Odogwu Emeka ODOGWU, Onitsha
THE NATION, SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 7, 2013
HE face-off between Governor Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers State, and the Commissioner of Police, Mbu Joseph Mbu, deepened yesterday after the governor accused Mbu of putting up lame and unsatisfactory argument about Thursday’s sudden redeployment of his (governor’s) Escort Commander. The governor, who spoke through his Commissioner for Information and Communications, Ibim Semenitari, described Mbu’s excuse as an afterthought. However, the police commissioner, responding through the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Angela Agabe, a Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP), insisted that the escort commander’s redeployment was ordered by the Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Mohammed Abubakar. The CP said he is simply a professional police officer and not a politician. Amaechi and Mbu have been at loggerheads since February this year when the governor asked for the CP’s immediate redeployment, which he described as the only condition for peace in the Niger Delta state. He accused Mbu of taking sides in the state’s political crisis. On Thursday, Amaechi said that Mbu redeployed the escort commander because he refused his (Mbu’s) directive to furnish him with prior information on the governor’s movement. The NGF chairman noted that the escort commander was not in charge of his protocol and would not have prior knowledge of his
Rivers political crisis: Amaechi, CP Mbu’s face-off deepens •CP accused of putting up lame, unsatisfactory argument •I’m not a politician but a professional police officer - Mbu
Bisi OLANIYI, Port Harcourt movement, especially in the prevailing circumstances regarding security in the state. The governor pointed out that after redeploying the escort commander, Mbu also requested the Camp Commandant of Government House, Port Harcourt, to give him prior briefing of his daily movement, which he said in practice, would be difficult to comply with, unless the camp commandant gets prior knowledge of his movement. This the CP denied. Irked by Mbu’s defence, Amaechi, through his information commissioner, said in Port Harcourt yesterday that the excuse now given by Mr. Mbu was not “the reason given, when both the Escort Commander and the Camp Commandant were invited to the Police Headquarters (in Port Harcourt). “This excuse was also not offered when the governor personally called Mr. Mbu to complain about the removal of his escort commander. “Matters of personal security of government functionaries and especially top officials like the governor of the state are discussed and agreed with these officials. “Even if for the purpose of
argument, it is indeed factual that the IGP ordered the redeployment of Governor Amaechi’s Escort Commander, wouldn’t the courteous thing be for the Commissioner of Police and the police high command to inform and explain this to Governor Amaechi? “On matters of his personal security, a governor reserves the right to reject or accept security details, as
he may be comfortable with. The Rivers State Government, therefore, is reluctant to accept what it considers a lame and unsatisfactory argument by the Rivers State Police Command.” On September 2, the Aidede-Camp (ADC) to the Rivers State Governor, Debeware Semeikumo, an Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP), was declared a deserter by Mbu, over the
July 9 fracas in the state’s House of Assembly and also removed him (Semeikumo) as the ADC to Amaechi. Semenitari described the CP’s action as another mischief, stating that the Rivers police command was aware that Semeikumo sustained injuries and had been away for better medical treatment. The Rivers police commissioner maintained that the
ADC to Rivers governor was declared a deserter, following his alleged failure to honour all lawful directives to see him and the IGP since July 10, 2013. Mbu said: “The decision to declare Semeikumo a deserter followed Section 398 (1) of the Police Act and the Regulation Cap 359 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 1990. “The whereabouts of Semeikumo remain unknown to the police. IGP Abubakar has approved his declaration as a deserter.”
From left: Osun State Governor, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola; Ekiti State Governor, Dr Kayode Fayemi; Imo State Governor, Rochas Okorocha; governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Anambra State, Senator Chris Ngige; Interim Deputy National Chairman, South of the APC, Senator Annie Okonkwo; Interim National Chairman of the APC, Chief Bisi Akande and former Niger State Chairman of APGA, Shuaib Kahu, at the presentation of certificate of return to Ngige, at the APC Secretariat, Wuse, Abuja... on Thursday.
Court releases Lloyd’s passport for medical treatment abroad
VACATION court in Port Harcourt yesterday ordered the release of the passport of the Leader of the state House of Assembly, Chidi Lloyd, to enable him travel abroad for medical treatment. Lloyd’s passport had been seized by the police in the wake of his arrest following the July 9 fracas on the floor of the State House of Assembly. The police slammed him with six-count charge of conspiracy to murder, attempted murder, intention to cause grievous harm, as-
•Gives him six weeks to return Rosemary NWISI, Port Harcourt sault occasioning harm, causing grievous harm, and malicious damage (of government property), after the bloody fight. His victim was named as a fellow lawmaker, Michael Okechuku Chinda. Lead counsel to Governor Chibuike Amaechi and the 27 lawmakers loyal to the governor in the ongoing po-
litical impasse in the state, Mr. Beluolisa Nwofor, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), confirmed the release of the passport. Justice Sobere Biambo ordered the passport released following an application by Lloyd to allow him access to urgent medical treatment overseas. Lloyd, through his lawyer, told the court that his health was failing and his medical doctor here in Nigeria had referred him to a London
hospital for adequate attention. He attached two different medical reports issued by his doctor in which urgent overseas medical attention was recommended. Lloyd was granted six weeks to undertake the treatment and return the documents to the court. Nwofor said: “We applied to a vacation court for his passport to be released to enable him travel for medical treatment. After he was released, his doctors examined him on two different
dates and issued a medical report that showed extreme urgency, and noted that the medical facilities needed for his treatment are not readily available here in our vicinity. Because of that, he needed to travel abroad. “In fact, they made a specific referral to a hospital in London where he could obtain adequate medical treatment. As you know, he cannot travel without his passport. Based on those two medical reports, we had to go to a vacation court, which is a court set aside for
urgent matters. “These two medical reports were not there at the time Justice Letam Nyordee granted him bail. There was fresh evidence that emanated following his health condition after he was granted bail. “As a result of this, we approached the vacation court and we are happy that the judge saw merits in the application and granted it. “The court made an order for him to return it on or before October 28. So, there is no cause for alarm.”
Offa poll saga: APC protesters block electoral body’s office
ROTESTING members and supporters of the All Progressives Congress (CPC) yesterday blocked the entrance to the premises of the Kwara State Independent Electoral Commission (KWSIEC) in Ilorin, the state capital. The protesters, drawn largely from the seven local government areas of Kwara South and five from Kwara Central, were protesting against the alleged fraud committed against them during a local government election rerun in Offa on August 31, 2013. The KWSIEC, which conducted the election, had declared the chairmanship and councillorship candidates of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) the winners of the poll, although it is yet to make the breakdown of the results as collated in each polling unit
•Observe Jumaat at commission’s gates •’Why we were robbed by PDP’
Adekunle JIMOH, Ilorin or ward public. The blockage of the KWSIEC headquarters lasted for about three hours. The Muslims among them observed their Jumaat in front of the commission’s office on Fate Road, opposite the Federal Secretariat in the metropolis. Yesterday’s rally, the third within the week, took off from the former Congress for Progressive Change (CPC)’s office on Offa Road. At the KWSIEC office, they stood outside the gates as the gates were locked, with security mounted by the police who, however, did not disrupt the protest. They were led by their lead-
ers, including the two members of the state House of Assembly produced by the party, Hassan Oyeleke and Tope Olayoonu; the party chairmanship candidate at the poll, Saheed Popoola, and former caretaker chairman of the defunct Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), Sola Iji. They said they would not stop the protest until the electoral body released what they called the authentic result of the election. The APC, which claimed that the collated result of each of the 12 wards of the council showed that it won in 11 wards while PDP won in one, faulted the result announced by the electoral commission on the radio and asked it to, in the manner stated by the
law, release the official result with its breakdown. The protesters, who brandished brooms, the logo of their party, condemned the KWSIEC for alleged perpetration of fraud with the result it announced and expressed their insistence on the release of the ‘authentic’ result. Iji and Popoola told reporters that the protest at the head office of the KWSIEC would continue until the electoral body released the result of the election as demanded. “We are demanding for the declaration of the official and authentic result, and we will not stop this protest until they gave us our result,” Iji said. Popoola, who said the protesters would occupy the KWSIEC office until the result was released, said the party
had lost confidence in the electoral commission and lent his voice to the calls by some stakeholders for the commission’s dissolution. The Chairman of the Kwara State House of Assembly’s Committee on Public Accounts, Hassan Oyeleke, said: “We are doing this rally to keep sensitising our people about the brazen robbery of electoral victory of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Offa Local Government. This is just a civil way of bringing our grievances to the attention of the whole world. “It is unfortunate that what the new PDP is fighting against is what it is doing to other people. They are talking of justice and the Bamanga Tukur leadership not being fair, but they are doing worse
here at this level.” Alhaji Oyeleke called for the dissolution of KWSIEC as presently constituted, saying that people had lost confidence in the commission. He added: “We don’t have confidence in KWSIEC again. When they brought the commission’s chairman, Dr Uthman Ajidagba, to the floor of the House for screening, I was one of those who spoke well about him because we were classmates in secondary school. “Then, he was an Alfa, and for somebody who has a Ph.D in Islamic Studies, I assumed that he would be above board. “Those of us who attended the same school with him are disappointed.”
•Continued on Page 4
THE NATION, SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 7, 2013
•Offa Local Government poll protesters observing the Jumaat in front of electoral commission’s headquarters in Ilorin yesterday.
•APC chairmanship candidate in the Offa Local Government election rerun, Prince SaheePopoola, addressing party chieftains and supporters during the rally.
Mudslide disaster: Residents of Cross River community to be evacuated
LANS are underway to evacuate residents of Burrow Pit in Edim Otop along Atimbo in Calabar Municipality, Cross River State, following Tuesday’s mudslide that killed six members of one family, T h e N a t i o n learnt yesterday. A top official of the Cross River State Ministry of Environment said that government had, over the years, warned residents of the area to vacate, but this time, something “drastic” would be done.
Nicholas KALU, Calabar But he gave no indication that the affected persons would be compensated. An official of the Ministry of Lands, who also pleaded not to be named, said the people were occupying the area illegally. It was gathered that the area was a small ravine in the 90s but due to erosion and digging up of sand for building, it had widened up to a very huge ravine. Later on in the mid-2000s,
people started going down the ravine to set up structures and live. An official from the Ministry of Lands said, people went down there and started building out of control. “The place is a gully for God’s sake. Why would people want to go down there? There is no approval from the ministry, no plan, nothing. People just went in there and started building, not minding how dangerous the place is,” he said.
Forty-year-old Amos Akaniyene, whose entire family was buried alive in the mudslide that rolled off the side of a ravine and collapsed on their house, said he bought land in the area in 2010 for N550, 000. He lost six members of his family – his pregnant wife, three children aged between five and eight years, his mother-in-law and sister-in-law. When The Nation visited the area, it was observed that the ill-fated building was at the bottom of the ra-
vine-like area, and rose like a wall just beside it. Several other houses, it was observed, were in the same position. Ndifereke Augustine was one of those who tried to rescue the situation. He himself narrowly escaped death in the process, as he was also buried when more mud came down from the hillside but managed to escape. He said they would only vacate the area if government gave them another place to stay.
Da v i d Nsem o, V i c e Chairman of Calabar Municipality, said people who were living in the area when the unfortunate incident occurred were doing so illegally and calls had been made on them on several occasions to leave the place as it was not safe. He also said several attempts made to stop people from digging sand from the area had been to no avail and this was contributing seriously to erosion in the area.
in control of the political superiority in Kwara State, to enable him negotiate in the new party he wants to go. “We want to use this opportunity to tell the whole world that the PDP, its so-called “leader” and government of Kwara State have been totally rejected by the good people of Kwara South and that they can only manipulate their way with only the corrupt ridden state Electoral Commission. “We also call on the Nigeria Broadcasting Commission (NBC), the Nigeria Un-
ion of Journalists (NUJ) and the Nigeria Guild of Editors to investigate the role of Radio Kwara in the announcement of the illegal result. We therefore call on Radio Kwara to announce the ward by ward result as collated by the returning officer, which ought to form the basis of a credible result. “We hereby express our strong lack of confidence in the KWASIEC led by Dr. Ajidagba, and that he can not conduct any free and fair elections.”
APC protesters block electoral body’s office •Continued from Page 3 He described the PDP disclaimer of its councillorship candidate in Shawo South West Ward, Mr. Afolabi O. Jimoh, as a lie. He said: “They are not right. And if a liar says anything, don’t believe him. The evidence before the world are very clear. KWSIEC displayed names of candidates for the election and Mr. Afolabi O. Jimoh was cleared. “In a rerun election, you can’t change your candidate without the knowledge of KWSIEC or other parties. The procedure for changing a candidate is very clear. You either change a candidate because he is dead or write a letter that he is not part of the party again. All those things were not done. “The boy is a bona fide member of the PDP. The boy has conscience. That is why he openly disowned the victory ascribed to him. We are very proud of him because he shows the qualities people from our area are made up of. “The PDP disclaimer on him is in furtherance of so many lies they have been telling. Up till now, the KWSIEC and the so-called councillors don’t know the scores they had in each ward. “Now they came to KWSIEC office at Offa and carted away the ballot boxes with the aim of starting to print ballot papers in Ilorin to make up the number. We challenge them to let each of the PDP councilors announce what he polled in his ward. “The new PDP government in the state is intolerant of opposition in spite of the fact that we have been very tolerant of them. I am a sort of the leader of the opposition in the state House of Assembly and also the chair of public accounts. I
have access to a lot of accounting information of the government and we never divulge any. We have shown that tolerance and maturity to them. “This is one of the dirtiest governments you can talk of when it comes to management of money. Kwara is passing through harrowing experience not because enough money is not coming from the federation account but because the money does not get to Kwara and Kwarans.” Meanwhile, the APC in Kwara state has said that the PDP robbed it of its victory in the August 31 local government election rerun in Offa, Offa Local Government Area, to discourage the party’s supporters ahead of the October 26 council poll. In a statement, Spokesperson of APC in Kwara South, Prince Shuaib Olanrewaju, said: “We also believe that they have resorted to this daylight robbery to intimidate the good people of Kwara South and cause disillusionment and submission in order not to approach the incoming local government election with all seriousness. ´We urge the people of Kwara South not to be intimidated or discouraged because useful lessons have been learnt and the lesson shall serve as a guide towards the preparation for other elections in the state. ´We want to assure the good people of Offa that this stolen mandate will be restored in due time and the six local governments will compliment their victory with electoral success. We the remaining six local governments do promise to stand by the people of Offa through their trying times. “We members of Kwara South APC and the good peo-
ple of Kwara South wish to commend the people of Offa Local Government Area for their steadfastness as true progressives and a shining example to all the remaining six local government areas in Kwara South. “We sympathise with them on the daylight robbery with arrogance and impunity of their well deserved victory at the local government poll. We therefore in line with all others reject the result of Offa Local Government rerun election announced by the Chairman of KWSEIC, who in the
APC receives Canadian members
HE All Progressives Congress (APC) yesterday received its Canadian members while welcoming the ex-All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA) Chairmen. Imo State Governor, Rochas Okorocha, who received the Canadian group, expressed readiness to work with them to move the party and the nation forward. He said: “Your decision to come to APC is the best
first instance is not constitutionally empowered to announce the result. “We hereby call on all security agencies to please call the runaway Offa local government returning officer to come and officially announce the result as generated, collated and signed by all the 12 wards of Offa local government polling agents and security officers at the polling centres and the wards. “We believe that the PDP in the state blatantly committed this electoral fraud to prove a point that their ‘leader’ is still
•Ex APGA chairs in attendance Franca OCHIGBO, Abuja
decision you can make. For our Canadian members, we will work with you and ensure you are provided with all the information you need in the foreign country. “It is obvious that Nigeria is gradually returning to two-party system, which of course was the desire of
former President Ibrahim Babangida. “I have nothing against APGA as a party. My entry into APC is for good. I will ensure for those that defected from APGA that their interest is protected. “I can understand how the APGA Chairman is feeling. Any party leader will feel that way. It is not easy to lose 22 party chairmen in a swoop.
“I would like Nigerians to know that APC is a credible alternative to PDP. Even with all that is happening, I do not want APGA to die.” On Anambra election, he said there would be no rigging, warning those who plan to rig not to even imagine it. “The election will be real without manipulation. We all know that Ngige will surely win,” he said.
PDP crisis: Women leaders to meet Baraje faction
OP women members of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) are to meet the Kawu Baraje faction as part of the plan to resolve the leadership crisis rocking the party. The Conference of PDP Female Politicians, which is made up of former female legislators, political activists and other stalwarts from all over the country, has already met with the chairman of the PDP Board of Trustees (BoT), Chief Tony Annenih; the embattled factional
•Say resolution in sight
Dele ANOFI, Abuja Chairman, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur and Governor Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers State. Its spokesperson and former deputy governor of Ekiti State, Mrs. Biodun Olujimi, said the first round of meetings were indicative of the desire of the group to ensure peace in the party. But she declined to give details of the discussions the women held with the BOT
Chairman. “We intend to keep these in view as we continue with the peace initiatives,” she said. Hon. Mercy Almona-Isei, another member of the group, said the meeting with Alhaji Tukur was frank and meaningful. Chairman of the group, Senator Florence Ita-Giwa, confirmed that a delegation met with Gov. Amaechi for three hours, saying: “Hav-
ing heard from Governor Amaechi, there is a need for us to meet with other persons involved in this dispute. “The Conference of PDP Female politicians will not be deterred from making every effort to restore the peace and unity of the PDP. “We cannot afford to stand by and watch over the destruction of a party that has given Nigerian women the greatest opportunity of expression in the political history of Nigeria.”
THE NATION, SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 7, 2013
PDP crisis: Tukur, Baraje adamant at parley with Obasanjo, IBB, Anenih, Ahmadu Ali T
HE PDP elders’ peace ini tiative to save the ruling party from going under went on in Abuja yesterday regardless of threats and intimidation from the Presidency to stall it. The two sides in the dispute were unyielding in their demands tabled before former President Olusegun Obasanjo; ex-military ruler, General Ibrahim Babangida; Chairman of the PDP Board of Trustees (BoT), Chief Tony Anenih; and former national chairmen of the party - Dr. Ahmadu Ali and Chief Barnabas Gemade. The factional national chairmen, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur and Alhaji Kawu Baraje, insisted on having it their way at separate sessions with the party elders, hours after President Goodluck Jonathan attempted to pull the plug on the peace talks. Sources said the Tukur faction explained how its Na-
•Ex-President: why we intervened
Yusuf Alli, Managing Editor, Northern Operation tional Working Committee has been doing its best to carry all PDP members along. Tukur claimed that he took office with a reconciliation mission and has never derailed. A top source said: “The faction took exception to the factionalization of the PDP by Baraje and seven governors in spite of many interventions in the last two months by President Goodluck Jonathan. “To move forward, Bamanga asked the elders to prevail on Baraje and the rest to desist from parading themselves as the parallel PDP National Working Committee;
subject themselves to the constitution of PDP; and allow the party leadership to resolve all issues raised by the governors. Another source said: “The Baraje faction insisted on its four-point demand bordering on the removal of Tukur, the need for Jonathan to forget seeking re-election in 2015, the resolution of the Nigeria Governors Forum crisis and the stoppage of harassment of governors by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). “The Baraje group said its demands were not negotiable although the elders only took note of their complaints. “It is left to the elders to harmonize these issues tabled before them and find solutions.”
Continuing, the source said: “So far, the elders have not apportioned blame, but they allowed each group to lay its cards on the table. I think there is progress somehow in view of the fact that many party leaders had assumed that the peace talks would not take place.” President Jonathan had reportedly told party elders to shun the meeting on the strength of intelligence report that Obasanjo was behind the crises which got to a head last Saturday after Baraje,former Vice President Atiku Abubakar and seven governors walked out of the party’s Special Convention in Abuja and proceeded to form a parallel national executive committee.
Baraje’s faction’s secretariat
Tukur, PDP fail to stop Baraje’s camp in court
USTICE Elvis Chukwu of the Federal High Court, Abuja has rejected moves by the Bamanga Tukur-led faction of the troubled Peoples' Democratic Party (PDP) to restrain the Abubakar Baraje-led faction of the party. The judge, in a ruling yesterday, refused an ex-parte application by the Tukur-faction, seeking to restrain senior members of the Barajefaction from parading themselves as members of the party's national executives, pending the determination of the substantive suit. The application had particularly sought to retrain former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar; former Osun State governor, Olagunsoye Oyinlola; Baraje, a chieftain of the party, Sam Jaja, among others (named as respondents in the substantive suit) from acting as executive members of the party. Also named as respondent is the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). When the application, filed by applicant's lawyer, Tochukwu Onwugbufor (SAN), was moved, Justice
Eric IKHILAE, Abuja Chukwu declined to grant the applicant's prayers, but instead, ordered that the respondents be put on notice. The judge also ordered that the notice be served on the respondents through
substituted means. "Although I am not afraid of granting an ex-parte application, especially when it is obvious of causing anarchy, however, I owe a duty to maintain a balance. " What I want to do is order that the respondents are
put on notice," the judge held. Justice Chukwu also ordered parties to maintain status quo pending the determination of the substantive suit. He consequently fixed September 12 for hearing of the substantive suit.
Crisis won’t affect good leadership, says ACTIONAL national embattled party chair chairman of the PDP,
Alhaji Bamanga Tukur,said yesterday that the current crisis in the party would not affect the delivery of credible leadership to party members and the implementation of the party's manifesto. Alhaji Tukur, in a statement in Abuja to party members, reiterated his commitment to the “ideals of the founding fathers of the PDP.” His message was to reassure members of efforts to resolve the impasse sparked by the emergence of a rival PDP national executive committee led by Alhaji Abubakar Baraje. He said: "I am very pleased that you remain loyal in spite of the recent developments
Gbade OGUNWALE, Assistant Editor, Abuja that have confronted our collective resolve to provide purposeful leadership for our party and dear country. I wish to reassure you that these developments will in no way distract or affect our undiluted readiness and focus on delivering on all promises incumbent on the mandate vested willingly by you on us. "As the National Chairman of your party, I shall remain unflinchingly resolute on good leadership. My stand on good governance at all levels from those elected on the platform of the PDP
is irrevocable. It is certain that our leverage on the faithful implementation of the manifesto of the PDP will once more ensure victory for our party in the 2015 general elections. "Accordingly, I charge all members of the PDP to close ranks and continue to remain loyal and committed to the ideals of a united, formidable and democratic national political party, where power belongs to all Nigerians irrespective of tribe, religion or any other divide. "As it has been from the beginning, the PDP under my chairmanship shall continue to ensure that power resides fully with the people.”
President Jonathan himself was in Kenya on a state visit yesterday when the peace meeting got underway at the Kaduna Hall on Floor 01 of Transcorp Hilton Hotel,Abuja. Two members of the peace panel, ex-Vice-President Alex Ekwueme and the pioneer National Chairman of the PDP, Chief Solomon Lar, were absent. They were said to be abroad and could not make it to the closed-door session. To avoid physical confrontation by the antagonisits, the peace team met separately with the two factions for more than two hours. The session with the factions in the PDP ended at about 2.43pm. Those at the meeting from the Bamanga Tukur faction were Tukur; some NWC members, Governors Liyel Imoke, Ibrahim Shema, Godswill Akpabio, Isa Yuguda, Emmanuel Uduagan, Seriake Dickson, Jonah Jang, Theodore Orji and Idris Wada, while the other faction was represented by Baraje; the Deputy National Chairman, Sam Jaja; ex-Governor Bukola Saraki; factional National Secretary of the PDP, Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola; Governors Rotimi Amaechi; Sule Lamido and Aliyu Wammako. Obasanjo spoke to reporters briefly at the end of the meeting and said the elders’ intervention was necessary to save the PDP from brinkmanship. He said: “You have seen five of us as select elders of the party. We have taken it upon ourselves to prevent the worst from happening to our dear party. ”Two of our members are abroad and could not join us. They are Solomon Lar and Alex Ekwueme, and we are carrying them along. “Whatever the reports we are making, suffice it to say that it is family dispute within the PDP, which we want to stem the tide of going to the brink. “And I want to say that we have met with the two sides of the family. We have listened to them, and, of course, we are going to put our heads together and go on from there.” A member of the Nigerian Senators’ Forum, Chief Yisa Braimoh, at a separate forum
yesterday warned Ijaw leader, Chief Edwin Clark, to desist from attacking Chief Anenih and his efforts at resolving the crisis rocking the party. Clark as well as a one-time Senate President, Senator Ameh Ebute; former Minister of Police Affairs, General David Jemibewon; and former Chairman of Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF), General Ibrahim Haruna had under the aegis of the Congress for Equality attacked Anenih for admitting that some of “the aggrieved PDP governors had genuine grievances." They also faulted Anenih for saying that the grievances of the G-7 governors should be addressed to enable the party come out stronger from the “minor” crisis. They had declared in a statement at the end of their meeting in Abuja on Thursday that: “Chief Tony Anenih should distance himself from the demands of these so-called ‘aggrieved governors’ and join Tukur to work for the party in truth and spirit.” But Senator Braimoh, who represented Edo North Senatorial District from 2007 to 2011 on the PDP platform, yesterday cautioned Clark and others. He said: “While the position taken by Chief Tony Anenih as Chairman of the BoT of the PDP is statesmanlike and helpful to the process of finding solutions to the crisis, the attitude of Chief Edwin Clark and his friends in the Congress for Equality only helps to worsen the crisis. They should, therefore, emulate Chief Anenih. “It is sardonic that while elders of the PDP should spare no effort to put an end to the lingering crisis threatening our party, Chief Clark and his friends who should be voices of moderation are the ones stoking the fire and choosing to be part of the problem rather than the solution. It is, indeed, pathetically sad that they are unconscionably widening the gulf between contending parties. “They should have known, if they were not being mischievous, that as chairman of the Board of Trustees, Chief Anenih, is expected to play the role of an impartial arbiter, which does not admit of dissembling. This is what he has appropriately done in the circumstance. His attitude does not detract from his commitment to the unity of the party and the re-election of President Goodluck Jonathan in 2015.”
Baraje’s faction inspects secretariat
OMENTS after meeting PDP elders on a peace mission yesterday in Abuja,some members of the Baraje faction inspected the proposed secretariat of the faction. At the head of the inspection team was Governor Sule Lamido of Jigawa State. It was a brief affair, lasting only a few minutes. The building, located in the highbrow Maitama District in Abuja, was once occupied by the defunct National Democratic Party (NDP). The NDP was recently deregistered by the Indepen-
Gbade OGUNWALE, Assistant Editor, Abuja dent National Electoral Commission (INEC). Renovation on the building was still on yesterday. Its gate is painted in the PDP signature colours of green, white and red. The signpost that could have revealed the identity of the corporate occupant of the building was wrapped up in black. The faction had planned to unveil its secretariat yesterday, but could not do so, apparently for reason of the peace meeting.
THE NATION, SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 7, 2013
Boko Haram: New Army Division visits North East states
combined team of se nior officers from the Army and Defence Headquarters are visiting various locations in the North East to check the deployment of the new 7 Division of the Nigerian Army. A statement by the Director of Defence Information, Brig Gen Chris Olukolade, yesterday said the team will assess the level of effectiveness of the Division's deployment for handling the next phase of the security operations in its area of responsibility. The team, he said, would brief the Chief of Defence Staff and the Chief of Army Staff on the present state of the mission being undertaken by the Division. " It will be recalled that the
Gbade OGUNWALE, Assistant Editor, Abuja 7 Division was recently formed to take over the security operations meant to rid the nation's territories of terrorist activities as ordered by President Goodluck Jonathan. "The Chief of Army Staff, Lt Gen Azubike Ihejirika, yesterday arrived Maiduguri to check on the deployment of troops of the newly formed 7 Division of Nigerian Army. "After being briefed by the Division's General Officer Commanding , the Army Chief will visit some locations of the troops and equipment of the formation which has been tasked to continue the operations to flush out terrorists from the North East", the statement added.
Jonathan faults ICC on Kenyatta’s trial
RESIDENT Goodluck Jonathan yesterday faulted calls for President Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya to be tried by the International Criminal Court (ICC) in the Hague. Jonathan made the remark while addressing a Joint session of the Kenyan Parliament on the sidelines of his state visit to Kenya. The trial of Kenyatta and his Deputy, William Ruto, over alleged crimes against humanity committed before their elections has been generated controversies in the country. According to Jonathan, international organisations should be seen to resolve crisis in countries across the world and not to be seen as contributing to problems of nations. He maintained that the insistence on trial of Kenyatta by the ICC would further compound the political crisis which had already been doused in Kenya. He recalled that a general elections in Kenya in 2006 plunged the country into political turmoil, which was later resolved. With the successful completion of the recent peaceful presidential elections in Kenya, he said that ICC should not be seen as a body to derail the progress made in the country. He said: “I believe that any law whether local or international as well as treaties and conventions should be seen to solve human problems and not to compound them.” He called on the international community to support Kenya in its social-economic development. The Kenyan Parliament on Thursday was recalled from recess to vote for the withdrawal of the country from the ICC. The lawmakers, who successfully voted in favour of the motion, had contended that they were taking the steps in defence of Kenyan sovereignty. However, the global court has insisted that the trial of Kenyatta and his deputy, Ruto, would go ahead. In a contrary opinion, Jonathan argued that the 2013 presidential elections which brought President Kenyatta to office had demonstrated that Kenyans were capable of resolving their problems without
Augustine EHIKIOYA, Abuja interference from the international community. Jonathan said: “I believe I share the sentiments of the government and people of Kenya when I say that we in Nigeria do not embrace democracy and the rule of law in response to external pressure or demand. We have embraced democracy and its underpinnings such as free, fair, credible and transparent election; rule of law; respect for human and peoples’ rights, because they are the right things to do and they are good for us. “We do not seek the validation or endorsement of our democracy outside the collective will of our people, the citizens and electorates of our respective countries. Democracy is not a one-size-fits-all system; rather it is a dynamic political system which must be operated within the particular context it finds itself,’’ he said. President Jonathan also called for the reform of the UN Security Council and other multilateral organisations with lopsided membership. “The on-going debate about the emerging global governance architecture should be of interest to our two countries and Africa as a whole. “The existing international system is undemocratic and unfair. Africa’s non-representation in the councils and chambers of international decision-making in the past was always explained in terms of our lack of sovereign independence.
•From left: Minister of State FCT Jumoke Akinjide; Secretary, Area Council Service Secretariat, Yahaya Al Hassan Ibrahim; and Director of Administration and Finance FCT, Abdulsalam Yahaya, during Joint Account Allocation meeting in Abuja yesterday Photo: Abayomi Fayese
Dangote plans N64 billion cement investment in Kenya
HE Dangote Group has promised to invest $400 million (about N64 billion) in cement production in Kenya in the next two years. This was disclosed yesterday by the Chairman of the Group, Aliko Dangote, during a Nigeria-Kenya Business Forum held in Nairobi. The forum, which was jointly presided over by President Goodluck Jonathan and his counterpart from Kenya, President Uhuru Kenyatta, was attended by more than 500 investors from Nigeria and Kenya. It was part of the activities lined up for the second day of official visit of President Jonathan to Kenya. Dangote, who served as the chairman of the dialogue group, said that the forum underscored the need for Africa to look inward in partnership in trade and investments. He said the forum decried the situation where intratrade in the continent is below 12 per cent and decided to use the Nigeria-Kenya initiative as model in Africa. Dangote thanked Presi-
Loss of Document I, Ololade Ogunlusi wish to notify the general public of the loss of 3 original deeds of sublease between Solar Garden Projects Ltd and myself ,re plot D44 Royal Garden Estate. Kindly contact 0802-290-8243 with any useful information.
Augustine EHIKIOYA, Abuja dents Jonathan and Kenyatta for creating the window of opportunity for the business community to interact on way to improve trade between both countries. According to him, Kenya would assist Nigeria in boosting sectors where it has comparative advantages such as tourism and hospitality, horticulture, dairy, sugar and ICT while Nigeria would assist Kenya in the oil and gas sector, movie and entertain-
ment industry, agriculture and banking sectors. President Kenyatta announced at the forum that there will be five to ten years visa duration for Nigerian business men coming to Kenya. Stressing that the policy would ease the challenges of visa procurement and encourage investors from Nigeria to Kenya, he said that he was taking cue from President Jonathan who had already approved the policy in Nigeria.
It was also disclosed that a leading Indian textile manufacturing company, Bei Textile Ltd, intends to invest in textile and garment in Nigeria. A Memorandum of Understanding was signed at the forum to strengthen the already existing NigeriaKenya Chamber for Commerce and Industry. Presidents Jonathan and Kenyatta assured the forum of the political will of their respective administration to support the initiative.
THE NATION, SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 7, 2013
Credibility, values and leadership
HEN this week US President Barak Obama halt ingly told a press conference in Sweden on his way to the G20 Summit in Russia that his credibility is not on the line over his inability to order the US armed forces to attack Syria over the use of chemical weapons by the Assad regime against its people, he opened a pandoras box. This is on the credibility of the US as a global ally of those who see that nation as a world power that stands for human rights, democracy, and moral values in international relations. In a way, it does not now matter whether the US attacks Syria when and how. On the issue of credibility, the US president has seriously flawed his own credibility as a world leader . For him to say that his credibility is not on the line but that of the US Congress and that of the world, is to dodge the fact that he used words to the effect that he has a ‘red line’ on the use of chemical weapons by Syria and the use of force consequently as punishment for Syria on that, and he is on record as saying that .To disown that use of language now is to dodge responsibility for the expectations and actions flowing logically from his utterances. Really, it will not be the first time a US president will deny what he has said. Former President Bill Clinton was said to be so brilliant that he could ‘ lawyer the truth‘. That really was what President Barak Obama a professor of constitutional law was trying to do so unsuccessfully in Sweden this week and in a rather uncharacteristic and unconvincing manner, on the evidence he has on Syria’s use of chemical weapons against its people. Given that the US president later showed up this week on Thursday in Russia at St Petersburg for the G20 meeting in Constantin Palace where he was received by Russian President Vladmir Putin like any other president at the meeting, it would appear the US President had a lot on his mind besides just taking action to teach the Syrians a lesson through a limited attack as he has promised, with or without Congressional approval. Could Obama therefore had been distracted from punishing Syria as he promised because he was wondering how he would be received later in Russia last Thursday? Or could the lure of the Russian trip and the economic issues at stake at the G 20 have been so important to have overshadowed or incapacitated an imminent attack for which Secretary of State John Terry’s speech last week was vintage preparatory work? No matter how you look at it, US policy on Syria seems to have lost its momentum, its initiatives and cutting edge during this week and the Russians seem to be setting the pace on the direction of action by the international community on the way to deal with Syria on the alleged use of chemical weapons. President Putin has dismissed all US evidence as eavesdropping, unprovable and unreasonable. Putin insists due process must be followed at the UN Security Council before any action is taken on Syria and any action outside this would be an aggression. So, Russsia is setting the pace on the legalism of international law and its application on the Syrian issue while the American President and Legislature are passing the buck and discussing the issue as if
Syria is a state in the US and not an independent sovereign state. Surely, the Russians look and sound confident on the diplomacy of the Syrian matter while the US and its leaders seem confused and ham strung by their conflicting values, bureaucracy and institutional rigmarole. After the collapse of the British Parliament in fighting for global moralty on Syria, given its sterling pedigree on such matters, American G20 diversion and endless discussion on an emergency matter is making a mockery of American values on global moralty and security and that really is an even greater danger to global peace. It is in that context then, which is foot dragging on creating deterrence on highly important issues, that one looks now at recent events in Kenya and Nigeria. In Kenya Parliament has begun a debate to pass a motion for Kenya to leave the International Criminal Court – ICC - ostensibly because Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta and Vice President have charges to answer before the court for violence both perpetrated in the 2007 presidential elections when both gentlemen were on opposing sides .Now the two have teamed up and have won the presidential elections of March 2013 and have decided as it were to pull Kenya out of the ICC. The ICC has said clearly that it is not deterred by this impending pullout of Kenya being manipulated by the men in power But then, are the Kenyan leaders not bothered by the credibility and political values they cherish in practicing democracy? In the 2007 elections it was apparent Odinga was on course to win before violence erupted and the international community sent former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan to conduct an inquiry leading to the ICC charging the two gentlemen who later won an election this year and are now trying to use their power to maneuver Kenya out of an organiza-
Given that the US president later showed up this week on Thursday in Russia at St Petersburg for the G20 meeting in Constantin Palace where he was received by Russian President Vladmir Putin like any other president at the meeting, it would appear the US President had a lot on his mind besides just taking action to teach the Syrians a lesson through a limited attack as he has promised, with or without congressional approval
tion set up by the international community to fight lawlessness and abuse of power such as is happening in Kenya now. One can only remind the Kenyans that Charles Taylor of Liberia was caught far away in Nigeria years after he committed atrocities against his people and humanity. Serbia’s dictator Milosevic died in custody at the Hague while awaiting trial. Showing that the world can wait through the ICC, for leadership impunity and abuse of office to be brought to book and Kenya and its leaders are no exception. Obviously President Uhuru Kenyatta has a limited tenure just like his Vice President and they should know that the ICC is the institutional conscience of the world against the sort of dictatorship they are subjecting the Kenyan parliament to in order to save their neck at the expense of the sovereign reputation and credibility of Kenya in the comity of nations. In Nigeria the split in the ruling PDP provides ample illustration of the topic of the day . The party’s convention of August 31 was supposed to settle all quarrels and give credibility to the Party’s Chairman and Working Committee but instead it escalated the division in the party. A New PDP emerged to the consternation of Alhaji Bamanga Tukur who called the new factional leaders irresponsible saying that the party has an internal mechanism for dealing with its quarrels and that the security agents will be called in to deal with the impostors as there is only one PDP under his Chairmanship. The Chairman of the New PDP Alhaji Abubakar Baraje called the Tukur faction jokers and so the game is on for the soul of the party that has ruled Nigeria since 1999 when we came back again to democracy. But then there is nothing new in all these as politics is a game of who gets what, when and how and the New PDP or PDP2 is saying that it is not satisfied with the way PDP 1 had been run and it is going to run the show. Both parties have gone to court to be adjudged the bona fide PDP and INEC is watching to provide evidence in court to say who has what, when, how and now. I however hope the security forces will not heed Bamanga Tukur’s call and close the offices of the New PDP as was done during the Obasanjo era. On thing is certain, and that is that even the elders who have been called in, will soon discover that Nigeria’s ruling party has reached a point of no return in its very public implosion right under the noses of the Party elders, who have behaved like the proverbial ostrich with its head buried in the sand while the crisis brewed. That is, if the so called PDP implosion is not indeed the hand work of the elders who like Nero, Emperor of the ancient Roman Empire, fiddled while Rome burnt just as the PDP was collapsing right before the eyes of its so called elders. Anyway let the fireworks begin in the courts and allow justice to decide the authentic PDP. That is how to settle any credibility issue and restore real democracy and the real PDP identity.
THE NATION, SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 7, 2013
Atiku’s pound of flesh after his longest night
SMS 07043485109 firstname.lastname@example.org
HE implosion in the Peoples Democratic Party, predicted by political analysts, oc curred at the special convention of the party in Abuja last Saturday. The prediction had been premised on the analysts’ belief that the party is an amalgamation of strange bed fellows whose guiding principle has no philosophical base other than to hold on to power at all costs and help themselves with the nation’s exchequer even to the detriment of the larger society. New or aspiring members must shelve their thinking, orientation or philosophy and submit themselves to the party’s directive principle: share the money. In spite of repeated claims by Chief Vincent Ogbulafor, a former national chairman of PDP, and Governor Godswill Akpabio of Akwa Ibom State that the party, touted as the biggest in Africa, will rule for a minimum of 50 years, not many who had followed the party’s way of life would be shocked at the turn of events. Now the signs are getting clear that some members of the party are getting sick of the unholy wedlock and are now set for divorce. The development would constitute a huge relief for millions of well-meaning Nigerians and their foreign sympathisers who are deeply concerned about the nation’s steady descent into anomie. These would include some respondents to a piece in this column sometime last year wherein I suggested that Jonathan should not seek another term in the interest of his party and the nation. They responded
to my counsel with indignation, warning me to stop counselling Jonathan against seeking the presidential ticket of the PDP in 2015, as that would be the easiest way to get rid of his docile government and the looting party. All the credit for the imminent funeral of the the party must go to former Vice President Atiku Abubakar who led the rebellion at the Eagles Square last Saturday. Given the crises that had engulfed the party, particularly the election that produced two chairmen for the Nigeria Governors’ Forum and the failure of the leaders of the party to resolve the impasse, not many keen watchers of political events expected the convention to end on any other note than rancour. Hence, it was not a shock to many when the news filtered in that Atiku had led seven PDP governors and some other heavyweights in the party to another venue for a parallel convention. Seeing the straight face he maintained as he departed the Eagles Square venue of the party’ presidential primaries where Jonathan roundly defeated him with open support from Gen. Olusegun Obasanjo in January 2011, I needed no soothsayer to know that President Jonathan had not heard the last from Atiku. Many people had expected Atiku to give Jonathan a good fight in the primary election with the prospect of a bloc vote from northern delegates to the convention after he was adopted by northern elders and leaders. But the election night turned out the longest for Atiku. The confidence his face radiated at the start of business gave way to anxiety and despair as the counting of votes began. The pattern of voting ended up a one-way traffic. Jonathan routed the Turaki of Adamawa even in his (Atiku’s) home state According to Professor Tunde Adeniran, the returning officer, 3542 votes were cast during the primaries, out of which President Jonathan polled 2736. He was trailed by Atiku with 805 votes while Mrs. Sarah Jubril got one vote, apparently the one she cast for herself. If Atiku suspected that he was manipulated into de-
Atiku is on a vengeance mission. A vengeance mission devoid of desperation only has a remote chance to succeed, for desperation is the highway that leads to the city called vengeance. Fortunately for him, the President played into his hands with unguarded use of power and the tactless way he and his men handled the crisis that was foisted on the party by its chairman, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur.
feat, he had no way of protesting at the election venue. He walked away quietly and bided time to get even.
If Atiku’s swing from one party to another is a sign of desperation as now perceived by many, the desperation has less to do with his presidential ambition than the chance to take his own pound of flesh after the humiliation he suffered at Eagle Square. Atiku is on a vengeance mission. A vengeance mission devoid of desperation only has a remote chance to succeed, for desperation is the highway that leads to the city called vengeance. Fortunately for him, the President played into his hands with unguarded use of power and the tactless way he and his men handled the crisis that was foisted on the party by its chairman, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur. The governors, in sympathy with Governor Murtala Nyako, whose political structures in Adamawa State were demolished by Tukur and replaced with his as soon as he became the party’s chairman, had demanded his immediate removal. But President Jonathan would not have any of that. And rather than pacify the governors or stoop to conquer like Obasanjo did when he had a similar experience with governors at the presidential primaries of the PDP in 2003, he opted for brute force, seeking to weep them into line. The result has been continued escalation and diversification of the crisis, which culminated in Governor Rotimi Amaechi’s defeat of Jonathan’s candidate, Governor Jonah Jang, at the recent chairmanship election of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum. Rather than accept defeat, Jonathan and the governors in his camp decided to recognise Jang as a factional chairman of the forum. Lost on Jonathan and his men was the bad precedent that was being set with the recognition of an illegal chairman of the governors’ forum. The precedent produced its first offspring with the emergence of two factions of the PDP last Saturday. Concerned Nigerians can now only pray that the trend does not continue into the 2015 elections.
Corruption, insecurity drive away investors from Nigeria, says EU
•From left: Aare Kola Oyefeso; Governor of Niger State, Muazu Babangida Aliu; President, Lagos Country Club, Adewle Osomo, at a lecture on The Marriage of 1941- A Curse or Blessing at Lagos Country Club, Ikeja, Lagos.
HE head of European Union delegation on governance, Mr. Alan Monday, has said corruption and insecurity in the Nigeria have forced investors to take their investments away from the country. He said the twin problem of corruption and kidnapping is scaring foreign investors away the country, and also made Nigerian investors to invest in other African countries. Mr. Monday, who stated this yesterday in Port Harcourt during a press briefing organised by Search for Common Ground (SFCG), an EU organisation that promotes peace in the Niger Delta region, noted that their job in Nigeria is not to attract foreign investors to Nigeria, but to ensure the reintegration of ex-militants, promote peace
Shell to negotiate with Nigerians over oil spill compensation
OMPENSATION talks will begin in Nigeria on Monday between lawyers for Royal Dutch Shell and for 15,000 Nigerians in Bodo,Ogoniland, who say their livelihoods were destroyed by oil spills from pipelines operated by the company. The Nigerians launched a suit against Shell at the High Court in London in March 2012, seeking millions of dollars in compensation for two oil spills in 2008 that polluted the waterways of the Bodo fishing communities. The legal action is being closely watched by the industry and by environmentalists for precedents that could have an impact on other big pollu-
tion claims against oil majors. “They want to be fairly compensated for their losses from the time the spill took place until the oil is cleaned up and the Bodo Creek is returned to its natural state,” said Martyn Day of the plaintiffs’ London law firm Leigh Day. A Shell spokesman confirmed that talks would begin on Monday between Leigh Day and lawyers for the Anglo-Dutch firm. They will take place in Port Harcourt,Rivers State, and will be attended by representatives of the Bodo communities. Shell accepts responsibility for the Bodo spills, but the two sides disagree about the volume spilt and the number of
local people who lost their livelihoods as a result. A previous round of compensation talks broke down in 2012, before the lawsuit. “We’re hopeful that an acceptable agreement can be reached with the Bodo community,” the Shell spokesman said. “Such an agreement would provide fair compensation, as well as a way forward on cleaning up the entire area affected by oil spills, whether caused by the two 2008 operational incidents, or by criminal activity.” Citing independent experts, Leigh Day says up to 600,000 barrels of crude were spilt, which would make it one of the worst spills in history. The volume spilt in Alaska in the
1989 Exxon Valdez disaster was put at 257,000 barrels. But Shell, citing a report by a joint investigative team not controlled by the firm, puts the volume spilt in the two original incidents at just 4,100 barrels. Shell accepts that a significantly higher volume of oil was spilt later but says this was due to other factors including sabotage. It has also complained that its clean-up teams were at times denied access to sites by local groups. A Shell spokesman said the talks would focus on the number of people affected, the actual financial loss suffered, and the amount of time for which those affected should be compensated.
Precious DIKEWOHA, Port Harcourt and stability in the region. He called on the government of Nigeria to be committed in the fight against corruption and find a lasting solution to the security challenges in the country. “We are not here to discuss the issue of investors, because insecurity and corruption in Nigeria has already scared many foreign investors away from investing in Nigeria, including Nigerian investors. And EU cannot do any-
thing about that. “Remember, before now the story of the Niger Delta region is often presented as a bleak one of oil bunkering and agitation. We are here today, because something new is going on in the Niger Delta. “The seven trendsetting communities of the Tomorrow, a New Day project across Bayelsa, Delta and Rivers States, have already embarked on their journey to peaceful transformation and that is the reason why we are in Nigeria.”
Igbo Christian ministers set to unite Ndigbo
group, Igbo Council of Christian Ministers of Nigeria (ICCM), has lamented the level of disunity among Indigbo, pledging it would use the forum to promote unity amongst Igbos in the country and in the Diaspora. Speaking at the inauguration of the Ojo Chapter of ICCM on the topic ”Ndigbo: Who shall go for us,” Arch Bishop Chukwuemeka Iheanachor of the Othodox Anglican Church, Ojo, stated that the idea of ministers of Igbo extraction coming together was to have a common voice to project the idea of uniting the Ndigbo and call themselves to order. Arch Bishop Iheanachor observed that the wall of Igbo land is falling down as many things are going down with the Igbos, and as such there was a need to unite to rebuild the fallen city through the ICCM forum, and therefore called on all Igbos to support the group.
The cleric lamented that the major problem confronting the body of Christ today was the issue of charlatans who had infiltrated Christiandom in the name of God flaunting all titles and deceiving the gullible. He dismissed the notion that Nigeria is a true federation in that all Nigerians are not free to live accordingly in any part of the country, and therefore branded Nigeria as a fraud. The National Coordinator of ICCM, Reverend Rowland Nwachukwu, stated that the main objective of the group was to come together under one umbrella as a people of one God, and one destiny to promote among the members and Ndigbo at large the spirit of love, unity, tolerance and progress. He said the ICCM also has the motive to sanitize the land of Ndigbo through intercessory prayer, counselling, dialogue, reconciliation and conflict management.
THE NATION, SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 7, 2013
Marwa: Quintessential leader at 60
N September, 1996, the rumour mill in Lagos had just manufactured a bumper one. Scores of people at Agege in Lagos State had suddenly given up the ghost after a meal of beans. For days the news thrived and nearly every home started bidding farewell to any food made of beans. Moinmoin ( a mashed beans laced with fish and eggs, wrapped in green leaves) , akara (bean cake), gbegiri (beans soup) wanke (a delicacy of beans for Northern Nigerians) ewa oloyin (honey beans) and any other food made of beans in a jiffy became personnae non gratia in Lagos. Like an uncurtailed wild fire, the conflagration spread to many other parts in Nigeria. Those who had stored beans at home before the rumour, began singing nunc dimitis to this source of protein, savouring whatever remained in bits as if they would never eat this food again in their life. The price of beans dropped drasticaly as there were no buyers again. Insects started feeding fat on this delicacy usually ferried to markets in giant sacks. People started talking of dead bodies of fellow homo sapiens who died of food poisoning without anyone seeing their corpses. Yet Lagosians were scared to their marrows. The man at the helm of affairs in Lagos State, then Colonel Mohamed Buba Marwa (now a retired Brigadier-General) was troubled. This handsmome master’s degree holder in International Relations and Public Administration from Harvard and Pittsburgh universities in the United States of America respectively could not imagine his fellow Lagosians losing their robust figures for kwashiokor, as beans is the major proteinous food that unites the commoners with the silver spoons. He sent his officials to the National Food and Drugs Agency (NAFDAC) to find out from the laboratories if indeed we had poisoned beans in town. They returned with the negative verdict. This was published as news, but it was a water poured into the basket. While on an assignment in Lagos one day, Tuesday, September 24, 1996, to be precise, Marwa’s convoy passed the popular Ketu bus stop. His vehicle suddenly halted, making a reverse. The armoured corp officer jumped down. No one knew his mission. Nevertheless, everyone in the convoy came down and raced to catch up with him. To their shock, the man headed straight to an akara seller by the roadside and asked the petty trader to sell a ball of akara for him. Pronto, he posted this delicacy into his mouth and started chewing,
Ogochukwu Ikeje email@example.com 08084235961 (SMS only)
Y column last week on Taraba State and the aftermath of Governor Danbaba Suntai’s return (“Is there no more decorum in Taraba?”) earned me intense fire from our readers. Bile was a distinct component of some of the responses, as were barefaced disrespect and outright insult. I intend to publish those responses, giving ample space to the most venomous of them, even as I will also print a few which dared to hail my exertions. But it bears restating the object of that article since it seems clear that my responders, for some reason, missed its letter and spirit. Some of them thought I had lost my mind. One nearly swore I was a Suntai supporter. Another claimed my Christian background got the best of me and that the governor is “your Christian brother”. There were several wilder allegations, most of which you will see in full presently. Before then, however, I will say that I have no link, direct or indirect, to Suntai or to any of his representatives anywhere in any capacity whatsoever. Nor did I need any such link to write that article. Contrary to another responder’s allegation, no one commissioned me to put that piece together. It came off my conviction that there are better, civil and decent ways of sorting out the Suntai matter which has done nothing to flatter Taraba people or Nigerians as a whole. If the state stakeholders sense that their governor is still not fit to run the state, and that he is not forthcoming in admitting it, surely, they can devise a means of establishing his health status and present it to the relevant authorities for appropriate action. It pays no dividends to engage him in a fight or to order him out of town before due process is followed and exhausted.
Sina OGUNBAMBO to the delight of the Lagos crowd that have swarmed around their charismatic leader. He told the akara seller that he will pay for all the fried akara balls and invited everyone to join him. Hesitantly two or three officials (including this writer joined him) and before you could say Jack, Lagosians bombarded the rest of the akara, munching the free breakfast with delight. Marwa had taken the bull by the horns. The print and television media made a feast of the front page stuff, especially the photographs. On the next day, the beans scare became a hoax and everyone resumed duty with beans without any tinge of fear. Leadership by example! On Wednesday, July 7, 1998, Marwa was at Abuja for the Federal Executive Council meeting at Aso Rock, Abuja. Suddenly there was a breaking news. The symbol of democracy in Nigeria, Basorun Moshood Abiola, had dropped dead in the course of a meeting. This was big trouble, especially in the nation’s commercial nerve centre, Lagos. Fighting erupted, especially at Alapere, Ketu, Agege, Ojuelegba and Idi-Araba areas of Lagos. General Abubakar Abdulsalam (rtd), then Head of State, had to dispatch this former Aide-de-
He introduced the tricycle called Keke Marwa. He engaged area boys and girls in different ventures, teaching them new skills and paying their salaries. They turned good boys and girls during his tenure, becoming bakers, painters, horticulturists, road construction workers and so on
•Marwa Camp to Lt-General Theophilus Danjuma (rtd) to Lagos, assisting him with a presidential aircraft as it was an emergency. When we alighted at the Murtala Muhammed Airport, we had to navigate through a lot of unusual routes to avoid boiling spots of bonfire. This was not a day for siren. When we eventually got to the Lagos House, Marina, Marwa held a short meeting with a few members of his team. He, thereafter, sent for highly respected Muslim and Christian leaders to go and break the news to the Abiola family at Ikeja, Lagos that night. At 8am the next day, he made a state broadcast on the sad news, extolling the virtues of Abiola. He mourned him and directed that all schools in Lagos State to be shut for the rest of the week as a mark of respect. In the evening, he paid a condolence visit to the Abiola family at home. This visit was the greatest risk and gamble, combined together during this period when the military was not in the good books of Nigerians. Passing through thousands of people, Marwa who trekked quite a distance was the only one in his entourage allowed entry through the gate manned by seemingly militant and angry youths. They assured him that he was safe with them, as he was their man, blocking his
security details and taking their positions. A few of Marwa’s security details, not in army uniform, myself and my own chief cameraman, Elder Titus Fapohunda, scaled the fence to enter. When Marwa was through with the visit a batallion of Lagosians escorted his convoy back to his Alausa, Ikeja office, singing thus: “Marwa o, o se wo ni, awa o je gba soja laye, Marwa o, o se wo ni “ (But for you Marwa, we would not have given any soldier a chance). The next day, Marwa was on his way to office when his convoy ran into a procession of the University of Lagos students on their way to Abiola’s house. He came down from his vehicle and commiserated with them. He advised them to be peaceful throughout. He then ordered Major Abayomi Opeolu (rtd), the then Task Force Commander on Envinromental Sanitation and his team to serve as their escort and ensure their safety. In the afternoon, he was on a peace mission to some volatile areas in Lagos. At Idi - Araba, he had to walk on broken bottles to quench the rage of what could have turned into an ethnic war. Was it not Marwa that brought the armed robbers to their knees throughout his nearly three-year administration in Lagos State through a re-invigorated Operation Sweep to the point that armed robbers wrote and placed in his mail box (made available to all Lagosians for passing of information, free of charge) that he should allow them just one week to operate, so that they could have a merry Christmas? Was it not this former Military Governor of Borno State that constructed and rehabilitated over 700 roads in Lagos State through the Direct Labour Agency headed by Engineer Kehinde Osikoya? This agency constructed the dualisation of the Ikorodu Road in Lagos. This former Nigeria’s Defence Adviser at the Nigerian Permanent Mission, United Nations Headquarters in New York established the Lagos State College of Medicine (LASUCOM) and provided added infrastructural facilities to convert General Hospital, Ikeja into the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH). He completed the housing estates initiated by his predecessors, Sir Michael Otedola and Brigadier-General Raji Rasaki (rtd) and named the estates after them. He built the massive estate named Marwa Garden, the Howson Wright Medium Income Estate and Owutu Low Income Estate, among
’ Under fire on Taraba
Well, before I launch into another full piece, here are the readers’s responses: •It is very obvious that you are a good supporter of Suntai but people can see beyond the ordinary... +2348178794280 •The piece on Taraba is awesome. God bless you, Sir. Isaac, +2348162364333 •Ikeje, you are a misfit in media profession. You are not morally, mentally, medically, constitutionally and politically enlightened, with the rubbish you fed the enlightened readers with in your kindergarten piece on Taraba. Did you read and listen to yourself? You need medical check. I am not from Taraba and don’t care who governs but your piece irritates one. Give the piece to your wife and ask her to comment. She will hiss on you. Will you as a student agree to sit in a class and take lecture from today the way you see him? Spade this issue and call it a spade. Don’t bring Christianity issue into this open fact. Garba is not disputing your Christian brother as governor, just that he is presently unfit to rule. Be reasonable, boy. +2348036333016 •I read your article a lot but this one is completely written out of misconception. You are not a doctor neither a psychologist (please correct me if I am wrong). How then do you figure someone’s state of health by his look alone? As a journalist you should investigate a case properly before you pick up your pen. I am highly disappointed by this your write-up. What else do you need to know that the governor is still ill and is being smuggled in to be used as an instrument to deep hands in government’s coffer (sic) by some greedy politicians in Taraba State. Mr writer, can’t you read between the lines? Why are crying more than the bereaved? I am sure you are part of the criminals and you are disappointed for not sharing in the loot if they had succeeded. MJ, Abuja +2348187953058 •They have learnt nothing and forgotten all. Because we tend to behave like pitiful citizens
otherwise no one needed telling Suntai to throw in the towel. Where he failed doing so, he should be impeached rather than administering unfittedly (sic). Taraba elders should wake up from slumber. Lanre Oseni, 2358023023745 •A good opportunity to resolve the Taraba circus is here. His Excellency Governor Suntai should lead Taraba State delegates to the PDP special convention in Abuja. He should pilot the plane that will bring the delegates. Col. Idris Danjuma (Rtd), Abuja, 2348054377696 •A brilliant write-up. It takes greatness of character and good depth of intellect not to follow the bandwagon. I will forward to you the comment I sent to your back page colleague, Segun Ayobolu on his write-up today on the Suntai saga. +2348188884775 •I share your sentiments concerning the Suntai saga. However, what we have presently are just those sentiments and nothing more. There is neither scientific nor legal basis to say the man should not resume and continue as governor of Taraba State and the reason is simple: there is no valid medical report declaring him unfit for office, and the letter to the Speaker of the House of Assembly which he is required to send as a condition precedent to the resumption of office has been transmitted to the Speaker. The furore is uncalled for and shouldn’t have arisen. The man should resume (has indeed resumed) and can subsequently be removed from office by the House where it becomes clear that he is not or is incapable of discharging his office and/or is empirically established that he is medically unfit for office. The Deputy Governor and Speaker erred badly. +2348188884775 •You are wide off the mark +2347036619333 •You article is a disgrace to your personality. You should always try to be investigative and objective while writing. +2348025444443 •Your article is unfortunate. If you are a jour-
Continued on Page 59
nalist I advise you to embark on serious research on what you intend to write on before you begin to use your pen. If you continue to write in this manner your readers will think you are one of those journalists that are commissioned to write on serious national issues for money. I am sorry if you fee offended but as an indigene of Taraba State, your write-up portrayed you as insensitive. Do you love Nigeria? A.B.M, +2348096526580 •I find your write up on this topic very amusing. The only conclusion I could draw was that perhaps you intentionally argued the way you did in order to agitate a large number of readers enough to respond. If that was your intention, well... you succeeded in my case. Please, the ambitions of the Acting Governor and Speaker are not relevant here at all. Everybody has got ambitions...including your goodself. What is also irrelevant is our individual feeling about the misfortune that has befallen Suntai. What is relevant is the question of Suntai’s fitness to steer the affairs of Taraba state. If I know politicians very well, were he truly fit, he wouldn’t leave anyone in doubt. Remember Sullivan Chime? The Lawmakers met with him and concluded publicly that he is unfit. Unless something is indeed very wrong with him, you shouldnt be the one holding brief for him. Let him resume work in his office at the Secretariat to convince us and prove that his deputy and the Lawmakers are bloody ambitious conniving liars! Don’t you find it strange that the Presidency summoned only his wife and the Acting Governor to Abuja in respect of this crisis whilst he didn’t get such an invite? And you think he is fit? I don’t think so. Let Suntai and his wife spare us this needless crisis. And please, if your write up indeed represents your true position on this issue, respectfully, I must say that you do yourself a great dis-service...you have put your analytical prowess to question. •Michael Orisabiyi, Orisabiyi@rtbriscoe.com
THE NATION, SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 7, 2013
THE NATION, SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 7, 2013
THE NATION, SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 7, 2013
et e w s r e t t i b My love story r a w l i v i c g n i dur Tech Minister’s
r One year afteer: flood disast ain Victims remrate poor, despe
–Ex-Science & hristy Momah wife C •Page 39
13 THE NATION, SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 7, 2013
•The fully loaded truck allegedly set ablaze by the mob. Inset: A live bullet and an expended one residents claimed to have picked up
If you were here on Thursday, you would think there was a civil war going on in the community. The problem started around 9.30 am when a Customs officer shot a resident. They said he was a smuggler... Few minutes after the NCS officer shot the guy..., some of the aggrieved villagers went on the rampage and in the process, a Customs officer was lynched and a trailer carrying full load of goods to Lagos set ablaze. The Customs officers mobilised and shot at the protesters...
Seme’s BLACK Thursday
•Residents lament: we’ve become ‘bush meat’ to Customsmen •Our men were attacked with arms, charms – Customs
THE NATION, SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 7, 2013
•From right: Saturday before he was allegedly shot; the victim undergoing an operation in an undisclosed hospital
Seme clash: ‘It was like ,
I have never seen this kind of thing before in my life. It was as if they were prepared to exterminate us. They had excess bullets, to the extent that some live bullets were falling from them. We found some live bullets that fell from them when they were pursuing us and also picked some used bullets fired at our people. It appears as if we have become ‘bush meat’ that they must hunt down...
OOMING sounds of gunshots replaced the usual boom in business activities in Seme, a border town between Nigeria and Benin Republic, penultimate Thursday when men of the Nigerian Customs Service (NCS) and suspected smugglers clashed. At the end of the mayhem, two residents of the community and a Customs officer were feared dead, while many others sustained various degrees of gunshot wounds. Goods and other valuables worth millions of naira were also destroyed in the bloody clash. The traders and workers in the area had commenced their legitimate businesses on the fateful day without any premonition of what lay ahead. The bright and promising day suddenly turned to a sordid darkness at about 9:30 am when a Customs officer allegedly shot a suspected smuggler, identified as Saturday Joel, for smuggling rice across the border. This was said to have precipitated a violent protest from the residents. In the process, the angry mob allegedly pounced on a customs officer, later identified as J. I. Motojelu, who happened to have unsuspectingly driven into them on his way to the office. He was instantly lynched. Customsmen, who got wind of the killing, allegedly mobilised and took on the residents as a reprisal for the killing of their own. This was the account of some people in the area who claimed to have witnessed the clash. But the Customs authorities demurred. A ccording to the Seme Area Command, the crisis resulted from an allegedly unprovoked attack on their men by people suspected to be smugglers in the area. The attackers, it is claimed, used charms, arms and other dangerous weapons on every customs officer within reach. Thereafter, the peace and tranquility that had been the order of the day paved the way for an orgy of violence. Immediately, the commercial activities which had started on a good note, suffered instant paralysis as sounds of gunshots rumbled
from one end of the area to another. While traders abandoned their goods and took to flight, workers hurriedly closed down their offices and joined the wobbly relay race. However, not all of them were lucky to escape from the scene unscathed. Many of them were caught in the hail of stray bullets as they hurriedly made attempts to run away from the imminent danger. An indigene of the community alerted our correspondent about the development at about 11: 30am on the fateful day. Thunderous sounds of gunshots were heard in the background when the telephone conversation was going on. The caller, who preferred anonymity, further drew our correspondent’s attention to the reverberating sounds of the gunshots when he said: “Please, come to Seme and see what the Nigerian Customs Service is doing to us. Hope you are hearing the sounds in the background? That is the sound of gunshots fired by men of the Nigerian Customs at our people.” The correspondent, who visited the area, reported that the usually busy road that leads to the border was deserted because of the crisis. Though a combined team of soldiers and mobile policemen were stationed at strategic points in the area to forestall further breakdown of law and order, many commercial drivers refused to go to the troubled area. Most of them refused to go beyond Badagry, fearing that the ugly incident might erupt again. The story of the clash was the topic of every discussion among the travellers and the traders in the embattled community. Residents of the community, both elders and youths, also gathered soberly in small groups in different parts of the area and discussed the incident in emotion laden tones. One of such gatherings was at the house of Saturday Joel, the suspected smuggler allegedly shot by a Customs officer. The sympathisers, who gathered at the victim’s residence, debunked the claims that he (Saturday) was shot in the
course of smuggling rice across the border. They claimed that he was shot in front of his house where he was chatting with his brother. The parents were immediately not around to speak with our correspondent, but the younger brother, who gave his name as Mathew, said it was a blatant lie that his brother was shot in the course of smuggling rice across the border. He said: “ It is not true that Saturday was shot in the course of smuggling rice
We don’t elow is the response of the Public Relations Officer of the Seme Area Command of the Nigeria Customs Service, Mr. Ernest Olottah, to the questions sent to him online on the Seme crisis: Seme indigenes said Saturday is not a smuggler. Is it true that your men shot him in front of their house after they could not apprehend a fleeing smuggler driving a red car? We are not aware of any person called Saturday among our stakeholders in Seme. They also alleged that your men shot directly at the residents killing two of them (Lanre and Albert were mentioned by residents) and injuring many others. What do you have to say about it? The two names mentioned are not also known to us. The border community holds a vast population and as customs officers, we don't keep records of the addresses and informal identities as mentioned in the question. You may be assisting us further by giving us full names, addresses, nationalities, states of origin and ages of the persons involved.It is pertinent to note that the Customs Command keeps a robust interaction with the community and this does not stop us from discharging our formal functions. It
THE NATION, SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 7, 2013
The number of people that suffered gunshot wounds should be more than 10. Two of them fell beside me when we were running for our dear lives. Most of the victims were taken to Benin Republic for medical attention because we don’t have hospital in this place. If we were to have a standard hospital, somebody like Albert would not have died in Benin Republic where he was rushed to for medical attention.
•The house in front of which Saturday was allegedly shot
civil war’ across the border. He is a tailor by profession and had never been involved in smuggling. It was in front of our house that he was shot. We were together when the Customs officer shot him.” Explaining how it happened, he said: “Both of us stood outside the house after Saturday had finished taking his breakfast. As we were talking, we saw a Customs vehicle pursuing a red car towards our quarters. The car was moving on the other side of the road when the Customs
men spotted him. Thereafter, they pursued him driving ‘one way’ until they got to our side. When they could not apprehend the man, the driver of the Customs Hilux reversed, while the other officer walked towards us. He pointed his gun at Saturday and shot him somewhere below the ribs. I felt the impact of the shot and fell down. “Immediately the officer shot him, he jumped into their van and they sped off. My brother is innocent. He is an easy-
going man, married with three kids. He neither aided the fleeing smuggler nor interfered with the activities of the Customs men. We were only watching the whole drama as it was unfolding and never did anything to intervene in the whole exercise. If he was actually shot in the course of smuggling, why did the Customs officers run away after shooting him? This tells you that their allegation is a lie.” A sympathiser, who simply gave his name as Joe, said the community is in
deep sorrow not only because Saturday was shot, but because they labelled him a smuggler after shooting him without good reason. “Have we committed any crime to be indigenes and hosts of the Nigerian Customs Service? Why have they chosen to be this brutal against us?”, he began with rhetorical questions, adding: “Their failure to admit their fault after shooting Sat-
Continued on page 19
encourage extra-judicial killings –Customs
A customs officer of the rank of superintendent was murdered. We are yet to evaluate the worth of vehicles,imported goods and other properties destroyed and stolen by persons who attacked customs officers with arms, charms and other dangerous objects
rather strengthens our duties as it is intended to make it. If Saturday were a smuggler, shouldn't he have been arrested and prosecuted instead of being shot? Customs officers operating in Seme like any other command are well trained for the job. This training includes the use of arms in the discharge of their duties.Our officers do make arrests and we prosecute cases that fall under our legal purview. Customs officers only use arms where ar-
rest is being resisted and where suspects or mob protecting them chose to attack and disarm officers trying to effect arrest. Why was he shot and abandoned on the spot by your men? Why didn't they take his body away for treatment and prosecution thereafter? Our officers used their arms to prevent being killed and disarmed by persons shielding smugglers from arrest. Is it also true that you have recovered the red vehicle driven by the fleeing
•Customs Comptroller-General, Alhaji Dikko Abdullahi smuggler that resulted in shooting Saturday? We have so many seized vehicles in our custody; some are red in colour.Please specify vehicle make. Is it also true that your men killed an-
other resident by the name Fryo on August 4? Why was he also killed and abandoned? We as customs organisation do not encourage extra-judicial killings and we value human lives too. Is it also true that similar killings of the residents by your men have taken place before now? We are aware that another agency of government is investigating the mob actions and killing of a customs officer by suspected smugglers and their suspected border community collaborators. Could all these be as a result of improper training on the part of your men? The Comptroller General of Customs has placed training among priority issues in his six-point agenda. I dare say that our men are properly trained. Finally, enumerate your loss(es) in the recent crisis and past efforts at checking smuggling in the area. A customs officer of the rank of superintendent was murdered.W e are yet to evaluate the worth of vehicles,imported goods and other properties destroyed and stolen by persons who attacked customs officers with arms, charms and other dangerous objects.
THE NATION, SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 7, 2013 •Continued from page 17 urday has aggravated our pains. It added salt to our injury. The allegation that he is a smuggler is an afterthought. It is a matter of giving a dog a bad name in order to hang it. They used it as a cover up because they know that, that was the only way they could defend their barbaric action. ”This is not the first time they would shoot or kill our people in this dastardly manner. This is about the fifth time. Just last month, specifically on August 4, they killed one of our sons, popularly called Fryo. The situation was also similar to that of Saturday. He was trying to fix his faulty car when some frustrated Customs officers, who had fruitlessly chased a smuggler, pounced on him and shot him to death. The excuse they gave was that they thought that he was coming to attack them. How would someone with bare hands attack people that are armed to the teeth? If Saturday was truly a smuggler, was shooting him the right thing to do? Couldn’t they have arrested him, using the large number of personnel they have at the border? ” In the course of gathering information in the nooks and crannies of the community, our correspondent ran into another set of residents, who were lamenting the alleged killing of one of them whose name was given simply as Lanre. The mourners, comprising friends and relations of the deceased, according to them, were just returning from his burial and were cleansing themselves spiritually when our correspondent got to the area. One of them, suspected to be the chief priest, dipped some leaves into a black clay pot and sprinkled a liquid substance on the mourners, praying that similar fate would not befall them. Each of the mourners after chorusing ‘amen’ rubbed the liquid substance over their bodies and stepped aside soberly. The distraught mourners lamented Lanre’s alleged killing. One of them, who gave his name as Gbenga, said he still found it difficult to believe that Lanre had died. “I still find it difficult to believe that Lanre is gone. We were together few hours before he was killed. I still wonder why men of the Nigerian Customs chose to cut him down in his prime because he wasn’t a smuggler,’’ he said sobbing. Shortly after the encounter with friends and relations of late Lanre, news about the death of another victim, identified as Albert Olomitutu, was broken around 4.30 pm. He was said to have died in Benin Republic where most of the victims were taken to for medical attention. Augustine, another relation of two victims of the mayhem, also narrated that he took his brothers to Benin Republic for medical attention when he discovered that the local treatment they were being given was not improving their situation. He said: “The community did not take up arms against the Customs as they have made the general public to think. The crisis is not between them and any smugglers. It was strictly a case of the NCS using their powers and weapons to oppress and suppress us in our native community. They chose to unleash terror on us and two of my brothers sustained gunshot wounds in the crisis. I have taken them to Cotonou for medical attention because the local treatment they were getting here was not improving their health conditions. My concern is to see how my brothers would be well. I have placed everything in the hands of God. May God judge between us and the Customs.” A visibly worried member of the community, who identified himself as Biodun Samson, alleged that more than 10 residents suffered various degrees of gunshot wounds during the crisis. He feared that the death toll may further rise because most of the victims did not get the deserved medical attention before they were rushed to Benin Republic for medical attention. He said: “ I have never seen this kind of thing before in my life. It was as if they were prepared to exterminate us. They had excess bullets to the extent that some live bullets, were falling from them. We found some live bullets that fell from them when they were pursuing us and also picked some used bullets fired at our people. It appears as if we have become ‘bush meat’ that they must hunt down.
•Another burnt trailer. Inset: Lanre’s body
Customs: those behind our officer’s killing will pay for it “The number of people that suffered gunshot wounds should be more than 10. Two of them fell beside me when we were running for our dear lives. Most of the victims were taken to Benin Republic for medical attention because we don’t have hospital in this place. If we were to have a standard hospital, somebody like Albert would not have died in Benin Republic where he was rushed to for medical attention. My fear is that some others that were taken there may die at the end of the day because they would have lost too much blood before getting medical help in faraway Benin Republic. “Is it not a shame that we had to carry our people from here in Nigeria to little Benin Republic for treatment? We have not had power supply for over five years, the roads are death traps but nobody cares. The Federal Government makes so much money here through the Nigerian Customs and others but they don’t care about the indigenes. Instead of assisting us to develop the community by providing us with basic infrastructure, they are using their agents to kill us.” Isiaka, a commercial driver who plies Seme-Mile 2 Road, also gave account of how one of their men was shot on the thigh. “One of our boys was shot on the thigh during the crisis. He was immediately rushed to his home town in Ibadan, Oyo State. Our prayer is that he would survive because the distance is too far. If you were here on Thursday, you would think there was a civil war going on in the community. The problem started around 9.30 am when a Customs officer shot a resident. They said he was a smuggler. ‘’They had earlier killed another indigene, popularly called Fryo, sometime last month and claimed that he was a smuggler. I am sure that all this accumulated anger triggered off the crisis yesterday (penultimate Thursday) because few minutes after the NCS officer shot the guy, some of the aggrieved villagers went on the rampage and in the process, a Customs officer was lynched and a trailer carrying a full load of goods to Lagos set ablaze. The Customs officers mobilised and shot indiscriminately at the protesters.’’ An elderly member of the community, who identified himself as Omoede Soka, said the crisis would have gone out of hand had the Divisional Police Officer (DPO) of the area, Mr Mohammed Mu’Azu, not intervened.
The supreme price paid by our colleague in the service to our fatherland has further strengthened our resolve to give in our best. The gentleman officer we lost recently did not die in vain. Those behind this act will pay for it. The destruction of government vehicle and arson against commercial goods being imported is a thing we condemn in strong terms...
He said: “The problem would have gone out of hand if not for the timely intervention of the Divisional Police Officer (DPO), Mr Mohammed Mu’ Azu, who pleaded with members of the community to calm down. He played a vital role in quelling the crisis before two batches of soldiers and mobile policemen were drafted to maintain peace and order. He trekked from one end of the area to the other to make sure that the crisis was brought under control. “This is not the first time they would kill members of our community. It is about the 5th time. The problem started around 9.30 am when a Customs officer shot one of our members right in front of their house. The whole of Seme was on fire on Thursday as they shot indiscriminately at innocent people. A good number of the victims have been taken to Benin Republic for medical attention. We don’t have any hospital that we can take them to for treatment. We just heard that one of them died this afternoon few minutes after we buried another that was also shot.” Our correspondent also sought the comment of the Lagos State Command Police Public Relations Officer, Ngozi Braides, on the matter. She simply said: “The matter is under investigation. You know that the people killed a Customs officer; so the matter is with the Criminal Investigation Department, Panti, Lagos.’’ The Seme Area Command of the Nigeria Customs Service had in a statement issued during the week assured that normalcy had returned to the area. The statement reads: ‘’Following the recent attack on officers of the Seme Area Command of the Nigeria Customs Service by persons suspected to be smugglers and the killing of an armless customs officer in cold blood, the Customs Area Controller, Abdu Saleh Othman, has assured all members of the business community to continue going about their normal businesses. ‘’He has since reassured genuine business men and travellers to disregard rumours and fake stories of insecurity at the border as all government security agencies visibly seen around are there to ensure the safety of lives and properties at the Nigerian frontier with the Republic of Benin. ''All our law-abiding citizens, travellers and members of the border trading community have nothing to fear or worry about. They should go about their normal businesses and disregard rumours of insecurity at the border as the security agencies are cooperating as usual to ensure the safety of lives and properties. ‘’The supreme price paid by our colleague in the service to our fatherland has further strengthened our resolve to give in our best. The gentleman officer we lost recently did not die in vain. Those behind this act will pay for it. The destruction of government vehicle and arson against commercial goods being imported is a thing we condemn in strong terms. ‘’He has since urged all officers and men of the command to keep up the fight against smuggling and keep to their statutory rules of engagement in the discharge of their duties.’’
THE NATION, SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 7, 2013
20 What is your take on the registration of the APC as a political party by INEC? I think this gives Nigeria the opportunity to clap and pat at the back the chairman of INEC (Prof. Attahiru Jega) and all his co-workers in the commission. You will remember sometime ago that President Goodluck Jonathan himself said that it’s only two parties that will augur well for politics in Nigeria; and what he meant, I remember when he was at one of their NEC meetings, the reason he gave, though I am not satisfied with it, was that PDP as a party believed that if there are only two parties in Nigeria, it will stabilise the Nigerian polity, in the sense that whoever is dissatisfied with PDP will only have the option of going to the other party, which is, I think he was expecting the APC. So despite all the intimidations, despite all attempts to influence INEC not register the party, I want to commend INEC. That INEC has been able to put the intimidation aside, and follow the provision of the law, you will discover that we have to pat them at the back. Was there at any time that you had any fear that APC would not be registered because of the influence of the PDP and other political forces who seemingly did not want it registered? It never occurred to me because as a lawyer, I knew my party and other merging parties took the processes one by one and ensured strict compliance with the provision of the Constitution and the Electoral Act. Secondly, I am strategically positioned in the sense that I am a member of the INEC Committee of the Senate and I knew that from what INEC has been doing from the briefings, it is not like they told us they were going to register it, but that they were going to ensure compliance with the law and whoever complies with the law will not have any problem, either in terms of registration or anything. So, the law being unequivocal and clear, and compliance having been tailored towards making sure that we did all that the law requires, I knew the coast was clear. I never doubted. Quite a good number of my colleagues and other politicians were really afraid that probably influences would come in and which will prevent the registration of the APC, but I never blinked one day, particularly when I saw the tricks that these other fake APCs were playing and I asked, what is in a name? If since we announced the name APC, and they think they want to have a political party, why didn’t they choose another name? All those things were tailored and calculated towards frustrating the registration of the APC. Now that the party has been registered, do you see INEC playing this type of unbiased role in 2015? Let me tell you, I believe that INEC will play an unbiased role in the conduct of elections in 2015. The reason I am saying this, like I said, let me reiterate again, I have a peculiar advantage in the sense that we are 10 that constitute the Senate Committee on INEC. I know how far they have gone. I know what they have in stock. They have given us their 10-point action plan which I know if they adhere to, it will be difficult to rig elections in this country, it will be extremely difficult. As a lawyer, when I prosecuted the case of Ekiti, I knew where people or election riggers used to hide and that is the issue of accreditation and INEC has also shown us that they are going to do a lot of things to ensure that accreditation is done properly. Is this assurance part of the 10-point plan of INEC you just talked about? Yes. I know INEC for sure will definitely ensure that this carelessness that we have seen in the conduct of accreditation will be a thing of the past. In a situation where the Form EC8A will have 430 voters or votes and if you look at the register, you will just see only 40 people's names being ticked as having voted, that is one of the problems. The second problem is the issue of compromising INEC's maybe permanent or adhoc staff, who will just manipulate and change results and things like that. APC, as a party, is spread across Nigeria. It was not that ACN was not spread, but they don’t have effective showing outside its traditional domain of Western Region. It was only in Anambra and the sister state like Kogi where we had Ohize who won the senatorial election before he decamped to the PDP, and if you look at Benue State, we made a very beautiful showing there. It was going to spread like bush fire and I think the wisdom that informed our leaders to merge is the one that will provide a very strong, I won’t say opposition, I hate to regard us as opposition, another strong tendency that is capable of winning election. People have predicted that personality clashes may mar all the lofty objectives of the APC at the end of the day considering the personalities of people who have coalesced to form this party. Do you feel that way? If you look at the PDP, there are personalities that made the PDP. Similarly, there are personalities that make up the APC. If judging by what actually brought us together, which is to stamp out the misrule of the PDP administration since over 12 years ago, everybody will have to suppress his own ego to enable us achieve our purpose. If the determination or the goal of everybody is a good or well governed Nigeria, ego is nothing. For instance, let me say personally, since I have been aspiring to come to the Senate, I have stepped down twice, suppressing my own ego to enable the party’s position take effect. So nobody in this type of situation except whoever does not wish this country well, the person will come to say 'my own personality is supreme.' We have to make sacrifices and I can assure you, the sacrifices would be well made.
Senator Anthony Adeniyi, is the Vice Chairman, Senate Committee on Capital Market and a member of the Senate Committee on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). The lawmaker, who represents Ekiti South in the Upper Chambers, in this encounter with SANNI ONOGU and GBENGA ADANIKIN, speaks on the registration of the All Progressives Congress (APC), INEC's action plan for 2015 and other sundry issues. Excerpts:
‘Why they call me the Babalawo of the Senate'
That means the leadership will make sacrifices to ensure that things work as planned? Yes, by suppressing their ambitions and their ego. Can you throw more light on what happened during the drama that played out when the Senate was voting on the recommendations of its committee on the ongoing Constitution review process? It relates particularly to Section 29 of the Constitution and that section relates to citizenship. It does not relate to the issue of when a child is deemed matured to marry her husband. What that section says, I think section 29(4a), is that it deals with renunciation of citizenship. The (A) Section says that a woman can renounce her citizenship if she is 18 years old. And it went further for the purposes of this, a married woman is deemed to be an adult. In its wisdom, the Constitution Review Committee, also, which I have a privilege of having served to represent my state, thought it was not necessary. The review then recommended that that section should be deleted. When it came, it When we got to the Senate, Senator Mark was not passed through the committee calling us to make contributions and we were anxious with overwhelming majority that that section should be to be called to make our marks... So one day, as we deleted. Unfortunately, the drastarted, I told Adetunmi and some of my colleagues matic personae, Senator Ahmed Sani Yerima, was and that he must call me today, and no sooner we started still a member of that committee, did not raise this issue. If than he called my full name and told me to move the he had raised it, probably, it motion. Then, I moved the motion. People started to would have been thoroughly trashed out. He waited and the ask if I was a Babalawo (herbalist in Yoruba)... That day we were to cast our votes was how they started calling me Babalawo in respect of which provision
that we want in finally because the committee worked only for the Senate; when the matter came, the Senate had voted and the vote was in favour of the fact that it should be deleted. Some other issues came up over which we also voted. It was when it was discovered that there was an error that the Senate Leader Senate drew our attention to and the Senate President had to go back to that. Senator Yerima was in the chambers then. He was in the chambers but he went to the tea room. I think he saw it that we went back on that issue, he quickly emerged from the tea room, came in to raise the issue relating to that section, that it is anti-Islam, and by the time he mentioned Islam and the Senate President being somebody who is sensitive, any Nigerian will be sensitive to religious issues, now called, having been moved by Yerima, for a re-vote. It was then Yerima said it was against Islam and that whoever did that is trying to kill Islamic religion. And when the votes were cast, if I can say correctly, I think those of us who wanted it deleted scored about 67 and what we needed was 73, which will make two third. It was not that the whole of the Senate or that it even commanded the majority, but because we could not make the 73 mark, that was why our recommendation was defeated and that provision was retained there. Honestly speaking, there are several other laws and several other sections of the Constitution which say that the age of adulthood is 18. I don’t see anybody except the devil’s advocate who might want to use that to say the Senate has adopted or approved child marriage. And if we go by simple majority, the minds of those who voted, even the second round of vote was over half of what those who voted that the provision should be retained made. Are we expecting any change based on the uproar that has attended the retention of that particular provision so far? The procedure is this, if it came before the House of Representatives and probably their decision was contrary to that of the Senate, then we will have the opportunity of revisiting it. But I don’t think it was part of the recommendations made by the House. So, it might be difficult for somebody to come there to say let us look at the issue again but by the time we get to the bridge, we will cross the river. What is your stand on present agitations for local government autonomy in the country? This is very, very controversial. You know under the Nigerian Constitution, we practise federalism. Federalism connotes the agreement by the federating units and by the arrangement of the Constitution, there are only two units that federates, the federal and then the respective state governments. Even by the necessary implication of the name 'local government', the government is supposed to be that of the local people which will run your affair and my affair. Despite the fact that a Senator, by the special grace of God, whenever I’m at home, which I do often, I will be subjected to the government
THE NATION, SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 7, 2013
of my Local Government Area. Jonathan would. Senator not a matter of autonomy. What came up was the matter of diDavid Mark would and each and everyone of us would rect payment from the consolidated revenue funds to the variwhenever we are at home. It is the government of our locality. ous local governments. If you look at the Constitution, at the If you look at the provision of Section 7 and 8 of the Constitu- federal level, we have the National Assembly which carries all tion, it says that the system of local government by democrat- oversight over the Federal Government. At the state level, we ically elected local government council is under this have the Houses of Assembly, at the local government level, I Constitution guaranteed and accordingly, the government of heard people say they have councillors. No such thing is every state shall, subject to Section 8 of this Constitution, recognised by our Constitution. What we call councilensure their existence, that is, it is the responsibillors in Ekiti, you might get to Ondo and they will ity of the government of every state to ensure say council managers. You can call them govtheir existence under a law which provides ernment liaison officers or whatever. So, for the establishment, structure, composisince there is no constitutional provision tion, finance and functions of such which provides for oversight at the nacouncils. tional level, the National Assembly If you go on like that up to Section and at the state level, the Houses of 8, you will discover that the local Assembly, counsellors are just a cregovernment by the provision of our ation of the respective states. The Constitution is vested or tied to the state may say I want only one apron strings of the state as a recouncillor or I don’t want councilsult of which if you say you want lors, I just want a supervisor. them to be autonomous, they There is nothing anybody can should fight for their autonomy do. So you will see that it is very under their respective states not unwise and it will be constitufrom the Federal Government. If tionally unethical for somebody you even go to Schedule 4 of our to say money should go directly Constitution, all the provisions to them. there that relate to local governA law is impracticable bearing ments are statutorily tied to the in mind that Section 7 and 8 and laws made by the respective State the 4th Schedule of the ConstituHouses of Assembly. It is not a mattion which makes very clear unamter of the Federal Government. You biguous provision as to who shall know we are practising federalism; we run the local governments. I don’t have to be very realistic. People should think anybody should be offended care, listen and ask for advice in respect of about that. Except Nigerians stand up to this issue. We travelled far and wide during say we don’t want federalism again. The the course of our reviewing this Constitution. more you want the Federal Government dealThere is nowhere in the world that the the ing with the local governments, the more you local government has a direct relationship are unitarising the federation and it will not with the Federal Government. But all we be Federal Republic. It will be Unitary keep saying is that our federalism is bad. Republic of Nigeria. So I think, people How do we solve the problem? For inshould be able to reason and understance, we have 774 local governstand what has happened. Even the ments created by the military fiat. House of Representatives, I don’t Kano State used to have 44, while see legally how it is possible for Lagos State has 32 or so. I stand to them to say we are going to susbe corrected. Kano State was bifurtain the autonomy of local govcated into Kano and Jigawa States. ernments without amending Kano State still retains the 44 local Sections 7 and 8, Schedule 4 of governments, whereas Lagos the Constitution, and then State still retains the 32. It was bewithout declaring that we cause of the centralised governdon’t want federalism but uniment we had that created this tary system of government. All anomaly, which means the then those things are just impossible Kano State now had about 70 local legally. governments, while Lagos is still During this interview, you having about 30; I am not quite sure. mentioned that you had to step Which means Kano has skyrocketed down twice to allow someone •Senator Adeniyi to over 70, while Lagos State remains else to emerge. What difference its poor 32. How do you balance this will you say you have made having kind of thing? And this is one of the pabeen in the Senate for two years now? rameters used in allocating funds to the reAt the risk of being immodest, let me spective states. say I have given a robust representation for In a good federalism, going by the provision of my constituency. If you go and look at the registhe Constitution, ‘local governments’ should be deleted ter of attendance of the Senate today, I will be among completely from the Constitution and they should be vested the first 10 because having asked to serve and having been in the respective states. If Ekiti State, like we have 16 local gov- elected to serve, I believe that is my responsibility. Whenever I ernments, we can increase it to 100. It is the way of decentralwas not in the Senate, it was either I was doing an oversight ising the powers in the state so that it can reach the nooks and with due notification to the Senate President, as required by crannies of their respective jurisdictions. So if somebody is our laws. You know how touchy the issue of Constitution resaying, and what was recommended by the Constitution Review is and I served there and that is view, was not the autonomy. A lot of people are mixing these where I gathered some knowledge I things. What came up for discussion and vote was direct allohave contributed on quite a number cation from the federation to the local government accounts. of things in the making of the ConstiSome people in some states honestly don’t have problems tution. Furthermore, I have sponwith the funds of the respective local governments. As soon as sored over five and half bills because it comes under the Joint Account Allocation Committee sysone has just been read. I have spontem, the state governors pick them; deprive them of allocation sored very many motions. Motions which they need for their development. are like lubricants that legislature But let me say in my own state, under Governor Fayemi’s uses to manage or check the powers administration, I am not doing propaganda for you, but this is of the executive. That is at the legislawhat obtains, local government funds are given to local govtive level. At my level, people say we ernments, but according to Section 7, the state exercises conearn 'Ghana Must Go' jumbo pay and trol over how they spend the money. For instance, we are allowances. The Freedom of Infordoing a second tranche of the five kilometres road per each mation Act is there for anybody to local government in Ekiti. The first tranche has been comtake advantage of to know what we pleted. The only thing the government does is that 'Look, this are even earning. Even within the is how much comes, this is how much will go for your person- limit of what I earn, I think I have nel and overhead cost. The rest, put it in a savings account. been able to make some sacrifices to What projects do you have to do that are peculiar to your redo certain things in my constituency. spective local governments?' They bring them for approval. It I am not just saying that on the pages is a sort of check by the state government. They will meet with of the newspapers, a check can really the Deputy Governor who manages the affairs of the local confirm. I was the first to endow our governments; everybody will come with their own proposal, women with free credit facilities in it will be approved and it is part of their money they use. Even my six local governments. sometimes, the state government will supplement by giving At what cost? them some added fund. The amount was N3 million, that In Ekiti now, the second tranche of 5km road per local govis, N500,000 for each local governernment is ongoing. But in some states like I said, it’s unfortument. I hired a constituency office for nate and I think I stand to be corrected, what is practised in my party in my Senatorial HeadEkiti State, is practised in all the states of the old Western Requarters. I have sponsored not less gion (APC states in South West). Some of our colleagues do than 40 people in Institute of Agritell us and they told us after that vote, that look, their view is cultural Management and Training that they want a situation where funds allocated to local govin Ibadan who I am going to give, ernments will be utilised, and not to be cornered by the state before the year runs out, about governors and used for some other irrelevant things. So for N100,000 each for them to undergo that and in line with our position, I don’t subscribe to direct some training. Even before I came payment. Even if you pay directly, there are so many constiturecently, two of them came to give tional hurdles that will not make it possible. So if money is reme chicken which they raised. I was mitted from Abuja down to their various accounts, the state able to assist in the employment of government and Houses of Assembly still have to make laws not less than 40 constituents from my relating to their finance structure and administration. Senatorial District. I have built sevI heard people saying that we don't want autonomy; it is eral boreholes and some are still on-
going, about N10 million in my constituency different from the MDGs. There are so many things I have done which will sound immodest if I mention them here. Will you say Governor Kayode Fayemi has performed to deserve a second term ticket in Ekiti State? Governor Kayode Fayemi, like we used to say, when I was chairman of Omega Bank, our slogan was 'Services Beyond Your Imagination'. Fayemi has performed beyond the imagination of everyone; even those of us who came to join him in the collective rescue mission. That was our platform in Ekiti. Have you been to Ikogosi in recent times? Okonjo-Iweala was there recently. They saw development in the place and they were marvelled. When they heard that Kayode did that, it was beyond their imagination. Look at the roads, the one some governors will tar and before three months, it’s already peeling. Try plying most of the roads in Ekiti now. When Hon. Kolade Amere from Igbara Odo was invited on Channels television sometime ago, he confessed that he now spends 10 minutes to get to Ado-Ekiti from Igbara Odo, compared to when he used to spend about 30 or more minutes. Most of the roads, the ones that were in dilapidated condition have been repaired. Look at the one started by former Governor Oni, to his hometown, drive on it today. We have it on video what it was before we came here and what it is now. Go and look at the University of Ado-Ekiti (UNAD). Go and look at the various secondary schools that were renovated last year, very many of them. It wasn’t awarded on phoney contracts. Go and look at the system of administration that he has brought into governorship in Ado-Ekiti that is based on merit. Formerlly, it was not based on merit; people found their way into positions without merit. He restructured the civil service, he took examinations. Do you know now that some of us do teach? We are assigned classes. I have my own assigned class and I have to go there to teach! What are you going to teach? Politics, law? Not law, not politics. You know, before I became a lawyer, I passed through elementary school; simple use of English, so they have their own curriculum. You may be assigned to primary 1 or 2. When people see something like that, they get encouraged. We have Youths in Agriculture Programme in Ekiti. It is not a matter of using your hoe and cutlass but mechanised farming. We are already in the raining season, there is hold-up in the streets, yet contractors are not deterred by the rain. Unlike some places where contracts will be awarded, they disappear at the first sight of rains, it is only in October or November that they will do a few, little jobs. In Ekiti, we do not tolerate abandoned contracts. The Ado-Ekiti road and the boundary in Akure are on the verge of being dualised. Modern markets will be built, not by the state government, but by local governments. It is not the governor that will build it but local governments. How was it growing up? Were you born with a silver spoon in your mouth? I was born on May 9, 1951 in Ekiti. I started my elementary school in 1957. My father died on January 7, 1962. He had six wives. My mother, an illiterate, we used to call her the Margaret Thatcher of my fathers’ house. She was the first of the remaining five wives. My mother never went to any school. My father was a business man. When he died, I had to leave school and followed my most senior brother. I didn't go to school because there were no funds to support it. I had to go to farm. I started school, but it wasn’t a regular school. I started at Timi Agbale. It was an evening school, this shows that it was not rosy. Then I went to Adventist Grammar School, and by the special grace of God, I passed. When I left there, I had to start looking for a job because I couldn’t make progress. My sisters were in their respective schools then. My mother couldn’t cope, despite her industry, selling kolanuts and other things in her small shop. I passed out of secondary school. I was barely 17. I went to teach and it was from there I transferred to Ado and then to Ijero. It was in Ijero where one of my junior brothers, also teaching, gained admission to the University of Ibadan. Then I said enough was enough. I went and cried to my mother and sisters and they agreed that I would continue my education. I made my A’ Level and gained admission into University of Ife to read Law. I completed that in 1978 but didn't have any money to proceed to Law School. It was absurd because everybody went to Law School after studying Law. I was in the set of Akin Olujimi, the Attorney-General under Obasanjo’s administration. I played football for Calabar Rovers a while to get money to pay for my Law School. I thank God for everything. Why do they call you ‘doctor’ at the Senate? No, they call me Babalawo (laughs). Why do they call you Babalawo? When we got to the Senate, Senator Mark was not calling us to make contributions and we were anxious to be called to make our marks. We weren’t even called to second motions. So one day, as we started, I told Adetunmi and some of my colleagues that he must call me today, and no sooner we started than he called my full name and told me to move the motion. Then, I moved the motion. People started to ask if I was a Babalawo (herbalist in Yoruba). “Are you a herbalist or you have consulted the oracle?”, they asked me in surprise. That was how they started calling me Babalawo. I predicted he would call me and I was called (laughs). Very funny! If you get into the Senate today and you ask of Babalawo, no other person bears that name. They will bring you to me but I was born into a Catholic home.
It was then Yerima said it was against Islam and that whoever did that is trying to kill Islamic religion. And when the votes were cast, if I can say correctly, I think those of us who wanted it deleted scored about 67 and what we needed was 73, which will make two third. It was not that the whole of the Senate or that it even commanded the majority, but because we could not make the 73 mark, that was why our recommendation was defeated and that provision was retained there
THE NATION, SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 7, 2013
22 Collins Nweke is the Chairman of the Nigerians in Diaspora Organisation (NIDO) worldwide. He made history by becoming the first non-Belgian to be elected a councillor in the West-Flanders Constituency of Belgium. He recently led foreign-based Nigerians to the Diaspora Day conference in Abuja. In this interview with OKORIE UGURU, he speaks about difficulties usually encountered by foreigners and warns that in most cases, it is better here than abroad. Excerpts:
hat exactly are you doing in Belgium I am currently a municipal legislator in the West-Flanders City Council in Belgium, doing a second term in office. Specifically, my portfolio is the economy, with special emphasis on employment, social policy, international relations and gender and minority issues in general. I first read Journalism. I went further to read International Business Management, specialising afterwards in Political Economy at the post-graduate level, with special interest in Social Economy, meaning, how the economy is broken down to the level of the common man. Essentially, that has driven my career at least in the past 20 years, that is, the interest of the common man and how we are able to translate it into the social and economic realities of the day. I am a proud father of two sons in teens. I have placed a special emphasis on teenagers because for those who are parents. You know that all ages are challenging, but the teenage years are most challenging, especially in Europe, because we were brought up with a completely different orientation. Of course,
African community and the European host communities could be converted to something positive. Take for example our meals, our dances, poetry and a whole lot of it. These are the things the Europeans don’t understand which actually form an integral part of who we are. How can we package them in such a way that they could be placed in the service of the community, while yielding some income for the owners of these cultures. In this case, the African community? So, that was what my project at a time was all about. Later, I continued it as an NGO, and in that process, I was able to touch quite a lot of lives, but also made some very useful and unprecedented changes in the community in terms of how the African culture was being perceived. That more or less brought me into the limelight, plus the fact that I started doing a weekly column for a local newspaper in the council where I used the opportunity to also delve into issues that people knew very little about or even cared about. So, in the election of 2006, virtually all the political parties approached me to be a candidate for the municipal election which I promptly turned down. Because even though I was undertaking political activism, it was from a nonpolitical platform which gave me the opportunity to relate with politicians across board. Choosing a political party would mean that a little door might be opened, but so many doors would be closed. So, I made a decision then that I was not going to. Actually, I was first approached in 2004 for the parliamentary elections. I said no to all the political parties. I continued to offer consultancy to the Green Party. Not as a member, but as an external consultant. In 2006, the pressure from the Green Party to stand in the municipal seat was so high and I consulted within the constituency and felt why not? So, I went for it and made history as the first non-Belgian-born politician to win an election post in the West-Flanders Constituency. So, that was how it all began. Was it an effort towards bridging the race divide or just trying to reach out to the non-ethnic Belgians that made the Green Party to approach you? he ethnicity part is just a very little aspect of what I do in politics as a whole. It is an important part, considering my background. But to be elected, I would have to make an appeal across board, especially to the native Belgians themselves because Africans are in such an insignificant number. We constitute less than five per cent of the population. So, for me to be elected, I had to bring out issues that affect the local residents: issues of employment, social matters and so on. Essentially, while I was looked at as a bridge between different communities, the electorate also saw me as an individual who had proved himself, came all the way from Africa, got integrated into the society, did some studies and built a career and an image for himself. They saw me also as one who they believed they could trust and also one who could become a bridge to where we need to be—a society where people are not judged by the colour of their skin, but by the content of their character, like the famous Rev. Martin Lurther-King Jnr said. They saw in me that individual because I told them something that they never wanted to believe which is that my kids, born there, of foreign parents, have no other place than there as their home. Nigeria was where their parents were born, but it may very well be that they may never live their lives in Nigeria and that Belgium would be the only permanent home they would know. So, why defile the efforts to get to know them better, relate with them better, so that everybody will live in harmony? Because if you don’t do it now, the problems will confront you later in terms of the low level of education because they will feel marginalised, dropping out of school because they didn’t see any sense in going to school an in terms of unemployment because people are racist and are not open to accepting blacks as equals. What that means is that a vast majority of Africans are unemployed. They live under the social security which is a drain on the society. And, of course, they take to crime to survive. So, I felt that they needed to see beyond their noses. The issues we are confronted with today are petty crimes like snatching of handbags and all that. But if they are not managed by creating a level playing field for everybody, these would become much bigger problems in the future. So, people like me who understand the host society well as well as my society would be able to be the middleman to bring both sides together to look at the issues. I believe today, everyone is reaping the benefits. You said your election into the council was unprecedented. Since an average human being is not very receptive to change,
It’s a huge task managing children in Europe the African way —Nigerian-born lawmaker in Belgium
your orientation actually drives what you impact on your people. More often than not, you find your children questioning you in all aspects of life because they contradict what they are fed with in Europe. With a little bit of creativity, you are able to manage the situation. But there are occasions when these things get out of hand. Some European laws are contravened, while trying to impact your culture on your children who were born there. As the Councillor for Social Affairs in my council during my first term in office, from 2006 to 2012, I had to deal with quite a lot of issues within the African community. I formed a bridge, in a manner of speaking, between the host community and the African community, trying to get the host community to understand that not everything they perceive as a deliberate violation of the law that it is. It is actually a matter of cultural conflict. On the other hand, they should encourage the African community to get to understand the host community a bit better because by understanding the community, they are able to relate better. How did you become a council legislator in Belgium as a Nigerian? It was deliberate. There was no coincidence about it. I achieved that through non-state activism, that is, getting involved in civil activism from a non-political platform. I set up a foundation, I think in 1997. It was actually my project during a post-graduate study in Management in the Social Economy, as it is called over there. It has to do with managing an economy, but one that is people-centred. So, I set up a foundation that actually looked at how the cultural issues that caused conflicts between the
But there are occasions when these things get out of hand. Some European laws are contravened, while trying to impact your culture on your children who were born there. As the Councillor for Social Affairs in my council during my first term in office, from 2006 to 2012, I had to deal with quite a lot of issues within the African community
• Continued on Page 50
YUSUF ALI DECLARES
My record must be broken before I die
Glass House WITH AMINU MAIGARI
THE NATION SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 7, 2013
Continued on Page 44
THE NATION SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 7, 2013
With KAYODE ALFRED
THE NATION SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 7, 2013
Bosun Olukoya's killer still a mystery
THE NATION, SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 7, 2013
Continued from Page 39
THE NATION, SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 7, 2013
Mrs Christy Momah (left) with Mrs Mariam Abacha
HERE are so many things in like that hap pen and one wonders if anything in life could ever be perfect. I have had my own share of the vicissitude of life and in some I have bowed to pressures that make one cry and I have had near euphoria that have made me raise my shoulders to the happiness that make one laugh. All in all, I have come to see life as one long journey we must travel with the bumps and stability… the turbulence and the calm. Certain things happen and we show sides of us in reflex to such things. For me, many people have seen mostly my good side but of course, since I’m not perfect, a few have seen the bad side too. There are people who continue to amaze me with how angelic humans could be and how sweet life could get. Abiodun Saheed Hammed, my partner is life’s journey, you take the crown. When I make trouble out nothing, you’re that quiet voice that stills the storm. When I laugh and make things happen, you are that colour that makes it come out. And when I just watch and take a siddon look stance, you’re the one that hold my hands and reassure me it shall be well. I have tried many times to see that ruffled look on your face, instead, I see your big, bold eyes telling me the world is full of enough problems than for him to add to it. In trying to understand Abiodun’s nature, I delved into the zodiac sign of this Virgo man born some years ago. The Virgoan: ‘As the zodiac’s sign of selfless service, he needs to be needed, to serve and protect. Relationships give Virgo a sense of duty and pride. This guy is rarely single for long, unless it’s by choice, since he does have incredibly high standards. Still, the Virgo man is lost without a project, so he tends to be hands-on, even controlling, about the direction of his love life. Are you tired of raising your boyfriends and teaching them how to act like grown men? Hang up your metaphorical nursing bra. The Virgo man needs none of your mother’s milk, thank you very much. Self-sufficient and self-directed, he’s no Oedipus or mama’s boy. However, he can dig in his heels like a headstrong child. Like all earth signs, he’s stubborn. Virgo can
THE NATION, SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 7, 2013
Abiodun, my virgo, my gift plant himself firmly in a position and refuse to budge. “You can’t make me!” He’ll stand by your side just as willfully. Still, with Virgo, you can channel your maternal energy where it belongs: toward the children. And he’ll want at least one or two, if not a
gaggle. Most people may believe it takes a village to raise a child, but to Virgo, it takes a child - his childlike spirit, that is - to raise a village. Since he’s naturally stern and fatherly, the Virgo man makes a devoted dad. He doesn’t mind playing papa to you, either, though he has his
limits. It’s alright if you’re a little needy, as long as you’re smart and ambitious. His earth-sign nature makes him stable and grounding, a favorite among daddy’s girls and women with absentee fathers. From his melodious voice to his tender gaze, there’s something soothing about the Virgo man.
With his firm, athletic body, he can hold you in a way that makes you feel completely safe’. To understand what makes us tick as a couple I decided to share this for other couples who may be Libra/Virgo like abiodun and I. Enjoy:
Virgo man and libra woman compatibility ‘VIRGO and Libra in a relationship, share a love of balance and harmony, which can be a major point of attraction between these two. Virgo is certainly a thinker, but Libra is more given to sharing flights of fancy while Virgo’s ideas are more conservative and practical. However, both are willing to make adjustments in order to keep up the relationship. A Virgo man is detail-oriented, analytical, and enjoys hard work that requires a lot of attention. He is such an obsessive perfectionist himself that he expects the same high degree of perfection out of those around him, which can be stifling at times. Basically he is a true lover with sincere feeling and strong love flames to burn throughout life. He has deep involvement in his love life and strong interest in his maiden. A Libra woman is a very charming and wins most people over with her flattery. She is very talented with her words. She can tell anyone off and at the same time smile in their face. She can also make anyone into believing anything she wants them to believe. She is able to see both sides of a situation giving each and every one the fairness they deserve. Libra female’s social talents are paired with a sharp, logical mind. But at times she can be unpredictable and frivolous, which can land her in complicated situations from time to time. Libra woman is one of the few who can tolerate the pessimistic views of a Virgo man, while still obtaining her optimistic views. She has the ability to bring the Virgo male around to her ways of thinking. It may take a while for him to see the downsides of this woman because she is hiding them with the flattery of her words. A Virgo man is not at all ro-
mantic types but he is definitely a very devoted person who values his family and dear ones. He is very careful to express his judgment. Surprisingly, he finds that his Libra woman understands his judgment of others. She often even shares in the same opinions. She needs to be aware that restricting Virgo man’s freedom can cause him to become disgruntled. This can scare him because this is rarely done by others. They both have periods of irritability and stretches of tranquility and they both are good at escaping such uncomfortable situations. With increasing awareness, understanding and tenderness in the relationship, both the Libra woman and the Virgo man make up a relationship which is true at all levels of their life. They can laugh and cry, they can sink and dry and they can always make things go great for each other. The lovely Libra lady beautifully and tenderly convinces her Virgo man to choose to live a life that is happier and worry free and he gifts her with a life that has so much of devotion to be experienced with sprinkle of perfection in almost all matters of life. With careful thoughts and concerning deeds they make their togetherness a cherishing experience that lasts for years and make them a happier couple. The airy Libra woman and earthy Virgo man has a beautiful sexual relationship with no rush towards intimacy at first meet. They find themselves being very relaxed with one another. There is a subtle peacefulness to the lovemaking of a Virgo man and Libra woman. They may lack passion but are quite happy with one another in the
bed with gentle comfort and tender fulfillment. They both enjoy the excitement that a subtle quietness of the bedroom can bring. There are different levels in their physical demonstration of love and they enjoy each level with its own special dimension of joy and love. A union between the Virgo man and Libra woman can be quite calming. He is often a victim of the worries of the world. She with her slick words and
charm is able to pull him away from his worries and showers him with love while he makes her feel secure and cared in his arms. Their physical consummation intensifies with time and brings them closer altogether with much more to share and have a happier relationship ahead. Though there are many ups and downs in the relationship of Virgo man and Libra woman; but most of them surface when, he starts being unreasonable to her. She wants to hold her Virgo man but that scares him and he turns cold towards her affection. Moreover, his criticism is one thing that she cannot tolerate for a long time. Her persuasion and his criticism together increase the bitterness of their relationship and makes it worse to carry on with each other. Though they know how to escape such situations but there is no permanent solution to their problems. To make the relationship smoother, he needs to hold his tongue and thoughts while responding to his Libra woman and she
•From left: Chief Executive Officer of Protection Plus Services (PPS) Ltd, Mr. Ubong King receiving the “Best Coastline Surveillance Pipeline & Port Facility Protection Services company of the Year award from the Country Director, UNDP Democratic Governance Development Project, Dr. Mourtada Deme at the African Governance & Corporate Leadership Award in Abuja, while PPS’ Armah Anyebe and Chris Aluta watch with keen interest
needs to give him more space so that he can fulfill his desire of being a loner and then come back to her when he is satisfied with his freedom’. I guess that describes us a little, my Biodun. You’re my best friend and my confidant. You’re my counselor and my help in times of hardship at work. As I type this, the white cake (chosen for your purity) is ready to be cut. The wine bottle is waiting to be popped and as I watch you eating the jollof rice and turkey with all the ‘orisiris’, I can’t wait but thank God for the gift that you are. Happy Birthday darling. May God keep you safe and strong and happy, amen. Lots of love. Lest I forget, congratulations once again for the elevation that came your way last week. Don;’t you think it was given in preparation for your birthday? More grease to your elbow.
Link me up •Please madam help me locate Chiamaka Justina Chukwu, a graduate of IMT Enugu, Bus admin/Marketing. She is married. Thanks. - Monarch Emma Chimere (Igwe). •Kindly link me up with wife or any child of late Wole Odebunmi from Ile Oluji who died in an an accident while in Okene some years back. I need to return something he left with me as a friend back to the family. All efforts to trace any of his family has failed, please- Engr Lawal/ 08037874082.
Lost contacts Please,aunty Adeola, kìndly link me with Utibe Akpaobot,a childhood friend & a mate at primary school, Edem Ekpat, Etinan, Akwa Ibom State. Godwin Ime Umoren, 08161876858. Please, Aunty Adeola, kìndly link me with Utibe Akpaobot, a childhood friend and a mate at primary school, Edem Ekpat, Etinan, Akwa Ibom state. - Godwin Ime Umoren, 08161876858.
From you to me
•Darling Adeola, I like your column in The Nation papers any time I read your advice I feel to have you forever in my life but it’s unfortunate that you may feel I am one of those men pestering you. Sorry if you are married I love you. 08033365481. P.S: Yes, I am married and happily so. I appreciate you all the same. •Baby you are the most beautiful, industrious, sexy and romantic lady I ever seen in any widely spread papers. I’ll really love to meet you one on one on a good day. Please kindly accept my proposal. Thanks and have a pleasant day. Warm regards. 07039067896. P.S: Thanks. All Hearts fans will have the opportunity of having a party where we can meet at the end of the year by the grace of God. Cheers! •Hi big mama, you are beautiful. 08104806510. •May GOD’S never unending favour and protection be our shield this month of September 2013 n beyond in Jesus name. Imeba Davis Olayi (08099446984). •September will be the best in the year because God will a rise and bring to pass in your life, family and biz. Mighty and terrible works of mercy that will elevate you beyond all expectations IJN. Happy Sept. – Dayo (08105018048). I love your site in The Nation newspaper. More grease to your elbow – John Ogah. •People love you for what you are and your contribution to the upliftment of so many homes and lives. Keep it up but welcome more friends. Test your popularity. – Ayodele Agbaje. •I’ courageous each time I see your posts, I’m happy to have a courageous person like you as a friend. Keep your head up and stay strong. - Kemisola Ogunleye.
•Oluwatimisire and Oluwatamilore Sanyaolu cutting their birthday cakes recently
THE NATION, SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 7, 2013
HE first day I took my fiancé, Denis home to meet my parents, was supposed to be a happy occasion for the family. My parents had known about my relationship with him for sometime and had always wanted me to bring him home. But I had delayed their meeting him until I was really sure he was the right man for me. A few months ago, I finally took Dennis to meet them. As things turned out, it was one meeting that should never have taken place. Why? You might ask. Well, read my story and you will get the answer.
I first met my fiancé at work. In fact, he was my supervisor and boss at the company I worked with when I newly joined. Initially, I was wary about him because of my experience with my former boss at the last place I worked. That man gave me a tough time all because I turned down his advances to date him. And this was a man that was married with seven children! Anyway, I should not have worried about Dennis. He treated me fairly, more like a younger sister than a boss. He was always giving advice both on the job and even in personal matters too like relationships. Maybe because I was the new girl in the office, a lot of the guys there wanted to date me. They kept pestering me for dates and would not give up even when I had no interest in them. “Don’t take them too seriously, Meg. That’s what they do whenever a new female staff comes. Especially a pretty one like you,” my boss advised me one day after observing one of my coworkers, a notorious womaniser giving me his ‘manifesto.’ With time, I got to know more about my ‘oga’. Though of mature age, he was about 35, he was not married and seemed to have no fiancé. It was a colleague of mine who told me his story one afternoon during
our lunch break. “He was engaged to be married about three years ago. But unfortunately, his fiancé died before the wedding,” Esther, my colleague revealed. “What happened?” I asked with interest. “Well, I heard she was sick. They said she had cancer, something to do with her blood or so,” she added. “What a pity,” I said shaking my head. I felt sorry for my boss for losing his woman so young. “Yes. He must have really loved her for since then, he has never been close to any woman again, whether in the office or outside,” she noted. She could be right. In the one year or so that I had known my boss, I had never seen any female visitor coming to see him at work. Sometime later, my boss was transferred to another department of the company. And that was when our relationship changed. From being just my boss, we became friends and grew closer than we were before. He started inviting me out for drinks and even took me out to dinner. It was while we were eating that he made a confession to me. He told me how he had been attracted to me while we were working together but could not do much about it back then. “Why?” I asked, feeling curiously thrilled at his words. The truth was that, I had had feelings for him for sometime too but had kept mum about the way I felt. He took a sip of water before he said: “I didn’t want anything to affect our working relationship. But you are no longer under me now. So...” From that day, we grew closer. With time, he took me to his home and I met some of his relations. Dennis and I were very compatible, despite the eight year age gap between us. We seemed to like the same things and had the same goals and dreams about life. As our relationship blossomed, I fell more deeply in love with him. He
Patience Edirin Saduwa
On Saturday 08023201831 (sms only)
NE tale that I used to enjoy so much as a child in Sunday School was the Biblical story of the Tower of Babel. It’s a familiar tale of how mankind came together in the early days of man’s stay on earth to build a great monument, a tower or ‘stairway to heaven’ that will showcase their prowess and achievements as a people. But God, who saw they were doing it for self-glorification, thwarted their efforts. He put confusion in their midst by causing them to speak different languages so they would not understand each other. I used to imagine how confused and disunited that singular act by the Creator must
have caused the people who could no longer act as one unlike before when they all spoke one language. That incident took place thousands of years ago. In Nigeria today, we are having a re-enactment of the Tower of Babel incident. This time, it’s a group known as the PDP (the People’s Democratic Party) that prides itself as the largest party in Africa. Well, by the time the current tsunami sweeping the party settles, it may likely become the smallest party on the continent! What’s the connection between the PDP and the biblical Tower, you might wonder. Plenty I must say. For one, the party just like the Tower was
The torn veil (1) was my ideal man and in him I saw the man I wanted to be with always. He seemed to feel the same way too. About seven months after our relationship started, Dennis proposed to me. That day, we had gone to the cinema to
watch a movie. It was on the way back that he stopped the car and asked me to marry him. I was so happy that I had flung my arms around him and said a loud, ‘Yes!’ Before then, Dennis had been asking to meet my par-
He started inviting me out for drinks and even took me out to dinner. It was while we were eating that he made a confession to me. He told me how he had been attracted to me while we were working together but could not do much about it back then
ents, to get to know my family members. But I had always told him to be patient, that when the time was right, he would get to meet them. A few days after we got engaged, I told my mum that I would be bringing him home. “Really? That’s good. I can’t wait to see the young man that has made my daughter look so happy!” she enthused. “Ah! Mum! I always look happy!” I stated. “But not like this. There’s a glow about you that was not there before. You must really love him,” she said. I nodded. “A lot, Mum. I can’t imag-
Of confused politicians, torn umbrellas and other musings... set up for selfish purposes, an act of self-aggrandisement to champion the interests of a few to the detriment of the majority. Formerly, the party spoke with one voice, united in a single purpose which invariably is to turn Nigeria into the personal fiefdom of the members. For 14 long years, the party succeeded to some extent in enslaving this country, to do with in whichever way it liked. What about the matter of ideology, manifesto and other salient issues political parties all over the world hold sacred? To the PDP, such things are unnecessary, what matters is the ‘loot’ that can be shared by the members, making it more of a Come and Chop Association (CCA) than a political party. Torn umbrella, fed-up people Now with the different factions in the once united party,
all speaking in different tongues, there’s definitely confusion among the politicians. And once a people can no longer speak with one voice, their strength weakens. Now, the towering umbrella under which the members hitherto took shelter is shredding little by little. Normally, a situation like this where there’s so much acrimony in a ruling party, should give the citizens of such a country cause for concern. But what is the reaction of majority of Nigerians to the on-going crisis in the PDP? It’s a real eye opener and a pointer to how unpopular the party, that once boasted that it will rule for sixty years, has become among the people. Comments both verbal, written and viral especially on the internet show a people fed up with the shenanigans, greed and wickedness of the ruling party. A party that for 14 years subjugated the people, sucked their resources dry and im-
poverished and made them poorer and more wretched than before they came to power. What some posters commenting on the situation on a website last week said, sum up the feelings of many: “Let them fall apart, no one will weep,” said one disgruntled Nigerian. Another said: “Let us believe this is the beginning of the good things to come. The wicked PDP that has stolen our common resources these 14 years must be buried so that we start afresh,” Yet another commented: “My mind tells me that head or tail, the masses are going to benefit from disagreements among the politicians. Unity among them had led to governance with levity. May they never be able to speak with one voice again.” And we all say a resounding ‘Amen!’ to that. And pray that never again will our beloved country be governed by a set of people in a party that Nobel Laureate, Prof Wole
ine what my life will be without him,” I said. “He must be really special. What does he look like? Is he handsome?” and she began bombarding me with questions about my fiancé. “Ah! Mum! Take it easy! You will get to meet him soon so don’t be so anxious!” I stated laughing. My Mum and I were very close. Maybe because I am the first child and only girl out of four children. Sometimes we were more like sisters than mother and daughter. Often, when we went out together, people often mistook us for siblings. We looked so much alike and my mum looked so young for her age. You see, she married quite early and had me when she was still very young, as a teenager in fact. I loved her so much and because of our closeness, there was nothing I didn’t tell her including details about my love life. The weekend that Dennis was to visit, was spent by my mum and I cooking and cleaning our home. “I want him to know he’s getting a wife who can cook, that he’s not getting a Mr Biggs wife!” she remarked as she stirred a sizzling pot of soup with an enticing aroma that pervaded the whole house. I laughed, full of joy and anticipation at the meeting of my beloved with my family... •To be continued •What happened when Dennis met Meg’s parents? Keep a date with us next Saturday! •Names have been changed to protect the identities of the narrator and other individuals in the story. •Send comments/suggestions to 08023201831(sms only), firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com •Many thanks to our esteemed readers who sent comments and suggestions to our story carried last week. The text messages were so many that the phone with enough space for hundreds of sms reached full capacity. We hope to publish some of these at a later date so keep the messages and mails coming! Soyinka in his characteristically blunt manner referred to as a ‘nest of vipers’. The average citizen on the street unless he is a party member, does not give a hoot who wins in the ongoing tugof-war among the members for control of the soul of the party. Will Atiku, a serial decampee as an observer noted the other day, triumph? Or will the octogenarian Chairman of the party, Bamanga Tukur have his way? Who cares? All we want are politicians who will come to serve the people and not those who want to be served. We are sick of looters who call themselves leaders, who see the country as nothing but a fat cow to be milked dry. From all indications, this ‘cash cow’ is growing leaner everyday and if we are not careful, may end up with mad cow disease or something even worse. As the party embarks on its mission to self-destruct, the prayer of every Nigerian that loves this country should be that the country be henceforth be governed by the right kind of people that will make it a better, stronger and more prosperous place for its teeming citizens.
THE NATION, SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 7, 2013
•Revellers at the Carnival
RGUABLY the most colourful and largest street festival in Europe, the annual Notting Hill Carnival which originated in 1964 as a platform for AfroCaribbean communities to celebrate their own culture and traditions, again lit up the streets of London on August 26. It was a headline event that made the city of London agog to the admiration of residents and tourists from across the world. The carnival, which is an amazing array of sounds, colourful sights and social solidarity, featured exceptional displays from people of diverse culture and nationali-
ties, including numerous tourists from Nigeria. In furtherance of the strategic positioning of the state as a preferred destination for business and leisure, Rivers State was again on parade at
this year’s Notting Hill Carnival with eminent personalities, including top government officials and indigenes of the state adorning the rich costumes of Rivers people. The state cultural
•A cross section of the crowd
Swiss International opens in Nigeria
WITZERLAND-based Swiss International Hotels and Resorts has announced the signing of two upscale hotels, thus confirming locations for the highly-anticipated first operational hotels in Nigeria and continuing development momentum for the fast growing International Hotel Brand in Africa and the Middle East. The hotels, to be branded and known as Swiss International Westown-Lagos and Swiss International Mabisel-Port Harcourt are strategically located at 7 Sheraton- Opebi Link Road, Ikeja, Lagos, and Industrial Layout (off Peter Odili
Road) Port Harcourt and are well suited to meet the demands of the large population of business market and people living in and travelling to those areas. The full service upscalemarket properties featuring
combined 202 keys are scheduled to open in October 1. “We are excited to add these two properties to our network and continue the development momentum for the Swiss International Hotels brands, in and beyond Nigeria, in strategic markets. “The opening of Swiss International in Lagos and Port Harcourt are pivotal moments in the tremendous growth and development of Nigeria which is a vital business hub of the West African economy,” said Dr. Wasiu Babalola, Managing Director for West Africa of Swiss International Hotels & Resorts.
ambassadors were at the event under the auspices of the Rivers State Tourism Development Agency (RSTDA), the agency responsible for marketing the internationally acclaimed Port Harcourt Carnival (CARNIRIV) brand. On duty to showcase the beauty and vibrancy of Rivers people were the state Commissioner for Culture and Tourism, Dr. Nnabuihe Imegwu; Commissioner for Budget and Economic Planning, Mr. Gogo Levi Charles; Special Adviser to the Governor on Culture and Tourism, Mr. Iboroma Harry; Chairman, Okrika Local Government, Barrister Tamuno Williams; Chair-
man, RSTDA, Deacon Vincent Erinwa; Director – General, Dr. Sam Dede, and board members, including Chief John Yowika, Mr. Charles Awortu and Mr. Joseph Ewuse. There were also prominent Nollywood stars of the state origin. During the carnival, the Rivers contingent was a cynosure of all eyes as they paraded the streets of London in exquisite costumes and colours that served the world a foretaste of what to experience at this year’s Port Harcourt Carnival, holding in December. Their costumes stood out and attracted the attention of many Nigerians in the Diaspora, Jamaicans, Brazilians and people of other nationalities.
While in London, the contingent was first hosted to a cultural reception at the prestigious African Centre in London. During the reception, they put the best of Rivers culture on display with a spectacular float and rich cultural display. In a welcome address, Executive Director, Zmirage UK, Shabaka Thompson, said: “It is a privileged position for Rivers State to be part of the Notting Hill Carnival again this year, thereby becoming a prominent Nigerian state to make a distinctive cultural intrusion onto the world stage with the Notting Hill Carnival to showcase an authentic Af-
ANJET partners La Campagne Tropicana for
HE Association of Nige rian Journalists and Writ ers of Travel and Tourism (ANJET) and La Campagne Tropicana Group are partnering to organize the 2013 World Tourism Day (WTD). The World Tourism Day is held annually on September 27 worldwide. The event will hold at the La Campagne Beach Resort , Ikegun, Lagos State. This is in line with the theme for this year’s celebration: Tourism and Water: Protecting our Common Future. The theme highlights tourism’s role in water access and shines a spotlight on the actions cur-
rently being taken by the sector in order to contribute to a more sustainable water future, as well as the challenges ahead. Activities marking the WTD in La Campagne Tropicana will
include talks on environmental sustainability and tourism. The high-point of activities at the event will be Message in a Bottle that will be sent through the ocean canvassing for a more a
THE NATION, SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 7, 2013
‘‘This is a significant achievement, considering the warm embrace Afrobeat has received, therefore, drawing more attention to the music’s country of origin and the personality of the late Afrobeat legend, Fela Anikulapo’
rican cultural brand called CARNIRIV.” Speaking further on the initiative, the former CEO of the Notting Hill Carnival said the move by Rivers State was both timely and strategic ‘‘because the CARNIRIV is bringing something unique to the world and also something authentically African and creative.’’ He described himself as “an adopted Port Harcourt boy’’, noting that following his invitation to the CARNIRIV in 2010, he was able to reconnect with his roots. He said the CARNIRIV is ‘‘one place you should be”. Shabaka said CARNIRIV publicity campaign materials for this year were already on buses plying the streets of London saying, “last year, we had a large contingent of tourists who visited Rivers State to attend the CARNIRIV and this year, we hope to increase the number, considering the wider impact of the publicity campaign being driven in both the traditional media and the social media from here and Nigeria respectively”. He further disclosed that Rivers State was the first Nigerian state to introduce the Afrobeat genre of music to the Notting Hill Carnival musical tradition as opposed to the calypso type of music the carnival had always run on. ‘‘This is a significant achievement, considering the warm embrace Afrobeat has received, therefore, drawing more attention to the music’s country of origin
West Park celebrates
•Rivers State indigenes at 2013 carnival
and the personality of the late Afrobeat legend, Fela Anikulapo’’,he said. Dr. Imeagwu, while corroborating Shabaka, applauded the decision by his ministry and RSTDA to leverage the Notting Hill Carnival for the global marketing of the rich culture of Rivers people as well as reinforcing the strength of the black race. “The essence of being here is to hedge deeper into the platform that has already been established by the Caribbeans and to exemplify what other African states ought to be doing to improve the perception of Africa and African culture. It is also aimed at emphasising the conviviality of our people and our values”, he stated. Imeagwu added that this year’s edition of the CARNIRIV would be used to wrap up the celebration of the centenary anniversary of the city of Port Harcourt, saying: “I have been specifically
asked by our governor, His Excellency, Rt. Hon. Rotimi Chibuike Amaechi, to invite you to be part of this epochmaking event. Please be assured that should you decide and plan to attend, the Rivers State Government will throw down the red carpet to receive you to experience Destination Rivers in a spectacular way.” In her goodwill message at the event, Sally Sturgeon, Di-
rector of the People’s World Carnival, CARNIRIV’s partner troupe at the Notting Hill Carnival, said: “We are happy to be partnering the CARNIRIV, bringing a carnival of the people of Rivers State on the world stage. This is a fulfilment of our vision. We are indeed a people’s world carnival group and we are delighted at every opportunity to showcase cultural diversity to the world.”
•Rivers State contingent
•Drummers during the carnival
World Tourism Day concerted efforts by all in protecting the environment. According to the ANJET, the choice of La Campagne Tropicana Resort is to highlight the quest for sustainability and best practices in the management of resorts and other eco-tourist sites and destinations the country. Speaking on the celebration of the WTD and Nigeria’s quest to be among the top destinations in Africa, the President of La Campagne Tropicana Group and initiator of Motherland Beckons, , Otunba Wanle Akinboboye , said the celebration would once again offer the country the opportunity for a circumspective reflection on efforts so far made in tourism in Nigeria and the need to do more. He re-echoed the assertion that tourism is capable of surpassing oil in revenue generation for the Nigeria. The annual Tourism Day is celebrated worldwide to foster awareness among the international community of the importance of tourism and its social, cultural, political and economic value.
Oba Tejuoso to deliver lecture at Oranmiyan Festival
HE Osile of Oke Ona Abeokuta, Oba Adedapo Tejuoso, is expected to deliver a lecture of this year’s edition of the Oranmiyan Festival in Ile Ife. This was disclosed in a press release by the organisers of the festival. According the them, the lecture will focus on “the qualities and characteristics of a legend who has remained the issue in Benin and Oyo dynasties within the House of Oduduwa. A number of dynasties have traced their origins to Oranmiyan who has
been described as an historical warlord reputed for boldness and excellent mastery of the art of governance.” Oba Tejuoso, a medical doctor and evangelist, inspires confidence in the handling of royal and spiritual affairs. He is a distinguished scholar and author of several books on traditional institutions and governance. •Oba Tejuoso
FTER a successful one year business activity, coupled with a strong conviction of having made a good impression on its patrons, going by their inspirational compliments, Westpark Hotel, another entrant into the hospitality business is set to celebrate its first anniversary. According to the Chairman, Westpark International Hotel, Mr. Oseni Razak, Westpark Hotel is an evolution of his passion for the hospital•Mrs. Celestina Adewunmi ity venture. He said as a businessman and a widely travelled tourist, he has come to appreciate the enormous potential inherent in the hospitality business, especially the socioeconomic advantage, hence his resolve to also be part of the players of the hospitality industry. “I had always wanted to be part of the hospitality business. But I felt I couldn’t wait forever. I just felt I should start from somewhere which culminated into the hotel a year ago. lt was last year I decided to give it a final shot”, he said. Located in the bustling town of Egbeda, a town noted for its high rate of human traffic and commercial activities, the hotel is, however, tucked in the reserved area of Seliat Estate, an exclusive reservation of the urbane. West Park Hotel is being managed by well trained and motivated professionals in the hospitality industry. The hotel offers impeccably high service standard tailored towards the need of discerning local and international business patrons, as well as leisure seekers who value clean, comfortable, secured and affordable accommodation facilities. “At the inception of the hotel, we decided that exclusivity is going to be our watchword. Of course, we are opened to everyone, but our exclusive offer will actually go a long way in giving direction and setting the agenda for our patrons”, Razak added. Speaking further, the Manager, Westpark Hotel, Mrs Celestina Adewunmi, said the hotel boasts of every facility expected of an international hotel. “It’s a home away from home. It has air conditioned 17 rooms with other trappings of comfort one could imagine. The hotel offers you round-the-clock service, including restaurants and bars, offering local and international cuisines. It also boasts of latest and best of technology in the industry with 24 hours electricity. All the rooms have Wifi- internet access, electronic key card system, LCD television system and excellent food and beverages facilities”.
SA Tourism launches new marketing campaign
OUTH African Tourism has marked the imminent start of tourism month with the launch of a new marketing cam paign, combined with various affordable holiday packages, aimed at growing the number of domestic travellers in the country. Speaking at the official Tourism Month launch at the Amazingwe Lodge in the North West Province on Wednesday, Tourism Minister Marthinus Van Schalkwyk said South Africa was an exceptional global destination whose tourist arrivals growth consistently tracked higher than the worldwide average. Speaking at a breakfast hosted by the South African Chamber of Commerce and •Van Schalkwyk Industry in Johannesburg last week, Van Schalkwyk noted that at any given moment, three-quarters of all tourists in the country were South Africans. With non-travelling South Africans having indicated that they could not afford to travel or were not aware of accessible offerings, the sector had to work harder to address these information and cost barriers, the minister said. “Through a partnership with the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC), we have commissioned a feasibility study for a pilot budget resort chain aimed at an under-served market segment of would-be travellers earning less than $500 a month. “We have also commissioned an audit of underused state assets and properties that could be developed into tourist attractions and facilities.” The new domestic marketing campaign, dubbed “Nothing’s More Fun than a Sho’t Left” , also tackles the affordability challenge, while seeking to bring the fun back to travel. In a statement on Wednesday, the South African Tourism said the campaign’s television commercials, flighting from the beginning of September, would remind South Africans “that taking a holiday, even for a night or two, gives benefits that endure: great memories, quality time with loved ones, well-deserved escapes from dull routine and a chance to experience new places, new people and new things”. The campaign also offers a number of holiday package deals designed, in partnership with South African Tourism’s travel partners, to deliver “fun, easy, accessible and affordable holidays”.
THE NATION, SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 7, 2013
‘It’s better to invest at home than face the uncertainty abroad’ • Continued from Page 22 there must have been challenges… The Green Party, as you know, is not just a left-wing party. It is a far left-wing party which means they are progressive, they are open minded and they seek change. It is not like sitting there and waiting for the change to come; they go all out for it. To stand for primaries is a herculean task. In my own case, I was invited. There was a contest, but I had the edge. Like I said, I was the first non-ethnic Belgian to be elected, and I am in my second tenure. So, there must have been that level of trust and confidence for them to say come and do this for us. Now, I must say that it has not been very easy because journalists all over the world are in constant look out for news. And what news can be juicier than a black guy from somewhere? Who is this Collins Nweke? Is he as good as he is touted to be? In the first few months, they were just after me. Incidentally, it actually brought me out more into the limelight. Some of then actually got converted and they came back to talk. So, the challenges are there, but I believe that the rewards are also there as long as you know what you want and you have a plan towards achieving them. Are they the same as the challenges we have in governance here? he challenges here are different. Politics where I am is content-driven. People who join politics do so with the true conviction that they want to serve. These are peopleoriented individuals who say, ‘look, it is not about what I am able to make as an individual.’ Even if you decide to simply be a civil servant, just working somewhere, you will be absolutely comfortable. It is not about money. Politics there is not even attractive salary-wise. So, they are driven by the inner passion to get things done, to make changes in the society. I think that marks a complete difference from what we see here in Nigeria. Every single street I pass in Nigeria, I ask myself, are there no representatives, at least local representatives of these communities who are supposed to be fighting for these infrastructural facilities to be what they should be? I can imagine driving through a street within my constituency in Belgium with a pothole. I am not talking of a constituent reporting an anomaly to me; I mean myself. The next day in the council, I am putting it down and pursuing to see that it is immediately fixed. If there is a reason why it can’t be immediately fixed, I will be told and I will communicate to my constituency. Don’t you think that the economy also makes it difficult to deliver some of these dividends? Yes, I understand that because even out there in Europe, we do not have a bottomless budget. Choices have to be made. But then, which choices have they made here? Sometimes you are left with the feeling that those elected to represent the people are simply representing themselves. Don’t get me wrong It is not that I am saying that there is a budget that covers every single thing. No. There is a list. There is a priority and with the people, you are able to determine what their priorities are and then you pursue them. But the basic things here are not present. There must be budget, but those budgets appear to be going to wrong places, perhaps into the wrong pockets. Despite being a citizen of Belgium, you also identify with Nigeria in your involvement with the NIDO. Why? You know a good number of us who were forced out of this country, either as a result of poor educational system, poor economy or political upheaval, quite literally hung up on Nigeria. But we miss the country. This is the country that gave you life; the country where you had your initial orientation. Most of us still have our parents and siblings living here. It is easy to say, ‘Oh, Nigeria, that God-forsaken place. I just don’t care!’ But we all do care. So, somehow, you try to find around yourself something that will create that continuous link with the country. This is because quite a good number of us, and I can speak for myself and a good number of others, whatever we do out there, are actually aimed at developing some useful experiences that would be placed in the service of the country. Look at the politics I play out in Belgium today. Each time, I ask myself this question: ‘How can this be to the benefit of Nigeria? And so, I have been involved with the NIDO for 11 to 12 years. It gives the opportunity to be closer to the country, remain connected to the people and the politics of the country and use it as an avenue to contribute to national development. A lot of people would ask about the relevance of the NIDO, knowing that for many Nigerians in Europe, it is like being in the battle front, grappling with the problems of existence and survival. Yes, it does have a lot of relevance. The group of Nigerians that you have just described, people who are still trying to find their feet, those that are established with all their papers and so on, many of these people are reconnecting when they see concrete result of what we are doing or what is happening. I will give you a very specific example: on this mission to Diaspora day in Abuja that I led, I brought with me two individuals who otherwise wouldn’t want to know anything about Nigeria. One of them, Councillor Kate Anolue, who has also served as the mayor of a London borough, an accomplished medical personnel before diving into politics; she set up a sickle cell unit at the Middlesex University Teaching Hospital while she was a mayor. We met on a number of occasions and we got talking. She said: ‘Collins, this NIDO thing, what are you people doing?’ I told her that she needed to come on board. She said well, maybe this organisation is a platform through which I can set up a sickle cell unit in as many hospitals as possible in Nigeria, having done it in the UK and having a pool of medical experts, UK citizens who are willing to come with her to come and set up a unit in Nigeria. That was how Kate came on board. She is connecting
and she is engaging. The other person is Baba Yinusa. If you come to Guys Hospital in London and mention Dr. Baba Yinusa, he is one of the top guys there dealing with issues of women and children. He too came to make a presentation on projects that can be set up in collaboration with his Nigerian counterparts. When people see in the NIDO a tool of re-engagement or engagement with Nigeria, they get convinced and they come on board. For the rest, the others still trying to find their feet, you have them and you will always have them. A good number of them understand that you don’t need to necessarily be on the leadership of the NIDO to be able to impact on national development. You can be a member of the general assembly where you participate in our activities, be a volunteer to be able to put up something within your own limit. But I think the most important thing is to understand that it is a tool that will help you to remain connected to Nigeria to be able to contribute rather than simply continue to lament the woes that have befallen the country. So, yes, it is relevant. The sore point about the Nigerian image abroad is the perception of host communities that a good number of Nigerians who live in some of these countries are engaged in activities that cannot be said to be wholesome. It has become a stain on the country’s image. How are you people dealing with that? Within the NIDO, we deal with this specific issue, which I must say is grossly exaggerated. A very tiny minority of Nigerians participate in these unwholesome activities, just like any other country. If you want to know the kind of Nigerians that are doing this, do a demographic comparison of their level of education and whether they are employed or unemployed. You will find that they do not represent a higher percentage than members of the host community who participate in those activities. So, these activities are poverty-driven or some people just do bad things. I can’t sit here and tell you that all Nigerians are very good people. But not all Nigerian are bad people either. People just concentrate on this tiny minority of Nigerians and make it look as if all Nigerians over there are bad. A good number of us are accomplished and are doing fantastic things over there. What do we do? We organise meetings like town hall meetings where Nigerians in different fields are brought forward to speak about their experiences living there. We also organise some kind of image-making activities. Then there are organizations at the community level, like the town, ethnic or language meetings. We facilitate these also because they are the ones closer to the people. We try as much as possible to locate our people, organize employment fairs and all sorts of things to keep them busy and make them understand the need to be gainfully employed as a means of having the good life. We are inundated with tales of desperate Nigerians trying to get into Europe. What is the situation now and is there any-
The message has to be clear to everybody: Look, if a trip to Europe is going to cost you an average of N300,000 or N400,000, if there is a way you can invest that money here in Nigeria, you better do so. It is a better investment than travelling abroad into uncertainty because the gamble is huge and not a lot of people come out of it unwounded
•Nweke thing your organisation is doing to solve the problem? One of the projects that came with us from Europe from a gentleman living in Luxemburg, Mr. Joseph Etite, was a book he wrote. It is called The New Slavery System. The book is an expose on the desperation of Nigerians to go abroad. It is not always a bed of roses that people take it to be. I think the essential thing in life is hard work. Whether it is in Europe or in Nigeria, the results are basically the same. There are examples of people who left the shores of this country, went abroad and left their colleagues behind. By the time they came back five or 10 years later, they found that their colleagues were doing equally well and even some of the colleagues they left here were doing better than them in all standards. There are also a number of cases where people abroad are doing much better than their colleagues here. Essentially, the message is that wherever you are, the keyword is hard work. Europe is no longer the bed of roses, if it was ever a bed of roses. How do you mean? hat I mean is that coming to Europe is not a key to success in life because the obstacles there are huge. First, you have to deal with securing the right resident permit. Without the right resident permit, you can’t work legally. In some countries, it is virtually impossible to find a job, what they call black job. So, at times, it takes upwards of five years for you to eventually get it right abroad. And most of the time, it is five years wasted. Some go into crime in order to make ends meet. The message has to be clear to everybody: Look, if a trip to Europe is going to cost you an average of N300,000 or N400,000, if there is a way you can invest that money here in Nigeria, you better do so. It is a better investment than travelling abroad into uncertainty because the gamble is huge and not a lot of people come out of it unwounded. What do you miss about Africa? I missed the human warmth. I am not saying that Europeans are not warm, but you have to fight for it. If you meet a Nigerian in the street, the normal thing is to say hello. In Belgium, nobody would say hello to you if you meet in a bus stop. We try as Africans and as a community to recreate this warmth, be it in marriage, birthday or new yam festival. Any little excuse to get us together, we bring those aspects of our culture along with us and celebrate being Nigerians. It loosens the burden. What is your take on the introduction of £3,000 mandatory fee for applicants seeking entry into the United Kingdom for the first time? It is despicable. It is discriminatory and I can tell you right away that we are, as the NIDO, working with our friends in and out of politics to fight it tooth and nail. That has got to be stopped because it is unacceptable. Britain is a nation that respects human rights, equal opportunities and non-discrimination. They have got to honour that pact by rescinding that decision. It gets me very upset talking about it.
THE NATION SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 7, 2013
FORTUNE& I Gbenga ADERANTI
FAMIL Y HEAL TH AMILY HEALTH
THE NATION, SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 7, 2013
Dwelling according to knowledge (5)
ear Reader, I welcome you to this last edition of the teaching for the month. I like to conclude this teaching by showing you the Duties Of The Children. The injunction to dwell according to knowledge was specifically addressed to the men. However, children also need to know their responsibilities to their parents, in order to enjoy family success. Ephesians 6:1-3 clearly states: Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right. Honour thy father and mother; which is the first commandment with promise; That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth. Honour for your parents is a commandment. In fact, this scripture says it is the first commandment with a promise attached to it. The reason we find a lot of people today, who can’t seem to make it in life, in spite of their hard work, is perhaps because they have dishonoured their parents. If you want to see good, then obedience to God’s command is required. Showing honour and respect to your parents is a commandment that is not negotiable. It does not have any given conditions when it may be disobeyed. That means whether your parents are good or
bad, insensitive or irrational, born again or not, no matter their state, honour for them is a must. The American Heritage Dictionary defines honour as “esteem due or paid to worth; high estimation; respect; consideration; reverence; veneration; manifestation of respect or reverence.” That means you are to give to your parents due respect and reverence, and esteem them highly under every circumstances of life. For failure to honour his father, Reuben lost his glorious place in destiny. The Bible records in Genesis 35:22: And it came to pass, when Israel dwelt in that land, that Reuben went and lay with Bilhah his father’s concubine: and Israel heard it... In Genesis 49:3-4, when Jacob was pronouncing blessings on his sons, what Reuben got was this: Reuben, thou art my firstborn, my might, and the beginning of my strength, the excellency of dignity, and the excellency of power: Unstable as water, thou shalt not excel; because thou wentest up to thy father’s bed; then defiledst thou it: he went up to my couch. It is sad, because Reuben by destiny was the excellency of dignity. He was by destiny supposed to be a man of dignity. But he lost it for one singular act of dishonour and lack of respect for his father. Jesus further emphasized this point in Matthew 19:1619: And, behold, one came and said unto him, Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life? And he said unto him … but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments. He saith unto him, Which? Jesus said … Honour thy father and thy mother… Longevity on earth and eternity with God are both tied
to the honour given by children to their parents. This also is part of the 10 Commandments given to Moses in Exodus 20:12. The Bible says in Ecclesiastes 4:12: …A threefold cord is not quickly broken. If you want to see many good and fulfilling days on the earth, then as a child in a family, respect for your parents is non-negotiable. You will make it, in Jesus’ name! Effectively handling your duties as children demands a life in Christ. This entails confessing your sins and accepting Jesus as your Lord and personal Saviour. If you are ready to be born again, please say this simple prayer with me, in faith: Dear Lord Jesus, I come to You today. I believe You died and rose again for my sake. Forgive me of my sins, take over my life, make me Your child and let Your peace reign over my life. Thank you for saving me. Now I know I am born again. Congratulations, you are now born again! I believe that you will begin to experience the reality of the price that Jesus paid for your sins at Calvary. All round rest and peace are guaranteed you in Jesus’ Name! Call or write, and share your testimonies with me through: E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Tel. No: 08141320204; 07026385437; 07094254102 For more insight, these books authored by me are available at the Dominion Bookstores in all Living Faith Churches and other leading Christian bookstores: Marriage Covenant, Making Marriage Work, Single With A Difference, Building A Successful Family, and Success In Marriage (Co-Authored with Bishop David Oyedepo).
Stress and health
HIS Monday, I had a long day with enough work for me to just come home and rest. My coming home meant my coming to darkness because of lack of electricity, a stressor. When power came on, the TV came on with news of the Boston Marathon bombing in the USA. For me, it was a shock but unlike that for those at the scene. More than 140 people were wounded, some maimed, and two died. I considered that if a hundred people are wounded or maimed physically, perhaps, watching from their television, hundreds of thousands or persons would be “wounded or maimed” mentally and millions of persons would be “wounded or maimed” spiritually. The next day, as I was considering penning more of the topic: Stress and Health, I thought to myself, “Evil is the greatest of stressors”. Evil indeed is with us, in us, around us and has a way of popping up every now and then, in small presence and in great presence and is a source of much stress within us and outside of us. Indeed, Jewish and Christian wisdom tells us to do good and avoid evil through King David and the apostles Peter and Paul (Psalm 37: 27; 1Peter 3; 11; Romans 12: 9) and I wonder if I would ever perfect this principle in this life. Indeed, I do not know any Christian who believes in it. Other faiths and ideologies may teach the same but we human beings in general do not believe in it. Stress affects our physical, mental, and spiritual health and wellbeing, and if we recognize any evil as a great stressor we do well to avoid it, if we can. However blatant evil is not what we routinely deal with. For many of us routinely, the expected stressors are those factors that cause physical stress is on our bodies through exhaustion, lack of food or unhealthy eating, lack of sleep or unhealthy sleeping, exposure to hazards, and unhealthy posture or conditioning. Motivational speakers and counsellors •It improved vision Western culture’s understanding of carrots being “good for the eyes” is one of the few we got right. Carrots are rich in beta-carotene, which is converted into vitamin A in the liver. Vitamin A is transformed in the retina, to rhodopsin, a purple pigment necessary for night vision. Beta-carotene has also been shown to protect against macular degeneration and senile cataracts. A study found that people who eat the most beta-carotene had 40 percent lower risk of macular degeneration than those who consumed little. •Cancer Prevention Studies have shown carrots reduce the risk of lung cancer, breast cancer and colon cancer. Researchers have just discovered falcarinol and falcarindiol which they feel cause the anticancer properties. Falcarinol is a natural pesticide produced by the carrot that protects its roots from fungal diseases. Carrots are
are forever teaching us about time management, planning, and the habits of busy and successful people. Indeed, sometimes we cannot avoid extra work or long hours of work and all the time we need to know our own capacities and how these events affect us and how to manage ourselves well. One important biologic implication is psychosomatics. The extra activities of our mentality, translated into extra activities of our nerves and in turn translated into extra activities of our body organs can have deleterious effects or cause pains arising from an affected body organs. A major nerve that controls many body organs is the vagus nerve. In fact its name is from the same root as the word vagabond; it goes everywhere in the abdomen. Stress-induced hyper-stimulation of the nerve makes the stomach to secret more acid. For people who have weak stomach protective lining this acid becomes corrosive to the stomach wall causing ulcer. If you need to work extra hard and for long periods or if you find yourself skipping meals, it is helpful to keep some snack around: nuts, biscuits, bites. Snacking on such will give any acid in your stomach something to digest instead of your own stomach wall.If you do not protect your stomach from acid stress and also fail to sleep well to allow your body to undergo healing and recovery, you may set the stage for chronic ulcer. Some ulcers can turn into cancer. Getting carried away with work can make us skip meals. Lack of nutrition can affect us in many ways. For example, we become weak in our body defences and this can make us
prone to catch infectious diseases. Some of these diseases may be chronic diseases sticking to the victim long after the job is done. One weeks’ unmanaged stress of hard work can result in years of chronic infection. For women under stress and menstruating, skipping meals can precipitate anaemia and pathologic weakness because of lack of blood. Some works take a toll on certain parts of our bodies. Eye strain, back ache, neck pain, and stiffness, are often results of long ours in the same posture and doing the same thing. Taking breaks or breaking the stress is useful to limit such stress. Resting one’s eye, getting up and standing for a few seconds every now and then, for example, can break the posture stressors. The essential factor is breaking the stress instead of letting it be continuous. Psychosomatics include effects of continual stressors on vital organs such as the heart and blood vessels. In the cardiovascular system, this can lead to build up of blood pressure. To avoid such build-up, breaking the stressor by taking breaks is also important. A few minutes’ relaxation or fun every few hours may be helpful. Therefore one important aspect of preventing damage to our health through physical stressors, is to recognize the stressors and to break up their influence instead of letting them be continuous. Dr. ’Bola John is a biomedical scientist based in Nigeria and in the USA. For any comments or questions on this column, please Email email@example.com or call 07028338910
Benefits of carrots one of the only common sources of this compound. A study showed 1/3 lower cancer risk by carrot-eating mice. •Anti-Aging The high level of beta-carotene acts as an antioxidant to cell damage done to the body through regular metabolism. It help slows down the aging of cells. •Healthy Glowing Skin (from the inside) Vitamin A and antioxidants protects the skin from sun damage. Deficiencies of vitamin A cause dryness to the skin, hair and nails. Vitamin A prevents premature wrinkling, acne, dry skin, pigmentation, blemishes, and uneven skin tone. 5. A Powerful Antiseptic Carrots are known by herbalists to prevent infection. They can be used on cuts – shredded raw or boiled and mashed. •Beautiful Skin (from the outside) Carrots are used as an inexpensive and very convenient facial mask. Just mix grated carrot with a bit of honey.
•Prevent Heart Disease Studies show that diets high in carotenoids are associated with a lower risk of heart disease. Carrots have not only beta-carotene but also alphacarotene and lutein. The regular consumption of carrots also reduces
cholesterol levels because the soluble fibers in carrots bind with bile acids. •Cleanse the Body Vitamin A assists the liver in flushing out the toxins from the body. It reduces the bile and fat in the liver. The fibers present in carrots help clean out the colon and hasten waste movement. •Healthy Teeth and Gums It’s all in the crunch! Carrots clean your teeth and mouth. They scrape off plaque and food particles just like toothbrushes or toothpaste. Carrots stimulate gums and trigger a lot of saliva, which being alkaline, balances out the acid-forming, cavity-forming bacteria. The minerals in carrots prevent tooth damage. •Prevent Stroke: From all the above benefits it is no surprise that in a Harvard University study, people who ate more than six carrots a week are less likely to suffer a stroke than those who ate only one carrot a month or less. Courtesy: Care2
THE NATION, SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 7, 2013
FAMIL Y HEAL TH AMILY HEALTH
Social medicine: Sexual health matters of men and women in the 35-50 year age bracket
UCH has been said about mature women (married and single) going for younger men for relationships that bother principally on sex, older men (single and married) now preferring girls young enough to be their daughters for marriage. We also have situations where young women, married and single, now form circles of lesbian relationships. The concern in some of these is the inability of one or two of the people involved in a spousal or non –spousal relationship to get adequate sexual satisfaction. Many issues come up when sex related problems declare themselves in normal legal relationships-spousal, non spousal, and are usually not to be trivialized, or ignored because there are no inconsequential matters here. Undoubtedly sex is a major scaffold and the string that holds relationship together so that they don’t fall apart. Most of the sex related problems in the society are not without practical solutions. Studies have revealed that men and women in the 35-50 year age groups who are the most sex starved of populations, compared with people who are younger, and this is irrespective of race, all other variables controlled for. What do we do when we observe a sudden or gradual decline in our ability to achieve adequate sexual satisfaction in our marriage or normal relationships?- look inwards to see if something in our body outside the genitalia are responsible, the heart, the lungs, brain/mind? Check if we are eating too much, drinking too much or taking medication that weaken our interest or abilities? Do nothing, and hand over everything to God? Heap the blame on our partner and blame God for not given us more virile partners. Take a closer look at ourselves in the mirror and then seeing we are very beautiful or like Adonis wrap it up and go seek excitement in the arms of younger people Male or female? These days, it is not really difficult to find relationships and partnerships including multiple partnerships but there are real health risks. It is often not common knowledge that anything that is owned completely by any person and found very pleasurable is like a beast, and if not controlled, will tear it’s owner to pieces- Adventures are not without excitement and pleasures- new sensation, new environment, travels, places, food, clothing, and whatever you may wish to add, but the hidden disadvantages of coital liaisons that are generally accepted as unusual or inappropriate outweigh whatever advantages they have. For an example certain intractable sexually transmitted infections are peculiar and common amongst lesbians. It is also common knowledge that HIV/AIDS virus is most efficiently transmitted when people engage in anal sex- a route not anatomically adapted for sex. Inappropriate sexual adventures in any discerning individual can very quickly become an obsession, where suicidal ideation, use of drugs (to overcome performance pressure), murder and deadly diseases can take life away prematurely. As the father of a prominent musician summarized it, they live their lives like candles in the winds and simply disappear from the midst of humanity. For an example, the girl child is barely aware of personal hygiene, being very likely to mistake abnormal vaginal discharge as normal, lower abdominal pain of pelvic inflammatory disease as normal menstrual pain, the fever of hepatitis B infection as malaria or typhoid, the painful swelling of bartholins cyst and ulcer of chancroid as boil and the painless ulcer of syphilis as pimple. the squamocolumnar junction of the girl child’s vagina is much lower compared to that of the matured lady. Combined with her lower capacity to negotiate for safer sex, she is placed at a greater risk for sexually transmitted infections. These are not part of the issues of unwanted preg-
With DR MIKE OYAKHIRE 08170268670
nancies, septic abortions, vesico vaginal fistulae etc. Research has also revealed that mature ladies with relatively obvious body proportions are less likely to succumb to infections like HIV/AIDS and Hepatitis B. The mechanism is based on the relationship between Leptin receptors in adipose tissues and the antigen presenting cells (APC) A 36 year old young woman who had regular explosive sexual relationship with her husband claims she simply needed the arms of a young male around her when for reasons she could not explain, she left her husband and after waiting for years and getting snubbed by men, her age agreed to go out with a man much younger than her. She is currently living with HIVAIDS. At first, only her daughter knew about her condition, but soon the school her daughter attends manage to know and now it is all over town. For men and women aged 35-50 years, Sexual inadequacies may occur in one or more of the following ways; For men, erectile failure, erectile dysfunction tops the list. It takes different forms in different men depending on age. In flaccid impotence, there is no erection at all and the situation remains ISQ despite efforts by a partner. In erectile dysfunction, there are several problems, erection may not occur and when it is achieved, it is weak or not strong enough to achieve penetration. In some persons, there is erection, but it fails a few minutes after penetration The most important issue here is age- as we grow older, blood vessels everywhere become narrowed and less elastic. There is no bone in the penis, just muscle and blood vessels; age alters all rheological properties of blood. The number of receptors available for hormones and enzymes to home in are reduced and it is vital to note that the major organs of the body including the eyes, ears , heart, brain/mind, lungs, kidneys are all involved in the action , and so situations of sadness, sorrow, stress, anger, and disease conditions such as diabetes mellitus, hypertension will affect the quality of sex that can be achieved. In the same token, drugs used to treat these diseases of the heart, brain and blood vessels and nerves will reduce or even take away the strength of sexual performance possible . Alcohol, smoking, excess sugar and obesity are likely to worsen sexual stamina in men older than 35, some will quickly raise the issue of village men who are married with many wives , smoke crude cigarettes and drink plenty of ‘kaikai’. There are many reasons, from the known to the unknown-one of the known is that individual variations exist in the metabolic activities of enzymes which remove and degrade alcohol tobacco and cigarettes, beyond that, it is becoming obvious now
that only a mother and DNA paternity tests that can definitely tell who fathered the children she has, about 20% of first born persons are not biologically related to those they call their fathers. Another common problem equally frustrating to a wife is premature ejaculation. This may happen as soon as body contact is made or a few second after entry. While erectile dysfunction, is common in old age, premature ejaculation is usually due to several factors and tend to occur with younger men. Partner understanding, sympathy and assistance are crucial for these two conditions. It is very important indeed for the woman not to make issues out of the experience, because doing so could lead to a situation where her husband suffers impotence only when he is with her but remains very strong and active with another woman- the psychosomatic integration of the human body for a singular action is as complex as that. Men experiencing these problems are advised to see a Doctor, but the young man with premature ejaculation has more work to do to help himself if he wants his partner to remain with him . Nothing is more tormenting and women have been known to scream out their frustrations from bedrooms–Doctors with specialist training in these areas talk about the rule of 9, and can be found online. Reducing the frequency of intercourse, graduated stimulation with cooperation from wife are two things you can do Retarded ejaculation and aorgasmic coitus can be taken together. When experienced early in marriage, a man with retarded ejaculation may cherished as a sex machine, but there is a problem, the reason he does not lose strength is that he is not losing what normal men give away in their sperm ejaculate-large quantities of energy in the form of ATPS (Adenosine triphosphate). Women are trained by Doctors to bring everything to a close whenever they desire by special conditioning of the vaginal muscles. Affected men are also advised to do SFAC (seminal fluid analysis and culture). They may also avoid intercourse for some time, and also to reduce the frequency of intercourse. When the woman discovers the problem, there is increased tendency for aorgasmic coitus such that even the little that comes out does not get up to the outer 1/3rd of the fallopian tube, fertilization does not occur and infertility results despite regular coitus. Women more than men in that age group commonly encounter loss of interest in sex and even of enjoying it. It is however more likely for the man to experiment with someone else though temptations can come to anybody even those who appear not to be going out. Sadness, sorrow, illnesses, age and stress are the main causes. Psychotherapy, age appropriate entertainment, sports and entertainment and god communication are often helpful. For women, Vaginal dryness may occur as a sign of infection or age related decrease in estrogen, stress and other problems of life the man may feel he is no longer physically attracted to his wife and if the situation persists and he is not reassured, he is likely to start going out, creams and counseling for partner understanding may be useful. Vaginismus, in a woman is diagnosed when uncontrollable contractions of the vagina prevents normal coitus, this condition which may not allow the initiation of coitus at all is to be differentiated from the normal ballooning of the upper portion of the vagina that occurs at the peak phase of sexual excitement. •To be continued
Mental health: Tips for preserving a healthy mind
RE you interested in how you can maintain a healthy mind to keep your body healthy? These are practical tips for maintaining a healthy mind •Make sure you’re getting enough rest- Sleep is the body’s way of recharging, meaning that sleep doesn’t only increase your energy—it actually boosts your mental health. •Forgive yourself for past mistakes - Messing up is a part of life, and mental health requires understanding that and moving past mistakes in our lives. Is there a mistake or regret that eats at you? Let. It. Go. •Find a good support system Whether family, friends, a church, or something else, find a group of people who are willing to love you for who you are. This boosts resilience and helps to provide perspective in the midst of stress and pain. •Eat healthy - Invest time in learning which kinds of foods bring you “up” and which kinds bring you “down.” Committing to a diet can make you feel good about yourself, give you a sense of self-improvement, and boost your sense of accomplishment.
•Exercise - Regularly exercising can help to cut back stress in your life, releasing pent up energy as you work your body. Exercise releases endorphins, chemicals in the brain that energize us. •Leave some time for leisure - Make sure you allow time in your schedule for whatever causes you to relax. Maybe it’s watching movies or completing crossword puzzles or walking outside. Make time for the things you know relax you. •Stay away from drugs and alcohol - When you consume cigarettes, illegal drugs, and alcohol, these drugs tamper with your mental health, decreasing mental stability and giving you false positive emotions. •Commit to helping others - You can build self-
A healthy family
esteem and self-worth by regularly pouring out your energy and talents to help others. Volunteering is another activity that releases endorphins, boosting your mood. •Learn something new - Part of what makes us human is our tendency to challenge ourselves. Challenge yourself to learn something new— maybe a new skill, sport, or game. •Find a good listener, and return the favour - Find one person who is willing to listen to you vent and talk freely. It can also relieve stress to form a listening partnership, where the two of you share on a regular basis. •Make the decision not to worry - Worry will consume your mind if you let it, but you can also train yourself to avoid worry, to choose a life without anxiety. Ask God to help you not to worry. •Do things that engage your senses Each day, perform one task that engages each of your senses: sight, touch, smell, sound, and taste. Engaging your senses helps you to live in the moment and focus on the present. •Leave time for nothing - Make sure your schedule has a little room for free time: time that is unbudgeted. Use that time for meditation, prayer, or relaxation exercises.
•Cut out late-night TV and computer use Studies have shown that watching TV and using a computer late at night can cause depressive symptoms. •Work to understand what stresses you Understand your stressors and be able to recognize how you need to react. Be informed about what is happening in your mind and body. •Give and receive compliments - Find reasons to praise people, and be willing to accept people’s praises of you. This will help you to appreciate the good in those around you and recognize it in yourself. •Leave time to laugh - Try to laugh hysterically every day. Feed yourself funny things, allowing your mind to decompress from time to time. •Accept that there are some things you cannot change - A lot of anxiety stems from trying to change things beyond our control. Recognizing that some things are beyond our control is a key to a healthy, anxiety-free mind. •Talk to God about where you’re at - Interact with God in prayer on a daily basis and allow God to be a part of your stress-reduction strategy. He’s been doing it for thousands of years—He’s got a little more practice than you do.
THE NATION, SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 7, 2013
54 FOREIGN NEWS
Syria crisis: Russia and US no closer A
fter two days of talks, the most powerful countries in the world were still unable to speak with one voice on Syria. The French President Francois Hollande has been a stalwart supporter of taking action. UK Prime Minister David Cameron and the Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan have also both firmly been in favour of action on Syria, as have the Saudis, long opposed to President Assad. But the G20 host, President Vladimir Putin, has proved a formidable opponent and his claim is that the balance of opinion was behind him. Among G20 nations, India, Argentina, South Africa and Russia's Security Council ally China - are clearly against punitive strikes. Alongside them, others are also uneasy at military action without UN approval. At his press conference, you could sense President Obama's emotion, exhaustion and frustration. For all the intense lobbying behind
the scenes, where it seems David Cameron has been playing a key role, there is still more work to be done to build the international coalition that Mr Obama wants. China and Russia, which have refused to agree to a UN Security Council resolution against Syria, insist any military action without the UN would be illegal. Mr Putin said the discussions about Syria on Thursday evening had gone on well past midnight. He added that he had had a one-to-one meeting with Mr Obama in which they had discussed Syria. Both men had listened to the other's position but had not agreed, he said. Mr Putin said he believed a majority of the populations in countries supporting military action were against it. Meanwhile French President Francois Hollande, who has been a firm proponent of intervention, said he would await for a report from UN weapons inspec-
tors before taking a decision on military action. The inspectors' findings are not due to be made public until the week beginning 15 September - possibly even later. Also speaking at the end of the summit, Mr Obama said there was a "unanimous" view that chemical weapons had been used in Syria. He also said most leaders present at the summit
thought it was most likely that the regime of Mr Assad was responsible. Mr Obama argued action was required even when the Security Council was paralysed, as the international consensus against the use of chemical weapons had to be upheld. Obama says he had a "candid and constructive conversation" with President Putin
However, Mr Putin described the use of chemical weapons as "a provocation on the part of the militants who are expecting to get support from outside". British Prime Minister David Cameron said the UK had "made available additional evidence of cloth and soil samples which underline the now overwhelming picture of a war crime" on 21 August. Mr Cameron said that,
given the depth of international divisions, the "summit was never going to reach agreement". But he added that if there were only a response to the crisis through the UN Security Council, that would mean the UK "contracting out its morality and foreign policy to the potential of a Russian veto". of Adana is also withdrawing non-essential staff.
Millions vote in Australia
illions of Australians are voting in a general election, which is widely expected to end six years of government by the Labor party. Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has faced stiff competition from opposition leader Tony Abbott, whose Liberal-National coalition is favourite to win. The rivals are split on how to tackle Australia's budget deficit, but both have pledged tough action to stop asylum seekers arriving by boat. Mr Rudd called the election after ousting Julia Gillard in a leadership challenge in June, amid dismal polling figures. Ms Gillard had herself ousted Mr Rudd as prime minister in 2010. Labor initially saw its figures improve significantly. But in recent weeks Mr Abbott has again broadened the gap. He has enjoyed the strident support of Rupert Murdoch's newspapers, and remains ahead in Throughout this campaign Tony Abbott has been able to play it relatively safe, knowing his long-standing lead in the polls meant he simply had to avoid making a game-changing blunder.
It's been his race to lose; Kevin Rudd's to try to win. Mr Rudd has pitched himself as the "comeback kid" but after an initial honeymoon (or second honeymoon) period after he ousted Julia Gillard, his numbers began to slump. It is hard to overestimate just how damaging the infighting and allegations of backstabbing have been for the Labor party's standing. Australia's slowing economy has not helped Mr Rudd either. His message of "I know we're not doing as well as we used to be but it could have been much worse" has perhaps been a hard one for voters to grasp. At the same time, you don't sense Australians have necessarily warmed to Tony Abbott either. If Mr Abbott does win, as the polls are predicting, it could be a vote against Labor rather than a ringing endorsement for the coalition's agenda. And it would be a significant shift to the right. The two leading candidates made their final push on the campaign trail on Friday, with Mr Rudd appealing to undecided voters, saying they could close the gap.
â€˘ Russian President Vladimir Putin (left) and his US counterpart, President Obama
US drone kills Haqqani commander
harif condemns US drone strike The cost of Obama's secret drone war Close-up look at US drone Watch A senior commander of the powerful Haqqani militant network has been killed in a US drone strike in north-west Pakistan, officials say. Sangeen Zadran, named on US and UN blacklists, was among five killed when missiles were fired at a house in North Waziristan, near the Afghan border. The Taliban told the AP news agency he was still alive. But other reports said his funeral had taken place. Officials told an agency reporter that the militant's funeral had been held in the regional capital of Miranshah and was attended by many. He also held the position of "shadow governor " of the Afghan province of Paktika, and reports say the Tal-
Remote control helicopter kills teenager in NYC
he waterfront park near a busy motorway was often used by a local hobbyist club A New York teenager has been killed when the toy remote control helicopter he was flying struck him in the head. Roman Pirozek Jr, 19, was pronounced dead at a park in New York City's Brooklyn borough where hobbyists often fly remote control aircraft. Police said reports suggested Pirozek was killed when the helicopter's blades
struck his head and neck. His death is thought to be only the second ever from a toy remote control helicopter in the US. Police told the New York Daily News that Pirozek had apparently been attempting a stunt when something went wrong and the helicopter fell and hit him. "The major vessels in his neck were involved and he just bled out very quickly," an emergency worker told the newspaper.
While police did not release the model of the helicopter Pirozek was flying at the time of the accident, an online video uploaded in July by someone with Pirozek's name showed an Align T-Rex 700N DFC flying at high speeds. Rich Hanson, spokesman for the Academy of Model Aeronautics in Indiana told the Associated Press news agency that model was in the larger range of remote control helicopters and has a blade span of nearly 4.5ft (1.4m).
iban nominated his brother, Bilal Zadran, to replace him in that post. Sangeen Zadran came from the same sub-clan as the Haqqani network's leader Jalaluddin Haqqani. With the trust of the Haqqanis and very highlevel military training, he was soon elevated to a top leadership position in the organisation. He was operational leader in South and North Waziristan and a top military commander in Afghanistan. Instrumental in managing disputes in Pakistan's tribal region, Zadran mediated between warring factions in the Taliban movement too. His death will be consid-
ered a big blow but experts say nobody in the network is irreplaceable. Experts say the 45-yearold was viewed as a senior militant leader in both countries and that he is a big loss to the Haqqani group although not irreplaceable. In 2011, the US state department added him to its list of specially designated global terrorists, claiming he orchestrated the kidnappings of Afghans and foreigners in the rugged and violent border area. He has also been identified as the man who kidnapped a US soldier, Bowe Bergdahl, four years ago the only known American
soldier currently held by Afghan insurgents. The US has blamed the Haqqani network for a series of high-profile attacks in the border regions in recent years. Pakistan's foreign ministry condemned Friday's drone strike as a violation of its sovereignty. This was the second strike in a week, and the attacks caused the loss of innocent civilian lives and continued to affect US-Pakistan relations, the ministry added. There have been fewer strikes in recent years, but Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has demanded an end to all attacks.
South African gold miners return to work
OST of the 80,000 South African gold miners who have been on strike since Tuesday have returned to work after a new pay offer, union officials say. The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) spokesman said workers for four of the seven companies had accepted the offer of an eight per cent rise. The NUM had been demanding 60 per cent, while employers had offered six per cent - the same as the current annual rate of inflation. South Africa's gold industry is one of the biggest in the world. But it has been in decline in
recent years, while the platinum sector is still recovering from violence during last year's strikes. NUM spokesman Lesiba Seshoka told the AFP news agency that the remaining workers were still being briefed about the latest offer. "This may possibly mark the end of the strike," he said. Minerals and metals account for 60 percent of all export revenue Mining contributes close to 10 per cent of South Africa's GDP 513,211 jobs - in 2011 South Africa is world's biggest platinum producer, with 80 per centof the world's reserves It has 50 per cent of known global gold reserves Source : South African Chamber of
Mines (2012) Mine owners had warned that a long strike could lead to gold mines closing and thousands of jobs being lost, following a fall in the price of gold. They say that their production costs have increased as they have had to dig ever deeper to extract gold. For many years, South Africa was by far the world's largest gold producer but it is now the fifth biggest, with just six per cent of world production. However, mining is still the most important sector in South Africa's economy. The NUM represents about 64 per cent of South Africa's 120,000 gold miners.
THE NATION, SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 7, 2013
Uchem OBI and Blessing ILEBOH
THE NATION, SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 7, 2013
NEWS 57 Put national interest above self, Alake of Egbaland urges Nigerian leaders
Fafunwa Educational Foundation holds lecture
HE Alake and Paramount Ruler of Egbaland, Oba Michael Adedotun Gbadebo, has urged government and its ofﬁcials to go through sound management folio where they will learn the importance of putting national values before self. Decrying the state of the nation, Oba Gbadebo identiﬁed bad governance as the main challenge confronting Nigeria, adding that emphasis has drifted from the nation to individuals. Oba Gbadebo spoke yesterday when the team of the Nigerian Institute of Management (NIM), paid him a courtesy visit in his
HE Fafunwa Educational Foundation (FEF), in conjunction with Macmillan Publishers, will hold the 17th annual FEF Lecture on September 23 at the Nigerian Institute of International Affairs (NIIA), Victoria Island, Lagos, from 11am. Spokesperson for the foundation, who is also the chairperson of FEF Local Organising Committee, Dr. Pat Akumabor, said its objective was to improve educational standard. She said the foundation was established to commemorate the late Prof. Babs Fafunwa, a former Minister of Education. “FEF was also set up to promote and fund research in the universities. This year, three doctoral candidates have been short-listed from six universities, namely the University of Ibadan (UI), University of Lagos (UNILAG), Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile-Ife, University of Nigeria, Nnsuka (UNN), Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria and Lagos State University (LASU), Ojo. “Dr. Tolulope Gbadamosi from UI clinched the ﬁrst position and he will go home with N250, 000. The second prize was won by Dr. Diana Agbo from UNN, who will receive N150,000, while Dr. Mohammed Allison Jajuah from OAU will receive N100,000, being the prize money for the third position,” Dr. Akumabor said.
Private polytechnics games out soon
FFORTS are in top gear to come out with the ﬁrst ever Nigeria Private Polytechnic Games (NIPPOGA) as the Association of Private Polytechnic Proprietors in Nigeria has already set plans in motion for this. The Vice President of the Association, who is also the Executive Chairman, The Polytechnic, Ile-Ife, Chief (Dr) Ramon Adedoyin, made this disclosure in an interview with The Nation shortly after he hosted the members of the association at Oduduwa Plaza, Idimu, Lagos. He disclosed that already a committee had been set up to come up with a proposal on how the sports event can draw mass participation from all private polytechnics in Nigeria. Dr. Adedoyin noted that the coming together of private polytechnic proprietors is a blessing to education in Nigeria, as it will provide a platform to rub minds and cross-fertilise ideas on issues, prospect and challenges facing private polytechnics with a view to providing common and collective approach. He told The Nation that the Association recently paid a visit to the Executive Secretary of the National Board for Technical Education to introduce the Association to him, congratulate him for the successes recorded by the Board in stabilising the polytechnic system and solicit to his support and encouragement for private polytechnics.
n Nneka NWANERI n palace in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital ahead of his 70th birthday. They were led by the President and Chairman in Council of the Institute, Chief Michael Olawale-Cole. The Paramount ruler said: "Malaysia and Singapore were on the same plain as Nigeria 45years ago. But we are still lacking seriously behind. This country should move ahead and get away from what is dragging us down. If we don't plan to succeed, then we are planning to fail." Speaking, Chief OlawaleCole called on Nigerians of all tribes to embrace peace, saying it is the only way to forge ahead as a nation.
Four Ogun tax ofﬁcials injured following attack •Govt condemns action N ofﬁcial of the Ogun State Internal Revenue Service (OGIRS) was hospitalised, while four others were injured following attack by staff of Kingdom Heritage Nursery School, Ota, Ogun State. The victims were later detained by the school security personnel for hours, who only released the
A •Alake of Egba land, Oba Michael Adedotun Gbadebo (right) receiving a gift from Chief Olawale-Cole, during a courtesy visit to the Oba in his palace...yesterday. Photo: NNEKA NWANERI
Scores injured as rival drivers’ union clash in Akure C
ommercial activities were grounded for several hours yesterday in Akure, the Ondo State capital, as aggrieved members of the state branch of National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW), yesterday clashed with loyalists of the state chairman, Obadutele Obayoriade (a.k.a Die the matter). The action of the aggrieved members, according to sources, was aimed at sacking the Obayoriade-led
n Damisi OJO, Akure n leadership of the drivers' union over fraudulent allegations, including printing of fake motor park tickets in the state. The clash left several members injured and all motor parks deserted, as passengers and park operators took to their heels when hoodlums invaded the parks with dangerous weapons. Several passengers were left stranded at the Abuja,
Benin and Sunshine (Lagos) motor parks on the outskirts of Akure, the Ondo State capital, while those in transit through the town forcefully halted their journey for several hours. A faction within the drivers' union in the state had earlier petitioned the national president of NURTW, Najeem Yasin, alleging gross misconduct, including printing and selling fake motor park permits to park operators in the state by Obayoriade.
Other allegations in the petition signed by Mayowa Oloﬁniyi include the collection of N250,000 from beneﬁciaries of 100 buses donated by the Ondo State government to members of the union. The Police Public Relations Qfﬁcer (PPRO), Wole Ogodo, while conﬁrming the clash, said he could not give further statement on the situation, saying he was out of the state on ofﬁcial assignment during the clash.
Liberty Radio drags Kaduna Govt to court over alleged interference
ADUNA-BASED Altar Communications Limited is praying a Kaduna State High Court to prevent the state government and its agents from interfering in the operations of its outﬁt, Liberty Radio. The radio station has been featuring prominent Nigerians on its programme, Guest of the Week and its Hausa version, Bakon Mu Na Mako, an exercise it alleges has not gone down well with the state government.
n Tony AKOWE, Kaduna n It says the state government is threatening to deal with the radio station. In an afﬁdavit in support of its ex-parte motion the plaintiffs want the court to prevent the defendants from intimidating or taking steps to either seal up or in any way frustrate the activities of their business outﬁt pending the determination of motion on notice. Joined as defendants in the
suit are the governor of the state, the Commissioner for information, the General Manager of the Kaduna state Urban Planning and Development Authority (KASUPDA), the General Manager of the Kaduna Environmental Protectioin Agency (KEPA), the state Attorney General and the Executive Chairman of the Kaduna state Board of Internal Revenue. They alleged that the state governor was unhappy with
the guests featuring on the programme and has threatened to deal with them if they continue to operate in such a manner. The Plaintiffs claimed that the governor, the Commissioner for Information and the Director General to the governor on Media have ,at different times, called the second Plaintiff (Alhaji Tijjani Ramalan) threatening him on why he should give their political rivals access to the station.
Agric Ministry holds training for Benue farmers on piggery
IVESTOCK farmers in Benue State have been urged to redouble efforts to realize the targets set by Federal Ministry of Agriculture. The Minister of Agriculture, Mr. Akinwumi Adeshina, gave the charge in an address at the one-day sensitization workshop with pig farmers in Makurdi, on the pig value chain of the agricultural transformation agenda of the Agriculture and Rural Development. Represented at the occasion by the Director of Agricultural Transformation Agenda, Engr. Sunday Edibo, the Minister said the workshop was the
n Uja EMMANUEL, Makurdi n ﬁrst in the North Central, and stressed the need for the participants to key into it, so as to improve their piggery farming skills and earn bumper harvests. In his Address, the state Director of the Federal Ministry of Agriculture Makurdi, Mr. Benjamin Kuleve, said Nigeria is one of the fastest growing economies of the world, and pledged to mobilize farmers in the state to embrace the piggery farming to improve their ﬁnancial standing in the society. The state Commissioner for
Agriculture, Mr. Donald Amokaha Gbugho, noted that the state is one of the highest consumer of pork, and also one of the largest producers of pig in the country. He added that Benue State is interested in both crop and livestock, and has established a modern pig farm at Yandev. Represented by the Permanent Secretary, Mr. Neeyum Tsavnum, the Commissioner disclosed that over 160 wearers and growers are ready for sale at affordable prices to interested farmers, even as government is considering the establishment of a pig market and processing plant in the state.
n Ernest NWOKOLO, Abeokuta n ofﬁcials in the evening when the Divisional Police Ofﬁcer of Onipanu Division, Ota, intervened and rescued them from an alleged "forced imprisonment." The ofﬁcials were said to have entered the premises of the nursery school located to educate and enlighten it on the need to comply with the state's tax requirements when its staff attacked them, leaving ﬁve injured and equipment vandalised. The Chairman of the state's IRS, Mr Babajide Odubanjo, who addressed reporters yesterday in Abeokuta, the state capital, in respect of the incident, said the victims of the attack were at the premises of the school around 2pm on Thursday for the purpose of sensitisation and reminder of the outstanding tax arrears.
Kano distributes N920m hospital equipment n Kolade ADEYEMI, Kano n ANO State government yesterday distributed hospital equipment worth N920 million to 320 facilities across the state. The state Commissioner of Health, Dr. Abubakar Labaran Yusuf, who supervised the distribution of the equipment at the government warehouse in Ungogo Local Government Area, said the equipment were distributed based on the needs of the facilities across the 44 local government areas of the state. Yusuf charged the beneﬁciaries to make the judicious use of the equipment, and thanked DFID/PATH2 for the kind gesture, which he described as timely. The chairman of the distribution committee of the equipments, Dr. Sa’id Muhammed, pledged to justify the conﬁdence reposed in his team. The state leader of PATH2, Dr. Abubakar Isge, said considering the zeal and commitment by the present administration, DFID/ PATH2 had resolved to support the government in boosting healthcare services in the state.
THE NATION, SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 7, 2013
Obi’s aide invokes Zik’s, Ojukwu’s spirits n Nwanosike ONU, Awka n HE spirits of former President, late Dr Nnamdi Azikiwe, former Governor of the East Central State, Dr. Akanu Ibiam and that of late Dim Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu will hunt Ndigbo, if they fail to support the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA).This was the view of the Senior Special Adviser to Governor Peter Obi on Inter-party Affairs, Chief Ben Obi, who spoke with newsmen yesterday in Awka. According to Chief Obi, popularly known as Igwe of APGA, “Ndigbo will not be at peace if we do not come together under the umbrella of APGA, the way it was during the days of our fallen heroes. “Moreover, APGA should be a rallying point for the entire south east region. And if we do not use the party as our bargaining power in the country, we will continue to suffer.” Others heroes who would not be at rest in their graves, according to him, are Late Gen Aguiyi Ironsi, Major Chukwuma Nzeogwu, Dr Michael Okpara, Mbonu Ojike, Dr K.O Mbadiwe and Chief Sam Mbakwe among others. “What Governor Peter Obi has been able to do for the people of Anambra State should be emulated by the other governors. And if all the states in the south east are like Anambra, then what our heroes laboured for during the war will not be in vain.” He said that late heroes lost their lives ﬁghting the Igbo cause, and added that it would be ridiculous for the people not to support APGA in the area like the way other regions support their own.
Ozekhome: Group demands immediate release
EPPA Wanno Pyramid Club of Nigeria, a social cultural and non-political organization, has demanded for the immediate release of foremost lawyer and human rights activist, Chief Mike Ozekhome, SAN. The Club expressed its sadness over the ordeal the rights activist is being subjected to, and called on his abductors to release him unconditionally. The Club wondered why anybody or group of persons would abduct a man who is reputed to has staked his life and wellbeing for the good of the Nigerian masses, particularly during the military rule. "We join other well-meaning citizens of Edo State and indeed Nigeria in a very passionate appeal to the abductors of our great and beloved patriot, Chief Mike Ozekhome, to release him with immediate effect. “Chief Ozekhome, SAN is one man who has risked his life and comfort in the struggle to make Nigeria a better place. He fought among other people for the democracy we are all enjoying today and therefore deserves a better treatment.’’ As a human rights activist, Chief Ozekhome been has actively involved in championing issues and matters that affect the common man and the nation in general”, said the club in a statement signed by Michael Otu and Lucky Anya, president and publicity secretary respectively. The Club also called on the government and well-meaning individuals to create employment opportunities for the teeming youths in the country so that they can be gainfully employed.
Chime congratulates Prelateelect of Methodist Church
OVERNOR Sullivan Chime of Enugu state yesterday congratulated the newly-elected Prelate of Methodist Church Nigeria, the Most Rev Samuel Kalu Uche on his appointment. Chime, in a message signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Chukwudi Achife, described the elevation of Dr Uche who is the sitting Archbishop of the Diocese of Enugu, as a divine call to serve the nation and humanity with even greater vigour and devotion. The election, according to the governor, was a testimony to the conﬁdence reposed in the new Prelate's leadership qualities by the church. While wishing him a successful tenure, the Governor also congratulated the Church on the successful and peaceful conduct of the election.
•L-R: Governor Peter Obi of Anambra State; Minister of Agriculture, Akinwunmi Adesina; Deputy Speaker of Kenyan Senate, Kebi Gitura; the Speaker of Kenyan National Assembly, Justin Mutori and the Governor of Nairobi City County, Dr. Evans Kidero, during discussions between Nigerian and Kenyan ofﬁcials in Nairobi, during President Goodluck Jonathan’s state visit to Kenya.
Anambra PDP crisis worsens as members defect to APC, LP T HERE may not be an end in sight to the crisis rocking the Anambra State chapter of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), as members of the party continue to ﬁght over who to ﬂy the party’s banner in the November 16 governorship election in the state. It will be recalled that the Federal High Court sitting in Port Harcourt, on Wednesday, vacated the order recognizing one of the factional chairmen of the party, Ejike Oguebego and one of the governorship contenders, Sen. Andy Uba. The Party held parallel state primaries penultimate week at two different venues,
n Nwanosike ONU, Awka n
Emmaus House and Alex Ekwueme Square, where Uba and former President of National Association of Nigeria Students (NANS), Comrade Tony Nwoye, emerged as winners respectively. The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) insists that Uba remains the party’s candidate for the governorship election, while the national leadership of the party still see Nwoye as the party’s candidate. The crisis has created a
huge division in the party, as party members have started defecting to other political parties to support other candidates, especially the All Progressive Congress (APC). Some of them, who spoke with The Nation yesterday, said they are no longer comfortable with the development. However, sources within the party have revealed that most of the stakeholders have pitched their tents with Nwoye, maintaining that he is the party’s recognized candidate for the election. Speaking with The Nation,
one of the chieftains of the party, who pleaded anonymity, said, “We are at a cross road. Uba is still ﬁghting to grab the ticket, and Nwoye is also not letting off. “From the way things are going, PDP may not have any candidate for the November 16 governorship election. Not only that, Uba and Nwoye are ﬁghting each other dirty, while Prince Nicholas Ukachukwu is still unyielding. So, everything is complicated. “Some of our members have drifted to other parties like the APC to support Sen. Chris Ngige, while others have joined the Labour Party.”
Mudslide disaster: Community to be evacuated
LANS are underway to evacuate residents of Burrow Pit in Edim Otop along Atimbo in Calabar Municipality, Cross River State, following Tuesday’s mudslide that killed six members of one family, The Nation learnt yesterday. A top ofﬁcial of the Cross River State ministry of environment said that government had, over the years, warned residents of the area to evacuate but this time something “drastic” would be done. But he gave no indication that the affected persons would be compensated. An ofﬁcial of the Ministry of Lands who also pleaded not to be named the people were occupying the area
n Nicholas KALU, Calabar n illegally. It was gathered that the area in the 90s was a small ravine, but due to erosion and digging up of sand for building it had widened up to a very huge ravine. Later on in the mid-2000s, people started going down the ravine to set up structures and live. An ofﬁcial from the Ministry of lands said, people went down there and started building out of control. “The place is a gully for God’s sake, why would people want to go down there. There is no approval from the ministry no plan, nothing. People just went in there and started building not minding how dangerous
the place is,” he said. Forty-year Amos Akaniyene whose entire family was buried alive in the mudslide that rolled off the side of a ravine and collapsed on their house, which was at the bottom said he bought land in the area in 2010 for N550, 000. He lost six members of his family – his pregnant wife, three children between ﬁve to eight years old, his mother in law and sister in law. When The Nation visited the area it was observed that the ill-fated building was at the bottom of the ravine-like area, which rose like a wall just beside it. Several other houses it was observed were in the same position. Ndifereke Augustine was one of those who tried to
rescue the situation. He escaped death himself in the process as he was also buried when more mud came down from the hillside but managed to escape. He said they would only evacuate the area if government gives them another place to stay. David Nsemo, Vice chairman of Calabar Municipality, said people who were living in the area the unfortunate incident occurred were doing so illegally and calls have been made on them severally to leave the place as it was not safe. He also said several attempts to stop people from digging sand from the area had been to no avail and this was contributing seriously to erosion in the area.
Be good ambassadors of Nigeria, Obi tells Anambra indigenes in Kenya
NAMBRA State Governor, Peter Obi, has enjoined indigenes of the state living in Kenya to be good ambassadors of the state and of Nigeria. The governor made the call yesterday at the Intercontinental Hotel, Nairobi, Kenya, during the Nigerian-Kenya Business Forum, where he was invited by the Ministry of Trade and
Investment, because of his investment credentials. In a meeting with Anambra indigenes in Kenya, Obi said that the peripatetic nature of Igbos, especially the people of Anambra State, which made them to pursue businesses in all parts of the world, was a strong point which they must harness positively for the overall good of the state. He encouraged them to
think home at all times, and to always take seriously any business opportunity that would be of beneﬁt to Nigeria and Anambra State in particular. Explaining the investment climate at home, Obi said that Anambra State has seized to be a pariah state it used to be before he became governor, to a place people are now eager to invest because of enabling
environment created. “Today, we are proud host of many companies, such as SABMiller, Krisoral, Orange Drugs and Innoson Motors manufacturing Company. They are all adding value to the State”, he said. He called on them to support the Government of President Goodluck Jonathan, saying that he remained focussed and committed to the
Transformation Agenda. “Today, the South-East has an international airport. In fact, leaving Kenya tomorrow, I will land at the Enugu International Airport. Today, work on the Second Niger Bridge has started. The Federal Government has also committed billions of naira in tackling erosion in the south-east, among many other beneﬁts we are enjoying now, but could not
enjoy before Dr. Ebele Goodluck Jonathan became the president ”, Obi submitted. Speaking, Mr. Okoye Ambrose, said Anambra indigenes in Kenya were proud of Governor Obi. “Though some of us have not gone home for a long time, but we hear every day that the Governor is working even till now he has barely 6 months to go.”
THE NATION, SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 7, 2013
Commonwealth names INEC chair to observer mission
HE Chairman, Indepen dent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Professor Attahiru Jega, has been named by the Commonwealth Secretary-General, Mr. Kamalesh Sharma, to the multilateral body’s observer mission to today's presidential election in Maldives. Maldives is an island country located in the Indian Ocean. The 17-member observer mission, which is being led by former Prime Minister of Malta, Dr Lawrence Gonzi, arrived in the island country on Saturday, August 31, and will depart on Saturday, September 14.
The observer mission is mandated to independently measure the Maldives election against the International Declaration of Principles, make suggestions on how to strengthen the electoral framework and submit a report on the election to both the Commonwealth and the Maldives. The mission is further mandated to consider all aspects of the electoral process in the Maldives and assess their compliance with agreed standards for fair polling. The Maldives assignment indexes the growing regard of the world community for Nigerian electoral management.
•A cross section of the participants at the seminar
All Nigerians must be mobilised to embrace community policing —Experts
LL major stakeholders in the security of the nation have agreed that the entire citizens must be mobilized to embraced community policing as a measure to checkmate the incessant security problems plaguing the
country. The stakeholders, which included the Army, Navy, Police National Security and Civil Defence Corps, Senate Committee on Police Affairs, Police Assistance Committee
of Nigeria, among others, concluded at a seminar on national security held in Abuja that security in the country should be the re-
sponsibility of everyone. The forum was a one-day seminar/workshop on “Information/Intelligence Gathering to assist Security Agencies” organized by the Police
Jonathan approves new team for electricity management
RESIDENT Goodluck Ebele Jonathan has ap proved the creation of Electricity Management Services Limited (EMS) and its management team. The Deputy Director/Head of Press of the Federal Ministry of Power, Mr. Timothy Oyedeji, disclosed this in a statement yesterday. The statement described the approval as part of continued efforts to reposition the nation’s power sector in general and to ensure proper sectoral co-ordination of the various electricity chain services in particular. It noted that the new body has become expedient at this critical time as the power sector transits from public sector - led to a private sector driven one. Consequently, the Minister of Power, Professor Chinedu Nebo, will inaugurate the new management team on Tuesday, September 10 in Abuja. Their names are as follows: Managing Director/CEO, Engr. Peter Ewesor; Executive Director, Technical Ser-
John OFIKHENUA, Abuja
vices, Engr. Tukur M. Gidado; Executive Director, Human Resources and Corporate Services, Ms. Ikechi Clara
Nwosu; Executive Director, Commercial Services, Amb. Ayuba J. Ngbako; General Manager, Legal Services/ Company Secretary, Barr. Funke Sam-Stanford; General Manager, Finance & Ac-
counts, Oyinnemi Gbeworo, FCA; General Manager, Procurement, E.O. Adeniyi; General Manager, Public Affairs, Mr. Aneke Uche; General Manager, Audit, Tijani Baba; and General Manager,
Work begins on Apapa Amusement Park
HE Lagos State Govern ment yesterday got a De cember 2014 completion date commitment from Messrs Nars Limited, winner of the bid for the new Apapa Amusement Park. At a memorandum of understanding signing ceremony which took place in the presence of the chairman of the Lagos chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Otunba Oladele Ajomale, and other top officials of government, Nars Managing Director, Mr. Ibrahim Heider, assured government of his commitment to deliver "world class tourist destination latest December 2014 in appreciation of his selection. He said: "From the ashes of the old Amusement Park demolished in April last year, would emerge 13 amusement
Yinka ADERIBIGBE and entertainment rides for children and adults, gaming machines, cinema, gift shops, sewage, security and medical facilities that would meet international standard." According to him, the new park is projected to serve about 10,000 people monthly, with a daily patronage put at between 1,000 to 2,000, while it would have a parking lot that could cater for 1,000 vehicles daily. He assured Lagosians of the readiness of his company to bring back the old nostalgia of the Apapa Amusement Park, as no effort would be spared in making the place a real park to relax and recreate, have fun and regenerate. The Commissioner for Tourism and Inter-governmental
Relations, Mr. Disun Holloway, described the event as another significant milestone that underscores the success story of the Public-Private Partnership (PPP) in the state. According to him, government had to take the painful decision to demolish the old park in April 2012, after observing that all the equipment installed since 1975 when it was opened had become obsolete and no longer suitable for use. He said Nars Ltd, which emerged winner, came tops in a keenly contested process that saw six other companies bidding for the concessioning right to reconstruct, own and operate the park and obtained the governor's approval only after the process had been evaluated by the PPP office as well as the State Tenders Board (STB) in line with the laid down procedure.
Assistance Committee (PAC) in partnership with the Senate Committee on Police Affairs and other security agencies and which had in attendance representatives of the service chiefs from the Defence Headquarters. In the opening remarks, Senator Solomon Ewuga, who represented the Chairman, Senate Committee on Police Affairs, stressed the need to make national security the concern of every Nigerian. According to Senator Ewuga, security must start from self which makes it imperative for everyone to be security conscious at all times, adding that it must be appreciated when people and organizations, particularly nongovernmental organizations, express interest to assist in security matters. The Minister of Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Senator Bala Mohammed, speaking through a representative lamented that the nation was being confronted with security challenges, stating that giving information and intelligent gathering to assist our security agencies to prevent and combat crime should be key and paramount in the minds of every Nigerian. In his presentation, representative of Chief of Army Staff, Brigadier-General L. O. Adeosun, admonished all Nigerians to take security as
the business of every individual and not that of security forces alone. The Army chief faulted the level of patriotism and nationalism of most Nigerians which he said was grossly inadequate as not many people are thinking Nigeria. Speaking in the same vein, the representative of the Chief of Naval Staff, Commodore Elah Eno, stressed the importance of gathering information and intelligence through communal efforts to assist security agencies, adding that such information transmitted to the agencies would help to confront security challenges facing the country. In his own address, Director-General of the PAC, Dr. Martins Oni, re-emphasized that the PAC is purely a community policing organization as its modus operandi has always been mobilizing its members constituting tradesmen and artisans at the grassroots to gather information and intelligence to assist security agencies in preventing and combating crime throughout the country. Also represented at the seminar was the chairman of the Nigerian Union of Mines Workers Comrade Hamza Muh’d, called for better welfare package for law enforcement agencies through good salaries, good housing in their barracks, better retirement packages and life insurance policy in order to put in their best for security of the nation.
Marwa: Quintessential leader at 60 Continued from Page 9
others. He introduced the tricycle called Keke Marwa. He engaged area boys and girls in different ventures, teaching them new skills and paying their salaries. They turned good boys and girls during his tenure, becoming bakers, painters, horticulturists, road construction workers and so on. To his credit, the Eko Tourist Resort Centre, Akodo came into being. Throughout his stay in Lagos State, he never wore the mien of a militant person, yet with brilliance, determination, vision, milk of human kindness and fear of God won many battles without raising a stick. When the United Action for Democracy and a pro-General Sani Abacha group were spoiling for a showdown on a rally, same day in Lagos, Marwa drew a line on the sand and dared anyone to cross it. The vibrant Nigerian media fell in love with him for his outstanding performance. In his Cross Roads column in The Guardian of Sunday, May 17, 1998, Reuben Abati (now President Goodluck Jonathan’s Special Adviser on Media and Publicity) asked the then Head of State, Sani Abacha, to learn from his surbodinate, Marwa. He said and I quote: “Marwa is this administration’s most popular, most celebrated officer. I
am not one of his fans. I consider the man too much of a performer and a popularizer. His politics is rather syrupy. But in Lagos State, where the man is Military Administrator, he stands out. Serving in an administration and under a boss, that is constantly criticised, why does Marwa stand apart from the crowd? What makes him the saint in Abacha’s tainted administration? It is a contradiction that requires examination to provide us an insight into how one style can help condition and mediate public perception.” In the Nigerian Diet of Wednesday, September 3, 1997, a highly respected human rights crusader and legal luminary, Femi Falana (SAN), was reported to have said that Marwa was deliberately brought to Lagos State to make a point that in the military, there were good administrators. It is a ploy to sell General Abacha through Marwa to Lagosians. That is why the administrator has been going round to tacitly campaign for the Head of State.” Though he missed death by whiskers as the bomb placed near Sheraton Hotel failed to meeet its target (Marwa), this did not dampen his enthusiasm. Through Adekanola and Associates, a consortium of chatered accountants, he raised the Internaly Generated Revenue (IGR) to an appreciable level in Lagos State, so as to accomplish his projects without relying
on federal allocations.Though a devout Muslim, his administration provided funds for the building of a mosque and a church at Alausa Secretariat. When he handed over to his successor, Asiwaju Ahmed Bola Tinubu, on May 29, 1999 and a few months later, he was retired from the army, he and some of his foreign friends formed Albarka Airline. As the Chairman of Defence Industries Corporation of Nigeria (DICON) at Kaduna, he ensured that guns used in the military were manufactured locally. As an Ambassador of Nigeria in South Africa, his era witnessed a robust relationship with dignity and respect accorded to Nigerians who were hitherto treated with disdain. Though the scheming in the political turf did not allow his presidential ambition to materialise and his governorship ambition in Adamawa State is yet to succeed, Marwa, a chieftain of the newly registered All Progressives Congress (APC), who clocks 60 on Monday, is not a personality to be written off. One day, he will, by the grace of God and the goodwill of Nigerians, be able to re - enact what he did in Lagos State for Nigeria. •Ogunbambo was Chief Press Secretary to Marwa when he was Military Administrator of Lagos State from August 22, 1996 to May 29, 1999
THE NATION, SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 7, 2013
THE NATION SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 7, 2013
NIGERIAN STOCK EXCHANGE DAILY SUMMARY AS AT 2-08-13
High-cap stocks drag equities down
HE Nigerian stock market closed the week on a negative note as significant losses by several highly capitalised stocks skewed the market position to the downside. With the same number of gainers and losers, losses by market-leading stocks coloured the overall market situation, reversing the upbeat that raised the market momentum on Thursday. Aggregate market capitalisation of all equities closed yesterday at N11.591 trillion as against its opening value of N11.614 trillion, indicating a loss of N23 billion. The All Share Index (ASI), the common index that tracks all equities on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), slipped by 0.20 per cent from 36,476.30 points to 36,403.95 points. The decline depressed average year-to-date
Stories by Taofik Salako
return at the stock market to 29.65 per cent. The decline was due largely to losses recorded by large-cap stocks such as Unilever Nigeria, Dangote Cement, Lafarge Cement Wapco Nigeria, Nestle Nigeria, Stanbic IBTC Holdings, Ecobank Transnational Incorporated (ETI) and Union Bank of Nigeria (UBN). GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Nigeria topped the losers' list with a loss of N1.30 to close at N64. Unilever Nigeria and Dangote Cement dropped N1 each to close at N59 and N193 respectively. Lafarge Cement Wapco Nigeria lost 50 kobo to close at N92. Nestle Nigeria dropped by 90 kobo to N934.10. Stanbic IBTC Holdings lost 32 kobo to close at N17.72. ETI declined by 16 kobo to close at N14.10. UBN dwindled by 33
kobo to close at N10.66. CAP dropped by 28 kobo to N43.40 while Dangote Sugar Refinery lost 11 kobo to close at N10.49 per share. Dangote Cement is stock market's most capitalised stock while Nestle Nigeria is market's highest-priced stock. On the upside, Julius Berger Nigeria led the gainers with a gain of N3.20 to close at N74.70. Jos International Breweries followed with a gain of 42 kobo to close at N4.69. FBN Holdings rose by 30 kobo to close at N15.60. IHS garnered 24 kobo to close at N2.80. African Prudential Registrars (APR) chalked up 16 kobo to close at N2. Total turnover stood at 237.50 million shares valued at N2.83 billion in 4,270 deals. Transnational Corporation of Nigeria (Transcorp) was the most active stock with a turnover of 58.80 million worth N85.77 million in 180 deals. FBN Holdings placed second with a turnover of 19.87 million shares valued at N305.94 million in 500 deals. Zenith Bank recorded a turnover of 12.59 million shares worth N246.58 million in 210 deals.
DAILY SUMMARY AS AT 2-08-13
THE NATION SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 7, 2013
igeria is playing Malawi tomorrow (today). What will Nigerians be expecting from the team and you in particular? We know what Nigerians want in tomorrow’s game and we will give them what they want which is victory. We will go there and win the game. How prepared is the team now? As you can see, the team is well prepared for the match. We are just waiting for tomorrow which is match day. Malawians are talking tough ahead of the match. Do you see this as a threat to the team? I don’t see any team as a threat to Nigeria. What I know is that 90 minutes will decide the match. It took Nigeria last minute attempt to score in the last match played here in Calabar against Kenya. What are you guys doing to ensure that you will not labour before getting goals tomorrow? That is football for you. You cannot determine what time are you going to score goal. What is important is to score
Musa: We will beat Malawi 3-0 CSKA Moscow of Russia forward Ahmed Musa is confident Nigeria’s Super Eagles will hold their own against Malawi’s Flames in today’s 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifying match at the U.J.Esuene stadium, Calabar. The former Kano Pillars ace told NationSport’s Taofeek Babalola, Tunde Liadi and Uchenna Ajah at the team’s Transcorp Hotel base, Calabar that the team is battle ready for the crunchy tie. Excerpts: and win. Football is all about ninety minutes. You cannot say you can score in the first minute. What I know is that we are going to score and win the game by the grace of God. Nigerians are worried that the team has not been scoring more goals in recent times. What is your reaction to this? I don’t have anything to say about that what I know is that we are going to win the game against Malawi. Nigerians were not satisfied with the team’s performance at the FIFA Confederation Cup in Brazil. Majority of
Nigerians believed the team should have done better than what they did in Brazil. That was past tense. We are talking about the present tense and the present tense is the game against Malawi tomorrow. We don’t need to
talk about what has past at a time we are going for a crucial match. You ended the season with excellent performance with your club last season. You won everything with the club. This season too, you’ve
started on a bright note. What are the secrets behind all this? I can say the secret is hard work and prayers. Would you say the environment contributed to your performance; I mean allowed you to do what you
Eagles in high spirit—Kanu
X-INTERNATIONAL, Nwankwo Kanu, OON believes the Eagles are in high spirit ahead of today’s 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifier against the Flames of Malawi scheduled to hold at the U.J.Esuene Stadium in Calabar. The former Super Eagles captain, who will be at the stadium to cheer the team to victory, said his presence is to support, encourage and motivate the team to secure the all important victory. The two-time African Player of the year was skeptical of the score line, but believes the most important thing is the three maximum points at
By Akeem Lawal stake. The Atlanta 1996 Olympic gold medalist who expressed his view via his twitter handle on Friday, urge Nigerians to pray for the success of the team. “The spirit is high in the team and they can’t wait to do the job. Nigeria vs Malawi what do you predict? For me three points with any score. “Calabar is hot; the African champions are ready to fly. I am here to support and encourage and motivate them. Lets pray for them, three points no stopping”, he twitted.
Shorunmu tips Eagles to beat Malawi
UPER EAGLES’ Goalkeeper Trainer, Ike Shorunmu is confident of Eagles victory against Malawi in today’s match. The former Super Eagles goal tender is banking on the explosive performances of the players in the training sessions they have had so far since the Camp opened in Calabar “The mood and spirit in camp is great as for now. The players are displaying great performances in the training sessions and our expectation as the technical crew of the team is high with what we have seen so far. We only hope that the players will prove this on the pitch against the Malawi national team tomorrow (Saturday)”, Shorunmu told NationSport in Calabar yesterday. He also allayed fears on late arrival of some of the players which prevented the from having enough time to train. “As regards not getting enough training sessions as being feared in some quarters, I don’t believe this will constitute a problem since virtually all the players invited are not new players to us as the technical crew. So the problem of bonding and blending won’t be there. “Another good thing is that some of these players are playing day in day out for their various clubs since the start of the league in their various clubs in Europe and Nigeria. So these players are
From Segun Ogunjimi, Calabar very fit as being exhibited and displayed in the training sessions we have had so far. “I am using this medium to call for support for this team. We have the capacity and capability to beat Malawi tomorrow (today), but we won’t be able to do it all alone without the support and prayers of soccer loving Nigerians. “We are happy that the fans in Calabar are solidly behind us. I am confident that we won’t disappoint and we will emerge victorious tomorrow (today). We will beat Malawi to move to the final stage of the 2014 World Cup qualifier by the grace of Almighty Allah”, Shorunmu assured.
Ideye: Eagles need World Cup slot more than Malawi
•Accepts fans criticism
UPER EAGLES forward, Brown Ideye insists the Stephen Keshi tutoredside needs the 2014 FIFA World Cup ticket more than their Malawians opponent in today’s cracker at the U.J. Esuene, Calabar.
The Dynamo Kiev forward ace told NationSport that he was
Emenike, who has not featured for the Eagles since the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations in South Africa, said, "I cannot wait to explode in tomorrow's game. "I’m really looking forward to the game because I have missed the Super Eagles, my colleagues, the team and the fans. "We are in high spirit as you can see with the players in camp and we are battle ready. We know what is at stake, we need only a draw to qualify but we will be going for all three points." Emenike added: "We have
respect for the Malawians, but we know what we want. I just appeal to the fans to come out in numbers and paint the stadium green and white and I assure you they would not be disappointed." The Fenerbache striker last played for Nigeria in the semi-finals of the AFCON against Mali in Durban, where he picked up a longterm hamstring injury. He also missed the FIFA Confederations Cup in Brazil after he he suffered a longterm knee injury at Russian club Spartak Moscow.
From Taofeek Babalola, Tunde Liadi and Uchenna Ajah, in Calabar
Emenike eager to shine against Malawi
MMANUEL EMENIKE has told MTNFootball.com he cannot wait to explode in today's World Cup qualifier against Malawi.
are intended to do? For me, I can say environment played an important role in my performances last season. What is your target for the season? My target is to win the league again; and all the trophies available in Russian. You house was burgled by robbers? Yes, it was true that my house was burgled. How did it happen? I don’t want to talk about that now. It was past experience and I don’t want to say anything about that now. I want to be focused for tomorrow’s game. Hope it won’t affect your concentration for tomorrow’s game against Malawi? It won’t in anyway affect me for tomorrow’s game that is why I didn’t want to say anything about it. I am very focus. As I said earlier, we will go for total victory tomorrow. What is your prediction for tomorrow’s game? I can say we will beat Malawi 3-0 Is your family coming here to support you tomorrow? Calabar is too far. They can’t make it to this place. So they will watch at home. Recently you donated jerseys to your former club, Kano Pillars. What inspired you to do that? I came from there and I have to do that to show my appreciation to the club that made me. Are you still promising more to the team? Yes, I will still do more to Kano Pillars by the grace of God. Kano Pillars are on the verge of winning another Globacom League this season. They are leading the table with two points with nine matches remaining. It will be my joy to see Kano Pillars winning the league this season again. I know they are capable of doing that and I know they can achieve it with the kind of support receiving from the government and the club’s management. I wish them best of luck. Thank you Musa for talking to NationSport It is my pleasure.
looking forward to a great game even as he noted that football fans in the country are right to demand more from him. “It is the dream of every player to go to the world Cup. We are doing our best to realise the dream by qualifying for the World Cup in Brazil. I know by the grace of God we will achieve that. We will do our best to qualifying Nigeria as we need it more than the Malawi. “As for the fans and media criticism, I think they have been fair, they are doing their job like I am doing my job too. “I am doing my best for the team anytime I am on the field of play. I think the most important thing is the team not about me or anybody out there. “I have taken the criticisms as they come; I am not bothered about that. My concentration is for the team and how to give
my best to the team which I have vowed to do every time I get chance to play. Speaking further, the former Ocean Boys and Sochaux ace revealed that the Eagles are one happy family. “I will say yes, since the Africa Cup of Nations, we’ve been together as a one family; we’ve been like brothers and the relationship in the team is very cordial. We worked together to achieve what we are planning to achieve. God on our side, we will do great for the national team,” Ideye sounded off.
THE NATION SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 7, 2013
Enyeama, Mikel lead Eagles against Malawi
UPER EAGLES stand-in Captain Vincent Enyeama will today lead his team against the Flames of Malawi while influential midfield generalismo Mikel Obi will take full charge of proceedings from the midfield, this much NationSport gathered from the Eagles camp sources. In-form Real Betis midfielder, Nosa Igiebor, NationSport gathered is a hot contender to start ahead of Portugal based midfielder
•As Igiebor starts, Oduamadi, Ogu starts from the bench • Egwueke is only home based in the starting eleven From Segun Ogunjimi, Calabar John Ogu. Also, Ogu and Nnamdi Oduamadi have not helped their case of starting ahead Igiebor since both of them arrived on Thursday and have not had enough training sessions with the other players in the team. Also, unlike Moses who hit
Calabar camp early, Oduamadi did not, a reason why he would have to be on the bench while the newly recruited Liverpool wing attacker Moses starts today against the Flames of Malawi. Unlike before when the Super Eagles present at least three to four home based players in the starting eleven, only Warri Wolves Captain, Azubuike Egwueke is expected to start the match while Sunday Mba would be introduced later. Fenerbahce striker, Emmanuel Emenike as
expected will lead the attack of the Eagles while supplies would come from the wings from CSK Moscow pacy attacker Ahmed Musa and Liverpool new recruit Victor Moses. Eagles probable against Malawi: 1- Vincent Enyeama, 2- Efe Ambrose, 3- Elderson Echiejile, 4- Onaze Ogenyi, 5Godfrey Oboabona, 6Azubuike Egwueke, 7Ahmed Musa, 8- Nosa Igiebor, 9- Emmanuel Emenike, 10- Mikel Obi, 11Victor Moses
Malawi don’t fear Nigeria, says Malawi captain James Sangala
• M i k e l celebrates with teammates
ALAWI captain James Sangala says while the Flames have a lot of respect for the Super Eagles, they do not fear them. Sangala, 32, will lead the team out against Nigeria in a 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifier on Saturday and insists that fear will only hold them back. “Obviously, Nigeria are African champions and have to respect that. We have respect for them but we don’t fear them,” Sangala told KickOffNigeria.com. “Fear is the enemy of success, so we have taken the fear out of us. “We have been preparing for this game for a long time and we know what we have to do.” Rank outsiders going into the game, Sangala is happy to wear the underdog tag. “Every eye will be on Nigeria. And that takes a little
Enyeama confesses: Eagles know what Nigeria will win and UPER EAGLES is at stake that Malawi will lose,’ Enyeama goalkeeper, Vincent said.
Enyeama insists the Stephen Keshi tutored-side will play with their hearts to get a deserving victory against the Flames of Malawi in today’s 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifying match at the U.J.Esuene Stadium, Calabar. The Lille of France shotstopper told NationSport at the team’s Transcorp Hotel base that squad members are aware of the importance of
From Taofeek Babalola, Tunde Liadi and Uchenna Ajah, in Calabar
the game and will not take anything for granted. ‘For me, everybody in the team knows what is at stake for the match. We are not praying to lose the game. We will go there to win the game. My prediction of the match is
The former Enyimba FC of Aba goal tender, who has don 80 caps for the national team, hinted that he feel honour to stand in for Joseph Yobo as the Eagles’ captain. ‘’It is a big honour for me to stand in for Joseph Yobo. He is a good friend and wonderful person. It is a prestige for me to step into his shoes.’’
AMUNEKE TO EAGLES
Don’t disappoint Nigerians •Says players should count themselves lucky to represent nation
X-INTERNATIONAL Emmanuel Amuneke has urged the Super Eagles to make Nigerians proud with empathic victory against Malawi in today’s 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifying match at the U.J.Esuene Stadium, Calabar Amuneke, who was part of the ’94 squad that got the first ever World Cup tickets for the nation at the USA 94, advised Eagles not to underrate their opponents. ‘For Malawi to be at this stage, it means they are as good as the Eagles too. We should not neglect them. We should respect them and be prepared for the game. The most important thing is to get the draw or win the game. Qualifying to the next stage of the competition is very
From Taofeek Babalola, Tunde Liadi and Uchenna Ajah, in Calabar important. ‘’At this stage of our football, the boys need to be more serious in what they are doing. They must know the reason why they are here. They must count themselves lucky to wear the Green and White jersey. Out of over 150 million Nigerians, you are called to represent your country; it is a pride and they should honour that pride and make people proud. A lot of people will come to the stadium on Saturday and they should not disappoint them.’’ The Golden Eaglets assistant coach also admonished the team not to drag themselves with mind games with
•Amuneke Malawians. ‘For me, the Eagles should not drag themselves in mind games with Malawi. Malawi are trying to unsettle Eagles with their mind game. Every coach, every team always comes up with mind games to distract their opponents. It now depends on how prepared the team is ahead of the game. Eagles should be ready for the game. ‘There have been lots of words between Keshi and the Malawi coach. It is Saturday’s results that will determine the best side.’’
bit of pressure away from us,” he said. “Obviously, the Nigerians are used to this but they will still be under pressure. We have accepted to wear this jacket of underdogs and I know that they know it is dangerous to undermine us,” he added.
Nwofor: Eagles will play as a team
C Heerenveen of Holland forward, Uche Nwofor says today’s 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifying match against the Flames of Malawi will be by collective efforts. The Super Eagles new-kid on the block, who scored a brace in Nigeria 2-0 win over South Africa’s Bafana Bafana in last month’s Mandela Challenge friendly, told NationSport that Eagles victory on Saturday won’t be on individual player. ‘We will play like a team against Malawi on Saturday. We
From Taofeek Babalola, Tunde Liadi and Uchenna Ajah, in Calabar hope to get victory as a team. The game is not about individual player but the team. It is important to play as a team and win the game together as a team. I know it is not going to be an easy game because every nation now wants to play the African champions. I know Malawi will come out fighting but we will get the victory by God’s grace, “he said.
Go for early goals, Ejidike charges Eagles
ILLAR of Sports in Nigeria, Chief Donatus Ndubuisi Agu Ejidike has urged the Super Eagles of Nigeria to target scoring early goals against the Flames of Malawi when both teams clash in the 2014 World Cup qualifier at the U.J.Esuene Stadium, Calabar today. In a chat with NationSport, Ejidike who is also the President, Karate Federation of Nigeria, believes scoring early goals will relieve the team of unnecessary pressure that normally characterise such an important match. Ejidike reiterated the confidence Nigerians have in the technical ability of coach Stephen Keshi-led technical crew and the players which he said must be rekindled to beat loquacious Malawians. Nigeria need only a draw in Saturday's clash to progress into the 10-team final elimination round of the African series for the 2014 FIFA World Cup finals in Brazil and Ejidike urged the Eagles not to underrate their opponent who might be in for a shocker. “This is an important match and Eagles are aware of that. They
By Akeem Lawal should relax and play their game. Since they are playing at home, they should try to score early goals. Scoring goals in the early part of the game will no doubt give them more confidence and at the same time relieve them of unnecessary pressure. “I believe the Malawians too have their game plan mapped out, but if our team play the way they played in their recent international friendly against South Africa in the Mandela Challenge, definitely there won’t be any upset. “However I want to appeal to football fans who will be cheering the team on Saturday to support them for the whole 90 minutes even if the goals are not coming early enough. We should avoid giving our team unnecessary pressure because winning this game in very important for us to move to the final round. We should all support them so that we all can achieve our objective collectively.”
Eagles must whip Malawi silly •Countinued from back page
these ideas such that cash to implement his thoughts are released to athletes. Gaiya has this tendency of playing to the gallery. There is nothing wrong with that, if he can back his claims with facts. Gaiya wants to rock the boat again by stating that the NFF must pay the players $10,000 to beat Malawi. I hope he knows that the Malawians would be paid $500 if they beat Nigeria. Ordinarily, it wouldn't cost the Malawians to promise their players $10,000, knowing that such a feat won't happen. The Malawians haven't done that because they don't have the cash to back such outlandish promises. This is the point that Gaiya must understand, beyond playing the nice guy that he wants the players to perceive him. NFF is cash strapped. I don't know of any legislation by Gaiya and his cotravellers in the National Assembly to encourage the government to provide waivers for firms that support sports. Even if there is, Gaiya needs to focus his attention on ensuring that such novel ideas are implemented. In other climes, efforts would have been made by the Gaiya-led body to visit firms to support sports. Visits by such policy making unit will instill confidence in the corporate world to identify with sports. I would have been excited if Gaiya had told us that his committee has gotten a firm to pay more than $10,000 per player without recourse to government cash. Gaiya must learn to be a team player. Smacking the NFF or deriding our sports administrators raises the question of the role of his committee in prospecting for sports at the National Assembly. Good riddance! Change produces new ideas. But when changes don't bring some freshness, the smart way forward is to discard such innovations. The biggest news from the National Sports Commission (NSC) is the scrapping of an ill-informed concessioning of some sports. I deliberately retained the headline - "concession my foot" because the last time I wrote on this issue with the headline, I was called names. Rather than look at my suggestions, I was maligned by those who introduced it. The truth is for any sport to be considered for the concession plan, it has to be popular and have a large followership. No sponsor will splash cash on a sport that has few followers. Any attempt to bankroll a sport with empty stands amounts to winking in the dark. One thing about the Bolaji Abdullahi-led NSC is that it doesn't shirk from taking key decisions. He could also find a way round the concession theory. Perhaps, the NSC needs to shop for technocrats with the pedigree of revamping moribund companies to run some of the designated sports. In asking for those sports to be concessioned, what the eggheads at the National Sports Commission (NSC) ought to have done was to visit those firms that bankrolled those games to return. They should have guaranteed those firms some tax waivers. They should also have allowed the firms' nominees to run the show themselves since the general reason why they pulled out was because there wasn't proper accountability of the cash pumped into such federations. Chief Molade Okoya-Thomas has singlehandedly bankrolled a table tennis competition for over 43 years. Sponsors fell over one another in the golden era of the game. The mood in the sports hall was always electrifying, with the spectators cheering ceaselessly, as players exhibited their skills. No sponsor would stop exploiting such platforms especially, if their goods are the consumables. The feel good setting that comes with watching the fans sip from sponsors' products on television is unquantifiable. It must be stated here too that our sports didn't lack sponsorship in the past. The administrators of yore were honest. They spent the cash on what it was earmarked for. They organised competitions that compelled sponsors to advertise their products. They accounted for the cash spent and introduced innovations that made the events exciting. Adequate funding will come when federations' boards are made up of credible people. The presence of men and women of integrity in these boards will restore confidence on those who want to commit cash to such sports. Good leadership is infectious. It propels all other components of the sport to always produce their best. It elicits discipline within the rank and file of such federations. It reduces suspicion among members, athletes and coaches because they trust their leaders.
TOMORROWPUNCHLINE IN THE NATION
SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 7, 2013 TRUTH IN DEFENCE OF FREEDOM VOL.7, NO. 2599
t different times, Africa’s biggest demo cratic farce had come to be known as People Deceiving People, Papa Deceiving Pikin and other sundry crowd-sourced emblems of mischief. Presently, there is more to the intriguing drama which played out during and after last Saturday’s Special Convention of the Peoples Democratic Party than the laughable antics of some court jesters battling to outdo one another in the craze to daze President Goodluck Jonathan and his wife with benumbing flattery. Aside the grave injury that was inflicted on protocol by a number of the moderators and those invited to the podium to make one speech or the other, it was refreshing watching the President acknowledging, first, the presence of his loving wife in a gathering where the Vice President, the President of the Senate, the Speaker of the House of Representatives and his Deputy were officially seated! Well, I guess all this would naturally pale into insignificance on a day the much-talked about implosion of the PDP became manifest with the walkout staged by seven of its governors and other powerful forces. It was a day reality dawned on those who had thought that, as long as it was the PDP, the farcical contraption can always walk away with daylight murder! It was the behemoth’s moment of sobriety after 15 years of political brigandage and sheer arrogance of power. It’s really pointless asking when and how the PDP came to this point of no return. Every other person saw the looming danger except the gang of its apparatchiks living on delusion of grandeur and a myth that the selfproclaimed Africa’s largest political party is licensed to rule ad-infinitum. In fact, one of its serially deposed chairmen once proclaimed that it would tenaciously hold on to power for 60 years despite the successive electoral heists being systematically perpetrated to force its mostly lacklustre representatives on the nation. With that background in mind, no one should blame its embattled National Chairman, AlhajiBamangaTukur, for celebrating too early at Saturday’s convention that the date, August 31, was significant because it marked the 15th anniversary of the formation of the party. How could Tukur have known that fate was out to play a cruel one on him? In a twist of fate, the epochal date has now turned out to signpost the beginning of the end for the party. For a man who is eminently qualified to be called one of the grandfathers of the PDP, we must pardon him for reading treachery to the walkout that was hatched by one of Nigeria’s leading political warhorse, former Vice President AtikuAbubakar and other party chieftains. For Tukur, it was disrespectful and un-African for these younger elements to disown a grey-haired man in the public. The irony is that the split came on a day when Jonathan adroitly played the leading role in singing the opposite of what should
Like the issue of law enforcement, educating and training the Nigerian child to the point that he or she can feel safe, self-confident, emboldened to express his or her opinions and live by the wish of the majority in a competitive global environment requires more than expressions of commitment to the promotion of a knowledge society in the country.
With Yomi Odunuga
E-mail:yomi.odunuga @thenationonlineng.net SMS only: 07028006913
Pikin Disowns Papa…
•Jonathan have been a dirge for the ‘wonderful achievements’ of the party in 15 years. He did not just dwell on the ‘transformational breakthroughs’ that have been recorded by his administration and which one of his loyal governors linked to the rampant cases of mistaken identity where most Nigerians now find it difficult to know the difference between our cities and Washington DC. He also spent ample time to remind the delegates about the principles and democratic ethos that stood the party out of the crowd. He itemised those things as including party cohesion, discipline, party supremacy, internal democratic principles, internal discipline and a fortress of family virtues. His 37-minute address did not end without firing some darting shots at clueless (yes, clueless) opposition parties that had long fizzled with the wind. Listen to him: “Only the PDP has retained its singular identity and core vision as a political movement till date, while others have imploded along the way or subsumed their identity in search of po-
litical direction and relevance. The PDP is one big family and we are here for a family meeting. We must utilise our strength for the benefit of our immense followership and the generality of Nigerians that look up to us for inspiration and guidance. We cannot afford to let them down.”Hmnn! Well, it turned out that the President’s speech was an ‘inspiring’ epitaph for a party reeling in a bout of self-inflicted crisis. The symbolic umbrella couldn’t just take it anymore. Umbrella don break o! It has been ripped apart. The funny thing is: while the PDP gloated on and on about how other parties had fallen by the way due to a total lack of internal democracy, it woefully failed to look itself in the mirror. And if the truth must be told, the party seems to thrive on treachery right from the time Senator Barnabas Gemade was whisked off the chairmanship chair and supplanted with Chief AuduOgbeh by former President Olusegun Obasanjo. It was at that period that the wily old fox ingeniously created the ‘family affairs resolution mechanism’ which essentially operated at his whim. With a mixture of blackmail, crude deployment of presidential power and a harvest of betrayals, the party became a mere appendage of Aso Rock. He wielded the big stick with crude force. Atiku, who was the leader of the renegades that walked out on Jonathan and Tukur, was hounded out of the party. Many of its founding members were also sent into early retirement from party politics. With intrigues, deadly scheming and a schism of political undercurrents, the much-touted supremacy of the party was subsumed under the power of the President. While every discerning eye was quick in crying blue murder, successive leadership of the party would rather visualise the latent danger as democracy in progress. So much for deceit! The datelines preceding the imminent implosion last Saturday are too numerous to list on this page. With his experience, Tukur should have known that he was sitting on a keg of gun powder. But, like many others, he
— Ropo Sekoni
was sold to the soporific allure of power. It was his belief that power, which is the commonality of interest that has brought the members together, should be enough inducement to keep everybody on line. That, to my infantile mind, is a neophyte’s approach to politics. He was clearly an outsider to the power game and obviously pushed his luck too far by assuming that, as chairman backed by Jonathan, he could pocket the party’s long over-indulged governors. That, more than anything else, was responsible for the implosion. Even Obasanjo, with all his brashness and hot temperament, knew when to apply the brakes. So, what makes Tukur exceptional? Today, Tukur is reaping the sore fruits of his treachery in connivance with Jonathan. By the way, has he forgotten so soon that he was foisted on the party by the Presidency even when all the governors in his geo-political zone had openly canvassed for someone else? In a genuine search for peace, the first official that ought to be called to order is Tukur. He is not just part of the problem but the real problem. And, in deference to the wide ranging consultations to patch-up the cracks and bring all aggrieved persons back to the family table, Tukur needs to understand that his riotous outburst can only deepen the crisis. He must be told by his backers, no matter how powerful they may be, that the PDP is not an extension of Tukur&Tukur Nigeria Limited where he assumes full control. If he had not played to the gallery by trying to whip some state chief executives into line and shutting them out, the party wouldn’t have been torn down the middle. His fit of rage is, to say the least, pedestrian. He is merely blowing a hot air that hurts no one but himself. He is not in a position to order the security forces to arrest aggrieved party members or elected lawmakers who are exercising their democratic rights. Or is that his interpretation of internal democracy where the aggrieved is made to swallow his grief with dignified silence? Instead of huffing and puffing, Tukur should reflect on the grave consequences of children publicly disowning their father. Having spent a major part of his tenure reconciling these forces without much success, what exactly has he been doing wrong that the party keeps being submerged in chaos? That is the question a father should ask himself. With all I have done to train these children and the sacrifices I have made, why should my own blood disown me? Or is he too big a father to retrace his steps to the period when the rain started beating him? In history, it has always been the fate of mighty but decadent empires to fall as a result of implosions within – even, when no external force could assail them. Sadly for Tukur, as they say in Hausa, “Lemayapeche”, the umbrella is broken. Does he have the capacity to mend it?
Ade Ojeikere on Saturday firstname.lastname@example.org 08111813079 - sms only
RDINARILY, the game between Nige ria and Malawi in Calabar ought to be the lead discussion in this column today. Not so. Malawi are minnows in global football. And if Nigeria wants to be counted as a soccer nation, matches against countries such as Malawi should be a piece of cake, irrespective of the squad (Europebased or home-based) that we parade. It is on this premise that I want to assume that Nigeria will whip Malawi silly, given the pedigree of our players in Europe and the Diaspora. Super Eagles players should bash the Malawians groggy with goals, if they must assert themselves as African champions. The Eagles must stop the Malawians from the blast of the referee's whistle. An avalanche of goals will suffice to warn any country wishing to be our next foes in the last stage of the 2014 World Cup qualifiers to surrender as soon as the draws are made next week. A convincing victory will silence their loquacious coach. Tom Saintfiet has stirred the hornet's nest with his mind games. Saintfiet's antics have captured a casualty in Stephen
Eagles must whip Malawi silly
Keshi, who must prepare soon his defence for Zurich, Switzerland at FIFA's headquarters. But I'm sure that Keshi won't need to visit FIFA's headquarters, if the Eagles beat the Malawians silly today. If that happens, we can seize the friendly atmosphere at the postmatch conference to get Keshi to apologise to Saintfiet. After Keshi's post-match apology, we should get Saintfiet to assure the international media that he won't press for further sanctions against Keshi, in the interest of peace. If I were a photographer, my first shot would be Saintfiet's reaction, when he meets with Keshi inside the UJ Esuene Stadium in Calabar. I urge Keshi to swallow his pride and walk up to the Belgian to apologise. No one should sacrifice Keshi on the altar of neutrality. Keshi is our best and must reap the fruits of his labour by directing the Eagles' affairs from the sidelines, if we eventually qualify for the 2014 World Cup slated to hold in Brazil. The Big Boss shouldn't listen to those who think that there is nothing FIFA can do. I'm
not interested in what FIFA can do or not. My concern is for the good of the Nigerian game since our young boys need the national teams to blossom under a coach, which is what Keshi has shown us with his feats since November 2012 when he was employed. I'm sure Keshi would have been told by his employers NFF that they have received FIFA's letter on the issue. Saintfiet is a gentleman. His grouse with Nigeria rests with the uncanny manner in which he lost the country's technical director job. But he knows that cannot be the end for him with Nigeria. In the event that Keshi sticks to his gun, the NFF must seize the platform of the postmatch dinner that the Cross River state governor is to organise to get Saintfiet and Keshi to talk the brouhaha over. That post-match party could also be used to compel Keshi to mend fences with Saintfiet in conjunction with the Malawi FA chiefs. Keshi must lead us to the 2014 World Cup. We need to keep Keshi busy through refresher courses or allow him to understudy any foreign coach whose style of play he wants to adopt for the Eagles.
There will always be a lacuna in our preparations for the next stage of the qualifiers. I won't be surprised if Keshi tells us after the game that he wants to head for California for a deserved rest. He would be granted but when he goes, there won't be a plan until we draw a big country such as Cameroon as our next foes. A calculated plan must be instituted to get Keshi fully prepared for the 2014 World Cup. Our players have shown capacity to compete and excel over other nationals. What we should do is to make sure that our coach enjoys this advantage by ensuring he is not idle at any point leading to the World Cup matches in Brazil. Good luck Keshi, good luck Super Eagles. Up Nigeria! No Gaiya no! House of Representatives Chairman on Sports Godfrey Gaiya wants the industry to grow, albeit through improving the welfare of the athletes. He has lofty ideas for the industry but what he lacks is the will power to push through
•Continued on Page 63
Published and printed by Vintage Press Limited. Corporate Office: 27B Fatai Atere Way, Matori, Lagos. P.M.B. 1025, Oshodi, Lagos. Telephone: Switch Board: 01-8168361. Marketing: 01-8155547, Abuja Office: Plot 5, Nanka Close AMAC Commercial Complex, Wuse Zone 3, Abuja, Tel/07028105302 Port Harcourt Office: 12/14, Njemanze Street, Mile 1, Diobu, PH. 08023595790 `Website: www.thenationonlineng.net E-mail: email@example.com ISSN: 115-5302 Editor: DELE ADEOSUN