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N5,000 note Our patriarchs' stature has been diminished

Kinsmen PAGE of Balewa, 19 Zik, Awo

Privatisation PAGE 8 Ex-Power Minister Nnaji's partners lose out Panel rejects firm's bid for Afam Power Station NCP meets Thursday

Nigeria’s widest circulating newspaper

VOL.07 N0. 2242

TRUTH IN DEFENCE OF FREEDOM

SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 8, 2012

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Boko Haram sets governor's mother-in-law's house ablaze ACF to sect: Enough is enough JTF kills seven sect members PAGES 59&60

Boko Haram: We're responsible for attacks on telecom facilities Federal High Court stalls Salami's suit Court records not yet sent PAGE

Police delay Cynthia's burial over autopsy ...decline release of body Outpouring of PAGES emotions at funeral 4&5

Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers: Eagles battle Liberia in Monrovia

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Why we went ahead with rites —Father PAGE

Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan of Delta State consoling Mrs Joy-Rita Nkem Osokogu, mother of the late Cynthia Osokogu when the governor and his wife paid the family a condolence visit at Boji Boji Owa, Ika North-East LGA, Delta State... yesterday. Inset: The late Cynthia

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2 NEWS

THE NATION, SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 8, 2012

Rainstorm wreaks havoc on Minna •Claims lawyer’s life

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•Corps Public Education Officer, Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC), Jonas Agwu (middle); his deputy, Bisi Kazeem (left) and Head, Programme Unit, FRSC, Joyce Alexander during a press briefing on Monthly Nationwide Awareness Campaign Startegy by the commission in Abuja... yesterday. Photo: Abayomi FAYOSE

30-minute stormy rain on Thursday night wreaked havoc in Minna, Niger State, killing a lawyer and injuring a woman and two children. It also damaged three cars, submerged houses and business centres, washed off roads, uprooted trees, smashed roof tops of houses and pulled down fences. The lawyer, Mr. Joseph Kolo of Albarika Chambers, was killed in his car on Bosso Road when a big tree uprooted by the wind crushed him in his car. Kolo, until his death, the le-

FG, oil marketers reach truce on subsidy payments, supply of products T HE Federal Government and major oil marketers yesterday reached a truce on the payment of subsidy and uninterrupted supply of products to all parts of the country following the hiccup in the supply chain over the last few days. The two parties emerged from an emergency meeting in Abuja with a pledge that full supplies of products will resume on Monday. They also advised the public against panic buying. The meeting was convened by government to avert a nationwide fuel scarcity that was building up. At the talks, presided over by the Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, were top executives of the major oil companies. Okonjo-Iweala described the discussions as “constructive”, saying the queues being experienced in parts of the country would soon be over. The meeting, according to her, discussed the grey areas of the fuel subsidy payment with a view to reaching a common ground on the issues at stake. She said: “We have been seeing headlines back and forth on what marketers have been saying with what the federal government is paying; what is happening with regards to the issue of fuel availability in the country. And we have brought marketers for you to get their comments on some of these issues and the way forward.” The General Manager, Folawiyo Energy Ltd, Mr.

Fuel subsidy scam: EFCC declares three marketers wanted

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HREE oil marketers implicated in the multi-million naira fuel subsidy scam were yesterday declared wanted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). AbdulAfeez Olarenwaju Olabisi of Fargo Petroleum and Gas Limited; Abubakar Peters Ali Jeldi, Managing Director, Nadabo Energy Limited; and Ikechukwu Onuabuchi Nworgu of Star Inspection Services Nigeria Limited are wanted for “offences bordering on criminal conspiracy, forgery, obtaining money by false pretence and money laundering running into several billions of naira.” According to the Head of Media and Publicity of the commission, Mr. Wilson Uwujaren, the trio “allegedly obtained billions of naira as subsidy payments from the Petroleum Support Fund under false pretence and disappeared in the wake of the commission’s investigation of the subsidy regime.” The commission asked the public for information about their whereabouts. Such information could be made available to the commission’s offices in Enugu, Kano, Lagos, Gombe, Port Harcourt and Abuja or through any of these numbers: 09-4604620, 07026350721,070-26350722,070-26350723,0706350724, 070-26350725; or by e-mail to: info@efccnigeria.org or the nearest Police Station.” Nduka CHIEJINA (Assistant Editor) Dipo Makanjuola, told reporters at the end of the meeting that most of the outstanding issues had been re-

Yusuf ALLI, Managing Editor, Northern Operation A reliable source said: “When we started investigation into the subsidy scandal, these three suspects were invited for clarifications on funds collected without any trace of fuel imports. “But instead of honouring our invitation, they ran out of the country. No one can locate their whereabouts now. “We are, however, determined to track them down anywhere with the support of international security agencies.” The EFCC in a statement described the suspects as follows: “Olabisi, 31, hails from Kwara State and speaks Yoruba, Hausa and English languages fluently. His last known address is Fargo Petroleum and Gas Limited. “Jeldi, 34, is of the Igala stock from Kogi State, North Central Nigeria. He speaks his native Igala, Hausa and English languages fluently. His last known address are 4B Louis Solomon Close, Victoria Island, Lagos and 15 Ogbunike Street, Lekki, Lagos. “Nworgu, 46, hails from Abia State. He speaks Igbo and English fluently. His last known address is Star Inspection Services Nigeria Limited, 4A, Lander Close, Off Liverpool Road, Apapa, Lagos .”

solved. He said: “We had a very constructive discussion and we have laid bare what our challenges are and she has also explained to us on the part of government what their commitments would be.

“At the moment, there is a verification exercise going on by a firm of auditors, and this would be completed by next week after which payments would be made.” He said both parties agreed on the outstanding amount to

be paid and were “on the same page and we hope that subsequently we can move from there and will continue to support government in this challenge.” The Federal Ministry of Finance said recently that a total of N259.339 billion had been paid to marketers between 2011 and 2012. It said some claims were settled before substantive implementation of the AigImoukuede Committee’s report which led to the suspension of payments of all 2012 claims to oil marketers under investigation for serious infractions. It added that of the sum of N78.9 billion paid so far under this category, N34.6 billion was paid on Wednesday, August 22, 2012 following a thorough process of claims verification. It pointed out that this is in line with the commitment of the Federal Ministry of Finance to continue payment to marketers whose papers have been processed and cleared. Present at the meeting were the Chairman, Presidential Committee on the verification of fuel subsidy, Mr. Aighogbe Aig-Imoukhuede, the Managing Director, NIPCO, Mr. Venkaphaty; the Chief Executive Officer Oando Marketing Plc, Mr Yomi Awobokun; the Managing Director Total Nigeria Plc, Mr Francois Boussagol, among others.

Jide ORINTUNSIN, Minna gal adviser to Congress for Progressives Change (CPC) in the state, was about entering an estate opposite his chambers when he met his untimely death. “By the time sympathisers rushed to rescue him, he was dead,” an eye witness said. It took the sympathisers almost two hours to cut the tree into pieces with an industrial saw. The Chairman of the Nigeria Bar Association (NBA), Minna Branch, Mr.Jonathan Taidi, who lives on the estate, described Kolo’s death as shocking and terrible. He said: ‘’We were on the phone before the incident and we planned to meet after the rain. But the meeting never took place. I only found him trapped and crushed under the heavy weight of the tree.’’ At Saiko area of the city, providence saved two children, Ismaila Ibrahim (8) and his younger sister, Rabi (4), from death after the wall of their house fell on them while sleeping during the downpour. They were rushed to the General Hospital, Minna, where they were admitted at the intensive care unit of the hospital. Another woman, whose name was given simply as Suewra, had her shoulder dislocated by the debris that fell on her in her room at Anguwa Daji area of the city. The windy rainfall also pulled down a mango tree near the police headquarters at Dusen Kura area. The tree smashed two cars parked near it. The roof top of a popular hotel on the same Bosso Road was ripped off by the rain while several trees at the Commissioners’ Quarters were similarly uprooted, falling on electricity distribution lines and destroying many buildings and structures in the area. Roads leading to Fadipe, Dutsen Kura Gwari and Gbegannu areas were washed away by the rain with residents cut off from home while business centres on the Eastern bye-pass, opposite Engineer Abdulkadir Kure Market, were either submerged or washed away.

2015: South-South leaders are deceiving you, CPC, ANPP, SNG tell Jonathan

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NGRY reactions from many parts of the country yesterday greeted Thursday’s endorsement of President Goodluck Jonathn for a second term by the South South Peoples Assembly (SSPA). Ijaw leader, Chief Edwin Clark; former Edo State governor, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun; former Bayelsa governor, Chief Diepreye Alamieyeseigha; first cililian governor of Delta State, Olorogun Felix Ibru and some serving governors from the zone resolved unanimously at the Effurun, Delta State meeting that President Jonathan deserves another term in 2015. But the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC), All Nigerian Peoples Party (ANPP) and Save Nigeria Group (SNG) dismissed the endorsement as a waste of time.

•Campaigners are sychophants, says Umar •It does not bother me –Atiku Gbenga Omokhunu, Abuja Augustine AVWODE, Emmanuel OLADESU, Tony AKOWE, Kaduna, Gbade OGUNWALE, Abuja and Odogwu Emeka ODOGWU, Nnewi

Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar said he was not bothered by the decision while a former military governor of Kaduna State, Col. Abubakar Umar (rtd), called the campaigners sycophants. To the Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF), the endorsement constitutes a distraction while the Chairman, South East Economic Commission Steering Committee Board, Engr. Chris Okoye, said the country has too many problems to solve now than endorsement. CPC National Publicity Sec-

retary, Rotimi Fashakin, in an interview, said: “Truly, intra-regional interaction is good as a platform for galvanising the ambience for incredibly unimaginable development. However, it is odious and utterly irresponsible when such meetings are used for unduly overheating the political firmament within the polity. “With the array of eminent Nigerians present, comprising of past and serving leaders in the Nigerian state, it is utterly inconceivable that the endorsement of Dr Goodluck Jonathan for the 2015 election should be on the agenda in 2012. It was, at best, ill-advised, fawning and inflammatory! “Do these South-South leaders desire a better Nigerian polity with their pugnacious stand?

The drum beats of the politicking for America’s presidential election scheduled for November, 2012 started getting audible only a few months ago! “Are these SS leaders saying that the Nigerian state exists for elections alone? We just had one election last year, and the winner has not given the citizenry hope with his performance thus far. On the contrary, the performance of the Jonathan regime has been fumbling, wobbling and bumbling. “What is the cogent, tangible and positive change that his presidency has effected on the Nigerian polity? Undoubtedly, that call is borne out of the hypocritical and fawning posturing of these leaders. Where were these SS leaders when leaders of the nation (from other geo-po-

litical zones) picked the gauntlet in ensuring the proper transition of VP Goodluck Jonathan to Acting President Goodluck Jonathan? At that time, Gen. Muhammadu Buhari delivered a letter to the Nigerian Senate, urging the upper legislative chamber to recognise the then VP as Acting President. The National Publicity Secretary of the ANPP, Hon. Emma Eneukwu, said: “The SouthSouth leaders are deceiving President Goodluck Jonathan to run in 2015. They were hired to gather and decide it is Jonathan for 2015 or nobody. You and I know that development in the country shows that Nigerians will not support that and Nigerians are tired of Jonathan. “The South-South leaders are causing more problems for

Jonathan. Jonathan should not try running in 2015 because he promised Nigerians to leave that position in 2015. “How can a President who could not deal with corruption and corrupt practices be allowed to continue in 2015? Jonathan should concentrate on governance and forget about 2015. Jonathan has disappointed so many Nigerians based on governance.” Spokesman for Save Nigeria Group (SNG), Mr. Yinka Odunmakin, said: “The SouthSouth leaders are not serious. Are they talking about the person who has just spent two years and nothing to show for it? Jonathan has made the country worse than he met it. The South-South leaders do not mean well for Nigeria.” •Continued on Page 6


THE NATION, SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 8, 2012

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4 NEWS

THE NATION, SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 8, 2012

Police stall Cynthia's burial over autopsy •Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan of Delta State ( middle ), Deaconess Roli Uduaghan ( right) and Major-General Frank Osokogu (rtd.), father of the late Cynthia Osokogu when the governor and his wife paid him a condolence visit at Boji Boji Owa, Ika North-East LGA, Delta State... yesterday

•Outpouring of emotions at funeral •"Why we went ahead with rites — Father

•Cynthia’s mother and brothers

•Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan of Delta state (left ), condoling Mrs Joy-Rita Nkem Osokogu, Mother of the late Cynthia Osokogu when the governor and his wife paid the family a condolence visit at Boji Boji Owa, Ika North-East LGA, Delta State, yesterday.

•Her mother (middle) being consoled by friends

•A cross section of women at the funeral

•Cynthia’s friends

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HE interment of Cynthia Udoka Osokogu scheduled for yesterday in her Boji Boji Owa,Delta State hometown is on hold. Her body remained in Lagos following the non-completion of the autopsy on it . The police said the report of the autopsy is crucial to the trial of those being held in connection with her murder at a Lagos hotel in July. Work on her final place of rest was still in progress when news about the development filtered in. Those digging the grave were asked to stop. By then, a crowd of mourners had gathered at the residence of Cynthia’s father on Owa-Ekei Road, Boji Boji Owa in Ika North East Local Government area of the State. Her father,Major-General Frank Osokogu (rtd) said the family was not disturbed by the postponement. He said: “It is not strange. I will not say we have had any hitch but there are some professional areas experts are handling. By experts, I mean the police and medical authorities. “To prosecute this high profile murder, we would not want to leave anyone in doubt as to the culpability of those accused of this act. The interment ceremony will continue as planned so that when the body is released to us, we won’t go over it again. “It would be in everybody’s interest to leave out the interment of my late daughter in deference to medical and security authorities.” Major-General Osokogu said the law must take its full course in prosecuting those found responsible for her death. He described Cynthia’s death as tumultuous, painful and incomprehensible. His words: “It is very painful and almost incomprehensible. For someone as meticu-

Okungbowa AIWERIE and Osagie OTABOR

lous as Cynthia to have fallen for the shenanigans, is difficult to fathom. As a Christian family, we leave everything to God.” “I want to thank management of Vintage Press, publishers of The Nation newspapers for a good job. They have given the family tremendous support in our moment of bereavement. I urge them to continue to be the searchlight while the trial lasts. He described the upbringing of his children as total which he said included moral, academic, religious and vocational training in other to give them an edge in life. “The upbringing of our children is total which include, moral, academic, religious and vocational training. We laid a lot of emphasis on moral and academic training. Meanwhile, at a requiem mass for Cynthia at St Dominic Catholic Church, Boji Boji-Owa the officiating priest, Rev. Father Eugene condemned the gruesome murder. He said: “I want to talk from a heart that is wounded but I am a priest. We are here to pray for Cynthia. There should be no revenge and no bad blood. She did nothing to those people. “She did not do anything bad to those people because she had no bad intention. Cynthia touched every life she met. We have come to ask God to accept our prayers. We asked God to pardon those who have committed this havoc.” In his homily, Rev. Father Donald Biachi said it was regrettable that agents of darkness turned Facebook into a medium of death and sorrow. “These criminals are cowards hiding under the cover of social media to humiliate the innocent. Despite the acknowledgement of the challenge in the society, we should have feeling and for-


NEWS 5

THE NATION, SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 8, 2012

•Mourners from the Owa community

•Her father, Major-General Frank Osukogu (right) and Obi of Owa, HRM Efeizomor 11 at the his residence at Owa,Agbor

•Sympathisers

•Senator Okowa

•Other mourners

giveness in our hearts. “Death and life are real. It has come to the Osokogu family. That Cynthia had to die the way she did tells us that the society is bad. “It is not okay in our society that a beautiful lady beaming with zeal should be molested ,drugged and killed. It is a clear depiction of a loathsome and wicked society. There is widespread ritual killing, embezzlement of public funds and other vices in our society.” He admonished the congregation that preparation for sudden death can be achieved by investing in relationship with Jesus Christ, adding that crime should not define our lives. Some of the mourners who spoke to The Nation said nobody could be trusted in the society. Flt. Lt. Ken Osokogu described Cynthia’s death as “terrible and unbearable.” He said despite Cynthia’s death he is against regulating the internet, stressing that the social media has its merits and demerits. His words: “The social media has its merits and demerits. I do not think it should be regulated, but I think people should be cautious. Social media has brought a lot of good things to the people. So we should not just look at the bad side of it. People will have to learn from it and be cautious and try to know who exactly they are dealing with.” William Osokogu, Cynthia’s brother de-

scribed the deceased as industrious, very nice and accommodating. He said the full weight of the law must be brought to bear on the people who killed her. He said the family will never remain the same. A distraught friend, Ashiatu Ene Ela said that her family and that of Cynthia have

lived as neighbours for over 16 years in Jos, Plateau State. According to her, “I am going to miss her more than I can ever imagine. I will not stop missing her until my dying days.” Miss Ela said she warned her about a group of friends she kept, pointing out that those friends used her by taking advantage of her inability to refuse people.

•Miss Ashiatu Ene Ela, Cynthia’s best friend

She said they were behind the stories making the rounds on the internet. Her words, “A lot of them just used her. She used her car to take them everywhere. They bought clothes from her but refused to pay . I always talked to her. She was younger than me and I could not keep her around me and she must have friends her age.

Put social media to positive use, Uduaghan advises

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ELTA State governor, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan has advised that the social media be used positively for the development of the society rather than for criminal activities. Dr Uduaghan, who gave the advice at Boji Boji-Owa when he visited the family of retired Major General Frank Osokogu to condole them over the tragic death of their daughter, Cynthia, said that some persons now exploit it to cause havoc in the society. According to him, the social media has been used to promote growth and development in the developed societies but lamented that some Nigerians were exploiting it negatively. “The social network should be used for the development of the society like in the

developed societies and not for criminal purposes. Anyone could have fallen victim to the criminals,” he stated. Besides, the governor described the untimely death of the 24-year-old Cynthia Osokogu as a clear case of betrayal of trust, adding that anyone would have fallen victim to the criminals. However, he said that the unfortunate incident should serve as a lesson to everyone, stressing: “this will teach us to be cautious of the type of friends we accept on facebook.” He commiserated with the bereaved family, urging them to rely on God for strength and expressed the hope that justice would be done as those already arrested in connection with the crime would contend with the law. Senator Ifeanyi Okowa representing Delta

North Senatorial District and the Obi of Owa, Efeizomor 11, joined Major-General Frank Osokogu and the wife, Joy-Nkem to receive the governor when he visited with wife, Deaconess Roli. Roli Uduaghan led the audience in prayers for the bereaved family, praying that God should grant the Osokogu family the fortitude to bear the loss. Late Cynthia Osokogu, a graduate of Nasarawa State University, Keffi held a postgraduate degree in Public Administration and was into private business before her untimely death in the hands of friends made through the social media. She is survived by her parents and three brothers.


6 NEWS NAFDAC arrests Chinese MD, seals water firm

THE NATION, SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 8, 2012

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HE National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) has sealed off a water company and arrested its Chinese Managing Director, Ksui Kim, and four others for not observing good manufacturing practices. It accused Chung Full Nigeria Ltd of gross abuse of business ethics in the production and sale of its Osaki range of table water. NAFDAC officials, reporters and security operatives who stormed the company’s premises on Adesoye Street in Mende area of Lagos State were denied access to the premises on Kim‘s orders. But the regulatory officers, determined to do their work, forced their way in with the aid of the security men. The company, according to NAFDAC sources, is known for intimidating its officials whenever they go there to carry out their duties. NAFDAC’s Director of Enforcement, Mr. Garba Macdonald, said the action became necessary because the firm was producing in a residential apartment. He said: “As you have seen, this is an unhygienic environment and the company has been producing table water without a valid registration certificate which is a clear violation of NAFDAC’s regulations.”

•From left (back row): Deputy Governor of Bayelsa State, Rear Admiral Gboribiogha John Jonah (rtd); President Goodluck Jonathan; Bayelsa State Governor, Hon. Seriake Dickson and the State Commissioner for Education, Mr. Salo Adikumo pose with a cross section of beneficiaries of the State Restoration Secondary School Scholarship Scheme during a send off ceremony in Yenagoa.

CPC, ANPP, SNG to Jonathan: South-South leaders are deceiving you over 2015 •Continued from Page 2 Also reacting, the National Publicity Secretary of the Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF), Mr. Anthony Sani, said while it is within the right of the South South to endorse the President for a second term, “it is not good to start the politics of 2015 because any such politics now is capable of distracting from the task of governance.” But he was quick to add: “If the South South has endorsed President Jonathan, it has not crossed the fiduciary mark. That would still be part of democracy in action. In the spirit of democratic practice, ACF and northern leaders have since accepted the requiem of politics of zoning. “President Jonathan’s pledge not to contest in 2015 is not a legal matter but a moral issue that is not enforceable. Consequently, the question of stopping him in 2015 does not arise. All I can say now is that it is most unlikely that northerners will not bid for the presidency come 2015 democratically. Should northerners bid for the presidency in 2015, I do not believe that any such bid will be based on politics of zoning.” Civil rights activist, Mallam Shehu Sani, said: “Jonathan’s Government is an ill wind that does no good to anyone for now. It’s a government bereft of ideas and vision. It’s a regime that has suffocated the poor and bolstered the rich. “It’s a regime in league with foreign interest and entrenched interest. It’s a government that neither protects nor provides. Jonathan’s government is a nest of the rich. We are stuck with a greenhorn. “The South East and South South elite are patently sycophantic. They have a history of betraying the interest of their people and endorsing incumbent presidents. They are driven by pecuniary considerations and a perfidious mentality. “If the north wants to stop Jonathan, it can stop him. However, he should be stopped based on his non-performance and not based on his ethnic identity.” Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar merely sneered at the reported endorsement, saying he was not bothered. Speaking to The Nation yesterday through his media aide, Mallam Garba Shehu, Atiku restated his position on the 2015 presidential election that whoever is interested in running should go ahead because “zoning as a political arrangement no longer exists. Therefore, anybody who is interested should be allowed to contest.

“Endorsement? That one doesn’t concern us at all, at all,” he said in a text message. Former military Governor of Kaduna State, Col. Abubakar Umar (rtd), carpeted the brains behind the endorsement. Umar, in a telephone interview, described the campaigners as sycophants who are desperate to reap where they did not sow. His words: ”As far as I know, the Nigerian constitution allows the President to seek a second term. I am sure he will be re-elected based on his performance in his first term. “Besides, the President himself has pleaded with Nigerians to allow him to concentrate on his job instead of distracting him with the campaign for 2015. “The campaign is premature because we are in 2012 and 2015 is still three years away. I believe all well meaning Nigerians should seek ways of assisting the President to do his job to meet the expectation of Nigerians. “The threat by certain groups that Jonathan must contest in 2015 at all cost is sycophantic, divisive and a threat to the unity of the country. We should all allow the President to concentrate on his job and if Nigerians are satisfied with his performance at the end of his tenure, they can go ahead to re-elect him.” Umar advised the campaigners, particularly those from the South-South, to learn the right lessons from the ongoing presidential campaign in the United States where President Barrack Obama is appealing to the entire American people to give him a second chance. “Let them learn from America where the black Americans have not taken it upon themselves to have President Obama re-elected by all means. Rather, Obama and his team are begging the entire American people to give him a second chance. “So, this 2015 campaign for Jonathan, be it from the SouthSouth, South East, South West, or the North is diversionary and sycophantic. These people want to reap where they did not sow. “These campaigners should allow the poor fellow to concentrate on his job because there is a lot of work for him to do. I can only appeal to President Jonathan not to allow himself to be distracted. “The campaign is unhealthy for him. It is unhealthy for our democracy and it is unhealthy for the country.” Chairman of the South East Nigeria Economic Commission steering Board, Engr. Chris Okoye, told The Nation in Enugu

yesterday that President Jonathan has more fundamental issues confronting the country than his endorsement for a second term. He said: ’’There are more fundamental issues regarding the sustainability of Nigeria than endorsement of President Goodluck Jonathan for a second term in office. We have refused to do first things first and continued to do last things first,” he said. Okoye, who is a former chairman of Ohanaeze Strategic Committee and the National

Chairman Nigeria Content Committee of the Nigeria Society of Engineers added: ‘’As long as we continue to do last things first, we would continue to derail before comity of nations. We have remained in this cyclic motion instead of a linear motion which leads to the next level in progress and development of nations. ‘’I am not excited that SouthSouth has endorsed him for a second term come 2015 when issues that have continued to unbundle us as a nation continue to raise their ugly heads.

Nigeria has become a ghost of its lost glory. ‘’We should reconsider reconstructing, remaking, reinventing and regenerating Nigeria for its sustainability. That is what Jonathan should focus on now and not second term or 2015 elections which will derail him.” Anambra State Chairman of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Dr Philip Atanmuo, said : “Have you seen our pamphlet? We said 2015 is not negotiable for Ndigbo. But if Jonathan is running, it is a different scenario because he is

from the South-South. ‘’South-South and South-East had not had a shot at the Presidency before Jonathan emerged. That was why we fought for it and he emerged, and South-South endorsing him is alright. ‘’But remember that during his visit to Anambra last month, a prominent son of Igbo land, Prince Arthur Eze encouraged him to re-contest for second term and we all clapped. He promised him that we •Continued on Page 8

Federal High Court stalls Salami’s suit

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EARLY six months after Justice Donatus Okorowo of the Federal High Court, Abuja, referred some questions arising from a suit by Justice Ayo Isa Salami to the Court of Appeal for determination, the record of proceedings has not been sent. The questions arose from his suit against the National Judicial Council (NJC) and 10 others over his suspension as the President of the Court of Appeal (PCA) for allegedly lieing on oath against former Chief Justice of Nigeria, Aloysius Katsina-Alu. The refusal to compile and transmit the record by the Federal High Court led to the striking out of the application by the appellate court yesterday. Although the matter was fixed for hearing, the panel of five justices could not proceed in the case, citing non-compliance with its rule by the lower court. Counsel to Salami, Oluwole Olujinmi, informed the court that the Federal High Court Registrar was yet to transmit the record of proceedings despite a letter from his chamber. By Order 5 Rule 1 and 2 of the Court of Appeal, the Registrar of the Federal High Court has the responsibility of compiling and transmitting the record. As at yesterday, only a letter from the Registry, the motion on notice argued and the preliminary objection of the defendants were in the court’s file. Olujinmi said: “When we received the hearing notice, we quickly made enquiry. What we discovered in the file was a letter from the registry and the motion on notice. The record of proceedings is not in the file. Although they received a letter from us, curiously, they are yet to comply with it. We have not been served with anything except hearing notice.” Sensing that the matter might be struck out for no fault of his,

•Withholds record of procceedings

Kamarudeen OGUNDELE, Abuja Olujinmi prayed for a short adjournment so as to make the Registry comply. The panel objected to his move to apply for an order directing the lower court to transmit the proceedings unfailingly. Although the Presiding Justice Husseini Mukhtar observed that it was the duty of the High Court Registry, he added that there was no proper process before the court for it to assume jurisdiction or make any order. The provision of Order 5 Rule 1 and 2, he said, is a mandatory requirement for the lower court to state the case before the appellate court can proceed in the matter. “All these documents in the file have not satisfied the provision. Such processes are incompetent. If the processes are incompetent, the court has only one option, which is to strike it out and nothing more,” Justice Mukhtar said. Consequently, he struck out the application. Other Justices on the panel agreed. Others sued by Justice Salami are former Chief Justices Aloysius Katsina-Alu and Dahiru Musdapher as well as members of the NJC’s Fact-Finding Committee, including Justice Umaru Abdullahi, Justice Emmanuel Ayoola, Justice Dominic Edozie, Justice Michael Akpiroroh and Mrs. Rakia Sarki Ibrahim. Also sued are Hon. Justice Ibrahim Ndahi Auta, Hon. Justice Kate Abiri and Hon. Justice Peter Umeadi who are members of the NJC Review Committee. Granting the motion brought pursuant to Section 295(2) of the 1999 Constitution as amended by Justice Salami, Justice Okorowo had on March 15 also granted motion for stay in the suit pending the decision of the Court of Appeal.

The issue granted for referral to the Court of Appeal is: *Whether having regard to the provisions of Sections 6(6)(b), 36, 251(q) and (r) and 254(c)(1) of the 1999 Constitution as amended, it is the Federal High Court or the National Industrial Court that has jurisdiction to entertain this suit in which the Plaintiff is seeking a determination of issues questioning the Constitutionality and vires of the Investigation Committee chaired by the 4th Defendant and the Administrative panel chaired by the 9th

defendant, both set up by the National Judicial Council in respect of petitions written against the Plaintiff concerning the exercise of his judicial powers.” Justice Okorowo, however, said it was premature to refer other issues raised by Salami’s counsel, Chief Akin Olujinmi (SAN), to the Appeal Court when the issue of jurisdiction had not been determined. He emphasised that the court must first assume jurisdiction before it can make any pronouncement on them because they border on the substantive matter.

We should not have suspended Dana’s licence, says Minister

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VIATION Minister, Stella Oduah, yesterday defended the decision of the Federal Government to lift the ban on the operating licence of Dana Air following the June 3 crash at Iju-Ishaga, Lagos. All 153 people on board the plane and some others on the ground died in the disaster. Mrs. Oduah, who spoke on Channels TV, Lagos, said the government’s action was later found to be against the global aviation practices. She said focus should have been strictly on the ill-fated plane and not the company’s licence. The announcement of the restoration of the licence on Wednesday has not gone down well with the public who say the government acted hastily in allowing the company to resume operation when some of the victims have not even been identified or buried. In restoring the airline’s licence, government said it was now satisfied with the air-worthiness of its aircraft after a rigorous technical, operational and financial audit. She said audit report of the company showed that it is the best in the country. However, the minister said the clean bill of health given the company does not mean it will resume operation instantly as it will undergo the process of re-certification. It would be unfair, she said, to indict the company when the result of the investigation into the cause of the accident has not even been released. “Dana is not a perfect company by any means, just like any other firm,” she said. She added added: ”When audit was done, Dana was not indicted. It (Dana) is in fact one of the best we have as at today. “Dana’s manuals, log book and administrative policies are all in compliance with the NCAA’s rules and regulations. You can’t indict such a firm.


THE NATION, SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 8, 2012

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8 NEWS

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THE NATION, SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 8, 2012

Privatisation: Nnaji’s partners lose out

HE bid for Afam Electricity Generation Plant by a consortium, Skipper Nigeria Limited, linked to immediate past Power Minister, Prof. Barth Nnaji, has been thrown out. The bids by two other consortia–NPG Consortium and Primeniza Energy Limited– for the plant have also been cancelled, the implication being that all three consortia have lost out in the process. The bid rejection is at the instance of the re-evaluation panel raised by the office of Vice President Namadi Sambo. The panel presented its report to the Technical Committee of the National Council on Privatization (NCP) on Thursday in Abuja and the committee in turn resolved to adopt the recommendation and forward it to the NCP. However, a fresh crisis is now brewing following protests over alleged sidelining of the Bureau of Public Enterprises by the Vice President’s office in constituting the Reevaluation Committee. Vice President Sambo was said to have overlooked the BPE in raising the panel, contrary to the provisions of the Privatisation Law which confer on the Bureau the authority to drive any such re-evaluation. Instead, the VP directed an Assistant Director in the Ministry of Power to head the new panel. Nnaji was ‘forced’ to resign as minister following alleged conflict of interest in the privatizasion of Afam Power Station and Enugu Distribution Company. Nnaji’s Geometric Power is

•Panel rejects firm’s bid for Afam Power Station •NCP meetsThursday to take final decision on Enugu Disco, others Yusuf ALLI, Managing Editor, Northern Operation said to have a minority stake in the Eastern Electric Nigeria Limited which submitted technical and financial bids for Enugu Distribution Company on July 31. Also, one of the consortia bidding for Afam Power Plant, Skipper Nigeria Limited, has O and M Solutions as a partner. Nnaji had disclosed to the NCP at its meeting two weeks ago that he discovered that O and M Solutions of Pakistan had once been a contractor for Geometric Power. However, the new evaluation panel could not find any evidence of business relationships between O and M Solutions Nigeria, a member of the consortium led by Skipper Nigeria Limited, and O and M Solutions of Pakistan. It could not be immediately confirmed if the Technical Committee which met on Thursday also rejected the bid for Enugu Distribution Company by Eastern Electric Nigeria Limited which is also linked to the ex-Minister of Power. But a source said the consortium may be recommended by the Technical Committee as technically qualified together with the other bidders— Interstate Electric Nigeria Limited, Pro Global, and Rensmart Nigeria Limited. The source said: “The Technical Committee was of the opinion that the resignation of

the Minister on principle appeared to have resolved the issue of conflict of interest. Either the consortium is withdrawn or he resigns as Minister “What is important in the conflict of interest is either to declare it and withdraw participation in the process or withdraw the bid of the consortium. The minister chose to sacrifice his office.” A reliable source said: “The bid for Afam Generation Plant by a firm traced to the ex-minister was rejected on Thursday by the Technical Committee of the NCP. “By implication, Skipper Nigeria Limited might not be part of the financial bids for generating companies fixed for September 25 in the privatisation timeline. “But the NCP will meet on Thursday to consider the reports of the Reevaluation Committee and Technical Committee. The NCP can uphold the two reports or provide alternatives. “The NCP may have to ask for new bidders for Afam Power Station too. “If the reports are accepted, the NCP may invite companies that were not shortlisted before to apply or ask those rejected to reapply based on fresh documentation. The real challenge facing the NCP is about meeting the timeline for the privatisation of PHCN assets. It does not want the financial bids to suffer any setback.” Asked if any infraction was

committed, the source added: “There appears to be a clear issue of incomplete documentation and lack of substantial responsiveness which the initial evaluation committee overlooked. “Also, it was discovered that O and M Solutions of Pakistan does not have any MoU with O and M Solutions of Nigeria. So, in essence, no Pakistan firm was directly involved in the bid for Afam Power. The original evaluation could have passed if they had an MoU with O and M Solutions of Pakistan. It was gathered that the NCP might head for a storming session on Thursday following allegation of bias on how the re-evaluation committee was constituted by the Vice-President, Arc. Namadi Sambo. Another highly placed source added: “It is better for Nigerians to appreciate that we have a serious challenge at hand on the privatisation of some generation and distribution companies. “It is unfortunate that the BPE was deliberately sidelined in the re-evaluation process whereas the agency ought to drive the initiative. “For instance, the manner in which the constitution of the Re-evaluation Committee was done had made its outcome predictable, if not questionable. The NCP chairman rejected the Re-evaluation Committee set up by the BPE and constituted one chaired by an Assistant Director who has no privatisation experience.

“The BPE recommended its Director of Power to head the Re-evaluation Panel but the NCP chairman overruled the recommendation. Instead, an Assistant Director with the Ministry of Power was asked to lead the committee on an issue that the BPE ought to drive. Go and read the guidelines on privatisation. “They actually wanted the BPE Director of Power to serve under the Assistant Director in the Ministry of Power which is absurd under the civil service rules and regulations. “There were representatives from the Ministry of Water Resources, Ministry of Works, Infrastructure Regulatory Concession Commission and a Deputy Director in BPE served as Secretary. “All along, Nnaji had resisted attempts by the Office of the Vice President to hijack the privatisation process (especially technical input bordering on evaluation and reevaluation) from the BPE. But some vested interests have used the opportunity of his exit to hijack the privatisation process.” Responding to a question, the source said: “The battle over the transparency of the reevaluation of Afam and Enugu Distribution Company will shift to the NCP meeting on Thursday. After the NCP session, the BPE will go ahead with the privatisation timelines.” The BPE had, in a statement, listed the timetable as follows: “The transaction timeline re-

Air NIgeria Nigeria workers protest sack

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VER one hundred workers of Air Nigeria, including pilots, aircraft engineers and cabin crew attendants, yesterday protested against their sack on the pages of newspapers by the chairman of the airline, Chief JImoh Ibrahim. They also gave him a sevenday ultimatum to pay their five-month arrears of salary. The workers did not only describe their sack as illegal as it was contrary to the terms of their engagement into the airline, they laid the blame of the failure of the airline on the footsteps of poor oversight regulations, wondering what the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority ((NCAA) was doing before the state of the airline got to it’s present level. Balami described the sack of the over 700 workers of the airline by Ibrahim as a development that portends danger for the aviation sector. He explained that NAAPE was constrained to request the payment of the five months salary arrears owed the workers, as well as their pension contributions. Balami said that given the pedigree of Ibrahim of having failed in the past to manage NICON Airways, it is laughable that the regulatory authority allowed him to acquire Air Nigeria, which has now run aground. He said Ibrahim must as a matter of necessity apart from paying the salary arrears to

Workers of Air Nigeria marching to the office of the Director General of NCAA as they protested their sack yesterday.

Kelvin OSA-OKUNBOR the workers of the airline, remit to the tax office all tax deductions from the staff for about two years to enable them obtain tax certificates as required by law. He also urged the chairman of the airline to remit to the staff their monies in the thrift and cooperative society deducted from staff salaries with accruable interest to enable the staff receive their exit benefits from the society. He challenged Ibrahim to act like a serious businessman by issuing proper letters of disengagement to the staff, which he insists must contain all entitlements due to each staff with legal payment ad-

vice and not the laughable sack on the pages of newspapers. The President of Pilots and Aircraft Engineers Association also urged the chairman of Air Nigeria to remit to the pension funds administrators, with accruable interest, all pension deductions from staff salaries for about one year to enable them access and receive their due pension as guaranteed by law. He also urged the Lagos State Government to immediately activate its tax recovery procedure in respect of Air Nigeria. Balami said: “The Federal Government and the ministry of Labour should act in concert to compel Air Nigeria to remit monies deducted from staff salaries over the

years to the respective receiver agencies. “The Minister of Labour and Productivity, in concert with the Minister of aviation, should kindly inform Air Nigeria about the obligation under the extant law in respect of workers disengagement. “In this respect, Air NIgeria should be compelled to issue a letter of disengagement to each staff. Until this is done, the workers remain bonafide staff of the airline, entitled to full remunerations, thereafter he must pay all arrears of salary up till date.” Balami further said: “How come the NCAA, which has dossier on Jimoh Ibrahim, allowed him to buy another airline without putting in place framework for close monitor-

ing to avoid his past transgression . Our fear is that there are still other such mishaps waiting to happen. We know a few in the industry and we are willing to assist the NCAA to seek them out and proactively avert this kind of calamity that has befallen Air Nigeria.” The protest by the workers however disrupted vehicular movement along the Murtala Muhammed international airport, Ikeja, as they carried placards bearing diverse inscriptions. Some of the placards read: “Jimoh Ibrahim, where is N35 billion intervention funds? “ Efforts to reach officials of Air Nigeria proved abortive as the mobile numbers, including that of Ibrahim, were switched off.

veals that the evaluation of the technical bids will take place between August 14 and 28, 2012. The National Council on Privatisation (NCP) will approve the results of the technical evaluation by September 11, 2012. “The deadline for the shortlisted bidders for generation companies to submit their letters of credit is September 18, 2012 while October 2, 2012 is the deadline for shortlisted bidders for distribution companies. “Consequently, NCP’s approval will pave the way for the opening of financial bids of the shortlisted investors. “The BPE will on September 25, 2012 open the financial bids of prospective investors for the generating companies while October 10, 2012 is the date for the opening of the financial bids for the distribution companies. “The announcement of the preferred bidders for the generating companies is October 9, 2012 while October 23, 2012 is the date for the announcement of the preferred bidders for the distribution companies.”

CPC, ANPP, ACF to Jonathan: SouthSouth leaders are deceiving you over 2015 •Continued from Page 6 would support his second term bid. ‘’So, if he is coming out to recontest, we will support him and we will go all out to endorse him as we did in 2011. Not by mouth but with our resources. We don’t endorse somebody by mouth because we go all out. But as it stands now, we don’t endorse somebody who has not told us his intentions to run in 2015.” The governorship candidate of ACN in Abia State in 2011, Prince Paul Ikonne, said the people of the South South should know by now that they alone cannot make anyone president of the country without the support of the other geopolitical zones. He said the people of the South East have not met and if and when they meet, there is every likelihood that they will not endorse the President the way they did in 2011, stressing that they have been shortchanged in the administration of President Jonathan, especially on roads. He noted that there is no federal presence in the South East and the South South. “All the roads in the two zones have collapsed and people die every day because of bad roads. And instead of the people advising their brother to sit up, they are busy talking about 2015 which is still far away,” he said. The publicity secretary of the ACN in Lagos State, Mr. Joe Igbokwe said: Nigeria is bigger than anybody or any group of individuals. It is bigger than any section of this country. The South South is becoming flippant in this country. South South and one other section of this country have been abusing the corporate existence of Nigeria for some time now, and they need to be very careful. “We need to get serious. We need to move this country forward and we need a serious President to do that. Luck cannot help President Jonathan any longer.”


9

THE NATION, SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 8, 2012

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NY teacher of the law will tell you that the law after all said and done emanates from the customs and traditions of the society. In effect then the prevailing culture for any environment sets the tone for its machinery for preventing a breakdown of law and order and an avoidable descent into predictable anarchy and chaos. In basic political science courses however the student learns quite early that politics is about’ who gets what, when and how ‘ and that democracy is’ government of the people by the people and for the people’. In real life however it is politicians as elected leaders of political systems who direct and decide the mode and manner of power sharing as well as the making and application of laws during their tenure of office. Since tenure puts a limit on the capacity to use power, political leaders want to act fast to leave good legacies or to ask for more time at election times to make society a better place than they met it. It is of such leaders that I want to talk about today as well as their policies and mode of operation in galvanizing positive change in their different societies. I start from the US, where the incumbent president Barak Obama is seeking reelection in the November 6 presidential election and where former President Bill Clinton has come out of retirement to ask the American people to give him- Obama - another term of office. Since charity must begin at home I will comment on the effort of the Lagos State Governor Babatunde Raji Fashola – BRF – to get what he called ‘elite concensus‘ at the Yoruba Tennis Club on the new Lagos State Traffic Laws on Wednesday this week . At the Democratic Party National Convention - DNC - where Barak Obama accepted the nomination of his party to be its flag bearer in the November US presidential elections, Bill Clinton used his charisma maximally to ask Americans to re- elect Obama because his policies are reinvigorating the US economy and will create more jobs contrary to the claims of the Republican Party that Obama has destroyed the US economy with the largest government budget expenditure in history . However it is the story of how Clinton-who was hugged on Wednesday after his speech by Obama - came to be the ultimate salesman for an Obama re election campaign strategy that interests me. This is because when Clinton’s wife Hillary lost the candidacy of the Democratic Party to Obama, Clinton had to come to the last Democratic Presidential Convention that endorsed Obama for his first term literally by force to show publicly that he was not leaving the party because of Hillary’s loss . This time around however, the Obama campaign team really needed the warm personality and political sagacity of the former president to boost Obama’s re -election bid especially with the low turn around of the economy which is usually the issue in US presidential elections. They seemed to have learnt from the fatal political error of Clinton’s former Vice President Al Gore who distanced himself in his presidential election bid in 2000 from Bill Clinton on account of the Monica Lewinsky affair and lost the presidential election narrowly to George Bush who became President in 2001. This time around the situation has changed and Hillary has be-

Leaders, laws and politics

come one of the most successful Secretaries of State in US history and was on a six day tour of Asian nations where she was busy assuring ASEAN nations that the US has become a resident power in the Pacific region in spite of the rise in the economic power and military threat posed by the Chinese dragon in the region - while her husband was revving the engine of the Obama reelection campaign. Clinton’s selling point for an Obama reelection sales pitch was sheer socio – political empathy with the plight of the American people in trying times and the comparison with Obama’s opponent Mitt Romney and the opposing Republican Party. According to Clinton - Americans can vote for the Republicans if they want a winners take all government that keeps outsiders out . But if they want a government of shared opportunities and shared responsibilities - ‘that shows that we are all in this together‘ - they should vote for Barak Obama and Joe Biden his Vice President and running mate in the November 6 2012 presidential election. Thus Bill Clinton the 42nd US president

came to campaign for the re- election of the 44th president - Barak Obama while the 43rd president – George Bush - dare not show his face on account of Mitt Romney or the GOP - even though no law forbids a former president or former Commander In Chief from campaigning for his party and its candidate as the popular Bill Clinton did so brilliantly for Obama this week in the US. Similarly at the Yoruba Tennis Club - YTC - last Wednesday Lagos State Governor –BRF – brought some Clintonian brilliance into play as he too displayed unique political dexterity and salesmanship in the way he sold his product – the Lagos State Traffic Laws to his audience. The message too came on a pitch of empathy and a sense of belonging with the audience . The Governor said he has come to his club as a member and he paid homage to a sage of the Club Alhaji Femi Okunnu who as Federal Minister of Works in the Gowon era supervised the change of traffic from left to right and is presently the Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Club. Before BRF ‘s arrival , a document had gone into circulation

which highlighted the harsh sentences of imprisonment for various offences such as eating and smoking while driving and driving in opposite directions of traffic and that had engendered some gallows humor about the governor’s visit and its intent as the document stated that the governor had not even given his assent yet. When however BRF started his address he cleared the air with a finality that was reassuring rather than frightening. His aides disowned the spurious document and BRF himself said he had signed the bill into law last month as it has been passed by the representatives of the Lagos State people at the State House of Assembly. Thus in my view claiming correctly legitimacy for the laws as expected in a democracy. It is however in the way the governor went about dispelling apprehensions about the laws that I want to highlight here. On the nuisance of Okada he said it is a matter of culture and that if people decide not to patronize it as a means of transportation it would die a natural death. He said his government is committed to providing better means of transportation for Lagosians and would not fold its hands as the future for posterity looks bleak as transportation degenerates from the sublime to the ridiculous; from the high quality of Zarpas and LMTS buses in the past to the menace of Okada nowadays. On the supposedly harsh penalties he asked people not to be bothered except they want to break laws. He mentioned the fact

that the death penalty for killing has always existed yet people make no bones about it except in places where they substitute it with life sentences. He asked for understanding on the motive for the laws which is to make Lagos, already a mega city by UN categorization of a population over 10m people, a better place to live in. At the end Alhaji Okunnu noted that what was important was the spirit of the implementation of the laws by the traffic agents of government and that was agreed unanimously. At the end of the session and on a personal note I congratulated the GM of LASTMA Engineer MAB Edu who was seated behind me and wished him the very best as the successful implementation of the traffic laws so ably sold by the Governor at the YTC this week fall squarely on his shoulders and that of his men. On a serious note though, I came out of the encounter with BRF with a decision never to underrate any politician not to talk of a SAN who has made up his mind on selling a finished product that he believes is for the overall public good, no matter the opposition or skepticism from the real or potential audience about its implementation or assumed shortcomings . Such determination to me was like Neil Armstrong’s walk on the moon – a small step for a man ; but a big step for mankind. The Lagos State Traffic laws as enunciated by BRF last Wednesday are a bold step for our fledgling democracy and a move in the right direction. I wish them God’s speed and guidance in implementation. Amen.


10 COMMENTARY

THE NATION, SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 8, 2012

The plot to ruin the naira vincentakanmode@yahoo.com

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ONSIDERING the extent to which the naira has degenerated in value since it came into being in 1973, there are times I feel like I am three times my age. It sounds like ancient history recalling my early years in secondary school when I lived on N20 as pocket money for a whole term. But that was barely 30 years ago when one naira was almost the equivalent of two dollars. With the said sum, I bought all manner of provisions and even wasted money on some items I really did not need as a student. Those were the good old days when the naira was worth the paper used in printing it. I recall with painful nostalgia how I felt like an instant millionaire as a primary school pupil in 1974 when a member of my native community, who was then a permanent secretary in the old Kwara State, came home from his base in Ilorin and offered me a gift of 10 kobo. My father, who was the traditional ruler of the community, had asked me to take some tubers of yam to the late civil servant, like he always did to prominent sons and daughters of the community who returned to the village from the city. It was in appreciation of the gesture that the man named M.O. Daniel gave me the said sum and I was overwhelmed with joy. It was the biggest money I ever owned. I ran home with the jackpot jubilating. My mother, who was also surprised at what she considered a lavish gift to an eightyear-old boy, quickly collected the money and promised to keep it for me. She is yet to return the money as I write. But even if she does now, it will mean nothing. There is simply no more place for 10, 20 or even 100 kobo in the nation’s economy. Ten years later, popular fuji musician,

Alhaji Kollington Ayinla, released an album in which he lamented that the naira had become so worthless that 50 kobo worth of rice would not assuage a toddler’s hunger. I cannot stop wondering what thoughts would be going on in the musician’s mind now that 50 kobo, a denomination of the nation’s currency he thought so much about, has been wiped out by inflation. As a matter of fact, the N1 denomination has long been consigned to the archives. And now we are told that the Governor of Central Bank, Alhaji Lamido Sanusi, with the permission of President Goodluck Jonathan, is goading the N5, N10 and N20 denominations on the same path of extinction. It beats my imagination that the N20 note, regarded so highly by all and sundry when it was released into circulation as the highest denomination of the naira in 1977, will now be turned into coin. So much was the respect the denomination enjoyed that in Yorubaland, for instance, it became the benchmark for monetary calculations among market women who called it Muri (short for Murtala Mohammed, the respected former head of state whose picture is embossed on the denomination). Thus, instead of saying N100, they simply say Muri marun (five Muri). This way, illiterate traders are able to calculate huge sums with minimum confusion. As a sheer act of reverence for the denomination and the late former head of state, some Yoruba people call the denomination ori oloogbe (head of the fallen one). The foregoing explain why many Nigerians see the decision of the Central Bank to change the N20 denomination from paper to coin not only as an attempt to cause a fundamental change in the people’s way of life, but also as a dishonour to the late Sanusi’s Kano kinsman, knowing full well that changing any Nigerian money from paper to coin is the easiest way to send it out of circulation. To worsen matters, the same fate awaits two other Nigerian heroes, Alvan Ikoku and Tafawa Balewa, whose faces on N10 and N5 notes respectively now stand the risk of extinction. These are besides the fire of inflation the

•Sanusi new measure is bound to spark. It is common knowledge that for reasons yet to be deciphered by sociologists and psychologists, Nigerians abhor coins more than leprosy. With N5, N10 and N20 changed into coins, Nigerians would rather pay N50 for a sachet of pure water than go about with coins in their pockets. That was how N1, 50k, 25k and other coins earlier issued by Central Bank became extinct, even though Sanusi is brimming with optimism that Nigerians who had rejected the coins earlier issued by the apex bank are now governed by a new spirit that would make them embrace the new ones it is about to issue. It is a leadership problem the nation has grappled with for decades: doing the same thing and expecting different results. But even more worrisome is the planned introduction of N5,000 note. Not many people had taken it seriously

A prayer for all seasons

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AITHFUL adherents of the universal religions continually admonish us to pray for our leaders so that they will resist the temptation to lead us astray. They tell us that rather than whinge at every silly misstep they take on our behalf, we should beseech God to guide their path so that they can retrace their steps. They urge that we speak no ill of them as they are divinely chosen at that point in time. They weave all manner of religious sentiments to justify the bungling as if our collective prayer is all that is required to make a successful leader. Well, if citizens’ faith and goodwill is all that matters, this country should not be under an unending leadership crises that appear to be consistent only in the area of dismal productivity. Neither should Nigeria be embroiled in the kind of unending self-inflicted crises threatening its continuous existence as one, indivisible nation. To be candid, I do agree with those calling on Nigerians to pray for the quick recovery of Nigeria’s ailing First Lady, Dame Patience Jonathan, who is currently being treated at a German hospital for food poisoning (?). I also believe that the Minister of Petroleum Resources, Dieziani Madueke, needs our prayers if it is true that she has been admitted in a London hospital for some undefined stress-related ailment. Regardless of how bad we may feel about the frequency with which members of the ruling elite travel to distant shores, just to check the workings of their testosterone or clean their teeth, we owe it a duty to wish them well in their esoteric fancies. However, as one Facebook friend, Paul Amadi, puts it, these folks are not the only ones that need prayers. We all do. We cannot go on with the pretence that, with prayers, things will get better when those who should put their hands on the plough are busy servicing other people’s economy in the name of seeking qualitative healthcare abroad. Listen to Amadi: “While Nigerians are called to pray for the First Lady in Germany, let us also pray for all Nigerians who are sick today and likely to die from poor healthcare services here in Nigeria. Let us pray for those who have already died on our bad roads; those who died in the hands of fellow greedy and violent Nigerians because government cannot protect and create a safe environment; for all those who died needlessly. Let us pray for Nigerians who died in foreign lands in search of survival and for those who are hungry and helpless. Let us pray for every Nigerian, not just for the First Lady!” Like they say in Christendom, we are still in the mood of

prayer. And so, we pray that those bent on foisting a new, inflation-inspired, monetary regime on us would be divinely touched such that they will come to understand our fears that they are about compounding the unbearable hardship in the land. In their haste to upgrade their status and make the ‘GhanaMust-Go’ easier to pack with the N5000 notes, they tend to have forgotten that this economy is not just about the banks or heavy moneybags in our midst. It is also about the millions wallowing in abject poverty—those who may never have the opportunity to see what a N5000 naira note smells or looks like. Oh Lord, we pray that you soften their hearts so that they will stop calling us “rogues and vagabonds” just because we forecast hyperinflation should they go ahead with the monetary regime. They call us voodoo economists while the businessmen among them—those who carry heavy cash— giggle sheepishly. Our Lord and God, will you continue to look the other way as these persons prepare to deal the naira, our currency, a fatal blow? Will you not intervene on behalf of your people who are called by your name or would you rather we continue to bear the burden of those who seem unprepared to give a damn about us? Of course, Lord, we know how convenient it would be for them to carry their loot from one point to the other in higher denominations. Nevertheless, must they do that at our expense? Would it not have been better if they have opted to adopt our peculiar penchant for the almighty American dollars and the British pounds as the official means of ferrying ‘heavy’ cash like the popular $15m that was allegedly given as bribe to the former czar of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Mallam Nuhu Ribadu? In any case, has anybody been punished for opening his doors for the smooth passage of the bribe money to Ribadu who, in a rare show of strong will, blew the whistle about who offered the money and what it was meant for? Are some jokers not in the court today trying to lay their hands on the filthy lucre instead of sending it back to the coffers of the state where it was stolen from? Moreover, Lord, do these persons qualify for our prayers for good health, long life and prosperity as they continue to ride rough shod over us? When will your anger descend on them, oh Lord? Dear Lord, since the prayer button is still on active mode, permit us to ask this simple question: are we truly not a cursed nation? Oh, I can hear some people mouthing the popular “it is not our portion” slogan. If it is not pot of porridge, why then do we always apply the wrong potion to heal this seeming ancestral curse? Why are we blessed with leaders who often take one step forward and whimsically activate many other

when the introduction of the mega denomination was first speculated by the media. But it is now as real as daybreak after the authorities of the CBN have made it clear to whoever cares to listen that it is a fait accompli. Millions of Nigerians who are against the new denomination have advanced various arguments, including the fact that it amounts to a contradiction of the CBN’s newly introduced cash-less policy. How, they ask, can the apex bank claim to be discouraging the movement of huge cash while facilitating the naira’s portability with the introduction of the high denomination? From past experiences, they argue, the emergence of a higher denomination of the naira automatically leads to reduction in its purchasing power and provokes artificial inflation. Besides, they say, making the N5,000 denomination available in a corruption-ridden society like ours amounts to fanning the embers of graft. The foregoing arguments are based on the wrong premise that Sanusi and other people in charge of our monetary policies have any consideration for the poor. Ours is a society where in the words of the late reggae music sensation, Bob Nesta Marley, only the fittest of the fittest are expected to survive. Hence, the introduction of N5,000 note is a measure that stemmed from the selfishness of the ruling class. From the recent bribery scandal involving Mr. Femi Otedola and Hon. Farouk Lawan alone, it is clear that our leaders no longer conduct their business in naira. Their local and foreign accounts are maintained in dollars. The weaker the naira, therefore, the stronger their dollars. That is why the argument that introducing a N5,000 denomination into the economy would cause inflation will never sink with the Jonathans, the Sanusis, the Dangotes and the Otedolas. It is a battle ordinary Nigerians who have no dollar accounts would never win. And that is why a roadshow will be organised by the CBN to tell us in eloquent terms that we are fighting a battle we stand no chance of winning.

Knucklehead With

Yomi Odunuga E-mail:yomi.odunuga @thenationonlineng.net SMS only: 07028006913

steps in the reverse gear? If they are divinely chosen to positively affect our lives, why are they ruining our future with policies that best serve their personal interest? We do not question your way Lord. We are only seeking answers. Is it, in any way divine, for the nation to continue breeding men and women – accumulators - who view success from the myopic prism of gluttonous personal acquisitions? Therefore, in joining the adherents of the faiths in obeying your command on leadership, I pray for leaders that would embrace the wisdom in Michelle Obama’s statement that “being President doesn’t change who you are, it reveals who you are. For Barack, success is not how much you make, but the difference you make in people’s lives.” I pray for leaders who would share in our tribulations and triumphs knowing that they play major roles in those moments. More importantly, we beseech the Lord to weed out the termites and bedbugs in our governance system—those who have practically made it impossible for this nation to aspire and develop its full potential. From now on, our hospitals shall no longer be glorified health centres so that the elite can seek medical attention from within. Our roads shall become motorable and safe for all Nigerians to ply. Our skies shall no longer be the exclusive preserve of the rich and daring. Our educational system shall retain its lost glory and we will not need to seek knowledge in far-flung countries like Ukraine and Iceland. The poor shall also reap bountifully from this land and our story shall be turned around for good when our leaders take the bold step to sift the wheat from the chaff of advice that gets to them daily. Lord, we ask you to give them the wisdom to apply their values, vision and experiences in life to make genuine difference in our lives. Let there be an end to this joke of flying abroad in chattered jets to treat common ailments that should ordinarily be handled by our home-trained medical students! Amen!


N5,000 note: ‘Our patriarchs‘ stature has been diminished’ –Pages 19 -21

THE NATION, Saturday, SEPTEMBER 8, 2012

Bad day

for kidnapppers •How Anambra Governor Obi’s offensive sent them on the run

‘I narrowly escaped imprisonment for burying my baby’s placenta in the bush’ –Pages 48&49

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THE NATION, Saturday, September 8, 2012

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Houses demolished, hotels launches offensive against How I brought kidnapping to

•Some of the arms and ammunition •Obi with some security personnel at the compound of the suspect ENULTIMATE Wednesday, Governor Peter Obi of Anambra State, showed the stuff he is made of by leading a battle that may end kidnapping in Anambra State and the South-East in general. Never in the history of the nation had such a drastic measure been taken by a governor. He had warned that the era of compromise was over and anybody or house used for kidnapping or aiding and abetting kidnappers stood the risk of being sealed off or demolished. He had followed that up by sealing a hotel in Nkpor and two houses in Agukwu Nri over their alledged involvement in kidnapping. The houses were, however, not destroyed because investigations were still on. Obi was away for a tour of three continents, including Haiti, where he led a team that donated $200,000 for the rebuilding of a Catholic cathedral in which officiating ministers were buried alive by an earthquake that shook the country. Upon his return to the country, he went straight from the airport to Oraifite, a community in Ekwusigo Local Government Area, having being briefed by security agents on the phone, to make good his earlier threats against kidnapping. The Nation had reported on Monday that the police in Anambra State had recorded a major breakthrough in crime bursting with the seizure of a large cache of arms and ammunition at the hideout of a gang at Oraifite. Anambra State Commissioner of Police, Mr. Ballah Nasarawa, had disclosed that among the seizures made by the command were 14,425 rounds of ammunition, 27 AK47 rifles, 1 K2 rifle, 2 06 rifles, 1 general purpose machine gun, 1 rocket launcher, 17 rockets, 13 rocket grenades, 6 pump action guns, 3 dane guns and 1 barretta pistol. "With these, they can defeat a small army," the Commissioner of Police said. He said the seizures were made by the Inspector General of Police's Special Task Force on Heinous Crime and State AntiRobbery Squad, acting on a tip-off from a good spirited citizen. The commissioner said the arms were concealed in an armoury dug into the ground around a ramshackle

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n Odogwu Emeka ODOGWU, Nnewi n structure at Oraifite. He said one Olisagbo Ifedike and one other suspect were arrested in connection with the arms and were being interrogated by the police. "The suspect had been a most wanted armed robbery/kidnapping kingpin responsible for series of high profile kidnapping, armed robbery and murder, including the kidnapping of Igwe Ihembosi sometime in 2010 and the recent kidnapping of Igwe Robert Eze of Ukpo. "The gang is also responsible for the killing of five policemen at Okija on June 22, the murder of three policemen at Ozubulu on April 2 and the attack on Amichi and Ukpor police divisions on April 4," Nasarawa added. He reaffirmed the commitment of the command to ridding the state of all forms of criminal acts and urged members of the public to volunteer useful information that would aid the police in carrying out their duties of protecting lives and property effectively. Following the Commissioner of Police’s revelations, Obi led a government team to demolish two buildings at Oraifite where a large cache of arms had been recovered by the police. The buildings were owned by Ifedike alias Ofe Akwu, who was arrested with another suspect in connection with the recovered arms and ammunition. The buildings were made up of a one storey building, a penthouse and a bungalow. Apart from the underground structure, there is also an extended building with toilet facilities behind the bungalow suspected to be a cell where victims were hidden. In a small building attached to the gate wall, there was a shrine allegedly used by the father of the suspect, Mr. Patrick Ifedike, alias Ogbujingidi, who was said to be a native doctor. Before they were demolished, the buildings were apparently attacked by an angry mob that burnt parts of the buildings. They also smashed the windows and doors and destroyed the furniture. Obi, who personally supervised the demolition, accompanied by some members of the State

T the age of 36, Osita Olisagbo Ifedike has acquired all the good things of life, ranging from exotic cars to ultra-modern buildings. The only thing he lacks is a wife. He lived like a king, having built hotels in Rivers and Abia states, as well as far away Ghana, among other places. Not many people knew he was the one that started the heinous crime of kidnapping in the South East geo-political zone. The kidnapping kingpin, described by the Anambra State Commissioner of Police, Bala Nasarawa, as the most notorious in the country, was dreaded and was instrumental to many of the atrocities committed in the zone.

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n Nwanosike ONU, Awka n However, his cup was full on Monday morning as members of the Inspector General of Police’s special task force teamed up with the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), led by James Nwafor to storm his Oraifite country home and got him arrested. As early as 7.30 am, the kidnapping kingpin and his father, Ozo Patrick Ifedike, had started drinking in their house located at Umunakwa Ifite village in Oraifite, the native community of billionaire business tycoon, Sir Emeka Offor. The suspect, according to Nasarawa, was responsible for the death of more than

•The bulldozer at work Executive Council, said the action was in line with the law of the state that any property linked to kidnapping and other criminal activities would be confiscated and demolished by the state government. He explained that the measures were

aimed at eradicating crime and flushing out hoodlums from the state. The governor said due process had been initiated to prosecute the suspect while government would go after all his investments in the country as no kidnapper or criminal would be allowed to


THE NATION, Saturday, September 8, 2012

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sealed as Obi kidnappers

•The detention camp for victims

South East –Anambra kingpin •Says: ‘I made money; I have no regrets’

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I was a member of one of the Niger Delta militant groups (name withheld). When the groups laid down their arms, I decided to relocate to my state to introduce real kidnapping...I made money; I have no regrets about that.” •The suspect, Ifedike 10 police officers in the state command, as well as the burning of Amichi and Ukpor police divisions. He was also said to have led his gang in the robbery of a bank in Ihiala in the state in 2010 and the killing of five other police officers at Oraifite recently. Before now, Ifedike aka Ofe-Akwu had been a terror not only in his native Oraifite but to the entire residents in the South East. He had instilled so much fear in the people that nobody dared mention his name in Oraifite and the environs for fear of reprisals. The Nation gathered that the suspect’s father was a strong witch doctor with the ability to appear and disappear at will.

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This, according to some Oraifite youths, who pleaded anonymity, was responsible for his unchecked reign in the South East for many years. The state commander of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad, James Nwafor, a Chief Superintendent of Police, told The Nation that the police had been on the trail of the suspect for almost eight years. In Anambra State, the suspect was nicknamed Osy 100 million because, according to an Oraifite resident, he was always boasting that he would never charge any family of his victims less than N100 million. Briefing reporters after his arrest, Nasarawa said he was the ring leader in the kidnapping of the traditional ruler of

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•Community members who came to witness the demolition enjoy the proceeds of their illegal activities. He said hotels belonging to the suspect had already been sealed off, while the Abia State Government would be contacted to seal off his hotel in Umuahia with machinery in motion to arrest others

involved in the crime. The governor warned other criminals still lurking in any part of the state and are on the run that the game was up as government would not stop until the set objective was achieved. He also reminded traditional

•Some of the arms and ammunition recovered from the suspects

rulers and town union executives of their responsibility to ensure that their communities are not used as hiding places for criminals. He urged youths to take advantage of the various economic empowerment programmes of the state government to earn a decent living. The Public Relations Officer of the Anambra State Police Command, Mr. Raphael Uzoigwe, said the police were able to arrest the suspect because of information gathered through their intelligence network. The President General, Oraifite Improvement Union, Mr. Raphael Nwike, who described the governor’s action as a divine intervention, lamented that the area had been held captive for a long time by criminal elements. Some of the villagers, who spoke with journalists, including Mr. Okeke Okafor, Mr. Mike Nchedo, Mrs. Elizabeth Iwobi and Mr. Godwin Anyalechi who is based in Kano, commended the courage and political will of Governor Obi in frontally tackling security challenges in the state. The police in the state has also formally arraigned the detained proprietor of Arthur Garden Hotels Limited, Nkpor, Idemili North Local Government Area of Anambra State, Mr. Christopher Arthur Udoh, before an Ogidi Magistrate Court on a four-count charge of conspiracy, kidnapping, robbery and extortion. Udoh had his hotel sealed off by Governor Peter Obi. An Otuocha High Court presided over by Justice J. I. Nweze had last Tuesday granted an application for bail brought before it by Udoh's legal counsel, M. C. Ilondu, under fundamental human rights enforcement procedure. Justice Nweze, however, granted the bail application in the sum of N5 million with three sureties in the like sum and Udoh's statement of account in the bank. But at an Ogidi Magistrate Court, the police prosecutor, C.A. Oribaba, told the court that he had two policemen, Sergeant Okpokwe and Emmeso Samuel, both attached to Ogidi Police Station, and one Emeka Anyaegbunam, a Zenith bank staff who was among the victims, as his witnesses.

The police prosecutor told the court that the accused persons had on August 3, this year, committed the offence along the Onitsha/Enugu old road within the St. Charles Borromeo Roundabout axis, adding that their offences ranged from conspiracy to kidnapping and robbery, demanding for N2 million ransom and receiving N560,000 from their victim, Emeka Anyaegbunam. Defending the hotelier, his team of lawyers, led by Frank Molokwu and Mrs. M.C. Ilondu, told the court that it was a judicial harassment to bring the hotelier to the court when he had already been granted bail by a high court sitting in Onitsha and Otuocha. Chinedu's counsel, M.C. Nwora, told the court that his client was presumed to be innocent until proved otherwise by the prosecution and as such should be granted bail. In her ruling, the presiding magistrate, Mrs. Pauline Chinwuba, ordered that the accused persons be remanded in prison custody till September 19, 2012, adding that she was not competent to entertain the case or to even grant them bail. She, therefore, ordered that the police should forward all the case files to the state Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), for onward transmission to the state AttorneyGeneral for initial trial at the appropriate High Court. Addressing friends and well-wishers of the hotelier who had thronged the court premises to witness the trial, Anyaegbunam, the kidnap victim, said he did not know the hotelier, adding that the hotelier was not among the people that kidnapped him. His words: “I don’t know how the police joined him in my case. I want him separated from the matter because I am surprised to see him in court as one of those who kidnapped me.” He said although he was actually kidnapped on August 3 at Borromeo Roundabout, beaten up, driven round the town by his abductors and later released after paying a ransom, he never saw Udoh's hand in the saga.

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THE NATION, Saturday, September 8, 2012

14 •Governor Obi during the raid

•The Governor and others inspecting some of the ammunition

How Anambra Governor Obi’s offensive sent them on the run Continued from page 13 Udoh and one of his brothers-in-law had been arrested by the police in Enugu on August 9, after one of his hotels was sealed up by Governor Peter Obi in connection with the kidnapping saga. At Agukwu Nri, Governor Peter Obi sealed off two more buildings suspected to be linked to the kidnapping syndicate. The buildings included a one-storey structure under construction at Uruoji, Agukwu-Nri and a bungalow at Obeagu village, Agukwu-Nri. When the governor and his entourage entered the compound of the building at Uruoji, they met a middleaged man who identified himself as Mr. Banabas Masamu from Adamawa, claiming to be a security man incharge of the compound since January this year. Masamu confirmed that before he assumed work, he heard that some kidnapping suspects were arrested by security agents from the compound. Speaking in a similar vein, one of the uncles of the owner of the building, Chief Christian Obidike, said the kidnapping suspects were arrested last year by a joint police and military team and identified one of the suspects as a trader occupying a shop near the building.

At another building at Obeagu village, one of the cousins of the owner of the house and a native doctor, Mr. Sunday Okoye, said one of the nephews of the owner of the house, one Mr. Okwudili Okoye, was on the run because of his suspected involvement in kidnapping racket. Governor Obi said security reports confirmed that the buildings were linked to kidnapping. He announced that the two buildings would be sealed off in line with the policy of the state on kidnapping. He said the government would determine the owners of the building, their sources of livelihood and degree of involvement in the crime. At the end of investigation, he said, the government would either demolish the buildings or put them to government use. Obi enjoined property owners to take full ownership of their buildings and remain security conscious to ensure that their facilities are not compromised. In a related development, Obi assured residents of the state that it is secured for everybody to live in and carry out their legitimate activities, including freedom to practise their religions, provided it falls within the laws of the land. He spoke when he received the Anambra State Muslim Council, led by its Chairman, Alhaji Adudulraham Suberu III, at the Government Lodge on Sallah visit. Obi assured that his government would continue to work

for the good of all in the spirit of Anambra State Integrated Development Strategy (ANIDS). He explained that the demolition going on in some parts of the state was designed to make the state more beautiful and cleaner for the people. “We have the picture. When the time comes, we shall rebuild it, considering the specifications of the one we brought down for those working on the road for obstructing the expansion of road at Upper Iweka,” Obi said. In his speech, the Chairman of the Council, Alhaji Abdulrahman Suberu, condemned the incessant bombings and kidnappings in parts of the country and called on all religions to embrace global peace. He also commended the governor for his efforts to develop Anambra State as had never done before and assured him of their continued support and prayers. He said: “Today is Anambra’s glorious era. In the past, the state was a pariah and her governors treated like lepers. But today, Obi’s civility and developmental consciousness has changed all that. Anambra has become a state everybody wants to identify with.” Should other states in the South-East adopt Obi’s measures, before long, kidnapping and other violent crimes could become a thing of the past, he said.

‘How I brought kidnapping to South East’ property to do same. On Wednesday, Obi led some Ukpo, Igwe Robert Eze, on July government officials and the 31, 2012, when the hoodlums security hierarchy in the state to demanded the dollar equivalent Oraifite, where he demolished the of N100 million. country home of the suspect. The missing traditional ruler of Seething with anger, Obi said his Ihembosi, Igwe Jerome Okoli, administration would begin to deal who has not been seen till date, with traditional rulers and according to police sources, was presidents general whose wards are also kidnapped by the suspect. into kidnapping and armed robbery In a brief chat with our in the state. correspondent before he was He said: “My administration will taken away by security stop at nothing in making sure that operatives, he confessed that he peace reigns in Anambra State. The was a militant in the Niger Delta next line of action now is to go into before he embraced kidnapping. their business concerns and face He said: “I was a member of their associates. one of the Niger Delta militant “We can no longer continue this groups (name withheld). When kind of life. People must live a the groups laid down their arms, purposeful life. Enough is enough. I decided to relocate to my state It is now going to be war. We have to introduce real kidnapping. worked hard to make sure that “At times, I would not go into Anambra remains safe.” operation, but my boys would The item recovered in the •The governor at the demolition site carry my guns and come back to suspect’s house included 27 AK-47 give an account of proceedings. I riffles, one K2 riffle, two type-06 made money and I have no riffles, one general purpose regrets about that.” machine gun (GPMG), one rocket launcher, 17 rockets and six pump action guns. It was gathered that he lodged the sum of N3 million in a microfinance bank at Others were three Dane pistols, one Berreta pistol, 13 rocket grenades, 12,800 rounds Oraifite to be withdrawn by anyone who could lure the SARS commander in Anambra of AK-47 live ammunition, 530 rounds of LAR ammunition, 95 rounds of (GPMG) live to him. ammunition and 1,000 rounds of K2 live ammunition and 143 magazines. Governor Obi has already drawn a battle line between his government and the A total of 14,425 rounds of live ammunition were recovered from the man said to be hoodlums, vowing to demolish any property belonging to any such suspect in the state the most wanted armed robbery and kidnapping king pin in Nigeria. and promising to liaise with other state governments where such a suspect has any

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THE NATION, Saturday, September 8, 2012

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Where is my husband? •Pregnant wife of 40-yr-old Friday Akpandara, who got missing after hanging out with friend, cries out

•Mrs Akpandara •Mr Akpandara...missing

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Where is my husband? Where is my husband? Where is my husband? This is a familiar refrain on the lips of Mrs. Yejide Obidipe Akpandara, wife of 40-yr-old Friday Akpandara, as she stares vacuously but anxiously into the ceiling at 39 Omololu Road, off Randle Avenue, Surulere, Lagos. With a gush of tears nestling down her protruding tummy, Yejide is overwhelmed by anxiety about her husband’s strange disappearance without a trace since August 24, 2012. Yejide’s mother-in-law is not spared the torment of a missing son either, as echoes of where is my son? Where is my son ricochet everywhere in their living-room. Indeed, the entire 39 Omololu Road residence of his parents is wholly encased in a pall of gloom with the unexplained whereabouts of Friday Akpandara. The mood is melancholic, even as the ceiling fan swirls woozily in empathy with its aggrieved owners. But where is Friday Akpandara? This is a million dollar question begging for an answer. Was he ‘raptured’? And if so, could his Toyota Corrola with registration number, Lagos: BV 400 APP, have also been ‘raptured’? Loads and loads of questions, as neither he nor his car is anywhere to be seen. Herein lies the puzzle about the disappearance of a 40-year-old man. Friday Akpandara, a native of Bayelsa was born 40 years ago on a Friday, which was why his parents christened him Friday. But as if he had an interminable fate with Friday, Friday reportedly went out with a friend on August 24, 2012 being Friday, in what has sadly, turned out a seeming outing of no return. On the fateful day of August 24, he reportedly hopped into his car from his Ikorodu residence with no feeling of foreboding along with his pregnant wife, his two-and-a-half-year-old daughter and a friend and drove to 39 Omololu Road, off Randle Avenue, Surulere, where he dropped off his family with his aged mum for the weekend and left for Seunu Street off Western Avenue, Surulere. According to Friday’s younger brother, Anthony, “having left his wife and daughter with his mother, he drove his car and packed in front of his friend, Ubong’s house. He was billed to attend a function on Victoria Island, with his business associate, Kenneth Egendi, in whose car the two friends drove at about 6pm.” Anxiety mounting For what was earlier thought to be a brief function or rather a short business parley, The Nation gathered that the outing stretched very late into the night culminating in Mrs Akpandara becoming sufficiently worried and anxious about her husband, who she hinted was not known to keep late nights. With the anxiety about her husband yet to return mounting, Anthony told The Nation what went down: “At about 11 pm of the same day, Friday’s wife called him to find out where he was and he told her they were already heading home from Victoria Island. When he was not forth coming, she put a call to him but this time, unsuccessfully. The following day at about 4pm on Saturday, his wife called me to inquire if I had heard from or seen Friday. According to her, she was not able to reach him on his cell phone after her last call to him at 11pm on Friday, having tried unsuccessfully throughout the morning and afternoon of Saturday.” But why did Friday Akpandara’s two cell phones suddenly go stone-dead between 11.30 Friday and 7am the following day Saturday? And if Akpandara was indeed dropped off as claimed by his friend, Kenneth Egedi, why was it such a long haul from Western Avenue to Agric in Ikorodu? Was it possible that Akpandara could not find his way home? These are posers that are agitating the minds of Yejide and other family members. But Anthony recounts what Mrs

All through the period of the search, Ken did not say he was at The Soul Lounge Night Club with my husband until three days later when someone volunteered information that he saw them at the night club. That was when he admitted that they were at The Soul Lounge at about 10.30pm. He said my husband wanted to relieve himself

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n Linus OBOGO, Assistant Editor n Akpandara said were details of how he (Kenneth Egedi) and his friend parted on that fateful night of Friday: “After inquiring from Ken whom her husband had gone out with, she was told that he (Ken) had since dropped him off at Ubong’s house at about 11pm, where he was to pick up his car to drive home to Ikorodu. Ken told Mrs. Akpandara that after picking up his car, he was driving closely behind Friday and indeed saw him ascend the barracks end of Ojuelegba bridge along Western Avenue-Ikorodu Road. He said he could not establish further communication with his friend any longer as his cell phone batteries were down. Frantic search With minutes counting into hours and hours into days, it was increasingly becoming a race against time to find the missing Akpandara. Anthony said he tried frantically on Saturday to reach his brother on phone but all to avail. “So, I had to rush down to my parents’ house to see my brother’s wife and

get more detailed information on his movement the previous day. She told me she last spoke to her husband at 11.06pm on Friday. I asked for my brother’s friend’s (Egedi’s) number from her which she gave me. I called and inquired from Egedi when was the last time he saw my brother. He said it was 11pm Friday night when they were both driving home from a social function on Victoria Island. “I asked him if my brother took alcohol and if he could have driven under its influence, he told me Friday did not take any alcohol or excess of it. Again, I asked him if anything happened to him on their way back from V/I, he answered in the negative. I later went to see Egedi at his house and we both left to look for my brother along Western Avenue-Ikorodu Road. We also checked with the Onipanu police station and continued the search up to Ogudu, but without any trace of my brother. We checked under all the flyover bridges if he was involved in an accident. Yet there was no such indication. We also inquired from the police patrol, FRSC as well as LASTMA officials if they

arrested anyone driving between the hours of 11pm Friday and 4pm Saturday. They said they did not arrest anyone. We were told there was an accident but they could not give details of about which car was involved. We checked at LASTMA, FRSC and VIO offices whether his car was towed, but we could not find anything. We engaged locals to assist us check along bush paths if anything funny might have happened. All these did not yield any result. We also checked critical rescue areas along Lagos/Ibadan Expressway, in case he was rushed there for an emergency, but it was the same story. So, we went from one hospital to another. Kenneth and I were at LUTH, LASUTH, Gbagada General Hospital and the emergency and casualty wards of these hospitals to find out if any emergency was reported. The following day, we went to Ikorodu General Hospital mortuary and we still could not find my brother whether dead or alive. While we were searching for my brother, we called other friends of his to make a report at the nearest police station to his house, which is Owutu police station. We implored them to check at every police station in Ikorodu if there was any arrest or incident that would have warranted his arrest by the police. But there was no arrest or incident involving my brother or his car,” he said. A search in futility? Having failed to find Akpandara on Saturday, it was gradually appearing like a fruitless search that would go on and on into another day. Anthony continues: “We continued the search as early as 7am the following day on Sunday and checked if his car accidently skidded off the road, but we still could not find anything as such. At Majedun River, we checked if any car veered off into the lagoon. We found nothing. We dispatched different search teams to different areas to assist us look for him. All these efforts yielded no result. By 12pm on Sunday, I had to make a formal report at the Barracks Police Station,

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THE NATION, SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 8, 2012

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ROBBERY suspect, 30year-old Uchenna Ugwuanyi, has confessed that he switched from armed robbery to kidnapping because the leader of his gang, Ikechukwu aka IK, threatened to shoot him dead if he declined the option of joining the kidnapping gang after discovering that they were kidnappers. He said he had gone to the gang’s hideout at Ishawo part of Ikorodu, Lagos, to deliver some rice and noodles which Ikechukwu had sent him to buy in order to feed some of his victims. According to the police, one Aliu, an employee of a new generation bank in Lagos was returning from work, oblivious of the fact that he was being trailed by the gang. On getting to a spot along Christ Church near the office of a popular courier company in Gbagada, Lagos, the four-man gang of kidnappers blocked his car with theirs and forced him to stop after pointing a gun at him. They held him as soon as he stopped and tied his hands and legs, blindfolded him and drove off to their hideout at Ishawo, Ikorodu. Tunde’s family reported the matter at Ikoyi Police Station. The Divisional Police Officer (DPO), Aisha Haruna, a Superintendent of Police, directed them to write a petition to the Lagos State Commissioner of Police, UMar Manko, since it was a case of kidnapping. Manko immediately directed the officer in charge of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), Abba Kyari, a Superintendent of Police, to liaise with Haruna and track down the kidnappers. Unfortunately, the family had already negotiated with the gang to pay N5 million ransom when they threatened to kill the victim if he involved the police. Hence, the family had paid the ransom and the gang had shared the money before the police got involved. However, Kyari got the phone number the gang had used in calling the family and started working on how to get them arrested. The efforts of SARS operatives yielded a dividend on August 17 when they called Ugwuanyi to meet them at Agric Bus Stop, Ikorodu for a fresh job. The moment he appeared, he was embraced by a SARS man who also gave him a handshake before other SARS operatives emerged and told him that he was under arrest. That was when it dawned on him that his callers were policemen. Confessing his involvement in the kidnapping saga, Ugwuanyi said: “I was an okada (commercial motorcycle) rider. I operated on the Ikorodu, Ojota, Maryland and Oshodi routes. But I used to have special customers who paid me handsomely. In fact, one special customer could make my day because he could pay as much as N5,000. Hence, I would not need to stress myself for that day. “I am married with two children, though one of them is late. I started working with the gang on October 16 last year. The first time, I took two of them to De Cool Hotel at Bolade Area, Oshodi, but they did not allow me to mingle with them or know what they were doing. They only gave me a reasonable sum and asked me to go. “I was rendering them my services and they never wasted time in paying me. On one particular day, they told me to buy two measures of raw rice and I went to

•Ugwuanyi

Kidnappers compelled me to join their gang after I mistakenly walked into their den — Suspect They then told me that I ‘ had two options–to be shot dead with a gun they wielded

or enjoy the privilege of joining the gang. I thanked them for giving me the opportunity to make a choice. I told them that I didn’t want to die because nobody would take care of my wife and child...

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Ebele BONIFACE drop the rice at a face-me-I-face-you building on Ishawo Road. They normally came out to collect the rice from me, so that I would not be able to go inside and discover what they were doing. I was also not interested in what they were doing inside as it was not my business, more so when they did not waste time in paying me. “The two persons I used to carry were Aneke and IK. It was IK who normally came out of the building to collect the rice from me each time I went there. Later, they also called me on the phone and told me to buy four packets of noodles and a loaf of sliced bread worth N200. They normally paid immediately I delivered the items. “I interacted with them so much that they started coming to my house. But they did not meet my wife and child because they normally visited when my wife and child were not at home. Hence, my wife and child did not know that my new friends were kidnappers. “After visiting me for about five times, they told me that they did not like where I lived and advised me to look for a better accommodation. They promised to foot the bill. The gesture made me to like them the more. “They had earlier shown similar gestures. There was a day I took Aneke and IK from Agric Bus Stop to Ojota. When I dropped them at Ojota at about 10 am, they gave me N500 instead

of the N400 I charged them. They were too generous with money. At times they would ask me whether I had eaten or taken any drink. They also used to give me extra money to help myself. “There was a day they met me at Agric Bus Stop and I took them to a hotel in Oshodi. Instead of giving me N800, they gave me N1,000. It was the day they gave me N1,000 that they requested for my phone number, which I happily gave them because of their kindness and love towards me. “One day, they called me on the phone again and told me to buy rice and noodles and bring them to the place as usual. But on getting there, none of them came out to collect the items. After waiting for some minutes and seeing the serene nature of the place, I decided to go inside to deliver the items to them. “As I stepped inside one of the rooms, I saw a full grown man tied like a goat. His hands, legs, mouth and face were tied. I was greatly surprised. When they noticed that I was shocked, they were angry. They shouted at me to stop shivering like a baby. They also said I decided to come in because I wanted to know what they were doing. “They then told me that I had two options – to be shot dead with a gun they wielded or enjoy the privilege of joining the gang. I thanked them for giving me the opportunity to make a choice. I told them that I didn’t want to die because nobody would take care of my wife and child. My wife was pregnant and must have been delivered of a baby

by now because I have not heard from her. “I vowed not to reveal the secret even to my wife. But I also said they should be giving me equal share of the proceeds from any operation I participated in. They brought out a bottle of gin and we took an oath. From that day, I became a full member of the gang. “Before joining them, I had engaged in petty robbery, like using my motorcycle to snatch bags from women because their bags usually contained some money unlike men who carry documents. I also used to rob my passengers by stopping at a lonely place and ordering them at gun point to surrender their money or get shot. But the money I got from kidnapping was far bigger. Hence, I concentrated on kidnapping. “When they collected the five million naira ransom from Aliu’s family, they gave me N200,000 only, saying I was still learning the job. They promised to increase the money they would be giving me with time. In fact, the one that made me to give myself to them was the N200,000. I was blinded by that money and I could do nothing again other than wait for their phone call. “So, on August 17, 2012, at about 9am at Agric Bus Stop, Ikorodu, I never expected that my callers were SARS operatives. They tracked me with the number we used in demanding

a ransom from the victim’s family. “They called me on the phone and asked me where I was and I told them I was at Ishawo Road. I did not know that they were SARS operatives because that was how my special customers used to call me. They said they wanted to see me for another job. They said they had collected half of the money and it ran into millions of naira. They said my share this time would be one million naira. “I could not wait when they said they were at Agric Bus Stop. I ran as much as my motorcycle could carry me. But to my greatest surprise, the people I met there were SARS operatives. They took me to my house and collected the N200,000 I had planned to buy a piece of land with. They even collected another N80,000 which was not part of the ransom. “Please, tell them to return the N80,000 to my wife. That was the money I got from riding okada. I am a robber, but no gun was found in my house. I am a kidnapper too. I am not quarrelling about the N200,000 which is part of the ransom. What I am demanding is that they should return the N80,000 to my wife and let me face the music alone. “I would advise commercial motorcycle riders in Lagos to mind the type of passengers they carry, particularly those who entice them with money. They should be careful when a passenger wants to pay N1000 where ordinarily he ought to pay N200.”


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THE NATION, SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 8, 2012

F

OR Olayinka Efunnuga, life has been nothing better than hell since a truck belonging to the Nigerian Bottling Company, makers of Coca-Cola, ran into his Peugeot 405 car in April last year and left him with a fractured leg. All that seems to matter to the taxi driver since then has been the miracle that would make him to walk again. The 59-year-old indigene of Ogun State was said to be returning home after the day’s job when the incident occurred at Governor’s Road junction, Ikotun, Lagos State. A Coca-Cola truck was said to have run into his car, damaging it beyond repairs and breaking his leg in the process. Efunnuga cut the picture of a man in urgent need of help when our correspondent visited his residence at 39, Bamshack Street, Ikotun during the week. He reclined on a seat in his poorly furnished apartment, looking dejected. He recalled the circumstances that culminated in his predicament, adding that his condition was getting worse because of his inability to raise fund for medical treatment. He said: “The incident actually occurred at about 11.15 pm on April 28, 2011 while I was returning home from work. It was my habit to wait until it was dark before returning home after closing for the day to avoid being caught in traffic jam. “On this particular day, I had dropped a passenger on Victoria Island and waited until it was late before leaving for home. I had just bought a lot of suya (roast meat) with the intention of eating it when I got home. Unfortunately, a few metres to my home, just at the Governor’s Road junction, a CocaCola truck emerged from a corner of the road and rammed into my Peugeot 405 car. I lost my right leg while I also sustained injury in the chest. “A kind-hearted passer-by took me to a nearby private hospital, but after some days, doctors at the hospital said my case was beyond what they could handle and I was discharged. I was transferred to Igando General Hospital, but after several delays, I was again taken to the National Orthopaedic Hospital, Igbobi, where doctors refused to attend to me for of lack of money.” Efunnuga explained the nightmare his life had witnessed over his inability to raise money for treatment to restore his damaged leg and chest. He said: “My car was condemned and I don’t have any source to raise money for my treatment, which doctors have said would require total surgery. I have been going from one hospital to another, including Railway Hospital. I have even resorted to patronising traditional bone healers, all to no avail. “At a point when I could not afford to feed and buy drugs to suppress excruciating pains, I sold my parcel of land in Ikenne for a paltry sum and I am now left with nothing to live on. “I bought the damaged car for N 650,000 and lost it in an autoaccident involving a company without any compensation. More than one year after the incident, I am finding it extremely difficult to cope with life, especially my domestic responsibilities. I cannot walk and I live with pains every day because my leg is badly damaged.” Our correspondent gathered that several letters were written by the

I’m desperate to walk again, says 59-yr-old taxi driver hit by Coca-Cola truck

•Efunnuga’s badly damaged cab after the accident

•Efunnuga in bandage after the accident •Efunnuga showing his fractured leg

Kunle AKINRINADE taxi driver to the Nigerian Bottling Company (NBC), asking for compensation, but the talks were deadlocked. The breakdown of communication between Efunnuga and officials of the bottling giant, according to him,

was because of the paltry amount the company had offered to pay. He said: “After we had written to the company on a number of occasions, their lawyer asked us for the cost of my medical treatment and it was agreed that I would get N1.5 million. They asked us to come back for the money only for the company to shut its doors on me. The company

•Efunnuga before the accident

even “cajoled” my son to come and pick the sum of N250,000 on my behalf, but as I speak, nothing has been paid. “The company is clinging to a suit filed against its errant driver by the police for reckless driving as an excuse to abandon me to my fate. I am, therefore, appealing to people to assist me so that I can stand on my feet again. I cannot

the damaged car for N 650,000 and lost it ‘ inI bought an auto-accident involving a company without any compensation. More than one year after the incident, I am finding it extremely difficult to cope with life, especially my domestic responsibilities. I cannot walk and I live with pains every day because my leg is badly damaged

,

continue to depend on handouts from my son because he is a young man and has his own family to take care of.” In its response, the Public Affairs Manager, Nigerian Bottling Company Ltd, Mr. Adeyanju Olomola, confirmed the incident, saying: “The Nigerian Bottling Company confirms that Mr. Efunnuga Olayinka was injured in an accident which involved our vehicle along Ikotun-Egbdeda Road in April 2011. “Attempts were made to resolve the issue, but these were not successful, following which legal proceedings were instituted against the driver in court, and it is currently ongoing. “Regrettably, given that the case is currently in court, we are constrained by the law to respond to your request to comment on this issue at this moment,” he added.


THE NATION, SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 8, 2012

18

A

SUSPECTED fraudster detained at the Special Fraud Unit (SFU) of the Nigeria Police Force, Milverton Road, Ikoyi, Lagos, has boasted that he cannot be intimidated out of “business”. Forty-one-year-old Chinedu Ezeoma, a self-acclaimed senior system analyst with the American Embassy, said his confidence was hinged on the fact that it was not the first time he would be arrested and even taken to court only for the cases to die naturally, expressing confidence that his arrest and proposed trial would go the same way. Ezeoma, aka Nwa David, was alleged to have defrauded many people without any consequence. But luck ran out on him when a victim wrote a petition to the Commissioner of Police of the SFU, Tunde Ogunsakin. The SFU wasted no time in charging him to court after he was arrested, a development the unit said was based on overwhelming evidence against him. While his case pended in court, other victims waited for their turns. Hence, as soon as he was granted bail, he was rearrested just as he stepped out of court and was made to write a statement on the fresh allegation another victim had levelled against him. But he insisted that the fresh allegation of N4.9 million fraud levelled against him was a frame-up by a woman he had allegedly sacked as her girlfriend. Reliving his re-arrest after he was granted bail by the court, Chinedu, who lamented that he was being forced to eat prison food instead of food prepared by his wife, said: “I was whisked away from the court premises minutes after I was granted bail by a competent court over a new allegation framed up by my former girlfriend who was acting in a manner that is not fit for a decent and responsible woman. That has made me to lose interest in her completely. “I have an intimate picture we took together before our relationship went bad and I lost interest in her and cut off any relationship. That was why she connived with her friends to frame a false allegation of N4.9 million fraud against me. There is no documentary evidence to support her allegation. “She said she paid the money to Obitex Cosmetics. If I may ask, who is Obitex Cosmetics? I am of the opinion that she connived with some politicians with whom I have political differences. Their plan is to spoil my name with this unfounded and empty allegation. “I don’t have access to choice food in the cell. Why should I be denied access to good food in police cell and my family is not allowed to come and give me choice food? I have not been convicted. Therefore, I still have my fundamental human rights intact to eat choice food until a competent court says something to the contrary. “I am a registered contractor. I also run a non-governmental organisation (NGO) on youth empowerment in Enugu. I will not tell you the corporate name of my NGO. Neither will I tell you the name of my village and my state of origin, because this case I am facing is a bad one. “The girl I told you about was my girlfriend. She was my intimate friend before I called it quits. I used to give her maintenance money satisfactorily

I can’t be intimidated out of business, says fake US Embassy official accused of duping single ladies ‘

•The suspet

Ebele BONIFACE and to the best of my ability. The relationship was severed when I lost interest in her due to her careless lifestyle. I told her plainly that I no longer needed her. “We started our intimate relationship in 2011 and ended it exactly one year after we knew each other. I believe in court process and I will be vindicated when the time comes. “Concerning the first case, it was one woman that framed the allegation. I am innocent because all the allegations were framed up to destroy my reputation. It is the handiwork of people I have political differences with, and surely, they will not succeed.” The SFU Commissioner of Police, Tunde Ogunsakin, said Ezeoma was re-arrested for allegedly duping another victim, while many other victims he had duped under false pretence were waiting for their turns. He said Ezeoma was parading himself as an official of the US Embassy with a forged complimentary card that bears David Obiora Aniekwe, Senior System Analyst, Visa Section. He also said he claimed to be an indigene of

Umunze, Anambra State. Ogunsakin alleged that Ezeoma operated as a fraudster around Enugu and Lagos axis to dupe intending travellers to the United States of America. He also said the suspect had a peculiar mode of operation with young and single ladies, particularly those who intend to study abroad as his target. He said Ezeoma normally ap-

•The victims of the fraud

I am a registered contractor. I also run a nongovernmental organisation (NGO) on youth empowerment in Enugu. I will not tell you the corporate name of my NGO. Neither will I tell you the name of my village and my state of origin, because this case I am facing is a bad one

,

proached them with his sugarcoated tongue and established a relationship with them after introducing himself as a senior system analyst at the visa section of the American Embassy. He

would then promise to assist them in procuring American visa. He recalled that the suspect had been arrested by SFU operatives sometime in April and was paraded on May 3, and that was how some other victims he had earlier allegedly duped got to know his whereabouts. In that particular case, he said, Ezeoma fraudulently obtained the sum of $15,615 under the pretence of procuring an American visa for the victim. The suspect, the CP said, was later charged to court by SFU, but he secured bail in court and, having vowed to continue with his antics, went ahead to defraud another victim. He said Ezeoma connived with one Mr. Obioma Agu of Obitex Cosmetic Ventures and one Mr. Sam Ufomadu and successfully duped another victim of N4.9 million with a promise to help the victim secure admission into an American university and also procure a visa for her between June and July 2012. “The suspect hacked into two foreign numbers, +19406031528 and +19406049866, which he claimed belonged to Atlanta University and used them to contact the victim on two occasions so as to make his activities look genuine,” the CP said. He said the suspect, who he described as notorious, requested for another $4,100 in August 2012, which made the victim to suspect a foul play and confronted him. Realising that his game was up, Ezeoma became elusive. Ogunsakin said a press release issued by SFU on May 3, 2012 regarding Ezeoma’s activities attracted some victims from Enugu and Lagos, who all confirmed that he was going about with a forged complimentary card of the US Embassy. He said they also confirmed that he drove around Enugu in different cars with diplomatic number plates. The CP added that the suspect and his cohorts operated a syndicate that specialised in defrauding ladies who are desperate to get married or travel to the United States, adding that the unit had intensified efforts to arrest his feeing accomplices. He seized the opportunity to warn members of the public, particularly ladies, to watch out for persons of Ezeoma’s ilk, saying that Nigerians who intend to travel abroad should apply and procure their visas through the appropriate channels rather than engage the services of people who claim they are officials of the embassy.


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THE NATION, SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 8, 2012

Saturday

THRILLER

N5,000 note: Our patriarchs’ stature has been diminished Kinsmen of Balewa, Zik, Awo T

HE gale of condemnations trailing the proposed introduction of a single N5,000 note by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has continued, with kinsmen of Sir Tafawa Balewa, Dr. Nnamdi Azikwe and Chief Obafemi Awolowo, describing the policy as an ‘ insult’. Speaking with The Nation, the eldest son of the late prime minister, Alhaji Yakubu Abubakar, regretted the action of the nation’s leaders, saying: “Those in the corridors of power can choose to either have the labour of our heroes past be in vain or not.” Alhaji Yakubu, who is now the patriarch of the late prime minister’s family, said: ‘’The late prime minister’s family has not been contacted on the conversion of the N5 bank note (on which Balewa appears) into coins. But I was there and recall very well, the active role he played in the establishment of the Central Bank in 1959. But what can we do? Let them do whatever they like.” He added: “The N5,000 bank note proposed by the CBN, if possible, should carry the faces of the Late Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa, Chief Obafemi Awolowo, Dr. Nnamdi

Segun AJIBOYE, Patience SADUWA, Odogwu EMEKA and Austine TSENZUGHUL Azikiwe, Sir Ahmadu Bello, Herbert Macaulay and all his compatriots, who all sacrificed a lot to ensure Nigeria’s freedom from Britain. ‘’We do not care whatever denomination the former prime minister’s portrait is on. If his portrait comes on the coin, what about his compatriots who put in their best? We strongly feel that his compatriots should always stay together because they had always worked together. This is the family’s stand.” He, however, assured that the family would not make further comment on the issue because, according to him, the prime minister was for all Nigerians, and that they (Nigerians) are free to treat him as they feel. For Bauchi-born centurion, simply identified as ‘Gogo’, she may have had her image printed on the naira if she were a man, but insisted that former leaders should not be forgotten by the younger generation. Continued on Page 20


THE NATION, SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 8, 2012

20 •Continued from Page 19 “If I were not a woman, I would have made a name too because I was a young lady when I went into politics during NEPU, before the likes of late Hajia Gambo Sawaba. But that Iboman, Aziki, Yoruba son, Awolowo and Tafawa Balewa should not be forgotten by these young people. “Allah will not forgive them if they do. You do not forget the person who gives you food when you are dying of hunger, he who rubs balm on your swollen joint. If they do, their grand-children will forget about them before they die. I am a Fulani and from the same lineage with the Late Abubakar.” To most people on the streets of Bauchi, the planned conversion of N5 note bearing the image of Sir Tafawa Balewa, to a coin, is a disgrace. According to Bello Alkaleri, “the coinage is a disgrace to the former prime minister’s efforts to ensure that Nigeria got independence from Britain.” Seventy-five yearold Aliyu, a member of defunct NEPU, and a follower of late Aminu Kano, shook his head, saying: “His contribution to Nigeria will soon be forgotten. We are not supposed to treat these heroes with disdain and throw their legacies away.” Thirty-five year-old Amina Buba Hardo questioned the contributions of Late Margret Ekpo, Funmilayo Ransom Kuti and Gambo Sawaba to the liberation of the Nigerian woman compared to those of the nationalists, suggesting that the highest currency denomination in the land should have the faces of Abubakar Tafawa Balewa, Dr.Nnamdi Azikiwe and Chief Obafemi Awolowo.” Also speaking, Zainab Alkali, a Ph.D candidate in an American university, maintained: “These women were regional champions, and should never be placed above national heroes. It is absolutely wrong to do so”, adding that “Martin Luther cannot be cerebrated in Nigeria like it is done in America. Village heroes are different from city heroes.” But for John Peter Galadima, a 79-year old retired Native Authority Constable, with 36 grandchildren and 21 great-grandchildren, President Goodluck should concentrate on issues that “put food on our tables, give us functional health facilities to attend to our ailments, good education for our children and not to divert attention to issues that do not advance our collective cause as a people.” For kinsmen of Late Right Hon. Chukwuma Nnamdi Azikiwe , Owelle of Onitsha and First President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, fury best describes their mood over the planned introduction of N5,000 bill, saying it will diminish the stature of Zik in Nigeria and the global politics. They insisted that the portrait of the late Zik should be endorsed in the new N5, 000, which, according to them, is the best way to honour him. The spokesperson of Onitsha community and President -General Onitsha Improvement Union, Chief Peter Nwagu, described it as a bad thing to do. ‘’It is a bad thing that the great Zik of Africa, the giant of all and first civilian President of Nigeria, should be relegated to N500 bill, while women who carried his political bags are elevated to N5,000 bill. It is a shameful thing to do. It is a bad thing that Zik should be so disdainfully treated. ‘’If Azikiwe wanted, he could have sold Nigeria because, at that time, Nigeria as a whole was asleep . Remember that he got the first Senate President of Nigeria admission abroad and his legacies are legion. He contested election in the West and won. He was the former President of Nigeria. ‘’Why should he be relegated to the back-

‘If possible, let the N5,000 note carry the faces of Balewa, Zik, Bello, Awo, others’

ground? Up till now, his Mausoleum is a shame to the nation, the Federal Government has abandoned Zik and his family such that the engineers from the Federal Ministry of Works have continued to mess up the money allocated for completion of his mausoleum in the budget.. ‘’Zik deserves the best and the highest currency should have his portrait as the founding father of Nigeria. Why should women that carried his political bags be placed higher than him? He can only be placed side by side people like Abubakar Tafawa Belewa and Chief Awolowo.” However, the first son of Late Azikiwe , Chief Chukwuma Azikiwe Jnr, the Owelle of Onitsha, would not comment on who deserves to be on the new bill or whether the new bill will diminish his late father’s stature. For him, the issues for discussion should be centered around whether security and inflation were taken into consideration before the introduction of the new note. “ I think we have to examine whether it is economically wise to introduce N5,000 bill now. It raises questions on security and inflation. We have to address that before taking the final decision on its introduction. ‘’The Federal Government first brought N500 to honour my father and you saw the commendation that followed that. That should not stop new people who have done great from being honoured by the Federal Government.” For Prof. Mrs. Antoinette Okaka of Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka and Patron of Onitsha Improvement Union , “Late Chief Chukwuma Nnamdi Azikiwe, Owelle Onitsha, has to be placed adequately in the N5,000 bill.” While she is not against the honour being done the three women whose images will grace the new note, she is of the view that Zik’s portrait should be in the highest Nigerian denomination. “Zik’s position has to be adequately placed in the N5,000 bill if that is what we need now. The women also deserve the recogni-

tion that are bestowed on them. I think they can reverse the bill by bringing Zik’s portrait to the higher bill and the women to the lower bill.” She, however, thanked the proponents of the bill for the honour, saying it is honour to all Nigerian women. An Onitsha-based civil irghts group said Nigeria has a long history of diminishing and disrespecting its heroes. The Chairman, Civil Liberties Organization, (CLO) Anambra State Branch, Comrade Aloysius Attah, regretted that present and past leaders have not given due attention to the late Owelle, saying tht they have danced and spat on his grave. “ There is nothing new in the plan to put the photographs of three women on the N5,000 note. After all, since the demise of the great son of Africa, all the past and present governments in Nigeria have been dancing and spitting on his grave. Zik’s spirit is angry, no wonder it has refused to rest in peace. Several years after his death, the proposed Mausoleum lies in ruins while rodents and other animals have taken over the tomb. ‘’Presently, there is an ongoing debate on the proposed restructuring of the naira. Nigerians have said it emphatically that they don’t need the N5,000 note. We have also cried out that the so-called plan to make our N20, N5 AND N10 notes into coins will not only devalue the naira, but will also spiral the inflation rate. ‘’Until recently, when the new Inspector General of Police gave order to police officers to dismantle road blocks, Zik’s house at Inosi Onira Roundabout, Onitsha, had been the unofficial parking lot of Okadas and vehicles whose owners refused to settle or ‘roger’ the police. “Nnamdi Azikiwe deserves a day of national holiday in his honour. His final resting place is supposed to be a national monument, a world class tourist attraction and a center of excellence”. The story is not different for kinsmen of Late Chief Obafemi Awolowo, the first premier of the old Western Region and Federal

Minister of Finance during the administration of Gen. Yakubu Gowon, whose image presently adorns the N100 note. They joined in condemning the introduction of the new note into the nation’s monetary system. Speaking with The Nation, in Ikenne, Ogun State, the kinsmen of the late politician condemned the new policy and described it as a slap on their late son. Pa Okanlawon Raimi cannot understand why despite Obafemi Awolowo’s achievements, his image is printed on a ‘mere’ N100, while the image of women who didn’t contribute as much as Awolowo would adorn the highest denomination in the land. For him, he would rather the currency issuing authorities place the image of Awolowo on the highest denomination and print the images of the women on the N100. “I don’t know what these people in Abuja mean by introducing this new note. If they have to introduce it at all, then why would they put the images of the women while that of Awolowo is left on a mere N100? Let me tell you, I don’t have anything against those women, but I see it as a slap that they are putting their photos on the highest denomination in the country, leaving Awolowo who contributed a lot to the development of the country on N100. I don’t like it at all.” Also speaking, Pa Dapo Ogunyombo would rather the government concerns itself with solving all the social and economic issues bedevilling the country than bother introducing a single N5,000. “Everybody in the country is saying they don’t want the money, but the government is insisting. We should ask them whose interest they are protecting, is it our interest or their own? There is no security in the land, our children cannot get jobs and even those who have jobs are not sure of securing the jobs, yet the government is more concerned with the introduction of a N5,000 note. They even said they want to put the photographs of three women on the money. So we have forgotten what Awolowo did for this country? Look around us, some of the roads that


21

THE NATION, SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 8, 2012

•Alhaji Yakubu Tafawa Balewa

•Ekpo

•Yinka Ogunyombo

•Dapo Adesanya

•Gambo Sawaba

•Funmilayo Kuti

Everybody in the country is saying they don’t want the money, but the government is insisting. We should ask them whose interest they are protecting, is it our interest or their own? There is no security in the land, our children cannot get jobs and even those who have jobs are not sure of securing the jobs, yet the government is more concerned with the introduction of a N5,000 note

Awo built are still there and strong, whereas those that were built by these people have been repaired more than 10 times over. It is a slap on all of us, not only the indigenes of Ikenne.” Mother of three, Deji Adenuga, is not happy with the introduction of the new note. While she considers the introduction as demeaning the importance of her kinsman, Awolowo, she also raised another scary point, which she said the introduction of the new note portends. According to her, most people in Ikenne and its surrounding towns are now scared that the new note may lead to increase in cases of kidnapping for ritual purposes. “I am not happy with the new money at all. Why would they put the photograph of Awolowo on N100, while they want to put three women on N5,000? And before you know what now, they will scrap the N100. So where would Awolowo be at that time? Aside from this, since the news that they want to introduce the money, two children have been declared missing. Only recently, there was news that two people were missing in Ilisan. Everybody is now worried because experience has taught us that each time they introduce new money, people begin to get missing because of the activities of ritualists who want to catch in on the new note.” For Mrs. Oluwatoyin Efunnuga, the new

monetary policy is a pure introduction to chaos. Her fears, she says, are based on past introductions of new notes into the system. “As a mother, I am very scared that bad people will go to work now to exploit the situation. We have started hearing stories of missing people, even before the money is introduced. Those people who want quick money through rituals will now start their evil work again because they know that they can easily make more money with the N5,000 note. “Another thing is the photographs of the women. You know that I am a woman, so I am not against them. But why would they leave the photographs of Awolowo on N100, which in any case, they may come up with another policy tomorrow and turn into coin, while they are putting the photograph of three women on the nation’s highest currency denomination?” Speaking along similar line, Alhaji Ajirotutu Nureni is surprised that the Federal Government is pursuing such policy while Nigerians are suffering, arguing that such policy had never been beneficial to the masses. “In what way or ways would this money help to alleviate the problems confronting the people? Look around us, you’ll see that Nigerians are being bombarded with one problem or the other. It is either they have

•CBN Governor Sanusi Lamido no job or that there are security challenges. “As if that is not enough, they are now relegating the great Awo to the background by having his image on N100, while the images of women who didn’t contribute as much as Awo did will grace the proposed N5,000.” But youthful Omolola Thompson is not impressed with the cry of wolf against the new policy by his kinsmen. He wondered why the people kept quiet in the past when other denominations were introduced, thereby sealing the fate of the then smaller notes. He, however, expressed his opposition against the introduction of the new note, and would rather the government concentrates its efforts on creating more jobs for the youths, ensure security for the people and provide stable power supply. “I am not bothered by all the noise against the introduction. Why didn’t our people complain when similar things were done to other currencies in the past? But I don’t support the introduction of a N5,000 note. The government should be advised to concentrate on creating more jobs for Nigerians, give us stable power supply and ensure the security of the people.” Commenting on the psychological impact of the new policy on the affected families and the nation, Dr. Tony Okeregbe of the Department of Psychology, University of

•Comrade Aloysius Attah Lagos, said: “These honours were done to the heroes as a way of immortalising them so the sacrifices they made for the country will be remembered from generation to generation. But with the introduction of the new higher denomination, the old notes will lose their value and this will be lost. And this might make them lose their legacy permanently. “It is true that Nigerians don’t like using coins, so people believe this will affect the legacies of the past heroes. But to me, this doesn’t really matter as there are other ways that the government has immortalised them. Agreed, honoring them through the nation’s currency is a better way, as it gives room for a participation of ideas in the polity and it also reaches a wider range of people. As for the families of the affected past leaders, I agree that somehow, these honours were a source of pride to them and they might feel bad that the honours on their fathers have been lost. But their legacies will also live on in other ways of documentation like in books for instance. School children can learn about them from pictures in their books, thus ensuring their legacies live on from one generation to the next. The other day, I showed my daughter a 20 kobo coin and she was so excited that she had first seen it in her social studies book.” In the opinion of a legal practitioner and social commentator, Tunde Kolawole, the introduction of the new currency will affect the value of the older notes and go on to erode the honour done to leaders whose images adorn the notes to be turned into coins. “If we take into consideration our past experience when new notes were introduced into the system, the old notes tend to lose their value; they depreciate. For instance, there was a time in this country when the N20 note was the highest denomination and you could buy a lot of things with it. But as soon as the N50 note was introduced, the old note became valueless. So, we should expect the same thing with this proposed N5,000 note. “This loss of value will invariably affect the honour done to our past leaders whose faces are on these notes. The honour will be watered down and lost. There was an important reason why these honours were given in the first place- to keep them in the minds of the people so they will remember the sacrifices they made for the country. But they will now be relegated to the background, a kind of indirect way of withdrawing the honour bestowed on them. “This will send a negative message to other people in the society who are working diligently for the country. They will begin to ask themselves whether sacrifice and hard work pays. The young people too will wonder if the country is worth dying for and the fatherland is worth making sacrifices for. And as for the families of the affected heroes, they will feel bad, that their fathers have been relegated to the background and the sacrifices they made unappreciated. On another level, the new notes will fuel corruption, especially among the political class as it will be easier to steal and smuggle huge amounts of money abroad.”


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Sunny Ade thrills guests as Island Club chief buries mother-in-law

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HE final burial of Chief (Mrs) Susan Ola Ajibade (nee Fadairo) on Friday, August 31 in Ibadan, Oyo State was a convergence of who-is-who on the social scene in Lagos and Ibadan. The funeral service took place at St Mary’s Catholic Church, Oke Padre, Ibadan. At the service, the officiating minister, Rev. Fr. Benedict Ugwoegbu, interspersed his sermon with Bible passages, asking children, relatives and friends of the deceased not to see her death as a loss, but a transformation into eternal glory. With the service over, the remains of the deceased in a white casket were carried shoulder high by pall bearers in a motorcade to the church’s cemetery in Oke –Aare for interment. There was outpouring of emotions at the graveside as children and family members of the deceased burst into tears as they performed the dust-to-dust rite. The deceased businesswoman-cum- teacher, who died at the age of 86, was buried at about 1.25 pm, while her children returned to the church for a brief thanksgiving service. Entertainment of guests followed at Jogor Event Centre, Ibadan. Juju music maestro, King

•Hakeem Alobo-Bakare and wife, Martina Dupeola

•Mr. Charles Bamidele and wife, Funmilola

Kunle AKINRINADE Sunny Ade, thrilled guests. There was a large turnout of members of the Island Club who came to honour one of the sons-in-law of the deceased and immediate past Social Secretary of the club, Otunba Hakeem Alobo-Bakare. In a tribute to her mother, daughter of the deceased, Mrs Dupeola Matina Alobo-Bakare, said:”Without my mum, I wouldn’t be the woman I am today. She taught me so many things, while I was growing up: how to cook, how to clean the house, how to love and be loved, how to care for all and sundry, how to be obedient, humble and how to be contented. She was indeed a mother in a million.” Some of the guests who graced the event were Chief Bolaji Ayorinde (SAN), Ambassador Bamigbetan Baju, Royal Ambassador to Alaafin of Oyo, Aare Ayandotun Ayanlakin, Aare Kamorudeen Danjuma, Chief Gbolahan Awe, among others. She is survived by Mrs. Funmilayo Fasuru, Kola Ajibade, Captain Banji Ajibade, Mrs.Alobo-Bakare and Mrs.Olayinka Anoku.

•From right: Capt. Kola Ajibade, Mr. Banji Ajibade and wife, Florita

Encomiums as Baptist Church icon Jemiriye goes home at 97

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EV. Frederick Oyeyemi Jemiriye, the father of Prof. Timothy Folorunso Jemiriye, former Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Head of the Department of Religious Studies, Ekiti State University, Ado-Ekiti, was buried on August 25 at Igede-Ekiti. Frederick was a son of Charles Ajiromola Jemiriye, one of the first indigenous missionaries who introduced Christianity and western education to Ekiti. The Egba and Ekiti were the first Yoruba dialectal groups to be exposed to Christianity and western education. Frederick was born on November 11, 1916 at Igede-Ekiti, and died on August 5 at AdoEkiti at the age of 97. He went to different schools in Ile-Ife, Igede-Ekiti, Iwo and later attended the Nigerian Baptist Theological Seminary, Ogbomoso. He was married to Eunice (nee Ejiwale), now late, of Ola in Osun State. The couple got married on July 21, 1947. He worked as a pastor, evangelist, teacher, school manager and administrator in IyinEkiti, Irele-Ekiti, Ikoyi-Ile, Ogbomoso, Zungeru, Arigidi-Akoko, Ikogosi-Ekiti, AdoEkiti and many other towns in the old Western Region of Nigeria. Frederick was at different times in the Nigerian Baptist Convention (NBC), Vice-President, Chairman of the NBC Programme Planning Committee, Chairman of the NBC Nomination Committee. He was also the Chairman of the Bible

Toyin AGBEBI Society of Nigeria (BSN) of Ikare-Akoko branch as well as a national committee member and life member of the BSN. As duplicated in his own handwriting in the Order of Service for the Burial and Thanksgiving Service, his motto was “Suffering – Without a cross,there is no crown. If I am to preach a successful ministry, I must suffer. I must sacrifice too.” Similarly, the saying of Jesus in Matthew 8: 34 was his message: “Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross and follow me.” This was also the message of the preacher at the burial and thanksgiving service. The Rev. S.T. Ola Akande, former General Secretary of the NBC. Rev. Akande considered Frederick a gift to Igede, the Christian ministry, the NBC, the Ekiti people and Nigerians in general. His text was taken from II Corinthians Chapter 5 verses 1 to 10. In his sermon, he challenged Christian clergies to live a life worthy of the gospel, not to come into the ministry because of unemployment,or because of riches and popularity. He advised leaders, especially Christian clergies, not to consider themselves as boss or master; rather, they should be ready to suffer for Christ. Like Frederick , they should be seeds of

the gospel of Christ. After the message, his body was committed to mother earth in a white and gold coffin. In attendance at the burial and thanksgiving service held at First Baptist Church were dignitaries and eminent professors from the Ekiti State University, such as the Acting Vice-Chancellor, Prof. J.O. Aribisala, Acting Registrar, Mr. A.O. Ogunyemi, Dean, School of Postgraduate Studies, Prof. Eddy Olanipekun, deans of faculties, heads of departments and other government functionaries.

•The grandchildren of the deceased

•Prof. T.F. Jemiriye (left) and other children of the deceased

•Some EKSU professors at the reception

Other children of Frederick are Mrs Ebunoluwa Akinyemi and Mrs Bosede Abe. The children were dressed in fucial pink on cream lace, while the grandchildren and great grandchildren were dressed in red over gray lace. The reception was held at the Baptist College of Theology, Aramoko Road, Igede-Ekiti where the children and grandchildren entertained friends and well-wishers. They all danced to music of the invited gospel musician.


LOCATION

BACKSTAGE

SNAPSHOT

REEL NEWS

MUSIC

SCREEN

Edited by: VICTOR AKANDE

Tel: 08077408676

E-mail: victor_akande@yahoo.com

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We can’t fall in love with the same man —Aneke twins


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THINK

STAND BY! h

Wit

VICTOR AKANDE E-mail: victor_akande@yahoo.com Tel: 08077408676 (SMS only)

SNAPSHOTS

nt part of An importa s of any the succes is its civilisation late the mu ability to e t led to the a th factors ther success of o Eric .— s civilisation rt Reine

Nollywood needs to die •‘I'm an up and coming Nigerian filmmaker’. •‘Nollywood huh? Seen couple of your (industry's) flicks, SMH!’

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HE later is a remark from a random Caucasian I shared corner with, curious at a canon 7D that hung on my neck at the lounge of Doha International Airport (U.A.E), while waiting for a connecting flight to Lagos. Exchanging contacts, we swapped blackberries; a certain lady and I. A minute passed, and I still hadn't found the BBM icon. A second look at the phone, and it was indeed a Black'barry'. Whilst the Doha Airport incidence as well as a few other related utterances from more bewildered spectators put me in a "niche carved by others" the fake Black'barry' reminds me of the unoriginality of the brand 'Nollywood'; she needs to die! But no idea is original to anybody right? Well Let's focus then on aspect which "fellow students" of my school of thought find even more baffling; the mentality. Imagine a fellow whom without skill or training sees boxing as a hustle; an easy means to an end, rather than a passion driven by professional career; such fellow is destined to die in the ring. Likewise, until those who "run things" make "running things" an affair born out of passion (not just a cheap money spinning venture. After all, carpenters do make money too) and continually make efforts to improve the art... Nollywood needs to die! Her Nomenclature, so kindergarten, it beats me hollow; "Passions of my destiny"... How passionate can one's destiny (inanimate) be huh? Blackberry Girls, Facebook Babes (I'm looking forward to seeing Twitter Dames), Royal Blood, Royal Blood 2, End of Royal Blood, Snake in the Royal Palace, End of Snake in the Royal Palace, Palace Fight, Palace Fight 2, End of Palace Fight. The list of baffling home video titles is just endless; Fighting for the Prince 1, 2, 3, End of Fighting for the Prince 1,2,3. The King is Mine Alone… *phew*. If I see one more film poster with any 'Royal' connotation, I'm surely going to puke! ...Nollywood needs to die! Round pegs in square holes? Welcome to the industry where unseasoned actors, products of the same mentality in a bid to re-invent themselves turn 'Directors'. They churn out same old standard wishy-

Writes Otu Njama

What's more annoying is the absence of correlation between the nude actress in the poster and any scene in the so called "movie". Bastardization of my profession! Somebody, please kill Nollywood! washy 'films' only this time, paying more attention to PR; kudos to that by the way. But seriously, we all must not call the shots. Directing involves a little more than holding unto a megaphone and screaming 'action and cut'. And I totally understand artistic freedom of expression, plus the feeling of being the "brain" behind a successful work of art but the keyword is "success". And as cinema is concern Success implies ultimate satisfaction of the cinema goer or as is the case, of "Nollywood" VCD/DVD buyers. Either ways, I hardly get value on money spent. Yes, I'm a consumer too, an optimistic but dissatisfied one whom is of the opinion that… Nollywood needs to die! Whilst morals is a given, Morality on the other hand is relative to place and time, as such don't speak for or against 'nudity' on screen, so long as the scenes are essential to telling a good story, Keyword ESSENTIAL! A rather annoying trend

Welcome to the industry where unseasoned actors, products of the same mentality in a bid to re-invent themselves turn 'Directors'. They churn out same old standard wishywashy 'films' only this time, paying more attention to PR; kudos to that by the way

WRITE TO US!

about a few Nigerians is our indiscriminate hijack and bastardization of anything seemingly "trendy". That Ghollywood (abeg what's with the woods anyways?) adopted indiscriminate showcase of scantily dressed female actors as a 'marketing' strategy; must Nollywood join in the show of shame? Granted, the actors give consent. Plus, the movies are rated 18, but it gives cause for worry when 'soft porn' posters flood the streets in the name of home videos. Last I checked, it's an offence branded 'denuding the public'. Nudity without a striking significance to the plot is porn. And It's just appalling that some so-called producers would resort to pornography just to force their poorly baked so called films into the market. Our kids are casualties. To think that the censorship board "scrutinized" poster before approving film releases is a case to ponder. What's more annoying is the absence of correlation between the nude actress in the poster and any scene in the so called "movie". Bastardization of my profession! Somebody, please kill Nollywood! So the other day Madam Bisi was sold fake penicillin by a roadside drug shop, she had NAFDAC to complain to. My friend Alexx Ekubo wouldn't pay for services when he realized he was served cold food in a supposed upscale restaurant. Inyene Ben only recently filed a law suite when a supposed brand new car he purchased malfunctioned within the company's warranty period. Archi Sam...oh Archi insist on N97 per litre and would never pay a dime more! Madam Bisi, Alexx, Inyene and Archi; all of them consumers demanding qualitative service and customer satisfaction, but it wouldn't come to me as a shocker when as a result of my expressing dissatisfaction (being there isn't a public complaint office) I risk being 'black potted' for "dissing my industry". Be that as it may, though my opinion being solely mine, remains unchanged and its simple: ... Nollywood needs to die, then resurrect PROFESSIONALLY. —Otu Njama III is a trained stunt cinematographer, filmmaker and film critic of Nigerian decent

Do you watch Nollywood movies? What do you think of the Nigerian motion picture industry? Send your review of any movie or short essay on any topic of your choice about the film industry in not more than 200 words. Send entries by e-mail to: victor_akande@yahoo.com or SMS your short comments to 08077408676

Has Foluke Daramola found love again?

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N an earlier interview with a leading national daily published July 31, 2011, busty actress, Foluke Daramola stated that she will not get married again. However, she seems to have changed her mind, as she might have found love again with one of the big

guys in town. Though the man in question is reported to have been separated from his wife of 13 years, the actress has maintained her stand that she has nothing to do with the break-up, contrary to news making the rounds.

Dele Odule rattles Bisi Komolafe

Liz Benson’s undying love

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HOUGH absent from entertainment circles for a while, veteran actress, Liz Benson appears unable to stay away from her first love; acting. She is reported to be starring in a new movie expected to hit the market soon. Elizabeth Benson is a Nollywood Actress whose rise started from the soap opera Fortunes in 1993. She later switched into home movies like Glamour Girls (1994), True Confessions and Izaga to mention a few. The Efik born diva is one of Nigeria's most prolific actresses and holds a degree in Dramatic Arts. She has worked with reputable Nigeria Filmmakers.


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Jetta Amata shops for international stars

Grace, Joshua bow out of Project Fame

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HOT in Los Angeles, California, Jetta Amata has completed work in his latest effort, Black November. According to reports, the flick features two popular international stars, Akon and Wyclef Jean. Reports say that both artistes joined the cast of the movie in the last phase of shooting of the flick which is said to throw light on the Niger Delta struggle. Other acts featured in the movie include are Hakeem KaeKazim, Mbong Amata, Mickey Rourke, Kim Basinger, Sarah Wayne Callies, Enyinna Nwigwe, Anne Heche and others.

•Wyclef and Akon on set

Kokoma hits movie shelves

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OLLOWING the success of her film OkonLagos, awardwinning scriptwriter Uduak Oguamanam has said that twenty thousand copies of her new twohour flick Kokomma were released into the market on Friday, September 7. Released in DVD format, the flick is the second effort of the University of Ibadan and University of Leicester graduate who is trying her hands at film production after years as a scriptwriter. Among the screenplays the City People Best Scriptwriter 2011 has written include A Piece of Flesh, and Unfinished Business. She also cowrote Bursting Out, I'll take my chances, Holding Hope and a host of others. Kokomma, according to Uduak, being marketed by Hosanna Stores in Akwa Ibom State, stems from a real life experience that never left her. “When I served in an airline, the husband of a colleague's friend got the 12-year-old house help pregnant and that story has stayed with me for a long time because they blamed the girl. So what I did in Kokomma was to tell the story of the house help from her point of view,” she explained. Oguamana m is not resting as she disclosed that a new flick, Okon Goes to School, a 90minute sequel of OkonLagos, is on the offing.

•: Joshua Effriyie

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HE thrills were evident in a week of outstanding performances as Nigerian Grace Mark and Ghanaian Joshua Effriye were evicted from MTN sponsored talent hunt, Project Fame. This was even as Ella was voted into the academy from the Youtube wild-card entries. However, the performances where the other nine contestants performed different traditional African songs capped an interesting week. At the eviction show held on Saturday, 1st of September, 2012, inside the Ultima Studios in Lekki, Ella beat the remaining four wild card entrants to gain an unusual admittance into the academy. In a keenly contested entry that required the judges' verdict, she was near tears when she was announced as the popular choice. Meanwhile, the show shifted to the

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N Thursday, August 30, 2012 43 students were matriculated by the National Film Institute, Jos. A requirement for students of tertiary institutions, the matriculation, was jointly conducted by the National Film Institutes Jos and the University of Jos, both in Plateau State. Speaking at the Matriculation Ceremony, Afolabi Adesanya, Chairman Governing Council, National Film Institute said that the institute has been able to transform from just providing ad hoc Skills acquisition programmes to awarding Professional Diploma in Film Arts and the Bachelor of Film Arts. With these feats and many more, Adesanya, who is also the Managing Director/Chief Executive of the Nigerian Film

W •Grace Mark

performances of the five contestants who were on probation. These were Joshua, Didi, Grace, Chinyere and Adetoun. After each performed the previous week's songs, it was time for elimination. The judges saved Chinyere while faculty opted for Adetoun. From the remaining three, the majority of the other contestants voted for Didi. Consequently, Joshua and Grace were evicted from the academy. Dubbed 'African Week', the attention of viewers across West Africa shifted to the performance show which was held a day after the eviction show. Music enthusiasts were thrilled to traditional performances at the show which saw Adetoun performing legendary Salawa Abeni 'Fuji Waka' and Marvellous singing Duncan Mighty's 'Obianuju' besides other graceful performances by the other contestants.

ITH Rita Dominic acting alongside veterans like Jide Kosoko, Kate Henshaw-Nuttal, Basorge Tariah, Nse Ikpe-Etim, and Chinedu Ikedieze comes romantic comedy The Meeting. Set for release on October 19, 2012, the new work is package by The Audrey Silva Company (TASC), a firm co-founded by Rita Dominic and moviemaker, Mildred Okwo. The story is based on the premise of corporate espionage interwoven with political patronage, bureaucratic red tape, and Cupid's arrow while in hot pursuit of a 'meeting' to secure a government contract.

•Rita Dominic

Film Institute matriculates 43 students Corporation, said, NFI has indeed met the expectations of the Federal Government of Nigeria, the founding fathers of the Institute, and the yearning of Nigeria's motion picture practitioners, would be practitioners, in the provision of modern skills and techniques for filmmaking. Vice Chancellor, University of Jos, Prof Hayward Mafuyai, represented by Professor Irene Agunloye, congratulated the students for their admittance into the Institute. He urged them to put up for optimal behaviour so as not to bring the image of the Institution, their parents and sponsors to disrepute. The National Film Institute is affiliated to the University of Jos for her Degree Programme.

Funke AkindeleOloyede shines at NEA

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The Meeting for October 19 release

OLLYWOOD star actress cum producer, Funke AkindeleOloyede bagged the Best Actress of the Year award at the just concluded 7th Nigeria Entertainment Awards (NEA). Held in New York on Sunday, September 2, the delectable actress was looking radiant in her white evening gown. Funke beat her contemporaries including Rita Dominic, Omotola Jalade-Ekeinde, Tonto Dikeh, Nse Ekpe Etim and Uche Jombo to win the award. The event started on August 31, with Music on The Catwalk, followed by Crack Ya Ribs and Nollywood Film Festival held on the 1st, of September, and ended with the award proper on September, 2nd, 2012.

Yvonne Nelson's Single and Married for Nigeria, Ghana premiere

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IRECTED by Pascal Amanfo, Single and Married, a production of popular Ghanaian actress, Yvonne Nelson, will this month, premiere at Silverbird Cinemas. Described by the actress as a no-holds-barred movie, Single and Married, she said, is loaded with excitement and movie enthusiasts should brace up for a thrilling experience when the movie finally hits the big screens later this month in Nigeria and Ghana. The actress, who also clinched the Face of Ghana Best Actress 2011/2012, said that the release of the movie in both countries will be preceded by a red carpet movie premiere which will be attended by the crème of Nollywood and Ghollywood movie industries alongside her fans and supporters who have been anticipating the

release of the movie since production began. The flick stars Yvonne Nelson acting alongside Ghana's most wanted entertainers including Chris Attoh, Nadia Buari, Afro neo-soul singer Efya, hip life rapper Tiffany, Kofi Adjorlolo, Kweku Elliot, Eddie Watson and Anita Erskine alongside Nigerian TV Presenter turned actress Tana Adelana and a host of others. Produced by Media GH in partnership with Yvonne Nelson Productions, Single and Married is told in a narrative form, with Anita Erskine as the narrator while Yvonne, Nadia and Chris play the lead. The movie centres on the drama, the intrigue and the dirty little secrets of three male friends, their sex lives, being single or married and all the inbetweens.


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•Michael •Christopher

•Hector


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Faze locks it down At the Club with Remy Martin

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FTER a month break, Remy Martin's signature monthly event tagged At the Club with Remy Martin returned with a captivating line up of acts as it held its August party on Saturday, 25 August, 2012 at Aura Lounge, Victoria Island, Lagos. The event pulled out an impressive turnout as a large crowd turned out to party on the night with top acts like Originality crooner, Faze, Vector, Rex, Slim T, 5mics, Efa, and the ever vibrant Shody with world-famous DJ Spinall on the wheels of steel. The show officially kicked off by 10pm with DJ Spinall sending the crowd into dance frenzy well into the early hours of the morning. Efa opened up the performances on the night and one after the other each act came up and gave the crowd a good taste of how it goes down every month At the Club with

Remy Martin. The most anticipated performance of the night undoubtedly was that of former Plantashun Boy, Faze and boy did he deliver. The artiste held everyone spell bound as he churned out a perfect blend of old classics and his newest chart-topping singles. The excitement and fun in the atmosphere was evident in the ambience and every bit of the action was also captured by the brand's media partners, The Beat 99.9 FM and TRACE Urban TV. Senior Brand Manager of Remy Martins, Thibault Robert said that there was still a lot more to come from the brand as plans were already well underway to ensure that such memorable nights do not become a one-off occurrence even as the brand seeks to continue delivering top quality premium entertainment to its loyal customers.

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FRICA'S number one rapper, M.I and Alapomeji crooner, 9ice were among the entertainers that thrilled the elated crowd that stormed Jogor Centre, Ibadan, Oyo State for Amstel Malta Showtime. The event, the third edition this year, witnessed exciting performances from the main acts even as comedian Laff Up, also thrilled the audience to rib cracking jokes. Anchored by Darey 'Art' Alade, Impressive dance group, Outrage, completed the lineup that performed on the night. MI, was at his element as he thrilled the audience with several tracks from his albums including: Anoti, Undisputed

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Basketmouth, Midnight Crew, others for ‘Rev Concert 3’

KO Hotels, Convention Centre will come alive today September 9, 2012 as hiphop sensation, Tuface Idibia, Omawunmi, Ice Prince, Naeto C, DJ jimmy Jatt and others thrill their fans with their hit tracks for the Close Up Loves Naija Concert. The concert is put together by one of Nigeria's toothpaste brands, Close Up in celebrating its consumers for their loyalty.

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HE Recreation Ground located at Anthony Village will come alive today, September 8 as Church 4real- a branch of the Church of God International will organise a 'Revelation Concert' to engage the young and the young at heart. The event which is in its third year will feature music acts such as Midnight Crew, Kore, BNG, Pastor J, Threadstone, Eben, Heaven Whispering and JLD. Comedy will also be provided by the Basketmouth, Buchi and Akpororo. There would be also be other forms of entertainment such as stand-up comedy and dance as there are also plans to stream the concert online.

•Midnight Crew

M.I, 9ice, excite Ibadan students

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•AY

Champion, Beef, One Naira, Nobody, My Head, My Belle and others. Alapomeji exponent, 9ice was no less impressive as he got the audience dancing to hits like Gongo Aso, Attitude, Photocopy but to mention a few. Laffup, the comedian of the day, certainly did his reputation no harm with his hilarious jokes. The event also featured exciting performances from upcoming talents as they slugged it out in singing, dancing and comedy competitions. The competition saw Owomoyela Oluwatobi Peteru from The Polytechnic Ibadan, Dozie Mbata, a 400 level student of Theatre Arts at the University of Ibadan and

Onome Ilovhogie, also a 400 level Sociology student of the University of Lagos, emerging winners in the singing, dancing and comedy categories respectively during the talent hunt competitions. The winners all won for themselves, a cash prize of N500,000 each, along with brand new iPads and an allexpense paid weekend getaway to Lagos for two. The first and second runners up got the sum of N150,000 and N100,000 respectively. Adedoyin Owotomo, Brand Manager, Amstel Malta, stated that event was staged in Ibadan to give an unforgettable experience to selected individuals

A-list acts for Close Up loves Naija Concert

T was a moment of pleasant surprise for Nigeria's award winning comedian, AY at the screening of his new sitcom, AY's Crib, at the Nollywood Film Festival in New York last Saturday, September 1. According to the comedian who was in NYC to co-host the Nigerian Entertainment Awards alongside Funke Akindele, an opportunity presented itself for the screening of an episode of the sitcom and he seized it.

sitcom said the Ovation for AY’s program was designed to entertain the entire family Crib in New across various cultures. “This is why even York presentation though the language of is English and “I knew we had a good product but I did not know the level of acceptance it would receive but I went ahead hoping for the best and to my pleasant surprise, AY's Crib received a standing ovation at the end of the screening.” Set to hit the Nigerian airwaves by October this year, the rib cracking sitcom is created, co-directed and produced by AY with the aim of “providing quality entertainment for lovers of The Ay Brand through interesting issues webbed in wholesome and humorous presentation,” he said. The comedian who also played the lead role in the

with occasional dips into the different national languages and pidgin, we made the added effort of subtitling the whole thing.” AY revealed that there are already 13 episodes of the sitcom on hand and plans are top gear to return to camp for the production of more episodes before the end of the year. A situational comedy and social satire, the program is designed as a weekly 30minute television series webbed around a social satire of contemporary issues projected through the experiences of AY as a bachelor and stand-up comedian.


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As kids, if you 'look for our trouble', we will beat you mercilessly. If you report us to our father, we will still lay ambush for you and beat you up

•Kingsley Ogbonna with the twins on their birthday

Music and drama offering set for Muson Centre

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REEDOMHALL in conjunction with the Creative Nigeria Project will stage a compelling evening of dance, drama and exciting entertainment tagged 'For the Love of Country' on the th 30 of September at the Muson Centre in Lagos. The concert which promises to be a revolutionary fusion of dynamic theatrical expression by some of Nigeria's most extraordinary actors, incorporating vocals from evergreen and new generation artistes spanning genres such as Afrobeat, Neo-soul, Alternative Rock, Jazz, Afro Reggae, hip hop, R&B and classical music all for the love of country. According Olajumoke Alawode-James of FreedomHall, the night of drama and music will certainly be one to remember. “For the drama part of the event, we are looking at seeking corporate partnership and we expect artistes such as Ade Bantu, Threadstone, Omolara, Eva Ezi, Christine, D Tone Martins, Tosin Martins and Stan Iyke among others. There will also be poetry and dance by various

We play a lot, but when you 'look for our tr you will see our other ouble side'. We will beat you black and blue.

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groups on night that promises to be thrilling.” Ferdinand Adimefe, the stage play coordinator also revealed that the drama will capture the past, present and future of Nigeria. “For the Love of Country will capture the past, present and future of Nigeria in one event with eloquence, depth and humor. It will be a gripping plot weaved around celebrating the courage of that indomitable Nigerian spirit which binds us together in spite of our broken past. It is about the sharing the miracle that despite thirty months of civil war, ten bloody military coups and years of endless political turmoil, Nigeria still stands.” He averred.

•Ade Bantu

Star TV Game show 2012 kicks-off ANEKE TWINS


THE NATION SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 8, 2012

AFRICA CUP OF NATIONS QUALIFIERS...

NIGERIA NEWS...

can’t afford Keita to lead Mali toWelose Osaze against Zebras

REGIS:

Senegal hoping to make amends against Ivory Coast •Keita

•Drogba

We have to be efficient, says Renard

Gabon face away test in Togo

Morocco battles Mozambique without Chamakh

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OROCCO international Marouane Chamakh has been dropped from the Atlas Lions of Morocco squad to face Mozambique in the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier following ill health, coach Eric Gerets said on Tuesday. The 28-year-old Arsenal forward is reported to be having a malaria attack and has declared himself unfit for the Maputo trip. Getafe central midfielder Abdelaziz Barrada has been urgently summoned to replace the former Bordeaux player. •Chamakh

Gyan relishing the challenges

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LACK Stars striker Asamoah Gyan is convinced he will be ready for the tough assignment awaiting him in Ghana's qualifying campaign for the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations. Ghana are paired against Malawi in the

•Gyan

final-round of qualifying for next year's finals in South Africa. Four-time African champions, Ghana, will host the first leg match on Saturday at the Accra Sports Stadium and the task of overcoming the Flames could be harder on two fronts for Gyan. Apart from helping Ghana to qualify, the striker has to again warm himself into the hearts some critics. Gyan, who ended his six-month break from international football two months ago is returning for his first match on home soil in a year and has welcomed the pressure that will

greet his return to the national team. “I appreciate that (pressure),” Gyan said. “It’s a teamwork, I work for the team, I make sure I do my job.” However, the Al-Ain striker, whose last goal for Ghana at home came in 2011 in a 2-0 win over Swaziland in the qualifying for the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations, says he is ready to for the challenge. “Football is played by 22 people and I have played for the Black Stars since 2003 and I have done my best for the team. “I do appreciate what people are saying.

through a season due to injuries, loss of form, changes in formation. “Pere is a guy who can score goals too – those aren’t easy to come by in the Premier League. “And I’m a firm believer that if you sign a three or fouryear contract then you should be expected to honour that, despite the player power we have. “It’s good for the manager to have so many options – it keeps everything fresh. “There are times he might go three up fronts, one up front or two up front – all the strikers will get games.” Regis hopes to see more of Lukaku this season.

UEFA CHAMPIONS LEAGUE GROUP STAGE

I will stop Messi, Emenike — Efe Ambrose

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ELTIC of Scotland defender, Efe Ambrose is talking tough ahead of his team’s UEFA Champions League cracker against former Champion, Barcelona and Spartak Moscow as he vowed to stop the attacking forays of Barcelona and World’s best player Lionel Messi and Spartak Moscow and Super Eagles teammate, Emmanuel Emenike when their clubs meet later in this year’s competition. “My ambition is to mark out Lionel Messi and get positive results in our matches’ against the former Champions of Europe Barcelona when we meet in the UEFA Champions League. At least that would send signals to Celtic fans that I have come there to help the team achieve laurels. “I am also targeting a good result and performance against my Eagles’ teammate, Emmanuel Emenike’s Russian club Spartak Moscow. I have already told him that I won’t give him a breathing place when we meet in the Champions League”, NationSport gathered from the former Ashdod FC of Israel defender.

From Segun Ogunjimi, Abuja He, however, expressed happiness for joining the Scottish giant, Celtic and vowed to make the best use of his stay at the club. “I am happy to join the club like I said. We have enormous task ahead of us because the league and the UEFA Champions League are at hand and preparations have already commenced. So I have to rush back to the club immediately after the Liberia match. “My mission in Celtic is to there first and adapt with the environment and the team philosophy on time. I need to adapt to the style of play, the weather, food and everything that is associated with the club. I just have couple of weeks before the Champions League but the league is on already. But it is a pity time is not on my side but I am a very resolute and determined person so I believe I will surely cope. I just have to go there and prove myself and justify my inclusion in the team as well as make the coach’s first team list for all matches”, a determined Ambrose offered.

FIXTURES

•Efe Ambrose

•Osaze

Foreign clubs swoop on NPL star By Stella Bamawo

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number of foreign clubs including top French and Vietnamese clubs are scrambling for the signature of Heartland starlet Fidelis Izuchukwu Anozie. The 20-year star who was sourced from a non-league side in Lagos is seriously attracting attention from Vietnam, the fastgrowing league in the South-East Asia, which is also turning the Mecca of Nigerian players. Anozie, whose brother signed a contract recently with a Maltese club,is described as a modern midfielder with a good height to complement his combative approach on the pitch. There are strong indications which suggest that the unnamed Vietnamese club could win the signature of the talented six-foot plus lad. The Lagos-born striker, who also played in the youth teams of top NPL sides including Lobi Stars and Kano Pillars, is confident he will make the move soon, saying that his agent is working very hard to get his dream move abroad off the ground. “I could be jetting out soon and I can tell you that my agent is on top of the move and I’m very confident of signing a contract,” he said. “I’m in top shape and the season has been great for me. I’m looking forward to continue playing abroad and I can’t wait to be on the move.” The lad, who models his game after the great Cameroon striker Samuel Eto’O Fils, reckons it will not be long before his name is on the lipsof soccer watchers. “My aim is to wear the national colours of Nigeria and I have always dreamt about it since I was a kid doing a kick about in the streets. “I hope my dreams will come very soon.”


THE NATION SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 8, 2012

OLUMIDE OYEDEJI

craves African title O

•Oyedeji

LUMIDE Oyedeji says his next target is to win the African title at the next edition of the African Basketball Championship in the Ivory Coast. The Nigeria skipper maintains that comes next in line after leading Nigeria to the last Olympic Games in London, won the NBA, bagged several MVP awards in NBA and featuring at the World Championship. “The Olympics was an experience for me. Right now, I have featured in all major basketball championships. My

target is the African title in Ivory Coast,” he said. Speaking on his Basketball Clinic that has brought succor to a lot of young Nigerian basketball players and produced a lot of players for the country, Olumide expressed his delight on the achievements of the programme, stressing that he would continue with it as long as he lives. He said: “I will continue with the Clinic as long as I live. It is a project I have decided to do and which I derive so much joy doing. I have personally sponsored 25 players to the United States, where they have been playing for their various Colleges and will soon become professionals. “It is a thing of joy to have players produced by my pet project as teammates at D’Tigers. That is life, the young shall grow.”

FIFA U-20 WOMEN'S WORLD CUP

Okon: We're aiming for third place

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OACH Okon Edwin's charges will have to make do with the match for third place and the opportunity to finish on the podium nevertheless. "Third place wouldn't be that bad at the end of the day," said Ofoegbu, who finally managed a smile as she added that the Falconets would give it their all in their final match here in Japan. "We began the tournament looking to make the final at least and unfortunately we didn't manage to do that. But once the final whistle blew, we set ourselves a new goal. Being the third-best team in the world in this age group would be pretty good." A look at recent results would

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OST often there are intermittent sweeping assertions in sports commentaries which suggests that the sports administrator are the chief culprits for the near absence of commercial sense in the nation’s sports. Such commentators apparently lump all the issues militating against domestic sports patronage on corrupt, inefficient and uncommitted leadership of sports bodies. Those who pursue this line of discuss tend to ignore the more perilous and quite pervasive dysfunctional system in almost every facet of governance in the country. But in the two sides to this conversation can be found some solutions to the sports industry problems. In diagnosing the causative factors of the country’s sports industry commercial underdevelopment, it will be meet at this point to attempt a comparison of Nigeria and Malaysia, a country that has sustained a steady average Gross Domestic Product growth of 6.5 in the last fifty years and is the third largest economy in Asia and 29th in the world. Malaysia is one of the countries classified as second world economy largely due to its gains in macro-economic s and the lack of even spread in

suggest that Nigeria's women's football is going downhill, having failed to qualify for the Women's Olympic Football Tournament at the London 2012 and falling in the first round of the FIFA Women's World Cup 2011™, but Ofoegbu refutes that argument. "We're not going backwards," the U-20 captain said. "We managed to become one of the top teams in the world two years ago and making it to the semi-finals this year proves that we've maintained our level. We've made progress and I actually thing that we're better than USA – we just didn't have the luck at the right time." They will need both luck and a cool head in front of goal if they are to defeat the hosts and finish the tournament on a high note, however. Ofoegbu, who already has tasted life at the FIFA U-17 Women's World Cup in 2008 and at the U-20 version in 2010, has been trying to motivate her team-mates for one last effort.version in 2010, has been trying to motivate her team-mates for one last effort.

Driving sports development through commercialisation infrastructure across the length of the country unlike the fully developed economies of the West. This comparison will enable us situate the problem of lack of patronage of local sports events as seen from the prism of what obtains in Malaysia, a more advanced economy that is supposedly awash with cash compared to Nigeria with a mono-product economy tied to austerity policies. Again, it is also important to avert our mind to certain similarities between the two countries as football is believed to be the most passionately loved sport in both countries going by an entry in the Wikipedia free encyclopedia which listed football at the top of Malaysia’s popular sports ahead of Badminton, car racing, Squash, Tennis, Martial Arts and Canoeing, etc. However, club football in the two countries suffer from local patronage as the fans are

By

Harry Iwuala more at home with following trends in the English Premier League and other European club football tournaments. Media buying and sponsorship budgets in both countries establish a clear preference for these foreign leagues at the detriment of the domestic sports assets. Writing in the September edition of the authoritative Sport Business magazine, the Editorial Director, Kevin Roberts, noted “nobody will be looking forward to the start of the new English Premier League season more than the football fans of Malaysia, whose passion is such that Kuala Lumpur branch of the Tottenham Hotspur supporters club turned out

just to see a member of its commercial team speak at a conference in the city last month”. Roberts went on to add that Malaysia like other south-east Asian nations is a hotbed of EPL fandom with families establishing a tradition of support along the patriarch’s preferred club. The most poignant point of Robert’s essay was delivered in the following lines: “But while this fascination for the EPL has delivered a massive financial boost to English clubs in terms of form of overseas TV revenues and sale of merchandise, it has done nothing to help the nation develop its own professional sports sector and

the commercial skills and network to support it”. In Malaysia, the people and government are equally as troubled about the development and are united in seeking a solution out of this capital flight. Hence the year was declared a Sports Industry Year to explore solutions to make Malaysian sports compete favourable in the face of globalization. The policy also sought to nudge the private sector find the drive to carry the burden that has been laid on tax payers as has been the case in Nigeria. It must be noted that unlike Nigeria, Malaysia enjoys a semi thriving sports industry that produces and exports sports infrastructure. Established global sports equipment brands are locating production sites in Malaysia to take advantage of the cheap manpower available to the detriment of local brands that can’t face the global competition. But unlike Malaysia, the

government in Nigeria has not deemed it right to elevate the underdevelopment of the sports sector to a national emergency. The best we have had has been the usual reaction to poor outings at international tournament which this present administration have cultivated beginning with the post 2010 World Cup policy pronouncement fiasco. The thrust of my contention is that government has a huge responsibility to drive the industrialization of sports in Nigeria beyond the tokenism of funded participation. It is not enough for the President to call for a retreat after the outrageous Olympic outing. An agenda for such a summit must be aggregated based on functional sports industry templates but also bearing in mind that every policy becomes ordinary paper if not faithfully implemented. It is very easy for us to fall into the old order of blame game where those whose hands are not on the sports control lever will seek to demonize the incumbents for their own benefits only to return to another vicious round of poor performance and wasteful spending. We must also begin to recognise that to attract the eyeballs of Nigerian fans and put bums on the seats at the venues, the private sector must be persuaded with profitable policies to come on board and this means creating real opportunities for returns on investment. As noted by Roberts in his essay on Malaysia sports, ‘’it can’t be beyond the bounds of possibility to create a league which hits the ground with sponsorship and TV deals in place, encouraging serious investment in franchises…” In other words, we must place the decision making and ownership of sports in commercial businesses that will protect their interest and secure their profit. This way, we free the huge budgets that are channeled into running clubs, funding competitions and to a large extent, stolen by those superintending the purse. Obviously, those who have been at the helm of sports over the years are no longer getting fresh with ideas having had to repeat the same tricks in different stages but turning out same results. It is about time, we looked into the marketing departments of successful corporate organisations to headhunt persons with the drive to lead the sports industry transformation (ala President Jonathan’s spinners) It calls for a holistic approach that leaves no areas un-touched as infrastructure is an irreducible requirement that will provide the standard gauge for the marketing locomotives that will drive the transformation to a preferred destination. It also must have the buy-in of local and regional governments that must work with the central administration using a bottom-up approach in the transformational drive. This represents a summation of the key drivers for an industrial transformation of the Nigerian sporting firmament.


THE NATION SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 8, 2012

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HEAD of today’s 2013 African Nations Cup qualifying match between the Super Eagles and Liberia in Monrovia, President Goodluck Jonathan (GCFR) spoke to Coach Stephen Keshi on phone and told him the importance of winning the match for Nigeria and Nigerians. Keshi told me and I was truly delighted. Over the past weeks, I have spoken at length with the H o n o u r a b l e Minister/Chairman, National Sports Commission, Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi and the Director General, NSC, Chief (Dr) Patrick Ekeji. I have also spoken with Coach Keshi and Captain Joseph Yobo and I am happy to report that we are all on the same page as far as this crucial match is concerned. In years gone by, a qualifying match against Liberia would not have necessitated so much preparation. But as we continue to point out week after week, football has changed drastically and dramatically and the pompous go home every weekend with a swollen face. We don’t want any such unhealthy surprises. Failure to qualify for the 2012 African Cup of Nations has taught Nigeria football and its administrators a hard lesson. Never again will any competitive match will be considered won until after the game. This way, we are able to prepare harder and better and avoid sucker punches. For those who continue to remember only the friendly match in which the Super Eagles thrashed the Liberians 2-0 in February this year, let me say that in competitive games, Liberia has always provided stiff and stubborn opposition to Nigeria. Our Football Ambassador will remember very well how Liberia nearly toppled Nigeria in the qualification race for the 2002 FIFA World Cup finals. Lumped in the same pool with Liberia, Sierra Leone and Sudan, the Eagles travelled to Monrovia with so much pomp and conceit only to come crashing down to earth – they lost 1-2. Another loss to Sierra Leone in Freetown cost Dutchman Johannes Bonfrere his job and meant the new Coaches Amodu Shuaibu and

Must-Win Match In Monrovia Inside The

Glass House WITH AMINU MAIGARI Stephen Keshi had to plot strategy for outright wins in the remaining three matches, one away to Sudan. They succeeded, and that was why we qualified for the 2002 FIFA World Cup finals. It is another day, another climate and another event altogether, with a new temperament. Qualification for the 2013 African Cup of Nations in South Africa is the debate, and to the very best of my knowledge, when the Super Eagles know they have a job to do, they go about doing it with commitment and passion. When they had to do it against Algeria in October 1993, to qualify for their firstever FIFA World Cup finals, they did it. And Stephen Keshi led the charge as Captain. When they had to qualify for the 1994 African Cup of

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OMETHING tells me that the Super Eagles will pick a win over the Lone Stars of Liberia today in Monrovia. It is the first leg of the 2013 African Cup of Nations qualifier and it seems the match is ready-made for Nigeria. The Liberians have nothing to worry the Super Eagles in the much-talked about qualifier and would simply watch as Nigeria take full advantage. Stephen Keshi, the Super Eagles coach, has proved that he is listening to criticisms and his inclusion of striker Brown Ideye in the fold for the match will prove decisive. It is an indication that the Eagles's handler is doing something about the attack which has not lived up to expectation in ten

•Keshi

Nations, in a difficult penultimate match of the series in Uganda in 1993, they did it, and Keshi was involved. When they had to beat Zambia in Tunis in April 1994 to lift their first Cup of Nations title on away soil, they did it, and Keshi was Captain. When they had to had to beat Liberia, Sudan and Sierra Leone in their last three matches of the 2002 FIFA World Cup finals, they did it, and Keshi was involved as Assistant Coach. I also remember that on a very difficult day in Nairobi in November 2009, when the Super Eagles needed to beat Kenya’s Harambee Stars to qualify for the 2010 FIFA World Cup finals, they did it. This is not to say that the team has to under-rate its opponents in today’s match. Before the trip to Monrovia on Friday, i noticed the

seriousness in everyone – NFF officials, players, technical officials and backroom staff. This is one match that must be approached with a tough mentality, and a win is crucial in order to render the return leg, in Calabar in five weeks’ time, no more than a formality. It is time to start making statements about the desire of Nigeria to return to the top table of the international game and a win in Monrovia this evening is critical to that objective. Over to you, Super Eagles. New Steps In Niamey... I was excited about the Golden Eaglets’ 5-0 and 3-0 poundings of the U-17 National Team of Rwanda in a twomatch friendly series in Calabar last week. I was also very excited about the expressed determination of the Head Coach, Manu Garba to, not only present the youngest set of Golden Eaglets ever to

represent Nigeria, but also to present the best and most exciting. It was also interesting to read the desire of the new bunch of Eaglets to be known and addressed as New Nigeria Golden Eaglets, all documents remaining valid! However, it will only become fulfilling when the team starts winning matches. In the past few weeks, I have been wanting to write on the essence of the MRI tests conducted on the players and the policy thrust thereafter. I will certainly do this next week. Opportunity knocks hard for the Golden Eaglets to start making their case in high notes when they take on the U-17 Team of Niger in a 2013 African U-17 Championship first round, first leg match in Niamey this weekend. The only desired outcome by Nigerians is for the Class of 2012 to win and win well, so that palpitations would be non-existent ahead of the return leg in Calabar in two weeks’ time. We all remember bitterly how the 2009 and 2011 teams failed to qualify for the African u-17 Championship. Yes, the age grade tournaments are developmental, but for our country, three –time winners of the FIFA U-17 World Cup, to fail to qualify for the continental competition TWICE in a row is nothing but disaster. That was why the NFF

I back Eagles all the way games. In previous matches, Keshi had fielded wingers in the forward line and that partly has been responsible for the inability of the team to score goals. The presence of Ideye and Emmanuel Emenike in the national team against the Lone Stares in Monrovia will boost the attack and ensure that the team scores more goals. Ideye and Emenike are outright strikers and should be able to bury the Liberians with goals. Ideye has proved his dexterity in front of goal so far this season and if well fed by the midfield, he should be able to make things happen for Super Eagles. With six goals in five games, the Nigerian forward is the hottest Nigerian striker in Europe this season and should start the game with Villarreal's winger, Ikechukwu Uche. His invitation to the national team for this match shows that Keshi is concerned about the fire power of his team and is ready to make amends. The place of late Rasidi Yekini needed to be filled in the national team and Ideye should be given the opportunity to lay claim to the position. Keshi would have to be patient with the striker and look for a creative midfielder who should be able to provide passes for the Nigerian bomber to make hay. He will need more playing time and should not be discarded after one match in the name of rebuilding. He needs to grow in confidence and bond with other players in the team. With Chelsea's Victor Moses operating from the left and Ahmed Musa playing from the right, Eagles have enough arsenal to nick a win over the Lone Stars this evening. They should be able to provide ammunition from the wings with which the strikers could score goals. Eagles need to play like the way thier predecessors played and aroused much fear in the continent and beyond.

AKINLOYE

AT LARGE

08050246155 atlarge84@yahoo.com Keshi needs to return to the way we played of old by fielding Moses and Musa to start in the wings when Eagles are attacking and collapse to the middle when the ball is lost. With two strikers in front, Eagles should be able to get the valuable goals to make the second leg much easy. Eagles will be facing the Lone Stars with thier strongest squad since the Nations and World Cup qualifiers started. Skipper Joseph Yobo is back to full fitness and the fact that he has settled his future will be an added advantage to the national side. He scores when it is least expected and nothing should stop the cenral defender from playing the hero in the away tie. The defence will still not be well tested in Monrovia as the Lone Stars do not have the fire power to worry Nigeria's defence. I expect Yobo and his mates to be on vacation and have a good outing in the all important qualifier. The Liberians are not ready for history making and Nigeria are not ready to join Egypt on the sidelines. The Lone Stars do not have what it takes to prevent the Eagles from reaching another Nations Cup finals. Though the Nigerian players do not have enough experience as a team, the Lone Stars do not have the calibre of players to beat Nigeria in any competittive game. They have a lot of work to do to catch up with Eagles in terms of talent and quality. Aside Sekou Oliseh who will attempt to make a difference in the line up of the Liberians, others are average

players who are expected to wilt under fire. With the problematic attack being addressed by Keshi, the next area that should attract attention is the midfield. It has been anonymous so far and is the weakest point in the team. The midfield should be the strong room. It should be the link between the defence and the attack. If the midfielders work for Eagles this evening, victory is certain. In ten games they have not been able to provide the link. It has not feeded the attack andf it is not taking pressure off the defence. Eagles need a player in the mould of Austin "Jay-jay" Okocha to shine. After the qualifier, Keshi would have to look for one to built the team around. The strenght of the Spanish national team lies in the middle. They have become a dreaded side in world's football. With Iniesta and Xavi running the show in the middle of the pack, Spain have gone on to win matches upon matches. They won the World Cup in South Africa in 2010 and ruled Europe consequtively. Eagles need a functional midfield, especially in the attacking area, to solve the striking problem with the side. The real test will come in South Africa in January and not in Monrovia. For Nigeria to go beyond the first round, Keshi would require to work in the middle of the pack. He was not a success with Mali despite their cream of stars because the midfield was ordinary. For Eagles not to be bitten by Mali bug in South Africa, the midfield has to find its rhythm so that we

decided to take a new approach – ensure that only boys truly of the age are brought together and that the important MRI examination is conducted on all players. That done, the team would serve the purpose of the competition in all aspects, with the potential to graduate steadily until they form the nucleus of the Senior National Team. This is the biggest single goal of age grade championships. Bidding for Bronze... I salute the players and officials of the U-20 Women National Team for fighting hard and reaching the semi finals of the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup ending in Japan today. The Falconets did well to top their group with seven points, beating a very good Korean team that has pedigree, and the bulk of which won the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup in Trinidad and Tobago in 2010; drew with a capable Brazilian side and; excelled against a marvellous Italian side. They also defeated a Mexican team that was as tough as they come. Defeat against the Americans was not what they planned for, but it is football and we still must give credit to the girls for their commitment and patriotic fervour. As they go up against the host nation for in today’s bronze medal match, I am confident they will come good and do Nigeria proud. Go, go, girls. can have a team in the real sense of it. If we cannot win the Nations Cup in South Africa due to inexperience, we should not fall short of our previous performances in the competition. We have come close to winning in the last ten years because we fielded our best but always end up as third best in the continent. IN BOX As a regular reader of your sports column on Saturday, I agree with you on Sports Minister and Keshi(25-8-12). You were, however, too optimistic on the upcoming qualifier against Liberia. Your prediction that Eagles will beat Liberia to qualify for South Africa 2013 is rather odd and too simplistic given the new and yet to mature players we now parade. I am on the same page with that the present corps of Eagles(not yet Super) cannot win the African Cup of Nations come 2013 and the Minister, Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi knows it. This is not a question of patriotism but of unbiased assessment. The hiring of Coach Keshi by the NFF was on a wrong premise of build a new team, qualify Nigeria for South Africa 2013 and Brazil 2014 within 18 months. The NFF must have forgotten that it took Clemens Westerhof four years to build a solid and formidable team. The Minister should let Coach Keshi be. Barrister Ayo Olalere, Ibadan I am surprised you could be an advocate for Mikel. Apart from his contribution to the Under 21 team, please tell what he has done for the national team. You have forgotten that he refused to play for the Olympic team under Siasia. Mikel always feign injury anytime he is to play for Nigeria. The next day he will put on Chelsea's jersey. It started before Keshi.


Saturday, September 8, 2012

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NIGERIAN

GOLFLINE

Open back

Tony Akhigbe

with

golflineintl@yahoo.com 08094863638

MCILROY CONFIDENT Woods will win another major

•Tiger Woods (l) and Roy McIlroy

Searching for the way forward after London 2012 Olympics (4)


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The Big Friday Show features Chris Attoh

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PISODE 12 of the Glo Presents The Big Friday Show continued with multi-talented actor and presenter Christopher Nii Attoh. Chris Attoh, as he is popularly known, is the studio guest on the show which featured A-list duo, R2bees, and Efya in Episode 10 after Nigerian celebrity acts had taken the centre stage in the first nine episodes. Although he says acting was not on his agenda, the multitalented TV personality has steadily risen into stardom to become one of the finest

•Basketmouth and Chris

Hennessey Artistry Club Tour kicks off!

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T was a gathering of fabulous faces, music lovers, Hennessy fans and prominent individuals within Nigeria's entertainment industry as Hennessy's innovative musical platformHennessy Artistry 2012 Club Tour kicked off at the newly opened Club DV8 on Friday, August 31. Flowssick, Rayce and Ms Jaie who were the

performing acts for the night took over the club as guests danced and sang along to their hit tracks. DJ Neptune was on the turntables and played backto-back club favourites that got the crowd entertained from start to finish. The glitzy event was well attended as Hennessy consumers got to win exciting gifts for patronizing the brand. The

Peter Okoye surprises Lola Omotayo

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T turned out to be a surprise package when Peter Okoye of P-Square organised astonishing birthday bash for his heartthrob, Lola Omotayo on Sunday, 2 September, 2012 at West Fosters, located at 70, Queens Drive, Ikoyi, Lagos. The bash was attended by family members of both Lola and Peter, including few friends who gathered at the swimming pool side of the classy rendezvous spot. The Managing Director of DANA Air, Jacky Hathiramani also attended the get-together with his wife. The multiple award-winning singer had only told her that only both of them were going to West Fosters to have a good time. But on their arrival, Lola was surprised to see her father and other guests who stood up to sing birthday song for her. Speaking on why he organised the bash for Lola, Peter said: “she is a wonderful woman who means a lot to me. Special people deserve special things like this.”

•Peter with Lola

•Lola, Peter, DANA MD and wife

next couple of events lined up for the weekend will see Tunde Ednut and Rayce storming Club Uno in Lagos on Friday the 7th of September and Ms. Jaie and Solid Star at the buzzing Ground Zero in Port Harcourt on Saturday the 8th of September.

THE NATION, SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 8, 2012

promising actors Africa can boast of. He first starred in Life and Living It, and followed with spectacular performance in Scorned and The Perfect Picture which broke Box Office records in Ghana. The Tinsel star talks to viewers about his steady rise to fame, love for acting and hosting TV productions as well as his passion “to continuously strive to put Ghana's name on the entertainment map worldwide”. Fans can watch him this weekend on Glo Presents The Big Friday Show which goes on air every Friday on MTV Base (DStv Channel 322) at 7.30 p.m. and Silverbird TV at 6.00 p.m. it also runs on African Independent Television (AIT) on Wednesdays at 9.30 p.m. Episode 12 also featured EBISAN as the up-coming artiste for the week. The multitalented singer-songwriter talks about her debut single “Love Story” and sophomore single, 'Jowo', among other things.

Johnny remixes Back to sender

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AST rising gospel hip hop act, Udom Ufok Johnny a.k.a Johnny has dropped another single, after an earlier released effort s titled Naija. Johnny who owes the success of Naija to the fact that the single was dedicated th to Nigeria's 50 anniversary, is bent on making an impression with his new work;Back To Sender, a remix of one of the tracks in his debut album. Produced by NF, the new single features Shola Babbs. It would be recalled that the new kid on the block on the gospel scene launched his debut album titled The Experience last year. The 17 tracker has songs like Back to Sender, Shout Halleluyah, My God, Efen Iduhe, Covenant Child, and Great Is thy Lord, among others. Speaking on what inspires him, Johnny said, “My inspiration comes from God through his words. I am also inspired by my immediate environment-what is happening around me. I am further inspired by some of the great gospel musicians

that are ahead of me. some of whom are Victor Atenaga, Princess Ann Inyang, Centric and a few others”. On why he chose the genre of gospel music; “I chose to do gospel music, first, because I see myself as a Minister of God with music as a platform to discharge my calling. I strongly believe that music has a big way of influencing the minds of people, the youths in particular, so with my music, I hope I'm able to influence the youth positively,” he said.

•Johnny

Singing is not my thing

—Bimbo Akintola

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O those who may not be in the know; delectable and talented actress, Bimbo Akintola actually started off as a singer. She started her music career right from her University days. Bimbo used to sing every weekend with the likes of the late Jaye Aboderin at Divine, which used to be located on Allen Avenue. After a long break from music, the actress has staged a comeback into music in a yet-to-bepremiered musical flick, Hoodrush. Those who have seen the thriller of the flick have continued to commend Bimbo for a job well done. However, reacting to speculations that the actress might add singing to her portfolio, Bimbo has made it clear that singing professionally is not her thing. “I believe in something. I wanted to be an actor. I went to school and I studied Theatre Art. So if I'm going to sing I have to go back to school and study music. That's how it works for me. Because

you can never know it all if you don't go and learn it. Then you can build on what you've learnt. It's like every actress, we have raw talent but when you go to school, they fine-tune it. It becomes a work of art. So for me to sing I would have to go back to school and I don't want to go back to any school”, she said. Speaking on the movie, Hoodrush, the amiable actress said, “It was great working with Dimeji, the producer of Hoodrush because he is the kind of producer that listens and when you listen to people you work with, you will go places”. Hoodrush is a musical movie which tells the story of two brothers, Shez (O.C Ukeje) and Tavier (Gabriel Afolayan), and the struggles they faced and surmounted before they rose to prominence. The movie features Bimbo Akintola, O.C Ukeje, Gabriel Afolayan, Bolanle Ninalowo, Ifeoma Agu, Lee Lee Byoma and others.

Music enthusiasts gear-up for Berlin Music Week

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USIC enthusiasts around the world are gearing up for the forthcoming Berlin Music Week which is coming in the German capital. Artistes, promoters and organisers will rub shoulders in the week long fest from 5-9 September 2012, for a five-day, city-powered constellation of music showcase, concerts, parties, conferences, panels, seminars and networking opportunities. Participants will also be treated to Word On Sound- a new business and conference platform taking place from September 5-7, 2012, which will offer an in-depth program of live events, film, art, fashion, academics, community, political action and of course digital and analogue commerce. There will also be the Berlin Music Week club program holding from September 05 09; the Berlin Music Week will wrap up with a bang on September 7th and 8th, courtesy of the Berlin Festival at Tempelhof and its late night program, Club X-berg.


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THE NATION, SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 8, 2012

Danladi Bako and the other beautiful virgoans ‘Virgo people are generally respectable, hardworking individuals who have a love of knowledge and know-how. Virgos are often well-respected and valued in their circles for their loyalty, research skills, willingness to lend a hand, and their excellent powers of observation. They are generally kind and helpful souls who, when appreciated, do everything to make things work.’ As a young girl, I soaked up a lot of things from my (now late) step-dad, Mr. Jimi Allen. He loved music a lot and there was never a dull moment in the house as we listened to Sunny Ade, Ebenezer Obey, the Lijadu Sisters, Fela and the rest of them. Of course, Don Williams, Abba and other foreign musicians were not left out. No trip abroad for him or the family was ever complete without a collection of beautiful film and music. He was a Quantity Surveyor and in those days, the elite in Kaduna where my parents (step-dad and mum) lived belonged to social clubs. The favourite was Kaduan Club, and as the only child in the family for a long time, I was always taken along on family nights. I went to school at Ibadan, STC (St. Theresa’s College), but I never spent a day out of my holiday outside my home in Kaduna. I was exposed to so many wonderful things and life for me was beautiful. I read all I could – the Pacesetters, Lady Birds’ bedtime stories and the rest of them. But, I was never allowed to read certain books in the house – books on astrology. And there was where the problem was. The more they warned me to steer clear of it, the more I wanted to read it. So, one day, I took it away and began to absorb so much about the world

of zodiac signs and the roles they played on human characters. I learnt I was born under the Libra sign and I learnt to study about other signs. Before long, I could tell from just a few moment of interaction with people what zodiac signs they fell under. I didn’t however spend much time studying about the sign, Virgo until fate brought me into contact with people born under this sign. I must say that of all the people I know, Virgoans, Librans and Geminis have played so much active roles in my success. They have always entered my life catching me unawares and making me remember that life is beautiful. So as we entered the period of Virgo last week, I began to say happy birthday to all these wonderful people and if by chance I haven’t said it to someone dear, here is my chance to wish you all happy birthday at once. Sen. Oluremi Tinubu (OON), Mr. Kunle Hamilton, Steve Fela Oliyide, Rev. (Mrs.) Comfort Ebun Adefila and the rest of you, I love your gentility on the surface and hard interior. I love your attention to details and your dedication to the things and people you love. I love your beautiful lives and honesty at all times. And to Mallam Danladi Bako, who took me as his mentee and aburo, I wish you Happy 55th Birthday. Last Saturday, was your day and I’m sure you had fun far away in Sokoto. To my dearest baby, Abiodun Saheed Hammed, may your days be long and cherry. All Virgoans reading this, I love you wherever you may be.

Taking up writing as an occupation becomes almost impossible Good day ma, please I’m some one very interrested in writing stories, but due to the Nigerian reading culture which is poor, taking up writing as an occupation become’s almost impossible hence the diversion to script writing. Ma, I want to know

how to go into script writing, how lucrative is it and how do one get the market? Thank you ma. P.S: My dear, at this stage, I have to let you know the truth – you cannot take writing as a profession yet. I deliberately left your message

•Comfort Titilope Ayela, daughter of a veteran journalist, Olu Ayela, marked her 9th birthday last week. She says, she wants to be a Journalist.

the way you sent it. No matter how determined you may be to take writing as a profession, you will fail any editor’s test. Where someone is written as ‘some one’ and becomes becomes ‘become’s’, no editor will take you seriously. Before trying to go into script writing, learn your grammar well and become an expert in it. I make a living through writing and I’m having fun. Please join in this debate for next week Those who have followed me since we started Hearts with Adeola Agoro would not have been too shocked when I stopped matchmaking. I was hearing a lot of horrible reports about people being duped or stolen from. I had to stop that page after hearing such heart-breaking stories. In fact, there was a particular girl who went round collecting ticket fare from unsuspecting guys all in the name of wanting to fly down to see them. We tried to catch her, but she was smart and she got away with it. I started matchmaking just a few weeks ago, and it wa around this period that we sad news of Cythia…. Death through ‘friends’ she met on Facebook spread to the world. Some die-hard fans of this page are thus concerned about whether or not we should publish people’s names and contacts for fear that they may meet bad people through this page. Not publishing telephone numbers will mean that I have to constantly check my files to provide the name of those whose contacts are desired. This would take a lot of my time and I do not have such time, really. What do you think? We are all in this together, let’s rub minds. My lines are open (SMS only).

I’m 22 and in love with two friends Good afternoon ma, I’m 22 and in love with two friends. Please help. Anonymous. Really, I don’t know your definition of love, but I know that one can actually have affection for two people if they behave alike and dress alike and do things the way you like. However, there is danger in declaring love for both of them, or even any one of them at all, since you’re already in love with both. Leave both of them and sort out your feelings. You will find out there are many nice people to pick from out there instead of two good friends. Don’t use love to kill the fire of their friendship. It won’t be worth it at the end of the day.

I’m a virgin but my boyfriend kisses and romances me I’m a 19 year-old girl and I’m a virgin but I’ve had all the romance and kissing by my boyfriend and so am confused and afraid. Please Aunty, help me. thank you. – Sister P. Dear girl, since you called yourself Sister P in your message, I have the impression that you belong to one of the Pentecostal churches. Be warned, even your pastors won’t like the idea that you are kissing and romancing before marriage. It is one of the doctrines of most religions that you should ‘hold it’ till the wedding night even if you have done it before seeing the ‘light’. So, sis, tell that bro (abi he’s not a church brother?) to keep his hands away from danger zones on your body o. Most people who make love will tell you that most lovemaking actions are preceded by kissing and romancing. If you don’t want to lose your virginity now, stop being alone with this guy and stop touching, if not, one day, monkey go, go market he no go return o. Let him not take what he can’t give back and what he may not keep. Kissing is good if it is done in the public.

Can I date at 17? Good afternoon Madam, my name is Rebecca I’m from Akwa Ibom State. Please I want to ask whether I can date someone at the age of 17. Thank you. Can you date at 17? Hmm… that got me there! Dear Rebecca, it depends of your definition of dating. If by dating you mean going to the movies with a guy, hosting him when your parents are home, and sharing ice-cream with him in the presence of friends and keeping it generally clean, then you can date. But most guys who ask to date girls are so pushed by their testosterone that they equate dating with sex. Why I’m opposed to early sex is that most guys would ‘do’ and leave after a while. So how many guys would you then date and do before you become an adult?. It is better to grow fully and know what is right for you before dating.

Hearts With Adeola Agoro E-mail: libranadeola@yahoo.co.uk Tel: 08023162609

My mentor is a lesbian; she says she can’t resist me Hi, Adeola thanks for being a solution to the country. Í am a girl of 17 years going to SS3 this September and I have a mentor whom I have taken as a sister and a family friend also. I never knew she was a lesbian until the day she told me she has feelings for me and when I asked her why she is doing this, she said she can’t resist me. Meanwhile, she has a boyfriend. Help me please. I don’t have money to buy the newspaper, just reply thanks. K. Dear K, some of us have seen it all and I must say here that the world is full of bi-sexual. While I will not openly condemn whatever sexuality anyone decides to choose, I will condemn totally somebody trying to sell what is not to you. You’re only 17 for goodness sake, so why would she want to force her unpopular wish on you? Yes, most people we trust are the ones who use the love and trust to deceive us. Kick against this and make it clear that you do not want to be any woman’s lover. Tell your parents as soon as possible, but let them know that it is not something they should make noise about. The world is experiencing some devastating change in the way people view sex and we all are being told to be tolerant of such changes. So, ignore her but do not embarrass her.

I want to join the Army, is there anybody who can help me? Dear Aunty. I’m Ikenna, 23 years old and an SSCE holder. My problem is my career. I won’t to join the Nigerian Army, but I don’t have anybody to help me. I need help. Dear Ikenna, the moment I got this, I contacted a Brigadier General and asked if he could help. He explained that with the spate of unemployment in the country, many would want to join the force, so each officer is saddled with the responsibility of getting some youths in their community and helping them into the force. There are never enough slots for those they know; so outsiders hardly have any chance. Try to see if there is any officer from your zone who may help. I wish you the best.

His cousin is married to my niece Dear Ma, I’m a girl of 20 and I have a boyfriend. We love each other a lot but the problem is that his cousin is married to my niece so we can’t really spend time together because of fear so ma, I don’t know what to do. Please ma help. - EN. Dear EN, if your culture doesn’t permit that kind of liaison, stop it now, if not, you would only be wasting each other’s time. Your niece is married and you are only 20? Your nice is supposed to be your brother’s or sister’s daughter. Are you sure it is your niece you mean?

Why would she want me now after first rejecting me? Hello Sister Deola, I’m Femi, a serving corps member in Port Harcourt, please I need your help. I’ve never had a relationship before now. The two I attempted said no and after that I’ve neither made regular calls nor text to them in order to just forget the turn-down. Suddenly one of them started talking about how we were before. How can I truly know she is interested and how can one ask of something that was once

rejected? Thanks. Dear Femi, there is absolutely nothing wrong in a girl once rejecting your love advances and later coming to declare her love. Isn’t it even better than a girl once accepting later coming to reject you? For her to have accepted may mean she has studied you well and thinks you’re a nice fellow. Common, open up to the world of dating and enjoy every bit of it. Learn some romantic tips and make the girl happy she came to you.

I have my boyfriend but a man is insisting he must marry me by force Good afternoon ma, I am a regular reader of your column and I have followed this column for 7 months now, thanks for d advice you give to people and also your true life stories. They are interesting and touching. I am 18 years old and i just gained admission into one of the state universities. But I am getting marriage proposals from different men. There is one at present who is really disturbing me. I told him I’m not interested but he insists he must have me as his wife no matter the circumstance. The problem here is that I have a guy whom I love so much and would love to spend the rest of my life with ,am confuse ma i really need your advice. +2348137545572


40 “Girl, you need to have seen the bag! Smooth, real crocodile skin like polished silver! And in a beautiful shade of chocolate brown! It was lust at first sight!” “Why didn’t you buy it then if it was so pretty?” asked Meera, smiling at her friend’s colourful language. Tracy grimaced as if she had tasted some bitter medicine. “It’s my dad o! He seized all my credit cards and placed a limit on the amount I can spend while shopping. And do you know how much that is?” she queried. Meera looked at her eagerly like one expecting a great story. “N500k! Can you imagine! A whole me, Tracy! What am I supposed to buy with that kind of money! It’s not even enough for a designer dress and a pair of Jimmy Choo shoes. God, that old man is driving me nuts!” she said with feeling. From the other end of the large sitting room, I sat reading a newspaper while paying half an ear to the conversation between Meera, my wife and one of her closest friends, Tracy. I could always predict what they spoke about whenever they met for some ‘girl time’ as my wife put it. It was often about the latest designer clothes, shoes and bags, the ‘hottest’ human hair weave from Brazil or one Asian country or the other, the best diet to trim belly fat and so on... Initially, I had found it all amusing but recently, it was beginning to get on my nerves. I couldn’t understand their obsession with such stuff, things I considered frivolities. “You know your problem, Dave. You take life too seriously! Learn to relax. And enjoy life! And what is money meant for if not for spending on things one likes?” she had said a few weeks before when I had complained about her spending habits especially on clothes. You see, Meera grew up in great wealth. Her late father, a multi-millionaire industrialist and businessman had denied her nothing as a child. She had thus grown up with a sense of entitlement, that she could get anything she wanted in life. And she usually did. Afterall, she got me, didn’t she? But I’m getting ahead of my story... I turned the paper to the sports section and was reading a story on the recent titanic clash between Chelsea and Man U in the English Premier League competition when my four yearold-daughter Cyndi came into the room. She had just woken up from a nap and her eyes looked swollen with sleep. “Daddy I’m hungry! I want something to eat!” she demanded, tugging impatiently at my hand. I looked in the direction of her mother who was still chatting animatedly with her friend. “Sweetheart, why don’t you meet Mummy? I’m sure she will prepare something nice for you to eat,” I told her, caressing her plump cheeks fondly. She skipped towards her mother and I returned to my paper. “Can’t you see I’m busy? Go and meet Cook!” I heard my wife telling Cyndi in a sharp tone of voice. “But, Mummy, she’s not at home! And I’m hungry!” And she began to cry. Being Sunday, it was the Cook’s day off. Usually, one of the two maids we had did the cooking during the man’s off days. But both were not around as well. So, why can’t Meera, the madam of the house do the cooking, you might wonder. The truth was that she can’t cook. That might sound strange to some people that a grown woman with a family can’t cook but it’s the truth. And there’s a reason for it which I will explain

THE NATION, SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 8, 2012

to you, dear reader later. As I could not bear to see Cyndi cry, I had to go to the kitchen to prepare lunch that day. After feeding my daughter, I also made some food for Meera and her friend. “This is nice,” Tracy said as she ate the rice I had prepared. Then turning to me, she added: “You must be an exception as most men I know can’t cook. You seem to have so many talents. I envy you Meera. You don’t know how lucky you are to have him.” Meera didn’t say anything but simply focused on her food. As I left the table, I could feel Tracy’s eyes boring into me and even without looking at her, I knew what the expression in them would be. Lust. Desire. Longing. My wife’s friend had never hidden the fact that she wanted me to date her. It didn’t start recently. It all began from the early days when I first met Meera and our story began: The angry landlady At the time we first met, I had just moved into a new apartment. It was in a fairly expensive part of town. Ordinarily, I would not have been able to afford it on the salary I earned as a computer programmer in a private firm. But it was my cousin, Nick who was behind my moving to the new place. He had lived abroad for years and was planning to relocate to the country. “I’m thinking of a couple of businesses I can do back in Nigeria,” he had stated one day when he had called me on the phone. He said he planned staying for about six months while researching the business and since it would be expensive staying in a hotel, he instructed me to look for an apartment in a quiet part of town. Through a reliable agent I knew, I got a nice three-bedroom apartment in an estate where fairly rich people lived. Nick had sent money for the rent and also some of the furnishing. I left my old flat for two of my younger brothers who were living with me and moved into Nick’s apartment. I had been there for about two months and was preparing for Nick’s arrival when I met Meera. It was in a dramatic way. I had arrived home from work one evening to see my usually quiet compound in commotion. A young lady I had never seen before was in a heated argument with one of the tenants who lived on the top floor of the building. They stood, with a couple of other men in the large, open courtyard of the house. She was practically screaming at the tenant.

The millionaire’s daughter (1) “I’m sick and tired of your excuses! My manager has written you so many letters, yet no action. Every day, it’s one story or the other and I’m fed up! You are owing over one year’s rent and instead of paying up, you keep telling one story or the other. It’s either your business is not doing well, your wife just gave birth to twins or one other tale. I’ve had enough! If you can’t afford to stay in a place like this, then look for somewhere cheaper. I’ve given you enough time to pay the arrears.” The tenant in question was pleading for more time to pay up. “Please Madam. Just give some more time. I promise to get the money,” he stated. She considered that for a moment then said: “Three months! That’s all I’m giving you.” She turned to one of the men standing beside her whom I recognised as the property manager. “John, you better take note of that. If he doesn’t pay up after that period, he will have to be evicted,” she threatened. Then turning, she marched angrily towards the gate near where I stood with a couple of other onlookers. That was when a strange thing happened. As she passed by where I was, she glanced casually at me, then did a double take. “Michael!” she called out excitedly. I looked behind me, thinking she was addressing one of the people there. But she kept looking straight at me. I looked back, a puzzled expression on my face. It was on coming closer that

she exclaimed: “Oh! I’m sorry. You look like someone I used to know.” I smiled briefly. “That’s ok,” I said. The manager then introduced us. “You are the new tenant then. Nice to meet you. Hope you are settling in nicely,” she stated. We chatted for a while then she left. As she walked away, she kept glancing back and I could hear her say to her manager: “He looks so much like Michael. The same features and physique. Really weird...” That was how I met Meera, who turned out to be my landlady. According to the other tenants, she hardly used to come to the house. “We see more of the manager than her,” stated one of them. As I went up to my apartment, I thought about my landlady, wondering how someone of her age could own a big property in a choice area like that. It was much later, when I got to know more about her that I learnt she had inherited the building and some others from her father who had died some years earlier. After that encounter, I didn’t see Meera for nearly four months. Not surprising since we moved in completely different circles. She was a multimillionaire’s daughter who belonged to the upper class of society while I was just an average guy trying to make my way in the world. So, it came as a surprise when I ran into her one evening on my street on my way from a store not far from my house. She was alone in her car and she beckoned on me.

I left my old flat for two of my younger brothers who were living with me and moved into Nick’s apartment. I had been there for about two months and was preparing for Nick’s arrival when I met Meera. It was in a dramatic way

“So, how’s my new tenant doing?” she said smiling warmly at me through the car window. I smiled back. “It’s nearly six months now so I’m not so new anymore,” I told her to which she laughed. We stood talking for a while then she asked unexpectedly: “Are you doing anything special this weekend?” I looked at her with raised eyebrows. “Why do you ask?” “Well, it’s my best friend Tracy’s birthday. And she’s having this little bash this Saturday. As I don’t have any one to go with me, I was wondering if you could be my date for the night,” she stated. It was the last thing I was expecting her to say and my surprise must have registered on my face for she added: “I know you might be wondering why I’m asking you or to put it more bluntly, what about my boyfriend? Well, I don’t have one and I don’t need one right now after my experience with my ex. So, are you game or not?” The first thought that came to my mind was: ‘Wow, this lady doesn’t beat around the bush. She goes for whatever she wants!’ But to her, I said: “I don’t mind the idea. But give me till Friday and I’ll let you know if I can make it or not.” “That’s ok. Just give me a call then.” We exchanged numbers and she left. ”Men, I think she likes you,” said Nick when I narrated the incident to him at home. I shook my head. ”That can’t be possible. I mean look at me. How can a lady like that– rich, beautiful, well-connected from a wealthy background be interested in an ordinary guy like me?” “You underrate yourself. You are quite good looking, you know. Besides, some of these posh girls like guys from the ‘hood, with a touch of ghetto. They find it exciting,” he said. “Wait a minute. Are you calling me a ghetto guy?” “So? You weren’t exactly born and bred in Ikoyi, were you?” he said. I made a face at him and went to the kitchen to prepare dinner.

I attended the party with Meera that weekend. It was held in a nightclub which had been booked exclusively for the party. It was a real eye-opener. Hitherto, I had never had much contact with very rich people. So mixing with them that night, seeing those children of the rich party showed me the other side of life. That there were some people in this world who never had to worry where the next meal was coming from or money for the rent or the children’s school fees and other challenges of everyday life that the average person goes through. Meera and her friends partied as if there was no tomorrow. There was enough food and drinks to feed a small army. Before long, many of them were drunk including the ladies. Meera introduced me to some of her friends including Tracy, the birthday girl. “So, this is the new boyfriend, then,” she said, giving me an eyeful. “He’s just a friend,” Lisa insisted. “Doesn’t look so from the way you are holding on to him!” that was Claire, a lady in their group. “Must be FWB then- ‘Friends with Benefits,” said another one of them. They exchanged glances and laughed loudly. Meera made a rude remark that sounded like ‘bitches’, took my hand and led me away. “Hope you are having fun,” she said as we sat down far from the loud music booming from the speakers. “Yes. It’s cool,” I replied. Then looking at me, she stated: “You know the first time I saw you, you reminded of someone.” “Michael,” I stated. “Yes. Michael was a former boyfriend of mine during my campus days. We were together for nearly three years before we broke up. You might think after all these years that I would have forgotten about him but I can’t get over him. I still think about him,” she said before taking a sip of her drink. “So, was that why you invited me here?” She thought about it for a while. “In a way, yes. Perhaps, seeing you is a way of reconnecting with my lost love,” she replied. Then smiling warmly at me, she added: “But that’s not the whole truth. I think I like you for yourself, not just that you resemble someone.” In between dancing, Meera and I chatted for a long time that night. She told me a lot about herself and her family including her late father whom she said she still missed some years after his death. Meera was the last born among three children and as she noted: “I was my dad’s favourite. There was nothing he would not do for me.” She stared gloomily into her drink and was very quiet for a while, a sombre air enveloping her like a cloak. I reached across the table and took her hand in mine. She smiled at me, then jumping up exclaimed: “Come on! They are playing my favourite song!” Not long after that, we left the party. “Thanks for a nice evening. I had fun,” I said when she dropped me at home at well past midnight. “Maybe we can hang out again some other time?” she asked earnestly. She leaned across her seat, a look of longing in her eyes... To be continued Names have been changed to protect the narrator’s identity. Send comments/suggestions to 08023201831 or email psaduwa@yahoo.com


THE NATION, Saturday, September 8, 2012

My m a r r i a ge , p r i s o n o r de a l a r e n o - go a r e a s –Chris Anyanwu

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&STYLE

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THE NATION SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 8, 2012LIFE

Society Profile

With KAYODE ALFRED

E-mail:kayflex2@yahoo.com

Gossip Interviews

TEL:08035733605

Ibe Kachikwu changes base

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edical practitioner turned true tales publisher, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, certainly has the Midas touch. Everything he lays his hands on seems to instantly turn into profit. It will be recalled that many years ago, he ventured into publishing with the establishment of his outfit, True Tales Publications Limited, and many people felt it was a crazy decision to leave his lucrative medical field for the fickle market of publishing. But all that has changed as he has made a name for himself with publications like Hints magazine, Complete Fashion and OK Nigeria. He also has interests in the hospitality sector. His Signature Suites in Asaba, Delta State, is popular and ranks amongst the leading hotels in the town. Recently, he was appointed the first Nigerian Vice Chairman of Mobil Oil worldwide. In a bid to fulfill his official duties, the man of means has relocated to the United States of America where his office is located. For Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, life is good.

Kunle Carena regains groove T

he good times are back for Lagos big boy, Kunle Carena. One cannot but wonder why some socialites continue to reign on the social scene while others just come and go like a flash in the pan. It is only a confirmation of the fact that the only constant thing in life is change, and the social firmament is no exception to the rule. Many would remember Kunle Carena as the top socialite who stormed the social scene many years ago. At the time, he was a force to reckon with and fans flocked around him. So enveloped was he in the cocoon of popularity that when he suddenly beat a hasty retreat from high society, his absence became highly noticeable. But Carena has now bounced back. He has once again become visible on the social radar, and feelers from those who should know revealed that he is here with something entirely new. He floated a new night club/lounge on Lagos Island a few weeks back. Known as Dejavu, it is a three-in-one outfit made up of a restaurant, bar and hotel. Located on Balarabe Musa Crescent, Victoria Island, the opening ceremony, which took place a couple of weeks back, was indeed well attended by socialites, celebrities and other movers and shakers of the society. Kunle certainly has had his groove back and he is savouring it.

Amaechi, Akpabio, others honour Azudialu-Obiejesi

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or Dr. Ernest Azudialu Obiejesi, success is a product of hard work. The strikingly handsome Group Managing Director of Nestoil Plc is one hard working dude who does not take a no for answer. Only recently, the All African Business Leaders Award West Africa conferred on him the West Africa Entrepreneur of The Year award. The highoctane event held at the Porsche Centre, Victoria Island, Lagos was well attended by eminent Nigerians. Azudialu-Obiejesi, who is happily married to Nnenna, comes across as the most silent member of the billionaires club. Hence, whenever he steps out, you cannot but appreciate his presence. You can easily judge how much resources and respect he commands by the number of people who go to him, exchanging pleasantries and courtesies. Wherever he goes, there are hordes of aides on hand to minister to his needs and carry out his instructions. Flamboyant without being loud, many believe the tall businessman has a mission to help the disadvantaged and those who fate has been unkind to. Leading lights who attended the event included Governors Rotimi Amaechi and Godswill Akpabio, Dr. Alex Otti, Chief Orji Okoye, Casmir Maduafokwa, Mutiu Sunmonu, Tonye Cole, Tunde Folawiyo, and many others.

Pastor lo a d o h Ig a ol ju an ak Bode and Moyo M r e th fa s e s s lo nt re pa of ue ag le join the

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he dream of any new couple is the fruit of the womb. And that cannot be truer with Bode Makanjuola and his wife, Moyo, after getting married for six years without an issue. Their greatest gift at the moment therefore is the arrival of a baby they can call their own. It will be recalled that a couple of months ago, Moyo was spotted with a protruding belly, an indication of a life growing within her. Many had found it too good to be true and anxiously waited for the news of her tiny tot. A few days ago, she was delivered of a baby girl. Moyo, the CEO of Kareema Mak, a Lagosbased fashion outfit, gave birth to the bubbling baby girl in Manhattan, New York, USA penultimate Friday. The two families are beside themselves in joy, particularly because it is the couple's first child. The proud parents have since been exuding whoops of joy and Bode, a director in his father's Caverton Helicopters, has left the country to be with his wife. Already, a mega christening ceremony, reminiscent of the couple's superlative wedding six years ago, is being planned. The baby's arrival coincides with Otunba Alex Onabanjo, Moyo's maternal grandfather's birthday. Hence, it was an all round celebration.

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oveable man of God and Senior Pastor of the Trinity House Church, Pastor Ituah Ighodalo, has lost his father, Jeremiah Ighodalo, aged 89. His death occurred penultimate Friday, and the Ighodalo family has since been mourning their beloved patriarch. While the incident has cast a pall on the larger Ighodalo family, the man of God's family is not in anyway devastated by the loss, as they believe the deceased patriach of the family lived a full life and was full of love and happiness. Family and friends of the amiable pastor, who married his ex-beauty queen wife amidst controversy many years back, have been trooping in to offer their condolences. The 51-year-old pastor and businessman made a public announcement of his father's death a few days ago.


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THE NATION SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 8, 2012

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43

Peter Okoye celebrates

mother Friends intervene in Olisa Adibua and Obi Asika's row

Sam Ohuabunwa back in business

Ijeoma Okwara


THE NATION, Saturday, September 8, 2012

44 Chris Anyanwu’s journey into politics came as a quest to render service, having seen it all from her glorious days as a reporter and a publisher. Though she considers politics as a tougher place to be, but the experience she passed through prepared her for the mandate to represent her people for a second term in the Senate. She has vowed to use the opportunity to transform her community. She spoke with CLEMENTINA OLOMU Why did you go into politics? went to politics to find a platform from where I can do more good. It was all well and good to observe politics and governance. We write about the people involved and all that. It gets to a point that you want to go in and actively help, there is no better place to do it than going into politics and government. That is why I went there. You’ve been on both sides of the road, first as a journalist, now as a politician. What have been your observations about both angles? It is easier to criticise and observe than done. According to report, the law is a perfect solution to watch what others are doing, make comment and report. To me, it is a tougher position to be inside where everybody is going to depend on you to bring in solutions, come up with programmes and laws. It is easier to look at the world and observe the happenings and report them and sometimes go a step further to offer opinion by way of writing the columns that is the best position to use. I think the real me is to be part of offering solutions. How would you describe your life as a politician? It is not an easy life, the demands are incredible. Sometimes the pressure could be unnerving. The good thing is, at the end of the day when I look at what I’ve done, the lives I’ve touched, seeing people progressing out of the efforts that I’ve made , it wipes away all the difficulties and challenges. The life of a politician is not an easy life at all, I must tell you. What has been the greatest expectation of the people that you’ve met? If you ask me what their greatest problem is right now, I will tell you it is jobs. Employment for young graduates, we are not talking of people who did not go to school, we are talking of people who took years to go to school, people whose parents had to starve to save money to see them through college. This is the greatest problem that I see out there and this is the more agonising challenge for me because I’m not in a position to really do much beyond begging, pleading, lobbying with a few people to assist them and give them a

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‘My experience in politics’ chance. It is a very difficult situation; my heart goes out to our young people. I see this as a major problem for this country and we have to face up to it and come up with a collective plan. I keep talking about a marshal plan on unemployment. Most often, funds are made available and people come up with all sorts of contraptions on how to spend this money. We are talking about giving people employment that can put food on their table, make them feel fulfilled that they did not waste their time going to school. During my second tenure, this is my number one responsibility and challenge. I’m not on the executive side where I can employ people, what I’m doing is

looking for funds by which I can empower people to set up small businesses, at least to keep them busy while they look for other opportunities. That’s my priority for now. I’m looking in and out of government, looking internationally and also looking at philanthropists, who can help to put them through some skill training and will give them strong funding to go and start doing something and I think it is something everybody and people of different levels have to get involved in. For me as a person, I don’t like to get to a point of agonising without doing something. I must do something, be active, in pursuit of these problems; that is to help. How would you describe your first tenure in the Senate?

My first tenure was not that bad. I was extremely lucky. I just jumped into it and tt clicked, no much difficulty. The second one is like going into the jungle to be moulded by wild animals. It has been an incredible thing. You see, in jungles there are no rules, no moralities, no lineage. I keep saying this in all my interviews. It is an act of God. If somebody says I went to hell, grabbed fire and came out alive; it was an act of God that I went through all that and came out untouched. I’m very happy about it because it liberated things for our people. It was a turning point. Was it tougher because you are a woman? I don’t know, I can’t say if it was because I’m a woman. I know that there are some other complex things that might have happened, things that I don’t know and can’t understand fully. There are other tones of fetishism as other things happen there. My case was not because I’m a woman. They were men in the picture but at the end of the day, the coast was clear for a woman. It also says a lot about the way men play politics. They want to determine who goes there. It has to be a woman that they have selected either as their wife, their girlfriend, relative or their daughter. Based on that, it becomes complicated, there was a bit of that in the picture. Even when they say women are free to come in, they must determine what kind of a woman. And if the ordinary people say this is democracy, allow us to vote for the man or woman we want and you say no, we must tell you which one to vote for, that says much about our democracy. The stage we are in, even though we want democracy, we practise democracy, we are not willing to let go and allow democracy to play itself out. Would you say imposition of candidates on the electorate has affected us as a people? Of course, it is not very good, that is why there is a falling standard, low level of performance. The influence of ‘settling’ people you know and all that, is getting too much and it may at the end of the day be difficult to produce the right set of people to do the work we want done. That is one factor that contributed to the state of underdevelopment that we are in. However, some of these countries that we talking about that have really progressed in their democratic experience also passed through all these stages. Even in America, there was a time they used to talk in their dailies about Richard Gailley in Chigago, he was the head of the labour union. He had a total grip of the electorate in such a way that he was a fearsome guy. That era passed in the American political history, and they moved on to a cleaner level. I think in spite of what is going on, we are doing it too much. The expectation is that by now, we should have long passed through some of these stages. When you look at the federal budget, you can easily tell where the minister or the permanent secretaries come from because most of the projects are going to be concentrated around where they come from. This is an extension of what we are talking about. We are at a stage where more women are being encouraged to join politics. Based on some of the experiences you’ve narrated, do you think many women can withstand some of these challenges? I’m painting the picture of the reality. I’m not supposed to sugar-coat the situation for women. If women want to go into politics, they have to have courage, it is not particularly right to


THE NATION, Saturday, September 8, 2012 sugar-coat the situation for them so that when they go in there they are shocked. It is better for them to know that some of these things do happen, so they have to be prepared. When they are prepared emotionally and psychologically, they don’t get broken to pieces when they see some of these things. It is not all political situations that are rough like this. Like I told you the first one was very good. Some people saw me and said yes, she used to be a commissioner, she did this and that. We know her and they gave me a chance and despite all that was done to make the women let go, they did not let go, they still have hope. This election taught me one thing, I have faith in the ordinary Nigerian person more than ever, they have values and are dependable, they know what they want and they need to be protected. Prior to the election, you complained that your life was being threatened. Did someone somewhere want you to step down or they wanted you out of the picture completely? They wanted my seat. I was sitting on a seat and they wanted someone else to sit on it, so they wanted to remove me. These are parts of the game of politics. They went ahead to use psychological approach. First of all, they used a peer factor on me, and when that factor didn’t work, they used other more rough approaches. That is to be expected. A successful business man also faces threat from people who want to do the same business he’s doing. You have to be ready for all these things. Will you say these are part of what discourage most women from politics? Women are more delicate, so they are expected to be more careful. As it is, political women are not just ordinary women, they are people who should be more determined, not fearful. If you are to lead people and you live in fear, are you going to lead people from under your bed? You have to get out of your bedroom and kitchen and go out there and see the world that you want to lead and lead them. There are a lot of extraordinary women out there. Considering the clarion call by The First Lady, Patience Dame Jonathan, urging more women to come out and join politics, will you say her efforts have really yielded much since we still have only few women in all spheres of elective positions? The First Lady succeeded, she succeeded enormously in building awareness naturally across the board on the need for the inclusion of women, the value of having women at all levels and in all sectors of both our economic and political lives. That is the purpose for that and she succeeded. You know an attitude that takes years and decades to form will not be toppled or abandon over night. We don’t expect it to yield extraordinary dividend in terms of the number too soon. I urge her to continue to press forward because it is a good message, one that resonates with Nigerians and has an appeal that is well respected and recognised worldwide, in fact it is a global message. Others have gone far ahead of us. The rest of the world has left us behind. When we look at the number of female legislators this time, there has been a slight drop. We can work on it again, building on the confidence of Nigerians in female representatives, letting them know that if they vote a woman, they are voting for someone that can deliver. Do you believe that the time has come for us to have a female president? Nigerians are really disappointed with the way things have been going on for some decades now. Nigerians want to move forward. Nigerians are having good potentials that we ought to be far ahead of where we are right now and they have aspiration for themselves as a people and as individuals and as groups. If they lose confidence in any group of people, who knows, they might decide to try someone else, saying after all, if in Liberia, their President, Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, has not done a terrible job, may be they will say if we can’t help, we might just try someone else. I will rather see it as when you vote for people you don’t vote in skepticism, you look beyond that apparel, you look at the person. What is in them? What are they capable of doing or delivering? Their commitment to the job, their knowledge, their experience. The mistake we make in this country is that we keep on voting people who hardly have experience, they just come fresh, they have not won anything and you give them the biggest job in the world to learn how to run them and of course, they will damage and destroy it. That’s why at all levels, whether it’s at the local government stage, you see a lot of damage being done to our institutions, because they have been entrusted in the hands of people who have not acquired the right experience and exposure, having had no idea on what to do with the job and on the job. We have to stop this. Recently, we have discovered that people who say they want to rule Nigeria, when they are given a lesser job, we find that they have no management know-how, no experience. They have no executive knowledge. If you did not try them on that lower level, you would have had a disaster. That is the problem we have at the local government level to the state and even at the Federal Government level. We have to make sure that we screen people very well and insist that they have some experience. With your vast experience and contributions, first as a journalist, a publisher and a politician, if you are asked to rule Nigeria, will you accept? Ruling Nigeria is the toughest job because it is huge. If you ask me to rule Nigeria I

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Political women are not just ordinary women, they are people who should be more determined, not fearful. If you are to lead people and you live in fear, are you going to lead people from under your bed? You have to get out of your bedroom and kitchen and go out there and see the world that you want to lead and lead them. There are a lot of extraordinary women out there

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45 will probably tell you that I want an easier job, give me something easier. One of the bills you sponsored is about punishing offenders as a way of deterring crime. Are you saying that it is because offenders are not punished, irrespective of their status and positions, that we find ourselves in some of these problems, like looting and corruption amongst other problems that Nigeria is experiencing? Those were laws anticipated and desired at a time when our currency was different from naira. At that point, the punishment was so little when translated into naira. You will find someone granted bail for N5,000 or N6,000 as a fine for rape. What is that? You are giving people an incentive to commit crime. When there is an ever present danger of stiff punishment for effect, people will think twice before they commit crime. We have to look at some of those laws where the punishment is very little. We have all kinds of laws in this country,but enforcement is the challenge. You’ve been at the fore front of the campaign for the rights of safety and protection, most especially night travels. This also boils down to security. What do you think are some of the solutions to the security problems facing us right now? Insecurity is usually a byproduct of other social predictions that have been there and need to be addressed and I believe that they have been dealing with it and some groups have been set up to study the situation on what is making people so discontented. Why would people be so frustrated that they will want to go to that extent of giving expression to those frustrations. Once we are able to address the causes of these high level grievances and extremism, then we begin to bring down some of these problems. It was like what we had in Niger Delta. There was a reason for all that went on there. Once it was addressed, the situation began to avert, we saw less and less of them. I have been talking about poverty and unemployment, but then, religious extremism, poverty and unemployment create the precondition for such extremism to now take hold. If you have an ego and you say I belong to this country where people are driving big cars and you see rich men throw away food and you have a feeling that among this plenty, I cannot eat, I lack so much and you begin to get emotionally fed up. When somebody comes and says this and that, you become an easy prey for extremists. I think we need to address certain issues. How have the challenges of yesteryears prepared you for the position you find yourself in? All I have to tell you is that every experience in life helps shape the individual, helps prepare you for where you ultimately will go to. People are the product of their life experiences, the road you have travelled, what you saw, what you met, how you reacted, how you ended up all add up to what you become ultimately. What has been your greatest encounter in life? My greatest encounter, I don’t know. These encounters come in different modes, colours and shapes. I use my inner resources and different weapons to confront them and overcome them. How were you shaped by the experiences you encountered in your journey through life? If you know my history, you will know the schools, going on an assignment. Even keeping you here for a few hours, that’s an experience, isn’t it? You learn something from it and it helps shape you. How was your growing up like? Very easy, nice, quite a private life. I don’t do that kind of personality interview, but If you want that one you’ll have to come when I’m very set. The questions you ask me are very good. Like I told you, I’m a school of hard-knock. One thing Nigerians will really want to know about you is your love life and marriage… I don’t talk love and marriage. Let me take you back to your prison experience... (cut in) I don’t talk about prison. When you came out, you said you discovered you had too many things, which you eventually gave out, many material things. Has that experience actually translated into your commitment to service and you giving out money to ordinary people in order to boost their lives? I don’t know if you are quoting me right or you got me right, not too much of finance but capacity to help, using government resources to help do funding, ensuring that government programmes work for the people. These are my project plans, that is why I’m in the National Assembly primarily. I come from a place that has one of the highest educational levels in the country, highest unemployed graduates and also one of the most neglected. I come from a place where most of the villages have never seen a Federal Government project before. You need to see that and react by starting small things like a borehole and electricity that shouldn’t be so at this age and time. When I talk about things that will benefit, how I’ve touched lives, going to a minister to say you are in power, for instance, give us rural electrification. When people see that there will be light on the road at night, arm robbers will have less cover to operate. People can go by the road side and plug some equipment and be able to use it to earn a living and so on. Give us that which Nigerians in other parts of the country take for granted. That is what I’m here for, to touch lives by directing government’s energy and resources to those areas that don’t have lack. It is not me using my personal money. Quite frankly, this whole thing about National Assembly making money is highly invalid, no amount of personal money that I have can scratch the surface of the problems in my constituency, it is large. What is your advise to young people out there who want to aspire to the position you are? Believe in God and believe in yourself. Be determined, don’t give up because nothing good comes easy. You should consider this to be a good thing. The good thing gives you an opportunity to make impact. If you use it well, you cannot pass through this earth and not have an imprint somewhere. These are the things that are important in life, making contributions to your environment. If you want to use this platform to fulfill your purpose in these directions, then you have to be very determined, dogged and very courageous.


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THE NATION, SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 8, 2012

Stylish

headbands H

AIR and head accessories, especially hats, scarves, hair bands, bandanas and headbands, are getting more stylish. As a head accessory, the headband is evergreen. It is always in vogue and because it comes in several beautiful colours, it always appears to be forever in vogue. Initially, it was designed to fit over or around the head in order to hold the hair away from the face. But over the years, it has become a hot fashion item. It keeps the hair securely away from the face and its colourful and vibrant nature adds a touch of subtle whim to your head, hair or look. Headbands are produced from variety of items, plastic, elastic, rubber, cotton and most importantly they can be made from your normal scarf by simply folding the scarf into folds and knotting it at the back of the head. For a vibrant look, add a headband to your ensemble, at least for a change from the normal plain style. Distinctive headbands are available with any mix of tiny pearls, beads, sequins, flowers and so on. Headbands add to beauty and they brighten the look and they are good for all occasions.


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THE NATION, SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 8, 2012

Pleated beauty Wumi OGUNTUASE

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T seems the old school fashion has come to stay for a very long time. It is right to say that pleated design is one of the prominent old fashion styles that have been making waves since the beginning of this year. Skirts, tops or just gowns, pleats are very unique and can be worn gracefully anywhere. Pleats made in chiffon have a special appeal to the body as they enhance your freedom and comfort in the piece you choose. Whatever event it is, you cannot look put out in pleats, but the secret lies in the simplicity of your appearance.

•Susan Peters

•Dolapo Oni

•Fathia Balogun •G-Lory

•Isio Wanogho

•Becca


THE NATION, Saturday, September 8, 2012

48

•Lawal: now

•Lawal: before

Why would a man who has the chance to live a good and quiet life risk his life for a cause whose end he is not sure of? What would make a man sacrifice the happiness of his own family and loved ones for others who are not related to him? These are questions to which GBENGA ADERANTI seeks answers from the Chairman, National Conscience Party (NCP), Osun State, Comrade Waheed Lawal, who probably has been detained more times than anyone else in that part of the country for his activism. He explains why he has dedicated his life to activism, his relationship with the late Chief Gani Fawahinmi, his prison experiences and his close shave with death, among other issues. Excerpts:

‘I narrowly escaped imprisonment for burying my baby’s placenta in the bush’

Why do human rights activists choose to suffer for a cause they benefit little or no from? ANY people believe it is their duty to protect the rights of others. I am not an activist by accident. I can say that it is inborn in me. I have been in the struggle as far back as 1984. I am a founding member of Club 111 of Nigeria. The appellation of that club is ‘the potential leaders’. And we believe that on no account should anybody try to cheat any of our members or the society at large. I saw a picture in which police were shooting at protesters, including you. Does that mean you don’t value your life? No, we value our lives. One thing we want

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people to understand is that if you say you don’t want to die and you are looking at people taking the law into their hands, one day, you will definitely die. Why don’t we stop the excesses of these people and say enough is enough? The late Gani Fawehinmin said: ‘Stand up for what is right, even if you are standing alone.’ Sometime ago, security agents in this part of the world believed they could do anything and get away with it because nobody could challenge them. But we took it upon ourselves to tell them that they couldn’t do just anything and get away with it. We are not in a banana republic. This is a country that is guided by constitution and we should allow the laws of the land to prevail. If not for the people, there won’t be any government. Why should the government lord itself over the people they are to govern? People have rights and these are duly enshrined in the constitution, whether military or civilian constitution. The constitution we are using today, even as amended, was written by the military. Since majority of us have accepted it, we should not violate it. So, whenever you see somebody violating the constitution, the onus lies on us to say no. If we rise up and

say enough is enough, they will definitely stop it. What you saw there (referring to a picture on the wall) is not an accident. When we challenged security agents in this state that what they were doing was wrong—extrajudicial killings, moving round the street with cutlass wearing red bands as if they were cult members—we challenged them but they would not listen. We sent a petition to Abuja. Abuja sent for us to come and defend the petition and the evidence I gave to them was overwhelming. One of the heads of the security agencies in the state felt it was an affront. He said we dared him. In his might, I had a case of conduct likely to breach the peace of the state because I protested in town. Normally, this is my constitutional right, but the police said I didn’t have the right to protest. I was arrested and detained for five days by the Criminal Investigations Department (CID). “On the fifth day, I said if they could not release me, they should charge me to court. I was charged to court. Ideally, even if I had no lawyers, the magistrate was supposed to grant me bail on the face of the charge. But when the argument for bail was raised by my lawyer, the magistrate adjourned the ruling

on the application for bail for two weeks. So, we were remanded in Ilesha prisons for two weeks. After those two weeks, bail was granted and I came back home. The funny aspect of it was that a bail was granted for the sum of N10, 000 and a surety in like sum, but when we challenged the commissioner of police and the security apparatus that what they were doing was wrong, an IPO from Abuja came to Osun State to interrogate the Commissioner of Police and others. In the hearing that followed, the bail was revoked and we were sent back to jail for another three weeks. When we came back after three weeks, the bail was granted for the same offence and the same charge at the sum of N500, 000 and two sureties in like sum. One of the sureties must be a Level 14 officer and above. What this meant was that they never wanted to grant us bail. But they knew the offence we were being charged with was bailable. So, they did not want to deny us of that. But they gave us strenuous conditions. To the glory of God, we were able to meet it and life continued. By and large, if we say we don’t want to

Continued on page 49


THE NATION, Saturday, September 8, 2012

49

‘Abacha died few hours after security agents told us we might not return from detention’

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Continued from page 48

defend the masses, who will defend them? After all the sufferings, SARS was scrapped in the state, and it became a law that no security apparatus On a daily basis, I should go like a common criminal in our society think about death. again. Having won that one, I believe that I did As a Muslim, one not suffer for nothing. If we did not speak out, those things would not have come on a platter. of those things How many times were you detained? you should be Police detention was frequent until recently. remembering Even when Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola became the governor of this state, I led a protest on December frequently is that 30, 2010 that we heard a rumour that some you will die one people were trying to sponsor some House of day. And as a Assembly members against the governor. We felt this man had just come in, let no man disrupt his Muslim, you programme. The governor was elected by the know that from people of this state and he was given a mandate of four years. If we don’t want the man again, let Him you came and •Lawal the people of this state decide, not somebody to Him you shall sitting down somewhere and teleguiding the return lawmakers. The protest was the most peaceful ever. Policemen were following us. State Security Service (SSS) men were following us. But later that evening, some policemen came to my office and said I vandalised Jonathan’s office. I said on time limit and I told them my route, on that particular day, there was no Jonathan’s that if Rauf was able to reclaim his mandate, I would shave it. office. Later, they said it was Omisore’s campaign office. When that happened, I fulfilled my own promise. That was None of my people vandalised any property. All my why I cleared it and I sought their indulgence that when I explanation did not appeal to them. I was arrested again, clock 55, I can leave it till I die, and they said they were okay detained by the state CID and granted bail the following day. with that. My detention in police cell is countless. I can’t remember Why is it that your wife's political view is different from the number of times. In state CID, it is as far back as yours? 1997/1998. In prison, I was there a couple of times. The one I I have a free family. If my mother did not compel me to do still remember vividly was that of 2008/2009. We led a protest a thing, I wonder why I should compel my family members that was peaceful. We presented our petition to the registrar to go against their will. I allow every member of my family to of the court before the then commissioner of police stormed choose whatever they want. the court and started beating our people and assaulting them. My wife said she believes in At the end of the day, 24 of us were arrested and taken to the this Labour thing. I said, ‘okay, police headquarters. if that is what you believe in, At the police headquarters, some of the senior police good luck. I'm not the type that officers said they didn’t want to arrest me. I said why? They teleguides a person. Because said they knew me as a peaceful person and I told them that you are under me, I don't they could not release me alone and that if they believed that I believe you must do what I do. committed no offence, they should release all of us. I If you are convinced that what requested that they should release the 23 others and let me I'm doing is right and you want answer for their cause. We were arraigned in court, but on to join me, I will welcome you. our way to court, from the discussion of the police, I knew we But if you have chosen your were not going home. And true to it, when we got to court, line, fine. That is the beauty of our lawyer argued the case and the judge adjourned the case democracy. Minority have their for two weeks. We were detained at Ilesha Prisons before we own voice, majority have their were granted bail. way. We were attending that court regularly for seven months. Would you allow your Later, they said they had changed the first magistrate for children to engage in activism another magistrate, and the magistrate court being a court of too? no records, the magistrate said he wanted to start the case If they want it, why not? afresh. They said we should retake that plea all over again In spite of the risks? and the former application for bail should be brought before Yes, I won't teleguide them. I him so that he would know whether to grant us bail or not. can only advise them to a Meanwhile, the case was adjourned for three weeks. So, for certain stage. Any of my no offence at all, we were sent back to Ilesha Prisons. children, after attaining the age I'm not fighting because of position or recognition. I believe of 18, can do whatever they that what is worth doing is worth doing well. I believe that want to do. the people of Osun have spoken. They said they wanted People might argue that Aregbesola. If they feel disenchanted, after four years, they I just went into the bush you are not a sincere person can change it. around my office, dug because you seem to have Do you sometimes consider the psychological trauma fallen in love with Rauf the ground and put the your wife and children go through each time you are Aregbesola. The way it is placenta there and hauled into detention? right now, it seems the covered it. The Well, I consider them. But I have educated them about governor can do no wrong... following morning, I what I'm doing. I have educated them about the hazards. That is not a correct position. They know that anything can happen at any time. Whenever From day one when he said he met some policemen in I'm leaving my house, I always tell my wife goodbye. I don’t my office and they said I wanted to contest an election, promise her that I would come back. Each time I say was under arrest because Rauf is from left, which is my goodbye, it means I may return and I may not return. As I'm constituency. Rauf said he I buried a fetish object talking to you, my family does not depend on me. All my life, wanted to contest the in government quarters. I never depended on any government. Nobody funds me. governorship election in the I did not understand I'm doing what I believe in and, to the glory of God, I have state, and I sought audience the most understanding mother in the whole world. My with him. It was not a personal what they were saying. mother will be 82 in January next year, and some people even but a collective audience with Before I knew it, they told her to talk to me that what I'm doing is wrong. How can I the larger civil society groups. had taken me to the be fighting for people and the community? But my mother When we met him, he police station said she has seven of us as children. Fortunately and explained all his programmes. unfortunately for her, they are all men. If she did not dictate a When he had given us the career to her first son, who chose to be a Customs officer, if booklet and we perused it, we she didn't teleguide the second born who read engineering said they are lovely and works with Shell Petroleum Company, why would she programmes. But we know say I should not do what I want? She said she would only that it is easy for somebody to write something down but to pray for me that God continues to protect me and would in implement it becomes a problem. We asked him what we no way discourage me. The same also goes for my wife. My should do if he failed to implement the programmes, and he wife has always been supportive. said, 'Comrade Waheed, we have a usual practice. Then lead Why did you shave your beard? that usual practice. And I want to assure you that if I know That is why I said my mother and my wife are faithful to this will not work, I will join you in that protest, that we have me, and whatever they request from me, I'm ready to give to failed. And it is a bond.' them. My wife said if I wanted to leave my beard, I should I want to assure you that if Rauf goes wrong, I will be one leave it when there is a problem; that the one I brought from of those people that will go against him because it is not detention, they didn't want it. She said I should give them a

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about who you are but a collective responsibility. Rauf promised that in the first 100 days, he would employ 20,000 youths. When I did not see the signs after 60 days, I went to him. I said: ‘You promised us that in the first 100 days, you would employ 20,000.’ He showed me what the government was doing and promised that in exactly 100 days, he would create those jobs. I said let us continue watching you. I told him that 100 days were exceeded by one day, we would protest. I want to assure you that if Rauf fails to fulfill his promise, I will be one of those people that will lead a protest against him. Do you sometimes think about death? On a daily basis, I think about death. As a Muslim, one of those things you should be remembering frequently is that you will die one day. And as a Muslim, you know that from Him you came and to Him you shall return. If we came from Him unexpectedly, we could leave unexpectedly. As a Muslim, you must always think of death and you must believe that death is a necessary end. Believe that death will come whenever it will come. Tell me about a detention experience you I'll never forget. That was1998 when we were detained by Abacha. We were detained at the state CID. On the 7th of June, 1998, the police asked us to invite our family members because there was an instruction to take us to Maiduguri and we might not return. I told them I would not call anybody, and if it became necessary to call somebody, I would call Gani Fawehinmi and tell him that they were transferring us to Maiduguri. Even if I was around Osogbo, I might not return. But before day break, Abacha died. Policemen came around noon to get additional statement from us, because we had it in our song that Abacha would die. But I said we owed them no statement because there was no way they could prove that I went out from the cell to kill Abacha. They kept us in that cell for two weeks after Abacha died. From that moment till I was released from detention, I was not the same person again. Tell me those memorable moments in your life? Well, the day that I was supposed to be the happiest man on earth was the day I had my first child. But the following day, I became the saddest person in the whole world. I had my first son on Thursday January 3, 1997 and on the evening of that day, my wife's sister brought the placenta of the baby to me in my office. But because I don't count anything, I just went into the bush around my office, dug the ground and put the placenta there and covered it. The following morning, I met some policemen in my office and they said I was under arrest because I buried a fetish object in government quarters. I did not understand what they were saying. Before I knew it, •Lawal they had taken me to the police station. Later, I was paraded before journalists. Some papers used the story with my picture and headlines, such as 'Man caught burying juju in government quarters'. The following week, I was charged to court for conduct likely to cause breach of public peace. But the magistrate who presided over the case lampooned the police. He later discharged and acquitted me. From that day, I became deepened in activism. It then occurred to me that some people just go to prison without committing any offence. If not for God, I would have been sent to prison unnecessarily. From that moment, I said I must not leave the struggle to fight the cause of the less- privileged, the ignored and the oppressed. You are getting older, when are you likely to quit activism? Quit activism (prolonged laughter)? I believe I will die an activist. How close were you to Gani Fawehinmi? You see, I said I have been in the struggle for a long time. My own is inborn. Before I met Gani, I had been in the struggle. We had a movement then called Club 111. When Gani introduced National Conscience as a movement in 1993 after the annulment of June 12, 1993 election, I read it in the papers. I filled the coupon there and posted it to Gani Fawehinmi Chambers. The form was sent back to me with a letter. I filled the form and I was registered. In 1994, Gani came down to Osogbo to inaugurate National Conscience. That was how it all started and as we were moving on, Gani started calling us. We attended programmes and seminars, and we discovered that he was a worthy leader. But some accused Gani of being rigid? Well, I don't believe that, because when Gani said we were not going to participate in the transition programme midwifed by a military man, we his followers complied. But after that transition and Obasanjo became President, we went to meet Gani and said: 'Chief, now that we have a civilian president, we want National Conscience to be registered as a party.’ Amitolu Shittu, myself and others, we were the ones that went to Gani. Gani said is that what you want? And he did it, the party was later registered. Gani was not an autocrat.


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HAT would you say is the significance of an emir at this present time in the socio-cultural lives of the people in Northern Nigeria? To be an emir takes a lot of responsibility. To go by tradition, it means you are committed to your people. The welfare of your people is in the hands of God, and in your hand. And it is also expected that you use that royal position to change the lives of your people for the better. Above all, it springs success and good well-being for your people. The Tall, suave and erudite Emir of Borgu, His Royal Highness Alhaji Haliru Dantoro III, remains one significance of an emir is the of the influential traditional rulers in Northern Nigeria. He rules over an emirate that historically institution’s symbolism of the culture and tradition of the dates back many centuries. But while some parts of Northern Nigeria has now turned into a bedrock people. of violence and insecurity, Senator Haliru Dantoro’s Borgu emirate, remains a peaceful sanctuary of You are blessed with long life, what’s the secret? nature’s endowment of natural resources and a haven for tourists.Having identified and enjoyed the It is faith in Almighty God. benevolence of such natural gifts, the Emir does not just wait for visitors; he travels extensively And I am grateful to Him. Once you are blessed, you thank himself, preaching unity, building goodwill and reputation that even attracts more visitors to his Him. Good health is in the hands of God and not in any domain. He spoke to PAUL UKPABIO in his palace at New Bussa, Niger State, about the forthcoming person. My destiny is in the celebration of the historic relocation of the emirate to New Bussa, the pains of the movement on his hands of God and once one believes that, and leaves the rest people and the forthcoming hosting of the international Borgu Gani-Durbar festival. to Him, the person will have a comfortable life. Faith in Him is very important. Again I don’t worry myself over anything. And I am not over ambitious. People who are inordinately have met most of the traditional rulers in this country. The Ooni applying justice in my dealings, then people will harbour of Ife, for instance, is a good friend of mine. We have historical grudges against the leadership. My prayer is that God should ambitious, definitely must suffer poor health conditions. On a lighter note, does your good health have anything to links with the Alaafin of Oyo too. And then I also have touch the heart of our leaders in this country to apply fairness relationship with the traditional rulers in Onitsha, Abraka, the and justice in everything they do, so that we can have peace and do with what you eat? Hmm, I know that I eat everything; I take pepper soup, Obong of Calabar and many other traditional rulers like that. live together amicably amongst ourselves. How are you handling the menace of Boko Haram in your Ogbono soup and other kinds of food depending on my body We interact freely especially when it comes to the issue of the unity of Nigeria. When it comes to one nation, we are always in emirate? chemistry. Those who know the National leader of Action Congress of total agreement. What would you say about the Nigeria, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu know that he is proud of the title Jagaban Borgu of Borgu Kingdom which you and present state of the nation and what your people bestowed on him. What is the relationship advice would you give to President Our religions and holy books put emphasis on justice Goodluck Jonathan? between both of you? Our religions are an important and fair play. Once there is justice and fair play, there My relationship with Asiwaju Bola Tinubu is very unique and aspect of our lives, whether Christian will be peace in the land. When I am just to you historical. It started when we were both Senators at the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria in the 1990s and of course we or Muslim. Our religions and holy regardless of wherever you may come from, that is when have the spirit of oneness for this country. We both want to books put emphasis on justice and fair ensure that Nigeria is great. And at the same time, we have a lot play. Once there is justice and fair play, you will see me as a true leader. But if I discriminate and of things in common though sometimes we may differ on one there will be peace in the land. When I I am not just or applying justice in my dealings, then issue or another. But generally, we both have the interest of this am just to you regardless of wherever great nation at heart. That is why we do everything possible to you may come from, that is when you people will harbour grudges against the leadership ensure the unity of this country and of course, I am a will see me as a true leader. But if I relationship bridge builder for this country. And that is why I discriminate and I am not just or

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Fairplay and justice are essential in tackling insecurity –Emir of Borgu HRH Haliru Dantoro

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Anxiety mounts over missing Continued from page 15 Surulere.” Blackberry broadcast With the search for Friday Akpandara getting bleaker and yielding no positive result, a strategy for spreading news of his disappearance was devised. According to Anthony, “with no prospect of locating my brother, we had to broadcast the incident on Blackberry broadcast so that anybody who had seen him during the period could help us with information. Four days later, a young man by name Ehis Udin, got back to us that he had seen my brother at about 1.55am at Soul Lounge Night Club, Shoprite Plaza, Lekki. Ehis described the exact colour of clothes, without being hinted of what my brother wore on the night of Friday, August 24. Twist in the tale With fresh insight emerging, it was obvious that Ken had not revealed all the details about their outing which he described as a business function on August 24. But reality would soon begin to stare him in the face. Anthony offered: “When we confronted Kenneth with this shocking piece of information, he said they were at the club briefly when my brother wanted to empty his bladder. But Ehis confirmed he saw my brother actually dancing in the club and he was not looking like one who merely stopped by to relieve himself. At first, Ehis was scared to come up and face the police and offer any information, but we pleaded with him that he could be of assistance to us in locating our brother. That was when he agreed to give a statement to the police. He gave his statement in the presence of Kenneth Egedi, my elder brother and other friends and family members at the Barracks Police Station, Surulere.

Based on Ehis’ piece of information and the statement he gave to the police, my elder brother, Kenneth, along with other family members went to Soul Lounge Night Club and after a thorough scrutiny from the close circuit television (CCTV), it was confirmed that my brother and Kenneth were in the club up until 1.55am of Saturday. At that point, Kenneth’s facial expression suddenly changed and he struggled to respond to questions put across to him by the Shoprite Chief Security Officer. In fact, he was caught on CCTV entering his car and driving off with Friday at about 1.55am. This was in spite of the fact that he had earlier given a statement to the police that he saw my brother leaving Surulere at about 11pm of Friday, August 24. He told the police that he had dropped off my brother in front of Ubong’s house to pick up his car and had actually saw him ascending Ojuelegba bridge at 11pm.” Ken’s rump exposed While truth is said to be constant, it is often difficult to tell if a lie could be told consistently the same way. This is where Ken’s claim of attending a business function with Friday as well as dropping him off at Ubong’s house at 11pm of Friday was punctured. Anthony said of how Ken was confronted with the truth and the obvious chasm between his earlier account and the latest discovery: “There was a huge contradiction between the account he gave to the police and his later account that he and my brother stopped briefly at Soul Lounge for him to relieve himself. When he was further confronted with the discrepancy in his account by the manager of the shopping plaza after watching the CCTV footage, he said he was not quite aware of the time they left the spot. But why was Kenneth not able to tell the difference between 11pm

and 2am? Was he under the influence of alcohol not to know the difference?” Given the twist in the tale, Kenneth Egedi has been the guest of the police since August 31. What has continued to astonish many is if Akpandara was indeed dropped off in front of Ubong’s house at about 11pm as claimed by Ken, why was he not seen by anyone removing his car from Ubong’s house? Why did he not call to tell his friend that he had removed his car, despite the time of the night? Curiously, Ubong allegedly confirmed that the car was there until the time he went to bed. But, according to Anthony, “On Saturday morning when we went to Ubong’s house, the car was no longer there.” Who could have driven Akpandara’s car away if he was not the one? Was it driven away by a spirit or a ghost? Why was Egedi shy to mention •Akpandara’s mother that he was at Soul Lounge with Friday until the CCTV revelation almost a week later? If they were The Nation gathered that with the screw supposed to be attending a function at a friend’s house, how did they end up at Soul seemingly turning on him, Egedi allegedly told an elder of Akpandaras that he had a Lounge? When this reporter was at The Shoprite, hunch that some family members may have a Lekki, Wednesday, the Chief Security Officer, hand in Friday’s disappearance. He allegedly CSO, Mr Bashiru said some police personnel produced some GSM numbers which he said were at the plaza with Ken and relations of he got from a friend who works with one of Friday. According to him, they were shown the the telecom operators. But incidentally, CCTV footage where Ken and Friday were Anthony said: “The numbers happened to be captured driving out at 1.55am Saturday. He those of my two cousins, Maxwell Akadabo said after watching the footage, a copy was and Edimomo Tony. These two cousins of mine had sometime provided accommodation made available to the police.


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It is perhaps appropriate to mention the plight of the communities that host hydro-electric power installations across the country. It is sad to note that ever since the impoundment of Kainji Lake in the mid 1960s, followed by the commissioning of Jebba Power Station in 1985 and Shiroro Power Station in 1990, there is yet to be a functional framework to address the unique developmental challenges confronting the host communities

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•HRH Alhaji Dantoro We have no Boko Haram crisis here; Borgu emirate is peaceful and welcomes visitors all round the year. It is a lovely place to stay. I am happy for the co-operation of everybody and particularly for the historical movement of the kingdom from old Bussa to its present location. What we are doing now is to give back to the people. I want to thank all the agencies of the Federal Government, the state government and other organisations, even private individuals that have contributed to ensuring the maintenance of peace in our land. How has this peace that you talk about been beneficial to the people in your emirate? Our land is synonymous with tourism. We have enormous tourist resources which have been praised by a lot of tourists. So

once again, I’ll use this medium to appeal to the Federal Government, state government and other organisations, even private investors to come over and invest in the development of this place. What does your emirate stand to achieve in the forthcoming historical celebration of the movement from old Bussa to new Bussa? In the first place, Borgu in particular in New Bussa, has made a great sacrifice in the movement from old Bussa to new Bussa for the construction of the dam which is a national feature. So we are going to achieve a lot. To start with, those who have been born in this new location in the past decades, will now know why we are here, it will also afford bring all the people to come together to promote unity and understanding among us and

give room for greater peace and stability in this region. Moving around your community, one notices a lot of government presence, in terms of project construction and development. How has your community benefited from all these? We have benefited, though in little ways. There are still some important areas which the community can still benefit from. In fact if you look around, you’ll find out that some percentage of the people resettled don’t have access to electricity. There are problems of water and others but we hope that most of these problems will be addressed through the HYPPADEC headquarters here in New Bussa, Niger State. Do you nurse any anxiety regarding the welfare of your people as it is presently? Yes, it is perhaps appropriate to mention the plight of the communities that host hydro-electric power installations across the country. It is sad to note that ever since the impoundment of Kainji Lake in the mid 1960, followed by the commissioning of Jebba Power Station in 1985 and Shiroro Power Station in 1990, there is yet to be a functional frame work to address the unique developmental challenges confronting the host communities. It is, however, gratifying that government has recently established the hydro electric power producing areas development commission. In view of the fact that Kainji New Bussa embodies, represents and symbolises the stark ground zero situation in the nation’s hydroelectric power producing areas, it is expected that the land of Borgu should hold major national and regional stakes in the proposed HYPPADEC. You said tourism is a blessing that comes naturally to your emirate. So what is the royal emirate doing to strengthen the tourism sites? We certainly can achieve a lot in the area of tourism, working hand in hand with the management of the National Park for instance, for the benefit of our people and the country at large. But I must say that to ensure the development of tourism and strengthening of the National Park and other such tourist attractions, there are certain infrastructure which must be put in place to support and enable their success, to attract the needed visitors to the site. On our part, we will endeavour to do all that is necessary to create most of the essential services. Borgu, I must tell you, is home to the following tourist attractions: Kainji Lake Park, Nigeria’s first National Park, Kainji Lake hydro power station, Nigeria’s first hydro power station, The statue of Mungo park, which will do better with a more befitting cenotaph, Oli River Tourist Camp, Foge Island which is reputedly Northern Nigeria largest Island, Pissa and Kabe caves, the former which can contain over 2000 persons, Ukuba, Jekana and Kalli hills, the ruins of old Bussa, ancient Konkosso iron working sites, the fish hatcheries of National Institute for Freshwater Fisheries Research, the Swashi dam, the irrigation sheme, and the Kainji Lake itself. Every culture has its festivals, what can you say of Borgu? Yes we do, for instance, we are expecting over 5000 guests from across the country and the world, when next year April, we hold the International Borgu Gani-Durbar festival. It will be a celebration of the cultural heritage of Borgu people within Nigeria and the Diaspora. It is a series of cultural and traditional sporting events including Great Durbar, which is the northern carnival, regatta, traditional wrestling and agricultural show.

40-year-old Friday Akpandara

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It was confirmed that my brother and Kenneth were in the club up till 1.55am of Saturday. At that point, Kenneth’s facial expression suddenly changed and he struggled to respond to questions put across to him by the Shoprite Chief Security Officer

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•Anthony for my brother and Kenneth whenever they travelled to Bayelsa for their projects. But why would Ken suspect the duo of allegedly having a hand in Friday’s disappearance? Last moment with wife In what could be termed ‘the last supper’ offered by her husband, Yejide who described Friday as an open-minded, loving husband and dad to their two-and-a-half-year-old daughter told The Nation: “Before he brought us down that day, he went out to buy me amala (meal made of yam flour) to eat. We left

Ikorodu after that for Surulere, where he dropped me off at his parent’s house. It was about 6pm when he told me he was going to Lagos Island with one of his friends, Kenneth Egedi. He said Kenneth was going to link him up with a man who is into property development. On that evening, he told me he was leaving his car in front of Mr. Akpan Ubong’s house and to join Kenneth in his car. ‘’At exactly 11pm, I called my husband to know why he had not returned from Lagos Island. He said he was returning with Kenneth to pick his car at Ubong’s house. That was the last I heard from my husband. The following day, Saturday, I kept trying his two lines but could not get through to him. His two cell

phones were switched off. ‘’I became so worried and agitated that I had to call Kenneth to tell him I had neither seen nor heard from my husband since both of them went out the previous. He told me my husband’s cell phone batteries were down. ‘’I later called Ken again to inform him that I had still not seen my husband, he just told me he did not know what had gone wrong. This was in the afternoon of Saturday. I also called my husband’s mechanic to find out if he took his car to the workshop for service, but he said no. I became more worried. In the evening, I called his younger brother, Anthony, and told him I had not seen his brother since he went out (August 24). He quickly called Ken and they both set out in search of my husband. ‘’I sent my younger brothers to go to Ubong’s house and check if my husband’s car was still where it was packed, but they could not find it. It was removed from where it was packed. Nobody knew who removed the car. I understand that while the issue of who removed the car was being discussed, somebody walked past and said he saw a red car packed at the very spot at about midnight on Saturday. ‘’But the account of a passerby who said he saw the car at midnight sharply contradicted Ken’s claim. To me, Ken’s account just did not add up. All through the period of the search, Ken did not say he was at The Soul Lounge Night Club with my husband until three days later when someone volunteered information that he saw them at the night club. That was when he admitted that they were at The Soul Lounge at about 10.30pm. He said my husband wanted to relieve himself, after which he (Ken) bought a bottle of water for himself. He said my husband did not take anything.

The young man who said he saw them also mentioned the exact time of about 1.55am they were at the club. CCTV footage corroborated the young man’s claim. But Ken knew this and chose to keep it from us. It means he knows more than he has told us.” But who was Ken to Yejide’s husband, Friday? She replied: “I knew Ken with my husband since April 2010. He used to accompany my husband when he had building contracts outside Lagos. He had also followed him to his village in Bayelsa State. He occasionally visited us in Ikorodu. ‘’My husband was a straightforward, loving husband and dad. He was very open to me and he was not into any shady business.” According to Friday’s distraught mom: “Ken and my son were really close. Ken told me one of their friends whose identity he did not disclose had a function on Victoria Island which he and Friday attended on August 24. When I asked him what the function was all about, he ignored and shifted attention to someone else. I have always trusted Ken throughout his friendship with my son, Friday. But when he had to lie that he dropped him off at 11pm to pick up his car only to be exposed by CCTV footage means that he knows something about the disappearance of my son, which he is not telling us.” When contacted on the matter on Thursday, the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) of the Lagos State Police Command, Ngozi Conchita, confirmed that the suspect, Kenneth Egedi, was being held at the Homicide Department of the State Criminal Investigation Department (SCID), Panti, Lagos, over the whereabouts of Friday Akpandara who was allegedly in his company at time of his (Friday’s) disappearance.


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THE NATION, SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 8, 2012

Understanding your uniqueness

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EAR Reader, I welcome you to the month of September. I see you being outstanding in every facet of your life this month in Jesus’ name! This month, I shall be teaching on Understanding Your Uniqueness. It is important for you to know that every thing about God is unique; He excels in varieties. There are no two persons who are exactly alike. An understanding of your uniqueness will help you to be a greater blessing to others. This week, I want to start by sharing on the Creation Of Male And Female Genders! Men and women are unique in their own different makeup. One star is different from another in glory. God’s Word says: So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them (Genesis 1:27). God created them male and female. It is clearly stated in the above verse of scripture that the man and woman are unique, even from creation. That is, you are not an afterthought of God’s creation, and this will make you get excited, happy and joyful. Don’t feel inferior about your uniqueness. If you are a man, God has a purpose for creating you the way you are. God equally has a purpose for making you

the person you are, so get excited! The purpose behind God’s creation of man is to receive love. God’s Word tells us that God is love (I John 4:8, 16). From this scripture, it means that God doesn’t just give or show love, He is love. He desires to share His love with us because love is His essential quality. God’s Word says: Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not (1 John 3:1). When God said, Let us make man in our image, in our likeness (Genesis 1:26), He was saying, in essence, “Let us make someone to love, and call that creature ‘man’.” God wanted man to be the object of His love, and that is why He made man in His own image and likeness. Therefore, in the creation of man, God drew man out of Himself, so that the essence of man would be just like Him. Among God’s creations, man is the only being that is like Him. That is to say, man is so unique. Man is a spirit and spirit has no gender. The Bible never talks about a male and female spirit, so God created the spirit-man without gender. God refer to male and female as ‘man’. God took the spirit –man,

and He placed him in two physical forms and He called them male and female. God’s Word says: So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them (Genesis 1:27). Therefore, for God to fulfill His eternal purposes, He used two physical forms, called male and female, to express the one entity of man. When God speaks to humanity, He uses the term man. He doesn’t address male or female unless He is talking to individuals. God deals with the man inside us because God is a spirit, and His worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth (John 4:24). It is important for you to know that we worship God with our spirits, not with our gender. In God’s programme, therefore, neither is the spirit of the husband dependent on the wife or vice versa. The Creation Of Male Gender! God gave the spirit-man dominion over a physical earth, He gave him a physical body to live and to function in the world and rule over it. God’s Word says: And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul (Genesis 2:7). God formed a house from the dust of the ground and made a house called male. Then God housed the spiritman in the male. Then He put the male in the Garden of Eden so that the man could rule over what He has created (Genesis 2:8, 15). The Creation Of Female Gender! Furthermore, if God created

man for the purpose of having a relationship of love with Him and wants him to dominate over the world, what then motivated God to make the female? In Genesis 2:7-17, it is clearly stated that, at first, only the spirit-man in the male gender is ruling in the garden. When God created the male, He could still give and receive love through His Spirit; however, because the man now had a physical body, he also needed someone with whom to share human and physical love. God’s Word says: And the Lord God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him (Genesis 2:18). From this scripture, note that even though the male gender had communion with God, the male gender needed love. So, from creation, we see that God decidedly made the woman as a complement of the man. He made her to make a difference in the life of Adam; He created her to spice up her world. Animals were created for man’s enjoyment, and although they can give him some comfort, but they cannot truly fulfil his need for love (Genesis 2:19-20). Having a full understanding of your uniqueness as an individual comes by acknowledging the One who created you who you are. You can only effectively acknowledge the person you know and not otherwise. Thus, do you have a personal relationship with your Creator – God? If you don’t, why not surrender your life to Jesus Christ today, so that you can through Him enter into a lifelong blissful relationship with God. You want to do that? Why not say this prayer of faith: Dear Lord, I come to You today. I am a sinner. Forgive me my sins. Cleanse me with Your precious Blood. I accept You as my Lord and Saviour. Now I know I am born again! Congratulations! Till I come your way again next week, call or write, and share your testimonies with me through: E-mail: faithdavid@yahoo.com Tel. No: 234-17747546-8; 07026385437, 07094254102 For more insight, these books authored by me are available at the Dominion Bookstores in all the Living Faith Churches, and other leading Christian bookstores: Single With A Difference, Make Life Count and Marriage Covenant.

Before you take sleep aids consider behavioral changes

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OR many people, what causes insomnia at night is extraor dinary brain activity resulting from life experiences. Stress, anxiety, fear, rivalry, threat, and such feelings - are sometimes part of it. From millennia-old human experiences, it is safe to claim that love overpowers all other feelings. Additionally, several religions teach this. Be it love of God or love of fellow humans, the insomniac may experiment and find that love overpowers all other feelings. One powerful way to peace and rest is prayer. There may be no scientific evidence but I find it safe to claim that people who pray well also sleep well. This may be partly because faith and prayer safely unburden us. On the part of medicine, there are therapies used to unburden the mind. Cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT) is psychotherapy aimed at modifying dysfunctional or destructive thoughts, emotions, and behavioural patterns. It supports relaxation skills, exercise, and necessary change in lifestyle. A Harvard Medical School study found that CBT was better than prescription sleep aids (drugs) for treating chronic insomnia by improving the ability to fall asleep and the ability to stay asleep on a long term basis. Couples may help themselves by improving their romance. Love overpowers all feelings and bedtime is time to shut out the “oppression” of the world. Enhancing romance and the pleasure of love-making is an important aspect of recovery from life experiences. A refreshing shower, nice soap, fresh beddings, soothing music, and other details to highlight romance can greatly help a couple relax to sleep. The psychological satisfaction and spent energies after love-making can slump you into sleep. Besides, oxytocin (the “love hormone”), that is released before and at climax “evokes feelings of contentment, reductions in anxiety, and feelings of calmness and security around the mate (Wikipedia). (The inability to secrete oxytocin and feel empathy may be linked to sociopathy, psychopathy, narcissism, and general manipulativeness (Wikipedia)). “Love-less” insomniacs can employ simple exercises and relaxation practices. Aerobic exercise such as jugging, skipping rope, using a treadmill, and dancing in the late afternoon may help one tune into sleep at night but these must be safe for whatever health condition a person may have. Some forms of yoga, tai chi, and deep breathing exercises may be useful for some people at bed time. Reading, relaxing music, dim light, and a soothing warm milky drink in the late evenings can boost the desire to sleep. Some people use self-hypnosis to induce sleep. Hypnosisdownloads.com provides some mp3 videos for self-hypnosis. I do not know anyone who has tried self-hypnosis to induce sleep so I stop here. One way some people gain control over their sleep is by usig NightWave Sleep Assistant. “NightWave silently guides you in a pre-sleep relaxation session in the privacy of your own bedroom. It’s like having your own personal sleep coach. NightWave projects a soft blue light into your darkened bedroom. The “luminance” of the light slowly rises and falls. You lie with eyes open and synchronize your breathing with the wave of soft light as its movement becomes slower and slower. After a short time, NightWave shuts off and you roll over and fall asleep.” http://www.nightwave.com/how-it-works/nightwave/ Perhaps, for some insomniacs, reflection on life experiences may be an effective

way to unburden and to prevent such experiences from overwhelming one’s feelings in future. One reason why we sometimes suffer too much is because we forget experiences before we learn from those experiences, thus we are prone to fall into those experiences again and repeat the sufferings. One could find that chronic insomnia may be associated with chronic anger, chronic hatred, chronic envy, chronic disappointment, chronic regret, chronic fear, or other negative feelings that all humans experience but that should normally be transient. The examination and repair of the body-mind-spirit interaction may be a source of relief in some cases of chronic insomnia. If you are not interested in spiritual remedies such as prayer and fasting, you may try a step-by-step program called Panic Miracle based on psychological principles (http://www.professional-counselling.com/ natural-anxiety-remedies.html). It is aimed at helping people who are prone to nervous breakdown, panic, and anxiety. We want to live life fully and abundantly but we do not want to be overwhelmed by “life”. Some chronic insomniacs may need to check that this is not happening to them. It is important to know one’s self well, to understand one’s weaknesses and limitations, to know one’s possibilities and capacities, to have a sense of freedom, to avoid trying to be like other people or trying to please other people unnecessarily, to avoid letting other people affect us negatively, and to avoid reacting improperly to life’s moments. This will help us to go safely and peacefully and to avoid becoming overwhelmed and restless. Behavioural change and environmental change are to be strongly considered before the use of drugs to counteract chronic insomnia. Dr. ’Bola John is a biomedical scientist based in Nigeria and in the USA. For any comments or questions on this column, please Email bolajohnwritings@yahoo.com or call 07028338910

HIV/ AIDS T

HE term AIDS is an acronym that stands for “Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome”. It is acquired because the victims do not inherit the condition, but contract it. Immune deficiency means that the victim’s natural bodily defense mechanisms are unable to function properly, and “syndrome” refers to the combination of different abnormalities or diseases making up this condition. AIDS is a complex of diseases and symptoms resulting from unexplained immune deficiency; caused by a retrovirus, culminating in a “mixedbag” of life-threatening opportunistic infections, which invariably results in death. The retrovirus that causes AIDS is known as Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) with types I, II, and III already isolated. Although there have been wide speculations and insinuations as to the origin of the virus (HIV), the fact still remains that the first cases of AIDS were diagnosed in North America, Europe and Central Africa about the same time in 1981. Since then, cases are being reported all over the world and most countries now have people with “full-blown” AIDS as well as carriers infected with the virus. It occurs in about 1 to 10% of the population and the incubation period is 4 to 10 years. The virus has been isolated mostly from semen, vaginal secretion and blood. It is generally believed to be contracted through sexual intercourse, transfusion of contaminated blood, use of un-sterile instruments such as needles, blades and catheters, trans-placental infection, organ transplant, tattooing and circumcision as well as breast-feeding. The major characteristic feature of AIDS is weight loss of about 10kg within 1 month without a known cause. Other symptoms include chronic diarrhoea, persistent cough, skin infections, oro-pharyngeal candidiasis, swollen lymph glands and night sweating. Prevention Prevention of AIDS is achieved through avoidance of casual sex, and other factors that may predispose to HIV infection; as well as sterile procedures in clinico-surgical practices. Treatment and Control Before recommending our treatment and control packages for HIV/ AIDS, it is pertinent to ask the following questions: 1. Why do outbreaks of serious infectious diseases leave some people devastated and others free? 2. If some people are known to be carriers and could go around with the virus for up to 15 years before they physically breakdown, couldn’t there be ways of helping to cleanse the virus from the system before it manifests? 3. Are the sufferer’s thoughts, aspirations and living habits not affecting the disease cycle as well as response to treatment? If yes, then in Holistic Lifecare, we are committed to total cure of HIV/AIDS sufferers when they have just been tested and diagnosed positive, when they are still able to eat, drink and move around on their own, but not when they are expecting their funeral the next day! The Holistic Natural Remedy being suggested for restoring good health, vitality, and total cure in HIV/AIDS sufferers; is a combination of herbal, nutritional and psycho-social therapies at the appropriate time and in the right proportion. Notable among the useful herbs for HIV/AIDS are Aloe vera, Allium sativum, Harpagophytum zeyheri, Echinacea augustifolia and Zingiber officinale.


THE NATION, SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 8, 2012

Health Matters With DR MIKE OYAKHIRE

08099885540 email: drmikeoyakhire@yahoo.com Continued from last week Current classification of hypertension in individuals over 18 years Normal condition …………. Systolic blood pressure less than 120mmhg \Diastolic blood pressure below 80mmhg Prehypertension………………. Systolic blood pressure less than (120-139) mmhg and Diastolic blood pressure (80-89)mmhg Stage 1 hypertension …………. systolic blood pressure (140-139) mmhg,and Diastolic blood pressure (90-99)mmhg Stage 11 hypertension …………. systolic blood pressure 160,mmhg and higher and diastolic blood pressure 100mmhg or higher Severe hypertenion ……………. systolic blood pressure 180 mmhgand diastolic blood pressure 120mmhg Imminent danger of major organ failure ………………blood pressure higher than 180/120 mmhg When hypertension is diagnosed in the absence of identifiable secondary cause, it is said to be essential or primary, 90 to 95% of patients belong to this group, you can only treat by diet , change in life style drug treatment etc. 5% belong to the group who have identifiable secondary cause, and in this category, treatment is directed at the secondary cause .eg chronic kidney disease. Diabetes mellitus is often closely associated with hypertension, not much has been written about the nature of association, perhaps at the level of the nervi vasorum. There are arguments as to which, the top number, systolic blood pressure or diastolic blood pressure is more important. There are those who contend that systolic blood pressure should be the sole component for the detection, evaluation and management of hypertension. Guidelines have been provided by the 2010 institute for clinical systems improvement (1CSI) and current position favored by many scholars is that for individuals below the age of 50 the diastolic blood pressure is very relevant as opposed to individuals older than 50 for whom for clinical reasons the systolic blood pressure should guide treatment decisions. From the point of view of clinical anatomy, cardiovascular system anomalies have been characterized by studies done on cadaver hearts and seen on CT scans. Some normal variations

FAMIL Y HEAL TH AMILY HEALTH

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Hypertension and abnormal differences in blood pressure between the right and left arms have been wrongly tagged as anomalies and clinical decisions based on such assumptions. The heart unlike skeletal muscle is purely an aerobic organ with higher percentage of mitochondria. Coronary perfusion is dependent on diastole, which in the cardiac cycle is longer than systole, but the coronary vessels (right and left ) being the first and only branches of the ascending aorta are nourished by the systolic ejection flow. Therefore no component of the blood pressure can be completely isolated. The issue of abnormal inter arm blood pressure differences should stimulate and direct interest to explore new terminologies such as Diastolic dysfunction, and it’s opposite. WHAT TO DO MEASUREMENT OF BP Regular medical check ; is at least know your blood pressure status especially for those who are above 35years and those with family history of sudden death, stroke, diabetes mellitus and hypertension as discussed. Certain habits and attitudes concerning drinks, food work can drive you to or away from silent death, and so make the best choice. Women owe their families the responsibility of ensuring that if they will lose their husbands , at the end of time , it won’t be to hypertension through salt laden and vegetable nil diet. If you are hypertensive and you have a blood pressure monitor, take average of three readings two minutes apart and from the two arms about the same period. Preferably in the mornings .Rest 5 -10 minutes before taking, Ensure you see your doctor for clarification; no electronic machine can replace the professional thoroughness of your family physician. Have a qualified Medical Doctor around you, just in case. Whether or not you can safely and effectively monitor hypertension at home has become an important health matter because blood pressure taken in the home and especially in the mornings are better and when elevated pose greater risk of cardiovascular or cerebro vascular events. Manual blood pressure set comprising sphygmo manometer with bell side of stethoscope is preferable. Three readings, two minutes apart, in sitting and lying down, supine (face towards the ceiling) right and left arms and then one leg. Make use of blood pressure cuff wide enough especially for fat arms with circumference greater than 30 cm.

Wrist equipment are not the best though they come in handy and can give you an idea Just as blood pressure is taken using the Cubital fossa, the depression in front of the elbow joint, blood pressure can also be taken with the patient lying face down and a sizeable blood pressure cuff placed on the Popliteal fossa, the depression at the back of the knee joint.

Errors from last week

Interarm blood pressure differences and hypertension In the first part of this article, certain errors occurred somewhere within the secretariat before going to press; The word INTERIM blood pressure was typed, instead of INTERARM blood pressure A sentence, “abnormal differences in blood pressure readings commonly arise from faulty equipment or inexperience on the part of the user ’ was completely omitted. And in the last paragraph, the last two letters n and s were mixed up to replace m and r in lutem bacher’s syndrome of mitral stenosis occurring in combination with a left to right shunt, There was also a mix up after the line, THE AORTA IS TRANSPOSED, with the pulmonary trunk receiving blood abnormally from the LEFT ventricle instead of the RIGHT ventricle as was typed. In Taussig –Bing syndrome , also known as Taussig - Bing anomaly, Taussig – Bing- Pernkopf syndrome, the pulmonary trunk receives blood from the left ventricle with the Aorta instead of the right ventricle. In another abnormal variant, the pulmonary trunk is attached by double ostia from the right and left ventricle at the same time , and still rarely ,the Aorta instead of receiving blood from the left ventricle as usual, joins the pulmonary trunk and both large vessels arise from the right ventricle The word syndrome, placed after subclavian was missing as well as the very dangerous blood pressure reading of 360/ 120mmhg, where the usual unit of measurement was missing. The corrections are well intentioned , sealed with apologies and proof read; the errors are regretted

Sex is the topmost determinant of marital stability —Ayodeji, herbal expert No sleeping pills like good sex Stability,disintegration or total collapse of many marriages in our society have been attributed to either unsatisfactory or lack of copulation or both between couples.Making this assertion is Prince AyodejiAdesua-Ajayi,a thoroughbred herbal practitioner whose lineage and generational blood are reputed for proficiency in herbs,and root-sourced remedies. Dr.Ayo, a Micro-Biology graduate and CEO of Ayo Herbal limited spoke about his beginning,his products, and among other issues ,he spoke on efficacy of herbs and roots,sex as homemaker and homebreaker. Excerpt: Early Knowledge in Herbal Practice From childhood,our faher started grooming us all on traditional medicinal practice by taking us along into the forest to source peculiar roots and herbs. He taught us how to grind or mix either wet or dried leaves, stems, roots or shrubs and educate us on their administration and applications. As early as age 15, I could tell which roots or herbs are good and potent for headache, stomach upset, malaria, dysentery etc. I don’t just know them but I am certain of their curative powers. Build up into full practice I however began full time practice after graduating from the College of Natural Medicine in 1996. To the glory of God, NAFDAC came in and after series of clinical analysis and examinations, two of our drugs were certified fit for consumption. One of them is Supa Fusha for constipation, obesity, infections and blood purification. Also approved is Vigo cap which is 100% natural and po-

tal stability, collapse or disintegration? Of course we know money comes first in human pursuit of success. But then you will agree with me that flaunting success or arrival of money, is more advertised or noticeable with women or when they are around us. If you make available a 40-foot container laden with raw cash to a woman but you starve such a woman of sex or give her inadequate sexual attention, you run the risk of such a woman spending the cash meant for her comfort to procure satisfaction (sex) from other

tent for erectile dysfunction, permanent cure for premature ejaculation and other sexually related diseases. Vigo Cap is strictly for men only and with no side effect. It does not matter if one is diabetic or hypertensive, even alcohol does not affect its potency. Efficacy and modernization of herbs The Yorubas have a saying that before the advent of corn, chicken had been feeding on something. This in effect means that before civilization or arrival of orthodox medicine, humans had been surviving on herbal mode of medication and treatments. That the human race did not become extinct for centuries before orthodox medicine, is enough evidence to know that these treatments and medicines, though archaic and crude are potent and efficacious. The orthodox medicine people are addicted to today have quantities of natural roots, herbs and plants embedded in their composition. What is more? Besides, some state governments are making efforts at running orthodox and herbal medicine side by side and this

will allay such fears. It is so practiced in several Asian countries. My education at OAU and College of Natural Medicine, plus my parental tutelage have stood me in good stead in efforts at modernization of products in our range. Also, various researches garnered over the years have been of tremendous advantage, as we make hygiene our topmost priority via encapsulation in the packaging of our products and they are available in notable pharmacies and supermarkets across the nation. Sex and related diseases. There are many sexually transmitted or related diseases afflicting our generation today. It is alarming and very endemic in Africa here because of our low literacy rate and polygamous inclination. Why I say polygamous is that though majority of us are fast embracing monogamy but so many do so on the surface but still go out of their ways to engage in clandestine extra-marital affairs and flings. It’s from these escapades that both the male and female contract diseases that are scourge of our generation. They should be of serious concern to us all. Do you know that aside money,sex is a crucial determinant of mari-

men. The Bible and other ancient books are replete with stories of such women married into affluence and still unsatisfied in their amorous cravings and thus go about in search of a man to satiate their desires. You can deduce from the above, that sex apart from procreation purpose,is food for our body and soul. Therefore, any man that jettisons the partner, or is unable to adequately satisfy her does so at his own peril. Research shows that aside for the need for couples to be rooted in God, sex is the next best tonic for a strong rela-

tionship. It has also been proven to be the best exercise for the human brain. The same research has shown that over 20% of men in our society today are either partially or totally impotent as a result of weak or absence of erection to fully satisfy their women. The reasons for these are not far to seek. They are either suffering from STDs, pile, stress,old age as well as adverse effects of sexual stimulants. These are reasons we make counseling available to our patients before treatment on daily basis.


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THE NATION, SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 8, 2012

A lifetime experience in Mecca, Medina B Y the time I became certain that I was to travel to the holy land, I wasted no time in making an elaborate plan for my itinerary there within the stipulated time of my sojourn. For I was informed beforehand that I was to spend not less than 40 days in those spiritually historical, soul stirring sceneries. I, therefore, right from Nigeria, decided to engage my free period in familiarising myself with Islamically historical sites which had played immeasurable roles in making Islam a religion of total submission God. This was not part of hajj performances , but I personally made it incumbent on myself so as to be occupied with something worthwhile, instead of perambulating the streets of the two holy cities for window shopping at one hand. At the other hand too, familiarising my humble self with such scenes affords me the stuff of the piece before my readers just to share the experiences with the writer. Mine was neither to come back home and regale the readers with the stories of Arab dishes that one had had there, nor to catalogue the wonder inducing edifices raised by Arab monarchs, but to spiritually re-energize

Danjuma KATSINA

my fellow Muslims soulcalming experiences on those soul calming scenes. The visits had taken a handsome financial toll on me, but it drew me more close to God. It also blew a most fresh balmy air of love for and, towards the holy Prophet,his immaculate household members along with his chosen companions into my heart. It had also been compelling to me in terms of total and unconditional submission to the cause of Islam – the religion of both material and spiritual salvation. I was so immersed in visiting such sites to the extent that the period of stay which I previously considered ample became as short as the shortness can be. But, God, out of his boundless mercy, made me to discover that the hajj performance period was a kind of spiritual eye-opening to me, as far as Islam itself is concerned. On my arrival at home , I started to put the experiences garnered together in form of a book which I asked Alhaji Dahiru Barau Mangal, the proprietor of Mangal Airline to sponsor its publication in the Hausa language, and he instantly accepted and even offered a

•Ka’abah, Mecca take-off payment. The project has already been commenced in earnest. I will,from time to time, be composing my travelogue for the respected readers. Ka’aba, is an awe-inducing, magnificent, but most ancient building on the surface of the earth. That is, every edifice in this world takes shape from it. A black stone was fixed on it. This very stone, according to prophetic tradition,which came

directly from the paradise, is polygonal in shape. Each angle has a uniquely divine blessing that quickens the immediate acceptance of one’s prayers , if recited close to it. The ancient house has been described in the Holy Scripture with a variety of appellations. On this, I came across a book on geological research. In it, it was mentioned that the Holy Ka’aba is located at the very centre of the earth. In the same vein,

geologists, archaeologists and anthropologists have unanimously concurred that the present location of Ka’abah was once a meeting point of the spirits millions of years ago. Since the dawn of life on earth, the saintly creatures have been going round the holy location. During the pilgrimage, I had been to the cave of Hira, the very location in which the Noble Prophet (S) received the first revelation from the Most High. I had

the opportunity to climb the mountain on which the cave of Hira is located. This mount is known as Jabal-Noor. From the foot of the Mount Noo to the cave in question is about 2,500 metres high; which takes one, roughly two hours. Steps have therefore been constructed by which one climbs to the awe-stimulating site which had once housed the Supreme Creature and the fountainhead of the most fresh spring water – divine

centage to the economies of our dear nations”. “Both Nigeria and South Africa have seen a tremendous partnership and significant engagements in areas such as telecommunications, media, tourism and aviation. This has led to more than US$3 billion in trade volume between South Africa and Nigeria. And there is further rich potential for both countries not only to maintain this mutual and symbiotic relationship, but to up the ante too,” he added. In his keynote address to declare the start of the Tourism Month celebrations, South African Tourism Minister stated that “South Africa’s relationship with Nigeria is one of deep friendship, a strong partnership and a united determination to grow tourist arrivals not only to the two destinations, but to the entire African re-

gion.” “Nigeria is a major growth market for our destination. We saw monumental tourist arrivals growth of 37.5% from Nigeria in 2011 and arrivals from Nigeria grew a further 28.7% in the first four months of this year,” Minister Van Schalkwyk disclosed. This year’s Tourism Month agenda focus intensely on encouraging South Africans to travel their own country and to get a better understanding of the affordable and exciting leisure travel attractions available to them on their own doorstep. The Getaway show is organised by South Africa’s national travel and outdoor magazine, Getaway, whose editorial content gives readers ideas on where to go in South Africa, what to do and what to see in South Africa and the rest of Southern Africa.

Tourism News Nigeria, South Africa to accelerate implementation of tourism agreement

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IGERIA and South Africa have agreed to accelerate the implementation of the “Cooperation in the Field of Tourism Agreement” signed in 2008 to deepen tourism relations between both countries and in Africa. This was one of the outcomes of a closed door meeting held in Pretoria last week between South Africa’s Tourism Minister, Mr. Marthinus Van Schalkwyk, his Nigerian counterpart, Chief Edem Duke, and their top-level officials, including Ambassador Sonni Samuel Yusuf, Nigeria High Commissioner to South Africa. Minister Duke, accompanied by the Permanent Secretary of the ministry, Mrs Ibukun Odusote, was on an official four-day visit to South Africa on the invita-

•L-R: Mr. Van Schalkwyk presenting a gift to Chief Duke tion of his South African counterpart Mr. Van Schalkwyk. The tourism bilateral agreement between South Africa and Nigeria covers interactions between tourism and travel trade officials; the exchange of tourism re-

search, statistics and human resource development. It also includes investment,exchange programmes, joint marketing and establishment of a joint commission, entry formalities and environmental

matters between the two countries. During his trip to South Africa from August 30 to September 2, the Nigerian Tourism Minister joined Minister Van Schalkwyk at the launch of South Africa’s Tourism Month Tourism Month is celebrated annually in South Africa every September and was officially launched this year at the Getaway Show on August 31 in Johannesburg Speaking at the launch of Tourism Month, Minister Duke stressed the need “to continue to forge partnerships and working relationships between Nigeria and South Africa to further boost and grow our tourism sectors to provide employment opportunities, as well as to contribute a significant per-


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THE NATION, SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 8, 2012 revelation by which humanity quenches its material and spiritual thirst. In fact, one would be astonished on how the Merciful Messenger of the Most Merciful climbed the mountain for devotions till the time of the first revelation. You can also be surprised on how the Lady Fatimah, his dearest daughter, was able to reach such location at the pick of the mountain to take provision to him, as it was transmitted in a number of traditions. On the way to the foot of the mountain, there are socalled scholars of the AhlulSunnah wal-Jama’ah who have been preaching that visiting the cave, according to them, is of no spiritual value, except the historical one. They even distribute booklets to the visitors who troop to rejig their respective ties with the Supreme Creature. As I came down the Mount Hira, I ventured to trek to the holy Prophet’s house, but I could not make it. So I had no option other than boarding my hired car for such purpose. Where was the holy Prophet (S) was born? Where was the house of Lady Khadijah (AS)? These were the questions that suddenly came to my mind,as I was leaving Mount Hira. My next habour of call was the house in which the Noble Messenger (S) was born. An imposing building of library complex was erected there with a huge billboard and an inscription, saying: “visiting the location has no any spiritual value.” Though security agents were policing it, along with so-called preachers whose primary assignment was to instruct the visitors that familiarizing oneself with it, commands nothing spiritual, but historical only. Concerning Lady Khadijah’s house, I discovered that it was located in a nook closer to the Holy Ka’abah along the way to Mount Safah. I could not ascertain the original length and breadth of the house in question, except through some old documents. I also visited the house of Arqam, in which the early believers of Islam used to hide themselves for Islamic observances against the pagan Arab persecution during the dawn of the Holy Prophet’s mission. The house was located by the gate of King Abdul-Azeez to the holy

Biometric technology will curb in-house fraud, insecurity —Runsewe

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•Medina Mosque Ka’abah. This gate was originally named after Arqam. Through my endeavour, I discovered the notorious Darul-Nad’wa (the consultative assembly) where negative plots were hatched out against the holy Prophet (S) and his faithful followers. The assembly was formally located close to the holy site of Ka’abah too which is now assimilated into it. My investigation led to discovering the valley in which the early Muslims, along with the Apostle of God and his relations were put under social embargo on account of their belief. It is a valley sandwiched in-between two mountains – Jibalu-Abu Qubays and very close to the house in which the Holy Prophet (S) was born. Those mountains, according to some historical and geological facts, were the earliest ones on the surface of the earth and are just a stone throw away from the Mount Hira, in whose cave the Holy Prophet received the first divine revelation. And it was named after the person who first resided besides the mountains. All the afore-mentioned historical sites that played immeasurable roles in shaping the futures of the Muslim ummah, humanity and the religion unfortunately, as of now, are on the verge of going into oblivion. One can only get in touch with them

WTM reviews success of 2012 sport tourism

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ORLD Travel Market (WTM) will review the success of the London 2012 Olympics and assessing the benefits and constraints for host nations of major sporting events. The Sports Tourism programme, sponsored by Eurosport, starts on the first day of WTM, Monday, 5 November, at 3pm with Tourism and the Olympic Games 2012 – a review which will look at the impact the London 2012 Games has had on London’s and the UK’s tourism industry. Speakers include European Tour Operators Association’s Tom Jenkins who has been an outspoken critic of the impact the Olympic Games has had on tourism for host cities arguing that tourists stay away in the build up, during and aftermath of the event. UKinbound Chief Executive Mary Rance shares her thoughts

on the impact of the London games in the session which takes place in Platinum Suite 4 at ExCeL – London. The major sporting event theme continues on Wednesday, November 7 with Optimising the Tourism Benefits of Major Event for Host Nations which will ask what the major right holders (such as the International Olympic Committee and FIFA) should be doing to help deliver the potential tourism benefits. Visit Britain Chief Executive Sandie Dawe will be talking about the challenges and opportunities faced by the NTO in the year of hosting the Games Professor Geoffrey Lipman from the Chair of DeHaan Institute’s Advisory Board will chair the event, which takes place on Wednesday 7th November at 3.30pm in Platinum Suite 3.

via laying hand on the documents of expanding the premises of Ka’abah in the libraries, as I exactly did with utter disappointment. My schedule took me to the site of Mount Thaur. That was the exact location where God made pagans trying to assassinate the holy Prophet blind on his way to Medina. I could not climb it. It is about 650 metres high. So, I was completely exhausted and there was no staircase like that of Hira. In my short conversation with a co-visitor who climbed up the mountain, I learnt that climbing up this mountain augments one’s certainty and unconditional submission to the cause of the Holy Messenger (S). It was from the Mount of Abu Qubais, which was previously referred to,that the black stone of the Ka’abah was found by Prophet Ibraheem. The meteor was kept there for a while, after leaving paradise, up to time Ibraheem was commanded by God to rebuild the House of God – the Ka’abah – on its original foundation. Likewise, according to Islamic history, it was on that same mount that God asked the holy Prophet (S), if he later wished, to destroy the pagans of Mecca for their wanton persecution of the Prophet along with the earliest believers. But being a merciful Prophet, he said

there was no need for that. There was also a mountain in the ancient city of Mecca which, according to history, is known as the mountain of worship. On it, there are two tombs of certain saints from the Prophet’s tribe of Hashim. Lady Khadijah too, was buried there, along with the earliest companions of the holy Prophet (S) who achieved martyrdom through pagans’ persecution, according to a popular record of history. In that very site too, the so-calledAhlulSunnah are very present to drive visitors away in the name of preaching against visit. Ta’if is a town which is a few kilometres away from the city of Mecca. It was in this town the holy Prophet (S) was booed and stoned during a missionary trip. In the town, there are no diehard Ahlul-Sunnah. So, one can easily find a guide who can take one around all the places in which Holy Messenger of Allah had stayed for one reason or the other. During the last year’s hajj exercise, I saw that a renovation work was taking place at Masjidu-Bay’ah – the mosque of allegiance – this mosque was constructed at the very location which Medinites took the oath of allegiance to the holy Prophet clandestinely during an annual hajj exercise before his migration to the place.

HE Director-General of the Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation, Otunba Olusegun Runsewe, has reiterated the need for hotels in Nigeria to have their staff identity captured in a database via biometric system of identification. The DG said the Biometric option is important because it will assist the corporation and genuine practitioners in checking criminality and other vices perpetrated within the hospitality industry. Otunba Runsewe made the statement when introducing a consortium of three IT professional outfits led by Mr. Chibuzo Ike to the president of the Hotel Employers and Personal Services Association of Nigeria (HOPSEA), Chief Samuel Alabi, who also led a delegation of seasoned hoteliers to the tourism village, Abuja on Wednesday. The NTDC helmsman stated that he wanted to have major players like HOPSEA alongside renowned hoteliers involved and intimated by the IT consortium before the measure goes into full swing. The meeting was also convened to inform the public of the development which had been long time coming as it will be recalled that the NTDC boss first hinted on the idea when receiving members of the Hotel Owners Forum Association (HOFA) in April this year. The DG said the total cost of the measure will be handled by NTDC and is expected to checkmate fraudulent workers in the industry who have being having field day operating to the detriment of genuine operators and unsuspecting tourists. Speaking further, Otunba Runsewe noted that the venture was the first of its kind in Africa and has been configured to ensure total security maintaining that data base remains a necessity for a safe and viable hospitality industry. Explaining the modus operandi of the technology with the aid of a projector, the leader of the consortium, Mr. Ike, said staff of hotels will be required to fill out an on-line form after which their profile will be captured in a smart

•Runsewe identification card which will be used to issue what he called a unique ID card. Not wanting to reveal details of the procedural technicalities due to security concerns, he assured that the entire process has been made seamless with several security features put in place to ensure maximum security while protecting the privacy of workers in order to avoid crimes and other vices that may emanate from e-registration. Responding, Mr. Alabi commended the technical team pointing out some salient issues affecting the initiative like the category of hotel staff to be captured, updating of staff profile and how the Direct Data Capture machines are to be deployed. Otunba Runsewe replied that despite the registration being internet-based, the entire process will be conducted by an administrator to be nominated by the hotel stressing that only key management staff will be privy to the personal information of staff to ensure confidence in the process. He was positive that with the initiative, Nigeria would have aligned with other countries that have reduced crime, thereby ensuring a thriving hospitality industry. “Once you are in the data base, you can’t lie about yourself, your profile, qualification or personality”, Otunba Runsewe said.

Sandton Convention Centre targets Nigeria’s business events in South Africa

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EPUTED to be one of the continent’s most prestigious and technologically advanced business and conference centre, Sandton Convention Centre regularly plays host to world-class conventions, exhibitions, meetings and events. On a recent trip for select travel agents from Nigeria to South Africa sponsored by Tsogo Sun group to experience its facilities in South Africa, it is not difficult to notice that this is one centre perfect for those wanting to be close to the city’s main attractions. This building can accommodate up to 10,000 delegates, even providing a complement of over 10,000 parking bays in two arcades. This allows the Sandton In-

ternational Convention Centre to host multiple events concurrently in various rooms that can hold anywhere between 10 and 4500 people at a time. Not only is the centre big enough to host even the most important of events, but it also provides the most advanced technology to facilitate them. Conferencing facilities and options include infra-red simultaneous translation systems, Wi-Fi, and satellite broadcasting. According to the hotel’s Sales and Marketing Manager, Karin White, ‘’Being a part of a family as diverse, inspired and successful as the Tsogo Sun is what has taken the Sandton Convention Centre from strength to strength over the years’’.

Sandton hotel

She notes that “With 15 world-class hotels located within walking distance of the convention centre, as well as the convenience of direct access to a number of world-class shopping, dining and entertainment offerings within Sandton City, the centre is ideally positioned to integrate our complementary interests and leverage off our combined ser-

vice offering,” A popular choice in business circles both locally and internationally, Sandton Convention Centre last year played host to the Meetings Africa; an African Exhibition Conference in Johannesburg. The threeday conference, which hosted over 180 exhibitors from within and outside South Africa, brought together a range of


THE NATION, SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 8, 2012 56 On Thursday this week, pioneer Chairman of the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), Justice Mustapha Akanbi, who will be 80 on September 12 interacted with journalists in Ilorin, the Kwara State capital, ADEKUNLE JIMOH was there

Attorney-General’s control incapacitates ICPC, EFCC—Justice Akanbi at 80 P ERVASIVENESS of corruption in Nigeria We grew up in a society where there was no attitude of greed and acquisitive instincts. The rat race for grab, grab and grab was none existent. Our elders were contented with what they had. And we were also contended with what we had. Nigeria was not like this. I came to Nigeria from Ghana in the colonial era and all through, people were contented with the little that they had, but after the military take over, people began to think of what we called sky scrappers, then corruption crept in. At that time, people with N1,000 were regarded in high esteem, but today we are talking of billions, trillions and in essence, we are making the younger generation believe that money is the beall and end-all. I always wonder when Nigeria will produce the likes of Nelson Mandella in South Africa, Kwame Nkrumah of Ghana, Julius Nyerere of Tanzania. What was it that made Abraham Lincoln a name? What was it that made Wilson Churchill a name? When can Nigeria produce this leadership? A country that is corrupt is incapable of having good leaders or role models. I want to believe that along the line we derailed. We placed too much premium and value on money. We started celebrating corrupt people. When you are appointed to a post, people roll out the drums to celebrate you, for instance, when I was appointed as the chairman of the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), some people were saying it is my turn to make it. We can stop corruption by example and precept, but what we need is a reorientation of our people. State police I was a state counsel. I worked with the police. I was in private practice when I confronted the police and as a judge, I dealt with matters relating to the police. Honestly, even JP Dawodu, while advocating for state police said: ‘When we set it up, we can now study the parameters and see how we can put it through.” You don’t take a dangerous risk. We should study the parameters first and see whether the thing is workable or not. I lived in an era of the Yandokas, when local government police was operating. The operation then was phenomenal. If you had seen the oppression the local government police were meting out to people then, we will think twice about state police. Most of the states cannot even pay workers’ salaries. When states cannot pay workers’ salaries, then how would they fund police? How would you have a police force that will look at the governor in the face and say ‘no’ I cannot do what you said I should do? By the time they put some naira notes in his pockets he is finished. The question of state police is not the issue that bothers Nigeria now. What we need is an effective police, police re-

the judiciary is not working for the common man. In fact, it is not working for the uncommon people. The judiciary is my constituency and for several years I restrained myself from making address on the judiciary. But I’m beginning to have my fears, which has made me to ask: ‘are we getting the right caliber of judicial officers on the bench?’ I want to use this opportunity to tell journalists to focus more on the goings on within the judiciary so that we can have a better judiciary, because if the judiciary is finished this country is finished.

•Justice Akanbi

Most of the states cannot even pay workers’ salaries. When states cannot pay workers’ salaries, then how would they fund police? How would you have a police force that will look at the governor in the face and say ‘no’ I cannot do what you said I should do? By the time they put some naira notes in his pockets he is finished

orientation, police that will appreciate that he has commitment to the nation and not to the individual. I don’t support state police. It is a gradual disintegration of society. People who are not thinking of a united Nigeria and those who are not thinking how we will develop this country are the ones advocating for state police. When they divide the police, they divide the customs, divide the judiciary, divide the immigration etc, at the end of the day there will be no Nigeria. Corruption in the judiciary The calibre and quality of those ap-

pointed into the judiciary should be thoroughly examined. The method of appointment should be revised, so that we get the best. If you want to be a judge, like the catholic priest, you must take a vow of purity, vow of poverty. You are not expected to be that fabulously rich. But they are a contented people. What they are paying them today should be alright. We hear stories of judges being corrupt. Not too long ago I met with my brother, Justice Eso and he said, even the ICPC I left, they have spoilt it for me. And I retorted that they spoilt it for Nigeria. That is why people are now casting aspersions that

Helplessness of ICPC and EFCC We laid a very solid foundation on very hard circumstances. But the person who took over from me believes more on enlightenment and public education which I believe NOA, the Mallams, the clerics are doing. In my time, the then Attorney-Genera, the late Bola Ige, gave me absolute support. He gave me the first team of lawyers to prosecute my cases. He never for one day interfered with my work. Then Olujimi came on board and it was the same thing. Olujimi had appeared before me on several occasions on the Ibadan bench. He has tremendous respect for me. Chief Kano Agabi (SAN) never interfered. None of them interfered with my job. Section 13 of the law says that we will not be subjected to the control of any authority. Admittedly, the attorney-general has powers under the constitution, but I don’t think if you allow control to come from that place, the agencies will not be independent. I learnt the present Attorney-General said they (EFCC and ICPC) cannot do anything unless they clear from him. If it were my time I would pack my bag and baggage and come back to Ilorin. Secondly, whoever wants to head the ICPC or EFCC must not be someone looking for money, he must not be somebody who is afraid to leave the job, must not be a person who will lobby to get the job. If you lobby, there must be an ulterior motive.Government itself must have the political will and commitment to make the anti-graft agencies work. God save us.What Nigeria needs now is leaders that will eschew religious bigotry. Leadership who will work for our unity, people who will not discriminate, but be their brothers’ keepers, leaders who will ensure unity and oneness of our people.I got to where I was when there was unity. May God bless Baba Olajide who got me appointed into the Northern service, who got me to read law, he was not an Ilorin man, he was an Egba man. Or Baba Gana and Ade John, all these people saw themselves as Nigerians. They saw me as a young Nigerian who had the brain and must be encouraged. And this is what I am doing now to help. I don’t want to know where you hail from. We cannot go on like that, we want an Abraham Lincoln, Wilson Churchill. We want people who can sacrifice their lives for the cause of the people.


THE NATION, SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 8, 2012

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58 NEWS

THE NATION, SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 8, 2012

Tricycle operators on rampage as policeman kills chair in Lagos

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RICYCLE operators and street urchins in the Meiran area of Lagos yesterday went on the rampage, following the killing of Dele Oroja, Chairman, the Three Wheelers’ Association of Nigeria, Meiran/Ilepo branch, by a police corporal, one Abbey Adekunle, on Thursday night. Sources disclosed that the policeman abandoned the illegal checkpoint where the shooting occurred and escaped.

Jude ISIGUZO The protesting operators invaded the Meiran Police Station where the corporal is attached to with fuel and other dangerous weapons, threatening to burn down the place and demanding that the policeman who killed their leader should be handed over to them. However, the police said the corporal had been arrested and “is currently being interrogated at the State Criminal Investigation De-

partment (SCID), Panti, Yaba, Lagos.” It was gathered that the protesters succeeded in completely pulling down the gate of the police station and also set up a bornfire before a reinforcement from the state command headquarters, led by the Deputy Commissioner of Police in charge of operations, Mr Tunde Sobulo, arrived the scene and dispersed them. Sobulo, who arrived the scene in mufti, and accompanied by over 50 operatives of

L-R: Ogun State Deputy Governor, Prince Segun Adesegun; South-West Regional Coordinator, DFID, Mr. Sina Fagbenro; Ogun State Governor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun; and Special Adviser to the Governor on Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), Mrs. Hafsat Abiola-Costello, at the opening ceremony of the third South-West + Kwara MDGs Conference 2012 held in Abeokuta yesterday.

Amosun restates commitment to implementation of MDGs Ogun State governor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun, has said that poverty eradication requires innovative action, fulfilment of electioneering promises and commitment to masses-oriented programmes. The governor disclosed this yesterday in Abeokuta while declaring open the third South West/Kwara Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) Conference 2012 organised in partnership with the United Kingdom Department For International Development (DFID-UKAID). Amosun explained that poverty eradication, the theme of the conference, was a focal point of his administration's “Mission to Rebuild Ogun State”. Explaining that for the first time actual timelines and deadlines were set for the purpose of bench-marking government policies, programmes and projects, the state helmsman pointed out that the MDGs inspired new hopes in the United Nations system. The governor clarified that much progress had not been made due to various challenges ranging from the fact that the focus on global blueprints had not sufficiently taken into consideration the importance for local involvement and local solutions. “There had not been enough local ownership of the ideas and programmes that needed to be developed and implemented which had resulted in policy inconsistencies,” he said.

He stated that “when I came into office, I found that years of neglect had eroded the quality of the schools in our educational system. I quickly allocated over 3 billion naira which was used to purchase text and exercise books, to renovate blocks of classrooms in secondary and primary schools and launch an ambitious project of building 26 model schools across the 20

local government areas. “I discovered that Ogun State had yet to establish an MDG office. There was no political appointee designated to focus on this important and time-bound assignment. Under the last administration, the state encountered challenges in abiding by the conditions of the federal MDG grant scheme and was consequently disqualified in 2009.”

the Rapid Response Squad (RRS), intimidated the protesters out of the place. It was gathered that between 8 and 9pm on Thursday night, Oroja was on his way to the Command area to purchase feeds for his domestic animals which he could not do in the day because he was supervising a building project under construction. Eyewitnesses told our reporter that the deceased was accompanied by one of his colleagues. However, when they got to a checkpoint, the policemen at the place asked the tricycle operator (Oroja’s co mpanion) to park and give them money, a request which he refused to comply with. It was learnt that due to his refusal to co-operate, he was pulled out of his tricycle by the police corporal who beat him up and tore his shirt. While all these were going on, Oroja was still inside the tricycle and did not utter a word to the policemen. But after the shirt of operator had been torn, Oroja asked him to remove the shirt and hand it over to the policeman. The policeman, who was angered by this statement, allegedly dragged Oroja out of the tricycle and shot him. Sources said the deceased slumped and immediately the policeman escaped from the scene. Oroja was rushed to a hospital where he later died. Lagos Command spokesperson, Ngozi Braide, a Deputy Superintendent (DSP), said: "On September 6 at about 2020hrs, one corporal, Abbey Adekunle, attached to Meiran Division, while on duty and clearing of obstruction in front of the police station, allegedly shot one Dele Oroja a tricyclist, in a mysterious circumstance. “The victim was immediately rushed to Araba Medical Centre, Meiran, but unfortunately died over the night. “The corpse has been deposited at the General Hospital, Ikeja for post-mortem examination, while the suspect is under arrest and currently being detained at the State CID, Panti, Yaba.”

Burnt Ogunpa Market to be made ultra-modern — Ajimobi

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OVERNOR Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo State yesterday said that the Ogunpa Market, which was gutted by fire on Wednesday, would be pulled down to give way for an ultra-modern market. The governor, who said this when he visited the market to assess the extent of damage, said that the market would be equipped with infrastructural facilities while the road that passes through it would be reconstructed. It would be recalled that the market was gutted by fire on Wednesday with three structures (a storey building and two bungalows), accommodating traders numbering 75 completely burnt while goods worth millions of naira were destroyed. No life was, however, lost. Govenor Ajimobi, who visited the market in company with the Speaker of the

•Traders still count losses state House of Assembly, Mrs. Monsurat Sunmonu, state lawmakers and other top government officials, said that the rebuilding of the market would be done in conjunction with the Ibadan South-West Local Government and the market association. “We will re-design the market and re-allocate the shops to the original shop owners and not to outsiders. Nobody here will lose his or her shop. “We promised them certain things while on election campaign over a year ago. We have fulfilled majority of them. We promised them water; we have given them boreholes. We promised them public toilets; we have provided them. We also promised them electricity; transformers have been erected. “The road here is in a bad state. It was blocked by trad-

ers. We will clear the road, repair and rehabilitate it and ensure that nobody is allowed to block the road again,'' the governor said. Governor Ajimobi also promised to assist the traders affected by the inferno, adding that the traders' cooperative society would also be provided with soft loans to alleviate the suffering of members. Meanwhile, the affected traders are still counting their losses. When our correspondent visited the market yesterday, traders and sympathisers were still trying to recover goods that were not destroyed by the inferno. One of the affected traders, Mr. Saheed Okunade,a building materials seller, said presently he cannot estimate his loss, but he believed he lost over N600,000 worth of goods.

Osun probe: Ex-commissioner, perm sec deny travelling abroad for faulty machines’ inspection

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S the public hearing of the six-man Osun State Commis sion of Inquiry yesterday entered its fifth day, the former Commissioner for Information, Taofeek Makinde, and the Permanent Secretary in the ministry, Mrs. Olubukola Opakunle, have testified in the failed state government N119 million printing press project that they did not go abroad for pre-shipment inspection of the machines The duo said the state government sponsored their trip abroad to meet the sister partner of the Aerographics System, the company that was awarded the project, to verify its genuiness and existence. Opakunle told the commission that during the trip they also attended a trade fair. But the chairman of the commission, Prof. Femi Odekunle, read out a letter of invitation by the company which showed that Aerographics System was responsible for the trip abroad and not the state government as claimed by the duo. The commission, therefore, asked them to present document next Tuesday to prove their claims that they did not travel for pre-shipment of the machines and that the trip was sponsored by the state government. Also, both Makinde and Opakunle said they had left the ministry before the delivery of the machines and payment made to the contractor for his service. Contrary to the claim by Opakunle that the Bureau of Public Procurement was responsible for terms of reference of award of the contract, the Coordinating Director in the Genera Services, Mudashiru Oyeniran, said the BPP was only meant to be a clearing house for all projects when the client agency “is the one to determine the terms of contract and its needs.”

Nigeria can earn huge amount of money from herbal medicines —Ayeni

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ATIONAL President of the Herbal Therapy Society of Nigeria (HTSN), Dr. Akintunde Ayeni, has said that Nigeria can earn up to 10 billion dollars per annum from the production and marketing of herbal medicines. Dr. Ayeni, who spoke at the inauguration and swearing in ceremony of new officials of the Lagos State Chapter of the association held at the Yemkem Plaza, Egbeda, Lagos, said notable Nigerian herbal therapy practitioners have had huge successes in producing potent and reliable herbal drugs that can be used to combat different ailments threatening the existence of mankind. He said, these, when taken globally, can be another great source of income for the country. “Globalization has reached the herbal drugs market. Looking at the Nigerian market for example, we can see that there are Chinese and Indian herbal drugs and some of our people prefer them to our indigenous herbal drugs. These countries are making it in herbal therapy and Nigeria can too if appropriate attention is given to the industry by the government”, he said. Dr Ayeni added that “we need to make our products known globally and this is why we set up the Herbal Therapy Society of Nigeria. So far, the association has recorded success on various concerns”.

Buhari advised on political ambition Leader of the CPC, General Muhammed Buhari, has been advised on the need to make meaningful sacrificial concessions that would ensure the workability of the ongoing CPCACN alliance talks. An ex-lawmaker in the Lagos State House of Assembly , Hon. Kunle Ademoye, advised the retired army general to learn from the hard lessons of the last presidential election, adding that Buhari's erroneous belief that he could win the election without the cooperation of the ACN, proved to be his major undoing. “At this stage, Buhari should see himself more as a statesman and father-figure, whose sole interest should border on overall national good, rather than pre-occupy himself with the obsession of ruling at all cost or with question of which party gets what. “These I believe is very secondary as the overall of goal of moving the nation forward, comes forth as the issue of primary importance," Hon. Ademoye said. The ex-lawmaker, who was a former Chairman, Committee on Housing of the Assembly, said: “While I do not doubt Buhari's competence or his integrity, my advice to the highly respected elderly figure is that as a faithful Muslim, he should put Allah's will as primary. If God says he will get there, he will certainly get there, but if the Lord decides to the contrary, there is nothing he could do about it. “But if you ask me, I will advise that his time has gone, and age is not even on his side. And besides, he has had the opportunity to rule this nation before, as a military Head of State.”

Elder Alegbeleye, 89, passes on

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HE death has been announced of Elder Jacob Adeyanju Alegbeleye, 89, who passed on after a brief illness. He was a devout Christian, community leader and former Deputy Director in the Federal Ministry of Commerce and Industry who retired after over 35 years of meritorious service. He has since been buried in his home town of UgboshiEle, Akoko Edo Local Government Area of Edo State. He is survived by many children, many grandchildren and great grandchildren.


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THE NATION, SATURDAY,SEPTEMBER 8, 2012

Boko Haram sets governor’s mother-in-law’s house ablaze T

HE Boko Haram rampage continued yesterday in Damaturu,Yobe State, with members of the sect setting the residence of the mother-in-law of Governor Ibrahim Gaidam ablaze. That was less than 24 hours after giving a similar treatment to the masts of some telecommunication companies in the state capital and in Bauchi, Maiduguri, Kano and Potiskum.

Duku JOEL, Damaturu The house was first attacked six months ago during which the occupants were robbed of their jewellery. Police Commissioner Patrick Egbuniwe confirmed the incident. He told reporters that the gun-wielding men stormed the house on

•Four arrested over masts’ destruction

Gashua Road and ordered all the occupants out before setting it ablaze. He said: ”We got a report that the house of the motherin-law of Governor Ibrahim Gaidam was burnt down by unknown gunmen suspected to be members of the Boko Haram sect. “When they got to the

house, everybody was asked to come of the house before they finally set it on fire. No life was lost.” Meanwhile, four persons have been arrested in connection with the attacks on telecoms masts in Damaturu, the Joint Task Force (JTF) has announced. The suspects were ar-

rested along Gujba Road allegedly on their way to burning down more masts. The JTF said the suspects were traced to Buni Yadi where they targeted to the mast there. The JTF appealed for public understanding by giving information on the activities of the sect.

Cross River ACN petitions NJC as 60 mandatory days approach John OFIKHENUA, Abuja

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ROSS River State Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) 2012 gubernatorial candidate, Pastor Usani Usani yesterday petitioned the chairman, National Judicial Council (NJC)seeking the council’s intervention as the mandatory 60 days for appeal approach. Usani, who expressed fears that he might be denied justice if the panel is not constituted despite the holiday, said the deadline for the case is 15th September, 2012. He recalled that the tribunal delivered judgment in favour of the People Democratic Party on July 17, 2012, stressing that he decided to appeal against the judgment and filed an appeal between 20th July and 3rd September, 2012. In a letter to the council by Usani’s solicitors, Nkiru Nebo, which was made available to The Nation in Abuja, the candidate said: “We are aware that the Appellant has sent three applications to the President of the Court of Appeal for the constitution of an Appeal Panel. The response from the Court of Appeal appears to be unfavourable because of the court vacation season. “Thus far, the hearing of this appeal is threatened by the approaching 60 mandatory days for hearing of appeals.” Usani, therefore, submitted in the letter that “the honorable president of the Court of Appeal has the privilege of position and function to remedy this demand that is placed on him by statue as anything otherwise will amount to denial of justice.” Continuing, he said: “Considering the misgivings that this inaction is likely to attract to the judiciary, it is important to heed this passionate plea. We should be seen to avoid the impression that all efforts are being made to sustain PDP in South-South as a basis for President Jonathan’s bid for 2015.”

•Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan of Delta State (right ), Chief E. K. Clark and Senator Felix Ibru during the general meeting of South-South Peoples Assembly in Warri, Delta State... yesterday PHOTO: Sunny OKAFOR

Police checkpoints gone for good—Abia CP

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HE Abia State Commissioner of Police [CP], Ambrose Aisabor has described the abolishment of police road blocks by the InspectorGeneral of Police (IGP), Abubakar Mohammed as a blessing to the force. He said the policy which has come to stay would not be revisited in any form, stressing that Nigerians will never see police road blocks again in any part of the country as it not only brought shame to the force but also reduced their reputation. Speaking in Aba while addressing officers and men of Ndiegoro Division of the Nigeria Police during his maiden visit to the area, CP Aisabor said that the abolishment of road blocks in the country had gone forever and for good. Aisabor regretted the poor image which road blocks created for the Force, saying that since the exercise was abolished, the image of the police had improved astronomically and has continued to rise. He explained that no right-thinking person would wish the police to go back to the inglorious days of mounting road blocks, stressing that at a time, it was even the place where criminals came to

Ugochukwu UGOJIEKE, Umuahia attack and killed policemen while on duty. The Abia CP warned DPOs under his command to take the IGP’s directive on dismantling of road blocks seriously by not allowing their men to embark on mounting of road blocks and collecting money for bail, insisting that anybody caught in these acts would be dealt with. Aisabor advised officers and men of the division to be security conscious, especially in this period of security challenges from

Boko Haram and the like, while warning them against uncivility, extortion and harassment of members of the public. The CP who was the Commissioner of Police in charge of the anti-bomb squad, Force Headquarters before his transfer to Abia State equally warned officers and men of the command against misuse of fire arms. He said: “Force Order 237 was clear on when a policeman should use fire arms, not at the slightest provocation as anybody found contravening this order will be seriously dealt with according to the laid down rules of the force.”

Earlier, the DPO of Ndiegoro Division, Usman Abdulrahman had told the CP of efforts made to fight crime in the area since he was posted to the division and noted with happiness that since December last year when his men rounded up some criminal elements and handed them to the CPS, the area had remained crime-free. A b d u l r a h m a n complained about shortage of manpower and lack of operational vehicles which he noted had hampered the effective policing of the area, adding that with the increase in man-power and operational vehicles, they would do better.

Delta at 21: Okowa urges unity, support for Uduaghan

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ENATOR Ifeanyi Okowa has called on all Deltans to reflect on the past 21 years since Delta State was created and maintain the bond of unity that has kept the state together. The lawmaker representing Delta North Senatorial District in the Senate said it was gladdening, to note that the different ethnic groups in the state never allowed their differences to tear the state apart but have coexisted as a united state from the day it was created. He noted that even when there were

Augustine AVWODE moments of tension, the various ethnic groups have managed to forge a common front at very critical times in the life of the state. “It is quite gladdening to note that notwithstanding the fact that we are a state made up of small ethnic groups, we have been able to forge a united front that has sustained the state till now. After 21 years, all I can tell our people is to maintain this bond of unity. Yes, there were tense moments;

yes, there were periods of disagreements but the important thing is that we have been able to surmount all those challenges that threatened to divide us as a people in one state. “We must maintain this spirit and allow the government of the day to prosecute its programmes for the state because the programmes are for the good of the state. It is in this regard that I will like to urge all Deltans to continue to support Governor Emmanuel Ewetan Uduaghan.”

Okupe’s company demands N5bn from Benue Govt

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CONSTRUCTION firm owned by Special Adviser to the

President on Public Communication, Dr. Doyin Okupe,Value Trust Investment Company Limited, wants N5billion from the Benue State Government as damages for alleged breach of contract. Dr. Okupe has come under attack for allegedly allowing the firm abandon a rural road contract awarded to it in 2004 by the state government after collecting a huge sum of money has filed a suit to that effect at the Benue State High Court, Makurdi. In the suit filed on its behalf byLagos lawyer, Mr. Festus Keyamo, the company is praying the court to declare that it is entitled to a review of the contract sum from the initial N2.3billion to N6.6billion in view of an astronomical rise in costs and that in the alternative,it should be compensated with N5billion damages. It is also asking the court to compel the state government pay it the sum of N358,762,934.90 for the job it has done on the road. In the statement of claims, the plaintiff averred, among others, that “It could not execute the contract within the time stipulated in the contract because the subcontractors appointed by the defendants failed to carry out and execute the jobs subcontracted to them. “Apart from the defect of the sub-contractors appointed by the defendants, the delay of the defendants in handing over the sites as stipulated in the contract agreement also caused inability of the plaintiff in executing the contract within the time stipulated in the contract agreement even though it was the desire of the plaintiff to execute the contract within the time frame stated in the contract agreement. “It could not commence work immediately after the handover of the sites to it in August because the rain had started and the sites were not suitable to start construction at that time. “Desirous of completely executing the contract, it applied for an extension of the completion time and the Defendants approved same vide a letter dated the 23rd of January, 2007. The period was extended to the 30th of April, 2007. A copy of the letter dated 23rd January, 2007 is hereby pleaded. “The defendants acknowledged in a letter dated 23rd January, 2007 entitled: “To Whom it May Concern”, that at the time the extension of time was granted, the plaintiff had completed 40% of the contract.” Mr. Keyamo said yesterday that “there was no time Dr. Doyin Okupe or any of his companies took money from the Benue State Government and “vanished into thin air,” as has been portrayed in many quarters. No date has been fixed for the case.


60 News

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Enough is enough, ACF tells Boko Haram

HE pan-Northern socio-political organisation,Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) yesterday asked the Islamist sect, Boko Haram, to lay down its arms now that the Federal Government is prepared to dialogue with it. “Enough is enough,” the ACF said of Boko Haram’s activities, 48 hours after the terror group turned its fury on telecommunication operators in Bauchi,Yobe, Borno and Kano States, burning their masts and offices. The central working committee and board of trustees

Uduaghan cautions against attempt to reopen onshore/ offshore dichotomy •Calls for patience with Jonathan Shola O’NEIL and Polycap OROSEVWOTU, Warri

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THE NATION, SATURDAY,SEPTEMBER 8, 2012

O V E R N O R E m m a n u e l Uduaghan of Delta State has warned against attempts to reverse the settled issue of the abrogation of onshore/offshore dichotomy in the revenue sharing formula. The governor, who spoke at the general meeting of the South-South Peoples’ Assembly in Warri on Thursday, said the warning was necessary because of the past tension and crisis over derivation and the contentious dichotomy issue. He particularly faulted the call because of its timing at a time when leaders and governors of the Niger Delta states are calling for an increase in the 13 per cent derivation formula. “The fear in many quarters is that if they succeed in reopening and reversing this settled issue, then we can be sure that before long they will ask for reduction of 13 per cent derivation. However, the Delta State governor called on the people of the region to step forward on national discourse as they have always done. Meanwhile, Uduaghan called on critics of President Goodluck Jonathan to be rational and understanding in their criticisms. He said the President’s opponents must understand the peculiar problems he has had to deal with since he assumed office. “He has come into office at a time the world is at its worst. All over the world, there is the problem of economic depression leading to very high rate of unemployment. This is made worse by the astronomical rise in our population. All these pose a big challenge to any leader. “Today in Nigeria, several challenges assail the country. First is the issue of insecurity and violence in some parts of the country. “My position is that violence should be deplored. We should lend our support to the efforts of President Jonathan to bring peace and stability to the affected areas. It is obvious that some people do not wish to see a united, prosperous and strong Nigeria,” he said.

•Asks sect to lay down arms •Welcomes Fed Govt’s dialogue with sect “The meetings also consid•JTF kills seven sect members in Maiduguri ered the efforts of the federal

Tony AKOWE, Kaduna with agency report of the forum at separate meetings in Kaduna hailed the peace initiative of the Federal Government with Boko Haram; and called for public support for the government’s action. It urged the sect to “embrace the offer of dialogue by laying down its arms,” adding: “Enough is enough.” The ACF denounced what it called recent unhealthy development in the southern part of the country in a veiled reference to the adoption of an anthem and a flag by the Bayelsa State government and the declaration of autonomy by a faction of the Movement for the Survival of the Ogono People (MOSOP) and some displaced people from the Bakasi Peninsula. It also kicked against a recent statement by the Presidency in which it warned against reviving the controversial on-shore/off-shore oil dichotomy. The Presidency was reacting to calls for a review of the Supreme Court’s decision on

the matter by some Northern governors and groups. However, the ACF saw nothing wrong in such calls and said debating the issue could only enrich our democracy. The forum said given the fact that progress comes from change through robust debates, and the fact that democracy is a contest of ideas and reasons, the debates should continue, provided it is conducted with decorum. The ACF, in a communiqué by its National Publicity Secretary, Mr. Anthony Sani, deplored the tendency by some Nigerians to call into question the issue of the nation’s co-existence as one united country. Its words: “The meetings considered expressions of ethnic nationalism as manifested by recent declaration of autonomy and hoisting of flags and anthems by some groups as unhelpful. This is because actions which promote cleavages along ethnic and religious lines are unlikely to inspire national solidarity that must go with our relative pluralism. “The meetings went over

the debates brought about by the efforts to review the constitution, to amend some Acts of the National Assembly and the revenue sharing formula. The meetings also noted the concern expressed by the presidency that further discussions of certain issues should stop. “It was the considered view of the meetings that, given the fact that progress comes from change through robust debates, and the fact that democracy is a contest of ideas and reasons, the debates should continue provided it is conducted with decorum and sense of patriotism.” On the security challenge in the country,the ACF said: “the meetings considered the festering security challenges posed by the untoward activities of Boko Haram and ethnoreligious crises in some states of the North. “It also discussed the insecurity caused by the spate of kidnappings and communal clashes across the South-East, those posed by widespread armed robberies in SouthWest as well as militant activism and oil bunkering in South-South.

and state governments that are directed at addressing the security challenges. The meetings agreed that the endorsement of dialogues by the Federal Government was praiseworthy. “Also appreciated were the efforts of Northern state governors in setting up the panel to help find lasting solution to the prevailing security challenges and enjoined the people to support the government’s action. The meetings urged members of the Boko Haram to embrace the offer of dialogue by laying down their arms. “It is against such backdrop that the meetings praised the actions of some religious leaders who took it upon themselves to promote tolerance and accommodation between faiths through interdenominational breaking of fast as hoisted by Archbishop John Onaiyekan at Abuja, Archbishop Kaigama in Jos and many others who stood guard at places of worship while members of opposite religion prayed. The meetings therefore called on all religious, political as well as community leaders to follow suit for

collective good. “The meetings expressed concern over the current state of affairs in the New Nigerian Development Company, NNDC, and urged Northern state governments to look into it. “The meeting regretted that oil exploration proceeds at snail speed in Northern Nigeria. In view of recent discoveries of crude oil in areas of similar geological character with Northern Nigeria, the meeting reiterates its call on the Federal Government to expedite action on oil exploration.” As the ACF spoke, the army announced the killing of seven suspected Boko Haram members by soldiers in Maiduguri on Thursday. Spokesman for the Joint Task Force (JTF), Lt. Col. Sagir Musa said in a statement that a clash involving a special unit of army and police occurred on Thursday after Boko Haram gunmen started shooting at officers as they searched for sect hideouts in a busy residential area. The statement did not say if officers were hurt. The clash came hours after coordinated attacks on mobile phone masts caused partial network failure in Maiduguri and other parts of northern Nigeria.

Kogi Central vows to resist Speaker’s impeachment

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OLITICAL stakeholders from the Kogi Central Senatorial District have vowed to resist alleged impeachment plot against the Speaker of the state House of Assembly, Alhaji Abdullahi Bello, by the executive arm. The group met at the Inike Town Hall in Okene at the instance of the senator representing the district, Nurudeen Abatemi-Usman, and declared it would not accept any attempt by the state government to upturn the will of the people of the area as regards their choice of a speaker zoned to the area. At the meeting were the the Ohinoyi of Ebiraland, Alhaji Ado Ibrahim, Maj. Gen. Emmanuel Abisoye (rtd), Brig-Gen. Abubakar Yusuf (rtd), Senator Nurudeen Abatemi-Usman, Speaker Bello, Hon Abdulraman Badams and Hon Damisa Yusuf.

Sanni ONOGU, Abuja Also present were Hon Lawal Avidime, Hon M.J. Lawal, Prof Olu Akerejola, Prof Ibrahim of the Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria, Dr. Tom Adaba, Senator Isa Obaro and Dr. Abdulraman Adeiza, among others. The meeting, which dwelt extensively on the security challenge in the area, asked the Idris Wada administration not to compound the situation with its alleged planned impeachment of the speaker. The Special Adviser on Media to the Speaker, Alhaji Ibrahim Isa-Amoka, in a statement said: “Hon Badams said the government should be told that the position of the Speaker is zoned to the Kogi Central Senatoial District and Hon Abdullahi Bello is their choice in whom they are well pleased.

•Abdullahi Bello, Kogi State Speaker “He reiterated that any means adopted by the government to impeach Bello for no just cause will be resisted

by the people. “He said members of the National Assembly from the state are contented with the good leadership of the Speaker which is characterized by his hardwork, honesty and transparency in the discharge of his duties in the House of Assembly so far. “Badams said that the federal lawmakers from the state would soon meet on the disturbing development and make their opposition to the alleged impeachment scheme against the Speaker known to the state government and political leaders in the state. “He called on those he described as being on a ‘retrogressive path’ to retrace their steps in the interest of peace, unity and development of Kogi Central and the state in general.” On his part, Gen. Abisoye urged the state government to implement the white papers

Banned Okada ridders now willing tools for Boko Haram

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HE Amalgamated Commercial Motorcycle Owners and Riders Association of Nigeria (ACOMORAN), yesterday lamented that the banned commercial motorcycle operators across the nation are now willing tools for the Boko Haram sect. The association, therefore, appealed to the Federal Government to intervene in lifting the ban on the operation of motor cycles by some state governments in the name of security. Speaking at a press conference in Abuja, the national leadership led by Alhaji Muhd. Sani Hassan noted that “if someone is idle and Boko Haram calls him for an errand to earn some money, he may not have any choice because of the need to survive.” He said that the ban has affected the life of many people such as the mechanics, spare parts suppliers and other stakeholders.

...Association urges government to lift ban John OFIKHENUA, Abuja He noted that since government has not provided alternatives for the banned ridders, it will continue to worsen the security situation in the country as there are over 10million members and other non-members of the association involved in the commercial motorcycle operation. The association wondered why motorcycle operators should be the only victims of insecurity that is being perpetrated by other automobile operators, stressing that a Toyota Siena was apprehended for bombing, yet neither the federal or state government banned people from driving Siena. “When Dana Airline crashed, government did not ban other airlines from oper-

ating. Besides, when vehicles are involved in an accident, government does not ban cars from the roads. Why should okada ridders’ own be different?” he asked. Hassan said nobody was really delighted in motorcycle operation but lack of jobs that bad governance has occasioned pushed most of the ridders into the vocation. On its own, the national leadership said ACOMORAN has organized sensitization seminars for its members to reduce the occurrences of road accidents. Hassan also noted that the association has now introduced a registration system that captures members’ data for security purposes. Besides, the association claimed that it has entered into an agreement with Standard Alliance Insurance for an insurance policy that cov-

ers the treatments of accident victims and compensation for families of victims in case of death arising from accidents.

of the various panels on security challenge as the only panacea to the present insecurity in the state. He said anything short of such recommendations would be futile in the efforts to restore peace and security to the state. The National President of the Ebira Peoples Association, Dr. Abdulraman Adeiza blamed politicians for the insecurity in the state. Adeiza accused the politicians of arming the youths to win elections but fail to retrieve the guns after the polls. He also blamed the state government for intentionally marginalizing the area in terms of employment opportunities.

LOSS OF DOCUMENT THE GENERAL PUBLIC IS HEREBY INFORMED OF THE LOSS OF ORIGINAL DOCUMENT OF HOUSE NO 7 OLANBOLA STREET PEDRO BARIGA BELONGING TO ALHJA WOSILAT TINUKE KHALIDSON. ALL EFFORT TO RETRIVE IT PROVE ABORTIVE.GENERAL PUBLIC TAKE NOTE.


THE NATION, Saturday, September 8, 2012

61

U.S. DEMOCRATIC NATIONAL CONVENTION

Americans must move forward, says Obama UR problems can be solved,” President Barack Obama declared as he laid out a set of goals aimed to bolster the American manufacturing and energy sectors, improve education, invest resources formerly spent on warfare, and reduce the deficit. In accepting the Democratic Party nomination for reelection to the Presidency of the United States, President Obama made an honest and compelling argument for not only the successes of his first term, but the promise of his second. The stakes have never been higher, he told the approximately 20,000 supporters in Charlotte’s Time Warner Cable Arena during his acceptance speech. “When all is said and done – when you pick up that ballot to vote – you will face the clearest choice of any time in a generation. Over the next few years, big decisions will be made in Washington, on jobs and the economy; taxes and deficits; energy and education; war and peace – decisions that will have a huge impact on our lives and our children’s lives for decades to come,” he said. Among the goals he laid out for the next four years, based on the evidence of his first term in office: Create one million new manufacturing jobs by the end of 2016; double exports by the end of 2014; and reduce the deficit by more than $4 trillion over the next decade. “I won’t pretend the path I’m offering is quick or easy,” he said. “I never have. You didn’t elect me to tell you what you wanted to hear,” he said. “It will take more than a few years for us to solve challenges

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that have built up over decades. It will require common effort, shared responsibility, and the kind of bold, persistent experimentation that Franklin Roosevelt pursued during the only crisis worse than this one.” President Obama also set goals including cutting the growth of college tuition in half and recruiting 100,000 new math and science teachers over the next 10 years. In re-electing him, he said, “you can choose a future where all Americans have the skills they need to compete, no matter how much money they have,” he said. He also committed to the goals of cutting net oil imports in half by 2020; and supporting 600,000 natural gas jobs by the end of the decade. He touched on the first-term accomplishments touted by many of the various introductory speeches over the week, including the resurrection of the U.S. auto industry despite a staggering economy, the successful decision to kill Osama bin Laden during a moment of uncertainty, and the expansion of health care to Americans in the face of severe political opposition. His presence evoked emotional reactions from many of the assembled delegates. “How could you not be excited to see this President?” said Sarah Bigler of Charleston, Illinois. “Especially one who cares about us as much as we care about each other. I lost my health care when I was 22…Luckily, (the Affordable Care Act) passed when I was 24 and I got it back. This is personal for me and others. President Obama has changed people’s lives.”

North Carolinians, meanwhile, celebrated the historic re-nomination on their home turf. “I’m excited…I’m thrilled that the convention is in North Carolina,” said Thomasine Moore, a North Carolina delegate. “It will be fun to go back to the different counties to discuss the issues and to get people ready to vote.” Added fellow Tarheel Jeanette Whitaker, still joyous from the President’s acceptance: “My heart comes out to all the volunteers who couldn’t join us.” Delegates and guests waved signs President Obama’s campaign motto, “Forward,” and chanted “four more years!” throughout the speech. “It’s not about what can be done for us, but what can be done by us, together,” the President said. “The election four years ago wasn’t about me. It was about you, my fellow citizens. You were the change. “I’m asking you to rally around a set of goals for your country: goals in manufacturing, energy, education, national security, and the deficit; a real, achievable plan that will lead to new jobs, more opportunity, and rebuild this economy on a stronger foundation. That’s what we can do in the next four years, and that’s why I’m running for a second term as President of the United States.” To begin his speech and accept his renomination to the Presidency, Barack Obama reminded his fellow Democrats and the Americans watching from home just how much really has changed in the past four years. To end it, he reminded them of the possibilities now open in the next four.

U.S. Democratic Convention 2012 draws variety of interests, characters HE United States Democratic Party Convention 2012, was held in Charlotte, North Carolina this week from Monday to last Thursday. Charlotte witness both the serious and the light hearted. Stephen Kimel and his wife Greta Kimel attract costumers to take pictures at their photo booth which was set-up at a street festival for convention. The Democrats formally nominated President Barack Obama for a second four-year term in office. Modern political conventions mainly serve as a vehicle to build party unity close to the election. But they also draw activists, special interest groups and assorted personalities from across the country, many with their own agendas. The Democrats were in town this week and the streets of Charlotte are filled with characters. As delegates file by, Christian street preacher Justin Edwards says it is time for them to make a choice. “Which hand will you fall in? Will you fall into His right of judgment or will you fall into His left hand of love?,” he said. Edwards is one of several street preachers, organized by Scott Smith of Florida, who attend high-profile events like the conventions and the recent Olympic Games in London. “It's a little bit of an exercise of freedom of speech and freedom of religion, and thankfully in this country we still have those rights,” he said. A short distance away, Daniel Robertson is trying to sell a program about the Democratic convention filled with pictures of President Obama. Robertson had little luck trying to sell the same merchandise to Republicans last week at their convention. For obvious reasons he is having a lot more success with the Democratic crowd in Charlotte. “I was actually in Florida for the Republican convention and this is like a carnival compared to what was there. This is great. So many friendly people and the atmosphere is wonderful,” he said. Others are on a more serious mission this week in Charlotte. Sleeter Dover is a Democratic delegate from the western state of Wyoming. Dover is a 65-year-old African American who grew up in segregated South Carolina, not far from Charlotte. Dover has searing memories of those early years, including the time his sister was jailed for trying to integrate a local bowling alley. Dover never thought he would see that day nearly four years ago when Barack Obama became the first African American president. Dover is aware that enthusiasm for the president is down a bit from 2008 but he says he is driven to help Mr. Obama win a second term in November. “We don't need enthusiasm. We need a good memory and determination, and that's enough for us,” he said.

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Never bet against Americans, says Biden few hours after accepting the nomination as Vice Presidential candidate for the Democratic Party, Vice President Joe Biden gave a passionate and heart felt speech to a packed arena on the final night of the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte. Dr. Jill Biden introduced her husband, speaking of his enduring and innate sense of optimism, and focusing on his working class childhood. Dr. Biden recalled, “That •Biden optimism, that determination, that big strong heart that drives him forward every day is what he learned as a boy with two hard working parents in Scranton Pennsylvania. It’s what drives him today as he and President Obama fight to strengthen the middle-class they grew up in.” “We’re on a mission to move this nation forward—from doubt and downturn, to promise and prosperity. A mission we will continue and a mission we will complete,” the Vice President said in his opening remarks. Vice President Biden spoke to the audience about the more personal side of the President that he’s grown to know over the past four years. “I want to take you inside the White House to see the President, as I see him every day. Because I don’t see him in sound bites. I walk down the hall, 30 steps to the Oval Office, and I see him in action,” said Biden. Vice President Biden focused on two significant successes from President Obama’s first term: his rescue of the American automobile industry and his role in authorizing the death and capture of Osama bin Laden. He reiterated throughout his speech that President Obama made sure to always consider the consequences his choices had on the average American when making important decisions. The crowd was on the edge of their seat as Vice President Biden discussed the pivotal decisions that President Obama had to make, they were on their feet as the Vice President declared, “Ladies and Gentlemen, I’m here to tell you, bravery resides in the heart of Barack Obama. And time and time again, I witnessed him summon it. This man has courage in his soul, compassion in his heart, and steel in his spine. And because of all the actions he took, because of the calls he made–and because of the grit and determination of American workers–and the unparalleled bravery of our special forces—we can now proudly say—Osama Bin Laden is dead, and General Motors is alive.”

A •President Obama and family at the convention

Clinton makes speech Obama needs most T the Democratic National Convention, the hugely popular former president gave an address aimed squarely at fixing Barack Obama's blind spot with middle America. Say what you want about Bill Clinton – and people do – but he gives good convention. And so he should. The last time he didn't address a convention was 1984. He knows which delegates' buttons to press because he sewed so many of them on himself. He reminded the country not just who the good guy is but where the bad times came from. "In Tampa the Republican argument against Obama's re-election was pretty simple, pretty snappy: 'We left him a total mess, he hasn't finished cleaning it up fast enough, so fire him and put us back in.' I like the argument for President Obama's re-election a whole lot better. He inherited a deeply damaged economy, put a floor under the crash, began the long hard road to recovery and laid the foundation for a modern, more well-balanced economy." It was a full-throated, at times light-

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hearted, rousing endorsement of the man who beat his wife in a bitter primary four years ago. Bill Clinton sauntered on stage to his 1992 campaign song: "Don't stop thinking about tomorrow." But the convention hall – clinging to him like a cross-generational comfort blanket – were thinking about two decades ago, a reassuring reminder of what seems like a bygone era when jobs were many, you could get on a plane without first taking off your shoes and white southern Democrats weren't virtually extinct. His appearance in a primetime slot usually reserved for vice-presidents says more about Obama's vulnerabilities than it does about Clinton's strengths. And those weaknesses have been clear during this convention. While there is far more enthusiasm in Charlotte than there was among Republicans in Tampa last week, that exuberance among Democrats is far less focused. Republicans trained their sights on the economy, deceptively at times but relentlessly throughout. The Democratic rhetorical fire, however, is dispersed among many targets. Women's rights,

union rights, equality of opportunity, healthcare reform, gay marriage, student debt – all get shout outs, all get cheers. There is a theme – fairness – but there isn't a coherent message beyond the threat that under Mitt Romney the country will be less fair. This is where Clinton comes in. For the problem is not that Barack Obama does not have a record. It's that the record he has does not include the single most important achievement he could hope for: improving the lot of the broad swathe of middle America. It's the one area where voters trust Romney more than him and by far the most important issue in the election. Clinton bears the imprimatur of economic success. Long after the Monica Lewinsky scandal, Don't Ask Don't Tell, the North American Free Trade Agreement, welfare reform, the repeal of the Glass-Steagall act and the defence of marriage act are forgotten, the memory of a strong economy and a budget surplus on his watch will remain. When the speech was over, Obama came on stage and hugged him as though he were a life raft.


THE NATION SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 8, 2012

62

EQUITIES NIGERIAN STOCK EXCHANGE DAILY SUMMARY AS AT 7-9-12

NSE wraps up bullish week with N88b

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HE Nigerian stock market rounded off a five-day consecutive upswing with a gain of N88 billion yesterday, pushing the aggregate market worth of all quoted companies to N7.907 trillion. Consequently, value indices at the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) further trended upward. The All Share Index (ASI) rallied 1.12 per cent to close higher at 24,838.70 points as against its opening index of 24,563.22 points. Aggregate market capitalisation grew by 1.13 per cent to close higher at N7.907 trillion compared with its opening value of N7.819 trillion. The marginal difference between the ASI and market capitalisation was due to the listing of 263.65 million shares in the name of Vono Products Plc, following the conclusion of the company's rights issue. The rally pushed average year-to-date return at the market to 19.82 per cent. The market outlook was boosted by significant gains across several sectors, especially increase in share prices of highly capitalised stocks including Access Bank, Nigerian Breweries, Zenith Bank,

By Taofik Salako and Tonia Osundolire

First Bank and Guaranty Trust Bank. Analyses of the market showed that the banking sector remained upbeat, though with pockets of profit taking. Demand for Fidelity Bank and Union Bank continued to grow leading to maximum appreciation for both companies. Access Bank also rallied with a 5.0 per cent mark-up, providing an incentive for some participants to book profit. On the other hand, glutting offers for Skye Bank trimmed off 0.3 per cent from its price. The food and beverages sector remained upbeat. Nascon recovered from Thursday's losses as it picked up maximum points at the close of the day's session. Honeywell Flour, Dangote Sugar and Flour Mills also recorded gains of 3.1 per cent, 2.7 per cent and 2.0 per cent respectively. Profit taking however, trimmed off a further 4.8 per cent from UTC, closing with offers that could lead to further losses early next week. Transcorp was skewed to the

sell side losing 5.0 per cent at the close of the session. UACN, PZ Cusson and Unilever closed flat, while A.G. Leventis was up by 4.7 per cent. A total of 48 equities recorded price change with 34 appreciating while the remaining 14 recorded price reduction. Evans Medical led the gainers' table with a gain of N0.05 to close at N1.05. It was followed by Access Bank with an increase of 40 kobo to close at N8.47. Others on the list were Longman, RT Briscoe, International Breweries, Eterna Oil and Gas, Cement Company of Northern Nigeria (CCNN), UBN, NASCON and Fidelity Bank. On the losers' table, Transcorp led the list with a drop of N0.04 to close at N0.76 followed by Japaul Oil with a drop of N0.03 to close at N0.60. Also on the list were UTC, Paint Company, red Star Express, Julius Berger, DN Meyer, Lafarge WAPCO, Continental Insurance and Vitafoam. Turnover stood at 344.647 million shares worth N3.309 billion in 4,778 deals. The financial services sector was the most sought after with 272.904 million shares worth N2.528 billion in 2,707 deals. Other actively traded sectors were consumer goods, the conglomerates, industrial goods, oil & gas, health care and services with 28.386 million shares, 18.022 million shares, 9.243 million shares, 8.543 million shares, 3.199 million shares and 2.033 million shares respectively.

NIGERIAN STOCK EXCHANGE DAILY SUMMARY AS AT 7-9-12


THE NATION SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 8, 2012

63

SPORT EXTRA BATTLE OF LIBERIA

Early morning downpour heralds Eagles’ arrival in Monrovia Friday •Players tag it showers of blessings to defeat Liberia •Reject Oceanview Hotel arranged by Liberia FA •Opt for prestigious Golden Gate Hotel

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UPER EAGLES arrived the International Airport in Monrovia at 8.30am yesterday (on Friday) and landed amid heavy downpour at the Airport but that did not disrupt the landing operation of the Arik Air flight that took the team from the Nnamdi Azikiwe Airport in Nigeria to Monrovia in Liberia on

From Ade Ojeikere in Monrovia Friday morning. The players and officials waxed spiritual about the downpour when they chorused that it was showers of blessing which heralded their arrival into Monrovia and which signified the signs of victory for the Eagles when

they battle the Lone Stars tonight. However, having alighted from the craft and players and official luggage sorted out, the team stormed into (Monrovia) town amidst tight security from United Nations’ officials. But on getting to the Ocean view hotel pre-arranged by the Liberian Football Association, the players were totally diapointed and called for a fresh accommodation arrangement. The Nigeria Football Federation officials led by the NFF Technical Committee Chairman and Board member, Barister Christopher Green with the

assistance of Head of International Relations of the NFF, Bola Oyeyode, quickly arranged for the prestigious Golden Gate Hotel. The Nigerian players rejected the Ocean view hotel because according to them “it was not befitting of our stars' status. The rooms and the surroundings were dingy and the security arrangement is poor. Aside, the distance from Oceanview to the Samuel Doe stadium is 1 hour 30 minutes to the stadium venue”, they complained. Instead, NFF men opted for the prestigious Golden Gate Hotel which shares boundary with the sports complex. Golden Gate is a 10 minutes walking distance from the stadium. Indeed, security arrangements are awesome with two blocked points armed by UN operatives.

Reuben dropped, Ike Uche cleared E

AGLES have dropped injured midfielder Gabriel Reuben for tonight’s clash in Liberia, while Ikechukwu Uche has been given the all-clear. Kano Pillars’ midfielder Reuben is nursing a groin injury, which he picked up in the Federation Cup match and which relapsed during training with the national team in Abuja. Reuben, a box-to-box defensive midfielder whose transfer to Belgium was recently scuttled, has become a key player in Stephen Keshi’s team since December. A top team official has confirmed that Reuben has

•Yobo

MAIGARI TO FALCONETS

You can beat Japan

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RESIDENT of the The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), Alhaji Aminu Maigari on Friday evening reminded Players of the Nigeria U-20 Women National Team on the need to be calm when they confront Japan for the bronze in Saturday's third place match of the FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup which ends today. He also reasoned that Japan, being the host team would enjoy the support of the crowd but nevertheless urged Falconets not to be intimidated. Speaking on the phone from Nigeria, Maigari praised the girls for making an impressionable statement due to their splendid run in the competition. "16 teams started this competition and only four are left of which you are part of. Nobody needs to be told that it is not a child's play to get this far and l must let you know that l am extremely proud of all of you," he said. "Now that you are playing for bronze, l want to say that you do not have to be afraid of your opponents because they are the host team. You can do it but to make it happen, you need to remain focused and play as a team," added the President. Saturday's showdown between Japan and Nigeria will be the third of such for both sides with the African representatives

having a slightly better record. Nigeria won 2-1 in the first round in 2010 after the pair's first meeting had ended 1-1 in 2002. Statistics also reveal that this is the first match to involve a

host team as well as the first one to feature an Africa side. Meanwhile, Football governing body, FIFA has appointed USA's Domka Magaret as the centre referee for the encounter.

been dropped for the Nations Cup qualifier in Monrovia. "Reuben was not looking too good and has now been dropped from the team," stated the official. The other players dropped were Reuben's Pillars’ teammate Umar Zango and Gombe United striker Sanusi Sani. In the same vein, Keshi has confirmed that Ikechukwu Uche is fully fit for the Liberia game. "IK is good. As you could see he was in the training fully. He didn't come out for the last training because he needed some extra rest. Outside of Rueben we are injury-free in this team," he assured. In Reuben’s absence, Celtic of Scotland defender Efe Ambrose may get a new role this weekend as defensive midfielder in Liberia. Keshi is now considering the versatile Ambrose for the Eagles holding midfielder position, which he has played for the Olympic team.

ADOPT-A-TALENT SPORTS PROGRAMME

180 Athletes in summer holiday camping

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THLETES of the AdoptA-Talent Sports Programme are currently in camp for the summer holiday camping. The camp was opened on Thursday and will end on Sunday at the Army Sports Camp, Mayoung Barracks, Shomolu, Lagos. About 102 athletes passed the screening held for the athletes recently. The screening involved 279 athletes from the ten sports approved by the Governor of Lagos State, Mr. Babatunde Raji Fashola. The Management Committee of the programme headed by Prince Wale Oladunjoye, the Senior Special Assistant on Grassroots Sports Development to the Governor said the qualified athletes will join the 78 who are already on the programme from among which 44 athletes will be put up for adoption by the Management Committee. About 180 athletes are participating in the summer camping. Athletics has 31 athletes,

Basketball (24), Boxing (8), Football (44), Gymnastics (10), Judo (11), Karate (10), Swimming

(13), Table Tennis (17) and Volleyball (11). The athletes comprise 103 boys and 77 girls.

Meddlesome interlopers Continued from back page cer won’t stop crippling the game here. Each time they lose out, they strive to destroy it. Sadly, we have refused to relate with the governors who fund these teams during crises. I know that some governors who are tired of those who run their clubs starve them of cash to see if these acolytes of political bigwigs will quit. They never do. These interlopers come up with various nomenclatures seeking for relevance. They are back in the trenches of our football; seeking to be educated on issues they ordinarily can find answers to in the rules books. If any club has issues, shouldn’t the owners be allowed to ask questions? Did one overzealous sports official in Port Harcourt not release the information that the Rivers State government wanted to sell its two clubs? Did it not turn out to be a lie? Club officials have no locus to speak on clubs. If they had, they would have gone back to the government for the cash that they need. Club officials are dispensable. One has had a good laugh at the warning to NPL to apply its rules. One only hopes that the same bile is used to get the NPL to clear the rancor with the television rights. I dare them to. No excuses about not wanting to fight as an insider. Moral question? No dice because it is only here that we negotiate deals through proxies, who we are told earn more than those who own the property. Did you ask who did that? Ask them. They make the problem at NPL look like a yesterday matter, as if we don’t know where it all started from. Would you blame them? A certain official with a Southwest club has kept quiet simply because the state governor’s focus is how to return to office for a second term. It is for this reason that no top government functionary is allowed to administer the NPL. Yet, this official has been crying wolf about a mandate that he relinquished at of the election. I ask: if his governor doesn’t return to office, given the comments from the people of the state, is that not his end with the club? I hope those giving such people space to disturb our eardrums can learn a bit about this NPL rule. We must learn how to allow bodies perform their duties. Indeed, the issue of the Nigeria Premier League paying referees’ indemnities was part of changes that the Interim League Management board on which I served introduced to restrain referees from interfacing with clubs’ officials. Even at that, we asked them to pay a few times when we couldn’t raise cash for the exercise. What then is the fuss over clubs being cash-strapped because they paid referees’ indemnities? It is common knowledge that clubs still ask for referees’ indemnities from their sponsors. NPL chiefs must use this saga to ensure that clubs are truly professional such that the problems bedeviling them are removed - no matter whose ox is gored. Clubs must be told about what to provide if they hope to remain in the NPL structure. Clap for Jonathan When the news broke on Tuesday night that Liberia’s president had bought 7,000 tickets for fans to watch Saturday’s floodlit game between Liberia and Nigeria, one pondered over President Goodluck Jonathan’s response. Later at 8pm on Tuesday, another news came that Jonathan called up chief coach Stephen Keshi, stating his wish for a victory at all cost. One was excited, but calm. On Wednesday evening when word came in that Jonathan would be at the Super Eagles training session, I shouted Eureka! That is the best goal that Jonathan has scored since his tenure for sports. One hopes that the Eagles can consummate it with an emphatic victory in Monrovia on Saturday. It is good to know that Jonathan has seen the power of using sports to connect with the people. One expects that our Paralympians are adequately rewarded with cash to start businesses. Perhaps, the government can get them sponsors to bankroll their training. It would be sad if we allow them to constitute the nuisance that we see at the gate of the National Stadium in Abuja. September 9, 2012 How time flies. I recall waking up as an adult to sign my dad’s the 52nd birthday card. What didn’t cross my mind was the fact that it would soon be my turn. On Sunday, I will be 52. I hope to celebrate it. I look forward to the party. I will be in church to pray for the repose of my late mum’s soul (thank God it is a Sunday). If she was alive, she would have been 78. How would she have looked? Ade, won’t Super Eagles spoil your birthday? Tufiakwa, na dem toro. I go gbadun myself jare. My name na Super Eagles?

GTbank brings Arsenal coach to Ibadan •Trains 26 teenagers

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OUNG talents discovered from the recently concluded Lagos Principals Cup and the Heritage Cup are currently undergoing intensive training in Camp GTBank in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital. The training camp which started on Monday with 26 players in attendance availed the players professional football training under the tutelage of an Arsenal youth team coach, Mark Ellis and former Green Eagles’ defender, Yisa Sofoluwe. According to Ellis at the end of the one week camp the players would have been trained on Arsenal formations, Barcelona tactics, conditioning through

By Paul Oluwakoya seminars and practical field demonstration and application. Ellis, who admits that Nigeria is full of raw football talents, picked Muritala Akangbe among others as a born talent, while comparing his style of play with that of Ryan Giggs of Manchester United. He said: “Akangbe Muritala is a natural talent, he is simply awesome. This programme will give him enough time to identify more young players that have the potential of making it to the big stage in football. The important thing is to get the players at a tender age so that when they grow they become

icons. I’ll be looking for talents at the camp. When a true player displays, you’ll just know if he’s the one." In his view, 15-year old Muritala said: "My role model is Lionel Messi of Barcelona. I watch Barcelona matches because of him. The Arsenal coach taught us right and fast thinking, while on the ball, how to make through passes, sharp turning and good ball control, infact Iwant to thank GTBank for making me to believe that I can make my dream come through." One of the players, Nwaogwugwu Vera, a goalkeeper, during the week said the camp was an eye-opener that has not just improved her abilities as a soccer player but has also deepened her understanding

of football matters, helping her to adopt a more-focused approach to the game. “It is amazing that I have already learnt so much on the first day of a training that will last for seven days. The atmosphere is electrifying, the facility is great and the coaches from Arsenal have demonstrated immense understanding of the game. “I am glad to be part of this camp and I thank GTBank for putting this initiative together. When I go back to my Club, White Fc in Lagos, I’ll teach my team mates some of the techniques I have learnt. "The Camp GTBank is one of the Players Development Programmes aimed at improving the skills of the players identified in the competitions" according to Buki Olukuewu, Corporate Social Responsibility executive, GTBank.


TOMORROWPUNCHLINE IN THE NATION

SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 8, 2012 TRUTH IN DEFENCE OF FREEDOM VOL.7, NO. 2242

The fact of the matter is that the more I see the apex bank’s defence of the idea, the more convinced I am that we do not need the N5000 note. It is the kind of repulsiveness to expect when you aggressively market a bad product

—Tunji Adegboyega

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strange infatuation. A torrid love af fair. An engrossing romance. That for me best depicts the relationship between the dominant factions of the Northern political elite and the Nigerian state. For them, it is a story of ‘Till Death Do Us Part’. It is a ‘For Better For Worse’ affair’ with the Northern elite not only determined to love Nigeria as she is currently structured but also to force the rest of the country to exhibit such unconditional love towards Nigeria. In a way this undying love for a hideously deformed polity by the Northern elite is admirable, even courageous. For, it takes great will power and immense courage to love a country buffeted on all sides with collapsed infrastructure, unemployment, avoidable plane crashes, epileptic power supply despite the slight improvement in the power sector in the last few months, religious extremism, communal violence, bank scams, armed robbery, kidnapping, assassinations, mindless corruption, brazen injustice, religious hypocrisy, daily carnages on our hole infested highways, a collapsed health sector and a dysfunctional educational system that is teaching students who are unlikely to be able to compete effectively in the emergent global economy. How then can any rational mind love Nigeria as she is presently structured and administered? But then, I may be mistaken. Perhaps what the northern elite is enamoured of is not Nigeria as she presently exists. Rather, it may be the Nigeria that exists in our collective imagination that the northern elite are in love with. It is not impossible that they see the vast potentials of Nigeria and want us all to join hands and work for the actualization of the country’s potentials. The problem, however, is that the present structure of Nigeria has become a formidable obstacle to the realisation of her otherwise lofty objectives as a nation. Yes, re-structuring may be painful at least in the short run but this surgical operation on Nigeria’s endangered polity has become inevitable. True patriots must be ready to inflict some curative pain on Nigeria in order to save her from the far more agonising and devastating pain of disintegration or the descent into sheer anarchy in the future. I am reminded of that character in Wole Soyinka’s novel, ‘Season of Anomy’ who notes that the dentist is a professional who inflicts some measure of pain on his patient in order to offer relief from the even more excruciating pain of tooth decay and pain. In many ways Nigeria as currently structured is like a decayed tooth. She needs urgent dental intervention in the form of far-reaching structural and cultural reforms to prevent her current sociopolitical and economic tooth aches from assuming incurable cancerous proportions. In response to the second part of this piece, a reader from Nasarawa State wanted to know why I devoted so much space to President Goodluck Jonathan when he is not a northerner. Well, Jonathan is one of the few voices in the South that has supported the

Engaging the northern elite (3)

In many ways Nigeria as currently structured is like a decayed tooth. She needs urgent dental intervention in the form of far-reaching structural and cultural reforms to prevent her current sociopolitical and economic tooth aches from assuming incurable cancerous proportions

•Jonathan stance of the north on state police. Moreover, he currently wields enormous powers by virtue of his sitting at the apex of the country’s political authority. I therefore thought there could be no more effective way to demonstrate the hollowness of the antistate police logic by critically engaging President Jonathan’s thought on the matter. Even then, broadly speaking, despite few aberrant or dissenting voices on both sides, it can still be safely argued that the political elite of the South are in support of the establishment of state police while the dominant opinion in the North is opposed to it. Another reader wanted to know why I categorised Professor BolajI Akinyemi, former Minster of External Affairs, with ‘fellow travellers’ bent on retaining the current dysfunctional status quo. This was certainly an error on my part. Yes, Professor Akinyemi has made a characteristically pungent case against state police for reasons that I do not necessarily support. But nothing detracts

from his stature as a compelling academic and patriotic statesman. Let me now advance two more reasons why the idea of state police cannot be postponed for much longer if Nigeria is to survive as a stable and united entity. Firstly, the responsibility of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria is to preserve the territorial integrity and unity of Nigeria. Thus, inhering in the army, air force and navy and their respective intelligence arms as well as the State Security Services (SSS) is the concentrated force and sovereign coercive capabilities of the Nigerian state. Thus, the structure and operational functions of the armed forces is necessarily centralised through a rigid chain of command. The armed forces under the control of the President, who is the Commander-In-Chief, symbolises the unity of Nigeria. They should not ordinarily be overwhelmed by any coercive force within Nigeria’s territorial jurisdiction. In healthy federal systems, however, internal security operations are decentralised to reflect the diversity in soci-

ety, which necessitated the resort to federalism as a constitutional organising principle in the first place. Now what happens when, as in Nigeria presently, we have an overarching but severely inefficient, centralised policing system? One implication will be the tendency to bring in the military to undertake police functions. A top military officer recently warned publicly that the military is being distracted by the need to help maintain internal security in different parts of the country. There are reportedly military task forces operating in at least 29 states in Nigeria. This surely is scary and ominous. One lesson of post-independence Nigerian politics is that it is most dangerous to expose the military to the vagaries of religious dissension, partisan proclivities or ethnic competition that constitute the core of civil society. Again, the present centralised policing structure has had negative effects on the functional efficacy of the clearly over stretched outfit. Thus the latter’s Criminal Investigation Department, which used to be very reliable and efficient in detecting and thwarting crime has become a shadow of itself. The police function of fighting corruption, for instance, has been taken over by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). In the same way, the Federal Road Safety Corp was established to help ensure sanity on our roads – another essential police function. The establishment of state police will reduce the burden of the Nigeria Police Force and possibly facilitate the abolition of bodies like the EFCC and FRSC and the amount of resources expended on them channelled towards enhancing the operational effectiveness of the police. Those who argue against the imperative of state police, contend that it will be abused by governors. I have addressed this issue last week and do not want to repeat myself. Surely we can put in place institutional safeguards to insulate state police from partisan abuse. Again, the present situation in which our communities across the land have negligible police presence is undesirable and dangerous as the Boko Haram insurgency as well as rampant criminality all over Nigeria proves. Or would it be preferable to have a 1001 ‘Government Tompolos’ all over Nigeria arming themselves to the teeth and causing havoc until a crippled Nigerian statebrought to its knees-whines endlessly for peace and dialogue or even offers bribes to the belligerents to save its face? Will that be better than allowing any state that so desires to establish its own police with the proviso that there will be stringent regulations, which will set very high standards for recruitment, training, promotion and professionalism? The idea of state police is one whose time has become. As the impotence of the current security architecture becomes more and more evident by the day, it will gradually dawn on all Nigerians that the quest for state police has become an ‘irresistible’ force before which any immoveable object stands in vain.

Ade Ojeikere on Saturday talk2adeojeikere@yahoo.com

Meddlesome interlopers

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F your son loves playing soccer and you cannot locate him, please head for any of the embassies, you will find him. If your male relations keep the company of boys even though they are not talented in playing the game and you cannot find them, don’t waste cash. Log onto any of these foreign media networks, they could be among the large number of footages of Nigerians languishing in forest-like settings. Going to Europe has become a fad for young boys. They are gullible, especially, those who are allowed to leave their homes unchecked. Their absence from home means less people to feed. In some cases, these young men associate with evil minded people and become a threat to family members. Our young boys are wasting away in Eu-

rope in the name of seeking to play professional football. That is okay. But they never follow the designated paths, simply because we like doing things our own way. All it takes for anyone to be a football coach or manager is to bounce the ball in any open field. Kids will swarm the place like bees. Sadly, some of these venues of fraud are located in schools, yet principals and parents don’t bother to find out if such coaches or managers are recognised under the law. The absence of a regulatory body at the grassroots level has now been exploited by crooks who deceive our youths, only to destroy their lives. For the lucky ones who get to sign any soccer contract, what comes to them are peanuts. If the eventually make it big in such countries, these coaches earn more than they get. They are many tales of our boys who have quarelled with their managers after realising that they can stand on their own. The pitiable fact is that even

national team coaches in the country are guilty. Sitting in Silverbird’s Sport Café with Jide Alabi, in a collaboration show with the The Nation on Wednesday, I fought back tears after seeing the footage of the squalour in which young Nigerians are living in lieu of signing a football contract I pitied their parents, most of whom may not have seen the disgraceful footage, but may be deluded that their wards are doing well in Europe. Most times, these unsuspecting parents sell their properties to pay these dubious people, thinking that their wards would return to change their lives. Will you blame them? Certainly not, not with what stars such as John Mikel Obi have done. However, it is about time the Goodluck Jonathan government stopped this indecent slave trade that ridicules us before other countries. These criminals desecrate the Nigerian passport. Their atrocities create prob-

lems for Nigerians who travel overseas for genuine businesses at various ports of entry. The Jonathan administration needs to direct our embassies in those countries where these people are to fish them out. These young men have been led astray and the people responsible for this must be punished to deter those who may want to emulate them. It is easy to blame the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) for failing to track these people. Yet, it is instructive to note that some criminally-minded people devise ingenious means to perpetuate crimes. Otherwise, who would have thought that neatly packaged chicken could be stashed with hard drugs? NFF needs to relate properly with the State Football Associations to get the authentic register of all soccer academies and youth clubs within their local government areas. If such a register exists, we can trace the scouts, coaches or managers. These meddlesome interlopers in our soc

•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. Editor-08094000052, Marketing: 01-8155547, Abuja Office: Plot 5, Nanka Close AMAC Commercial Complex, Wuse Zone 3, Abuja, Tel/07028105302 `Website: www.thenationonlineng.net E-mail: saturday@thenationonlineng.com ISSN: 115-5302 Editor: DELE ADEOSUN

THE NATION, SEPTEMBER 09, 2012  

THE NATION, SEPTEMBER 09, 2012