculture minister, while projecting his transformation vision, said, “The value chains are to create an enabling environment for increased and sustainable production of over one million tonnes of fish within the next four years, generate employment and pursue gradual reduction of fish imports.” He spoke of a four-year implementation plan that would boost the annual production of fingerlings in the country by 1.25 billion tonnes. While this gradualism is sensible, it is pertinent to note that there is nothing sacrosanct about the plan, which can always be overturned by another administration, if not reviewed in the course of implementation. It is such possibilities and the negative implications for a conclusive agricultural production policy for the country that
are particularly troubling. Evidently, the country would benefit greatly from a revolution in agriculture, and there is no doubt that political will is a key consideration. However, the desired result can be achieved not by focusing on production alone, but also by paying serious attention to the equally important factor of storage and preservation. For example, it is no secret that in the country’s Middle Belt, which is generally regarded as a “food basket,” unquantifiable farm produce rot because of bad storage and preservation. Additionally, an effective supply and distribution infrastructure is an indispensable requirement. It goes without saying that providing food security for the people, specifically in terms of availability and affordability, constitutes an important aspect of good governance.
‘It is a shame that the country depends on others to feed its population, and government officials find it easier to speak of stopping food imports than taking concrete steps to address the question of poor agricultural production in a country that is richly endowed with land and water’
• Only spoilers win if Barclays shuts shop for remittances
HERE will be many losers if, at the end of this month, Barclays enforces its decision to close shop for the Somali money transfer agencies holding accounts with the bank. Barclays is the last of the UK banks to respond with such caution to stringent anti-money laundering regulation introduced since 9/11. Because it has been, until now, the only bank willing to continue risking sanction, the remittances it handles have become a vital lifeline for Somalis. Diaspora Somalis send about $1.3bn back home every year, roughly $500m of which comes from the UK. This is the only source of income for many Somalis. In the absence of a functioning banking system, aid agencies depend on the transfer agencies to get cash to where it is needed. Moreover, cash transfers, according to research to be published this week by Britain’s Overseas Development Institute, have been more effective than food aid in saving lives during recent famines, and are less likely to be diverted. Yet Somali agencies, which use an innovative system of trust to transfer funds, are being punished for the tiny fraction of clients who use their services to finance terrorism and launder ill-gotten gains. Barclays cannot be blamed for throwing in the towel. Ensuring that all the money it handles is clean is next to impossible. Non-compliance with antimoney laundering laws carries the risk of heavy penalties, as HSBC learnt when it was fined $1.9bn last year. Barclays has extended its deadline for closing the Somali accounts to the end of September. It should extend again to allow time for governments, aid agencies and transfer agencies to work together to find an alternative. In the interim, the onus will be on the UK and other European governments to engage more effectively with the US to ensure that the application of the US Patriot and Bank Secrecy Acts, and the 2010 Executive Order on Somalia, do not have such dire, if unintended, consequences. As things stand, hundreds of thousands of Somalis will lose their only source of income, remittances will be driven underground where benevolent funding will be even harder to distinguish from illicit flows, and Barclays’ reputation will take a hit. The aid agencies and western governments attempting to strengthen Somalia’s fragile recovery after 22 years of civil war will also be deprived of an essential tool for promoting stability. It is hard to imagine a greater victory for those in Somalia attempting to spoil the peace. – Financial Times
TRUTH IN DEFENCE OF FREEDOM Managing Director/Editor-in-Chief Victor Ifijeh • Editor Gbenga Omotoso •Chairman, Editorial Board Sam Omatseye •General Editor Adekunle Ade-Adeleye •Editor, Online Lekan Otufodunrin •Managing Editor Northern Operation Yusuf Alli •Managing Editor Waheed Odusile
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THE NATION WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 4, 2013
CARTOON & LETTERS
IR: One of the many disadvantages of the rainy season is the upsurge in Malaria cases. It is like a time of the year when dead mosquitoes arise to take revenge on the humans that killed them. Malaria in Nigeria, according to the Nigerian Ministry of Health (MoH), is responsible for 60 percent of out-patient visits to health facilities; 30 percent of childhood deaths; 25 percent of deaths in children under one year; and 11 percent of maternal deaths. The disease is directly contributing to poverty, low productivity, and reduced school attendance in Nigeria. For a country with a population of about 120 million, results show that Nigeria loses about N880,801 million per annum representing about 12 percent of our Gross Domestic Product. Hence, malaria bur-
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Rains and the upsurge in malaria cases den in Nigeria is enormous and has a devastating impact on economic growth. Methods used to prevent malaria include medications, mosquito elimination and the prevention of bites. Here’s where mosquito nets come to play. Mosquito nets create a protective barrier against malaria-carrying mosquitoes that bite at night, they help keep mosquitoes away from people and significantly reduce infection rates and transmis-
sion of malaria. Nets are often treated with an insecticide designed to kill the mosquito before it has time to find a way past the net. Insecticide-treated nets are estimated to be twice as effective as untreated nets and offer greater than 70% protection compared with no net but when purchasing a mosquito net, you should still ask for the treated one as some are not treated. Anti-malaria drugs have been known to work effectively in malaria prevention, so go to the doc-
tor for medications even if you are well and feeling healthy, complete your dosage so as not to give malaria a chance. When temporarily visiting malaria-endemic areas, it is adviced to begin taking anti-malaria medication prescribed by your doctor one to two weeks before arriving. Before you to go to sleep, apply insecticides in your home, do not be in the room when the insecticide is still strong and close your doors and windows early in the
Demolition of Mokola flyover barrier
IR: My heart bled recently when I heard the news of the demolishing of the barrier on the flyover constructed by the government of Oyo State in Ibadan. I worked in Ibadan as a federal civil servant for 35 years, retiring in 2010 and leaving the state for Ekiti State, my home state. The Oyo State that we knew between 2003 and 2011 was a state of fear and anguish, where you needed ‘intelligence report’ about the different areas of the state capital before you set out in the morning. Gangsters and violent people took over virtually everywhere, with governments said to be supporting some of the miscreants. The state capital was unusually dirty throughout this period and the state secretariat, built by Chief Obafemi Awolowo, was a shadow of itself. I was in Ibadan a few months ago and saw the wonders of transformation. I am not a politician but I think we should be man enough to commend whoever is transforming the environment. Not only is the
state capital very clean and beautiful now, I was impressed by the infrastructural renewal going on. I could, for example, hardly recognize Magazine Road, Agbarigo Road, Eleyele Road and even the Challenge Interchange! Of all these wonders in the new Oyo State, the one that was the most magnificent to behold is the new Mokola Bridge. The bridge is an architectural masterpiece that has
indeed transformed the state capital. When I now read in the newspapers that some miscreants were commissioned to demolish the barrier of the bridge, I was afraid that the enemies of progress who had been responsible for the comatose nature of the state are at work. If Oyo State returns to that era of filth and bloodshed, Yorubaland is done for, for Ibadan is the political capital of the Yoruba people.
I call on President Goodluck Jonathan to summon security agencies to Oyo State and apprehend the culprits responsible for the demolition of the barrier. If care is not taken, one day, they will bring diggers and caterpillars to demolish what, for now, is the advertisement of the arrival of Oyo State on the development scene. • Ademola Kumapayi, Igosun Road, Ado-Ekiti.
evening to prevent mosquitoes from coming in. Remember to fumigate your house at least once in a year. In the home, cover areas of stagnant, still water, such as water tanks that are ideal breeding grounds for the parasite and mosquito. Every pregnant woman should take the prevention of malaria seriously as it is the major cause of stillbirths so when feeling any sign of malaria, go to the doctor immediately for treatment and avoid areas where malaria and mosquitoes are present if you are at higher risk; and remember, flu and malaria have almost the same symptoms so don’t confuse the symptoms with the flu and neglect the doctor’s visitation. The prevention of diseases should be a major focus of any country seeking development. A friend in the United Kingdom was diagnosed with malaria and had to be quarantined for a week, she was in a confined space and visitors had to wear masks before coming in to see her, which goes to highlight how important the disease is been treated in the UK. The rainy season is good but we all have to work around the disadvantages it brings with it like malaria. • Adetola Ojo National Emergency Management Agency, Abuja.
Abuja General Hospital and expired drugs IR: One of my friends visited the General Hospital Maitama, Abuja after series of complaints about his health. After examination by the doctor, he was given a list of drugs to buy. He went to the hospital’s pharmacy and purchased the drugs as instructed by the doctor. He is to take those drugs for 30 days. This is where I don’t understand: he has taken these drugs for
14 days and the drugs are going to expire within nine days, that is, before the 30 days given to him to use the drugs. If he goes ahead to take the remaining ones after the expiry date, what is the guarantee that the drugs will still be effective? Sometime last year, I encountered a woman who visited General Hospital Nyanya, Abuja. She was given some drugs that had
only two days before their expiry date and she was to take these drugs for 16 days. Was that right? I am not a medical doctor that is why I am asking all these questions. Let us be honest, if you are to choose between drugs that have even a month before the expiry date and the one that has a complete year before it expire, which one would you go for? I call on the Director General of
National Agency for Food and Drugs Administration Control (NAFDAC), Dr. Paul Orhii to be monitoring drugs in the government hospitals as well; he should not restrict monitoring activities to those hospitals, clinics and pharmacies owned by the private individuals. • Awunah Pius Terwase Mpape, Abuja.
THE NATION WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 4, 2013
Burning desire; Ajayi O; ‘Yililo’; Checkpoint; Railway; Petrol well; Galaxy S4 Ad; Dangote Refinery
HY is Nigeria’s political leadership, so devilishly nasty when there are simple solutions to the suffering and ‘belt tightenTony ing’? These solutions Marinho are available and demonstrated by a few credit-worthy leaders. The Nigerian citizen has received since independence ‘dividends of a desperate democracy and malicious military intervention’ amounting to N1 in every N100 available. This is why most of Nigeria is still in the 19th century in water, health et cetera. Where is the burning desire to serve? We know about the burning desire to steal Nigeria blind. But if the politicians, officials and civil servants had a burning desire to serve for just one year 2013-2014 as an ‘Amalgamation Centenary Gift’ would Nigeria’s naira be toilet paper? There is a saying that your funeral will not be judged by how many family and associates who attend but by how many strangers attend because you improved their lives. Where is the burning desire to serve? The good are too few to make a difference to the wretched lives of the nation’s citizens whose lives are further endangered through murder by police, note late murdered Ajayi Oladokun of Ikorodu. Have you heard of Mr Gregory Muonyililo reportedly ‘arrested’ for filming checkpoint police? Greg has the right, like tourists, to film on the open streets. It is only when all, tourist and citizen, brandish cell phones and record corruption and intimidation that the ‘uniform’ will respect human rights. Such secret recording can be called ‘To Greg it’ or to ‘yililo’ it. Mr Muonyililo has a burning desire to serve and deserves MON. Where is the burning desire to serve in you? To great national applause, IGP Abubakar banned checkpoints but they are back. Sadly nothing good lasts in Nigeria. Checkpoints are back with a vengeance in-
HERE are adventures and there are adventures. It all depends on the mindset and conception. Perhaps, for Daniel Ricky Ohikhena, who was recently arrested at the Lagos Airport after flying in the tyre hole of an Arik plane from Benin to Lagos, it was a risky, costly and suicidal adventure. The initial report of the incident said the boy told his interrogators that he was being maltreated and tried to escape from his parents. He thought the plane was on its way to the United States of America. He was wrong. Instead, the plane landed in Lagos and he was promptly handed over to security agents for investigation. Since then, the blame game had been on full throttle. Yakubu Dati, the General Manager, Corporate Communications, Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, FAAN, said the aviation security personnel of the agency had no option than to hand over the young voyager to the men of the State Security Service, SSS, for extensive investigation. Dati said the nature and circumstances surrounding the crime informed the agency’s decision, adding that the agency had, “in the meantime, adopted risk amelioration processes to safeguard flight operations and ensure that a similar incident does not occur.” However, FAAN has continued to trade blame with Arik Air over the incident. Dati said FAAN was “unfairly indicted” while the airline took no responsibility whatsoever for such a “serious security breach.” Giving the accounts of its preliminary findings, FAAN said, “Our investigations reveal that a passenger on board the flight called the attention of the cabin crew while the air-
cluding a near permanent checkpoint in Ibadan at Bodija SS Peter and Paul even on Sundays. Is this one legal? We sympathise with the Police for the death of four police during the Ozehkome Affair and others on active duty. No amount of money will bring the murdered police men back alive to their bereaved wives and children. We are all equal before God, escort and escorted! The killing of security and escorts is callous when we are not at war with each other. The NSCDC’s arrest of people with a petrol-contaminated well in their compound is odd as it is clear that the matter had been reported to both the police and the NNPC before the NSCDC intervened. The man in charge, interviewed on Channels TV, who alleged reporter ‘bias’ needs to be disciplined. His comments should go viral like ‘the oga at the top’. NSCDC must, if found wrong, pay compensation for defamation and wrongful arrest. There is no landlord or tenant with children who will dig a well to bring petrol or live near a well highly with petrol. I expected NSCDC to be more worried about prevention of catastrophe, like the Jesse explosion, than ‘playing to the gallery’ arrests. A uniform and a few laws do not make one God but make one seek to serve better. Or did the NSCDC suspect the DPO and NNPC of collusion with the landlord? How long ago was the well dug? When was petrol first smelt or drawn? Has anyone been identified drawing water from the well and distilling the petrol for profit or use? The answers to these simple questions will confirm or exclude criminal intent. Attention: Advertising Commission. The Samsung Galaxy S4 advert humiliating an individual who stammers must be shut down as an insult. Stammering is not joke, but a socio-medical issue and should not be trivialised for public ridicule. So at last the Northern elite have approved railways for Nigeria. As those same elite destroyed the railways 40 years ago, and kept the railway suppressed in favour of trailers, tankers. Ask Buhari and Babangida about Jakande Rail if you have forgotten. For the trailer business to thrive nationwide, the Northern elite instituted a
national policy that the railways had to die. In fact rather than develop Apapa Port already fed by railway into a giant international port, government decided to move the new development to Tin Can Island which was only to be fed by road and trailers and not by railways thus guaranteeing trailer livelihood and Nigerian transport downfall for 50 years. Anyone used to Apapa Tin Can Island road will know the 4-10 hours delays and havoc caused by trailers for 40 years. This is the legacy of the anti-railway policy of federal governments for 40 years. It is such a pity that the same people who destroyed the railways are now using rejuvenated railways as dividends of democracy for electioneering. Nigerians should know that Nigeria’s Lagos port faced de-listing from international ports for not having ‘Railway Evacuation of Containers’. Who will accept responsibility for the 40 years of suffering? We need 100kph trains. Dangote is setting up a refinery in Nigeria and needs 400,000bpd. Remember that all the other private refinery attempts died because Nigeria refused to guarantee them the required 20-100,00bpd/ refinery. Obviously Dangote has got his guarantee. Will most of the 100 fractionated products be exported or made available locally? Dangote’s track record in flour, cement had sugar have led to outrageous price increases overburdening the masses, so what hope have we for costs of fuel and by-products of the Dangote Refinery?
‘IGP Abubakar banned checkpoints but they are back. Sadly nothing good lasts in Nigeria. Checkpoints are back with a vengeance including a near permanent checkpoint in Ibadan at Bodija SS Peter and Paul even on Sundays. Is this one legal?’
Daniel, the ‘Hollywood’ boy craft was waiting to take off at the threshold of the runway to the effect that they had seen a young boy walk under the aircraft and had not seen him re-appear on the other side. The cabin crew in turn informed the pilots in the cockpit about this. The pilots called the control tower and asked it to request FAAN to do a sweep of the area after their departure, opting to carry on with their flight despite the report. Upon the arrival of the aircraft in Lagos, we were informed that there had been a stowaway found alive alighting from the wheel well of the aircraft. In its own reaction, Arik blamed FAAN for the huge breach in security, noting that the incessant cases of security breaches at the nation’s airport had become a major source of concern to the airline. The airline wondered how the teenager beat the aviation security personnel at the Benin Airport to get to the runway. It said its pilot had reported to the control tower the presence of a strange boy in the bush about 200 – 300 metres at the end of the runway before leaving the airport. The captain was said to have been informed that the situation was under control and that he had been cleared for take-off. While the controversy raged, Evelyn, the mother of the boy, appeared on the scene. She said her son was a nice boy who never displayed any tendency for such a dangerous venture. The embattled mother said Daniel was a nice boy who did not mingle with bad friends. She said she was on a visit
‘The bottom line is that Daniel needs help. So also is the family, while the security agents on duty in Benin on that day should face the music’
to her elder sister who had just put to bed when the incident happened. It was when she got home the following day that she could not find the boy. The only answer she got upon her enquiries on his whereabouts was that the daughter told her that they quarrelled in the night because Daniel woke up at midnight to watch movies. Daniel eventually slept in the sitting room. One of his younger brothers also said he saw Daniel remove all his school books from his bag. Her neighbours then told her that, at around 5 to 6 am of the fateful day, they heard sounds that somebody was opening the gate but never thought it was Daniel. The mother maintained that Daniel doesn’t go out. “What I know is that he is always watching films in the house but he doesn’t have friends. He is always at home; I have never seen anybody come to look for him and he doesn’t have friends.” Now let us look at the whole tragic-comedy this way. In these days of insurgency and bomb blasts all over the place, if that boy was carrying a bomb, it means he would have succeeded in blowing up the plane and all the passengers on board, including himself. Or if he had carefully dropped the lethal ware in the tyre hole and walked away, he would have caused an explosion of a catastrophic proportion. The question now is: how can somebody be in an aircraft without being detected? This shows that we have a serious security problem. For a teenager like Daniel, gaining access to the airport at all from a bush path was a fait accompli. Although he thought that the plane was headed for the US, he ‘boarded’ effortlessly and came out of it successfully, unscarred. Others before him were not so lucky. In 2010, Emeka Okechukwu Okeke, a desperate young Nigerian, who tried to
smuggle himself to the United States, died in the tyre compartment of a Delta Airlines aircraft. His corpse was discovered on arrival in New York. Okeke sneaked into the place at Lagos airport. That was not all. In 2012, the dead body of a young, male Nigerian was also discovered in the wheel well, the undercarriage compartment of a domestic airline, after it returned from South Africa. It is needless for both Arik and FAAN to continue to trade blames over the incident. What about the plethora of other security agents at that airport? I mean the SSS, the Police, the Air Force and the rest of them. Where were their personnel during the boy’s daring stroll into a tyre hole? One disturbing thing is that, watching all manners of movies has become a major pastime of youths today. The other is playing games on television. The other day, I had a running battle with my son, a Senior Secondary School 3 student who was completely engrossed in playing some Nintendo games even at the heat of his final exams. Thank God that he came out well in the exams but it shows the depth of distraction that parents nowadays have to cope with in order to bring their children into line. Daniel may have been good at watching Hollywood movies. Hollywood is where you come across that type of derring-do. There is no doubt that Daniel is a talented young lad. But his adventure may be predicated on the discomfort which abject poverty has thrown the family into. It is doubtful if in that environment, he could realise his dreams. The young boy wants to go to America where he believes everything flows. Yes, there are opportunities in America. But as a black man, although Barack Obama rose to become the President of the most
Dele Agekameh powerful nation in the world, how many black presidents will come after him? How and when? If you are hard-working, America provides you with all you need to reach the top. But many are there too who are barely existing on credit cards and other government largess. So, the likes of Daniel should not think that to make it in life, all you need is to package yourself in a tyre hole and dash to America. There is more to the Eldorado in America. You pay dearly for it. I will suggest that the relevant government agencies, and publicspirited organisations and individuals should see to the plight of Daniel and his family. He took the risk for a better tomorrow. That tomorrow should be made possible for him. The mother said she was so passionate about her children’s education. Now we have not heard any word from the father. I guess he is away in ‘Siberia’, ‘missing in action’, or marooned somewhere. The bottom line is that Daniel needs help. So also is the family, while the security agents on duty in Benin that day should face the music. It is one security breach too many! Send reactions to: 08058354382 (SMS only)
THE NATION WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 4, 2013
COMMENTS ‘It is particularly painful that our National Assembly is still confused on what to do with the spurious document called the ‘1999 Constitution’. All the dishonest amendments on the document cannot stand the test of time. We all know that the American presidential system is admirable, but if Nigeria wants American type of constitution and democracy, the thing to do is not to start deceiving ourselves all over again but to ‘import’ Americans to put us through. Our law makers should stop beating about the bush’ fective or sacrosant the constitution might be, and not the flawlessness of the constitution per se. From Emmanuel Egwu For Olatunji Dare
For Segun Gbadegesin Re: “Not a task for the self-serving.” I am opposed to Sovereign National Conference and National Conference. With love, we could pass our amendable issues to our National Assembly. Mark could not have been autocratic to mates. He had the duty to listen, moderate and take decision on vital issues to amend. The lawmakers are selfserving since they approved pensions for their leaders and deputies. They also failed to accept local government autonomy. However, there is nothing wrong in amending the Constitution; what is wrong is the dishonest amendment that took vital things out of the existing piece. Next time, rather than giving such an assignment to the selfserving lawmakers, it could be handed over, to any political consultant to review. From Lanre Oseni “The return of Suntai”. Honestly, the man is unfit to govern the state going by what I saw on television and national dailies. From Azubuike Ekeh, Owerri You have been a consistent uplifter of our awareness of human rights. Please, continue to educate us on our liberal democracy and federalism rights. I have known you by proxy. From Col. Tony Nyiam (rtd) Dear Segun, your piece on Mark is light to our blind, cowardly and dishonest leaders. In Nigeria, it is a class war that is playing out. From A. T. Mozie, University of Nigeria, Nsukka With reference to your article in The Nation of August 30, 2013, I wish to point out that Senator Mark was an inner caucus member of the military elite who annuled the June 12, 1993 election. Either by fair or foul means, he is now a member of the political elite. He is suffering from the hangover of his military background. He is neither a lawyer nor an intellectual. He is only looking at issues from a very narrow angle. He is obviously enjoying privileges not available to 99.9 per cent of Nigerians. The patriots spoke wisely. We need a sovereign national conference. Anonymous Thanks for the logic of Mark! What must be done is to bring to the awareness of Nigerians the need for a referendum on “Should we have a new constitution?” This should solve the problem of getting the people covering the required sovereignty. I know this can have the desired impact on the people of Nigeria to rise and demand for it. God bless you. From Dr. Iwuagwu, Port Harcourt Much as the 1999 Constitution is dotted with defects and some irrelevant postulations and with calls for a new one that will reflect the yearnings and aspirations of Nigerians across tribes, it is impotant to note that the attitudinal change of the operators or the state managers of the existing order is of utmost concern to Nigerians in the entire arangement. No written constitution, however, sacrosant, empirical knowledge comfirms, can work if the operators are antipopulist and corrupt; whereas an imperfect constitution can even make a headway in meeting the aspiration of the people with visionary and purposeful leaders as the operators. Either way, it is the attitude of those whom it would always fall on to operate the constitution, in a given period, that actually holds the key to our advancement in this country, no matter how functional, de-
It is particularly painful that our National Assembly is still confused on what to do with the spurious document called the 1999 Constitution. All the dishonest amendments on the document cannot stand the test of time. We all know that the American presidential system is admirable, but if Nigeria wants the American type of constitution and democracy, the thing to do is not to start deceiving ourselves all over again but to ‘import’ Americans to put us through. Our law makers should stop beating about the bush. From O. O. Adegoke, Ikhin, Edo State As our lawmakers are reviewing the military constitution, let the new constitution reflect the yearnings of Nigerians. We want people-oriented constitution that will move the nation forward. From Gordon Chika Nnorom, Umukabia, Abia state Why was this fact that the National Assembly lacked the power to review the constitution not canvassed at the inception of the execise or why are the civil organisations not taking action to stop it? What is the way forward now that we have seen that these people are serving themselves? From Akparawa S. Innoh, Calabar The president of the Senate said they were tricked into voting in favour of child marriage, that sounds funny; may be their attention was divided because there was no money involved. Some senators might be sleeping during the session because a sleeping mind will endorse anything, either good or bad, since there is nothing to share on the table. I urge David Mark to urgenly make provision for the next sitting so that all the senators will vote according to their pocket. From Hamza Ozi Momoh, Apapa, Lagos Without doubt, I affirm your opinion that Nigeria needs a new constitution to address the shortcomings in the rag-tag document forced on us by the military, to give our beloved nation a sense of porpuse, direction and a future. For that remains the only way we, as a people, can compete among the comity of nations. And not the haphazard window dressing method the National Assembly is using in the name of constitution amendment. From James Anjor-ikom Sir, David Mark must be joking by saying the Senate was “tricked” on account of Section 29. Who tricked them? Obviously, it is not Yerima that tricked them. From Martins, Asaba For Olakunle Abimbola Your write-up “Again, Sege talks the talk” is a very good one and you are right. If Nigeria is to be great and attain it’s manifest destiny in the comity of nations, the present generation of leaders must shun Obasanjo, all what he stands for and his empty rhetorics. With this, they and the Nigerian State will be free, then Obasanjo would embrace his fate in history. Hopefully, very soon the best in our nation will be ruling us. Thanks! From S. R. Omotayo, Shomolu Lagos Abimbola, the Ijaws have shown us that no matter how bad your person is, he should always be above board. That is why, to them, Goodluck Jonathan is as infallible as the Pope even though he is so far the worst occupier of Aso Rock Villa. Obasanjo’s most acerbic critics are the Yoruba. I know that your level of education will not allow you to celebrate mediocrity like the Ijaws, but that is the trend now. Let, therefore, OBJ be. From Kwaghfan, Makurdi
For Gbenga Omotoso It is very unfortunate that Suntai’s wife prefers power and money to her husband’s health and peace of mind. He should resign and write his name in golde. From Joe Agah, Makurdi If the man was able to physically address the people of the state last night, why so concerned about his condition of health? If he says he is ready to return to work, why not wait and see if he is insincere? Afterall, is there any governor in Nigeria today who is 100 per cent healthy? Anonymous I am afraid that the acclaimed, good for nothing people are playing with the intelligent people of Taraba State. From Ken, Owerri This is another way of exhibiting our insincerity. Let Suntai subject himself to the Medical Board to prove his fitness and health. Anonymous Those people trying to block Danbaba Suntai from taking office are disappointed that he survived the accident. They should remember that it can happen to anybody, including them. They should stop creating unnecessary tension in Taraba State for their selfish interest. From Kassem, Jos The return of Suntai like in the era of the cabal that held the country by the jugular during the times of the late President Umaru Yar’Adua are at it again. Since it is a Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) state, he will continue to enjoy the cover-up to the detriment of the people, by the interest group which is bent on benefiting from his health situation. Allowing him to recuperate outside power will be better than the ill-advised motive to cling to power. God save him! Anonymous We, in the military and paramilitary, believe in loyalty. If Suntai’s deputy is loyal, he should assist him to run the government not to take over through backdoor. How are we sure there is no sabotage in the crash going by recent desperation? From Esan, Osogbo We all know Suntai is not yet capable. He may not even be aware of the gravity of what he is doing as he may be acting out a written script. We all could see that he read from a paper. To Mrs. Suntai, do not tell us your husband who could not wave well at the airport and was supported down the jet is now the one drafting and dissolving his cabinet. From Richard Ebuka Umezurike, Ado-Ekiti I love your sense of being your brother’s keeper but why not leave Suntai alone. It is always said among the Yoruba that a dog that is destined to get lost will never hear the hunters’ whistle. If he wants to die let him do please. From F. T. Odugbemi, State Of Osun Daniel’s attitude and recent behaviour justify the level of neglect of our children due to parents’ carefree attitude to their children. The films Daniel watched and put into practice were provided at home. He then felt it was wise to practise them than to study because he was on holiday. He deserves to be remanded in a reformatory home until he is 20. This will teach others like him a lesson. His teacher should be invited. I presume Daniel does not stay in the classroom to learn. Let the parents provide his report sheet. He may be a stubborn child. Anonymous I really enjoyed reading your piece, “Daniel goes to Lagos”. While I agree with you that Daniel should be allowed to return to his parents to continue “dreaming”, I also feel that such a boy deserves to be treated as a special talent with huge potential. I have a hunch that he is no ordinary kid and should therefore be specially monitored to ensure that he does not end up a waste like
others with great talents and potential. We all know that Nigeria has a great track record for wasting talents. From Bola Olugbade, Saapade-Remo, Ogun State For Tunji Adegboyega Re: ‘The comic tragedy in Taraba’ (The Nation on Sunday, September 1). What I could not understand is why Suntai has been hellbent on ruling. A three-year-old child knows that the governor remains unfit to continue to govern as his being unwell is too pronounced. Coming back home is not sufficient proof that he can now govern. To worsen matters, he sacked his SSG and Chief of Staff. Are they responsible for his plight? His arrival was just to meet our constitutional requirement of saving his job and not necessarily to govern. The legislators are right. From Lanre Oseni Tunji, you are becoming a “notorious” satirist. Maybe you should be writing for the depressed and hypertensive patients to relieve them of their situation. Anyway, I admire you. From Yemi Ilori, Oye-Ekiti, Ekiti State. I like reading your Sunday articles in The Nation because we reason alike most of the time. Your piece on Taraba State governor is so funny that I laughed and laughed. I had to read it over again. It was a wonderful piece and I enjoyed your angle to the matter. Though funny, I never missed the message you are passing across. From Femi, Ijebu-Ode. Cabals in the news again! How could a governor who doesn’t speak well rule? Let us call a spade a spade; the man is not yet fit! Let the truth be told; with what Nigerians saw when he was coming down from the aircraft, Suntai is not okay. He should resign honourably on health grounds to take care of himself. We should not allow the international community to laugh at us with the drama in Taraba. It is very embarrassing and uncalled - for for the cabal to seek to restore him for their selfish interests. We pray and wish the governor quick recovery. From Gordon Chika Nnorom, Umukabia, Abia State. Great piece! Your apt title, ‘The comic tragedy in Taraba’ says it all. Yar’Adua was a tragi-comedy because it ended happily. But I wager my insurance certificate this one (starting on a comic note) will not, not in the PDP diarchy. From Chux Omessah. Tunji, I have always had cause to warn you not to write satire. Undiscerning readers will not know the difference. But the article is very funny. From Tony Esho. Thanks for your realistic “Nigerians as Praying Mantis” on August 25. From Ben. Tunji, a time is fast approaching in this country when man will start praying to God to help them by giving them direction on how best to loot more of the country’s money and how to spend it. We continue to mock ourselves … but God is watching! Thanks for the write-up. From Simon Oladapo, Ogbomoso. Re: “Nigerians as Praying Mantis”. Long before now, once issues cropped up, be they religious, political, social or economic, it was always recourse to prayers. That was to dissuade us from resolving the problems fundamentally. Prayers work in countries that are devoid of injustice, corruption, embezzlement, indiscipline and other vices. Here, stubborn sore requires toughened medication … When shall we make vehicles with prayers?
THE NATION WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 4, 2013
The Midweek Magazine E-mail:- email@example.com
Text only: 08023058761
‘Reckless African politicians’ days are numbered’ – Page 26
Getting the right price for artworks – Page 28
Minister demands global respect for Nigerians – Page 37
•The late Peter Obe
‘He lived photography to the fullest’
– SEE STORY ON PAGE 28
THE NATION WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 4, 2013
The Midweek Magazine
Civilisation has its good and bad sides. One of its downsides is the gradual disconnection of Africa with its oral traditions and norms. Kenyan scholar and Professor of Literature in the University of Nairobi Chris Wanjala opines that a neo-renaissance is inevitable. Wanjala, literary critic, creative writer and researcher, speaks on how Kenya is positioning itself on the global map in the face of globalisation and global culture, warning leaders of complacency. EVELYN OSAGIE met him.
‘Reckless African politicians’ days are numbered’
O you think literature has the ability to curb violence? African leaders have something to learn from the Arab spring because in a country like ours, people are more radical than the politicians. People are more critical of corruption, about the demand for democracy, gender issues and violence. This shows that as long as people are ahead of the leaders, politicians have to know that their days are numbered. If people are more radical than the politicians, they would overtake them like Tunisia and Egypt where they have no patience for reckless politicians. Anything can happen. You founded the Kenyan Oral Literature Association. What inspired it? It was founded in 1986 after working as the Director of the Institute of African Studies at the University of Nairobi where I was involved in research in oral literature and tradition,going around the country collecting oral literature materials. My background before then had been on written literature. The Oral Literature Association was formed to bring together people who were interested in the promotion of unwritten literature. Even though Iseized being its chairman in 1990 it is thriving and continues till date. You are an advocate of safeguarding documentation of the oral tradition. How come? Growing up in the countryside with a grandfather and grandmother, I became abreast with our oral traditions which was an informal education that got me ready for the man I became. Such education helps childrento inherit moral values and norms of society that would shape their worldview and adult life. This is because most traditional stories and proverbs end with a moral tag,which is part of the moral education that a child inherits and grows up with,in which you are taught about the rule of cause and effect. Before we were told that African Philosophy is imperia. This, of course, was propaganda to make our cultural values inferior so that we become tamed and manageable. What did the Kenyans do to reverse this trend? The entire freedom movement, such as the Maumau wars advocated going back to and celebrate the African culture and values. And it was not only in Kenya: the Pan-Africanist movements all advocated it.Jomo Kenyatta, for example, wrote a whole book celebrating African culture entitled: Facing Mount Kenya. And that book was part of his programme to free his people from the lies the colonialists told of our culture. Even here in West Africa, there wereKweme Nkrumah (Ghana), Edward Blyden who wrote books critiquing western education by trying to show that Africans had their own form of education,as I cited in my case, which helped the development of society. And just like in those days, I think an intellectual movement is very much desirable in the entire continent which tries to show the uniqueness and potentials that our traditional institutions hold. And I must say that African scholars like Nigerian Professor of History, Prof Alagoa and Prof G.G.Darahhave spent and committed their lives researching into. So much so that whoever have talked about the liberation of or liberty in Africahave had to go back to their tradition to empower themselves. And Nigeria has always been an inspiration in our resolve towards promoting our cultural heritage. How come? Nigeria has had a cultural policy for a long time, according to Prof Darah, since the 60s, but Kenya only rectified its in 2010. That means that we didn’t have something to guide us. But now we had it and happen to sat on the committee that formedit. I think the revolution is gradually being complete. In the past, there have been all kinds of movements to liberate Kenyans from neo-slavery which has to do with that of the mind but they were not empowered constitutionally. Now, we can see our culture being reflected in our cultural policy and the constitution since we have a new constitution governing cultural activities in Kenya. How did Kenyan literature fight back against neo-colonialism? Atthe conference of the Nigerian Oral Literature Association (NOLA) in Ibadan,I focused on the philosophy of defining African Literature as a vehicle of African Philosophy,while enumerating the kind of work that is being done in Kenya and East Africa at large in promoting anddocumenting the oral traditions, especially the oral literature. In my paper, Documentation of Kenyan Oral Literature, I said since we changed the syllabus in the 70s, we have been deliberately documenting our own oral literature. And the movement has helped to strengthen the place of oral literature in the university curricula because we also deliberately created that change in secondary schools: so from form one
to university up to PhD that orientation has taken form.This was made possible through the Department of Literature that helped us to redefine literature; Kenyan Institute of Education, Institute of African Studies which is basically involved in studying indigenous cultures and Bomosa Kenyan where local dances of different communities are performed. How was it achieved? In 1973, when I was a lecturer in the Department of English Literature,the University of Nairobi, and Wa’Thiongo our new HOD, we argued that we cannot go on studying English Literature at the expense of our own literature; and thereby celebrating values that make the African inferior. So, we not only changed the syllabus but the department’sname from “English Literature” to just “Literature” because it gave us the freedom to study not only English Literature but African Literature. And we de-emphasised English Literature by putting Oral Literature at the core of our studies. And then, we also put the Literature of Africa at the second level of emphasis and then the third level was Literature of the Black experience, whether at home in Africa or in the diaspora. We were, then, free to study European Literature within the context of Literature of the rest of the world. That means that
‘And just like in those days, I think an intellectual movement is very much desirable in the entire continent which tries to show the uniqueness and potentials that our traditional institutions hold... Interestingly, in spite of the influence of the Internet, global culture and the craze about international football such as the UEFA League, they are rooted. They can do research in their own indigenous languages and translate their findings in English or into Swahili’
we could also study Asian, Australian, Russian and French Literature. And that gave us more scope and we began interacting with universities across the world, including Nigeria such as the University of Ife and some literary critics like AbiolaIrele, Kole Omotosho and others. They also caught up with that sentiment. University of Ife and University of Nigeria, Nsukkalso caught up with the approach of studies. And now the movement is all over the world. Now we are talking about Post-Colonial Literature which means we are decolonising the approaches that were there before the change. Did the cultural renaissance impact on the development of Science and Technology in Kenya? That has really empowered Kenyans. So the movement has helped the department of Swahili to teach African literature in translation. In teaching the technical subjects, the language remains English. But the content is ours. Our students are also to study works of other writers outside Africa. But the irony is that very few people go out. They are more interested in learning more about their culture vis-à-vis those of other Africans. Interestingly, in spite of the influence of the Internet, global culture and the craze about international football such as the UEFA League, they are rooted. They can do research in their own indigenous languages and translate their findings in English or into Swahili. People have overcome all the inhibitions: they are no longer trying to prove a point but are just doing it. And some books are in local languages but also we also give prominence to African literatures. For example, Achebe has been on the syllabus for years in secondary schools such as A Man of the People, Things Fall Apart… Do you have any translated into Swahili? Yes. Things Fall Apart has been translated into Swahili. It is called OkonkwoJuu da. Juu da means ‘hero’. And the emphasis is on Okonkwo as a hero. There is also Ai Kweh Amah’s The Beautiful Ones are not Yet Born available in translation. You advocated that scholars should go beyond lecturing their students to lecturing politicians on the potentials that oral tradition holds. Could you throw more light on that? With the cultural policy in place, we have been doing over the years that looked like a fight has now been normalised.But then we cannot just sit there and be complacent; we, as scholars, have to back it up with more research: by publishing books with local content and writing text•Contiinued on page 27
THE NATION WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 4, 2013
The Midweek Magazine
Howcreative How creative minds can be lifted
OVERNOR Ramalan Yero has said Kaduna State will continue to play a leading role as promoter of peace and harmony among Nigerians irrespective of tribe, religion or geographical divide. He spoke at the opening of the maiden inhouse exhibition of artworks by workers of the National Gallery of Art, at Hamdalla Hotel, Kaduna. He described art as a viable alternative workshop; a sweeter option to the devil’s workshop that has nothing to offer but destruction. “I assure you that we are all one in the service of the nation through art. We can use this medium in the promotion of our oneness using our various cultures,” he added. Chairman, Senate Committee on Tourism, Culture and National Orientation Senator Ahmed Hassan Barata, who chaired the event, said the exhibition reflected the practical side of these artists who are compelled to combine professionalism with their administrative responsibilities. He added that the exhibition titled From Within, is reflective of the realities of those creative products generated from within. “The generic capitalisation of art as an instrument of education comes to the front burner here as the artists have taken us through various segments of our national life–be it philosophical, economic, social or political. This reminds of our individual responsibility in the collective contribution of our quota to the transformation agenda of President Goodluck Jonathan-led Administration,” he noted. He hoped that the exhibition would expose the in-house artists to the mainstream art market, thus reflecting on the formidable presence of skilled, talented and trained artists in the public service. He however, urged the exhibiting artists not to be distracted from their primary work by the sway of financial inducement. According to him, ‘what better expectation can we then have other than turning the initiative into an annual ritual from which the artists can continue to oil the wheel of their art practice while benefitting immensely from the same on a yearly basis?’ For the Minister of Tourism, Culture and National Orientation, Chief Edem Duke said the exhibition would do more than create an interactive platform between the artists and the viewers, noting that it would also help promote professionalism at workplace and create synergy between official responsibility and individual creativity. “To visit this exhibition is to build appreciation for Niger-
•One of the works at the exhibition By Ozolua Uhakheme, Assistant Editor (Arts)
VISUAL ART ia’s creative spirit because you cannot come away from it without appreciating our artistic attributes as a people. The exhibition is therefore an invitation for Nigerians to celebrate with a sense of pride, the fact that they belong to a long, proud history of culture and artistic creativity,” Duke added. He assured that his ministry would continue to support initiatives such as the exhibition, not only to promote creative abilities but also to create hub for economic activities in the areas concerned. The Director-General National Gallery of Art, Mr. Abdullahi Muku, observed that since the establishment of the gallery over twenty years ago, there has been unfortunate neglect of in-house artists who are bona fide members of the Nigerian art community. The exhibition, he said, was designed to provide a solid platform of expression to the artists with a view to re-introducing them to the larger community of stakeholders while focusing on the possibility of
empowerment. “As is presently constituted with its workforce, the National Gallery of Art boasts of a considerable number of staff members who are artists. Due to the demands on their job or lack of zeal from others, most of them have abandoned art practice. I have also observed that one of the biggest challenges facing these civil servants/artists is the strain of combining art practice with official responsibilities. The cardinal objective of this project is to rejuvenate and harness the great potentials, rare skills, passion and the creative spirit of the said staff members. Theses potentials, if not harnessed, are bound to dissipate and filter away,” Muku said. Continuing, he said: “This show is a potpourri of creative and artistic contributions with various art works of different genres expressed in diverse styles and techniques. They are selected from all the outstations of the National Gallery of Art spread across the federation and the headquarters in Abuja. The exhibition offers an opportunity for wealth creation and encourages the Artist to take his/her art practice to the next level - irrespective of the challenges of his/her profession and career.”
‘Reckless African politicians’ days are numbered’ •Contiinued from page 26
books which reflect the new cultural awareness.And the duty is on scholars to do more because some of the communities do not have a well-written Orthography. Part of our assignment as Kenyan scholars is to cover every ethnic group and government should create cultural centres around the country like the National Theatre in Nigeria. Have you visited the theatre before? I was here in 1977 when we had FESTAC;it was built anew then and plays were being performed in so many places inside. It is ironic that there have been so many controversies around centre, especially in recent times even though I hear it is being refurbished. That is a tragedy, because that is what we were emulating. That is even a loss to us because we felt that is how we want to organise our own cultural institutions. This is where there is a tragedy because our leaders become even brainwashed than the people they are leading. In other words, they put so much value on economic issues where they get hand-outs from. If it is China coming to Africa, they want to please China. If it is America or Europe, they want to please America or Europe…that kind of recklessness is not good. That is where, we, as scholars have a responsibility, not only in educating our students but also ourleaders. I think that if we could educate more leaders they would come to appreciate the need to safeguard our culture; not only culture but the institutions that would help us to contain and promote that culture, then we are in business. But if after we have worked so hard and fail to preserve our cultural identity and lose the institutions that seek to pre-
serve and promote it, then we have lost it all and are losing a great deal. In England, they have a centre in Shakespeare’s home that has being promoting his plays from the time Shakespeare die. Some are advocating that a centre like that be built in honour of the late Achebe. Anytime you mention African Literature, you mention Chinua Achebe. They talk about Things Fall Apart as the African classic that put us on the global map. The man should be honoured forthwith without any doubt. And they should not wait for the outside world to honour him before we follow suit which is witnessed in the literary prizes. We ignore a writer but when he is honoured outside we feel guilty and we do something small for the writer and publishers will begin to court the writer. Who is your favourite Nigerian author? Surprisingly, it is JP Clark. Not Achebe? I liked JP Clark’s poetry right from my undergraduate days because he doesn’t agonise about change. In other words, he has accepted his situation. You can see African culture and western influencesin his poems, which emphasises the fact that he is a child of dual like his poem, TheTwo Arms of a Man, showing that he has adapted to the west and kept his African identity. And also the way he captures the Niger Delta, Ijaw’s songs and environment and the very dramatic voice in his poems. I enjoy it very much. Does it remind you of home? Yes, it does. I started reading his poems when I was an undergraduate student and they really touched my soul. So, I have grown to appreciate them. In teaching West African poetry, I like Wole Soyinka’s ear-
lier poems where he was more simpler to unravel such as Idanre and so on. It is a very unique interface between the Yoruba culture and Western. He explored the metaphysis of the Yoruba worldview very effectively. One critic has called him WS our WS, meaning Wole Soyinka our William Shakespeare. Achebe, I do appreciate because
when I was writing my novel entitled: The Drums of Death, I did a lot of research on the politics of my place. I was very much influenced by A Man of the People, which is a satire on a modern politician. We have so many ridiculous politicians too, who are overzealous but have a very gullible character like Chief Manga.
THE NATION WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 4, 2013
The Midweek Magazine
PETER OYEYEMI OBE 1932-2013
•Some photographs in his studio
Last Sunday, Nigeria’s foremost press photographer and owner of Peter Obe Photo Agency, Mr. Peter Oyeyemi Obe, 81, passed on at his Lagos home. But, his studio will soon emerge as a ‘tourists’ site’ as it houses rare collection of archival and exclusive photographs on the socio-political landscape of Nigeria, reports Assistant Editor (Arts) OZOLUA UHAKHEME.
F you call his studio a museum of modern Nigerian photographs, you are correct. If you also describe it as hall of permanent exhibition of vantage photographs on the civil war and Nigerian leaders, you are in order. On the walls of the passage leading to this studio are giant-size mounting boards showing newspaper clippings of his shots. The clippings are from the defunct Daily Times, Sunday Times, The Punch, defunct National Concord and Evening Times. Among headlines in the papers that go with some of his shots are Pope here with blessing and Berger bridge collapse. These and many other exclusive photographs welcome guests to the studio of the ace photographer, the late Peter Oyeyemi Obe 81, who died last Sunday. The medium-size studio, located on the ground floor of his Moronu Maduagwu Street, Surulere Lagos residence is more than a studio. It is a crucible of a creative mind whose passion for photography knew no bound. Apart from photographs that span social, sports, politics, war and nature the studio also houses items such as books, magazines, souvenirs and military uniforms. Among them are two of his publications; Nigeria: decade of crises in pictures (a 220-page book), Nigeria: Second civil rule and the military rescue in pictures (a 98-page book). The foreword to the first book, which contains topics such as Bloodless coup ends, Gowon era, Clouds over Nigeria, Federal election, West crisis and Army takeover was written by NADECO chieftain Chief Anthony Enahoro and Brigadier General Hassan Katsina. In a foreword to his book, Nigeria: Decade of crises in picture, published in September 1971, Chief Anthony Enahoro wrote: “This publication is a remarkable achievement in recording, for posterity, the events at a critical period in the history of our nation. As one so closely involved in the drama of those years, I welcome the publication of this large collection of photographs which record our vicissitudes, stumbles and recovery in our first tentative steps in nationbuilding. The first decade of Nigerian independence was, to a great extent a period of anxiety, controversy and turbulence. The record of those years would not be complete without a publication like Mr. Obe’s. For the future - and, I hope in this second
‘He lived photography to the fullest’ decade of independence – my longing, my desperate expectation, for my country is that we may find and consolidate that unity which is so essential to national advancement. Mr Peter Obe’s efforts in producing this book are a triumph of imagination and I wish his venture the rich success it deserves.” Hanging on the walls of the studio is a glass covered cubicle showing his camouflage army uniform and a sub-machine gun which he got as a souvenir from the army. Exclusive photographs mainly black and white are hanged on every available space in the studio. They range from those of past political and military leaders to great sports men and women, politicians, half nude ladies, victims of war, flowers and gardens. There are photographs of past leaders such as Yakubu Gowon, Olusegun Obasanjo, Tunde Idiagbon, Hassan Katsina, Alabi Isama, Benjamin Adekunle, Obafemi Awolowo, Ahmadu Bello. According to his first son, Femi the late Obe’s thriving photography career was stunted by visual impairment he had a couple of years ago. Since then, he said, he was no longer active as a vibrant photographer he was known for. Until his death, the late Obe who was born in December 28, 1932, lived photography to the fullest and his name was synonymous with excellent photography. He described his father as a man who loved his photography job and a risk taker. “In fact, he was passionate about it and took risk where others dreaded. He thought us to be serious with our work. When he was in the war front during the Biafran war, we were very worried each time we heard of death of people. We only got information about him when soldiers from the Nigerian Army defence headquarters visited us,” he recalled. He said the family would meet to decide the funeral plans of the late photographer.
retired, he set up his studio on Alhaji Masha, Surulere, Lagos. I am sure he would have continued working if not that he had a problem with his sight. He published a booklet on his photographs of the civil war.
Renounced Photographer, Mr. Tam Fiofori described the late Obe as one of Nigeria’s greatest pioneer press photographers. He said he was also a great ‘all-rounder’. “His shots among other include iconic sports photographs, those that serve as social commentary on naked madman, exclusive shots of political leaders and on Biafra war. He also wrote two pictorial books on Nigeria. He was a pioneer photographer who serviced foreign agencies with photographs,” he said. First Photo-Editor of The Guardian and Managing Director of Photography, ThisDay Newspaper, Sumi Smart-Cole said: “I heard about his death last night through Mr Tony Momoh, former Editor Daily Times and Minister of Information; and I contacted his son, Femi to express my sympathy. Nobody can underestimate his contributions to photojournalism in Africa. He was an all-round photojournalist for years. People who knew him appreciated his dedication to work and he was very prolific. He was a leader of the pack. He was in the rank of the late Milton Macaulay, Mr Jackie Philip and the late Pade Alabi. And when he
The Nation’s Photo Editor, Mr. John Ebhota recalled how he met the late Obe and the influence on his career as a photographer. “The first year I met Peter Obe was in 1977 during the performance of Maria Makeba and Victor Uwaifo at the FESTAC 77, in Lagos. While I was in Punch Newspapers in 1980, as sports photographer, the late Obe was the chief photographer at Daily Times Newspapers and we always meet at sports events. He always advised me to be patient and that action photograph comes by itself. “He told me to do my homework before attending assignments. He also said that I should be selective in shouting as five good shots could sell the paper. We covered the Ngozi Ekwelum versus Kilimanjaro boxing bout together at the National Stadium, Lagos. But, one big lesson I learnt from him is to be patient, this is because as a photographer then, you account for your films. “In Obisia Nwakpa Versus Somabi, Obe left the boxing arena to focus on Obisia’s wife and son in the audience. He captured the reactions of the wife as Obisia was on the receiving end. I learnt how to take photographs of track and field events from Obe. He was never in a hurry to take shots.”
THE NATION WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 4, 2013
BUSINESS THE NATION
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
SEC set to okay AMCON’s takeover of Wema Bank
ECURITIES and Exchange Commission (SEC) is considering final approval for application by Wema Bank Plc to source about N20.02 billion from the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) in a transaction that will see the emergence of the government-owned bad-loan resolution company as the core investor in first generation bank. An impeccable source yesterday told The Nation that the apex capital market regulator was considering the final approval for the private placement that will technically round off the cash-for-equity deal. The source said the bank and other parties to the issue have complied with regulatory requirements with regard to the placement and there are indications that SEC might approve the transaction within the next few days. The Nation had exclusively reported that Wema Bank Plc was seeking fresh equity funds of more than N20 billion from AMCON, a move that may turn the badloan resolution company into the majority controlling investor in the bank. Regulatory filing indicated that Wema Bank will be issuing 14 billion ordinary shares of 50 kobo each to AMCON- a government’s bad loans refinancing company, at N1.43 per share. The special placement to AMCON will inject N20.02 billion equity funds into the bank. The application for the special placement has already been approved by the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), according to the filing. The special placement will
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
By Taofik Salako
however make AMCON the majority core investor in the bank with a post-placement equity stake of 52.2 per cent. Wema Bank has 12.821 billion outstanding ordinary shares, which will increase to 26.821 billion shares after the issuance to AMCON. The special placement will displace the two current major investors in the bankSW8 Investment Company Limited and Odua Investment Company Limited. While AMCON’s new issue will more than halve SW8’s majority stake of 24.29 per cent to 11.6 per cent, Odua’s
current equity stake of 9.98 per cent will become unsubstantial at 4.77 per cent after the AMCON placement. Latest update indicated that Wema Bank, an old generation bank, has about 255,000 shareholders. Also, a reliable source said the new issue to AMCON was not a debt for cash or shares but a regular capital issue, underlining the equity injection into the struggling bank. The management of Wema Bank has said its low capital base has been major drag in the reengineering of the bank. Wema Bank posted a loss after tax of
N5.04 billion last year. Its capital base stood at N1.76 billion by the period ended June 30, this year. “As the banking industry continued to adapt to the changing regulatory and economic policies and reforms, your bank remained focused on its core areas of expertise such as retail banking and commercial banking by further leveraging on existing business relationships in different industries of the economy. However, as a result of capital constraints; we were unable to fully exploit the enormous business opportunities in the economy,” management of the bank stated in its latest
audited review. According to the bank, growth in the loan book was restricted last year due to regulatory constraints on lending as a result of the low capital adequacy ratios as it was only able to undertake certain renewals for loans and undrawn commitments. It noted the importance of the capital raising exercise to the future performance outlook, pointing out that the successful completion of the capital raising exercise will undoubtedly release the potential within the bank and thus make the 2013 financial year a successful year.
•From Left: Managing Director, Access Bank Plc, Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede; Group Managing Director, UAC of Nigeria Plc, Mr Larry Ettah; Managing Director, MDS Logistics, Mr Solomon Aigbavboa; CEO, Imperial Logistics, Marius Swanepoel and Managing Director, Imperial Logistics, Africa, Mr Douggie Truter at a dinner to introduce MDS Logistics’ technical partner to stakeholders.
Customer decry long queues at ATMs
HAT do depositors consider the most important in deciding on the bank of their choice? It is service quality, says a banking Sector Survey by KPMG According to the survey, for the first time in five years, excellent customer service replaced financial stability as the principal reason for maintaining banking relationships for retail and corporate customers. Zenith Bank emerged the most customer-focused bank with last year’s leader GTBank coming second. Stanbic IBTC maintained the third position for the third consecutive year.
‘10% of MFBs subscribe to credit bureau’
- P 30
By Collins Nweze
For most customers, an ideal scenario would be one where they did not have to queue to get their businesses done. With significantly higher use of Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) and charges associated with over-the-counter transactions, queues are no longer restricted to banking halls but are now common place at ATMs. It said queues at branches and ATMs were a major concern cited by customers interviewed during the survey. More than any other driver of convenience, nearly all (95 per cent) retail customers indicated cash availability and uptime at
ATMs as being of critical importance. “Clearly, banks are aware of the issue of crowding at branches. In recent years, we have seen banks issue service promises guaranteeing specific turnaround times for varying transactions but these promises have not yielded the much expected results,” it said. The survey said tackling queues at bank branches must involve different approaches which may vary from branch layout redesign, deploying more ATMs, or assigning more resources to branches as required or as one customer suggested. It said it was now clear that the quality of service deliv-
Nigeria, others plan N468b non-interest bonds - P33
ery experience is a differentiating factor and service promises must be aligned to customer goals and objectives. In the retail space, the survey said 35 per cent of customers cited excellent customer service as a major reason for continued banking relationships. The result showed a 12-percentage point increase from last year’s. When asked for their second most important reason, financial stability was the next priority. For Small and Medium Scale (SMEs), financial stability selected by 31 per cent of customers was closely followed by excellent customer service which was chosen by 30 per cent of customers as the top reasons
for maintaining banking relationships. The report said customer expectations continued to increase in the retail segment. It said that this year saw a marginal decline in overall Customer Service Index within in the SMEs’ segment, as customers expectations continue to increase especially in the area of convenience. It said 93 per cent of retail customers rated quality of service at the ATMs as their most important service measure. Also, the gap between satisfaction and expectation on this element increased from 16 to 18 percentage points. Staff attitude and queues in the banking halls were also key areas of concern.
Arik, Chanchangi, others battle for route
THE NATION WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 4, 2013
Money laundering: errant CITN to regulate tax practice banks to face sanctions T
ANKS violating money laundering laws will not go un punished, Director, Nigeria Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU), Juliet Ibekaku, has said. Speaking in Lagos at the training of banks and other financial institutions staff on money laundering, she said violation of anti-money laundering rules, locally and internationally by some lenders, has become an issue, considering the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) Regional Review Group on-site visit to Nigeria this month. She said the NFIU largely draws its powers from the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act (MLPA) 2011 as amended in 2012, the Terrorism Prevention Act (TPA) 2011
Stories by Collins Nweze
as amended in 2013, TPA Regulation 2011 and the Economic & Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) Establishment Act, 2004. She noted that sector regulators are reviewing their anti-money laundering/combating the financial terrorism (AML/CFT) regulations in line with the recent amendments in the MLPA 2011 and TPA 2011, adding that it is hoped that these updated regulations would be of immense value to reporting entities. “I would want to say that the NFIU has found reports from a good number of financial institutions not impressive; and this calls for urgent improvement as the
NFIU will not hesitate to recommend sanctions within the provisions of our extant laws. This is the only way to ensure deterrence and to protect our financial system,” she said. The NFIU director said under Section 9 of the MLPA 2011 as amended, reporting entities must train employees, and build strong AML/CFT infrastructure in their systems. Customer due diligence is also very vital for an effective AML/CFT regime in the country, she added. Likewise, Section 3 of the MLPA as amended has expanded the requirements on the implementation of customer due diligence policies by reporting entities.
HE Chartered Institute of Taxation of Nigeria (CITN) has said regulation of tax practice falls within its preview. Its President, Mark Dike said during his investiture as the 11th president, that the clarification became necessary following the ongoing controversy on whether CITN or to Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN) has the right to regulate tax practice. He said: “I believe that all well meaning people recognise the CITN’s right to regulate the practice of taxation in Nigeria. In line with this, efforts have been stepped up towards ensuring that only our members engage in tax practice and administration in Nigeria.”
The institute, he said, had begun circulating the list of members with practice licence to guide stakeholders accordingly, stressing that this was the first-step in enforcing compliance before sensitisation of stakeholders. He said where there are clear breaches in the practice of taxation, the institute would not hesitate to take legal action. He said CITN under his leadership had come up with a six-point agenda that includes development of technical and research capacity of the institute, stating that the CITN should be a reference point when it comes to tax issues in Nigeria, and that the development of the research institute would help the body to achieve that objective.
Pensioners get N178b
TANBIC IBTC Pension Managers, a member of Stanbic IBTC Holdings, has paid N178 billion to retirees in the last eight years. The firm pays about N1.7 billion to over 28,000 retirees monthly. The firm started operations in 2005. Head of Service, Lagos State Civil Service Commission, Adesegun Ogunlewe, made this known at the launch of Stanbic IBTC Pension mobile office in Lagos. Ogunlewe, who was represented by the Executive Director, Technical, Lagos State Pension Commission, Mrs. Folashade Onanuga, said the new product was in line with its commitment to ensuring excellent and convenient service for clients. The mobile office has been de-
ployed in Lagos and will be subsequently deployed in other cities aso as to enhance access to customers. Chief Executive Officer, Stanbic IBTC Pension Managers, Dr. Demola Sogunle, said the visibility would demystify pensions matters and encourage more Nigerians to subscribe to the contributory pension scheme, thereby enhancing financial inclusion. “We believe that this initiative, which speaks of convenience and accessibility is one of our key steps to building a legacy of exceptional service delivery where the customer is the focal point of all our activities. This initiative will bring pension service to the doorsteps of our customers and prospective customers alike,” he said.
Foreign reserves down to $46.8b
• From left: President, Shell East Staff Corporation, Edwin Obasogie; Executive, Shell Petroleum Development Corporation (SPDC), Augustine Igbuku; Regional Service Manager FirstBank Ndiya Ukiwe; Executive Director, Retail Banking Group, Gbenga Shobo; Group Head, Business Service Group, Eyitope St. Matthew Daniel and General Manager, Nigeria Content Department (SPDC), Igo Weli at the bank’s customer engagement forum held in Port Harcourt, Rivers State ... at the weekend.
‘10% of MfBs subscribe to credit bureau’
NLY 10 per cent of microfinance banks (MfBs) operators have keyed into credit bureau services, The Nation has learnt. Confirming this development, an executive of Lovonus Microfinance Bank, Chibuzor Okudo, said many of the MfBs were not willing to subscribe to the services because of high cost implications. He said not more than one out of every 10 MfBs send their credit customers to credit bureaux for verification of credit history. He said the subsector would have embraced the services more but for the cost associated with it.
Managing Director, CRC Credit Bureau, Tunde Popoola, who also confirmed the poor compliance among MfBs operators, said there is need for regulators to assist it in creating awareness that will deepen operators knowledge and understanding of their services. “You know that’s part of the issue we have as a nation. Lack of unique identification is still a serious challenge in Nigeria. As a credit bureau, the only thing we can do is what we are doing. Keep on bringing data from various sources, and once those data are increasing, the number of people on the database is also increasing. And so, that be-
comes what you can work with as a mortgage bank or mortgage financial institution or even as a real estate developer,” he said. He said competition in the sector remains healthy and is required in an economy. “Monopoly is not good. Where you have monopoly in any sector, it brings in inefficiency, and prices of products are always high. At CRC, our major asset is our ability to respond to customer requests and meet them. Also, we are web based and our pricing is not bad and is tailored to ability to pay by each of the sectors that we are dealing with,” he added.
‘Finance houses need IFRS to do better’
PERATORS of finance houses need to adopt and implement tenets outlined in the International Financial Reporting Standard (IFRS) to achieve their objectives, Jim Osayande Obazee, the Executive Secretary/Chief Executive Officer of Financial Reporting Council of Nigeria has said. He disclosed this at the quarterly chief executives business luncheon organised by Finance Houses Association of Nigeria (FHAN) in Lagos. He called for easier regulation of financial information of entities and enhancement of investors’ confidence in the quality assurance systems of financial reporting in public and private sector entities. Obazee, who spoke on the theme, IFRS Adoption in Nigeria: Issues and
challenges for non-bank financial institutions, said the implementation of IFRS required considerable preparation at the country and entity levels to ensure coherence and provide clarity on the authority IFRS will have in relation to other existing national laws. He said there was the need for technical partners’ forum of accounting firms that can identify financial reporting issues requiring clarification to avoid inconsistencies. He said there should be limited number of professional accounting organisations, preparers and users, including regulators that can provide the International Accounting Standard Board (IASB) with useful feedback, not only after standards are finalised and ready for imple-
mentation, but early in the drafting process. Obaze said the shortage of expertise in IFRS affects not only the private sector, but also regulators and other government agencies. He noted that IFRS has been developed primarily to meet the information needs of shareholders, lenders and other investors, adding that these needs do not always align with those of the tax authorities as seen in extensive use of fair value and the application of substance over form. “IFRS is a new world order, in corporate reporting, that is currently altering not only the financial accounting and reporting landscape but also tax accounting/reporting, tax cash flows and tax distributable reserves,” he said.
HE nation’s foreign reserves declined to $46.8 billion as at August 29. It lost $200 million from the $47 billion it entered the month with. Data obtained from the Central Bank of Nigeria’s (CBN’s) website, showed that the reserves were $47.7 billion on July 1, and dropped to $47 billion on July 15. The figures hit $47 billion on August 1. The foreign currency reserves were $68 billion in August 2008 before the global financial crises affected it. The CBN had consistently maintained that inflows into the reserves were not consistent with the oil prices, thus underscoring the need for tighter fiscal controls around oil revenues. The apex bank has also said there was urgent need to pursue policies that would foster macro-economic stability, economic diversification as well as encouraging foreign capital inflows. It said a higher rate of retention of
•CBN Governor, Sanusi Lamido
oil revenues should facilitate the efforts at maintaining exchange rate stability as an antidote to imported inflation without excessive reliance on monetary tightening measures.
e-clearing at branches may begin in Q4
LECTRONIC clearing (eclearing) will be extended to banks’ branches this third quarter of the year, it was leant. However, this is subject to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) approval. The policy, which became effective last August, could not be implemented in all banks’ networks because of poor technical know-how and infrastructure needed for seamless take-off in those units. An Executive of Sybrin Systems Limited, Daniel Parreira, said provision of sophisticated payment solutions, adoption of fully integrated management systems and anti-fraud mechanisms by banks will enable them achieve the feat. Decentralisation to branches, he said, will further reduce the pressure on clearing centres at banks’ headquarters. Sybrin Limited, a software technology firm based in South Africa,
provides e-clearing services and other payment solutions among Africa’s leading banks, clearing houses and corporations. Besides, banks are expected to plan transmission of their outward presentation by taking into account presentation volume, the bandwidth of network with the clearing house, and the session window. In the event of an exchange file being received at the clearing house within a session time but not passed to the clearing house, the clearing house would unbundle the exchange file, and reattach to a new session. In case e-banking fails, paying bank may return such items with appropriate return reason codes. The introduction of truncation process changes the roles and the responsibilities of the various participants in the clearing system and may lead to introduction of certain risks.
THE NATION WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 4, 2013
Giving foreign firms a run for their money Background
HE marine logistics subsector is set for greater things. Two local firms have acquired five ships to boost their operations. The Ocean Marine Tanker (OMT) brought in two tankers, MT Abiola and MT Igbinosa; CNS Marine Nigeria Limited acquired three vessels - Adessa Ocean King, Adessa Legend, and Adessa Sea Protector. While Ocean Marine vessels are for cargo, the CNS Marine’s are for offshore support and conveyance of personnel on offshore engagements. The vessels, according to the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB), will benefit the country immensely, both in capacity development and job creation. The board has since its establishment, and passage of the Nigerian Content Act in 2010, been spearheading campaigns to promote ownership of vessels by Nigerian firms. It encourages banks to fund such projects to build in-country capacity.
Nigerian firms have in the last two years been having it good. Many of them are aquiring vessels in a business hitherto the exclusive preserve of their foreign counterparts,reportsAssistant Editor EMEKA UGWUANYI.
Benefits The Executive Secretary, NCDMB, Ernest Nwapa, told The Nation that before the introduction of local content in 2006, over 95 per cent of the yearly budget in oil and gas industry, including maritime activities and logistics, was spent on foreign companies. Nwapa identified the marine sector as one of such areas with high impact in employment, retention of industry spend, technology transfer and value added services. He said the Board has endeavoured to protect the sector, making it one of its focus of Nigerian Content Act implementation strategies. He said the board stood against the issuance of Temporary Import Permit (TIP) for indigenous marine vessels, as it discourages indigenous ownership and registration of marine vessels in Nigeria, thereby conferring advantage to foreign vessel owners. He stated Nigeria has lost over $100 billion in revenues in the last five decades to lifting and conveying of crude oil by foreign owned tankers, saying the trend is being reversed as Nigerian firms are increasingly getting involved in the subsector. Nwapa explained that vessels owned by foreigners undergo repairs and maintenance work outside Nigeria, while Nigerians have the capacity to do the jobs, saying under the new development, such jobs would be carried out in-country in ship yards in Nigeria. He said: “The TIP not only dis-
• One of the new vessels
couraged the ownership and registration of marine vessels in Nigeria, but also gives advantages to foreign vessel owners, who are allowed to pay a token to the government for bringing in their vessels. Furthermore, it promotes the practice whereby vessels that work in Nigeria, sail to neighbouring countries to meet their TIP conditions and undergo repairs concurrently, whereas such maintenance can be done at ship yards in Nigeria. “The sector used to be dominated by foreign owned vessels, crews and rig operators, resulting in $3 billion capital flight. But with the Board’s marine vessel and rigs ownership strategy, the trend is changing with increased indig-
enous participation.” Nwapa said indigenous players are currently participating fully in the smaller vessel category, thereby retaining about $1 billion out of the annual expenditure in that area, adding that a structured intervention for more Nigerian ownership of the larger offshore vessels has been put in place, with a potential for retaining a further $1.5 billion in the next two years. He said with the drive by the Board, it would ensure that by the year, 2020, the ownership profile in the marine sector would be more locally-driven with retention in excess of $4 billion per year, 250,000 employment and training opportunities.
Group, firm strike deal on trucks’acquisition
HE Association of Maritime Truck Owners (AMATO) has struck a deal with MultiTrade Nigeria Limited on trucks acquisition as part of efforts to rid roads of rickety vehicles. Under the deal, Multi-Trade will import trucks for AMATO members, who will buy them on hire purchase. The partnership, according to both organisations, led to the importation of the first batch of 2,000 trucks for AMATO members. The vehicles are at the trucks’ holding bay of the International Trade Fair Complex on Lagos-Badagry Expressway. The bay, which has capacity to accommodate 5,000 trucks, would ease congestion at the ports. AMATO chairman Chief Remi Ogungbemi, who spoke on the partnership in Apapa, Lagos, said he was happy about the deal, add-
ing that it would improve the business of their members, and ease the challenge of parking space created after the concession of port terminals. He said the challenge of truck operators was the dearth of modern truck terminals since the ports reform, adding that the agency that carried out the reforms did not factor in the truck operators’ job schedules, noting that most of the places designated as truck terminals were taken over without providing alternatives. Ogungbemi said: “The concessionaires barricaded the places given to our members making it extremely impossible for trucks to access where they have been assigned to load. Trucks must come from somewhere and cannot operate in the air.” He explained that improved profitability and need for profes-
sionalism within the haulage sub-sector of the maritime industry is a driving force for the partnership. “We have started working on how to bring professionalism into trucking business in maritime industry. We are trying to improve our standards, improve our operations and improve our language,” he added. The Consultant to AMATO and Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Melno and Partners, Chris Orode, said the movement of the trucks from the port environment in line with government’s directive, is part of measures to meet the 90-day ultimatum on the International Ships and Ports (facilities) Code (ISPS). Orode said he believes that the government would meet the requirements of the ISPS code before the expiration of the ultimatum.
Job creation Nwapa said with the trend, an estimated $191 billion can be retained in Nigeria as activities are carried out here, and besides, over 300,000 new job opportunities can be created in engineering, sciences and technical services with over 65 per cent of the total industry budget domiciled in-country. During the inauguration of MT Abiola and MT Igbinosa in Warri, Delta State, the Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke, said the Nige-
rian Content initiative has attracted foreign direct investments worth over $500 million in the manufacturing of equipment components for the oil and gas industry, as well as marine logistics. She said the equipment components manufacturing initiative of the NCDMB, is an effective way to drive industrialisation of Nigeria, which has created over 1000 skilled jobs in the country. She frowned at the domination of the downstream sector of the maritime industry by foreign tanker ships, with indigenous ship owners having minor role to play in the lightering and seaborne transportation of imported refined petroleum products destined for Nigeria. MT Abiola and MT Igbinosa will transport crude oil to refineries and the international market. The Director, Corporate Banking, Diamond Bank, financier of CNS Marine Nigeria Limited’s vessels, Samuel Egube, stressed the need for banks to support the marine logistics and support subsector. He said Diamond Bank is the lead supporter for marine logistics in the country, adding that the bank is happy to see CNS Marine cross this major milestone. It is not just a milestone for this company, it is a milestone for Nigerian Content, he said. “We will continue to do this because as we support companies that do this business, the companies will in turn support human capital development, and also create jobs for Nigerians. Divers, welders, among other professionals will benefit from the project,” Egube said. The Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of CNS Marine, Barry Adedamola, said: “The three vessels would help the company work offshore to serve international oil companies in offshore diving services, pipeline and seabed services. With the saturation vessel, we can dive down 300 metres, it also has a 50-tonne crane on it and at any given time we can take about 90 personnel offshore to do work.” He said the project would create a lot of jobs and capacity in the economy. “We are hoping that with the training we will put in place, we can train more local people to work on these assets. We look for the support of the government in trying to do some of those things for we are fully committed 100 per cent Nigerian company.”
Port users seek cut charges
ORT users are seeking the support of concessionaires and state governments to reduce high charges. An Onitsha-based importer, Mr Martin Nwokocha said though he prefers his cargoes to be discharged either in Warri or Port Harcourt to Lagos, because of the high charges by the concessionaires, he had to use latter. The importer said at the Warri port, though Julius Berger and Intels are the concessionaires, Intels dominates the place. Accusing Intels of high charges and driving away importers, he said if the concessionaires could reduce their charges, cargo traffic would increase. The importer claimed one concessionaire is dominating the Port Harcourt port and having exclusive right over oil and gas cargoes. He suggested that the concessionaires and state governments should collaborate to tackle the problems of high charges. But the General Manager, Pub-
lic Affairs, Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Captain Iheanacho Ebubeogu, said low business at the Warri Port is caused by the port’s shallow draft, which makes it impossible for bigger vessels to access it. He said the Authority is planning to dredge the channel to allow in big vessels. “It has the element of development that we are trying to embark on. We are working on dredging the Warri port channel to 10 metres,” he said. The National Financial Secretary of the Association of Nigeria Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA) Prince Val Johnbull Oribhabor corroborated Ebubeogu, adding that shallow draft of the channel and lack of political will by the state government account for the situation at the Warri port. Oribhabor added that another problem that hinders high business at the Warri port is that vessels at the port do not get enough cargoes on their return trip.
THE NATION WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 4, 2013
THE NATION INVESTORS
Low-priced stocks lead stock market returns
ESS than a quarter of quoted companies on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) performed above average market returns with low-priced stocks, otherwise known as penny stocks, dominating the highest returns table. Eight-month year-to-date analysis of the stock market showed a major reversal last month as equities lost N510 billion to almost reverse previous gain of N581 billion in July. The reversal in August shaved 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. Indexed, average returns at the market shrank to 29.10 per cent for the eight-month period as against 35.03 per cent recorded by the seventh month. In simple value terms, the eightmonth capital gain of N2.52 trillion still surpassed total gains of N2.44 trillion recorded for the entire 2012, although substantially lower than N3.03 trillion recorded by July 2013. However, the average indexed return of 29.10 per cent fell below return of 35.03 per cent recorded by July. Average full-year return had stood at 35.45 per cent in 2012. Most equities were almost flat while several other stocks witnessed depreciation, underlying the hangover of the recent recession, which has continued to haunt several stocks, especially in the insurance and information and communication sectors. Investors warmed up to lowpriced brewers as preference for equities with relatively low prices appeared to be growing on the back of substantial returns by the penny stocks. As against July when 42 stocks
HE Nigeria International Growth Fund (Nigfund) has recorded a year-to-date growth of 35 per cent in net asset value so far this year, putting investors in the mutual fund in better stead than an average investor in the stock market. Average returns at the stock market shrank to 29.10 per cent by the end of August as against 35.03 per cent recorded by the seventh month. Nigfund’s net asset value meanwhile grew by 35 per cent during the eight-month period just as the mutual funds increased its subscribers’ base by 16 per cent. Nigfund is currently valued at
•45 stocks perform above average•Vono, 12 others record highest losses Stories by Taofik Salako
performed above average, eightmonth year-to-date returns by 45 stocks were higher than the average benchmark return of 29.10 per cent. However, most top-fliers also witnessed considerable declines in their returns compared with the closing positions in July. Jos International Breweries, Transnational Corporation of Nigeria (Transcorp), International Energy Insurance, Prestige Assurance, Total Nigeria, Ecobank Transnational Incorporated (ETI) and GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Nigeria (GSK) made the new list of above-average stocks, four other stocks including International Breweries, Diamond Bank, NEM Insurance and Ashaka Cement dropped from the top gainers’ list. The most dramatic advances were in the breweries sector, where low-priced brewers became the toasts of investors. Champion Breweries, which had closed July with a year-to-date of 220.7 per cent, consolidated its returns to 310.36 per cent while Jos International Breweries, which fell short of the 35.03 per cent average in July, recorded year-to-date return of 91.50 per cent by end of August. While few stocks moved their positions on the returns table and returns were lower in several instances, the structure of the top stocks remained largely unchanged. Forte Oil remained atop with eightmonth return of 402.85 per cent. Evans Medical followed with a return of 342.53 per cent. Livestock Feeds placed fourth with a return of 197.22 per cent. Presco posted a return of 119.94 per cent. International Energy Insurance (IEI), which
had completed the restructuring of its shares by reducing number of outstanding shares and re-pricing the remaining ones, recorded an increase of 116 per cent. However, IEI’s return may still largely be subjective and due mainly to revaluation of the stock as it has not been actively traded after the restructuring. Julius Berger Nigeria retained year-to-date return of 115.61 per cent. In spite of substantial decline in recent period, investors in Wema Bank still have 100 per cent return on the opening values of their investments this year. Other above-average stocks included Transcorp, 33.33 per cent; UAC of Nigeria, 30.95 per cent; UACN Property Development Company, 37.12 per cent; Seven-Up Bottling Company, 71.43 per cent; Dangote Sugar Refinery, 81.67 per cent; Honeywell Flour Mills, 52.15 per cent; Northern Nigeria Flour Mills, 55.01 per cent; National Salt Company of Nigeria, 36.88 per cent; Cadbury Nigeria, 82.24 per cent; Nestle Nigeria, 33.57 per cent; PZ Cussons Nigeria, 35 per cent; ETI, 29.67 per cent; Sterling Bank, 47.4 per cent; United Bank for Africa, 60.75 per cent; Union Bank of Nigeria, 40.14 per cent; Aiico Insurance, 51.61 per cent; Continental Reinsurance, 60.53 per cent; Prestige Assurance, 29.41 per cent, Wapic Insurance, 41.38 per cent while Stanbic IBTC Holdings recorded a return of 47.55 per cent. Others were Fidson Healthcare, 90.57 per cent; GSK, 29.71 per cent; May and Baker Nigeria, 47.74 per cent; Courteville, 36 per cent; CAP, 55.89 per cent; Cement Company of Northern Nigeria, 69.06 per cent;
Dangote Cement, 48.32 per cent; IPWA, 52 per cent; Lafarge Cement Wapco Nigeria, 58.89; Conoil, 45.37 per cent; Eterna, 53.77 per cent; MRS Oil & Gas, 52.10 per cent; Total Nigeria, 30.26 per cent; Red Star Express, 56.67 per cent, ABC Transport, 54.0 per cent while McNichols, with a return of 85.19 per cent, was the only second-tier stock on the above-average list. But while the downside remained muted, some 13 stocks recorded significant losses. Vono Products Plc showed the highest year-to-date loss of 66.32 per cent. It was followed by Trans Nationwide Express, which recorded negative return of 64.03 per cent. John Holt trailed with 62.94 per cent while Costain (West Africa) placed fourth with 56.02 per cent. Other top losers included Chellarams, -22.77 per cent; NPF Microfinance Bank, -33.05 per cent; Deap Capital Management, -46.04 per cent; Morison Industries, -42.07 per cent; Pharma Deko, -28.85 per cent; Thomas Wyatt, -38.64 per cent; Capital Hotel, -27.43 per cent; Learn Africa, -21.88 per cent and Juli Plc, which opened this week with eight-month loss of 26.62 per cent. Equities’year-to-date performance was moderated by the bearishness that dominated August as poor earnings by banks dampened investors’ appetites. Aggregate market value of all equities closed August at N11.497 trillion from its month’s opening value of N12.007 trillion, indicating a month-onmonth drop of 4.25 per cent. The All Share Index (ASI), which doubles as benchmark index for all equities on the NSE and country index for Ni-
Nigfund outperforms market’s average about N2 billion. The fund manager to Nigfund, Investment One Financial Services Limited, has promised to further diversify the portfolio and subscribers of the fund with a view to building on returns to investors. Investment One recently acquired Nigfund from Fidelity Bank Plc following necessary regulatory and unitholders’ approvals. Executive Director, Corporate Services, Investment One Financial Services, Mrs Abimbola AfolabiAjayi, said the company was poised to bring its wealth of experience as
a foremost asset management company to bear on Nigfund in order to provide unitholders optimal and efficient services. According to her, the acquisition is part of Investment One’s aim of being a one-stop shop for comprehensive investment services and the first point of call for insightful and innovative financial solutions. She said the company was committed to achieving the overarching objectives of creating long term capital appreciation and regular dividend distribution to unitholders through deployment of investment strategies that are sup-
ported by diligent and indepth research analysis, which cover all aspects of Nigerian and international market. She pointed out that Nigfund was one of the most cost-efficient mutual funds in Nigeria with expense ratio of some three per cent as against industry’s average of about four per cent and Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC’s) limit of five per cent. She outlined the benefits of Nigfund as a balanced mutual fund which has its investments spread strategically in equities, real estate and other liquid assets.
geria, slipped by 4.39 per cent from 37,914.33 points to 36,248.53 points, representing a drop of 4.39 per cent or about 1,666 points. 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 monthon-month 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 value-on-board of N8.974 trillion that started the year, representing an increase of 27.3 per cent. The ASI had risen from last year’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.
“We have a research team that supports the fund manager’s investment decision, we are very innovative and we have incisive market knowledge that we will bring to bear on the fund,” Afolabi-Ajayi said. She urged Nigerians to embrace mutual funds noting that mutual funds reduce investment risks to low-income retail investors while providing them with above average returns. She added that Investment One would step up its investment education to enlighten Nigerians on the benefits of savings, investments and collective investment schemes such as Nigfund.
THE NATION WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 4, 2013
THE NATION INVESTORS
Nigeria, Malaysia, others plan N468b non-interest bonds
CONSORTIUM of central banks of emerging economies from Africa, Middle East and Asia under the auspices of International Islamic Liquidity Management Corporation (IILM) is set to issue Sukuk bonds of about $3 billion to develop cross-border market for alternative finance instruments. The IILM is owned by central banks and monetary agencies including Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Indonesia, Kuwait, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Mauritius, Qatar, Turkey, United Arab Emirates and Saudi-based Islamic Development Bank. The $3billion issuance programme came on the heels of the successful launch of the corporation’s maiden issue last week. IILM issued a $490 million dollar-denominated Sukuk to The Sukuk was auctioned to seven leading financial institutions including Kuwait Finance House, Europe’s KBL Private Bankers, Malayan Banking Bhd (Maybank), National Bank of Abu Dhabi, Qatar National Bank, Standard Chartered Bank and AlBaraka Turk. The Sukuk was priced at 30 basis points over the London Interbank Offered Rate
•Raise N76.4b in maiden cross-border issuance By Taofik Salako
(LIBOR). The success of the $490 million Sukuk, which had received a high A-1 credit rating from Standard & Poor’s, underpinned the $3 billion issuance programme. Established in 2010, IILM is an international financial institution charged with creation and issuance of short-term Shari’ah-compliant financial instruments to facilitate effective cross-border Islamic liquidity management. By creating more liquid Shari’ahcompliant financial markets for institutions offering Islamic financial services (IIFS), IILM aims to enhance cross-border investment flows, international linkages and financial stability. Nigeria is working to develop a domestic alternative finance market. It has issued regulatory rules for Sukuk and other Shariah-compliant products. Sukuk is an alternative finance instrument premised on Islamic asset finance principles. Unlike interest-paying conventional bond issue, Sukuk makes returns to the investors through sharing of profit or cash flow from the under-
lying asset with them in addition to redemption of the principal upon maturity. The Nation recently reported exclusively that Nigeria’s first Sukuk bond issue has secured regulatory nod and is ready for the market. Managing Director, Chapel Hill Denham, Mr Bolaji Balogun, a major party to the Sukuk, confirmed the regulatory approvals and preparedness of the parties to launch the first-ever Islamic bond issue in the Nigerian market. He said the Sukuk, being issued by the Osun State Government, will seek to raise N10 billion in its debut issue with further issuances building on the market response. Director, Securities and Investment Services, Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Ms Mary Uduk, also confirmed the Osun State Sukuk as Nigeria’s first Sukuk noting that the apex capital market regulator had worked in earnest to provide regulatory framework that makes the emergence of the Sukuk possible. SEC’s Rules on Sukuk Issuance in Nigeria underline that Sukuk shall be structured as Sukuk Ijarah –
leased contract; Sukuk Musharakah– sharing contract; Sukuk Istisnah– exchange contract; Sukuk Murabahah– financing contract; and any other form of contract that may be approved by the Commission. According to the rules, eligible issuers of Sukuk include public companies including Special Purpose Vehicles (SPVs), State Governments, Local Governments, and Government Agencies as well as multilateral agencies. The rules stipulate that any issue, offer or invitation of Sukuk by a public company which is capable of being converted or exchanged into equity with the intention of being listed shall be subjected to the additional requirements stipulated in the listing requirements of a securities exchange. The global market for Sukuk issuances has continued to grow with more than $26.6 billion issued during the second quarter of this year to bring total issuance for the first half ended June 30, this year to $61.2 billion. The Global Sukuk Report by the Malaysia International Islamic Financial Centre (MIFC) indicated the primary Sukuk market in 2013 has shown great resilience, recording month-on-month growth since January 2013, except in June, which
•From left: President, Business Initiative Directions (BID), Mr. Jose E. Priesto; Chief Executive Officer, Swiss Biostadt Limited, Prince Emma Ajayi and President, QC 100, Mr Graig Miller at the presentation of International Star for Leadership in quality award gold category to Swiss Biostadt at the BID Quality Awards in Paris.
African Prudential Registrars seeks N1.2b new FRICAN Prudential Registhe acquisition of UAC Regequity funds cluded trars (APR) Plc plans to raise istrars, the oldest non-bank affili-
about N1.2 billion new equity funds from existing shareholders of the share-registration company to finance its growth plan. A source in the know of the new issue said APR is concluding preoffer processes for a rights issue 1.0 billion ordinary shares of 50 kobo each at N1.20. The shares would be pre-allotted to shareholders on the register of the company as at the close of business on August 23, this year.
At N1.20 per share, the rights issue’s price represents a discount of 35 per cent to the company’s opening share price of N1.85 yesterday. The largest chunk of the new equity funds is expected to be provided by Tony Elumelu’s Heirs Holdings, the pan-African investment company that holds the largest individual stake in APR. APR, the only listed share registration company, recently con-
ated registrar in the Nigerian capital markets. The company plans to integrate and absorb UAC Registrars to enhance its competitive scale, reduce operating expenses and increase overall profitability. Managing Director, African Prudential Registrars, Mr Peter Ashade, said the company was at the vanguard of the consolidation of the country’s share registration industry.
MDS Logistics lists benefits of foreign partnership
HE partnership between MDS Logistics Plc, a subsidiary of the UACN Group and South Africa’s Imperial Logistics would lead to emergence of a globally competitive company that can deliver world-class services. Chairman, MDS Logistics Plc, Mr Larry Ettah, who disclosed this at the introduction of MDS Logistics’ foreign partners- Imperial Logistics, to its stakeholders. He said the choice of Imperial Logistics was necessitated by the technical prowess of the company as a first-class company with a legacy of knowledge of the logis-
By Sampson Unamka
tics market as well AS good geographical footprint on the continent. Imperial Holdings Limited acquired 49 per cent of MDS Logistics for US$26 million. The transaction gives the Imperial Group entry into the logistics sector of the fast growing fast moving consumer goods, telecoms and pharmaceutical industries. Ettah pointed out that the partnership was necessitated by the imminent challenge of competition against global partners and
standards. According to him, the collaboration between MDS Logistics and Imperial Logistics is in consonance with the commitment of the UAC Group to finding strategic partners for its businesses. Similarly, Managing Director, MDS Logistics Plc, Mr Solomon Aigbavboa, said the partnership would translate to “a good horizon” for MDS Logistics Plc expressing confident that it would yield dividend as expanded business, enhanced technical skill, innovative solution, human resource upgrade and assets acquisition impact on the performance of the company.
saw a noticeable slow down. According to the report, the Malaysian market recorded $18.4 billion worth of Sukuk papers in second quarter of 2013 while Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates (UAE) witnessed $4.5 billion and $1.4 billion respectively. “Aside from government issued Sukuk, the primary Sukuk market witnessed a number of issuances in the power and utilities, industrial manufacturing and financial services sectors in second quarter 2013, totalling $2.1 billion, $2.0 billion and $1.8 billion respectively. Government issuances, which made up 65.6 per cent of the market in first half 2013, were up 10.8 per cent year-on-year while power and utilities Sukuk, accounting for 13.6 per cent of the market, were up 90.5 per cent over the period,” the report noted. Global outstanding Sukuk reached $245.3 billion by the end of first half of this year, rising by seven per cent from $229.3 billion recorded by the end of last year. This year’s first half performance represented an increase of 16.4 per cent on comparable period of 2012. Malaysia has the largest secondary Sukuk market with $148.2 billion, about 60.4 per cent of the global market size as at end of first half. IILM is based in Malaysia.
UBA launches three-year plan
NITED Bank for Africa Plc (UBA) has initiated a new business development plan aimed at consolidating the bank’s position as a leading pan-African global financial services group. The three-year business development plan codenamed Project Alpha was designed as the group’s next focus of strategic transformation and it contained key transformation initiatives. Group Managing Director, United Bank for Africa (UBA), Mr Phillips Oduoza, said the new business plan was designed to consolidate the group’s strategic positioning and fully capture the opportunities from Africa’s economic renaissance. According to him, Project Alpha is focused on leveraging all aspects of the group’s footprint, product offerings and operational capability, allowing a commitment to customer service transformation, market share growth, the implementation of key e-banking initiatives across all segments, the growth of corporate and trade finance capabilities. He noted that a series of senior executive hires underlines the group’s commitment to Project Alpha citing the appointment of Mr. Apollos Ikpobe as deputy managing director, domestic bank and Ms. Obi Ibekwe as executive director human resources and customer service. Both appointments have been approved by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). He outlined that a critical aspect of the Project Alpha initiative is the focus on UBA Africa, which currently contributes 20 per cent to group performance and is projected to contribute about 50 per cent by 2016. To drive the 50 per cent target for UBA Africa, UBA Group has reinforced its senior African leadership. Former executive director, finance & risk management, United Bank for Africa (UBA), Emmanuel Nnorom, has been appointed as the chief executive officer for UBA Africa. “Our people remain our greatest asset and we will continue to strategically retool and resource to achieve and surpass the goals of
Project Alpha,” Oduoza said. He pointed out that Project Alpha will allow the bank to build on the existing strengths of its franchise as well as continue to reinvent ourselves, ensuring it captures and delivers the maximum of value for all stakeholders. On the first-half performance of the bank, Oduoza noted the significant expansion in the bank’s credits to key sectors of the Nigerian economy including manufacturing, energy and construction sectors. The Group’s financial results for the first half of the year showed that its lending portfolio increased 14.6 per cent from a first quarter position of N664 billion to N761 billion last June. According to him, the expansion was in line with the bank’s desire to play a more strategic role in the critical sectors of the Nigerian economy based on its improved risk management processes. He said the bank has put in place a rigorous credit approval process that ensures only high quality credits are approved noting that corporate market segment now represents 60 per cent of the bank’s loan portfolio while the retail market segment made up 18 per cent. A breakdown of the bank’s loan portfolio showed that manufacturing sector benefited from 14 per cent of the group’s loan portfolio while the energy sector got an average of 15 per cent of the group’s loan portfolio. Other sectors economy that benefited from the bank’s loan portfolio include; public sector, the information and communication technology sector, general commerce, financial institutions and others not specified. The spread of the bank’s lending, according to sources, is with a strategic intent to balance risk evenly among different sectors and maximize returns. Oduoza pointed out that in spite of the increased appetite for risk assets, the UBA Group asset quality remains one of the best in the Nigerian banking industry with a non-performing loans ratio at an industry low of two per cent, well below Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN)’s benchmark of five per cent.
THE NATION WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 4, 2013
FAAN moves to stop runway incursions T
HE Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) has taken additional security measures to stop incursions into runaways. The measure is coming on the heels of the stowaway incident at the Benin Airport on August 24. A 13year-old boy Daniel Ohikhena, hid in the compartment of an Arik Air plane from Benin to Lagos. FAAN’s General Manager, Corporate Communication Mr Yakubu Dati said the first step would be the fast-tracking of the perimeter fencing. Other steps, he said, would include the deployment of security vehicle in the 24-hour surveillance at the apron and airside to monitor aircraft up till the point of take- off. He said observation posts with security personnel patrol team’s would be deployed in the perimeter fence to have full view of the airside. Dati said: “First, at every airport without fully functional perimeter fence, a FAAN security vehicle will be deployed in a point within full view of the aircraft as it taxies out to take off and maintain visual scrutiny, and if necessary to respond to
Stories by Kelvin Osa-Okunbor Aviation Correspondent
any situation until every departing aircraft is safely airborne. He said bushes at airports would be cleared to ensure full view of the perimeter, to allow both the control tower, FAAN Fire and Rescue observation posts and aviation security patrol teams, have a a proper view of the perimeter of an airport from their duty posts. He also said observation posts would be erected at strategic locations at the perimeter fence of airports to forestall premeditated and unauthorised access to the airside. This would be complemented by motorised and foot patrols. Dati noted that the absence of perimeter fences at some of the airports had posed a challenge to FAAN because of the huge capital outlay required in constructing perimeter fences, some of which he claimed are as long as 40 kilometres in the 22 network of airports in the country. Meanwhile, a team from the United
States at the weekend visited the FAAN to assist in addressing security challenges. The US team, which is led by the Economic Officer, United States Consulate-General, Lagos, Mr. James Plasman pledged the U.S government’s assistance in addressing certain issues confronting the Airport Authority in the country. The team, which met with the Managing Director, FAAN, Mr George Uriesi did not disclose the area of assistance. He said the American government is interested in ensuring the safety and security of the nation’s airports, stressing that the cordial relationship between the Nigeria and U.S. would be sustained ‘’We are very happy to be with FAAN and we are just hearing about the issues. Delta and United fly in here and fly out. There is a lot of connection, a lot of people and we want to see that it continues to grow and am sure that would benefit the U.S and Nigeria. Uriesi assured the team, that efforts were being made to ensure the safety and security of the airports.
•Managing Director, Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA), Nnamdi Udoh; Public Relations Officer, Aviation Round Table (ART), Mrs. Adeola Yusuf and President Capt. Dele Ore at the Memorial Lecture for the late Director-General, Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), Zakari Musa Haruna in Lagos. PHOTO: ISAAC JIMOH AYODELE
Arik, Chanchangi, IRS, Medview battle for Lagos-Yola route
OUR airlines Arik, Medview, Chanchangi and IRS are battling to have an edge on the Lagos-Yola route. The rivalry became obvious last weekend, when Chanchangi Airlines began flight operations into the route, with its newly acquired Boeing 737-500 aircraft. The route was hitherto dominated by Arik Air and Medview Airlines. Chanchangi entered the route following IRS’ suspension of its flights on the route for operational reasons. To fill the void Chanchangi started operations on the route with 103 passengers on its inaugural flight. Arik and Medview, investigations reveal are jittery over Chanchangi’s entry into the route. Chanchangi Group Public Rela-
tions Manager of Mr Olu Balogun said the airline operation on the route was a new beginning for it. He described the route as lucrative affirming that Chanchangi is mobilising for the competition ahead by other carriers which fly into the route. Balogun said the Yola flight became inevitable as a result of the acquisition of additional aircraft three weeks ago. He said the airline will start flight operations to Port Harcourt International Airport before the end of the month while another aircraft will arrive in the country in November. He said: “We are set for the competition that our operations will bring to the Lagos-Yola route. This should be expected because of the
high passenger traffic on this route. We are calling on more airlines to commence flight into this route.” Speaking on competition on the route, the Managing Director of Medview Airlines Alhaji Muneer Bankole said the carrier is offering unique services that other airlines cannot offer. He said the airline has just acquired additional aircraft in order to give passengers the best comfort that they deserve with a reduced air fare stressing that the motive of the airline was to ensure that passengers have seamless travel experiences across the country. “Our strategy is simple. Good treatment of passengers is the key. Passengers are key to our heart and we show the passengers that we love them,” he added.
NAMA chief harps on quality service
HE Managing Director Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA), Nnamdi Udoh, has urged Servicom officers in the industry to ensure quality in service delivery to airlines and the passengers. He spoke in Lagos during the quarterly Servicom networking meeting of all agencies in the Ministry of Aviation.
Udoh, who lauded the recently introduced passengers’ Bill of Rights by the regulatory agency – the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), frowned on the shoddy handling of passengers by the airlines in terms of late departures and cancellations of flights at the airports and charged the industry Servicom team to brace up to the
challenge. He said NAMA has already keyed into the Zero Complain principle where the 'customer is the focal point of the agency's operations'. The Chief Servicom Officer in the Presidency, Ms. Nnenna Akajemeli, noted the meeting was essentially critical, adding that it would yield results.
NCAA reads riot act to hajj operators THE Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority ( NCAA) has read the riot act to operators designated for the air lifting of Muslim pilgrims for this year’s Hajj in Saudi Arabia. The Director-General, Captain Folayeke Akinkuotu warned the airlines to abide by the regulations, adding that failure to do so could lead to sanctions. Capt Akinkuotu warned stakeholders against disregard of the law on Hajj and that of the industry, saying that the NCAA would not hesitate to ground any defaulter. He said: ”Safety and security is key. NCAA will not accept any short coming in terms of operational deficiency. The equipment and crew must be airworthy at all times and passengers be treated with dignity.” Capt. Akinkuotu charged the National Hajj Commission and airline operators on the Hajj to ensure proper planning and orderliness. Last month, NCAA said it was not ground any domestic airline. The director-general said NCAA would want airlines to remain afloat, noting that they should obey industry regulations. He said as a regulator, he would access airlines from the point of view of adherence to the industry laws. He also said the authority would provide the enabling environment for airlines to operate and succeed, adding that the way to go is to accept compliance with the law.
Low cost carrier coming BARRING any last minute hitch, a low cost carrier will grace the Nigerian skies very soon, promoters of the project Mr Alex Van Elk, has said. He said the new carrier would stimulate competition among domestic airlines and would crash fares on the domestic scene of the industry . Towards this end, the promoters are mobilising investors to secure aircraft for the operations. The pioneer Managing Director of Arik Air, Alex Van Elk said he is passionate about the huge potentials in Nigeria aviation industry, adding that he is poised to float a profitable low cost airline in Nigeria. The Dutch born international aviator said he was mobilising French investors for the business. He declined to disclose the name of the new airline for strategy reasons, saying it would be operational in the next few months. He said: “We have made contacts with the Nigerian authorities and they are quite pleased with our plans and assured us of government’s support,” stressing that the airline would succeed because it would be devoid of the mistakes associated with most Nigerian airlines which usually lead to their early exit. He listed such mistakes as poor accounting, acquisition of aging aircraft, lack of good reservation systems and heavy cost of overheads as well as ambitiouss route networks. The emerging low cost carrier he said would not venture into unprofitable routes and would be run professionally with the right caliber of staff. He also disclosed that the airline was consulting with mega carriers in Europe, Asia and Africa for interlining arrangements, adding that the responses had been very encouraging. Elk further said the promoters, which were comprised both Nigerian and French investors had made contacts with Air bus industrie, a French aircraft manufacturer, for lease of a brand new A319 for the take-off of the new airline. He assured that the fare would be affordable, noting that there would be no in-flight refreshment. Said he: “We will only serve water on board for an hour flight but for those who will want to have something extra they will have to buy.” Mr Elk also said his target would be to run effient service for the first one year locally and launch regional operations afterwards. On whether the airline would operate intercontinental routes, he said: “We don’t have such arrangement in our plans rather we will seek code share and interline collaborations with global carriers in Asia, Europe and Africa.”
Oduah seeks military partnership MINISTER of Aviation Princss Stella Oduah has called for collaboration between civil and military aviation to enhance safety quality. She made the call in Abuja at the while receiving the Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshall Alex Sabundu Badeh. Oduah said her ministry would consider the request of the Air Force to rehabilitate and reopen the Mubi and Kaduna Airstrips in Maiduguri and Kaduna to ease military operations in the fight against Boko Haram Oduah said:”For us, it is very crucial to have proper collaboration between Civil and Military Aviation. It is the only way we can all work in peace; and when we work in peace we need efficient airports and operations that will be hitch-free and seamless.” She called for regular fora where stakeholders could address challenges that affect air safety and security, adding a situation at the airports where there are different and conflicting command and control centres, is not healthy for the system. “I think it doesn’t tell well of us that we are in a country where the Air Force Commandant is saying one thing and the Airport Manager or Director of Operations is saying something else, and this is not good for our passengers. And because we are in civilian times and we are also dealing with international passengers, we have to be seen as coordinating and collaborating well. “We must have a collaboration platform in all our airports because this will narrow the Command and Control centres, “ she said, adding that it is important to have a clear line of command in airport operation. “We need each other for the Nigerian airspace to be safe and to have an efficient aviation sector”, Oduah said.
the ate ent
THE NATION WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 4, 2013
SMALL BUSINESS AND ENTREPRENUERSHIP
Bolade Soremekun is the Managing Director/Chief Executive of Lagos-based Bolar Pharmaceuticals Limited. He dispenses orthodox and natural medicines. He is passionate about excellence and quality. DANIEL ESSIET writes.
Tips for success, by pharmacist
OLADE Soremekun, Managing Director/ Chief Executive, Bolar Pharmaceuticals Limited is a teacher of entrepreneurs at the Enterprise Development Centre of the Pan Atlantic University, Lagos. Besides, he is a pharmacist who dispenses and markets orthodox and natural health products. A pharmacist with over 35 years experience, Soremekun had the dream of working with big international pharmaceutical companies while at Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), IleIfe. He wanted to start his own business after working with them, and be a research-based international pharmaceutical company. On graduation, he established Bolar Pharmaceuticals Limited in 1984,and took off two years later, w ith a r e t a i l ph a rma c y . He started with N60,000, from
savings and a loan from his dad. For more than 20 years, his company has been dispensing products to residents and their families in his neighbourhood. His key strengths are loyal customers. Some are from families of his customers. Over time, the landscape of the pharmaceutical world was rocked by change, especially for small operations. There was competition from large, national chains. To meet the challenges, the pharmacist began innovating, streamlining and offering new services once unheard of in a neighbourhood drugstore. These include blood pressure checks and diabetes monitoring, among other services. His success story is that of one with a personal and professional passion and a commitment to excellence and quality. Over the years, his company has repre-
sented several multinational firms in marketing and distribution. These include Johnson and Johnson, Astra Zeneca, Pharmacia and Upjohn, Sanofi, and Grunenthal. The company is focusing on developing own brands based on unique and natural ingredients and products, as well as new molecules which have been shown extensively to provide viable options for disease management and treatment. Bolar has partnered with local and international organisations to gain access to these unique ingredients and molecules. With product ranges drawn from all quarters of the world, the company is responsible for bringing top orthodox and nutritional supplements to the health consumer. In future, Soremekun said his company will be introducing products in chronic disease ar-
eas where present treatments are unsatisfactory or could be improved upon. These include sickle cell, hepatitis, diabetes, cancer, BHP (Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia), Cardiovascular disease (CVD) and arthritis. His thoughts have been on helping countless people in pain and feeling hopeless. So, the idea of taking an active part in bringing natural products to others was born. The health shop is an ideal place to connect people with all things natural, organic and wholesome. Bolar Naturals provides Nigerians with nutraceuticals, herbals and natural formulations. How much is the business worth? He kept that private, but said it has grown to become a national pharmaceutical marketing company with her own brands,doing research into natural products, and developing them into successful brands. Soremekun has been doing a lot of health education and advocacy for people. Is it expensive to start? It is, he said.
•Mrs Oluwatoyin flanked by Rev Oyediji (right) and Pastor Esan at the event.
HE Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation Mrs Risikat Akiyode has commended the Centre for Vocational Empowerment Programme and Development (CVED), Ipaja, Lagos for complementing the efforts of the government in jobs provision for the people by training 148 people free. She spoke at the 11th graduation of the centre in Lagos at the weekend. She said it was good that people were availing themselves of getting training in skills instead of looking for white collar jobs. Mrs Akiyode, who was represented by Mrs Adedeji Oluwatoyin described the programme as laud-
How to make it in online business have the opportunity to leverage social media and I show them how to do it properly,” she said. What equipment does one need to start with? “All one needs is proper training on the strategies of different social media platforms and how to pick trends. One needs constant access to the internet but smart phones have made that quite easy,” she said. Is starting the business easy and quick compared to other service businesses? “Oh yes, very easy, especially for Nigerians because we are social and hospitable people. We are also intelligent and enlightened. An average person can start and make a success of it within very short time, say in three months,” she added. On hours of work, her words: ” I can work anytime and am used to working abnormal hours. That can happen to anyone because you find yourself getting carried away while working on the internet. But I have so planned my work that I average 30 working hours per week. One good thing about this business is that there are tools that allow you to schedule your work and even when I am in bed sleeping, my work is being posted fresh on se-
lected social media platforms. People think I am online 24 hours,but those submissions have been scheduled to post at certain times,” she added. She targets individuals and businesses. The company, she said, is doing well. Her problem is not being able to satisfy the market because there are not enough qualified people to assist her. “There are clients whom we have not been able to serve because of lack of qualified manpower. The potential in social media marketing is huge and even just evolving.“ What does it take to run a successful business? “Love of people. You have to love your clients, care for them and think always of ways you can help them. Love, care and help that’s the secret of running a successful business. If you care for people and help them, they will happily give you repeated business and recommend you.” She said one could work parttime. If you plan yourself very well, you can achieve a lot for your clients even while working few hours a day, she added. Do you have challenges accessing credit? “My business does not
For a retail pharmacy in Lagos, depending on the location, he said one needs several millions of naira. “It could be as much as N20million in some cases.” From his experience, what does it take to run a successful business? His words: “Vision, focus, determination, wisdom, and favour from God. Never ever give up! “ But the path to success has not been without its hiccups. A passion for his work, however, meant no challenge was ever too great. He has enjoyed every step of the way as a business owner and a pharmacist.
Lagos praises centre for providing free training
A Lagos female entrepreneur Mrs Olaitan Wellington shares the secret of the success of her online business with DANIEL ESSIET
ROM the beginning, President,Internet Marketers Association of Nigeria Mrs Olaitan Wellington deployed technology in her business She started a business centre with one IBM electric typewriter, photocopier and telephone. “I can’t really remember how much it cost then, but I know it wasn’t that too expensive. That was before the advent of Personal Computers (PC).“ She spoke of the need for carving a niche and filling it. “That was my starting point. But I am no longer running it. However, what I am doing now evolved over time, from that busines,”she added. Moving with the times, she researched and began a business online. With time she became an internet marketer and social media marketing strategist. Is it expensive to start the business? “It is not expensive. It is very interesting and quite rewarding. As a social media marketing strategist, I help individuals and organisations market their businesses to larger audiences with minimal cost. So many businesses who would not have been able to afford huge advertising now
require credit. You don’t even need to rent an office. You can work from anywhere you are comfortable. “How much is my business now worth?” (Laughter) Let me just say that I can afford whatever I want, when I want it. But then, my wants are not outrageous. Finding time for herself and family is one of the benefits of being an entrepreneur, she said. “ Since I was a little girl, observing my mum running her business and still having so much time to spend with us kids; being involved in our school activities etc. I loved all that and since made up my mind to work for myself, she added.”
By Joseph Eshanokpe
able, saying it was good the owners of the centre Dominion Faith International Church are looking beyond the traditional roles of the church to empowering not only its members but also others. The Chief Executive Officer of the centre Rev David Olatona said the vision of the centre,which started in 2007, was initially aimed at feeding 300 less privileged in the community every Friday. But that it was later expanded to skills training in areas such as event decoration, cold water starch, body perfume, insecticides, body cream, hair cream beads making and computer appreciation. At the end of the three-month training, certificates are awarded, he added. The first set graduated in 2009. “Categorically, through CVED, we aim at helping participants to attain personal, professional and spiritual growth; and we are confident that lives will be enriched, poverty will be alleviated and future-oriented entrepreneurs will be raised,” he further said. Co-ordinators of the Programme, Pastor Olajide Esan and his wife Mercy noted the vision of the church ‘’which is connecting people to their destinies in order to impact their world positively’’. They said: “The uniqueness of the programme is that it cuts across every strata of the society; it is platform for every one. The qualification is simply a willing heart and availability for lectures.” A Trustee of the church Rev Gabriel Oyediji said at the moment the path to national development is through skills acquisition, urging unemployed graduates to embrace the option. He noted that the era of dependence on certificates was gone, adding that emphasis is on what one could do with one’s hands. He also said that is the only way Nigeria can lifted from being a consumer economy to producer, adding that it was through family businesess and cottage firms that Europe and some advanced countries were developed.
THE NATION WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 4, 2013
NUP: Fed Govt owes pensioners billions of naira
RESIDENT of the Nigeria Union of Pensioners (NUP), Abel Afolayan, has decried the continued delay of payment of arrears of pensions and gratuities worth billions of naira by the Federal Government. In an interview with The Nation, Afolayan said pension money and gratuity owed by the government has remained a problem for pensioners. He said the pensioners who are under the old pension system- ‘Pay As You Go,’ will
FirstBank’s retirees seek removal of funds from NSITF
Stories by Omobola Tolu-Kusimo
not stop agitating until government ensures that pension arrears were paid. He explained that the union has done all it needs to do in terms of perfecting their documents and forms, and have submitted same to the Head of Service of the Federation. Citing other challenges by pensioners, he said many members’ names have been omitted from the list on account of alleged ghost pensioners, but said that documents
submitted will be scrutinised as quickly as possible to include genuine pensioners excluded from the list. Afolayan said he was worried over the continued delay as the arrears which have grown over three years could have been prevented from piling into billions of naira. He also appealed to the government to implement the 63 per cent pension increase. “The 1999 constitution as amended stipulates that pension should be increased every
five years. Since N18,000 minimum wage has been increased, pension should be increased too. “Although it has been worked out to 53 percent increase, it is yet to be resolved. We are challenged and we will continue to appeal to the authorities to release the circular in other for it to be implemented. “State governments are saying they do not have money to implement such reviews but we have said that when they are ready to pay, they will have to pay the arrears,” he added.
to go public with its fabulous profits. “The organisation is seeking among other things to acquire the immediate interest of the management of First Bank to meet with the new national executive committee of the association to discuss the welfare of over 5,000 members of the association and to discuss various other issues that are of interest to both parties,” Aligekwe said. On the election of the new National Executive Committe (NEC), it said: “In compliance with the terms of reference given to
them as outlined above, the Caretaker committee diligently executed to the letter all their terms of reference with all the members throughout the Federation and the First Bank management carried along in every step. “Eventually, election of officers of the NEC was announced and conducted in a well-attended National General Meeting of the association held at the National Secretariat in Surulere, Lagos, on January 31, this year".
IRSTBank Pensioners Association of Nigeria has called on the management of the bank to retrieve their funds tied down in the defunct Nigerian Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF) The group’s new executive told reporters in Lagos of the untold hardship members of the group undergo accusing management of the bank of being indifferent to the plight of its retirees. The retirees said the management of the bank has neglected the pensioners whose efforts in the past brought the bank to its present glory. President of the association, Olugbemi Adeta, said they are surprised by the action of FirstBank, arguing that it is the loyalty and hard work of the neglected pensioners that took the bank to where it is today. “If we had stolen money, there is no way FirstBank would be where it is today. The bank is one of the strongest banks in the country and we believe that it is because of the foundation that we laid several years ago. We laid this foundation with serious labour, when we had little technological assistance and some of us had to be balancing ledgers up until 2am,” he lamented. A communiqué read by the group’s National General Secretary, Cosmos Aligekwe, called on the management to retrieve members’ funds tied down in the NSITF and the
•Some of the retirees
National Housing Scheme (NHS) which it alleged was orchestrated under the guise of incomplete documentation. “It is our belief that the management of First Bank is unduly playing pranks with the lives of their meritorious pensioners whose collective efforts in the past brought the bank to its present glory. “We are hereby informing the bank and the general public that enough is enough. We, the retirees of First Bank, have suffered enough in silence while the bank continues
U.S Institute, NAICOM collaborate on training
HE new Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer New York Institute of Finance, United States, Patrick Fitzgerald and the Registrar, Currie Marcia have sought collaboration with the National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) on training and manpower development. NAICOM Deputy Commissioner, Finance and Administration George Onekhena, disclosed this when the team visited the Commission’s headquarters in Abuja. According to him, the team was also to apprise the Commission of the workings of the institute and discuss areas of collaboration. On the entourage was the immediate past President of Chartered Institute of Stockbrokers, Nigeria, Mike Itegboje. Giving an insight of the Commission and the industry, Onekhena said the Commission is committed to training and develop-
ment of its manpower as it is key to effective supervision of the industry and alignment with international best practices. He noted that the Commission is pleased to hear that the institute is focusing on Africa and assured the team of NAICOM’s readiness to collaborate with the institute. He said: “The commission will be interested in what kind of services the institute is ready to offer and how such services would impact positively on operations. Of course we have needs to equip our staff with a lot of skills, especially in the areas of financial analysis which is crucial to us and risk management. “The learning needs in these areas are very huge so, we will need as much assistance as we could get.” Meanwhile, Fitzgerald informed NAICOM that students of their Institute turn out better informed, educated and connected at the
end of each programme adding that participants in the Institute’s training programmes come from diverse backgrounds. He said it gives them the opportunity to consumate cross-border relationships and contacts that are in most cases mutually beneficial to both the participants and their respective organisations. He also believed the Commission will benefit immensely from the institute’s hands-on and practical approach to learning. The importance of insurance is growing at a great speed across the globe. Nigeria could take advantage of the institute’s learning programmes to remain at the same level like its contemporaries in other jurisdictions, he said. The New York Institute of Finance is the training arm and division of the New York Stock Exchange in the United States.
Drop your ex from your health insurance plan
ETTING divorced? One of the many consequences is that you could lose your health insurance. Say you get your health insurance through your spouse’s employer. Many spouses do. Once you are divorced, your spouse must notify his company’s health insurance company of the change and drop you from the plan. Gary W. Jurney, president of Kainos Partners in Jersey Village, Texas, explains, “If the employee’s health plan specifies that spouses are eligible for coverage, once the employee is legally divorced, the ex-spouse would no longer be eligible.” However, you can stay on your spouse’s plan while you are legally separated, says Matthew Tassey, past chairman of the Life and Health
Insurance Foundation for Education (LIFE). Give notice of divorce within 30 days If you change your marital status, you are required to give your health plan notice in a “timely manner,” Tassey says. Timely is usually within 30 days. “That’s the standard in the industry,” he says. Dropping spouse from health planOnce your divorce is final, the ex-spouse’s coverage is likely terminated immediately. “However, some plans will let you stay on until the end of the month following the date of the divorce,” Tassey notes. If you’re the spouse with health insurance through work, you want to tell your health plan of your divorce because it could lower your premiums, Tassey says. Coverage for an
“employee plus spouse” is usually more per month than coverage for an individual. Repaying health insurance benefits There are good reasons to notify your employer of your divorce once it’s final. If you don’t, you could face repercussions. First, you could be liable for any benefits the health plan pays for your ex. “If you don’t tell them and there is a claim, the insurance company can try and recover the cost of the claim from you,” Tassey says. Legally, you would have to reimburse your health plan. Jurney confirms, “Your ex-spouse will become liable for all medical expenses from the date of the divorce unless he or she opts for continued coverage through COBRA.”
Second, there could be tax implications. “The value of the health coverage provided to the ex-spouse is taxable to the employee, to the extent it is not paid for with post-tax dollars,” says Sonkin. Some benefits remain Not all is lost when you get divorced. Tassey says if you and your ex had been contributing to a health savings account, your ex still may be able to use his or her share of the money in that account to pay health care premiums or for qualified health care expenses. Also, even though your ex-spouse is no longer eligible for your health plan, your children are. • Culled from insure.com
THE NATION WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 4, 2013
The Midweek Magazine
Minister demands global respect for Nigerians At the recently concluded United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) Minister of Tourism, Culture and National Orientation, Chief Edem Duke, demanded global respect for Nigerians, Dr. Taiwo Oladokun reports.
HE Minister of Tourism, Culture and National Orientation, Edem Duke, has called on foreign countries to accord greater respect to travelling Nigerians as high net worth tourists. He spoke at the Ministerial Roundtable of the 20th General Assembly of United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) which was jointly hosted by Zambia and Zimbabwe. The minister said by travelling, Nigerians contributions to the various aspects of tourism globally stressing that the situation as a strong indication that Nigerians deserve greater respect. Speaking on the theme of the assembly, Visa Facilitation, Connectivity and Relations Between Tourism and Air Transport Policies, the Minister who led the Nigerian delegation to the General Assembly decried the situation where some countries come up with visa policies that impinge on connectivity by making it difficult for some nationals to travel for tourism, business and education. Asked why he was emphatic in demand for respect for Nigerian travelers the Minister said “I was emphatic because many countries at the roundtable spoke about using the benchmark for certain countries as yardstick for endorsing tourism in other parts of the world. For instance, you have countries that are not subscribers to the UNWTO Convention but they are the preferred countries for many tourists. It is said that when you have visas to those countries, you will have non-encumbrance access to those countries. My question is what about countries which are members of the UNWTO and are big source markets for Africa, Europe, Asia, North America and South America, and tourists from these are tourists who spend big for the economies of the preferred countries. Why are they also not given visa facilitation and treated with great respect? the Minister asked. The minister told the assembly that “often times because of our adventurous spirit and because of our desire to enhance knowledge by traveling to different parts of the world, Nigerians are regular travelers around the world. This keeps embassies of foreign countries in Nigeria busy and thousands of flight seats are also filled by Nigerians traveling for different purposes including business, education, holiday, shopping and for other legitimate reasons. It is, therefore, important to treat Nigerians with greater respect because they contribute significantly to tourist arrivals in very many countries”. Duke said the new tourist visa regime put in place by the Federal Government will be diligently pursued to remove all encumbrances hitherto associated with obtaining the visa to visit Nigeria. Earlier at the opening ceremony attended by the President of Zambia, Michael Sata and his Zimbabwe counterpart, the Secretary-General of UNWTO, Dr. Taleb Rifai said though the last two years were marked by slower than expected global economic recovery, a lingering recession in the Eurozone and remarkable geopolitical changes in many parts of the world, international tourism continued to grow reaching an all-time records. According Dr. Rifai: “International tourists’ arrivals grew by four per cent in 2012 and by five per cent in the first half of 2013, thus exceeding the UNWTO’s initial forecast for
From Taiwo Oladokun
SUMMIT the current year of a three-four per cent growth. On the political level, 2012 reflected our collective efforts to improve tourism’s recognition on the global agenda. World leaders at the G20 Summit in Mexico and Rio+20 UN Decade of Sustainable Development Conference, for the first time, singled out tourism as a driver of economic growth, development and job creation”. Relating these developments to Africa, the Secretary-General said international tourist arrivals in Africa grew from 15 million in 1990 to 52 million in 2012 while exports from international tourism reached US$34 billion in 2012 from a mere six billion in 1990 and by 2030 international tourist arrivals to Africa will reach 134 million, almost three times the current number. Continuing, Dr. Rifai said: “This 20th General Assembly of our organisation is therefore holding at a moment of continued growth in the tourism sector and of increasing political recognition of the role of tourism in contributing to a more sustainable growth. UNWTO forecasts 1.8 billion international tourists by 2030. This forecast not only proves tourism’s resilience if we consider the challenges many countries are facing. It also calls upon increased awareness of the global responsibility we share as a critical global activity and of the urge to co-operate further in ensuring the continued sustainable growth of the sector”. Three main issues were top of the agenda of the assembly. These are Visa Facilitation and Entry Formalities and Air Connectivity especially with regards to Africa and other places (more than 50% of tourism movements take place by air) and Youth Tourism. Dr. Rifai said Youth Tourism is becoming increasingly crucial because 300 million out of people who travel around the world are classified as
‘It is, therefore, important to treat Nigerians with greater respect because they contribute significantly to tourist arrivals in very many countries”. Duke said the new tourist visa regime put in place by the Federal Government will be diligently pursued to remove all encumbrances hitherto associated with obtaining the visa to visit Nigeria’
young traveler stressing the importance of addressing issues that affect them at UNWTO sessions. To this end, the assembly approved the proposed recommendations on Youth Travel, which placed special emphasis on the positive impact of young travelers on host communities, destinations and countries; the need to stimulate youth travel; the importance of identifying key issues to advance the segment and the necessity of strengthening the link between education and tourism to benefit the youth. Delegates also shared information on state of affairs in terms of air transport in their respective countries while highlighting the measures and initiatives necessary to increase connectivity and bridge the gap between tourism and air transport policies. Issues such as infrastructure, taxes and levies, visa facilitation and regulation were debated by delegates. There was a general consensus that as with visa policymaking, connectivity implies a strong coordination between the ministries responsible for tourism and air transportation apart from competitive taxation systems. Mugabe and his Zambian counterpart, Michael Sata in their remarks said the decision to jointly host the 20th General Assembly of UNWTO is an affirmation of the affinity between the two close neighbours, especially in the area of tourism as they both share a common heritage in the Victoria Falls in Livingstone, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The two Presidents emphasized the importance of tourism to the economies of their countries and promised to continue to provide the needed impetus and work with the UNWTO and other relevant organizations around the world to further develop their tourism and cultural assets. The General Assembly was attended by 120 delegations from member countries and states that are not members with 49 Ministers in attendance making a total of over 400 delegates. A major highlight of the 20th General Assembly is the re-election of the Secretary-General, Dr. Taleb Rifai for another four-year term. •Oladokun is Special Assistant on Media to the Minister of Tourism, Culture, National Orientation
Cartoonists mirror human rights abuses Lagos commissioner urges youths on integrity
UMAN rights abuses and violation took the centre stage at an art exhibition at the National Museum, Onikan, Lagos. Highlighted were abuses captured by cartoonists in the newspapers from 1984 to date. Anthropology student of the University of Ibadan, Mr. Henry Akporuovo last week exhibited 200 of such cartoons. His interest was to compare and contrast the incidences of human rights violation that happened between 1984 till date. With the theme, Moment of Reflection the research work seeks to establish the present and predict the Nigeria that appears in the dreams of Nigerians. According to the researcher, Mr. Henry Akporuovo, the fundamental human rights were not visible under military rule since the military had veto power and through force every civil society was brought under check. He said that even when democracy seemed to have shown in the eyes of the masses, Nigerians thought that it would bring stability and respect to human rights but it never happened. Disclosing why he chooses cartoons to
By Chinasa Ekekwe
VISUAL ART text to pass his message, Mr Akporuovo said that cartoons reflect both an understanding of the masses as well as to entertain. “Cartoon is common. It applies to everyone both children and adults. Political cartoon has been addressed as a representative of social reform. Cartoons have been and will continue to be an important part of our societal culture” he said. Akporuovo disclosed that cartoon as a tool is capable of providing stability and location through which memory can be applied for national reconciliation and democratic co-existence. “Going into the national dailies I choose the one that addresses my topic. I discovered that incidences of national concern that happened in the past are still re-occurring. Examples are the ASUU strike in 1984, 1985 is still the same in 2001, 2003 and even recently, ASUU is on strike.”
AGOS State Commissioner for Education Mrs Olayinka Oladunjoye has urged youths to be epitome of integ-
rity. She spoke at this year’s Essay Competition by the Bible Society of Nigeria (BSN) and the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) in Lagos. It was titled: Integrity: Panacea for socio-economic and political change in Nigeria. The commissioner, represented by the Director Multilingual Centre, Mrs Olayinka Bello, said: “Do not ask for what your country can do for you but what you can do for your country. The destiny of this country is in your hands. Integrity starts from the youth. How do you manage your time. How many hours do spend on the internet and on your books. Manage your time well.. Only those who do not read practice exam malpractice.” She added: “A lot of expectations are on the youths. If have hope in Christ, you will not miss it.” Director Human Resources 7up Bottling Company Mr Femi Mokikan, who chaired the occasion commended the participants
By Joseph Eshanokpe
COMPETITION for the quality of their presentations. Noting that there is hope for the country, he said the participants attended Nigerian universities. He urged them to practise what they had written. Each of has raised an issue. These are food for thought for us. What is your issue. Whoever you are, challenge yourself, urging Nigerians to make a U-turn in their attitude to things. BSN Secretary-General Rev Dare Ajiboye said it is easier to talk about integrity than to practise it. He said at BSN, there is a template for practising it. “We do not discriminate in our recruitment. Our contractors do not give bribes to get contracts,” he said. Six Corps members took part in the competition. They were Gabriel Aderemi Adedoyin, Grace Yakubu, Oluwakayode Ajomole, Deborah Oluyemi, Caleb Agunbiade and Oyetayo Oyelowo. Ajomole who took first position went home with a laptop and other gifts.
THE NATION WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 4, 2013
The Midweek Magazine
Of theatre and our Duke US-based scholar, Prof Segun Ojewuyi, writes on many unanswered questions on government’s proposed sale of landed property around the National Theatre, Lagos.
AST week, the Department of Theatre at the University of Ibadan (UI) celebrated 50 years of theatre in the African academy. The celebrations marked 50 years of formal theatre training in Africa with UI being the first of such on the continent. In those years, graduates of the department provided high value leaderships in theatre, music, advertising, film, radio and television, print journalism, politics, business, civil service, international diplomacy, academics and even institutional religion. They have served both country and the world with vision and distinction, wielding major global influence. Earlier in the year, Professor Wole Soyinka – Africa’s first Noble Prize winner in Literature and an early head of the University of Ibadan School of Drama had opened the celebrations with a public lecture. Now as the events of the week kicked off, Professor Abiola Irele – a one time actor on the Ibadan stage, who then went on to become a Professor of Comparative Literature at Harvard University, headlined the events with a key note address. As an alumnus of the UI department, I have often bragged the pedigree of my alma maters – University of Ibadan (my African Ivy league in theater) and Yale University (my American Ivy League in Drama). The combined depth and quality of Ibadan’s training continue to ring loud and strong on the global stages we have found ourselves! Yet on this same week, we are reminded of one of the most unnerving ironies of being Nigerians. This great irony rests on the fact that our country is one where the potential for greatness is humongous but greatly dimmed by our government’s propensity for mediocrity, cronyism, corruption, violence and greed. Amidst the pomp of what is tagged the ‘Homecoming’ at Ibadan this week, one hopes that there are new and pragmatic strategies for resolving the combative challenges that our art, our professional calling and our cultural accounts, demand of us! Nigerian theater suffers from what I call “Neo-malice’. Malice is the expressed and actualised desire for evil, where evil is not religion specific, but a cultural and political affliction. Theatre as we must emphasise, is defiant of normative constructs. Instead of patterns of order, which other fields observes, theatre distinguishes itself by its core fascination with explorations of entropy and disorder. African performance, says Kenyan writer and activist Ngugi Wa Thiong’o, was the first to be assaulted by the cultural forces of colonialism, to give space for the construction of a colonised being. That was the first ‘malice’. Initially our immediate post-colonial response in Nigeria led the rest of African Theatre with an added urgency. Wole Soyinka, Hubert Ogunde, Femi Osofisan, Ola Rotimi, Zulu Sofola, Bode Osanyin, Ben Tomoloju and many first runners of Nigerian theatre proved this, not only through their plays, but also to the extent of their activist roles as our collective social conscience. As dreamers we seek to create utopias. But their fervor, the commitment of the sixties, seventies and eighties has dimmed, our dreams atrophied as our apologetic generation stumbles along in stupor! Our lungs, our dreams are clogged with gluttonous portions of selfcenteredness, sycophancy and cowardice. We are now so afraid to speak the truth to ourselves, much so to anyone we deem to be in some form of power. So, we are doubly colonised and we perpetuate this evil upon our art, our profession. Wa Thiong’o concludes his observation on a darker note, identifying the origins of the neo-malice in African, and more specifically Nigerian theatre. “The same colonized being”, he says, has “mutated into a neo-colonial dictator, who sees theater as a threat, and he often sends theater practitioners into prisons (Ogunde, Soyinka), exile (Soyinka/Sowande et al), impoverishment or even death in some cases (Ken Saro Wiwa). These colonised beings mutating into dictators and politicians have progressively brought our Theatre academies and Theater practitioners to their begging knees, dazed and comatose! But Theatre thrives. It cannot be killed either as text or practice. Theater constructs our human encounters between knowing and unknowing participants, generating a spatial and experiential energy that is simultaneously catalytic and cathartic. It is not dissimilar to the basic run of life – inhaling and exhaling. We must breathe to stay alive, as our society must “theater” to live. Why is it that our appointed government officials and the artistic community they are called to serve, never meet for open, frank and deliberative collaborations? Why?
•National Theatre, Iganmu, Lagos
In a sector of human engagement, where creativity and innovative thinking are the marks of the stakeholders, why is idiocy often foisted upon the artist of the theater and upon the nation by uncivilised civil servants and miscast ministers, who hop from one poorly conceived ‘rebranding’ project to another! Carnivals, that self-inflicted minstrelsy from our Caribbean cousins, have suddenly become the obsessions of money gobbling administrations; their new tool for the cannibalisation of our traditional festivals, dances, masquerades and of our rich pantheon. They seem content with turning the performance of theatre and the transmission of our culture into these shallow and inconsequential expressions of irrational spectacles. We on our part have dispersed into related fields and sometimes do no even want to be known as theatre artists! Edem Duke, the Minister of Tourism, Culture and National Orientation is called to speak on the issue of whether the National Theatre is being sold or not. The question is simply to find out what our government’s clear agenda for the development of Theatre in Nigeria will be, going forward. It is not as if the government and its officials are permanently and completely bereft of ideas. It just seems that the moments of visionary clarity are far in between the preponderance of mediocrity and blatant corruption. Duke is in error when he assumes that he and his private sector friends know best. He is in error when he believes he alone can survive the political rings being woven around him, without taking his constituency along. His attempt at some intentional conflation of the problems will not suffice. In one breath he agrees with us when he says the culture community does not have any other iconic infrastructural asset other than the National theatre. Yet in a fit of neo-malice, he declares that ”the National theatre would translate into a leisure and entertainment centre, the first leisure and entertainment duty-free zone in West Africa”. What is a leisure and enter-
‘Why is it that our appointed government officials and the artistic community they are called to serve, never meet for open, frank and deliberative collaborations? Why? In a sector of human engagement, where creativity and innovative thinking are the marks of the stakeholders, why is idiocy often foisted upon the artist of the theater and upon the nation by uncivilised civil servants and miscast ministers, who hop from one poorly conceived ‘rebranding’ project to another!’
tainment centre? How is this so-called “leisure and entertainment centre” different than a casino? How is this leisure and entertainment centre the same as a National Theatre, like the National Theatre of Great Britain in London or the Kennedy Centre in Washington DC? There is a good reason American mogul Donald Trump builds Casinos – leisure and entertainment centres - instead of theatres. There is a reason American pornography business lord Flynt builds strip clubs and bars, never theatres. It is disingenuous to lump theatre in the same wool. We get it but does he? I want to believe Duke does get it and he is indeed working hard to ensure the revitalisation of theatre in Nigeria. What we want, therefore, what we know will work best for him, is to call for an open forum with theatre artists in Lagos, Abuja or both, where he can explain the details of his plans and answer the questions the artists have. Just a simple and sincere collaborative gesture, an expression of mutual respect, not condescension, will do. He just might be surprised to know the number of Theatre artists who are on his side and who will defend his agenda, if they are truly in the best interest of the sector. Fifty years after Ibadan, 36 years after the World Black Arts festival FESTAC, two decades and more after the establishment of the National Troupe of Nigeria, wasting our hard earned national legacy of Theatre has to stop. Finally, our Academics and Theatre artists for most part can no longer remain safely segregated, each on their own side of the continually widening gap between theory and practice, between reflection and creation. The Homecoming at Ibadan should be the rebirth of Theatre in Nigeria. •Ojewuyi is an alumnus, University of Ibadan Theatre and currently teaches at the Southern Illinois University, USA.
THE NATION WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 4, 2013
The Midweek Magazine
At the Omooba Yemisi Adedoyin Shyllon Art Foundation (OYASAF) organised lecture in Lagos, Prof Jacob Jari of the Ahmadu Bello University in Zaria, Kaduna State, examined what influences the price of art works, reports CHINASA EKEKWE.
•From left: Jari, Shyllon and Jessica Williams
Getting the right price for artworks
HAT is your pedigree in art practice? Who collects your works? Who do you think you are? Who knows you? Does it matter whether you sign your artwork? These were some of the questions addressed by Prof Jacob Jari of the Faculty of Environmental Design of the Ahmadu Bello University in Zaria, Kaduna State, while speaking on The Price of Art and its implications on art practice in Nigeria. He was guest speaker at the Omooba Yemisi Adedoyin Shyllon Art Foundation (OYASAF) third lecture series held in Lagos. He recalled how a collector offered to pay the cost of one work for four works which he eventually paid with dirty notes of naira. He described the incidence as a rape, which is not only rampant but also has become an initiation rite into professionalism. Prof Jari lamented how artists are raped in a bid to sell their works, stating that most times, the price of a work is influenced by the reputation of the artist. He said the artworks are largely determined by the reputation of the artists, but wondered if that should be the case everywhere in the coun-
try. He noted that parameters for selling artworks are determined by the auction houses who sometime sell works of younger artists at higher prices than that of older artists. “If I were rich, I would buy anything I fancy. We cannot therefore, begrudge collectors their right to collect works based on their fancy which may include kitsch. What is however disturbing is the impact of such collection on art practice,” he said. According to him, the manner in which works are collected in Nigeria encourages artists to remain in a certain mould of creation, which targets sales. He noted that there is no logic in why a certain artist’s work attracts a huge price against another artist’s work which sells for almost nothing. “There is therefore, the tendency for artists who wish to sell works to ape those who successfully sell theirs. This perhaps accounts for why forgery is particularly rampant in Nigeria, not only perpetrated by artists but also by gallery owners,” he added. In 1995, Prof Jari delivered a paper entitled, The Signature on a Work of Art, where he argued that in order to be objective while assessing an artwork, the creator behind the art
Organist at work ByChinasa Ekekwe
T was an evening of sheer eclectic classical tunes as the duo of Ibiyefiebo Harry and Babajide Odedeji delighted music enthusiasts who gathered at the Agip Recital Hall of the Onikan-based MUSON Centre for two hours at their organ recital. Playing pieces of Derek Bourgeois, Johann Sebastian Bach, Christopher Pardini, and others, the profound organists set the dialogue for vast classical rhythms and tunes. Ibiyefiebo with the finger locking and pedaling of the organ gave a breathtaking rendition of the Berceuse by Louis Vierne, which tested his strength on this complicated musical instrument. This piece was accompanied with edgy tones and embellishment that culminated to a grand and major ending. Odedeji also showed mastery with his performance. His body language told it all as this was all he needed to captivate the audience with his racy and slow tempos. It was amazing to watch his two hands and two feet work miraculously across four keyboards and the pedal board, showing his dexterous execution of the mechanics of such music. His performance on the Tocatto and Fugue in D major earned him the greatest applause of the night before he wrapped up the night with Champion tune. Ibiyefiebo is currently the principal organist of Mountain of Fire and Miracles Ministries (MFM) and has been privileged to participate in international organ competitions such as the Marcello Galanti International Organ Competition in Modaino Italy in 2008. His penchant for music was honed at an early age of 9 under the tutelage of his late father Mr. M.S.D. Harry who was also an organist. Ibiyefiebo is currently CEO of IBMANS Global Ventures. Babajide’s journey into the musical world started from the church where he developed a passion for the organ. Popularly known as Aluduru-a Yoruba name for Organist, the businessman has spent 15 years on stage and is widely known for his various reflections and tonal mood he displays with the music instrument. His ability to blend different genres of music into a masterpiece has earned him fame so far.
•Babajide on the organ
work should be hidden from the audience. But, one of the participants at the seminar, Chika Okeke-Angulu disagreed saying that it is not only the works that are displayed but, also the artist. He cited the example of two artists, Jimoh Akolo and Demas Nwoko’s performance in 2012 auction by Arthouse in Lagos. According to him, Akolo’s painting, Untitled, was auctioned for N700,000 while Nwoko’s work, Praise Singer went for N7,000,000. Now, what were the criteria used? he asked. According to Prof Jari, the two artists were classmates and both of them assisted in finding the Zaria Art Society in the 1950s. Professor Jari spoke on his experience as a teacher and lecturer. He said in Nigerian schools especially primary and secondary, teaching of art is not being supported. He said that art lesson, if it is lucky to be included in the time-table, is usually held as the last lesson on a Friday. He added that many secondary schools do not have art teachers and usually where a teacher is assigned to teach art, he or she becomes the only art teacher in the entire school, teaching up to five arms of each class from JSS1 to SSS3. Prof Jari said described his experience as a lecturer in the university as his greatest, which created the opportunity to appraise the price situation. He said that art students in universities are disrespected the most, which starts with the admission exercise where although, the fine art candidate is still required like other students to have a minimum of five credit including English language. But, he stressed that the general belief is that art students require only a credit. The worse, according to Prof Jari comes when an artist takes a teaching position. “While his or her colleagues are promoted based on their discipline, the artist is compelled to perform twice as much before he or she is promoted. In most universities, exhibitions do not count towards the promotion of the artist teacher. The artist is expected, after creating the works to write and publish papers about them not in catalogues but in journals. “In comparison, a scholar in the humanities does not have to create any work. He could wait for the artist to create the work; the scholar then writes about it, publishes and is promoted. The creator of the work scores nothing while the commentator on the work scores full points. This trend has discouraged many artists in the university from practicing, seeking instead avenues to publish or perish,” he said. Prof Jari advised patrons of art and artists who desire to develop art to set up art foundations, which should provide funds to assist creative artists with new ideas. “If artist can apply and get support from art Foundations, artists will be more expressive in their works. Artists will be able to create art pieces that you cannot sell in an auction,” he added. Former President Society of Nigerian Artists (SNA) and former deputy Rector, Yaba College of Technology, Lagos, Mr Kolade Oshinlowo said that artist must be able to place a value on his work if there is a passionate involvement. He lamented that student artists do more of replication of an already made piece instead of coming up with fresh ideas. He advised that students need to be grounded in the basics of fine art.
THE NATION WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 4, 2013
The Midweek Magazine
PHOTO OF THE WEEK
Two truck pushers on duty
PHOTO: ABIODUN WILLIAMS
Photo Africa announces jury Port Harcourt Book Festival
HE Organising Committee of the Life In My City Art Festival (LIMCAF), the Enugu-based annual youth art festival, has announced a cast of experienced and internationally recognised photo artists who have accepted to be members of the Committee of Jurors for the 2013 edition of its Photo Africa contest. The committee includes photo art practitioners, such as, Uche James Iroha (Nigeria), James Banor (Ghana), Piere Dufour (France), Amaize Ojeikere (Nigeria), Yehia el Alaily (Egypt) and John Fleetwood (South Africa). The Committee’s work will be co-ordinated by LIMCAF’s Art Director, Ayo Adewunmi assisted by Emeka Egwuibe, a member of the Organising Committee. The Committee’s task is to select the best 40 out of the 152 entries received from 18 African countries, which will be featured in an exhibition to be mounted in Enugu during the grand finale week of LIMCAF. Based on the theme life in my city and the guidelines provided, the Committee of Jurors will agree on and recommend one overall prize winner to the Organising Committee of the festival. Photo Africa is a recent addition (the first one was held last year and was won by Nigeria’s Eremina Jumbo) to the portfolio of LIMCAF, the pan-Nigeria youth art project designed to encourage and promote aware-
ness of environmental and cultural issues through art, as well empower young people economically by providing opportunities for the sale of their works, winning of handsome prizes as well as the exposure of their creative outputs on a credible national and international platform. In keeping with these aims, Photo Africa is an online contest open to young African photographers living and working in Africa. For now it attracts a sole prize of USD 1000 dollars in addition to an all expenses paid invitation to Enugu for the prize winner along with other runners up to visit Enugu during the grand finale week of LIMCAF due to climax this year on Saturday, October 12. Life In My City is the brainchild of Chief Robert Oji founder and CEO of Rocana Nigeria Limited, a leading outdoor advertising, printing and packaging outfit based in Enugu. Its board is chaired by Elder K. U. Kalu CON, a former chairman of Union Bank and current Managing Director of a consulting firm, Skoup and Associates. The LIMCAF grand finale week is a feast of exhibitions featuring the selected best works in five visual art categories of the over 1000 entries from the festival’s 12 zones around the country in five visual art categories in addition to an all photo exhibition of the 40 selected.
ANA inaugurates LOC
KURE, the Ondo State capital, is fast becoming the destination of Nigerian literary writers across the globe as it hosts the International Convention of Association of Nigerian Authors (ANA) come Nov 7th10th 2013. Dreaming for a successful International Convention to be hosted by the Ondo State Chapter, the National body of the Association of Nigerian Authors (ANA) recently inaugurated a seven-member Local Organising Committee (LOC). The members are to be joined by two National executives. The newly inaugurated members are: Mr. Bode Betiku (Chairman) LOC, Mrs. Biola Olatunde (Vice Chairman), Mr. Adewumi Samuel Idowu (Secretary), Mrs. Oluchi Igili functions as Treasurer. Others include Mr. Olaopa B.A, Mr. Afolayan G.S and Mrs. Tosin Adebayo. Prof. Remi Raji, the National President of ANA while speaking at the inauguration was full of praises for the State Chapter for winning the bids to host ANA once again shortly after
successfully hosting the convention in year 2010, courtesy of the Ondo State Governor, Dr. Olusegun Mimiko. He charged members to see that Ondo 2013 convention surpasses that of year 2010. The State LOC Chairman, Mr. Bode Betiku while expressing appreciation to the Association National President for personally showing up in the State expressed members’ total readiness towards the challenges ahead. In his own remarks, the State Chairman of ANA, Dr. Sola Owonibi commended the State Governor, Dr. Segun Mimiko for making a record by being the first Governor in the history of ANA to host the Association twice while in office. He then assured the National President and Nigerian writers all over the world that the 2013 convention would be better hosted than 2010 which still remains one of the best so far in the history of ANA. After the inauguration, members of the State LOC have swung into action constituting the sub-committees of the LOC towards a successful Akure 2013.
HEN the Port Harcourt Book Festival (former Garden City Literary Festival) was initiated in 2008, under the leadership of Rivers State Governor Chibuike Amaechi, the primary aim was to develop a love for reading among Port Harcourt residents. Since then, the festival has drawn participants from the city, across Nigeria and abroad and has evolved to a onestop event for writers, booksellers, literary connoisseurs, and all major players in the book industry. For this year, the festival will opene between October 21 and - October 26 with the theme Literature and the Creative Economy. Running alongside the festival is a book fair where visitors get the best picks of their desired books. The fair also serves as a premium location for exhibitors seeking to reach a broader
From Uche Udoh
FESTIVAL range of clients in one setting. To exhibit at the fair, participants are to register through the following website: www.portharcourtbookfestival.com. The Port Harcourt Book Fair will take place daily from 8am to 6pm for the duration of the festival. Since inception, it has hosted notable publishers like Heinemann, Learn Africa Plc., EEP Books Services and Africana First Publishers. Besides visiting the book fair, festival attendees will be able to participate in a variety of activities such as symposia, children events, drama performances, interactive sessions with existing authors, to name a few. •Uche is of Rainbow Book Club, Port Harcourt.
NGO to empower youths
NON-GOVERNMENTAL Organisation (NGO) under the aegis of True Nigeria Worldwide Organisation has rolled out plans for promoting economic empowerment among youths in the country. Its founder, Mr Emmanuel Aluede, told reporters in Lagos that the organisation would be involved in identifying and investing in talents of young people, development of sport and empowering them in vocational training programmes. He said the objective was to give Nigerians true freedom from all the evils suffered in over 50 years of independence. “We will not be a talk-shop for the Nigeria people but an organisation that provides practical people oriented solutions for the benefits of the people. “The main desire of these organisation is to help empower the Nigeria people through provision of expression, the Nigeria people will be able to confront the barriers of poverty, under development,
By Miriam Ekene-Okoro
PROGRAMME corruption, bad governance at all levels whilst they become socio-economically and politically empowered through projects and programmes to be implemented and delivered from the organisation transformation agenda action plan” he said. He lamented the fact that Nigeria government has in the last fifty years found it difficult to address the various issues that the people, through initiations of policies that would help create employment and reduce poverty in the country. Our vision is not just to stimulate the process needed to reverse these trends but also to ensure that better transparent, prudent and accountable leadership are in place across the three tiers of government in Nigeria in the near future, with a clear approach to ensure the sustainability of good governance for the people.
THE NATION WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 4, 2013
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Firm trains working women •Continued from Page 17 “The evolving role and career paths of the Chief Finance Officers, CFO, means the skills and capabilities they need to bring are very different and much wider than pure financial experience and acumen. And they will need diverse international and cultural experience as we move to an increasingly global finance function,” Brand said. To ensure diversity, Brand said companies need to understand cultural differences, ensure that individuals from different
backgrounds, sectors and careers are recruited to bring a mix of different skills to their team and embrace transparency and interaction. In her lecture, Azeez said women were responsible for their problems. She urged them to rise above pity and acquire the necessary skills that will guarantee their career fulfilment. Azeez also accused senior women of not wanting to assist or mentor the younger ones, just as she advised them to work as team and not rivals.
Companies need to understand cultural differences, ensure that individuals from different backgrounds, sectors and careers are recruited to bring a mix of different skills to their team and embrace transparency and interaction
•Head, ACCA Nigeria, Mrs. Oluwatoyin Ademola (left) and ACCA President, Helen Brand at the seminar
Residents protest stalled development
ESIDENTS of Badia, an area comprising 11 communities in Apapa Iganmu Local Council Development Area (LCDA) in Lagos State, have protested what they termed the stalled development of their area. They accused the state government and the Lagos Metropolitan Governance and Development Projects (LMGDP) of delaying the World Banksponsored development of the area. The state government has strongly denied the charge. The residents say despite attempts made earlier, the state government has refused to cause the release of about N500 million, being money supposedly meant to be paid to the contractor, Seg Mahsen & Co (Nig) Limited, to enable them continue with the World Bank sponsored roads and drainage construction in the area. In an appeal signed by the leaders of Joint Community Development Association of Badia, a copy which was sent to the chairman of ApapaIganmu Local Council Development Area, the community apparently reported the matter to the World Bank, appealed to them to prevail on the state government to release the money which they claimed was in the custody of the state but was supposed to be paid to the contractors to enable them complete the contract before the
By Uyoatta Eshiet
expiration of the set time. The residents who staged a second protest to the governor’s office recently, said they did so because the World Bank sponsored contract is to end by the end of September. The communities said they had staged a similar protest to the governor’s office and delivered a ‘Save Our Soul’ (SOS) request to Governor Babatunde Raji Fashola since February 12, 2013 but regretted that seven months after, no response had come from the state and in less than one month, the contract may come to an end while their entire area had been made uninhabitable because of the unfinished roads and drainages in the community. One of the community leaders, Mr Saka Yusuf told Newsextra that the World Bank sponsored projects
in the area were to give Badia, a slum, a lift and make it habitable for the residents who are in thousands. He said initially, 16 roads were selected for construction in the area but were later reduced to 12, adding that only one of the roads has been completed since 2011. Prince Kayode L. Obadiah, another community leader in Badia said LMGDP, an agency supervising the contract execution, is a problem to the community. He said when the contractors stopped work, the community confronted them only to be told that the state government had not released funds for them. He said initially, the state government disagreed with the contractor on the contract sum, then decided to hire a private consultant to assess the contract and the consultant put the cost of the work done at N700m of which the state
The state government has been working with a committee to give Badia a decent residency status and it is wrong for anybody to accuse the same government of stalling the development of any area in the state
released N200m since last year. Obadiah said the contractors are ready to complete the work if only the state will give them their money. He appealed to Governor Fashola to prevail on whichever state office that is keeping the money to release it to the contractor to complete the work. He said life in the whole community has become extremely unbearable owing to the nature of the environment and the efforts of the World Bank to lift their standard of living is being impeded by the state and LMGDP. Chief Fateye Sunday, caretaker committee chairman on all LMGD Projects in Apapa Iganmu LCDA also appealed to Fashola to save the situation. He said the leaders in the community have had no rest and are living in fear now because they prevailed on the residents whose houses were demolished and now the roads have not been built, no compensation paid to the owners of the demolished houses, who are now calling on the community leaders to rebuild their destroyed houses. Hon. Adedayo Adesola said said, ”Life is very difficult in Badia community, the boreholes that are supposed to give us clean drinking water are not working, construction of roads and drainages have stopped channeling off waste water. Fashola should please help us.” The 11 community leaders say
work on the canals which was supposed to serve as an alternative to the drainage stopped since 2011. This has caused havoc in the entire communities as houses have submerged. The leaders also complain about the nonfunctioning of the boreholes as well as the incomplete state of the roads in the community. “Out of all the projects started in our communities, only the school project is almost complete; the rest has been abandoned.” The state government has responded to the charge but while the state Commissioner for Works and Infrastructure, Obafemi Hamzat simply said the accusation is an absolute lie, his Information counterpart, Ibirogba Aderemi told Newsextra that the accusation of the residents of Badia community that the state government is keeping the World Bank money, is not true. Aderemi also denied that the government is stalling the development of Badia or any other area in the state. He said rather, the state’s effort aimed at lifting the area from its slum status is ongoing, listing the current building of 1,800 decent houses as one of such efforts. Aderemi said the state government cannot afford to leave any area in the state behind in its Mega City drive. He added that right from the beginning, the state government has been working with a committee to give Badia a decent residency status that is still ongoing and that it is wrong for anybody to accuse the same government of stalling the development of any area in the state.
Lawmaker hails registration of new parties
INORITY Whip of the Federal House of Representative, Hon Samson Osagie has said that the recent registration of new political parties by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has moved Nigeria from the threat of becoming a one-party state. Hon Osagie said the registration of the parties has consolidated Nigeria’s multi-party democratic system and signpost a positive development in the country. He spoke in a chat with newsmen shortly after he was honoured with an award of excellence by students of the College of Agriculture, Iguoriakhi in Edo State. Hon Osagie noted that the emergence would afford Nigerians a greater opportunity and possibility “and an alternative
From Osagie Otabor, Benin
political platform in order to ensure that good governance is enthrone through the electoral system.” Commenting on the kidnapping of Mike Ozekhome, Hon Osagie said the security challenges have a lot of political undertone. He said, “ I grieve that our society is now gradually being turned to a den of criminality. A lot of young people are jobless. The system does not appear to hold anything for them and there appear to be loss of hope. It is a pity that it has to get to this stage. We must redirect the ship of our state in such a manner that economic policies have human face, capable of creating jobs in such that the populace will feel the impact of governance to a very large extent help to solve this act of brigandage.”
THE NATION WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 4, 2013
Policemen for forensic training
S part of efforts to reposition the Nigeria police, Inspector-General, Mr Mohammed Dahiru Abubakar has approved the training of personnel in forensic analysis. Abubakar is aware that public confidence in law enforcement agents has waned and has been working hard to change the perception. The IGP is looking forward to the inauguration of a new forensic laboratory at the Special Fraud Unit (SFU), Ikoyi, Lagos next year. To aid the running of the lab, the first batch of operatives is set to leave for a training exercise in forensic analysis in the United Kingdom, a source at the force headquarters has disclosed. It was learnt that these operatives who would also be grilled in gathering forensic evidence at crime scenes, would be trained by specialists at the City of London Police forensic centre. Sources at the force headquarters told our correspondent that the course would be sponsored by some donor agencies which have partnered with the SFU and the Nigerian police. It was also gathered that the IGP has made all arrangements to equip the new forensic laboratory which is currently under construction at the SFU to compete with any forensic laboratory in the world. The IGP has also said that the era of attacking police stations by terrorists is over. He said 16,000 policemen out of the 50,000 will go for intelligence training, while 10,000 will go for detective training, adding that the newly promoted Assistant Inspector Generals of Police have already undergone a two-week management course in Lagos. He has also ordered for 300 patrol vehicles to be deployed in all the major roads in the country for effective policing and safety of the people on highways. Sources said the IGP is impressed with the performance of the Commissioner of Police in charge of the SFU, Tunde Ogunsakin and his officers and men and has taken a special interest in the department. Besides, the IGP promised at the inception of his administration to train and re-train officers and men
HAIRMAN of the Edo State Internal Revenue Services, Chief Oseni Elamah has urged youths in the state to cultivate the habit of paying their taxes promptly. Chief Elamah, who spoke at a one-day tax sensitisation seminar organised by the New Benin Youth Organisation, said Gover-
By Jude Isiguzo
in all police department to ensure effective performance in the discharge of their duties. It was learnt that of all the departments under the ‘D’ Department (Force Criminal Investigations Department) the successes of SFU in its specified functions of investigating and reporting cases relating to Advanced Fee Fraud (419), Bank and Financial Fraud, Government Ministry Department, Agencies and Parastatals and cases emanating from the Diplomatic Community cannot be quantified. Sources said when Ogunsakin assumed duty on March 16, 2012, he made assessment of the two hundred and nine (209) men/women working in combating fraud and related financial crimes. It was gathered that Immediately, the 23 teams on ground were broken into 14 effective teams with a Team Manager for each of the teams that reports to the CP through the Assistant Commissioner of Police and the Deputy Commissioner of Police. The Unit identified training as a core element for development in fighting financial crimes. Ogunsakin with the support of IGP Abubakar ensured that on the job training and re-training programme were organised on weekly basis for officers/men of the Unit to improve their efficiency and code of conduct. The Unit held its first ever Training/ Workshop on “The Dynamics Of Cashless Economy And Emerging Methods Of Financial
Crimes” in November 2012 to update the know-how of the officers and men in the emerging cybercrime, identity fraud and other related economic crimes. It followed up with another training/workshop in July this year with the theme: ”Corporate Fraud: Insider Abuse In Financial Institutions And The Implication On Developing Economy”. In this year’s edition, resource persons from the City of London Police and Special Agent from Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Department of Homeland Security, United States of America were on ground to grill officers and men of the police anti-fraud department. Participants from the banking and financial sector, legal departments and other police section were also trained. Apart from training, the IGP has also ensured that operatives in all police department are properly quartered in conducive offices. Therefore, due to the increasing activities and work at the SFU, he laid the foundation of Ibrahim Coomassie Building which is still under-construction. The Nation gathered that when completed, the building will house the modern forensic investigation laboratory which will ensure the much needed scientific analyses especially now that the Federal Government is implementing the 100% cashless transaction policy. The project will also usher in a modern structure that will accommodate facilities for Internal Per-
16,000 policemen out of 50,000 will go for intelligence training, while 10,000 will go for detective training, as the newly promoted Assistant Inspector Generals of Police have already undergone a two-week management course in Lagos
sonnel Training, Archive, Clinic, Modern Interrogation Room as well as additional office accommodation for detectives. It was gathered that the project is being carried out with informed participation and collaboration of the Stakeholders. The SFU also boasts of modern electronics appliances and modern investigation rooms which were donated by MultiChoice. Sources say the facility has the capacity to record audio and picture suspects with conferencing input while investigation is going on. This enables detectives to record all interrogation of suspects and also avail the CP the opportunity to monitor the interrogation from his office. It is to serve as a proof that interrogation was not coerced, biased or compromised. The Unit has a well-equipped Computer Room with 12 Computers and two Printers, all connected with a Broadband Internet. It was gathered that the Computer Room has a Foster Freeman machine that can detect counterfeit within short time of its insertion. A Website with the address is www.specialfraudunit.org.ng has also been created for the unit to enable even complainants outside within and outside the country submit their petitions without the stress of travelling down to Lagos or Nigeria. Sources at the force headquarters told The Nation that the much celebrated case of Austrian woman who was caught in the scam of pong love was reported through the Website. Also, that of the Greek woman who was conned by Nigerian fraudster to pay with her sets of musical instruments and other items through the internet. Abubarkar since his assumption as the police IG has concentrated more on the welfare of officers and men. He has advocated a N50, 000 minimum wage for a constable in the Force , saying such will go a long way to boost morale and promote efficiency. The IG said he had already made proposal to the Federal Government and making a “serious representation” for the actualisation
Edo sensitises youths on tax From Osagie Otabor, Benin
nor Adams Oshiomhole has demonstrated accountability to the people judged by the monumental infrastructural development spread across the state.
He said it was expected for every adult in the state earning income to live up to their civic responsibility of tax payment by providing necessary information to the tax authority.
• Chairman, Itire-Ikate Local Council Development Area Hon Hakeem Bamgbola (second right) with Council Engineer Mr Lawson Adenuga (left); Supervisor for Works, Femi Odekunle (right) and Mr Bayo Moliki during the inspection of projects at Ramoni area of the council.
The revenue boss said the seminar was part of education, enlightenment and sensitisation for the public rather than applying the penalty for non-filling of tax forms. He urged the youth to possess the Tax Clearance Certificate (TCC)/Tax Identification Number (TIN) to give them the right to do business anywhere across the globe. He said: “At the beginning of every year, the law requires anybody that earns income to declare that of the previous year ending. It is on the basis of the information that such individual would be assessed on tax.” Guest speaker at the occasion, Rev. Peter Ebabhamiegbeboh,
Every year, the law requires anybody that earns income to declare that of the previous year ending. It is on the basis of the information that such individual would be assessed
•IGP Abubakar of the new salary structure for the police. He said apart from salary, other welfare packages like housing, training, mortgage policy and efficient cooperative society are being restructured to ensure that every policeman benefits from the scheme. ‘We have started with the 500 housing unit in Abuja.’ The commissioning of the Goodluck Jonathan police housing estate in Idimu, Lagos is an atestation to the fact that housing officers is paramount on the agenda of this administration. Other state governments have donated lands for a replicate of such projects in their states. The renovation of the Falomo police clinic, Ikoyi to an international standard and some other police clinics in the country is a pointer to the fact that the wellbeing of officers and men will propel the force to a greater highest. Abubakar has also renovation of the Ikeja Police college, Lagos, the upgrading of the police academy Kano and massive renovation of other police colleges around the country to create a conducive learning environment and training ground for operatives who will pilot the affairs of the force in the future. He also commissioned of the new Area 10 ‘D’ department office to ensure that officers and men have better offices to work in. It is also on record that the Antiterrorist department has been beefed up with new robots that pick up explosives from crime scenes. This will help reduce the loss of human lives during such operation. who spoke on the topic “The Imperative of Paying Tax,” described tax evasion as an evil thing in the sight of God. Rev. Ebabhamiegbeboh, however, said government should ensure stewardship and accountability in using tax payers’ fund. President of the New Benin Youth Organisation, Deacon Roland Iyase stated that the seminar became imperative because of the need to abreast the people, especially those at the grassroots, of the need to pay tax.
THE NATION WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 4, 2013
WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 4, 2013
POLITICS THE NATION
• President Jonathan (second left), Vice President Namadi Sambo (left), Mrs Patience Jonathan and Alhaji Tukur at the convention.
• From left: Amaechi, Aliyu and Abubakar at a press conference in Abuja.
The factionalisation of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) portends grave danger for the acclaimed largest party in Africa. EMMANUEL OLADESU, AUGUSTINE AVWODE, LEKE SALAUDEEN and MUSA ODOSHIMOKHE examine how the protracted crises may affect its fortune in the 2015 elections.
How far can PDP go in 2015? T
WO years ago, the former National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Prince Vincent Ogbulafor, boasted that the party will rule the country for the next 60 years. He was basking in the euphoria of the party’s vicoty at the 2011 elections. He said the party, which has a strong leadership, 23 governors and grassroots appeal, will always be the party to beat. Judging by the protracted crises that have enveloped the party, it is doubtful, if Ogbulafor can exude the same confidennce. To observers, the PDP is now a house divided against itself. In a twist of irony, the acclaimed largest party in Afica is now approaching the next general election with trepidation. At its recent controversial convention in Abuja, where the party split into two factions, its national leader, President Goodluck Jonathan, had peeped into the future, saying that “there is no shaking”. The unfolding drama may have made him to eat his words. According to analysts, not only is the future bleak for the ruling party, the explosion may be the beginning of the eclipse of the octopus, which has betroded the landscape in the last 14 years. The President and others in his camp were jolted out of their delusion when former Vice President Atiku Abubakar led seven governors and other key chieftains to form a parallel national executive. The factional leader, Alhaji Kawu Baraje, seems to have put the National Chairman, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur, on the defensive. Expectedly, there have been efforts to reverse the ‘ugly development’ in the last 48 hours. But it was not clear, if such efforts would succeed. However, the question many Nigerians are asking is what next for the Tukur’s faction? A chieftain of the party from the Southsouth, speaking on condition of anonymity, told The Nation that, as long as the splinter group has not announced another which it would be identified, then the reconciliation can be achieved. He said the breakaway group has only positioned itself strategically for better negotiation. “The aim of those behind the emergence of the new PDP is to force, arm-twist or
What next for Tukur’s faction?
HINGS appear to be falling apart in the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). The two factions led by Alhaji Bamanga Tukur and Alhaji Kawu Baraje have not achieved a truce. Unless the grievances of those who stormed out of the Abuja convention are addressed, the centre may not hold again. To curtail the ugly trend, it appears the party’s leadership is making frantic steps to prevent further damage. But there is no positive result yet. There are some options that can be explored. The first option is to dare the faction and expel the aggrived members for anti-party activities. Tukur’s faction is recognised by the electoral commission. It is not likely that INEC will recognise Baraje’s faction. But this option is dangerous. It means that the PDP will face the 2015 general elections as a party at half. Its influence in some sates controlled by the faction may drop. Former President Olusegun Obasanjo had proposed a reconciliation meeting between the PDP National Working Committee (NWC) and the aggrieved faction. He said the elders will broker peace. Although the former President has not left the party, he is also an aggrieved party elder, whose supporters have been sidelined in the running of the party by Tukur. The former Board of Trustees (BoT) chairman is not happy with the removal of his key supporters from the National Executive Committee (NEC). Although he was said to have held a closed door meeting with President Goodluck Jonathan on Sunday in Aso Rock, details were unknown. Observers contend that the PDP boxed itself into this logjam because it deviated from the vision of the founding fathers. Many PDP elders have been sidelined, especially in the states, by the governors, who are the state leaders. In the past, party elders, including former Vice President Alex Ekweme and Gen. Ike Nwachukwu, headed the reconciliation panels set up by the party. The reports of the panels were never implemented. If another reconciliation committee headed by another party elder is set up, what is the assurance that the report will be implemented? Party sources said that the road to peace may not be in sight for now. The utterances by the Presidency have been couched in belligerent tones, which suggest that those who have formed the faction would likely face sanction. Presidential Adviser on Political Matter, Ahmed Gulak, described the formation of new PDP as the even blackmail the Jonathan Administration to extract reasonable concession in the running of the affairs of the party. We all know that they are not going anywhere. What they want is to have a greater say in the affairs of the party. They think they have lost out. So, I expect them to continue with the negotiation while they claim to be
height of irresponsibility. He said, if the intension of the seven governors was to cause crisis in the party before dumping it, they would not succeed. He said: “As far as we are concerned, there is one PDP; we remain a united family. But, if your son or daughter decided to be a prodigal son or daughter, so be it. But we plead with them to be reasonable; to be law abiding and to know that nobody is above the law.” The other option is to reinvigorate the crisis-resolution mechanism in the party. Already, the Reconciliation Committee headed by Bayelsa State Governor Seriake Dickson now has a bigger assignment. The staring point is to collate the grievances of the faction and make recommendations that would foster a win-win situation. The PDP Governors’ Forum Chairman, Governor Godswill Akpabio of Akwa Ibom State has reiterated the need for peace and dialogue. He said the only way the PDP can remain relevant is to unite. But there must be conditions for unity. S He said: “Some of my colleagues and I have resolved to ensure reconciliation with all those that have grievances. I can tell you that there was a break in communication.” The option of a new convention cannot be ruled out. Since the modalities for selecting delegates and electing the national officers led to the bitter feud, the party can renegotiate with the faction on how to correct the mistakes that were committed at the recent convention. The faction has demanded for Tukur’s resignation, saying that he is a divisive and destabilising factor. This is a delicate matter. The President is leaning on Tukur, who has backed his second term bid. It is certain that the factional members are opposed to the President’s second term. But, according to a source, if the President acceeds to the demand that Tukur should go, the faction will likely reel out more demanding conditions that may pull the rug off the feet of the President. There are individuals who have grudges against the party. One of them is the former National Secretary, Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola, whose election was not voided by the INEC. If the party reinstates him as the secretary, he may retrace its steps. How to also resolve the crisis stirred by the governorship primaries in Anambra State is another issue. The faction has insisted that the party decided the primaries in favour of Mr. Tony Nwoye, to the detriment of Senator Andy Uba. There are other challenges. The faction has revisited the controversial Nigerian Governors’ Forum (NGF) and demanded that Governor Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers State should be recognised as the authentic chairman, instead of Plateau State Governor Jonah Jang.
independent. Don’t forget, they don’t have a complete executive now. They are not recognised. The authentic faction is the Alhaji Bamanga Tukur faction. They may push for the exit of the chairman, but they won’t be audacious enough to go out and float another party or join an existing one”. Baraje had announced at the in-
augural meeting of the group that the immediate priority is to revive the culture of robust debate of all contending issues, while providing a level-playing field for all our members. As leaders of our great party, we consider it a sacred responsibility to save the PDP from the antics of a few desperadoes, who, have no democratic tempera-
ment and are therefore, bent on hijacking the party for selfish ends.” He listed some of the shortcomings of the NEC to include the taking of arbitrary decisions, violat on of the constitution of the party, suspension without due process and failure to abide by decisions of constituted institutions like the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). Another chieftain of the party from Edo State, Chief Richard Lamai, told The Nation that the factionalisation cannot stand, and as a result, cannot affect the second term ambition of President Jonathan. “We are pretty sure that all they want is to be able to stand at a vantage position to negotiate with the main leaders of the party. We know that 2015 is at the heart of the whole development, and we know they will want to negotiate. Just now, the INEC recognises the Bamanga Tukur group. They are not going anywhere.” But what happens, if the PDP apparatchiks refuse to budge? There is speculation across the country that the faction is preparing to open a parallel secretariat in the Maitama District, Abuja, any moment from now. Besides, to live up to the billings that it is serious with its objective of reforming the PDP, it must be able to fill the other offices that are yet to be filled. For now, only the factional national chairman and factional national secretary of the party are known. The journey to 2015 will be difficult for the PDP. Unless the crisis is resolved, retaining the presidency is slim. Analysts are of the view that the recent registration of three parties – the Independent Democrats (ID), the Peoples Democratic Movement (PDM) and the Voice of the People (VOP) heralded the splitting of the PDP. Atiku is a major stakeholder in the PDM. The seven governors have been linked with the VOP. In the event that the ongoing negotiations between the factions fail to yield any reasonable fruit, the faction may be forced to join any of the two parties, which will go into a merger arrangement with the maiin opposition. Of course there is still ample time for the consummation of another merger of political parties in the country before the next general election.
THE NATION WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 4, 2013
POLITICS PDP CRISES Crisis-ridden Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has been suffering from self-inflicted wounds arising from its aversion for internal democracy, dictatorial leadership, presidential pressure on the party structures, and politics of exclusion at the federal and state levels. Group Political Editor EMMANUEL OLADESU examines the catalogue of crises that has characterised the ruling party since its inception.
PDP: A catalogue of crises T
HE Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has been a promising platform, right from March 31, 1998, when it was established. It was built on a solid foundation under the leadership of the former Plateau State governor, Chief Solomon Lar. The founding fathers were elder statesmen who, under the auspices of G-34, recommended a terminal date for the military rule. The fold was a mixed grill of conservatives, progressives and military apologists. However, the Afenifere Deputy Leader, the late Chief Bola Ige, found fault with the composition. To him, it was an association of strange bedfellows. Ige reasoned that, since the military apologists of the Babangida and Abacha eras have invaded the platform, the prospects of building an ideological party was slim. Although he wrote the party constitution, the former Oyo State governor left the party. The former Plateau State governor was able to wield the fold together. He had taken the baton of leadership from the interim chairman, the late Senator Sunday Awoniyi, the Aro of Mopa. In 1999, the acclaimed largest party in Africa won federal and state elections without massive rigging. But it was evident that the party had been hijacked by the conservative actors and their collaborators, the retired military officers, who brought back one of their own, General Olusegun Obasanjo, as the civilian President. Lar is a celebrated democrat. President Obasanjo is a retired soldier, who could not adjust to the democratic civilian life. The transition from soldering to politics was difficult for the old soldier, who had mastered the hi-
erarchical military dictatorial order and command. His first move was to secure the title of the ‘National Leader’ of the PDP. Few months after he assumed office, he agitated for the change of baton at the party’s national secretariat. That was necessary to limit the party’s influence and moderation on presidential activities. It was clear that Lar, the former Police Affairs minister, had to bow out honourably. He spent barely a year in office. During Lar’s tenure, crises were minimal and the party was supreme. One of his aides, Dr Solomon Dalung, a lawyer, recalled that trouble started when Obasanjo, who is not one of the founding fathers, became the President and the party’s national leader.”When Obasanjo came in, being an African General, he came in with the Machiavellian theory of dispensing with whosoever that might have made him king because it was only him who knows the intrigues that brought him to power. He applied this to Lar”, he said. Since Middlebelt politician left office, there has been a high turn-over of national chairmen. The position was zoned to the Northcentral geo-political zone. Up came the former interim chairman, Awoniyi, and Chief Barnabas Gemade, former member of the Interim National Government (ING) led by Chief Ernest Shonekan. Awoniyi, a Yoruba,
was from Kogi State. Gemade hails from Benue State. Other contestants-Senator Ahmadu Ali, Yahaya kwande, and Sule Usman from Kogi State-were on the fringe. Awoniyi, who had often described himself as a Yoruba-Northerner, got the shock of his life when Obasanjo from Ogun State declared that, in the PDP, Yoruba could not produce the President and National Chairman as the same time. Awoniyi was a though politician who could challenge Obasanjo, if he undermined the party leadership. He was harassed out of the party. On his way out, he lamented the collapse of the due process in the party and derailment of the vision of its founding fathers. Awoniyi said that he was leaving the party of sinners. Gemade, who succeeded Lar, inherited a party ruptured by the post-presidential primaries. The aspirants that were rejected at the inaugural party primaries, including former Vice President Alex Ekweme and the late Alhaji Abubakar Rimi, were bitter. Crisis was also brewing at the state chapters because of the presidential directive that the pioneer chairmen should hand over to other chieftains in the party. The national chairman went on tour of the troubled chapters. It was evident that the idea of the national party caucus could not be adopted by the PDP. Suddenly, there was a
push for the extension of the tenure of the members of the National Executive Council (NEC) from two to four years. Gemade wanted to run the affairs of the party as a democrat. That meant mustering the effort to assert himself. But he was handicapped. Following disagreement with the National Party Leader on party issues, his days in the office were numbered. He complained that certain powerful forces in the party were making unreasonable and unethical demands from his office. When the tenure of the National Executive Committee (NEC) was extended by one year, there was disagreement over whether the chairman, Gemade, could benefit. Amid the crisis, the national chairman announced the suspension of Chief Tony Anenih, the powerful Works Minister. It became his undoing. The next day, he recanted. Gemade was forced out of office. But on his way out, he predicted that the fate that would befall his successors would be worse. Reflecting on his tenure, he said: “The way I saw the situation in the party that time, it was clear to me that the mindset of the people who had the party in their control and who had the government in their control that time was such that the •Continued on page 40
What gains for the opposition?
• Chief Akande
RISIS is an ill-wind. It blows no political party any good. With the factionalisation of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the loss of seven governors, the party is left with the control of 16 states. Thus, the party has lost its dominance in the polity. When it was a united fold, the party controlled 23 out of 36 states. The reality is that a party that has described itself as Africa’s largest party is crumbling in the build-up to 2015. It has lost control of Sokoto, Kano, Jigawa, Adamawa, Niger, Kwara and Rivers states to a certain extent. The PDP may start playing the second fiddle in the Northwest and Southwest regions, whose total voters’s population is about 50 per cent of the national voting population. Political observers believe that more governors are likely to abandon the sinking ship, if the leadership of the party refuse to change its leadership style, foster internal democracy and uphold the rule of law to rein. If the Bamanga Tukur’s faction fails to recon-
cile with the Kawu Baraje’s faction, the PDP may be rocked by litigation between now and the next elections. The galadiators on both divides may waste precious time in court, instead of political mobilisation. A political analyst, Dr Emma Okongwu, urged the seven governors not to indulge in fighting over the ownership of PDP . He advised them to align with the formidable opposition party to effect change in the country. Okongwu said the between now and 2015 is short. Therefore, he said it is useless to fight for the soul of the PDP in court, stressing that they will not win. He added: “It’s better for them now to team up with other opposition to usher in a new political order in 2015. The seven governors are politically correct. More are likely to join The reality is that the balance of power in Nigeria has been radically altered. The most important thing now is how to translate the new development into a political liberation and change of power in 2015. Asked which of the opposition parties would benefit the governors in their struggle, Okongwu said: “I think the newly registered All Progressives Congress (APC) would do because it has a national appeal and 11 governors in its kitty. It makes it easier for the APC to build structures in those states and facilitate the takeoff of the party in other states”. Okongwu said the Peoples Democratic Movement (PDM) would not help in this circumstance because the party has to start from the scratch. Since the seven PDP governors and 11 APC governors are colleagues in the Nigerian Governors
Forum (NGF), who share similar view on the state of the nation, there is no reason why they should not work together in a political party. A civil rights activist, Shehu Sani, described the PDP dissenting governors as patriots. He said they are the apostles of democracy. “Govenors Rabiu Musa Kwakwanso (Kano), Aliyu Wamakko (Sokoto), Sule Lamido (Jigawa), Babangida Aliyu (Niger) and Murtala Nyako (Adamawa) are patriots, who have the interest of the nation at heart”, he said. The activist said they should be courted by the APC because their views are similar with the party’s objectives. In his view, the Convener of the Coalition of Democrats for Electora next step for the PDP governors is to faclititate a merger plan with the APC. “It is a possibility and when that happens, the best in the two camps will come to produce a better political platform for Nigeria. It is possible for ideological configuration of thesis and anti-thesis to produce the synthesis. “I ‘m persuaded that we are yet to see the end result of what happened last Saturday at the Eagles Square, Abuja, the venue of the PDP convention. The consequences would be far reaching. Any prognosis being made now by political fortune tellers, we need to exercise some restraints because the business at hand is not done yet”. Opadokun also called for caution. He said the PDP faction may not stand for principle, adding that its chieftains may go back to bet the Tukur’s
‘I think the newly registered All Progressives Congress (APC) would do because it has a national appeal and 11 governors in its kitty. It makes it easier for the APC to build structures in those states and facilitate the take-off of the party in other states’
•Gen. Buhari (rtd)
faction when government instruments are unleashed on them to whip them back on line. Another analyst, Harrison White, said the limitations of the democratic space and political competition have made it extremely difficult to promote a free rivalry of ideas and concepts for development of the state. He said the state would gain a lot, if only the opposition parties could join forces and challenge the crisis-ridden PDP. He warned that the failure to do this would increase the PDP’s chance of retaining power. He argued that the PDP’s competitive advantage is the division in opposition and the fact that it can manipulate the election rules to suit itself. However, he stressed that the possibility cannot be ruled out that a formidable opposition may emerge, if the faction cooperate with the main opposition party. White said a formidable opposition made up of the APC and the PDP faction will pose a serious threat to the survival of the PDP, which has remained a dominant party in the country, since the restoration of civil rule in 1999.
THE NATION WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 4, 2013
POLITICS PDP CRISES
PDP: The path to disintegration •Continued from page 44
meddlesomeness that we were experiencing as the leadership of the party would not change”. At a special convention organised by a committee led by Senator David Mark, who is now the Senate President, the Second Republic Minister of Communications, Chief Audu Ogbeh, replaced Gemade as the chairman. All those who wanted to succeed Gemade were edged out. Obasanjo made Ogbeh his Special Adviser on Agriculture, contrary to the provision of the PDP constitution, which forbids a party executive from accepting government appointment. In 2004, the NEC was polarised. A section backed Obasanjo. Another section backed his deputy, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar. It was very hard for the chairman to blend with Obasanjo. He felt that the President was elected to run the country and the chairman, in consultation with him, was elected by the party members to run the party. Ogbeh became the chairman as the party was preparing for the 2003 elections. The party was in turmoil. The state chapters were crisis-ridden and the divisions had weakened the fold. The crisis on the Anambra State chapter drew a wedge between the President and the chairman. The state was later enveloped in tension when the Ubas waged war against the former governor, Dr. Chris Ngige, who was abducted. The Govement House and the state-owned television were in flames. Ogbeh told Obasanjo that the matter was not being properly handled by the party leadership. The President and national chairman canvassed opposing solutions. In Lagos State, there were three camps. Efforts to promote harmony failed. The feeling was that the former President was behind the dominant camp, which was bent on rusticating the members of the rival caucuses. In disunity, the chapter went for the polls. The report of the reconciliation panel headed by Chief Tunde Osunrinde from Ogun State recommended the distribution of party offices among the Lagos PDP caucus. It was not implemented. In Osun State, Otunba Iyiola Omisore, a defector from the Alliance for Democracy (AD) to PDP, was standing trial for an alleged involvement in the murder of the slain Attorney-general and Minister of Justice, Chief Bola Ige. Ogbeh counselled that that he should not be made the senatorial candidate for Ife/Ijesa District to preserve the image of the party. The President was said to have disagreed. Some party leaders supported him, explaining that, since Omisore had not been found guilty, he can contest while still in the custody. The parting of ways became imminent between Obasanjo and Ogbeh,
‘Gemade was forced out of office. But on his way out, he predicted that the fate that would befall his successors would be worse. Reflecting on his tenure, he said: “The way I saw the situation in the party that time, it was clear to me that the mindset of the people who had the party in their control and who had the government in their control that time was such that the meddlesomeness that we were experiencing as the leadership of the party would not change’ when he publicly advised the President to pay more attention to the sliding economy and the cries of the populace for improved welfare. The former President took exception to washing the administration’s linen in the public. He went vulgar, alleging that Ogbeh had made much money after he emerged as the chairman. The chairman was harassed and cajoled to visit the Aso Rock, where Obasanjo demanded for his resignation, ahead of the expiration of his tenure. Ogbeh was succeeded by Dr Ahmadu Ali of the ‘Ali Must Go fame’. He was the only chairman who enjoyed harmonious relationship with Obasanjo. Both of them are retired soldiers. Ali, a retired colonel, former Federal Commissioner for Education and Third Republic senator, hails from Kogi State. When he was inaugurated as the chairman, Obasanjo said: “Now, Ali has come. Ali must stay”, a vague reference to the call for his removal as minister by students who insisted that “Ali must go”. Former Governors Fidelis Tapgun (Plateau) and Lafiagi (Kogi); Senators A.T. Ahmed, Alex Kadiri and Abdulazeez Farouk were interested in the job. But they stepped down for him. Ali stirred controversy when he announced that party members should re-register. To forces opposed to Obasanjo, the move was meant to deregister the perceived foes. The crisis between Obasanjo and Atiku got to a peak. The former Vice President was disrobed. No duty was assigned to his office for him to perform. An administrative panel was set up to investigate his activities in government. It was also clear that the PDP would not organise democratic presidential primaries. Atiku and his supporters left the PDP for the defunct Action Congress (AC), where he emerged as the presidential candidate in 2007. But he lost to the late President Umaru Yar’Adua at the poll. In 2008, Yar’Adua set up a reconciliation committee headed by Ekwueme. His goal was to bring back the aggrieved members who had deserted the party. But the work of the committee was sabotaged by some forces in the party. Its report was not implemented. Following the same pattern, the report of another
panel headed by Gen. Ike Nwachukwju (rtd), was thrown into the dustbin. Also, the pre-national convention rift between former Governor Sam Egwu, who was backed by Obasanjo, and former Senate President Ayim Pius Ayim torn the party apart. A dark horse, Prince Vincent Ogbulafor, emerged as the national chairman. Basking in the euphoria of the party’s victory, he declared that PDP will rule the country for another 60 years. Also, his statement about zoning sparked off crisis. A group, the PDP Reform Forum, called for the dissolution of the PDP NEC and National Working Committee (NWC). In 2010, a corruption case against Ogbulafor was exhumed. He was forced to resign from office. His successor, Okwesilieze Nwodo, also had a turbulent tenure. He had served as the national secretary, but left the party when it was engulfed with crisis. He returned and emerged as the chairman when the pro-and anti-Jonathan forces were at war. His home state, Enugu, was also boiling. The national chairman was locked in a protracted battle with Governor Sullivan Chime over the imposition of candidates for elections. At the PDP presidential primaries in 2011, Nwodo was consumed by the crisis. He was allegedly forced out of office on the instruction of President Goodluck Jonathan. When Nwodo was shoved aside, his deputy, Dr.Haliru Bello, became the acting chairman. When he was appointed as minister, the national secretary, Alhaji Kawu Baraje, became the acting chairman. The next national convention was fixed for March, 2012. The competing forces were in hot competition for the party leadership. Obasanjo had laid the precedence of imposing the national chairmen in the past. President Jonathan emulated him by insisting on the candidature of Alhaji Bamanga Tukur as the chairman. The zonal congresses and national convention were rancorous. In the Southwest, stakeholders protested the emergence of former Ekiti State Governor Segun Oni as the National Vice Chairman and zonal leader. Also, some protested over the election of the national secretary, Gen. Olagunsoye Oyinlola.
When the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) report came, it was discovered that 16 national officers were elected without following the laid down rules. They were advised to step down. The relationship between Obasanjo and Dr. Jonathan had turned sour. Therefore, when Oyinlola and Oni, who are members of the Obasanjo camp, were removed from the NEC, the former President, sources said, believed that the President was against him. Also, following the court ruling, which recognised the Adebayo Dayo executive in the Gateway State, Tukur directed that the Dipo Odujinrin factional executive, which had the backing of Obasanjo, should be dismantled. Reconciliation between the Obasanjo camp and Dayo executive, which is backed by the billionaire politician, Buruji Kashamu, also collapsed. Also, former Governor Gbenga Daniel, who could not find his feet in the troubled chapter, defected to the Labour Party (LP). To correct the mistake of the last year’s messy convention, a new convention was scheduled for Abuja to fill the vacant positions in the NEC. Ahead of the national congress, the state chapters were ruptured by strife. In Anambra State, the governorship primaries was chaotic. Parallel shadow polls threw up the former student leader, Tony Nwoye, and Senator Andy Uba. The NWC gave recognition to Nwoye and expelled Uba. The supporters of the two politicians carried the acrimony to the Eagles Square, the venue of the convention. They exchanged blows. But in the last one year also, crisis had broken out between the President and Rivers State Governor Rotimi Amaechi. The President’s man, Nyeson Wike, the Minister of State for Education, is coordinating the presidential onslaught at the home front. Attempts have been made to remove the governor illegally. Also, the crisis in the Nigerian Governors’ Forum was mismanaged by the ruling party. The party set up the PDP Governors’ Forum under the chairmanship of Akwa Ibom State Governor Godswill Akpabio. Amaechi won the NGF
chairmanship election. He defeated his Plateau State counterpart, David Jang. Both of them are PDP governors. But the party recognised Jang, who polled 16 votes, instead of Amaechi, who got 19 votes. The crisis has not been resolved. The Rivers State governor was suspended from the party. Later, Governor Aliyu Wamakko of Sokoto State was also suspended. But the Northwest PDP rallied round Wamakko, who had called for the resignation of Tukur. The suspension slammed on him was lifted. But Amaechi’s suspension was not lifted. Other anti-Tukur governors-Admiral Muritala Nyako (Adamawa), Alhaji Sule Lamido (Jigawa), Alhaji Musa Kwakwanso (Kano) and Dr. Babangida Aliyu (Niger) could not be touched. The reconciliation shuttles by the Board of Trustees (BoT) Chairman, Chief Tony Anenih, Tukur and Bayelsa State Governor Seriake Dickson, failed to reconcile the aggrieved members and the national leadership. Ahead of the convention, Oyinlola, whose election as the national secretary was not voided by the INEC, celled for his reinstatement. He went to the court to challenge his removal. Thus, the election into the position was postponed, until the determination of the suit. Oni also went to the court, complaining that he was unjustly removed. When the Southwest zonal executive was dissolved, a caretaker committee was set up under the leadership of Chief Isola Filani. But Filani stepped aside recently to contest for the national chairmanship. A BoT member, Commodore Bode George (rtd) disagreed. Following complaints by aggrieved stakeholders, the Southwest zonal congress was put on hold. Thus, the number of delegates to the Abuja convention reduced drastically. The mistake of last year was repeated at the convention. Due to the crises in some states-Anambra, Rivers, Adamawa and Nasarawa-the Convention Planning Committee headed by Senator Jerry Gana gave accreditation to the statutory delegates. The elected delegates alleged a foul play. The Rivers State delegates who were loyal to the governor, alleged that the pro-Jonathan forces raised Chris Secondus to replace Dr. Sam Jaja as the deputy national chairman because he is supporting Amaechi. Delegates from Rivers, Adamawa, Anambra and Nasarawa alleged deliberate exclusion from the convention. Amid the convention, the aggrieved governors and party chieftains walked out. At the Shehu Yar’Adua Centre, Abuja, they set up a parallel NEC. Today, the acclaimed largest party in Africa is factionalised. The split was sudden and there is no end in sight to the crisis.
THE NATION WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 4, 2013
EQUITIES NIGERIAN STOCK EXCHANGE
Equities slide as investors ponder market outlook
DAILY SUMMARY AS AT 3-09-13
IGERIAN equities reversed to the negative yesterday as investors weigh the market outlook. Against the background of the downtrend that pervaded the market in August, investors and market pundits started this month on a cautious note. The market opened on Monday with a tinge of bullish rally, but reverted to the negative yesterday. Aggregate market capitalisation of all equities on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) dropped by 0.29 per cent to N11.491 trillion, as against its opening value of N11.525 trillion, indicating a loss of N34 billion. The main index at the NSE, the All Share Index (ASI), slipped by 0.29 per cent to 36,230.83 points as against 36,337.15 points, depressing the average year-to-date return at the stock market to
By Taofik Salako
29.03 per cent. Turnover also dropped below recent average as investors appeared to hold back on volumes amidst concerns that the market might witness further depression in the days ahead. Analysts at FSDH Merchant Bank yesterday said that the market might also be overshadow by the downtrend this months. “We expect that the market may follow the historical trend of shedding some value in September; however, the recent spates of losses have created attractive valuation and buy opportunities in select stocks,” analysts stated. Analysts said the declines in share prices could however trigger a rally as bargain-hunting investors seek
to rebalance their portfolios towards stocks with good fundamental values. Guinness Nigeria topped the 32-stock losers’ list with a drop of N5 to close at N250. Forte Oil dropped by N3.17 to close at N35.70. Cadbury Nigeria declined by N2.85 to close at N50. Unilever Nigeria slipped by 45 kobo to N61.05. University Press lost 41 kobo to close at N3.74. Lafarge Cement Wapco Nigeria dropped by 40 kobo to close at N90.50. Airline Services and Logistics and Red Star Express dropped by 38 kobo each to close at N3.44 and N4 respectively. Evans Medical dropped by 34 kobo to close at N3.13 while FBN Holdings declined by 29 kobo to close at N15.72 per share. Total turnover stood at 138.96 million shares valued at N1.85 billion in 4,936 deals. Transnational Corporation of Nigeria (Transcorp) recorded the highest turnover of 20.78 million shares worth N28.29 million in 161 deals. Unity Bank placed second with a turnover of 13.72 million shares valued at N7.39 million in 65 deals.
NIGERIAN STOCK EXCHANGE DAILY SUMMARY AS AT 3-09-13
THE NATION WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 4, 2013
ELAN: Leasing remains financing alternative for projects
EASING could be a significant financing alternative for projects and businesses that would create wealth for the economy, Executive Secretary, Equipment Leasing Association of Nigeria (ELAN), Andrew Efurhiewe, has said. In a communiqué released after this year’s leasing conference held in Lagos, he explained that globally, leasing has been used to facilitate the sale of vendors’ goods, enhance lessors’ profits and grant lessees the access to productive assets. He said the lessor, vendor and lessee, need to collaborate for them to achieve set objectives. “There exists
Stories by Collins Nweze
a communication gap between the lessor and vendor which must be adequately bridged to produce a more robust leasing environment. He said the potential of leasing is high, considering the low lease penetration in Nigeria in comparison with other countries, stressing that there is need to regulate the activities of vendors in order to check the unscrupulous acts of some that are detrimental to the growth of the industry,” he said. Efurhiewe said professionals should facilitate accurate valuation of leased assets and create a strong sec-
ondary market for used assets. He said improved synergy between lessors and vendors will create growth and employment for the economy. He said ELAN is going to liaise with vendors and other stakeholders to create an efficient leasing industry that will continue to build wealth for the economy. He said the body will continue its proactive initiative by bringing to the membership fold reputable vendors and work towards setting standards for their dealings with lessors. Lessors should know their vendors very well and ensure they understand their products to enable them
“Non-interest banking deposits could fund infrastructure”
EPOSITS from non-interest banking could be deployed into infrastructure funding and other developmental projects, Chairman, Advisory Committee of Experts on Non-Interest Banking, Sterling Bank Plc, Sheik Abdulkader Thomas has said. Sterling Bank has gotten Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN’s) approvalin-principle to practice non-interest banking, as a window in its banking operations. He spoke to The Nation on the prospects of the banking practice in the country. Thomas, who is an American living in Kuwait, was engaged by Sterling Bank to help it reposition its non-interest banking unit for growth and profitability. Thomas described Nigeria as a huge market for non-interest banking given its large population base.
He said the banking concept is a viable means of gathering huge deposits, adding that although Nigeria’s infrastructure is seen as weakness, deposits from non-interest banking can be used to fix it. He said: “We have to look at a country like Nigeria from a different perspective. Kuwait has small population, with very high wealth. But Nigeria has very large population. We believe that non-interest banking will be very important to gather savings from the grassroots population”. He said that the billions of dollars in the non-interest banking accounts globally, cannot find its way into Nigeria, rather, the country should generate its own funds to finance key projects and create wealth for its citizens. Islamic banking is growing at a fast pace around the world. It is assert-
•CBN Governor, Sanusi Lamido
ing itself as a key player in the global financial system and in 2011, its global assets grew by 19 per cent to $1.3 trillion. Altogether, Islamic banking worldwide increased profitmaking by 15 per cent during that period. The CBN guidelines on non-interest banking put the minimum capital base of N10 billion for National Islamic Banks and N5 billion for regional Islamic Banks.
educate the final users of the assets, he said, stressing that Vendors should support efforts of ELAN, in its pursuit of establishing the leasing law aimed at improving the regulatory framework for the leasing industry that will invariably create more businesses for vendors. He said there should be sustainability
Heritage Bank backs Virtual Arts project
ERITAGE Bank Limited has sponsored Nigeria’s first Virtual Arts Museum being pioneered by the Pan Atlantic University. The museum, named the Virtual Museum of Modern Nigerian Art, is an online, free, searchable database of Nigerian art from the beginning of the 20th century. The bank said the project will serve as an educational resource and contribute to the dissemination of knowledge on modern Nigerian art and artists across wide audience. The Managing Director/CEO, Ifie Sekibo, said the project is also in line with the lender’s mission of preserving and transferring wealth to the population. On the bank’s sponsorship of the museum, he said, “Preserving our heritage is a mission. A lot of people think preserving heritage is all about money, but heritage is also about what we leave behind for posterity, like the way of life, the culture we leave behind. Art is certainly a way of life; it is a depiction of a way of life. So, it is a major thing for us to sponsor, as a way of giving back to our society as part of our corporate social responsibility. Sekibo said the sponsorship is also
3-Year 5-Year 5-Year
35m 35m 35m
11.039 12.23 13.19
19-05-2014 18-05-2016 19-05-2016
WHOLESALE DUTCH AUCTION SYSTEM Amount Offered ($) 350m 350m
Current Market 5495.33 N552.20
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 3-09-13
SYMBOL WAPIC JOSBREW DNMEYER IHS WEMABANK UBCAP COSTAIN PAINTCOM IKEJAHOTEL
0.90 3.22 1.57 2.12 1.04 1.29 1.10 1.87 0.79
0.99 3.54 1.72 2.30 1.10 1.35 1.15 1.95 0.82
CHANGE 0.09 0.32 0.15 0.18 0.06 0.06 0.05 0.08 0.03
Year Start Offer
CUV Start %
147.6000 239.4810 212.4997
149.7100 244.0123 207.9023
150.7100 245.6422 209.2910
-2.11 -2.57 -1.51
NGN USD NGN GBP NGN EUR NIGERIA INTER BANK (S/N) (S/N) Bureau de Change (S/N) Parallel Market
AIRSERVICE UPL EVANSMED IPWA INTENEGINS REDSTAREX NEIMETH FO ABCTRANS NPFMCRFBK
O/PRICE 3.82 4.15 3.47 0.76 0.98 4.38 1.21 38.87 0.84 0.79
C/PRICE 3.44 3.74 3.13 0.69 0.89 4.00 1.11 35.70 0.78 0.74
DISCOUNT WINDOW Feb. ’11
Standing Lending Rate ,, Deposit Rate ,, Liquidity Ratio Cash Return Rate Inflation Rate
8.50% 4.50% 25.00% 1.00% 12.10%
8.50% 4.50% 25.00% 2.00% 12.10%
9.50% 5.50% 30.00% 2.00% 11.8%
CHANGE 0.38 0.41 0.34 0.07 0.09 0.38 0.10 3.17 0.06 0.05
Amount Sold ($) 150m 138m
Exchange Rate (N) 155.2 155.8
Statistics All Share Index Mkt Cap (NGN’bn) Deal Volume (mn) Value (NGN’mn)
30 Aug 36,248.53 11,496.61 4,164 190.62 2,580.30
Rate (%) 30 Aug
Rate (%) 2 Sep
7 Days 30 Days 60 Days 90 Days
12.00 12.45 12.75 13.16
12.58 12.87 13.16 13.41
02 Sep 36,337.15 11,524.72 4,468 256.91 2,393.16
MEMORANDUM QUOTATIONS Name
LOSERS AS AT 3-09-13
Amount Demanded ($) 150m 138m
CAPITAL MARKET INDEX
EXHANGE RATE 6-03-12 Currency
OBB Rate Call Rate
in recognition of the huge cultural and economic benefits the museum offers to Nigeria especially the Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) sector. He said the project would also increase access of Nigerian arts and artists to the international market, thereby boosting the arts business. “For the University it is a wider learning space for research, for development but beyond that it exposes Nigerian arts to the international market in the virtual space. Great men like Bruce Onobrakpeya, their legacy will leave beyond him, because somebody in China, somebody in Europe will look at his art, with the write-ups, and would be able to appreciate it more,” he said. Sekibo said there is business in arts, mainly in the form of SMEs. “Those young men that would paint, sculpt, carve, it is an opportunity for them to display their wares and people would come to buy them. If they cannot put up major gallery or museum, that will become an avenue where they can put their wares together, and it would be out there and they can sell. So for the University it is a wider learning space for research, for development”, he said.
Initial Quotation Price N8250.00 N1000.00
in the relationship between vendors and lessors, through effective monitoring of activities of vendors in the leasing industry. Vendors are also to provide adequate support for equipment, including training, right quality of asset, improved maintenance back up ,trade-off, secondary market and workable guarantee.
ARM AGGRESSIVE GROWTH 9.17 9.08 KAKAWA GUARANTEED 1.00 1.00 STANBIC IBTC GUARANTE INVE 141.19 140.70 AFRINVEST W.A. EQUITY FUND 156.04 155.62 LOTUS CAPITAL HALAL 0.80 0.78 BGL SAPPHIRE FUND 1.16 1.16 BGL NUBIAN FUND 1.18 1.16 FBN MONEY MARKET FUND 100.00 100.00 FBN FIXED INCOME FUND 1,000.00 1,000.00 NIGERIA INTERNATIONAL DEB. 1,817.15 1,813.39 PARAMOUNT EQUITY FUND 13.64 12.97 CONTINENTAL UNIT TRUST 1.39 1.33 CENTRE-POINT UNIT TRUST 1.87 1.80 STANBIC IBTC NIG EQUITY 11.004.94 10,680.29 • ARM AGGRESSIVE • KAKAWA GUARANTEED • STANBIC IBTC GUARANTE • AFRINVEST W.A. EQUITY FUNDARM AGGRESSIVE
SECONDARY MARKET Tenor T-bills - 91 T-bills - 182 T-bills - 364 Bond - 3yrs Bond - 5yrs Bond - 7yrs
30 Aug (%) 10.58 10.72 11.15 13.07 13.49 13.53
02 Sep (%) 10.42 10.66 11.05 13.07 13.49 13.51
THE NATION WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 4, 2013
Protests continue in Kwara over Offa rerun T
HE protests over the nocturnal declaration of the result of last Saturday’s rerun in Offa Local Government Area of Kwara State entered the second day yesterday. The Chairman of the state Independent Electoral Commission (KWSIEC), Dr Uthman Ajidagba, announced the result on the state radio in Ilorin, the state capital, on Sunday morning. The announcement has triggered a chain of reactions across the country and the state in particular. Members, supporters and sympathisers of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state yesterday took to the street for a peaceful rally in Ilorin. They called for the reversal
From Adekunle Jimoh, Ilorin
of the early morning declaration of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate as the winner of the August 31 rerun. Also in Offa, the headquarters of Offa Local Government, over 5,000 protesters poured onto major streets and roads to show their grievances. The young and the old as well men and women took part in the Offa rally. The grouse of the protesters, led by the former Caretaker Committee Chairman of the defunct Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), Comrade Sola Iji, was the alleged fraudulent declaration of the PDP candidate, Prince Abdulwaheed Olanipekun, as the winner of the election, instead of the APC
•Ahmed swears in PDP candidate As far as we are concerned, they (the PDP) have not won any election. The true result should be given to us. At the rightness of time, we will get our mandate candidate, Prince Saheed Popoola, who polled the highest votes – as was evident in the collated results from the wards. The protesters grounded human and vehicular movements in several parts of Ilorin. They called the state government and KWSIEC unprintable names. The routes covered by the
protestors, who took off from the Offa Road office of the defunct Congress Party of Nigeria (CPC), include the Post Office, Emir’s Road, Oja Oba, Gegele, Ita Amodu, Ibrahim Taiwo Road, Unity Road and Murtala Mohammed Road. Despite these protests, Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed yesterday swore in Olanipekun as the chairman of Offa Local
Government. Iji described the governor’s action as fraudulent and illegal. He said: “We went through the town and returned to where we started. By tomorrow, we will continue until justice is done. “That’s a fraudulent swearing-in. As far as we are concerned, they (the PDP) have not won any election. The true result should be given to us. At the rightness of time, we will get our mandate.” Speaking with The Nation on phone, an APC member in the House of Assembly from the local government, Olayonu Tope, said the government” “action “is political robbery. It
means we don’t have respect for the rule of law. “How can somebody who polled about 4,000 votes against the one that scored over 11,000 now become the winner? “That means we are not mature for democracy.” After the swearing-in, Ahmed said: “It is a thing of joy that the exercise, which recorded a massive turnout of voters, was adjudged free, fair and credible. “Clearly, your victory at the election signals the people’s confidence in your capacity to deliver good governance, given the recent events in Offa Local Government. “I, therefore, urge you to take urgent steps to implement people-friendly programmes to restore the people’s faith in democratic governance.”
Army probes killing of 26 ‘Civilian JTF’ members in Borno
HE Nigerian Army yesterday said it has begun investigation into the killing of 26 members of a youths’ vigilance group, popularly called “Civilian JTF”, by suspected Boko Haram militants in Monguno, Borno State. Lt.-Col. Sagir Musa, the spokesman of the Joint Task Force (JTF) on Operation Restore Order (ORO), told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Maiduguri, the state capital, that the army was disturbed by the situation. Lt-Col Musa said: “The military high command is aware of the killing. This is disturbing. The Nigerian Army Brigade in Monguno has been mandated to investigate the matter.” The military spokesman blamed the incident on the youths’ group, saying it embarked on the trip without military backing. He said: “We have always made it clear to the vigilantes that they should not operate on their own but should always seek military backing. “They are just supporting the security agencies with information; the real battle should be left in the hands of security agents.”
Funeral for woman
T •Imo State Governor Rochas Okorocha speaking with reporters after addressing the House of Assembly members at their temporary chamber at Ikemba Ojukwu Covention Centre in Owerri...yesterday
Aspirants urge KWSIEC to postpone October poll
HE All Progressives Congress (APC) chairmanship aspirants in Kwara State have urged the State Independent Electoral Commission (KWSIEC) to reschedule the October 26 local government election. The aspirants noted that anything outside that would amount to a violation of “our inalienable rights under the Nigerian constitution, which we tend to believe your commission will avoid doing”. Addressing reporters in Ilorin, the state capital, Oloyin Lateef and Abdulrazaq Amode said: “The fundamental question that agitates the minds of fair-minded individuals in the state of harmony today is: how will the conduct of a local government election, in accordance with the present timetable issued by your commission, will not disqualify, incapacitate and violate the rights of the indi-
•Ex-Rep urges National Assembly to scrap agency From Adekunle Jimoh, Ilorin and Dada Aladelokun
viduals who would have contested the election under the defunct Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) and the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP)? But due to no fault of theirs, they now found themselves in the newly registered party, which cannot sponsor candidates in the election. “As at May 28, when your commission issued a 150-day notice of the local government election to different party officials and stakeholders, the APC had not come into existence. In essence, unlike other parties that had adequate notice to prepare, the APC had no notice at all. Besides, a notice is not a formality but a fun-
damental step towards the conduct of a credible, free and fair election. This, no doubt, is in conflict and inconsistent with the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended).” A former member of the House of Representatives, Bashir Omolaja Bolarinwa, yesterday urged the National Assembly to scrap the Kwara State Independent Electoral Commission (KWSIEC). The lawmaker premised his reason on the electoral body’s “electoral fraud” following last Saturday’s election in Offa Loc al Government Area. Bolarinwa noted that only the scrapping of the KWSIEC would restore peace to the state. He said the KWSIEC had demonstrated its failure to align with the popular inter-
ests of the electorate. The politician said last Saturday’s local government election in Offa should not have generated any controversy, if the electoral body and the other stakeholders in the state had acted as fair umpires. He said: “Such a vital election was supposed to expose the real feelings and aspirations of the electorate. But sadly, when the electoral bodies, which should serve the parties and other stakeholders dispassionately and in good faith, failed in that regard, there would be a crisis such as we have been facing after the Offa election of last Saturday. “This is why it is important for the National Assembly to scrap the KWASIEC to restore people’s trust in our electoral process...”
NSCDC arrests woman for ‘dumping baby’ in toilet
HE Jigawa State Command of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) said yesterday it had arrested a 23-year old woman for allegedly dumping her new born baby boy in a toilet in Hadeja town of Hadejia Local Government Area. The State Corps Comman-
dant, Mr Muhammad Gidado, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Dutse, the state capital, that the suspect was arrested following a tip-off. He explained that the suspect gave birth to the baby on September 1 at 11.30p.m and allegedly dumped it in the toilet. The commandant said the
suspect alleged that she was impregnated by a man who ordered her to dump the baby. He said the man has also been arrested, adding: “He confessed to committing the offence.” Gidado said a medical examination conducted at the Hadejia General Hospital showed
that the suspect was the baby’s mother. He added that efforts were being made to recover the baby, which he said “might be dead by now due to the hours it spent” in the toilet. The commandant said the suspects would be charged to court after investigation.
HE remains of Esan woman, Mrs. Angela U. Uduehi, who dead in Atlanta, Georgia, the United States, on August 16, would be brought to Lagos today aboard a Delta Air aircraft at 2.45pm. The body will depart on September 6 for Ebhuokhuala, Ekpoma, Edo State, where a service of songs will be held, a statement by her family said. A funeral mass will hold on September 7; it would be followed by internment at Ukpoke, Ugboha, her home town. The late Mrs Uduehi is survived by her husband, Dr. Ark Anthony Uduehi; a daughter, E. J. Gloria and a son, Itua.
Church celebrates global jubilee
HE Universal Evangelical Church is holding its weeklong annual programme, tagged: “Praise Answer 2013” in Lagos. The celebration started on September 2 and will end on September 7 on the church’s premises at 105 Agbe Road, Abule Egba. The chief host, Pastor Stephen Olaiya, said the programme holds daily at 6pm. He explained that on Saturday (September 7), an anointing service would hold at 7am, while the grand finale service would include a thanksgiving/ordination session at 9am.
Oyedepo, others for church’s convention
HE Triumphant Christian Centre will hold its 15th annual convention next Sunday at Plot 23 Oba Akran Avenue, near Guinness Nigeria Plc, Ikeja, Lagos. Bishop David Oyedepo of Living Faith Worldwide (aka Winners’ Chapel) and Bishop Oyonnude Kure will join the host, Rev. Samuel Olusegun Olubiyo, for the celebration. The five-day convention begins today and ends on September 8. Rev. Olubiyo said the annual programme, popularly called NATAR - Now, All Things Are Ready - would be an encounter with God and His word for the release of blessings.
Retired teacher dead
RETIRED teacher and farmer, Pa Isaac Olaniyan Ogunjuyigbe, is dead. He was 72. The native of Osu in Atakunmosa West Local Government area of Osun State died in the United States on July 1. His remains will be buried on September 13 at the Cathedral Church of Saint John’s cemetery, Iloro, Ilesa, Osun State, after a funeral service. The late Pa Ogunjuyigbe was also a commercial printer and philanthropist. A service of songs was held in his honour at the Redeemed Christian Church Of Church, Jesus House DC, 919 Philadelphia Avenue, U.S., last Saturday. A Christian wake will be held at his home at CKC 11, Off Bishop Street, Ijebu-Jesa Road, Ilesa, Osun State, on Thursday, September 12. He is survived by wife, Florence, children and grand-children.
THE NATION WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 4, 2013
NEWS Alleged N32.8b police pension scam: Court seizes 46 assets from ex- director Continued from page 4
low at 44 Main Street, Sun City, Abuja; 3 bedroom bungalow, 8 Pomona Street, Sun City, Abuja and 5 bedroom House, at 12 Olushola Agbaje Street, Lekki Phase 1,Lagos. “Other properties include: 5 bedroom House at IkotNseten, Ikono, Akwa Ibom
State; 4 bedroom house at Ikot Ekpene, Akwa Ibom State; Shops 1,2 & 3 at Garki 2 Ultra Modern Market, Abuja; Shops/Office B74 & B76,Effab Mall, Area 11,GarkAbuja; Shops E1 to E5, F6 & F7 at Oba Elegushi Market, Jakande Estate, Lekki-Lagos; Shops D11,C03,C04,C07,C08 & D02 at Effab Mall, Area 11,Garki-Abuja; Shops 174,176,185,186 &187 at
Ikota Shopping Complex, Ajah, Lagos; a Warehouse at 3, Nwanyinkwo Street, Ajah, Lekki, Lagos and a Water Factory at Industrial Estate, Idi Iroko Road, Otta, Ogun State. “Also attached are some companies allegedly operated and used as conduits by Attang to siphon public funds. These are Anifon Nigeria Limited;
Enyiuzo Ventures Limited; Quill Ponte Nigeria Limited; Royal Diadem Business Logistics Limited; Status Symbols Rental Limited; Status Symbols Fashion Limited and Status Travel & Tours Limited. “In addition, 22 accounts in various banks purportedly used to launder the stolen funds are frozen.”
PDP crisis: Governors keep President in suspense Continued from page 4 Presidency and the PDP leadership that they needed to make wider consultations, which he said the Presidency and the PDP leadership were not averse to. The Presidency and the PDP leadership are taking advantage of the postponement to also consult widely on how to amicably resolve the crisis, Anenih said. He said: “The governors said they needed more time for wider consultations; the Presidency and party leadership were not opposed to it. “Part of the wider consultations is the meeting of selected party leaders with Chief Oluse-
gun Obasanjo on Friday morning and thereafter. We will meet with the governors on Tuesday, next week. “I believe some of them have genuine grievances; but I have hope that, once the grievances are addressed, they will come back. I am happy that the PDP has an internal mechanism for effective conflict resolution, and at the end of the day, the problems will be addressed and the PDP will come out of the crisis stronger.” Despite the assurance of a likely resolution of the crisis by Anenih, the New PDP is forging ahead, putting finishing touches to its National Secretariat.
Jonathan has met with some elders and leaders of the party on the way out of the crisis. It was gathered that the leaders advised the President to ask Tukur to step aside - in line with one of the recommendations of a committee headed by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Chief Anyim Pius Anyim. A source said “when the leaders raised Tukur’s issue, the President said he was being “systematic about his exit”. Jonathan reportedly said, he actually wanted Tukur to preside over the Special National Convention before asking the next
National Executive Committee(after the convention) to look into the issues raised by some PDP members against the National Chairman. The President, it was said, observed that those aggrieved were just “impatient” as he could not just remove Tukur without consultations and due process in a democratic setting. “The President said since the aggrieved governors have taken upissues with Tukur, he would look into it with other leaders. So, this is a bargaining point the President will take to the negotiation table on Tuesday,” the source said.
Jonathan’s loyal PDP governors meet
RESIDENT Goodluck Jonathan last night met with some governors loyal to the Bamanga Tukurled exco. The meeting which started around 9.10 pm was held at the First Lady’s Conference room. Those who attended the
From Augustine Ehikioya, Abuja
meeting included Emmanuel Uduaghan (Delta), Ramalan Yero (Kaduna), Gabriel Suswam (Benue), Theodore Orji (Abia), Ibrahim Dankwambo (Gombe), Liyel Imoke (Cross Rivers), Seriake Dickson (Bayel-
sa), Godswill Akpabio (Akwa Ibom), Idris Wada (Kogi) and Isa Yuguda (Bauchi). Also at the meeting were Vice President, Namadi Sambo, PDP National Chairman, Bamanga Tukur, Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Anyim Pius Anyim, Special Adviser to the
President on Political Affairs, Ahmed Gulak and Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Dr. Reuben Abati. As soon as the meeting started, reporters were asked to leave the venue based on the claim that the meeting was private.
Suntai’s deputy to run Taraba Continued from page 4
The acting governor thanked President Goodluck Jonathan and the PDP National Chairman, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur, for sending the committee to settle the crisis. “Taraba is one”, he said add-
ing: “All of us were witnesses to the fact that a week ago there were insinuations here and there about Taraba. In fact, Taraba became a household name in the country. “But today, we thank God that all our differences have been
solved and we are one. “It was agreed that I will handle the affairs of the state until my principal (Suntai) is able to come back and resume duty as our governor. “And in doing this, I will be consulting my boss while per-
forming the functions of the acting governor.” He promised to consult with him on the choice of members of the new state executive council to be constituted. The other terms of the settlement were not disclosed.
Baraje’s faction asks INEC to deregister Tukur’s PDP Continued from page 4
national levels, who shall give him a waiver. “Since the expulsion of Bamanga Tukur in 2001, he has not complied with the above requirement of the PDP constitution, meaning that his purported participation at the 2012 convention where he was elected was a fraud and invalid, as he is not yet a member of the party.” The Baraje faction is also seeking the declaration of the August 2013 convention of the PDP as illegal, because of the “illegal delegates” in the convention, the disqualification of duly elected delegates by the Screening Subcommittee of the National Convention Committee, and the fail-
ure of the party to comply with the provision of Section 85(1) of the Electoral Act, which holds that “a registered political party shall give INEC at least 21 days notice of any convention, congress, conference or meeting convened for the purpose of electing members of its executive committees, and other governing bodies.” Based on this provision, the Baraje faction is claiming that since the NEC of the PDP ratified the conduct of the 2013 national convention in its meeting of August 22, and the congress took place nine days after the NEC meeting on August 31, the party has run foul of the required 21 days notice required to inform
INEC about it. The faction also claims that there are evidence that unelected delegates from the South West Zonal Caretaker Committee participated and voted at the 2013 national convention, contravening Section 85(3) of the 2010 Electoral Act, which states that “the election of members of the executive committee or other governing body of a political party, including the election to fill a vacant position in any of these bodies, shall be conducted in a democratic manner and allowing for all members of the party or duly elected delegates to vote in support of a candidate of their choice”. The faction claims that the decision of the
screening subcommittee to screen delegates less than 24 hours before the convention, falls short of democratic conduct as it does not afford disqualified delegates the opportunity to press for justice. The faction also further claims that the action of Chief Uche Secondus and his supporters to wear vests seeking for votes for Secondus to be elected as deputy national chairman on the convention grounds, violates Article K, Page 8, of the PDP Code of Conduct for Conventions, which states that “a party member, aspirant, candidate or agent shall not canvass for votes within the vicinity of the congress venue or party primary convention”.
PUBLIC NOTICE ZAINAB I formerly known and addressed as QUEEN ZAINAB ABEKE, now wish to be known and addressed as TAIWO ABISOLA ABEKE. All former documents remain valid. The general public should take note.
PUBLIC NOTICE AWOYEMI
I, formerly known and addressed as Miss Awoyemi Oluwafunmike Comfort, now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs Olubunmi Oluwafunmike Comfort. All former documents remain valid. The Nigerian air force and the general public should please take note.
Mark on peace move
ENATE President David Mark yesterday launched a peace move to reconcile the warrying members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). He was in Minna yesterday to meet with stakeholders. Niger State Governor Babangida Aliyu is one of the seven governors that formed the (New PDP) last Saturday. The Senate President who arrived Minna Airport in a private chopper at about 11:45am drove to the residence of former military President Ibrahim Babangida for consultation and to solicit his support. Accompanied by Senator Tunde Ogbeha and two Senators from the state - Senators Dahiru Awaisu Kuta and Zaynab Kure - the Senate President went into a meeting which lasted about 30 minutes. Reporters were barred from entering the premises of the former military president while the meeting lasted.
FromJide Orintunsin, Minna
Emerging from the meeting with Babangida, the convoy left Minna for the palace of the Etsu Nupe and chairman, Niger state council of Chiefs, Dr. Yahaya Abubakar, in Bida. Though a source in Government House said the Senate President was in Minna for the reunion meeting of Course 3 set of the Nigeria Defence Academy (NDA), which he is the leader, our correspondent gathered that the visit was to make peace between the warring fractions of the party. It was gathered that the Senate President was billed to meet last night with the governor, leaders of the party and some elders of the party at the Presidential lodge. “The Senate President is on a peace mission to Minna. Though it coincided with the Course 3 set of NDA, he is here principally to truce in the crisis rocking the PDP,” a source in government told our correspondent.
2015: Peace talks stuck as Jonathan won’t drop bid Continued from page 4
meditated walk-out at the Eagle Square, last Saturday and the demands of these politicians smack of blackmail. “We, therefore, call on Mr. President to be resolute and resist this weather-beaten gambit, a treachery and mischief, designed to cow him. He should have zero-tolerance to political hostage taking. “It is not news that the key persona in the last Saturday’s display of shame are a group of politicians with smouldering ambition to be President in 2015. Of itself, a legitimate aspiration. But to demand that the President should deny himself what the constitution affords him is intolerable hubris. “We, therefore, call on the President and all leaders of the PDP, loyal and faithful to the party to immediately discontinue the ongoing negotiations with these men with self serving, ill-disguised ambitions.. What becomes of any ambition, including Mr. President’s, is in the hands of Nigerians, not a motley crowd of turncoats. “While we welcome the wish of the feuding politicians to remain in the PDP, we make bold to say that intimidation, treachery and
‘We cannot afford to allow political desperation to derail democratic governance that caused this country so much to achieve.’ blackmail would not derail the genuine intentions of this President . “It is common knowledge that a leader of this group, once left the party and at the end, neither the PDP nor its presidential candidate (the late Alhaji Umaru Yar’Adua), who defeated him in the 2007 presidential election, felt any pinch from his absence. “We are of the opinion that the performance of the Jonathan administration in the first four years would give the opportunity to the Nigerian people to decide whether or not to give him a second term in office. It does not lie in the mouth champions of sectionalism to hijack that decision from Nigerians “We urge the Nigerian citizenry to be more observant as we move closer to 2015. We cannot afford to allow political desperation to derail democratic governance that caused this country so much to achieve.”
THE NATION WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 4, 2013
NEWS Taraba logjam: Voters drag IG, Assembly to court
HE last may not have been heard on the letter of intention purportedly issued by ailing Taraba State Governor Danbaba Suntai, as two indigenes of the state have approached an Abuja High Court for an Order of Mandamus. Suntai, on August 26, sent a letter of intention to resume in office to the House of Assembly, after spending 10 months in hospitals abroad following injuries he sustained in a plane crash on October 25 last year. The applicants, Haruna Daniel and Bako Joda on August 30 approached an Abuja High Court seeking leave to apply for an Order of Mandamus and relief pursuant to Order 34 Rule 3(1) of High Court Rules. They said by virtue of Section 23 of the Police Act, the Inspector-General of Police (IG) is empowered to carry out investigation and thus want the court to order him to conduct a detailed investigation into the authenticity of the letter allegedly sent to the Assembly by Suntai.
By Precious Igbonwelundu
They also want the court to order the Taraba State House of Assembly to set up a committee to investigate the circumstances of the letter. Through their legal representative, Samuel Ogala of Falana and Falana, the applicants gave seven grounds for the relief being sought and 17 issues for determination. They said the IG (first respondent) is duty bound to investigate and prosecute criminal offences, while the Assembly is constitutionally mandated to make laws for the good governance of the state and ensure the Governor is fit to perform the functions of his office. The applicants averred that a letter dated August 27, was written to the IG requesting a detailed investigation to confirm the authenticity of the letter, while another letter of same date was sent to the Speaker requesting that the medical state of the doctor be made public in the interest of the people. However, the matter is yet to be assigned to a judge.
Tackle oil theft, lawmaker urges Fed Govt
HOUSE of Representatives member, Mr. Rotimi Makinde, has urged the Federal Government to adopt home-ground and a lasting solution to crude oil theft across the country. He raised concerns over the increasing magnitude of crude oil theft and vandalism in the country, noting that the use of ethnic militias had not proved effective in the past. Makinde, who spoke with reporters in Lagos, said an estimated 400,000 barrels per day, which translates to about 20 per cent of Nigeria’s crude oil output, is being lost to the activities of vandals and thieves. He said: “Sadly, the activities of oil thieves, which hamper the amount of barrels of oil available for export and insufficient investments in the upstream sector of the Nigerian oil and gas industry, have remained a major impediment to our economic growth and it appears government is indifferent.” Makinde, a former worker with the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and currently a member of the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) Committee, expressed doubts about the current security arrangements for petroleum products pipeline. He said the Federal Government should concede the pro-
By Precious Igbonwelundu
tection and management of the pipelines across the country to the states of dominance and fund them accordingly. “Until there is a deterrent against these organised and systematic stealing of Nigeria’s natural resources, the industry does not stand a chance against bunkering of the magnitude we currently experience. “Recently, we were told by the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) about the effects of oil theft on the economy. We were informed that the nation lost over 136 million barrels of crude oil estimated at $10.9 billion through pilfering and sabotage from 2009 to 2011. “It also stated that about 10 million barrels of products, valued at $894 million, were lost to pipeline vandalism in the downstream sector within the period under consideration. “Honestly, Nigeria’s plan to increase crude oil production to four million barrels per day and grow the reserves to 40 billion barrels by 2020 is absolutely unrealistic, unless the government simply transfers the protection of pipelines across the country to the state of dominance and fund them as we do to oil producing states on first line charges by an agreed and workable template.”
•From left: Lagos State Commissioner for Works and Infrastructure, Dr Ahmed ; Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Science and Technology, Mrs Nike Animashaun; Director, Government, Middle East and Africa, Microsoft Corporation, Mr Yasser Hassan and Director, Government Solutions and Partners, Middle and Africa, Mr Khaled Hazem, during a stakeholders' interactive workshop between Lagos State Government and Microsoft Corporation, in Lagos...yesterday.
Nasarawa killings: Community accuses lawmakers of supporting Ombatse
ENATOR Solomon Ewuga and a member of the House of Representatives, Mr. Kigbu Haruna, were yesterday accused of playing key roles in the activities of the Ombatse Militia Group. Ewuga represents Nasarawa North and Haruna represents Lafia/Obi Federal Constituency. The Ombatse also allegedly killed 49 Gwandara people in Iggah community during an attack in January. These revelations were contained in a memorandum submitted by the Gwandara Community of Iggah in Nasarawa-Eggon Local Government Area of Nasarawa State to the Justice Joseph Fola Gbadeyan-led Judicial Commission of Inquiry probing the killing of over 50 security personnel at Lakyo village. They alleged that the "founders and promoters" of Ombatse include "Eggon Cultural and Development Association (ECDA)." The submission was presented to the panel by the head teacher of Government Junior Secondary School (GJSS), Wakama, Mohammed Nasir Sadiq. The document was signed by Sadiq, Yusuf Sanusi, Bala Mohammed and Mohammed Osuse Garba. According to the community, "the Ombatse activities came to play in full force when Senator Solomon Ewuga went to Assakio in 2007 for his electioneering campaign." Sadiq, presenting the memorandum, alleged that "Ombatse with all kinds of sharp knives and cutlasses, magical charms and amulets - all round them" were on the campaign
•Says 49 persons were killed in Iggah From Sanni Onogu, Lafia
train of Senator Ewuga in 2007. The community's counsel, Mr. Mohammed Elegu Usman, led Sadiq in the presentation. He said: "The activities of the Eggon Ombatse militants started showing in 2007 when many people contested for the governorship of Nasarawa State, including Solomon Ewuga, who is of Eggon extraction. "On March 30, 2007, Ewuga went to Assakio for political campaign with a large convoy with reasonable large members of Ombatse militants brandishing sharp knives and cutlasses with the intention to demonstrate their overwhelming numerical superiority and to intimidate the people of Assakio. "One of the Ombatse militants, trying to exhibit his expertise with a sharp knife, accidentally split his own stomach open and died. "Also, in the crisis that took place in Agyaraguu, Senator Ewuga was in the front line with Dr. Haruna Kigbu (House of Representatives member for Lafia/Obi), to console with the people of Agyaragu. "The one that took place on January 12, Senator Ewuga was also at Iggah. "Finally, at the heat of the unfortunate situation in Alakyo, Senator Solomon, Dr. Haruna Kigbu and others were also at Alakyo village just to make an alibi for the supreme leader of Ombatse, Baban Alakyo.
"It is common sense that anybody or group of persons, who are always interested in a particular activity or act or always in the front line to put defence for them or to console such persons, who are victims of the devilish act of militias etc, it is clear that they are interested parties of Ombatse and are either supporting them financially, or morally." He further alleged that Ewuga came to the scene of a siege on the Gwandara people of Iggah community in Nasarawa-Eggon by the Ombatse and pleaded with the victims not to panic. Sadiq said: "About 3pm to 4pm on January 12, from nowhere, Senator Ewuga showed his face in Iggah after holding a brief meeting with militant Ombatse. "He addressed us that this crisis is not with us the Gwandara and as such, we should not go out of Iggah." He said between January 9 and 10, there was a bloody clash between the Eggon Ombatse militants in Ruwan Doma in Kokona Local Government and the Fulani ethnic group. The Gwandara people of Iggah provided refuge for the fleeing Eggon people from the troubled neighbouring Ruwan Doma. He added: "Iggah, being peace-loving people, we aided the women and children with water, food and shelter as some passed the night in Iggah, while others headed for other Eggon villages where they found refuge. "The Eggon refugees left Ig-
gah on January 11 as tension continued to mount. By January 12, the whole of Iggah was surrounded by Ombatse militants, who were well-armed with sophisticated weapons. "On noticing the situation we found ourselves, we the Gwandara of Iggah resolved that we should also leave the village to avoid becoming a victim of the clash between Ombatse and the Fulani. "The Eggon Ombatse militants on that day stopped our people - Gwandara in Iggah from running out for their lives as they surrounded our town and blocked the routes." He alleged that Ewuga visited Iggah community that same day to plead for calm. He added: "The militant Ombatse insisted that they must kill us. Senator Ewuga told the Ombatse militias that the Eggon are not having problems with the Gwandara of Iggah for now, but the Fulani. "Senator Ewuga left with some of our people, who had cars, while the Ombatse were still keeping others in the community hostage. "In the course of escaping, Muhammed Isah Mairogo was killed by Ombatse militias in our presence." He further alleged that on February 1, after the crisis subsided, the state government returned the displaced persons and stationed security operatives in Iggah. "Ombatse came at night and started exchanging fire with the security men," he lamented. He said the security agents were forced to withdraw from the town on account of the attack by Ombatse.
CAN women make case for girl-child
HE National Chairperson, Women Wing Christian Association of Nigeria (WOWICAN), Mrs. Mabel Oyin Sowoolu, has sought an end to the vices against the girl-child. Mrs. Sowoolu said the group would write to the National Assembly to protest against underage marriages. She spoke with reporters in Abuja after the association’s quarterly executive meeting in preparation for the WOWICAN convention in October in Owerri, the Imo State capital. According to her, should the lawmakers ignore the protest
From John Ofikhenua, Abuja
and legislate in favour of underage marriage, mothers would go naked to oppose the law. Asked what the association would do if the lawmakers vote in favour of underage girl-child marriage, she said: “I pray that will not happen. But if it happens, look, don’t underrate anybody. If it happens, mothers will go naked.” She said no right thinking mother would support the marriage that favoured a few people in Nigeria. She asked had the female
lawmakers and others occupying prominent positions married at 13, would they be where they are today? Said she: “If they are not having proper education, will they be able to perform? Why is it that all the time we are bashing the girl-child and women?” The chairperson said the association has been organising capacity building programmes for girls to acquire skills to make them ignore harmful offers from men. She said the onslaught on the girl-child has become worrisome as incidence of
rape is on the increase. Mrs. Sowoolu said since the association has realised that most rape victims hardly expose themselves, it has encouraged them to speak out whenever they are raped so that the issue can be addressed. She said “:Our girls are being shattered, being destroyed, the main thing in all of this is the psychological side of it. Many of them are dying silently. Nobody wants to say my daughter is raped because of the stigma, but we are encouraging them now to say it so that this thing will be addressed.”
THE NATION WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 4, 2013
FOREIGN NEWS Morsi supporters sentenced to life
Obama gets support to hit Syria P
RESIDENT Barack Obama’s call for a military strike in Syria won significant momentum yesterday, with leaders of both parties in Congress announcing they are convinced that Syrian President Bashar Assad used chemical weapons against his own people and that the United States should respond. Republican House Speaker John Boehner emerged from a White House meeting and told reporters: “This is something that the United States, as a country, needs to do. I’m going to support the president’s call for action. I believe that my colleagues should support this call for action.” House Majority Leader Eric Cantor and House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi also said they will support Obama because the U.S. has a compelling national security interest to prevent the use of weapons of mass destruction. But their endorsements still don’t resolve the deep ambivalence and even opposition toward action in both parties, and Boehner’s spokesman followed up the speaker’s announcement by describing the resolution’s passage as “an uphill battle.” Dozens of conservative Republicans and several liberal Democrats have come out
E •US President Barack Obama (Center-R) delivers a statement on Syria...yesterday. Seated next to Obama are Speaker of the House John Boehner(L), R-OH and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-CA. PHOTO: AFP
against intervention, and may be prepared to ignore the positions of their leaders and the president. Pelosi stressed that Americans need to hear more of the intelligence to be convinced that a strike is necessary. “I’m hopeful that the American people are persuaded,” she said. “This is behavior outside the circle of civilised human behavior and we must respond,” she argued as she left the West Wing. Obama met with more than a dozen lawmakers in the White House Cabinet Room to press the case for
what he said would be limited strikes aimed at dismantling Assad’s chemical weapons capabilities. The president said he’s confident Congress will authorize the strike and tried to assure the public that involvement in Syria will be a “limited, proportional step.” Two congressional aides said Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., and Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Menendez, DN.J., would craft a resolution narrower than the broad measure the administration proposed on Saturday. Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., top Re-
publican on the panel, told reporters he was working on the language with Menendez. The measure would specifically limit the duration of the military operation and expressly state that no U.S. ground forces would be involved, according to the aides, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the yet-to-be-unveiled resolution on the record. Obama indicated he is open to changing the language to address lawmakers’ concerns and called for a prompt vote.
Malala opens Europe’s biggest library in UK M ALALA Yousafzai, the Pakistani schoolgirl shot in the head in a failed assassination attempt by the Taliban, yesterday inaugurated Europe’s biggest public library in her newly adopted home of Birmingham. The 16-year-old, airlifted to the city last year for lifesaving surgery at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, now lives with her family in Birmingham. “This city is the beating heart of England. Birmingham is very special for me, because it was here I found myself alive seven days after I was shot,” Malala said at the launch of the new 189million pound Library of Birmingham. “This event proves this city loves me and I love it too,” she said as she placed her copy of Paulo Coelho’s
•Costs $292 million, says ‘pens and books are the weapons that will defeat terrorism’
“The Alchemist” on the shelves among millions of books. Malala also unveiled a commemorative plaque during the ceremony and received her membership card for the archive. The new building contains the Shakespeare Memorial Room, home to a collection of 43,000 books, including copies of the Bard’s First, Second, Third and Fourth Folio editions. “A fusion of the digital and the traditional is absolutely essential to the vision of the library we have,” library director Brian Gambles said in reference to the
seven-year project he has led. Malala was attacked by Taliban fighters on a school bus near her former home in the Swat Valley of northwest Pakistan last October. She was targeted for campaigning for girls’ rights to go to school without fear. She survived the attempt on her life and surgeons later inserted a titanium plate and a cochlear hearing implant. Malala has since resumed her studies at Edgbaston High School in Birmingham. Her family continues to face threats from the Tehrik-eTaliban Pakistan. In July, she was praised for
her bravery by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon when she addressed the world body’s youth assembly on her birthday. Malala has since been awarded the Tipperary international peace award and the international children’s peace prize. Earlier this year, she signed a deal worth about USD 3 million to publish her story.
Israel, U.S. in joint missile tests
SRAEL and the U.S. conducted a joint missile test over the Mediterranean yesterday, in a display of military prowess as the Obama administration seeks congressional support for strikes against the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad. Any U.S. strikes, in retaliation for alleged chemical weapons use by the Assad regime, are not expected before next week when Congress returns from summer recess. The Israeli Defense Ministry said the test of its Arrow 3 missile-defense system was performed together with the U.S. Defense Department. The system successfully detected and tracked a medi-
•Al-Jazera, three TV stations closed
um-range decoy missile that was not carrying a warhead, the ministry said, but did not intercept it. “A successful test was held to check our systems,” Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon said. “We will continue to develop and research and equip the Israeli military with the best systems in the world.” Experts and defense officials said the test had been scheduled weeks ago and was not directly connected to the current tensions in the region. Uzi Rubin, former head of the Arrow system, said the test was “completely technical. Nothing connected to Syria.” He said the “only message” it would send was that Israel has “good missile
defense systems.” Nonetheless, it served as a reminder to Syria and its patron, Iran, that Israel is pressing forward with development of a “multilayered” missile-defense system. Both Syria and Iran, and their Lebanese ally Hezbollah, possess vast arsenals of rockets and missiles. The Arrow 3, expected to be operational around 2016, would be the first such “multilayer” missile-defense system, designed to intercept long-range missiles such the Iranian Shahab before they re-enter the atmosphere. Last year, Israel also successfully tested a system designed to intercept missiles with ranges of up to 300 kilometers (180 miles) which is
expected to be operational by early 2015. Another system for shortrange rockets successfully shot down hundreds fired from the Gaza Strip during eight days of fighting in November, and more recently intercepted a rocket fired from Lebanon. The missile test came at a time of heightened tensions as Washington weighs sealaunched strikes against Syria. Israel has been increasingly concerned that it could be drawn into Syria’s brutal civil war. Since the weekend, the Obama administration has been lobbying for congressional support for military action against the Assad regime.
LEVEN supporters of Egypt’s ousted President Mohammed Morsi have been sentenced to life in prison after being convicted of attacking the army. The men were accused of wounding soldiers, sabotaging armoured vehicles and burning churches during riots in the port city of Suez last month. Forty-five others received five-year sentences, while five were acquitted. The riots followed a deadly crackdown by security forces on two pro-Morsi protest camps in the capital, Cairo. Hundreds of people, mostly members of Mr Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood, were killed when the sit-ins outside the Rabaa al-Adawiya mosque and at Nahda Square were cleared on 14 August. The unrest in Suez, 140km
(87 miles) to the east of Cairo, on 14 and 16 August left more than 30 dead. State prosecutors announced on 1 September that after almost two months in detention at a secret location, Mr Morsi would stand trial for inciting murder and violence. The charges relates to the deaths of at least seven people during clashes between opposition protesters and Brotherhood supporters outside the Ittihadiya presidential palace in Cairo in December 2012. Fourteen other senior Brotherhood figures, including Mohammed al-Beltagi and Essam al-Erian, will be tried on the same charge. Also yesterday, a court in Cairo ordered the closure of four television stations, including the Brotherhood’s Ahrar 25 TV and al-Jazeera’s Egyptian affiliate Mubasher Misr, saying they were operating illegally. The stations were seen by the authorities as being sympathetic to the Brotherhood.
French leader awaits US Congress vote on Syria
RENCH President Francois Hollande said yesterday that he’s waiting for a decision from the U.S. Congress on possible military action in Syria and insists France won’t strike against Bashar Assad’s regime alone. The French leader and President Barack Obama have been the two most outspoken world leaders on the need to respond to a suspected chemical weapons attack Aug. 21 near Damascus that killed hundreds of people. The French and U.S. government have both laid out cases insisting Assad’s regime was behind it - a claim Syria has denied. At a news conference with German President Joachim Gauck, Hollande said the U.S. vote - sought by Obama, and expected after Congress returns to session next week - about authorizing military action in Syria “will have consequences on the coalition that we will have to create.” He did not specify whether that meant a military coalition. The remarks came a day after France’s government released an extract of intelligence gathered by two leading French intelligence agencies alleging that Assad’s regime was behind the attack and at least two other, smaller-scale ones earlier this year. Hollande added Tuesday that France confirmed the poison gas sarin was used in the attack last month. The French parliament is debating the Syria issue today, but no vote is scheduled. France’s constitution doesn’t require such a vote on French military intervention until its lasts longer than four months, though some French lawmakers have urged Hollande to call one anyway. He said yesterday, “We’re not there yet.”
Kenya MPs debate ICC membership
ENYA’S parliament has been recalled for an emergency session to debate ending membership of the International Criminal Court (ICC). A resolution supporting Kenya’s withdrawal is likely to be passed, making it the first country to do so, a BBC reporter says. Deputy President William Ruto is due to appear at The Hague next week on charges of crimes against humanity. The ICC said the case would continue, even if Kenya pulled out. President Uhuru Kenyatta is due to appear at The Hague in November on charges similar to those faced by Mr Ruto. Both men deny the charges, which stem from violence that broke out after disputed elections in 2007. They were on opposite sides of the 2007 election but formed an alliance for elections in March this year and analysts say the ICC prosecutions bolstered their cam-
paign as they portrayed it as foreign interference in Kenya’s domestic affairs. Parliamentary Deputy Speaker Joyce Laboso issued the order for the “special sitting of the assembly” to take place tomorrow. About 40 MPs said they would support a motion calling for Kenya to end its membership of the ICC, the local Daly Nation newspaper reports. Kenya’s parliament is dominated by the Jubilee coalition, led by Mr Kenyatta and Mr Ruto. Some MPs hope the motion, expected to be passed, will free Mr Kenyatta and Mr Ruto from the ICC cases, says the BBC’s Ruth Nesoba in the capital Nairobi. However, ICC spokesman Fadi El Abdallah has been quoted by local media as saying that the cases against Kenya’s two top leaders and journalist Joshua arap Sang would go ahead even if Kenya withdrew from the Rome Statute that established the ICC.
THE NATION WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 4, 2013
THE NATION WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 4, 2013
THE NATION WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 4, 2013
THE NATION WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 4, 2013
Anichebe: Albion move right for me N
EWLY-SIGNED West Brom striker Victor Anichebe believes he made the right decision by joining the Midlands club admitting he already feels a connection with the Baggies. Anichebe joined from Everton for £6 million with just minutes to spare on deadline day, signing a threeyear deal that will keep him at the Hawthorns through the 2015/16 season.
And the Nigerian admits he felt drawn towards the club, having celebrated a good number of milestones against the Baggies, not least of which was a late winner at Goodison Park in May 2006 that he dedicated to his sick father. "I have enjoyed playing here in the past," the 25-yearold told the club's official website. "I've scored a few goals against the club. There have
been a few moments in my history that have happened against West Brom. "I scored my first Premier League goal against West Brom. I scored here on New Year's Day two years ago, when my dad was in hospital. I seem to pop up with a goal against West Brom. "They are key moments in my professional career so far. Because of that, something pulled me towards the club.
"For me, having been at Everton for so long, which is my team, for me to leave there had to be a reason some sort of connection. "I felt a connection to come to West Brom and, as soon as I heard there was an interest, I knew I was coming here." Anichebe leaves Goodison Park after spending 10 years on Merseyside, having signed for the Toffees as a youth player in 2003.
AMODU TELLS EAGLES
Treat Malawi with respect T
HE Technical Director of Nigeria Football Federation, Shuaibu Amodu, has warned the Super Eagles to take the Flames of Malawi seriously in Saturday's make or mar 2014 World Cup qualifying game slated for the UJ Esuene Stadium in Calabar as anything could happen in the game of football and that it is not over until it is finally over. Amodu disclosed this to NationSport in Abuja yesterday and also urged the players to accept the $5,000 winning bonus the Nigeria Football Federation has determined to pay as winning bonus. “What else do you expect the Malawian coach to say, he will come with his psychological warfare as usual and will try to throw tension into our camp. But I think we have gone past that and we should be more mature and more experienced to understand that he is just playing a mind game.
•Technical director team on Saintfiet's antics •Players urged to accept $5,000 bonus From Segun Ogunjimi, Abuja "However, we should not take them for granted, anything can happen in football. I cannot see them been a threat if all is well in our camp", the former Super Eagles’ coach assured. The former Orlando Pirates Football Club, South Africa Coach also appealed to Super Eagles to see reasons with the leadership of the Nigeria Football Federation that had said that they would no longer be able to pay the $10,000, bonus, urging them to accept the $5000 which they have now proposed to pay. Amodu opined that it is not professional for footballers to be in the habit of crying over issues of buseses at every given time. “I like to beg every one of
us who are stake-holders to play down on that, for obvious reasons all of you know that five thousand dollars is not small money. I am not saying that they cannot go more than that but if this is the position of the FA for now, since the players are not playing football depending on the bonuses they earn from the national team. "I think we should appeal to them to be more mature and to understand the situation, not only for the FA even for their own image. It is not good for them to come and be crying over bonuses here,” he said. The former Super Eagles’ manager also said that the bonus do not make any difference in the life of the players as several of them end up sharing the bonuses here in Nigeria before they go
back to their various base abroad. “I know for sure that so many of those players get that bonus and they end up giving it out before they leave. So, it’s not as if that is not what they depend on. So from that premise we can appeal to their inner conscience to say, look gentlemen for the interest of this country because NFF is not existing as an entity its an arm of government, and so by extension they are representing Nigeria and if the funds available to them can only permit five thousand dollars, we are sure they can improve later if we progress in the competition but for now I think it should not be an issue, we should just plead with the boys to accept it and play for Nigeria as they have always done,” Amodu pleaded.
Keshi on way to becoming a legend—Green
UPER Eagles’ Head Coach, Stephen Keshi is on his way to becoming not only Nigeria’s best coach but one of the best that the continent of Africa has ever produced, as long as he keeps his head down. These were the words of the Chairman of the NFF Technical Committee, Barister Christopher Green, while assessing the job of Keshi so far
•Ikpeme hosts team with the national team. “We have been more than supportive of the coach and he knows it but mischief makers will always concoct stories for fight between both parties, but I will say Keshi is on the right path and if he continues to work with the NFF’s blueprint, we have a man who can become
the best ever in Nigeria and Africa’s history and an NFF board that will be unrivalled in years to come.” The Eagles were hosted to a sumptous dinner by NFF Technical Director, Dr Emmanuel Ikpeme, who apologised for the late hosting. He noted that his wife had been
away out of the country for a long while but he was delighted that when she returned and hesuggested the idea to Mrs Ikpeme, and she agreed into it. Training for the team continues today ahead of Saturday’s match against the Flames of Malawi, whose FA Scribe is already in Calabar to assess the security and other concerns of the team ahead of the tie.
Dwindling fortunes in Athletics at senior level •Indigenous coaches fault preferential treatment •NSC boss hopes to revive ailing sport through grassroots
HE Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN) has been heavily criticised as allegations that the body has continuously preferred foreign based athletes to the detriment of her local athletes. In an interview with Coach Ishola Adesegun Oladipupo of the Tripple A Athletics club, based in Ijebu-Ode, Ogun state, he also cited poverty as one of the major problems of local athletes in the country as most of the athletes could barely feed on three square meals hence the shoddy performances especially amongst Nigerian male athletes who of late, have not won any medal at international competitions. He said: “Though some of them are in the employment of the Nigeria Police, Civil Defense but the local athletes need more assistance from the government because many are still jobless.” According to him: “It’s not only the foreign athletes that are getting grants. Athletes based in the country should also be given some stipends to encourage them. Concentration is mostly on foreign-based athletes. For instance Okagbare gets grants from Delta State and the Federal government, the same does not apply to most local coaches here, most local athletes live on stipends. There are companies abroad that endorse most of their athletes over there based on their excellent performances. In Nigeria,
By Stella Bamawo most athletes cannot afford fares to the stadium, they are jobless. They have to trek long distances to get to the Stadium. How do you expect such person to put in his or her best on empty stomach? “I think most Nigerian athletes will only excel if they have the opportunities to train in conducive environment abroad. We are also having problems of age falsification by the junior athletes, at age grade competitions. Who is deceiving who? During trials, it’s always a tug of war for coaches and athletes in camp to get their allowances. All these are not got good for the growth of the game. Right now I am not keen on the athletes, I train to run for Nigeria, said Coach Ishola who trained one of Nigeria’s 400m runners, Onakoya Abiola”. Its only God that can salvage the situation. Poverty is indeed a major challenge, without sponsors it’s indeed going to be an Herculean task for us to regain our lost glory in athletics. In the same vein, former Commissioner of Sports in Edo State,Brown Ebewele opined that the National Sports Commission(NSC) could as well share in the blame as funds needed to execute should be disbursed early. He vehemently disagreed with a situation where administrators would spend their personal funds to execute projects for AFN.
Victor Moses gets No.12 jersey
EW Liverpool signing, Victor Moses has been handed Number 12 jersey after joining the Anfield team on a season longs loan deal from Chelsea. Moses’ number together with other two new recruits Mamadou Sakho and Tiago Ilori squad numbers were confirmed on the club’s official website on Tuesday. The trio signed in at Melwood on Monday's transfer deadline day after agreeing deals and passing medicals at the club's training complex. “Liverpoolfc.com can now confirm French international Sakho will wear 17 for the Reds - a number previously sported by the likes of Steve McManaman, Steven Gerrard and Maxi Rodriguez.
By Akeem Lawal “On-loan Moses has been handed No.12, a jersey once worn by Sami Hyypia, Ronnie Whelan and Fabio Aurelio. “Meanwhile, Portuguese starlet Ilori will sport 26 - a number left vacant since Charlie Adam left Liverpool for Stoke City last summer,” the club said on its official website. Meanwhile, the Super Eagles’ winger who has now linked up with his countries national team ahead of the 2014 World Cup qualifier against the Flames of Malawi, confirmed the jersey number on his twitter account on Tuesday. “Buzzing with my new squad number 12 can't wait to pull the shirt on now #LFC,” he twitted.
TODAY IN THE NATION
WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 4, 2013 TRUTH IN DEFENCE OF FREEDOM
‘The bottom line is that Daniel needs help. So also is the family, while the security agents on duty in Benin on that day should face the music’ VOL.8 NO.2,596
COMMENT & DEB ATE EBA
IR, The crisis in Taraba State If there is one person the North has looked up to in recent times to end the long running rift between the mainly Christian Middle Belt and the so-called Muslim coreNorth, that person is you. First, your reputation for straight talk has since become legendary and has made you one of the most respected voices in the country. Second, you remain to date the most powerful army chief the country has produced and a role model to our men and women in uniform. Third, your vast personal fortune has made you a mighty force to reckon with anywhere, any time. Fourth, and related to this, is the fact that you have almost single-handedly bankrolled the activities of the Middle Belt Forum. These, of course, are not the only reasons why the North, and by extension, Nigeria, has come to expect so much from you. But the combination of these alone is enough to make anyone very formidable. Sir, five months ago, you gave one of your vintage straight talks. This was on the occasion of the Special Convocation of Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, on March 2 during which you were conferred with an honourary degree and during which the university launched its N50 billion appeal fund for the development of its second phase. You set the ball rolling by donating a hefty N2.345 billion. The North, you said in your acceptance speech, was trapped in a civil war without border and where the enemy remained faceless. “Ladies and gentlemen,” you said, “we are in the middle of a civil war in northern Nigeria. There is no defined front in this particular war and worse still the enemy is faceless and unknown. There is no immunity for anyone.” Sir, nearly ten years ago, specifically, November 19, 2003, I wrote you a letter on these pages entitled “Re: ‘The Road to Kigali’” in reference to an eloquent letter my friend and columnist at The Nation, Professor Adabayo Williams wrote to you in Tell of June 1, 1998. In that letter Williams expressed dismay at your silence over moves at the time by General Sani Abacha to transmute himself from a military head of state into civilian. “Your silence,” said Williams, “is profoundly eloquent. But it is no longer golden...For a man justly celebrated for his seminal interventions in national affairs your current silence over the state of the nation is bizarre, to say the least.” Williams’ fears were that your silence could’ve led to Abacha’s success which, in turn, would have led to Nigeria’s break-up. I thought Williams exaggerated things a bit in comparing Abacha’s self-transmutation agenda to the genocide in Rwanda whose capital is Kigali. Even then I believed what the professor said of your silence being eloquent but no longer golden seemed even more apt about your silence about what you thought of the administration of President Olusegun Obasanjo all the four years you served in it as the defence minister. Halfway through Obasanjo’s first term you offered to resign. That suggested you were disenchanted with the administration. However, in an interview in The Guardian on Sunday of December 24, 2002, you belied that impression. “I had no reason to be disenchanted with the administration because the
RIPPLES CLARK SHOULD RETIRE FROM POLITICS NOT ME, says Obasanjo
Yes, CLARK MUST GO and BABA too
People and Politics By MOHAMMED H ARUNA firstname.lastname@example.org
Another open letter to Lt-General T. Y. Danjuma
•Danjuma administration was just coming in. So there was absolutely no reason to be disenchanted. It is just that I felt I was not physically fit to cope with the stress of coming into government and I said so to Mr. President. He asked me to think about it. And after some consultations I decided to give it a try.” Apparently that trial convinced you that Obasanjo’s administration was no good. For, on November 8, 2003, which was barely two weeks after a reception was organised in your honour by the MBF to celebrate your voluntary resignation as Obasanjo’s defence minister - a reception which he attended - you said at Arewa House, Kaduna – and your choice of venue was in itself highly significant - that your former boss had ruled the country in his first four years literally under the spell of a cult-like clique. That was a most devastating assessment but coming at a time when Obasanjo was already months into his second term it was too little and too late. Sir, my open letter of November 19, 2003 was to draw you attention to the fact that your silence about what you thought of Obasanjo’s administration until you left helped in no small measure to widen the division in the North along religious and ethnic lines. True, Obasanjo did not create that division and he was not the first to try and
exploit it to rule Nigeria. Long before him there was Chief Obafemi Awolowo and several of his disciples, notably the late Chief Bola Ige. The big difference, however, was that Obasanjo controlled the mighty federal purse and he used it to the best of his ability to try and balkanise the North. Sir, my open letter of nearly ten years ago was to appeal to you to do everything you can to heal the rift between the two subregions of the North in the interest of both the region and of Nigeria because the country cannot remain united and peaceful if its constituent parts remain deeply divided. This division lays at the heart of the crisis of governorship succession that begun in Taraba, your home state, since its governor, Danbaba Suntai, had a plane crash with his private aircraft about ten months ago. This has created serious political tension in the state over which you cannot remain silent or seemingly indifferent. What is going on there may not be exactly the same in detail with the constitutional crisis Nigeria faced three years ago as a result of President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua’s ill-health, but they are basically the same; Suntai unlike Yar’Adua, is still alive. But like Yar’Adua long before he was flown to Saudi Arabia for the last time before he died, Suntai, as even the half blind can see, is no longer fit to govern even his household , much less his state. This was why, I for one, called on Yar’Adua to resign on these pages first on September 10, 2008 and then in an open letter to him on December 2, 2009, repeated the same plea. In my second plea which I made directly to him, I said, “The truth, given the latest complication in your health, is that you cannot cope with the job of governing this country. As I said in my article of last year, I believe you should resign.” My pleas and those of many well-mean-
ing Nigerians with much weightier voices than mine - well-meaning Nigerians including your good-self - fell on deaf ears and it had to take a last resort to a so-called “Doctrine of Necessity” to price power out of the hands of a so-called Yar’Adua cabal. Sir, your reputation demands that you intervene the same way you did in Yar’Adua’s case when you joined a group of prominent Nigerians who, during a much publicised visit to Acting President Jonathan, pleaded with Yar’Adua to step down for Jonathan; talk to the Suntai cabal to hand over the governance of the state to Garba Umar, his deputy who has been acting since he was flown abroad for treatment late last year. This is the only right thing to do even though Suntai is still alive. Indeed, it is the right thing to do BECAUSE Suntai is still alive but, as I just said, in no sufficient possession of his faculties to rule the state again. If you do so, it will go a long way to belie the popular belief among Muslims that you are opposed to any Muslim being a governor in the Middle Belt sub-region as defined by religion and ethnicity rather by geography. Your intervention will also eliminate the dangerous prospect of a state without a substantive governor for the next two years. Your intervention alone will not overnight end the historic animosity between the two sub-regions but it can re-create the much needed opportunity for dialogue between the two since the Arewa Consultative Forum under the late Chief Sunday Awoniyi made such offer in 2000 and the MBF rejected it. It was significant that on that occasion you broke away from the MBF and met with the ACF leadership at the end of which you reportedly promised you will persuade the MBF to realise that its common cause of a united and developed North is greater than the differences between them. Sir, I urge you to persuade the Suntai cabal to do the right thing because I am not exaggerating when I say only you have the power and the influence in your home state and in the entire Middle Belt to get them to do the right thing, and for that matter, the wrong. History must not judge you to have maintained an eloquent but not golden silence when some power-hungry cabal seem determined to set the state ablaze against the spirit, if not the letter, of our Constitution. THANK YOU ALL On behalf of the families of the late Alhaji Garba Nmanda and Alhaji Yusuf Ibrahim, I would like to thank all those who attended the wedding Fatiha of our daughter, Fatima Nnakada Asabe Haruna, and our son, Ismail Yusuf Ibrahim, two Saturdays ago in Kaduna. Our special thanks go also to those who did not receive our invitation but came all the same. Thank you all and God bless.
•For comments, send SMS to 08059100107
•Hardball is not the opinion of the columnist featured above
Syria: Let’s ship all tyrants to another planet
SN’T it a shame and a wonder that the world still lives under the same roof (or is it stratosphere now) with avowed tyrants? With popular rule and with the chants of freedom and liberty having rented the air in most corners of the world hundreds of years ago, is it not uncanny that the world of 21st century still does not only harbor brutish dictators but it also allows them to rule over the human race, to savage it and to brutalise it at will. Almost 300 years after America fought and won her independence who would have thought that in 2013 in a country that is supposedly in Europe, a dynasty of tyrants would hold sway for about forty years? And when the people rose to say enough was enough, the army would be called out to mow them down. When that failed, they were gassed and put to deathly sleep as if they were mere mosquitoes. Of course, Hardball is discussing Syria, a country that could have been European even though its closest boundary to the West is Turkey. Since 2011, Syria has been going to pieces. Caught in the wave of the Arab Spring, Syrians had seized the moment to demand for a change in the way they were herded like cattle by their leader, Bashar al-Assad. They wanted the long dynas-
tic rule of the Al-Assad family to be subjected to popular debate if not popular rule; they wanted to vote and be voted for; they wanted power to flow from the people and not from the palace. This is not too much to ask in a world in which elections are not just the norm in many countries but an emerging universal culture. The Syrians only asked to join the rest of humanity in the continuous re-enactment of the humankind. But the ruling gods won’t hear of it. Of course if they had ruled from generation to generation then it stands to reason if they conclude that they are born to rule. When the protests started, al-Assad would have chuckled and said to himself: my father got this mantle from his father, he did not hand it to me to hand over to a stupid mob of the hoi-polloi, no way; that is not going to happen. Only weaklings like Saddam Hussein and Moumar Ghadafi would allow that, he would have thought. He quickly labeled the protesters rebels and enemy of state and called out the military to clear the streets of the ‘litter’. But he missed the point this time and for two years, the ‘war’ has been raging with over 100,000 killed and more than a million displaced. A new twist
was brought to the feud about a month ago, when it was discovered that a chemical weapon of mass destruction may have been applied in the warfare by the al-Assad government which killed more than 1,000 Syrians in a most horrific manner, including about 300 children. Yes, Hardball understands full well that the world is a crazily complicated place but all the same, nothing explains why the world still allows mini-gods to prowl this planet. Shouldn’t the world sign a convention that would make alAssad and all his kind who still live in the utopia that they are bigger than their human communities and entities to be rounded up and made extinct like dinosaurs? If al-Assad had placed humanity above his miserable self, if he had not considered himself indispensable and Syrians thrash, he would have provided leadership even to his protesting compatriots and guided them to a sunny, new frontier instead of callously confronting them with tanks and APCs. Now he gasses them as if they were vermin. And if perchance it happens that he did it not, he no doubt precipitated it. In conclusion, al-Assad surely is not a citizen here anymore, he really should take a trip to the climes where all brutes converge, quickly!
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